(If you don't like the music, scroll down and you can control it on the right side. But I like it, so there! )

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mama Bear

If you look at the mothers of all sorts of species, you will have no trouble finding the stories that are out there of extraordinary measures a mother animal will go to in order to rescue her young. She will become ferocious, brave, unbelievably strong. It is biology. A Mama Bear is hard-wired to protect her cub.

We humans are no different. I am included.

I can be level-headed. Rational. Intelligent when needed. I can be wise. I can be weak. I can be any array of any aspect of what it is to be human. Until you mess with one of my cubs. Then? Well, then biology takes over. I can be viscious. Mean. Ferocious. I revisited this concept today in an experience that still has me reeling.

We have had an ongoing problem with Evan and our neighbors. No, not the children. The adults, if you can believe that. I have posted before of Evan's behavioral difficulties. He has a temper. And he loses it. A lot. He will raise his voice and carry on like you would not believe. We have sought, and are undergoing, treatment for these issues. We, as parents, are trying everything we know to help him because we love him. He is still our baby, our firstborn together, the glue that held us together in the lean years. He's our Evan. And we are working on this issue he has each and everyday not only for the sake of harmony in the house, but for the sake of Evan and his need to learn to effectively navigate the world in which he lives. What we do not need is advice to beat him from old ladies in grocery stores or negative comments from people who are uninvolved. I believe that it sometimes takes a village, and so I am open to suggestions from people who have dealt with the same. I'm not speaking on that. But anyhow...

Our neighbors (trashy, nasty, ghetto, uneducated, rotted-teeth-having, dirty, house-stinking-of-dirty-dog-everytime-they-open-the-door-having, skanks that they are---yeah, I said that here because I will never, ever say it in front of Ev because as an adult I woud not want him to torment their kids when they can't help any of it. But I can say it here You won't judge me.)....Anyhow, our neighbors decided a while back that because of Evan's tendency to yell and be disrespectful to us, they do not want their (dirty, skanky, trashy) children to play with him. It really isn't their business, so long as Evan does not act that way in front of them, which I assure you he does not. He doesn't lose his temper or raise his voice to them. He isn't aggressive toward them. But Lesson Number One in the world of getting along with your neighbors is that not eveyone is going to like you, no matter what you do or do not do. And so I let it slide. It is, after all, their prerogative. I just explained to Evan that they do not like the way he treats us and therefore he should just ignore them when he is outside playing. And John and I have continued to be civil to them. We share a duplex, for crying out loud. Evan does as he is told. For the most part, they spread their backwoods dysfunction across the backyard and we pretty much keep to the front lawn other than to park the vehicles, which is to the rear of the house. Until today.

Evan was riding his bike when I woke to eat a quick lunch. I had the full intention of going back to bed before work tonight. Until Evan came in with tears streaming down his little cheeks. He had gone to the back end of the driveway to turn around on his bike when their (dirty, toothless) children decided to talk to him. Evan said he ignored them like I told him to do since the parents didn't want their kids to play with him. The (white trash, likely inbred) father was out back whittling yet another tacky lawn ornament to litter the backyard and heard the boys talk to Evan. And he shouted at them in a way that Evan was sure to hear (and yes, I verified with other adults who were outside and heard it), "Don't talk to It. IT doesn't know how to speak. IT is a monster. Stay away from IT."

IT is my nine-year-old son. My oldest baby. The kid who almost didn't make it into the world. The kid who is gifted and bright. The little boy who has given away his toys to neighbors in need without being asked. The kid who once witnessed a metally-disabled little boy on the playground as he was being tormented by other children, and subsequently took the little boy by the hand and played with him away from the mean kids. The kid who cries at the sight of a homeless man and insists we stop to offer help. The kid who is so gentle and loving to the little brother he never asked for but got anyway. The kid who smiled when his world turned upside down on him.

He is my cub. And he gets a little taller each year, but no amount of time or height can change that.

I know I should be rational and go and speak to the neighbors. I also know I should do so with a level head and steady voice. But I am the type who cries when I get angry enough to go into a rage. And quite honestly, this rage will not stop. I have tried everything. I could handle it if the children said something to Evan. But this was a grown man. Older than either John or I. And if I start a confrontation right now, I swear I will go to jail today.

I cannot help it. I am a Mama Bear. I am hard-wired for it. And biology is a powerful thing.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Swept Away

I have a confession to make: I am enthralled in this whole Royal Wedding thing. Why? I can only speculate. I'm not usually one to care about this type of thing. I do remember waking up one morning as a little girl and finding my mother clutching her coffee mug while staring raptly at the television screen as Charles and Diana wed. Some of the details of that are a blur, except that I seem to remember that it was God-awful early in the morning, and Mom had been awake for hours. Watching the commentaries, the images of the processional route in her cloud of Vantage ultralight 100's carcinogens at a time when the idea of second-hand smoke being as harmful as active smoking was almost laughable. And so clad in my Strawberry Shortcake pajamas, I watched with her over my Pop-Tarts.

The history, the symbolism. The romanticism as a commoner became a princess in a sea of ivory dress that was so beautiful then. Now it looks like a monstrosity of a dress, but then? Then it was all about that dress and whether she would mess up Chuck's name during the vows. And I watched with the dream all little girls have of their fairytale wedding and what it would be like to be a princess.

So now I'm a grown woman with a career. And a husband. And 2 kids. I never had the fairytale wedding. I wore a pencil skirt and a white silk blouse when John and I wed ten years ago. I never became a princess. Things are so different for me now than they were in my childhood fantasies. But I am still watching the fairytales. That part never changed. But instead of dreaming of what can be, I'm reflecting on how things are. I married the love of my life. I have a career that, while not what I planned, is rewarding and fulfilling. And I have my boys. Would my life have been different if those dreams would have been fulfilled? Absolutely. Would it have been better? Nobody knows, but all I'm saying is that Diana died being chased by paparazzi.

So I will watch the wedding. I'll wish I had the roses and the dress and the carriages. But this time around, I will be grateful for this life I have right now.


I just found this old picture of my mother. There aren't many of them because she was like me and refused to be in pictures as an adult. But this is her. She was around 50 years old in this photo, about 7 years before I lost her. She was already battling lung disease and has raised 6 kids, leaving only me in the house. I was in the fifth grade the year this photo was taken, and it was the day my oldest sister got married. But what gave me chills is the place in my files that the computer saved it. Right next to the other picture in this post. I swear she is here with us in Zachary. I just know it.

Mom, born May 12.

Zach, born May 13th.

Easter for the Heathen

Okay, so I do not get into the religious stuff. Never really have. And despite the plastering of bunnies and eggs all over everything, I want to remind you that Easter is a religious holiday. And I didn't feel the slightest bit guilty about not going to church. But nevermind that. Chocolate for everybody!

I spent the day being very lazy until about 9 PM tonight, which is when I had the realization that I have yet another of the seemingly endless stream of marketing papers due tomorrow while I am scheduled to work. So I did get that finished. Other than that, I got nuthin'.

Zachy got his first ever Easter basket, which involved a tiny taste of chocolate and a couple of the requisite Peeps. I hate those damned things, but love 'em or hate 'em, they are a part of Easter and Zach got a row of them. And just like Mama, the kid hated them. He took one lick and threw the offending neon-pink chick on the living room floor. Other than that, his basket was filled with small-ish toys, like he needed any more. Evan's basket was another story altogether. I am awaiting the appearance of CPS workers since there is no way in hell that a kid with the dental issues he has had needs that much candy. But he is a kid and it is Easter. I can just make him brush his teeth after Every. Little. Bite.
So after basket fun, my boys and I headed out for a leisurely lunch a local Italian joint. And came back to play video games together on a very rainy afternoon. (Yeah, turns out I am a hardcore bitch and enjoy blowing brains out via Call of Duty: Black Ops. And before you say a word, that one only comes out when Evan isn't around--and he was off watching a movie or plannning his planetary takeover, either one, while we played it!)

So now here I am. The house is quiet, the paper is done, and I am speaking to you through the blog I rarely have time to write on these days. And I am so very grateful for the fact that we had such a relaxing day. And I am reflecting on the past two Easters. 2009: I was so busy working like crazy that the shopping for candy and basket and other supplies slipped through my fingers. And I had to call John from work the night before and tell him to take my debit card and go to the store and get Evan stuff for a basket and that I would put it together when I got home in the morning. He bought a package of Reese's eggs. That's it. No basket, no grass, no jelly beans or Peeps. No solid chocolate bunny or stuffed chick or spring-themed book. A package of Reese eggs. I cried and cried because when I tried to fix his error by stopping and getting the stuff on the way home, they were all out of everything. That was the year Ev got his Easter basket in a large wicker laundry basket. There were no complaints from him, though. And 2010: Ahhhh, that one. The pregnant one. I won't even go there since it was in the last month I was pregnant, and therefore probably the darkest of all of them. I just remembering John coming through well enough that I was pleased with the way Ev's Easter turned out. And I remember trying not to grimace through the contractions so Evan wouldn't feel bad as we played board games and colored in my bed, all while muching on Easter candy.

I'll never be sure why Easter-time is always so blah for me. The only theory I have is that the period between mid-April and mid-May was always Mom's time. Mothers' Day and her birthday. And since her death, it has been the hardest time of year. This year is so different, though. May 12th will forever more be the day I heard the phrase "mature lungs", got the call to tell me to be at the hospital the next day so they could end my misery. Mom's birthday. And then we have the 13th. Zach's. Suddenly the April-to-May transition isn't a sad time to think about the anniversaryh of Mom's death or how I miss her on Mothers' Day. Suddenly this is a time of gratitude and peace and happiness. Once again, thank you, Zachary.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Zach's Latest Toy

I'll give you a hint: it has nothing to do with any of the vast array of toys he received or will receive as birthday gifts. Though on a side note, ask and ye shall receive! I made a desperate cry on Facebook about how the numerous electronic sing-songy toys he has are driving me to the brink of insanity and our relatives and family friends responded with piles of non-electronic toys that are actually educational: bead mazes, wooden block sets, wooden puzzles, books, shape sorters, stacking and nesting toys, and more. Love it!

So anyway, back to the story at hand...

I was sort of sleeping, sort of awake, and Zach was playing in his Pack & Play in the living room while John ran an errand with Evan. I kept hearing this gagging, retching sound. Zach has never vomited and I can count the number of times he has even spit up on one hand, so I was more than a little perplexed by the sound. I would immediately check on him, and he would be fine. And I would hear it again. Again, I would check and see nothing out of the ordinary. After a few times of the same, I finally caught him with a single finger thrust deep into his mouth. A-Ha! So he was gagging himself with his finger. Baby Bulimia? Hmmm...

About that time, John arrived home from his errand and I told him what I had been witnessing. He didn't act surprised in the slightest. "Oh, he's been doing that," John said. I had been working for the few days before. Translation: work, sleep, get ready for work, go back to work, and repeat for three days. So I missed it.

What did I miss? Well, Zach has this new love of his uvula. I mean, it dangles there in the back of his throat. Dangly. Fun, I guess, if you are a baby dicovering such things as your belly button or toes or ears. But his uvula? John has caught him on more than one occasion with his finget thrust deep into his mouth, wagging it back and forth as if playing with something. And Evan is hilarious about it. As in: "Da-aaaad, Zach's playing with his uvula again!"

My children may be more than just a little off. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sorry, Nothing To See Here...

My life is a sea of endless reading and written assignments, baby and older child, husband, and work. Wait, scratch work from that list because my slacker butt has been off since last Thursday morning. I have absolutely nothing to tell you. Other than to bore you with details about my trip to John's mother's house this past weekend, which highlights some of my Mommy-of-the-Year contender moments.

Let's start with the trip down there. It couldn't possibly have gone smoothly, because this is me we're talking about. It started with me trying to sleep just a couple of hours, having worked the night before and not being too keen on falling asleep behind the wheel with my children in the car. My dearest hubster decided that, hey, it's nice outside, so he is going to ride his Harley down there while I follow him in the car. Of course gas is ridiculously expensive right now, so that in itself is grounds for divorce in my book. But he did it, leaving me in the car with the two kiddos for the four-hour drive. Thanks, John. We stopped at the midpoint for him to fill up, being that Harleys hold about 2 ounces of gas at a time. Evan was starving anyway, and Zach needed a diaper change. I just wanted coffee. And I took the opportunity to brag about my angelic children. I should've known better, considering we were only halfway there.

Because as soon as we got back on the interstate, Zachy started to scream like he has never screamed before. He screamed like the devil himself had posessed my baby. And he did it all the way from Elizabethtown (yep, as in the Kirsten Dunst movie) to Central City, Kentucky (Mayberry in my book). That's a lot of screaming. I even, in sheer desperation, told Evan to let Zach have a sip of his drink (Diet SPRITE!!!!!) thinking it may calm him down a bit until we get somewhere where I can fill his bottle with milk and help him go to sleep. But no, he kept screaming. To the point that, once there, I opened the door and got out with the car still running, the headlights on, the kids buckled in, and all, telling John, "Get YOUR CHILDREN. I'm DONE!" Hey, at least I managed to put the car into park first.

Yep, it was that bad.
But we had a nice relaxing visit. Until we came home.

No screaming this time, unless you count the obscenities coming from my mouth as I watched my husband, who was supposed to be careful, darting in and out of traffic next to massive semis which made him look like a pissant. I could just see him getting squashed like a bug before our very eyes. Could sense the therapy bills it would take to get Evan over watching his dad die on the interstate. Really. As a matter of fact, when we stopped for gas this time, I asked John if he was enjoying his ride, explaining that it would be the last one because I was putting the m-effer on Ebay as soon as I got home. He tamed himself after that. I think everyone could sense that I had reached my limit, because the boys were angels for the whole ride home. Evan finished his homework as Zachy snoozed. Once Zach was awake, Evan played with him quietly, keeping him entertained and quiet while I fiddled with the radio and counted down the miles.

Oh and one more thing: this fricken song. played. at least. a million times. And got stuck in my head. I never would have known it was Katy Perry. And it's admittedly weird as hell, but I think I have to buy the cd now. Or mp3 or whatever the hell I mean right now. Definitely not what I usually listen to...

Monday, April 18, 2011


My favorite book of all time. Somebody did it. Someone needed to. Amazing that it is so old, yet seemingly written about the day in which we live right now. I have to find a sitter! It is only playing in 300 theaters, and there is one in Cincinnati. Who is John Galt????

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Early Birthday

Today, we celebrated Zach's first birthday with John's side of the family. John's stepfather, a man of faith, said the blessing before the meal, and I started to cry when he thanked God for our ability to celebrate his birth. It all could've gone so differently. He racked up on toys and loved it when we sang "Happy Birthday". The flicker of the flame on the one little candle caught his attention and he kept trying to grab at it, prompting us to pull it further away, over and over. Then he had a ball digging into Grandma's homemade red velvet cake while everyone else was entertained with the sight of him with the bright red cake in his hair, his eyelashes, up his nose... I keep trying to console myself with the idea that he isn't one just yet. But it is right around the corner...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

11 Months

Here we are. The last month of Zach's first year. It's hard to imagine that in just a year, we went from the wrinkly preemie who would occasionally forget to breathe to the chubby, robust baby who cruises and babbles. Mama. Dada. Bababa. I love hearing him "talk" in his lilting little voice. It truly is music to my ears. And the teeth have finally come, as well. He has 2 now, both on the bottom. They aren't even all the way in, but two tiny little buds of teeth that show only when he gives us the biggest of Zachy smiles. This week, we are going to be making the trip to see John's parents, and Zach is going to celebrate his first birthday with family. We'll come home and celebrate his actual birthday here, with just the four of us. The way it all started a year ago. It seems appropriate. Fitting. After all, when we were going through the hell of his pregnancy, it was just John, Evan, and I, clinging to each other, just trying to get through. And after all of it, it will be Zachary with the 3 of us, celebrating his presence here in our lives.

I still swear he is an angel.

As far as Zach this month goes, he loves being outside. He loves the sun and the trees. It really is his first spring, and he is starting to absorb all that is around him. The chirp of a bird. The breeze on his cheek. 2 days ago, he went outside and we actually let him go in the yard, with close supervision of course. It was so fun to see him explore and learn. I didn't even care about the dirty knees. I even sat down in the grass with him, watching him go.

He's really starting to enjoy toys as well, and it is hilarious to hear him giggle at a noise one makes. His favorite is the baby laptop we bought him when he insisted on trying to get at mine everytime I would attempt homework.

On the food front: we went ahead and, after the last drop of my milk was gone, made the switch to cow's milk this past week. He is doing great with it. No problems whatsoever. He feeds himself more and more. I only spoon-feed him the really messy stuff: yogurt, applesauce. He handles the rest. Most of the time, he eats in the buff because he has decided he hates all bibs except for the Bebe auLait reversible bib. If they have a velcro closure, they are coming off, and that is that as far as he is concerned.

He laughs and coos at Evan to no end.

He steals our hearts again every day.

He's everything.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Just What Mama Wanted

On a sunny day, we met the photographer at a park in Covington, Kentucky. I immediately froze when I saw the park she chose, because it immediately conjured up ghosts from a tortured past. But this day wasn't about any of that. This day was intended to capture this moment as it flies past us: the end of Zach's first year, the end of Evan's first decade. And she did. She gave me everything I wanted within a few minutes' and a couple of emails' worth of talking to me. I bought the copyrights to the photos, but I still feel like I need to give her credit for the awesome work. So here they are. My angels. My miracle 34-weeker who started out at 6 pounds and my miracle 33.5 weeker who started out at 7.24 pounds. The one who was supposed to be a miscarriage and the one who, I swear, was going to take the life right out of me. There is no way I can show the complete collection of photos, so instead I am showing 3 each of Evan, of Zach, and of the two together. These boys are my life.

Is this How English Teachers Feel?

The totally online learning experience has been an interesting one, for sure. I've taken online classes before, but totally online? Where the lecture halls are replaced with chatrooms? Nah. The classroom discussion has been replaced with discussion boards. I am required several times a week to post in these discussion boards on the supplied topic. As a part of my assignment, I also have to post several replies to my classmates' posts. Shouldn't be a problem, right? I can usually write. This little blog is not the place to judge, where I type how I talk: run-on sentences, fragments, and more interjections than one ever should put in any piece of writing. But for academic purposes? I am the Queen of the Paper. So I can do this. I get my cup of coffee, which has become a staple of my diet, and I sit down to do the deed. I had posted my original post early on, and had to wait until my classmates got it together before I could finish my requisite responses, so by the time I get to it, virtually the entire class has posted their posts. So I just plan on picking a couple to go with..... Wrong. Very, very wrong. There were only 2 classmates to which I could submit a valid and well-thought-out response. Only two. Because the rest were so jam-packed with grammatical errors, mispellings, comma splices, and more, that I couldn't even make sense of what the writer was actually trying to say in the post. Seriously, I have never seen anything like it in my life, especially in a senior-level college course. For a business degree. One girl even typed in ebonics. This is an actual sentence from a post: "I be thinking they is going to go out of business cause they is shady people." This was in a reaction to the business ethics of some well-known national companies. She be thinking....Really, people? How does one get through life when they are unable to string a couple of sentences together in a manner that can be understood? How do they type resumes and write letters? And if they cannot write properly, I would hate to hear them speak. I'm having nightmares about prospective job interviews, parent-teacher conferences, and more, with these people. Scratch that. I'm even more concerned with how I am going to finish this class, when I have several of this same assignment type due weekly. I was complaining to John about it, and to illustrate my point, I read my post aloud to him. Then I followed up with some classmates' posts. John was weak with laughter by the time I finished the second one. I was honestly starting to question the caliber of courses in which I enrolled and if my BSBA is going to be a complete joke. John pointed out to me that, for all I know, all of my classmates to date have had similar writing. I would never know: I simply turn in my assignment to be graded and never read what my classmates write. Is this why I always get A's on papers? But then I started thinking about all of the teachers out there forced to read piles upon piles of writing from students. To make sense of the drivel people write, the seemingly nonsense words that people string together. And I suddenly had newfound appreciation.

Dental Woes

Evan. Evan Evan Evan.

So I am working the busy ER when my husband calls me to tell me that my beloved eldest child is complaining of a toothache and bracing the right side of his face in agony. I immediately feel horrible because I realize that in the blur of the year of pregnancy and bedrest and new Zach, we have neglected to take the big one to the dentist for his annual cleaning. In this busy house, the squeakiest wheel gets the oil. And so Evan's teeth decided it was their turn to squeak. So I told John to give him some ibuprofen and send him to bed, that we would get him in with a dentist the following morning. John responded with a call back to the ER to tell me that in my shining example of motherhood, I managed to stock adult ibuprofen and infants' ibuprofen, but nothing in between. In steps my trusty ER Nurse friends to save the day: Evan is old enough, give him 2 adult ones with a small meal to avoid stomach upset.

So it takes 2 days to get Ev in with a dentist. We chose one that does orthodontics as well, since we already know we are heading there. And John takes him while I sleep off 5 12's in a row and a couple of marketing papers. And he comes home, frantically waking me to tell me the verdict: Evan has 8 cavities. Eight!

I immediately blame the pig stage we are in. I mean, I make the kid brush his teeth. He emerges from the bathroom with toothpaste breath. I assume he has brushed. And he may have been all along. But apparently not well. One tooth is so bad that it is all the way down to the nerve and needs a pulpotomy. Seriously, Evan?

So yesterday, we got our care plan for the dentist. Pulpotomy first. If he handles that well, they will do the rest of the work in the office. If not, it is off to Cincinnati Children's, where they will do all of the remaining work under general anesthesia. And the ballpark figure of my expense for all of this after insurance? Only the bargain price of $1600. I mean, it isn't like it matters, right? The kiddo needs it and the kiddo will get it. But this whole experience requires some research on my part.

As in how in the blue hell did my 9-year-old son come up with 8 cavities?

So I declare it a new day. No more sugar. No soft drinks (not like he drank a lot to begin with...). No more brushing twice a day. Nope, not for Evan. He brushes after he eats anything from now on. But still...8????

And then I find it out. That John has been giving in while I am at work and allowing Evan to take snacks to bed. Cookies. Ice cream. Candy. Ahhhh, we are such great parents. Turns out it was easier for John to do this than to deal with Ev's meltdowns. So $1600 it is.

Hey John! Remember that backrest you wanted for the Harley? The backseat? The saddle bags? The stuff we were planning to do to the motorcycle this summer? I know exactly where you can find them. They'll all be in Evan's mouth.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Patient-isms and the Almighty ED

thumbnailCAQ9TC2EI am a compassionate person, for the most part. I swear it. If you are my patient, you can bank on the fact that I will do my best to take care of you. Without judgment, without fail. If you, in your lack of medical knowledge, say something that is utterly stupid in the strongest sense of the word, you can rest assured that I am not going to laugh at you in your face.

I’ll wait until I leave the room.

Recently heard by my patients:

“ I need my BEEEEPAP!”

All I know is that when she was a baby, they had to put her in a plastic bag.” From a mom when asked for the history of her young infant’s delivery. My response? “ You mean they had to BAG her. As in a way for us to give manual breaths. I assure you that they did not put her in a plastic bag.”

“He said I have an internal fart. Something is blocking it from coming out.” Upon hearing that they have a myocardial infarction caused by a blockage of one of the coronary arteries.

“You have to SHUT UP! I have anxiety and the voices in my head said you’re being too loud!” This wouldn’t be funny if the patient were really mentally ill and wasn’t just trying to get some benzos for the weekend.

Of course these are just a few. And they all occured in the ER. This doesn’t include the funny crap we see. Like the stripper who fell off of her pole. Or the arrests. And the drunken people. My job is always, always interesting.

Case in point: just a few short minutes ago, I held in my hot little hands a real-life FBI badge. You know, like the one they flash on tv. Turns out they are just as badass as they seem.

A Woman After Evan’s Heart

(L-R) Fergie, will.i.am and Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas perform

Seriously, Fergie? Legos? Which makes me wonder: Could I make one in a triple-extra-fat if I use those big Duplo ones made for the little kids?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

What Have I Done?

Busy busy busy. Still.

Aside from working 60 hours this past week, I also started the journey that is to be my business degree. The online program is supposed to be easy, right? Since I have all of the pre- and co-requisites completed from my other degree, all I have to do is take my business courses and the degree will be awarded and I can move onto the masters. Okay. And this is an accelerated online program, so each class is approximately 5 to 6 weeks long. 2 courses at a time. No breaks for summer, which has me finishing early next fall.

Oh. Crap.

Because I started. I got my glossy new texts and I delved into the world of marketing. And my professor has us completing a paper or presentation literally every 48 hours. Because, in a degree program designed for adults with other obligations like job and family, there couldn't possibly be anything else for me to do other than prepare fictional marketing plans and writing papers to critique the business practices of the establishments I frequent. Along with 10 chapters of reading each week.

Maybe, just maybe, I will lose the little bit of sanity I have left.

Maybe all of my hair will turn gray.

What is more likely is that I will pull myself up by the bootstraps and get it done just like I always do.

And for an extra dose of fun? I submitted my application and resume for a PRN therapist position at a local rehab hospital. And they bit. Hard. As a matter of fact, I simply emailed about the position before I submitted anything and had the interview already scheduled before I had even updated my resume and started the app. A second job. For when I don't get as much overtime as I like. Like that ever happens.

Such is my life as a workaholic student wife mommy. Sometimes when you want it all, that is exactly what you get.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Freezing Time

Over the course of last evening and today, I have managed to book the photographer for the boys for next week. We were originally going to do this for the whole family, but I know I am going to be crying, so I don't want to be in pictures that are supposed to be happy.

Zachary's birthday photos.

I cannot believe it is just right around the corner. In 2 weeks, we are making the trip to John's mom's to celebrate with them, and I need the proofs of the photos for them to select the ones they want. I'm a little nervous because I did this completely differently than I normally do. Instead of taking them to a cheesy portrait studio, I booked a private photographer to meet us on location at a local park to capture what it is that I want to have for years to come. And I am thinking of the expense. I remember when Evan was a baby, and he was so photogenic. We lived in a small town, and the only place to get photos done was Wal-Mart. Home of the $5 Portrait Package. Even then, I managed to spend $600, and John was aghast that I could do that at such a cheap place. So you can imagine how a professional, private photography session could spin us into the spiral of bankruptcy. Whatever, I don't care. I need this.

Of course the photographer is going to think I'm crazy and weird and anything else you can think of, but I want her to know. I want her to understand when I cry. To know that this baby is a true miracle. That for someone who never should have made it into the world, he has brought so much joy to all he has touched. That watching him grow has been the most amazing journey this past year. Is a photograph truly worth a thousand words? And if so, will these be the words spoken? When she snaps photos of Zach and Evan together, will she get it? Will Evan's resilience he has shown as he has adapted from being an only-child to being a big brother after 9 years show through the photos? Can she capture that, frozen in time, for me to hold onto as the years pass in a blur of firsts: first days of school, first dates, first cars...?Because as the years pass, I will still be clutching these photos to my chest, remembering. The contractions, the baby giggles. Evan's innocence and his adoration for his baby brother. This. I will always remember this.

Of course I have some fun ideas up my sleeve. As in the Great First Birthday Cake Smash. I had this idea for a while now, and did some online searching to find out I am not as original as I thought and this is appparently all the rage in children's photography. Just a happy, chubby, diapered baby and a brightly-colored birthday cake. With a single candle. The first of many, yet so very precious. Because we experienced parents know how quickly those candles multiply. Just like parenthood, this is sure to be messy, unscripted, and completely joyous.

And so now I have done it: I have made myself cry in anticipation of roughly one month from now, when Zach's first year will be over. When Evan will enjoy the last summer of his first decade of life. It is like we are standing on a cliff, with all we have survived behind us. The joys, the struggles, the celebrations, the milestones. The experiences.

And we are just about to leap into the unknown.

I hope she can capture this time before we do.