Kids of Summer

Every year since Sydney was about five years old, we said good-bye, as she spent time in the summer with her Dad, her Nana, Aunts, Uncles, and many cousins. This is typical of divorced families, as it something usually set in the divorce decree. We pack our babies up and send them to Dad’s for a month.

Summer after the divorce.

It’s part of the divorce life. For me, it wasn’t so bad. I got a break from single parenting and her Dad got to really live with her for a while. Sydney loves her Dad.

Image from Facebook.

She loves to spend time with him and he is a wonderful man (hey, I have to give myself some credit, I did marry him, right?). We get along, not because we are all that (although we are very good friends), but because we both love this little girl soooo much. It is our desire to make life easier for her. So as ugly as the divorce was, we made it work for the best. After a year, we didn’t even go by the custody papers. He could spend time with her, whenever he wished. And the summer month of custody got longer. The one month turned into two.

It was hard when she was little. I didn’t call every day. I felt she was with him, and needed that alone time. Usually she was out-of-town, either on trips with him, or visiting relatives in Oklahoma. I’m not sure when she started going to Gulfport Beach, Mississippi. Maybe, when she was ten or eleven years old. Her Aunt, her Dad’s sister, lives there, and wanted her to visit. It’s an hour from Pensacola, Florida. It’s on the beach. Lots of fun touristy things to do. Plus, who wouldn’t LOVE being spoiled by an Aunt who only has one niece.

So off she would go every summer, somewhere, mainly the Gulf Coast. Her Dad moved there last year, so her trips to Gulfport – more regular. Spring Break, and summer. Yeah, tough life, huh kid?

Image from Facebook.

This year was no exception, she left at the beginning of June. In honor of her sweet sixteen birthday, her Aunt took her on a cruise for five days. They had a party for her on the boat. Seriously? This kid lives large.

Image by Facebook.

One of the port stops – Cozumel, Mexico.

Image by Facebook.

The cruise is not all. She typically gets to attend every concert venue at the Hard Rock Hotel. Has met multiple celebrities back stage. During the day, she gets her choice of the pool, water park, or beach. Then, weekend, or day trips, to Gulf Shores, Alabama, and Mobile. Her summer is filled with precious memories. I couldn’t ask for anything better for my daughter, to get to live, and experience life at many places, and with many different people.

The last two years, summers have been a little more bearable. We have text messaging, and Facebook to keep in touch. Both of us have an iPhone 3GS, we can send short videos and pictures. It has kept her up-to-date on Brownie and her (almost) step-sisters.

This is the first year (since 1999) that I have spent time feeling sad and REALLY missing her. Maybe as the clock turns, and her summers come to end (as she knows it and me), it’s harder.

Maybe, I just miss my buddy that makes me laugh and goes to the movies with me. I miss our favorite meal; Penna Rustica at Macaroni Grill. But really, I miss her company most of all.

Pretty soon, she will be working, driving, graduating, and moving on to college, or a career. Summers end. For good.

Image by Angel Lia’s Photography.

I miss you Sydney!

Jason’s summer month with the girls (experiencing the flip side of divorce has been so different) is also coming to a close. As you can see from some of the posts, we had some great times. Water parks, movies, mini dates, and playing princess at the nail salon. Three more days and the girls go from every night sleeping at Dad’s except four; to four nights sleeping at Dad’s. It is going to be a big change for us all. We have really squeezed every drop of fun out of this summer. It will be hard to see them go, especially knowing how long the gaps are in-between.

I’m sure it’s the same for Sydney’s Dad. The good news is…….he is moving back to Texas. Being nine hours closer to her Dad, Stepmom, and little brother will be a dream come true.

Parents, the summer is wrapping up. The kids will be coming home. If you are like me, they return, older, taller, and more mature. Your heart does a little flip-flop, because HOW could they grow that much, that fast. Every year it’s the same astonishment. One thing that won’t be a surprise, that first hug – it’s the sweetest I know.

Can’t wait! See ya soon, Syd.

I’m Radioactive

Well, I’ve gone and done it now haven’t I?

Does this look like a hospital bracelet? Why YES! Yes it is, and see that’s my keyboard. I’m actually at work. I ESCAPED, Mwahahahahah!

Well, truth of it is, I was at the hospital this morning bright and early (730am). I got to register, and find out how much my Christmas present to myself was going to be. It is way, way, way too much. Basically, I get a diagnosis, and a treatment. Which in the end will make me feel better, right? You can’t beat a present like that. A radiology test. I’m just too good to myself. Thanks self!

Allow me to explain, a week ago when I found out about my dad. I had an appointment at the endocrinologist where I found out I have hyperthyroidism. See my foodie-ism has a name after all.  Along with my hot flashes, rashes, moods swings, appetite and heart pounding stress. It was not just my age (aka getting old). It was actually a thyroid going berserk (phew!).

The Doctor scheduled a radioactive iodine image test to determine which thyroid ailment I have. Apparently, the dye goes through the thyroid and leaves it’s tell-tale signature (so I hope). They read it, then the doc can treat it. But first, I have to SWALLOW radioactive iodine (ahhhh!).

Yeah. That’s a little scary. The instructions were no food or drink after midnight (I had a TINY sip of water at 1205am-Sorry!).  They did NOT say no Mexican food, nor one lil ol’ margarita for dinner (gee, I hope I don’t mess this up). Then, come in at o dark thirty (NO COFFEE) to the hospital. So I do so, begrudgedly.

And I get pulled over by the hospital police.  Yeppers, I did. I am very sorry officer. I was just looking for where to park and didn’t really notice the people trying to cross at the crosswalk. I mean, obviously, I stopped at the stop sign cross walks, but not the other four in between (that’s a lot of cross walks). Ooops. Thank you for taking pity on me. It was very sweet of you to think I was a new hire. 

I get inside and  fill out a mountain of paperwork. This is the same hospital I had my daughter in. They still had my records (15yrs ago!). Then, they send me to the basement (never a good thing), where they take me to a room (padded cell). They ask me a zillion times if I’m pregnant or could be pregnant.

I answered a ZILLION times, NO, not possible. I have no fallopian tubes. But I am glad they are thorough. Can you imagine if that happened to someone? (shudder) The nurse explains everything about the procedure. Then, she asked the other zillion dollar question. Have I had ANY fish or shellfish in the last seven days. I have not, and I really missed my Sushi night (pout).

The nurse gingerly holds a tube (lead encased-I’m sure) with gloves on. She ever so lightly taps a pill into a medicine cup. I am having the hardest time not squirming away. The pill was ORANGE (aahhhh!). She tells me to throw it back in my throat and swallow. DO NOT TOUCH THE PILL (whimper). Like a Champ,  I toss that sucker back, and OH YES IT DID GET STUCK, right on the back of my tongue. I take a drink, STILL STUCK, then it moves to the roof of my mouth, and FINALLY down the hatch.

Crap! How is it supposed to go down your throat when your mouth is like sandpaper after no food or drink? I just radioactivated my brain and my teeth. Wonderful. The second pill went down much easier, thank goodness.

Then I waited to start glowing or something. Seriously, my vision is a little hazy (that could be the 4 hours sleep). For today and tonight, I am not allowed any dairy products, fish, nor can foods. I am supposed to eat “fresh”.  For me, that’s worse than eating nuclear pills.  A veggie fresh diet? Well, maybe it will start something good. I go back tomorrow and they will do images of my neck. Weee!

As for blogging, I am trying to get back in the swing of things, after a week away. Sydney leaves for Mississippi on December 19 until January 4. Our Christmas with Jason, the girls, and Kyle is December 18. FOUR days! I have four days to shop and that’s all. We know what gifts we are getting her. It’s just getting it. Yeah, that.

It’s also Jason’s birthday month. He is a New Year’s Eve baby. Isn’t that the sweetest? I decided to gift him a present every day for his birthday month. They are not big presents, but I attach a little note to each one, to let him know how special he is. It’s not easy to have a gift EVERY day. I really am putting thought into them (well…some are thoughts of HIM sharing, HEH). His birthday is so close to Christmas that I concluded- what better way to make it special and unique – at least I’m trying to. I think I have up to day #18 packaged. I have another weeks worth ready to be wrapped. It has been soooo fun. I have loved doing this.

I have some wonderful blog posts in the drafts that I haven’t had time to write.  Another timeless one, a bloggy bling parade, and a gift of Christmas that will touch your heart. As well as, a few pictures from our outing to Bethlehem Revisited on Saturday night with the kids.  As soon as all the hospital visits, shopping,  and gifting slow down, I will happily get them done. 

 In the meantime, don’t turn down your screen. It’s just me pulsating with my radioactive self.

I wanna Rock!


For all you gamers out there who play Rock Band on PS3 or any other console.

Meet Ava, actually it’s ava, she doesn’t punctuate. She doesn’t! ava is one of my alter egos. She is most like me, except she plays drums in a band called The Stonecold Steve Austins. Yeah. She didn’t make the name up, for one it’s punctuated, for two it’s a guy name, and for three they are not wrestlers. Duh.

The band consists of the leader who is Steve Austin plays guitar. The singer Daisy, blonde hair, zebra pants, with a cute pink halter top (perfect 15yr old rendition). She’s all that. Then the band’s bass player is Jolt, soap star looking blonde with a big tattoo on his chest. The singer really digs Jolt.(Jolt, 16yrs old been dating Daisy over a year) He plays with his shirt off.

Before ava joined the band, the previous drummer was named Jade. Long black hair in dreads, pale skin, big green eyes with a nose piercing. She wore a leather jacket with a hot pink bikini top sporting leather pants. Jade ROCKED. She had a silver drum set. Seriously! She was crazy cool (and sooo unlike me).

See, Jade felt out of place. Everyone else in the band was themselves, or most like themselves. So she left – promising to return and jam again when the mood so strikes – and ava joined. Daisy thought ava looked fat and she can’t stand the fact that she wears a pink top with jeans, and the jeans have a red belt, that doesn’t match. What-evah!

Thing is, whether it’s Jade or ava, neither drummer has ever gotten a 100%, even on EASY. It’s an elusive feat for both of them. And not because of practice either, when Jade started she barely made it through a song without failing out. She just banged away until the song ended if she couldn’t catch the beat. Believe me sometimes her beat was waaaay off.

ava comes along with much more experience, but still misses the mark on 100%, every time. She has made a promise to herself, as soon as she peaks the score, and snatches that 100%. It’s medium all they way baby!

Last night’s JAM, NOT resulting in 100% – again.

Truly, I wasn’t a gamer until I met Jason. I had no idea what I was missing. It is a fun family activity, that everyone can enjoy. It’s also a great way to enjoy music. We don’t just have Rock songs, we have country, Christian rock, and metal. There is a variety. My favorite right now is Kings of Leon.

I don’t let it get me down that I can’t quite attain the 100 score. I just keep playing with all my heart. I keep trying. I love this game. I’ll get there eventually. In the meantime…..I WANNA ROCK!

Sydney’s Trick, not Treat

Long ago and far away – well not so far away – we lived in Benbrook. This was WEST of the metroplex, way West, about an hour from Dallas, half hour Southwest of Fort Worth. Our apartment had a front door and a back door. The back door led down a flight of stairs taking you to the border of undeveloped land, acres upon acres, as far as you could see.

It was heaven for a country girl like me. No concrete, no buildings, just trees and fields. We even had a flock of wild turkeys that would visit us, passing by, every so often. You could watch them from the balcony.  I loved this apartment. I wasn’t scared at all. It was awesome!

I had a little Yorkie, named Chloe, that I would take out every morning. I would go down the back stairs and walk her along the tree line. Walking farther away, there was a meadow that opened up behind the other apartment buildings.

Normally, I didn’t run into anyone. It was peaceful. Chloe loved it. I’d come in refreshed, ready to get Sydney to take her to daycare or school. She was 5 years old, in kindergarten.

Sydney a very sweet, gregarious child. Almost always sparkling with laughter, full of life. *my miracle*

I am not sure how her little five year old brain planned this scenario out, but she HID behind the wall of the dining room, right next to the back door. As Mommy came up the steps, opened the door, and let Chloe in…..OUT JUMPS SYDNEY-RAAAWWRRR…..and scared me to DEATH.

Elizabeth, Elizabeth, I’m coming Elizabeth!

I was so not expecting that. Of course, she thought it was hilarious! I don’t think I ever closed an eye to her possible antics again, which means she has got me many times since. I blame her Dad! *Sonny, it’s your trickster genes, they come from your Muda!*

On Halloween, my hats off to you Sydney. Your first Halloween? A sweet little lamb – Treat. To the “grown” version, at five, that decides to scare the beegeebers out of Mama – Trick. And all the princess Halloweens to dead zombie cheerleader ones later, I remember them all fondly. What a time we had.

They grow up so fast, hang on to these times, the tricks and the treats.

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