Tag Archives: women I love

No, no…. Thank YOU!

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:

Thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


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A whole new level of bad ass

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.


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Cancer – a kick in the butt

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!


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What happens at the end?

I try to be an upbeat person most of the time (at least, upbeat in the sense that I am grouchy and sarcastic, but I’m trying to be WITTY about it). I think I have a pretty good life and I really have no complaints. But I realized in the past few days that I have a looming fear — I am afraid of death. But not in the sense that you might immediately think.

Obviously, I fear my own death. Who doesn’t, really? I mean, it’s kinda creepy to think about even, when and how will it happen, will it hurt, will it be gross… bah. I think people who say they are not afraid to die are lying, at least to themselves. You should be scared when you don’t know what’s about to happen. But in addition to the fear of possible pain and/or suffering, I worry about my kids. My sons do not have the same fathers. I worry that they would be separated if I died.

I also have fear of anything happening to my children. I cannot really even write about what that fear feels like.

I fear for my siblings. We are five fairly close people (I’m not the quiet one — but I’m pretty sure I’m not the loud one either!). Losing one of them would break my heart. I fear for my husband. It seems like it took me so damn long to FIND him, I don’t know what I would do if he went away. I worry about my nieces and nephews, some of whom are adults themselves now, but they will always be these sweet little babies that I got to hold once upon a time.

I fear for my friends. So much, in fact, that a few weeks ago, when I had a horrible dream that Kayla had died, I had to call her first thing in the morning just to say hello.

But, the thing is, when it comes to all of these people, myself and my children included, I can mentally accept that death is a reality, that we are all mortal, and that there is a possibility that I could outlive one of more of them and have to deal with their deaths. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I am at peace with that, but I at least get it. I think I would find a way.

But there are two people who this simply doesn’t apply to — my parents. For some reason, I still don’t think that my parents can die.

Last week, a friend of my Mom and Dad passed away. He was 70, just a month older than my Dad. I won’t pretend that I knew much about Mr. Winter. In the 36 years I’ve been on this planet, I don’t think I had more than a few conversations with him, all of which consisted of “hey, how are you, how’s it going, nice to see you.” My mother and Mrs. Winter are very close girlfriends, and I know her well enough to engage in a conversation with her. But honestly, I really don’t even know her kids’ names. My parents have so many friends, most of whom they’ve known since the late 1940’s when they were all single-digit aged children. After a while, they all blend into each other, so I know them by face or story, but sometimes I forget who is who. Unfortunately, Mr. Winter had fallen into that category for me.

At his wake, I went with my folks up to the casket. There, we were greeted by one of Mr. Winter’s daughters, who gave us a group hug. She then said something that struck me — she looked over at her Dad and said, “Can you believe the nerve?”

It stuck me because I knew exactly what she meant — I absolutely could not belive that her Dad had the nerve to die on her. Who the hell did he think he was anyway?

I realized at that moment, looking around at this huge group of lifelong friends, that it never occurred to me that THEY were mortal. Looking around at the photos of Mr. Winter and his family, it was clear that their lives reflected those of my own family. Trips and parties and weddings and dances and Christmases and vacations and a whole lotta Schlitz (there’s a reason their generation is so much more regular than my own). Like my Dad’s daughters, Mr. Winter’s daughters see their Pops as a hero. They see their Mom as someone who they desperately want to talk to (only to quickly tell her to just stop talking already — we are weird women). My husband, my children, my brother and sisters, my friends, my nieces and nephews… we are all mortal. But not this generation. These are my PARENTS. These are my PARENT’S FRIENDS. They simply aren’t supposed to go away.

I realized that I do not tell my parents how much I love them even nearly often enough. When I found myself pregnant, single, 27 and freshly fired, my Mom said, “Well just come home.” They helped me raise a newborn and didn’t ask for one thin dime in return. When I was having a bad patch in college, I called home, and my parents listened to every stupid complaint that 19-year-old girl had. My Mom could tell if I was smoking from hundreds of miles away. My Dad threw dookie at me at the lake (because when you find dookie in the lake, what do you do with it other than throw it at your youngest child, right?), though to this day he INSISTS it was just a piece of wood. But, fiercely independent (or trying to be), I rarely called home once I was gone. E-mail helped, but I am still horrible at picking up the phone and saying hello once in a while.

I realized this past week that it’s because I am talking them for granted. I just assume they’re going to be there. I don’t know what happens at the end, because I always just figured Mom and Dad would be there to tell me. I think it’s an assumption that Mr. Winter’s daughter had also made, which is why she couldn’t believe his nerve.

So, what’s the lesson here? Go tell your parents how much you love them. It’s hard to believe, but they are mortal too.

I love you Mom and Dad.


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Operation Gaga, entry 3

This week, I got the following e-mail:

“I needed a new pair of shoes so I went to the old peoples shoe store “Rockport”. At the cash register the young man had the radio on and I surprised him when I asked isn’t that Lady Gaga singing?”


See the signature there? DAD. My father is 70 years old. He was born in 1939. That’s the 30’s! And he knows Lady Gaga songs.

Then, this morning I got the following text from my friend Jacki, who had previously said she didn’t really like Gaga:

“Hi – Lady Gaga is on Today. I have to say that I am impressed; she is more articulate than I ever imagined.”

When I responded that Gaga was way smarter than a certain 90’s icon who she is often compared to, Jacki said:

“Very smart! I sat there and thought “wow!” Not once did she use the word ‘like’ or fillers such as ‘ummmm’.”

Just why was Lady Gaga doing the rounds this morning? Well, her and Ms. Cydni Lauper have joined forces to promote the MAC AIDS fund’s campaign, “From our lips.” They are using proceeds from lipstick sales to promote HIV/AIDS awareness. On Good Morning America, Lady Gaga talked about how some women laugh and joke around after having a tryst with men they don’t know, and said, “It’s not funny.” There is a difference between being sexually liberated and being sexually responsible, and Gaga is ALL ABOUT IT!

So let’s recap. I have successfully gotten my aging but still very young parents to listen to Lady Gaga, Jacki approves, and she promotes awareness of deadly diseases. All in one day.

I have one word for you, Gaga Nation — WIN.

© MR Photo/Corbis Outline

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February 4, 1972

Anything important happen that day? Well, THIS chick was born:

The bigger one, not the little one.


And I’m not suggesting Nan is old or anything, but she’s as old as my sister Amy… and Amy is a Grandmother. I’m just sayin’.


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Redeeming qualities? Who needs ’em!

I have been known from time to time to acknowledge my love for all things completely and utterly useless.

I get excited each week when my “Star” magazine comes in the mail. I watch trashy TV shows. My husband and I have a drinking game revolving around when David Caruso takes off his sunglasses. We cannot make it through the weekend without “The Soup”. And of course, there’s my time spent watching GleN Beck. If that’s not proof that I enjoy the ridiculous, what is?

Enter these fine folks:

Oh looky loo, it’s the cast of “Jersey Shore.” And let me tell you… they are AWESOME.

I wholeheartedly admit, we tuned in to this show for one reason and one reason only. We saw the preview when Snookie, the tiny little one on the right there, got decked right in the grill by some drunk guy in a bar. We HAD to see this. Of course, in the week between the time they showed the preview and the time the show aired, MTV realized that maybe showing physical violence against women in an effort to boost ratings wasn’t the best idea. So they scrapped the footage… the footage that by that time had been seen on multiple news and entertainment shows and was a YouTube sensation.

So here’s the deal. These young folks got picked by MTV to live in what I can only describe as the crappiest beach house ever for the summer. They drink and invite strangers over for random sex and then they sleep until 3 p.m., then they repeat it. In the meantime, there are awesome conversations about “creeping” and “juicing” and “Guidos” and “Guidettes.” Everyone they see is called “kid” and the men in the house will throw a punch at anyone EXCEPT for the drunk dude who popped Snookie right off her bar stool (he was arrested though, but not a one of these guys even grabbed him. I’m pretty sure Jim would have knocked his drunk butt on the ground, and he’s not exactly Mr. Bench Press. Seriously guys, someone hits a woman, it’s kind of your JOB to hit him. I’m just sayin’). There’s a lot of fuzzing out of female body parts while ladies dance. There are size 2 clothes on size 6 girls. And of course, there is the mantra:  GTL — gym, tan, laundry. The boys of Jersey Shore do NOT go a day without accomplishing these three things.

Apparently, some Italian Americans were upset at how the show portrayed both Italians and people from New Jersey. Seeing as I am an Irish-Polish chick from the suburbs of Chicago, I cannot relate. But I can say this: I don’t care.

These people are awesome. One of them is called “The Situation.” How awesome is that? Not just a nickname, but one that starts with THE. I mean, who pulls that off? The Donald. The Hulk. And The Situation. That’s some mighty fine company, there. Jim and I were so impressed with their nicknames, we tried to come up with some of our own that also start with THE. Which reminds me, from now on, I will only answer to “The Oscillator.” It represents how I catch everyone’s eye when I walk in a room, my head scanning the crowd like an oscillating fan. Nice.

The cast of the Jersey Shore is reportedly asking for more money. A lot more. From a few hundred bucks an episode up to $10,000 an episode. And I say, GIVE IT TO THEM. These people have absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever. They are shallow and weird and slutty, every last one of them. Young Snookie was planning on sleeping with a guy one day, noting that he was handsome, so “he must be clean.” Dude — YOUR MOTHER IS WATCHING. The Situation had sex with a drunk girl in the hottub, and she was so schnockered, I’m surprised she didn’t press charges in the morning. The big punchy guy (I don’t know his name, he clearly doesn’t have a cool enough nickname) chased after a guy and knocked him out cold in the street, then acted shocked that he got arrested. And instead of bailing him out, everyone else went home and went to bed!

No. Reedeeming. Qualities.

Yet still, I watch. Sometimes, you just need a mind numbing escape. Thanks cast of Jersey Shore. See you next summer!


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