Leave a Message at the Beep…..Please!

To the random person that called me this morning: 

I’m sorry I missed your call. See, I have an old cat that has been quite needy lately. So needy in fact that she insisted on sleeping with her body attached to my skull. My phone was on the other side of her and in order to answer it I had to wake up, make sure to reach over the cat, and then engaged in a sort of blind game of “Where Is It” where my hand randomly smashed down onto my nightstand as I desperately attempted to locate my phone. Then I had to push my hair out of my eyes so I could see, then push the button on the phone to answer. After all of this, I’m sorry you gave up and hung up on me. If you were to call back and I don’t answer right away, please leave a message after the beep. Thanks! 

Oh, and word to the wise; don’t let your cat borrow your phone to make a quick call. You’ll regret it. 😀
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*Irresponsible cat appears courtesy of: pinterest.com

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To the Two Gentlemen in the Taxi Wearing a Collective Four Bottles of Cologne…….

Ok, I think I understand your logic. You are thinking you want to smell nice for the ladies. After all, scent is part of making a good first impression. But if my eyes, as a fellow passenger, start burning from the scent within a few blocks of you getting into the cab, I venture to guess that you may return home D & D; dateless and disappointed. Not only that but you’ll return home confused as to why. The ladies at the bar may not tell you, so I’m here to clue you in–you’re wearing too much cologne. But there is hope. After taking an informal social media poll, I have some tips to help you pass the “sniff test.”

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I know what you’re thinking…”But the bottles are so small I need several. At once.” Unless you are trying to cover up 2 weeks of not showering after long hours spent at your job in the fish market, less is more. Oh, and the previous scenario is no excuse. Take the time to shower, thoroughly, with as mildly scented a soap as possible, and then apply only a few spritzes to your neck and wrists. After applying have a friend, preferably one who does not wear cologne and has been sequestered in another room with a plug over their nose, enter the room and tell you if you are wearing too much. And yes, this only works if your friend doesn’t suffer from anosmia. So choose wisely. Some cologne pack more of a punch than others, so even more than one spritz can be too much for some brands. Make sure to also apply deodorant. Again, men’s deodorant can itself be heavily scented, so keep that in mind when choosing a cologne. 

Also, keep in mind that you’ll be interacting with many different types of people, in a small, sweaty place. Some of these people have sensitivities to too much cologne. This is why it is extremely important that if you normally wear a heavily scented deodorant, it might be in your best interest to skip the cologne all together or apply with a very light hand. 

Going clubbing with your friends in hopes of finding a nice girl to go out with can be tricky. With the right level of scent and a great personality, you’ll be one step closer to finding her. Just put down that second bottle and walk away. 

Cheers!

*Phoebe Buffay and Rachel Greene appear courtesy of: http://www.behindgreeneyes.com/2014/09/20-years-of-friends-its-friend-versary.html

To the Teenaged Girl With Spina Bifida: Hang In There-It Gets Better…..

Ugh! As if growing up and puberty weren’t hard enough-with the acne, growing two feet in a week and sweaty palms. Add to that leg braces, a wheelchair, and bowels and bladder that don’t work properly, and you’ve taken the awkwardness of puberty and kicked it into overdrive. Especially if your parents continually bought you only knee high socks to wear with your braces. Yep, I’ve been there, and I wanted to let you know, it gets better. Fortunately for you, ankle socks are more available now then they were when I was a kid, so you’ll be able to dodge that bullet. 😉

Then there is the question of boys. My mom tried to make me feel better by saying boys were maybe intimidated by my chair and braces and that’s why none ever asked me out. While this makes sense, it wasn’t all that helpful to me at the time. Seeing my friends pair off and start dating made me feel like an outsider. It sucked. I felt like I was an outsider and everyone else was a part of this great club that I could only dream of joining. But you know what you avoid when you aren’t dating in high school? Drama. It gets so much better after high school when the guys have grown up a bit and realize you aren’t all that scary. 

Then there is the issue of what to do about your lesion scar. I know you’ve been eyeing that cute bikini at Target. I also know the first thing that comes to your mind….your scar will show. Frankly this is true in any bathing suit, but especially a bikini. My advice? Don’t be afraid to ROCK IT, GIRL!! When you have a disability and are out in the world, the biggest tool you have at your disposal is confidence. It disarms the stares of those around you. Some may still stare, but it will be because they are in awe of your confidence. 😉 Besides, you can’t control the actions of others, you can only control what your response will be. Choose confidence and you will win every time. It gets better.

But your biggest obstacle being a teenaged girl with spina bifida? Likely your #1 best kept secret. A secret that if it’d leak out (pardon the pun), would humiliate you till what seems like forever: learning how to handle bowel and bladder accidents. This stuff isn’t supposed to happen past the age of 8. The number one tip I can give you? Know your triggers, such as diet, and avoid those things that turn your bowels and bladder into an overflowing faucet. For me it was avoiding caffeine.

Weather can also be a factor. I know, it sounds insane. But temperature extremes can trigger your bladder to gush forth much like Old Faithful–except your bladder is not as reliable. Let me explain; say it is the middle of summer, hotter than blitz and you go out with friends to the mall. You are using crutches to walk and you reach the inside of the first store. The AC is on full blast.  For some reason, if you don’t have an empty bladder, this drop in temperature can trigger a flow that’ll leave you with a puddle on the floor. The same thing happens in winter when you go from cold to hot suddenly. While you can’t completely prevent this from happening, there are ways to lessen your embarrassment. First, catheterize before you leave the house. And if you still are a little unsure, don’t rely on walking, take your wheelchair. That way, if you do have an accident, it’s more hidden. When you are in the car going on your outing, sit on the cushion of your chair. If taking your chair is not possible, you can still get by with using crutches. Just make sure to wear a disposable pair of underwear over your actual panties. I know it sounds super lame and uncool, but I promise you won’t look like a granny. And you’ll cease to worry about having an accident in front of that cute boy from art class. Nowadays these protective pants come in slim but absorbent forms that are comfortable and won’t leak through. These were a life saver for me in college. You can normally find these at your local pharmacy or places online such as www.hdis.com

Finally make sure when you go out you have plenty of catheters. I remember once when my grandparents and I took my parents to the airport. The trip took longer than we thought and they missed their flight. So we had to take them on to their next destination–a two-hour drive. Guess who forgot to take extras with her? Yep. I’ve lived and learned, and now I pass my tips onto you. 

But even with a vigilant diet and making sure to catheterize at regular intervals, accidents happen. That’s why they call them accidents. So what do you do? One way I’ve handled the unexpected accident is to try to pass it off as your period. This actually works better than you’d expect. Lessens the embarrassment for you, and it makes sense to the other person who expects this anyway based on your stage of life. When all else fails, use humor. Here, feel free to practice using these phrases:

1. “Hey, who put that water balloon on my chair??” (carrying around a deflated balloon with a hole in it adds authenticity)

2. “Yeah, when I sit too long, my butt gets really nervous and starts sweating profusely. My dermatologist says it’s a glandular issue”

3. “So I was running late and didn’t have time to dry off completely from the shower I took, so I just came here and stood under the hand dryer and I must have forgotten to dry off my backside.”

Puberty is tough. Going through puberty when you have a disability is even tougher. But I’ve been there and I promise, you can get through it. After all, it does eventually get better. I promise.

Cheers!

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*image appears courtesy of Pinterest

PSA: What to do When Your Child Cheats at School

Today my blog has a special guest author; my friend Bill. Bill is a football coach and wants to talk to your kids about cheating. Take it away, Bill.

Has your young child recently come home from school with a note from their teacher explaining they were caught in an elaborate cheating ring at their school? Does your child admit to being the ringleader, but doesn’t seem to be sorry or understand the gravity (heehee, get it?? 😉 ) of the situation? Well, you are in luck. All you have to do is purchase the New England Patriots Cheaters Never Prosper (That Much) Educational Packet. For 4 easy payments of $250,000 (+$10,000 S&H), you will educate your child on the pitfalls of cheating. This educational kit includes one 2015 Patriot Superbowl ring in the shape of a tiny ball deflater, a time out timer that can only be set for 4 minutes-one minute for every game Brady has been suspended, and a football that can be deflated with the ring (Show your little cheater how much fun throwing around a completely deflated ball can really be).

For an additional 10 G’s, Tom Brady himself will visit with your child and teach him a few pointers on why cheating is wrong. Apparently his appearances are a requirement for some sort of “community service” program. 

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*Disclaimer: This PSA is in no way associated with the NFL or the New England Patriots in an effort to raise fine money accrued because we are a bunch of blatant, dirty cheaters. Trust us. We’d never lie to kids. Oh, and make sure to please only send cash.


In all seriousness, I hope this made you smile. Share with any football fans you know. #GOCOLTS!  😀

Cheers!

*totally believable superbowl ring appears courtesy of: http://memeinternet.blogspot.com/2015/02/2015-patriots-superbowl-ring.html

 

Somedays…..

Somedays are long because of a lack of sleep the night before due to needing a refill on your insomnia medicine. You’ll lay in bed for hours, trying to will yourself to sleep, even singing Billy Joel’s song, “Always a Woman” in your head-repeatedly. After a few drowsy rounds of the 70’s classic, you give up on sleep, put on an episode of Desperate Housewives and try to fall asleep later. Except later doesn’t come. The dark night transitions to slivers of light. Birds begin chirping. And you realize sleep is not going to happen anytime soon. Then your husband awakens and things really take a turn. Realizing there is no way you can try to sleep through his heavy metal shower tunes, you pull up another episode and figure you can try to sleep later.

Midway through season 5, you finally resolve to really try this time, climb into bed and…..you wake up several hours later, a small sleep victory that will end up being your only sleep of the day. You are pretty gross at this point because to try to block out any smattering of light, you take all the covers from the bed and pile them onto yourself, making sure your entire head is covered in darkness.

After several hours of being under 3 ft of blanket you wake up in a pool of sweat. So a bath is in order. Not wanting to wash your hair again, it is pulled back in a hasty ponytail. While you are enjoying your bath, a phone call is made to see if the RX you so desperately need will be ready to pick up at the pharmacy. But there is a catch…..you need to be seen at the dr. first. Panic sets in as you realize it’s 3:30 and the office closes at 4:30. Thankfully they have an opening at 4. So you haul booty out of the tub, get dressed and while you are putting on your shoes, your cat-who has plenty of food and water-decides it’d be in her best interest to bite you on the hand. Good thing you are going to the dr.

It’s only then that you look in the mirror and realize your hair resembles that of an extra from the cast of Les Miserables. “Whatever, it’s your favorite musical,” you think as you pour yourself into the car and count down the hours till you can get some real sleep. After being seen by the dr and waiting for your ride, you peruse the magazines and find a perfume sample of a classic fragrance. You rub it on yourself–you have a date later–and it’s only then that you contemplate the number of people who have done the same thing. With the same sample. Oh and that sample? Well, you now accidentally smell like a grandma. Awesome!

Arriving home, your stomach growls even more. Focusing so much on trying to sleep that you haven’t eaten all day, you look forward to dinner even more. When dinner finally arrives it’s as if angels from heaven have come down and cooked your meal themselves….it’s that good. And the glass of sangria you’ve promised yourself would be at the end of this day-perfection. 

I had a long day. But it is over and tomorrow will be better. Or maybe not. If you’ve also had a long day, take heart. You are not alone. Just remember to take time and relax, have a glass of sangria and remember tomorrow is another day. 

Cheers!

And speaking of Les Miserables, it’s always been a dream of mine to be a part of the cast. Or do this. Enjoy!

In Celebration of Mothers…..

This Mother’s Day was a first for me. For the first time I knew in my heart that I’d never be a mother in the traditional sense. In years past, I’d always approached Mother’s Day by thinking that “someday” I would, on that day, be greeted with flowers and children’s laughter, breakfast in bed featuring burnt toast, and a bowl of cereal filled to the brim with overflowing milk. All this would be presented on a tray marked with a sad-looking dandelion in a vase. But this vision changed at Christmas when my husband and I made the decision that we’d remain childless

Since then, I’ve had lots of time to reflect on mothering. Specifically the different ways in which women can be that nurturing presence. And it doesn’t always involve children. Today on my blog, I’d like to pay tribute to the amazing women in my own life that mother in ways that have made the world a better place. 

To the mother who raised me to be the woman I am-thank you. When I was first-born there were so many unknowns, but you carried on and raised me to think I could do and be anything I wanted, despite my disability. Because of your influence, I have the confidence to face the hard stuff with faith and trust. 

To my mother-in-law who singlehandedly raised three boys-thank you. Thank you for raising three of the most self-less, compassionate, generous, kind-hearted gentlemen on the planet. All three of us wives appreciate the hard work that went into raising boys to know how to properly treat a woman. Trust me when I say we count them as tremendous blessings every day. 

To my amazing sisters-in-law who have worked tirelessly to foster shelter pets, and raise pit bulls from birth to prove they really can be sweet and loving-thank you. It’s because of your work and love that dogs and cats are given renewed chances at life they wouldn’t otherwise have if it weren’t for you. 

To my friends who’ve recently miscarried, but choose to continue to serve in the nursery at church-thank you. Seeing you choose to fulfill your calling despite your loss has served as an encouragement to others, and an example of what true bravery looks like. 

To my kindergarten teacher who never had children of her own-thank you. Through you I’ve learned that I can still be a positive influence on many children without parenting them. More often than not, this influence can last a lifetime. 

So Happy Mother’s Day, whether your children have two legs or four. Whether they live in your house or just visit your classroom. Or even if they’ve earned a fast pass to heaven. Know that each of you are valued, loved and appreciated for all the hard work you do. 

Cheers!

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“Even Chuck Norris Can’t Defeat It!”

Such a full day was Thursday. Fully intended to blog but that didn’t happen, did it? (It’s currently past midnight here, so yeah, nada). But that’s ok. Some days you have to take time to attend to other matters of life. So, as an early Friday post, I leave you with this video of one of my favorite songs. Throughout my life music has acted as a stress reliever for me. Oh, and I’m kinda stoked to be able to hang out with these guys tomorrow.

Enjoy! Know that you are never alone and loved more fully than you can ever comprehend. Cheers! 🙂

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*Sidewalk Prophets appear courtesy of Youtube and http://www.life885.com