Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rylan's life n' some....


























I'd like you to meet Rylan Alexander DePew, born March 30, 2001 way too early in the morning. He was born bi-lateral cleft lip and palate with the possibility of other symptoms and syndromes. At our 6mth ultrasound they asked us if we would like to abort, I lay there in horror that they could even speak such words, as I see him sucking his thumb on the monitor and his heart beating. The nurse lets me know that 60% of people that find out they are not having the perfect baby abort. I begin to cry. Listen I am already a freakn' basket case, afraid and terrified of being a new mom without the idea of having a cleft child looming over my head.


I was not the poster child of health and healthy living, but then again I was not Courtney Luv either. I have never done drugs and lead a pretty active life style - working out, traveling ect. I did not date alot, nor have I had alot of boyfriends actually less than you can count on one hand. So, I was baffled as to why we were having a child that was cleft. My brother and sister already had children, all perfectly healthy. My husband, the youngest of 6 had several nieces and nephews - once again all perfectly healthy. And yet we ended up with the 'genetic mishap' - that was a term used in a doctors office. I genetic counselor I think. Ohh these doctors get to be absurd at times.


I spent majority of my pregnancy puking, crying and being afraid of having a baby - a cleft baby. I got on the Internet and begin to gather information. This literally scared the holy bee-jeeze out of me.


Rylan was born blue, not breathing and failure to thrive. I was high on morphine and my limbs did not work. As you can tell we were off to a good start. They rushed him off to the NICU and placed a feeding tube in him. Within 48 hours I went home with an empty car-seat.


I remember being in the elevator, and a couple looking over to glance in the car seat and I started to cry. Much their disappointment and concern the seat was empty. At that point so was my heart. I walked into our apt at the time and cried. I pumped, because he was missing majority of the roof of his mouth so breastfeeding was out of the question. I would sit like a cow in the milking room, and cry. I had visions of him being awake in the NICU crying and no one holding him. I would call the NICU alot, at all hours of the night, just for some source of comfort. During the day I would hike my way to Childrens and sit for a few hours and hold him and pump. But having just given birth, I could only stay hours at a time rather than all day.
If I would have passed 'me' in the grocery store, before Rylan had any surgeries I would have thought I was a crack head and did terrible things to my body while prego. My views on life and humanity have changed, hopefully for the better with Rylan in my life. I thought I was a good person, I thought I was not judgemental, I thought I would not 'stare and judge'. I was wrong. He continues to teach me everyday.
From the start we decided to celebrate Rylan and embrace this genetic mishap. Easier said then done, I can assure you. It is a task that requires me to put one foot in front of the other each day, and there are days when I fail.
His first surgery was at 8 weeks old. Feeding was a nightmare, he swallowed so much air when eating that his belly hurt. He would cry and cry. I remember once holding him, feeling at my wits end. I layed him down in his crib, picked up the phone and called my mother. I said 'mom, I don't want to hurt him. but I am ready to put him in the closet and walk away.' And with that she came to get me and him for a few days. My advice to anyone with a newborn, have a good support system. Lance was helpful, but he worked and traveled. Know your boundaries and know when you have reached your limit. Children with clefting have feeding issues, gas issues and they take alot of time. All babies take time this I have come to find out, just a bit more with a cleft child. We were unable to sooth him at times. He could not take a pacifiers so there were times when we truly did struggle to comfort him. Warm water bottles, gas drops, bathes etc.
My regret is that I missed the first few months of his life and never really enjoyed any part of my pregnancy due to the fact that I was totally wrapped up in my emotions of being afraid and the 'what if's'.
At 8weeks old he had his first lip surgery. It was approv 2.5 hrs long. He cried as the nurses lead him to surgery and with that I felt helpless. He would have two more similar surgeries in the very near future. 8 weeks, 6 mths and 13 mths. Such an aggressive schedule for such a young soul.
Thought it all he shined, he smiled and he was every version of normal. And truthfully the night before his first surgery I cried. I was going to miss his crooked little smile. I remember being pregnant and wondering IF I was even going to be able to tell if he was smiling. Ohh the things I wasted my time, thoughts and energy on. Like a true mom, I grew to luv him despite any imperfections inside or out.
We have a team of doctors, which I am sure mean well; but I am learning not to hang on every word and take it with a grain of salt. At first I hated our plastic's guy, I mean hated! But the moment Rylan saw him, at 2 days old - he smiled. He stopped crying and smiled. It was like Rylan choose him and I was coherent enough to pay attention. We had the chipps stacked against us, they spoke of dwarfism, him being deaf, learning disability, downs syndrome all factors we would need to prepare ourselves for. Up until 2nd grade I've been waiting for the learning disability to rear its ugly head. And now that we are pushing 10 yrs old, I have given up that stress and embraced the glowing, sassy 10 yr old in front of me. The doctors get in your head, they try to prepare you, I guess. But than in the same token, I just wanted someone to say to me ' it is going to be okay.' It is going to be okay.
We are successful in part because he is such a great kid, but also because we embraced his clefting as we do his green eyes. It is just a part of him, not who he is. We keep his newborn photos up around the house and he will wear it like a badge of honor never to be ashamed.
And at this stage in his life he has found that it can lead to some pretty good lunch table laughter - such as sucking the spaghetti through his nose. The perk to now having much up there I guess.

Snowy day

Well this weekend has come and went just like the wind that blows strong today.
And here in STL winter has taken a strong hold today.....
Friday night I went out with some friends from college. We met down town had dinner and then moved on to Shiver. One of the guys bought dinner, on his corporate card, we all paid for own drinks. Here is the kicker, I was surrounded by mostly Russians and I found myself attempting to enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner only to have them order rounds of vodka shots.
I'm not a shot girl. Let alone before my dinner even arrives.
Apparently they do vodka shots with everything and anywhere. Then the follow it up with a pickle. I know - a PICKLE.
We went to shiver - a dance club with a room made out of ICE. Very trendy. And the first round of drinks - you guessed it shots of vodka. OMG. Give me some water already.
I've decided that I cannot hang with the Russians.
Saturday the family went to make ginger bread houses at a friends house. It was a lovely affair - until 10 pm rolled around and I am still waiting on Lance to show up so we can take the kidz home and let the dog out of the kennel. Mind you we left the house 12:30 in the afternoon. Then we get home to a dog that has pooped and puked in his kennel. Two kids dead tired, and a dog that needs some attention stat!! Nothing like cleaning dog poop at 11pm.
Sunday was designed to be a lazy day. I had plans to FINALLY get my tree up and attempt to address the house the clean fairy has neglected. Then I look outside and what do I see - SNOW. Not that I had planned to go outside today, and now that there is snow outside that has sealed the deal. I am going to turn up my heat to 86 degrees and act like I live in FL.
As the kids get super excited, I start trying to find their snow suites, gloves and hats.
I guess today it really is time to put away my summer clothes. Awww rats!
So since it is slick as snot outside I've decided to take a few photos, and even publish a blog post.
Have a great sunday!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Out of the blue.....

I got nothing really.
A head full of nonsense, and random thoughts that keep me up at night.

Thanksgiving was a bit of blurr. I did not get to see my sister or brother that day, but in a gift from god, got to see both of them the day before. It was a totally shitty day, rain, cold and flat out gross. I was running late, because I had to run the kids to BFE and I was not at my desk for more than 15 minutes when I get a call from my sister.
And much like late night calls that put you on high alert an early morning call from any family member other than my mother can only be bad news. Well, low and behold - not bad news.
She was on her way to the airport and wanted to know if I wanted to tag along.
She got a call that my brother was flying in and he needed someone to pick him up.
Things are a bit tense for all of us right now - not worth throwing out there all the gory details, because within in time it will all blow over. But tense none the less and I can assure that with my brother flying in to see his family, his two sisters are not the top people on his list to see the moment he gets off a flight.

However I am giddy to the bone.......I look around my desk and the pile of work and throw caution to the wind. I state 'sure come by n' get me, I'm in.'
I hang up and start work damage control, I just got in - I am leaving in 10 or so minutes, and I must be back within an hour or so. I have a big lunch meeting that I have to make. I am starting to question whether or not I can really pull this off, then determine that I cannot afford not to. Not if I want to see my brother n' sister.

So she shows up and away we go.......to the airport, giggling the whole way. We pull up to the arrivals and find our bro and you can see the surprise on his face to see me in the car too. We dance around a few topics and decide to move on to things that keep us in a good spot, like kids and when we were kids. On the way to take me back to work, we decide to eat, therefore spending another hour or so together.

It was a time for us to just be us. Matt calling Misty 'shorty' like he normally does and the three of us glad for a moment to be in each others presence. For me it was very peaceful and easy. We shared a few moments of smiles and laughter, I took them to my work did a few introductions and then we said our goodbyes.

It reinforced for me that a sibling bond can never be broken. We may all have separate lives, different personalities, and different opinions on most topics - but our bond is deep. When you remove all the other elements out of our lives, our parents, our spouses, our children and peel us down to just us - we are kids again enjoying the bond we created years ago. We can see each others worry, struggles, joy and pain without saying a word. And then realize that in some cases words are not necessary. That it will ultimately be okay. We accept each others failures, choices and even if we don't like them, we are learning to respect them. Even if we have to do that from afar or with distance.

Much like that day, I think each of us know that if we ever needed each other we are just a phone call away. No questions asked. It can be pure and simple, just love and a sibling bond. I am beyond grateful for that day and those moments, I needed that small silver lining to get me through.
My day was designed to be shitty, started out crappy and by the grace of god ; ended better than I could have ever imagined. So even though we did not spend Thanksgiving together and may or may not see each other over Christmas; we have an understanding.

So I wish that on that day that seems like it is gonna suck the most, that you find your silver lining. That god delivers to you the pretty package with the bow, when you least expect it. And on those days when the silver lining does not appear you have a memory like mine to hold on too, the kind that makes you smile.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thanksgiving this year...

Has anyone else noticed that 2010 has been a bit of cluster, I mean a total cluster.
The economy has fallen to hell, every person I know seems to have lost their ever lovn'g mind and it just seems like things are off kilter. I mean like the moon, stars and oceans are totally off. Every week something comes up that makes me question what is really going on....is there some crazy kool-aid out there that everyone is drinking and keeping from me?
And it seems in true form for 2010 the holidays will be no different.
As usual, I am NOT looking forward to the holidays. I have a hard enough time keeping up with my daily and weekly stuff without throwing a bunch of hallmark crap in the middle of it. I don't cook so Thanksgiving does not tickle my fancy. The only highlight is getting to see my family and this year, that dream is fading fast.
Plus we have to scramble around like idiots for FOOTBALL. I am still in football hell and Lance decided we needed to play on another team which has a tournament on Thanksgiving weekend. See me blowing my face off.....I would rather have an actual holiday than have to run around like a freak over Thanksgiving.
As it stands now I have to work on Wed, drive to the country on Thursday to have Thanksgiving w/ Lance's dad and either drive back Thursday night or early Friday morning to make our first game on Friday. Honestly folks, why bother? My sister may or may not be down to my mothers, my brother may or may not be around (prob not), so my family will prob not be getting together for Thanksgiving. Lance and I are still a bit tense so the thought of not being able to see may family at all leaves me totally sad.
My mother called me the other day and said that she may go to the church to sever food, and actually out of all of my current options for the holidays that one sounds like the most attractive one. My spirit could use a boost and if I cannot have my version of a hallmark holiday then this seems like the next best option.
My small glimmer of hope for this particular holiday is that my dear friend Jacob, might come in for Thanksgiving. Seeing him would be good for my head and soul. Jacob will go with the flow and if we end up serving food rather than cooking it, he will not care.
I am sure at this point that christmas will be a bit of a debacle as well. And much like Thanksgiving I hate the work it requires to make all of the necessary rounds.
So as I bah-hum-bug through the holidays, I am so ready for 2011.
"Eat your turkey and shut your pie hole :)"

Monday, October 25, 2010

follow the bouncing ball....

Well look at me, two post in one month - I am feeling like a rockstarr!
(well not so much).

I use to post 3 to 4 times a month - or even more. I have had alot of things on my mind, and have found that history shows that perhaps there are times when I should just not put it all out here. Even IF i really want too. So color me all grown up - or just taking my first class in maturity.

In the mean time, we are STILL playing football which most of my family LUVS and I continue to curse. Ohhh curse you football - every freakn' Tuesday / Thursday night for two hours and then every darn Sunday for at least two hours. But god luv you my son, my son the athlete. Seriously, that damn kid has some skill, well as much as a 9yr old can have. There other moms will go' hey Michelle - THAT WAS YOUR KID' I find myself tearing up with joy. Then cursing the kid that tackles him. It is a group affair at football, because to be honest when they are all out there it is hard to tell them apart. And only when on breaks away or does something cool does it REALLY catch my attention. This year I have learned a few more terms, a few more moves and Pyper has decided that she MUST cheer next year. And I have decided that they really need to sell adult beverages at all games and practices :)



So all is well on the football front, as much as I hate, I luv how much confidence it gives my son, how it challenges him. You can see him figuring out the play and see him going to get it - full speed ahead. Just like in life, he is going to 'get it' and be okay.

Speaking of my son, which I have neglected to so very often. He is a HAIR bag, I mean totally growing out his hair. This damn Justin Bieber, I curse you and your new hair trend. Get a darn hair cut. My son's hair is so long it sticks out below his football helmet. I thought the mo-hawk was bad!! But NOOO - nothing compares to this darn long hair. ick! Which by the way my LUV's.

And just one more tid-bit about this little 9 yr old kid that has part of my heart. You know the part that he stops on in his 9 yr old sassy way. He made straight A's!! Yes folks, straight A's in the 4th grade. I expected A's, B's, and maybe a C. But here he goes surprising me again with straight A's. So I must curse football and long hair under my bad breath - because at this point he is calling the shots. So give me a moment as I burst with pride.

I cannot go on and on gloating about one child with out pointing out a few good items about the other. Give me a few while a make up a few good points about Pyper -ha!! Just jokes.

This kid, well, she started a new baby sitter which has preschool circulium. She is rocking thru it all with flying colors as well, and even coming home saying how much she likes the new place. (whew!!). She too is growing in leaps in bounds. But I will be glad once she is no longer butt high, because at this point I know my butt is big. I don't need her to point it out every time she is behind it.

Lance n' I are still a bit shaky. Not sure where to start or where to go. We both agreed we must work on our communication or this is going to fall apart at the seams. And today he admitted how much not working is totally messing with his mind. It is consuming him and totally bringing him down. So out of the blue he has decided to go back to school to be an EMT/Paramedic.
No, no that is not a typo and I am sure you are just as stumped as I am.
Seriously kids, within the last four weeks we have gone from culinary school to EMT school. Totally random and totally out of the blue. Hell, I don't even think he likes people - let alone want to save them; but what the hell do I know at this point? Put a few careers n' a hat and pull one out for all I care. So I 'think' he is signing up. Rule number one, if you have to practice sticking people with needles - I AM NOT your person. This still is so darn random to me, but if it gets him a job and gets him motivated then I am all for it!!

So folks following the bouncing ball........it is all over the place these days!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

October

I cannot believe that we are in OCTOBER really folks where has the year gone?
I missed blogging about my son's first day of school, Pypers first day at her new baby sitter, my work, my family etc.
I feel like I have neglected you...and perhaps I have. There just don't seem to be enough hours in the day; and frankly when I get some down time this seems like the last place I want to spend my time. But then again I find myself wishing I would have written a few things here n' there.
So here I am the second week of October, semi touching base :)
I have photos galore at home, which I need to get on this site.
Everyone is doing well, gearing up for fall and Halloween. We luv Halloween at my house. Pyper wakes up everyday asking why we have not had the party. For real girlfriend, it is not time. It seems like creativity is lacking in the depew household for Halloween - Rylan once again wants to be a football player and Pyper wants to wear the dress she wore last year. So ta-da we are done with the customs.
Rylans class is going to have a party, Pypers new school is going let them dress up and have a party and as mentioned above Pyper thinks the party is everyday.
Halloween is going to be a good time this year in the DePew household.
All in all things are well. Me n' my sista are keeping in touch on a pretty regular basis, my mother is busy as a bee and Courtney my niece is growing in leaps n' bounds. And in true form she flunked her drivers permit test twice -blahh! I think Misty flunked hers too.
The holidays are fast approaching and I am not sure how we will survive them again this year, but I guess we will do what we have always done - just wing it.
Lance is still not working for the most part, he rolled the list last month which sucks. This means he forgot to call in, check in or whatever it is he is suppose to do - and now he is back at the bottom of the hiring list. OMG! Seriously dude, you are killing me. Then we got notice that he has not worked enough hours and they dropped his insurance. Hello double whammy. Luckily I carry insurance through my work or we would be screwed!! I keep dropping hints that perhaps it is time to hang up the whole union gig and find a real job. At this time he ignores me; but for real folks we cannot do this much longer - lets get a clue! So at this point the union really is doing nothing for us, and I am sure that we are not alone is this boat.
My job is keeping me busy as usual, and honestly I don't mind it because there are times when it is hard to just go home.
I spoke to Lance about going back to school, enrolling in culinary school - ANYTHING. He called about culinary school and said that they only start out at $25,000 and he would rather ride the books. Okay kids, lets do some elementary math - if you are making NOTHING vs. $25,000 seems pretty easy to me. Then he started to make excuses about the hours he would have to keep etc, etc. Okay fine, so that is off the table- but what now???
Well time will tell.....the future has to hold something brighter than the dim light that is shining right now. But all in all we are happy n' healthy.
Oh yeah, last night we got invited to play in the turkey tournment so we will be playing football into Thanksgiving - oh joy (NOT!). So our holiday will be consumed with football. We will see, hang on for the ride :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

All Good n' the Hood...

Hello peeps,
It is has as usual, been a while.
I am not sure what has gotten into me and why I don't just take the time to put a few things out here.
It looks like last time I wrote Lance was still out of town.
Well since it has been almost a month since my last post, he has made it back safe n' sound.
And n' true relationship form, we were fighting with in 24 hrs of his return.
-Since his return we have been to the ER twice with my son. Who was as it turns out constipated. Which left me with a big WTF? How can a 9 yr old be constipated? Well, apparently my 9 yr old was and it required two visits to ER to get some relief.
- Next we decided over Labor Day to take a trip to Branson with the kids. We were totally winging this trip, so we left Saturday with no agenda and no idea what to do or how to do it. But we got there and we made the best of it. We went to Dixie Stampede and Silver Dollar City. So our Branson trip was like a mini-vacation. Which we all needed. But in true relationship form by the time we made it half way home, Lance n' I were not talking. To the point that I got in the back seat and let Rylan sit up front.
-The past weekend we went to visit his father in the country and attend the battle of pilot knob then scoot our butts back to the City on Sunday for muddy day of football.
- Pyper has started with a new care-giver 'Mrs. Debbie' and whenever Misty ask's her how that is all going Pyper responds with 'Mrs. Debbies sucks.' OMG. Mrs. Debbies does NOT suck, but it has been an adjustment for my 4 yr old princess.
- Rylan has been slacking on his school work and we have had to give him the smack down the past two weeks. Dear heavens they tend to give kids alot of homework these days. I am not sure how many families get it all down.
- I am as mental and crazy as ever. Working the 2011 budget for work, dealing with personalities at work and just trying to keep my head above the water is a challenge.
- Lance for the most part is fine. He has been working on and off since he got home. But nothing major has hit for him. Which at times plays a total mind job on him and our ability to relate to each other.
- Sept 23 we celebrated our 10 yr anniversary. One would think that 10yrs should warrant some BIG celebration or even dinner. Well, we went to work n' football. Yeap folks that is what our life has boiled down too. At this stage when we are just trying to survive the daily nonsense we decided it was best to keep it all to a minimum. Hopefully once things get better for us we will do something to celebrate it. But then again who knows.
-My family seems really distant and divided which is totally weird for us. We have NEVER gone with such long stretches in not seeing each other and not keeping up with one another.
- That is all that I have for now........I have a ton of photos to share, but cannot get them off my damn camera!! I am trying everything from downloading a new driver etc. So hopefully next time I will have photos to share.
Otherwise we are, as you can tell, all good in the hood :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Moving n shaking..

Well, Lance has been gone for for approx. 4 plus weeks.
The first two weeks I was luving the single parent gig, well definitely enjoying my time alone in the house without the stress. Then reality kicked in and the taxi service, the maid, mom mode, working mode and everything in between. To say that I am worn out would be an understatement. We have football every Tues/Wed/ Thurs from 6-8pm, which requires that I leave work at 4 to get my kids from my sisters, go home let the dog out, get the gear, grab the cooler, grab some snacks, change my clothes and GO. Mind you just because it is over at 8pm does not mean that we get home anywhere close to 8. It is normally closer to 9pm. At which time both kids must take a shower and after the shower they want to eat. So I am making anything from ham n' eggs to tacos at 9ish at night. Then comes the bedtime adventure with Pyper. I am still working on putting her in her own big girl room. Making her go to sleep on her own. This my friends has been a process. She gets out of bed like a million times. Or I go into her room a million times to cover her up, bring her a drink or just because she called me. Normally by 10 pm everyone is asleep and by then I am half asleep on the couch. Only to be woken up by the dog at 2am. Like clock work, 2am folks!! OMG. He is licking my elbow so I can let him out. This might be easier to take in stride if I wasn't already leaving my house 30 to 45 min early to get my kidz to my sisters. Since I have lost my sitter, my sister has been keeping my kidz. Which requires that i get them up early and attempt to drag my arse out of bed early as well. By week 4 the series of events are wearing on me.
So, in a change of events I am SO ready for Lance to come home. *gasp* I know i said it out loud. Plez, plez come home.......plez help!!
So last night I left work early to get the kidz so we could make open house between 3-6pm. On the way home from my sisters Pyper fell asleep and normally I would just let her nap a bit then put her in the shower. But since as usual we had somewhere to be I had to wake her up. We grab the supplies, the check book and head off to school. It is the twelfth hour and I STILL don't know what I am going to do with Rylan and the school bus situation. So while at the school i picked up some info regarding before and after school care. *cringe, cringe* It is that or let him get on and off the bus by himself, which does not sit well with me. So starting tomorrow I have a new wrench in my routine. Before care for Rylan.....
We have not done alot this summer, yet if feels like i have been run over by a truck ;)
So as I beg n plead for Lance to wrap up the job, it feels like a double edge sword. Please come home but find some work. Not sure I can have it both ways. I am sure in a week or two I will begging him to go back on the road. There really is no pleasing me, I know this.
However in his absence I think we have both gotten back to a point of loosing our anger towards each other and found a space of wanting to work on 'us' a bit more. That my folks is a silver lining in this debacle of a summer.
Last week my FIL had a stroke n' heart attack. I was the only one around. I was Lance's life line to his father. So me n the kids spent hours at the hospital keeping grandpa company and waiting for him to get out of surgery. Once lance's sister arrived I let her take control and once again got back on track. Ever tried to take two kids to a hospital, let alone have them around when an elderly person gets out of surgery? Well, we were there for 6 hours and I would have to say it was not ideal but my kidz did a great job. I packed color books, and a puzzle. We spent two hours putting together a puzzle. And I am happy to report that grandpa is doing well, all things considered.
So last night was open house, tonight is football practice, tomorrow morning is the first day of school the football tomorrow night and so on.....
Somewhere in all that I am shopping for food, making dinner, dishes, laundry and trying to luv them without shouting. I only get one shot at this mom gig, so I am taking it in stride but I have come to realize that another set of hands is helpful. And yes, there are times when i truly miss the support. So to all you single mothers out there - whether you are single, your spouse is away or you are just doing alone. I commend you!
So Lance, once you return, just know that I will be happy you are back. It maybe short lived, our lives only continue to get busier.....onward and upward.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cake....

Whirl-wind...
Here i am just about two weeks into this single parent gig and well, not so bad.
Each Sunday the kids n' I figure out what we want to eat for the week and we make it all up on Sunday. This past Sunday we made the following:
taco meat
sloppy joe
grilled chicken
ham for sandwiches
Friday we are going order out!!
So as we get in the groove of things, we seem to be finding our stride. Feed the dog and fish morning n' night. Take the dog for a walk everyday but Tues / Thursday - these are football days. Laundry IF i feel like it :)
And travel on the weekends to the country. Now this one has me a little discombobulated.
Last weekend we had to go to the country because Lance's dad turned 81 on Saturday. So in true, best DIL fashion I packed up the kids and we headed down to the country.
We stopped by Dairy Queen to get a cake for grandpa. So two kids, a dog, luggage and now a cake. We get to Dairy Queen and of course my queen bee - Pyper has to pee. So I take her inside and leave Rylan out side with the dog on the leash, so the dog can pee. Which of course he does not pee, he just romps around like an idiot.
Pyper attempts to pick out a pink cake, maybe a purple cake. I have to keep reminding her little 4 yr old brain that it is not HER birthday and that we need one for grandpa.
So we settle on a generic cake the has happy birthday on it. Pyper insist on carrying the cake. I get the cake out of the case, hand it to her and go to the register.
Well, she just keeps on walking to the door. I remind her that 'we have PAY for it.'
'Oh' she states. She trots back to the register and promptly butts in front of the elderly couple standing in front of me.
I let her know it is not our turn.
She glares at them with rings of fire shooting from her eyes. As if to say ' cannot you see we have a birthday cake!!'
So we ring out and begin to walk to the car.
Pyper is super excited to see the dog n' her brother across the parking lot.
So she starts to run, with the cake. She trips slightly and in an effort to gather herself she sends the cake flying across the parking lot. YEAP.
Well, since this not a normal cake - it is a frozen cake, it all stays in tact.
Mind you it ended up rolling on the black top and landed on the top of the cake. So the pretty sides are smooched and there is a bit a gravel in the cake.
Well in true mother of the year form, I scoop it up, dust it off and place it back in the battered container. Yes folks, I did I picked it right up off the parking lot.
Pyper was apologetic, I told her no need. I giggled about it, figuring it was just our luck!
Around 4pm we called Grandpa, asked about taking him to dinner - he eats early. He told us he was not going to eat dinner. Me 'what? you have to eat.'
Grandpa 'well I do eat. I ate lunch around 2pm, so I am not hungry.'
Me 'well grandpa we have cake for you n' your birthday.'
Grandpa ' I don't eat sweets.'
*this one makes me laugh out loud - he luvs sweets.*
So I go along with it all.
Me 'fine, we will be there shortly with a cake, and the kidz will sing happy birthday and have a slice.'
Grandpa 'see you soon.'
I giggled all the way to grandpa's. Here is this old man who does not even want a cake, although he will eat it. And little does he know that we dropped the darn thing on the parking lot..hehe.
This cake made my day :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Glimmer..

Somewhere between today and last week i found a few things:
my smile, my laughter, my spirit.
All wrapped up in one happy bundle stashed in a dark corner in the basement of my house. Okay, maybe not that dramatic.....
Last week Lance got a call for work out of town, and I swear that he tried everything possible not to go; which really struck a cord with me. I was ready to give him a flying elbow. For real. Listen folks, it was work, it was out of town - which is not ideal; but is better then the current alternative. And he had said he was not going to take the job and quote 'because of football and practice.' I almost feel over. It is pee-wee football folks, hell I wouldn't care if it was college or the NFL - it is not paying the bills or making ends meet.
But he was dead serious; and i was too. Get your butt on the road and get to work. Go get your man card back and turn in your Martha Stewart status.
Oh yeah and the job was helping to build a Wal-mart, which totally burned his arse as well. That part made me giggle a bit. We are SO anti-walmart at our home.
Well listen folks, when times are tough - and they are at my home Walmart helps us to get where we need to go. So as much as he hated it he did go.
He found out about the job on a Tuesday and by Wed morning at 1:30 am he was on the road.
Let me just tell you what a relief it was....
I am actually surprised at how much tension and anger has been wrapped up in me and my household regarding him not working. Sure flying solo with kids is a bit of a transition. Lets face it I now i really have to get up early, get the kids ready and have a plan of action - rather than flying by the seat of my pants. But guess what I've done this before and it is not that bad.
So, in the last week I have -
Sent my husband to work, out of state
Found a new sitter for my kids come August / Sept.
And got the best back adjustment yesterday I feel like a million bucks.
My house has new 'relaxed' atmosphere about it. I did not realize how much stress was surrounding us; or me for that matter. Lance is not totally happy and our phone conversations are short and at times strained. He hates being gone.
But, just between you and I - I luv being in the house by myself for a bit. I am getting Pyper transitioned into her own bed. I am staying up late watching trash tv, eating and exercising if the notion strikes me. I am waking up early to watch videos and drink coffee -ha!
Aside from the dog eating a few items, he too has been a champ. Because now that Lance is gone too work he has to be kenneled during the day.
All of the stress is not gone, but I am feeling better. And today I feel fan-damn-tastic. Which just helps me to gauge how removed I really was for a while. How we really were just going thru the motions and holding our breath. How thick the tension was in our house hold and how it really was effecting all of us. Lance sounds better since he has gotten back to work; like his man card has been placed in his back pocket. Mind you it is a bit tainted with being at walmart - but welcome to growing up and eating the situation when you have too.
My sister has moved out and has been working on getting settled with the kids. Even though hers is a little more solid, she too is flying solo. And as scary as it is for her, she seems to be doing well. So as continue to encounter our little bumps in the road the glimmer of hope is shining brighter these days.

Monday, July 12, 2010

looking for grace....

Ever tried to walk thru life gracefully?
With your head held high and just putting one foot in front of the other - without your feet turned outward like a penguin?
Well, for the most part I do, shoulders square, head high and heel-toe, heel-toe.

I have started reading an biography on Robin Givens, which is strange i never really gave her any though and well the book was free. Which as usual seems to be some of the best kept secrets. The book talks alot about things I will never understand, being black, father issues, and abuse. However there are a few things that seem to translate - her strong family ties, her belief in god and finding grace. And just because she believed in god does not equate to her feeling like god really believed in her or loved her unconditionally.

As things came at me from all sides and I feel like I am swimming in turmoil and transition I am looking for my grace. Trying to maintain it through the laughter and tears.
At this point I am so angry with Lance, it is hard for me to see any other color other than anger. I am sad beyond belief that my sitter is moving on, not angry, but sad. I am praying and trying to figure things out for my kids. Making a few phone calls and going on a wing n' a prayer.
I am trying to be supportive of my sister as she walks through the emotions of a divorce and the unsettled emotions that come with moving on with your life and wondering IF you are making the right decision. Yesterday while hanging out with her I had these words, 'every decision you make is Right for you at the moment. And even if they are wrong, which some of them maybe, they will make your stronger.' They may not be the decisions i would make, they may not be the way I would do it - but then again, I don't have any idea how I would really go about it all. So they best I can do for her, is just be a sister and luv her with no boundaries. In hopes that if I ever need the same she will be there.....

On Friday we got a letter in the mail that my son's surgeon is leaving town. This seemed to be the straw that broke me, for just a moment. I picked up the phone, called my mother and cried. The letter took my breath away. God, please no......
In my head I am yelling please make it stop.
I am not sure how to explain our connection to this surgeon, other than he was god sent.

My son was born missing his hard/soft palate. Our doctor has performed every major surgery on my son. Mind you when I first met this guy, I personally HATED him. He was a jerk, not comforting and I was not going to subject my son to him. However.....once Rylan was born, just one day old. The surgeon came to see us at the hospital for an evaluation and Rylan was fussy and at times inconsolable. The doctor walked in room and Rylan smiled, his soft crooked smile. The doctor picked him up, in a very doctor detached way and started to measure, poke and prode him. Treated him like a butcher would treat a piece of meat, not like someone who luv'd a child. The doctor was going to keep it very disconnected. However, Rylan was not. Rylan layed there one day old and just smiled. Making his choice and his connection right then. And much to my disapproval, I knew I had to choose this doctor. He was not the best, he was the understudy, he was not my choice - but I knew I had to. And then 9 yrs ago we began our journey with this man. A journey of lip repair, after lip repair and last summer a bone graph. I have grown to have a luv and respect for this man, the doctor my son choose. My son maybe 9 but his treatment will continue for a lifetime. This man needs to be his doctor, for a lifetime.
So the letter on Friday broke my heart into a million pieces.
Right then an there I no longer wanted to hold my head high or put one foot in front of the other. I wanted to lay on the floor and cry. Feeling a bit deflated, a bit beat up by the curve balls of life.
Today I start putting one foot in front of the other, trying to pick up the pieces of the puzzle that no longer seem to fit. I have left a message for a new babysitter, I have left a message for Rylan's medical records, and I have said a few prayers.

I am not sure what god has in store for me, and right now I am not totally happy about the series of events. Trusting that it will all be alright is not a strong point for me. I like to be the driver of the bus, the captain of the ship and I like when the pieces of the puzzle all fall in place. God is asking me, or better yet forcing me to trust him and I fear that at times I am failing. When he does not give us what we want, that does not mean that he does not have a better plan. That is what i would tell someone else.......being graceful requires having the grace of god even when you have doubt.

Monday, July 5, 2010

twisty n' some..

I have been absent lately. I have been out of sorts, stressed and in a freaky funk.
As I begin to write this I am not sure what to share and what to keep wrapped up in the funk.
A few highlights since we last got together......oh my, we got together in May, last.
Sorry.
In the mean time I turned 35 in June; which was for the most part pretty uneventful. I am not totally rocked by my 30's; just yet. I seem pretty comfortable in my own skin and don't mind the character builders that seem to be showing up daily. Actually I am pretty okay with it all. And now that I think about it, at this stage in my life, there really isn't anything that I 'wish' I would have done by now. I have all in all pretty much accomplished most of my goals, which means that in the near future i need to set new ones. Having a goal or two seems to keep me in gear and part on track. Without them I find myself a bit Topsy-turfy.
um.what else has happened that maybe funny or interesting??
um....can you hear that grinding n' turning that is the rusty gears in my brain.
The kids are well, Rylan decided not to finish summer school, since his father has been laid off work. So now i have two rather lazy dudes in my house, which for the most part is about to drive me bonkers. If they don't get my deck fixed and a few bedrooms painted, they are going to get one flying elbow - WWE style. ha!
Pyper is getting really big n' sassy. At the end of July I she will be in transition, our baby sitter will no longer be watching kids. Which takes my breath away....I really need to put some energy in to figuring out what I am going to do with Pyper n' Rylan. During school, Rylan will get on and off the bus at her house, this folks is a totally big deal in my world; one that I am not ready to tackle just yet; but I am running out of time. This one breaks my heart, and leaves me struggling with where to turn next.
Lance is still not working, his unemployment is running out - this is his last week and STILL he insist on waiting on the list at the union hall. This unemployment gig has begun to take a toll on ''us''. To say that I am frustrated would be putting lightly. I am sure he is as well, but we are taking to different methods in trying to handles this unemployment issue and we are not meeting in the middle very well. We are part of the American economy that has been hit hard by the recession, the construction industry, the car industry ect.
I thank god I have a job that pays our bills, we won't be losing our car or home anytime soon; but our lifestyle has had to change. And the emotional toll being unemployed for a long period time takes on a person is unbelievable. This has left us in an abyss of emotions, not all good, and some a bit blurry. So I will remain a bit twisty n' some for a bit until a few items get settled - babysitter, unemployment etc...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mutha, mutha, mutha......

Well this past weekend my father had the bright idea to throw my mother a surprise birthday party.
1) rule number one, my mother does not like anything she cannot control
I repeat! My mother does not like anything she cannot CONTROL.
This rule is nothing new, and should never be broken. She has a tendency to be emotional, crazy and bewildered at times. This time was no different. And by the way no one is saved from the wrath, just an fyi.
All last week a flock of women in my mothers life spent the better part of the week wondering who was on first? Who organized this shin-dig? Who was going to make sure it all came together? Because honestly, my mother does all of that - duh.
And with each phone call, we put a few bits n' pieces together but in our heads we were collectively thinking 'holy hell this is gonna suck big eggs.'
My fathers instructions were brief and in his mind clear. However in the mind of a women - no enough detail. Actually now that i think of it, I never actually had a conversation with my father about the part, not one. My responsibilities were all hearsay from my sister.
Heres what we did know:
1) a band has been booked
2) it will be in the new barn
3) people will park in the field
4) flyer's went out to family members, and all others were told via word of mouth (see us getting sketchy).
5) my dad wanted finger foods
6) ohh, and most importantly he got a keg of beer
7) he also rented a porta-potty (good job!).

So as usual me n' the sista wait until the last minute to get the food from Costco. A few paper products, a few bags of wings a few bags of chicken fingers,a few bags of chips and we have a party. My grandmother ordered a few subs, while in town I picked up brats and buns and voila' the food is done. Oh yeah and one carrot cake. Voila'!
Well last week was a rainy mess. I looked at my dad at 9am on Saturday, half ass pleading with him to cancel the damn thing. 'Dad it is still raining, where is everyone going to park, the field will be too wet.' He looks at me in total dad manner ' beenie we are too far to back out now.'
So that was the no turning back point. So then back up at the house my mother was in self pity mode, she really wanted to go away for her birthday, she really wanted to do something, she REALLY my father to listen to her. She was pretty angry, then she she got sad and I could feel the walls falling down around me - in my mind i was thinking 'for gosh sakes someone just tell her!!'. My father was dead set on not telling her, regardless on how much attitude she was going to give that day. And boy can she dish the attitude. So by 3pm after she ate half my arse, and chewed on my father a bit more; I packed up the kids and left.

On the way out of town, I passed my sister in her car, she flashed me to pull over. I let her know the events of the day, she was stern in telling me to turn my car around and head back to my mothers. Like some kicking screaming little school girl I tried to say NO. Well that didn't work, so I turned around and headed back to hellville. Once we got inside my mother was a blubbering mess, dear god the tears. My father told her there would be a party and now she wanted to know who planned this event for her. Because she does NOT want one. OMG. My head was already spinning from the drama all day and now the tears. This birthday party has turned into one big pain in the ass. Once she finds out that me nor Misty really had anything to do with it she walked the long way around the mountain of nonsense and decided she was not mad at us and that she should not be mad at my father either.

So now we are beginning to come full circle with the emotions, mad, sad and now apologetic. My father told her to start to get ready, have her hair done figure out what clothes she wants to wear the party will start in a few hours.

So my mother ran to town with the kids in an effort to regroup.

While she was gone we were hoping the band would arrive, this was the REALLY big surprise.
Aside from my brother also coming into town. During her anger stage she stated how much she just wanted her kids together, so at that stage I told her Matthew was in town, and then she started crying again. (dear god...please make it stop). So now all 3 of her kids were home and her grandkids were in town she suddenly felt somewhat whole again.

So the band was suppose to be at the house at 4pm, they did not arrive until 6pm. That about had my dad stroke out. But once the arrived you could see the relief come across his face. At this rate who cares who shows up, the band and birthday girl are in the house!
As the night drew on the rain stopped, the smoker was started, brats were cooked and the people began to show up. It was really going to be a party.
My mother made her way down around 8pm and the shift happened. We were now HAPPY.

The party was a HUGE success, don't ask me how.

How does my father get a successful party without invitations and RSVP's? How does my father get a successful party with no real organization? In true dad form, it just happens, it all came together.

My mother had her sister(s), her mother, her children, her neighbors and her friends all around her to celebrate her turning 55 yrs old. And to top it all off she had the music of her favorite band, who totally rocked the doors off the barn. No amount of planning could have made the night any better, you could not bottle up this success or draw a map for it. It just happened.
Another night of my family coming out to celebrate my mother and being family. Mind you, in true mutha form it took a lot of drama to get there, and my father in all his wisdom was pretty prepared for it - he knew she would have every emotion that escaped her pretty little head. He was pretty prepared to wade thru the nonsense and remain steadfast. He really does know her, and he should after close to 40 years!!

So ode to my mutha, god luv you. We have all been blessed by your ability to luv without boundaries - but with alot of emotion. There are times when you are wise beyond your years and then lost by the obvious. that is a few of the small reasons why we all luv you so. I hope Saturday, May 15,2010 you could feel the luv and respect from your family and friends. It will take a whole-hell-of a lot to top that one! Because we do know how to throw a darn good barn party. Photos to come soon!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mothers Day

I have been absent lately, and several reasons have contributed to it...one just too much muck in my head. Second, still swamped at work, which has me totally run down, which ultimately got me SICK. Last week i was dragging ass, a total walking zombie. It took all I had to get up everyday and dragg my butt to work. I felt like crap and looked like crap. I thought I was treating an over the counter cold, well the cold turned into an infection which suddenly began to whip my ass. By Friday I drug my butt into the local doc-n-the-box only to find out that I had an ear infection, sore throat and sinus infection - no wonder I felt like HELL.
They gave me some souped up antibiotics and sent me on my way. Well aside from some darn good medicine I need some really good rest. I need to sleep and sleep some more.
I had to work again Sat morning, so not rest that morning.
After the meeting Saturday I drove to the country to see my mother and my kids - which came down to the country on Friday night. Once I arrived the house was empty, so I found the closest bed, crawled under the covers and began to take a nap..awww the much needed nap. Well this nap was the mac-daddy kind. This nap lasted from 1pm to 5 pm - holy hell batman. I missed the entire day, because I was under some covers with the intention of just closing my eyes for a bit. And I still slept all night -dude I totally needed some rest.
That is one thing about coming home for me, it still feels like I home. I rest like a darn rockstarr at my mom's house. And in true mom fashion she took care of me......she let me just sleep n' sleep some more. Then once I got up she fed me and all the other little hungry faces..ha!
Even in my almost 35 years of life, my mother still 'mothers' me - and at time it drives me totally bonkers, and there are times like then - when I didn't realize how run down I was that it is totally comforting. Mostly drives me bonkers!! But for those small brief moments, I relish the comfort aspect. No one hoovers and comforts like a mom. I see it in my kids eyes when they need a hug or snug from me and even at my age have the same feeling for my mom.
So this mothers day tell you mom how much you luv and appreciate them......and for those of you that may have lost your mother this very special day say a quick pray of thanks and think about your most special moment.
Have a great one, I plan to stay in my pajamas and hang around the farm watching my kids play and my mother play her best role ever - mother n' grandma.
Much luv.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bobbing for apples or something like that...

I feel like I keep sticking my head in a big bucket of water bobbing for apples. Why because I luv feeling as if I am underwater trying to reach the impossible apple in my mouth.
You know the deal, you get close to one and then it bobs around in the water and moves at just the right moment and well you missed it. Or perhaps you got just a small chunk - you know the chunk that makes you feel like 'maybe' just maybe you are really gonna get one.

Work is good and bad. Since the lady has left there has been a total atmosphere change, like a toxic has left the building, but the WORK, omg the WORK. It seems to never stop.
So I did my first payroll and out of 145 checks I had 1 mistake. Hello, please let me take a moment to pat myself on the back. Job well done. Well that moment was short lived.
Because just as soon as that happy horse shit is done, I am back at only this time to enter payroll hell for the next cycle. These folks here get all sorts of crazy crackhead crap on their check.
Check the FLSA cycle and anyone who worked over 212 hours get half time . Don't be fooled folks that is not time n' half like a normal person would thing. NO it some other formula of nonsense. Ohh and they can get the hours even if they don't work because they are allowed to do trade time - yeah, you trade with me and I owe you one but I get the log the hours as hours worked.
Did I mention this payroll also needs to include their uniform reimbursement - duh. Because why not just add one more monkey item to the list of things to remember on this cycle.
Holy Hell if I survive this I deserve a damn vacation.
A REAL vacation. And since hubby STILL is not working he is totally up my butt.
"you work too much, your never home, your kids miss u" OMG. Totally dude - get back to work!!! I luv you but you are totally driving me nuts. Nuts! And if I do get some down time, god forbid IF I don't want to spend it with my hubby or kids. Ohhh the shame!
Well, folks sometimes they suck the life out of me too.....sometimes I like the girl time, without any drama or strings.
There is no balance at the moment, but then again I have a job and we are able to pay our bills.
That my friends is the silver lining of this story. So many of our friends don't have jobs, cannot find jobs. I ready to grab that damn apple with my hands and shove it in my mouth - I don't like the whole bobbing game. Plus it ruins my make-up-ha!
This may seem random, which is fine - I am a bit all over the place these days. If only I could clone myself to be two places at once - that would be helpful. gotta run Work to do!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

careful what you wish for....

Work has been stressful lately - I have been putting in 12 and 14 hour days.
My husband and children feel abandoned and I feel quite frankly run down.
Last week I had my 2009 audit, a team of 4 was on site for 5 days. OMG
It is hard to prepare audit work papers for a year I did not work through. I did not officially start until July. Luckily the auditors were patient with me, and have been here 2 years prior, so they had some direction. It was hard for me professionally to not have the answers, not be totally prepared - I just don't function that way.
We will have some follow-up questions and documents, but the week of hell has come and gone.
At least that is what I had thought until 2:30 on Friday, when my payroll person decided she has had enough and next Friday is her last week.
This news has left me breathless and barely able to breath -um, say WHAT. SAY WTF?
This person is due to retire on May 6, so once my audit was over i was going to spend the next 30 days up her crawl sucking the past 10 years of information out of her brain.
Well that has been reduced to maybe 4 days, she already has a scheduled day off.
OMG!
I thought my kids and hubby hated me before the audit, well it is not going to get any better anytime soon. I have payroll in a week n' half, just posted the ad and well no warm body to fill the seat or cross-train. Holy Hell batman - someone scream out LOUD.
I took this job hoping for a challenge, a change ect. Well, I guess when you get what you ask for you really cannot complain. However next time I will be sure to ask with special parameters - such as one challenge at a time, the ability to actually learn one thing at a time and not have to work 12 to 14 hours. Just a thought.
So if you are looking for me, my butt will be permanently planted in my chair at work. My blinds will be open so at least I can see out side, and my heart will be heavy because my kids miss me. As I do them. Luckily Lance is still not working so the kids are not being shuffled around like hot-cakes. They really do have some stability. Who knows what next week will hold, one thing is for sure - never relay on a nice quite week when I am around.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

hello from the flip side...FL

Where to start.....right now I am sitting at my grandmothers lap top, in her office surrounding by her stuff and photos of family thanking god I am here.
Two days ago, me n' my sister loaded up the car and left St. Louis around 6pm and began our 14 hr trip to Tampa FL to see my grandparents. This is the weekend for 'us' to celebrate our grandparents. (us - a combined unit of cousins; 6 of us are here and several others could not make it). My grandfather is in the local VA hospital refusing to eat. We knew we must come and celebrate his life while we can, plus we needed to see my grandmother.
Me n' my sister loaded up and took off only to realize a few things.
1) we had no idea where we were going. um, minor detail.
We got the address via a text from my aunt and attempted to type it into our nifty GPS system.
We hit the highway and still did not have an offical route to follow, because I typed the wrong state in the GPS. Well not technically the wrong state, I just did not change the state.
We laughed as we left town, god help us we thoughts.
We drove, and drove and drove.....until about midnight, into Kentucky.
We got a 25.00 seedy hotel room and attempted to sleep for 4 hours.
I put the chairs and table in front of the door, and even though there were double beds we slept n the same one. We giggled like school girls, like when we were younger sharing a room, she sang some stupid song that sent us over the edge of laughter then we attempted to get some sleep.
At 4 am the alarm went off, we got up pee'd then hopped in the car. Sort of like zombies, but zombies on a mission. We got up and started driving again. About this time our other 4 cousins were leaving STL too. At 4 am 6 of us were on the road.
We were buring up the highway. We practically survived on gum, cig, monster energy drinks and coffee. BTW those energy drinks will make your pee glow - just sayn'.
Weird.
We talked, laughed and sang songs at the top of our lungs. We sang everything from Janis Joplin, Black Crows, Pink to Pink Floydd. We terroized the highways a bit, dancing in our seats and making fun of some of the cars we passed. It was for all intensive purposes the best road trip I've taken yet.
We arrived at my grandmothers house only to realize that neither one of us ever called our grandmother to tell her WE were really coming. Then we realized that we weren't even sure IF we were at the right house. We sat in the drive way and laughed so hard we cried. Finally I got out, I totally had to pee, I was going in this house even if it was just to pee.
We walked up to the door and the door knocker had their name on it. YEAH!! We really were here.
My grandmother welcomed us with open arms. The rest of the crew was a good 4 hours behind us, so we opened some wine, got in the BIG bed w/ grandma and began to spend some time. We talked, laughed and cried. I am so glad to be here I could practically burst.
As my sister took a shower me and my grandmother shared a few moments. She told me that she was trying to get the record player from an realtive so she could play me 'Peter n' the Wolf'.
I immed went back to my childhood being in her downstairs living room dancing around the circle stone table while the opera Peter in the Wolf played in the back round. It brought me to tears. Her home feels like home, it is warm it is welcoming and I feel very relaxed.
the more miles we drove the better I felt, each worry and stress left me with each mile.
As I took a shower I know my sister also shared her moment of time with my grandmother. She has always made us each feel so special individually.
We drank 2 bottles of wine by the time everyone else arrived. And then it was one big hug and crying fest. It was for all intensive purposes 'lovely'.
We are all so similiar so strong and so FAMILY.
Today we went to the VA hospital to see my Grandfather, who is refusing to eat. We all walked in and he was surprised, he forgot we were coming. He was thrilled once he finally processed it all. We got approval to get him outside, so we sat in the sun and each of us took a turn sharing a small moment in time with him. Even if it was just for a moment, he got it, he remembered us and his eyes were shining.
As we sit here as a collective unit of grandkids we feel luv'd, welcomed and like family. A strong family. We do not feel disappoint for any of our actions or thoughts, we shared stories, laughs and a few tears. It is has been so nice to feel comfortable and supported for who I am, just me - faults, quirks and nonsense.
This trip with my sister will go down in the record books as a great trip, like a modern day Thelma n' Louise. God speed to us as we trek back early Monday morning. god speed.
In the mean time we have a to do list - thrift store, physic, tatoos and who know what else.
today was a beach day....beach, water, sea-shells and a sun set w/ my family. my heart is full today and I am totally lucky. Everyone should have a rock-starr family.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Glutten for punishment...

Holly hell batman, I think we have been drinking the 'crazy kool-aid'.
Over the weekend we bought an 11 wk old puppy - bulldog puppy.
We were not and STILL are not prepared.....what the hell is wrong with us??
March is here and I am gearing up for an audit, extra work since I've been assigned to two add'l committees, both my kids have birthdays this month, and well what the hell a new dog.
Oh, yeah almost forgot, one of the ladies in my office has decided to retiree......my light at the end of the audit tunnel has now turned into HELL.
The reality of my payroll lady leaving has me a bit panicky.
Oh yeah, and we bought a dog. Tank, the bull dog. Tank, who sounds like 'tink' when Pyper tries to say it.
This morning had me swirling and whirling from trying to figure out how to fit this new puppy into my morning routine. Needless to say it did not go well.
We bought the dog a kennel, which still at this moment sits in my garage in the box it came in.
It would have been most helpful this morning IF the kennel was set up and ready for the dog to go into. Yeah, in hindsight that would have been REALLY helpful.
Instead I had to be creative and FIND a place to put the puppy. And the crying, OHH the crying from his sad soul. Which lead to my son and my daughter crying - because the puppy was sad.
And we were late.
I was standing out in the backyard this morning, right after my shower, hair wet ; cursing the dog that needed to go potty. But rather than go potty he wanted to play, or lick my wet leg. As I bend down to rub my leg, because it was gross from the licking, he decided to chew on my hair. Yeah, it was a freakn' zoo. God help any of my neighbors who could see the nonsense this morning. Tank was hopping around, wanting to play and I am begging him to just go potty.
We like most men, he only really responds to food or treats. But IF i give him a damn treat he will have to poop again. aye, aye, aye.
The dog IS a good idea, we just should have been a bit more prepared.
Which by the way we are and were Not. So in the mean time the dog will have to suffer until we can get his crap situated and find a schedule. Sort like with my kids, they are at the mercy of my learning curve. They will survive, we will just be discombobulated and cranky until we get there.
And much like my kids, it is a damn good thing he is so darn cute because he has me tired and a bit cranky.
We will be all good, in due time. The goal for tonight is to get the kennel set up and find a good spot for it. We will work on the schedule in due time. Yesterday we had to get food and dog bowls, that is how far behind the curve we were. I promise to post photos - which are in my camera on the counter top. Hopefully later this week, but not too much later...ha!
Wish us luck! proud new owners of a dog.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

picture day...

Okay so this morning, I forgot it was picture day for Rylan.
I knew it about two days ago, when it read the little yellow slipp in his back-pack.
And well, I have slept since then and got sidetracked and by today I flat out forgot.

That was until I got to the babysitters and one of the kids so politely remind me.
I looked at Rylan and cringed, I was not going to let him get his picture taken today lookn' like that. I packed him up and made him go home in change, which as usual came with its own emotions from my little almost 9 yr old.
Needless to say he was pissed off. flat out, down right mad at me.
I decided to eat it, well for about 5 minutes. Then I got mad back at him and started to pull out the 'if you don't get over it, I will take this away or that away.'
I know classy parenting.
I got my parenting skills off the back of a freakn' milk carton, what do you expect.
But for real, I just needed him to change his darn shirt and put a some gunk in his hair and we could go.
He didn't want to wear a shirt with a collar, it itches. OHH the moaning.
He didn't want to fix his hair, he HATES it spiky. *since when??? dude we were just spiking it 2 mths ago**
He put on a pullover sweater w/ a zipper/collar. He was huffy and dumpy, but did it.
Then we moved on to the hair. He sprayed the same spot in the back then though he was done.
Me 'NO dude, fix the front.'
He carefully pulls all of his hair towards the front and attempts to walk off.
I tell him to get back there and FIX the front, for gosh sakes.
So to show me, he fixed it alright - it looks like a fish fin on the top of his head.
At this point, I gave up the battle - which was half won.
And we packed up and headed back to the babysitters so he could catch the bus.
Whew. Who knew picture day could be such drama w/ a damn boy.
As I dropped him off, I honked at him as he was walking down the path. In an attempt to lighten the mood, I waved and smiled. He moped, barely raised his hand and didn't even give me a smirk. ugh.
Yeah, I get parent of the year for being totally classy today. That was the start of my day, I wonder if it is an indication on how the rest of it will go.

Friday, February 19, 2010

smile:

These days I feel like everyone I know has lost their smile.
Myself included. I know I struggle thru the winter, I always have..and this winter seems even more intense than others. New job, new struggles new crap - once you boil it all down.
The difference this year is that Lance too seems to be in a 'funk'. Normally we are not both in a funk together, which is good because it makes it easier to get out of IF there is someone there to help.
Lance and I have been struggling to reach a common ground for awhile now. We have never been really great communicators, so when that minimal communication breaks down everything else seems to get lost in translation. Which leads us to where we are today.
Which frankly, I am not sure where that is; perhaps a hazy line between just going thru the motions and finding solutions.
Several factors, I feel are contributing to our distance, and inability to communicate or communicate clearly. One - my sister has decided that she wants to be separated and/or divorced. The realization of this has trickled it way into our house hold and sent our already rocky-relationship swirling a bit. He has verbalized some fear of me attempting to act like my sister. PLEZ is my response. get a grip. He has also tried to limit my time spent with my sister, which only makes me push back. Dude, she is my sister, we are CLOSE. This is nothing new and nothing that will ever change.
He has become semi-angry at the developments between my sister and her husband and he seems to be, from my perspective, taking it out on me a bit. Which does not sit well.
Secondly, my job. Hello folks - remember in June when I changed jobs, per his recommendation. I originally turned this job down, then he told me I was a dumbass and I took the job. Well, now that i am here and it is requiring ALOT of my time and attention he is pissed. I am exhausted, and brain-dead half the time. The last thing I can deal with is him being mad at the fact that my job is requiring a more hours than expected. Once again, as he pushes I push back. And we are left with a greater distance between us than before.
Third, his job. Lets face it folks. He also got a new job this summer and it has for the most part not panned out the way he has hoped. In my opinion he has lost his passion, his drive and even his smile. While on the subject, what about friends. Where are his? I get chastised for wanting to go to dinner, go out for girls nite ect. This is who I am, who I have ALWAYS been. This is nothing new. But by the same token, he was that person too. We found a way to make it work. Lately he has become for all intensive purposes, old. I have said to him and my sisters husband, find something to do - once or twice a week. For ideas, bowling, dart league, shoot guns, cards ect. Find a reason to get out of the house and bond with some boys.
For one if he is going out a bit more he will get off my ass, and secondly I 'think' he will just feel better.
Do you know how heart warming it is to sit with a girlfriend and laugh so hard it hurts. Currently I live for those moments. I have and always have had a great group of family and friends.
He has always lived to work and work hard. Now I am not sure what he is living for and as he attempts to find that we struggle. He has started to not trust me and frankly that pisses me off. It pushes me further away. Sexually it has become a mute point. *I know you totally wanted to know that.* The more he pushes me the less and less I want to be around him and the less and less we work at fixing the obvious broken parts.
The worst part about all of this is that I am a bit emotionally numb about it all. Not saddened, not happy, actually not much of anything. And with each passing day it becomes easier to fill my time with other things and activities. We are still loving our kids and being polite (at times); but our smiles have disappeared.
I keep looking for mine. I keep hoping he will find his. Hoping that Mr. Winter has it wrapped up in a snow flake that will eventually fall out of the sky. I luv him and we all know that luv is tough, marriage is tough. This is not a post about divorce or wanting to leave. It is just a post about our current struggle, which i am sure we will get through - just wondering if we will both better when it is all said n done.
However when we talk (fight) he does not take any ownership. He feels it is all me - that he really has nothing wrong and that I create the situation, push the situation and continue to perpetuate the nonsense. And me being , well me...that does not sit well. I will own my fair share of it, but at the same time I recognize my pitfalls and my own funk and try to fix it.
I don't really think he does that.... and I think it is swallowing him alive. I think it makes it easy to blame it all on me. And normally I would eat it all and try to fix it. I am not doing that this time.
Perhaps that is part of the reason he is in a funk. I am not playing the role I normally play, the fixer role -the I am going to save this role. I feel stronger each day, I am changing and with that comes the need for our relationship to change. I am trying to find my smile, I am looking for the laughter - I wish he would too....
I hope spring brings warm weather and smiles.

Friday, February 5, 2010

celebrate family....

In my own mind my family is its own version of 'rockstarrs'.
We are dysfunction, but not disconnected. We are fierce in loving each other and in protecting our own. And lets face it, we do have good genes - our gene pool leaves us with some charactistricts that we all wear with pride. You don't have to know us to know that we are related, just look at us......any number of us, and it is immediately clear. Its in the eyes.
I am speaking of my mothers side of the family, the Guertin side. I, like my siblings and cousins have been giving alot of thought and energy in trying to figure out how to celebrate our grandfather Jack.

Perhaps, I should back up. I have been lucky enough to know all of my grandparents, and even my great-grandparents. Secondly, I have been lucky enough that my mother/father made it priority for us as children to spend time with them. I was in my teens when my great-grandmother died, and in my late teens or early 20's when my great-grandfather died. They are real and tangible to me. I have found memories of them and a great affection for their commitment and luv for each other and their family. Which included my mother....
My great grandparents come to Ellis Island on the boat, one full Irish, and one full Italian. Hello -feisty, and dynamic; just based on genetics. My great grandparents were a great source of comfort and support for my mother, and for us they represented a great source of love and commitment. We did travel to NY to see them and celebrate them and create memories for us that continue resonate with me today. I am lucky to have gotten the chance to know them.

Growing up my grandparents played such an important role in my life. Back then they seemed so much bigger and larger than life to me. They were jet-setters, with their lake house, plane, boat, and even a photo w/ my grandmother attending dinner w/ President Regan. For a small town girl that sort of stuff made my eyes glitter. Growing up w did not travel out west or to the beach or to Disney for vacation, we went to visit family out east. And out east they welcomed us, all 3 rowdy kids with open arms. My grandparents took us to the capital, to the Smithsonian, to my first live play (which to the day I luv), taught us to ride the subway, train, took us Georgetown and made sure we were always learning something.

In thinking about where I am today and my personality, I have to say I am alot like him (grandpa Jack). Stubborn, dynamic, a bit twitchy, and fierce when I have to be. I luv to have a good time. I have seen him party like a rock starr and his smile charm the pants off complete strangers. He would constantly lick his finger tips. Which sounds strange, but is was barley noticeable. I twirl my hair or pace. Seems to be necessary in order to process the constantly moving thoughts and to help process. He seemed to be constantly reach for something more, constantly trying to re-invent or learn something new. Yeah, I get that, and luv that about him and how I carry that attribute in myself today. My grandfather was athletic the poster child of getting off your ass and finding something fun to do. He taught me to skii, and to this day I luv it. We would zip around the lake in his boat and he would barefoot skii, and teach each of us to trust him and get it done.
As I begin to teach my son to skii, which we worked on this summer. I realized how hard that process really is. As my son got up for his first time I felt a tear slip down my cheek. You could feel that source of confidence hit my son in an instant. He is learning to be unstoppable. Even after all of the trials and water up the nose, the moment you get up on the skii and feel that sense of accomplishment that cannot be taken away. My grandparents taught me so much about being confident. You can see it in my mom, now in me and my sister.
As I got older my grandfather and I had what I would call a personality conflict. Basically I was a smarty pants and much like him wanted to always be right. One night we were playing trivial pursuit, and we were arguing, he threatened to throw me over the rail at the lake house. Gosh, he was worked up and in hind site I was too. ha! I vividly remember my grandmother Pat sitting back and laughing. She could see it, me acting just like him. *see me glow with pride*
My grandfather Jack has 13 grandchildren, I am the oldest female grandchild. As a collective unit of grandchildren we all have fond memories of him and can share stories of how he has touched us and how we have grown because of him in our life. We as a collective unit have decided that we MUST find a way to show him how much he has touch us and contribute to us as adults.

7 year ago, while riding his motorcycle my grandfather fell off a cliff and is now paraplegic. For 7 years has not been mobile from the neck down. Can you imagine living life like a rockstarr and then suddenly being thrown into circumstances where you cannot even wipe your own ass. My grandmother was on the bike with him and has sustained life long injuries as well.
He continues to shine like a rockstarr in my eyes, he continues to be a source of straight and comfort. And once again, we as a collective we feel like we must let him know how much he contributed us. This could be the year we lose him, he has lost both of his brothers with in the last 6 mths and he has been in and out of the hospital. Our hearts are saddened and heavy.

We will rally together and see him this year, and celebrate with him as his grandchildren. It is the least we could do, given all he has given to each of us.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Earrings and more...

Well, things have been tough, tense and well just down right out of sorts.
Not sure where to start and frankly have gotten to the point where I just don't care.....frankly I don't mind being in this state of mind, which prob says something all in its self.
Anyhooo!
Lance and I got in a HUGE fight over my son requesting an earring for his 9th birthday. I mean HUGE, to the point of hanging up on each other and being um, not so nice. He says, no and I say it is prob okay. Not only does he say no, he says I am an irresponsible parent for even thinking that it is okay at the age of 9.
See me fly off the handle. Sure I am a lot of things and perhaps irresponsible a time or two, but over this issue - for real? Lets be frank folks, I have let my son wear a mo-hawk since he was 5, per his fathers encouragement and support. So the fact that I semi- support an earring does not seem off base to me. Mind you I did not encourage the latest request, but I don't see any huge harm in it either.
My son gets all A's, he is comfortable in his own skin and he thinks at this stage it is cool. My husband told him it was and I quote 'gay, and that only pirates and girls wear earrings.'
See me punch him in the face!! My son was almost in tears, totally deflated by his father and his latest approach. Mind you my husband has had a tongue piercing, eyebrow piercing and yes folks even his ears. So to deflate my son in one fail swoop sent me over the edge. I told Rylan to ask his dad, feeling that him and I would pretty much be on the same page w/ this issue. I could not have been more wrong nor more shocked.
Needless to say, huge fight ensued - I called got a few perspectives and the broached the subject again w/ dear ol' hubby. Trying to be sensible, well that approach ended in another screaming match. GAME ON.
So I had plans for Sat night, going out for Girlz nite out. But on Friday, around 7pm, I left the house as well. Friday morning and afternoon was the earring conversation, so for the sake of saving peace in the house -either he needed to go or I did. Well he clearly was not going out.
I called the ol' sister and out we went. I needed to decompress, I needed to relieve some stress.
On my way out the door I get the whole ' what about your kids' speech.
My kids are fine, their father can take care of them. Besides it was prob best that one of us left, for the sake of the kids so they did not have to hear us fight (again!).

A weekend of two nights out, is about to kick my butt. Well worth it all, I SO needed this type of a weekend. I laughed so hard I cried, I danced so much my legs hurt two days later, and I have such good friends I could burst. I did not drink too much, that was not the mission. But I did decompress, I did re-group, and I am still going to stand my ground.
I told Lance that I was going to let Rylan get an earring for his 9th birthday in March, like it or not. But IF he has anything to say about it, he had better take it out on me and not Rylan. We will see how this one pans out......to be continued.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

unsuspecting hero(s)

So working for a fire district has been interesting 'if' nothing else.
As I get to know the guys and they become more and more comfortable with me, this one thing imparticular stands out.
They as a whole don't want to be seen as heros. This struck me as funny.
Little kids look up to fire fighters, men and women are grateful to them for saving their luv'd ones and their homes (if possible). And yet they don't want to be placed in the hero box.
My response to one of them was just this 'don't be a dream killer. suck it up and move on.'
As we continued our talk, it became evident that some where along the lines of being a fire fighter they feel that they are placed on a pedestal that does not allow them to be human or make human mistakes.
Yesterday two of our paramedics lost a guy. You could see it written all over their face, the grief; but at the same time this is their job and they must move on. In speaking with one of the guys he stated, 'you know we assessed the situation, and it was one of two roads to take. we choose one way to address the situation, I still feel it was the best choice; but then again we will never know.'
I sat back and listened, as they worked and talked thru the nonsense in their head at that moment. You can see both of them struggling with the events of the day, and somehow they need to find away to make it all okay. I sit back and wonder how they do that.........
As they move on to a more typical topic like home life, kids ect. You can see they are trying to be distracted, trying to get away from the series of events.
Then we head back to the hero subject. And one guy says ' I am only human, and I suck, I don't want to be any ones hero. I am doing my job does not make me a hero.'
I laugh out loud. I tell him he is a cry baby and to get over it.
Here's how I see it.
These guys/gals go into situations that make the rest of us run the other way. They go into situations against their better judgement, against every fiber of their being that tells them to run the other way - because the situations are dangerous. They are life and death, they are gory, they are gruesome; and yet they go. They put fear aside, they make instant life or death decisions and they go into all sort of situations that make the rest of us cringe.
I sit at a desk, and crunch numbers - not quite the same pedestal.
We continued talking and then I had this to say as well;
'okay so as humans you guys all prob suck. It is prob hard to be married to you, prob hard to put up with you. ' As the masses put you on a pedestal you have to understand that not for one moment do 'we' (as the general) see beyond your fire truck and gear. We never see the person underneath the gear - and for us that is okay.
As I spoke one of them said, 'I never thought of it like that. Thanks for the prospective.'
I smiled and said 'as and FYI you are a jackass. but at the same time IF I was ever in an accident I would want it to be you that saved me. I trust your decisions, trust your instincts and trust that you did your absolute best. Secondly, I trust you won't look at my underwear in the back of an ambulance (unless you absolutely have to) -ha!!'
Let us place them in the hero box, and once again don't be a dream killer.
We all need someone to look up too.
I work with 132 hero's and yes folks as far as general men go; they suck.
As far as fire rescue and paramedics go, some of the best. Welcome to my world of hero's, it is a tough job.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

finding others...

When I went to Europe and live in a flat with 12 other students I met a girl from Tulsa OK. Both being home grown and corn feed we migrated towards each other. I found her to be striking, she had bright blue eyes, naturally curly hair and cheeks that were naturally blushed.
I luv'd that...on top of that she was easy to talk too, we had a lot in common, including our new found European adventure.
During our stint in Europe we would take classes Mon-Wed and Wed afternoon hop on the train with our Euro-rail pass in hand and ride. Sometimes we would have destination in mind, other times not so much. The Euro-rail was like a ticket to travel heaven. So Wed - Sat or Sunday we would travel from country to country. Not knowing the language, not knowing how to read most of the signs and not knowing how to order off a menu - we were for all intensive purposes 'winging it.'
We found ourselves in a hairy situation or two - and how we managed to survive and walk away with a good story and smile still amazes me. We met SO many people, saw so many places - some touristy, and some off the beaten path. Back then it felt like we would stay friends forever, never lose touch. Once we got back state-side. I went to see her in OK, she came here and this went on for a few years. Then somehow we lost each other while living life - you know, getting married, getting careers, having kids etc.
There are moments when I am struck by a situation with her and I feel the urge to find her. Which is SO darn easy these days, I just had to get off my butt and get it done. So two days ago, on Facebook I found her. See sunshine and care-bears surround me. Facebook what a wonderful and terrible invention all wrapped up in one place. Wonderful - because I luv being able to keep up with people and stay in touch w/ family and friends. Wonderful because it totally rocks my world. Terrible for the same reasons, it is distracting to me. For as each moment passes I wonder who has posted, what are they doing - anything exciting, anything better than what ever task i am attempting to accomplish? Ohh how there are times it haunts me, because I just want to know - and know it all.
Such a girl!
I guess after I think about, it is like one big gossip site with photos and everything. Luv it!
Anyhoo....
I found her, I reached out to her - she is in Hawaii. Yeah, can we say plan ticket and road trip?
Its funny to me how people just sort of pop back in to one's life and how the ones you thought would stay close forever seem to fade away so easily. Bottom line I am stoked to have found her, to see her face in her profile made me gasp. Yeah! I live for moments like this....you know the good ones. So as I play catch up with a dear friend know that I am forever and grateful and haunted by facebook -ha!!! Ohh the curse...sometimes the shame, ha!
Although it is proving to lead to good things, great friends and a few good laughs. whoo-hoo.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2010....

OKay so I am firm believer in Karma....
I totally believe that what goes around comes around - maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow and definitely not as quickly as I would like at times. Being mindful of ones thoughts and actions is tough at times.
Sometimes against all efforts and against all reasoning things happen. One day we wake up and things have changed. CHANGED.
I used to be terrified of change, terrified of alot of things. Not so much anymore.
I dont' have all the answers, I ask alot of questions and still find myself swimming in a pool of self inflicted nonsense. Happens.
So as I enter 2010 here are some things that I do know.
It is okay fail, as long as u learn something
I should have been 'nicer' to myself 10 yrs ago
I don't have to have all the answers, but I am working on it - ha!!
For every tear you shed you find a reason to smile
In lou' of all of the nonsense I have been truly blessed
I am so glad to have siblings and a best friend from childhood -they see thru all of my nonsense.
I am glad that my children have each other
It really is a miracle that we wake up everyday, live your life to the fullest and have no regrets
*make mistakes, but don't regret them*
Money does not equal happiness
Being alone is okay
I am not going to make any resolutions this year it seems retarded to spit out a list of generic items that I will never achieve. In the next month or so, I will forget every item on my list. So why bother.
As I enter 2010 I wonder what the future holds and wonder if I am learning the lessons of the past? On New Years day - we read our horoscopes (me, mom and Courtney) for the year. It was something fun, something light hearted to take in stride. They discussed the moon, starts and how they align and what house enters what sphere of living. A whole lot of technical mumbo jumbo - to let me know that changes and challenges are coming. Well, hello - tell me something I didn't know. Unless you are living under a rock your days and years will be filled with changes and challenges. Get ready for the ride of a lifetime, welcome 2010...

Kids

Kids
Nieces & Nephews and Kids...