Thursday, November 29, 2012

turns out I was only Mostly Dead



Any shameless excuse for Princess Bride




In what will forever be known as Flumageddon 2012, the entire family was felled by one nasty bug.


First, my dad had it.  Y’all remember my dad, right?  The Man Who Says His Face Shall Not Be On This Blog.

So Exhibit 1:


(Enjoy my creepy artistic skills and your 1-in-4 chance of guessing which one is my Dad.  He’s the one that will be chasing me with a golf club after seeing this picture.  But technically I didn’t violate the FACE rule, right Dad? Right?)


Exhibit 2:  So you already saw Monday:



Exhibit 3:  Thanksgiving



Exhibit 4:  Also Thanksgiving.  Mommio & Itty Bit down for the count.



Exhibit 5:  Not technically part of Flumageddon, but definitely added to the intensity of YUCK.  Following our really sedate Thanksgiving meal, I received a random photo message from an unknown long-distance number.

Seriously, has any stranger ever sent you one of these?


I was somewhat relieved to see the caption, “The King of Elbutts”, but still had no idea who had sent it.  Mystery solved when the photo was Facebooked to me from some out-of-state relatives who have a gnarly sense of humor and remembered the elbutt sagaI’m warning you not to click and biggify that image(as GunDiva would say)


Exhibit 6:  Black Friday


(at least I didn’t haul him out shopping anyway and let him helpfully throw up into his hands like he did last year in Macy’s)


Exhibit 7:  Heck no, I’m not showing you a picture of me.  Just imagine that Sunday I got run over by a Mack truck.  Or three.  And then they backed their bad selves up over me. 



Exhibit 8:  Kiddo sent home from school today.



Exhibit 9:  My sis’ entire family knocked flat:


(Sorry Ju, most recent pic I have of all of you includes my photobombing rockstar)


Exhibit 10:  Again, not technically part of Flumageddon, but a noteworthy mess:  Beautiful Dummy Boy otherwise known as Joey got out at 1am.  No pictures of the incident, because it included hollering by both man and beast.  Thankfully they both had the same goal in mind.  My girl is worth her fence-respecting weight in gold.



Exhibit 11:  Dad-in-law is now coming down with the yuck :(



Exhibit 12:  Aaaand Mr. Daddy just walked back in the door and is now sound asleep at 2pm.


I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around the numbers, but Mr. Daddy has dropped 20 pounds in the past three weeks of being sick, he’s worked a total of one shift in 20 days, and I’ve worked one in 14.



Family Thanksgiving dinner was cancelled.

Black Friday shopping was cancelled.

Breathing through my nose was cancelled.


Exactly how long are you supposed to survive on Dayquil/Nyquil/Sudafed until you start seeing those fine print side effects?  twitch twitch


On Tuesday, I drug myself to the kitchen and made chicken soup.  Which made me cry.  Because Mom used to bring me chicken soup when I was sick.  And I asked her one day to teach me to make it.  And she got the funniest smile on her face, then leaned forward conspiratorially and stage whispered, “I get it in a bag… I just add vegetables to it”.


And as I stirred the soup mix out of the bag into the pot, I couldn’t stop the tears.  Part of me felt a bit angry still at being robbed of her so soon.  And another part was just so grateful.  She’d given me more than a secret recipe shortcut that day.  She gave me permission not to be SuperMom.  The woman who ironed her towels and put bleach in her car soap… was still comforting me with her chicken soup secret.


After I walked a bowl of the soup out to Mr. Daddy and told him how much I missed his mom, my phone buzzed.  My own mother – sick herself – painstakingly texted an entire prayer for our healing.  There is never a day that goes by that I don’t know that I’m covered in her prayers.  And because I can’t hear her, she types them out key by key.  I kind of hit the jackpot in every kind of parentage.




So I’m sitting here.  Sick.  and Grateful.


And still looking for the funny.




double eyebrows




Yep.  That does it for me.

Every time.



What’s your happiness today?



Monday, November 19, 2012

Magnet Day



I’m writing this so that someday when I whine about something truly petty, someone can simply shoot me a knowing look and say, “but remember THAT day?”

(One eyebrow arched as you say it).


Or maybe it would make one reader feel better about their own day.  If I were a sweet southern gal, I’d say that would make it all worth it.  But HOLY COW I never ever want to relive this day.

The day that was a magnet for all things rotten.




To put it mildly, the redneck dude I love has been feeling pretty beat up lately.  One of the (no surprise) symptoms of his numbers is extreme fatigue.  We both half-survived a super fun slumber party with all four of these crazies last weekend.


slumber party

(That would be Cutie Left, Cindy Lou Hoo, Bubba, and Itty Bit.  For a post on the insanity that ensues when these particular munchkins combine forces and the littlest one pretty much takes them all out… here)


I knew it had taken too much out of Mr. Daddy when he ended up with an entire week home on sick leave.  He was wiped out and having every symptom of that darn “levels” thing that the docs just wouldn’t fix.


Then he started coughing.


Then the fever.


Sunday morning it was 103.3 and he wouldn’t let me take him to the doctor.  He slept

And by Monday morning he hadn’t eaten since Saturday and was barely cognizant when I took his temperature.




When he agreed to go to Urgent Care, I did a mental Hallelujah.  But was sad to see how rough he must be feeling to agree to go.


The storm forecast was floating somewhere in my brain when we decided to drop Itty Bit of at school first.


And let me tell you… I cannot remember another thirty minutes of more intense prayer time on the road.

It was pretty much a nonstop carwash on the freeway.  Huge sprays of water kicked up by cars hydroplaning on each side.  Gusts pushing you across your lane.  Metal light signal posts bouncing in the wind.


We pulled into the quickly-flooding Urgent Care parking lot and were drenched in a heartbeat.

He was one of TWO patients (what?!?) and got in quickly.


I will never ever ever get used to this sight.


urgent care



My strong redneck with a brutal work ethic and a scary-quick wit.




And this is where my day truly started unraveling.


They didn’t do bloodwork.

He said he hadn’t eaten since Saturday or had much to drink.

They didn’t push fluids via IV.

They took his blood pressure and flinched.

A new vein was visible on his left temple.

His fever had *just* broken and he’d soaked through his shirt.


They sent him home.


They wanted to call it a chest cold.  Then the flu.

But about those crazy levels that could be causing all his other symptoms...?

“Oh no, we’re Urgent Care.  We don’t do that”.


So their answer was a che$t x-ray.  Since I’m sure the deductible for that is much sweeter than the deductible for a bloodwork panel that they might have to actually take action on.




So we battled the storm to grab more Tylenol and chicken soup ingredients on our way home.

And for the second time in my life, I found myself deaf and blind in a huge store, as the power went out and plunged us all into darkness.


Half-panic until the generators turned on.


Then darkness again.  Then generators again.





We got out of dodge to head home.


To a cold house without power.


Of course.


(Remember last time Mr. Daddy returned from the hospital, the power was off too?!)


We now had bags of groceries and no way to cook them.  No way to get any kind of warm broth in the sick dude.


We hauled wood inside and stoked a fire.  He loaded up on three blankets and promptly fell asleep with his coat, shoes and hat on.


Then the email from the school.

Phones down, storm conditions, pick up your child if you are concerned.


I hit the road and 20 minutes later my phone buzzed.  A text message from Mr. Daddy saying the dentist had called about my appointment.  The appointment that started 15 minutes ago.





I picked up the confused kiddo and dashed to the dentist office.  They ushered me in and gave Itty Bit a chair nearby.  I threw him my phone with explicit instructions that the volume must be muted.  He agreed and immediately began making his own sound effects for what apparently was a helicopter shooting game.


BAM!  BAM BAM BAM BOOM!  (machine gun fire) BAM.  WHOO!!!


With someone’s hands, fourteen metal instruments and a spit-sucker-thingie hanging in my mouth, I growled out,

“Mff Mfff Ummm Gfpppp NOW!”


And the dude IGNORED me.

Like really bad.

Like four times in a row as he BAM-BAM’d at full volume in the partitioned office where four (hearing) patients also had sharp instruments in their mouths and I was wildly kicking my foot out trying to reach his knee.


My poor dental hygienist stopped and waited for me to bark orders with spit and pink fluoride dripping down my chin.

What could I do but confiscate the phone.  And then have a ticked off 6-year old with NOTHING to do.  In PUBLIC.  While I couldn’t say a single intelligible word to him or even watch him around all the metalwork in my mouth and the bright light blinding me.  #shootmenow


Helpfully, the dentist arrived and asked about stress.


Stress?  What do you mean?


Well, you’re clenching your teeth and grinding them.  And doing a lot of damage.


I laughed at him.  Because I’d cry if I don’t.  And I add my signature to the “this isn’t covered by insurance” quote paperwork.


One more meltdown from Itty Bit and we headed out to the car to fight the storm for another half hour.


We got in the car and Itty Bit announced, “IT’S HEALED!” while pulling a bandaid from his thumb.

What’s healed?

My thumb!

What happened?

I was sharpening my scissors in class.

You were what?

Yeah… the teacher said never ever do that again.

What?  What were you sharpening them with?

My thumb.




I died.  I stopped the car and laughed hysterically.  And I thought, “this is how people go insane in the span of one day.”


(No worries, I’m not the WORST mom.  Itty Bit was laughing too because he was so happy he wasn’t in bigger trouble).


So how was your day?



Wednesday, November 07, 2012

deja poo


(Thanks for all the sweet support on the last post.  So many big decisions coming up, and I appreciate your prayers!  And in true OnceUponAmiracle fashion… let’s jump straight back into the craziness!)



You recall Itty Bit’s mission to visit every public restroom in a tri-state area, right?

And the one colossal backfire (har) when one was *ahem* less than pleasant?




So what I failed to mention about our last trip to Target, was that of course, the boychild had to use the restroom.  I thought I was being smart by heading for the “secret” one by the pharmacy.  You know, the “family” one where you don’t have to worry about people two stalls over listening in as your child discovers what the hole in the front of his “underwears” is for?



So the kiddo doing the pee-pee dance is nearly doubled over by the time I quickly shut the door and flip the lock.

By then it is too late and we both collectively gasp as our eyes begin to water.


“Momma!”, he chokes.


I know honey, I know.


“But MOMMA!”


Wincing and groaning and much holding of breath.

He can’t even get another word out.  Holding his breath is now a matter of survival.

And for the first time ever – the stench was so nauseating that I hauled him out without the mandatory hand washing.





The poor kid nearly drowned via antibacterial shower once we were far, far away.


Well played Target shopper, well played.






So today?




Happiness is FRESH AIR!




Monday, November 05, 2012




I don’t even know how to title this post.

Losing Mom last year, my husband being diagnosed three weeks later… we’ve been in the middle of another completely different storm that has rocked nearly every area of our lives.


That “thing I can’t talk about”.


It sucks to the eleventieth degree to be unable to write, to vent, to share.  And the circumstances are such that it is intentionally isolating. 

Except… when you take the written word away from a deaf person, you rob them of more than just convenience.


So in the most carefully ambiguous way I can word it; I’m hurting.


I came home tonight to a sheaf of mistruths, half truths, outright lies.  The goal is “winning”.  Most people would have seen long ago that the truth was not what anyone wanted to know.  Na├»ve.



When this is all over, people will walk away.  Return to their lives.


But I’m changed.  Damaged.


And they hardly care.


This story has struck at the heart of what makes me, me.  Which has never been a victim.  But even I have been utterly in awe at the enormous resources expended to intimidate.

I see why people give up.


I don’t want to be another casualty.  I’m standing in the shadow of a modern day Goliath and trying to forget how much anti-nausea medication it takes to keep standing.


Even writing it sounds melodramatic.  But when this is over, it won’t.  When I have my words back and can share what they don’t want to see in print…


Right is worth it.


Right is worth it.






To look for something deeper than happiness that depends on circumstances.

And so profoundly grateful that I am not alone.


The one who is willing to shoulder every hurt and uncertainty:

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

All who rage against you
will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
will be as nothing and perish.

Though you search for your enemies,
you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
will be as nothing at all.

For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.

Isaiah 41:10-13


Right is worth it.




Sunday, November 04, 2012

secret weapon


There’s nothing like cleaning a carseat to make you feel like the grodiest person alive.

I mean, what kind of mother lets her kid sit in 14 pounds of goldfish crackers smashed into granola bar goo?  (Insert picture of moi).


You know it.

The whole drama was started with a tiny Lego piece that fell into an even tinier space.


Legos are responsible for much of the angst in my life.  True story.


Even though I was terrified of trying to put this rocket science puzzle back together again…

I still had to disassemble it and throw all non plastics into the wash. 




All that to say…I have an excuse for the following picture where my son was in mortal danger by being strapped in a temporary booster seat.  (He’s 8 pounds over needing the super-duper-five-point-harness-thingie-that-he’ll-hopefully-never-have-to-thank-me-for, but I pretty much don’t care.  Helicopter moms rule!  Be assured the seat has been reassembled.)





He had just screamed, “YOU ARE THE BEST MOM EVER!”



I’m going to remember this moment forever and ever.  Especially on a day when he thinks I’m not so cool.  But for now?




Happiness is Pringles.




Saturday, November 03, 2012

Jailbreak to Gratitude


So we broke out of jail, and wound up getting a date night courtesy of my parents and their slight affection for their only grandson.


Is it crazy that I could not stop giggling as we settled into our movie theater seats and watched the opening scenes of a movie that didn’t include animated characters or songs that refuse to vacate your head for two weeks?





I loved seeing that smile on Mr. Daddy’s face.  Ignore my weird chin.


And the movie?  The last ten minutes, the captions could have pretty much read:





running steps








Thus explaining the smile on the dude’s face.




Happiness is seeing your husband make his John Wayne face and mutter, “yeaaaaah” when the good guy gets off a couple of punches.




We went to dinner with a giftcard… and wound up with food to bring home.

I could not stop thinking about how easy it is to take for granted that our next meal is pretty much a given.  And that we are so blessed, that I have weight to lose.  Anyone else say Amen?

Linny’s post played over and over again in my head.




Itty Bit and I went to Target this week.

I could see the cashier flinch as we pulled into her line.


132 items.






Dozens of items from the dollar section (which I never though I’d be brave enough to revisit after the entire “BLEEDING TO DEATH IN TARGET” debacle.)


She sighed.  Her annoyance was all over her face.


Itty Bit stilled his chatter to observe her.

Waited for her to make eye contact.

Then said in a quiet earnest voice:


“They’re for Operation Christmas Child.

They’re for kids in Africa.

For Christmas.”





The other Target employee behind us in line watched quietly as the checker paused.

My six-year old knew the significance of this “routine” transaction.  Kids in a far away country would see that someone cares.  And he was inviting this weary employee to be part of something special.  He looked at her as if it were a secret they were sharing.


I watched her annoyance melt.  She stopped stuffing items uncaringly into the bags.  She smiled at him.


You know what?  When I grow up, I want to be like my kid.




(Go here for more information about Operation Christmas Child).




Thursday, November 01, 2012

From Finland to Jail


So when your mother starts hinting that you haven’t updated the blog for awhile… then outright tells you, “you should blog that”… you know you really ought to get back to it.

Because, you know.  She’s your mom.  And she’s not afraid to do something drastically blogworthy to make her point.




So we left off with Finland.  Where I mentally transported myself after sending my son under an {occupied} dressing room door to unlock it.

Mother of the year right here folks.


And while everyone else Facebooked their eminently normal holiday festivities last night… we spent ours where I probably deserved after that dressing room breaking-and-entering stunt.

jail cell



Beat that.


I looked at those little exposed toilets and did a little pee-pee shiver.  Ick.


So instead of giving you a wildly inventive story about how I wound up in jail, I’ll just say that I was supremely grateful that they allowed cute little visitors on the tour :)



Why yes, yes that is Itty Bit stuffing his face with goldfish crackers.  Is he pretty much the cutest fighter pilot/army guy you ever did see?  (He insisted on dragging a huge toy automatic rifle everywhere.  Which is fine when you are at home with a deaf momma, but apparently royally annoying when you are out in public and pull the trigger for 14 minutes without pause).

And the terrible picture quality?  Because I was threatened with being placed in one of those cells with Bubba if I broke out my real camera.




There were a few stops between Finland and jail.

As in here:



Any guesses where we met up with this dangerous crew?




So many things to blog about… that kind of fodder doesn’t quit happening just because life gets hard and sucky.  Nothing helps quite as much as concentrating on things you’re grateful for, right?  Don’t hold me to it (my OCD self is cringing), but I’m going to try to post each day to at least focus on those things.




For today?

Happiness is watching your husband gulp the last few inches of his coffee so that he can drive and hold your hand at the same time.




What makes you happy?