So, THAT’S What Labor Looks Like…

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I mean, really, life is never more perfect...

I mean, really, life is never more perfect…

I’m a grandma!!! Or possibly a Nana…although, I might be a Ruby…what I am trying to say is my oldest daughter had a baby on Friday!! And I was her coach!! Now, having had 3 children myself and successfully completing the How To Have A Baby course offered by the hospital, you would think I would have recognized the signs of labor. And before Friday, I would have agreed with you.

I was induced for all 3 of my babies, so MY labor was “hard labor” from the moment they hooked me up to the pitocin. Which is why, when my daughter was writhing in agony on the floor of my bathroom, I was thinking “looks like about 3cm and at least 8 hours and an epidural away from a baby”. I mean, she never SAID she was in labor! This is her first baby, she is my first baby. I just assumed her labor and delivery would be just like mine were…induced, long, painful until the epidural kicked in and then 2 pushes and done! Oh and also, she would be 2 weeks over due. In fact, I said this so much she believed me! So, when she started having cramps and back pain 2 weeks BEFORE her due date, she just assumed it was a bruised tailbone or something.

It is partially her father’s “fault” too. He knows a spot on the leg to push to kick start labor. He massaged this spot on my leg when I was pregnant with our 3rd and she was born a day early. She was over to his house on Wednesday and he showed her the spot…which was quite tender when he pressed it. And about 36 hours later…BABY!

Anyway, Thursday night she kept saying she was so uncomfortable. Lots of cramping and her back hurt. Instead of me saying “Let’s call the doctor” I said “Let’s bring down the barcalounger from upstairs so you can recline a bit” Because, she was due March 2nd. It was February 18th. And the 1968 barcalounger, that was my mother’s, will absolutely help her feel better. Her sister and I banged it down the stairs and set it up for her and she sat there for about an hour and then decided to go to bed because she felt pretty lousy. And Dr. Mom here said “Yeah, my knees hurt so, I’ll probably head up too…” And we went to bed. About 1:30am she came into my room saying her back really hurt and she just felt awful. So, I did some of the massage techniques and she shifted about trying to find a position of relief. There was no relief though, because she was in active, hard labor. But I was still thinking she might just be really feeling being 9 months pregnant. I now understand how women  have babies in public restrooms. Denial runs strong in this family.

We timed her ‘uncomfortableness” and it was about every 5 minutes. That seems like a good time for me to take a shower. WHAT?!?!?! Yeah, because in my mind, there was no way that this baby was coming 2 weeks early after just an hour of hard labor. First time babies take forever! With lots of intervention and a hospital! I packed my bag, took a shower, she laid on the floor of my bedroom and threw up everything she had ever eaten in her entire life. I woke up her sister and told her to go start the car, put the dog in the crate and bring down the bags. My daughter got off the toilet, laid down on the bathroom floor and told me she was not going to move. And THAT was when I finally realized that HOLY SHIT! SHE WAS IN LABOR!! And I kicked it into high gear!

I yelled for her sister, I told my daughter that she IS getting off that floor and she IS going downstairs and getting in the car and we will help her. She said “No” I said “As soon as you get to the hospital they will give you some good drugs to ease this pain. You want to be done with this pain right?” She said “Ok” and her sister and I pulled her up, got her into some clothes, into the car and off we went to the hospital that was 35 minutes away. This was about 3:30am.

I truly thought that as soon as we got her outside and in the car, her “uncomfortableness”  would slow down. Wrong again. I really shouldn’t be allowed to think anymore. We started driving and she literally did an Exorcist move where she was aching backwards over the front seat while her feet almost went through the dashboard. While I was holding her hand and telling her what a great job she was doing and to breathe, I was actually debating if I should just run the stoplights. But naw….she can’t be THAT far along. Because labor doesn’t look like this. Labor looks like being in a hospital bed, hooked up to IVs. She can’t really be in labor, 2 weeks early. Yeah.

We got to the hospital at 4:09am her sister went in to get the wheelchair because there was no way she was walking anywhere at this point. They triage-d her and guess what? You can probably guess, although I was still clueless…she was 10cm and ready to push! Wait…WHAT?!?!?!

They rushed her to the delivery room, and she immediately started pushing. Her water broke there on the table and with me holding one leg, the nurse holding the other and her sister near her head whispering words of encouragement, with 6 pushes she brought my grandson into the world! At 4:54am.

The next day, while baby nursed, we went over exactly how the heck she just delivered her first baby, 2 weeks early with no pain medication, with less than 3 hours of hard labor… amazing. I have never been so amazed by her in my whole life. And I have watched her do some pretty amazing things. Like be born, take her first steps, ride a bike, drive a car…but the way she handled giving birth to her son will always top the list of Amazing Things My Daughter Has Done. Me? I will cross Midwife off my list of possible jobs…

 

She Touched The Butt

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Don't trust a butt massage by it's cover...

Don’t trust a butt massage by it’s cover…

I’m going to let you in on a few secrets that help keep me sane…I take ambien to sleep and I am addicted to pedicures. You might think that these two things are unrelated but, you would be wrong. And would you rather be right or would you rather be happy? Exactly. So, last night after I took my ambien, I bought a groupon for an hour foot massage. Why? Because I was trying to break my pedicure addiction and about 45 minutes after taking my ambien, I get purchasey.

My pedicure addiction began when I needed something to do when my kids went to their father’s  for the weekend. I was encouraged by all of my single mom pals to “do something for myself” and “enjoy having some alone time”. Two years later, I am worried that my toenails might fall off. Logically, I thought that just getting a foot massage without the clipping, filing, grating and acid bath might save my toes. What I wasn’t prepared for was losing my virginity. Ok, that’s an exaggeration…but you’ll understand once I tell you what all took place.

So, I have seen these “foot massage” places popping up recently around town. I pegged one of them as a “happy ending” sort of joint. A “rub and tug”. A “suck, bang, blow”. But what do I know really? I’m just a naive old lady who has watched way too many HBO shows. Last night a groupon pops up for a place right near the pedicure place for half off an hour foot massage with reflexology. That must be for me! I bought the shit out of that groupon and today, I went to Angel’s Reflexology Foot Massage Palace for an hour foot massage.

I’m horrible at getting massages. My body is always in pain and my mind never shuts up.  I make my daughter take a picture of me before I left, just in case I get kidnapped and sold into some sort of middle aged white lady sex massage ring or killed, but really just because I  liked my outfit and I wanted to remember it for next week when I go out with the girls. Off I go to possibly get molested!

I walk in and right there in the entry way are recliners with two people reclined in them both getting foot massages. Well, this is awkward. They put me into the chair next to them and take my glasses so I am now blind. I can see blurry shapes but that’s about it. They bring out a big bucket and stick my feet into it. Then the massage lady starts with my head. Not sure what that has to do with a foot massage but she’s the professional so…

She was massaging my face, focused on the sinuses and it was actually pretty good, except that I was holding in cackling laughs thinking about the faces she is making my face make when all of the sudden she pinches my nose closed. That’s never happened before. Just pinched my nose close. All the way closed. I was wondering if I was supposed to switch to breathing through my mouth, if this was some sort of weird sex game…but I wasn’t there for sex so I held my breath for as long as possible and then I just opened my mouth just a tiny bit and took a breath through the side. She let go. I think I won that round.

Next she grabbed my arm and smacked it. Hard. Then she massaged down my arm, hitting every trigger point on the way. She got to my stomach, put her hands on my pubic bone and gave it a pop. Huh. Not sure what that was about. She got to my legs and feet. My pants pushed up above my knees cutting off circulation which sort of defeats the purpose I suppose. She worked on one leg for a long time. Then the other leg and I thought that would be it. But oh was I wrong.

She told me to flip over. I was in a recliner. I was thinking this was going to be a super awkward position, laying on my stomach in a recliner. BUT, as I sat up she did some voodoo magic and a hole opened up right where my face goes. Unfortunately, it was just a round hole so my face went to far through and every time she massaged my shoulders she was accidentally (on purpose?) choking me. The second time in an hour my oxygen intake was being cut off. Kinky to you, annoying and a little concerning to me. Luckily it didn’t last long…she moved down my back and right to my butt. She touched the butt. Alot. So much butt touching. I have to assume that if I were a customer looking for some butt touching, this would have been heaven, butt touching heaven. Maybe if I had responded to being molested while face down in a recliner in a positive manor, I would have been allowed to go behind the beaded curtain where the music was slightly different (more bow chicka wow wow, less crickets and water dripping). But instead, I just laid there, face down, making incredulous faces at the floor, holding in my giggles and wondering how I get myself into these situations.

And then, she was done. And gone. And I was left to whale flip my body over and flop out of the recliner. The other two people who were there when I walked in had left with lots of loud talking and compliments and promises to be back the following week. I had to search for my glasses, find my purse and slink out the door. I felt slightly violated, very naughty and like I had a sneak peek at an odd, sub culture of massage palaces…I’ve been around the block a few times in this life, just not the block that had one of these massage palaces. I won’t say my life is now complete, I will say it was possibly the closest to 50 Shades that I will ever be. Just so you know, if you think it’s one of “those places”…it is. Trust yourself and hide your butt.

Spencer The Fearless

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spencer the fearless

He looks brave, doesn’t he?

It was one of those days. I woke up knowing it was one of those days. Truth be told, I wake up every day knowing it’s one of those days. I just never know what is going to happen to make it one of those days.

I get up and remind the kid to let the dogs out. I remind the other kid to feed the dogs. Then I yell at the dogs for good measure and out the door I go to take the kids to school. This particular day, I come home and start working on the hor d’oeuvres for that evening. I volunteered to make hors d’oeuvres for our local theater company’s open night. Silly me. The dogs do not like it when I cook because they are barred from the kitchen which is their favorite place to be what with all the food falling or just sitting idly on counters waiting to be stolen.

Anyway, the kids come home. I drop one off to a friend’s house and come home to continue my hors d’oeuvres crafting. I pop the stuffed mushrooms in the oven and run the two younger kids to karate. I come back and I notice there is smoke coming from the oven. This isn’t the most unusual thing I have ever seen, so I just wait and watch. I open the oven door and smoke rolls out in great waves. But being a relatively mellow person, I simply shut the oven door again and wait. For what I am not yet sure.

I do this open and close with the oven door a few more times and my anxiety level starts to rise as does the smoke level in the kitchen. I start to get nervous about the fire alarm going off because it is connected to my security system and I don’t remember any passwords or numbers to
punch in. I have no idea what I will do if it…..SHIT! The alarm goes off!!!!

Now, the sensible thing for me to do would have been to shut the oven off. But who can be sensible when there is this nuclear bell ringing and the dogs have broken down the barricade and are now practically up my butt. I run to the key pad and start punching in random numbers….nothing. Except now Spencer has started pawing at my thighs as if that will help me to shut the alarm off.

My leg is bleeding and the alarm is going off, the smoke is still happening, and the phone is ringing. I run into the dark living room to the only phone that is currently working. The dogs are both trying to hang on to my legs as I run. Worse than scared children. I am tripping and kicking them as I go.

I answer the phone and it is the securities lady. I can’t hear her with the alarm going off, but I manage to give her my password and I hear her say something about a code I can punch in and that the fire department has already been dispatched. I thank her, hang up, turn around and step right in a HUGE pile of dog poop compliments of Spencer the fearless.

I go hopping back into the kitchen with the dogs still trying to jump into my arms. I punch in the code and the main alarm stops. I still have the voice saying “Fire. First floor. Oven” and it won’t shut up. That’s just humiliating. I am still not sure if it was a voice in my head or if it was coming from the alarm system. It very well may have been Spencer.

I hop over to the sink and scrub my foot off. I finally shut the oven off and
open the windows. I grab plastic bags and walk back to where the poop is
waiting, cleaning up all the little turds along the way. I do this with a
quickness as the fire department could be there any second!! At this point,
Spencer has given up on me and is trying to save himself. He is at the backdoor, on his hind legs trying to punch through the glass. Emma, the good dog, is sitting between me and Spencer waiting to see which one of us will survive and then she will decide where her loyalties lie.

I check the time and see I am now 10 minutes late picking up the kids from
karate. So, I leave a note on the front door : Hi Firemen, Nothing on fire here. Went to pick up kids. Be right back!! Spencer gave up trying to bust out the glass and is now concentrating on the door knob, cursing his lack of thumbs.

I get back and still no firemen. It had been over 20 minutes at that point. I am hoping that the security lady canceled them and it wasn’t personal thing (it’s a small town, you never know). Now, with all of this commotion, I am scattered. I have to regroup and figure out what I need to get done so that I can get these hors d’oeuvres to the show. What needs to be kept warm and what needs to be kept cold on the 45 minute ride to the theater. On a good day this is difficult because I have to think ahead so that Spencer doesn’t nab my food on the way out the door.

And he is still trying to escape the house. I am walking things from the fridge to the car, and he is trying his damnedest to push past me and get out. He’s such a drama queen. The smoke had cleared, the alarm was off. But he insists on acting the part of scared dog. He doesn’t know when to quit.

Meanwhile, my mean cat Cecelia, who has been gone for 4 days, shows up at the door. Cecelia is the meanest cat alive and no one understands why I keep her. But this is why. When my dog, who is supposed to be my best friend and loyal to the end is confronted with a bit of smoke and a fire alarm, he poops knowing I will step in it with my bare feet and then tries to break down the back door and save himself. Cecelia, on the other hand, who will never allow us to pet her, or even look at her, hears the alarm and decides she best come home and see if there is anything she can do for us.

Nature vs. nurture. Spencer has withdrawn his application for fire dog as of
yesterday.

Danceology

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Sparkling By The Way's Blog

danceology 1Being a dance teacher is what I do. It has become who I am. I have had great teachers over the years. Not all of them were kind, not all of them were good. I learned as much from the “bad” ones as I did from the good ones. I had one teacher who was incredibly mean. I believe her goal was to weed out the kids who couldn’t hack it.

I could hack it. I stayed and was abused and scared, but I loved what I was doing enough to stay. After all, criticism is really just a way to be kind. Abuse is just another form of love. Especially verbal abuse. Verbally abusing a child is really just shaping and molding them for their own good. Now, I know that’s a load of crap, but there are so very many who believe that.

I also had a teacher who…

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Pop Music Makes My Brain Hurt

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Got my head x-rayed today after years of being told “You should have your head x-rayed” in response to every decision I have ever made. Apparently, x-rays can show why I make bad decisions. Technically, it wasn’t an x-ray. It was an MRI. Whatev. Same thing only different. I was so excited about  this I accidentally went yesterday, a day early. So, I went back today for realz.

I had no idea what to expect. I spent all day yesterday filling my brain with funny and interesting thoughts so that the technician would think I was brilliant and then gather all his colleagues to look at my incredible brain and then I would be the subject of a medical paper which would lead to a big budget movie starring Will Ferrell as me. I didn’t really think about what an MRI is like. I found out today. It is not as bad as a root canal but not as fun as a Disney ride.

The laid me down on a skinny, hard table. They put ear phones on me and then a helmet. This did not make me feel very sexy.  They gave me a thing to squeeze if I needed them and then I shut my eyes and tried to think good thoughts. They put on some generic pop music which was more annoying that the actual sound of the machine. The music made me think bad thoughts, like all of the people who have dissed me, my broken heart, my friends and family who have died…morbid. That’s what Kelly Clarkson does to my brain. Keeping my eyes shut, I yelled “Can you please change it to NPR?” The guy said “We don’t get that station, sorry”. He’s a liar. He said it would only take 3 minutes. Well, being a dance teacher for over 20 years I can tell you that a top 40 pop song is at MOST 3 minutes 30 seconds. I was in that helmet for over 5 songs which equals 15 minutes. Liar. I was going through Diane Rehm withdrawal.

After 7 hours of Taylor Swift whining about boys she has dated and all of the haters in the world, The Liar came in and told me they were going to shoot me up with some dye. Since he has a history of lying to me I asked for a second opinion. He laughed, shot me up, stuffed me back into the machine and cranked some Demi Lovato. At this point I realized I was missing my opportunity to WOW this guy with my hysterical thoughts and really informed opinions so I had to concentrate. The only thing that popped into my head was this:blog post Which made me giggle which my head move which got me yelled at. But it was too late. I was suddenly flooded with memories of doing my other best guy friend’s hair with mousse and a hair dryer and it looking like this : blog post 7 and the time when my then-6-year-old daughter yelled “SPAR” and went karate krazy on her big sister who was not expecting it: blog post 8and this picture when I got a hand made boob warmer for my birthday blog post 4  and my beeeeAuTiFUL children blog post 5 and when I dressed my dog up as a punk rocker for halloween blog 6 and the time my kid was not impressed with her banana hat blog post 10 and the time my mean cat refused to let us go down stairs blog post 9 and the time I sliced the tip of my finger off blog post 11

And just as the pictures in my mind started to go down hill, The Liar said “Ok we are done” and pulled me out of the can and took off my helmet and the ear phones. I asked if he liked what he saw and he looked at me with an expression I can only interpret as “you have the most incredible mind I have ever seen”.

Nothing more to do now but wait for the call from Scorsese…

 

I Was A Village People

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Sparkling By The Way's Blog

village people 4 I grew up in the village that my mother grew up in and her parents grew up in and her father’s parents grew up in. My mother’s mother moved to the village from another state when she was 8 months old…a fact that she was never allowed to forget. Seriously. When the village honored lifetime residents, my grandpa and his mother were honored in a big ceremony right in the middle of the village. The mayor gave them both plaques and said a few kind words. My grandma was pissed!!! I mean, she had lived there since she was a baby….but it didn’t count.She wasn’t BORN there ya see….

Growing up, I knew everyone in the village. And I was related to more than half somehow or another. I knew every “family” home in the village. There was at least one on every street. The house my grandma grew up in always got…

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Maybe I Should Take Up Knitting

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Today, I finished my bathroom floor tile project. I didn’t WANT to finish it. I wanted to give up, leave it half done and take a nap instead. Not because I am lazy…well, partly because I am lazy. Mostly because I was having a dizzy spell. Between us, I sort of enjoy my dizzy spells. It’s like being drunk without getting sick or pregnant. Seeings how I am not drunk or pregnant, I knew I needed to finish this project.

First, I had to fill in all of the blank spots with cut tile pieces. I cut the tile pieces with my handy dandy hand held tile cutter. I used the box of tiles to cut on. Because I’m a bad ass. Once I had those pieces glued down, I had to go pick up the kid from her job. When I got back I mixed up the grout. But, I didn’t have a big stirrer thing so…I improvised with my Cuisinart. Genius. Maybe I will start my own floor tile business after all! Grout mixed. Started grouting. Got about 1/3rd done and ran out of grout. I think the one 10 pound bag would have covered more of the floor but I felt the need to grout my pajama bottoms too, so…

I went to pick up the other kid from school and made her run into the store for more grout. Got the last 10 pound pure white bag. Sometimes my life works out like that. Sometimes I step on a dead mouse. Comme si comme sa. I mix up some more grout and grout grout grout. I am grout. In between grouting sessions I wipe down the tile with that big ole yellow sponge. And I dump the grouty water down the tub drain (I audibly heard a collective groan from the handymen in the audience). Yeah, I know. Grout is essentially cement and dumping cement down the shower drain could conceivably put me right back where I started. I started with having my bathroom floor ripped up so that the plumber could get to the pipes that were about to explode. But I don’t always believe the rules really apply to me. I also don’t believe in that whole Fall Back Spring Ahead bullshit but you already knew that.

And so, as I was finishing up, I notice that my tub is no longer draining. At all. Seems legit. Step one : fork the drain. Now, if you have ever lived with girls (or boys with long hair) you know that hair gets all stuffed up in the drain. It’s so nasty. But I take a fork and spaghetti twirl the hair from the drain. Step two : have the kid go to the store and get two bottles of Liquid Plumber. Step three : pray.

I dump in one bottle and we have to go drop the kid to rehearsal. I come home and run the hot water whilst I clean up my groutastic mess. I know I should hit the floor one more time with the polishing sponge but I am so dead tired I want to pinch you really hard on your upper arm. You know that shit hurts. Lucky for you that I can’t  really bend my fingers. My hands are so dry that they feel like they are going to blow right off my wrists if the wind blows just right. My cousin said that’s because there’s alot of lye in the grout. I, of course, misunderstood him and thought he meant I should LIE in the grout. Not sure how having my entire body submerged in grout would make my hands feel better…maybe it would dry out my whole body and then my hands wouldn’t feel so weird? Logical in a way. You are starting to see why I am the way I am aren’t you?  I guess the ultimate test will be when I take a shower in a few minutes…if my feet aren’t burned off because of Liquid Plumber back up then I will call this two day affair a HUGE success.

Overall, I am satisfied with the result. Would I do it again? Well, if I HAD to I could…I say the same thing about marriage. And bangs. And jazzercize.

I bought this for myself 4 years ago and never used it. Until today. Surprisingly, there was no grout drink in the included mixology booklet...Lame.

I bought this for myself 4 years ago and never used it. Until today. Surprisingly, there was no grout drink in the included mixology booklet…Lame.

Pedicure RUINED. This is why I can't  have nice things.

Pedicure RUINED. This is why I can’t have nice things.

Almost finished. It's not polished very well and I see some spots that I will pretend I am going to fix and never will...but let's pretend it is perfect and give me a nice round of applause...

Almost finished. It’s not polished very well and I see some spots that I will say I am going to fix and never will…but let’s pretend it is perfect and give me a nice round of applesauce…