Thursday, August 6, 2009


I entered a story contest and I WON I WON I WON HOLYCRAP I WON†!!!

†Disclaimer: Don't get too excited. Read more.

Goodnites, a type of pull-ups for older kids who are still having problems staying dry at night, is currently running a contest that asks people to share special bedtime moments, routines, tips, etc. The set-up on their website is:

The few moments you share with your child at bedtime – whether reading a chapter of a favorite book, making up a fairytale or wishing your child sweet dreams with a kiss – can become moments treasured and remembered forever.

If you have a special bedtime routine, story, moment and/or tip, we want to hear from you. Your entry could be selected and featured as a weekly "Bedtime Moment of the Week," and you will be entered for a chance to win a Grand Prize bedroom makeover for your child, an inviting space to share more lasting memories together.

By sharing your special bedtime moment, you’ll help parents who may be in the dark over nighttime issues with their kids, like bedwetting, put the focus back on what really matters at night. Help us shine a light on special bedtime moments.

You can enter once per day, as many times as you like over the course of the contest. I entered three stories; my first entry apparently sucked*, as it was delegated to the sad, dusty little corner of nothingness reserved for, well, supremely sucky stories. My second entry was a bit better - it was chosen as a "featured moment" in Week 2, which means it was close but no cigar (or, in this case, no $25 Amazon gift card).



My last entry was chosen as the WINNER! of Week 4.

That's right people. WINNER!

As a weekly WINNER!, I am now eligible to win one of the two $2500 grand prize awards, which, according to the official rules, is a check that "may be used toward a children’s bedroom makeover."

Think about that.

10 weekly winners. 2 checks.

Nice odds, no?

Well, it would be if odds mattered. Sadly, it's not that easy. Dammit. The grand prizes will not be awarded by random drawing of weekly WINNERS! Apparently, that's too boring, too dull, too unfun for the bastards folks down at Goodnites. Instead, the weekly WINNERS! will be judged against each other, using the same criteria that made us WINNERS! in the first place: Originality (25%), Creativity (25%) and Relevance to Bedtime (50%).

So instead of a 20% chance to win $2500, I am now thrown to the sharks judges, my sweet little story up for discussion and dissection against nine other crappy not as good equally worthy WINNERS!.

The grand prize winners will be chosen "on or around" August 15th. Oh goodie. That gives me at least 10 more days of obsessing and stressing and nerves and re-reading my story over and over again and plotting to off the other WINNERS! devising a way to bribe the judges hoping against hope that my story wins. Because really, it's not about the $2500. It's not!
It's. Not.
Okay, well it is a little bit. But mostly, it's about receiving validation that my story, *my writing*, is good. Good enough to stand up to judgement and come out on top.

Huh. Do you know how hard it is to blog with all of your fingers crossed?

*Despite the judges' judgy judgyness, I stand by my first entry. It is most definitely better than quite a few of the ones picked as featured moments, and in my completely unbiased opinion it is in all reality more than worthy of being a WINNER! Obviously, the judgy judging judges** got it all wrong that week.

**This is no way refers to the top-notch, discerning judges of Week 4.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Sit. Stay. Good blog reader.

Okay, so my last entry was a wee bit depressing. I get that way sometimes. What can I say? I'm over it. Nothing more to see here, people, move along, move along. Let us all forage ahead into this (new and much less emoish and/or low-on-meds) (but high on parentheses) post. I'll hold your hand, I promise.

Did you know that I'm a dog trainer? No? I am forced to point out that you must have been remiss in reading my profile. Go ahead, go check it out. I'll wait.


Yeah, it's short. I'm not one for going on and on when a few succinct sentences will do, as I'm sure you can tell by my concise, to-the-point, no frills previous entries.


Anyway, I fell into dog training when I needed a p/t job that would allow me to work around my husband's (then normal) working hours. My dilemma came in the fact that I'd rather clean all the bathrooms in Grand Central Station with my tongue* than work in customer service, yet I also keenly felt the need to avoid living in a cardboard box, screening my cell phone calls for creditors and my mother-in-law.


Being left with few options, I jumped on the opportunity to apply for the dog training position open at my local PetSmart. The minor detail that I'd never owned a dog didn't slow me down in the slightest. After all, how hard could it be? I lied my way through the interview and VoilĂ ! A new job was all mine.

Two years later, I left PetSmart as quote "the best trainer they'd ever had" unquote (thank you Manager Joe, you are obviously a man of keen and savvy business sense) to become the head trainer at my local humane society. Not only the head trainer, but also the program creator and curriculum writer. People, they *headhunted* me. I'm, like, all in charge and stuff. SO. RAD.

I no longer have to lie about my experience. Well, not much. There is still that bit about how I got started in the dog training world. Seriously, you expect me to tell clients I learned from PetSmart? Ha. Dream on.

The coolest thing is I *love* training. I dream of making training my full-time job, which due to the low pay for all non-Totally-Overboard-Dog-Whisperers and/or non-English-Dominatrix-But-Somehow-Still-Cute people such as myself, will not happen until my husband is recognized for the genius he is and given an approximately 92.8% raise. For now, I toil away the days as an Executive Secretary (impressive, no?) and spend my (precious little) spare time working hard as a free-lance trainer.

>>Note: You know that saying "choose a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life"? Two words: totalcompleteabsoluteutter bullshit. Missed the mark on that one, Confucius, my friend. Reeaaalllly missed the mark.<<

I've begun branching out to working with private clients and teaching things like agility and therapy training. Of course, I still have my classes at the humane society; my little program has taken off and is doing quite well for itself. Clients love me and are recommending me left and right. Well, maybe just left. ANYWAY. Point being, I'm making a (small, inconsequential) name for myself in my little town. Yee haw!

(If you ever tell anyone I said yee haw, I'll hunt you down and teach your dog to pee on your leg.)

(Don't doubt me. I have the power**.)

This past weekend, due to the (spectacular) behavior of dog that I (spectacularly) trained, I interviewed with a local vet who wants to be able to recommend a (spectacular) trainer to her clients in need. As a result of said interview, I now have a vet pimping my services. *And* she wants to me to run classes at her clinic.

I so rock.

I made business cards (which I would love to share with y'all because I worked really hard on them and they look freaking awesome and professional and not homemade at all but seeing as how they have my phone number on them I think I'll take Paranoid Interweb Guidelines and Why You Should Never Post Personal Info for $1000, Alex) and I am working on a tri-fold flyer (flier?) showcasing all my (spectacular) training services. I need to come up with hourly prices and packages and shiny pictures and a website and reference quotes from previous clients and OH MY GOD I'M A REAL PROFESSIONAL NOW.


I must needs go locate a mop, as my head has just exploded.

*gold star if you can name that one
**gold star and a cherry on top for that one

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Living With the Lack of Me

On a random whim today I looked up an old childhood friend. We're talking from waaaay back, like pre-k back, childhood BFF. I figured it would be pretty much impossible to find her because, really, it's a big big world (points to anyone who knows that one) and her name isn't all that uncommon. Imagine my surprise when I was able to track her down in less than 30 minutes, and confirm it was definitely her in less than an hour. You know why?

Because she has a career.

Because she has made something of herself.

Because she has done something with her life that has actually had impact.

I'll admit it helped that she's still using her maiden name. But basically, she's worked hard and her name is out there for all the world to see.

I had a fleeting thought about contacting her but dismissed that readily. After all, what would I say to her? "Hi, not to be stalkerish or anything, but this is the girl you were friends with back in preschool. I moved away, we kept in touch for a few years, letters, visits, blah blah, do you remember me? You do? Awesome. How did I find you? Oh, well, your career in the sports world made it pretty easy for me to track you down. No, I swear I'm not a stalker! You just kinda randomly popped into my head and I decided to see if I could find you, just to say hi. No, I've got nothing better to do. No, I pretty much don't have a life. You do? Well okay then, have a good one, gotta go, bye!"

Yeah. That wouldn't be awkward at all.

Honestly though, there was no way in hell I was going to drop her an email. And my whole instantaneous rejection of the idea of contacting her got me to thinking. Why? What would be so bad about just sending a short-but-sweet message?

But I knew why.

I don't want to tell her about my life. I don't want to admit that while she went to college on a gymnastics scholarship, I had a baby at 17 and trashed my high school GPA. I don't want to admit that while she earned her bachelor's degree, I chose to work full-time at some random job and dropped out of community college. I don't want to admit that while she built a career and worked on her master's degree, I continued to flounder around in the working world, trying to make my way up the administrative assistant ladder. I don't want to admit that while she followed her dreams, I let mine die, smothered under the weight of bills and jobs and family responsibilities.

I am ashamed of myself.

I feel like that's a horrible thing to say. After all, I am completely blessed. I have an amazing, utterly wonderful husband. He is my heart and my soul and the love we have is more than I ever dreamed possible. I have two gorgeous, healthy, incredible children. They are my living, breathing miracles, the personification of everything that is wondrous in this world. The three of them are, quite simply, everything to me.

Material things? Got those too. A home. A job, a car, cable and a cell phone. A laptop with high-speed internet connection. I may be on a budget, but at least there's enough money in my bank account to create a budget. I'm going on vacation next month, for God's sake.

My life is not bereft.

But the things in my life that I am proud of, the things that I feel lucky about, did not come from me. They are not things I had to work for. Not things I earned or achieved. Everything that is good in my life was given to me; whether by fate or a quirk or the grace of God, everything important has come to me without any effort on my part.

But my education? Nothing. Wasted potential. My career? Non-existent. Wasted potential.

Just ... wasted. I've done nothing with myself. Nothing my parents can be proud of, nothing for my children to look up to, nothing for my husband to brag about.

Nothing that gives me an ounce of satisfaction with myself, with my efforts. I can't even say, hey, I tried dammit. Because I didn't try. I just dropped out. I feel like such a loser, sitting here at almost 32 years old with no education and no career.

It sucks.

Of all the things that make me unhappy about myself - my weight, my fitness, my housekeeping ability, my appearance, my bumbling social skills - my lack of a college degree and career are the only things that I feel like I had 100% control over and simply blew. Things could have been so different, if only ... if only.

It's all on me.

There are no excuses. Nothing for me to hide behind. No one for me to blame but myself. I stand alone, pulled down by the weight of my own shortcomings.

The thought of shouldering these regrets for the rest of my life makes me want to sink down to the ground and weep. The weight of this burden is unbearable heavy, yet I see no way to change this outcome. I am held fast by the extraordinary realities of my life - chains that I willingly embrace and clutch tightly to my heart. I unequivocally refuse to give up an inch of what I have been given.

But oh, the yearning, the sheer ache, for what could have, should have, been earned.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blogging on Blogs

In case you are looking for some insight to my character, I thought I'd post my daily internet "must reads" for your perusing pleasure. I am quite sure that clicking on these links will open a whole new world of understanding for you in regards to who I really am, my loves and hates, my passions and my obsessions, what drives me and what makes me the shining light of humanity that I truly am.

Or hey, it'll give you something to do if you're bored.
I love sarcastic humor, and this blogger has it in spades. But although she writes about her children and her life as mommy bloggers tend to do, she also throws in some wonderful gems that are insightful and thought-provoking, and have nothing to do with the joys of parenthood. An (almost) daily poster, you can't help but be envious of her ability to pull a great post out of just about any situation.
A total non-mom blog. This blogger writes about anything and everything, which although includes stories about her two sons and her life as a stay-at-home mom, it also showcases her thoughts on gays, education, politics, music, and life in general. Quite possibly my favorite blog.
Matt Logelin's wife, Liz, gave birth to their first child (Maddy) and died 27 hours later. This blog is all about his life as a widowed father. Matt is a fabulous writer and photographer, and his blog brings both laughs and heartache on a regular basis.
Now this is a mom blog, and it's one of the best! Jana Matthews is a stay-at-home mom with 4 kids, 3 of which were born a mere 8 months apart (a daughter and twin boys). She's got a parenting style that her kids hate but other moms love, and she writes about their day-to-day life in hilarious excerpts. Plus she's constantly giving cool stuff away - what's not to love?!
Y, the blogger at Joy Unexpected, posts about life in L.A. (that's California, not Louisiana, people) as a stay-at-home mom with three kids. She struggles with her body image, weight loss, and other typical women's issues, and she writes about them in a compelling, honest way that just draws you in. Y never pulls any punches, and her impact is a great one.
I just recently started reading Barefoot Foodie. This blogger had a baby a few months ago, so her posting has slowed down a bit. Still, when she manages to hit the internets, she makes up for her lack of posting with her no-holds-barred, most-people-only-talk-about-this-stuff-when-they're-trashed, be-careful-you-don't-snarf-on-your-keyboard style. Awesome ... and not for the faint-hearted or easily offended!
I was originally drawn to Crystal when I stumbled across a link to her Crazy Chronicles, the autobiography of her terribly difficult, sometimes disastrous, life. The CCs are extremely heart breaking and extraordinarily compelling. But what keeps me coming back are her 'everyday life' posts, full of self-deprecating, sarcastic humor. This is a chick who isn't afraid to laugh at herself (or her husband, kids, and anyone else she encounters that lends her some blog fodder).
Jen is a beautiful writer who draws pictures and tugs on heart strings with her words, but is so down-to-earth that you want to chill out with her over beer and pizza. She draws you in to her world and leaves you with the hope that tomorrow is always a better day.
Shauna lost 165 pounds - half of her body weight! She blogged about it on the way, and now as a successful loser, she continues upon her journey of life, love, and maintaining diet happiness. She's funny and real, and more than worth the read even if you're not a card-carrying member of Weight Watchers.
A departure from my norm, this is a blog authored by an ER nurse. Skewering doctors, patients, and co-workers alike, Nurse K brings to life the most ridiculous, annoying, and downright absurd realities of the ER. Occasionally her medical jargon is over my head, but for the most part she's right on the level of the layest of lay persons.
"When professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong." So says the subtitle of this blog, and it's an apt description. Jen does a fabulous job of adding witty and entertaining running commentary to go along with the pics of the Cakes from Hell. Good times.
Customer service sucks because customers suck. Read hysterical, true stories about customers from hell told from the employee's side of the counter.
Ever had something go completely wrong? FAIL. Ever witnessed something ridiculously, stupidly wrong? FAIL. Ever want to be highly entertained by these sorts of things? FAIL BLOG. 'Nuff said.
Fmylife stands for f**k my life. And why might some one's life be f**ked? Read all about it here. Prepare to laugh your ass off at other people's miseries.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Life in Haiku

Alarm goes off, yawn
Headless chicken, that is me
Crazy rush - still late

I sit at my desk
Wandering the web like mad
Still so very bored

To work at what makes
Us happy, lucky are the
Few who manage it

Want to edit books
Or even better, write them
Dreams die over time

My husband on nights
10 minutes is all I get
While I am on days

The hypocrisy
Trainer's dog barks at the door
Won't you please shut up?

More hypocrisy
Trainer's dog craps on the floor
Send him to the farm

Numbers on the scale
Disgust and demoralize
Give me the ice cream

Landscaping, windows
Paint, floors, bathroom remodel
Home improvement dreams

They say money can't
Buy happiness; my response?
What total bullshit

I don't ask for much
New books, the beach, time alone
Must go play lotto

Come live near me and
Be my friend, or at least a
Cheap babysitter

Piles of laundry
Sit silent yet accusing
Please God, send a maid

Must give credit to
The man who blogs over here
Spread the haiku love

Monday, June 1, 2009

Good Thing They Aren't This Cute All The Time

Kays: Mom, why does JT have to do everything I do? I don't want him to follow me around and copy me all the time.

Me: Honey, people only imitate others when they think that person is the best. JT wants to be just like you because he thinks you're the awesomest.

Kays (pure wonder in her voice): JT, is that true? Do you really think I'm awesome?

JT (big grin): Kays, you are the bestest awesomest!

Kays (big eyed and amazed): Ooooooh! {Gets up and runs around the table, kisses her brother on the cheek}

JT: I love you Kays.

Kays: I love you too! {Gives him another kiss and a huge, neck-strangling hug}

Me: {heart melts}

Kays (to me): I gave him two kisses because he loves me and I love him and I am an angel.

JT: I am an angel too!

Me: {heart drips onto floor}

Kays: JT, quit copying me!

Me: {heart reforms rather quickly} {sigh}

Monday, May 25, 2009

Comedic Timing

So the other day, N and I were sitting around contemplating the cuteness of our children. This wasn't so much a narcissistic thing as it was an amazement and wonder thing, since we have yet to figure out how the two of us produced the two of them, gorgeous as they are.

I'm sure all parents feel their children are beautiful, but trust me when I say mine really, really are.

{pause for your moment of eye-rolling}

{I know you're eye-rolling, don't deny it}

ANYway, we weren't discussing their looks on this particular afternoon, since for the most part we have become immune to the big blue eyes and sweet little smiles and perfectly puppy-dog-cute looks they use to try to play us. Mainly, we were talking about how we love the personalities and behaviors they've been showing lately. We were sitting around watching them play a computer game, and our conversation went kind of like this:

N: I love how JT has such enthusiasm for *everything*. It doesn't matter if we are playing a game or going to the park or just getting a snack, he loves it all. He's such a happy kid.

Me: Yeah, it's kind of contagious, you know? It spreads to everything, like, "Woohoo, let's take the garbage out!"

N: That's what I mean. It's like his goal in life is to get you to see the most mundane events as a great time. I love it.

Me: And Kays has gotten so freaking smart lately. The most unexpected things randomly pop out of her mouth, leaving you stunned that a 5 year old would know that.

N: Yeah, like yesterday when she named all the planets like it was nothing. I had no idea she could do that.

Me: I know! Dude, *I* couldn't even name all 9 planets.


Me: I probably shouldn't have admitted that.

N: {looks at me askance} Seriously?

Me: Whatever. Move along, there's no more ignorance to see here.

N: Ohhhh-kay. Well, I'm just saying I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow she piped up with, "Hi! I'm 5. And Pythagorean's theorem is A-squared plus B-squared equals C-squared."

Me: {snort}

N: Hey, Kays! Can you say, "Pih-thag-uh-ree-uhn?"

And Kays turns around, waits a beat, then replies in perfect deadpan, "Hi! I'm 5."

Then she turns right back around to her game, 100% satisfied with her smartassedness.

She's already keeping us on our toes. And here I thought we'd have at least a few more years of parental laziness. Dammit.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Power to the People, Part II

Remeber this post? Well, here's the conclusion. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's been 9 months, blah blah whatever. Do you want to know what happened or what?

Well then, stop with the bitching and read, dammit.


N, having previously worked for a bank, knew that calling on a Sunday afternoon would get us nowhere. Instead, he planted his tired ass in the parking lot on Monday morning, after a full night's work, to wait for the bank to open so he could talk to someone in person. Why he thought he needed to talk to them in person was beyond me. I got the waiting-for-a-business-day thing, but in my (correct) opinion, a phone call on said business day would have sufficed. Ring ring, chat chat, kiss kiss, have a nice day, thankyouverymuch! Yes no?

But I digress.

N was told by a minion of Satan cashier that the fees wouldn't post until midnight so there was nothing that could be done until Tuesday morning. Technically, the fees were still pending. So even though our balance had a huge red negative, technically we weren't overdrawn.

Yeah, right.

So N, not having learned his lesson the first time determined to get this taken care of, was once again in the parking lot on Tuesday morning (N's new hours* are 7pm to 7am, which means he normally goes straight to bed upon arriving home). On Tuesday morning, N was directed by a minion of Satan cashier to Satan himself the bank manager. Satan The bank manager appeared to be listening politely while N explained that while we would be happy to pay the $10 transfer fee, we were requesting that the o/d fees to be reversed because it was only by bank error that they were there in the first place. Pull the money from our card, charge us the ten bucks and reverse the ridiculous o/d fees sitting there in gloating triumph on our account. To our credit, N had deposited his paycheck over the weekend so we did at least have a positive balance at the time of this little meeting, even after the staggering o/d fees were assessed. Also to our credit, we were not repeat offenders - this was only the second time in over two years of being with BofA that we had overdrawn.

The one snag was that I had requested the o/d protection to be moved to my credit card so long ago that Satan the bank manager was unable to access any record showing that I did so. He had to take N's word that I had indeed called and asked for this change.

Does this sound unreasonable to you? Of course not. It wouldn't sound unreasonable to any normal human being with half a brain and a modicum of customer service savvy.

Apparently, though, "normal", "brain", and "customer service" were not the words of the day. Satan The bank manager told N that really, there just wasn't anything poor little ol' him could do about it. He didn't have any proof that such a change had been requested and he just couldn't make $175 in fees disappear. Out of the goodness of his heart, however, he magnanimously reversed $43 of the charges.

Forty. Three. Dollars.

Out of one hundred seventy five.

Forty three dollars!!

N was totally exhausted at this point (working all night and then losing sleep two days in a row to deal with Satan and his minions will do that to a person), so he just accepted the verdict and left the bank. He called me on his way home, too tired to realize that was probably not the best course of action ... I have been known to kill maim the messenger in times past (my bad).

Let me tell you, I was LIVID. INCENSED. PISSED-OFF beyond all description. Smoke was pouring out of my ears and my eyes glowed demon-red. My hands turned into claws and my mouth grew fangs. I was growling and cursing in languages that no longer exist. If thoughts could kill, Satan the bank manager would have been all the way past dead and into decomposing, right there at his desk.

My co-workers were startled, to say the least.

Recalling that I look horrible in orange and that jumpsuits really aren't in style this season, I managed to pull myself together. I called (remember, ring ring, chat chat, and all that?) and without getting into the back-story of Nathan's conversation with Satan the bank manager -- no need to clutter up conversation with details -- I calmly and professionally explained the problem to the cheerful representative who had the shitty luck privilege of answering my call.

Said representative was very sympathetic (possibly picking up on the fact that I was almost beyond reason at this point) but told me I would have to speak with the manager, who - surprise, surprise - was not available at this particular moment, and could she take a message? I wanted to tell her to shove her message-taking into a place normally reserved for toilet paper, but I restrained myself. I politely said I'd be happy to leave my name and number so that Satan he could call me at his earliest convenience.

Not *my* earliest convenience, mind you. His. His freaking convenience, which, by the way, I had the sneaking suspicion would be NEVER. But alas, one who intends to win the game must first play the game, so I gave my contact information and sweetly thanked the message-taker.

And then I sat at my desk and waited for the phone to ring.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And at 5:00 pm, when I shut down my computer and left the office for the day, I was still waiting, unsurprised and unamused.

In the car on the way to pick up the kidlings, I called the BofA Big Brother customer service number. I tried to avoid the pointless exercise of explaining the issue by just asking flat-out to be transferred to a specialist, since I knew a peon phone answerer first-line customer service rep wouldn't be able to help me. However, the man who likes to waste everyone's time gentleman insisted on hearing my story, on the off chance that I was wrong about his lack of assisting ability. I rapidly spit the whole thing out in about 12.42 seconds and amazingly enough, was told that he just didn't have the power to reverse these fees. (Obviously, Satan hordes every last drop of power at BofA until there's just nothing left to go around.) The time-wasting gentleman transferred me to a higher power demon account specialist.

The higher power demon account specialist got an earful, and although it was a polite and professional earful, it was an earful nonetheless. By the time I finished talking, it was Rocky-Mountains-sparkling-crystal-clear how aggravated I was. I explained exactly what I thought of bank managers who blow off the concerns of customers in good standing and then try to pacify said customers with a random refund that has no correlation whatsoever to the fees in question. I explained that I did not appreciate being ignored for an entire business day by said manager, who was apparently too incompetent to actually pick up the phone and address the issue at hand. I explained, as I had to every single person who had previously heard this story, that I would be more than happy to pay the transfer fee. I explained that if this was not taken care of, RIGHT. NOW., I would feel the immediate and unavoidable need to close my accounts. All of them. Done. So long, goodbye and thanks for all the fish.

The only person worth a crap at BofA account specialist, being on the receiving end of this deluge, waited patiently for my ranting to finish. She responded with exactly the right note of empathy and apology (hey, I know when I'm being played). Then, within about 3.68 seconds of hearing me out, she hit a few teeny tiny little buttons on her keyboard and POOF! All account fees reversed.



Vanished like cocaine up Kate Moss's nose.

No $10 transfer fee, no nothing.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank the only person worth a crap at BofA God Almighty, I'm free at last!

And that, my friends, is how you stick it to The Man.

*These were new hours when I started this post 9 months ago. Yeah yeah, blah blah.

Friday, May 15, 2009

How The Mighty Have Fallen

It's already apparent, at the tender age of 5, that my daughter has inherited her mother's grace.

Which is to say, she has none. Sorry baby girl.

My poor Kays is a bastion of bumps and bruises, scrapes and scabs. It doesn't help that she plays as hard as she can, full-out balls-to-the-wall every time she goes outside. It really doesn't help that she prefers to wear dresses, so her long legs and arms have absolutely no protection between them and the hard, hard ground.

If CPS ever gets a look at her, I'm gonna be in trouble.

JT, on the other hand, has an innate sense of balance and poise that showed up early on. He learned to walk at 9 months, with a lot less of the bumbling and stumbling than one comes to expect from a child at that stage. In 3 1/2 years, he's only had one goose-egg that I can think of. He puts his whole heart into attempting to do everything his adored big sister does, but somehow manages to come out of it with none of the damage that she inevitably accrues. And even on the rare occasions when he does happen to faceplant, he usually bounces right back up, relatively unscathed. It's almost eerie, really.

She's gonna hate him when she realizes this.

It's safe to say that I have, for the most part, stopped worrying about JT hurting himself while he's running pell-mell down the driveway or climbing onto random pieces of furniture toys that are made for climbing. Not that I don't worry a little bit - hey, come on now, I'm a mom not a heartless bitch ... okay, well, that aside, I'm still a mom - but point being, he just doesn't make friends with the asphalt (or dirt or carpet or etc. etc.) nearly as often as his sister.

So earlier today, I felt as much shock as I did horror as I watched my baby boy stumble and fall ... right down the stairs.


Down the stairs.


Our dog, who outweighs JT by a good 15 pounds, pushed past him in a rush, and JT - who was decidedly *not* holding the rail like he's been taught to do - couldn't keep his balance. He wobbled, wavered, tripped and went down. I was standing at the top of the landing, just a few feet away, and it was like I was watching in slow motion. I saw every little misstep, but I couldn't do a damn thing about it.

I watched my child pitch head-first down the staircase.

Instinctively, I knew I couldn't just reach forward and grab him, as I would very likely overbalance myself and take us both down. Visions of broken arms, legs, necks, were all running through my head even as my body's auto-pilot kicked in. I dropped my butt straight down on the stairs, reached one arm out for the rail and the other for my son.

Four steps into his downward flight, I grabbed him.

My hand came clamping down on his ankle like a boa constrictor around a particularly feisty rat. I actually knocked his shoe off in the process. I pulled him up and into my lap, and clasped my arms tight around his little body. JT went from screaming incoherently to wailing at the top of his lungs, clinging to me with all his strength while tears dripped off his face. I held him.

I held him.

With the amazing resilience that kids are born with, JT was dry-eyed and happily walking down the rest of the stairs less than 5 minutes later. I watched him, his chubby little fingers grasping the rail and his sturdy little feet placing themselves carefully upon each step. He didn't hesitate, had no fear of what could have been. That was left up to me; that burden of sitting there, feeling sick to my stomach and shaky in my limbs, was all mine.

I know that there will be many times in my boy's life that he will again feel the terror of that long, scary fall. Sometimes it will be because of an unexpected shove, a hit from behind ... sometimes he will miscalculate the distance from one step to another ... sometimes it will simply be because he's too damn busy to watch where he's going. My job as a mother is to stand there behind him as often as possible, ready to be his lifeline and pull him to safety.

And for those times that I just can't reach him, those spectacularly bad times in which a hard landing just can not be avoided, I hope and pray I will have taught him how to get back up, grab the rails, and get on with life, as quickly and confidently as he did today.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Irony at it's Finest

Two days ago,
my shoelace came
while I was in my last
running cycle
on the treadmill.
I ignored it and
kept running.
nothing untoward

I took the precaution of
my laces.
And then,
during my last
running cycle,
I tripped
over nothing.
nothing untoward

I am
today off.

Friday, May 1, 2009

They Say Exercise Is Good For You

I am not a visual person. No, really - I cannot picture a scene inside my head to save my life. When I read, I don't imagine the look of the characters in the book. I had a hard time in my Bradley birthing class because I couldn't see "my happy place" during labor practice. When I was active in sports, I could never visualize myself executing the necessary moves correctly.

Oddly enough, I could *always* picture myself falling off the balance beam, scratching a serve, hitting the high jump bar, and other spectacular failures.

It seems this predilection has carried over to my current workout of choice, the treadmill. Without fail, every time I get on the treadmill I start having these visions in my head. Visions of me tripping (not a huge stretch, as I do this often), falling off, hitting my head on the metal shelving behind me and bleeding all over the gym floor, giving myself both a concussion and the need for a blood transfusion. Or my shoe comes untied and I step on the laces, causing me to fall forward, go under the front bar, hit my head on the rowing machine in front of me, break my neck and instantly die.

I see these scenarios and various others of the same ilk, always centered around my sheer klutziness and always resulting in extreme embarrassment, injury, and/or fatality. I see them in great detail, going so far as to observe the stunned reactions of my fellow gym goers and the staff members. I see them in color - high def even. I can hear the shocked gasps followed by the murmured conversations about my lack of grace (the women) and how I might have had better luck on a stationary bike (the men).

Am I alone in my calamitous visions of self destruction?

I feel like I may be all by myself on this one. It would seem to me that it takes a particular dose of crazy to have a front row seat at the Theatre O' Death & Dismemberment not once, not occasionally, but every. single. freaking. time! one gets upon one's treadmill and begins one's workout.

Sometimes I think this may be God's way of telling me to get off the treadmill. You know, like that joke about the guy who was caught in a flood and refused to get on the rescue bus, boat, and helicopter because "Jesus will save me!" And then he drowns and when he asks Jesus why, he gets told, "I sent you a bus, a boat, and a helicopter - what more did you want?!"

I wonder if I'll recognize that helicopter when it comes for me. I can see it now ... crash-landing right on top of me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sneaking One In

Yes, I'm still alive. No, I don't want to talk about it.

Oh, you didn't want to hear about it in the first place? Well, alrighty then.

I've often thought about blogging over the last several months. I love to write. I enjoy sharing my thoughts in ways that make people laugh. Not to mention I spend 8 hours a day in a private office (ah, what a nice window) in front of a computer that is hidden behind a privacy screen. And lucky me, my proverbial plate at work is often, shall we say, not full enough to sustain Keira Knightley on a speed binge. One would think this would lend itself to the occasional blog post.

Not so, my friends.

I'd love to share with you my long, dramatic, impressive reason for not being able to put together a cohesive paragraph or two for my adoring public. Really, nothing would make me happier than to tell you The Tale of the Wordless Blogger. Sadly, such a tale does not exist. I simply have nothing to say. Everything that has popped into my mind over the last several months that made me think, "Hey, I should blog that!" has simply refused to come to life on my computer screen. At first, I was confused. I was frustrated. Had I lost my ability to communicate through the wonders of the blogging world? Was this the dreaded writer's block? And how could this be, seeing as how I'm not actually a writer? But then it dawned on me. The problem is not my writing, it's the material I've been blessed with {snort} to write about. All I've got are stories involving the minutiae of my life. My routine, everyday, non-entertaining life. Somewhat diverting to me but pokemyeyesoutboring to everyone else.

I had a fabulous idea for a novel a couple weeks back. I recently decided that I need to make some major changes in regards to my health. My dog is on a pooping-inside-the-house spree. I have a new training job and I passed a training-related test. I'm taking a trip back home later this summer. Kays is starting kindergarten this fall and JT is getting along famously in speech therapy. These are all things that crossed my mind as blogging fodder but are so mind-numbingly prosaic that I just couldn't bring myself to post about them. So here I sit. All ready to type and nothing to type about. After all, I've got a reputation to uphold. I am clever, I am droll, I destroy keyboards with snarfed Diet Coke! I cannot just fling random crap at my blog and hope it sticks.


Well hell.


{now feeling much better due to the wonders of modern medicine}

{and ellipses ... never underestimate the power of a well-placed ellipsis}

The light bulb has come on, people! I am standing up to The Man! Throwing off the yoke of oppression! Refusing to conform to a higher standard of writing! Who needs standards, anyway?! I can post what I want when I want and not give a shit if it's any good or even grammatically correct!

From this day forward, I am a CRAP BLOGGER and PROUD OF IT!

{crouches in the corner and cries}