humor, motherhood

Age-Less(?)

At a recent dance/cardio class, a woman I was conversing with could not believe that I had kids that were fourteen and twelve.  She was under the impression I was in my twenties so when I started talking about Full Speed approaching his first year of high school, she almost fell over.

I normally dance in the front row of class and she is always anchored towards the back.  It was an easy mistake but also flattering.

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That’s me front and center dancing up a storm wearing Cubbie blue of course.

I should have kept this story to myself.

You know T.Puzzle, he likes to keep things ‘real’.

He quickly put me in my place and in no uncertain terms shared that the absolute youngest I could pass for was forty-three.

I’m forty-four.

Oh well.

It’s not just T.Puzzle that keeps me in check.  I have a minor obsession with birds and flowers.  To my delight, I have this magazine app that has several back-issues of Birds and Blooms.  It makes my heart happy to peruse the colorful photos and imagine being face-to-face with these adorable, fluttery beings immersed in a sea of flowers.

My struggle comes in the form of this particular magazine’s ads.  Hearing aids, orthopedic shoes and various bladder control products are the major themes.

At least I’m still dancing…

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humor, motherhood

Picture This

Unbelievably I was asked to submit a baby photo of Full Speed to commemorate his upcoming graduation.  It is hard to fathom that he is on the cusp of being in high school but, here we are.  There were so many great photos to choose from, I sent in several.  The parent committee chose to display this one:

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Full Speed’s obsession with Elmo is evident by the joy of his smile.  Love this photo!

T.Puzzle would like a different angle when it comes to his future 8th grade photo selection.  He wants something that feels authentic to him.  After his coaching, I found a couple of gems.

When my boys were small and T.Puzzle would wake from a nap, I would plop Full Speed in his crib and they would wrestle and play.  More often than not, as it seemed to be the natural tendency of their interactions, their play would quickly turn violent.

Things would start out happy:

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This is the photo T.Puzzle wants me to send in once things went south.

At least his smile is genuine:

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humor, motherhood

60,000 Points

We all have our quirks.

In fact, I must have been at the head of the line when quirks got handed out.  They abound in my life.

Mad Dog has his, too.

One of Mad Dog’s in particular is his penchant for ‘beating the system’.  While he is known to splurge on occasion (hello, Nike Buckeye shoes of every make and variety), he LOVES to save money or credit card points.

It’s like a game to him.

For instance when we exited the Mavs game a few weeks back, we had to walk several blocks (cold, drizzly, rainy blocks), to save eight dollars on our Uber ride home.

I didn’t say I had to like the game, but I am aware it is happening.

Until sometimes I’m not.

I’m just not.

Life in the Big D has been tumultuous.  Some of it the natural byproduct of a move across the country, some of it by virtue of home renovation.

Leading up to our annual Buckeye cruise, I was neck-deep in supervising our master bathroom renovation (it’s still not done).  There is also a new-build next door which required our shared fence to be torn down.  In addition to all this fun, our back alley is under construction.  I am no longer allowed to park in my garage (for six months!) but the bonus is lots of clanging, continuous construction noise.

With all of this going on, I was ready to vacate, I mean, I was ready for a vacation.

So ready.

Beyond ready.

To readiness and beyond.

Mad Dog promised me (PROMISED ME), that all I had to do was make it through one more day of complete and utter chaos.  Although our flight would land after midnight, I would rest my head on luxurious pillows and bed linens at a top-notch resort.

I did my part.  I managed and I delegated.  I packed and I organized.  I oversaw and I directed.  I kept our dogs safe and alive.  I got our awesome sitter up to speed.

I rocked out harder than Queen at Live Aid.

I continued to crush it.  I navigated the airport with grace (take that social anxiety!).  I found my zen as our flight bumped its way through the atmosphere (take that fear of flying!).

I was a woman on a mission.  My singular goal consisted of getting to the hotel and to the best of my ability, leave my life of stress behind me and RELAX.

ha ha ha

It was 1:30 a.m. local time when we were dropped off at our hotel lobby.  The receptionist greeted us and proceeded to locate our reservation for the night.

This is where things went from hopeful to uh-oh.

She informed Mad Dog that we weren’t technically booked until the next day (meaning the coming morning).  Mad Dog, in his game beating glory, thought he could save points by counting 1:30 a.m. as EARLY CHECK-IN.

Yes, using a certain credit card and bonus points will get you early check-in BUT NOT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GODFORSAKEN NIGHT.

Mad Dog played it cool.  No problem.  He asked to book whatever available room they had.

ha ha ha

No rooms.  None.  Zero. Zilch.

No problem.  Our courteous receptionist said to have a seat and she would try to find us something nearby.

All up and down the coast for the next twenty miles WAS BOOKED SOLID.

By this time it was after 2 in the morning.

Eventually, Mad Dog found an available room about forty minutes away.  While waiting for our Uber to take us there, I unleashed my fury.

I could barely look at him.  I could barely share an Uber with him.

He tried to make light.

“This would be something for the blog.”

I glared at him and said, “Never.  I am never going to speak of this.  I am too angry.”

Ah, yes, but as we know, anger fades with time.  Often the worst situations end of being the most hilarious if we keep an open mind.

The next day (technically the same day as we didn’t end up going to bed until after three in the morning), I could start to see the traces of humor in our points-saving adventure (which technically didn’t save us anything with the addition of a 40 min Uber ride to and from our original hotel).

As we were seated around the pool having returned to our fancy hotel, I told Mad Dog as much.

“Someday, I will look back on this story and laugh … so will my second husband.”

That’s the thing about love, it has to be unconditional and forgiving.  You only can love an accept another to the extent you can love and accept yourself.

I must be doing okay on the self-acceptance part because I forgave Mad Dog pretty quickly.

We ended up having a fantastic cruise.  The time away helped me remember all the reasons why I fell in love with him.

Too numerous to count.

 

 

 

 

 

 

dogs, humor, motherhood

Sweater Weather

As our Little Guy heads towards the downslope of his fifteenth year, we are willing to do whatever it takes to keep him stable, happy and comfortable.  His eyes are good, we found food he enjoys and generally speaking he has an excellent quality of life.  He struggled for a bit sleeping through the night but once we realized it was because he felt cold, sweaters are now a part of his daily wardrobe.

Now he sleeps like a champ.

Whether you agree with pets wearing sweaters or not, you might agree the awesome upside is Little Guy’s sweaters bring cuteness to the world.

Who couldn’t use a little more of that in their day?

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humor, motherhood

When It Rains It Pours (Vomit?): Lucky Post #800!

Judy the American Airlines flight attendant is my new, very best friend.  No offense to my current stock of friends, but Judy is my everything.

She just is.

A close second is the person who invented Clorox wipes, but I digress.

The week leading up to when my serious girl crush developed had all sorts of mayhem crammed into it.  First and foremost, there is Little Guy.  His eye care has recently gone next level.  Rounds and rounds of drops/ointments, pain meds, surgery, office visits and wearing a cone are just some of the delights he is experiencing.  This also happened to be the week I had to take boys’ to their new eye doctor for the first time.  If you know any of their eye history, this is no small task AND we had an out-of-state wedding to prepare for and travel to.  Imagine trying to explain Little Guy’s thirteen sets of eye meds to a dog sitter (not including his as-needed pain meds):

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Just imagine.

Our dog sitter and her family are also my other new, very best friends.

Miraculously, Little Guy held steady while we were away and at today’s follow-up, dropped from thirteen rounds of meds to six.  SIX!  (insert happy dance here)   And, despite all the logistics of traveling, the wedding was beautiful and spending time with family meant a lot to all of us.  However, when it was time to fly home, I was feeling quite exhausted and understandably so.

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Since Mad Dog is an expert traveler, oftentimes he can upgrade me, sometimes more of us to first class.  It is usually the ‘first-class’ that is separated from coach by a tiny, half-attempt at a curtain and the main perk is getting served water first, but hey, the seats are bigger and I can’t complain.  But on our flight home after the wedding, I got upgraded to real first-class.

It was everything I dreamed of and more.

This is when I first met Judy.  She pampered me.  She gave me a warm, scented cloth for my hands, she constantly topped off my water and she did it all with genuine flair.  She even gave me chips and southwest dip!

Really, she had me at warm, scented hand cloth.

T.Puzzle and Full Speed got upgraded, too.  T.Puzzle sat next to me, Full Speed right in front of us, and poor Mad Dog got stuck in a middle seat back in coach.  While I did feel guilty about Mad Dog, my focus was quickly diverted by the swarm of snacks and amenities being showered upon me.

After a crazy week, ok, after a crazy year, I did my best to soak it all in.

About mid-way through the flight, T.Puzzle started to look not-so-good to me.  He was flushed and a bit squirmy.  My mother’s instinct went on high alert and I scanned him for symptoms.  He had eaten a big lunch and had been fine all day.  He said his stomach did not hurt but he had mucus in his throat.  It didn’t surprise me with all we had going on.  Since he said his stomach was fine, I chalked it up to fatigue and maybe coming down with a cold of some sort.

But, still, my internal alarm system kept thinking it could be more …

“Are you sure you don’t feel like you are going to throw up?”

“No,” T.Puzzle said.

I mean I can only ask the kid this question so many times.  Eventually, he got so tired, he laid his head down on my balled-up scarf and went to sleep.

Thirty minutes later he woke up vomiting like a poltergeist.

Who knew a small boy could create so much vomit?  It was like he was a prodigy of vomit production and since he caught us both by surprise, this cascade of vomit went EVERYWHERE.

This is the moment that solidified my BFF status with Judy.  Judy single-handedly got me and T.Puzzle through the rest of that flight.

Judy.

I love you.

Though we survived this flight which will forever be known as Vomit-Fest 2018, some of our carry-ons did not.  We had to toss a backpack and T.Puzzle’s shoes (they were a spare of Full Speed’s anyway).  The future of my suede jacket remains in the balance.  I don’t want to alarm you, but prepare yourself for the worst.

When we finally made it home, I Cloroxed everything I could within an inch of its life. I took a long, hot shower but still felt gross.

I may never feel whole again.

Life is funny like that.  It can hand you more vomit than you think you can manage but then the likes of someone like Judy will come to your rescue.

So no matter how dire your circumstances, hang in there.

The Judys of the world will find their way to you.

I strongly suggest not wearing suede until well after they arrive.

 

Here is the commendation I wrote to American Airlines to give my BFF the credit she so deserves:

 

Hello,

I am certain there are not enough superlatives to capture our flight attendant Judy’s level of service.

After an extremely stressful week in addition to traveling to Ohio for a wedding, my youngest son became ill on the flight home. He was asleep and caught us both off guard when he woke up vomiting.

It was horrible and messy as you might imagine, but Judy was with us every step of the way. She made do with the supplies on hand, kept us calm and gave both of us constant reassurance that all would be well. She told us it happens all the time and that a clean-up crew was on standby once we landed. She gave me gloves to help me clean the mess as best I could, helped me place newspapers over it and plastic bags to keep it contained and then she did all she could to comfort me and my son. She offered him water to swish out the sick and gave him a mint to suck on to help with the taste and settle his stomach. It was as if she was always one step ahead.

My son is doing much better today, but we both agree, we still feel a bit queasy over the extent of his vomiting yesterday.

Judy made something awful bearable. Her steady demeanor and non-judgmental attitude saved the day. Please extend to her our deepest gratitude.

My son would like to add in this: “Thank you for cleaning up all the puke I puked. It was really nice of you to do that even though it was gross and messy. I also really liked the candy you gave me to get the taste out of my mouth. You are a great flight attendant.”

Sincerely, WFAM and T.Puzzle