Sunday, March 29, 2009

Alright Already!!

I've been avoiding writing about the week that my girls were here and I've been wondering why. First, I though I just needed a little time to download. After about a week or so I started to blame it on the pictures. I'm not able to load pictures where I want them on my posts, they all end up at the top of the blog. I've tried everything to figure it out and can't, so you are just going to have to slog through all the pics before you start reading. (Although, if you've gotten this far, I guess you already figured that out.....)

Anyway, I guess I've been avoiding it because the whole thing is such a life changing experience. Not like, "I read that new book and it was life changing...." but really, really life changing. Not visiting with the girls, but having been away from them. I mean, I had these people in my body for nine months. I was with them every single moment of their lives for years. I taught them how to talk, walk, tell their colors, use the toilet, get a glass of water and bowl of cereal for themselves. I dressed them, taught them to dress themselves, shopped for them, took them shopping and helped them learn how to make decisions for themselves. I also let them make the decision that they wanted to move to Alaska and be away from me. Until last Sept. 17 we had never been away from each other for more than a week or so at a time.

Katie chose to move to Alaska, she felt it would be an awesome opportunity, (she fantasized about being a rescue swimmer like Kevin Costner in that movie, "The Guardian") We made Jessie go because she was starting to run with the wrong crowd and getting into trouble here. It feel weird to say this out loud but it was sort of a relief. Jessie and I were at each others throats all the time. Every day was a constant battle between us. It seemed like I was bombarded with things that they needed at every moment, shopping, makeup, face wash, rides to friends houses or the movies and the constant, never ending need for tampons....Between me, Becca, Jessie and Katie we should have had stock...

I don't really remember the first few weeks after they left, I think I was occupying myself with setting up house alone for the first time in 20 years and trying to make a family life for Kyle and Becca. About the second month, I started to get frantic phone calls from both girls begging to come home, crying and unhappy. I spent my time between phone calls from them and running to my lawyer begging for her to get my girls home. She responded to these requests by doing unknown lawyerly things that cost thousands of dollars and got me nowhere...
By December I was hitting bottom. Rob had sent tickets to Kyle and Becca to go to Alaska and my lawyer was unable to draft a motion for my girls to come home to me so I was facing my first Christmas in 18 years with no one, no children, no husband, nothing. Fortunately, my parents stepped up and made plans to occupy me for the holidays. Unfortunately, I contracted a particularly nasty stomach flu on Christmas Eve and lost the significance of the holiday since I spent most of it with my head in a toilet....I wasn't selfish about it though, I shared my misery by infecting both Dad and Ellen with the same bug. I never made it to Mom's and the Christmas Day Dinner in Bartlesville that I had promised to participate in.

That was the worst, Christmas. And Thanksgiving. After that was over I was able to start looking forward to them coming home for Spring Break. By the time they got here, I hadn't seen them for almost six months. That just kills me, six months without your children? How do you deal with that? I missed them so much, Jessie's bizzar sense of humor, Katie's ability to be so sweet when she wanted to. We used to fall asleep together in my big bed, I'd make them play with my hair and we'd curl up like puppies until Rob came to bed and kicked them out. I love my dog Bueller but he doesn't smell as good and he never plays with my hair. He's the only one I have to sleep with these days. Plus, he's a basset hound so I actually have to pick him up and put him on the bed...

Becca pointed out to me that my house had become a shrine to my missing children with pictures of them everywhere. She was right. The pictures were just a small token of them and it seemed I couldn't get enough.

I took the girls to see Grandma before they left, I knew it was possible that they would never see her again. They spend the night with her at her house. Sam was there too. Grandma had her accident the next day after we all had breakfast together at Tally's cafe and never returned home. My girls spent the night with her the last night that she slept in her home and I will be forever grateful that they had that time. Plus the fact that they spent her last night at home with her made them feel better in light that they were unable to return for her funeral. They loved her so much.

Anyway, I'm getting off track. They arrived home taller and even more beautiful than I remembered. Now all of my children are officially taller than me, but that's ok, I'm used to being the short one. We spent a week shopping, visiting with Momo and their sisters and brothers and friends. Jessie got really sick about three days into it and spent quite some time sleeping in my bed while I took care of her and sucked up her germs along with her presence in my bed where I could grab and hold her any time I wanted. She called it "creepy" that I held her while she slept. I called it heaven.
I was a fairly jealous parent while they were here. I wanted every second I could get with them but by the end of the week I was tired and ready for some down time. They are wonderful, bright, funny, beautiful and smart. They are also exhausting. I wonder what kind of parent that makes me? I was actually ready for them to leave. I know they'll be back at the end of May and I get to have them for five weeks (if I can take it) but I probably won't see them until next Christmas after that, and that's a LONG time...

I know there's a lot more to this story but That's all I have the strength to write about for now. Stay tuned for more Tracy Takes Over............

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Momo says....

Momo says that I have to change my blog because she's tired of seeing the "Big Girl Panties" every time she logs on. I do have a couple of subjects that I've been wanting to blog about but I'm struggling with picture placement etc and am not quite ready to publish them. Stay with me, I'm not giving up, just figuring things out. Ok Momo, you win. It's changed!! Here's a pic of Kyle and his football guys holding hands and a pic of you telling the big girl panties where to go.....

Friday, March 13, 2009

Big Girl Panties? Coming Up!!

I have tons and tons to write about after my wonderful and much anticipated week with my girls but I think I'm going to have to follow Amy's example and write about it a little at a time. While I'm still getting my thoughts together and decompressing a little right now, I did want to let everyone know that they can relax a little and breathe, MOMO HAS HER BIG GIRL PANTIES!!!!

On the girls first night in town we had planned a family get together to celebrate their arrival and have a late birthday party for Momo. I had to break the news of Mom's newest challenge to the girls when they arrived and of course they were worried about her and had lots of questions. I explained everything to them and while we were talking about it I realized that my biggest worry for my mother was not about her health but more about her state of mind.

There's a line between worry and panic that every mother has. When your child is sick and you're caring for them you worry, you do whatever you think is right to break their fever, stop their cough, make them comfortable and take away their pain. Sometimes there comes the moment when you know that you aren't in control anymore and you need a doctor. . This moment almost always comes about 9pm on Friday when there's no hope of finding a doctor and you are left with the emergency room being your only option. After six kids, I know exactly where this line is and have learned how to listen to that little inner voice and trust it. When I close my eyes and really listen, I know in my heart that Mom will be ok.

The bigger worry has been that SHE doesn't know it. She's been really pissed of (and rightly so) and frustrated and has sort of been hiding out and wallowing. The girls and I decided to give her a hand. Since she 's been unable to locate her Big Girl Panties, we got her some new ones and extracted a promise from her that she'll wear them over her pants to this years Relay for Life. (Kyle has already informed her that since once around the track didn't do the trick, she has to walk around it twice this year!)
Anyway, everyone can relax now, Momo is all set up for this challenge and I'm sure that she'll be fine. By the way, if anyone else needs a pair, you can get them at Wal Mart! Who would of thunk it??

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lucas Genes

My best friends name is Jean. One time, back in high school I mentioned to my little sister Amy as I got into the car that I was going to go by Jean's. Amy looks at me with her big brown eyes and says "How're you going to go buy jeans? It's Sunday and everything is closed!" Ta dum dum.

All of my life I've been told that I have the Lucas genes. So many things about me take after the Lucas side of the family. I'm double jointed, like Grandma. Not as bad as she was but she always used to tell me that I was double jointed just like her. I'm short like her, shorter than my parents and both of my sisters. A lot shorter. I have huge feet and hands for my size, just like Grandma did. I have thin hair just like Grandma and Dad, don't let the curls fool you, it's thin. I have my Dad's dimples and I guess that my curly hair came from Grandpa. I have Grandma's insomnia, I can never sleep before a big event. Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of Leroux traits too, such as the famous "Leroux thighs", the bane of my existence and that of countless other Leroux females but I seem to be primarily Lucas, a copy of Grandma.

This is a fact that I have always cherished. I loved my Grandma dearly and I was proud of every trait of hers that I inherited. I was with Grandma for most of her medical procedures from her second bypass on. Seems like she had hundreds, pace makers, valve repair jobs, on and on. I'm not sure what caused her heart problems or if she even had high blood pressure but I know that my Dad has had it since his 30's so that makes it a Lucas trait.

Last week I was staying with Mom after her lumpectomy (whole other story) and complaining to her about a headache that I'd had for about a week. I was in pretty bad shape all around, totally stressed out, sad and worried about money, the divorce, stuff at work etc. In fact, I don't know who was taking care of whom at that point as I was about two seconds away from tears at any moment. She suggested that I check my blood pressure. She had a wrist cuff so we checked it and it was high, about 147/90. For the next few days I really noticed how bad the headache was and made sure to check my pressure every day, it was running about 151/109 for about three days when I finally called the doc.

The first thing my doctor said to me was "you have gained a significant amount of weight" Thanks Doc, duhhh, what else ya got? Like I didn't notice that my clothes have all shrunk about two sizes. Besides, if you subscribe to the lyrical teachings of Queen (or "The Queens" as my daughter Jessie more accurately calls them) "Fat bottom girls make the rockin' world go 'round!" Anyway, after we established that I am indeed a fat pig he got down to looking at my blood pressure. He checked both arms and found it to be 157/110 in my left and 145/97 in my right. Go figure. Anyway the moral of the story is that I get to take blood pressure meds now! As of today I'm on Lisinopril.

He wanted to know if there was anything in particular that was bothering me, to which I replied " Yes, I'm very disturbed by the fact that I have to take high blood pressure medicine". I just didn't want to go into my problems with him. I knew I'd cry. He's also wants to do some tests to find out why I've been gaining weight, since I work out like a mad fool and just get bigger for my trouble. I'm down with that, anything to figure out the weight thing.

So life as a Lucas goes on and I continue to grow into my family heritage, pop knees, big feet, curly hair, dimples, shortness and now high blood pressure. I'll take my pills and be glad that I have had the example and experience of my family to help me take these steps. In the words of James Taylor "The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time". I'll let you know when I really start to believe that.....