Monthly Archives: February 2012

A fun time with Grammy


I felt bad.  Not just because of my facial swelling, but rather because the kids Grammy, Great Grammy and Aunt Pud had made the long drive here to celebrate the kids birthday with them; yet here I was feeling not so right with the world.  Between running to the different emergency centers and trying to keep the swelling contained; my time with them was limited.   Fortunately for me, the gals stopped over Friday night, once they arrived in town, to check out our new kitchen, visit and laugh.  Thankfully we had that time together.

On Saturday as I spent my day with the various emergency centers around town, Grammy picked up the kids to give them their own specialized day of birthday shopping and treats.  For the boy a trip to Game Stop, Barnes and Nobles and Target filled up his shopping cart.  Once he finished getting everything (and I mean everything) on his list, Grammy took him to Panera’s for a nice treat before lunch.  The boy was in heaven with his new haul and couldn’t wait to play with all his goods.

The doll’s shopping excursion took place in the afternoon following ballet, where she, her dad and Grammy ventured out to different stores in search of more “grown-up” things.  Evidently video games, Yugioh cards and books are not on the top of her lists.  Instead she picked out a new pair of school shoes, a create your own pillow set and a comforter for her bed.  “Doll, um, weren’t you interested in getting something more, uh like a toy?” I asked her.  “Well, I really needed some new shoes and I freeze at night and this comforter is soooooo warm” she replied.  Once their shopping commenced, Grammy treated the doll and her dad to lunch, eating at one of the oldest establishments in town.

Later in the evening, I opted to stay home.  While I felt fine, I just wasn’t up to all the stares that would come from others taking a gander at the girl with the ballooned head.  So I wished everyone well and sent them on their way.  The kids and hubby enjoyed the opportunity to spend some one on one time with their loved ones while I stayed home and watched TV. 

Not the most exciting weekend we’ve ever had, well, not in the way we would have liked, but rewarding just the same.







“….people smile and tell me I’m the lucky one…”

The day I came home from the hospital, after giving birth to my boy, the baby blues had fully encompassed me.  I was scared to death I would hurt this child; who took so long to come into our lives.  I cried all the way home, upset the discharge nurse would not come home with us.  I was a new mom, in my mid 30’s; why was this so hard?  Because he was beautiful and new and held my heart in his soul.  How did I get so blessed to be given such a damn good-looking kid?  That’s what I used to say–he’s not just good-looking, he’s damn good-looking!  He still is.

I remember all the nuances that made the boy who he is.  I knew he was intelligent, even as a baby.  When he was six weeks old, I believed he had learned to roll over.  Impossible the naysayers said.  He’s too young, not strong enough.  Undeterred from my belief, I set up a video camera to catch him in the act. In the middle of the night, I heard him rumbling and turned on the camera.  There he was thrashing from right to left, about to roll over and then….he passed gas, closed his eyes and went back to sleep.  Ah…gas; he takes after his father.

Today my boy turns 13.  Gone are the days when kissing his scrapes made all the pains go away.  Instead they’ve been replaced with trying not to embarrass him at every turn (though we really don’t try).  He’s turned into a complicated kid, whose intelligence sometimes holds him back.  He’s sarcastic, funny and obnoxious.  He has foot in mouth disease, just like his mom; sometimes saying things, better left unsaid.  But he still has the biggest heart you’ll ever be blessed to know-even though he hides that at times.   Not a day goes by when he doesn’t say to me, “Mama I love you” even when he’s really really mad at me.  I think he knows his father and I are trying our best to create clear paths for him, even though that is an impossible task.  

 As we move forward, the teen years scare me to no end.  He’s a year away from highschool, then college and then he’ll be gone to live his own life.  The other day I pulled out an old book of his and reminisced as I went through, the memories were so thick…”Mom there’s a ‘gold’ ” he’d say, referring to any fish on the page.  Or  “there’s a ‘WAAYYYOOOO'” when he happened upon a whale.  Closing the book I reminded myself, he’s no longer that cute little boy.  He’s way more than that now, he’s my damn good-looking young man.  My first-born, my heart.

Happy Birthday Bay!



interesting times…..


“People don’t understand what they are putting into their bodies anymore.  They’ve lost the intuitive connection to heal  themselves naturally and instead rely on making the symptoms go away, instead of treating the problem.  God has given us a resilient body, that knows how to heal itself, yet unless we pay attention to what we are putting into our bodies, we are effectively shutting God’s masterpiece down”. 

Wow, I thought, as I listened to this woman talk to me about my allergic reaction on Saturday.  I approached her, after someone pointed out she may have a “natural” source to help me remove the dyes from my hair.  I was not ready for a lecture, but what she told me had much validation.  Maybe it was time for me to separate myself from all that I knew was bad in my life and take on a new holistic lifestyle….or not.

This past weekend has been interesting, to say the least.  After getting my hair cut and colored on Thursday, my head rejected the change.  A severe allergic reaction to the hair dye filled my neck with hives, which gave way to swelling of my neck and head.  On Friday you could see the water build up around the top of my forehead (a Frankenstein look to be sure).  By Saturday, gravity had pulled my face in on the fun, and after two trips to Emergency facilities, steroid injections and other medications, I was given the harsh reality of the reaction.  Until all the new color was stripped from my hair, I would continue to experience this lovely transformation.  Damn.  All that work and I lose the hair color too?  Booo!

I had committed to work a cancer fundraiser early Sunday morning and decided to go.  I’m sure everyone would have understood my reluctance, given my condition.  But besides the facial swelling, I felt pretty good.  Sure I didn’t look quite like myself, but despite my outward appearance, I was in a great mood. My swelled head was a temporary setback, not life threatening, unlike the woman whose benefit was being held.  Staying home would have been selfish on my part.  I was feeling too good to stay home and hide.

Thankfully going to that fundraiser was the best thing I could do for myself. Staying home I would have missed witnessing the community of people who pulled together their resources to put this event on.  I personally had never met the woman, but was acquaintances with a few of her cousins.  Like me, she was from a very large extended Irish Catholic family.  Meeting her cousins, listening to them tell stories that sounded eerily familiar to my own; finding we had much in common–family in kind.  I felt like an observer at someone’s family reunion, but never out-of-place.

Overall the experience was gratifying.  Of course it didn’t hurt to have people ask me about my facial swelling.  I found a lot of comfort in all the “ohs and awws” along with advice on who to see and where to go.  I was able to be myself and  make light of the situation, “I went ten rounds with Jose Cuervo, and won…” bud dum dum.  My own carefree attitude helped put others at ease.   I even received a phone call around 8:30 pm last night from someone I saw earlier in the day, who took it upon herself to help find me a solution to removing the hair dye safe and effectively.  Helping others, helped me.

At the start of Thursday, when I decided the time had arrived for a hair cut and color, I never imagined the road that decision would take me on.  Looking back over the weekend, I don’t think I would change a thing…well maybe one thing…two things…the scales at the emergency rooms.   They both exaggerated greatly.







Tuesday night before bedtime the doll approached me and quietly said, “Mom, you need to listen to me..” Her head was bowed down as if trying to control herself.  “Doll, what’s wrong?” I asked, though I had a good idea what the answer would be.  In a voice, just above a whisper she said, “Mom, I think “Kitty” is dead.  Could you please take a look for me?”  Without thinking, I came down the steps and looked into her cage.  No motion whatsoever.  “Honey” I called to daddy, “Could you take a look at Kitty and confirm our diagnosis?”

The doll wrapped her arms around my waist and held her breath for a moment until her father confirmed our diagnosis.  Shaking her head up and down in agreement with him, her tears began to flow in earnest.  Hugging her back I allowed her these tears, as tears are always the best medicine for a broken heart.  “You know doll, at least you know we tried all we could to save Kitty.  We just didn’t have enough information on how to take care of her.”  “I…..know…” she said through her tears.  I took both my hands and wiped her tears, and said, “But just think how lucky Kitty is now?  She’s up in heaven with Sweat Pea, Papaw and driving my mom nuts!”  A small giggle escaped the doll as she thought about what I said.  After a little time went by the doll quietly asked, “Mom can we bury Kitty in the backyard?”  “Sure, we’ll find a nice box to put her in along with some of her bedding material?” I said to her.  With that, she released herself from my waist, and went to get the bedding material.

I found the perfect sized box and the doll filled it with bedding material.  Her father reached into the cage and withdrew the rodent and allowed the doll to finger stroke the top of its head one last time to say goodbye.  Then he placed Kitty into the box and sealed it shut with some tape.  “Tomorrow we’ll find a nice spot out back and put Kitty to rest, okay?” he said to the doll. “Okay” she replied and then wiped away more tears. 

Bedtime had finally arrived.  Once prayers were said and we had prayed for Kitty’s safe trip to heaven, I bent down to tuck her in.  “I know this hurts your heart, but Kitty is no longer suffering”.  “I know, I just hope she’s not mad at me for letting her down.”  “Doll you didn’t let her down, you loved her.” I said bending down to hug and kiss her some more.  After a minute of hugs, the doll rolled over and went to sleep.

As I entered the kitchen, to see if “Kitty” had been put somewhere out of the dog’s reach my husband greeted me with a smile. “What is with boxes and this pet?” he asked.  “What do you mean?” I replied.  “Well first you took it to the vet in a tampon box, and now we’re going to bury it in a jewlery mailer box?” “That box was the perfect size for a hamster coffin, thank you very much!” I said.  “Yeah, your right, but you may want to get out a sharpy so you can remove the lettering on the box.”  

You see Kitty’s coffin was marked: DEFECTIVE MERCHANDISE.  Laughing at the irony I looked at him and said, “Well, it kind of fits, don’t ya think?”


Bigfoot nonsense….


“What are you doing?” I asked the boy yesterday morning.  He was laughing hysterically at something he was viewing on YouTube.  “Mom, these are hilarious!” he said, pushing the lap top over so I could view the video.  Seems there is an entire section devoted to “Bigfoot” sightings; some real, but most of them a parody of those cryptozoological scientists out there really searching for the elusive legend.  “Isn’t there something more educational you could be looking at?” I asked unimpressed by the footage.  “Mom, this is what I want to do when I grow up!” he replied.  “Run around a forest making noises hoping something jumps out and scares you or making parodies of that TV show?”  “Both” he replied, then went back to laughing at the screen.   “I thought you were going to study biology” I returned.  “Yes, yes I am, with a minor in animal biology so I can help distinguish Yeti’s from other animals and humans.”

Oh Brother! Well, at least he has a plan.


Hey boy did you have a session at school where they talked about the differences between a boy and girl on Friday?” I asked him Sunday.  I had heard earlier in the day, the school had finally had “the talk” with his seventh grade class.  Evidently they separated the girls from the boys and began their disclosure.  “Yes, they did.” he replied.  “Well what did they talk about?” I asked curiously wanting to know if he had any questions about the subject.  “They talked about the anatomy of a boy and a girl and how they differ.”  That’s it? I thought.   “What else?” I queried.  “That’s it mom.  Boys have a penis, girls a vagina and the different stuff that happens to us because of hormones.”  He said again like he was reading from a textbook.  “Did they talk about anything else… some of the changes you’re going to be facing?”  Looking at me embarrassed he lowered his head and then replied, “No they didn’t mom….just the anatomical differences”. 

Narrowing my eyes at him with a look of  scrutiny crossing my face, I decided to let it drop for the time being.  I hope when he does have questions he’s not afraid to ask me or his father…but if not, he’ll always have his anatomy studies to help him, right?  ….sigh.




“I never said that!” the doll repeated to me.  “Um, yes you did.”  “No I didn’t”  “Pretty sure you did!”  “Mom, I know what I say to people and I never would have said that!”  “Well ya did, so now you have to suffer the consequences.”  “But I don’t remember saying them…” she said with a worried look upon her brow.  “Too bad, so sad.  When I have two different adults tell me things you’ve said, odds are you said them doll”.  “No I didn’t!”

What did she say?  Well she told a classmate’s parent that she and her brother never have to do any chores whatsoever.  While that statement may be rooted in the truth (they do have chores, but are really lousy at doing them); that’s not the type of information I want her telling other parents. What is she trying to do, make me look bad?  Who knows who they might share this information with?  

On Monday I left a message that while I was at work, they were to do the laundry-including folding the clothes and washing the dirty dishes in the sink…or lose TV and computer (aka youtube) for the next 7 days (weekends included-that’s like stabbing the boy in the heart).  While at work, I received 7 phone calls on why they couldn’t wash the dishes. 

 Call #1:  “Mom, I don’t feel good, I feel like I’m going to puke!” (the doll)  “So long as you don’t puke on the clean dishes…”

Call #2: “Mom I’ve been doing the laundry and the doll won’t do the dishes.  She said she’s about to puke, but if I have to clean those dishes, then I’m going to puke”  “Suck it up boy, TV and Computer wait in the balance.”

Call #3:  “Mom, the doll won’t help!”  (in the background I can hear her yell, “because I’m throwing up!!”)

Call #4 : “Hi mommy.  I threw up.  I’m going to lay on the couch instead of doing the dishes…”  “Whatever doll, but you two are in this together.  If the dishes are not clean when I get home, then the TV is off–got it?”

Call #5: “Mom, I’ve done all the laundry and folded all the clothes by myself.  I don’t think it’s fair that the doll is shirking her responsibility simply because she threw up.”  “I don’t care who does the dishes, so long as they’re done…or no TV.  That simple boy!”

Call #6: “Hi Mom, my tummy is feeling better, but I better not help the boy, as I may make everyone sick with my germs.”  For the record, the doll was not sick, but ate something that did not agree with her.  She was fine the rest of the day.  “Doll help your brother with the dishes…I’ll be home within the hour.

Call #7: “Mom, I’m about to puke!  Why do I have to clean up your messy dishes?  Those dried on eggs in the pan are making me want to barf!”   “Whatever boy.   Make all the excuses you want to make, but that does not take you off the hook.  Dishes for TV and computer….get them done.”

When I entered the house a half an hour later, I was happily surprised to see they had worked out their differences and washed the dishes.  Though the boy was quick to point out, he had heroically saved TV and Computer rights for another day, with no thanks going to the doll.

Secretly, I believe this was her plan all along…to make the boy do all the chores while she sat back chore free

of kitty and doll….


The doll had to leave for ballet as we sat there waiting to be seen.  “Excuse me, I have to walk my daughter across the street, could I just leave this here for like thirty seconds?” I asked.  “Sure, how about you put the box right here..” she said, pointing at a spot behind the reception area.  Setting down the box,  the doll and I exited the building, collected her stuff from the car and walked across the street to her ballet school.  “Thank you mommy” she said as she entered the building and I returned from whence I came.  I wanted to, with all my might just get in the car and go, leaving behind the package, so I could tell the doll nothing could be done and save myself some money.  Apparently, I only like to lie to my kids about Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny and The “ever absent” Tooth Fairy; but not about the economics of letting a $12 hamster die instead of paying $50 to save him.

The night before, a pungent odor developed in the doll’s bedroom. Upon closer examination we realized this animal’s desire to poop all over the place might actually be an illness.  We “googled” the descriptions and lo and behold, her diarrhea could be fatal.  “Mom what do we do?”  “Well doll, you know these animals don’t live long” I said.  Upon hearing this disturbing news, her eyes welled up with tears.  Trying to stay neutral I ignored her attempts to tug at my heart strings.  Her father however opened his mouth and said, “Well, maybe mom could call a vet in the morning  to see Kitty”.  “What?  NOOOOO!!!” I wanted to shout at him.  Instead the doll looked over at me and said, “Please mommy, I don’t want anything bad to happen to Kitty!” as tears rolled down her face.

Dear God!   Pure evil manipulation!

I was able to make an appointment Monday afternoon.  When I arrived home from work, I asked the doll to find something we could carry her rodent in.  I was not going to touch this animal if I could help it.  As we prepared to leave I asked, “Where’s the rodent?”  Grabbing a large Tampax box, the doll said, “Mommy, Kitty’s in this box.”  “Really?  You couldn’t find any other box to carry her in?” I asked.  “Nope.” She replied.  Dear God….and away we went.

When I returned to the office and retrieved the box, I found a spot to sit and waited to be called.  There were six people in the waiting room along with a cat, two dogs and “Kitty” in the Tampax box.  Sensing the doll was no longer with her, the rodent began to scratch and claw at the box, trying to find a way out.  “Well, I guess it’s still alive” I said to no one in particular, when I moved the box to “settle” the creature down.  The woman  to my right asked, “What you got in there?”  “A hamster…” I said.    Four of the six snickered.  “Yeah, it’s my daughter’s Christmas present.  I can’t believe I’m about to spend $50 on a $12 hamster.” I said.  The room erupted in laughter.  “Well at least you picked a good strong box to carry it in”.   Smiling I agreed, “Yeah, I was a bit taken aback when she told me she’d put the rodent in here, but as long as I don’t have to touch the darn thing I’m good.”

After an hour wait, Kitty was seen by the vet, whom Kitty she promptly bit.  I thought, well that vet just earned that $50.  After a quick exam, she was given some antibiotics and sent home.  When I entered the house the hubby asked, “So, are we having a funeral service tomorrow?”  “No, she gave me some antibiotics.” I replied.  “You mean you actually took it to a vet?  How much did that cost?  You should have just told the doll there was nothing they could do”.  “REALLY??!!!  You caved to her last night and now you want me to play the bad guy?”  I yelled at him.  “Well yeah, you do it so well” he replied with a smirk.  “Well the next time she gets sick, you can put her out of her misery instead of differring to me” I said, as I handed him the Tampax box and exited the room.

I may be a mean mommy, but I’m not a cruel one…