Happy Birthday MiniMe!

Less than an hour old

Less than an hour old

On this day, 14 years ago, I gave birth to my Mini Me. The above picture is the first time Beauty held her. She was so very proud of her baby! It started a few days earlier. I went to the doctor for my last check-up on that Wednesday and he told me things looked great and she could come any time. He also told me he was leaving town for the weekend. I told him not to go because if he did I would for sure have her over the weekend. I don’t think he believed me. I went back to work and called my mom and told her they might want to start thinking about making the trip from Idaho since it could happen any time. My parents left the next morning so Grandma could be there when the baby decided to make her appearance. That Friday my sisters-in-law, my mom and I went shopping. I think they were trying to walk that baby out of me! We did more shopping (Christmas was coming soon!) on Saturday and I started having contractions so off to the hospital we went. They decided she wasn’t quite ready so they sent me home. ::sigh:: As we were getting ready for bed, my step-dad told me that if I went to church with them the next day I would have the baby. If I didn’t go, I wouldn’t have her until  Monday (my birthday). Anyone who’s ever been pregnant or known a pregnant woman knows that by that point, she’ll agree to just about anything to be done being pregnant. I was no different! I slept great that night. Well, as great as you can at the end of your pregnancy. We went to church and of course sat IN the middle OF the middle in a big huge church sanctuary. The singing started…and so did my contractions. They were 3 minutes apart right from the beginning. Grandma went to let Beauty’s teacher know we were headed to the hospital so she could tell the rest of the family and off we went. Once we got to the hospital, they wanted me to lay down so they could check me. I refused because that hurt way to much. So I paced around the room. They called my doctor. He was on his way back from his weekend trip with his family. I TRIED TO WARN HIM! Anyway, once I finally had enough and the nurse pretty much forced me to lay on the bed so she could check me, I was dilated to 8 cm and ready to push. I begged for an epidural (I’ve heard they are wonderful things!) but she told me it was too late. I was devastated! I tried to reason with her and tell her I would just stop everything so she could do it but she didn’t fall for it. My doctor called about that time to say that he was back in town but had to drop off his wife and son at home before he came to the hospital. The nurse told him he didn’t have time for that and to just bring them along. At that point, I really didn’t care who was there, I just wanted to get this show on the road!

He finally showed up and came in my room to announce that he had arrived and was going to change. I told him to hurry up and come break my water because I was done with this business and I was going home. He laughed at me. JERK!

He made it back and as he was opening the packaging of the device they use to break your water, I looked at the nurse and told her I thought I needed to push. She told me “Go ahead. Let’s see what happens!”

I pushed.

My water broke.

I pushed 2 more times.

MiniMe was born at 12:27 pm on Sunday, December 5th. She weighed 7 lbs. 15.5 oz. and was 19 inches long. She was perfect.

Grandma gives the best hugs!

Grandma gives the best hugs!

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, that part was pretty simple. My family was waiting in the hallway to meet the newest little person in our family. They all came in as soon as the doctor cleared me for visitors. Beauty got to be there when they checked out her baby and got to help give her very first bath. They brought me a lunch tray. I remember it was turkey, mashed potatoes, peas and cherry pie for dessert. I really wanted the pie but my mom told me I had to eat lunch first. Unfortunately for me, I listened to her.

Remember the part up there where I said I refused to lay down? Well, it’s pretty difficult to put an IV in when your patient is pacing the floor. So they didn’t. That probably wouldn’t have been a problem if the patient in question wasn’t me. You see, with my whole family there to welcome the new baby and me pushing the peas and potatoes around on my plate, that nurse came in to push on my tummy (I know there’s a medical reason for this but it’s not fun at all!) and found that I had been hemorrhaging for the last hour. They made everyone leave except my mom and they took my lunch tray.  I remember them frantically trying to start an IV. I don’t remember much but I do remember there was figure at the end of my bed telling me I would be ok. I asked my mom later. There was nobody at the end of my bed. I had an angel watching over me that day.

MiniMe and I spent the next 3 days(including my birthday) getting to know one another in a hospital room. I never did get my cherry pie. We were released on Wednesday evening. That Friday we all left for Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Idaho where we stayed for the first month of her life.

14 years later

14 years later

The last 14 years have been an amazing journey. I love you MiniMe and look forward to many more birthdays with you.

Love,

Mom

 

I remember

9114People everywhere are remembering the day our world changed. On that fateful day 12 years ago I remember exactly where I was.

At the time I was working in a call center for a cell phone company. We hadn’t heard much when I received a call from a woman whose phone automatically transferred her to my department. The woman on the phone that day was frantic. She was a stewardess for United Airlines. She was trying to reach her friends and co-workers. She was supposed to be on one of those planes.

Twelve years later I don’t remember her name but I’ll never forget her voice.

Shortly thereafter we received word that if we wanted to leave work we could go and not face any attendance infractions. 21-month-old MiniMe was in daycare and 7-year-old Beauty was in her second grade class at school. I chose to leave. I knew there was nothing I could do and thankfully I didn’t personally know anyone who was killed that day but I needed to gather my children close and keep them as safe as I knew how. I picked up the girls and we went home. Thankfully they were young enough that they didn’t understand at the time what was going on. I struggled to answer Beauty’s questions in a way that she would understand.

Twelve years later they have learned to live in our post 9/11 world.

I have relatives who have served in the military and a nephew who is a civilian firefighter in Afghanistan. There’s a local family who lost a son a few years ago. We live in a small community and the day he was brought home everything stopped. The motorcade from the airport to the high school gym where his memorial service was held was one of the most amazingly heart wrenching things I’ve ever experienced. Beauty and I were on the freeway and every overpass was filled with people. The fence along side the freeway was filled with flags.  Cars pulled over to the side of the road to show respect for this fallen soldier who was one of our own. I was one of those cars.

I am thankful every day for the men and women in uniform who work so hard to make sure that our world is safe. Whether it’s a military uniform or our firefighters, EMTs, police and sheriffs, all of them are working together to make sure that we in this country are safe.

For this, I thank you.

My response to the Daily Prompt

Mooooooommmmm….

I’m going to change my name. I’ve decided. I can’t tell you what it will be because one of you will tell my kids then I’ll be screwed.

7195 days ago I became a mother. I suppose you could add 9 months to that if you wanted to get technical about it but I think that number is overwhelming enough as it is. Little did I know that I was about to embark on the most difficult, sometimes heartbreaking, often terrifying, frequently enjoyable, always rewarding adventures of my life! Almost from the beginning I was mostly a single mom. When she was 3 months old, I became a really real single mom. Thankfully I had MY mom to help me. Those early days were tough as we learned about each other and got to know one another. My baby Beauty was my first true love. She taught me things about myself that I never knew. I didn’t know you could function on so little sleep for extended periods of time. Not function very well but still able to be semi-coherent. She opened my eyes to the little things I had never noticed. She was excited about pretty much everything and learning to see the world through the eyes of a child is an amazing experience. For the first 6 years of her life we were a team. It was her and I against the world. 5019 days ago her sister was born. Beauty was such a great help when I was pregnant with MiniMe. She loved to cuddle with me on the couch and lay her head on my baby bump. 2 weeks before MiniMe was born we moved into the hotel I worked at and were living in a room there. 3 days before MiniMe was born my parents arrived and stayed in a room across the hall. Because of complications during childbirth (I almost died! For real!) I had to stay in the hospital for a few days. Poor Beauty had never really been away from me for that long and wasn’t happy about it. That first night she decided she was going to sleep in my bed since she couldn’t be with me. Grandma couldn’t get her to change her mind for anything. MiniMe brought many changes to our lives. Beauty was the very best big sister around. Right up until her baby started getting into her stuff and trying to eat everything. Then the days (and nights) were filled with “Mooooommmm she has my…” or “Moooooooommmm she wants my…” That never really changed even as they got a little bigger. Except instead of only 1 of them saying it now I had 2.

MiniMe was my “no leg baby”. Not literally of course but the kid seriously had the shortest little legs it was crazy! Beauty was 7lbs 6oz and 21 1/2 inches long at birth. Long and skinny. MiniMe was 7lbs 15.5 oz and 19 inches long. She was the Gerber Baby. Most of that 19 inches was her torso. She didn’t even hit the charts for height until she was almost 4! Beauty was off the charts from the beginning and finally stopped at 5’9″. She didn’t get that from me! MiniMe is now 13 and a couple of weeks ago we measured her and she’s 5’1″. Yep, that’s my girl!

The other day I was making dinner and MiniMe just randomly yelled “Moooooommmm”. I’m pretty sure it was just to see if I’d react. That’s when I told her I’m changing my name and I’m not telling her what it is. She didn’t find the humor in the situation.  Right now Beauty is taking some time away and visiting family and working on herself. The last year has been a rollercoaster and she needed to get off the ride for a while. MiniMe is keeping me on my toes this summer. We now have a kitten so she’s been busy with that. Horse Camp Season will be ending soon and it will be time to go back to school and get our routine back. She is definitely a creature of habit and not having anything to really do during the day is driving her a little crazy.

10 days from now we will be at our family reunion with my aunts and uncle and cousins on my mom’s side. The day we get there will mark the 3 month anniversary of mom passing away. I’m glad I’ll get to be with my extended family on that day. But I guarantee I’ll still get to hear one or hopefully both of my children call me Moooooommmm… And ya know what? I’m gonna enjoy every single minute of it!

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I’m such a follower

I’ve been following a couple of blogs for a while and they have inspired me to step it up. Thanks Lily and Tim!

The writing prompt this time is sleepovers. I actually have a really good one for this!

When I was 13 my mom decided to throw me a big “friends” party. When you have a December birthday that doesn’t usually happen. But my dad had died a few months earlier and my mom wanted to do something fun. Plus my sister had done something similar for my niece 6 months earlier. Huh, mom was a follower too!

Anyway, I got to invite 4 friends over and we had a DIAPER PARTY. It’s not as kinky as it sounds, I promise!

It was a way to say goodbye to childhood and hello to being a teenager. My mom searched the city and found the old-fashioned diaper pins. You know, the ones with the little bunnies and ducky’s on them? Yeah, those ones. She also found receiving blankets to use as cloth diapers. Imagine 5 giggly tween girls all dressed up in diapers and t-shirts. My mom was a brave woman!

Everyone received a 4 oz. baby bottle when they got there and all liquids had to be drank from that. Carbonated soda in a baby bottle was a lot of fun. For games we played Pin the Tail on the Donkey and this one where you were blindfolded and had a big bowl of cotton balls and a spoon and had to transfer the cotton balls into a smaller container. Mom made up a bunch of finger foods and we watched little kids movies. Well, we watch The Care Bears Movie and one that was recommended by the movie store clerk called Zapped! Mom wasn’t overly impressed with that one! We also got to eat Pudding Pops! We didn’t sleep much but had a blast and all in all, it was the best birthday I ever had!

Best childhood treat EVER!

Best childhood treat EVER!

How about you? Do you have any sleepover memories?

Zebra Garden

Beauty and MiniMe

Beauty age 9 MiniMe age 2

This photo was taken in I think 2002. Back then my children liked each other. Minnie is actually the principal of the elementary school both girls attended. We love her!

When I found out I was pregnant with Beauty I knew my life was going to change. I was 20 years old and in what I thought was the perfect relationship. Looking back, I’m not sure why I didn’t realize sooner how very wrong I was. But things happen for a reason. If I hadn’t been in that relationship I never would have had Beauty. My pregnancy was very difficult with her. You see, I didn’t handle stress very well even before I got pregnant and during, I couldn’t handle it at all. My relationship was incredibly stressful and every time things would get bad I would start having contractions and end up at the hospital. When I was about 5 1/2 month I fell and landed on my stomach. That was another trip to the hospital but they checked us out and everything was ok. My doctor put me in the hospital overnight about 6 weeks before my due date because the contractions weren’t stopping. Thankfully we got them stopped and I was able to go home. All in all, I was in the hospital 13 times during that pregnancy, the 13th time was when I had her. That Saturday we went dinner at a local steak house. I went to bed early because I was feeling a little off. My contractions woke me up at about 9 that night. I had moved back to my mom’s house due to some things that were happening at our apartment. I got my mom and let her know that I thought this was the real thing. She had me go lay down on the couch while she made me some chamomile tea. She sat a cup of boiling hot tea in front of me and I grabbed it and sucked it down (scalding my throat in the process!), set the cup on the table and said “Ok, can we go now?”

We got to the hospital and they said that while it appeared that I really was in labor this time I wasn’t very far into it and needed to “walk the baby out”. I walked all night long, stopping at one point to weigh myself on the scales they had in the hallway. Every single contraction I had while walking almost brought me to my knees. Beauty’s head was pushing on my tailbone the entire time.  I had skipped Lamaze classes so I didn’t even know I could have asked for an epidural. And they didn’t offer! So after 12 hours it was time to get down to business. They finally did give me something that made me see stars but it only lasted about 3 minutes so that wasn’t very helpful. We all knew that Beauty was a boy. Although I had 3 ultrasounds we were never able to see THAT part but every single person I knew said it was going to be a boy. So when the doctor said “It’s a girl!” we were all pretty shocked. Beauty was born at 9:48 am. I should have known because my friend was also pregnant about the same time and her doctor TOLD her she was having a girl. Yeah, she ended up with my son and I got her daughter. It’s ok, we just traded clothes and it worked out perfect for both of us. I ended up with a beautiful baby girl, and a broken tailbone. I also weighed myself the day after I had her and I was 12 lbs heavier than when I was in labor! O.O How does that even happen??? I gained a total of 87 lbs with her. Granted my big craving was baked ribs and lasagna from a local Italian restaurant that I had to have at least once a week. I’m sure that didn’t help matters…

Five years later I got pregnant with MiniMe. I found out I was pregnant at 2 weeks. You’re not supposed to know that early. There’s a reason for that! It makes the next 38 weeks go incredibly slow! I found out I was pregnant and less than a week later I had what I thought was the worst morning sickness in the history of morning sickness. It lasted all freaking day! I was so sick I lost 15 lbs in 3 weeks! Turns out I had the stomach flu. Except when that went away I was still throwing up. Just first thing in the morning but still! Do you know what it’s like to throw up every single day for 38 weeks??? Not fun, let me tell ya! Despite throwing up every day it was a super easy pregnancy. I only went to the doctor for my regular check-ups. When I had my ultrasound at 5 1/2 months they told me it was a girl. I didn’t believe them! My entire pregnancy was so different this time that I thought there was no way it could be another girl. With Beauty, I never threw up one time. With MiniMe, every single day. Cravings with Beauty were, like I said carbs! I also called a local Mexican restaurant and got an order of deep-fried ice cream, to go! MiniMe cravings were fresh fruits and veggies. I seriously had nectarines available everywhere I went. Sometimes they were in the glove box of my car! When we went to the mall? I had one in my pocket! Not even kidding!

I went to the doctor the Wednesday before she was born and he said he thought it would happen within a week. I went back to work (I was Assistant General Manager at a local hotel) and one of my employees was freaking out and wouldn’t let me do ANYTHING! He wanted me to just sit and watch everybody else work! I think he was terrified I was going to go into labor at work and he would have to deliver the baby! I called my parents (they had moved back to my hometown 8 hours away) and they got here that Friday.  On Saturday my mom and my sisters-in-law and I went shopping. I didn’t have much for the baby because I still didn’t believe them when they said it was a girl. We picked up a bunch of neutral color stuff so I would have something at least. I started having contractions and ended up going in but they said I wasn’t far enough into it so they sent me home. I got home and my contractions pretty much stopped. That night my step-dad asked if I wanted to go to church with them in the morning. His exact words were “If you go to church with us you’ll have that baby tomorrow. If you don’t, you won’t have it until Monday.” That particular Monday was my birthday. So I went to church with them and Beauty was down in her little Sunday School class while we were up in the sanctuary preparing for the service. It was the first time I’d ever been to a contemporary service where there was an actual band playing! We started singing and it was stand-up/sit-down/stand-up/sit-down… After the 3rd time I looked at my mom and said “I’m not standing up again! My contractions are less than 3 minutes apart. Maybe we can go to the hospital now?” We got to the hospital and the nurse wanted me to lay down so she could check me. I told her she was crazy and refused. I paced approximately 3 steps back and forth in front of the bathroom until I looked at the nurse and told her “I think I need to go to the bathroom”. She said I had to lay down first so I did. I also asked for my epidural. She said it was too late. I was very close to delivering and there wasn’t time for that now. Yeah, I cried. I begged her and promised that I wouldn’t push and I would just stop everything until they gave me the epidural! Yeah, like THAT would have worked? Anyway, My doctor had gone out of town that weekend for his son’s soccer tournament and was on his way back. He was still a good 30 minutes away and I was about ready to push! He ended up bringing his wife and son to the hospital with him and they went to have lunch while he was delivering a baby. He got there and popped his head in to my room long enough to tell us he was there and going to change. I told him to hurry up so he could break my water. I think my exact words were “You need to break my water right now because I’m done with this and I’m going home!” Well, he made it back in time for me to tell the nurse I needed to push. I pushed. My water broke. I pushed 2 more times and MiniMe was born at 12:27 pm on Sunday, the day before my birthday. After she was born (Yes, they were right…it was a girl!) all of my family came to see us. Beauty was so excited! Some of my favorite pictures are from the first time she saw her baby sister. Everyone had to leave suddenly about an hour after she was born because I was hemorrhaging and bleeding to deal, literally. Lucky for me I was in the hospital so they had measures in place to take care of me. If I had done a home birth or been alive back in the early 1900’s I wouldn’t be here today. Because of the complications I ended up staying in the hospital until Wednesday. We left that Friday for my parents house 8 hours away. Would you like to know how much fun it is to sit in a big pick-up truck for 8 hours less than a week after giving birth? Let’s just say I don’t recommend it.

Being a mom has been the hardest, most rewarding job I’ve ever had in my life. I love my girls more than they will ever know. They are my whole life and although life hasn’t always been easy, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Loopie Moms!

Back in the dark ages, like before wi-fi, there weren’t a lot of options for internet. I had an awesome boss that actually helped get me online. I worked at a local hotel and we had one computer at the front desk that we could use to access the internet, with dial-up. Remember that? It was sad really. Anyway, one of my co-workers set me up under his AOL account and I was off and running. Those slow evenings at work consisted of sitting at the front desk and going into AOL chatrooms with my boss on her computer from home. Talk about a fun boss! I met some really fun people that way, some of whom I am still in contact with today. Chatrooms wasn’t the only thing I did tho. I was a young single mom with a preschooler. I found a couple of websites for moms and signed up for them. One day I received a random email from a random person asking if I wanted to be part of a mom’s email “loop”. I had no clue what that ment but figured, what the heck, I’ll give it a try. Honestly, that was the best “what the heck” moment I’ve ever had! That was 1998.

I started getting emails from young moms all over the place. It was awesome! At one time there were 25-30 of us spread all over the U.S. These ladies helped me through so much. They helped me through the final split with Beauty’s father. They encouraged me when I started a new relationship and let me vent when it ended badly. These moms whom I had never met in person actually helped me name MiniMe. When I had the ultrasound and found out I was having another girl I came home and emailed everyone that I needed ideas because I already had my girl and had nothin’. Not even joking when I say they named her. They totally did!!! Another of the mom’s got pregnant with twins the same year. Her girls recently turned 13! I remember calling her right after they were born and congratulating her. That was the first time I’d ever heard Kay’s voice.

A few years ago we got word that one of us had taken her own life. That hit all of us really hard. I know for me, I will always wonder if there was something more we could have done to support her. I was going through some old papers a few months ago and found a couple of poems she had written. It makes me sad to think that she’s not here anymore. I hope her girls are doing ok.

Over the years many moms have come and gone (we even had a dad at one point!). Each one of us has had more children and all except me have been married and some have since divorced. A few years ago I had an opportunity to finally meet 3 of my “Loopie Moms” in person. The original Loopie, Erica, was graduating from college and invited a couple of us to fly to Texas to attend her graduation. I got to hang out with Chelle and Erica the entire weekend and Kay met up with us a couple of times and we got to spend some time with her too. It was Mother’s Day weekend. It was AWESOME!

I honestly can’t imagine what my life would have been like if I had not responded to that first email. These ladies have helped me through so much and likely saved both of my children’s lives more than once. In the last few years we have been able to stay in contact through Facebook more so the whole email thing has mostly gone away. That kind of makes me sad because although I get to follow them a little closer it just isn’t the same as getting that more personal connection we used to have. Maybe some day I’ll get to meet Stacie and Andie but at least I know that we can still stay in touch through Facebook. Hopefully soon I will be making another trip to Texas to see my BFF Loopie Erica and help her plan her happily ever after.

Mostly, I’m really really glad I have my loopie mom friends and I can’t imagine what my life would be like without them.

Live you guys!!!

My cross country trip

When Beauty was 9 months old we made a trip to see her spermdonor father in Delaware. I live on the west coast. Pretty much as far west as you can go and not be in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Are you aware of where exactly Delaware is located? Clear across the freaking country!!! 3000 miles across the country actually! I made the trip once before on the train with my ex and the in-laws. The train was actually pretty cool. The in-laws had a sleeper car and they slept during the day so the ex and I slept at night. It worked out perfect! We could get up and walk around which made 3 days go a heck of a lot faster than one would think. The one scary thing about that trip was when we got to Chicago and the ex and I decided to go outside to get some fresh air (isn’t that a myth in Chicago?) and were approached by a man in a trench coat with his hands in his pockets. I was so scared all I could do was hang on to the ex for dear life and hope my in-laws would be able to identify the body. Turns out he wanted to sell us some cheap jewelery. o.O

Anyway, my second time making that same trip was on the Greyhound Bus with a 9-month-old who was teething and learning to crawl. 4 days, 3 nights. On a bus. With a baby. By myself. In August. I’m from Podunk, Nowhereville and I was 21. Getting the picture here? My luggage consisted of Beauty, a diaper bag full of clothes, formula, food, diapers and wipes. I also had another bag full of more diapers, clothes and wipes, a small insulated bag with ice packs cold water to make her bottles since she would only drink them if they were really really cold, a big suitcase with the rest of our clothes and more diapers and formula, a stroller and a heavy leather jacket. Yes, I brought a heavy leather jacket with me on a cross-country trip to the east coast where I’m pretty sure the temp never dropped below 100.  Don’t judge!

So we made it there ok, a little wilted and a lot tired of sitting but we made it. We spent 10 days in Delaware mostly hanging out in the air-conditioned house. The first time I was there it was winter. I think it was the worst winter New York had seen in something like 30 years. My second trip was obviously nothing like that. We did take the stroller to the park one day but after about 20 minutes thought we were going to die of heat stroke so went back to the in-laws. I did get to see lightning bugs for the first and only time in my life! That was pretty cool! The night before we left I didn’t get any sleep because Beauty wasn’t feeling good and I was trying to make sure I got all of our stuff packed and we had to be at the bus station at 4:00 in the morning. Yep, that’s right. I prepared for a 4-day/3-night bus ride across country by staying up for 24 hours. Brilliant, I know. We made it to the bus station at oh-dark o’clock and loaded the bus for our adventure home.

First stop…NYC! I had never been to New York before. I was hoping to be able to see something recognizable like the Statue of Liberty or something. Well, we may have been in the area where I could have seen Lady Liberty…if I had been awake! Beauty woke me up just as we started to pull into the bus station. We got into the terminal and tried to find a place to wait for our next bus… for 7 hours! Yes, you read that right. We had to be at the bus station in the middle of the night to catch a bus to take us to NYC so we could wait for 7 freaking hours at one of the scariest places I’ve ever been in my entire life. I was a smoker and wanted to go outside. I had to go up 3 flights of stairs to get outside. One of the very nice security people talked to the ticket agent people and let me leave my stuff with them so I wouldn’t have to carry it all up and down the stairs. So we made it up the stairs and outside. I don’t know even know what part of town the Greyhound station is in but to this 21 year-old mom from Podunk, Nowhereville it was truly frightening. XXX shops and stripper bars everywhere. There was a homeless man (I’m guessing here) that kept walking back and forth in front of the doors, stopping at each end to check the garbage cans for treasures, yelling at the top of his lungs “THE WORLD…IS GOING TO END…TOMORROW!!!” The security guy that was working at the street level was also amazing in that he came over and took one look at me and said “Honey, you’re not from around here, are you?” I said in a teeny squeaky voice “no”. He radioed for another security officer to come up get me and he also talked to the ticket agents and informed them that I was NOT going to be going upstairs again and that if I promised to stand right by the door where the buses pull in I could stand there and smoke.

After what felt like forever we finally were able to get on the bus and head for home. I don’t remember our exact route (it’s been almost 20 years, give me a break!) but I remember that I met some pretty amazing people on that bus ride home. This was in the days before cell phones so it’s not like I could keep in contact with anyone or play video games or something. All the smokers congregated to the back of the bus. Because I had the baby I was able to sit all the way in the back by the bathroom for most of the trip. You know, the one where there are 3 seats? Yeah, it was next to the bathroom which sucked and it was right on top of the engine which sucked even more but at least I didn’t have to hold the baby the whole time. We had one bus driver that just so happened to be a smoker too. There weren’t very many people on the bus and most of us smoked so he would call over the intercom “Hey! You guys in the back! Is it getting a little bumpy back there? See, they have to log every stop so he was logging the extra stops at rest areas as “tire checks”. That was also the bus that the air-conditioning broke. That SUCKED a really lot! Going through the mid-west, in late August, on a bus, with no air conditioning    o.O  The driver was nice enough to open the escape hatch on the roof so we could at least have some air but it was like sitting in front of a furnace blowing hot air at you. Not really helpful. Our next big stop we were able to transfer to a different but with working A/C which made things 1000% better.

Most of us riding through the midwest were headed for somewhere on the west coast so we ended up together for a long time. We kind of became like a little family. I remember one lady that was probably in her late 60’s/early 70’s that just fell in love with Beauty. If Beauty was sleeping during one of the “tire check” stops she would go sit with her so I could go outside. Of course I always stayed right by the bus door but it was really nice to be able to step away for a minute. There was also a very cool black lady that almost killed a man because he tried to sit on the Baby Beauty! We made a stop in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere and this drunk guy got on and he came all the way to the back of the bus thinking he would just sit back there. We had tied a trash bag to the bathroom door and it had some cans in it and he bumped the bag when he was trying to sit on Beauty and it woke everyone up. The lady (I’ll call her J, mostly because I don’t remember her name!) woke up screaming at Big Drunk Guy and getting all up in his business! BDG ended up going into the bathroom and lighting up a joint. Needless to say, he didn’t last long. He was kicked off the bus at the next stop. If you’re reading this BDG… Sorry dude, hope you were able to find a ride at 2 in the morning from a closed up station in the middle of nowhere!

I think the worst was when they would stop at some scary station at 3 in the morning and make everyone get off the bus so they could clean it. Do you people know what it’s like to wake up a 9-month-old at 3 in the morning and take her into a brightly lit new place and expect her to go back to sleep??? Not gonna happen! We did finally make it home safely and lived to tell the story. Beauty likes to tell people she’s been to NYC. She just leaves out the part that she was a baby…