Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Is Ass a Bad Word?"

Every day, I pick Jacob up from school first, then we got get Clarissa. He sits behind me, and we always turn the music off and talk about our days on our short drive to get Clare from her school. Here was our conversation yesterday:

Jacob: Mom, is ass a bad word?

Me: (Trying to figure out what he said) Is WHAT a bad word?

Jacob: ASS...A-S-S

Me: Well...(he interrupted before I could answer)

Jacob: Because today, Logan B said it in class, and everybody said he would get in trouble. But my teacher said it's not really a bad word. She said it's another name of a donkey.

Me: Well, it is another name for a donkey. But most people just say donkey if that's what they're trying to say. Normally when people use the word ass, they are using it as a bad word.

Jacob: Oh, so I shouldn't say ass?

Me: Nope, buddy. You should not say ass.

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Life with a six year old. :)

Monday, April 28, 2008

11 Layers of Me...

LAYER ONE:Spell your name with animals.

B- Buffalo
R- Raccoon
A- Anteater
N- Nightingale
D- Dog
I- Iguana

Name: Brandi
Birthday: March 17
Nickname: Mom/Muss/B
Location: Work (shhh - don't tell)
Eye Color: Green
Hair Color: Brown
Right or Left: Right

Shoes you wore today: Brown loafers
Your perfect pizza: Wheat crust, no sauce, cheese and ham

Best holiday: Christmas
Most missed memory: Trips to Pennsylvania to visit family

Pepsi or Coke: Neither
McDonald’s or Burger King: Burger King
Adidas or Nike: Adidas
Lipton Ice Tea or Hot Chocolate: Both!!
Chocolate or Vanilla: Chocolate

Curse?: Yes, but I'm really trying to cutback
Do you sing?: Yes...but nobody wants to hear it LOL
Want to go to college?: I would love to go back - this time for a nursing degree
Get motion sickness: Yes
Think you’re a health freak: I wish!
Play an instrument: Not anymore

In the past month. . . . . .
Drank alcohol: No
Gone to the mall: Yes
Eaten an entire pizza: No
Been on stage: No
Gone skating: No
Made homemade cookies: Yes

Have you ever… . . . .
Been in big trouble with your parents: For minor things...nothing major
Lied about your age: Yes
Used a fake ID: Yes

Age you hope to be married: I am married
Number of Children: 2

In a girl/guy........
Best eye color: Brown
Best hair color : Brown although, I LOVE the salt & pepper look
Short hair or long: Short

Number of people you could trust with your life: 3
Number of CD’s you own: Not very many
Number of tattoos: A few LOL
Number of piercings: A few...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Always choose your words

SS Blog Challenge 15
Life Lessons - When was the last time you had a life lesson -- one that made you feel "BETTER" about "YOU"? It doesn't have to be a life altering lesson; it can be something small, it can be something very minor, but it must be a life lesson. And it must be a GOOD life lesson. What was it?

My most recent life lesson came on Friday. I took the kids to a fundraising dinner at our church for a member that was diagnosed with cancer. While we were eating (more than half way done with our meal), a family of six came in and sat at the table next to ours. One of the children in the family was in a wheel chair, appeared to have a feeding tube and had some facial deformities.

When we were done eating, CJ had to go potty, so all three of us went to the bathroom. While we were in there, Jacob asked me what was wrong with the girl at the table next to us. Thinking we were alone, I took the opportunity to explain and answer questions. I told them that God makes everyone differently, and she has some challenges in her life. But I explained that just because she looks different than us, doesn't mean we should treat her any differently than we would want people to treat us. I told them that she eats different than we do and needs extra help. I also told them that God doesn't give us more than we can handle, and she has a loving family that helps take care of her.

So, we left the bathroom (after washing CJ's hands of course) and went about the rest of the evening. A little later, the kids were looking at the stuff on the bake sale table, and someone I've met several times from church came up to me and hugged me. I was a little stunned, as we've only spoken a few times, so we don't know each other all that well. Nancy sensed my reaction and stepped back to explain that her sister had just told her about a conversation she overheard in the bathroom. She told Nancy that the little girl was wearing flowered boots...and when Nancy saw CJ's shoes, she knew it was us from the bathroom.

Apparently, the little girl is Nancy's niece. She said her sister was so stunned at how I handled the questions from the kids, and she was so grateful for my kindness. Normally, they get stares and whispers even from adults, so she appreciated that I took the time to explain it to the kids. She said they don't expect special treatment from anyone, but they always wish for compassion.

Words are very powerful. We should always remember to choose them carefully because we never know who is listening.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Home Sweet Home

SS Blog Challenge #14: This week tell us about the places you've called home. Have you lived in one place all your life? Tell us about it and why you've chosen to stay there. Have you lived in many places? Where have you lived and what have you done to make each place feel like home? What has been your favorite place to live and why?

I was born and raised in central Ohio, and my parents still live in the house I commonly refer to as "home." We moved in there when I was three, so I lived there for 15 years before going to college. It drives my husband insane that I refer to my parents' house as home. But I can't help myself. When I walk in the front door, it just feels like home - still as comfortable as it was when I was a child. And it still smells like Murphys Oil from mom's cleaning binges...just like when I grew up. When my parents sell that house, I will be supportive, because it's simply too big for them now, but I will be crushed inside. I love going "home" and I that my children sleep in the same room I used to when I was their age.

After I graduated from high school, I went to college in Toledo. My first year there, I lived in the dorm. I HATED dorm life. It didn't help that my roomate was psychotic, but that's not the only reason I hated it. As soon as school ended in May, I moved into a house right off campus where I stayed all summer while I worked. The house was owned by a girl I met on campus my first year, and they were renting it out for her and some friends to live there. There were six of us total, but everyone else went hom for the summer. So...I lived there alone all summer, and it was great to have a big, QUIET place to myself. It was great when they moved in, too. I mean, we all got along and did our own thing. But man, was it LOUD with six girls...and the seven guys who lived next door that were always over!!!

After my second year of college, I moved all my stuff home because I was engaged and would be moving to Michigan, where my then-fiancee (now husband) was working. I stayed with my folks from the end of May until July 5 when I got married. On July 6, we packed up all our wedding presents and all my stuff and headed North. We've been in Michigan ever since.

Our first apartment (where Ron lived before we were married) was SO small!!! It was in a not-so-great area, but was very cheap...which is why he chose it. As soon as the lease was up that following spring, we moved to another apartment.

Our second apartment was AWESOME. Our unit was behind a small orchard, so we saw trees, flowers and animals all the time. We woke up every day to the sounds of roosters, and we saw lots of ducks every day. That orchard helped insulate the noise, so our apartment was very quiet. It's also where we lived when our son was born, and we lived there through his first year.

In September 2002, we bought our first house...and it's where we still live. It's a 1200 ft² brick ranch with a full, unfinished basement. We have a very small yard, which we made private with a fence, and we have a garage...which is unusual for our block. Most homes don't have a garage and many don't have basements - we are very lucky to have both. It is, however, making it very hard to see in this market!

So even though I've been married and living in Michigan for 10½ years, I still view my parents' house as "home." I don't know if that will change when they sell it and move or when I move into my next house...but I'm sure there will be a transition of my "home" sometime.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Well I saw my Onoclogist yesterday...

and he told me what I didn't want to hear. MRIs every THREE months :( AACK!!!! I was hoping for every six months for the first two years like they originally said and then every year after that if it was staying the same or receding. At least my first one isn't until June, so I have time to psych myself up for it...but I'm already freaking out. I wish I could get past this anxiety, but I don't know how. Someone suggested a hypnotist. I balked at the idea at first...but I just might check into it.

My dr. told me that all the pain I'm in is still normal, and as long as it doesn't get any worse than it is currently, they aren't concerned. He wanted me to try the steroids again, but I refused. They added an immediate 40 lbs. to my body and gave me absolutely zero pain relief - why the hell would I do that again?!

He offered up pain medication again, as well as the pain management clinic. I'm NOT going there, as that involves inejcting me in the back (like an epidural) while I'm awake and not allowed to move. Um, no thanks. I chose to birth two babies (one that was 9½ lbs.) naturally because I wasn't letting anyone make me sign a paper that they aren't liable if they paralyze me and then stick me in the back. I'm certainly not doing it this time either. I can't really take pain medication, because everything they give me makes we WAY to sleepy to be a single mom. So, I'll live with the pain, thankyouverymuch.

If it tumor isn't showing progress of shrinking in size by my scan in September, they want to discuss doing this again. Yep - more radiation in my body. You know, that stuff with all the signs around the hospital telling you not to enter because radiation is present. Yep...they want to put MORE of that in my body. And if I say no, they want to operate again and then try chemo. Um, no. You told me you thought it was benign. Why the hell would I do that?! Plus, I can't have that surgery again. I'm a single working mom, remember?! After surgery, I can't drive for 6-8 weeks. How in the world would that work?! Besides the fact that I needed 24-hour care for the first two weeks. I'm a SINGLE mom. No surgery. And double no to chemo.

So, when my MRI rolls around in June, I'll be asking for some prayers. God knows I need them. :)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Reality Check

For the last 15 months, I've really been feeling like I own the "Bad Mom Award." There have been so many times where I truly feel like the worst mom in the world. Heck, I told my 6 year old yesterday (when he was sassing about how mean I am) that I'm the President of the Mean Mom's club. Isn't that just awful?! I've continued to think how they deserve better and sometimes just sat and cried (sobbed, actually) about the horrible job I've been doing as their Mom.

So today, I talked with an old acquaintance from college...and I got a serious reality check. Someone we both knew was arrested last week and is being charged with neglect AND child abuse. WOW. Double WOW. Holy cow!!!! I don't know either of these women very well, and I actually know the woman arrested through the gal that called me I don't have a large frame of reference for the woman arrested. But I'm floored. All this time I've been saying that my kids deserve better than me, this lady was starving her son (because she thinks he's fat) and beating both of her kids. :(

I guess my parenting isn't ALL bad. I mean my kids are always clothed, fed, cleaned and loved. I've never even seen this lady's kids, but my heart breaks for them. They are now in foster care because their only living relatives don't want them. Isn't that just the most awful thing ever????? Heart breaking. Thanks for the reality check...but I could've done without you abusing your kids.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Blog Chalenge - Act your Age

If you could go back to any age again, how old would you want to be and why? What age would you least like to be and why?

If I could be any age, I would most likely want to be 28 again. It was before my tumor was growing, before Ron lost his job and before I had to live as a "single" mom all this time! I would like to go back to those days of us being a happy family. And if I can't go back to that, I'd like to fast forward to the age where we live together again. I'm tired of living like this!!!!!

The age I would least like to be again is 14. I won't discuss why, but that was an AWFUL time for me. I was in high school at the time, and I just had a really bad experience that changed me forever. I will never be the same. And I would NEVER want to go back to that time.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

All Clear

I got the all clear. I just have fibroids. I've always had them in my uterus. Who knew I could have them in my boobs, too?!

Thank God. One less thing to worry about.

"Friends are God's way of taking care of us."

I've posted so many times on SS that I don't have any friends. I grew up close to one person, and she moved when we were in middle school. We kept in contact via snail mail for many, many years and visited each other a couple times a year. After I was married, our communication dropped down to Christmas and birthday cards, though now that we both have kids we normally write each other every quarter and exchange pictures. Truly, if I ever needed her to be here, I know she would be. But I miss not seeing her regularly or being able to "hang out" together.

The only other friend I really have had over the years is a gal I met in college. We lived on the same floor of the dorm our first year in college and then shared a house with four other girls (six total) our second year of college. She was in my wedding, and we've stayed in contact via snail mail and e-mail for the past 11 years. I've only seen her once since she moved to Omaha, though. Again, I wish we could spend time together, but distance and money doesn't allow it.

I've always been so depressed that I don't have any friends, and I've thought about it so often. I don't know very many people locally, and I'm so shy IRL that I have a hard time making friends. And since I hate the phone, I have an even harder time keeping them. There are times that I sit and just cry because I feel alone. I really wish I had someone locally to call on to go hang out with - someone that I can talk to about anything and not be afraid to show my true colors. Someone that just wants to talk, go to a park, meet at the zoo, scrapbook together, etc. But I don't. And that often makes me very sad.

So the other night, I was resting in bed, and instead of feeling sorry for myself, I thought about how blessed I am. I have met so many wonderful people online, and I can talk to them anytime I want. I can go to SS and vent and not get judged (usually...I mean do NOT talk about tanning beds and you're generally O.K. LOL). I can go there and cry and have people lift me up - through nice words and prayer. I can go there for a good laugh and always find one. I try to reciprocate with encouragement, prayers and even laughs for others who need it. I don't know if it works, but I know they sure provide it to me!

Through the board, I was able to go to a retreat and meet some WONDERFUL ladies. I spent a weekend sitting in a room laughing and having a genuinely wonderful time with people I had never met before...but if you would have been peaking in, you'd never have known that we hadn't met! That's where I met Tiffany, and she's been a Godsend, literally. I would not have made it through my first radiation treatment without her. And everytime I think of her, I think of the old quote: "A friend is someone who is there for you when he'd rather be anywhere else." Honestly, do you think she really wanted to be at the hospital with me?! Nope - but she was there. And she came three times in a row to support me even though she had other things she could have been doing. She is a wonderful person with a heart of gold - and faith that astounds me. I am blessed to know her. She came through at a time when my "friends" didn't. The few people I know locally that have so often offered to help me out couldn't be bothered when I really needed them. But Tiffany was there. "A friend is one who walks in when others walk out"

Several ladies have sent me cards, meals and pick me ups over the last four months--many of them I've never even met. How amazing is that?! The last RAK I got was probably the most amazing purely because of timing. I literally was going to throw in my towel. I convinced myself that I wasn't strong enough for everything going on in my life and was going to retreat to my black hole and not come out. And then there was this box and very moving card in front of me basically screaming at me. I'm not a quitter, and thanks to those ladies, I was reminded of that. "A friend is one who believes in you when you have ceased to believe in yourself."

Through that board, I have met a few gals that I chat online with, and that has filled a huge void in my life. So while I sit and complain to myself sometimes that I can't just pick up the phone and say "let's meet for a drink", I truly am grateful for the friends I have online. Even though they aren't actually *here* with me, they really are with me all the time. And I count on them for so much, and I value their friendship more than they will ever know. I'm not sure where I'd be right now without them. "True friends are never apart, maybe in distance, but not in heart"

So I guess the point of this long, rambling post is that though I often wish I had local friends that I could call on regularly (and they call on me, too), I am grateful that God has blessed me with wonderful friends. It doesn't matter where they are - it matters that we're here for each other. "A friend is someone who reaches for your hand, but touches your heart."

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I don't want it to be Monday.

It's 9:18 pm on Sunday night, and I'm sitting here dreading that another week is about to start. I don't even want to go to bed because it means when I wake up that it will be Monday morning. My plan to stay up can't work, though, as I'm EXHAUSTED from this week. I need to sleep. But I just don't want to go to bed yet. I don't want to start another week this way.

I'm tired of being a "single" mom. I'm tired of being in a marriage with a man who lives in another state six hours away. I'm tired of being stressed about my health and feeling like things only get worse. And it seems like every week, my internal struggles start as soon as the alarm goes off on Monday morning. If only I could figure out a way to skip Mondays...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Lucifer Does Have a heart!!!

This morning, the kids went crazy when they saw that Ron was home. There was a lot of cheering and hollaring going on, and they were very excited. I told them that I was going on a business trip (which I had already mentioned in passing but didn't elaborate because we wanted it to be a surprise that Ron was coming home). Chaos insued.

Jacob was asking if Dad knew how to get to the soccer field (yes,'ve played at the same field for three years). Clarissa was crying that she has dance tomorrow, and Daddy doesn't know what to do. (Dear, he took you when Mommy had radiation...he can manage it again.) Jacob was fine once he realized his needs were met, but Clarissa was so disappointed. She cried the entire way to school, and clung to me when we got there. Her teacher had to pull her off my leg, and she was sobbing as I walked out the door.

I stood in the hall for a minute thinking "is this my child? The one that acts like the spawn of Satan? The one that told me she wants a new family? Why on earth is she crying like this?" Just as Jacob and I start to walk down the hall, I hear running footprints and "Mommy don't leave me! I love you, Mommy!"

Wow. She does have a heart in there.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

SS Blog Challenge #12: Getting to Know Me

Directions: Copy and paste the following section into your blog and answer as best as you can. You can elaborate (I hope you do), you can post pictures, you can be deep, you can be funny. Whatever you choose -just be honest.

1) Right now I want: to go home and sleep. I'm REALLY tired from staying up late to watch the basketball championship...but I'm so glad I did!!!!
2) I wish I knew how to: sew. Luckily, my mother bought me a sewing machine for my birthday, but I haven't even had the time to open the box yet. I would really like to learn to sew basic patterns.
3) When I want to indulge myself, I: get a pedicure. It is not something I do often, but I LOVE when I have the time and money to take care of my toes.
4) You’ll never see me: in an elevator or confined space. I'll huff and puff up ten flights of stairs before getting into an elevator!!!
5) A childhood memory that I love: Going to Delaware Dam with my family, having picnics and fishing, and just laying on the beach or playing football with my brothers there. It was free to get in, and we went there A LOT because of that.
6) 2 things I do every single day: Pray and kiss my kids. I don't know why those are the two things that popped in my head first...but since they were first, I went with them.
7) Happiest moment of 2008, so far: The night I walked out of the hospital after my last radiation treatment. The euphoria didn't last long, but that was the best moment so far this year.
8) Describe yourself in 3 words: scared, tired, depressed
9) 2 scrap related goals for this year: Finish the albums through year three of each child.
10) You have $40 that you MUST spend on yourself – what do you do with it? Have a pedicure, of course.

I'm going to have to work on the second part of the challenge - post a picture (from this week) of you at your computer. Don't worry about cleaning up - just post and have fun.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I was insulted today...

and I can't decide if I'm really upset by it or not.

I don't enjoy to read for leisure...I never have. I'm actually a very good reader and can get through anything that's needed for learning purposes. Text book? No problem. Trade journal? No problem. But a random book without a purpose? Nope. I can't do it.

I've tried being a leisure reader - especially since Jacob started to read. I want to be a good role model for him so that he can grow up enjoying to read for fun. But it's torture for me to read a book that isn't for a class or work, etc. So more often than not, the kids see me reading trade publications (which look like magazines and pamphlets) instead of books. Sometimes I read an actual book for work, but usually they are magazines.

So anyways, today at Jacob's soccer practice, another mom asked me if I had read some book. I said no. Then she asked about another one, and I said no. Then another...and I finally told her (politely, of course) that I don't enjoy reading for leisure, so the only books I typically read are for work or for a class. She gave me the biggest hair flip ever! Literally - a hair flip. Then she went on to lecture me about the importance of reading and how I need to make sure my kids enjoy to read. At one point in the conversation, she implied that I'm uneducated because I don't like to read. HMPH!

I basically told her to go to hell...but in a nice way. :) I told her that if my kids grow up exactly like me, I'd be perfectly happy. She looked at me stunned as if I thought reading wasn't important at all and was teaching my kids that. I told her that if I had to choose, I'd choose law-abiding citizens who work hard and take care of their responsibilities. I mean even *I* manage to do that...even though I don't read. LOL. What a wench. Who does she think she is to judge me, first of all? Secondly, to be so brazen to directly imply that I'm uneducated. Yeah...well then why are you wasting your breath on me, babe???????

So there you have it. A fellow soccer Mom thinks I'm dumb. I guess I better go scratch my butt and listen to my brain cells die off.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Friends are always there to give you...

a kick in the pants. :)

I'm in a funk. I've been in one for a long time, and it seems to be getting worse every week. I'm having a very hard time physically, emotionally and mentally. I had a complete breakdown in my doctor's office today - and I NEVER do that in public!!! I was such a mess, I walked out in the middle of the appointment. I told her that I can't handle anymore, that I give up, and I had to get out of there. She kept asking me to stop, and I just charged out to my car and left. (Yes, I know I'm a freak.) I don't know what happened, but something took over, and I needed to escape.

I was crying hysterically, scaring the crap out of my kids, and I just couldn't pull it together. Then I got home, and there was a box at my side door. Inside was an awesome assortment of goodies, but what got me most was the card. It read:

"If it's true that adversity builds character...your character's been getting quite a workout lately. Hang in there!"

WOW. It was like an instant wake-up call...and just the kick in the pants I needed to stop being a whiner and keep fighting. Thank God for friends. If it wasn't for my friends, I wouldn't have made it this far.

This is what was inside the box. I'm happy to report that the Mango and one box of Mac and Cheese is already gone. LOL! I absolutely LOVE the bag, and I can't wait to use the spa stuff!!


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh - I am so glad to be home. The kids and I have spent a lot of time in the car since Friday, and I'm really glad to be home tonight. Don't get me wrong, we had a good time. But there is nothing more comforting than knowing that I'm going to sleep in my own bed tonight...with the aide of the medication I couldn't take when I had to drive. LOL!!

Hopefully I can update more this week...after I catch up on all my laundry. GAH!