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Wisdom of a Child

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I wrote this on Memorial Day weekend a couple of years ago. It seemed appropriate to post again today.

This morning I packed Josiah, Jakob and Jeremiah into the back of my car to take them to Karli's. The clouds had departed leaving Portland with amazingly blue skies. I pulled the silver Mercedes out of the driveway, opened the sunroof and cranked up the tunes. I watched in my rear view mirror as Jeremiah was nodding his freshly shaven head. I could see Jakob's wooly noggin moving back and forth to the beat and Josiah was rhythmically shaking his fat little feet.
They were swaying, singing and carefree as we began to approach the top of Mt. Scott. It's a beautiful mountain with perfectly manicured cemeteries on both sides. On the south side are the rolling hills of Lincoln Park where our tiny Isaiah lies safely in the baby garden. To the north is Willamette National Cemetery. It's surrounded by stately high iron fences with beautiful stone columns that break up the iron boundary.


As soon as the National Cemetery was in view a hush fell over the car. Each boy sat wide eyed taking in the beautiful site. Even Little Josiah was taken by what he saw. Boy scouts, sometime in the wee hours of the morning, had placed flags on each one of the thousands of gravesites. The view was breathtaking. There was a sea of American flags gently waving in the calm morning breeze. The small flags were punctuated by larger, more impressive flags lining both sides of the roads that meandered throughout the cemetery.


There were people of all ages and walks of life bringing flowers to their loved ones. They walked slowly and solemnly through the flowing flags in search of the right site on which to place the red, white and blue bouquets they so carefully carried.


It reminded me of when my father and I went on our Southern America road trip a few years back. We drove through battlefields of the Civil War, we saw monuments and memorials. We ended up in a cemetery in North Carolina. The gravesites there were decorated by hundreds of small Union and Confederate flags marking the graves of our fallen soldiers. It hit me how in life they fought to the death for the principles each side of a fractured America believed in and how now, they lie peacefully side by side in a small cemetery in North Carolina. What had separated them in life had brought them together in death. It was a time that has been seared into my soul. I looked back at Willamette National Cemetery and thought of the men and women that were lying there. They, too, had fought long and hard for what we now take too much for granted.


As I was lost in my own thoughts about the day I heard Jakob's small, quivering voice. He was trying to tell us through his tears how special it was that we remember the ones that fought for our freedoms and the freedoms of those throughout our world. He said how sad the people in the cemetery must be going to see their sons, fathers, grandfathers and brothers but that their pride must be much stronger than their sadness to have heroes in their families.

What a statement for a little skinny, eight year old boy. Adults don't even get it much of the time. We're going to lie together in death; we should make more of an effort to stand together in life.

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Let's Just Say......

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I was feeling a little bit different this morning than I was the other night. Highlights? Lowlights? No, how about Points of Irritation?

  • Didn't take my meds until late last night, I mean I had to get through "A Few Good Men." Like I discussed with Gucci Mama, great movie. Love Jack Nicholson, think Tom Cruise is a PIG, but I tolerate him in that, my favorite movie.
  • Got to sleep about 3.
  • Woke up to a whining puppy at 6.
  • Husband no where in sight, his truck is gone!
  • I, The Diva, have to stand out in the cold, pouring Portland rain with nothing on but a short white robe waiting for the freaking, stupid, demanding puppy to do her thing.
  • Call husband to find out where the hell he was.
  • He tells me "She was sleeping so well that I didn't want to wake her."
  • WHAT?
  • He has the nerve to tell me I wanted the puppy!
  • I throw puppy into kennel.
  • Go back to bed, soaking wet with very cold feet.
  • Finally get to sleep.
  • Kids begin screaming, running and tearing the house apart about 8.
  • Contemplating hotel and room service downtown tonight.

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I Don't Care if You Don't Live Here!

Friday, May 28, 2010

I know that I don’t write a “mommy blog” but lately kid stuff seems to be taking me over. God help me!


With some of my last posts in mind and what happened today, I’m seriously beginning to question my parenting/grandparenting abilities. Marcy, if you’re reading this, I am SO freaking glad you don’t work for Child Protective Services any longer, and remember, we’re friends!

I really try to do the correct things. I make sure the kids get their immunizations. I make sure they go to school with clean clothes, well, with clothes on. I keep lots of fruit and healthy stuff around-Strawberry Pop Tarts count right? And I make sure that their computers, phones, iPods and the TV are locked down via parental controls.

Ok, deep breath, here goes. After having so many kids I think that it’s kinda normal to begin to tune out a lot of stuff right? I think parents with just one kid learn that too. Maybe not, but I like to pretend they do.

We were sitting around the living room this afternoon. Cole was on the couch with his broken leg propped up on the ottoman. Jake and Jeremiah were sitting in the floor playing around and scanning through the channels on TV. Nikki was listening to her iPod and I was preoccupied with blogs and Facebook.

Jake: “Nana?”

Me: tuned out.

Jake: “Nana!”

Me: still nothing.

Jake: “NANA!”

Me: “Yeah, yeah, what?”

Jake: “Can you unlock this movie called The Underbelly for us? I’ve seen it before, it’s really good.”

Me: “What? Uh, sure whatever” still not really listening. I grab the remote, punch in the code and go back to my laptop. A few minutes go by. Then I faintly hear screaming, laughing and OMGs.

Jake: “NANA!”

Jeremiah: “MOM!”

Nikki: laughing hysterically.

Cole: “MOM! LOOK AT THE TV NOW!”

Me: “Can’t you kids EVER be quiet?!”

Cole: “MOM! THE TV!”

I look up and there in front of God, my kids and my grandkids is one very beautiful, extremely, explicitly NAKED WOMAN! The kids have erupted in their hyena like laughter. I try to get the remote to change the channel. Can’t do it, have to turn the TV off.

Cole: “Mom, maybe you should check the guide before you unlock the TV.”

Me: “You’re grounded! I don’t care if you don’t live here!”

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Is This What's Called Fragmented Friday?

Maybe I should grab the button from Unknown Mami, I love her by the way.

Not really a post, or is it?

I was asked to submit a guest post (my first one!) by Pam, at I Forgot What I was Doing. You can find it here if you wanna swing by.

Then I received another cool, well, hot award:


This one reminds me of my secret MySpace page.

It's from Scandal In The Choir Loft. She's got one hot blog going on!

Next I was going to list several of the wonderful bloggers that I have absolutely fallen in love with. But, I just don't have time to do that right now since Josiah is coming in my room every 2 minutes for me to take him for sushi. I guess that's going to have to wait for another time.

Ok, where are my shoes?




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I Really Said That?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The top three things I've said as a parent and then thought WTH?

1) "Well keep your nose out of your brother's mouth!"

It seemed appropriate to me at the time. I mean, just who's fault is it when one kid's nose gets bitten by her brother? Seems to me she could have, well I don't know......maybe MOVED!

2) "I'm sorry but your bird is in the freezer."

Well, long story so you can find it here.

3) "Stop whining! You're going back to camp!"

Ok, embarrassing story here. Another really bad mom moment. Short version:

Kid didn't want to go to camp.
We made him.
Camp calls, kid is on the way to the hospital.
Kid got hurt playing tag.
I get to the hospital and kid looks fine but is writhing and moaning.
I thought he's thinking this is his ticket out of camp.
Xray comes back. Kid's cheekbone is shattered. Needs Surgery.
Mom feels like bad mom of the century.
Kid never goes to camp again.

So now I have a kid that could have been wearing the metal nose that Lee Marvin wore in "Cat Ballou." I have a kid that's petrified we'll kill her pets and I have a kid that has a phobia of camps.

Sometimes I wonder why I ever took this mom thing up. It's so easy to do, or say, the wrong thing.


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Ok, I'm Cool, Well Two People Think So Anyway!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wow what a day! Not only did I take a BIG chance and post about one of my most painful short comings as a mom (and no one stopped following me because of it) I was also awarded the Versatile Blogging award from two of my awesome friends! I wonder if there's also an award for really horrific run-on sentences?



Donda over at My Husband Misunderstood When I Said I Was Bi ( haha....I love that title) and Coffee Slut (oh how I can relate) both awarded me with this on the same day!

Ok, so here's the catch. I have to list seven things about myself, give this to 15 (yikes) other bloggers that I've recently discovered that I think are fantastic. I'm not so sure I can hold up the end of the deal, all of the blogs I follow are fan-freaking-fantistic or I wouldn't be following them.

As for the seven things about me, I think I'll link to some of my older posts that may give you a little more light on who I am since you all know just about everything about me now.

Here's a couple of things I'll list though:

I use the word "that" way too much.
I seem to have an infatuation with run-on sentences.

Ok, here's a few links. Beware, some of them are a little more difficult to read than others.

Happy Valley Moms (Am I a Stepford Wife Too?)

Calm (Ok, bad day here)

My Name is Teri and I am a Food Elitist (Totally being a food snob)

Unorthodox (This happens no more)

Sea Turtles ( I still feel this way at times)

Some of these were written in a few of my darkest days several years ago. Things have changed, I'm fine now and these are no longer a concern. Somehow though it's cathartic to be able to express in words the feelings running through my mind.

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When Selfishness Reared It's Ugly Head

Three of the most feared words in our home are "Upstairs, family meeting." Jeff came in Sunday morning after church, he goes-I don't-long story, and called a meeting. I swear that I heard the house itself take a deep breath. Family meetings have been going on in this house for twelve years. They usually mean that someone's in the hot seat and being called out for one thing or another.




Everyone upstairs got on their phones and called everyone downstairs, hey, it's a three story house, it's a long way down there. One by one they trickled in and jockeyed for a seat as far away from the usual hot seat as possible. I could see fear in every eye. Each person was looking around the room trying to discern who was in trouble and who was safe. No one said a word, breathing was shallow and beads of sweat were forming on each forehead. I knew that hearts were beating out of control, mine was.


Jeff pulled up a chair in front of the fireplace. Now everyone was confused. That's where the guilty were placed. He began to cry, catching everyone off guard. At the same time everyone was relieved they weren't the cause of the meeting, they were worried about their dad. Anna-Grace saw her Papa crying and sweetly climbed up into his lap. Then he began to speak.



"I'm afraid for my family." He went on, between sobs, to tell us his concerns which were mainly the typical kid things: sleeping too much, not being responsible, picking on each other, making life difficult for their mother, the list went on and we listened. He spoke of the lack of work that we've experienced these last two years and yet the kids want more and more. He spoke of laziness and leaving towels in the floor. After stating his concerns he asked a question. It's a question that I'm still thinking about. A question that will forever be seared into my memory.


"Who has enough guts to raise their hand and point to the one person that makes life in our home difficult?"

"Oh God" I thought "He's talking about me." The kids looked around as I thought about disappearing into the chair I was in. They all knew the answer but were afraid to point out the offending person. One hand went up and pointed, then another and another. One child's head dropped slightly before responding.


"It's me," said Joshua, "I know it is."


My heart broke. My autistic son realized that he caused the majority of conflict in the family.


Jeff continued "Right, it's Joshua. You all know that he has autism, you know that he has a problem, yet you treat him like dirt. He's the only one in the family that's trying to improve. You other kids are rude, selfish and don't seem to care about what happens around here as long as Joshua leaves you alone. I see the way you look at him with slit eyes. I hear the way you speak to him harshly. I see the contempt and the hatred and I see you ignore him. Joshua sees, and feels, it as well."


My heart felt like it had shattered into a million tiny pieces. The other kids were crying, they knew Dad was right. Joshua, the one that had the most valid reason to be called out, was the only one who was doing his best to change. We knew each one of us was guilty of treating Joshua as "less than." Yes he's irritating. Yes he's a pest. Yes he's argumentative and rigid. Joshua agreed with every word spoken, he was the only one who took responsibility for his actions.

I realized I was also guilty of treating my son badly. Oh I can come up with a million valid reasons, but they all revolved around me and how difficult he made my life. Somehow along the way, maybe it's because he's so high functioning that we expect him to behave as a typical child, but somehow we forgot he does have feelings, even though he can't express them well. He does have a disability that he has no control over and he does try.


Jeff's words as well as Joshua's acknowledgement pierced every heart in that room.


In the last couple of days I've seen a change. Jakob asked Joshua to play video games. Karli asked Joshua to go downstairs with her (she later told me that he was so happy he had tears in his eyes). Michael's been civil, Nikki's been stern but more friendly. And I, I have been trying to be a better mom. I've been reading his stories, I've been talking with him more instead of at him. How dare I demand that his teachers and classmates have more understanding and compassion if his own mother cannot?


Some of you know a few of the things that we've had to deal with him over, and they've not been pretty. Some have been down right scary. But none of that is an excuse to make a child feel like he's not wanted, that no one likes him. He gets that enough in school. Jeff made a point last Sunday, a point that I hope won't soon be forgotten.





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Divorce, Pillow, Chocolate!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tonight I have a post in list form.
1. Because I'm too pissed to actually write a paragraph.
2. I need a free hand incase I need to grab a pillow and hold it firmly in place over a mouth.
3. I have this bitch lying between my husband and me! My 4 lb yorkie, Martini.

A. Diva wants needs just a bit of chocolate.
B. I get out of bed, go to closet where it is hidden from the masses of rabid hyenas infesting my domicile.
C. It's NOT there!
D. EMPTY bag of M&Ms found on floor beside my husband's side of bed.
E. Wondering if eating all of the chocolate is grounds for divorce?
F. Maybe a pillow over his face will make me feel better.
E. Read on Facebook that daughter has CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES downstairs hidden from the matriarch (ok, I'm not that old, but I AM in charge) of this family. I'm pretty sure that's against some law somewhere. But then I'd get congress on my case if I tried to enforce it (JK ok JK)
F. I have taken an ambien and therefore cannot operate a car to actually go get my own. And after Gucci Mama's close call, I am NOT going out tonight!
G. I will sit here contemplating various torture procedures until the ambien takes over.
H. Due to the ambien I'll probably not remember a thing until I look at Facebook or this post tomorrow.
I. I'd say that everyone's pretty damn lucky I took an ambien tonight!



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Beautiful Blogger....Woooo Hoooo!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Many thanks to Cheryl over at Little Bit Quirky for this wonderful award! Please, if you haven't found her site yet go check her out.



Now  I am to share ten things about myself (or should it be me?) with you. I think that will be a challenge since just about everything about me can be found somewhere on my blog, I'm not known for holding much back. Here we go!

1. Here's one I haven't yet spilled on here.
Last boyfriend before husband was at the time the Secetary of State in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. He's now a high ranking national government offical. At the time I didn't know a) he was taking kick backs for protecting El Cartel de Golfo (a major Mexican drug cartel). b) he was married.
2. Along the same lines, I once drove alone through Mexico and just happened to be stopped by the Mexican Army. They had no idea that the "Blonde American" knew exactly what smack they were talking. I pulled out boyfriend's card for them to examine. Suddenly there was a change of heart and I was escorted for the remainder of the drive into Monterrey.
3. When I was two I was in the newspaper for knowing all of the countries on the globe. Caveat was that it was a very small town paper and obviously a slow news day.
4. While most kids grew up with boats and motorcycles in their garages I grew up with airplanes and helicopters in mine.
5. Those lip prints on my motorcycle tank are mine. I kissed it with lipstick and the painter clear coated over them. Guess I can never sell it now. Who's gonna want my lip prints on their bike?
6. I really want to go to Greece.
7. I may have leukemia.
8. I'll get almost anything for my grandkids while telling my kids "you have legs."
9. I hold my kids' feet to the fire and make them actually take responsibility for their actions.
10. The best year and worst year of my life was the year between my mom being killed and my dad dying.

Thank you again Cheryl! 


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So I've Been Challenged

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Monkey Man has sent me a challenge. I'm always up for a challenge right? Who am I kidding I am a challenge!

I'm to post five pictures that I really like, list five things that I like about me and then challenge five other bloggers to do the same. I'm breaking into a cold sweat trying to think of five things I like about me. Why is that always so difficult?

Ok, diving in now!



Leaving the world behind!


Every July 19th we set balloons free to be carried to Isaiah in heaven. He would have been six this year.


What can I say? Vaca with no little toes around.


 I love feet and motorcycles!


I like this one because it's my baby looking at her baby, the two pound
Baby Diva.


So the difficult part is still here. I was hoping that it would vanish by the time I got to it. No such luck.

Five things I like about me:

1) I took on motorcycles when I was 43 and I won!
2) I've learned how to chill out more.
3) I can be pretty social and outgoing.
4) I've raised a whole pack of kids and we're all still alive.
5) I'm taking on bipolar it's not taking me.

Now for the five lucky(?) ones:


Whew, I did it!


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WWF, Secrets and Lattes

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I guess it should no longer surprise me when stories are revealed about the happenings in my house when eight kids were left alone for any amount of time. You'd think with my super sleuthy spy skills there would be no unknowns, or maybe I just didn't want to know some things.




We were all in the living room the other night talking about who knows what when my son-in-law let out a secret, a secret that had successfully been kept hidden away for years. It was a secret they had taken a vow never to let out of their mouths. When he first began to speak I looked around the room at the surprised, but smirking, faces of my wolves children.



"I couldn't believe the first time I came over here on a Sunday morning" Justin said with a look of total amazement on his face. The kids sat there quietly smiling. They knew the secret that had been kept behind sealed lips, at least from Jeff and me, was about to be spilled.



I took in a deep breath knowing what I was about to hear wasn't going to be roses and sunshine. You see, Jeff and I go to Starbucks alone every Sunday morning for a little quiet time. We use to marvel at the fact that our kids would sit around on those lazy mornings talking and hanging out with each other. They got along so well and we were incredibly proud of the harmonious family we had raised.



With his eyes wide and his arms in the air Justin continued "As soon as you were out the door everyone jumped up and all of the furniture in the living room was thrown to the sides. One of the kids went to the window to be the lookout and a bell rang. Then two kids were tossed into the middle of the room."



"Oh dear God, kill me now" I thought as I drew in a breath, dropped my head and waited. My face was getting hot and I was thinking I was going to need an Ativan for this one.



"Then they started fighting. Everyone was cheering on the one they had placed bets on."



I put my head in my hands as I pictured the entire chaotic scene.



"One would get hurt and they were pulled from the ring crying. Another kid was thrown into the circle to take on the winner."



The kids began chuckling, they knew they were now too old, or too fast for us to catch and beat.



Nikki piped up proudly "We always rotated being the lookout and when we heard you drive up we'd throw the crying ones into their bedrooms, put all of the furniture back into place, sit down and start talking like nothing was going on."



In a lame attempt to get back into our good graces Michael added "But Mom, we always cleaned the house before the smack down."



My kids aren't a pack of wolves at all. They're Romans, Christians and lions, oh my.




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Where's My iPhone?!?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lost iPhone = lost life

Quiet kid = trouble

Lost iPhone + Quiet kid = $12.00 in downloads on Nana's account.




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Let The Sun Shine, and Bozo?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

My friend over at Walking Butterfly just gave me this cool award! Being the doof that I am I can't quite figure out yet how to link the picture back to her. But run over and check her out!





As for the Bozo part. I'm having a difficult time waiting until tomorrow morning to call the charge nurse, the head of the nursing department and the head of patient relations at the hospital that my son was released from today.

We're all sitting in the room waiting for him to be released and the nurse walks in and says "Be sure to bring those crutches back for the next Bozo that comes in."

I looked at her and said "Bozo? You're callling my son Bozo?"

"Yes he's a Bozo. He's been in here three times in three years. Once to have a nail removed from his hand. He was here last fall to have his leg re-built after the car accident, and now he's broken it again and had more surgery. He's a Bozo."

I'm looking at the bed now knowing that if I look at her my death ray vision will activate. I take a deep breath and ask again "Bozo?"

She must have seen the the holes being seared into the bed and the red glow emanating from my eyes and she changed her tone a smidge.

"I apologize, I mean high risk patient."

Ok, number one accident: bumped while working, nail gun slipped, shot him in the thumb.

Number two accident: Walking home after drinking too much at a tavern, is on the shoulder of the road and is hit by a high school coach that had just left a bar and was driving and then left my son on the side of the road and fled the scene.

Number three accident: fell while hiking due to weakened leg because of accident number two.

Should he have been hiking? The surgeon released him for normal activity. The mom in me wants let him have it for that, but hey, the surgeon did release him.

The anger in me began to rise. My husband and son must have seen it coming. Jeff puts his hand on my shoulder holding me in the chair. Cole firmly said "Mom!" The nurse left the room. I took a deep breath knowing that tomorrow, Monday, will come. Phone calls will be made and hopefully she'll realize that "Bozo" is a comment best left for a parent to make.

BTW, my daughter has had 16 surgeries in five years. I wonder what that makes her?


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Scared Out of Their Skin!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I've come to know the halls of Emanuel Hospital a little too well in the last five years. We first became familiar with the hospital when our grandson, Isaiah, was diagnosed with a fatal virus. He spent many weeks in the PICU before being sent home to die peacefully in the arms of our family.




Then we went through two emergency C-sections with our daughter. Each was preformed around her 27th week of pregnancy. Both babies spent more than three months in the NICU. Last fall our son was there to re-build his leg and he's there again having it done for the second time.



Every time I've walked the halls of that hospital I gaze through the windows to take in the beauty of the Children's Garden. It seems to be a peaceful place to pull the little red wagons of terminally ill children through, sit and have lunch on a warm sunny day, or to just  escape the smell of antiseptic and experience the calm that's missing in the rest of the hospital.




Several times I've watched as frantic parents rushed their screaming toddlers through the heavy glass doors into the hospital. At first I thought these children were being hurried back to their various doctors for some medical reason known only to the parents and the medical staff.



About a year or so ago I over heard a child with a tear stained face say to his mommy "It was SO scary." Scary? What could be scary about such a lovely place filled with sculptures, butterflies and flowers? I peered a little closer through the glass searching for what must have scared this poor child and perhaps all of those other screaming children of years past.



Finally I saw it. It couldn't be missed. I wondered how I could have overlooked it's terrifying existence all of the years I passed by admiring the garden. Today I walked out of the doors into the garden for the very first time. I needed to see this monster up close.



It is a beast of a thing. It's red glowing eyes appeared to be those of a demon. It's teeth are sharp and yellow. Wait! There are two of them and they appear to be fighting! No wonder those poor kids were scared out of their skin! No wonder that today there seemed to be only adults walking the grounds. Not a child in sight.



I'm still wondering why the Children's Garden has such a frightening tortoise in it's midst to be stumbled upon by unsuspecting little ones. Yes, I said tortoise. To be more exact tortoises, fighting tortoises. The things are huge, measuring about three feet across their tiled shells. Their heads are larger than a child's. I can see how an itty-bitty might think that the open mouths could easily swallow them up.



Just who's idea was this?


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 

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Before you pack that luggage.....

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Raising a pack of wolves big family has taught me what to do before, and after, parental vacations. I feel it's my obligation to pass along these handy tips, all gathered by personal experience, to parents everywhere considering a getaway.



Before leaving:
Always inform neighbors and give them written permission to call police. Drop hints of this in casual conversation with kids.

Count number of children and pets before leaving.

Note mileage, gas level and radio station of the parental vehicles.

Always take note of the level of garbage (and recycle) in the outside can(s) before leaving and upon return. If there’s less when you return you can be certain that someone has some 'splainin' to do.

Give kids your itinerary showing you'll return one day later than you actually will.

Be sure to leave emergency money/credit card and check receipts against change/statements.

Hide all duct tape and rope.


Upon return:

If kids are overly anxious to greet you, suspect that they're engaging in a distraction technique.

Make sure parental TV lock has not been hacked.

Look through digital cameras, cell phone pictures and Facebook pages. Kids tend to be dumb and will take pictures and post evidence of their dirty deeds.

Always check to see if those little indentations in the carpet from the furniture are showing. If they are the furniture has been moved.

Search all cabinets and walls, even behind plants, for signs of cherry tomato fights.

Check grout lines, and beneath items on kitchen counter, for flour that was most probably used in a flour fight.

Check youngest kids for bruises.

Examine all picture frames to see if they've been changed out.

Search the house for new bottles of Super Glue.

Make sure dogs still have whiskers and eyelashes.

If house is sparkling clean, you know that something's up.

Always peruse mugshotlist.com.

If all else fails pay off the weakest link.



  

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"Dont' Tell Mom." WTH?

This is not like my usual posts. This is the post of an extremely hurt and angry mom that needs to vent.




For those of you that don't know, my oldest son was the pedestrian victim of a hit and run last October. The link explaining what happened then is here.



Today he was to go shopping with my youngest daughter for another son's birthday. He texts her and says that he can't go because he's in the hospital waiting for an operating room to open up because he has to have surgery on his leg, the same leg that was re-built last fall. Then he tells her "don't tell mom."



Daughter freaks and begins banging on my door while I'm blow drying my hair. I open the door to a shaking daughter blurting out what she just read in the text.



So, he texted his sister to cancel a shopping trip.



He put her in the bad situation of giving her information and telling her not to tell me.



He didn't text his mom to say "Mom, don't worry but......."



He didn't text my husband to say "Dad, don't worry but......." But he can cancel a SHOPPING trip?



He doesn't answer any of our calls.



My son-in-law goes to the hospital to find out what's going on. Turns out one of the bolts in his leg somehow came apart. How? Well I have my suspicions.



I just got a text that says "surgery tomorrow. no weight on it for three months. haha"



"Ha-FREAKING-ha?" WTH? Surgery=serious. Cast=not so bad. It's not a cast. Six weeks=not so bad. Three months=serious.



Anger doesn't begin to cover how I feel right now. I also realize that the anger is masking the hurt.



I'm not sure I realized when my kids were precious, cute toddlers that being a parent never ends. Oh I knew that I'd always be a mom. I guess I meant that the worry never stops, the wanting to protect never stops and the wanting to be there never stops. At least for the parent.



I'm torn between wanting to go up there and be with him, going up there and slapping him, or taking a deep breath and a Xanex.



By the way, the man that hit my son and left him like a dead deer on the side of the road was arrested. He was charged with the maximum that he could be charged with.



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Love/Hate Relationship

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I'm assuming that you know that I have bipolar disorder. If you didn't, read the title of my blog again.....s l o w l y. People have all kinds of ideas about what having bipolar means. Many of them are far from the truth. Here's a little about my love/hate relationship and how I see it.

Things I HATE about having bipolar:


When I get justifiably angry and the victim offending person says something like “Have you changed your meds?” or more to the point “I know that’s not really YOU talking. It’s your bipolar”. You want bipolar sucka? I’ll SHOW you bipolar!

Sitting in my psychiatrist’s office worried that she’s evaluating my body language, or if there’s some deep psychological reason that I chose one chair over another.

People have pre-conceived ideas of what bipolar is and isn’t. I’m not crazy; there are times that I just tend to experience life in Technicolor.

I used to have those same pre-conceived ideas.

Sometimes people tend to tip-toe around me like they think I’m going to go all Norman Bates on them.

I’ve been reading a lot of bipolar blogs lately. I hate how people let it define them, how they let it swallow them up. They become bipolar, not someone with bipolar.

Being on meds has REALLY put a damper on my shopping!

Looking at my watch and thinking “Was that an impulsive bipolar purchase or did I REALLY need a Rolex?” Right now I’m leaning toward needing it.

I hate knowing that it’s genetic and that two of my kids have it.

I hate the look in my kids’ eyes when they sense that there’s a low around the corner.

What I LOVE about having bipolar:

My life has never been boring.

Being diagnosed explains A LOT!

People think that I just may go all Norman Bates on them.

Exuberance!

I do tend to experience the world in Technicolor sometimes, and hi-def!

People with bipolar disorder tend to be adventurous. I’m thinking Harley here!

Creativity. One study found that as many as 60% of people with bipolar are writers.

Sometimes it’s nice to just stay in bed and watch movies and no one questions me about it.

I have a closet full of really great clothes and shoes. Did I mention that shopping is a “perk” of bipolar?

Courage! Wait a minute. Is that why I have eight kids, three dogs, three cats and a husband?

If I didn’t have the lows I could never know how great good can be.


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Blessing or Curse?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Yesterday I had to go to DMV to have my license updated with my newly obtained motorcycle endorsement. (Yea me! I passed the test Saturday!) When I walked in I pushed the button to get my number. They were on 96. My number was 43,567,001. Great, I was going to be there a while. I took the forms I needed to fill out and looked around for a seat. While I was waiting I remembered an experience I had the last time I was there.

Being a Diva comes with its own set of unique abilities. For me one of those abilities is a proficiency in detecting smells, both good and not so good. My husband says it's a genetic mutation. I believe that it's special Diva gift that allows me to further enrich my life and the lives of those around me, as well as allowing me to avoid unpleasant situations.

Most of the time my olfactory excellence is a blessing, I can detect the most minute traces of cigarette smoke left lingering on untruthful teenagers. I can distinguish between real silk and a well-made imposter and most importantly I know if someone else has been lying in my bed.

There are times, however, that it can be a curse. The kids will bring me kitchen or bath towels and ask me to smell them to see if they need to be washed or re-washed. Not sure why they think I'll do it, my reply has always been "Get that damn thing away from me now, I'm not smelling it! If you have any doubt, wash it again with hot water, bleach and a disinfectant packet." They look at me as if I'd just escaped from the State Hospital before shaking their heads, sighing and starting another load of stinky towels.

Many times it has to do with the normal smells and odors associated with raising a pack of kids. I have been known to yell "What do you mean you took a shower thirty minutes ago? Take another one now and this time use anti-bacterial soap and put on deodorant!" All this to a to a freshly scrubbed adolescent with still wet hair and a damp towel (ick) over their shoulder. There have also been times when my car has screeched to a stop and I've demanded which ever child had not brushed their teeth out of the car and back into the house before continuing on my way minus guilty child.

I'm not sure there has been anything, yet, that has topped my recent visit to the DMV, well, except maybe The Turban Lady. I just hadn't been able to face taking my dad's truck in to be registered into my name since he died last September. The tags on the white '04 Toyota Tundra were up and it had to be done. Since the truck was to be registered in my name I had to be present.

Making a trip to the DMV isn't my favorite thing to do, but it's usually not too bad. When I pulled the truck into the parking lot I noticed that there was a line forming outside the door. It was a beautiful summer day and I didn't see much to be worried about except for the smokers congregated in the corner of the parking lot, but they were about twenty feet from the door, so they shouldn't be a problem.

I got in line behind a rather hefty gentleman that appeared to be in his early seventies. He was dressed neatly in clean jeans with a light blue terry cloth pullover. His salt and pepper hair had seen thicker days. He had it parted on the left and it was perfectly combed back with every strand in its place. Soon another man got in line behind me. I didn't notice much about him except that he was also neatly dressed, about my age and had dark hair and a goatee.

I had only been in line a few minutes when a gentle breeze blew past me, bringing with it an unforgettable odor. It was unmistakably human in origin and had nothing to do with digestion or lack of deodorant. The smell fell into an unthinkable category for a Diva and that would be the category of failing to shower for several days. I'm sure my nostrils flared as the stench made its revolting way past my nose.

While still in line, I backed up into the side of the building. Maybe I could discern where it was coming from and try to avoid it. It didn't take me long to realize that it was emanating from the neatly dressed, elderly gentleman in front of me. I looked ahead of him to see that there were still about six other customers in front of him. Great, freaking great, I'm stuck. I could turn around and face the back of the line, like that wouldn't be an odd thing to do. I moved closer to the side of the building. I felt the cool brick as I pressed my back into the wall. I leaned my head back, put the folder that contained my documents up to my nose and began to laugh. Then I began to feel badly about laughing. It wasn't like the man didn't care about his appearance, he clearly did. Being as heavy as he was and older I'm sure he had a difficult time with all sorts of everyday activities, bathing included. The worse I felt, the more I began to giggle. The more I giggled, the worse I felt. It was a vicious cycle and I wasn't about to get out of it any time soon.

After about ten minutes he was at the front of the line. I was watching the girl at the reception desk as she helped him, mainly to see if I had been over reacting. She was polite and composed, but I saw her ever so slightly crinkle her nose and take about a half step back. Then I noticed that she widened her eyes and glanced down at the desk. My eyes followed. The elderly man was leaning on the desk taking papers out of a voluminous file one by one. It was hot and I could see sweat beginning to soak through the back of his shirt. I then realized that if his back was sweating, everything that was touching the desk was sweating also. Oh, God, I was next.

After what interminable amount of time, he slowly gathered all of his documents, took his number and left to be seated in the crowded waiting room. I froze looking at the desk where I needed to be and the pools of sweat on it. I slowly walked closer. I knew there was no breeze inside and the odor would still be hanging there waiting to envelope me. I caught the receptionist's eye as she reached down and pulled a container of Lysol Disinfecting wipes out from under the desk. She carefully wiped every inch of the surface and reached to her left to turn on a standing fan before summoning me up. I was flooded with relief. Not just because she had sanitized the area, but because I hadn't been over-reacting.

She gave me the proper forms secured to a clipboard and asked me to take a seat and wait for my number. I began to fill out the forms while making my way to the over-filled waiting area. When I looked up in search of an open seat I saw, to my horror, there were only two seats remaining, one on each side of the elderly gentleman.

I decided to stand.


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"MOM! DON'T LOOK!!"

Friday, May 7, 2010

Last night about 11 or so I decided I was a bit hungry. Jeff and I had gone out with some friends and I couldn't bring myself to eat. We brought home most of my dinner. I began thinking about that box in the refrigerator marked "MOM'S! TOUCH AND YOU WILL DIE!"

I got out of bed, turned on the hall light and walked right into a gaggle of giggling geese and a living room, dining room and kitchen filled with pink and black balloons and completely covered with pink streamers.

The giggles suddenly turned to screeches.

"MOM! DON'T LOOK! COVER YOUR EYES!"

You see today is the 2nd anniversary of my 29th birthday. The kids were cleaning the house and blowing up balloons for me.

"How sweet", I thought as I grabbed a rib or two and went back into my bedroom. I drifted away to dreamland thinking how lucky I am to have such wonderful, caring kids.

This morning I got up to find a crystal vase of beautiful roses and smiling faces wishing me a wonderful birthday. "Awwwww", I thought again as I grabbed my keys to get my morning habit underway. I had to get to Starbucks. I had to get coffee.

Down the stairs and into the garage I floated on the wishes of my darlings. I opened the door and saw it. My car was covered with paint. "Ok, breathe" was running through my mind. I forced the smile to stay on my face as the mischievous minions were beaming up at me. I scanned the car for tape or window paint on the paint of my car. None. Whew! Good kids.

Well, they were good kids until I noticed that the front seats were overflowing with balloons. It was at that moment I almost cracked. Balloon filled car means I can't get in which means I can't get to Starbucks which means I can't get my COFFEE!

"It was Karli's idea Mom."

"It was all Karli!"

"Mom, you can just push the balloons into the back seat."

In my decaffeinated state I hadn't thought of that. I could breathe again. I was going to be able to get my morning fix. I pushed as many balloons as I could into the back so that I could squeeze in.

I backed into the driveway, got out and had to get pictures. I had to get pictures of the love and devotion my babies have for their mommy. They are truly awesome and I can't imagine my life without them.

I drove to Starbucks proudly displaying the love of my kids.

I'm one very lucky mom.







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Friday Follow?

Ok, so maybe I'm being terribly blonde, or maybe had one to many ambien last night, but I'm having a difficult time figuring this out. any suggestions?

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Bipolar? Diva? What? That's Just Crazy!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bipolar. Diva.

At first glance those two words seem to have no logical connection. Well at least to a non-crazy, non-Diva like person. At dinner the other night my husband posed the question:


“Why Bipolar Diva?” He had that look on his face, the one I've come to realize means he thinks I'm crazy. Well, I am.

My bipolar thought “What the hell are you talking about? I am a Diva!” Now that would be the bipolar symptom of “Unrealistic, grandiose beliefs about one’s abilities or powers.”

My Diva thought “I make bipolar look good! Now pour me another glass of champagne and I’ll take a little more butter on that roll please. I don’t want to chance chipping my freshly manicured nails.” This would match one of the Urban Dictionary’s definitions: “A girl or woman with an exaggerated sense of self-importance, requiring a great deal of attention and excessive effort to maintain beauty, style and image.”


Pretty much the same theme going on there I think. It got me wondering just how alike the two words, the two parts of my personality, are. I mean, in my mind, they’re pretty damned identical. But to the ordinary human it may need some explaining.


I think my shopping addiction can wrap up several similarities in one fell swoop: (Shopping addiction, yet another symptom of both bipolar-ness and Diva-ness)

Bipolar: Talking so rapidly that others can’t keep up, racing thoughts, jumping quickly from one idea to the next.

Diva: “I’ll take these. Wait, maybe those. No, no, what about the sparkly ones? Oh, and I need lingerie to match, and shoes.”

Bipolar: Impaired judgment, and impulsiveness. Acting recklessly without thinking of the consequences.

Diva: “What the heck? I’ll take them all! What? There’s no room left on that credit card? Here, take two more. After all I have to have to have those Chanel sunglasses and the Manolos to keep up my polished Happy Valley Mom image.”

Bipolar: Feeling unusually “high” and optimistic OR extremely irritable.

Diva: “Can you please have someone carry all 19 of these beautiful, wonderfully filled shopping bags to my car?” “What do you mean I’ll have to wait a half hour for that? I want someone and I want them NOW!”

Bipolar: depression

Diva: “I have absolutely nothing to wear. All that shopping for nothing! I’m going to bed for a day or two. Bring me an aspirin and a Xanex.”

See? It all makes perfect sense to me. The two are intertwined, at least in my justifying, bipolar mind. I’m really not trying to make light of Bipolar Disorder. It can be a devastating force in many of the lives of those that are affected.

I’m one of the fortunate ones; my condition is mild for the most part. Bipolar is what makes me who I am. I’m usually on the high and optimistic end of the spectrum, but the lows are all too low and extremely dark. I tend to try to write through those times. You can find a few of those writings here: Unorthodox, Calm, Sea Turtles, Not So Good. I isolate myself from everything and everyone during those dark days. You can find out more about Bipolar Disorder in this book The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide.

I was diagnosed in 2008. I’ve worked though a lot and am finally on what we believe to be the correct pharmaceutical cocktail for me. I’m determined to take control of my situation and not let it control me. That's why I wrote The Stronger Force.

There's one more Urban Dictionary definition of Diva fits here pretty well I think: “A woman who appreciates everything achieved in life's past knowing that it only adds to who they will become in life's future.”

Now where’s my credit card? I have some online shopping to do!


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