Thursday, October 05, 2006
i spent three weeks on the road traveling for work.
three delicious weeks of room service, valet parking, having the remote all to myself, dinners out, dressing up, talking to adults all day, happy hour at the hotel bar...
tell me again why i came home?
ah yes, the three little rugrats i call mine.
(they're fine by the way)
what a mess they are. and what a rude awakening it was for me when i finished my trips and had to start staying home again. how did i do this? apparently i did. as i am doing it now.
yes, hubby, mother in law and baby sitter are all saints. They pulled the long shifts with the kids so i could get some work done away from home.
here's the funny thing - after the first few days gone, my mother in law (MIL) tells me how hubby is going to have to do this, that and the other different b/c he allows the kids to really get to him. "Yes 'Mam" i say.
After three weeks gone, MIL calls me to tell me that the in-laws (three different families) have agreed to take our kids - one per family - one weekend a month so hubby and I can catch a break. Yep, three weeks with my kids and she understands why the kids get to him.
I wanted to cry - almost did. Told her i felt like i had won the lottery.
This weekend is our first weekend. perhaps the last. but i am going to sleep late on Saturday. God help the person that calls and wakes me up Saturday morning. somebody better be dead or my house had better be burning down around me.
I have a picture for you. This is a Katrina Cross. Yes, as in Hurricane Katrina. Made by Sherri Anderson from china, glass and other debris from a Long Beach, MS neighborhood. My mom bought it for me. Part of the proceeds from the sale of these crosses is given to a mission in South Mississippi.
Please know - the rebuilding has barely begun in most coastal areas. The suffering and loss are still very raw.
and these are my people.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
you know why, right - there's no SCHOOL!
and hubby has new job that requires him to work on Saturdays.
so it's me against the three.
and today i had to run errands. Mall - new school shoes for both girls - at lunch time - had to eat where they could watch the ice skating rink. brother strapped into stroller. do NOT let him out since i lost him that time at Nordstrom's Rack. He doesn't like it but seems to understand and accept his fate.
and then WalMart. I effing HATE WalMart. but with the kids - i could make ONE stop and get everything i needed. which is immensely better than three or four stops. trust me on this.
and i have IBS (look it up). and it hit me about 7 minutes b/f we got to walmart. so here i am. having to find a parking place - in a 10 acre lot, get three small kids unbuckled, shepherded and not run over into the store without arguing or forgetting anyone and me to the bathroom before my guts erupted all over... well... everything. Thankfully we made it. to the bathroom. My kids wallered around on the floor in the bathroom at walmart waiting for my spell to pass. Yes, i hosed them off and sprayed them with Lysol when i got them home.
and then the shopping adventure began. before it was over, i had brother strapped into the buggy and both girls assigned to their own side of the cart. they were not to look at each other, talk to each other, think about each other or so much as utter a sound that the other one could hear. I don't think there are two creatures on this earth that can annoy and antagonize each other more effectively and completely than my two daughters. in fact, i think they enjoy watching my eyes roll all the way back in my head, steam come out my ears and the HUGE self restraint I must exhibit in public when i don't beat the living S.H.I.T out of them for fear some do-gooder will call CPS on my arse.
I tell ya what, there are days when i'd PAY CPS to take these precious little darlings off my hands. they'd bring them right back in less than 12 hours. i am certain.
and you know - i was thinking today - if you hadn't always read my blog and didn't have a clue as to the type of Mom I really am and how i bend over backwards for my kids and this is just a phase - whereby they are driving me batty - one might wonder why i even had kids to be begin with...
So i thought I should come up with a list of why i had kids to begin with.
1. to prove i could do it. yep, wanted to make sure the female body was in working order as explained to me in BIO 101. it is. of course this does NOT explain why i had to prove it THREE times.
2. to have someone to take care of me in my old age. and i now know there's no chance in hell that any of these little rug rats will do that.
3. to appease my mother
4. to please my father
5. because i have always ALWAYS been the 'Mother Hen' of all my friends and it felt like a natural progression to have my own baby chicks.
6. i LOVE Pottery Barn Kids
7. because i LOVED weighing 700 pounds and not being able to sleep for 3 months straight. no. wait. that's why i didn't want to have kids. scratch that.
8. so i could dress them in all those cutesy little pink and blue outfits with the matching hats, bibs, socks and blankets. OMG are those little sets darling. Have a baby - invite me to your shower - you will get a matching set guaranteed.
9. to have someone to boss around. we all know what a control freak i am. how much more fun could you have - as a CF - than to be in control of three little lives.
and the top 10 reason why I had kids....
10. to produce and endless supply of wonder, excitement, love, challenge, sloppy kisses, neck hugs, squeezes (with grunts), mud pies, weed flower bouquets, boo boos to doctor, eyes to wipe, hearts to mend, lessons to teach, lesson to be learned, shoes to tie, clothes to wash, diapers to change, books to read, nights to worry and more joy than i even knew was possible in one person's heart. mine.
my girls are at the stage where they ask me if i love them. i tell them i love them more than i ever knew i could love a living creature.
my son is at the stage where he walks up to me unannounced and says "i wuv you."
i respond by asking him - "oh son, would you like the sun, the moon or the stars? oh here, darling - just have them all ."
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
this week has been so utterly delicious with my girls back in school - 'cept for the part where they come home in the afternoons - oh, and the part where i have to get up at 5:45AM to get the little darlings dressed, fed, brushed and lunches packed - it has been so wonderful and my sanity is so close to returning - i am thinking boarding school might be the answer to all that ails me.
did you know that kindergarten has HOMEWORK? oh yes they do! OMG!
i'm only kidding about the boarding school. okay, i'm only half way kidding. alright, alright, i googled "boarding school austria" earlier today. they are not accepting precocious five year olds at the moment but i put her on the waiting list. oh, yes i did.
on a serious note, i met with sam's principal and teacher today. she is doing "fine" and i have been instructed to "quit worrying." okay. i'll try. but you'd make more progress converting billy graham to catholicism than to stop me from worrying. WHAT?! it's the truth. i am a mother. i worry. it's what we do.
and about my son. my perfect, precious son - the one who walks aroung 24/7 with his hand down the front of his diaper...
Yesterday i get him up from his nap. he is soaking wet. too much output for the diaper device.
so i say to him jokingly "SON! SOMEONE peed in your diaper!" he grins.
"Who peed in your diaper?!?" i ask.
His response - "Someone."
he's two - did i mention that? and perfect.
See for yourself ====>>>>>>
i guess i am back. school is in. life is good. i hate homework as much now as i did when i was the student. at least NOW i can threaten to write the teacher a note and tell her that daughter would not willingly participate in the homework process. THAT gets their attention.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
My girls were out of SCHOOL. Duh, t_cole...
So now they are back in school. Life is good...
for those of you who are more 'visual' - the following kinda sums up my life for the past three months...
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
I have spent much of the past 6 years mourning the loss of my anticipated perfection. MY loss and HER loss of normalcy. And we are so far away from worst case scenario with our daughter. Nowhere near worst case possibilities. But still, there is that acute awareness of loss and grief that sometimes sneaks up on me. When I am washing dishes. Putting her to bed. Folding clothes. I wonder – “what would my life – my family - be like if all three of my kids were ‘typical’ kids”
Sam is 7. we knew at two years of age there was a speech delay - apraxia. At about 5 years, we learned there was ADHD and Dyslexia. And we knew, still yet, there was something else. Something yet to be determined. And in April of this year, we learned that the unknown does have a name. Thy name is bipolar disorder. Once called manic depressive. I am not getting into the nitty gritty of the disease. If you read blogs – you know how to Google.
We have friends, some family even, that think the diagnosis is bunk. That she is just a high maintenance child. These people have not witnessed one of her rages – which are typical of bipolar children. We had one this past weekend that rocked our world. It took me and hubby to physically restrain her. My dear friend from Miss. was here visiting – she’s an ER nurse. She says to me in the middle of this rage – “tcole, she is psychotic”
Ever had a medical professional say that to you about your child? No, I didn’t think so.
Long miserable story short – we now have her in intensive outpatient treatment. We have changed her meds – for the second time since April. she is being tested - psychological testing stuff.
me. (it's always about me, remember) i am exhausted. mentally, physically, spiritually. i can't say i am defeated, because I AM NOT. but i do feel like i have been beat with a baseball bat about the head for a week or two. prolly look like it too and DO NOT even care.
for those of you requesting i return to blogging - you may wish you had kept your mouths shut. i don't have a lot of fun stuff to share right now.
my life has been an emotional battleground for the past four months with my family as the casualties.
but on the upside, about the title of this post - which does make me smile, btw...
last night, i overheard my hubby say this to out middle daughter. "Honey, put down the gun and clean your room." I stopped in my tracks. did not breath. what an absurd thing to say to a five year old, i thought to myself. and then i remembered, she was playing with her brother's water pistol.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
26 years later....
and the little girl in me remembers telling him good bye in my parents' kitchen and wondering when or if i would ever see him again. thinking then, even as child, that i likely would not.
and last week - there we stood in the exact same kitchen - with our spouses, my children and it was so overwhelming emotionally i thought i might suffocate. yes, the little girl in me still has a great deal of puppy love for the little boy in him.
and now - as a grown woman relating to a grown man, i adore him. i respect him. i admire the hell out of him. i love him as one life-long friend loves another. (and i find it very hard right at this moment in time to write about this without tearing up.)
it was an amazing reunion on so many levels.
when we pulled up to my parents house last week, he and his wife were already there. my childhood sweetheart (CS) was in the front yard with my daddy. i could see his face. tense. taunt. nervous. anxious.
i did not assume this was about seeing me - but from being back in the place where the abuse of his childhood began. of breathing the same air. standing on the same soil, again. i hugged his lovely wife. my mom and dad and then worked over to him. he was so serious. "hi t_cole" and then BAM - the biggest, bestest bear hug i've had in a long, long time.
i knew he wanted to be there. i knew he had been so HUGELY excited about making the trip. but i also knew how hard it would be for him. i just wanted to be there for him as he made this emotional journey. to support and buoy him. it was a vacation but it was also therapy - for ALL of us. i was really anxious myself - about how to accomplish this - be there for CS - while at the same time not allowing an environment that would make my hubby or his wife (CSW) uncomfortable.
i did not wish to distance myself from my hubby nor did i wish to impose myself between CS and CSW. i expected a challenge in accomplishing this goal. no such challenge ever surfaced. the relationship that evolved between the two couples was nothing less than wonderful.
at the end of the week, my hubby paid CSW the highest compliment ever. i asked him if he had enjoyed spending time with them. i got a quick 'yes' answer. he said "i really liked CSW - she's like a Canadian t_cole." not a nicer thing could have been spoken...
his wife and i hit it off HUGELY. the more we talked and laughed and got to know each other, the more we found we had in common. the more i loved her. and appreciated her. if she's like me - then i LOVE being like her!
by the end of the week, when it was time for them to leave - i could hardly speak. i couldn't even say good bye when we hugged. but a noticeable transformation had taken place in CS. he was no longer tense and anxious. he was relaxed. calm. peaceful, even.
it was a good trip. a good week. a once in a life time experience.
KC told me recently that i appear to have led a charmed life. i have reflected on her comment a great deal over several weeks. and while there have been times i would contradict her assertion, the evidence is just too overwhelming.
me. my life. charmed, indeed.
post note - i have tried three different times today to add pictures to this post with no success...
Monday, August 07, 2006
that and i have gotten some emails from friends and family wanting to know if i am okay and where the #(*&$@^! are the pictures i promised in my last entry.
so diary, i just want you to know that i am okay. not great. not bad. but pretty okay. i think the post-vacation-let-down from my phenom trip with my friends from canada was greater than i expected. i think having the kids home all summer has about pushed me over the brink into the abyss of insanity from whence there is no return.
we have worked with sam's meds all summer and still have not got them right.
my journey in life continues. i WILL get pictures out here this week. i swear on what's left of my right mind.
i do have stories to tell. incidents to share. for example - my two year old son said just this week - for the first time ever - "I WUV YOU MOMMY!" talk about melt. oh my.
the kids go back to school soon. praise the lord.
and i will be back.
i miss you too
Friday, July 07, 2006
i must say thank you to nowhere girl for suggesting i send my blog entry to my childhood sweetheart. we (him, his wife, my hubby and our family) have just spent the most wonderful week together.
i have so much to write about. so much to tell you. but i want to run it all through my mind again. to savor it. digest it.
so stay tuned. stories and pictures to follow....
Thursday, June 22, 2006
her husband, my band director, is retiring next week.
and for the record - so that everyone gets this straight - i was his favorite. not only was i a band geek and damn proud of it - i was the teacher's (band director's) pet. oh yes i was. he's reading this shaking his head back and forth - and to that i say - WAS TOO!
i wanted to be in band in the worst way from the time i was in elementary school and i watched them march into the football stadium before the friday night games. eyes straight ahead, no smiles, all serious - the cadence pounding in my head. i wanted to be a part of that. wanted it something awful.
and i got it. and more. i got the bestest, coolest, funniest, most talented band director i could have ever imagined. i LOVED this man. i would say i worshipped him but don't want it to go to his head. and his ego is such that it does not need inflating. now or then. he is/was so talented. we seldom had 'bought' music - he wrote all our stuff. he'd hear a song he liked (cool stuff like Styx and David Lee Roth) and write the parts for every instrument in the band. seriously. if you don't know anything about music - that's kinda a big deal. and drill - good gawd - one of his band buddies would write our drill - i was told he used to write for Drum Corp International (DCI) and i believe it. we NEVER stood still - not during the entire show. he had our butts marching up, down and around that dad gum field.
and we never once lost a half time show. in the four years i marched for him - we outplayed and out marched every single band we came up against. if you think the only competition at a football game is between the football players - you are sadly mistaken. we took our half-time competition very seriously.
he was a task master - and we were devoted to him. he worked us harder and longer than we thought possible. and we wanted to. he was so good at getting the very best out of us. and we wanted to give it our best. for him. we'd rather break a leg than disappoint him.
he was/is a horrible prankster. each year, he'd select two freshman - on an average school day - 5th period - band and take them aside and send them off on a task. separately. when they were gone - he'd explain to us that they had gone in search of the paper stretcher.
that the paper he had received from the vendor was not long enough and that he needed to stretch it. the rest of the staff on campus was in on the gig too. so these two students went for class to office and teacher to teacher throughout the period looking for the paper stretcher. each teacher had to sign their hall pass. the student who came back with the most signatures was the 'winner.'
i knew he loved me most when i came home at the end of one summer for band camp. i spent the summers working in atlanta at six flags over georgia and would come home for band camp.
so one time, at band camp ...
actually before camp started - i was driving home - in my neighborhood - did i mention that he lived two houses up from my folks? so driving home and there is this hand painted sign tied to two huge trees - had to be 20 feet above the road - and it read
"GO BACK t_COLE!"
i laughed till i cried. i knew he loved me best then.
to this day, i still have dreams about being out there on that field and marching to a stadium full of hometown fans. of course in my dreams i am usually nekkid or have forgotten my drill - some nightmare like that.
but here's my point - being in band - being a band geek - learning all i did from HIM all those many years ago is STILL and will ALWAYS be a huge part of me and who i am.
i asked his wife once if he had any idea of what an impact he had on young lives? did he know what a difference he has made to hundreds - thousands - of kids over the years. i don't recall her exact response word for word but the basic answer was "No."
so here's my retirement note to Mr. Sprinkell -
being in band - in YOUR band - was one of the absolute very best experiences of my entire life. beyond learning there are 8 steps to 5 yards, how to play an instrument and march in 105 degree heat, that sweating and sunburns will not kill me, that i cannot chew gum and walk in your presence and even though i am your favorite - you will yell at me and give me the hairy eyeball to keep me in line - beyond all that - you taught me - you taught all of us - about determination, PRIDE, discipline, hardwork as well as to value talent and how to develop skill.
you pushed us harder than most of us had ever been pushed before in our tender young lives. your expectations for us were beyond our own and constantly drove us to excel. we played difficult music, marched the most intricate drills, practiced longer and harder than most of us had ever worked on ANYTHING - EVER.
and we wanted to - for YOU! sometimes we loved you. sometimes we hated you. but we always respected you and strove to give it (you) our very best when between the end zones.
and when we marched off the field at the end of a show - you always had your poker face on. you didn't want the crowd - or us even - to know your reaction to our performance. but over the years i came to recognize this sparkle in the corner of your eye when we had done good. don't know if everyone else picked up on - they likely did - but even you couldn't completely contain it when your band had pulled off a stellar performance.
and i know you well enough to know that you are wearing your poker face now. marching off the field for the last time. into retirement. and you should know - i can see that sparkle in the corner of your eye - all the way out here.
i love worship and adore you.
i am grateful to you.
i am thankful for you.
i wish you all the very best in the next chapter of your life.
love and hugs,
your favorite - Me
Friday, June 16, 2006
have worked like a dog at work - but no demos and no travel - so not too stressful.
hubby had a birthday. cooked birthday dinner.
but I GOT THE PRESENT.
hubby works for a luxury auto dealership in a burb of Dallas. his dealership is in the process of renovating the service drive. it is huge. they had laid PAVESTONE on the entire drive. didn't meet standards of some sort. told them to RIP IT UP. t_cole got two extended bed pickup truck loads of pavestones this week. FREE! can you say NEW PATIO??? patio, landscaping, fountain, arbor - i am just about to die happy.
i am feeling the love, people.
ok, so he got a oklahoma joe's smoker for Father's Day and a new mountain bike for his birthday - he didn't rate too poorly either.
oh, and he got me a reversible lined Lexus windbreaker with his points from work. It is this gorgeous charcoal brown on the outside and Pissy - get this - PINK on the inside. too bad it's like 125 degrees here - cause i rock in that jacket.
finally - why am i high as a kite???? as if that's not enuf...
two weeks from right now i will be sitting in Mississippi with my childhood boyfriend and his wife. i spent like an hour on the phone with HER tonight. OMIGAWD - i like her so much. I cannot wait till they get here. i promise stories - at least the ones that are fit to print and pictures - but not the ones of me in a swimsuit - are you mad?
but i feel like a kid in a candy store. the anticipation. the excitement. the sugar overload - yep that's me.
high as a stink'n KITE i tell ya...
Thursday, June 08, 2006
and before i start getting hate mail from baltimore supporters, let me say this - i am sure baltimore is a perfectly nice city. it simply was not the right place for me between October 1992 and April 1993.
and it was mutual.
i did not like baltimore.
baltimore did not like me.
i got to baltimore because of a man.
a man i had met in vail.
a man I thought i was in love with and could not live without.
apparently i was wrong.
he lived in NY.
the company i worked for was transferring me and i had a choice of destinations - so i picked the east coast to be closer to him.
huge life altering mistake.
in the seven months i suffered in baltimore, i saw him once.
while in baltimore, i held two jobs. one with the company that transferred me cross country and another waiting tables at an olive garden in columbia, md. the second job, i enjoyed. the first, not so much.
anyway, on Easter Sunday of 1993, i put my back to that city on the Chesapeake Bay and drove away.
never, ever to return.
but return i did. this week. for my current work.
and it weren't so bad. a few brief stomach turning moments, but i survived...
work was great. demo went beautifully.
had some FABULOUS seafood. soft shell crab, lump crabmeat et al.
so wednesday morning we (my coworker and i) show up at the customer site. meet their team. as usual - very nice, capable, talented people. the young woman in charge of the team is familiar to me. that's pretty common - as i have met so many customers over the years. so i try to place her. ask if she went to our conference in vegas last month. no. has she ever been in any of my classes? no.
hmmm. i am imagining things. oh well.
back to business. we dial up the office in the UK and start the presentation. goes well. really well. so we invite their team out to lunch afterwards. we decided to head down to the Inner harbor for some seafood.
in the car on the way down, their team leader asks if this is our first visit to baltimore. i wasn't really going to volunteer that i had spent 7 hellish months in their lovely city but before i could compose my response, my coworker volunteered that i had actually lived in baltimore once.
i said yes, i lived here, briefly. before moving back home to mississippi.
and this is where it gets good...
so this young woman i had been working with all day - the lead on their team - says to me, "i knew a t_cole once that moved to mississippi. we waited tables together."
"at the olive garden" i almost screamed.
"YES!!!" in unison!
Holy Crap! of all the people in all the buildings in all of downtown baltimore my customer's team lead ends up being someone i waited tables and partied with 13 years earlier?
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES PEOPLE?????!!!!!!!
Monday, June 05, 2006
i have proof...
saturday. shopping at Nordstrom's Rack. (the mother ship calls me home when i get too close)
leaving dressing room. have Sam and Smith with me. Smith expresses that he'd like to make his own path and not go with me. i say "fine - you stay here. but momma is leaving."
sam thinks i am really leaving him and proceeds to start tantrum. and lest you have forgotten - she is a professional tantrum thrower. like nothing most people have ever seen with their own eyes.
i turn to her and make an attempt to divert tantrum - usually a lost cause. i keep one eye on smith - still moving away from me.
i look at her. i turn to smith. i see him run the other way. i tell her to freeze - i am going to get brother. when i get to the aisle he went down - six steps away - he is nowhere to be seen.
so i start calling his name. nothing
i call a bit louder. still nothing.
sam is melting. i cannot tend her till i find smith.
the store is jam packed crowded with saturday shoppers. looking at me.
my heart is pounding in my ears. i am suddenly high on pure un-cut adrenaline. i am sweating.
i glance to the front door. i have full view of the back door. the thought goes through my mind that someone could be leaving right now with my precious son.
stay calm. do not panic. i tell myself.
i turn up the search a notch. i start saying loudly - though not yelling - "I AM LOOKING FOR A LITTLE BOY. HE IS TWO. HAS CURLY HAIR AND IS WEARING A GRAY T-SHIRT"
i love being the center of attention - always have. until this exact moment in time.
so i plant sam - with her hand on the buggy - in the exact spot i saw him last and i tell her NOT TO MOVE - that brother might come back here. i start to the far side of the store - where we went first when we came in. i am repeating myself, louder still.
"I AM LOOKING FOR A LITTLE BOY. HE IS TWO. HAS CURLY HAIR AND IS WEARING A GRAY T-SHIRT"
people are looking under racks. staring at me. giving me the "Bad Mother" look.
as i turn the corner to the FAR SIDE of the store i see him. a woman is walking toward me - holding his hand. his tear-filled, red-rimmed eyes match mine exactly. he runs into my arms. i inhale him and smother him with kisses as i thank the woman profusely and start running back to sam.
sam, of course, has moved. but not far. she sees me and runs to me. into me. nearly knocks me over. clings on for dear life - to me and brother. we are all trembling. sweating.
i pay for my items and leave as fast as humanly possible.
i am in my room - working.
sam is in the den watching tv.
we are at opposite ends of the house.
she comes to my room and tells me there is someone here.
i take my time getting up and going to the door. i expect to find the AC guy outside still getting his equipment out of his truck.
but when i get to the den, the front door is WIDE open and there is a young man standing on my front porch. selling some sort of summer eductional material for kids.
i tell him i am not interested.
he is undeterred.
my southern upbringing does not allow me to shut the door in his face.
i tell him my daughter's tuition for the fall is $15K and that leaves nothing in our budget for summer materials (much less food).
i finally get rid of him.
i shut the door.
turn to sam
and proceed with
DO NOT EVER OPEN THE DOOR TO THIS HOUSE WHEN SOMEONE KNOCKS ON IT UNLESS I AM STANDING RIGHT HERE! WHAT IF HE HAD GRABBED YOU AND TAKEN YOU AWAY???
i continued with horror stories about how mommy would not even have known she was gone. that i would have thought she ran away. i ranted until i could not breathe.
and then i realize - i am a complete failure as a mom when it comes to keeping my kids safe.
told you i had proof...
Friday, June 02, 2006
so taking away - and finding it to be a delicious read - is a true guilty pleasure.
my choice - The Secret Life of Bees.
and the following passage really struck a chord. so much so that i have gone back and re-read it every day since i got home.
"Have you ever noticed the more you try not to think, the more elaborate your thinking episodes get? While trying not to think, I spent twenty minutes on this fascinating question: if you could have one miracle from the Bible happen to you, what would it be? I eliminated the one about multiplying loaves and fishes, as I never wanted to see food again. I thought walking on water would be interesting, but what good was that? I mean, you walk on water, what's the point? I settled on getting raised from the dead, since a big part of me still felt dead as a doornail."
this from the central character in the story, 14 year old Lily.
and me - what miracle would i choose? as you've prolly guessed, i'd have to agree with Lily - i too feel dead as a doornail.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
since i got back home from LAS VEGAS!
spent saturday to friday of last week there.
tuesday to friday - WORK
saturday to tuesday - PLAY
and you know how they say - What Happens in Vegas - STAYS in Vegas?
not necessarily so.
here's the low down...
walked the strip till i thought my feet would rot off - CHECK!
ate Sushi - TWICE - CHECK!
got a Henna tattoo - CHECK!
danced with some drunk guy after he bought me a drink - CHECK!
gave girlfriends the "we gotta leave here NOW!" look after dancing with drunk guy - CHECK!
slept late - DOUBLE CHECK!
dressed up, went to dinner at Michael Mina's at the Bellagio before going to see "O" by Cirque Du Soleil - CHECK!
Saw Folies Bergere* at the Tropicana - CHECK!
* this is one of those traditional Las Vegas Show Girl Shows. you know the ones, beautiful topless dancers with lots of feathers, diamonds and such. a group of seven of us went. problem was - i was too vain to wear my glasses and too lazy to pop in my contacts so i had to keep asking my girlfriend - IS SHE NEKKID YET? From where i sat and what i could see, it was the itty bitty titty committee up there. and my friends/co-workers may never go out in public with me again...
Had my purse stolen - CHECK!
Got my purse back - less $100 CASH - CHECK!
smoked my first cigarette in 8+ years as a result. Remembered immediately why i quit smoking - CHECK!
went shopping at Nordstroms for a new bra and to my amazement they had 100 different varieties and colors in MY size. a size that they have to special order in Dallas. the sales lady said they sell a lot of this size in VEGAS. i said "maybe so, but i was born with mine" she smiled and winked. new black bra - CHECK!
saw this comedian - Richard Jenni - he did a private engagement at our conference. talk about being at the right place at the right time. was chatting up the new ceo of my company after the show and the conference coordinator comes and invites him (the ceo) backstage to meet Mr. Jenni. CEO is WAY cool and takes the 4 of us - standing there talking backstage with him. Mr. Jenni was really great - quite concerned that he had delivered the kind of show we (my company) were looking for. i am such a groupie. we should just be glad it was not jon bon jovi. i'd have been fired on the spot. retained my cool when meeting celeb du jour - CHECK!
danced on roof top bar of casino. 51 floors above the lights of vegas. OUTSIDE dance floor. i cannot even begin to tell you how surreal this was. i have the best job. the greatest co-workers and when we work - we work hard. and when we play - we play just as hard. danced with ken doll cute new Sr. VP of my division and did not embarrass myself - CHECK!
so i am back home now. via a short trip to atlanta on saturday for a few high school graduations. another story. another day. in the mean time - congrats and love to my nephew Brandon and my niece Danielle! Class of 2006 ROCKS!
sorry to be gone so long. 60 plus hour weeks for the past 3 weeks. but it's been worth the work. i love my work, my customers, my coworkers, the whole gig is really pretty sweet. now if i could just get them to pay me what i'm worth...
and there's that song again...
back to life. back to reality...
Friday, May 12, 2006
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
and for the record - i did NOT name this cat. i named the dog. Dixie. a perfectly appropriate name for a well bred southern dog.
so she had these babies - nitro cat, not dixie dog - maybe a month ago. we did not 'see' them this time. just could tell she was no longer prego. and she's gotten better at hiding them since the last batch. a month goes by. momma cat eats enough to feed a small nation of she-cats and still no sign of baby cats.
until this past weekend. hubby is cleaning out the barn. time to corn feed the steer. if you don't know what that means - let me put it to you this way...
we will corn feed cheeseburger (i didn't name the cow either) for 30 - 45 days while he resides in a stall in our barn. and then after some 'adjustments,' cheeseburger will reside in my deep freeze.
so, cleaning out barn. discovers litter of four kittens.
now momma cat is a calico of sorts. two kittens are yellow - like the big yellow testosteroney he-cat next door. two kittens are black - like the big black testosteroney he-cat next door. four kittens. one can assume two daddies. HARLOT.
i come home from my meeting sunday evening and kittens and nitro cat are in a big cardboard box on my back porch. i am all but certain i made it clear to all involved to "leave the kittens where you find them." and i AM certain they did not find them in a box on my back porch.
so much for my authority around here.
sam is allergic cats. her eyes are all but swollen shut when i see her next. lovely. so much for the effectiveness of weekly allergy shots and professional massages of her sinuses.
i forbid her to touch, smell or look at the kittens ever again. as if that will do any good.
savvy on the other hand - my child that is allergic only to cheap jewelry - is all over the kittens. from the minute she wakes up till the moment she is drug off to bed. they are named and she has planned out each of their little cat lives for them.
and this morning - while we were eating breakfast - i made pancakes - nitro cat took off with one of her babies. or so we thought.
found it later behind the rake on the back porch. poor baby. i hoped nitro cat had taken the hint and moved her babies back the barn.
at least then someone, albeit the cat, would be listening to me...
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
my five year old daughter told me today that butterfly wings are symmetrical when they are the same.
and this is not the only BIG word in her vocabulary she uses appropriately - in fact appropriate is one of her frequently used words. consequences is another she understands and can utilize in daily conversation.
and she's such a girly girl - not a nerdy nerd (not that there's anything wrong with that).
methinks i have my hands full now and a life of challenge on the horizon.
the only saving grace - in my mind - is what a wonderful combination - beauty AND brains.
the boys won't even see it coming...
all smiles flashing, eyelashes batting and curls bouncing and then BAM!
she spits out the equation necessary to determine the exact flow of nitrous oxide on their ride to hit 60 mph in 3.97 seconds.
they will all fall hopelessly in love and not even know what hit them.
of course - unless one of them is a crown prince - they stand no shot whatsoever...
Sorry for all the shameless mother babble - she just blew me over when she said "symmetrical" this morning. my mind ran away with me...
Monday, May 01, 2006
there is a cricket in my house.
it kept me up all FREAKING night long with it's incessant chirping.
"pretend you are camping" hubby tells me.
i don't like camping - they don't have room service.
every single time i put my foot on the floor to go locate the SOB - he/she/it SHUTS UP.
when i find he/she/it,
he/she/it will be Dead Dead Dead!!!
have i made myself clear?!
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
grandma had a unwavering devotion to her family. ALL of her family. i have said it before - she helped raise several nieces and nephews - in addition to my dad and his brother. we had a family christmas party/reunion every year when i was growing up at her brother's home - their parent's 'home place.' we called it The Brown Christmas Tree - as her maiden name was Brown. so her siblings got together. their kids and their kid's kids. and so on and so forth.
and thanks to this annual holiday celebration, i got to know cousins i might never have otherwise even met. kooky, crazy cousins i could deny genealogy with in front of a crowd with a straight face. other kooky, crazy cousins i wouldn't trade for nothing. my cousins. my generation. our parents were first cousins. our grandmothers were sisters. our great grandparents - the same.
one group of cousins escaped up to north mississippi. my dad's first cousins. a certifiable bunch - if you know what i mean. attorneys, a judge, tenured college professors. i've always thought of them as the crazy north mississippi family branch. i have never ever wanted to know how they thought of my family down south. their kids - my age and a bit younger. okay - some a lot younger...
over the years, i kept up with them through my dad. through christmas cards and letters to my grandma. a few college football game tail-gating parties (State Sucks!) and now - through my own christmas cards and the beauty of technology - email and blogs.
i have always thought of this group of cousins as gorgeous, educated, talented, athletic, poised and a butt-load of fun. OMG! are they fun! and did i mention mischievous? you can count on there always being something (probably a bottle rocket) up at least one or two sleeves!!!!!
i remember sitting with one of my dad's first cousins at my grandmother's wake - me 10 1/2 months pregnant (big as the side of the barn) and him telling me dirty jokes. no kidding. and me laughing so dang hard it's a wonder i didn't pop that boy out right there on the parlor floor. we got several dirty looks from others in attendance. but had my grandmother been sitting with us, she would have been carrying on too!
i wish so desperately i could tell you their names - they are notorious in their parts. it has been so fun for me through the years when i meet people from north mississippi. the conversation always went something like this...
ME: "i have some family up in North Mississippi. you might know them."
THEM: "really? who?" (them thinking "yeah, right - like i know everyone in itawamba county, mississippi")
ME: "Do you know the Hatcoys*?"
THEM: EVERY SINGLE TIME - "uh, yeah - i know OF them."
i don't recall a single person ever claiming to actually KNOW them. but EVERYONE knew OF them.
i don't know why - but that was always so much fun for me...
* names changed to protect the guilty...
there is a point to this story. one of these young, beautiful, intelligent, athletic and mischievous cousins is in a bit of a fix. you see, she is a marine lance corporal, 2nd intel bn. injured in iraq last month - a week before she was scheduled to return state-side. she is now in the hospital in bethesda.
it was some sort of vehicular accident - i don't have the details. don't really need them. all i need to know and care to tell you is that my kin - my family - my blood - this young woman serving her country - MY COUNTRY - is injured and is fighting a very serious battle for her recovery.
and i do not doubt for a second she will recover. i know she will. i do not waiver in my faith of the eventual outcome. i am, however, concerned for her well being and the stress and strain she is under. i detest that she is in so much pain. i fret a bit about the virulent bacteria that is running it's evil course through her already ravaged body - i confess this. but i am not the least bit worried as i KNOW she will come through this with flying colors. and make no mistake - those flying colors are RED WHITE &BLUE.
the family calls her JR. she will be 27 in October. and while i haven't spent time with her since we were kids - she's one of the ones we heard a lot about down our way. she played HIGH SCHOOL football. with the boys. she was the punter. and tough as nails.
her sister, AR, has kept us updated on her progress via emails. and in these emails, she has regaled us with stories of JR when they were growing up. 'it's never dull' seems to be a theme in the Brown family blood line - let's just say that.
while this is not my story, it is my family. JR is not out of the woods. she is still struggling. the following excerpt is from an email her sister sent me earlier this week.
"JR has a resistant form of bacteria, called VRE. This bacteria is naturally found in the body but when you've been on antibiotics for so long the bacteria becomes resistant. One in three infections in the Intensive Care Units are caused by VRE. This is sorta common, and is easily treated. BUT, the results of the VRE is lots of vomiting and diarrhea. Poor JR is having it all, plus she had a new drain tube put in through her ribs.
JR is in a lot of pain. In order for the doctors to ease this for her, the pain meds knock her out. She thinks that is good thing, but then she does not eat or get up and move around. Eating and moving help build up her strength. So the doctors do not want her to sleep all the time. The pain specialist wants to place an epidural on her right side (liver side) to help give JR some pain relief. This way she will be awake and not in pain.
I was able to talk to JR for few minutes on Thursday night. She is worn out from all the pain, nausea, vomiting and more pain. The phrase "Sick and tired of being sick and tired," is how I would put her attitude. I just keep reassuring her that she is going to be just fine and out of the hospital soon. She is miserable in that hospital room. Like an animal in a cage, she just wants out.
JR's pneumonia is getting better, but she is still on supplemental oxygen. Since she has the VRE, everyone who enters her room has to wear sterile gown and gloves.
The 24th will be a month that JR has been at Bethesda."
regardless of your political beliefs (and mine) - our young (and not so young) people are serving, fighting, sustaining injuries - some dying. but thankfully most, like JR, are on the road to recovery.
and she will eventually read this entry - or so i am told.
i want her to know how button-popping proud i am to call her family.
then, now and always.
JR's aunt bill (what all the nieces and nephews called my Grandma) taught us all the importance of family. and aunt bill would be busting at the seams with pride over JR's service to her country. i know i am.
so now i ask you to send her your best. tell her - with your words and your sentiments - how thankful Americans are for people like her. how folks on the world wide web she doesn't even know are pulling for her to get better.
but let me caution you now - when she does recuperate - and is back to herself - steer clear. there ain't no telling what that girl will be up to...
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
my last post - about my sweet, precious FIVE YEAR OLD daughter savvy. a few tongue in cheek tales of our recent experiences together. a semi-sweet recollection of her personality in action.
so i read it to her yesterday after school. she was slightly amused.
i read her the comments. especially the one from Buddha Girl's Lil Sis - the one about knowing a real life prince in Virginia. bad idea. very, VERY bad idea. we have created a monster. every word out of her mouth since has been about marrying a real life prince.
SHE: what's his name?
SHE: the prince in virginia?
ME: oh. his name is prince.
SHE: no, what's his real name - like eric or adam?
ME: i don't know - i will ask.
SHE: go ask your blog.
ME: yes, i will do that.
(NOTE to lil sis - make up a name - ANY NAME!)
SHE: i don't want to wait till i grow up to get married.
ME: you have to wait. you don't know how to cook.
-- realization sets in. SOBBING (albeit pretend) --
SHE: I DON'T KNOW HOW TO COOK!
-- ah ha moment --
SHE: i'll cook us peanut butter and jelly!
ME: you cannot feed a prince peanut butter and jelly all the time.
SHE: will you teach me how to cook?
ME: yes dear.
SHE: in the morning will you teach me how to cook breakfast?
ME: yes. but wait, we are out of eggs. oh no, what shall we do?
-- (me - emoting - something i am very good at!) --
SHE: that's okay - you can teach me how to cook cereal.
ME: EXCELLENT IDEA!
-- pause - take a breath --
SHE: i can't wait to get married when i am grown. what if he marries someone else.
ME: i will tell him NOT to marry someone else - that he has to wait on you.
SHE: what if he doesn't listen to you and marries someone else anyway? sniffle. pout.(as SHE does not listen to me - she knows it is very possible the prince will not listen to me either!)
ME: if he marries someone else, we will find you another prince.
SHE: MOM! sister wants to marry my prince!
ME: she can't marry your prince - she has to find her own prince.
SHE: i still want to get married now.
ME: you can't get married if you still wear a pull up to bed.
SHE: hmmm. i actually see a look on her face indicating i might have a point on this one.
( i see a serious methodology developing on the cessation of bed wetting - at least for one child!)
SHE: did you ask your blog what his name is?
Yep, we have a problem.
Monday, April 24, 2006
you have heard an awful lot about sam recently.
today you will hear about savvy. (lucky you)
savvy. aka la princesa. she is five. she turned so at the end of march. i was so caught up in all the other goings on in our world that i failed to blog about her birthday. bad mother.
so, here goes...
She asked for (demanded) a flat iron for her birthday - and as you can see from the picture - she got one.
she was recently punished. very poor decision in the behavior/attitude department = consequences. she lost every barbie doll, barbie doll accessory, bratz dolls (aka mutant barbie dolls from hell) and her mini barbies and bratz dolls. upon removing the last remnant of barbie/bratz doll from her room, she looks up at me, tear rimmed eyes and asks "momma, are you going to play with my dolls?" i turned, looked her straight on and with every bit of seriousness i could muster, i responded with a decisive "PROBABLY!" she feigned devastation.
they all now make their cozy little barbie home in my bathroom. i kinda like the company. i have 50 little beady barbie eyes watching while i bath, get dressed and put on my makeup (they can't see the potty from their current location). i got tired of looking at them nekkid so one afternoon last week, i decided to dress them. i did my dead level best to put the right dress on the right doll. and i gotta tell you, i thought i did pretty good.
saturday morning, savvy is in my bathroom to have her hair 'done.' i proceed to point out to her what i great time i had playing with her barbie dolls. she turns, checks them out, realizes they are dressed. her face lights up. she starts to smile and then BAM! "Mother, Mother, Mother - SHE doesn't wear that dress. that's anika's dress. can't you tell?! - it's doesn't even match her crown! and that dress goes on bianka. oh and mother, you can't put that dress on her - no, no, no, that's all wrong with her hair color!"
did i mention that she's FIVE??? just barely FIVE??? i don't know what was the worse punishment - losing the dolls or knowing that they live in my bathroom with the wrong clothes on.
for her birthday, her daddy sand-blasted and painted an old metal bed we got from my Grandmother's place. it is P.I.N.K and gorgeous. it is a princess bed. and SHE is the princess. yesterday, daddy and fred hung the barbie butterfly lights. she insisted i take a picture. she is pretending to be asleep - so she could see what it would look like at night in her room while she sleeps. not kidding.
and have i mentioned that she wants to be a princess in real life. not a pretend disney princess - but a REAL LIFE princess. i patiently explained to her that since she was not of royal lineage (dammit) she would have to marry a real life prince to become a real life princess. "fine," she says without batting an eye, "i can do that."
in her very next breath, she tells me she wants to move to oklahoma. oklahoma?! (do what?) and then i recall that our favorite baby sitter and her family moved to Ok. "savvy, you do realize if you move to oklahoma, your chances of meeting and marrying a real life prince are diminished greatly. you do realize that, right?"
she is undetered. moving to Oklahoma and marrying a real life prince. that's the current plan. anyone out there have any connections to royalty you can hook me up with? preferably in the north texas - oklahoma area...
and finally, my precious, too grown up, sassy, attitude giving daughter has the heart of a child after all. the easter bunny brought her this Peter Pan movie.
We saw it as a family in the theater when it was first released and she has asked for it often ever since. (i love this movie too - btw)
so yesterday, i was watching it with her - and she is asking me questions about tinkerbell and peter and wendy. she has picked up on this love triangle and wants to better understand why tink doesn't like wendy and does peter really love wendy and tink? yes darling - love is very complicated...
anyway, it gets to the part where tink dies and peter and the rest of the cast are chanting - softly at first - "i do believe in fairies - i do! i do!"
she's watching. then louder "I Do Believe in Fairies - I Do! I DO!" and before i realize what's happened - savvy is standing on the couch, red-faced, arms stiff at her side, fists clinched - yelling at the tv - at tinkerbell - "I DO BELIEVE IN FAIRIES!! I DO!! I DO!!"
and tinkerbell begins to glow and savvy has brought her back to life by sheer will.
i believe in fairies too, la princesa.
i do. i do.
but most of all, i believe in you.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
i just glanced at my calendar and it is empty.
how'd that happen?
no dr's appointment
no customer demo
no teacher meeting
no work conference call meeting
no customer discovery call
no trip to take
no kids out of school
i don't even have to pack Sam's lunch as one of the mom's is providing a pizza party.
i know i shouldn't say all this out loud - much less write it down. knocking on wood...
i am totally jinxing my day tomorrow - a day when i plan to sit at my desk and catch up with my regular work.
but i am so overworked and sleep deprived, i am not in my right mind any longer. left that place a few weeks back. i need a significant raise and a week of sleep. IS ANYONE LISTENING???
I SAID I NEED A RAISE - A BIG ONE - AND SOME SLEEP - LOTS OF IT!!!
sorry, just gotten used to yelling to get my way around here...
at this point in my life - given the choice between sleep and food, i'd take sleep
a nap or sex - a nap
a siesta or a trip to the mall - a siesta
catching ZZZZZzzz's or a kiss from jon bon jovi - the Zzzzzz's
dozing off or a million dollars - okay, i can be bought - a million dollars...
i'll sleep when the money's all spent...
i do miss you guys. thanks for all the support. i read your comments and it really lifts me up. i hope to get caught up soon and get back to blogging regularly - but i must confess - given the choice between blogging and sleep,
Monday, April 17, 2006
allow me to explain...
i am sick - allergy induced head cold, sinus drainage, cough
husband is sick. he is here - at home. allergy induced head cold, sinus drainage, cough
we are both exhausted from a long weekend of little sleep (due to illness) cooking, cleaning and entertaining.
our baby sitter is sick. she is NOT here today.
my three (count them - 1.2.3) kids are healthy not to mention still extremely hyped up from all the Easter candy.
and both girls are out of school today.
i rest my case.
God DOES have a sense of humor...
Sunday, April 09, 2006
more to do than i can tell you.
i hate to leave you hanging. plus, you guys have been so awesome. i tried on two different occasions to respond to your comments on my last entry. once i wrote a personal note to each person - it got blown away. thanks blogger. another - more generic - got blown away too. Kiss my grits blogger!
so before the world - THANK YOU.
this blog is my sanctuary. and you make it so by your presence.
so to update you...
we went to the pediatric psychologist on friday. hubby, sam and i. he spent a lot of time talking to us. all of us. he listened. asked questions. allowed us to ask questions and then he punched me in the stomach.
he gave us his opinion. a preliminary diagnosis. told us he is about 75% sure this is what sam is dealing with. i almost sucked the air out of the room when he said it out loud. would have sobbed if sam had not been with us. saw hubby's eyes redden too.
here's where you will have to forgive me. i am not going to put his preliminary diagnosis here. not yet. not till we have more of a confirmation. not till we have absorbed it ourselves. i trust you understand and accept my decision on this.
we've told very limited people so far. what if he's wrong and our daughter is forever 'labeled' with this diagnosis?
and what if he's right?
we are going forward on the assumption that he is and have started a new medication. what he called a heavy duty medication. the potential and rare side effects can be serious and some are irreversible. he told us there are risk in treatment and there are risk in not treating.
and the irony is this - i feel relief. i picked up a book he recommended on the way home. been reading it. googled this diagnosis. and yep, she fits the profile. hubby and i agree on this.
no, i am not relieved to find my daughter (may) have this disorder.
but i feel relief in having a bit more information than we had last week. relief in having a potential path for treatment.
relief in having a doctor that seems to understand where we are coming from and has treated similar children successfully. (i asked - oh yes i did!)
this is our current location.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
one of those weeks when i neglect my blog.
so please don't take it personally.
i miss you too.
but work is a bear.
my company was bought out two weeks ago.
last week almost 30% of my co-workers and friends were laid off.
i have been with this company for almost 10 years. one of my dearest friends was one of the unfortunates. it hurts.
my workload has increased by at least 30%.
HUGE two day on-site demo in Springfield, Missouri next week.
anyone know anything about Springfield???
my teammate in support that covers the same products i do is on vacation this week.
week after next, demo for client in seattle. don't know if i am traveling for that one or not. would like to as i have never been to seattle. isn't that where dr. mcdreamy is???
another two demos in the works for THIS month. keeping in mind that presales (demo's) are NOT my primary job function. i LOVE it. but i have another full time job responsibility in support.
my daughter's new med is not working out. found out it is not tested or approved for children under 12. she's 7. apparently this is true for the majority of pediatric meds out there. i think i knew this - but somehow forgot. this past weekend was from hell. hubby worked saturday and i had all three kids on my own. had to run errands with them. walmart. mcdonald's. grocery store. just shoot me now.
sam's new med - the one i am currently weaning her OFF of, has magnified the behavior issues we were trying to correct. hubby and i are ready to slit our wrists.
i spent the better part of yesterday on the phone with doctors. i had to BEG to get her into my pediatrician's first recommendation for a pediatric psychiatrist. i am so not above begging - specially when it has to do with my kids.
she has an appointment on THIS friday. apparently i'm a pretty convincing beggar - as the first thing they told me when i phoned was that "the doctor is not accepting any new patients." remember me telling you that i don't take 'No' very well. i rest my case.
i just keep thinking that we are going to map this out. going to figure out what will help Sam. i got a note from her teacher on fFriday about behavior issues and an email yesterday morning about performance issues.
She attends a private [expensive as hell] school for kids with learning differences. she is in a class of eight. they have a full time teacher, full time speech therapist, occupational therapy, physical therapy and several other specialist working with these eight bright, special kids. this school, the staff and her program in particular are phenomenal. and she needs to get every single drop she can squeeze out of this educational opportunity.
i have to make it so she can do that.
this is my job.
as her advocate.
as her mother.
and i must be patient with her
and love her
and be patient
and encourage her
and be patient
and support her
and be patient
and understand her
and be patient
and still do everything possible within my power to give her the tools she needs to build the life she so richly deserves.
and be patient...