Monday, October 29, 2012

what you see/what you don't see

What you see:
A delightful jack-o-lantern with a delicious pumpkin bowl of oatmeal.
 A quiet rainy Sunday with a cute girl reading from her chapter book.
It was a lovely weekend filled with these things.
What you don't see.
The irritated mom who drags out all the stuff to carve a pumpkin, hoping for a nice family moment.
And getting a kid who spends 12 seconds painting a pumpkin and a husband who disappears into the basement to watch football.
I carved that sucker all alone.
The oatmeal in the pumpkin bowl was not nearly as good as it should have been.
A kid screaming bloody murder 12 seconds before the reading shot because there is nothing "painless" about Compound W.
(She has a wart or 4 on her knee)
The whining and grumpiness happening.
From me.
I just wanted to read my darn book!
But I would like to think that I won't remember those things.
I will only remember these two shots.
And how the good moments of the day far outweighed the irritating ones.

Friday, October 26, 2012

ok. i give up.

I am really sorry.
I thought I could do it.
But I am in front of a computer all day at work.
I come home, empty out backpacks, get snacks, help with homework, start dinner, start laundry, etc...
You stuff.
The last thing I want to do after all that is sit back down at the computer.
So the everyday story thing is out.
I am still here though.
From now on though, I think only the really important stuff is going to make it on here.
Stuff like these pictures:
Images from my crazy busy hectic wonderful life.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

31 days of stories: day 18

31 days of stories: day 18

Hello last 7 days.
Where did you go?

The Story of the my First Kitty

Well, technically, my first kitty was Button.
She was all white.
And hated my guts.
Cause I was a young kid.
And probably didn't handle her very well...

Then when I was 7 or 8 we got Tabitha.
Tabby for short.

She was the dinkiest little grey and white thing.
Teeny Tiny.

And cross eyed.
But only at people she didn't like.

Tabby was an indoor/outdoor kitty.
And could jump a mile high.

I also used to push her around in a baby stroller.
And she would let me.
Such a good girl.

She was a horrible mouser.
She would see them in the house
(we did live next to a cornfield, afterall, we had a few mice during harvest...)
and run the other way.

Big baby.

She would cuddle up during tv time.
But preferred Mom's lap to mine.

I remember her best sitting in the sun at the back patio door, looking outside.

She died when I was living in Virginia.
I still miss her.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

31 days of stories - day 11

Day 11: The Story of the Time I Peed like a Boy in Front of Boys...for an Oreo.
I can't believe I am about to tell this story.
Promise me you will still like me.
I was little when this happened.
But old enough to remember.
So maybe, 6?
So not that little.
My Aunt Judy used to watch me.
Her son, Adam, was the bane of my childhood.
He was such a little pistol.
One day he had a bunch of friends over and they were all in the bathroom peeing
(yes, all together, that's weird now that I think about it)
when I walked in to get some kool-aid.
Cause Judy always had kool-aid.
Adam, being his ornery self, said something along the effect of how boys were better than girls because they could pee standing up.
My inner feminist came out and I told him I could do anything he could do.
And do it better!
He bet me an oreo I couldn't pee like a boy.
I thought about it for 2 seconds, looked around at the other boys,
and promptly took off my pants, straddled the toilet, and peed.
Oh. My Gosh.
Did I just write that one here?
I think I did.
Anyhoo, I remember looking around, all proud of myself,
and the boys were crestfallen.
I could pee like a boy!
They had to share their oreos.
Best darn oreo I ever did eat.
Don't think that story doesn't still come up when I go home.
It's a favorite at Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

31 days of stories - day 9

Day 9 - The Story of Ellie's Birth
I had the world's easiest pregnancy.
I was barely sick.
Gained only 25 pounds.
Felt great.
However, I had a very, very difficult delivery.
We took Bradley classes.
I wanted all natural, all the way, baby.
Epidurals were for sissies and I was ready to DO THIS.
I went into labor at 12:04 am, on my due date.
"Here we go!"
The first 12 hours weren't bad.
Contractions were every 7-8 minutes.
Totally manageable.
Around 4pm, things seemed to pick up speed.
I was in hourly contact with Paige, who just so happened to be my doula.
We played board games and watched some TV.
And joked about how different our lives were going to be.
Just think!
We were only hours away from having our girl.
Our little Elizabeth Paige.
After Survivor, so around 9pm,
it started to hurt.
A lot.
I called Paige and she told me to eat something and try to rest.
Cause weren't going to be no eatin' once I got to the hospital.
I layed down for a bit after a quick snack of crackers and sprite.
(I CRAVED sprite during my pregnancy.)
Around 10:30 pm, the contractions seemed to change.
They were lower, and across my back, and made me sick to my stomach.
Called Paige again and she told me to take a shower then head on into the hospital.
I showered.
My belly was seriously GIGANTIC.
I was terrified.
This was really it.
I was going to the hospital to have a baby.
I got out of the shower and promptly threw up.
Chris helped me get dressed and loaded in the car.
I had about 6 contractions on the way to the hospital.
Not a good time.
I hadn't realized up until that point how much Chris had been helping me through them.
Now that he was driving and couldn't help, they seemed to hurt worse.
We finally got to the hospital.
24 hours after I had felt my first contraction.
When I got out of the car,
my water broke.
We met Paige at the door and walked what seemed to be the longest hallway in the history of the world. 
I had to stop 3 times for contractions.
Kim, my second doula, joined us soon after.
Yes, I am lucky to have to family members who are doulas!
I finally got into my room, got a gown on and got checked by the midwife.
I was a whopping 1 centimeter.
After 24 hours of labor.
I should have known right then that things weren't going to go well.
But Paige explained how some women go all at once, that now that I was at the hospital, I would go fast.
I didn't.
4 hours later of contractions every 3-5 minutes.
3 cm.
I sat on the ball.
Walked the halls.
Rocked in a rocking chair.
4 hours after that.
3.5 cm.
I sat on the ball
Walked the halls.
Leaned over the bed.
8 hours after that.
5 cm.
By that time, around noon, on the second day, I was exhausted.
And completely grossed out.
No one mentioned that once your water broke,
you would leak forevermore after that.
It was really fun.
My midwife was starting to get concerned, but I was determined.
I was managing the pain ok.
Chris and Paige and Kim were all helping me through it.
I was just really tired.
She said she would give me 4 more hours.
2 hours later, I caved and got the epidural.
I needed rest!
Nearly 40 hours of unmedicated labor.
I'm a rockstar.
2 hours after that Ellie's heart rate started to drop and we very quickly made the decision to have a c-section.
I have never seen Chris look so scared.
They gave me another shot of something and I barely remember anything about her actual delivery.
Isn't that sad?
I remember throwing up on the very cute anesthesiologist.
And trying to stay awake.
And hearing them say, it's a girl!
And that there was no way on God's green earth I was ever going to have a baby the natural way.
Apparently, I have a very small pelvis or some such nonsense.
What seems like days later, I got to recovery and got to see her.
She was beautiful.
Wouldn't you agree?
As hard as all of that was,
the first two weeks at home were even harder.
I was in serious pain.
I was exhausted.
I was sad.
I missed my mother.
I thank the sweet heavens for Chris.
He stayed with me.
And brought me food.
And rubbed my feet.
And took such good care of me.
He even helped me nurse.
I remember him bringing her to me one morning telling me it was time for her to eat.
I flat out refused.
If you have ever nursed, you know the pain I was in.
He reminded me that I had made him promise to make me if I wussed out.
I relented.
Thank goodness I did.
After the first few weeks it got much easier, and we happily nursed for 11 months, until, one morning, she poked it and laughed.
She was done.
So, all in all, my pregnancy was fantastic.
And my delivery sucked.
It took me a long time to get over the fact that I didn't get the delivery I wanted.
I did, however, get perfect results.
And that's all the really matters.
(wook at those wittle toes.  i die.)

Monday, October 8, 2012

31 days of stories - day 8

Day 8: The Story about my favorite joke.
This is a cop out.
Cause I am freaking exhausted.
But my favorite joke is a follows:
What does a 500 pound canary say?
(yelled really loudly.)
My dad tells this joke often and I crack up every time I hear it.
So does Ellie.
The End.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

31 days of stories - day 7

Day 7:  The Story of Drinking with the Bartender
(actual patio)
When I moved to Virginia to be with Chris,
I was unhappy to discover that my newly minted masters degree in health education would get me no where down there.
You had to be an RN to be a health educator.
And I wasn't an RN.
So I hit the streets and looked for a job to make a little extra money,
while I found my "real job."
A honky tonk right down the street from our apartment was hiring waitresses.
I had never waitressed before, and to this day, I have no idea what made me walk in there,
but I did,
and my illustrious career as a waitress took off.
The restaurant, San Antonio Sams, was a local joint,
filled with tons of regulars, and not a single healthy thing on the menu.
At this job, which I had for nearly 4 years, cause I never did find a "real job" down there,
I learned a few important lessons.
1.  When you go to a restaurant that offers chips and salsa, the chips are touched by every single waitress in the joint.
And we do not have clean hands.
Trust me.
But I still eat them when I go to places that have them.
2.  Outside dining is the bane of every waitress in the world.
People loiter.
And you don't turn tables over quickly.
And therefore don't make as much money.
3.  Yell "CORNER" when you turn the corner with food,
or you WILL wear it.
4.  Restaurant people are crazy.
Their lives are dramatic and messy and dramatic and messy.
5.  You will make a boatload of money.
6.  Your feet will hurt all the time.
7.  And you will pack on 20+ pounds from the late night nachos the manager gets for the closers.    And the jalopeno poppers you eat after your shift.
And all the free regular soda you drink during your shift.
And the mexi-club wrap that you adore.
All of these are valuable lessons.
But the number 1 lesson I learned,
and it was a doozy,
is to never, under any circumstances,
I mean NEVER,
drink with a bartender.
Let me set the stage, shall I?
It was a Saturday night.
I  had worked the 4 pm shift, so I was the first one off, about 10 pm.
The main characters are:
Shannon was the bartender.  A rough sort of gal who cussed like the sailors that were always in the joint, and lied like a cheap rug.  Seriously.  The tales she would turn were outrageous.
Curtis was the nicest guy you ever hoped to meet.  He was a regular.  At the bar all the time.  However, he was as big as a moose, with wiry white hair that was in total disarray, and a crazy, mad-eye moody, eye.
Ok.  So anyhow...
Chris came up to eat,
as he usually did on Saturday night
and I had my "shift drink" while he ate his meal.
(shift drink, is waitress for the one free drink you get after a shift.)
Shannon offered me the shot of the day, which was a lemondrop.
I know, sissy stuff.
And for some reason, I thought is sounded like a fabulous idea.
Chris thought he would join me and do a shot of tequila.
The man loves his tequila.
He asked for the best, cause he had never had the best, cause we were poor, and he took his first ever shot of Patron.
Let me back up a moment and mention that Chris and I didn't drink in high school, like, ever.
And college wasn't much different.
I mean, we both got drunk on our 21st birthdays, and had a few humdinger nights, but neither of us were big drinkers in our younger days.
Ok, back to the story.
He fell in love with Patron.
And had another shot.
And another.
And another.
And so on and so forth.
Curtis was matching him shot for shot.
Shannon was taking about every other one.
And I stuck to my sissy lemon drops.
Somewhere in there, there was an order of wings and poppers purchased, but the majority of the night was all about the drinking.
Hours later, we were so drunk, we honest to goodness, couldn't see straight.
And our bill was,
are you ready for this?
For  the 4 of us.
Holy Shizzle.
Chris was way worse than me.
Way way way worse.
Thank goodness our apartment was only a block away.
To this day, I am not sure how I got us both home.
But I did.
And it is the only time I have ever seen him vomit from alcohol consumption.
And vomit.
And vomit.
I don't think we moved on Sunday.  At all.
I think all day was spent in bed, nursing massive, end of the world, hangovers.
It was one for the record books.
And we learned our lesson.
And we never, ever, EVER, drank with a bartender again.
The End.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

31 days of stories - Day 6

Yes, I missed a day.
I told you I would.
Day 6:  The Story of the Lost Tooth.
Loose teeth gross me the heck out.
There they sit, all dangly and slightly bloody.
Ellie begged me and begged me to pull it out on Wednesday night.
I sat with her head in my lap and tugged and twisted.
And nearly vomited.
Sucker wouldn't come out.
She wanted the loot from the tooth fairy.
In a bad way.
But that daggone tooth was cemented in there.
All day Thursday I prayed to our tooth fairy to please yank that thing out of her mouth at school.
And wouldn't you know it.
That afternoon, she came out all smiles, with a little plastic tooth necklace around her neck with her tooth in it.
Praise the sweet tooth fairy!
She's happy.
I'm happy.
19 to go.
She has only lost the one and already has that sweet little slight lisp when she says her esses.
Cutest thing ever.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

31 days of stories - day 4

Day 4: The Story of the Brick in the Tree.
(not the actual tree)
I grew up next to a cornfield.
Like, right next to.
It was awesome.

Clear across the cornfield was a tree.
Once every summer or fall my mother and I would walk to that tree.
One year, when I was maybe, 8, we took our usual trek to the tree.
Once there, we were scouting around and mom found a brick.
She put it in the V of the tree.
She told me it was our secret, and that brick held all her love for me.
The years passed and every year we would go and check on that brick.
After she died, I would pull in the driveway and look across the field to the tree.
And smile.
Cause I knew what was in that tree and what is symbolized.
When Ellie was 4, I noticed that the tree was dying.
We walked the tree and I showed her the brick.
And I explained to her what it meant and we talked about mom some.
You could barely see it, as the tree had grown around it.
But it was there.
Last year, on a trip home, I noticed that the tree was gone.
I was heartbroken.
It somehow seemed that my mother was no longer there in some small way.
It was just another way that I had lost her.
Just like letting the last of her clothes go.
And forgetting what her hands looked like.
Or what she smelled like.
(I can remember, if I try really hard, but it's not as easy as it once was.)
I wonder how many more ways there are to lose her.
Cause it's getting really old.
And as an aside, and speaking of what she smelled like, I passed a woman the other day who was wearing Red Door Perfume.
That is what my mother wore and an instant lump in my throat formed.
Do you think I will ever be able to smell that and not get sad?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

31 days of stories - day 3

Day 3:  The Crash in the Morning Story
This past Sunday, I was beyond excited that I was going to get to sleep in.
Chris was not home.
Ellie had gone to be late the night before.
It was supposed to rain.
At 6:20 in the AM I hear a huge crash.
I knew Atticus had knocked something over.
I laid (layed?) there for a minute trying to decide if I was going to ignore it or investigate.
I grudgingly investigated.
He had knocked over a vase.
Broken it.
Gotten glass and water everywhere.
I was beyond livid.
Like, not even normal, mad.
I cleaned it up, which took, and headed back to bed.
Just in time for Ellie to wake up.
Cause the crash had woken her up and she had tried to go back to sleep, but couldn't.
That was the fantastic start to my Sunday.
The End.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

31 days of stories - day 2

Day 2: The Shoplifting Story.
When I was a girl, there was a store in my teeny tiny town called Mocks.
I don't remember much about it except the wood floors and the candy aisle.
And the musty smell.
And the magazine rack by the door.
I have no idea what was in the back of the store.
I am not even sure I was ever back there.
Starting about age 10, about once a week my mom would let me walk up there to get a dollars worth of candy.
Back in the olden days, you could get a boatload of candy for a dollar.
I had a routine.
I would get a candy bar, which was the big ticket item at .50.
I would take it up to the counter and get change.
Then I would get a box of lemonheads or an airhead for .15.
I would take that to the counter and get change.
Then a box of jawbreakers or boston baked beans for another .15.
Yep, would take it to the counter and get change.
Then a pack of gum for .10.
....and get change.
That would leave me with a dime.
That last dime was always my favorite.
There were rows and rows of penny candy and I would spend inordinate amounts of time deciding which pieces to choose.
I usually came away with grape and strawberry tootsies, a butterscotch, a bit o' honey and some sort of sucker.
I would walk out with my little brown paper bag as happy as a bird with a french fry.
One day, just like any other, I walked in with my dollar and proceeded to go through my candy buying process.
As I was picking out those last 10 precious pieces, I slipped one of those coconut things in my bag.  Do you know what I mean?  They look like this:
  I had always wanted to try one, but was afraid I wouldn't like it.
I was coconut, after all.
And heaven forbid, I waste a precious penny on it.
So what did I do?
I stole it.
I took my other 10 pieces up to the counter, with sweaty hands and a racing heart, sure I was going to get caught.
And probably go to jail.
I didn't get caught.
I walked home with a heavy heart.
Guilt coursing through my veins.
I tried the stolen candy.
And hated it.
I am not sure if I really didn't like it, or the guilt made it taste bad.
To this day, when I see them, I still feel guilty.
All week I fretted over that penny theft.
The next week, I took my dollar and went through the candy buying process.
When I got down to my last dime, I only picked 5 pieces and told Mr. Mock to keep the change.
I figured the least I could do was pay interest for my theft.
I remember him smiling a little, and saying thanks.
Do you think maybe he knew afterall?
 I have to admit, the candy never seemed to taste quite as good as it did before.
It was just a penny.
But it was more than that too.
It was the very first time I was consciously dishonest.
It didn't sit well.
I have never told this story to anyone.
Until now.
Do you think the statute of limatations is up?

Monday, October 1, 2012

31 days of stories - day 1

If you read any amount of blogs, you know that October is usually 31 days of blogging about something near and dear to your heart.
Usually lots of thoughts go into these posts and they are written wonderfully, and it is a big deal.
I have only a few problems with this.
1.  I will never ever be Shannan.
Or Edie.
These women are masters of the written word.
And they have nice cameras.
Two things crucial to blogging.
2.  There is no way I am going to make all 31 days.
But I am going to try.
I have gone back and forth on what to write about.
Then I decided I would write about all of these things and write down my favorite stories.
Some family stories.
Some funny stories.
Some sad stories.
You get the idea.
So here goes:
Day 1:  The story of Paige and Ken.
You have read about Paige on here a time or 20.
She is my first cousin.
Our mothers are sisters.
She is waaaaay older than me.
12 years.
She had a special relationship with my mother and they were very close.
When I came along, I am not exactly sure her 12 year old self was entirely happy to see me.
There are rumors she "accidently" dropped me on my head.
Or let me roll off my changing table.
Or something like that.
The details are unclear.
Needless to say, a 12 year age gap is big when you are 5 and 17.
So I hardly remember her in my childhood.
She is gorgeous.
And was all dating and stuff.
I can't believe she chose that over hanging out with a cool kid like me.
Then I turned 7.
And we got a call one night that changed us all forever.
And I remember Paige after that.
Now, I could get a lot of this wrong.
Cause I was young and we don't talk about the details much anymore.
But this is how I remember things.
You see, she and her boyfriend (Ken) were riding a motorcycle on a dark street.
They were hit by a drunk driver.
Just a normal guy who had had too much to drink at a local bar.
I believe the bike landed on Paige.
Ken ran to get help.
He had broken bones.
He ran anyway.
I remember my mother being gone.
And Paige's parents.
For what seemed like forever to a 7 year old.
Then I remember going on a long drive to see her.
She was in a hospital.
I remember them sneaking me in because I was too young to really be back there.
I remember waiting rooms and Uno and looking out a window at tall buildings.
This seemed to go on forever.
When in reality I think it was 6 weeks?
They were trying to save her leg.
But they couldn't.
She lost her leg below the knee right before Thanksgiving.
At 19 years old.
I have never seen her cry about it.
I am sure she has.
A lot.
But I have never seen it.
As a matter of fact, I often forget she is an amputee.
For tiny snippets, I forget.
I don't know if that is good or bad.
She went on and finished her degree.
She is a CPA.
She got married.
I was her flowergirl.
I was 9.
She endured a lot to have her babies.
Lots of extra surgeries.
And extra pain.
But man alive did she birth some good kids.
Nick and Izzy are terrific.
They were worth it.
She has had numerous other serious medical issues due to the accident.
One of which could have cost her her life yet again.
And if I had to guess, I would imagine she is in daily pain.
But she is strong.
And I think a lot of her strength comes from Ken.
Let me talk a little about Ken.
I had a crush on him when I was little. Matter of fact, I may still have a crush on him.  I used to call him raisen head. I used to run my fingers through his hair and call him raisen head.
True Story.
Man, I can't believe I am admitting that.
He is the kind of guy who can do anything.
I mean anything.
And he can do it well.
He is fun to talk to.
Fun to be around.
He calls Ellie Peanut.
And when she is sick, I call Ken.  I mean, my fingers dial the phone before I even realize what I am doing.  He is a dentist, not a medical doctor, but I call him anyway. 
I'm sure it drives him nuts.
He is calming and understanding, and always makes me feel better.
He's a cool dude.
Anyway, back to the two of them.
They have a love story.
It is real.
And good.
And honest.
And forever.
When they argue, it is passionate.
When they laugh, it is contageous.
When they are together, there is a tangible feeling of their love for one another.
You can feel it.
It is awesome.
I don't doubt that for one second that the accident doesn't play a major role in their lives.
In everything from the big decisions to little day to day things.
But if anything I think it makes them better.
He is there for her.
She is strong for him.
The story of these two is only half written.
I can't wait to see the rest.