Saturday, October 26, 2013

The end of an era

Roxie, the Scarlet Harlot, has left the driveway.....

Over the last months, it started to become very evident that a change was needed. As fun as she was to drive, various needs were not being met. I always have a bucket of traveling nurse junk in the back, so driving around with the top off just wasn't feasible. The kids were getting more and more crowded in the back seat (Jeeps really aren't meant to be family cars), and there were days when my RA made it very painful to get UP into it.
Add the fact that we were almost constantly adding oil, and you can see where this is heading.
We made the painful decision to trade her in. My new car is very nice, roomy for all of us, has lots of fun bells and whistles on the inside, (seat warmers, yay!), and doesn't guzzle oil.
But it will never be my topless, wind in your face Roxie....
I hope she finds a really cool home with people who appreciate her...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I have a sad

Holy Hell.

I did an unusual thing today, in the spare few moments of quiet I'm getting, while Sesame Street is on.
I went and read some old blog posts, from the year 07, when I met MM. And I discovered something.
I was writing. Fairly well, too. About things I'd forgotten about, or how I felt. Or useless things. But I was writing.
I had things to say. And when I didn't I found things to say.
And now? Where are those words now? Where'd my brain go? I know it's here, somewhere, and it contains more funny family antics (though washing a Turkey in the shower is hard to beat). It has more opinions about this world, and what's in it.
But I seem to have lost it.
I'm not writing anymore. The cob webs have set in. The hinges on the box are rusty. And though I am currently happily living life, loving where I'm at now, in it, looking back, at those old posts?
Makes me sad.
I lost something, and I'm not sure if I can find it, again....

Monday, August 12, 2013

I wonder

I'm all for girl power. Empowering young women to know themselves be themselves like themselves.  
I notice, now, though, all the empowerment messages directed at girls, and I wonder...

What about the boys? Aren't they beautiful,  too?
Don't we worry about their self esteem, their sense of worth, their image of the self?
Are we in danger of over correcting, trying to make up for the gender un equalization that is still ever present in society?
As the mother of a boy, I worry about this. I wonder how he's going to perceive this world, and it's messages. I look to my nephews, especially my oldest one, who is a kind, sensitive, friendly 13 year old. He's acutely conscious of how people perceive him. He's not a small kid, by any means. He comes from tall, solidly built stock. He is not fat, just solid. But people, including spiteful school nurses, and skinny, vegetarian doctors belittle him about yet. (Yes, the doctor did. Enough so that it even made my brother in law upset and uncomfortable. ).
I really hope by the time MB gets older, we can gain and maintain equality. All children are loved, accepted, valued. No matter their gender. They can be who they are, without self doubt. They'll love themselves.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Searching for a well

I'll preface this by stating (what I hope is) obvious. I love my son. I cannot imagine life without him, nor do I want to.

     But there are days when I think I'm just going to lose my shit. And now that he's 2? It's happening more often. He's so physical. Pulling, bouncing, touching, throwing things. Constantly. Sneezes on me, wipes dirty hands on me, dumps juice, water, cereal, what have you, everywhere.
     I know. I KNOW. This is what they do. And most of the time, I can roll with it. I get it. He's learning. He needs to touch, feel, explore. He needs to be told what's wrong, what's right. And he's a smart little booger. So he gets it.
    But me. What about me? (She whines selfishly). I have days where I have no patience for this. I don't want to be a mean snarky Mama, but geez!!! How much pizza sauce do I have to wear!!!! I close my eyes, and imagine a deep blue well of patience. And I need to draw up another bucket before the rope snaps. And some times that rope gets pretty frayed.
     His hours at the pre school do help. I miss him during that time, but I also get some personal space. I've had very little personal space, lately. I'm wondering if I should start picking one or 2 days a month to send him to pre school for a few hours on my day off. So I can have a whole afternoon without any demand, work or kid. Will I feel guilty doing that? Probably. Especially the first time. I'm guessing and hoping it will help me replenish my well, though.
I'm open to any other ideas and suggestions though.
Or you can tell me to shut it and suck it up..,

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Im exhausted!!!

     We are at that time in our life where MB is now on high alert, full run do not walk fun. So what to do for his second birthday? Epic trip, of course!

He and I spent Sunday-Thurs. am at my parents house, staying with my grandmother (his "Nana-2") so that my parents could go off on a much needed 50th wedding anniversary trip. For him, that was fun in itself. He got to terrorize Nana's cat, try to wreak Nana's house, and spend a day being spoiled by one of his Auntie's.
     MM and MG joined us Thurs. am, and we departed onto the beginning of his birthday extravaganza. We made our way to SF, where we checked into our hotel, which was across the street from the SF Zoo, and less than a 5 minute walk to Ocean Beach. On Thursday evening, we walked down to the beach and MB saw the ocean for the first time. He is very much not afraid of it. He let the waves lap at his toes, and ran both towards the water, and away. Laughing the whole time. I'm glad. I don't want him to be afraid of it. Exercise caution, YES. Be afraid? No. I love the ocean and beaches. I want him to, as well.
     Friday, his actual second birthday, we loaded up the stroller, and tackled the SF Zoo. What a place! I wish I could tell you he was enamored of all the animals and was amazed by all he saw. But I won't lie. He liked it, but, it might have been too much. When he was out of the stroller he was running around like a crazy man, not looking at much beyond the seagulls. When he was in the stroller? He was eating chex mix. He did like the Prarie Dogs, and he liked the little kid petting zoo area. The rest of it? Meh. But the rest of us enjoyed the Zoo, and all it had to offer. Except the Sea Gulls. Some poor little boy dropped his sandwich at lunch? And it was a blood bath. Scared the crap out of me. Those birds are horrible.
     After the post Zoo nap, we took him to the Rainforest Cafe on Fisherman's Wharf for dinner. Once there, he was actually enamored of the fish tanks. They had wonderful fish tanks at this particular restaurant. He was also very enamored of the cupcake he was given. Not so sure of the people singing at him, though.
      Saturday found us getting out of SF, and headed towards Bodega Bay. We stopped on the way at a restaurant recommended by my best friend, and had some incredible Italian Food, made for us by Nonna, herself. Yum! MB could not slurp the Spaghetti fast enough. After that, we went to the Nicholas Greene memorial. You may remember Nicholas. He was killed in Italy (drive by shooting) and donated his organs in Europe. In thanks and remembrance, a memorial was built, using bells that were sent from all over Italy. Its a beautiful memorial out in a place I think hardly anyone gets to. Im so glad we went. MB tried to collect rocks and other small things constantly there, and was NOT amused when we prevented him from just doing as he pleased.
     From there, we drove to our hotel in Santa Rosa, played in the pool, had a less than memorable dinner, then went to bed. The next day, we visited the Charles M. Schultz museum, which was amazing. We had breakfast at the Warm Puppy Cafe, where we watched part of a figure skating competition, before we saw the museum. We saw classic strips, Sparky's drawing desk, the Snoopy labyrinth, and a bunch of fun stuff. Then, we headed home.
All told, we travelled over 800 miles from Thurs- Sun. MB turned 2, and we celebrated every minute of it.
Im still in recovery mode......

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

difficult subject, read this at your own risk.

I have been hemming and hawing about whether or not I would really write this blog post, and I may not, honestly, hit publish, but here goes nothing.
(blame my job)

Related to some of the death visits I've gone to, lately, I've been thinking about how I would handle life if MM should die before I did. I actually started this thought process with the internal discussion of how I would be if he were here with me, receiving hospice care. Neither of which I like to think about, but yet, I am faced with death and dying, its what I "do" now. I think its natural that I have these thoughts.
     I shy away, initially, with the same thought I think many of us cling to, "we will be old and grey and doddering, having lived our lives and all will be well".
     But I can't get away that easily. Not with what I see. I see too much maybe. What I mean by that, is I see things so personal to a family, especially the spouses who lose the person they've been married to for decades. Grieving is a very intimate, private, thing. But yet, they welcome me to be a part of it. And I try so hard to be a comfort.
     But I digress... what I get from seeing these walking wounded spouses is varied. I see strength. I see a deeper love than sometimes I am comfortable seeing. And I see loss, and lost. That look in their eye, wondering how they are going to put one foot in front of the other, for as many days as they have left, without their other.
     And I see their children struggling to understand, and struggling to help them. And honestly? Nothing any of us can do will help them.
     And in the quiet night on my way home, my brain goes there.....
"Who's going to die first, me, or MM? I WANT to die first." Then I try to reject that, because I think I am being selfish. "But I don't want to be that walking wounded spouse!" My heart screams that. To even consider the death of MM takes my breath away. It puts such a grieving sadness in my heart to even think about it, that I'm afraid of how its going to feel if I have to survive it.
      2 sides to every coin, though, right? If I died first, I do not doubt at all that MM would be the walking wounded spouse I discussed above. Its not going to be any better or easier for him. So there is pain, no matter what happens. And I don't want to hurt him that way, either.
    We talk about it, actually, and he very decisively tells me that he is going to die first. Like its pre-ordained, and I don't have a choice. And that scares the F&%$ out of me when he says that. I HATE IT WHEN HE SAYS THAT, because he does seem to just know. Some of it, is, I know based on his family health history, (which I will not discuss here, that's too private) but my family health history is wrought with bad and cautionary tales as well, so I reject that, on both of our accounts. Especially since the birth of our son, we've both been trying to live better and take better care of ourselves, because we have a little kid. So much to live for. We want to see it all, see him grow, fall in love, have kids. Live. We want to see both kids settled, and happy. We want to know we did a good job, and left them in a good place. THEN, maybe, we can rest. And, I guess, whomever the Lord takes first, well, the Lord will also give the other one the strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and survive.
     But it doesn't stop me, my brain, my heart, from thinking, considering, and yes, somehow, "pre"grieving the loss of my best friend, my partner. The father of my son. The man I waited so long to find. No amount of time feels like its going to be enough. But, I am also smart enough to live each day, love each day, and not think about this all the time. To live my life, day by day, and think about all the fun the future holds.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Head games

Boys and sports. The two things are linked forever. The minute someone finds out they're having a boy, it starts. Blankets with sports themes. Onesies, mobiles, toys. As they progress in age, it intensifies. T ball sets. Basketball hoops, for the bathtub, and outdoors. Footballs, soccer balls. Jerseys tailored for the small "little man". Golf clubs, and hockey sticks, too.
    Yes, absolutely MM and I embrace these things. As a whole, we enjoy sports, and think eventually playing one, if he chooses to, would be a positive thing for MB. We also have run the gamut on the musical instruments, books, and puzzle things. We're not one track minded raising an athlete come hell or high water.
     But we've been noticing things, lately. And starting to discuss things. Specifically, the risk of concussions, and head injuries, related to sports. Especially football, and hockey, but also any other sport where an object can be lobbed at high speed or "headed" into any sort of net.
     Now, understand. We are not the kind of people that are governed by our fears. You can't fully embrace life if you're hiding from everything that can hurt you. BUT. And it's a big but.
I don't want my child damaged like that. It's horrible. It's scary. It can limit his potential in life. It can even change his personality. More studies are being done, showing just how impactful these injuries are.
     So, we wait, after all, he's not quite 2. We ponder the possibilities of advancement of safety features. We kind of hope he gravitates towards the lower risk sports. Baseball, basketball, water polo? And if he falls in love with football, well, we cross that bridge when it comes, and support him no matter what....

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Lately, I've been seeing a lot of patients that live in Mobile Home Parks. There are many small ones here in my little NoCal town. For the most part, they're very nice. Good landscaping, big lots, and mobile homes sure have improved over time. It's been a long time since I've seen what is lovingly referred to as "trailer trash".
     What entertains me, though, are the names of these MHP. "Wagon Wheel", "Ponderosa Pines", "Olympia Glade", "Mountain Air".  Just to name a few. They sound like either bad westerns, or air fresheners. Or a combination of both.
     If I were somehow in the position of naming a MHP, though, I'm almost afraid of what I'd call it. How about "overpriced fancy box parking",  or simply, "pink flamingo", or maybe "gnome haven".
I think I'd live in a place called Gnome Haven. Might be creepy, though

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Not so pleasant. Also no surprise

Toddlers are full of snot.
I think it makes up 90% of their body weight. (The other 10% being drool).
     MB and I have had a chest cold for about a week now.  Every time I think we are improving, we relapse. Part of the issue is I've had a junky work schedule lately, and a lot of late night/early morning calls. I had to call in sick today, because I have no voice. No bueno..
    But this boy of mine....good gravy!!! So much snot! MM and I have given up the idea of unslimy clothes right now. On top of the cold, he has 2 upper molars coming in, which has ratcheted up the secretion production to epic amounts. Add water (like a hot bath, or, a full sippy) and you can increase that 1000 fold! We were so desperate this weekend we even became lemmings and bought pre packaged "boogie wipes".  (For the record? Those things are great. Moistened with a little saline to help clear the nose. And they're grape scented. He lets me use them with less of a fight).
I am anxiously awaiting the end of this snotty plague, but the amount of snot covered laundry it's generating has me cowering in a corner, contemplating fluff and fold...

Monday, April 8, 2013

Pleasant surprise

Mustang boy has quite the fan base, among the people that we know. He's a smily, energetic, vocal, bouncing kind of kid, and people like that.
     A pleasant surprise for me, though, has been what happens frequently, when we are out and about, running errands or whatever. Other boys come up to him and engage him. Various ages, from boys about his age, to teenagers and even beyond. They talk to him, high five him, give him knuckles, smile, wave. It always thrills him, and in turn, me.
     I just never really expected the friendliness, really, especially from teenage boys. To have one smile and laugh at his antics, then high five him over his mad iPhone skills was awesome. This was in a hair cutting salon.
     Very seldom will girls engage him. They smile, some manage a wave, but by far, the young men are much more friendly. When MB is older, I hope he will somehow, retain this fingerprint, and be friendly with the "little guys" he comes across, too. Until then, I'll just keep enjoying the surprise

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Very rarely will I post about my job, here. This isn't the place, really, for that.
     Today, however, will be an exception.
Last night, I went to make a visit to see one of our sickest patients. 10 minutes after I got there, she died.
     It's good, really. She was suffering. I was waiting downstairs, giving her family privacy in her last moments. When she passed, her daughter alerted me to the time, with a vocalization that can only be described as keening. Just one, long, emotion packed word.
And I started crying.
Then I pulled myself together, and waited some more, until the family was ready for me to offer my comfort, and do my job.
But I won't forget last night anytime soon....

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Here we go...

The toddler stage.
Quickly approaching "the terrible two".
I don't know if I'm ready for this....
     I look back, and think back, with some nostalgia (already!) about when I was pregnant, his birth, and when MB was such a tiny guy, who slept, ate, and pooped.
Don't get me wrong, this is kind of fun, too, the running, sliding, swinging, giggly dirty little boy phase.
But the the high pitched scream when he doesn't get every thing he wants? The slapping of his little hands, (yes, he does try to slap at us. Try, being the key word), the mutinous glare he gives off when we are OBVIOUSLY impeding his mischief?
Oh Lord. We are in for it....
He knows some words now, he says dance, and up, and gentle, (he thinks our cat's name is gentle, because we are always telling him to be gentle when he's petting him), among other things. He signs a lot of things to us, which is nice, because I don't have to guess what he wants most of the time, he'll sign it to me. But if he's not in the mood? You can forget it. He will just look at you and yell. Especially if you aren't letting him pound on your phone, iPad, or computer. This child loves his electronics. He is destined to be a computer geek. I'm ok with that.
     But the toddler years. Oy.
I know we will survive it. Other families survive it. I'm just not sure how to survive with with my sanity intact.
Or is that the point, that I have to be slightly insane to survive a toddler? I think that might be it. Especially, when it comes to toddler "music". I have satellite radio in my Jeep, and yes, I found a kids station, which, actually has some humor.
      Some of those songs though? Those people should be shot! We do absolutely limit how much that station plays, and we play GOOD music for the boy. He has yet to know what Yo Gabba Gabba is, or Barney, for that matter. And we won't even discuss the possibility that he will ever see a Tele Tubby. He knows Captain Bogg and Salty, the Beatles, the Eagles, and many other musical styles. He watches Sesame Street now, not a whole episode, but any time Abby the fairy character comes on, he watches her. Thankfully, he is not partial to Elmo. He also enjoys Cookie Monster, because he has a stuffed Cookie here at home, and a book about Cookie.
     He likes going to the daycare, to play with all the other kids. He got lots of Valentine's cards, and the caregivers tell me that he plays well with the other kids, and interacts with everyone without any problems. That's a wonderful thing. I hope it continues, and that he doesn't get too terrible, now that we are on the down hill slide to two....

Saturday, February 2, 2013

What to say... Hmm?

     This is my second go at writing this post. Because it started off as a light hearted park anecdote, but kind of accelerated into something my brain has been tossing around since, well.. Since MB has been born, actually. 

     Let me start by acknowledging that there is no right and wrong answer in any of this. We all, daily, make decisions based on our reality, and what is best, and needed, for our family. 
     Today, in the park, a very nice, young Mom that I was talking with about some of the local day care options. She was seemingly interested in the possibility of socializing her only child, a cute boy MB was playing with. But then, like someone pushed the off button, she said "but my husband works, so that I can stay home with him". And for her, that was the end of that possibility.
     Now, my brain reeled through my possible responses. Things like "I love my job", or "my husband works, too," or, the always popular "oh". I rejected them all, and just let the conversation struggle awkwardly for a few minutes, then went in pursuit of my son.
    To be, or not to be a SAHM.. It's tough, no matter what one decides! I know, that if I were to tell MM tomorrow that I wanted to quit, and be home with our boy, he'd tell me I could. We'd have to make some lifestyle changes, but, truthfully? We could do it, and be perfectly fine. But my job is about so much more than the money for me. 
I worked freaking hard to become a nurse. 
I want MB to see the example that if a woman chooses to, she CAN work and be a good mother, too. 
I enjoy hospice nursing. A lot. 
I also like going to a place where I am not mom, truthfully. Lets face it. I was single for a long time. I  was secure with myself, and who I was, where I was. It's been an adjustment. I would not trade my life right now for anything. But it's a bit overwhelming sometimes. And having my job gives me some space to kind of go back, a little, to the me of before. 
And to reflect on the me of now. Both of whom I like. I've come so far, I think.
So for me, and my family, I'm happy to be a working Mom. I have a job that is done from home, a lot, with some patient visits when needed. I'm home with my boy, and when I'm not, he's playing with his new buddies in a great little day care. Or with his Daddy. 
I'm a lucky woman, I'd say..

Friday, January 11, 2013

Big steps

The hunt for the next, great baby sitter did not go well....
     We were very spoiled with our last person, and replacing her has proved to be not possible. The ladies we met were nice. They were qualified, but they weren't right for us. One of them, a friendly older lady sort, who really didn't want to have weekly hours, has offered to be our "date night" sitter. And for that? Yes, she'd be good.
     So, I went and looked at a preschool - daycare. It's about 5 miles from the house. It's clean, well staffed, they give snacks, and naps, and the other kids there seemed happy and played well together, while I was there. It has a nice outside play area for the kids, too. So, though I had wanted to keep him home a little longer, MB is going to go out in the world a bit. Since he's mobile, talking some, and very capable of making his needs known, we think its probably the right time for this step. Try as I might to deny it, he's growing up. I see changes, every day. New words, new abilities. He's very funny and opinionated, and entertaining. He dances to anything with a beat. Even when he's making that beat himself...
I hope he goes, and has fun. I hope he doesn't learn too many bad behaviors. It will happen, I know. And it's only a few hours a week. But it's a new, big step, for us all.