Guess who’s back…

Hello ya’ll!

As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been absent for about six weeks around these parts.  (What!  You didn’t notice!?!?!  In the word so Stephanie Tanner…How Rude!)

Well my absence wasn’t particularly planned, and I don’t really have a sellable excuse for it expect, I wasn’t feeling it.

I started this blog a few years ago, because, inside of me, lies this incessant need to write and express myself.  I needed an outlet for that and my personal journal was no longer cutting it.  I’m about to reveal something personal about myself that I don’t tell many people, but I have this dream to one day be a writer.  Because my degree has nothing to do with writing or English, I’ve always felt like a phony saying I wanted to write and be expressive.  So, I started this blog as a way to release those inner feelings.  I’ve purposely never given my blog a particular direction.  I didn’t want to pigeon-hole myself.  If I wanted to tell a funny story about my kids, then a self-deprecating tale about myself, followed by the raw emotions of my mom beating cancer, I didn’t want to feel like I couldn’t.  And because of that, my blog because a miss-mash of ramblings from my life.

Then about six weeks ago, the ramblings stopped.  Like I said, I can’t pin point one particular thing that was blocking me.  If I could have, I probably could have broken through sooner.  There were the usually end-of-the-year blahs, holiday build up and let down blahs, cold winter day blahs, work stress blahs, identity theft blahs, adults acting like juveniles blahs, family health stress blahs, realizing I’ve entered the sandwich generation blahs, etc.  Over this time, I’ve had a number of ideas or issues pop up that tempted me to run for the keyboard, but, before I could motivate myself to open the Mac, the feeling dissipated and the blahs won out.

Maybe if I had a definite direction for my blog, I might have blown the dust off sooner.  Who knows.

I know that one thing that kept me away was ‘the pressure.’  The pressure of phrasing what I was thinking in a witty or thoughtful enough way.  The pressure of writing a post that others would enjoy.  The pressure of racking up likes and views.  The pressure of not saying something the wrong way and offending others.  Slowly, bit-by-bit, I let this imagined pressure limit me from saying anything at all….and I stopped writing completely.

Well no more.

From now on, for the new year, I’m going back to my roots.  I’m just going to write.  Whatever I feel, whenever the mood catches me.

We all have different opinions, beliefs, feelings, and ideas.  I can love you, care for you, respect you, accept you, tolerate you and value your opinion, but still not agree with you.  And that’s all ok.

Some might like it, some might not, and that’s ok as well.  I’m no longer concerned with how many likes I get or how many views I generate.  I just need to write again.  For my own personal sanity, I need to let all these emotions, feelings, and words out.

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All I wanted….

Eight hours of sleep, that’s all I wanted.  Eight measly, puny, ridiculously short eight hours of sleep.

The media is always yammering about these eight hours of glorious sleep that I’m supposed to be getting every night.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Where? and How?

Maybe I can add together all the times I fall asleep at red lights or catch a quick snooze in a parking lot waiting to pick up a child.

But NOOOOO, they say these minutes don’t count towards my eight hours.  I’m supposed to get ALL of them together, in a row, uninterrupted.

Seriously?

I mean, who does this?

Do these illusive human beings really exist?

Or all they all made up like the illusion that adulthood will be this awesome phase in your life when you finally get to do what you want.

I set out to get the answers once and for all.

After a week being dragged around like a pink teddy bear stuck to a bumper, Friday night was the night for me.  I set out to cross ‘Eight hours of sleep’ off my bucket list and boy, was I ready for it.

I arrived home from night out with friends at 12:10 am.  Ok, so I’m off to a bad start.  Technically, it’s already Saturday, but I can still do this.  I set a land speed record changing in the PJs, washing and brushing what needed washing and brushing, and was under the covers by 12:15am.

A quick check of the phone and calendar verified that #1 that alarm was indeed off and #2 there was nothing looming on the schedule I had to be up for.

Oh man, THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN!  Commence sleep time!

I’m out like a light.

Usual dream about needing to go to the bathroom with no where to take care of said duties.  Check.  (Don’t ask.  I don’t know what it means either.)

Unexpectedly pleasant dream where I battle Jenny McCarthy to a dual and win the affections of Donnie Wahlberg all for myself.  (Hey, in the words of Miley.  ‘It’s my dream, I can dream what I want.)

Rain, thunder, and tornado warning that I slept through.  Check.  (Sidebar ~ Pet Peeve, asking me if I heard that thunder last night.  No, no I did not.  I was sleep.)

Zzzzzzzzzz

Zzzzzzzzzz

Zzzzzzzzzz

I’m doing it.  This is happening.  I’m going to make it!

Suddenly, my eyes snap open to the vision of T-Dog staring down at me.

“Mom!?!?  Are you awake?  Are we going to have breakfast?”

I look at the clock.  7:57 am

NNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO

That was it.  That was my one chance, my Halley’s Comet moment to grasp for the gold ring, and I’ve missed it.  Gone forever.

Or at least another 75 years.

 

Mad Man

He’s at is again Ladies and Gentlemen….

My husband has begun watching Mad Men and has morphed into a Don Draper-eske persona, minus the cigarettes.  His shortsighted attempts at humor via this 60s, sexist back drop, sets the stage for this blog.

Peter – “Why can’t you been more like.  Mrs. Draper?”

Me – “What?”

Peter – “Don Draper’s wife from Mad Men.  That was when things were done right.  Women were there to serve their men.  They met them at the door with the paper and their slippers.  Dinner was hot, ready, and on the table.  After they served their men, they cleaned up and kept the kids quiet while the men relaxed on the couch, feet up, for some TV.”

Me – Blank stare

Peter (continuing) – “They knew their place.  They were there to serve their men, get them whatever they wanted.  They didn’t just do things.  They asked permission, ‘Let me ask my husband if this is ok.'”

Me – Jaw drops

Peter – “I’m to be treated like a king.  The minute I get home, you should be at my beckon call, to satisfy my every whim.”

Me – “Oh Darling, I would love to be your beckon call, serving your every whim, presenting you with a hot meal the minute you walk in the door, but I can’t because I at work earning the health insurance your going to need when you go to the ER for the broken leg you’re about to receive.”

 

And your whole world changes…

 

You know those times in your life when you get a call and you know the information you are about to hear is going to change your life.  You know you need to get to your destination to hear the news, but you want to find something, anything to delay hearing what you have to hear, because you know once you hear it, you can’t unhear it.  Your whole life, your whole world view will forever be changed.  Your destiny, your plans will be altered.  Your foundation will be shaken.  You know you won’t shatter, but you’ll wound and need to heal and forever you’ll be a different person.

I got that call 16 days ago.  It was from my dad.  I needed to get to my parent’s house now.  I knew instantly that what I was about to hear wasn’t going to be good.  I could feel it in my heart.  It wanted to jump in the car right away and I equally wanted to shampoo all my rugs and then clean out the closets, anything to delay the inevitable.  I looked at my husband.  He told me to get in the car and go.  I told him I would.  Then I stood there, trying to come up with a good excuse to waste time.  I has none, so I got in my car and started to drive, ticking off the miles and landmarks.  That’s the last time I’ll leave my house in this reality.  Another street light, another crossroads.  I’m getting closer.  Wanting to turn back, to stop myself from having to hear it, knowing I couldn’t and that I had to keep moving forward.  I parked outside my parent’s house and turned off my truck.  I’m here.  This is it.  Once I walk in that door, my life changes….

~

My mom is and always has been my best friend.  Not in the “let you do what you want, I’ll even sacrifice teaching you responsibility and how to be an adult,” type of way.  No, quite the opposite.  She was the right type of best friend.  She was always a mother, always a parent.  I had rules, boundaries, and limits balanced equally with listening, patience, and love.  I could go to her with any concern, any question.  She was there for me at anytime, for anything.  If she was ever disappointed in me, I never knew, and I felt the appropriate amount of guilt to get me back on track.  She only showed love and support, care and encouragement.  My childhood is full of happy memories wrapped around my mother.

Every Sunday my mom and I would scan the ads and go shopping.  We would tell my dad that we were just going window shopping, but that never happened.  We would always end up finding something we couldn’t live without and have to sneak it in the house, convincing my dad that “this old thing” had been around forever.

To remain “hip” or “rad” to her children, she would make up her own slang.  I secretly think she just messed up the real latest slang, but she always played if off as the latest phrase.  Did you know that things could be “Hot Dog Good!”?  Or that sometimes people should just “cool out!”?

I bought my first cell phone in college, back when they still sold 200 minute plans and you paid by the minute through the nose if you went over.  For my 200 minutes, I paid something ridiculous like $30 a month.  (I know…$30 a month!)  I thought that there would be no way that I would go over my minutes, I mean, seriously, I was only going to use this phone for emergencies, like car trouble or being chased by a serial killer.  Then I got my first bill.  I nearly died.  I had gone over my time and owed extra per minute.  As I scanned the bill, I noticed all of my calls were to my mother…who I still lived with and saw every morning and night.

About 14 years ago, by husband took a job out-of-state and we attempted to move away.  We backed up our belongings and moved across the country.  Mom went with to help us move, planning to stay a week and take the train back.  She helped us pack, drive, move in, and unpack.  Long story short, we didn’t stay and moved back within a week.  Mom canceled the train ticket and helped us re-pack, drive back and re-move into the place with left a week prior.  She said that was the last time she went on vacation with us, our cats, and our furniture.

~

I walked into my parents house and was told the following words…. Your mom has cancer.  I can’t have heard that right.  My mom just turned 60, she can’t have cancer.  She just can’t.  This isn’t happening.  Life changed.  World forever altered.

The following two weeks were a whirlwind of worry, questions, waiting, hoping and praying.  Waiting for the oncology appointment.  Waiting for the surgery date.  Worrying about what the surgery outcome would be.  Worrying about what the future would hold.  Being afraid…so afraid of all the questions, that unknown.  There were just too many possibilities.  Wanting to hope for the best.  Praying for the best.  Praying that you’d done enough right in your life that you could trade those good deeds in for a big ol’ miracle.

Yesterday was the day.  Surgery day.  The day when we’d start to get answers and begin the road down one path or the other.  Best case scenario, the surgery gets all the cancer and mom just has to be monitored for make sure it stays gone.  Worst case scenario, it’s spread already and then the future continues to change.  I wanted so bad to say that we were going to hear good news, but didn’t want to tempt fate by verbalizing it.   We smiled, we hugged, we tried to ease each other’s fears.  The prayers had been put out into the universe and the rest was out of our hands.  They wheeled her down the hall to her future.

After what seemed like both and eternity and the snap of a finger, the nurse moved us to a private room to meet with the doctor.  The cancer was contained to the organ.  The cancer had not evaded the organ wall.  He was confident he got it all.  He has no reason to believe there will be the need for additional treatment.  He believes that got it all.

And then we all let out the breath we didn’t know we were holding in.

Our prayers were answered.

My mom has had cancer.

I know that she deserved every answered prayer and miracle she was given.

I’m not so sure that I did, but I’ll live the rest of my life trying to prove myself worthy.

 

Letting it all hang out

 

I’m not that parent who would allow our children to sleep in our bed.  My son never really tried.  He prefers his own bed and his own space.  My daughter on the other hand….

Paige tried about every hour to get permission to jump in and snuggle up, or more correctly, take over.  If Paige had just crawled in and went nighty-night, I might have considered it, but she tossed, turned, flailed, and flipped herself horizontally across the bed.  Sorry sweetheart, you’re cute, but you’re not sleeping in here.

Our peaceful, spacious sleeping arrangements were going so well….then we bought a puppy.  When the puppy was brand new, we closed her into our room, so that she couldn’t roam the house getting into things while we were sleeping or leave us unwanted surprises on the floors.

At first, she’d lay on the floor, looking up at the gigantic bed that her 3 pound frame couldn’t get up on…yet.  She quickly learned to channel her puppy power energy and leap up on top, finding its plush softness more appealing to the cold hard floor.

Bit by bit, she inched herself up from sleeping by my feet , to curling up in the crook of my legs, to this…

Please, by all means, make yourself at home.

 

Thank you Meth Cookers for ruining it for the rest of us!

As I’ve mentioned before, I live with three allergy people.  Spring and fall, while beautiful seasons on blooming buds and falling leaves, they are sheer misery for my fam.

I mean look at this kid!

He’s miserable.  His head is stuffy.  His throat is itchy.  His ears hurt.  His nose is red from all the blowing and running.  My kleenex bill is through the roof!

This box was full three hours ago.

I have been trying to sooth him with all endless allergy pills and nasal sprays, but nothing is working this year, so it was finally time to go to the big P…

Pseudoephedrine.

Luckily for me, the FDA made Allegra-D an over the counter med, saving my a $60 c0-pay and an afternoon at the doc being told my son has allergies.

Unluckily for me, pseudophedrine is a meth cooker’s best friend and now we are all treated like criminals when we are trying to end our families’ misery.

As I entered my local drug store, I felt the stare of the security camera.  ‘There she is boys…Says she has a family with allergies…’

I found my section…all the paper slips, but no boxes of meds.  The good stuff is kept hidden behind the counter.

While I stood there debating name brand vs. generic, 12 hr vs. 24 hr, I felt the eyes of the pharmacist.  ‘Why is that lady standing there that long?  She must be one of them.’

With my final decision in hand, I approached the check out, ID ready, smile plastered on my face to help me look sweet and innocent.

The cashier scans my ID and my potential purposes.  Then the register starts making noises.

“Sorry, you can’t buy 20 pills.  You can only get 10.”

“I can’t buy 20?  I have three people with allergies in my house.  If I only can buy 10, I’ll be back in three days and then my ID will get flagged.”

Cashier and pharmacist exchange a private look.

Great, I’m now marked.  There is probably a swat team defending on my house as we speak.  Good thing it’s not Wednesday.  If they break in and find my husband watching Breaking Bad, and we will never talk our way out of this one….

Who needs a pollen count

 

You know those nice, crisp fall days when you get to open all the windows of the house and let the breeze blow through.  Must be nice, because I don’t.  I would kill to get to let the fresh air enter my house.  Unfortunately I live with three people who are allergic to nearly everything that grows outside.  Grass, weeds, pollen, mold…. you name it, it makes them stuffy, sneezy, and miserable.

When you have allergies, you live and die by the daily pollen count.  It seems like every meteorologist these days loves to hand out the daily pollen count…

“Ragweed is in the dangerously high levels this morning.”

Thank you sir, but I don’t need your fancy scale to tell me that.  I have developed my own allergy meter and all I need is a normal pair of shoes and about eight hours to ‘cook’ the meter.

WARNING: KERRY’S ALLERGY METER IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART.

You know when you stuff your feet inside your shoes all day, it creates this little sweat coffin that makes your feet turn into giant odor bombs?  Yes you do!  Admit it.  When you take off your shoes after a long day, even you don’t want to be in the same room with them.  Well stinky feet are the key to Kerry‘s allergy meter.

Step one:  Get home from a long day and remove your shoes.

Step two:  Rub your fingers in between your toes.

Step three:  Stick your fingers under the nose of your allergy-suffering loved one.

Step four:  Ask them what they smell.

Step five:  When they say “nothing,” proclaim it to be a high pollen count day and load them up with allergy meds.