Monthly Archives: September 2011

All That Is Holy

Our Holy Boy!

The above photo is the Big Brother.  It is was taken last week when he was being, an Altar Server, for the FIRST time.    This was to be one of my Big Mommy Moments…………………but alas, it ranked right there with Big Brother’s first day of Kindergarten………….the one where he was almost late for his first day and would NOT let me take his photo.

If you have the luck of knowing me well, you are aware I have been waiting for this moment since the spring when he put his name on the list.  See,  it is in his blood line………….his Grandpa Ron was an Altar Boy for so long his photo is in the Church Archives.  We have invested so much time and $$$ in his Catholic Education  I did not think it was too much to ask for a nice framed picture of my Boy standing with the Cross, in the Mass Procession, the family in our Sunday Best………you know……………as proof of all those tuition dollars.  The perfect memory for the family album.  Also, it would be nicer to look at than the other proof we have………..THE VERY OLD MINIVAN!!! 

Yes, yes………….I know, the proof should be in his Christian attitude and behavior…………but since he was last seen closing the car door on the kids in carpool and punching his brother for touching the remote……….I think a nice photo is my best bet.

Had some grand plans for that photo to, may I say.  Nice black and white, enlarged to 8×11, framed and displayed piously by his Grandpa Ron’s photo.  I often like to imagine my Dad from his couch in heaven smiling down on the scene, thinking to  himself that it was HIS payoff for dragging me to CCD for all those years!

I hope my Dear Dad was looking down on us……..but I think he was having a good laugh……… at my expense…………………… I’m pretty sure on that one.

See……….the whole thing did not pan out like the Big Plan in my head……but, what does?  This is why I am not a planner, it ALWAYS backfires on me!  First of all, it was not on a Sunday, it happened on a Thursday.  And did  Big Brother tell me the day before  me so I could make proper preparations?………………..Well, OF COURSE NOT…………….that would just be CRAZY THINKIN!!!

On said Thursday morning, I discovered that Big Brother had left his binder on the breakfast table.  (In middle school this is just academic suicide)  Sooooo, I thought I would surprise him by being NICE and bring his binder to school.

I get to school and run to the office.  The running was easy.  Why?  You Ask.  Because……………… I WAS IN MY RUNNING CLOTHES.  I am then informed by the office that Big Brother is not in class.  He is, in fact, over at church.  Why???? You Ask?  Well…………..that would be because, HE IS THERE BEING AN ALTAR SERVER FOR THE FIRST TIME.

Sooooo, what did I do??  Well……….like any lunatic, Catholic parent that has spent all their $$$$$ on the kid’s education………I grabbed my smart phone and RAN like a Catholic to the beer tent over to the church!!!  No procession, missed that, just My Boy sitting up on the Altar looking like ALL THAT IS HOLY.  I sat there a minute……. taking in the moment, and then…………….AGAIN, good thing I had on my running clothes AND CAP………I then somewhat irreverantly ran around the church like a crazy person taking every possible photo I could.

Guess I got some additional proof of his Christian Education, as well.  See, he told me………..Mom, what are you doing?….your are in church……you CAN’T TAKE PICTURES!  Oh YEAH!  Well, I should’ve told him to remember the commandment of “Don’t Sass Your Mother.”  Okay, okay, well……it SHOULD be one!  Sounds more fitting then the Honor I am supposed to get.

Besides………..I’m sure if Mary had had a smart phone, she would have been running all over that Wedding Feast taking Pics of her Boy, turning that water into wine!!  Can I get an AMEN?!   

Don’t Go Changin

Bat Boy!

Johnny’s homework……..The Writing Notebook!!  His ARCH ENEMY……………….The WRITING PROMPT!!  I feel his pain on this one.  Who doesn’t freeze when/told to write at least FIVE (the magic number) GOOD sentences on a topic you have ABSOLUTELY  ZERO INTEREST IN!!

For example……….when asked to write what he would do if he was Principal for a day he was clear, concise……………and you might say………….to the POINT!  He summed it up in TWO sentences.

 “If I was Principal we would only go to noon.  We would only have lunch and recess.”

Johnny DOES NOT need many sentences to get his point across.  A boy of few words.

Last night’s writing was not going to get even ONE sentence from Johnny Boy.  “Would you rather be a dog or a cat and why?”

Me (with upbeat positive Mom voice):  Well, Johnny which do you think would be cooler?  (can’t you feel my positive energy?)

Johnny:  Neither. (imagine as much NON ENTHUSIASM as you can).

Me:  Why?

Johnny:  Cause………I don’t want to be a Dog or Cat, I want to be a ………..BAT!!!

Me:  Well………then, you need SIX good sentences (I like to push the envelope) to tell us why.  And don’t forget your spacing (you know…… to suck any enjoyment out of this writing business)

I can take the FUN out of ANYTHING.  My boys could write NOT SENTENCES but PAGES on that topic!

Johnny:  O.K.

And BOOM…………..there you have it…………….why Johnny wants to be a Bat.  Fly, of course, a top reason.  “Would be cool.”

Yep, Johnny, if we would only listen.  Be patient my boy, you’ll set us straight someday.   Dog, Cat, Bat………….I think I’ll take my Johnny, cause he is WAY COOL!!!!!!!  No changes necessary.

Not There Yet.

Yesterday I was flipping through the T.V. and came upon a Jim Carey movie.  Thought I could use a good laugh so I settled in.  It was “Bruce Almighty”.  And it did give me a few good chuckles…………..but in the end it sent me into somewhat of a familiar tailspin.

The premise of the movie seems to be that Bruce is ticked off at God, he thinks he is getting the short end of the stick on the  job, and that he has a “mediocre life.”   If God truly cared and wanted to he could fix all of Bruce’s troubles in five minutes.  God then goes about teaching Bruce it is not that easy and there are things people need to figure out on their own, through their own effort and “don’t forget free-will.”  In the end he learns these lessons and all is B-E-A-utiful (as Bruce says).

I know all this is probably putting a little too much thought into a silly movie but I guess that is where I am.

Now…the part that sent me off.  In the end, Bruce gets hit by a mac truck, dies and goes to heaven, and meets with God.  He then shows God that he can pray, with selflessness, thinking only of anothers happiness and accepting what comes his way, as long as the other person can be happy….and BOOM, the EMT’s get his heart started and he lives, all is well, he prayed and God answered, the way he wanted………. of course.

There are several books around (and I have a few of them) about children and adults alike who have an experience where they die and spend some time in heaven and then “something happens” and they get to come back to life.   That “something”  is that there are many prayers, those prayers are answered, in their favor, and they come back to life.  And this is why, at least right now, I can not read those books.

We did get our prayers our way early on.  When she was 7 days old, she had  to have her first emergency surgery to repair a blockage in her stomach and there was fear of her not pulling through because she was born with a hole in her heart.  I remember sitting, holding her, wrapped in a green hospital sheet, with an IV in her little head tearfully saying, “Please God, I don’t want anything to happen to her.” I knew I loved her unconditionally, but I  go back to this moment and feel it is the exact moment I fell completely, hopelessly,  in love with her.  This was our miracle, she was even a case study, because this type of repair usually needs to happen within 24 hours of life and they don’t know how she made it 7 days.  Our Baby Girl was one tough cookie.

Toucg Little Lady

People are always suggesting these books to me.  I guess I am just not there yet.  “Don’t you feel good knowing that Madeline is an Angel in Heaven, with her Grandpa Ron and her cousins.”  NO! I DO NOT!  Not yet.  Because we are selfish on this one, we want her here with us.  Our arms just ache for that Little Body of Sweet Goodness.  To kiss her little face and get those cute little rasberry kisses in return.

Who me? Taking a nap? Not with someone to play with here.

We want her actual presence in our home and with our family.  We prefer seeing her in her port a crib in the family room and not the Huge Photo of her that is in her place.  Her essence and memory just can’t fill us up.  At least, not yet.  I guess that is where I am to rely on Hope and Faith, much easier said than done.

It seems that it would be much easier to digest books on heaven (and I’m sure I would probably be the one telling everyone to read them) if my prayers on that Tuesday morning in November would have been answered the way I wanted.  And heaven was a place we still just talked about, but without feeling and knowing that my Madeline is there and I can’t get to her.  Because I just want to scream when the Little Boy says he was told he had to come back to this life because God was hearing all those people praying for him.  God had to have heard me?  Right?  I mean I was screaming in the ER for goodness sake.  I was screaming at Madeline to come back!  PLEASE COME BACK!  I was screaming  this over her little body.   But God must have been yelling the same thing in her other little ear.  He wanted his Sweet Angel back as well.

I guess this is where Faith really has to kick in.  Much easier when you have somewhat of a tangible answer as to why your prayers and hopes were anwered the way you wanted or not.  But with this grief there doesn’t seem to be an answer, not yet, and probably never will be.  If it was to strengthen our faith and teach compassion to us as parents and to our boys it seems there could have been a less painful way.  I don’t GET IT!  I’M NOT THERE YET!

I guess this leaves me with Blind Faith.

Mr. Tarantino, I Presume?!

Well…………….they have been at it again………………filmmaking.  SECRET AGENT HOTDOG PART II.  This installation falls more into the category of “shortfilm”, as it is longer but Good Till the Last Shot.  And the jury is out on the rating (PG??)………………… Tipper Gore would proooobllllllbably NOT be a FAN!!

It is, HOWEVER, shall we say………………………thoughtprovoking.   Upon viewing, it will conjur thoughts such as WHAT IN THE H**l WAS THIS WOMAN DOING WHEN THIS FILM WAS BEING MADE??  Uuhhhhh, I plead the fifth.  Because I don’t KNOW!!!  Probably thinking “isn’t it great that they are spending time together, outside, as brothers, being creative.

What I should have been thinking is what a complete waste of my time spending the past 12 years monitoring what they have been watching on t.v. or otherwise exposed to.  Because it clearly looks that instead of The Veggie Tale videos I thought they were watching, they must have been attending a Quentin Tarantino movie marathon.  Don’t get me started on all the hours spent in church and dollars on a “Good Christian Education.”

I surrender!  This could also add to that age old debate………………..Nature vs. Nurture.  Although we could argue both sides, as the Commander always said he was going to make them completely nuts and crazy so no other man would possibly have anything to do with me…………….JOB WELL DONE, HONEY!!

I am, however, working on that Johhny’s potty mouth.  As of this writing he is doing “chores.”  “You missed a spot, Johnny!!!!”  Don’t think it is going to work I think I just heard something like” **MN CHORES!!!

Oh well…………..what is the saying, Boys Will Be Boys?  Or my new saying………….“I’ll bet Quentin Tarantino’s Mom has a really nice CAR!!” 

FILM AWAY BOYS!!

Keep The Change!

Soooooooooo……………….FINALLY, the Little Brother got his cast off today.  He is my Little Napolean.   Physically, he is small but can take a PUNCHSCRAPPY…………………….Yep, that’s him!!

Tough Guy! Finally, Ready to get the Cast removed!

And PRAISE THE LORD because he has had this cast on since the end of June.

As much as he can whine about “being uncomfortable” This boy can get his “feelings hurt” at the drop of a hat, not to mention his wonderful sportsmanship.  Having a cast past his elbow for the duration of summer vacation did NOT seem to phase him.  Despite the fact that it was on his “dominate awm (not a typo, we’re working on those r’s.)”

He was pretty adaptable.  Herculean attempts were made at being a lefty.  Present company (i.e. our family) just had to remember to duck when he was swinging the BOWLING BALL!  A mean curveball is not a good thing in this case.

And………………RESOURCEFUL!!  Did not take him long to figure out he was ARMED AND DANGEROUS.  I heard him more than once utter the phrase………………..”don’t make me use this”  as he attempted to whack his…………….well let’s not call them innocent………………………..Brothers over the head with his mass of red plaster.

MANIPULATIVE…………….Hey, I can’t do my summer book report, “I Broke My Dominate Awm.”  This would then make me “the sucker” as he smuggly watched me “write” down his words as he dictated them to me.  Or completely, STUPID, your choice.

CONSERVATIONIST…………….Mom, I couldn’t use soap and shampoo, “my dominate awm, remembew.”   I know they grow up too fast, but I am DONE with bathing my Little Napolean.  But who wants to live with that aroma? 

But………………………. Donald Trump, eat your heart out.  Cause you know what my Brilliant Little Guy did?  He was apparently saving for his own place,  cause when they removed his cast, what did we find STUCK AND GROWING THINGS under that cast………………. MONEY!

My Little Donald, had put a quarter down there.  A  little science experiment, perhaps?  Just think if he had had it on a little longer…………….. he might have enough for a CONDO.  Hey…………………. probably safer than a mattress!

Ummmmm, guess you could say we have left our “Family Mark” …………yet again, on the medical community.  I  swear I’m gonna start charging for the entertainment because the nurse asked us to come visit.  Thanks Nurse Kathy!!!!!……………. and THAT will be $50.  We will waive the 2 drink minimum cause we like ya!!!  Oh……and………….KEEP THE CHANGE!!!

Thank you, J-Man!!!

Johnny and I were hanging out at a Tailgate party this weekend, waiting for the rest of our family to come out of the football game.  Johnny had had enough of being in an enclosed space with 30,000 people.  Makes me clausterphobic just typing the number.  So…………..we went back to the parking lot (we always hang out in the classiest places) to see what there was to see.

Nothing to see, mostly listening to adults who had enjoyed Many an adult beverage and were becoming very philosophical!!  For Johnny this meant the chip table was largely unsupervised…………..so………………let’s just say there might have been a little DOUBLE DIPPIN going on.  I must admit his LOVE of THE CHIP could be genetic……………I might have been seen lingering around a few chip tables myself.

Anywhooooo……………while Johnny and I were enjoying all the chips, I was hearing bits of the “Adult” conversation around us.  The GREAT PHILOSOPHICAL ones were sharing with us that actually texting and driving was more dangerous than drinking and driving.  Possibly splitting hairs but I was not being asked my opinion.  Feeling a bit lonely in my part of the tailgate I thought I would chime in.  (Ask anybody who knows me, I can’t seem to shut-up or mind my own business).

Therefore, I threw out the following tidbit of wisdom.

Me (feeling like an adult party person):   You know, I read on a billboard (yes, you read that right). (In retropsect, I suppose quoting a billboard is social suicide).  I read on a billboard once, “Honk if you love Jesus, Text if you want to meet him.”

Granted it was not the wittiest party conversation but throw me a bone, I don’t get out much.  The other “Adults” grew quiet, looked at me, shrugged and looked away.  But JOHNNY TO THE RESCUE!!!!

Johnny:  You can’t text him, he doesn’t have a PHONE!

Me:  Johnny, what are you talking about?  WHO doesn’t have a phone?

Johnny:  You know, the guy you were talking about.  (all eyes were now on us)

Me:  WHAT guy?

Johnny:  The J-MAN!

Me:  WHO?

Johnny:  (Looking at all the ADULTS like he can’t believe we could be such idiots)  JESUS!!!  You can’t text the J-MAN because he doesn’t have a cell phone.  So, don’t text him,  GOT IT!!

Noted!!!!! 

And while the other tailgaters pondered Johnny’s bit of wisdom, we quietly snuck back to the chip table where we belonged.  THANK YOU J-MAN!!!!

A Brother’s Love

The Big Brother just started Middle School this week.  I am/have been waiting with defensive anticipation for all that bad attitude and backtalk.  Don’t get me wrong, he is more than capable of all that and more.  HOWEVER,  he amazes me with heart and compassion.  I don’t know how that tender heart made it into that BIG LUG of a boy!?  But I am very grateful!

This morning I was sitting here having a bit of a pitty party and longing like you can’t imagine to see my Precious Madeline.  Sitting here checking e-mail I came across something he sent last night to his Aunt/God Mother.  I  had no idea he had even made the following video!  So glad he did.  Because of this Boy that can make me crazy I have this wonderful record of these “Little Moments” that are a treasure to me.

It is also a testament to the Love and Longing he also has for His Precious Baby Sister, Maddie!

Here is a short insight into some of our Moments With Madeline.  We Miss You Baby Girl!!  Keep watch over those Brothers who Love and Miss you So!!!!!

Ain’t No Wimp!

Mental combat fatigue is/has kicked in.  As I said before, The Brothers have started school so it is just Johnny and I this week.  What fun we are having!  He is on fire, as his Daddy likes to say.  And if he doesn’t cool down I’m going to end up having to use a special straw to start my Mini-Van I’m so attached to because the required alcohol to keep me from snapping will possibly never makes it’s way out of my system!!   There, so now that’s out of my system.  That is the rant, not the alcohol.

Johnny can be a Hot Mess, as the new/old saying goes.  Always thinking that one, and you never quite know what he is thinking about.  Probably don’t want to know.  Might be kind of scary  to know just how frickin smart that kid is!!

This morning I wasn’t quite appreciating his uniqueness and was wishing for some normalcy, whatever THAT is!!!  I just wanted him to get through his Dr.’s appt., run some errands, and go to his school to meet his teacher.  All things that one would think you just do, don’t think about and nothing significant happens to let you remember.  DEFINITLY  not the case and never will be!!!

I don’t know how to describe the events of the day,  so I will just give you the random quotes in somewhat the order that they appeared.

At Breakfast:

To his Big Brother who just started Middle School:  Is anyone going to shut you in your locker and beat you up today?  (Looking out for him or wishful thinking?  Not Sure either).

On having a headache:  Quit talking Mommy, you are making my head hurt worse!  (Yeah kid, try again, not the first time I’ve heard that one!)

On Going to the Doctor:

They are not going to give me a Big Shot are they?  I mean the needle kind.  (I hope the Nurse isn’t packing heat today)  Then again, she does know Johnny.

When getting his vitals:

Blood Pressure Taken:  Are you trying to blow up my arm with that thing.  Hey!!  It’s squeezing my arm, what are you trying to do to me.  Nurse says, calm down and count to 15.  Johnny says, that’s  lame!  Then count backwards.  Johnny says, Also LAME!!  Then count backwards starting at 100.  Now that shut Johhny up.  But the nurse was then the victim of the evil eye.

Weight check:  Hey, are you calling me fat?!

Being Meaured:  You better not drop that thing on my head!!

Reflex Check:  HEY!!!!!  Quit HITTING ME WITH THAT HAMMER OF YOURS!!!!!

On Getting a Back to School Haircut:  Don’t be cramping my style!!  (Style, have you seen what you are wearing, kid!)

On Reading:  I only read comic books.  (That’s what you think kid, you just sealed your future of owning and reading as many Newberry Medal winners I can get my hands on!)

On Being Handsome:  I  DON’T go for handsome.  I am COOL JOHNNY, NOT HANDSOME.  (He is right, he is a kinda cool kid but so darn good lookin  but that’s just my opinion.)

Greeting the School Principal:  HEY!  Is he still in charge of THIS PLACE?  (Guess until Johnny walks through the doors next week).

Pheewwwww!!  This only covers about TWO HOURS  of his day.  I promise I was only zoned out during the other parts not passed out!!!

Well, time to order some stylin COMBAT BOOTS,  pull myself up from my SPORTS BRA straps and get back in the battle.    And that Johnny can sniff weakness a mile away.  Better get a jog and some push ups in there to!!!!!   Afterall, I ain’t no QUITTER!!!! and I’m NO WIMP EITHER!!!!