Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The "C" Word ( among others)

So much - too much - has happened over the past year or so. Much that I cannot (or rather choose not) to make too terribly public. Although there are people in my life *ahem* who would beg to differ about that last point, but I won't go into that either. Suffice to say, I have no desire to make this into another navel-gazing post about why I haven't posted. Or maybe that's exactly what I'm about to do. Who can tell?

It's funny when you have a blog that was at one time very frequently updated because then as your life gets to a point where you aren't blogging for whatever reason, you feel that you must explain why it is you've been absent. Only, you really don't want to explain, so you put off writing for even longer and it turns into a vicious cycle and suddenly, you find that you are blogging seasonally at best.** So, I'll leave it at this: We are all good. I hope that you both all had a lovely Thanksgiving, a fabulously blessed & joyful Christmas and that the New Year brings all the happiness in the world.

That should hold me till at least March, right? (Also, SugarPlum turns 15 next week. FIFTEEN. Oh. Em. Gee. Who let that happen?)

Now, I shall share a little story that sums up my life quite nicely these days. It takes place in the van yesterday after we dropped SP off at a friend's house. The boys were doing their "annoy the crap out of Mommy" thing and coming very close to making my head explode. I said something about them needing to take it down a notch or there would be unpleasant consequences. In the spirit of throwing your brother under the bus, this exchange took place:

Bug: "Bear said the "c" word today."
Me: "You know tattling is not o....WAIT, he said wha?? What "c" word did you say?"
Bear: .....
Bear: (hesitantly) "um, 'crap'...."
Me: (small sigh of relief) "Well. Hm. That's not nice for kids to say. So, uh, don't say that."
Bug: "What? 'Crap'?"

And this is why I only have two kids now....

**Also? You find yourself writing ridiculous run-on sentences that will probably make you cringe once you take the time to actually LOOK at what you've written. AND THEN, you begin to wonder why you are writing in second-person since that seems awfully affected but you can't seem to find a way to stop, so you just keep typing until you decide that perhaps you should just hit "PUBLISH" already and get your butt to bed. Or not.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never, ever forget

This is a post I wrote five years ago as part of the 2996 Project, commemorating the life of one of those lost on September 11, 2001. My life has gone on and has changed for better and for worse since then. But the families & friends of those lost on that terrible day have had to live the past ten years without their loved ones. We cannot ever forget what happened and the terrible sacrifices our entire country has been forced to make.

As you know, I was born and raised in Texas. I have always considered myself fortunate to have been able to grow up in the United States and especially in Texas. In high school, I was very active in choir and dance. And, after high school, as you know, I went to college and became a teacher. I have had the opportunity to live in many different places. I am proud to be an American and proud of our country.

Carlos Samaniego was born in Uruguay on December 31, 1971. At some point in his childhood, I'm not sure at what age, he moved to Texas, not too terribly far from where I grew up. He attended Permian High School and, from what I gather, he was one heck of a baseball player. At one game in particular, he entered as the pitcher in the third inning and shut out the opponent. From there, he eventually became a Bond Trader in New York City.

On September 11, 2001, my family and I lived in England. My husband was a fighter pilot and I was the Ways and Means chairperson for the Officers and Civilan Spouses Club. I was the Mommy to four-year-old SugarPlum and three-month-old SugarBear. On that particular day, my father-in-law left after visiting for two weeks. We had taken several trips during his stay and we enjoyed him thoroughly, but we were exhausted and, honestly, I was glad that he was headed home. We made plans to see him and my sister-in-law and her family in Mississippi at the end of October. SD took his dad to the airport very early that morning and SugarPlum and Bear and I all slept in and had a lazy morning watching Nick Jr and playing.

Carlos Samaniego woke up on the morning on September 11, 2001, most likely at his home in Richmond Hill, NY. He probably ate breakfast or at least had some coffee. He went to work that day at his job with Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of Tower One of the World Trade Center. You know what happened after that. He was confirmed dead at the WTC site. He wasn't able to follow through with any plans he had made to visit friends or family members. He didn't get one last phone call to tell his mom or his brother or his girlfriend that he loved them. His life was snuffed out abruptly and violently by the cowardly, unfathomable acts of evil, evil people.

I did not know Carlos Samaniego. Pretty much all I know about him is what I have told you right here. From what I have read that friends and family have posted about him, he was a really great guy. One friend wrote of Carlos:

I cannot remember Carlos ever having a bad day. He saw the good in everyone and everything. I know Carlos made life better for people around him. My life is better having known Carlos.

He sounds like someone I would really like to meet. The chances of that happening would have been very, very slim, but you never know. However, it makes so very angry that I will never have the opportunity to know him. Yet, I am pleased that I have been given this opportunity to honor his life and be a voice for one who can no longer speak.. His life was more than one than 1/3000th of a tragedy. His death left a hole in our world that will never be filled by anyone else and we may never know how far the ripples of this loss will be felt. If by chance, a friend or loved one of Carlos stops by here, please know that you have my deepest sympathies for a pain that must be almost unbearable even five (and now 10) years later. God bless you all.

We will never forget....

To read more tributes to the victims of the 9/11 attacks, go here. Or just visit 2,996. You'll be glad you did! [This link no longer works, but I'm certain that there are countless others. God bless you.]

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

He has varied interests

With the first week of school successfully completed (HALLELUJAH!), I looked through the kids' backpacks and folders this weekend. I came across Bug's (now in third grade HOLY COW!) Writing Journal (complete with backwards 'J'). On the front page I found this, which I will try to reproduce as precisely as I can as written. Needless to say, his knowledge is varied and, at times, alarming while AS ALWAYS, very hilarious:

THINGS I KNOW ABOUT by SugarBug Lastname

  • Harry potter
  • art
  • guns (backward g)
  • rocks
  • space
  • endangered animals 
  • biology
  • warfaer (his spelling)
  • history
  • WW II
  • Air force
  • Army
  • Navy
  • Marines
  • bombs
  • deep sea
  • Afghanistan
  • boy scouts
  • John
  • brenden
  • egend (not sure what this is)
  • legos
  • hitler
  • Quantum physics
  • fish
  • weta (again, no idea)
  • zombies
  • eels
  • Pokeman
If he weren't an 8 year old boy, I would be worried. But they watched a LOT of the History and Discovery channels over the summer, so I'm going to laugh and appreciate his confidence....

Friday, July 01, 2011

Happy Birthday Maw Maw...

Even though you have been gone over a year now, I still sometimes forget you are gone. And every July 1st until the end of time, that empty place in me will ache a little more. I always loved that you and I both had July birthdays. You were the one who showed me that the Ruby was our birthstone. I treasured the times that you would let me try on the various pieces of ruby jewelry you had. It was something that just you and I shared, our July birthdays.

There have been so many times lately I have wanted to call you and tell you something funny one of the boys has said. Or to boast about something one of the SugarBabies has done. Yes, even after all this time, your number is still programmed in all of my phones. As if I don't know it by heart. But I don't think I'll ever take it off. All week I have looked at my calendar and I've seen your name pop up on this day. July 1 - Maw Maw's Birthday. I wish I could just call and let the SugarBabies sing to you. You always loved that.

I wish that we could come to your house - me, my kiddos, Bek & Tell, Mom & Dad, T&L. I wish we could have one more time together. We are all okay. But we would be even more okay if you were here.

I'll bet birthdays don't even matter in Heaven, do they? You get to be with Paw Paw and your Mom & Daddy and with Aunt Ruby and so many other loved ones and just rejoice all the time. I know you are much happier there. And I guess that tempers my sadness some. But it doesn't make me miss you any less.

So know that I am thinking about you all day today. I may shed some tears, but they will be good ones. Because the fact that I miss you so much is only because you loved me so fully and completely and unconditionally while you were here. So I will celebrate you today, Maw Maw. And we WILL sing to you. I know you will hear it and smile and giggle. I love you so much. Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sorry about the lack of posting again, but....

You know what I hate? I hate being unable to post and share what is going on with me and my kids and all of the funny, joyful, irritating, crazy, LIFE around here. And WHY am I unable to post? Because of the possibility that every word I type can be used against me (and probably is). And I hate that. It makes me angry. Because it shouldn't be that way. But evidently it is. So, sorry, all three people who still read around here. Just thought I'd give you an explanation.

As it is, everyone is healthy. Everyone is happy. It is summer, so everyone is whiny - especially me since I'm working my tail off in school, trying to get this MA done as quickly as possible AND spend time with my kiddos, because they are growing up so fast. I'll fill you in someday. I hope. Comments will be turned off on this post. Email or call me if you want to offer encouragement. I love you guys.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Of birthdays, and deuling, and other very BOY things

Shamefully, I let the entire month of May and half of June pass without mention of the fact that BOTH boys had another birthday. While I have tried to strongly discourage any further growing or maturing or aging, these children stubbornly insist on growing up. *sigh* So disobedient. See? Right there? Hoodlums. ------->>

First, my Buggy Boy turned eight. He was truly looking forward to his birthday this year even though he knew it was going to be was very low key. Somehow, eight was a really big deal to him. It's hard having one of the last birthdays of the school year. But as Bear and I can both attest, it still beats having your birthday after school is out. His Daddy called from Overthereistan and I think he got to webcam with Daddy as well. Daddy got Bug the DSI xl (or some device with a similar acronym, I can't keep it all straight) that he wanted. Very exciting. Gram and GrayGray came for the weekend. A close friend brought his daughter over to celebrate - both of whom the boys think are pretty awesome. All the kids (Bear & Bug, SugarPlum, Little Miss & her Daddy) had a huge water gun fight in the back yard which was, in the words of the birthday boy "AWESOME." Bug got to pick where to eat supper - Buffalo Wild Wings, in case you were wondering...he thinks WINGS are the greatest food in the world right now. (I don't get it. Maybe it's a guy thing) Then back to the house for presents and his ARMY GUY cake.
Somehow, it has become kind of a tradition that the boys' cakes include some sort of action figures. This was actually born out of laziness and lack of skill on my part in making any sort of cool theme cake and now they look forward to the toys on the cake and I can include that as one of their gifts. Pretty much a win/win if you ask me. Anyway, after cake he opened presents, was slightly disappointed to discover that he did NOT get Big Game Hunter (or something like that) for the Wii, but he was pretty happy with all of his gifts.

Ten days later, we were in Candyland West (also known as Gram & GrayGray's house) for Bear's birthday. He turned 10. TEN. T.E.N. Double digits, folks. Oh. Em. Gee. But it hasn't done a thing to detract from his sweet nature. He was happy because he got to meet his precious new baby cousin (and my beautiful, precious new nephew! I'm FINALLY Aunt Buffi for real!) (we'll call the baby [my brother's] Tadpole for now....maybe Tad for short) and my Bear loooooves babies. And this is one of the sweetest, most laid back babies in the history of EVER. We got to go swimming at the home of one of my bestest friends from high school and then Bear got to choose where we went to dinner (a wonderful Italian place that has the absolute best calzones on the entire planet - including Italy) and we were joined by Gray, Gram, my two precious beautiful (and now-entirely-grown-up-adults-because-they-won't-listen-to-me-either) cousins, and our close friend. After supper, we had cake (Bear really wanted a Harry Potter cake but we could not find Harry Potter action figures - which is weird, right? BUT he was delighted to get a Phineus and Ferb cake - no pictures though because I cannot find my damn camera). Bear also got a special phone call from his Daddy, which ALWAYS makes him happy and got to open his gift from Daddy (same as Bug's) before we left Candyland. He liked ALL of his presents - especially the Banzai Samurai Dueling Sticks because now he and his brother can beat the crap out of each other with fewer drastic consequences.** I also have decided that any arguments are going to be resolved by going outside with the sticks and not coming in until they have reached an agreement. SugarPlum is not too keen on this idea.

So, now I have these older children. They are pretty fantastic when they aren't conspiring to make my head explode.....which, honestly is a good part of every day, I am quite certain. But they are funny and smart and well-behaved (when they aren't acting like meth-addled monkeys) and loving and cuddly and just imperfect enough to make them perfect.

**The "rules" on the box for the Banzai Samurai Dueling Sticks state that there are no "points" awarded for hits to the head, face or groin and a couple of other areas. I read through the rules carefully with them before and asked if they understood. They nodded enthusiastically, indicating that YES they did understand fully and could they please just go out and begin beating one another already. I also included a "Mommy Rule Addendum" that stated that any hits to the head, groin or face would result in a 24 hour suspension of Banzai Samurai Dueling Sticks privileges and the offender would have to clean the bathroom for a week. More enthusiastic nodding, accompanied by eye-rolling. I then asked if they knew what the "groin" was. And no, neither of them did, of course. And since it was the middle of the night in Overthereistan, it fell to me to explain. Good times, people. Good times. It took less than five minutes before someone came in crying. And I sent them right back out. No blood, no bones sticking out, no sympathy....

Thursday, June 02, 2011

All Hell Breaking Loose....

Okay I know I said "next weekend" or something like that. But I've been a little busy. You know. Life and kids and stuff. But I'll make like Paul Harvey and give you the rest of the story now....(I'm sure that this is full of all sorts of mistakes and grammatical errors that I will compulsively go back & fix later, but I'm going to bed now...) PART 1 click here

So, yes my instructions when I left the hospital after having the baby factory removed and almost bleeding to death were simply to rest and to go to the ER if I started running a fever. Well, I wasn't sure how long those instructions were for. Because, I went home on Sunday. On Tuesday or Wednesday (it's all a little fuzzy), I started running a very low grade fever. I SO did not want to go to the ER. But after some prodding and close to downright shouting from my mom & FB friends, I did phone the GYN on call and she said to take some Tylenol, that I probably had a UTI and to call my regular dr in the morning, which I did. He sent me to pee in a cup & put me on antibiotic which did NOT agree with my digestive system. I kept having the fever but just took Tylenol. The lab results came back I and I did NOT have a UTI and since the antibiotics were making me sick and unable to eat, the dr said I could stop taking them. This was Friday, I think.

The weekend was fairly uneventful. Like I said before the kids got to spend time with their dad. My uncle and cousin came by for a visit, I got out and walked a bit (per doctor's orders)....things were okay. Mom was even contemplating going home. My tummy was still a little upset, so Mom thought she'd stay at least one more night & get the kids off to school. Sunday evening, my stomach was really bothering me. ***Here's where you need to stop reading if you have a delicate constitution*** I felt really gassy & couldn't seem to go to the bathroom. I went for a walk and the stomach cramps about overtook me. I made it back into the house and to the bathroom in time to toss everything I had eaten that evening. And then everything I had eaten that week. I was doubled over and couldn't stop throwing up. Finally I was just throwing up bile. Mom called the clinic since I could barely speak and the doc on call said to take me to the ER. So, a wonderful friend came over to stay at the house with the kids since they were all asleep - and help me walk to the car (Mom seriously considered calling an ambulance, but I didn't want to freak out the kids or the rest of the neighborhood).

We got to the ER and Mom ran in and asked for a wheelchair since I couldn't walk. Evidently I was moaning pretty loudly and got triaged right back to a little ER room (there was a 3-4 hour wait otherwise). I kept calling for my "Mommy." (Amazing how we revert back when we are at our most vulnerable, isn't it?) And she just held me as best she could and yelled at those people to take care of me. Seriously, you don't want to get crosswise my mom over one of her kids. She will make you wish you were dead. They gave me lots of drugs and I finally stopped puking. Of course I also stopped being lucid at all. They took me for an x-ray. Then they wanted to do a CAT scan - can I just say that there are few things nastier than barium, especially when you've been throwing your guts up. I do remember trying to choke that crap down. I guess I didn't have any bleeds anywhere, but my fever had spiked to over 104, so they thought it might be a good idea to admit me. I have very little memory of being moved to my room. One of the nurses who was there said that they had to lift me because I was barely conscious enough to slide over. Evidently, I was in serious condition and there was talk of putting me in the ICU. Yeah. As it was I was on IV fluids, three different IV antibiotics and lots of pain and anti-nausea meds. And I was bloated up like a balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

EVIDENTLY, I had developed an infection at the site of the repairs made in the second surgery. One of the abscesses was big enough that it was blocking off my bowel, essentially trapping all of the gas and *ahem* everything else from coming out of my body. That was making me a little queasy...and nearly septic. Because it was cellulitis. Which is really bad from what they tell me and to have it INSIDE is extremely rare. The doctor was a little freaked out.

My mom was keeping my friends & family updated on my condition and let them all know that I had cellulitis of the vaginal cuff. One of my friends later called to tell me "Um, your mom sent me a text about your vagina." NICE.

I stayed knocked out on pain killers and nausea meds for the first few days. By Wednesday, the first offending abscess had gone down enough for my bowel to be able to, um, deflate. Yeah, that was pleasant. Especially for the housekeeping staff. There are some great stories that could go with that day, but they are better left untold. In the meantime, doc came in every day and did a pelvic - oh, yes, just as awesome as you can imagine it would be. I also got to go for another x-ray, an ultrasound - both external and internal. I was wheeled to the sonographer by a lady who was very insistent that I wear those lovely hospital socks with the grippy things on them. She told me all kinds of stories about why this was important. Evidently it is crucial. Whatever.

Every few hours, they came to take blood, take my vitals, change one thing or another on my IV, give me medicine or something or just aggravate me. The good nurses (read: the ones I liked) would turn on the least intrusive light possible. All the hullabaloo and they changes in my meds had given me one doozy of a migraine & I wanted it as dark & quiet in there as possible. There were some terribly cheerful nurses who would burst in in the mornings and turn on all the lights and open the curtains - I had a corner room so I had two windows. I hated those nurses. The nurse I had the biggest problem with was a night nurse who kept insisting that I should take a shower, it would make me feel better. I had already taken one shower and learned that those were the worst showers in the history of ever. There was barely any water pressure and you had to rotate yourself to get completely wet. I was cold the whole entire time. One of the GOOD nurses had brought me some of those cleansing cloths to use so that I didn't smell like a lumberjack and I really didn't care what my hair looked like. Nurse Ratchet tried to blackmail me and tell me that she would take my blanket away if I started to run the slightest fever. I asked for the charge nurse and never saw Miss Smarty-Pants again. I may have been known as a pain in the ass but I just really don't give a flying flip.

My friend came to visit Wednesday night and as he left he told me I was hot. I laughed and said "Oh yeah, I'm hot. I look fantastic after laying in this bed for three days." He cracked up and said, "No, you are burning up, I'm going to go tell the nurses before I leave." Yeah, my temp was back up over 102. Super.

By Thursday afternoon, I was still running a pretty good fever most of the day. (Though I was no longer bloated so that was good) All of my blood cultures had come back clean. Nobody knew exactly what was making me sick. But I still felt like shit. I had another CT & it was decided that I was going to have a drain put in me to try to remove the infection from my vaginal cuff (I know, sorry). I thought I had a vague idea how this particular procedure might go. I was very, very mistaken.

The next day, they wheeled me off to CT and had me lay on my belly and zipped me in and out of the CT scanner dealio while the radiologist, Dr DeSade, inserted a tube from my right butt cheek through my lower abdomen to my (close your eyes) vaginal cuff to drain the infection.** BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE...while he was in there he took samples of the fluid to send to the lab to see if they could identify the bacteria that was trying to kill me. For the record, they could not. The little collection bag just kind of hung out there off the skinny little tube which was about 12 inches long or so. Surprisingly, once the tube was in, it really didn't bother me at all except that it was a little awkward trying to find a place to hold it when I went to the potty. It was good for freaking out visitors, though.

**Yes, I was awake thru all of this, but I did have some pretty good drugs on board to make me relax. Plus I did that breathing that they teach you in the childbirth classes. Nice that THAT finally came in handy!

The drain seemed to do the trick. By the next day, I was off all IV antibiotics (still taking two oral antibiotics, though. One for colitis which I developed at some point in there and made things even more fun.Good exercise though!) It was good that I was off the IV since most of my veins had been blown - all of them in both lower arms - and my last IV was in my upper arm near my left shoulder. Actually that was the only one that didn't leave any lasting marks AND it was the easiest to manage. You can still feel the knots in my lower arms where the veins have scarred. It's super-creepy. One of the nurses told me that one of the reasons that I blew so many veins was because of all the Phenergan they gave me for the nausea for all those days. And you know what? TOTALLY worth it. I hate feeling nauseated. SugarPlum says I was pretty funny on phenergan, too. Mom & I evidently had whole long conversations of which I have absolutely no memory. Same goes for phone conversations & actual in-room visits with several friends. So if you called or came by & I don't remember it, sorry. And, if you DIDN'T call but want credit for calling, you can say you did and I will have no way of knowing you are lying.

Mom brought they kids up to see me nearly every single day. I did let them open the window shades because there were pigeons nesting on the window sills and occasionally they would have eggs. They named one set on the birds "Coco & Loco" and one of their eggs was "Yoko" (get it? Yolk-o....they thought it was hilarious). Sadly, we never saw an egg hatch.

By Saturday I was SO READY to bust out of there. The doctor seemed inclined to send me home, too. Except that I still had that damn drain in and he wanted to leave it for at least 24 more hours. He actually was going to send me home with the drain. I was somewhat opposed to bringing a bag of bacteria home to my three children. He let me stay another day. Sunday, he came in to remove the drain. He had the little kit and as he got started, he honest to Doogie said "I think the radiologist said to cut right here...." The nurse and I both had the same look of shock and dismay on our faces. Then, with absolutely no warning, he just pulled that sucker right out of me. HO.LY. CRAP. He asked me if I wanted any pain meds for home. Uh, yeah. So he wrote me a few scrips for that and for antibiotics and I don't know what else and shortly after I signed all those papers, my Mommy took me home.

Oh, and they never did figure out what was making me sick. Every single culture came back clear. All of them. I had some mystery bug that tried to kill me. I am either Dr House's dream patient or his biggest nightmare.

All in all, I was in the hospital the second time for eight days, not counting the night in the ER before they admitted me. I lost about 20 lbs. Nothing at all tasted good. I read about four books. Thank goodness for having Kindle on my phone. I updated my Facebook statuses in the moments that I had the energy & could see straight. And I never did wash my hair. I know. EW. Shut up. The first thing I did when I got home was take a shower and climb into MY bed. That bed never felt so good.

Little by little I have been getting my strength back. I am still amazed at how tired I am and how much I MUST nap. I mean, it's been two months. But the doc keeps telling me to give it six months before I even approach being my old self again. I have gained back all the weight - I really didn't have much that I could lose - thanks to Girl Scout cookies and Haagen-Dacz. I managed to pull an 'A' in the class I was taking last semester in spite of my prof sending me home my first week back because I "looked frail" and I was "making her nervous." I sported the whole "heroin chic" look for quite some time - skin & bones, sunken eyes, tracks & bruises all up & down my arms. I looked terrific.

Bear still tells me almost every day that he is glad I'm all better and home. I hug my babies a little tighter and try to fit in some extra snuggles every day. Bless their hearts. In one week, their Dad deployed to SW Asia and their mom was suddenly back in the hospital at death's door (although they don't really know just HOW sick I was). SugarPlum has been amazing, as always. She is an astounding caretaker, especially for a 14 year old, and she is fiercely protective of me. And I have discovered some truly wonderful people in my life. I am honestly blessed beyond measure. I have realized who and what really matters.

God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is good.

Friday, May 13, 2011

And to think, this was the EASY part....

Okay, since several people have asked "Just what the hell happened to you and the whole hospital thing?" here is the saga…’s long, but trust me it felt longer while I was laying there. (That’s what she said) (sorry I couldn’t help myself.) Today is just the first part, because, seriously, it is a SAGA. And if you get queasy easily, you might want to skip it. It ain't pretty.

I was scheduled to have a hysterectomy. Yes, I am only 40 but I have had tons of issues that are certainly more than most of you want to know so I won’t bore you with all of them. The biggest reason was that my CA-125 blood test (which is one of the markers for ovarian cancer, you know, what my mother had me totally freaked out about) had come back as above normal more than once. My GYN (Dr L) didn’t think it was “cancer high” but enough that we should probably take a look around in there and given my other issues, if he was going to “be in there” we might as well take it all out. Honestly, I was fine with removing the baby factory. After my last pregnancy and the ridiculous crap that accompanied it, I am done. D.O.N.E. And I was tired of all the girl stuff every month. So YAY! Fire sale: everything must go!

It was supposed to be very routine: LAVH (I won’t over-explain, if you want to know, you can click the link...hope you're not eating), overnight stay, home the next day. I scheduled the surgery for just before Spring Break so that I’d have nearly two full weeks to rest and recover before I went back to class. My mom was planning on staying a week, maybe ten days. I’d be tired for a few weeks but should have been back on my feet by the time Spring Break was over. Ha. Ha.

You know that nothing is ever easy with me. I am ALWAYS the aberration.

My mom came to take care of the kids and me. A friend took me to the hospital that morning at 6:15 (thanks Courtney!) and my mom was up there as soon as she got the kids to school. I remember checking in, joking around with the anesthesiologist, getting wheeled into the OR and talking a minute. The next thing I remember is the recovery room.

Here's the thing: I don’t do well coming out of anesthesia. And I am ALWAYS overwhelmed by much it hurts. But this time, even though I knew why I was hurting, something still didn’t feel right. I kept telling them that I was hurting but I couldn’t articulate that something was wrong. Drugs will do that to you, kids. They kept saying, “Yes, you just had surgery.” One jackhole actually “asked” me “Is this your first hysterectomy?” My mom almost punched him. I started feeling really nauseated. No REALLY, seriously pukey. I told them and I think they gave me some phenergan or something. But it didn’t help much.

At a certain point, they had given me all the pain and nausea meds they could. Between all the meds and still coming out of general anesthesia, everything is very swirly in my mind. I remember them giving me a basin because I felt sick. I didn’t have anything in my stomach, but I started dry heaving. I know that they took me from recovery back to my room. I remember telling them that I was bleeding and they said it was normal to have some bleeding after a hysterectomy. But every time I heaved, I felt a LOT of blood.

Evidently I kept saying “gushing” until a CNA came to change the pad on the bed and noticed that the whole entire bed was covered in blood – like horror movie style. She screamed out in the hall for someone to "get their asses in there" (as my mom informed me) and finally they took me seriously. They laid me back down in my gross, bloody bed, tilted the bed to head down (which made all of my stitched up insides hurt like a son of a bitch - that I DO remember) and wheeled me back down to pre-op where they started a blood transfusion. I remember my mom there by my head telling me what was going on, kissing me and telling me she loved me. I remember thinking that I would really just like to close my eyes and go to sleep if everyone would just STFU. But they couldn’t let me do that…something about lapsing into a coma or something, so annoying. They kept shouting at me, “BUFFI?! DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT’S GOING ON?” and I would nod. I was soooooo tired and but not scared, really. More aggravated. And very confused. I don’t remember going back into surgery. Dr L checked everywhere he had cut out anything (which was pretty much everywhere, because evidently I had an incredible amount of endometriosis all thru my lower abdomen - I am SUCH an over-achiever. There were no nicks or ruptures anywhere that he could see, except one place.

(Skip the next paragraph if certain anatomical words offend you or give you the willies)

Evidently, when I was dry heaving, a blood vessel in my vaginal cuff – where the uterus connects to the…you know – ruptured and caused the whole thing to start throwing clots & blow all the stitches. So, when I was saying "gushing" I was right. Good times. He stitched it all back up very carefully. They ended up giving me three units of blood. Which, evidently, means that I very nearly bled out. At least that's what one of the nurses told me. So much for quick and easy. I vaguely remember the recovery room again and remember my mom being there and a friend coming back to see me. I think he was a little freaked out. But, pretty much everyone was "a little freaked out." I looked fabulous, I’m sure. From what I’m told I looked slightly cadaverous.

**Also, the jackhole nurse came and apologized for his jackholery**

The doctors agreed it would be a good idea to keep me sedated for a long time to avoid the nausea and to keep my blood pressure down. I guess that every time I woke up a little, I hurt like hell and my blood pressure would spike. Also, they didn't want me dry heaving again and busting something else open.

The original plan for the boys was that SugarBug’s teacher was going to bring the boys home from school. Since the surgery was so early, I figured I’d be awake and in my room by the time they got there. And if things had gone normally, I would have. Instead, Mom kept in touch with the boys’ teachers and Mrs. Secondgrade took the boys to ToysRUs to get some Legos and bought them some pizza (she is so absolutely wonderful, I cannot even begin to describe her) and brought them up to the hospital…somewhere around suppertime maybe? I don’t know. I know that they were pretty freaked out. There I was in bed, no color at all, who knows how many tubes coming out of me and oh, so barely conscious. Bless their hearts. I remember telling them that I love them and that I was going to be okay. I remember them each giving me a kiss before my mom took them home. And then, I was out.

The next thing I remember was waking up when my friend came back. He was really nice and stayed to visit for a while. He (sarcastically) told me I looked great even though I was practically see-through. That is the first thing I remember clearly. I hurt some but not as much as earlier. My blood pressure was still wonky from all of the fluids and meds they had given me after I sprung the leak. Oddly enough, my blood pressure would go down whenever they gave me pain meds. Imagine.

After my friend left, I asked the nurses when I could get the catheter out because, golly I HATE those. They had to check with the doctor, who was thrilled that I was awake and lucid enough to ask to take it out. So they did. YAY! I went to the bathroom, I drank some water. I called the house to talk to the kids so that they could hear that I was okay. I needed to hear their voices too. The full impact of what had happened was beginning to dawn on me and OH, how it broke my heart to even consider the alternative ending. I still hate that the boys had to see me like that after I had told them the night before that everything would be just fine. Now I'm a big fat liar.

Random snippet: When I was more fully awake, I saw a small card left by one of the pastors at my church. It was funny because I remember at one point in my drug-induced haze thinking, "Wow, that doctor looks just like Danny Pastordude!" Heh.

I stayed in the hospital one extra day (yes, that’s all!) and they sent me home. My instructions were to eat, rest, and go to the ER if I started to get a fever. I got my prescription for the pain meds and my hormone patches and headed home. It felt good to be in my bed. I was happy to be with my babies. I was a little shaky, but felt like I was getting stronger & better. The kids went with their dad, who was in town for a Spring Break visit, and they had a grand time. It was good to see them happy and not hovering and worrying about me. I studied some (mid-term approaching) and tried to begin making my way back to normal. SD left, my Uncle and cousin stopped thru on their way home from a Spring Break fishing trip to check on me. Mom was in charge and taking great care of all of us. She was considering going home the next day.

And then all hell broke loose…..

(to be continued this weekend, I promise. Probably)

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Phrases I rarely use in conversation with adults....It's been a while...

It has been ages since I chronicled the ridiculous things that come out of my mouth while parenting. There are things that I never even imagined I would say. If you're feeling nostalgic, you can look waaaay back here to see other times I have pondered the utterings of a befuddled mom...
  • Stop throwing dirt in the air.
  • And no throwing rocks at people.
  • Play knights with your Nerf swords, not these sticks...that have nails in them. Sweet Fancy Moses, where did those even come from??
  • No, you do not need a spear.
  • You're fine. I don't have time to go to the ER today.
  • And don't bleed on my couch. (True story, I actually said that. SugarPlum about peed her pants.)
  • The tooth fairy doesn't want filthy teeth, so you'd better hope you brush well before that thing falls out.
  • Get dressed.
  • Get dressed.
  • For the love of little green apples, GET. YOUR. CLOTHES. ON.
  • I WILL take you to school in your pajamas. Wanna try me?**
  • Cleaning your room includes all around the edges AND in your closet AND under your bed AND the top of your dresser. It does not mean clearing a space beneath your ceiling fan.
  • If you pull all the leaves off that shrub, you'll have to buy me a new one.
  • Please don't break my house.
  • When was the last time someone flushed this toilet?? It smells like Woodstock in here!
  • If you keep screaming like that the neighbors are going to think that someone has been mortally wounded and call the police.
  • Cool Whip is not a "healthy snack."
  • Oh, ew. I think it's time you started wearing deodorant.
  • When I call your name, you get your butt in here, immediately. You do not simply shout "Yeah?"
  • What is so hard to understand about bedtime? PJs, potty, brush your teeth, dirty clothes to the washing machine. That's how it's been since you could walk. Are you new here??
  • "In the washing machine" means just that. Not somewhere in the approximate vicinity of the laundry room.
  • I know that you have heard Mommy say that word, but it is a word that is only okay for grown-ups to use. If you say that at school, you'll get detention.
  • No spitting water all over the shower.
  • How can you have been in the shower for 25 minutes and your hair is not even wet? But the light fixture is?
  • OUCH! *&^$ing Legos. (See above: words only grown-ups can use)
  • Don't sit on the dog.
  • Don't lasso the dog.
  • Leave the poor dogs alone already.
  • If you screw up SugarPlum's math project on the computer, I will let her beat you.
  • Everybody to the bathroom before we leave!
  • GAH! I told you to go to the bathroom before we left!
  • Why are you not wearing shoes? Which part of "going to the grocery store" did you not understand?
  • No, we are not going to McDonalds.
  • No we are not going to Taco Bell.
  • No, we are not going to El Chico.
  • WE ARE EATING AT HOME, we have groceries IN. THE. CAR. RIGHT NOW!
  • How much does your Mommy love you? More than anything in the whole wide world.
  • You little heathen.

**One day Bug piddled around and couldn't find two matching shoes. So he wore the right shoe of one pair and the left shoe of another. He's never had trouble finding his shoes since....

Sunday, May 01, 2011

You may want to grab a bucket because here is where I go on and on (and on and on and on) about my amazing daughter. Really, it's nauseating....

Okay, yeah, I know I promised to tell all about my extended stay at Club Med. But now that I've been out of the hospital for a month, I've grown weary of talking about it. I was too tired and then too busy to write. And now, it just annoys the crap out of me that it happened at all. I'm sure I'll finish that post sometime soon. It WAS a pretty significant event in my life. I think I'm just trying to process it all. I mean, I nearly died. TWICE. Yeesh.

What has had me preoccupied the past couple of weeks is the very act of counting my blessings. I have the most amazing children on the planet. I look at them and wonder how I got THREE great kids. It's like hitting the jackpot on the slots. They are truly miraculous. Those boys....oh, they are such boys. They do everything with such a ferocity and intensity. Loving, playing, beating the holy hell out of each other. Even the intensity of their apathy is impressive -- if that makes any sense at all.

But my sweet girl. My SugarPlum. She is what has me baffled and filled with joy and pride and anxiety and dread. She is 14. FOURTEEN. And she is just the best teenager in the history of ever. She is such a little bundle of contradictions. She has a wisdom and a maturity beyond her years. She carries herself with such confidence and self-assuredness and she really doesn't care what people think about her. When I was fourteen ALL I cared about was what people thought of me. I remember being so horrified that my mother wouldn't buy me Calvin Klein jeans. FIFTY DOLLAR JEANS! In 1984!! I won't even spend $50 on jeans now. Heaven forbid something came from KMart or some other discount store. Oh, the horror. My poor mother. But all I cared about was what the popular girls were wearing. And I swore then that I would do everything in my power to make sure my kids had what was "in style." But my girl just really couldn't care less where the clothes come from or what the label says. As long as it's comfortable and it fits her style, she's happy. I have actually offered to take her shopping and she says "no, I have enough clothes and shoes, I'm good." WHUCK? I got her a Vera Bradley purse last summer (which she does love because it's got her school colors) and now she finally carries a purse. But recently, when I asked if she wanted to look at some purses, she looked at me like I was crazy & said "I have a purse."

She has the coolest group of friends who are like her. They are all great girls, good girls, who are sure of themselves and don't feel the need to put anyone down to make themselves feel good. They are funny and smart and high-achievers like SP. They each have a wicked sense of humor, which I love. They don't feel the need to act out in any major way or use coarse language (like one of their moms who has a potty mouth that makes sailors blush at times....ahem). In fact, at any given time, I can open SugarPlum's email and if one of the girls has a reaction to anything they simply reply "STRONG WORDS!" instead of cursing. When they see the acronym WTF, while they do know what it actually stands for, they say "Wow! That's Fantastic!" (Try it. It's even better than saying What the F^*k!), and when they see BS, they choose to interpret it as "Bacon Strips" or "Bible Study."

Which leads to one of my favorite things about my sweet girl. She is so mature that she actually actively tries to maintain her innocence about the world. And I don't mean in a sexual way (although that too), but just in everything about the world. It's like she knows that there are situations and scenarios out there that once revealed will change her forever, and she tries to avoid them. Sort of an "ignorance is bliss" attitude, only in a healthy way. There are certain TV shows that I don't let her watch. And she's okay with that. She told me that she appreciates that I look out for her that way. This has led to me loosening the reins a bit and previewing some episodes of House and Big Bang Theory for instance that can sometimes have quite a bit of sex and adult situations, but also sometimes are very good TV and okay for her to watch. We talk a lot about what is on the episodes she doesn't get to watch and she is good with not seeing them. I know that many of her peers get to watch whatever they want on TV, but she is happy to work within the boundaries I've set.

She is also VERY athletic. Something she certainly didn't get from me. I mean, I did ballet and modern dance until I was a junior in college and I loved it. And I played soccer for a few years as a kid, but I did not love it. This girl LOVES sports. This year, she played volleyball, basketball and did track & field. All the while she played on her competitive soccer team. And she is GOOD. She is a goalkeeper - you have to have a lot of self-esteem and a pretty thick skin to play goal keeper. (And an even thicker skin to be the keeper's mom!) She is planning on limiting herself to soccer next year in high school. (HIGH SCHOOL!!! Oh. Em. GEE.)

She is also a big choir geek like her mom. She LOVES choir. She was in the honor choir and the show choir this year. She has been blessed the past three years with an amazing choir teacher who has instilled in her a love of music and vocal skills and just the artistry of it all. So, she is planning to pursue that next year as well.

In addition to all of that, she is ridiculously smart and is an officer in the Nat'l Jr Honor Society and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. PLUS she was asked by one of her coaches to start and lead, along with her best friend, a girls' Bible study on Wednesday mornings. I can go in her room at night, after she should have turned out the light and she is reading. Her Bible. For real. I walk in unannounced and there she is, deep in the Word.

When I was in the hospital all that time and after I got home, she looked after me and her brothers. She is the best big sister in the history of ever. She loves those boys without reservation. Oh, yes, they make her insane. But she still loves on them and makes up games for them and will remember to tell me all the funny, crazy things they say & do while I am gone. I was never, ever that good of a big sister. When I have been out of energy and laying in bed (because this whole recovery thing has been much more taxing than I ever imagined), she will make supper for the boys and has even on occasion put them to bed. And that doesn't count all the hundreds of nights she's spent babysitting.

Why am I telling you all of this? I have no idea. I've just been overcome with how remarkable this sweet, amazing girl is. Through all of the turmoil of the past couple of years, she has kept her composure better than I. And she has been an amazing example to all of us. Is she going to therapy? Oh, yes. Nobody, especially someone 14, can deal with all she has dealt with and not need an outlet. But she's fine with that too, and acknowledges how much it's been helping her. And she talks to me. That is so amazing to me. She talks to me and she likes me. She tells me so, unsolicited. And her friends do too. Because they are awesome. Also, she does do the moody, eye-rolling, heavy sigh, slamming of the door thing. But when I step back, I am so grateful because it just reassures me that she is a REAL teenager and not some teen-bot.

So, I'm sorry for gushing. It's not even her birthday. But I am so thankful to God for this perfect child. There will never be enough words to thank Him for my Angel Girl. I wouldn't want to navigate this world without her. She's fantastic. For real. Please don't let me screw her up!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dang, this is killing me

I have honestly had every intention of blogging about the past week or so. About how I had most of my girl parts removed. How I almost bled to death right after. All the glorious aftermath of my medical adventures. But I am still so tired.
I mean, I knew from the gall bladder surgery and the ectopic surgeries that I would be tired. But for some reason I thought I would bounce back faster this time. I guess someone forgot to remind me that I'm 40. Middle aged. We don't bounce back so quickly any more. In fact, very little bouncing of any kind  has taken place as of late. Because, you know, forty.
So, once I have the energy to blog somewhere other than on my phone while lying in bed; and once my head is clear of the anesthesia from two trips to the OR in one day, I promise to share the whole exciting tale with you. Though at this point, it might be sort of anti-climactic.
But for now, I'm going to sleep some more.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Doorknobs fear me....

So, those of you who have read here for a while know that I have a bit of a history of with doorknobs. Don't try to keep me out of my house. I have no problem taking out a doorknob. Today was no exception.

A couple of days ago, Snazzy escaped - yes, again. She is one of the original Houdini dogs, after all. This time it was due to the fact that the fence at this house is quite old and should probably be replaced. Tuesday morning, I found Snazzy in the neighbor's backyard, having gotten there via a loose picket in the fence. She couldn't get BACK in our yard though and was very distraught. I found the picket, let her back in, checked for other loose boards (I thought) and then we had a nap. That afternoon, I went to pick up SugarPlum from school and when I got back, Snazzy wasn't there...McGee was, but no Snazzy. She had gotten out on the OTHER side of the yard thru a (missed) loose picket and the neighbor on that side has no fence across the front of her house. Hence, NO SNAZZY. SP begged me to go drive around and look for her, which I did until I had to pick up the boys. Then, we had to take SP and a teammate to soccer practice & then I had class. I was bummed. I had a headache. I was having major anxiety. I totally faked my way thru class that night. But when I got home, Snazzy was here - a lady about two blocks over found her, called & brought her home. Yay! had to go get a temporary crown put on at the dentist (or the "sadist" as my phone auto-corrected it to in a text HHAHA!!). I got home, noticed a picket that looked a little wonky & went out to check it. Both dogs were still back there, so I wasn't too worried. I secured the slightly loose board and then turned to come back in. Only the doorknob was locked. As was every other door to the house. My purse, keys and phone were sitting on the kitchen table. I COULD SEE THEM. But, short of busting a window, I couldn't get to them. Dammit.

I remembered my badassedness of a few years back. Only I had no hammer. So I grabbed the closest thing I could think of - the grill brush. That helped some but it wasn't terribly effective. SO, I scanned the back yard and realized that we have an abundance of loose bricks back there. (I have no idea why, but I wasn't feeling very inquisitive at that point) So, I grabbed a brick and proceeded to knock the crap out of the doorknob. Twice....and then about 900 angry ants came out of the brick. Oops. I survived that unscathed and found another brick that did NOT contain an entire colony of pissed off ants and continued the whacking. Eventually, the doorknob came off. But the door was still locked.

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE FREAKIN' KIDDING ME. (may or may not have been the precise words used...)

So, I went and pulled the Brinks padlock off of the shed (the only thing in the whole vicinity NOT locked) and used the top part to reach up into the mechanism and try to pull the ring from around it and then get it to unlock. AND? I broke the padlock.

I BROKE A DAMN PADLOCK, PEOPLE. It's like I have super-human strength....only not enough to get my damn door open. I was sweaty. My tooth hurt. I was tired. I was hungry. I wanted to be INSIDE my house.

I used the really hard part of the padlock to beat the small parts of the mechanism again and then used the other half of the U that hadn't broken off and fiddled around with the odd bits inside the doorknob mechanism (also cussed a little) until FINALLY the door popped open. I was so happy. And feeling very empowered. With the exception of my tooth throbbing now and the growing migraine. But I DID have the presence of mind to take a picture to prove once again what a badass I am. Because - seriously, GO ME! Also, I took the time to post it on Facebook. And write an entire blog post about it. Because that's how I roll....

Moral of the Story: Don't piss me off. Especially if there are bricks around. Ants optional.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

As long as I don't have to have the Cinnamon Roll hairdo....

Since SD and I told the kids about the divorce, I have really worried about what effect this will have on all of them. SugarPlum is pretty good about talking to us both about what she is thinking and feeling, so far at least. And, since she is older, I know that she at least understands what is happening anyway.

As far as the boys, I have worried about whether they really "get" it. SD had to leave last April for school and so, it's been just the four of us for nearly a year now. I feel like, as parents, we have done a pretty good job of putting our kids first and trying to make this transition as painless as possible....though there is no possible way to make it NOT hurt.

After we told them, the boys seemed not that affected by the news. While I know that the change in our marital status changes their lives very little, I had a feeling that maybe they didn't really understand what we meant when we told them that we were getting a divorce. There was a part of me that thought that maybe when we said, "Mommy and Daddy are getting a divorce," we could have as easily said "Mommy and Daddy are getting a camel" and it would have meant about the same thing. Only the camel would have been way cooler, natch.

So...I asked them, "Do you understand what 'divorced' means?" No, they didn't. I told them that, basically, as far as their lives were concerned, all it meant was that Mommy & Daddy wouldn't be married anymore. Which means that Daddy might have a girlfriend. Or that one day, Mommy might have a boyfriend. I asked if that was kind of weird to think about. And yes, it was. They didn't really have much to say about what they would think if Daddy had a girlfriend. Hmm.

What if Mommy had a boyfriend? "We'd beat him up. And then shoot him with a rocket."


So, isn't there anyone that might be okay for Mommy to have for a boyfriend one day? They thought about this. For quite some time. And here is what they came up with. If, one day, I decide that I want to date, I have permission from my boys to date TWO guys.

Align Center
Peyton Manning
(okay...I can deal with that)


Han Solo
Not Indiana Jones, only Han Solo
(mmmm....Han Solo!)

Sorry Guys. The SugarBoys have spoken. Unless you want to chance getting shot by a rocket.....

Saturday, February 19, 2011

100 (or so) Things About Sugar Mommy

A long, long time ago - a whole lifetime ago, it seems - I did the infamous "100 Things About Me" meme. So much has changed since then - it's almost like reading about another person - that I thought I might do it again. I'm not sure that I will make it to 100. I'm almost positive that there is nobody out there who cares that much, but I'm feeling vain, I suppose....

100 (or so) Things About Sugar Mommy
  1. I am a Christian.
  2. Thank goodness, because if I wasn't I don't think I would have survived the past few years.
  3. I am a mom.
  4. My children are, quite possibly, the three funniest people on the planet.
  5. No, seriously.
  6. I am a grad student. Going to school to become a counselor.
  7. Amazing it only took me 40 years to decide what I want to be when I grow up.
  8. My bachelor's degreee is in Human Development & Family Studies.
  9. I taught kindergarten - which was exactly, precisely what I wanted to do after graduation.
  10. After I had SugarPlum, I was a stay at home mom. Which was even more exactly, precisely what I wanted to do!
  11. I've been very blessed.
  12. Now I don't ever want to be a teacher again.
  13. I've discovered that I don't like small children in groups for extended periods of time. I LOVE kids, but not groups of them.
  14. Except for YOUR kid. Your kid is awesome and I would love to teach 30 of him/her all the time.
  15. I'm slightly sarcastic.
  16. Which is sort of like saying the surface of the sun is slightly warm.
  17. Fortunately, my daughter shares this trait so we have some hilarious conversations.
  18. She and I also share of love of words and wordplay. I can crack that girl up for 15 minutes with one really bad pun.
  19. She and I make up silly names for people on reality shows like American Idol and Top Chef.
  20. In the past we have giggled over "Blondie Tattoo Arms," "Scallop Girl," "Nipple Head," "Skanky Ballerina," "Old Dude" and so far on this season's AI, we have "Crazy" and "The Orifice" (the last on because I don't want to cuss, the guy really is a....poopy-head.)
  21. The flip-side of the love of words is that I am a huge grammar freak. Not that I don't make mistakes, I do. Even on Facebook, I have to go back and correct mistakes. It's a disease.
  22. I try not to inflict this upon others, but if I do, it is almost completely out of love.
  23. However, a misplaced apostrophe can come close to sending me over the edge some days.
  24. This does make me very good at editing papers. (you have no idea how many times I have gone back and corrected this post. Or how many more times I likely will.)
  25. I suck at math. Seriously.
  26. Almost as much as housework.
  27. I REALLY suck at housework.
  28. I'm prone to procrastination (another tremendous understatement).
  29. Which means that I may never finish this list.
  30. The irony of my procrastination thing is that I hate to be late to things. I'm not against being "fashionably late" to an event, especially if there is a social hour beforehand.
  31. But it drives me crazy to walk in late to things.
  32. I wasn't always like this, I'm not sure when the switch was flipped.
  33. I suffer from a laundry-list of ridiculous minor ailments that give me fits. I know I must seem like a hypochondriac sometimes, but if I tell you I don't feel good, it's probably true.
  34. I'm probably Dr. House's dream patient...or his worst nightmare. I'd love to find a way to put it all together and fix it.
  35. I am very, very loyal and very forgiving - to a point. If you are my friend or someone I love, you have to do something REALLY major to get rid of me.
  36. I've known one of my best friends since junior high. We have gone years at at time without talking before, but I don't think that either one of us to could live without the other. I love you CRB.
  37. Another best friend was my pledge trainer in college. She's very bossy and a giant dork but I love and adore her and couldn't live without her either.
  38. My OTHER best friend I met when we were stationed in England. We met the same day our three-year-old daughters did (at different places) and have been friends ever since. (Our girls have as well!) She's been through a lot with me. The Queen is amazing.
  39. I sound like I'm in the third grade talking about my "best friends."
  40. But I won't let anyone walk all over me forever.
  41. I avoid conflict - sometimes to a fault.
  42. I try to look at the big picture and try to decide if something is really worth confronting someone over (don't sweat the small stuff...).
  43. Sometimes I'm right, sometimes I'm wrong.
  44. I also try to step back and evaluate how my choices and actions will affect my kids.
  45. I think it's very important to tell the people you love that you do indeed love them. Ask my close friends & family - I always say "I love you" when I get off the phone or when you leave. You never know when you won't have that chance again.
  46. I am trying to learn how to be the mom of a teenager.
  47. That's fun.
  48. I thought I was the only one around here allowed to be moody.
  49. Evidently NOT.
  50. I must say, however, that my daughter is one of the most amazing teenagers in the history of EVER.
  51. I love to cook.
  52. But I don't cook low fat or low cal, so be aware.
  53. My fridge is never without butter or heavy cream. And I almost always have the ingredients to make some kind of fresh pie.
  54. Mmmmmm, pie.
  55. I'm also one of those "healthy-food moms," ironically.
  56. I read labels for everything. My kids don't get sodas or much juice or junk food. I check everything for HCFS and MSG and other gross chemicals that pollute food. I don't ban or prohibit foods with those things, I just figure the less we all consume of them the better.
  57. And I don't try to tell other parents what to feed their kids (unless you ask me), or even mine for that matter. If my kids are at your house, they can eat whatever you give them.
  58. That doesn't always work out well - last week someone let Bear have a Mountain Dew. He didn't go to sleep until midnight.
  59. I'm very sentimental about things.
  60. This could easily turn me into one of those people on Hoarders if I'm not careful.
  61. Especially since my grandmother died, my mom has been bringing me some of her things. She calls to ask if I want something and I ALWAYS say yes. I don't know where I'll put it all but if it's my MawMaw's, I want it, by golly.
  62. I honestly have no idea where I will put it all.
  63. I really get into politics.
  64. I won't climb on my soapbox.
  65. But I will say that Ronald Reagan was the greatest president that we have ever had. Period.
  66. I might be a tiny bit addicted to Facebook.
  67. I love how FB keeps me in touch with friends and has put me back in touch with old friends.
  68. I used to be addicted to Diet Coke.
  69. But the aspartame really doesn't help with the chronic migraines. So I limit myself on Diet Cokes now. Some days, though, a girl REALLY needs a Diet Coke.
  70. Now I'm more likely to go to Sonic for a cherry-limeade. Mmmmmmm. Heaven in a styrofoam cup.
  71. Oooh, and chili-cheese fries. (#s 50 & 51 are exempted in cases of possible Chili-cheese fry/cherry-limeade consumption....but only for me)
  72. I may be a bit of a hypocrite.
  73. Also, I have a potty mouth.
  74. I can make a fighter pilot blush.
  75. I keep it clean in front of the kids and in polite company for the most part.
  76. But don't piss me off.
  77. Just ask TXU. (I wasn't kidding about the potty mouth)
  78. Speaking of procrastination, I will have to come back and finish this later. Laundry beckons...
  79. Laundry still not finished (see #26)
  80. I am getting old.
  81. At the eye dr last month I discovered that while I am still near-sighted, I am getting far sighted as well. How is that even possible?
  82. I have to wear my glasses to watch TV or drive.
  83. But I have to take them off to look at a menu in a restaurant.
  84. That is so very wrong.
  85. I nap more often than is probably considered normal or acceptable for most adults.
  86. I have a very close and loving relationship with my pillow and we miss each other if we are apart for very long .
  87. I have the most eclectic (that's a nice word for "weird") mix of music & artist on my iPod: Simon & Garfunkel, Audio Adrenaline, The Beach Boys, Third Day, Frank Sinatra, George Strait, Ben Folds, Casting Crowns, Amy Grant, Billie Holliday, Crosby Stills & Nash, Patsy Cline, Journey, Mahalia Jackson, Mercy Me, The Newsboys, The Police, Rufus Wainright, Sidewalk Prophets, TobyMac, Sister Hazel, Ziggy Marley, The Weepies....that's not even half of them. I'm such a dork. (Also? A little pissed that I can't get the Beatles from Amazon Mp3...)
  88. Also....okay, it's not my iPod, it's really my phone - not an iphone - but iPod has become generic like Kleenex or Q-tip, right?
  89. More to come....(more procrastination)
  90. I am terrible with money.
  91. I have gotten better at watching my spending, but I stink at keeping up with it all.
  92. This may become an issue soon.
  93. I really need my own accountant.
  94. I think I want to learn to play golf.
  95. I just don't know if I have the patience.
  96. I also want to learn to shoot a gun.
  97. I looooove the beach. I like to just sit on the beach and read and listen to the waves.
  98. I just realized that I haven't done my reading for class I guess I won't finish this list today after all.....
  99. I have learned the last few years that I have to just trust God with everything without trying to manipulate a situation into going the way I want it to. And when I DO manage to trust Him, things seem to go much more smoothly. Or at least I have a peace about (and within) the chaos.
  100. Believe it or not, that wasn't everything, but the rest will have to remain a mystery. Sorry to disappoint you.
This thing only took me two weeks to finish. Clearly, I need to take another look at my priorities....

Friday, February 18, 2011

I knew that time machine would come in handy!!

Just found this in my spam:

You have won #1,625,000.00GBP in the MICROSOFT EMAIL PROMOTION AWARD
for the last quarter of the year 2011.Contact Mr Mark Anderson with your
full contact details.

See that? In the LAST quarter of 2011! Christmas should be great this year! Just gotta get all of my personal info to Mr Mark Anderson. I'm sure he's an honest, upstanding guy, right??

Friday, February 11, 2011

House Hunters...marital bliss?

I don't know if it's because of my recent escapades in real estate or what, but I have become addicted to House Hunters on HGTV. I'm not sure what it is about it, maybe it's because they look at three houses, period, and then they have to choose. (Okay, also, I have a hunch that maybe they look at more than three houses, but only show three and have the people choose from those). I Think it's funny that nine out of ten times they pick the most expensive house. No matter how much over budget it is, they pick the expensive one. No matter how much better one of the cheaper ones might be, they pick the expensive one. It's weird.

I also find it disconcerting how many people can't see beyond the furniture that is already in the house (hint: the sellers are not leaving the furniture) or the paint colors (easily fixed). There are lots of things I wonder about as I watch this show.

BUT, I really want for their to be a follow up show...House Hunters Two Years see how many of these people are still married. You can tell the good, healthy marriages and the ones that are going to fall apart soon. You can see the look in the eyes of the wife whose husband is going on and on about how "finally I can have a 'man cave' all to myself" when they have five can see her imagining the police finding his body in the man cave a few years later, having mysteriously choked on a Lil Smokie. Or the husband whose wife bitches about how the kitchens all need "granite and newer appliances" when they are looking for a four bedroom Colonial in the DC suburbs and have a budget of $125,00.

My absolute favorites though are the House Hunters International episodes where they tell us, "Dave and Susan have been living in the same Midwestern town for their whole entire lives. Now they have three kids. Since Dave's work has been taking him back and forth to Dubai for the past several months, the family has decided to pick up and move there so that they can have more time together..." Then Dave and Susan look at three properties. A crappy two bedroom apartment with "a great view of the city," a more suburban type home with four bedrooms, a western kitchen and bathrooms as well as amenities in the community, and a ridiculously expensive high rise apartment in the heart of the city with "amazing" views of the building Dave works in. Now, you know that Susan, having packed up kids and life, really wants just a little bit of familiarity with this move, given the sacrifices she is making for Dave's career. But Dave insists that the high rise is "just really all he envisioned with living in this city." Uh huh. I'll bet you good money Susan and the kids are back in their Midwest hometown within 18 months. Dave's an ass.

I also like on the International version when we hear that "Jim and Diane have been married for 22 years and have two kids. They have decided that they would really like a vacation home in Tahiti so that the family can go there whenever they want." I believe this translates to "Jim got caught screwing around and this is his last ditch effort to keep Diane from invoking the full force of that prenup." Because, geez. Who buys a vacation house in Tahiti? It takes 18 hours minimum to fly there. Not exactly a weekend get-away. Haven't these people heard of Key West or even Costa Rica? No, Diane is making sure Jim feels as much pain as possible and thinks twice before he unzips his pants for anyone else.

I'm continually baffled by the people who pick the house right on the freeway just because it has a hot tub. Seriously, they sell hot tubs all over town. You could put a hot tub in the yard of that house close to the park. Or the lady whose only gripe about a house is that they laundry room is "practically in the kitchen." Jeepers! Put up a divider or a curtain or even a door! The rest of the house is great. THAT is your one gripe?

With all of that said, I wish I had had House Hunters when I was looking for a house. I really like this house we are in now, but it makes you wonder...and the relationship stuff doesn't even come into play. Huh....

Friday, February 04, 2011

Snowpocolypse** 2011: One Mom's Chronicle

Monday: Morning: What a nice day. I can't believe it's supposed to get cold again, dang it. I have a lot I want to get done this week. The weatherman always says that there's going to be all of this snow & ice, but then it's just cold and dreary. Ugh, I should probably get groceries anyway, just in case. We'll eat them one way or another. Afternoon: Can't believe they cancelled SugarPlum's basketball game because the weather might get bad. How bizarre. Those clouds DO look a little ominous though. And that wind is getting chilly. Oh, well, a free night with nothing to do! What a treat! Night: Huh, I think that is ICE coming from the sky. That's what it sounds like. Oh! And snow! Wow....I can't believe they actually called the night before to say that school is cancelled tomorrow. That's kind of awesome since I don't even have to get up and check in the morning!

Tuesday: Morning*ish*: What the hell is all that noise? Why are they boys up? Holy smokes it's 4:30 in the morning and they are up and watching TV?! I'm sending them back to bed. That's ridiculous. I'm not getting up at 4:30.... Still morning: I cannot believe how loud they are being. I can hear those boys all the way across the house! It's like they are right outside my bedroom window. ::stomps into boys' rooms to kill them scold them:: OH MY MAUDE! They are outside at 6:30am in the -23 wind chill screaming like banshees! Everyone to their rooms until I say you can come out!
Still morning: Bug wants to know if he can please eat some breakfast. FINE. Make yourself something to eat.
The rest of the day is kind of a blur. I talked about it here. Before I lost my ever-loving mind.

Wednesday: Morning: I put the boys to bed last night with strict instructions to NOT get up before 7:00 and that under no circumstances are they to go outside without express permission from me AFTER I am fully awake and have ingested caffeine. By the time I get up I'm pretty sure that they had been watching TV for at least 9 hours. As best I can tell, each one of them opened a new box of cereal and then didn't put their bowls in the sink.
I have no idea what time it actually is until I look at my phone because Texas is having "rolling blackouts" to compensate for the extra power being used due to the cold as well as the generators that have been lost...or they're just messing with us. The power has gone out more than once and the kids think it's pretty cool except that it totally screwed up their level on Wii Lego Star Wars. We all have to make sacrifices. I have decided to sacrifice doing laundry and vacuuming today so that my fellow Texans can have power. I'm selfless that way.
Afternoon: Kids want to go play outside. Which is fine with me. Bug puts on approximately 12 shirts (no exaggeration). He says that he is "Keeping the most special parts of my inside body warm & toasty." I'm not asking what that means. Those who can't find gloves opt to put socks on their hands. Whatever. At 4:00 Candyland ISD calls to announce that school is cancelled again tomorrow. This isn't fun anymore. Why didn't I go to the liquor store Monday when I had the chance? Actual Facebook post: Another damn day out of school. *ahem* What I MEANT to say was, "Yippee! Another 24 hours of quality time with my delightful and impeccably behaved children. What a blessing." Now, send vodka.
Evening: Kids have informed me that I have "mad pie skillz." Little brown nosers. They finished off the cherry pie and want me to make another. Which in reality, I totally would except that I am out of sugar. How did THAT happen? I also caved and did a couple of loads of laundry because I cannot get to my garage door if I don't. That seems like it might be a fire hazard. Turns out wearing 83 layers of clothes to go play in the snow creates one giant assload of laundry. Also, now I'm considering that a fire might not be a bad way to get rid of all this laundry. USAA doesn't read blogs, right?

Thursday: Morning: I have no idea what happened Thursday morning. I woke up at some point with a brain-splitting migraine and went back to sleep. All I have to say is my teenage daughter is one of the most amazing kids on the planet.
Afternoon: I tell SugarPlum that I am DETERMINED to get something accomplished around this house today. And I did. I totally redesigned the blog. Moments after the boys go to play out in the front yard, I see a figure pass in the yard that looks very much like one of our dogs...because it IS one of our dogs. CRAP. I find my snow boots (I find it quite remarkable that I have TWO pairs of snow boots here in Texas!, but I do) and start to chase her. (Incidentally the most exercise I have gotten in MONTHS) Bug corners her in a neighbor's yard and we finally manage to get her home. Snazzy is looking at us like "I don't see what the big deal is..." So, that was exciting.
*3:30* It's official, CLISD hates me. School is cancelled again tomorrow. It's like Mother Nature has put me under house arrest with a bunch of meth-addled monkeys. Even Bear has said that he is tired of snow days and that he is "homed out."
Evening: Trying to decide what to make for dinner and the kids ask if we could please have macaroni & cheese. Why, of course you can!! Also, Bear helps me make some brownies. (Which is always a good choice for meth-addled monkeys)
I have totally lost track of time now, what day is it? I let the boys stay up MUCH later than normal because the DVR is recording 2 shows at the same time and won't show the clock. Never noticed that before. While I put the boys to bed - which takes forever since they are "so tired they can't get ready for bed!" - SP reluctantly cleans the kitchen [points of clarification: reluctantly = bitching and complaining the whole. entire. time. and grumbling afterward; cleaning = gingerly swiping at some of the dishes that may be in the general vicinity of the sink with a scrubbing brush and then haphazardly tossing them toward the dishwasher].
After those two tasks are done (and I use the word "done" in its most loosely interpreted, general sense), SP and I watch American Idol together. She redeems herself somewhat by suggesting that one of the more horrifyingly bad contestants was "singing in the key of WTF." I love her.

Friday: Today has dawned (at the crack of 10) with Bear passing some very impressive level on Kirby's Epic Yarn (I don't know what that means. But he is very proud of himself). The child was supposed to be on week 2 of being grounded from all electronics, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Which means that I cracked by Tuesday afternoon. Ai Yi Yi.
Afternoon: SugarPlum has copped a bit of an attitude asking if I plan to go to the store today because she still needs snacks to take to the weekend youth retreat at church. Told her she wouldn't be going to the youth retreat if the kitchen didn't get cleaned. Still, I am so stir crazy, I have GOT to get away from these people. I assume that most of the grocery stores and especially Wal Mart are going to be insane today, so I went to Braums to get milk and also picked up some chips and sodas for Ms. Attitude to take with her. Because, who are we kidding? Kitchen or no kitchen, I have got to get that kid outa here before someone loses a limb. She may be the world's greatest teenager, but she's still a teenager. And I have been trapped in the house with her for four days now. SEE YA!
Evening: After taking SP to the church, we come home and the boys web-cam with their dad. Then they want to know what's for supper. And could we pleeeeeezze have those frozen pizzas? WHY YES YOU CAN. So, frozen pizzas, a couple of episodes of Psych from Netflix (we LOVE that show), and the boys are off to bed. Who knows what Saturday holds? Pray for SUN.

to be continued......

Saturday: Holy cow! It's in the 50's outside! So, why are these boys playing on the computer? The sun is shining! The snow is melting! You can see the sidewalks! I give them the choice to either go play outside or clean the house. Bug actually throws a big whiny fit about how he "just wants to read a book!" For realz. As if I generally forbid reading around here. Well, it's gonna be cold and nasty again tomorrow, so everyone can read then. Although, so help me if there is no school Monday I cannot be held responsible for the repercussions.

If those dogs don't stop whining, I may be tempted to "liberate" them from the backyard. And this time I'm not chasing them down. Same with the boys.

I have actually - finally - unpacked those two random boxes that have been sitting in my bathroom for two months. Wow...we've been in this house for two months! Have gone from a huge master bath with a dressing area, five cabinets, two medicine cabinets and four very big drawers to a bathroom with two (albeit decent sized) cabinets and two medium sized drawers. I know I am still very blessed with this house but I am having a hard time finding places for all this crap. Where did all these bottles of hair and body products come from and why did I move them?


I think I may have earned some computer time...

I might actually cook supper. Meatloaf sounds good. What is the world coming to?

To be continued more later......

GOOD NEWS! The boys have a friend next door. A little girl who's in the 3rd grade and used to go to the same school that the boys did last year. They are all playing together right now. BAD NEWS: This girl is one of the most annoying, whiny children I have ever had the privilege of knowing as a sub. And her father was legendary at said school for being a real jackhole. And now I live next door to him. Awesome.
I CAN'T DECIDE NEWS: Whiny girl only lives there on the weekends. She actually lives in Oklahoma now with her mom. Hmmmmm. So will Jackhole Dad be better or worse w/ daughter not being there? Will the boys and/or dogs aggravate him? We shall see.....

UPDATE**It has been brought to my attention that Aunt Becky has come up with an even better name than "Snowpocolypse" for this storm. On her blog, she has called it "SnOMG 2011" and I really like that even better. (And not just because it is much easier to type) (though that might play into it some) (or even a lot) (but still). I've grown weary of "Snowpocolypse" since that's what everyone seems to be calling it now. She also called it "The SnoTorious BIG." But since that's harder to type we'll stick with SnOMG. (Okay, fine. Are you happy now?)

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Alrighty then....

So, a new life, a new template. A new start. I am starting over. Starting life as a single mom & a grad student. So I decided I needed a new look around here, too.

Some of you know what I am talking about. You've either been around here long enough, you've read my archives, or you know me in real life. I'm not going to go into it again because I'm weary of it. And it doesn't matter. I'm starting over. I'm going to be me again.

The old Sugar Mommy template came from the wonderful and generous Genuine who offered to design a template for me as a thank you for being the wife of a military member who has defended our country. Well, soon, I won't be. And so, a fresh start.

I don't know how many times I've said it, but I want to try to write more often. I mean, I've set the bar pretty low lately, so it's not that much of a challenge. But I read my archives from 2005-2007 and I see that I managed to preserve so many memories. And since then, I've let many monumental and minor memories slip away. That makes me sad. I want to preserve the things that are happening now. I mean, they aren't as little and cute. But all three of the SugarBabies say and do the most amazing things. And it would be a shame to let them be forgotten.

Most days, I'm not bitter. I'm sad about the way things have turned out, but I have had an amazing life so far and I have an amazing life in front of me. So, things are changing around here. But they are staying the same too. So. If you're interested, stick around. If not, then move along. If you're new here, read some of my archives, I used to be chock full of the funny! And if you're just here to get dirt on me, well, I'm trying to clean up my language, so I'll just keep those thoughts to myself.

**I'm a little pissy that I can't get Echo to install. So for the time being, I have lost all of my comments. There was a time when my internet buddies got me through the most horrifying times of my life as well as the most joyful. I'm still working to fix that.

Dear Jack Frost, what did I ever do to YOU?

Tomorrow is day two of TEXAS! Snowpocolypse 2011.

Today the boys got up at 4:00. FOUR O'CLOCK IN THE F(&^*G MORNING. True story.

They went outside and proceeded to scream their bloody heads off at 6:30 in the f*^*(g morning. Way to make friends with the new neighbors, guys. Also, the wind chill was -23. No lie.

At 6:35, they were each banished to their respective rooms for two hours by a very cranky lady who may have been their's all such a blur.

At 8:35, Bug gingerly woke me to ask if he & Bear could please fix themselves some breakfast.

The rest of the day was filled with whining, complaining and pleas for more cookies. When the kids got tired of bringing me cookies, they asked to go back outside. Bug left all three (yes) of his winter coats at school, so he is wearing SugarPlum's old down parka from 3rd grade. Not pink, but DEFINITELY girly. Also, there aren't enough gloves for everyone since I threw out all of the mismatched ones in the last move, so it's getting a little cutthroat. AND Bear is wearing my snow boots since his are too small (and when did his feet get THAT BIG?). So SugarPlum is a little pissy until she finds the boots I bought last Christmas when we were at Candyland West (aka grandparent's house).

I made soup and a cherry pie for supper. Put the boys to bed on time and watched a movie with SP.

Since it never got above 16 degrees today, nothing melted and there is no school tomorrow. And I heard the weatherman say that this might not begin to melt until Friday. FRI.DAY. Folks, I didn't think to go to the liquor store before the storm hit. Something's gotta give. For the love of Frosty, let there be school on Thursday. Also, for everyone's sake, pray that those boys both sleep in. At least until 7:00. I'm a much better mommy after, say 9:30 or so.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Arrr arrrrr

(If you begin to feel offended by this post at any point, please see the note at the end.)

Due to the big (ish) move and the big changes and the slight bullying issue, my boys have been attending a private Christian school here in Candyland. It's ironic because I have spent the past eight years singing the praises of the Candyland Independent School District. Because honestly, the public schools here are fan-freakin-tastic. My kids have all been blessed with wonderful teachers almost every year and have learned so much. In fact, SugarPlum has remained at the junior high she's been attending since the sixth grade and next year she will go to one of the three fantastic high schools that CISD has to offer. (Heaven help me) Really, you can't go wrong when it comes to high schools here, especially.

But...(you knew that was coming, right?)

Bear needed a fresh start. A place where he felt safe and could count on some spiritual guidance as well as an almost zero tolerance for any kind of bullying. And Bug...well, my little Buggy is one smart kid. And he was getting bored and failing to see the point of doing the work at school last year. Oh, he was making good grades but he was also making his teacher (who was amazing) and his mommy insane. He really likes having attention. And since the State of Texas has mandated that there can be up to 22 students to a class in the lower grades, it makes it hard for a smart guy to get attention when the teacher is having to devote time to the kids who don't get it. It's not the teacher's fault. I've been in her shoes. 22 Kindergarteners. One me. Not good. So, in order to get attention, Bug was acting out and getting in trouble. More and more often. I feared for what second grade held for him.

I decided that, for these and a host of other reasons, my boys needed the guidance and supervision on a private, Christian school. They have really flourished there. They both love that they get to study the Bible and that they have chapel weekly. Bear comments often about how he has friends and how he doesn't feel so sad and picked on. Bug's teachers have recognized how smart he is and also how easily distracted and bored he can get. And since there are only ten (yes TEN) kids in each class, they are able to keep closer tabs on him and change their tactics with him to keep him challenged and engaged. I LOVE it.

Here's the thing. Since the classes are so small, they are able to do little plays and presentations that the parents are invited - nay, encouraged - to attend. These little things only last a few minutes, but they require a huge chunk out of my day to plan around them. They usually fall at just about the time I need to go pick up SugarPlum. Also? They are mind-numbingly boring.

Maybe it's because this is my third kid, but honestly, the ten minute vignette Willie the Walrus is something I feel like I can go the rest of my life without seeing. Just like the Johnny Appleseed "play" they did in the Fall. Problem? All the other mommies show up, video camera in hand, to see their little angels and Bug is left feeling like his mommy doesn't care. No, really, he said that. For reals. And so, I will trudge myself up there in the middle of a busy Wednesday afternoon, the day after MY school starts to watch Bug go "Arrr arrr" in his three second role as a sea lion (I KID YOU NOT). I will take care to be ON TIME this time because I was a few minutes late to the Johnny Appleseed play and they were already finished. So they performed it again. Just for me. Oh, yes they did. And all the other, good mommies looked at me with their "tsk tsk" faces the whole entire time. Which meant that I had to applaud like the entire Barrymore family had assembled to perform Macbeth for my sole benefit.

My only there any way that perhaps we could find a way to serve cocktails at these little theatrical events? Just a small cordial would really go a long way in helping motivate me to get there. A small glass of wine, a mini-martini....something? It doesn't have to be huge. Just enough to get me through the tedium. Just consider it, Candyland Christian School. I know I'm not the only mom who feels this way.

Also, the Family Night/Silent Auction? Would raise a LOT more money if you had an open bar. Just sayin.

***Please recognize how very tongue-in-cheek this post is. I LOVE seeing Bug and all the kids perform and wouldn't miss it for the world. I love and adore each and every teacher at CCS and wouldn't change one single thing about it.****

***Also, I am not advocating drinking at school events and would never, ever even consider drinking and driving my children anywhere. Or anyone. Or even just me. Oh, for crying out loud, you get what I am saying, right?!!***