Mom-isms and Musings

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Facing Cancer October 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — paintingmama @ 5:27 pm

This month is Cancer Awareness month. Sadly a former student of mine, Kyler Yelverton, has been diagnosed with lung cancer that has spread to his lymph nodes. He returned home from a mission trip to Haiti where he was selflessly serving those in need only to find out that he had cancer. He is only 15 years old, however he is facing this battle with more courage than some people four times his age. This week he is going through daily radiology following earlier chemo treatments.

Through all of this, he has been blogging about his experiences. I wanted to take the time to share his blog with my followers. Please read and share his blog. I have also suggested that people change their Facebook profile pictures to his this week and share the link to his blog there. Let’s spread this like wildfire and show Kyler support!


If Momma Ain’t Happy…

Filed under: girly stuff,Housewife Stuff,parenting — paintingmama @ 1:19 am

Last Wednesday morning, after waking up to yet another tooth ache, I decided to finally make a dentist appointment and have the situation checked out. I knew that my wisdom teeth needed to be removed years ago and that another molar had a relatively decent cavity. Getting married at a young age, being a young mom and being broke for years with no or terrible health insurance kept me from taking care of myself the way I should have. I wore the mother’s badge of honor that said “I put my children’s needs first”. After all, who cares if your tooth is better if you didn’t manage to keep the lights on  in the house.

I went to the dentist appointment expecting to have an appointment scheduled in a week or two to have my wisdom teeth removed, only to be told that the molar with the cavity was being compounded by the wisdom tooth pressing down on it. The result was an infection that spread all the way through the root of the tooth into the sinus cavity causing a massive infection. He told me if I had ignored this situation for another year, it was very likely the infection could have become life threatening being that it was only a stair step away from the fluids surrounding the brain. The teeth needed to be removed immediately, as in RIGHT NOW. The anesthesiologist was not on duty so this was going to have to be done with only Novocaine.

I returned home looking like a beat up chipmunk, but as I saw on the couch the gravity of the situation began to hit me. Something I had ignored for years as a minor irritation could have taken my life. I thought I had worn the badge of unselfishness by putting my family first financially, only leaving me to question if my actions had really indeed been unselfish. Thinking about the possible sickness I would have faced and God forbid, my passing… I realize that if I am not taking care of myself, I am not taking care of my family. I have preached in previous blogs about the importance of “me time” for Moms, but wasn’t fully adhering to my own advice.  Lesson learned. My health is important to me, but more important to my family.

October is Cancer Awareness month. I realize that with both of my Grandmothers having been diagnosed with breast cancer, that this is also something I need to be aware of. I am only thirty years old, but I am hearing more and more of younger women getting this form of cancer. Take care of yourselves. Hit the dentist and the doctor’s offices.


Little Bubba September 27, 2010

Filed under: parenting,Random Musings — paintingmama @ 2:38 am

REVISED…To those who have read my blog before, some of this will be a repeat. I wrote a paper for my class this week and included some past stories of Brandyn.

After wrestling and playing with my son for over an hour, my son asked me when I put him to bed, “Mommy, will you beat me up again tomorrow?” I smiled and promised we would have a rematch if he went to sleep right away. I kissed his forehead and whispered, “I love you, precious boy,” just as I do most nights. This time he threw his little arms around my neck with a very enthusiastic squeeze and in a four year old’s not-so-quiet whisper, he replied, “I love you too, precious girl!” As I lingered in this unexpected display of love, I thought of the years when I longed for a son. I thought of the hopelessness I once had of never getting to experience little moments like this. My husband and I had a beautiful little girl, but like most girls, she was a devoted Daddy’s girl. I wanted to have a little boy who was completely devoted to his Mommy. I thought of the pure joy I had experienced upon hearing the news that I was finally expecting a boy.

My pregnancies are always high risk, having preeclampsia with each one. At five months, my doctor house bound me. For four months I sat alone in the house, passing the hours by watching my belly grow and feeling the soft little kicks from the inside. I became impatient in the last month, eager to meet the little boy I had waited 26 years to have. Four false labors enhanced the drama playing out for a party of one. I had dreams of a little hand reaching through the skin of my belly to wrap around my finger or a little foot protruding to be caressed. Finally, the day before my due date my son Brandyn Kincaid entered the world.

I spent the next two weeks alone with him in my room at night while my husband worked and my daughter slept. I propped him on my knees and we intently studied each others’ faces. I began to notice that if I had my hair in a pony tail while I fed him, he refused to look at me. Each feeding, to test this theory, I would take my pony tail out and let my hair fall around my shoulders. His eyes would then follow the outlined contrast of my dark hair against my pale skin. His eyes would then float to lock with mine. We would sit like this for what seemed like hours. Most parents say there is a specific moment when the reality of having their child hits them. This happened for me during one of these staring contests. He was two weeks old and beginning to make cooing noises. While sitting with him having a little conversation of coos and motherese, as some refer to it, emotions began to sweep through me. Complete joy, gratefulness and relief rushed through me. It started in my arms with goose bumps, worked its way into my chest to form a lump in my throat and finally poured out of me through tears that would not stop streaming down my face. I covered my tiny son’s head and tummy in kisses and tears.

As the months passed, I longed to hear my son say “Mama”, but of course the first word he said was “Dada”.  I repeated the word I wanted to hear from him over and over, but only got “ball” or “Hi!” in response. One night when he was about ten months old, I laid him in his crib for the night. I brushed his hair with my hand, kissed his head and stared at his little round cheeks.  I leaned down so that my face was inches away from his and told him I loved him. Two chubby little hands reached up, holding the side of my face in each one and out of his precious little lips came the words, “wuv eww”. He beamed and again the tears flowed uncontrollably from my eyes. I forgot how much I wanted to hear him call me Mama. Time stood still and my mind took a mental snap shot. This moment that had just passed would never come again for me and it needed to be cherished and remembered.

The little baby that once cooed in my lap is now a dare devil who dives off the playground and according to friends, hurts himself more than any child they have ever met. One day when he was playing on the playground, I heard from the open sliding glass door a cry I knew belonged to my son. As I ran for the door, I heard another child say, “Oh, not Bubba!” I took the stairs two at a time as I ran for my son. Another mom had him scooped in her arms running to meet me. Blood was pouring from a gash over his eye, but he did not shed a single tear. I ran him up the stairs and to the kitchen, setting him on the counter to assess the damage. His shaky little hand wiped away the blood that continued to pour from the cut as he said to me, “Mommy, I need ice.” Realizing I had been in adrenaline mode, his matter of fact assessment of the situation instantly calmed me and I laughed nervously as I obediently applied the ice to his eye, as per instructed. I have never told my son that he needs to toughen up or take things like a man, but his innate little pride has prevented him from crying in situations that leave me shaking.

His pride was again in check as I took him to have some blood work done to test for a food allergy. I decided it was probably best not to tell him where we were headed. He never questioned why we were at the doctor’s office and paid little attention to the lab chair surrounded by empty viles. The nurse came in and had me hold his body still in my lap with one arm and his out stretched arm with the other. He sat very still, but looked up at my face. I smiled calmly at him and he looked reassured. I felt guilty because I knew he trusted me. The nurse quickly stuck the needle in his arm before he could protest and drew the three viles of blood as fast as possible. His little body tensed in my arms and I felt him gulp back a tear as he does when he is trying not to cry. The nurse removed the needle and replaced it with a cotton ball and tape. He did not say a word as she gave some last minute information and we walked back to the lobby. As soon as she was out of eye sight, he turned to me with tears building up in his eyes and gulping repeatedly to keep them from falling. I leaned over and asked him quietly if he needed a hug and he nodded emphatically. I sat in a chair and pulled him onto my lap. He buried his face into my chest so no one would see him and his little back rose and fell with quiet sobs. Once he regained his composure, he looked around to make sure his emotions were unnoticed. He looked me straight in the face and stated very firmly, “Mommy, I did not like it when she did that. I don’t want her to do that again.” My daughter, who had accompanied with us to the lab, asked the poorly timed question, “If they took blood out, aren’t they supposed to put some back in?” My son panicked and exclaimed, “I’m missing blood?!” I assured him he would be fine, but could not contain the laughter over his thought process and the precious scene that had just unfolded.

The four short years since the birth of my son have passed by so quickly. Days are filled with little phrases that make me laugh and others that make me choke back tears of happiness. The apartment complex that we live in has made our little Bubba its unofficial mascot. Everyone knows him and if they do not, he makes a point of introducing himself. I have learned to buy extra snacks and juices for the new children who move in monthly and ignore the toys that gradually disappear from the toy box as they are lovingly given away. New comers to the apartment complex playground are greeted by the blonde haired, blue eyed boy who says, “Hi, I’m Bubba!” before running inside to find some sort of snack or juice box for them.

Each night, when his heavy eyelids start to close, I dance through these memories. I tuck the covers under his chin and with a light kiss, I once more and with more emphasis from the memories still playing in my mind, I quietly whisper, “I love you, precious boy.” He smiles, eyes still closed, and snuggles his face into his stuffed monkey. I stand at the doorway for a few seconds, watching him sleep while tears form small pools that threaten to fall. My life is filled with blessings and I know that many of them originate from the tiny little boy tucked under the covers.


Winter Memory September 14, 2010

Filed under: Random Musings — paintingmama @ 10:53 pm

This is the ranch from the story. The bottom of the hill on the left side is where we dug for our "treasures".

In the winter of 1992, I went to Colorado for my Christmas visit with my Dad. He lived with his brother on a ninety year old ranch outside of a small ranching town named Elizabeth. In previous years, I would find the ranch to be a winter wonderland, white snow so deep that it had been left untouched, perfectly reflecting the sun like millions of little crystals, adding to the anticipation of the holidays. This winter was noticeably different. Snow had not fallen in a month, allowing the sun to melt the snow into patches that dotted the plains behind the ranch like little cotton balls.

The warmth of the sun was in stark contrast to the brisk, cold wind.  The melted snow had watered the prairie grasses. Green grass was emerging in spots among the dried grasses which had died in the snow and on occasion little yellow and blue dots of prairie flowers would appear from among the new growth. The snow melt had softened the muddy hillsides the ranch house and barn perched upon.

One afternoon my uncle, with bucket in hand, took me to a particular hill behind the cattle barn. We began to dig into the earth when I quickly withdrew my hands in pain. The shadow of the hill and the melted snow made the mud so cold that my hands stung from the pain and instantly reddened. I looked down at my uncle’s weathered hands from years of ranching in cold weather,  and realized he had not experience this kind of discomfort in years. He smirked at me lovingly, gave me his typical “you poor city kid” look and continued digging. He stopped when his hands found a clump of earth. He picked away the mud until I saw a sparkle of deep blue emerge from a corner of the clump.

I caught my breath and snatched the clump out of his fingers and frantically scraped the mud away from the mysterious blue object that had been impacted into the hillside for what obviously had been decades. As I smoothed away the mud, no longer caring that my hands were hurting, a deep blue bottle the size of my palm appeared. The sides were rippled while the  face of the bottle was smooth where long ago a label once adorned it. My uncle explained to me, as he continued to dig, that the Union Army would set up camps and temporary forts as they traveled the plains. The medicine bottles were left behind, discarded off of hills in temporary trash heaps. As my gaze followed the hill upwards, it occurred to me that the camp had been right where the ranch house and barns now stood and my uncle and I were standing in the nearly 150 year old trash heap.

My heart skipped a beat when I understood what this meant. I fell on my knees next to where my uncle was already knelt and started digging frantically through the mud, completely ignoring the pain from the cold mud nagging at my knuckles and and the chapping of my skin over them. My uncle told me to slow down and  work slowly so I wouldn’t overlook little clumps appearing just to be a rock. As we pulled apart the clumps of mud, we began to unearth many little treasures.  Pieces of clear colored broken medicine bottles, two whole medicine bottles and arrowheads of varying shapes and sizes began to appear from the muddy hillside.

We took our treasures back to the house to wash them. We arranged our finds in a curio cabinet my uncle had constructed, already containing many bottles I had never paid attention to before. The arrowheads were placed into a coffee table with a glass top that we later gave to my grandparents. The blue glass bottle was the find of the day. It was placed in the cabinet next to two other blue glass bottles my uncle had found sometime beforehand. At first, I began to wish that we had found the blue bottle later in our little excavation, but I realized that the first glimmer of deep blue I  saw peeking out from beneath the mud was the drive to push on through the cold and pain to find more treasures.


Freaking out my son with an avacado facial. September 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — paintingmama @ 7:23 pm

He kept screaming for me to “PLEAAASE…. WASH IT OOOOFFFF!”


Mom-isms #6 August 26, 2010

Filed under: parenting,Random Musings,stupid stuff — paintingmama @ 10:34 pm

After wrestling with my son for over an hour tonight, my son asked me when I put him to bed, “Mommy, will you beat me up again tomorrow?”


Mom-isms #5

Filed under: parenting,Random Musings,stupid stuff — paintingmama @ 3:34 pm

Big storm rolling through today, but living in the desert… my children haven’t seen storms very often. My son told me, “Mommy, I hear lightning!” I tried to correct him that you SEE lightning and HEAR thunder. He looked so confused. I don’t think he understands the difference because we hardly have either one here very often.