Friday, June 27, 2008

Nervous Flier

I'm a little nervous about flying. I'm not a white-knuckle flier anymore, but I have a certain amount of apprehension before boarding an airplane.

First, security. They're not nice. Well, I'm sure they are nice people away from their jobs, but in that line, they're all business. I've gone through my purse and made sure I don't have anything that might be considered a weapon or an explosive...crap, better take out that lotion...what about my nose drops? Better check the TSA site...oh hell, they have to be in a quart size ziptop bag. Never mind, I'll leave them here. I'll just have chapped hands and a dry nose.

Second, boarding the plane. It's like getting on the bus on your first day of school when you just moved to the neighborhood - I feel like everyone is looking at me. Luckily Maddy, Craig and I have the whole row so I don't have to climb over my seatmate. That's one way to break the ice - sit on a stranger's lap while trying to get by them while simultaneously ducking your head to avoid the overhead bin. I smack my head on that all the time. You'd think with all our advances in technology someone could figure out how the make the plane ceiling all the same height.

Third, take off. Whoever told me that takeoff and landing were the most dangerous parts of a flight really should have just kept it to themselves. The plane backs away from the airlock, I look out the window to make sure the luggage handlers aren't running for the lives (first sign of a wayward plane), and we begin our taxi to get in line for takeoff. I remember sitting on the tarmac for 30 minutes in Detroit and it was like rush hour traffic, speed up to move six feet, then slam on the brakes. I really thought we were just going to drive back to St. Louis.

The plane gets to the end of the runway, and the engines wind up with that high-pitched whine. Everyone tenses as we accelerate down the pavement, picking up speed. The ground is beginning to blur, the wheels are bumping on the concrete and you're being pushed back into your seat. Suddenly it all goes smooth and you watch the ground recede a few feet at a time, until the cars are toys on ribbon roads and the clouds cast shadows on the earth below.

Fourth, landing. Circling the airport, dropping altitude until I think my ears will explode with the pressure and then finally having the ground rush up to meet the plane's wheels with a thump, whoomp, and screech of the brakes. Once again, you're slammed into your seat by the force. This is my favorite part of the flight, when it's over. I circled Raleigh-Durham once in overcast weather, and it freaked me out, because I couldn't see the ground. The pilot had to hover for about 15 minutes before he could make his descent, and we didn't see the green, green grass of our home planet until seconds before we landed. When traveling at a high rate of speed, I like to see where I might wind up. It's just a quirk I have.

Once you land, people start gathering up their magazines, books and coats. If you fly Southwest they will also remind you to take your children. The lucky aisle sitters open the bins and start rifling through looking for their carry-on (or someone else's, if it looks better). Then they all stand in the aisle for 10 minutes until the flight attendant opens the door. Honestly, people, have you never flown before? The door doesn't magically open upon contact with the runway. Sit DOWN! You're making me claustrophobic. And of course I want to join them but I'm stuck under the overhead bin and I'm too tall to stand up straight.

Fifth, luggage retrieval. I really want to ride the luggage carousel. I don't know why. It just looks like fun. My luggage has pink and white polka dot ribbons on it. Some people put so many ribbons on their luggage - just pin a homecoming corsage on it already. I really want hot pink luggage. Or one of those old fashioned Samsonite round cosmetic cases. Tres retro!

Anyway, if you're lucky, your luggage comes quickly, and you're not standing all alone watching a forlorn cardboard box making an endless loop.

The best part of flying? When you find your ride, give him or her a hug, load your luggage into the car, crack open a nice cold one (if you're met by my family, coolers are de rigeur), and thank God you're there, safe and sound.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I Hope I Don't Break Anything

I'm going to Dallas this weekend to visit my Uncle Tony. He is my dad's youngest brother. Tony has always been the fun uncle, like Travis is to my kids.

Tony has a son, Brent. When Brent was younger, he was a shit, to put it kindly. One of my favorite stories is when he was staying with my mammaw he stole the neighbor's gun out of his car. The neighbor was a Roby cop, who had come home for lunch and left his holster in his car. (The town had 600 people, no one locked their doors, let alone their cars). Brent has since grown up and become all responsible. Now he's a motivational speaker and counselor. Who knew he had it in him?

I remember one trip to Tony's house, when I was about 10 or 11. His house had a game room with a big sliding glass door that opened up to the pool area. Brent and I were in the game room, and he started throwing darts at me (steel tip, of course). One of them hit the glass door just right, because it made a little "pop," then Brent and I watched it spiderweb into a million little pieces. Here came my mom from the pool to see what damage I had inflicted. Brent 'fessed up, and even though it wasn't my fault, Tony teased me about it for a long time.

Fast forward several years - I took Jessica and Kelli to Dallas to visit him. Jessica was five and Kelli was two. It was their first (and only) plane ride. I was going to drive down but Tony paid for my airline tickets, because as he put it, "You love those girls but it's a long drive and you'll probably put them out in Joplin." He was probably right.

We went to dinner our last night there, and it was not a success. Kelli was being a brat, throwing chips, and crying because I wouldn't let her have her binkie. She was also not sleeping much (strange house, strange room) and consequently I wasn't sleeping well. So I was not a patient parent. Our waitress was slow and sullen, and I really thought Tony was going to make her cry too when she finally brought our beers. She perked up a bit after he got done with her. I finally got a few bites of Kelli's taco in her, managed to bolt down my dinner, and drink my beer. In the meantime, Jessica hunkered down, ate her dinner and kept her head low, God love her. I guess she figured the best way to escape my wrath was to stay quiet.

We headed home in Tony's big Ford F350 diesel pickup with the 4-door crew cab. I needed a stepladder to get in the damn thing. When we got to his house, I handed Kelli out to Tony and as I got out, my exit was abrubtly stopped when my my shorts cuff got hung on the door handle of his truck. I was hanging about 4 inches off the ground by my pants. My beer bottle chose that moment to roll out of the truck and shatter on on the driveway. Tony turns around and says "Child, what are you doing," and then the door handle broke off, I plummeted to the driveway, landing on the glass and further grinding it into the driveway, and burst into tears. He took Kelli and Jessica into the house, and let me cry. A few minutes later he came back outside to make sure I was over my hysterics, handed me another beer and said "feel better?" I said "well, I've broken your door and your truck. What's next?" He said he wouldn't let me drive his truck for a few years. We sat in the backyard and drank a few more beers, just talking about goofy stuff. It was so nice to have an adult conversation without having to stop to get someone some juice, wipe a hiney, or tie a shoe.

So tomorrow we'll fly off for Texas, on Maddy's first plane ride. She's half excited, half nervous, and she's already claimed the window seat. Hopefully when we get there she won't break anything, but if she does, Tony will know she's definitely my child.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Going to the Chapel

No, not me. Sheesh.

My girlfriend is getting married in February, and I'm a bridesmaid. I know, I'm 40 and being called a "maid." I guess "bridesmatron" hasn't caught on yet. Maddy will be the junior bridesmaid. She's going to be so frickin' cute!

Anyway, my friend will sometimes send me links for various dresses. I find myself browsing through the rest of the designer's website looking at dresses. And thinking "WTF?"

For example:

Is dressing like the cake the new thing? I'd be afraid someone would try to slice me.

Rhett, Rhett! If I wore this, I'd probably whack people with my hips as I walked down the aisle.

A new use for grandma's old tablecloths.

And for the bridesmaids:

The 80s called - they want my prom dress back.

I kid you not. This is even too tacky for Vegas.

Got any good wedding fashion stories? Share them, won't you?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Yesterday I had a vague feeling that I was forgetting something. Of course, that's standard operating procedure for me lately. Case in point - I ran through Wal-Mart last night after work (literally) grabbing a few things for dinner, including a couple of cans of mushrooms. I dashed through the store, found a remarkably quick check out line, hustled to get Maddy, ran home, got her changed into her ball uniform, grabbed a soda and ran out the door to her game. At the game, I was digging for my phone and found one of the cans of mushrooms. In my purse. My first thought was that my phone wound up in the pantry but no, it was in my purse. I'm still baffled as to how mushrooms wound up in my purse. (And yes, I paid for them, I didn't shoplift). And then I realized I had forgotten to bring fundraiser tickets to the game. But I did bring mushrooms. Head - firmly lodged in ass. Which is probably why I don't lose my head, because I'd just have to look in my butt for it.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, forgetting something.

We have our trip to Dallas this weekend and my mind is clogged with "remember to do this" and "don't forget that" thoughts. I have a list, actually several, because I keep misplacing the one I started last week, or I can't find one when I think of things to write down. I just remembered this morning to call the doggie sitter. That's kind of important.

I'm also in the home stretch of fundraiser preparation and trying to keep ticket sales and donations and phone calls and thank you cards all together. That is a whole 'nother set of lists.

I'm also starting pre-travel prep lists for my trip in August. I know it's 40 days away, I'm just a list-freak that way. And I'll probably still forget something.

About 10 minutes ago, I just remembered what I was forgetting yesterday. It's been seven months since they died. Seven. I feel a little guilty for not remembering. Especially since the fundraiser flyer is on my desk, and I'm starting to shop for decorations that represent them. It was staring me right in my face all day yesterday. How'd I manage to forget?

Perhaps the positive is starting to outweigh the negative.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fundraiser Update

Just an update on the fundraiser being held July 13, 2008.

If you plan to attend, please get your tickets soon. I'd like to get a head count for the food. You can send a check for your tickets, made payable to Kim Dorsey, to:

One Metropolitan Square, 16th Floor
St. Louis, MO 63102

You can also email me at jesskelli1123 at yahoo dot com with a number of tickets you'd like to reserve, and then pay at the door.

So far, we have some great items for the silent auction and raffle. A few of the items are:

Four box seats to the Cardinals game

Four tickets to a Grizzlies game, complete with t-shirts and a cooler

Muny tickets

A one hour massage

Overnight stay and two dinners at the Casino Queen
Various beauty product baskets

We'll also be having a 50/50 drawing and some other fun door prizes.

Thanks in advance for your support. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone in July!

Wednesday Bites - The Friday Version

Wow, my week kinda got away from me. It's Friday, whoo-hoo!


So, my insomnia is much better now. I'm taking my Lexapro at night now and I'm not wide awake for two hours anymore. Yippee! Thanks for the advice!


Maddy and I will be at my dad's this weekend. He installed new swing seats for her made from vinyl deck material. She will be happy to know her swing is safe again.


My dad also has the flowers planted around the girls' trees. I'll post pictures when I get back. I'm excited to see them. The plaque is ready for Kelli's tree at her school, we're coordinating on when that will be installed.


I'm so excited about my trip to Antigua. It's lifted my mood, and kicked my diet and exercise plan into high gear. And by high gear I mean I'm skipping dessert and I bought some hand weights to tone up my bingo wings. Baby steps, people.


I switched my shampoo to Organix shea butter smoothing formula. It smells so tropical, it's really put me in the island mood, mon.


Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Coming Soon To a Blog Near You

My blog-buddy Nic has posted this contest. It's a recipe exchange, and it sounds fun. I'm participating for a couple of reasons - I love to cook, but sometimes it's such a pain for just me and Maddy. I'm tired of fast food and frozen meals. We need to start being a bit more healthy and stop viewing fried potatoes as vegetables. Maddy is usually pretty good about trying new things without kicking, screaming and teeth-gnashing. I need to get out of my rut.

I'm hoping to contribute kid-friendly meals that don't feed an army, but that can be doubled for family-size feeding frenzies.

Feel free to join the fun, or just follow along on my blog. I'm going to try to post the results on Wednesdays, which will give Wednesday Bites a whole new meaning.

The contest starts July 7.

Good Sports

Maddy started playing softball this year. I had heard stories about parents who get their knickers in a knot over bad calls, coaches who act like Bobby Knight, and other drama at their kids' games. I got to experience it first hand last night.

Maddy games start at 6:15. They play until 8:00ish. There are no lights on the fields. The umps are high school kids. The coach of the team we played last night apparently has a history of saying "let's play another inning" if they are a couple of minutes under the time limit AND if his team is losing. However, if his team is winning, then he's willing to say the game is over. Go figure.

We noticed that the home plate ump had a problem calling a strikeout by a pitcher in a purple shirt, but the other team's pitcher didn't have that same problem. Also, if the ball hits the ground in front of second base, and you get your glove on it but don't have your foot on the base, it's still an out IF you're wearing a blue shirt. You get the picture.

Maddy's team was losing 0-3. Before they started the last inning, I told Maddy to get her team fired up, and to do the rally caps. So they put their visors on upside down and apparently it helped. They came back and tied it 3-3. It was a little before 8:00, and we thought the game would end in a tie. Oh no - the other coach decided to "play one more." So, they took the field and our pitcher turned into Nolan Ryan with three strikeouts in a row. We were home team so we batted last. Our girls turned on the bats and loaded the bases. K is up to bat and the pitcher beans her in the leg. However, the ump didn't let her take her base to walk in the winning run. Uh? Wha? She ends up strking out.

M gets up to bat and hits a great single, which scores the winning run - game over! We won! The girls go crazy on the bench jumping up and down and screaming like, well, little girls. The parents are cheering and clapping!

But wait - what's this? Commotion over at first base - our coach goes over, and words are exchanged. Apparently, M didn't touch first base. The opposing coach started to loudly protest, and M's mother said "why don't you let the ump make that call?" To which the coach replied "why don't you sit down and shut up?" Nice example for your girls, Coach. Why don't you take your own advice?

I guess the ump was trying to make up for the earlier botched calls, because she said "game over, Purple wins." Well, thanks for small favors.

So at the end of the day (literally), Maddy's team is still undefeated. Next game is Wednesday.

The irony in all this? The blue team is sponsored by a church. Which brings to mind this great comedy routine by Tim Wilson about church league softball fistfights. Give it a listen as your laugh for today.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Before and After



This mangled pile of scrap is my daughter's car. Except for the tires, I'd be hard pressed to realize this was a car, let alone what kind of car. (2003 Mazda 6, if you care. The Before picture is not her actual car, but a picture of the make and model she had).

I know that if this goes to trial, I'll be subjected to more photographic gems like this. I don't know what I want to do - do I want to see them or do I want to excuse myself?

I couldn't see them after they died. The caskets were closed. I wonder if maybe I shouldn't see the pictures so I can remember them the way they were. I wonder if what my imagination has conjured up is worse than the reality. I wonder if they saw it coming, if they had time to react at all. Did they feel anything? Say anything? Know anything?

Maddy said maybe they died because they were hurt so bad that God had to take them to make them better.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Ah, Good Times

I got a phone call earlier this week from a girl I went to high school with. We had reconnected briefly back in 2006 when our class was planning its 20 year high school reunion. We made all the noises about keeping in touch, and we slowly fell back out of touch.

Mekala called me after the girls died, back in November. I just hadn't called her back yet. I knew I needed to call her back, and I was touched that she called. I just kept putting it off.

Anyway, I'm glad she made the effort to call me again. She asked how I was doing, and I said, okay. She said "yeah, we need to skip school again." Which made me laugh remembering what happened the first time we did that.

Let me just tell you - I skipped school. A lot. I could have graduated my junior year, as I had all the necessary credits. So I worked a half-day my senior year, and the only classes I had were the vocational business class (required to work half-day) and I was on the yearbook/newspaper committee. All I needed for that class was to turn in my articles and I would pass. Before you think I was some deadbeat, most of the time I skipped school and went to work. Occasionally, if it was a nice day, my girlfriends and I would head out to Ha Ha Tonka and sit on the island and drink beer that someone had stolen from their parents' refrigerator. But that only happened a couple of times. Really.

Anyway, Mekala lived near me, and I would take her to school. One day, we decided we just didn't want to go. Of course, we were both up and dressed, so we decided to kill time until when the video store opened, and we'd go rent a movie. She was cool, she had a laser disc player.

Now, growing up at the Lake of the Ozarks in 1985, it was not the hoppin' happenin' metropolis it is today. The only movie store back then was about 15 miles away in Osage Beach. We lived near Camdenton. So, we hopped in my bright orange day-glo Mustang and decided to drive around until the move store opened.

My mom worked at the bank so I knew she wouldn't be out driving around. My dad was a salesman and I figured he was well on his way to Jefferson City, 60 miles away. We were safe, right? Uh, no. We pulled up to a stoplight, just before the turn to the video store, and Mekala said "oh hell, it's your dad." I looked over and sure enough, he was right next to us. I waved, he looked, shook his head, and when the light turned green, he headed down the road. I turned at the video store and waited about 5 minutes, but he never came back.

We rented our laser disc, went back to Mekala's, and watched the movie and just hung out smoking cigarettes until I had to go to work. I was nervous all day that he'd ground me when he got home. But when he got home, he didn't say a word. Which just made my nervousness worse.

Later, when my mom wasn't around, I told him what Mekala and I had done. He just asked how my grades were, and asked if I went to work. I told him grades were fine (which they were) and I did go to work. he said "all right. Just be careful." I think I got off easy because we watched a movie. Had we gone to Ha Ha Tonka and drank, he might not have been so forgiving!

I let Jessica skip a few times from high school. I did make sure her grades were good, and that she wasn't bailing because she wasn't prepared for a test. I did let her skip one time on a test, only because she had been up late studying and she was exhausted. I knew she wouldn't do well, not because she didn't know the material, but because she was so tired and so nervous. So I let her stay home and get some rest, and she aced the test the following day.

Once a school year, when the weather would turn nice, I'd take a day off work and we'd have "let's play hooky" day. Maddy and I did it this year, and we went to Grafton. I don't advocate skipping school all the time, but it's a nice memory that they have of taking the day off, doing something fun, going to lunch and just spending time with each other.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

MeMe, All About Me!

I "borrowed" this meme from Cricky. She has me listed as her New Blog of the Month(s) - I got both May and June. Check her out, she's a great writer. No tags, but feel free to use it if you wish. Enjoy!

I am: glad I only have one more workday before the weekend

I think: I need to get back in the swing of living

I thank: God, even though I'm still a little put out

I know: I'm lucky, considering

I wish: I'd gotten one more chance to say I love you

I hate: Oh, man, I can't go here right now

I miss: my babies

I feel: that I might be starting to turn a corner emotionally

I shop: way too much

I hear: my co-workers - do you people not have doors!?

I crave: a good night's sleep

I wonder: if I did the best I could

I dream: about the most random things

I love: my family and friends - I couldn't have made it without them

I care: too much about what people think

I always: wear clean matching underwear

I celebrate: with all the essentials - cake, alcohol, balloons

I sing: as much as I can

I cry: a lot less now

I don't: always return phone calls

I write: the way I talk

I pray: for understanding

I lose: my temper way too easy sometimes

I listen: to the quiet to calm myself

I am scared: that I'll forget the sound of their voices

I dance: like a white girl

I need to get my shit together

I surf: I wish, it looks fun!

I dread: feeling this way for the rest of my life

I anticipate: my vacation in August

I laugh: with a snort at the most inappropriate times

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wednesday Bites - The Blue Edition

Hi there and welcome to another edition of Wednesday Bites! It's been awhile, I know. I'm going to try to get my blogging back on a more regular schedule because...something kinda cool happened but I don't want to get too excited about it. More about that below....


One of my new favorite websites is We Covet. They had this laptop bag on there some time back and it was just so dang cute. I really want one. It reminds me of Cookie Monster. C is for cookies, nom nom nom!


Maddy and I went to Kohl's last night to get my dad his Father's Day gift (copper bug zapper lanterns). I also had a 30% coupon so we had to get some new threads, dude. I love this color on her. She realized she was wearing all blue, even down to her (new) undies, so she decided today she was "Bluetiful."


This is where I'll be the first week of August. We're going to Antigua, an island in the Carribean. We're staying here. I cannot frickin' wait. I need a vacation soooo bad. Props to my Sugar for taking me. White sands, blue waters, all the rum I can drink. I'm going to try to learn to snorkel before I go. I'm kinda claustrophobic so I hope that I can get over that.

Le sigh. 54 days....tick, tick, tick.


So, that cool thing I mentioned above? Someone nominated me for this! I probably don't have a shot in hell of winning but if I do, I will be soooo thrilled. I'll go all Sally Field on you and say "You like me! You really like me!" It's an honor to be nominated, truly. If you nominated me and want to 'fess up, please do, so I can mention you in my acceptance speech. If you want to stay anonymous, I respect that, too. But if I win, I won't know who gets the 10 lb box of Ghiradelli chocolates and the Bubba Gump t-shirt.


Enjoy the blue skies we're having today in STL. Hope your skies are blue, too.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Big Sleep

For the past few months, I've been plagued by insomnia. After the girls died, and I wasn't working, I got into a habit of staying up really late watching TV or reading until I couldn't stay awake any longer, getting out of bed just long enough to get Maddy to school, then going home and going back to bed. Not the most healthy thing, I know.

Now, I go to bed between 10:30 and 11, but I'm wide awake at 3:30 or 4:00. I'll lay there and endure the incessant chatter in my head, until I fall asleep again for about an hour before I have to get up.

My doctor prescribed Ambien for me way back when, and I've never taken it. After hearing about people who have sex, or drive to the store, or cook a meal, without remembering, it kind of scared me. (Although Craig seemed intrigued by the thought of nooky and an omelet - - typical boys.) I'm was also afraid if I took the Ambien, and I actually slept, what if something happened and I didn't hear Maddy? Or the dogs alerting me to a burgalar? Or a tornado? Or the end of the world? (This would be some of that above-mentioned incessant chatter).

So, I suffer through it for now. I've tried melatonin and it worked a couple of times, but it's not working now. I go back to the doctor in a couple of weeks, and I'll ask him about it then, if I'm still not sleeping. It might be my body adjusting to the Lexapro, who knows? I'd look it up on WebMD but God knows what fodder I'd give my brain for tonight's sleepless entertainment.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I was rudely awakened at 3:30 this morning by the simultaneous crackle of lightening and the whining of my dog at my bedroom door. It was a pretty intense storm, even Maddy got up and climbed into bed with me. We watched the light show and jumped at the thunder. After the storm blew through, I sent her back to her own bed, after suffering a kick to the hip and an elbow in my eye. She's small but she's the only kid I know who can go three wide on her own in a king-size bed.

As I lay there listening to the wrath outside, I was reminded of another storm that happened 19 years ago. I was awakened in the middle of the night by thunder and stomach pains. I was 27 months pregnant with Jessica and due to be induced the following day. After alternating between the couch and the bathroom approximately every 8 minutes, I began to wonder if my stomach pains weren't actually also contractions. As this was my first pregnancy, every twinge and cramp had me scurrying to the hospital in hopes of getting this kid out into the world. So I started timing my pains and sure enough, it was labor. Whoo-hoo!

I woke up her dad, grabbed my suitcase (which had been packed since March), and began the long walk in the monsoon to the parking lot. As we were leaving, her dad asked if we had time to take the movies back to Blockbuster. Uh, sure, because we can't afford the late fees? Come ON!!

He held the umbrella as I waddled down the sidewalk slowly, hindered by my elephantine ankles and 80 pounds of baby. A contraction started slicing through me and I stopped, grabbed my belly and began to breathe--and he kept walking with the umbrella. Have you ever tried to yell and pant at the same time? He turned around and said "what are you doing?" Um, having a BABY!!

We got to the car and headed through the rain to Blockbuster. We lived in Abilene, Texas at the time, a town surrounded by three creeks and a subpar storm drainage system. This town would flood at the slightest drizzle. The intersection by Blockbuster was of course awash in a river of rainwater. Brian managed to get through it, drop off the movies, and off we went to the hospital.

After getting settled in the bed and all hooked up to my monitors, the fun began. Neither Brian nor I knew what to expect - we'd never done this before. He kept asking me "is that supposed to happen" and I kept saying "I don't know." The monitors would beep and scribble, the heart monitor would whoomp and whoosh, and then the damn thing would slide off my mountain of stomach and everything would go quiet. Then my heart would race because OMG what's wrong with the baby?!? It would cause the nurses to come in and reset everything and I'd relax, until the next contraction smacked into me.

We'd taken the classes but honestly, nothing prepares you for the experience of childbirth except...childbirth. I was starving, exhausted, confused, scared, and in pain. As it was a Sunday, the hospital was short-staffed, or so it seemed to me. 30 minutes would pass without someone checking on me, then I'd get 5 random doctors in a row coming to observe the chaos.

When I finally had to push, though, everyone came running. It might have been my panicked yelling that sent Brian into the hall for help. The nurse checked my progress and determined I was indeed ready to push. Ya think?

While in the throes of labor, I got wheeled down the hall to another room, with the operating room green painted walls and the big scary shiny light in the ceiling. Brian put on his scrubs and I got down to the business of birthing this baby. They gave me Demerol for the pain, which went right to my head and caused me to freak out. I couldn't concentrate on my pushing, plus she wouldn't stay crowned, so the doctor finally had to attach a little suction cup to her head and vacuum her out. That might explain why she had an aversion to the vacuum the rest of her life.

Finally, there she was. Jessica Elaine Uhl. 8 pounds, 1 ounce. 21 inches long. 10 fingers, 10 toes, my nose, a poof of dark hair and squinty eyes. Absolutely lovely.

She would have been 19 years old today. They say the memory of the pain of childbirth fades. I remember it all like it was yesterday, or maybe I'm imposing my new pain on those memories. Either way, the pain of bringing her in the world was worth it, even if she only graced us for a little while. I know I'm a better person for knowing her for 18 years, 5 months and 19 days.

Happy Birthday, baby of mine.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Could I Have Been Anyone Other Than Me?

I think sometimes, if I knew what was going to happen, would I have changed anything about my life? Would I have had Jessica or Kelli, knowing they would die young? Would I have done the things, as small and as inconsequential as they seemed at the time, knowing that they would all culminate in what I am today? Would I have gone left instead of right? Up instead of down?

Hell. Yes.

Not just because I know I can't change time, but because I would have missed out on all the small and large memories, the fun and the heartache. It all makes me who I am. And I couldn't have been anyone other than me.

Thanks, Dave.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Picnic Fun!

The storms held off on Friday long enough for us to enjoy the SS Peter and Paul picnic. Maddy and Craig had a great time riding the rides. I was a bit perturbed at paying $25 for an all-day bracelet when there were only 4 big rides. But she had fun, and it's only money, right?

Last year, she went with Kelli and her friend Jayme on the Full Tilt. I wasn't sure if she'd be okay, as it was more intense than say, the Caterpillar kiddie roller coaster. But she insisted, so I let her go. They got all buckled up, and I could tell from her face that the over-the-shoulder harness was going to be her first clue that this ride might not be what she was used to. I saw Kelli patting her leg and talking to her, so I hoped Kelli could calm her down.

The ride started and she did okay, until the ride started to go up higher and higher. I could hear her screaming and so could the ride operator. He brought it back down and she could not get out of that seat fast enough.

So this year, she went straight to that ride first. I jokingly reminded her of last year's fiasco and she told me that she was older and she could do it. And she did ride it, all alone. My little girl, all growed up! *sniff* Craig rode with her a couple of times, and then toward the end of the evening she rode with a friend.

She enjoyed the funhouse, the ferris wheel, and she even rode the Sea Dragon. This ride is a huge boat that swings back and forth. She did get in line for it once, then chickened out before she went through the gate. But once she ran into her friend, they rode it together. She even had a plan to sit in the middle so it didn't go as high. She rode once, but she wasn't going to ride again. She could proudly say she did it, and she quit while she was ahead.

To reward her bravery, and to ease her pain of leaving early, we went to Dairy Haven and got ice cream. We managed to get home and get inside before the storms hit.

Next on our picnic list, Maryville Picnic. It usually has better rides, including the Scrambler. That's my favorite!

Pics on Flicker here