Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hell and Damnation!

Yesterday Keegan made a poor choice.  Its not the first one but it was fairly significant.  He decided it would be more fun to play on the playground with his friend after school than to get in the van to take him to his after school program.  He had done that two weeks ago and was told "Never AGAIN!" 

The teacher tried to call me but instead of sitting diligently at my desk I was in the hall talking to one of my staff who was having such a bad day that she was caving in to a diet coke.  When I got back to my office every device- cell phone, pager, desk phone and home phone was screaming due to the amount of missed calls and messages in that short ten minute period.  Then my sister called trying to find me because they had called her as well.  YIKES.

I was leaving anyway so I called to make sure they had found him (which they had right where I knew he would be) and said I was on my way.  When I got there a very sullen young man was sitting in the office with the director.  I walked in, sat down and said what happened.  Of course I got some crazy story about how his feet were too tired to walk to the van and he needed to rest.  I bit my lip to keep from laughing at this poorly concocted story.  The director said "that is not what you told me."  You said that half an hour wasn't very long and that it didn't matter that they were all waiting on the van for you.  She had set a time for half and hour and he was "waiting it out"  We came up with a punishment and a plan for if it happened again.  Then we left.  (I love this school/daycare.  They are awesome with solutions and not judging).

I got him some dinner because I had to go back to work and didn't have time to make anything.  It was opening night for B's show and Daniel was on his first "date" so Keegan would have to sit in my office while I observed my new instructor teaching.  It was unusually silent in the car.

Finally about 45 minutes after leaving and apparently stewing the whole time about the offense Keegan said "Am I going to the good place or the bad place when I die?"  (He won't say Hell.  Odd because he has said Fuck)  I asked him what he thought.  He sat contemplating his fate and said, "I think I can go to the good place because I am mostly good with a little bit of bad."    Pretty astute in my humble opinion.

I couldn't help but be reminded of the time that he had gotten his head cut at his former daycare.  They had bandaged it but after 4 hours it was still bleeding and I was concerned.  I told him we needed to go get it stitched.  He sighed and said, "OK but how many ambliances are coming to get me?"

Friday, November 2, 2012

43 Years How Did that Happen

On Wed. (Halloween) I turned 43.  I swear I am still about 27 except the spinal stenosis reminds me I'm not.  I had a good birthday this year.  Last year sucked.  I was still shell shocked from having dad die 4 days before.  Some years I am too busy getting the kids places to enjoy "my day"

This year was mellow and smooth.  I dropped off the high school car pool and then went home to get Keegan ready for the kid parade.  I dropped him off at school, found a parking spot in the neighborhood (five minutes too late park at the school due to all the parents staying) and secured a spot in the gym.  Its about a 45 minute wait for the parade but if you don't go early you don't get a seat.  I met a new mom and saw some old friends.  The time passed quickly.  The Halloween Parade isn't exactly the highlight of my life but this year had a new twist.  The fourth grade had been practicing and did a flash mob dance to thriller.  It was awesome!!!!!!  My kid had already paraded by and seen me so in theory, I could have snuck out and made dash for the parking lot but didn't.  I thoroughly enjoyed the kids'  (and teacher's) costumes.

I then got my free Starbucks birthday drink.  I allow myself a flavored coffee about once a year- maybe twice but realized this may be the last time.  They are just too sweet.  I';ll stick to my unsweetened latte from now on.  Then I headed out for some shopping.  It was nice to just have alone time.

I had a friend drop by unexpectedly when I got home and brought me a card and Starbucks gift card.  It was probably the nicest thing anyone could do.

Too soon it was time for pick up and Trick or Treating.  I ended up only needing to get Keegan since D went to a friend's house.  BONUS!  We drove to both grandparents' houses and over to Kate's so they could all see the costume and then Keegan was on a mission.  A mission I hadn't known about.  He wanted to get more candy than ever before.  I love trick or treating so no worries here.  Em and Ray brought Marcus over and we headed through the neighborhood.  Apparently we moved to LA and didn't know it because it was a balmy 65 degrees.  Sweet!  Keegan met his goal and then was done.  Bucket full- done.  I was willing to empty it and go out again.  not for the candy, just because its fun.  But no, he just wanted to get me a pumpkin pie and rent a movie.  So we stayed up way too late watching the movie while B went to get D.  It was a good day.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Possible, But Let's Stick to the Facts

Everyone who has children who like school and like to do homework, here is a look at what it is like to help a child with ADHD do homework.

Keegan, look at the problem, I will help you read it.  Keegan, come on look at the problem.  A man drove 758 miles on Monday and 437 miles on Tuesday.  Keegan, what did I say "what oh, it's time for homework."  I read it again.  Keegan, what are we trying to find.  "Math answers?"  Yes, now tell me what we are trying to find.  The man drove 758 one day and 437 miles the next.  So what do we need to do?  Please look at the problem and quit playing with the dog.  "oh ya, what?"  Keegan if he drove 758 miles on Monday and 437 miles on Tuesday, how many miles did he drive all together.  "I don't know, maybe he had less gas on Tuesday."  Yes, maybe that is the right answer.  UGH I need a drink.

It would be easy to offer a lot of suggestions for this type of child.  Don't let him do anything until he is done.  Put him in a room with no distractions.  Take away privileges until he works faster.  But see, it doesn't work like that when your child has ADHD.  If you parent the way you would with a standard child (I refuse to say normal) your child never gets any privileges and is always in trouble.  You have to be patient and understanding but most important you need to alter the bar.  Don't lower it, alter it.  Use a different scale and be creative.  This is hard for me because the children I had before I had kids loved to do homework, they were compliant and easy to parent; just like the kids I was around as a kid.

Having divergent learning kids has been stressful to say the least.  You worry about getting "the call from school" all day long.  You learn to deal with the stares and comments you hear from others who think you must just be a shitty parent if your kid acts like that.  But most importantly, you learn to really appreciate those moments when all the stars align and see the small, small, mini steps of improvement.  My kids are smart- hell they beat the socks off of kids their age in knowledge and technological skills.  And because they have had consistent lives and parents who care, they will be successful. 

I knew when I got married that my husband had been a difficult child.  That is uncle had sever ADHD and dyslexia but that he was the chief of plastic surgery in Ann Arbor Michigan.  That his uncle had to be put in a pen with a bum lamb to keep him out of trouble on the farm but that he had done two tours of Viet Nam as a drill Sergeant and retired with medals of honor.  I just never thought about what it would be like to raise children like that.  Because I was planning on having really smart (like my husband) kids with excellent study skills (like me).  I guess you don't get to pick your genetics............

So until my youngest is older and more independent, I will continue to beat my head with every story problem.  And then laugh about it with my father in law and go further questioning if he maybe didn't have as much gas the second day and also got a late start because the pool at the hotel was really nice and he wanted to get a chance to use it.  Or maybe he had friends in the second town he was visiting with that day.  Regardless of the story you create to go along with the story problem, you gotta admit its much more fun to analyze the story then to just solve it. 

Friday, September 14, 2012


Before I had kids I was the perfect parent.  I was awesome and totally rocked it.  That is how I start out each and every parenting class I teach.  Its so much easier to be the expert, the rocking it parent when the children in your imagination are your offspring.  Then there is reality.............

I do rock it with new borns and infants.  I am super woman when they are little and just need to be changed, fed, loved and held.  I can cope with the lack of sleep like none other- oh ya baby!  I can do teething and post immunization crying in a single bound.  But then they get older..............

I was the "good girl" as a child.  A born people pleaser who always wanted people to notice that I was good.  As I was good at being good.  In kindergarten CCD I told my mom I was "the goodest one in the whole class"  I heard my mom tell my teacher who replied, "she is."  In third grade, I made it my mission to not only sit up straight, listen attently and do all my work but I also made sure to tell on the boys every day and every time they did something wrong.  Poor TA got in trouble with Sr. Assumpta every day because of me.  I made it my mission to not let anything he did go unpunished.

Paybacks are a bitch aren't they?

First off, the goodest girl in the class is also the ass kiss and the sneakiest.  Don't ever forget that sneaky part.  I really was good.  I really did comply.  But I also got away with a few things because people would believe what I said even if it was a lie because why would such a good girl need to lie?

I think my statute of limitations is up and I can confess to this one now.  I worked at Ponderosa Steak House during high school and the first semester of college.  One night I got the idea that it would be fun to buy some wine coolers and put them in the soda glasses so we could have them while we closed the restaurant.  I told one of the others and we sent Teresa a server who was over 21 to Albertson's to get some.  Most of us working that night kicked in a few bucks and we were all careful to not tell the Mormon girl what we were doing.  The bottles were in the bathroom so when I changed my clothes to go home I put them in a sack to throw them away on the way out the door.  Oddly, that night and probably the only night ever, the manager came to the back area to check us off on our closing protocol.  He came around the corner just as I came out of the bathroom.  Maybe he knew..........?  I was so scared I dropped the bag and the bottles rolled out.  "I found these in the bathroom, I stammered"  Any tippsiness I might have had was gone from the adrenaline running through my veins.  He asked me who's they were and I said I didn't know.  He replied with "I'm pretty sure you know who they belong to and defending the person who did something like that is not the right choice.  You let them know if they ever do that again, they will be fired."  Ha Ha!  The good girl rides free again he didn't suspect me- that is what my teenage brain told me.  But now, maybe he did and he knew that the embarassment was punishment enough.  It was because I never did that again.

I digress, but my kids are not like me.  They are not the people pleasers.  The things that worked on me don't work on them.  Parenting has been hard.  The older two were challenging but the baby is the one who is going to push me over the edge.  I have been to "THAT POINT" with him on many occasion.  That point, meaning the point where I see myself bashing his head against a wall.  The point where I want to "slap the shit out of him"  The point where I have to remind myself that I am adult and that I have the ability to change my mind about how I am handling a situation and back out- retreat- put myself in time out.  I joke about it at times- "Can you see the headlines, University parenting instructor behind bars for beating her own child"  but its scary to know that if I can go there that anyone can.  In addition to my first sentence, I also always tell my classes,

"right now, while you are pregnant, you can't imagine ever being so angry at your child that you will hit him/her.  You are very judgemental about the person who has.  You see the statistics and think you don't fit the profile for the type of person who would beat their child or shake them to death but every one in this room; everyone left in charge of a child has the potential to go there.  It may not be with an infant or a toddler, it may be with a teenager (then I make a joke about shaken teen syndrome to lighten the mood) but it can happen and it doesn't make you bad it makes you human.  Parenting has so many joys and rewards AND it has challenges and self doubt.  You may or may not use the breathing skills you learned in birth class to get through labor but there is no "epidural" for life and that is when the breathing skills are going to be needed."

There are outstanding parents who have easy children to parent and there are outstanding parents who are doing a damn good job with difficult children.  Don't get me wrong, there are some horrible parents out there too.  But the next time you see a mom in the store with a child who seems out of control, don't judge.  She may be the best damn parent out there who has a difficult child and in the end, that child will become a wonderful, productive memeber of society due to her patience, love and understanding of who that child can be.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Allergic to Bees

My husband and kids are all afraid of  bees.  It drives me crazy because they don't like to do things outside just because of the bees.  I don't love bees.  You won't find me outside luring them in my dirction so I can kiss them on the lips or anything but I can tolerate them.  And I refuse to give up "deck time" in order to avoid them.  I do have traps in the trees to keep them at bay.

So last Wed. I had left my office for a meeting and called Brian to make sure he was still able to pick up Keegan due to my late meeting.  He said yes, but that he would most likely pick him up early since the school called and said he had been stung.  I asked if he was OK and he said that he was sure he was fine.  The secretary had mentioned that he had a rash and wondered if he was allergic.  Brian told them that he wasn't. 

I tried to call B after my meeting but he didn't answer any of his phones.  I went to my next meeting and took my phone with me.  I aplogized since I never take a phone to a meeting and explained the whole bee thing.  No calls.

After the meeting I went to my office and got the message the secretary had left me saying she was concerned because he had a rash all over his back.  I dismissed it myself but called home.  Daniel answered and said that dad had gone back to work but that everyone was fine.  I asked about Keegan and he said "he's broken"  (Daniel has an interesting sense of humor) I asked for clarification and was told that he had been stung by a bee.  "I know! but is he OK?"  "Ya he's fine."  "OK then, since its been a very crazy day I will get Cafe Rio and be home in 30 minutes."  I got home only to find that Keegan's hand was the size of a baseball.  And no one found that odd?!

I called the pediatrician but it was after hours so I had to wait.  I fully anticipated having to drive back to the hospital to see the on-call person.  A few minutes later Karen called (she is one of my favorite peds- I want to be her when I grow up)  She said to give him Benadryl and ice it.  I told her my concern was that bee stings get worse with each exposure and she agreed.  She said to call Lisa (our reg ped) in the morning.

It turns out Keegan is one of the those kids who gets hyped up on Benadryl- sad, I was kind of looking forward to it knocking him out (I know that I am not the only mom who kind of enjoys an occasional day of a sick kid cause it calms them down).

The next morning his hand was bigger.  So I gave him another dose and called the pediatrician's office.  Then we packed up the car and headed to my office.  Oh a day of my kid in my office means nothing gets done.  But who is complaining because really how many moms can avoid using sick time to care for their child.......

We got to the appointment and were told that he isn't necessarily allergic to bees but that he had an LLR  (Large Localized Reaction) except remember that part about the secretary saying he had a rash?  I told Lisa that I never saw a rash but that the secretary said he had one.  She said that based on the information given, we still couldn't say allergy but........... There is a5-10% chance that if he gets stung again it could become a full blown anaphylactic reaction.  5-10%?!  My analogy- That means that if you were going to a party with 100 people somewhere between 5 and 10 would get shot and die.  Would you still go to the party?  My pediatrician agreed and now we have epi pens.  The damn things aren't cheap either.  With insurance they are 40.00 each set.  I have two sets one for school and one for my purse.  And they expire in a year.  But its a good investment. 

Friday, August 17, 2012


So the surgeon said I was too young and too healthy to need surgery.  I almost kissed her on the lips.  She did say she was surprised at how well I am doing considering what my spine looks like.  So she put me in PT.

So here I am at PT clinic twice a week.  I am in the running after injury program with Shane who is totally cute and sexy and like 15 years younger than me.  And I am in core workout with John who is totally cute, not quite as sexy but definitely cute and also about 15 years younger.  I think I missed my calling in life.  I should have been hanging out in the PT wing of the Annex when I was young.

PT is not easy.  I just want to clarify that.  Its nice to really work the muscles with a professional watching every move.  Its nice and its awful.  You can't cheat.  When you take a yoga or Pilate's class, you can go all saggy and then pull it in when the teacher comes back around to your part of the room.  But the PT no, he is there watching and catching.  Its a lot harder than regular exercise.  And its nice to get the encouragement that you will get better and that you are doing OK.

Monday I got beat up.  It was supposed be running clinic but Shane wanted to check the core.  As I was doing some exercises, they started to hurt greater than a 4 on the ol JCAHO pain scale so I had to stop.  He said it didn't make sense where it was hurting.  So he put me on a table and moved me in all sorts of positions then pushed on me to see what hurt. Then he popped my back.  He thinks he's got it figured out.  So I got new exercises to add to my old.  But I was really sore.  So I got to end my session with the E-stim and an ice pack.  Best part of my day.    Today when John asked how the stim was I said it was great so he got my insurance to pay for a portable TENS.  BONUS!  I like PT

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Bra Mishap

Yesterday, I was running late and my closet wasn't cooperating.  I just couldn't find anything to wear.  I finally settled on a pair of white pants and the black and white shirt that Keegan got me for mother's day.  I grabbed a black bra and hurried to get out the door.

It was a bad drop off day- Keegan was not interested in going to Children's for camp he wanted to stay home with Daniel.  Then I had to drop him off in the Cheetah room because the Camelion teacher wasn't quite ready to take the big kids.  He hates the "baby rooms" so he threw a fit.  I got out the door and made it to March of Dimes for my meeting but as I was running in the building my shirt felt wet.

Not having a lot of time, I just kind of brushed it off thinking maybe there was water from the sprinklers on my car.  But as I sat there, my shirt grew wetter and wetter.  What the hell?!  So I discreetly put my hand under my shirt to see if I could figure out what was going on.  I quit lactating years ago.......

It was then that I remembered that I had on a bra with gel packs for some kind of lifting and shaping.  The gel pack had burst.  My shirt was soaked with some gooey, yucky liquid.  Luckily it wasn't that noticeable due to the pattern of my shirt.

As the meeting ended, I held my Ipad up to block any view of my leakage and ran to my car.  I was due to present in 45 minutes so I ran to the closest store found a shirt and bra but unfortunately didn't have time to change.  I thought I could do a quick gym change in the parking garage but alas, that didn't work either.  So I went and presented on breastfeeding with my own form of leaky boobs.  Then I found the closest bathroom and finally got to change my clothes.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Oh Hell!

I have had back pain for 7+ years.  I have gone to several doctors and told them that my sciatic nerve was a problem.  I have been given lots of reasons for why it may be aggravated and I have been given numerous PT exercises to help.

The problem is I have a high pain tolerance so I think I really underplayed how bad it hurts.  Like the time that we were at our friend's house playing board games sitting on the floor.  When we got up to leave my whole right leg was shooting with pain and I just stood there smiling, finishing the conversation but really with about a 9 on the JCAHO pain scale.  Or that day in Pilate's when my back and legs felt like they were on fire.

I have done massage, Pilate's, yoga, acupuncture and PT.  I went back for my follow up with my new doctor and she was pretty sure I still had preforms and that I really need to stretch.  But she said that since the pain had been going on so long I maybe should get an MRI. 

The MRI itself was fine.  Nice and air conditioned- no claustrophobia.  Really nice tech.  Twenty minutes no big deal.  And then I got the results.

I know uteruses not spines so I can't really say what it is.  Words like bulge, L-4 to L-5, severe and surgical consult were what stood out when I say the results on "My chart"  The call from my doctor confirmed it all.  I have some significant bone change.  My L-4 is pushed onto my L-5 and there is some nerve "uplifting"  I get to have a surgical consult in two weeks.

I don't want surgery.  I don't want injections.  I'll take PT thank you very much.  But my Dr. said she wasn't sure that was an option.  Great!  I'm now on a " no running profile" (my military brother in law has been living with me if you can't tell).  I also have to be careful with biking, lifting, hiking, etc.  I don't like it one bit.

Monday, July 2, 2012


The last few weeks have been crazy since I went from running Ragnar to gutting and rebuilding my kitchen.  I had spotty Internet at home for some reason and have been working dawn until dusk so I have neglected my cyber life.

The kitchen is a story of its own and another post. 

The morning of Ragnar I met my van at one of the lady's house so that we could decorate.  Being the L&D Mammas and Pappas we went with a birth theme for our van.  I brought the old posters that I planned to get rid of and we taped them all over the van.  We painted phrases such as "keeping pushing" and "breathe through it" all over the windows and then wrote APGARS on the windshield.  Yes, hospital employees are odd.  But the real kicker was Esmarilda- our birthing mamma.  We have a cloth doll that "births a baby" that we use for our siblings classes.  We strapped her to the front of the van with the baby's head sticking out.  We pinned the baby in real tight so we didn't have a precipitous birth on the freeway and off we went.  I do have more pictures that I will post when I have my camera.

Poor Esmarilda was a precipitous birth for 35 hours

Our van was both fun and educational

Needless to say, our van got a lot of comments.  We think it was the best van since it was both fun and educational.  We would sit at the rest stops waiting for our runner and watch people saunter around it pretending to be doing something else but really checking out the posters  Then we would hear them explaining birth to their friends.  We just laughed and laughed.

Our van 1 started at 7:00 AM and we hooked up at about 1:30 and waited for our runner B to get in.  She had been running great so we were about 20 minutes early at the hand off.  Our first runner R (my boss) was really nervous.  She really wanted/needed to accomplish this but hadn't trained as much as she wanted.  Finally B came in and R took off.  I was the hand off from R so about an hour later I took the slap stick and did my first run.  It was only a 3.4 fairly flat and I should have done it in about 35-38 minutes but it was about 95 degrees and my knee was still giving me issues so it took me 41ish minutes.  My team met me at 2 miles with water (bless you because my water was hot by then) and then I handed of the bracelet to A.  A handed to M and then M handed to K.  Several hours passed in that time.  Poor K had a long (7 miles) incredibly steep uphill run so we sat in the parking lot for a long time.  But that part was cool (time and mountains) and the scenery was beautiful.  We saw three people come in injured one with a sideways knee, one who seemed to just need some hydration and one lady who was hooked to an IV.  The IV lady looked bad.  So we were glad that K came in doing OK- tired but OK. Our last runner S had an easy 2 and then we went to B's house for dinner and nap. 

We turned off the lights at 10 PM and tried to rest- I was on the floor with just a pillow and blanket though so rest isn't what I would call it.  At 12:30 AM we got the call to head to East Canyon to start over.  This was a long leg.  R had a 3.5 uphill and her back was hurting but she pushed through.  It was hard waiting outside in the cold for the hand off but K was there with me to take my blanket. Finally I got the stick and had my most beautiful 7 mile downhill from the Summit County line to Hennifer.  It was about 3 AM when I started and it took me about 80 minutes.  My back light fell off at one point and broke but my van came around just about then and traded me out for headlight back light combo which was much easier to run in.  I got 7 "kills" on that run.  ( A roadkill is when you pass someone).  I handed off to A and then took a nap in the van while she did a 10 mile.  Around this time we started to worry about S who was not feeling well and had some GI issues.

Everyone else ran (all long runs to they took time) so by the time it was S's turn it was hot and she had a long yucky run.  She struggled and we were worried.  We were still in a pack (lots of vans in the parking lots) but they began to dwindle and we worried that we wouldn't finish before 10 PM.  At the hand off for Van 1 we found out that we could start Van 1 and 2 at the same time to cut some time but it also meant we didn't get to rest while 1 ran.  We decided to do that.  We also got massages while waiting because the PT school had people there getting internship hours.  And I had my foot taped for the fascitis which really wasn't too bad.

After talking to the Ragnar staff about our deviation to the run they also told us that we could double up runners so that we still got our miles but would still be able to finish.  Since S was still not feeling well I ran with her so instead of my 5.5 moderate, I did the 7.4 very hard.  It was hard but we took it slow.  S and I had a good time talking while jog- walk-running.  I would have actually liked to do that one myself and go faster but it was great.

Then we got to the end where the team meets runner 12 and we all run and cross the finish line together.  It was great!

Now I have my medal and car sticker! 

Ragnar is great and challenging.  Its not an easy thing and you have to be in a van with people you can be with for 36 hrs straight- no showers, less than ideal eating and cramped conditions.  I loved my team (two of whom I hadn't met until a few days before) and I would do it again if invited.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ready or Not!

I think it was nine or ten months ago that I said I would join the Ragnar team that Labor and Delivery was putting together.  I wasn't exactly committed but figured "what the heck."

I was doing pretty well running and getting ready for the Tri.  Then dad died.  I ran once between mid-Oct and about Christmas.  That was the Thanksgiving 5K.  OK maybe a few more times.

But I got back on track in early spring.  I gained some weight after dad died because on top of not running I also ate what I wanted.  It was my bad attitude time.  So the extra weight and the lack of running weren't really on my side but I'm tough.

I ran the St. Patty's day 5K with a decent time for the course (OMG the uphill was torture).  Then I ran the color race where I aggravated my foot and started dealing with plantar fascitis.  Its mainly under control; not healed but better.  I ran the Girl Scout 5K- kind of I had Keegan with me and that is a whole long story of him having an allergy attack.  Then I ran the Crack of Dawn 8K.  I was also faithfully running in between.  Then at Crack of Dawn (beautiful run down the canyon at 6 AM) I didn't stretch enough and ended up with a wonky knee.  So for the past ten days instead of running, I have been doing strength and resting the knee.

Ragnar is FRIDAY!!!!!  I start with a 3.5 mile flat in the middle of the day with a temp index of 90.  Water will be my issue.  But otherwise I can do that one easily.  My next run is somewhere in the middle of the night depending on the team.  It will be a 7 mile downhill and I can't wait for that one.  Even if my knee acts up I have to walk it I can't wait.  Then I end with a 5.5 somewhat uphill in the mid-afternoon. 

With my injuries I will be taping my foot, wearing my fascitis supports between runs, bracing my knee and wearing compression socks.  We have in our cooler: frozen water bottles for massage, ben gay sub zero (best stuff ever), icy hot, deep blue, heat packs and the Costco sized bottle of ibuprofen and Tylenol (we know how to piggy back our drugs).  My podiatrist friend said she could get me cortisone or lydicaine for my foot but we decided against it.  Plus its doing well. 

I can't wait for the experience and for it to be over.  Because then we start the great kitchen remodel!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Flying the Coop

Teaching prenatal classes I see these women who come to the first class and are still in the mid to late 2nd trimester.  They are still happy being pregnant and have dreams and visions of who this unborn child will be.   They look cute with their bellies and the new fangled idea of maternity clothes which was not what I wore in the 90's.  Then there is week six.  They are miserable and tired- still excited but the reality that this baby needs to get out has hit.  They want labor because it means they get their body back, can sleep on their tummies and won't have chronic heart burn.  Yes, its scary but they are ready to move to the next stage.

I believe that this is also what adolescents is about.  You love this child and are happy to help and protect him/her.  You do everything you can to help them grow and develop into the person you want them to be and then puberty hits.  With all the emotions and pushing away.  They are sweet and cute one minute and you think "oh I don't ever want them to go away to college" and the next minute they are bitchy and act like you have six eyes and you would pack their bags for them in a heart beat.  You start getting college brochures and you look for the one that is the furthest from your location that you can still afford.  Just like labor is necessary to move that baby to a new time in life, adolescents is necessary to make you want to have them move out.  The hope is that once you get to the new phase you will find an adult whom you can talk to on a different level.  One who doesn't make you feel like you are stupid and inept.  One who you might like to invite to Sunday dinner.

Just like labor to get through teens you need breathing techniques, support systems and maybe even drugs!  (for the parents, not the kids)

Kate moved out about 10 days ago.  She is living with a friend (I don't much care for this girl but I also can't say much since they are 19).  I guess you can say moved out but she hasn't taken much of her stuff.  Some clothes and a bulletin board but that is it.  I imagine she will be a boomerang child. 

So how do I feel about it.  I wish things had been a bit different.  I would have pushed for the dorms when she went to college last fall.  I didn't because they were full and then the idea of not paying that sounded good to me.  But then who knows maybe living with these crazy artistic friends isn't all that bad.  They don't drink.  My friend's daughter drank enough for alcohol poisoning which was bad enough until you remember she is diabetic.  (yes, she is OK but now living back at home instead of the sorority)

And the great news is that as we move toward adulthood with one, another is in the midst of adolescents.  Woo Hoo!  I now understand what my dad meant when he said "it's like a walking hormone around this house!"

At least I have Keegan to keep me young.  Someone who still thinks I walk on water and wants to snuggle.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bike Ride

When Kate was little, I taught her to ride a bike.  She liked it OK but she didn't love it.  She rode her bike to school in 3rd grade but after that preferred to walk.  She outgrew it and was never interested in getting a bigger bike.

Daniel spent many and hour crying and getting frustrated and never learned to ride a bike.  Every summer I resolved to teach him and it never happened.  Mostly because he had no interest!  None, nadda, zippo. 

I always loved to ride but having a family who isn't really into that, I didn't do much riding.  I've had a bike most of my marriage (22yrs) but didn't use it a lot.  Sometimes I took it on camping trips but mostly not because we have so much stuff anyway.

Two years ago my friend convinced me to do the Goldilocks 15 mile ride.  UMMMM OK, sure I can do 15 miles of hills!!!!!!  I did with another friend (first friend was on the planning committee and couldn't ride but she cheered us on).  So the next year I did the 20 mile ride.  I might have done the 30 this year but I am saving every penny for the great kitchen remodel and didn't want to cough up the 70.00.  Last year I also did the triathlon which had a 12 mile bike ride which is plenty after swimming and still having a 3.1 run ahead of me.

So recently I have gotten in a lot more bike time.  I realize how much I've always loved riding.  I am afraid of street riding because one of our nurses got killed last year riding in town.  Another one of our nurses got hit and broke his neck (he's OK now) riding home from work.  That stuff scares me.  But I don't want to let fear hold me back.

Keegan not only asked but he begged to learn to ride.  We had two days of crying and fits after the training wheels came off.  Then I got smart and took him up to church so he had the whole parking lot to used to it.  There is a slight hill so he was able to get better at starting using the hill to his advantage.  And voila he is a pro!  Last night we rode to the school, took a picnic, played on the playground and then rode home.  It was great.  It was just he two of us because  (see above, the rest of the clan doesn't like to ride)  Kate is moving out, Daniel was helping her and Brian was at rehearsal.  I couldn't have asked for a better biking buddy.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Acupuncture (and do you believe in angels)

My sciatica has been a problem for 8 years.  I like to make sure its really a problem before running off to the doctor (ask my kids how they ended up with Scarlet Fever when they were little).  OK, so I have done lots of massage and yoga to help it out and I have mentioned it to three doctors.  They all give me the same tips- ice, heat, stretch and exercise.  And they are all right.  Except for the part that its really a lot more agonizing than I let on.  I don't like to be a cry baby so I let things go on too long.  I have a follow up appt the end of June and I probably would have just run through Ragnar with my sciatica flamed up except for the plantar fascitis that came on suddenly last month.  It more acute and painful so I thought I better deal.

I consulted all knowing Google and got a lot of mixed information.  I asked people who have had it what worked for them- pretty consistently the sleeping sock and ice.  And I had one of the nurses tell me to get it injected the day before the run.  So last week at the fun run, I sat next to my friend G who is a podiatrist.  As we were talking about running I managed to slip in my fascitis to see what she would say.  She said " I could inject you but you run the risk of a rupture."  Rupture and my foot do not go together since the "Great Kitchen Remodel of 2012"  will occur the day after Ragnar.  So we both agreed that no, that's not the way to go.  She suggested lidocain.  It wears off but can be reapplied and I will be in the van with all nurses.  But I still don't love that idea.

So my Pilate's instructor mentioned acupuncture and I thought "hmmmm"   So I made an appointment.  Now before you all think I just opened the phone book and look up acupuncture and when to the first little shop I could find, I didn't.  We refer our patients to a woman who is an MD and a Chinese physician.  She is awesome for induction and turning a breech baby.  Her husband is a Chinese physician who deals with non-reproductive health.  So I called them. 

Her is the low down.  Its a combo of needles being stuck in your back, legs and foot (I only felt one or two and it wasn't bad).  Then some kind of electric stimulation (like a TENS machine) and then lying face down for 30 minutes.  The music was relaxing and the stimulation mainly felt good.  Part way through I felt like I was getting a lot of energy in my legs and feet so I started wiggling my toes.  That kind of made the needles in my heel hurt so I quit.  Finally he came back and took them out.  Then he did a massage with a vibrating massage tool.  That felt great.  Next came "cupping"  it is some kind of suction cup that he places all over the the same places the needles were to increase stimulation.  Then another massage and some counter pressure.

All in all, it felt great.  After I was tired but good- just like having a massage.  And honestly for pain issues I think I like this better than massage.  No need to change my name to Moon Beam, I am not going to start consulting my horoscope for decision making.  But I am going back for another session.  I want to give it the ol college try before I decide if its really working or not.

On another note, something kind of weird happened last night.  Weird in a good way and maybe a coincidence but maybe not.  I really tried to convince myself that I didn't want to run.  I gave lots of really good excuses.  Then I told D that I was too cold and tired to run.  Mr. Logic that he is, said "you know, the mere act of exercising increases your metabolic rate and the energy converts to heat and you will be warmer.  Then you will be exerting energy which will wake you up and you won't be tired."  Yes, Spock, I know.  So I donned the ol running clothes and begrudgingly headed out.  Why does it take 20 minutes before I love my run?!  I stretched and realized it had warmed up (how can you be 42 and not realize that means rain?)  I started up Creek.  I made it half way up the hill before I had to slow to a walk.  Unless you live here and can see Creek Hill you can't understand.  If you live here you say, "You run up Creek?!"  I walked to the top and then ran across until I hit the downhill which I love.

By then it was hot.  Not really but D was right on the whole metabolism thing.  I debated taking off my jacket but just then it started to rain.  I nice warm, gentle rain that smell like heaven.  I continued running, feeling awesome despite my sciatica and fascitis.  As I got to the last big hill I started thinking about Ragnar.  When I decided to do it, I "dedicated" it to day.  I run for people a lot and they don't know it.  Maybe its like praying for someone.  But I digress.  I remember running last fall and thinking about how Dad couldn't even walk a mile at my age due to his cardio myopathy much less run a mile or 16 for that matter.  I was running for me because I could and running for him because he lost half his life to illness. 

As my thought were flowing I thought, "I am going to end up crying at Ragnar because its going to be intense and I'm doing it for dad."  I better warn my team that I might end up emotional.  Just as all that was going on, "Dad's song" came on my ipod.  Its the song I chose for his DVD collage at the funeral, Bye Bye Miss American Pie.  I really think it was him.  I have 17 hours of music on my ipod what is the statistical probability that his song came on at that exact minute?!  (I don't really want to know because its probably not that unlikely but I like to think it is)  So I continued my run with more energy and life.  Then I thought, if "Uncle Joe's song" comes on I am going to pass out from shock.  The next song was not his but the one after was.  Again, what are the chances.  I think that Pa Steve and Uncle Joe (who died three weeks to the day before dad) where there watching out for me, telling me that I am strong and that I can do it.

First Communion

Looking Snazzy in the new suit

It takes a real man to wear a bow tie

Oops, better tuck in the shirt!

Yesterday was Keegan's First Communion.  I remember my First Communion so clearly.  It was an exciting day for me.  Keegan had a black suit.  It was the one that Daniel wore to his First Communion and the one that he wore on several other occasions.  I pulled it out last fall and it was just the right size for Keegan- he wore it to my dad's funeral.  So I planned to just have him wear it again but just over two weeks before the big day he said he really wanted a brown pin stripped suit.  I panicked.  I didn't want to try to find one and I didn't want to spend a lot of money.  I love you Google.  I found a kid suit shop that had a brown pin stripped on sale for 39.00.  That was a reasonable price and they shipped in two days.  WHEW!

He was quite the classy young man in his suit with a bow tie and grandpa's pocket watch in his pocket.  And he did well.  That is a long mass and its a longer mass when you have ADHD.  I only saw miss D lean over once to tell him to settle down.

We had everyone over after mass for a small party- only 25ish people compared to my normal 50ish. Between the eclipse that evening, some illness and my lack of getting invitations mailed (slacker mom) we had fewer people but I think I needed that this time.

Although I was really excited for him, it was also a bit of a grief day for me (and my sisters).  My dad "married" me and three of my sisters.  He baptized most of his grandkids.  He was a con-celebrant for my kids' First Communion's and Confirmation's.  He was always a big part of religious events.  And yesterday, he was very obviously gone.  I missed him so much.  I was pretty emotional but mostly kept myself under control.  I only teared up twice with my sisters and once after the party.

Fr. D is awesome about preaching in a way that is personal.  He was using the meaning of names to illustrate the point and he pointed out different kids.  Then he got to Keegan and made a joke about how Keegan just meant Keegan (it really means small and fiery)  Then he said,"Keegan and I have been friends for a long time.  His grandpa was my deacon but he died this past year."  Keegan must have looked pretty sad because he stopped and said "I shouldn't have brought it up, Keegan is now looking sad but we are all sad that he is gone."  He then went on to say that Keegan was the only one brave enough to wear a bow tie and how proud his grandpa would be of him.  And all I can say to that is AMEN.

And now its too hot to wear the suit and smile anymore!

Friday, May 18, 2012

3rd Place Winner

Last night was the Fun Run at Brookwood.  They have a short course for 2nd grade and under and then a 5K.  Keegan was hesitant after our last 2K where his allergies acted up and he couldn't breathe and it scared him.  But since Ian was doing it he wanted to.  I meant to run along the side because when he gets stressed or upset, he doesn't always cope well.  But they sounded the megaphone, the kids shot off and I was talking to Ian's mom who has a small baby so I decided to just head to the finish line.  We weren't there long when the first kid came dashing in at just over 3 minutes (I think it was a mile course)  The I looked up to see Keegan in a cluster of 5 or 6 rounding the end.  That group got messed up and came in on the other side of the roped off area and got confused.  I told them to come back to the curve and go under the rope.  I don't think it was cheating because they had all come in first.  No one said anything and then the principal was there directing traffic for the rest.

I knew Keegan had done well; although I missed his time (maybe 4 minutes).  Ian came in at just under 5.  Then the rest all filtered in.  Unfortunately, Keegan gets focused on results and was mad that he was not the first one in.  He crumpled his "I beat the principal" ribbon and got very bullheaded.  We let the kids play for a few minutes and then headed them inside for the Subway meal deal.  I had wanted to run the 5K but since he was still a bit agitated (I hate ADHD- people always think of the hyperactivity but its the aggression, anger and hyper focus that are hard to deal with) and Brian was at Joseph rehearsal so I was on my own.  So I skipped the 5K.

I was going to leave because Kate had to get to an audition.  I would have just given her my car, but she gets so nervous about auditioning that she didn't want to audition and figure out the driving directions.  So I kind of looked over the shoulder of the ladies entering the kid run results and saw that Keegan had indeed come in 3rd place for his age group.  He was calmed down by then and playing with Ian so I decided to stay for the awards.  Ian's mom didn't want to stay since the baby was tired and she didn't want to deal with Keegan getting a medal and Ian not getting one (I totally understand; at this age its hard to deal with not winning).  We found Juno and his mom so the boys went to play while I picked her brain about my foot (she is a podiatrist).  So the debate is still whether or not to inject with cortisone the day before the Ragnar. 

Finally, they got to the awards and although Keegan was still a bit disappointed that he wasn't first, he was pretty quick to jump up and get his award.  And honestly, I think he was in second place except for that issue with the first group going the wrong way.  That is when I realized I totally messed up because my camera was in my office and I couldn't get my phone camera to work.  UGH!

We left, got Kate to her audition where she did indeed get a call back (cross your fingers) and then had to find food for Kate, Daniel and myself (I didn't want the Subway deal).  Unfortunately, Daniel was over hungry by then and started picking on his brother.  Our evening ended with Daniel getting left at Cafe Rio at 9:30 at night because he was really being difficult.  We decided that walking home in the rain (only two miles) was probably what his pubescent attitude needed.  He had his cell and I called Brian to "tail" him on his way home from rehearsal. 

I got Keegan into bed and finally at 10:00 was able to get in a 20 minute run.  Not what I wanted for my run but at least I got a hill.  And I finally made it to the top of Oak Creek without stopping or walking.  The run down was awesome.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rescue Dog

In 2001 we got a dog.  From a pet store or in other words a puppy mill.  He was the best little dog despite being in-bred.  I make a pact to not ever do that again but apparently that didn't apply to my husband who two years later got Pepper.  Pepper is really inbred- to the point of being partly deaf, having sever allergies and is pretty stupid.  I put up with Pepper but I've never bonded with her.  Part of that could be because she has always been a very stinky dog and I got pregnant a month after we got her.  She made me vomit- I was really sick with my last one.

Lucky died in February.  Keegan and I have both always wanted a Dachshund so I started looking for a non-pet store dog.  And last week I found this little baby who was rescued from the pound.

She is the sweetest little baby in the world.  She is four years old and was starved and beaten by her previous owners.  The foster family was a little bit lax about letting her beg at the table so she has some bad habits.  But she is soooooo sweet and we love her to pieces.
Her name is Violet.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Running the Ragnar

So how did I get myself into this situation?  Actually, its good and I'm excited but also scared.  I've been doing 5Ks for about 2 1/2 years now and I even did a 10K and a triathlon.  My boss was also running and she did a half.  So last year after Ragnar one of the managers bought a team and started recruiting.  Somehow I ended up being asked to join the team.

So we start in Logan on Friday June 15th and van 1 will have all six people run.  Van 1 is our saving grace!  They are all young and athletic.  Its one of them who get to run "Ragnar" leg which is uphill all the way baby.

My van will pick up somewhere around noon in Ogden and we all run.  My first run is 3.4 miles flat around Pineview.  Easy peasey really.  I run 3-4 miles all the time.  Once all six of us run then we meet up at our captain's sister's house for pasta dinner.  Yes, we are the princess team no camping on the side of the road for us.  While we eat and take a nap (in beds- not sleeping bags on the side of the road) Van I runs the next 6 loops.  Then its us again for our middle of the night run.  I get the 7.5 downhill from Rockport to Hennifer.  I am stocked for that one.  I love love love downhills.  I know a lot of people hate them.  Next we head to Midway/Heber while Van 1 takes over.  We have a motor home set up in the Heber campground for another nap and breakfast (yes we are cush on this whole thing)  Then we meet up and our van runs it in.  I have the 5.5 mile semi-flat from Heber to the Homestead.  This is going to be the challenging one for me.  My legs will have had just enough time of relaxing to decide to they are tired.  But then I done.  The rest of my van will run it in.  Including poor Kristina who is running "What the Hill!"  Trail run straight uphill.  You go girl!

My van is the "special bus"  Half of us are in our 40's and not athletes.  One of us is very athletic I understand- I've never met her and I'm not sure on the other two.  Our van is going to smell like icy hot and bengay and we will have a full first aide kit and frozen water bottles to ice our legs.  It sounds insane but we are going to have a blast.

Lucky for me, the church festival is that weekend and margaritas will be free flowing.  I just have to drink enough water after. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hair Donation

In Feb of 2011 my daughter posted on Facebook that she wanted to grow her hair out but that it was hard because she also likes it short.  Since I like her hair a bit longer (it's a pixie cut) I gave her a challenge and said that I would grow mine out and donate it if she would at least get hers to shoulder length.  Some of us (cough cough me) followed through and some of us (that would be Kate) cut their hair like three times over the past year.  And its been about 4 different colors.  Have I mentioned that I have virgin hair?  At 42, I have never colored, dyed, highlighted, streaked or done anything to my hair.  And I only have about 5 grey hairs.  Some people are blessed with height and weight others of us are blessed with good hair.

So began my hair growing process.  It was about shoulder length at the time and so I occasionally had the split ends trimmed and got the bangs shaped but otherwise I let it go.  As it got longer, it was nice to pull it in a pony tail or clip it up on top with a comb and I pulled out the ol hot rollers again.  The longer it got, the more people commented on how pretty it was (not bragging or anything).  I looked into hair donation and decided that instead of Locks for Love that I would go with the Pantene Great Lengths Foundation.  There were two reasons behind my decision first, I was getting anxious to cut it and Pantene takes 8 inches while LFL needs 12.  The second is that LFL does most of their wigs for kids with alopecia and Pantene makes wigs solely for adult women with cancer.  Not that I have anything against the kids.  I have a friend who's daughter has alopecia and lost her hair in 7th grade.  I just felt that my heart was with the adult cancer patient.  My plan was to cut it on my 42nd birthday- which is Halloween.

Then dad got cancer.  He found out in August.  I still planned to donate for my birthday because he would be fine- sick from the chemo but fine.  Then dad died on October 27th.  I didn't really want to donate that week so I thought about doing it for dad's birthday on December 1st but one of my co-workers told me to cut it in the spring.  She just thought that would be good.

The very last conversation I had with dad was on Sunday the 23rd.  He was feeling pretty sick after his first dose of chemo on the 21st.  He had been great on the 22nd.   They had given him some steroids so all the aches from him joints was gone and he wasn't at all nauseous.  I told him I was making a turkey on Sunday and asked if he wanted some.  He said yes, and then invited all my mom's siblings over and told me what else to make.  I was a bit irritated but glad I made it.  On Sunday, though, he was too sick to come over for the turkey and mom was going out to a play with her sibs so I told her I would go over and take dad dinner.  I took the turkey over and my sister Em also came over to wash his sheets and help him out.  He ate about five bites of food and said it just didn't taste good but he was really thirsty.  So I got him two glasses of his favorite Crystal Light.

We noticed that his feet were really swollen so Em and I decided to get some Epsom salt and soak his feet.  While she was in the bathroom getting water, he said I wonder when I will lose all this?  And then he rubbed his head and his beard.  "I guess I'm going to lose everything, including my eyebrows and eyelashes."  I told him it would be OK we would get him a nice warm hat.  I clearly remember that I was standing by the closet  trying to get the oxygen tank to be less noisy and looked at him and thought "his poor little body can't take much more."  And it couldn't.  I left shortly after because I needed to get home to help Keegan with his homework.  Maybe I should have stayed longer.  Emily and Ramon stayed about another hour before they left and mom got home soon after that.  I called on Mon and Tues to check on him.  Mom just said he was really sick and sleepy.  On Wed we got the call that he was going to the hospital and late that night we got the call to get up to the hospital ASAP.  By the time I got there, he was too sick to talk.  He told Kate that he loved her but then he didn't say another word until he died 11 hrs later.  He kind of made us all happy that he didn't lose his hair.  Funny how that is so important to someone when they go through chemo.

I ended up making my appointment for April 21st because it was a Saturday and my sister Em also wanted to donate hers so we could both go that day.  It was about 3 days before we went in that I realized that we were making our donation 6 months to the day of dads fatal chemo treatment.  (Most people don't die from chemo but he was already immunosupressed from the heart transplant so the two together caused sepsis)

Before the cut.  I ended up with 12 inches when it was pulled straight

The back- I like to leave the back alone and not straighten.  Just crunch it and go!

Front shot

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Same Genes- Night and Day

My boys are 8 years apart.  Not by choice but what ended up being after secondary infertility.  I'm often times curious how they would interact if they were closer in age.  As it is, some days they get along and its really cute but most days, Keegan annoys the hell out of Daniel and Daniel isn't exactly the model big brother.

Kate and Daniel are 3 years apart and as little kids they were the best of friends (until she hit puberty and they didn't get along for about 4 years).  People always commented to me about how lucky I was to have my kids get along so well.  It was great for me because they would go off together and play and I could get stuff done and only occasionally had to referee.

Kate was always the fantasy child.  I would by her dolls and a play kitchen but somehow it would be converted into a sky lab and the babies were astronauts.  She much preferred to read Sci-Fi to Anne of Green Gables.  This always made me sad because I felt like I was missing some mom bonding with her.  I'm sorry, but I just have no interest in that genre.  I watched Star Trek when Brian and I were dating only because everyone else in the family was and I had really no choice.  Its OK, but I would never go out of my way to catch an episode.  But Ramona and Anne and the Ingals family all hold a place in my heart.  Its OK, though it is what it is.

Daniel was the kid who would rather play Lego's or program something on the computer than to go outside and play.  I could take him anywhere as long as I had a box of Legos or blocks with me.  He was/is highly sensitive which can be a problem at times.  Like the smell of the yeast at Subway is so overwhelming that he wouldn't even walk into the store when he was younger.  He's gotten better but strong smells and close quarters still set him over the edge.  Not in an autistic manner but much more than normal.  He also has motor delay which has made him less than coordinated.  He doesn't like to play ball or ride a bike.  I was always bummed that neither of the older two ever wanted to grab a ball and head outside with me.

Then came Keegan.  After giving up on ever having the third child I so desperately wanted, I woke up one morning dying of thirst and with an incredibly and unusual craving for French Toast.  I was dizzy and felt really off.  We were at Grandma's so I attributed it to dehydration since I never drink enough there since I hate the well water.  But sure enough I was pregnant.  And despite a complete previa, I managed to carry this baby to full term with no bleeding or bed rest but I did have to have a cesarean (BOO!)  It was a scary pregnancy.  After my three losses and long times to get pregnant, I was the constant underwear checker.  I went to the bathroom constantly not because I had to go as much as I wanted to make sure that I wasn't bleeding.

Keegan is the little pistol.  He has more energy than anyone should ever be given.  He wakes up every day with an agenda and God bless anyone who gets in his way.  This determination will be good one day, but right now its a constant negotiation process for me.  Why can't we just run to the hardware store after school and pick up some wood and bricks to build a clubhouse and oh, I want my friends to come over for a clubhouse meeting OK!  Keegan loves basketball and baseball and running and riding a bike.  I love it!  But it comes with its drawbacks.  I can't take him anywhere because he can't sit still long enough.  I took him to a Girl Scout meeting one time and before I knew it he had climbed to the top of the cubed shelves and was sitting in the top cube.  I really thought the Girls Service Director was going to have a heart attack.  But slowly, little by little, his energy calms and I can see that all my constant redirecting is paying off.

Family is not what you imagine it will be when you are 13 and have the idea picture in your mind.  It ends up being whatever it is and you learn to embrace the good and work with the less than ideal.

I love this picture.  Its from a few years ago when we went to Hawaii for my friend's wedding.  Right after our trip to the ED for Brian's broken collar bone and three ribs.  Note to self if the locals get out of the water, it is not a good idea to continue body surfing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I'm tired of owing and then hearing about everyone getting refunds. Really, I do think that we need to help people but the fact that certain people I know can't/won't keep a job, they don't pay rent because they are squatting and then they get 3K back due to earned income credit really makes me mad. But now I am done with my tax bitch for another year.

On a better note, only 9 weeks until the great kitchen remodel of 2012.

And only seven weeks until Ragnar. I better bump up my running regimen

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Case of the Missing Fetus' (feti?)

I have great teaching supplies. I have two penises, one brown and one white. The white one is hidden in a box and never gets to be released from the dark confines of the box. The brown one has been named Big Brown and gets used in many a practical joke. We have to be careful though because of sexual harassment laws and all.

We have numerous pelvises, babies, epidural kits, breasts etc. And I have (had) have again my fetus set. I loved that set for teaching. They are plastic molds of a uterus with a fetus at a certain gestational age inside.

About 16 months ago, they went missing. I was so upset to lose them. I actually put money in the budget this year to replace them. It all happened when I hired M last Jan. She took it upon herself to purge the office of what she thought was old and should be gone. OK, I get that she had new digs and wanted to make them comfortable but I kept trying to redirect her to learn the job and not worry as much about the office. But she was determined to clean the office up.

Shortly after she started, I went in and she had a bunch of teaching supplies sitting on the cart and wanted to get them out of her office. My box of fetuses was one of the items on the cart. I distinctly remember saying- oh those are the fetuses I use when I teach at the community college and I need to make sure they stay safe. And I never saw them again- until today.

I went to get them to teach a class and they were gone. I asked if she had seen them and she said no, she didn't know what I was talking about. I reminded her that they had been out and I said they needed to be kept safe. She vaguely remembered. I searched high and low and finally gave up.

Today I went into the admin office and T (my new person- thank goodness) said she got a strange package. There it they were, the box tattered and taped up with postage from a city 12 miles away and no return address. No note, nothing.

Where did they go? Who would have "borrowed" them and then sent them back? Its a mystery that I will most likely never solve. But man it will be nice to have them again.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mr. Underwear

When we bought our house, the people who lived behind us were kind of odd. Nice but odd. The women was bat shit crazy and I never really saw her husband. They had a Basset named Daisy and a bird that would yell "shut up Daisy" all the time. I loved them and their quirkiness. Their yard looked like an Oklahoma farm house with all the stuff lying around but no worries.

Then they moved.

Our house is on the top of the hill so we look down on our backyard neighbors. It was never a problem until about two years ago. Then a woman bought the house and she and current Mr. Lover moved in. I thought he was her husband until her daughter bought the house next door and they told me that he was just a "live in." We never talked to them much partly because she told our next door neighbor that she didn't like Catholics. My neighbor told me I should throw beer bottles over the fence because excessive drinking seemed to be her issue with Catholics. Whatever, I didn't throw beer bottles but I also didn't become overly friendly either.

Fast forward a few lovers to Mr. Underwear. One day I was out on my beloved deck when I saw current lover in his whitey tighties doing the morning sun salutation. And I'm not talking yoga here. He was inside the house but then came out onto the back patio to wash the table IN HIS UNDIES WITH A HARD ON! I was so shocked I didn't move. I don't know if he knew I was out there. Then he proceeded to wash the sliding glass door over and over again. I was on the inside facing out, doing squats from top to bottom washing and washing and washing.

Did I mention that Miss Neighbor is not a spring chicken?! And Mr. Lover is old with saggy man boobs and a huge belly and does nothing for me in his briefs.

I thought it was maybe a fluke until it happened again, a few days later. This time I made a lot of noise walking on my deck thinking he would get the hint that all though it was early 6:30/7:00 AM that he wasn't the only one up and about. I still questioned that he was really doing it when my sister was at my house and he did it again. "How dirty can that glass table and those sliding doors be?!"

So I did what every peace loving neighbor who hates conflict would do. I planted trees! Tall Tall trees. And I watered them with Miracle Grow. And this year, they are tall enough that they are blocking the yard in the vulnerable spot. But he quit showing up in his undies I think he overheard my brother in law mention that I had an underage daughter and that I should really call the cops on him. I didn't but I could have.

Whitey Tighties on old men with saggy man boobs should be banned. At least when the neighbors can see.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Think I Should Build an Ark

Two and a half weeks ago, I got a call from Daniel that the ceiling in the guest room had collapsed and water was everywhere. JOY!

Fast forward to last night. My bro in law is in town so he decided to pull up the flooring under the sink where the flood started. That is where we discovered that the flood was not just the dishwasher. Its a mess. My home owners is paying out for the damage but still. I hate water damage.

In other news the kitchen remodel is moving forward. The cabinets are ordered, the flooring is picked out. I looked at granite yesterday and I think I decided on which one to buy. I have the refridgerator sitting at Lowes waiting for delivery and I need to go look at the other applicances.

I just can't wait for June!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Middle Age?!

Only in your middle ages do you buy lacy underwear and IcyHot packs in the same transaction. Yes, I've come to that point in my life. I had to run a few errands for work which put me at an unnamed Big Box store. I happened to see some really cute underwear on sale and since I'm cheap in that area of apparel I decided to get some. Then I needed to get an Ace for my knee. I really messed it up in the run last Sat. I found IcyHot wraps and decided to try that instead. Then I contemplated the contents of my purchase. Odd.

When I was in high school we used to go to the store and buy the most odd combination of stuff we could think of just to see if the cashier would notice or comment. Back in my days of gay and reckless abandonment I would have never considered such a purchase. I just wonder what the cashier thought.

Oh, I didn't find the work item I needed so that was indeed my total purchase.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


The past few months I have been consumed with "The Conference" Every year I chair the local perinatal conference and its a big event but I've done it long enough I like to think that my committee and I have it down. This year was different. On October 26th I got a call (well two calls but I digress) The related call was from the UBC president who said "we can get Nils Bergman here in March do you want to combine conferences?" I said yes, I do but I have to get back with you because my mom called (other call) and my dad is at Huntsman Cancer with dehydration. I need to check on him. But lets meet next Th to plan. Of course that other call was far worse than anyone expected, dad died and his viewing was "next Thursday" So we post-poned the meeting for a few weeks. Thus we lost two weeks in the beginning and four weeks in the end for planning (we usually have the conference in April). Then I lost my secretary (blessing in disguise) So with a new assistant, joining committees and a fast turn around, we did it! We usually host 60-90 people and this year there were 230 attendees. We were at a new venue and we had breakout sessions. There was a lot to consider so I worked 10-12 hr days a lot for the past month. And then I took 4 days off work. I'm a total public health geek, but I not only got to pick Dr. Bergman up from the airport and help him get settled but he gave me a gift from South Africa and a huge hug when he left. Wow! We all have our moments of glory.

My sister is in town- she helped with my committee and attended the conference. Then she forgot to leave. So I am totally enjoying having her and a my niece to entertain me until her husband drives out in a few days. We laugh and drink wine and its awesome. But I am also a bad mom. I haven't done laundry and have been a total slacker on helping Keegan with his homework. Did I mention I don't like his teacher and so maybe its some kind of subliminal passive aggressiveness. I know he is a tricky child and that he has a hard time sitting still. Believe me I do know. and I also know that he has the most tender heart and great sense of humor when you look past the constant motion. She asked at parent teacher conferences if he had something going on in his life because he had been harder to deal with that week. When I said, I am working 12 hr days and we had to put our dog down she said "you can't go around making excuses for him." Excuse me?! You asked I didn't offer that info until you asked. I do believe those things would affect a highly sensitive kid so shut it! I didn't really say that out loud.

On another note, I am not making a job move. I'm both relieved and bummed. When the peds manager quit, my boss told me to apply for his job. I did even though I love what I do. Then the other director never even called me for an interview before hiring TJ. Really?! Everyone I work with who knew about it was shocked that she didn't even call me and that she hired someone that none of us care for. But oh well, I love what I do and I think I'll settle in to some catching up instead of jumping into a new position. Plus I am presenting at UPHA and I have to write a position paper for ICEA. Its not like I'm bored or anything.

My final big event for the last week was St. Patty's. Yes, I am an Irish Girl, short, red headed and fiery just the way they make 'em. I ran the Leprechaun Lope with my sister. Damn that was a hard course and I don't know my time because it seems there was a timing chip error. So somewhere between 35-37 min. Which is slow for me but my sciatica, periformus and knee were all bothering me. Plus did I mention the first 3/4 was uphill and I mean a steep grade. I busted the downhill for the last 1/4 but I had to walk parts of it. Its the first of the season so I'll do better at the Girl Scout Cookie Chaser next month.

After that we went to the parade- not because I like parades but because Mom does. She was reminiscing about how she had likely only missed 6 parades since the first one in 1979 smart mouth me said "I've probably only been to 6 since 1979." After that we went to Mass (Sat evening which is weird to me) since it was being said for Pappa. And finally my favorite part corned beef and cabbage. Oh I could just eat and eat and eat. I kept myself pretty much under control. But then just because some of the fam was going to missed the church sponsored corned beef, we did a repeat on Sunday at my house. Oh I love that stuff.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Heart Break Again

We got Lucky dog in 2001. He was the first dog I ever owned. He is the one who took me from being a cat person to a dog person. He was a Jack Russel Terrier and a lover. He would hug like no dog ever hugged. I would wrap his paws around my neck and hug him in tight. He liked to sing. Whenever he heard a harmonica or piano he would sing. Its really hard to have kids in theater and music when you have a dog who sings (howls) everytime they practice.

A couple of weeks he went downhill fast. I thought he had cancer but he had heart failure. Today we made the decision to let him rest in peace. No more pain. But now my heart is broken.

Worry Wart!

I wonder if you ever quit worrying about your kids? Wait, let me answer that, no. I never told my dad when I was going cross country skiing because he was terrified of avalanches. It didn't matter taht I ski groomed trails a places that close when the danger is high, he would still say, "Elizabeth, the avalnache danger is high today. I don't want to get a call." Reminding him that was the back country and that I had a greater risk of dying driving up the canyon did no good. He worried. And everytime one of us was heading home after a long trip, he stayed up until he got a call that everyone was safe and tucked into bed.

So yesterday I was the worry wart. Kate got a part as an extra on a set. She's been an extra in a few independent films but never a real live movie. Its some made for television thing and Tori Spelling said she was cute!!!!!!! But I digress. On Wednesday, all was smoothe. I dropped her off at the bus stop and she found the call location, got signed in and I picked her up at 7 Pm. (I really wish we weren't learning a lesson about crashing our car cause I am getting tired of driving) Friday was not so easy. They didn't call with the time or location. I checked the web page and it still said she was booked so I went with better safe than sorry (which made me sorry) Despite the fact that I could have slept a bit later that day, we got up a the crack of dawn and left the house before 7 to get Keegan to childcare (no school day) and get her to the mall where they were shooting. All the trucks were there, the set was still up, and no one was there. So we drove to the extra shuttle stop and found out that they were picking people up about 8. Rather than waiting in the cold, I told her I would just take her back to the mall and we could wait. Wait is what we did. At 820 I told her I had to get to work and could she see if the extra room was open. It was-phew. I left her and she called a bit later to tell me call time was 930- Bummer! Then she called at 10ish to tell me she wasn't on the list of Extras but that they were going to fit her in if they had room. Then I heard nothing until 3 when she said they would be done about 930-10.

At 930, I hadn't heard from her. So I kept reading my Jennifer Weiner on my Kindle Fire. Then it was 10, then 1030. Nothin. I couldn't read becasue I kept thinking the worst. I couldn't sleep becasue I would have to go get her. I asked Brian if I should just drive down there. He of course wasn't helpful. I tried to read again but what if her phone had died and her friend Kristin had left and she didn't dare ask anyone if she could borrow a phone so she was sitting on the street corner in the cold hoping I would come get her. I know, irrational, she can be flakey and she doesn't always like to talk to people but she would ask to borrow a phone. Back to the book. What if she went outside to see if I was there and got locked out?! UGH! Be rational! What if she decided to take Trax and then found out it was so late the transfer bus was no longer running and she was stuck somewhere in Salt Lake with a dead phone?! Not all that unrational because she only had one "bar" when I dropped her off.

I nudged Brian- "what should I do?" He grunted something. So I got mad-"why are you so unconcerned?!" "I'm driving down there!!!!" He said, well take your Kindle in case you have to sit. Really?! That is all he can think?! Our oldest child and only girl could be somewhere in the city at night wandering around aimlessly and all he has to say is take your Kindle!

I got in the car and not 2 seconds later my cell rang. "Hi mom, we are done, it should take about 30 minutes to finish the paperwork" I worried for nothing. I drove down and got to the mall just as she finished her paperwork. We drove home while she told me all about her brush with fame that Tori smiled at her and told the director "that one is really cute" and someone named Tia (I need to read pop magazines more) was really sweet and nervous to do her scene in front of the Extras. Then she took my car to go sleep at her friend's house. She is almost 20 years old. I know, by 20 I lived in my own apartment, I worked full time (at that very mall) and I never checked in with my parents. Oh wait, I still checked in with pappa when we got home from Captiol Reef a mere 3 weeks before he died. I guess we never stop worrying.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Little Lover

Quite the weekend we have had. Yesterday, Brian forgot to put on the emergency brake when he parked on a hill while picking up Daniel. He turned around to see the car rolling backwards with Keegan still in the back seat. As any good dad would do, he ran as fast as he could to try to catch the car but instead of making a grand save he wound of face first on the pavement. He tripped, hit his chin, scraped his arm and most likely cracked a rib. (He isn't having much luck in the rib department but the trip to Hawaii where he ended up in the hospital with a broken collar bone, three broken ribs and a PE shall be left for another time) The car came to a stop when it crashed into a mailbox. Luckily, the car, the boy and the mailbox suffered less than Brian.

I had to work, then I had to help out at the guitar concert and I'm beat. I've been working long days getting ready for the conference in two weeks. So I needed some time today.

After church, I headed up the mountain for a couple of hours of cross country skiing. Beats the heck out of running since you burn as many calorie without the joint impact. I think its a great cross training activity. I got a bug up my butt and decided that I was going to ski every loop of the Nordic Center. I think I did something like 12K. All I know is it was beautiful, peaceful, hard, envigorating and fun.

When I got home, Keegan put on a suit and told me needed to have a meeting. When he was four he used to put on his "fancy clothes" and pretend he was Arock Abama (you know, the president). This time, he was in charge of our finances. He wrote out line items and asked me how much we should spend on each item, wrote it down and totaled it up. Then asked me if i thought we could afford it. What a kid.

Next on his agenda was Go Fish. Honestly, I don't think I've had so much fun for awhile. OK, I've had a lot of fun but I really enjoyed out two games.

Then we ended the night with a pedicure. He decided that I needed to have polish on. I let him do my toes since I was a bit worried about my nails with work tomorrow. Good thing because if you saw my toes you would be glad too that my fingers are not manicured as well. He started with a nice pumice scrub and then polish. He used three colors, red, blue and pink. If I am in a car accident, please tell the paramedics that I don't need a pulse ox on my big toe. My circulation is fine, its just the polish combination and the fact that it is all over my toes and not just the nails that makes me look hypoxic.

All in all it was a great weekend. Winning the Kindle, grateful that everyone is OK and the love and attention of the sweetest little boy on the planet.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Hot Damn

So tonight was the first fish fry for the Lenten season. I love the fish fry, except when I'm pregnant (which I don't believe will ever happen again). I don't eat fried fish any other time of year and as my friend Susan and I decided, its church sanctioned so it must be healthy, right?!

Anyway, this year they had a raffle for a Kindle Fire. I kind of wanted it. I mean not enough to buy more than a "donation" amount of tickets or to mug an old lady to get it. So we got our fish and were having a great time. They did the first 50/50 drawing and no one at my table won. I was thinking about going home but decided to get some tickets for the Kindle. While I was painfully writing my name and number on the tickets (I hate hand writing- it really does hurt my hands to write) when Nora (remember sweet Nora) came out and threw her tickets in and said "The luck of the Irish will win!" I looked up and said, but Nora, I am the Irish one, not you. She told me I was taking her fun away.

I went back in to see how the drawing went (being as Keegan was off vandalizing the church or being a ring leader or something so I didn't need to worry about him) They did the second 50/50 drawing (yes, Catholics like a good fund raiser drawing) and finally they pulled a ticket for the Kindle and sure as shit I won!!!!!!!!!!! Wowie wow wow wow.

I went to get my Kindle and there was Nora teasing me about winning. Fr. Dave said not to let her tease me because she gives him crap every day. But then Brian took under the auspices of charging it. Good thing I had so many witnesses that it was my Kindle and not my husband's. And he forgot to take Keegan home with him. Good thing I double checked before I went home!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Wow, I didn't see that coming. I have been doing pretty well with my grief. I have really missed dad but I've also been able to talk about him and laugh about the silly things he used to say. I find myself saying things like "you know, all those rotten things people say about you just aren't true" and "step into my office" or my favorite " you are in trouble, you are in more trouble than you have ever been in in your whole rotten miserable life." and all his other dadisms. He had a very odd but fun sense of humor and taken out of context people didn't get it. Most of us kids are the same, we say things and then laugh like crazy while the rest of the world just stares at us.

But I digress. Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. The Easter season has always been pretty significant to me. I had planned to go to mass at work (why not, how easy can it get) but then I saw in the bulletin that Mark and Mary had requested that the 7 PM mass be said for dad. I decided that mass would be crowded but having more meaning to me.

After work I picked up Keegan and we made the 35 mile trek to pick up my clearance tile from the big box hardware store in Orem. Well worth the trip to save 6.00 per tile. There was a bit of a mix up and they had gotten me the square inch tiles instead of the subway tiles. The color was the same but I really wanted the subway tiles. After searching with an associate for a long time it was determined that the computer was wrong and I could have the 1 inch or nothing so I took what I could get.

Problem is that now I was cutting it close to get back. I made it about 10 minutes early to church and walked in only to realize that our "new deacon" was con celebrating the mass. He looks like a nice guy and people were talking to him. I planned to sit in the church but a 70 mile trip right after school was too much to ask a busy 7 yr old so we stayed in the foyer. When I sat on the food donation box it was right in front of the room where the clerical robes are kept. Its where dad used to sit to wait for mass to begin. I swear with every inch of my being that he was there. It was dark in the room but I kept looking in and it was like he was there perched on his chair with his cane and cute smile. OK, I was a bit teary but OK.

Then after mass, an old friend I hadn't seen for about a year came over and gave me a hug. She said she had just found out that dad died and she was so sorry. Already emotional, I got a bit more teary. Then someone else I don't know well came over and gave me a hug. She told me how she still has dad's phone number in her phone and she doesn't want to delete it. By then I was crying. I was trying not to. My sisters were still inside and I didn't want them to get going. But all the sympathetic looks and a few hugs said everything- "having a new deacon really means that deacon Steve is gone." God bless Nora, the secretary, I just love her anyway but she came over and just pulled me into her and said, "we aren't replacing him, no one ever will." Then she said "see his picture is still up there and I'm not taking it down until I get absolute orders that I have to." I'm so lucky I have such great people in my life. Really, I am. And so many people have grief but God it hurts- bad.

In other news, I got accepted to speak at the Utah Public Health Association conference. I submitted last month and hadn't heard back so I kind of forgot about it. I am so busy but this will be fun- and really it will be easy. My topic will be "Healthier Populations Begin at the Breast" I'm speaking on exclusivity in Breastfeeding and why it takes collaboration to make that happen.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

PTA Reject!

I am a working mom; I made that choice for a lot of reasons. I love my job and I have a very flexible schedule. I have always been able to help out at school and still work. The problem is, I don't fit in at school. My daughter started school in the city because is was close to the U where I worked. It was great! I was a room parent and felt needed. Then when I was shaking up my career path, I had year and a half where I was a part time working mom. That was a good time to move the kids to the neighborhood school.

We have a great school. Wonderful parents, excellent teachers, everything you could want? Well, except diversity. A friend of mine was interviewing schools in the neighborhood and when she asked about diversity she was told "well, we have some diversity, there are two black kids, three Asians and a woman who wears the veil- they all bring diversity." Well Noelle said there was no way her daughter was going the be the "Jewish Phillipeno adopted child" so she kept her daughters at the school my kids had been going to. I really wanted to have friends in the neighborhood and a closer drive.

So we embraced the change and I signed up for the PTA. The first year I was a Commissioner for some event. I don't remember what it was. Then the next year I was put in charge of McGruff. I apparently didn't do a good job because I wasn't invited to be a Commissioner again. I didn't much care because I had started my new job and was trying to have another baby (my five years of secondary infertility). I had made some friends and I ran the Girl Scout Troop at the school (not a PTA endorsed activity mind you). Eventually, the older two moved up to middle school and by then, I had Keegan.

After the break of not having anyone at good ol B Elementary, Keegan was starting first grade. I had him attend a private Kindergarten and the first three weeks all I heard about was how unready he was for school because he hadn't done Kindergarten as a B Bear. As I knew he would, he caught up in a month and did just fine. His K had focused on DAP learning and not the teaching they do in most public Kindergartens. I did get my first "all but degree" in elementary education before I switched majors. It was a matter of being patient and not giving in to the teachers.

Last year I didn't do much, I was a Mother Helper on Monday's so I did develop a good relationship with his teacher (after that first month). So this year I signed up for room mother. Then I became the Grade Coordinator. It was an easy description. Coordinate the Halloween and Valentines Parties. One hour each, four rotations- could it be any easier? The Halloween Party was a blurr. My dad had died four days before, the directory hadn't come out yet so I was lacking phone numbers but I pulled it off!!! I was so distraught that I don't remember much. Which brings me to today.

I was in charge of the Valentines Party. No lets be clear here, at work, I am in the middle of coordinating a conference with an international speaker. We have over 200 health care professionals attending and we have Grand Rounds Scheduled. I can organize an event. So I emailed all the class coordinators and asked them if they had their activity ready. They said yes. I had two classes because one class never got a class coordinator. No problem, the story and the activity. I went to B&N, got a book and googled Valentines activities. I emailed my room parents and told them what to do. It all should have been fine. Except that one of the class coordinators is the PTA president. She apparently can't listen because her craft took 25 minutes. UMMMM, she had one hour to rotate 4 classes through. The math doesn't work out here. So that set the rotation back and the other groups ran out of things to do because they couldn't move to the next rotation. She didn't care one bit. Then another of the PTA people told moms they were doing things they weren't assigned to which messed up the helpers.

Honestly people, its a darn one hour party and now I have teachers upset because we aren't organized, moms mad because they couldn't rotate with their child (we all were at the same meeting in Sept) and I felt like I was getting the cold shoulder from the PTA moms. The kids had a blast though and really, that is what mattered.

I don't understand what it is with this PTA that gets me. I can fit in most anywhere, except here. What I can't figure out is if its being the less than dominant religion so I don't see these people at church (for the most part they are all in the same Ward). If its the working mom thing. I feel like they look at me funny because I have to show up at events in management approved attire where they are all wearing their cute skinny jeans and boot. Most of them also probably have a thong a vagazzle. Or if its socio-econmic. Not only do most of them stay home, but they live in the nice houses up the street and drive 40K cars while I have my little basic mini-van with no bells or whistles.

Whatever it is, I leave the school feeling very lonely while they all go out to lunch. And then I go back to work where I have friends and colleagues who appreciate the work I do. Screw the PTA!

BTW, I'm on the PTO at the high school and I don't have a hard time fitting in there. It just has to be that school.