Monthly Archives: October 2012

Fuzzy Math

Fuzzy Math…………. yeah that’s what it is

Thirty days have September, April, June and November.  Or something like that.  My confidence in my basics has been shaken.  I feel like going back to the doors of ol Cookson Elementary and demanding to speak to whoever deemed me proficient and punched my exit ticket.  Thus leading to about ten additional years of academia delusions.

You know…………the years when I would boast of all my success.  I was all like listen to me…………….I can add……………1+1 is 3, 2+2 is 5.  After that, I would really pull out the stops……………….Oh yeah, I can count………wait………….I can count to.  And when it came time to find x, I didn’t leave a stone unturned.  I knocked on every door to find that little bugger.  Turns out, x was off with y somewhere looking for an angle or something.  I never got the chance to shock the masses with these academic gifts.   Being so in awe of my math facts they left, possibly to go home and ponder the wonder of my abilities.

Weeeellllllllllll, at least that is what I am beginning to think happened…….

Dear reader, this, in fact, is what I must confess……….I failed to do “the math.”   Here I was tooting my horn, waving my blogging flag.  Believing this could be my moment, my month.   The month I amass “potentially” thousands of new readers.  You know how?  Well, like I have been saying all month………….”I am participating in NaBloPoMo, an event on Blogher in which I write THIRTY Posts in THIRTY DAYS!!!!”  Great idea, I’m in, what an AMAZING opportunity………………am I right?

I wasn’t too worried about this committment…………cause weekend were for FREE WRITING.  You know, I thought, I could really use those two days off to re-fresh my brain, renew my creativity, work on other projects……………….laundry perhaps.

So, off I go, writing like Hemingway.  Conquering the world of blogging, amassing readers by the day.  Then I notice something kind of funny……………the fine print.  Turns out it wasn’t weekends WRITING FREE……..DUUHHHHHHHHHH……………….FREE WRITING……………pick my topic (not my nose) that kind of thing.

I did think it was kind of funny.  Posting Day 20 with only a few days left in October.  But…………hey……………..I’ll just chalk it up to fuzzy math.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

And now, for my public plea……………….might be in need of a math tutor…………for The Brothers, of course.

Boo to you!

Ahhhhhh……………….two days off from school for The Brothers.  Yiipppeeeee, no alarm clocks, packing lunches or homework drills.  Peaceful and relaxing?  UUUUHHHHH………………NO!  Why?  Hurricane Central.

Despite the weather, today I am contemplating if “I like to be scared?”  Not particularly………..NO!!!  After facing every parents WORST FEAR, I am not able to find the fun in being frightened.  Party, pooper………….perhaps.  Maybe not forever…………but for now.

I believe question is referring to HALLOWEEN fright night kind of scared but my focus has been shifted.

Halloween or Hurricane.  High winds, high diving boards, roller coasters, rolling tides………………..OH MY!!!  Not a fan.  I don’t know if it is so much FEAR rather FEARS partner in crime………………….ANXIETY.  I doubt I have had the chance to decide what my fears might be……….weeelllll………………..cause the thought of my fear makes me so anxious I become a wreck in the form of humming-bird on edge or cat on a hot tin roof.

My specialty seems to be things I have absolutely little to no control over.  Today I don’t think my anxiety has as much to do with a Hurricane as being trapped in a house with The Brothers during a Hurricane.  “When’s it coming, Mommy, are we still having Halloween………can I play on the computer? Can I have a snack?  What’s for dinner? Can we go to the costume store? When can I get a toy?  and so on………..and so on………….get the point?  Just reading this I’m feeling jumpy.

My relief………………running shoes.  Pounding the pavement to get the blood pumping, clear the mind, regulate my self-perpetuated craziness, organize my worries, and give my anxiety a MINI-holiday, if you will.  A win, win for all concerned.   Except, of course, today.  BECAUSE ……………..as my Johnny pointed out, “uuuhhh, Mommy, it is not a good idea to go running in a Hurricane.”  Smart Boy, that Johnny.

Sooooooooooo………….not wanting to ruin my new Nikes, nor strut my stuff in a wet suit, my hand has been forced.  I have been left no choice……………………………….weakness or weathering the storm?  YOU be the judge………..

Take that NIKE!!!

Brownies and elastic…………………..please and thank you!

Trick or Treat?

Trick or treat………..smell my feet?  Question of the day………………..better question………………..carve a pumpkin OR build an ark?  What on earth am I pondering today?  “What is the best Halloween trick you have ever pulled?”

Weellll, my answer is somewhat pathetic.  Perhaps a little goody two shoes….buutttt, I can honestly say, with some remorse, that I don’t recall ever pulling one.  Dear Ol Dad didn’t go for that stuff, and being the rule follower I am, I didn’t like to go against, what he didn’t go for.  Plus, I wasn’t allowed out to randomly roam at night.

Possibly the only trick I have pulled at Halloween is to eat my Boys candy (hey………don’t judge……….you know you would do it to).  Or send it in to work with The Captain and tell them they must’ve eaten more than they remember.  I think these aren’t really tricks as much as a parenting right of passage.

Anywhoooo…………….my point………………I’m innocent.  How am I to be rewarded?  HURRICANE SANDY!!   Yes, I just did the higher math and realized the DC area is about to get hit right about the time, my Little Goblin, Johnny has planned to don his much anticipated Optimus Prime (3D) costume and hit the neighborhood.  For a boy that does not eat candy, he begins planning for this night about November.

Johnny was just appalled when he saw Santa Claus decorations.  He informed me the Grim Reaper isn’t going to like Santa.  In his literal world you do not mess with routine.   You don’t NOT have pancakes on Saturday, you don’t go to church on Saturday, you NEVER sleep past 6 a.m. and you MOST DEFINITLY do not rain out HALLOWEEN!

So……………….you think Hurricane Sandy is going to be ugly……………..weeelllll, just wait till SHE meets HURRICANE JOHNNY.  Take THAT Sandy…………………oh yeah and………………..Trick or Treat!

Purple promises

Empty Promises

My new running shoes!!!  Awesome, huh?  That’s what I thought.  But alas, like many things lately, I expected too much.

They have me remembering the good ol days.  You know the ones, when a new pair of tennies cured all that ailed you.  If you were slow, BAM! New shoes and you swear your legs move so fast, the Olympic Committee can’t be far behind.  A Wheaties contract is for sure in your future.

Feeling Blue?  New tennies and BAM!  Cloud nine is your new home!  Nothing could keep you down with some new tread on your feet.  Maybe the World could be a happier place,  new tennies for everyone!

All this………….I got from a new pair of SCATS, back in THE DAY.  Imagine my expectations for PURPLE NIKES!?  That’s right………..me and reality…………..we lost touch.  Turns out 5 miles still feels 20 miles.  My legs………weeellll, they still aren’t up to my neck and graceful, like a gazelle.  Yep, still short, and graceful, weellll, NOT like a gazelle, THAT’S for sure.

As for that CLOUD NINE feeling…………I wish, I wish, with my whole being that I still believed happiness could be found in a new pair of shoes.  What I wouldn’t give for the happy Purple color to  take away this unbearable weight of grief and gray.  The most I can hope for is that they carry me away.  Away from this pain that seems to render me immobile and to a place where memories take the weight from my steps and turn the gray to gold.

NOW THAT…………….weellll, that, sadly, is something money can’t buy.  But if it could………………….ooooh, if it could……………….

Things that make you go……………..

Master of the Mind

You know the saying……………..Things that make you go, HMMMMM.  So do I…………..in a real up close and personal way.  

One thing that made me go, HMMMMM.  The above photo.  Just look at him, cool as a cucumber, chillin like a villain, hangin like a tie………well…………..you get the idea.  Just moments ago, I caught Johnny in the act of doing virtually nothing.  It is like he has a switch and he just turned it off.  Because believe me, this is not a accurate  depiction of the Johnny we all know and love.  Weeellll, maybe it is, because I should have learned by now, the only laws of nature that Johnny follows are……………..Johnny’s.

Johnny starts his routine at the crack of dawn.  This routine generally involves starting the day with a heaping bowl of cereal and a random string of consciousness that defies all laws of caffeine consumption.  That is, good luck on keeping up.

For example, this morning………………..I was trying to get (with all boys in tow) to my glamorous substitute teaching job.  Johnny was not quite on board with all things real this morning.  Finally, frustrated I plead………….Johnny, reality please, reality.  To which he replies…………”Sooo, Mom, do you think all that exposure to Toxic Waste has finally made me crazy.  My response…………(nothing).  To which he replies…………”seriously, it could happen.”

Enough of that…………..I move past the Toxic Waste argument and focus on the ensemble he has selected for school.  Now, THAT was an eye opener……….Black shorts, white fruit of the loom t-shirt and white socks pulled up to his calves.  When I strongly recommended (okay, insisted he change) I learned something new about his school.  Apparently, (according to Johnny) there do not happen to be any “fashion critics” at his school.”

Because I had to get to school, I resisted the urge to repeatedly bang my head on my kitchen counter.

Fast forward to our evening…………………..Family night at the Book Fair.  I’m a sucker for books and The Brothers know it.  But I do have my limits.  For instance, I have to consider how many times in a 5 minute period I want to hear Johnny repeat the book word for word.  Imagine my hesitancy when he picked up Mysteries of the Strange and Unexplained.  Upon looking at one page he proudly proclaimed, “See, I knew aliens were real.”  Ooops, Big Mistake, book is going back, thought I.”  Always fast on his feet, he back peddles.  “No, No, I mean everyone knows Aliens are just real people born with a defect,  who like to go around playing practical jokes on people.  Guess all those UFO chasers……….the jokes on you.

Johnny peruses the book further.  OOoohhhh, the luck, A YETTI!!!  “Just wait till I scare Little Brother with this.  THAT’S IT, NO WAY, GIVE ME THE BOOK!!

No, Mommy, no.  I will just tell Little Brother that it isn’t a YETTI.  I will tell him that it is a Big White Gorilla, that got stuck in THE ARTIC!!

Soooo………….I’d like to confess to you, Dear Reader, I have officially, unofficially, officially lost my mind and I purchased this literary gem.  

I sat in my room listening to the read aloud of this literary masterpiece and considered my buyers remorse.  Taking the high road I decided to go with out of earshot, off my nerves.  In comes Johnny’s requested presence.  With all the Mommy niceness I can muster I kindly ask him to close my door.  His reply………………………………YETTI!

Things that make you go…………………………….DRINK PLEASE.

Tis the Season

Goblins and witches and scares, oh my!

I don’t want no STINKIN candy!

Halloween…………that time of year at our house when Johnny likes to online shop.  See, he LOVES picking out just the right costume, usually of the SuperHero variety; however, he is scared to DEATH of the costume stores and any store that eerily displays its ghoulish spirit.  Just ask the CVS shoppers last week.  Yes, he was the boy running around, hand over ears, yelling, “scary guys, scary guys.”  Too bad for that innocent alternative looking guy with orange hair and lots of piercings.  Honestly, Johnny was not referring to you.

He also loves trick or treating, but HATES candy.  You got it, people in this house are being pretty accommodating to Ol’ Johnny this time of year.  This year I think I will make it interesting and auction off his candy to the highest bidder.  Hmmmm, what currency should I accept.  Naaahhhh, even I’m not that mean.  Word on the street (at my house) is that as Mommy’s go, I am pretty darn mean but even I can throw a dog a bone.  Possibly, a small hint to Johnny, and let the games begin.  Imagine the lego collection he would amass.

Halloween has never been a holiday that I got too excited about.  Oh sure, back in the day (Go Big E) I had some fun with it.  I mean when else in your life would you dress up in a box and hit every dive bar in sight.  Talk about risk, if that bartender over-serves you, looking ridiculous in a box isn’t your only problem.  Chances are lying inebriated on the ground in said box costume is not going to be a good look.  Thank goodness for college before social media.

As for my favorite costume…………..don’t really have one.  Bravest………….possibly the Christmas package get-up.  Yeah, green tights on large thighs and short box…………..full of courage or lack of pride……….hhmmmm, you be the judge.   Oh, let’s not forget the permed hair.  Now………..cast your vote!

As for you, Dear Reader, I hope your Halloween is ghoulish and your treats plentiful.  If not……………….contact Johnny……………..I’m sure he will be taking applications for his candy for legos program.  Apply soon, the good stuff goes fast.  I mean, I paid my dues, I get first dibs.

Waltzing Matilda?

Fox Trot, or something like that……….

Kickin it Old School (circa 1976) , cause that’s how I Roll.  (Seriously, I never talk like that, but it seemed a good way to start)  Plus I am cracking myself up.

Today’s writing quest………………”What is your favorite photo that someone has taken of you?”

When asked about a “favorite” photo, typically my thoughts jump straight to photos of my children.  Lots of fun and tender memories preserved.  Each one a treasure, as I have learned all to well.  Even in the digital age I don’t delete the bad shot because those also have there place in the trove of family treasures.  We  would only have half the family photos.  Getting a family photo taken without a little boy with a finger up his nose is a feat we have not yet conquered.

But back to me……………..

This time I changed course somewhat.  I thought truly about me.  A favorite photo of me.  After a few minutes of thought, the crazed search began.  I knew the photo I wanted but after the last nine moves, my childhood photos could be anywhere.  Success!  A favorite photo of ME.

Weelll,  me and My Dad. My Dad was a large size kind of guy but incredibly light on his feet.    Somewhat of a gentle giant in that regard.    I am about 10 years old and we are dancing at a wedding.  I love how I am looking at the camera with a big ol smile and my Dad is looking down at me with a slight grin (which was his smile).  I never doubted my father’s love for me and but I love how it shows here.  Such a great memory of dancing with him.   When I was a little girl,  I would stand on  his feet and we would waltz around the room.  I felt like I was all that, plus tax!  My time to be Daddy’s Girl.  At my wedding, we danced to “Wonderful World” and he was still trying to teach me to follow his lead.  I love to hear that song, remember  the little moments  I shared with him, that with the sands of time,  have become my treasured memories.

A Picture Worth a Thousand Words

First Embrace!

Sweet Baby Girl!  It is redundant but I LOVE THIS PICTURE!  There are days when all I want to do is gaze at photos of Madeline and let my mind go back to the fleeting time we were blessed with her presence.  Brief, yet powerful.  Filled with such emotion.

Today’s quest?  “Tell us about your profile picture.”  My pleasure…………………….

This picture is a definite favorite.   She was 4 months old and this was her third life-saving surgery.

When I look at this photo I don’t immediately call to mind the horrific terror of  that week.  I remember the joy.  You can see it in my face.  This photo is of Madeline and I about 7 days after she received her trach.  She was soooo fragile and her life had been so touch and go that week.  To let her weary little body rest and  protect her airway, she had been in a  heavily sedated state for days.  We had been unable to touch, let alone hold her.  So, imagine my joy when finally we got see her beautiful eyes and touch her petal soft skin.

Sitting here writing this, I can remember.  I closed my eyes and I can recall the touch of her little hands and the feel of her cheeks on my lips.  It was such a joyous moment.  In fact, I was so caught up in it, it was her Respiratory Therapist that grabbed my camera and took the picture.

Such a scary week it had been.  This was the time we thought we might lose her.  But this was our time.  Our time when our prayers were answered.  Confirmation of our hope, faith and a belief that miracles can happen and this cherised photo is my tangible link to that once upon a time when our miracle happened.   

Image is Everything?

Who I “think” I am

“Image is Everything.”  Isn’t that right……………isn’t that what they say.  I don’t know, I’m like The Little Brother, I’m having  a good time in the world in my head.  Hey, what’s not to like.  Look at me.  I mean, I clearly have it going on.  Good taste, sophistication, and talent…………oh yes, let’s not forget talent.  Not to brag………… but I have been known to walk and chew gum at the same time.

What am I pondering today?  “How much thought do I put into my online image.”  The truth is……………well let me just give a little bit of my day and you can judge.

In interest of keeping up my image, I substitute teach.  I have no specialty, so to speakbut I generally stay below 6th grade.  Today, in the interest of my image, I was the Music Teacher.  And no, I have pretty much no music experience.  Well, that is, unless you count the unfortunate six years I spent playing the clarinet.

With no lesson plan to speak of, I, you might say, wong it!  I sang, and I’m NO SINGER.   Saints were crying when  they heard my rendition  of When the Saints go Marching In.  I mean there are some students whose hearing may never be right again.  No bucket, no tune, you might say.  And I danced.   I have moves like……………..weeellllll, like no one, actually.  See, I’m not much of a dancer either.  Never really graduated past standing on my Dad’s feet as he danced around (Now, HE was an excellent dancer).  Me……..not so much.

So…………………..as I reflected on my day and the thought I put into my image, online or otherwise, I was reminded of a saying.  “Don’t want to go through life with your skirt tucked into your pantyhose.”  Readers, I’m afraid I might have received these words of wisdom……………….just a bit late.

Actual Image?

Our Place

Packing our Dreams

A long awaited event happened today.  A “piece” I wrote about having to move from the only house Madeline ever called home, was “run” in the online Literary Magazine, Exhale.  I agonized over writing this.  These are the feelings of intense loss that weigh so heavily on my heart.  Packing her room it seems that I could literally feel my heart breaking.

To all who have asked, “How was your move?”  Now you will know.