Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Health care??????

I know this one is going to offend some people ESPECIALLY my family, but I have to say it. The government can't handle my driver's license right. The government can't handle my car registration right. It is supposed to manage my health care correctly????? I HAVE SOCIALIZED HEALTH CARE!!!!! My health care is handled by the biggest socialized organization that the US has currently, the ARMY. It SUCKS!!!! I have been congested for about 4 or 5 days now. I have ignored it, but last night I started to lose my voice and my throat really hurt. So this morning at 6:50 am, I called the appointment line and was then told that in the 20 minutes that they had been open, all of the appointments for today had been booked and that I needed to call at 6:30 tomorrow. Or I could go to the ER and take my chances. (Her EXACT words). So I have to hope that I can get a call through tomorrow morning or wait another day. If you want to know what socialized medicine is like ask a retired veteran. I have heard a story of one vet who has a brain tumor (and with tumors in the brain, fast diagnosis and treatment is important). He was told that the neurologist couldn't see him for 8 months! They are trying to work the system better, but the system is the problem. Just read some of the articles at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/index.html . This British newspaper has story after story of how bad nationalized or socialized medicine can be. I don't understand how people think just because these officials have won an election to a certain position, that they have the massive knowledge to run your and my life, money and health. I'm going to go o.d. on Dayquil now. God Bless!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Who taught him that?

Who taught him that? is a question my husband and I spend a lot of time asking each other. With 3 boys you'd think the "him" would vary but it is usually Zacky, the baby of the family. Tonight for instance. We are at a pack meeting of our cub scout pack. Two boys in 2 different dens is pretty intense sometimes. Can't wait until I have 3 boys in 3 different dens two years from now (insert an extremely sarcastic tone with a crazed look on my face here). So our darling Zacky is livid that he isn't a scout like his brothers. He constantly asks us where is his uniform, when does he have a den meeting, etc. We have told him he is the pack mascot and bought him a "Little Scout Buddy" t-shirt. He gave us his "I am not falling for it, Mom and Dad" look and still bugs us about it. His brother Zander earned his bobcat badge and received it tonight. Z thought it would be a good idea to let Zacky hold it. Not so much. No, he got ticked when I put it in my purse and said "Mom I want my badge!" I made the huge mistake of correcting his misconception and told him it was Zander's badge. The rest of the night was "I want a badge! Where is my badge?! Why don't I get a badge?!" Reading this makes it seem so calm. If I could put the whining tone of voice in here so you could experience his dulcet tones, I would. It's the whine that can shatter glass and sanity in one small cute package. It makes my eyebrow twitch and blood pressure rise. Our pack leader, Leader Bob, called Zacky up to the front of the meeting, calling for his mascot. Leader Bob wanted to show off Zack's shirt and said take off your jacket and show them your Scout Buddy shirt. My 4 year old son proceeds to remove his jacket with a flourish and a "ta da!" that would have done a Broadway performer proud. Who taught him that? My comedian showman father? Possibly. Playhouse Disney? I hope not.. For all I know it could have been one of our many teenage babysitters. I used to have my boys jump up after they fell and say "ta da!" because it would distract them from crying. Zack never did that. He would have nothing to do with it. He would just get up and run to catch up with his brothers. But it was never the arms out, look at me world "ta da!" that he did tonight! As our most challenging, strong willed child that will make you shake your head, I know most of my posts will probably be about him. Hopefully it will be more of the bemused head shake than the "oh my gosh he isn't going to live to be a first grader!" head shake. I have a plan for the whole badge controversy. I need to go find a biker leather store that sells the badges that bikers like to put on their jackets or vests. I will find a badge for him there. (Don't ask me how I know so much about biker leather clothing stores. That's a story for another day). But I still want to know who taught him that.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hands Full!

When I tell people I have 3 boys, no girls, their eyes widen a little and then I hear the inevitable "Wow, you have your hands full!". That is a Truth. Not a Mom's wisdom truth like "if you touch Dad's tools, you'll be grounded" or "if you keep eating your Halloween candy, it'll make you sick". No a Truth with a capital T....the earth is round, if you wash your car it will rain, boys will make "shooters" out of any materials even if they have never seen a gun in real life or on tv. Written in stone Truths. If you have more than one son, you have your hands full. Period. End of discussion. I understand how it must look when we are at Walmart and they are bored and I have run out of my "keep them busy in public" ideas. I have been the exploding Mom, the ignoring the behavior Mom, and the "One more time" Mom (if I have to tell you one more time to stop crawling under the clothes racks!). To my DEEPEST shame I have also been the bribery Mom (if you just stand still and not touch anything while I check out, I will buy you ANY candy you want!). I remember an instance of sitting at Chick Fil A with my friend who has 3 boys the exact same age as my own. We noticed a mom with 2 girls sitting near us. We couldn't stop staring. The girls sat there eating and talking to each other. You might read this and think "Big deal, so what?" But my boys have NEVER sat there and ate the meal while talking to each other. First of all, they are shouting over each other trying to be heard because boys don't seem to have a volume control. Then the shouting turns into demonstrating what they are talking about. Now that leads to at least one drink getting spilled and NOT by that drink's owner so the shouting now becomes angry (not excited) and accusatory. This mom was able to have a phone conversation while her girls sat there, ate and talked quietly. A phone conversation!!! My friend and I can barely hold a conversation with each other face to face over the ruckus at our table. Once we locked the children in the play area (just kidding....maybe) and could finally talk, all we could talk about was how the mom could have a phone conversation in her children's presence.

When someone refers to my hands being full, my responses tend to differ with how my mood and the children's behavior varied that day. Sometimes it is the bone weary "Yes I do have my hands full (excuse me while I collapse from exhaustion now)." Other times it's the hair sticking out, crazed eyes "Yes I do have my hands full but they are free to a good home, if you like! Okay, I'll pay you to take them.....Pleeeeeeeeze!" But the best days are the humorous days where I reply "Yes I do have my hands full" while in my mind I am thinking that I can't wait for Daddy to get home so I can tell him about the hysterically funny thing they did/said that day.

That is what this weekend brings to mind. Being a master tech mechanic's wife has it's ups and downs. I am overly aware of abnormal smells and sounds coming from my van's engine. I know some people who, barring regular oil changes, never go the the mechanic and their car runs fine for years. We as a mechanic's family don't have that kind of luck. The good thing is it gets fixed at the house and saves us a ton of money. BUT have you ever heard the saying "The cobblers children have no shoes" or something similar? Well it is categorically true for mechanics as well. Our cars are always in need of something fixed but if it can wait, it WILL wait. For those of you starting to get confused about Z's job, he was a mechanic until he decided to go full-time Army Reserves Captain. So he is a Captain in the Army Reserves, but when this tour is up, he could go back to being a master tech mechanic if he so chooses. So back to my story. I pull up to my MOPS meeting parking lot and smell a SUPER strong coolant smell. I text the hubby and he says as long as it's not overheating, he'll look at it at home. So I get it safely home (oh darn, couldn't go to the torture chamber...uh I mean the gym. What a shame!) and he says no problem, I've got all Saturday to work on it. So we spend all day Saturday as a family outside, Z working on the van and me trying to keep the kids away from his tools and machines. Finally this morning when our youngest almost causes the jack to drop the van down on Z's legs, I lose it. I tell Zack "Stay away from the van and away from Daddy's stuff!" He says, "But I'm helping!" Then a moment of inspiration from God happens. We are talking ray of sunshine shining down on me, angels singing, the works. I tell Zacky to "go get your own tools and work on your tool bench!" This tool bench was a yard sale find about 6 years ago. I have been thinking about getting rid of it, but every time I do, Zack seems to know and spends the next 2 days playing with it. So he ran over to the tool bench and starts getting out his tools. Next thing I know, he and his brothers are "fixing" his tricycle. Then Zacky starts working on "his car" which is a big red plastic wagon. I had to redirect them from the van a couple of times, but it was a lot easier than it had been before. My husband likes to tell me about the stuff he's repairing, so I try to not to be obvious about my eyes glazing over. He started explaining to me about the coolant leak and distributor cap and other car stuff. I nodded and said "yeah?" with enough lilt in my voice that he was completely fooled into thinking that I will retain this precious mechanical wisdom. When he went back under the van, I sighed with relief, did a head count of the kids to see where the boys were and went back to my book. All of a sudden Zacky came up to me and started narrating to me that his "stributor" cap was bad so he fixed it and "his" car had a leak and he fixed that too. "Oh and look at my blue wrench Momma, it's as big as Daddy's wrench over there." He then went back to his oh-so-important repairs and I sat back in my chair thinking. I may not have the cute clothes and cute tea parties, but I have cute car fixing and "come look at this weird bug!" and cute mini-manly moments.

I tried 3 times for that ever-elusive girl. Okay, try is too directed of a word. Baby number 1 was a surprise blessing that once the test came back positive, we just prayed and prayed for a girl. Nope, we saw what the nurse referred to as "turtle sign" on the sonogram. We were planning on trying for baby number 2 (the girl) about six months from the conversation because I was going to lose weight first. Bwaaahahahahahahahahaha! Okay now pick yourself off the floor and stop laughing so you can finish reading this. Turns out at the time of the conversation, baby number 2 was already a bun in the oven. Prayer for a girl was rampant in the family, but once again we were thwarted by that "turtle sign" sonogram. I think God just laughed at us. We weren't even sure we were going to try again for another baby and BAM!!! Baby number 3 pops up on the radar. Or sonogram....whatever. So trying for a girl isn't the correct term for us. Praying fervently that there was a girl growing inside of my gigantoid belly is more of a correct description of our mental state.

I get my estrogen fix in other ways. I hold my MOPS friends' babies. I coo and cuddle and giggle over the little ballerina socks and pink blankies. I go to girlfriends nights out. I bug my sister and sister-in-law to have girls. Oh and I am getting a puppy. A FEMALE puppy. I am doing a presidential veto on this one. No more males entering this house except on a day pass if I can help it.

So yes, I do have my hands full but as long as I can doggy-paddle my way through this testosterone soup that is my life, I think it'll be okay. Hands full? Yup! Heart full? Absolutely!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hi Ho Hi Ho!

Over the hill and through the woods to...... the torture chamber we go! That's what goes through my head walking into the gym. I see these women that practically skip into the gym all happy and perky....sigh..... My life would be so much easier if I could feel that way. Naturally or pharmacologically. With or without my kids I drag my feet like a prisoner being led to Ol' Sparky. Sometimes it's easier with the 4 year old along because I concentrate on him...." don't bump into her... Say excuse me to them... Watch out for the stroller..". It's easier because I don't have time to observe people while I'm walking in. See, I must confess, Hi I'm Jesse and I'm a people watcher. I can't even stop doing it when I want to. So when I see these groups of slender, graceful women entering the gym, my mind shows me something like a flock of geese because of their long, slender graceful necks. And don't get the panties in a knot ladies, I know geese have big bottoms and waddle, but it's the long graceful necks that I'm thinking of. It's my vision and I can use the symbolism that I want to!!!! While for myself, I tend to conjure up pictures of a huge lumbering bear( does that indicate a Napoleonic complex because I'm 5 f00t 2 AND A HALF inches). I didn't want to join a gym. I'm still waiting for the magic weight loss wand to show up on tv infomercials with Billi May Hayes pitching it. To me gyms are where skinny, fit people go to stay fit. Not where us bigg'uns go to lose it. So a friend who didn't have all that much weight to lose in the first place convinces me to take a tour of her gym. While we are walking through the fitness areas she is excitedly pointing out this cool machine or that one that has helped her lose weight. Meanwhile all I see are medieval instruments of torture. Oh look! There's the rack! Yay! Oh and they have the iron maiden right over here! My mind doesn't see the wide open brightly lit room. It sees a dark dungeon where my torture will take place. I'm all set to say no thanks, but the membership lady and my friend have insidiously saved the best for last and they bring me to the kids area. They have a fantastic kids area and pool and cloud my mind with visions of happy well behaved children thanking me for bringing them to the gym..... my kids .....thankful....well behaved........ bwahahahahahahahahaha! Oh....ahem.......sorry......but that vision alone should have shown me what a fiction this whole thing was. When the tour ended, I voiced my concern at the fact that I didn't see very many "normal" sized women. I saw a lot of "fitness barbie"s walking around but let's face it, I didn't see one big girl in the whole place except when I looked in the mirror. "Rest assured Jesse" they said, there are a lot of people here of all sizes and then they filled my head with more visions of me becoming one of the skinny people. (I am starting to suspect that they have some kind of hallucinogenic that they slipped me for me to be able to envision myself as one of the gym barbies!). And yes you guessed it, I signed up! Now ladies before you get your size zero panties in a twist, please realize that I want to be one of you. Why else would I put myself through the humiliation of joining gym and being seen sweating and struggling if not to achieve what you have? It's just that as I see you running gracefully on a treadmill, it seems so easy for you. I have been klutzy my whole life and now to add insult to injury, you add my weight and sorry but you get jealousy! My logical brain says that some of you ladies were once my size and have worked hard to get to this level of fitness and that some of you have struggled with eating disorders and other problems. But then the emotional side of my brain beats the crap out of the logical side and takes over. And I see you ladies stretching and having a level of flexibility I will never have and even managing to look coordinated in an aerobics class......it makes me envy you and even ..yes I admit it....hate you a little bit. It doesn't help that you tend to wear next to nothing at the gym. What's up with that ladies? We all know you are slender and fit. But you don't need to show every inch of skin possible to prove it. I so do not need to walk past a treadmill and looking around I get greeted by the sight of y'alls butt cheeks hanging out of your oh so tiny shorts. When did wearing a sports bra as a shirt become okay? I thought bras were supposed to be under a shirt not be the shirt! Girls, I realize our gym hires some cutie patootie trainers, but give them some mystery! PLEASE opt for some coverage! Do you see why going to the gym isn't the euphoric experience for me that it is for some people? People like my sister in law and my husband. My s-i-l, I give a pass to on the enthusiasm because she's a personal trainer so it's her job to be annoyingly perky and enthusiastic. (Plus she's blonde, it just seems to come with the territory. Sorry Serena, but it's true.) My husband has no understanding of why I am not a grinnin fool on the treadmill and we have just agreed to disagree on this. I get the whole "ignore everyone and don't look around" lecture...ahem...advice but that isn't in my nature. I watch people. So while in my logical mind I know that there are other "big" girls at my gym, I tend to mostly see the "barbies". Some of whom I must say this about: how are you guys staying upright? The ..uh.. Proportions of your figures break the laws of physics! I swear! You are so umm....top heavy, you should tip over! It makes my back hurt for you sometimes when I see you and there is no avoiding seeing you because admit it ladies, y'all are some of the ones that are half nekid when you are working out! Well I can't rant on and on about this anymore because guess where I am off to? Yup! You guessed it! Hi ho hi ho it's off to the torture chamber I go.....sigh..... is there any freakin' chocolate in this house???

Coming home....sigh.....

Coming home from convention was very difficult for me. I was coming from spending such great time with my MOPS sisters (maybe a little too much fun...ahem...) and possibly walking into chaos. My mind had made up all kinds of visions. Big messes, wild boys straight out of the Lord of The Flies novel, starving children who lived off of Pop Tarts for 4 days, you get the idea. It was worse than I imagined. I walked in the door and heard video game sounds coming from the bedroom. But no kids voices (for those of you with boys, you know this is rare and very worrisome). I go into the bedroom and find all my menfolk; 3 boys and husband; captivated by Force Unleashed, the newest addition to our video game collection. So I step further in and say "Hello...I'm home". No response. So I wave my hand in front of their faces and say "Anyone miss Mom?". No response. Yup definitely worse than I thought. My family had "videogame zombieitis". A severe condition that is hard to treat without a mutiny as a result. So I move forward trying to not be noticed inching towards the game console. I stand in front of the console blocking the signal from the remote game controller. My husband's inability to fight the Storm Trooper bad guys causes a flurry of suggestions from the 3 boys with the 4 year old screaming "use your lightsaber Daddy!" My husband finally realizes what is wrong and instead of saying "Let's take a break, Mommy's home" he announces to the boys "Oh it's because Mommy wants me to stop playing so she's blocking the controller. I guess we HAVE to stop now". Yup worse than I thought. While I was gone, my family had been busy creating a Testosterone Utopia and now I had to be the bad guy and turn us back into a semi-functioning family. By being the "totally awesome dude" dad all weekend, my husband basically put a target on my back for bad attitude and tantrums because I had to restore discipline and order. Imagine if you will, a Preschool Mafia type problem. I got hugs and kisses and then the boys dutifully reported all of the cool things Dad did with them, including buying a movie that "we" decided not to buy for the boys. The thought of running back out to the street to see if Mandy B. was still on our street so I could flag her down and run away from home was passing through my head, but then the 4 year old jumped on me from the bed and said "I missed you Mamma" and I melted into a proverbial puddle of mush. As a ticklefest ensued I regained my feeling of elation at being home because while I would have a tough couple of days (ahem...weeks....) ahead, life can definitely be made better with tickling my boys with "The Armpit of Doom!!!!" (insert booming voice and giggling boy sounds here).

Fearful Freedom

This post is something I wrote as I was getting ready to go to the MOPS convention. Enjoy!

As I prepare to go on a 4 day trip WITHOUT children,I have mixed emotions. It makes me think ahead to next year when all 3 kids will be full time elementary students. The first thoughts are of course the visions of bubble baths & curling up with a good book. I'd be lying if I said visions of a Donna Reed quality home didn't enter my mind (and my husband's mind as well). But having grown up in a militant feminist household, I get an uncomfortable ooky feeling at just the word "housewife". My childhood programming aside, finances are also a consideration. I think about what extra fun things a paycheck could go to. That thought progresses to what kind of job? Speaking with my friends at Mothers of Preschoolers, I hear about their careers prior to their most difficult, unappreciated career, motherhood. Teacher,business exec, accountant,etc. I have never had a career. Working at Disney for 6 years doesn't count. Owning a tattoo parlor a long time ago isn't a career. Being a receptionist at a biker leather clothing company isn't a career. Working a hot dog cart in a bathing suit isn't a career either. See I guess my problem is that I am terrified about having to be a grownup. I went from high school to a party college like UF. Then I dropped out (I did mention that UF was a party college right?) and went back to living with mom and dad at home. Then when I was 21 they decided I needed help towards becoming an adult so I had to move out. Moving in with an old friend from college didn't help the whole becoming a grownup thing at all. She was still in college so therefore still partying. Then getting a job at Disney world didn't help because being a big kid is almost a job requirement and definitely an advantage. Then meeting and moving in with my husband didn't force the issue because he's just a big kid as well. That explains the attraction probably. Then kids came. Being a goofball mom is cool (even with the 8 year old as long as it's not in front of his friends) so the looming onset of "grown-upness" has had zero practice or prep work. As a thirty ...ahem...something you'd think I'd have some experience being an adult but therein lies my fear, I have never had to do this before. Do I go back to school with all of those fresh faced kids even though I still have no career choice that is jumping out at me saying "pick me!"? When my friends suggest a career, stand up comic is the most frequent suggestion. But being a clown to friends is VERY different from complete strangers. So what do I do? How do I decide? Then once I decide there's always the fear of "how is this going to affect my boys? Are they going to resent me spending time away from them? Will I be as effective of a mom?". Not that I think that working moms aren't effective, but will I be as effective if I am working? So I see this fearful freedom looming up in my horizon and I have all of these thoughts in my head. When I think on it long enough I know in my heart that no matter what my choice is, God and my friends and family will be there for me. I will have support when I take a deep breath and take that first step to becoming the woman I am supposed to be.



All resemblance to any living people or current event is probably only somewhat realistic. I have an uncontrollable imagination and my mind has a tendency to exaggerate events, emotions and add to statements. I am not out to upset anyone or hurt their feelings, but this blog is to vent my feelings and thoughts and therefore will probably be very subjective. Apologies will probably be issued randomly.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Hello world! I'm going to give this blogging thing a try. Everyone tells me I should be a comedienne or a writer, and since I can edit what I write, this makes more sense! That whole filter between the brain and the mouth thing is on the fritz with me so I think it is better to write. As a mother of 3 boys, let me apologize now for the inconsistancy of when I write. Between cub scouts (2 different dens), karate, bible study, church etc., things tend to be fly by the seat of your pants around here. The first couple of posts will probably be things I have already written. After that, who knows?