Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I miss you, Dude.

Today as the children sleep, I look back at the naive girl I once was and wonder what would change if I knew eight years ago what I know today, how those last few weeks would have played differently if I knew that each breath counted, each one was precious, each one fragile. If I knew that within weeks my world would feel like it had suddenly started rotating on a different axis and things that I had considered constant were actually flux, like water, not completely tangible enough to hold on to, what would I have done? What could I have changed? If I could shake the naive me, to wake her up, to yell at her to make each moment count, I would. I would.

To be in remission is really false security. What does that really mean? The doctors joyfully exclaim that they believe they've held the beast at bay, that you are winning the fight. "We've got it this round," they say, high-fiving themselves as they leave your room. It's a god-complex, really, thinking they can fight the demons that are ravaging your body. But they were wrong and I hate them. It's not their fault really. They didn't cause the problem, they just didn't fix it. The false hope, the empty promises and now I'm left with the regret that I spent those last few weeks believing, believing that they were right.
For so many years I have needed to apologize. When you were at your worst, I couldn't be with you. You wasted in your hospital bed, just a couple of miles from my house and instead of visiting you everyday, I stayed away. Watching you wither from the strong man that I knew, the man who could do it all, to the frail frame that needed help just walking to the bathroom, it tore me apart. I knew you hated me seeing you like that. Hour after hour as you threw up over and over, I could sense how uncomfortable it made you to watch me cry. I sat on your bed and tried to make you laugh. You made the effort too but it was a game. You were the gentle giant and it killed you to have to ask for help. You were horrified by the vomiting, by the urine that the nurses would leave by your bedside. I watched as your hair fell out slowly on your pillow. We joked about it but we knew that it made you sad. It didn't matter. You were always my dude and I loved you with peach fuzz or your classic balding comb-over. I loved you more than I ever told you. For six weeks you suffered in that horrible hospital. I visited less than I should have. I'm sorry. House renovations, school work, my job all paled in comparison if I only knew how little time I had left with you. I wish I would have been there holding your hand everyday. Please forgive me. You would have done it for me and I feel like I failed you in so many ways.

Finally the doctor gave us hope. You started getting stronger. You could eat without vomiting. You were laughing more. You could watch television with interest and could do more than stare out the window or at the wall. They were able to start your chemo and radiation again. Eventually you were strong enough to be transferred to a care center closer to home. That was a happy day. You had a wonderful friend, a beautiful cat who loved you and would come sleep on the radiator beside your bed. He rarely left your side except to eat. You weren't exactly a cat person, but you welcomed that cat. I could see the twinkle in your eyes when you complained about him. Sadly, I visited you even less often. We put stickers in your window so you had something to look at and patted ourselves on the back for doing that. How pretentious we were for thinking that was enough. One day, I finally worked up the courage to visit you again. Imagine my surprise when I walked into your room and found that instead of you asleep in your bed, a little old woman was hovered under the covers. I quickly backed out of the room, checked the nameplate, and saw your name was gone. I rushed down the hall checking all the doors and you weren't there. I imagined the worst. I rushed to grandma's house, fighting back tears and wondering why no one had called to tell me that you were gone. Imagine my surprise when I found you at the breakfast table, eating biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs and bacon, and looking very much like the man that I had known my whole life. I rejoiced that day while silently berating myself for not even knowing that you had been released. How did I not know? You were the most important man in my life growing up and it was like I had forgotten about you. I hope you never felt that way.

Then there were a couple of good months. I drove you to a chemo appointment once. I remember waiting outside in the lobby while they administered the drugs. The nurse came out to explain to me that you had become ill and that they were going to let you rest for awhile. I was late for work. It was mildly inconvenient. How typical that I would turn something like that into something about myself. But things were looking up. You finished the chemo and the last round of radiation. The doctors said it looked good, that you might beat this thing. They warned after that last round of radiation that things would get worse before it got better but I figured how much worse could it get? You were such a strong person that I knew you had this.

I remember that day very clearly. It was a Tuesday morning when it started and I was sitting in the cash room, counting down registers. I was already halfway done and proud of myself. I remember hearing the phone ring in the store but it stopped fairly quickly so I had assumed one of the dock workers had picked it up. It was always better that way because usually phone calls that early meant someone was calling in sick to work and I didn't want to deal with that right then. I was singing along to Evanescence on the radio and suddenly felt like I really needed to talk to David. I had my cell phone with me so I dug it out out of my bag and was surprised to see that I actually had a couple of bars. The cash room wasn't exactly known as a hotspot for phone signals. He answered almost immediately. He told me that mom had been trying to get a hold of me and I needed to call her now. He also said that he was on his way to come and get me. I was confused but I hung up and went to dial mom's number. She wasn't at work which was a bad sign. I called the house phone and she answered. It was a very brief conversation. "If you want to talk to your grandfather again, you need to leave now," she said. I was irritated. I thought she was overreacting and I didn't want to bother my boss or Alexis, the only one other trained cashier, who rarely got a day off, and who understandably didn't like me that much anyway (oh, the Leslie of 8 years ago). But I left. I didn't even put the money in the safe. I left it on the desk, locked the cash door, and left. We got to the house and I walked in as confused as ever. My grandma's neighbor, who happened to own a cleaning service, was cleaning the house. Women from the church were sitting in the living room and I just wanted to know what the heck was going on. I finally asked mom to take a walk with me and she agreed. As we started down the block she explained that that morning, my grandma had found my grandfather on the floor. He had fallen out of bed and had pulled his mattress down on top of him. Confused, my grandma had called for help and hospice had arrived. They recognized the signs and informed us that he was actually in the process of dying. His remission was a farce. He was no closer to being well than he had been in the care center. I was stubborn. I refused to believe her. After all, the doctors had said it would get worse before it got better. Clearly this is what they meant. This was the same man who had mowed his half-acre lawn on Saturday, had gone shopping with my grandmother just two days earlier. How could he possibly be dying? I truly believed everyone was being melodramatic. I returned to the house and went to his bed. He was only semi-conscious. I squeezed his hand and kissed his cheek and told him I loved him. He looked at me and told me he loved me too. They gave him more morphine and he fell asleep. Through the next few hours, I repeated this process....always holding his hand, always giving him one more kiss, always telling him "I love you, Dude." And he always answered, or at least mumbled an answer in reply. It got harder and harder. I realized they were right and this truly was nearing the end. I couldn't watch when at one point my uncles decided that he needed to eat something. They asked him what sounded best to him. He chose watermelon. If only I could disassociate myself with watermelon now but it will always bring me memories of death.

After awhile, he was placed in a morphine-induced coma. It was merely a tortuous waiting game and I hated every minute of it. I felt like I deserved it for the last few months of leaving him alone to suffer. I needed to be with him now. Oh the irony of that. I started working on writing his obituary. Every paper that I hated writing in high school, that I tortured over in college were a cake-walk compared to this particular assignment. As he lay dying in a nearby room, I searched my heart to find the right words. I knew what I was saying wasn't adequate and I didn't get it right but it was the best I could do for him. We slept in his room as a family, him in a hospital bed pushed against the closets, mom and grandma sharing his bed, Dave and I curled up on the floor. I listened to him labor to breathe, the death rattle that I would so like to forget but that will unfortunately forver be etched in my memory. Again and again I thought it was over as it took longer and longer for him to draw in an inhalation. But it continued until half crazed, I had to leave the room and seek solace in another bedroom and wait it out. But he made it. He made it until we had all left his side and then he quietly slipped away on his own. We received the news at the funeral home while we argued over the embalming process ( I was adamant he should be embalmed) and whether or not we wanted a family limo. Again I failed him for not being with him in those last few precious moments before he passed away. I tried to run away from the pain but I barely reached the lawn of the funeral home before I collapsed on the concrete. I couldn't run away. You can't run away when something, when someone has touched you that deeply.

So many bad memories. Him, for example, calling to tell me when he received the results of the biopsy. "I have cancer," he said. Just saying it out loud made it real, made it permenant. Him calling the temple and asking to be released from his temple assignment because he couldn't work anymore. That was only the second time I ever saw him cry. And those last few moments with him before the mortician came to take his body away. I held his hand through the rail of the hospital bed and felt as it grew colder and colder. It was so hard to see him there, so still and pale, but I didn't want to let go. My world changed when my Dude died. I was no longer the Duchess.

But, even after all that, there were so many wonderful things that I will never forget. You cried on my wedding day. You wore a tuxedo even though you called it a penguin suit and let me know how much you didn't want to. You had blue eyes that gleamed when you tried to make us believe some special story. I see those eyes in my daughter and I'm so grateful that they didn't disappear. I remember a special father's day, the last one I had with you, in fact. You wanted to go fishing so Dave and I hopped into your little red truck and spent the day down by the lake. I engrossed myself in a book while you and Dave waded knee deep in murky water. Everytime one of you would actually catch something, I'd carefully walk out with the creel, refusing to touch the slimy fish but trying to be helpful all the same. Strangely, I enjoyed being the fish carrier on that little excursion. On the way home, you decided we should have a picnic so you pulled off the road into the woods, pulled out some crackers and canned kippers, and we laughed at the fact that Dave sucked at fishing. I remember your insistence on hiking the canyons at Bryce Canyon, despite the fact that you were exhausted. I loved that I had to hold your hand when we went to any type of casino because while we could blindfold you and throw you out in any barren wasteland or forrest and you could easily find your way home, twenty seconds into a building with blinking lights threw you off your game. You were my biggest cheerleader, never missing any races when you could help it. You were the brave one who took us to amusement parks and rode along willingly. You taught me to drive, worked two jobs to help pay for the things I wanted, and loved me unconditionally. You called me Duchess because your life revolved around mine. My life will never be the same because of you.

Had I known eight years ago what I know now, what would I change? Dude, I would have told you each and every day how special you were. I would have thanked you for being you, for loving me. I love you.

So it's been awhile

Ok, so I pretty much suck at blogging.  I'll admit it.  My literary masterpiece of my life is as full of holes as swiss cheese...a little bit here and a little bit there.  No matter.  I'll try my best to catch up and pretend that it hasn't been three months since I wrote last.

There have been so many firsts that I let slide past without sharing.  Ammon's first steps, Ava's first day of "real school," Noah's first day of preschool.  All of these important little milestones and I mentally cataloged them to share, yet, well, here I am.  Three months later and I'm working on it. 

As I said, Ammon started walking shortly after his birthday.  We had a fabulous time at his party.  We had a lot of friends over for a barbecue, water play, a bouncy house and a cake.  The cake was a fail for me.  I was so sure I could pull off a beautiful sun fondant cake because I've watched Cake Boss a thousand times...how hard can it be?  Yeahhhh, I see now why people pay so much for fondant. Instead I created this little number.  I'm pretty sure that it should be making an appearance on the "Cake Fails" blog, but I'm too ashamed to post it. 

Beautiful, isn't it?

After he was finished with it, it didn't look much better.


Then came the walking.  Unfortunately, he wasn't very good at it at first...

He fell down.  A lot.  And I somehow forgot that the obvious things needed to be babyproofed, like the stinking entertainment center.  I'd like to say that goose-egg was an isolated incident, but no, I have several pictures just like this one.

He's such a good little guy though.  That smile just lights up his entire face. He's also a scrappy little thing.  He has no problem facing off against his older siblings if he wants something.  I see this kid going far in life.

Which brings me to what we'll call FAILED MILESTONE RECORDING #2:  the start of the school year for the kids.  My baby daughter, the one who feels like was just born yesterday but thinks she's on the brink of teenagerism started kindergarten.  How the heck did that happen? 

This is her teacher Mrs. P.  I don't know what the P stands for. I probably should.

Noah got to start Preschool the same week because of his sensory issues.  Sometimes I feel like I only have 2 kids because he spends so much time on his own in his room and never wants to hang out with me.  I guess he realized how uncool I am at the age of three.  Anyway, he has a special IEP that he's working on and he's doing great with it.  He was nervous the first day but now he loves it and is always eager to go.  He's in the "Friendly Frog" class. 

There's his friendly frog. 

The BEST news with Noah is he's finally potty-trained.  Well, mostly. He still has accidents every now and again (like last night...but we won't go there). 

Right after school started, my mom, grandma, and sister flew out to visit.  David and I raced the Air Force 10k while they were here.  Well, racing isn't exactly correct.  I ran/walked it while trying not to die from my asthma.  I was sucking it up pretty bad and our time was horrible but I survived.  We took a family trip to Nauvoo, Illinois.  It was an adventure.  We stayed in a log cabin.  This was the view from my bed...it kind of scared me.  It was one of those "how many ways can I kill you from the weapons in this cabin? sort of deals."

This picture just cracks me up everytime I see it.  If you notice, she's violating every rule that's posted on that motor cart.  Not only is she outside, she's carrying around Ammon.  I'm not complaining though because he loved the darn thing. 

As for David, well, we got exciting news last month.  He will be promoted in the spring to the rank of Captain.  This comes at a good time seeing that we are scheduled to PCS to Tucson, Arizona in the early summer.  I'm kind of looking forward to both of these changes and I'm proud of David for not letting his commander get him down...but again, I won't go there.  Good for you, Dave. 

Want to see something impressive?  I grew these!! 

Yep, those came straight from my garden.  This was an accomplishment because five years ago, I couldn't keep a plant alive to save me.  Now I'm turning into Glenda the Gardener.  I'll take it. 

It's 6:31 a.m. and I've been up since 3:30 a.m.  I just couldn't sleep anymore so I figured I had two choices:  finish folding the laundry or catch up my blog.  You can see which direction I went...so if anyone feels like folding about 80 loads of laundry, please feel free to visit at anytime. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Home...Again...or should I stick with migraines suck Donkey-balls?

So I realized after I started the first time that I can't use the title "Being Home" twice in a row since that's redundant and all so now I'm just home again. 

Migraines suck donkey-balls.  They render me pretty much useless, which is not the greatest of qualities when your only job is keep the house in order and the kids alive.  After maxing out on the dosage of medicines that I can take in a single week for debilitating headaches, and still having double vision and the inability to focus on any object, I ended up in the ER for some iv fluids and their little drug cocktail mix of benadryl/reglan/and tordal.  It took two blown veins to get that in but eventually they were successful.  It made me drowsy and slurry but didn't touch the pain.  So, they gave me a shot of morphine and sent me home.  Day 2 was worse.  They tried the same type of drugs but sent me home with something like morphine and told me to sleep.  After two hours, I was awake and knew that sleep was not happening. I had absolutely no vision control and my vertigo was awesome in the "I feel like I'm walking sideways" kind of way. 

Thus, day 3.  Not realizing that David had called a babysitter and had actually left, I freaked out about the kids and went running out of my room without underwear to check on them.  Yeah, that's only slightly awkward.  Nudity for a stranger is generally not my cup of tea.

My doctor decided that it was time for a new plan of attack.  He decided we would try new iv medicines while I was hospitalized so they could see how I did with them.   It was about 30 hours of lying in the hospital, trying to avoid all visual and audio stimuli while being interrupted from sleep every 2 minutes.  Gotta love the hospital. And since Wright-Patt's a training hospital, my day was also filled with groups of classes who asked if they could "ask questions about my condition and learn from why I was there?"  Why not, I love being a guinea pig.  So I laid there and counted my bruises (7) from the missed and blown veins and waited for the dreaded self-stick shots.  They, of course, came while I had a full class in my room for full-view.  Not planned but interesting timing all the same.  I managed to stick myself without too much embarrassment.  And so finally I got to go home.

WITHOUT MEDICATION!!  Everyone is out of it and it's on order.  It's meant to be in in the next few days but I'm seriously wishing my kiddos came with a mute button this morning. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Completely for Terrence

....because for some reason my computer won't let me actually comment on my posts and while I'd like to continue to play around and fix the cookie problem (which is probably a simple enough fix), Hurricane Ava and Noah are currently wrecking my house and I have things that actually need to get done, like get to the library before the softball game...so this "POST" is actually YOUR comment.  Feel loved. 

Awesome-sauce is yours as long as you remember the awesome-sauce source from whence it came ;)

I totally remembered "The Poo" as I was making the kids' lunch but hadn't had the time to go back and edit. Remember the zoo where you need binoculars to see the ONE lion ten miles away and the gorilla splays his junk up on the glass window for everyone to see...good times, good times. Montgomery was so much better, even being hugely 38 weeks pregnant with a nine-and-a-half pound kid and hot.  Montgomery was good times.  My struggles for chocolate milk. Why was it so difficult to get chocolate milk?  Aww, all of this talk is making me friend sick.  I don't miss Delaware as much as I miss you guys.  I hope our kids get to get together and do something soon.  You guys will like THIS Leslie so much better ;) And it's hard to see but did you notice Ammon has a matching onesie to match one that we sent Miles?  It's the blue star one, I think.  It's probably ruined after the cookie mess but I hope not.  I actually liked that one.

I really hope we can see you soon.  We miss you.

It's an old picture but the Weston's are AWESOME-SAUCE :)

Being Home

We just got back from a short trip.  It was only 350 miles roundtrip and less than 3 days total so it was quick and even relatively painless in terms of screaming (my own, of course, from being cooped up in a car with three youngsters for three or four hours and a hotel room by myself with the kids for 4 or 5 hours while Dave was in a meeting).  We technically went on this trip because Dave had to work but he made it so we could have a mini-vacation which was what the Holst family greatly needed.  Dave planned it so instead of using his Room Allowance to stay somewhere "adult nice,"  like a Garden Inn, we stayed at the "Carribean Cove," a hotel that obviously caters to the younger generation.  In fact, the kids caught sight of the water slides as we drove into the parking lot and their reaction was pure awesome-sauce (yes, I said awesome-sauce).  We might not have got valet parking but we had squeals of glee from the backseat.  I'll take it. 

After getting registered and changed, we headed down to the park and for the first time in their lives, THE KIDS LOVED POOL WATER, especially my littlest waterbug, Ammon.  We'd sit with him on the edge of the kiddy pool and let him splash in the little fountains but then he'd start crawling in until he was face deep.   People were laughing at us as we were constantly dragging him back to safety. 

Ava learned to stand as tall as she could because she barely, barely (and it might have been questionable at that) made the line to ride the tube slide with her mama.  In fact, despite the fact that the lifeguard at the bottom said we were ok, the one at the top almost sent us back down.  Once she was cleared to go though, the child showed no fear despite the height, and hopped right on the tube, giggling the entire way down.  The joys of childhood.  The park had weird hours, opening at 4 pm and closing at 10 pm so we had to leave at 8 (which is, of course, bedtime) which made our earlier "Favorite Parents in the Entire World"  status drop to "Worst Parents Ever."  Oh well.  It might have been short-lived but we had our moment to shine.   

After a rough night in which Ava kicked Noah to the floor and he went flying to the floor screaming  (have I mentioned that no one can sleep with Ava?  She's a sideways sleeper and a kicker) and a few nightmares from Ava, Dave left for the work part of his trip and I was stuck in the room with three kids for a few hours.  What do you do in a hotel room with three kids for several hours?  The answer?  Not a whole lot.  Thank you, Nickelodeon.  I'm not exactly sure where we'd be if it wasn't for Dora.  Ava colored Coco the Crododile, Noah ate (constantly) secretly feeding his little brother, and we waited and waited for daddy to get back from his meeting.  And he finally did.

After quickly changing clothes, we headed out to the second surprise of the trip...the Indianapolis Zoo.  Ava has only been to the zoo a handful of times in her life.  Three times in Montgomery Alabama, and once in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Even during those times, she was only 2 years old.  Her memories are hazy at best.  Noah, sadly, had never even been to a zoo, even at the age of 3.  So we were excited to see how he'd like it.  It was a fun day.  Ava made herself the map reader (and surprisingly didn't even get us that lost), and touched a shark.  She would have been shark bait herself if this guy had anything to do with it.  He certainly had his eye on her.

Ava then raced a cheetah.  She made it about 10 inches before being eaten.  She convinced me that I needed to try.  I ran about 14 inches before being devoured.  I blame it on my sandals.  I think in better shoes I might have made it at least 18 inches, right?

We also got to see a precious baby elephant that was only 12 days old.  He was doing a lot of exploration but staying pretty close to his mama.  His mama just looked...relieved. 

Noah looked amazed and fascinated by everything.  He was transfixed by the dolphin show.  He sat on my lap and just drank in everything.  It was fun to watch.

Then it was back to the hotel for our last night at the water park.  This time we let the kids stay until the pool closed.  They had such a great time.  It was hard to leave and come home to the boringness that is every day life, although sleeping in our own beds is always a positive.  And, hehe, Dave managed to leave the hotel with one of their pillows.  Thankfully I called to tell them we were sending it back so they didn't charge us the $150 they were about to add to our room total.  That Dave.  It has so not been his month.   Did I mention he backed into a dumpster in my new minivan?  My "barely-a-year-old" minivan?  The minivan with the back-up cameras?  I call that serious talent.  It could have been worse, I keep telling myself because it could have done more damage.  It could have been a car he hit instead.  But it still made me sad because if I have to drive a minivan, I want it to look pretty for as long as possible. 

Being home now means that I need to get back into routine and quickly because the school year will be starting soon!  Only three more weeks until my precious baby girl, the one who I just held so tightly on that tube slide for the first time will be gone during the day.  It's sad and amazing how fast that time has flown. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

For the Ke$ha haters

All right, here's a ramble I'm not proud of. I think I even briefly mentioned this shame in my first ever blog. It involved sleeping pills, iTunes, and bad musical selections.  I thought it could be worse, that I actually got off lucky, right? Well, apparently, I was wrong.

Yesterday morning as I was driving myself to the doctor's office, I hear MORE pop vomit.   As I listen in shock, I numbly reach for the little pink device and it's worse than I imagined.  Justin Beiber? Miranda Cosgrove?  Selena Gomez?  Yes, yes it's bad.  When did High School Musical appear?  Am I being punked?

Well today, while the kids, Dave, and I were cleaning the house, we let our poor sweet Ammon fall asleep in his bouncer.  After we finished cleaning and finally took the time to put our feet up for a rest, I noticed something freaking adorable.  In my random purchasing days, I also managed to download some Ke$ha and apparently my little man is already a fan.  As his head laid sweetly against the toys in front of him, he began to dance to the chorus, all while maintaining a peaceful slumber.  For my own amusement, I played the song over a few times.  It's no surprise the little guy is now on his third nap for the day, probably dreaming of Ke$ha and one day becoming a backup dancer.

Interestingly enough, I found that I was actually singing along with "Friday" before I realized what I was doing.  I am truly crazy.

The Makings of Organization

Ohhh, this will be quick but good. With three kids and a house that sometimes feels the size of a matchbox, I'm not even going to claim that I don't feel like we're tripping over each other all of the time.  My house often looks like a toy store threw up in it and I'm tired of tripping over the little things that had no place to call home.  So, I made this.  I can't claim the idea.  I saw something similiar on the Internet but it was massively too expensive to spend for something that I could make with cheap buckets, zip ties, and some screws.  But it rocks.  Ammon can get into everything he wants and it's off our floor.  Who knew that something so simple in life could make me so happy? 

Saturday, July 23, 2011


It's two a.m. and the shocking sound of silence finally allows me to sit through and process everything that I have been feeling, everything that I have been bombarded with for the past couple of weeks.  And it's not pretty.  I feel raw and exposed, nerve endings brushing against sharp bristles.  I wish I could sleep but unfortunately, sleep is mocking me.  Too many things are playing in my head, a carousel of thoughts that I want to stop, so that I can step off the ride, but obviously I can't.  Too many lights, too many sounds, too much of it all.  The darkness is jeering at me.

When I named this blog, it should have quickly became apparent I am atypical.  What am I after all?  I don't know the answer to this yet myself.  I ask myself everyday.  A mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a lover, a mental patient, a cancer survivor...yes.  These are all parts of me.  Too many hats though and I feel like I'm juggling pieces here and there and soon some are are falling through the cracks and all of me will be gone.

Unlike my previous posts, this post is not meant to be upbeat.  It's not meant to be funny.  It might even be offensive, especially to those who know me from way back in my glory days.  I don't apologize for me.   I can't do that anymore.

The exposure I feel is violent, like my skin has been turned inside out...again, raw, exposed, and dangerous.  I am in mourning for things I never knew I would miss so greatly.  Friends, dear friends, whom I truly loved are gone, with me driving them away with my lost cause attitude.  I've cried hard and long for those moments to be taken back.  I want them to be repaired but no wrinkle in time, no time travel can explain how I came to be.  I want them back.  I want HER back.  I miss the giggling and the silliness.  I miss the ME that I was when I was with her.  SHE made ME a better person. 

Oh, there is so much I want to write but can't.  About this week and how horrible the decisions I was forced to make have been.  How David spent the week in Baltimore on a Business TDY and how hard single-mother hood is when it feels like hell is pulling you in like a black-hole.  I can't get it out though, even though I'm trying.  I can't explain how off my marriage is feeling this week, even though I know that all relationships are like the ocean, with ebbs and flows, the tides of the ocean current.   Sometimes we feel completely in synch like we can work together to accomplish anything.  Then we have days like today where the entire world seems to rooting for us to fail.  As we argued today (by text message, lol), and I asked him if he was ready to be done with me, he simply responded with one simple note: "I'm not going anywhere.  Now get back here and come be with your family." 

And I did.  And it was amazing.  I sat down on the couch and my sweet little Ammon broke into a smile when he saw me.  He started crawling over toward me and reached his little hands up to my knees.  I watched as for the first time, he pulled himself to standing up, his little hands holding on to my pants for dear life.  His face lit up when he saw how proud I was of him and I could only scoop him up and kiss his fat cheeks and tell him how happy he makes me.  "Sweet baby, don't grow so fast," I want to say, even though I  know it's inevitable.  Where will I be when I'm not his favorite person in the world?  What will I do when he doesn't follow me when he hears the sound of my voice or when he's moving toward daddy but sees me and changes his destination to come to me instead?

Sweet baby, don't grow up so fast.

I have been an emotional wreck all weekend.  My mother used to say that her kidneys were too close to her eyes when she couldn't stop crying so I guess I have the same issues.  So much drama, so much unnecessary drama that I wish I could have avoided.  

Now it's much later and while there's still so much to say, my eyelids are finally drooping.  Good night, or rather good morning.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Awww, the Sound of Quiet

Not to be confused by The Sound of Music, which I also love.  In fact, there might be a video out there with a slightly impaired Leslie (Fiorcet isn't the greatest medication for me) yodeling along to The Lonely Goatherd (and it's a good one), but I definitely love this a little more.  It gives me a little more time to think and set a game plan for the day.  Mine's going something like this.  Try to go for a run, get the kids breakfast, put Noah on the potty, do the laundry, put Noah on the toilet, wash the mirrors, put Noah on the toilet, fold some laundry, place Noah on the potty, put dishes in the dishwasher, put the poor kid on his toilet.  You get the pattern by now. If there was a way to fast-forward through potty-training, you betcha, I'd find it.  It's a miserable experience.   He got a large Spongebob popsicle yesterday for missing the toilet completely but at least still staying on the thing while he went.  We have to celebrate the small victories in life after all.  Nothing more rewarding than cheering on a three-year old naked kid as you scrub up pee.  It really is hard to muster enthusiasm when you're down on the floor with bleach and scrubbing away.  People aren't joking when they said boys are a lot harder to train than girls and look at me, I have another one waiting in the wings to train in the next couple of years.  Maybe Ammon can stay in diapers until he's 20 and then potty-training can become the responsibility of his spouse, or at the very least, his missionary companion.

I'll be truthful, I'm not much of a morning person so the fact that I'm awake and blogging at 6:45 a.m. is an accomplishment.  The fact that Ava is still asleep is an accomplishment.  Oh, that child.  Don't get me wrong, I love her to pieces, but as children go, she's as high-strung as they get.  We're currently getting the ADHD testing out of the way, but until then, the doctor went ahead and suggested giving her melatonin to help her sleep at night since sleep just wasn't happening.  At least it's only melatonin, right, and not something like Ambien?  She'd be the hallucinating type and I'd be in her room trying to explain to her that her walls were not attacking her and the blankets were not, after all, breathing.  Cough, cough, that might have been my experience with the stuff.   Anywho, back to the melatonin....only it's wasn't easy to persuade her to take her the pill.  So I lied.  Awesome parenting at it's finest.

 She's ADDICTED to Scooby Doo.  She would watch it all day if I let her and she goes on hunts to find clues with poor little Noah.  Noah isn't affected by it, but apparently, Ava is, because before the melatonin, we'd find her in the oddest places in our room....stretched out across the top of our pillows, burrowed at our feet, balancing on the edges of our mattress, or more likely than not, on the floor, huddled in a ball.  She has never caught on that the ghost is never a ghost at all but a bad guy in a really bad mask.  Even after six months of different episodes, she's never caught on.  We've tried taking them away but she loves the thrill so she finds them and the whole thing starts over.  I'm not going to lie.  I'll admit that I love her to pieces but I'll never be the parent that claims my daughter is the special snowflake that will be ready for an Ivy League school at the age of 13.  I'm only praying that she's done peeing in her closet at that time.  This too is a recent revelation when we realized her room had an unmistakenable urine smell.  *Sigh*. So, back to the sleep issues....at the age of five, she had bags under her eyes from not sleeping that riveled, well, my own and my severe insomniac ways.  We could both be an extra on Twilight without make-up about 90% of the time, that is if we were both good-looking and sparkled.  I don't do either.  Thus, the magic pill.  I didn't say anything too bad, but I know that one day, I'll have to answer to the "do you remember when you told me that melatonin was really a magic pill to chase away ghosts and all bad things?"  Yes, folks.  That is exactly what I said.  She's five.   She bought it up and now asks for it every single night.  Nothing more refreshing than to hear a child come running into the kitchen around 7:30 to ask for a magic pill, especially when we have company.  She's adorable which will thankfully take her far in life because if not, she's the type you'd send to the store for food and she'd return with magic beans.

Oh man, Little Miss has discovered that I'm awake and is now sitting on the cat.  Yes, the cat.  Forget that stuffed horse that we had to have since "it would come in handy", she has captured her cat and is trying to ride her around the living room.  This, THIS is why she doesn't have a dog.  Her poor cat is tortured enough.  At least the cat is fast enough to get away. 

I laugh at the day that we found out we were expecting this child.  We wanted a baby so badly.  We had been trying for a long time, four years to be exact, but hadn't really discussed our infertility failure with anyone.  When one of our best friends told us she was pregnant, I was happy for her, but the green monster of jealousy was very much on my shoulder.  Two days later, between shifts at work and on my way back to bed between said shifts (oh, the things you can do without kids, like uninterrupted naps when you aren't working), I thought, what the heck, I have a pregnancy test.  I might as well use it.  So, I peed on the stupid thing and headed to bed.  I had had so many negatives in four years that I almost forgot to check it.  But eventually I remembered and returned to the bathroom to see two glaring pink lines staring back at me.

This is where it gets bad.  Know the elation, the excitement, the feeling of wanting to "shout it from the rooftop?" that should have accompanied this special moment?  That sure didn't happen.  In fact, I held that pee stick in my hand for a good five minutes trying to make sense of it all.  I mean, I couldn't really be pregnant, right?  It had to be a mistake.  Which began what I will call the Tournament of Testing that day.  I peed on a half of a dozen sticks while David was at work, getting the same result each time.  I got a digital test eventually because those can NEVER be wrong, right?  It popped up "PREGNANT" almost immediately and I fervantly began shaking that thing like an eight-ball waiting for the "NOT" to join it.  It never did.  Even an "Ask Again Later" might have been nice.  Oh, the memories.

I walked back to work for my afternoon shift, shell-shocked.  I was the first one back.  In my dazed state, I hadn't realized I was an hour early.  I never even got my nap.  It didn't matter since I had paperwork that needed to be done.  However, I think I climbed into my cubby instead and cried for a good 45-minutes instead.  I should have known that if it took her 4 years to decide to join us, she was going to be a handful. 

Now that I have two children awake, that special moment where it was just me and my thoughts has escaped.  I guess it's time to put on my Mom hat for the day and leave this, where I think my world is fascinating and I actually have something to say.  It's time instead to start that list I began an hour ago and hope that maybe, just maybe, we have better luck than yesterday with Elmo's potty and a little boy who doesn't want to be there.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Why I can't be a Pirate

This was my first thought when I woke up this morning.  Why, you may ask?  I don't know.  I don't know what modern-day piracy has to do anything.  I was in the semi-coma state just before wakefulness and had one of those "WOW" moments that made me think, "I really need to blog about that," when I woke up and completely forgot why I will never resort to piracy.  Since I have no clue on where I was going with this though, I guess I will list reasons why I could never be a pirate.  I mean, my blog is about craziness.  I might as well keep it real.
  • I like fruit.  I don't think an abundance of fruit is available on pirate ships.  Maybe the modern ones but I've read enough historical books to know that scurvy and I would not get along well.
  • I can't wield a sword.  I can't even use a knife without cutting myself.  I'd be the pirate in the corner, huddled behind the barrel of rum and praying that no one saw me.
  • I don't like rum.  Really.  It's nasty stuff.  If pirates were vodka drinkers, I might have been more prone to sign up.  Now I'm on the wagon and that too makes it hard to be a pirate.   
  • I don't think I'd enjoy the hammock sleeping.  I need a little more lumbar support than a few ropes hanging from the raftors.  Even a nice featherbed on the floor would be more enticing but I can't guarantee that would even win me over. 
  • I'm not into sharing a bathroom with dirty men.  I have to clean pee off the floor after my three year-old.  That's bad enough. 
  • I can't swim.  Enough said.
These, these are the random thoughts that enter my head on a daily basis.  Why would I think this at 8 in the morning?  At the time, it made total sense and I HAD to share it with the world.  Now I can only wonder what the heck I was thinking about when the words " I can never be a pirate" jumped into my head.  I guess the world will never know. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Love is a Battle Field

Funny how I can be so sappy and lovey/dovey one day and then change my tune the next.   Isn't that the way it goes in life?  Well, maybe not for everyone but that's the way it goes for me.

I've been lying in bed trying to think of a good metaphor to describe my expectations for yesterday.  Nothing quite fit so I'll just say that it was a let-down.  After writing my sappy post about our engagement, I tried to sit David down to read it only to be interrupted about halfway through with "who wants pancakes?" to which I replied, "YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ME," did the delicate stomp of the foot and stormed out of the room.   Remember how I said my daughter was a diva?  She comes by it naturally.  David then suffered through about about three hours of the silent treatment.  Truthfully, suffered probably isn't the right word because it was undoubtedly relieving not to listen to my gibberish about kissing under the fireworks.

And that was only the beginning of his fail.  Poor kid.  Once it starts, it seems like he can't win for the day.  At some point, I dragged myself out of my bedroom where I had given myself a time-out to make mac and cheese.  From the box.  No one will ever confuse me for Betty Crocker, I assure you.  At one point in our marriage, and I'm sure it was early on, Dave made the mistake of observing, "Your grandmother can cook, your mother can cook, your sister can cook....why can't you cook?"  I quickly retorted, "my grandmother can cook, my mother can cook, my sister can cook, why should I cook?"  Winner....Leslie.  He had no answer.  This is what happens when you marry a 19-year old college student who was still living at home at the time.  You get mac and cheese from the box, buddy.  I have no sympathy since he knew what he was getting.  My life was an open-book before we said our vows so he can't claim to be suckered in.

Anywho, seeing as how I've become distracted again, back to the mac and cheese.  I boiled the noodles, dumped the powdered cheese on top, reached into the fridge for milk and discovered he has used it all.  No containers in sight. Ok, we all really know this is my fault because I should have checked to make sure that I had all the ingredients first but, shhhhh, he can't know that he's actually not at fault when these things happen.  In the grand scheme of things, mac and cheese is a blip on the map of nothingness.  But, as I sat there with orange powdered noodles and my desire to make something out of them, my blood pressure sky-rocketed.

"Did you use all of the milk?"  I yelled to him.  This was again probably unnecessary seeing as how our house is set up so our kitchen is all of ten-feet from the couch. 

"Oh, yeah.  I was planning on getting some later," he responded. 

My temper flared.  If you're reading this, you have to understand, I have to be in the mood for mac and cheese.  I don't ever usually eat cheese.  It makes my gag reflex happy.  This milk fiasco was a tragedy. 

"Do you think you could have told me this BEFORE I started the mac and cheese?" I yell back. 

Poor guy. 

"I didn't know that's what you were doing," he replied.  "You just started banging pots and pans around in the kitchen and I figured you had this one under control."

"Well, it's too late now," I snapped.  "What am I supposed to do with this?  The noodles are cooked and I already poured in the powder."  I'm looking longingly in the pan, while simaltaneously trying to mentally make a gallon of milk appear in the fridge.

"You could use water," he suggested.  Bad idea.  Really? 

"Really?  Water?  Let me guess, you're going to suggest I add tuna next," I say, reminding him of this one "wonderful" dish he once made for me that was so incredibly awful that even the thought of it...well, let's just say it was bad.  It involved a whole bunch of different "Cream of (fill-in-the-blank)" soups, tuna, and pretty much all things related to fail. 

"I give up," I yell as I slink back down the hall to our bedroom.  "It obviously wasn't meant to be so I'm just going to take a nap."  Maturity is obviously not a trait I've acquired in my 30-year existence.

I crawl into bed, curl up in the fetal position, and after a few minutes, I actually doze off.  I don't know how long I'm asleep when I hear a soft knock on the door.  I turn over and there he is, standing in the doorway with mac and cheese in a bowl, balanced perfectly on a plate (we don't have trays) and a fork, ready to go.

"Hey, sweetie," he says.  "I ran to Kroger and got some milk.  Your mac and cheese is finished."  Yes, folks, the guy rounded up three kids and dragged them to the store, just to appease his crazy wife.  He's a trooper.

Only, now he's woken up the dragon.  Literally.  I had been sleeping.  "No thanks," I snap.  "I'm not in the mood."

Dejected.  That's the only word I can use to describe the look on his face as he stands there holding that golden bowl.  Truthfully, he's a keeper anyway, but when he does something like takes three young kids to the grocery store for milk when his crazy wife is having a pity party for herself after being stood up by Kraft, well, even I have a heart.

"Fine.  I'll at least try it."  I say.

He hands me the plate and I try to be enthusiastic about it all, but the truth is, the thrill is gone.  They're just noodles in a bowl.  I finish it though and he beams.

"I have a surprise for you," he says.  He runs down the hall and returns with a bag of Pretzel M&M's, which happen to be my new favorite candy.  Awww, the love.

The reality is that I'm pretty sure when my husband dies, Jesus himself will hoist him on his shoulder and say, "Well done, ol' chap.  I sent you a rough one and you pulled through," while hosts of angels cheer him on in the background.  At the very least The Big Man will give him a knuckle punch and say "ooooohhhh man.  Sorry, dude."

We DID see our fireworks last night.  We even kissed under a few.  But I have to give props to my husband for holding it together with the craziness he married.   

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Engagement Day....er, I mean, Happy Fourth of July!!

I truly am patriotric.   My husband is now a commissioned officer in the Air Force after all, so my priorites are really not as screwed up as the title of this post sounds.  It's just that today marks an important day for me as an individual as well.  So, Happy Independence Day, America, but you have competition in my heart.

You see, somewhere around the time I was 15, I met a kid on a bus.  It was a Greyhound bus, headed for Fresno, California for the endcap race of our season.  Footlocker Invitational was a big deal for us Mountain View runners and the bus ride was always one of the highlights of the trip.  Somewhere around Beaver, Utah (yes, that is actually the name of the town, folks),  our poor bus broke down.  We were stranded on the side of the highway.  As we waited, I started talking to this person I didn't really know.  His name was David Holst and while we had both ran on the Orem Track Club during the summer, we weren't really friends.  I don't remember much of our conversation except that at some point I had hijacked someone's old-school Game Boy and was doing my darndest to ignore him.  After a couple of hours, it was evident the bus was going to be not quickly fixed, so the local school district sent a bus to rescue us.  They brought us to their local high school and we played games until a replacement bus could arrive from Salt Lake City.  Again, it was several hours for that to happen and I have awesome memories of this particular night.  Playing four-square in the hallway with Kara Wilson.  Playing "I love you, baby, but I just can't smile" with a group of friends.  BEST MOMENT EVER.....Chris Shane singing "If you want my body and you think I'm sexy" while strutting his stuff. CLASSIC.  But, again, I digress.  As you can see, I'm easily distracted.  Moral of the story, I spent several hours this particular night with a young kid that my mother would eventually say I was going to marry and I would balk (is that a word?  Is that how you spell it?  I should probably get a dictionary if I continue this project) at that idea.

Fast forward a few years.   David had gone away to college for a few semesters, although I tease him because he's old enough that he was still on the quarter system, not semester system at SUU.  It was the last year, but hey.  He's old.  He went away on his mission and I wrote him a lot and even sent him a few packages.  So we never really lost touch.  We just never knew that anything special would come from our relationship.

Dave returned from Toronto on April 18, 2000.  I didn't know this of course but his mom eventually came into the store where I worked (eventually, lol.  I kept a journal around this time so I know these dates.  It was EXACTLY May 22) and mentioned that he was back.  I told her to say hi for me and she wanted my phone number so he could call me.  I had just bought my new cell phone and was delighted to give out numbers.  After all, cell phones weren't as popular as they are today (so easily distracted, aren't I? ).  I was really busy at this time.  I was working two jobs and going to school full-time.  I had lots of friends who kept me entertained and my own missionary that I was in love with so I wasn't sitting around waiting by the phone, but secretly I was hoping for a call.  I won't lie.  One day I was shopping in Wal-mart (ok, ok, it was May 24), buying more clippies for my hair because I had a new phascination for clipping my hair up in weird ways, when my fun little phone started ringing.  It was of course Dave but I didn't recognize his voice.  We talked for a few minutes and then said we'd do something soon.  Funny though, that wasn't good enough for me.  I called him back several minutes later to invite him to a party, that truthfully didn't exist.  He was a trooper and said yes.  After some frantic phone calls, we had a little party arranged and it all worked out.  Oh, Mormon kids.  How easily we can be entertained.  All it takes is a few party games and we're laughing all night.  By the end of the evening, I was dropping off my Bennion, the cutest sophomore I ever knew, and David.  There was a play fight over who got to ride shotgun.  Someone, I believe it was Bennion, suggested Rock, Paper, Scissors.  Dave pretended to go along but at the count of two, he jumped in the car, leaving a bewildered Bennion standing there with his fist on his palm and no opponent.  Gotta watch Dave.  He's a tricky one. 

I won't bore you with more details but after a whirlwind romance and hints of something special happening, I woke up eleven years ago today with butterflies in my stomach.  I had a job which required me to be to work really early (really, really early in my eyes now) but also required no brain cells thankfully because I was usually running on one or two hours of sleep at this point.  I remember chatting with my work girls and we were all speculating on when it was going to happen and what my ring was going to look like, because HE HAD TO BE PROPOSING, right?  

An hour and a half after work, my family arrived at his house for a Fourth of July barbecue.  Only it was awkward.  VERY AWKWARD.   Dave was avoiding me like I had the plague.  Obviously something was wrong because whenever I tried to talk to him, he had something to do.  He would literally walk out of the room when I walked into one.  At one point, I saw him throw already-cooked hamburger patties back on the grill just so he had something to do.  It was a very perplexing time for me.  I didn't know what to think except that by now our relationship was tanking or he had lost his marbles. 

Finally, lunch was done and we all gathered around to eat.  His father asked David if he'd like to bless the food.  Dave agreed and I tried to take a seat on the deck but was told I had to stand up and was shoved (ok, maybe shoved really isn't the word but it felt like it) next to the rail.  And so the longest prayer in history began.  That might be an exaggeration but it was quite lengthy.  I started dozing off a few minutes in seeing as how I had been running on empty for so long (it's a good thing I was not sitting on the steps), but I did notice when sweet little Dave had ran out of things to pray for.

"And please bless these carrots and this broccoli...." kind of got my attention.

After what seemed like an eternity, Dave finally got around to what he had been intending to do all along.  With all of our families, a close family friend, and a random neighbor who was as clueless as I was, watching, or rather listening, Dave blurted out, "and please bless Leslie that she'll say yes when I ask her to marry me." 

The prayer finally ended.  Dave slipped down to one knee and pulled out the box his father had slipped him, and proposed.  I was so confused by the whole day that I didn't even answer and went straight for the ring.  Enough said.

 I think I eventually officially said yes though. 

The rest of the day was spent playing games with his family, lunch at Denny's, and an evening concert with fireworks.  Alabama performed that night and we sat holding hands and sneaking kisses every chance we could.  It was beautiful and perfect.

Now, when I feel especially cheesy on subsequent Fourth of July's, I whisper in his ear that I still see fireworks when I kiss him.  I can see his internal eyeroll at my cheesiness but the truth remains, after eleven years, he still knows how to give me butterflies and I'd say yes again. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Lazy Sunday

Ok, so apparently I must look like an old hag most of the time.  We got up early enough this morning to allow us to make it to most of church.   We were slightly late for Sacrament meeting but the fact that we made it at all is impressive.  But I digress.  We were very happy.   We just got moved to a new ward so we know no one.  Absolutely no one.   Well, except the missionaries and the Relief Society president who happened to drop by the other day. 

On our way to class, the Relief Society president took me aside to ask me how she knew me.  Ummm, sweetie, you were at my house 2 days ago.  I politely told her my name and she apologized.  She said I looked much different with my hair down.  Apparently, the mommy ponytail threw her off the other day so the "made-up/hair done Leslie" was just a surprise. 

It was a good day except for the fact that I wore totally awesome shoes that I wasn't used to.  I rolled my ankle getting out of the car.  Dave, of course, jumped all over that to tell me that he told me so and that I should stick to wearing flat shoes.  I think that's only because we're the same height so anything that adds height to me makes him feel short.  Whatever.  I'll still be wearing my wedges when I get the chance again.

008.jpg image by dlandana

Ramblings of a Crazy Mommy

What can I say?  I woke up this morning and decided, "Hey!  I guess I should start a blog."  I'm not exactly sure where that thought came from but here it is. 

At one point in my life, I was working on a book. With all the damage I've managed to accomplish with my laptops, (this is number 3 in the past two years), all of those chapters are missing.  Not that I'm that interesting but I do have to say there have been some funny moments in the "greatness" that is my life.  Like the time I "had to have" the teeny-tiny leather mini-skirt, complete with a million zippers just because I thought I was going through a Rihanna phase.   Well, that's not exactly true.  Rihanna wasn't even famous then.  It was just 75% off at Target and I just can't say no to a bargain.  Just ask Abbey, my old shopping partner from Delaware.  Oh, our trips to Target.  Those were the days.  Exactly how many times did I wear that skirt?  Umm, never.  I found it later in the bottom of my closet and died laughing at how silly the whole thing was.  I'd like to say that this was when I was 13 or 14, but nope.  I was about 26 when said mini-skirt fiasco occurred. 

Which of course makes me think of all the funny things I've purchased on clearance just because it "was such a great deal."   Hmmm,  among my favorites:

  • a youth-sized elbow sleeve.  That in itself wasn't so strange except for the fact that at the time, my only child was 6-months old.   At the time of this purchase all I could see was that $3.44 price tag and the knowledge that I would be a failure as a parent if I didn't have said elbow sleeve available for the future.
  • white eyeshadow.  Really?  Will I be performing Lady Gaga on my front lawn in the near future?  Not likely. 
  • bright fuschia sweatpants from Dollar Tree.  Oh, goodness.  These are by far the fugliest thing I have ever purchased.   I was about 7 months pregnant and uncomfortable as heck.  Walking down the aisles of Dollar Tree, I found these wonders on the shelf and for some reason had the awful thought that "Those look comfortable and amazing.  I MUST buy them."  And I did.  Ohhh boy.  Thankfully, reasoning returned and I never actually wore them after I bought them. 
  • a large oar.  Nope, you didn't read that wrong.  An oar.  One.  I had it in my head that I would be decorating our guest room in a nautical theme.  I combed old antique stores for this treasure and was ecstatic when I found it.  It barely fit in our tiny car while I was driving it home.  It made it on the wall, all right, for all of 6-months before I realized how dumb the entire thing looked and we moved on to a different theme all together. 
  • pretty much half of my stock of Dollar Tree "necessities."  Good grief, you would think for a college educated person, I would have more sense than to think I really needed a million and one things from the dollar store.  Seriously, just because something is a dollar doesn't mean I actually need it.  Lightbulbs for nightlights, throw it in the basket.  Forget the fact that I have no nightlights, I'm sure they will come in handy at some point.  Backscratchers?? Sure, one for everyone I know.  I may be cheap, but I'm also generous.
However, my worst and most embarrassing purchase ever just happened the other night.  I am almost too ashamed to write this one down and share it with the world.  I blame it on my meds because we all know I'm crazy, right?  Well, after taking my medication and not going to bed like a good girl, apparently I started shopping for music on iTunes.  I don't quite remember this but I was listening to my iPod the other night and suddenly JUSTIN BEIBER and even worse REBECCA BLACK started playing, I could only look in horror and try and figure out what the heck happened.  Yes, somehow I managed to not only find and listen to that terribly awful song "Friday," I purchased AND downloaded it to my iPod.  Oh boy.  If that wasn't bad enough, I happened to look at my Amazon account and apparently I got a little happy with some random classic composers that I have never heard of.  I am now the proud purchaser of 99 random songs that I don't know.  Oye.  It could be worse, I guess, even though it's hard to imagine how.  Back in the day when it was cool to order cd's in the mail, my sister once entered the wrong code for a cd she wanted.  When she opened her package of free cd's, she was "pleasantly" surprised to find Johnny Hodges in her collection.   That was one of those moments where we laughed so hard that neither of us could catch our breath for minutes.   I wonder what happened to poor Johnny.  I'll have to ask her the next time I see her.

I'm such a sucker for all things bargain related....or even related to shopping.  My 5-year old figured this out so early in life, probably around the 18-month mark.  She quickly learned to use this to her advantage.  It doesn't take much to talk mommy into buying something, especially if it's on sale.  Her reasonings behind why she needs an exact item are so clever, sometimes it's impossible not to agree.  It scares me that the manipulation is starting at the age of 5.  I'm already crazy mom....what will this child drive me to by the time she's 15?  Classic example.....on a monthly trip to Sam's Club for our standard items that we actually NEEDED, we happened down the wrong aisle.  Of course Ava happened to see the large black horse that was actually out of her reach but was "so practical for everyday life" she needed it.  "It has a saddle, mom, and we can ride it everyday,"  she says as she single-handly gets the stupid thing out of the box.  The fact that this ghastly thing is 3 times her size was no deterent to her determination of getting it into the cart.  The mental picture of the 9-month pregnant mother riding the horse was hysterical but the $50 price tag was a little hard to swallow.  I left this particular battle up to dad.  Little princess left the store, lugging "Horsie" to the car ten minutes later.  He apparently is as easily suckered as me. 

Oh, the stories I could tell.....