Monday, September 24, 2012


I know I’ve really been slacking off on this whole blogging business. What can I say? I’m too tired? I’m busy all the time? I have writer’s block? My life is so incredibly boring that there’s not much to report? I’m spending all my spare time installing a bomb shelter in my back yard and stocking it with ammo and canned goods in preparation for the inevitable zombie apocalypse? Yep.

Remember when I wrote that I was going to post birth stories about each of my children around their birthdays this year? I didn't remember. My oldest daughter turned 22 several weeks ago, and my youngest child turned ten a little over a week ago. THAT jogged my increasingly feeble memory banks. At least it gives me something to write about though.

Danielle's Birth Story ~ September 3, 1990

Danielle ~ 2009

Danielle, my second child and first daughter, was due on August 20, 1990. My dear friend, SUZ, and I walked all over Springville that summer, much of that in August, in a vain attempt to jump start some labor. Man, we walked a LOT that month. August 20 came and went. It was HOT and I was MISERABLE. I was also working full time and had a 21-month-old toddler to take care of. I had a doctor appointment a week after my due date, at which my doctor told me that if I didn’t go into labor prior to Labor Day, he would “start” me the day after that. An end was in sight.

I continued working that week, and I told my supervisor that my doctor was planning on “starting” me on the day after Labor Day, but I would come to work before my appointment. Our department was really busy with election polls, and would be required to work sometime during the Labor Day weekend. We decided that rather than working on Labor Day, we would work the Sunday before.

Here it was Labor Day weekend. I was nearly two weeks overdue and it was HOT! My mother, attempting to cheer me up, took me out to eat on Saturday evening, just the two of us. How WELL my mother knows me… good food ALWAYS cheers me up! We went to one of my favorite restaurants, El Azteca (which, sadly, is no longer around), and I ordered the humongous platter that included two of everything, plus chips and salsa, soup AND dessert. To my mother’s amazement, I ate EVERYTHING. I couldn’t really believe how much I ate, and I don’t surprise myself very often. My husband, James, and I were both working the next morning, so my mother took my son, Anthony, for the night since she would be watching him while we were at work the next day. I went home and slipped quickly into a carne asada coma.

Sunday morning while I was getting ready for work, I started having abdominal pains. I assumed it was due to the massive Mexican feast my body was most likely still attempting to digest. I drove to work and on the way noticed that the pains were exactly every 15 minutes. This was no case of indigestion, my friends. This was labor! The early stages, but labor nonetheless. Finally!

I showed up at work and told my supervisor that I would definitely NOT be in on Tuesday. When she asked why, I announced that I was in labor. All the women in my department immediately transformed into mother hens. “Are you alright?” “Shouldn’t you go home, or to the hospital?” I told everyone that it was going to be awhile before it was time to go to the hospital, and that I would rather be at work with something to do to distract my mind from the pain. Also, the hospital was only a few blocks away from work. It was about 12 miles from my house. I was better off being at work. Every ten minutes or so, someone would ask me how I was doing. Not really helping take my mind off of the contractions, people! I did call my husband at his job to inform him that he shouldn’t make any immediate plans. I am now a literal LEGEND at that company. I will forever be “The Woman Who Worked an Entire Shift While in Labor.” {insert impressive trumpet music here}. The thought of this always makes me laugh inside, as if the Coding Department has been passing down my story to every new employee for the past 22 years, each employee adding and embellishing the story to outlandish and mythical proportions. It wasn’t that extraordinary. What else would I have been doing? Probably sitting home alone, watching television and kicking myself for not going to work on what would be my last day for at least six weeks (unpaid)?

Anyhoo, I worked my full shift and then stopped at the hospital on the way home. They monitored me and told me that I would definitely be back later that night. I went to my parents’ house and told everyone the news. My mother said she’d keep Anthony there so I wouldn’t have to wake him up in the middle of the night to bring him to her. When I got home, James and I watched some television and he fell asleep. I couldn’t sleep because of the pain. The contractions were about five minutes apart, but they were really painful. I took warm baths and held off waking James as long as I could. At about 2:00 a.m. I finally broke down and woke him up to drive me to the hospital. He asked how far apart the contractions were, and I told him. He wasn’t impressed. Five minutes apart really isn’t impressive, and even I was doubtful the hospital would admit me. But the PAIN was more intense than five-minute-apart contractions should have been (based on my own personal experience with my firstborn). So James humored me and drove me to the hospital. The stop light on Main and 4th South WOULD NOT TURN GREEN at this time of night. Seriously, people. We sat there for at least a good five minutes with absolutely NO OTHER CARS in sight ANYWHERE. I had the passenger seat of that little Subaru reclined and was lying on my side in the fetal position, in some SERIOUS discomfort {read: AGONY}, and that effing light would not turn effing green! So James did what any devoted husband would do in this situation. He said, “Fuck it!”, and drove right through the red light across Main Street. I guess he figured that if he got pulled over for it, he had a really good reason to run the light sitting {read: writhing in pain} in the passenger seat.

At this point, I had been in labor for about 18 hours already. Even though the beginning isn’t that bad, having your abdomen feel like it’s in a vise in regular intervals for 18 freakin’ hours takes a TOLL on a human being. I was exhausted, and it was after 2:00 a.m., and I hadn’t had any sleep or anything to eat for those 18 hours. And it was Labor Day. Yippee!

We arrived at the hospital, and it was at this time that it really dawned on me that James was basically humoring me. He didn’t really think that they were going to admit me. He thought I was exaggerating the pain. How did I know this? When I asked him to grab my overnight bag from the back seat of the car, he said he would come back for it IF they admitted me. IF. THEY. ADMITTED. ME. I would now like to confess the fact that ever since that moment, I have wished upon that man a bad case of kidney stones, just so he could get a little taste of the agony that IS labor and childbirth.

We got to Labor and Delivery and I was stuck in a little room and asked how far apart the contractions were. I told the nurse five minutes. She was not impressed. But hospital protocol was to monitor for at least a half an hour, so she also humored me and hooked me up to the monitors. She left the room and rushed back in about six minutes later. She pointed at James and said, “YOU! Go get her bag out of the car and get her registered.” She then told me that they were going to be moving me into a birthing room and ordering my epidural NOW (thank you, Jesus). James left to fetch my bag. I asked the nurse what was going on and she informed me that my contractions were not five minutes apart. They were about two and a half minutes apart. Apparently I was having a BIG contraction (that I was timing), and then a small one (that I was not even counting as a separate contraction). They had me moved to another room, an IV started and the anesthesiologist was finishing up with my epidural before James even got back from the car. Epidural was patchy {read: not working at all} on the right side. It had been like that with my first delivery, so I didn’t stress about it. I knew there was nothing that could be done.

Everything went crazy fast after that. Some doctor I had never even heard of showed up (apparently, my doctor was out of town), and delivered Baby Danielle. We didn’t know whether we were having a girl or another boy. I was so ecstatic to have a baby girl! She was perfect! A nurse wheeled Danielle to the nursery and took James with her.

Danielle Newborn

As the doctor was stitching up the cruel, torturous and barbaric incision that the medical profession calls an episiotomy, I could feel EVERYTHING on the right side. I was squirming a little as he pulled the sutures through, and he (in my opinion, STUPIDLY) asked, “Can you FEEL that?” I should have kicked him in the face. My feet were still up in the stirrups not five inches from the sides of his head. But I wasn’t raised that way (a pity really), so I just told him that the epidural didn’t work on my right side. So he gave me a local anesthetic injection. I know what you’re thinking…. And, yeah, it hurt. It. Hurt. A. Lot.

After that, the doctor left, the nurses cleaned everything up and James stopped in to tell me goodbye. He had to get to work. Don’t feel bad for me or anything. I think it’s just plain bizarre for the baby’s father to stick around in the hospital room with the baby’s mother for her entire hospital stay. I ENJOY having some time to myself. I see that dude every freakin’ day, for cryin’ out loud! But maybe that’s just me. Whatever.

The nurse asked me if I wanted some pain pills. Um… Yes, please! I took two Percodans on a stomach that hadn’t had anything in it for awhile, forgetting to ask for some crackers or something. You can see where this is going. They wheeled me into my room on the Maternity Ward, and got me settled into my bed and brought breakfast in. That’s when the nausea hit. I’m dead weight from the waist down on the left side. I’m in a bed with rails. Alone. And I’m GOING TO VOMIT. I vomited and started hemorrhaging, then the nurse got me into the bathroom to help me clean up and I proceeded to pass out on the toilet. Let the good times roll, people! Note to self: do not ever take narcotic pain meds on an empty stomach. Ever. Everyone and everything got cleaned up and I got a little rest and then they brought Danielle to me in her little hospital bucket.

My mother-in-law (who is a nurse) showed up and told me I looked really pale. Duh! I ALWAYS look pale. Because I’m a pasty white-girl and that’s how I roll, you know? But I looked REALLY pale. I FELT pale. And weak. And pretty faint. But I survived and we brought Danielle home the next day.

Danielle ~ 3 Months Old

Danielle was an extremely GOOD baby. She rarely got sick, was happy and funny and loved her brother, Anthony. He loved her too. He gave her a high five the first time he met her. She is now an intelligent, humorous, and mature woman (we say she’s 22 going on 40). She’s a wonderful mom to her daughter, Addalie, and a wonderful daughter, granddaughter, niece and sister. I love you, Danielle!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Here's MAYA!

Maya ~ June 2011

Have you ever read the birth stories on those "baby" sites? I did when I was expecting my fourth and final child way back in 2002. I thought it was a nice way to save the memories for the mom and the child. As you may well know, I was adopted. I was nine days old when my parents brought me home from the adoption agency (LDS Family Services). I've heard the story of my parents' "getting me", and it's a sweet story. But until I met my birth mother when I was 26, there was no one to tell me the story of the day I was born. So, I've been thinking of posting something for each of my children about the days they were born because as time marches on, I seem to be forgetting more and more. Because I have two children with my first husband and two with my second, some of the stories will end up being "sweeter" than others. I'm going to tell it like it was and not attempt to dress the stories up or omit unpleasant circumstances. My kids are old enough to know the truth, and knowing my children as I do, I know that they will respect the cold, hard facts more than some kind of "hearts and flowers" censored version.

Since my third child, Maya, just had her birthday a couple weeks ago, I thought I would begin with her birth story. And I think I will post each birth story close to each child's birthday this year. So look forward to (or avoid as the case may be) two more birth stories in September and another one in November.

Maya's Birth Story ~ April 24, 2000

Maya ~ Newborn

The month preceding Maya's birth, her father, "C" was in a drug/alcohol rehabilitation center dealing with some of his "demons". I was alone in my house in Springville fighting my own demons, and one of those was "C". I was HAPPY to be alone. I was in an abusive relationship and was trapped. I had been unemployed since October the previous year. The house was in foreclosure. The unemployment insurance had run out. My older children, Anthony and Danielle, had been living with my parents due to a horribly painful custody battle that I am still not emotionally able to go into detail about. I had also, by this time, become almost completely cut off from any family and friends. That's the nature of an abusive relationship.

Maya's due date was May 5. Due to the fact that "C" was in rehab, there would be no way for him to just up and leave if I went into labor, and he wanted to be there for Maya's birth. The rehab would allow him a 72-hour pass, but he would have to schedule it ahead of time. My doctor only scheduled inductions at my preferred hospital on Mondays, so we scheduled an induction for Monday, April 24. "C" got his 72-hour pass and I picked him up in the late afternoon on Easter Sunday, April 23.

To the best of my recollection, we were supposed to check in to the hospital at 5:00 a.m., or maybe 5:30. I just remember it was an unGodly early time to have to be anywhere. Of course we were late by about a half an hour. On the drive there, we discussed baby names. We agreed on "Maya" for a girl and "Azure" for a boy. "C" had a two-year-old daughter named Indigo, and he thought it would be cool to name a boy after another shade of blue. It's better than what he REALLY wanted to name a son... "Walking Thunder". Yeah, don't even ask...

We checked into the hospital and the nurse got me all hooked up to the fetal heart monitor/contraction monitor, blood pressure cuff, etc., started the IV, and put something on my cervix that was supposed to help soften it (I think). She said the protocol was that they couldn't start the Pitocin yet. I can't remember how long I had to wait for that, but it was a long enough stretch of time that "C" decide to drive himself home and sleep. He told me to call him when I was in labor. Sounds about typical for a self-centered jackass, huh?

I tried to rest, but the room was pretty cold and I had all the cuffs and monitors on and the IV line stuck in my wrist, not to mention the fact that I was WIRED. I had been through labor and delivery twice before, and remembered the pain. I had never had labor induced before, and I had heard that it was more intense.

The nurse finally started the Pitocin, and within the hour the contractions were getting pretty uncomfortable. I called "C". I called him several times. He finally woke up and answered the phone. The nurse came in several times to check on me and how the labor was progressing, and at around 10:00 my doctor showed up to break my water. "C" still hadn't shown up. Way to be supportive and helpful. After the doctor broke my water, the contractions started coming faster and faster and were really intense. I asked for the drugs. Ok, I demanded the drugs. Oh, the sweet, sweet heaven that is the epidural. "C" had finally shown up and was there to watch me get a needle stuck in my back. I think he probably held my hand and was about as supportive as he could be.

My epidurals are ALWAYS "patchy" in the exact same way. My left side goes completely numb just like it's supposed to. My right side can feel everything. I ended up liking that I could feel my right side (after my first delivery of course) because even though I could feel the pain, it was cut down enough that it was bearable, and I could feel when the baby was crowning. Also, I had a lot more control over my pushing and could move my own right leg.

After I received the epidural, the labor progressed at break-neck speed. It was time to push before I knew it. Maya was my one child who didn't seem to want to come out though. Probably because it was nearly two weeks before her due date (haha). I was pushing and pushing and she was not cooperating. Then her heart rate suddenly dropped, and I started to really get worried. The doctor pulled out the forceps which were SO MUCH BIGGER than they seemed in the birthing films. It was a good thing I couldn't feel anything on my left side, because my right side was hurting, I tell you. I pushed and the doctor "pulled" and Maya was finally born. It took about two seconds for the doctor to get her to cry and those were the longest and scariest two seconds I can remember. Then she wailed and I started breathing again.

Maya was born on Monday, April 24, 2000, around 11:30 a.m., weighed 6 lbs. 6 ozs., and measured 18 inches. She was my smallest baby. She had a full head of soft, black hair and a little wine colored birthmark on the inside of her wrist (which she still has).

I spent the rest of my time in the hospital alone, except for a brief visit from a couple of "C"'s family members. It was nice and peaceful. I was SO glad that "C" didn't want to stay there with me. I wouldn't have gotten any rest if he had.

We left the hospital the next day and the day after that I drove "C" back to the rehab to finish his treatment. My birth mother came from a few counties away to stay with Maya and me while "C" was at the rehab. She was one of the few people the "C" ALLOWED me to keep in contact with. She was worried that something might happen to me or Maya without anyone there at the house with us. It was really nice to have her there with me while I was recovering.

Maya ~ One Month Old

And to quote the very wise Forrest Gump, "That's all I've got to say about that."

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

On Aging

I hate that I’m getting old. Truly. I think I hit my peak at 35. That’s when I felt the best about the way I looked and I actually felt the best physically. Ironically, that’s when I escaped my second husband and my emotional/mental state was in tatters. My physical state has been all downhill since then. I’ve put on approximately 60 pounds. SIXTY!!! I am always tired. I can get eight hours of sleep, wake up, have a smoke with a cup of coffee and be ready for a nap. I’ve become super reclusive, feeling like it’s just too much effort and energy to even keep up my end of a conversation, let alone make myself presentable and go out in public.

I know I’m really not “old”. My grandma is “old”. She’s 97 and still lives in her own home by herself, still makes quilts, sews and does clothing alterations. My dad is kind of “old”. He’s 76 and still working full time in a physically demanding job, taking care of my none-too-healthy mom, tending to his huge garden, and basically running from 5:00 a.m. to after 10:00 p.m. every day. I’m not “old” old. I’m middle-aged. But I FEEL old. And I’m starting to LOOK old. I don’t think I’ve ever looked fantastic, but THIS… the way I look now… is downright disheartening.

I’m a grandma now. When I think of me as a grandma, I think of this:

I don’t think I look quite THAT old, but give me a couple years. I’m slipping down that old age slope quicker than shit on a shovel. And this post is my own shameless bitch and moan pity party about age and those damn hormones and the havoc they are wreaking on my body.

1. MY HAIR: Not only are the course, wiry, gray hairs invading my scalp, my dark hair is falling out at an alarming rate.

2. MY FACE: Permanent, deep creases in my forehead, crows feet around my eyes, frown lines around my mouth, vertical lines on my upper lip. Droopy, puffy eyelids, giant pores and broken blood vessels combined with my old freckles, some new age spots and an occasional pimple… REALLY? I’ve got all the wrinkles and loss of elasticity and STILL have to deal with acne at my age? You’ve GOT to be kidding! Plus, I’ve developed a really nice growth of fine, white peach-like fuzz all over my face, so now, instead of just waxing my upper lip and plucking my eyebrows about EVERY OTHER DAY, I need to start having my ENTIRE FACE waxed frequently! Fabulous! And could I HAVE any more nose hair?! I’ve had to get that waxed for the last few years already. My earlobes are getting droopy and have permanent lines radiating out from where I have piercing holes. God, I hope I don’t have gross ear hair growing in there too. I wouldn’t know because I can’t see in my own ears, but with my luck, I probably do.

3. MY NECK: Okay, to be fair, I’ve hated my neck since I was about 13, so it’s not just an “age” thing. However, gravity isn’t helping any! I don’t have a decent jaw line and so I always look like I have a double chin. YES, EVEN WHEN I AM SUPER THIN. It isn’t a weight thing, although when I am overweight (as I have been for a few years now), it looks even worse than normal. I look like a giant toad with its throat all puffed out. EWWWW!

And short of plastic surgery (where the doctors literally lace up my neck muscles like a SHOE through an incision under my tongue and then suck out all the extra fat with a sterile shop vac thingy, then cut off the extra skin and staple everything up behind my ears), which I don’t have the money or time for, there is NOTHING that can be done. My neck wattle has been the NUMBER ONE thing I detest about my physical appearance for close to 30 YEARS. You would think that I would be used to it by now and just ACCEPT it, but it has been the one CONSTANT source of unhappiness about my physical self, and like everything else, OLD AGE is making it worse.

4. MY MOUTH: I had a tooth die on me several years ago when I had no insurance and couldn’t afford a root canal/crown. It crumbled and I was left with the root, which had to be pulled. Now my right side is my “redneck” side (big missing tooth right behind my canine tooth). I have also managed to grind my teeth down to jagged, chipped stumps due to my constantly clenching my jaw shut because it’s the only thing I’ve found that makes my TURKEY NECK look less like a turkey neck. I need crowns on eight of my front teeth just to make them look decent. And those puppies are pricey.

5. MY FRONT TORSO: Large, somewhat saggy and severely stretch-marked twins (the right of which has a funky scar from a lumpectomy when I was in my twenties). Stomach matches boobs in that it’s large and severely stretch-marked. It also looks like I am currently expecting another kid regardless of the fact that I got “fixed” several years ago. Even when I was super thin in my thirties, my belly had the texture and consistency of an old, deflated balloon half filled with chunky vomit. I find it very difficult to find anything to appreciate in the stretch marks that run from my stomach to my upper thighs and around and across my inordinately large ass. That area looks like a living, breathing, three-dimensional map of the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

6. MY BACK TORSO: Apparently it’s in my genetic disposition to carry a LOT of my weight on my back. Fat rolls encasing more fat rolls. Sun damaged and dry like the Sahara because I can’t reach all the way around there to put on lotion. And if I didn’t feel self-conscious enough about myself, when I asked my little girls to apply some lotion to my back, they asked if we had any RUBBER GLOVES! Apparently my own children are repulsed by me. Ingrates.

7. MY ARMS: Covered with freckles, tiny scars and now tiny bumps. Yay! My upper arms measure about the same as a normal woman’s THIGHS. I am NOT kidding. My elbows are constantly dry and cracked no matter how much I exfoliate and lubricate. My hands look like they belong to Ebenezer Scrooge. Like my elbows, no amount of care or expense of products will make them look and feel like they should.

8. MY ASS: Let me just say that I am SO embarrassed by the look of my butt, that I would literally rather flash my tits to someone than moon them. And then there’s the extra kick in my huge, cellulite-ridden buttocks… the fact that they seem to be growing increasingly hairy by the freakin’ day. When I shave, I end up with a TON of shave bumps/razor burn and several ingrown hairs which make it look even more horrifying! I could get my butt waxed every few weeks, or laser hair removal, but those solutions would require a lot of money I don’t have and, even worse… allowing someone else to witness the terror that is my ass.

9. MY LEGS: I possess the thighs of a 300 pound person. True Story! My upper thighs are so out of proportion to the rest of my body that it’s nearly impossible to find pants to fit. If they fit my thighs, they’re about eight inches too big around the waist and I could fit my two youngest kids in the calves of them. If I find a pair that fits everywhere else, the thigh seams are destined to burst the first time I sit down. And can we talk about HAIR again?! Why, in the name of all that is holy, do I have to grow MORE hair the older I get? What is THAT about?! My “bikini line” has been creeping steadily closer and closer to my freakin’ KNEES since my mid-thirties! This is OUT OF CONTROL. My kids want me to go swimming with them and it takes me about three HOURS to shave enough hair off my body that I can be seen in a swimsuit without someone trying to shoot me with a silver bullet!

And just like with my butt, I shave and end up with a shave rash that stings and itches so bad it makes me long for a spinal block. Should I just let it grow out for a few months and run away with the circus freak show?

10. MY FEET. I used to love my feet. My left foot has a bone spur (read BUNION), which makes finding shoes difficult because that foot is about an inch wider at the ball than my right foot. I cannot wear heels over about an inch. I wore an adorable pair of high heels to my wedding in 2009, and felt a strange “POP” in my big toe area. Since that time, my big toe and the arch of my foot are tingly and numb. The bottoms of my feet have thick calluses that no amount of scraping with a Ped Egg will cure. I’ve tried all kinds of foot creams and within a couple days of giving myself a full pedicure, my feet look like Hobbit feet again. Yep, I even have to shave the tops of my big toes. Disgusting!

So now anyone who frequents my blog knows the secret of all my disgusting physical disfigurements. If you see me on the street, you are welcome to give me a “knowing nod” and giggle. No torches or pitchforks, PLEASE!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My F**K-IT List

A lot of people have been making bucket lists, you know… things that they want to do/places they want to go before they “kick the bucket” so to speak. First off, there are far, far too many things that I want to do before The Grim Reaper comes to collect me. Secondly, doing bucket list type things usually involves spending large quantities of money, and my finances are now, and probably will forever be, in the toilet. Let’s face it. Even if I were to begin planning and scrimping and saving for my bucket list RIGHT NOW, there’s no way I will be able to do even a handful of the things that I want to.

I have decided that I am now old enough to just say “NO!” to some things that I dislike and/or have no interest in, and that is almost as good as saying “Yes” to a bunch of awesome things that I’ll probably never be able to do. So… instead of a bucket list, I’m writing a f**k-it list. This is a list of things that either:

(A) I have done in the past, but now choose to never, ever do again because doing them was so unbearable; or

(B) Things that have never appealed to me in any way, and given the choice between having a root canal without anesthetic or doing them, I would choose the root canal.

Lyn’s F**k-It List

1. BELONG TO ANY ORGANIZED RELIGION. I have enough guilt, shame and fear left over from growing up in one, thank you very much! So Mr. Clergyman who lives across the street from me… although I think very highly of you as a person and enjoy chatting with you when we’re both out collecting our garbage cans on garbage day, please, Please, PLEASE stop trying to get me to come to church. I am so far beyond organized religion that I cannot even feign interest in it, but I hate being rude. So please, for the love of all that is holy, stop pestering me about it!

2. TRY TO LEARN ALGEBRA. I knew I’d never have a use for it when I was ripping my hair out in high school trying to learn it. Guess what! I’m now middle-aged and I have yet to come across any real life situation in which I needed to figure out what “x” or "y" are! And since I don’t plan on pursuing a career as a rocket scientist/civil engineer/algebra teacher in this lifetime, I choose to never look at an algebraic equation again. HA!

3. CARE WHAT MY MOTHER THINKS ABOUT ME. I love the woman, and she was a good mom to me when I was growing up, but she fails to accept the fact that I am now 41 and haven’t lived under her roof for nearly 24 years. She still insists on treating me as if I were ten years old. And she’s the most manipulative, passive-aggressive, judgmental, self-made martyr I have ever known.

4. ALLOW ANYONE (WHO DOESN’T HAVE DIRECT AUTHORITY OVER ME) TO TELL ME WHAT TO DO OR HOW TO MANAGE MY LIFE. My husband, ex-husbands, and parents do NOT have authority over me. I am a grown up. I have lived through shit that my parents would never even comprehend. I have SURVIVED things that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I may not always make the best decisions, but I do NOT need anyone ordering me around like I’m a toddler. I will listen to suggestions, advice, even criticism, and take it under advisement. But I will not take ORDERS.

5. GO TO A DANCE CLUB. Lyn. Doesn’t. Dance. I have let people drag me along with them to dance clubs in the past because said people wanted to get their “groove on” and didn’t want to do it alone. These evenings would always involve me feeling completely underdressed, frumpy and old in the midst of the young, beautiful, trendy and cosmetically enhanced patrons, and being subjected to "music" (and I use that term very loosely) that sounded like the same exact techno beats played for a solid three hours accompanied by two racoons getting it on in a metal irrigation pipe. I didn’t dance on these outings because… Lyn. Doesn’t. Dance. I couldn’t drink because I had to drive home afterwards. I would spend the entire time wishing that I were at home curled up with a good book… or watching the tube… or sleeping… hell, even doing the laundry would have been more enjoyable! Never again! LYN. DOESN’T. DANCE!

6. BUNGEE JUMP, SKY DIVE, OR HANG GLIDE. I live my life in fear of getting maimed in a car accident. Why would I PAY my hard-earned money to exponentially increase my chances of bodily damage, dismemberment and/or death?

7. TRAVEL TO ANY THIRD WORLD COUNTRY. I can get sick enough just living here in the U.S.A. I don’t need to contract parasites, malaria or dysentery in a country that doesn’t even have the polio vaccine yet.

8. GO HUNTING. Because I have lived in Utah my entire life, I accept the fact that people like to hunt. I have even eaten venison on more than a few occasions. But it all boils down to three very important factors for me: 1) I don’t like being out in the cold weather; 2) I don’t like camping; and 3) I don’t want to kill any living thing bigger than a spider. Enough said.

9. GO SKIING. I know I’m a really poor excuse for a Utahn, but I have never had the desire to try my hand (er, foot) at skiing. I repeat, I don’t like being out in the cold. I repeat, I don’t want to suffer bodily damage, dismemberment or death. I don’t want to drive on snowy, icy roads up the side of a mountain to get to a ski resort. And then there’s the fact that most of the people who ski at the resorts here are of the young, beautiful, trendy and cosmetically enhanced variety. BAH!

10. OWN A DOG. If I wanted something that would take up that much of my time, energy and attention, I would have had another kid! Dogs smell. They take dumps and pee all over the house. They’re always jumping all over people and sniffing crotches and butts. They’re constantly barking at the least little noise. They dig through the garbage cans in the house and outdoors. They have to be bathed. They eat their own and each other’s crap. Good grief! I just realized that another kid would be LESS trouble than a dog! I’ll stick with my independent, self-cleaning, quiet, sleep-all-day, house-trained cats, thank you very much.

I'm very sorry if anyone out there in blogland was planning on inviting me to a disco at a ski resort in a third world country and planned to bring their dog and my mom along for the ride, but I think I may have a couple teeth that need root canals!

Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Well, it’s the end of one year and the beginning of another, and everyone’s asking me what my New Year’s Resolutions are. And my answer: “Lyn doesn’t make resolutions.” (Sometimes I like to speak in the third person, ya know.) It’s not that I don’t think there are approximately 4.23 gazillion things about myself that I should change. I KNOW there are. I live with myself, okay? However, I have found that I’m just not the kind of person who can resolve to do a bunch of things just because of the change of a calendar, and then follow through on those things. Change is difficult, and we all know that Lyn absolutely loathes change, and doesn’t get very excited at the prospect of doing anything difficult.

So what would be the point of my making New Year’s Resolutions? To feel like a failure at more things in my pathetic life? To have several more reasons to self-flagellate? Thanks…. but no. Just as an example for all you resolution-making people out there (and more power to the people who can resolve to do things and actually follow through with them!)… if I were going to make the typical resolutions for the beginning of a new year, it would look something like THIS:

1. Stop smoking!.... er, at least switch to the electronic cigarettes.... ok, switch to the electronic cigarettes and only allow myself one real cigarette a day.... to be more realistic, let’s make it two real cigarettes a day.... and cigarettes at social gatherings.... and by social gatherings, I mean anytime I’m around someone who’s smoking and I feel the urge to partake in the inhalation of carcinogens with them.

2. Lose that pesky 50 pounds that I’ve been carrying around on my body for the past several years!.... 40 pounds would be an improvement.... honestly, I would be happy just losing 30 pounds and fitting into a size 9 again.... make it 20 pounds.... or, hey… even If I just lost enough to fit into the jeans I was wearing last summer, that would be awesome.... let's say I’ll try to not GAIN anymore weight this year!

3. Remember all the birthdays of my close friends and family members and send cards to everyone the week before their birthdays!.... or, remember the birthdays and get the cards mailed within a week after their birthdays at the latest.... send e-cards to those that I manage to remember.... call my immediate family members on their birthdays.... write “Happy Birthday” on the Facebook page of my friends and family members who have Facebook profiles.... that is, if I happen to log on to Facebook on their birthdays and it reminds me to.

4. Volunteer somewhere at least once a week!.... I mean a month.... I would be more likely to do it, if it was quarterly.... I’ll do something next Christmas season.... how about I donate my old stuff to Goodwill.

5. Make a home cooked dinner five nights a week!... three nights a week... does Hamburger Helper count?... what about TV dinners twice a week?... greasy cheeseburgers for dinner no more than twice a week, and more “healthy” fast food the rest of the week.

6. Stop procrastinating!.... I’ve already got too much on my plate this year. I’ll put this one on next year’s list.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Wrap-Up

My Christmas was a whirlwind of organized chaos. That may not make sense to a lot of people, but the description fits my holiday season perfectly.

1. The girls made their Christmas gift lists before Thanksgiving. I like their lists, especially this year. They didn’t have anything too outrageous on them, and they each only listed 13 items.

2. The weekend after Thanksgiving, the girls walked a couple blocks to our local ShopKo and purchased two Wilton gingerbread house kits. They brought them home and with just a little assistance from me (mixing the icing and loading it into the bags), they were off and running, building and decorating their adorable, little houses.

3. We got the tree up about a week after Thanksgiving. It was a practically painless project for me. I put the three pre-lit tree pieces together and plugged the strings of lights together and the girls did the rest… fluffing up the tree branches and hanging the ornaments and candy canes. I put the star on top and the skirt around the bottom. It took us about a half an hour total, and I was fixing dinner for most of that time…

4. I started my Christmas shopping on Saturday, December 10, which was the day after payday. I spent pretty much my whole paycheck on gifts for the girls, but it only took me one afternoon and I had most the gifts on their lists checked off. I also had a blast doing this shopping with my dear friend, Caren, whom I rarely get to “go out” with.

5. I crocheted a little pink hat for my granddaughter and tied a small “silky” quilt for her on December 18.

6. We took the girls to the Festival of Lights in Spanish Fork on December 20. This is one of our Christmas traditions. It’s the best! It’s not too far from where we live, it’s only $5 per carload, and you can drive around and around the park as many times as you want.

7. I made a “tacky” Christmas sweater for my work party that was held on December 22… and won the “Ugly Christmas Sweater” contest!

8. I took the afternoon of December 23 off work. It was payday, and I finished most of the rest of my Christmas shopping. Then it was off to my biological father’s family Christmas party in West Jordan. That house was so packed full of people it was difficult to move, let alone chat with everyone. This is the first Christmas since I found my father, so it was nice to be invited to share in one of his family’s traditions.

9. First thing in the morning of Christmas Eve, I ran around town picking up the last few gifts I needed to buy. I picked up the girls and we went out to lunch. Then my little elves wrapped all the presents (except those from Father Christmas of course). Our little cat, Maddie, tried to be an elf also, but she was, in truth, a destructive, gift wrap tearing, ribbon eating little beastie. I tidied up a bit and the girls went to bed after I read them “A Visit from St. Nicholas”. Then Santa got to work. It only took about 15 minutes to stuff stockings and wrap gifts in the special Santa paper. I got to go to bed at 11:00! I believe this was the first Christmas in about 22 years that I have made it to bed before 1:00 a.m. It was a Christmas miracle!

10. Christmas morning started dark and early… 6:30 a.m. The girls were very happy with their gifts, and I’ve got to tell you… they were more excited to see me open my gifts than they were to open their own. They even let Corbin and me open our special gifts BEFORE they opened their gifts from Santa Claus. Another Christmas miracle! The girls played their Wii games for awhile and let the adults rest a bit. Then we all got ready and made the trip to my parents’ house. We were the first ones there… another Christmas miracle!

11. Almost everyone in my family was there. Most importantly, my son, Anthony, had flown in from Nevada for Christmas. I hadn’t seen him since June. We made and ate smoked turkey and/or ham sandwiches, baked potatoes and pie… lots of pie. We all exchanged gifts and watched as everyone took turns opening (my family’s tradition). There was a lot of laughter and love, as always.

12. Left my parents’ house and went to my wife-in-law’s parent’s house in Provo to drop off their gifts. My girls got to spend some time with their sister, Indigo, and their “Aunt Christy”, “Aunt Nikki” and “Grandma Sindy”. We hung out for awhile and then headed home for another round of family togetherness.

13. We live with my in-laws, so my husband’s family party is where we live. My mother-in-law made some spiral cut ham, homemade mac and cheese and potato salad. A lot of the family showed up and the girls had a lot of cousins to hang out with for a few hours. Then we dragged our exhausted selves to bed.

14. I took a bunch of “kids” to Jump On It in Lindon the day after Christmas. Anthony, Danielle (and her husband, Tyson), Maya, Penelope, my niece, Serenity, and my granddaughter, Addalie. The girls had a blast. My adult kids… not so much. They are realizing that you can’t do as much when you get older without it causing aches and pains in your aging body. LOL! It was good to all be together and for all my kids to get to spend some time together doing something fun.

15. Later that night some of the family went out to eat at Village Inn. Delicious comfort food as always… and pie! It was the last time I’d get to see Anthony, as his flight was the next morning at 6:00. I’m glad we got a chance to spend a little more time with him.

16. And it’s not over yet! My brother, Brandon and his fiancĂ©e just flew in yesterday, and I need to get over to my parents’ house to see them. And, my birth mother and her husband are coming to our house this Saturday to exchange gifts.

It was the best Christmas I have had in a long, long time. I even managed to mail out all my Christmas cards in time for everyone to get them BEFORE Christmas. And with the girls doing most of the “grunt work”, I was able to relax and enjoy more of the season than I have in years! I would have taken pictures, but my camera’s been broken for awhile now. I took a few with Maya’s new camera, and maybe I’ll post them sometime in the near future.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

How I Feel This Week

Evocations of Christmas Past ~ December 20, 1999

"Spirit!" said Scrooge in a broken voice, "remove me from this place."

"I told you these were shadows of the things that have been," said the Ghost. "That they are what they are, do not blame me!"

"Remove me!" Scrooge exclaimed, "I cannot bear it!"

He turned upon the Ghost, and seeing that it looked upon him with a face, in which in some strange way there were fragments of all the faces it had shown him, wrestled with it.

"Leave me! Take me back. Haunt me no longer!"

~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Some memories don't fade.
Some wounds don't heal completely. Ever.
Sometimes there aren't "do-overs".
Some choices haunt you for the rest of your life.