Speaking of Wood…

Speaking of wood, Kid D is about due for The Talk.  Yes, I mean THE Talk.  He is in the third grade.  Too young, you say?  Seriously, have you ridden on a public school bus?  Have you watched a rerun of Friends on television?  Have you heard of a little thing called the internet?

S-E-X is everywhere.  And it has basically been motor boating my son since he was born.  He just wasn’t aware that boobs could be used as anything but food or a soft pillow until now.  And he has questions… I can see them trying to escape from his little boy mouth.  Mostly I see them now when I am showering and he lingers for a fraction of a second too long in my bathroom.  Then he leaves quickly, muttering, “…nevermind…”  because his little boy brain doesn’t yet know the words he wants to use for the things he wants to ask.  And his body will be changing soon and his friends will be saying things.  And I don’t want him to feel like he is an alien growing a fifth limb.

"Erections sometimes don't know when they're not wanted." - from "What's Happening to Me, " written by Peter Mayle and illustrated by Arthur Robins

“Erections sometimes don’t know when they’re not wanted.” – from “What’s Happening to Me, ” written by Peter Mayle and illustrated by Arthur Robins

I have several options about how I can handle this.  I can leave some brochures and books on his nightstand for him to peruse at his leisure.  But that seems so isolating and scary, and likely the pages would get stuck together before long.  I could ignore the issue and let him find out on his own, in a more organic way.  But what if he gets the wrong information or has questions or it freaks him out?  At that point, he likely won’t feel comfortable enough to come to me with questions because I never approached him with the facts in the first place.  Then sex becomes a dirty little secret in our house.  And those are NOT feelings that I want my kids to associate with sex, ever (well, the dirty part can be acceptable, but that’s a much more advanced lesson for later).

I learned about sex in a combination of all of the ways listed above.  I regularly organized my mom’s walk-in-closet (honestly, she had a ton of clothes that always ended up on the floor, and it gave me tremendous peace to fold them or hang them back up), and she conveniently left a copy of “What’s Happening to Me?” on a shelf for me to “find” when I was about eleven or twelve.  Little did she know that my cousin, now a lesbian for what that’s worth, had told me all about the nitty gritty when I was at her house for a sleepover.  I was nine.  Any other facts about body development or intercourse or STDs trickled in over the years via sex education classes, Seventeen magazine quizzes, and my friend McWorm, who explained to me in the 7th grade that Dexy’s Midnight Runners most definitely did not want Eileen to hurry up.

Taking what I learned from my own experiences, I went into my own parenting wasteland wishing to make a complete 180 when it came to talking to and teaching my kids about sex.  I’m not judging my parents for not talking to me.  I know firsthand how hard it is to have The Talk, for both the parents AND the kids.  And honestly, my parents didn’t get The Talk from their parents either.  So the dirty little secret is all they knew.  But I was adamant that I would try to make it, if not easy, than at least a smidge easier for my kids to talk to me about all things related to sex.  I would start being open when they were very young and we could build trust from there.  I thought it was a good plan.

When the girls were little, I drove a minivan.  A silver Mazda MPV, pre-sliding doors, but it was still super convenient for the car seat-toting set.  It was also the place where we had some of our best sex talks when they were young.  I was laying the groundwork.  For example:

One morning on the way to carpool, Kid A, who was in 1st grade at the time, asked what I’d be doing while she and her sisters were in school all day.  I took a deep breath and said that I had a doctor’s appointment.

“A well visit, Mommy?  Do you have to get a shot?” asked a very curious Kid B, who was in preschool.  She was used to her own pediatrician.

“Um, no, actually.  I am going to a mommy doctor called an OB/GYN.”  I steadied my nerves and looked straight ahead at the road (talks in the car were most awesome because there was never any eye contact involved).  “The OB stands for ‘obstetrician,’ and that’s a doctor who delivers babies.  I am not pregnant, so I’m not going for that.”

“Whew,” said a smartass Kid A, “‘Cause you’re usually pregnant a lot.”

“No, I am not pregnant right now.  So I am going for the GYN part – the ‘gynecologist…’ ”  I took a very deep breath.  “…and that is a doctor who takes care of your vagina.”

If the girls had brake pedals, we would have skidded out right there in the middle of the road.

“Whaaaaaaaaaat?” squealed both of the older kids.  Kid C toddler-giggled at their reaction.

“There is a doctor just for your your cha-china?”  More giggles from the backseat.

“Yes, ” I answered, determined to be calm and cool and all NBD about sex.  “He will check my weight and my blood pressure and ask me medical questions and do a check to make sure my vagina is all healthy and good. ”

“Well, that’s just like a well visit, Mommy, ” Kid A pointed out.

I was so proud for being straightforward and honest and open about sex with my daughters.  They understood.  I was making progress.  Change is good!  And then Kid B broke me.

“But what about if you make a stinker out of your vagina when the doctor is checking you.  What happens then, Mommy?  If you make a stinker?  Out of your vagina?”

I slammed on the brakes at that point, both figuratively on the conversation and literally on the minivan.  Fortunately, we had just pulled in to the school drop off.  “Have a good day, girls!”  I fake-smiled and waved and completely ignored the final, utterly unnerving question about S-E-X.  I was actually shaking in my seat.  Where was that kid from?

Kids are evil.  They are ornery.  Kids are put on this earth to pulverize their parents’ best intentions into dust particles and then throw them into our faces.  Groundwork, shmoundwork.

Now that I think about it, I’ll wait just a little while longer before I give Kid D The Talk.  He can learn about S-E-X like everybody else, the old-fashioned way… from a Victoria’s Secret catalog.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

Got Wood?

I can’t remember if I told you all this before, but in the 8th Grade I won the Industrial Arts Award.  Yes, I deserved it.  And yes, I went to a co-ed school.  At my school, the boys and the girls had to take both wood shop and home economics.  I was okay at the home economics stuff (much better at the cooking and baking than I was at the sewing).  But I was really good at the wood shop stuff, both in theory and practical application.  Plus, I really enjoyed the class.  When you pulled my elephant’s trunk, that light came ON!  Every time.

Here is a picture of me receiving the Award for Excellence in Industrial Arts at my 8th grade graduation ceremony.  I am the one dressed like an Amish girl.  What you can not see (or hear, actually) is my dad in the bleachers proudly exclaiming, "That's my SON!" when the award was announced.

Here is a picture of me receiving the Award for Excellence in Industrial Arts at my 8th grade graduation ceremony. I am the one dressed like an Amish girl. What you can not see (or hear, actually) is my dad in the bleachers proudly exclaiming, “That’s my SON!” when the award was announced.

I guess you can say I have had a life-long admiration for quality woodworking and beautiful things created from quality wood.  Maybe it comes from me being born so close to all of those Redwood trees in California.  I find wood to be amazing.  Wood is very pleasing to my senses.  Whether rough or smooth, natural or stained, I love the feel of it.  I love to touch it.  I love the smell of it.  I love it in all forms… raw and freshly cut, finished, or even as sawdust.  The lines and the swirls in the grains of each piece of wood, as unique as snowflakes, are incredibly interesting and I love imagining the stories of how they came to be.  Hard wood, soft wood, dark wood, light wood… it is all good.  Wood is very, very sexy.

But even more amazing to me is someone who has the ability to manipulate wood into something more, something functional.  A person who can take a piece of wood and build something beautiful and strong is a true artist in my mind.

That is one of the reasons why I love everything about the show “This Old House.”  I started watching Norm Abram on “The New Yankee Workshop” back when Sheepdog and I first got married.  I was in awe of what he could do with pieces of wood in that magical barn.  “This Old House” was a companion show for me… it took it up a notch by delving in to building and renovating entire homes, but it also strayed from the actual woodworking and furniture making components that got me hooked in the first place.  Together, these shows and the people on them (Kevin O’Connor, Norm Abram, Rich Trethewey, Tom Silva, and Roger Cook), have helped foster and intensify my love of all things wood.

I have been playing my favorite game of “Million Dollar Listing” again by perusing the local real estate market.  During my birthday week I went with my dad to see an 8.5 acre property that was on the market for $1.875 million, after having been dropped down from $2.3 million (that made it a really good deal in my mind).  It was spectacular for so many reasons… the privacy, the wooded land, the gunite-salt water-infinity pool out back, the gorgeously refinished kitchen and bathrooms, but mainly because of all of the wood inside of the house.  There is no drywall in this home.  All of the walls are made of wood.  It felt like a mountain cabin in Colorado.  It seriously took my breath away and made me all tingly.

Wood.  On.  The.  Walls.  And notice how the inlayed starburst pattern mirrors the beams on the ceiling.  How does this NOT turn everyone on?

Wood. On. The. Walls. And notice how the inlayed starburst pattern on the floor mirrors the beams on the ceiling.  How does this NOT turn everyone on?  P.S.  There is no way I can afford this otherworldly home.

So now you will totally understand just how freaking excited I was when I found out recently that one of my fun college peeps actually knows Kevin O’Connor, the host of “This Old House.”  They went to high school together and are still good friends.  When I told him how cool I thought that was, he was like, “Seriously, you actually watch PBS?  He’s no Ty Pennington.”

Last week a package arrived for me in the mail.  When I opened it, I could not contain myself.  I was giggling and laughing and smiling and could not wait to put on my new t-shirt and read my very own signed copy of The Best Homes from “This Old House.”  I was ecstatic.  I was over the moon.  I was so excited.

I got wood.

This is some good SWAG

Now this is some good SWAG.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

Girl Power – Winning! (Remember That One Time?)

I am sorry that I went MIA for a bit.  I had a long run of consistent posting in September, what with the travel logs and the recounting of all of my recent screw-ups.  But then I guess I burnt out a little.  And then our house got hit with a stupid virus, which even had the nerve to try to take me down for a few days.

Yet, the show must go on.  Not everybody around here was sick, so some people still expected things like clean underpants and dinner.

“Maaaaah-ommmmm,” I would hear through the bathroom door.  “What’s for dinner?  I’m starving.”

“Um… english muffins?”  I hadn’t gone to the store in over a week.

“Again?”

“Leave me alone.  Quit your complaining.  I’m sick.  Make your own dinner if you don’t like it.”

“But I can’t even reach the oven.  I’m six.”

That’s basically how it went for most of last week.  I felt guilty for feeling bad and I felt bad for feeling guilty.

But I womanned-up made it through those icky feelings by remembering times when I was kind of awesome.  Like this one time:

Right after we got back from Europe, Kid A and I got thrown right back into the thick of things.  She had to go back to school.  I had to do whatever the heck it is that I do.  Time zone adjustment?  Get over it.  Travel exhaustion?  Ain’t nobody got time for that!  You miss waking up in a different country each morning and dressing for dinner and having someone else make and serve you three course meals each evening?  We feel so freaking bad for you.  I need a ride to my school project partner’s house.  She lives kind of far from here and we need to stop at the store first to buy $60 of random supplies on the way.

So we adjusted.  It was painful at first, but Kid A and I only complained to each other and that seemed to work pretty well.  Life went on.

It was day two or three post-vacation when Kid A’s car wouldn’t turn over.  It made that ugly click-click-click noise.  We called Sheepdog and he confirmed that it needed a new battery.  And since he was already at work and still in “I-don’t-want-to-hear-your-sob-story-I-was-left-at-home-with-these-kids-by-myself-for-two-weeks” mode, and Kid A needed the car to help me out later that day, solving the problem fell squarely on my shoulders.

So I did what any girl would do.  On my way home from driving the teenagers to school, I drove around the neighborhood to see if any of my friends were having construction projects done.  The last time I had car that wouldn’t start, Sheepdog was out of town and my across-the-street neighbor was getting a dream house update, so I texted her and asked if the big, strong guy with the big, strong truck could come over and give me a jump (minds out of the gutter, dirty birds… it was nothing sexual).  There is not much that scares me more than the red and black jumper cable thingies.  Except varmints in my attic.  But, I digress.

Sadly, I saw no one with an F-150 or saw horses in their driveway.  I was on my own.

So I went to the YouTube.  I found a video called “Using Jumper Cables, the Right Way” and I felt like it was the exact right video for me, especially since it had started raining a little outside and it was also raining in the video!  But I was still really nervous, so I went to fold some laundry for a bit.

“… and the Golden Rule is NEVER touch the clamps together!”  Great.  More stuff for me to worry about.

Then I gave myself a pep talk and I finally decided to go out and jump the stupid dead battery.  I could totally do this!  Unless, of course, I accidentally hooked up a cable to something really wrong and then I blew up both cars or caused battery fluid to leak out and I got horrible chemical burns, that is.  But I could probably totally do this.  Totally.

I pulled my truck up right next to Kid A’s car.  That was easy.  I opened up both hoods.  Not simple, but not rocket science either.  Then I got out the jumper cables.  I held them like they were made of asbestos or penises (TBH, nobody really wants to touch either of those things).  I planned to follow the steps from the video.

The first problem was that the cars I had in front of me looked nothing like the cars in the stupid video.  The bad car didn’t even have a battery, as far as I could tell.  No wonder it wouldn’t turn on!  And that was just step one.

I almost started to cry, but then I just got mad and decided that this effing project was not going to beat me.  I’m a little bit stubborn that way.  I was afraid to put my hand too far into the car at all because it reminded me of Flash Gordon when Prince Barin made him put his hand in the hollow stump and he could have been bitten and infected with deadly poison.  Like Flash, I tensely and very cautiously moved around in there.  Eventually I lifted up some plastic stuff inside the Saab’s front end and found what looked the most battery-ish.  Yay for no poisonous creatures!  Finally, I was on to step two.

Step two was not one bit easier, as the battery in a 2008 GMC Yukon XL is extremely well hidden.  It might as well have been wearing a wig and mustache and been hiding in the Witness Protection Program.  I actually had to get out the owner’s manual from the glove box and read it!  And surprise, surprise… the actual car battery did not look like the one in the picture.  But I figured it out anyway because I was good and cursing-out-loud angry at that point.  And I hooked up those mo-fo clamps.  I wasn’t sure that they were in the right place, but they were hooked, dammit!  Then it was time to start the good car.  I said a quick, “Dear God, please don’t let me lose my eyesight.  Or my right arm.  And thanks again for wine,” and I turned the key in my truck.

Nothing blew up.  I was actually amazed.  I was certainly relieved.  I let it run for a minute.  I eventually started breathing again.

Now it was time to turn on Kid A’s car with the bad battery.  For whatever reason, this step scared me more than all of the other steps combined.  I was convinced that this would be the part where the front yard turned into a cordoned-off post-bomb site, and they would be collecting pieces of me from neighboring lawns for weeks.

But I am stubborn and still determined to do this or die trying.

I went over to the passenger side, reached across the entire car from outside (because I planned to run away faster than the explosion, if at all possible), squinted my eyes, and slowly turned the key in the Saab.

It thrummed to life!

I started doing a weird, spastic dance in the driveway and cursing very odd things at that point, but I was so incredibly proud of myself that I did not care what I looked like to the outside world.  Stubborn beat out scared!  I did it!  And I didn’t blow up the cars or get battery acid all over myself.  It was a good day!  A very good day indeed!  Girl Power!

Then I drove Kid A’s car to the mechanic, where they charged me a ridiculous amount of money to replace the dead battery.  It didn’t matter, though, because I was still high from my automotive triumph.

But then I came home and no one was there.  And likely all of that spaz-dancing or the excitement/ extreme fear had worn me out, so I took a really long nap on the couch.  And then I didn’t make any dinner and I mumbled about serving english muffins or something lame again and everybody got mad at me for not doing a good job.

But I did do a good job, at least that one time, so whatever.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

All the Way Home

Last Sunday Kid B asked Sheepdog to take her to the park so she could do some goalkeeper training.  Kid C tagged along and they worked out together for a couple of hours.  There was lots of punting, drop-kicking and goal kicking.  I’m sure there were some dive drills as well.  Afterwards, Sheepdog and Kid C got back into the car.

“We are stopping at the grocery store for a few things on the way home.  You should run back from here,” Sheepdog said to Kid B.

Kid B hates running as much as I do, but she is required to do it for her overall soccer conditioning.  Sheepdog convinced her that is was only about three miles to our house, and he explained the route that cut through a safe neighborhood and kept her (mostly) off of the busy main roads.  She grumbled at him, but nevertheless she put one foot in front of the other and soon she was running.

Run, Forrest, Run.

Run, Forrest, Run.

I had taken both of the boys to the pool for a bit that morning while they were training.  But the weather had taken a turn for the worse, so we were back at the house even before Sheepdog and Kid C returned with their groceries.  I inquired about the missing Kid B.

Sheepdog explained the plan for her to run home with a very proud smile.  I knew that he had been trying to get her to do this for months now.  But I also knew that Kid B didn’t know the route very well and Sheepdog is beyond horrible at giving directions.  I was not happy.

“Did she actually want to run home, or did you force her to do it?”

“She knows it is good for her!”

“Did you show her exactly where to go?”

“No, I didn’t show her… but I told her.”

“It has been a while since you left her.  You even stopped at the store.  Shouldn’t she be home by now?  Does she at least have her phone with her in case she gets lost, or it turns out instead to be 10 miles from there to here?”

“Um… (quietly) no.  But I’m sure she’s fine.”

“Great, Dumbass.  I am going to go give Kid E a bath.  Kid B had better be back under this roof, safe and sound, by the time I am done.  Go get back in your car and drive around to find her if you have to.  Don’t you dare lose one of my babies!”

Sheepdog laughed at me, but I gave him a look so he knew I was not joshing.

A few minutes later, I heard the garage door open and his car was gone.

By the time I finished with bath duty, Kid B and Sheepdog were both standing in the kitchen.  Kid B was sweaty and tired, but she was, indeed, just fine.  I breathed a sigh of relief, and then I asked exactly what happened.  This is what they told me:

Sheepdog’s directions were wrong (well, duh).  First, she got lost in the park.  Then she got lost in the neighborhood.  Eventually, she made it out to the main road and started heading back to our house, but only after she had added a couple of extra miles to her run.  By then, Sheepdog had driven out to find her.  He had the top down on the car and he saw her running on the sidewalk and made a gesture that conveyed, “What’s up?  Where’ve you been?  What’s taking you so long?”

At first, Kid B just smiled back at him.  But then, overcome by frustration from him making her run home and getting lost in the process, on the side of a very busy road, my fourteen-year-old daughter flipped her Dad the bird, real big and dramatic-like.  And then she just kept on running… all the way home.

Coincidentally, I would have done the same, exact thing.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

Summer Update – One Down…

… two to go.  Months, that is.  Seriously.  This is insane!  Have you looked at the calendar?  It is June 24th already!!!

Today we are officially one full month into our summer vacation.  And we have been doing lots of summery things… staying up too late to catch lightning bugs or looking for the super moon, grilling everything we get our hands on, enjoying the summer brews, spending our afternoons running through the sprinkler and swimming at the pool.  But, at the same time, we have also been adhering to quite a full schedule, which does not seem the least bit summery to me.

Kid A just left yesterday for four weeks in the Governor’s Honors Program.  She already traveled to the beach and New York City with friends for a week.  Kid B just returned from five days at goalkeeper camp, and she is in the final week of a three-week-long summer bridge program (so she can get her driver’s permit this Fall).  Oh, and she is signed up for another soccer camp at the high school during the evenings this week.  And remember that we drove to Alabama for that regional soccer tournament as well.  Kid C earned a promotion to dancing en pointe, so she hasn’t stopped her twice weekly classes.  And last week she attended a summer intensive dance program from 10AM – 4PM every single day.  That’s nuts, right?  How did this become our relaxed, summer schedule?

In the past, I would put my foot down and we didn’t do camps or activities or much of anything in the summertime.  We just watched movies, read books and hung out at the neighborhood pool.  Then we would spend a glorious week at the beach.  I soaked it up like the summer sun, because doing nothing can be quite fabulous.  And I truly believe it is therapeutic and necessary, especially because it seems as if we do all of the things during the regular school year.  But, as the kids have gotten older, things have changed and we don’t seem to get as much down time, even throughout the months of June, July, and August.  Sports and school and their social lives have all gotten so much more intense.  Out of necessity and albeit grudgingly, I have adjusted.

But the boys are a different story.  They are still young and I can get away with keeping their summer schedules blankety-blank, just as I like it.  While the older three are off practicing for college and soccering and dancing, the boys and I are doing a whole lot of summertime nada.  Kid D has been playing real and virtual ball (all of the kinds) outside and inside and Kid E learned/ is still learning how to swim on his own.  It has been really fun, even the “I’m bored!” parts.  But then they both got super complain-y all of a sudden.  It took me a while before I realized they might be sick.  In the summertime.  Who does that?

So then I had to add a doctor’s visit to the calendar, but fortunately the doctor figured out that both of them were being so whiny because they had sinus infections.  Or maybe allergies.  Whatever… please just fix them.  So the doctor sent us to the pharmacy to treat both possibilities simultaneously.

We had to wait for our order, so I made my way to the foot care section (I needed toe spacers for Kid C’s newly acquired foot pain obsession due to dancing atop her toes… that’s crazy difficult, y’all!), and the boys followed me there.  This year Kid E also learned/ is still learning how to read.  Conveniently, the feminine products share real estate in the foot care aisle (I was not aware that the vagina bone’s connected to the foot bone.  Mental note to discuss a more logical store organization with CVS.)  While I was determining which gel product would best keep my baby from getting bunions, I hear Kid E yelling to me from just a yard away.

“Mom, what are max pads?”

I completely and blatantly ignore him.

“Mom!  I mean, what are MAX-eye pads?  What are they, Mom, huh?  What are they for?  Max-EYE pads.”  He started getting louder.

“Nothing.  They are for nothing you need to know about, ” I whisper.  I’m so not in the mood for this.  I would so much rather be feet in the sand, face toward the sun right now.

Kid D is all of a sudden interested in this conversation too.  “No!  They are not max-eye pads, they are maxi pads!  See, it says ‘maxi pads,’ not ‘max-eye’ pads.  Mom, what are maxi pads?  Look at how big the package is!  What are they, Mom?  This box is huge!”

I hear all of the people in the pharmacy snickering as I navigate this minefield.  Thanks for the solidarity, sisters.  I guess I’m on my own.

“They are grown up lady woman things that you do not need to know about today.  Put them back on the shelf now and stop yelling, please.”

Kid E becomes incredulous.  “I just want to know what they are for!  Just tell me what the max-eye pads are for, Mom!  I just want to know!  Tell me!  Tell me, please!”  More blatant laughter from the traitors in the pharmacy.

Simpler summer times… no schedules, no camps and no boys asking questions about girls getting their periods

I quickly calculate that I have two choices here.  I can go for shock and awe, or I can distract.  And although I consider myself one of the hardcore members of the fan club for the former, I have not yet gotten my full summer recharge and I am not up for speeches and questions about tampons versus pads.  So, I opt for the lazy choice – the latter.  I chose a complete and utter cop-out.

“Hey, didn’t I see water guns at the front near the gum?  Why don’t you boys go pick out some squirters and we can play with them once you feel better.”

Fortunately, they run off without any more questions and I am spared continued awkwardness for the moment.

I do, however, plan to look into summer camps for these boys as soon as possible.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

Rock Star

I took Dr. Sheepdog’s advice on the life affirmation, and shortly thereafter began exhibiting signs of too much of a good thing.  So I quickly called the office of Hot Doc to see if he could analyze my urine and write me a script that would lessen my urge to pee every three to five minutes.

I knew that I was traveling on a rocky road when counsel with Hot Doc didn’t provide me even a sliver of pain relief.  His killer smile and collaboration on a prank yielded no respite (He told me to tell Sheepdog no sex for four weeks. I chose to tell Sheepdog I was pregnant.  Sheepdog found neither to be funny).

Controlled substances gave me little lull in my torture, so I reverted to witchcraft, sorcery, and tricks of old.  I practiced meditation, controlled breathing and visions of my happy place to manage the diabolical torture my body was going through.  Oh, and I had signed up to deliver dinner to not one but two friends that day, so I had that to distract me.  By the end of the day I was convinced that I was dying.  I tried to pee one more time.

Sweet relief of Jesus.  Afterwards, I dialed Sister C’s phone number and waited.  When I finally heard an adult female voice at the other end of the line I screamed, “I just peed out a rock!”

“Um… this is Mary, the babysitter.  Sister C and House Captain went to a Braves game, so you can try them on their cell phones.  But it sounds like you just passed a kidney stone.”

If April showers bring May flowers, what do Mayflowers bring?

If April showers bring May flowers, what do Mayflowers bring?

Later, I reached Sister C and she (being the kidney stone expert in our family) confirmed.  But apparently I’m supposed to save the little bastard for lab tests and whatnot (I didn’t).  And I now need to make adjustments to my diet and whatnot (less calcium, lower sodium, fewer animal proteins… basically get rid of all the fun stuff).

Hot Doc sent me a message via secure client portal this morning.  My urine culture returned negative for evidence of urinary tract infection.  Duh.

So I responded with this:

I’m not too surprised, because later that day I peed out a rock… my very first kidney stone! I just figured I was dying because it hurt like a mother all day. After it passed, I felt so much better but it took my body a day or two to completely recover. I did finish the course of antibiotics you gave me.
I guess I’ll just know for next time (fingers crossed there will be no next time) when I have acute lower back pain or throbs in my flank and groin and waves of debilitating agony that make me throw up, that another stone is rolling its way down the chute.
At least I remembered my Lamaze breathing. That really helped! Plus, I’m kind of a badass. That helps too.
I will follow up with my urologist.
Giddyup (that’s a stirrup joke because you are my gynecologist),
Stacy Swiger

Sheepdog says I’m going to get fired as his client.  I’m still on pain meds.  That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

You Are My Mother

My three sisters and I usually go in together on group gifts for all of the major holidays.  This Mother’s Day was no exception.  We got Mom a new beach cart – sweet, right?

The deal is that we also send her our own cards.  However, I frequently forget to mail mine.  This Mother’s Day was no exception.  To make up for it, I wrote my mother a song, sung to the tune of “You Are My Sunshine,” originally recorded in 1939 by the Pine Ridge Boys from Atlanta, with a copyright 1940 by Peer International Corporation, words and music by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell.  P.S.  I’m going to butcher all of that right now.

You Are My Mother by Stacy Swiger

The other night, mom, as I lay (not) sleeping
I dreamt I mailed your Mother’s Day card
But when I awoke, Mom, it was still on the counter
So I hung my head and I cried
 
You are my mother, my only mother
You make me happy (well, most the time)
You’ll never know Mom, how much I love you
Because I forgot to mail your lovely card
 
I’ll always love you, because you’re my mom,
You grew me in your baby oven
You changed my diapers, you kissed my boo-boos
You were the first to give me unconditional love(n)
 
You are my mother, my only mother
You make me happy (well, most the time)
You’ll never know Mom, how much I love you
Because I forgot to mail your mediocre card
 
You taught me so much, like “please” and “thank you”
You taught me how to write my name
You taught me how to cook, and bake, and sew things
You showed me that having kids can drive a mom insane
 
You are my mother, my only mother
You make me happy (well, most the time)
You’ll never know Mom, how much I love you
Because I forgot to mail your bush-league card
 
You survived my teen years, then planned my wedding
You watched my kids when I went back to work
I am so sorry for the times I hurt you,
When I was selfish, annoying, or a jerk
 
You are my mother, my only mother
You make me happy (well, most the time)
I’m telling you now Mom, how much I love you
Oh, I’m so happy I never mailed that effing card!
 

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, MOM!

 
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