My Brats

I have 5 kids.

  • 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

  • alyx

    Alyx 1 – Mom 0

    Having already gone through raising two 12 year old girls, I figured Alyx would be the same.  Boy crazy, school is only for socializing and ignoring my parental demands.  She isn’t like most 12 year olds.  Boys are an after thought, school is for socializing, but it’s also about getting good grades and go figure she listens to me when I tell her do something and not once has she rolled her eyes.

    She’s also about questioning absolutely everything.  She also has a very firm opinion on everything.

    The other day she noted I was not wearing underwear.
    “Oh God, that could be the grossest thing in the whole wide world.” She started to lose color in her face.
    “Alyx, i’m wearing yoga sweats, it’s not that big of a deal. It’s more comfortable.”  I point out, while realizing i’ve never done yoga in my life, but enjoy the comfort of those damn sweats more than my own car.
    “Mom, put on a pair of underwear. It’s so ghetto that you’re not wearing any!” She puts her foot down and I just smile at her and go about my cleaning.

    About an hour later I call her into my room to gather her folded laundry.  “Alyx is this your bottom sheet?”
    “Uh. Yeah. I don’t need it though because I lay on top of my bedding and use my comforter.”
    “No, you’re going to put the bottom sheet on your bed. It’s where it belongs and contrary to popular belief, we are not white trash.”
    “I don’t need it though. It’s comfortable without it.”
    “Put it on your bed!”
    “How is this ANY different than you not wearing underwear?”

    I had to hurry up and high tale it into my closet before I burst into laughter.

    “Well mom? Do I have to put this sheet no my bed?” I can hear her snickering.
    “Get out of my room, Alyx…you win this one…but don’t you dare start gloating!”

  • tyler

    The Long Awaited Picture!

    As we were walking out the door for me to get Tyler to college I glanced back at him.
    Three guesses on what shirt he WAS wearing before I fell to the floor cracking up, the first two don’t count.

    He ran back to his room and changed his shirt out of the red one he wore the first day of his junior and senior year of high school into the classic black one he’s sporting in the picture.

    Funny thing is, it didn’t even phase him as we were walking out to the car and I insisted he stand there so I can get a picture.  The children have been properly trained.

    Later in the day my sister, Shaun and I went to see “The House Bunny”.  OMG. Hysterically funny. We all sort of thought it was going to be like “Legally Blonde”, but it wasn’t.  I laughed so hard and it was the type of funny that on the way home I was still cracking up.  Even Horror Movie Freak Shaun liked it.  It’s one of those, ‘see it twice’ funny movies.

    Maybe I was just due for a long, hard, belly hurting laugh.

  • My Brats

    The Every Year Tradition…

    Our first year as a blended family. 2003-2004. Tyler was a Freshman. The older girls were big, bad 6th graders and Alyx was going into 2nd grade and Shea into First.

    Tyler was Sophmore. The girls had moved on to a new school and were ‘Sevies’. Alyx was a 3rd grader and Shea moved into 2nd.

    Tyler now a Junior; The girls 8th graders and Alyx and Shea in 4th and 3rd grade.

    Last year:
    Tyler’s last year in high school. The girls first year in high school as freshmans.  Alyx in 5th and Shea in 4th grade.

    This year. Lawn dead.  Grandma’s here.
    Tyler starts college and I don’t think he’s going to allow me to keep taking pictures of him standing outside before he leaves.
    Kara and Marina now Sophmore. Alyx is now the big kid on campus as a 6th grader and Shea will run the 5th grade (and probably the 6th graders too).
    How the time flies.

    Comments NEEDED. This is always the hardest day for me.

  • alyx,  marina

    Conversation going on in my room RIGHT NOW.

    Marina: When I start driving, I will drive you where ever you want! Because I am such a nice sister.
    Alyx: So when I say, “Marina, I want beef jerky, take me to the store, you’ll say yes!?”
    Marina: Yes Alyx, because I will be like, you’re my sister and I am a good sister and I know there will be a time when were not all here.

    Me: Hold on, I am blogging this.
    Alyx: I’m going to go write that down…and make her sign it.

  • stuff portrait friday,  tyler

    Stuff Portrait Friday

    The Children are our Future

    Taking these pictures were hard on Shaun. Seeing him in a tux..and then when he put on his cap and gown…you could actually see his heart being ripped from his chest.

    This is our future.  Nooooot too shabby if I do say so myself.

    Did you play?

  • shea

    Happy Birthday, Shea!

    This was my baby girl, Shea before she was even a year old.  Today, she turns TEN.

    “When is your birthday again?”
    “MOM! it’s TOMORROW!”

    Today was spent driving around like a mad woman getting balloons, cake and bike.

    Another birthday disaster narrowly avoided.

    Happy Tenth birthday, to the little girl in that picture, how I will ALWAYS see you!

  • ex,  My Brats


    This week was one of those that you feel like you’re just ‘going through it’.

    Shea was in the health office on Thursday at 9 am. When my insomniatic ass woke up at 11 am, I rushed to the school to check on her. “Is she okay?” the receptionist who has been there for as many years as I have had kids there, said, “Yeah, she said she had a headache and her stomach hurt. I told her to come back after lunch and if she didn’t feel better.”
    AND FOR SOME REASON, maybe because of the lack of sleep, I said, “Yeah, she probably just had a hangover. I told her to chill out on the Tequila shooters last night, but you know 9 year olds, they never listen.”
    Then the most wonderful thing happened. SHE LAUGHED.
    I made the woman at the front desk who I have never even seen SMILE, LAUGH. She even got that it was a JOKE and didn’t threaten to call CPS on me. There is hope for this yuppy town after all.

    Today we drove to Redding to see Ryan’s last play. He was awesome, of course.

    After the first act, Kara said, “Mom, check out that woman in the third row. She looks like Tori Spelling’s mom.”
    I tried to remember what Tori Spelling’s mom looked like, then one look at the woman sitting there I said, “Ohhh, from the show noTorious?” Yeah. sort of looked like Loni Anderson.

    Now, I need to tell you a little story about our LISTS. You know what LIST I am talking about right? On Shaun’s list somewhere near the top is Brooke Shields.
    One night we went to see a movie and Shaun says to me out in the lobby, “That’s Brooke Shields.” I looked. Yep, sorta looked like her, but HELLO, we are in Sacramento…why in God’s name would she be sitting in the lobby of a run down movie theater? So what did I do? I made fun of him. I even called my sister and mocked him..”Shaun thinks he saw Brooke Shields! HA HA HA. What a loser!”
    The next day Shaun sends me an article. Hmmm. Go figure, Brooke Shields was filming a movie near by.
    I will NEVER live that down.

    After a few more urgings, I go to Ryan’s mom, “Kara thinks the woman in the 3rd row is Loni Anderson.” She reluctantly says, “Yeah. It is. Her granddaughter is in the play.”


    Jennifer Marlow from WKRP is sitting 4 rows ahead of me. Not Loni Anderson, the one married to my mother’s hunka hunka burnin’ love, Burt Reynolds…but JENNIFER from WKRP. How bad did I want her to say, “Hold Please.”
    I didn’t plan on talking to her but she was standing in the lobby as we were walking out and I had very loudly announced, “Marina it’s okay to tell him you think he’s cute! No really, Rina…go back in there and give him your number!” It was right about there in front of Loni Anderson that she turned around and did the grunt and foot stomp that meant, “OMG…YOU ARE EMBARRASSING ME!” and I laughed and said loudly, “It’s these moments that make being the mother of a teenager worth wild!” and then standing RIGHT THERE was Loni being all cute and giggling at the fact that I was embarrassing my teenage daughter. I didn’t think she would be standing IN THE LOBBY, because HELLO…she’s Loni Anderson and Loni Anderson doesn’t just stand in a lobby of a run down building. But she was. And she giggled at me. I suddenly felt like a moron, but didn’t let Marina get that sort of gratification.

    And now comes the question; “You got a picture, right?”


    I figured FOR ONCE I would leave the cameras at home and let Dan take pictures with his Nikon D40 that he’s getting use to. I asked him as we were leaving, “Did you get a picture of Loni Anderson?” I think he blushed. He might have had flashbacks to his teenage years and the posters in his room. Regardless he couldn’t remember how to work the damn thing.
    So no, but we have a bunch of Ryan…and those are WAY more important.

  • Anxiety,  Dashababy,  friends,  hope,  Letters,  My Brats,  Shaun,  stuff portrait friday,  The Fonz

    and then a hero comes along.

    This week Stuff Portrait Friday is Hero.  I had several days to think on it and as the hours came down to minutes, I realized that if you have been reading this blog for anytime, you know who my heroes are.

    1. My Mother: You know that saying, “you’ve come a long way,baby.”? I’m pretty sure that was made up for her. Her road isn’t a road I would wish on anyone.  I wish over and over she could see how proud of her that I am. To see her at rock bottom and not only pull herself up, but bring those around up with her is awesome.

    2. My sister: I get googled, kid you not, EVERY SINGLE DAY for this entry. I’m not sure if someone just likes reading it, or if there are people out there that are writing letters to their sisters and need a little help. I’m pretty sure they can’t say the same things about their sister as I can say about mine. She’s special. I’m her only sister and she makes sure that means something.

    3. Martin Luther King Jr.: His words. My world changed when I began reading his words. The way he looked at people and their actions made all the sense in the world to me. How could we not all live in THAT world he describes with such passion? To live your life with drive and ambition for GOOD and love.

    These are the people you know are my heroes.

    There are other people in my life that are too. My brother, Barry. (dorky one in the back) My brother, Jerry (dorky one to my right) and my dorky brother, Michael (not in picture) and the people that love them.   Today my brother Michael turns 41.  To me, he’s still 10. He’s still that mean ass brother that picked on me and also made sure that my first day of school I wasn’t crying the whole time. He would peak through the window of my class on his recess break to make sure I was okay. My husbands; Ex and Current. Shit, they put up with me. Do you know how much restraint that must take them?
    My friends; Really, come on…you think you have to hear me bitch? You get the Cambells soup version of what they have to hear.  My husband’s ex-wife; We take turns being the evil one. I think today was my day. Sorry, Tabitha.  Old friends that no matter what I did or said to them STILL love me.  You have no idea what your forgiveness means to me.

    So who’s my hero?  Me.
    It’s who all those people that I love SO much and look up to would want me to call my hero. Myself.
    It’s who I want my daughters to call their hero. Themselves.
    Noooooo, they certainly didn’t have it as bad as that group of people in the picture that share a last name. NOT EVEN CLOSE.  If not getting to go on the ‘East Coast Trip’ or getting your cell phone taken away is as bad as it gets, count yourself lucky.

    I’m a survivor. I didn’t do it alone. I’ve had hundreds of hands (my family…and YOURS) pick me up and dust me off.  At the end of the day, I have to live this life the best way I know how.  I think I might be doing okay.

    Now, I am going to force myself to go to sleep because tomorrow I am going with Dan and the kids to Redding to watch my step son in his last play of his high school career. Ryan hasn’t been my ‘official’ step son for the last 8 years, but that doesn’t change my love for him and how I will always support him in no matter what he does in life. It also means  I will need to take about 6 xanax to be able to sit with his mother who thinks I am satan in a pair of flip flops.

    So, who’s your hero?  You picked me huh? Yeah…I thought so.  DID YOU PLAY???

  • tyler

    As if…

    Later the same night that I posted the last entry, Tyler comes bursting into my room and going straight for my clean towels.

    “Tyler! What are doing?”
    “I’m getting a towel.” He looks at me like he’s about to say, “Here’s your sign.”
    “WHY?” My voice has risen to the level that only dogs can hear.
    “Because the dog barfed on the floor.”

    Uh. Straight A student. Honor roll. Advanced classes. Complete idiot.

    “WHY ARE YOU USING MY CLEAN TOWELS TO CLEAN IT UP?”  I can’t even understand my own voice anymore.

    and then he does something that changes every fiber in my being.  HE looks at ME, like I am the stupidest person in the whole world. His eyebrows pinch together so tightly as if he is worried about my mental health because If I just asked that question, there must be something truly and deeply wrong all the way to my core.
    He shakes his head at me, throws up his arms and says SO matter of fact, “Because there are NO dirty towels to use.”

    Of course. Silly me. Use my clean towels to clean up dog barf.

    I was just going to use it to clean up after sex anyway.