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Texts From My 18-mo. Old Granddaughter

Sunday night, 8:42 pm


I don’t think I could lift the receiver on a phone when I was a toddler, much less type a text, choose a contact, and hit send.

And last week, she bought a game package for her mom’s iPhone.

Never underestimate a toddler.

Warning: Possibly Sentimental (Definitely Graphic) Post Ahead, Fasten Your Seatbelts

Twenty-nine years ago, this day, I gave birth to a perfect baby girl.  The last of my four children, and if she’d of been my first, she’d of been an only child.

Not because she was a terror, quite the opposite, she was (and is) a truly beautiful, smart, funny, talented, and amazing girl.

No, I’m speaking of the nine months prior to her birth.

It started with puking, there was puking in the middle, and in the end there was more…puking.

I was the Kate Middleton of pregnancy, before there was a Kate Middleton.

And, in those days there were no fancy terms for “she-who-pukes-constantly-during-pregnancy”.

Nowadays, it’s called something Latin that I cannot pronounce.

I couldn’t stand the smell of any food.  I couldn’t eat, and if I dared, I couldn’t keep it down.

Except tuna salad.

And only at noon.

I could eat one tuna salad sandwich every day at noon, and keep it down.   The rest of the day, even the smell of tuna sent me running to the bathroom.

My poor doctor was at a loss, but he did bring me in to his office every couple of weeks and hook me up to an IV filled with this dark, thick stuff that was a vitamin concentrate. It took 30 minutes to empty the bag. I’d go home and feel decent for long enough to think I could eat and then realize (too late) what a mistake that was.

The very last week of my pregnancy, when I’d barely gained 20 lbs., I went in to see him and stepped onto the scale.

The only time in my life I remember desperately hoping I’d gained weight.

I had lost 5 lbs.

It was a Friday, and the doctor looked at me and said, “Monday”.

I replied, “What about Monday?”

“If you haven’t gone into labor by then, we are going to induce you.”

“Doc, I’ve had false labor for two weeks straight, and I’ve puked for nine months.  I’m about to go insane, so I’m with you.  Whatever you want to do.”

On Saturday the contractions began and were fairly regular.  I figured the baby had heard the doctor, so she was going to get serious about getting here.

Early Sunday morning, they stopped.

On Monday morning, they started again.  This time in earnest.

We drove the 50 miles to the doctor’s office, and after examining me he said, “You’re only dilated to about a one.  Now, you can either go home and wait.  Or, go to the pharmacy, get a bottle of castor oil, take it and walk, walk, walk.”

I chose the latter.

We went to a local mall, and saw the movie “Ghostbusters”; though by then the castor oil was doing the job it was designed to do and I missed half the movie.

The contractions grew steadily stronger during the day.

I walked and walked and walked some more.

We went to a favorite restaurant and hubby ate dinner.

We walked some more, then decided to go to the hospital as the contractions were now regular and about five minutes apart.

When I got there, and settled in, the attending came in and examined me.

“You’re only dilated to about a three, so I think we will send you home.”

I suddenly became the world’s largest bee-yotch, screaming at him that there was no way I was going home until this baby was born.

He grew pale as I became more angry and loud.

“I’ll go call your doctor.”


He came back in a few minutes and told me that my doctor had said to just let me stay.  God bless that man.

As my labor progressed, the anesthesiologist came in to give me an epidural.  On his first try, he missed.  My blood pressure plummeted and I passed out.   I’m told that I nearly fell off the bed, but was caught by my husband and a nurse.  I don’t remember that part.  What  I do remember is that after the successful epidural I felt no pain.

I also was never charged for that epidural.  Apparently, the doc that missed had felt so bad he was nearly in tears when he left me.

During the delivery, I was on a bed that tilted up so I was nearly sitting.  This allowed gravity to help.  It also caused severe friction burns to the backs of both thighs.  They were so bad, a nurse from the burn unit had to come down and treat them afterwards.

Once she was born, and I held that beautiful baby girl in my arms, everything was forgotten.

Okay, not completely.  That puking memory stayed with me a while.

I was in the hospital a few days longer than most people because of the burns, and the general rundown condition of my body from the lack of nutrition during the pregnancy.

During those days I ate.



Think lumberjack.

Suddenly, I was no longer pukey and nauseous and I couldn’t eat enough to fill me up.

I also slept almost constantly, only waking to eat or have someone poke and prod me.

The docs weighed me as often as they weighed my baby, and on the first day it was discovered that from pre-pregnancy to post-pregnancy I’d lost twenty-five pounds. So, although I’d gained twenty pounds during pregnancy, the minute she was born I lost forty-five.

My system was so run down, I spent the next year and a half catching every little virus that came along.  I was constantly sick with colds, strep, you name it.

Eventually, I recovered and as I’ve watched that baby girl grow up to have baby girls of her own I can tell you this…

I wouldn’t trade a minute of the puking for all the tea in China.

Maybe for gold, or cash money, but not for tea.

So Happy Birthday my darling baby girl, and I know you were a precious gift from God who continues to brighten my world.


Doc, Doc, Wha?

The other night I went to a pre-K graduation at a church-sponsored pre-school.


I’m looking forward to the day when there’s a cap and gown ceremony for kids who go from bottle to sippy cup, because we just don’t praise these little germ factories enough.  But, that’s another rant for another day.


At the graduation, each little white gown and cap festooned 4 or 5-yr. old stands on stage, announces their name and says what they want to be when they grow up.


There were the usual aspirations – doctor, fireman, veterinarian, etc.


And the usual “cute” ones – fairy, princess, fairy princess, and pop star.


And then there was ‘Travis’ who told us all that when he grows up he wants to be……………………a dog.  Personally, I think Travis is brilliant…and right on.


It Was a Great Camping Trip, Except For the Projectile Vomiting

A conversation between me and Baby Girl (BG)

ME: So, how was your camping trip with the family?

BG: Awesome! It was SO much fun!

ME: Cool.

BG: Except for the first night, when MJ projectile vomited everything everywhere and AJ wouldn’t go to sleep and cried all night. But other than that it was great!

(MJ is 5, AJ is 1)

ME: Eww…and on a camping trip, too! So, what did you do with all the stuff she puked on?

BG: Put it in a trash bag and then in the car.

ME: Bet it smelled *great* by the time you got home.

BG: I don’t know, it went right in the trash.  Do you know how disgusting vomit smells? Yeah, try that in an enclosed space like a small tent.  I thought I was going to puke, too.

ME: What caused it?

BG: I dunno.  Coulda been the McNuggets, or maybe the s’mores.   You know how sensitive her tummy is.

ME: Yeah. So what all did you do?

BG:  There were a lot of hiking trails and we found a cave.  It was really beautiful.

ME: Did you get that baby backpack to use?

BG: No, it was like $200.  I wish we had though, because we took the jogging stroller and the trail was full of rocks so hubby had to carry the stroller most of the way and I had to carry AJ.   And she kept crying because she wanted to get down and eat the rocks, dirt, pretty much everything.

ME:  And this was the first night/day?

BG: Yep.  The second night we were FREEEEZING.  It was like 40 degrees, but I swear it felt like 4.  And AJ wouldn’t sleep, and MJ was cold and I was wearing everything I brought and I was still shivering.  So, I didn’t get any sleep.

ME: Sheesh.

BG: But, other than that it was great and on the way home MJ said it was so much fun and we should do it again.

ME: And?

BG: Well, mom, it’s been three years since the last camping trip and now I remember why.  I’m sure, once the trauma fades from memory, we’ll do it again.

ME:  Ha! Ha!

BG: Oh, and did you see the picture I posted on Facebook of the GIGANTIC tarantula in the bathroom?


If He’s This Quick at Five…

…hoo boy, my daughter is in for an interesting time with this boy.

Remember the 5-yr. old grandson I told you about who hurt his junk-junk?

Well, Sunday was his sister’s 8th birthday and she got a Lego set featuring princesses and a pool and playground.  Apparently, it’s made up of elebenty-hunnert little pieces just waiting to make painful introductions to the bottoms of bare feet.

It was a big hit with the crowd, but went unopened as cake waited in the next room and it wasn’t going to eat itself.

As my daughter went to clean up the remains of wrapping paper and bags and stuff left after the present-opening carnage, the 5-yr. old walked up to her holding the Lego treasure in his hands.

Son: Mama?

Daughter: No, don’t open it. That’s sissy’s.

Son: I know, but I want to build it for sissy. (insert large grin here)

Lost in translation here was the momentary pause between daughter’s statement and her son’s reply.   In that pause, I watched his little brain clicking away trying to find the right combination that would let him open and play with his sister’s gift all while making it look like doing so was a selfless sacrifice on his part.

He’s adorable. And dangerous. But, mostly adorable.

This could get interesting.

Just Some Random Randomness

I’ve been away from here for a few days, for the three of you who may have noticed, and being around my grandchildren has brought some unexpected and hilarious theater which I’m about to share:

Five-yr-old-grandson:  Oooh…oooh…I hurt my junk-junk! (after flopping face-first into the couch)

Me: Your ‘junk-junk’?

FYOG: (grabbing his crotch ala Michael Jackson) Yeah, mah balls! I hurt mah balls!

Me: O_o

And later….

Same FYOG:  What if the world were made of peanut butter?  (as part of a conversation with me and his big sister, the deathly-allergic-to-peanuts grandchild)

Me: Well, sissy would be screwed.

FYOG:  *giggles uncontrollably*

Me: Of course, we could put her in a big plastic bubble to protect her.

FYOG:  Then she’d be a hamster! (collapses in fits of giggles)

And then there’s the 13-mo. old who is learning to walk….

She is taking some tentative steps when she suddenly flops forward and faceplants on the only square foot of ceramic tile within 20 feet of her!

Much wailing ensued, and was assuaged with application of my frozen teddy bear ice pack for kids – which she promptly shoved into her mouth to soothe her inflamed gums from the four teeth she has coming in right now.

Conclusion?  Being a baby is painful, and flopping on the couch face first will hurt your junk-junk.

I Share Genetics With These People

I have seven grandchildren.

I love every one of them to pieces.

However, sometimes I wonder who they are…


Oldest daughter and I are on the phone, chatting about the upcoming  Supreme Plate (can’t say the *real* name here, lest I want to get sued…because we all know that millions of lawyers for the NFL are watching this blog right now waiting for me to slip up.  To them I say, ‘Neener..Neener’.) this Sunday.  I hear smoochie noises in the background, and then….

Daughter: Son, are you making out with yourself in the mirror?

5-yr. old Son:  *giggling*Yes, mama I am! *more giggling*

And then there was the time my baby girl and her oldest were at the grocery store, in the produce aisle….

5-yr. old Daughter: Mama! I just farted on the fruit!

Baby Girl: (without even looking up) Don’t fart on the fruit, honey.

Who needs a sitcom when you’ve got kids?


And This All Happened Before All The Other Stuff That’s Happened Since…

It was Christmas Eve, the day my family celebrates Christmas, because the next day is the day the other side(s) of the families celebrate Christmas..and it sounds more complicated than it is.


Anyway, oldest son is divorced and since he has two little ones to get ready and out the door he’s often late to family gatherings. 

So, we weren’t concerned when the appointed hour for his arrival came and went.

Then, my phone rang.

“Mom? I can’t believe it, and it’s cold and I have my babies!” He was nearly hysterical on the other end of the phone.

“What happened?”

“I’m…I don’t know where we are…oh there’s a sign!”

“What happened?” I said, louder this time.

“On the toll road.  The car! Oh my God, I can’t believe this!”

At this point, I’m thinking he’s had a horrible accident and possibly a head injury.

“Are the kids okay?”

“Yes, I guess…I’s cold.”

“Did you get hit?”



“Oh……nothing like that.  The car’s engine just blew up.”

Oh…yeah, no problems there…riiiiiiiight.

“Oh..are you in the middle of the road?”

“No, I got it off the highway and am here in front of {location}…and I need a tow, and I have NO MONEY!” 

Of course he has no money, none of my grown children ever seem to have money for these things.

“Don’t worry about that.  I’ll pay for a tow.”

“I can’t pay you back, I lost my job.”

“What? You’ve worked there five years! When did this happen?”

“Mom, not right now.  It’s cold. I need to talk to brother and have him come get me.”

“Okay…we’ll talk when you get here.”

I hand the phone to his brother and in a few minutes he leaves to pick up everyone and bring them back to my house.

I called the tow company and arranged for a tow to the closest shop of the car.  I thought it was my son’s car, but it was actually my ex-daughter-in-law’s, because son’s car blew a tranny and he couldn’t afford to fix it.  But, I said I’d pay for it and I did.

Guess how much a 10-mile tow costs.

Guess how much it costs on Christmas Eve. 


In the end, son and grandkids made it to my house and the use of a loaner car his sister has was secured.  My pockets were a little lighter, but my heart was happy to see how my kids look out for one another as all manner of “Whatever you need…” was repeated over and over that night.  Son was totally shocked at the outpouring, and I (gently) admonished him for not believing we’d be there for him. 

He teared up and hugged me tight…”I love you, Mom” was whispered in my ear.


A Magical Moment in Time

From “Letters of Note”, an oft-qouted favorite website of mine; I bring you a magical, whimsical, sweet reminder of what a genius Sam Clemens really was.

And, now I wish he’d been my daddy too.




Gray Hair Tale #1,287

::phone ringing::

Me:  Hello

Baby Girl (BG):  MOM! MOM!! *click*

I quickly dial back, the phone goes to voicemail.


Don’t panic, don’t panic.

::phone ringing::

Me: Baby girl?

BG: MOM!! I fell, with the baby…*garbled, garbled*

Me: Is she hurt?

BG: *screaming/crying/hysterical*MOM!!!

Me: Dammit…calm down a second, BG!! IS. SHE. HURT???

BG: No, she’s fine *screaming again, crying* I broke my fucking ankle!!!

Don’t panic, don’t panic, baby girl is home alone with her two babies and I’m over an hour away.

Me: Did you get a hold of your hubby?

BG: I called *screaming again* no…*sobbing*…answer

Me: Okay, let me see what I can do.  Where are you?  Where are the girls?

BG: *sobbing, hysterical*On the floor, in the hallway. I was getting out of the truck with baby in my arms and somehow I rolled over on my ankle and fell.  I landed on my elbow and baby’s head was like an inch from the floor…OH. GOD.THE. PAIN!!!

Me: Alright, I’m going to try to find someone close by (her sister, brother, and sister-in-law are all within 20 minutes of her) you keep calling hubby.

::five minutes pass, I can’t get anyone and my phone rings::

Me: Baby girl? Did you get a hold of hubby?


Shit, shit, shit…okay, think Mom…

Me: *looking at my boss who can hear BG screaming/crying on phone and looks genuinely alarmed* I’m on my way, you keep calling hubby. *boss nods and I grab my stuff and run out the door*

I called my hubby on the way to BG’s house.

Hubby: Hello?

Me: Hey, BG thinks she’s broken her ankle.  She’s lying on the floor at her house and we can’t get a hold of anyone.  I’m on my way out there now, but I’m like an hour away.  *I look down at my reads ‘80’…I try not to think about that*

Hubby: What the fuck happened?

Me:  I don’t really know, she’s hysterical.  From what I gather, she fell getting out of the truck with the baby and somehow rolled her ankle in the process.

Hubby: Sonofa……

Me: I know, right?  Can you call her?

Hubby: Me? Why?

Me: Because YOU are her Daddy, and you are always able to calm her down.

Hubby: Okay, but you keep me informed.

Me: Thank you, honey.  I will.

I hang up the phone and for the next few minutes concentrate on driving like a madwoman through the Dallas traffic.

::phone rings – it’s BG’s husband::

Me: Where are you?

BG Hubby: I’m on my way home, be there in 15 minutes or so.

Me: Okay, I’m on my way there, too.  I’ll watch the girls while you take BG to the hospital.

BG Hubby: Okay.

I hang up again and go back to NASCAR on the freeway.

::phone rings – it’s my daughter-in-law::

Me: Hello

D-I-L: Hey, what’s going on?  Everyone’s phone is blowing up.

I relay the events and ask d-i-l if she can come out to the house to watch the girls after she gets off work – she lives very close by.  I can’t stay too late as I have to work the next day and we don’t know how long BG may be at the hospital.

D-I-L: Sure, no problem.  I’ll see you around 6:00.

Me: Thank you!

I’m almost to BG’s house now and realize that a one-hour trip has taken me less than 40 minutes.  I don’t even….sigh…thank you, God.

I walk in to find BG and her hubby in the bedroom.  BG is on the floor, her ankle is roughly twice its normal size, but it looks to me to be more of a strain/sprain than break.

We carry her to the car and a couple of hours later she texts me the good news – no break, BUT severe strain to ligaments, possibly a tear but time will tell if she needs surgery.  For now, it’s a boot, crutches, ice, and heavy-duty ibuprofen.

And that, dear readers, was how I spent my Monday….getting gray hair # 1,287.

What did you do?