Archive of ‘whoops’ category

There’s no place like home…..well, kind of…..

It is Sunday in St. Louis, so the boys, Maurmi, Grandpa and I headed to Strange Donuts, a new culinary hot spot, for a breakfast treat. As is typical for any adventure, we weren’t in the car five minutes before someone starting to torment someone. Today’s pester fest starred Grandpa and Handsome #2.

Handsome #2: Guess what? We are going to Strange Donuts, Grandpa.
Grandpa: No, we are going to familiar donuts.
Handsome #2: No, not furmilyur, Strange Donuts.
Grandpa: I think familiar sounds good.
Handsome #2: AGGGGHHHH! Not furmilyur, we are going to Strange Donuts.
Grandpa: I think I like familiar donuts.
Handsome #2: (Crying) I hate furmilyur donuts, Grandpa.

This went on and on for twenty minutes until we arrived. There was a line out the door and inside was a tight squeeze. The line moved fast, and once waited on, we swiftly made our selections and were out the door. As we headed home, we listened to a Halloween CD and attempted to make friendly conversation.

Me: Handsome #2, how old are you?
Handsome #2: I am three.
Me: Handsome #2, when is your birthday?
Handsome #2: May 28th.
Me: Handsome #2 what is your address?
Handsome #2: I don’t have one.
Handsome #1: Yes you do! It is XXXX LollyDolly Lane.
Handsome #2: No it’s not! I do not have a LollyDolly! You are a LollyDolly.
Handsome #1: Yes it is. We all live there!
Handsome #2: No!I!Do!Not! I do not have an address, Handsome #1! Guess what? You are a girl.
Handsome #1: Mom! Handsome #2 called me a girl.
Handsome #2: You are a girl, Flanagan, with a bow in your hair!

PS: We do not live on LollyDolly, but I don’t find it necessary to give the entire Internet, or the 25 of you reading this, my real address.
PPS: Flanagan is what Handsome #2 calls Handsome #1 when he is really pissed off.
PPPS: A three year old should probably not have the cognitive ability to figure out how to really anger his older brother with name calling and use it to his advantage every.single.time.
PPPPS: I did nothing about the above conversation but laugh and be sure that I didn’t forget the good parts. And, yes, I am working really hard for mother of the year.

Your kiss is on my list…….

When I heard Mika blaring “Love Today” in my ear this morning at exactly 6am, I wanted to punch him in the face. I had no desire to crawl out of my comfy cocoon, but hitting snooze isn’t an option when you have to be in a high school gym by 7:30, so I drug myself out of bed.

I knew it was destined to be one of those mornings when I found this in the shower.

Good Morning, have a nice day
Seriously, WTF is that? Why is it so hard to get the kids to clean up after their bath? If I have told him once, I have told  Scott 700 times, “I am the one who has to shower in here in the morning and I don’t want to have to step on this crap. Please be the responsible adult and make them pick up their toys!” And then I realized, $h!+, I was the moron who gave the boys a bath last night. And the reason that the toys remain on the shower floor is because someone attempted to drown someone else in the tub because he stole his washcloth and the only way that I was able to keep three children alive and not just two was to swiftly pull out one boy in each arm, and airlift them to their bedroom. At which point, I did a quick towel dry of their heads, put pajamas on wet bodies, which is about as fun as dressing an early 80s rubbery Barbie, and said a quick, “See you tomorrow.” I still had to feed the baby, clean the kitchen and fold the laundry that will NEVER end up in a drawer.

When I finally went to put said baby to bed thirty minutes later, I found this behind the rocker.

Surprise, I may or may not be dead under here
 Had the windows been open someone would have called 911 and reported multiple murders.”911 what is your emergency?””My neighbor across the street, the Grillin’ Fool’s wife, she appears to be in trouble. I think he may have had enough of her crap and thrown her on the Charbroil. They are all screaming. You better send several ambulances.”

This morning was a struggle, to say the least. The last few weeks have been this way……

          First there was this
Sharpie instead of lipstick, perfect….
And then this
Haven’t quite mastered shoes on the right feet….perfect
This morning, I did the unthinkable. I left home without my signature tube of slutty red lipstick. Talk about a WTF moment?!?!!? I don’t put lipstick on before I drop the boys at school and lay a big fat one on them for fear that the teachers will mistake my love and affection for child abuse or a nasty case of ringworm. So when I reached into my purse as I left the school parking lot, I was in a state of panic. I had two cell phones, a wallet, fruit snacks, diapers, wet wipes, three pairs on socks, tampons, a pair of Thomas the Train unnerwears, an iPad and a lint roller…..not a single tube of lips……
OMG

$h!+, I had to be in a high school in 15 minutes. No time to go home, no time to stop at Walgreens. No time for anything! I was forced to do the unthinkable, I had to go to school naked. No before you get all, she is so dramatic, on me, let’s be fair. The last time that I attempted to wear a different COLOR lipstick, Handsome #1 said,

“Mom, what is wrong with your face?”

Too bad, so sad, I had to go to work. I was angry, frazzled and not feeling myself at all. As I was setting up my table, a group of kids from a special education class were making their way through the gym early before it got too busy. A sweet-looking boy, maybe 15, came over and said hello.

He looked at my setup and said, “Oh, this isn’t for me.”

“That’s OK. I hope that you have a great day,” I replied and went back to getting organized.

He walked away, but swiftly turned around. He came back looking like he had left a book or a pencil behind. “Ma’am. I forgot. I forgot to say, you look pretty today.”

And off he went.
So simple, so kind and a total day changer. It was a slap in my face, and one that I needed today. A change in perspective. It isn’t about the lipstick, or the shoes, or the hair. It is about a smile and being kind. I would love to tell his mom, you are doing it right. I am sure that she worries, we all do. But when he is on his own, he is kind and loving and I truly hope that my boys are like that. Thank you God for sending him my way.
I’ll duckface the hell out of some red lips
As I left the parking lot, I smiled. But, as I caught my reflection in the rearview, I realized that I still looked like the Walking Dead, so the Odyssey made a quick left into Walgreens and soon, everything was right in the world again….And there is an extra tube in the ashtray, in case of an emergency……

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.

Whatchu Talkin’ Bout Colleen

.
Spandex is my friend

Forgive me readers, mom, it has been about nine months since my last confession….err….blog post. I have absolutely no reason for not posting other than the pure unadulterated laziness that comes from cooler weather and maternity leggings. I swear to God, the second those suckers go on for the first time, it is like my body turns from semi-functional mother of two to sloth.  All I want to do is watch Honey Boo Boo, purely to make myself feel better about my own life, and eat peanut butter straight from a jar. Plus, the thought of having to get out the wireless keyboard for my iPad, or God forbid grab a laptop, has proven too much as of late.

My pregnancy has been easy, like insanely easy, to the point that I forget I am even pregnant until I am setting off automatic hand dryers in the bathroom with a quick move of my ever-growing belly. I have been pretty even tempered, aside from a few emotional outbursts that normally revolve around boy bands and the face that I really wish the world still thought overalls and flower hats were OK. Other than that, it is smooth sailing.

I am looking forward to actually giving birth. I don’t know my baby’s gender, yes intentionally, so that moment is especially exciting. I am one million percent terrified of being sliced in half and from the moment that I peed on that stick, all three times, I have reminded everyone around me; including, but not limited to, my husband, mother, doctor, nurses, extended family and occasional custodian at Walmart, that I will not be having a c-section. Giving birth is the only time in my life that I have ever been even remotely athletic, so I feel this is my time to shine. That is, of course, as long as no one dies along the way. Wait, what, WTF did she say?

Perhaps that is a bold statement, but please, let me explain. I have this thing, about, well, black celebrities dying on pretty significant days in my life. Like the time Nate Dog died the night before my birthday and forcing a 24-hour continuous loop of Regulate. Or, the tragic day that I lost my best friend and companion,the beautiful blue luxury sedan that was with me for seven years. As if my Mercury Sable dying weren’t enough for me to take, Sherman Hemsley moved on up to his deluxe apartment in the sky the same day. But the day my sweet Handsome #2 came into this world, well that one takes the cake.

There is nothing quite like the bond between a girl and her luxury sedan

I was extremely enormous toward the end of my pregnancy, think Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon, and eager to get the baby out. I was due on Memorial Day and opted for an early induction. I had a baby already, via an induction, and everything was perfectly fine, aside from the meconium that caused the newborn to be rushed to ICU and the quick sedation of an overwrought first-time mom, I was knocked out and don’t remember much. I wasn’t in too much pain the first go around, opting for an epidural and I expected my second birth to go the same way

One last Diet Coke, so many less calories that way

I arrived at the hospital, checked in, got hooked up to the pitocin, got the epidural moving and began the Thomas-family tradition of the birth viewing of National Lampoons Vacation…..No, not one bit of me is kidding. If you are really doubting my affinity to the Griswalds, please see exhibit A. The Thomas Family Christmas card. I quickly realized that this experience was not going to be the smooth sailing that I was expecting.

Exhibit A…..Pure Awesomeness

Once the epidural was in, I was told that I could have more medicine, if I really felt that I needed it, but not to push the button without first contacting the nurses. Easy enough, I thought. I quickly realized that the pain was coming fast and strong and it wasn’t lessening, at all. After contacting the nurses three times asking for more medicine, I was given the go ahead to push it as much as I wanted. That should have been the first clue.

I have seen childbirth as depicted by Hollywood hundreds of times. It is always dramatic, sweaty and loud, but I had always called bullshit on that.I had a baby, that doesn’t happen. Well, as matter of fact, it does when your epidural fails. WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After listening to me writhing in pain for what seemed like hours, OK, probably 20 minutes, my darling husband, my companion, my support system, the one who would get me through the next few difficult hours, sat up from his makeshift bed and exclaimed,

“Coll! Please be quiet, I am trying to get some sleep.”

As God is my witness, he said it….And the only reason that he made it to see the birth of his son is because I was in so much pain I couldn’t move, or I would have killed him right there. Certainly this moron had lost his f&*$%ng mind!

“I want my mom. I want my mom. I need my mom,” I sobbed.

“Here. Do you want your phone to call her,” the moron said, straight faced as he tried to hand me my phone.

When I didn’t respond because I was trying to telekinetically kill him, he realized that he better make the call. He was able to rouse my mother from a dead sleep at 3 am and get her to the hospital. As we waited for her arrival, there was a staff change and I was given the choice to have a second epidural, or a cesarean. Clearly, these people didn’t read the, “No way are you cutting me, but I would be happy to cut you” look on my face. I opted for the drugs and we were on our way.

I quickly began to become numb and felt remarkably better. My mom arrived and for a few minutes everything was A-OK. And then it all when down the drain. I started to freeze and asked for several blankets. Scott and my mom were watching some news program featuring a black man and woman being interviewed. I peered from the comfort of the bed and began to say over and over, “My God. Gary Coleman looks like shit.”

At first, they thought it was funny, or that I was kidding, but quickly realized that something had gone wrong. In an effort to spare you the long, boring details, they brought in the STAT team for fear that I was having a stroke. It turns out, that is was just a bit too much medication, and I was just fine after a few more minutes. The remainder of my labor was uneventful and painless, aside from the part where the baby got stuck and I was instructed to lay on my side and go to my, “quiet place.” Honest to God?!!!??! I am anything but quiet, but the trick worked and I was soon holding my darling 9.4lb, 22in Handsome #2. He was gorgeous, and perfect and worth every moment.

Handsome #2

After I had been moved back to my room and put on my makeup and fixed the horrifying bed head, this time my hair will be much longer in an effort to curb that look, I felt that it was appropriate for Handsome #1 to see his momma. My sister-in-law, Lolo, came in with a balloon and the big brother and announced to the room, “I hate to be the bearer of bad news on such an exciting day, but Gary Coleman has passed.”

My Sweet Baby Boys
RIP Arnold……

Oh.my.God. WTF did she just say? Gary Coleman is dead? No way. Certainly this was a joke. Some silly nurse must have tweeted about a real live one in L&D having visions of the 1970s. I quickly grabbed my phone and there it was, right in front of my eyes. May 28, 2010, Gary Coleman dead at 42. I had a quick moment of silence for little Arnold Jackson, later Drummond, and vowed that I would instill in my children the importance of acceptance and that above all, they must always remember that, “The world don’t move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you, may not be right for some.”

Now, I didn’t kill Arnold Jackson, I don’t think. I mean, not any more than I killed George Jefferson. But if I were JJ Evans, I would be a little concerned that May 27, 2013 might not be so, “Dynomite!”

You might want to sleep with one eye open come May, just sayin’

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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