Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Mustache Thing

My 17 yr. old son is growing a mustache... It's not completely there yet but MY GOD, facial hair! I asked him, "Do you plan to shave it off?" He said, "No Way, I really like it!" I, on the other hand am all for shaving because even though he's now taller than me, it's too much of a reminder that he's not a little boy anymore.

Sigh* Where has the time gone?

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

The AMAZING Engine Warning Light

Yesterday on our way to Baltimore the Engine Warning Light appeared on my dash...??? "Should I stop at the next rest stop?" I asked my friend. "And do what?" she said. "Check the oil, I guess." "Well, if it's low on oil wouldn't the oil light be on?" she explained. "Your right, so should I just keep on driving?" Her reply, "That's what I'd do." We laughed, kept on driving and made it all the way to Baltimore and back with the Engine Warning Light still illuminated. I mean it wasn't like the car was overheating or smoking or anything.

Today I took my van into the dealership and explained to the service guy the brief conversation my friend and I had about the Engine Warning Light and told him that it truly was the most amazingly sensitive sensor I'd EVER encounterd as it was somehow able to sense that the IRS had just transferred our refund into our bank account... How AMAZING is THAT!?

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Big Girls on Escalators

Whilst visitng the National Aquarium in Baltimore today our party made its way toward the escalator which transports the visitors to the next floor of exhibits. Suspended above the escalator are several illuminated photographs of water, amphibians and sea life. As you ascend the sounds of what I suppose are mating frogs or some such creature which groans quite audibly greet you along the way... Just ahead of me on the escalator was an extremely large woman. I'll admit it was juvenile of me, but I couldn't help trying to supress giggles as the sounds of low gutteral groans and screeches, which seemed to eminate from the depths of the escalator motors echoed around us. I looked back behind me to find my girlfriend giggling also... Then it occurred to me, once the lady in front of me stepped off the escalator I was the fat woman at the top of the ramp for whom the escalator seemed to groan... Later, I embraced my largess with a highly caloric lunch at 'The Cheesecake Factory'... It's time we let the world know, 'Big Girls You Are Beautiful'!

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Monday, April 16, 2007

This is what 14 looks like...

Today my daughter turned 14. For her a milestone, if all you know are the ages 1 thru 13.

Having read the post about my son turning 17 she asked me to blog about her birth...

Honey, I'd love to but having a 3 yr. old at the time leaves my memories rather clouded and vague... I think I've told you everything I know, which sadly isn't much... Though, I don't mind telling you again how thrilled I was when the doctor told me "It's a Girl!"... And you'll remember me telling you that my first thought was, "I get to be the mother of a bride."... (So sue me, I like to plan ahead.) However, I've always figured that was the kiss of death. Just for thinking it, you're bound to decide never to marry and if you do, you'll probably elope.

What I want to do is tell you how incredibly proud I am of you. Today for instance, we had a wonderful day planned... Baltimore Inner Harbor, The Aquarium & The Cheesecake Factory for lunch all with our best friends... A Moms & Daughters day in the city! Sadly, the weather has played an evil trick and sent gale force winds and flooding our way. Crossing that I-95 bridge over the Susquehanna River was a dicey proposition on a day when the wind is gusting up to 50 miles an hour. Especially when you're on the road with a caravan of 18 wheelers. I was so concerned about waking you this morning to break the news that I decided we should postpone our trip. I thought certain that you'd be terribly disappointed and I'd have to console you with promises. Instead, this 14 yr. old well poised young lady greeted me with hugs and smiles and agreement that Wednesday, when the wind dies down, would be a much better day to celebrate. Maybe you knew I would scold you for complaining, but I don't think so. You've faced a few other disappointments lately with such grace. Like that art piece you worked on for weeks that blew up in the kiln. Shoot, even Heather (the owner), was afraid to tell you about it. But with a maturity I didn't know you had, you simply shrugged your shoulders and said, "I'm not sculpting scales again."

In the past few weeks I've seen so many examples of you growing into a thoughtful and mature individual. I watched you just the other day stop and hold the door open for 5 or 6 people, before entering the shop yourself... A seemingly small thing, but it touched my heart none-the-less because it meant you were thinking of others. Recently you helped defend a boy at school who pretty much needs at least one person on his side because he's so difficult to get along with... But you saw an injustice and you stepped in... Kudos to you for being a friend by putting yourself in someone else's shoes and realizing how uncomfortable they are. I've also noticed a big difference in the way you relate to your brother... Something I know is difficult for you. I never had an older brother, especially one who was so subtle with words that one sentence could become a tease so wicked sharp, that it could cut you to the bone. As your mom, I try to understand... but I know I'm quicker to blame you for being mean than I am your brother. Lately though, you've been doing what I like to refer to as, "Using your words"... And maybe because you've been able to work things out verbally, you've been less reluctant to show a little more affection towards him. Heck, maybe there's hope that someday after Dad and I move away to our own little retirement village you two will call eachother on the phone once in a while, just to say Hi!

So maybe this isn't the blog post you were expecting babe. But it is a wonderful oppurtunity to tell you that even though they've passed too swiftly, I absolutely loved the years of birth through 13 and I wouldn't trade a moment of it for the world... But 14, Fourteen is already really Awesome!

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Good News - Bad News

Good News - The Birth Certificates were located in the safe deposit box.

Bad News - Alzheimer's meds are expensive.

Side Note: Neither my sons, nor my daughters birth certificates list the time of their birth... Isn't THAT a find how do you do!


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Land of the Lost...

Friday night my kids began wondering aloud to me about the exact time they were born. I made a 'guesstimate' but that wasn't good enough. My daughter wanted to wake her brother on his birthday at the exact moment he was born.

"Okay, Okay!" I said, "I happen to know EXACTLY where your birth certificates are and I'll just get them for you." Two years ago we went on a family cruise vacation and I remembered having to take birth certificates along for proof of citizenship. Being 'over-the-top organized' I purchased a state of the art organizational 'Trapper Keeper' for every important paper we'd need for the trip. Ever since then I've reminded myself that's where all of the important papers are contained in case I need them. So all smug and sure of myself I immediately located my state of the art organizational 'Trapper Keeper' from my closet shelf and began leafing through the important papers within. Saying aloud, "Here we are." Only to find that the folder which I thought had contained the birth certificates was completely void of important papers. In fact, each and ever paper within my all important state of the art organizational 'Trapper Keeper' was completely worthless. Why in the world would I need to keep papers detailing shore excursions, the daily news aboard ship and at least 5 family portraits for which we paid FAR too much money and each and every family member looks like the village idiot?

"Okay, don't panic!" I tell myself. Surely the birth certificates are in the file cabinent in the office.... NOPE! Then maybe they're in this bin or that shelf?.... NOPE!... NOPE!... NOPE!... NOPE! A little bit of panic sets in, but after all it's not the end of the world if our kids don't know the exact minute they were born. I tried to search through a couple of bookshelves for the kids baby scrapbooks I made years ago, but I couldn't even find those. Truth is, at that point I was tired and not trying very hard. "Not that important." I repeat to myself.

This morning my husband calls me from work to explain that the company insurance policy is going through a procedural update and needs to verify the birth of dependants on the policy. (Don't you just love the irony here?) And yes, by May 1st... Each employee covered under said insurance policy, must send a copy of their dependants birth certificates. Wee bit of panic beginning to set in now.

I have one last shining hope before I have to tear the entire house apart... And that is 'The Safe Deposit Box'. It is my fervent hope that the day I took the birth certificates OUT of the all important, state of the art, organizational 'Trapper Keeper', I was suffering from some form of fog as I have absolutely no memory whatsoever of ever having returned those important papers to their proper place.

I don't know what's worse... Not being able to find the birth certificates or going to the safe deposit box and finding them safely tucked away. Then having to come to the realization that it is indeed time to start taking Alzheimer's meds. and picking out a nice Elder-Care facility.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Literal Comedy

Following the 'Master's Tournament' on Saturday night, my husband was flipping channels on the tv and came upon the TBS Network. As we sat there together watching whatever was on at the time, an advertiser came on announcing, "The Day After Tomorrow will be airing on Tuesday." Without missing a beat we turned to eachother and said, "Tuesday? That's the day after the day after tomorrow."

There's little doubt that over the past 23 yrs. our brains eventually melded into one second rate comic.


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Whatever happened to... Anna Banana Sunday?

It's been a long while since I've posted a pic of Anna... So here goes -

It's an unfortunate fact that there might not be many more pics of Anna Banana... Oh don't worry, she's feeling fine... We haven't fed her any tainted dog food (as far as we know?) and she's still wagging her tail and licking the dishwasher door as I load dirty dishes.

Our problem is quite simply, Anna has recently exhibited camera phobia. All she has to hear is the case being opened and she'll run and hide. The picture above was taken under extreme duress... See how she turns her face away and pretends I'm not there? We think this phenomenon began when the flash was used to photograph her. In case you didn't know already, Anna is wacko-crazy terrifed of thunderstorms. You've heard of 'Chicken Little'?... Anna is 'Chicken Fur Butt'... All of our attempts to persuade her that NO, the sky is not falling, have little effect on the drooling, shivering pile of goo she becomes when she believes that death is imminent. For Anna, flash photography seems to be the newest prognosticator that the end of the world is nigh.

We're gonna try working on this phobia. It'll take time and baby steps and a definite reduction in low light setting photos... But for now just think of her as camera shy.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

17 Years

17 Years ago I was ready, naive but READY! We'd been married over 6 yrs. and I would've been perfectly happy to have gotten pregnant on my wedding night... I couldn't WAIT to be a Mom. After all, I knew what to expect. I'd been babysitting since I was 11. Not just ANY babysitting mind you, but being a member of the Mormon Church is like having a black-belt in babysitting. Taking on 2, 4 even 6 kids at one time, sometimes for a week while their mother accompanied their father on a business trip... Which meant getting 5 lunches made and the baby packed off to the sitters house... Walk the kids to their school, my sister and I just barely making it to our school in time for the first bell. So ya, I knew what I was in for... But the best part was, this wasn't someone elses kid... This was one of my very own, my husbands and my own flesh and blood. Who would he look like? What would his temperment be? Was it a he or a she? 9 Months is an eternity when you have my extreme lack of ability to be patient. 17 years ago the nurse walked into my hospital room and informed me that it was time to push... However, having received an epidural meant it would most likely be another couple of hours before the baby arrived... Well, let's just say that I told her in no uncertain terms that I'd waited too long for "another couple hours" of waiting and pushed my son into the world in under 30 minutes. I told you I lacked patience!

17 years ago I became a Mom. I'd like to say it was the single most beautiful moment of my life... Instead I was confused. I really thought I was having a girl? Isn't that what all of the prognosticators told me?... "Oh, you're just destined to have a girl... You're such a girly girl yourself."... or... "You're carrying a girl, I can tell by the way you're carrying."... or... "I had a dream it was going to be a girl." Funny, I had a dream one night that I gave birth to a litter of puppies... Sure, they were cute but I was so disappointed they weren't the baby I wanted so badly. So there I lay on the table, watching my husband hold his son for the first time and the smile on his face was bigger than any I'd ever seen. My thought, "Well, at least he's happy." This was a man so terrified of fatherhood when I'd grab his hand and place it against my belly in order to feel the baby kick [at which point the baby would immediately stop moving] he would say, "I KNOW something's in there, OKAY?!" Yet there he was, 17 years ago, holding his son close with all the care of a seasoned veteran. I lay there looking forward to the moment I would get to hold my baby close and bond with him but the nurses said he was having some trouble breathing and whisked him away before I could wrap him in my arms... The confusion mounted and a cloud of disappointment descended. This wasn't the way I pictured it? All those years I played the birthing scene over in my head, it never worked out like this? All I felt at that time was empty and kind of sad... and confused.

I can't remember how long it was before I left recovery and was given a hospital room, but it must've been at least 2 hours. Not long after that a nurse stuck her head in and asked if I was ready to have my son brought to me. I said, "Yes." but deep inside I was still confused and a little scared. What if I wasn't ready for this after all? What if, because of the emotions I had clouding my head, I wasn't cut out to be someones Mother? After all, the woman who gave birth to me was far from nurturing and that was the most frightening notion of all... What if I was like her?

A few minutes passed and in came the nurse with a tiny bundle in one of those clear plastic bins on wheels. She carefully lifted a soft, pink, mostly bald, baby boy from the layette into my arms and I looked into the most beautiful face I'd ever seen. Perfect in every way... This was THE moment... This is when I fell in LOVE with my son! There weren't any tears at the time, though there are now when I think back to that moment. There wasn't a choir of angels or the soundtrack of some shmaltzy Hollywood epic playing in the backround. The room didn't get any brighter nor the flowers suddenly burst into brilliant bloom. Quite simply, Love as I knew it grew by immense proportions that day, 17 years ago. It wasn't anything like I thought it would be, this thing called Motherhood. And No, I wasn't prepared... Not in the least. Who could be prepared for such a powerful force? How can someone prepare to fall in love so deeply with something so small and helpless that you've only just me? And how can you know at that time the love you feel will grow even greater and more profound as this tiny creature grows into a person.

17 years... It's gone by SO quickly. I remember many times when he was small, saying to myself, "I can't wait 'til he get's big enough to do this." ... or... "I wonder what he'll be like when he's this big, or that age?" I hope I didn't wish it away? It all went by with amazing swiftness. I LOVE him SO much and he's made me incredibly proud. He's enriched my life in so many ways. He's made me funnier, more patient, kinder, a better example, happier, more loving and given me so much to be thankful for. He's made being a mother better than I EVER could've imagined it would be... For that I'm very grateful.

Happy 17th Birthday Bubbie
Your Mom

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Friday, April 06, 2007

'Martha Mom' - The end of an era

Yesterday I had to run to the drugstore for pharmaceuticals. Life has been a huge rush lately and yesterday was one of those days. My daughter was helping me pick out the various items we needed and before rushing her off to her scultping class I turned to her in the store and said, "So, do you want to just go ahead and pick out your chocolate Easter bunny now?" Her brow furrowed at me just slightly and I picked up on the notion that she was hurt by my nonchalance regarding what used to be considered a hallowed event during which we upheld the fantasy that a giant rodent hopped around our house, hiding plastic eggs with clues, candy and prizes. So I immediately added, "Or does that kind of ruin it for you on Easter morning?"... Before she could answer I ran a quick tally in my head of all the things I have on my TO DO List between that moment and Sunday morning and said, "So which one do you want... and why don't you pick something out for your brother too?"

The Mom of a mere 5 yrs. ago would have been horrified by such a lackluster effort to maintain the joy and tradition of a major family holiday. However, the Mom of 2007... the Mom of a 14 and a 17 yr. old really thinks it's time to take a breather and just enjoy moments rather than the traditions she carried out for two much younger children. So It's official, this year there won't be any elaborate plastic egg hunts through the house and/or park in search of various candies and goodies. No baskets filled with that cursed plastic grass which I'd still be sucking up in the vacuum months after its usefullness. There WILL however, be a couple of chocolate bunnies from which I'll manage to eek out a piece of an ear or a foot... And just to make sure I get a piece, I told my daughter to pick out a couple packages of 'Peeps' too!

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Way to go Glendon!

Wednesday our local newspaper 'The Cecil Whig' reports the weddings registered in our county... And when you live in this part of the country Marriage Announcements can get mighty interestin' if ya know what I mean.

Reading the announcements is made all the more a delightful experience by calling my mother-in-law so I can share the details. Yesterday I called her with the following announcement:

Glendon Ennes Rayson 91, of Perryville wed Sarah I. Weidal 76, of Baltimore.

My Mother-in-laws comment: "Well, I guess that proves you're never too old for a trophy bride."

That's why I married my husband, he gets his sense of humor from his mother.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Dr. Perfect

It's simply tragic for one to sit around staring at one's computer hoping for an item to come to mind for a blog entry... I tend to cheat by searching around for ideas. Maybe I should invest in 'Mighty Girl's book'... However, Lime saved me today with this subject -

My son is thankfully past the orthodontia stage. He's on the other side now with a mouthful of beautiful straight teeth which would not have been possible without 'Dr. Perfect'... 'Dr. Perfect' can not be described in any other manner than 'Cheesy Game Show Host'... His hair could withstand an F-5 Hurricane... His tan is only comparable to George Hamilton and I swear when he smiles a brilliant sparkling star shines from his right cuspid and I hear the sound of a crystal champagne flute being tapped by a silver spoon. In a word... The guy REPULSES me! He's a glad-hander, a phoney and he drives a sporty little red Mercedes that I'm sure we made the down payment on. But dammit, he's a freakin' good orthodontist!

Next month my daughter will begin her foray into the wonderful world of braces. She's met 'Dr. Perfect' many times. Had an early appliance put in many years ago. Something most parents of kids with small palettes are familiar with, known as a 'Turtle'... She's met with 'Dr. Perfect' at least every 6 months for the past 6 yrs. only to be informed that her teeth just weren't ready yet... My daughter has a mouth full of teeth that are growing at a sloth like pace.

I'm so looking forward to the final result of my daughters orthodontia... Which if I'm patient will only take about 3 years. My daughter on the other hand would much prefer forgoing the whole experience for 3 yrs. of indulging in copious amounts of skittles and gummy worms... And much like me, 'Dr. Perfect' makes her want to gag... and that's BEFORE he puts his fingers near her mouth.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

15 Minutes of Fame

A woman in our part of the country made the front page of 'The Cecil County Whig' (yes, 'The Whig'... Our county apparently doesn't recognize that the 'Whig' party went out with Colonial times and therefore only reports items such as today's headline regarding a replication of John Smith's voyage [right down to the boat he used] during his exploration of the Chesapeake Bay - REALLY, I kid you not!)... Back to my story -

Last week a woman made the front page of the paper with a full color photo of herself and her truly remarkable dog who saved her life by, get this, giving her the 'Heimlich Maneuver'! A dog! And not just ANY dog but a dog whose vet was quoted as saying, "I really feel like it might have been some kind of miracle, because Toby isn't what you would call the most-trained of dogs, In fact, he's about the last dog I would expect to do something like this." - Sounds like Dr. Doug Foreman was describing one of the animals our family has owned... Dogs that are respectfully referred to as 'Not the brightest of bulbs or One of the duller knives in the drawer.'

Listen to the MIRACULOUS details of the event which SAVED the life of Ms. Debbie Parkhurst...

When a small piece of apple she was eating became lodged in her windpipe, Ms. Parkhurst began beating her chest, which in turn attracted the attention of Toby, a dog she and her husband rescued from a trash bin in 2005. Toby, who may or may not have known what he was doing, stood on his hind legs and gently pulled Parkhurst to the floor, she said. The dog then perfromed a version of the Heimlich by jumping up and down on Parkhurst's chest, a move that successfully dislodged the apple from her windpipe. "As soon as I started breathing, he stopped and began licking my face, as if to keep me from passing out," she said.

Now this story didn't make it onto the front page of our paper just one day, but TWO days in a row... Day two explained that both the 'Late Show with David Letterman' and 'Good Morning America' were interested in the story and had invited Ms. Parkhurst and her 'Miracle Dog' Toby to be guests in a spot on their respective shows. Ms. Parkhurst's response, "It's all so overwhelming, I'm very shy, but I'm so proud of Toby, we just might do it."

Shy, did she say SHY? Is it normal for a shy person to alert the media when she's home alone and chokes on an apple?

Excuse me, I'm heading out to the pet store now to buy myself a monkey so I can call the 'Cecil County Whig' next week and report that it just flew out of my butt... Then, maybe I'll get a free trip to New York... Of course, I AM kinda shy.