Monthly Archives: September 2012

Baby She Was Born to Run

Baby She Was Born to Run

Two years after my son was born I had finally clawed my way back to being as close to ‘normal’ as I ever get.  I had emerged from under an enormous cloud of depression, lost my baby weight and was working out regularly.  In a nutshell, I wasn’t crying when the macaroni boiled over and my jeans fit.  Life was good.  I had a healthy handsome toddler and an amazing 8 year old.  Who could want more?  My husband!!! It is usually me that comes up with harebrained ideas and he is the voice of reason.   I agreed to start trying for a baby in a year or so (stall tactic).   Three weeks later I was pregnant.

Sophi was born on a cold rainy January afternoon.  Being the only of my three kids born under the grace of an epidural her arrival seemed nearly tranquil.  In fact, the labor nurse had given strict instructions for me to alert her if I felt the urge to ‘push’.  She was quite perturbed when she learned that I felt like I might need to go to the bathroom and she discovered I was completely dilated.  She scolded, “This is your third baby, I told you to tell me if you felt the urge to push.” I quickly retorted, “This is my first epidural.  The last time I felt the urge to push it felt like someone was driving a train through my ass—-.  I currently feel like there is a slight chance I might have to poop.  Can you see where there might be some confusion?”  A short time later, my bonus baby, Sophi, arrived.


Sophi entered the world wide-eyed, blinking and taking in everything around her.   Three weeks early, she weighed in at 8 pounds and 8 ½ ounces and was just over 21 inches long.  She seemed perfect in just about every way, except for her foot.  It was apparent that she had been lying in utero with her foot folded against her leg, which made it look permanently contorted.  I tried in vain to reassure my husband that her soft rubbery newborn bones would find their way back to their original design.   He, however, was convinced that she would wobble when she walked and perhaps would never run.  As she grew from baby to toddler, it became obvious just how wrong he was.  This girl was born to run.

My first experience with Sophi giving me the slip happened on her first and only trip to the Dixie Stampede in Branson, MO.  Only 18 months old, Sophi was delighted with all the sights and sounds of the colossal plantation-style venue, but she was enthralled with the doves.  The doves were caged at the far end of the horse stables and like their equine neighbors, were part of the dinner show.   Unlike the horses, the doves played a very minute part in the grand production, but for Sophi they were the main attraction.  She resisted leaving the dove cage to make our way to the main entrance to get our tickets and be seated for the show.  As we waited in the lobby area, she saw her opportunity and seized it.  She let go of my hand and darted out the door as a small group of people were entering.  I yelled for her to stop and tried to push my way through the blue-haired gaggle that had enabled her escape.  She loped surefootedly the entire length of the stable row, bobbing and weaving through the jungle of legs.  Clumsily, I trailed her; thwarted by the people and my panic, yelling out as I gave chase, “Someone grab that baby!  She’s mine”.  Evidently, I thought clarifying my maternal status would make my crazy request seem plausible.  The onlookers continued to look on and Sophi continued to run.  When I finally caught up to her, she was hanging on the chicken wire smiling at the stupid doves like she had found the Holy Grail.

The following summer, at the ripe ole age of 2 ½, Sophi made another run for it and this time she ran barefoot on a busy street.  I was making cookies and had sent her older sister and her friend next door to borrow an egg.  They were already out the door and Sophi asked to go along and I said she could.  Instead of following, Sophi had other plans.  Just as I was about to pop the first batch of cookies into the oven the phone rang.  Here is the conversation:

Me:      Hello?

Caller:  Is this Karri?

Me:      Yes it is.

Caller:  This is Theresa, the nurse at the elementary school.  Um…we have Sophi here

Me:  WHAT??!!  You have Sophi where?  What?!?

Caller: I am working summer school at the intermediate building.  A man saw her running up the street.  He followed her on his motorcycle.  He made sure she made it inside the school.

Me:  OH MY GOD!  I will be right there!!!

Earlier in the day, Sophi had not been allowed to walk the two and half blocks up the busy street to the schoolyard to play with the older girls.  Unbeknownst to me, she had decided to make the trip solo!!  I arrived at the school to find her perched on the counter in the office, obviously proud that she had reached her destination.  Fortunately, she was safe and sound and my relief was soon replaced with utter embarrassment at my parenting faux pas!  My toddler had run over two blocks barefoot and made new friends, before I even realized she was gone.  It was apparent that I was no longer eligible for the Mother of the Year award.

Fiercely independent, boldly brave, and with an affinity for motion, Sophi continues to be a girl on the go.  Although her early running adventures kept me hopping, she has found positive ways to channel her endorphin-driven tendencies.  She competed in her first (mini) tri-Athlon when she was 9 years old, emerging as course champion in a field of 125.  She currently holds the all-time school record for the 1 mile run and a handful of school cross country records as well.  I am very proud of my little runaway and I am thankful that I don’t have to chase her anymore, because everyone knows that I never have been able to catch her!

Note to Sophi:  It doesn’t matter how you finish, just that you finish.  My wish for you is that you will always have the desire to chase down your dreams and never quit running until you have made them your own.

Being A Dumb-Ass Hurts


I would like to start this post by proclaiming I am not a sadist.  Pain of any sort is not something that brings me pleasure.   With that being said, there have been several circumstances that, when given a choice between pain and no pain, I chose pain.  When considering the warped reasons behind these decisions, I have narrowed it down to two:  1. I have control issues    2. I am a sloppy conglomeration of a broke-ass, tight-ass, and dumb-ass.

Perhaps the earliest sign that when given the choice of the lesser of two evils, I was more prone to pick the one which usually ended with me thinking,  “that’s going to hurt in the morning”, occurred when I was around 9 or 10 years old.  My sister and I were brought up in the 70’s and 80’s and back then it was totally cool for parents to spank their offspring.  It was expected.  In my case, it was necessary.   We would get the occasional swat from mom with the fly swatter or hairbrush for a variety of childhood mischiefs.  She was harmless.  The major infractions were dealt with by my dad and his belt and were avoided at all costs.   The times Dad actually called his belt into duty were far and few between, but they were effective.  Just seeing my dad’s hand graze his belt buckle made my knees weak and my brain would automatically initiate a quick conduct review.  I don’t think I even comprehended that his belt had a functional purpose other than keeping me in check.

As I approached the preteen years, I became increasingly sassy (I know it is hard to believe), but I had never pushed things very far with Dad.  One evening we had just finished dinner and my dad instructed my sister and me to clear the table and clean up the kitchen.   The daylight was dwindling and I wanted to go back out and play and so I balked at helping.  My balking could have been interpreted as whining, especially to a man who had just put in a full day as an overhead lineman.  He reiterated the instructions, which should have been my cue to shut the hell up.  Instead, I silently weighed my options.  I could shut my mouth and clean the kitchen or I could show him how I really felt, get my ass beat and then clean the kitchen.   I looked right at him, cocked my head to the side and stuck my tongue out at him.  I got my ass beat.  It hurt.

My teeth and pain have had a long tumultuous relationship.  I managed to fall out of swimming pool when I was ten and broke off my two front teeth.  A year or so later I was preparing to get what would be the first of my three sets of braces on my teeth and the orthodontist says I need to have two teeth extracted.  After clarifying that ‘extracted’ was a fancy word for ‘pulled’, I asked him to show me the teeth that needed to go.  That evening I helped myself to a few of my dad’s tools and locked myself in the upstairs bathroom.  After a lengthy, grueling, and bloody tug-of-war, I emerged with the teeth I had mined out of my own head.  My mother was appalled and I was relieved that I didn’t have to be subjected to the dentist pulling my teeth.   I pulled my own teeth that weren’t even loose.  It hurt.

                It is logical to assume that after becoming a nurse and experiencing natural childbirth, as an adult I would fully embrace the wonders of anesthesia and as a rule, I do.  In my mid-twenties I had to have my four wisdom teeth cut out (those dental folks can use all the fancy words they want, but you can’t dress up torture with fancy terminology).  My dentist was giving me a referral to an oral surgeon and since we still had hospital bills from my son being born earlier that year, the amount not covered by my insurance looked MASSIVE.  According to my calculations, having the procedure while awake and under a local anesthetic was going to save me five-hundred dollars.  Having my dentist do the procedure in lieu of an oral surgeon was going to be another huge savings.  I got exactly what I paid for.  The sound of my teeth being cracked out of their little sockets was horrible, but when he got to my bottom right wisdom tooth, the experience went from horrible to completely horrific.  Evidently, the nerves in my mouth are not wired evenly and I wasn’t completely numb. Reacting to the unexpected searing pain, I flew out of the chair, swearing (inaudibly because my mouth was still propped open with the mouth speculum thingy) and spewing blood and saliva like a rabid wild cat.  I had my wisdom teeth cut out while I was awake.  I saved a bunch of money.  It hurt.

                When I was old enough to know better, but young enough not to care, I got a tattoo.  It was cool for about five minutes.  Regret usually takes at least a little while to catch up with me, but the tattoo regret was almost instant.  For several years I detested this mark of temporary madness and I started investigating removal options.  I soon came to the realization that being a dumbass is expensive to the tune of about $1300.00-$2500.00.  Evidently the cut-rate wisdom teeth adventure didn’t do enough damage to steer me away from seeking out cheaper alternatives for tattoo removal.  During my research, I discovered that dermabrasion was a surgical method used to remove tattoos.  Basically, sanding or scraping the skin, beyond the point of ‘road-rash’; Seemed simple enough.  Armed with several different grits of sandpaper, rubbing alcohol, gauze, and a tiny welding cone I retreated into the bathroom and embarked on my DIY tattoo removal.  I required several ‘timeouts’, nearly hyperventilated more than once, and I am certain God and Jesus had to hit the mute button due to the numerous times I yelled out to them during the sanding of my own flesh.  I can imagine the scene from heaven:

Me:                        Oh, Holy God!  Jesus, I can’t do this.

Me:                        God have mercy!  Jesus!  Jesus!  Jesus!

Me:                        For the love of GOD, Christ in Heaven, I am going to pass out.

God:                      What is she doing?

Jesus:                    It would appear she is trying to remove her tattoo with sandpaper.

God:                      Hit the mute button, Son.  I can create a universe, but I can’t fix stupid.


I removed my own tattoo with sandpaper.  I have no scars and no evidence it was ever there.  It cost a little over $15.00.  It hurt.


It’s Not Okay to Share Your Poop


I was sixteen when my baby sister, Emily was born.  Twenty-five years ago a child born to a woman 40 or older was commonly referred to as a ‘change of life’ baby.  Nothing simultaneously contradicts and supports the arrival of Emily more accurately.  She was not the result of my mother mistakenly thinking she was in menopause and failing to take the necessary precautions.   With that being said, Emily’s arrival changed our lives!!!  Emily was the sun and the rest of us revolved around her.

As we doted, cooed and bounced Emily seemed bored with the entire baby stage of her life.  She never crawled, choosing to just take off walking instead.  She skipped baby-talk altogether, always talking plainly and used vocabulary far beyond her current developmental stage.   While an articulate and often demanding toddler at home, in public she became a wide-eyed mute.   She was quirky, rotten and when it came to laughs, she had impeccable timing.

Christmas the year Emily was two, my sister Kim (she was 15) and I decided to have a photograph made of us sisters as a surprise gift for mom.  The photographer acted like a complete nut trying to coax a smile out of Emily.  Most children would have at least giggled at his ridiculous antics.  Emily remained straight-faced (her mouth was literally a straight line that never wavered) and she uttered not a word in his presence.   He was growing frustrated as each of his carefully crafted antics fell to Em’s somber stance.  He excused himself to get more film and just has he stepped outside the doorway Emily proclaimed loudly in her clearly enunciated un-baby-talk voice, “What a dork!”  He turned around and looked back at us accusingly and Kim and I both pointed to Emily, who had instantaneously returned to her Mt. Rushmore impersonation.   Needless to say our session was over and mom received a very nice photograph of two smiling teens and one very subdued tot.

Emily was like a little sponge and occasionally I used this fact for my own entertainment purposes, which usually ended up coming back and biting me squarely in the ass.  As our family was eating dinner one evening, Emily started reciting a nursery rhyme and all attention shifted to her impromptu performance:

Emily:   Little Miss Muffet

Inside My Head:    Oh, shit.

Emily:    Sat on her tuffet.

Inside My Head:    Please, please, shut up.

Emily:    Eating her curds and whey.

Inside My Head:    Dear God, please strike her mute.

Emily:    Along Came a Spider and sat down beside her and said……

Inside My Head:    Dear God, please help me out.  I promise to never teach the kid bad things ever again.

Emily:  What’s in the bowl, Bitch

In my defense, Emily’s delivery was a million times funnier than Andrew Dice Clay’s.  Unfortunately for me, the parental figures failed to see any comedic value.

Emily had no trouble creating tons of laughter at the high school student council meeting I was hosting at our house.  While the council members hashed out plans for some long forgotten school event, Emily was perfecting her newly acquired potty training skills.  As a family, we regularly celebrated her toileting achievements by clapping, cheering and giving her candy.  Emily has always been shrewd in recognizing opportunities and the group of teens seemed like a sure thing for a multitude of positive rewards!  After producing a respectable poop in her pint-sized potty-chair, she proceeded to carry the entire potty-chair into the living room and presented it with pride to the members of the student council.    While trying to remove both of the little turds from the amused group of my peers, I calmly explained to Emily that it is not okay to share your poop with others.  Emily turned to me matter-of-factly, stuck out her little hand and demanded, “Where is my treat?”

Early in the fall before Emily was born, I was mowing the lawn and my mom came out into the yard with tears streaming down her face.  I immediately stopped what I was doing to find out what was wrong.  Through her tears my mom said, “I am worried I am too old to have a baby.  If something happens to me, please promise me that you will always love her and take good care of her.”   A few weeks ago I received the following text message from Emily, now 24, and can find no better way to wrap up this post:





Misconception of Bovine Justice


Although the majority of my childhood I resided within the city limits of our small town, my dad had a farm about 20 minutes outside of town and I LOVED it!  There he maintained about 30 head of cattle (they had bodies too, but for some reason cattle farmers only count the heads) and I had a small pony named, Black Beauty (she already had this name when I acquired her, otherwise it would have been a way more original name).  The thing I loved most about the farm is that I got to be Dad’s little farmhand.  No matter what I saw or experienced, I made every effort not to show an ounce of repulsion (take my word for it, there are MANY opportunities for being repulsed on a farm).  I watched unflinching as the horn buds were burnt off a baby calves.  As a witness to calf castration, I didn’t waiver as my dad cut into the ball-sacks, removed the testicles with his hands and flung the bloody stringy mess into a bucket.    It would take a lot more than a bucket of bloody cow balls to turn this tough tomboy into a sniffling sissy.   However, if I thought I couldn’t be broken, I was as wrong as any six-year old farmhand had ever been.

Dad received a phone call one evening that one of his cows had gotten out and had been hit by a car.  As he pulled on his boots, I started pleading to go along.  He reluctantly agreed, probably more out of desperation to shut me up rather than him recognizing me as a valuable sidekick.  Regardless, I climbed in his truck and buckled up for the ride-Note: I didn’t really buckle up.  Nobody buckled up back then.  I am pretty sure that I never saw anyone actually use a seatbelt until I was in middle school and I am certain I thought it to be complete overkill in the safety department. 

We arrived at scene of the accident and Dad pulled to the side of the road, as I started to follow him, he stopped me and said those dreaded words, “You need to stay in the truck,” and he shut the door.  I couldn’t believe he was leaving me out of all the excitement.  There was little time to sulk; I had to survey the scene.  From my vantage point in the truck I could see a small white car on the opposite side of the road and a man walking toward my dad.  I didn’t see a cow.  My only experience with road-kill had been seeing small critters flattened in the streets or bloated like furry balloons on the side of the highway.  My dad and the man had moved to the side of the road and as Dad knelt down, I could see that there was a cow lying in the ditch.  I couldn’t tell if it was moving or not, but I knew it was bad.

Dad made his way back to the truck and opened the door and I started firing off questions about the condition of the cow, which went unanswered.  Oblivious to my escalating irritation, Dad reached behind the seat of his truck and pulled out his gun.  I shut up.  I watched as he pulled out a box of ammunition and reinstructed me to, “Stay in the truck.”   I watched eagerly out the window.  I chided an unheard warning to the stranger, “My dad is going to shoot you for hurting his cow. “ Then I watched and waited.

I screamed in horror as I realized that my dad’s gun wasn’t trained on the cow mangler.  This could not be happening!  He should totally be helping the cow and shooting the dumb guy who wasn’t smart enough to stop for a giant farm animal in the middle of the road!! Nothing was making sense to me.  WHY WAS HE SHOOTING THE COW???  Dad seemed to be confused about why I was upset and tried to comfort me by explaining how he couldn’t allow the cow to suffer (like jerking their balls out  wasn’t a form of suffering).  Dad wasn’t used to his trusty farm buddy to be sniffling and snotting like a little girl.  My tears were making me even more flustered and I eventually gave up trying to make him understand that I was sad that the cow had to die but I was furious that he had not avenged the cow by shooting the man!

My life has come full circle and I now live in close proximity to a variety of farm animals.  Should you happen out my way, please drive carefully and watch out for cows!  There is a chance that I could have long suppressed dose of bovine justice just waiting to be served.

Just Let Her Chew On Your Boob



              It has been over sixteen years since I held my only son, Evan, for the very first time.  After all his toes and fingers were accounted for, I relaxed and anticipated the adventures this new life would bring to mine.  Right out of the shoot with this little scallywag I had already fumbled the rules of being Evan’s mom.  Rule number one: If you relax you are in trouble.  Rule number two:  You must never under-estimate the adventures of Evan.

               One of the roles that Evan didn’t enthusiastically embrace was that of a big brother.  He was three when his sister, Sophi, was born and he never passed up an opportunity to remind anyone gushing over the new arrival that, “It’s just a baby.  It’s no big deal.”   The only aspect of the new addition that seemed to intrigue him in the least was the mystery of breastfeeding.  He would often be playing or watching TV and hunt me down and ask, “So, there’s milk in those boobs?”  It was like this little three-year-old person was trying to wrap his mind around the whole concept.  He would playing with his toy trucks in the floor and then all of a sudden his little brain would take a detour, “Good God, is that possible?  I better just check with mom one more time.  That doesn’t seem right.”

               One afternoon my good sense was overruled by my need to go to the store, so I ventured out to Wal-Mart, with baby on board and toddler in tow.  I was standing in the checkout line and Sophi began to fuss.  As the line crept slowly, Sophi’s fussiness began to escalate.  I was trying to quickly unload my items onto the cashier’s conveyer belt so I could get out of the store before she reached the point of royally pissed.  Evan was calmly repeating, “Mom, hey, Mom,” over and over.  Impatiently I finally responded, “WHAT, Evan?”   I saw his dimple twitch (the untrained eye would have missed it) and I knew it was coming.  Loudly he yells, “WHY DON’T YOU LET HER CHEW ON YOUR BOOB??!!”

               The man in line behind our little circus was trying hard not to laugh, which Evan must have interpreted as disbelief in the lactating capabilities of his mother and fervently jumped to my defense and yells,  “Don’t laugh; there is really milk in there.  There is MILK in my MOM’s BOOBS!!!!”   I think Evan was expecting me to give him a high-five for setting the skeptical stranger straight.  I just wanted to get the hell out of the store, but by the time I pulled out of the parking lot, I was laughing so hard I was almost crying. 

               Thank you, Evan, for bringing so much laughter into my life, then and now.