Monday, March 31, 2008

Circus Circus part 5: CONSEQUENCES

If you just logged on go back and read parts 1-4.

Okay. Thanks for all the encouragement in your comments. However, if you think I was proud of myself you're saddly mistaken. I felt horrible. My sweet baby only needs a few things in life and I just threw out one of the most important to him. I do have a heart and at that moment it was breaking for him. However, I am also a person who makes a decision because it's right and not because it's feels good. And compassion in me has a limit.

So, I let him cry. I carried him as he continued to cry and wipe his nose on my shoulder and drop Teddy and drag blanket and cry and cry and cry. He doesn't mention the word "pi" but he doesn't have to. His crying is sufficient. Every once in a while Mom, Aunt Judy and Uncle John look back to check on us. They too now have sad eyes and are a little worried for us both. They've been where I am, they understand that even if it's best, it's still difficult. Mom offers to carry Colin for me. I decline. I created this mess, I'll clean it up. Thanks anyway.

This compassion went on for the time it took us to walk all the way through the parking structure and into the beginnings of the Casino. Colin weighs 42 pounds and he's 3 1/2 feet tall. This is not a baby here. And although I have some strength, I am tired, my back hurts, I'm hungry, and I have nothing left to give. I tell Colin he's going to have to walk. He refuses. Who can blame him. He's still crying. I say, "Colin. Stop crying. There's nothing we can do about the pi now. So stop crying." He continues to cry. We're now into the Casino, people are in every direction. It's bright, it's noisy, it reeks of cigarette smoke, and the all too familiar sound of ding ding ding ding from the slots is pounding in my head. Colin is still crying. He's getting heavier. I'm trying to keep up with the others. Don't want to get lost in this place, hoping Uncle John knows where he's going. Keeping my eyes on Mom's heels and plowing on. Ding ding ding ding, cry cry cry, smoke, noise, lights, cry cry cry, ding ding ding, cry cry cry....Finally, this momma loses her cool.

I set Colin down in the middle of the walk way in Harrahs Casino. All around are people, noise, lights, smoke, etc. But it was weird because as I focused on Colin and only Colin, the rest became a blur. I got down on my knees (no I did not pray - should've but no), I look at Colin eye to eye. I say, "Colin, this is enough. Stop crying right now. It's enough." Colin cries more and wants to be held. I look at him again. I say, "Colin, I'm serious. Stop crying right now or I'll throw Teddy and the Blanket in the trash." pause....Colin literally sucks it up. Crying stops. He stares at me. I say, "Can you walk please?" "Okay. But will you carry Teddy and my blanket?" "Gladly." He takes my hand and we follow Mom who's following Aunt Judy who's following Uncle John and we make it through the Casino in one piece. Remarkable. I'm reeling at what just happened. I'm stunned! I can't believe that this is the end of it. Really? That's it? We're done?


We get outside. The entrance to McDs is upstairs. Colin is tired by now of walking. I pick him up to get him up the stairs. We get in line. I order for Colin and myself and Katreena. Mom talks Colin into going with her to find a seat. I pay and get drinks. I've ordered Colin a milk. I give it to Mom who gets a straw and opens it for Colin. He's parched. He drinks his milk. The food gets done. There's some mess up with it, it's not all there, they have to figure that out. I wait. Colin is with the group at a table. I get catchup and napkins and wait. Finally, it's all there. I take it to the table. Colin wants to sit in my lap. He's finished his milk. I ask if he wants to eat something. He shakes his head no. He puts in his head on my chest and within seconds is fast asleep. The reprieve was desperate and we all took a deep breath glad to be through that. The rest of the meal was pleasant. We ate, talked, laughed, rested. Then it was time to go. Calculating the walk back with a sleeping child started to make me fret. Uncle John offered to carry him but I knew if Colin woke up in Uncle John's arms in the middle of Harrahs, he would be scared and we would in trouble. I said, "I can carry him if you guys will carry Teddy, the blanket and my purse. Everyone agreed to haul something. We start out. We get back down the stairs and Colin wakes up. He's alert, rested, and not going back to sleep. I try to get him to walk. He refuses. I don't press it. I carry him. But he's much easier to carry awake than asleep. We move on.

On the way, Colin says, "Mommy, remember when you threw my pi in the trash?" "Yes. I remember. Do you remember why I threw your pi in the trash?" Silence. "I threw your pi in the trash because you were acting ugly and bad behavior has consequences." "Mommy, can you get my pi out of the trash?" "Nope, the trash-man took it away. It's gone. Gone forever." Silence. "Can the trash-man bring it back?" "I don't think so. I think that once a trash-man takes the trash it's gone." "Mommy, do you have another pi?" "Nope. I only brought one. Sorry." Now this was a lie. I never leave home wihtout a pi and I also never leave home without a back-up. I not only had another. I had two. This is when the conversation with myself started.
"Do I give him another pi?"
"Are you crazy? Absolutely not!"
"But, my behavior was a little irrational."
"So. You can't go back now. You know how you hate that thing. It's time."
"You're right. It's time. No since in going back."
"Oh, you'll not only be going back but you'll have lost all respect."
"You're right. But when JD hears this story, he's not gonna be happy."
"It doesn't matter. He wasn't here. He's just gong to have to support you."
"Maybe I won't tell him."
"Yeah right! You won't have to. Colin will tell him for you."
"Oh, Lord have mercy. I've got to tell him first."
"No more pi!"
"No more pi!"

We finally arrive at the hotel. I set Colin down. I tell him it's time to get into his PJs. He and Katreena can lay in the bed and watch TV until night-night time and then we'll go to bed on the pull-out later. He complies. As I'm getting him dressed he asks again. "Mom, do you have another pi?" "No son, I only brought the one." "But can you look in your bag, maybe you forgot about one." "I don't have one." "Can we call the trash-man to bring it back?" "I don't know. Maybe you can write him a letter." "If I write a letter, will he bring it back?" "I don't know." Then with his BIG BLUE eyes flooded with tears he says to me, "Mommy, I miss my pi." The grief was palpable and my heart just broke for him. I gathered him up realizing that what he needed most was what his pi gave him and that was comfort. It occurred to me at that moment that I must replace his pi and offer comfort as much as I can without going back on what we had just accomplished. I was willing to do this. I held him tightly. I told him again I was sorry for his loss and I really meant it. I told him it would be okay. He recovered and crawled in bed with Katreena to watch something on TV. I retired to the kitchen table with Mom, Aunt Judy and Uncle John. All were on my side and agreed that this was best. I told them, this was all good and fine until JD heard about this story and then I was going to be in serious trouble. be continued.

Circus Circus part 4: MEAN WHAT YOU SAY

I know this is going to sound redundant but if you're just tuning in, please go back and read part 1-3. All the victims in this story need a fair shake. If you start here....well, it's just not fair.

"Mommy, will you look in your purse for my Pi?" I stop. I look at him. I'm pretty sure there is fire coming out my ears and my eyes are that ugly devil red color and I look like a crazy person. Because I stop, the rest of the family also stops. They turn to watch, to glare, to wonder, to sympathize even? I've tried several approaches with Colin at this point regarding my tone and my delivery to no avail. So I do the thing. You know, the thing where you clench your teeth and talk at the same time because if you don't it will be at a decibel level that will get you arrested. I squat down (easy to do - hard to get up). I look Colin in the eyes with clenched teeth and a broken back from the last straw placed ever so cautiously and I seethe, "If you ask me for your pi one more time before we get back to the hotel, I'm going to throw it in the trash and it will gone FOREVER! Forever! Do you understand what that means? NO MORE PI!!" I get up and begin to walk. We walk about four steps. Just enough for us to catch up with the family.

Ever so softly Colin says, "Mommy?" I turn to look at him. Then he wails with the conviction of Moses to Pharo when he demands, "Let my people go!", "I WANT MY PI". This is it folks. This is where the rubber meets the road. At this moment my child will forever have power over me or I will alter the course of the day-long war and remind him that I'm the mamma and he is NOT! In the corner of my eye I see a trash can in the bowels of sin city. Divine or by the Devil it was there. I take Colin by the hand without talking. I get him 1 foot from a trash can that has an attached lid. I take my purse off my shoulder, I dig for the pi, I hold it in front of the trash can and I say, again with clenched teeth, "LAST CHANCE BUDDY. I'm all done. If you mention the pi again, I promise, hear my words, I promise I will throw it in the trash and it will gone forever." Colin is silent. Colin is thinking. Colin says, "Can I have my pi now?" Seriously!? I look at him with shock. I unclench my teeth, a take a deep breath knowing this is about to alter the course of our lives, and that I will pay for this for many many days to come. But it is time to say what you mean, mean what you say and follow through even if it's the meanest thing you've ever done. I lift the lid of the trash can and I drop in the most precious thing my son owns. And I say, "Bye-Bye Pi."

How do I put this? Colin literately melted in front of me. His protest and crying up 'til now had just been a warm up. He began to cry (wail) like I've not heard in a long time. True pain coming from his lungs. "My PI....I want my Pi...Mommy get my Pi....I want my pi....etc." Finally, by the grace of God, compassion overcomes me. I handed Mom my purse. I picked up my son and I held him as he grieved for his pi. I said calmly, quietly and with a tone to let him know this was done, "I'm sorry buddy. But bad behavior will not get you what you want and I told you what was going to happen and now pi is gone." I carried him as he cried. I watched him come to the understanding that his precious pi was gone. I felt him whimper in my arms and I couldn't believe that he still liked or needed me. He continued to cry as we went through the parking structure. He stopped asking for his pi. be continued

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Circus Circus part 3: THE BOWELS OF SIN CITY

Okay, I'm honored to have such a fan base hanging on my every word. Who knew? Again, if you're just reading, PLEASE go back and read parts 1 and 2 or you will think I'm the worst mother in all the world and will be just shy of calling the police.

Let me set the scene for you once again. Try to imagine this. Try to see and FEEL what's happening here. If you're a mother, you're going to be able to get close. If you're a teacher, you'll be able to imagine your worst day on the job. If you're a father, you'll be wondering how we're all still alive and not in jail. ...okay, that last part might be a little much but you'll understand why that's my perspective in just a minute....provided I get that far tonight.

We are in an OLD Condo unit. Not gross but old. It's obvious why they're going to implode in the next year. We are located one block off of Flamingo and one block east of the strip. Harrahs sits on the strip, we're right behind it. Matt is the only one who will know exactly where we are. There are several units with eight condos per unit. There are four condos on the first floor and four on the second floor that share a courtyard with a pool. Inside the condo there are two bathrooms, two bedrooms, a living room and small kitchen. We're on the first floor. The couch in the living room folds out into a queen bed. This is mine and Colin's future bed for the night. The carpet is so not clean that if you walk around in sock feet, the socks turn black. There's a tear in the couch and things need to be updated in the worst way. If this were the condition of a house in CA, it would be on the show, "Flip That House".

So with that in mind you can understand why Colin is feeling incredibly insecure. He's just gotten in trouble by a lady he doesn't know with a tone that he rarely hears. BTW Kristi, you would consider a run in with me a joy-ride in comparison. He is asking for his Pi. "Mommy, do you have my pi?" "Yes, but I'm not going to give that to you right now. We'll have it at bed time." "Is it bed time?" "No, we're going to go eat first." "But I'm not hungry." "I'm hungry and I know you're hungry. You can have the pi when we get back."

At this point Uncle John doesn't understand why he keeps asking for a pie. I explain that it isn't pie, it's Pi and that's what he calls his pacifier. So he proceeds to try to rationalize with Colin. He holds up one finger and says if you're this old you can have a pi. He holds up two fingers and says, if you're this old you can still have one but that's not really a good idea. But when you're three, holding up three fingers, you don't need one. You're a big boy. Only babies have a pacifier. Colin listens, with his brow wrinkled and holds on tighter to his Teddy and blanket. When Uncle John finishes with his speech Colin turns to me and says, "Mommy, can I have my Pi....PLEASE!" This is when I should've given in. But I'm embarrassed by this speech. I'm somewhat motivated by this speech and after the morning I'd had, I wasn't about to give in again. I said, "No. We're going to eat and you can have your pi when we get back. Now, I'm going to give you Colin's response. Imagine a record stuck on the same phrase that will not stop. "I want my Piiiii. I want my Piiiii. I want my Piiii. I want my Piiii." I decide my plan of attack for the Pi at this moment was to ignore him.

Need I emphasize how tired and hungry we are? I should think not. As Colin continues his unending song about wanting his Pi we try to come up with the best way to get to McDs. McDs is just north of Harrahs on the strip. We could drive but we'd have to find a place to park, we don't all fit into one car so we would have to find two places to park. No one would consider staying home as we've just gotten together and we would like to visit. So we will have to walk. The shortest distance is through the enormous parking structure and then through the back doors of Harrahs all the way through the Casino out the front doors of Harrahs. We have a 5-year-old and a 3-year-old. Going THROUGH sounds like a terrible idea. Walking AROUND in the dark sounds like an even worse idea. We decide to go through. We get ready to head out. Mom, Aunt Judy, Uncle John and Katreena are around the door and hanging in the courtyard as I get Colin to comply with the plan.

"I want my Piiii." "Colin, stop now! You can have your pi when we get back. We are going and I need you to leave the blanket and teddy here because we're walking and I don't want you to lose them or get them dirty." Go ahead....laugh....seriously, laugh. AS IF! As if not having pi was bad enough now he's been told he can't take the other two things and oh yeah, we're walking. He then latches on to those things as well as the pi. It's all I can do to not start to cry with him. The rest of the family is being patient but I can feel their eyes burning into me. I can hear their words. "Why doesn't she just paddle his behind? I can't believe she puts up with that. etc." I know they are not saying or thinking this but it FEELS like they are and I can't say that I wouldn't have thought it.

And so it continues...."But I want to take my blanket and teddy." "No, leave them here because we're walking." "Can I have my Pi?" "No." "I don't want to walk. Let's take the car." "We can't take the car because there's no place to park it." "Can I have my Pi?" "No." "I don't want to walk." "We don't have a choice." "I don't want to go." "We need to eat something." "Can I have my Pi?" "NO!" "PLEASE can I take my blanket and Teddy?" "NO!" "I want my Piiiiiii." "NO!" "Please Mommy.....pleeeaaasseee." "If I let you take the blanket and Teddy will you stop asking about the PI?" Crying, "Ooookkaayyy." pause...."Fine, take them but you're on your own and you'll have to carry them yourself." We exit the building.

Here's the line up....Uncle John leading the way followed by Aunt Judy followed by Mom holding hands with Katreena followed by me with Colin lagging in the back trying to keep his blanket from dragging the ground and holding onto Teddy at the same time. Truly, it's pathetic. We're both pathetic. We should be in bed. We should be asleep. We should be anywhere but walking though the parking structure of Harrahs in Las Vegas on a Friday night at 8:30 with two small children. We are in the bowels of Sin City with two innocent children, one whose being dragged along against his will, being treated just slightly better than a tortured prisoner.

We get about 100 yards and Colin says, "Mommy, will you look in your purse for my pi?"....

Before I tell you what I did, tell me what you would've done. Don't forget the condition you're in or circumstances. If you were me, what would you have done? Honestly! be continued.

Circus Circus part 2: THE ARRIVAL

If you're just tuning in, I encourage you to read part 1.

For those of you who are with me, welcome back. First of all, I hate to disappoint you all who thought Teddy got left behind. He didn't. He was always in Colin's grasp. It's just that that didn't seem like a major point considering what a big deal it was letting him have his Pi all the way there. See, we had finally gotten back to bedtime Pi only, well mostly. So I knew up front that letting him have his Pi out of the bed was going to be something I would pay for later. But so as to not completely disappoint you, Teddy did go through his own traumatic experience that I'll get to later.

So, we got on the road. It turned out to be a very uneventful trip, THANK GOODNESS. We rolled into Vegas around 3PM. Four hours on the dot with one pee stop. We didn't stop to eat but snacked plenty and It was perfect. Colin did great with his movies. I listened to my iPod w/ one ear out so I could hear the world. We didn't have any traffic. Traveled along at 75 mph most of the way.

What I did notice as we went along is that the closer we got to Vegas, the more people started to drive with a google-eyed I'm gonna win, get laid, get drunk, see T&A, shop, win, win, win kind of crap. It was amazing. All of a sudden, 75 mph was turtle speed and I was causing havoc trying to just go the speed limit. I wanted to tell them all that the little saying "What happens in Vegas..." isn't true and what happens just happens and yes, it will leave Vegas and everyone you think you'll never tell, will find out and if you're really planning to screw up your life, you should've just stayed home to do that. It would be a lot cheaper. But I didn't think anyone would listen and who am I to say what will and won't screw up your life?

So we arrive at the Condos. The Condo belongs to my Aunt and Uncle and we're going to stay with them for the weekend. I call Mom and she and my Aunt Judy and Uncle John had just finished eating the buffet at the Bellagio. Let's just say that when you eat any buffet, you're really full. But the Bellagio buffet is something you'll never forget. It gives new definition to gluttony and your eyes are ever bigger than your stomach. This little point is something I need you to remember as we get closer to "dinner time." Mom, Katreena, John and Judy are on their way back to the condo and will be there soon. She encouraged me to go ahead and "check in" and they were expecting us and would have a key for us.

So, Colin and I pull up to the front and park. I talk Colin into giving up his Pi as we go in to register. This was no easy task as he had now been sucking on it for around 6 hours except for when he was eating a snack. But just like any addiction, it tasted better than food so he hadn't eaten much. We went in. He charmed the women at the counter. We peed. We figured out where to go to get in the room. As we got back in the car, Colin immediately put his pi back in his mouth. I thought to myself, "I've got to confiscate that thing or I'm in so much trouble." And call it whatever you want, I did not want to hear what my mother, my aunt or my uncle would have to say to me if when the first time they see him he says hello with a dangling pi. So as we pull up to the parking space, Uncle John pulls in right behind me. I get out and start to let Colin out. I gently talk him out of the pi so he could go play with Katreena. "You don't need your pi right now. Let's just save it for night-night time." Gratefully, he said, "Okay, Mom.", and handed it over. I put it in my purse. Tiny little miracle. God was being gracious. He knew what was coming. The war was still brewing, stirring, gathering strength. It was far from over.

We got settled and it was a beautiful sunny afternoon in Vegas and it seemed like a good idea to go swimming. Aunt Judy and Uncle John had to leave the reunion a day early so they decided to go visit some people instead and Mom and Katreena stayed with us. The four of us went swimming. It was a great time. They had a great pool and a hot tub and we spent a lot of time in both. Around 6PM, we decided it was probably time to go in, get cleaned up and get some dinner. Remember, Colin and I are the only ones hungry but still, we needed to eat something.

We get the kids back to the room, give Colin and Katreena a bath. Colin was willing to take a bath but didn't want to wash his hair and if you think I was going to go through the morning scenario again, you're crazy. I was content to not wash his hair for the next three days. Got them out, got them dressed. Then it was my turn to get cleaned up. Around then Aunt Judy and Uncle John came back. I ask if they're hungry. No. No one is hungry but Colin and me. Okay. Let me get cleaned up and we'll make a plan. Now, Mom never goes anywhere without her own food if she can so she had a few things to choose from but I knew that Colin was going to eat only two things: a quesadilla or McDs. There was nothing to make a quesadilla so we agreed that we would walk to the McDs. on the strip. At this point, I'm still in a wet swimsuit. Because of the late hour, I decide to forgo a shower and just change clothes. While I'm talking to the adults, Colin has found his Teddy and blanket. He looks tired and would be content to just go to bed with some milk. But we had made the plan to go eat and I was sticking to the plan.

I go into the bathroom, shut the door, lock the door. (I don't ever lock a door around Colin). I could hear him asking for me. I hear mom say, "She's in the bathroom. She'll be out in just a minute." Colin is not okay with this. He begins to open the door. It's locked. He freaks out. Now, this is an old condo. In fact they're going to implode the whole thing and build again down the street a block because the Harrah Casino / Hotel wants the property for a parking lot. So when Colin pulls the door, it moves but doesn't open. He's yelling for me. I'm yelling back, "Just a minute. I'll be out in a minute." "Mommy...let me in!" "Just a minute Colin." "Let me in!" pull pull pull pull, bang, bang, bang. And then I hear Aunt Judy's voice. Little note about Anut Judy. You don't mess with Aunt Judy. You don't cross her. You do what you're told. It's not up for negotiation or discussion. This is the Aunt Judy I grew up with and this is the voice I'm hearing now. "You stop that right now! STOP pulling on that door. Your mommy will be out in just a minute." "Mommy....let me in!!!" "Stop that, I said. Stop that right now!" moment...."Now, you just sit there until your mommy gets out."

I open the door with caution. Not sure what just happened other than my son was in trouble with Aunt Judy and rightfully so. He was sitting in a chair with his Teddy and his blanket crying and asking for his Pi. Begging for his Pi. I look at Aunt Judy, and let her know that she was right to discipline him and tried to survey the situation. My sense of what is right and good and what a good mother should do was fuzzy with exhaustion, hunger, anger, frustration, and superiority. I'm tired of hearing about the Pi. I'm a little angry at Aunt Judy for being so hard on him. I'm embarrassed that the first time in almost a year my mother sees Colin he's acting like a spoiled brat. I feel bad for the people in the other condos who might be trying to have a vacation. I can't believe that we still have to go eat in Vegas no less. I'm not sure what to do to make it better and not sure I can. I would've given anything at that moment to be home. Can I just say that the Devil himself was taking over my body? The Devil had arrived and he came in with a look on his face that will not soon be forgotten. be continued.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Circus Circus part 1: THE DEPARTURE

This is a tale that could've gotten me the "Worst Mother of the Year" award. JD says that I might not have won, but I definitely earned a nomination. I have to admit....he's absolutely right. But by the grace of God, the forgiveness and love of Colin and the patience of JD, I do not have said award on my mantel.....yet anyway.

This is also a tale that has an ending worth waiting for, so although this might be a long story by blog standards, I encourage you to keep checking in and reading the next part(s) so as you, the reader, don't give me the award I probably deserved.

My mother and my 5-year-old niece, Katreena came to Las Vegas for a family reunion of sorts. Following the reunion weekend, Mom and Katreena were going to come to CA and stay the rest of the week. Colin and I drove to LV to pick them up on a Friday and we would all come back Sunday. Mom and Katreena were going to catch the train back to NM on the next Friday. Great plan, right?

The sprinklers had not been working. This wasn't a big deal because we had been blessed with Washington type rain and the hills were covered with what looked like a blanket of green velvet. Beautiful! I'd been driving around singing, "The hills are la la." Looked like Ireland. Still does. Will probably last for another month or so.

Anyway, in spite of the rain, I had noticed parts of the grass were thirsty. I had arranged for a sprinkler man, a sweet little Asian man named Mr. Dang, to come by early Friday morning and get it all back up and running before we were all gone over the weekend. JD was already at an elders retreat that had begun the day before. So Mr. Dang does great by showing up about 8:30. Our plan was to get on the road no later than 10:30 so as to beat the CA traffic headed to Las Vegas for the weekend. If you live in LV or in CA, you understand that what should be a 4 hour trip could easily turn into a 9 hour trip because of bumper to bumper for 300 miles. So, you can get the picture, I was going to leave no later than 11 or I wasn't going. Mr. Dang was going to cooperate and get his job done. I was going to get packed and get Colin packed and get the car loaded while Mr. Dang worked and we would be on time or die trying. Need it under control or going to lose pickin' up what I'm puttin' down? I was a Momma on a mission.

I get Colin out of bed. I have already packed his suitcase except for the very precious blanket, teddy, and pacifier (Pi). Colin was excited to go on a trip and willingly placed these three items in his suitcase after he woke up. I told him he needed a bath before we hit the road so he was clean and comfortable. Without going into the gory details, his happy attitude turned ugly with the mention of a bath. Suffice it to say that he didn't want a bath, he didn't want to wash his hair, he didn't want to get dressed, he didn't want to do ANYTHING I asked him to do, told him to do, threatened his life if he didn't do. And so began a day of war that would have many battles to come.

At some point between the bath that included a bare bottom pattle, forced hair washing (difficult to pull off in the best of circumstances) and before forcing him into clothes; I put him firmly on his bed in his room and told him to stay there until he could act like a human. Clearly, I also needed to be placed in my room but there was no one to send me there and the sprinkler man was outside and needed my help and I had to assure him that I wasn't killing my child even though it sounded like that. And let me tell you, the desire was most definitely there.

At some point, Colin poked his head out of his room and defiantly called my name. "Mooommmmyyyyy!" I came around the corner to find a naked child clutching his teddy bear, holding his blanket, sucking with great passion on his beloved pi. He had unpacked his stuff and was letting me know that I had not won that round, but in fact, he did. I asked him if he was ready to get dressed and he said obstinately, "NO!" "Fine," I said, "go back in there then until you are. I don't want to see you right now."

Eventually, he let me know he was ready to get dressed. I think it was because he was very curious about the man working on the sprinklers. He agreed to get dressed but he refused to let go of his teddy or his pi. So here's my three and a half year old walking around with a paci in his mouth, having conversations with me and Mr. Dang. Colin reminded me of a chain smoker with that thing in his mouth, dangling about as he spoke. I have to admit I was a little embarrassed and wondered what Mr. Dang must be thinking about my inability to mother my child. At this point he's heard great screaming from us both and now stands before him a boy with a pacifier who quite clearly was winning the war.

We were almost ready to go. The day before we had purchased a new DVD player for the car. The previous one had died a slow death due to apple juice poisoning. So, I had the car all ready to go with the new DVD player hooked up and loaded with a new movie to help pass the time for Colin. I had my iPod all charged and ready to go to help me pass the time and I had snacks and drinks for the way because we weren't stopping for anything except to pee. I had everything loaded but three items: the Pi, the blanket and Teddy. Colin was still clutching one and sucking on the other and the third was still abandoned upstairs on the bed. I thanked Mr. Dang with a $250 dollar check, happy that the sprinklers were running again and we had a new clock installed. He gave me the labor and parts for a broken sprinkler and didn't charge me for another little mishap that almost flooded the back yard (another story). It's only relative to this story because it lets you in on my current state of mind.
Time now is 10:45AM. I have fifteen minutes to get in the car and pull out or we're not going.

"Colin, let's go. Get in the car."
"Where's my blanket."
"Upstairs, I guess. Where you left it."
"Get it!"
"You get it."
"No. You get it."
tick tock tick tock
"Fine, I'll get it. Go get in the car."
"No....carry me."
"Have you lost your mind? Get in the car before I spank your bottom again!"
"Carry me."
tick tock tick tock

Again, suffice it to say, I get the blanket, I carry the kid to the car, I let him have his Pi on the road, in the car (supposed to only be in the bed) I turn on a movie, I hand him a snack, and I give him a drink. I've all but said, "YOU WIN." I get in the car, gather myself which is lying in pieces and pull it together to drive to Las Vegas. I'm tired, I'm unhappy, and I'm wonerding what just happened between me and my child.

We depart. 10:58AM be continued.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Colin at the beach in Pawleys Island, SC in June 2005 with a pretty girl at his side, wearing a blue hat, looking at the waves move in and out, learning the beach is a wonderful place to be.

Colin at the beach in Malibu, CA in March 2008 with a pretty girl at his side, wearing a blue hat, looking at the waves move in and out, knowing the beach is a wonderful place to be.

I love these two pictures. I love how beautiful my son is in both of them. I love that he is a kid that will grow up going to the beach...with pretty girls.

Be Back Soon

Hey everyone....Just want you to know that I will return this week. Been super busy with company and Easter and studying....Have a few good stories for you. So don't give up on me.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

On the Pass 2

Okay, today I had the opportunity to teach my son what happens to a car if it is going TOO FAST down the hill. Again, no camera....sorry people. BUT, oh my goodness! Car on its side, liquids pouring out, air-bag exploded inside, hysterical girl very happy to be alive and three other cars w/ drivers, stopped, amazed possibly involved and/or curious. What the @#(&*!? SLOW DOWN PEOPLE, there are lives at stake. Unbelievable!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

On the Pass

I'm gonna start a reoccurring entry about the weird stuff we see going up and down the pass. Santa Susanna Pass is a very curvy, mostly 2 lane, road that goes over and around the mountain. I'm not sure if it's a short cut or not but it does keep you off the interstate if you want. There are a lot of bicyclers on it working hard to get up and hanging on to get down. It is always a stunning view and I enjoy the drive most days. Then there are other days that truly, I do a double take and wonder who or what and when did that happen. I'm sure JD can add to this since he travels it 6 days a week, 2 times a day where I'm just on it 4 days a week, 2-4 times a day. This morning on the way to school Colin and I drove by a car, white, nice little car with no wheels. Set up on blocks on the side of the road. On the way back down the mountain after dropping Colin off, I saw a policeman with the car calling in what I assumed to be a 10-28 (registration request) or 11-24 (abandoned vehicle) or 11-96 (checking suspicious vehicle) or maybe even a 211 (robbery).... [you can find ANYTHING on the internet]. Then this afternoon on my pick-up run for Colin the car was still there only this time is was loaded on a tow truck with all new wheels. There was a guy (owner?) shaking hands with another in another car with an extra tire just like the 4 on the car. One can only assume that it broke down last night, had to be abandoned and over night someone stripped its wheels, they guy had to buy new wheels and then get it towed to a shop for repair. Just a guess. Wished three different times for a picture. From now on, gonna carry my camera. Maybe I'll upgrade my phone to one that has a camera. Sometimes, it's just too odd not to share.