Limping Across The Finish Line

Today is the last day of school.  Finally.

I thought it would never get here.  I thought we wouldn’t make it.  But we have.  We’re all sick with sinus stuff (except Brad), but we’re here.  And after 10:00 today, the kids will be marked “present” and we can check them out and bring them home early.

Not that we will because, well, free childcare, but the point is that we could.

The teachers made kind of a big deal about telling us this.  I can’t imagine why.  Smile

And speaking of school being out, I’ve noticed a rise in fresh, young faces at all the local places I normally shop.  I attribute it to the college kids being home and taking summer jobs.   But I could be mistaken, because the young woman who checked me out at CVS yesterday afternoon – well, let’s just say her engine wasn’t firing on all cylinders.

First off, she took a really really  long time to scan everything in.  As in, I felt the earth grind to a screeching halt while I watched as she turned each item over.  And over.  And over again.  Until she located the UPC code.  This would have made sense had she been scanning in, oh, I don’t know – groceries.  But I was buying cards and gift cards for teacher gifts because hey – nothing says “thank you” like the purchased-at-the-last-minute gift card.   

My point is, the UPC code is in pretty much the same place on cards and gift cards.

Her speed would not have bothered me as much, except that a) I was in a hurry because we had company coming over and b) my two younger children were playing with the electronic doors, jumping in front of the sensor, then off to the side, etc.  And since there were two separate doors leading in to the store, they each had their own.  It was a delightful thing for a mother to watch from too far away to threaten them. 

So as I stood shifting from foot to foot, trying not to be impatient, the cashier reached the end of my stuff and then started looking at one of the fliers that was sitting by the cash register.  Having seen this before, I naturally assumed there was a coupon she was going to scan in that would give me a better price on something.

So I waited – again – while she looked through every page of that flier.  I was just about to tell her not to worry about it, that the coupon – whatever it was – wasn’t worth the wait, when she muttered under her breath “I can’t find the UPC code”.  Thankfully, there was a more experienced cashier standing close enough to her to hear her comment, and he came to her (and my) rescue. 

“What’s that you’re looking for?” he asked.

“I can’t find the UPC code!” she replied, clearly getting frustrated.

“What UPC code?” he asked.

“You know, the product code, so I can scan it!”

“Oh, we don’t charge customers for those fliers.  They’re free.”

It took me a moment to process it, but then it clicked – she was looking for the UPC code so she could charge me for the ADVERTISEMENT FLIER next to her cash register.

I. Kid. You. Not. 

The only possible explanation I could come up with that makes any sense at all is that her brain is totally fried from taking finals.  At least, that’s what I’m going to tell myself whenever I despair over the future of in our country.

This entry was posted on June 7, 2013, in Family Life.

Snake in the Grass

2013-05-27 13.12.41

Brad recently found this little guy crawling around in our yard when he was mowing.  He had us all come out to look at it (and, in Samuel’s case, touch it…eeeewwwww), and we stood their like fools trying to remember the little rhyme about red and yellow.

I came inside, Googled it, and behold, I found this: “Remember ‘Red and Yellow kills a fellow, Red and Black is a friend to Jack.’”  I don’t know who Jack is, and I doubt there is a snake alive who is his friend, but since I found it on the Texas A&M Vet website (, I will treat it as the gospel truth.  

Laundry Day

When it’s laundry day at my house…

I have to be careful when I grab for a sock to fold…

because yesterday, I grabbed Snicker’s ear and yanked it on accident!

Happy Turkey Day!

Snickers the Wonder Dog

For those of you who get my blog posts via email and noticed the previous version of this post was blank, I apologize.  I thought I had embedded the following video but apparently had not done so successfully.  So, without any further ado…adu…adiue?  time spent waiting, here’s the video (click the link below to view).

[WARNING: if you are eating, or have a weak stomach, or just really like mice, I suggest you just skip this one.]

Snickers The Wonder Dog Catches A Mouse

[9:17pm UPDATE: “Snickers the Wonder Dog” is now “Snickers the Blunder Dog” since she came INTO MY KITCHEN AND ATE THE CHICKEN I WAS ABOUT TO HEAT UP FOR DINNER.  I literally pulled the leftovers out of the fridge, stepped away to help Peter with his project that’s due Friday, then came back to discover HALF of the dish was gone – and there was NO TRACE anything had happened.  The only way I knew she had done it (besides past experience) was the look in her eyes and the way she went down into her “please don’t be mad at me” position when I looked at her.  That and she was licking her chops like she had just had the best meal ever because, SHE HAD JUST EATEN OUR DINNER.  Not only that, but she ate said dinner approximately 45 minutes before we had to be at Peter’s first band concert!  Ever!  She’s still in trouble, and I think she knows it.  She’s been slinking around with her head hung low.  If she just wasn’t so darn cute, I would maker her sleep outside.  Or something.  Or not.]



Any Guesses Where Brad Is Right Now???

Talked to Brad a little while ago and he told me to Google “missile test”.  If you are interested, here are a few of the links that I found:

Here’s the text of yet a different one, if you are having trouble with the links.  Makes me want to cry, I’m so proud of my hubby!!!!

SALT LAKE CITY — A white streak seen in the southern sky of Utah early this morning was part of a successful missile test in New Mexico.

Several people emailed and called KSL to report a thick white streak that lit up the horizon around 6:30 a.m. Some thought it was a meteor; others believed it was space debris.

“That’s what was really interesting to me: that you could actually see something from that far away,” said Micah Workman, Alpine. “It makes you think how large whatever it was that made that actually was.”

Monte Marlin, from U.S. Army public affairs, said it actually was a test of the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile using a Juno missile fired from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

It was the 14th missile launched from the Fort Wingate, NM area since the mid ‘90s. Depending on the sunlight, it’s visible at times. The rising sun backlit the Juno missile’s contrail and provided a spectacular morning sight for early risers across the region.

The winds in the various layers of atmosphere skewed the missile contrail, creating a swirly cloud pattern seen in the sky. The missile then returned to base.

Marlin says the missile performed exactly the way it should and when intercepted, all debris fell on Army property. It just put on a light show in the process. People from several western states saw it.

This entry was posted on September 13, 2012, in Family Life.

Nine Years Ago Today, We Met Matthew

Cover I made for Matthew’s Journal

I’m sure I’m like every other mother when I say that my favorite part about celebrating my kids’ birthdays is reminiscing about the birth. Like the kids themselves, each birth experience was totally different, an event that will remain among the top 10 best moments of my life.

Part of that may be because of the huge relief of finally getting them OUT OF MY BODY, but you know, there’s all the sentimental reasons as well.

So there we were, already into our 39th week with Matthew. My doctor had originally assured me that he would have me induced in the 38th week, but the hospital was too full of women who were high-risk pregnancies taking up beds in Labor & Delivery. I was sick – sick of being pregnant and sick with a sinus infection. I was so pregnant I couldn’t sleep because I couldn’t get comfortable, then on top of that, I couldn’t breathe. So on Sept. 2nd, when I went in for my weekly check up, I BEGGED my doctor to induce me. He told me I was already at 3cm and he was going to try telling them I was in labor, but that it might not matter. He told me I could opt for a different hospital, but that was a last resort in my mind. So he went to make a phone call and sent us to make our appointment for the following week, just in case.

I remember this next moment so vividly. He was walking toward me, coming down the long hallway that led to the check out desk when he called my name and said “You’re in.” If I could have, I would’ve leapt into that man’s arms and kissed him on the lips. But I was, you know, VERY pregnant, so I just thanked him profusely. He tried to warn me that things could change overnight and that the hospital would call us early in the morning to let us know if they still had room for me.

The next morning, my hopes were dashed when I got the call that said they did NOT have a bed.

We had set our alarms for some ridiculous time like 5:30am, I think, and I was up before that because I was so excited and couldn’t sleep anyway. Brad & I were both showered and dressed when the phone rang and a very nice nurse said they couldn’t take me yet, but to continue to fast until they called with a final yes or no.

Writing Journal Back Cover

Fasting included not even drinking water after Midnight, and with my sinus infection, I was absolutely miserable. Brad went back to sleep and I dozed a little but everything changed when the phone rang at 8:30AM and the voice on the other end said “Mrs. Just? How would you like to come have a baby today?” Then she asked how quickly we could get to the hospital.

I told her 15 minutes but forgot about rush hour. It was the longest drive of my life. When we got there, though, things moved pretty fast. They got us to our room, we met our L&D nurse, filled out the paperwork and were informed when she checked me that I was closer to 4cm dilated , which meant I was probably already in labor.

We told her about Peter – how I went from being 1 cm dilated to 5 and then 10 in a matter of about 30 minutes (it was no more than 10 min from the time the doctor checked and I was 5cm to the next check, when I was 10). The nurse was glad I told her so she would be alert and watching, and sure enough, after the doctor broke my water and I had my epidural, it only took about half an hour for me to be complete and ready to push.

In fact, one of my favorite memories from that day was when the nurse told me it was time to push.  She started breaking down the bed,  calling in the delivery team, including the NICU team because the doctor saw meconium when he broke my water, then she decided we were going to do a practice push just to make sure I was really ready to deliver. She had Brad get on one side and she was on the other. She told me to take a cleansing breath, then just before I started to push, she said “DON’T PUSH!”. She ran to the call button and said to the nurse that answered “Call Dr. Powers and tell him we need him STAT.”  Brad and I were worried something was wrong and kept trying to ask but she was busy. Finally she looked at us with a puzzled look and said “The baby is here” (like we should have guessed that). “He’s crowning!” The room became a crazy-busy place full of people talking and laughing and working and before I knew it, Dr. Powers was there in his purple gloves telling me to push – then stop – push a little more – then stop – and voila! There was Matthew!!!!

They took him to the NICU bed and suctioned him out while I lay there staring at him, crying when I finally heard him cry the first time.  All those months of worrying, all those weeks of preparing, and finally, there he was.

There were a few rough moments afterward, when his breathing wasn’t as regular as the nurse wanted it to be.  She took him on to the nursery, so they could monitor him, instead of giving us the first hour with him in our room, but that was fine.  He was okay and by that evening, we had him with us in the room, showing him off to anyone who would look.

Of course, bringing him home and adjusting to life with a 2-year-old and a newborn was a completely different experience, but I’ll save that for another blog post.  Looking back, it’s been 9 years of challenges and love and treasured moments and happiness – and I wouldn’t trade a single one of them.

Happy Birthday, Matthew!!!

This entry was posted on September 3, 2012, in Family Life.