Tag Archives: parenting

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!

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.

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!!!!!

When trolling for garbage leads to the Police station

It’s late.  The fire is roaring (as much as a gas insert can roar but it sounded good).  And the house is quiet minus the snorts or farts from our Lab.  But I’ll take it.  It’s quiet to me.

I’d be reading right now except that the pain in my ankle got the best of me and I popped two Vicodin.  Vicodin doesn’t play nice with small printed words on a page and it alters my comprehension level.  Plus, I’m trying to get back on a blog schedule.  Life has been straight jacket insane.

In addition to all of the sports and extracurricular activities we have the kids enrolled in because society tells us that we suck if we don’t, we lost our 6yr old Lab for a few days.  She was engaging in her favorite activity….trolling the ‘hood for garbage can delicacy (that could later be expelled on the single swatch of carpet in my home) when she went missing.

When her hungry stomach didn’t bring her home in the usual 10 minutes, we formed a search party.  We scoured the neighborhood for days.  All of the neighbors are well acquainted with our beast and assured us they hadn’t seen her (although I kept a suspicious eye on the free range chicken owner).

Unknown to us, she was taken to the Police station when an over zealous officer on neighborhood patrol picked her up.   She was placed in a caged jail until an employee took her to his home in order to save her a trip to the pound (where pretty girls like her are sure to get raped).

Tres was beside himself.  He bawled and snotted everywhere for days.  The unknown and visuals of her in a road kill state wrecked havoc on his little mind.  I, on the other hand, couldn’t believe how much cleaner my house felt.  NO HAIR!  Do you know how much Labs shed?!?  NO VOMIT!  Do you know how sensitive Labs stomaches are and how much they enjoy gorging themselves?!?  NO STINK! Do you realize the amount of canine odor Labs produce?!? I was borderline giddy!  But then I’d look into the sad, swollen eyes of my baby boy and almost feel bad.  It wasn’t until he prayed for the Lord God, creator of Labs, to bring her home safely that my heart melted.

I never thought to call the Police.  Something didn’t seem right about calling them to report a missing dog.  Murder, sure.  Rape, hello 911.  Robbery, uh-huh. Kidnapping, of course.  Bomb, yep.  Missing dog, w e a k!

I sheepishly dialed the Police station and in apologizing tones stated that I,

Umm, would like to report a missing dog.” 

I held my breath and literally paused waiting for the laughter.  But instead the female officer asked me for a description!  Wow, really?  As I began to rattle off (in too much detail I’m sure) a description down to the very fur count, the officer grew quiet.  Quiet (in my world) means I have to talk more.  Unless I’m really comfortable with you, quiet is kinda awkward for me and I usually fill it with useless ramblings.  When I rambled about her collar color, including a description of the pattern and texture she finally blurted out,

I know where she is!

This verbal expulsion shut me up for a few minutes.  What?  Did she just say she knew where our missing dog was?  The Police who deal with murder, rape, robbery, bomb threats and kidnapping, those Police…they actually know where our stinky dog is?

She texted me a picture and asked me to confirm her identity.  As I was waiting for the photo to ding on my phone, I thought about leaving her with the nice guy who took her home.  He’d give her a good life right?  He obviously liked her already.  In fact, I bet they were seriously bonding.  I just knew it would be too traumatic to yank her away from him.  After spending every day of her life for the past 6 years with us she wouldn’t even miss us after a few more days….right?….

Ding.  The picture came.

Will you Help me?

And I heard someone who sounded a lot like me saying,  “Awww, that’s her.  She’s ours.”  And I found myself loading up excited Tres and driving to the Police Station to claim our loot.  And I may have heard myself asking the Police woman if the kind man who took her home just didn’t want to keep her considering the amount of time he had invested in her well being.  And I may have just given Police woman my number for him to call me if he was interested.  And I may have just called the next day and left the good Samaritan a voice mail to inquire if he was interested in a certain 6yr old English Lab with a fondness for garbage.

As pay back for my thoughts of and actions toward premeditated abandonment a thank-you she body slammed us a little more aggressively right before she emptied her bladder all over the Police Station floor.  Vomiting is her preferred body fluid deposit of choice but I guess they didn’t provide her with the necessary access to garbage.

Now that she has an arrest record, I have big plans for her involving an underground fence, electricity and a collar.

The expensive yard containing set-up should provide hours of amusement especially when she spots the free range chickens just out of her reach.  I wonder if I can convince the kids to forego the family vacation (I’m trying to pay off the thing people) and stay home to play “lets count how many times the dog gets shocked!”

In the meantime, I have to vacuum.

Straight jacket insane.

Check please.

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.

When near drowning is perfectly safe and acceptable.

I’m still going through pictures and at some point they will…hopefully…most likely…maybe appear on this blog.  During the photo procrastination process I discovered these photos and realized how easy it is to manipulate a story with a simple photo (ahem media scum).

For example, take this….

What the....?

I have no idea.  What is that?  Wait, that’s my son.  What is my son doing?

Then after a few  moments I was able to make out that he was butt up, face down in a kiddie pool filled with water.  But why?!?  Thrills?  Kiddie pool suicide?  Thanks to my Mom and her trusty cellular device I was able to view the next photo and the WHY suddenly became clear.

Ahhh, gotta be a 'hold your breath' game!

I laughed.  And laughed.  A lot.  You see, my Mom was babysitting my niece and nephews and my kids and I traveled along to help.  I quickly realized that my older son was “helping” to entertain the kids with this kiddie pool submersion, breath holding game.  While this activity might be considered dangerous by most child care providers (hence all of the danger, warnings, and no head submersion signs on these things), my Mom is a born and bred country girl.

She experienced these breath holding activities in rivers with life sucking under currents, lived in her bare feet (tetanus be damned) and rode crazy horses bare back at break neck speeds for miles and miles in the untouched fields.  I bet she even caught rattle snakes with her bare hands and cooked them over an open fire.  So to her this form of adult-supervised entertainment was perfectly safe and acceptable.

Perfectly safe and acceptable? Sure, I guess…until the little 2-year-old (the one on the pool sidelines sucking it all in with a twinkle in his eye) decides to do an unexpected face plant into the water filled kiddie pool giving his parents an out-of-body experience when they least expect it.  Or when the overly competitive child passes out while submerged from pushing the oxygen deprivation limit a little too far.  Parental FUN indeed!

But to the river swimming, stallion riding, bare foot living, rattle snake wrangling woman my kids call grandma, a little kiddie pool head dunking is perfectly acceptable.

Perfectly safe and acceptable.