Wednesday, December 9

Bright Lights. Big Fit.

My child threw the most giant fit in Target last night. She refused to put her coat and hat on. I have to say I was surprised by her outburst. Only ten minutes earlier she had been so enthralled with the strategically placed toddler level Turbo Tax software. "Oh, mama. Look at dis." Yes, sweetheart. That is lovely. *flip*flip*flip* "Look at dis one, mama. So pretty."

Saturday, December 5


My daughter is not a morning person. I have described her many times as a feral cat. She's a Leo. And she's 2 years old. Someone hold me.

But today she woke up. Sweet. Somewhat happy. After snuggling for a bit she slid herself over the side of my bed and said, "C'mon, Mommmmm." I laughed. "C'monnn. C'monnnn, Mmmmom. Come on, mom!"

How does this happen? Who is this little person? Every time I hold her I picture her when she's 16 and that I won't be able to walk from room to room of the house carrying her, nor will I be able to carry her, my purse, wheel my (yes, I had to resort to such humiliation much to the delight of my back) book bag, her lunch, and her bag of blankets and pillow for daycare across campus. I won't be able to hike with her strapped to my body in an Ultimate Baby Wrap. I won't hold her like a tiny baby and tell her everything she's going to do the next day before I lay her down in her crib for nigh-night time. She won't ask for a paci. I'll be able to understand every word she says, though I may not comprehend teenage talk. Will she grow out of her "curtsy" phase and willingly wear pants and tee shirts ever again? How much will she remember of these days?

At least I'll be out of school by then (God willing) and when she wants me to leave her alone she won't say, "Go 'puter, mommy." And when she wants me to stay home she won't say, "No. Stay here and do homework."

Thursday, December 3


Christmas is soon approaching, as is finals week. I have been MIA this whole semester. I have wasted what little free time I've had on Facebook. I am currently sitting in Starbucks at school staring at the computer screen and people-watching. I just compiled thirty-three pages of notes for a Powerpoint I have to present in my integrated science class on Wednesday. It's concerning hand-washing vs. hand sanitizers. Riveting, I know. You'll be even more upset you won't be there too witness it when I give you this juicy detail: it has to be ten minutes long. Jaysus. I haven't spent ten straight minutes doing anything in nearly five months.

Saturday, August 15

Nothing Gets Past Her

The baby had her first bank sucker today. They have always asked me if she could have a "you know" and I've always said no. Today, the woman didn't even ask me. Baby girl was crying her little eyes out and had been for about twenty minutes. It doesn't help that the bank is behind Gramma's house, so she knew we were close and far away.

So, I opened the container and inside was a little sucker. So I gave it to her. She looked at it...put it in her mouth...and said, "Mmmm." It was lovely. And she ate it like she'd had a million suckers.

Went out with Gramma to the mall. I never go to the mall, but I had a coupon for JCPenney and thought I could use it. And to think...I used to browse Barney's. Anyhoo...when we were walking out of the store she was overstimulated by all the lights and signs in the inner-area of the mall. She immediately caught site of the fountain. "Mama! Splash splash!"

Baby fell asleep whilst perusing the President flashcards on my iTouch. She was woken by a woman who was pointing her out to her own baby girl. The first thing she said upon waking was "Go see splash splash."

An hour or so later, we stopped by Target. In the aisle where Post-its and tape are found, baby kept saying something like "sies kid...sies kid." Gramma said, "I don't know what she is saying." She took baby closer to the shelf and she pointed to a magnifying glass. I said, "Oh my gosh. Sid the Science Kid." This kid doesn't miss a beat.

Friday, August 14

Two Years

It's hard to believe, but two years ago today I held you in my arms for the first time. I never knew I could love someone so much. You were such a beautiful baby. Perfect. As you grew, I couldn't take you anywhere. Strangers were always coming up to me to comment on your flawless skin or your gorgeous eyes or your exquisite mouth. And people are still saying those things about you. Only,'re not in a carrier strapped to my body. You're begging to walk and "do it" by yourself through the store aisles or down the street. You're growing up so fast.

I had pictured you running through Central Park and wrecking the MOMA, but you seem to be enjoying walking Gramma's dog and running in the small front yard outside our door. I love that you love being outside. You get that from your grandmother, I like to think. Lately, you've developed a distaste for bugs. Not quite sure how that happened, but it's my goal to make you love them. And as my gift to you, I will try my hardest to learn to like birds as much as you like rocks and Sweet Gum fruits.

You've developed a love of Sesame Street, cell phones, string cheese, books, babies and dolls and plums. You also have some sort of innate ability to take to any musical instrument that is put in front of you. You got a harmonica for your birthday and somehow you knew how to play it without my having to show you. You have a little piano at Gramma's house that you love to play, moving one finger at a time. You know all the words to "Do-Re-Mi" and you know where "birdies go nigh-nigh" and how to put on lotion and that some things can be "frustrating." You love bacon and coloring. You love sockit-sips (chocolate chips), sippy sips (sippy cup) and chippy chips (white corn tortilla chips). You love to drink all of my jo-jo (orange juice) and eat all of my salmon.

You like to close the door and play 'knock knock' and you even know to walk into the room and say, "Nice to see you" as you shake my hand. You say, "Bless you, mama" when I sneeze and give the best Huddy hugs. You always tell me you love me, and it is music to my ears.

You have the most vivid imagination. And the greatest sense of humor. You don't put your fingers in your mouth immediately whenever you're having your picture taken. You, instead, say "Cheeseburger" and make the clicking of the camera noise with your tongue afterward. Adorable.

You have developed an intense love for musicals. For quite some time you were hooked on The Sound of Music. Then it was Mary Poppins. Then Annie. Then Enchanted. And now it's a toss up between Follow That Bird and Singin' in the Rain. I am very proud of that last one, as your dear old mother had a serious crush on Gene Kelly in her younger years.

Everyday I spend with you is another day when I learn something new about myself. I am learning more about how to let go and let you discover the world as you teach me what it means to be your mom.

I am so proud of you. And I am so grateful everyday that you are healthy and happy and strong. I am so looking forward to your next milestones in the coming year. It saddens me to think that one day soon you may not want to snuggle with me for as long as I want you to, and one day you might even be embarrassed to be seen with me. At least I know that all of these days and these past two years, I have been your biggest cheerleader and your number one fan.

You are my hero you brave, brilliant, generous soul. Happy Birthday!

Saturday, August 8

Another Reason to Move Back

Vacation was pure delight. Got to spend the night in Chicago. We took the train in from Michigan. It was quite nice. I miss taking the train everywhere. I cannot stand having to have a car. Cannot. Stand. Seventy-two dollars a month for an unlimited pass is still way better than gas, insurance, car payment (not that I have one) and maintenance. And speeding tickets. Boo. Yes, I passed a cop who pretty much set-me-up. He was driving slowly in the right lane. So I got over. He got over quickly into the passing lane and then swerved back over into the right lane. I passed him because I didn't know what he was doing. Unmarked Mustang. I got over in front of him and he got me. Oh well. Nothing I can do about it now. Except dream my life away that I live in a city with a subway system that can take me anywhere I want to go within minutes and leave the entrapment to someone else.

Sunday, August 2

From See to Shining C

So, I got a C in my math class. Ugh. I except it. I am thrilled I don't have to retake the class. I wish I could have gotten an A. I know that people shared notes from previous semesters, and some students had graphing calculators (duh!), and I did catch the girl next to me cheating off my final. She saw my answer for a question about a shape that has five rotations. She looked at my paper, turned straight to that page and erased everything she had written and copied my answer. I'm sure it wasn't verbatim what I had written, but I was pissed. I worked my ass off in that class. I deserved every point I could get on my own and she took some of those points away from me. Whatever.

I also haven't had a panic attack since the day of my math final. Go figure.

I'm off for a week's vacation with the two loves of my life: my brilliant child and my wonderful boyfriend, both of whom have had to put up with my being a total psychopath off-and-on these past seven months. I'm so grateful. (I hope he knows that.)

I can see graduation even though it is illuminating next December. I'm looking forward to the adventure that follows and the rest of my life.

I am the luckiest girl in the world. I hope my daughter is proud of her mother.

Friday, July 17

To Do

  • Plan meals.
  • Utilize all of my lovely cookbooks.
  • Learn to make five soups without having to consult a recipe.
  • Start walking.
  • Purge.
  • Get organized.
  • Go on a trip.
  • Start writing again.
  • Watch old movies.
  • Stay organized.
  • Perfect the soft-boiled egg.
  • Learn some good jokes.
  • Read. Read. Read.
  • Remember my pre-motherhood sense of style.

Thursday, July 16

Mosquitoes fear me.

Today was the last day of my last summer class. No daily obligations for another month. I am thrilled. I am also exhausted and honestly...a bit disappointed. I don't think I did very well in my math class. Math has always been hard for me. My mother even enrolled me in Sylvan Learning Center when I was in high school, which I believe ended up being a huge waste of money for her. I am fine when I have time to concentrate and don't have the urgency of a test in front of me and a clock ticking away the seconds. I was in geometry, trigonometry and pre-calculus in high years ago. I did well in math on my years ago. I got a B in Statistics two semesters ago, yet I got five As, a B, and a C in math last semester. I just don't understand why I get so freaked out when it comes to numbers. I won't even show you my check book. I didn't even learn how to count back change until I was in college. Nope...not kidding. I can cook and tell you how much I owe on an item that is $26.99 and 33% off, but don't ask me to remember formulas or what they're for or how to use them. Math to me is like being told something in Spanish and having to answer back in French whilst writing in Gaelic.

I know one shouldn't shoot for a C, but I am praying. What saddens me is that my professor is so fun and terrific and if I weren't in her class I think she would be a great friend. I know my friends would love her. Too bad it would be too awkward to invite her to things, especially since she would know what a dolt I am when it comes to numbers. I can't even give good directions.

I did miss three classes this summer. I went out-of-town for the Fourth of July (which is when I discovered that the body which once was a feast for mosquitoes now repels them with fervor), and I had a panic attack on the way to school one day. It was horrible. I thought for sure I was dying and that I would die on the side of the highway and little Huddy would be stuck in the back of the car in the emergency lane until someone thought fit to pull over to inspect my car. So I can't even blame my confusion in class on laziness or slacking-off. I would just freak myself out so much over the tests that I couldn't concentrate on the material.

She was so sick on our vacation. Something told me over and over again not to go on the trip, but I didn't want to miss it. Now, she's been going to bed at 10 p.m. or later and still getting up at 6.45 a.m. I am exhausted. I could really use a vacation, but I can't imagine leaving her. The conundrum of motherhood. No one needs a vacation more, yet we can't stand to be away from them for a day.

Sometimes, I still wonder what the hell I was thinking going back to school. Poor baby has had such a crazy little life being rushed here and there so I can make it to class or my practicum or a study group. I just don't want to have to take the class over again. It would put me back a whole semester. I just don't have it in me. I'm already feeling too old to start over again. My teacher is my age (I thought for sure I was older than her) and already has her Ph.D. I look at her and think...Huh. So I could have done that already? Good to know.

I just wish the tests came as easily to me as writing a paper. Or massage therapy. Or figuring out how many outfits I can make out of eight shirts, four pairs of pants, and two skirts.

Thursday, June 18

Wednesday, June 17

Tuesday, June 16

Catch Up

Okay. So in this house resides one slightly obsessed toddler. "Mouse" is the first word she says every morning, and usually the last word she says every night. She loves loves loves The Tale of Despereaux, which I am not completely proud of but I do jump for joy when I am in the kitchen and she's on the couch watching the movie and I yell, "You okay in there?" and she replies, "I watchin' the mouse, mama." Yes. She's 21 months old. OMG. She's not. She's 22 months old. Holy crap. Honest to God, I just realized I missed it. Now I'm going to cry.

Today is Tuesday. So it was Sunday. I had no idea. We were in the ER on Sunday from 9.30 a.m. to after 2.30 p.m. She was dehydrated for the second time in her life and had to have IV fluids. She didn't even flinch when they put in the IV, and only after the fourth blood sample did she even look at me and clearly want to cry. She would have if she'd had any tears. We slept together and she had two apple juice boxes. I am really hoping she is on the mend, because my psyche cannot handle falling madly in love with her over and over again every second of every single day. I am exhausted. Every time I look at her I want to scream my lungs out. My heart literally swells up inside my chest and I can hardly breathe. This is not unlike how I usually feel when I see her gorgeous face, but it is that times 1000 when she is ill.

School is fine. Math is hard. A girl in my class, Carly Wilson (not sure if that is spelled correctly), was told by the teacher that her name sounded familiar. She said, "Yeah. Maybe because of Carnie Wilson (not sure if that is spelled correctly either). Teacher said, "Oh, yes." Someone said, "Who is that?" Carly said, "She's like the daughter of a Beatle or something."

oh mah gawd

It was then I realized this year's college freshman was born when I was a college freshman.

I've been doing a lot of crying lately.

Monday, June 1

Status Update

I chose The Tale of Despereaux. Cried. I chose The Underneath. Bawled. Had to stop reading because I couldn't swallow my sushi.

Daughter is talking like a four-year-old. How did this happen?

Had first day of children's literature today. Teacher read a book I knew baby would love. Went to gigundous library book sale. Found said book. Brilliant.

Back into Pilates. Make that five people in four weeks (including today's Pilates instructor) who have asked me if I am pregnant. I hate people.

May have found a bag that can potentially carry all my books for the fall semester. I so do not want to use a wheeled suitcase-like book bag. Please, baby Jesus, don't make me have to do that.

Have become a burger-making genius.

Am desperate for a pedicure.

Would love a new wardrobe.

Need air conditioning in my car. It's bloody hot.

Need to get my hair colored.

I love coffee. And Cracklin' Oat Bran cereal.

Can't believe what "Family Guy" gets away with and I love it.

Thursday, May 14

Old School

I'm taking two summer classes, one starting June 1 and the other starting June 8. Okay. Moment of truth...I got three As, a B, and a C this semester. Ugh...C...mathematics for elementary grades. You'd think 2+2 would be easy, right? Wrong. Not when there are fourteen different ways to teach a child that. Amazing the advances that have been made in methods since I was in elementary school. Math is definitely my weakest subject. Unfortunately, my other five classes (one was Pass/Fail and doesn't affect my GPA even though it was about ten hours of work a week and was my practicum/pseudo-student teaching and was still only a two-credit hour class) took up so much of my time (three or four assignments due every week and one class requiring minimum six hours of work every week just on one assignment), I wasn't able to spend a great deal of time studying my math homework. When I have time to study, I can actually get all As. I am determined to do it next semester. I missed an A in the B class by four points. Very frustrating. And honestly, I may not have even deserved the C considering how little studying I was able to do on the first two tests.

So, anyhoo, my summer classes are the second-half of the math class (which I am determined to get an A in) and children's literature. So exciting. Here is my required reading for the class:

Group 1:
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Savvy by Ingrid Law
The Underneath by Kathi Appelt

Group 2:
Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Bridge to Teribithia by Katherine Paterson
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Holes by Louis Sachar
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo

I have to pick one from each group. Pick! Pick!

Tuesday, May 12

It's That Old Sweet Song

I think we're going to go to Savannah today. We were thinking about checking out Paula Deen's Lady & Sons restaurant. But then we discovered these:

  • Mashed potatoes from heaven. Tasty sweet lemonade. Yummy bbq riblets. The best buffet I've had... one of the worst reservation systems/policies known to man.
  • For anyone whose ever seen her show, you know Paula Deen uses entirely too much butter in her recipes. And now I am pretty sure they run butter through the air vents and even the air is buttery and fattening here.
  • I believe they really did start every dish just as Paula says - with a stick of butter. Therefore by the time you start working on your 2nd buffet helping, you may notice your stomach beginning to rumble. If you keep eating, an aching churn is on its way. I suggest telling everyone at your table that you forgot the mashed potatoes immediately after you inevitably emit some southern fried methane, excuse yourself and leave before anyone knows it was you.
  • My arteries are still clogged. The options on the buffet were butter, oil, and grease. Yes, I expected some unhealthy vittles, but I didn't expect fat-broiled fatty chunks of fat swimming in fat. The recipe for Paula's Deep Friend Butter Balls on her website makes so much more sense now.
Oh well. I would like to visit the gift shop. Supposedly there's an apron there that reads: Put a little South in your mouth. I think my mother needs that.

Monday, May 11

How Fast Can They Run?

So, finals are finally over and I have been stalking my school's website for days now waiting for my grades. Come on, people! GRADE! You're killing me. There are so many assignments that haven't been graded yet. I would love to remind them of all the deadlines they placed on us this semester. Um...hello?

I am on my first vacation in a few years. We're in Hilton Head and I was promised by several people I would not come across any alligators. Well, 'tis not the case. I was sitting outside on the deck with the baby girl blowing bubbles (really good bubbles but they're flavored and colored which sucks). I hear this guttural growl and immediately grab the baby and run into the screened-in porch. The Boy came out and I told him I heard an alligator. He said he was sure I didn't. And then we spotted it in the swampy pondy thingy behind our villa. Yes, I said villa. There are freaking gators at a Westin Hotel! omg

Not happy.

And now I can't stop stalking the gator. Where is he? What's he doing? Most he hungry?

Thursday, April 16

Buried under school work. Will get back to you soon. Perhaps a guest blog? Check back soon.


Thursday, March 26

Good Mornin'! Good Mor-or-or-nin'!

It was raining today. I didn't have an umbrella so I had to borrow one. It was a giant golf umbrella. My mother got me an umbrella like this for Christmas my freshman year in college. It was a tradition in my home every year for me to pick the most interesting looking present under the tree and vow to open it first on Christmas Day. My mother would wrap a present and inside that one present would be fifteen other tinier wrapped presents. I loved it! So, when I'd spotted this particular present, I was more than intrigued. It was long. Heavy. Distinct. I thought for sure there were hundreds of wrapped gems inside a long tube made of old paper towel rolls. Imagine my surprise on Christmas morning when I'd grabbed said present, ripped-off its paper, only to find...a giant umbrella. A giant umbrella with my school mascot emblazoned upon four of its sections. I was...mortified. There was no way I was going to carry that damned thing across campus! Was she crazy? Where was the jewelry? Where was the makeup? Where were all the quarters I was sure were stuffed into that enormous tube? Boo, I say. Boo, to giant umbrellas.

Well, today, I had to carry a giant umbrella across campus. Now you might think at my age, I wouldn't really give a flying fig what people think about me. You'd be half right. I don't care what people think of me, unless those people are practically de-eyed by the metal prongs of a humongous killing machine doubling as a water barrier. I nearly wiped out five people walking across campus to grab a coffee. I looked like the most ridiculous egomaniac.

I cannot have even one drop on my person. Under no circumstance is precipitation to touch my body at any time. Nor shall it touch anyone within a five mile radius of me.

Wednesday, March 18

You Are 19 Months Going on 91.

I don't particularly like letting my 19-month-old watch television but as a single mom, if I have to potty or shower or, um...I don't know...get shit done...into the ExerSaucer she goes and on comes the television.

My concern is...she has developed a deep and abiding love for...Christopher Plummer. Yes. The father from The Sound of Music. The whole thing played twelve times last week. She will normally play when the TV is on and virtually ignore it, instead reading her books and looking at magazines and making a general mess of the place. But if Julie Andrews and those kids are on, she is nearly glued to the screen. She will honestly sit and watch the entire movie. And if she wanders into the other room to follow me and hears a certain part of the movie come on she will RUN into the living room like, " that thought. The hot dad is about to sing," and she stands in front of the television (much too closely) and drools, literally, over him.

Her favorite television show? Lawrence Welk.

I am pretty sure I gave birth to an old lady. If she starts knitting soon, be afraid. Very afraid.

Tuesday, March 17

Tis the Season let hair air dry.

Fa la la lala. La lala. La.

Thursday, March 12

Happy Bubble

I watched ER for the first time tonight in years. I wouldn't have even noticed if suddenly I hadn't flipped past the channel and caught a glimpse of George Clooney in scrubs (hubba hubba, homeboy) and Susan Sarandon (peace, sister). I ended up watching the last twenty five minutes of the episode and, of course, cried about thirty seconds into it. Susan did a really good job. I smell Emmy.

It got me thinking about the last time Ms. Sarandon made me cry. It was last week when Thelma and Louise was on cable. Man. That movie pisses me off. What the hell? I swear it's like My Best Friend's Wedding. I saw that in the theater four times. It ruined my life for about a month after the first viewing, but I went back. It's been the same the twenty times I've seen it since: I guess I'm really just thinking, "Certainly it will end differently this time! I just know it!" I like to be entertained at the movies, not made to want to hurt some poor innocent bystander. Happy things happen at the movies! If I wanted reality, I'd just stay home and watch the news. Which I don't.

Yeah. T&L really makes me mad. Every time. How about...go to the police...The End...done?

The only thing that kept me interested this time was Michael Madsen. Holy hell, he is h-o-t-t. Yeesh. I reminded myself to him and promptly forgot, per normal anything that I want to do and don't immediately get up and do it.

Well, when I was up at some ungodly hour with the baby a few days later, an old episode of MTV Cribs was on and lo and behold, there was Mr. Madsen. Only his hair was bleached blond. Not a good look for him. So I imdb-ed him just now: 7 movies completed, 9 in post-production, currently filming 3 movies, 5 in pre-production, 1 announced and 2 in production.

Wonder how many of those will piss me off.

Wednesday, March 11

Best Laid Plans

Baby has been sick for a month today. Started off as teething. Turned into a runny nose. Then a stomach bug. Trip to the ER. Dry cough. Wet cough. Runnier nose. Fever. Wet cough. Runnier-est nose. Incessant all-night dry cough. Runny nose. I kept her out of school today. She woke at 4.30 a.m. and didn't stop coughing until after 9 a.m., which was a blessing. She's been waking up at 11.30 pm., midnight or 2 a.m. or ten times in between. She slept for two and a half hours today which is unheard of here; those naps reserved for Gramma's and usually last more like four and a half hours. When she woke, I quickly got her ready and all my stuff and ran to the library to return a couple of things and get some free help with my taxes. What a great thing!

Turned-in items to the front desk. Seemed to have left the DVD in the DVD player at home. Went into meeting room and sat down with baby. A woman walked past all the tax people and said, "May I help you?" [This kind of thing really annoys me. Like when you walk into a shoe store and the salesperson says, "May I help you find something?" Oh, I don't perhaps.

The lady informed me they wouldn't have time to get to me today and to come back next week. She could've just told me that when I walked in.

Sunday, March 8

Oh, Bloody Hell!

A woman came over to me at church this morning to comment on my gorgeous daughter and how absolutely lovely she is when she is sleeping. She is gorgeous all the time (Duh.) but when she is asleep, her look changes completely. So the woman said, "She is getting so big. When are you due?"

What the effing EFF! This is never appropriate to ask someone unless maybe you're a taxi driver and a woman is screaming her lungs out in the back seat. Not until the baby's head is coming out of the vagina should this question ever be asked. Ever.

Friday, March 6


Go figure. Baby has been having night terrors for the past three nights. Dammit. I bet she sees dead people. (No. She was not up when it was on the other night.) Or dead Elmos. Or Mommy giving her half-broken bits of cracker over and over again. Or a world with no bananas.

The first night, she woke at 11 p.m. screaming MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY! She has never done that, and while it touched my heart, it was horrible to hear. I stood and rocked her and tried to put her back in her bed. No go. Rocked her again in the glider for a bit, back to bed...hell no. Took her in and sat on the couch. She just laid on my chest and stared at the wall. Tried to put her back...forget it. You see where this is headed. I attempted to put her back in her bed seven times. The seventh time I had to walk out of the room. I went to my bed and the tears immediately poured out of my eyes and then suddenly *poof* dry as the desert. It was very strange. Like my body knew... hurry up and get this over with because you've got a long night ahead of you. I went right back in, took her back in bed with me (which I'd already tried) and she didn't fall asleep until nearly 4 a.m. She probably could have fallen asleep sooner if she hadn't been laying on her side and reaching all the way behind herself to rub my eyebrows.

The next night, she woke at 1:50 a.m. and was up until 4 a.m. Both nights she was physically terrified of her crib or room or both. Night terrors work that way, leaving the poor little baby unable to discern from reality fully expecting a beheaded Elmo to jump out from behind the dresser yelling, "I've eaten all the Keebler Garlic and Herb Toppers in the universe and you will get NOTHING!" Okay. Now I'm scared. And they say night terrors are hereditary. Great.

This morning she woke up at 4:50 a.m. I got her back to sleep in my bed, only to hear her yelling NO! NO! NO! She was sound asleep. So these terrors can last a few days to a few months. Not good for baby and so sad. Not good for student mommy, either, who has four tests, three projects and oh...I don't know...a child to take care of after only four hours of sleep.

Oh wait. I forgot. I did this for 16 months. How soon we forget.

Tuesday, March 3

Put Your Boobs Away, and Step Out of the Car.

A woman in Ohio was pulled over and cited for driving whilst talking on her cell phone...and nursing. WUT? Yes. Driving and nursing. Whoa. Is she from Louisiana? Did her car exceed such a speed limit that it raced into a portal through time? Did she somehow drive herself into the 1970s?

I can understand talking on your cell phone while driving. I don't do it when I have the baby in the car, but I do talk on the phone when she isn't with me. I will admit, there have been times when I've said, "Where in the hell is my phone?" only to realize I'm saying that into the phone to the poor person to which I'm talking. That is, how do they say it...not good.

I am not judging this woman for talking on the phone with her baby in the car. I'm sure there are moments when you would really need to talk to someone. I get that. But holding a cell phone, driving and nursing said baby simultaneously. I'm thinking this is a horrible terrible idea.

In the past, I have seen some things I wish I'd never seen. On two different occasions, men exposed themselves to me; one was performing some type of oral pleasure on a giant root vegetable and the other one was performing some type of five finger pleasure to himself. The second man must've done yoga or something, for he was able to really get his entire torso up out of the seat and above the steering wheel while still driving. Now THAT is something I would pull someone over for, especially if he was chatting on his cell. I mean, I hope he had hand sanitizer in his car. Or wipes or something.

I nursed for fourteen months. I didn't take my first road trip with the baby until she was sixteen months old. I didn't have to stop to nurse, but I did have to stop for lunch and a diaper change. The Ohio woman--who lives in Michigan and asserts she should only have to abide interstate by Michigan law--claims her usual seven hour drive would turn into a nine hour drive if she had to stop. That is a long time for a baby to ride in a car seat, I agree. The woman had the baby in her lap on a pillow and was nursing when a man saw her and called the police to have her pulled over. It would be really difficult to have to stop and nurse, especially if you were alone and there wasn't a nice safe place to feed your baby.

I know people got sick of seeing my breasts when I was nursing; I know I certainly did. And don't think for a minute that I didn't wish I could nurse in the car. I'd nursed everywhere else; Target, restaurants, the movies, book stores. I miss it. I'm all for women being able to just whip it out whenever they feel like it, but let's save the highway nudity for semi drivers and college frat boys. Just sayin'.

Sunday, March 1

I See...Myself Not Sleeping for a Month

When I was in college, my roommate and I were the very fortunate recipients of free cable. We had lived in the apartment for a few months before I had the notion to hook up my grandmother's old television to the little cable hook-up coming out the wall in the hopes it would act as an antenna. It worked. Oh, did it work. Free cable! We almost called to make sure we weren't being charged, but then realized that was just the Lord wanting us to turn ourselves in.

I'd never had cable before that moment. I didn't grow up in a house where cable was even available to be had. No no. My parents waited until I moved out of the house to get cable. They never did get call waiting. Something about the probability of them never receiving a single phone call stopped them from getting it. Like I would really have clicked over and told a friend of my parents' "You know...I'm on the other line talking to my friends about this girl who was talking about one of my friends and my friends are all like 'You can't talk about our friends and we're all like...well, you know...can I just have my dad call you back?" Yeah. That would've happened.

So needless to say, we were excited. Until...that fateful day when...I came across...Robert Stack and his fucking Unsolved Mysteries. For crap sake, put a warning on that stuff. Good God. I was so completely terrified. It was an episode about a little girl who would occasionally ask her mom if she could go outside and play with someone; someone who turned out to be a dead man who had lived in her house or something. He showed up at the door with a bloody hand. And then a mean ghost showed up. They moved. Yadda yadda. I'm sure that girl is a freaking MESS today.

I finally changed the channel and my roommate came in from class to find me curled up on the couch watching the television through the holes of a quilt.

"What are you doing?" she asked.
"Trying not to watch this show," I informed her.
"What's wrong with it?"
"It's scaring the shit out of me."
"So, change the channel."
"I did. But it's still there. When I'm watching Young and the Restless it's still there. Just because I changed the channel doesn't mean it's gone away. It's there."
Blank stare.
"I have to know what happens."

Well, The Sixth Sense is on right now. I saw this in the theater with a guy I knew from the bakery where I worked during massage therapy school. I ruined the movie for everyone around me fifteen minutes into it. "He's dead. No one else is talking to him and he's got the same outfit on." People were...pissed. And even though I figured it out straightaway, I couldn't sleep for a month. I had to call my date and have him walk up to my place and sleep on my couch. That's how afraid I was. Sadly, I'm letting this show air right now in my home. Even though I've seen it, it's on regular television, there are commercials and a lot of the stuff has been cut out I still cannot look at the screen half the time.

I have laundry to do tomorrow. It's in the basement of my building. My building is haunted. Everyone who lives here/has lived here confirmed it. In our basement is a closed off tunnel to the Underground Railroad. The inspiration for The Great Gatsby lived here. It's a beautiful creepy building. Every time I'm down there doing laundry I can feel someone staring at me. And when you run up the stairs, it sounds like someone is running after you. Fright. En. Ning.

I hope to one day get over my fear of basements and the dark. My dad used to say, to family (hopefully not to his friends) "If we didn't keep some toilet paper upstairs, she'd just go without." My babysitters' children used to scare the crap out of me when I was a kid and tell me that The Boogeyman was wherever we weren't so they didn't have to chase me. I want to be strong and brave for the baby girl. I certainly don't want her to come into my room one night saying, "There's something under my bed," to which I would reply, "Yeah, I know. I don't know what the hell you're doing in there by yourself."

Thursday, February 26

In on the Secret

So, it's that time of year again. When my mother calls me up and asks, "So...what'd you give up for Lent?" Only, now she's going to a Baptist church and I don't think they give a crap about giving stuff up. Except maybe dancing. Which I would NEVER give up, even if the only time I get to dance is in the morning when I'm making baby's breakfast and I'm trying to make her laugh....which is hard because I pride myself on my dancing ability so if she laughs it's ten minutes in the corner for her.

Well, Fat Tuesday sneaked up on me and I had to make a rush decision about what to do without for the next forty some-odd days. I went with beer, which is my usual M.O. In 1998, I gave up beer for Lent, and then I took up tequila. Those were good times. But now giving up beer isn't a real stretch because it's not something I need. And when you go out to eat, it does save about seven dollars. At least for my part of the bill, since I'm a bit of a beer snob. I've given up beer the last three years, though 2007 may not count since with was with child, which brings me to another point: If I'd had a looking glass I wouldn't have given up beer in 2006.

I also gave up Facebook. Watch out! My friends are a little upset by this. The Boy said I shouldn't do it and that when I go back I'll only have 137 friends. That may not be a bad thing. Somehow I've accumulated a crap load of people, or "pseudo-friends" as someone likes to all them. A lot of them have played huge parts in my life at one point or another. It's really wonderful catching up with them and not having to call them and chat on the phone. I would never do that.

My friends tried to get me to give up coffee instead of beer because St. Pat's is coming up and trust me, the two years I went out on St. Patrick's Day I made it three hours and fifteen minutes the first year and much longer actually when I was pregnant. But coffee doesn't cause me to lose hours in the day. Beer doesn't either. Okay. Yes, it does. Who am I kidding?

So I guess you'll be seeing more of me. Which should make my friends happy! ARE YOU EVEN READING THIS?

Happy Jesus' something to all of you!

Friday, February 20

No Fair. I Want Some!

I went to my practicum today. I have to make-up two days since I missed Monday and Wednesday last week with the sick little babykins. My little first-graders are the sweetest most hug-hungry children I've ever come across. They are always coming over to hug me; boys and girls. On Wednesday (they were off school on Monday for President's Day), one little girl said, "You look very pretty today." Yikes. She is already on to me. I had given a little more effort--okay, that's a lie...I'd actually given some effort finally--than usual and she picked right up on it. I really like her. She gets in trouble a lot and cries at the drop of a hat, but she is adorable and whoever dresses her in the a.m. has superb style.

Today, I walked into the class in the middle of their writing assignment. I put my bag down and took off my coat and jumped right in to help. I made sure to bend down so they wouldn't have to stare up my nose. As I was helping one girl (who is very bright) the girl next to her pointed to her own paper and DUDE! she had on a full-set of acrylic nails. She is SIX YEARS OLD.

At least it was glitter polish.

Saturday, February 14

It Really Was No Miracle/What Happened Was Just This

Baby got sick last Saturday in the car. Nothing worse than a baby throwing up in the car seat while you're on the highway going 65 mph. Poor little mite. The Boy was driving so I climbed into the back and wiped her little tears. He and I were on our way out to dinner with his family. My mother was keeping baby overnight. I called Gramma and alerted her to the situation and she met us in the driveway, swooped up the baby girl and whisked her off to a warm bath waiting in the very nice ceramic utility sink. The Boy and I want a square bathtub that comes up to our eye level. Sad to be so jealous of a baby's ability to look so tiny in a sink, but it's possible.

I chalked up her vomickin' to being car sick, as I get car sick very easily...especially so if I have to face backward like on the LIRR or subway. Egads. Look out stranger next to me...and open your briefcase.

We went to dinner and I picked her up the next morning at 7.30 a.m. She had gotten sick twice during the night. Okay. So, not car sick. She ended up puking up the entire contents of her breakfast all down my tee shirt and velour zip-up hoodie. It is times like that when you realize, yes, I do love this person. I didn't even flinch or blink or nearly gag. But I am quite certain, had it been anyone else's child, I probably would've have fainted right there in a pile of not-quite-half-digested vegan waffle and banana bits.

I took her home where she proceeded to throw up three more times, but not again after 3 p.m. I called the doctor-on-call and he said it was probably just a bug and to keep her hydrated. Duh. So I did. She didn't have dinner, but woke up at 2.15 a.m. Monday and ate an entire container of applesauce and kept it down. Later that more at the real wake-up time, she ate a whole banana and was fine. That afternoon, she asked for applesauce and threw it up. So I took her to the doctor. They said she wasn't dehydrated and to feed her normally, continue the fluids, give her a bottle (soy formula) and not the legendary BRAT diet.

I gave her a bottle that evening and she walked into the other room and barfed up nearly all of it onto the tile floor without missing a beat. That was the thing. No fever. Ever. Yet, she couldn't hold anything down. And after throwing up, she was the most cheerful child you'd ever seen.

Wednesday morning was a different story. She threw up six times in an hour and a half so I rushed her off to Children's Hospital. Emergency rooms are the Goodwill's of health care. No matter how dressed up you are--which I wasn't and I hadn't bathed since Monday night's semi-traumatic shower right after baby looked up at my dear friend and said, "I go two potties"--you look like a crazy homeless person and if you have a nice handbag they look at you like you shouldn't be shopping there.

Baby ended up getting an IV of fluids. Her glucose level was a 47; normal being 60-120. She has kept everything down since, demanding two bananas for breakfast and has eaten 400 puffy stars. I tried to get her to only have a few pieces of bread after I brought her back to The Boy's house but she was having none of it. With every handful of puffy stars and banana and crackers, I just KNEW she was going to puke it all up in mere seconds. But she did not. And, of course, she wasn't the least bit interested in drinking anything since her liquid cheeseburger at the hospital.

The wind outside had started to pick up. I'd heard it was going to be fairly windy that night. (I was hoping it wasn't going to be like the Hurricane Ike winds we'd inherited back in the early fall. The winds that ripped off my sunglasses and had me trapped against a planter for 25 minutes on my four minute walk to work.) I kept looking out the windows. Some trees were blowing and some weren't. It was very strange. I noticed a giant evergreen in the backyard of the neighbor's home and wondered how it had never fallen over. It is sooo tall and precariously placed on a hill.

About 45 minutes later, I put baby down and went into the kitchen to do some homework online. I wasn't in the kitchen ten minutes when I heard a sound I've never heard before. Suddenly the power went out and I was pretty sure it was a tornado ripping apart the house. From the bruises on my knees I'm quite certain I crawled my way out of the kitchen. I rammed my head into the banister when I'd made it out into the front room. I was screaming for The Boy and was desperately trying to climb my way up the stairs to the bedrooms. He has been sick for two weeks and had been asleep since the late afternoon.

I thought for sure the house was going to be swept away and that he and baby were going to be gone forever. My legs were Jell-O. I crawled into the baby's room and felt around for her bed. I couldn't see a thing. I tried to walk back downstairs but remembering how I'd already fallen down those stairs with her before I just sat down in the hall and cried. He came running downstairs and said, "It's okay. It's just the power. It's just the power." I said, "No! Something came into your kitchen." He walked past me and a few seconds later came out and asked, "Were you in the kitchen? Were you in the kitchen!?" I said, "Yes." He gave me a hug and said, "A tree came through the roof. It's just a tree."

A 65 foot tree fell onto his house and burst through his roof four feet from where I was standing. I am pretty sure I'm very lucky. I know I am very grateful that The Boy and the baby are safe and sound. I can't imagine what I would have done if it had truly been what I'd imagined.

The next morning while the tree parts were being cut out of three spots in his roof, we decided to go out to breakfast since the tree had knocked down the power lines and the kitchen was unusable. I went to start my car and...nothing. My fuel pump went out. Just talked to the service station and it's going to be $300 or so to fix. Great.

I am beginning to think trees hate me. When I moved in with my ex-husband, the 100-year-old tree in his front yard died. We moved and the 15-year-old tree in our front yard died. And now this. Maybe it's because of my stationery addiction. I'll try to be better.

Wednesday, February 4

Ready? Set. Stop.

This semester is a bust.

I was off school last week from Monday to Thursday. My practicum therefore was canceled on Monday and Wednesday, as well. Only, I didn't realize that the county had called off school. I was up at 6.20 a.m. on Monday for some reason...can't remember why.... The only schools that were called off were an hour and a half away. They still get our local news and Lexington's news. So I figured it was just bad weather to the west and south of us.

I suspected baby was teething. She had a temperature of 100.4. Oh yeah! That's why I was awake at 6.20 a.m. Duh. Anyway, I didn't want to take her to daycare, so I called my mother and asked her if she would come down and watch her. It was about time for her nap and I didn't particularly want to take her outside if it wasn't necessary.

I drove out to my practicum with no problem whatsoever. I pull into the parking lot...empty. WTH? I didn't see anything on the news about it. It had snowed a tiny bit and was pretty cold but it wasn't unbearable. There wasn't even any snow on the roads. I still don't know if they'd been let go early or if school had been called off altogether.

I ended up using the few minutes of pretend free time I had and stopped by a consignment shop. I found some really great jeans; two pair of Gap and one pair of Banana Republic all for under $3.99. They were marked 50% off. I can't figure out why they were still there. I also found the greatest sweater ever invented: cable-knit cream sweater with a hood, no buttons, and a belt. Also in the 50% off room. There were only two other things on the rack with it, so it wasn't like someone needed to search through a hundred sweaters to find it. It was just there begging to be purchased. I bought it for $3.50. Crazy.

When I went to pay my card was rejected three times. Card error. I left my stuff there and went home. My lovely mother was headed out to the grocery which is right next door to the store and picked up my clothes for me. She's so wonderful. I can't wait to do things like that for baby. I love getting little gifts for my mom. Things she wants that she would never buy for herself, like Chanel No. 5 Body Creme, which has replaced Chanel No. 5 Body Lotion. (If you remember...everything I like is eventually canceled or discontinued. I do not lie about these things.)

I went home and checked my balance through the bank's website. Plenty of money. One of my resolutions is to only write checks for things. Hope you don't end up in line behind me. My mother writes checks everywhere she goes. Remember the fit she threw at Gap Outlet? She threw the same fit at IKEA. I think it is very important and a great way to keep track of expenses. I just suck at it.

Friday, I went with The Boy to a store downtown to buy us stainless steel water bottles. Card error wasn't the message this time, but something more elitist. Finally I had the sense to call my bank.

Baby Fish Mouth: Something is wrong with my debit card.
Teller: Account number?
BFM: *waiting*
Teller: Oh, this card has been canceled.
BFM: Uh...nuh uh.
Teller: Yes, it has.
BFM: By whom?
Teller: Well, the company who owns your card had a security breach so your card was canceled.
BFM: How was I supposed to know this?
Teller: Well, it was on the news last week. Don't you watch the news?
BFM: No. I don't. I quit watching the news when I saw a bank teller had been strangled through the phone. (I didn't really say that, but I wanted to say it.)

I'm sorry. Do I have to rely on the local news to tell me important information from my bank? They can't even freaking tell me when the schools are closed.

Thursday, January 29

You've Lost Me

So, Facebook has taken the place of another site that I couldn't get away from for a few years. I've been there recently and not here and I apologize.

Recently a Poll: went around asking people to name 25 random things about themselves. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. And after reading everyone else's list, I remembered a ton of things that I forgot to add to mine. It was very stressful. I considered myself to be very boring, but I will refrain from redoing my list. I cannot be such a freakazoid anymore. I must let things remain as they are, mistakes and all. Ooh. Dang. I should have put that down.

1. I wish I still had all my Seventeen magazines from the 80s and that my parents hadn't thrown them out when they moved. I also wish I had a lot of things that are gone and that every time I ask "Whatever happened to my yearbooks?" my mother wouldn't say, "We told you if you wanted something you had to come and get it."

2. I love my daughter more than I've ever loved anything in the world, yet I can't stop thinking about what I'd do if anything ever happened to her. It's not an enjoyable thought.

3. I am addicted to stationery and office products. If there was a 12 step group I'd probably join it but then I'd just end up meeting a bunch of people with really great stationery.

4. If someone handed me $1000 and told me I couldn't keep it and I had to spend it by the end of the day, I'd blow it all on books, Moleskine journals, magazines and CDs at Joseph Beth. And a latte in Bronte.

5. I have turned into one of those mother's who hopes her daughter does everything she never got to do.

6. For one day I'd like to be able to sing like Joni Mitchell. I'd take my guitar to NYC and sing on the subway platforms.

7. I wanted nothing more than to live in NYC. When I lived there, I missed Kentucky for the first time in my life. It's so beautiful and green and lovely. i never appreciated it before then.

8. I've worn glasses since the third grade. I still remember walking into class and Becky Pike clapped because she was the only other person in our class who had glasses.

9. I cheered for an arena football team. I could have met the man of my dreams if I'd paid really close attention to the equipment manager.

10. The best job I've ever had in my life was at Wildflour Bakery when I was in massage therapy school; it ruined me for all future jobs.

11. I had a spinal fusion when i was 16 years old. I broke my rod and had the surgery again when I was 19 years old. My doctor had never had to repeat a surgery in his entire career until I came along. Go figure.

12. I am getting my second bachelor's degree because I want to teach elementary grades. I could have gone for my master's in teaching but I would've only been able to teach middle grades. I'll still have to get my master's.

13. I am addicted to coffee but cannot finish an entire cup when I'm at home. I especially love the first sip.

14. I won a bike-a-thon in the third grade. The prize was a bike. I was so excited. When we went to pick it up I was so upset. It was a boy's bike. It had lightning on the seat. I never rode it. Not once.

15. My eyes were so dark brown you could hardly see my pupils until my sophomore year in high school when they turned hazel.

16. The girls on my floor my freshman year in college forbade me from watching "Little House on the Prairie" because I would sob for an hour each morning.

17. My dream job is to be a writer of fiction.

18. I wish I could go back in time.

19. My favorite teacher growing up was Mrs. Kearns. Our class was in a trailer in the back of the school. One day, a guy came into the class. He was in college and had her as his 2nd grade teacher. He said that she had told him years before that if she had a rocking chair she would read to the class all day long. He brought her a rocking chair, put it together while we had class and then she read to us for the rest of the day.

20. When I was a kid, I would dog-ear the pages of the Service Merchandise catalog. Not to keep track of the stuff I wanted, but to mark the pages in the children's section of the boys and girls I wanted for brothers and sisters. This made my mother cry.

21. I have my degree in journalism, yet I loathe watching the news and rarely read the paper, unless it's the NY Times Arts or Style sections. Or the Enquirer's puzzle page.

22. The only way I know I'm mad is when the tears come out. I hate that.

23. When I was in elementary school, I would wake up in the mornings, plug in the coffee for my parents and then I would go to my mom's side of the bed, kneel down and put my head on the mattress. She would play with my hair until she heard the coffee pot finish and then she'd tell me to go get dressed. I did this Monday-Friday.

24. I can say the alphabet backwards faster than I can say it forwards.

25. I wish I could live forever.

Tuesday, January 20

Friday, January 16

It's a Sign That I've Watched This Movie Too Many Times

I was watching Grey's Anatomy last night, which by the way--I still don't know what in the world is going on and only have one particular friend to blame for even having it on the television in the first place--will leave me traumatized for some time to come. The last scene was one of the most disturbing things I've seen on television since...well, since I caught part of an episode of another show I don't watch called Nip/Tuck, where a woman blew Build-a-Bear stuffing into some guy's mouth and...let's just leave it at that. Both of these scenes make me want to poke out my mind's eye. I couldn't even look at the television last night during the last moments. Just hearing it forced me to look away and cover my eyes.

I did, however, catch a teaser for Good Morning America about the US Airways plane which crash landed into the Hudson. The plane took off from LGA and was in route to Charlotte. I'm sorry...WUT? That is my child's name. Charlotte Hudson. So utterly eerie, it has also been burned into my brain.

I was reminded of something else that was a little freaky deaky. About a week after my dad passed away, I met a friend at a bookstore, which also has a wonderful little restaurant in it, across the river. I was telling her about how I'd hung-out at the hospital all day long on that Thursday and that evening I had decided to go home, shower, feed my cats and I would come back to stay with my mom and dad. Almost as soon as I had decided to leave, my dad started making noises like "Mm-mm" as if he was telling someone "No." This went on for many minutes. A nurse came in and said to him, even though he was in a coma-like state, "I'm going to roll you over on your side." He said, "MM-MM." She backed away and said, "Okay. I heard that" and left the room. After about twenty minutes, I said I would be back and kissed his hand. I didn't even make it to the parking lot before he had passed away. It was if he had been telling someone, "I'm not coming with you until my daughter leaves." I was telling my friend this as we were waiting to be seated in the restaurant. We were standing next to a book shelf of greeting cards. Just as I finished that sentence, a pack of cards on a wooden book shelf approximately 12 feet high fell from the top shelf and landed face up on my foot. There was no way anyone could have bumped the shelf and caused the cards to fall. They were all set back about four inches from the edge. We looked down and saw that the cards simply read: Hello. That was it. My friend and I stood there and cried. And laughed. It was a good sign. I bought that pack of cards and still have them.

So I like to think that this recent event is also a sign. A sign that she will be okay. That everything happens for a reason. Now that certain things are underway regarding her future--that if her biological father were not out-of-town right now he would have seen the whole scene from his office window--she will be strong and fearless. I like to think this about myself as well. And just as the Hudson saved countless lives in NYC yesterday, I know that my Hudson saves my life everyday. And I believe my dad is watching.

Monday, January 12

Thursday, January 8

You Look...Different

I am starting school on Monday. The following week I will be doing a two-day practicum in a local elementary school. Thus...teachery clothes will need to be purchased.

You know...I should have really thought this whole going-back-to-school-to-work-in-a-school "thing." I have no CLUE how I am ever going to become a morning person. Baby wakes up at 7.15 a.m. or 7.30 a.m. most days and that is an ungodly hour for me. Once I get a teaching job...I should be sitting at my desk by that time. WUT? Someone hold me.

I went to the Gap Outlet with my mom the other day. I'd like to say I forgot how much she abhors that place, but I didn't. I get a really demented sense of joy listening to her freak out when we walk in the door. "What in the world?" "Are these clothes used?" "What do you mean you won't accept my check? You're treating me like some kind of criminal!" When I informed her that eChecks (the check verifying company used by Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, etc.) never accepts a check from someone who has never written a check there before, the girls who were working the register looked at me like I'd just found the Holy Grail. How'd she know that? My mom was none too happy and made sure they all knew it.

Anyway, I got some pants and a skirt, but that is not going to get me through the whole semester. I have no clue how to dress or what I'm going to wear. Or how on Earth I'm going to look presentable everyday. I am a Hat Girl and love to just throw one on and run out the door. Cute hats. Only the occasional baseball cap. I'm pretty sure hats are a big no-no for teachers. Now I'm going to have to do my hair everyday. How do teachers do this? And I just realized...I'm probably going to have to shower every night. OMG.

I remember my teachers in school always having curled hair and looking nice. Maybe they had a team of people who helped them get ready everyday. I want to look professional but also romantic like my high school English teacher. She wore great soft sweaters and flowy-legged pants. I went through a serious Meg Ryan phase after Sleepless in Seattle came out years ago. Perhaps I will channel her again. Her style in When Harry Met Sally and You've Got Mail are equally adorable. Yes. That may be the ticket. Because I don't think my old work tee shirt that reads "No one beats our meat" on the back is going to cut it.

Monday, January 5

In the Same Amount of Time I'll Be 72!

A week from today I will celebrate the seventh birthday since my dad died. I only had seven birthdays before he became my dad. I really wanted to do a tribute to him in October but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I'm still pretty raw. It took two years to hit me and it nearly knocked me unconscious. But everyday I can feel him giving me a little push. Telling me not to cry, to get my work done and to take time to enjoy a freshly mowed lawn.

In 2002, my father passed away after a brief battle with cancer. He owned his own business. A transmission shop where he had been working since he was 9 years old. It was owned by his uncle and he pumped gas. His father took it over and my dad continued to work there until he was drafted into the Vietnam War. He came home, continued working there and eventually became the owner. He worked Monday through Friday only taking ten vacations until the week before he died. All he wanted to do was complete the sale on his business and spend what little time left with my mother. He never got that opportunity. At his funeral, hundreds of people turned out to pay their respects. One man brought a black beret that my father had left him when they were in Vietnam. He had kept it all those years and gave it to my mother.

Still to this day, people ask me, "Are you related to Mike?" and when I tell them he's my dad they say, "He was the greatest man I ever met." A mechanic, who loved his life, his wife, his child and everyone he ever met. That is the impact I want to have on the people I encounter in my lifetime. In thirty years, I want my daughter to hear people say something similar about me. I just hope I'm here to hear it.