Dear Rader #20

Dear Rader,

Well, you’re almost there. You’ve almost made it to the magic age where you can purchase wine for me. What a glorious time to be alive!

In all seriousness, I know I talk about how proud I am of you and your brother. You both are probably sick of hearing it, but you just need to deal with it today.

I spoke of your drive and your dedication to your education and your amazing work ethic last year. That hasn’t changed. Your grades and the fact that you’ve maintained all your scholarships show me that your education is the most important thing in your life right now. I’m glad, because dude, Hendrix ain’t cheap! And the fact that you earn your tuition and living expenses through study is no easy feat. And yes, I am proud of you and grateful that you understand how important this is to your future.

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I love how willing you are to humor me when I make you watch movies like ANIMAL HOUSE and how you quickly you realize that many of the phrases we use today originated from the awesome that was the 70s and early 80s. I love that when the Manpanion and I started calling you Lazlo from  REAL GENIUS, you asked to watch that movie so you’d get the reference.

Your sense of humor has always been well beyond your years. I remember watching SNL with you when Will Ferrell was on the cast and you not only understood what made the show so funny, when you didn’t, you asked why. Because you WANTED to understand.

Thank you for being there for me, when I didn’t feel like I had anyone last year. Sometimes you shoulder so much more than you should, but it’s in your nature and it’s why you are you.

Never change, Monkey. You bring color to this life and I will always be forever grateful I got the privilege of being your Mom.

Love,
Momma.

Dear Rader #18,

18 years ago today, I was in labor. I didn’t know I was in labor, and I worked a full 8 hours at the daycare, picking up babies, crawling around on the floor, and changing diapers. You weren’t due to arrive for another 3 weeks, so there was no way those regular pains and contractions I was feeling were real.

That night, just as your father was crawling into bed, I said “I think we might need to go to the hospital. They’ve been coming at about 5 minutes apart for a while now–and getting stronger.”

Off we went. We figured it was a false alarm, but hey, better safe than sorry, right?

They admitted me immediately.

At 4:00AM on January 30, after a night full of very strong, very regular contractions coming in at about 2 minutes apart, they just stopped.

The doc came in and examined me at 6:00 and told me I had two choices. I could go home and come back later that night when they would more than likely start again, or he could hook me up to pitocin and we could meet you today.

I believe my words may have been something along the lines of “I’m not going any-fucking-where. Hook me up.” Whatever I said, I’m sure it was colorful. You know me…

Labor with you was fairly easy, even with the pitocin. Now, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t fun. That shit hurts. But my blood pressure didn’t spike like it did with your brother, and I slept a lot. Our friends and family came in and out all day, and about 4:00 that afternoon, the doc was convinced you wouldn’t be here before midnight.

You were. I’m a little fuzzy on your exact time of birth because shit got real not long after 4:00. You brought the pain.

Your AntiJen and Daddy were there through the whole process. There was a sprinkle of cursing among the tears and smiles. You came into the world bellowing like a baboon. You were also over 8 and a half pounds at 3 weeks early, so you never once looked like a newborn.

You took to nursing really quickly, but no matter how much you fed, you were never satisfied. We had to supplement you with cereal in a bottle between nursing times. You plumped up quickly, and at 3 months, you weighed 18 lbs…which is what your brother weighed at 1 year.

Your feet were cubes and you were completely pigeon-toed. You wore a brace with a bar between your feet for a while at about 18 months… you crawled around like a maniac. That brace never slowed you down. Once we removed it, you were like lightning.

We had to duct tape a sign to your back that said something like “If you see me without an adult, I’ve escaped again. Call my mom.” You always had to have a phone number attached to you, because you could NOT be contained.

I understood child leashes after having you.

You’ve been our Monkey Boy from day one. I also loved calling you Rader Tater Puddin’ Pop–mostly because you hated it so. You’ve been a daredevil from the moment you started to walk. I’ll never forget the time I was sitting with your Bobo behind homeplate at a baseball game and we both looked up to see you had climbed the fence in front of us…and you were so high up, we couldn’t reach you. Like I said, lightning fast.

Once you learned to talk, you talked for hours–sometimes for hours to yourself.

You weren’t a cuddler as a child, but now the fact you sit on the couch with me every night after school with your head on my shoulder and tell me about your day makes up for all the times I’d ask you for a hug and you’d hold out 2 fingers and touch each side of my waist or shoulders and say “Hug! Hug!”

As of tomorrow, you can vote. You can join the armed forces and die for our country. Legally, you are emancipated.

But you’ll always be my Rader Tater Puddin’ Pop. My Monkey Boy. My little tub of butter.

I’ve loved watching you grow into a man, and I’m really looking forward to life with you all grown up.

But for one more day, you’re still my baby boy.

Love,
Mom

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Many thanks to Rader’s dad for letting me have this set up in his yard last night.

et tu?

My youngest turns 18 on Saturday. Or as he continually reminds me via text message and on FB…I officially will be VERY OLD on Saturday when my youngest child is no longer a child. He will only be my offspring. My growed-assed progeny. Because I’m old.

Yes. That is a summary of how he teases me about his 18th birthday. Because he is cruel.

He is my clown, my goofball, my forever and unapologetically “himself” child. I’ve never met a more grounded or a more self-aware teenager in my life.

Please enjoy this very brief glimpse into our life together

I have made many mistakes over the years, but I’ve done 2 things pretty damn okay. And they are the beings I birthed, formerly known as my children.

But as of this weekend, I’ll be the mother of two growed-assed men.

Et Tu, Rader Tater?

black and… orange? gold? red?

college collage

This week, my youngest little bird was accepted to Hendrix College and offered $100K in academic scholarships. This doesn’t include the other scholarships he’s applied for.

To say I am overjoyed for him would be an understatement

Last night he found out that he can log in to his Vandy account today after 5:30 pm CST to see if he’s been accepted and how much need-based financial aid he’ll be receiving. (Scholarship information will come later.)

We will hear from Rhodes in January.

I am so nervous for him and so damn excited. I want so badly for Vandy to accept his application, and for the tuition assistance to be good enough along with his scholarships that he can attend. It’s his first choice. Hendrix and Rhodes are neck-n-neck for 2nd. He loved all the schools so much and would be happy attending any of them.

But Vandy felt like his soulmate. You could see it in his eyes as we walked through campus and toured the dorms.

I’m wearing my black and gold today, in hopes for good news tonight.

I feel rather positive that he’ll get in…but there’s always that niggling what if he doesn’t… and you know what? so what what if he doesn’t? He tried. He put forth a great effort and for whatever reason, if he didn’t make the cut–it will make him stronger and more determined to succeed at either Rhodes or Hendrix. But at least he wasn’t afraid to take a chance.

Talking to Rader’s godfather and my best friend Nick this morning he said that when he was afraid to leave for school his dad said “You know what son, I don’t want you to go, but you better get the hell out of here.”

And that right there sums it up perfectly for me. I’ll miss you when you’re gone, but you better fly away little birdie!

Okay, bitches! Keep your fingers crossed for good news! Maybe tonight, I’ll be the mom of an incoming Vanderbilt Freshman!

 

Miscellany

Check out my view from the convertible this morning as I was being chauffeured into town this morning.

photo(129) That’s right! Sunrise in the front…moon in the back. Kinda cool, huh?

On the drive in, Rader and I were just chatting it up like we always do, and I told him about a friend of mine posting this link to my FB page and telling me that when she read the article she thought of me because “you are one of the most “human” people I know! You’re a great role model for living authentically!” THIS is the biggest compliment I have ever been given and it truly touched me. (and not even in the naughty, below the belt way…which has always been my favorite touching up until now.) I think this is what people sometimes refer to as “feelings.” So foreign, yet so nice…

Anyway, I told Rader this story and he said “You know mom, you may not be ‘funky fresh’ but you don’t front and that’s cool.”

I am now striving to achieve level funky fresh.

In other news, 3 years ago this week, El Jefe and I were planning our first date…which actually took place on September 10, 2010. Check out our very first picture together…

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Aw. Aren’t we adorable? Yes. Yes we are.

It’s funny when I think back to those days. I had known El Jefe for 10 years. We had worked together and lived next door to each other…and we had always been friends. He always made me laugh. I was floored when he contacted me. I thought “Is he flirting? No way.”  And then… YES WAY. OMG. I was so nervous. I had gone out with a few guys since my separation, but no one I was really into. Mostly they were just young and dumb and full of ego. (AHEM. Yes. Ego.) (or multiple personalities. I wish I was joking…) Anyway, I’ve been feeling nostalgic this week. We are a good fit. We are happy. I am happy. And I am so glad I took a chance and started a new chapter in my life with a man that is so smart and funny and now I can call him ALL MINE.  He’s a pretty lucky guy, too, me being so awesome and all…

And his response to that would be:

3rrcpgIf you watch Sons of Anarchy…He’s my Opie.

Sure, Jax is the “hot one” but Opie is the one that I want. Big and burly on the outside, soft like a kitteh on the inside. Shhhhh. Don’t tell El Jefe I said that. It sounds like he may have the feelz. He refuses to acknowledge he feels the feelz. 🙂

but he totally does.

Happy Thursday, Bitches! I’m gonna shine bright like a diamond today. Put your shades on!

Melf unplugged

The fellas (minus Ian because he’s a working man now) and I will be heading to the lake tomorrow for a full day and night of fun. And then we will rinse and repeat on Sunday. I am so ready for a break.

Which means, I’m unplugging this weekend. Sure I’ll have my phone on me (because I can’t NOT take pictures!!) but I am not gonna be online. Yup. Even Facebook. (maybe) (probably) (possibly) (hopefully) (not much). At. All.

Try not to miss me!

In other internet news… There has been a couple of really fantastic discussions on one of my favorite blogs. If you’re interested in seeing how internet discussion SHOULD work, check out this blog post over at Raising Kids Without Religion.

Actually, there are two pretty great discussions going on right now:

God as a placebo
Children Taking a Different Path

I really enjoy reading the well thought out discussions and the respectful way they are conducted. Religion (and politics) can be such divisive topics that they are rarely discussed without anger and condescension. It is so refreshing to know there are places on the internetz that allow for these discussions without all the child-like behavior. Who knew that could exist? I never leave that website wanting to yell MOM! SOMEONE IS WRONG ON THE INTERNET AGAIN!

Okay my bitches! I leave you with your moment of zen…which will also give you an idea of what I will be doing all weekend long…

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Operation Bootylicous Workout #5

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I saw this workout on Pinterest yesterday and decided to modify it to fit my needs.

I actually had planned to do the 80 lunges and go into the 70 squats, but that changed when I got to 30 lunges. I’m just not there yet.  Because of the arthritis in my elbows, I have a very hard time with planks and push ups, so I made an adjustment to suit my body.

I did this set twice, and by the end, I was winded and wobbly. The sign of a very good workout! And it was a nice change of pace from what I’ve been doing. You know, I don’t wanna be bored…

Last night, I was ravenous about an hour after the workout. I had eaten a big green salad prior, and had a high protein shake afterward, but apparently my body needed more. Unfortunately, it was 9:00 and I don’t eat that late, so I fixed myself some green and roasted dandelion root tea and toughed it out. However, when I woke up this morning, I made myself a yummy little egg and cheese open-faced sandwich on the Pepperidge farm thin whole wheat bread because my stomach had tried to eat my spine overnight.

Increase in hunger is to be expected when your metabolism is kicking into gear, but sadly, I’m not a runner who is competing and needs to fuel up on as many calories as I burn. I’m a girl who is trying to lose weight, and has to remind herself that the point of exercising is to burn the calories…not to jump into a vat of cheese dip and while eating all the chips just because you exercised…

Hmph.

In other, non-workout and whiny because I’m hungry news: Pearl is up and running again! Ian’s dad helped us out with purchasing a new battery and she seems to be purring like a kitten. She still needs to have some tweaks done to her, so we’ll take her in next week and have her looked at. I drove her today, to make sure she was safe. I don’t want Ian carting the 4 year old he’s babysitting around in Pearl if she’s going to break down again… Looks like we’re a go, for take off! yippee!

Ian and Pearl

Ian and Pearl

Life is good, bitches. Live a genuine life and be happy. Or else I might have to get stabby all up in this place. Don’t be taking shit for granted, ya hear?

full house! and Operation Bootylicious, take 2,000

After a lovely and tiring 5 days with friends doing awesome lake stuff, Rader Tater returned to me last night. It was great to see him again and hear about his exploits and how awesome his trip was. I met “Grammy and Pops” his friend’s grandparents, and they had nothing but love for Rader. “He’s such a sweet boy. So polite and well-mannered and fun. You’ve done a great job.” Well, so far. Yes. LOL There’s still time for me to screw him up. I’m working on it!

pin_up_exerciseOPERATION BOOTYLICIOUS is back on track.

I’ve managed the diet portion of my health and fitness journey, but I keep falling off the exercise wagon. I loved Booty Camp and miss it…but when you’re saving money, organized bootcamps are not necessary expenses. Also, the times were so hard for me to work in. The best class was Mon/Wed at 7:15, but those are my days with the boys…and I really don’t like giving up my time with them for the gym. Tues/Thurs would be perfect, but they didn’t offer anything at night. And sadly, no matter how hard I try, I cannot get to a 5 a.m. class. I’m just not a morning person.

And those of you who are…YOU ARE NOT HUMAN.

I walk 2-4 times a week with Marissa at lunch. And that’s great, because it keeps me moving, but I have GOT to add a more hardcore exercise program to my weekly regimen.

So, starting tonight, Welcome to MELF’s BOOTYLICIOUS COMPOUND.pin-up-girl-on-scale

Instead of leaving my kids to go workout, we’re going to start working out together. I’m putting together a 40 minute HIIT workout and then we’re gonna do 15 minutes of abs. And it’s gonna be awesome.

Here’s this week’s workout…

Do every exercise for 2 minutes. Repeat once.

  • 2 minute warm up run
  • Walking lunges,  10lb weights
  • Jumping jacks
  • Squats (8 regular/8 pulses)
  • Jump on trampoline
  • Narrow Squat With Overhead Press
  • Line drills with medicine ball
  • Push ups
  • wall sit
  • Tricep curls
  • jump rope

This will be a 40 minute workout. Then abs.

I’ll report back tomorrow. If I can walk. Type. Or breathe.

Oh…check out this awesome blog post. 25 things fat people shouldn’t do. #19 Run.

You know, I keep reading these motivational quotes, images, posters, and what nots from people who THINK they are helping us big girls. But the problem is, shit like this doesn’t help. Because DUH. We know this:

getting-back-into-exercise-389x435If wishing worked, my Booty would make Beyonce’s look like a squishy marshmallow.

We know it’s hard work. I’m not lazy. I’m strong as hell. My legs will crush you like rotten nut if you give me a chance. I have lots of muscle under my layer of fluff. And I really don’t have a problem with being a woman of substance. HOWEVER. I want to be healthy. I’d like to ween myself off the BP meds if I can. I’d also like to get my toned arms back. I don’t know what happens with me. I do well with exercise, but not diet. Or I do well with diet but not exercise. It’s like I have fitness ADHD!

Either way, maybe working out with my kids and Jefe will make a difference. I know I enjoy walking more when I have someone to walk with…so, I’ll keep you posted on Operation Bootylicious. Hopefully you’ll be seeing less of me soon. *wink*

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The problem with this? I’m done, when I’m tired. UGH.

Independence Day…

Tomorrow is Independence Day in the US. And many of us will celebrate by eating too much, drinking too much, and blowing stuff up. Very American!

My kiddo is traveling with his friend to the lake where I hope he’ll have a great time. This is our first year sans lakehouse, since my parents sold their place in the winter. It sucks because I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at the lake celebrating the holiday.

Maybe I’ll buy a kiddie pool and just hang out in the sun. I could also jump on the trampoline. And then blow stuff up.

I was chatting with the mom of Rader’s friend this morning and she was giving me all the details of the trip, where they’re gonna be, and that there will be 2 pediatric doctors with them so I don’t have to worry. And I laughed and replied that I’m not a big worrier.

It’s funny, because you would think I would be a worrier, given the fact that child has broken his nose 6 times since he was 18 months old…And because he doesn’t seem to have any real fear. He’ll try just about anything– once.

But I don’t worry. He’s really a good kid. He’s one of the most respectful and smart boys his age and I’m so happy to know that I’ve done my job right. I get constant compliments on him. His manners, his charm, his sincerity. He is kind. (He is smart. He is important.) I don’t have to lecture him to feel like I’m parenting. I don’t have to demand things from him, and rarely do I have to yell at him. El Jefe and I were talking about it the other day, how awesome it is that both of the boys rarely need a lecture. We figure we have to “get on to them” about twice a year. And that’s usually because they slack off on their chores around the house.

Twice a year. heh.

It’s so nice not to have to yell about everything or threaten them. I love a drama-free life.

I have great kids.

School's OUT FOR SUMMER

It’s obvious I am being rewarded for being even more awesome in another life.

Now…who has a pool and wants to invite Jefe and I over tomorrow? We’ll bring things to blow up! And beer. We’ll definitely bring beer.

Happy 4th! Celebrate your freedoms. Even if you’re a woman, and your freedoms are slowly being taken away from you. Celebrate what you have while you have it!

flaggirl