Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm Merely a Grasshopper

Today I am going to write a tribute to my mostest favoritest teacher of all time. He was actually never MY teacher but the things he and his family taught me were more valuable and helpful in my life than anything I've learned in the classroom. Today's post is dedicated to the one: the only: Mr. Strecker.
When I started Jr. High our principal was kind of a push over. He let the kids in our school do things like hold hands in the hallways and (gasp) wear tank tops. If you got sent to the principal's office you got a little lecture and were sent on your way. When I was in 8th grade we got a new principal. *dun Dun DUN!* On the first day of school that year we had the usual all school assembly. In our small town all school meant 7th grade through seniors, this was about 100 kids all together. Mr. Strecker introduced himself and wasted no time laying down some new rules. First off there would be a strict "hands off" policy in school. No touching! Second there would be a dress code; no inappropriate clothing of any kid. This was an outrage!  My fiend Brian coughed the word "bullshit" and Mr. Strecker didn't even ask if he had heard Brian right, he just kicked him out and gave him in-school suspension!!! I swear, it was like we were staring right at the male version of Miss Viola Swamp! (If you don't remember who she is, google her)
But alas, I love crabby old people (when I was 13 Mr. Strcker was considered old...now that I am over 30 I have sense changed that ruling) so I knew right away I would love Mr. Strecker. I just needed to find his weakness. I set to work right away and he proved to be much less of a challenge than I had expected. His weakness was as simple as a twinkle of the eye. If you wanted to cause mischief all you had to do was smile and show the evil gleam in your eye and he turned into an ornery kid right along with you. My friends and I would sit by him and his wife at basketball games just to hear his comments about the other teams. The little kids I babysat for would instantly look at him like a grandpa. He would speak in French to them and laugh at their sweet confused faces. He had a great big smile and a great laugh and the little kids ate him up. I would beg him to call down to Mrs. Dlabel's math class and have her send me and my best friend Tara to the office so we could get out of math and listen to him tell stories of his family and past teaching jobs. When he would get a call from someone important he rarely made us leave the room but would put the phone down on the desk and make us laugh then pick the phone up again and talk as if he was listening the whole time. It was the first time I had ever met an adult that could be respected and taken seriously but could have so much fun at the same time. He taught me not to take life so seriously. He also taught me that it's not being "fake" when you're behaving as you should when you should only to turn around an have some mischievous fun when the time is right.
The biggest obsicle in my life so far was when my first husband and I were in a terrible accident and spent months in the hospital.  It was the attitude that Mr. Strecker and his family had shown me that let me laugh at the things we were going through. I would laugh at some of the things Danny did (like thinking he was getting totally drunk on...MILK) and I was free to not feel guilt about laughing at him or our situation. I knew I loved him and I knew what mattered; and having fun while we were there so he could learn how to...oh... eat...talk and walk was one of the only things that kept me hopeful. A good attitude and the grace of God.
One of my dearest friends recently described me like this; "Sarah, who makes no excuses whatsoever for herself.....she can insult a person while simultaneously charming them....You see, Sarah is not blonde, so she has to rely on things like actual humor and intelligence to get her by. I know. I feel sorry for her too. But don't expect her to feel like life cheated her out of anything." This is EXACTLY how I would describe my dear Mr. Strecker,  I am merely the cute young grasshopper and he was my teacher. <3

Monday, September 26, 2011

The life of boobs

I was looking at my body tonight wishing that I had a better figure and thinking about how boobs migrate shift over time.  This made me think of some of my first memories of my own boobs and when I realized I was becoming a woman. 
I remember writing my mom a note asking if I could start wearing a bra.  I threw it at her in her chair and ran away to my room embarrassed.  I'm guessing I was hoping she would just write back....she didn't.  I remember the knot in my stomach when I heard her softly knock on my bedroom door.  My mom is a great mom.  She didn't let me grow up too fast. She told me that I wasn't old enough yet but it wouldn't be long until I was ready for first training bra. During that talk she mentioned something about not needing a bra until I could hold a pencil under my "breast" .........Ummmm......excuse me, What??? What did that even MEAN?????  This made NO sense to me.  Shouldn't I get a training bra to train for this great pencil challenge?
That conversation has haunted me stuck with me over the years.  What was the pencil tests origin??? Who on earth thought of this little boob test and why a pencil?  So, what the hell?  Standing there in my bathroom this evening I grabbed a pencil...no, I'm not a math genius but I know that test would be worthless!.....I wrote down some thoughts on boobs.
I give you: The Life of Boobs*:
  • When a girl becomes a woman she has perky little breasts that don't sag, stand up at attention and look pretty. She has a hard time filling a bra.
  • When a woman becomes a mother she gets gigantic, fabulous breasts that can move mountains.  She has a hard time staying in a bra.
  • When a mom is...well..a run down, haggard shell of the vibrant woman she use to be she gets has what appears to be flesh colored bean bags that have somehow lost at LEAST half of the beans. But the bottom of the saggy bag is still somewhat firm.  She has a hard time finding a clean bra what with all the laundry.
  • When a grandmother is born she has the chest of a small child and  there are two little, deflated, squishy sacks of boob left on each side of her belly button.  She doesn't give a shit about a bra.
*Information gathered from my own personal experience as a woman and as a nurse's aid in the nursing home where, depending on personal preference, I would help shove old, tired boobs into bras or let them hang free.
Also, based on my experience, I am confident in saying The Life of Balls would be quite similar to The Life of Boobs....but I'm not going to write that one. ;)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Children of the corn?

Brad and I like to watch ghost stories and paranormal stuff to try to scare ourselves into...I don't know what...we just like to be scared I guess.  Recently Luka started having sleep terrors and Brad has been using this to try to scare me. There's a teeny, tiny nagging fear in my soul that he likes to keep poking at with hints of paranormal activity in our house. 
Let me explain what it's like when Luka does his thing.  First, you're awaken by a shrill scream that could wake the dead.  Then you run to your baby's side to comfort him and his eyes are only half open and he freaks out if you touch him yelling "NO! NO!".  You have to sit there like a creeper waiting for his head to spin or him to hurl split pea soup all over the bed.  Once he wakes up, he looks at you like you're nuts for being in the room, hugs you and goes right back to sleep.  NOT NORMAL.
Last night, after the kids were in bed and Nadia was asleep, Luka kept coming out of his room trying to sneak around the house.  When we would come out to check on him he would be as still as possible hoping that we wouldn't see him and send him back to his room.  This is the opportunity Brad pounces on.  "That kid is just sitting there, starring at the wall.  He's possessed."  He says it with the look on his face that says he only kind of kidding.  Why does he mess with me like that?  I remember doing that crap with Matthew and Hannah when we were little!  But when Brad suggests that Luka is possessed it freaks me out! Possessed kids: the scariest shit EVER!  I'll tell Brad that Luka is just hiding from us so he won't have to go to bed and Brad will respond with, "Oh no, that kid is talking to his "new friend".  He's messed up Sarah." again with his half smirk.  Ass.

The other thing he likes to do is point out how creepy kid's toys are at night.  If the kids leave a random toy out, Brad will swear to me that it moved on it's own or that it's watching us.  Seriously, there is something so creepy about a random kid toy looking right at you in the dark!

Last night our bedroom door shut all by it's self.  I checked on the kids afterward  and they were both completely asleep.  We did have the windows open...yea, that's what it was...the wind.  Not the anime My Little Pony that was standing outside our door...WATCHING US SLEEP!

Friday, September 9, 2011

New uses for old meds

I had a dry patch on my chin for a few weeks and no matter what I used, it would not go away.  Finally, I found the miracle cure:  diaper cream!  Why would I put diaper cream on my face you ask...I say, why NOT? (I once had a co-worker tell me to take my baby's pee soaked diaper and wipe it on my face for a beautiful complexion...pee diaper? No. Diaper cream? Sure!) The diaper cream worked great and there is no more dry spot on my chin.

Modeling my mom's 1960's sunglasses, notice the dry patches.
Actually, I have a history of using creams/ointments that are meant for one type of ailment to cure something completely different.. My dive into pharmaceutical experimentation began when I was in grade school. I grew up in Kansas and we had a LOT of mosquitoes.  I fricking HATE mosquitoes.  HATE.  They hate me too...or love me.  They bite me more and I swear they make me itch more than anyone I know.  I also get giant welts from the little bastards.  Did I mention I hate them?
This is Luka's arm but mine look like this.  Not cool.
One summer when I was still in grade school I had been bitten into insanity.  I was determined to cure the painful itching, and calamine lotion was not cutting it.  I dug into my parents medicine cabinet and started to experiment.  I tried triple antibiotic ointment and all the usual suspects, nothing helped.  Then I picked up a small tube of ointment with a big "H" on it. Yes...it was THAT "H".

Here is what it said:
  • Coats to prevent further irritation, itching and discomfort from hemorrhoids

  • Shrinks swollen hemorrhoidal tissue

  • Protects irritated hemorrhoidal tissue

  • Relieves external and intrarectal discomfort

  • Apply to the affected area up to 4 times daily, especially at night, in the morning or after each bowel movement. For Intrarectal Use: Before applying, remove protective cover from applicator. Attach applicator to tube. Lubricate applicator well, then gently insert applicator into the rectum. Thoroughly cleanse applicator after each use and replace protective cover. Also apply ointment to external area.
    I didn't know what rectums, hemorrhoids or bowl movements were and I was completely clueless about the word Intrarectal but it sounded perfect for a bunch of itchy mosquito bites.  It had an awesome applicator too!  It was a long tube with little holes all up and down so when you squeezed the tube the ointment came out like little happy worms!  Amazing right?!?!?   I was thrilled to take that tube and rub it all over my neck, arms and legs.  (What the hell?!?!?!)  It worked great.  I used up that whole tube (up to 4 times daily) and every time I used it, I was so excited to use that awesome applicator.  I took the empty tube and applicator to my mom and asked her why on earth she had not shared this secret mosquito bite ointment with me before....
    I honestly don't remember her response.  I only remember the overwhelming feeling of mortification. It has to be my most embarrassing memory ever (and I fell down an entire flight of bleachers at high school graduation).  Now-a-days I just use Off! and try to avoid the bites all together.  Even when I do get bitten I can't bring myself to use Preparation H, the memory is just too humiliating.

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011

    In your face!

    For the last few days I have been wondering what I would write for my next blog post.  Nothing exciting unusual has happened since the Water World trip and things have felt pretty normal around here.  Until today....you knew it wouldn't last.  So here's the latest.  We went on a little trip to the library today and while we were there Luka needed to pee.  (And here we go!)  He is much too short to pee like a man and his aim isn't even great when he's sitting.  Seriously, who knew having a tool to pee could be tricky?!?  Well, we have a little public toilet system where he hops on, leans all the way forward and holds on to me for support while I squat down in front of him.  I can't see him actually peeing but the system seems to work. 
    We got to the bathroom and assumed the position.  After a moment Luka looked up at me giggling.  I could tell something wasn't working right but I didn't know what.  I told him to finish up and when he looked at me again his face was dripping, his hair was wet and all of the sudden it hit me.  Literally.  From right between his little legs was a steady and strong stream of warm pee all over us!  He couldn't stop and I couldn't move!  I can only imagine how loud I was screaming for him to stop and "push it down! PUSH IT DOWN!".  We walked out soaked from head to toe. 
    When we got to the car I pushed down his jeans and underpants to keep his car seat dry on the trip home; we got home they were so wet I couldn't pull them up.  So I had the best time watching him try to get back into the house! 

    Did I mention it's been raining all day?
    So the next time I'm worried I won't have anything to write about, I'll just be patient and wait for "it" to hit me in the face.  I am coming to terms with the fact that I write a gross blog. There's nothing romantic or exciting about it.  Although, I am looking forward to the excitement it will cause when my kids and their friends are old enough to read!!! Also,  I am not above using these blog posts and pictures as leverage against my kids in eight or ten years.

    Saturday, September 3, 2011

    Do Not Swallow the Pool Water

    For Easter, Luka got tickets from his Godparents to take the whole family to Water World.  I love the water, the kids love the water...Brad hates the water.  I give Brad a lot of crap about hating the water because I love it sooooo much.  As soon as we got there he started putting limits on things he would do.  First and foremost he would not go on any ride where he might be splashed in the face.  I scoffed.  He pulled me aside and gave me a serious talk about how many people poop in the water at places like this, "Seriously, it's full of fecal matter!" he told me.  Yes...Brad says fecal matter instead of "poop" if he's forced to talk on the subject.  I think he likes to make it sound as bad as it makes him feel when he has to think about it.  Just the word poop, as he says it, seems to leave some sort of  poop taste as it slides off his lips.

    A sign at Water World
    This is what Brad sees every time he looks at a swimming pool...every time.

    I always just push the thought of fecal matter in the pool out of my mind and assume there's enough chlorine in the water to choke a horse.  I will never be able to do that again.  After a fun day of water rides, slides and swimming we were taking a snack break.  Nadia was exhausted and laid down right on the concrete and passed out.  Brad was taking pictures of that cuteness while Luka and I were chatting over pudding cups. 

    Luka got up from the table and as he stood up he said to me, "I pooped! I stepped in poop!"  I looked down and it looked like he had stepped on a small green piece of goose poop.  I thought it was strange that he would find the ONE piece of goose poop in the entire park to step on but... that's my boy!  Then he moved his foot again and there was a big glob of sandy mud stuck to his foot so I chalked the goose poop up to being mud.  On that note, I decided to take the kids and get them showered and changed in the bath house before we went home.
    I made Brad go with me and as soon as we got into the bath house, he was completely disgusted.  The floor was covered in water that sloshed over your flip-flops and it didn't smell very sweet.  I was grossed out too but I didn't complain, I didn't want to gross out the kids and make it harder to change them.  I stripped down Luka first and he had sand in his pants....????  What the hell?  There was no sand at Water World!  A nice little turd rolled out onto the floor with a small splash and instantly I flashed back to the goose poop and "sandy mud glob" on his foot.  Oh. My. Gosh!!  REALLY?????  It started to break up around my feet and the turd was turning into fecal matter right before my eyes!!!  I instantly started having flashbacks of each and every time I had been splashed in the face.  Each time I got a little bit of water in my mouth!  Splish. Splash. Frickety-Splash. Right in the face.  Brad took pictures and video of me, the turd and Luka while he laughed his ass off.

    Matter... fecal matter.

    I am a mom so my quick thinking took over and the rest is a blur.  I do remember picking up what was left of the turd with toilet paper and flushing it.  (The people who would come in after us would have no clue what was in the water splashing over their flip-flops.) I used almost all of the hand soap in the bath house, I soaped down Luka, my feet and my shoes.  We made it out alive.  Now all I can do is pray I don't have bad dreams and  wait to see if I get pink-eye....and live with the *shit* Brad will be giving me for the next hundred years.

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011

    Walking for a cure?

    Last Saturday I participated in a Walk to End Alzheimer's.  While walking with Brad and one of his friends we were talking about how we "use" to be.  There was a time in Brad's life that he was very athletic...I use to have a soul.  Brad's friend, who is older and wiser (and has two kids in their 30's) gestured to our kids in the stroller and remarked that 'this' was the stage in life we are in. 
    We are parents of young kids, that's what we are. There's no escape.  We all know kids our are going to grow up and be some kind of messed up. As parents we are trying to contain a potential giant mess into a little mess they will be able to neatly take care of in their early twenties.  (Hopefully without a lot of expensive therapy and drugs). The rest of our time is spent trying to keep some sort of spark in a marriage that has two small kids.  A tiny spark can be extinguished pretty damn fast by a midnight session of kid puke in the face!  This stage is going to take over our lives for a few more years and by the time we can concentrate on ourselves we'll be so out of shape that getting back to being some sort of an athlete is going to be difficult to say the least. 
    I looked at Brad's friend and said we needed to put together a Walk to End Children...then I realized what I said and changed it to a Walk to Cure Parents.

    Sunday, August 28, 2011

    Happy-ish place?

    There are times in life that the place where you are is not the place you want to be (Dr. Suess-ish don't you think?). One of my friends recently told me where she goes when she's in a not-so-happy place; she goes to her.....HAPPY PLACE, genius right?  Then she asked what my happy place was.  I thought for a second and realized that I don't have a happy place.  Everyone else has one, what's wrong with me?  I began to focus on this and wonder what could explain my lack of imaginary vacation. I know I have the imaginative capabilities to make the best happy place ever, what could be standing in my way?  I made a list:

    1. I am just that damn happy.  I don't need to be taken away to a blissful vacation spot in my mind, life is all peaches and cream for me....bawhahahahahahahaha!
    2. I already live in a fantasy world and don't know the difference.
    3. I am a realist and want to deal with the unpleasant situation as soon as possible so I can go to a real happy place.
    4. I am a complete pessimist and like to wallow in my despair.
    5. I am a complete optimist am sure this won't last long enough to imagine myself away.
    6. I don't know the feeling of happiness.  I can imagine an amazing place in my mind and it has all the great characteristics of a happy place minus the actual feeling of happy.  (Holy shit, how sad is that one?!?!?!)

    I've TRIED to have happy places, I have!  When I was little and was afraid to go to sleep because I might have a nightmare, my mom told me to think of things that made me happy before I fell asleep.  I distinctly remember thinking of Carebears sliding down rainbows.  I tried this last night and had a nightmare. (There's something very scary about brightly colored bears with belly tattoos sliding down a rainbow at neckbreaking speed headed straight for you with a deliriously happy smile on their furry little faces).
    I might have a happy "thought" instead of a happy place....just one  One happy thought is all I have...
    No really, I remember driving home from Colby, KS when I was about 19 (If you've ever been to Colby I know you're thinking this can't possibly end in a happy thought, but bare with me). It was almost time for the wheat harvest and the wheat was so gold and it was blowing in the strong Kansas wind.  At that moment I realized what it meat to see "amber waves of grain" it was so beautiful.  It was pure gold moving in WAVES.  Like a freakin' miracle!  Then I saw a field with a bunch of cattle grazing.  They were just some giant beasts roaming around in green grass surrounded by an ocean of gold! Throw in an apple tree and it was like I was in the freakin' Garden of Eden! 
    I have been amazed by the beauty of Kansas many times since then. But none left such an impression on me as when I realized I got to grow up in such a beautiful place and how lucky I was.
    So I guess my brand new happy place is this....Looking out across a field of golden wheat, the wind in my hair.  A big beautiful farm house behind me with some chickens in the yard.  An almost empty interstate highway to my right and some cows grazing in a field to my left.  One of the cows lazily looks up at me and seems to understand.  She kind of smiles and takes a step closer.  A few more steps.  A little faster now, is she running to greet me?  Oh shit, she's really moving!  I think that bastard is charging me!!!!  RUUUUUUNNNNNNN!!!!!!!

    Monday, August 22, 2011

    We are fam-i-ly!

    My parents spent 5 weeks in Germany this summer.  I was in town for a funeral and I stopped by thier house to get something.  After I was done I went to the freezer to get an icepack and when I opend the freezer...BAM! I got punched in the face!  I shut the door.  I slowly opened it again and my nose began burning, my eyes were greeted with the moldy, maggot filled mess that the freezer had become.  I shut the door tighter.  I checked to see if it was plugged in...yep.  I opened the fridge and my worst fear was confirmed.  The light inside came on but there was no cool.  The next few hours were spent with a lot of squirming, gagging and cussing.  (My guess is that 5 minutes after they left for Germany the fridge went "kaput".) At one point I picked up what had been a pound of hamburger and the paper disintegrated and a pound of happy-to-be-alive maggots fell out onto my arm and did a happy dance!!! My only defense was to think of something else and to begin blaming others.  Naturally, I thought of my siblings. I began to imagine what each one of them would have done had they been in my shoes.
    John: 37 years old, married 13 years and has two preteen kids.  He is a large person.  One would think he could just tape the doors shut and carry the whole mess to the back yard with one hand.  That is not what I imagine John would do.  I think he would taste something.  I have no idea why.  I don't usually understand him. I do think he would have a solid explanation/justification for why he chose to taste something.  I'm guessing moldy, maggoty beef is a delicacy somewhere and what better opportunity for him to feed his curiosity than this.  He would have been proud of himself.
    Peter: 35 years old, 4 kids ranging from kindergarten to high school, a self described knuckle-dragger with a degree.  He's an animal. Not like a wild, crazy eyed animal but like a giant mass of meat.  Working out is his love.  Not cardio, weights.  I think he would have called some meat-head friends, grabbed some beer and somehow made a game of who could lift and carry the damn thing out into the yard.  He wouldn't have taped the doors shut.  Shit would have spilled.  It would have been a bigger mess when he was done than when he started but he and his friends would have had the time of their lives.  He might have laughed hard enough to puke but no one would even notice given the rotten smell and the smell of sweat that would have already filled the house. He would have been proud of himself.
    I'm next in order and you all know what I did.  I took care of that shit. I cleaned out the fridge, got help moving it to the back yard. I made sure someone would come pick up the old fridge, the garbage truck would make a special trip to pick up the trash and a new fridge was being ordered and would be in place when my parents got home. I rock. I am proud of myself.
    Matthew: 29 years old, married 4 years and has a newborn baby girl.  Matthew would have shut the door quietly.  Made sure that his photographic mind placed everything exactly where it was when he walked in.  Wiped the whole house down so there was no prints and gotten rid of any DNA evidence he was ever there.  He would have spent more time and effort making sure there was no sign of him than he would have if he had just taken care of the fridge mess.  No, he would have disappeared and been shocked when he "found out" that the fridge quit.   He would have been proud of himself.
    Hannah: The baby of the family, 26 years old.  She would have opened the door, closed it again and immediately called Dad and told him to come home from Germany to take care of the mess.  He would have been there in minutes.  He would have taken care of the mess and then cooked her a nice meal and thanked her for her quick thinking. They would both be proud of her.
    As hard as I try, I can not imagine what would have happened had my parents found the mess.  My best guess is that Dad's head would have exploded and Mom would have chalked it up to a character building experience.

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    1,2,3 Not It!

    So, two days ago Nadia woke up at 6:30 and came into our room. I made her a cup of milk and told her I'd go sleep with her for a while since it was too early for her to be awake because she went to bed so late. We went into her room and snuggled up but she just kept messing around so I turned my back to her thinking she would get bored and go back to sleep. As we were laying there I began to smell something that can only be compared to cat sh!t! A little stronger and a little stronger as the minutes went by. I thought Nadia just had gas so I fanned out the covers and told her to go to sleep. After a minute I heard "uhhhUHHHHT" She GAGGED!! It was a tiny version of my own loud, embarrassing gag.  It's so funny to hear her little gag and the thought that she gagged on her own stink was almost too much for me! It really did smell awful though. She looked at me with her nose pinched tight by her little finger and said, "I just can't sleep with all this stink!"  Just then Luka popped his little head up and said, "I POOPED!!!" Sure as shit it was terrible diarrhea, I had to take him to the shower and hose him off.
    Yesterday was pretty uneventful until last night when I was so exhausted I decided to go to bed at 8:30.  Brad and I were watching a Louie C.K. stand-up special when Brad when out to get something to drink.  He came back in and said the kids were yelling at him to get them a drink.  (He ignored their pleas).  A little while later Nadia came in and asked for a drink, immediately, before he could think I called "not it" so he had to take care of it.  He then asked me how it was fair that I could call "not it" and it was just up to him...I didn't answer and pretended to be asleep.  While he was out getting a drink for the kids I heard Nadia coming back into our room.  I quickly covered my head and played possum once again.  She tried to pull the blankets away from my face and was saying something I couldn't understand when, in slow motion sound, I heard the sound of giant pukingness.  Yep.  That's right.  She puked on my head (thank God there was a sheet between my face and the puke!!!).  I peeked out and it was everywhere.  All over my bed, my nightstand, my shirt, my pillows and my sheets...EVERY where.  I was paralyzed.  Paralyzed for two reasons; one, I was in shock and two, if I did move I was very likely to get puke on face.  I called to Brad to come help me (I really don't know what happened to Nadia at this time because, let's face it, I was focused completely on myself.) Brad was no help.  He saw the mess, started to gag and used only the tips of his fingers to throw tiny washcloths my way.  The whole time complaining about how gross it was. Really?  You think????
    I was finally able to get out of bed and get the bed stripped when I realized we didn't have a back up pair of sheets.  Brad suggested we just sleep in our sleeping bags for the night. He had recently bought me a nice 'mummy' style sleeping bag and I hadn't tried it out yet. I assigned him the task of sleeping bag duty. Then I went to check on Nadia.
    When you're a mother you plan for the worst, or at least I do.  So I needed to make sure Nadia's bed was ready for a 3 a.m. puke session.  She needed a puke bucket and extra towels.  I got her bucket set up and went to the laundry room to get her towels.  Just as I turned on the light I stepped in a squishy, pile of warm vomit.  Warm vomit between my toes. Yum.
    I got it all taken care of, crawled into my sleeping bag and realized they weren't kidding when they named the bag "mummy".  I got back up, grabbed a sheet and instead of crawling in the sleeping bag, used it as a blanket.  I turned over and told Brad in the kindest voice I could muster, "That's why I get to call 'not it'."

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Remembering Bryan

    I have had such a mixture of feelings since hearing of Bryan's death. There is a group of us who knew Bryan best before his deployment. He was fun. He could laugh so easily. I had so much fun with him and Jess as a couple and have some really great memories of the two of them (whether they were on-again or off-again). One of the ways he touched my life was with his understanding and patience.
    Bryan and Jess showing their mad skills at my house after his first deployment

    After his second deployment he was a changed man. It seemed like he cut his oldest friends and family (Jessica and Braydon) out of his life.  It seemed like he started a new life as a different person.  After reading all the posts and memories from his Army friends I have realized that his personality didn't change... he had been changed.  His Army family knew the same silly, fun Bryan that we knew he just couldn't be that person with us anymore.  The difference was that after being deployed Bryan knew things about life that the rest of us, safe and unaware in Hays, KS didn't know.  He looked at us through different eyes.  He had seen the world and it's harsh reality. And we didn't make sense to him anymore. He had an unbreakable bond with other Army soldiers who had witnessed what he had witnessed.
    After my first husband was taken from me by a traumatic brain injury I looked at my friends and wondered how they could be so clueless.  Thinking their problems were so important I couldn't relate to them.  I had seen a much bigger and painful picture of the world.  I could see things that only experience can show a person. 
    Bryan had experienced something that we could never imagine.  And after that he found a comfort in his Army family that he could never find in the people he grew up with.  Once he was able to surround himself with people who were like him he was able to form a bond with Braydon and they were closer than ever before.
    I am finding comfort in hearing what a great friend and brother Bryan was.  I am sorry that I never took the time to think about what life might have been like for him after being deployed and I am sorry I misjudged him for the past few years.  I am sorry but I don't feel guilty because there was no way I could have known this until reading all the posts and stories that are being posted about him by the people he spent the last few years with.  He was the same fun, caring, person, just with a different group of people.  People that had an understanding of him that I couldn't possibly have had.

    Friday, July 8, 2011

    Where does this evil in me come from???

    If you are an older sister you know that God gave you the power of manipulation...what?...that wasn't bestowed upon me by God?....for having to put up with her stealing my status as only girl in a family of boys???? Oh. Well......hmmm....I am manipulative when it comes to my sister. I LOVE and cherish every moment that her big, blue eyes with long, thick beautiful eyelashes (mine are short and thin), look at me with complete trust. Then something inside me flips a switch and I have the feeling of ultimate POWER!!!!!!!! 
    Let me take you to a rather large private hospital room in Lincoln, NE.  The year was 2003 and my finances were low.  I was living in the hospital/long term acute care with my husband (my first husband) while he took his sweet time waking up from a coma.  I was bored.  I was broke.  I had had no reason to 'prune my bush' in months and my sister (who was know for her European hair growth) was visiting.
    So on this cold winter's day when my sweet sister came to keep me company she looked at me and asked, as she often does, if I would wax her eyebrows.  (Of course, any chance she gives me to practice cosmetology on her is a chance I leap at. It's something I love to do and I can only wax my own eyebrows so far...believe me...I've taken it to the limit).  So after her brows were sculpted beyond perfection and me not so secretly relishing every flinch and rip of the wax I had the best idea EVER!
    We are sisters.  We're both hairy.  We're both broke.  We're semi-alone in a hospital room and I have enough wax to wax something else.  Something major.
    We (I) decided that she should be the waxee and, because I had waxing experience, I would be the waxer.  (She is such a logical thinker that it's really easy to persuade her that my way is really only the LOGICAL way to do things).  I don't remember what we moved in front of the door to lock it but we did make sure we wouldn't be barged in on.  Then, she bared her bikini line and I warmed up the wax strip.  I carefully pressed it on making sure to cover as much hair as I possibly could, we both took a deep breath and before she was ready, I yanked and ripped as hard as I could.  She doubled up in pain and let out a loud yelp.  I looked at the strip, doubled up too and let out a loud laugh.  The strip was completely bare!  No wax, no hair!!!  The wax had stuck to her pubic hair and that was rooted deep enough that it didn't budge. Not a single hair!
     After that, my mind goes blank.  I'm not sure how we removed the sticky hairy mess from her body.  Some things are best left forgotten...by me.  I'm sure she remembers it well.  A few years later when she came to visit me in Ft. Collins I took her to a salon called The Screaming Peach where she had a professional wax job....I heard her scream all the way in the lobby. I smiled to myself.

    Saturday, April 9, 2011

    Don't worry, I know I'm not ugly

    So, a friend brought to my attention that I might be a bit obsessed with people's ages.  Well, she didn't say "obsessed" but after a quick pause on the subject I'm sure I  am.  You see I was stricken with a condition that I have named "aging awareness" when I was 11.  10 has been my favorite number as long as I can remember.  I think it started because my brother's best friend growing up (who was soooo dreamy) wore the number 10 on his football jersey but I might have liked it before that.  No matter when I started to love the number 10.  When I was 10 years old, I loved being 10.  I was a magical number.  Then, like most 10 year old's (some kids die before they ever leave the age of 10) I had my 11th birthday and I was crushed.  My Dad remembers finding me hiding and crying on the floor that day.  When he asked me what was wrong I sobbed, "I *sob*don't*sob* want*sob* to*sob* grow*sob* uuuup".  Cut to me being 30.
    What I didn't realize all these years is that I was afraid of losing my inner child, my carefree personality and my, crazy unique sense of humor.  Now that I'm technically an adult and I am may be crazier than ever, I have had time to focus on what is truly important:  My Looks. 
    Of course, I have always known I was pretty (of course).  But it has only been in the last year or so that I have noticed that I don't look like me to me.  In my mind I have a more round face, much fewer freckles, no "fine" lines and where did this super long, pointy chin come from?!?!  I'm not saying I think I'm ugly (let's be serious) but it's kind of unsettling to see myself look like someone else to me.  You could compare it to the way you feel when you hear your own voice on an answering machine.  So, I have spent the last few days wondering why this scares me.  I'm not afraid to age.  I'm afraid of not knowing who I am.  I do realize that I'm basing who I am on how I look and I do know that's not who I really am, blah blah blah...
    I remember both my parents having at least two completely different looks in my life.  My first memories of my Mom are of her with short, dark, straight hair, and a big smile on her thin face.  I can also think of my Mom with permed short hair and the same exact smile (only smaller due to, shall I say, fuller cheeks).  Now she is so tiny that she's almost a stranger when I hug her.  And when I look at her wedding picture, I wonder how it feels for her to look at herself that long ago.  I don't mean to be rude. Obviously after 40+ years of marriage she looks much different than she did on that day at 19 in 1967.  She is still beautiful and has the same beautiful, warm smile but she has, gulp, aged, albeit gracefully. The same goes for my dad, there are about three different ways he has looked over the years, each one adding a bit of, shall I say, wisdom to his look. 
    I wish I knew how to accept this new faze of looks that I am coming into.  And no, for once in my life, I'm not asking my readers for reassurance that I'm just as beautiful as ever (which I know you all are dying to do once you finish reading this) however, it's only fun to fish for compliments when I'm being clever about it.  So, I guess I'll just go hide under the bed and cry for a while about how I don't want to grow up *sob*. Then after 10 years of looking like this I'll get use to it only to be slapped in the face by my 40's and I'll go through this whole process again.  Hey, it only took me 15 years to realize I don't need to worry about becoming a mature boring adult.

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    True beauty

    Nadia's favorite movie is Disney's Beauty and the Beast.  She also thinks she has the cutest booty in the world.  She often sticks her butt out and looks over her shoulder at it to admire how cute it is.  The other day she combined the two and sang "tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, Booty and the crack!"
    She has also become quite smart in her old age.  The other day we had to pick up treats for her birthday party at school and although I didn't think she'd know the answer, I asked her if she knew how many kids were in her class.  She casually answered, "yes, all of them.".  Later the same day we were talking about death because I used the term 'over my dead body' then looked at their innocent little faces and said, "you guys are never going to die are you?  You're just too cute!"  To which Nadia replied, "Mommy, I will die after I've had all my birthdays."

    Truly Human

    Yesterday at church I gave Luka and Nadia each a $1 bill for offering.  Luka doesn't like paper money and refused to take his dollar so I gave Nadia both the dollars and gave Luka two quarters.  When it came time to give Nadia proudly put in her money, passed the plate to me where I placed my money and then held out the plate for Luka.  He looked at the plate blankly so I told him to put in his coins.  He held them to his chest.  I told him again and explained that the coins were for offering and didn't he see how Nadia and I gave our money?  He looked at me, looked at the coins and then quickly reached out, grabbed the box of crayons that was sitting on the pew and placed them in the offering plate!