Monday, May 31, 2010

Lake rats…

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cruel and unusual…


Yesterday I had Day One of a my first root canal. 

I can take that off my bucket list, now.

It never should’ve been on that damn list, to begin with!


For two and a half hours straight…no lie, no exaggeration…that woman drilled into my tooth.  2.5 HOURS!  I’m no wuss…at all.  I bypassed the gas because she said that was just used to ease the anxiety of the anesthesia…the shots. 


A tiny little prick caused me no anxiety.  NONE.  What did cause me anxiety, was her boring through my tooth like she was Bruce Willis, and it was a giant meteor headed to destroy earth!!

I never understood why people feared the dentist until yesterday.  My husband cannot handle needles and drilling, and shit like that.  I know for a fact, that Jake would have to be put to sleep if he needed a root canal. 

As in, euthanized, not anesthetized!!!  The poor soul would never survive it!

Suckiest part of all?

I’m heading back there right now, because Bruce said, “I wanna do just a little more drilling and shaping and cleaning, before I fill it up.”

Like she’s giving me a damn pedicure!! 

Really, woman?  You’re a bitch!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Def poetry jam...

This one's for the tummy tuck lady, with back fat and cottage cheese that I saw at the pool today...

Wow! Your tummy's flat.
A dime would bounce right off it.
Your ass? Not so much!

Thanks for reminding me that a tummy tuck won't make my thighs quit rubbing together, shrink my saddle bags, or erase that fat that hangs out by my bra strap.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I don’t even want to know…

After hearing that sweet little girl (i keep saying sweet…she may be a royal brat, who knows!) speak about her mother’s frustration, I moved on from the library, and helped Jack’s kindergarten class paint t-shirts. 

I warned  a little boy, “Don’t wipe that paint on your shirt.  I wouldn’t want your mom to be upset at me, for letting you get paint on your shirt.” 

He was five.  He over-shared, “Yeah.  Me either.  My mom’s mean.  She would yell at me, if I got paint on my shirt.  Sometimes she spanks me.”

Here I was again, in that uncomfortable spot, hearing words, that could easily come from my child, from an objective point of view. 

I couldn’t help but wonder…

WHAT IN THE HELL IS MY KID SHARING ABOUT ME?!?  I wonder, though I probably don’t really want to know, what he says about me to his friends, teachers, and other moms. 

Does he share about my irrational rants and raves? 

Does he tell his teacher that he makes his own breakfast on the weekends, while his dad and I sleep?

Does he tell people that when he wakes up on some Saturday mornings there are empty beer bottles and wine glasses on the counter, the Yahtzee game left on the table, and a pile of his parents clothes next to the dining room table?  Surely the kids are too young to connect any dots, but, his teachers might be able to.  I’m sure they’ve played strip-Yahtzee in their day…

Soon, it was Jack’s turn, and I helped my boy paint his shirt.  A few other kids were painting, too, with some other volunteers.  The kids are so cute, and one of them asked me, with a slight lisp, as the air passed through the place where his front two teeth used to be, “Are you Jack’s mom?” 

“I sure am.  What’s your name?”

Before Travis could tell me that was his name, in front of two teachers, five kindergarteners, and another mother, Jack said, “Yeah, that’s my mom.  She just got a tattoo on her finger.  And she has another one on her butt.”

Bright side?  At least my future fuck-sayer didn’t say “she has another one on her ass!”

I think the obvious answer to my questions, is a resounding…YES!  Yes, my kids probably over share about me, at school.  But, so do yours…

What’s the saying?

I won’t believe what your kid tells me about you, if you don’t believe what my kid tells you about me!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Point of view…

I’ve spent the last couple of days volunteering at the school, and believe it or not, it was profound. 

Today, I questioned one little girl in the Book Fair about how much money she had, making sure she had money to spend, and wasn’t just ditching class.  She explained, “Yes, my mom gave me $10.  I kept asking her if she’d take me to Family Night, tonight, to shop.  She said no.  Then, she said that she was tired of me asking her to take me to the Book Fair, so, she just said, ‘Here. Here’s $10.  Just shop at school.’” 

Listening to this sweet little girl, express how she just wanted to shop with her mom, and her perception of her mom’s frustration, really tugged my heartstrings.

**Contrary to popular belief…I still have a couple of heartstrings!  Fine!  One.  I have ONE heartstring.  But, it’s a good one!**

It’s a frustration that, as a mom, I know so well.  Now, the familiarity of it, stung with guilt, as I saw my own actions from a child’s point of view. 

I watched her shop, and thought to myself that I really should be more patient with my kids.  That I really should try to say ‘yes’ more often, when it is possible. 

She wandered around she approached me, and said, “Could you please help me find a cookbook?”  I said, “Sure, the kid cookbooks are over here, “ and I started to direct her over to a particular stack of books. 

She stopped me, “No ma’am.  It’s for my mom.  She really likes to cook.  I want to get her a new cookbook.”

Ahh…insult to injury. 

This sweet little girl, whose mom was too busy to shop with her, was now spending the money that she’d been given, to buy a book for her mom. 

The heartstring that child had previously tugged, now hung in two.  Two limp, pieces, with frayed edges. 

However, there was this part of me…the part of me that related so well to the frustrated mother…that couldn’t help but think, “Damn…she must have already gotten a conduct mark, or moved her pin, or something, and is trying to kiss her mom’s ass!”

Monday, May 17, 2010

A parenting philosophy...

It's funny to me how much time we spend, as parents, worrying about how we raise our children. I've heard lots of parents talking about raising their children to be Catholic, or Jewish, or Christian.

Even our decision to raise our children without religion.

I'm not steering my children away from relgion, per se...I'm just not steering them toward it.

I'm starting to see, that I could steer my children right into a brick wall, and they still wouldn't hit it. We don't talk about God or Jesus a lot in our household. If the subject comes up, we will talk about it, but, truthfully, it just doesn't come up a whole lot.

Sunday afternoon, over lunch, the subject came up...

In between bites of BBQ, Jack said, "Dad, if you're not a Christian, you're going to hell."

I could hear Jake's pulse quicken with the quasi-question, and after only a brief pause, I spoke up, to offer a milder response than I assumed Jake would deliver.

"Well, that's what Christians believe, Buddy. Not everyone is a Christian, and not everyone believes in heaven and hell. Not everyone believes in God. I don't believe in heaven and hell."

Jake, keeping his more staunch stances to himself, said, "I don't believe in it either. I have to see things to believe them. I think heaven and hell are make believe. What do you think, Jack?"

Without thinking and without hesitation, Jack simply said, "Well, Dad...if you don't believe in heaven, then you aren't going to heaven. So, I believe."

While I appreciated the innocence and simplicity of Jack's response to his Dad's question, I couldn't help but think...Why do we even bother, as parents, to steer our children down any certain path, or in any specific direction?

It's pretty obvious, to me, that I could say an anti-prayer, to the devil himself, every single evening with my children, but, that won't ensure that they will grow up to be minions of Satan.

We have never once told Jack that if he wants to go to heaven, he needs to believe in the God of the Bible. Yet, here he was, preaching to his father, on a Sunday, as a matter of fact, about that very thing. He learned it on his own, through his own experience.

While I'm sure some parents would rather their children become who they raise them to be...I like the idea of my kids becoming someone very different from me. Yeah...just like the Gumpism, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get."

Who knows, in the future, I may hear my son preach to his Southern Baptist congregation, visit my daughter in a convent, or, attend the bris of my Jewish grandson.

I would be happy with any of that, I suppose!

Ahhh...deep parenting thoughts...

And to think...this train of thought started, likely because Jack wanted an excuse to curse, and say the word, "hell," without getting in trouble!!!

As I see it…

My point of view…

jack  lily averykids jake2

Sunday, May 16, 2010

As he sees it…

Jack’s point of view…

momavelil mom2

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Proud isn’t a strong enough word…

The same little girl, who at her first birthday, would only look at the ground, because the crowd made her uncomfortable…

The same little girl, who wouldn’t open her presents at her 2nd birthday, while the guests were watching... 

The same little girl, who, for every soccer picture I have of her between the ages of 3-5, her hands are covering her eyes, and she’s almost in tears... 

The same little girl, who wouldn’t speak to her father when he came home at the end of the day, because he’d been gone all day, at work, and she hadn’t warmed back up to him, yet (Jake used to joke, that it was like 50 First Dates, with Lily)... 

Yesterday, I watched that same little girl, sing and dance in front of her entire school.  A crowd of about 400 peers, and their teachers. 

And, last night, at a repeat performance, I watched that same little girl, get up on a stage, and sing and dance for a crowd of about 100, parents and a handful of peers. 

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And she was amazing!!!

I don’t know what’s wrong with the color…but, here’s the proof:

Proud doesn’t even ALMOST describe what I’m feeling!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Post it Note Tuesday…

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Monday, May 10, 2010

One of those moments…

I love my kids. 

I do. 

I think they’re great, and smart…funny, and witty.  I love that they’re carefree.  I love their confidence, and their passion.  I think they’re amazing little specimens, of badass people, in the making! 

Another reason I love my kids…

On Saturday, we were on a bit of a drive, waxing nostalgic, in Graham, Texas, the setting of some of Jake’s fondest childhood memories.  I loved reliving my husband’s childhood with him.  It was especially warm to look at my kids, see their father in them, and imagine him at their ages. 

This is the kids “swimming” in the place where the swimming pool used to be, on the piece of land, where his childhood home used to be…


Alas, the kids, were a tad too young to completely appreciate it, and as we drove around Jake’s old hometown, their minds were waxing Survivor, . 

Not, “the tribe has spoken,” Survivor. 


Rocky theme song, Survivor.   

Avery started it, with the trademark, “Bum……bum-bum-bum………bum-bum-bum……bum-bum-buuuuuuuuuum….”

He kept that up, and out of my periphery, I could see that Jake’s head began to bob.  As did mine.

With impeccable timing, Jack chimed in, “Risin’ up…back on the street…Did my time, took my chances.  Went the distance, now I’m back on my feet…just a man and his will to surviiiiiive.”

There was a brief pause, where the rhythm completely took hold of all of us, and in perfect unison, we all sang, “It’s the…eye of the tiger, it’s the thrill of the fight.  Rising up to the challenge of our rivals…and the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night…and he’s watchin’ us all with the eeeeeeeeeye of the tiger. “

It was an unpracticed, unplanned, yet, perfectly executed, sing-a-long, to a rad song! 

No doubt, Jake and I have belted out that tune, hundreds of times throughout our lives.  Singing along on the radio, when the song was popular, or just singing along with our friends, in our own impromptu sing-a-longs. 

But, it was just one of those moments, when it warmly washed over me, in an instant…

Damn, I love my kids!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Possum Kingdom...

It's where I'm off to. Camping for Mother's Day!!

To your mothers...

To you, if you are one!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fun was had by all…

We totally found a new way to get rid of a bit of frustration with the kids, and they think it’s fun!

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Funny…in the bottom picture, Jack is sneaking a slap at Jake’s hands, since they played with their eyes closed, relieving a bit of his own frustrations, as well!

Did you see that the TV is on in the background, and it says, “no signal.”  Yeah…we still have the habit of turning the damn thing on, but, we just have no programming!  That, or, the kids turn it on every day, in hopes that it’s all been a bad dream, and their beloved Nickelodeon is back!! 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Super Star…

The One Who Doesn’t Say Much…blew me away, today. 

This time last year, Lily watched the school’s Talent Show.  She watched the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders, show off their stuff, for the whole school.  She came home from school that day, about a year ago, telling me that she was going to try out for the Talent sShow, the very next year. 

I encouraged my baby girl, but, didn’t think too much of it.  After all, I don’t call her The One Who Doesn’t Say Much, for nothing.

Periodically, over the past twelve months, she would announce that the song that was playing on the radio, would be the one she would perform for the Talent Show.  I always shared her excitement, but, I have to admit, I didn’t believe that she would have it in her.     

A few days ago, Lily had me sign the permission slip, for her to stay after school, and try out for the big show.  I signed, and made her a CD, of the song, that she wanted to sing…SOLO, I might add!  I asked her if she wanted to recruit some of her friends to take the stage with her, to take some of the pressure off…she said, “Nah, Mom…if someone is up there with me…they’ll just mess it up!  I wanna do it by myself.” 

And do it by herself…she did!!! 

My little girl, who still looks like this, in my mind’s eye…


sang a Miley Cyrus song today, for a panel of judges.  And if it has been relayed to me correctly…she will be singing, while her best friend dances (since both of their acts were to Miley songs, they combined them, so they could both participate, since only a handful receive the privilege), to a Miley Cyrus’, “Party in the USA,” at next week’s Talent Show!!

She’s a super star, in my eyes…and I may just have to change her nickname on my sidebar, to, “The One Who Does the Shit She Says She’s Gonna Do!”  Or, “The One With Chick-balls!”

Monday, May 3, 2010

A public service announcement...

On what I would LOVE for people to know about organ donation!!

I chat in a few forums, and a couple of times, the topic of organ donation has come up. I'm very passionate about organ donation, and will share our story any chance I get.

I have heard people make comments on why they don't want to donate their organs, reasons being that they were afraid that the doctor would make a mistake, and they weren't actually dead.

In one instance, I engaged with a poster, who said that she heard a story that a guy was in an accident, his heart stopped, and they decided to harves his organs. On the way to the OR, his heart started beating again, and he made a full recovery. This poster was using this as a reason that she wouldn't donate her organs.

*Organs are not taken out of a dying person. They are taken out of a brain dead person...BIG BIG BIG difference!!! Also, they do not rush you from an ambulance to the OR to remove organs. A lot has to be arranged, before they even think about cutting the person open!*

More recently, a poster claimed that she'd read an investigation that if a doctor knows ahead of time, that a dying patient is an organ donor, that he might be likely to let that patient die, in order to harvest his organs. That the doctor might not do all he could to save that patient, so that another could live.

*Why would a doctor let one patient die, to save another? He wouldn't. Unless, maybe it was his mother, who needed the organs!! Even then, there are these pesky oaths, and ehical guidelines that doctors must deal with! And, again, organs are taken from a brain DEAD person, not a brain-DYING person! BIG BIG BIG DIFFERENCE!*

Misinformation like this makes my blood pressure sky-rocket, my heart race, and my emotions run wild.

This stuff couldn't be farther from the truth.

I just wanted to share our experience, so that people know exactly what goes on, behind the scenes of organ donation. We've been on both sides of it, so I'm speaking from our personal experience, particularly, in donating Joey's heart.

Organs are only harvested from a person who is brain dead. Brain dead is all dead. There is no recovery from brain death. When a person is declared brain dead...that's it. There will not be any miraculous recovery, and brain death is not the same as a coma. In a coma...the brain is injured, maybe impaired, but, not dead.

The doctors do several tests to declare brain death, before the organs can be harvested. We were allowed to be present for Joey's tests, so that we could see for ourselves, that he was indeed, gone. They did an EEG, to measure brain waves. They did a test on his pupils, to see if they reacted to light, and they pulled him off the breathing machine to see if he tried to spontaneously breathe on his own.

After this was done by one physician...they waited over night, and repeated them in the morning, by another physician.

The process to donate an organ is long, and tedious. It is not a hurried, rushed decision. There is a lot that has to happen and that has to be arranged, before they take the brain dead person (NOT BRAIN DYING PERSON) to the OR.

It took about 24 hours, or more, between the time that we signed the organ donation consent, and the time they took Joey into the OR.

I am very passionate about organ donation. A stranger's gift, gave us three months that we might not have otherwise had, with Joey...and his heart still beats in a precious little girl, named Daniela, today!

I hate that misinformation is used to scare people into making a decision against organ donation. I've lived it...both sides of it...and it's beautiful. It's incredible. It's AMAZING!! And, most importantly, it's carried out respectfully, and carefully, by people who genuinely care. For a few years after Joey died, I still talked to the nurses who came to harvest his organs, on the phone. I still send them Christmas cards, to this day.

I would be happy to answer any of your questions about the process. I love talking about it, and would be happy to share our experience, and even more happy to eradicate any misinformation out there!!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My best shot…

A wedding photographer, I am not…but, that didn’t keep me from giving it a whirl.  It was a small, laid back affair…a cousin of a friend from high school.  It was supposed to be an outdoor wedding…which is one of the only reasons I thought I might be able to pull it off. 

Rule number one, in wedding photography…never, ever, trust the weather to do what it is supposed to do, or rather, what you need it to do!!

It rained…on the big day! 

Ironic…cliché…and a total a cog in the gears of my confidence!!

But, I did my best, and while the pictures weren’t as wonderful as I’d hoped…this one picture, made it all worth it for me! 


I only hope the same was so for the bride!!