Christmas presence……

Christmastime…….so many memories from 40 plus years of life……some are ones I wish I could relive……some are ones I’d like to forget.

But it always, ALWAYS seems that I end up with some sort of lesson or takeaway nugget from each one.

Up until 2005, things had been relatively smooth for us as a family and as a couple; Hubs and I and our 3 boys.
Due to many factors our lives changed and, for what seemed to be too many years in a row, things were just downright difficult.

We dealt with monetary, health, and housing issues only to find who our true friends were (we’re profoundly lucky to have many quality people in that category) and what the true meaning of the season is.

The year is 2008 and things are rough. The economy has taken a dump and we’re stressed out about how we’d provide a Christmas for our boys.

In times of stress, Hubs and I react similarly……we work. Hard. There wasn’t much available but we did what we could. This meant that we’d ignored some of the preparation for the holiday. A Christmas tree didn’t cross our minds and we’d only briefly discussed lights on the house.

It was a Tuesday late in the month of December and I was on my way home. When I drove up, our dear friends and neighbors were standing in the front yard with Hubs….they were singing Christmas carols.

Hubs was in the front yard SINGING. (?!)

AND there were Christmas lights on the house……I was stunned at the sight.

When did he have time to do the lights?

It was about 7:00 and I was sure he hadn’t been home for very long before me. This was unreal. I got out of the car and Hubs followed me into the house…..

“The lights look amazing! That was the exact design I was thinking of! How did you know?!”
He looked at me and I could see his eyes looked kinda glassy and I thought, “What’s wrong with him?”

He paused for a split second and said quietly, “I didn’t do the lights.”


“Clay did them”, and he smiled and grabbed my hand and led me into the living room where there was Christmas standing. “Mike and Dena got us the tree.” Holy. Crap. Tears ensued…..

Our friends saw our need and went out and did those things for us.
In the busy-ness of their own lives, they found time. Wow. Just wow.

I felt and still feel, that in times of need, God doesn’t abandon us. He sent our friends to be the joy in the season that year.

We are blessed and we know it.

What a truly amazing gift. To have friends like that……..I’m still so beyond touched that when I’ve tried to tell the story aloud I can’t get through it without getting choked up.

Christmas time is here, and once again I’m reminded……the most meaningful gifts don’t always come in a box.

I need you not to need me….

He found a job opportunity online……something that sparked his interest enough to throw himself out there and go for it. As parents this is what we’ve hoped our boys would do; look for adventure. I didn’t believe he would take a chance like this. Yet, he has.

This is the boy who has tested me constantly since the very day he came into this world. He was the baby that wouldn’t be quieted down easily…………just a little bit more needy than my other two………my middle son.


My royal pain in the ass child is leaving home to go work out of state.


My boy who is polar opposite of his older brother………..almost determined to be different, no matter the cost. The one I’ve always described as being downright challenging.


I have wiped his butt, helped him blow his nose and dried his tears.


I slept on the living room floor with him every time he was sick because he was so tiny.  When he had chicken pox we watched cartoons in the middle of the night….three nights in a row.

I cleaned up barf and woke at the sound of any rumblings in his tummy to make sure I could help him to the bucket.

I sat with him for three hours a night helping him finish his homework up until third grade when he was diagnosed with ADHD.

The three hours that usually ended with both of us in tears.

I held his hand when he was sad because his friends would tease him about his learning disability.

When he cried; I cried.


We sat through many baseball games and cheered him on….even though he wasn’t super interested in the game and only wanted to play because his friends did.


We threw birthday parties for him.


I fought incessantly with him only to be left on the floor while he went skipping away down the hall after his frequent tantrums.


The kid who has always figuratively held me tightly with one hand while pushing me away with the other. The one who craved independence but still watched over his shoulder to make sure I was still there.


This is the boy who was determined to do everything his own way throughout his school years……even if it meant taking night classes for the last four semesters of high school…at one point going to class for eleven hours a day two days a week.

He did it his way.

Not my way, not his dad’s and not his older brother’s………….his way.

This is the young man who on the day of graduation gave me the biggest run for my money just trying to get him through the ceremony proceedings. The one I almost throttled.

Documented in High School Graduation and Taco Bell.

This is also the son who proved he could work well with his hands over the summer doing finish carpentry.


The one who had the gumption to write a resume and apply for a job out of the state he’s lived in all of his life.


We have raised him not to need us. We have raised him to wish for bigger things…to follow his hearts desire and create his own happiness.

We have raised him to want to be financialy independent.

He has done just as we’ve asked. He’s found his way.

Away from home.

I’m so thrilled to see the excitement on his face, looking forward to something real and tangible that is the product of his own efforts.

He is truly happy and it’s been a very long haul…….dragging him into adulthood.


I am so very proud.




I’m going to miss my little boy.

The baby who’s arrival made for the wildest time of our lives.

The one who I could still pick up and carry until he was six years old.

That part of my life with him is over. Forever.


This is exactly what we brought him up to do. To not need us.

He has learned well.




And my heart aches.

Third time’s charming…

As I was nearing the 26th week of my 3rd pregnancy, the constant comment was,

” What are you having?!”



Um, a baby, you idiot…….


My boys were 41/2 and 6 at the time. They wanted a sister. I agreed having a sister would be fun…….however, I knew going in that the chance of having something other than a boy was slim to none.

In fact when I started vying for a 3rd kid my husband said, ” You do realize we’ll probably have another boy, don’t you?”

I think he thought that would deter me and I’d change my mind.

Uh, not so much.

And the dumbass comments started coming.


“Wow, I’m sure you’re really hoping for a girl!”

Oh, yes, oh yes,  *jumping up and down clapping* and if I don’t get one I’ll send it back………….


Actually what I did say was, “You know, as long as it doesn’t come out a dog or a cat I’m good.”  


And that “Oh just so long as it’s healthy,” remark has always irritated  the crap out of me as well. Look , I’ve been lucky enough to get pregnant with no problems and delivered two babies pretty uneventfully; I would be happy with whatever The Man Upstairs was gonna give me. I guarantee you, no parent with a special needs child would say, “Oh, this one’s not what I ordered. Can you take it back?”


So, the very day arrrives when we’re going to have THE sonogram.


Earlier that afternoon I was attending  a volunteer luncheon for my sons’ elementary school. I was seated with the most obnoxious woman.

Thank goodness she’ll never read this.

And she starts talking about my abdomen and its contents.

Psycho Lady proceded to ask me series of  ridiculous questions ………. my birthday, my due date, Jim’s birthday, his eye color, mother’s maiden name, shoe size and comes up with, “You’re having a girl.  Oh, and, I’m never wrong.”

She’s absolutely smug and I want to smack her.


Not because I don’t believe her………which I don’t……………..I just can’t stand her attitude.


I very politely………….. I swear I was polite……………said, “Well thank you for that little tid bit of information.

Do you do circus tricks as well?” . Now, get your Exedrin addicted bony ass outta my sight………….


As luck would have it, I looked at the clock, saw it was time to dash and sped out of there as fast as my legs could carry my pregnant body.


FYI, I’m a nasty pregnant lady and I have been  forbidden to have more children for this very reason.


When we arrived at the ultrasound tech’s office I got up on the table and held Jim’s hand.

The only thing I said to the tech was, “When you see what it, is don’t blurt it out, okay?”

I’d already told her we had two boys. I was preparing myself.


She then said one of the nicest things I’d heard so far. She said,” Are you hoping for another boy?”

Ding, ding,ding! You win a prize for being a sensitive, thinking adult.  Hard to come by.


I replied, “I’m not sure.”

As she ran the wand over my stomach I saw a perfect baby. The spine, feet, hands ,face .


And little wee wee. Plain. As. Day.


She watched my face and said, “I. CAN. SEE. CAN YOU SEE?”

“Is it a boy?……….Because if it’s a boy I get to name it!”

“It’s a boy……So, what’s his name?”

“Christian,” I smiled,” His name is Christian.”

At that moment Jim was holding on to me. He probably thought I would fall off the table when I found out the baby was not a girl. Truth is,I  kinda already knew…………….

We left the office and Jim dropped me off at the neigbor’s house so I could pick up the boys.

They were waiting to find out who was in mommy’s tummy so as they came up to me I said, ” Well, guys, you’re getting a little brother.”

Jack, my oldest’s reply was, ” I wanted  a sister.”

” I know Honey but we’re having a brother and you know what’s funny about that?”

He stood there staring at me like….oh pulease Mommy, this is stupid..what’s so flippin funny about a baby brother?

“The funny thing is that God knows me sooooo well that He’s giving me another boy. He knows just what I need. Kinda like a Christmas present I didn’t think I’d use and it turns out to be the perfect gift for me.”

Okay so not such a great analogy, but at the time it made perfect sense. …….God knows exactly what I need. Not necessarily always what I think I want, and gives accordingly/judiciously.

Lord knows I’d  have royally screwed up a girl.

So, I’m getting this vibe from him like………..”seriously Mommy, are you some kinda whack-job? We’re NOT talking about Christmas presents we’re talking about babies.”

“Isn’t that great Honey? ” I said , “God knows me really really well…..”

He looks at me and says, ” I still wanted a sister.” and stomps off.


Snippety snip…..

As we approach the anniversary of my husband’s v-a-s-e-c-t-o-m-y I can honestly say it was one of the best days of my life.

You know….the whole no need for birth control thing…. um, lowered emissions …gross…..and the feeling that one could sit back, family established, relax and watch your precious little offspring grow up.

Are you freaking kidding me? After being poked, prodded and felt up by more doctors than I can remember, it was finally time for him to have his turn at “looky see”……….it was a monumental day for me.

How many times have you heard of women getting ready to puuuushhhh! begging for a nurse, doctor anyone passing by, to “check” her and give the okay to heave ho? We all have stories like that..numb to the waist.. your nether parts hanging out in front of God and everybody..and because of the epidural you don’t know what’s covered up and what isn’t.

But, this isn’t my’s his….. and it went like this……….

My husband’s urologist looked just like David Letterman. I sh*t you not. It was freaking hysterical, especially because we didn’t meet him until the day of the procedure so we had to hide the look of surprise on our faces.

Our dear Dr. Letterman…kidding….. had a nurse named Savannah that handled all of the pre-op business prior to the big day. I must have spoken on the phone with her at least five times, so of course, we were fast friends. She had a fabulous sense of humor..I’d guess you’d have to if your work entailed discussing penises all day. ….And her job was to give me the list of particulars that he’d need for his recovery.

I was instructed to purchase a very large….Well, in Hubby’s case, anyway. God, he’s gonna kill me when he reads this…or maybe he’ll be proud of himself, I don’t know…..athletic supporter. Hell, the guy doesn’t even wear underwear….sorry Babe……so, to imagine him in a jock strap gave me a fit of giggles. Like I said…IT WAS HIS TURN!

Savannah explained to me on the phone that of course there’d be lots of swelling, duh!  and the best “ice pack” as it were?  Frozen peas. Two bags please, so you can switch them out.

The last piece of information she gave us was that Hubby needed to shave his undercarriage REALLY well.

Okay, no prob, got him a nice fresh razor and told him to go to town the night before. The next morning I checked out his handiwork and touched up the areas he couldn’t see and missed. With jock strap in hand, peas in the freezer, and clean shaven cajones, we were ready to go….

I had been told by Savannah, my new bestie at the pee-pee doc’s office, that there would be a good chance I was gonna get to watch.

Pay dirt! I was sooooo excited.

Okay, I’m not a total B. I wasn’t excited because I thought it’d be painful, I was excited because I couldn’t fathom how, exactly, this tricky little procedure was done. Obviously I don’t get grossed out super easily…well, except when I’m talking about emissions…..yuck

I was a little over enthusiastic on the drive to the office; he, in turn, was mildly irritated.

When we arrived we only waited in the waiting room for maybe ten minutes..during which time my husband became more and more nervous. I tried to be sympathetic……Oh buck up, Dude!

Savannah turned out to be a very pretty girl …which of course I already knew because she sounded really pretty on the phone…. also super charming and friendly. Just like I knew she’d be.

Sweetheart’s name is called and Savannah shows us to the small operatory where he would be losing his manhood..KIDDING….hands him a paper gown, tells him to disrobe and walks out of the room. Well, let me tell you, what happened next was right out of a movie.

Savannah Prettygirl  not only ran the front office, she was also the doctor’s assistant! After Sugar was on the table she came back in tells him to switch the gown around so the split is in the front, has him lay back and positions his feet. As she’s nonchalantly talking to me she grabs his wee wee pulls it up and tapes it to his belly thereby prompting me to ask whether he was sufficiently shaven. Hubby by now is trying to maintain because she and I were snickering. He couldn’t see a thing from his vantage point, but, uh, we could see it ALL. She proclaimed us a great shave team and went to get the doctor.

When she walked out of the room I giggled and snorted, then said, “Well, bet you weren’t expecting that…..”

I was holding my breath as I still wasn’t sure Dr.Letterman..seriously can’t remember the guys name… …was gonna let me stay, but he walked in noted that my man was in position and shook my hand. Savannah was in charge of the cleaning the area prepping it for the local anesthesia. As Doctor was administering the series of shots he had a vice grip on Hubby’s scrotum.

From what I could gather, Sweetheart seemed okay, and the doctor looked at me and said, “Okay, Mrs. Gallagher, my hands are going to be very busy for the next fifteen or twenty minutes. If you feel faint I can’t catch you because if I let go go of your husband’s balls he’ll bleed to death.”

“Um, heellllooo, if I pass out it’s my own damn fault, and if I do I’ll make sure I fall away from the patient.”

The cool part of this whole thing was how the doctor made sure I could see what he was doing and how…… even answering my questions as they pun intended…….. Poor Honeybunch couldn’t see sh*t and was remarking the whole time that he was really glad he could provide the entertainment…….yeah, yeah, shut up…you’ve seen my perinium stretched and snipped to make way for your children. This was the least he could do…..

Sweetie Pie came through with flying colors……… recovered nicely after dodging the knees of our then three year old, and mowing the lawn a few days too early.

I’m also happy to report that the operation was a success although he never did go get rechecked to make sure he was shooting blanks. However, if necessary, I could redo the procedure since I know how it’s done. I saw it all…’s only a small incision and a couple of snips…



I’m desperately in like with you…..

I suffer from  what a girlfriend and I call ‘happy childhood syndrome’. I had no idea what a crazy ride my adult life would become. I wasn’t prepared! But, I grew up and got married. That being said, this is what I’ve found.

There’s nothing romantic about being married.


Weddings are romantic……….being married is not.

Once you’ve lived together for a while and you get to see each other as you truly are, it’s hard to hide basic human functions when you occupy the same space. Not that I have ever tried. Sorry, Babe.

Isn’t that kind of personal?

I do very personal things to myself while thinking of you”….

He actually used only one word  to describe what he does to himself…..but I could barely write this so, you figure it out………
*heebie jeebie shivers*

Thank you little dude from 24 Hr Fitness….

This was a guy that worked at my gym; a veritable stranger! He ended up at a community party I was attending…….Plastered when he said it, while teetering toward me he proceeded to tell me that he knew who I was.

‘Scuse me?

Sh*t I thought it was his job to be polite and smile when I came into the gym. For God’s sake they ALL smile when you come in…..That’s what they do. They greet you with a ,        “Hi I’m so glad you’re here to work your fat ass out” grin………
While I’m having this revelation, I successfully dodge his 5’2 body.  I sh*t you not. I’m trying to maintain and one of my friends is cocking his fist…..from his wheel chair, no less………saying, “Karyn, you want me to take care of this?”
“No it’s okay, I got it. I’m good.”

He was harmless I was sure…..just a tad odd…….understatement of the year…….. and completely toasted.

Who am I kidding? I was totally weirded out. I kept thinking I couldn’t have heard right. Right? Who says stuff like that?! Isn’t that kind of personal?!

As I backed away from him he told me that work was moving him to another gym location the next week.

Hmmmmm, duly noted…

Totally disturbed to the nth degree, I waited a whole month to go back making sure the coast was clear…………I think he thought he was paying me a compliment.



I won, I won, I won!

**Congratulations to Karyn Gallagher, winner of Rockin’ Wine’s wine tour giveaway!  Thank you all for entering; cheers!**

Ooo, have I got something special for my SoCal Mommy Friends!

Rockin’ Wine, Temecula Valley’s newest and hippest wine tour service is giving away a wine tour for two to a lucky Mommyfriend reader!

So excited to take my husband on a little mini getaway in Temecula!  Thanks @MommyFriend for choosing me!

It’s rough being the new kid.

I’m so confused. I don’t where anything is, or how I get to where I need to be. Uncharted territory.  I don’t know anyone so there really isn’t anyone to ask. Well……………I could, but what if no one comes to my aid?

I’m embarrassed at my lack of knowledge.

Like I was supposed to know all this stuff before I got here.

Sure there’s an information station, but it’s still a little confusing. A lot of it you simply have to figure out on your own.

This is a chance to try something new. Reeducate myself.

But, what if I get an ‘F’?! Oh, my gosh I could totally fail………..

To make matters worse, I don’t have any friends.

This is a brand spanking new situation for me.

Not to brag………….but I’ve always been sorta popular.

Now, I’m virtually no one.

I could use this to my advantage, you know, like create a whole new persona. This is an opportunity to truly exercise my intelligence, or lack thereof……develop my sense of humor.

But, seriously at my age? Trying to find people to hang out with is pretty difficult although I’m finding if I’m patient the friends seem to arrive.

Maybe once they get to know me things will be easier. It’s so hard when I have to rely solely on how I word something not necessarily on how I say it.

I can’t exactly count on my voice to provide proper inflection. I have to trust that how I portray myself, with the limited tools on hand, will be how I appear to others.

Yet, it’s so lonely!

I want to jump into conversations going on around me, but I feel like I’m butting in. I’m so afraid people will think I’m a total dork, like, “who is this woman?” I’ve been so careful about what I say.

When I do try to engage, I get a little panicky, hoping I’ve made a decent impression. It’s difficult to know how I’m perceived………….impossible to tell.

I have met some very nice people who’ve been kind and sort of welcomed me into their circle. On Fridays there’s kind of a meet and greet, thing but that’s a slow process too.

Although, finally after weeks of participation I’ve gotten

some acquaintances to introduce me to their friends.

Again, patience is a total virtue……………..unfortunately not one I possess.

God is testing me, I know it!

I’m fighting it…….trying not to let this whole experience affect my self esteem. I can’t take it personally.

They just don’t know me yet.

But they will.

In time.

Maybe I should just introduce myself, throw it out there and see what comes back. I haven’t been this shy since I was in junior high school!

It’s so hard being the new kid.



On Twitter.

And forget about  Google +  I don’t even know how that sh*t works!



Eat it or wear it………

My little boy had a friend sleep over last night.

Now, I like this kid okay….. except he doesn’t talk a whole lot. To me anyway.

I find this profoundly irritating…….but whatever…..

This morning my son comes in to our room and says, ” Mom, we’re hungry.” I reply that I’d get up and make pancakes. Pancakes! Not cereal, not toast, not cold pizza, but pancakes!

I’m thinking I’m doing great; not “Mother of the Year” great, but hey at least I’m trying…..

As I’m getting the ingredients out of the pantry, my boy comes in and says quietly, “Don’t make a lot. Bobby doesn’t like pancakes. He says he’s gonna go to his grandma’s and eat breakfast there.”

Seriously? Well you can just haul your lily white tail right on over to your grandma’s and see if she’ll make you a more exceptable meal.


What kid doesn’t like pancakes?

I’ll tell you……..the kind of kid who’s mom brings him fast food of one kind or another for lunch every single day at school.

This is what I call the “Have it your Your Way” syndrome.

When kids get to choose what they’ll be eating EVERY FRICKIN MEAL they refuse to eat what’s put in front of them. My youngest has two friends who do this. Makes me want to strangle ’em

My boys are accustomed to eating whatever I put in front of them because :

A) I’m way too lazy to go out, get in the car, and fetch food for them.

B) It’s expensive.

Next time that kid comes over I’m offering him a glass of water and a toothpick.

Mommy how is the baby gonna get out?

Something I learned pretty quickly once my boys started asking big questions. Only answer the singular one they’ve asked. That’s it. Stop right there.

I got pregnant with my third baby when my boys were 4 1/2 and 6 so they were old enough to know something was up with Mommy. They were keenly aware of my changing shape and were pretty fascinated as I got bigger.

Not like little girls might be, I’d guess……….but still fascinated.

And, of course they they wanted a sister.

Only because they didn’t have one…..

The day of my ultrasound came I was a little nervous. It would be fun to have a girl, but truly I really didn’t care.

I had the boy thing down pat. That in itself is a whole other entry.

We go to the ultrasound office and the results show very obviously I’m carrying a boy.

Jim’s totally tickled smiling to himself and I’m in total awe because the clarity of the pictures were so amazing. I got to see my little boy’s face up close.

And he was perfect.

We leave the office to go tell the brothers at home.

Cole, my second, wasn’t super impressed with the picture of his new brother. He looked at it and said ,”Okay so I’m getting a baby brother.” and ran off…

However…. my  oldest, Jack, was totally annoyed and remarked ,”I wanted a sister.”……. turned and walked away……… again,.a whole other entry……

As I got bigger and bigger Jack became more agitated. He would look at me worriedly staring at my stomach……..

Up to this point neither boy had asked how this little bundle of joy was going to get out ……..and I didn’t volunteer the information.

One afternoon the three of us are in the car driving….which was great because they were in the back seat and couldn’t see my face….. …Jack all of a sudden speaks up and says ,”Mommy, when you have a baby do they cut your stomach open?”

Wow. I took a deep breath and replied,”Well, honey, yes some people have their babies that way.”

He said, “Oh,okay.” And that was it. That was answer enough for him. Thank God.

I didn’t tell him that I don’t have babies that way.

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