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What I Wish I Didn’t Wear June 17, 2013

necklace sA necklace.

If you work with me or know me you might have noticed I wear a silver necklace. It’s a longer necklace so the charm on it isn’t obvious unless I pull it out or it makes its way out of my shirt. What hangs from that necklace means more to me than most things do. It can’t be replaced. It’s my Dad’s thumbprint.

It’s hard to believe that my Dad has been gone for four years in September.

People leave memories with us that will last for the rest of our lives. Some of the memories my Dad and I shared were the best times of my life. Teaching me about football, and watching me learn to love it. Kameron being born, and what a great Pop he was.  Mr. D and I getting married, knowing that the third time really was the charm.  Going to Lambeau Field together, our first trip together! Watching the Packers play in Indianapolis, tailgating with those silly Indianapolis fans.  Sunday football, coming over to my house every Sunday to watch the Packers play. Catching my first fish.  Teaching me how to jump a car. The difference between a flat head and a phillips head screwdriver. How to check a breaker and change a fuse. How to buy a car. How to make home made french fries. That Mikesell’s Rippled Potato Chips work best with Dean’s French Onion Dip. And the way to his heart was through my deviled eggs. Those are just a few of the millions of things that he taught me.

The selfish part of me missed my Dad, even though I know he’s in a better place.

The worst part about it for me now is that I know he would be so proud of me (not that he wasn’t before.)  He would be so ridiculously proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish. It really has been awesome, and I thank sincerely the people that have (REALLY) supported me (Firebelly Team – Duncan Alney)  -my gratitude and your belief in me is immeasurable. I sincerely from the bottom of my heart thank you. I’m so happy!

Without my Dad there is a space in my heart that can’t be replaced. I don’t get to tell him about the awesome day I’ve had. I don’t have that smile, or pat on my shoulder anymore, he was the one person who always believed in me, no matter what the circumstances.

Things aren’t the same without you Dad, I love you and miss you so much.

I’m kicking ass Johnno, I hope you know.

 

AR = Average Replacement September 10, 2012

I know…

I already know ok?

Packers fans are going to come down on me. I’m not a real Green Bay fan. I’m a traitor. I’ve been accused and called every name in the book. You aren’t going to shock me. Your material is old, and so is Brett Favre. The difference is Favre is laughing all the way to the bank propped up with a cold one in Mississippi and you’re still deciding whether or not to get your kid the Bronco Manning jersey they’ve been asking for. Go ahead and buy the damn thing! It builds character.

This post is NOT about Brett Favre. It’s about being a Packers fan.

I’ve been a Packers fan my entire life. It just so happened that Brett Favre was my favorite quarterback. When my favorite quarterback left the Packers I followed him, with a jersey to wear, and a Direct TV package so I wouldn’t miss a play. I also watched the Packers games. I talked a lot of trash, but the year my Dad died was the year the Packers won the Super Bowl. Of course I wanted the Packers to win. My Dad would have loved to see it with me.

I’m a Packers fan.

It’s been a few years since Favre has been gone and I’ve had to adapt and adjust to the new quarterback in Green Bay. Although, I will never forget a phone conversation that I had with my friend Ryan Cox. It went like this:

Ryan: “You hate Rodgers don’t you? You really hate him!”

Me: “Yes I do.”

Ryan: “I’ll bet you’re the only Packers fan on the face of the earth that gets mad when he throws a touchdown.” (He was giggling at this point.)

Me: “A rushing touchdown is ok, but when he throws a touchdown…” At this point Ryan is laughing hysterically.

It wasn’t Favre. Ok, it was mostly Favre. I just didn’t like Aaron Rodgers. I’ve always thought he was just an average quarterback. Argue with me all night, it’s what I’ve always thought Favre or no Favre. I always liked, and my Dad did too, Matt Flynn. Who now plays for Seattle. Flynn didn’t get any playing  time in last nights game, and the Seahawks lost.  There was no way Flynn was ever going to get some playing time in Green Bay except pre-season, that’s just the way it is. So of course he left.

Think of AR’s situation. You’ve road the bench for I don’t know, 13 years behind one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Promised, obviously, that some day it would be AR’s time to shine in the Green Bay sun. AR’s got patience, I’ll give him that. Ask yourself is he the brightest star on the block? I’m sure he could have gone to other teams and had a very successful career, but good old Ted Thompson promised his golden boy someday it would be his time.

And in 2010 it was his time to shine.

Can you imagine how pumped up that guy was to play football? I mean I wouldn’t have been able to sleep for a week. He came out guns blazing. Amazing stats. He looked like he couldn’t be stopped. AR wasn’t stopped, he went all the way to the dance and won. Bravo AR, bravo.

One thing I do know is if you win the Super Bowl and the hearts of Green Bay fans everywhere, that has to be one of the biggest ego boosts in the universe. Baller doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Here’s where it gets interesting. The dust settles. AR is the man in Green Bay. Last season Packer fans were so certain that they would be going to the Super Bowl I know people that had booked hotel rooms to come to Indianapolis to see the Pack win another one. Thing is, they didn’t make it. From the looks of last nights game they won’t make it again this year.

Really? San Francisco hands you your ass at home? I watched the game intently and AR looked like a deer in headlights. Meanwhile people are AR is the greatest QB, he has ice in his veins, strength like no other in his throwing arm.

He’s average, that’s it. When the hoopla is over AR is just average.

Hey, maybe I’m wrong, as the season goes on we’ll see. They play again Thursday night.

Go Pack!

 

Momma On Alert August 29, 2012

My son like most 13 year olds loves to play video games. These games seem limitless. Like there is the game Mind (something) that never ends. I mean never? Something has to end at some point, but Kam has assured me that it never ends. The thing with these new games is that they’re interactive, not just with the game, but with other people. People who he goes to school with, which is no big deal. I know his friends, he can get on his head set and chat it up with them all day long. It’s the people who might jump on that bother me. Problem is, I watch the news. I know a sheriff that targets sex offenders that prey on kids like my son. Unfortunately, from personal experience, I know how really sick these people are.

So when Kam told me he was playing a game last night with a few of his friends, I asked who he was playing with. He named a few names that I recognized and one that I didn’t. I asked him about that person, what his name was, where he went to school. He knew his name, but that was pretty much it. Kam doesn’t get too involved in details.

I sat down with Kam and told him that because he didn’t know this person very well (which means at all in parent language) that he should not give him any information about himself. No phone numbers, no addresses, no school information, nothing. Kam seemed to understand. I told him that I was trying to protect anything from happening to him, he shook his head to show me that he understood. Then, I asked Kam if anyone had brought up anything that made him feel uncomfortable. He said “no.” I told him that if anyone, even someone he knew said something to him that made him upset or uncomfortable to let me know immediately. He promised he would, hugged me, and went back to his game.

It’s scary doing everything you can to protect your child without sounding like a neurotic parent. The world is so different now than when I grew up. We didn’t have the freedoms or the virtual reach that our children do now. Add that in with an irresponsible parent that would leave their child in steaming hot car because “they forgot.”

I will do anything to protect my child. I want him to have friends and freedom. Just as long as Momma knows what’s going on, we’re good.

 

Good News / Bad News February 19, 2012

The good news is a have a son, he’s healthy, charming, a good student, a Mommy’s boy, and has impeccable taste in food – even sushi.

The bad news is he’s mouthy, sometimes says things that he shouldn’t, cries, feels mistreated, stomps his feet, and sometimes gets sent to bed early.

He’s just like me, only now, I get to determine my own bedtime.

When I complain about having nothing to write about, I want someone to redirect me to this post.  I have an almost 13 year old son…I will always have something to write about.  I envision printing all my posts and giving them to him as a gift for his college graduation – with a big red bow tied around it.  The title page might read like “Happy Graduation Kameron!  This is all the crap that I had to put up with while you were growing up.  Also included are all the moments that I was so proud of you, it brought me to tears.”

Tonight was a crap night.

We were busy all day.  Earlier in the day we had a birthday party for my nephew Will, then Kameron had a birthday party for one of his classmates.  He wouldn’t be home until about seven, it made for a pretty fun filled, action packed day.

Kameron is unbelievably patient with younger children.  He always has been.  All of the six year old kids, and younger, running around my sisters house, Kameron didn’t even blink at the controlled madness.  He sat patiently and observed the party.  He got pizza when it was ready.  He sang happy birthday when cued.  He played when he was invited, and wasn’t intrusive.  “Very well done” thought his mother as we left the party.

Dropped off for the pre-teen party, he was anxious to hang out with his friends.  I figured he would come home a little jacked up.  Being around the boys in a video game type of place, loud noises, a little freedom, tickets, a Fruit Ninja game, too much sugar.  He could barely fit his head through the front door when he walked in.  Geezz…

He told me and Mr. D about all the fun he had, showed us his prize he picked out for himself, and proceeded upstairs to burn off some more energy by playing his wrestling game on x-box.

The problem came about a half hour later.

Kameron leaned over the railing of the loft and said “hey, you know the downloadable content?”

I looked up at him, instantly not happy.  We’ve had a problem with the “downloadable content” before that resulted in a twenty-five dollar charge to our checking account.  That’s not necessarily the problem.  The problem was that he didn’t ask permission to do it, he just went ahead and did it.   We didn’t discover the charge for a day or so afterwards.  I made it emphatically clear to him that he was absolutely not allowed to download anything without permission ever again.  He seemed to understand after a lecture and being sent to bed early.

So when I heard the words “downloadable content” my blood pressure instantly went up.  “What about it”  I said.  “Well, the x-box, the Microsoft points, you know.”  I stood up and said very loudly, so he wouldn’t miss my point,  “I know you better get down here.”   Head sulking, he knew he was in trouble, he tried to explain the unexplainable reasoning to deaf ears.  Ten bucks of downloadable content without permission sounds like vacuum duty to me son.

I went back to my room, I was angry.  How could he do this again?  I mean didn’t I make it clear the last time that he did this he was not allowed to do it again?  Then I thought, well, he did say something this time…Right about that time, I heard him mouthing off to Mr. D over the vacuum.  I couldn’t hear exactly what he was saying, all I knew was that his voice was raised to a volume that certainly wasn’t acceptable right after he got in trouble.  I barreled down the hallway – his eyes met mine – he instantly started to cry.  He knew his night, sketchy as it might have been, was over at this point.

“Are You Serious?” was what came out of my mouth.  He looked at me, knowing it was over for him for the night – and very likely the next day, and said “MOM!”  One thing I absolutely will not tolerate is back talk, especially to Mr. D.  He tries to talk smack with me every once in awhile, apparently I have this ‘look.’  It must be a “mother look” because it always zips his mouth right up.

“MOM, I”m sorry!” – K

“I’ll bet you are” – Me

“Mom” – K

“I want you to apologize right now for talking back to Kerry, I heard you from my bedroom, are you serious?” – Me

(Here you go son, this is a shovel, let’s see how deep you’d like to dig this hole for yourself…)

There were a few other short exchanges, he apologized, you get the point.

Sent in shame to the shower and to bed. Told that the x-box gone for the day.  He gets a crash course in laundry and cleaning toilets tomorrow.

I can hear him tossing and turning in his bed, I’m sure he’s sorry.  There has to be a line that he has to understand that he just can’t cross.  I’m not going to be naive and think that this is the last confrontation that we will ever have. I’m sure they’ll get more and more interesting as he gets older, sigh….

Hey, I’ll always have something to write about right?

I wonder if someone will create some kind of package that will collect all of your posts over time, along with photos, rank by most views, and put them into some kind of snazzy graduation package for the class of 2022 (which would be when Kameron graduates from college – if all goes according to plan.)

I think I might just investigate that.