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Monday, December 22, 2014

Accessorizing

I am trying to wrap my mind around the whole idea of wearing scarves as accessories.  I just don't get it.  Who came up with the brilliant idea to put some fabric around your neck so you can pretend to be strangled every day?  Plus, that shit is usually all flowy and whatnot, so it is all free flowing and moving and, in my opinion, really really annoying.  Like dangly earrings.  I don't want that shit pulling at my earlobes every time I whip my head around because I have caught Charlie trying to hog tie her sisters again.

I have never been much for accessorizing, though.  I have one purse.  I wear the same jewelry every day (and ironically, for someone who does not wear much jewelry, 3/4 of it is stuff my husband has bought me...my wedding ring, the anniversary band, and the mother's ring.  The fourth piece is my necklace that I have for my son.)  I do have a bit of a shoe thing going on, but even then I am more likely to buy shoes for my kids than for myself.  Hell, let's face it...most days my job is lucky that I show up clothed, including pants, and looking at least a step above a hobo living behind Aldi's in the dumpster.  To try to pick out jewelry, a purse, a belt, AND shoes?  That is simply too high of an expectation for me.  Sorry not sorry.

(And sorry again for that last sentence.  I just always wanted to use it and never got the chance, so I took this one and not only embraced it, I french kissed it and dry humped its leg.)

Elizabeth always manages to look put together.  She does her hair all cute and always has a nice, classy outfit on that is appropriately accessorized. She clearly was able to figure that shit out on her own because she sure as hell got zero guidance from me with that.  I'm hoping she passes that down to her sisters too, cause otherwise people might mistake us for a band of miscreants and throw rotten tomatoes at us.  And by God, we could be COMPOSTING those tomatoes!

My hope for the little girls as adults is that when they go out in public with me, people will smile at all of us and say to themselves, "What lovely children to take their obviously senile mother on an outing!"  My inability to accessorize has its perks, because really I have set the bar so low that when I am old, people won't be like "Oh remember when she was so put together?"  Instead, they will all be like "Holy fuck, she finally went completely crazy!"  I want to be the old lady who wears her bathrobe and slippers to the gynecologist because one may as well be comfy, amiright?  I also don't want my children to have to go through mountains of accessories when they stick me in a home, on top of all of the other shit I will have accumulated and the other concerns they might have, like finding my sex toys or dead bodies in the walls.  It's really just one less thing for them to worry about.

See?  My lack of fashion sense is actually me caring deeply for my children.  And that, bitchez, is how a therapist helps reframe irrational cognitions to be more helpful.  Except it's not usually that delusional.  And honestly, that's not really an irrational thought.  And it's more a rationalization than an appropriate reframe.

Sorry not sorry.

(YESSSSS!!!!  TWICE!!!!)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Simplifying

It's Christmastime!

This is actually one of my favorite times of the year.  I distinctly remember my father bringing down all of the decorations and getting the house all gussied up; the lights all on the outside.  I remember going to get the tree and decorating it while listening to Christmas Carols.  I remember having to put the goddamned tinsel on one piece at a time, which contributed to  my totally irrational fear of tinsel and why we never ever have any in my house.  I remember the seemingly endless nights of baking Christmas cookies and nut rolls and poppy seed rolls.

It was so magical when I was a kid.  It seemed so easy.  This was before I knew that Christmas could be a stressful time.  Before I knew what it cost.  The stresses of having to deal with family members that you don't really like.  Before I knew that there were people who did not have Christmas.  Before I knew that for some people, Christmas was a symbol of how they have failed according to the American Dream of having more and more.  Hell, before I was even aware that there were people who did not celebrate Christmas...

Given that I am now working as much as I am, I was forced this year to simplify our Christmas.  I never do Christmas cards, because even before this  year I refused to send them unless I was able to write a personal note in them (which of course, I was not.)  I don't do a Christmas letter because...well, it's probably good I don't.  I am not baking much of anything.  We decorated, but I did not go crazy.  I did almost all of my shopping online this year.  Send that shit right to my door without me having to leave my house, deal with people, or put pants on?  Fuck yeah!

I am still, however, room mom for Alexis's class party.  Even her teacher must have known I was simplifying because all I have to bring in is hot chocolate.  Score!  However, I am also in this purging stage of my life and I  have had up in my attic for a few years now a bunch of shit I bought on clearance one year...some Christmas cups, straws, erasers, stickers, and bouncy balls.  I decided that I was going to go ahead and throw some "goody cups" together for the kids using this stuff to get it out of the house.  Yes, I am *that* parent...not only am I going to give your kid cheap Christmas shit for you to have to smuggle out of your house but I am not going to give you any chocolate or candy to steal from them to make up for it.

So I was making these goody cups, all proud of myself that I was being health conscious AND simplifying at the same time, when I caught a glimpse of an elf eraser that I had tossed into one of the cups:

Yes, this is a decapitated elf eraser, in what appears to be the red tube of death, AKA, the red snowflake cup.
So not only am I simplifying this Christmas season, I am contributing to your third grader's psychological issues via inadvertent elf decapitation.  Merry Christmas, bitchez!  May all your dreams (but not your elf-related nightmares, which are apparently super creepy...) come true!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hacks

There is a trend that I have noticed lately of people posting these "life hacks" on various social media.  Basically, these hacks are supposed to be ways that make your life easier, but being the eternal pessimist that I am, I read them as pointing out all of the ways that you are doing life wrong.  This varies from how you cut your avocado to how you fill up your mop bucket.

Fuck that shit.  I feel inadequate enough on my own, thanks to Pinterest and the voices in my head.  I want some kind of life hack that is going to not only make people feel better but is actually going to be useful to me in my day to day life.

Thus, the idea for parenting hacks was born.

Here are my top five:

1.)  Tired of fights on rainy days between the children?  Invest in some bubble wrap.

Seriously.  That shit is so entertaining, not only for them but for you.  There is a certain satisfaction in popping those tiny bubbles and pretending that they are the heads of people you want to punch in the throat but can't cause you will totes get fired.  Plus the children can get creative with it.  Like Charlie did the other day:

Always said that Charlie was either going to be President or a serial killer...but super successful either way.  Looks like we are leaning towards serial killer.
2.)  Tired of struggling to get your toddler dressed?  Do you feel as though you have wrestled a greased pig after getting them dressed?  Do you sweat and ache after like you have just completed P90X?
Fuck clothes.  Seriously.  Most toddlers would rather be naked anyways.  Pants optional?  Why the hell not?

3.)  Pizza cutters can be your new best friend!  From trimming fondant from the bottom of cakes, to quickly cutting quesadillas, to easily removing those pesky crusts that some asshole kid told your kid were the devil...they can do everything it seems.  Including, oh...actually cutting pizza!  Because let's be honest...that pie you grabbed on the way home from work is not actually cut all the way through.  And nothing is more irritating than the pointy part of your slice ripping off because some pimple faced teenage boy was too busy staring at his coworker's butt to pay attention to actually cutting all the way through.  And if one kid's pizza slice is pointy and the other's isn't...dear sweet mother of God, the wailing and gnashing of teeth that will ensue...

4.)  Two words:  Santa Claus.  Seriously.  Even if you aren't Christian and/or don't celebrate Christmas, you need to exploit the fuck out of this dude.  When singers of yore were merrily trilling about "the most wonderful time of the year" they certainly weren't referring to the birth of their lord and savior Jesus Christ.  No, they were referring to the fact that the creepiest of traditions was about to start.  No better way to get your children to behave than to instill in them a healthy fear of stalkers.  And seriously...since Christmas shit starts coming out in stores in like August now, you  may as well milk the shit out of the Santa situation and use it to threaten them into submission.  If I am going to be forced to smell cinnamon pine cones and look at glittery ornaments and blinking lights at the same time as I am forced to see the dregs of humanity that inhabit the local Walmart on 90* days in the dog days of summer while simultaneously trying to buy the stuff needed for the school supplies list (really?  A two pocket orange folder with prongs?  THEY DON'T FUCKING EXIST!!!) I am sure as shit going to shamelessly use the idea that some old guy in a red suit is judge and jury of a kid's behavior.

5.)  You know how when you get sick, those pesky children still expect things like meals, immunizations, and a free and appropriate public education?  And you know how you are just about dying and your mom isn't around to tuck you in and pour medicine down your throat?  And you know, just know, that one goddamned day of rest will make you feel so much better?

TV.

Yes, it rots your kid's brain.  Yes, it is totally bad parenting to expect the television to babysit.  Yes, the shows are annoying as hell but have the equivalent effect of a powerful drug.  You need to get better to be able to parent.  Use the fucking boob tube, ignore the children for a day, and heal.
These, bitchez...these are REAL life hacks.  You're welcome.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sleep

I don't know if the fucking of our clocks that is DST is continuing, if Charlie has tripped too much acid at preschool (see below) or if she is secretly in training for special ops and is practicing sleep deprivation to see how she functions...but Charlie has recently decided that sleeping in her own bed is a path straight to hell.  So this mean she now joins us.  In bed.  Every night.

Not cool.

The fuck?  What are they doing in preschool nowadays?


I am not sure if out of my  9 10 readers (Hi, Mason!) there is anyone who practices attachment parenting.  If you are one, you might want to stop reading.  Or continue reading so you can judge me on my parenting practices.  Really, I'm cool either way.  I am not one of those parents.  Mostly because of the fact that I need my sleep.  And you don't get much when you have a child in bed with you.

As I have learned the past few weeks.

Charlie is practicing her cage fighting she had perfected in the womb in her sleep.  In my bed.  On me.  I go to bed with visions of waking in the morning well rested.  I wake instead with a lovely pattern of bruises up my left side because she has beat the shit out of me in her sleep.  She also tends to make this high pitched whining noise that is surely to summon the hounds of hell to come and steal my soul.  Or for Alexis to come climb into bed with us as well, which has happened a few times.  Poor deprived middle child; she never got to sleep with me.  Of course, she also would yell from her bed for me to come get her out of it until she was well over four....completely different animal there, Alexis is.  Elizabeth also used to like to sleep with me, but she didn't beat on me.  She just wanted to sleep "on your chest, Mommy" and would then jam my chin up to an unnatural angle as she snuggled in.  With her, I spent half the night going from my twin bed to the trundle she slept in under it; lather, rinse, and repeat.

We currently have a California King bed.  One would not think that a 40 lb child could take up so much room in it.  She usually has about 3/4 of the bed.  Then when Alexis comes in, she takes up about another third of the bed.  I'm pretty sure that is over a whole bed, but I'm too sleep deprived to figure it up.

I don't function well in the mornings.  One thing Charles learned quickly about me, aside from the whole laundry thing and my general insanity, was that I need sleep.  I am not blessed, like some of my siblings, with the ability to get by on just 5 hours.  I need a good 8-9 hours, and that is when I am not depressed.  I am pretty sure that I am non-functional enough in the mornings that if I ever had to sign an important contract first thing, I could get out of it if I want to by some kind of insanity plea.

So waking up every morning, feeling as though I have done battle throughout the night?  Yeah, it's made life super fun lately.  So much that the above picture actually kinda makes sense to me.

The logical answer to this?  Leave a pillow and a blanket and she can sleep on the floor, right?  Yeah.  It took me two weeks to think of this.  My initial thought was to try to invent injectable coffee.  Then I realized there was another name for this.  Cocaine.

I think I need to add money for when Mommy was sleep deprived to the kids' therapy funds.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

DST

Of all of the myriad of ways that have been developed to torture parents, Daylight Savings Time has to be the worst.

I mean, that is not really a big revelation to anyone who has, works with, or knows someone with children.  Seriously, who thinks of this shit?  Let's go for 6 months on one time schedule, and then suddenly decide to move time back or forth an hour, and then pretend that life is going to go on like normal.  When in reality, you just slapped society with the equivalent of a toddler who has been given a bottle of vodka with coke and heroin mixed into it.

And let's not talk about the effects on the children...

All of that bullshit that the nebulous "they" talk about regarding sleep hygiene, bedtime routines, and basically taking enough Xanax to get through bath time...all of that goes flying out the window twice a year.  We are fucking with children's internal clocks here, people.  There is no other explanation than the fact that someone, somewhere, wants to punish you for having sex and having procreated.

I am actually starting to wonder about the timing of elections and DST.  Again, the nebulous "they" seem to have an agenda for world domination going on here.  Mind control through sleep deprivation, doncha know?

I'd be concerned about my apparent increasing paranoia, but I am too busy mourning the loss of the sun while I eat my dinner and attempt to wrangle confused children into bed at what society says is the appropriate hour, but what their bodies are rebelling against in a more fierce fashion than Simon Cowell rebels against country music and owls.

Which are, coincidentally, nocturnal.  SEE WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT HERE???

Monday, October 27, 2014

Economics

E:  I need money for a field trip.

Me:  What field trip?  When?  Where is the permission slip?  Where are you going?

E:  Jesus.  I just need $20 to listen to some guy talk about cancer.  It's not like I'm going to buy cocaine with it.  I don't even know what the going rate for cocaine is.

Me:  Well, you are asking for money for a trip that I know nothing about.  Yes, I am gonna question you.  And $20 won't buy you coke.  Maybe crack.

E:  Is there a difference?

Me:  Well, crack is cheaper coke.  Like the Great Value brand of cocaine.

E:  Hey...you buy Great Value stuff all the time...

Me:  If I bought cocaine it would likely be crack.  That's just good economics there.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Eeebbollaaa

I have had numerous firsts that have surprised me in my adult life.  I  have nearly been sideswiped by an angry shopper over Thanksgiving dinnerware.  I have had my hopes and dreams dashed by a can of tomato soup.

I also just recently had another first, one that I never imagined that I would have in my lifetime.

I got screened for Ebola at the local hospital.

It was intense, let me tell you.  I was not even allowed to walk into the ER without first answering a series of questions.  I was questioned on my past travels.  I was questioned about what flights I have taken and when.  I was questioned if I ever had any association with known Ebola sufferers.  I then got a special "No Ebola club" sticker.  I can't even get my fucking picture taken for the "No Cavity Club" at the dentist...

All I have to say is, they are lucky I was walking into the ER for work.  Cause otherwise I would have totally fucked with them and answered yes to all of the questions just to see what would have happened.  I personally envision some kind of set up like you see in ET, with all the tents and the people in the white suits and the shriveled, sickly alien and a young, cute, and innocent Drew Barrymore.

I wonder if the CDC would get mad if I asked them if I could phone home...?

I would make a really lousy Ebola patient I think.  I would be so bored, so I would be way tempted to do shit like lift the white suit up and touch their scrubs underneath just so I could have someone in isolation with me.  We could pass time by making origami out of the masks we are forced to wear and by playing catch with balloons made from the gloves.  It's all gonna get incinerated anyways, so we may as well use the supplies in the room, amiright?

(This is where, if I had more than 9 people who read my blog, I would get flamed for making fun of a serious disease such as Ebola.  People are suffering, don't you know?  It's a government conspiracy!  My first response is...you have to laugh or you will cry.  My second response?

Credit goes to weknowmemes.com)

If I am going to hell, which I surely am...it is not going to be for poking fun at a disease.  I know at least that much.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Boxes

In my basement, amongst all of the other shit that ends up down there due to not having a garage and having a house that is set up in a more awkward fashion than a teenage boy trying to cop his first feel, there are three Rubbermaid containers.  One is almost completely full; one is partially full, and one does not have very much in it.

These are the boxes in which I put a variety of things from each of the girls.  Report cards.  Mother's Day cards.  Art from the art show.  Newspaper clippings in which they are featured.  Significant school projects.

I have stuff from Elizabeth when she was in daycare.  Class pictures from Alexis's preschool years.  The first time Charlie wrote her name all by  herself.

Let's face it here...I am not going to scrapbook these memories.  I tried it once and then immediately drank a bottle of wine.  I would much rather crochet the day away or create hair bows my children will never wear than scrapbook.  I also really suck at keeping baby books.  Do they even really do those anymore?  Charlie's might have like the first page filled out.  That is like some sort of cruel motherhood torturing device...let's give you a cute book that you have to write down shit your baby does because you will TOTALLY have time for that.  Fuck. That.  At least the wine consumption you can do while holding the child.  Ever try to write something with a child on your lap?  Or try to scrapbook?  Too many sharp objects and too much glue to do with a kid around.  At least with making the clips, if they touch the hot glue gun they'll learn.  And if they don't...well, you have bigger fish to fry my friend.

I am really trying to avoid thinking about the box that is almost full.  Elizabeth will be leaving soon.  And not just to go visit her father.  Like, leaving and being legally responsible for herself and having to manage her money and cook her own meals and take care of herself if she gets sick leaving.  Like having to manage her time and make her own curfew leaving.

She is an amazing kid.  Despite my best efforts to totally fuck her up, she is just amazing.  Her little sisters look up to her with so much awe (and totally call her out when she is being a turd).  That box that is full...that is a short lifetime of memories there.  Of growth, and learning, and accomplishments.

Some day  her sisters' will have full boxes too.  And I will know that it is time to let them go.  And I just have to hope that they remember touching that hot glue gun, and all of the other lessons that come along with that short lifetime.  Eighteen years does not seem long enough to prepare them for a lifetime.  And yet, somehow we do.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Better

I'm feeling marginally better now.

I was able to get shit done today.  The weather is gorgeous so I took to the outdoors to paint.  I painted the front porch.  The back steps.  The picnic table.  Most of the trim around the windows (until I ran out of paint.  Plus my ladder wasn't tall enough.  And despite Charlie's mad spider monkey skills, there is no easy way to reach the top of the second story windows without a tall enough ladder.   Cause I ain't about to be hanging out of a window with a bed sheet tied around my waist and a bed frame or some such craziness.  Though I will admit that the thought crossed my mind...Charles did come home to find me on the roof of the entryway to the basement so really not too far of a stretch...)  I then came inside and started to paint the living room.  I chose the wall with the big window on it, mostly so I can get my curtains hanging back up because by God, I want to be able to parade around naked in my living room without being the peep show for the whole neighborhood.  At least the free peep show.  Perhaps if there was a $5 cover charge...

.
 Ignore all of the crap on the couch.  Normally it would be hanging up, but I had to take the hooks down to paint.  Eh, who am I kidding?  That couch will still look like that even after I hang the hooks back up because it apparently takes way too much effort to hook a book bag on a hook...


I did miss going to see a friend who was in the state, but that was because my van is an asshole and decided to need new brakes.  Not like they were metal on metal or anything.  Next thing you know the fucker is going to demand gasoline because it is SO NEEDY like my children who demand things like food and immunizations and absolutely refuse to get gainfully employed.  Slackers.

Basically, I got my to-do list done today (that is now on my iPhone vs my desktop; gotta love technology).  Very different from last weekend when I was dying.

Granted, my fingers are as swollen and stiff as can be.  I am sure I will be sore as hell tomorrow from all of the squatting and bending over and reaching from the painting.  My house is currently in shambles from moving shit around so I can paint coupled with my children's complete inability to put anything away, ever.

But I got shit done.  And I was able to spend time with the two little girls, at least (Elizabeth of course wants nothing to do with me as I am the devil.)  We spent a fair amount of time outside.  Alexis played on the trampoline and helped me paint while Charlie napped.  Charlie then woke up and did whatever secret op stuff the government has her doing currently, then came out to play with Alexis. (She can't tell me or she'd have to kill me.  And I'm pretty sure she carries a shank strapped to her ankle so I'm not pushing the issue.)  They actually got along for once so I am assuming the mission went well...(so I definitely decided to make a blog post tonight so I'd have record of this.)  It was a good day.

This is how it goes with me.  I am at the mercy of what my body decides to do.  If it is going to be nice, then great!  Shit gets done.  If it decides to be an asshole...then I'm dying.  I would swear I was bipolar if I knew that I didn't get the wonderful benefits of being manic like not needing much sleep.  Perhaps my body is bipolar.  Can one diagnose one's body with a mental illness but not oneself?   And if that is the case, can I then involuntarily commit my body to a really nice mental institution?  Preferably one with a gourmet chef and a private whirlpool....


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Body

I currently hate my body.

Not in the "OMG I am so fat and society hates me!" (though I am not going to deny there is some of that going on as well...)  It is more in the whole Sjogren's Disease is taking over my body kind of way.

Charlie was recently so nice as to share a stomach bug with me.  Sweet, huh?  It was a 24 hour deal for her.  And for my mother-in-law, with whom she also shared.  It took me twice as long to recover.  Hell, I am still not fully recovered but I am pretending that I am because if I don't I will just break down and cry.  Again.

I hate my body.

I hate complaining about my body.  But by God, I almost never do so I am going to do so now before I lose my fucking mind.

I hate that the medications that I take to keep my immune system from attacking my body are the same ones that lower my immune system so that I can't fight off illnesses as effectively.

I hate the judgement that I get from my boss every time that I call off because I am fucking sick.  Again.  Getting points, and possibly written up.  Again.

I hate that I now have to, at the ripe old age of 33, get FMLA papers filled out for a health condition.

I hate that I go into work when I shouldn't, that I push myself beyond what I should, and pay the price later, because that judgement does not just come from her but from others around me and people think I am whining when I describe the throbbing joint pain.  The unrelenting fatigue.  The stomach that occasionally will decide to throw a fit and rebel against everything that I eat, even in the absence of micro-organisms that cause this.  The not being able to eat much gluten because it makes it that much worse.  And do you know how many things have gluten in them?   The irritated, dry eyes that never really feel like the sand comes out of them.  The dry mouth that makes the three hours I am at the jail for work, where I am not allowed to have anything to drink to relieve it, sometimes a unique hell of its own (aside from the whole, hey I am locked in the jail at the mercy of the officers to let me out thing.) The dry skin, and, ahem, other areas.  The tingling and numbness and coldness that comes with Reynaud's, that is secondary to the Sjogren's.  The fear of getting a blood clot, again, related to a condition secondary to Sjogren's.  The very real fear that no matter how well I take care of my teeth, that some day I might lose them.  The very real fear that the next time I go back to the rheumatologist, this is going to be the time she tells me I have Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Or Lupus.  Or some other kind of autoimmune disease, because let's just see how many I can acquire because I apparently have nothing more to do than to add to my list of diagnoses and medications...

The very real fear that some day I might die like my father did,  drowning in the fluids from the lungs.  I joke about my cat-like fear of water; it is quite ironic that this could realistically be the way I died some day.

I hate the fact that to complicate all of this, I am now having some problems with my reproductive system and am losing, at certain times of the month, the equivalent of two+ pints of blood over the course of a week (and yes, I am able to quantify this.  Diva Cup)  Totally helpful for the fatigue.  Oh, and the calling off sick thing because I have had to leave work because I was bleeding so much that the front and back of my pants were soaked through.

TMI?  Probably.  But I am describing that to describe the hell that it has been to be me lately.  I don't want my children to remember me as being sick. Or my employer.  Or anyone. I don't want to be sick.  I did not ask for my body to turn on itself.  For my uterus to decide to turn the crimson tide into the crimson tsunami.  For my life to be run by physical limitations that only I can feel.

I want to go back to the time where I could abuse my body and know it would spring back.  Where I had unlimited, boundless energy.  Hell, I want to go back two months ago when things were somewhat under control.

I can wish in one hand and shit in another.  Wonder what will fill first?


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fundraising

It's getting to be that dreaded time of year.  The catalogs start coming home.  Brightly colored, glossy pages filled with crap that you are paying 100 times what it cost to make so your school can get 40 cents from the sale.  Order forms that come in triplicate and dripping with guilt and shame if you do not sell.  Calling in favors from coworkers, relatives, and neighbors to "support the schools" when in reality their money would be better spent buying a lottery ticket.

Fundraising.

That dirty little 11 letter word.

It is a necessary evil, I know.  Schools are underfunded.  Teachers are spending their own money on classroom supplies.  "Extras" like art, music, and gym are being cut because teachers have to teach to the tests given and their raises, which will go towards supplies for the classrooms that are underfunded anyways, do not make up for having to deal with my little *ahem* angels all day long.

Fuck.  If I could get a three month vacation from my children, you better believe I would be all over that.  Totally don't blame them at all.  Of course, I am the opposite of an educator, so maybe there are people who feel differently.  And I am also a pretty crappy parent, so there may be other parents who feel differently as well.

(Who am I kidding.  I might make it a week.)

Anyways.

Supporting our schools.  Yes.  Why does it always have to be with shit made in China?  With wrapping paper that you will be lucky to be able to wrap a ring box?  With a 6 oz box of chocolates that you spent the equivalent of a 12 pack of really good beer on?

There is an idea.  Alcohol.  Evenings away from children.  Adult conversation.  I would support the hell out of my school, and any other in the area, if we could provide that as a fundraiser.  Grown up things.  A chance to remember that I am a person outside of a parent of school aged children.

Or chocolate.  Give me a box of candy bars and I could sell the crap out of them.  We need to market to the vices to benefit our children, dammit.  Haven't the schools learned anything from Vegas?  Life lessons, bitchez.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Quickly

Last weekend, Charles and I took the little girls on a bike ride.  It was the first time that we were able to do this with Charlie, as she has really progressed nicely with riding her bike without riding it into a telephone pole (i.e., she is able to look up while pedaling).  Elizabeth was working, like she has pretty much all summer because her employer has a pretty flagrant disregard for things like child labor laws, so it was just the four of us.

We were riding through the streets of our town, and Alexis asked to decide which way we turned.  I had an intense flashback to riding the bike with Elizabeth, before Alexis was born, and even after with her in the trailer.  I remember the thrill, the freedom, that a child experiences with riding a bike.  I remember the sheer innocence of getting pleasure out of such a simple activity written all over her face the way it was Alexis's and Charlie's.  Those twilight rides, taken in that sweet time between the end of summer and the beginning of fall, are some of my favorite memories, with all of my girls.

It struck me how it seems like just a few summers ago that we were doing this with Elizabeth.  It does not seem possible that she is 16, going on 17 in a few short months.  I am keenly aware that soon she will not be living with us; that she will be moving on in life to start her own.

It really highlights the struggle that I have with having a family with such a drastic age difference.  It was part of why I was OK with Charlie being our last.  That 13 year age difference is a lot.  Elizabeth no longer enjoys the bike rides with her parents.  Hell, she avoids her parents as much as she can, except when she needs something signed or money.  And that is OK.  That is the way it is supposed to be.  Parenthood is working yourself out of a job, or at least a full time job.  You never really retire from parenthood, just semi-retire.  And when people tell you to enjoy it, you simultaneously roll your eyes because, quite frankly, we all retain a little bit of adolescent attitude and don't want to listen to our elders.  And because you know.  The baby comes home from the hospital, and all of a sudden they don't fit into their newborn clothes.  Overnight.  (Or in the case of the gargantuan babies I birth, the 0-3 months clothes...)  It does go so quickly, yet you are suffering from no sleep and the house never being clean enough and never having time to yourself and never pooping alone and planning dates around nap times and soccer games and sex what the hell is that...?  And hearing that is not what you want because you have so much guilt anyways that you aren't enjoying it enough.

I want to hold on to those memories, though, even as I have to let go.  I want to remember that little girl who called Charles Spike.  The girl who used to fight naps like they would kill her.  The preteen with the braces, who then moved onto the requisite heavy black eyeliner that almost every girl does at least once in her life.  The woman who stood before me in her prom dress and made me cry. (Four times.  This will happen four times because she will be going to prom all four years in high school...)   I want to remember all of this as I see the absolutely amazing woman that my daughter is becoming.  I am sure she does not feel amazing.  16 sucks.  It is a swirling shitstorm of emotions and insecurity and a stunning combination of naivete and wisdom, all wrapped into a body that is likely to be the best you have ever had in your life.

Every parent says they are proud of their child.  And every parent is.  I strongly feel that it is a testament to who Elizabeth is as a person that she is not completely fucked up, given the crazy that is her mother.  It will be a testament to Alexis, and to Charlie, that they managed to survive in spite of my best efforts to emotionally scar them.  I consider less than ten years of therapy apiece to be a success story.

So far, they are all at least smart enough to hide the bodies.  It's the small things, really.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Adult

I sometimes feel like I spend the vast majority of my free time grocery shopping.  I don't necessarily enjoy this activity but I do it because not feeding your children is usually frowned upon.  It is one of those incessant, unrewarding activities that no one tells you about when you are a child.  I mean, seriously, if they did tell you about all the shit you have to deal with as an adult, no one would grow up.  And then who would change the diapers and watch really crappy reality TV and manufacture alcohol?  It's really better that we are kept in the dark.

I sometimes, though, feel as though I skidded around the corner of adolescence into the hallway of adulthood, with lipstick on my teeth, staggering in my heels with my skirt tucked up into my panties.  All of the stuff that goes along with being a grown up is sometimes overwhelming.  Paying bills, providing necessities and hopefully desires for your family, feeding, cooking cleaning laundryoilchangestaxesmortgagesplanningforretirement....it all sometimes melds into a big ball of overwhelming-ness and stress and anxiety and I wanna curl up in the fetal position-ness.

If I ever invent time travel, I am going to invest heavily in the benzodiazapine business.  I get their appeal, really I do.

I also get why grown ups seemed so stressed when I was a kid.  I get why that kind of information is hidden from children.  If I, with my alleged adult capabilities and sensibilities, find all of the responsibility to be paralyzing, I could only imagine what a child would think.

I don't know that it will ever get better.  Mostly because I am pretty crazy and tend to beat myself up and I never feel that I am good enough or doing enough.  Does any adult not have their issues, though?  Maybe childhood isn't all it's cracked up to be.  Maybe the real good time is adulthood, where you have access to self soothing and vacations and rational thought.

Or maybe the real fun is when you are elderly and can say whatever the fuck you want and blame it on dementia and drink as much alcohol and eat as much chocolate as you can because "we don't know how much longer we will have her with us."    In fact, that sounds so super good to me that I can't wait until I'm like 80.

I'm totally going for the benzos then.  Just because I can.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Random V

Me: (wincing as I write out the check for daycare)  I think we need to just find a hobo off the streets to live with us and to watch the little girls.

Charles:  Riiiiight.....

Me:  It would be educational, right?

And philanthropic. 


Working with the mentally ill has given me numerous really really good stories.  Most of which I can never ever tell.  It helps to have really good coworkers to be able to share some of these gems.  It also leads to a kind of gallows humor that is exclusive to therapists and people working in the mental health field.  For instance, it is not unusual for this conversation to happen in my office:

Me:  Do you hear voices?

Client:  (hesitates).....Yes.

Me:  Are they telling you to not talk to me?

Client nods.

Me:  Have you ever tried to tell them to shut up?  What is their response?

Normal people don't think that way.  Normal people would freak the fuck out if a voice was in their head telling them what to do, or if someone told them that they were hearing voices.

Additionally, normal people don't sit around at lunch and in between talking about our weekends and whatever news is hot debate what kind of psychosis you would be likely to have.  Delusions of grandeur?  Paranoia? Hallucinations of Jesus coming back?   My luck would be that I would feel water all over my skin because that would be its own special kind of hell for me.  I would not be a happy psychotic, I fear.


I have recently decided to do some rearranging in my house.  Cause I don't have anything more to do, like working 7 days a week or actively giving my children mommy issues to discuss with their future therapists.  I am stuck on what color to paint the living room, though.  I just recently bought new curtains and new slipcovers and now I am really regretting jumping the gun on that decision because I feel like I am committed to a certain scheme now.  My ODD (oppositional defiant disorder, for you non mental health professionals out there) is kicking in and I am really bitter that I have backed myself into a corner here.  I, of course, am blaming everyone else but myself for this decision.  I might even throw a temper tantrum or two about it.  Hell, if those kids are gonna need therapy, by God I am going to make the sessions interesting!



Monday, July 28, 2014

Conversations XII

Elizabeth:  So my aunt Jenn is going to give me her turtles when she dies.

Me:  Well, that is kind of a crappy thing for her to leave to you.  "Sorry I died.  Here's a turtle."

Charles:  Wait...how big will they get?

E:  They are the really big ones.

C:  Well, sweet.

Me:  I don't particularly want turtles here.

C: Well, I was more thinking turtle soup...

E:  You will be dead by then.

Me: (mishearing her) They will be dead?  That is even more crappy!  "Sorry I died.  Here's a dead turtle for your inheritance."

E:  No, HE will be dead.  And those things live for a really long time.

C:  No, I'll be alive.  Assholes live forever.  And remember, you said you wanted another 100 years of marriage with me.

Me:  OK, first of all...what makes you think you will last another 100 years without me killing you first?  And second, not all assholes live forever.  I feel like Hitler was a bit of an asshole, and he is not alive.

C: Well, he killed himself.

Me:  Oh, I see.  Premature termination.  Makes sense.

E:  Don't talk about Hitler like that.  He had Daddy issues.

Me:  Like his Daddy didn't hug him enough?  Or too much?

E:  Oh.  My.  God.

C:  Maybe there wasn't enough hugging, but too much cuddling.

(Elizabeth shakes her head and walks upstairs.)

Me: (yelling after her)  Not everyone enjoys spooning, Elizabeth!  (To her boyfriend, who is still in the kitchen listening to the entire conversation)  Explains so much, doesn't it?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Health

I have been told by my teenage daughter that it is next to impossible to eat unhealthfully in our house.  I was actually kind of relieved as I  have made a concerted effort to cut the crap from our diets.  Except of course for the massive amounts of wine I take my Xanax with.  And the chocolate about once a month.  Those are actually survival needs.

Mostly for my family.  Ahem.

So...cutting the crap from our diets.  Yes.  My fears about the Dukan diet were totally founded.  I did put some of the weight I lost back on once I started to eat grains again.  It pains me to admit that.  I worked so hard.  Re-introducing grains was my undoing.  I am like a toddler.  I need the rules and limits.  If you let me take an inch, I will try for the mile.  Especially when it comes to sweets made with lovely bleached white flour and high fructose corn syrup.  Two of the devil's inventions.  Along with eggs and coconuts, but for different reasons.

Really, do I need grains in my diet?  My research has pointed me slightly in the direction of no.  The response my body has to them tells me no.  Yet...the opiate like effects on my brain continues.  Plus, it is so much quicker to just grab something grain based and to go.

I hear all about prepping veggies before hand.  Into little baggies.  Salad in mason jars with the dressing in the bottom.   Precooking chicken and steaks to have to grab.  All little things I could do to eat better and make it easier to make healthy food choices.

I have started to work at a private practice part time.  In essence, I am now working 7 days a week.  In the long run, it will be worth it.  I will be happier.  In the short term...I no longer have the time to do the crazy insane shit I used to like make home made bread and granola and to experiment with quinoa flour.  To pre-prep veggies and fruit to have readily available.

So in the short term, my health is going to suffer. It pisses me off that this is the case.  I can't do it all.  I take care of everyone but me.  Business as usual.

Physician, heal thyself.

Right?  Easier said than done.  I preach day in and day out self care to my clients.  The importance of taking care of your physical health as well as the mental health.  Granted I still am running.  I still take my meds.  I still have the MHPMHD's.

I can't do it all.  And it bugs me that I feel like I have to try.  And it bugs me that this is the thing that has slipped, and that this is the thing that bugs me.  It feels like self sabotage almost, along with internalized fat hatred.  Like I am afraid of feeling good or looking good.  Because if I am feeling good, then I am not working hard enough.  If I am looking good, I have to deal with the male gaze.  How's that for rape culture speaking for me?

When the fuck did I develop this complex?  When did wearing the horsehair shirt become my thing?  I feel like those monks on Monty Python sometimes.  I keep expecting someone to accuse me of turning them into a newt.

(If you don't get that, I am not sure I want you reading my blog.)


Seriously, if you don't know what I am talking about...just go watch the movie.  It's pretty sad when I can say I have seen a movie.  Because I don't watch them usually.  I haven't even seen National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, which apparently in this country is akin to admitting that the English had every right to fight the Revolutionary War because they were the ones being wronged.

Maybe I've turned myself into the newt.  I can't say yet that it got better.  It's still a work in progress.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Closets

Charlie has recently taken to turning the light on in the small linen closet in our bathroom.  Now, I am not one to complain if it means that she will go in there and just poop.  When that child needs to poop, she is as stinky as all get out.  Her farts rival that of the dogs.

I tried telling her that she did not need the closet light on to go to the bathroom.  That the four lights across the medicine cabinet, coupled with the overhead light and the bright sunshine streaming in through the window...they all provide a more than adequate amount of lighting for all of her powder room needs.  She remains unconvinced.  Why I am surprised, I don't know, as this is the same child who demands proof that jumping off of the front steps onto a concrete walkway will hurt.  And then proceeds with the experiment to prove exactly that.

Why have I not been to the ER more with her?  Her guardian angel has to be speed balling.

When it comes right down to it, she needs to have the darkness lit up and what is hiding there revealed for her to see.  Even if it is just towels and toilet paper and extra toothpaste.  The hidden corners of the bathroom need to be illuminated so her overactive mind can rest for a minute.  At least long enough for her to pinch one off.

I can appreciate that kind of anxiety.  Hell, I live with that kind of anxiety.  The kind that my meds will never completely eliminate.  The kind that tells me what is hidden and unknown is to be feared, while I rationally know that this is a load of bull crap that my mind tries to play off as the truth.

What's in the dark closet that I am so afraid of?  What prevents me from moving forward, from being all that I can be?  Monsters?  The maniac who will stab you to death with a Q-tip?  My past?  What is so terrifying in that closet that it can't be faced?

You go ahead and turn that light on, little girl.  I don't want there to be any scary stuff that you are afraid to illuminate.  Face your fears head on and barrel through them, Charlie style.  Grab a hold of them with both hand and kiss them directly on the mouth to tell them to fuck off.  Don't ever lose that passion to find out why because of being afraid of what is in the dark.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Good

"You're doing good."

I heard that frequently in the days after I had my son.  When we went to the funeral parlor to make arrangements, the funeral director expressed surprise at how "good" I was doing.  The basis for this?  I guess I was not crying hysterically in his office.  I was numb, shocked, grieving.  But it was all inside.

Society's standards for acceptable grieving are just that.  Keep it inside.  You are doing "good" if you are able to function.  Forget that my entire world was just turned upside down.  Forget that instead of bringing a baby home from the hospital, I got a box of ashes and a death certificate.  Forget that instead of celebrating the anniversary of his birth, I get to remember the anniversary of his death.

Fuck that.

I didn't want to have to do "good".  I wanted to post the funny shit he said at Facebook.  To mock my parenting and all the ways I was surely screwing him up.  To debate the years of therapy he would need.

All of the stuff I will never have.  A mother/son relationship.  A little brother for Alexis and Elizabeth.  A big brother for Charlie.  A nephew for my siblings; grandson for our parents.  In an instant, it was taken from all of us.

And I was expected to do "good".

I take July 2 off every year.  I can't work that day.  I just can't.  Yet I was asked when I thought I would stop doing this.

Because I am doing "good".

I didn't ask for good.  I didn't sign up for this.  I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.  I wish that I could make this funny; that I could laugh this off like I am able to do with so many things.  Humor has saved me on more than one occasion.

And you know what?  I can do good 51 weeks out of the year.  I can walk around and pretend like a part of me did not die that day.  That I won't sob tomorrow, clinging to his blanket and his hat and looking at the really shitty picture I have of my son.  Reading all of the cards we got.  Re-experiencing it like I do every year.

That is about as good as it gets.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Relaxation

This year's vacation involved going down into the mountains.  It was a totally different experience from Hilton Head last year.  Mostly because there was no sand to exacerbate eczema this year.  And also because the little girls are steadily getting better at traveling.  Granted, Charlie did her share of whining in the car, but on the way home we were able to make it the whole 8 hours without stopping for an extended period of time.

It was as close to a perfect vacation as I could get, really.  Busy enough that I was not bored, slow enough that we did not have to rush around and feel stressed.  I went ziplining and go carting and went to places like the Dixie Stampede and Clingman's Dome.  I made fun of (mostly in my head, because my mother was with me.  I do have some sense of decency.  Sometimes) the blatant Christianity that was pushed as well as the southern pride and male privilege that was rampant.  I will admit that I called a huge cross a lightning rod, and to my mother to boot, but I figure that that joke would be the least likely of my sins to take me to hell anyways so it was totally worth it.

We went on this vacation with my niece and nephew, my sister, sister in law, brother in law, and mother.  It was quite amusing to watch Halle, my niece, and Charlie interact.  It was reminiscent of the sorority girls that they will be someday.  A lot of stumbling around, consuming lots of drinks and junk food,  running around naked or in their bathing suits asking to get sprayed down with water, and vacillating from "You are my best friend cousin EVER"  to "You're mean!" before finally passing out in someone's bed.

When we got home, though, the change in Charlie was noticeable.  I don't know if it was because I was more relaxed, she was more relaxed, or if she was just fucking with me...but she was very sweet.  Now this kid loves to be a helper, don't get me wrong...but it is usually in the capacity of wanting to learn to be totally independent vs any sort of altruistic tendencies.  Today was different though.  She was caring, attentive, and far less intense than she usually is.  She went from "don't fuck with my sister or I'll cut you" to "I'm going to help my sister myself".

It was a refreshing change, to tell the truth.  Usually Charlie is firmly convinced that the world is out to get her through such devious means as forcing her to eat vegetables and to do things like sleep and share.  Tonight, she went out of her way to be nice to Alexis.  She shared my phone with Alexis to play games, cutting her turn short so Alexis could go.  She went and got Alexis a glass of water so I did not have to get up.  She was giving her sister hugs.

It is amazing how getting away from it all can change a person. I feel so incredibly lucky that I have the means (well, sorta) to take the time off to spend with my family.  Soon, Elizabeth will be going away to school.  Alexis will not want to spend time with us.  Then will come Charlie.  I am trying to treasure the time we have as a family in our day to day lives as well as on vacation.  They are short lived, indeed.  So yes, I am going to grab a hold of the feeling of relaxation and make memories with my children while I can.  I am going to renew my soul so I can get it sucked out again at work.  And I am going to grip onto a changed child, even if it might only be due to a desire to mess with Mommy mentally.

I am going to relax, dammit.  It's just no one told me it was going to be so much work.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hope

After Gabe's death, some of my very dear friends got together and sent me a flowering myrtle tree to plant.  Someone else had given me a rose, but they tend to commit suicide when they see me (and in fact, I did manage to kill it off...) so having something that I was not likely to kill was nice.

The tree has provided us beautiful blossoms every summer.  It is a lovely reminder that my son is not forgotten.

After this winter, though, I was not so sure it would make it.  This winter was brutal, cold, and brutally cold.  It was a winter that a lot of people, myself included, struggled to make it through. There did not appear to be any new growth on the tree.  It seemed to have succumbed to the cold.

I started to clear away the dead wood as best I could.  It left a bunch of pointy sticks that I was going to grab a shovel to dig up.  The tree was dead anyways; why leave something in the ground to potentially impale my children (or, let's be honest, myself) on?

Then I saw it:





Hidden amongst the dead was new growth.  New life.  Tiny, persistent, struggling to get air and light and water...but alive.

A new reminder that life goes on.  After I lost my son, I begged my husband to not let me go crazy.  I seriously feared that I would go off the deep end.  One might argue that I did, but I say I was this wacky before.  I am talking the kind of crazy where I would take out my whole family and then myself.  The kind of crazy where I would dump his ashes out and smear them all over me.  The kind of crazy that people fear when they hear the words "mentally ill".

I know better now.  The mentally ill are not to be feared.  They are no more likely to hurt you than anyone else; in fact you are more likely to be harmed by a loved one who is not mentally ill.  I have a mental illness; and I abhor violence and probably couldn't hurt a flea.

That new growth, coming up out of the ugly, pointy, dead wood...hope.  That is what kept me going on.  That is what keeps all of my clients going on; why I do what I do day in and day out despite people demeaning my profession; despite the stigma; despite the fear and desperation and frustrations.  

It was what kept me going after Gabe died.  It is what keeps me running outside when it rains and is sunny at the same time, looking for the rainbow.  It is what keeps me saying the same things day in and day out.

Hoping that it will sink in.  Hoping that it makes a difference.  Hoping that it will get better.

Because it does.  The new life will spring up from the carnage.  That it will be just as beautiful.  

That it will persevere.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Growing

One of the best parts of being a parent is watching the process of your child growing.  You know, the enthusiasm that they show when they learn a new skill.  The amazement, the wonder.  Everything is brand new.  They are not jaded yet.  Your child sees and experiences things in a way that you don't.  Hell, in a way that you don't have time for, in between bills and laundry and having to feed and clothe them as well as make sure that the exploration of their universe does not include a little experiment on what a fork does when it goes into the outlet or what bleach does to Dorothy the goldfish.  We are too busy being focused on keeping the little explorers alive that we don't have time to appreciate the wonder that is that lovely three leaved plant over there.  We have to snatch their asses up before they roll in the poison ivy and make tea out of it.

Charlie is beginning to discover her literacy skills.  Which is both awesome and terrifying because, hey, she is starting to read and spell!  and FUCK, she now is starting to know how to read and spell!  When children start to learn this shit, a major mode of communication for the adults around them disappears and the ability to have an adult conversation or to talk about the children in front of them is decimated.  It is both a moment to be proud as well as a moment to slightly panic because that is one step closer to not being able to keep the lubricant out on the bedside table. "Mommy?  What's Ky Jelly taste like?  Why can't I eat it?  I want a peanut butter and jelly!"  You just know that they are going to go to your mother in law and complain about how Mom is hiding the new flavor of jelly in her room right next to the funny shaking rabbit and her police man fuzzy handcuffs...

The whole sex thing is slightly terrifying too.  I tend to be slightly (ok, way) liberal when it comes to these kind of discussions with my children because I firmly believe that knowledge is power and my girls sure as hell don't need to be popping a baby out at 16 like I did (even if that whole situation did turn out well for the both of us, surprisingly.  I thought for sure Elizabeth would have been in a mental institution by now with me as a mother...).  It still doesn't mean that I don't die inside a bit when I get questions like, "Can you have sex with more than one person at a time?" or "But why would you let Daddy put that in there?  That sounds gross..."

Elizabeth is currently taking a class where they get to bring home the baby that cries and you have to tend to it.  I suppose that this is an effort to scare the teens into abstinence by illustrating that parenting isn't all cute babies and whatnot.  I was cracking up looking at her sheet she had to fill out about when the baby cried and what the reaction was...99% of the time she was annoyed by it.  Guess that one learned her parenting skills from her mother (or this is directly related to what I was talking about above...).  Good thing she recognizes this and has informed me that I will not be getting grandchildren from her.  Anyways, she asked me to baby sit for this "kid" while she went to commencement this afternoon, so I get to play at being grandma for a bit.

I hope that in real life, any grandchildren I might get aren't as creepy as this thing is.  Seriously, this thing is like the devil baby.  I feel like I need to cross myself every time I handle the thing.  It's cry sounds like the hounds of hell are being summoned back to their lairs.  Plus, it's arms don't really bend so they are outstretched like it is beckoning you to come over to the dark side like some kind of diaper clad zombie:

 Come to me...I will eat your soul...

I think I will be scarred for a while from this experience.  I can only imagine what it's mother feels like, having to deal with the Infant of the Inferno.   If the school's objective was to scare teens into abstinence, I think that this would do it because after caring for this thing, I never want to have sex again and I have my tubes tied.

Could you imagine the stuff you would have to stop this child from doing?  "No, honey, you can't skin the cat and drink it's blood."  "No, sweetie, Daddy does not steal Mommy's soul when he puts the baby in her uterus."  Guess I should be happy with just having to walk into the other room when I want to say something adult to my husband.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Musings

I always feel vaguely guilty about my lack of enjoyment of breakfast foods.  My ability to function in the mornings is as severely limited as an infant's ability to drive a car is, so any kind of food that takes actual preparation is out.  Plus, I never understood people who could eat like pancakes or waffles and then go work.  I usually drift into some kind of coma after eating those, either from the sugar in the syrup or the heaviness that goes with the territory of eating basically unleavened bread.  Seriously, a spoonful of flour is like the whole foods equivalent here folks.  I also generally find eggs to be the devil and always gag whenever I try to force their rubbery disgustingness between my lips.  Muffins are basically glorified cake and I am not so much a cake fan.  Cold cereal also makes me gag.  Bacon and eggs involve grease and that could be potentially a fire hazard before I have had my pot of coffee in the morning.  I usually settle for a handful of almonds or walnuts, mostly because the only effort I have to put forth there is to not miss my mouth and to chew.

I try to Skype with my niece in North Carolina at least on a weekly basis.  One could say that I am a good aunt, but really it is because I need her to like me because my children will most likely not pick out a good nursing home for me.  She totally waved to me today and I am pretty sure she rolled her eyes at me as well.  Just so long as she realizes that the good nursing home=I won't live with her, I think I am golden.

We got rid of our Directv earlier this month.  Best damn decision I have made in a while.  Still doesn't top the decision to stop using tartar control toothpaste so I don't get horrid canker sores anymore, but it definitely ranks up there.

I taught someone about the cognitive triangle today.  They called it the "magical triangle of wonder".  I am beginning to wonder if this means I need to wear an aluminum foil hat to work now.

I started new medications recently and upon obsessively reading the enclosed pamphlet (cause that is what the anxiety ridden do to see what awful things we can worry about next) I saw that I could potentially test positive for amphetamines now.  Fuck yeah.  If I am going to fail a drug test I want it to be for something unusual.  None of this marijuana or heroin shit.  I wanna fail for speed.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Struggling

It's never being good enough.

It's forgetting what it is like to function outside of the constant fog cloud of fatigue.  Forgetting what it is like to wake up after 10, 12, 14 hours of sleep and feeling refreshed and rested.  Wanting to spend all day in bed asleep because the time you have to be aware of how you just hurt is less that way.

It's wanting to curl up within yourself, except that you are intensely uncomfortable in your own skin so you really don't want to do that either.  So you exist in limbo, simply existing for a while.

It's the never ending cycle of thought that flows through your mind, unbidden and unwanted and uncontrollable and unwelcome.  "You suck.  You're awful.  You're less than.  You MUST be perfect.  You will NEVER learn to cope.  You will ALWAYS feel like hell."

It's recognizing the cycle of negativity yet feeling helpless to stop it.

It's the constant worry.  The catastrophizing.  The panic attacks.

It's seeing the reminder and freaking out and dying on the inside.  A touch, a gesture, a scent.  Triggers.

It's being numb.

It's the guilt.  The constant gnawing guilt of feeling like you are failing everyone around you.  Like you are to blame for your circumstances and why you are here and in this situation.

It's desperately wanting to feel better but lacking the motivation to even get up and make the call.  The fear.  The stigma.  The lies that run through your mind.

Make the call.  It gets better.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Random IV

Charlie was playing with some miscellaneous dried noodles, rice, oats, etc., and was "cooking" with it.  She was quite content to do this when she very quietly got up, came to me, and said very low and dramatically "I need a knife."  Uh, holy fucking creepy!  And speaking of creepy...

Let's talk the Easter bunny.  Seriously, who the fuck thinks of this shit?  Why does anyone think that the Easter bunny is a good idea?  And why do we continually condone Breaking and Entering?

Easter is a pretty creepy holiday overall if you really think about it.  Now before you get all up in arms about this, a man dies then three days later comes back to life.  How is this not disturbing?  Sure, Christians believe he did it for our salvation...but honestly.  I sure hope that God did his son a favor and made him not stink when he rose up because I could see how that would cause some social problems fo' shure above and beyond the "I died" thing.

Does that mean the Apostles could say "I see dead people" in a creepy Sixth Sense voice?

I also take issue with these "resurrection rolls" I see on Pinterest all of the time.  I could have totally seen myself as a kid missing the whole symbolism behind them and thinking that Jesus melted in the tomb like the marshmallows melt in the biscuits.  Like being raised in the Catholic church was not scary enough...next you give me melted marshmallows and expect my crazy ass mind to make the leap?  Yeah, it would leap right to Jesus melted like the wicked Witch of the West.

Still reading?  Haven't offended you with my sacreligiosity?  I am well aware I am likely burning in Hell in the future so feel free to judge away...cause that will totally get you a ticket to heaven.

But I digress....

I am seriously considering going into the Dog Toupee business.  I could gather up the fur I brush off of Spartacus and Maximus and fashion some toupees for those dogs plagued by premature baldness and receding hairlines.  It could be like a hair club for dogs.  But maybe like on a donation basis like Locks of Love?  Maybe 'Do's for Dogs?  Anyways, it totally sounds like a solid business idea to me and I am pretty sure the market here is wide open...Any investors interested?  I could totally put you in the commercial..."I'm not just an investor, I'm a member myself".  But that would only work if you had a dog...Possibly a cat too but a cat wearing a dog hair toupee might be like a human getting a pig heart transplant.

Ever consider what kind of psychotic person you would be?  I had that conversation once with my coworkers.  I like to think that I would be a crazy person even amongst the crazy people. 




Sunday, April 6, 2014

Grown

Everyone tells you when you are pregnant (or in any stage of child rearing, really) that "It goes by so fast".  Never minding the poor grammar, that statement can't be more true.  I swear, Elizabeth was just starting kindgergarden the other day.  Of course, those who know me know that my other day can mean two days ago or 6 years ago...but I digress.

It goes by quickly.  Alexis had competition this weekend.  Yeah, this feminist, crazy liberal Mama lets her daughter participate in dance competitions.  Her studio maintains a degree of decorum regarding their routines.  They don't sexualize anything and their costumes are age appropriate.  I am not a prude by any stretch of the imagination, but by God "Itsy Bitsy Spider" should not be sexy (and yes, there was once a routine for 7 year old girls to that song that was...)

It was a couple hour drive to the venue.  Alexis spent most of the drive down contentedly reading her Ramona book, but once it got too dark to read she started to talk to me.  About Santa and the Easter Bunny.  And how she *thinks* that they might really be parents doing all that stuff.

My heart broke a little bit, though I was expecting this because it was around this same time that Elizabeth started to question it.  I mean, kids are smart and they will only believe this shit for so long.  I guess I was not prepared for this yet.  Alexis is still so innocent in so many ways.  I was not prepared for her to give up that magic quite yet I suppose.

Next thing I know, Elizabeth will be leaving for college, Charlie will be starting kindergarden (in the same year, no less...really poor planning on my part).  They will start periods, have boyfriends, have to navigate friendships and heartache.

Soon they will start families of their own.  Have children, life partners, houses of their own.  I can't protect them forever.  Hell, Elizabeth is already more independent than I am comfortable with sometimes.  I am continually reminding myself that she is 16.  Time to let go.

How can I do that though when I still feel at times that I am masquerading as an adult?  When things can get incredibly confusing for me and I don't have all the answers?  How can I possibly expect them to go and be productive adults when sometimes I am crippled by my own thoughts?  When the demons inside my soul threaten to overcome me and I have to fight to get into the light from the dark depths of my very being?

I constantly question myself as a parent.  I joke about the decades of therapy my children will require, but the very insecure core of my being questions if that is really a joke.  I was just a kid myself when I began to raise a child...how will that affect things?  Will my children grow up to leave me and not want anything to do with me?  Did I give them too much freedom?  Not enough?  Did my depression and anxiety leave its mark on them?  Are they forever scarred because of it?

No, I am not ready for my children to be grown.  Mostly because I am not sure I am grown myself.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Groceries

My husband must have again decided that sprinkling bath salts on my dinner was a fine idea because I took the two little girls shopping with me this evening.

They actually did really well during the shopping part itself.  Hell, even the drive home was good.  We talked about how they were going to get home and get in the bath with no fits and then if they did a good job with that they could have a donut and a juice box.

Yes, I am totally aware that that constitutes a bribe.  With food.  My anxiety is already through the roof contemplating all of the eating disorders they will develop.  Don't judge me because I judge myself enough for the both of us.

I forgot one fact about my kids though.  Their bed time is their bedtime is their bedtime.  When Alexis was a baby, it was a struggle to get her to stay awake past 5:30 PM for the longest time. (After, of course, she got over that whole "I am never ever going to sleep ever so stop fucking torturing me MOTHER" thing as a very young infant...)  We eventually worked her up to 7 PM as a bedtime, which was rough during the summer time when it was still totally light out and I wanted to go outside and the above mentioned anxiety made me stay within monitor range...Charlie was not *quite* that bad, nor was Elizabeth, but by God, if you fuck with their sleep the demons of hell are released and the zombie apocalypse may as well start because you, my friend, are totally screwed.

We got home.  I took Charlie out of the car seat, attempted to trudge through the mud to bring the groceries in (no attached garage, or any kind of garage at all really, on the homestead, unfortunately) and I had the audacity to ask Charlie to carry in a roll of wrapping paper.

O. M. G.  The world collapsed around her, E no longer equaled MC squared, and peas and carrots had a bitter divorce and are currently engaging in smear tactics in the media.  I am pretty sure the howl of protest that child emitted tore the space/time continuum.  She had a melt down that made Chernobyl look like an X-ray.  I thank God we have pretty cool neighbors and that the old man who lives across the street is in Florida with his wife...because otherwise I am pretty sure the law would have been called.

I unpacked the groceries, studiously ignoring the meltdown like the good parent that I pretend to be on occasion should.  Alexis hops into the bath, gets herself the donut and the juice as promised, all the while Charlie is screeching like a banshee.  In the meantime, she has also gotten herself put into time out for trying to hit me and Alexis.  (To be honest, I am surprised she stayed there...I thought for sure it was going to be a chair in the middle of the room with nothing around and her being strapped in kind of time out.)  I go over to her to attempt to get her naked for her bath...she grabs the hem of her shirt and pulls down in an effort to keep me from taking it off.  I put her in the bath and she is sobbing so hard that she is choking on the boogers.  She never even sits down.

I get her out of the bath and get the bright idea that she needs lotion on her body because her eczema is flaring up yet again.  Since I am slightly crunchy (OK, probably pretty crunchy for the rural standards I live in...) I grabbed the coconut oil I keep in the bathroom for oil pulling as it has proven far more effective than the prescription cream at clearing that shit up.  I pull off a chunk (for those of you who don't know, coconut oil is solid at room temp) and use it to lather her up.  Dumb idea.  Ever hear of a greased pig?  Yeah, she was not exactly being compliant at that moment, so it was interesting to get her into her jammies to say the least.

I got her a tissue and she blew her nose; then she FINALLY decided to try to belly breathe.  I take her upstairs, she snuggling against me and burying her face in my neck.  I tuck her in and give her kisses, singing her the Charlie girl song I made up for her when she was a baby. 

"Charlie girl, my Charlie girl, you are my Charlie girl".

She looks at me, so sleepy and exhausted.  I tell her, "Mama knows.  I know what it is like to have those kinds of feelings and not feel like you can control them."  I do.  When I was little, my emotions frequently overpowered me.  I was my own worst enemy most times, though to some extent I was reacting to things around me as well.  It is incredibly scary to have such powerful emotions.  Especially when you are over tired and just done like she was.

It might be a while before she comes grocery shopping with me again.  And also, I am very grateful for the Raz-Beer-Ritas I bought tonight.  Great planning on my part!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Spring

Everyone I know is all like, "OMG, I am so over this winter and I cannot wait for Spring!"

Me, not so much.  Spring is the least favorite of my seasons.  If we could go directly from feeling like it is 0* Kelvin to the sweaty, humid hell that is known as summer in this state, I would be perfectly OK.  Sure, spring has new flowers!  New life!  Christians believe Jesus resurrected from the dead!  The weather gets warmer!

It just doesn't do anything for me.  Here are my top reasons why I hate Spring:

1.)  Daylight Savings Time.   Who the fuck thought that this would be a good idea?  Shifting time around like this is akin to me shifting money around to pretend like I have enough to pay my bills.  Someone pays, somewhere, and it usually involves lots of lost sleep, crankiness, and fantasies of winning the lotto so I can move somewhere warm and tropical.  Which leads me to...

2.)  The cold-ish weather.  Seriously.  Somehow bridging the gap between the cold and the warm seems so much worse when you are going from cold to warm like now vs the warm to cold of fall.  "Oh, but it's warming up" you say.  "There is hope coming from the depths of cold in winter", you say.  Fuck that shit.  It might be warming up, but it is still cold.  Come talk to me when the weather is consistently over 75*.  Not this 50* teaser shit.  What good is 50*?  You can't hold food at that temperature.  You can't freeze food at that temperature.  It exists solely to fuck with your internal thermostat.

3.)  The food.  OK, think of a spring food.  You can't, can you?  Winter has Christmas cookies and hot cocoa.  Fall has pumpkin and stews.  Summer has ice cream and watermelon.  Spring has what?  Ham maybe?  Easter candy?  Guess what, spring?  The Internet now exists and I can probably get Easter candy year round if I wanted.  Aw, snap!  Plus, Reese's has seasonal peanut butter cups for every season now, so I don't have to wait till Easter for the eggs to get the same deliciousness.

4.)  The mud.  It exists even when it hasn't rained for 4 weeks, simply because of the melting snow.  And it gets on everything.  This includes the inside of my house.  Mud does not belong on the inside of my house, SPRING.  Mud was fun when I was a kid.  It is not fun as an adult when you have to clean that shit up. 

5.)  The Easter bunny.  OK, bitchez, look.  The idea of a fat man breaking into your house to leave presents for you is creepy enough.  A tooth fairy who traffics in body parts, also creepy as fuck.  But a life sized rabbit that hides eggs?  RABBITS DON'T LAY EGGS SO SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN THE LOGIC???  Seriously, who thinks up this shit?  Lets tell kids about this humongous hare who ALSO breaks into your house and leaves eggs...back in the day they were actual hard boiled eggs so guess what happened if you forgot one?  No wonder people are fighting so for the right to own a gun in their home...it is probably residual trauma from their childhood and being told that all these strange humans and hares are breaking and entering.

6.)  The tulips.  Don't get me wrong...they are pretty and whatnot.  They also have the super bad habit of all blooming at exactly the same time and then disappearing at exactly the same time, so you are left with a garden full of empty stems of tulips.  Super depressing.  Spring's all like, "Oh, here are some pretty flowers...but you only get to enjoy them for a limited time so don't get so attached or plan any kind of significant landscaping around them!"  It's like those infomercials that are selling Bedazzlers.  You buy one cause it looks pretty, only to quickly realize the limited usefulness and that it will eventually make you and your property look like it is trying too hard to be attractive.

7.)  Finally...the clothes.  It is never OK to have to wear galoshes, a heavy coat, and a thin shirt AND carry an umbrella all on the same day.  You can shove your April showers bring May flowers BS up your ass, Spring.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Alone

If I could market whatever scent I emit when I sit down to, oh, eat, pay bills, or poop, the one that instantly attracts my children to me and makes them want to climb on my lap and snuggle at that exact moment...if I could do that and sell it to desperate people looking for a date, I would totally be a gazillionare and I would make Bill Gates clean my toilets with his toothbrush.

Seriously.  These children will ignore me until the exact second after I become not involved with trying to engage them in any given activity.  The nanosecond after my mind shifts from them to caring for, say, my basic needs, some kind of automatic honing device that was implanted in their brains at birth goes off.  They then feel the need to follow me around like a lovesick hound dog (minus the leg humping).

"Enjoy it while you can", they say.  "It goes by so fast and one day you will wish they were there doing that", they say.  First of all, who the fuck is the nebulous "they" that has so much to say?  Ever stop to think that there is a reason "they" are anonymous?  Yeah, it's probably because they give really shitty advice.  Enjoy being pawed at like a cat while I am trying to eat?  Enjoy someone climbing on my lap while I'm on the can?  Enjoy a child climbing on my lap, almost knocking my laptop off and causing me to spill my coffee down the front of my shirt while engaged in the already stressful job of "paying bills" (AKA, pretending that I have enough money to pay all the bills). 

I am sorry, but there are other things from my children's childhood I will enjoy.  I will enjoy the dancing in the living room.  I will enjoy the times they want to do my hair.  I will enjoy jumping on the trampoline with them.  I will enjoy the dance recitals, the art shows, the school performances and parties.

I refuse to fucking enjoy the fact that they instantly want my attention the moment I become engrossed in a task that has nothing to do with them.  Goddammit, pooping is a one man (or woman) job.  I don't need company for it.  In fact, I prefer to be alone.  And I do not require cuddling to get me to eat my veggies.  I can do that on my own as well.

The book "I'll Love You Forever" gets a bit of a bad rap.  Mostly because of the crazy helicopter parenting that goes on in there.  Seriously, B&E to get into your son's house when he is a grown ass man just to sing him that song?  That's a whole new level of crazy I can only dream of attaining one day.  But stop to think about that shit for a minute.

Paybacks, mothafuckers.  All those times when those kids crawled into bed with me at night cause "they want to cuddle?"  (Sleeping...another thing I prefer to do without help.) Better lock your windows as adults, girls.  Mama's getting herself some vengeance.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Crafty

When I signed up for this crazy thing called mothering, I knew that there would be sleepless nights, heartache, frustration, and various bodily fluids that I would wear at certain points in life.  No one told me, however, that it would also require mad Martha Stewart skills.

The explosion of sites such as Pinterest has led to super cute ideas circling the web faster than a line of coke goes up Charlie Sheen's nose.  Now don't get me wrong...I love Pinterest and the various ideas that it has given me.  Hell, I can wield a hot glue gun with the best of them.  What I really resent is the notion that we are going to pile on overworked, underpaid, and perpetually stressed mother's one more "requirement" to feel guilty about.  This activates in me some latent Oppositional Defiant Disorder and makes me want to give the universe the finger.  Then I feel guilty and sink to the depths of despair, convinced that because that one time when Charlie was three I didn't take the time to make a homemade (insert holiday) treat for her to take to class, she will be forever ostracized and bullied and will then become the next serial killer and end up getting arrested wearing her victim's skin as a fur coat while playing solitaire with a short deck.

Fuck that shit.  I sent in store-bought Valentines for the little girls.  I didn't even write names on the fruit snacks that I sent into Charlie's preschool class.  I felt a bit guilty about sending in those little bombs of high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavorings and colors, but then decided that it wasn't enough to make me look for something else or to create a cute handmade valentine with an organic banana and a card that says "I go bananas for you, Valentine!"  I didn't have to feel so guilty about Alexis...her first choice, Airheads, was devoured by Spartacus because he is an asshole sometimes who emotionally eats everything that he can find because his owners don't pet him enough.  The second choice, purchased a half an hour before we had to leave for school, was temporary tattoos.  Let's ink all those bitchez in the second grade up, fo' shizzle!  What can I say; she didn't choose the thug life, it chose her.

If I have anything to feel guilty about, it is going to be my poor parenting choices and the amount of wine I consume to deal with my children's whining.  Not some fabricated requirement perpetuated by the craft industry to generate more sales in the pursuit of the almighty dollar.  I am going to have burnt fingers, be slightly high from paint fumes, and be covered in glitter on my own terms, dammit.  Not because some jackass in marketing decided that I needed something imaginary to feel guilty about...I do enough on my own to feel guilty about.  I certainly don't need any help, thankyouverymuch!