Tag Archives: Attitude

Sleepless and too old for slumber parties

I didn’t sleep last night. Not one single second.  Not because I feared waking up naked or finding myself the unfortunate owner of poorly drawn permanent marker body art because I was the sap who tapped out first.  You had to attend at least one slumber party (usually all female) to understand the previous statement. If you didn’t and don’t then slit your wrists now. There’s no hope for you. 

No I was awake, wide awake. All.Night.Long because pain is a bully and doesn’t let sleep or anything else (I vaguely remember loving food) play on the playground. 

Pain is all consuming. A violent force demanding attention. I usually like to throw something at it and tell it to shut up. But there comes a point when you’ve reached (inhaled, snorted, chewed) the maximum allotted pain meds before all breathing is fatally suppressed, slathered yourself in every imaginable essential oil blend, prayed, praised, and ugly cried before you realize, “Damn, this is here to hang out for awhile.” 

But thankfully this isn’t my first rodeo and I’ve learned a few things along the way.

First, feel it (whatever it may be. For me, now it’s pain.) Acknowledge it. Admit it’s there because all the denying is simply that…denial.  Take a look at my toes below. See those pins? Denying the pain would be like denying the fact that those pins are in my toes.  Stupid, yet people insist on stupidity. A simple “shit this hurts” should suffice.
 
Second, walk through realizing that the victory has already been won in Christ. That’s the truth!  The truth always trumphs the fact (so suck it pain.) Among all of the goodies we freely receive with a simple name drop, I believe anything we personally endure we now have super-powered-authority-victory over. So guess what? I may have had to experience countless hours of extreme pain but know this…when I lay my hands on someone pain will get its ass kicked!

Third, there’s something about praise that causes pain and other uglies to flee…eventually. Recently I could only croak out, “I can just praise you Lord, I can just praise you Lord, I can just praise you Lord.” Even though I took redundancy to a new level and barely whispered, it was enough because He saw my heart. He knew I chose to praise through the intensity of the pain. 

So as the sun rises with my MS Contin, Oxycodone, bath of essential oils and praise in my heart all on board, I feel as if sleep might finally say hello. And I plan to close my eyes and tap out without any concern because I’m in good hands!

He who watches over Israel and 40-some year old women still traumatized from pre-teen sleep overs never slumberes or sleeps ps 121:4

A Good Egg

I mentioned in my previous post that a beautiful person in my life, my Mom, was recently diagnosed with aggressive stage three breast cancer.  While I’m not going to give very much attention on here to this topic [because cancer sucks and doesn’t even deserve the single mention I just gave it] I do want to honor my Mom.  In fact, this honoring is going to continue well into May and Mother’s Day.  So Mom, sorry but you’ll just have to deal with the attention.

Things have not been easy these last several months for our family.  When one member is hurting, the entire family unit hurts.  But true to our nature we try to heal the hurt with humor.

It all began with a head shaving party lead by her son-in-law, Mr. Pavlov.

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Dear Lord what am I doing?!? Remember, I’ve been a good Mother-in-law….

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OY VEY! Deep breaths….

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Serious work

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Offering support. Don’t worry Mimi, that ear will grow back besides, you have two.

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The incredibly happy look and large smile worn by Mr. Pavlov is concerning.

So who knew that there’s this whole show-your-support-and-shave-your-non-cancer-head thing that people do?  My daughter and I, who are descendants of Rapunzel (I’m convinced of this fact) began to get twitchy over the nobel notion.  Just as we were about to make the huge sacrifice of losing an inch or two (I mean  an entire inch…that counts for something!) these beautiful people decided to go full blown commando shaven.

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These two are pretty super and just incase you didn’t know…this is actually the real Superman.

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Two strong women

    

It seems certain members of our tribe have developed a fondness for her numerous wigs. With each new wig comes the “ooooo” and “Ahhhh” and of course the mandatory sampling of the goods. Test driving the wig starts by yanking it off of her cute, bald head, running to the nearest mirror and usually ends in front of a camera phone. Yes, we are deplorable and social media rules.

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Sometimes you gotta strike a pose, vogue and steal your Mimi’s wig

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The wig knows no gender….

And when she finally lost her eyebrows we, of very-little-eyebrow-drawing-on- experience, were there to hook her up with brows.  Hey, that’s what family is for right?

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She’s very trusting….wonder if she prefers The Joker or Spock?

Life has a way of throwing surprise parties and when it does you want to surround yourself with people who really know you and will support you.  People who not only say, “I’m here for you during the good, the bad, the ugly” but also who back up their talk (which can be so meaningless) with hard core action.

My dad is the Arnold Schwarzenegger of action.  He has been like a mother hen caring for his chick during this nasty ordeal.  Anyone who knows my Mom quickly realizes that he has his work cut out for him.  The “chick” is strong, determined and independent.  Rest or taking it easy is not something that comes naturally to her.  She created the term “burning the candle at both ends” and goes until she can go no more.

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Yet another Chemo day and Dad is never far away.

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Valentine’s Day is not ruined by Chemo day and fatigue thanks to Dad.

And when she finally crashes, he is there as he said he would be.  These are the people you want in your corner when the battle rages.

Talk is cheap. Words are just words unless they are backed up.  Sadly, people disappoint.  I’ve had my share of disappointments recently and it is the sucky behavior people throw at you that causes you to truly appreciate and value the good eggs in your life.

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Two of my favorite eggs. My brother always did look more like her!

And I’m holding onto mine a little tighter….

I love you Mom!

A girl interrupted.

I was walking into work today deep in thought.  My mind was mauling over the previously mentioned “baggage” that 2015 is starting off with.  We, as a family have some serious decisions facing us.  I’m talking the heavy stuff but desperately wishing for the “paper or plastic?” decision making variety.

Let’s table the decision talk for awhile and face some facts.  My beautiful Mom was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer.  I’ll write more about this later but  she is a general in her faith and one of the strongest women I know.  It’s pretty sad when the “patient” (i.e. Mom) is telling the family member (i.e. Me et al.)  “I’ll be ok.”   We should be the ones encouraging her and yet, true to her nature, she continues to protectively care for us.  She has begun the long treatment process (below) while we try to be useful…if nothing else we provide the sick, distorted, dysfunctional humor to distract and deny the facts.

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But decisions are to be made and I was deep in thought.  I was also being slightly pessimistic and maybe even a little pissed over the tendency of humans to meddle in the affairs of others and create unnecessary talk.  With this talk comes wildly incorrect information and by the time it’s repeatedly circulated it becomes difficult to find even a nugget of truth in the muck.  So yeah, I was pissed.

But God understands His creation and unconditionally loves.  He is good.  This fact I know regardless of the storms around me.

In His unconditional love and understanding of my extremely pessimistic thoughts I heard a voice belt out,

Now that’s the optimism I love!!

I chuckled as I appreciated the sarcasm and then looked up to see if God Himself had appeared in the flesh to deliver me this message.  And he did.  In the form of His human creation.  A man, who was exiting the hospital and who I had failed to notice due to my self preoccupation, stood before me smiling from ear to ear.  He repeated again,

Now that’s the optimism I love!

Keep it up and maybe we’ll get somewhere.

I paused and began to laugh truly appreciating the humor of my God.  I was also at a total loss as to what in the heck this seemingly nice man was talking about.  Just as I began to wonder if he was a Psych ward escapee he saved himself with,

It’s sixty degrees out right?!?

I mean you’re not wearing a coat so it must be warm! We can hope!!

I looked down at my body clad only with thin scrubs and a lab coat just as I felt the negative temps and wind hitting my skin.  Oh yeah, a coat! Of course!  I never wear one when I’m in the hospital.  I don’t have a place to keep it and carrying it around with me all day? Not an option! So I have grown accustomed to rapidly scurrying across the parking lot before I turn into a human ice block.

Now it all made sense and I couldn’t help but marvel at the perfectly timed interaction.  My God, what a God!  I am truly thankful that He knows us and uses everyday occurrences to speak.  I am always willing to be a girl interrupted…by God!

I am not God (shocking, I know) but in my humanness I’m going to speak.  To all of those people who like to meddle, gossip, and delight in the misfortune of others…I feel sad for you.  Sad that your life is not full enough to enjoy.  But they say a picture is worth a thousand words and I believe my daughter actually says it the best…

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Live your own life and forget about the lives of others unless you can actually offer sincere help.

Cheers!

Goodbye 2014.

And I can’t say I’m sorry to see you go.  In fact, I thick my foot got prematurely lodged in your backside trying to hurry the process along.  I will spare you glorious readers the “Oh how my year sucked” details but here is one highlight.

My knee decided it no longer wanted to straighten.  I know, insane right?  A hinge joint deciding it no longer required to comply with the anatomical rules of operation.

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But nonetheless I found myself in the ER (above) with a stubbornly flexed knee.  After two ER docs and about 10 ortho residents and a few fellows had their manipulative way with me, I was told to follow up with the Attending surgeon.

Much to the disappointment of all the young ortho bucks, I guess the attending would get to be the one to exercise his virility and unlock the beast.  But I would like to thank a particular ortho resident.  His extremely hairy chest and gold chain beating on it with each forceful manipulation helped to momentairly distract me from the pain and I’m convinced, kept me from passing out.

I mean first, that much chest hair? Not my thing.  And secondly, how in the heck could that chain beat so freely and with such force without getting caught in all of that bush?  It was truly fascinating.

Clearly he was unaware of my voyeuristic activities or the fact that he was grunting and sweating.  I can only imagine what the scene looked like from another angle.  It would have been comical had I not been every shade of the rainbow and about to vomit from pain.

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But enough about hairy chested residents.  My temporary ride above sucked and I gained new appreciation for my legs and for the support of my family.  My daddy (above sporting the look of worry) is truly a one-of-a-kind wonderful man and second to none.  He has always been my hero and I shadowed him relentlessly as a kid and would probably continue to if it wasn’t so creepy.   But let’s face it, good men are worth shadowing.

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It was love at first perma skin mark between me and the ortho attending.  He had me at “GA Yes.” Rather than spreading my legs and contorting me into the various pretzel formations that his younger, inexperienced counterparts attempted, he decided to give me good drugs and take care of business arthroscopic style.  And the fact that he marked the correct body part to invade was a huge bonus for this girl.

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Someone should’ve told anesthesia to keep the good drugs running because when I finally came to pain had been playing on my playground for awhile.  And anyone who knows anything about pain knows that once it gets ahead of you it is game over…pack your bags….time to find a drug dealer and shoot up heroine.

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I spent much time on the couch during my recovery.  And as all mothers can confirm, our children are never far away.  I’m extremely thankful for the rare occasions that I’ve been able to poop in private.  In fact, my bowels literally shut down when there’s not a kid competing for attention.  We’re taking full blown constipation until a child returns to get things jump started again.  I think I’ll require bowel retraining when they all leave for college.

During one of my many moments on the couch I happened to look over and there was under ware clad Tres lighting up the room with his moon.

“Laughter doeth good like a medicine” (Prov 17:22) and I had much medicine that day.

2015, you’re starting off with some baggage but I believe that you have the makings of greatness in you.  So goodbye 2014, don’t let my foot cause you too much discomfort on the way out….hello 2015!

Bra burning and the start of school…embrace who you are!

After screaming and dragging my feet in imaginary dirt, I am (f i n a l l y) in the back to school spirit given that my three departed from our summer loving  abode this week and boarded the big yellow bus.  I was dreading the start of school because I truly love the chilled days of summer where we throw abandonment to any form of schedule.  We stay up late, sleep in late, eat crap and burn our bras (this actually happened when my mom hurled her ill-fitting bra into the bonfire flames late one hot summer night).

It is the raw stuff that makes life fun and provides for interesting conversation when my second grader answers the first day ‘getting to know you’ question of “What did you do or see this summer?”  Sorry Mom.  If you receive odd looks during Grandparents Day, you now know why!

They have been in school a mere three days and in addition to a quiet house, I am beginning to delight in the return of an organized schedule.  There is something to be said for a routine and for once, my descriptive adjectives are positive.

Maybe it is because I have finally embraced who I am.  I know my weakness (my 5:30am wake-up and addiction to the snooze button) and can prepare for success in spite of them (making sure my offspring are awake, fed, sometimes clean, and on the bus).

I no longer feel inadequate or make excuses for what makes me, me. Ok, maybe I lapse into excuse making inadequacy when I spot a super organized, highly polished, morning loving Mama as I stand there with exercise sweat still on my pants wearing the sports bra that (as my youngest so observantly pointed out) my flat chest does not really require. Or worse (yes there are worse things than clothes bearing exercise sweat and sports bras) when I fail to get dressed and hear the surprised greetings of Mr. Pavlov or the kids “You didn’t even change today?!?”  Yeah?  So what? I like my jammies.  But this lapse is short-lived once I (mentally and occasionally physically) slap myself a few times and picture the highly efficient mama in my state.

I am happy that this “embrace who you are” vibe has taken root in my kids given that I’ve only been spewing this point since their birth!!! My youngest shrugged off the five question limit that his teacher imposed upon him the second day of school with a simple,

 “I like to know information and I have a lot of questions. It’s who I am.”

The two older ones are unmoved by social standards or “norms” when usually, at their age(s), these two factors are most important.  If they don’t like it (whatever it may be), it isn’t happening!  They are confident in their skin and are not willing to compromise who they are [insert a big parental YAY!]

It appears as if my brother and sister-in-law have embraced the same ‘be who you are’ parenting theme.  My nephew not only beats to his own drum but has is own music.  He is one highly successful child and makes no excuses for who he is or what makes him tick.

This was taken when my sister-in-law had to visit his school.  She smiled with immediate recognition.  This picture says it all and sums it up……

In a world of followers be unique, be you and burn a bra or two!

I’m curious.  Who besides my Mom has actually burned their bra? The few bras that I own happen to be Victoria’s Secret.  This flat chested wonder needs all the assistance that I can get and the VS miraculous bra does the job nicely.  Miracles are indeed created in the form of a small cleavage appearing on my chest.  Who cares that a bullet could pass through the bra and never penetrate skin or that one could bruise or wound the unfortunate soul who happens to come in contact with the bra weaponry.  Yes, there is THAT much padding and push of which does not come cheap.  So at $49.95 a bra there’s no way they will be seeing flames anytime soon.

The heat and the power of endorphins!

I caught a quick glimpse of the TV yesterday (while I was vacuuming and dropping sweat that could fill a man-made lake) as the youngest was channel surfing (yes, he is male and inherited this trait from his father’s gene pool).  The quick flash I saw was of the USA pictured on a weather map and the entire country was lit up red with 90’s and 100’s across the board.  A meteorologist was standing in front of the weather map speaking to the camera and wearing a look of concern in addition to his slightly wilted and crumpled suit.

That’s all I got.  I couldn’t hear him and before I could power down the sweeper and make a request that the little TV dictator keep that station on for a minute,  he changed the channel.  I debated on using my rank to overtake him and seize power of the arc of the covenant but decided to continue working and sweating.

Sweating has been a part of daily life.  But I’m not complaining (thank God for A/C).  Although apocalyptic, I love the heat.  Ok, so this might be a bit oppressive (we live in the arm pit of the world) but I’d rather have this heat than the horrid blizzard of a winter we had to endure.  Actually, I’d rather have my butt planted in Arizona where there is zero humidity.  The humidity is what kills us here.

Well some of us more or less than others.  My middle child, Dos, cannot handle humidity in any form and Mr. Pavlov was birthed and raised in the heat ridden, humid, tropical Philippines.

Dos is a big boy and an avid sport player.  By big I do not mean McHeffer, I mean large for his age.  At 12yrs he is 5’7″ and 160#  The boy is solid.  Think hitting a brick wall and you’ll get it about right.  He is also freakishly strong.  I already cut his hair so I know for a fact that we don’t have any Sampson going on here (and he has also taken sips of fermented drink – another non-Sampson trait).

Thanks to his size, power, attitude and natural talent, he is readily accepted into the sport arena and plays just about everything known to mankind.  I have the mileage on my newer Clown Car (the non-affectionate name for our 5 seater downsize after the death of our beloved Honda Minivan) to prove it.  Currently he is on a basketball league.  Outdoors.  An outdoor basketball league. Clear?  Outdoors.  He had a game yesterday in the 100+ degree hot and humid temps.

My Mama heart was feeling a bit sorry for my big sized baby.  Hey, I still remember the day he was born like it were yesterday.  His head and shoulders are the most vivid of the memories (I will remember them forever!) but he will always be my baby no matter how large he becomes.  So when he came to me all pathetic looking asking if he could sit this game out, I knew my sports crazed kid was suffering from the heat.  Was it truly worth it?  Making a kid who sweats buckets, becomes easily dehydrated and then vomits up the attempts at rehydration play in this dangerous heat index?  The image of him hurling all over the court and the other players sealed the decision for me.  I told him he could remain at home.  Indoors.

Now Mr. Pavlov is a heat eating machine.  I think he possesses a mutant tropical gene that enabled him to live (as in play outdoors) in the Philippines. The man is unphased.  He is also an avid participant in sports and his true love is cycling (think Lance Armstrong as in cycling NOT his true love…just so we’re clear!)

He would sleep with his bike if I permitted her in our bed….but I don’t and she is confined to the garage or on the trainer in our family room.  He cycles 25 miles to work “just cause” and pushes himself regardless of the heat index.  He laughs at the sun and the gnats don’t even attempt to buzz his head, dive bomb his eyes or lodge in his sweat.  They know better.  Mosquitos don’t touch him either (I’m thinkin’ the mutant gene repels them).

He is an outdoor god.  But I’m not quite ready to place an image of him in my garden or erect a totem pole just yet.  Even though these next few pictures are totally statue worthy:

What heat?

Unzipping is my secret for ventilation

Feel the breeze baby!

On basketball day he came home from work wearing similar garb to the above photos.  Yes, he cycled to work, again.  His cycling suit was unzipped (see above)and he was joyfully sweaty.

I wondered how long the joy would last once I informed him that I permitted our heat intolerant child to skip his game.  Without further delay I spit out the information.  Mr. Pavlov looked at me, then glanced at Dos lounging on the couch wearing only his basketball shorts and playing with his ipad (nice presentation Dos!), then glanced back at me.  I waited for the speech about team commitment, keeping kids active and off of brain numbing computer gadgets and TV (Mr. Pavlov is also ex Airborne) but instead he nodded and replied a simple,

“Yea, it is hot.”

I offered Mr. Pavlov a glass of water and told Dos he should be thankful for a little thing called endorphins!

Teetering the crazy line

I love to eat.  Eating is my passion and favorite pastime.  When I am in consumption mode (especially with foods that I particularly love) everything else becomes a blur which is why I was not on my A game this particular Friday night.

Late Friday (early Saturday AM) Mr. Pavlov and I took the kids to Eat-n-Park after attending a meeting.  They were claiming starvation and muscle wasting and it would be inhumane to deprive them of a meal – i.e. MY stomach was rumbling. 

Tres, who was barely awake to begin with but didn’t want to miss out on anything, fell asleep promptly after placing his cheeseburger and fries order.  He conveniently sprawled out across the oversized booth and utilized my lap as his personal pillow.

Our order arrived just in time because we were all about to join Tres and go horizontal.  The deep-fried onion rings were serenading me and I entered my food induced state of oblivion.  It was only me and the onion rings and maybe my garden burger from the moment they landed on our table.  My head was in the trough and I was happy.

I didn’t notice the group of young males stalking our table.  I was blissfully unaware of the frequent pass bys and testosterone filled grunts.  I had my onion rings. I was complete.

My beautiful daughter jolted me to her reality with this statement,

“Mom, that table of guys over there keeps staring this way and pointing.”

Then Mr. Pavlov, who was seated right next to her (we had a LARGE booth and he was in the middle of Uno and Dos) replied,

“The one keeps walking by like he stole something!”

Dos, also in awareness mode added,

“Yea, he seems twitchy!”

With fried onion ring crumbs hanging from my mouth I replied,

“Are they staring at you and walking by to see you?”  

Smiling, she glanced over her right shoulder to where an ancient couple was sitting dutifully cutting each other’s blueberry pancakes and replied “W e l l……” 

Wow.  How did I miss this?  I am always on it and my guydar remains in a constant and finely tuned state.  My daughter is a cutie and boys know it!  But before I could wipe away the onion ring crumbs from my mouth and ponder my failure we received visitors….

Two “scruffies” as Dos called them interrupted my our feeding frenzy. Clearing their throats they ventured:

“Excuse me….uh, er, well my friend over there…the one in the corner…well, ah, he wants us to give you this (handing my beautiful baby a folded piece of white paper).  He thinks you’re, um, cute.  It’s his…ah, number and um, well, he wants you to call him.”

The beauty, Uno, smiled and said one simple word…O K A Y.  Mr. Pavlov glared and echoed Uno’s OKAY only in a much more menacing tone.  I finally wiped away my crumb residue and entered the here and now as I watched them walk away giving each other high fives and fist pumping the air.  The “Corner Guy” remained standing in the corner stalking observing Uno and her response.  I believed it was the intimidating glares and peacock posturing of Mr. Pavlov that drove him from the corner and sent him back to his seat with his friends until…..

….we were getting ready to leave when the brazen little punk decided to approach our table himself!   With Mr. Pavlov standing and peacock posturing beside him, he apologized for the behavior of his friends and in front of her entire family, asked our beauty to call him.  Mr. Pavlov gave a nod, the type of nod that says “Boy, you better move while you have the chance” and said,

“Let’s go!”

Corner guy finally retreated without the committment from Uno he wanted.  I guess I was somewhat high on my recent ingestion and wasn’t thinking clearly.  Feeling all warm and fuzzy from the fried food I heard myself call after him,

“You have good taste!”

He smiled.

Uno chuckled and replied,

“Good one Mom, but at least you didn’t threaten him with statutory rape this time!

Now that I am clear in the head and have given the scenario some thought I must ask, can you believe the boldness?  Maybe I am old school but boys would never approach a young girl in the presence of her family especially with her father seated right beside her.  Am I old school?  Is this the progressive style of the youth today?  I don’t like it.  Do you?

The youth of today are bold and daring.  I think the genetically altered, steroid laced food we consume has pumped them up and left them…

…teetering the crazy line!