It’s been a busy span of time.
A photo show, for your viewing pleasure.
So that about sums it up.
How’s your summer going? Because 2014 is rockin’ so far. Suck it, polar vortex.
It’s been a busy span of time.
A photo show, for your viewing pleasure.
So that about sums it up.
How’s your summer going? Because 2014 is rockin’ so far. Suck it, polar vortex.
Ah, I remember it like it were yesterday.
The lady who lived across the street and a few houses down was turning 40. FORTY! I thought, how is she not dead? She was turning 40, and her husband got up early and erected a big old sign in the front lawn.
“Good Lordy, Whats-her-name is 40!”
(I can’t remember what her first name was, I am certain he used it though, and did not call her Whats-her-name.)
I heard my Mom and
the biddies some of the other upstanding adult women from the neighborhood gossiping engaging in intelligent conversation based only on facts and not conjecture about the big four-oh for Whats-her-name, and it appeared that her gift back to him for his surprise was a nice packet of divorce papers.
Forty-year-olds, I thought, are weird.
I really wondered if I would not handle 40 well. Would I curl up in the corner denying the age process? Would I do something stupid to prove I’m still young (I mean, I am — go ask a group of Baby Boomers if they think 40 is old) like jump out of a high place with only a hand-sewn piece of rayon to keep me from splattering to earth? Would I storm into Forever 21 demanding service?
As it turns out, though, I’m not even a little bit annoyed. I’m so unbothered to be 40, the only thing bothering me is why I’m not more bothered. I think, maybe, it’s helpful to be the youngest of five. When everyone goes through it first, including one of them hitting the big FIVE-oh before you even get to FOUR-oh…
…well, then maybe you just aren’t as annoyed or scared or desperate to divorce your husband at 40 like old Mrs. Whats-her-name was.
I did wake up with a sore hip.
But rather than LAMENT the passing of time, I decided to take a look back at the last decade. Did I spend my time wisely in my 30’s? Was I properly mature and responsible while still being fun and full of awesome (I think we all know it’s a resounding YES to the awesome part, but that’s just a given). Did I properly leave my 30’s as a graduated member of the Generation X Dirty-30 Club, as well as an honored and respectable alumna of Volvo-Driving Soccer Mom University (those might actually be the same thing).
In pictures, I think, it looks like I had a good time.
Let’s take a look!
So as you can see, I think I took advantage of all the things there are for a woman in her 30’s to take advantage of. I reproduced. I
suckered a man into marriage fell in love. I got fat. I got less fat. I went places. I met new people. I exercised. I saw historical artifacts! I made Kayla take photos with me TWICE while pregnant so I looked skinny. I had just a few drinks.
And I managed this:
Granted, this might be more meaningful at 46 or 51, but I was excited, yo. Because Fatty Marney didn’t fit in that a year ago.
So how did 40 start?
How. Hot. Am. I?
Looking forward to the next 40! Who wants to party with me?
My mother is a wise woman. Every once in a while, I write stuff like that down, and I think she is out there making a note of it in one of her bizzillion bedside notebooks. But it’s truth.
My mother had much advice when I got married. Some of my favorites:
But the very very best advice my mother ever gave me, was not about marriage, but how to keep a part of yourself for outside the marriage. You do this, she said, with girlfriends.
When a gaggle of girlfriends came to town last weekend, my son giggled like, well, a 10-year-old, when I referred to them as “girlfriends.”
“Are you going to kiss???”
Good thing Jim was not there, because he would have been all, “Are you? Cool!”
But despite my husband Beavis’ thoughts that our weekend would entail a topless pillow fight, it was really, for me, just more proof that my mother was right.
“Remember,” she said. “You can live without a man. You cannot live without your girlfriends.”
Not that Mom advocates leaving our husbands, but she has a solid point. The guys that went from boyfriends to husbands could leave us and we would be sad. But if our girls left us, we would be crushed.
See what I mean?
Thanks ladies! Especially for the pillow fight!
Today is May 10.
Many moons ago, on May 10, it was a Sunday, and that day was Mother’s Day. Also on that day, my mother entered the world, kicking, screaming, naked, and mad as hell. Just like every Saturday night since she was 20.
Today is my Mom’s birthday.
I have often complained about my birthday in relationship to Christmas. It’s too close, no one wants to hang out, no one wants to buy you a present, they JUST. GOT. DONE. with all their holiday spending. Bah. But it really did not dawn on me until today that my Mom’s birthday is exactly the same. When she was a kid, if her birthday fell on that Sunday, that must have been sucko. And once she became a mother — which was entirely too young for today’s standards and I’m not being judgy but seriously maybe my Pops could have been brought up on charges — her birthday was a birthday/mother’s day combo no matter WHEN it fell. One gift and done. It’s for mother’s day – AND – your birthday. Enjoy your maccaroni fish picture frame!
How rude was THAT?
Well, here are some truths about my mother:
I know several people who have lost their Moms, most of them way too early. And I know I take mine for granted. But I really do know how lucky I am to have Patty Carey as my mother. Because my Mom is a beautiful lady. And I’m not just saying that because I look like her.
Happy Birthday Mom!!
Love, Your Baby Girl
So I’ve been having an issue with accountability lately. Seems that a whole lot of the things that I had regularly engaged in as part of an effort to keep myself sane have just gone out the window.
Food — I eat it all, who needs moderation? Not me, I’ll tell ya.
School — why check backpacks, Jimmy will do it.
Television — Okay, okay, not exactly a priority, but as far as down time that I frankly owe myself, well, I have yet to watch a single episode of The Closer.
This space — if there’s one thing I enjoy, it’s the sound of my own voice, which translates in these here internets to my blog. More than a month! I’ve skipped five weeks of doing something I enjoy. Bummer.
This month on the facepage, people have been doing something
obscenely annoying totally introspective: The Month of Thanksgiving. Folks from all walks of life are taking time normally set aside for stalking ex-boyfriends and playing mafia wars to list one thing each day for which they are thankful. You know, for Thanksgiving. Because Thanksgiving in America is all about saying, “Hey Indians, thanks for the food, now step aside while we rape and pillage your land. Oh, don’t worry, we’ll give you “reservations” where the earth is bruised and rocky and the water is completely non-potable but the Bingo far exceeds any expectation you saw in your latest hot sweat vision quest!” And nothing celebrates that sentiment quite like two sentence quips each day on an addictive website built by a millionaire teenage dork.
Well, I have NOT participated in the Month of Thanksgiving. But I am. Thankful, I mean, For all sorts of stuff. So I present to you, 30 days of thanks, all in one convenient package:
1 – Health. Food might be on my list of things I have been bad about, but at least Zumba Stacey keeps me in check. It’s nice to be able to move like you’re one big sass machine.
2 – Beer. How can anyone dislike a food that will trigger you to vomit if you’ve had too much? It’s barley and hops sponsored bulimia at its best.
3 – Teachers. Without them, I’d have to parent 24 hours a day. No thank you. I didn’t have kids so I could watch them.
4 – Naps. Did you ever notice the way children freak the hell out at even the suggestion that they settle down, let alone lie down, let alone close their eyes? Can you imagine if every single day someone said to you, go sleep for no less than 45 minites. Sweet mercy, I would be in heaven.
5 – Pooping. I’m sorry, that just feels great.
6 – Chocolate. I am not a sweet fiend, but even I can appreciate this one.
7 – Chicago. Everyone has their big city, even if they don’t live there. This one is mine.
8 – Aruba. I’ve never met you, but we have a date. January 4, 2014.
9 – The never-ending saga that is Law and Order. Man was I ever pissed when they canceled your flagship show. IT NEVER GETS OLD. bum-BUM!!
10 -Lady Gaga. Self explanatory.
11 -Selena Gomez.. Your songs are so catchy and my sons are deeply in love with you. Sure, I am totally afraid that the day will come when the very magazines I bought featuring you will become my son’s first stroke material. At which point I will want you banished from all things Disney. Just please don’t Lohan on me.
12 – Smart phones. THEY ARE SO SMART!!
13 – The First Amendment. Totally working for me.
14 – Divorce. Also totally working for me.
15 – Pitbull. Possibly the worst artist ever. But I have never in my life wanted so bad to find somebody sexy and tell them hey.
16 – The Omaha Morning Blend. Making my kids stars at least twice a year.
17 – The facepage SO. Don’t ask, it’s secret!!
18 – Makeup. Zits + splotchiness + 38-year-old woman = your eternal customer
19 – The Winchester Brothers. Damn you’re fine.
20 – Central air. Now hear me out. I despise manufactured cold air. I love few things in life the way I love to sweat in July. But with my love comes fear that the rest of the free world disagrees. And no one, especially me, wants to deal with my husband Sybil when the oppressive heat of summer refuses to let go. Even I know when it’s time to flip the switch.
21 – The oppressive heat of summer. That’s why I have both a front and a back porch.
22 – The Chicago Cubs. Because the only way to stay sane is to deal with eternal heartbreak.
23 – Boobs. They’re right there and even these old gals come in handy.
24 – The Happy Place. Where happiness takes place, 365 days a year. I know there is supposed to be some natural rivalry and lifelong disdain between the cheeseheads and the FIBS, but there are few things in this world as truly beautiful as rural Wisconsin. Just so long as we don’t have to collectively bargain to keep it that way.
25 – Kayla and Nancy. A girl ain’t nothin’ without some girls of her own.
26 – Three sisters and one brother, all of whom are in their 40’s. I am in my 30’s. Suck it hags.
27 – My Mom and Dad. I NEVER tell them how much I love and appreciate them. Because clearly, I am a shit.
28 – Jimmy. Seriously, what were the chances of that ever happening?
29 – My boys, Hank and George. If you’d asked me when I was younger if I’d have sons or daughters or a combination, I would have told you sons. It’s pretty much the one thing I was ever THAT right about. I love those kiddos. They are the best thing I have ever done.
30 – Peace, love and happiness. I have it. I should take the time to notice it a little more often.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
I love you.
Yes I do!
Yes, it was difficult. But I got on a plane. And after sitting through a few moments where tears of complete and utter fear enveloped me like, well, an envelope, I made it through the obnoxiously long flight (one hour and 45 minutes!!) and settled safely on the ground in Pennsylvania, where the land is somehow so bizarrely curvy that just flying over it made me motion sick. But, Nancy had only a few days left on her babymoon, and what better way to spend them than with the girls who knew you back when stretch marks were something you laughed at other, older women for having: Me and Kayla!
Upon arrival, Kayla, Nancy and I engaged in one of the cornerstones of democracy that one can only truly appreciate while in the birthplace of American Americanism: Historical re-enactment!
Here we are acting out the famous “let’s smile in front of this 2,000 pound bell that we paid a jizillion dollars for and it cracked upon the first clapping of the clapper” scene from the days just past the Revolutionary War. The scene is slightly less famous than the Washington crossing the Delaware snapshot, but one of great significance anyway. This is important because it is the first time in recorded U.S. history that the government took tax dollars, basically set them on fire, then didn’t do anything about it, only to somehow make it sound like that’s how it was supposed to be in the first place.
Did you know that in the angry letter written to the guys who cast the bell about how their lackluster craftsmanship made the thing crack the very first time is was rung, the word “Pennsylvania” was misspelled? The founding fathers couldn’t spell Pennsylvania correctly! Seems the second “n” in Billy Penn’s name got away from them. Suck on that GleN Beck. Kayla and Nancy were not as interested in reading the copies of the historical documents on display near the big cracked bell. Somehow, I am the geek in this scenario.
I’d also like to point out that maybe when commissioning a huge bell to mark our freedom from the tyranny and unfair taxation of England, maybe the founding fathers could have found someone OTHER than a bell maker in LONDON. Seriously, people.
Back to modern-day Philly.
After the big cracked bell, we moved on to another famous piece of history. One made famous by Philly’s most notable southpaw, Mr. Rocky Balboa.
That’s Kayla in the yellow coat. That fatty next to her is me. Nancy parked her diesel Jetta in the taxi lane to get this picture, which I find absolutely hilarious. While there were several people at the top taking similar photos, we were the only ones who ran up ALL of the stairs humming “bum-bum-bu-bu-bum-bu-bu-bum-bum-bum…. gonna fly now!!!” Kayla took a short break from the song to tell the homeless guy halfway up that we couldn’t give him any change because we were in the middle of something important.
Here’s the obligatory cell phone self-portrait from the top:
Two things : Yes, Kayla is giving the thumbs up. And I need to get me one of those fancy phones. I think we are past the days when it is acceptable for cell phone photos to be grainy.
Finally, there was one more important re-enactment to participate in while visiting the home of cheesesteaks and downtown streets that no one thought to expand when bigger buildings went up. The historical birth of Ms. Lilah Jane in the ridiculously pretty orange bathroom:
That’s right, I told Nancy to take a picture with her child in the bathroom where she delivered her… and she complied. Now that’s mothering!
And that, my friends, is how you visit Philadelphia!
Thanks Kayla and Nancy, it was fun!
Top 10 things I am thankful for this year:
1. Coffee. You are so delicious and wonderful and you help me both wake up AND poop. Thank you.
2. Summer. Sure, you are gone. But I love your heat and your humidity and the way you make cold beer taste even BETTER than it already does. Thank you.
3. Health. I mean, I feel like a fatty and I’m not as young as I used to be. But I am in pretty good shape (considering). And my parts all still work and I have more energy then I had back when I was a 24-year-old skinny smoker. Thank you.
4. Karaoke. Self-explanatory. Thank you.
5. The Happy Place. No matter how often I go or what time of year it is, I feel a little empty and sad when I leave. There are only a few places in this world where I would love to be at any given moment, and the Happy Place is at the top of the list. Thank you.
6. That doctor who cut out my mom’s colon cancer. Cancer sucks. Removing cancer is awesome. Thank you.
7. Kayla & Nancy. More than just friends, they are the sisters I never had (even though I actually have three sisters). I feel pretty confident that if I needed them, they would hop on a plane as soon as humanly possible. Kayla is the second most generous person I know (very closely behind my mother) and for God’s sake, Nancy delivered her own child all by herself. My mother always told me how important it was to have girlfriends, and she was right. I am lucky to have the two of them, and distance and time don’t seem to make a difference. I don’t tell them enough how much I really love them. Thank you.
8. Family. Who else can know what a pain in the ass you are on a regular basis, but still invite you over for turkey and beer? Thank you.
9. Jim. That man makes me laugh. Thank you.
10. My boys. Nothing says that you have a good life better than two little boys who love each other so very much:
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Holy crap, people. Holy crap.
For those of you who have children, you know that there is “the story.” For my mother, there are five of them. With Carrie she was so drugged up she couldn’t point her out in the nursery. Tommy I think is the one where every doctor, nurse, cafeteria worker and janitor in the hospital took a peek before she finally delivered him. Laura — 10 pounds, two sets of forceps, double-episotomy, born arm first with a tooth (that’s a good one). Amy was born during Monday Night Football. Me? Well, I shot out so fast she almost left me right there on the hospital floor. Nice.
My stories are lame. I was totally drugged up and had both my children removed from me — against their will — in a nice, sterile operating suite. Hank refused to come out. George didn’t get the chance to even try.
Everyone can chip in something here. What you or your wife or your girlfriend went through. But no matter how you tell the story, to you, it seems fairly unbelievable. I mean, you DID that. You made that kid. Cool.
But, as far as baby stories go, no one can top the delivery of one Miss Lilah, born to my friend Nancy and her husband Mark (and big sister Cara) this week. In Nancy’s own words:
I delivered my own child. Yes I did.
Lilah Jane was born yesterday morning around 9:10. My contractions were still 6 minutes apart, so I told Mark to take Cara to daycare. I figured I’d get dressed and we’d head for the hospital when he got back. As soon as the van door closed I knew I’d made a bad call. I figured the best thing to do was get up, get dressed, and go sit with next-door-neighbor Jen until Mark got back.
I went and sat on the potty, and my water broke. I yelled out the window for Jen, but she had gone into her basement to work out. I told myself not to push, but my body wasn’t listening to me. At that point I realized the baby was ready to come out. I gave one good push, and most of her was out. One more good push and there she was. No I did not drop her in the toilet (but I think her feet got wet). So now I’m stuck on the in the bathroom with no help and a waxy, blue baby. Fortunately I had read just the night before what to do if you accidentally gave birth at home. I did what I could to clear her airway, wrapped her in a towel draped her cord over my arm since the placenta hadn’t been delivered yet, and walked over to my bed.
After calling 911 I ran over to the window and called Jen again, which still did me no good. I couldn’t call anyone else because 911 wouldn’t let me off the phone. The EMT’s were there pretty fast, but Mark had locked the door (ever safety conscious). Poor Jen – just about to get in the shower and wrapped in a towel -was running around her house looking for my house key.
They didn’t break down the door because they knew I was ok, so they found an open kitchen window and climbed through. They grabbed the baby, cut the cord and sent her on her way to the hospital. Right about this time Mark turned down our street and had a mini cardiac episode when he saw all the emergency vehicles at our house. He came up to see his blood covered wife starting to kind of pass out on the bed, with 6 EMT guys standing around. One of them offered me a sheet to cover myself with. I looked around and asked if anyone really thought my modesty was an issue at that point.
I had a partial placental abruption, so my upstairs looked like a crime scene (which my poor mom cleaned up) – which got even grosser when my placenta delivered. Then they packed me up (tromping around in the blood all the while) and sent me off in my own ambulance. Lilah is fine. She spent the night in the NICU. I feel great and aside from lots of blood loss I ended up in pretty good shape.
Dudes… she delivered her OWN child. Alone. In the bathroom. And not like, I’m at the prom and my mom doesn’t know I’m pregnant so I’ll push it out and leave it in paper towels in the corner then go dance with my boyfriend. More like, I have a bag packed and names picked out and I’ve called the maternity ward ahead of time and I STILL managed to have her on the fine radiant heat tiles! She’s like a genuine case of “I didn’t know I was pregnant” only she TOTALLY KNEW she was pregnant!
Holy. Crap. On. A. Stick. With. Beans.
Nancy is absolutely, 100 percent, the world’s most bad ass mother.
There are two things to know about my family as I start this post:
1 – My mother has colon cancer.
2 – We are the family that truly puts the FUN in dysfunctional.
Cancer sucks. It sucks balls. Or, in my mother’s case, it sucks BUTT (get it). You don’t have to have cancer or know someone with cancer or ever have been affected by any type of cancer to know it is sucky and sucky and sucky times ten. BOOOOO CANCER! Of course, that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun with it. You know, our way of saying, put that in your pipe and smoke it, cancer!
On Friday, my Mom had surgery. She had two feet of her colon removed, and the prognosis looks really good. I love my mother. I do not say it to her often enough, so I hope she knows it. I have written it here in my blog, so she has the proof if I ever try to deny it. On Friday I spent much of the day anxious and snapping at the kids and WAITING. Jim took off work early so I could go to the hospital and sit there with my brother and sisters — all 5 of my mom’s kids — waiting.
Not content to just wait, though, we had to be our sweet obnoxious selves. Enter the cancer ribbon. You know, all cancers have ribbons. Well, all CAUSES have ribbons, but cancers each get their own color. But we couldn’t figure out what type of ribbon you would wear for colon cancer. I mean, break it down, and what we’re really talking about it poo cancer, right? So…. brown seems natural. I made this suggestion to my sister Amy, who doesn’t just come up with ideas, she rolls with it! So she produced this for each of us to wear:
It’s brown! For poo cancer! The pink dots? Polyps.
That’s right, we found a fun and inappropriate way to actually DISPLAY our support of our Mom and her poo cancer. Like I said, we put the FUN in dysfunctional. That’s how we roll.
I wonder what my Mom was thinking when her eyes fluttered open after surgery and she saw my Dad and five not-so-young anymore but still her babies faces hovering over her. I’m thinking… she probably thought she expired on the table and had entered the third realm of hell. Then, squirming a little, she let out a little cough, right after which she grabbed her incision and said, “That’s a bitch.”
Ahhhh, there’s my Mom!
As a fun sidenote to the story, Friday, June 4, was also my sister Laura’s birthday. So, the next day, I asked my Mom, which June 4th was worse? The one where she had to push out a ten pound baby… arm first… born with a tooth… with the help of two sets of forceps… and a double episiotomy… and no drugs… OR… the one where she had two feet of colon removed from her bod. Now, she said it was the colon one. But I think that was just the drugs talking. Give her a few weeks, I’m sure the other June 4 will stand out as far more traumatizing.
Also, in honor of Laura’s birthday Mom’s poo cancer, June 4 is now official Poo Cancer Awareness Day! So everyone, please get your butt scoped every June!
Of course, in all seriousness, now that my mother has colon cancer — the same cancer that killed her father — we, her children, do need to be diligent and make sure we are tested. Which really does involve a butt scope (not the scientific name). But we sure are glad that Mom got her shit together (could not resist) and got her test this year!
We love you Mom! Get well soon!