Friday, April 27, 2012


Today is our oldest daughter Samantha's 24th birthday.   I was approximately her age when I had her.   One of the most fulfilling things for me is to see Sam being a mom to Taylor.  I get such a sense of pride that Sam really knows what's important. This wild child, whom I thought would marry a wanna be rock star with tattoos, piercings and greasy long hair or even worse..a circus clown.... grew up to know and understand what is important.

Let's talk about her long journey shall we?  First, when I looked at my children who were 5, 7 and 8 I felt there was NO WAY these kids weren't going to be anything but good.  They were very well behaved children.  However, let me warn those with young children please NEVER SAY NEVER...As a parent,  I felt like that frog that you put in cold water and ever so slightly keep increasing the temperature.  The frog doesn't really notice his goose is being cooked until it's too late.  The age of thirteen came and about half way through the year I breathed a sigh of relief...shew... we are getting through this pretty easy.......fourteen?  Not too bad, oh I noticed, as I was reading her journal, that she had stuff on her mind and maybe used a few bad words now and then, but nothing I would consider delinquent.  (yep, I read journals and text messages.  This is how I found out she got a tattoo ) Crap really didn't hit the fan until she was sixteen.

At sixteen there is a bit of freedom.  This is the point where we should be putting them in that drum and slapping the lid on not to see them again until 19 or so.  John and I both put our seat belts on and declared our only goal is to get everyone through this alive.  We were strict, we really were.  I believe there are some parents that think JR wouldn't do anything bad.  Well, don't be fooled.  We told Sam that she could not go to a concert in Cleveland on a school night.  Guess what?  She shimmied out a window and went anyway.  Now had I just told her yes, she wouldn't have committed the crime and I would have had a good kid.  Wow....I guess I could have saved myself the fight and just said yes at the start.    However, we did have boundaries and she was one tough kid to stay one step ahead of.  I was either an awesome private investigator or my kids were idiots and didn't cover their tracks very well. This was my mantra:

lol so true

One night She missed her curfew by a long shot.  We knew where she was and we went to get her.  When we got to the house I pounded on the door...I didn't care if I was going to wake someone up.  She came out and her dad said, who do you want to ride with me or your mom? (John was going to drive her car) Sam chose me.....John shook his head said "oh boy, mistake number two"  Yes I screamed all the way home.   I guess she picked the wrong car.  John would have given her the silent treatment.  I know I'm making us sound like white trash, but I want to believe this goes on inside a lot of homes with teens.  These stories are only about one child......imagine what I have on the other two!  They flippin' wore me out.  Never pray for patience because this, my friends, is what you get.

I believe the last time I actually screamed at Samantha was her first trip home from college.  One stinking week away from the asylum of home and she walks in with white hair (not blond, but white) I believe there was a black streak in it,( I recall screaming something about looking like a skunk) and a piercing right above her lip.  I absolutely flipped out.  She hated me for weeks and I was not too fond of her.  How dare she keep doing things that would make me look bad as a parent.  Guess I wouldn't care.  I would tell myself....this too shall pass. (easy to say now that it has passed)

I'm the one who always says pick your battles......I hope I did.  With the exception of the hair and piercing, I think we focused on the right things.  I'm sure I had other failings.  In spite of all our mistakes as parents somehow someway they come out on the other end and make wonderful adults.

 Today, I'm so proud of our Sam.  She now knows the worries of being a mother.  She is teaching Taylor all the right things and is just a really good mom.  What I love most, is even though I am her mom, I can also now be her friend.  I love that. I really like knowing I've done my job and even with my mistakes as a parent I  have three really awesome kids.  Do I still worry?  Heck ya!  But I am able to let go a bit more.  They are their own people.  They have assumed the responsibility of their own life.  They don't have to be the same person I am.  Everyone does not have to fit the same mold.  If one of these kids wanted to join the Peace Corps, I would be all for it.  I admire people who have the guts to stray from the norm. 

Happy Birthday Sam.....I love the person that you have become!  (Actually I loved you all along, but now I also like you a lot)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I can't believe that in a week or so this little baby to the right will be 24 years old.  It's all cliche, but seriously where did the time go?  I kept a journal when I was pregnant with my kids, but I can't seem to find it.  I remember every moment, every worry, every ultrasound, every doppler heartbeat as though it were yesterday.  I marvel at pregnancy.  Yes, I'm a pro lifer.  I believe if there is a heart beating, that's a life. That's not what we are going to talk about today though so relax.

  Did she pass her first test?  Yes, isn't it kind of ironic that at the very moment we pop out, someone in authority is testing us? They don't just test us once, but twice.   What's even more ridiculous is we parents brag about the score.  Yep Sam got a 9/9.   I just kept telling myself very few babies get a 10 on their apgar test. APGAR stands for Appearance, Pulse, Grimace (She can still grimace with the best of them and just so happens she excelled at this at birth) and Respiration.

Breastfeeding:  What the hell can I say about that?  God bless every successful breast feeder.  I was a fail....big time fail.  Yep, big fat F in the breastfeeding column.  I believe my picture is on the most wanted poster on the le leche leagues web site.  When I even think about it I laugh.  If you think your breasts are handled a lot when you have a mammogram, picture if you will, two burly nurses handling your boobs and trying to get your newborn to latch on. (You don't see any of this stuff in National Geographic. Those babies go from vagina to nipple.  No classes required)  You would truly believe, If this venture wasn't successful, her life would be in danger or at the very least special classes would be required to get her caught up to her classmates.   So many people admonished me not to give up. They even gave me the le leche magnet for my refrigerator to call if there was trouble.  Oh the stress we put on ourselves.  (besides trouble comes at night, not between the hours of 9 and 5, I'm sure they wouldn't want to get my 2am phone call)

I tried I really did.   Apparently in the hospital she wasn't hungry because she slept the entire time.  Her first night at home was awful.  She cried and cried and cried.  I kept putting her on my teet and she would chew and chew and chew to the point she rendered me useless.  I apologize to any men that are reading this, but my nipples were the size of quarters and not even recognizable....yes it was that bad.  After many hours of crying, her's and mine, I shoved a bottle in that kids mouth and never looked back.  My mom stayed one night and I was sitting at the top of my steps pumping my breasts and I dryly said "Yep, this is just what I wanted to do...get up at two am and milk"   No, thank you.

I feel bad for the first child.  We try to be perfect parents.  We boil, sanitize and clean trying to make a sterile environment.  The second kid you remove the binky from the dogs mouth, who thinks it has a new toy, and plop it into the babies mouth.  Oh, you may remove the dog hair first, but that's about it.  I freely admit I was an idiot with the first kid.  I had a thermometer up her butt and that green bulb thing up her nose the entire first year.  She was being assaulted at both ends.   Thank God the Internet wasn't available then, (that was before Al Gore invented it.) I would have been googling "slightly warm, stuffed up nose, cranky, non sleeping baby.

Advice on parenting?  Don't read Dr. Spock and go with your own gut.  Kids survive not being breastfed.  There are parents who go with the Attachment Parenting Philosophy.  That's fine too, but be careful because you may not sleep for the first year.  By the way, binky's ROCK. Whoever invented that should be given the Nobel Peace Prize.  Why not?  Others have gotten it for less.   Samantha could lose her binky in the middle of the night and suck it back in her mouth from three feet away...she was a pro.  Parenting is not a job, it's an adventure!!  Quit looking for the "right" me....there are none!

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Saturday, April 14, 2012


These are not the best pictures, but here is the story:

As everyone knows a few weeks ago we all said good bye to Ben as he was deployed.  With Taylor only being three, it's hard to know exactly what she comprehends, but yesterday told me that she "gets it".

As we were walking through the mall we found a penny on the floor.  Now, I'm really not a superstitious person, was Friday the thirteenth AND the penny was heads up.  I just didn't want to take any chances you know? 

Taylor picked it up and we went to the fountain to throw it in.  It really surprised me when she closed her eyes, blew on the penny and said "I wish daddy would come home" and she threw the penny in the fountain.  It was kind of sad. 

Sam got her a frame that says:  I miss my papa....He's my Hero.  They pray each night for daddy. 

Prayers will get it done.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Well blogger people....I'm afraid I've milked this illness, surgery stuff for all it's worth and now it's time to head back to work.  Now, before you start worrying about what I'm going to say, let me put your mind at ease.....this post will NOT get me fired.  Secondly, if it does, remember when God slams a door, he opens a window....or something like that.  He squeezes you through some other hole to a better life.  But it is NOT going to get me fired right away anyway.

 I always said I was going to write a book of Business slogans or the phrases most used  in meetings.  I think it would be cool to make bingo cards and when these phrases are used in a meeting and you  won you would yell something turrets like.  Here are our most used business cliches.

As we Move forward we need to.....(usually used in a speech)
As we take this to its logical conclusion... ( I have no idea what that really even means)
We need to think outside the box
Focus on the low hanging fruit  ( as opposed to the ones we can't reach)
....Attack the giants
We are living in a land of giants
Strategic planning
Create Competitive advantage.
Circle the wagon (huh?)
Circle Back (between these two I'm dizzy)
Our current business model (zzz, snore, drewl....this one would fix my insomnia problem)
At the end of the day......(I'm exhausted)
We need to bring to the table.....(FOOD!)
We need to grow the business
NEVER SAY NEVER.....(this one is what they live by, these people never give up)
Bobbie will take the lead on this thing......(generally my head is down and I'm texting from my lap, when I hear a kid in high school, I have no idea what I just got volunteered to do)

Though I don't miss the meetings I'm required to attend, being at home listening to the media, is about as trying and actually more mind numbing.    I don't have specific phrases for media but I have a lot of words:

Global Economy
health care
Obama Care
Gas prices (um just so everyone remembers, gas prices were high under Bush also)
Campaign garbage  (both sides)

Aspirin between the knees?????? What?  That joke is so old, but so was the idiot that repeated it who probably was at one time faking a headache so he could get the aspirin from between his wife's knees.  We act like birth control is just for women.....THEY ARE HAVING SEX WITH MEN!  Unless men want children to support, I would suggest they care about birth control also.  OH I digresssss.

I guess my point is matter where you are and what you're doing there is something to annoy.  You may as well make money being annoyed as sitting at home, being annoyed and poor. John and I have been fortunate to have never had to fight for a job and worry about making a house payment.  For that we are grateful.  I never ever feel like I "work for the man"  Oh, business can be infuriating, don't get me wrong, I could write a book.....but, As my right wing mother says and it's true.."I've never been hired by a poor man"  We can say what we want about "the man", but he provides the jobs we sometimes love to hate.

 When I'm home I pretend I'm sitting in Barbara Walters seat on The View....OMGosh she irritates me to death!  At work, I just pretend I'm important and get paid for it. 

So hi ho, hi ho, It's back to work I go.  (Monday)

(Besides, I couldn't talk the Dr into removing anything else) 

Monday, April 9, 2012


Went to the Dr.

That's about where we could end this post. It was pretty uneventful.  I did more talking than usual.  I went with my questions prepared this time. I overcame my fear and thought...dammit you are getting paid lots of money and I'm going to hold you in this room so that you earn your it.

Actually the guy has grown on me...he's OK, just business like.  He's one of those people you would just once like to hear laugh.  I bet though rare, it would be a good laugh.  As funny as I think I sometimes can be he's a real challenge.  If I had to diagnose him, I would keep it simple like.....Funny Bone Challenged, or Laughter Impaired....or even Bedside Manor Interruptus.  I don't know.  I just can't imagine what he does for fun.  I'm guessing he's a rock collector.

Here's the conversation today:

Dr:  How do you feel
Me: Not bad

Dr:  Any hot flashes?
Me:  no, only warm moments

Dr:  Sex?
Me:  ummmm Female? 


Then it was my turn:

Me:  I can't sleep at all
Dr:  I don't care (that's what he should have said, his silence said it for him) 

Me:  Have you seen this type of cancer return?
Dr:  Yes and it's usually bigger the second and third times, if it comes back at all.  ( He's obviously is not a candidate to work for a suicide prevention hot line)  He did say if it does return, normally all you have to do is remove it and possibly have a bit of radiation. 

Me:  Will you be my Gyno (sung to the tune of Mr Rogers, Will you be my neighbor?) from here on out?
Dr:  Not if I can help it, I'm already stuck with your bat crap crazy mother.  (just kidding he really didn't say that) 

I will float between him and my regular Dr. at the Women's clinic.  The Women's clinic still have custody of my breasts, and this Dr and Dr W will share the rest.

I'm not sure what I have learned through this. Perhaps patience.  I believe though Dr.'s really do want you to live, they don't really care about your quality of life.  That sounds harsh, but I find when I bring up the pesky problems of day to day living, you know like SLEEP, nobody cares.  This is where it would be nice for your medical Dr. to have a good grasp on the more natural side of things.  There has to be a natural remedy for sleep. 

The only thing that perked my ears up a bit today, and either I missed it in prior appointments or he never said it, is I need another Lung CT scan in May because there were a few "suspicious" lymph nodes on the first CT scan.  I'm not worried, I'm really not....he is just cautious, which is what you want. 

This is the end of Chapter one. 


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

KIDS, KIDS WILL KEEP US TOGETHER ( Sung to the tune of Love, Love Will Keep Us Together)

Today's topic is divorce.  Don't worry, I'm not preachy.  I kind of stand in awe of people who have the intestinal fortitude to get one.   John and I are just too lazy.

We only had two years together before we had children.  A lot of people told me before we got married that the first year was the worst. I was told to we would need to grit our teeth and just fight through it.  I was petrified.  My mom  was telling me to walk down the aisle backward so If I wanted to run for the door I could go for it.  She truly gave me an out up and including the day of the wedding...."if you want to stop this right now you can... no questions asked.....Don't get me wrong, my mom loved and loves John. (even though he's a democrat ....that really tests the waters) It wasn't about him, I'm honestly not sure what it was about.  I think she just didn't want to deal with divorce. Having a cat collecting old maid would be better than divorce.   That first year, I kept waiting for the bomb to drop, but it never did.  I never felt there was an adjustment from single life to marriage, oh and we never lived together before we were married so that wasn't it. 

Once we had kids, our attitude was "ain't no way, I'm raising these hellions on my own"  As kids go, our kids were very well behaved.  Until.......DUM DA DUM....the teen years.  Good Grief, mother of Mary, I never dreamt how difficult the teen years could be.  This only cemented this marriage together more.  He didn't want them, I didn't want them, my parents would have killed them.   If he even so much as DIED, I was going to be F U R I O U S!!  I still love James Dobson's quote on raising teenagers.  "at 13 put them in a drum, put the lid on and drill holes in the 16 plug the holes"  (He was kidding, remember he's a pro-life advocate) he also said raising teenagers is like nailing jello to a tree.  I can relate to both.

Now (big deep breath) the worst, I hope,  is over.  I hear of people getting divorced 25 and 30 years into marriage.  Why?  I know there has to be some great reasons, but I don't care how bad the mid life crisis gets, I'm not going I said John and I are way to lazy for that nonsense.  Splitting stuff, splitting money, his, hers, mine....please, that just wears me out to think about it.   We have always just thrown our money into one big pot (one small kettle actually) and used it to live.  We have no egos.  It's not my money or his's ours. The house could be a problem.  I was raised in the house that we live in now, so technically I believe I have squatters rights.  I would think he would feel stupid taking my childhood home.  (hey I think I found something to fight about)  The only thing I foresee as a potential problem in our future is fighting over who gets to retire first.  I say we are walking at the same time, I'm not sure what page he's on. 

I cannot not remember one fight that John and I ever had.  There may have been a few sarcastic remarks, but never a screaming, fighting, crying, throwing things fight.  If someone ever asked advice on a happy marriage, I truly have no clue because this was a gift.  If it would have taken "work" I'm not sure we would have been up to it.  We are not that ambitious.  My ONLY advice in marriage, raising kids and actually any area in life is to pick your battles.....not everything needs to be a fight.  You are allowed to let something go.

Now after I've allowed myself a brief moment of feeling superior, John probably has his escape all figured out.  I shall go read his emails and text messages.....I need to stay one step ahead.