Thursday, June 23, 2011

I guess infertility is contagious after all....

What were the chances that I'd end up with, not one but two, infertile zucchini plants?

Seriously.

But then again, what were the chances that I'd be the one out of all my friends with two sets of twins?

Oh dear God...how He must laugh at my expense when things get rough.

So yeah, I have two zucchini plants, both of which are infertile...meaning the bees aren't doing their job, resulting in me having to self-pollinate the plants myself.

It sounds obscene and vulgar, doesn't it?  A little bit like soft porn, if you ask me.

Perhaps I should light some candles and play some romantic music while self-pollinating my zucchini plants?

IVF for vegetables?  Who knew.  I guess infertility is contagious after all.

In the meantime, while I'm busy forcing my zucchini plants to get their freak on, I hope you'll take a minute and visit Missy over at Literal Mom because she's featuring ME today as one of her Literal Moms of the Day!

The very first post I read on Missy's blog was about a serious incident involving one of her daughters almost being crushed by a public bathroom door stall.  Don't worry...her daughter is fine, thankfully.  While I held my breath as I read the post, I found myself relating so well to all the strong emotions Missy shared in this post.

All the "what if's", the worry about what other people must think of you, did you react appropriately enough....all those thoughts have gone through my head at one time or another.

It reminded me of a time when Cole was about 18 months old and he fell off one of the play structures at the park.  There were a handful of parents there when it happened and everyone rushed to his side...but I was still up in the structure with Bella.

I had to make a choice....jump down off the structure to make sure Cole was okay or take a few extra seconds and grab Bella to make sure she was safe.

Yeah, I know...a total Sophie's choice at its best.

Fortunately, Cole was okay....a bit shaken up but no broken bones or signs of bleeding.  But on the walk home, I spent the entire time replaying the incident in my head, knowing the outcome could have been so much worse.

And wondering and worrying what those other parents must have thought of me...assuming they had to have thought I was a horrible mother for even allowing my young children up on a climbing structure.  Or worse...because I made my injured child wait while I gathered my other child to prevent another accident from occurring.

So when I read Missy's post, my heart went out to her because I understood...I've been there myself.  I enjoyed her honesty and I appreciated that she made herself vulnerable by putting it all out there for the world to see...with the hopes that other moms who have been through something similar would find comfort through her words.

Please take a minute to visit her blog and read my Literal Mom of the Day feature!  While you're there, click on that follow button!  You won't be sorry!

And....for more parenting gems of wisdom, my beautiful blogging buddy, Shell at Things I Can't Say is featuring another one of her "Parenting Do's and Don'ts", in which I was honored to contribute to.  Please go take a peek!!


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Thursday, June 16, 2011

This one time, at band camp...

Okay, so it wasn't exactly BAND camp...but it was CAMP...sleep-away camp, to be specific.

The summer in between 6th and 7th grade, my parents sent my sister and I away for 4 weeks to a sleep-away camp out in Cleveland, GA. We lived in Florida at the time so going to an entirely different state without our parents struck fear in my heart.

At the time, it seemed like cruel and unusual punishment.

We pleaded with our parents, "But why do you want to send us away for an ENTIRE month?! What did we do wrong?", followed by empty promises like vowing to wash the dishes every single night without complaining, never talking smack to them again...whatever we could think of to get them to change their minds. Unsuccessfully, I might add.

They drove us out to Georgia that first summer away from home, which I suspected was their indirect way of saying, "Look, we love you enough to at least check the camp out with you in person".

I had asked, "So, if we don't like it, you'll let us come home with you?"

My mother howled hysterically while my father tried his best to stifle his laughter. He said, "No, you'll be staying, regardless. If you don't like it, you'll LEARN to like it. Besides, we already paid for it."

My sister and I looked at each other and frowned. If they had already paid for it, we knew there was no way in hell we could get out of going. My father didn't part easily with any of his hard-earned money so any time he wrote a big check, we knew it was a done deal.

What had our mother done to convince him this was in everyone's best interest?

I imagined that she had driven our easy-to-manipulate father out to some remote part of the Everglades one day, smiling cleverly as she revealed, "This is what our summer could be like with the kids gone".

He had probably asked, "What?! I don't hear anything. It's completely quiet."

"That's EXACTLY my point!" she had shouted, I envisioned, with such enthusiasm that even the alligators came out of the swampy sawgrass to see what all the fuss was about.

Then they probably just sat there, smiling like 2 sugar-starved kids who had found themselves locked inside a candy store after hours.

The next 3 summers after that they simply dropped us off at the airport with all the other kids whose parents didn't love them.

Oh, and I should probably mention that 2 of those summers, we were sent away for an entire 8 weeks. EIGHT freakin' WEEKS, people.

The camp counselors could've been ravenous cannibals feasting on young unsuspecting campers, for all they knew.

Our parents just wanted to be rid of two of their most important responsibilities...namely, my sister and I... in which they were burdened with after a couple of occasions of indulging in one too many alcoholic drinks and foolishly believing that drunken sperm couldn't successfully connect with an anxiously awaiting egg.

One summer in particular they pretty much screamed, "Tuck and roll..." as they pulled up to the curb outside the Delta airport terminal and opened the door barely enough for us to jump out before they sped off.

Anyway, so that first summer...we arrived at the camp and I immediately knew I was gonna hate the place. It reminded me of Camp Crystal Lake.

My dad must have been thinking the same thing because the first thing he said was, "Oh, look...they have a lake here. Kind of like the one in Friday the 13th. You probably better make sure you get the top bunk".

I could've sworn I saw a glimmer of evil wash over his face. This was the same father who stood outside my bedroom door repeating that creepy "sssshhhh-sssshhh-ha-ha-ha" sound after I had seen the Friday the 13th movie for the first time....ironically, about a month before we left for camp.

I wasn't above suspecting that he had planned it that way on purpose.

Once my sister and I were settled into our separate cabins, the procreators who casually referred to themselves as our "parents" left. They practically high-5'd each other and ran to their car before we could come chasing after them.

I thought they were absolutely sinister and silently prayed that they would end up with a couple of flat tires at some point during their drive back.

But as it turns out, I fell in love with the place. My fellow campers were amazing, some of them even becoming life-long friends of mine. The counselors turned out to be anything but hungry cannibals and the camp activities were more fun than I could have imagined.

And this, my friends, is where I experienced my first kiss...

His name was Marc and he was from Alabama...I just loved the way his sweet southern accent would roll off his tongue every time he'd say, "Hey, ya'all". He had beautiful brown eyes and an adorable nose, which was spattered with a light dusting of freckles.

My tummy did flip-flops with excitement the first time he held my hand.

But holding hands can only last for so long, right? Soon enough, as we were walking back to our cabins after one of the night activities, he stopped and turned to face me.

"Oh dear God, he wants to kiss me," I thought, as my heart pounded with a little bit of anticipation and a whole lot of fear.

I had never kissed anyone before. Why hadn't I thought to ask any of my cabinmates how to kiss? Was he going to stick his tongue in my mouth?

The thought made me cringe. I mean, I liked him but not enough to exchange bodily fluids with him. Maybe it would be just a quick, simple kiss...for now, anyway.

I tried to engage him in nervous chatter, with the hopes that he'd get lost in conversation and forget all about the fact that he wanted to kiss me.

"So, the activity tonight was fun, didn't you think?" I asked.

He had shrugged his shoulders and said, "Yeah, I guess". He leaned towards me again, his eyes closed...his mouth partway open.

There was no way I could avoid it. I just had to do it and get it over with. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad, after all.

Finally, I leaned in towards him and closed my eyes. His lips met mine and his hands gently caressed my face. He pulled me closer to him, so close that I could feel his heart beating against mine.

Oh no...what was the boy doing?! He was trying to push his tongue into my mouth! I kept my lips sealed as tightly as possible, refusing to let him steal the innocence of my very first kiss.

After a few seconds, which felt like an eternity when holding your breath, we moved away from one another and without saying a word, he walked me back to my cabin. Once there, he gave me a quick peck on the cheek.

I stood outside the cabin, watching him as he walked away... until I could no longer see his reflection in the moonlight beaming down on him.

I'm sure Marc had suspected it had been my first kiss...how could he not? Everything about it had screamed "inexperienced", "disaster" and, let's not forget, "prude".

Could he feel me shaking as he pulled me closer to him? Did the sound of my pounding heart echo in his ears as loudly as it had in my own? Would he go back and report to his cabinmates how dreadful the experience had been?

I played the scene over and over in my head, fantasizing that it had been better than it actually was...when in reality, I had to accept that it had, more than likely, been an embarrassing disappointment for both of us.

That was the last summer I saw Marc. We didn't keep in touch once summer camp was over and we both had returned home.

I did have one picture of him which I had taken of him standing on the sand near the lake...the same lake in which my father had tried to convince me where Jason Voorhees was still lurking while maliciously planning his next bloody attack on some naive, prepubscent campers in the throws of heated passion.

The memory of that first kiss will always have a special place, deep in my heart...right above the spot where I suffer from horrible indigestion every time I recall that disconcerting and ill-fated moment in my life....just one of many moments, in fact.

Sigh....

This post was inspired by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.  It was written and posted originally in March 2010 but after seeing one of the prompts "Share a summer camp memory", I knew I had to share this again!


Mama’s Losin’ It


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Monday, June 13, 2011

Rockin’ The Bump

First off, let me just say...no, I’m not pregnant.  Could you imagine?  With my luck, it’d be another set of twins…or maybe even triplets. 

But then, perhaps I'd get my own reality show, where viewers would be treated to watching me lose my mind on an hourly basis, gulping wine directly from the bottle at exactly 5:30 pm every day and praying for strength and patience on such a continuous basis that even God dreads hearing from me.

Shell at Things I Can't Say is hosting a fun meme called Rockin' The Bump...so it's an opportunity to show off your baby bump.



Or you can use it to your advantage like I'm doing and hope that some sex-crazy teenager who thinks it'd be "really neat" to have a set of twins will stumble upon my belly pics and be scared straight.

Yeah, scared straight as in, "Is it humanly possible for my belly to get THAT huge?"

Absolutely, it sure can.  In addition to the amazingly expanded belly, you also get saggy boobs, stretch marks, varicose veins and, if you're super lucky, hemorrhoids.

Wait, that's not it...you'll also have a pelvic floor so weak that you will pee in your pants every single time you sneeze or cough.   And it never improves, only gets worse as you age.

You'll have your sweet, adorable children to thank for all that and more.

Do what I do...when they scream at you, "You never do anything for us!", you can strip down to your birthday suit and answer, "Oh yeah?!  Then tell me why my body looks like THIS!"

Moving on, here I am at 31 weeks pregnant with Cole and Bella, the first set of twins.  This was actually at my baby shower, which my sister had hosted.

Don't you just love the look on my face?  It's almost as if I'm thinking, "I'm really going to be a mother...holy shit!  I don't even know how to change a freakin' diaper!"

31-week belly pic

Right before everyone arrived, she asked me when was the last time I took a belly pic and I had shrugged my shoulders.   So she insisted on taking one, explaining, "You never know when one of these preterm labor runs is going to turn into the real thing...trust me, someday you'll thank me for taking this picture".

And the very next day, I landed my fat, pregnant ass back in the hospital again on strict bed rest.  Cole and Bella were born the following week.

The next set of pictures is from when I was 18 weeks and then 32 weeks pregnant with Garrett and Landon...they would be the second set of twins.

Notice I had no shame in baring my naked and bruised belly (from the Heparin shots).  Also, take note of the fact that I did not include my face in the pics...because I was freakin' tired AND I knew what was in store for me, after having already experienced the first set of twins.

If you could've seen my face, it probably would've read, "I can't believe we're frackin' doing this all over again.  Shit, holy crap...the sleep deprivation is so gonna suck!"

18w

I look like such a beached whale in this next picture.  But at least my belly was finally bigger than my ass.

See, I do have a "glass is half full" mentality when the situation calls for it.

32wk

This was my last belly pic...2 weeks later I gave birth at 34 weeks.

Looking at these pictures actually makes me miss being pregnant.

Don't worry, though, my uterus and ovaries are shriveling up in revolt and horror right along with the rest of you as I sit here and type...

Friday, June 3, 2011

They've grown up and left home....

Oh, you thought I was referring to the 4 mini-spawn who suck the life out of me on an hourly basis?!

Nope, they're still here...expecting me to entertain them morning, noon and night.  Because that's what kids do, after all.

I'm referring to the family of swallows who stayed with us for a little while last summer...who have since come back to our front porch yet again to create ANOTHER batch of baby birds.

So I'll leave you with this post from exactly this time last year in case you missed it (or if you're like me and desperately need to laugh at someone else's expense)....

Remember the barn swallows that we had an ongoing war with a couple months ago?

They wanted to build their nest yet again on our turf…nothing was going to deter them?

Well, we decided to wave the white flag after all and let them stay.

And they thanked us by crapping all over our front porch. As if I don’t have enough crap to deal with on a daily basis, right?

Let me take you through the timeline in which we’ve enjoyed our temporary houseguests…

First, we have Mama Bird and Daddy bird…well, I’m assuming he’s the Daddy bird. I suppose it could be a Mother’s Helper or a friend-with-benefits.

DSCN0604

And we waited, the kids and I. We waited night and day for those damn eggs to hatch.

One day, the kids convinced me to get a ladder and peek in the nest, when Mama Bird left one day to get hair extensions put in. Oh wait, I confused her with Kate Gosselin.

I barely got on the top step of the ladder when Mama Bird flew in from nowhere and went all Mike Tyson on me. And she brought friends….lots of angry friends.

Needless to say, that was the last time I listened to my evil children, who laughed the entire time I was trying to swat away a slew of pissed-off birds from biting off my ears. Kind of reminded me of the “Don’t worry about me, I’ll be just fine” incident.

Finally…FINALLY…the eggs hatched and there were 4 babies. Yes, 4 baby birds.

Seems this Mama bird and I have more in common than we thought, except I don’t have the luxury of just flying off any ole’ time I need a break.

I guess Mama bird is more like Kate Gosselin than I thought.

DSCN1106

When she was gone, the 4 babies would just sit perched high up in their nest, observing the curious world around them.

Do you get what I’m saying, people? Yeah, these birds were quiet. Not one peep out of them the entire time their Mama was gone.

I might have become just a little bit more disgruntled at that point.

But when Mama bird would appear suddenly, they’d start squawking and chirping…begging for food. She’d quickly place food into their tiny mouths and then fly off to go get more for them.

DSCN1082

The kids and I were fascinated watching her fly back and forth, as she gathered food for them.

I added my own commentary, as the spawn attentively observed the sweet bird family.

“Wow, look at them eat…I don’t hear any of them complaining about not liking what she’s giving them. I don’t see them spitting the food back out or wasting one little morsel”.

Of course, one of the smart-ass spawn had to add, “Well, she’s probably feeding them something that they want, like hotdogs or macaroni and cheese".

Whatever….

I fantasized about how wonderful it would be if my kids were that appreciative of all the effort I put forth in the kitchen to make them delicious, nutritious meals…or when I left the room for just 10 measly seconds to go pee, they’d sit quietly and patiently wait for my return instead of following me into the bathroom, complaining about bored they are.

Just then, Mama Bird caught me staring at her…

DSCN1084

I think she could see the resentment in my face, as I said out loud to her, “You sure have the life, don’t you?”

And you know what she did?

She lifted her tail and crapped all over my freshly cleaned front porch.

“Well, tough shit for you,” I imagined her saying.

Several days have passed and now the nest is empty. Each of the babies have learned to fly and they spend their days going on one adventurous journey after another.

I have to admit that part of me was a little sad to see the baby birds leaving the nest so soon.

Until I saw this….

DSCN1184

Like typical kids, they’ve learned their lessons well and have moved on to experience life on their own….but they still come back to shit on my front porch.

Why do I get the odd feeling that this is a foreshadowing of things to come in my not-so-distant future?





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I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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