The Belly Button Saga

Earlier in the week, my daughter came to me, pulled up her t-shirt and asked me to feel her belly button.  Which I did and was immediately grossed out because there was obviously some kind of bump thing right there under the skin. When she asked me what it was, I told her I had no idea.  That, of course, did not stop her dad from diagnosing the problem:  It was a cyst from her belly button ring. Or maybe a hernia.  All I knew was that I politely refrained from any further touching of the area despite repeated requests to do so.  For some reason, she felt better knowing that someone else was feeling this weird bump, too.

Then she went to work.  And the texts started.  When I did not respond within 3 minutes, she texted her dad to “tell mom to read her texts.”

Mom, my stomach is starting to hurt really bad.  Do you think I should go to the doctor?

Me: IDK, do you think you should go to the doctor?

After numerous communications back and forth, the decision was made not to go to urgent care (usually a waste of money unless you have a cold, pink eye or need stitches) but to go to the Emergency Room.  Christina left work early because the pain had just become too unbearable.  (Like, what is your boss going to say when you tell him you are going to leave early because you need to go to the ED?  No, you have to finish out your shift?)

So I got the mommy task of taking my daughter to the ED at 9:30 pm.

When we walked in, the waiting room was empty.  I was thinking how lucky we were that they were obviously not busy and we could be in and out in a couple of hours.

It took 2 hours just to get her situated in the little room, give her an IV and blood pressure cuff, get blood and make sure she wasn’t pregnant and for me to realize that I had forgotten my cell phone and had no games to play for the duration of this event.

Here is how the night evolved:

  • They had these nice wipe boards that listed all the staff names. However, not one of the staff listed assisted us.
  • All you have to do is watch. By the time the visit ended, I knew how to turn off the beeping BP machine, open the roll away cabinet full of medical supplies and unhook an IV so Christina could go to the bathroom. All very handy to know as the night dragged on and I had no phone to play Best Fiends.
  • I was sad to hear that Christina actually thought she had belly button cancer. She did the same thing to me when she was in 5th grade and had a terrible canker sore.  She made me take her to the doctor for that, too.
  • She was in a lot of pain. They finally gave her morphine. I got to tell her that I got morphine once and it was great.  Unfortunately times must have changed because by the time I finished my story, her morphine wasn’t working any more.  She did get more but it obviously just wasn’t the same. I swear mine lasted much, much longer.
  • After an ultrasound and CT scan, the doctor said the little bump was actually scar tissue. Which the doctor said could be very painful. Okay, that made no sense but we had already paid our $100 bucks and that was all we were going to get. Oh, and some pain patches that were useless.  Guess getting some morphine to-go was not an option.

So after 5 ½ hours, we were done.  By then it was 3:00 am and I had exactly 3 hours and 20 minutes before I had to get up for my 7:30 am Tuesday meeting.

Oh, and for a $20 co-pay Christina’s regular doctor diagnosed a hernia in about 3 minutes two days later.

I’m not allowed to call her Hernia-Girl anymore, though.


Time to be an Empty-Nester

I recently read an article online.  It stated that in 2008 there were a lot of 20-something kids still living at home.  Fast forward to today and the article stated that trend did not stop once the economy got better and jobs were available.  If anything, there are even more 20-somethings are still living at home with their parents.

Which brings up my current complaint that I have two 20-somethings still living at home. Now, I really love both my kids.  I would do anything for them; I just want to do it from a distance of at least 5 miles away.   This really hit home when my best friend, Patty, called and told me she and her husband were official empty-nesters with their youngest going away to college last fall.  Her kids are like YEARS younger than mine.  All I could think was NOT FAIR!

After that call, I went to both my kids and told them I wanted them to move out.  I wanted to be an empty nester as soon as possible and they needed to help me attain this goal.  In fact, I informed them that they were having a negative impact on my middle-aged life. While they both readily understood and agreed, I could not get any definite move out dates from either of them.  Well, to be honest my daughter graduates from college in July and she did say she would be gone after that.  So now I get to work on my son.

Seeing that this conversation didn’t end with totes being filled and a new residence found, I believe I am going to have to hurry things along.  So here is my game plan:

  • Next time there is a bunch of kids over, I am going to gather up all my lawn equipment, pass it out and give instructions on what part of the lawn they will be responsible to work.
  • I am going to seriously consider putting outside locks on all three bathrooms and I  will hold the only key.  They will need to complete a chore before being allowed to use it.
  • I am going to put an empty tote next to each bedroom door.  As dishes are used and not cleaned, I will scoop them all up and place the dirty dishes in their tote for them to clean later.  I am positive this will work for my daughter.  Not so much for my son.  His bedroom already smells bad.
  • I will place ads on Craigslist asking for a room to rent for my kids. I will lie and tell them how helpful they will be with chores.  I’ll even offer to pay the first 3 months of rent for them in advance for a one year commitment.
  • Whenever I leave a chore list on the counter, the last chore listed will be “Move out of house.”
  • The only food I am going to purchase will be bread, peanut butter, jelly, cereal and milk.  The bad part about this idea is that it will just force them to go to Taco Bell.
  • I will continue my crusade of asking my dear friends if anyone has interest in letting my kids live with them.  I have yet to find a taker but am not giving up.

But I think there is one thing my husband and I can do that will really have an impact:

  • I am going to inform both kids that effective immediately their dad and I have decided to become nudists and will no longer wear clothes in the house.  I have to believe that seeing a naked mom mopping the floor will be enough to force the issue.







LWL Musings #57

Dear God, I am sorry that I only scored 15 out of 40 on the Internet quiz about the Bible.  In my defense, it was really, really hard and some of the multiple choice answers were confusing. 

I am especially embarrassed because I scored 32 out of 35 on the Beverly Hillbillies quiz.

  • Remember what entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”  That’s it – I’m telling my 20-something son to quit bringing his friends over every day.

This was a response from ASK CAROLYN advice column.  The best ones will just tell you like it is:     As with any unknown animal, you approach slowly, with your eyes cast down in a nonthreatening way. Offer a biscuit if you have one. That’s what my dog thinks, anyway. She filled in for me while I was off retching.

And here is another one:

You don’t get to mentally pee on people (Specialk9 11/20/17). 

There are so many times I could mentally pee on someone.

  • I love email.  What I do not like is when there is one recurring email that is being sent, like 87 times over and over again WITH A MISSPELLED WORD IN THE SUBJECT LINE!  I would correct it but the damn work email professional society says I am not allowed.

I overheard my son talking to his girlfriend:

“No, I have to sanitize it first.  We have to make sure the needle is sterilized.”

So I immediately barged into his bedroom because, well, I am a mom and it was the right thing to do when there is any potential reference to drugs.

I found his girlfriend helping him remove a sticker from his foot.


Have a Good Workout!

One of the positive things about Christina moving back home was that she was now hooked on working out in a gym.  She asked if I wanted to join a gym with her.  She said all the right things, how good it would be for me, we could work out together and spend time talking while on the treadmill and it was only $10 a month.

So I joined a gym.

Little rocky at first. Definitely learned some quick lessons:

  • Didn’t know you weren’t supposed to change clothes in the (gasp) woman’s locker room. You have to go into a bathroom stall where no one can see your bra and panties. It was just the look on all the millennials faces the one and only time I did it that made me learn my lesson.  Yeah, nothing is more fun than being a frumpy, middle-aged woman like me who has to come right from work and then remove pantyhose while trying to balance in a small stall.
  • And I know she was right, but I was still pissed when Christina would not let me bring in my $1 McDonald sweet tea into the gym. I told her I needed it to hydrate and she handed me water.
  • I know I am going to work out but that does not stop me from circling the parking lot 8 times to find a VFR (Very Front Row)
  • The personnel trainer was great in giving me an individualized training program specifically focusing on my flabby underarms. Sure would be nice if I had a clue as to which machines she was referencing.  Gym staff didn’t get it when I asked if they had a floor map of all the machines so I could circle the ones I was supposed to use. And I am sorry but some of these machines are just obscene.  If I have to lie down, I’m not doing it.

Fitness Plan


My husband is not on board with this.  Don’t get me wrong, he is thrilled I am working out 3-4 times per week but he still insists that we have all the exercise equipment at home and there is no reason I need to pay to go to a gym.  Except there is.  He has no idea what it means to a frumpy, overweight, middle-aged woman to hear the words:

“Have a great workout!” every time I walk in.


Cuz Breakin’ Up is Hard to Do

My daughter and her boyfriend broke up so she moved back home.  I guess it happened quite suddenly via text message.  He told her he thought it “would be better” if she moved back home so she wouldn’t be so stressed from going to college full time and working full time and living together.  A text that was the beginning of the end despite his quick clarification that while he did say she needed to move out of the apartment, he didn’t mean that they couldn’t continue to see each other.

I would tell you Christina’s reply but I am really trying to keep my blog PG-13.

So of course we were the supportive parents.  I said all the right things and came over to help her pack while my husband reserved the truck. Which is exactly what great Dad’s do – at the drop of a hat they come to the rescue. No questions asked. Just a great dad. Now, on the other hand, we had to promise my son beer if he would come and help us move her. And then he immediately switched it up to a 30-pack when he found out she was on the second floor.

It was three days later that I made the following observation:

“You do realize that you were more upset about not getting UGG boots for Christmas than you are about this, right?”

And so that ended that.

While my husband and I are again sharing our residence with our 20-something child, there was someone who was really happy to have Christina home.

CMJ and Casey

Sometimes I just wish she would let me be her relationship fortune teller so I could just tell her:  No, No, No, Okay play with that one for a little while, No, Maybe, Ohh yes he is cute isn’t he, no, no, let’s see, no, no.

A mom can dream, right?

It’s not what it seems…

James, quick – my husband is coming.  You have to go NOW!

Hold up.  I am almost finished.

Well, hurry up!  I can hear him coming down the hall.

One more second…

Get out NOW! 

Ok. Fine. Finished.

Now, anyone overhearing this conversation may think the wrong thing.  And I admit it does sound pretty sketchy.  So let me give me you the context:

I had to VPN into my work computer from home and couldn’t get it to work. So I called the IT help desk at my work.  I can say without hesitation that EVERY SINGLE TIME I have called the help desk, I get the nicest, most helpful person.

I have been having issues with this for awhile but haven’t really worried about my VPN access until our recent weather.  I am considered “essential work personnel” so have to work no matter what.  The good thing is that I am authorized to work from home.  (As a reminder, last winter when I tried to go to work during inclement weather, my car was totaled).

Earlier in the week, I had put in a help desk ticket because I had tried to remote into the PC in a conference room and it didn’t work.  By the time Anthony called me (it was 5:20 pm) and I told him I couldn’t access my PC, he remoted into mine and said someone was already using it.  I told him it was me.  Then I told him to not judge me. But he checked everything and said it should work.

So I tried it from home.  And of course it did not work. Which resulted in my call to James. Bless his heart, he tried to talk me through it over the phone, he really did.  And if anyone has every tried to be a help desk to an aging parent you will have the exact image in your head.

James finally asked if he could just remote into my home computer and fix it.  Now, here is my dilemma. My husband is a hound about his PC.  I even have my own separate sign in with major firewalls and probably a bunch of other shit that will protect his PC.  So allowing some “stranger” into his PC would definitely not be a thing he would be agreeable to.  (I did ask James if I could trust him not to mess with my PC and hold all my shit for ransom.  He told me he was impressed; I was the first person to ever even bring that up).  I let James remote into my computer which resulted in the conversation above.  There really is a reasonable context for everything.

And in the event my husband reads this, I made up this entire blog.


New Year’s Resolution Part 2

It is still happening.  My husband continues to do all the grocery shopping and I am now officially in withdrawal.  It isn’t pretty.  I did get a grace period.  We needed to go to Walmart and it was Sunday afternoon.  My husband refuses to go to any grocery store on Sunday afternoon. Armed with a list and promise to ONLY buy what was on the list, I went to Walmart.

And then texted my husband:

Me: I failed.

Husband: I know.

So we went back to the old way and I got to complain that he bought the cheap ziplock bags and Boca-cat does like a little variety and he can’t just buy the same canned food over and over. Then Boca totally threw me under the bus and eats the same food every day without complaint.

In a moment of rebellion, I went to Walmart.  Then I bomb texted my husband pictures of things that I was going to buy.  Like this:


And this:

I was so good I even sent him a picture of my cart:

I felt bad that it looked so empty.  That is just so not me.   And it about killed me not to get any of the discounted Valentine’s Day stuff.

It is standard knowledge that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. It’s day 57 and I am still waiting for it to get a little easier.   But I think I am doing fairly well.

It didn’t help to hear my husband comment about how well our finances have been since we started this experiment.  My response to that was to get him a Valentine’s Day card from the Dollar Tree.  Maybe I’m not taking this as well as I thought.