Saturday, February 28, 2009

Footnote on the Appendix

It is out. She is home. There's a story (of course there is!) but I am too exhausted to tell it. HeloMom will fill you in soon...Princess is recovering nicely and will be fine, and Athlete is my new adopted son. :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stayin' Alive

I know it's been a bit light of late, but never fear...just checking in with a few quick items/deep thoughts:

1. I miss the Beloved. A lot. Not just for his Boy wrangling and missing keys/gloves/sunglasses/shoe finding skills, although those are both legendary and necessary. He is by far the better half of this relationship.

[I am currently missing one each of my blue and brown Birk clogs. Anyone have any ideas?]

2. I adore the Princess-Athlete couple. They are so darling together, they are very comfy and companionable, and they're nigh inseparable...but they maintain the "just very good friends" pretense at school. This annoys me. I shouldn't really care so long as they are happy, but it really bugs me. And it comes from my child and her hypersensitivity about what others think. WHO CARES?!? But she's only 15, so it matters to her. A lot.

3. Speaking of the Princess, we spent yesterday and today running between the doc and the hospital ruling out appendicitis. The Athlete heard she'd left school complaining of right-side abdominal pain and was at the hospital within 5 minutes of hearing she'd been sent there. He said not a word, but came in and sat at her side, holding her hand (kissed it a few times, too) as we waited for blood draws and abdominal scans.

4. Why am I always so busy if I am supposed to be a stay at home mom now? WTF[rig]*? I didn't even have a chance to go to Mass today. I think I may safely say that the Boy took care of things and anointed me one point, I looked in the mirror and realized I had yogurt smeared on my forehead and in my hair.

5. I've decided to give up sugar for Lent. Splenda is fine for the tea and coffee, but I'm already feeling like a feral animal getting ready to prowl the aisles of the local convenience store and fell a few Snickers bars under the pretense of going there to grab a gallon of milk. (Me = lioness; Snickers = unfortunate wayward gazelle)

6. * In addition to sugar, I promised our little Therese I'd be better about cussing. Between that and no sugar...$%^&*(^%^&*!!!

7. I have a chest cold on top of everything else. Mucinex, I love you.

That is all.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Here we go...

Lent is around the corner and I just got off the scale.


I bake when I'm worried or sad, plus I've been feeding an extra large male child all week (break week around here), so I have been very very bad this past week.

Guess I know what I'll be foregoing this year...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Send in the Clowns...

...or perhaps I should say the ACLU is on alert. North Dakota legislators got it right!

Human embyros have human status. For now. We shall see if the bill clears their Senate.Way to go, ladies and gents.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Novel idea...

If you want to portray your religion as "one of peace" well...this might not be the best way to go about it.

Prominent Orchard Park Man Beheads Wife

Just sayin'.

Happy Birthday Princess!!!

Back in 1994, after 36 ridiculous hours of induced labor, our eldest was reluctantly born. (She was quite comfy where she was, thank you.) And as I type this, the little weasel is passed out, snuggled beneath the covers in the Beloved's now-vacant spot, having wanted to spend the night and wake up next to me in the morning "so you're the first person I look at, just like when I was born!"


This is true - she was a bit blue and sluggish at first, but when I asked through my morphine daze if she was okay a few minutes after she finally emerged and had been whisked away for assessment and Apgar scoring, she turned her head toward me from the incubator and finally opened her eyes and started making squeaky sounds.

[Again with the sniff...]

Now I am looking over at a beautiful young lady - a quincinera today - sound asleep in body at the moment, but just awakening to all the potential of her womanhood. So much promise, yet so fragile, too. I am more conscious than ever of the huge responsibility I bear to ensure that her mind, body and soul remain pure and intact as we navigate these treacherous worldly peaks, valleys, and waters of the next few years.

Thanks be to God for this beautiful gift He's given us, and please pray for her as well as for her parents, that we may be virtuous and courageous stewards of her soul for as long as she's ours to nurture.
Princess facts: the portrait above is Empress Elisabeth of Austria, (a.k.a., Elisabeth of Bavaria, Queen of Hungary, or, more simply, Princess Sissi) the icon of fashionable European royalty back in the 1800's...a suitably beautiful yet tragic life story (oh those Hapsburgs...), and a source of fascination for our own Princess. This portrait inspired the Christine Daae "Think of Me" costume in the 2004 Phantom of the Opera movie:

We have a pact that when she marries, I will find or commission a set of those fabulous Swarovsky crystal hairpins to be made for her coiffure...

Ahh, to be a princess....

Happy Birthday, sweetheart!

Quick prayer request

Got some more questions from/did another round of apologetics via txt with the Athlete this evening...doing my best...cows beware....

Sunday, February 15, 2009

HeloMom Dispatch #21 - Hearts Afire

Happy Valentine's Day - or the morning after, anyway.

And once again, the romance continues...

After another derriere-numbing, all-day wrestling tournament [Aside: he only won matches when she was wearing his warm-up jacket for good luck...hmmmm...looks like we won't have wardrobe selection issues at Sectionals next week....] the young non-couple [snort] exchanged gifts last night. His: a dozen roses and a stuffed puppy -- we refer him as such due to his oversizedness and not-quite-grown-into-his-puppy-paws-edness. Her gift to him:'s true. She got him one as a joke. In blue. They've sat countless hours in our living room mocking the tv commercials, and our favorite Athlete has repeatedly sworn he'd never ever wear one, not even if his life depended on it. Naturally, the Princess took this as a challenge. She squirted it with her aptly-named Princess perfume, which he loves. So after he was done laughing, he relented, slipped it on, and inhaled deeply. Just then, I hopped out from the dining room with my little Flip Mino rolling and captured the evidence on film. (Thanks again for the product rec, Digi!) ;-) In all fairness, apparently it was rather comfy and actually is long enough to make it all the way down to his ankles, which was shocking. We have since learned that he slept in it after he went home last night.

As a further testament to his admiration for the Princess, the poor kid spent Valentine's Day evening here watching the threatened chick flick of choice: Steel Magnolias. He was so wiped out from his tournament that he never got to see his man movie (Tombstone), and so whether from exhaustion or out of anti-estrogen self-defense, he slumped over and passed out on the couch with his little friend at his side and secure in his arms about 15 minutes into the first movie. We had to wake him up and send him home at midnight. He called his mom to let her know he was on the way, and called me as soon as he got home, unasked, to assure us that he'd arrived home safely. Good kid.

He is coming back over tonight to cash in his man movie raincheck and devour a few pizzas now that he doesn't have to worry about weighing in for a week. As one of my colleagues (a former farm girl) put it after seeing their Dance photos:

"As his future mother in law, you're either gonna have to start grocery shopping at Sav-A-Lot or learn how to slaughter and butcher your own cows...he's huh-yooooooge!"

Well, I have no such audacious hopes in the matrimonial department, but I do know that the Prom is in June, and the Princess has selected her dress, which arrived on Friday. That's a story for another day...I have a book on cow killin' to read. Just in case.

Helo Mom out.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Note to the USCCB...

...NO MEANS NO!!! Manifestly pro-abort so-called Catholic politicians are not entitled to receive Holy Communion. Individual Bishops don't get to make the call.

No more questions.

And to think, many of those same USCCB member-weasels are b**ching about the SSPX'ers being brought back into the fold...the same SSPX'ers who were cast out because their Bishop took matters into his own hands and would not obey a directive from the Vatican.

Pot, meet kettle.

It would be extremely entertaining to see some excommunications handed out to a few of our domestic Bishops for their refusal to comply on this and several other issues...

[...eyes rolling to the north-northwest...]

Graphic h/t: Cavey (Joe & Larry, too)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Totally Self-Indulgent Monday

Today I did something I haven't in [...pondering...] many years. I sat helping the Beloved pack his gear for his new-job required trip back into the periphery of hell (aka, somewhere in the Middle East) and then...

...I sprawled out on my bed, spread eagled, stared at the ceiling...and cried. No bawling, no sobbing, nothing unseemly or overwrought. Just unstoppable, silent leakage.


Well, it just hit me that there's a wee Boy who, at nearly two, still doesn't talk much. I wondered what will be going on in his clearly busy little brain when he realizes Daddy is not here after tomorrow.

Every day when the girls get home from school and he hears the side-door open, he flings his toys down and flies over to see who's there. He's always happy to see the girls, but the sun cannot blaze any brighter in the sky than the goofy 8-fanged grin that he sports when Daddy's home. It is always accompanied by a belly-laugh and almost always a special man-cub growl...("It's Daddy! Party time....let's get ready to ru-u-u-u-m-m-m-mble!") "Mamm-mmma!" gets a special love-grin and a giggle that's all my own, and I love it. But I wonder how long it will be until I hear the Daddy laugh again, or if he will still do it the same way when the Beloved comes back home. And I don't know the answer to either question. Nor do I know how to navigate the recesses of the non-verbal toddler mind to answer the clearly present but unspoken questions that I will inevitably see etched on his beautiful little face when it's "just" Mommy or a siss-s-s-s-s-eee coming through that door.

A sad and pensive stretch ahead here in our corner of the middle of nowhere, I fear.

Please keep the Beloved, his mission abroad, and ours here at home in your prayers.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

HeloMom Dispatch #20 - Still a Princess

Off to Mass in a bit, so we'll keep it brief.

They managed to have a good time - they only did the slow dances due to the ankle, and she danced with her dateless girlie friends for the fast ones...and he had her home ten minutes after the dance ended. :)

She was nominated to be the "queen" of the ball, but did not win. Quoth the Athlete:

Who cares? You're the queen of my heart, Princess.

Friday, February 6, 2009

HeloMom Dispatch #19....Dance of Death?

(See below for update!)
Now, for starters, let Helo Mom 'splain.

Dance of Death is actually a 3-person play written by this dude to the left...a Swedish playwright who suffered from severe bouts of paranoia, schizophrenia, and manic depression. So he wrote this rather dark, scary play about a couple who hate one another celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary - it's a military officer and his wife, stuck alone in a stone garrison/lighthouse on an offshore island somewhere in a presumably frigid northern sea, fjord, whatever. The Beloved and I saw it in the West End back in 2003, with Ian McKellan and Frances de la Tour (Madame Maxime for all you Harry Potter IV fans), celebrating our tenth anniversary. Layers of irony there...

Ok, I'll sum up. The Big Dance is tomorrow night. This is the first really public "outing" for Athlete and Princess. A few of their closest friends have known of their association for some time, but within the past few days, the news leaked to her little pack of rivals, none of whom have dates, and all of whom are tormenting her, name-calling, the works. They plan to go "stag" to the dance. And what will a knot of little snotrags have better to do when they get there than to sit on the sidelines and pick away?

On the other side, she is getting smirked and wolf-whistled-at in the hallways and in the cafeteria by the snarkier older boys, who have decided she must be...ahem..."precocious" in some way (which is rather odd, because they pick on the Athlete for his comparative innocence and pure lifestyle) and so a few of the nastier ones are asking her for her number, asking her to dance with them tomorrow night, etc., all of which mortifies her. She's in full-on distress and wishing she could stay home...after nearly 2 months of planning, shopping, and looking forward to her first formal dance.

AND THEN....there's this. Last night was the second time in three months that they did not speak on the phone. He had a match and did not call afterwards. Even if he does not do well, it is very unlike him not to report in. So this morning I get the following text [purified English added]:

Don't tell [Princess] but I'm going in for xrays this morning. My ankle got torn up last night. I'll let you know what I find out.

Oh dear....

Well, I now know that it is a high sprain, he's in an air cast, and is refusing to use crutches - manly man thing and all that. The news will arrive at school in a limping 6'5" package within the hour, and she will freak out. Our Princess is an inwardly compassionate but outwardly fierce and protective little nurse. She will interrogate, chide, give squinty-eyed reprimands from across the gym, and otherwise will make him suffer far worse than his ankle will, I fear.

Can this dance possibly go well?!?

HeloMom is going to the likker store this afternoon.

More to follow....

UPDATE: I can hardly type, I'm laughing so a distress text from the Wounded Warrior:

Him: Help! She's yelling at me!

Me: I'd say "RUN FORREST RUN" but, well, y'know...

Him: She shunned me & tried to get away by using the stairs

Me: Uh oh, what did you do?

Him: Thanked God for crowded stairs and my elevator pass and met her at the top of the stairs and limped her to her next class...

Honestly, how can a HeloMom (or her faithful readers) NOT love this kid?!?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Helo Mom Dispatch #18 - Chick Flick Pick

The still "unofficial" youngsters [the non-couple that spends every spare moment together in person, texting, or on the phone] are currently in negotiations for Valentine's Day plans.

Athlete would like to take Princess to dine at any restaurant she chooses. She would rather not do this because: 1) she is not allowed to date "Duh, mom, a dinner date is a date!"; 2) she is not allowed to go in a car with a boy unless and until she is old enough to drive herself home [NB: we have offered to relax the transportation rules where the Athlete is concerned because, well, he's uniquely trustworthy...within reason. Read on....]; and 3) that's too "public" for her - they are keeping the extent of their association to themselves and away from the prying eyes and inappropriate comments and innuendoes of their respective senior and freshmen classmates. [How they will manage this after the Big Dance this weekend is anyone's guess, but we'll get to that later...]

So she has suggested that they "order in" and have a private night together, watching romantic movies here at our house. Both sides appealed to me for my input and ultimate verdict - I think it's a splendid plan. Parents, little sister, curious baby, love-seeking dogs and Jack the Lap-cat will all be there to make sure they behave themselves. Athlete wanted to know if there could be an even split - a guy movie and a chick flick. We are working on this, but in the meantime, Princess has been trying to persuade him to watch Pride and Prejudice with her. He was groaning about it, but ready to give in, so I asked (jokingly): "Which one? The 5-hour BBC version or the 2-hour Keira Knightley one?"

Him [suddenly perky]: "There's a 5-hour one?"

Me [somewhat bemused]: "Yeeaahhh...why? Is that a good thing?"

Him [with a decidedly cheeky grin]: "Hmmmm...let's see. I have a choice between spending two or five hours curled up on the couch with your daughter on Valentine's Day. Which one do you think I'm gonna pick?!?"

Helo Mom curses herself for being slow on the uptake, yet cannot help but laugh - this kid is quick on his size 16 feet, and just too darn cute for his own good.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

For Clamuck...

Back off Brangelina and Bennifer....

Now, I've only seen one photo, but this guy bears something of a resemblance to the Canuck.

This is hifreakinlarious, but not for the young'uns to see.

Prayers for the parish family... Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, which was devastated by fire earlier today. It's a grand old place - went to Mass there on special occasions and weekend treks into the city when I was young. Hate to see news like this.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

St. Blaise, pray for us!

Mother's Log:

Star Date January 14, 2009: Little Therese arrives home complaining of a sore throat. Head cold for the next 4 days, moving into chest for another week thereafter.
January 16, 2009: Baby wakes up. Snot factory opens for business. Side note, Mom also discovers that all four Baby canine teeth are attempting to erupt at once. Baby and Therese taken to pediatrician to ensure ears and throats are clear, as letter detailing strep outbreak at Therese's school arrives in early afternoon mail. Cultures are clear.
January 20, 2009: Mother/Professor lets evening students go home after first hour of three hour class due to aching legs, fever, lightheadedness, and feelings of dread. No, not inaugurational malaise. 48 hours of flu, at least a gallon of tea, and only a few hours of vertical time ensue.
January 23, 2009: Just as Mother begins to feel human again, still-slimy Baby sends out rare 3 am distress call. Fever = 103* in both ears using Thermoscan. At 10 am, pediatrician discovers bilateral ear infection. At 6 pm, Beloved announces that he will not be joining us for the evening basketball game against the crosstown rivals, as he will be in bed for the next 48 hours under the electric blanket, attempting to hang onto his mortal coil, but pondering eternity and the state of his soul...just in case.
January 24, 2009: Princess awakens early for a grueling day of pre-competition practice, appears at the side of my bed holding her throat, weeping gently, and cursing us all for breathing on her. Exam week involves aforementioned snow day atrocity, skyrocketing stress level, and deteriorating physical health.
January 29, 2009: Princess arrives home from cheer practice complaining of achiness and abdominal pain.
January 30, 2009: Mother spends 3rd straight Friday at the doctor's office, this time with Princess. Ears are sore but clear, glands are swollen, throat looks suspicious. Strep, blood, and mononucleosis tests are indicated, as Princess also has tender area on left side, to close where spleen is located. Meltdown begins, as cheer competition is the next morning. As test results will not be back until Monday, and are only precautionary and more to "rule out" than to confirm, Doctor agrees that so long as she does not get worse, Princess may compete, given that she is not going to be thrown in the air, nor is she catching anyone who is so thrown.
January 31, 2009: Princess awakens on day of competition sounding like 75 y/o chain smoker. Mucinex, Motrin, and DayQuil are stuffed into cheer bag at 7 am before bus leaves for cheer competition. Princess and crew WIN their divisional cheerleading title for the squad's first time in several years! Despite psychological benefits of win, Princess arrives home and sleeps for the next 15 hours. Miasma in lungs thickens, voice disappears. Mucinex is administered and affords relief, but she is down for the count.
February 1, 2009: Despite dire warnings to stay away, Athlete comes over check on Princess at Superbowl halftime. Proceeds to become happy human pillow for second time while Princess slumbers on couch, and marvels aloud that he never thought he'd put girls before football, but a guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do. Beloved's narrowed eyes relax for a brief second of shared mirth before returning to sniper-like focus darting between tv and adjoining couch. No untoward contact is observed or attempted.
February 2, 2009: Call from Sheepish Athlete. Embittered (and apparently hoodwinked) physician father of Athlete demands to know if mono results are back for Princess. Track season starts in a few weeks, and the team needs its captain, who is in his senior year and will be disqualified if he has mono, which upsets physician father far more than it does Athlete son, who is philosophical and reveals that the true risk of exposure would have occurred the day before, when he - ahem - "congratulated" the victorious Princess ("right there in the gym in front of onlookers!") after the competition. (Beloved and I must have missed that....)
Message immediately put in to Princess' doctor's office. Late in the day, results are back. All clear. Intel reports that embittered physician father of Athlete is relieved. Not as much as attorney professor full time Mother, whose Beloved will be deploying in a week for a stint somewhere in the Middle East as part of the new job.
February 3, 2009: Mother has been coughing all night. The Princess Plague, perhaps? Can this really be happening? The Circle of Germs. The Wheel of Misfortune. And I'm teaching tonight...

No way I can make it to daily Mass, so St. Blaise, I'm crossing my throat as well as my fingers, and I'm counting on you from here at home...pray for us!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Born Again American

Someone sent this video to me and I thought I'd share...