Sunday, August 30, 2009

Kindergarten Ugly

In July, Bonus started kindergarten. To put it nicely, it's been the biggest pain in my ass ever since. It's not the getting him to school, picking him up, packing the dreaded lunches every damn day or the report cards. None of that has pushed me into the liquor cabinet...yet.

It's the attitude.

My neighbor calls it, "Kindergarten Ugly" and describes it as that little bit of ugly that each child has in them that is MAGNIFIED BY TEN HUNDRED BAZILLION THOUSAND when they reach kindergarten.

At first I laughed. Now I'm crying. After all, we know that despite Bonus's best intentions, he has a propensity for violent retaliation.

But this is bad, friends. BBBB.AAAA.DDDD. It's the kind of bad that makes you want to tell everyone that he's really your step son and his father just has no control over him; or make up a disease to justify his actions.

Regardless, it's embarrassing as hell.

Especially when he's calling other kids "stupid", or saying, "I hate girls" to the cutest little blonde you've ever seen, or when the neighbor's kid comes up to where you're sitting with EVERY MOM IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD with scratches down the front of his stomach and is pointing toward your son...that's not embarrassing at all.

But when your precious baby boy gets in trouble for yelling, "STOP IT, DAMMIT" and you're relieved that he didn't yell, "F*CK", you might want to reconsider that Parenting 101 class they asked you to teach...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Apparently Earwigs Don't Cause Dizziness

We are on the verge of what has become the widely-anticipated grand finale of 'What the Hell is Wrong with Amo'.

We have ruled out a brain tumor, aneurysm and now earwigs.

Which is good news.

In other better-than-good-news-and-probably-close-to-FREAKING-AWESOME-NEWS, the ear doctor figured out my dizziness finally!

Normally, I'd cut to the chase and slam down the diagnosis for all of you...but it's my blog and I can play with the climax if I want.


So, the testing required no caffeine or alcohol for 48 hours prior. Okay, (believe it or not) I can handle the 'no alcohol'...for two days, but the NO COFFEE...oh heeeeelllll-to-the-no. It was Ugly. (With a capital U.)

The young, tall, doctor with short, black hair that looked like someone you'd really love to party with and was probably wearing a lab coat to hide the tattoos, was really freaking awesome. She didn't even tell me she was the DOCTOR until we had hit it off and were laughing about the earwig theory. (It sooo could have been earwigs, shut-up.)

She did hours worth of tests, one of which involved cold air blown in your ear and let me tell you, THAT, is not as pleasurable as one might imagine. But, apparently you can recreate the room spinning that is experienced by that test by dripping cold water in someone's ear who's laying down. (Dorkfish, you better sleep with ear plugs, that's all I'm saying.)

All of her medieval torture devices tests resulted in three findings; first, one of my pupils is more constricted than the other which has absolutely nothing to do with the dizziness, but makes me fun at parties in low light. Two, the ocean sound I'm hearing in my left ear has nothing to do with the dizziness but is like have a private party in your head involving coconut rum and cabana boys. Three, my right ear is apparently asleep at the wheel and is 25% slower at recognizing motion than my left and thus, the dizziness.

But the best part of the diagnosis, was explaining that all to my grandmother...

"Amo, it CAN'T be the hairs in your ears causing all the trouble. Your grandfather cuts his all the time and it's not affecting his balance."


In other news, I'm going to open a booth at the state fair doing the water trick. Can you picture the rednecks lined up, daring each other to do it?

Then again, the puke bucket full of beer and corndogs might be a deterrent.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fried Eggs, Anyone?

Today we were told that my MRI looked good. My brain is apparently in perfect, working order.

We all know better.

So that's the good news.

The bad news? Those DARE bastards were lying.

Next up is the VNG (a test where they simulate vertigo) and a hearing test. This should be entertaining at least...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Definitely on my Top Ten "This Must be Hell" List

How was the MRI, you ask?

Well, if you ever have to go have one, I suggest putting a stew pot over your head and have a friend beat it with a metal spoon.

Incidentally, if you are going to slam your head on the bottom of a cabinet in a restroom, you should do it before the MRI, so they can look for the brain bleed. (P.S. Those stars you saw? They weren't real, nor are they a good sign.) Also, admitting that you may have said number 13 of the list of bad words and apologizing for it, will only get you, "Do you kiss your children with that mouth" from a tech that isn't nearly as funny as he thinks he is.

Also, when the tech asks you if you're head is okay and you say, "Well you're the one looking inside it." They won't laugh.

When they offer you music. Just say no. Don't give in to their "we have satellite radio so you can hear what ever you want!" Inevitably, they won't have Led Zeppelin and will replace it with Golden Oldies. Should you have the balls to say, "I'm not sure which is worse, the banging or the music," they will give you Radio Head as a suitable replacement.

Radio Head is not music. It is yelling. When you aren't having someone pound on your head (that has a quickly growing knot), you are being yelled at.

And that isn't good for your aneurysm.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Lessons Learned this Week (You're welcome.)

Telling Bonus that if he doesn't learn to tie his shoes soon, he's going to be living in my basement until he's 35, probably wasn't a good confidence-instiller for a five year old.

Promising him that we would still feed him until we move off without telling him was what I like to think of as 'being a better parent'.

Screaming F*CK when Deuce slammed his cast on my bare toes may not have been one of my finest parenting moments.

But walking out of the room afterward was probably a wise choice.

This aneurysm must be good for my weight as my clothes are fitting a little more loosely.

However, the huge bowl of homemade peach crisp with vanilla ice cream probably isn't.

A three year old in a full leg cast is tragic.

Unless he isn't in pain and has learned to use it as a weapon to fend off the attack of an angry brother; then it's funny.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The things you miss by not tagging along.

So yesterday was a good time. I wish I could have taken all you guys with me and you could have sat in the waiting room receiving text messages like the one's I sent Jennifer:

"After two vision tests, I can't tell which eye is blurry anymore. But the head hurts ALL OVER, so that's a win, right?"

(That text may have ended with some obscene language, but we'll pretend I don't cuss when nervous.)

Maybe you guys would have enjoyed the getting the email I sent to Dorkfish:

"After two vision tests, I can't tell which eye is blurry anymore and haven't seen the dr yet. Good times..."

His response: "They fixed you!!"

I love him.

If you guys had been there you would have found out that they are decided my eyes HAVE NOTHING to do with my blurry vision. Which makes TOTAL sense to me...

I'm pretty certain that "V" is Latin for "You're hosed."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I Can't Even Spell Those Tests...

Today the funny returns. I know, I know, it's been a bit depressing as hell less funny than usual around here lately.

I've made you all cry with my letter to Deuce and my anniversary post. In fact, I'm surprised anyone is still here! Wait, you're here, right?

Today, we will laugh at leg casts, strep throat and brain tumors! HAHAHAHA HaHaHaHa

Shoot me.

So, yesterday was my eighth anniversary. Steve was home all day. You're thinking it was because he wanted to be with his lovely wife, right? No, Dorkfish had the balls to go out and get strep throat on my our anniversary. Pfft.

The nerve of some people.

So I had the pleasure of babysitting him and Deuce who is STILL in a full leg cast (8 days, people EIGHT MORE DAYS).

Between "Hoppalong Deucey" and the "Strep Throat Kid", I was pretty damn miserable. (And we all know it's all about me.) Speaking of me, me, me, I found a new symptom to my brain tumor "mystery dizziness". My vision in my left eye is intermittently fuzzy. I changed my contacts. Nothing. I switched eyes with my contacts. Nothing. I started drinking. Nothing. (But the dizziness got a helluva lot worse with the beer. Odd, huh?) So I called the doctor. Low and behold, miracle of all miracles, they found me an appointment for today.

I drug poor Jennifer along for the ride in case I died so I would have someone to laugh at me with me. We joked the whole way there. Okay, I cussed A LOT and she giggled at my nervousness.

They were all impressed when I had to check "yes" by the box where it asked if you've ever had any metal in your eye; but the belly laughs came when I had to write out that I had a butcher knife in my right eye in the early 90's. (Thanks, Mams! Your "Best Grandmother in the World" trophy is on it's way!)

When the battery of touch-your-nose-wiggle-your-toes tests were finished, the doctor admitted that he wasn't sure about it all but wanted a barrage of tests. By "barrage" I'm talking things that will probably cause problems just in case they can't find any. I have an appointment with a neurological ophthalmologist, a full-brain MRI with and without contrast, a electronystagmography and a videonystagmomgraphy. Seriously, a twenty-one letter word to tell me that my gerbil fell off it's wheel. Good grief.

The doctor also casually mentioned that apparently that noise that I hear in my left ear that sounds EXACTLY like when you hold a seashell up to your head...that could be an aneurysm.

So I called Dorkfish to tell him all this and he says, "You need to find out about the deductible when you're scheduling all this stuff so we know what to expect."

Me: *blink, blink*

Him: "You know, just so we can prepare."

Me: "You realize you're stressing me out and that's not good for my aneurysm, right?"

He's trying to kill me.

But until then, I'll be riding this wave of FOR HEAVENS SAKE, DON'T STRESS ME OUT, I'M A TICKING TIME BOMB WITH THE ANEURYSM AND ALL! (Wonder how long before he starts calling me Edith?)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Between Now and the Sunset

Eight years ago today, I was an hour and a half late to see you. You still tease me about that, but I know you will always be there waiting.

You skydived into the church but I wasn't there to see it. It was the first time that I hadn't been waiting on you to land. I have learned that I don't always have to be there for everything to be copacetic.

It rained that day. Actually, it poured just as I was reaching the church. It cooled off the mountains and washed away our previous lives. It served as a sign that things wouldn't always be perfect, but the sun would shine again.

I forgot to throw away my gum and was horrified that I'd be one of those brides who either smacks their mouth the entire time or passes out from locking their knee caps. So I handed it to my father. Poor dad, always standing in the shadows to hold my gum; or glare at anyone who dares take a second look at his daughter.

The reception was a collection of our family and friends from all walks of life. There were those who flew in from Costa Rica, caravans from Michigan, college roommates to kindergarten pals, people who we met kayaking and those from other rivers of our life; all culminating for one thing. To celebrate us. Our union. Our love.

Your best man had the last laugh. During his lovely toast (funny how men with English accents can say anything and it's charming) he requested all the men in attendance return the keys to my house. Puzzled, I watched every male grudgingly walk up front and place a shiny key in a basket.

There were stories told, laughs enjoyed and toasts all around. We still reminisce those stories, laugh at those jokes and toast those who toasted us but with an added sovereignty for those who are no longer around to hear those well wishes.

Eight years later, we are two healthy-children richer, a life-time of love stronger, and viewing the horizon as a journey with endless possibilities and golden opportunities.

I can't wait to see this sunset and everything in between.

I love you,


Friday, August 7, 2009

A pause.

I look down at your precious sleeping head, those rose-bud shaped lips that occasionally still suckle in their sleep, and I remembered.

She always told me I had rosebud shaped lips.

I look at the way your blonde locks fall on each side of your perfectly-smooth baby skin. It is like ropes of gold.

She used to braid my hair back and tell me how beautiful my golden rope was.

I brush the sun-streaked locks from your forehead and kiss you, ever so gently, as to not wake you but to share my never-ending love with you.

I wonder if she kissed my head while I slept.

I see you admire the clouds as the golden rays gleam from behind the ominous darkness.

I wonder if she is up there, seeing all this from a different and slightly more beautiful angle.

I watch as you stare at your leg, your beautifully shaped leg, with it's new hard shell and try to figure a way to move about the room.

And I wonder, do you even remember when she too had a shell on her leg? We traced your hand on it. You were so scared and she was so embarrassed.

We are so much alike, you and I. Even our baby pictures are unmistakable, without the ponytails.

When you were born, she had told me this. She said you would resemble me both in looks and temperament.

I wish you could remember her. I wish you could have loved her the way I did when I was your age. I wish I could have loved her with that same passion when she died.

Today, I greave. Today, I miss her. But with each day, I am learning to appreciate that despite all the pain, regardless of the sorrow, she tried. She wanted to be the mother I am. Yes, I said it. I am a good mother to you. You are my littliest one and I will forever kiss you goodnight.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

UPDATE: Slacker; but with good cause. (Maybe.)

Wow. Look how long it's been since I posted. I am really a slacker, huh?

Okay, in my defense, here's what has happened up until now.

The first day of BlogHer, I woke up dizzy. Convinced it must have been something I drank (or drank too much of) the night before, I went on and enjoyed the conference. Throughout the trip, I kept telling my friends when I was feeling funny in case I died because everyone wants to know the intricate details of my life.

No, I'm not dramatic, hush.

By "funny" I mean, the room is still moving and I'm pretty sure I'm not. People, it was like I was drunk. (No, I wasn't, again, hush.)

I finally chalked it up to my sinuses, or the cleaner they were using in the hotel, or the carpet padding, or a brain tumor. But when I got home, it was still there. One minute I'm fine and then all the sudden I'm dizzy. Here's the weird part, I can look up, down, side-to-side, and it's all good. I have no problem jumping up from a chair or laying back really quickly. So the doctor ruled out vertigo, my thyroid, anemia, and pregnancy, but not a brain tumor.

They want me to go to a neurologist and see if they can figure it out. See, here's the thing. Neurologists are apparently very busy people. Even though they have 15 doctors in their office, you still have to wait TWO WEEKS for them to see you. This damn tumor could be the size of Texas by then! Which I'm sure means it isn't anything serious or they would have rushed me in.

However, I, in typical 'Amo fashion' have enabled myself to find a bright side to this cloud of despair minor annoyance. I have found that taking your three year old into the doctor for a limp that they've had for seven days now and they tell you that he might have a fracture in his 'growth plate' in his teeny little foot with corn-nibblet toes, and that you have to go see an orthopedist to make sure, you tend to forget about your dizziness.

So I guess I'm healed.

Until he gets a cast and then we'll see if tears of guilt make the dizziness better or worse...



Yes, it's a full-leg cast. Shoot me now.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My BlogHer Recap. (No, you didn't miss a thing. *Ahem*)

I've been holding off on posting after BlogHer to see what everyone else was saying. Each experience is unique as with any event and I always prefer to let something sit for a while before I write about it. (Yes, I'm a dork and no, I don't plagiarize. All this crap is really mine. I know, I'm sorry too.)

Thanks to U.S. Air and the president, I was eight hours late to the first round of parties. (Yes, I am still bitter about this.) However, I did get the pleasure of inspecting every inch of the Philadelphia airport. Surprisingly, I did not jump, although the thoughts were there. However, the transvestite who had just realized his/her laptop would play music and was serenading the entire concourse with techno rap, did make me question the validity of all the CSI shows I had watched and if I could really pull it off.

Fortunately, one of my roommates, Angie, was not only at the hotel waiting for me, she held my hand on the way to the bar. That people? Is real love.


When I finally arrived, I had the pleasure of meeting some of my favorite bloggers. I especially loved the looks you get when you finally get the balls to go up and introduce yourself to someone who's blog could be your life story and you find yourself with a one-sided understanding that you simply must spend hours with them in order to compare notes and they, in turn, look at you like you have a third eye. That was a good time. It could have something to do with my approach, "HI!IT'SAMOFROMRAISINGOUTDOORDOGS!"

I doubt it though.


Much to my husband's delight, I finally got to meet Jenny and I think his exact words were, "GET ME AN AUTOGRAPH" but he was yelling into the phone as I was hanging it up, so I'm not completely sure what he was saying.

blogher 183

Isn't she gorgeous?! For the record, Mary Ann was taking this picture for me and she's apparently BIG on close-ups. *sigh* Jenny, is just as authentic and funny as she is on her blog. If you don't read it, then go add her to your reader now. I'll wait...


On Friday, I ate lunch with some amazing women. My dear friend, who has one of my favorite blogs, Mary Ann; a lovely Southern belle who I've admired since Blissdom and now love even more, Alli Worthington; my first blog crush and one of the most genuine famous people I have ever met (read: NY Times best selling author), Jen Lancaster; and Cassie and Mary, who I don't know well yet, but intend to because they were both just so sweet!

Anyway, we are all eating lunch when this woman walks up to us:

Fruitcake: "Hi. Do you guys make money with your blogs?"

Us: "Um, no." (Truth: They probably do. I do this for the glory. *snort*)

Fruitcake: "Really? Like no money at all?"

Us: "No. Not a dime."

Fruitcake: "Well then, I guess I'll sit with you anyway."

Us: *thunk* -the collective sound of our jaws dropping and anyone who knows me recognizes I cannot hide ANY facial expressions.

At that point, I tuned out and tried to pretend she wasn't sitting there make an ass out of herself. If you want to read the rest of the conversation, poor Mary Ann was stuck listening and recorded it in hilarious detail. (And for the record, Mary Ann wasn't joking on the 'cockatoo 'description.)


Did I tell you my business cards didn't arrive on time and I had to do the writing-my-name-on-a-bev-nap thing again? Yeah, that's professional. Also, I'm thinking it's becoming my trademark and I may just start doing that at every conference. (You've been warned.)


I found the amazing, Kelby Carr, at one of the parties and instead of a huge hug and a 'I'VE MISSED YOU SOOOO MUCH' like I had been anticipating, I got this response:

Blogher 09 011

What's she saying, you ask? "I'm going to kick your ass if you don't come to my conference in Asheville." I kid you not people. If something happens to me...well, you know what I'm saying.


One of my 'beeshes' in Room 704 had been promising one hell of a party complete with swag bags full of unmentionables that belonged only in one's night stand.

I, came home with applesauce.

But honestly, with the hangover I was sporting the next day, I called it a win.


Stay tuned and I'll fill you in on the juicy details of the party at Poppy Buxom's roof-top condo. Don't worry, there will be pictures...(No, I wouldn't be jealous either.)