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I sent this text to my very good friend earlier this evening:

“You know when you’re completely hormonal and irrational and you know it but you can’t stop the crazy?  That’s me.”

Yes indeed.  There’s nothing like standing at your refrigerator getting a glass of water and bursting into tears for seemingly no reason.  And that logical part of me is screaming at me: “Good gravy, woman!  STOP IT!!!!  You are being ‘that girl’ who flips out with no warning.  The girl who men fear because they don’t know how you will react at any given moment because there is no rhyme or reason to your behavior.  The girl who you yourself also hate because she’s the girl that gives womankind a bad name, and every time she’s portrayed on film you’re all, “Oh my word, she’s so annoying!  Who does that?  Dump her!”

But just before I fell completely into the deepest darkest hole of self-despair, I got a text back from my afore-mentioned friend:

“Lady, I’m currently crying in my car downtown.”

Frienship.  It’s priceless.  You see, apparently my friend and I have gotten on to the same cycle.  The same thing happened back in college.  And so perhaps you can believe why we are so close.  Anywhoo…apparently my friend had gotten herself lost while traveling downtown and somehow ended up in the ghetto.  By herself.  A small white woman, lost in the ghetto, crying.  It sounds like the start of a slasher film.  Candyman 15 perhaps?  I believe that beauty of a horror series was filmed in my sweet home of Chicago, specifically, Cabrini Green.  If this idea catches on, I think my friend could be the perfect opening sequence first person to be killed character.  I’m just sayin…

So anyway, I guess the point to my ramblings (and YES I know they’re ramblings but I can’t stop!  I believe it’s sort of part of thus whole theme here…crazy that I can’t stop) is that when you’re in that place of “can’t stop the crazy”, it’s sort of an out-of-body experience.  You can see yourself, the irrational, making no sense, flipping out over water that dribbled on the floor when unloading the dishwasher (oh yes), daydreaming about ripping off the drywall with my bare hands because my 5-year-old has asked me the same inane question for the 16th time in a matter of 45 minutes…that self. 

 You see her, but you can’t seem to communicate with her.  You try yelling, “WHAT?  What are you doing?  You’ve officially become ‘that girl”!!  Oh for crying….can you not hear me???!!!”  And you see how her family is looking at her.  You see how the kids are looking at her with wide, questioning eyes.  “Why is Mommy’s head spinning around?  Why are her eyes red and why is steam coming from her ears?  Daddy!  I’m scared!”  Yes.  These are the moments you wish you had one of those flashy thingys from Men In Black, to erase everyone’s memory of Crazy Mommy.

I don’t have a flashy thingy.  But what can I do?  I’m so there.  I’ve been there all day.  It’s been really annoying to rational out-of-body me.  So I apologize to my family.  But I thank my friend who is currently there with me.  Maybe our rational selves can hang out and devise a plan to get through to our irrational selves.  Maybe. 

My friend did get out of the ghetto, by the way.

What seems like forever ago, my darling hubby and I were living in Michigan, on the campus of a small, private Christian university.  I won’t say which one, just in case I ever slip and vent about why it was a less-than-lovely experience.  Don’t worry, former students….you were the bright spot in that time of life!

Anyway, as our time there drew to an end, we met our first baby.  The Hubs had to return a school van that he had used to bring a group of his residence life staff to Cedar Point.  I drove our car to meet him at the security office and as I waited in the car for him, I noticed it was taking a bit longer than I would have thought.  Then I saw Hubs peek his head out of the door, smiling like a goon, and waving me inside. 

I walked in, my four-month baby bump leading the way.  I could see a lump of something in Hubs’ arms.  After working for this school and living on campus, you just never know what to expect so the sight of a lump of something was a bit unnerving.  As I got closer though, I saw the lump was furry, had a sweet little nose and velvety ears.  Oh good gravy.  A puppy.  If you know me at all, you know what an obsession I have with dogs.  So the sight of a puppy is enough to reduce me to a puddle of goo.

Our Gracie Girl

There she was.  Soft and brown and ridiculously adorable.  She fit in my hands.  MY hands.  I have freakishly small hands.  Like a carnie.  And yet she fit perfectly.  Oh she was so warm and soft and lovely with her puppy fur and her round puppy belly that you couldn’t help but squeal over.

She belonged to a student who was working at the front desk and she had apparently shoved her under the desk when she saw Hubs come in.  And because we were at the end our stint there, we really didn’t care what rules were being broken, as long as no one was being murdered or experiencing alcohol poisoning or drug overdose.  So Hubs said, “Aw, it’s cool.  What are you hiding?” and she brought out the ball of cuteness.

I was immediately smitten.  I asked her name.  Gracie.  It suited her to perfection.  We asked her breed.  That’s when the girl looked a bit sad.  “She’s a lab/pitbull mix.  I’m going to have to find a new home for her because my mom is nervous about the pitbull half.”  Oh for crying… Breed prejudice.  Don’t get me started.  Let me just say this.  Pitbulls are awesome dogs, extremely loyal and loving and GREAT with kids.  They were once referred to as “nanny dogs” because of how great they are with kids.  Okay, I will not continue to rant because it could get ugly.

Snoozing. Oh how I love her little teeth

Because our time was drawing to a close, we were looking forward to our move to a new house in the next two weeks.  When I heard her say that she needed to find little Gracie a new home, all I did was look at Hubs.  All I had to do was look at Hubs.  He smiled because he knew.  She was ours.

Two weeks later, we welcomed that precious ball of soft brownness into our new house.  My family thought we were crazy because I was pregnant (with our first), but I didn’t care.  I happily carried that pup downstairs in the middle of the night to pee.  I happily cleaned up the puddles of pee and piles of poop.  She was a quick learner, so the clean-up wasn’t a terribly long time to endure.  She was my first dog.  MY first.  Mine.  All mine.  And Hubs.  But mostly MINE.

Gracie was our first baby, and she has been the perfect dog.  She is loving, cuddly, entertaining and wonderfully patient with the kids. 

And for the record, the moment I plopped Gracie in the laps of my parents, their protests stopped.  And now, they are just as in love.  My Dad especially.  It borders on ridiculous.  Whenever we’re at their house, he can never just feed her straight dog food, it must be laced with some kind of meat.  And now she knows to never accept plain dog food at Grampy’s house.  She will literally turn her nose up at the thought.

Bathing Beauty

When I am tired, stressed out, just generally in need of some love, Gracie is there.  No amount of therapy is like burying your face into some dog fur.  Laying your head on her side, and feeling the gentle rise and fall of her breathing, hearing the sound of her heartbeat.  It’s the oasis in the desert.

Last night, Spain claimed the title of World Cup champions.  The game was definitely a nail-biter, both teams refusing to allow goals until overtime.  That’s when Spain was finally able to take advantage of a slightly off-center Netherlands goalie and smash it past his outstretched hand for a goal.  Wow, that sounded strangely like I know what I’m talking about in terms of futbol.  Weird. 

Spain, you not only have amazing food, an exciting culture, and people who just ooze sexiness [seriously, I think the Spanish can make words like “sinus infection” sound sexy], and now you also have a World Cup title to your name!  Excellent.  But take heart, Netherlands!  You still have speedskating, windmills, tulips, wooden shoes, and…frugality!   You fought the good fight, Dutchies, but Spain triumphed.  I think we can all agree though, South Africa put on one amazing World Cup.

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My husband and I were driving home from Michigan yesterday and saw more than a few thought-provoking  and amusing billboards:

“Mercy Hospital.  Now offering 3D and 4D ultrasounds”:  My hubs read it and said, “What in the world is a 4D ultrasound?  What makes up that fourth dimension?  Terrifying”.  We came up with a a possible scenario.  As you watch your 3D ultrasound, a nurse squirts you with amniotic fluid and strokes your face with a slimy doll arm.  Voila!  Fourth dimension.

“Club 30.  All of the Liquor.  None of the clothes”:  Who wants to go to a club to drink while naked?

“Le Valley Honda Dealership”:  Le Valley.  It’s French.  For The Valley.

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What’s the deal with people who use their bluetooths inside stores?  I was in a grocery store the other day and this woman came around the corner all quiet and not talking, and she was pushing her little cart, and since we were the only ones around, I assumed it would be a quiet meeting.  All of a sudden, she started yelling.  I about wet myself with fright until I realized that she had a bluetooth in her ear and was arguing with whoever was on the other end of the call.  Well, lovely.  If she had been using her phone like a normal person, I would have known she was mid-conversation.  Instead, I had the begeezus scared out of me.  Let’s summarize.  Bluetooth in car:  Good.  Bluetooth in stores: Terrifying (and no, you don’t look cool with that thing in your ear)

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Today, the hubs and I went to Best Buy, and because the older two are currently in Michigan with my parents for a week, we only had our baby boy with us.  In case you haven’t heard, he’s the cutest little brown baby ever.  Our Chocolate Love Truffle.  Anywhoo….I digress.  So there we were, walking into Best Buy with our deliciously gorgeous baby and walking out of Best Buy was a tall black man.  He looked at us and said, “Hey!  Will you guys adopt me too?  Please?”.  Hubs and I laughed nervously wondering where he might be going with this.  In my mind, he could be commenting good-naturedly, or it could all go horribly horribly wrong. 

He went on, “Come one, guys, I don’t eat much, man”.  Hubs said, “Yeah, well, wish we could!  We don’t have any more room!  heh heh!”. 

Meanwhile, I’m still praying for a good outcome – this was a totally new reaction to our mixed family.  Then the guy said, “Aw, I’m just kidding, man.  God bless you, I think it’s wonderful”.  Phew!  Relief!  Honestly, I’ve never heard this scenario in all of the stories shared amongst adoptive families so it seemed normal to be a tad nervous.  I’m so glad it didn’t all go horribly wrong.  That really would have ruined the day for me.