headlines….

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If my life were a newspaper these would be some of the most recent headlines….

Processing weekly input is at dangerously low levels.  Insomnia blamed…

Since losing thirty pounds, my sleep quality has improved exponentially. Whereas before while aiming for seven hours of sleep per night, I averaged about four and a half hours. As the weight began to leave my waistline, my sleeping range expanded, gaining two additional hours, per night. This week, however, the average dropped to only five hours per night. While insomnia would ordinarily be the leading cause of sleeplessness, the real culprit lies squarely upon an uncomfortable air mattress. Hence my ability to pay attention or remember my remarkable children and family are at distressingly all time lows.

She looks messed around!

While the majority of the pain derived from having four teeth pulled has subsided, a sinus infection moved in and is playing havoc with the doll. While she toughs this out by attending school and babysitting afterward, when she arrives home she collapses on the couch, leading one observer to say, “She looks messed around”. “Why me?” She lamented in between bites of oatmeal the other day. “This will all be worth it someday…” Her mother said hoping to make her feel better, however, the look upon the doll’s face betrayed how lame she thought that remark actually was. As of this morning, she’s still milk…er, rather suffering from the effects.

Gastrointestinal distress, a developing story…

The boy feigned illness Tuesday so he could finish reading a graphic novel that was due back and his mother was too tired (see story above) to argue with him. Looking at his 6’3″, 200+-pound frame lying on the bathroom floor his mother decided, “Some days are not worth the battles, especially when I can’t pick him up”. Hence he remained home, finished the book and attended school the next day without complaint. He did, however, show his mother the new book he was reading, The Count of Monte Cristo, upon entrance to her car, following the school day. “What are you going to do for an encore when you haven’t finished this book before it’s due back?” His mother sarcastically asked. He smirked and replied, “Wouldn’t you like to know…”

Too Bad So Sad…

The doll’s babysitting gig is coming to an end Friday, due to the children transferring to another school. She’s sad but confided in me yesterday that the kids didn’t really need her there anyway–“They basically ignore me the whole time I’m there”.

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changes aplenty…

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IMG_1715Last Saturday the doll and I attended the nationally televised football game between my Alma Mater (The Fighting Irish), winners of the division three state championship and the  (Bengals) winner of the division four state championship last season. While the home team lost the game, we did not lose hope for the season. More to the point the game only whet our appetite for the season of games ahead.

When we arrived, we pushed through the tailgate crowd, listening to various music booming from different car speakers; the doll keeping a close step behind me. “Well this is odd” she noted having never attended a tailgate party before now. “We’re looking for my friends cars and once there, you can call Natalia”. I proposed. A short time later,  Natalia approached and asked if the doll could hang out with her family “Score!” I thought while giving her my permission and then they disappeared into the crowd. In the meantime, I spotted my brother Chris, his wife Jean and a few nephews and decided to wander over and hang out with them.

Just before going into the game, a woman dressed in Irish gear approached me and said, “Hello bay’s mom” which made me smile. “Hello…” I replied. “We love your son. Every morning he comes into the main office and says “Helllooo” to the staff before disappearing down the hall to his locker”. Smiling back at her I replied, “Yes, that’s his thing.” Continuing her smile, she gave me two thumbs up, before turning and walking away. “Looking at Chris I said, “If the doll had been standing here, that gesture would have embarrassed her and possibly changed her mind about attending here next year”. Watching the woman walk away, he turned and said, “Yes, older brother’s have a way of doing that, huh?” Looking back into my older brother’s face, I replied, “Well you ought to know.”

Afterward, when I asked the doll if she had fun, she shrugged her shoulders. “What? I thought sitting over in the student section would have been fun” I commented. “Eh, mostly Natalia and I sat and talked. She’s still not sure where she’s going to high school next year”. She explained. “Did you watch any of the game?” I asked. “Eh, a minute or two. Honestly, mom, football’s not my thing.” She said. “Then why did you come with me?” I wondered. “Because there was a chance I’d be on national TV”. She said with a smile.”Well next year when you’re a Freshman, these games will be more fun, bouncing around in the crowd…” I assuaged. Giving me a sideways glance she replied “Yeah, whatever mom” before adding, “At least it didn’t pour (rain) and it gave me something to do today. We’re all good.” She added.

“Good” I replied.

the nature of the beast…

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Yesterday the doll had four teeth pulled, in preparation for braces. Since her father had the day off from work, he was tasked with taking care of her following the procedure. Meanwhile Mary Alice and I picked the boy up from school. When I arrived home for the evening, the doll did not look well. “Mom I have an upset stomach…” She confided. “Baby I know, I’m sure you swallowed some stuff during the surgery in addition to the drugs they gave you, may not be out of your system”. I explained.

A short time later she evacuated the contents of her stomach.

Poor doll.

When she was feeling a little better she approached me and said, “Mom, I was so disoriented after they removed my teeth, I asked one of the nurses if I was dead”. Amused I smiled in return. “Then a while later I couldn’t understand why they took my teeth”. “Oh yeah?” I asked. “Why did you take my teeth, I was using them…” Her father said, entering the kitchen and conversation. “Oh baby, I’m so sorry” I said wrapping her in a hug (A hug by the way that she accepted and held on to for over a minute as I rocked her back and forth). “They also left the roots in…” She said opening her mouth to show. “Baby, whatever you do, do not mess with those roots. They’ll dissolve on their own. You do not want to dislodge them unless you willing to experience the worst pain in the world”. I explained. “Is that that dry thingymabopper you mentioned yesterday?” She wondered. “Yes. Dry socket. Believe me when I tell you, you do not want that. So just be careful when brushing your teeth tonight, okay?”

Disengaging from the hug, she nodded and then left the room. Looking at her father I asked, “How was she immediately after the procedure?” “I don’t know. They wouldn’t let me see her until they were ready to shove her out the door”. He replied angrily. “That may have something more to do with insurance regulations than parental preference” I tried. “I don’t care. As her father I have every right to be with her while she’s under anesthesia”. He exclaimed. “The only time they let me see her is when they wanted to push her out the door–with minimal instructions. She cried all the way home, couldn’t figure out where she was or why they took her teeth. So heartbreaking to see”. “…and be helpless?” I added. “Yes that too”. He agreed.

By the time she went to bed, her mouth was feeling better, though a sinus infection had taken up residence. “Mom why do I always get slammed with everything all at once?” She asked and all I could do is wrap her in another hug and say, “It’s the nature of the beast”.

 

Garbage day…

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Emotional blackmail. Teenage angst. Money woes. Anger. Entitlement-What’s that?Sleepless nights. Being right and being wrong. Love. Hate. Misery loves company. Wants. Desires. Needs. Hot flashes. Day in and day out. Teeth pulls. Braces. Breaks in the clouds. Sunlight. Beer. Super moons. Disappointments. Evening walks. Breathing in and out. Feeling put upon. Contentment. Overwork. Burdened. Underwork. My time. Wine. No time. Not getting it. Wonder. Hugs. Shake my head. Long winded explanations. Often. Supernatural. Free time. Service hours. Helping others. Argumentative behavior. Exercise Helping yourself. Being selfish. Get out of your own way. Complimentary. Frustrating. Loud voices. Quiet tones. Ticking clocks.

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Have you ever laid in bed at night while crap like the above ran through your head? If so, welcome to my world. Last night I fell asleep before 10 pm, awoke a short time before 11pm and laid staring at the ceiling in my bedroom until God knows what time this morning. All the garbage in and out of the last few weeks playing over and over in my head. Consequently I didn’t get much sleep.

Being a parent in this day and age is so hard. The kids are exposed to so much garbage and I’m helpless to stop it. Day in and day out I’m confronted by the “what if’s” or “if only’s?” Concepts that could have changed an outcome of a past event or mood of my children. Of course, also being a parent who was raised during the Stone Age (before computers, cellphones, the Internet)  certainly doesn’t help or seem to garner much support either. 

Last night my Twitter feed was filled with images from the MTV MVAs and I had to wonder what possesses these kids to dress like fools, get high and call one another out in front of the world? Are ya trying to get our attention or just Get us to change the channel quicker? 

You see I don’t get this stuff. I don’t see how others can find this entertainment. Yet my children are drawn to this garbage because it influences more garbage to be produced and more garbage for them to consume via the Internet and streaming videos. And all I can do is try to limit what they see and participate in, which we all know is easier said than done. The other night I told someone via Twitter I consider myself as having a pretty open mind and like to think I’m raising my children as such. But there is a limit to how much garbage can stack up and block that openess. Right now, today the garbage is piled sky high, with no end in sight. Which means more sleepless nights while I try to find a way to clear this mess out of our lives. 

Perhaps a change in the wifi code is the first start…

Round up

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Super duper late blog…but a girls gotta work sometimes. Enjoy!

Tomorrow the doll and I will be watching my High School Alma Mater play a football game featured on ESPN. The boy who attends the same school is planning on hanging out with his Grandmother, walking and playing video games. “Mom, football isn’t my thing…” He explains every time I ask. “You know I have to ask, on the outside chance you’ll change your mind,” I replied. “I will never change my mind, so you can stop asking now”. He explained. The doll, on the other hand, wasn’t sure she wanted to attend the game either, that is until I explained a few things. “The game is going to be on national television,” I said. “Wha?” She looked at me stunned. “Yes, ESPN is broadcasting…” and before I could finish she jumped in and said, “OKAY!”

Since then, she’s driving me nuts. “What time is the game? When are we going? You need to find out the color scheme. You need to give me an idea of how long we will be at the game…” and on and on and on.  “Game is at 4, the theme is a red out–which means where a red shirt.” I began. “Can I wear the sweatshirt Aunt Ann gave me?” She asked.  “I don’t care,” I replied. “I may not be wearing red”. “Yeah, well that’s you. Remind me not to sit next to you”. She snidely replied.  “To continue, we’ll get there around 2 pm to tailgate. “Mom you’re not allowed to drink any beer”. “Doll, tell you what, we’ll look for your friends to hang out with, that way I won’t embarrass you”. “Mom, regardless whether you drink or not, you always embarrass me. I just want to keep the embarrassment level at a minimum.” “I see. So tell me, what will you do to reciprocate?” “Be my usual awesome self” she replied.

Dear God! and she’s not even a Freshman yet…

However the thought of embarrassing her on national television is intriguing…

 

 

observations…

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There is a tried and true method when you can’t think of anything to write or say, called fudging it. As is the case today, I’m fudging this blog by using my cell phone camera. Please be aware the pictures is only as good as the photographer, namely me.

1) I always knew there was something wrong with Michigan. Why they don’t even know there’s a difference between apples and cantaloupes.


2) Ordinarily the boy DOES NOT have a natural lean (right or left) to his neck and head except when he doesn’t want to be the main focus of a photograph where he was NEVER going to be, the main focus.

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 3)What you find while cleaning can be more important than the clean room itself. Painting the boy’s bedroom would have been simple enough had it not been for the boy appropriately leaving his room a filthy mess. Therefore, I had to clean his room first, before I could actually paint. Tucked away on the top shelf of his bookcase, behind some long forgotten puzzles, I found a lace “pocket” containing the locks of hair from the boy’s first hair cut. I can guarantee he was unaware they were up there or he would have tossed them away long ago. Today they have a new home in my keepsake box until someone else comes to clean and finds them worthless (Though, I don’t see that happening anytime soon considering no one cleans much around here anyhow).

4) It’s extremely important when telling someone about your past weekend, they understand just what you are telling them. Last Friday night, I accompanied my brother Chris and his wife, Jean, to a downtown club, to see our second cousin Katie sing with her group The Tinkled Pinks, a swing era band, for a one night engagement. Chris made a point of telling our father about the fun night when he saw him Monday for lunch. When I stopped by Monday evening my dad began, “Marsh, Chris was telling me you went with them to see the Andrew Sisters Friday night”. I smiled and nodded at his apt description because that was the type of music they sang. “Where was this club? How old are the Andrew Sisters now? Boy, they’ve got to be right up there. How were their voices? Did they still sound good?”

Stifling a laugh, I replied, “No, dad, no, Patty Andrews passed away a few years ago. We went down and saw Katie Sland–you know Colleen’s daughter..? You know, she and her friends sang music from the Andrew Sisters catalogue.” “Oh,  I should say so. I was going to say, they had to be too old to still be touring”. “You’re only as old you feel dad…” I reminded to which he replied, “Yes and Patty Andrews feels dead.”

formatting…

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A few months back, the doll took and passed the Red Cross babysitting course, hoping to make some much-needed money this past summer, but has yet to have one job offer. There was a chance for a brief job last June, watching a teacher’s grade school children until their brother arrived, but due to circumstances beyond her control, that job fell through. All summer long she kept asking me, “Mom have you told so and so I can babysit now?” My response was always the same, “Yes.”

The other day a friend sent me a text wondering if she would be interested in walking her kids home from school and sitting with them until she arrived an hour later. “YES!!!” she immediately replied. So now, my little girl has a job. “Mom this will give me good experience too,” she explained, “Not to mention a few bucks in your back pocket…” I added. She smiled and said, “Yes. This will help me save money for the concert, so I can buy t-shirts and other souvenirs.” she added. “Um…and pay me for your ticket?” I asked.

If you want a smile, this is what I'm gonna give you...

If you want a smile, this is what I’m gonna give you…

Smiling, a little embarrassed by her excitement at having some spending money, she replied, “Oh yeah, sure”. “Your response doesn’t sound all that enthusiastic doll…” I replied with a laugh. She in turn shrugged her shoulders, tilted her head and gave me her “If you want a smile, you’re going to get this instead” look, before walking away.

So be it…

Now on to getting the boy motivated in making some money too…