Tuesday, July 31, 2007

katrina. two years and counting...

two years ago today my family was digging out from under. literally.
and my husband was cutting his way to them. literally.

two years.

i started this blog because of Katrina. when the storm hit that day, i could get no news on the areas nearest my family - south mississippi.

i had heard of blogs. never really read one - but knew the concept. so i googled "Katrina Blog" and found this - Eye of the Storm. two invinceable young guys - newspaper reporters - from south mississippi that were staying behind to cover the storm. neither were native mississippians. and both were entirely too young to remember camille and to know staying behind - by choice - was foolhearty.

they started their blog as kinda a lark. not really thinking they would be putting their lives on the line within the first 24 hours after starting it. or that they would have to go without - a lot - for months afterwards.

you can read the progression of their perception of the storm and her aftermath. i have gone back to the beginning a few times and re-read it. they don't post anymore. but their journal of what happened to them and around them is raw, real, humorous, reverent, crass, and at times excruciatingly painful to read.

especially for those of us with roots in and ties to mississippi.

my mississippi
she's still rebuilding.
there's still so much to do

two years and counting

Monday, July 30, 2007

pro choice AND anti-abortion

the two are not mutually exclusive.

i am vehemently, loudly and HUGELY Pro Choice. My body. My family. My choice.

i am also, on an extremely personal level, anti-abortion.

and i feel no contradiction whatsoever...

so what would i choose?
i choose to NOT have an abortion.

yes, this belief has been tested in my life. i know first hand, up-close-and-personal the decision i would make when presented with a HUGELY unplanned pregnancy.

but the crux is - it is my choice! not the suits in DC. not the well meaning folks carrying the signs with pictures of aborted fetuses and especially not Supreme Court Justice Kennedy's. that man is stuck in the Leave It To Beaver mentality. he's down right scary!

so why the rant, tcole?

i love Anna Quindlen. have for years. her books. her Op-Ed pieces. she always makes me think. and this article is no exception. it is some good thought-provoking writing.

and no matter what side of the fence you sit on - you need to be prepared to address the argument she raises in this editorial.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

the pediatrician

i met my children's pediatrician when my firstborn was three days old - the day after we brought Sam home from the hospital.

i knew when I was prego i was supposed to research and even interview the pediatrician i wanted to use. all the baby books tell you to do this. some even offer a list of interview questions to ask. and as crazy vigilant i was as a mom-to-be, this is one thing that did not get done.

and as fate would have it - i needed one as soon as i got my daughter home - she was jaundiced and she wouldn't poop. and rule #1 with a newborn is that what goes in must come out.

so i was panicked. completely. and hormonal. FROM HELL.

so i looked up a pediatrician in my insurance information booklet near my home. i called. he was no longer in practice. a new dr had bought him out. yes, they still accepted my insurance and yes, they could see my daughter right away.

i had a pediatrician.

i clearly remember my first impressions. her office waiting room was quite small and unassuming. nothing flashy, glossy or expensive in sight. and i remember thinking - we'll just get through this poop/jaundice thing and then i'll find a "proper pediatrician." one with Dr. Seuss murals on the wall and child size chairs in the waiting room.

after making my judgements about the Dr's office, i looked down at my tiny baby and my RAGING hormones caught up with me. i told my mom - through tears - "if i can't talk when we get in there, if i get upset, you'll have to tell the Dr. what's wrong with my baby." my mom just nodded.

in the exam room, waiting on the dr., imagining the absolute worst with my daughter, the tears start. again.

directly, this hugely alive, beautiful, impish, dark skinned woman glides in. i automatically and without reservation hold up my baby and offer her to this woman. she says "no, no, no. you hold her and i'll examine her in your lap."

and that's just what she did. kindly. gently. expertly. all the while asking me questions. reassuring me. and she put us on the right path. that day. to get Sam on the mend and pooping.

i never, ever, not even once considered changing pediatricians again. not even after we moved to the country and were a full hour drive away from her. and the year we lived in mississippi - so Sam could attend a specialized preschool - i had the mississippi pediatrician make copies of everything on each child so i could send back to her to put in their files in her office.

every single time i phone her office, i have gotten in that day. no runaround or delay of any kind. ever.

she phones me on nights and weekends to check on sick children.

she takes my calls in the middle of the day or returns them immediately.

she has referred me to umpteen specialist over the years. and she knows how to prepare me for each one. warns me if i will not like their bedside manner or if i will appreciate their direct approach or use of new techniques. she knows me - what i like, what i expect and what i will sacrafice and tolerate for the sake of my children's care.

she will walk out of the exam room - during an exam - and call a specialist on the spot if she has a question about treating one of my kids.

when smith was deathly ill earlier this year, she called me on my cell several times a day and often ended up speaking to the ER doc's on my cell phone.

she has held our hand, been directly involved and encouraged us every step of the way in all of sam's medical, speech and behaviour issues.

she gave ME (made me take) a flu shot one year when i had not had mine - and the kids were getting theirs.

she listens to me. she encourages me. she praises me and she tells me where i need to do better.

she is meticulously detail oriented. whenever I take the kids in for their yearly check-ups, I spit-shine every square inch of them. Teeth, clean. Hair, washed and brushed. finger and toenails, clipped and cleaned. not a speck of dirt on them anywhere - which is a real rarity with my kids. i just don't want to be busted for any small transgression...

yesterday was such a visit. school physical for Sam, yearly check-up for Savvy. and i promise you, she spent 45 minutes with me and my kids. right after she started with us, she looked up and says, "you don't mind if i go take care of the family in the next room, do you? They will be out quickly and then i won't be rushed with you." of course i don't mind.

she was back in a few minutes and each girl got a thorough interview and exam followed by a hug and a kiss. next to me - this woman knows the most about my kids. i tell her everything.

she sends the girls out to hang with the nurses so she can talk to me in private. wants to know how i am doing. how's the move going? anything i want to tell her while the kids are not there...

i LOVE this woman. i do.

if you are ever in Dallas and need a referral for a ped - gimme a call.

i've learned a lot about being a mother since my first visit to her office.

and still, at first glance, her office ain't much, but after a few visits, it feels like the Taj Mahal!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

my girls...

The Glamazons made it to the top 10 on America's Got Talent.


and get this - my neighbor asks me the other day...

"Have they called you yet?" she asks
"Who? What are you talking about?" i respond confused
"The Glamazons. Have they called you?" she replies coyly
"WHAT?!" me, still confused
"I sent them an email and told them all about you." she confesses

I am sitting by the phone, peeps!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

confessions of a muggle...

i know what a bezoar is for.
i know where Madame Pomfrey works.
i know who founded the house of Slytherin.
i know what Harry's Godfather gave him on his first birthday.
i know how to free a house elf.
i know what the Gryfindor house colors are.
i know how to make a patronous charm. (can't do it - but i know how)
i know what polyjuice potion is for.
i know the name of Hagrid's dog.
i know the difference between a blugger and a quaffle.
i know Lupin's secret.
i know how to get to the Shreaking Shack.

and i know how the seventh Potter book ends.
read it in 8 hours yesterday - then went back and re-read the last 100 pages again - to make sure i didn't miss anything. and because i didn't really want it to be over...

thank you, Ms. Rowling.
it's been a FABULOUS adventure.

i wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Friday, July 20, 2007

do the math...

i just did.

counted the days. weeks.

FIVE more weeks until school starts back in the great state of texas

lord give me strength

something about the state tourism board making a stink last year about the school year starting too early and businesses losing a lot of tourist dollars so the start of school is later this year.

there is a directly proportional increase in the number of Valium scripts written for the parents of school age kids.

and my summer babysitter is no more.

been interviewing au pair candidates like crazy. apparently, none of them want to come to TX. that or i just come across as a bitch. who knows, could easily be both...

my oldest daughter comes home from Mississippi tomorrow. for the first time in four months, I will have all three kid at home. and while i am thrilled beyond words (SERIOUSLY) to see my baby girl again, i am mortified at having all of them home again.

the three together bring new meaning to sibling rivalry. and i know i deserve this. i do. but it still brings me to my knees.

you know what they say...
God ain't going to give you more than you can handle.
yep, that's actually a paraphrase of a biblical verse.
Mother Teresa replied - I just wish he didn't trust me so much...

I can relate.

Five weeks and counting...

MF'ing TX Tourism Board!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I know what I want to be when I grow up!

i am 39 years old and i finally know EXACTLY what i want to be when i grow up...


(click here)

and yes, i am dead serious. so much so my hubby is in a tizzy over it. (which I am really enjoying. cause he knows damn well i would do something JUST LIKE THIS.)

they were on America's Got Talent tuesday night. and blew me (and the judges) away. they have fabulously full figures and can sing and dance. in fact, most of them have music or theater degrees. they aren't just a fluke and they damned sure aren't making fun of themselves or inviting anyone else to either. just four fabulous full figured women using their God given talents and the phenomenal bodies that house those talents!
here's my thought - i got the T&A (for sure!). i am a born performer. can sing and dance - did it all through HS and college - though did not get a degree in it. and few women are more comfortable in their own skin than I am...
i think i am a PERFECT fit!
and they all have deliciously sexy stage names, like Ginger Snap, Candy Apple, Caramella and Lady Finger.
i am thinking Southern Sugar for yours truly.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Rain, Rain Go Away....


i am sick to death of rain. and while i can be VERY thankful we are not in a flood prone area and have experienced no loss of life or property - i still feel entitled to BITCH about the Biblical downpours we have been experiencing in North Texas.

my kids have a chronic case of Cabin Fever. it's summer time. they want to play. i have started sending them out to play in the mud. as long as it is not lightening. only problem with that is then the outside comes in and we are still trying to keep this house clean so we can show it.
such joy.

i am pasty white. no tan to speak of. usually by this time of year, i have a nice glow of sunshine on my skin. i can't even go to Pissy's blog anymore. every time i do, i get so damned jealous of her GORGEOUS tan my washed our skin tone takes on an obvious green tint...

the grass in my yard is at least three feet high in places. it's NEVER dry enough to mow.

our white horse ain't white no more.

in May, the huge lake near our home was something like 17 feet below normal. today - FLOOD STAGE! seriously people. this is crazy.

i'm calling this RAD - R.ain A.ffective D.isorder.
akin to SAD - S.easonal A.ffective D.isorder.
'cept this diagnosis comes with an umbrella and rubber boots.

prepare the life boats, peeps.