Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hard Candy Christmas

Christmas eve I get up in a panick because I remembered that I did not set the phones on the Holiday Greeting. In my mind this was a big deal, because I work for a fire district and it is kind of important if people are trying to records n'stuff if we are not open.
Okay, so maybe not SO important, but in my mind I was totally worked up.
I look at my kids and Lance and tell them I have to go...I throw on some sweats, slippers and grab some coffee and head out the door.

I get in the car, still beside my self, half in thought then as a habit I turn on the raido and it begins playing Dolly Parton's 'Hard Candy Christmas'.

I stop mid-thought and I am taken back twenty years or so. I have a huge urge to phone my sister - as a rule whenever we hear this song we call each other. I realize it is 7 am and she prob won't be pleased, but at that moment I want to bottle the song up, put a ribbon on it and send it across the way to her home.
Growing up we would stay at my aunts house and she would play this song over and over again. Back then you could tell there was sadness in her voice and this song somehow resignated with her life. But being 10 or so, in my little world it created memories for me and my sister - my aunt would place the record on the record player and walk around the house singing this song, she knew every word and had the emotion down pat. I still remembering thinking how beautiful she was and how much I luv'd to hear her sing that song. I am not sure what it signified for her, but for me and my sister it carries happier times in our childhood. Being at my aunts house with our cousin, having a sleep over and listening to hard candy christmas.

To this date it is still one of our favorite songs...........words like 'I'm barely gettn' thru tomorrow but still I won't let sorrow bring me way down. Oh, I 'll be fine 'n' dandy, lord its like a Hard Candy Christmas.' Me and my sister sing it at the top of our lungs. We search for it on the radio. Once we were passing each other in seperate vehicles, realized it was on the radio - I turned around ; we both pulled over onthe shoulder - I got in her car and we sang.
Basically we drop just about everything, and try to find each other the moment we hear it......strange I know.

As we find ourselves struggling thru 2009 and into 2010 it seem pretty appropriate.
This song makes us smile, helps connect us in so many ways - sort of like Janice Joplin's 'Bobby McGee'. Anywhere, anytime we hear those songs we are immed taken back to each other and find the urge the reach out and phone one another.

Christmas was good and hard this year in so many ways. So many things are changing, yet so many things stayed the same. All 3 of us were home for the holidays with our kids. Our spouses, well that is a different story. One prob not to be shared just yet, but let's just say I am glad the 3 of us got together at my mom's again. I am glad that my mother and father were around one more year, and semi social. I am glad that everyone had on their 'happy face' and those that could not play nice, just decided not to swing by.

Ohh and by the way after my little memory flash back while driving, I made it to work - switched the phones (no problem). Then as I was getting ready to leave I set the darn alarm off. I had the PD and Fire show up, while I was in my sweats and slippers - yeah, good stuff!!
So to my aunt who prob doesn't realize the wonderful memories she has created for us, I say thank you. Deep down I hope she still has her record player and her 45 of Hard Candy Christmas......

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Okay folks so we are in the home stretch and the HOLIDAYs are fast upon us. Normally I am a big bah-hum-bug kinda' girl. Nothing has been normal about this year, including my feelings towards x-mas. I got my tree up a week ago, Lance strung lights on my house and I am feeling pretty grounded. It could either be my little blue pill, or the fact that we actually have a handle on x-mas this year.
With Lance still not work I have sent him x-mas shopping. I made a list of names and he has spent the last two days tracking around the stores and mall. And for that I am thank-ful - I HATE to shop, I esp. hate to shop around the holidays when all of the crack heads are out, the lines are long and the prices are jacked. Lance on the other hand does not seem to mind it, although he did state last night that he really needed a drink - ha!!
I was a bit hesitant sending Lance out with little to no guidelines, I was afraid everyone would end up with Busch beer and beef-jerky. To my surprise he has done a great job. I took care of all of the girl stuff for my many nieces and he took care of the boys on the list and as much as it hurts me to admit it, he did a great job.

Today in an effort to keep up with his new Martha Stewart mentality he is going to spend the day wrapping the gifts. Swoon!!
Aside from shopping I despise wrapping. Lance complains every year what a crappy job I do - the corners are not straight, the tap is not centered etc.... Every year I want to punch him in the face and tape his mouth shut. But this year, I am really pleased. Perhaps because I have slacked or perhaps because I don't have to do it. Lance seems pleased to have something to do during the day, and I am beyond pleased that I don't have to do much.
To keep up with my holiday cheer this year, I even signed up for a cookie swap / ginger bread house party. Little did I know that a party like this meant that I would actually have to cook cookies, like 8 dozen cookies. As I was cooking my asrse off two Saturdays ago, Lance was in the kitchen telling me how lame I was to be making choc' chip cookies for the swap. He let me know that I needed to do something more interesting, I responded with a glare.
It is either choc' chip or a box of oreo's from Schnucks. Something more interesting my arse! So sent him to the store to get eggs and he came back with eggs and a magazine that had 50 holiday cookie recipes. I decided to burn the magazine in the oven and still made choc' chip cookies.
My children had a blast making ginger bread houses, my husband came with us and was the only man around, carrying his beer, swapping cooking stories and helping Rylan make his house just perfect. He was in his element hanging with the gals and drinking.
I have so much to be thankful for and seem to have lost sight of it all during the last few months. One day and one step at a time, because the list is too overwhelming. However it is easier to manage now that Lance is actually doing most of it........I figure if he doesn't get work soon, I will lend his services out to other ladies in the community. He cooks, cleans, does laundry and apparently shops for gifts. If you allow him around you will have to put up with his mouth, which does not have much of a filter - but hey, you cannot win them all.
Happy Holidays! Stay safe, warm and healthy. I am ready for some family time, good food and drinks! Yes, bring on the drinks!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday run...

We are sprinting to the finish line for 2009 and I cannot wait for it to be over.
It has had its bright spots but for the most part I am ready to ring in the new year and hopefully a few new happier moments.

2009 seemed to be a year of loss for us, which seems weird - it seems like every other phone call or knock at the door was another dose of bad news. I asked Lance the other day, when I found out that my second cousin had died in a vehicle accident in Texas, if death had always surrounded us and we never knew it or has it really been a bad year? He agreed, it has really been a bad year. The individuals that we lost this year were not old, actually not a one of them died of old age - nor were they expected. The series of events have kept us humble and perhaps given us some much needed perspective during this holiday time.

To say that this holiday season will be tough will be an understatement. We are living pay-check to paycheck and sometimes not even making it then. Lance has been a stay at home dad for the better part of the year, and as much as it brings him joy to see our kids and be available it has been hard on him. His ego has burst a bit and our ability to get things accomplished has diminished. We did not take a family trip this year, we could not afford to; which is fine. However our family trip consist of visiting HIS family in Texas. His mother is in her 80's and it is important to us to create memories for them and us. A few months ago we got a phone call that his mother was in ICU, the guilt swept thru like a freight train. The one year we could not make it, could have been the year we lost her. Luckily she had a lung infection and has pulled thru, he would have been crushed to have lost her and not gotten to see her.
But at the same time we cannot jeopardize our ability to keep our heads above water, so the decision not to go to Texas this year or anywhere else for that matter was a must. Welcome to turning into adults, because honestly for a brief moment I was ready to whip out the ol'credit card.
Thanksgiving was a complete blurr.....
We ran to the country Wed night, had Thanksgiving on Thursday, got up early Friday to head to football. Had a game Friday afternoon, which we lost (actually we got smoked!) - this meant we had to play on Saturday. We won our 12:30 game on Saturday which meant we had to play again at 7pm Saturday night. This is the point where I wanted to blow my face off. The games were held an hour away, so we did not go home between Friday and Sat night. Our car was packed to the max with our suite cases from our Wed night track in the night to the country. Plus traveling with a 3 yr old can be tricky - it is even more intense when it is Pyper. Why, well - she is Pyper. On top of it all she was complaining that her pee-pee hurt. I treated it with A&D hoping it was external. Nope, it turned out to be a urinary-tract infection. OMG.
So as Lance smoked two packs of cigs, and walked up and down the football field as if we were going to win a damn gold medal, I went to the bathroom 40,000 times with a child who would wince in pain every time. Luckily the day was perfect, beautiful -therefore being outside was good for our soul. That was until we were still there as the sun went down and the temperature dropped. Needless to say we were still on the football field at 9pm. The boys played their hearts out, the games were close and good. Which is weird to say, for gosh sakes it was only pee-wee football. But if their football drive carried these boys into adult hood, they could aspire to do great things. I am beyond proud of Rylan he showed so much heart, strenght and drive. But best of all he enjoyed it - much to his crack-head fathers delight.
As we pulled into the drive at 10pm Sat night we were beat. Rylan smelled like a gym locker and Pyper looked like a damn rugrat. They crawled into bed as is...too tired to even change. As I changed Pyper she moaned in her sleep, upset that I was even touching her and disrupting her moment of sleep. It took all I had to get Rylan to take his cup out of his pants.
Once I had them tucked into their beds, I changed my clothes and went out. Yes - folks on top of the thanksgiving hustle-bustle and football I went to the damn barr. No I am not a barr fly, it was my sisters birthday. As I arrive at 11pm smelling like popcorn and ball sweat, I of course am late to the party. The girls by 11pm are rowdy and I have 2 hours to attempt to catch up. By 1am I am SO ready to go home, so ready to sleep in my bed. As I get home and grab a quick shower I thank god I am home and that everyone is asleep in my house. I have high expectations of sleeping in and staying in my pj's all day Sunday.
I would like to say that was the end of our adventure, but then it would not be my house if things were that easy. Pyper woke up - her infection got worse. Up early to take her to the doc in the box, well they sent us to Urgent Care. Yes, finally a damn prescription to treat her UTI - whew. This morning she was a bit better - after three doses of an antibiotic.
Rylan spent Sunday in his pj's playing the Wii, eating and just relaxing. He needed a break.
By 8pm last night everyone was asleep in my house.
By 3am I hear Rylan's feet hit the floor and him whining. I rush to the bathroom to find him bent over the toilet. I am cursing in my head *damn, damn, damn*.
His sad eyes are pleading with me to help him, he feels like puking. I feel his head, no fever - I think I am in the clear. I send him to bed with a cold rage, only to hear him 10 minutes later.
By the time I make it to him he is puking his guts up. No, no, no!!!!
I fear we may have the flu. So now we have a UTI and puking. I begin to wonder if we got the flu from the someone at football - do you know how many hands he had to slap in an effort to say good game?
I do no do black friday, nor do I do cyber monday.
So I have not bought one x-mas present, we do not have our lights or tree up and Lance is at home w/ two kids. As we spoke this moring, we agreed that it is just a matter of time before Pyper gets and with that we kissed each other as if to acknowledge 'here we go'.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A little GOOD

Okay so as I bitch and moan thru 2009 I dug deep to find a little good....good that I thought I would share.

Work - thinks are getting better. I am getting my arms around it more and more each day, and starting to feel like someone who deserves to her paycheck, rather than feeling like a complete moron. That folks is a good feeling, as each day passes I dive deeper and deeper into the 'ins' and out's' of this place. And although it has its dark moments it is by far a better place than my last job. The people are just as nice, the politics still suck, but by far a better place. I am getting grounded and starting to feel like I get it and I belong. Whew - just shy of 6mths in the making. I am thankful to have a job in this market and the recession. I know alot of Finance people are struggling to get work or keep their jobs, I feel pretty secure that my job will be available regardless of the market. The pay is not top notch but the benefits are great, the flexibility is great and the pay is guaranteed - I will take it!

Lance - well I know I don't always have the best things to say about him. It happens, all in all he is a good guy and a jerk all wrapped up in one. Just the way I like my guy! So today after 10 years of being a non-driver he got his license. HELLO folks that is HUGE in my house. He was a drinker/driver and prior to even getting w/ me he had his license revoked for 10 yrs. He had a hardship so he could drive to work, doctors ect. But insurance has been high for us, including the breath thingy in his truck that has to be monitored by the DOR every month for a fee of close to $100. Too say that a huge stress has been lifted would be an understatement - not having a license has limited us in MANY ways. And today, with little to now hoops to jump thru it happened he took his test, got his photo taken and is now legal. OMG! OMG!
If I wasn't mad at him for being, well him - I would jump his bones and kiss his gooey insides.
That folks makes for a great Friday and a good November.
I hope you all get a little ray of sunshine in your day as well.

Monday, November 16, 2009

This year.

I keep trying to remind myself to count my blessings this year, to take it all in and remember the good.
This year has been a REALLY, REALLY tough one, and it seems like it gets worse with each phone call or knock at the door. Last week we had to attend the funeral for our 20 year old football coach. This event rocked us to the core. My son is sad beyond words and my husband even put a suit on. We had only know Kyle and his family for a brief time, but it felt like a lifetime. We spent a lot of time together over the past few months. The loss of Kyle has left us with a lot of sorrow. Lance and I continue to remain close to his father, step-mom and brother - all a constant reminder of what a great guy Kyle was. We spent last week getting food together, going to the viewing, going to the funeral ect. All of these events came with their own level of emotions, and helped to place some items in prospective.

Last night we get the news that our babysitters brother was in a car accident and is in the trauma/icu at a local hospital and is refusing treatment. Our sitter is sad beyond belief. Her brother Chad is a main stay at her home as he attempts to complete a messy divorce. My children refer to him as U. Chad. We we were not super close, but close none the less and once again our hearts ache. Chad continues to refuse treatment and signed a DNR, at 31 yrs of age he signed a DNR. I just got a call that he has a fever now and won't let the doctors review and attempt to fix his spline which they think is torn. By not fixing a torn spline the toxins could seep into his body and could kill him. At this point he has left strict instructions that the doctors are not to reset his collar bone nor are they perform surgery. His only sister is on the verge of losing her brother right before her eyes. Painful does not begin to describe the sound of her voice, her heart is broken. And with each passing hour that he refuses treatment the worse the situation becomes.

As a sister my heart hurts, and this encourages me to reflect on my situation with my siblings.
I luv them dearly and just hope when it really matters that they know. The same with my husband and kids, I hope when it really matters - they know.

Both families could use warm wishes and prayers. Praying for strenght, wisdom and healing.

Halloween 2009

2009 Halloween was a success at our home. Rylan decided to be a football player for the 2nd year in a row.
Pyper decided to be princess with football player make up.
Because once she saw her brother with the make-up out she HAD to have some too.
Pyper had been telling us and everyone she met that she was going to be Snow White, which was fine - we have two dress up Snow White outfits. As you can tell, she did not end up being Snow White, she decided to be her version of 'Bell' (from Beauty & The Beast). Well, more like Bell the football player.
This was the first year that Pyper really 'got it'. She carved her own pumpkin, she dug out all the goo and luv'd the finished product.
At the same token, Rylan seemed rather bored with the process. Half way thru his arm got tired, his eyes hurt - blah, blah, blah.
This was the first year, we did not stay home in our subdivision. The kids got more crap and candy than they will ever eat, none the less.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New terms -

So as we were sharing stories about our kids this morning at work, over coffee one of the ladies said 'have any of you ever heard of a bu-thigh (buh-thigh)?'
We all looked at each other, our brains churning trying to recall if the doctors ever mentioned an issue with a bu-thigh or trying to determine if it was some new crazy virus.
In our morning haze, we all came up blank.....blank, and still blank.
Well, apparently it is alot like cankles - you know the cross between your calf and ankles. I know I had them twice, one with each kid. No one could tell where my calf stopped and my ankle began. And today I learned that I have a bu-thigh as well.
This is where your butt meets your thigh and no one call tell where one ends and one begins.
As side from being a little depressed about the conversation, and not feeling like this is a term I ever really wanted to learn I gave a little thought to my back-side.
Which folks is in sad shape - no need to go ahead and coin a term for it.
I've decided there is one indicator that you have officially moved beyond my butt to my thigh. Hello! the saddlebags, these are not located in the butt area - they are carefully placed on the side and are encouraged by each and every calorie filled bit I take. (Hello cheeseburger from Helen's this afternoon). So next time GenY, Z or whatever this generation is called decided to come up with a new term - think hard, because it may sound funny now, but one day you too will be 30 and up and you will eventually get a bu-thigh to match your sag, wrinkles, and cankles.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Baby Einstein

So by now everyone has heard that Disney is going to refund anyone who bought a baby Einstein video between 2000 and 2005; which by the way would be a ton of people I know - Including myself.
Of course we bought the video's, we watched them - hello bold colors, random movements and silly sounds. My household rather enjoyed them, my son found them to be interesting and they did keep him occupied for a good 10 to 20 minutes - which is mommy world, equals relief.

Hell, I would pop in Porky's if I thought it would give me 10 to 20 minutes of relief during the baby, toddler stage. As a consumer, as a parent and as a semi-level headed adult, I never imagined that the videos would actually make my child smarter or create the next Einstein. I found them to be a better option then the Ed, Edd and Eddy cartoon their father insisted on watching. I found that 8 years ago I could tolerate the videos better than Barney the big purple turd. Because during those day, no I did luv barney, and he did not luv me - we were not one big happy family. In my mind Barney was worse for kids than crack, who in hell thought up a big purple monster that was designed to annoy parents and delight their kids all at the same time.

The Baby Einstein videos on the other hand, never held a topic long enough for it to make much of a difference. Which seems to be part of the recent complaint against their maker - in a nutshell (I think) some are indicating that these videos helped to contribute to short attention spans and semi ADD behavior. Right now I am sighing with a big WTF. That is a bit of a stretch, for REAL. My son's attention span is not longer or shorter due to the damn video and his ADD behavior comes from his father, just like very other character flaw he inherited. That is what happens when you breed with a delinquent - duh.
But just like his twitchy father, he also inherited his softness and ability to play alone -twitch and all (ha, I kid). I get so tired of the 'sheeple' concept - I stole that work from Jamie Allman 97.1 - hello mass America acting like sheep. I was one of those sheep, I bought the damn video. But in hopes of it doing anything other than buying me the precious 15 minutes of down time. But I refuse to jump the bandwagon and demand a rebate for a video that we utilized and enjoyed.
Come on America have we no boundaries anymore. Where is the ownership for our own actions, did you really think your baby would be smarter?? Look at your significant other, check your gene pool - if you want smarts, try an upgrade in that area; not a damn baby video.
Next we will be attributing Pyper's nakedness to the fact that I watched too much Brett Micheal's Rock of Luv, because we all know that the participants are perfect role models.

I am also slightly stunned that Disney is going as far as they have with this issue, such as you can get a rebate even without a receipt. WHAT? Why not just say something like the advertising was a 'stretch' - which is sort of ironic, because folks, that is advertising. Not everything is true. I know 'gasp' - your teeth will not be whiter just by using the $2.00 toothpaste, and your waist will not be smaller by just utilizing colon cleanser. No your teeth are stained, use a treatment and you will spend way too much time in the bathroom w/ your colon cleanser and your butt will be raw, but your fat cells - well still the same.
I am done with my soap box, thanks for the rant - i feel better :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

role reversal...

I swear I am married to a morphed form of Martha Stewart and Ed Bundy.

I refer to Tuesday as our hell days, these are the days when Pyper has gymnastics and Rylan has football - we run around like idiots. Well this past Tuesday, we were also at the hospital with Lance's dad. So I decided to put on my mom pants and be the one who would run the kids around, normally I am at work and Lance gets it all done.
I left the hospital in enough time to go home and catch a quick half hour nap prior to picking up the kids from the sitters. I managed to convince myself that since Rylan wasn't off the bus yet, I could go home and make nice with my couch, open my windows, say a few prayers and attempt to unwind. That lasted like a milla-second.
I get the kids, get home and start the Tuesday scramble......start Rylan's homework, find the uniform, find the football crap, feed the kids, pack snacks, pack chairs, pack a cooler, pack Pypers mystery bag of stuff to do for 2 hrs of football practice. I start ticking off items in my head as they are getting done, only they are not going as fast as I had imagined. For one, Rylan cannot get his damn uniform on, because he cannot find his cup. I inform him that it is not my job to keep up with it, so he had better find it - or just not wear one. He was appalled to think that I would even advise him to NOT wear one - ohh, the shame. What would his 'boys' do not all snug in that plastic device designed to protect them......I rolled my eyeballs (whatever!!).

So we spent to much time looking for his cup that he never got his homework done, nor did I get dinner started or done - to major things. Eventually I called Lance on his cell phone to attempt to locate the missing cup - of course he knew where it was, right off the bat. As a side note: who places the cup downstairs in the laundry room, on a hook- WHEN the rest of the uniform in upstairs w/ all of the pieces??? Just saying.

I pack so much crap you would think I was leaving for a week or going to feed the starving children. We make it to gymnastics and make Rylan get out his homework and the lunchable which will be his rock starr dinner - because I am Rachel ray on a shoe string.

About that time Lance shows up at gymnastics to get Rylan because football and gymnastics overlap by approx 15 minutes, and god forbid if we are EVER late for our beloved football. Lance scanns the situation at gymnastics and states 'why is Rylan doing his homework now?'
Me 'because we couldn't get it done at home. Plus he has a lunchable that he needs to eat before he starts practice.'
Lance 'You didn't get homework done, nor did you feed them dinner?' His tone is rather disgusted.

I glare at him, and with a bleacher full of soccer moms and their kids that are not flipping and flopping on the floor below I state 'well, Martha Stewart, I was not able to rock it all out today.'
He continues ' how could you not, you left before me, you had plenty of time. You know when I do this, I make dinner, feed them dinner, have all the home work done and still make all of the appts.'
Me getting rather worked up 'well, happy horse shit for you, we decided to take the slacker route today. It was a lunchable or cereal - we thought the lunchable would be the more reasonable choice.'

By this time Rylan is packing up his stuff and getting ready to go to football, mind you he has not eaten his rock starr dinner....he has decided to wait until he gets home from practice (at 8:30pm) so that way his dad can make him something. Great, now I am really the loser mom.

On their way out, I ask Lance if Pyper and I can just skip football and go straight home to get some things done. He says he would prefer if I didn't show up. That makes me laugh, at least we are on the same page here. With out missing a beat he states while you are there switch out the laundry, it is all caught up but the dryer needs to be run one last time to 'fluff' the stuff before folding. I nodd as if I understand - but secretly I HATE laundry, and I am trying to figure out a way to avoid the dryer all together. But since he did do all of the laundry this week, think I can find the time to dragg my ass down there to at least fold one load.

I get home Thursday and he has cooked a turkey - not a just a turkey and lemon, sage turkey.
Does anyone see the role reversal going on here.................

Well don't be so quick to give him kudos, at least not just yet - he won't give up his man card for a turkey and a few loads of laundry.

We end up having a heated conversation during our turkey dinner. I was angry at how 'structured' our dinners have to be. He has no mercy on Rylan, esp at dinner - no elbows on the table, no using your fingers, you need to everything (even if you really don't like it), don't chew too loud, don't chew with your mouth open. ect, ect, ect. It seems like it never stops at the dinner table. While Pyper on the other hand, flutters around like a damn butterfly on crack. She eats off my plate, uses her fingers, can sit there naked if she likes, or all dress up like a witch (which she has done this week). She does not have to eat all of her food, or any of it for that matter. She can get up whenever she wants - and she does so she can sing or dance in front of the table.
So I make a comment at how he needs to let up and 'chill out' at the table. I did not grow up with such structure, and as much I can appreciate it we need a little bit of a damn break. He informs me that he wants them to have manners. Okay, manners I get - but tonight take them and shove them. I proceed to ask him, if he things there are two different standards at our table - one for Rylan and one for Pyper.
He looks at me, matter of factly and states 'yes.'
I look at him a bit stunned and state ' why'.
He looks rather content with himself and states, 'well, Rylan is the man and he needs the most structure and Pyper is just a girl, who will be JUST a women.'
I begin to see red and envision myself crawling across the table to choke him. I continue to ask'just WHAT exactly are you trying say?'
'well, you know just that women are inferior to men - and it is okay if Pyper flutters around, but Rylan has to know the ropes.'
*Okay folks see him swiping his 1950's man card right across my face. *
I look at him like I have no idea who he is - I am livid, I am pissed.

At this point dinner is done and we about to kill each other. The kids are looking at us like we are from the WWF, with each of us in our respective corners. I am ready to put the smack down on him. We exchange a few glares and a few code words and remind him that he has been doing alot of 'womens work these days'. And lets me know that is because I do a 'crappy job at them all.' I smirk and state 'fine with me, IF u do them, gives me more time to sit and eat bon-bons.'
And with that we called it a night...............

So as the roles seem to have been reversed in my household, just know that he has his 1950's membership card in his back pocket and is not afraid to use it. As a quick reminder I let him know that I have a full membership to the biz-nitch club. I will gladly pull out my biz-nitch card and match him one to one.
*but the turkey was good and my clothes are wrinkle free - ha!*

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Just in case you were wondering I am ready for 2009 to be OVER.
It has seemed like the year from hell.
Yes, folks...H.E.L.L

Lets run thru the short laundry list
-recession, has kicked our arse, and drained our savings.
-Rylan's surgery, need I say more. *he is a total rock starr, and we are glad it is over.
-family, friends, pressure, work ect.; my way of being generic.

Here are some most recent events that continue to support my thought that 2009 has sucked.
A week ago we got a call that Lance's mom was in the ICU - in Texas. Can we say hello emotional overdrive. We did not hope on a plan and make our way to Texas, we waded thru phone calls and updates. Well actually he took them all, and only dispensed the information after hours of prying and begging. After a week or so it has been determined that she will need oxygen on a full time basis and over all is pretty healthy. Whew!

In the back of my mind my thoughts were as follows ' this was the only year, in 8 years that we did not trek down to Texas for some sort of vacation. Hello, ONLY year...and if Lance's mom passes away and he did not get to see her, he may never forgive me.' 'But hell folks, we did not take a vacation at all, we stayed put and paid our bills. dear heavens.

Yesterday I took off work, yeah that job of mine in which I have minimal to no days - because I just started. I took one of those non-existing days and did two major things.
First I took Rylan to the ortho and after I chopped off my pinky finger and signed in blood we had his braces taken off and were issued a bright green, glow in the dark retainer. Oh, and on top of glowing in the dark it had a penguin graphic on the bottom of it. Can we say WTF.

Whatever happened to the bubblegum pink ones that they issued?? You know the plain jane ones that everyone took out at the lunch table, wrapped in their napkins and invertible threw away and had to dig thru the trash to find.
Now they have upgraded to a whole phamplet of colors and graphics that your kid gets to choose, and you owe and arm and a leg for. And they give the phamplet to the kids, no warning to the parents - i could not have asked for the plan jane one if I wanted to.
I did this before 10 am.

Right after this I dropped his butt off at school, without his new retainer. Which was a whole conversation in itself. He only has to wear it at night, so NO you are NOT taking it to school. I don't need the damn thing broken or lost before it is even 24 hours old. He was mad, I didn't care and we called it a day.

I trucked down to the hospital to be with my husband, his brother, a step sister and my FIL. My FIL was having heart surgery, but they didn't know what kind until they got in there. So one week it is my husbands mom, the next it is his father. I know it comes with the territory of having parents that are close to 80 yrs old, but that does not provide much comfort. Lance did not sleep at all Monday night - I know he was nervous about his father. As usual we did not talk about it, he never does, and since it was his emotional roller-coaster, I decided to allow him the luxury of dealing with it in his own way. Which is to ignore it, not sleep, watch crap tv and pray for the best. I made just as they were wheeling my FIL back for surgery. I met him in the hallway, kissed his cheek and gave his hand a soft squeeze.
We sat in the waiting room, looking out the window at the wonderful day and waited. We attempted to make small talk, thumb thru crappy magazines and waited for the bat-phone to ring in the corner. The call came, my FIL would be fine and they did not perform surgery. Actually, they did nothing. Which raised it own set of concerns. WTF - he just had chest pains friday and saturday. He is short of breath, his color is off - the list goes on and on.
Nothing, yes folks - that is right they ran a scope up his leg to his heart, so the flutter but did nothing. As a combined unit we were agast. My FIL was at the hospital at 9 am and sent home by 4pm. I am still a bit leary of it all, but we are just going to have to take it one day at a time.
As a side note, today marks the 2nd year anniversary of the day he lost his dear wife Nancy. The family tells us that my FIL has been wearing her sweater around the house for the last few weeks, clearly it is a womens sweater - clearly he is a man, but I assume it helps him feel close to her. Sad does not begin to describe how he feels since she died. He has prob aged a good 15 years in the two years since her death. The fact that Lance could lose both of his parents between today and next 5 years is very real and very sad. Anytime we get a phone call we are placed on alert and emotions run high.
Yesterday around 6pm we both took a moment to breath a sigh of relief, it maybe short lived, but we will take what we can get.
So yes folks, I am ready for 2009 to be over, I am ready for the news to stop talking about the flu and damn swine flu. I am ready for the recession to be over and for my husband to get back to work. I am ready to stop going to the damn orthodontist every 6 weeks and paying thru the nose - although his teeth do look 'pretty'. And damn it is only Wednesday..............who knows what else the week might bring.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Okay, as much as I hate to accept it, we are in sleep hell.
Pyper STILL does not sleep all night. She does not go to bed on her own, she falls asleep on the couch with me, then I carry her to her bed.

Before I get a bunch of emails about it all, let me just state, that I know I am an enabler.
I honestly have not worked on trying to get her to go to bed in her own bed - I just let her lay next to me on the couch until she is snoring.

She is such a touchy child, she will feel and twist my hair until her it is wound up tight and knotted up to my scalp. Once she even got her fat little sausage fingers wrapped up in my hair the tip of her finger turned blue. If she hurts me, and I ask her to keep her fingers out of my hair then she will move on to her own. Wrapping and twisting until her little eyes are closed.

Prior to bed time I am too wrapped up in wanting to lay in the couch and veg out in front of the TV that I honestly have not made putting her in her own bed a priority. I can own that one - that one is my bad. A situation that I have created and continue to enable. And before I get totally frustrated with her for not closing her eyes, there are small moments of pure glee coming out of my emotional pores. Like the moments when her chubby little cheeks are pressed next to mine, as she hugs me for the hundredth time. Or the small bird like kisses she gives these days and that soft child like voice that squeaks 'i luv u mom'. I could bottle those little moments up and sell them they are so darn cute.

But why in hells name does the child not sleep all night once she is finally snuggled in her own bed. I put in her bed, cover her up, place pillows all around her (thinking I am fooling her into believing someone is laying close to her). She will sleep soundly for a few hours, anywhere between 3 to 4 hours and then she will wake up either calling my name or be standing next to my bed with her dragon breath. These are the sleepy, gauge my eyeballs out, moments that make me freakn' crazy. The moments when I curse the child and wonder what in the hell is wrong with her. In my sleepy haze I either go crawl into her bed and allow her to pull my hairs out one by one off my head or I pick her up and place her in the middle of my bed. Either way by this time in the morning, my only goal is to keep getting sleep. Not fidget, not fight, and not talk. Girlfriend does not want to talk at 3am, no girlfriend should be sleeping and dreaming about beaches and drinks.

What I cannot determine is why the child is getting up?

Because once I am close to her she snuggles up close and goes right back to sleep.
I use to convince myself that once she was back asleep, I was going to stay awake long enough to either get back in my own bed or put her back in hers.
This never happens.

I am never coherent enough to drag my butt out of her bed - I usually find myself in her winnie the pooh room around 6am. It is either that or I wake up to her nailing Lance with her flailing arms and legs. For some reason when she is in our bed she torments Lance, he swears she is there to drive him out of his own bed with abuse. I joke that she is best birth control we could ever have.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

H1N1 debate??

Okay folks flu season is upon us...and the damn H1N1 is all over the place.
The flu basically sucks anyway, without this nonsense.
My work and my doctor are pushing the vaccine - I am dead set against getting it.

I have never gotten the flu shot, nor have my kids.
But on the flip side, it could kick our arse or kill my babies.

We just got a note from our football team that a kid has been diagnosed w/ the swine flu - a kid that was sickly looking during Sat's game. So in essence we have all been exposed to it and I am bit freaked out.

But not freaked out enough to shoot the crap in their arm or up their nose.
But honestly I am damn scared!
Someone throw me a bone - what are you doing in your household?
Is anyone else torn?

I met a mom during football who said her son just got over the swine flu last week - his fever was 105. OMG! 105, I almost puked right there. She said it was scary, her son lost 7 lbs - but stayed home and she managed it.
I am finding it difficult to imagine Pyper (3) or Rylan (8) with a fever of 105......
Are good eating habits, vitamins, and exercise enough to combat this flu season?
Am I risking my children by not getting them the swine flu shot?
But here is my flip side - what if the CDC comes back next year and with a statement like ' oops we are sorry the swine flu vaccine had some side effects we didn't fully test. sorry, your kids are messed up.'
Give me the scoop tell me how you are handling this in your home.
Today, I am holding steady about not getting the shot(s) for me or my kids. I pray nothing bad happens based on my decision - today, I feel it is a gamble either way.....

Friday, October 9, 2009


men. or at least my husband.
The double standard that floats around my house makes me crazy, bonkers - crazy.
So this weekend I am going on a 'girls' only trip. I will be leaving Sat morning coming back Sunday. Hello, like 24 hours - no big deal. The entire week he has been making snide comments about how much I get to get out, ect.

Sure he is half ass jealous - but for REAL dude; keep it. Last night he started with the whole 'you know you are going to miss the football game.' I knodded in agreement.
then he stated 'well, what about Pyper? What am I suppose to do with her?'
My reply ' the same damn thing I would do with her at the game - watch her!'.

I have yet to tell him that I work happy hour planned for next Wed, I am not ready to catch hell for that one. I need to get thru this Sat first.
But for real, if one of his friends calls and wants him to go - he goes. No worries, no what about the kids ect. Plus in Nov he is going to leave for a few weekends to go deer hunting, which is code for drinking beer with the guys. Why - because he doesn't even own a deer rifle, he just goes to ride 4 wheelers and get the away for the weekend. No time table, no I'll be home by noon, no guilt.

So I am leaving bright and early, out of a group of 16 people I only know 3 of them - which is just the way I like it. I don't have to do anything but just be out and about, drinking some wine. I am sharing a room with a girlfriend, who is alot like me - not bs, no drama.
So tonight will be another night of nonsense with Lance, the closer it gets, the more he will pour it on. I will pack the football bag, set Pyper's clothes out (hat/gloves ect), make sure the house is clean and call it a day. I mean for real, he could do nothing for 24 hours and be fine. Get a few movies, order pizza and then I will be back.
Looking forward to a small get-a-way.........
Here's the other thing that really burns my arse. He was off for a few weeks, and during those weeks he decided to fix a crack in our ceiling. Well, I came one day to find the ceiling fix (yeah), but he had gotten carried away at attempted to fix every small inperfection on every wall on my top floor. Every wall on my top floor has a big white spot of spackel on it - omg. He started painting one of the 6 walls that now need to be re-painted. Last weekend I said to him let's work on this a few hours on Sunday. His response ' not with the kids home.' I looked at him sideways ' when do you think we are going to get this done? The kids are always home.' He just shrugged his shoulders and responded ' I guess the next time I have a few days off.'' OMG.

In my mind we could spend an hour or two each night getting some of this done, and as far as the kids go - hell, let them help. They will get bored and find something else to do in less than 5 minutes. So two years ago he laid me a wood floor - looks beautiful. However he never laid the trip, he was waiting to paint. So now I have spackeled walls and no trip. He is known to start projects and NEVER get them done - it drives me bonkers. bonkers!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I have been absent lately, and not from lack of things to say, just a lack of how to say it all - and it not come back to either bite me in the arse, or regret how I decided to communicate it all.

I am waiting for all of the muck to work its way out of my head, waiting for a little relief, waiting for the full moon that seems to have driven everyone out of their 'effing mind to get back to half cocked rather than full.

It seems like the tides, currents and moon have all aliened to throw me curve ball, after curve ball and it has frankly sucked. I feel like a i am walking around with a damn target on my head, and both of my middle fingers are in the up-right position. Because these days I frankly don't care. Folks, that is bad place to be......

I am not one that 'waits' well. I am normally a fixer, normally gett-er done kind of person. But some of the issues are not mine to fix, others came out of the blue because people are CRAZY. (reminds me of that song 'god is great, beer is good and people are CRAZY - that seems to be my theme song these days).
End result is that I have brought it all home and now Lance either has to wade thru the muck with me or put some distance between us. He has decided to put some distance between us, because recently I have been a damn basket case.

So in an effort not to torment my family I went to see my doctor. I broke down, admitted my inability to process it all, fix it all, and not be overwhelmed by it all and was once again prescribed the dreaded little blue pill. That was earlier this week, I am waiting for the little blue pill to kick in and give a happy medium gauge -rather than the raging idiot one I have been on.

I am sad beyond word about some of the most recent events surrounding my life, things I have decided not to blog about, for fear of it being misconstrued. Secondly, I don't want to deal with the bs that follows a post that encompasses real, raw honestly. I have had enough bs recently that I will be full for the next 3 mths.

In my absence from blogging here a few things that have sent my emotions reeling: My aunt was diagnosed with cancer, they got it, BUT what a scare. It made my heart heavy, and it was my first close exposure to cancer. Sort of rocked my world a bit. My SIL has come at me with guns a blazing, which is weird because I have nothing to do with her g00d, bad or indifferent. I am going to leave it at that. My father is not recovering well from his motorcycle accident this past july. My sister is going thru alot right now, and I spend my time praying she makes good decisions. Then there is Lance who is weird at the moment, and I have been too wrapped up in drama and work to really get the root of his stuff. But what I do know is we are off kilter, out of sync and slightly distant. Work is still a learning curve, which frankly pisses me off, plus it has required a LOT of nightly meetings which puts a bit of stress on my home life.

Oh and one more thing, I called my mother a few days ago, in the middle of the night - sobbing. Hello folks, my mother. You know you have hit rock bottom when you make that leap, make that phone call and cannot wade thru all of the muck in your head. I went to bed, started sobbing - overwhelmed. Lance and I tired to talk - not much success. Then i called my mother, knowing she was asleep, it was late - but i needed too. Hello, earth to Michelle ' the mother ship is going to take you away'. Clear signs I am a basket case. Not to mention the sobbing that spewed from my eyes and the snot from my nose that night. OMG. She answers the phone clearly sleeping and I am squeaking thru the sobbs - for real you would have thought something was really wrong or that someone had died. Nope, just me losing my mind. I'll take one ticket to crazyville. Once she realizes that it is me and that everyone is okay, she humored me and stayed on the phone. Spewing words of wisdom wrapped up in her own version of nonsense - which we all luv. And occasionally losing track and she would speak to the mouse that was running across her floor. Yes, folks we are all easily distracted.

I am too the point where I either want to drink my lunch, punch every other person in the face (because stupidity drives me crazy) or gauge their eyeballs out and eat the gooy insides.

Lastly, because I am into self humiliation. I forgot to pay my phone bill for two months in a row. Who does that??? I manage over 20 million at work, pay alot of bills and work thru a lot of financials and I forget to pay my own damn phone bill? Not just once, but twice......I swear I just overlooked it all. I feel like I sink to the bottom, bob back up take a breath and then start sinking again. The small spot of light is not sunshine, but a spot light from the guy giggn' frogs and he is ready to spike me in the eyeball at any moment.

i play, that was drama filled.....I know.

THERE are some positives and I can embrace those to the end. my kids.
the best thing I have going - work, family, money and worries all go away with the smile of my darn kids. Thank god he gave them to me or I would be in worse shape than I am now. We survived a summer of surgery, unemployment and ups & downs. We will survive this bump in the road too, I am just ready for things to smooth out - just bit.

So I am waiting, for the tides to turn, moon to re-align and my head to be less hazy........any day now would be great..

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Just another day ?

nine years ago today, I went thru my morning as if it was just another day.
I remember attending class, it was a Saturday class and I had a final.
Lance and I were living in an apt in Webster Groves, and by the time I had made it home he was gone.

Growing up, I never wanted to be a princess, or get married and have a big wedding w/ all that stuff. I never really thought about the white picket fence, or if I did - I imagined the fence on fire. (ha!). I just was not that girl. I never really pictured myself with children, actually the thought of having a child terrified me. I could barely wipe my own a*s, how was I going to really take care of anyone else?? So the thought of having an actual wedding day left me a bit perplexed. It left me not really sure what to do with myself.

I was determined to take a bath, relax and enjoy being alone. I was going to enjoy being Michelle Bates for one last moment. I didn't have any real second thoughts about becoming Mrs. DePew later that afternoon, but I wasn't sure I was completely done being Ms. Bates. I luv'd my life, luv'd my then job, and was living life like a rock starr. I made my own money, got to travel and had a boyfriend that I totally dug. Plus during that time he traveled too, so when we final got to see each other we were super happy to be together. He was gone alot, on the road so it felt like one big date night all the time. The screeching halt came when the prego stick had two lines, he jumped for joy and I hesitated. Whoa mama.

So we jumped in with both feet, not completely unaware of who we were or what each of us stood for, there were no real surprises.

I take that back, there have been a few surprises.
Having Rylan sent us into a whirlwind, we were both rallying to keep some resemblance of our 'old' life. We had to muck thru that for awhile. Then buying a house and a car, like real adults. Then the idea of having a second child. Well, it was always his idea, but it took alot of coaxing for me. We have had good times and bad in our last 9 years.
More good than bad, I think.......no, I am sure.

That day I remember not being nervous, I remember nothing being conventional about the whole ordeal. I gave everyone a 3 week notice and by the time I informed my family (aka my mom), I had already booked the church, hired the singer, picked the date and gotten rings.
No amount of crying or whining on my mothers part would change the dynamics of the soon to be wedding. Well, one topic I did give in on was getting my own dress. In the beginning I was determined to just wear my sisters. The reality of it was, I was just going thru w/ the church gig to keep my mother semi-pacified. But in hind site I am glad we did have a church wedding.
And now that my sister has 3 girls and I have 1 perhaps we both needed our own dress as well. (yes, that is my small way of telling my mother she was right *cring*).

As much as i hated it at the time, 9 years later I look back on that day and I smile.
My father got to walk me down the isle, my mother got to cry in public (ha!), my family surrounded us in support in luv and we have plenty of memories to share with my children.

Today we spent our evening talking about our day, cooking dinner and hanging out with our children. If you would have told me that 9 years ago, this would be life, I would have laughed. Prob. out loud and hard - big o'laugh. But today, it seems natural, it seems comforable, safe and secure. Being married to someone that you still dig and luv takes some work, but for the most part it comes together like a zipper, one notch at a time, but seamless and tight The zipper that holds together the memories of our life, the fabric of our being.

Nine year ago today I said 'I do' to becoming Mrs. DePew. It is one of the best choices I have ever made. So for you, it may have been just another day - but today was my Anniversary..
The day I gave up being Ms. Bates and became Mrs. DePew. If I had to give up my madien name and my old life, then I guess this gig is not too bad.........nope, not to shabby at all. It is a work in progress, we take it one day at a time. Praying for a life time of love and happiness. Praying that the good days get us through the bad.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Old enough?

My 8 yr old has an email account...
My 8 yr old has decided he wants long hair (like Jeff Hardy - the wrestler).

This has me wondering who is really running things - apparently not me :).
I review his email, see who and what is going on. You like a concerned, engaged parent should do. But I must admit - I find it odd. He was even IM'ing the other night w/ the neighbor girl.
So as he sits in his boxers typing with his little 8 yr old fingers, I envision him being 15. Not wanting me to look over his shoulder, not wanting to share his emails with me. I am a bit horrified, so I soak up these moments when he thinks I am okay to see HIS stuff.

BTW - he keeps asking for a damn phone. Why? Who in the hell is he going to call. I am adamant about not getting him a phone. Well, that was until Lance took him to the Savis center last month and left Rylan and another kid in their seats while he went to smoke. While Lance was gone some drunk guy sat next to him and started eating his popcorn. The guy was still there when Lance got back and boys had moved two rows behind the guy - they were afraid. It times like this, when I wish I had given him a phone.

Okay moving on - Long hair. It has been my experience that every boy goes thru this stage. I saw it with my husband, with my brother and even once w/ my dad (that makes me giggle). But at 8 - ugh. There is this wrestler w/ REALLY long hair, that Rylan luv's. So now he has decided that he is NOT going to get a hair cut.
How do I go from a Mohawk, which entails alot of hair cuts - to not wanting to get one at all??
Rylan has football photo's this weekend and I told him last night ' you need a hair cut'.
His response 'no.'
I shot him a look and said 'yes.'
He was just as strong back to me 'No.'
I walked away and shook my head, trying to decide if this is really a fight worth fighting......
I don't know yet. I figure he may get really tired of trying to get long hair once his hair is fluffy, I may just wait him out.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


So folks do me a favor, and don't read this blog if you find it to be full of drama, exaggerations or anything in between.

If you find it not be to YOUR specifications than I recommend the following:
1) start your own - you may find it therapeutic
2) get a life, and realize I use this avenue for ME - I believe I have said that a time or two.
3) don't come by - don't swing by, don't read the nonsense
4) or comment when something really does not sit well
*unless of course it is easier to grip about it but not let me know.*

I am very tired these days, in case you haven't noticed.
I am tried of the nonsense, tired of the crap.
If you have something to say to me, then do me a favor and let me know.
Write me, call me or come by.
If you think I am crap, say so.
If you were mad a month ago, then let me know a month ago - not today.

I have used this avenue to vent, but it has been so much more than that for me.
I have written to my kids, put my fears out there, and even made some very good friends.

It seems funny to me that I only hear from my family when they are upset about me writing about them - but I never hear from them if a post was good, or written from my heart about things going on in my life. I would consider that convenient.

Secondly they let me know that some of the items on the blog were inappropriate - but won't say which ones, nor do they comment when they find it. They wait, like little school kids for the right time to pounce and beat me down. classy.

I am no longer going to play it safe, for my families sake. Because in the end it does not matter. I have tried to be gentle, tried to be fair, tried to hinder my thoughts - which by the way are MINE solely. And in case you have not notice I am entitled to them, in the same manner you are.

So as you rack up your tally list of my wrong doings, just be comforted that I am fully aware of what they are, and I OWN them. The flaws you point out in me, I accept and I carry the guilt for them and I must live with them. As I get on my high horse and ride off into the sunset with my perfect little family, perfect job, and perfect little life - just know that you know nothing about me. Which is the way you prefer it. But do me a favor and don't make it up as you go along, things are not as they appear from the outside. You make and more and more clear that you are less interested in getting to know me, but don't mind taking the jab when you see the door wide open.

We have spent alot of years going thought motions, but not really getting to know each other and not really supporting each other. I luv you, I pray for you, and I miss you dearly. I am sad beyond words at the most recent chain of events, I have shed many tears - but in the same token I am not sorry for any of my actions. As we go thought the motions it becomes more and more clear how you feel about me, it just would have been nice if you could have shared those thoughts the day you had them and not during some fight.

I take ownership of my part in letting all of us get so far apart. I have 110 excuses not to make time to work on our relationship, friendship and family foundation. I am not the martyr, I have made mistakes - I have tried to learn from them. I have repeated most of them time and time again. don't paint me out to be someone I am not. As you point out my flaws, do you ever take the time to remember any of the good? Or is our relationship so tainted that you can wrap me up in a bow of nonsense.

I keep locked away in my heart the times we were children, the times that make me laugh and smile. The times when we did support each other, when we did lean on each other and when the walls build around us were easier to break through.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Sometimes being a sister is tough.
Sometimes it is hard to stand on the sidelines and keep ones mouth shut.
Sometimes you want to be so hopeful.
Sometimes you break and say harsh things.
Sometimes you place a wedge between each other you dont' know how to remove.
Sometimes you don't recognize the person you are looking at.
Sometimes your heart breaks.
Sometimes you cry.
Sometimes you miss the person standing right next to you.
Sometimes you just have to wait for time to heal.
Sometimes you pray a little harder
Sometimes I just don't understand.
Sometimes I fail at not being judgemental
Sometimes I fail.......
Sometime loving a person is not enough.
Sometimes there are just no words.

Friday, September 11, 2009

27 yrs old

The things kids say:

So the other night, Rylan was asking for money to buy a DSI.

I looked at him and said 'you got any money?'
He looked shocked and replied ' no.'
I replied 'well, it looks like you will have to wait until you get a job. You still owe us for the DS we just bought from A. Misty last month.'
*mind you in order to pay off the DS, he agreed to empty the bathroom trash can, put his clothes away, and take the big trash out to the can. He is 8 - so these chores are appropriate in my mind*.

With a total serious face he looked at me and said ' you mean I have to wait until I am 27 before I can buy anything.'
I laughed out loud ' you mean you are not going to get a job until you are 27?'
Him ' well, yeah.'
Me 'um, you have another thing coming. You had better have a job and move out by 27. '
Rylan ' well, 27 is when I am suppose to be really grown up.'
Me : laughing out loud. Thinking to myself - this kid is never going to move out.
God luv him!!!

I remember the days when I thought 30 was old, well now days they think 27 is old.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Shop locally

Okay, did anyone esle get this----?

Hi Michelle –

I just wanted to follow up re: this Buy Local St. Louis initiative I sent you an email about last week. As I mentioned, shopping locally can have an enduring economic impact, which is why Contribute 2009 challenges individuals to spend $50 at a local small business on or around Oct. 12.

I’m hoping you’ll be able to share the message of Contribute with your “Working Mother of Two” readers, perhaps by suggesting they spend $50 at a locally owned St. Louis business. For more info about Contribute, check out this CNBC story and contact me at 216.298.4676 or via email, mkoski@edwardhoward.com. To take the pledge to spend $50 locally, visit www.scentsycontribute.org.


OFFICE 216.781.2400DIRECT 216.298.4676

Shop Locally:

I received this today - so I thought I would pass it on.
As a side-barr - we always try to shop locally. We luv the local (Soulard) farmer mkt, our fav pharmacy is the local mom and pop shop at the top of our hill. Both of my parents own a business, I understand and respect the purpose and drive to shop and use local services.
Good luck and enjoy. * I will try to post tomorrow- so much to say, so little time in the day*

Hi Michelle –

I just wanted to follow up re: this Buy Local St. Louis initiative I sent you an email about last week. As I mentioned, shopping locally can have an enduring economic impact, which is why Contribute 2009 challenges individuals to spend $50 at a local small business on or around Oct. 12.

I’m hoping you’ll be able to share the message of Contribute with your “Working Mother of Two” readers, perhaps by suggesting they spend $50 at a locally owned St. Louis business. For more info about Contribute, check out this CNBC story and contact me at 216.298.4676 or via email, mkoski@edwardhoward.com.
To take the pledge to spend $50 locally, visit www.scentsycontribute.org.


OFFICE 216.781.2400
DIRECT 216.298.4676

Monday, August 24, 2009

Football family ?

This past weekend, we attended a lovely football gathering held by our football coaches. In an effort to get to know everyone, they took a photo of each family and posted on their website. Here is our family in all of our glory.

Yes, Pyper is wearing swim goggles - because just like her mother, she listens to the beat of her OWN drum. It was a nice picnic at Arnold park, and we finally felt like part of team. The coaches are doing a really good job at building moral, involving the family and dealing with the boys. There are 21 boys on the team, and after this day, we all felt a little closer to the cause and a little more involved.

To say that it was nice would be an understatement. The picnic was from 3 to 5 - we were there from 2 to 8:30pm.
Perhaps we are a football family..............I feel my heart swaying.
Time will tell.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Another day, another grade higher......

Dear world,

Today I present to you a smiling, humble, shy and sometimes sassy 8 year old.

Each year he becomes more and more confident, and comfortable in his own skin. It is hard for me to imagine that together Lance and I have done this good, so far.

As we begin to step foot into the 3rd grade, I take time to reflect on the last year.

Rylan has had a few trials over the summer and he has rocked them out like a true rock starr. He continues to grow in leaps in bounds, bounce back from surgery, and take his family dysfunction in stride.

His dad becomes his shining light and center for direction more and more each day. *which is a scary thought at times*. As Rylan looks more to his dad, he relies less and less on me. Sure he may need the occasional hug or two, but not alot. He walks around with half my heart as he continues to enter the big world. Him and his dad are bonding over sports, tv, fishing and general boy stuff - like farting. Gone are the days of bottles, baby baths, chubbers, and some good ol' snuggling.

These elements have been replaced with a shy smile, an intense giggle, a heart of gold and a hit of sass.
As we enter the third grade I cringe at how fast the days have gone by, but glow with pride as I watch him wipe my kiss off his lips and hop thru the school doors. He was upset that I drove him to school, he really wanted to ride the bus. But he humored me and let me drive him, much to his displeasure. I figure this is my last year of getting to drop him off and even getting a kiss out of the deal.

As we sit in the drop off line, I make small talk. He admits that he is 'nervous'. That makes me smile. How big he is to understand the emotions that comes with nerves. I tap his hand and tell him it will all be okay, he smiles and nodds - as if already knows that.

So dear world, as you welcome my 8 year old son into the 3rd grade world I implore you to take good care of him. Don't make his heart hard with mean kids, hurtful words, or hard times. Keep his eyes shinning and his smile across his face, these attributes light up my day.
These attributes remind me that I continue to do a good job. Remind him to be nice to others, don't always follow the crowd, and that it is okay to be sad at times. Don't steal his confidence, it has been building over a period of time, but can be brought down in one fail swoop. He is a genetic combo of his father and I so, just take that into consideration as he begins this learning curve.
May he continue to luv his sister with no boundaries, and know that it is okay if he teases her but be fierce when protecting her from others.
Please send him home to me each day with a great story, a happy heart and good friends. These are the years in which he is building a foundation that will support him for a life time.

We are excited for another year of football, learning and struggles.

So dear world.........take care of my son. Love always his mother.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Ever wonder why we keep on making the same mistake?
Like recently when I took Lance to a work function last week and once again he acted a fool.
Deep down I knew better than to ask him, let alone bring him.
So grab your best cup of joe, or your fav' beer and take a moment to thank god you are not me.
I get tickets from a work consultant to a luxury suite at a recent cardinal game.
*for the record I am not a game girl - I don't drink beer, I get bored, and the seats hurt my butt after too long. As a rule of thumb I just don't go. Lance and Rylan go to at least 3 games a year. Lance is a game freak, he prob goes closer to 5 or 6 times a year w/ friends. *
So I get the kids arrangements made, get home from work early and mind you I have to work the next day. The game is a Wed night game, and my butt has to be to work on Thurs for a 7 am staff meeting. I already want to gauge my eyeballs out, I HATE 7 am staff meetings - who does that shit?
So we go to the game, there are alot of older people in their sports jackets and dockers. um, not us - no Lance wears his hat, flip-flops and cardinals t-shirt. I wear some jeans and a t-shirt.
Fine, no big deal........It is a cardinals game.
Lance starts drinking the free beer, but does not eat the free food. He does not want to kill the mood. By 2nd ing he is whistling from the back row and yelling towards the field in the back of this old couples head. You can seem the physically flinch every time he stands up. I walk over and calmly tap his shoulder, and ask him to tone it down a notch. He listens for like a mil-second. He lets me know we are at the game and 'they' need to get over it.
Then I see him wander back to get a beer out of the fridge, then he never comes back. He is in the back talking w/ a group of guys. My radar goes off, I start eyeballing him and a lady waves me off. The lady, who knows I am worried about Lance lets me know the guys he is talking too are ' guys - guys' and I have nothing to worry about.
I half smile at her, but know in the back of my head this night is gonna suck.
I pull up a seat on the other side of the barr next to this big guy. He leans over to me and laughs and says ' this is too easy, Lance is just walking around w/ a target on his head. Watch this one.'
The guys says' hey Lance.'
'What 'Lance replies
What do you get when you cross a Mexican and an Asian worker?
Lance looks at the guys sideways, the big guys states ' a local 1 union worker' then he erupts in laughter.
Lance on the other hand erupted in a long string of foul words.
I hang my head low, shake it and hold up my hand in a motion for him to take it down a notch. cool off and perhaps stop drinking.
Just about this time a cute little 24 yr old girl hops around to Lance's side of the barr to get a beer too. *mind you she works for the company that invited us*
She bends down to get a beer and all guys immed look at her arse.
Lance acts as if he is going to slap it.
I shake my head and state 'don't you dare'.
The big guy next to me says ' i DARE you.'
Lance takes a moment then the big guys sees Lance hesitate then he states 'You are a big chicken, you don't have it in you.'
Right then Lance slapped this girl on the butt.
On top of slapping her on the butt he comments on what a nice butt she has and thinks maybe he should feel it again.
She immed. get her beer and gets the hell out of dodge.
The entire group of guys are laughing, I am humiliated and mortified.
I make Lance apologize and he does a half ass apology. You know the one, where you make them. He has some stupid sheepish grin on his face and attempts an i'm sorry.
I find the girl outside and apologize a few other times, feeling like a dumb ass.
I go back to get Lance stating how inappropriate it was to play grab ass at a work function, let alone to play grab-ass in general. He states, ' I had too, they dared me.'
*they are really all 12*
They DARED you, dear god, like I give a rats ass.
Then he goes on, 'besides the dare Michelle, she asked for it. I mean for real she bent over right in front of me, '
At this moment I walked away. Mortified, humiliated and trying to figure out how to save face tomorrow with the consultant. Anyone have a local husband or brother I can take to work functions, because Lance is officially NEVER allowed to attend another one.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


reminding myself to breath and not miss the moments- they are growing up so darn fast!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

times are tough.

Thank you to bun and Farrell for the response............
Farrell for the record I would luv lunch or happy hour.
I know we keep talking about it we just never seem to get there - I 'think' I am really close to your work these days. We should plan on it in the near future.
Bun - I may need an apt. ; I don't have the link - if you send it that might be good.

The weekend was good. I kept my sisters kids Sat into Sunday early afternoon. I took them to the pool for a few hours. I swear I looked like I was running a darn day-care. It was fun non the less. We got milk-shakes afterwards, ordered pizza then settled in to watch Icarly. My soul needed some down time with the 'small fries.'
Sunday my sister took all the kids home w/ her for a few hours, and Lance left to go brew beer w/ a friend. Bottom line, I was home alone for part of the day. I spent most of it being rather productive....I cleaned out Rylan's closet, got him ready for school. That my friends was quite the chore, but what a relief now that it is done. On the flip side, we will need winter clothes.

Lance has been home for the last few weeks, I think in the last 6 weeks he has worked one 40 week. This is putting a strain on the overall system of my household. Not to mention his attitude. I have him working on a long honey-do list, but most of this requires him spending money as well. *grrrr, such a double edge sword*
Here is what also really burns my a*s. He needs to apply for unemployment, that folks would bridge the gap between my paycheck. He keeps acting like he will, but he has not.
I keep trying to tell him that it is necessary, he acts like he gets it - but once I leave for work there is NO follow-thru. Plus as a added bonus the union will provide a supplement as well. Which could also help. We are not totally down and out, but making ends meeting is a bit tough. A few phone calls and a few pages of paperwork and he could be contributing to the cause.
I know people fight over alot of things, and money is prob at the top.
i guess my issue is, if he knows it is available to him and we in essence need it - why is he not getting it done?
Today I mailed a voided check to the unemployment office on his behalf - even with that it takes two weeks to process. Then he must submit his check stub - or lack there of. When you have zero hours, you don't get a stub. Such a vicious cycle.
I know tough times are hitting alot of people, and I am grateful for my job and its security. I am grateful that I can meet majority of my big bills - we are not going to lose our home or anything else.
But with each week that goes by I lose a little bit more of my husband, who takes great pride in getting up and going to work everyday. He also got alot of joy in bringing home a paycheck. It takes a toll on a person when work and money are taken a way - even for a short period of time.
I know his boss is working diligently to find work, this is not his weight to carry. Time are tough everywhere. And that statement is true for my little world.
On the flip side his being home has made him available for the kids a bit more. Trying to find the siliver lining folks......it has to be here somewhere.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I have been avoiding this blog thing for awhile now - maybe a week or so.
I have alot to say, but have learned over the last year or two that it is not always ideal to place ALL of my thoughts on this site.
I would like to think that I use this site as my own personal 'bitch session' but the reality of it is - I have avoided the 'bitch session' aspect of it completely.
For several reasons -
1) Afraid that once I put my emotions out there (here), I will never be able to take them back. And, well hell, that is not good. I am the type of person that needs to vent, be ugly, think I am right and then sleep on it. The problem with posting my emotions --well, by the time I have worked them and changed direction. I have already done some damage that I didn't really mean to do.
*this folks has been a hard lesson to learn.*

I have put things out here before that I stand by for the moment they were put out there, but hurt people in the process. And suddenly I am sorry beyond words and cannot fix it.

Bottom line, my head is mucked up with a bunch of BS that has me scrabbling at the moment. And I am half irked that I have to stifle it all. Irked would be putting it lightly.

Part of me needs advice, part of me needs to get it off my chest, and part of me REALLY wants to vent. Any advice for that damn issue?

If you have an issue w/ a friend or family member do you lay it all out here?
*Experience has told me no. *

There have been several conversations over the last few months where either a friend or family member has said to me ' Michelle, please dont' blog about this.' um. Some of the situations, I would have NEVER put out here to begin with - which makes me wish people would give me a little credit. Although on the flip side they really are trying to protect me (I think).

I hope to post photos of Pyper in Rylan in the near future; prob as a filler - until I can wade thru the muck in my head.

I HATE a mucky head, it sucks!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Football -

Football season has started again, and I already HATE it.

Okay folks here's the deal - lance lied.
Bottom line - big fat lire actually he is a big fat lire that grins from ear to ear about it.
Yeap, that makes me want to jump up and punch him in the face - color me a grown up (ha!).

So here's the skinny - Rylan has one more week until he is officially off doctors orders, until he has hit his 6 week full recovery period. Which 'should' mean NO tackling in football. Actually this is what WE agreed upon. No tackeling until after 6 weeks.

IF - Rylan decided he wanted to play football again this year, then he could run and work-out with the kids; BUT no hitting until the end of 6 weeks.
*all pretty reasonable if you ask me.*
Well, last night is draft night and equipment night.
Lance tells me I don't really need to show-up; him and Rylan will go.
I think to myself - 'how nice of him.' *now I know better*. Secondly, I didn't really want to go -because I went straight from work to gymnastics w/ Pyper until 6pm.
I decided to stop by football practice, just to check it out.
Mind you I am still in my dress, heels, pearl necklace etc. Which is code for 'freakn miserable' because I still have my work clothes on.
I pull into the football parking lot and it is packed. No parking anywhere - people have parked up in the grass, created their own spots ect. I drive in circles and finally find a spot.
So, Pyper and I arrive ; her in her gymnastics uniform and me in my work attire. To say that we stuck out like a sore thumb would be putting it lightly. What the hell ever - I am use to sticking out a bit.
I find Lance on the sidelines w/ a cig hanging out of his mouth. His mouth is wide open and he is yelling at Rylan to run. I want to punch him in the face, I think 'for gosh sakes leave the darn kid alone'.
I get into Lance's view and his face drops. um, I thought.
I sit and watch the drills, no big deal. I decide I am going to leave, I am tired of being in my work clothes and things look fine. Then the teams switch into a new drill.
The hitting drill. I look at Lance and state ' he cannot do this one, we discussed this.'
He ignores me.
I say it louder ' HE CANNOT DO THIS ONE, go speak to the coach'
He ignores me.
By now they have started the drill and Rylan and this other kids are hitting each other. I feel myself puke a little in my mouth, my face is white, and I have grabbed Lance's shirt. Rylan does the drill then walks to the back of the line, unknowing that I am freaking out. Lance looks at me and smiles. I state 'if he gets hurt and has to have surgery again, I will NEVER forgive you. NEVER. And you lied.'

Rylan finished the practice, he came up for a drink twice - he said he was fine. And Lance smiled the whole time. I envisioned myself wiping the smile off his face then rubbing his face in the grass. *grow-up I know.*

I am so angry. I cannot see straight.
Tonight is another night of football practice, I suspect the same situation.
As you read this you may ask - 'why didn't I just go to the coach myself. Why did I just sit on the sidelines.'
Truth ' I thought Lance had already had the talk with the coach, we had an understanding.'
Secondly, by the time he was hitting I was too sick to move, and ashamed that I even let it happen. I envisioned myself sassing down the field in my work clothes, speaking w/ the coach and Rylan being mortified. So in an act of cowardliness I sat on it, and waited.

I trust that he truly is okay, but I would have preferred to have waited just one more week for full recovery.
In case I never said it - I hate football.

Monday, July 27, 2009

When -

When does it stop?

-When do we stop thinking we are not enough?
-When do we stop thinking we cannot meet society standards?
- When do we stop trying so hard to be someone else?

-Why are we just not enough?
Not enough time, not enough money.

Not enough luv'?

This weekend a friend of ours (not really close) was found dead in his garage.
In an effort to maintain some level of compassion for this man, I will not spill the gory details - but the death was intentional. It is sad, it is tragic and surreal.

I feel like I am in the twilight zone. I feel like the neighborhood where this family lives is drinking toxic cool-aid from the same drinking well.

Is it a sign of the recession? Or just reality catching up with people? Is it a list of bad decisions catching up with an individual that they wake up disgusted by the person they see in the mirror?

The small block along the lane in this subdivision is falling apart at the seams, even before this tragic accident. The man and his wife were having issues, they were splitting up. With three kids involved it become very complicated. He did afew bad things, she had enough. I liked them both as people - enough said. I would have never pegged them for extreme choices.

Across the street is a home where approx a year ago, the young women in the house also lost her husband - in a tragic accident. My sister found this man dead at the bottom of a hill. And still deals with the pain and emotion that surrounds finding someone dead and losing a good friend.

In some strange god like way, these two women whom have lost their husbands end up in a 2 hr car ride together over the weekend. I say strange, because in the natural way of the world, they would never cross paths - let alone end up a car ride together. I pray the find comfort in each other and might be surprised by a friendship.

How strange it is that it takes something so tragic for you to find out who your good friends are. Or that you find friends you didn't even know you had.

My sister has been dedicated to keeping the women company, she has not left this ladies house for the last two days. My sister has been her rock in these tragic times. Last year my sister found her best friends husband dead, this tragic loss cannot be easier on her either. My heart aches for her at the moment. My sister has been the rock, for two women who have lost their husbands. My sister has been the source of comfort and support and has had to see things and do things that will haunt her forever. I pray she is strong enough to process it all. I am not sure I could be, but I guess in these situations you have to be. We are the women, and we are always finding strenght we never knew we had.

I am doing what I can from a distance. I have brought food, stayed 4 to 6 hours at the ladies house trying to keep them all company. Sometimes just having someone around is a good source of comfort. My mother is also helping from a distance, the best way a mother can. Yesterday she took my sisters kids and my kids to the country for afew days so we would have the flexibility to stay with this women and attempt to help her sort thru this mess and tragedy.

Yesterday, as I field phone calls from family, friends and the funeral home I find myself in auto mode. Trying to protect the lady who is sleeping for the first time since she arrived home. I find myself talking about cremation, about a guy, I expect to walk thru the door any moment.

We find ourselves going thru his packed van - he was leaving on Monday to start his new life. We find HIS stuff and I am almost afriad to touch it. The feeling of wanting to puke never leaves. The feeling of wanting to cry is never very far away.

I look around the room last night and this is the mental picture.
Me - wondering why am I here. Then I see my sister across the room, dead tired in the arm chair staying put to support her friend. I then see the women who just lost her husband and is left behind to pick up the pieces for herself and her 3 kids. I think 'god help her' and say a small prayer.
My second thought is I need to see my own husband because the thought of living a life without him saddens me beyond words. This drives home the fact that we never know what tomorrow might bring, so live today like it maybe your last.
Then I see one more person - my sisters other friend who a year ago lost her husband. Then I remember why this seems a bit familiar to me. I have been here before - about a year ago. Hanging on the outskirts of a neighborhood tragedy. These ladies will need each other and may be surprised to find how much they have in common. They may also be surprised at how much people really do care, and where their true friends are. There maybe some good things to come out of this, but they maybe blinded by tears at the moment too see it.
I feel helpless and at a loss.............

But I did go home last night determined to fight a little hard at keeping my marriage strong, and letting lance know that no matter what happens I don't ever want to this without him. Her tragedy pushes me a bit closer to loving my husband and for that I thank her.

It has also made me realize how strong my sister really is, and how much hurt her heart has seen and carried recently. Some of the tears I cry these days are for her, but in return I feel joy for the women she is becoming right before our eyes. As I told the ladies yesterday about my sister and I quote " She is RockStarr. We luv to hate her, and her attitude sucks - but she is good to the core, and the best friend anyone could have.' If you are luck enough to have seen a glimpse of her for real, you will be surprised, amazed and in luv with her. She does not let anyone 'in' - but when she does you are there for life.

Please keep all of these ladies in your prayers - they each have a heavy burden to carry. I hope they realize:
When to cry on the shoulder of a good friend
When to share a glass of wine and a good story with a good friend
When enough is really enough
When all of it really does not matter........keep the money, fortune and fame. Give me good friends and family.


Nieces & Nephews and Kids...