Archive of ‘colleen’ category

Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies….

There is one household chore that I hate. No, not like I hate to do the dishes, or I hate to pay my bills, or I hate to make dinner for these kids that will likely look at it and say, “I HATE this!” No, I would gladly do any of those things before I have to change the seasons in my children’s closets. I would rather clip their toenails with my teeth than take their itty bitty shirts, off of itty bitty hangers and put them in giant rubber tubs and then unpack other giant rubber tubs filled with things that make me wonder why I ever saved this $h!+ in the first place. How many moms have pulled out onesies from baby 1, 2, 3 etc. to use on the new child and found them riddled with holes and poop stains?  I look at this crap and think, “You are a moron. You would never put this on your sweet baby? Why did you save it?” But as I am feverishly throwing dozens of shirts, shorts, pants and mismatched socks into a new bin, it is very clear why. If it is locked away in an opaque bin, it is out of my face and I can forget about it for a number of years. I can stuff it fast, put a lid on it and Scott will gladly take it down the steps and hide it so that I quit crying. Yes, there is crying and screaming, but no one puts me in timeout for the afternoon and lets me fall asleep just to make me shut up. Oh no, I have to keep working.

Please send the TLC truck away, this is not Hoarders. This is just and episode of ” Hey Guys, nothing to see here. I just wanna kill someone and am crying in the corner.”

While working on my kids’ room this past weekend, I had my iTunes on random and “A Spoonful of Sugar” came on. This is quite a change from my normal house-cleaning soundtrack, but the iPad was too far away to press next, so I figured I would give Julie Andrews a shot. As the upbeat tune blared through the speaker. I was suddenly a bit more cheery and transported back to being a kid. As children, we were all memorized by Mary Poppins. Her sweet smile, beautiful voice and quick-snapping fingers made cleaning your room a game. Remember how the toy soldiers walked right into the toy box and the blankets flew up in the air and landed perfectly folded on the bed? Why, just a spoonful of sugar will make it all better, right Mary? Wrong! You lied Mary Poppins, not a damn thing was going to make this job a game! I could have downed a 5 pound bag of sugar this weekend and still needed a half a dozen Zoloft to take the edge off. The more I listened the more infuriated I became. No magical bird was appearing on my finger.No cute little boys is short sets were there to help? I would have settled for filthy Bert coming in and tossing crap in a bin with soot-covered hands. But, nope, no one came to the rescue. Sure, periodically I would hear Scott down the hall warning the boys not to come near the bedroom or they may not be seen again…ever…..But that was as much human interaction as I saw for days.

It took me what felt like 72 hours to complete this one godforsaken room, but when it was finished, I had made a large pile of clothes to give to charity. But as I was on my way to the Goodwill bin, I had the brilliant idea to take the clothes to a children’s resale shop to see what I could get for them. Most were is good condition, but older styles that I likely won’t put on Handsome #3, and I was tired of storing them. I went to the store and was offered $43 for the haul, which seemed fair. I headed to the ATM at Schnucks to make my deposit, feeling like a big shot with a couple of Andrew Jacksons for my troubles. I made my deposit and grabbed what I thought was my receipt, but suddenly my big score at the resale shop didn’t seem so great when I saw that the person who had visited the ATM before me, and left their receipt,  had a mere $24,000 in their checking account.

Well look at you Mr. Big Shot! $24,000 in the checking, huh? I bet you can hire Mary and her team of snapping clowns to come over and clean your house every week can’t you? You think you are so great with your pinstriped suit and monogrammed cuffs, don’t you? Your fancy spectator shoes that you wipe off on your welcome mat before you walk on your freshly-shined wood floors that glow just like that bald head of yours? I quickly realized that this pompous jerk, who I made up completely in my mind and was hating because of his ATM slip, was built in the image of my own husband, right down to the lack of hair on his head. Well, except for the actual ATM slip and hoarding of $24,000. That and the shined floors. That doesn’t happen unless he shines them himself, I am not a floor person. And he does that…pretty much every time that I ask him to. So in actuality, he is a fair, good guy, who I really love, but sometimes I need to direct my frustration and he is an easy target. Perhaps I had some deep-seeded resentment for the fact that I cleaned the room alone, and the remark, “You did this to yourself, quit buying them all of this crap.” Somehow in my rage I had made my way through the store and picked up a gallon of milk, bananas, a package of tortilla wraps, two cans of black beans, an avocado and a half gallon of ice cream. Whether or not I had a full-on conversation with myself about the a$$hole who left the ATM receipt or just thought it is unknown…..I did however polish off half of the half gallon when I got home…..but that can be our little secret……

Peek-A-Boo….thank God no one saw you……

I believe that God gives every person unique and special gifts and that He wants us to use those gifts to help others and to make the world a better place. My gifts don’t come in the form that most people would likely consider special. For example, God made Mozart an incredible musician. I quit tickling the ivories after a not-so-unfortunate finger break in fourth grade. I hated piano lessons and wanted to die every time I had to go because my teacher, a nun, would drink soda from a can with a straw and burp the entire time. Instead of playing my songs in the practice room before my lesson, I would puncture the leaves of the aloe plant and watch the clear ooze drip to the floor. The day that my fingers bent back was God telling me straight out to quit wasting my parents money. I would never ever make it to playing “The Entertainer.”

My gift didn’t come in the form of an athletic ability either. No, I was much more concerned with having blue and gold bows in my hair than I was breaking a sweat. To this day, I daydream about running a marathon, OK, a 5K. But instead of training, I eat Peanut Butter M&Ms in bed while sipping a Diet Coke and watching a documentary about a runner with one leg overcoming the odds and I just wonder if I can walk to the kitchen to get more candy with one foot asleep.

God didn’t give me those kind of gifts. Nope, it would take me much longer to understand what my gifts are and how to best utilize them. You see, God made me a storyteller. He gives me such incredible material, it is hard not to spin amazing yarns. He fills my days with wacky inspiration that he just doesn’t seem to give to other people. For example, how many of you have gone for a quick eye exam and left looking like Mr. Potato Head? Or maybe, you used your Siri text to talk feature when you had a cold and ended up with this?

I just don’t think that He gives everyone so much material to work with. Like just last week. I was working, minding my own business, leaving my third appointment, when I felt a little something on the back of my ankle. It was a brisk fall day and there were beautiful leaves of crimson, amber and gold lying on the ground and periodically dancing  across the earth with a quick gust of wind. I thought nothing of the feeling on my leg and got in the car. What began as a slight rubbing sensation began to slip down my leg quickly and caused a bit of alarm. I didn’t want to look down because I was sure that some sort of spider, or armadillo, was crawling down my leg. It was bulky and uncomfortable and terrifying.

When I finally got up the nerve to look, I was shocked. I was embarrassed. I was appalled. I was like WTF? How in the world does this happen? How do you go 3/4 of a work day with no one mentioning it? Who in the hell put him there?

Do you see someone playing peek-a-boo. .

At this point, you are likely thinking that I have lost my mind and you are wondering what it is that you are looking at. Kindly resist the temptation to make the photo bigger. You will be instantly offended by the condition of my heels. Instead, just pull your computer closer to your face. Those little green spots belong to Percy good friend of my good friend, Handsome #2. Now before you get all, WTF is going on and why in the world would she have those in her pants? Let’s be fair and honest. As much as we would all like to pretend that we do 86 loads of laundry a week separated by color, fabric, temperature setting and family member, any mom with kids knows, you throw as many things into that machine as will fit and press go. Sometimes that method causes things to get crumpled up and stuck where they shouldn’t be. And if those crumples break free and appear in a public place where they shouldn’t, then sometimes people get strange looks…or arrested….Lucky for you, this happened in the car and I lived to tell the tale. Thankfully, I was able to return them to their rightful owner before he noticed they were missing and had an all out horrifying stage three meltdown…….

I am so much more of a #1 Engine kind of girl, but whatevs…..

It’s Raining Men…..

We are all fierce from the neck up

Since I debuted my fiery red faux hawk a couple of months ago, I have gotten a lot of compliments. Here is the crazy thing, these compliments haven’t come from my family. They are certainly not my father, or even really my husband, but from complete and total strangers. I am literally stopped at least once a day and complimented on my do. As a five-month-postpartum mother of three boys five and under, I will take anything to boost my
confidence. I was texting with a friend the other night about my physical deterioration in the past seven years. Now I am not saying that I have turned into a completely useless fat sloth who lives in only yoga pants and a Cardinal cap, though some days I would like to, but I am not the same person that I was at 27 when I walked down the aisle. As I said to him, I am not quite a trophy wife, but more of an attendance prize. I get up every morning, get people dressed, make their meals and remember all of their names, that deserves recognition. Particularly when I hear them wake up and I am so comfy and cozy in my bed and I wait, and wait and wait for Scott to jump up, which he totally does a lot of the time, but realize that he is playing the same game and isn’t going anywhere, so I make the move. Normally I find the two older ones draped limply across the furniture looking like starving Ethiopians. Everyday it is the same thing, they keep wanting meals, the keep expecting me to make them and they keep telling me that Eggo Wafflers are not acceptable for dinner. Ugh….what is wrong with these people?

They keep wanting me to feed them.every.single.day.

As I was saying, the compliments from strangers are abundant. But the mass majority of the admirers are teenage boys. Like all teenage boys, everyday. I have had teenage checkers at Target spellbound, McDonald’s Drive Thru kids give me a wink while passing the Diet Dr. Pepper and then there was the boy stocking the yogurt at Schnucks who walked across the room to compliment me. I think if I had stood there three more seconds he would have asked me for my number, which is creepy and sort of amazing all rolled in to one. I am no stranger to the love of a teenage boy, but this admiration from the masses is new. I was never popular with teenage boys when I was a teenager. I was so awkward and terrified that I couldn’t even speak to them. The fact that I wore a larger bra then most of their mothers was exciting and terrifying to them, so they didn’t talk to me either. They would just stare longingly. But if we are being frank, had I let them close to me, which never would have happened, they wouldn’t have known what to do with those Dolly Parton D cups.  Looking back, it was a big huge disaster and I may need to make a quick appointment with a therapist just to talk this one out.

Earlier this week, I was headed to an offsite event for work and feeling pretty good. My hair was in place, my lips were on straight and my clothes all matched. Win, win and win.

Those little drops are big trouble
I could see the trouble brewing

While I was inside, Mother Nature thought that she would be hilarious and change things up a bit. The weather went from cool and partly cloudy to an apocalyptic thunderstorm. While I may have been a Girl Scout in my younger years, I never bought in to that “be prepared” crap. That translates loosely to, girlfriend says, “Forget that. I don’t need an umbrella.” Perhaps you recall what happens when my product fails me on a normal day?  My knees were knocking at the mere thought of walking outside, but I knew that at some point a member of the janitorial staff was going to sweep me right out the door, so I had to get moving. 

By the time I made my way across the parking lot to the car, my hair looked and felt like it had been styled with maple syrup.We all know that water beats fire. It was an epic battle and water was victorious, leaving fire sad and barely flickering in the corner……

Did Lucille Ball have days like this?

Ain’t Nuthin But a C Thang……………

Along with pregnancy comes several fabulous side effects; including, but not limited to, vomiting, pimples, swelling, heartburn, cravings, sudden urges to empty your bladder and sleeplessness. This last one has to be one of my favorites. When I was pregnant with Knox, I would lay awake for hours daydreaming about the wonderful life that I would have as a mother of three and how my perfect little children would be super stars academically and athletically, that latter is hoping that there has been a genetic mutation somewhere along the lines because they aren’t getting that one from me. Yeah, well, that is what a normal person thinks about. I, on the other hand, concentrated mostly on my irrational fears and keeping my children safe from the Litarians of the world.

You see, as a young girl growing up on the mean, tree-lined streets of St. Louis Hills, I was exposed to, well, nothing. Not a damn thing…ever….And I liked it that way. That was until Nancy Reagan starting daring kids to stay off drugs and the nuns in the office decided to scare the $h!+ out of every child at St. Gabriel the Archangel. I can still remember the purple ditto that I brought home from school. I couldn’t read it, but I knew that it was bad and that I was likely going to end up dead because of it.

My mom explained that there had been a very bad man spotted in the neighborhood in a white van with no windows, perfect for nabbing, giving out lickable tattoos laced with LSD to children. *Editor’s note, this may be the combination of several dittos, regarding separate instances, but this is how my memory sealed it, so press on. And right then and there, I knew, that I was soon to be abducted, drugged and left to a life on the streets. There was nothing that I could do to protect myself, so I might as well get use to it.

As a child constantly being compared to Punky Brewster, I was also always concerned that my mother was going to ditch my brothers and I in a parking lot someday. Let’s think about that one for a second, shall we? In the 1980s, prime time television taught us that if your mom left you, you could simply climb into an old man’s apartment, with your dog no less, and life will be just fine. As long as another young girl and her old-as-hell grandmother are across the hall to help out. Sounds perfectly safe and logical, plus you get an awesome loft bed…..perfect….I could certainly fend for myself if I could just find Henry Warnimont……

So smart, yet so very, very stupid

As I grew older, I realized that my mother wasn’t really going to ditch us, even though she did leave people behind here and there. Well, just Jimmy on a vacation and sleeping in a hot car in the Schnuck’s parking lot one little time. I felt a bit safer in my skin. That was until daytime talk shows got a hold of me. I learned quite a bit about the average teen from my good friends Sally Jesse, Phil, Jerry and Jenny. I tuned in as much as I could and learned that, “just say no” was nothing compared to the thug life. I would sit in horror listening to tales of young girls being ripped from their happy, innocent lives and thrust into a culture obsessed with race, sex and drugs. What was a high school girl to do…..Wait, WTF did you just say? High school?

East Side, West Side, Irish Mob?

Yeah, I was pretty much on the fast track to loserville at 14 because I sincerely believed that I was going to HAVE to be in a gang. I was so naive and f%^)@ng stupid, that I was certain that not only was I to be recruited, from St. Joseph’s Academy, but that I would have to participate in an initiation. That is where I really started to get scared. I was pretty sure that I was not going to be able to beat someone up with a bat, or put cigarettes out on their face, and I probably couldn’t tattoo anyone, but if I had to, I guess that I would. I worried about where they would find me and what I would do when I was approached. In the early 1990s, we all wore bandanas. I made conscious efforts not to tie a red one around my head because I didn’t want to show affinity to a blood if the crips were around……

I was fearful of strangers, particularly females because I knew they wanted me. I was extremely cautious of the girls in over-sized hoodies and scrunch socks with the crunchy ramen noodle perms, huge bangs and the top portion of their pony tails pulled back so tightly that their eyes began to squint. Those were the ones that Sally Jesse made me fear the most. They lived the seemingly-innocent lives and then, Bam!, they were suddenly passing around the chronic and shoplifting for a living. I would walk to Target near Hampton Village, certain that any person standing at the bus stop would quickly break from the BiState line, throw a bag over my head and my initiation would begin.

All too soon, I would be living in a crappy apartment covered in newspapers with a dirty microwave oven and a Coleman cooler to chill my cans of Colt 45. I would change my name to Dimples Dark Eyez and hang out at the Bus Stop just looking for fresh meat. Young women would fear my tear drop tattoos and gold-capped teeth, but be equally in awe of my fingernails studded with diamonds and as long as eagle talons. This was my destiny and I had accepted it and perhaps started to look forward to it. At least with a gang, there was job security and a family, something that I was missing in my real life!?!?!? Hmm………

From the cradle to the grave….thug till I die…..

As an adult, who somehow escaped the thug life, I still find myself compelled to watch Lockup and wonder what could have been had things gone the wrong way on Hampton. For years, I wondered if any of my brothers had felt the same way, or if my mother feared me getting involved with a bad crowd. So, one night at Sunday dinner, I asked.

“Were any of you ever afraid of being able to participate in a gang initiation when we were kids?”

The blank stares were alarming. Oh my God, had one of them actually been approached? Did somebody get knifed and I wasn’t told? Who from the parish was part of the underground culture? WTF was going on?
Then the laughter started. No not just laughter, hysteria. Sort of like a pack of hyenias on methanphetamines.

“You can’t fight.”
“You have zero street cred.”
“What do you know about being a gansta?”

And then Big D chimed in…..

“Colleen! What the hell are you talking about? That is the dumbest thing that I have ever heard you say. For God’s sake! What gang would want anything to do with you? Now do the dishes.”

Yep…that’s me..well, as a white woman, and make that about $6, on a good day……

 

This is f*&@#%! Awesome…….

It is bedtime at the Thomas house. After reading a story, saying prayers and every other sweet Norman Rockwell photo detail, the boys are slumbering soundly teddy bear in the crook of their arm and dreaming about waking up tomorrow to a fresh stack of pancakes.I don’t know this group of Thomases, but being that the name is quite common, I am sure it is happening somewhere.

The people under the stairs have nothing on this guy.

We read stories and say prayers here too, but it isn’t all rainbows and flowers. Actually, it is none of those things because I have a house full of boys, so think more lizards and trucks, but it isn’t that either. The routine here is certainly consistent, but it always ends with at least one person being threatened, someone screaming and Scott and I playing rock, paper, scissors to determine who has to go up and wipe snot off of the weeper’s face. Sometimes, they even attempt to escape their horrible living conditions, but sadly, they can’t quite make it out.

I have been fighting a cold for a few days that has degenerated into a sweet case of laryngitis. My voice is not completely gone, much to my husband’s chagrin, but has taken on a more raspy, high-pitched tone, think Kathleen Turner with a side of Cyndi Lauper. Although I don’t really feel like talking, my boys don’t give one $h!+ about that and expect me to continue on with my daily responsibilities, on top of working a full-time job, that include, but are not limited to, answering 16,000 questions, making meals, answering a few more questions, doing laundry, telling stories and, of course, singing lullabies. I think it is sweet that my boys still let me sing to them while I rub their backs and I cherish every second because I know someday soon they will only want me to speak to them if it is to tell them how much money I will be handing over. Since Handsome #1 was an itty bitty baby, I have sung the same songs to him using his name sweetly, I then changed the tunes to have Handsome #2’s name included, and they are on their third incarnation with Handsome #3.

Tonight, as 7:30 approached, it was time to get the boys moving. They swiftly used the bathroom, put on their jammies and got into their bunk beds with very little difficulty. This is when I should have become suspicious. After we sang our evening prayer, the Casey Kasem request and dedication lines opened.

Handsome #1: Momma, will you sing me a song?
Me: Honey, my voice is really gone. How about tomorrow?
Handsome #1: Momma! You promised a song.

I never made any promise, but I knew that the tears were coming, so I might as well comply.

Me: Mommy loves her Finnegan. Oh she wonders what she did without him.
Handsome #1: Stop! That is not what we want.
Handsome #2: No, we want $20 in my pocket.
Handsome #1: Yep. That’s the one. Go!

Seriously?!?!?! They want me to get my Mackelmore on? The simplest of phrases coming from my mouth sound like the sacrificing of a small animal and they want an upbeat rap?  Under normal circumstances, it is a reasonable request. I have mad skills at the mic, but I didn’t have time for a cup of tea with lemon to coat my throat or even a Luden’s and they want rap?

Me: Guys, come on. Let’s sing our prayers again and go to sleep.
Handsome #2: WE WANT $20 IN MY POCKET!

His eyes were red and I swear I saw little fangs starting to grow. I was looking at a miniature Teen Wolf and thought for sure the next request would be for a keg of beer.

Would you mess with that?

Me: OK…..I’m gonna pop some tags
Handsome #1: You forgot the bada bada part
Me: Bada, bada, bada
I’m gonna pop some tags Only got twenty dollars in my pocket
I, I, I’m hunting
Looking for a come up
This is awesome

Handsome #1: Um, that’s not right. It’s being awesome……
Handsome #2: No! It’s ing awesome.
Me: Guys, it’s just awesome.
Handsome #1: Nope it is being awesome.
Handsome #2: Handsome #1!!!! It is not! It is ing awesome. You mean head.
Handsome #1: Handsome #2 called me a mean head, so I am going to punch him.
Me: No body is punching anyone. (First punch is thrown, followed by a sharp kick to the kidney)
Handsome #1: Brennan kicked me!
Me: You punched him, what do you expect? I have had enough. It is time for bed.
Handsome #1: Nooooo! You aren’t finished.
Handsome #2: Momma. You haven’t done my favorite part yet about the moccasins.
Me: Oh, my God! Lay down and be quiet. I will finish it, but so help me God if anyone touches anyone we will never listen to this song again. Do you understand me?

Walk in the club like what up? I got a big sock
Nah, I’m just pumped up, bought some stuff from the thrift shop
Ice on the fringe is so dang frosty
People like dang, that’s a cold ash donkey
Handsome #1: Momma it’s cold ash honkey
Me: No, it’s donkey.
Handsome #1: Definitely, defintely honkey. What is a honkey?
Handsome #2: Handsome #1. It is a cold ash.
Me: OK. It is time to go to sleep.
Handsome #2: Oh yeah?!?! You are a cold honkey.
Me: It is time for bed…..good night…..I love you…..
When I am alone in my minivan enjoying my day, there is nothing I love more than a filthy rap track loaded with f bombs, dotted with sexism and layered with gang violence. But, when I am saying goodnight to my innocent toddlers, I have to bring things down to a G rating. It ruins the integrity of the tunes, and frankly, I would much rather keep rapping 8 mile style, but if they repeated the lyrics in the middle of music class, Sr. Mary Catholic Teacher would likely send home a note, so instead, I censor.
Right before tonight’s bedtime adventure, I decided that I had better run to Walgreen’s to the Healthcare Clinic to see what is going on with my voice. I left with a diagnosis of a virus and no prescription, but was told to drink plenty of fluids, including tea. I decided to head over to Target for a few things, but figured I had better let Scott know. Instead of texting and driving, I thought I would use Siri to help.

Are you there God? It’s me Colleen……Just Kidding….

**********WARNING**********
Gentlemen, or should I say ‘man’ because if any guy is reading this it is likely my husband, the following post may make men uncomfortable; therefore, proceed with caution.
Turning 13 is a milestone for young women. We look forward to the distinction of being grown up, the excitement of going to high school, driving, buying cigs…..in the 1990s that was a big one, and finally moving out of the house in just a few short years. WTH is wrong with kids? The teenage years are awful days filled with oil, and hair, and awkward bodies and changes….I just threw up….Why do we need these years? But then again, being an adult is certainly nothing to hurry. Sure, having your own children to live vicariously through is a nice perk, but God the 20s are a bitch filled with bad jobs, questionable dates, hangovers (so very many hangovers) and a myriad of bills that no one really wants to pay. If I knew then what I know now, I would have paused at around 8 years old. Not a baby, but a reasonable sized girl who could read, write and ride a bike….not well….but that is another story for another day.
What a cute boy. Wait, what?
That is a killer pose, I can’t believe the agents passed…
Becoming a teenager means being discovered as a model or mega talent. In my case, I thought sports illustrated swimsuit issue.
March 16, 1992, my thirteenth birthday, brought none of the spoils that most girls found. No, I didn’t get a Swatch phone or a boom box; there were no Guess Jeans or that perm that I had begged for. (Thank you mom for that, although I am still angry about not having bangs) Oh, no, I got the chicken pox. A nice fat case of itchy sores all over the outside and INSIDE of my body. They were in my eyes, my nose, my mouth. I sincerely believed that there was no way that I would see my 14th birthday, this was sure to be the death of me.  Midway through my week from hell, my dad ran into a friend’s mom at the bank and said, “Well, she feels better, but damn she looks terrible, so she won’t be back to school for a while.” Perfect. The single perk to my quarantined state was that I would be able to spend my final days watching reruns of Press Your Luck and it just happened to be MTV’s Spring Break, so I had Daisy Fuentes and Pauly Shore to keep me company.
Eyebrow waxing is optional, the natural look was in
In between chants of No Whammy, No Whammy and TLC’s “Ain’t to Proud to Beg” on what seemed to be a loop on MTV interrupted only by “Save the Best for Last” by Vanessa Williams, I decided to do a little reading. I have never been, nor ever will be a big reader. But I quite frankly got bored with TV and needed a new diversion.  I turned to my good friend Judy Blume for some insight into the life of other awkward girls. Judy had always peeked my interest and I can distinctly remember reading snippets of Just as Long as We’re Together about Jeremy Dragon and his hairy legs that meant he was more “experienced.” I think that I went to college believing that was a real sign of a true Adonis…….idiot……
I had heard that reading Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret sent some kind of supersonic sound wave right into your uterus and to get things moving toward “womanhood.” But, I was certain that it was just seventh grade folk lore, so I dove right it. Horrifying. OMG what was wrong with this girl trying to make her boobs bigger and she really wanted her period…..Thankfully, Judy and Margaret’s voodoo didn’t work on me. I walked away unscathed. Two weeks went by, the physical scars of my bout with the pox had healed, but the emotional damage done by that book, well that would take years and years of therapy to recover.
Popping that leg is elongating and sexy
April 8, 1992 was a big day, my youngest brother turned seven and my mom took the boys, Nani and I out for the occasion and headed to Burger King. Clad in a killer pair of white Guess shorts, a white button down with navy blue stars and large gold buttons and a pair of Navy Coaster Bow Shoes, yes I know you wore Sam and Libby’s I wore Coasters from Payless….the horror….. I headed straight for my mother’s Red Pontiac Transport that the kids at school affectionately referred to as “The Dust Buster” mortifying. I didn’t feel great, but certainly nothing that a big fat greasy Whopper couldn’t fix. Upon arrival, I headed to the bathroom and at that moment I damned Judy Blume and that b@#$h Margaret to hell forever. There was no denying what had happened, but WTH was I going to do. I began to get woozy and at one point hit my head on the stall wall. The 33-year-old me is interjecting here. Really, Colleen? I was acting like a gunshot victim, or at the very least like someone who had been shanked in prison! Apparently my flare for the dramatic can’t be snuffed.
I decided that there was no way that I could escape this and I headed into the dining room to find my entire family with crowns on. Awesome. Please let’s draw as much attention to our table as possible because these people clearly all know what has happened and are already talking about me. I turned to my mother and very quietly said,
“I think I just got my period,” hmm, there was no thinking about it, idiot.
“That is just great. That is wonderful,” she said with this alarming smile on her face.
The flowers, symbolic of the blooming young woman…..feel free to vomit.
Was she nuts? What was so great about this? It was disgusting. It was painful, and I was ready to call it a wrap 10 minutes in. My mother, the fabulous woman that she is, is a consummate pleaser. She passed me a package from her purse and proceeded with the birthday party without missing a beat. I couldn’t believe that she was taking this so casually, this was a catastrophe. She knew I was reading that book, was this part of her grand plan? Did she know the power of Judy Blume and she didn’t protect me? How could she? Despite my horror and feeling that she had totally turned on me, I was determined to keep this between the two of us. Oh my God, was she going to tell my dad? I would choke her in her sleep. He can’t know about this. I am gagging now just thinking about it.
Look at that guy, he does not want to know!
Once we had finished eating, we all got back into the dust buster and headed home. As we approached our neighborhood, my mother did the unforgivable. She pulled into Target and asked us all to get out. What was she doing? She couldn’t possibly be doing what I thought that she was doing! No, no this was not happening! We all got out of the car and headed toward the door. She wasn’t really considering shopping for those things. Not here! Not with my brothers! Not in my neighborhood where someone could actually see me! OMG, I was hyperventilating. She was so casual, so calm, as if nothing was wrong. Like this was a perfectly natural, normal occurrence. I hated her. I hated Target. I hated birthdays. God I really hated that B!@#H Margaret!!!
I followed her sheepishly down the aisles as she pranced through the store. She looked like Dorothy on the Yellow Brick Road, clicking her heels, skipping along and waving at all of the munchkins in the store until she turned down the aisle clearly labeled, “Feminine Hygiene.” Again, I am gagging……I looked around to make sure that no one saw me, and quickly slipped down the line. WTH was she doing? Comparing brands? Prices? Coupons? OMG!!! Grab a bag and let’s get the hell out of her.
“Which one would you like?” She sang merrily.
“Uh, please just grab something so we can go. Please! I don’t care. I just want to go. Please!” I begged…and begged…and begged…..There was another woman coming down the aisle and I could not make eye contact. I was going to melt. I could die. Just as I began to evaporate. The sweet little birthday boy exclaimed,
“I know what those are. Those are the pink your pregnant blue your nots. You got pink. Colleen’s pregnant. Colleen’s pregnant.” The horror.
That was 20 years ago this past Easter Sunday. Between the ER visits, vomiting, and beating my children with bats, I was remiss in remembering my “special day.” I really wish that I could have celebrated it like Rudy and Claire on the Cosby Show. Do you remember that shit? Bizarre! As young women, we prayed that it wouldn’t come again, that we would be one of the lucky ones that had an irregular cycle. Now we pray like hell that it comes. If we are 10 minutes late we are running for the EPT. Surely I am not the only one that keeps pregnancy tests on had all the time….right….right? But, as I think about my life today in comparison to 20 years ago, I wouldn’t change a thing. After all, if it weren’t for that dumb b!@#h Margaret, I may never have had the two loves of my life…….so I really can’t complain……..right now…….about that anyway…….I can always complain……
The smile that make their eyes disappear melts.my.heart.every time.

Day 8, you lost a wagon wheel and the baby is suffering from Typhoid

As of late, the Thomas family has been living a life eerily similar to those pathetic excuses for pioneers in the Oregon Trail video game. Everyone loved Oregon Trail Day at school, it meant a full 45 minutes of fording the river, shooting buffalo after buffalo knowing full well that you would never be able to carry the load back, purchasing senseless rations just because you could and hoping that no one caught dysentery on the way to California. I would have happily shot a buffalo and attempted to carry him home at any point during the last two weeks.
I have heard that boys are rough and tumble, prone to accidents and often covered in bruises, cuts and scrapes. I can handle that, I grew up with three brothers and the occasional scuffle would arise. One particular incident with a recliner has left one brother with a scar that could easily fool any late night bar patron to believe that he was either a) attacked by a bear or b) his kidney was stolen in the middle of the night and he awoke in a bathtub full of ice, but I digress. My sweet, innocent children have had a decent track record. No injuries, no major illnesses, just a pretty easy going four years.  Well, that is if you don’t count that little incident on Handsome #1’s first Easter, when I fell down the steps while holding him and inadvertently broke his leg in the process and didn’t seek medical attention for two days because, “he was fine.” Just a blip on the radar……
Happy First Birthday, you can discuss this with your therapist in 20 years
It was only fitting that our first  second major injury would take place on a day when we had plans. Not the kind of plans where you are going to the zoo and it rains, nope bigger. Not a birthday party that is cancelled because a child gets the flu. Nope, even bigger. My brother, Kevin, and his now wife, Emily, happened to be getting married on March 24. The exact same day that Finnegan marches into our bedroom and says pitifully, yet quite matter-of-factly,
“I fell out of my bed in the middle of the night and I screamed and cried and no one came to get me.”
Yep, the poor child took a header out of his bed and ended up with an injury requiring immediate medical attention, a mere six hours before he was to be a ring bearer in my brother’s wedding. Perfect! It certainly wouldn’t be a Dilthey function without a catastrophe, right? Right. So off to St. Anthony’s Cardinal Glennon pediatric ER for a couple of pictures. We arrived at the hospital and I very casually handed them my insurance card and asked, “How long is this going to take? My husband, two children and I are all in a wedding in a few hours, so we need to be out of here fast.” Hmmmm, that may have been a poor choice. Had I known then what I know now, I would have certainly kept a low profile in the ER.
He found this exciting and couldn’t wait to see his bones
Such a sweet baby, whose mother didn’t hear him cry….I could just die!
Handsome #1 was taken back to a room,  wheeled into X-Ray and asked a few questions about what happened. Ultimately, it was ruled a broken collar bone and he was given a sling to wear to help protect it. As soon as the sling was on, I proceeded to ask really dumb question number two, “Does he have to wear this in the wedding? I mean, there will be a lot of pictures.” The doctor looked at me like, WTF is wrong with you, and said yes it needed to be worn. Fabulous! The darling monogrammed john john will now be totally covered up, at least he will have on his black and white saddles, that made me happy…..Shallow, I know but don’t tell me for one second that if you have a darling outfit planned for your child and something changes that you aren’t pissed? You are just as shallow and a lousy parent just like me…..
This is the best picture I have to date, pitiful. Look at the tap dancer, it is a surprise we didn’t go right back!
Temporarily misplaced sling=Hillbilly healthcare
Handsome #! took to the sling like it was nothing and really gave me no trouble. Let’s fast forward to the following Saturday, shall we? We had family portraits planned that day for Handsome #1, Handsome #2  and Nephew #1 that day. I pressed their seersucker pants, white polos with their monograms and shamrocks and laid out their navy and white saddles. The boys were bathed, dressed and we were on our way to Faust Park.
The ride was uneventful, a little Fresh Beat Band, Yo Gabba Gabba, Dolly Parton for a diversion and a little 9 to 5. We no sooner pulled into the parking lot that I heard the familiar grumbling and splatter. I turn to see my precious Handsome #2 covered from head to toe in banana vomit. Perfect, just perfect. My picture was just ruined.  I couldn’t possibly get Finnegan’s picture taken without Handsome #2, so I turned the car around and headed back home. Not without an extremely over dramatic phone call to Scott where I sobbed uncontrollably about how nothing ever goes right, my life is terrible, I just want one simple picture is that too much to ask and blah, blah, blah…….I think he fell asleep have way through, or at the very least put me on mute.
The next day I had just about had it with being a parent and was thrilled to have a diversion and headed to a family baby shower. No sooner did I walk in the door from my afternoon of being a big girl without someone crying or screaming or rubbing snot on me, that Brennan awoke from his nap. He was clingy and acting incredibly disoriented.  I asked Scott if anything strange had happened and he said that he had fallen off of the chair and bumped his head, but didn’t really cry. This scared the shit of me and then the barfing came. Again, and again, and again. Back to St. Anthony’s Cardinal Glennon ER we went. Perfect, last Saturday, my son fell and I didn’t go to help him or rescue him, which he has made a point to tell everyone, and this time, my other son has fallen and I wasn’t around so I am just not sure what happened to him. I could already hear the call to DFS being made!
He was so sick
This was before the screaming began
Clearance to go home =44 0z of Diet Dr. Pepper
Same routine as last weekend, we got a room, a few X-rays some antinausea medication and the clinical diagnosis of a potential concussion. In other words, no serious damage and he was OK to go home. Thank God! No one even mentioned that I had been there the week before. Maybe they didn’t notice, or maybe they didn’t think that I was crazy, or maybe, just maybe they believed that I wasn’t trying to kill my children! I have certainly closed my eyes from time to time in an effort to make them evaporate, just for 10 minutes or so, but I would never hurt my babies.
Once we were settled back home, it because apparent that whatever was causing this barfing had taken over Handsome #2 and it wasn’t stopping. There was barf everywhere. Scott and I put the kids to sleep hoping for the best, but braced for the worst. And the worst was upon us, Handsome #1 started to barf too. I covered the furniture and floors with sheets, I handed everyone a bucket and urged them to aim well.  Typhoid, dysentery, diphtheria I don’t know what it was, but it was bad and they were down.
We have a piper down…..
Please note that is not vomit on the child, instead Popsicle residue
Thankfully, the plague was rather short lived and we were able to resume normal activity at the Thomas House just in time for Easter and Uncle Jimbo’s 27th birthday extravaganza.
I told you no more pictures!
My mom thought that it would be a real hoot to have a piñata at the party. Being the athlete that I am, I decided that I should help Handsome #1 to bust the piñata open…..It didn’t go so well……Well, I must depart now break time is over in the slammer, until next time, enjoy……

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