Tag Archives: Kids

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!

Boys and their balls consume my life

Ya’know…Baseball, Basketball, Football….

….Balls.  Boys love them and we parents get to experience the joy of ushering the man children around to all of their ball activities.

Which is where I’ve been these last two plus months.  On ball duty.  I think I have breathed and bathed in enough dirt and line chalk to make an asthmatic kill themselves.  More nights than not, going home seemed pointless and if I didn’t have to wash a stupid WHITE Baseball uniform Every. Single. Day.  I would’ve camped right on the grounds thus beginning the first occupy Ball field.

But we (ball sports involve the entire family and my youngest began to manifest demons at the mere mention of ball, field or game) survived and the team made history in their undefeated win of 4 straight championships and runner-up in the Pony East Zone tournament.

My teenage baller is an animal and managed to break 7 (I stopped counting after the 7th hit to my bank account) bats this season.  He had a great year and almost made it worth the monetary and kronos investment.

Take a look at the consuming, cheesy posed ball life taken by my convenient cell phone.  I’m not one of those “good mothers” who not only washes but iron starches her son’s uniform with pure joy, brings home-baked snacks for all of the exhausted boys and parents, has her Nikon ready (complete with telescopic lens to capture each bead of sweat), bounces across the field like Tigger amped on the now regulated cough meds, offers to car pool endlessly, dresses her entire family in coordinated team spirit wear, and screams non-stop without suffering any damage to her vocal cords.  Okay, so maybe this exact woman doesn’t exist but I’ve met some that come pretty sickening close.

I hatefully throw the uniform in the machine and pray it comes out partially clean (secretly envisioning the day when it will blaze on my bon fire).  Iron?  My youngest didn’t even recognize one in the store.  I barely bake for my own children and certainly do not plan to torture myself for offspring that are not my own.  My cell phone captures the moment with enough grainy haze that if you felt the need to see a drop of sweat then one could certainly be imagined.  I have to down coffee laced with regulated cough syrup just to function so field bouncing isn’t in my routine.  I can barely get my own DNA to where they need to be and adding others into the mix would be a suicide mission on wheels.  Coordinated team spirit wear?! My family considers themselves fortunate to have daily clean wear and matching socks is a huge bonus (the only coordination they know).  The last time I tried to scream for my son, I choked on my spit and bronchospasmed.

Enjoy!

One of many this season

Yes, I’m a dirtball and we are bringing some of the field home with us but I am too exhausted to care.

Proud Papa poses for yet another championship win.

Score, another one!  They could be twins.

It takes two to hold this so I better help him – Proud Papa  Hey Proud Papa, wanna help me wash that uniform?!?

Aww, she does love him even if we had to bribe and drag her to the game

Proud of their bro even if Tres’ motivation is trophy lust

Oh look, his dedication paid off and he scored one of his own. It pays to be a loyal bat boy a.k.a. little brother

My baller throws a fast 65 and beat the 17yr olds even though he was holding back for the upcoming game.

New bat #7…I think. Sadly I don’t predict a long life span for this guy.

As if we have not experienced enough ball! Seeing how the pros do business.

It was a sadistically fun ride.  Now we are getting ready for the start of school and more ball activities ahead.

Boys and their balls.  The infatuation never ends.

Team OJ vs. Team Marcia: A day in my parenting life.

I’ve heard the stories.  I’ve been told.  Yes, it seems that as we parents age we tend to lose our mad – I smell a child skunk – radar skills (along with our eye sight, smelling, which is why we can’t smell the overbearing skunk, hearing, bladder control and all other useful functions).

Never! ( I thought).  Not me! (I proclaimed).  Not even possible (I proudly boasted).  Doesn’t the Bible say something about pride and boasting?  Um, hmm. And it isn’t good.

Well this aging parental proud boaster learned a lesson.  You think I would’ve learned to be a little more cautious after my darlin’ baby pulled this stunt a couple of years ago.  However, in defense of my previous state of ignorance, we parents want to believe our children.  We are TOLD by the media to believe our kids (and the sneaky little offspring know this!)

So when my youngest came home with a bus tale from hell (involving forced gum consumption in spite of his existing expander) I rose to his defense.  Ok, so to be fair, I was kinda set up.  Why?  Well, he has had multiple issues on this bus even involving physical assault (the little guy took a breath sucking punch to the gut).

I believe in tough love and find myself quoting Mr. Pavlov’s “suck it up” (whatever it may be) a little too often.  Although, without a doubt, I become my children’s OJ Simpson legal defense team when warranted.  I have their back and they rest securely in this knowledge.

This warranted Mama Bear roared and demanded that the school employ serious intervention (because somehow intervention alone seemed lacking) in this bus situation.  The school rose to the challenge and began to implement change.

Then my previously constipated maternal radar took an Exlax and began to flow freely.  Beeps and alarms were going off all over the place.  Something just didn’t fit and this team OJ was not about to acquit.  Could it be?  Could my youngest, my baby, be deceiving me?

I asked him…several times.  It was not until his grandmother’s profession of his truthfulness that he broke and actually told the truth.   She spoke into existence his character, the character we have in and through Christ and that alone drove away all deception.

As he told the truth it became obvious that he wove two separate events together with such creativity and detailed precision that I sat and marveled at his intelligence.

Then I felt nauseous because I remembered my team OJ demand for serious intervention.   I knew, without a doubt, that the serious intervention would be coming from my son and myself and I wanted to hide (I was really feeling the whole fig leaf and animal skin thing).  I knew we had to correct the situation and bring forth the truth but part of me really didn’t want to.

Have you wrestled with feeling like these before?  I knew what had to be done but sooo wanted NOT to have to do it!   I guess I was concerned with how his deception reflected on not only him, but on myself as his parent.

I felt for sure they would be thinking he was a bad kid who lied easily.  I thought they would treat him differently and view him with suspicion.  Plus they were sure to ask: What kind of parent was I?  How foolish was I to believe his story?  The fear of man is a very motivating force behind our bad decisions!  It would be soooo much easier to let the entire incident blow over and have the school staff still hold us in a positive light.  However, this tempting apple was not an option (I’ve learned that bad things happen when you eat the sin apple).

I uncomfortably became prosecuting attorney, Marcia Clark and marched his little toosh into the school office and had him tell the truth (while I held my breath).

They listened.  Then they handed him a kleenex for his tears and snotty nose and as he wiped and blew they thanked him for coming forward and telling the truth.  They called him a “man” because, as one staff member put it, any boy can lie but it takes a man to tell the truth.  They handled him with such tenderness, mercy and grace that I couldn’t help but think of our heavenly Father and how he lovingly deals with us in our tearful, mucus loaded states.

My little man finally smiled and so did team Marcia, rather comfortably.

Forget the chickens, you just might be a redneck if….

….you have a doggie door that looks like this

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It seems that once we installed the invisible fence the dogs have developed excessive boredom with the great outdoors (now sans exploration) and long for the comforts of our home.

The little rat decided to take matters into her own paws and create her own doggie door.

I warned you to Let me IN or BAD, BAD things would happen!!!

For once the destructive power house was innocent and we captured her bewilderment and surprise at the newly created doggie door.

What the…how the…when…?? I didn’t do it!!!!

Now AS IF chickens free ranging in our home (this is no longer occurring) and dog made doggie doors isn’t redneck enough, take a gander at our son-made swimming pool.  This baby is guaranteed to provide hours of fun on hot summer days as our youngest demonstrated.

A boy and his dog. This is the redneck life!

Who needs a pool when you have a 50gal rubbermaid container that previously housed chickens?????

Ahhhh, this is chill.

I don’t know about you but (other than being a little grossed out – you should see WHAT that dog rolls in!) the swimming pool tub is giving me the frontier vibe and I’m suddenly thanking God for my showers and running water.  I’ve heard my grandpap tell stomach churning stories about having the disgusting misfortune of being the last person to use the bath water after his umpteen brothers bathed.

Gross.  I think I’d be tempted to forgo the bath and remain in my filth… At least it would be my own.

Speaking of filth, my chickens are calling and the little neighbor girl is squealing (I can’t tell if it is with fear or delight).  The run is still not finished and they are free ranging through the neighborhood.

Time for this redneck in denial to round ’em up and then maybe take a dip (sans dog) in the pool when I’m done!

The verb that protects and preserves.

February 14th signals the return of Valentine’s Day and this year I am celebrating the holiday and the love it represents with all of my beating heart.

Love was.  Love is.  Love always will be.  I cannot think of a greater force than love.

Love was the driving force for our creation and Jesus taking on the cross, spilling his blood, and sacrificing His life in order that we may live.  If you can’t comprehend this love act then just ask yourself “What would I do to save my child or family member? Would there be a limit or would I risk it all?”

Mr. Pavlov and I got to answer this question Friday night when our gas stove was not turned all the way off and caused gas to slowly flow into our home over a three-hour period while our 15-year-old daughter was home alone.  When we returned home and opened the door attached to the garage downstairs, the strong gas fumes overwhelmed us and we suddenly became aware that proceeding further could result in our death.  Although none of us spoke it, we knew that at any minute the home could explode. Yet the three of us charged into danger without any regard for ourselves because love was compelling us.

Without being instructed to do so our 12-year-old son lead the way into the dangerous fumes. And as I watched him disappear bounding up the steps two at a time in order to get to the stove to quickly shut it off, it was then that my heart skipped a few beats and I prayed “Dear God please do not let this house explode.”  Love does not look out for its own interests.  Love. was. present.

Love is each day and in each God-given breath.  And I knew that the Lord’s merciful love would conquer as I watched Mr. Pavlov and our son drag the unresponsive and unconscious body of our daughter out of the house.  Father and son working together to preserve life while possibly having to lie down their own.

Love is a powerful verb.  It always protects.  It always trusts.  It alway hopes.  It never gives up.  Love never fails. (I Cor 13:7)  God’s love did not fail us that horrid night.  Our daughter survived.  We survived.  The house did not explode but the emergency workers did close down the street in front of our home for a few hours to contain any blast should one occur (it is a good thing that I didn’t fully comprehend the reason they were blockading the street at the time)…sorry neighbors.

Love always will be.  Suppose I have enough faith to move mountains.  If I don’t have love I am nothing at all.  I had faith that Jesus would preserve our daughter but it took love to bring her out of the house.  I am thankful for God’s unfailing, unconditional, unwavering love and our daughter is thankful for ours.

Now we see only a dim likeness of things.  It is as if we were seeing them in a mirror.  But someday we will see clearly.  We will see face to face.  What I know now is not complete.  Someday I will know completely, just as God knows us completely.  The three most important things to have are faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of them is love (I Cor 13:12-13)

Love, a little verb that protects and preserves.  I believe it deserves its own holiday.  How about it?  Let’s celebrate some LOVE!!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!!

From a punctuation period to my period…the embarrassing journey.

My 7-year-old, Tres, is like most 7 year olds when it comes to ending their written sentences.  He doesn’t do it.  Maybe there are 7 year olds in existence who are punctuation nazis but I remember my other two demonstrating the exact same rebellion against the question mark, the exclamation mark and the period.  Each day his take home papers contain his teachers corrections and the 1/2 points subtracted for the missing punctuation.  While I was stressing the importance (bribery is normally my parenting method of choice) and the necessity of ending sentences, we came to the period and I paused.

Humph, the period.  So small.  So boring compared to the other ending marks yet so powerful.  So final.  Period.

While I was pondering the mass and depth of the period (wearing my deep in thought, blank expression no doubt) Mr. Pavlov announced that we were going to the mall.  Tres took advantage of my blank expression, which wouldn’t remain blank for too long (Mr. Pavlov despises the mall) and the mall announcement to bolt from the punctuation prison I held him in.  At least my prison serves chocolate (bribery).

Once at the mall Mr. Pavlov grabbed his mini-me (Dos) and informed us that they were going to Dicks. Period.  I opened my mouth to protest but they were gone.

Uno, looked first at me, then at Tres and said through her chuckles  “have fun with that cuz I’m going to shop.” Period.  I opened my mouth to beg for mercy but she was gone.

Tres was oblivious to the very obvious ditching that was occurring as he was in mall crack mode.  Period.

He was like the energizer bunny fueled by a nuclear power plant.  His eyes were darting, his mouth was open…wide, and he was forming words faster that my normally quick communication center could process.  He skipped, danced, sang, ran, touched (a lot), begged (for everything) and was enjoying the mall heaven he found himself in.  I smiled and thought…He is his mother’s son…and considering the brief affair I had with the male (god) Abercrombie mall clerk who likely sired him probably didn’t hurt either.  Whoa, where did that come from? Sounds believable huh?  Not to worry, he is (the humanly hot) Mr. Pavlov’s all the way.  Period.  Period.  Period…..

I really have to stop reading all of those deep, entangled, relationshipinal novels.

Ok. Wow. Too much mall crack. Let’s erase (the total greek god) male Abercrombie (have you seen those Abercrombie adds?!?) figment of my imagination and get back to watching Tres.

While observing him in his mall splendor, I suddenly forgot about the murder I planned to carry out on certain members of our family.  Then the inevitable happened.  He grabbed his crotch and began the perfectly choreographed maneuvers of the pee dance.  It seemed as if the massive mall beverage he chugged during our pass through the food court needed to make an exit.

Truth be told, my Pepsi was beating on the sphincter of my bladder too so I found us a bathroom.  A women’s bathroom.  The men’s bathroom was all the way on the other side of the store and I was not about to have my vulnerable, mall loving, 7-year-old enter that dark and dangerous place alone.  There are sick penis whacker offers out there!  Period.  I read about it and the disgusting, deranged event is forever seared in black and white print (with my own visual images) in my brain!

It wouldn’t be the first time I dragged him into the women’s bathroom with me.  He knew the drill.  Or so I thought.  The bathroom looked like a sardine can packed with women (mostly elderly) doing the adult version of the pee dance.  Finally, our turn came.  I sent him into the stall beside me.  He did his business like a typical male and beat my squat pants down.  He exited the stall, washed his hands and stood along the wall.  Perfect.  This is going great!  I thought.  Then I heard these words

Mom, I gotta  get out of here because it smells really bad like old lady perfume and it is burning out my eyes!

After telling him to remain put, Period, I inwardly apologized to the several elderly women in the stalls adjoining mine for his bluntness but couldn’t help but agree.  He did have a valid olfactory point and my sinuses were in an uproar too.

Then he belted,

Hey Mom, did you start your period?!”

I was speechless.  Silence fell upon the entire bathroom minus a few shocked inhalation gasps.  Toilets ceased to flush.  Toilet paper failed to rattle from their dispensers. And I was processing how best to respond, I mean…

Did he just ask THAT?!?  But all doubts were erased when he repeated (much louder this time)

MOM, I saaaid did you start your period?!?  Because I think I see some….

Whoa, I had heard enough! That did it!  I coughed loudly, flushed my toilet multiple times and exited my stall hoping to the living God of heaven to exit that place as quickly as I could.

I shot him a look that spoke volumes.  The ‘shut up you verbose kid’ kind and even thought about forgoing hand washing in order to exit the face reddening situation 20 seconds faster.  But I decided against leaving the germs undisturbed on my hands because he would surely call me out on my filthiness.  And it’s just gross.

Once on the outside I informed him that it was not a good idea to question me about my female body functions in such a highly populated and public place.

He shrugged and replied,

Well I thought that the women’s bathroom would be the place to talk about it!  Periods belong in a sentence and periods belong in bathrooms.

For the second time that day I was speechless.  Period.