Thursday, September 30, 2010


I never got suspended from school. I had a couple of detentions but learned from them and kept my nose clean in school.  Mostly because I was afraid of my parents.  Afraid that I would disappoint them. I never wanted to hand my mom a paper from school that said I had misbehaved or hurt someone. The look of disappointment from her would have been a hundred times more of a punishment than the penalty from the school.

Today my youngest got suspended for 3 days. He pushed someone down a couple of steps because the kid called him a name. He was afraid to tell me and hand me the notice from the school but not because I would be disappointed. And I am! But because knew something else would be taken away from him as a penalty.  I did restrict him from the TV. I'm not sure how long that will be withheld just yet, but long enough to make a point anyway. I've already taken away his video games and computer and phone privledges for his unacceptable grades.

I've come to a point where I don't have anything else to take away. It just seems to go on and on. Soon it will become the norm for him to have nothing to do and he won't recognize these as punishments. Do I make him read? I don't want reading to be a punishment. I want him to enjoy it. I really feel like I'm up against a wall and he's only 13. We have many years of school left and there is no where to go but up, I'm just not sure how to get us there.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Couldn't Make This Stuff Up

I *may* have witnessed the following scenerio today and I *might* have come thisclose to peeing my pants at work.  Don't judge! You would have peed too.

We had a plus size lady (read: holy stretched polyester pants) come to our facility today. She was a little out of breath from waddling from the parking lot to the lobby. We have wheelchairs just inside the door so she grabbed one to hold herself upright (kinda like a walker). Also she was not there for any leg and or breathing related problems cause that would just be sad not funny.

It was crystal clear that there was no way she could walk to the back of the building where the reason for her visit awaited. Out of necessity, she was asked if she would like to ride in the wheelchair so we wouldn't have to call 911 by the time she was nearly exhausted and completely unable to breathe from walking down 2 hall ways.

Riding IN the wheelchair is an understatement. As she sat down her extra poundage settled into every crevice and empty space of the wheelchair frame. Have you ever seen the foam that they sell at home improvement stores that EXPANDS when you squirt in in a hole?  Yeah, picture that!

Pushing her down the hall was like pushing a  500 pound boulder up a mountain with a drinking straw. At the end of the hall she said she thought something smelled like it was burning. IT WAS! Her thighs were rubbing the wheels! Melting polyester is not a pleasant scent. How could she not feel her legs warming up from the friction?!

Getting her out of the wheelchair was a whole nother sight. It took 3 people to unwedge her from her chariot as one person held on to the chair trying desperately not to giggle and allow pee to run down her leg. That person *probably* wasn't me.

She survived but we did not offer a wheelchair for her departure.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Everyone on HGTV is a BIG FAT LIAR

Once upon a time I had a kitchen in my house. It wasn't perfect but it WAS functional. Now? Ummm, NO!

Note: Not normally this messy. Really!

Some time in the last month I lost my mind. I allowed my husband who is soooo NOT Bob Villa to remove walls. You know those things that construction people build that hold the house up? I'm sure when I kill him sometime during this renovation my attorney will decide that the insanity defense is air tight because who in there right mind allow this:

Goggles! Safety first when your wife is about to kill you with a ladder.
 A sane person would not say "Go ahead honey, saw the walls down and leave a hole in the ceiling where bugs can get in".

See that hole? It goes to the roof!
In case my lawyer (court appointed because I spend everything I had on the remodel) needs more photographical proof, there is this:

Holy crap!

He's making stromboli on my pool table as I type this. Nick had to ask if the flour the dough was on was sawdust.  I'm afraid, VERY afraid!

Friday, September 24, 2010

I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues

Elton John was on to something when he wrote the lyrics-

Don't wish it away
Don't look at it like it's forever
Between you and me I could honestly say
That things can only get better.

I have the blues or what I hope is just the blues.

I can't shake them. Everything seems out of my control.
Maybe it's a 5 day vacation coming to end? Except I have Saturday and Sunday off too.
Or family going back home after having an awesome visit.
It could be knowing that in a few weeks we will have 3 kids living at home in a house that is barely big enough for 2 kids.
I could pinpoint it to having my mom and sister within a half hour drive of our house but not seeing them nearly enough. But that's not it either.
Impending home renovations with not nearly enough time to complete them. Anticipation of a giant mess. I can't say that's why I feel this way.

Having my job move from everything that is familiar. But that's still a month off too.

Nick's performance at school. Grades that need to be better but fearing that he's doing the best he can.

I want to run but I'm not sure where I'd be running to. I can't escape depression. I know this. I guess that's what I'm most afraid of. What if this is depression and not just the blues? I just want it to go away. I want to laugh easily and not just spend my time waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Baths and Binkies

I can't get enough of him. From his kicks in the bath water sending a spray all over me and the bathroom to the sweet sucking sounds of his tiny lips around his blue pacifier.

I laid him on the bear shaped, yellow sponge in the bathtub with barely enough water to cover his tiny bottom. With the washcloth I gently squeeze warm water on his belly while he kicks his feet splashing water everywhere. He giggles as I wash the formula catching creases of his neck and wipe the water from his face that his toes delivered just seconds before. I think he could lie there throwing water around with his kicks for quite a long time. He doesn't even mind when the water cools. He just keeps splishing and splashing like the cutest duckling ever. After carefully rinsing the soap from all his crevices and creases I wrap him in a thick towel and smell his downy soft hair. He's not in a hurry to get dressed, I think he likes being naked. But I'm quick to put on a clean diaper because little guys will send a stream of pee several times their body length without any warning. I learned that the hard way!

He likes to be swaddled. Cuddled in a cocoon of soft blankets. He makes the sweetest little noises like he's singing himself to sleep. Even after he falls asleep with shallow milk scented breaths I hesitate to take him off my chest and lay him down to sleep peacefully by himself. His closed eyes dart around behind his itty-bitty lash lined lids. I can only imagine what he's dreaming of. Sometimes he takes the shortest of catnaps and wakes up smiling and watching his hands as he tries to put them in him mouth. His pacifier cast aside as it's not nearly as amusing as his ten little fingers and apparently doesn't taste as good either. When I talk to him he watches me like he's known me forever. His smiles make me feel like the luckiest gramma ever.

In a couple of days his mom and dad will pack up he and his brother and take them 1200 miles back home. I'll hold on to the days and evenings that we spent drenching my bathroom. And I may not wash my favorite blanket for a while, until the smell of him fades. The next time I see him he will be several months older and will have forgotten our short week together but I won't forget those memories anytime soon.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Are we there yet?

Vacations where we pack suitcases and actually travel somewhere accomplish more that just reaching a vacation destination. Things like showering daily and brushing my teeth. I haven't figured out why that is but I can say its a real phenomenon. Maybe since I'm in my own home my brain thinks it's not so important for me to be clean. Ummm, brain, IT IS!

Its hard to get these things done when I'm on vacation at home. I took a week off to spend with family from out of state.  We're having a great time except I can't seem to motivate myself to get anythings else done besides cuddling and playing with the littles. I have a strict schedule on the mornings that I have to get ready for work. I know exactly how much time each step takes until I can walk out the door.  This time off has derailed any normal schedule I might have had.

I have managed to get dressed everyday (GO ME) but not so much before noon. I've taken a couple showers but bedhead is pretty much the style of week. Brushing my teeth has fallen waaaay down on the to-do-list. I probably should go do that since it didn't happen yesterday. Gross! And for the most part my house looks like a disaster zone. Okay so that part is normal but usually I make at least a half-hearted attempt at picking stuff up off the floor. The last few days I've just been kicking it out of my way.

I love vacations!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

300 Pound Gorilla

Webster defines punishment as suffering, pain, or loss that serves as retribution.

I'm not sure how to deal with a punishment that's being served for something that isn't my fault. I've been punished for things that I'm sorry for. And I live with those things because even though I'm sorry it's not always enough.  But being penalized for a decision that someone else made is breaking my heart. The wrong was done by someone else with no penalty. How is that fair? Simply glossed over like it never happened. The ultimatum was given to lose everything or accept the unacceptable. I never give enough, I'm not willing to forgive. Quite honestly I'm tired of trying. A physical wound can be bandaged and waited on to heal. The heart doesn't work like that. All the bandaging and medicine in the world won't make it hurt any less when in one breath the words "I love you" are thrown into the wind but in the next second it's made more than clear that that love really isn't enough. Crumbs are dropped, carrots dangled. For what? To entice or to remind that I can hurt you more?  I suppose the decision was made for me and I'll learn to live with it. I've cried and swallowed hurtful words because the effort won't make it better. I've let go of wishes for occasions that will never be. Disintegrated before it ever happened. I can't keep wearing my heart on my sleeve while my arm feels like its being forcefully removed. Maybe I'll continue to live with the what ifs and what could have been or maybe it'll get easier. I really don't know.

I hurt. I'm angry and that anger is destroying a love that barely had time to blossom. For that I am sorry! It's wrong and I know it but I'm defenseless to keep it from happening. One relationship is nurtured while several others decay. I can't force it and I must accept it.  I'm giving up so much. There can't be any other outcome. I'll smile and remember that what never was won't be missed. I hope!

That 300 pound gorilla in the corner?  Just pretend it's not there. Nevermind that it's taking up all the space in the room and making it hard to breathe. Ignore it and it will disappear. If only......

Monday, September 20, 2010

Love Bugs

We have love bugs here. Sounds sweet, huh? It's sooo not!

Floridians call it love bug season in late Spring and early Fall. Love Bugs are flies that breed while flying through the air. They coat the front of our cars and if not washed off promply will take off the paint! The are like flying paint remover with their butts stuck together.


Pure evil!

God forbid you might be talking while breathing and walking through a swarm (like a giant black hovering cloud) because they will get sucked into your lungs and you can die. Okay, you won't really die (probably) but you can choke A LOT.

I read an article once that said their sole purpose is to breed. Kinda like the Duggars but with wings. I'll be glad when love bug season is over because I like to breath when I walk and I hate to wash my car.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wild Kingdom

Florida is kind of an awesome place to live minus the endless 95 degree summer days and ever escalating electric bills.

I can sit out on my porch and watch tiny lizards scurry over the screen.  Occasionally when a couple of them are feeling frisky I unintentionally witness lizard sex.  I usually walk over and flick them off the screen because they should be doing that under a leaf somewhere.  We have birds that walk ever so slooooowly across the street causing traffic to stop.  Who wants to hit a 3 foot tall bird? That would make an awful mess.  An occasional alligator can be seen sunning itself on the banks of a quiet lake.  For the most part if you don't bother them they won't bother you.  Unless an idiot neighbor feeds them and they think you are their next meal. I've seen wild turkeys and snakes every now and then. But they are always OUTSIDE.

Why then do critters keep deciding that INSIDE our house is the place to be? This morning I pulled back the shower curtain to start the water and a green tree frog about the size of a golf ball plopped himself right next to the drain. I don't know where he came from but I'm fairly sure if he came in through the door I would have seen it. That's the second frog in a month that is on the wrong side of the walls of my house.  I'm envisioning an orphanage of baby amphibians under my furniture.  I chased him around the tub with a plastic pitcher demanding that he didn't touch me. Sticky frog feet are disgusting! I also didn't want to smash him against the side of the tub. If I would have cut off one of his legs or something I would have had to call in sick to work.  Anyhoo, because I'm mostly smarter than a frog it didn't take me long to catch him between the pitcher and an empty coolwhip (yum!) bowl lid.  I relocated him to our flower bed outside. I sure hope his brothers and sisters find their way outside too. Next time without my help!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nap, Interrupted

I'm a huge fan of the nap!  Most people use their lunch time to, well, eat. Not me, I'd rather take a power nap in my car with the radio and air-conditioning on.  I'm not talking about a light snooze. I mean a full on, snoring, drool fest!  I tilt the seat back and nod off almost immediately.  I can sleep in my car almost better than I can sleep anywhere.  I have a tiny fear of waking up startled and knocking the car into drive or reverse and bouncing around like a ping pong ball until I pulled myself together.  But I'm pretty sure I wouldn't get fired unless I hit the building so I don't park near the building. See, strategy! I have the most awesome internal alarm clock. I don't know why but I always wake up about 5 minutes before I have to be back at my desk. Just long enough to wipe the string of drool off my chin and shake off my sleepy look.

Today though, I knew my sweetie was planning on switching out his car for mine in my work parking lot so he could pick up our new bathroom vanity from the Depot of Homes.  When I left for lunch he hadn't picked it up yet so I made myself comfy and planned to sleep happily for the next 45 minutes.  Apparently my brain was on full alert because even though I was cozy in my reclined seat with my eyes closed I couldn't go to sleep.  I just knew he would tap on the window and scare me to death which would probably make me wake up grumpy so I just sat there. THE. WHOLE. DAMN. 45 MINUTES.  With no power nap to recharge my batteries I was pretty nonproductive the rest of the afternoon.   My coworkers can than my beloved for that!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


For about .5 seconds in high school I decided that I wanted a tattoo. A pretty anklet of ivy leaves. Until I came to my senses and remembered that tattoos are ink shoved into the skin with NEEDLES! Those needles would also be very close to my BONES because my ankles were kinda skinny.  I'm not a fan of needles and would probably DIE if I was diagnosed as diabetic and had to give myself insulin shots. Paper cuts make me queasy and the thought of tiny little needles hitting my skin over and over threatened to bring up all the food I'd eaten since I was, oh...about 2 years old. I gave up on the ankle greenery.

Then somewhere in my mid-twenties I considered a cute Tinkerbell tattoo maybe on my shoulder. Then a little scene played in my head that went something like this:

      "Gramma what is that wrinkly bird thing on your shoulder?"

And for the life of me I couldn't even think of one thing to say to convince the future grandchild that the thing on my shoulder wasn't a shriveled up dead bird.  Or why it was ever a good idea to permanently put a cartoon character on my skin. Also, I  never questioned why a grandchild would be looking at my naked shoulder, but whatever.

I've seen more episodes of  LA INK than any 40-something year old person should admit to. Nobody on that show ever throws up or cries. Maybe a tiny anklet of some sort would be cute. I'll definitely stay away from anything that is unidentifiable at any stage of my life or anything that looks like a dried up, dead bug or other critter.

Since my ankles are fatter it shouldn't hurt so much, right?

If I come up with something I'll let you know.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Not my choice

I really never gave much thought to my boys falling in love and getting married or *shudder* having children. But now that one of them is old enough to do all of those things I'm freaking out a little lot.  You never know which girl will be the one. Which girlfriend will become more than just a girlfriend. Maybe one that he will want to spend the rest of his life with. Yes, I know he's much too young to even consider anything that could become his future.  But I wasn't much older than him when I got married and I know that it's a possibility.

Until the last year or so he had a lot of friends that were girls but not too many girlfriends.  He had dates to school dances and girls that hung out with him and his group of friends.  But about 5 months ago he met someone who fit into our family so perfectly that I was hoping it would be a long (ish) term relationship.  Without too many details that may embarrass her, she is bright with a very promising future and she is pretty. Maybe I liked her more that he did. I don't know. I was sad when he decided they weren't going to date anymore. She's the kind of young woman that I want him to be with.  The kind that will make him happy.

In the last couple of days he has introduced me to a girl that he works with.  I'm not sure they're dating but I do know there is something there. I'm kinda ashamed to admit that I can't make myself like her.  I'm sure she's nice enough but she's not the kind of girl that I can see him spending any length of time with. I've told myself several times over the last few days that it's not my decision to make. That she may be the one that he falls in love with. I feel horrible that I hope she's not.  What kind of mother is more worried about whether she likes her sons girlfriend than how much he cares for her? Sadly, I am. And I hate that I feel that way! 

Monday, September 13, 2010


I had this really great idea this weekend as a surfed the web. Okay, so it wasn't my idea but it was a really good idea that I borrowed from another blog I found.  First I found a real company that makes flip flops with interchangeable straps. But OMG they are 35.00 for the shoe part and 12 dollars a piece for the interchangeable straps. Very cute but so very expensive.  Then I found a blog with a DIY tutorial on making your own pair with velcro and ribbon. Both of which I happen to have boatloads of  because I have this crazy habit of volunteering for craft fairs and such about 24 hours before all the crafts should be done.  I generally go way overboard and buy insane amounts of supplies to make 5 or 6 of whatever craft I happened to have found on the internet in the hours before my great idea.

I went to Walmart and found a plain pair of black flip flops on clearance for 5.00 because I was reluctant to ruined any of the 25 pairs of flip flops that I already have in my closet.  Five dollars would have been a really good deal if I hadn't found $45.00 worth of other crap that I definitely probably maybe didn't need. The instructions for the shoes said hot glue wasn't a good idea probably because it would melt the rubber.  I was pretty prepared to lose some fingerprints as I always do with hot glue so I wasn't very disappointed that it was discouraged.  Instead I bought industrial strength epoxy. Which for your information also removes fingerprints and several layers of skin if you pull it off the item your affixing velcro to. Oh, and the smell? I think it killed more brain cells that I could safely part with. After inhaling the fumes for about a half an hour I glanced at the the packaging which strongly suggested the glue only be used in a well ventilated area. I'm guessing, based on the headache that is slamming my brain behind my eyes that my bedroom isn't well ventilated enough. The glue has to cure for 24 hours so I set them outside.  I'm really hoping when I bring them back in the house they don't have 485038 bugs glued to the straps.

I can't wait to make straps to match EVERY outfit I own. Some with bows and some with flowers and some with ruffles. The possibilities are endless! I was thinking that I may be able weed a few pairs of shoes from my closet and replace them with tiny little straps that take up no space at all. Or I could replace them with shoes that aren't flip flops that's a better idea!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Making Plans

With a lot of luck and a little planning my sweetie and I hope to spend our retired years in a small, cozy house on wheels. Ideally we'd like to live in an RV year-round. A few years ago we visited the Grand Canyon for the first time. It was breath taking and I was a little sad that it took me 35-ish years to see it.

Some people dream of traveling the world. Seeing different countries and cultures. I just want to see the mountains of Colorado or the green of Central Park. I don't want to see it by way of airports. I want to see the small towns of my own country. Back roads with no destination in mind and no set time to be anywhere. The idea of sharing it with my best friend makes me giddy.  He's traveled much more than I have and he is excited to share places that will be new to me. Maybe we'll discover new places together. I want to find the not so tourist-y places that are tucked into out of the way villages and towns. I expect to visit National Parks too but I'm more eager to discover our own places.

It's a lofty dream. It's more than a few years off but we're confident that we can make it happen. I probably should start pinching pennies pretty soon, I understand the fuel tanks on tiny houses with wheels are pretty big and expensive to fill.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


There are days that I struggle just to get out of bed.  I'm happy there. Snug and warm with my sweetie reaching for me in his sleep.  I know that I have responsibilities and people that depend on me to be certain places or do certain things.  Maybe it's the shame of letting those people down that forces my feet to touch the floor everyday.  I'm smothered by expectations that aren't really in proportions to be all consuming.  I can't figure out why I let it happen and I am letting it happen.

Some days I could scream at the top of my lungs and cry until I can't catch my breath.  Then there is the guilt! It nags at me, telling me my little complications in life are nothing in comparison to what some people face everyday.  It's all relative I suppose.  I want to be everything to everyone.  I want to scrutinize every paper that the school sends home.   I want to call and talk to everyone who is important to me everyday. I want to not be stressed out when curve balls come my way. Most days I don't get any of the things I want.

I tell myself don't sweat the small stuff but then the small stuff gets big, like someone I love going into the hospital.

If I needed perspective, THAT'S IT!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What was I thinking?

A while back I bought an epilator. Sounds harmless enough huh? IT IS A TORTURE DEVICE!

At first I used it to make my feet and toes soft and flip flop ready. It's got a little wheel on it that gently, painlessly OMG yanks the hair out by the root. But the fuzzies grow back pretty slowly so I'm okay with a couple seconds of feeling like my feet are in a wood chipper. I have been known to use it on a few stray eyebrows too until....I caught me eye lashes and thought my eye lid had been pulled into a meat grinder. It took a minute for me to work up the courage to look in the mirror. I was already trying to figure out how I was going to sleep if I had no eye lids?  I've yet to see a prosthetic eye lid but maybe I could find one on Ebay.

I'm not sure which branch of my family tree contains primates but HOLY COW I have way more hair on my legs than our bath tub drain can handle.  That led me to pull the pretty pink and white torture device from its hiding place deep in our bathroom vanity.  I temporarily forgot it. is. there. for. a. reason!

I took a warm shower and sat on the cool tile of the bathroom floor, plugged in the device and slid it across my ankle. I'm not gonna lie, IT HURT. But I pushed 2, not very small, babies from my lady bits with no epidural. I can withstand some discomfort. I pulled the skin taunt and moved the tiny lawnmower 2 or 3 inches at a time up my calf. Beads of sweat started to form on my forehead and I got a little dizzy but shook it off. Obviously, if I move the chainsaw up my leg faster it would get done faster and I could go back to breathing normally. I now know if you pull your skin off fast or slow IT. HURTS. LIKE. HELL. I forced myself to persevere even though the room was starting to spin and it was 450538 degrees in our tiny bathroom. My leg was bright red and angry looking but it was smooth. It was then that I noticed exactly how much I was sweating because my butt started to slide on the tile and I realized I was becoming nauseated. Now I had half of one leg soft and smooth and  one that resembled Sasquatch. My hands were shaking and kinda numb from the vibration of the power tool so I gave up.  I sat on the side of the tub and shaved the other leg. Then I stood in a cold shower until my body functions could behave themselves.

It's two days later and one leg is still smooth. The other has horrible stubble but I'd rather remove my appendix through my nose with kitchen tongs than use that hateful device on my other leg!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Different Kinda Love

Grandchildren elicit a feeling that no one can prepare you for. It's excitement similar to having a baby but without the fear of being completely responsible for a tiny life. It's love that is all encompassing. It's wanting to be involved without providing unsolicited advice. Biting your tongue when something is done that's not quite the way it would be done by you. Realizing your way is not the only way. And learning to share these precious little people with so many others that love them just as much.

When our oldest grandson was born we were there. We were at the hospital hours before he was born and again hours after. We held him as the newest newborn. Living in a different state only allowed us a few short days with him. Seeing him every six months or so after he was born didn't keep him from knowing who we were. His mom and dad have done an awesome job of keeping us as integrated in his life as is possible from 1200 miles away. He will be 5 in February and he is so smart.

Our granddaughter was born almost 3500 miles away from us. We watched her mamas' ever expanding belly for months before she was born via pictures that she sent us by email or text. I knew we wouldn't be there when she was born but her dad made sure that we were on speaker phone minutes before she was born and minutes after. For that, I will be forever grateful. As she made her presence known with the perfect newborn cry I cried too. I counted every day of every month before I met her at 5 month. Again we were able to fall in love with her through pictures and phone calls. In December she will be a year old and I'm teaching her I'm A Little Teapot.

Our latest little guy was anxious to enter the world and was born 6 weeks early. We weren't able to be there and after being reassured that he would be fine we decided to wait until our planned vacation 3 months later. When we met him at 3 months old he was soooo tiny and very much still like a newborn. We're looking forward to seeing him along with his older brother in a couple of weeks. I can't imagine the baby he has become and the progress that he has made.

None of these littles have any biological ties to me but I love them more than I can say. They burrowed deep into my heart and made themselves my grandbabies. I can't say that I don't feel twinges of jealously for their "real" grandparents or the people that they spend days with more often than I can but I  treasure every moment that they spend with me. They are mine!

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Gene Pool

My family gene pool contains some really strong DNA for talent. I was beginning to think it had been strained out when I got my helping.

My Grandma could create cakes that would have every judge on the Food Network singing her praises. She made fondant awesome way before The Cake Boss or The Ace of Cakes were even born. She made cookies that were truly works of art. She also created amazing ceramic dolls with the tiniest perfect details. She passed away far too young and most of her grandchildren were too young to remember many of her wonderful talents. My cousins must have inherited some of her talents because they can cook and bake just like her. Me? Not so much.

My mom is one of the most creative people I know. Her scrapbook pages rival pages from the finest classic novels. No, really they do. She has vision for beautiful things that she can create. I can see the vision, though sometimes it's a little like looking through oatmeal, but creating it? Not so much. She knits and crochets the softest blankets. Many babies have been snuggled in those blankets. I, on the other hand, generally end up with slightly discolored fingers as I cut off the circulation with tight stitches and because I need all my digits I don't tempt fate.

When I started this blog about a month ago I wasn't sure what to expect. I read a lot of blogs and the writers are, well writers. Most of them started writing when something traumatic happened and they just needed somewhere to let all the emotions flow. I wouldn't call anything in my life traumatic (compared to the loss of a child or anything equally as devastating) but I do have thoughts and emotions that rattle around in my head and the idea of having somewhere to put them is pretty comforting. When I think of the words and the thoughts, they just seem to flow from my fingertips almost faster than I can type. When I go back to proofread (because spelling errors MAKE ME CRAZY) I kinda amaze myself that I can articulate my thoughts fairly well. Maybe that makes me a writer too. Clearly, my little blog doesn't compare to a published novel but for now I'm just thrilled that it appears that a few of the talent genes made it into me. Even if it is a very small helping.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Firsts and Lasts

A month or so ago I found out that my position at my job is being relocated further away from my house than where I currently work.  That means leaving everything work related that I am familiar with and forming new comforts.  NOT ideal for someone who accepts and adapts to change very slowly.

I'm finding myself thinking about every little task.  Wondering if this will be the last time I do this or that.  I know that as I approach the moving date in a couple of months I'm going to find myself doing this ritual even more often.  The last time I stop at this gas station on the way to work or the last time I put certain files in certain places.  I can feel it driving me crazy as I voice it.

We had a distant family member pass away a couple of weeks ago.  We hadn't seen him in a year or so.  Would we have had a different conversation if I knew it was going to be our last? I tell my family that I love them every time we part.  What if it's the last time I got to say it or the last time they heard me tell them?  I know some people who think that saying it all the time make it less meaningful or believable but for me I don't say it unless I mean it. EVERYTIME.

A couple of weeks ago I got to spend a wonderful evening with our granddaughter and I watched her stand next to our couch on wobbly legs like she was just going to start walking.  It was the first time I saw her stand by herself. I probably won't see her first steps or many first milestones so I'm sad that I know the memory of her standing there so sure of herself will fade in time.  If I knew that while she was standing there would I have watched just a little longer? Probably.

Our grandsons will be visiting in a few short days. I'm hoping to catch some of their firsts with my camera. The first jump into the pool. The smiles that our newest little one is learning. I obviously won't know which things will be the last time that I see but I'm sure there will be some.

We're not meant to recognize the firsts and lasts of all of lifes moments. It makes more sense to cherish each moment individually and if there are a hundred more like it we'll be VERY lucky and if a moment is the only one of its kind that's lucky too.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It's not hard to drive me crazy, I'm already there.

I hate driving! I love to ride but I just never learned to like driving.  It's convenient and all but it stresses me out. Back in the olden days when I was 16 and getting my learners' permit I was anxious to learn to drive but it didn't take me long to realize it's really just a giant pain in the ass. I like enjoying the scenery not watching what the idiot on his cell phone heading at me is doing. You can't do both!

This morning I ran over a raccoon. There was no room to drive around it (I swear it was the size of a small elephant). I heard it *thwump* under my tire. I almost had to pull over and throw up. It was already dead when I ran over it but all I could picture was sad baby raccoons watching from the safety of the roadside greenery while I made their mother or father flat.  I called my always sympathetic husband to tell him what I did and his response was that I helped the vultures get to the guts easier. That's a visual that made me feel a whole lot better. Obviously I'm not married to Jack Hanna!  Just in case you're interested though, the body was gone on my way home from work so it was either a very hungry bird or an overzealous city worker.  Actually, where the murder occurred was pretty close to a house where I'm fairly sure rednecks live so it might be on someones dinner table tonight covered in gravy and accompanying mashed potatoes.

Anyway.  I'll be more careful tomorrow, I wouldn't want to single handedly cause Florida's young wildlife to become orphans. Next time I may not be so lucky as to run over an already dead rodent. That is lucky right?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Girl

When I first got pregnant with my oldest child I just KNEW that baby was  a girl.  I chose girl names and bought a couple of pink outfits. Nine months later, 2 weeks ahead of my due date I had A BOY.  I remember the doctor asking me what his name was and I really didn't know what to say to her.  He REALLY didn't look like an Alyson Elizabeth.  By the time I held him, all swaddled in blankets with a tiny beanie on his sweet little head I knew his name was Christopher Allen and I was head over heels in love.

My sister had already given birth to my nephew 15 months earlier so it seemed perfect that they were both boys and would grow up to be the best of friends. And they are!  We had wonderful, play-in-the-dirt, little boys and life was good.

About 15 months after Chris was born, Tracey found out she was pregnant again.   The whole family hinted (sometimes strongly) that a girl baby would be nice.  Of course a healthy baby of either sex was what we prayed for but we were kinda bored with the blue stuff and we were anxious to shop for pink ruffles and bows.  Tracey had the feeling that this little miracle would also be a boy and chose William for his name.   We had every necessity imaginable for a boy and didn't buy much of anything.  When she went into labor and delivered a healthy baby girl our family was overjoyed.  She named her Elizabeth Michelle.  Our mom, basking in the glow of our new little addition decided that she just didn't look like an Elizabeth and that couldn't possibly be her name.  She looked like a Kaitlyn (spelled exactly like that). So Kaitlyn Michelle took up residency in our family.

In my heart, she took up more than residency.  She wrapped me around the perfect little finger of her tiny dimpled hand.  Her amazing blonde hair with the tiny tuft standing straight up reminded me of a cockatoo and I started calling her Katie Bird.  I also may have said that she looked like a baby troll but I was totally kidding...sorta.  I loved her as if she came straight from my body.  I let her mama love her too, especially when it was time to change her diaper and such.  She's held such a huge piece of my heart that I really do have to remind myself that she's not my daughter.  I've watched her become the most amazing young woman.  She's overcome unimaginable hurdles (that's not my story to tell) but she lives as if she is unscathed.  She is beautiful and confident.  She has fragile feelings (just like me) but she is so strong.  We have a bond that goes far beyond her being  just my niece.  I would move heaven and earth for her.  She is part of me that lives outside of my body.

In 1996, I found out I was pregnant with my youngest son.  I knew he would be my last baby and I was okay with a happy and healthy baby boy.  I already had a son who I knew would be the best big brother and I already had My Girl.