Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Insomniac Blogging #11

--Out of all of the celebrations we have throughout the year, Halloween is my least favorite (except for Labor Day).  It is so much WORK for us moms, and a money drain!!!  And at the end, we have tons of candy that the kids fight over.  Then I have to hide it, and they get grumpy with me.

--There are some things about Halloween that I do like, though.  One of them is this guy in his costume:

Can you see it?  He's a Smartie Pants!

--Goliath is too big/old to go trick-or-treating this year.  I thought it would be a fight, but thankfully I was wrong.  He is going to sit in our front yard and pass out candy while his brothers trick-or-treat around the neighborhood.  Then the candy is all going in to one big family pot, which I will have to hide.  It's the only way to avoid the crazy crash and burn that I know will happen.

--We have an awesome neighborhood for trick-or-treating.  One family rents a cotton candy machine, and makes it right there in their driveway.  Kids line up to wait for it!  Another family makes homemade root beer and hands out samples to all the trick-or-treaters.  Another family shows Halloween movies (i.e. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown) on their garage door and does a mini-potluck.

--I attended fall teacher conferences last week for both of my little boys.  There was nothing really that they wanted to say.  Both boys are doing great, both socially and academically.  I'm a proud mom.

--Something I don't fully understand=Daylight Savings Time.

--Dear person who smashed the window out in Hubby's pick-up truck:  Thank you so much for leaving his Bible safely on the seat.  I mean, you were such a gentleman.  The Bible hardly had any glass on it, it having been preserved perfectly.  Enjoy your new laptop and the other equipment.  Next time you steal, might I suggest you grab the Bible with your other loot.  It would be beneficial for you to do a little light reading.

--Baby:  What are you cooking?
Me:  Blueberry muffins.
Baby:  Oh.  What's in them?

--I mentioned that my local Kroger is remodeling.  A few shopping trips left me frustrated, as they moved the coffee to the organic section and put the Gatorade on an aisle separate from the other drinks.  One afternoon, I needed  just a few items for the chili I was making for dinner, so I ran into a different Kroger.  Wouldn't you know that they also remodeling? I couldn't find anything.

--It is a bothersome problem that I and O are next to each other on the keyboard. 

--On a whim, I bought a can of potato sticks for the cowboys.  Remember those?  I think when I was a kid we called them shoestring potatoes. The boys l-o-v-e them!  So much so, that they wanted to sprinkle them in their soup last night at dinner.  It's weird that I've never thought to buy them before.

--Middle school.  Oh, middle school.  There is so much I could say about this.  I did the math, and not counting this year, our family only has 6 more long  exciting years of middle school.  (It helps to double up on kids.)   Ugh.

--Goliath has been going to school 1 1/2 hours early for the last week for archery practice.  Apparently, his school has a really good archery team.  Like, really good.  And he really wants to be on it.  But this practice before the sun comes up?  That's for the birds.

--I took Goliath to see a marching band competition over the weekend.  We had a great time being together, and my inner band nerd was happy, happy, happy.

--Speaking of happy, happy, happy...like millions of other American families, we are Duck Dynasty fans.  Hubby has started complaining recently about the show, saying that there's no way that it could be "reality" television.  I say that their reality is a lot better than ours, so let's shut up and tune in.

--If we were all genuine and honest about our lives and the struggles we face, wouldn't it be a much more meaningful life?

--My kids broke my OtterBox phone case.  That's talent.

--Reese the Niece can now clearly say "Auntie!"

--Just a few more weeks until Nephew Truett arrives!  The doctor is estimating that he already weighs 7 pounds...I am guessing that he will be big, crazy-smart, and perfect.  Come on, Truett!

--When I was in college, I was convinced that I had narcolepsy.  Sit me in a desk, put a professor in front of me, and zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....The condition has recently resurfaced, only now, it can happen anytime, anywhere.  If you're talking to me and I suddenly fall asleep, don't be alarmed.  Just cover me up and leave me alone.  At 2:45 my phone alarm will go off so I will at least be awake when the boys get home.

--I think that my iPhone is haunted.  It is mysteriously changing ring tones, playing tunes by itself, and cutting off calls before they are over.  Apple has taken over the world.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Blog for Buck

Dear Buck,

Today I am missing your birthday party.  A lot of our family is gathered there with you, and I am here.  I hope you know that I am so sad that I can't be there to celebrate with you.  And this is a birthday that deserves to be celebrated!  90 is pretty amazing, after all.

For 90 years you've made the world a better place just by being you.  For 38 years you've made me a better person by being my grandfather.  Lots of little girls have grandfathers who love them, but I had YOU.  

They tell me that when I was born, you made a "It's A Girl" sign with my name so that everyone at work could share your excitement.

You let me wear your pajamas when I spent the night at your house.  Yes, I had my own, but it was so much more fun to borrow your striped, button-down pjs.  You would roll up the sleeves and the pant legs to make them "fit."

You gave me my first "driving" lessons on the old John Deere tractor.  I remember the thrill of moving from turtle speed to rabbit!  I thought I was so wonderfully grown-up...and you never would have let me think anything else.

You traveled with me.  Those trips to Lake Livingston and Arkansas were childhood highlights!  You and Grandmama introduced us to The Oak Ridge Boys.  I remember how I felt like I had beat the system when I stood with one foot in Texas and the other in Arkansas.  And you know that I can't think about going to the lake without recalling how I went running to you for help when Phil's raft became untethered from the dock.  You were set on finishing your Oatmeal Creme Pie before moseying down to the water to save my brother.  Ha!

You took me to work with you, giving me hundreds of hours of fun and thousands of delightful memories.  You allowed us access to the activities building where we played pool and foosball.  Phil and I loved to roller skate, but we loved it so much more when you skated with us!  When we were hot and sweaty, you opened up the soda machine and gave us Mr. Pibb.  You took us in to the sanctuary where I played the organ and Phil preached from the pulpit (which he could barely reach).  

You taught me to love good food.  I don't know why you let me drink pickle juice or mix mashed potatoes in my Blue Bell...oh, I DO know:  I wanted to! Your fried catfish and the infamous Buck Burger are forever unmatched in yumminess and love.

You drove up to my middle school in that old church van to pick up Caroline and me.  How embarrassing! You came to see me off to my Prom. You were there for my high school graduation. I often found "a little extra" in my mailbox when I was a poor college student at HSU.

You bought my wedding dress.  There couldn't have been a sweeter gift.

You loved Abby Dog with me from the time she was a puppy.  She made countless trips to your house with me, and she just knew that you would take her for a fun walk.  She was always right.

Each of my sons met you when they were just a few weeks old.  Even as infants, they were a captive audience for Buck.  That has not changed as they have grown.  You are a hero to your great-grandsons, as you are to all of us.  They are fascinated by your war stories, and they know you can be counted on for a pocketful of Tootsie Rolls.

Some of these memories are funny; all of them are good.  You've given me a lifetime of happiness and love.  But I think that the greatest gifts you've given me are not things you have done, but it is who you are.  You are calm and you are gentle.  You are a hard worker, and sometimes you are stubborn (remember when there was the huge flood and you refused to leave with everyone else?).  You love Jesus, and you are committed to His church.  You are quiet and peaceful.  You have a great sense of humor, and you make people laugh.  You are love.  That's the thing: I have never doubted for even one second that you love me.  You make me feel special, like nothing matters more to you than being with me.  I wish everyone could have that feeling at least once.

I want you to know today that you are so very important to me.  I am proud of the man you are, and I am enormously proud that you are my grandfather.  I am thankful that my sons have a relationship with you and that they get to make their own memories with Buck, just like their mom did.  I appreciate the investment you have made in me.  I know that I would not be the same person without your influence on my life.  I love you very, very much.  No matter where I am, my heart is there with you.

Happy 90th Birthday, Buck!


Friday, October 11, 2013

Insomniac Blogging: Tenth Edition

*You know that feeling you get when you work really hard to make your husband's favorite cookies and then the dog helps himself?  Me too.

*The comma key fell off of my keyboard on my laptop.  It is gonna be a problem for sure:  
Dear Hubby Could you please stop by the store after work?  We need milk bread bananas soup cereal coffee mayonnaise pepper waffles chips and ice cream.  

*Goliath is having an adventure today!  Later this morning he is flying to Houston for a fun weekend with Poppy and Nana...all by himself.  This is a first for our family, and a BIG deal for my boy who might be a little afraid of airplanes.

*My family has all sorts of fun things planned for Goliath.  First on the list: Nephew & Nana camp at Uncle Phil's.  Goliath and Uncle Phil are going to cook a special dinner together.  

*Speaking of my brother, he is going to be a daddy very soon.  My nephew, Truett Neal, is growing perfectly and running out of room in his mommy's tummy!  Come on, Truett!

*Hubby's sister is also expecting her first baby.  I love being an Auntie!!!

*Little Middle is now taking jiu jitsu classes with Goliath.  We have been surprised to find that he really enjoys it!  I'm thinking that it feels good to him to be able to punch and wrestle someone without getting in trouble.

*I am simply stunned that our federal government shut down, and can't manage to pull it together to resume operations.  The USA looks terrible on the world stage right now...its embarrassing.  And, every time I think about all those hard-working government employees who had their paychecks yanked away from them, it makes my blood boil.  And I won't even go into the slap in the face that this is to our military servants and their families.  The greatest country in the world isn't that great these days.  

*George H.W. Bush is getting more adorable in his old age.  There's something about his wheelchair and his outrageous colored socks that makes me smile.

*Goliath has started bringing his euphonium home to practice each day.  Huh.  It might be a long and noisy year.

*This is one of my favorite commercials lately:

*Baby:  "Mommy, will you  help me get a six-pack?"
Me:  "What?!?!?"
Baby:  "I want a six-pack."
Me:  "Baby, do you know what a six-pack is?"
Baby:  "Yes.  It's when you have really strong muscles in your belly button."
This kid cracks me up.  And I'm so thankful he wasn't actually asking me to take him to the liquor store.

*Little Middle had to leave his iPad at school yesterday because of some technical glitch that prevents all of the safety settings from operating correctly.  This is a real bummer for him because it's a 4-day weekend.  

*I almost never go to Wal-Mart anymore.  I typically shop for groceries at The Kroger, and anything else we need is a good reason for a Target trip.  But yesterday, I stopped at WM to pick up a few things for Goliath's trip and some food items.  When I got home I realized that I was missing a bag and I had to go back.   Of course, they couldn't find my missing bag, so I had to retrace my steps and pull everything off the shelves again.  I am affirmed in my decision to NOT shop at Wal-Mart.

*My usual Kroger is undergoing a major remodeling project.  I'm certain that it will be lovely when its finished, but right now I can't find anything.  They moved the coffee into the health food section and the cereal is next to the canned vegetables.  Huh?

*The 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination is coming up next month.  There's an app for that, courtesy of the local NBC station.  I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that, but it seems disrespectful and unnecessary.

*Goliath's middle school sent home information about the upcoming Middle School Parent University event.  This is a repeat of the one I attended back in May.  I will not be attending this round of MSPU--or any others, EVER.  It only takes one try to freak me out.

*I don't understand the zombie trend.

*Halloween is 3 weeks away, and I have done zero work on costumes for the cowboys.  Maybe they will dress up as zombies.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

C is for Cancer

It cracks me up when I go to a medical office and I have to do the assessment with the nurse.  They're all basically the same:  current complaint, history, vitals, and then she will ask, "Do you have any other conditions that we should be aware of?" My answer:  "Nope.  Aside from the pesky cancer, I am perfectly healthy."

It's an answer that came in handy on Sunday  morning when I found myself in the emergency room.  I started feeling more cancer-y (yes, I just created a new adjective) than usual late last week.  Friday afternoon was a rapid decline of stomach-related symptoms and pain that refused to be controlled with meds, even heavy duty prescriptions.  I had more of the same on Saturday, growing progressively weaker and dehydrated.  By 8 a.m. on Sunday I knew that I had to get help.  We called ahead to Dr. F's office and Hubby drove me to the ER.

I have only been in the ER once before, on the day that Monster moved in and set up shop.  That was six years ago.  It hasn't changed much.  Even though we had called my doctor ahead of time, I am an established patient at the hospital, AND I was miserable, it took more than two hours to get past triage, and I didn't see an actual doctor until I had been there for seven hours.  In spite of feeling terrible, though, the wait gave me plenty of time for people watching.  One quartet was particularly interesting.  The gentleman who turned out to be the patient (it took me a while to figure that out!) was dressed in a heavy camouflage hunting coat.  Now, we had a cold front come through DFW, but this coat was crazy.   It was the I-am-going-out-in-a-snowstorm-to-kill-a-wild-animal coat, not a there's-finally-a-chill-in-the-air jacket. Coat Man was accompanied by an entourage of characters who appeared to be family members...maybe his mother and siblings?  Mama was probably so distressed about her sick son that she rushed out without her bra.  It was frighteningly absent beneath her straight-from-the-junior-section Tinkerbell t-shirt.  Coat Man's brother might have been equally distracted, because he forgot to pull his pants all the way up.  He also never removed his sunglasses.  For hours.  Coat Man's sister won the prize, though, because she forgot to get dressed AT  ALL.  She seemingly fell out of bed and straight into the car that brought her brother to the hospital.  Had I been brave enough, I might have given her this nugget of advice:  You might receive better service in this fine health care establishment if you wear undergarments with your paper-thin white t-shirt, don pants that are NOT decorated with flannel Cookie Monsters, and leave your bathrobe with holes in the elbows at home.  Oh, and please just try to last longer than 5 minutes before you go outside for another smoke.  Good grief.

I finally got called back into a tiny room.  I had x-rays done, blood taken, and got fluids going.  The sweet nurse gave me injections of pain and anti-nausea meds.  After the second round, I felt relief.  FINALLY.  Turns out that I have a couple of nasty infections.  Monster welcomed the visiting germs...he probably offered them lemonade and asked them to stay a while.  I walked out of the ER with hefty meds to add to my collection and directions to call my doctor during regular business hours if I needed anything else.  

Two days later, I am still feeling blah (but better than Sunday!).  Monster and his buddies seem to have their seat belts fastened in their easy chairs in there.  Lemonade, anyone?

As is my practice, I have been trying to find the proverbial silver lining.  First, it was a weekend.  As much as I hate it, Hubby was able to step up for full-time Cowboy Duty so I could rest.  Second, there is nothing like a crisis to bring the best out in the best people.  I've said it so many times, and I will say it again:  We have been blessed with some amazing people.  They continually stand with us, behind us, and around us--encircling my guys and me with incredible love.  This is the body of Christ as it should be...Jesus with skin on.   

Finally, and I know this sounds strange, but this weekend was useful as a practice run.  Dr. F expects that Monster will culminate his stay by causing obstruction of some vital organs/functions.  When that happens--and it is WHEN, not IF--it will be a true, life-threatening emergency.  We have a plan of action ready for that occurrence, which begins with me getting to the MCD ER as quickly as possible.  Now we know a little more of what to expect, and that is not a bad thing.

C is for cancer.  C is also for Cookie Monster and coat and crazy and cry...and cowboys.  I despise this disease that I sometimes say is ruining my life.  But there are times when I think of all the things I have seen and done and learned because of cancer that I would never have encountered otherwise.  And I have just enough sense in my little head to be thankful.

P.S.  Highlight of the long, sick weekend:  Lengthy FaceTime with Reese the Niece.  She showed me her puppy dogs, she took me outside, and she read me her favorite books.  The Princess was astonished that Auntie knew 5 Little Monkeys and could do the hand motions with her.  Our favorite part, of course, was when "one fell off and bumped his head!"  She'd bump her head, I'd bump my head, and then we would laugh at each other.  I am so totally in love with that little girl!