Monday, April 30, 2007

Survival of the Fittest

This is the bird that built a nest in our tree:

This is the mother bird sitting on her eggs, honing her biological instincts; nurturing her babies and warming them to life:

This is the protective mother bird, shooting me the evil eye for getting in too close, even with my telephoto lens, but what was I supposed to do it kept focusing on those stupid white flowers no matter which angle I tried and it was making me crazy:

This is the precious cargo the mother bird is doing her best to bring to fruition, and don't worry, we didn't scare her off for good, she keeps coming back:

Unfortunately, this is the tree the very stupid bird selected in which to build her nest:

It sits right next to our garage door, and for the first two days, every time we opened or shut the door, she flew off, which leads me to believe she is way too skittish to be a mother. It's also next to the driveway, the sidewalk, and most unfortunate, is the occasional recipient of a stray soccer or basketball courtesy of the Escoe children and neighborhood kids.

I fear for the future of the eggs.

Over-easy, anyone?


"Mom, I can't go to school today."

"Why's that?"

"Because my head hurts and my tummy hurts and I think I have a fever and my legs feel nauseous."

Mondays aren't good for my kids, can you tell?

Friday, April 27, 2007


Thanks very much for all your kind comments and well-wishes for my mom’s recovery. She’s back at our house now and doing much better. I told her if she wanted to extend her stay with us, surely there was a less dramatic way????

My mother is perhaps the biggest lightweight on the planet. It’s a good thing she doesn’t drink, or she’d have permanent brain damage from all the times she most likely would have fallen under the table. Aspirin puts her to sleep --- and sinus medicine? Into a coma. I’m not even overstating it.

I’ve never had kidney stones, so I can’t speak from experience about how much it hurts. But judging by the comments people have left on this site, and the personal stories I’ve been told, and the way my mother was behaving in the emergency room, I assume the pain of trying to pass a kidney stone must be on par with the agony of having hot lava poured through your nostrils. Hot lava mixed with nails and paint thinner. I’ve never seen my mother in that much pain, and I was never so glad in my entire life to see a nurse show up with pain medicine.** I think that even includes the time I almost delivered a 10+ pound baby sunny side up with no epidural.

I know they gave her a lot of stuff … Demerol, Phenergan, Toradol, and a few other things thrown in for good measure. I lost track. In between the whimpering and moaning and rocking on all fours and crying, she kept insisting, over and over, that she either needed to have her appendix cut out, immediately, or she was having a baby. The doctor ordered the meds pretty quickly, either because he could tell her level of pain was high, or because he didn’t want to be around to witness the birth. At one point, I turned to the nurse and asked if it was common for kidney stones to cause delirium, and she said actually, it wasn’t uncommon. My mom is normally a pretty stoic gal, but I guess it really hurts that stinking bad.

Once the meds kicked in, though, and her pain was better controlled, a whole ‘nother problem emerged. The fact that my mother is a complete lightweight and can’t handle her narcotics. She never got mean, or ugly, or nasty. She just completely lost her mind and couldn’t remember a damn thing.

This is the conversation we had, at least (and I am totally NOT exaggerating) a hundred times the other night between the hours of 10pm and 2am:

Betty, looking around the room in confusion: Where are we?

Kristie, patient for the first fifty times but then rolling her eyes a lot after that: We’re in the ER, mom.

B: How did we get here?

K: I drove you in my van.

B: You did? I don’t remember that.

K: Yes I did.

B: Why?

K: It seemed easier than calling an ambulance.

B: But why am I here?

K: Your side was hurting you.

B: It was? I don’t remember that.


B: Well how did I get in this room?

K: The {rude, ill-mannered, I-will-punch-him-in-the-neck-if-I-ever-see-him-again} ER tech brought you in a wheelchair.

B: I don’t remember that. I didn’t ride in a wheelchair.

K: Yes you did.

B: Why am I here?

K: They think you have a kidney stone.

B: A kidney stone? I don’t have time for that.

K: Well, we won’t know for sure until we get the results of your cat scan.

B: I had a cat scan?

K: Yes

B: When?

K: About half an hour ago.

B: Where was I?

K: Lying on a table, I assume.

B: No I didn’t.

{Pause for a few seconds while she would gaze around the room.}

B, panicked: Where are the kids?

K: They’re at home with Blaine.

B: What time is it?

K: It’s 11.

B: At NIGHT?!?!?

K: Yes, mom. 11 at night.

B: How long have I been here?

K: About three hours.

B: Three hours?!? Why am I here?

K: They think you have a kidney stone.

B: Well, it's late. You need to go home.

K: I think I’ll stay here for a while. I want to get your test results. {I never had any intention, whatsoever, of leaving her, but couldn’t persuade her to listen to me.}

B: I had a test?

K: Yes, mom, you had a cat scan.

B: When?

K: About {Five minutes later than the last time you asked me} ago.

B: Why?

K: They think you have a kidney stone.

B: I can’t have a kidney stone. Those hurt. I haven’t had any pain.


B: Where am I?

I swear, it was like talking to Ten-Second Tom from Fifty First Dates. At first it was bizarre, then it was annoying, then it got funny and I started giggling, at which point she got mad and told me to quit laughing at her. Which, naturally, made me laugh more. Because I’m supportive like that.

She still doesn’t remember going to the hospital, being in the ER, having the cat scan, being moved to a bed, or being in any pain, although she does at least believe me now and doesn’t question me a thousand times about it.

Which leads ME to believe, we should ALL have some of those drugs.

**That’s not exactly true. The night, two years ago, when Kendrie was in the hospital and her bone marrow was recovering from a bad virus, and she was literally screaming in the hospital bed and clutching her legs, and it took every ounce of control I had not to burst into hysterics because I just knew her cancer had returned ……… THAT was the time in my life I was most glad for pain relief medication. But on Wednesday night, my mom ran a close second. Big-giant watermelon-head baby gets pushed to third.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


I, Kristie Escoe, the girl who has something to say about everything, the girl voted “Most Likely To Talk To A Brick Wall” in high school, the girl who has put her foot in her mouth more times than is possible for mere mortals, was stunned speechless by the following conversation last night:

Emergency Room Tech: “So, when are you due?”

Kristie, who has practiced her answer to this question because she gets asked all the time and has perfected her chilly reply with the perfect amount of condescension in her voice in an attempt to render the questioner both embarrassed and uneasy: “I’m not pregnant. I guess I’m just fat.”

ER Tech: “You’re kidding. Did you just have a baby or something?”

Kristie, adding Death Glare Eyes and Snotty Tone to her reply: “Uh, yeah. A year ago.”

ER Tech, looking her up and down: “Hmmm. You got kind of lazy, didn’t you?”

Speech. Less.

Oh, wait. Why was I in the ER, you ask? So that my mother, "The Woman You Never Want To Have Visit You On Vacation" (because last time she was here she almost sliced off her thumb with a kitchen knife, for pete’s sake, and the time before that she pulled a muscle in her neck and I spent three damn hours in a Med Stop trying to convince the doctor we weren’t state-hopping drug abusers) picked last night to attempt to pass a kidney stone the size of an orange (her words, not mine.)

Never mind that the woman has never had kidney stones in her life, or that the only two times she’s EVER spent the night in a hospital was when she delivered my sister and me. She picked MY house, and OUR mini-vacation, for this exciting adventure.

Surgery was this morning. Lithotripsy, and more details, to follow.

PS. Thank you God, for letting Blaine get the flu and having his surgery be postponed. Otherwise he and I would have been in Augusta when this happened, and my mother would have had to call 9-1-1 and my children would have been traumatized and most likely taken away by DHS and probably be wards of the state by now, or worse, found a foster home that didn't require them to do all these pesky chores that we do and they'd like it better and want to stay there ..... amen.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Blaine was scheduled to have surgery today. (Keyword: was) In his normal operating mode of two steps forward, one and a half steps back, this surgery was to correct a complication from his last surgery. The inside of his upper lip adhered itself to the graft they did in his mouth, and now there is not enough room on the gum for the prosthodontic device they will use to give him teeth. Since getting teeth has been his goal since the beginning, it’s something we need to fix. They are going to have to cut away the lip from the gum, take a skin graft from his leg to stretch it out, and put an abutment in his mouth to hold the two pieces apart while they heal.

First, however, they needed him to drive to Ft. Gordon last week and have impressions made of his mouth so they could make the abutment. The guy has had more impressions made than anyone I’ve ever known, because after every surgery, the inside of his mouth, gums, palate, etc., is a different shape. So they keep doing them, over and over and over. Just remembering the one time I had them done, and how that disgusting gooey stuff leaked down the back of my throat but heaven forbid you cough because you’ll shoot those trays right out of your mouth …. pretty much makes me want to gag. In fact, I’m gagging now, right here at my keyboard, just thinking about it.


But! Blaine caught some kind of flu bug last week and was sick for three days. Lay in bed, alternately shaking with chills, then sweating with fever, throwing off the covers, huddling under the covers, then yelling at me to turn on the heat, turn off the heat, turn on the heat, why is it so stinking HOT in here -- kind of sick. And he was physically unable to make the six-hour round-trip drive to get the impressions made.

(FYI? I caught the same bug on Monday; in fact, am probably the one who gave it to him. The difference is that mine lasted twelve hours and I was up and around in time to make dinner. Him? Three days in bed. So either his body is completely worn down from all this treatment and is just not bouncing back like it’s supposed to, or he is the world’s most typical MAN.)

But, no impressions? No surgery.

We had already flown my mom here to watch the kids while we were gone for the surgery. Now, with the surgery postponed, and Blaine and I still in town, she and I have decided it’s our responsibility and American duty to spend as much of that time eating out and shopping whenever possible. She’s here, after all; hate to waste a perfectly good mini-vacation.

As for Blaine, they wanted to reschedule the surgery for mid-May. However, we’re going on vacation the first of June, and taking our BIG vacation the end of June. And considering how none of his surgeries seem to go as planned, and every procedure has a complication, and every complication has a set-back, and every set-back has a difficulty, and every difficulty hits a snag, and I have no doubt that the surgery he has planned will most likely devolve in a bizarre series of events and complications, and before we know it he’ll be having a hysterectomy or something, we decided …………… um, no.

That’s just not enough buffer time between the surgery and the summer vacations we have planned, and which we have looked forward to for so long. Our first vacation is a family vacation to the beach with The Lighthouse Organization. It is such a special, quality family time, that if Blaine couldn't take part in certain activities because he was still physically recovering from surgery, or giving himself IV antibiotics, or whacked out on narcotics, then I would pretty much have to kill him. And since Lighthouse is Christian retreat intent on helping families through the mental and emotional tolls of cancer treatment, I imagine killing one's spouse while on a Lighthouse vacation would be frowned upon.

So, in a nutshell, Blaine is taking a few months off. He’s going to spend the next six weeks resting, and recuperating, and healing before our vacations. He’ll schedule everything for when we return, and in the meantime, our plan is for him to feel better, and enjoy our summer together as a family. He's never had this long between surgeries and/or procedures, so it's almost like a mini-vacation for him, as well. Wish us luck he doesn’t step on a rusty nail, because I have no doubt that would lead to tetanus, and lock-jaw, and two months in full-body traction at the local hospital with me feeding him soup through a straw and cursing under my breath the entire time.

In the meantime, I have to go. My mom and I have some shopping to do, and then Chinese food is calling my name.

Monday, April 23, 2007

World's Worst Girlfriend

Kendrie’s boyfriend (future husband and father of her eighteen children, if you ask her) Nicholas is playing his first season of coach pitch baseball this spring, and she has been asking for weeks to attend a game. Most nights his games conflict with her soccer schedule, but tonight worked out so I said I would take her.

We drove up to the baseball complex and got out of the car, and then walked the half mile to the fields. {OK, so it’s not really half a mile, but I was in dress shoes and it sure felt like it.} About the time we reached the complex, I realized I didn’t know exactly where he was playing. There are six fields, and a ton of people milling around, and since I’m basically lazy and didn’t want to walk one step farther than I had to, I reached in my purse for my cell phone in order to call his parents and find out which field they were on. Naturally, my cell phone was still plugged up to the charger in my car. Figures.

So I turned to Kendrie and asked, “Do you know what field Nicholas is playing on tonight? Which number field?”

“Um, no” she said.

“Do you know what color his jersey is? We could probably find his team easier that way.”

“Um, no” she said.

“Well, do you even know his team name? That might help us find him.”

“Yes! I definitely know that! He plays for the Braves. See? I even wore my Braves t-shirt to cheer for him.”

And I looked down and realized that yes, she had changed out of the clothes she wore to school and put on her Braves t-shirt, in order to properly root for her boyfriend. Nice show of support, but still, we had no idea where to go.

So I sighed, and said, “Well, if you don’t know his shirt color, I guess we’ll just wander around until we find his parents or see him on a field, never mind that I’m carrying both chairs, my Sonic cup, my sweater, your jacket, and my purse, and will probably need corrective lumbar surgery before all is said and done.”

Kendrie looked up at me, with the saddest look on her face, and said: “I’m sorry I don’t know his shirt color. {pause} I am a TERRIBLE girlfriend!”

I couldn’t help but laugh at how sincere and dejected she was with herself.

We found the field, which was thankfully not too far. And we found Nicholas’ parents, and looked out on the field to see him. And saw that his team was called the Red Sox. And the team they were PLAYING AGAINST was the Braves.

And again, Kendrie shook her head disgustedly and said, “He’s not the Braves? I am a TERRIBLE girlfriend.”

Honey, no. Dating a boy, wrecking his car, running up his charge card, hacking into his e-mails, hocking his great-grandmother’s ring, dumping him for his best friend and leaving him with a crushed ego, an empty bank account, and a scorching case of herpes … THAT is a terrible girlfriend.

Wearing the opposing team’s jersey to a baseball game? Not so much.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Funny Is ....

An 7 year old who is so excited for tonight's soccer game that she wears her uniform to school, "to save time for later, so we get to the game quicker. I have lots of practicing to do."

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

It Would Be A Shame

(Anonymous -- The song is by a group called the F 50’s. If you browse iTunes, you’ll find some oldies that they’ve remixed into dance/exercise tunes, including a really fun version of Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini that I just love. The rest of you Anonymous {Anonymi??} - thanks for putting your names in your comments, I appreciate getting a chance to know who's who.)

I drove Kendrie to Atlanta today for her regularly scheduled three-month follow up visit at the oncology clinic. Because she is doing so well, because she is having no complications, or late-term side effects to date (knock knock, who's there? Oh, me! With the wood!) these visits are not stressful for me. They’re actually sort of fun, since we occasionally run into other cancer families we know, and get to see staff and employees (Hi, Kati!) that we miss from our regular-days.

And, every three months, it’s a great reminder to me (I know, STILL with the reminders, when will I shut up already??) about how blessed and lucky and fortunate we are, with how great Kendrie handled her treatment. Although it’s probably silly, I’m like a new parent at a well-baby exam, eager to show off my beautiful daughter and how wonderfully she is doing.

Today, waiting in the exam room for the doctor to come in, I looked over at Kendrie with pride, noting her growth and energy and vigor. Such a far, far cry from the days I had to push her in a stroller because she didn’t have the strength to walk from the parking lot -- bald, nauseous, fatigued. I felt so proud and happy today, and let my eyes drink in a good long look at the beauty and miracle that is my daughter.

And I noticed a few things.

Like the fact she seriously needs a haircut.

And what I thought was a rosy complexion is actually a sunburn from where I forgot to put sunscreen on her face at last weekend’s soccer game.

And how desperately her nails need to be clipped. And how despite taking a bath last night, there was dirt and grime under them. Eww.

And the huge ugly bruise on the back of her thigh that makes it look as though I’ve been beating her with a tire iron, which is in fact from falling off her brother’s bike ramp and landing on a scooter. {I have witnesses.}

And how the knees of her cargo pants were both stained, and one knee actually had a hole in it.

And how the toe of one of her tennis shoes has rubbed almost completely through, so I expect to see the toe of her sock (most likely a sock with a hole in the bottom, if I checked) will pop through any day now.

And I thought to myself, “Great. We got her through leukemia treatment and made it to the other side. It would be a shame now to lose her to DHS for neglect.”

And I said, “Kendrie, why are you wearing those old tennis shoes? The toes are practically worn out.”

She ignored me, so I tried again, “Honey, why didn’t you wear your school shoes? Or at least some that aren’t so worn out?”

And she shrugged, never taking her eyes off the television, and grunted, “Dunno”

So I figure if it’s not neglect, they’ll take her away in an attempt to improve her social skills. Although to be fair, she was mesmerized with the Timon and Pumba episode that the clinic had playing. It’s hard to carry on a conversation with your boring mother, when those two start their rascally shenanigans.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Thinking. And Reminding.

So, a few weeks ago, there was a thing floating around the blog world called the Thinking Blogger Awards. Basically, one blogger tagging another, then linking back, and then tagging five more, etc. It’s a way to introduce people to other blogs that you read, and in this particular instance, blogs that make you think. I had three people mention me on their blogs, LollyChester, Amy, and SimplyJenn. I’m supposed to link back to them, and encourage you to check out their sites, then list the five blogs that make *me* think the most. But you know what? I don’t read blogs to think. I read them to be entertained. Pretty much every single blog I read regularly, I do so because I find the writer to be funny, or interesting, or engaging. I guess I’m probably thinking, whether I realize it or not, but for the most part, I just read for fun. You can check them all out in my sidebar.

And while I certainly appreciate the mention on their sites, it also amuses me to imagine that this scrap of blog writing I do could be credited with making anyone else think. About anything more serious than chocolate muffins. Or Kyle Chandler. Or best of all, Kyle Chandler feeding me chocolate muffins. In bed. Which is what *I* think about most of the time. Most days I’m just writing whatever pops in my head, or whatever funny thing has happened; many days I sit in my chair and wonder what the heck I’m going to write; I have the occasional day or two when I can’t think of ANYTHING and wonder why I even bother when I’m so boring and uninspired. But overall, not so much with the deep, profound thinking.

I did have a moment, last week, a really big moment, where I was reminded. And sometimes, being reminded of something you already know is a bigger deal than thinking about something new. Or maybe it *is* thinking, just in a different way. So I’ll share that with you now, and thank the three bloggers who reminded me to look at things in a new light. It’s going to be a long entry, and probably very disjointed, but I promise if you’ll just hang in there until I’m finished, I’ll do my best to tie everything up with a shiny big bow at the end. You might not have done much deep thinking by then, but if you come away with the same reminder that I got, it will be a successful journal entry, at least in my humble opinion.

The background story: Blaine and I, as you might know, are gearing up for retirement from the military. Next spring he will have served his 20 years, and we’ve had just that long to think about what we’re going to do when we retire. A lot of people in the military retire wherever their last duty station is; they just stay there, if it’s someplace they really like. Or they’ll move back to whatever place they liked best, or whatever place they can get the job that will make them happiest. It’s great to think there is a whole wide world of options out there.

Then, there are people like Blaine and me, who have known from day one that we would return to our home state when we retire. Not only our home state, but specifically back to the area where we grew up. We like Georgia and could be perfectly happy staying here … I wouldn’t mind returning to Ohio, or even North Dakota. Those have been some of my favorite places to live. But all along, we have both felt strongly, and agreed, that once his twenty-odd years in the Air Force is up, we want to go back home. {Imagine me, clicking my ruby red slippers together … there’s no place like home; there’s no place like home.} We want to live near our family again; we want our kids to have a close relationship with their cousins; we want them to go to the same school that I attended, and have the same life experiences that we had. When it came to planning, we had the future of our family calculated down to the most minute detail, and it lay somewhere over that Oklahoma rainbow. {See? See how I figured out a way to tie it in to this great song, just for the excuse of playing it??? I'm clever like that.}

About a year ago, Blaine and I were faced with a difficult decision regarding our retirement plans. It’s not a decision I’m happy about, and unfortunately, it’s sort of a lose-lose situation for us. I won’t bore you with details (unless you really, really want them) but the bottom line is that we have been forced to sacrifice part of our retirement dream, in order to keep the part that is most important to us. The whole state of affairs can be summed up with words like “Unfair” and “Bogus” and “Sucks to be Us”. And for almost a year, I’ve been feeling sorry for myself about it.

I remind myself that material things don’t matter, and how can I gripe and complain about something so shallow when people are starving in this world, and the rain forest is being eradicated, and children are dying of cancer? And I remind myself to be grateful for the things I *do* have, and that this circumstance, while unfortunate, is NOT a REAL problem, and to just kwitch-yer-bellyaching-already. And it would work. For about five minutes. Then I would start feeling sorry for myself again.

You know what else? Feeling sorry for yourself, for an extended period of time, is exhausting. And boring for the people around you, who are sick and damn tired of hearing you complain. But if you’re really, truly unhappy about a situation, and you really, truly can’t figure a way out of it, it’s hard to see the bright side. Instead, you feel frustrated and annoyed and exhausted.

So, fast forward to last week.

Some of you remembered I had mentioned Blaine was going to Seattle for his follow-up scans. They do MRI’s and cat scans of his head and neck, checking to make sure the radiation killed off all the cancer cells, that the tumors look unchanged, and that there aren’t any new growths. It’s stressful under the best of times, but add that “unidentified” shoulder mass into the picture, and my stress was ratcheted up to the next level. Although we honestly didn’t think it was cancer, once that doctor said, “Well, the bottom of your shoulder is technically the top of your lungs, so we need to check for a tumor and lung cancer”, your mind can’t help but go there in the dark of the night.

Blaine had both the MRI ordered by his oncologist, and the cat scan ordered from the surgeon. He got them both the same day, and had separate consultations with each doctor afterwards. I hated that I couldn’t be there with him, but we had to choose between two big events this month, and elected for me to go with him later, for his next prosthodontic surgery. So, we agreed that when he met with the doctor, he would call me and put me on speaker phone so we could hear the news together, good or bad. It was as close as I could get to being there in person to support him.

I knew what time the consultation was, and so I called him. I was waiting to go into Wal-Mart, but apparently the doctor was running late and Blaine didn’t know how much longer it would be. We decided that I would turn my phone to vibrate and put it in my pocket so there would be no chance of me missing his call, and I went into Wal-Mart (otherwise known as Hell on Earth) to shop for life’s essentials like milk and eggs and fudge grahams. I knew I was nervous, but I didn’t realize how much. I was so distracted while shopping, and couldn’t think of anything else. There was a lot riding on the outcome of these tests, and it’s a sick, sick feeling in the pit of your stomach to wait for the results.

I kept waiting for Blaine to call … and waiting …. And when it was time for me to check out, I flipped my phone open because I couldn’t believe he hadn’t called yet and so I was going to call him. Only, there was a message on my phone. Apparently, I hadn’t felt it vibrate.

The phone number wasn’t Blaine’s …. But it was from the state of Washington.

So while the cashier was ringing me up, I listened to the message:

“Hi, Kristie, this is Dr. F. I’ve got Blaine here in my office and I’d like to discuss the results of the scans with both of you together. Call me at this number as soon as you can.”

And I seriously considered vomiting on the check out girl, so great was my nausea.

I finished paying, and pushed my cart out to the van, and unloaded my crap, with my mind and imagination whirling at a million miles an hour. Then, with shaking fingers, listened to the message again and copied down the number. Knowing all the while, that it would be bad news. Why else would the doctor call me personally, if not to deliver bad news? Why would he ask me to call HIM back, and not Blaine? I steeled myself for terrible news, and had already let the “It’s OK, he will get through this, we can handle this” coping part of my personality begin to take over.

By the time I wrote down his number, my hands were shaking so badly I could barely dial. My voice was quivering when I asked to speak with him, and I was practically in tears, anticipating this awful conversation. I assumed we would immediately begin discussing treatment for lung cancer. Blaine has already had his lifetime maximum dosage of radiation, and they say chemotherapy is ineffective for this type of cancer, so fine, we’ll just operate. He can lose a lobe or two of his lungs, right? So he’ll never get into freediving, that’s ok. But would they send him home, or do it in Seattle? Would they want to start right away? How quickly could my mom get out here to Georgia to watch the kids? Would they try chemo anyway? What are the survival rates for lung cancer? These were the things going through my head as I waited for the doctor to get on the line.

When he did, he simply said, “Hi, Kristie, this is Dr. F. Blaine and I are here, talking about the scans.” And because I was on speaker phone, there was an awkward little pause while he waited to see if I would say anything, so I simply said, “OK” because I didn’t trust myself or my voice to say anything else. Then I heard Blaine say in the background, “My Blackberry crashed, so I had the doctor call you on his phone”. And for the briefest of moments, I thought, “His Blackberry? It died? That’s why we’re using the doctor’s phone?” Then the doctor said, “Like I was just telling Blaine, I can’t give you a definitive answer until the tumor board meets later this week, but from what I’m looking at, things look good. The head and neck scans don’t show any new growth or problems.”

{awkward speaker phone pause}

And I said, “Um, ok. What about the shoulder?” and steeled myself for the blow.

And he replied, “Again, I’ll want to meet with the oncologist to be sure, and review those scans as well, but for now it looks good.”

And I was all sort of confused, like … what? Looks good? What does that mean?

So I said, “You mean it’s not cancer?”

“No,” he said, “I don’t think its cancer.”

And because I am seriously an idiot, I literally asked him, like Forrest Gump, “So, that’s good, right?”

The rest of the conversation was a complete blur, and Blaine said I sounded very, very thick and addled and stupid on their end of the phone. That’s because the rational, thinking part of my brain had completely shut down and simply couldn’t move past “It’s not cancer”. So I just mumbled “OK”, “I see”, and “Thank you” a whole lot.

Then we ended the call, and I hung up my cell phone. And put my hands and my head on the steering wheel, and burst into tears.

With my head bowed, I said a prayer and thanked God that it wasn’t lung cancer, and asked for continued resilience for the challenges he *is* facing. Then I raised my head, wiped my eyes, and took a deep breath. Only instead of looking at the Rhino Games across the strip mall, what flashed before my eyes was a vision of the retirement problem we’ve been facing.

{I know, I say “vision” and you think I’m going all psychic-turban-crystal-ball on you, but I swear that’s not it.}

It was like God suddenly put that problem right in my face, and the thought that went through my mind was, “None of that matters, as long as we are together and healthy.”

To be clearer, the exact thought that went through my head was, “How could you be such a shallow, selfish, greedy bitch? Can’t you see that none of that matters, as long as you are together and healthy? Pull your head out of your ass, you ignoramous, and quit feeling sorry for yourself. You have a family that loves you, three beautiful children, and for today, a husband who has been given a {relatively} clean bill of health. Get. Over. Yourself.”

And, so. I’m trying really, really hard to get over myself. I just needed that reminder, about what is important, and what is not. And how sometimes what we think is important? Really isn’t.

We didn’t get the “official” results from the tumor board until late Friday afternoon, but the oncologist felt the same; no lung cancer. They think it’s a benign hematoma, nothing more, from the surgery in November, and are prescribing physical therapy to help with the range of motion issues. We are moving forward with the next surgery on his mouth, which will take place at the end of this month. We are still working hard to get his sleep and pain issues under control, but hopefully will be seeing progress soon.

Most of all, it was a serious kick in the pants, that reminded me about what is important, and what is not.

All of the time, you should not sweat the small stuff. Sometimes, you should not even sweat the big stuff. And sometimes, the stuff you think is big, is really small.

Ever since Kendrie was diagnosed with cancer, I have had very little patience or empathy for people who whine about their problems, which aren’t really problems, but instead are nuisances or annoyances. And without realizing it, I had turned into one of those people. To be fair, this retirement issue is more than a petty annoyance. It’s the re-routing of a plan, twenty years in the making. It’s letting go of a dream that we’ve held dear for a very long time. But you know what? That’s all it is. It’s not my husband, or my child, being diagnosed with cancer. It’s not someone I love dying in a car accident, or being injured in Iraq, or contracting a fatal illness, or being shot and killed by a disgruntled co-worker. THOSE things are problems.

So if I could make you think, or remind you of just one thing today, it’s to hold dear the people that you love, and say a prayer of thankfulness for their good health, and your good fortune. It’s amazing how much better you will feel, if you can let go of any unnecessary baggage you might be carrying around. I’m still not sure how we’re going to resolve our retirement issue, at least not to our total happiness, but as long as Blaine and the kids are with me, and we can do it together, I’ll quit feeling sorry for myself about the small stuff. Our happily ever after still exists over the rainbow, and we’ll get there, just maybe in a different way. What matters is we get there together.

{Yes, I know, totally schmaltzy, but sometimes it takes a little schmaltz to get it through my thick head that I’ve been a jackass for far too long.}

PS. I pick Clyde.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Overheard today:

"Mommy and Daddy sitting in a tree,
First comes love, then comes marriage,
Then comes Daddy drinking alcohol."

I don't even know where to go with this.

What makes it even funnier is that he has never been more than a beer-on-Saturday-watching football-kind-of-guy, and that's even stopped. He hasn't had a drink in over two years.

Where she came up with it, I'll never know. But it made me giggle.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Definition of "lucky": A woman who gets to go away, twice in four weeks, with girlfriends to scrapbook for the weekend.

Definition of "superwife attempt": A woman who feels a little guilty for going away twice in four weeks to scrapbook, so before she leaves, she washes, folds and puts away four loads of laundry, spit-polishes the house, sweeps the floors, and leaves a tasty yet nourishing stew in the crockpot for her poor, neglected, abandoned family.

Definition of "supermom attempt": A woman who really starts feeling guilty, I mean super-guilty, about leaving all the time, so she decides to drive home late at night, on the second night of the scrapbook retreat, in order to attend her children's soccer games the next morning.

Revised definition of "lucky": A woman who, driving home at 2am, gets pulled over by the county sherriff, for a burned out headlamp, and when he asks her to get out of the mini-van, so he can show her that the elementary school license plate cover she has on her van is actually obstructing the tags on her plate, and is therefore illegal, and yet she doesn't get a ticket for either one.

Even "luckier": That it is not illegal to look like total crap. Because if that police officer had taken a good look at this woman, in her inside-out sweatshirt, pajama bottoms, house-shoes, no makeup, and scrunchie hair ............ well, if they gave tickets for "pathetic", that would have been one stiff fine, indeed.

Friday, April 13, 2007

I Want My MTV. Er, At Least My Television.

I have to say, I was a little surprised by the people who were so annoyed by my last posting, and felt the need to comment on it. It’s not surprising that I annoyed people ... I can be annoying. Quite annoying. Really, darn annoying. Like that scene in Dumb and Dumber about the most annoying sound in the world, only instead of a sound, it’s just me, talking and typing and talking and typing, about whatever I feel like, with no consideration to others, once again abusing the comma, just entertaining myself, on and on and on, endlessly. Being annoying. I do find it interesting, like my neighbor Amy said, that someone would rather spend their time and energy posting a rude comment, than simply clicking on the red “x”. You know, the red “x” on the monitor. Go ahead, look for it.

No, seriously. Go on. I’m waiting.

Maybe you’ve never noticed --- right up there, in the top right corner.

See it? Right there?

Goooood boy.

It’s not that I don’t welcome comments from people who disagree with me. I have no problem with that ... and in fact, enjoy hearing other people’s opinions. Diversity is what makes the world go ‘round. Well, that, and the sun’s gravitational pull, or something like that. I never really listened in Science class. I just enjoy it more when those opposing opinions come from people who can express them logically and tactfully and intelligently. Thankfully, the vast majority of people who comment on this site are interesting and funny and kind and generous. And I like you, even if we don’t see eye to eye. So even if you disagree with me, please, post away! Just don’t be smarmy. I don’t “do” smarmy, and I don’t like it in others.

Although I find it very curious that the anonymous smarmy ones really think they’re anonymous. Do they not know there is tracking software that allows me to figure out who they are? (Not that I do ... I’m just saying. Maybe I don’t. Then again, maybe I do.)

But, that doesn’t honestly explain my take on the smarmy comments. If your comment is so nasty-hateful-spiteful (and yes, I’ve had a few) that I feel it might be necessary to track and block you, I simply delete your comment. I’m the moderator .... the boss of this little speck on the internet, and guess what? I can delete any comment I want ... nanny nanny boo boo, stick your head in doo doo. And if you post a rude comment and I leave it on the site? It’s because quite frankly, it didn’t offend me that much. So really, it’s a lose-lose situation for people who like to try and stir things up. If you’re mean enough to get noticed, you’re deleted. And if you’re still here, you just weren’t mean enough. Quite honestly, this is way more attention than I intended to give the situation as it is. So let’s drop it, and move on, to my next annoying topic.

Although, wait, one more thing. If you *do* sign in as anonymous because you don’t have a google account, please remember to put your name in the body of the comment. I really love hearing from all of you (yes, yes, even the ones who disagree with me, seriously) and love even more, knowing who’s who.

So, let’s go back to the topic at hand: television. And the fact I don’t watch much of it. Maybe I should clarify. It’s not because I don’t like tv, or there’s not anything on it that intrigues me. Just the opposite. There are a LOT of shows that look interesting to me. It wouldn’t take much more than a Diet Dr. Pepper and a bag of Doritos to turn me into a bona-fide couch potato.

I’ve seen one episode of Gray’s Anatomy. I really liked it. It was the episode, about two years ago, where that one doctor (the Asian chick) was involved with that other one doctor (the brown guy) but only her one friend knew it, and he didn’t know she was pregnant and she fainted while watching that surgery, and then they whisked her into the operating room and realized she had an ectopic pregnancy. And I think in the same episode, if I’m remembering correctly, that one doctor (the gay one ... or is he gay on the show, or in real life? I don't know) was taking care of a patient who had Alzeheimers and thought he was her husband from years ago. And I think maybe her real daughter was the other doctor, the pretty one, who’s having an affair with the McDreamy guy (who, can I just say, I’ve loved since he played in Can’t Buy Me Love .... what girl wouldn’t want to be swept away on that riding lawn mower????) who was married to still yet another doctor. Or something like that.

But the whole thing was very captivating. Honestly.

However, I still don’t think it’s appropriate for my kids to watch (that’s MY opinion, for MY kids. I’m not preaching what is right for YOU and YOUR kids. Just ME and MY kids. Are we clear, Kemosabe?) and since I am pretty much, for the most part, basically, practically, ultimately, the most selfish person on the face of the planet, I don’t want to commit to Gray’s Anatomy or House or Boston Legal or Ugly Betty or any of the other shows that look interesting to me, if that means I have to miss a single minute of them because my kids are in the room. Except maybe for that new show, Something About the Underbelly. I think it premiered tonight. Did anyone watch it? It looks really hysterical. Was it hysterical? I bet it was hysterical. Then again, I'm easily amused.

You should have seen me when I used to be obsessed with Survivor, and the kids would holler from their beds that they needed milk, or could I turn off their nightlight, or put their book back on their bookshelf because their legs are broken and they can’t get out of bed, right at the exact minute I was finding out who was backstabbing who, or who was accusing who of stealing food, or who was secretly aligning with who for the next tribal council. Same thing when I used to watch Ally McBeal. My goodness, I loved that show. But about the time Ally was having some kind of nervous breakdown in the bathroom, or hallucinating about the latest of her boyfriends, one of the kids would wander in and ask what I was watching. And I would have to turn my attention away from the television, to my child, which exasperated me. Quite frankly, I got tired of them interrupting me, and having to mute the show to attend to their desires (impertinent needy children!) and missing key points and plot moments, so I just quit watching. I am lazy, and I got tired. So I quit.

But all this to say, I am not anti-tv, despite what I think I’ve led some of you to believe. I love TV. I am one of those people who could sit in front of it all day and all night and pop bon-bon after bon-bon into my mouth, and never accomplish another thing. And I’ve lived periods of my life just like that. As evidenced by the size of my ass, what with all the bon-bons.

So, let’s review, shall we?

My favorite shows as a kid (no bon bons yet):

Back in *MY* day (Dear Lord, I’ve officially entered “old fartdom” when I say that, haven’t I?) my family used to watch tv together almost every night. I think we had more time to watch television in the evenings, as opposed to the families of today, because my sister and I weren’t involved in a hundred and one activities. We didn’t start band and sports and school activities until junior high. (Yeah, that’s right, I’m so old it wasn’t even called “middle school” back then) My parents weren’t running us to and from games and practices and girl scouts and Awanas and ceramics classes, so we had more time for just hanging out and vegging in front of the tv. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but that’s the way it was for us, back in the 70’s.

Every night was something. We had a routine, and I found great comfort in the dependable schedule of it. I even had a certain spot on the living room floor I laid in every. single. night. On my back, on the right hand side of the tv, with my hands behind my head, and my feet up on the top right corner of the floor-console television. Ahhhhh, that was the life.

Monday night was Little House on the Prairie. At least the good shows, in the early years. Once they adopted that whiny little Albert, and then Nellie opened up her own restaurant, the show pretty much jumped the shark and I was done. But for quite a few years, Little House on the Prairie was the HIGHLIGHT of my Monday nights.

Tuesday nights was Happy Days, and Laverne and Shirley (Schlameel, Schlamazzo, Hassenpepper, Incorporated!) I remember being confused about the relationship between Laverne and Shirley, and Lenny and Squiggy. Did the girls like them, or hate them? And why was their hair so greasy, and their voices so annoying? (Lenny and Squiggy, not Laverne and Shirley, although Laverne’s voice was pretty darn annoying too, now that I think about it.)

Wednesday nights was Charlie’s Angels. I could never quite decide if I wanted to be Farrah Fawcett or Jaclyn Smith. Part of me wanted to be pretty; part of me wanted to be athletic. All I knew for sure was that I didn’t want to be Kate Jackson because she never looked like she was having as much fun as the other two, although she was obviously the smart one and I sort of wanted to be that too. It was a very confusing time for a young girl like myself.

I don’t remember what we watched on Thursdays and Fridays, but Saturday night, that was a biggie. TWO fabulous shows: Love Boat and Fantasy Island. “De plane! De plane!” Really, do I need to say more? Who didn’t love themselves a little Tattoo?

And the week was rounded out on Sunday nights with the Disney movie of the week. Whatever it was, we watched it. I used to love when that little Tinkerbell fairy would fly around the tv screen, dangling glittery magic from her wand, and then *TAP* the screen so “The Magical World of Disney” would show up in gold letters. I vaguely remember lots of Herbie the Love Bug, lots of Benji, and the Apple Dumpling Gang. And I remember that Escape to Witch Mountain scared the crap out of me, probably the reason I don't watch scary movies to this day. By the time The Muppets hit the scene, we were on to Junior High and our own merry-go-round of extra-curricular activities, and we rarely watched tv.

Then high school came, and I was even busier, and hardly ever watched tv. Except for MTV. I could **always** make time to watch MTV, especially the Thriller video from Michael Jackson, which was pretty much magic on the screen. That was back when they actually showed music videos, something the youth of today probably can’t imagine.

Then college during the day and working nights --- no time for tv.

Then work during the day and college at night --- no time for tv.

Then marriage, and work during the day, and lots of The Sex during the night, so no real use for tv.

Then I turned 21, and wow! I can drink legally! Who needs tv when you’ve got nightclubs?!?!?

Then Blaine and I wound up in Minot, North Dakota, where six months out of the year there is snow on the ground and sub-zero temperatures, where you plug your car into a heater so it will start in the morning (I am not even making that up) and you know what? There is not a lot else to do when you’re housebound for six months BUT watch tv. I mean, let’s be honest, even The Sex only takes up so much of your time and you’ve got to find something else to fill up the snow-filled, freezing ass months.

So we got reeeeeeeaaaaaaaalllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyy into television. We were too cheap to pay for HBO or Cinemax, so we watched lots of prime-time and syndication.

We sat down to dinner every night at the coffee table (please tell me all young, childless people do that .... eat in front of the tv on the coffee table?) and watched Married With Children. Not the most high-brow of shows, but that Bundy family just cracked us up.

In fact, that was pretty much “The Era of the Sitcom” as far as Blaine and I were concerned ... we enjoyed lots of them. Cosby Show, Rosanne, Cheers, Wings, Murphy Brown .... and of course, the onset of America’s Funniest Home Videos (back when the videos were actually funny and not staged by people desperate to win ten thousand dollars.)

As we grew older and more mature (ha!) we turned our attention to the one-hour dramas that were coming out.

We LOVED Northern Exposure. Loved everything about it. In fact, last Christmas I bought Blaine Season One as a gift. It came wrapped in a mini blaze-orange puffy coat, which cracked me up. Everything about this show cracked us up.

We also loved Homefront, although sadly, the critics didn’t. Did anyone else watch this? It was a wonderful show, and facilitated the beginning of my lifelong crush on Kyle Chandler. A crush of ginormous proportions, that continues to this day, I must confess.

But our favorite show during those years was thirtysomething. You have no idea how much we loved that show. No idea. We would lay in bed at night, after watching the show, and literally feel sick with worry about Nancy’s ovarian cancer, and whether Michael and Elliot would be able to save their ad agency. Hope used to get on my nerves because she was all whiny, but when Gary was killed in that bicycle accident? Oh, a small part of me died inside that day, as well. LOVED this show! (as an aside, my kids’ current favorite is anything involving “The Naked Brothers Band” and did you know that movie/show is produced by Polly Draper, who played Ellyn on thirtysomething, and she is the real-life mom to Nat and Alex Wolfe? Just a little piece of trivia for you.) When thirtysomething was taken off the air, I wrote my first (and last) piece of gripy mail to ABC for canceling such a fabulous show. Shockingly, they didn't respond.

Then, we moved to OKC, and like the rest of the nation, got caught up in the E.R./Friends/Seinfield phenomenon.

Then after that we started having babies and were too busy changing diapers and wiping strained peas from our brow to watch much tv. Then pretty much, you know the rest of the story .... young children, bedtimes, shows not appropriate, blah blah.

So, rambling aside, for better or worse, THAT is my chronicled tv life for your reading pleasure. Probably not too pleasurable, actually, but great fun for me to reminisce about long-lost shows that I enjoyed. Sooooo, thanks! for reminding me of guilty pleasures, like sitting in front of the tv, watching Allie McBeal and eating chocolate chip cookie dough for dinner.

Which, really, isn’t too different from some of my nights now. Just that now we watch Zoey 101 and Drake and Josh. And maybe a little more Dancing with the Stars, if I can figure out a way to get over my self-righteous indignation at the commercials.

Post a note and let me know what you think about these long-lost favorite tv shows (even if you disagree with me ... remember .... I'm open minded!) and share your shows, too. But don’t you even think about making any kind of smarmy comment about the love of my life, Kyle Chandler, or I will delete your comment and block your IP address so fast your head will spin.

OHMYSTARS!!!!! I just googled Kyle Chandler to make sure I was spelling his name correctly (why yes, of course you can fantasize for years about a celebrity without knowing how to spell his name) and I just discovered he’s had a guest-spot on Gray’s Anatomy this season!!! Why didn’t any of you TELL ME?!?!?!?!?!? I recant, I recant! I’ll be watching Gray’s Anatomy, from now on, starting ........ starting ............ shit, what night of the week is it on??????

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Family Friendly?

One more thing; am I the only one a little put off by the entertainment on last night’s show?

DWTS is the one show a week I allow my children to watch. Remember, we do the “No TV Monday through Thursday” rule at our house. No cartoons, no Disney channel, no movies, no DVDs, no PBS, no Nick at Night, for God’s SAKE no prime time; nothing. And yes, I realize breaking that rule just so **I** can watch DWTS is cheating, in a totally convenient, self-serving sort of way. Whatever.

I convince myself that it is ok, because we all enjoy the show, we spend our time together, watching it, and talking and laughing, and I count it as “quality family time”. My kids get a big kick out of the fact they get to stay up “late”, and last night I smeared peanut butter on bananas (gag) for them as a snack at 9pm, and they really thought they were living large. Simply put, it’s a fun way for our family to spend our evening together. (Bogus, I know, but I really love this show and will go to great lengths to justify my obsession.)

I’ve also felt it was an appropriate show to allow my children to watch because it’s family friendly --- no cursing, no violence, no sex (unless you count the unfortunate McStiffy comment, and the “juggling balls” statements which were cracking me up and left my kids with quizzical looks on their faces, asking me “What’s so funny, Mom?”) It’s just a good, clean show, and for someone like me who is pretty anal about what her kids watch on TV, I was happy with it and thought it was ok.

But last night’s “Save A Horse, Ride a Cowboy” performance? Completely inappropriate for children, in my opinion. Entertaining, yes. I enjoyed it immensely. But not OK for my kids. Not only the suggestive nature of the words of the song, but the dancing as well. It just wasn’t essential for my 7-yr old to see that. Not wanting to make a big deal of it and perhaps make them even more curious, I tried casually muting it so they couldn’t hear the singing. But damn that public service closed-captioning!! {shaking fist at the tv} They could still read all the words. Damn that public school system, for teaching them how to read!! {shaking both fists now}

I could have gotten over that, but What. On. Earth. is up with the previews for Grays’ Anatomy and Desperate Housewives????? The naked people in bed, the kissing, the no-so-subtle innuendo, the heaving bosoms? Are those previews SERIOUSLY considered appropriate for 9pm television? It goes without saying we don't watch the shows .... but even the previews were over-the top and inappropriate. And here on the East Coast, prime-time doesn't even BEGIN until 8pm, so those previews are on during the very first house of prime time, which I think is way too soon. If you live in CST, you get prime time starting at 7pm. I know of very few 10-yr olds who are in bed before 7pm. Even my kids had some reactions:

Kendrie: “What on earth are they doing?”

Brayden: “Um, THAT was inappropriate!”

Kellen: “Gross”

And before any of you suggest that I TiVo it and fast-forward through the commercials, no thanks. Don’t own one, have no intention of buying one. We watch one tv show a week, and this is it. I’m not buying a DVR just for that one show. And no, *owning* the DVR won’t be the greatest thing I’ve ever done, because I just don’t watch TV. It would be the second biggest waste of money, since I bought that clothes rack/treadmill in my bedroom.

(Yes, I know, I’m all snobby and superior about how I don’t waste my higher-quality brain cells on television, with its inferior and lowly entertainment qualities …. But you try and take my computer away from me and I will rip your arm out of its socket and beat you about the head with it. Right after I read People magazine online, and then download some porn for my kids to watch tonight, since Dancing With The Stars doesn’t come on again until next Monday and I guess they need something to watch in the meantime.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

DWTS -- Spoiler Alert

Hey, if you're on the West Coast, cover your eyes before reading any further. :)

Although I wasn't organized enough to post before the show, I totally called it. Leeza Gibbons is who I would have voted off, who I thought *should* be voted off, and who I thought *would* be voted off. Although she might have been the smiliest, most gracious loser ever. The heck with "I hope I look like that when I'm 50" ---- I wish I looked like that now!

Oh, sure, it's easy for me to say she was the one I predicted, since I've actually watched the results episode, but I swear I'm not just saying that. You can even ask my kids. I. Totally. Called. It.

And am I the only one, or does John Ratzenberger's partner scare the heck out of anyone else?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Take the Pebble from My Hand, Grasshopper

Proof of why I shouldn't homeschool.


Did I mention, EVER?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

All Night

Dear State of Virginia,

Thank you for the perfectly timed, albeit quick, warm front that came through while we were visiting you on vacation earlier this week. The warm sunlight on our faces was the perfect accompaniment to our sightseeing.

The cherry blossoms were beautiful.

The sunshine was just warm enough to make my kids whiny for drinks, and cause me to sweat like a pack mule while I carried my youngest child up and down the mall. Obviously, her legs are broken, and no one told me.

But all told, it was a lovely visit and the warm temperatures were cheerful indeed.


Dear State of Pennsylvania,

You are beautiful, to be sure.

The rolling hills, picturesque green farmland, cattle and horses grazing, scenic old barns ….. it was the wonderful sort of Americana scenery that makes me smile inside with happiness.

Granted, it was a little chilly the day we toured your historic downtown district,

but the Cinnabon stand at the train station made everything worthwhile.

However, while I certainly enjoyed my time in your fair state, I do have one observation …… your toll roads are in a tragic state of neglect and disrepair. While I understand the $17 I spent on tolls is certainly not a lot of money, and most likely wouldn’t go far, I do respectfully suggest you spend every penny, every single penny, on blacktopping. My spine thanks you, as does my van suspension.


Dear State of Georgia,

The hell?????

When we parted ways a mere seven days ago, it was 82 degrees and we had packed away our winter clothes, except for those we (thankfully) took to Pennsylvania. When we arrived back home, at 4 am this morning, it was 41 degrees and hasn’t warmed up much since then. Please do something about that. My cold fingers and toes will thank you.

Yes, that’s right. All night. I drove all night to get home. Or at least as "all night" as 4am. At 8pm, when we *should* have stopped, I couldn’t bear the thought of facing another eight hours in the van the next day. At 11pm, when I *almost* stopped, I couldn’t bear the thought of dragging three sleeping children into a hotel.

It wasn’t a bad drive, just long. Especially at 1am, with three hours to go, when my iPod battery died, I was the only one awake in the van, and the thought of eating one more Twizzler to stay awake was enough to make me retch.

Other than that, though, a nice drive indeed.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Vacation Thoughts #3


The Liberty Bell.

Independence Hall.

The home of Betsy Ross.

The life of Benjamin Franklin.

History. Patriotism. Pride.

Three whiny, obnoxious, ungrateful, ill-mannered, rude, argumentative children.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Vacation Thoughts #2

Because you care about your children, and want to broaden their horizons and expose them to culture and history, you will schlep yourself onto the metro, with the gazillion other families also on Spring Break, and take them to the mall. And walk them up and down the mall, covering approximately twenty seven miles, pointing out monuments, and discussing the founding fathers, and what it means to be inspirational and a hero. You will enrich their little minds with details about the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Monument, and the Declaration of Independence, and the Gettysburg Address, and talk about the Vietnam War, and World War II, and the Capitol, and the White House, and the beauty of cherry blossoms. And you will try to impress upon them the significance of the things they are seeing, and to appreciate the ideals and beliefs upon which our great nation was founded, and the amazing men and women who made these things possible.

And your children will gaze upon the monuments. For about five seconds.

Then child number one will complain about how hot she is and how none of the vendors near the Lincoln Monument sell ice cream.

And child number three will complain about how much her legs hurt and demand to be carried the second half of the twenty-seven miles, and whine until you give in, never mind that she weighs 55 pounds and is giving her mom and dad both hernias as they swap off.

And child number two will simply ask, in a bored and unimpressed tone, how much longer? Because they are in the middle of a Pac-Man contest on the computer at the hosts' home and that is much more important than looking at a bunch of buildings.

And you? Well, you will suddenly realize that the vacation you are taking this summer? The adults-only, no-children vacation? The one where Grandma Betty will be babysitting while you and four adult friends will be seeing grown up things that don't involve ice cream (well, maybe a little ice cream) or Pac-Man contests or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. That despite how much you love your kids ...........

That vacation cannot come soon enough.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Vacation Thoughts #1

I have experienced the beauty that is a SuperTarget.

There is no need for me to leave the state of Virgina.