and then there were eight…

Thursday, 17 September, 2009

8th grade.  EIGHTH! 

How did we get to 8th grade so fast?  MY BAAA-BY!

Warning! Nostalgia ahead: It seems like not too long ago I was taking WS2 to his first days of school. I remember the emotions at the beginning of the school year. That first day of getting up early, packing a lunchbox, wearing new school clothes, starting a new routine, getting to the right classroom. It was an anxious feeling at times-not sure who felt it more, me or WS2!  It was also an exciting time. My son was growing up! Every year that first day would prove it with another grade level higher. I would be amazed at how fast time was flying. (I think I remember feeling really old every year too.) My favorite part would be when the afternoon bus would bring him home and he’d run in the house. I loved hearing all about his day. Of course, he always did fine, and I always gave a sigh of relief.

Why didn’t I cherish those days more?

At the time I thought that I was taking it all in. I think of that old saying “if I knew then what I know now…”.  If I’d known then that one day I wouldn’t be sharing all of his first school days with him, I would have let the ones that I did have a part of, soak in.  I mean REALLY soak in.  Take in every. single. solitary. detail. and commit it to memory.  Then have my neurotic brain put it on PAUSE so that I could hit PLAY and REWIND any time I wanted.

Like this year. On WS2’s first day of school. 

I talked to him the night before his first day of 8th grade.  It just so happened that it was my Sunday night telephone visitation time, and it just so happened that he was available to answer the phone that night.  He filled me in on what details he knew, but really, when it comes to junior high, a lot of it is the same from the year before.  Mostly the same friends, same school, same hallways, same lunchroom, same lockers. Except now he’s top dog of the school.  Next year is ~gasp!~ HIGH SCHOOL! What’s a mother to do?! ~SOB~ My BAAA-BY!!

Now enter reality: I called WS2 after school that first day to see how it went.  I was looking forward to hearing about his day, but… No answer.  I tried calling later, but…  You guessed it.  No answer.  I knew he would see my missed calls on his cell since it wasn’t blocked anymore. I figured he’d either call me back or I’d just have to wait until Sunday night’s phone call and hope he answers. I’m writing about this a week and a half since that first day of school for him. No return call. No answer last Sunday night.

Nothing new, right??  I should be used to it by now, don’t you think??

I really try not to take it personally. But between you and me, it still hurts. I think I may be becoming numb to the pain (maybe a little??!?).  It’s like that dull headache you have for days-you eventually get used to it being there.

I miss being a part of all the little things that add up to the whole.  Whether I actually talk to WS2 about his first day school ON his first day or some other day, I’m still just as proud of him. I still love him with all my heart and I hope he has a great school year. 

I just hope it doesn’t go by too fast! MY BAAA-BY!!


Morning Sunshine! by Robin Meade

Wednesday, 16 September, 2009

I absolutely LOVE Robin Meade on HLN!  I need her news like I need my coffee in the mornings. I really need both to get my day going.  So, that being said, I would’ve read her book no matter what the topic.  Thankfully it was about gaining confidence within yourself. And who doesn’t want a little extra confidence now and then? No? just me?  (I know, there are just SOME people who have too much in their quiver already. Ha!) 




The following review is from Barnes & Noble


Robin Meade is the poster child for confidence and self-assurance. But the anchor of Morning Express with Robin Meade wasn’t always that way. In fact, there was a period in her career when she was plagued with anxiety and panic attacks. In MORNING SUNSHINE, she tells how she overcame her fear of public speaking to go on and achieve her dream of becoming a news anchor. 

Robin Meade offers her own tried-and-true four-step approach to building confidence. Her trademark warm, personal style translates from the screen to the page in this book, which will give readers even more insight into the young woman who came out of nowhere to become one of the most popular news anchors on television today. 


Millions of viewers each week tune into HLN morning show star Robin Meade and her show, Morning Express with Robin Meade, which airs weekdays from 6 am to 10 am. Her extraordinary, fun personality has attracted an enthusiastic following, including Stephen King, who devoted an entire Entertainment Weekly column to her.

I just want some sleep… PLEASE!

Tuesday, 1 September, 2009

Have I mention I’m sleep deprived?

I’ve always had a problem falling into sweet slumberland, but after the boys went to live with their dad, I JUST. COULDN’T. SLEEP. I would lie awake at night wondering and worrying about them. One thought would lead to the next.

How were they doing?

Were they happy?

Do they ever think about me?

Will they always remember how much I love them?

And that’s just the beginning. The list just goes on, and on, and on. Enough to drive me crazy. And not sleeping was DEFINITELY NOT helping my mental state. The less I slept, the more miserable I became (which means, the more miserable Hubby became because remember-“happy wife = happy life”). And the more miserable I was, the less I slept. What an UGLY, vicious circle I was whirling around in.

I finally made an appointment to see my doctor.  I was feeling tired and soooooo depressed (spoken in my best Droopy the Dog impersonation). After prescribing an awesome anti-depressant, my doctor asked me a few pop-quiz questions about my sleeping habits.

I think most of my answers were “D-All of the above”.

I was diagnosed with chronic insomnia.  Lovely.  Just lovely.  Now I have one MORE thing to think about when I’m trying to go to sleep and can’t because of all the things I’m thinking about!! ~big sigh~ Then my doctor prescribed a sleeping pill for me. It was called Ambien CR and it was supposed to be my new BFF. My doctor told me to have a good nights sleep, and sent me on my way. I yawned all the way home really looking forward to going to sleep that night.

OMG! Best nights sleep EVER!! Did I say EVER? Because I meant IN MY ENTIRE LIFETIME.

I absolutely LOVED the help I was so desperately needing from this tiny, delicious, magic pill.

Hello, my little friend!

Ambien and I had a great relationship. At first.

After a while she started to turn on me. She would make me sleep while she would be up tip-toeing around the house doing crazy little things behind my back. At first I thought it was funny, and maybe even a little cute.

Mmmm, not so much.

Things like, opening the window next to our bed in 40 degree weather in the middle of the night. ~groan~ then another night, Hubby and I were staying at a hotel in NYC. The next morning I woke up and found the remote on the floor on the other side of the room. What the…??? I asked Hubby why he put it there (it just couldn’t have been my fault…) You know what he said? That the night before he kept asking me to turn the tv off. He said I kept saying “ok” each time he asked, but then the last time he asked, I yelled “FINE!”, turned off the tv, and threw the remote across the room.

Threw the remote! Like a rock through a window.

I don’t know for sure, but I’m thinking Hubby probably just rolled over and started snoring again.

Because that’s how he rolls.

I started having my doubts about my new BFF. THEN to top it all off, one night I fell asleep smack dab in the middle of SEX!!! Wha?? I woke up to a dark room and a snoring husband. What the???


What did I miss? I woke the hubs up and asked “was it good for you? was it good for ME?? What if it was the most awesome, fireworks-flying, world-rockin’ night of SEX… EVER??!?

And that’s when I knew it was over with my ol’ pal Ambien. I had to end it. I just HAD to. Those random episodes of drug-induced amnesia can BITE ME!! I mean, next thing you know, I’d be driving myself to get my 2 a.m. Taco Bell fix and not even have the pleasure of remembering my own burrito farts later.

I have a new sleepy time friend now. She’s a very distant cousin of my former friend but I take her to bed every night.


She gave me my life back. Now I can be wide awake while my world is rockin’.

The Dive From Clausen’s Pier by Ann Packer

Tuesday, 1 September, 2009



Editorial Reviews Review
Carrie Bell is the worst person in the world. Or so she would have you think. In the gripping, carefully paced debut novel of personal epiphany, The Dive from Clausen’s Pier, by O. Henry Award winner Ann Packer, Carrie’s very survival is dependent upon her leaving her fiancé, even after he dives into shallow water at a Memorial Day picnic and becomes paralyzed. Things hadn’t been going so well for the Madison, Wisconsin, high school and college sweethearts. Carrie knew, deep down, that she wasn’t going to become Mrs. Michael Mayer. But expectations and pressure from all sides–his family, her mother, her best friend Jamie, Mike’s best friend Rooster–force Carrie to shut herself up in her room and sew outfits of her own design as if in a trance. Then one night she slips out of the only universe she’s ever known. Many hours later she finds herself on the doorstep of a high school classmate living in Manhattan. Carrie’s adventures in the city–quirky roommates and a new romance with an older, emotionally impenetrable man–confuse her in her quest both to forgive herself and to embark on a career in fashion design. Packer writes in a convincing voice and packs a lot into this novel; she infuses Carrie with enough humanity and smarts to choose her own version of “happily ever after.” –Emily Russin 

From Publishers Weekly
Packer’s engrossing debut novel begins without ostentation. On Memorial Day, Carrie Bell and her fiance, Mike Mayer, drive out to Clausen’s Pier for their annual ritual, a picnic with their friends, a trip they make the way a middle-aged couple might, in grudging silence. Before their resentments can be aired, Mike dives into too shallow water, suffering injuries that change their lives. If Mike survives, he will survive as a quadriplegic, and Carrie faces unexpected responsibilities. Ultimately, Carrie does what is both understandable and unthinkable. She leaves her hometown of Madison, Wis., and shows up on the doorstep of a friend in New York City. There she discovers a different world, different friends and a different self. The hovering question–what will Carrie do? Abandon Mike or return to him?–generates genuine suspense. Packer portrays her characters–both New Yorkers and Madisonites–deftly, and her scenes unfold with uncommon clarity. But if Packer has a keen eye, she has an even keener ear. The dialogue is usually witty; more important, it is always surprising, as if the characters were actually thinking–one of the reasons they become as familiar to the reader as childhood friends. The recipient of several awards, Packer is also the author of Mendocino and Other Stories. Clearly, she has honed her skills writing short fiction. What is unexpected is the assurance she brings to a larger canvas. In quiet but beautiful prose, Packer tells a complex and subtly constructed story of friendship, love and the hold the past has on the present. This is the sort of book one reads dying to know what happens to the characters, but loves for its wisdom: it sees the world with more clarity than you do. 

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