Thursday, April 24, 2014

It Could Be Worse

It could be worse.

It could be worse.

It could be worse.

I repeated those words in my own mind for months leading up to the heartbreaking news that I had just received. 

My baby, my first born, my son was in desperate need of another open heart surgery.  Except this time, his fragile, tiny heart needed a titanium valve to save his life. 

It could be worse.

As I watched him grow weak, sick and lethargic over the last few weeks, I knew something was wrong.  I knew in my heart, my gut; that something was wrong with him. 

His increasing need to be by me, with me, on me all day long seemed different.  He cried for me; to be in my lap, to rock in the chair and to sleep in my arms.  I wearily complied through exhausted eyes and rocked, cuddled and cried wondering what was wrong with my baby. I craved for normalcy.  Why did my baby have to be sick?  Why couldn't he be healthy and happy?

You can read the rest of the post here, at Brain, Child Magazine. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hold on Tight and Don't Move

I was laying on the couch watching TV when all of a sudden there he was.  Crawling into the little nook by my side.  Although, now he has gotten so big that he barely fits in that little nook anymore.  But he squeezed in there, nonetheless.  I wrapped my eager arms around him and we both smiled. 

As we laid together, watching TV, snuggled on the too-small couch, I tried not to move too much in fear that he would get up and find another seat.  My heart filled with happiness because it's not too often that we get to snuggle together like this we used to when he was little.  Now he is almost 10 years old and I know these days are numbered.  I know that he is in this interesting phase, caught somewhere between boy and guy.  He's becoming a guy. 

As my arm was tucked into that awkward space at my side, it began to fall asleep from the lack of movement, but I remained still as not to disturb the filling of my heart and soul as I snuggled my baby boy.  My guy.

As my arm and fingers tingled, it reminded me of a time not so long ago that I held him for hours sometimes as he slept because he hated to be put down.  I rocked him in the wee hours of the morning so he could sleep soundly.  I dared not to move or make a noise because he would wake and cry.  I would sit silently, in the dark, daring not to make a peep or the slightest movement.  I was desperate to be able to put him down for a few hours so I could sleep myself.  But he was sick a lot in those first years and he just wanted to be in my arms.  I don't blame him.

Now, as I lay thinking about that time, my hands throbbing and tingling, I wished that he needed me more often.  I realized how much I miss his sweet and silent hugs that said so much.  Although I love and honor the guy that he is becoming, I miss the boy that he was.

For now, I will hold on tight, endure the numbness in my hand and won't move.  I will hold on to this, to him, as long as I can.   
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

This is Why We Can't Be Friends on Social Media

So there I was, sitting in the lunch room at work, eating my sandwich when someone passed around a photo book of a coworker's little boy.  Flipping through the book, the conversation wandered into the "Where'd you get that? That's so cute!" realm.  Then came the discussion of which photo site was the best and most economical, where you can find coupons, etc. 

Then, out of nowhere, I get hit with this..."Did you know that Walgreens can print a book from your Facebook photos?  Not just yours but your friend's and families' too! How cool is that?"

The nice lady that said this was genuinely helpful in offering this little tidbit of information.  And I'm sure to normal people this sounds like a fantastic idea.

But, then there's me.  I'm a weirdo, so my first thought was (and I instantly said it out loud without thinking how odd it was) "What?! You mean I could have a WHOLE photo book of your pictures?" as I slowly turned to my friend/coworker sitting next to me, with my wide, crazy-eyed, Norman Bates glare. 

We instantly burst into laughter because she understands my humor and that I am, indeed, a creep. We continued the crazed, creeper conversation as such:

Me:  "You mean I could just upload some random friend's photos and make a whole book of them?  Like, the next time you come over, you'll just see a coffee table book in my living room with a bunch of pictures of you?  That's awesome."

Friend:  *laughs uncontrollably*

Me:  "Look, here's you when you were in high school.  And here's a picture of when you were pregnant.  And here's one of the baby shower."

Friend:  "Yeah, and it's a baby shower that you weren't even invited to.  Like, the family baby shower."

Me:  *dies laughing*

This idiocy went on for a few more minutes with creepy voice overs and facial expressions but I'm sure you get the picture.

So, of course, that night I started thinking of how crazy this is; that you can print someone else's pictures.  And naturally, I had to taunt the conversation even more.  So, at 10:30 at night I sent the following message to my friend from the lunch conversation:

Me:  "Hey, so, I'm in the midst of putting together this coffee table book of photos for a friend and I'm needing your opinion...for the cover, should I go with a more recent photo or an older photo of them looking all youthful? Just asking...for a friend. Man, I love Facebook!!!"

Friend: "I'd go more they know you remember them in the good ole days!"

Me:  "Thanks for the help! Hey, by the way, do you happen to have any pictures of you playing softball? Just wondering. Good night!"

Friend: "That's an odd question...but I'm sure there are some on Facebook somewhere! Did your friend play with me? She is going to love the memory book!"

Me: "Ummmmm, yeah. I'm pretty sure. Thanks!"

So this really got me thinking, can people really do this?  Can someone that I am casual friends with on Facebook upload and print my photos from Walgreens?  The answer, unfortunately, is yes.  I looked into it, not to be creepy but to verify this disturbing information.  You can see for yourself here at the Walgreens website

So if you will excuse me, I have some settings on my social media I need to adjust.  I'll just leave you all here to discuss.

Should someone else be able to upload your photos and print them? 

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Monday, April 7, 2014

A For-Real Conversation That I Heard at Target

I was at Target yesterday doing my weekly rounds when I heard a conversation that was the epitome of the Target marketing suction that gets you to spend way too much time and money in that place.  Luci and I were browsing the Dollar Spot, looking for something to waste her only dollar on, when two 20-something ladies came strolling over.

They were both sporting the standard mom uniform and acceptable Target attire: yoga pants, hair in a messy bun, Starbucks in hand, tired t-shirt with what looked like a little spit up on the shoulder.  They came swaggering over to the Dollar isle with that I-can't-believe-I-got-out-of-the-house-without-the-kids look in their eyes.  That glazed-eyed look of wanderlust.  That giddy excitement of anticipation and longing.  You know that look.

They almost made it past the Spot without a single purchase (I noted that they weren't even carrying a basket or pushing a cart.  Either they were amateurs or in total denial) when the brunette of the duet turned sharp on her heels and pronounced, "Oh, hold up a minute!  They have Charleston Chews!  I love Charleston Chews!"

She quickly shuffled over to the candy section of the Spot and scooped up a Charleston Chew.  Her friend followed suit and before they both knew what was happening, they both had a Charleston Chew in hand.  The blond of the duet asked, as she clutched the yellow wrapped candy, "What does it taste like?  I've never had one.  Is it like chocolate?" shrugging her shoulders in a way that told me that it didn't matter the answer, she was going to buy it and try it anyways.

The brunette answered and I didn't hear the reply but I don't think Blondie heard anyways because she was instantly mesmerized by the colorful stationary in the bin next to her.

"Oh, look at these cute post-its!  I need some post-its!" shouted Blondie.  "And they have cute Easter decorations.  I need some of these for my mother in law's house.  I told her I would bring a table decoration.  I could put this (I didn't catch this part, we'll just say... something-something) in a glass bowl with some colorful marbles or something."  (At this point, she is not only getting sucked into the Target Marketing Scheme (TMS)*, but now she's Martha frickin' Stewart. She's got this.)

While Blondie was rummaging through the Easter decorations and post-its, suddenly the brunette snapped out of the hypnosis-induced psychosis of the TMS and announced, "Wait.  I just needed some toilet paper.  Shit, we're going to be here forever, aren't we?  We're gonna be here for two hours, I'll end up spending $200 and I'm not going to get any of my cleaning done today, am I?"

Blondie looked up from the bin holding a Charleston Chew, Easter Bunny head band with white fluffy ears sticking straight up in one hand and a handful of post-it notes in the other.  She blinked her long eyelashes slowly, looking through her glazed eyes at her friend.  She thought for a minute.  After a moment of consideration, denial, anger, humor and at last, acceptance, she smiled and nodded her head. 

The friends fiendishly giggled and then continued in their search for just the right Easter decoration something-something. 

*TMS (Target Marketing Scheme) is how we will further refer to this syndrome.  Not to be confused with PMS, but TMS has been laboratory proven to reduce the affects of PMS.  That's a fact.  Look it up.

P.S.  If you would like to hear more about my funny, Target shopping episodes read :

Prostitutes in Target:  The Time I Overheard a Craigslist Connection in Target

Blogher Featured post : Christmas Brings Out All the Amateurs

My sister-in-law's attempt/fail at being a professional Target shopper. :  Amateurs Step Aside: A Target Story

I'm pissed off at Target:  Say Something I'm Giving Up on You

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Easter Baskets for Students

I always get my students some treats for holidays.  I created this quick and easy Easter Bunny basket that the kids actually make as an art project one day and then I filled it with candy and treats later.
I bought a package of white lunch bags and traced the bunny ears on them so all they had to do was cut that part out.  Then they could decorate with markers.  I gave them a cotton ball for the nose and tail on the back.  They then added the googly eyes and black pipe cleaner for whiskers. Fun, right!?
I bought a large bag of Easter grass to line the bottom of each one.  I try to shop the day after holidays for huge discounts for the following year.  I found cute Easter bubbles, erasers and pencils for the baskets the previous year.  I put a few plastic eggs full of jelly beans, a mini M&Ms and chocolate bunny.  I filled the baskets while they were at recess and they were so shocked to see them sitting on their desks when they got back. 

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