Tag Archives: Relationships

Naked and [not] afraid

“We didn’t like the way your mammogram looked. You need to come back for more imaging.”

Any woman who has ever received a call like this knows the dread that creeps into your soul. And those of us with dense breasts are more likely to get these calls.

The tech was sweet. She tried to be nonchalant but as soon as she zeroed in on one area of my breast rather than a general exploration, I knew they saw something and were on a search and discovery mission.

“But I have dense breasts. It’s nothing.” I told myself as I lay calmly. After forever of Ultrasound probing, she smiled and said she had to check images with the radiologist. A few minutes later she came back and went to town again in the target area getting more pictures. She left me once again to confer with the radiologist. And this time it seemed like forever.

Thoughts started to creep their way into my mind. “What if it is something?” I had already had biopsies in the past and know that drill and the waiting process involved. But before I could feed that fear the radiologist herself came into the room and I know enough to KNOW that something was up. She smiled and said she wanted to get the images herself and took over the Ultrasound probing of my boob. She left me alone while she went to confer with a colleague.

I was alone. For a long time. Waiting. And you know that fear that I didn’t get a chance to feed? Well it came back hungry for my thoughts. I began to think about my beautiful Mom and her battle with breast cancer. All of the images of her last days flooded my mind. I started to think about my kids and what they would have to go through. I felt my heart race, my breathing quickened and tears began to form in my eyes. Then it the midst of that torment I felt a calming peace flood my being. I smiled because I knew what was happening. Absolutely nothing.

I was feeling fear but had nothing to fear. It was all “What ifs” Simply put, fear is nothing more than Faith in the wrong kingdom.

The door opened and in walked the tech sans radiologist and informed me the radiologist(s) wanted to get a 3D frontal mammogram. I know the drill. I quickly assumed the position and up on the slab went my boob.Then I sat alone again and waited, refusing to think of anything other than the gazillion things I had to do once I got home.

Door opened and in hurried the tech who now informed me the radiologist wanted her to examine my breast. Seriously? This was a new level of service. I mean my OBGYNE regularly feels me up but a radiology tech? Brand new experience!

So I flashed her the goods and she began to position me and look for any irregularities while she yelled down the hall to the two radiologists in the viewing room viewing my films “No, everything looks good. I don’t see any dimpling or puckering or…well, it looks perfect.” I smiled proudly as I repeated “My boob is absolutely perfect.”

Still wearing the goofy perfect boob smile, I noticed the radiologist walking down the hall toward my room. She looked concerned and puzzled. Very puzzled. She proceeded to inform me that they could identify the dense tissue and where it had been biopsied before but there was an area of tunneling that they couldn’t figure out.

I echoed her word “tunneling?” Then added “As in something a nipple piercing could cause?” She nodded and replied, “Yes but we checked and you don’t have your nipples pierced.” A big, huge, perma-smile of extreme relief spread across my face and I informed her that I did BUT TOOK THEM OUT FOR THE PROCEDURE!!!!! (Because who wants to have their boob smashed while wearing metal jewelry?) She looked mortified and then relieved as she nodded and clapped her hands together. “That’s it! That explains it!!” She yelled. And the boob-probing-feeling-up-3D-mammogram-radiology-tech let out a “Oh Thank God!”

Yes, thank-you God. See, if you allow fear to have power over your mind and thoughts a simple, stupid piercing quickly becomes cancer and the belief is enforced by the actions of medical personnel and the mental and physical torment snowballs from there.

We always have a choice. Our thoughts and our actions are ours. We control them. I choose positivity and faith even though I was tempted to give the radiologist a smack down for making assumptions and not taking a better history but….positivity remember?

And again, fear is Faith in the wrong kingdom. Empower Faith, not fear.

And if all else fails, get naked

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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!!!!!

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.

Life, identity theft and time alterations

I was on the computer checking the grades, homework, schedule etc. when Mr. Pavlov peered over my shoulder with eyebrows raised.  After seeing what was on the screen he said with disappointment,

“Oh, I thought you were writing something for your blog.  You know, you haven’t done a blog post in a while!”

Life happens and before you know it the house is a mess, humans are professing starvation and muscle wasting, and (now that we have a pack) the dogs are resorting to the nature of their ancestor wolves.

It is nuts here!  Literally, nuts and blogging has taken a seat in the way back of my Semi-truck.  Tick toc goes the clock and that monster isn’t kind nor does it allow any grace.  Those seconds, minutes and hours keep on moving no matter how much I kick and scream or pretend that I am Joshua.  Yes, I’ve even resorted to mild identity theft by claiming that I am Joshua of the Bible (Joshua 10:1-15) in the midst of a modern-day, domestic battle but it didn’t produce the time advantage that I was going for.  The sun kept moving.  God seemed to know that even though my life is at times, a battlefield, I am not Joshua and we are not fighting Amorites (although my kids do a spot on impression!)

Time is a powerful thing.  It ages us, and for 40+ women, this is something we’d like to slow down.  It ages our kids.  Overnight.  Just yesterday, I know my kids were in diapers and finger painting with their poo (only one created such a masterpiece all over my walls – you guess which one).  And now they are in various stages of reaching adulthood.  Uno forcefully informed us “I’m ALMOST 15!!!” when she thought a decision we made (as to whether she got to go out and experience the dark side) was too restrictive.  Almost 15!!!  Where did that time go?  And why can’t I remember it all?

My Mom told me when I was cowlick deep in bottles, diapers and sleepless nights to “enjoy this time because it goes by too quickly.”  At the time I thought she was a sick and insensitive creature who was teetering on calculated psychosis (sleep deprivation alters your perception) spouting off words that were easy for her rested cells to say.  But after I had a few hours of sleep and ceased to reek of breast milk, I knew she was onto something and I was the psychotic one.

So fast forward some 15 years and now I’m off to make my family millions as I discover a way to slow time down…when and ONLY WHEN desired.  Hmmm, and while I’m at it, I think I’ll also work on speeding it up during the awkward or uncomfortable moments in life (all the women holla Gyne exam and yes men, I got your fisted prostate exam covered too.)

Enjoy this time – all of it – while you can because it goes by too quickly (or it will once I patent my invention!)

A picture of insanity

Meet the Schnoodle, our new addition

As IF an English Lab and a Chihuahua were not enough dander producing creatures to abide in our home, we took in a Schnoodle (part Schnauzer, part Poodle).

Why?!?

But I need my very own dog! I LOVE her! She NEEDS me and I NEED her!

Sigh, incase you couldn’t figure it out by now I am a sucker for cute, manipulative kids and animals have always had my heart!  Wish me well as we continue to add to our zoo and the “R”esponsibility that comes with it.  I seem to avoid the “R” word until after the fact.  But not to worry, we are responsible pet owners which is why we haven’t dumped our food scavenging, neighborhood trolling, professional vomiting, massively shedding English Lab yet.

Tell me what works for you and your pet zoo.  How do you guys handle the responsibility of caring for your pets and budgeting the expense (those Vets are making the cash $$$!) Oh my, I just realized that we will now have three dogs to find sitters for when we take those elusive family v-cays!!  Yikes….suggestions?  And offing them is not an option – just sayin’