Thursday, March 25, 2010

The eagle has landed

I repeat: the eagle has landed. The eagle will remain grounded until April 11.

Eagle, wife, and eagle junior are all happy.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I forgot to mention...

...that Jimmy comes homes tomorrow for a 2-week "spring break". We are excited at our house!!

"the cup", continued

I bought Mac's cup for baseball today and left it in the back seat so he'd see it when I picked him up after school. He looked at it and said he didn't know that's what a cup looked like and that he and his friends had seen one - a much larger one - on the playground (which borders the baseball field) at school.

Immediately, I asked "did you touch it?" A mother of a boy should never - NEVER - ask that question.

He said they picked it up and played with it some.


He told me later that he thought it was a kneepad and another friend thought it was an elbow pad. At least nobody thought it was a chin guard.


(P.S. One of Mac's teammates got hit with a ball in the groin tonight at practice - without a cup on. All the parents were leaving practice to go straight to the sporting good stores to buy a cup. Finally, we're one step ahead.)

I knew there was something I had in common with a supermodel

Do you remember who Isabeli Fontana is? You might not, but she's ingrained in my memory forever. She is the mother of one of the children Mac was in kindergarten with in Sao Paulo. She happens to be about 23 and she's a supermodel. She's young, beautiful, perfect skin, tall, skinny, etc. Which, of course, is intimidating to a middle-aged (sorry, Caroline) frumpy housewife who thinks clothes from Target border on haute couture.

Today I picked up the latest edition of my guilty reading pleasure, Vanity Fair magazine, and flipped through the first few pages where I saw this ad:

Clearly Isabeli and I could have been best friends because we both love Gap. Who knew?

Granted, I buy my jeans a little looser and I utilize a few more buttons on my shirt and I use undergarments that she might not bother with, but we clearly both have an affinity for denim. I even own some old Gap jeans that are vintage because of age and not because of the latest trend that have patches on them that I wear at the corn maze.

I'm sure Isabeli never sported a big bad perm in 1987. In fact, she might not have even been born in 1987. But we could girl talk about jeans and raising boys and her love of Argentine polo players and jetsetting to model shoots. Maybe I could give her some tips for cooking in her crockpot and using a toothbrush to clean grout. Really, the possibilities are endless for what we could bond over.

I think we might be kindred spirits.

random Wednesday musings

1. MIA Coach is back on the scene. Apparently he got the message that he was getting ready to get the boot so we all got a contrite email this morning, apologizing for his absence but he's ready "to get the season rolling." To which I want to tell him that the season is already rolling and that he better have fast shoes on to catch up with the momentum.

2. One of the team moms told me last night the scores of the last two games. I won't tell them to you here because they are shameful. We have so much work to do.

3. I come from a long line of devoted obituary readers. My grandfather used to say that he wanted to make sure he wasn't in there. I never really got into reading them until recently, but I'm hooked now. They are fascinating glimpses into people's lives or at least what the surviving loved ones think are the interesting bits of the deceased's life. I''m particularly drawn to the obituaries of people my age or younger because people my age or younger should not be dying. I read one last week of a young woman (in her 20s) whose obituary read that she was passionate about tanning. That struck me as really the saddest commentary. She hadn't lived long enough to even find a passion outside of personal vanity.

4. At Monday night's game, I noticed a man watching our team from a wheelchair. I didn't know who he was or who he was there to watch play. Last night I learned the story. This man is the father of one of our players. He's in his mid-30s and when his wife (one of our devoted team mothers) was pregnant about 6 years ago, he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He's had treatments but it's incurable. He's undergoing another type of chemo now and it seems to be working in terms of retarding tumor growth, but in the last 3 weeks, he's gone from normal functioning, walking and talking to a wheelchair with Alzheimers-like behavior. The wife wasn't at practice yesterday because the boy on our team had an ear infection and her other son had the tummy bug. In the last 3 weeks since he went downhill, her house has been full of his and her extended family. How much can a woman take? It's stories like these that put my life in perspective. From where I'm sitting, things are pretty much perfect in my world.

5. Last week I was asked by a classmate of Mac's why I didn't work. I explained that I had this opportunity to spend the year doing things with and for Mac and our family. He then asked if I didn't like money. I tried to explain that there was more to life than money, that no amount of money can buy health or happiness and that those were the most important things to me. I'm sure that team mom would give up every penny she had to have a healthy husband.

6. One of our church's mission projects is to stock a food pantry at the high school where church services are conducted. This high school is brand new and caters to some wealthy neighborhoods, but also to some poor areas as well. I'm not sure how many students attend the school (there are only 3 grades so far as they build up to the 4 grades), but there are some 300 students who are on the free- and reduced-lunch program, some of whom don't eat from the time they leave school until they come back the next morning. The school sent home a letter to those 300 kids to tell them that a food pantry was being stocked if they needed some provisions to get through the weekends or nights. Of those 300, 80 children showed up last Friday to get some food. The big concern is that with Spring Break coming up, these students won't have sufficient food for over a week. So our church is having a food drive to stock up the pantry.

This has been a powerful teachable moment for Mac. I went to Sam's the other day and bought some stuff for us and some stuff for the food bank. Mac saw the groceries in the trunk and asked what they were for. I explained that some students don't get to come home and eat snacks after school or dinner at night, that their families don't have money to buy food. He asked why they don't just go to the ATM and get money out. I explained that if you don't have money in the bank, you can't just "get money out". Clearly this talk was long overdue.

The whole point of sharing this today is that I do feel profound gratitude for the blessings in my life and those do include financial blessings. We may not be rich by certain standards, but we can eat when we're hungry, we have a roof over our heads, and we most certainly enjoy good health.

Can a girl ask for anything more?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

little league might just kill me

1. We were told tonight that we had to buy a cup for our sons per Little League rules. I will admit that my first inclination was to think they meant a water bottle because "cups" are not part of my existence. Before I embarrassed myself, I realized what sort of cup they were talking about. So tomorrow will be a trip to the sports store to buy my first cup. I feel like such a man.

2. The coach remains MIA. The little league president called him today and couldn't get him, so he gets one more day before he gets the coaching boot. Remember the woman I told you about at Saturday's game? Her husband is going to be the coach if MIA Coach doesn't show up. Mac will be ready for MLB sooner rather than later. Seriously, this guy coached tonight and was very, very good and patient. He has decades of experience in Little League and is going to be great for our team.

3. They've added a Sunday practice. That means we'll have been at that ballfield last Saturday, Monday (yesterday), Tuesday (today), Wednesday (tomorrow), Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday before - hopefully - there's a break. Do these people not have a life??? I might not have that much of a life either, but I'd like the option to eat dinner out once in awhile. I have too many other decisions to make so good for me that the options have been reduced to Friday.

WARNING! the photo below may burn your eyes

Last week I had lunch with my mom, my aunt and my aunt's friend. My aunt produced a photo that my cousin had found at her house not too long ago. The photo was taken at the Charleston airport in August 1987 on the day that I left to be an exchange student in Australia. The photo obviously dates me. Don't laugh - I don't need you to tell me I had the big, bad perm that a lot of people were sporting in small-town USA in the 80s. Trust me: I know now that it looked awful. (my cousin Brad, me, Jimmy, Stephen, Todd, and Dara)

Anyway, I showed the picture to Mac yesterday and asked him if he recognized anybody in the photo. He had no idea. (He shouldn't feel bad, I guess, because my own mother insisted that could not be me in the photo.) When I told him that was me in the front, he laughed and told me I looked ridiculous. He told me my hair looked awful and asked if this picture was taken in the 60s. I should put him on talking restriction.

Then I pointed out Jimmy in the photo, who, let's admit, looks a little ridiculous too, right? Mac continues to suffer from hero worship for his father and he loved everything about Jimmy in the photo. He loved how long Jimmy's legs looked, he commented favorably on those plaid shorts, he thought the long hair was cool. You get the picture.

I asked him if he recognized anybody else and he immediately pointed out Jimmy's oldest and dearest friend Stephen, which obviously validates Stephen being named "Least Changed" at our 20th class reunion last summer.

Stephen might be thankful for the "Least Changed" vote, but I, for one, will gladly go for "Most Changed" if the look in this photo is what I'm getting away from!

baseball has consumed my life

As you know, Mac had his first game on Saturday. Late on Saturday night, I received an email with the season's schedule that showed the first game was Monday. Did they realize that was only two days away? Did they not know that I like the Upward format of one practice a week with one game a week? And each needs to last only one hour? Somebody obviously didn't get my memo.

So I washed the uniform and we got to the field at 5:30pm for warmups before the 6pm game. And wouldn't you know that our opponents were that same pesky orange team from Saturday. You know, the team that's one step away from being drafted for the Minor Leagues? Yeah, they were our opponents again.

And they played as well last night as they played Saturday. Somebody told me last night that this team has played together for two seasons and the coaches requested that they receive the same players this season. Are all the other teams formed the same way? Are we going to be the David in a David vs. Goliath battle two times a week?

For me, the important thing was that Mac had a great time. He didn't have as great a game technically as he did on Saturday, but he had fun. But apparently fun doesn't count for much in Little League. At the end of the game, which our team lost handily, the fill-in coach (because we still have yet to lay eyes on our coach!) told the team not to be discouraged because they played well "for a team that hadn't had any practices." Helloooooo? Did he have to qualify under what circumstances they played well?

Apparently so. And apparently we are no longer going to be able to use that qualification after Saturday's game because we are now having practice tonight, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. Our coach is MIA - he coaches three ice hockey teams that have been playing in a tournament in Nashville and he only supposedly got back to town late last night. We have two very proactive team moms and it's only because of them, that we even knew we had a game last night. They talked to the league president last night who took pity on our team and gave us a field to practice on for the next.three.nights. Oh, how I love being pitied. NOT.

I knew that one day our lives were going to be dominated by sports schedules. But I have to admit that I didn't think that it would be now. Five nights out of seven for one sport for one child? Are you kidding me? I am going to become one of those mothers who knows the name of the kid working at the drive-thru at McDonald's because we see him every night. If you're on our Christmas list, you should be prepared to receive Happy Meal toys from us because we should amass the entire spring and summer collection before this baseball season is over.

So we return to the field tonight. Hopefull to meet our elusive coach who maybe will show up tonight now that we've got 2 games under our belts?

I wonder how they'll qualify the team's playing on Saturday if, after three practices, there's no improvement? If you're in Summerville and have time to kill, won't you stop by the Little League fields and keep me company?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

what a fun weekend

1. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" movie on opening day. With his best friend. Followed by dinner with best friend's family. Does it get any better than that for a 7 year-old?

2. Opening Day of baseball. Wait, the weekend's getting better for aforementioned 7 year-old.

3. Aforementioned best friend's birthday party. Weekend is officially off-the-charts excellent for 7 year-old.

4. Dinner with school friend and her family followed by cul-de-sac baseball with family (friend's dad played minor league baseball in Central America which impresses a 7 year-old nearly as much as if he'd said he was a Jedi Knight) and neighborhood kids. 7 year-old could die happy right now.

5. Another birthday party for the world's most adorable 2 year-old (full disclosure: she is my cousin's daughter so she is related but she honestly looks like the Gerber baby, only cuter). More cake and ice cream for 7 year-old who thinks he must have died and gone to heaven.

The saying goes that "when Moma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." Well let me tell you that when the 7 year-old's happy, Moma can't help but be happy. Hope your weekend was "off-the-charts excellent", too.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

"put me in coach. I'm ready to play"

Today was Opening Day for Summerville Little League. I thought Opening Day would mean they'd introduce the teams, somebody would sing the National Anthem off-key, we'd eat a hot dog and that would be it. But earlier in the week, I learned an actual game was involved. (They limited the season opener game to one hour apiece, but it was a game for the records nonetheless.)

Now you might be thinking that of course, they'd play on Opening Day. After all, that's what they've been practicing for, right?

Except that they only had 2 practices ahead of time. One practice was only attended by 3 players (one of whom was Mac). And the coach is out of town this week, so we haven't even met him. He wasn't even here for Opening Day.

If you understand what I'm saying, there was a lot of room for error. I mean, A MONUMENTAL LOT.The coach emailed everybody and told them to wear gray baseball pants and the team's red jersey. But there was no mention of matching belts and socks, so of course I cheaped out and bought white baseball socks at Wal-Mart to go with the cheap cleats I bought at Wal-Mart. (After all, we'll be lucky if he doesn't outgrow them before the season ends.)

I knew we needed a belt but I didn't have time to go to the sporting goods store before today, so after checking Wal-Mart (no baseball belts) and Target (no baseball belts), I decided to improvise and I just bought a belt in the boys' section of Target that sort of looked like a baseball belt and definitely could pass from a long distance for a baseball belt, but which was most definitely not a baseball belt. Thank goodness Jimmy wasn't here to witness this and Mac is too young to know better.

So Mac was fairly well-dressed for the part. And as we all know, he's a sucker for any activity that gets him a new uniform so he's loving the whole get-up.
Anyway, we show up and our team looks like we just got off the Island of Misfits. Every single person on the other team had their orange shirts, gray pants, orange socks and orange belts. They probably all had on matching orange underwear, too. Our team didn't even all have on gray baseball pants. Heck, not everybody on our team even had baseball pants on. But it wasn't a fashion show, right?

Our boys took the field first. Mac was in centerfield and was able to stop several hard hits (over the course of a couple innings). The other team clearly has been practicing batting for at least the last two months or else they are genetically predisposed to being Louisville Sluggers. It had the distinct feel and flavor of a David vs. Goliath situation.

When we finally got our first turn at batting, there was so little hitting that it was embarrassing. I mean really embarrasssing. In coach pitch, each batter gets 5 overhand pitches and if he doesn't hit any of them, he gets two soft pitches. If those aren't hit, he's out. (In the interest of time today - with the one-hour time limit on each game - they only did the first 5 pitches.) We may have seen 3 up, 3 down straight out of the box. It was pretty demoralizing as a parent who wants her son's team to do well.

The orange team's next at-bat was a repeat of the first. They hit hard, ran fast and didn't get any quick outs. But then something happened to our team at their next at-bat. They actually hit the ball and got on base. Spirits picked up and it really became a fun ballgame to watch because it wasn't so lopsided.

And Mac played his heart out. He had two opportunities to bat. He got out at first on the first bat (after a great hit) and made it safely to first on his second at-bat. He moved from centerfield to the pitcher position (it's coach pitch, so he didn't pitch but he played the position). And he assisted in the last out of the game by getting the ball and throwing it right to the first baseman. It was a great first game for him and he was thrilled with the whole thing.

There's always some little fly in the ointment in even the best situations and today was no different. There are definitely a couple parents on this team that are going to grate on my nerves before this is over. They clearly should have enrolled their sons in the Parks league, which is reportedly the more competitive league in town. Nothing suited them today: they're upset the coach wasn't there, they're upset that they only had 1 practice (they weren't among the 3 boys who showed up for the first practice) when some teams have been practicing for weeks; they're upset that the stand-in coach couldn't pitch better; they're upset that nobody taught the children every single baseball rule in the one hour of practice they had this week. The lady corrected everything her son did wrong, almost before he had a chance to make a "mistake." I intentionally tried to bother her by using my Upward training in applauding players from both teams on good plays, but I think it was lost on her. What I really wanted to do was tell her that these children are 7 years old and that they just need to be having fun and breathing fresh air and getting dirty, but she was sort of scary and I didn't think she'd take well to my advice. I saw her in a nurse's uniform the other day, so I'm hoping she's going to be working a lot of shifts when we have games so she can't rain on our parade.

All in all, a GREAT first day of baseball. I can't wait for Jimmy to get here next week to participate.

(And if they give an award to worst-dressed player, it won't go to Mac. We bought the red socks and belt after the game today!)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

the blessings and beauty of a really great best friend

As you know, Caroline and her fabulous almost-my-cousin husband, Willie, invited Mac and me over for an anniversary celebration last Sunday (on the actual occasion of our 12th wedding anniversary). And of course, Mac got vomititis, as Willie called it, and we had to postpone until today.

Caroline and Willie are hosting a garden wedding at their beautiful marshfront home next weekend and they've worked like dogs the last couple weekends to get the yard in pristine condition. Did that stop them from being gracious enough to have us over last weekend and then rescheduling for this weekend? They put out 45 bales of pinestraw yesterday and today still cooked these delicious stuffed mushrooms, followed by homemade bleu cheese and walnut ravioli, lobster tails and asparagus. And that was just the prelude to this divine chocolate cake and ice cream that probably had more goodness stuffed in it than anything I ate from Tuesday to Friday combined of this week. They should have been in the bed today with the heating pad on their backs but they did all that for us.

Caroline has never forgotten one single anniversary of the last twelve. She's remembered every milestone of my life since we graduated from college and she's never forgotten Jimmy's birthday since we were married. She has sent goodie boxes to us from near and far; we even got bagels from New York City when we lived in Mozambique.

This friendship isn't about the bagels or the birthday presents. It's about the remembering and the celebrating of life. Caroline has seen the good, the bad and the ugly in me, and she still loves me and celebrates me. She knows, like I do, that marriage isn't always pretty or easy, but it's certainly worth the trouble and celebration with the right man. She has, like I do, a hard-fought-for only child that's precious and perfect and worth a hundred children to someone else. We share a lot of familial struggles that a lot of people don't have or don't understand.

Most importantly, we share the gift of time and history. I have been blessed by a lot of great friends who make a lasting mark on my life, but who, sadly, enter and exit my life within a two-year period. I hope that with luck I'll see those people again at some point in the future, but there are no guarantees.

Caroline's not like one of those friends. She'll be there. Luck or not. It'll happen. Why? Because she's more than a great friend. She's a best friend, no matter the time or distance that separates us.

So Caroline, here's to you and the beautiful and generous gift of your friendship. Thank you for making my anniversary special this year and every other year! I am a better person because of the light you, Willie and Isabel bring into my life.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Jersey Mike and me

Today I had to run to Charleston and knew I'd be back in Summerville by lunch time. My appetite is back in full swing, so I weighed my options on the 30-minute ride and decided I'd really like a good sub. I have had subs on the brain since I saw the guy eat a Subway Veggie Delite on The Biggest Loser the other night.

I should have just gone to get the Veggie Delite - after all, Jillian said it met the caloric and fat content of The Biggest Loser contestants, so surely it fits my caloric and fat requirements.

But I decided to go to Jersey Mike's instead. Big mistake for somebody who might want, I don't know, some vegetables maybe on the sandwich?

Their veggie sandwich has provolone, swiss and green peppers.

No, I am not kidding.

Guess how many thin little green pepper rings they put on a 6-inch sub? TWO.

Now, I am not kidding again.

When I saw two pepper rings laying on 6 slices of cheese, I told the guy he had to be kidding me. This was a veggie sub and he put 2 pepper rings on it?

He told me that was how they made veggie subs, but I could certainly have more if I wanted. I said I did, and he put two more thin rings on. Whoa. He really splashed out. He said not everybody liked green peppers. To which I asked why would anybody order a veggie sub that lists 3 ingredients, with only one being an actual vegetable if they don't like the vegetable that's listed? Wouldn't they just order a cheese sub?

And while Subway has cucumbers and olives and all these other yummy, healthy things to put on the sub, Jersey Mike's has lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.

Big disappointment.

Plus Subway has way better bread choices.

So after this failed lunch experiment, I will remain a Subway gal from now on. Jersey Mike is now a distant memory; I'm sticking with Jared and Jillian.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

baseball is just around the corner

Yesterday I got a call from Mac's baseball coach. He only wanted my email address so he could send out an email to everybody when the practice schedule is released. I gave him my email and asked him to confirm that there would be one, maybe two, practices per week.

If I had obligated myself to be a coach, I would know how many nights a week I was committed.

But the coach said he had no idea.

This leads me to believe that either a) the coach has nothing else going on in his life so it really doesn't matter if baseball takes up one or seven nights; or b) it doesn't matter how many nights he has to coach because his child's future as a professional baseball player starts NOW.

Either choice is scary to me, but I'm inclined to believe that here in Summerville, SC, we might be leaning to choice "b".

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

my night with the porcelain goddess

The virus struck me last night. As many Clorox Wipes and as much Lysol as I sprayed when Mac was sick, I really thought nothing, including small pets and houseplants, could survive. But my sister, the doctor, tells me these viruses are very, very tenacious and can replicate with just 10 live particles. That's like a speck of dust that I obviously missed with my Wipes.

Last night I was watching tv and felt queasier and queasier until I was hit by the first eruption of the most violent vomiting I've ever experienced. It made me feel so sorry for Mac that his body was racked by the same vomiting a couple days ago.

I quickly got in the bed, only to be awakened at 9:30 for round #2, at which time the virus graced me with its presence from both ends.

This went on every hour only until about 12:30pm when it stopped. I can tell you that every time I got back in the bed, I prayed to the Lord to make this quick. And He surely did.

I, of course, am not a doctor, but I think that by the virus making an egress from both ends, I cut my "active sickness" time in half. I'm basing this on the length of time Mac was actively sick. So that is a positive. I'm now left with weakness - expected - and these awful achey pains in my thighs and lower back - not unexpected. My neighbor's family all had the virus a couple weeks ago and she said the aches are a symptom of the norovirus and would be gone in a day or two.

After consulting again with my sister, I am now eating bananas to restore potassium lost through diarrhea and I'm going to medicate with Advil PM when I go to bed. I would love to be able to sleep and these aches make it impossible to get comfortable enough to sleep.

I don't often get stomach bugs, so I really marveled last night about a couple things.

1. I woke up before every "active sickness" with more than sufficient time to get to the bathroom. The queasiness was really very mild when I woke up and gradually strengthened until it was time to make a move. How does a body know to wake up? I could have had a mess in my bed otherwise.

2. The body's ability to expel things is really quite horrific and dramatic and violent.

I do see the light at the end of the tunnel, especially if tomorrow is the last day of the leg aches. The only really good thing that has come out of this sickness is that my stomach is flatter than it's been in years. I know it'll go back to normal as soon as I start eating, but too bad it's not bathing suit season yet!

Monday, March 8, 2010

that wretched 24-hour vomit-free rule

I am pleased to report that Mac is 100% better today. The last vomiting episode was at 12:30 yesterday afternoon. Keeping in mind that rule about not sending your child back to school until they have been symptom-free for 24 hours, he is home with me today.

And it will be a miracle if we both survive the day with our wits about us.

Knowing that we didn't have to set the alarm clock this morning, I stayed up late to doze through the Oscars. So imagine my surprise when Mac bounded out of the bed at 7:30am and told me that he felt Guhhhh-REAT! (Use your best Tony the Tiger impersonation there and you'll get how he sounded.)

I sent him downstairs to watch tv so I could sleep more, but got up shortly thereafter because I couldn't go back to sleep. I was having a really distressing dream where I was having a dinner party and was serving some Indian-inspired meal and I couldn't decide what vegetable to serve. I like to eat Indian food, but never cook it at home and I'm pretty sure the pre-wake-up vegetable (roasted caulifower) was not authentic. I wanted to go back to sleep to find the right vegetable but I couldn't make it happen.

So I got up and was quickly reminded that I promised we could set up the newly purchased tent today. Now I had in mind a backyard set-up, so I told Mac it was 40 degrees outside and we needed to wait until it warmed up. He got the tape measure and told me we had just enough space to set it up in the living room if we moved all the furniture.

Now this tent is 10'x9'. It's a 6-person number because in the event that I ever get hoodwinked into having to sleep in it, I don't want all of us on top of each other. The box showed room for two queen-size air mattresses, which seemed suitable to me.

Our living room, once you cut off the unusable angles, is about 10.5'x9.5'.

In an effort to resurrect my MOTY nomination, the tent is up. I do not want to hear Jimmy complain about setting this thing up in the wide open spaces because I got it up in a tight space with the assistance of an over-eager 7 year-old.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

happy anniversary to me (and Jimmy, of course)

Well today is our 12th wedding anniversary. It was meant to be spent at church followed by a wonderful and relaxing afternoon at my best friend Caroline's house. Caroline and Willie had very graciously stepped in to take care of me on this special day in Jimmy's absence.

You know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men?

Yes, our plans have gone awry.

Mac woke up at 5:30 this morning with the vomit virus. I really hoped it was food poisoning and it would be a one-vomit wonder. But alas, we've started hour 4 and it's pretty constant.

I decided we need to stockpile some vomit rations, like ginger ale and saltines. But then I faced the quandary that single mothers must face every day with a sick child who's not old enough to stay home by himself:

- do you take the child to the grocery store and have him walk around holding a vomit bag? (answer: only if you want to be told never come back to the neighborhood Publix again.)

- do you take the child to the grocery store but leave him in the car with a vomit bag? (answer: you could but he's so pathetic that dragging him to the car seems like child abuse. Plus you really don't want to take the chance that he misses the bag and vomits on the car.)

- do you call your backup support team to go to the grocery store for you? (answer: your backup support team is either out of town or can't go for one reason or another. As a side note, this is when you feel really, really alone in the world.)

- do you call a taxi service to go the store for you and do your shopping? (answer: you google "taxis, Summerville, SC" and there's only one company listed. It's called Mr. P-Nut's Taxi Service and you decide you're not that desperate yet.)

- do you Skype your husband in Afghanistan and ask him to cyber-babysit using the webcam while you run to the store? (answer: yes. I positioned the laptop so he could see Mac vomiting, grabbed my cell phone so he could call if there was a real emergency, and ran to the Publix and back in less than 10 minutes.)

If you have a good memory, you'll remember that Mother's Day 2009, the very first full day of my geographic single motherhood, found me in the emergency room with Mac having pneumonia. My wedding anniversary has found me home alone in an uncelebratory mood with a vomiting child. I get goosebumps thinking what fun can be in store for my birthday in a few weeks.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

artwork from Mac's backpack

Ignore the fact that Mac addressed the letter to Jimmy and not Daddy, and you might find this as sweet as I did.

Dear Jimmy,
Are we still going caping (camping) this spring. I hope we are and sot (shoot) the 22 rifull (rifle).

(I've told you before that he's a Berkeley County boy through and through).

What this means to me is that I'm going to have a night by myself while they're out camping somewhere that's not the backyard (because there will be no rifle shooting in White Gables). Hooray for dads and sons going camping! Bigger hoorays for when moms don't have to go!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

the teeth have left the building

Mac is the ultimate trooper. He marched right into that dentist's office and got some laughing gas in exchange for having two teeth yanked from his head. The dental hygienist assured me the permanent teeth would slip back into the right place. That remains to be seen.

All that and he was back at school by 9:45am.

Thanks for all the encouragement you sent. I sat in the waiting room and was moments away from vomiting the whole time from nerves.

(I think it was nerves, but it might have been that extra-big cup of coffee I drank on an empty stomach while I was waiting. We'll blame it on nerves for purposes of the MOTYs.)

Monday, March 1, 2010

two pet peeves I'd like to share

Can I share two things that have driven me nuts lately? (If you don't want me to share, please stop reading here.)

1. If you're in a checkout line, waiting patiently, and another lane opens up, I think the polite thing is to allow the person who's next in line to be first in the newly opened lane. This happened to me on two separate occasions last week - there was only one checkout open, I was in line and the line had built up to the point where some manager realized that more lanes needed to be opened. Instead of calling the people near the front of the old line to the new register, the people at the back of the line ran over and ended up getting out of the store faster than I did.

2. If a person drives a big car (as in an SUV or minivan, like I used to drive), and he pulls up to a stop sign that has a left turn lane and a right turn lane (as in the exit to my subdivision), he needs to realize that people in little cockroach cars like the one I currently drive cannot see over him if he pulls all the way up to the stop sign. Therefore I can never make a turn until he moves because I have no idea if a tractor-trailer is coming and just happens to be hidden by his huge vehicle.

Thank you for allowing me to vent. I feel much better.


I called the pediatric dentist at 8:18 this morning, 18 minutes past the time I'd appointed, but I was in the Publix with bad cell reception, so I had to wait. I spoke to the cheerful receptionist who acted like children have double fangs growing out of their mouths all the time and she scheduled us for Wednesday morning at 8:40am.


But that's two full days away, I said.

To which she said, two more days really won't matter. (I think that was a slam against my maternal negligence.)

Seriously, she said that this is a common problem. I haven't read many parenting books since "What to Expect in Baby's First Year", but is this really that common? Do a lot of kids really grow buck canine teeth?

The receptionist told me I should wiggle the baby tooth as much as possible between now and Wednesday. I told her that I really wasn't anxious to pull that tooth out because the permanent tooth appeared to be coming in at such an awkward angle and I wanted the dentist to pull the baby tooth and try to get that permanent tooth wiggled back into the right spot all at the same time. I cringe at the mere thought of all that dental stuff going on and I very nearly vomit when I think of me having to do all of that dental stuff.

From this point on, I will be doing a tooth check at least weekly until Mac goes to college. If there is a rogue tooth preparing to enter, I will know about it.