A Tribute to a Wayout Mama

As a young rock-n-roll chick, in the summer of 1992, I had the pleasure of meeting my very first Wayout Mama. I would be remiss if I wrote another entry of my own without acknowledging her- the original Wayout Mama!

I had been recruited by the band Lost Cause to play keyboards in their all Doors tribute band, Lizard King. Band member, Mike Hesson met me at a DC101 Battle of the Bands in Bowie, MD. We had no idea then that 20 years later we would still be playing music together, but that’s a whole other story.

Mike and I were busy working out parts to Doors songs in the garage where he and his two brothers and fellow band mates, Ray and Ben, lived. It was a warm spring day and we were hanging out, getting to know each other and learning songs. The main thing I remember about that day was working out the solo to “Light My Fire” when she walked in.

Now I’d heard about her already… and was secretly jealous of these boys. Their dad was a nationally honored banjo picker/guitarist and their mom was a singer who ran the circuit up and down the east coast in country, rock and disco bands. All three sons were musicians and had their own band. This was like the real live Partridge Family, but you know, only cooler.  While my family is made up of 70% musicians, my direct parents weren’t- though my dad did sing in choirs and play the sax for a bit. My parents were both teachers/school administrators. Not quite the rock-n-roll upbringing I craved.

In walked Frannie Hesson. She was everything I’d imagined.  She was so down-home friendly, personable and funny- and even for just being in the garage, her persona was bigger than life. She wasn’t like the other moms. I have to say, I was a little intimidated, knowing she’d been there and done that herself. Mike introduced us and she said, “Well, play me something!” So I played and sang “Melissa” by the Allman Brothers.  She then played and sang, “Bobby McGee”, by Janis Joplin. It was beautiful. I feel so lucky to have had that moment with her. It was years and years until I would see her again. Lost Cause/Lizard King went their separate ways for 10 years, reuniting under the name “The Electric Company” in around 2001.

I’d see Frannie from time to time at gigs or at one of the sons’ houses.  She’d give me little pieces of advice on stage attire and song choices, and was always encouraging. I always took everything she said to heart. Who would know better than her? There was a kinship through music- especially being a woman in music- with her. I never had to explain anything to her- she’d already lived it!

Now, when I first got pregnant, I have to admit, I was a “might bit nervous”, as Karl from Sling Blade would say. How was I going to do all this? The baby, my job, the band(s)…. oh, my!  I was talking to Ray about it and he said, “Don’t worry about it man, talk to my mom… she totally did it, and there were three of us!” I thought, “Oh, yeah… duh. It’s NOT impossible… Frannie had THREE kids and still did gigs!” I kept that in my heart and mind whenever I would worry about my situation. It was totally doable. It might take some planning, but it was going to be ok.

Two Sundays ago, we did our yearly show at Allen Pond in Bowie, MD. I was hoping I would see Frannie, as I had my little 2 month old with me, and I wanted to introduce her and pick her brain a little. I didn’t see her. Mr. Hesson and I were talking and he said in reference to my little one, “Now don’t you worry if he starts crying when you’re up there- there’s plenty of people to take care of him out here.” I laughed and said, “What would Frannie have done? Did she ever have that happen? Hey is she coming?” He didn’t know. She ended up not coming this year, and I thought, “Oh well, maybe next time.”

As fate would have it, there wouldn’t be a next time.

The following Saturday, she was the passenger in a car that was hit head-on. There is one more angelic voice in Heaven.

She left behind a musical legacy through her sons by passing along her gift to them. If I can manage that alone, I will have done my job.

Please take a moment to listen to her. You won’t be disappointed.


The Secret Language of Baby Sites- Baby Acronyms and Abbreviations 101

The second I got pregnant, I hit the internet. I had SO many questions then and throughout my pregnancy (and even now about his development), it was just the easiest way to access information. Sure I could search through books, but it was much easier to just enter a question in Google and wait 1 second for a slew of answers.

It’s pretty bad when you ask your doctor a question and they go to Google. Just ask my sister.

Or was it?

So you’ll have a question- “How many months pregnant am I, based on weeks?” This SEEMS like an easy question to answer, but truly it isn’t. Anyone who has ever been pregnant has probably faced this problem.

Here’s an example:

If you google, “I’m 28 weeks…” (already google has auto-populated and correctly predicted the rest of my question) “I’m 28 weeks pregnant how many months am I?”

I go to the first result and find this:

Question: “I would think I’m 7 months but my due date is dec 11 so how far along in months am I really?”

Answer: “If you divide weeks by 4 then really pregnancy is 10 months long. Our calenders actually have an average of 4.3 weeks per month. This is why converting weeks to months is so misleading. 28 wks/4 is 7 months. But your due date is 2 and a half months away. I usu take my due date and count backwards. There are 2 and a half months till you are due. 9 months minus 2 and a half says you are 6 and a half months pregnant. If you want to be technical and divide 28 weeks by 4.3 weeks that are really in a month, you still end up with 6.5 months pregnant.”

Oy vey.

The confusing math aside, this is actually very cohesive. Do you know why? This person did not find a reason to use one of the 100 useless acronyms that all the baby sites seem to use.

I was already scared and confused, and wading out into very uncharted territories, and was now faced with something like this:

Q: How do I deal with morning sickness?

You come to a forum where all the ladies are sharing their experiences and tricks. Everything is going fine until you see something like this:

I had TTC many times. It finally happened and I MC’d. It was hard on my OH and I, but we managed through it. Finally got PG again and things are going along fine, except I have terrible morning sickness. My SIL tells me that I should eat crackers. When she was PG her LO and DH were very supportive of her. My OH is always working and isn’t around to help much. Thank God I WAH because I can’t even get out of bed half the time! It’s not helping that my 10 year old DD has a project due at school every other day, it seems.

Confused? I sure was. I already didn’t feel great and now I had to go find some sort of decoder ring? It was beyond irritating. When I finally found the online Baby Acronym Decoder Ring (which I will call BADR), I was relieved on one hand. I’d REALLY tried to figure out what they could mean, very unsuccessfully.(“DD…. Doctor….. Doomsday? That can’t be right.”) I really felt like I was “not part of the club”. I was already feeling pretty unsure of myself, and now it was like being around twins who have their own language and won’t let you in on it. Pretty excluding, if you asked me. After I found out what some of the things MEANT…. I wasn’t so sure I wanted in on this club at all.

Darling Daughter? Darling DAUGHTER? Son of a Bitch!

So now I was forced to go to magical Google once again. I can’t be the only one with this problem, right?

“What does DD mean on baby sites?” 

Well, I wasn’t wrong. Many people are just as baffled and annoyed as me.

Turns out, DD means… get this… Darling Daughter/Dear Daughter. This applies to DS (son) DH (husband) etc.

Let me take a moment to contemplate this silliness.

WHO is referring to their daughter or son as “darling son” or “dear daughter”?  Unless you are living in the times of “Little Women”, MAYBE sometimes in jest, but certainly not every time. Why can’t you just say “My son” or “My daughter”? I found it so pretentious, it just made me want to leave the site forever. It made me a little sick, and made me wonder if I trusted these people’s advice at all, with BS like that going on. If you don’t know what BS means, I’ll tell you. Butterfly Snot. Didn’t see THAT coming, did you? No, we all know what it stands for,and that’s what I think a lot of these acronyms are.

Let me decode the above example for you:

I had tried to conceive many times. It finally happened and I miscarried. It was hard on my other half and I, but we managed through it. Finally got pregnant again and things are going along fine, except I have terrible morning sickness. My sister-in-law tells me that I should eat crackers. When she was pregnant her little one and darling husband were very supportive of her. My other half is always working and isn’t around to help much. Thank God I work at home because I can’t even get out of bed half the time! It’s not helping that my 10 year old darling daughter has a project due at school every other day, it seems.

To semi-quote Kramer in the Moviefone episode of Seinfeld- “Why don’t you just TELL me what you are trying to say?”

“Why don’t you just TELL me the name of the movie you’d like to see?”

Here is a list of my Top 10 most ridiculous Baby Site Acronyms (according to my BADR):

AF– Aunt Flo (which is already code! This is code upon code now! Let’s grow up ladies!) This means a woman’s period.

BD– Baby Dance. Ugh… ok, another code upon code. This means “Sex” for all you grown ups out there. Example: “I’m trying to self induce labor.” Someone could answer: “BD!” Then you exhaust your guesses (Big Dog, Balance Diapers, Bob Denver). Then you go to google, only to find out it means Baby Dance, which just means sex. “Why don’t you just TELL ME?”

BF– this one is so tricky. It could mean a few things: Best friend, Boyfriend or Breast Feed. So, you know, choose your words wisely.

BM– I don’t think you should be able to try to take over a VERY FAMOUS acronym and try to call it breast milk. Because no matter how much I KNOW you mean breast milk, there’s no way I’m not thinking about poop.There. I said it.

BFP/BFN– Big Fat Positive/Negative, in regards to pregnancy test results.

FRER– First Response Early Result. Are we really saying that often enough to acronymize it?? “My FRER was a BFN! WOOO!” I would like to kick that poster in the mouth.

DA– Darling ANYTHING. DS, DD, DH, DP (partner), DW (wife- yes some men are actually on these sites, using these stupid acronyms) DBF. Uh oh, this could be Darling Boyfriend, Darling Best Friend or Darling Breast Feed.

PG– Pregnant. I abhor this one on grammatical merit alone. You probably shouldn’t make an acronym/abbreviation out of one word, to begin with, but if you are going to, wouldn’t you at least go with the beginnings of the syllables? Preg Nant. PN. Or maybe the first 3 consonants would make sense. PRG. PG to me will always mean Parental Guidance and will bring back memories of lame movies my parents would let me see.

EWCM– Egg white cervical mucus. Ok, 1- GROSS. 2. How often are we mentioning this??

MW– Midwife. These are my initials, and therefore, throws me off. It also stands for Miracle Whip, and that makes me think of eating delicious sandwiches.

POAS– Pee on a Stick. I can’t even comment it is so stupid.

This all comes up because I recently had to look up the average length of your first period after giving birth. So please forgive this very unusually long and ranty blog.”TMI”-  I have had my AF for 10 days, which according to these crazy ladies, is totally normal.

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