Slice of my Life

9 reasons school pick up is like an elevator ride.

When I watch parents on TV pick up their children on basically any movie or show, they roll up in their car and the kid hops in.  No muss, no fuss, no drama.  No waiting on your pokey puppy of a child that would take 30 minutes to wander to the car in real life.  No child socializing endlessly just out of arm reach from the passenger door while the mom tries not to lose her cool and scream at the pre-teen in public.  No long lines of other parents leaning on the horn for you to get your slow moving turtle-esk children in the car and out of their way so they can get their own pokey puppies and chatty patties. This is all just an imaginary situation as I don’t get the benefit of the drive-by school pick up.  That may, in fact, be a magical made up situation Hollywood uses to taunt us real folks.  My kids go to a school where I park my car, drag the cranky toddler along and pick my children up at the door of their class. I’m five years into this school situation and I’ve come to the conclusion that school pick up is like riding an elevator. Trapped. I have an irrational fear of being trapped inside.  School was awkward for me the first go-round and I need to get in and out as fast as possible.  As soon as the front door closes behind me, it’s a countdown until I step outside to freedom, sweet freedom. The stare. We all walk in to our childrens classroom designation like mute zombies, promptly put our back to the wall and face forward towards the classroom door just like you do in an elevator.  As a unit, we all stare at the classroom as if we can force the teacher to open it quickly with our Jedi mind control.  This is the door you are looking for…… Penthouse Suite. Our particular elevator is like getting to the penthouse on a very specific elevator with a very specific key.  Our school is on such stranger danger lockdown that we use special doors at special times during the day and we are issued a pass card.  It’s on par with needing to know the elvish password to get into a dwarf mine. Bathroom. Some make the mistake and walk into school pickup needing to pee.  Once the door closes behind you, you can’t take care of business.  Using the children’s facilities is about as bad as urinating in the corner of the elevator.  Don’t do it. No talking! Trying to smile without initiating a forced conversation is an art form.  Even I can only talk about the weather for so long.  You have the parents you actually know and want to talk with, but the majority is a vast sea of people that you vaguely like yet know absolutely nothing about.  That distracted smile and head nod combined with a perfect timing of body shifting away is key. Children! Inevitably you have the button-pushing kid.  The one that will push all the buttons (throw a fit, lay down in the floor, knock over backpacks, bump into people, run into other classrooms).  This is annoying.  It’s also usually my kid.  Sorry. Space.  Elevators have a limited amount of space.  So does the hall in front of the classroom door.  Some people have a clear understanding of personal space and some do not.  I usually end of next to the person that is comfortable with their face in my armpit.  I’d apologize, yet I’m not quite sure why you are standing that close to me in the first place. Germs.   A school is a petri dish of germs on every surface imaginable.  If a kid in kindergarten has the flu, then pretty soon the entire senior class will have it as well.  That’s just life.  So is an elevator.  This is why both places need to be treated with as little surface contact as possible.  Taking a drink from the water fountain might not be the best idea.  I would liken that to licking the HOLD button in the elevator. Your Phone.  We all know you are staring at that thing in a desperate attempt to avoid eye contact.  Amateur.

Short and Sweet, Slice of my Life

My Cussing Problem

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I have a serious cussing problem. If we were going to rate me on a scale from Sesame Street to Pulp Fiction, I make Quentin Tarantino and Samuel L. Jackson sound like rank amateurs in verbal profanity. They just dabble. I’m immersed. I was trained by the best. Sailors on shore duty. I don’t even hear it when it flies out of my mouth any more. I don’t classify ‘Damn’ or ‘Hell’ as cuss words. I’ve gone straight to the big ticket words. Which is a problem. Using it to color up a moment is one thing. Dropping the F-Bomb at church is another. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t developed moral outrage over the issue. I know most people are offended. I just don’t happen to be. Mostly I just think it’s crass but the kicker for me is that now I think it’s lazy. I won’t use much profanity when I’m writing as it just seems cheap and distracts from the story. Any story. I can’t have that. Even when I’m not writing it down. My friend Tanya has laughingly told me she describes me as “Someone that loves Jesus, but says [email protected]#$ a lot.” I can’t argue with the statement as both are true. But maybe it’s time to tone it down a smidge. This in mind, it influenced my vote on the topic our Life Group was going to study on Sunday nights. It’s one thing to tell myself to stop cussing, but it’s mighty hard to make that happen when it truly doesn’t bother me. I’m hoping that this study will convict my heart that dropping the F-Bomb in no way glorifies the Lord or the funny story you know I love to tell. We watched the opening video this Sunday night. I was nervous as I thought I was about to spend two hours feeling bad about myself. I was okay with the thought as I was raised Southern Baptist. It’s not a true Southern Baptist sermon if you don’t walk out of church with some serious guilt and conviction on your heart. We don’t sugar coat sin in West Texas – we call you out on the carpet and still get you home in time to watch the football game. Hallelujah! I was a tad disappointed as the guy on the video didn’t even talk about cusswords. This first chapter was about using words to lift up or tear down but nothing specific about using the F-Bomb like it’s a comma while you are in the lobby of your kids school. Huh. Imagine that. cussing2 So for about two hours I’m feeling pretty good about myself as saying nasty things about people isn’t a particular topic I have a problem with. I have a lot of things to work on, but that’s not one of them. My default is to think positive things about people. You can thank my mother for that one. Way to go mom. I was even a bit hoity about the fact that at our advanced age (I’m ancient, I know ) we have a lot of flexibility to avoid the people in our lives that are hateful. Heck, I don’t even have to do the workbook exercises this week on dealing with people in a loving way that are tearing us down and how not to internalize that negative message. I think it’s moments like that, that send a warning up the line to a bell on God’s desk. Ooops! Looks like Reesie’s getting a little big for her britches. Let’s help her out. First thing this morning I learned that a woman that actively hates me is coming back into my life on a semi permanent basis. I don’t just think this, she’s proven it. I’m not being paranoid. #[email protected]%& to F*@#ing H#$! Son of a B$%^&! Mo$%6r F$#@er! Now I’ve got two things to work on this week

Blast From the Past, Pregnancy Stories

Scarborough Fair While I Was 6 Months Pregnant

I thought I’d share my previous Renaissance Fair experience as I’m traveling to Kansas City today to enjoy the festivities. Summer in Texas, May 2005. knights It’s 100 degrees outside and it’s May in Texas. I’m 6 months pregnant and while I can see my feet, I can not actually reach down and touch them. This means I have snaggle toes and I’m randomly hairy and I can’t do anything about it. Blake decided we need to go to something called the Scarborough Fair. This is a Renaissance Fair in the middle of a field outside of Dallas. This pregnancy has been one big slap in the face regarding what I think I can do versus what I can actually do. I have been constantly overwhelmed by unexpected pregnancy limitations and I seem to have no foresight whatsoever when it comes to seeing approaching disaster. This being the case, I think the Scarborough fair in 100 degree heat sounds like a marvelous idea. I sleep in, it takes me a while to get ready as I shower then rest. Find clothes then rest. Brush my teeth and hair and then rest. It ended up being noon by the time we rolled up to the fair. Oh my word, I’m stupid. Noon. In Texas. In the summer. People are swarming all over this place and we are forced to park in the back 40. Blake pulls my massive girth out of the truck as waves of heat drift up from the cracked and dried earth. I hobble my way up to the front and already sweat is dripping, pooling, gathering in horrible places and my bathroom visit is already becoming and emergency. We spend the next three hours doing the following: Sweat like a pig, restroom, drink something. Sweat like a pig, restroom, drink something. Sweat like a pig, restroom, drink something. Finally we are in the back area where they are jousting. No actual bathroom is available, all they have back here are porta potties. Porta potties aren’t enjoyable at the best of times and they are a nightmare when you are 6 months pregnant. I can no longer balance myself properly so that I don’t touch when I’m using the porta potty. This was full fledge contact. Surface to surface. Plus I’m sweaty and it takes a while to get situated and I end up peeing on myself a bit anyway. I’m in the sweltering porta potty, I’ve peed on myself, and now I’m crying. I stand up and I realize that I’m too sweaty and pregnant to pull my pants up. They are stuck around my legs and I don’t have enough room to bend over to pull them up. It is more than 100 degrees in the porta potty. It was at least 120 degrees from horrible green house effect. Plus I’m pregnant so my one super power is super sonic smelling. I’m crying. I’m sweating. I have pee on me and I’m naked with my pants stuck around my ankles. My very swollen ankles. I now have to make a choice. Die from heat exhaustion in the sweaty, stinky, sweltering porta potty in the middle of a Texas field or boldly step outside with my sweaty pants around my ankles. I don’t have on granny panties by the way. No sir mister. I am rocking a horrible overtaxed thong this 6 months of pregnancy. So I step outside. Naked. Pants around my ankles. Massive behind waving in the wind for all to enjoy at the Scarborough Fair. I couldn’t even quickly get my pants up as I’m too sweaty and fat to bend down and pull them up quickly. Someone had to help me. I don’t think you understand. Someone had to help me pull my pants up over my naked behind and over my pregnant belly in the middle of a field in a public event with thousands and thousands of people. This may be the most embarrassing, yet hysterical, moment of my life so far. This kid better be amazing.

Blast From the Past, Slice of my Life

15 Minutes With Carlos Santana

1999-ish timeframe. Sometimes you have to make a big push to start out your life.  A big, scary, all by yourself push.  I had just graduated college and I was in love with a sailor.  A submarine officer that was never going to live in the middle of landlocked West Texas.  We weren’t ready to marry, we were just ready to see if our relationship could survive for longer than an extended weekend.  So I loaded up my Isuzu Hombre with all my stuff and I headed out to follow my man. I pulled out of my mom’s driveway on a Thursday morning and it took us two days to get from Texas to San Diego.  I had never driven more than 4 hours away from my family and this was bigger than any adventure I could have imagined on my own.  I had a total of $2,000 to my name, no credit cards, and I had no plans to live with Blake.  I had to find a job and an apartment in San Diego in less than a week. But I was young so these worries didn’t stress me out in the least.  I don’t think my truck engine had even cooled down from our drive before we were making plans to go to the ocean.  Blake’s buddies had a sailboat and the San Diego sky was a blue as blue could be. We get to the boat and the Navy guys are doing what Navy guys do to get a ship ready to sail: hoisting the Jolly Roger, swabbing the poop deck, and dancing the hempen jig.  It’s comments like this that get me thrown of the ship and sent to get the grog.  Basically a beer run.  The sailboat was stored at a dock with many other ships all shapes and sizes.  Ours was on the smaller end and further down were the massive beasts of the ocean.  Needless to say they have measures in place to protect the boat owners.  I end up trapped at the gate to get off our dock because I can’t figure out how this round key fob opens the gate. I’m fiddling with the gate and a homeless man approaches and says, “Hey man, that’s not how you do it.  You do it like this.”  Then he proceeds to help me out of the gate.  I’m fresh out of Texas and my accent was a thick as my mom’s buttermilk pie and my manners were just as sweet.  I proceed to thank the homeless man and I bend down to pet his two ancient poodles.  They weren’t cute, poodles do not age well.  They get that crusty tear stain around their eyes, they shake, their hair looks like a badly colored perm and usually their breath smells.  I continue to chat the homeless man up when I see a hugely muscled man sprinting towards us.  Sprinting and mad. I can not fathom why this man would be mad so I leap to the conclusion that these men are gay lovers and he is jealous and sprinting towards me to claim his territory.  No shit, this is what I thought.  I’m in San Diego, my mom told me about this stuff, I’m going to play it cool.  So I use all my southern charm to chat the mad muscle bound man up to let him know I’m not poaching in his territory.  I even reference my Navy boyfriend who is now sprinting past us all to actually get the beer I was tasked to buy. It’s not even 2 minutes into the conversation when the muscle bound behemoth relaxes. I’m under the impression that I’ve soothed his jealous soul.  We had a lovely conversation about dogs, San Diego, my adventure from Texas, sailboats and I end up inviting both of them back to our boat to chill and have some beers.  I do have to tell them they need to bring their own beer as I think the Navy guys might drink every drop of their own beer.  This seemed to amuse them greatly. The homeless man and his huge muscle behemoth of a companion are as nice and nice could be and they decline graciously.  I continue on my way back to the sailboat and we prepare to set sail.   We are chatting with Blake’s buddies and they mention that Carlos Santana has his massive ship docked at this marina.  It’s docked here and he is here all the time.  And guess what, there it is.   There he is!! My super sweet  homeless man that I chatted with for at least 15 minutes was Carlos Santana.   The huge muscle behemoth was his bodyguard. #carlossantana #Santana   *That year Carlos Santana released  his album Supernatural.  It went 15 times platinum in the US and won nine Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year as well as three Latin Grammy Awards including Record of the Year.   

Blast From the Past, Pregnancy Stories

36 weeks pregnant

I am 36 weeks pregnant and 6 days. I wake up this morning uncomfortable as usual but with a bright spot of hope regarding the day as I had approval to work from home today. We were going to see if I could make that work for the next week or so. I had the tech guy come in yesterday at work to show me how to make the laptop plug into the UOP systems and I was all set. I sleep in an extra 45 min and then roll over out of bed and take my time eating breakfast, looking out the window, feeding the dogs and then I am pretty much prepared for the day. I was so happy this morning, I should have known to prepare myself. I pull out my computer and do EXACTLY what the Tech guy said to do. Nothing. Can’t log in. Okay, so I fiddle around on the computer (pretty much just pushing random buttons thinking I might get lucky) and then cave and call the Tech guy at work. He helps me log in and we hang up. I get into the system and it all looks great. I just about get the system to work and then – BAMB – my battery goes dead and the computer shuts off. (Sigh) I now HEAVE my massive girth off the couch and dig up the power cord and set it all up again. I am not too worried at this point as the Tech guy showed me what to do and I know I can do it. So I do the same thing. Nothing. Nada. Can’t log in again. Again, I call Tech guy. Can he get me in this time? Of course not. I spend the next THREE hours on hold with DSL-Yahoo, fighting with DSL-Yahoo, and basically wasting my time. The nasal sounding 12 year old girl on the phone kept telling me politely she couldn’t help me and then she would go into a long stream of computer jargon that might as well been Japanese as I couldn’t understand it. She might as well just said that my Flux Capacitor was broken and that is why we couldn’t break the time continuum. I was so frustrated at this point that I believe I started stuttering and spittle was flying from my foaming mouth onto the phone. This may have happened as the black void of rage was consuming me at this point so who knows what really happened. I can tell you that at some point in that conversation my hands swelled up to twice their size. I am sitting down and realizing that what I really need to do now is drive into work to get something done. But then I realize that my husband, never one to miss a window of opportunity, had scheduled the maintenance man to come in to see what was wrong with our upstairs A/C. So I am trapped in the house and can’t leave until this happens. I also have a doctor appointment that I have to make so there is NO WAY I am going to make it into work before 5pm. I am attempting to make the best of life and think that I will begin cleaning. The house needs TONS of things done before the baby gets here and this is apparently my ‘golden opportunity.’ This is where I start to get confused. I keep moving and I’m re-arranging the piles of crap that are EVERYWHERE in the house but mysteriously nothing seems to be any cleaner. I keep this up for 2 hours and I have to tell you that I really can’t see that anything got done. The A/C man gets here and announces that he needs to turn the A/C off to work. It is 110degrees and HUMID in the Dallas Summer heat. He shuts off the A/C and then begins to fiddle with the unit. At first it wasn’t so bad, but the house is big and the cold air is precious. It didn’t help that he kept going in and out and forgetting to shut the door behind him. I’m guessing he was raised in a barn. So an HOUR and a HALF later, I am a sweating, heaving, non-productive, swollen up mass of frustration. He has me sign his bill and goes on his merry way. He still forgot to shut the door on his way out. I now have a little under two hours to get showered, dressed, and into downtown Dallas for my doctors appointment. Now, this would sound do-able but I’m extra slow these days and everything is in super slow motion. The house is now 90 degrees. I finally drag on my one pair of pants that fit and my one of two shirts that fits over my massive breasts and waddle to the door. My hair is in wet strands around my head as who is going to turn on their blow dryer in a 90 degree house. Certainly not me. I had forgotten that I had moved my dogs into the big yard so they wouldn’t jump on the A/C man. I make the mistake of just opening the gate and assuming they will follow me into the yard they need to be in. I didn’t look around to notice some poor lady was walking her dog in the ally behind my house. But my dogs certainly did. They were on this poor lady and dog faster than I could even get turned around. I spend the next 15 min yelling at my dogs, running (well, fast waddle) after my dogs and apologizing to my neighbor. I have to wrestle both the wild hyenas into their yard one at a time. My pug had morphed into a Tasmanian devil. At this point, I am dripping sweat again and who knows – maybe I peed myself again. At this point I’m not wondering if I stink – I know I stink. I glance to my car and realize that my right front tire is flatter than road kill. I have no words to express to you what I was feeling at this point but I can assure you it wasn’t nice and it wasn’t pretty and it certainly wasn’t funny. So I get in the car and drive the block to the gas station to fill up my tire. I have exactly one dollar on me and I pull up to the air pump and plug in my 75 cents for air. So again, I am 36 weeks and 6 days pregnant and swollen up so much that I can not close my hand into a fist. I now have to SQUAT down low to fill up my tire with air. This is impossible. Next I attempt to bend over. Nope – can’t do that either as it cuts off my air and I can’t breath. I don’t want to sit on the ground as these are my ONLY pair of pants that fit and if I ruin them – I have to go buy some more. I attempt to lean against the car and reach down to fill up the tire. I almost can reach….just a little further……BAMB. I slide down the side of the car and land on my butt on the nasty ground. Okay, I’m here, I might as well fill up the tire. I fill her up. Getting up off the nasty ground was almost a production in itself. I have nothing to hang on to so I have to flip myself over onto my hands and knees (yes, new pants are a must at this point) and CRAWL to the pump to HEAVE myself up with the gas pumps. I am a sweaty mass of nastiness with dirt marks on my butt, my knees and all over my hands. I get into the car and drive to my doctors appointment. I barely make it and realize that I’m not seeing my regular doctor – I’m getting to meet another doctor for the first time. (sigh) Okay, bring it. So I wait in the office. Wait. Wait. Wait. She finally comes in and the FIRST thing out of her mouth is that I tested positive for some STREP bacteria and will have to be on antibiotics when I give birth so I don’t give Alaina pneumonia. WHAT? ARE YOU SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT PERSON? I actually ask to see my chart as I don’t believe she is speaking about me. So I’m sitting there, trying to be brave, and all I can think of is that I am a bad mother as I might pass some bacteria on to my infant child. Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry. THEN she tells me that they need to do a sonogram on me as the baby feels breach and they will have to schedule a C-Section if she shows breech on this test. WHAT!! ARE YOU SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT PERSON? I haven’t read ANYTHING ON C-sections and I CERTAINLY don’t want to have one. I’m thinking to myself all the time I’ve spent planning what I was going to do in the labor and delivery room. I can’t breastfeed right away the way I am supposed to if I have a C-Section. This means the baby will have to get a bottle and then she’s going to have nipple confusion and not get the benefits of breastfeeding and WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO NOW?? DOES THIS LADY KNOW I BOUGHT A FREAKIN’ BIRTHING BALL?? So she goes out of the room to set up the Sonogram. It takes like 20 min and the ENTIRE time I have big fat tears running down my face and snot dripping out of my nose. I keep trying to pull myself together but I keep thinking that I am a terrible mother, I’m not prepared, I can’t get anything done right, my house is a mess, none of the baby stuff is organized, I don’t have everything I need yet, I keep wetting myself, I can barely breathe, and I WANT MY MOTHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So the doctor finally comes back in and does the Sonogram. THANK GOD Alaina is where she needs to be. Apparently she has a good sense of direction and her head is exactly right and she is not going to be breach if she stays right where she is. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. So now I leave and am thinking that I need time to pull myself together so why not go to Discount Tire and get my tire fixed for free before I go into work. God I’m stupid. I pull into the Discount Tire and verify that I can have this done for free. So I wait. Wait. Wait. Read a magazine. Wait. Wait. Dang these chairs are hard. Wait. Wait. Wait. “Ms. Edmondson, we have a problem.” Okay – THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANT TO HEAR. Mr. Tire Man proceeds to tell me that my little 1 mile drive to the store to get air in my tires has RUINED my tire and I NEED TO BUY A NEW ONE. I lost my shit right in the middle of Discount Tire. I had had enough. I started sobbing and sobbing and crying and sobbing and heaving. My entire body was just heaving from the massive amount of emotion that was pouring out of my body. I had to struggle to get a breath between the sobs it was so bad. I know I looked just like those trailer park people that sob on the News Camera when the tornado blows their house away. I mean, it was horrible. The day had just given me all I could take in at that moment. These poor trucker dudes that were in the lobby with me were just as horrified as I was. I think one just left and another man just broke down with me and attempted to pay for me to get a new tire. Finally Mr. Tire Man couldn’t take it either and he just started stammering and told me he would replace my tire with a used tire that would be just as good and that it would be free. I was finally able to get myself at least to stop the heaving and sobbing and Mr. Tire Man all but threw my keys at me in his rush to get me out of there. IT was HORRIBLE and HUMILIATING and pretty much one of the funniest things that have happened to me all at the same time. Can’t wait until tomorrow…… *Note from 2015 – I ended up having a C-Section.