Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mr. Wicke Makes His Debut

Tah Dah! It has happened! Mr. Wicke has entered the blogosphere. I know! I couldn't have guessed it would happen either; he is such a private person and slow to join any fad or fashion. He's a man that likes to make his own way in the world I suppose, but he's obviously got something to say. I can't wait to see what it is. One thing I know, it will never be dull. Besides being the love of my life, the man is deep, quirky, witty, and intelligent. If that combination intrigues you like it does me, click HERE.

P.S. The views and opinions of said blog are solely those of the writer. His wife can not be held accountable for odd, strange, or puzzling posts. I will, though, happily take credit for anything witty or profound. (Isn't that how it is supposed to work in a marriage?)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fall Festival

Mickey was great. Flu and vomiting in car was not.

This week my focus is on the


so there may not be much writing going on. However, if you live in the Villages of Eastridge, plan on stopping by the main park at 9am for a


If you're a runner, enter the


There will be NO REGISTRATION FEE and you get a free t-shirt.

Come climb the


or skateboard the half-pipe.

Or if you want to sell items or promote your business to people in the area, call me to reserve a spot in the


Again, it's free! Did I mention that?

There may or may not be carnival games. We'll see how much of a magic trick we can pull off this week. But like I told Erin, it's free. If people want to complain, I'll sign 'em up to help next year!

And, as a side note, if you ever want to volunteer, call me. Please.

Friday, September 26, 2008


We're spending the day with this guy, aunts, uncles, and cousins. See you Monday!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Food for Thought

While writing my post yesterday, I was reminded of an article I read months ago and have thought of often since. The story of a father and his son is particularly poignant, I think, because the idea that we are responsible to our children rather than responsible for our children is an important paradigm shift in how I raise, respond, and nurture my amazing kiddos. With that new understanding, I can parent without my own ego, baggage, or stuff getting in the way. I allow them to become the person God envisions, not the person I want them to be, and isn't that so much better?

So, for today, here's a little food for thought. Enjoy!

“One definition of good mental health is the ability to give up control—to trust God, ourselves, and others—and to know that things will work out,” observes Dr. Clyde Parker, clinical director of a counseling and therapy center at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah. Giving up control over other people may seem contrary to our responsibility to help others find salvation. But Dr. Parker explains that we need to see ourselves as being responsible to other people, not responsible for them. “Although we may be our brother’s keeper,” he says, “our brother still has responsibility for his own life.”

Thus, we accomplish most in our relationships when we focus more on what we can control—our own attitudes and behavior—and less on what we can’t control—the attitudes and behavior of the other person. We do the most good for our friends, spouses, and children when we concentrate less on controlling them and more on being available to them.

Letting go of the belief that we can control another person’s behavior does not mean that we cease to care about that person. Instead, it means that we trust that the Lord loves that person and knows better than we do how to help him. Our task then becomes being open to the Spirit’s promptings in our relationships.

One father tells of a time when he was alarmed that his son did not seem to take his studies seriously enough. One day, while reading his son’s patriarchal blessing, he felt an impression from the Spirit: “It’s all right. Your fears about making your son a good student are getting in the way of your relationship with him and his progress. He was first my son; his heart is good. He is in my hands. Let go.”

“Since that experience,” says the father, “I have felt more interested in my son’s life and more available to him than I was before because I am not constantly worried, checking to see whether he is meeting some standard. I still set guidelines for him, but I also watch—amazed—to see the marvelous person he is becoming.”

We also have more energy for doing good when we spend less time worrying about circumstances we can’t control or fearing the difficulties of life. Trusting in the Lord and his purposes frees us of many of the anxieties that can depress and paralyze us.

As the Apostle Paul promises: “Be careful [in the Greek, this means, ‘Be unduly concerned’] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philip. 4:6–7.)

As we leave our burdens of worry and fear with a trusted Father, we can feel peace even in times of uncertainty.

Written my Jan Underwood Pinborough for the Sept. 1990 Ensign. For the whole article go here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Talking to the Manager

At the end of Family Home Torture--Evening! I mean Evening...oops. Like I said, at the end of Family Home Evening, we had family prayer before tucking the children into bed. When Mr. Wicke finished the prayer, Logan didn't move. Sometimes she likes to fake like she is asleep so that she gets carried up to bed. (Who can blame her? Sometimes I do it, too.) But that night I was not in the mood. "Logan. Come on. I know you aren't sleeping."

She lifted her head from the couch. "He wasn't done talking to me." A few weeks back, Mr. Wicke told her that it is always a good idea to spend quiet time listening after a prayer. Just in case you feel some answer come. "He was just in the middle."

"Oh, sorry." The whole thing made me smile. I have no idea what He was saying, but I'm glad they have that kind of relationship. Boy, am I glad. 'Cause there is one thing I know: She belonged to Him before she belonged to me, and as long as He is holding her hand, we're going to be okay.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Just Another Day in the Office

There is a lot involved in being a mom. I think it may be the only job where the training program lasts as long as the employment. Weeks ago Logan brought home from school coupons for the circus. Originally she was given one, but she asked the teacher for 3 more for her whole family. Apparently, she really wanted to go to the circus, and so like every good parent, we promised her that we would go on the allotted weekend. The promise was made before we realized, weeks later, that Mr. Wicke would be gone on an overnight campout with the young men. Even I, who can actually read the family calendar, somehow blocked that little tidbit out. Come Friday morning over breakfast I said, "We need to make a plan about what time we will be leaving for the circus tonight."

"Are you going to do that by yourself?" Thomas asked with some admiration...or maybe it was trepidation. I can't be sure.

"Myself? What do you mean?"

"Uh, I've got that campout tonight."

"Oh...that's right. Ugh. I don't want to go without you!"

"But, but--I really want to go to the circus!" Logan interjected, tears beginning to well up.

I locked eyes with Mr. Wicke. It was clear I was going to have to cowgirl up. "Of course we're going. No problem..." But inside I was shaking. Sometimes a person can not imagine all the things that could go wrong on a family outing. Then again, sometimes trying to will scare the dickens out of you. But being a mom means sucking it up and facing the fear. Being a mom means making your kids' dreams come true. So, I was taking the kids to the circus, Mr. Wicke or no.

And you know what? It went off without a hitch. The kids were amazingly good. They didn't even throw a fit when I said no to the $8.00 elephant rides. The circus, while no Barnum and Bailey's, still worked its magic, and we loved every minute of it. It wasn't until we got back in the car that I was educated in what else being a mom means.

No sooner had we wound into all the exiting traffic when Griffin announced, "I have to go pee pee!" There was no stopping, and he has no control, so I handed him an empty water bottle with specific instruction to get his little thingy INSIDE the bottle. (Specifics are very important I have discovered...the hard way.) For a moment I thought all was well until I heard, "It got on my pee pee." Unfortunately he said it only as he was handing me the bottle because that's when I realized that something was dripping down the outside of it as well--AND I WAS HOLDING IT!!! IN MY HAND!!! And, as a side note, trying to drive.

"Sick! Griffin! Logan find me a--a--a---(Mind not functioning. Too obsessed with pee covered hands!) a--a napkin!!!"


"Because I'm covered in URINE!"

To which Logan calmly responded, "You shouldn't be so upset. That's just part of being a mom."

...Ah, of course. Good to know. I'll add that to the ever growing list.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Phoning Home

I call my mom a lot. Probably at least three times a week, and we talk for no less than 45 minutes. I think about calling her every day. For no particular reason. Just because I'm doing dishes and want to talk. But I don't because I'm careful with money. Well, at least I think about money...once in a while, and in deference to our phone bill, I try to practice some self control.

Much to Mr. Wicke's credit he has never commented on my phone calls to mom. It is a non-issue. He doesn't complain that I call her a lot, and I don't complain that he married me and took me far away from her. Yet another example of how Mr. Wicke and I were made for each other.

The funny thing about these phone calls, however, is that I'm not so good on the phone with anyone else. I never have been. I was not one of those teens that spent hours on the phone with friends, and I'm not one of those adult women, either. Just with my mom do I call to talk about nothing in particular.

And here's why: I never worry that she'd rather be doing something else. You see, I am unendingly interesting to my mother. Believe me, I am not delusional enough to think that anyone else on the planet feels the same way, but to Mom I am fascinating. If there was a tabloid magazine solely devoted to my non-celebrity, very average existence, she would be the only subscriber. Do you know what a gift it is to be loved like that?

I am unguarded with my mother because there are no strings attached. She was the person who loved me first, and she has, from that moment on, been on my side. There is a day, somewhere in the future, that I fear: The day when I can no longer call my mom on the phone. In that moment, I will lose my champion, my touchstone, my cheerleader, and my friend. I try not to think of it often, but knowing, perhaps, that that day will come is not so entirely bad. Perhaps that is why I call so often, just to say, "I love you, too."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Remembering Grandma

My Grandma Peterson was not funny. In fact, she was so not funny that she was hilarious. A case in point: She lived kitty corner from the high school and one of her main hobbies was watching those high school students like a hawk. One day, while having a conversation with my brother Curt, who himself was in high school, she said with a look of sure disdain, "I watch what goes on over there. I know who's smoking dope." Just hearing the word "dope" come out of her mouth was funny.

Ray couldn't resist. "Really? How do you know?"

"I can tell by looking in their eyes."

"Well, Grandma, do you think Curt's smoking dope?" Poor Curt was the youngest of five brothers. They loved torturing him.

She gave him a long sideways look, then turning away with a sniff said, "I'm not going to say."

"Grandma!!" Curt was flabbergasted. Everyone else was in hysterics.

She also had an inexplicable aversion to having her picture taken. We don't have a lot of pictures of Grandma, but we do have many pictures of someone with a tea towel over her head or a hand in front of her face. I'm assuming that is her.

The woman would also never say goodbye. Not even on the phone where it is the socially acceptable way to signal the end of the conversation. I was surprised by a click and the dial tone in many of my conversations with Grandma. When she was done saying whatever it was she needed to say, she'd just hang up. I asked her once why she never said goodbye. Her answer? "It's too final."

I think it might have had something to do with her obsession with death. She talked about it all the time and acted like it was waiting just around the corner despite her strong health. Every time one of my brothers left for their 2-year church mission she would say, "Well. I probably won't be here when you get back." Over a span of about 15 years, she saw every one of them return. By the fifth grandson, it had become a joke of sorts.

But she was obsessed with some other things, too. Her flower beds for one. Standing between the street and the sidewalk in front of her house were two long, raised brick flower beds, which were planted with purple and pink petunias every spring. I can never remember any other flower or color ever being used. It was her way. Certainly she was a creature of habit, but then again, maybe she just knew what she liked. Anyway, the flowers were planted in very straight rows in a very specific color pattern. I guess you could say she lived her life with hospital corners, and she did not like when those corners were mussed in any way. Pity the child who made the mistake of walking the brick edges of those planters! And she didn't miss a one of them. She would open the door and give them a tongue lashing the likes of which they had never before experienced. I remember more than one time cringing inside her front room while a school chum of mine ran away in fear.

Having spent some years as a teacher, she had high expectations of children's behavior. We were very clear that we were expected to pick up our playthings before getting out another toy. She also was a stickler for coloring inside the lines and excellent posture. I can't color with my children without thinking of her, and I still hear her voice in my head, "Back straight. Head up. One foot directly in front of the other with toes pointing forward." Someone told me once that I carry myself like a tall person. Despite not knowing exactly what that means, I think I can credit my grandmother for it.

Oh, I credit my grandmother for a lot of things. I spent quite a lot of time there since her house was just across the block, through the neighbor's backyard. I have fond memories of that woman. She taught me to play card games: Old Maid and Animal Rummy. She wouldn't just let me win, either. If I won, I knew I had actually earned it. She always gave me saltines, cheese, and Coke for a snack. It's still one of my favorites. I remember spending the night at her house, sharing her room, she in one twin bed and I in the other. Before falling asleep she would tell me the story of a group of Indians who carried a settler girl away. I don't remember the rest of the story, but I do recall it was quite fascinating.

And oh, how I loved her macaroni and cheese. Well, that was what she called it. Now I know that it was just cheesy noodles. She'd boil giant elbow macaroni (the likes of which I have never found as an adult), throw in some Colby cheese (which she let me cut into cubes with the big knife), and stir until it melted. The ultimate cheesiness, stringing from the bowl to my mouth, filling the inside of the noodles. Heavenly. And then afterward she would let me wash the dishes, the incredibly hot water she insisted upon turning my little hands pink.

If it got on toward evening I could count on watching the Lawrence Welk Show with her. It was during one of these shows that she gave me some great performing advice: Never sing with your eyes closed. Paula Abdul has nothing on my Grandmother. She was giving that advice long before American Idol.

She also played a vital role in teaching me how to work. When I was old enough I got to mow her lawn, which was a treat since she had a riding lawn mower and being fascinated with the concept of driving, I was happy to drive anything mechanical. But Grandma wasn't satisfied with mediocrity. Her expectation was that any job worth doing was worth doing well. Doing her lawn meant raking, edging, trimming--the works. She could be a bit of a task master, but those lessons of hard work and going the extra mile have been a blessing to me. I never wanted to disappoint my grandmother, and I still don't.

Grandma Peterson died when I was fourteen years old. I have been without her longer than the time I had with her, but she is forever with me, inside my mind and my heart. She lives on despite the boundaries of mortality. She exists in the way I walk, the way I work, and the way I raise my children. As it turns out, we don't have to say goodbye because that kind of love is an immortality of sorts, and there is nothing funny about that. (And don't think for a minute that I doubt she's watching me like a hawk! Right, Grandma?)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Just the Facts, Ma'am, 'Cause The Details are Killin' Us.

Here's a few headlines from the newspaper of my life:

Insomniac Grouchy After Sleepless Night

Nightly Heartburn Heats Up but Douses Romance

Pregnant Woman Accused of Caffeine Withdrawal by Own Mother While Suffering Hormonal Headaches

I'm only giving you the headlines because I am trying not to talk about this stuff. Especially since my 6 year old has taken to repeating phrases such as:

"I don't feel well."

"My stomach is upset."

"I think I might throw up."

Where is she getting this stuff, I wonder??? She has always had a tendency to take on the symptoms of those around her. Sometimes it's hard to tell whose pregnant around here, her or me.

But the following conversation really convinced me to put a lid on my whining. At dinner the other night Logan said, "My teacher doesn't believe me when I tell her I don't feel good."

"Hmm..." I answered. "Well, how often do you tell her that you are sick?"

"Oh...I'd say...a couple of times a day."

Uh, oh. Like I said, I think it's best to stick to the headlines.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Did You See This?

It doesn't matter what side of the fence you are on. Republican or Democrat, this is just funny! Seriously funny. Go get 'em, girls!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Still Thinking: What is Winning?

When I was working as a relatively new teacher at a Jr. High in CA, the school sent some of the faculty to participate in a ropes course. (A completely fabulous experience by the way!) The early morning was spent on the ground doing team-building and self-reflectory exercises, and then in the afternoon we went up, up, up. Climbing poles, walking high beams, swinging from trees, that sort of thing. What I discovered in the afternoon is that my fear of heights is more intense than I had imagined. But it was the morning discovery that has had the longest lasting impact.

In one particular exercise the instructor broke us up into teams of four. She gave each team two long wooden beams that had four long rope handles. Her instructions were that together we were to walk on the beams and cross a finish line about 50 yards away. If any part of any one's body touched the ground, we had to return to the starting point and begin again. It was kind of tricky, like a three legged race involving four people. We had to coordinate raising our feet and pulling the beam together to cover any ground. It was terrifically fun, and we became intent on not letting the P.E. staff win. Competing with the other teams made it ever so much trickier since a relative amount of speed was needed. Sometimes in our haste to catch the leader, we would bumble it and have to begin again, inevitably in more haste to make up time. While we attempted to focus on the task at hand, it was difficult not to feel behind. That feeling, that need to rush, that need to win, was most responsible for throwing us off our groove.

At the end of the exercise we gathered for a group recap. The first thing out of the instructor's mouth was, "Isn't it interesting that I never said in the instructions that it was a race? All I said was that you were to cross the finish line." As we spent the next 15 minutes talking about how that exercise often translates into life, I had a real "Ah Ha" moment.

There really is no "winning" in the exercise of life. God never said we were competing with each other. Our human frailty sets up those parameters. Sometimes our sight is so limited that we can only compare our progress with those around us. The problem, however, is that none of us start at the same point. In some areas some of us have a head start, in other areas we begin a little behind. Each of us has a set of strengths and weaknesses that make our situation unique. God doesn't require us to be better than; He just requires that we finish our specific course. None of us has the same trajectory, and we can't compare ourselves to or compete with someone else without altering that course in some way.

As per my post yesterday, nothing bad has happened as of late. I have had some interesting and thought provoking conversations recently which have bent my mind on the topic. It's true that I have run into my share of "haters" in my lifetime, but who hasn't? We all survived Jr. High and High School, didn't we?

My Junior year, in fact, was such a nightmare that I begged my mother to let me finish my Senior year in Denver, CO living with my older sister and her family. Mom said no, so I had to resort to cutting out a Nike ad and hanging it in my locker. It was my mantra for the year: "If you ain't you, you ain't nobody."

Bottom line is, I am not, nor have I ever been, interested in being a version of someone else. None of us should, but that doesn't mean we belittle the success of another. We should be inspired by another's light. We should be encouraged when they triumph. We do need heroes. We don't need cynicism. That just throws us off our groove. There is enough joy and success to go around for everyone to "win."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thinking Out Loud

Let me explain my point of view for just a moment. Among other things, I believe:

1. We are all children of a loving Father in Heaven.
2. As his children we are endowed with qualities of the divine. Truly there is a light in each of us.
3. We have been given the gift of agency to do with that light what we will.
4. We have been given the opportunity in this life to become the best versions of ourselves if we choose to do so.

I'm not asking for agreement here. It is simply a statement about my ultimate motivation. I do not see life as a competition with anyone else; the only person I am competing with is me: Whether or not I can master myself. Whether or not I fulfill my potential.

Perhaps that is why I have long loved this quote. I don't know when or where I first encountered it, but what I do remember of the experience is thinking, "Wow. I wish I had written that." It seemed so perfectly to express the driving belief of my own life:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” --From Marianne Williamson's book Return to Love (often wrongly attributed to Nelson Mandela)

In moments when I find myself out of my comfort zone and am fearful of the judgement of others, I repeat parts of this statement in my head. (Now you'll know what I'm thinking before standing up in front of a group of people.)

But I have found myself rethinking this quote over the last couple of days. See, it's not entirely true. Or, rather, maybe I'm understanding it better. The problem lies in the last two lines (my favorites by the way.) It says: "And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

The difficulty comes with the word "others." Notice it doesn't say "everyone." What I'm figuring out is that there are some people that aren't liberated by another's light. In fact, they're bugged by it. I don't know. Maybe it gets in the eyes or shines through their bedroom window at night, but for whatever reason they just find it irritating.

Help me out, and share your thoughts, 'cause I'm still trying to figure it out. What gives with these people?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Adventures in Camping: Summer 2008

Once upon a time, a little family went camping in the White Mountains of Arizona. And as anyone knows a camp trip would not be complete without an adventure. So the little family set out to see what they could see.

They braved the dangers of a raging river,

and climbed rocky and mountainous terrain.

On every side there was evidence of wild, ferocious beasts just waiting to gobble them up.

Luckily, they were led by a fearless and brave scout

who inspired courage when faced with crossing the bottomless "Gorge of Despair" with only fallen timber as their bridge of narrow escape.

At last they reached their quest: The grand vistas of Box Canyon where they soaked their tired feet and lived happily ever after.

...That is until Griffin said he was hungry and Logan became scared of bugs. Then it was a long walk back to camp.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mr. Wicke Thinks He's So Funny

The other day I struggled to get Griffin out the door, which is no small hurdle since he has normal four year old hearing impairment, but compounding the problem on this particular day was his poor attitude.

"Griffin, I've told you already: Go upstairs and get your shoes and socks. We need to go!"

He and his dark cloud walked around the corner where he uttered, "Fine! But I don't like you anyway!"

I looked to the kitchen where Mr. Wicke (a.k.a. my defender and hero) was standing at the counter quietly reading the newspaper. He hadn't even flinched.

"Uh, did you hear your son?"


"Well, do you think it's nice for him to talk to his mother like that?"


Well? Aren't you going to say something?"

Pause. "Umm...I like you?"

I'm a sucker for a guy who can make me laugh.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Clearing Up Some Vocabulary Questions

The other morning, after Logan had gone to school, Griffin asked for a movie and a snuggle, which means he wanted me to lie down next to him and keep him company. I revved up the DVD and plopped myself down, happy to put off housekeeping duties for a few minutes, but I will admit that my mind was elsewhere, busy reviewing the to-do list for the day until I heard this:

"It's not coming on...Sonofabitch."

Wha--!? I was stunned! It knocked the wind out of me for a few seconds. "Griffin! That is a terrible word. It's a potty word. We do not say that!"

He looked at me with big, innocent eyes. "Can I say 'I-yi-yi?'"

"...Uh, yeah?"

"Well,it's not coming on. I-yi-yi!"

Alrighty, then...Glad we got that cleared up.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Real Life Story from a Bad Mom Part II...Finally

If you have forgotten part I, (And who can blame you. It has been over a month!) You can read it here.

The plan was to get in and get out. I may be a bad mom, but I knew as much to go first thing in the morning or first thing after lunch to a free immunization clinic. Lots of kids and long lines are not my idea of a good time, except maybe at Disneyland, and even then it can push the upper limits of irritation. So after lunch, we headed over, and wouldn't you know? We were second in line two minutes before the door was unlocked. I can really be on top of things when I want to be. Then, thanks to my amazing form-filling-out skills I was able to beat it to the head of the line.

Things were looking good until I heard, "So...he'll be needing five shots today." I'm not sure if I heard judgement in her voice or if I was just projecting. At the time I leaned toward judgement, so I tried to respond lightly, with a bright, "Oh, okay!" as if this would be no problem-o, except inside I was cringing. Like, fold-in-on-yourself-until-your-outer-edges-meet-in-the-middle kind of cringing. I knew we were in trouble, and when I say we, I mean every human being within shouting distance. I had, after all, witnessed Griffin's first splinter months before.

It is an image I still can not get out of my brain. Mr. Wicke with tweezers suspended mid-air; Griffin writhing, twisting, screaming, kicking and sweating; Mr. Wicke trying to pin his shoulders with one hand and holding his arm between his knees; me on the other end attempting to restrain his legs; Logan peering wide-eyed around the corner, crying and begging us to, "Stop! Please stop hurting him;" Me yelling over the din, "We haven't even touched him yet!" I knew what we were in for, and it was definitely cringe-worthy.

I thought I might head it off at the pass. "Hey, buddy. This is going to hurt a little bit. Like five pinches in the arm--"

"Not me! I'm going to pretend like I'm crying and then I'll say, 'Just kidding!'"

"Mmm, hmm. Well, okay. I just need you to be a big brave boy for Mommy."

"Next!" the nurse called out. Now, not to add any pressure, mind you, but this was all going to take place in one big, open room. I saw the needles lined up on the desk, all five of them, and I began to pray that we were not going to horrify the other children and very possibly their parents. "Mom, you're going to need to hold him on your lap," the nurse instructed.

I sat down and pulled him to me saying, "You ready? Big, brave boy, remember."

He nodded and smiled...and then the needle hit his arm. Before she even started injecting, he had yanked his body away. With a look of utter surprise he began to wail, "I don't want to! I don't want to." Meanwhile I was attempting to subdue his arm and torso, but he is amazingly strong.

The nurse responded with a mix of perplexity and irritation. "You're going to have to hold him still."

What I wanted to say was, "Really?!" but what I actually said was, "Son. We have to do this. C'mon. Stop now," attempting somehow to bring him back from crazyville. It wasn't going to happen. I wrapped both my arms around his chest and flung one leg over his trying to pin him down. The nurse tried again, but he jerked away nearly toppling us both out of the chair. I watched as a thick drop of blood ran down his arm. Then she looked at me like, "Now what are you going to do?" And I looked at her like, "Me?! You're the pro here. What are we going to do?"

She sighed deeply. At least I think so. I was having a hard time hearing over the screaming. "Liz. We're going to need some help here."

Finally, with the assistance of "Liz" and another brave soul who joined the fray, we were able to keep him still enough for the shots. Three in one arm, two in the other. What we couldn't control was his wailing, which increased in volume and intensity with each poke.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw his sister start to crumble. She covered her face and began to wail, too. I couldn't do much except throw some reassurance in her direction. "Logan, he's just fine. It will be over in a minute."

And it was. Well, at least the shot part. The recovery took a little longer. First I wiped the sweat from my brow with the back of my hand and pushed the hair out of my eyes, and then I grabbed the children and high-tailed it out the back door with nothing more than a, "Sorry. Really sorry. Thanks so much."

Outside, with only the wide sky peering at us, I knelt down and pulled them both into my arms. "It's alright. We're okay now..."I soothed.

"I hate shots!" Logan declared.

"I know, guys. But we're all done with them now. We won't have to get any more for a long, long time. And besides we are so grateful that they can keep us from getting really sick..." What four year old cares about polio and HepB, anyway? It's hard to explain.

"Carry me," Griffin insisted. Apparently all of his limbs were rendered non-functioning: He also refused to lift his arms for the rest of the day. I scooped him up and tried to calm his ragged breathing on the way to the car. "It's all over now." And man, was I glad! I nearly wanted to burst into tears, too.

But then, like every other bad mom in America I said, "Who wants ice cream? And Griffin, you can get anything you want!"