Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It's a Home Run!

After dinner, I sat on the couch reading a book. Ordinarily I'd be cleaning up, making sure everyone's homework was completed and in their backpacks, ready to go, but I only had a few pages left in this book and I wanted to finish it. I had literally just read these lines . . .

. . . when I heard a loud shot followed by the tinkling sound of glass breaking. Oh my gosh, someone's breaking into my house! Where's my gun? Oh, that's right, I don't have a gun. It's a good thing I don't. Who knows what would happen if a gun were in my house! What can I use? A Taser? Pepper spray? A baseball bat? Hairspray? A pointy shoe? Sort of sharp nails in need of a manicure? On second thought, I think I'll run out the back door while shouting, "Every man for himself!" 

Once I regained my common sense (you know, I put down my book and rejoined reality), I realized that if I was hearing breaking glass, my kids had to be nearby. I jumped up to check it out.

This is what I found . . .

And outside stood Clay with the smoking gun, er baseball bat. "Nice hit. Did you get a home run at least?"

His face was a combination of sheepishness and incredulity. He dropped the bat, ran inside, and disappeared. I let him go because I thought it would probably be frowned upon if I threw him through the window after the softball. Instead, I went inside and grabbed the essentials: the vacuum, my phone, and my camera. I took pictures, texted my friend Cheri - Do you know anyone who can replace glass?, and plugged in the vacuum while Savannah picked up the big chunks of glass. Then I made a few calls and found someone to come out and replace the glass tonight.

When the guy showed up, I opened the door and stood there staring at him. I may have involuntarily drooled a little. At some point, I must have let him in, but I don't remember doing this. I stood around, watching him fix the window because well, he was damn cute. I made brilliant small talk. "The sad thing is that this isn't the first time. With 6 kids, I can't even count how many broken windows there have been over the years."

He gave me the standard horrified look that folks give me once I tell them I have 6 kids. Oh yeah, he's gotta be into me. I mean, what's not to love? I'm old, I'm fat, I have like 3 teeth left, my hair was unwashed, my makeup had melted off my face earlier in the rain and humidity, and I had 6 kids running around the house like rabid wolves. Yep.

After he fixed the window, he went out to his truck, returning with my bill. "So, 6 kids, huh? That's like the Brady Bunch," he said.

"Yeah, heh heh," I laughed nervously. "Like the Brady Bunch, but without Alice or um . . ." I tried to think of the dad's name. You know, to make sure he realized I wasn't attached to anyone. But I couldn't think of the name Mike to save my life so I just repeated myself. "Um yeah, without Alice."

He looked at me like I had a learning disability and said, "Yeah, Alice did a lot, didn't she?" 

I made some incoherent mumbling sounds and hoped he'd leave before I opened my mouth to say any more stupid things.

Of course, after he left, I contemplated throwing another ball through the window to get him back here to ask him if he did other handyman type stuff because I have a fixit list a mile long and well, he's damn cute. But with my luck, they wouldn't have dispatched the same guy. They would've sent out Bubba with the plumber's crack, the camo hat, and less teeth than I have.

On the bright side, my window is fixed, my tax refund is spent, I didn't have snow coming through the hole while I waited for it to be repaired, Clay apologized and I hugged him because I know he didn't do it on purpose, and I got to practice being stupid in front of other humans. All in all, it was a good night.

If you're in central Florida and need your home or auto glass repair, these guys were friendly and quick and well, damn cute.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Meet my Dentist, Orin Scrivello

It's been a few days since I've had someone's hands in my mouth, so I figured it was time for another trip to the dentist. Now that the infection is at bay and the horrific pain from my root canal has waned, I decided to get the tooth that couldn't be saved, extracted. I went through the drill - lie down, put on the shades, get the nifty bib, open my mouth, and wait for the 4 foot needle.

After the dentist (I'll fondly refer to him as Orin Scrivello from now on) shot me up with anesthetic, I closed my eyes and tried to slow my breathing and stop digging my nails into my hands. Orin came back a few minutes later and started poking around my tooth. It hurt. More shots. More waiting. Then morbid curiosity got the better of me and I turned around to glance at the tray of implements.

Oh my gosh! Is that a CHISEL I see?! What kind of medieval torture goes on in this place? Oh, I should've been knocked out for this. 

When Orin returned, I asked, "Do you have a paper bag I can breathe into? I think my heart's going to explode."

Orin laughed his maniacal laugh. Apparently he thought I was joking.

He commenced Operation Torture wherein he attempted to relieve me of my tooth. After much pulling and digging around, my crown popped off. The rest of the tooth remained. He continued to pull to no avail. After half an hour of this, he got up, mopped his face which was drenched in sweat and informed me he'd have to break the tooth apart and remove it in pieces.

"Shoot me. Shoot me now."

I think he left the room to call his wife and tell her that he'd be skipping the gym after work since he'd already gotten his upper-body workout. I took this moment to run to the bathroom. That wasn't one of my better plans. I glanced into the mirror as I washed my hands. Despite the metallic tang of blood that filled my mouth, I wasn't prepared to see the blood on my bib and smeared across my face. I thought about making a dash for the front door, but the waiting room was filled with kids. I was afraid that watching a frantic lady in a blood spattered bib with wild hair and crazy eyes run out the door might scar them for life.

Orin and I returned for round two.

He drilled what was left of my tooth in half and started tugging again. He yanked and used my jaw as leverage as he tried to pop out the pieces of tooth. He braced his foot on my chest, grabbed the tooth-yanker-thingy with both hands, and leaned back, using all his weight to pull. If he'd lost his grip at this point, he would've flown back a good 10 yards. 

Eventually he removed all the pieces, effectively reducing me to a toothless, redneck, hillbilly, toothless, dork with no teeth. I'd like to say that I will never, ever, ever set foot in a dentist's office again, but since I have a problem with looking like a hillbilly, I guess I'll be going back at some point for a bridge.

And here I'll leave you with a video of my dentist. Yes, I know it looks like Steve Martin. But it's my dentist, I assure you.

Can't get enough? See what Dawn is up to over at Babble!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

In Too Deep

Here I am with Michelle in the middle and Mimi
Because of my blog, I've been fortunate enough to meet some really wonderful people. Several years ago I met a woman who is amazingly talented. I said to myself, after reading some of her work, "This woman is going to be published one day." That woman is Michelle Brownlow. She's got a huge, wonderful servant's heart and she's got a real passion for empowering and inspiring teens and young adults. She can not only write, but she's an absolutely incredible artist as well! I'd seen dozens of her illustrations which are all awesome, but when I saw this portrait she drew of her grandfather years ago, I was simply blown away by the scope of her talent.

See what I mean? She's amazing, no?

And I was right about her! She's having her first book published in June and I couldn't be more proud! She revealed the cover of her book, In Too Deep this Friday. Check it out!

Here's the synopsis:

Gracie has just finished her freshman year of college in Memphis when she takes a job at a local pizza joint in her home town of McKenzie, Tennessee. She is the epitome of innocence when she meets Noah. Noah is unabashedly handsome, intriguingly reckless and just cocky enough to be sexy. Gracie’s instincts tell her to stay far away from him and based on the stories she hears from her co-workers he leaves broken hearts in his wake. But still, she can’t explain her fascination with him.

Noah puts aside his bad boy ways when what he thought was a summer crush has him unexpectedly falling in love. But soon after Gracie transfers to UT Knoxville to be with Noah, their unexpected love becomes riddled with anger, deceit and humiliation.

Jake, Noah’s former roommate and Gracie’s best friend, can no longer be a bystander. Gracie’s world falls out from beneath her and when she breaks she turns to Jake for strength. As Jake talks her through a decision she’s not yet strong enough to make, together they uncover a truth so ugly neither of them is prepared for its fallout. Will Jake pull her to the surface or is Gracie Jordan finally In Too Deep?

I cannot wait to read my good friend's book and will be doing a giveaway when it comes out in June. I'll keep you updated!

Want to learn more about Michelle? Check out her Facebook page HERE!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Harlem Shake - Mom Blogger Style

mqdefaultA few days ago, my sixteen-year-old daughter asked me, "Have you heard of the Harlem Shake?" 

I gave her my best Whatcha talkin' 'bout, Willis? look. 

 She went on, "Well you will hear about it." Then she handed me her iPod and hit play on the video she had queued." 

I watched the 30 second video and laughed. "That's pretty funny," I admitted. "Are those friends of yours?" I asked about the people in the video. 

 "No, but there are a ton of these videos out there. Everyone has made one." 

 Today I decided it would be fun to make my own. "Hey kids! Will you dance around in a video for me?"


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I'm Ready for the Oscars! Are You?

I'm hopelessly out of the loop. The day OF the Superbowl, I texted my son, "Is the Superbowl this weekend?"

He answered, "Uhhh yeah."

"Who's playing?"

"The Ravens and the 49ers," he answered.

"The Ravens? Are you sure? I've never heard of them. Where are they from?"

"Baltimore," was his answer.

"That's the Orioles!"

"Mom, just stop talking."

Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Winner

And the Valentine's Day winner of the set of 4 books is . . .

Blogger Jenny said...
I am totally a single parent, much like yourself. Four children, incredible busy and I feel for you so much. My only consolation is having family nearby that can help. But, I do feel the pain of being 100% a single mom while working full time. It's not easy and I admire you greatly through your blog!

Congratulations! Email me at dawn@dawnmeehan.com with your shipping information.  :)

Smiling is Overrated, Right?

So let's recap, shall we? In July, I developed blood clots in my leg. One of those clots decided to travel. I got a pulmonary embolism. Then, since everything else was healing and apparently I'm not allowed to ever have calm, uneventful times, I got plantar fasciitis in my foot which made walking super-painful. After several months, two shots in my heel, a night brace, and orthotic inserts, that seems to be getting a little better. So, of course, something else had to crop up. Cue the abscessed tooth. My jaw started hurting last week and by Tuesday night I was in tears. I've given birth to 6 kids, I've had kidney stones, I've had diverticulitis, I had my tonsils taken out as an adult. I can handle pain. I laugh in the face of pain. I crush pain without a second thought. Unless it's in my face. Ohmygosh, tooth pain brings me to my knees and makes me cry like a little baby girl.

I went to my dentist Wednesday morning.  He prescribed antibiotics and pain killers and told me I'd need to go to an endodontist since I'd already had a root canal and crown on this particular tooth several years ago. My dentist wasn't sure it could be saved. So today I went to the endodontist. I told her that my jaw was actually better, but now my last tooth (the tooth next to the abscessed one) was hurting. She tried to set my mind at ease, telling me it was probably just referred pain. 

"Um, my ear hurts a little. That's referred pain. But my tooth actually hurts. I mean really hurts. I'm pretty sure it's not referred pain. She had me bite down. Ouch. She touched a healthy tooth with something that was 4000 degrees below 0 and I jumped out of the chair a little. Then she touched my painful last tooth and I felt nothing. Apparently that's not a good sign. I was right. It wasn't referred pain; my tooth is dead and both of my back molars are infected.

"Oh you need a root canal on this tooth in addition to the retreatment on the second-to-last tooth."

"Goodie. I can't think of anything I'd rather do."

The dental assistant took my blood pressure. "Wow, that's pretty high," she remarked. Do you usually have high blood pressure?"

"Um no. It's usually quite low. But, if you hadn't noticed, I'm about to have dental work done, so . . ." I trailed off since, in my mind, this was a perfectly good explanation for my heart nearly exploding.

She draped a plastic cape over me. I tried to convince myself I was getting a hair cut. It didn't work. She put some sunglasses on me. I tried to pretend I was at the beach. It didn't work. I sat back in the chair, immediately clenched my teeth together, started breathing crazy, and tightened every muscle in my body. She gave me 4 shots of local anesthetic. I whimpered. She asked if I was okay.

"Just dandy", I slurred as my tongue started to numb.

She put a little jack in my mouth to hold my jaw open and spread a rubber sheet across my face. This is when I went a slightly berserk. It's all a little cloudy now, but it involved much gagging, dry heaving, bolting upright in the chair, apologizing for ripping everything off my face, and praying fervently for the world to end so I wouldn't have to endure dental work. As I write this now, it occurs to me that may not be the  most rational reaction, but at the time it seemed pretty reasonable.

After getting all set up again, she started drilling on my back tooth that needs a root canal. A few minutes later, the receptionist came into the room and told her to stop. "Her insurance office is closed today so we can't get approval for the root canal. You'll have to do it another day." Excellent. My tooth is open, I'm in pain, yet it can't be taken care of because my insurance office is closed. Nice system we've got here. The dentist stuffed my tooth with Playdough or something, told me I'd have to come back to have it taken care of, and moved on the other tooth for which we already had approval from last week.

I sat there shaking, every muscle in my body tensed. I told myself to relax. I made a conscious effort to unclench my butt cheeks. Breathe, Dawn. I took a deep breath. Take your nails out of your palms, Dawn. I slowly uncurled my fingers. Relax. Two seconds later, I was shaking. I told myself to relax again. I tried to picture myself on a beach, a hot guy with great hair, bronzed skin stretched across washboard abs, and ginormous biceps handing me a refreshing drink adorned with a pineapple slice and a little paper umbrella. That did nothing for me. I tried again. I imagined a middle aged, balding man with a little beer belly and a tool belt. He was fixing the loose banister on my stairs. Now that's a fantasy! It worked for approximately 2 minutes. Then I was shaking again. I pictured my kids cleaning the bathrooms while I was at the dentist's office, however that visual only scared me because, well, wouldn't you be scared if your kids cleaned the bathrooms without being told? And then I was shaking again. This continued for an hour.

When all was said and done, she couldn't save my tooth. The root is cracked. She stuffed it with some more Playdough and told me I'd have to get it pulled by my regular dentist.

On my list for this week - go off my blood thinners so I can get approval for the extraction, go back to the endodontist for the root canal tomorrow, win a million dollars, and figure out a way to get out of all this.

Can't get enough? See what Dawn is up to over at Babble.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

To all the Single Moms

4585171523_b98215e545My first inclination was to write about how much Valentine's Day sucks. Then I remembered that I already did that last year - Dawn's Top Ten List of Why Valentine's Day Sucks (not the least of which is the fact that the Valentine's Day mascot is a manbaby who wears a diaper and shoots arrows, and would make any sane person call 9-1-1 if they saw him). This year, instead of creating another list about the evils of this holiday, I'm taking the opportunity to set aside my cynicism and celebrate Valentine's Day with some people I admire - single moms.


I want to give a little present to a hard-working single mama out there. Leave me a comment here and I'll enter you for a chance to win a set of my books: Because I Said So (and other tales from a less-than-perfect parent), You'll Lose the Baby Weight (and other lies about pregnancy and childbirth), and the books to which I contributed: Pearl Girls (encountering grit, experiencing grace), and Mother of Pearl (luminous legacies and iridescent faith).  I'll choose one random winner Friday, February 15.  Good luck!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

But Why - part one

I was straightening up in Jackson's room the other day. I do this periodically to make the house to look neat, to make sure his room is presentable since it's on the first floor and easily seen by guests, and of course, to chase out any wild animals inhabiting the dark recesses of his abode before they start breeding. While I was filling garbage bags with assorted filth and questionable substances, I came across a yellow notebook. Knowing how important it is to respect a teen's privacy, I immediately opened the book and began flipping through pages, searching for any evidence that my son may have unfinished homework. Or perhaps he'd written about a romantic interest or details of gang activity, drugs, or robbery. You never know and I've found it's best to be totally nosy about these things.

As I thumbed through the pages, I noted that every square inch was filled with writing. Curious, I turned to the front and began to read. His manuscript appeared to have been originally titled But Why. That was crossed out and below it was written Our Side. As I read, I realized the story seemed to be written in response to my book Because I Said So which made his original title of But Why most apropos.

I read the entire story at once. It was witty (he's obviously my son) although fraught with spelling errors (maybe he's his dad's son) and I actually enjoyed reading it. When Jackson confronted me about the lack of food wrappers, dirty socks, and 'eau de zoo' smell in his room, I admitted to cleaning things up a bit. Then I told him of how his notebook just fell out of his closet and opened up to the first page and I couldn't help but see his story so I read a little bit completely by accident.

He was embarrassed at first, explaining how he'd written this a couple years ago until I told him that I really liked it. I asked him if I could share it on my blog and he agreed. I hope he doesn't think he's going to get any royalties for this. Eh, I'll just subtract his payment from what he owes me for shoveling a path to his bed. So here's a little part of Our Side.

     Adults are a lot of times scared about having a child. They may feel stressed and unprepared for what might happen. Well, it's hard on kids too, coming into a new world without warning. Having to face challenges unbelievably beyond comprehension. Also having to deal with weird smells from homeless people and being scared for life from vacuum cleaners. Let me tell ya, it's not easy. Sure parenting may be hard, but isn't it worth it seeing your child grow up to be great?

A baby may not look like much especially if he/she is shoving corn up his/her nose, but they may be the next Albert Einstein. If you don't raise them right though, they could become a homeless person shoving corn up his/her nose.

To be continued . . .

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Rules

My kids and I got Universal Studios season passes for Christmas from my parents this year. We haven't been able to take much advantage of them because my foot has been hurting too much to walk and it took me a couple weeks to heal from my leg surgery. And then there's the omnipresent reason - I'm too busy. This weekend, like every single weekend since receiving the tickets, the kids asked, "Can we go to Universal tomorrow?"

I replied, "I'm sorry, but I have way too much work to do this weekend. I have to file my taxes and I need to catch up on laundry. I have bills to pay and I really need to find a third job. I should probably go to the grocery store and I have some writing to do too."  The kids looked disappointed, but they didn't argue or try to persuade me to take them. I'm afraid they know all too well just how difficult this single-parenting thing is for me. And I hate that.

I looked at their dejected faces and wanted to shout, "The heck with the work! The work will always be there! Let's go!" But if you've ever been in a position where you can't even buy a gallon of milk until you're paid in another week, then you understand that even though you passionately want to say those things, you can't always form the words. This weekend, however, I squished my eyes shut, blinking back the unshed tears that seem to perpetually burn the backs of my eyes, and I tamped down the nausea and burning pain in my gut and I said, "You know what? Forget what I just said about work. Let's go!"

And we did. And we had a wonderful day. And we laughed like crazy. Because laughter trumps sadness, depression, and worry. So, when we saw these warning signs, the kids couldn't help but translate them. Feel free to click the pictures to see them more clearly.

Friday, February 8, 2013

My Little Overachiever

Brooklyn loves school. She always has. Since her first day of preschool (when she was supposed to cling to me, crying that she could never leave her most wonderful mommy and march off into the care of someone else), she has happily participated in the joy that is education. Coloring, learning her ABCs, matching shapes? Sheer delight! Playing pretend games with new friends, sitting on the rug while listening to stories, and doing experiments? Pure ecstasy! And (now that she's in first grade) homework? Unparalleled awesomeness! 

She's been lucky. She had great preschool teachers. Last year, she had the sweetest teacher for kindergarten, and this year, she's in love with her first grade teacher. I thought my kindergarten teacher was the wicked witch of the west. For real. She was evil. I can still picture her mean-looking face and her stupid hair cut. Maybe that's why I never liked school. That's probably why I got such bad report cards. I'm sure it had nothing to do with my behavior.

But Brooklyn? Well, she loves school and she gets glowing report cards. She's well on her way to becoming
an overachiever brilliant scholar. See for yourselves . . .

Then again, maybe she's a little like her mom . . .

Monopoly Game Winner

And the winner of the Monopoly game with all the classic pieces is . . .

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2013-02-09 01:44:03 UTC

 jana said...
Save the shoe and bring in the robot.
February 5, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Congratulations! Email me at dawn@dawnmeehan.com with your shipping information.  :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I'm Not a Hero; I'm Jello

IMG_5059Friday evening, Savannah and I drove to Hungry Howie's. For those of you who don't know, Hungry Howie's is a restaurant that serves something that Floridians call pizza. According to this Chicago girl, it's nothing even remotely like pizza, but when in Rome central Florida you order Hungry Howie's because, although it's disgusting, it's cheap. 

 When you walk in the store there's a small area where you can wait for your order. There's one table, a pop machine, and a TV on the wall to help pass the time while you wait. Directly in front of this area is a counter with a register and behind that is the kitchen which is completely open to the front. You could conceivably see your pizza being made if you were so inclined to watch.  Savannah and I stood near the table while we alternately glanced up at the TV, played up with our phones, and talked to each other. Another 7 or 8 people milled about, filling in the area between the front door and the counter, waiting for their orders.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Save the Monopoly Dog!

Monopoly has been my favorite game since I was a little girl who could barely count. My parents taught me how to play and then immediately regretted it. What started as a fun way to pass a Saturday evening became an obsession with me. My family would see me walk into a room, Monopoly box under my arm, and they'd disappear like cockroaches at the flip of a light switch.

Now it's my own kids who are treated to my competitive 'I must own every piece of property and wipe you out' mentality. Lucky them. I started them early with Monopoly Jr. Then we moved on to Monopoly. Then we got the electronic version which annoyed me so we moved back to the classic version. I will kiss anyone who gets me the Chicago version that I covet.

Anyway, they're going to retire one of the classic tokens and you get to vote to save your favorite piece. I voted for the dog because I'm always the dog. It's good luck. For real. So which token is your favorite? Are you always the shoe, the hat, the iron? Go to the Monopoly Facebook page HERE to vote! 

And not only can you vote for which token you want to save, but you can vote in one of five new tokens to replace the retired one! (I voted for the robot.)

So, head to the Facebook page to vote, then leave me a comment with which token you want to retire and/or which new token you want and I'll enter you in a drawing to win a brand-spanking new classic Monopoly game with all the original tokens! I'll choose a random winner on Friday, February 8, 2013. Good luck!

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