April 2012 archive

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

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……