A glimpse into the love, lives and laughter that make my world go 'round!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Artistic Interpretation At It's Finest

Lucas BURST through the door when he got home from school, one sunny afternoon. He was so full of purpose and determination that he could only manage to grunt or exclaim, "I need to find those glasses!" In his hands he held an art project, and it was imperative that he find the stash of 3-D glasses ASAP. Drawers were getting turned inside out, books strewn about, and miscellaneous odds and ends were getting jumbled and rearranged. The entertainment center was ransacked! After another minute or two of relentless digging, he finally found the 3-D glasses and put them on.

He intently looked at his project for a split second (or two) before yelling, "My teacher is a LIAR!"

I was SHOCKED at what I heard, and replied, "WHAT?"

"My TEACHER is a LIIIAAARRR!", he yelled again. Much louder than before. In case I didn't hear him the first time. Duh.

"Why would you say something like that?" I asked.

Lucas said, "Because she told us that this was 3-D art, BUT IT ISN'T!"

Exhibit A (front view)

Exhibit B (rear view)

His teacher's definition of 3-D art obviously didn't acheive the same expectations as the "Spy Kids: Shark Boy and Lava Girl" 3-D movie. Once I talked him down from the edge of insanity and explained to him what she REALLY meant by "3-D art", things were much better. It didn't remove the sting of disappointment, but it sure was awesome to watch my boy throw a complete hissy fit with those those nerdy glasses on. *giggle*

A week or two later, I had the distinct pleasure of running into Luc's art teacher in the school parking lot and sharing this story with her. She got quite a kick out of it, and was amused (rather than insulted) at being called a liar.

Mama's Losin' It

Prompt#2 - But teachers know everything!!
Write about a time when a teacher disappointed you.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Hear Him Crying

Friday, July 19, 2003

The baby has been throwing up for days now. It started out not so bad, but now he throws up every time he eats. He eats like he's starving...then he throws EVERYTHING up....and cries again because he's famished. I don't know what's going on, but I know that he's sick and needs to go to the doctor. Richard will have to take him because I can't....too many germs.

Lastnight I started getting chills. Chills shouldn't be a big deal, but I also started running a low-grade fever. I took some meds before bed, but by 3AM this morning the fever is 101.7*, my chest and back are assaulting me with pain and it looks like I'm going to have to go to the doctor now, too. DAMN IT!! This fever changes everything. Why does this have to happen NOW - the baby is soooo sick and I just don't have the strength.

We just got ahold of both the pediatrician AND the oncologist and have formulated a game plan. My mom is going to take me to see the oncologist while Richard takes the sprout to the pediatrician. As we scramble out the door, I grab the thermometer because I can feel myself getting warmer with every minute that passes. My fever was 101.7* and now it's up to 102*...what is going on!? By the time we make our way down to the oncologist's office I have managed to drink almost half a gallon of water right out of a jug that my mom had in her back seat. I am burning up! The thermometer is telling me that we better drive fast...it's going higher, and higher. PANIC. Is. Setting. In.

Once we get to the doctor's office, Edith, my chemo nurse, gets me right into a room to start my central line. She checks my vitals and immediately calls an ambulance. I am starting to lose consciousness and crash. She is talking calmly, but TELLING me to stay awake. "Stay with me Lesley. You aren't going anywhere Lesley. We've come too far Lesley. Girl, you hang on! Don't go to sleep Lesley. They'll be here soon. You're a fighter Lesley." By the time the ambulance gets me to the hospital my fever has hit 104.5*.

At the same time I am rolling into the ER, I find out that Richard and Lucas have received orders from the pediatrician to get down to the emergency ASAP and are one their way as well. Lucas is more sickly than we had thought, but they need to run tests to find out what's going on with him. I can hear the ER staff talking to eachother about how the baby coming in belongs to the breast cancer patient in Room #--.

As I am laying there in excruciating pain and feeling like a science experiment, Richard finally arrives at the hospital and rushes into the room to check and see how I'm doing. A flood of emotions washes over me when I see him....and as I glance to the doorway, I see them wheel Lucas by on a gurney.

I can hear my baby crying, but they won't let me see him.

Lucas has been put into the room right next to mine. Since they don't know what's wrong with either of us, we can't get near eachother.

We are so close, yet worlds away.

He's crying so hard!

All I can do is TRY to talk loud enough so that he can hear me - but I don't know if he can even hear me at all. It's a mother's job to soothe their babies when they're hurting and scared, but I can't even hold his little hand. Lucas is only five weeks old.

As the morning has progressed into afternoon, I've had a CT scan, MRI, and who knows how many fluids drained from my body for testing. When I came out of one of my scans, Richard let me know that he and Lucas would be leaving soon to be taken by ambulance to Texas Childrens for more testing. All I can do is lay here on my bed and pray. Pray, pray, and pray harder.

What if I don't make it? What if Lucas doesn't make it? What happens if we're both gone and just Richard, Abby and Conner are left....

Mama's Losin' It

Prompt #2 - Tell us about a day you were sure you wouldn't get through.

Obviously I made it and so did Luc. Lucas was diagnosed and underwent surgery for pyloric stenosis the following day. The doctors at Texas Children's are rock stars, and I have nothing but love and admiration for the work that they do on those tiny little growing bodies.

I was diagnosed with a staph infection in my bloodstream, and stayed in ICU for six days. The source of the infection was my port-o-cath which was removed post haste. Subsequently a PICC line was installed into my arm so that I could finish the remaining treatments of Taxol on my treatment plan.

Richard spent countless hours driving back and forth between hospitals to check on Lucas and I. My mother stayed with me and Richard's grandmother, Alice, stayed with Lucas.

On a particularly low day in ICU, I vividly remember praying and asking the Lord, "I cannot continue this battle in my own strength, You are going to have to cover the gap. But if this is how I am supposed to die, I accept it."

He carried me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Aye, Me Lucky Charms!

This picture makes me smile EVERY time.

We found these priceless treasures on clearance
and I laughed my ass off the whole way home
When I would look in the rear view mirror and see these two
carrying on a serious conversation about why they
should eat ice cream for a snack instead of cookies.

REALLY? Can I play along too?


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Watching My Kids Grow Up Is As Comfortable As Having A Rock In My Shoe

There once was a boy who was spunky,
He often said, "I'm Mommy's monkey"
"Grounded forever" I said.
A dull life he would dread.
But he went on and grew up instead.

Actually, he IS still spunky. He's also still my monkey. And I haven't stopped making the same old threats...."I'm going to ground you forever if you don't quit growing up".

Unfortunately, to no avail.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Weaving Golden Threads of Inspiration

She is beautiful.
She is ornery.
She is a believer.
She is loving.
She is sentimental.
She is an amazing seamstress.
She is cheerful.
She is a hard worker.
She is a teacher.
She has a HUGE heart.
She is thrifty.
She is trustworthy.
She is a good example.
She is a friend to many.
She is creative.
She loves to travel.
She is always in my corner.
She is resourceful.
She has beautiful handwriting.
She is warm.
She sees life in full color.
She is honest.
She is forgiving.
She is a gracious hostess.
She is a leader.
She is considerate.
She is a homemaker.
She is optimist.
She is understanding.
She is an avid reader.
She has an engaging sense of humor.
She is a wonderful cook.
She is encouraging.
She is thoughtful.
She is my idol.
She is an inspiration.
I am her daughter.
She is my MOTHER.

Me - MOM - Kat - Karen

Mama's Losin' It

Prompt #2 - Describe a woman who inspired YOU.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Dress Code Debacle

This past weekend I took some time to go through the recent kid related emails that were piling up in my inbox. One of the items that I had been keeping on the back burner was the high school newsletter. These things drive me a little batty, but I do recognize that someone goes through the time intensive work to put it together, so I decided to check it out.

There was a lot of riff-
raff to scan through. A few sections of interest. And THEN I got to the real meat of the newsletter - the "Dress Code for Special Events". The Homecoming dance is this weekend, and since it's been a few years since I was in high school myself, I thought it wouldn't hurt to give it a quick glance. I mean, really, how much different could things be?


The following were some of the high points:
  • Camisole backs (lace-up) are okay.
  • Boys must wear standard formal wear, which includes dark business suits and appropriate footwear.
  • No flip flops, tennis shoes, or athletic shoes will be allowed.
  • Proper and formal grooming is expected. No unusual hairdos or hair color.
  • Tattoos must be covered.
  • No rave party accessories, such as flow sticks, are allowed.
  • No costumes allowed.
And finally, my VERY favorite.... Drum roll please!
  • Underwear must be worn.
What the ****?!? The scariest part is that someone's child, uh-hum "young adult", actually went commando, or sans other normally necessary unmentionables for this item to even BE on the radar. Ugh.

Can I interest you in a lesson on STD's? Anyone... Anyone...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Life's Just Not The Same After Kids

Prompt #1 - A list of things you no longer have in common with your single/childless friends...and why you love them anyways.
  1. I buy my clothes for function rather than fashion.
  2. Catching projectile vomit in your hands isn't gross, it's a skill that accomplishes two things at once - reduces the amount of clean-up required, and increases eye/hand coordination.
  3. Air freshener in the bathroom isn't just to cover the smell of a stinky poo...it also helps to mask the odor created by boys that have problems AIMING.
  4. Sanity is relative.
  5. iCarley is a little more entertaining as time passes. Sad, I know.
  6. My kitchen table isn't set with a centerpiece, placemats, chargers, and napkin rings anymore. It has paint, scratches, dried syrup, and marker stains on it...and I like it that way.
  7. My DVD drawer has more kid DVD's than adult movies. And by "adult" I mean PG-13 and R....not porn.
  8. Baby wipes are like a happy package of magic no matter how old my kids get...not just for baby shower gifts.
  9. My idea of a clean car was flushed down the toilet when Conner started drinking from a sippy cup and there was enough food under the seat to feed a third world country.
  10. Cooking dinner is rarely an option, it's a requirement.
  11. This weekend I washed 2 loads of darks, 1 load of neutrals, 1 load of whites, 1 load of reds, 1 load of towels only, 1 load of green/blues, and 2 loads of sheets. Beat THAT, Single Sally!
  12. My ass. The kids did this to me. Honestly, they did.
  13. Saving money is usually short term rather than long term. What I save inevitably goes towards Christmas gifts, upcoming plans, or for the kid's birthdays.
  14. Richard says that I have "mom hair", but I really don't give a rip. I can put it in a ponytail, up in a clip, or blow it out. FUNCTION is the name of my game, and I need something easy.
  15. My carpet stains tell a story of our life with growing children...spilled syrup, sippy cups, markers, playing with make-up, etc.
Some days I envy the quiet, solitude, cleanliness, leisure, and uninterrupted lifestyle that others have. But then my redhead barges into the room crying because he fell off of his bike. Or Abby adds ANOTHER item to the list of things that she wants to have at her birthday party (that she's been planning for 9 months so far). Or Conner tells me that he has a project due tomorrow for a major grade...and everything is how it should be.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

To Have and To Hold? REALLY!?!

This morning I went to my favorite local cake shop to order a cake for an upcoming special event. As I entered the shop, there was a couple sitting right inside the door with photo albums open, looking at wedding cakes. Now I THINK that ordering your wedding cake should be an enjoyable event that is a collaborative effort. Something that, once you've made a final decision, you eagerly anticipate the opportunity to savor and share the cake with your guests on the wedding day.

That wasn't quite the case with this couple. On the contrary, when this particular groom-to-be made suggestions or comments about something he saw in the photo album, his precious bride-to-be would berate him. She was rude, condescending, and unkind. She made statements like, "That's horrible" and "You aren't even using your head when you say things". And asking questions like, "Have you even paid attention to the plans that I've made?" It was NUTS! Then, adding even more insult to awkwardness, she said it all loud enough that no one in the shop could escape the bite of what she said.

After completing my order I left the cake shop wondering - How in the world could a man (or woman) love someone enough to take a public ass kicking like that over ordering a wedding cake? The wedding cake will be phenomenal - no doubt about it - it's the wedding that I'm worried about!

Maybe he should consider serving the cake at his "Breaking the Engagement" party?


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cell Phone Dead Zone

The teenage years are going to kill me. I'm quite certain that any natural color in my hair is bleeding out with every passing minute. Conner isn't even driving yet, and I already feel like he's got one foot out the door.

Texting is his life line. When he has his cellphone, Conner is working those buttons. We collect his cell in the evenings as a rule, because anything that needs to be "discussed" can certainly be addressed during daylight hours. I sound like a prude, but don't really give a rip. The phone is on my bill, so I call the shots.

Today Conner went to hang out with his friends, and said that he would call home after a bit. Any time he is gone he knows that he has to check in at least every two hours - it's a RULE. So after a couple of hours had lapsed and there was no contact, we started trying to track him down. Problem was that his phone had either run out of juice or been turned off because it kept rolling straight to voicemail. Seriously? I mean, this kid KNOWS when his cell is low on charge, because he doesn't want to miss anything. I get it - I am the same way. So for him to leave on less than at least half a cell is just idiotic.

The boy did not roll onto the street until 8:30pm...almost SIX hours after he left.

I haven't said much, which is not my usual schtick, but let him know that he is in seriously HOT water. There are no excuses that will get him out of the hole he has created. He left in the middle of the day and got home after dark without calling.

Lord, give me strength.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sand, Surf & SHARKS

Growing up in East Texas, one of our favorite day/weekend trips to make was to head down to Crystal Beach and spend the day in the surf. We spent LOTS of time playing in the water, making sandcastles, hunting for sea shells, and having fun.

Let's be honest though, the coastal areas of Galveston and Crystal Beach aren't exactly known for having pristinely clear water. So as you walk farther and into the water, you start to see less and less of your feet, ankles, etc. Playing in the surf was wonderful, though! We could run, play, scream, dig, wallow in sand, and just be kids.

There were the occasional hazards of playing on the beach, of course. Stepping on shell fragments were particularly painful. We had to pay attention and make sure that we didn't step on any broken glass or bits of plastic...some people just don't understand the importance of cleaning up after themselves. Idiots. There were little fish that would nibble on your legs. Seaweed wasn't as much a hazard as it was annoying to have that prickly nastiness wrap itself around your leg...eeewww!!

And then there was the day that everything changed... (music from the Twilight Zone playing in the background)

I had seen advertisements on TV for the movie Jaws, and was horrified at the idea of such a LARGE human-eating-ocean-dweller that could quite possibly be lurking out there, waiting to gobble me up like a Scooby snack. There were also the countless episodes of National Geographic that our family loved to watch that depicted different fish of countless varieties...pretty fish, ugly fish, fish with whiskers, fish that jumped out of the water, and fish that BITE PEOPLE. Ack!

We had been at the beach for a while that day and were having a sandy blast! The kids were all digging around trying to find really awesome shells in knee-deep water. Murky water. There were shovels and buckets. When one of us would find something we would show it to the others, and the search would continue. As I am bent over, digging blindly in the obscure water *SNAP!* I got bit! Probably just a hermit crab, but I was scared to death and it hurt!

To this day I have a paralyzing fear of being in ocean, lake, or river water that isn't COMPLETELY crystal clear. It scares me to death. When we are boating, I won't jump into water that is less than 15ish feet deep for fear that I will get to close to the bottom or touch something. If the water is only that deep, I will back into the water with a float.

No rowdy water fun for this girl....unless we're in a CHLORINATED POOL! It gives me the heebie-jeebies just thinking about lake water!!! *shivers*

Mama's Losin' It

Prompt #1 - Childhood fears that you've taken into your adult life

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