Friday, January 22, 2010

Alexander the Great ( well, he's great to me, anyway )


On August 27, 1982, twelve years after I had given birth to my first son, I was in labor ( I was 38-year-old ) at Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco.  Was I at the delivery room, though?  No, not on your life.  I was over at the operating room, hanging out in the lounge with my former R.N. co-workers, counting my contractions.  Dr. Reid had told me to come back across the street when they were five minutes apart.  I had fully intended to do so but, as soon as my husband and I would get ready to leave, someone else would show up to chat.  Finally, as I began to get a little uncomfortable, I realized my contractions were only four minutes apart and I took off, with my husband in tow. 

We had to wait for the elevator in the main hospital, get across very busy Sutter Street, then wait for the elevator in the Pavilion.  By the time I got into a gown and the nurse checked me, I was informed my son's head was crowning and they were rushing me to the delivery room.  Dr. Reid, yelled, "I told you to come back when your contractions were five minutes apart!"  I was now seriously uncomfortable and asked, "Where's my epidural?"  His response, "Too late!"  I
looked in a panic.  "What do you mean, it's too late - I didn't go to the classes...I HAVE to have an epidural."   Well I guess I did not because 8 pound, 9 ounce, Alexander Vukasinovic ( no middle name with that monicker ) arrived pretty damn fast and  he has been a joy ( okay, most of the time ) ever since.

He was a good student, always looking out for his younger brother who arrived two years later.  I remember his being quite upset when his favorite teacher ( he had Mrs. Rapozo for both kindergarten and first grade ) announced her retirement at the end of his first grade year.  "But," he beseeched, "you can't brother is coming to school in September."

After high school, Alex went to college at UC Davis.  I was so excited, especially to be able to go to a parent - student weekend.  I had gone to a diploma school of nursing and my oldest son, Shawn, had gone to junior college, then done an Air Force reserve stint of duty before transferring to San Jose State.  Alex would be the first son to attend a four year university.  Well, he hated it.  After his first semester, he refused to go to classes and disclosed to me that he really didn't like UC Davis, that what he had really wanted to do was go to City College, a local junior college and play football for them.  He said he was transferring to American River College, and would be getting a job at Safeway, and would never expect me to finance any more of his education.  And he never has.  From that day forward, he has paid for everything himself.  He did get to play football for American River, as a defensive lineman.  His first year, if I remember correctly, they only won four games.  His second year, they were undefeated!  He wanted to continue on playing varsity football but, when the schools that were trying to recruit him, did not want him to work, he finally said, "My mom can't afford to supplement a scholarship without my working so it's time for me to give up football."  That almost broke my heart. 

Alex has continued on at Safeway while he has completed his fire technology studies in hopes
of pursuing a firefighter career.  It was in school that he met beautiful, Laura Winterhalter, who will become his wife on May 7th of this year.  In April, they bought their first home in West Sacramento.  Laura also completed the fire technology program and her paramedic training and, though they have given me two granddogs, I am looking forward to the day, I will also have

I am blessed, really, with three incredible sons - three testosterone boys...and I will welcome Laura, with open arms, into my household.  Alexander, my "A" child has done his family proud in every way and, never more so, than in his very wise choice of a life partner.

Alex Vukasinovic and Laura Winterhalter at Bogle Vineyards, Clarksburg, CA

This post is participating in Alphabe-Thursday, a brilliant idea of Jenny Matlock.  For infomation, go to Good morning, class! Alpha-B Thursday Instructions at Jenny on a Tangent - join in the fun!!


  1. what a beautiful story - he sounds like a great son :D

  2. Oh Carmen, 8 pounds 9 ounces and no epidural? I'm getting cramps just thinking about it. What a heartwarming story and great pics. They look so cute together and Alex as a baby - adorable. He is such a sweet guy and I'm so happy for the two of them. Your little granddogs are cuties :)

  3. Oh he is handsome and looks so bright and kind! You must be so proud! I'm sure he takes after his Mom! Thanks for playing! A+ for you!

  4. Alex sounds like a great guy. Must have had an incredible mother ;-)

  5. A great story, and a handsome guy! I love the name Alexander. I went through a phase of wanting to be called "Alex" when I was eight or nine.

  6. You have a wonderful son!! We will want to hear all about the wedding plans!

  7. raising kids must be an amazing experience.....and when they grow old and successful.....can't even imagine that happiness......

    You into nursing ...and Alex in this a legacy of saving have in your family...?????

    Good to know about the family.... :)


  8. thanks for sharing
    nice pics
    its great idea
    going to jenny blog.

  9. Sons are the best!! So, I'm 37 and I have a 12 yr old son (only child). I think I'd pass clean out if I got pregnant now. Did you freak out at first?? :)

  10. Anonymous12:03 PM

    It's the best story, Carmen..I believe Alexander was worth the pain after you see his face.

  11. it's cute that you refer to the dogs as granddogs, ha ha

    thanks for your visit

  12. A lovely story and a great son. You handled your labour very well!

    Nuts in May

  13. What a wonderful young man! I can understand why you are so proud. And his fiance is lovely, I bet you can't wait to have a girl in the family. Kathy

  14. Ah, the ways of the young. Great looking couple.

  15. Anonymous5:37 PM

    For sure of to do good, much better than the other "Alexander, the Great".

    Please have a wonderful weekend.

  16. What a great story and what a great son...I can hear the love and pride in your words.......Thanks for stopping by and come by again!!!! melinda

  17. Awwww. Cute little guy--handsome big guy. Your post really spoke to my "mother's heart"-- I have two boys, aged twenty and twenty-two, and I love them so much it makes my heart hurt!

  18. What a super young man! You've done a remarkable job of raising such a confident, thoughtful person.

  19. Congrats on an A+ son!

  20. Beautiful story ... Congrats on the son and your daughter to be!

  21. laterg8r - thanks for visiting my blog! Yes, Alex
    is a great guy.

    Poetic Shutterbug - I think you've actually met
    all three boys. I don't see enough of Alex with
    them living up in West Sac..and, of course, his
    schedule, with work and classes is so bizarre.

    Jenny - I am totally proud of Alex..and really,
    all three of my'll hear about Jeremy, on that letter day, and Shawn, on the S day!

    Viki - I hope I was a good mom to the two
    younger boys but, really, their older brother,
    Shawn, really deserves a lot of credit. Since
    their father left when they were quite young
    and never even supported them, Shawn did so
    much! I owe him big time!

  22. Julie Schuler - his father chose Alex's name - after Alexander the Great - I do think he's pretty great!

    GardenofDaisies - I did an earlier blog about my soon to be daughter-in-law - she was a dear and invited me to go with her mom and maid of honor to shop for her wedding dress. She figured with three boys, I might not have that opportunity. No wonder I love her.

    Hitesh - my youngest son also completed fire
    technology though his BS is in kinesiology. It is so hard to get a firefighting job, you almost have to have another profession in line.
    They, all three, are great sons!

    Amy - I had remarried so the pregnancy, at 38, was planned. I didn't expect to be divorced and raising those two sons alone and without child support. When I slipped on hydraulic fluid that leaked from an operating room table
    ( I was a surgical nurse at the time ) and ended up having extensive back surgery and was disabled a year and a half, my husband took off. I didn't think I would survive. Thanks to my wonderful son, who was then 14, I made it...he helped so much with his younger brothers!

    Icy BC - you know, that labor wasn't so bad except for a few minutes!! And Jeremy, who came two years later, weighed 9lbs, 8ozs and, can you believe, I missed the epidural for him, too!!!

    lissa - well, the dogs are really sweet but they don't take the place of grandchildren...I sure hope I have those!

    Maggie May - I'm not sure I handled the labor
    that well - we're kind of at our doctor's mercy, aren't we....we're not going anywhere...but, really, it was so short, I couldn't believe it!!!

    mbkatc230 - Kathy, you are so right, I am jubilant that I will have another girl in my family. She is just a total sweetheart, too.

  23. ρομπερτ - thank you so much for visiting my blog. I have been several times to your wonderful country. Laura, Alex's fiance, wants to honeymoon in Greece and I think that would be so lovely for them but they are paying for the wedding themselves and he thinks it would just be too expensive. I keep telling them they should go now, before they have children - spend a few days in Athens, then go to Santorini for a week! What do you think?

    Melinda Cornish - yes, you're right, I am very
    proud of Alex - and all three of my boys!

    Catherine - thanks for stopping by!!

    Amanda - don't these boys really get to us! I always wanted one girl but it didn't work out that way...but I think I might have had it easier with boys!

    magiceye - I'm lucky to have these boys..wish Alex could have traveled as much as the other two...he did go with me to Taiwan, Puerto Rico, Barbados and London as a child but he hasn't been able to travel as an adult the way the other two sons have.

    Prim2Pink - Alex really is as you describe him..
    so very thoughtful and caring. I just lucked out, really.

    Linda - thank you...I was blessed when Alex was

    Jo - I appreciate your good wishes...Laura will be such a wonderful addition to our family.

  24. What a heartwarming story! It speaks eloquently of the love of a wonderful mother for his fine son, of a warm welcome for a soon-to-be daughter-in-law, and even of the 2 dogs! So entertaining to read.

  25. Eli@ Business Sphere - thanks so much, Eli, for
    visiting and for your very kind comments.

  26. This is such a wonderful post! I like personal story like this..

  27. Hi Carm, loved this blog......They make a beautiful couple....Laura is such a sweet heart

  28. Mumsy - thank you for stopping by. Glad you liked hearing about Alex.

    gleammartin - hey, my friend. I miss you so much. Aren't they wonderful together. Did you send back your RSVP for the wedding?

  29. Yes, great story. Love the granddogs!

  30. I can't believe I didn't think of Arugula! Now I need to see if I even ordered any ... Thanks :) !

  31. That was a fast delivery carmen! 1982...which makes me a year older than your son =)

  32. Welshcakes Limoncello - I really adore my granddogs but am hoping that, a year from May, I'll be welcoming a grandbaby!

    Catherine - arugula is always on my mind..I need to head to Trader Joe's today!

    Ayie - yes, I delivered very quickly, after 11 years since my firt, an considering Alex's size...and you are a youngster!!!

  33. Beautiful couple and beautiful post for the letter A. Sorry I'm late to class. Please don't tell Mrs. Matlock.