• kara

    Wild at Heart…

    Kara went to each of my sky dives and she would watch the training video.  After the hour introduction she would say, “I want to do it!”
    You have to be 18 before you can sky dive and she was more than willing to wait. She’s an aries though…and aries want it now, if not yesterday.
    When I started my training at Lodi, I found out that you can be 16 with a parents signature.  I told Kara and after thinking about it for 3 seconds she said, “Okay!”

    Yesterday we got up and headed out to the drop zone so she could jump out of a plane.  I paid for the observation instead of jumping with her.  I did this for a couple of reasons, but the main reason was I wanted this to be about her.
    John was shadowing her with Chocolate as her tandem and Stephanie as the camera/video person.

    Sitting on the plane with her was eating me up. She was near the front and I was shoved in the back with other tandems. When the door opened and everyone was making their way to the door, the fact that I didn’t have a rig attached to my back was the only thing stopping me from jumping out the door…and even with that HUGE fact, it was still pretty hard.  I watched her as she waddled forward and the only part I remember was her feet leaving the side of the plane…and then she was gone.  I scrambled to the window on the side of the plane she has just jumped out of, but she was probably already 3,000 feet down.  “Go little Bear!”

    The plane landed just as she came down under canopy.  “That’s my daughter! Did you see that?” I asked the pilot and the other observer.  I launched myself out of the plane when he finally stopped it, only to come face to face with my instructor. “I didn’t jump! My daughter did! Did you see her!? She’s right there!!!” I didn’t stop to hear his reply.

    After my first jump, I kept saying, “I just jumped out of a mother fuckin’ plane!” at random moments.   I ran up to Kara and said, “You just jumped out of a plane!”  and she corrected me, “I just jumped out of a muther frakking plane!”

    Thank you, John, Chocolate and Stephanie for making Kara’s first jump a great one.

    Her debriefing words go something like this, “I’m going to have to do it again because it just doesn’t feel like I really did it. I’m not going to jump into AFF like you did, but I do want to go through it for my senior project.  That was AWESOME!”

    Proud doesn’t cover it.

    Watch Kara’s Video: CLICK HERE

  • kara,  marina

    That sound you hear, it’s my tummy grumbling.

    This last week, physically, has been rough on me. The diet is draining me of energy (I thought there was none to start with!) Today, I got vertigo. The whooshing in my ears.
    After sitting down for awhile and getting up super slow, I was alright.

    We leave for Reno today for the Matchbox 20 concert. The road to Reno is currently being dumped with snow. Did I ever tell you how much I just lurve driving in snow? LOVE IT! (please detect the sarcasm)

    No matter what, despite the circumstances, I am going to have fun. How could I not? hot tub IN.THE.ROOM. Matchbox 20, the smell of hotel towels, TWO TEENAGE GIRLS who 89% of the time want to slash each other’s throat.

    *I just posted a bulletin on MySpace with the title “Webcams throughout the house” there isn’t a chance Tyler won’t open that bulletin. This is what it says:

    Going to Reno for the night to see Matchbox 20 concert with Shaun, Marina and Kara.

    Tyler will be here at the house. with the two guard dogs trained to attack with the words “Who’s There?” or “You home?” or “Keg’s Here” (the black dog hasn’t learned ‘release’ yet and usually attacks your pockets or the area in between)

    For those of you ‘watching the house’ I hooked up the wireless webcams and all you need to do is log into the live feed stream.

    If anyone wants the url for the live feed stream, shoot me an email.

    I’m a mean ass.

  • Dashababy,  kara,  The Fonz


    FINALLY! I finally got up to mom and Kath’s house to visit. It was, as Kathy calls it “WAY TOO SHORT”, and I need to go back and spend like 2 months to catch up.

    I didn’t plan on getting my hair done, but after seeing Kara’s hair when Kathy finished it…I begged her to do mine.  So, it no longer looks like it does in this picture.
    Kathy came in a few minutes after the pictures were taken and waved this magic wand over my head and magic happened and I am much less war-torn looking and more “Bow Chicka Bow Bow”.

    Kathy’s husband, Kevin was in the garage all weekend getting all the Christmas decorations out and ready for set up. Shaun and I decided that in order to get us into the Holiday Season, we would force ourselves to decorate early and see a therapist that will use hypnotism to keep us believing that, ‘we will get through this…we will get through this…”

    My favorite part the whole Christmas season is pulling out the last few decorations that only I am allowed to put up.  My tiny angel and my snow babies.  I have a few new ones that are old and belonged to Shaun’s grandma. All “my” ornaments are put away in my closet and not with the other Christmas stuff in the garage.

    God, this is a stupid post. Disregard everything I just said and go take a shot of Captain Morgan.

  • kara

    Oh, the things I will realize!

    As Shaun and I were dodging a car coming straight for us in the Safeway parking lot, I realized that If I were to die, the last post that you would read was about my cootchie and my boobs. As great as a book that would make for my daughters to write about me after I die, ‘My Mother, her Coochie, and the Blog she wrote…’ I sort of didn’t want to go out that way.

    Today is Kara’s final day of her 2 week (but feels like 6 week) play she has been in. It’s based on “Ever After” with Drew Barrymoore. We waited until the last showing, not because we know the final show is going to be better than all the others, but because we are lazy parents. We are, right now, debating if we should go or just drop the flowers off backstage with a card. She only has 3 words in the whole play. *sigh* Yeah, we will go. Because, damn it…we support her.
    Actually, I am proud of her. From the second she was born she has NEVER been afraid of being the center of attention. She started ‘acting’ when she was 4 years old in a ‘Disney’ type of play. She went to talent shows and sang in front of strangers and even at the school in front of people she KNEW. I would go and watch to make sure no one made fun of her. I would beat them to death if they tried.
    Last year she got the lead in Alice and Wonderland. This year, being a freshman she had to take a lesser role. I’m almost certain by the time she’s a senior in high school she will be RUNNING the drama classes herself. WHICH, will be nice because the damn drama teacher needs a swift kick in the ass for keeping the kids every single day for 5 hours after school…AND on Halloween..to ‘practice’.

    And, I better walk out the door in 4 minutes or I am going to be late for this wonderfully, WELL practiced…play.

    *** UPDATE ***

    Everyone showed up for the play and it was great. My daughter ROCKS!

  • kara,  marina

    In the last 4 years, this was the highlight of living with teenage girls.

    Marina and Kara fight like real sisters and not step-sisters.

    Both girls were 10 and 11 when they ‘met’ for the first time. In the beginning the novelty of having a friend to play with was totally awesome.

    Then Shaun and the kids moved in and the girls entered into 6th grade. The novelty of it wore off FAST.

    The past years have been a roller coaster of mood swings. I’m talking the Tilt’a’Whirl, Ferris Wheel and the Drop Zone of mood swings.

    They can go a week being the bestest of friends, glued to each other and laughing together so hard that it makes us laugh because they are in the backseat crying in giggles.
    AND the flip side of this the worst of enemy. They can’t walk down the hallway without the tension being so high that the pictures fly off the wall. They talk crap about each other and hurt feelings left and right.

    Tonight made me realize that no matter what, the bestest of friends part totally over rides the worst of enemy part.

    A couple years ago I went to The Eagles concert with Shaun. We had great seats, I had my buzz on, all was well in Kristine’s world….eeeexccccceeeepppt, I was missing something; My sister.
    During a good portion of the concert I had my phone and kept asking her, “CAN YOU HEAR IT!!?”

    Tonight Marina went to the Justin Timberlake concert. Kara told me that Marina promised to call her once during the concert. Aww. Cute. Now, where is the remote? HOUSE MD is on.

    When Kara’s phone rang, she got the biggest smile on her face and bolted to her room. I followed her in and listened to Marina walk Kara through everything that Justin was doing and saying. While he was talking, Kara explained to me that when her and Marina first met they would sit in her room and listen to that song OVER AND OVER again, and even had a dance to it.
    After the song started, Kara started singing with Justin AND Marina. Giggling. Truly happy that Marina was at the concert.

    In the middle of the song, Marina yelled into the phone, “I LOVE YOU, KARA!”
    and Kara with her big, toothy smile yelled back, “I LOVE YOU TOO, MINA!”

    My heart EXPLODED with happiness.

    They are real sisters.

  • kara

    Welcome Bob…the new tooth


    Back in July, Kara had her oral surgery where they cut into her gums and put a bracket on her front tooth, put a chain on it, sewed her back up and then we had to wait for the tooth to come down.

    The Orthodontist put some crazy wire thing on her braces and attached the chain to it. Within 24 hours we finally saw the tooth breaking through. It was coming in almost completely sideways, but HOLY HELL it was coming down!
    3 weeks later, the tooth had come down a little bit, but not enough to be jumping for joy about.

    The Orthodontist tightened up the crazy wire thing and within 24 hours the tooth was half way down. Nearly sideways, but it was half way down. We had a half a tooth.

    The crazy wire thing began to dig into her lip and we were going to need it adjusted so on Thursday I took her in. The Orthodontist decided it was time to put a real bracket on it.

    The VERY NEXT MORNING…WE HAVE FULL TOOTHAGE!! Not only did the bracket bring her tooth 95% down, it straightened it out!!

    Sometimes I forget that you all have been around watching the growth of my children. This is a HUGE growth spurt in my daughter’s life. Here is her new tooth…we named him Bob.

  • kara,  marina

    First High School Dance

    Marina and Kara get along SO great before dances.

    By the end of the dance they are bickering and fighting.


    And Kara had a crappy time at the dance because of a boy flirting with her ALL the time BEFORE the dance, and then it comes around and he stands there and watches her dance.
    Most would say, “Oh he liked her and was too afraid to ask her to dance.”

    Nope, this guy is a jerk.

    Go on, tell her about your horrible dance experiences. She doesn’t believe me when I tell her how horrible mine were.

  • kara,  photography

    And now we have Darnelle…

    Internet, meet Darnelle. This is Kara’s new baby. Before you go freaking out that we bought her a big ol’ expensive Nikon, just listen to how this all came about.

    Since long before 6th grade, Kara has had this thing I like to call, ‘Her Mother’s Inability To Retain Anything That Has To With Numbers Being Multiplied.’ (perhaps this has something to do with how many children I have…that or 9 months of not having a period outweighed the horrible sickness I had taking birth control pills)
    When it comes to retaining any information outside of the lyrics to every song written, every single line in a movie she loves or a promise I made while half asleep, she locks up.

    In 6th grade I got a phone call from the school saying Kara had a ‘melt down’ and that I needed to come to the school ASAP.
    When I got there her teacher and this strange looking man brought me into a room and told me Kara had freaked out in class and walked out. This is very much unlike my daughter, normally if she has a problem…she seeps into the woodwork and is unable to be found until the bell rings and she bolts for the door. Her teacher, the sweetest human to walk the earth, said that Kara had tearfully (ok, she was sobbing) confided in her that she has ‘math issues’. I already knew about these issues, and after years of frustration had just hoped that it would someday just fix itself. It didn’t and the boiling point had been reached.
    They suggested putting her in a ‘special’ class for kids that had difficulty with certain subjects.
    As it was, Kara was teased horribly for her ‘tooth issue’ and I didn’t want to add to the humiliation of her being pulled out of class too.
    Kara then said she wanted to go and needed the help.

    It took a half of a school year for Kara to finally understand what everyone else was doing in minutes. The dorky looking man had broken through to Kara and taught her more in 4 months, than all her teachers to that point combined did for her. She got a B in math and the angels in heaven threw a huge party.

    Going into 7th grade would be a challenge for her. Still no front tooth and all of her girlfriends had boobs. She was worried about getting a math teacher that wouldn’t be able to explain like her dorky teacher had been teaching her. What if this new teacher was mean?
    After talking to the school district, they enrolled her in a similar program and all-be-damned if she didn’t pass math. She was still being teased about having to go to the ‘special’ class, but her confidence had grown so much that it didn’t bother her.

    8th grade was similar, but she moved from just passing math to getting A’s in math. This is something UNHEARD of in my family. I certainly never saw an A in math, but it was easy to make the I (incomplete) look like an A on a report card. This ‘special’ class was really helping.
    I meet with the school district again and they agreed that the program was working for her and they would like to continue it through high school. There was a catch. She would only get ONE elective, when the other kids would have 2 or sometimes 3. We talked about it and she agreed that she would be willing to give it up to remain in the program. The second catch was since the elective programs filled up fast, she would have to pick her elective for her whole 4 years of high school right then, but would be secured a spot in all her classes.

    She went through the papers and through them again. She had wanted to take her drama/acting classes. She was torn between following the 4 year path of something she had a desire for and also for something she had been craving for; Photography.

    As you can see, she took photography. I called my dad and told him about her decision and he seemed…well, he could care less. Then I brought up the fact that she would need a camera. The school provides cameras, but they are REALLY bad cameras and for her to take this seriously, she was going to need to motivate her.
    Months went by and I tried every tactic in the book for my father to shell out the cash for her camera. Each time it was an empty promise of ‘looking into it’

    While we were in Redding last weekend my mother, The Fonz…well…let’s just say she used this tone in her voice and the eyebrow raise to her ex-husband that he understood that she meant business. She…how do I say this? She strongly reminded him that even though they were no longer married that he was going to bend to her Will or pay the price dearly. He called that night to ask me questions about cameras. I told him that Kara had her heart set on a Nikon D50. It wasn’t the D70, but it would be easier for her to manage and understand.
    The next day he put the bid in on Ebay and bought her the camera for half the price of what you would get at the stores. He was excited that he got the camera at ‘a steal’.

    Kara got her camera in the mail today. She pulled the camera out of the box and was nearly in tears. It didn’t come with the strap and I insisted that if she was going to use it, the strap would have to be on it.

    We now have a new Nikon in the family. Since our cameras are named after the characters on “My Name Is Earl” She needed to name her camera to follow suit.

    My Nikon is Randy (the little brother to Earl) Shaun’s Nikon is Earl (because he has the older camera) and instead of ‘Joy’ she decided she wanted to name her camera ‘Darnell’ (also known as Crab Man) because Earl and Randy like him and he’s really nice and funny.

    She has also decided that we need to redesign our business page with a picture of all of us with our cameras, walking through a smoke filled alleyway like they do on the TV shows when the good guys come in to rescue someone.

    It’s probably a good thing she has a camera…at least it will get her away from the TV.

  • Anxiety,  kara


    I had a super long, never ending conversation with my daughter tonight. I informed her that I was quitting my medication on Sunday. She freaked out on me.
    “Mom, you can’t just quit ‘cold turkey’!! You’ll get really sick!”
    “Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.”
    “Mom, Please call your doctor and find out if it’s safe for you to quit like that. I know it’s not.”
    “Mom, I’m not kidding. It’s not healthy to quit like that. It’s bad for you. You need to come off it slowly.”
    “Kara, seriously. I will be fine.”

    While in the middle of a debate with my FOURTEEN year old daughter about if I can quit my medication, I decided to show her a little something about being older and wiser. I decided to throw a little internet knowledge IN HER FACE. I googled cold turkey celexa. Guess what? The little shit is right.

    “Whoa…I could have seizures!”
    “I told you Mom, you have to go slowly. Call your doctor first.”

    I got my ass handed to me by a KID.

    Guess what I will be doing on Monday? Yep, going to the doctor to SAFELY remove the drug from my system. I’m sort of afraid because from what I was reading…you don’t realize how much it works until you go off of it and you become a raging bitch.
    I mean, I could TOTALLY handle being a raging bitch. I haven’t seen that side of me since the early 90’s. It’s only been less than a year that I have been on the medication so maybe I will be able to come back as less of a bitch? maybe? Who knows. I just feel sorry for those around me. They are going to get THEIR asses handed to them when they don’t walk the line.

    I actually have a list of things I am going to make sure get done when I kick the anxiety bullshit;

    1. THIS IS NUMBER ONE…UNO…MOST IMPORTANT — Get my damn lawn sprinklers working in the front yard and then tear it out and put in sod. If I have to figure out how to do it all by my damn self, I will do it. That fire in my belly is going to get me a new lawn!

    2. Repaint my laundry room — I mean really, Dan…ORANGE? Why would you paint the laundry room the color of the burning sun?

    3. Replace my windshield — Actually that really should be number one because after I get off the anxiety medication the fear of the windshield shattering in on me while I am driving isn’t going to sit well.

    4. Finish the hall bathroom. Touch up, just doesn’t cover it.

    5. Steam clean the living room…TWICE.

    6. Get the back patio cover to not lean 4 feet to the right. Again…Dan…really. Reinforcements would have been nice.

    7. Locate my waistline.

    8. Ohana is back.

    9. Out with the toxic people, In with the good.

    10. Figure out what the big rage is about Zack Effron.

    Now, you are asking yourself…why doesn’t she just do that stuff now, while ON the medication? Good question, and thanks for asking, caller. See right now, I DON’T REALLY GIVE A SHIT. I don’t really care enough to pester people about fixing the lawn or the bathroom. I don’t care that the living room smells like a dog kennel or that at any point, a brisk wind can and will knock over my whole patio cover. JUST DON’T CARE. One of the joys of medications is that when things that would normally happen that would cause you to stand up and say, “NO MORE” you just wave it off as if it were a pesky fly trying to land on your burger.
    “Don’t bother me, I’m busing not stressing out.”

    That there is my list. I’ve got a million lists going on right now actually. Mostly in my head, which makes for an awkward moment when I need to cross something off.
    I’m writing more stuff down to get them in order.
    AND that reminds me. Principle and Interest…that is some fucked up stuff right there. Go look at your bills. GO, I’ll wait. Look at the amount that is paid toward the PRINCIPLE. ZILTCH. What in tar-nations is that about? Someone needs to do something about that. It ain’t going to be me though, because really…I do not have the man power.

    What’s on your list? (ha ha, I felt like that commercial, ‘what’s in YOUR wallet) forgive me, I’m 48 hours xanax free and feeling a bit loopy.

  • kara

    Monday Morning…not this Monday, NEXT Monday

    Kara finally got her thumbs up for her oral surgery. They are ready to slice open her gums and retrieve the tooth now that the braces have given it space to come down.

    Sounds wonderful huh?

    I’m so excited for her to finally be able to feel ‘normal’. My sister said she doesn’t want Kara to be any more beautiful than she already is. I agree too, but I want her to have at least a fighting chance in High School. Kids are mean enough, give them a missing tooth teenage girl to torment and they will be in heaven.

    Hopefully by the end of summer she will be much closer to ‘normal’. I can’t wait for her to walk into a room and know NOTHING is stopping her from being all that she can be.
    She is so much more than I ever could have been at her age. She’s fearless going up on stage with the leading role. Can you imagine how she will be when she can smile without fear?

    I can’t wait for the day when that boy, you know the one…we all had one, comes up to her to try to give her the time of the day and she says, ‘Yeah. Right. You were so mean to me in school, why would I even talk to you?’. Then I hope she remembers all the guys that did treat her with respect and some dorky guy gets the heart of my daughter.

    Yeah, this is coming from the woman who is skeptical of ‘happy endings’.

    So this is the week build up to the surgery. Roll with me people, just roll with me.