We Can’t Hunt Moose

Me: I’m just so over everything. Let’s move.
T: Move where?
Me: Jamaica.
T: No
Me: Well, where do you want to move to?
T: Alaska
Me: Alaska is boring. There is nothing to do.
T: We can hunt moose
Me: I think they are a protected species, we can’t hunt moose.
T: Did I say we were doing it legally?!?

Yup, that’s my kid!

Kate and T Senior Night 2

I finally got the picture back from Senior Night, when I got the privilege of walking Mr. T across the field.  It was pretty awesome!

You will never have this day with your children again.  Tomorrow, they’ll be a little older than they were today.  This day is a gift.  Breath and notice.  Smell and touch them; study their faces and little feet and pay attention.  Relish the charms of the present.  Enjoy today, mama.  It will be over before you know.  -Jen Hatmaker.

 

Do You Mind if I Change the Channel?

Hey mom, do you mind if I change the channel?

This question was asked yesterday.  I am working from the dining room table and Mr. T is home due to Spring Break.

I politely answered:

Of course not, go ahead.

When what I really wanted to say was:

Yes I mind!  This is my time.  I’m working here, I know what I like playing in the background, I have my routines and yes I’m glad you are out of your room and we are spending time together, but do you have to mess with my routine?

I’d like to say I get points for not saying that, but the fact that I thought it shows that some days I just suck as a mom!  Fortunately, I’m not going to wallow because I’m willing to bet that every single parent (and some non-parents) have had thoughts similar to that!

I have to constantly force myself out of my comfort zone, I started working on it several years ago, and I’m pleased to say that for the most part, it comes naturally now, but I still have moments when all I want is the world to just leave me alone!

P.S. On an apparently related note, Excedrin Migraine is a wonder drug!

And I think I owe Mr. T an apology!

Headache or brain tumor

P.P.S. Oh, on an unrelated note – Mr. T is the new school mascot!!!  We’ve been working towards this for weeks now and we are totally jazzed!  Yes, I said “we”!  Look forward to being thrilled with tales of the mascot next year!

P.P.P.S. I’ve discovered that choreography is my new calling.  I’m pretty awesome at it.  Granted, I only did 14 seconds of Mr. T’s 90 second routine, I still rocked it!

Picnic in the Forest

In addition to Mr. T taking sophomore English in his high school class, he is also taking the first half of junior English on-line via a large university.  I’m really impressed with his drive for his education, and I’ve said extra prayers for him with everything on his plate, but sometimes, even the extra work is fun.

Tonight he came in and asked if I would help him write a poem for his on-line class – and he did such a good job, I have to share!

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I crawled all day through thick brush and thorny vines

To see her eyes that are so divine

I evaded predators big and small

Fast and short, round and tall

With me I carried my parcel and a sack

Full of dishes and utensils and a tasty snack

After a long days journey to see my sweet

I pulled out a blanket and set up a feast

Once the dishes were placed and the last candle was lit

I crossed my six legs as I prepared to sit

Then I looked up, saw her crawling towards me

And I had to shout “Oh, no! Lookout! The branch is falling from the tree!”

Crisis averted she gave me a hug

My one and only, my little lady bug.

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Sometimes it’s the little things that make the days brighter.  After he finished his assignment, he came back to the living room and we talked.  Not about anything special, the book I’m currently reading, his extra-curricular activities and such, but it is so nice that even after all this time, and through the teenage years, my son still wants my help and likes to sit and talk to me.  🙂

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I Thought That Was What Mom’s Were Supposed To Do

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I picked Mr. T up from theatre rehearsal last night and he was limping a bit – and several of the cast members yelled into the car as T was putting up his backpack and then getting in “He really hurt his toe.”  “It might be broken”  “It bled all over the place!!”  “We didn’t think that it would ever stop!!”

If I was a normal parent, I might have been alarmed; however, you know I’m not normal.

Here’s what happened:  Mr. T can do the splits.  He’s been able to do them for years.  In the latest play they are rehearsing, the director thinks it would be great if T could drop to the splits and pop right back up during one of the scenes.  No big deal getting down – but he’s been working on “popping right back up”.  Apparently yesterday he “popped” and miscalculated on the rise and didn’t get his foot under him properly and ended up landing on his toe.  Like landing ballerina style on his big toe.  Ballerina style.  On his big toe.

Best guess is that when he landed – ballerina style on his big toe – the toe went one way and the toenail went the other.  Kinda like “/\”.  I’m not surprised that he bled a lot with that kinda boo-boo!  The good news is that one of the student athletic trainers is also in theatre and she bandaged him up properly and gave him good instructions for taking care of it last night.

He needed to clean it last night so he got it all unwrapped and showed it to me.  Then he asked for pictures.  Then he asked me if I wanted to kiss it and make it better.

Uh, no.  (I hate feet, he knows that I hate feet – feet freak me out – I don’t want them to touch me.)

His response was “I thought that was what mom’s were supposed to do!  Kiss it and make it better!”

To which I replied “Not when it’s feet!”

That’s the new parenting rule – you don’t have to kiss and make it better when it’s feet!

If you are faint of heart – do not scroll down.

I warned you.  (Erica – just stop now, I’m serious.)

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The Award Goes to Anyone but Me

I’ve said it before, and many of you probably think I’m exaggerating, but when they are giving out the Mother of the Year Award and they announce: “And the winner is…” my name will not be heard.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a good mom, I’m a great mom!  We have fun together, and he fully believes that with the skills he has learned, he’ll be able to take care of himself when he is on his own.  One of my favorite memories is when he was younger, probably about 6 or so, and he was at a friend’s house and his friend was supposed to be cleaning his room, and resisting. Travis told him “you have to learn how to clean your room or when you get older girls and friends won’t want to come over to your place because it is messy.”

It doesn’t get much better than that!

I have my faults, too.  Lots of them! Today let’s focus on just one of them.  Let’s discuss the fact that apparently I’ve become blasé about injuries. I think it is because we’ve had so many of them. Ever since he was little we’ve been members of the frequent flyer club at our local ER.

Can I have one of these for my local ER? Just put "hospital" in place of "coffee"

Can I have one of these for my local ER? Just put “hospital” in place of “coffee”

Let me give you a few examples:  Eating glass, febrile seizure, broken radius and ulna that required surgery to repair cause he was showing off for a girl, getting hit by a car, and breaking his pinky finger while tossing the football around with a friend.

Don’t call CPS.  They were all legitimate!!

The point is, if you had dealt with all of those injuries, plus trips that turned out to be minor issues, you’d be wary of issues.  Pretty much any time anything happens, the rule is we wait.  Wait and see if it’s really broken/ruptured/needs medical attention.  This waiting period usually is accompanied by an ice pack.

So, back to my point! Monday I was in the kitchen and T was walking back to his room and all I heard was crash/aaggghhh/thud.  I was racking my brain trying to figure out what he could have tripped over/stubbed his toe on.  I came out and started giggling as Mr. T was on the floor writhing in pain (not the most sensitive reaction, I know!)  I was trying to figure out what he had tripped over – he hadn’t.  He was just walking and his ankle popped (the crash I thought was him stubbing his toe) and he shrieked in pain (the aaggghhh I heard) and fell to the ground (accounting for the thud part of the equation).

I sat with him for a bit, checked out the foot – it didn’t seem broken – and sent him on his merry way.  Told him we’d monitor it.  It gave him some pain to walk on, but still seemed minor. And really, if your foot pops so loudly I can hear it two rooms away, I expect it to hurt!

That night we went over to my parents for dinner since my sister and her kids were in town and my sis mentioned that it was a little swollen.  I walked by, felt his foot and it was a tad swollen, but not warm, so I kept on walking.

Yesterday afternoon I was cutting Mr. T’s hair and saw his foot… swelled to the size of a grapefruit.

It's hard to see, but there is some bruising to go with the swelling.

It’s hard to see, but there is some bruising to go with the swelling.

Yeah, I totally missed that.  He had sprained his ankle.  I immediately wrapped it and put an ice pack on it.  After 30 minutes the ice came off and he got a break – and then my dad reminded me that it had been over 24 hours, so it was time to apply the heat.  So, we went on the search for the heating pad and T sat with it elevated and with heat on and off the rest of the night.

Not all was lost, it was a dark and stormy night and we were watching an episode of Supernatural that happened to be in black and white and about old school Dracula and the Wolfman, so I popped us some fresh popcorn and we sat together and chilled.

T and I watching TV and chilling together - I'm getting good at wrapping hands and feet.

T and I watching TV and chilling together – I’m getting good at wrapping hands and feet.

Yes that happened; I totally missed the fact that my son really did tear one or more of the ligaments in his foot.

Shorty sitting next to me, really hoping I'll share my popcorn with him.

Shorty sitting next to me, really hoping I’ll share my popcorn with him.

How Fast Can I Go?

We’ve all asked this question.  How fast can I go down the freeway? How fast can I go through the grocery store? How fast can I go and get all of my work completed? I bet you probably ask yourself this question more often than you think!

bicycle

Representation of Mr. T on his bike.

My son asks himself this question while on his bike.  I don’t blame him for asking this question, I understand the thrill!  Many years ago, we were camping with my Amy’s family.  It’s a big group and we always have fun, and we took Mr. T’s bike.  Well, my Amy’s brother Mitch came back and was laughing so hard he had tears streaming down his face.  Apparently, the gravel hill leading to the lake looked good to Mr. T and he pointed his bike at it, gathered steam and yelled “Geronimo!!” and hit the hill.  Did you catch on to the fact that I mentioned gravel?  Shortly after yelling “Geronimo!!” and taking off, his bike hit the gravel and head over heels he went and tumbled down the hill.  He wasn’t hurt too badly and we have a great story that gets relieved pretty often!

Mr. T asked himself this question Wednesday afternoon, at the top of the street which has a nice, gentle incline.  Or decline, depending on which part of the street you are standing.  Or riding your bike.

Naturally, this would be the night that T said he didn’t need his phone, so I’m sitting on the couch, working actually cause I’ve been busy doing other things for the family, and there is an insistent knock at the door.  Before I could get there they were knocking again.  I answered “Are you Kate?” “yes” “Your son is hurt, about five blocks over, his foot is really hurt and he’s bleeding a lot.” “Can I follow you there?”  So, I jump in the car and follow her… in my comfy clothes cause I don’t expect to leave the house and sans a bra.  I squeal to a stop a few feet from where he is sitting on the curb, bloody and beaten.

She helps me get him in the car, he can barely walk and his face is all but covered in blood, his shirt is ripped and stained.  I gather his glasses, his iPod and ear buds, making sure we have everything.  Then I look at his bike.  His bike won’t fit in my car.  He is covered in blood.  Apparently the Good Samaritan senses my dilemma and she asks if she can store his bike for me, she’ll put it in her back yard.  I get her name and number (failed to give mine to her) and thanked her and took off.

I got T home and cleaned up.  Well, I got him stripped down and started to clean him before I went back and grabbed a pain pill for him! Then I started cleaning him up.  The water in the sink was pretty dark by the time I was done.  He has a gash right next to his eye, road rash down his arm, punctured palms, massively skinned up knee, scratches to both legs and an ankle that is swelling up.  He hobbles to the couch and I’m like “Don’t sit down yet!  Let me get a blanket under you!” You know, blood is hard to clean up! We get an ice pack for the ankle and for the knee.  Thanks to Facebook I’m reminded that Erica gave me steri strips for Christmas – does she know me or what? And I pulled out the car kit that she made me and got the steri strips out and taped up the gash by his eye.  I was waffling on the stitches.  I wasn’t sure if it was bleeding a lot because it was a head wound and those bleed a lot, or if it really was deep enough to need stitches.  And, I was waiting to watch the ankle more, see if it was broke or strained or just swollen.  We finally decided that an ER visit wasn’t necessary, we’d wait and go to the doc in the morning.

Yeah, I totally forgot that you can’t stitch up a wound after the fact.  Tee-totally-forgot.

The next morning, T decided he wanted to see the trainer at school before he’d let me take him to the doctor’s office.  Okay.  Works for me, the doc’s office doesn’t open for another hour anyway, so it can’t hurt anything.  They confirmed that his ankle wasn’t broken or strained.  He can’t wrestle until the knee heals and he can’t lift weights until his hands heal.  And, yeah, the eye could have used stitches.  But, since it was too late, just to continue using the steri strips.  Sigh.  I should have taken him in.  But, then again, it worked out okay, the strips do work.  And, it seems harsh, but hey, I don’t have an ER bill.  I don’t even have a doctor’s visit bill!

He is doing better, healing right up and doing a great job of taking care of his injuries.  I’m so proud of him!

And now, for your viewing pleasure… Pictures! (Uh, I probably need some sort of disclaimer… so, uh, if you are squeamish, don’t scroll down!)  (Now that I’ve given you that warning, it dawns on me that if I don’t put another picture up above, these will show in the reader screen.)

Before:

After (I took these yesterday):

The Things I’ve Said This Past Week

Oh my God!

Brake.  Brake.  BRAKE!!!!

Well, we know my seat belt works.

Release.  Release the wheel. RELEASE!!

Slow down.

Slow down!!!

Don’t tip the car over!!

Turn into your lane, your lane!

Don’t hit the pedestrian!!!

Get up to speed.

Curb!  Watch the curb!

Back up and try it again.

Whew, we made it.

Can you tell yet what I’ve been doing more of this last week or so?  Teaching Mr. T to drive.  Since last year I’ve been giving him opportunities to drive, mainly in empty parking lots and the short trek to the bathroom facilities when we go camping; however, he has really ramped up his driver’s education lately.  I think this is mainly because he realized that his younger cousin was driving more than he was.  We are just a bit competitive in our family!

So not ready for this yet...

So not ready for this yet…

I have discovered that construction zones are not the place to let him learn.  I’ve also discovered that he’s not ready for the main roads yet.  I’m already dreading the freeway experience.  I usually talk to Erica at the end of the day and as I’m on my way to pick up Mr. T from school, about 6:30, and we hang up when he gets in the car – and Mr. T keeps laughing “why does Erica keep praying for your safe return? Does she think I can’t get you home in one piece?”

Well, uh, yeah, that’s pretty much it.

I took my eyes off the road just long enough to snap a picture!

I took my eyes off the road just long enough to snap a picture!

 

 

 

Do I Pick Comfort or Joy?

I’m reading a book.  This is not uncommon.  I read a lot, but instead of the dime store novels I normally download, I downloaded a book by the author of Pay It Forward.  It is an inspirational book and a journal of the author learning to make a better life by using the life she already had.  It’s pretty cool so far.  If I was a good blogger, I’d look up her name and the title of the book for you… I’ll try and get to that before I post this for your enjoyment!

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See, I am a good blogger, I found the info for you!

Normally when I am reading a book and the author asks you to think about something “think about your journey” “think about the last time you did XX” or as was posed to me today in a blog a friend forwarded “think about the last time you did something brave”, when they ask me to think about things, I don’t.  Sometimes I don’t want to explore, sometimes I don’t care and usually, my primary goal is to just finish the book.  Like everything else in my life, I’m always competing against my own internal clock.  I want to just get everything done.  But, sigh, that’s probably another blog subject!

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At the Meatloaf concert that BA and I attended in Shreveport.

In the last chapter I read, the author was talking and asking about comfort.  This is a subject that I am familiar with.  I love my comfort zone.  I am very happy in my comfort zone. I’m also very happy in my black pajama pants.  I believe in comfort.  I believe in finding the happy place.  And, yes, I believe in my black pajama pants.

My natural state is a hermit.  I am a homebody.  Give me some coffee, food and books and you won’t hear from me for weeks.  I could give up people for weeks at a time.  I don’t like people, nothing personal, but y’all tend to drive me crazy.  It’s not you; it’s me and my issues.  The point is, I am happy in my home, wherever that might be!

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Mr. T driving the boat at our annual adventure to Grapevine Lake. We’ve gone the past couple of years with some friends and Mr. T has even gone para-sailing off this boat!

Raising a child, I had to get out a lot.  I liked it, I’m fortunate that I like spending time with Mr. T.  We did all the things that normal families with young kids do, we went to the zoo, Six Flags, the museum, local festivals, you name it, and we have done it.  I got out of the house a lot – for Mr. T.  I would go out into the world and do things and have adventures, but it was all for Mr. T.  Pretty soon all of my adventures were just for him.  As much as I love being Mr. T’s mom, I needed to be my own person, too.  It really is healthier.

The last several years I’ve worked on being a Yes Man.  Saying YES to everything I could.  Let me say, it is hard to leave the comfort zone.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listed all the reasons I should back out of plans I’ve made, or even made the list before I made the plans.  It’s going to rain, it’s going to be so hot, and I’ve had a busy week.   I’d be so much more comfortable if I stayed home.  I’d be so much more comfortable if I was snuggled up on the couch with a book.

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Annual girls camping trip. That’s always an adventure and a time to recharge the batteries. See the tie-dye cup? Guess who that belongs to… 🙂

Now I frequently leave my comfort zone.  In my head I know that I will have a good time once I get there; it’s the getting there that can be hard for me.  I focus on just one step at a time.  I can get out the door; I can make it to the car.  I CAN do this.  It does get easier, even though I still have days that are harder than others.  I’m proud to admit that it’s been years since I’ve made it to a destination just to turn around and go home because I couldn’t walk in.  In those years I’ve had marvelous adventures, made great memories and really experienced some joy.  I’ve left my comfort zone and experience joy in my life.  And, some of those adventures have been in my black pajama pants!

So, when I am asked “do you pick comfort or joy?” I am proud to say that (most of the time) I pick joy.  I get out and I live my life.  I make sure that Mr. T lives his life and has the opportunity to be a kid.  I am a better person for it, too.

Yes, the Halloween party at my house qualifies as an adventure!

Yes, the Halloween party at my house qualifies as an adventure!

I’ve included pictures in this blog of times this year that we’ve picked joy instead of comfort, I hope you enjoyed them!  So… Do you pick comfort or joy?

Growth

Did you read my Facebook post?  Are you aware that my wonderful son created a secondary FB page in order to hide his activity from me?  Have you read any other post by me and realized that he was never going to get away with it?  LOL.

It’s been several days since I took away his iPod, Xbox, computer and removed the internet from his phone.  It’s been a weekend of growth.

I took him to his grandparents on Friday, as he was spending the night with them so I could go spend the night with my Amy.  It was worth it!  Pam joined us and the three of us went and got tattoos.  Took forever, but, alas, I don’t pick from a book anymore, I tell Bailey what I want and he has to draw it for me.  But, he’s done great on the past couple of tattoos, and I trust him.  We planned this trip because he’s leaving the shop where he currently works.  I wanted one more by him before he left.  Yes, I have multiple tattoos – judge away! 

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No Worries! I’ve worked very hard on this for many years. I’ve earned this one!

It was fun hanging out and just having some girl time.  We all needed it.  

I picked T up Saturday morning, I needed to run to Target and T needed some new jeans, so we also hit Kohl’s.  It was a good trip and even though we were running errands, we had fun together. T decided, since I had plans with another friend, he could just stay at Grammy and Papa’s again.  

Twist my arm… So, I left T behind and then took off to spend the afternoon with Karaboo.  We had no plans; we just had free time and wanted to do something!  Well, Joann’s Fabric was having their pattern sale… $15 patterns for $1.  You can’t beat that!  Plus, I had asked Karaboo to help me make a Halloween costume!  She’s a talented seamstress.  I really wish I could sew.  I think that it’s mainly the fact that I run out of patience.  We had fun picking patterns and fabric, and we got a good start on my costume.  It’s cool to see it all come together! We ended the night having dinner together with her husband.  It was a great night!

Sunday, I spent the day alone nursing a toothache. We’ll skip that day!

Today is Monday, and it is a school holiday.  T and I slept in.  We made waffles together for breakfast.  I warmed up some left overs for lunch.  We ran to 7-Eleven for movies and munchies.  When it was time to return the movies, well, I decided I could afford to pick up burgers!  I’ve told you before, but time in the car with T has its benefits.  On the drive T told me that it was weird to drop Facebook cold turkey! He had just started really using it and then he had to stop.  

I told him that I have a specific time frame in mind for his punishment, and after that time frame, it’s up to him.

He knows that I’m waiting for the admission of wrong-doing and an apology.  Today in the car he admitted that he knew I was waiting on that and he told me “I thought about just saying I was sorry, and that I understand, but, I don’t know that I’m ready to say it.  I want to make sure I mean it before I say it.”  I told him that I didn’t think he was ready to say it yet.  That he needed to fully process it and understand what he did was wrong.

I was so proud of him.  He isn’t willing to just give me lip service to get his privileges back. He’s working on being a better person.  I had this weekend to reconnect with my friends on an individual level and was able to celebrate the progress I’ve made in my life. 

I hope that we both keep growing and keep counting our blessings.  And I hope that I will always have moments with T that blow me away and leave me wondering “did that just happen?” 

Steve

I have two names.  Well, technically, I’m sure I have more.  There are 3 names on my birth certificate – and a totally different one on my social security card.  If I ever have to get a passport, I may be in trouble there, but until it presents a problem, I have no desire to fix it.  (Okay, I’ll tell you, I know you are dying to know.  My dad told my mom that she could name me anything she wanted, but he got to pick my nickname.  My mom gave me a great name and my middle name is my Grandmother’s.  So, my formal name is on my birth certificate; however, when dad got social security cards for all of us, he filled mine out with my nickname instead of my full name!)

Squirrel!!

If you’ve read anything on my blog, then I’m sure you know that I’m a single parent.  The bio father isn’t involved at all, but when I’m lucky, I do get child support.  That’s another long, and at this point, boring story.

I’ve read several blogs lately that deal directly and indirectly with this subject.  One was about how any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.  I truly believe this. (Check out Smirking Cat: http://smirkingcat.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/a-real-father/)  Yesterday I read a blog that listed 10 reasons why being a single parent rocks.  I cracked up; it was all so very true!  There are so many very reasons why this is a blessing and it’s easy to overlook that fact when mired in the day to day life.  (Check out Prego and The Loon: http://pregoandtheloon.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/ten-reasons-single-mommyhood-rocks/) Nothing against those of you that have a more traditional life as I totally respect that.  My parents have been married to each other, and only each other, for 40 years now.  That is just not the path that I have, my journey is different.

I am very fortunate that my son has wonderful men in his life.  My father and my brother have always been there for him.  More than a few years ago, I signed up for the Big Brother Big Sister program – and after a few years on the waiting list, we were paired with Rowland, who was amazing.  Sadly, in less than a year he had to move back to New Jersey to help his parents.  He still stays in touch, and he has been a great resource for Mr. T.  I also have a great friend, BA, who I had lunch with yesterday, and as we were leaving, he said that it had been awhile, so he’d swing by to hang out and see Mr. T.  He’s been a good resource, too.  Mr. T will text him and even invited BA and his daughter to his last birthday party. Mr. T’s babysitter for years and years is now as close as family, and she and her husband are a second home for Mr. T.  It’s just a given that he will spend Spring Break with them and spend several weeks during the summer with them.  He is former military and a strong, calm presence.  So, I am very blessed to have wonderful people in my life to help and be there for my son.

Some days I do feel that he is missing something.  The fact that I would get out in the yard to hit the ball with him, or toss a football, didn’t always seem to be enough.  Until the day that Mr. T gave me a new name.  He called me Steve.  I died laughing and asked what on earth was he talking about?? He goes “you are both my mom and dad, so I figured you needed a ‘dad’ name.”

My heart was overflowing.  I have a dad name.  And I answer to it, too.

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I’m giving myself this award today, I’ve earned it!