Category Archives: delivery

21? No way!

Yes, it is true I have a baby girl who turns 21 today. I remember the day quite well. By early in the morning on the 17th we decided she wasn’t coming therefore, why bother returning to the hospital, lol.

I had been admitted on the 16th and when nothing happened, I came home to see my four year old, Darion. Only to return the next morning for more poking and prodding. She was determined to stay, nesting in the womb enjoying mommy singing and walking her around.

It was an amazing day! We were calm upon entering the labor and delivery, had created a plan for Darion to come to the hospital and went in to finally hold this bundle of joy.

I can remember when they held this beautiful child up and said, “Meet your baby girl, Ashby Mae Drake.”

Tears streamed down my face. Of course I was elated, but I was also like that three month old, came out of me? You see, my first child was five pounds ten ounces. However, Ashby broke that record of having teeny tiny babies…she was nine pounds five ounces! Shew!!! She was mad! It was cold and she couldn’t get those screams to form words fast enough, therefore she screamed louder and sometimes in different pitches almost like she was auditioning for the voice, as a two minute old!

Everyone in the labor and delivery were scattered and shattered once Ashby had arrived. I realize that it’s normal for a delivery staff to be chaotic, but it’s how extreme the chaos was. I remember one nurse, who was tending to me, turned and as politely as she could said, “Okay, who is in charge of making sure Miss Ashby is happy!”

Really? Her first few minutes of life and she begins with that? And guess what? They did just that. People were scrambling, passing her from person to person, swaddling her to keep her warm and finally between me, Darion and Meemaw some how she became satisfied.

It was like a snap of the fingers and we are spinning around and she is 21!

The essence of Ashby…she has always loved all animals from snakes & reptiles to kittens & rats and everything in between. There was not an animal she couldn’t tame with a flick of her wrist and pick it up. Spanky the iguana, no one handled except Ashby Mae. She has been a visual artist since I can remember. By the time she was able to hold a pen in her hand, she has been drawing, way before she was walking. Her favorite way to paint from a year old on was in her birthday suit.

One time Eric had unannounced work clients come in from out of town, he called and said, “Some friends are coming over after work can you ask Ashby to dress?”

Her free spirit will take you on a whirlwind, similar to a plethora of Fall leaves being scooped up and dancing along the waves of the breeze. Then other times her vast interest in making the world a better place, but also ensuring all is fair in the world of Ashby, she will be more like a gust of wind.

Her essence of believing you can do anything is magnificent. Her determination to succeed is phenomenal. I remember when she was 15 she told me SHE would be in California by the time she was a Jr. In highschool. Of course, silly me doubted her! Boy was I wrong.

She began that day looking for reputable agents, (not the horrific experience we had at Cosmo, don’t do that). She found Wings in Cincinnati and the whirlwind had just begun. With in months we were attending workshops, meeting with several agents and finally she had decided on Jake Lang, who told her, “I am not sure you can do this.” ( I now know he knew exactly what he was doing).

Next thing I know, we are booking flights to Texas for expo, making new friends and signing on! For what? Oh sorry, of course Ashby was signed and expected to be where? By when? Yes!! California by February.

Those are just a few examples of the essence of Ashby Mae Drake. She has bedazzled us all since the afternoon of October 17th, twenty one years ago.

Thank you for being a great daughter and I love you! You are beautiful. Looking forward to many more!

God Bless

Livelove

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I think I can; I know I can…

Most people have read the Little Engine that could. I know, I would even refer to it while educating eighth graders or teaching sales associates, how to reach their personal quota. However, this past weekend, my experience, cleared the muddy waters or concepts behind this fabulous story!

You see, anytime I was coaching I would say look at the end result and go for that finish line. Which is one hundred percent normal for a coach. As we timed each runner in their event we would refer to their ending time and ask, can you beat that? After all, Track is all about who crosses that finish line first. I would run as fast as I could and cheer, “I think you can, I think you can…Come On You can do it, just look at that finish line, it is right there!!! (Ending with) I know you can! I know you can!”

Exasperated, I would check with John or Dad, for time and let them know where they were and where they needed to be! Does this sound normal to you? Of course it does as a coach you are to bring them up to their best potential and motivate them to complete the task, improve upon the last one and visualize the positive results is your job. However, if I chose to do that type of coaching again I would reverse their thoughts and my technique.

Why? You ask? Becuase although we had several qualify and attend state, once we arrived the goal or end result became overwhelming and several of them struggled.

Back to My lesson and then you will understand. As Eric and I rode bicycles, we would come upon some steep hills. He would shift down to second or even first gear and ride like the wind. (Of course he was demonstrating how necessary it is for me to have gears) Me, on the other hand, would begin pushing, panting, standing up and usually stop mid hill, exhausted. Though, I will say, I never walked and pushed my bike. Instead, I would look right in front of me about two feet and begin pedaling.

Pedaling, pedaling, pedaling slowly sometimes almost coming to a complete stop! Wobbling back and forth…hang on! I would say you can do this, you can do this.

My pep talk or phrase to myself became almost like a cheer/chant/song I would say out loud.

“You already know the end, all you have to see is, two feet & your free!”

I know that seems weird, but in the midst of the struggle it became, “2 feet in front of me is all you gotta see.”

Over and over again I would chant/cheer, “Two feet in front of me is all I gotta see… (push the pedals with all my might) Two feet in front of me is all I gotta see… (again, but a little louder)…Two feet in front of me is all I gotta see!”

I tested it time and time again. We would approach a hill and if I would ride, starring at the top; I NEVER MADE IT, without stopping! However, if I glanced at the top (or end result) I would take a snap shot of the path, quickly glance where others could be, ensure I could avoid any Big surprises and proceed. (All of that preparing was not a strict plan it was just a glance. So if I had to veer off the path, I would still arrive at my final deatination)

Next, I would look two feet ahead of me, glance behind me and take off!!! Push with the right, then the left. Breathe…inhale, exhale, inhale exhale. Focus on your breathing, Teena. And when I thought I couldn’t go anymore, I wasn’t strong enough, I would push even harder and cheer, “Two feet in front of me is all I gotta see!”(again)

“Two feet in front of me is all I gotta see…two feet in front of me is all I gotta see!”

Sometimes I would throw in the full mantra, but mostly I just concentrated on turning the wheels two times and moving two feet.

Isn’t this true in everything we do! I never understood why @The Little Engine that Could, began with, “I think I can.”

I do now! If he had looked at the end result the entire time he might not have made it to the the toys, on the other side of the mountain. Instead he began with just right then, right where he was at that time. He didn’t transition to, I know I can, until he had reached at least one major hurdle and enjoyed the journey along the way.

Anything you want to do big or small! Know the end result or goal, feel it for a split second. Then begin to take one step, then the next. You do not want to miss the delicious journey along the way, so you can bask in the glorious warmth and good feeling at the top.

Back to track. I love track as a sport! Because it focuses your brain to improve you for your own personal record. If you are a coach try not to focus on the end quite as much, but rather visualize the end and improve by only seeing two feet ahead, two days, two hours, or even two seconds!

You can get thru, accomplish or achieve anything you want! If you are depressed, struggling with addiction or just wanting to pedal to the top of a hill, you can do it! The key is to see it and break it down into smaller, manageable pieces!

God Bless!

Livelove

I know, I have been talking, instead of doing…

Hey everyone sitting at the doctor, waiting like everyone else. However, my brain is running like a marathon runner about to win a race and to be first out of thousands of runners!

Teena Drake, they call out! I waddle back, “Mrs. Drake your BP is high for you. Is there anything going on?”

“Ummm, noo, but you would not question me if you knew what was running through my brain! It’s crazy, gigantic and important. I don’t have time to catch you up, but I promise I am okay!”

I simply replied with, “No, I am fine.”

Anywhoooo, it’s all good!

Here is why my BP was up! I had a CRAZY THOUGHT!!! Driving down here!

Ever since I have been watching OperationBBQrelief.com I have had the strongest desire to jump in my car and drive South. However, if you don’t know, at this point of my life, I don’t think I would be much help at all!!!! I still waddle or wobble, a bit and I have to be very careful, not to get an infection, until it is healed. Ugh!!! What to do, what to do? Think, think, think, Teena!

That’s when it hit me!!! (It seemed to really hit me hard) As I was driving over an hour to my doctors appointment and listening to music at the highest level possible, with the sunroof open, wind blowing through my hair, and singing- Whoomp, there it is, I thought hmmm, what can I do to help others, who are suffering, bored, and misplaced from their home, stuff and comfort zone?

I got it!!!! I will begin to video and post. Problem is the little brain in my head continues to criticize me. Saying things like, “You know your ADHD will kick in and you will flutter off! You can’t sing! And you want to sing! What are you thinking?”

Then, like everything else, it hit me!!!! (I can’t ever get ideas quietly in my sleep). I remembered this funny statement from Kendal (you will meet her on one of my videos) she looked at me while we were standing in the longest, boring line at the airport in Mexico and said, “I would never mind standing in line with you. If I had to be stranded on an island, I would want it to be with you!”

WHAT? ME? I thought to myself! (As Eric shifted his weight back and forth and seemed more agitated than ever.) It might have had something to do with us singing in line and doing our hand clap…this, that…this this…that that! Or the eductional rhymes I was teaching everyone in line! One lady stopped me (as we attempted to move four steps ahead) and said, “Lady, I agree with your little girl (she isnt mine, but I will claim her). If I was stranded on an island I would want it to be with you! You are one of the most entertaining people, I have ever seen.”

In my mind I thought, as we approached the security/ passport lady, “Tell that to my husband! Giggling in my head, due to his aggravation!”

Then what happened next is HILARIOUS TO ME! NOT to Eric! We had been standing in line for two or three hours and I think it was my fault, but we- only Eric and I- were sent to security!!!! “What? You are kidding, why?”

We never found out the reason why, but Eric has and will always blame me! He swears, they were scared of ME! Lolololol, I still laugh hysterically, everytime he tells that story.

I don’t believe that, but I do believe my inspiration has hit. With all the crud going on in the world, with many children missing school for an indefinite amount of time, I am going to do it! I am scared to death. I criticize myself constantly, when I watch my videos, but for the sake of YOU, I am doing it!

My vision, heading into the doctor’s office, was clear and concise. They won’t be perfect, but they will be educational and entertaining. I am not sure if anyone on the islands will be able to read or watch this, but when you can, check it out. I realize electricity being super scarce, You Tube will not be easily available 😔.

Please note, I am sending all those affected by natural disasters a BIG

heart full of love and I want you to realize, we are all in this together. I Love you all and want you to Livelove On! You can do this, you can and will rebuild!!!

God Loves you no matter what!

Livelove

Why is it difficult to…

As I explore different options with several people, I realize how difficult it is to brag or describe yourself!!!

A company contacted me and said, “Mrs. Drake can you send us your credentials for speaking to a group of sales representatives? Especially since you have been in education for the past several years.”

My response is, “How large do you want that list and how descriptive? Define credentials and/or expertise.”

Because listen up you probably have more ‘credentials’ or ‘expertise’ than you know about. One of my happy coaching sessions is: describe yourself in a positive happy manner and it will always come to a task they have completed and feel good about. Or a great accomplishment in life will show up in the descriptions. Which is perfect!!

Here is the sad part…many people will automatically revert back to saying, ” Yes, but Teena that was when I was in middle school or high school.” Or, “That was a silly class I took from Homemakers of America, it was just a free class about personality testing.”

Please stop!!! I actually had a 22 year old man say to me, ” Mrs. Drake I can’t do that don’t you remember how bad I was in middle school?”

Insinuating or may believe, his life dream will need to shelved or a positive description of him, isn’t possible, because of something from middle school!!! You might read that and think, she is crazy! However, time and time again someone says something to brand them from a much younger life and different time.

If I were to be honest I haven’t had anyone in my program that has not reacted in this manner, when it comes to describing themselves. That means a full description including ALL COMPLETED TASKS, ALL VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS, SALES EXPERIENCE (even if you were like me and began selling hand made pot holders in the fifth grade.)

After writing this and remembering all the times I cut myself short, I think it’s time we enjoy us!!! Enjoy you! And yes go ahead and create a list of the wonderful, experienced, fun and loving YOU!

Next time you receive a phone call asking for a list of expertise respond with, “How would you like to receive that document? E-mail or Mail Service?”

Try it! Begin creating a list of the good in you. Start with what feels best. No matter what, when you have completed (which it truly will never be complete, as long as you are living you are continually evolving) you will be super happy and proud of yourself! You will probably want to kiss yourself! Instead kiss your dog, lover, friend! Celebrate you!!!!

God Bless

LiveloveLLC

Has it been eighteen years ago? What year is it? 2017?

It was just like yesterday!!! March sixteenth 1999…the band Yellow 5 was playing at the Toy Tiger. What an event! It hadn’t been the first time they played there, but was definitely one of the most important. There was a company there to sign, who? Yes, our little hometown band, they were on their way to being FAMOUS!!!!!! However, guess who was in labor at about six o’clock in the morning and Eric was to leave to pursue stardum at one  pm. Not good timing to say the least! But what an adventure.

The contractions would play with us all day. Become closer together then subside. I had decided they were probably a false alarm. However, he was over due, so we were on alert. I will never forget the moment when I called the doctor, explained my contractions and said, “If it would be okay, could I hold off until after midnight, to check in to the hospital?”

After a long pause, which seemed like an eternity, she chuckled and said, “Teena, I don’t think you get to choose that, but since this is your third child, you will know when to get here.”

My thoughts were you do not know me very well, but okay.

As the minutes ticked and clumped into hours my labor proceeded to get worse. Now a solid ten minutes a part and not stopping. They were consistent. It was now 12:45 and my honey was becoming anxious. Then he did the sweetest thing, he got down on both knees planted a big kiss on my huge, tight, belly button protruding, in labor, pregnant stomach and said, “Little buddy I love you, you know I do…but truthfully I am begging you to hold off one night.”

At that moment my little heart melted. Awe how freaking sweet is he for saying that. IF YOU BELIEVE THAT I HAVE SOME PROPERTY FOR SALE, IT ONLY HOLDS A LITTLE WATER!!!! LOLOLOL

What happened next…Let’s just let it be known my huge, rolly, polly, extreme pain came out and I began to say not such nice things to him. But hey who wants to recall the negative so let’s move on!.

Anyways, he went on to the gig and said, “I will be there, if you have to go to the hospital.”

I guess I would deal with whatever happened.

It was around nine o’clock my mom and her boyfriend insisted on driving me (thank goodness because I was going no matter what). As we merged on to the interstate I began to have pretty severe contractions. I had bought a brand new outfit for the gig, attempting to look as beautiful as possible weighing in at too much to post!

As we pass the exit to the hospital I recall Jon yelling, “Pull off! Charlene pull off! This is ridiculous!”

“No you better not pull off I won’t get out. I will make it! Just keep rolling the gig is about ready to begin. We can make it, go go go!”

Mom just pushed the petal to the metal and we were sitting in the Toy Tiger parking lot. Black makeup was pouring down my face, making me look like I was a pregnant zombie (wonder if that was foreshadowing for the Nuelydedz).

I fixed my face and rolled out of the car, literally I rolled. As I waddled closer to the door I saw a black man covering the doorway almost like he was waiting on me to say, “You are not coming in here little mama.”

As I got closer and closer I realized it was our good friend, the bouncer, Mo. I grinned as my head rolled back so I could look him in the eye or at least close enough. I am still hurting and I said, “Hey Mo it’s me with Yellow 5 I am just not feeling well.”

“Nope you do not need to be in here. You need to turn around and go back home.”

As if some kind of demon took over my body I lowered my head for a second, probably because I was having a pain. Then looked back up and in a scary voice said, “Mo! I have been through hell and back today so could you please move over and let me through!!!!!”

If you knew him you would know he never budged for anyone. He was one of the best bouncers in the world. However, thank goodness he felt sorry for me. He stepped a side and even found me a table close to the back so I could watch, but could exit quickly, if needed.

We had about fifteen minutes to spare so I sat down. Eric appeared to be happy to see me, he might have been afraid of me, but he played it off well. I am just kidding! If you know either of us very well, you know we don’t stay mad for very long at all.

The lights went dim, silence filled the room for a split second and when the stage lit up Eric Drake raised his drum sticks and hit the first lick…it stopped! What? Yes, my labor pains stopped almost simultaneously. I don’t mean I had a little pain, then they stopped. In fact I would push back and forth a few times just so he would kick my hand. Once I knew he was fine we went on together, enjoying the gig. The night seemed to end quickly and I was home, curled up in bed before I knew it. Still no pain, achey feeling just little ole pregnant me, like nothing happened.

Next morning March 17, 1999 appeared to be an average morning. Eric went on to work and I got the girls ready for school. Around 1:00 I told my mother and brother n law I didn’t feel well. Therefore, I was going to take a bath. My mom was pacing back and forth. She knew I was acting funny, so she called Eric to come home early. When he walked in the bathroom to check on me I stood up in the bathtub said, “Honey, I don’t feel very good!”

His face was worth this entire story! He first turned white, then he began to raise his voice…never looking me in the eye. Only to stare at my belly like there was an alien peaking out of my belly button. When I asked him what is wrong?

He looked at my belly and calmly said, “Get dressed, we are going to the hospital.”

Then it happened. I looked down to see what he was so freaked out about. I am not kidding you when I say it was something like a phenomenon. My gigantic, stretched out, pregnant belly had sank to a small dodge ball size. It literally looked like somebody told Nicholas to jump into a too small of a container and scrunch altogether, to ensure  this delivery is a quick process. You will be out of here before you know it. I began to panic. I yelled for my mommy and she came running. All she could do was hand me clothes in a frantic manner. After I was dressed the girls were quickly loading into our gold colored MPV mini van and we were off. By this time the contractions had begun! We were at five minutes apart and holding. We drove the girls across the Milton/Madison bridge only to hand over the girls to my daddy and step-mom. It looked alot like a three ring circus: I am screaming, off and on, hanging on the ‘Oh Shit’ handle. The side door oppisite of their front door flies open as if a rocket is going to shoot out and strike their next door neighbors. Out jumps Darion and Ashby. Ashby is screaming, “NO! I want to go with you please don’t leave me here. I don’t want to get out,” while she is pushing her meemaw and daddy away with her chubby little hands and almost leaping back and forth to keep from being caught, but she was too little to escape boh of them.

Not to mention her daddy was screaming, “ASHBY!” at the top of his lungs.

Now the kids are delivered and we are racing down the road with flashers on and me still halfway standing up screaming every THREE MINUTES NOW. My mother had decided we were going to deliver him in the van.

Once we arrived at the hospital my best friend Teresa Kidwell was waiting on me and we all just knew this was going to be fifteen minutes until Mr. Prince Charming Nicholas Drake would bless us with his presence. Nope, Nope Nope…my sweet little nurse Wendy Hines (one of the best nurses in the world), began prepping me for delivery, doctor was quickly behind too late for an epideral and BOOM he was scooting on down the chute…but abruptly came to a halt. Why? Because he was ten pounds nine ounces that’s why! My body said sorry call me tomorrow because I don’t know how we will ever get this one out of here.

His shoulders were stuck. That is the final answer. After a few hours we had to make a decision; his collar bone would have to be broke. They did it and finally he was here.

My grandmother was alive then. I am always so grateful that he grew up knowing her. They had a unique bond. I would go to the house after working all day and say, “Baw Baw how did you and Nicholas get along today?” (She wanted to watch him when he was about three a couple of days a week, to keep from being lonely).

She would reply with, “Well, Teena I guess we got along okay. Who are you talking about? Nicholas? Oh yes he is so quiet I almost forgot I had him.”

Ummmm I think that should have been my sign but he was fine! Some people might get offended by me making a joke about my grandmothers dementia, but until you have lived through it, you can not understand! If you didn’t laugh about it you would lose your mind!

Anyways I had a beautiful ten pound nine ounce little boy on March seventeenth nineteen ninety nine. He has brought each of us joy on a regular basis and I can’t believe how fast the years have flown by. We have good, bad, fun, snuggle, adventurous, heartbreaking, puzzling and most of all loving times and I am looking forward to many more. He has never fit in a mold or been the type to follow a crowd. He has a kind heart; magnificient musical talent among other talents. He has been my rock the past four months, while I haven’t been capable of many daily duties. I thank God for Nicholas Ryan Drake on a daily basis. I love you buddy! Happy Birthday!

May my stories relate to you, make you laugh, help you heal, entertain you, but most of all may they enrich your life in one way or another! God Bless Everyone!