Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Miracles and Truths: First Posting of My Random Life Stories

Labor hurts. Ok, to say labor hurts is like saying pouring lemon juice in a paper cut stings a little. Labor is intense, painful, long and messy. There is liquids coming out of everywhere, drugs going in everywhere (because while I am all for women who choose natural birth, I will take what the 21st century has to offer me so I do not feel the final pangs of my vagina being ripped in half) and every ten minutes, some random person comes in to check your progress by sticking their fingers in your no-no zone and calculating the centimeters. So, as stated, I opted for drugs to alleviate the pain, but I was lucky enough to feel some wonderful contractions before the nurse could bring me the life-saving narcotics.

“Here comes a BIG one!” my husband said enthusiastically in my ear. He was carefully monitoring the machine that was diligently tracking each arc and decline of the ever increasing contractions. If I had my wits completely about me and was not concentrating of making sure I would not poop during labor, I would have pointed out to him that I actually knew a BIG one was coming, and I didn’t need the help of the machine and its beeps, clicks and long printouts. Telling a women in labor that a “BIG one” is coming would be like telling a person a train was coming as they lay in the middle of the track relishing in the vibrations of the planks and listening to the panicked screams of the engine as it barreled towards them. Thank you, Captain Obvious.
Yes indeed, it was a big one. So big, that my husband felt the need to document it with a picture. He snapped a close up of the bell curve readout coming off the machine. Again, had I not been in fear that I would sully up the bed any more than I had, I would have asked him to save the photos until later. With that monstrous jolt to my uterus, I called again for the nurse to bring me some pain killers STAT. Five minutes late, she arrived with a syringe and my friend, synthetic morphine. Before administering the dose through my IV, she gave me a warning, “Now, some people tend to freak out a little bit. Just let it wash over you and breathe. If you feel like you are going to freak out, close your eyes and call for me.”
I didn’t realize we were doing LSD. I was about to ask exactly what was IN the synthetic morphine when she pushed the plunger and I felt the instant calm of a million gallons of NyQuil rush over my body. Everything felt, well, groovy. Pain stopped. My husband’s repeated “how far along is she?” and “I am bored” comments faded away. (Yes, he said bored…because I could actually rush the miracle of life. Did he think I was having a good time?) All I could hear was the monitors and the zen music I had brought from home. I tried to reach my water glass which was literally next to my arm. The drug made it seem like it was across the room, and the harder I tried to reach it, the shorter my arm became. Finally, after watching me for a bit, my husband asked if he could get me my water.
It’s important to note his attitude at this point; it will come back later in the tale.
FINALLY after 11 hours of being stuck at five centimeters and enough petosin to swell my ankles to the size of cantaloupes, the doctor announced that the baby was ready. GREAT! Bring on the epidural! The five inch needle didn’t scare me at all. When they came in and moved the covers so I could turn around, my husband observed that it was “quite gross under there.” Again, thank you for the information I was already privy to. One can tell when one is sitting in pungent ick, but my dear friend morphine told me to just not care.
Epidural in and legs sufficiently numb, I was ready. The entire pushing process was something I had completely psyched myself up for. It had been nearly a day since I had actually eaten anything. The sweat and soiled clothing was making me feel more like the lining of a New York City dumpster every second. The anticipation of seeing the alien I had carried for months was getting to be too much. I knew the faster I pushed, the faster I could shower, eat and hold my son. So, when the doctor said, “PUSH,” I forgot about my fear of laying a log on the lap of my OBGYN, and I pushed. Two more like it, and relief like I have never known overtook me.
They placed my son on my chest. He was covered in white goo and red blood. His little eyes tried to focus on me, but couldn’t. He was crying, but when they set him on my chest, she stopped immediately and just looked at me. I was overcome by love. Love for my newborn son, who I knew I would love until the end of time. Love for my husband who had gone through so much with me, and was here to share this moment. I began to weep from all the love in me.
My husband leaned into me. I lifted my face, expecting a kiss or a caress.  He opened his mouth and said with no hint of emotion, “You know I will never love you as much as I love my child.”

Taken literally a second after being told by my husband that
he would never love me as much as he loves our kids.

SNAP. The flare of the camera light faded as it captured the disbelief in my face. What did he say? Did I hear that right? Shouldn’t the correct sentence have been, “I have never loved you more than I do now,” or at least, “Thank you for giving me my son.” The labor, the determination, the rush of love on my part, it couldn’t be just one-sided. What did he mean?
The nurse picked my son off my chest and explained she was taking him to the pediatrician and to get cleaned up. My husband said he was going to go with so I could have some privacy. My doctor peeked up from between my legs and informed me I had a second degree tear and I was all stitched up. I had been totally unaware that he was down there. The shock of what my husband said, and then the exit from the room without so much as a kiss on the forehead had completely blocked out all the post-labor happenings.
I should have known then. I should have known a year earlier. I should have known right from the start. Our hearts tell us things that our heads want to believe. This experience was one of a hundred that should have told me with giant red flags that something wasn’t right. Hindsight is a bitch, and she only shows up after you have been through the trenches. You know how they say, “If I only knew then what I know now…”? Well, the questions is, would I have done any different? I loved my husband with all my heart; or at least I thought I did. I loved what I thought he was, and he loved what he thought I could provide for him.
Bottom line, I should have known he was gay. The signs were subtle and also bold. The last few months, it was so obvious that I worked extra hard to deny it. I had two kids by then, and wanted to make it work. I wanted to believe him when he told me years earlier that he was bisexual, but he chose me. I was naïve and happily so. I am hoping to capture my experiences concerning him, but also concerning my life leading up to this moment when I put words to a page. There is so much in life I should have seen, but only now do I understand. I want to help other people like me who have lived a life that was altered completely in one day. I want to help someone else see the truth right before their eyes – the truth of who they are, who they love and what they are capable of.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Life at 33

I think that 33 is an age where you make it or break it. Many famous people died at age 33:
  1. John Belushi (comedian)
  2. Chris Farley (comedian)
  3. Jesus (spiritual icon)
  4. Eva Paron (Argentina first lady - aka Evita - aka the musical I rocked out to the other day
Others accomplished amazing things at 33:
  1. Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic alone (ok, so she disappeared, but still, bug accomplishment).
  2. Michelangelo created the David (kudos - I am personally dating my own statuesque man).
  3. Clark (of Lewis and Clark, not Lois and Clark) was 33 at the start of their expedition.
OTHER cool things about 33:
  1. 33 is the largest positive integer that cannot be expressed as a sum of different triangular numbers (NO CLUE what this means).
  2. The atomic number of arsenic (is "old lace" an element?).
  3. According to Al-Ghazali the dwellers of Heaven will exist eternally in a state of being age 33.
  4. The code for international direct-dial phone calls to France (just in case you ever want to call France).
  5. The number printed on all Rolling Rock beer labels; '33' is a Vietnamese beer that American soldiers became familiar with during the war; '33' (three-three) is a Nigerian produced brand of beer; Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer used to be advertised as "Blended 33 to 1"(beer is big on 33).
Best thing about 33? It's my age and a time I will mark in my life as a turning point. 33 is an age of discovery, understanding and growth. 33 brought me new life, love and perspective. 33 promises to bring more change, growth and opportunity. 33 will forever be the year of divorce, job changes and sobering, humble realities. Who knows what 34 has in store?

Keep in mind, dear reader, that age is a state of mind. They say you are as old as you feel, and I think I feel stable, happy and well suited to 33. Would YOU go back to your 20's? Think long about it. If you are IN your 20's, enjoy them to the fullest - I mean that. Come about 28 or so, your next phase of life seems to solidify. 30 is only scary if you let it be. Same with 40, 50, etc. Now, I know I am still young, and many of you are well past 33, but truly, you are as old as you want to be. I am happy here.

SO 34, when you arrive in October, I will embrace you. You are the atomic number of selenium (which apparently is a byproduct of mining copper...sounds important...). Also, "#34", a song by the Dave Matthews Band (who doesn't love Dave Matthews?). AND should I want to call Spain, it's the international dialing code for the country. I am also hoping you bring peace, happiness and love as your predecessor, 33, has been trying like hell to do as well.

Way to be, 33!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Finding Home

DISCLAIMER: To those who have been part of my life this past year - thank you. For those who have stopped being part of my life - thank you and good luck.
AND a year turns...ok, almost turns. It's amazing what 12 months can bring. If you walked up to me a year ago and said, "Hey, you are going to be in an apartment, looking for a job AND dating a father of two IN ABOUT A YEAR." Yep, would have called the Crazy Police and had them on you like slick on snot. But, you would have been 100% correct. It's been a year of ups and downs. A year of discovery and rebirth. A year of learning that YOU are your greatest cheerleader. SO let's dissect the year and see what we have learned, shall we? It is a journey that lead me away and then lead me to a new place that I call home - in my heart and in my mind.


Yes, let's get this one out of the way RIGHT away. After 15 years with someone - 10 of those years as a married couple - and two kids, one would think that all the bumps and road blocks were smoothed over...wrong! Life, dear kids, can completely screw you over when you least expect it. In a matter of a few hours, I lost my best friend, husband and confidante. Have you ever taken a Cheeto and watched it dissolve in water? That would be the general idea behind how I watched my world change. 

NOW I don't want pity or "poor you." You see, had this happened 5 or 6 years ago, I would have been unable to continue, BUT as luck would have it...You see, I have two amazing sons, and I thank my ex for that. I also have amazing memories and don't regret one moment of that life. Though the other end of this equation has gone Mr. Hyde on the world, and I don't recognize him anymore, I still wish him luck and happiness. Life is too short to harbor ill will. All the energy it takes to hate and rage can be so much more productive if used in positive pursuits. So, my dear ex, find happiness. 

  1. If you have kids GET A LAWYER - preferably one who can laugh with you.
  2. Stick to your guns - because they will stick to theirs.
  3. IF you have kids, keep it civil. 
  4. Child Support is NOT an evil way to get one person to lose out on money...both of you are responsible emotionally AND FINANCIALLY for the kids you created...suck it up. And hello, the state determines the amount...
  5. Your kids are not an inconvenience...so work them in to ANY SCHEDULE as much as you can.
  6. It's cold in court - bring a jacket.
  7. It's ok to date - really, it is.

SO let's get on to dating. WOW did I learn a TON in a short amount of time. Dating is probably right up there with walking on glass in terms of pain, scaring and inevitable loss of feeling in the affected region...but a necessary evil if you do not want to be that weird cat person in apartment 4D. I dated...and dated...long story short, I only ever dated and was "with" my husband. Yes folks, I had only been with one man my whole life. SUDDENLY at 33 I was set free onto the world. Oh, did I live.

My sister gave me advice, "Our family has this curse in a sense...people are drawn to us and fall in love with us instantly." I laughed at her as I am not some Venus with long legs, flowy hair and perfect face. BUT she was right - I think we are like walking cocaine...addictive as get out. Finding men to talk to, date and share my time was not difficult. Each one taught me about myself, and I learn a MOST IMPORTANT lesson...MEN LIKE WOMEN. Who knew? 

The attention men give to a woman is amazing. My brother explained that sex to a man is like the best muffin in the world. Once you have a taste of it, you will do ANYTHING to try that muffin again. Well, I baked my share of muffins. I learned a few valuable lessons:
  1. When a guy says "you have kids? COOL!" he means, "You don't actually have kids, they are just mythical creatures you speak of in rhyme." 
  2. Many guys CANNOT kiss...the amount of times my pancreas was licked, via my mouth, would lead me to believe I have an immaculately clean digestive tract.
  3. Hot guys are dicks. Enough said.
  4. One night stands are really not that bad - especially when the guy is a hottie from St Louis in for Easter and he makes you laugh, has a BMW and can wear a tee like nobody's business (amazing 3 hours - not that I have experience here or anything).
  5. IF HE DOESN'T PAY FOR DINNER THE FIRST TIME WALK AWAY. Chivalry isn't dead, it's just that some men forgot it exists. I am all for paying Dutch, but if HE asks YOU to dinner...it's all him. 
  6. Sex with the right man is better than anything in the word - finding him just takes time...a little too much time...but worth it!

Yes - I am a cubbie dweller. I went from a nice house to a 3-bdrm apartment. BONUS is I have a king bed to myself AND a bathroom in my bedroom. The amount of CRAP I had to cart to Goodwill during the move is almost scary. It's amazing how much one accumulates in 15 years that is just filler. Toys alone could have filled FAO. While it sucks paying to do laundry, and the creepy guy upstairs and his equally odd kids run screaming for hours nightly, I like our little home. I was able to paint AND my son even has Spider-Man and the Batman symbol on his wall - SUPER cool.

ALSO living in Madison is STELLAR. Culture, opportunity and the Farmer's Market...all amazing things. Having a sister so close also helps with child care and random watching of Game of Thrones with someone.

There is also a pool and gym at my complex...and gym brings me to...


I lost 35 pounds...thus the men taking to me like ducks to water. I am a nice size 8 and loving it. Ok ok, so it is mostly thanks to my ex jumping onto the Gay Train and leaving me, but once the smoke settled, I decided to capitalize on the loss and maintain. I LOVE buying things without trying them on as I KNOW they will fit. It pretty much rules. 

(SIDE NOTE: Yeah - the ex GAINED weight. Small smile.)

JOB...or lack of...

OK - I saw the signs...parts and pieces moving off to Mexico. Effort to improve the site was dwindling...and my entire team is in another state. POOF - job gone. But here's the strange thing; even when my boss handed me the severance package, I knew I would be ok. I can't explain it. I was pissed - don't get me wrong - but I also knew I had the talent and resolve to get through it.  Having my Masters and solid experience, drive and ambition will pay out in the end. Mark my words. 

When this news was relayed to me, my best good friend at work sat in my car in the parking lot (seems to be a recurring theme) with me as I cried and found sanity. I also called my (drum roll) boyfriend who offered laughs, love and support. Yes...boyfriend...


You ever meet someone and know in literally an INSTANT that you were meant to know them? Yes, that was what happened the moment I laid eyes on my dear man. The puzzle pieces fell into place on a physical, mental and emotional level. Our children mesh well, and the geek in me and the jock in him seem to melt perfectly. There is a spot in his arms where, when I am there, the world cannot touch nor hurt me. It's a great spot. It's home.


Yep - I found home. It's not a marriage built on a lie in a house taken by short sale. It's not the copious amounts of crap one accumulates in a life like books, movies or electronics. It's not a job. It's not what others tell me it should be. No, home is where my heart, body and soul found happiness, peace and love. Home is in my sons' laughter as they play. Home is the warm hug the man I love gives me when he sees me after an absence. Home is living in my body, accepting my heart and understanding my place in the world. Home is loving and being loved by those who find value in me, while omitting the evil and hurt being thrust upon me by those who haven't completely found their place. 

Home is here - here and now. It's going to be wherever I am if I so choose to make it a reality. So, a year CAN change your life. It's up to YOU if and how you let it. YOU choose your life - make it amazing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Crouching Husband, Hidden Truth

You know that moment in a scary movie when you, the viewer, know the creepy bad guy is waiting around the corner and KNOW that if you were the clueless teen who said, "I am going to find Janet," you would have said, "Janet is an idiot, I am out of here"?? Yeah, perspective and clarity. You as the viewer HAVE this because you are on the outside looking in. I am sure in this case the clueless teen really thought they could save Janet. WELL folks, the past 8 or so months for me has been the "corner," I have been the clueless teen, and my husband has been the bad guy - who I thought was "Janet". Confused?? Welcome to life in my house since August 3rd, 2011.

They say that life changes and things happen for a reason. They say that life only gives you as much as you can handle. They say look on the bright side of life. Well, "they" can take this advice and ram it up their....and I mean this with love and admiration. I don't think we understand the pain that those around us go through. We offer up advice, are there to lean on, but in the end, that person is alone in their struggle. I am guilty of this as well, and I apologize to anyone I spurted off some cliché to. I also thank those that gave me the support I needed. Despite the slightly bitter tone here, I needed all of it. I have just reached the end of my sunshine rope. I need action. I need amazing. I need a break - just a break.

I have learned from my experience. I have learned strength, patience, empathy, caution and sadly, I have learned that love can be a great mask for a person who is trying to be something they simply are not. I was a good band-aid for 15 years. I really was. Now, I refuse to be the band-aid. I refuse to just be "ok enough" for someone. Now that my divorce is winding down and the bad is really hitting the fan, if someone comes along that wants in on me and my life - they have to ASTOUND me. I am strong enough and able enough to carry through. In short, I now have expectations. Gentlemen, start your engines and good luck.

See - dear reader - my husband left me for a man. NOW he will claim that he hated me from day one. I made him miserable. I castrated him and forced him to be straight. Blah blah blah. Bottom line, you make your own life. You make your decisions. You only have you to blame for your situations. You make your bed. I want to make it clear that nobody - NOBODY - was as supportive of his decision as I was. I was hurt but happy for him because he found who he was. TO THIS DAY after all the pain and hate thrown at me, I STILL support his choice and always will. I want him in our children's lives, and I want him to find happiness. BUT I also know that an adult can make decisions. IF his sexuality was in question by him for years, then he should have made better decisions. I am all for standing up for you as a person, but I expect people to be accountable for their choices. I accept this in my life as well. Where I draw the line is having my job as a parent and my compassion for those I love belittled, slandered and defiled. This man, whom I loved, chose to take the low road. He will tel you I am a liar. He will tell you I am scum. He will tell you I lie to those closest to me and those closest in return tell me what I want to hear. He will also head silence from everyone when the bad hits the fan for him. SO I wash my hands of him and his anger, bitterness and pain. I have kids to raise, and they deserve all my energy.

What have I learned about life over 8 months? I learned your friends and family truly are there for you. I was astounded by the support, love and understanding presented by my friends on a daily basis. My family has gone to bat for me - sometimes in a brash way - but with love in their hearts. I learned that my children are my strength, happiness and life. They alone are my motivation. They are the loves of my life. I learned I have the ability to care for all of us - I was basically doing it anyway for years. It's hard, and digging out of the financial crater is crap, but there is progress. I learned that I am a desirable, sexy, smart and funny woman. I am everything a man would be lucky to have, and everything he should endeavor to deserve. Thus the need to be astounded.

FINALLY I learned this - life is hard, but when you surround yourself with love - REAL LOVE - from those who you support and who support you, you can move mountains. So last cliché:

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Ladies and gentlemen, I can benchpress a bulldozer full of bowling balls.

I LOVE YOU ALL - and you know who you are!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Staci Keanan has NOTHING on me...

Remember that TV show from the 80's called "My Two Dads?" The basic story line is a girl's mother dies and she doesn't know which of 2 men are the father of her daughter - played by Staci Keanan. The daughter meets the dads, they all decide to live together (as the men have no qualms about their manly orientation) and heartfelt hilarity ensues. It's a tale of love, family and the power of a dad in a girl's life...well, I have MULTIPLE dads. One might say I have a plethora of them. Both official ones and honorary ones as well as ones that take a role akin to a father in my life. So in honor of FATHER'S DAY 2011, I am going to pay homage to each dad in my life.

DAD #1 (aka BioDad)

I struggled with which dad to cover first, but it makes sense to start with the one that contributed to 1/2 my DNA. I refer to him as my "bio-dad" or by his first name, Scott. Scott and my mother were in high school together in the 70's. Along with parties and rebellion, my mother and Scott ALSO got me. Scott found out about me when I was a little older - as will be explained in "DAD #2" - and yadda yadda yadda, he lost touch with me. WELL, many moons later, a younger me (23) sent out letters to anyone matching Scott's last name. Long story short - I found my sister and then the whole family.

Out of this reunion, I got three more sibling, a great step-mom and a relationship with Scott. According to my husband, I also got much of my outward appearance from this side of my genetic pool - including my freckles and red-tinted brown hair. My boys also call Scott "Grandpa Scott" and his wife "Grandma Renae." I have to say that from Scott I have learned that out of struggle comes great things, and that sarcasm is alive and well (and fluent in my genes).


DAD #2 (also known as just "Dad")

Gary, for all intents and purposes, IS my dad. He married my mother when I was 4 back in the simple times of the early 80's. With my mom, he brought into this world my 2 sisters, and until I met Scott's family, the only sibling I ever thought I had. Dad - as I have and always will call him - loves music, family and enjoying life. He's a big kid and occasionally has a short and blunt temper. Growing up, I learned a love of music and family from him. Along with my uncles (my mother's brothers), he's sit up late on Saturday nights singing everything from "Hotel California" to "Rocky Raccoon" to the latest from ZZ Top. He even wrote a song that my sisters and I know the lyrics to to this day.

Dad and I haven't always agreed, and I sometimes think he still sees me as a 12-year old, but he has always been proud of me and proud to let everyone know this fact. Even though my parents divorced almost 10 years ago, my dad tries to check up on me and the boys. my sons call him "Papa" and LOVE going to his cabin. In fact, this Father's Day Weekend, that's where Noah is with my sisters and their kids. My dad is leaving the cabin to his grandkids - and I know they will be excited when the meaning of this actually sinks in.


DAD #3 (aka Donald Arthur Fresen - honorary father)

In my life, I have met MANY people. Most of the best people I know, and the longest relationships I have, come from my many community theater shows I have had the good fortune to be part of in my life. Dad #3 comes from this amazing group of people. Don met me shortly before I turned 16 when I was cast as the youngest actor in Godspell. My mother loved him as did I. The rule became "if Don's going to be there, then that's just fine." Don always looked out for me and made sure that I wasn't involved in any of the possibly "questionable behavior" at cast parties, overnight trips, late night food runs after rehearsals, etc. I truly believe if I told my mother and father that I was going to go storm city hall and burn flags in effigy, as long as I said Don was going to be there, all was well. Don was a LARGE influence in who I am today, and I cherish his insight and friendship. Don and others helped me be the person I am and love life and its many differences.


DAD #4 (aka Melvin J Los - the "father in law")

Ok, so you can pick your husband, but you can't pick your in-laws. I have hear horror stories about "evil mother-in-laws" and "freakish father-in-laws." I am SUPER lucky - I got great in-laws from the parents on down. When I was in my senior year of high school and needing air to clear my head, Melvin and Carol let me move into their basement. Ok, so Jake was SUPPOSED to sleep on the couch and me in the bed - but come on...hormonal teens in the same house...that's physically impossible to pull off. (I WILL INSIST that Mel and Carol understand that while we may have slept together occasionally, we never actually SLEPT together. That was a privilege saved for our wedding - and no, I am not a prude...) Still, they were gracious and heck, once Mel even walked in on Jake and I making out and he MAY have caught a glimpse of my goodies...so I think that's actually the real reason he likes me (ha ha ha).

From Mel I have learned about the true meaning of respect and stability. He has been there for us always, and is always willing to lend a hand. While all the "Grandpas" play with my boys, Mel PLAYS with my boys like he, too, is a 3 year old. Wrestling, baseball, goofing around, everything. Not bad for a man in his 60's. Mel always asks how I am and listens to the answers. He is great to joke around with, and even was a fairly good partner at Adult Weekend during ladder golf...though I was distraught to learn that he only got good after drinking a few beers..which was AFTER the tournament - next time suck down some Miller BEFORE we start the games!


DAD #5 (aka Joe - mom's Joe)

Mom's Joe is a quiet guy. He has many hermit-habits, and shies away from socially crowded situations. I know I challenge his thoughts a lot, but he takes it in stride. I consider Joe a "dad" in a way because he is always willing to help out Jake and I. He is truly someone we can look to for advice, help and support. No matter what the future holds, I know Joe will always want to be considered part of our lives and that of our kids. The boys call him "Papa Joe" taking lead from their older cousin, Olli.

So, even though Joe is silent, he's a loud whisper in our lives, and that is why he makes this list of the men in my life who are amazing "dads."


DAD #6 (aka my husband - Jake)

Now to the dad who isn't MY dad, but is the most amazing dad I know. Jake once said to me, "I want to have a son who can look up to me as I look up to my dad. I want to feel that love and pride for my child." I think he'll get his wish. We have two sons who love their daddy so very much. He plays with them daily, and never finds them to be a burden or a chore. He is right there with diaper changes, laundry and discipline. Our sons will not only learn love, compassion and respect from Jake, but how to be a good man. My only wish is that they are the same man at their core as their father. Jake would do anything for his family and just seeing his face light up when he sees the boys reminds me that he was truly meant to be a dad.


...and Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. Remember, mom's are amazing, but dad's can teach things to their kids that a mother cannot though she will try. Be a good dad - not just a presence in the house - a presence in the lives of your children from the moment that child opens its eyes to see you. Men get a stigma thrust upon them of stoic strength, but loving your kids and showing them is not weakness...in fact, it's the pinnacle of strength.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The difference between "wow" and "WOW"

So Elijah was activated on June 7th. Activated as in had his new cochlear implant programed and turned on - not activated for military duty or anything...NOW, I am beyond excited that he can hear things, don't get me wrong. When we sat in the audiology office and they said "on" for the first time...and Eli did nothing...I was a little bummed out. After some adjustments and programming, Eli finally heard a hand clap. He just stopped an smiled.

HE HEARD A HAND CLAP - holy crap! A simple action and he HEARD it. CLAP CLAP CLAP - just like that. JOY ABOUNDED... And that was it.

We were told that the auditory nerve needs to be strengthened before massive amounts of information (electronic impulses) can be fed into it. I guess that makes sense. Before you can use a muscle, it needs to become stronger. This means that we need to work him UP to human frequency sound. SO he can hear clapping, stomping and some driving bass beats in music. This is AMAZING, but I am still a little tiny teeny small bit disappointed that he still cannot hear me.
We were all ready to work on his first sounds, teaching him how to identify sound, etc, etc.

So we wait.

He has 2 processors and 8 programs. We are on P6 (program 6 - my cochlear lingo). So far we live in reactions to booming noises. He smiles and stops. He did hear the beginning of the noon siren...so that was cool.
BUT COME ON - the wait is KILLING me. Is that bad? I'd like to be happy in the amazing excitement of him hearing ANYTHING - but I would really just love to have him hear me. The audiologist said that maybe at the one month mark he'll hear us...depending on where the computer sets his next set of programs. I just HATE waiting...

...but it is pretty cool my son's hearing is controlled with a little remote I get to carry...

SO STAY TUNED - I know this post was fast and short, but I wanted to get it out there that I am an impatient woman...especially after waiting SO LONG just to get the implant turned on!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


It's MOTHER'S DAY. A day to reflect on your children, take in the love of a spouse and resign yourself to not do anything all day in recognition of the effort and pain you went through to BECOME a mother...yeah, right. Any real mom (this being a mother who does not enlist the help of a full time nanny so she can go shop and feign parenting angst) knows that taking a day off is not necessarily ever going to happen. I travel for work, and though I am away from my kids, I still have to take care of grown-up children. SO in honor of the day where we mom's get a free breakfast made with love or an extra hug, I want to outline my idea of a perfect mother's day - and it involves NO MONEY.

  1. Sleeping In
    This simple gesture on the part of the ones you love could mean more than a relaxing spa day. Imagine - SLEEPING IN. Not just sleeping in until 7am as your kids decided to give you the extra 1/2 hour, but lounging in dreamland for a few extra hours without having to be woken up by a child. Absolute bliss. Add a comfy room and the pleasant sounds of a ceiling fan to lull you to sleep, and Dreamland, here you come!
  2. Breakfast
    I give kudos to my husband for making breakfast this morning - pancakes. This simple gesture means two things: ONE, YOU don't have to make it, and TWO: YOU don't have to clean up after it. Now granted, a mother needs to then be satisfied with the meal placed before her. Might I suggest adding fruit, her favorite beverage and placing mom far away from any child that will be removing from her breakfast enjoyment by needing help cutting, chewing or drinking.
  3. No Expectations All Day
    Mom has ZERO obligations all day. Laundry, cleaning, child bathing, diaper duty, financial woes, driving, cooking, etc - these are all things that will be taken care of without mom having to mention them or even worry they won't be accomplished. I would spend my "no obligation" day sleeping, writing, watching a movie, going for a walk or even embarking on a project of my choosing...all sans interruption - like back in the day before the blessings of children came into being.
  4. Lunch/Dinner
    Like breakfast, and in line with point #3, food prep and meal planning will be in the hands of others. Mom can dictate the meal and even choose the restaurant (yes, I said these would all be FREE, but I didn't say for WHO) that will be visited. Mom gets to eat first and eat SLOWLY - again, sans interruption.
    Feet, back, neck, legs - everything. I suggest dad or significant other takes on this task in conjunction with wine and many MANY comments on the beauty and perfection of the mom in question.
  6. Bubble Bath
    Now, some moms aren't big on this - but I am. Nothing soothes aching muscles, fried nerves and a week-long headache like a warm bath. Locking oneself in a room where candles can be lit, a good book can be employed and the world can be shut out of is therapy you need (especially the working moms - as we ALL are - I mean even stay at home mom's work their butts off). During bath time, NO INTERRUPTIONS (note the recurring theme). SHOULD you have a tub like mine where it isn't luxurious, heck, just pretend.
  7. Love - Lots of It
    From everyone and to everyone. Recognize all mothers with a phone call, hug, facebook message, text, video chat, etc. Love on Mother's Day should equal that given and felt at Christmas. Moms not only help populate the world, we feed it, calm it, discipline it, hug it, teach it, do silly dances with it, tickle it, tackle it, defend it, support it, dress it, kiss its ouchies, sing to it, rock it to sleep, nurse its maladies, make it strong and leave it all the better when we are gone.
Centuries of moms have come and gone. Each of us have one or we wouldn't be here (unless you are a test tube birth in a lab somewhere - in which case I am not qualified to tell you to whom you should give your Mother's Day card). I look out my window and see cars rushing by, people walking past an the sun shinning and wonder, "Is each person out there going to see a mom today?" I hope so. Mom's aren't perfect. I admit that. Yes, I too am not perfect, however, like my fellow moms, perfection is what we want for our children, so we tailor the world around them to give them all they need to achieve it.

Happy Mother's Day to my mom, my grandmother, my bio-dad's wife, my mother-in-law, my friends who are moms, my aunts, my sisters, my sister-in-laws and even to those I know who are pregnant for the first time. To these gals I say this - the club you are entering is elite, original and bound by one thing - we KNOW we are always right...the rest of the world just spends their lives realizing that!