Comes Home A Young Man

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He is born one month early, a bit underweight.  His eyes are wide open, his apgar score an 8.

A content precious infant,  sleeping away.  Cries only heard when he needs us, smiles and giggles most every day.

Belly is filled with oodles of love, legs try to bounce and hop.  Curiosity takes over his hungry mind, questions bombarding non stop.

Wants to be just like his daddy, but adores his mom just the same.  School is a new adventure as he starts to “play the game”.

Bathroom words are hilarious, he can’t stop reciting them at bay.  As parents we try to be serious but laugh because, what can we say?

Balls, swords and bikes are a plenty, as he figures it out on his own.  Soon the pimples start showing and maybe even a broken bone.

Deodorant is a blessing in a house that is quite small, dirty socks on the table, underwear in the hall.

Car keys go missing and worries increase, he prefers his friends now and tries hard to please.

Twelve years of school soon come to an end.  Who is this young boy graduating, wasn’t he just ten?

The time has now come, to leave the cozy nest.  College is upon him and all of the rest.  He leaves apprehensive, anticipation is high.  He loves his family but it is time to say goodbye.

His parents and sister mourn his sweet presence, dinners are quieter, dirty socks missing.   He appreciates his family and becomes their biggest fan.

He leaves as a teen and comes home a young man.

Brickhousechick says, GRACIAS!

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{I know, I look pretty sexy in my bikini – don’t judge.}

I want to let all of you wonderful readers know how much I appreciate your friendship, attention and kind responses you leave on my blog.  I began blogging in March of this year and haven’t looked back since!  I consider it a gift to have all of you in my life and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kindness!  

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Can we do a group hug?

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I will leave you all with a couple of images and “chuckles” in preparation for Thanksgiving.

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50 Shades of Turkey

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Feliz Día de Acción de Gracias, amigos!

Yes! I would like my breasts flattened by a panini press, please!

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First and foremost, I could not agree more with the fact that early detection is critical in saving lives of those with cancer.  Like most of you, I have loved ones (including fellow blogging loved ones) who have been cursed with the “C” word and some of them have lost the battle while others continue to fight to survive.   It is scary and sad to think of the amount of people and their families who have been affected by Breast Cancer.  I pray for a cure in the very near future, and admire all the warriors out there that continue to fight.

Simply put: Mammograms save lives.

I have been dutifully getting checked annually since the age of 40 (has it really been 10 years)?  I often dread the appointment and delay it as much as I can before the feeling of guilt takes over for acting like a such foolish baby.  

I mean, how bad can it be to subject yourself to 15 minutes of uncomfortable pain which could save your life??  It has to be NOTHING compared to the pain and anguish of getting a diagnosis and going through the many treatments and surgeries.  NOTHING.

We don’t like to talk about how uncomfortable the scanning really is because we don’t want to be seen as weak or ungrateful for such a life saving procedure.

But for those who don’t know what it feels like to have your tender breasts brutally flattened by a heavy metal and cold machine, allow me tell you. 

OUCHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Does not even begin to describe it.

In this “day and age” (pardon the cliche) of advanced technology and medicine, how have they not figured out a better way to scan breasts that does not involve painful crushing and compressing (and near deflation) and popping of blood vessels and mammary glands, of such tender loving parts?

HOW?

I was fortunate last week to get scanned by a modern state of the art 3D mammogram machine.  I thought to myself, “Well, this new machine most definitely would have addressed the painful crushing factor and must be a much-anticipated improved version of the old squasher clunkers”.

Or so I thought.  As I stood there bracing for the ultimate PRESS on side #1, I had hopes of experiencing a lesser assault.  The technician had positioned me as close to the machine as possible (so much so that I was one with the machine).  She did the necessary pulling, adjusting, angling and positioning to get the image just right.  “I am going to press down now, don’t move and stop breathing”.

Really?  I stopped breathing and patiently waited for her to tell me to breathe.  Just when I thought the machine could FLATTEN ME NO MORE, it inched further down pressing harder and harder.  

How I ask,  is one supposed to stay still, and not breathe while your breasts are being ironed flat and etched on to the lower cold metal plate of the machine? Did I miss the memo?

Usually tears roll down my eyes and I feel faint from the lack of oxygen, while this is happening. This time the technician was done before this occurred. YES!

Then there is side #2.  You know what is coming and you dread it more.  DON’T BREATHE!  

You walk out not wanting to put your bra back on because your once round perky breasts are now book shelves and they are SORE!

In spite of this, I will continue to get scanned year after year because I love life and my family.  I urge all of you women out there to make the appointment to get checked!   

One can’t help to wonder though, if there would already be a new painless alternative were this to be done to men.

Men, I love you all but picture this: (I don’t wish this on any of you)

You are asked to take off all clothing from the waist down (you can keep your socks on, yay you.).  Then, you are positioned in front of a huge intimidating loud monster-like machine and asked to stand still (oh, and you are asked NOT to wear deodorant before the procedure, so you are forced smell your own sweat).

Then, the friendly technician takes your most precious jewels and begins to pull, place, yank, straighten, lift and manipulate them (no, there is no sexual feeling whatsoever) and you are asked NOT TO BREATHE as the powerful upper plate of the machine begins to move down with the goal of meeting up with the lower plate, at all costs.

You feel the cold metal against your now shrinking jewels as it presses and presses and plasters and planes and spreads out and squashes and crushes and flattens your manhood until you can’t take it anymore.  And then, to make sure it captured all the right angles, it does it again.

Panini, anyone?

*I dedicate this post to my loving aunt, my beautiful cousin, my brave sister-in-law and to my dear blogging friend Susie at:

http://susielindau.com/

You know your teens are “growing up” when…

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1.   They agree to go bowling with you (in public)

2.   They – thank you (at least once a year)

3.   They utter the words, “You.are.right.” and actually mean it

4.   They ask how THEY can help you

5.   They do the dishes – just because

6.   They laugh at your corny jokes (and they are all corny)

7.  They ask to borrow your clothes

8.  They tell you they love you – even when they don’t need money or the car

9. They ask you how YOU are feeling

10.  They use the “s” word – SORRY

11. They tell you your holiday sweater looks nice on you

12.  They ask you what YOU want to do

13.  They watch a movie of your choice with you, on a Saturday night

14.  They are considerate and only laugh at you BEHIND your back

15.  They miss you when you or they are away (and not because they are hungry)

16.  They volunteer to cook a meal

17.  They point out when you are drinking too much (darn it)

18.  They ask you for the recipe to one their favorite meals you make

*This past weekend my teens went bowling with Mr. Brickhousechick and I.  They watched a movie with us on Saturday night AND my almost 20-year-old asked me for my chili recipe.  He made it once he got back to college and served it to his buddies.  He sent me a picture titled, “So Good”.

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My parenting work is done. 🙂

WARNING: A Very Sappy But Love-Filled Post

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It was summer of 1981.  You took me to a beautiful lake nearby with a picnic blanket and basket in tow.  We sat on the blanket and you listened very intently to my woes.  The jerk had cheated on me and you wanted to comfort me.  What a wonderful friend you were.

We talked, we laughed and we basked in the sun.  Your next move forever changed my life and led me to the happiness I feel today and every day.

As I spoke, you stared right into my eyes as you lifted your hand and gently began to play with my hair.  My heart skipped many beats as I let you thread your fingers through my curls.  I sat frozen, unable move.  Whatever magic spell you meant to cast on me was successfully carried out. I was yours.

I had never dated anyone like you.  So polite, so generous and forever the gentleman.  Chivalry defined you.  You opened the car door for me,  you held my hand and led me, you walked on the outside of the sidewalk to protect me from cars,  you put your arm out across my chest to protect me from harm when having to suddenly stop while driving, you helped me with my coat and you always put me ahead of your own needs.

The endless flowers you sent me, the beautiful cards, drawings and poems taught me what romance truly meant.

Even after I foolishly ended our relationship, you were still there.  You never stopped calling, writing and coming to see me.  You never gave up on me.

You endured my father’s strict rules and graciously asked him for my hand in marriage.  You were by my side when my illness struck.  You nursed me and lifted my spirits when the diagnosis came.  You held my hand through the surgeries and went to every doctor’s appointment with me.

You were there during the birth of our two wonderful children and reassured me when my health brought risk to their births.  What a wonderful father you were and still are.  Taking the children out every weekend to let me sleep in.  Always putting my needs ahead of yours.

Your love for me has never wavered.  You continue to be strong for me, to help me navigate through the obstacles and pain this chronic illness has brought with it.  Always understanding, always compassionate.

Your humor has healed me more than any medicine ever could.  I love how you make me laugh day after day.

Your romantic ways continue to make me feel like a queen and bring out the passionate woman in me. 

Just when I think we can’t possibly love each other more, the strength of our relationship deepens further as we deal with life’s ups and down.

I can’t imagine my life without you and feel forever grateful to you for giving so much of yourself to me.

Te quiero mucho,

Happy 24th Wedding Anniversary1_2

How to Get Your Children to Collect Their Own Specimen – Like in Science Class

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Is there anything you would not do for a loved one?  

Anything?  

How about for one of your children?

As an official Mama Bear, I totally get that instinctual reaction one has to protect their young at no cost.

I have always told my children, who are now young adults, that I would DIE for them in a second.  And I believe that just as much now as I did the day I gave birth to them.

I am happy to be at this stage of my mothering and child rearing.  I can sleep in as late as I want, I don’t have to cook all the time, I am no longer a taxi driver AND Mr. Brickhouse (the name I will refer to when speaking of husband from now on) and I get plenty of alone time (assuming all spiders are killed.)

I still love to spoil my big babies and continue to dote over them, especially when they are not feeling well.

Case in point:

One of my children (who will remain nameless) had been feeling ill recently.  So much so, that a trip to the emergency room was in order.

Without hesitation and dropping all the important things I was in the midst of (mostly blogging), we headed over to the ER.  On our way there I spoke to his/her doctor who told me to stop by her office before going to the ER.

My poor baby was in a lot of abdominal pain and I could not stand seeing him/her suffer any longer.

After convincing the doctor that, no, my child was not “just constipated” and that his/her pain was interfering with his/her life, the doctor began her aggressive pursuit of the culprit of this debilitating pain.

After getting some medications and having mass amounts of blood drawn for testing, we headed home.  But not empty-handed.

We were given a lovely happy meal prize souvenir of sorts to enjoy, which needed to be returned within 24 hours.

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I suppose if you were to turn it upside down and wear it on your head, it could protect you from the burning sun.

But it was raining that day and besides, the instructions specifically said NOT to turn it upside down.

To ease my child’s anxiety, I assured him/her that I would do the collecting.  All he/she had to do was to provide the necessary specimen and that I, being the loving Mama Bear that I am, would take care of the rest! 

“Really mom?  Are you sure?  That is disgusting!”

“Yes dear.  That’s what mom’s do.  I can handle it.”

I was not about to show my very active gagging reflex that had begun the minute we were handed the “hat”.  I would remain strong.

This is where I, for the sake of all Moms and Dads all around the world, engaged in a brilliant case of psychological manipulation.

“You know dear, it’s because I love you so much that I don’t mind doing the collecting.  In fact, I am sure you would do the same for me when I am 106 years old and living at your house with you and your family.” 

And so,

WHAM!  

Right on cue!  He/she replied:

“Actually mom, never mind.  I can do it myself.  Don’t you worry, it shouldn’t be too bad.  I wouldn’t want you to get sick and it’s not fair to make you do it.”

SCORE!!!!!!!!!!!!

And so my friends, the science experiment was completed without Mama Bear having to do a thing.

You are welcome.

ps. Susie Lindau, I hope Justin Bieber does not have to do any “collecting” for his food poisoning. 

Why My Husband is Getting Lucky Tonight

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On my way out to dinner to meet some friends last night, as I opened the coat closet to get my coat…this monstrous disgusting big-headed gargantula stared back at me.

I nearly died of cardiac arrest right there and then.

Somehow, I had the wherewithal to take a picture of it – as my hands shook.  

Then, finding myself completely alone because my usual spider killer was out (that damn husband), I knew I had to be the one to end its creepy life.

I grabbed my daughter’s sneaker (no way in hell I was going to use one of my shoes) and hit the **cker with all my might.  Or so I thought.

When I looked under the sneaker, there were no guts, squished legs or trace of this barbarian.  Nothing on the floor either.

Mother of God,

Where did it go?

My friend freaked me out more by pointing out that the oval looking sack could be baby spider eggs and that they would soon hatch.

Mother of God,

Where did it go?

Needless to say, I could not sleep last night knowing this creature would be on a mission to find me and punish me for attempting to end her life as well as that her offspring.

I immediately thought about my blogging friend Darla from, “She’s a Maineiac”

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She hates spiders more than me which seems absolutely impossible.  She is known to chase them with her husband’s size 13 Shaquille O’Neal sneaker and wildly slamming the clown-sized shoe until the spider is 100 times dead.  I love how she usually yells “Gah! (short for, prepare to die, asshole) at the top of her lungs to aid her while committing this crime of passion.  You have got to read her hilarious post above.

That’s probably where I went wrong.  I used my daughter’s size 8 sneaker and did not yell GAH as I slammed the sneaker down.

This morning I informed my husband that I would be moving out.  Feeling a bit worried that this would mean no dinner tonight, he vowed to find the blood sucking pregnant beast.

He took every single item out of the closet and shook it out.  He forced me to stay nearby in the event the spider ran out of the closet and into the living room.  I wanted to kill him  myself right there and then.

After all the investigating, shaking and vacuuming netted zero results, he looked in one last place near the winter gloves.  Suddenly, he commanded me to hand him some tissues (a lot of them).

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GAH! GAH! GAH!  He got her!

Have I mentioned how handsome, strong and sexy my husband is?  Especially when he holds dead spiders?

After realizing what this feat meant for him tonight, he grinned and completely ignored me when I asked him, “What if there are more of them in the closet?”