Saturday, December 4, 2010

The one where I can't seem to put it behind me...

So um. This is probably going to be completely random because I have no idea what I'm going to blog about. I had fifty thousand post ideas until I actually sat down at my computer and my mind went blank. So here I am staring at the blank screen and randomly typing.

Today is the 6 month mark from Mike's accident. He's doing great. He still has some occasional shoulder pain and he still doesn't have his stamina quite back but he's doing amazing for someone who almost died. He still says he only remembers bits and pieces of things after the accident. I have full recall of the entire day. Sometimes I wish I didn't. I can't pass a red truck without feeling a chill snake it's way down my spine. Every time anyone leaves the house I worry til I know their safe. If I start to say something and don't or if I don't get a chance to say "I love you" before they leave I spend hours freaking out, thinking what if something happens, will they know I loved them? It's ridiculous really, but I can't stop it. Even writing this I find myself tearing up. I have flashbacks to that trauma room and my husbands bruised and bloody body. He seems to have put it out of his mind for the most part. I wonder why I can't?

On a happier note- Lu's pregnancy is going really well. Other than the fatigue (you ladies know what I'm talking about- that bone weary tiredness of the first trimester), she hasn't had much trouble. Some headaches and passing nausea, but overall she's super healthy and doing great. I should take a picture of her baby bump to post. She sees the doctor for the first time on Wednesday and we're hoping they will be able to determine her due date for sure. Emotionally she's got a lot going on. She wants to have the first appointment be just her and I and the baby daddy is pressuring her to let him come too. I'm not sure why he can't seem to respect her wishes on this. Technically she doesn't have to let him come to any appointments but she's promised he could come to some. She's also helping a friend who's been through rehab for alcoholism and just got out.

Sean is, well, Sean. I haven't seen him much these last few weeks because he's got his father's work ethic. He had pneumonia and only missed one day of work. Then he stayed late several times to make up the missed hours. Then he took on a couple of side jobs with a friend. Between all that and his Lodge duties, he's gone a lot. I miss him. He's the one I can count on to lighten my mood. Lizzie (his "not" girlfriend) did visit with us over her Thanksgiving break and we all enjoyed that. Lu made us (and when I say "made" us, I mean MADE us. She's like the family game night Nazi) play games that night. Personally, I wish they'd drop the "not" status and just go back to dating. Sean found "the whole happy meal" in Lizzie and I like that she gives shit right back to him when he's dishing it out. Lu has asked them to be her baby's godparents.

And me? Well, I'm working on Christmas stuff. I'm unusually ahead of the game this year. My shopping is nearly done, I'm starting my craft projects tomorrow, and I may wrap some today. I'm usually a last minute Christmas girl so I'm feeling pretty proud. My folks and sisters family will be coming here for Christmas, so I do have some carpet shampooing and cleaning to do. And I have to get it all done because I'm having my gallbladder out on the 30th. That conversation went like this.

*I'd seen the surgeon (yes, the same one who did Mike and Lu's surgeries. He's probably going to get to go on vacation from the money he's made on us this year!) And the nurse comes in*

Nurse: Doctor wants to take that out right away. He said tomorrow but we don't have any openings. How about next Thursday the 9th?

Me: Um. No can do. We have a wedding to go to on the 11th and a banquet.

Nurse: How about the next week. The 16th?

Me: Nope. Mike's work Christmas party.

Nurse: The 23rd?

Me: You're kidding right?

Nurse: *blank stare*

Me: I'm having company for Christmas. How about the 30th?

Nurse: But the doctor said right away.

Me: I've been in pain for months now. I'm pretty sure I can handle 29 more days. So the 30th works. Book it.

I know that my family would have been okay with a messy house and pizza for Christmas dinner. But I would never have healed enough to be able to have CJ home. This way I get Christmas out of the way, enjoy every one's visits and then take care of me. That's how we Mom's do it, right?

Hope you all are having an excellent month. If you have snow, send it my way. I'm ready for some!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The one where tigers eat zebras and the cat is out of the bag

First, I totally have a confession to make. I'm not nearly as nice and sweet as people think I am. I'm just really really good at biting my tongue and not saying what's actually going through my mind at the time. I find this seriously helpful in dealing not only with the general public, but also with other relationships. And the way that you'll know I'm angry is if I stop talking. No, I'm not deep in thought. No, I'm not just super interested in what you have to say. If I'm not talking in a truly animated fashion and gesturing with my hands, I'm probably pissed off and plotting your slow demise in my next short story. Unless I've been drinking, in which case I'm quite liable to come out with exactly what I'm thinking. Which never ends well, thus the reason I don't drink much. And the reason my husband prefers I don't drink at work functions. Case in point we were discussing someone the other day and I said that I would never drink much around said person as I was afraid the conversation would go much like this~

Me: Do you realize how bad your people skills really are?

Person: I don't know what you're talking about. Besides, you like me.

Me: No. You just think I do, because I happen to have excellent people skills.

And Sean said "Yeah. I can pretty much see the conversation going exactly like that".

And now for the big news I mentioned the other day...I'm going to be a grandma!!! And this is how it happened~

*I'm in my office/family room in the middle of writing a story on the Chilean miners visiting Israel for the holiday season when Lu walks in. I glance up quickly to see who has entered my domain and then look at the clock. It's only 8:30 am which is really early for her to be up on a day she doesn't have to be at work.*

Lu: Remember when you said you'd love me forever no matter what?

Me:*slightly annoyed because I'm pretty sure she's going to ask me to make her a cup of tea and I'm right in the middle of an article* Yes?

Lu:*pulls out two positive pregnancy tests (different brands even) from behind her back and promptly bursts into tears*

Me: Wow. That is so not where I saw this conversation going.

Of course, then I hugged her and we sat in the chair and discussed things. I told her that what we had was a huge case of irony (considering she and Luke had broken up the week before) and that the Universe loved irony. There was no question as to what she'd do, I know her well enough to know she'd keep the baby. She'll live at home and start community college in the fall. Since I work from home, I can watch the baby. She's trying to work on a friendship with Luke so that they can deal well together when the baby comes. She's smart enough to know that a troubled relationship doesn't get better when a baby is added. If it didn't work before it's not going to then.

The timing is off and it sure wasn't in her plan right now, but she's handling it well. Luckily, she'd had the splenechtomy so her ITP is still in remission. She's had two blood tests since she found out she was pregnant and platelets are holding steady at a very high normal. Since she was already on iron for her anemia and folic acid the baby has a good start. And she was already a healthy eater so she's ahead of the game. She sees the doctor for the first time on December 8th but all estimates put her at 7 weeks along. She is already sporting a noticeable baby bump though so she may be farther along. Although, multiples also run on both sides of her father's family.

All the key players (Luke, parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles) have been told so she told me I could share the news with you. Which is awesome, because I was about to bust! I don't even mind the grandma jokes. Much.

And last but not least, a conversation I had with Sean a few days ago~

*we were discussing a certain person and their complete lack of proper responses*

Me: Well a wise woman did tell Mo and I the other day that in 22 years of her line of work she had learned for sure that zebras can't change their stripes.

Sean: of course they can't. It's because zebras are pansies. Take me for instance, I'm a tiger. And I'm not going to change my stripes because I like my stripes. Cause I'm a freakin tiger. And tigers are bad ass. So we don't change our stripes. Zebras try to change but they can't. Because they're zebras. And they're all "I'm gonna stand in this field and hope the tiger doesn't eat me, maybe I blend in with the tall grass". See? Pansies.

Me: I'm pretty sure you lost me back at "I'm a tiger". I don't really understand where you were going with that analogy but um. Okay?

Sean: *head nod, eyebrow raise* That's right. Tigers.

Yeah, it really went down just like that.

Have a happy "day we celebrate how we cheated the Indians out of their land" day!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The one where a hatchling leaves the nest and why I will never be famous...

A friend and blog reader emailed me the other day just to check and see how things are going in "Spotsville". I replied that things are hopping. And its true. I wish I could tell you all about it, but some things will have to wait. But first, I want to thank each and everyone of you for not only reading about my vida loca but also for caring about it. And to the many of you I keep in touch with outside the blog...I adore you.

So we are currently down in household size from 6 to 4. And no I don't mean because Mike is so busy working on the dining hall roof that he's hardly ever home. Although that is true and is a small bone of contention. I mean who else can say that the "other woman" is a tin roof her husband is building. Complete with "floating rafters" (whatever the hell that means). He even sent me a picture in a text message the other day of the roof. I answered "um. wow. It looks roof-y?"

No, Luke and Lu have called it splitsville. Well, actually, Lu decided it was splitsville and so he moved out roughly two weeks ago. Sometimes, things just don't work out and you have to move on.

And Bobby is leaving the nest. His brother bought a house and asked him to move in with him and his girlfriend. It's twenty minutes closer to town and not on a gravel road. We agreed that this was a good time for him to test his wings. We also made sure he knew that if it didn't work out he still had a home to come back too. I will miss him. And yet, I'm proud. It's a funny bag of mixed emotions.

And now for some random conversations that have taken place over the last few days:

***As Lu and I were standing in line to see the play "Forever Plaid" at the local community theatre:

Lu: *leaning over to kiss me on the cheek* Thanks.

Me: For what? The tickets were free.

Lu: No. For making me pretty.

Me: Um. Well, I didn't have a lot to do with that. That's more of a "thank the Universe" kind of thing. What brought that on anyway?

Lu: I was just looking around and looking at you and you're pretty and I look just like you, therefore I'm pretty too.

Me: Oh. Well in that case, you're totally welcome. You're really just glad I don't dress horrible and embarrass you, aren't you?

Lu: Yeah, that too.

***The other day when Mike came into my office in the middle of the day:

Mike: Are you working?

Me: Generally if you hear the keyboard typing non stop I'm working yes.

Mike: Oh then I won't bother you.

Me: You kind of already have so you might as well just tell me what you need.

Mike: I don't need anything.

Me: Then why did you come in here?

Mike: I was just checking on you.

Me: Checking on me how? What did you think had happened to me exactly?

Mike: I don't know.

Me: *sighing* well I'm glad we cleared that up. I'm fine thanks. I just bid on a new job. It would be a lot of articles though. I'd probably have to start taking myself a little more seriously and really putting in 6 to 8 hours a day.

Mike: you don't need to do that.

Me: I know. But I want to. And extra money would be nice, it would pay really well.

Mike: You don't need to do that because we keep you plenty busy around here taking care of us.

Me: Did you honestly just say I can't further my career because you and the kids are so needy?!

Mike: Yeah. That's pretty much it in a nutshell.

Me: You should probably leave my office now. *And that my friends, is why I'll never be famous. Because my family requires too much of my time.*

***Sean and I talking before he went to bed last night, Lu was in the room too.

Me: So who painted your nails this time?

Sean: Dawn at work. I need to take it off before Monday so she can do a better job. She was in a hurry.

Me: Are you going to take it off before your scout thing tomorrow?

Sean: Nope. I did the last one with sparkly pink nails that my supervisor painted.

Lu: Only you would be able to find a job where you get to do such ridiculous things and still get paid.

Me: Are you going to take it off before your date with Lizzie?

Lu: Where are you taking Lizzie?

Sean: Hamilton Family Diner. I promised her some ham fam next time she was back. And no, I'm not.

Me: I wish you would.

Sean: Why? Are you being gender stereotypical?

Me: No. I just don't like fingernail polish on guys. You know how goth guys wear black fingernail polish? I just don't like it.

Sean: It's not black. It's Burgundy.

Lu: *Explodes into giggles.* It's Burgundy!!

Me: I don't care what color it is, I just don't like it.

Lu: *more hysterical laughter* It's Burgundy!

Me: Um. Are you alright there Lu?

Lu: Yes. You guys just crack me up. You should blog this. It's Burgundy. *giggle snort*

And that's what's going on around here.

Have a great weekend,

Monday, November 8, 2010

The one where Sean gets served

So not many people commented on my last blog so I'm thinking maybe you don't like it when I get serious or maybe it's just a skinny people boycott. Whatever. If you guys are going to play that game I guess I'll just go ahead and give you what you want. I know, you want the "funny". Fine. Here. I hope you all snort liquid out your noses. (No, really, I do!)

A couple of weekends ago, Sean's "not girlfriend"(which is a whole confusing state in and of itself) Lizzie came home from college for the weekend and we'd already planned that she would come to our house Friday night. We said we'd make dinner (and by "we", I totally mean "I") and then we'd (now I mean "we") teach her to play Mexican Train Dominoes. Don't laugh. It's fun. And we are all extremely competitive so it involves a lot of trash talking and a couple of swear words. So she arrived on a Friday night and we gathered round the table to chow down on some pork carnitas (duh, what else would you eat but Mexican food when you're going to play Mexican train dominoes?). It was Lizzie, Sean, Lu, Bobby (who was still off work from his accident) and myself. Naturally our dinner table conversation took several small leaps off track. And I'm just going to warn you right now-- if you get embarrassed about the word "vagina" or are easily offended STOP READING RIGHT NOW. Also, if you think you might feel the need to offer me parenting advice or something-- don't. I won't listen and I happen to think I've done a wonderful job. Thus ends the warning.

Me: Lizzie, how did W's 21st birthday party go? Wasn't it her first time ever drinking?

Lizzie: I don't know for sure that it was, but I know she was always against underage drinking whenever she was with K & I. But she drank alot and puked twice.

Me: Gross. But sometimes when you puke you feel better and can keep partying. Not that I recommend that.

Lizzie: Yeah, she puked the first time at the party and then the next time after we got home, she was on the porch and the window was open.

Sean: Did she make it to the bathroom at the party?

Lizzie: I don't know for sure.

Lu: Well I hope she didn't puke in her purse.

*We all start laughing*

Sean: Why the hell would she puke in her purse?

Me: That's totally gross. Who would do that?

Lu: Well it always seems like a good idea, until the next morning. It's just a really bad idea.

Me: Please tell me you don't know this from personal experience!

Bobby & Sean: She totally does! Look at her face!

*by this time we're all laughing hysterically*

Lu: It's really not that funny!

-now I know some of you are going "she just sort of admitted to getting drunk" and yeah, it can be viewed that way. But for the most part if you think your teenagers have never snuck a drink or two, you're fooling yourself. Besides, it's not like I can ground her for sins of the past. If you could, my parents would probably still be trying to ground me for shit I pulled they never knew about. There's got to be a statute of limitations on that kind of stuff-

From there, the convo takes a bewildering turn-

Lu: I don't know why Axel(my tiny female cat) is so mean to Sparkplug(Lu's male cat) anymore. They used to be the Romeo & Juliet of the cat world.

Me: She hasn't wanted anything to do with him since he came home from the vets.

Lu: Maybe she just knows he can't put out anymore. That's okay Sparkplug, you stay away from her vampire vagina.

*All of us turn to stare at her*

Lu: I read it in that cat book you got when Axel was pregnant. When cats have sex the female has these little barbs in there that make it impossible for the male to pull out before the deed is done.

Sean: So let me get this straight- you think cats have fangs in their vaginas?

Lu: No not fangs, barbs. But whatever, they're like vampires.

Me: *struggling for breath because I'm laughing so hard* Vampire Va-jay-jays! Man, where's Elly when you need her?!

Bobby: thank god humans don't have those.

Me: seriously, people would never have sex. And boys would learn to say no.

Sean: No! Keep that vampire vagina away from me girls!

Me: Do they sparkle?

Yeah, we ran that conversation into the ground. And the rest of the night anytime anyone said "vampire" we all started laughing again. Which was very confusing for Mike when he finally made it to the house.

Sean ended up winning the game. And the highlight of the game was Sean kept shouting "Stop looking at my dominoes Lizzie!!" He gets highly irate when you look at his dominoes. And then once, when he had to draw a domino, Lizzie told him he'd had one he could have played all along.

Sean: Then why didn't you tell me?

Lizzie: Because you keep yelling at me to stop looking at your dominoes! Besides, I needed that space.

Yes, Sean, you did just get served.

Hope Monday isn't treating you all too badly,

Friday, November 5, 2010

The one where we talk less about weight and more about self-confidence

Hello bloggy peeps! Remember me? Yeah, I don’t blame you at all. I have been seriously neglectful of this blog and since it’s the very thing that got me so far to begin with that is truly unforgivable. But I think I’ve kicked the case of “bloggy blues” that I seem to have been suffering with lately. (And it wasn’t just me. Did you notice how many other bloggers seemed to have struggling lately? Must have been some sort of weird co-alignment of the planets). But I’m back and hopefully to stay this time.

Now, normally you know I don’t do a lot of reactionary pieces. I respect everyone’s right to have an opinion that differs from mine and don’t find a lot of fulfillment in arguing just for the sake of argument. But I feel I must speak up this time. If you’ve been on the webs at all in the last week, you’ve heard about the horrible blog at Marie Claire bashing fat people. It’s gotten a lot of attention and evoked horror from most people. I was content to ignore it. People are dumb, right? Then I read it. And while the author did say some insensitive things, I don't think she truly meant to hurt people. (But you totally spelled "heroin" wrong, sweetie. There's no "e" on the end of the drug). But then I happened to have my attention called to another blogger’s response to the article. I know she was trying to be helpful, but her blog was almost as bad. She says that the times in her life when she’s been fat, she felt invisible. That most people ignore fat people. Girl, you could not be more wrong!

First, I don’t think anyone who claims to have been overweight for roughly three years out of her life knows much about being fat. And the author completely fesses up that at these times in her life she’s been miserable, hating her own body and desperately wanting to change. So of course when she goes out into the world, armed with her horrible self-image and expecting to be treated poorly, she seems invisible. That has more to do with attitude than extra weight.

Let’s get this straight. I am a big girl. I’m not morbidly obese, but I’m no one’s idea of thin. I have been thinner in the past. High school, after my first baby, after my second baby. Oh don’t get me wrong; I was never a skin and bones girl. I was curvy. And always, I had to be careful to maintain that weight. I had to get plenty of exercise and say “no” to desert. Then I got pregnant with my third child and 17 years later I still haven’t lost all that baby weight. Oh here and there I lose a few pounds, then I find them again, and so on. But I am far from miserable in my skin.

I don’t binge eat. I don’t hideout and scarf food where no one can see me. I cook healthy. I don’t fry foods and I don’t eat them if I can avoid it (except for the occasional greasy cheesy goodness from McDs). My blood pressure is good. My cholesterol is low and my heart is healthy. I do not have diabetes or any other weight related health issues. I would like to lose a few pounds but mostly that’s because I’ve been forced into inactivity lately by circumstance and feel better when I can get outside and hike or stay in and play Wii. So I’m heavy, but relatively healthy.

But here’s the thing. I am not invisible. No one treats me badly because of my size. Men still hold doors for me, I still get flirted with and I still feel sexy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those “fat is sexy” girls who run around in body revealing clothing. I wear age appropriate classic clothing most of the time. (sometimes I splurge on something silly but that’s just my fruit loopness coming out). I feel sexy because I’m self-confident. It has nothing to do with the way I look and everything to do with my personality. People smile at me because I smile at them. I meet their eyes and I don’t look away. I’m friendly and positive. I don’t hide. Want an example? I was at Wal-Mart the other evening and I left Mike and Sean in the hunting department to head over to pick up orange juice. As I walked down the aisle, I saw a guy stocking and he turned, smiled at me and said:

Him: Didn’t you used to work at Waldenbooks?

Me: Yes.

Him: I worked at the calendar store one year.

Me: (I really don’t remember him, but I don’t want to be rude) Oh yeah! Hey! How’re you doing?

Him: Great. Wow. It’s really good to see you!

Me: You too. Take care.

And I strolled on, apparently quite visible. The topper? It was the day I’d been in the ER, so my hair was slightly messy; I was wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt, obviously completely un-ravishing. But it was probably my personality that he remembered not my beauty.

And now, lets talk about that dirty little secret that no one ever talks about. Skinny doesn’t equal self-confidence. I know just as many skinny girls who are miserable in their own skins as heavy girls. In fact, sometimes I wonder if skinny girls aren’t even more insecure. Skinny girls feel like everyone judges them on their appearance instead of getting to know them. I know because my sister is a stick. Seriously. Like they divided the fat genes in my family 90/10 and I got the 90. Does it mean she’s uber self-confident? Hell no! Does it mean she’s healthier? No. She complains about just as much joint pain as I do, she just won’t go to the doctor and do something about it. My daughter? Size zero. Self-confident? Not as much as I would like. And constantly worried about gaining a pound.

I have skinny friends and I have friends who are way larger than I. So here’s the point. Be you. And be happy being you. You can choose to worry about your size, hair color, height, boob size or weight. Or you can choose not to worry. The choice is yours. Not everyone who’s fat is gross and not everyone who’s skinny is hott. So why don’t we stop discriminating? Why don’t we stop beating each other up over it? Why don’t we learn to base self worth on personality, kindness and accomplishment? Why?

Bottom line: I do not want to see two fat people having sex. I do not want to see two super skinny people having sex. Personally, I don’t want to see anyone having sex. But if I were forced to, I would prefer it were two healthy people, regardless of a few extra pounds more or less. So if fat people gross you out, close your damn eyes and don’t watch.

Be you. Be happy. And don’t let anyone (ever) make you feel bad about it. Regardless of your outer shell, you have what it takes to shine.

Sorry for the length peeps, but if you made it through, you deserve a snack. A snack of your choice-a be it healthy or chocolate.


Friday, October 29, 2010

The one where I have the Plague or Black Lung or possibly Scurvy.

I think I have the plague. No seriously. Stop saying nobody gets the plague anymore. They do. I looked it up. For real. Okay, so I don't really have the plague. I'm not sure what I have, but I woke up feeling like crap. Tight chest, icky cough, headache (of course I've had the headache for three weeks so it might be completely unrelated), sick tummy and no appetite. Yeah, that's right no appetite. Not wanting to eat anything usually means I'm actually sick. I was almost too lazy to even make my cup of tea this morning but since there was no one else home to do it for me, I toughed it out. Now I'm wanting to curl up in the chair with the super soft blankie and watch some mind numbing TV. That really wasn't in my plan for today though.

I'm supposed to be working (two articles for Buzzreactor) and then cleaning my house. I'm pretty sure the cleaning the house part is not getting done. Sorry my house will still be a mess when you get here tomorrow Lizzie. I will try to get the bathrooms done at least. I'll also try not to give you the plague.

I do have some funny stories. I promise. And they have nothing to do with the plague. Hopefully tomorrow I'll feel more like writing them.

TGIF everyone.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The one where I lose a tooth in a pumpkin carving accident...

Relax folks, it wasn't my tooth, but more on that later. First, let me apologize for my absence. I owe a special apology to my Kindle readers (you're still there, right guys?) because they actually pay to read this blog. Sorry. I wish I could say I had good reason for being absent. But I didn't really. It was just some strange lassitude that seems to have crept into my soul with the turning of the leaves. I'm not sure where it's coming from, generally this is my favorite time of year. I love fall. I love the month of October when I can DVR enough scary movies to last me through the winter. But this year, I'm lacking that special "oomph" and I'm not sure where it's gone. So if someone finds it, please send it back, I mean, after all, it is MY "oomph" and No One Else's. And besides, I NEED it. Like desperately.

Things are going well in the household. My trip to Ohio with my folks was actually way more fun than I thought it would be. And I got a haunted house fix. I will blog about that later in the week. My knee is healing finally. I still have a lot of trouble with stairs (thank goodness Lu does the laundry for me). And I'm not sure when I'll be able to squat. Seriously, you don't realize how often you squat until you can't. I squatted down to get on eye level with my niece and you could barely here my whimpering over the grinding protest my knee made. Yeah, not doing that again for awhile. But I can walk almost normally. And I can gingerly get down on the floor and back up again on my own. So it's probably functioning at a 70% level. I can handle that for now.

Mike has been super busy the last several weekends. This weekend should be the last big camping event, but since they started putting a new roof on the dining hall he'll still be tied up for awhile. At least he's feeling well. His stamina and brute strength still aren't what they were but he's doing remarkably well, considering. And the shoulder is still a thorn in his side but we see the doctor soon.

The kids are good. All working full time now, which gives me an empty house for most of the day. (Score!) And when they are home it's bustling chaotic confusion, but mostly in a good way. The freelance writing is going well. As those of you who are with me on FaceBook know, my boss emailed me the other day to tell me that one of my articles got picked up and linked to by a popular Hungarian newsite. I went to check it out, but it was all in Hungarian. Lol. Anyway, I was happy. I am currently looking for more editing work, so if anyone has written something they need edited or proofread...give me a shout. And I have several pieces out on submission. But as anyone who writes knows...that's just a waiting game.

So, now that you're caught up...on to pumpkin carving...

Luke had gotten us pumpkins over the weekend and CJ was home for a visit, so Monday night we went on the deck to carve our pumpkins. I sat down to do CJ's for him. Lu was diligently (if a little scarily) working on cutting off the top of hers with a really really big knife. Luke was sorting through pumpkin guts for the seeds (so he could roast them) and I was scooping out the inside of mine. Sean had taken CJ for a golf cart ride. Time passed, it started to get dark, CJ was back and ready to go inside and freakin mosquitoes (yes, mosquitoes in October, how effed up is that?) were eating me alive, so I was trying to carve my face quickly. Recipe for disaster. I'd drawn a pretty standard Jack O'Lantern face; two triangle eyes, upside down triangle nose and grinning mouth with three teeth. I carved and carved and was busy pushing out the carved bits. I noticed it was taking some effort, this pumpkin was thick. When I got to pushing out the mouth bit, I was really struggling, my hand deep inside the pumpkin, pushing outward. Finally I felt it give way. The mouth popped out of that pumpkin with enough force to go sailing through the air and hit Luke upside the head (totally accidental I assure you or do I?)!

Said simultaneously:

Me: Oh! I lost a tooth!(putting my hand to my mouth, don't ask why)

Luke: Did you just throw pumpkin at me?!


Lulu: What? You lost a tooth?! Omigosh! Let me see!

Me: Not me silly. My pumpkin! It came out of there so fast, it ripped one of the teeth out.

Luke: So you didn't throw it at me on purpose.

Me: No, I have no desire to start an all out pumpkin war because I know who would end up cleaning that up!!

Sean: So you almost lost a tooth in a pumpkin carving accident?

Me: For real.

And so the pumpkins were carved. And they were cute. I really do love October.

Have a fabulous weekend,

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The one where horror writers are made not born...

I just want to let you all know up front that I'm going out of town tomorrow. And we all know that travelling Spot is not always blogging frequently Spot so I thought I'd warn you in advance. Of course, I'm going to Hildi's with my parents so I might turn into "I must blog in order to keep my half assed claim to sanity" Spot. We shall see.

Yep, I'm leaving my whole tribe and heading to Ohio with my parents. I'd promised Hildi I'd come visit her this month (our all time favorite) so we could do some Haunted Houses or see some scary movies together. And when my parents decided to go this week to watch Hildi's youngest she's (5) cheer with the high school cheerleaders at the football game, she suggested I come with them to save money, wear and tear on my knee and so they could baby me. Well, I don't know about the babying part, I'm more on the nurturing side, but at least I wouldn't have to drive alone now that my offspring have decided to get full time jobs. So plans were made and I'm heading off to their house tomorrow so we can head to Ohio bright and early Thursday morning. I'll be gone a week. I hope the cats and my house survive. I'm leaving Sean, Mike and Luke with head colds and crossing my fingers that Lu doesn't catch it. So we'll see what the week has in store for me.

Hildi's husband is one of those lucky so & so's who always seem to be winning something. Seriously, I don't think they've ever actually bought a TV. A couple of weeks ago, he did it again. Won a TV. So Hildi called and asked if I would like the TV from their bedroom. That sucker is huge. I said sure what do I owe you. And she said don't be silly, you can have it for free. Free is my favorite price so I graciously accepted and she sent it home with my folks. We picked it up from them last Tuesday. It was so large that we had to buy a new TV stand for the living room where we were putting the TV. That was fine with me because I was sick of the old one and in fact have plans to redo the living room decor anyway. Tuesday night when Sean got home he started clearing off the old entertainment center in order to put together the new one. I was busy in the kitchen, making dinner.

Sean: Hey mom! I found this really old thing. It's rectangular and black and covered in dust. It looks like it has some kind of tape in it.

Me: (turning around to see him holding up a VHS tape) Very funny dork.

Sean: Wow. I seem to have come across an even more ancient relic! It's so small. What can it be?

Me: (turning around again to see him grinning and holding up a cassette tape) Wow. That is old.

Sean: Do we even have a device that might play this anymore?

Me: Yeah, the stereo in there has a cassette deck. I think there's actually one in my SUV too. *Looking closer at the tape* OMG! That tape is from when I was little! It's probably got Aunt Hildi on it singing "I love a rainy night". It was her favorite song when she was three. Hold on to that.

Sean: We have to listen to it.

So after dinner, we sat down in the living room and Sean put the cassette in the player.

Me: So for my 7th birthday I asked for a cassette recorder and got one. I then recorded make believe radio shows, poems, songs, aunt Hildi and I singing. It was like a video blog without the video.

Lu: You were such a strange little kid.

Me: agreed. I'm just letting you know that I have no idea what you're about to hear. It's like a disclaimer.

*Sean hit play*

voice on recorder (which sounds oddly like Hildi's daughter): so now I'm going to sing a song I wrote. "Every body's got to die sometime, that's just how it goes, don't ask me why though, cause I don't really know." (only slightly off key)

Sean: Wow. You were a morbid little thing at seven, weren't you?

Me: Of course I was. What else would you expect? I was raised watching "Night Gallery" and "Twilight Zone", Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" and my bedtime stories were straight from Stephen King and Anne Rice. I read Poe's collected works at ten. I think morbid was more of a destiny for me than a choice. It really shouldn't surprise anyone that I turned out to be a horror writer.

Lu: You were weird.

Me: Whatever. With the ability to write lyrics like that and halfway carry a tune, I think it's a wonder that I'm not a rock star.

Sean: You are insane.

Me: By "insane" you totally mean "creative genius" right?

I'm not even going to dignify his response with repeating it here. I'm so misunderstood.

And then last night, I dreamed that Lizzie was cheating on Sean. Which is weird, because they aren't even dating right now. But there you go. If you're reading this Lizzie, don't do it. That guy was not as cute as Sean. And he was short.

Well, I'm off to start my packing. Maybe I can sing for my parents in the car. I'm sure they'll enjoy that. Especially if I make up my own songs.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

The one where I frighten young men...

Lu and I woke up this morning to a strange RV was parked in the little parking lot in front of our house. I know it wasn't there yesterday, as my computer desk is in front of a window that looks out on the front yard. We were pretty sure it wasn't there when we went to bed last night. Now there is a huge camp out going on down in camp with three hundred people from ours and other councils so I was pretty sure it was someone from that. Except that our camp doesn't allow RVs. So I texted Mike to find out who it was. He said he would find out.

I went about my business this morning and didn't think too much about it except that it kind of creeped me and Lu out a little. Throughout the morning people have been leaving camp and I glance up from my computer to watch them go. One of those times I noticed folks outside the RV. One boy in a scout shirt climbed in, while one in a tracksuit stayed out. When I glanced up again, just a few seconds later, tracksuit boy was taking a pee facing my house. For real. Standing there, in full view, with his equipment out, peeing. IN. MY. FRONT. YARD.

I believe I shouted "No Freakin Way!!"

I texted Mike. Then I went on the warpath. I put on shoes and headed out. When I got to the RV, I rapped loudly on the window. The boy in the scout uniform rolled it down.

Me: I just want you to know that one of you just took a pee in my front yard.

Boy: What?! Why did you do that?! *Looking back at tracksuit guy.*

Me: *fixing tracksuit guy with a mama bear glare* Did you know that this was some one's home and you just whipped your stuff out in full view of my family and took a pee in my front yard?! (okay, so I was the only one who saw, but still)

Tracksuit guy: I didn't know!

Me: Well next time maybe you should think about it and be a lot more respectful. Isn't that one of the traits of the scout oath?? A scout is respectful?

Tracksuit guy: I'm sorry, ma'am, I'm really sorry.

Boy: We're really sorry. Won't happen again.

Me: Fine.

They pulled out of there in the next 10 minutes. When I got back in the house, I realized that I hadn't once thought about my knee in my angry march and now it was protesting. Lu was standing at the door in her robe. She'd just gotten out of the shower when I hollered that I was going out to yell at the guy who peed in my yard.

Lu: I thought you might need rescuing.

Me: From a couple of boy scouts?

Lu: Well we didn't know who it was!

Me: You were going to come to my rescue in your robe?

Lu: If I had too.

I guess the mama bear apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Lol.

Sure hope the rest of the day is quieter.


Friday, September 24, 2010

The one where I get a bit "preachy" on y'all

So, I'm going to discuss something today that I don't often discuss. Oddly enough, I had this blog post written in my head yesterday and didn't get time to actually get it to the computer. Then when I read my favorite bloggers posts today, a couple of them were about religion. I think it might be a sign from the Universe.

When Lu was in the hospital recently, my uncles (my mother's brothers) were visiting one evening when the pastor from my Grandmother's church stopped by. He read a bible passage and led us in a quick prayer. After he left we got to discussing how strong my Grandmother's faith had been and how she'd enjoyed her visits from the pastor. I said I enjoyed the pastors stopping by because it reminded me of Grandma even if I didn't necessarily believe the same things they did. I still take comfort from their words and the fact they are sending out prayers for us. My uncle stated he did not believe in God. Because how could God let bad things happen to good people? That statement has been buzzing around in my head for the last month.

Here's the thing: I'm the exact opposite. I believe in a higher power (which we'll call the Universe) because bad things happen to good people. You're probably totally confused right now, huh? I must admit I was too at first. But let's think about what defines a "good" person. To me, a good person is someone who stays on the right side of the law, takes personal responsibility for their actions, doesn't lie, steal, or harm others. A good person tries to help others when they can, pays it forward as often as possible, is kind, and generally makes a difference in the lives of others. I try to be a good person. I don't always succeed. But I still put the effort forth. If I asked a smattering of people I know, if they thought of me as a good person, I would hope they would say yes, and I think they would. And many times I've heard my husband referred to as a good person. I'm trying to raise my kids to be good people and seem to be succeeding for the most part. And yet, as most of you will agree, we've had a year of hard knocks. I lost my grandmother, Mike nearly died in an accident, Lu has had medical problems and surgery, I've had the knee injury and surgery. We've had some tough times. But through it all, I've still struggled to be good. We didn't give up on each other or rail at the Universe. We didn't blame anyone else for our troubles or treat anyone badly. We didn't try to cheat the system and milk out Mike's workman's comp...the man was desperate to get back to work. Through it all, we've tried to hold to our integrity.

But it wasn't easy. It would have been easy to complain and give up. It would've been easy to beg for money from others. It would have been easy to turn negative and nasty. It would've been easy to blame others for our misfortune. And that's what proves my point. Being a good person isn't always easy. Oh, in good times, it is. And that's the point. If no one ever faced adversity, their "goodness" would never be challenged. If it was easy to be "good" everyone would do it? Right? It's the challenges and bad times that test your commitment to being "good". It's like if it never rained, you'd never know how to appreciate the sun. If my life was easy, I wouldn't appreciate the effort I or my family put in.

I don't know if anyone but me is following my train of thought here, but I hope the message is getting through. Being a "good" person is hard. But the Universe tests "good" people for a reason. And I firmly believe that the rewards are great. I'm not talking about Heaven, because my views on Heaven and Hell are pretty nebulous at best. I'm talking about the reward of supportive friends, great family bonds, and just the joy of making some random person smile because I let them go ahead of me in line. These joys, in the here and now, are things that make life and "goodness" worth it. And the challenges, well, they're there for a reason. Each one teaches a lesson, strengthens my resolve, and moves me forward. The Universe is testing me. Hope I pass.

And to any of you who read this and think "jeez, Pollyanna, give it a rest". I apologize, but this is truly how my brain works.

Blessed be,

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The one where I direct you to various other "Spot"s...

That was a curious title, no? Well now that I've got you hooked...I'm going to send you on a wild "Spot" chase. I hope you guys are laughing at my cleverness, because I'm cracking myself up here and if I'm the only one laughing its kind of sad. But once again, I did not sleep well and sleeplessness and Darvocet leave me feeling wonky.

Anyway, I have to hurry and get around and leave for town today, but I was so productive yesterday that I wanted to point it out to you. In case you missed it. But just to be nice, I'll give you a Sean convo first...

I was cooking dinner last night when Sean got home. He's not quite used to being a working drone yet as it's only his third week of full time work. So to beat the "Mondays", I'd let him choose what I made for dinner. He chose his favorite: chicken Parmesan, mashed potatoes, Italian green beans and garlic cheese toast. He also had an early Scout commitment so I was making supper early and it was nearly ready when he got home at 5:15. He leaned casually against the counter and said~

Sean: So when did you tell Lizzie about T?

Mike: Uh oh.

Me: Oops? I guess Lizzie reads my blog. Why? What did she say?

Sean: She texted me and asked if I was ditching her for druggie chick.

Me: (giggling) She's teasing you. It was obvious from my blog that you aren't into druggie chick. That's funny.

Sean: (also laughing)

Mike: wait. so she's not mad?

Me: (rolling my eyes) of course she's not mad. Now she has something to tease him about.

Mike: Oh. Well she likes that other guy anyway, right?

Me & Sean: What??

Mike: She said when she was here Sunday that she was texting some guy and she was going to see him.

Me: (giggling again) you're so dense. That guy is her friend who goes to college with her, they share the ride back and forth. He's not a boyfriend honey, he's a um. friend.

Sean: he's the friend who got her hooked on Glee, if you know what I mean.

Mike: Oh.

So..."HI Lizzie"! Thanks for reading my blog! And give Sean plenty of crap because he always deserves it. =]

Now dear readers, let me point you in the direction of my other endeavors~

*There is a new post up at The Gert & Hildi Chronicles

*There is a review of the movie "Devil" by M. Night Shyamalan up at What Spot Saw

*There are book reviews & recommendations up at Gert & Hildi's Booknotes

*You can read my article about Bristol Palin mocking her mom on You can read my other articles there too, I am blogger Spot (of course), however, I would not recommend trying to wade through the blogger's articles. I think I'm the only "English is my first language" writer there. I'm about to draw up an editing proposal for my boss.

That's all the "Spot"-y goodness I have for you today.


Monday, September 20, 2010

The one where I get to spend time with my kids...

I can't decide what I want to write about today. I'm having that trouble alot lately. I seem to have an excess of thoughts. But when I try to nail them down I have trouble getting a cohesive sentence. It may be the lack of sleep or the lingering effects of pain medicine. Or just a general ambivalence and sense of malaise I've felt lately. Which again is probably attributable to the lack of sleep. It's extremely hard to get comfortable. My knee, which should be healed by now, feels like someone took it off and put it back on sideways. Yeah, it's a really weird feeling. It's still swollen to about three times the normal size. I can walk without crutches, but with a noticeable limp. Anyway, enough of me whining.

I got the chance this weekend to spend some quality time with both Lu and Sean. Friday night Lu and I met a friend for dinner (at Buffalo Wild Wings and it was so good I cannot stop craving chicken). Then we went to two movies. Yep, we did a double. First we saw "Devil" and it was awesomely scary. Solid (and original) plot, solid acting. Lu was so creeped out that she debated sleeping in my room since the guys were gone that night. Then we saw "Easy A". I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Very sarcastic humor and a good lesson about human nature. We had a fabulous time and I was definitely reminded of why she's not just my daughter, she's one of my best friends.

By pure chance, Sean's schedule opened up Saturday and he offered to do the grocery shopping with me. I was elated. I mean, Mike was going to take me and that would have been alright, but Sean and I have it down to a science and it goes much smoother when he's my helper. Plus he never begs for cookies the way some people *cough cough Mike* do. So first we headed to lunch at the Mexican restaurant (never grocery shop on an empty stomach!). While there we got a chance to talk. I've really been missing him since he started working full time. He's gone all day and many nights he has activities (scouts, civil air patrol, lodge duties) so our hang out time had been severely hampered. He made me giggle with stories of the things he really wants to say on the phone and stories about the people he works with. Some of them not so savory characters. Like R, who just got out of jail after two years for drug dealing. K, whose dad is a wanted felon. And a couple of gang members. Of course, Sean is on good terms with all of them because he's so laid back. So then he's telling me about T, the girl who wants him.

Me: Well is she nice?

Sean: Um yeah. But she hangs out with the drug people.

Me: Oh. Is she a meth head?

Sean: No. I think she just smokes pot.

Me: did you tell her you don't date girls who do drugs?

Sean: Yes. I don't think it's dating she has in mind.

Me: Ooooohhhhh. Well, um, did you tell her you don't "do" girls who do drugs?

Sean: Yes Mom. She asked me if I wanted a drink at lunch the other day. I declined.

Me: Wow. She sounds great Sean, bring her home to dinner. Wait?! How old is she?

Sean: Her birthday is the end of the month and she turns 22.

Me: OMG! Does she know you just barely turned 17?

Sean: Yep.

Me: Wow. Is she pretty?

Sean: Um. She's okay. (hands me his phone which has a pic she sent him)

Me: Oh holy hell! She's not wearing a shirt!! (I mean you can't actually see anything but you can tell she's not wearing a shirt) Why would you show me that?! I'm your mother!!

Sean: Yeah. Well when I stop showing and telling you should worry.

Me: Hmmm. Good point. Have I told you lately how much I really like Lizzie? (his ex girlfriend).

Sean: Yes mother. (slightly exasperated) We're hanging out Sunday.

We had a good time shopping, it went smoothly. He refrained from knocking me into displays since I was already limping. Later, I shared this conversation with my sister Hildi, who flipped out.

Hildi: Did you call that chick and tell her to leave your baby alone?!

Me: Um. No. I don't have her number. And that's really not my style anyway.

Hildi: well you should!

Me: No. He's 17. He has to make his own choices. Obviously he's been putting this chick off nicely, which is what I would expect him to do. It is Sean we're talking about. He's been mature since he was born. I think he can handle it. Besides, he was right. If he didn't tell me about it is when I'd need to worry. Of course, then I wouldn't know I needed to worry. *I confess, I lost myself a little at this point but in my defense it was almost midnight*

I'm so thankful that I have this relationship with my kids. The one where they can tell me anything and I don't freak out. One where they want to tell me everything. (sometimes more than I needed to know). I wouldn't trade it for anything. And I guess that's why, I'm so disappointed in the woman I call "mother". I'm not going to go into any of it here, because she's told me before that she didn't want to be written about on my blog. I have to respect those wishes. I'll just suffice it to say, that I hope she gets the wake up call she needs soon, before it's too late. Because life is too short to waste.

Life, love & TMI,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The one where I hate being laid up...

Honestly? I was looking a little forward to my down time. Having some enforced relaxation after what has to go down as the craziest couple of months for our family. I was looking forward to being on the other end of the "being taken care of" side. Settling in for some naps, some movies of my choice, some peace & quiet. But after almost a week of it- I'm so done.

I miss my computer desperately. I can only sit there for so long before the knee starts aching. I miss cooking (I must admit Lu makes the most amazing PB&J sandwiches ever but I need some meat!) I miss being busy and productive and caught up in the frantic chaos that defines my life.

Sitting around only allows me time to focus on the parts of my house that are flawed and desperately in need of work. Like how bad my carpets need shampooing. How badly the bathroom needs repainting. CJ's toy box needs cleaning out. New slipcovers, new chairs. The list is damn near endless. And mind boggling. I don't even know where to start.

Apparently, relaxing is no longer in my nature. Who knew? Oh yeah, so maybe you guys did. Good call.

So today found me hobbling around (don't yell- the doctor told me I could) and making my bed, wiping the counters, making a grocery list and loading the dishwasher. I'm either OCD or just have control issues. Again, no surprises there.

This whole episode has been something else. Apparently, the Doctor told Mike & Lu that once he opened up my knee the damage was worse than what the MRI had shown. He said my knee was "way older than the rest of my body". For realz? How the hell did I wind up with the used part?! And how do I get a refund? What gives, Universe?!

I guess perhaps it relates to the recent discovery of some labs I had done fourteen (yes, fourteen) years ago that suggest I have Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis. Oh well, it's always something, isn't it? Life is a constant uphill climb, but the roadside viewing areas are what makes it all worthwhile.

It looks as though things are finally moving forward for everyone. Lu is doing great and went back to work Tuesday. She has a 35 hour schedule this week. Luke is looking for a second job. Sean is a full time telemarketer and he loves it. How crazy is that kid?! His phone call stories make me cry with laughter. I'll be sharing those soon. Bobby works full times. And Mike is back full swing although he'll probably be facing shoulder surgery in January. He has a labral tear and impingement from the accident.

Once the knee is healed, hopefully I can get something of a writing routine going again. I have freelance work coming out my ears. So for now, life is good.

I will soon be catching up with all of your adventures as well.

Take Care, my friends,

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The one where I begin (quietly) freaking out...

Yes, you read that right. I know, I'm usually not given to freaking out. And I'm definitely not given to public acknowledgement of freaking out. But there you have it. Why this behavior you ask? Because Friday is the day. The day of my knee surgery. Um. Yeah. I do know that it's supposed to be a very simple surgery. Yes. I do know that the incisions are tiny and require only one stitch. Sure I know that I should be completely healed up in a week. So why am I freaking out? Because last summer they gave me the same song and dance and I ended up with a 4 inch gash and major recovery, oh yeah and then it go infected and then I found out they nicked an artery while they were in there. So pardon my freak out, but me and surgery are not on good terms.

I visited Mike's aunt yesterday and we got to have a long chat. We have very much the same personalities and outlook. Having been through what she's going through just last year, we were able to really connect. I zeroed in on her exact fears because they were the same ones I had harbored. I think our talk helped some. And I know the trashy magazines, travel bottles of soap and shampoos, and Lindor Truffles I took her helped. A girl has got to have her stuff. Fortunately, so far they haven't found anything that specifically points to cancer. Now it's a waiting game til surgery when they can remove the cyst and biopsy it.

Lu and I both have doctor appointments today. Mine to discuss some hopefully minor stuff and hers with her hematologist to check her blood counts. Positive thoughts that they are good please. Then she sees the surgeon on Thursday and she's hoping to get released for work.

After the doctors visits we will be going to the visitation for my friend's husband. I'm wearing tons of waterproof mascara.

Sean started his full time job today. I think I was ten times more nervous than he. I packed him a lunch. I can't wait to hear how it goes.

And Mike and I had this conversation this morning~

Me: (knocking on his office door and entering) Um. So I wanted to give you the bad news in person since I'm such a supportive wife and all.

Mike: (turning to me expecting a money issue I'm sure) What?

Me: I'm really sorry, but Bob from "Bob and Tom" died.

Mike: Um. Ok.

Me: He was in a car accident in Arizona.

Mike: Um. Huh.

Me: I thought you loved that show?!

Mike: Well I don't get to listen to it very often.

Me: Whatever. That's the last time I break things to you gently. Next time you get a Post It note.

And today I received an email from one of my Kindle readers. How cool is that?! I always wonder about them. You know, who they are and how they found my blog, ect. So thank you Donna from Texas for the blog love! It was great to hear from you.

Happy Tuesday,

Monday, September 6, 2010

The one where I look for the silver lining but can't find it...

So on the whole, I'm really not a big fan of this year so far. And this weekend? Well, it's been a triple slam dunk of bad news. Friday a woman I call friend lost her husband. I'm still unsure of the details, a mutual friend of ours was trying to get things pieced together. But the details don't really matter. Her husband is gone. He was a vibrant fun-loving guy and the few times I actually spent with him were great. He had "lived" if you know what I mean and had great stories to tell. And together they were a fabulous couple. They were very close. He had retired a few years back, and she'd cut her hours back, both kids were out of college and settled. And they had a few grand kids. It was definitely their "golden years", but now he's gone. Suddenly. And my heart aches for her.

Next, a man we call friend and who's very close to my husband was diagnosed with prostrate cancer. Now prostrate cancer does have a 93% survival rate so his odds are good. Of course, they won't know for sure until they do the surgery. He too is a healthy active retiree enjoying his golden years with his wife. Again, they're one of those awesome couples who enhance each others personalities. Fingers crossed for him.

And the last husband's aunt may have ovarian cancer. She went to the ER Friday with intense pain and they admitted her. Her obgyn called in an oncologist (who just happens to be Lu's doctor so at least she's in good hands). There is a cyst the size of a tennis ball on her ovary. They're sending her to a larger hospital in a bigger city to do the surgery and biopsy. Of course, we won't really know anything til then. She's an amazing woman. For any of you who think I'm an inspiration, let me tell you, she wrote the book. She has a son with Downs that she's never stopped working with. Another son was paralyzed in a car accident and she quit her job to become his full time aide and activist. She is the one that everyone leans on when they need a shoulder.

So in conclusion, bad shit happens to good people. All. The. Damn. Time. And life is seldom fair. So you better count your blessings while you have them and don't let a day go by that you don't find something to appreciate about your life or the day that you were given. Because every day is a gift. And don't put off the little rewards you owe yourself. Don't spend your time thinking about doing something in the future. Do it now. Live in the day. You don't know how many days you have left.

Sorry for the seriousness, but it's been that kind of weekend (year).


Thursday, September 2, 2010

The one where I have appendicitis in my ovary and other weird shit

Why is it that on any given day I can be completely in love with some doctors (yes, Lu and I have decided to leave Mike and Luke and become part of Dr. Saeed's harem. No, I don't know if he has an actual harem, but we aren't afraid to start one.) and completely disgusted by other doctors? Not to mention nurses...

First, Lu's appointments went well yesterday. She got the okay to leave the house and appear in public sans mask. Which is really good, because yesterday she was extremely pissy about having to wear one and I had to deliver (for roughly the 360th time) the lecture on accepting things gracefully versus acting like a spoiled five year old. But since she's currently on so many antibiotics and has more to take once she finishes those, I'm pretty sure she has like an invisible electrified germ fence around her. The unfortunate news is that they have to wait til early November to do most of the immunological testing since she had IVIG infusions the beginning of August. They said she has 3000 other peoples antibodies running through her system now. And yet she still managed to get two different kinds of pneumonia and a kidney infection. Unbelievable. But she feels pretty good and is hoping the surgeon will let her go back to work at her next appointment. She did take back over the laundry which makes my knee happy.

So lets move on to the bizarre portion of this post. For those of you who have been reading from the beginning (thank you Danica!) or those of you who have read the archived posts, when I started this blog I was about to have surgery to remove my right ovary and the cyst that had taken it over. The surgery was a comedy of errors but the cyst was benign and I slowly healed up. Lately however, I've been having some pain in the exact area where the cyst used to be. It feels exactly like it did when I had the cyst. So I called the doctor's office.

Me: Um. Yeah. I had my right ovary removed last August due to a huge cyst. But now I'm having pain in the exact same place and it feels like it did when I had the cyst.

Nurse: Well you can't have pain in an ovary you don't have.

Me: (duh) well I didn't say it was the ovary, it's just in that vicinity.

Nurse: How long have you been having the pain?

Me: Off and on for the last couple of months but more so the last two days.

Nurse: What are you taking for pain?

Me: Nothing. (because I'm not a whiny little b*tch)

Nurse: Well are you sure they took out your ovary?

Me: Well, if they didn't I'm gonna be really pissed off since that's the whole reason they split me open!

Nurse: Well it's probably not gynecological.

Me: Um. Couldn't it be something at the surgical site? Doesn't she want to take a look?

Nurse: *huge exasperated sigh* I'll talk to the doctor and call you back.

So the next day, she calls back~

Nurse: The doctor says to take Tylenol or Motrin for pain.

Me: Um. Okay. (shouldn't we figure out why I'm in pain first?)

Nurse: and if you start to run a fever it might be appendicitis so you should call your regular doctor.

Me: That's it?

Nurse: Yes.

Really?! I almost asked if I was being punked!! Who has appendix pain in their right lower quadrant?! Do they think my appendix shifted in to fill the empty space left by my ovary? Or is the appendicitis in my non existent ovary?? Bear in mind this was the doctor who only did an ultrasound on the ovary after I put my foot down about it. I'm so finding a new doctor, if the ovarian appendicitis doesn't kill me first.

And in other news, Sean withdrew from College. A week after classes started he came to me with a plan. He said he was miserable every minute of class (which I thought he might be) and that he was too young to be miserable (which he knew I'd agree with). So he withdrew and is planning to get a job or two and save all year. Next year he wants to go to three different high adventure boy scout camps. He'd go on the OA work program so he works there for half the time and then gets to play. The prices aren't bad and I'm all for seeing some sights and having some fun before you settle down. He'd get to go to the mountains in West Virginia, the Florida Keys and Philmont in the New Mexico mountains. So he's been busy filling out applications. One he filled out was for Bonkers, which is our towns version of Discovery Zone or Gymbaree.

Me: You just want to work there so you can check out all the hot single moms.

Sean: Yep. Nothing says sexy like a diaper bag.

I'm hoping he doesn't mean that.

Well, I'm off. Mike has his appointment today with the orthopedist to go over his shoulder MRI. Then we're off to his physical therapy and dinner at a Mexican restaurant I've never been to. I guess that's worth having to kill an hour while he's being tortured.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The one where I re-think my goals for the year...

Thank you to everyone for all your wonderful comments! Except follower who deserted me. For real?? Kick a girl while she's down?! What kind of person does that? Rude.

You know what weirds me out? Not much actually. But it weirds me out when I'm in a group and I go to tell a story and someone says "Oh yeah! I read that on your blog". I know right?! In a sense it's a little annoying, because obviously I wanted to tell that story and now they've ruined it. But also because it means people I know know way more about me than I do them. It also makes me think twice before I write anything, which shouldn't be the case but it is. I mean if I bitched about someone I know on the blog now it would totally get back to them and probably blown all out of proportion. I mean, don't get me wrong, being widely read (at least in my little neck of the woods) is awesome but also kind of surreal.

Lu is doing well here at home. She hasn't run a fever, she's eating more, and other than tiring really easily she is symptom free. She takes her medicine with a jello cup or pudding cup and that seems to help it stay down. She is going stir crazy though. It's tough to be stuck at home when you're eighteen. So I spend alot of time hanging out with her to keep her entertained. Since I love hanging out with her, it's not much of a hardship but I do seem to fall behind in my tasks. Which got me to thinking about goals and how I haven't accomplished any this year.

Normally, I don't do New Year's resolutions. But turning forty last year had me thinking I needed to set some goals. You know, something to strive for. We're almost three quarters of the way through the year and I have accomplished exactly none of my goals. So either I need to reevaluate my goals or step up my game.

My goals were simple, because I believe in making them attainable so I don't feel like a failure (the way I kind of do right now). I wanted to lose twenty pounds (should be easy to do in a year, right? Hmmph). I wanted to get two stories accepted for publication. And I wanted to finish a novel. I have not lost any weight. Unless you count the five pounds I'm continually losing and then re-gaining. I guess I've done it at least four times now so technically I lost twenty pounds and said goal didn't state that I had to keep them off. I haven't had any stories accepted for publication although I have collected some really nice and some form rejection letters. And I have two novels in progress but nowhere near finished. And I haven't written a word of fiction in over two months. These goals are kicking my ass. So my Dad suggested I make a list of the things I have accomplished this year even if they weren't even in my thoughts when I made the last goals. So here goes:

1. Began freelancing. This wasn't even something I'd given thought to last December when I made my goals. I didn't think I had the skills or connections. But now I make enough money freelancing to pay the payments on my new vehicle plus save some. Thank you to Kathryn who talked me through getting started and gave me the pushes I needed.

2. Attended my first writing conference. Thank you to Deena and everyone at Coyote Con for coming up with and presenting an online conference that made it easy to attend. I learned so much and met so many amazing folks. I'm a better writer for it.

3. Began submitting again. Thank you to Tina for her encouragement and editing skills. Thanks also to Suzicate and Kenzie for being my fruit loop girls! I so want success for all of you as much as I do for myself. I haven't had any acceptances yet, but there are still three more months to the year...

4. Renewed my relationship with my husband. It's funny that this wasn't one of my original goals when I now know that it should have been. This relationship is the backbone of our family and both of us had taken it for granted for far too long. It's a shame it took such an earth shattering event for us to realize it, but you take your wake up calls where you find them.

5. Found out that I have the most amazing (and world wide) support group ever. So much love and support were sent our way after Mike's accident, not only from family and close friends, but from the entire community and the Internet. It feels amazing to realized that you are so blessed.

6. Found a renewed sense of my spirituality. I'm not going to preach here, but it's hard not to have faith in a higher power after everything this year has brought.

7. Managed to retain and even add a few followers to this blog (except for the deserter...). That means alot to me, because this blog has become so much a part of who I am.

And that's where my mind is at right now. Contemplative. What were your goals and have you reached them? Are you progressing towards them or is it time for a re-evaluation? Do you even set any? Enquiring minds want to know...


Saturday, August 28, 2010

The one where you try to remember who I am...

It feels like years since I last blogged even though it's only been two weeks. I did get a chance to read some of your blogs but not to comment. It still feels like I'm lost in blogland though. I feel like I'm constantly apologizing for not writing and some of my Kindle subscribers have probably dropped me, but honestly I'm afraid to check to see if they have! If you're friends with me on Facebook then you have some general idea of what's been going on. If you aren't you've probably been going "WTF?!". Don't feel bad, I've done alot of thinking that lately too.

So on the 17th of August we headed to the hospital with Lu for her splenectomy. The surgery went well. The doctor came out and talked to us afterward and said it took longer than planned because he tried to keep the incision small for her. (and yet it still ended up being 6 inches long!) He said she only lost a quarter unit of blood. Things seemed promising. They put her in the ICU for the night just to monitor her. They'd put in an epidural for pain relief and it was working so well that she wasn't in any pain at all. The night was good even though we got very little sleep. ICU is a noisy place and they check on you frequently. Plus Lu is a beautiful young girl and the nurse was a hott young very talkative guy.

Wednesday they moved her to the pediatric floor. The surgery floor was full and she was close enough in age to be able to stay there. That was a great choice. The nurses on that floor were wonderful. Wednesday was another good, pain free day for her. The only complaint she had was the bladder catheter they have to leave in while you have an epidural. It grossed her out.

Thursday the surgeon said they could take out the catheter and the epidural and she could get out of bed. Unfortunately, when the epidural meds wore off, there wasn't enough other pain meds in her system. I watched my baby writhe in pain for 3 hours while they tried to get it under control. Three shots of Toradol, two shots of Morphine and countless Loritab later she was finally comfortable again. Watching your baby in that much pain is something no mother should have to do. I've never felt so helpless. And in case anyone is wondering, Lu has a really high pain tolerance so this had to be agony for her to complain.

Friday, the pain was under control, but since she hadn't been able to use the bathroom, despite countless tries, they had to re-catheterize, she'd also spiked a temp so they added an IV antibiotic and did a urine specimen. It came back positive. So they added another antibiotic. Unfortunately, that same day she began vomiting and couldn't keep anything down. They gave her anti-nausea meds every four hours and they would knock her out for 3 and then she'd be awake and nauseous for the hour in between. It was a rough day.

Saturday she was still nauseous and feverish and the surgeon decided to do a CT scan to check things out. The CT scan revealed pneumonia in her left lung and a pocket of fluid in her pleural space. The surgeon called in a pulmonologist (lung specialist). The lung doctor wanted to watch her and wait, if things got better, no problem. If things got worse then he would have to draw some fluid off her lung. That night she ran a 101.8 fever.

Sunday I started wondering why the doctors couldn't seem to get this figured out. I mean the surgeon was off the hook- he had done his job and whatever was wrong now was beyond his speciality. He continued to see us and coordinate with the other doctors but he readily admitted he was baffled. She did get that catheter out again and seemed to have no trouble in that respect. And I do admit she wasn't giving the doctors much to go on. She had no cough, no pain, no shortness of breath, no real symptoms save fever. Sunday night she spiked a 103.5 fever. As the on call hematologist said "we could pop popcorn on you girl!". The nurse said "I'm going to call the doctor as soon as I can figure out which one to call!" A doctor was called, tylenol was ordered and the fever broke. And Lu ate pizza.

Monday I was frustrated. They did the Thoracentisis, which means they gave her a numbing shot in the back, then inserted a huge needle and drew off a sample of the pleural fluid. Lu took it like a champ. She is the strongest bravest girl I know. And I managed to comfort her and not pass out when I saw the sight of that needle. I did move so I wouldn't actually see it enter her back though. They sent off the sample. When her regular hematologist, who'd been off all weekend, showed up he was angry that they still didn't know what was going on and had called in an infectious disease specialist. Finally, someone agrees with me that this is crap and they should be able to figure it out. I was seriously considering demanding they send her to a bigger hospital but figured I'd see what the new guy had to say. I'm glad I waited. Dr. Saeed is amazing. He studied her chart before he came in, then he pulled up a chair and said "tell me about the last time she was healthy". I explained that Lu had always been kind of sickly, that she'd had whooping cough her freshman year, and that when the ITP was under control was when she'd been her healthiest. He asked about me and I said, that yeah I'm also puny and get sick easy. I told him I'd seen an immunologist once but no one ever followed up because my doctor moved. He told us we were very interesting. Then he examined her and told us that he was very sure Lu had a immune deficiency to begin with and when they removed her spleen (the captain of the immune system) it seriously depleted her immunities. He said the catheter introduced bacteria into the urinary tract causing that infection. The ventilator probably allowed some perfectly normal mouth germs to infiltrate her lung causing an anaerobic infection in the fluid in her chest. And that she also picked up pneumonia. He changed antibiotics around and added a special one for the anaerobic infection. He said she should be better in a few days and able to go home.

Tuesday her fever never did go above 100.8 degrees. Unfortunately that's still considered a fever and you can't be released from the hospital until your afebrile for 24 hours. She still had nausea and wouldn't eat much and she did throw up the antibiotic he ordered. So she was started on anti nausea meds again. I got my records from the immunologist faxed to the hospital so he could see them. He declared them interesting and said that I should have the follow up testing and that he was sending Lu to an immunologist here in town, but if he didn't seem to be going to do the testing she needed he would find us one in a larger city. He believes that Lu has basically no immune system currently.

Wednesday she was doing better. And her fever never went about 100 degrees. We'd started doing laps in the hallways to help get the fluid from her lungs. She had to wear a mask when she left her room but finally we were free of catheters and IV poles. That makes the going a little faster. People looked at us funny of course. Some pitying, thinking she had cancer. Some scared, thinking she was contagious. We'd gotten to know all the nurses so well and even the secretaries and housekeepers. There was always someone to chat with. But we were ready to go home.

Thursday she was discharged. We left with two antibiotics and anti nausea meds. And Dr. Saeed gave implicit instructions: Lu is not allowed in public except for doctor appointments and she has to wear a mask.If she should run any fever at all, call him. If she runs a fever over 100 or has a cough or chills we are to go immediately to the Emergency Room and tell them he sent us, he will come and admit her. I'm praying that doesn't happen.

It's good to be home. We both were happy to sleep in our own beds and take a shower in a room without bumping into anything. Those hospital bathrooms are killer. I do have to set my alarm and wake her up to take meds so that they are spaced evenly apart. And I do take her temperature alot but so far so good. And she's still not eating normally. Smoothies, noodle cups and such at least give her some nutrition. She lost 9 pounds in the hospital. By the end, dietary was sending up protein shakes. Because when you weigh just barely enough to begin with, 9 pounds is alot.

Someone asked me if we knew this was a possibility before we did the splenectomy. The answer is no. No doctor had ever really questioned her immune system. We had no idea she might be immune deficient to begin with and that taking out her spleen would cause serious and life threatening complications. And yet, the spleen had to come out. All treatments for ITP are immune suppressing. But the future is uncertain. We're facing alot of testing in upcoming months while they try to figure out which immune deficiency she has and how to treat it. We don't know when she will be allowed to leave the house. Once again, her life is on hold. I'm not sure she realizes the seriousness of it quite yet, but so far she is handling things with remarkable calm.

Thank you to all the staff and doctors who worked with her during our hospital stay. Everyone was respectful,kind and caring. And thank you to Dr. Saeed for getting us home at least. I have the utmost confidence in his ability to see this through to a solution.

And thank you to everyone who sent prayers, well wishes, good thoughts and offered real and moral support. I don't know how I'd get through this without you all.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

The one where I reassure you that I'm still alive...

Yes indeed I am still alive for those of you who are wondering. I do apologize sincerely for not posting even somewhat regularly lately. And for not reading and commenting and knowing what's also going on in your lives. The last two weeks have been hectic and stressful and some days I just don't have the brain power left to post. So this is a quick update.

Mike is still doing well after being released to go back to work. He did end up with an infection in his finger where the stitching had left a hole. And we saw an orthopedic doctor about the shoulder pain he's had since the accident. The doctor wants an MRI.

Sean won his election yesterday. He's now the chief of the OA Lodge. Yes it is an honor and also a huge responsibility. I know, without a doubt, he'll live up to the challenge. And besides, he has an awesome speech writer (me). He starts his first college courses on Monday. I think I'm more excited than he is.

Molly had a blood test Monday and her platelets had only climbed to 122,000 after the IVIG. It was very disappointing that they didn't get boosted more. On Friday we went back to her hematologist to find that they had dropped to 93,000. The IVIG was not doing it's job. The doctor put her on a high dose of steroids to hopefully boost them up for the surgery Tuesday. The continued dropping and non response to treatment has me very worried. Her hemoglobin is also down. He's convinced that the two are not related and that the low hemoglobin is just iron deficiency anemia. But she's already on a high dose of iron twice a day. I'm not one to ask for prayers but any love, positive thoughts, prayer, or good karma that you can throw our way would be greatly appreciated on Tuesday and beyond.

And me? Well, I'm exhausted, stressed, slightly grumpy and the knee is giving me trouble. And I'm currently without my best friend. My computer is having issues and is unusable. I'm borrowing Mo's laptop and it's a civil relationship at best. I miss my computer. The good news is I backed up all my writing online and pictures on SD cards. Somedays I'm smarter than the average bear.

So here's just a few random items:

*Mike got an awesome new work truck. Like the last one, only better. And thank god it's dark blue and not red. I would have flipped out. I still get trauma room flashbacks and hate when he drives off camp property alone.

*Thursday night I dreamed I got a rejection notice on one of the stories I currently had out on submission...guess what was in my email inbox Friday morning. How come prophetic dreams are always about bad stuff?!

*Mo's Luke got a job at Applebees and likes it.

*I'm going to a writer's conference in Ohio the end of the month (provided Mo is doing okay) and my sister Hildi is going with me!!

*We have to be at the hospital for Mo's surgery at 6 am on Tuesday morning. Are they freakin serious?? Apparently they are.

*I haven't written a single word on my fiction works for almost a month. That's no way to treat your career. Luckily I'm (just barely) managing to keep up with my freelancing. And that's only because I need the paycheck.

*When Mo was getting her infusions, the pastors from my Grandmother's church stopped in on different days. One is older and always tells a joke. The other is young and very personable. The young one and I had this conversation-

Him: Well God always has a plan even if we don't know what it is.

Me: so everything happens for a reason, right?

Him: Yes.

Me: when Mike was in the hospital someone told me that God never gives you more than you can handle.

Him: that's right.

Me: (leaning in conspiratorially) well, just between you and me, I think he may have seriously overestimated my capabilities.

Him: No, he just has faith in you.

Me: I think he may have too much faith.

So friends, bloggy buds, tweeples, bear with me. I am certain things have to slow down. And I will be taking the laptop to the hospital with me while I stay with Mo. I'll post updates when I can. Take care of yourselves and be good to one another in my absence. You are all in my heart and thoughts.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

The one where we spend alot of time at the hospital and Mike thinks he's funny.

Hola! For those of you who don't watch Dora the Explorer, that's "hello" in Spanish. See how coming here is totally educational? New languages, new words for the old language, zombie apocalypse survival strategies, it's like one stop shopping only for blog reading. And I'm hoping it's totally making up for my sporadic blog posting of late.

This week has been mostly spent (or at least it feels like it) at the hospital with Lu while she gets her infusions. Monday we had to see the doctor first and it took forever. Her platelets had dropped 33,000 points over the weekend leaving her again at 22,000. Good thing we'd already scheduled the IVIG. They decided to spread it out so that she may not have such a bad reaction this time. So the first day took 4 hours. It's not so bad for Lu, they give her a huge dose of Benadryl and Tylenol to help combat any reaction and once she's hooked up she pretty much passes out for the rest of the time. Seriously, even the blood pressure cuff taking her BP every half hour doesn't wake her up. But Luke and I are here just basically watching her sleep. I finally thought about bringing the laptop yesterday but I forgot the plug and it was dead. This time I was better prepared! So far so good reaction wise. Other than fatigue (even with a 3 hour nap every day) she's had no other side effects. She looks really pale today though, but I've got my fingers crossed she stays okay. The receptionist, the nurses, everyone now knows Molly by name. They're all extremely nice and caring. And we've met some wonderful people who are in here having treatments too. Most of them are elderly so they are very curious about a young girl and what her ailment might be.

Sean is doing well. He called last night from the hotel in Virginia again. They left Jamboree yesterday and began their whirlwind DC tour. He sounds exhausted. I asked if he was still Jewish and he said he might be. Lol! He said one of the oddest things from the day was how a homeless man stole food from one of the scouts in Union Station. Apparently it was Taco Bell on a tray the boy was holding and the homeless man walked up and grabbed it and mumbled something and ran off. I said it's probably good karma to let bums steal your food. And he probably mumbled "thanks, dude". He's having a good time but he sounds ready to come home.

So apparently since Mike's accident he thinks he's developed a real funny streak. Some illustrations~

Me: (on a Sunday night when once again he's asking if I want to go to the bar) No. I'm not going anywhere. I had to go to town every flippin day this last week. I'm being a hermit today. I don't want to deal with people. Did I tell you how much I don't like people sometimes?

Mike: Yes. You made your opinion known. Loudly. Yesterday. While you were throwing groceries at me.

Me: Good. But I was not throwing groceries. I might have been slamming them around, but I was not throwing. I wouldn't want to dent cans or smoosh bread.

That same night, our air conditioner froze up and we had to shut it off so it could defrost. I'm so not good with heat. We found a fan and set it up to blow directly on my side of the bed.

Me: I'm sorry I'm going to be hogging all the fan.

Mike: It's okay. I'm considering sleeping on the couch.

Me: Why??

Mike: Because I'm afraid I'll roll over in the night and accidentally touch you and you'll yell "don't touch's hot" and I'll lose an appendage.

Me: Wow. You really do know me well.

Pretty sure I like this more snarkastic side of him. Pretty sure I still need to move north to avoid the heat. *note to self* Write Blockbuster Bestseller sooner rather then later.

Hope you all are having a good week!

PS- hamletsmistress- took your advice, upped the calories, five pounds fell off! Score! Thanks mucho!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The one where I totally ramble on because that's what I do best.

I know, I know. I left everyone in the lurch this last week. *hangs head in shame*. Very heartfelt apologies. It has been one of "those" weeks. Who'm I kidding? It's pretty much been one of "those" summers and to tell the truth fall is not looking to be much better. So this post will be a long one and a bit of a mash-up as I catch you all up on what's going down in Spot Town.

Monday I had an MRI on the right knee because it does pretty much the same as the left and if I'm going to get one fixed I might as well try to hit the two for one deal, right? I mean walking is highly overrated, right? Seriously, you save money if you combine surgeries because they only charge you once for the operating room, anesthesia, ect. A surgeon taught me this several years ago. And besides the monetary savings, I only have to freak out once this way. And if you've been here since the beginning you know how bad being put under freaks me out. After the MRI, we headed to Springfield, met my folks at Texas Roadhouse (thanks for dinner Mom & Dad!!). It was super yummy and we had a great time. Then we picked up CJ from his house and headed home. Unfortunately, due to a communication snafu between his school and his home they had already given him his night meds. Which means when we got home at eleven, he was wide awake. He didn't fall asleep til 2:30 am. Which means I didn't get to sleep til then. And while he woke up bright and chipper at 8:30, my butt was dragging.

In spite of that we had a great day. We swam in the lake. CJ does a vicious dog-paddle which he learned at the age of two and still continues to manage to propel himself through the water with. We took golf cart rides through camp (his favorite) and then made a trip to town to run a few errands and pick up pizza. And CJ got his haircut at the salon. This is monumental. He hates haircuts and starts freaking the minute you turn on the clippers. But if we don't cut his hair he grows this wild Harpo Marx 'do. The girl was amazing. She spoke softly and reassuringly, let him hold her hand and warned him before she did anything like "I'm going to turn the chair just a bit now". And it worked. Which was a huge relief.

Wednesday Mike & I had to run to town in the morning for an appointment, so Luke accompanied CJ down into camp to hang out with Lu and her campers. I think this was an eye opening experience for Luke who has not spent alot of time around people with disabilities but he did well. After Mike & I returned we swam again and took more rides.

And Thursday CJ accompanied Mike and Luke to camp while they ran the zip line and I took Lu to the doctor. Mike tried to get CJ to ride the zip line. No go. I warned him. That afternoon we took CJ back to his house and I cried. It's so hard to leave him when we've had a great visit. We've decided that when he turns 21 we will move him to a group home in the nearby town so that we can see him more frequently.

On to Lu's doctor visit. Her counts have dropped back down to 50,000. They have to be brought up for the surgery so we start IVIG treatments again on Monday. She was not happy, but she seems to be taking it in better stride. Mostly she hates missing work and spending hours at the hospital (um Me too!). They will spread it out over five days this time in hopes of lessening her side effects. Fingers crossed. The surgery is getting closer though and this last treatment should keep her boosted up enough for the surgery. They will take a blood test that morning to be sure and they will have blood and platelets standing by in the operating room should they need them. She will be in the hospital about 5-6 days. So you know where I will be as well. And then at home recuperating for several weeks. I guess the silver lining is that I will get to spend some quality time with my daughter before she heads out to start her life.

Wondering about Sean? Yeah, it's cool, I know you are. He called me Sunday from the hotel in Virginia. He enjoyed Gettysburg and took pictures for me. Then he called me again Friday night. He was pretty psyched about scuba diving. And he'd just attended a Jewish religious service. Apparently he was quite impressed because it was fun. They sang and danced.

Me: So are you going to become Jewish now?

Sean: No. Probably not. But if we have the chance to attend a service somewhere around where we live, I'm totally gonna take you. I think you'd like it. And I will never make fun of Jewish people again. I'm still wearing my yarmulke. And we're eating dinner with some Jewish boy scouts so I'm totally eating kosher.

Me: Let me know how that goes. What else did you do today?

Sean: I did some archery. I really suck at it. Then we did air rifles, tomahawk throwing and knife throwing. I'm pretty good at throwing tomahawks and knives.

Me: You get that from me. And that will come in pretty handy during the zombie apocalypse. I can back you up with the archery, I'm pretty good at it. Plus I throw darts like no body's business.

Sean: I think I'm just going to go with a flamethrower in the zombie apocalypse.

Me: Why? You know flames don't kill them and then they just end up setting things on fire.

Sean: I read that blog by the Bloggess too. I'm not going to set them on fire inside my house. And I will for sure close the chimney flue.

Because, no matter how far away he is, he realizes the importance of preparing for the zombie apocalypse. I've taught him well. I may or may not be a little miffed though that he's managed to text a pretty girl the whole time, but not his mama. Rude. They leave the Jamboree Wednesday morning and head for DC. Look out Washington, hear comes Sean.

So lately I've been doing something that I thought I would never in a million years do. Forgetting to eat. For real. I seriously never thought I would forget food. But without Sean to remind me that it's time to cook, I've actually been skipping quite a few meals. I realize sometime in the afternoon (when I get dizzy) that I haven't eaten. I'm also eating less at meals. You'd think that would translate into losing weight wouldn't you? Um. No. The scale refuses to budge. Even when I call it nasty names. I'm also crankier. Seriously, Friday I had to go through a 4 1/2 hour virus removal with the company we get our computer security from. And I had to be here the whole time. I was so cranky that day I threatened to rip some one's arm off and beat them about the head with it. And yesterday? Well, I had to grocery shop. Alone. On a Saturday. I came to the conclusion that I do not really like the general public anymore. Although, I did let an elderly gentleman go in front of me in line because he'd already checked out once and forgot to get ice. I do that every. damn. time. So I let him ahead of me so his ice wouldn't melt. He called me a sweetie. I figured I needed the Karma points since I was going through the express lane with 24 items instead of 20. C'mon, those lines were long!! Anyway, I've concluded that the crankiness is a direct effect of low blood sugar so I'll probably try harder to remember to eat. Now I'm staying chubby to save lives. Is there no end to my generosity??

Happy Sunday,

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The one where some things end and others begin.

So Sean turned seventeen last week. On Wednesday to be exact. How can seventeen years go by so fast? I remember the day of his birth to the second. Of course, considering his birth damn near killed me, I guess that's not so hard to believe. But I also remember most of his toddlerhood. Not that I've forgotten CJ's or Lu's, just that Sean has always been a memorable character. And he was sooo cute. Chubby little apple cheeks and light blonde curls. Stubborn and precocious even at three. Some things never change. He lost the chubby cheeks and his hair darkened considerably but the stubborn and precocious took up residence. We celebrated his birthday Friday night when the kids all came home from camp. Steaks and shrimp on the grill, twice baked potatoes, mushrooms sauteed in butter & garlic and crescent rolls with an amazing (and store bought) cake for dessert. It was a good night.

Then yesterday dawns and Sean and Lu and I get ready to head to town. We've decided to breakfast at Panera and then Lu has to work and Sean & I will head to the Mart of Walls to pick up a few last minute items on his list. He has to be in Keokuk by 4 to leave on his trip. When we walk outside to leave I notice that Sean's eyes are puffy and red. His dad mentions it too. Sean says they're itchy and he took benadryl, he just figures its because he hasn't been around the cats much. I'm dubious but let it go. By the time we get to Panera his cheeks are also suspiciously red (they always turned apple red when he was allergic to something as a little kid). I mention it and he says that yes, the itching is getting worse. I make a call to his doctors office but they are gone so we scarf breakfast and head to the ER. By the time we get there you can watch the hives popping out on his skin and his chest is getting tight. Thankfully, they rush us back to a room. The doctor comes in orders a breathing treatment and shots. One steroid and one benadryl. Thankfully, they all work. If not, added to the ER expense would have been the $1700 dollars we paid for his trip. Not cool. Not to mention his disappointment at missing out.

After we left the ER we ran to Walmart, got his stuff and sped home. Shower, pack the backpack and speed to Keokuk. We made it with two minutes to spare. There was a lot of preparation before loading the two buses and I got the rare opportunity of seeing my baby in action. The words "born leader" come to mind. He's efficient, in charge and the other boys listen to him. And I know you're all thinking I'm totally biased, but I could so get affidavits from other people (not related to him) who would say the same thing. I am so proud.

Finally, the load the buses. Sean and the other leadership core are the last to board of course. I sneak in one last hug and turn to one of the other mothers and confess that I think I might cry. Yes, I know he's seventeen. Yes, I know he's responsible and independent. Yes, I know he'll have the time of his life. But he's still my baby. And I've never been separated from him for two weeks before. Worrying about him? Well it's kind of a job requirement and damn it, I'm good at it. I ask another mother if she's worried about her son and she replies "No. Sean will take of him."

So he's off for two weeks to Gettysburg, Fort AP Hill Virginia and the 100th year of Scouting National Jamboree, then on to DC. He's going places I've never been and making memories that will last a lifetime. And I'm at home missing him and knowing that this is the closing chapter in his childhood and the beginning of his adulthood. I have the feeling that one is going to be a real page-turner.

Bon Voyage Baby,