to your mother


Friday, July 20, 2012

Cell Phone Pics Episode 3: What Was That Girl Thinking?

 "Safety first"

 "My legs were feeling a wee-bit ashy."

 "I think there may be a photo op today, better wear my fancy digs."

 "Why? Why does she do my hair like this?"

 "I said throw the ball THROW THE BALL.  Why don't these knuckleheads listen to me?"

"Look, it's Auntie Lisa in da MUD!"
"I'm darn cute.  Now buy me a Harley."

Stay tuned for Episode 4: Two Kids = Lots of Fun

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cell Phone Pics Episdoe 2: All Joe, All The Time

bronchitis, sick boy, wanted to show Daddy he was hooked up to a "bwevin' machine"

on the way to first swim class...this was the day I dubbed him Michael Phelps

in the van 3 years ago, taken so Mike could show his high school reunion people his kid

stomp-rocketing with Cousin Evan, THAT was a good time

Stay tuned for episode 3:  What Was That Girl Thinking?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Multiple Myeloma

An update on Mom...after a coupla trips to see an oncologist for funky results in her blood work, about a month ago Mom was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells.  Her only symptoms of the cancer are fatigue and anemia.  For the past month or so she has been going for chemo shots on Thursdays as well as taking oral meds to keep the wacky plasma cells in check and to boost her other blood levels.  Mom's side effects from the chemo so far are fatigue on the second and third days after the injection.  She should not lose her hair or suffer any other major side effects from treatment.  Her last appointment with the oncologist boasted a great report of appropriate levels going up and appropriate levels going down.  The recommendation from the oncologist was "Keep doing what you are doing.".  Mom's blood work before her chemo this past Thursday showed a normal level of red blood cells so they did not give her one of the shots that day...great news!

The Loyd outlook on all of this:  press on regardless.  We don't know about stages, phases, prognosis, expectations.  We are living in the now, in the today, embracing each day as it comes, rejoicing in good news from the docs.  Mom continues to boss Dad around, enjoy visits from her German Baptist friends each day, and indepently care for her daily needs.  She is my hero, hands down.

I'll continue to post about Mom's progress through this blog.  Feel free to read all the other stuff that goes on in my personal world with which I pollute this blog, some of that stuff is just funny.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cell Phone Pics/The Swan Point Years

I'm starting a series for the next few days of pictures from my cell phone.  Thanks to the intelligent and savvy Ponchak, I am now able to share these beauts that have been trapped in my phone for, well, years.

We'll start with the Swan Point years...when we lived in a town house in Columbia.  The kids ages range from 10 months to maybe three years.  No captions, just enjoy some bits of joy!

Stayed tuned for episode two: All Joe, All The Time

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Don't Worry, About A Thing

cause every little things gonna be alright.

-Bob Marley

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Be Your Own Hero

Our friend Harry is celebrating his 4th birthday this Saturday.  For this party each child is suppose to come dressed as a super hero.  At first Julie wanted to be "BATMAN!" squealed with her little twinkly hands dancing on each side of her face.  I had other plans...

Take a cape from Uncle Paul, stitch on some felt from the thrift store (kids drew on seeds with sharpie marker), cut out and glue on some green leaves from an old fleece blanket and VOILA!

Super Strawberry Shortcake

Now onto first he wanted to be Joker, now he's onto Spiderman.  I'm not putting a lot of effort into his costume until he makes up his mind...

Side note: it's 8:30 A.M. 
I am Super Mama.

Monday, July 9, 2012

This Episode Brought to You By Itchy Pockets

It was just a normal day. Joe wanting to sew, me giving in, me talking on the phone, me being interrupted...all normal until I heard Joe's little voice say, "Mommy, Julie is itchy, I made her itchy pockets, you come, you see."   

This is what I come and see...

 Julie in the dress I made for her to wear for Easter this past spring.  Julie standing seriously in the living room.  Julie itching her leg...through a jagged hole...cut into her dress.

"You cut her DRESS???" was something like what my response was.  I'm sure there were no curse words, I save those for when I retell these stories to Paul. 

The boy is quick with his response, "Mommy, Julie was ITCHY, I HAD to cut her dress to make ITCHY POCKETS so she could ITCH her ITCHIES...okaaaay Mommy?"

Julie chimes in.  "Iss okay, Mommy, iss oookay," said with tender care, her eyes wide, like when I've gotten really frustrated and she is trying to talk me off the ledge before I explode.

It works.  I say in a gentle voice, "Joseph, do we cut clothes?"  His head hanging a bit, "No Mommy".  "Can you say sorry?", our standard reply for wrong-doing.

"Sorry Mommy."

All is well.

Until Julie says "Mommy, I need two itchy pockets, I itch over here," as she points to the opposite side from the original itchy pocket.  Joseph goes right along with it, "Come on Mommy, pleeeease?"

The dress is already cut.  These kids are using their best honed  persuasive skills.

I give in with a "Joseph, you may cut another itchy pocket so there are two, but you may NEVER cut clothes again...after this."

I know.  I caved.  Who gives permission for their child to repeat such an offense?

I do.  No disclaimers, no excuses.  It's just how I roll to make it through the day. 

Now here is documentation of Joe's LAST cutting of clothes that we wear...

I hope the producers of Shark Tank don't peruse this blog...Joe may be out millions for this ingenious idea.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Going Over the Wall

Towards the end of Grandma Brooks' (Glenna Brooks, Mom's mom) life, she resided in a nursing home in Roanoke, VA.  Mom would occasionally get a phone call from family down there to inform her of Grandma Brooks' escape from the locked-down/ heavily-alarmed nursing facility.  No one on staff could explain it, but Grandma Brooks could occasionally be found walking down the road from the nursing home, suitcase in hand.  When asked where she thought she was going, the slightly dementia-stricken woman would calmly reply, "the train station".  You see, Grandpa Brooks (John Robert Brooks I, Mom's dad), was a railroad engineer and Mom's family would often travel by train for free.  I'm not sure to where Grandma Brooks thought she may travel, but time and time again Mom would get the phone call reporting of her breakout.

The breakouts still continue in this line of Brooks women...this time it was this one:

Don't be taken by the sweet smile, the innocent turn of the head...this is a sly one.  Let me explain.

Mom and I were recently in WalMart to pick up a few things.  Our last stop was the fabric section.  We made our selection and I waited for someone to cut our fabric.  I have a little conversation with the endearing employee, turn around, and MOM IS GONE.

I am immediately panicked, I get that yucky, itchy feeling inside like something out of my control has happened and it's big-time not good and it has happened on my watch.

I turn to the lady, lean across the little island counter and whisper "I just lost my mom".

"Oh Honey, she's around somewhere," is her sweet reply.

I lean closer, "No, you don't understand.  My mom is in a wheelchair, she is a stroke patient, she doesn't speak!

I grab the fabric off the counter and race down the main isle, looking from side to side to see if she has gone into, I don't know, kid's shoes, magazines, baby stuff, bras, night clothes, cleaning supplies.

In my panic I'm trying to think like Mom..."I'll just wheel down here cause I know we need more instant coffee", "I'll wheel to the front check out and meet Peggy Anne there", "I'll just wander around with my own agenda cause I CAN".  I'm fighting off a panic attack in the front of the store, wondering if Mom would respond to an all call over the loud speaker..."Peggy Loyd to the front of the store...Crazy Lady (as I used to call her when we would grocery shop together back in the day, she would never respond to "MOOOOM" but a good "Hey CRAZY LADY" would get her talking) to the front of the store".  I am looking for someone who is actually looking up, possibly paying attention to the world around them so I can ask "Have you seen a lady in a wheelchair?"  Everyone seems to be looking down, in their own worlds...I am panicking.

Just then.  I see Jack.  Jack owns the delicious Giacomo's, a small Italian restaurant around the corner from Mom and Dad's.  I had just re-met him the previous evening at dinner.

"Jack!" I try not to scream.  He greets me all cool and easy and I interrupt him.

"I lost my mom.  I lost my mom."

He grabs my arm as he looks at the time, "I have time, heck, I am the boss, right?  I will help you."

As we weave and bob through to the back of the store, he asks where I last saw her..."In fabric".  "Let's go there," he replies, as if he is a private investigator that moonlights as an incredible chef of Italian food.

As we approach the fabric department everything happens at once.  I hear the fabric lady saying "She was just here" as Jack stops in his tracks, pointing down the isle saying "There she is!  Peggy STOP!".

My first glimpse of Mom is from the back: her short brown, silky hair; the shoulders of her bright pink shirt; her wheels turning slowly forward.  Relief rushes through my body.

Mom is turning around to see why Jack of Giacomo's is telling her to stop.  She catches my eye, must see the aggravation worry in my face, and she bursts out laughing.  Meanwhile Jack is kneeing down to get in Mom's eyes.  "Don't ever, don't ever wander off again.  We didn't know where you were.  don't do that" is Jack's gentle scolding.  I can't recall what I said, but it probably wasn't pretty nor appropriate to say to a grown woman.  Mom giggled and rolled her eyes as I fretted...she wasn't upset, she knew right were she was the whole time.

Well, all is well.  I got Mom safely home and was able to make Dad laugh by reliving retelling our nightmare adventure.  Dad's only verbal response was "Peggy, where did you think you could get to?" as if her 3 minute disappearance was a precursor to her final escape to...well wherever Mom would rather be.

As I retold the story to Paul, he said it reminded him of back in the day when Mom would report to us of Grandma Brooks' escapes.  Paul would always say "Grandma's going over the wall again".

This was a good attempt from Mom for going over the wall.  She must be watched closely.  This line of Brooks women, they are strong and very brave ya know.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Recipe For an Exciting Playdate

1. Allow kids to play in the basement while you stay upstairs doing, well, whatever you want that doesn't involve interacting with kids.

2. Listen to the strangely calm children after they race upstairs to tell you there is a snake in the basement.  "Really Miss Peggy Anne, I think it's ALIVE".  No children are giggling that "we-are-playing-a-good-one-on-this-Mama" sort of giggle, no children are squealing with fright.

3. Calmly follow the children to the basement.  Be prepared for anything.

4.  This is what you see, curled in the corner, big enough to be held in the palm of your hand.

5. Don't poke it yet, tell children to stay away as you run upstairs.

6. Get a sand bucket and tongs from the kitchen.  Return downstairs and slowly poke the snake with the tongs .  Some children will hang over your shoulder, trying to see it all.  Use your yoga techniques to balance on your hanches while a child monkeys on your back.  Some children will continue to bounce on the mini trampoline and throw metal planes at each other. Don't worry, all children are truly safe cause you are handling the snake situation.  Use the tongs to gently lift the snake into the bucket. 

7. Take the bucket upstairs and place it on the kitchen table.  Google the snake.  Type in something like "yellow-bellied snake".  Laugh cause it reminds you of a saying like "You yellow-bellied lizard!", said with a cowboy accent.  Click on the link and find out this.

8. Allow a curious child to poke her head into the bucket to see the snake. 

9. When said child asks to touch the snake, call your partner in crime to see what he thinks. Listen to his rational thoughts then tell the child "No, you may not touch.  We don't play with snakes."

10. After enough looking, encourage the child to take the snake back to his natural habitat.

11.  The snake will roll and frolic in his natural habitat.  He will show off his beautiful yellow underbelly and rest there a bit.

12.  Take play date kid home.  Hurry home to see if the snake is still where you dumped released him.  He will have slithered off to someplace cool.

13. Encourage the children to return to their cool habitat inside, especially since one of them insisted on wearing a long sleeve shirt on a 101 degree heat index day.

14.  Wipe down the kitchen table and put the tongs in the dishwasher...gotta keep a safe home, ya know.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

This One Goes Out to Weis and Ponchak

In a recent conversation with Ponchak, she was flabbergasted that I do all my shopping at Weis and don't use my Gas Rewards points to fill up at Sheetz. The closest Sheetz to us is about 20 minutes away in a direction that I rarely go, so I have mindlessly ditched my points each time they expire.

With Ponchak's badgering encouragement, we ventured to Sheetz to use my Gas Rewards points.  I was going throught the motions to get Ponchak off my back until...

I saw the price per gallon come up after I had scanned my Weis card.

Look closely my friends, that's right, $1.529 per gallon.  No worries, no need to do the math...


Yes my friends, two weeks ago I paid $23.27 to put 15.219 gallons of fuel into my vehicle.

Take THAT!  Phoo-phoo-PHOO! 
(That's me making sounds while punching two fakes and a right upper cut.)