Friday, May 30, 2008


May 30 has both its moment of joy and sorrow.

For King Ralph and I it marks the day we said "I do"--this day being twenty-one years. Because the King loves me he gave me a gift. I will now be sporting a new scent:

The sorrow is remembering this is the day my grandfather left this earth.

More so, it is the day my good friend is mourning the first anniversary of her husband's (sudden) death, and their daughter her father.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Reasons why school needs to end

You know it is time for school to end when a basket ball nearly takes out the building assistant on the play ground--I could smell the sweat on the ball as it grazed my nose.

And, when the custodial staff is called to the playground to remove a human turd from the slide. This was no accidental defecation it was premeditated--the night crapper wiped and left his toilet paper. We were considering summonsing a crime scene investigation to have the slide dusted for prints and to send the crap to a lab...then decided a person with such talent should be on Dave Letterman for a segment of stupid human tricks; come on, sliding and shitting at the same time--talent of an unmeasurable amount.

The final reason school needs to end is the amount of end of the year feasts is so out of control my scale can no longer register my weight gain.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Class of 2008

Before I start can I just say I am so blessed tired. Being a Project Graduation volunteer (I worked the inflatable Twister game for so long I am still calling out right foot blue, left hand red) then going to work a short time later--well I was more a body at work than a mind. Sunglasses were my inside accessory--dim the lights, hide the bags.

Of course before any movement in the direction of a venue every life significant milestone requires a photo in cap and gown for mom

one for the graduate with good friends in cute dresses

There is something about a last name starting with the letter "A", graduation becomes all about the "pre-show"--beautiful music, good speeches...because 10 graduates later the pomp and circumstance ends. At least this how we see it while we are sitting through b, c, d, e, f...all the way to z-two and a half hours later standing to let blood flow once again to our buttock region .

I have to say I have never heard a young person deliver a speech with such audience attention as Nick Dyen. I absolutely loved how he ended his speech; with spoken chorus of Vitamin C's graduation song. It was this ending that just had everyone roar in laughter, for this generation it was so dead on and truth you just didn't expect: As we go on, we remember all the times we had together and as our lives change, from whatever we will still be, friends forever...on Facebook. Suddenly the 508 classmates cheered and roared with acknowledgement of that truth.

And, of course every life significant moment requires an after ceremony picture with the family--the parents who have sacrificed, the siblings you have battled, above all...

the ones who truly love you and are proud of you!

I feel like my life has come full circle--Princess A graduated, we share an alma mater.

Sunday starts the onslaught of graduation parties.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Reason to Rest Easy

1. Reviews came out at work today...mine was fantastic, I was invited back for the next school year. Putting that stress to rest now.

2. Demi was the top honoree at the 7th grade choir concert tonight--42 points and a medal.

3. Finally, finally got a hair cut.

4. David Cook. Need I say more. Okay how 'bout-- amen!

5. We gave Princess A her graduation gift tonight since tomorrow King Ralph works and she leaves before he gets home and after the receiving of the diploma it is off to Project Graduation till 430am. (My co-workers teased me that her lap top came with a built in web cam...for making extra college money, hehe, not! Does the Jenny Cam still exist? I am so not up on Internet porn.)

And on that note I will drift off to a land of sweet dreams.

Monday, May 19, 2008

This Week's Goal

I am just plain tired of sick family members. My sister is still trying to recover from double pneumonia and a collapsed lung. My brother is going Friday to get his testicle cyst and enlarged prostate worked on--his face looked so pained at work today I wanted to hug my baby brother.

The thing that is my biggest health goal of the week is to get my Princess A cap and gown ready by Thursday.

Strep test-negative.

Mono test-negative

Some strange tonsil bacterial infection-positive.

Course of action: horse pills and a return to the doctor on Wednesday if no change in throat pain.

I should add that King Ralph, having never before handled a sick child who was in need of medical intervention without prior instruction--admitted to the nurse he had never done this before but his wife was at work; did a fabulous job taking the reins on this one. Got to give credit where credit is due.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bridge Crossing

Princess A, I was going to wait till Thursday to write you some heartfelt words of reflection but, I have decided that since tomorrow is officially your final day as a high school student I would tell you what my heart is singing.

Truth is I have been tinkering with my letter to you for about a week. I would type, delete, type again only to delete once more. I had intention of telling you how exciting it has been watching you grow from the tiny helpless, naive being you were to the young adult you are now. I was going to tell you how summers of you riding your bike, with and without training wheels, in your bikini and cowboy boots engraved a spot on my heart. The thought crossed my mind to tell you how you embraced sisterhood always being a role model and taking your place in life as our guinea pig with...well you hardly ever complained when we screwed up on you and fixed the mistake, error with your sisters. I wanted to tell how when you boarded the school bus for that first day of Kindergarten, in Mrs. Bingaman's class--in your dress, with your new white sneakers, your two French braids and a back pack that weighed as much as you did. Maybe I would have told you that it was fun being your Girl Scout leader, laughing with all the girl's as we camped out, sold gads of cookies...

Then I stopped deleted again.

Maybe I should tell you I feel blessed that I was one who could read your heart when friendships weren't going just like you wanted--I gave you shoulder to cry on and my arms to hug you. Somehow, through all the trials and tribulations of teenagehood you came out a stronger more mature young lady.

Would you like for me to reflect on the moments when you felt "trapped" in the car and had to dreadfully indulge me as we had "the talks"?

Perhaps I could I write about how your father and I never wanted you to feel different than anyone else, that we never made issue of the slight flaw God placed upon you. Instead we chose to instill faith as the corner stone of your life. Because of that you have the incredible strength of a spider's silk. No matter how many surgeries you had to have, no matter how many times those surgeries didn't produce the result intended--you just pulled up boot straps and carried on as though eye sight was not laborious. You showed me what a hero is made of.

The idea crossed my mind to write about how it was exciting to watch you go off on your first date, or drive off to school, license in hand, thrilled not to have to ride the bus any longer. Maybe I wanted my words to connote how your fashion was always a statement of Vogue. How Harper's Bizarre fanned across the table always lending hand to a sparkle in your eye (and a drain in both our wallets). How the sound of the flute from behind your bedroom door filled the house with the joy only music can cast. Or the excitement you had when the band won first place in a competition. Parading down Colorado Blvd. in the Rose Parade. What about reflecting on your stellar scholar.

I considered reflecting on all the great trips we have taken as a family. The songs we made you learn so to be a fully rounded music lover--from Patsy Cline to Queen's greatest hits, knowing every word to all those great classic tunes.

To laughing at me and with me. Knowing it was always with love.

No. No that is not what I decided I really want to say. Instead I want to say this, they are the words of Dan [Burns] in Real Life: so instead of asking our young people what are your plans, what do you plan to do with your life. Maybe we should tell them this...plan to be surprised.

The world awaits you Alee Marie. Now go, go and be surprised!

And are loved!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Reunion of Another Kind

I started my morning with the annual, customary and somewhat required appearance at the school district carnival. Princess A being a senior took the out on rising early to add a touch of flute to the band's musical march down the street. M however had do to her duty with band as a member of the color guard. So there I stood street side as a spectator.

We left D at the carnival to enjoy friends, nasty carny rides, foods and sun (something we aren't use to these days). She had a blast.

The rest of us went to King Ralph's family reunion.

If I may, I would like to share a few things you should never hear at a family reunion:

Unknown relative: there sure are a lot of good dessert here

Another unknown relative: ya but I am here for the good looking women

Eeeeeekkkkk! Does this nut case not realize he is at a family reunion. M was concerned family members with 5 arms and 2 heads were the future of her father's family.

Then as I sat quietly listening I hear a gentleman tell another, "I married into the family I made a bad mistake". I was about to see if there was a lawyer amongst us to help ease this poor soul's misery.

The thing that gets us all is there is no mixing of the clans. King Ralph's family reunion is derived from his grandmother and her two sisters. It is a silent rule that you do not fraternize with the other sister's families. It like the Bloods and The Crips--best to separate to keep harmony. Truth is we are the fun bunch. We had thermoses of pina coldas and strawberry daiquiris. We had hoosier golf , washers and the dice game Left-Right-Center. The other clans watched like hawks about to attack there prey as we played hoosier golf. As soon as we finished and walked away they pounced at the opportunity to play. Same with the washers. We invited some other clan members to join us for our dice game...can't have that communing of the clans, besides they were busy enjoying standing one guy in front of a pitching net and pelting him with wiffle balls. Next year I say we wear t-shirts and bandannas to state which gang we belong to.

But, I am saving my favorite family reunion ditty for last. There was a man in a suit. At the park. Under the pavilion. Everyone else was wearing shorts and t-shirts; it was 84* outside, with bright, blazing sunshine. Finally I said "what's with the dude in the suit". It turns out it was Cousin Roy, who thinks he may die at any moment and wants to be prepared in dress should he--in the words of Fred Sanford, have the big one. Since the reunion was at Jefferson Barracks Park, also the home our our national cemetery we figured there was sure to be a fresh dug hole somewhere should he decide to go and make use of his perfectly good twenty-five year old suit.

Only in the King's family can you experience a reunion like that!

Friday, May 16, 2008

White Shirt

White shirt. What does this mean? It means I am going to have to get really good at getting coffee stains out of Sergeant Sausage Fingers, I mean Lieutenant...OMG what will we rename King Ralph when he is dressed for work? I suppose the girls and I have a little self imposed homework. And, King Ralph needs to do a little shopping for his new uniform piece.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Things That Should Not Be

Some things in life just shouldn't be.

- Gas $3.80 a gallon. Plain absurd!
- Gas station soda fountain out of diet coke on a Monday morning. A girl needs her caffeine!!
- "Funday" on Monday. It sets the tone for a crazy wild week in elementary school.
- Senior Night Awards Ceremony lasting 3 hours. It was just a taste of what is to come...the evil of your last name beginning with the letter "A".
- Having to make up snow days but, the seventh grade class taking a field trip to Six Flags. Somewhat of an oxy moron.
- M & D constantly bickering. Makes me want to sing Berlin Irving's; "Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters...Caring, sharing ev'ry little thing that we are wearing"
- King Ralph still not passing his kidney stone nine days after it reared its ugly face. Five more days and the talk will be going into retrieve.
- Receiving e-notes from the middle school principal which opens with this line-- "only 95 days till school starts".
- Princess A only having a week of high school left. Where did time go?
- Rain. Rain. And more rain. Enough!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

Some things remain unwavering and rather typical on Mother's Day. Like, we young mothers cook for the senior mothers--while our men stand close by watching. Watching us clean the kitchen and do dishes. Men!

This year we had a progressive dining Mother's Day. Brunch at our house--egg casseroles, potato casseroles, fruit salad, pancakes (which I have to say D made every pancake to perfection on that griddle minus any assistance). Then I napped. For two and half hours. The best gift any mom can get. Next it was on to the King's sister's house for snacks, Wii (my first experience, bowling is the bomb),BBQ and a pina colado, a pina colada, a pina colado, a pina colado. Hey now, sometimes a mom deserves four pina colados with an extra shot of rum on each.

Overall it was a good Mother's Day.

The only thing that could have made it better is--if D had cleaned her room and M & D would clean there bathroom (hint, hint girls).

Friday, May 09, 2008

Connecting by Text

My usual morning routine this week is to grab my cell and text my sister to check on her progress. Here's our text script.

Me: Morning how u feel'n

Sister: Doc came in an sed if i cud do cartwheel straight into splits in hallway by 2moro i will get 2 go home!!!

Me: Is that w/ or w/o O2

Sister: off oxygen

Me: Guess u r stay'n in hospital lol

Then while I am at work she begins her usual I-am-tired-of-lying-in-this-hospital-bed text of pictures--which are waiting for my viewing pleasure when my work day is over. Yesterday I got a picture of her head with her O2 tubes and a caption that read "all dressed up and no where to go!!" Followed by a picture of her stomach, a HUGE bruise and a caption: "one of my many bruises from my twice daily heperin shots!" Let me just say it ain't so pretty. Today's picture was of sister in her hospital gown, bed and a big dog, captioned: "a cute dog came and visited me in the hospital! Made me happy!"

I have to say the picture of my sister and a therapy dog is progress alone. Monday I was receiving pictures of a jug of green frothy fluid drained from her collapsing lung.

The evening came and the texting began again.

Me: Do u get released 2morrow

Sister: Thats what the plan is but Roy wants to talk to pulmonary doc first bout all the dust n wood cuttin in basement. He thinks that cud aggravate any progress. I suppose to jus do same thing at home jus lay in bed as much as possible im ready for change of scenery!"

Me: I bet u r! but the service may not b as good.

The doctor said to her to expect to be sick for nearly five weeks. I'm crossing my fingers she'll be travel ready by June 7 when we celebrate Princess A's graduation with a party.

Sister, here's to a speedy recovery!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Run Down the List

King Ralph, our resident "stoner", has a kidney stone. His CAT scan showed it is 2/3of the way down. The doctor's prescription was to drink lots of beer. How cool is that, prescribed drinking to increase urination. Gotta love that doc!

D was tossed to the rains for a ride on the bus. A girl has to know when it is worth burning her $3.70 a gallon gas--this rain is not worth fighting the carpool lane, wasting precious fuel, and keeping my kid dry. You know when I was a kid...

M is in a dither over needing a piece of white poster board. I have no cash this morning so I counted out quarters.

I have grown weary of packing school lunches. I have nothing to offer but a sandwich this I scrounged some more quarters for that lame vending machine at the high school. It was not received with fan fare. I refrained from my tale of when I was in high school I lunched for .30 each day; a watery orange drink and a Little Debbie oatmeal pie.

My sister remains hospitalized. We talked this morning. She sounds a little-- I stress the word little-- better. Hopefully she'll be home by Sunday.

The best of all is...last night I survived another, my last, extremely long speech filled Symphonic/Concert Band banquet.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Feeling a Little Helpless

My poor sister. So sick. So far away.

King Ralph asked me this morning if I wanted to go to Michigan this weekend. You know I want to but the kids, my kids, have so much on the calendar. I'm feeling some what okay with the idea that my sister's father-in-law is going to make the trek to help her with her kids. Then my brother-in-law can get back to work. Her breathing sounded labored when we spoke this morning and I still am horrified at the substance drained from her collapsed lung (a texted photo) last night.

Oh how I wish sister that you did not live in Michigan. I feel a little helpless. I'm blowing a kiss your way, cause I love you, and a prayer for a speedy and full recovery.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Kitchen Hostage

It's not that I don't want to recap my weekend of prep cooking on Saturday till 11pm, or how I was at church for 11.5 hours (9.5 of them spent in the kitchen) or all the fun we had in that church kitchen yesterday, laughing, drinking the left over wine--used to make the chicken sauce-- from paper cups, laughing more, or even how my clothes were soaked to my underwear from washing dishes from a meal served to thirty-six eighth grade confirmation students/families.

It's, just, I am so tired and the idea that I have to leave the house for work this morning is just...well not on my list of top things I desire to do today.

Next year's seventh grade confirmation class has it way to easy; there is just D and another student. So we planned our meal while being held hostage in the kitchen--the best steaks money can buy and a three piece band for entertainment. Oh and we want cloth napkins. Plus, wine in crystal goblets.

Did I mention I am still exahusted? I'm exhausted. I need to pep up soon it is a holiday after all...

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Training Wheels Removed

Life as a parent is like this...your child comes to you one day and says mom take the training wheels off my bike but you don't think they are ready. So the child asks dad who is all for the idea. However someone, dad, has to hold onto the seat to help the child keep balance. All the while mom runs along side cheering the child on. The child falls off the bike time and time again, mom picks them up slaps a band-aide on the wound and dad takes hold of the seat again.

Yesterday we let go of Princess A's seat and I stopped running along side. She had to sail down the road of life solo, like a big kid, making decisions for herself, by herself. She did great. But, somehow I know she knows I am still there willing to help if she falls and can't get up. That's what mom's do. Somehow I think she'll do fabulous taking on some big hills, knowing just what gear to switch into to reach the top a little easier.

In her wallet is her new college ID and pinned on her bulletin board is her college course schedule.

I'm excited beyond words for my Princess. Excited with an impending leaner bank account. A matter of fact my bank account lightened by $45 when I graciously purchased college logo wear at the book store.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Music of the Heart

There is nothing like starting your morning with two thirteen year old girls in the back seat, on the way to middle school, signing Taylor Swifts songs and not caring when mom joins in the chorus-- because I know the words. My heart sparkled with the sense of youthfulness--good start to the morning.

This evening I attended my last high school Symphonic band concert. Princess A played some fabulous pieces, pieces that made me feel like a child again--Star Wars Trilogy. Unlike some of the other moms in the audience I didn't cry. Not that I am not a crier, cause I can be. I just don't feel sad about chapters in the kids lives ending instead, I chose to see it as something new and exciting is awaiting them all.

Two weeks till high school graduation...where the song choice will be Pomp and Circumstance.