Turn Around and Swim

Life | Lessons | Laughter | Love


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Some Things are Just Better Said with Fingers (and a Smile)

So everyone I encountered and talked with on Monday morning, was having a day of $h*t!  The more people I talked to, the more frustrated I became.  Can everybody be this ultra-sensitive, sad and in “a mood”?  I was convinced I would not let them bother me, because I was determined to have one helluva a good Monday!

After a commute from the pits of the earth, I plopped my dressed encased bottom into my faux leather chair and booted up my baby.  Because really, can a computer fail you?  No talk backs, no whines and no pangs.  So, I started ‘er up and proceeded to email with one eye closed as to prep myself for any hate mail.  I figured I might as well take a sip of my other baby, $5.00 in a cup,  when suddenly the damn lid unlocked, causing the cup to crash to the desk and five dollars worth of liquid to tumble down on my dress, my keyboard, my mouse, the office carpet and my hard-drive.

Seriously?  And I thought I was not going to succumb to the Monday of maniacs.  After a trip to the computer software center, back to refuel at the local coffee joint and dodging through another mini commute to and fro, I began my workday at about noon.  So, I decided, some things today are better just said with fingers and hands and hey even knees, shoulders and toes!  So join me and let us order ourselves up a nice tall glass of I don’t give a f^*k!

10 Hands On Ways to Start Your Monday

1) Flip the Bird.  Go ahead you know you want to!  They did park their vehicle next to yours like a douche bag.

2) Talk to the Hand.  Yes sir ree!  Because everything you are saying makes you sound like an idiot!

3) Peace Dude!  Because really I know you did not mean to cut me off in traffic.

4) Thumbs Up!  It can only get better from here.

5) Crossed Fingers.  Please just let me get through this day.

6) Finger Curling Inward.  Yes, you.  Uh huh, come over here!  I have something to discuss with you.  Now please proceed to #1.

7) Pointing Finger.  I am going to do it even though mother said not to.  You should not be wearing that scarf around your neck because it looks like you have a small animal wrapped around you.

8) Okay.  I will let you slid this time but next time, it will not be that easy.

9) Rubbing of the forehead.  The sound of this voice is giving me a headache and it’s not because I am dehydrated from the weekend festivities.

10)  Chin Gathering.  I would ponder this for a moment but, YOU ARE RIDICULOUS!

Anyways, don’t talk Mondays can be implemented.  Use the above gestures to communicate during the Monday Mayhem.  If anything, you will save your voice for when it’s needed most.  Like screaming at geese to get out of your way, because their crossing can delay you at least two hours.  Really, I was told this once by a babysitter!  Happy Tuesday y’all!


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The Wrath of the Party Hostess with the Mostest

So the saying goes, “do unto others as you would want done unto you,” or something like that.  Meaning, I guess, be kind to others and you shall reap kindness in return.  I am a pretty good party host.  Well at least I have been told so on a few occasions.  I try to always make my party guests feel welcome and content.

I can usually allow for a few ice breakers via way of cornhole or a nasty fall by myself or one of my children.  A wipe out usually leads to laughter afterwards and the socially awkward to mix.  So, if you need any help in a future party planning event, give me a ring!

The best parties to me are when those that wearily come never want to leave.  When they finally manage to head out by me nudging them out the door, their bellies are full, their jaws hurt from laughing and they made a few new friends.  That to me is a successful party and a hostess job done well.

It doesn’t matter if you are a senior guest, middle age attendee, high school punk or toddler who just dragged your blanket, sippy cup and muddy feet through my kitchen, I aim to please! So, during one of my recent party gatherings, a nine-year old champ wants to know when I am cutting the cake because he has to leave.  Well the ATP (Aim To Please) steps in! 

So, I show the little guy the homemade delectables and promise to save one for him and his little brother.  He cocks his head to the left, lifts one eyebrow like “The Rock” and says. “Yah, right!”  Oh boy was I fired up.  Is this little dude questioning my ATP?  Back up boy! I will be at your home bright and early in the morning to present you with two of the world’s finest cupcakes.  So, you best lower that brow and proceed on home!  And not another peep!

So as soon as the Birthday celebrations were sung and the 28 fingers stuck, licked and re-stuck their fingers into the cupcakes, I snagged up two of them before my son even blew out the candles.  I wrapped them and hid them so they would be fresh, unfound and untouched.

In the morning after Sunday breakfast I decided I would go deliver this questioning my ability lad and his brother their yummy treats. But oh shoot, where did I put them?  I hid them so well I, myself, couldn’t even find them.  So after a 30 minute stampede throughout my house and my tantrum seized, I found the Truffula Tree not so more cupcakes. 

So on my way out for my 3 mile run, I was going to deliver the mini cakes to them.  I went through their open garage and knocked on the “man door” (why is this called a man door anyway?).  There was no answer.  So, I knocked again and again and then rang the doorbell.  If I had my Nike+ Fuelband on, it would have alarmed me that there was way too much inactivity going on.  Oh wait, I don’t have a Nike+ Fuelband.  Take note people, I WANT ONE! 

Anyways, the over bearing, smiling mother proceeded from around the front of the house.  Since my back was to her, she startled me to the point that I jump turned and slid on her “man steps” and dropped the damn cupcakes so I could stop myself from a nasty fall.  “Oh my, are you okay?” she exclaimed.  Yes, lady I am fine and here are your boys cupcakes.  ENJOY!

Just then their new 65 pound puppy came running from the front yard as I was walking from the garage and jumped on me so hard, that I fell to the ground right on my rear end.  She started licking the crap out of me and nudging and clawing me.  All I kept thinking to myself was please get your dog off of me.  I managed to get little Lucy off of me and get back on my feet just in time for her to pee on my brand, spanking new $139.00 running shoes.  Then she must have wanted to thank me for relieving herself on my shoes, that she jumped up to give me a hug ripping my running pants from quad to shin.  Oh my heavens, get me out of here! 

Then bubbly wife’s hubby came running from the front yard and screaming to his wife, “Grab the water bottle and spray Lucy so she will stop jumping!”  At this point I was back on the ground to prevent myself from another Lucy-Loo tackle attack and his wife grabbed the water bottle, so she thought, and starting misting us both.  Yet, she accidentally grabbed the Windex bottle she greeted me at the “man door” with and was spraying us with that instead.  Then her husband grabbed the real water bottle and was blasting us. 

At this point I smelled of pee, dog and ammonia and was bleeding from Lucy’s nail laceration all while dripping wet.  I ran to my car and locked the door from Cujo Lucy, cracked the window and screamed out, “ENJOY your cupcakes!”  I got to the end of their winding 150 feet driveway, and thought, what the bleep just happened?  Seriously people, your water bottle BS is not working and the gazillion dollars in puppy behavior school got you no where.  Get control of your pup!

If I did have a Nike+ Fuelband, my heart rate would have skyrocketed to the point that I would have registered in cardiac arrest.  My BP probably went from extreme high to low in 60 seconds as I accelerometered at light speed.  Imagine the Nike Fuel I would have earned in 8 minutes!  Good grief and now I am supposed to go for a 3 mile power run?  All I have to say is, those boys better have enjoyed their velvety, cream cheese, cotton candy fluffed cupcakes!  And they better never, ever question my aim to please skills ever, ever again!  Check that Nike!  How does it go?  Life is a sport, make it count?  I think that counts and please know, I love LucyNo animals were harmed in the typing of this post.


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I thought I would reblog this for today. Happy Father’s Day to all!

Turn Around and Swim

When I was a little girl I would stare at a plaque in my dad’s “work room” (aka his lure tying, fish tournament trophy museum and his buddies gathering place) in our basement.  I couldn’t read the words but remember the wood engraved picture.  It was a man in a boat casting a fishing rod into a lake while a child sat next to him.  I can close my eyes and see that image as if the sawdust is falling right now.

As I grew older and was able to read, the words engraved on the plaque merely meant nothing to me.  In fact, as a young six-year-old, it didn’t make any sense.  I kept reading the engraved words in my head over and over with the hopes that one day it would make some sense.  I was too shy to ask my father what the saying meant.

At the time, to me, father…

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It’s a Boy! (Volume 2, 5th Edition)

Hey now, you’re an all-star, get your game on…Go play!  Who Let the Dog(s) out…woof, woof, woof!  One little monkey, jumping on the bed, one fell off and bumped his head.  These are a few things that come to mind when I think of my second born son, Noochie in the middle.

Did you ever hear the sound of a Navy fighter jet?  That is what I wake up to every morning.  Now I sometimes wonder what a little P & Q in the early am hours would be like?  You know that thing called peace and quiet.  But then again, I wouldn’t change waking up to the roar of a lion any day.  You best have this boy’s slightly warmed chocolate milk ready too, because he won’t quit!  One day I asked him if he knew what patience was?  He replied, “YAH!  My chocolate milk!” He was 18 months.

Now today my diamond in the rough, is 5.  Every Birthday of his is a celebration because it means we are both still alive and have managed to not yet burn the house down.  As much as this boy will challenge me and the norm and any stranger to cross his path, I couldn’t imagine life without him! 

He will be your guy in oh say about 16 years that will be the life of any party.  Yes, it will be a fun, fun time but it scares me to death!  The good thing is, as curious as he is, more so than a monkey named George, he is quite responsible.  So, I feel there is some hope!  Unless it will not be illegal in a decade and six years to chain your children to poles, we may be in business!

I sometimes think “Carma,” purposely misspelled, is coming back at me.  Could I really have been this busy, loud, talkative, challenging, active and annoying?  Yet, at the end of the day, he is the little man who will love and hug you a million times over.  By wishing you sweet dreams, and thank you for bringing up his water, and tucking him into bed, and reading him a story, and turning on his night-light, and helping him brush his teeth, and closing his curtains, and turning on his radio.  Oh and you better say you are welcome because he will start the I love you and sweet dreams melody all over again until you have it right!

At his first Birthday we did a monkey theme.  You are getting the hint as to why.  When he turned two, it was only fitting to do a bulldozer theme.  You know what bulldozers are capable of right?  When he was three we had a water theme.  It was the only way I could get the gum out of his hair and Bordeux Butt Paste out of his baby brother’s hair.  Not to mention he nicely loosened the cap, gave it to said brother, waited 20 minutes and then came and got me to tell me Peeno was making a mess.  Last year we themed all about lions and this year, the Lorax.  See previous post kid-tested-and-lorax-approved.

When I asked the little booger what he wanted for his 5th Birthday, he replied, “A garden, bird house, chickens and play dough!”  Not sure what he plans to do with the above but his wish is my command.  I am sure there will be a future blog post about how the chicken was eating his garden so he took a Nerf gun filled with play dough beebies and shot the chicken and stuffed him in the bird house.  Just kidding.  Remember, terrible cute but oh so loveable!

Noochie, on your 5th Birthday, mommy loves you more than you will ever know.  I might have aged 15 years since your birth and another 10 years while carrying you and perhaps 5 in labor and delivery, but hey, it’s all good!  I love how you have so much determination, a drive to succeed and a desire to learn, about EVERYTHING!  I love how you are all about a party and when you wipe out, you bounce up and crack up at yourself. 

I am especially grateful I have been blessed to have a son as daring and caring as you!  There is never a dull moment when you are around.  In fact, when you are not around too!  You can work a room like you are running for President.  You will spark up a conversation with anyone.  Yes,”don’t talk to strangers” is a thing we are still working on.  You can weezle yourself out of a very sticky situation.  In fact, when I am trying to discipline, you start talking and justifying your every move.  I think, huh, what?  What was I even trying to reprimand him for?

Like the time I told you to go practice writing your name.  Well, son you did!  All over my walls.  When I asked, why you would do such a thing.  You replied, “You told me to practice writing my name, you didn’t say where or on what!” Or the time when you thought you would pour yourself some “apple juice.”  Instead it was a COSTCO warehouse bulk trillion gallon of laundry detergent.  Oh and pouring it into your 2 oz. sippy cup in the hallway on the carpet, is pretty typical of what mommy does, right?

Noochie, you know I can go on and on and think, you are just 5.  Yet, at the same time, I think, wow you are already 5.  I want to keep you young and curious and in my arms close and tight forever.  But I know at some point, sooner than hoping for, you will spread your wings and soar. 

There will come a time when you don’t need me as much as you do today.  That I will want to cry over spilled milk.  That I will wish you were tip toeing about the house glueing Valentines decorations to our walls.  That the sound of “thump” as you jump out of your fire truck bed will not send chills down my spine.  I will miss the thump and your begging for your morning cup of Hershey with a splash of milk.  So, I celebrate today, all things you!

WHAT? This is what five looks like…WHAT?

Today, when you look into the mirror, you will see five starring back at you.  This year I have given you the full disclosure that it will look a lot like four did and not to expect facial hair and pec muscles.  But you will be one year older, one year smarter, one year more curious and my baby boy for another year.

Happy Birthday Noochie, may all your birthday wishes come true.  Because if they don’t, I know you will take it up with someone!  I love you little dude!  Love, hugs, kisses and of course sweet dreams -Your Mommybeast!  Yep, he called me this when he was a young two-year old, don’t ask me why…


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What You’ll Learn if Your Dog Ever Comes Back from The Dead

…on second chances!

So, you might be thinking, what in the world?  Or wow what a catchy little title!  Perhaps you are wondering how I could be so morbid.  Never fear, it’s a true story and is something to be celebrated!  Not only is my little pooch breathing, barking and drooling but she has taught me a few things about second chances!

This time last year on a summer-like June morning, my then 10.5 year old lab mix decided to go out for her morning, to-do.  Suddenly the humidity went wild and the clouds starting rolling in.  The sun hid from the earthlings and the clouds thickened and turned black.  In a mere instant the sky fell dark, the wind picked up and it started hailing.  It looked like a F4 was about to touch the ground.

I seriously felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ and instead of looking for Toto, I was looking for Holly.  My then three-year old, shouted from the front door, “Mommy, Holly is on the porch!”  So I ran through the garage to go grab her from the elements.  She is a rescue dog and doesn’t fair well with loud noise, like fireworks and thunder.  As I was opening the front door to let her in, her tail gently brushed my leg and then she made a bolt out into the yard towards the driveway.

My mom used to babysit for us.  So as she was pulling in with her wipers on full blast, the hail and rain pelting down and daytime turned to night, Holly was also battling the elements.  My mom could barely see and Holly could barely see and suddenly the black car hit my black pup.  I couldn’t see either but the sound alone was enough to bring chills up and down my spine.  I ran to the car and there lay my dog, motionless, peaceful and dead.

I started screaming and my mom had no idea what she hit and she was screaming.  I was soaked and getting beat on with hail and I lost my mind.  I immediately called my husband to come home from work because I couldn’t react.  I couldn’t move her away from the car.  She was my baby and now she was dead.

I rescued her from a shelter when I was in my twenties.  Before my first house, my husband and any of the kids, I had Holly.  It was just her and I and still to that day she would protect me from anyone and anything!  Every night, in sickness and in health, she laid at the foot of my bed only waking when I woke.  And in an instant, she was gone!

Literally gone, because when my husband came home, he asked, “Where is the dog?”  I was crying and told him by my mom’s car.  He said, “No, she is not there!  Are you sure your mom hit her?”  In synch, my mom and I both sniffled, “Yes!”  We spent the next six hours tearing up the neighborhood looking for her.  We had neighbors on four wheelers, people searching under decks and there was even a moment when my mom looked up to the sky.  Where in the world was Holly-girl?  I think at some point, we even popped the hood to my mom’s car as if the 45 pound dog might have gotten sucked up into the engine.  I couldn’t bear the thought that she was out there alone, hurting!

Then to our complete surprise, six hours later, Holly came running out of our back woods.  Beat up and tethered, but ALIVE!  What in the world?  I was in complete shock but now it all makes sense.  Only “my” dog could come back from the dead!  I just remember, getting the call from my friend who spent her work day searching for Holly, asking me where my vet was?

Holly survived the impact.  When I thought she was dead, she was probably just knocked out.  She was badly injured but no broken bones.  Most of the injuries were to her upper extremities and head.  She is going to make it!  On the anniversary of her death and reincarnation, she is still with me side by side!  Which brings me to what you’ll learn if your dog ever comes back from the dead.

Best Friend!

What You’ll Learn if Your Dog Ever Comes Back from the Dead

There is a reason for everything!  We were just thinking to ourselves that mom should really be less of a nanny and more of a grandmother.  We just didn’t have that push necessary to find a daycare for the little guys.  When Holly was hit by the car, I knew it was time to start searching for a daycare.  Sometimes, we need a little push to get us to act. Finding a daycare was a blessing in disguise! One month after the collision, my grandmother fell ill and we didn’t have mom to help babysit the kids, as she was spending time with her mother.

Have that one person you will call when the $hit hits the fan.  Fortunately I had that one friend who just listened.  I was screaming and crying and talking through snot and she just listened. She also spent her entire work day looking for my Holly when I couldn’t bear it anymore.  She ultimately rattled her in the woods to bring her back to life.  She transported her to the vet and stayed by my side while we waited for the results.  She not only saved my dog that day, but saved me from a broken heart.  Thank you Melanie!

Remain calm.  Good luck with this one.  I now know that I am a complete wreck when it comes to trauma.  I would have never thought I would leave my baby there in the rain, helpless, because I just couldn’t handle it.  I am a very strong woman and when it came to trauma, I caved.  So kudos to my husband who is a Firefighter and to all first responders, you are in a class of your own.  Yep, you won’t see me working in an ER or as a medic.  I am better when all the dust falls!  Detective perhaps?

Don’t punish.  Even though it was entirely not her fault, I still was very disappointed with my mom.  I was trying not to be but couldn’t let the thought go that she was the one who collided with my pooch.  She told me after the dog came running out of the woods, while on the way to the vet, “Your dog better survive because I cannot be the mom who killed her daughter’s dog!”  Phew, we dodged a bullet there!  I am also sorry mom, for being upset with you as it was not your fault.  Mother nature was to blame!

Have a plan to explain loss to your children.  I wasn’t prepared to explain to the boys that Holly died.  They saw me scared for the first time in their lives.  They didn’t understand what was happening to their very strong mommy.  They thought Holly was struck by lightning and by the request of my mom, we rolled with that.  For six hours, I had to explain loss to them and how to properly deal with grief.  God works in mysterious ways.  Because when my Nonna passed away earlier this year, I was prepared to explain death to them and help them deal with the loss of their great-grandmother.

Live each moment to the fullest.  As stated, in an instant, your whole world could change.  I never want to have any regrets.  We get one shot at this thing called life, so why ponder the moment.  Act now or forever hold your dreams!

When in doubt, cry it out!  I am very strong for my family and children!  I try to be equally strong for my friends.  Yet, sometimes, we just have to belt it out!  Let the tears flow, it makes you even stronger!

If given a second chance, use it wisely!  I realized during the six hours my dog was dead that I missed her immensely.  But not so much the past six hours but the past eight years.  She remained faithful and took the back burner for my husband and three children.  Of course she still got attention, but not like before when it was just Holly and I.  The past 365 days I am grateful for our second chance and the reminder that life is not forever.

The Fighter!

So, on the anniversary of the resurrection of my pup, I hold a dog bone and Salute to her!  She is a Fighter!  I dedicate this song to her and to all of you!  Don’t give up, until the ref rings the bell!  Live life until your dead! Give ’em hell guys and kiss your animals today!

“…because what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger!”