Saturday, December 26, 2009

I was totally in love with him from the very first moment I saw him.








Most all of you know that I have a grandson that I absolutely adore with all my heart. Ryan was born on October 31, 2000 to my daughter Kate and her then husband, Sean. He was the most beautiful baby in the world with all his fingers and toes and normal body parts. Other than my own 2 children, he was the most precious thing in the world to me. I was totally in love with him from the very first moment I saw him.


If not for the expert and precise hands of the obstetrician, Ryan would probably not be here. Ryan was delivered by emergency C-section within literally seconds of extreme emergency when his oxygen was cut off from an umbilical cord which delivered ahead of him. So finally hearing him cry was a wonderful sound to our ears.


Most babies are not terribly attractive at birth......and Ryan was no different. One eye was shut and the other was open. After a few hours, and a few baths, their bodies usually begin to take shape and they begin to look around a little.....but not Ryan. He never opened his left eye.


Before he left the hospital, I asked the pediatrician about his eye not opening. I was told that it was very normal and he would open it soon enough. It did not satisfy me. Weeks went by....Ryan still did not open his eye. More doctor visits and discussions with his doctor and still no change. We were basically told not to worry about it....it would be fine.


Well......that just wasn't good enough for me. I began asking more and more questions and doing research online to find out everything I could about why a child's eyelid would droop or remain shut. I came across a condition called Congenital Ptosis (pronounced toe-sis). It's an eye condition where the muscle in the eyelid is either absent or undeveloped at birth. It can be caused by birth trauma, or it can be hereditary. The pictures I found were exactly what I was looking for. But after mentioning it to the doctor, she still was not on board with me. It was a non-issue to her....but not for me.


From my own research, I found a doctor at the Children's Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta who specialized in eye problems and surgeries in babies and children. Ryan was 3 months old when he was officially diagnosed with severe Congenital Ptosis and his first surgery was scheduled at the age of 6 months.


Although modern technology is truly a gift to all of us, it is not perfect. Ryan will have to have several surgeries on his drooping eyelid as he grows in order to remain as normal as possible and to avoid eminent loss of vision. At 9 years old, Ryan has already had 2 surgeries to correct his Ptosis and will undergo another surgery soon.



Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas.....you failed.


It's the last few days before Christmas and all kids everywhere are trying their best to be good..........or so it would seem, anyway. Not so much for one little second grader whose Mom was the recipient of a note home from his teacher the other day. “Your son, Will, has been badgering another child in the classroom, repeatedly. Please give me a call at XXX-XXXX to discuss this very important matter.” Of course, the Mom was completely taken by surprise and could not imagine what her little 7 year old could possibly be doing to another child in the class, so she did what any of the rest of us parents would have done...... “WILL! WHAT DID YOU DO? AND YOU BETTER TELL ME THE TRUTH!” And we can all guess what Will's answer was...... “nothing.... really, Mom. I'm telling you the truth.”




So the poor, unknowing Mom called the teacher.......... The Mom listened on the phone and remained totally silent while the teacher talked......her eyes bulged at one point......her mouth gaped open......she gasped......she remained in a blank stare.....then.....she spoke quietly.....only to say, “Thank you. I will take care of it.”.




Somebody. Is. In. Big. Trouble. It seems the class had a spelling test and after the papers were graded, the teacher handed them back out to the students to put in their folders. Little Will looked over at another kid's paper and saw lots of red X's on the paper. Little Will to the other kid: “You failed.....you failed......you failed.......you failed......you failed....you failed.....you failed.....” All day long to the other kid..... “you failed......you failed......you failed......”

I'm trying not to laugh, people.....but.....ahem. As if it's not hard enough being a kid today......for one of your own kind to turn on you has got to be the pits. The ironic thing is that LITTLE WILL FAILED TOO! Little Will made a worse grade than the other kid! 



It's tough being a kid........especially at Christmas. And it's even tougher being a parent.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Shootout at the BK Corral

I pulled up to the microphone at the fast food hamburger joint drive thru to order our food and rolled my window down to give my order. Before I could say a word, I heard POP, POP, POP, POP, POP coming from my back left tire. I'll just be damned! I had obviously just run over some roofing tacks that some wise kids had placed precisely in the right path of the next vehicle to pull up to the drive thru to order.


I was furious! And let me tell you, I let the poor kid at the other end of the microphone know how upset I was that this had just happened to my back tire as I drove up to give her my order. She was speechless, of course and said absolutely nothing back to me accept, “That will be $7.26. Please drive forward.”


I pulled forward and looked back at my tire through the side view mirror. There on the pavement, lay 5 packs of ketchup......all popped open......from my back left tire running over them.



Well........it sounded like gunfire to me.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bubba Shot The Juke Box (from the archives)

It was just another quiet day on the home front........or so we thought.  



Could it possibly be this easy?  Of course not.  

Kate was at her computer and I was at mine, although we were both in the dining room, which is adjacent to the entrance of the sun porch, when all of a sudden,

CRASH!  BAM!  POW!



We both stood up and looked toward the sun porch to see the cat flying out of there like a bat out of hell!



Rocky the squirrel was standing up on his back legs and about 6 feet from Kate as their eyes met.




Kate yells, "IT'S THE SQUIRREL!"

I yell, "MINOR, HELP, IT'S THE SQUIRREL!" 



Rocky turned around and took a flying leap at the window.



He head butted the glass with a BOOM, knocking himself down with a WHAP to the wicker settee and breaking a flower pot in the process.


At this point, Kate and I immediately took an exit, stage left, and vacated the premises.  This is what we in Georgia like to call, "hauling ass".



People, this squirrel was HUGE.  It was no little baby squirrel.  We're talking FULL GROWN adult size.  He looked like a damn............., a damn..........., really BIG squirrel.




My first instinct was to get out as quickly as possible and just let the squirrel have whatever he wanted.



After getting his bell rung from the head butt on the glass window, Rocky hopped down and walked calmly back into the laundry room.........we think.  There are a lot of clothes in there, so he could be disguised in most anything.



So now we are at Plan B.  Minor has closed off that entire area of the house (the laundry room and back room with the sliding glass door).  I don't think Rocky can't get into this portion of the house again.  

We will purchase an animal trap from the hardware store tomorrow.



He will look much better behind bars.   All the holes are plugged, so he shouldn't be able to get in again.

I hope it doesn't come to this.  But I'm not promising anything.

 


Damn, my head hurts.



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Did That Really Happen?

Not too many days ago, when Ryan got home from school, he sat down to begin the usual homework routine.



As Kate opened his daily agenda she found a letter stapled inside and she read it aloud, so that Ryan could hear, as well.

"Your child was tested in October of this year, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...............and he has scored a maximum of this and a miniumum of that.  His scores are ranked nationally at blah, blah, blah, blah."  



In essence, it said that Ryan was really smart in some things and needed to work on some others and that he scored where he should have scored.  It was a long letter with lots of percentages and rankings and comparisons.

After she finished reading, she smiled at Ryan approvingly.  Ryan, bug eyed and mouth gaped said,

"Did that really happen?"

Monday, December 14, 2009

Bitch Slapped At Wal-Mart


I decided to make my rounds at Wal-Mart today. I know, I know........I have no idea what I was thinking except that maybe there would be lots of Christmas spirit happening there. And let me tell you.....I was RIGHT! I'm not so sure it was the kind of Christmas spirit I was hoping for.







Wal-Mart shoppers are like none other on the face of the earth. Of course.....I'm not really one of them, you know.........I just watch.



Does this woman not feel something riding her crotch? I don't get it!


The interesting thing about it is the people there are from all different levels on the economic ladder. The lady driving the '09 Porsche is parked next to the '72 Pinto that backfired like a gunshot when the driver turned the ignition off. Eight kids jumped out of the Pinto and I never did figure out which one was the adult in the group. 



And I must admit.....sometimes.....it SCARES me to go to Wal-Mart! I don't know why I keep going!






I'm always very cautious, wherever I go and pay close attention to where my pocketbook is at all times, but most of the time, I put my purse in the child seat in the buggy so that it is still with me, but I don't have to carry it. Anyway......the problem comes when I see something I want to look at that is located in a spot that I can't push my buggy, because the other shoppers are not willing to give up their spot. If I am lucky enough to have coaxed Minor to come along on the trip, I will most often ask him to watch my purse a minute. I'm not asking him to HOLD it..... I'm just asking him to WATCH it. And for any one of you that knows me, it's to his benefit to watch it, because if something happened to it, he is the one to have to listen to me crying and complaining for the rest of his life.



So anyway, I was pushing my buggy around Wal-Mart in the women's clothes actually, and spotted a really cute jacket that would look absolutely amazing outside of the store.....but, I couldn't get to it to see if it was my size....and watch my purse in the buggy. So once again, I asked Minor, who is trailing behind me, wondering when this is going to be over, “Will you watch my pocketbook a minute while I look at this?” I had barely gotten it out of my mouth when a woman.....and I mean a BIG WOMAN looked down at my five foot frame and in my face said, “I AIN'T GONNA STEAL YO POCKETBOOK, BITCH.” My natural instinct was to respond right back with, “Oh, I didn't mean YOU.” But I completely FROZE! I couldn't respond at all. She would have knocked my butt on the floor in one bitch slap! And Minor was no help at all. He pretended he wasn't with me.....the traitor.




She pushed herself on through the racks of clothing as she mumbled something that sounded like.....”I'll bitch slap you to the next planet.” I looked at Minor and said, “I'm ready to go home now. I'm not feeling as Christmassy as I did awhile ago.”

Saturday, December 12, 2009

She's My Mama


I talked on the phone with my mama this morning......She and daddy are both in a nursing home located about 4 hours away.....and are both in bad health.....with mama at 75 and daddy at 81. They are both excited about moving into a semi private room together soon.


Now, doesn't that sound like a beautiful love story? Ha! I can already hear the complaining. Jeeze Louise! Oh yeah....... they are both excited about it right now....but just wait a week or two and I'll be hearing it from both of them!

Mama says, “He keeps that TV on nothing but western movies and I want to watch Dr. Phil. And he's not even watching it!”

And daddy says, “I can't take it any more! Why don't ya'll just shoot me and put me out of my misery?”.

Oh, the blogs....... just waiting to be written.


So I was having a normal conversation with mama.......whatever normal is. I must interject here and explain that nothing has or ever will be normal with my mama. My relatives will all back me up on that, as well.

Anyway, I was telling mama, “Minor and I are going out to dinner soon with new friends and really looking forward to it.” As always, and because she just couldn't help herself, mama responded with, “Be sure and have good manners.”

I'm telling you......she can always throw me for a loop. She never even chuckled! She was damn serious!

I couldn't help but laugh as I said, “Mama........I'm 55 years old.......I'm going to use my manners.......OK?”

“I know.........but once you're the mama, you're always the mama.”, she said.



This is the same mama and grandmama that called Kate on the phone the other night at 11:30pm. Kate scrambled to the phone from a dead sleep.......wondering what in the hell must have happened that her grandma, Mimi was showing up on the caller ID at that hour!

Kate: “Hello?”
Mimi: “Hey Kate. How''s everything going?”
Kate: “Fine.........is something the matter?”
Mimi: “.......................YES, SOMETHING'S THE MATTER!”
Kate: “What is it?”
Mimi: “I'M DYING!.........THAT'S WHAT'S THE MATTER!”
Kate: “Well.........Mimi.......can we talk about it tomorrow? It's 11:30.”



True conversation, folks.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This Is My Confession

I have a confession to make.

There is this little bitty problem I have of laughing hysterically when someone gets kicked in inappropriate places, you know like Wal-mart or something.......Bet you thought I meant somewhere else, didn't you? Or trips and stumbles over a tricycle or stumps their toe on a steel bed frame. In fact I am trying desperately to hold my laughter in right now, just thinking about it!

If you ever want to cheer me up, just tell me of the time you fell on a bicycle bar or how you had diarrhea and vomiting at the same time! Or one better, how you fell on a bicycle bar and it MADE you have diarrhea and vomiting at the same time!

And speaking of diarrhea and vomiting, a couple of days ago, I was telling this guyfriend of mine, that the electrician that I sleep with wasn't feeling so good and I hoped he didn't start vomiting.

"That electrician that I sleep with is the loudest vomiter in the world.", I chuckled, "He vomits so loud, he wakes up everyone in the house. I'm not kidding. It's sort of like a roar!", I laughed.


"Well that's a coincidence! I'm a loud vomiter too!", my friend boasted.


"In fact, one time I looked up and my kids were gathered around watching me hurl, and the wife was asking me if I could quiet down a little. And no way can I throw up outside in the yard! All the neighbors would think there was a bear loose and run for their lives!", he added.


Now ya'll, that's funny, I don't care who you are!

So Sunday morning, the electrician that I sleep with and I went for a walk on the beach. After about 30 minutes, he told me he thought maybe we should head back because his stomach was still feeling a little queasy. We walked back to the car and headed back to the house. It's only about a mile, but he began driving a little reckless, you know, dodging orange barrels and swerving around on side streets. This was out of character for him, so I asked him if he was in a hurry or something.

"Well, yeah! I DO need to go to the bathroom and the sooner we get there, the better.", he snapped.


So we got to the house and I didn't really notice that he had bee lined it straight to the back bathroom.


I went back to the bedroom and all of a sudden I heard a loud blow out coming from the bathroom. The echo was heard around the world. Or at least from where I was standing.


"Are you OK in there?", I laughed.


And with obvious relief in his voice, "I am NOW!", he said.

I swear these guys around here do that stuff just to make me laugh!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Welcome to Savannah. Oh my land, where are my manners?

Luke and I did a wedding shoot yesterday (Valentine's Day) in Fragrant Gardens of Forsyth Park in Savannah.


This area was used in the film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, for all you movie buffs.


Luke and I met Chad, the wedding planner, before noon to view the area and choose our best photo opportunities. It is a beautiful area for weddings and celebrations, although the recent cold weather had done a toll on the plants and flowers nearby.


It was a cloudy day, but that didn't stop the tourist and locals from coming out to enjoy the warmer weather and the sites of Savannah.



After we walked the area and Luke chose the best photo sites, we were off to meet a business acquaintance for lunch. While we waited for a "meet up" phone call, we rode the streets of downtown Savannah and of course down River Street. After an hour or so, we were unable to make contact with Luke's business acquaintance, so we decided to find a parking place and eat lunch anyway.


River Street in Savannah is like nothing you've ever seen before! The old cobblestone streets with rails for the trolley, the magnificent hotels, restaurants, and specialty gift shops near by are all sights to behold in buildings hundreds of years old. There are musicians and dancers all around showing their talent and vowing for your attention as well as basket weavers and other crafty people.


We ate at an upstairs restaurant called Bayou Cafe'. Luke is such a gentleman when he takes me out, if I wasn't a happily married woman and 20 years older than him, I'd have to keep him! LOL! He ordered a Margarita on the rocks with salt for me because he knew I would like that A LOT . . . and I did! We both had hot wings for an appetizer and a Cajun fish sandwich with fries. His was HOT, of course and mine was mild. The cafe' was crowded, so we ate at the bar until a window seat opened up.


From the window of the upstairs restaurant, we could see all the tourist walking below on River Street and the ships passing through as well. A flagship called The Peacemaker was docked and open for tourist to view, so after we finished lunch, we walked the ship and it's magnificence.


You can read about it here www.peacemakermarine.com. It is a beautiful ship with an interesting history.

So many things to see and never enough time to see them all. We decided it was time to get back to Forsyth Park for the wedding festivities to begin. We introduced ourselves and spoke briefly with the groom and then with the bride to make sure we were aware of any specific shots they wanted.

This was an elopement wedding with only 10 guests. The bride and groom wore a full length wedding gown and tuxedo and were beautiful together. I know they will be happy with the wedding pictures when they are processed and ready for viewing. Luke is so talented in photography and has an excellent eye and ability for capturing people at their best. I am lucky to be learning from him.

On a side note, one of the relatives of the bride that was attending the wedding, recently found out she has MS (Multiple Sclerosis). She is in her 30's, although looks much older as she needed assistance to walk or even stand. She and her husband have a beautiful 5 year old daughter. Luke told her that I was doing a 50 Mile Challenge walk for MS in September in Wisconsin. She smiled and the color seemed to come back to her face, as she looked so pale and tired. She thanked me and it was heartfelt. Please remember to donate to MS. It is so important to find the cure. We have to do this thing. Donate on line to http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/carla.pryor.

We finished the wedding shoot and drove back to Luke's house, totally zapped from the day. Luke had a party to attend in Savannah and I had a Valentine dinner with Minor, John, Heather, and Ryan in St. Simons. An absolutely wonderful, but tiring Valentine's Day.

Also, on a funny note, I was telling Minor about meeting this girl with MS and how sad it is. I said, “She was only in her 30's and she looked MY age.” With that he answered, “GOOD GRIEF! That's terrible!”, as though someone looking as old as me was the worst possible thing that could ever happen to anybody. That Minor. I'll get him back!

Feathers, Scales, and Furry Tails

Tonight was PTA at Ryan's school and the 2nd and 3rd grade classes performed a musical for the parents and teachers called Feathers, Scales, and Furry Tails by Donna Amorosia.

Ryan and Kate before the performance


We got there early and Ryan joined his classmates and teacher in their classroom before they all came into the auditorium for the musical performance.

Walking into the auditorium


Before the musical began, a program was presented by the students about their progress and adventures in tracking several Loggerhead Sea Turtles, a Wood Stork, a Penguin, a Seal, and a Right Whale. The animals were fitted with radio transmitters and were tracked by a satellite.

Loggerhead Sea Turtle with tracking device


The kids at St. Simons Elementary are very lucky to have the Atlantic Ocean across from their school and the opportunity to learn about ocean life and tracking these aquatic animals from the staff at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island. It was quite interesting and I am so glad to know they are teaching our children this valuable information at such an early age.

Ryan on stage


As Ryan took his place on stage, he looked out into the audience to find his mama, me, and grandpa. When he spotted us, he waved as though no one else was in the auditorium except the 4 of us.

Ryan waving at his Mama


Ryan had a speaking part, although we were unaware of it until he stepped up to the microphone and said, "They have a reputation of being the advisor; And maybe from their point of view they really are much wiser!"

Ryan speaking into the microphone


I think they were talking about Owls, but I'm not exactly sure. What I DO know is that he said it loud and clear so everyone could hear him. I was so proud, I started clapping when he finished speaking, even though no one else was clapping. Kate gave me the evil eye, but it's OK, because I'm the Grandmother and I can do that sort of thing. I can even smile and look around while I'm doing it!

I took lots of pictures while we were there and even a couple of videos that I promise I won't bore you with. After it was all over, Ryan found us in the audience and beamed from ear to ear as he approached us with big hugs.

Ryan happy it's over and proud of himself


The teachers and students at St. Simons Elementary were awesome tonight. Great job by everyone!