Lucky cut his first tooth this week.
This event is just one more example of how very different my children are from each other.
Stinkerbell suffered with each tooth's gradual emergence through her gums. Fevers and blow-out diapers were constant companions during her teething months. Upper teeth brought on their own special hell via extreme sinus congestion and ear infections. Tylenol and teething tablets went everywhere with us.
Lucky has not had a fever. We've not felt the need to give him Tylenol or teething tablets. Actually, I haven't even bought any teething tablets. He has always been a chewer and heavy drooler, so I can't tell you that he has been chewing or drooling more. He has been sucking on his wrist and elbow. There is even a hickey to prove it.
Yes, my son gave himself a hickey.
He's such a good natured little boy. Unless he's hungry, then he's a demanding little loud-mouth.
This week is our county's agricultural fair. It's the typical fair, with less fried everything. The theme for craft and art entries was "Let Freedom Ring". Stinkerbell colored an American flag. It was very good. She did it ALL BY HERSELF. She didn't win a ribbon. The winner was a "bald eagle" flying in front of a flag. I use quotation marks here because the "eagle" looked a little bit like a pigeon. Nevertheless, it was very good work. Much too good for a first-grader to have done without help. Lots of help. It ticked me off a little bit. But Stinkerbell was just proud of herself for her own flag and didn't cry.
I'll just try again next year.
I'm love my kid. Just a little bit.
While waiting in line for the Tilt-A-Whirl with the girl from her soccer team affectionately named "PowerFoot", I experienced one of those surreal CompetiMommy moments.
The line was a mess, crowded and going in 4 different directions. PowerFoot's mom and I were doing our best to help them not get squished by the crowd or lost in the crowd or molested by the crowd or eaten by the crowd - clearly my mommy phobias were getting the best of me. But we were especially trying to make sure they got on the ride as quickly as possible.
Because we're pushy like that.
There was a gap in the crowd that was masquerading as a line. PowerFoot's mom tells the girls to move on up in the line.
PowerFoot's mom laughed at me till she cried.
And if you were wondering before, you should have your answers now. I am one of those moms who yells at her kid from the sidelines. But I'm also the mom who cheers for all the kids when during the game - even the other team (whose moms are yelling "kick it out of bounds" to keep PowerFoot from scoring.)
Now, I'll be leaving the internet and moving on to ESPN. Surely you're not surprised. I am the AUBURN Gal Always.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Lucky cut his first tooth this week.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Next week, The Mighty Hunter's dad will celebrate 7 years since he successfully donated 5 of his own blood vessels to the restructuring of his coronary arteries. Yes, 5 bypasses at 57 years of age.
The afternoon before surgery, he prepared himself with a meal of Supersized order of fries and a Big Mac and the remainders of his pack of cigarettes.
The surgery went perfectly, as did his recovery.
We have caught him smoking a few times since. A simple, yet harsh, reminder from me about the scar on his chest and legs and wrist about the ordeals of recovery and how he now has grandchild(ren) for whom he should preserve himself is all it takes to kick his butt back into shape and get him to throw the cancer sticks away. (Not to mention that he is the only living parent his sons have.)
With this genetic history on The Mighty Hunter's mind, and having occasional chest pains over the past 6 months (I'll come back to this,) he finally agreed (actually suggested) to going to a cardiologist for tests.
Knowing he would be less than satisfied with any doc other than his dad's, I got him an appointment for yesterday morning. I convinced him to fast after midnight so that he could have blood drawn. (know that he faints when he has blood drawn! big tooty.) We woke at the butt crack of dawn and drove back to the same hospital where my mom had surgery. The Pimped-Out Mamamobile could go there on auto-pilot, but it stayed home so that we could drive his truck.
I suppose I needed to learn how to put the new carseat in there sooner or later. (btw, super easy. totally recommend this seat.)
They did chest x-rays. EKG. Stress-test. Blood work. They showed him a video of the stress test so that he would know what to expect. They asked him when was the last time he had experienced chest pains.
a few minutes ago, while I was watching the video about the stress test and the IV I'll be getting.
So not only does he faint, he has anxiety attacks over needles.
The results of the blood tests will be back soon. But everything else was normal.
Or as the doctor said, "we looked everywhere and found nothing."
But I know the truth. His heart is not there anymore.
What to write about?
I have no idea. Really.
Haikus not my strength.
Would rather take naps.
Than write poems that don't rhyme.
Can't nap. Blabbing kids.
No school this Friday.
Good. Bad. Yes, I think it's both.
Have missed Stinkerbell.
College Football Fun.
Bama stinks. Auburn U Rules.
Go team that plays Bam.
Five Seven Five. Huh?
What do you do when you want
to say longer words?
Blah blah blah-tee-blah.
Gibberish gibberish more.
Snore snore, I'm a bore.
caution: this one is about bodily functions. namely poop.
I don't understand it. I don't need help in the poop department unless I'm pregnant. Which I'm not. Or I've just given birth and am afraid to push to hard, lest my very efficient abdominal muscles try to give birth to something else again, when there's nothing in there to birth.
So, laxatives or stool softeners are not kept in our house. Anti-diarrheals? Check and double-check.
Keep in mind 3 words: irritable bowel syndrome.
2 more words: spastic colon.
So, when I get stressed, worried, scared or anything like that, I poop. Sometimes in a hurry. It's quite an efficient, although unpleasant, means of removing excess calories.
Now, be sure and understand that I am not bulimic. No way. No how. No thank you.
I like to eat. I like to actually USE my calories and fat grams. I also like to store them. The latter of these can be attested to by my fluffy thighs and butt and tummy flab.
Let's just say that I often need to hoof it to the bathroom when I experience stress.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Lucky is 8 months old. He's crawling very nicely. He's pulling up to couches, tables, legs, whatever will support him. He's falling back and thumping his head on the floor, erasing IQ points as he goes.
I've done minimal baby-proofing so far. Shut up. I know I need to get serious about it. Shut up. I'll do it. Sometime soon...
The living room is never gonna be baby-proofed enough for him, but I can stay with him and keep him away from the things he that will maim or kill him. (kidding)
For now, though, he has almost free range there. I have a few of his toys in the floor for him to find when he's crawling, which he does easily.
Lucky is not a quite baby. Happy, yes. Quiet, no. He is "dadadada-ing" or "aaaaaaa-ing" most of the time.
But just a few minutes ago, he was quiet. And because he is only 8 months old, I thought that there shouldn't be anything wrong with silence. Surely he couldn't be playing with something he shouldn't.
I decide to see what he's doing. He's fine. He's sitting alone. His favorite toys for the moment are at his side, untouched. He's playing with a hair that is wrapped around his fingers.
Guess what he did when I took the hair and put it in the garbage...
He cried for a hair.
Poor child. Maybe I should give him some wadded up newspaper or matches to play with. He's clearly not interested in his toys.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Tomorrow evening The Mighty Hunter's business is doing a Grand Opening/Open House at their showroom in Gadsden. I decided this might just be an opportunity to buy some new clothes.
Yes, I'm a smart one.
Well, maybe not. I decided that Friday evening, after dinner, would be a fine-and-dandy time to go find some pretty, new dress pants to pair with my sad, old shoes and blouses. Friday evening, after mowing the yard and moving things around in the garage ("cleaning" wasn't accomplished, just shuffling), after Stinkerbell's day at school, after throwing together some dinner (left-overs plus a bag of frozen veggies and Stinkerbell's "Famous Baked Potatoes"), after The Mighty Hunter spent the day bush-hogging (no, this has nothing to do with anyone's girly parts or any member of the porcine family. it's an implement pulled behind a tractor that cuts very tall grass), after dealing with Lucky's poop diapers all day....
where was I???
I can now look back and see that maybe, just MAYBE, I could have picked a better time to go look for pants.
Stinkerbell's method of handling fatigue is with frantic I-can't-stop-moving-or-I-may-fall-asleep behavior. You can guess that I didn't handle it well. There were threats. There were swats made at her hiney. There were promises of no TV for the rest of the weekend. There might have been a moment or two when I asked Beboo (who now regrets tagging along to find pants for herself) "it's time like this when I wonder why I became a mom."
I almost cried with the extreme frustration and exasperation I felt while dealing with Stinkerbell while trying to find something to wear. Three times.
The next day, Beboo offers to The Mighty Hunter to watch the kids so that he and I can go to dinner.
Now, that is TRUE FRIENDSHIP.
So, I told Stinkerbell that her daddy and I were going to dinner while Beboo hung out with her and Lucky.
ooooohhh! You and Daddy are going on a date. You're gonna have a hot date!
"um, yeah. a hot date. you got it sistah!"
So, we went to eat. We chose a place not too far from home so that we could get home and get Stinkerbell bathed and in bed on time.
where do you want to eat?
"I want breakfast. And not Cracker Barrel."
breakfast? not Cracker Barrel? where then?
We ate omelets and hashbrowns at Huddle House.
oh yeah. We're serious food snobs.
The Mighty Hunter's grandmother lived past her 93rd birthday. She was of the generation that lived through the Great Depression and, from it, developed the ability to feed her family of 5 with 2 potatoes, a tomato and an egg from her hen. I don't know if she finished school, but she was an avid reader of her Bible.
She was a tiny, frail, little woman but full of love and fierce loyalty and jealousy for her family. She was one of those little women who peeked at the road through the gap between the steering wheel and dash on her 1980's model Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme with its vinyl seats.
I will not say that she easy to get along with. She wasn't. At least it became difficult for me to enjoy being with her. At first, when The Mighty Hunter and I married, it was fine. The first time I met her, she said, "you call me Grandmother, just like the rest of my babies. Come here and give Grammuver a kiss! Now, don't you want me to cook something for you? How about I make some pintos and cornbread?" As a wife to her grandson, she treated me great. I was a good wife.
But when Stinkerbell was born, her perception of me changed. The very same person who had been a good wife was not good enough for her great-granddaughter. When I went back to work after 2 months of leave, she told me that if it were her baby, she'd wash someone's clothes to be able to stay home and not let someone else raise her.
Never mind that only the dry cleaner gets paid for washing clothes now.
Needless to say that my opinion of her changed too when I became a mother. Like many first-time mothers, I lacked confidence in my new role, and she completely failed to support me and encourage me.
It may seem strange that I looked to her for so much support. But in many ways, she was my mother-in-law. The Mighty Hunter's mother had died from leukemia within weeks of my getting pregnant. We also lived across the road from Granny, so it was very easy and convenient for her to be a big part of our life then.
Daily, I had to remind myself that she came from a different era. That she had lost a baby sister, whom she loved dearly. That she had lost her first baby and suffered an emotional breakdown from the heartbreak of it. That she had experienced times that I've only read about. That she had seen the world around her transform in ways and at a pace that will never be repeated.
She grew up without indoor plumbing or electricity or telephones. She grew up riding horses or wagons or walking everywhere. She lost loved ones to World War II. She listened to FDR and Truman on the radio. She fed her family with the food she grew and the animals she loved and then killed. Yet, she couldn't stand for the mice that would visit her attic and closets to be killed. Her gardens would easily feed her family and two other families. She made sauces and juices and soups to store away in her cellar. She would joke about cracking the lids on the grape juice jars so they would ferment.
She saved and re-used sheets of aluminum foil for months.
She watched the only 3 channels her aerial antennae could receive for years until cable was installed on her country road. Then she and Grand-daddy Hunter stayed up and watched HBO's adult movies all night "just to see what they would do next."
She told stories of "panthers" and bears killing her animals. Of how when her parents first moved here, they found a little abandoned cabin and moved into it. The women and children stayed in the cabin while the men took the oxen and wagons back to wherever they had left to get the rest of their furniture or whatever they had not been able to bring with them. She smiled the sweetest smile when she told about during the nights while the men were gone, they would lie there terrified, listening to footsteps outside the cabin, whispers and bustling around. Then in the morning, they would awaken to find fresh vegetables and meat in hand-made baskets left on the cabin steps. And at the edge of the trees, one Native American woman was watching to make sure they found the food.
She also told about how much she loved that baby sister. How that little girl was the smartest of all her brothers and sisters. How much it hurt her to lose her to a fever. And how when her first-born died also of a fever that she nearly lost her mind and couldn't stand to see or hear or touch a baby for months afterward.
When Stinkerbell was born, she worried and fussed. She held and kissed her. She loved her and spoiled her. She wanted to keep her for me while I worked but was just too feeble and forgetful. She shared with me the remedies she had used on her children to get rid of coughs and colds and sniffless and tummy aches. I learned that many of those really work.
She told me that she was afraid that she loved Stinkerbell too much.
yes, too much.
"how can you love a baby too much?"
I loved my baby sister so much and I think that's why she died.
"she died because you loved her too much?"
it seemed that way. And I'm afraid that I love Stinkerbell too much and she'll die too.
Then there was the time that I told her about how Stinkerbell rolled off the bed in the middle of the night. How when The Mighty Hunter woke up and said "did she bounce?" and fell back to sleep. To all of this she said...
well, that's good. she should live now.
if a baby falls off the bed before their first birthday, they'll live a long time.
And as of yesterday morning, when The Mighty Hunter was supposed to be watching Lucky as he crawled around on our bed, Lucky has made his obligatory fall-off-the-bed-before-his-birthday-to-presersve-his-life.
I hear thump, screeeeeammmm!!!
I run from the bathroom into the bedroom to see Lucky lying on the floor, screaming, arms and legs flailing and kicking, mad and scared and hurt. I also see The Mighty Hunter, still lying on the bed, looking very guilty and scared and sorry.
I guess he crawled over the top of the pillow.
"yeah? Did you think he couldn't? Did you think it was his Mt Everest? Cuz if you did, then we clearly need to buy him some ropes and climbing gear and probably some oxygen tanks!"
Then in the middle of the night, Lucky (who sleeps with us so that I can nurse him in the middle of the night without waking me up too much) crawled around my own extra pillow and fell off the bed again.
At least I can plead the "I was asleep" excuse!
What stories do y'all have about the first time your babies fell of the bed?
Saturday, September 22, 2007
I've been away from here so long that I don't quite to know what to write.
Me, who can ramble for screens and screens about, well, nothing. Blocked.
I suppose I can tell you about the kiddos.
Stinkerbell is LUVIN! soccer. It suits her never-be-still-crawl/run/gallop-all-day-drive-everyone-crazy urges to the TEE. She starts the game as goalie and usually plays the 1st half there. Then Coach moves her to offense. This amazes The Mighty Hunter and me. Neither of us have ever played soccer. We know only the basic of basics about the game. Her ball-handling skills are already equal to the girl they call "Power Foot". She usually plays all but 15 minutes of the game.
I guess this makes me an official Soccer Mom. Is this a good or bad thing?
Lucky is almost 8 months old. He was evicted from his carrier-style car seat last week. I got the Britax Marathon at Target for $40 LESS than everywhere else! SCORE!!!
The Mighty Hunter is getting ready for hunting season. He always plows a place and plants a "green field" in the pasture where his grandmother lived. He's been working on it this week. To aid in his deer food plot farming, he has purchased a chisel plow ($500), $300 of fertilizer and seed and a leveling bar ($200) to pull behind his Rhino ($89/month). Don't let anyone tell you that deer meat is free or cheap. They LIE.
Yes, we eat deer meat, sorry PETA. We used to take it to butchers for processing and packaging. Several years ago, we bought a meat grinder and can now make our own hamburger meat. Typically, we save the tenderloin/back-strap and cook it as a roast (very tasty.) The hamburger meat is very good for chili or spaghetti or lasagna. It's fat content is too low to make it good for actual, you know, hamburgers.
Our stupid puppy, Jake, stuck his head under the garage door the other night. And, the garage door closed on him. No, it didn't kill him. But I feel certain he gained a healthy fear of getting squished by it again. When I told The Mighty Hunter about it, he rolled his eyes and said, "of course, it didn't kill him. We haven't spent enough money on him yet." Now, for those of you whose hackles are raised over our garage door not stopping or reversing when it hit the stupid puppy... I know we seriously need to change the opener. It's hard for me to shell out the $400 for a new opener right now. I mean, a girl has to have a new pair of purdy boots for fall and winter. sheesh.
About accessories, I'm in search of a new diaper bag/purse. I am sick and tired of the one I'm using now. It's a bottomless-pit backpack. It's ugly and dirty. I just can't find the perfect bag. I'm very particular about this kind of thing and would rather use the dirty, tired bag longer than is proper, than to blow money on the wrong one or the not-quite-right one.
Many of you have left comments welcoming me back to this little suburb of Mommy Bloggyville. Thank you so much. I even had 17 hits yesterday. I have truly missed being here with y'all.
Many of you have asked about my mom's condition. She left the hospital almost 3 weeks post-op, after spending 13 days on the in-patient physical therapy floor of the hospital. She still has some weakness on her left side. She is walking with a walker. She experiences dizziness that is causing her difficulty in moving around, but this should correct itself with time and therapy. She left the hospital with a cold and cough, which is still plaguing her. She has not begun her outpatient therapy yet because of the cold, which has weakened her a LOT. She will recover fully, but it will take some time and a lot of work on her part. She is determined and has an incredibly positive attitude. The attitude thing is not her natural way, so we're really surprised and pleased about that.
Again, thank you for your prayers, messages and comments. You're all very good friends.
After these messages, we'll be right back...
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
My shoulder hurts
Lucky just woke up
My left nostril is stopped up
Stinkerbell scored the winning goal in her 3rd soccer game EVER last night
Mom came home from the hospital a week ago and brought with her a upper respiratory
No doctors will step up and call in her a rx for antibiotics
I'm peed off at the doctors
The doctors know this
Stefano didn't actually die
Will Sami ever solve the mystery of the Brady-Dimera Vendetta?
I have put 5k miles on the Pimped Out Mamamobile
My brother's wife made a very profound statement: "I think it's time to leave when someone finds a dead bug in their nose."
She also said piss and I caught it on video (this was after The Mighty Hunter had said h-e-double-hockey-sticks and got brother's kids forbidden to ride with us anymore that day.) Serves her right!
My Auburn Tigers football team is not playing to their full capabilities. dangit.
I am no longer living in the "blond" world. I'm now definitely brunette. and lovinit
If Lucky drops his apple-flavored wagon wheels on the floor and I determine that the 5-second rule applies, but then I drop it into my tennis shoe, is it ok that I gave it back to him to play with and/or eat? What if it hit one or two of my toes?
I hate using the booger-sucker on Lucky. He hates it as well. But the green mustache must be stopped!
I must go now. My house is dirty - as always - and I must ignore it and go buy bananas and diapers.
I've missed writing and visiting with y'all. I hope to post a little more regularly but am not sure if it will actually happen.
Saturday, September 01, 2007
I faced the unfaceable. I wept for a love that I did not lose. My heart broke with fear of the unthinkable. I fought away the tears of my love.
For 8 days, I prepared myself for my mother’s surgery. The tumor was in the crappiest of crappy places. It had, apparently, been there and affecting her life for some time, with symptoms that were easily blamed on other problems. I took the surgeon’s words into my heart and mind and felt the foundation of my very being shake with their weight and meaning.
Against or on the spinal cord.
Constricting the spinal fluid.
Nerves controlling the heart and lungs and all bodily functions below the neck.
I refused to allow myself to weep in front of her. I refused to reveal the depth of my fears. I refused to cause her more worry.
I prayed. I poured my fears out to God. I begged him. Pleaded with him to not take my momma now. To not take her from Stinkerbell. To give Lucky time to get to know her and be able to remember her.
I wept. My tears stuffing up my nose and swelling my eyes. I couldn’t let Stinkerbell see those tears. I couldn’t reveal to her how terrified I was. The fear was too great and the burden too heavy to share with her.
Denial was not a possibility for me. I knew too much. I understood too well. I wished I weren’t that one for her. That person that she depended on for going with her to appointments, for asking questions and listening and remembering. I wish I didn’t need to be that person for her.
I told The Mighty Hunter that I would not be able to tell Stinkerbell that her Nanny was dead. He reminded and reassured me endlessly that everything would be ok. I couldn’t completely believe him. Yet, he knew my pain. He knew the fear. He lost that love once, not too long ago.
As I showered the day before the surgery, I wept aloud and cried out to God. I had never felt such pain.
As I drove to the hospital the night before the surgery, I searched for songs that spoke to me and for me. I sang along when I could control my voice through the tears. I prayed when I could bear it. I thought through the upcoming hours. I wished I had eaten dinner with her. I regretted many mistakes I’d made in my life. I thought about the things I had packed to bring with me. I imagined hearing the news.
The horrible, awful news.
I praised God as best I could in my fear. I sought His presence. I begged Him to take away my fear. I asked Him why I had been so fearful. I asked Him where He had been. Why wasn’t He with me?
I realized that I had failed to bring my Bible. But there was a book still in the van, left in there from vacation.
It’s Not About Me, by Max Lucado
And with the meaning of that title in my head, I felt His presence. The lights were on again. I understood.
I got it.
It wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about my fear. It wasn’t about my loss. It wasn’t about my mother. It wasn’t about my daughter or my son. It wasn’t about my heartbreak. It wasn’t about me.
It was about Him. What He had done to get us this far. What He had done to prepare us for the surgery. What He would do in her healing. It was about how He loves us. It was about sharing His love with others in this time. It was about praising Him for knowing our pain and sharing it with us and bring us through it.
It was about Him.
And my fear left me. My doubt was gone. My worries dried up with my tears. I smiled with the confidence of knowing my Savior lives. That He loves me. That He is with me. That I can depend on Him in this storm – and every other storm.
As she rolled through the doors into the surgical wing, I told her I loved her. I smiled. I squeezed her hand and told her I’d see her in a few hours. And I truly believed the words. I wasn’t bluffing anymore. I wasn’t saying the words that should be said. I was saying the words that were true.
And then after surgery, I sat with her. I told her that I had been afraid. I told her of the book title and God’s presence and the peace that filled my heart.
As she rested, I read to her. I listened to her breathe. Her puffing little snores. I looked at her face. That beautiful face. I held her hand and rubbed the back of it with my thumb.
I thanked God for her.
I thanked God that she could feel my hand in hers.
I thanked God for the blessing of my mother.
I thanked God for His healing.
I thanked God for His presence and courage.
Because it was His courage that relieved my fear. When I had no courage of my own, He gave it to me.
For me to live is Christ and to die is gain. Phillipians 1:21
Thursday, August 23, 2007, the tumor was removed. It was attached to her spinal cord. It was larger than expected. The vertebrae that were cut to provide access to the tumor had to be fused back together with 6 screws. The tumor was completely removed and was benign. It will not grow back. The surgery took about 4.5 hours. The halo that was applied to her skull during surgery was removed before she left recovery. She was given only a soft cervical collar to support her neck. She experienced a lot of pain initially and through the coming days. There was a “pins and needles” type of pain that she felt on her left arm, from the wrist to the neck. She felt this on a smaller scale on her right shoulder. Each day showed this pain to recede higher and higher on her arm. She was very weak on her left side, making it difficult to lift her left arm and move her left leg. She had good feeling with all her fingers and toes and was able to wiggle them freely. The top of her right thigh and collarbone were numb. She stayed in Surgical Intensive Care for about 28 hours and was transferred to a private hospital room. In this room, she continued to receive pain medication on schedule but on a decreasing rate. An attempt to move from the bed to the toilet caused her to turn her left ankle. It was only a sprain, but a splint was applied. Physical therapy began on Saturday. PT was painful and unpleasant. Xrays proved that the ankle was only mildly sprained.
Sunday was a better day. More PT with more progress. Monday was even better. Dr said she was ready to move to the inpatient rehabilitation floor. This finally happened Wednesday afternoon.
Thursday morning was rough. A lot of dizziness and nausea prevented her from going to PT. PT on Thursday afternoon was productive. With a walker, she walked from her bed to the hallway – approximately 15 feet. Before this, she only had stood at the edge of her bed, turned toward the potty chair and then reversed those steps. Friday’s PT was productive also.
She could be released from the hospital Tuesday or soon thereafter.
God has really given us all a wonderful gift. My mom, known for her sarcastic nature, has a better attitude than I’ve seen from her in YEARS. This attitude will prove important over the upcoming weeks and months.
She has weeks and months of recovery ahead of her. She may not be able to return to work, but she will recover. She will walk unassisted again. She will drive again. She will hold her grandkids again. She will visit the Smokies again.
Thank you all soooo much for your kind emails, comments, prayers and concern. You are all my sister and I love you all!
I don't promise to be here often in the upcoming days and weeks. I will be staying with my mom and running Stinkerbell to soccer games.
My life is full.
Full of blessings.