motherhood

It’s Been a Really Moving (to Texas) Year: Highlights of 2018

The first part of the year found T.Puzzle winning his school’s spelling bee.  As a fifth grader he went on to place ninth out of thirty-six at the county level with mostly 7th and 8th grade competitors.

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T.Puzzle has always been a good student and leader, but in many ways, he is more content configuring Legos or playing video games.  However, with our move to Texas, he has come into his own.  With his academic load increasing in amount and rigor, he is exceeding all our expectations.  Mad Dog and I have been amazed at his growth and maturity.   But do not worry, his unique brand of humor remains fully intact:

No Lie

Isn’t That Great?

Full Speed’s first year participating in track had all sorts of life lessons woven into it.  It provided great fodder for WFAM, but truly, it helped him learn about honoring commitments and to not take life too seriously:

On Track for Stardom

Over the summer he attended a three-week high school honors class at Northwestern University.  He received high marks and a glowing summary report from his instructor.  It was a growth opportunity not only for him, but for me, too.  Letting go of your children in any capacity is never easy:

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Three Weeks

Full Speed’s transition into his new school has not been without challenges.  But really, even in the best of circumstances, is the life of a middle schooler a breeze?  It took a bit, but he is finding his way.  It helps he is now a team basketball manager.  At a recent tournament, he was gifted the championship trophy by his team and his coach:

 

Mad Dog continues to demonstrate exceptional leadership within his new role at work.  It may have taken a while for his title to reflect the scope of his responsibilities, but this never hindered his passion and commitment for lifting others up to their highest potential while making a positive impact across the globe.  Despite all this awesomeness, on occasion, he still needs to be supervised:

When Left to Their Own Devices…

I would happily follow Mad Dog anywhere.  Even though I mean this, moving to a new city and state has been quite the shake-up for me internally.  Now that I feel like my boys are in a good place, I think I can finally exhale.  My only goal for the new year is to make sure I appreciate the blessings I already have.  If I stop and soak in the prayers already answered, I could not ask for one thing more.

Not one thing.

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May your 2019 be filled with all the love and adventure you seek and may your dreams, if not already here, find their way to you as quickly as possible.

Happy Holidays, Y’all!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

humor, motherhood

Thankful: Why I Will Never be (C)lonely

The first time I held Full Speed, I had an out-of-body moment.  A sense of calm filled me and a quiet understanding of love filled my heart.  This fleeting moment of peace buoyed me through those first weeks of motherhood.

As family and friends paraded through our home excited to meet our firstborn, one theme remained constant, his eery physical similarity to Mad Dog.  In fact, my mother would sometimes feel uncomfortable holding him because she had an unsettling feeling that she was actually holding Mad Dog.  While she loved Mad Dog dearly as a son-in-law, she preferred an occasional polite hug to extended snuggling.  Frankly, I was so tired I probably wouldn’t have noticed either way.

With Full Speed’s paternity clearly locked down, as the years passed, I wondered if he would ever resemble me in any capacity.   Other than showing a penchant for writing, he almost is 100% Mad Dog.  The upside of this is, whenever Mad Dog travels, I have an outstanding stand-in to keep me company.  Lately as a bonus, he is even throwing in the exact behavior patterns of Mad Dog’s that sometimes drive me a little crazy.  For instance, he cannot find things that are in plain sight, runs into counters and cabinets oftentimes knocking himself soundly in the head and he insists I did not tell him something when I absolutely did(!).

Thanks to you Full Speed, I will never be (c)lonely.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Happy to look exactly like my dad.
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#twinning

 

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Just to clarify, Full Speed’s the one in glasses.

 

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Cloning is for real.
children, motherhood

Well-Behaved?

T.Puzzle swiped my phone from my grip.  He clicked it open and scrolled through to his current grades.  My attention remained on the road.

Traffic is no joke here.

“I got an ‘E’ in behavior.  What does that mean?”

Full Speed and I shook our heads.

“Oh, man, T.Puzzle.  If you think Dad was frustrated with me last night about geometry, wait until he hears this,” Full Speed said.

I chimed in.  “Yep.  ‘E’ is about the worst mark you can get for behavior.”

Honestly, neither of us had any idea what we were talking about.  I had an inkling ‘E’ was a good thing.  I figured no contact from his teachers meant he was staying on track.  Still, being a new school with a different classification system, we couldn’t resist messing with T.Puzzle a little bit.

“Really?” T.Puzzle said.

His eyes scanned the screen for more information.  “It says ‘E’ stands for exemplary.  What does that mean?”

“Exemplary?  Wow.  This is really bad T.Puzzle.  First it goes ‘O’ for outstanding, ‘S’ for satisfactory, ‘U’ for unsatisfactory and then waaaaay below that comes exemplary.  Dad is going to lose his mind,” Full Speed said.

T.Puzzle kind of believed him and he kind of didn’t.  However, he looked mighty relieved when I told him exemplary meant awesome.

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family, humor, kids, motherhood

For the Love of Cookies

The rain poured down as I exited the campus building.  I dodged raindrops as I made my way to my car on this last night of my creative writing class.

Where we live is prone to standing water which can turn to a flood in an instant.  Since class had run late, I texted Mad Dog to assure him I would be home soon.

He responded: “All your boys waiting for you.”

Wasn’t that sweet?

I arrived home fifteen minutes later.  As soon as I walked in, the scent of freshly baked cookies washed over me.  Mad Dog had ordered cookies to be delivered for all of us to enjoy.

The boys were not waiting for me.  They were waiting to eat cookies because Mad Dog would not allow it until I came home.

Even Full Speed admitted it was a 60/40 situation.  60% waiting to eat the cookies vs. 40% waiting for me.

Hurt pride did not prevent me from enjoying my cookies.  I mean if you are going to come in second to something, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies aren’t a bad way to go.

WFAM