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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Relaxation

So we completed the gingerbread houses.  With minimal bickering and whining.  The girls did great too.

They tasted delicious, too.  Or at least the scraps did.  Can you guess which on is which girl's?
I was pleasantly surprised at how well the girls got along while doing these.  They shared the icing bags with the frosting in them and were generally pleasant about the whole ordeal.  I kinda want to make one for myself to decorate next year.
After they were done, I set to cleaning the house. Scrubbing floors, the bathroom walls, the counters in the kitchen.  Putting away all of my baking stuff that had overrun my counters.  Dusting.  Because that is what one does on one's first day of vacation, right?

Apparently not, according to my middle child.  Alexis questioned me as to why I felt the need to clean everything.  Why it was important to scrub the toilets, the walls, to get down on my hands and knees and scrub the floors.  Why I  had to do this in between decorating the houses and coloring with the girls and watching a movie.

(OK, I didn't actually watch the whole movie.  That almost never happens.  But I did sit down for a bit.)

I explained to her how it is very distressing to me to have a messy house.  How I don't like it when we have clutter.  How I really wasn't doing all that much.  How it was a lazy day.  I stayed in bed until almost 10, after all.

Alexis then looked at me and said, "Mom.  You have cleaned the kitchen, bathroom, and living room.  You threw clothes in the washer and dryer.  You cleaned the bathroom walls.  You put away all of the cookie stuff.  And you also decorated gingerbread houses, colored pictures, cleaned out the van, and helped me and Charlie get dressed.  How is that a lazy day?"

She has a point.  When did I stop recognizing what I did during a day?  When did having my self-sufficient girls allow me to lay in bed for a bit make me all of a sudden have a "lazy day?"  When did the idea of having to stop and actually, RELAX, become such an anxiety provoking idea anyways?  What am I trying to run away from?  And who the hell is telling me that I am not good enough if I am not constantly producing?

Tomorrow....tomorrow I am going to just chill.  Charlie had a cousin sleepover tonight.  Tomorrow, I will make them some cinnamon roll waffles.  I will play Angry Birds in bed.  I will drink a lot of coffee (wait, that's every day...) and stay in jammies until we have to leave for my sister's for Christmas Eve.  Hell, since the weather is closer to the actual time of Jesus's birth than to winter, I might even take the kids outside and go to the park with the dogs.  Don't worry; if we do that I will put on actual clothes vs my jammies. 

I took this time off from both jobs for a reason.  I need to refresh.  I need to reconnect with my family.  I'd better damn well use it.

But not until the house is clean.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Choices

This year, for some reason not shared with me, the little girls wanted to make gingerbread houses.  Since I'm all about doing crazy crafty shit like that, I agreed.  Then I made a fatal parenting mistake.

I gave them a choice.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I am all about choices.  I'll totally give choices all fucking day long.  Do you want to stay up for five more minutes or three more minutes?  Would you like peas or carrots for vegetable tonight?  Do you want to take a bath or a shower?  Do you want me to go bat shit crazy if you keep tossing your clothes directly in front of the hamper instead of into the hamper, or just slightly psycho?

In all of those instances, I am perfectly OK with either choice.  That is what you are supposed to do.  You never give a goddamned choice if you aren't OK with one of them them.  They will sense your weakness and swoop down upon it like a vulture does to that little dead fox in the middle of the road.  And they won't let up on it just as those fucking scavengers won't let up on that carcass, even though there's a semi barreling towards them at 60 MPH.

The choice was, "Do you want to use graham crackers or do you want actual gingerbread?"

The minute those words were out of my mouth I wanted to reach into the cosmos and pull them back and then box my own ears with them.  The.Fuck.Was.I.Thinking.  I don't work 7 days a week or anything.  I don't already have to make a bunch of cookies for my family get together.  I don't have three baskets of laundry downstairs and am rapidly running out of undies.  Oh wait...

I held my breath, hoping that they did not hear me.  That for once, that selective hearing they are so good at wielding would pay off for my benefit.  That I was using up that bit of positive energy in the cosmos that was sure to be coming my way and they totally missed me asking.

Nope.  Their faces lit up like Cheech and Chong on a day ending in "Y".  They were going for the fucking actual gingerbread.  And sucker that I am for those children, I'm making it happen.

So now I have to find a recipe for gingerbread because I have never made it before.  It didn't occur to me to grab a mix from the store until I was on the second fucking batch. Because you know, I might have slipped and gave a choice that I did not want to, but I was not going to borrow trouble and make them decorate the same house.  There is only so much alcohol one can consume in an evening and I did not particularly want to be hung over the next day, after all...

Let's not forget too, the whole making the cookies for the family thing.  Now I actually enjoy baking, so this was not a big deal really.  However, I also got struck with a streak of nostalgia for past Christmases and decided that I was going to make Mexican Swizzle sticks again.  My mother used to have a Super Shooter, a fabulous cookie press thing from the 80's, that made those things nice and skinny bundles of chocolate and sprinkles.  They don't make those things anymore and hers has since died a slow, agonizing death, so our Swizzle sticks were made using a cookie press and came out more like Swizzle Churros.

I also only had green and yellow sprinkles, so we are representing the Fighting Irish, I suppose.  Or my nephew's high school.  Either/or.
Then I decided to also make these cute little Olaf pretzels I had found on Pinterest.  And ended up with Angry Olafs.
It's the eyebrows, I think.  Move over Elf on the Shelf.  Disney's got a new creepy character to stalk your children and frighten them into good behavior.
So we haven't decorated the houses yet, but based upon my roaring successes with the cookies this year, I imagine that they will be as awesome, if not more, than the hysterectomy cake.  I will be sure to keep you all posted in what is sure to be a fabulous combination of train wreck and memory making with the children.
If I haven't gone completely crazy by then, that is.  Which might make a good story in and of itself.  Either way there will be hilarity ensuing.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Reggie

So apparently my daughter turning 18 is not just a huge ass deal to me, but her friends.  And also apparently, there must be like gifts that you are supposed to give like for anniversaries...like the gold anniversary, silver anniversary, paper anniversary, wood anniversary.  (Side note...I'd be pretty fucking pissed if my husband got me paper for our anniversary, and we don't even celebrate our anniversary usually.  Just sayin', whoever thought of that shit obviously was hittin' the Absinthe a bit hard...)

The 18th birthday must be the pet birthday, because not only did her best friend ask me if she could buy her a goat for her birthday (answer: no place to keep it outside as Wakeman bans goats and marsupials outdoors, apparently, and I'll be goddamned if I'm having a goat in my house...), Elizabeth got not one, but TWO hamsters for her birthday.

One hamster she is keeping in her room.  This hamster is all sugar and spice and everything nice and is named Bean.  She enjoys long walks on her hamster wheel and looks a bit like the devil when she has her pictures taken due to the red eye, but over all...well, she's a fucking hamster-y hamster.  Not much going on here.

Reggie, however...totally different story.

That little fucker has taken crazy and elevated it to a whole new level the way that Donald Trump has elevated a bad hair day to a whole new level.  She (yes, Reggie is a she...apparently she was already named when Elizabeth received her.  And had been almost killed by a cat.  More on that later...but point is, don't be so goddamned judgemental.  Jesus.) is bat shit, certifiably, and undisputedly crazy.

She's a dwarf hamster, which means that she looks more like a mouse than a hamster and is seriously like three inches long.  And before you go all, "Oh, that sounds adorable!  Stop exaggerating the Satan that is present in this adorbs little rodent" let me tell you...possessed by the devil doesn't even cover it.  That little shit runs around her cage and evades capture like the best of terrorists.  She seriously makes Forrest Gump look like he's taking a leisurely Sunday stroll.   She makes this God-awful squeak too when you try to pick her up, like the hounds of Beelzebub are escaping from her larynx.  She climbs up the side of the cage like a character from the Matrix, and I honestly think that she may be plotting my death in a way that makes that sucker fish look like he just wants to give me a hug vs strangling me.

Charlie convinced me, against my better judgment, to take her out of her cage and put her in that hamster ball and let her run around her bedroom.  I am now firmly convinced that Reggie is holding that humiliation against me and is going to slowly disembowel me because of it.  I went to go and put her back in her cage (and mind you, it took us a solid half hour to get her in the fucking ball to begin with...I apparently cannot take a hint...) and she leaps from the ball to the top of her cage, and then down to the floor.  Again, the cage is on top of a nice tall dresser.  She possesses Satan ninja skills.

 Satan in an orange ball.  Look at her glaring...

In her defense, she has had a near death experience with a cat when she had escaped from her cage at her previous owner's houe.  That being said...while I am not one to judge people on their mental health symptoms, she is beyond what one would see from a traumatized hamster.  She is just pure evil and likes to mind fuck you while darting around like a meth-addicted gnat.

That fucking hamster then proceeded to hide for about 45 minutes in their room.  She kept running away and hiding and then stopped running and just kept hiding behind the bookshelf and I couldn't move it so I had to wait.  And fear that she was going to come at me like some kind of tiny spider-monkey like killer and gnaw my nose off.

We finally did capture that little shit.  She's currently in her cage and she just GLARES at me when I walk past.

Fuck.  I think we found Charlie the perfect pet.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mindfulness

It was a Tuesday evening like any other.

Got off of work, went to dance.  Ran in to check Lexi's homework and managed to find her missing jazz shoes that another child had accidentally grabbed last week.  Picked up Charlie to bring back home from her dance class in the preschool room and loaded her up in the car.  Gave the hubby a quick kiss after he helped her get buckled in, then headed home with all I  had to do on my mind.

Find some dinner for myself.  Not really hungry though.

Pack lunches for tomorrow.

Figure out my outfit for tomorrow.

Unload the dishwasher.

Sweep the floors.

Put a load of laundry in.  I should probably fold the two baskets that are down there too.

Eh, let's be honest.  That ain't happening.  The folding at least.

Clean up kitchen.

Get Charlie in the bath.

As all of this was running through my head, Charlie was keeping up a steady chatter despite claiming not five minutes earlier that she was not talking to me because I would not let her play a game on my phone because I am an asshole parent like that.  She started to talk about what we were going to do when we got home, and I teasingly told her we were going to poop our pants.  She started to laugh and said, "Mama, I'm not a baby!"

"Aren't you my baby, Charlie?"

"Well, yes, but I'm still big, Mama."

She then got quiet for a few minutes after this, obviously thinking.  She then asked:

"Mama, are you done growing?"

"Yes, I am."

"Well, then, why are you getting older still?  You aren't growing but you keep getting older and older..."

"You get older even after you stop growing, Charlie."

"So, are you going to die?"

(Now we need some background here.  Dorothy passed away a few days ago.  Charlie was pretty devastated and of course we had the whole death conversation and how it is pretty much a permanent thing and the opposite of sleeping and being awake, if you could have a third option for opposites that is.  So death was fresh on her mind; its not like she is going through some kind of emo/goth stage here.  Though Elizabeth did go through a period at just slightly older than Charlie where all she would wear was this black witch's dress from an old Halloween costume, so who knows.  Anyways...)

"Not for a long time, I hope baby."

"Will you live to be a thousand, Mama?"

"I'm certainly not planning on dying any time soon, Charlie."

This seemed to satisfy her, but it got my mind going.  All of a sudden, all of those things that I was planning on doing seemed unimportant.  I had no desire to plan for the next day until Charlie went to bed.  I did not want to do the housework that would still be waiting for me until the day I'm finally crazy and/or senile enough to be locked away for my own good (and let's be honest, for society's good as well).

So...I did none of that.

We decided to have some ice cream and read through a dancewear catalog.  I let her have a scoop of both mint chocolate chip and mint Oreo ice cream.  We chose the best outfits on each page and debated the merits of a flowy skirt vs. a plain leotard.  We rolled out the yoga mat and practiced her cartwheel.  I told her I would learn to do one along with her and we practiced mine.  We gave each other pointers.  Then we put on music and danced our asses off until it was time for her to get in the shower.

In typical Charlie fashion, of course, she managed to slip in the shower and bust her eye on the faucet and is now likely going to have a black eye.  As I was drying her off and comforting her, she asked me if people were going to make fun of her because she had the black eye.  We snuggled on the couch and held ice on it and she wondered if people would just think that she did a really bad job of putting some "eyelash" on (which is what she calls eye shadow).  She asked if I thought people would make fun of her (talk about another shot to the heart...)  She then wondered why she always is the one who gets hurt.

"First stitches in my head, Mama, then my chin.  Now I have a black eye!"

I wonder, had she not asked me about dying earlier, if I would have been as likely to let the comforting linger like I had.  Would I have taken the time to snuggle as much, or would I have felt antsy thinking about what I had to do?  When did I stop trying to be mindful and start being a stressed out, over exhausted, and burned out parent/wife/coworker?  Why did it take a question about my mortality to make me stop and start living?

I feel horrible about all of the potential moments I have missed out on because of lacking mindfulness.  Will my children remember it?  Is it too late?  Will my kids, when I do (hopefully decades in the future) die, remember me actually living, or will they only remember the stress, frustration, anxiety, depression, and illness?

What a wake up call.  What a re-birth.  Time to start living again.



Friday, November 13, 2015

18

Today is the last day that I have a minor child.  Tomorrow, Elizabeth turns 18.

This is a huge ass victory.  All of the people who thought I would never go anywhere or do anything because of her...wrong.  All of the people who thought I would not be able to raise a child as a young single mother...wrong.  All of the people who thought that she would be FUBAR'ed because of me...wrong.

Or maybe it was in spite of me.

My daughter is absolutely amazing.  I know every parent says that.  But.  She has overcome some pretty steep challenges against her.  A mother who lived at the poverty level for a pretty long time.  A single mother.  A mother and father who did not always get along so well.  A YOUNG single mother.  Somewhat dysfunctional families on both sides.

She is not a statistic.  She has grown up and evolved to be a pretty goddamned fantastic human being.

The kind of person who will make it a mission to make a perfect stranger she has never met, who got stood up for homecoming, have a great night.  The kind of person who will stop at Walmart on her way home from work to buy her baby sister five goldfish when the one she got her for her first birthday died.  The kind of person who will text her mother "go get em, tiger" when she is interviewing for a job that could potentially change all of our lives.  The kind of person who will stand up for her friends when they are persecuted for their religion.  The kind of person that other people tell me, without fail, is a genuinely nice, sweet girl.

Don't get me wrong.  That kid has her faults.  She is stubborn as hell.  I blame her father for that one.  She knows her mind.  Blame him for that as well.  She is messy at times. Again, him.  She has the Lambkins temper.  I don't know yet if she has the Lambkins tolerance for alcohol, nor do I want to know if she knows this yet.  I can't figure out a way to blame her father (or stepfather, for that matter LOL) for either of these so I guess I have to own those...

But the fact that she is not some god-awful hellion child that teachers wince and brace themselves for in the classroom...the fact that she is able to have a relationship with both sides of her family...the fact that she has an inherent sense of right and wrong and that she acts on this sense to make sure right is done...the fact that every employer she has had, every person she has babysat for loves her to pieces...

All of that is despite her parents' best efforts to totally fuck her up.  And trust me, all of us tried really really hard to do so.

Happy birthday, Elizabeth Carle.  Mamacakes loves you ever and ever so much.  And remember very very hard as you venture out into the world tomorrow morning as an adult:

You are my sunshine, 
My only sunshine, 
You make me happy, 
When skies are gray, 
You'll never know dear, 
How much I love you.
Please don't take 
My sunshine away.
 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Murdering

I wait up for Elizabeth every time she goes out.  Mostly because I am a ball of anxiety and I am usually firmly convinced that if I don't somehow she is going to be murdered coming from the driveway to the porch.  I'm usually dozing on the couch because I'm old and have thus far been unable to force the world to accommodate my night owl tendencies (which means that for me to wake up at a decent time, I can't stay up past midnight every night like I would do on my own if left to my own devices...).  Anyways, I still wait for her in the living room so I know she is home safe.

For some reason, the other night the front door got locked, and of course Elizabeth took offense to this and claimed that we "always" lock her out of the house.  Fine, tack on another 6 months of therapy there, but I swear this is the first time I've had to get up to unlock it for her...and she has a key, for fuck's sake.  Our conversation proceeded something like this:

E:  Why you always locking the door?

Me: It's not always locked.  I usually don't lock it till you come home.

E:  Yes, it is.  What are you afraid of?

Me:  Murderers coming to get me.  Do you want someone to murder me?

E:  Oh come on.  Who's going to murder you?

Me:  A murderer.

E:  No one is going to come in here and shoot you.  We don't have anything they would want to steal anyways.

Me:  They don't have to shoot me.  Maybe they are feeling stabby.  And maybe it's just a random murderer.  Why you gotta question their motives, Elizabeth?

E: We live behind the police station, for God's sake...

Me:  Maybe they are living dangerously.  Don't question their motives.

E:  Right.  The murderers are just misunderstood.  I'm going to bed now.


Like that parenting win there?  Not only did I diffuse a potentially teenager-y fight sequence that would have made me wish I had a real prescription for Xanax, I slipped in a bit of education about the importance of not second guessing murderers' motives.  Because they's all kind of crazy, I tell you what.  And I should know, cause I know crazy.

Sometimes I do get this parenting thing right.




Monday, October 12, 2015

Random VII

Hey, bitchez.  Go check out my co-worker's self-published book on Amazon...

Minutiae, by Steve Evans.

(Click on the different colored words, Mom, and it will take you to the book which you can buy for your Kindle.  Shit, do you even have a Kindle?  Apparently there's an app for that...)

Do your good deed for the year and support a budding author.  Because 2016 is rapidly approaching and your time to do good for 2015 is rapidly dwindling.  Me, I saved hobos and little dogs this year.

Fuck.  That was 2013.  I'd better get to trippin' here.



So you know that moving little saying about pennies from heaven being ones that our loved ones leave for us as messages that they are ok?  Am I the only one that:

A.) Finds that a bit creepy.  Like seriously, they are leaving pennies lying around for us where we randomly are supposed to see them?  Might as well just send me pictures of the inside of my house because how the fuck do you know where I am going to be?  Which leads me to...

B.)  How do you know that penny was really for you?  Maybe it was someone else's penny and you just picked up and stole, along with all their hopes, dreams, and love from their loved one.  Way to get some bad karma points there, asshole.

C.)  Why the fuck can't they send us like $100 bills?  I mean, seriously, cheapskates.  Aren't the streets up there gold?  Send me a goddamned nugget already!

Me, I much prefer to visualize people up in heaven using those fuckers as like Pogs that they are shooting at people down here on Earth.  Way more entertaining and totally removes the creepy factor if you accidentally grab a penny not meant for you because it just means that someone has lousy aim and missed.



So there seems to have been a trend in Pinterest-land (or for some reason it's just showing all up in my feed) of using wine glasses turned upside down to make candle holders.  I am horribly confused as I imagine that one would get burned, possibly light the house on fire, when one flips the glass over to drink.   And then it will no longer look like a cute pumpkin or Santa or whatever the fuck you decorated it like and more like something that a tripping preschooler would decorate.  Though I suppose that you could use the flameless candles if you wanted to be a problem solver.  But I'm still confused as to why you would waste a perfectly good wine glass...perhaps it is a sign of gluttonous America and people have an excess?  Or maybe you are planning on drinking the wine out of a mason jar?  I hear that rustic shit is totally hot right now...



My sinuses have recently decided to totally flip me the bird recently and have been giving me holy headaches from hell.  Actually they are holy in the same way that Marilyn Manson is that really sweet nun down at the convent.  Apparently they have decided to join forces with the rest of my body and escalate from being mildly annoying when the weather changes to being fully incapacitated.   It's a full fledged conspiracy launched by my immune system, and it leads me to totally anthropomorphize it.  The stupid fuckers have been flaring up something fierce and I'm not having it.  Now if only they would respect my authoritar and get in line.



I just watched some people on a TV show down 3 shots in as many minutes as well as drink some beers and they are totally sober.  Conclusion?  TV show characters have a hella tolerance.  And we should probably be super concerned.



Sunday, September 27, 2015

Moon II

So today there is supposed to be a super blood moon with a lunar eclipse.  Which I suppose means that the world is gonna end or some shit like it was going to a few years ago.  I really need to get right with Jesus first, so if we could hold off on that for a bit, that would be GREAT, m'kay?

We took Alexis outside to watch the eclipse.  Or what part of it we could see, because clouds are assholes and like to cramp our style.  Plus it's a school night and apparently no one in the cosmos took this into consideration when arranging for natural wonders to be used as learning experiences.  THANKS FOR NOTHING, COSMOS.  Maybe YOU should go get right with sweet baby Jesus and stop being so SELFISH.

Alexis was mesmerized.  I mean, it is pretty fucking cool, the whole moon disappearing from the sky then changing colors.  If I would have thought of it earlier, I would have totally milked it like the Santa thing and told her that I was recently awarded magical powers and if she didn't start fucking picking her toys up, I'll make her disappear and change colors.  But not a cool one like red.  Like chartreuse.  No one knows what the fuck that color actually looks like anyways.  I mean, Charlie is already convinced that the moon is stalking her...it might not have been that hard to do.  And really, let's just tack on a few more years of therapy.  At this point, years are just a drop in the bucket...

It was really humbling, though, to see her innocent excitement at something that she has never seen before.  At something rare.  It was a great reminder that there is always something new, something wonderful.  I need to remember to look at things through a child's eyes more often; to get back to the simpler things.  I need to stop adulting so much and be more mindful.  I really think that would reduce my stress level significantly.

And maybe then I will stop anthropomorphizing nature and expecting it to get right with the Lord.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Lying

There is a saying floating around the Internets, I believe coined by the Bloggess (or at least I am giving her credit.  Kinda like the whole I didn't say you were at fault, I said I was going to blame you thing)...it is simply "Depression lies."

It tells you you are no good.

It tells you things will never get better.

It tells you no one will miss you if you are gone, and even if they do they will quickly get over it. 

It tells you there is no joy in life.

It tells you that you are choosing to feel this way and deserve it because of a fundamental flaw in your make up and if you really really wanted to you could just get over it.

It lies to you.  Over and over and over again, and sucks you down into the abyss without you even realizing it.  And then when you are trying to climb out, the fucker greases the walls and laughs at you while you frantically try to get to the top.

To breathe.

To survive.

To be able to feel something, anything, besides that deep dark hole in the pit of your stomach that keeps sucking you in and making you slide back down.

And one of the most remarkable things about those who suffer from depression, is that they continue to try to climb back up those walls.  They continue to breathe.  Continue to survive, when their very being is screaming for relief and the only surefire way to get it is through death.

A person with depression is the opposite of weak.  Imagine trying to get up out of bed with a 500 lb weight on your chest.  That has weight added to it every day, so that you can never get accustomed to it and stronger.  That tells you that it will never go away and what a horrible person you are.  And then you have to try to accomplish daily tasks, like bathing.  Caring for others.  Working.  Living.  Maybe even laughing when all you want to do is scream and curl up inside yourself.

It's hard, but sometimes you start to climb out of that abyss.  The fog lifts and motivation returns.  Your capacity to feel joy comes back.  You want to bathe versus doing it just so the people you live with can tolerate you.

But it's always there in the back of your mind, that you could slip up and slide back down.  And then you do, and that just gives the depression more ammo to use against you. 

You were feeling better.

If you were a better/stronger/smarter person, you wouldn't backslide so easily.

You're fucking up your family/friends/relationships/career.

All that progress you made...for nothing.

And yet still, you climb up the slippery walls, ignoring the mocking laughter coming from the abyss.  Because you are going to survive.  You know it's a fatal disease sometimes, but you try and try and try.

Because depression lies.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Animals

Have you ever looked at someone and thought "Well, aren't you just a big bucket full of fucked up, with a dollop of crazy on top with a sprinkling of insanity?"  Yeah, that's pretty much how I feel about my cat.

I swear, she's plotting my death, probably when I'm sleeping.  It's a good thing that we sleep with our door closed because I'm pretty sure that she would try to smother me or slit my wrists in my sleep.


Nothing to see here.  Move along, now.  Move along.
It's bad enough that she does things like run into the big window in our living room over and over again to catch the leaves in the fall, or tries to burn the house down by chewing through the cord of a lamp while it is on and getting electrocuted in the meantime (for weeks after, you would take a tissue out of the box and she would about jump out of her skin)...but she also pretty frequently tries to murder the dogs.  Most specifically, Deogie.  That poor guy is so confused, he doesn't know what he is or wants to be.  He's the most metrosexual dog I know, almost to the point where he's *just* this side of straight but really really wants to experiment. He tries humping the cat on a pretty regular basis, so I can understand her irritability with him.  (He also tries to hump the other dogs and blankets pretty regularly, too, hence the confusion reference.) She takes her irritation to the extreme, though.  Deogie can be just walking past her and she was be all like "Hiss hiss", which I am assuming is cat speak for "Imma cut you, bitch.  You best check yourself before you wreck yourself."  That cat is totally ghetto, but if I was ever in a bar fight I'd totally want her on my side.
Now Maximus, he's a bit of a different story.  He's caught in a constant battle with Spartacus for the alpha male position, but Spartacus wins just because he is built like a brick shithouse.  Spartacus is like the old time bosses in the factory, the blue collar guy, who got to the top by hard work and has dirty hands.  Maximus is the fresh college grad who's coming to the factory and gets a management job by virtue of having that college diploma.  Unfortunately, he's also the frat boy who drank and snorted coke all his way through college and ascribed to the philosophy of "C's get Degrees".  Plus he totally does not know how to change a flat tire.  He was most likely banging a freshman and got her to write all of his papers for him.  He lacks what one would refer to as common sense.  Like for instance, if you pushed him over he would totally just stay there on the floor lying there, looking up at you.  He also struggles to find his way out from under a blanket. Not that I have experimented with either of these before.  *Ahem.*

Spartacus is the strong, long-suffering, silent type.  That dog doesn't bark for much of anything, which really defeated the original purpose in getting him, which was for me to have some sort of protection when I was home alone with Alexis all those years.  We once had a fucking deer, in our back yard, not 10 feet from that dog, and he just totally looked at me when I came outside like "What?"  He totally hates cats, though, which I blame solely on Angel because she's fucking certifiable.  He will bark at a cat if it is within a quarter mile of our house.  He's also an emotional eater.  I'm pretty sure that he would totally drink beer and eat pizza and pretzels every night, and would be a perpetually single man who yearned for a family of his own but never found Mrs. Right.  Or in this case, his owners chopped off his balls and he is never able to act on his crush on the neighbor's dog Rosie.  He's my baby, though, and the first pet I ever owned as an adult.  Or as a kid, really, except for an assortment of fish and that one frog that I caught from a pond and kept in my room and would feed crickets.  Do you know you can buy crickets?  And do you know how loud those fuckers are?  Never again...

We also have some fish.  Dorothy, Charlie's left overs from her Elmo obsessed days. There is also a sucker fish thingy that no one ever named, poor thing.  I'm not exactly sure, but they could both be plotting some kind of escape, Finding Nemo-style.  Or perhaps the sucker fish will really be the one to murder me in my sleep because we never bothered to name him.  If I ever wind up mysteriously dead, seriously, look at the pets.

I totally need this for my house.
Then there is the rabbit, Toby.  Actually, Toby II as the first Toby died the night I had my hysterectomy, giving the whole the rabbit died thing a new meaning.  Elizabeth maintains that it is totally fucked up that Alexis named the rabbit Toby again, but Alexis does what Alexis wants cause honey badger don't give a shit.  I've not quite put my finger on this guy, but he's not actively tried to kill me or hump me yet, and nor do I have any expectations of protection from him, so I guess he is all right.   Fucker better not die before fair, though, or I'm making all of us, Charles included, take a pregnancy test.



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Humor

Note:  Usually, around this time, I write about my son and his death and my struggles with this time of year.  It hasn't gotten any easier, even 7 years out.  This year, I am taking a bit of a different approach and will be writing a more lighthearted post.  I'm well known to use humor as a coping mechanism (see: me barely avoiding giggling like a school girl cause the chaplain at the hospital kept referring to Gabe as she and Charles kept trying to correct him to no avail...) so I figured that this year I would give that a shot.  If you are interested in reading about Gabe, there are posts here, here, here, here, here,  here, and here.


There comes a time, in everyone's work day, when you just know that you aren't going to be productive anymore.  It happens to the best of us.  It happened to me today.  Now, mind you, I was staring down the barrel of a 4 day weekend and was antsy to get the hell out of the office.  One of my coworkers came by, and we started to discuss various emergencies that we have worked on together.  We then tried to dissect the mind of people who deliberately try to commit their loved ones when they get mad at them.  We were unsuccessful.  Hell, there are days when I wish Charles would go to court and probate me to the psych ward.  I could use the break.  But only if I go to a swanky one.  Because you know, that is totally how the system works.

(FYI, it's totally not.)

This conversation then proceeded to devolve further into the wonders that we had seen while doing in-home therapy.  Mostly it revolved around the whole people wanting to do therapy in various stages of undress.  I mean, I am all for being comfortable in your own home, but for the love of God, therapy requires pants, people.

This then moved to the idea that pants were not optional in the office, except for strippers, but that they probably wanted to put their clothes ON at the end of their shift vs taking them off, and then to people sending penis pictures using company e-mail.  Again, the logic that goes into this was beyond us.  As my coworker said, "Sending someone a picture of your penis is like the opposite of romantic.  In fact, I think you may have skipped at least ten steps one would normally take before you get there.  Minimum."

Then, the conversation moved to serial killers keeping heads in their fridge because they accidentally decapitated them in the midst of their psychosis because they just kept killing people when they did not mean to.  We both agreed that it was a little frightening that we could follow the logic of keeping heads in the fridge because of accidental removal of said head from the body but not of sending penis pictures or feeling that pants were optional in the work place.  However, the conclusion that was reached was that both being pantless at work and decapitating people, accidental or otherwise, are probably no-no's in the scheme of life.  Additionally, being in a relationship where your go-to move when mad is to involuntarily commit your partner is probably not healthy.

I guess the take home from this conversation?  (Besides the fact that mental health workers are pretty disturbed in and of themselves?)  Apparently I understand the psychosis that leads to serial killing better than I understand misogynistic thought processes.  I always knew I would make a disturbing psychotic person vs a happy one.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Random VI

I have had for a while now a couple of ideas for posts that have been banging around in my head like two horny teenagers, but I've not been able to make any kind of cohesive post out of any of them.  Much to my disappointment, and I am sure the disappointment of the like four readers I have.  Sorry, bitchez, but I'm not a circus monkey that can perform on command.  I need some Viagra to get this party started, if you get my drift.  Or wine.  I'm not sure what Viagra will do to a female, and I'm kinda afraid to Google it.  Then I had a lovely epiphany...I can just write a post of random shit.  I have done this before.  In my defense...OK.  No fucking defense.  It's my blog and I can write whatever the hell I want to in it.


My children's pediatrician has recently started to confirm appointments by text message.  What is really hella cool, and super enabling of my continued social anxiety and avoidance of being an adult, is the fact that you can now also cancel appointments via text as well.  Pretty soon I am so not even going to ever have to talk to people again.  Well, except for that whole being a therapist thing.


One trend that I am trying to wrap my mind around is the whole concept of a food cart.  Look, bitchez...I've worked in a restaurant, several in fact.  Who the fuck thinks that it is a good idea to take an entire building and condense it into a horse trailer, where you can then move around like some kind of nomadic, gypsy restaurateur?  It seems pretty shady to me.  Ever see the movie Snatch?  Parkies are not to be trusted.  Neither are food carts, IMHO.


Along those lines, who the hell started this whole open letter thing?  Seriously, I just can't even with those things.  What an incredibly passive aggressive idea...let's just write to the entire fucking Interwebs when someone pisses you off.  And conversely, if you are thanking someone, let's totally NOT go up to that person in person but post an anonymous letter because God forbid that we should have social interactions with each other of a positive sort.  I mean, I am cool with texting my kids' docs, but open letters piss me off and serve as a justification for my wine consumption.


Magical things happen when I avoid laundry.  And by magical I mean my grandmother's peanut butter cookies, those delicious bombs of trans fats and diabetes.  I still have yet to decide if I like them cooked or raw better.  See, my family should THANK me for not engaging in the futility of laundry.  Really, I'm just trying to show my love through delicious peanut butter cookies.  Except to Charlie.  Peanut butter makes her gag.  But hey, all my actions can't be winners.


I've also been thinking a lot about the whole concept of hashtags.  Who the fuck thought of that name?  Who came up with the idea to put a # sign in front of shit?  And really, what purpose do they have on Facebook?  I've been trying to start my own hashtag, #textingwithalicia, but I only use it on Facebook.  Mostly because 90% of the time I forget I have a Twitter.  I'm a really bad Tweeter.  I have an Instagram too that I post, like, monthly on.  But really, has anyone ever considered that hashtags could be the way that pot heads keep track of content on the internet?  I mean, come one, HASHtags....I wonder if by using them I have been inadvertently enabling someone's weed habit.  Great, now I feel fucking guilty.  I thought I gave that all up when I stopped attending Catholic churches...

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Conversations XIII

Reading from Reddit:

Me:  Huh.  I'm glad we are not giraffes.

Charles: ?


Charles:  I would just head butt your head.

Me:  I know, right?  I'm glad for both of us here.  Me because I don't want to be head butted in the bladder, and you because you don't have to drink my pee.  That's just weird foreplay.

Long pause.

Charles: Uh, OK?

Me:  Well, I'm just sayin'...

Charles: (Shaking head.)  Well, you brought it up.  I'm perfectly ok with just having sex, OK?

Me:  Well, if there was ever anyone I would want to drink my pee, it would be you.

Charles: And I promise I won't head butt you anywhere but your head.


We would make lousy giraffes, apparently.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Shoes

I am fighting a never ending battle in this household.

Not about eating veggies, the importance of wiping front to back, or even about going to bed at night.  While all of these are very real struggles, there is one that trumps all battles and has escalated into full blown nuclear holocaust.

The fucking shoes.

Not only are my children (and to be perfectly honest, my husband (and to be even more honest, on rare occasions, me)) apparently genetically wired to accumulate as many pairs of shoes as possible, they lack the portion of DNA that handles putting them away.

Our house is small.  And very awkwardly put together.  Our house is the pre-pubescent tweenage boy of houses who just hit a growth spurt and possibly discovered a hair or two where there had not been one before.  Just like the man-boy, our house has dreams of one day growing up, learning to drive, and possibly getting to second base.  It is just all the awkward limbs and acne and voice cracking is getting in the way.

Or, since I am talking about my abode, rooms that lead to rooms, lack of closet space, rooms modernized after the fact with newfangled things like running water and electricity and asbestos-free insulation, a random addition that did not add much usable square footage, and one bathroom for five people, four of whom are female.

It's awkward.  I think you get it.

Anyways, since you abruptly enter our house and are immediately in the living room, I have had to carve out some kind of area where people could hang coats, take off shoes, and whatnot.  The problem is, during the winter, my husband has roughly 8 trillion coats and takes up every goddamned spot on the coat rack.  Plus there is a limited space for people to take off their shoes, and unfortunately when they do so they usually are having to schlep through whatever the people before them tracked into my house.  And if a lot of people are over, the shoes pile up.  It's really a fire hazard and thank God the fire marshal does not inspect the house because we'd get one hefty fine there, I tell you what.

What is worse, though, are the sheer number of shoes that we own as a family and trying to corral all of them.  I could have the kids put them up in their rooms...but there is a distinct lack of closet space and they would likely get lost in the abyss of their rooms, along with all matches to socks, library books, my sanity, and quite possibly other small children/mammals.

I have been struggling with how to organize all of the fucking shoes.  Not only shoes, but the 8 billion work boots my husband has to match his 8 billion coats.  Work boots are impossibly to store in a cute fashion.  Not that my house is cute, because it is all pre-pubescent boys and decorated in early poverty, but I do like to pretend occasionally that I'm all Pinterest savvy and gonna do my house up all Trading Spaces style.  I have tried numerous configurations.  Baskets, drawers, piles, shoe racks.  Nothing is ever a good solution.  This is the Good Housekeeping equivalent of the unsolvable equation in theoretical mathematics.  It is a mystery that will be studied and pondered on by future generations in much the same way that we marvel at Stonehenge and its seeming purposelessness. 

The current shoe situation is that each of the three girls has their own basket next to the love seat.  There is a shoe rack on the other side of the loveseat that has all of Charles's boots and the two other pairs of shoes he has that aren't work boots.  Then in our room, which is (awkwardly) off of the living room, I have all of my shoes in a two drawer dresser thingy and a basket.  It makes it tolerable, I guess.  Until it isn't and I have a nervous breakdown and am found in the corner of my house, wearing work boots and licking the heels of my stilettos while rocking back and forth and humming "Roxanne". 

I don't really have a clever way to end this post.  The shoe situation...kinda sucks.  It is awkward, just like my house and tweenage boys.  Oh, lookit there!  Hot damn, I found my ending!

Updated to add:  My husband feels that this post makes him look like a slob.  I asserted that it made him look like he has a work boot fetish.  We both concurred that neither was really all that flattering...so in his defense, I *may* have exaggerated by a few billion the number of work boots he has.  Like maybe 7.99999999 billion plus 4.  But in my defense, once upon a time, he may have had 8 pairs.

And don't criticize me if my math is wrong above.  I may or may not have had a drink or four tonight.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Growing

One of the running jokes in this household is the fact that Charlie's preschool pictures are pretty awful.  Like not that she looks terrible in them or anything, but that they are not cute little reflections of her preschool years that you see in magazines but rather reflections of the darker side of her personality.

It's really funny because she is generally a pretty cute child.  Except, of course, when she is shrieking like a banshee because I won't let her wear her plastic princess dress up shoes outside in a foot of snow.  During those times her head rotates 360*, Beelzebub does a voice dub for her, and she shoots you some angry eyes that the most hardened of prison inmates would find intimidating.  That blonde haired blue eyed innocent look she's going for is deceiving...don't let yourself forget that she was definitely born a red head (and I have the pictures to prove it!)  But other than that, she is a pretty angelic looking little baby.

There is something about getting in front of the camera at school that somehow brings out the clinically depressed or homicidal maniac in her.  I know this because I have pictures of pictures of her looking like this.  I generally don't buy school pictures because I'm trying desperately to check off ALL items on the lousy parent checklist (yes, I'm an overachiever) but I have been really tempted to get some of these just cause they are so fucking hilarious.  Hence, the pictures of pictures.  Mama's gotta budget, yo, and I can't keep buying wine and coffee if I have to fork out for school pictures.

The last set that we got takes the cake though.  This time, it wasn't because of being depressed or looking like a psychopathic killer.  This time, it was because it so completely captured her "I'm gonna do it my way and if you don't like it there's the door" personality.   As I am totally parent of the year (NOT!  See above...) I kinda forgot until the last minute that it was picture day.  Not that I was going to buy them, but I do try to get my kids looking halfway decent for the class picture.  I was not about to try to change her outfit up that morning as I generally don't function in the mornings.  Hence the picking out of the outfit the night before.  She picked out a great yellow t-shirt with big flowers on it, a pink tutu, and a lovely bright magenta headband.  Not too awful, right?

Then I saw the picture.

OMG.  She popped a hip out, one hand resting on it.  The headband she put around her hair, but then did not pull it through so she looked like some kind of Rambo/Hippie child (Char-Rambo, anyone?)  Her teacher told me she was adamant that her hair had to be like that.  It was amazing and awesome and totally captured her spirit.  Plus, she did not look like the poster child for an antidepressant, which was a bonus.  It was Charlie to the nth degree.

I will continue to marvel at the way that my children are growing and becoming their own persons.  Hell, Elizabeth is going to be 18.  Eight.  Teen.  As in, legally an adult.  As in, she gets to vote in the next presidential election.  As in, she could go get all kinds of tattoos and piercings if she wanted.  As in, legally responsible for her actions.  Just...holy fuck. And Alexis...she wants to get up and do a solo for competition.  Alexis.  The shy little girl who hated everyone as an infant and cried every class for the first month of ballet...doing a solo competitively.  It blows my mind.

It still amazes me that they let me take these kids home from the hospital.  I mean, those physicians and nurses obviously did not know me on a personal level if they thought that it would be a good idea to let me raise children...or even leave me with them for extended periods of time unsupervised.  The fact that my kids are as awesome as they are; that they are growing and healthy and on the path to being productive members of society...that is all them.  Their minds, their personalities, their souls...they are all beautiful.

I just hope that I am able to undo what society will try to tell them.  That they aren't beautiful enough, skinny enough, smart enough...any kind of enough.  I hope they learn as they grow that they DO have what it takes to be whatever they want, to do whatever they want.  I hope that they embrace their love of pink tutus and hippie hairstyles; that they grow to love themselves despite other people trying their damnedest to get them to despise themselves for a myriad of reasons.

I hope they keep growing.  And that they will look back on these kinds of pictures and laugh as much as I have.  Because they are beautiful and humorous and a damn good reflection of their growth and emergence as their own women.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Cars

Life likes to request weird sex acts (like enacting foot fetish fantasies with peanut butter and a pumice stone) just when I was expecting a romantic cuddle, especially when it comes to vehicles.

I should have known that this was going to be a recurring issue.  Charles and I were married for less than 24 hours when, on our way to our honeymoon, the transfer case on his 4 wheel drive broke.  On the frightening and confusing stretch of highway that is otherwise known as the PA turnpike.  In the middle of a construction zone.  At 4 PM.  On a Sunday.  Super fun times and not at all a stressful way to start life as a married couple...

Then, about a year and a half later, I get t-boned and total my car.  It was the first time I've had the wind knocked out of me AND had my back thrown out at the same time and again, super fun times were had by all involved.  A month later?  Charles hits a concrete pole and totally dents in the side of his truck.  A year later?  Driving to grad school in the Jeep Liberty I got (you know, to replace the totaled car...) in a snowstorm and I ditch the fucker.

Really, we aren't as bad of drivers as I am making us out to be.

Things get really exciting now that there are THREE licensed drivers in the house.  Elizabeth drives the worst car ever.  No seriously, it's a piece of shit.  1990 Geo Prizm.  The bumper is zip tied on.  Well, mostly.  There may also be some drywall screws holding it into place as well.  It is fabulous in its awfulness. 

The wheel bearing was going out in the car.  Like, the wheel had a distinct diagonal tilt.  Thank God for a handy hubby, who was fixing it.

But...foot fetish.

He had to take the bearing to work to press it in.  Then realized that he needed a seal or some shit.  So he drove around to three different auto parts stores.  Got the part.  Opened the box.  It was wrong.  The box LIED.  He took that back, and, like the two other stores before, was told that they could have it tomorrow.  Not gonna mothafucking work, buddy.  There is school and work tomorrow.  Shits gotta get fixed today!  Decides to go to another store...they have it.  Hallelujah!  The cuddle and romance are coming!

Just kidding!

On the way home, he slams on his brakes to avoid a collision with a bale of hay that comes flying off the back of a truck in front of him.  Something goes crunch, and it ain't the hay.  Not a good sound to hear.  Then...trying to turn into the driveway, he does not get very far.  Something is not right.  No time to figure it out as there is dance and dinner to contend with.

I get home to a flat tire on the Jeep (when he changed the brakes this weekend, he did not screw a bolt down enough and it came loose, putting a small hole in the rim), the Prizm jacked up with the wheel off, and a harried husband who is trying to calculate the odds of rain in case he needs to drive the motorcycle to work tomorrow cause all the other vehicles are broken.  Super duper fun times!

I hope I am still respected in the morning.  I will never look at peanut butter the same again.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Insanity

If doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity, then any person who has ever cleaned their house is likely to be certifiable.

I spent the better part of three hours today scrubbing my floors and baseboards.  Like, on my knees, and not in the way that makes my husband really happy.  Moving furniture, sweeping with a broom AND a vacuum, physically scrubbing the floors till they shined...the whole nine yards.

Then the family came in from outside.

Now, it's spring.  I hate spring to the point I felt it necessary to document why on the Internet.  And while the weather is unseasonably cold so the ground is still frozen, the snow has already melted, and we have not gotten any rain for the past few days (AKA, no mud), there is still all kinds of shit to track in on my nice clean floors besides mud.  Like pine needles.  Dried, crumpled leaves from last fall.  Or dog hair.

Dear God, the dog hair.  Who had the great idea to get both a border collie/husky mix and a Malamute mix?  Plus a cat and a Jack Russell Terrier?  Animals fucking shed, people.  And its not all nice and contained like when a snake sheds their skin.  Oh, no.  That shit gets everywhere.  Even when the fuckers aren't in the house, I still find dog hair.  I've considered opening my own dog toupee making business or donating to Locks of Love, Doggy Style.  Is that a thing?  If it isn't it should be.  I'd totally donate, and not just because I am sick of the hair all over my house.  Strictly because the name is made of awesome.

It is always this way though.  I get the house clean and everyone around me comes and systematically undoes what I just did.  Then I fume and grumble, and clean it again.  And the cycle goes on and on, like the housekeeping version of Groundhog Day.

I'm really bad about making my family clean up after themselves.  Mostly because I know (and unfortunately they know) that I will go crazy with the mess way before they will.  And of course, no one in the house ever actually makes the mess.  It's the gremlins who apparently come out when I've just fucking cleaned to spill that juice on the floor and leave it for Mom to clean.  Because we just like to really fuck with her head and see exactly how well her meds are working today.  Those gremlins are ASSHOLES sometimes.  Why can't they do something useful, like leave random margaritas lying around the house instead of random dishes that you may or may not need a haz-mat suit on first to be able to safely put them in the dishwasher?

So yeah.  It makes me feel a little bit better, though, to know that at least some aspects of my crazy aren't unique to me.  It's the feeling of community and of having a tribe, doncha know?  You aren't in this fight alone.  You aren't the only one who secretly wishes the family would stay outside just for an hour longer so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor for more than 5 minutes.  You aren't the only one who despises the gremlins who anonymously leave a sticky, crumb filled trail of destruction in their invisible wakes.

Makes me wonder, though, if a better definition of insanity is doing the same thing, knowing the result you are going to get is not a satisfactory one, yet doing it anyways.  Either/or.  I think I've made my case.

Cleaning is insanity.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Judging

I never knew the sting of a contemptuous stare until I had to stand in line at DJFS to resubmit my paperwork for the voucher for daycare so I could finish college.

I never knew the frustration of wanting to defend myself to those people because I was getting government help until I had to pretend to hold my head high as I walked past them and heard their not so subtle comments about the teenage mother.

I never knew that fake tattoos only stay on a child's cheek forever if you have pictures scheduled until I had to scrub one off of a pissed off child.

I never knew the struggle of infertility until I lost pregnancy after pregnancy.

I never knew that there would be women jealous that I could even *get* pregnant until I lost pregnancy after pregnancy.

I never knew the knife that twisted in your heart as a bereaved parent until I had to pick up the remains of a dead child from the crematory.

I never knew the soul crushing weight of depression until the day I did not want to get out of bed.

I never knew the hurt of losing a pet until I had to bury a dog.

I never knew that alcohol was not, in fact, the answer until I woke up the next day with a splitting headache and vague memories of what (and who) I *think* I had done the night before.

I never knew the stats about sexual abuse were so under reported that they are practically useless because they do not show the true story until I started to hear the victim's stories.

I never knew that people with schizophrenia DO want to work until I saw it be done.

I never knew that it was so hard to be poor until I was actually poor myself and had to figure out how to feed my child.

I never knew that yes, it is important to get regular oil changes until I blew up the motor.

I never knew that the parents who's child is screaming in the aisles at the grocery store may not be lazy, worthless, abusive parents of said child but may have a special needs child.  Or a difficult child.  Or a child who is simply having a really bad day.

I never knew that children had so much personality until I started to work with them.

I never knew that I would be judged on the quality of my womanhood if I had my uterus removed, until I had it removed.

I never knew that the food I was eating was slowly killing me until I lost, then gained back, weight.

I never knew the extent that men feel entitled to women's bodies and the extent to which they feel free to comment, stare, and then be pissed when they don't get what they feel entitled to, until I lost a bunch of weight.

I never knew the price often exacted from our servicemen and women until I had family members have to pay that price.

I never knew the agony of sleepless nights worrying about money until I had to rob Peter to pay Paul who was robbed last month to pay Samuel...

I never knew how much I judged others until I realized how much I in turn was judged by others, despite feeling that I had no reason to be judged.

And...I never fully understood the idea of not judging other's battles until your hands are clean until I was judged, found lacking, and then realized that their hands were just as dirty as mine.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Ice

Completely non-weather related ice, that is.

Among the many talents that my family has, including the ability to completely ignore a pile of used paper towels that did not make it to the garbage can and the ability to tolerate television volumes that the partially deaf would only *just* be able to hear, the most disappointing is the lack of ability to fill up the ice cube trays.

What's that, you say?  People still USE ice cube trays?

Yes.  When we moved into our house, we had to buy all appliances.  Mostly because the place we lived in before, the appliances were olive green.  Plus they were older than we were.  Plus I'm pretty sure that the appliances were worth more than the trailer (yes, feel free to make the jokes about trailer trash.  I'd do it again. Lot rent was $145, bitchez, and when we moved we sold the place and pocketed the cash.  We sold it to a registered sex offender's father, unfortunately, who then rented it out to the sex offender...but we did not know that at the time.  Imagine my surprise when signing up for the alerts for our area and having our former address come up.  Uh, honey?  Something you want to tell me?)

Seriously, how have I never been evaluated for ADHD?

Anyways, new appliances.  Since we were still living just above the poverty level, we bought a pretty basic fridge.  It had an ice maker; however it did NOT include the equipment to hook it up.  We kept saying, "Oh, we'll go get that eventually..."  But never did, obviously.  Since it is now, ahem, 10 years later.

Which leads  me to ice cube trays.  They more often than not look like this:

Yes.  One ice cube.  Been that way since Thursday.

I once let the ice situation go for an entire month.  ONE MONTH.  I was really curious as to how long it would take.  Then I remembered that my children are blood related to me and I *might* be known for my stubbornness.  Plus it was getting warmer out and I might have wanted vodka and lemonade instead of wine.  I filled it up.  Pick your battles, bitchez, and this one involved alcoholic beverages.  In a roundabout way.
I guess it is nice to know that my family knows that I will take care of the little shit, like the ice cube trays, immunizations, and preparation for the zombie apocalypse (though to be fair, the small arsenal my hubby has really contributes to zombie apocalypse preparedness).  But of course, the anxiety then takes over and makes me fear that I am being a helicopter parent and creating codependent, helpless leeches on society.  And that we will all succumb to the zombie apocalypse and end up scruffy, unbathed, craving brains, and with rotting flesh hanging off of us.  Dammit, I work super hard to make sure we don't look like that!  And I've never been a fan of organ meat either...what will I eat???

Then I remember how Elizabeth once, at the age of five, stood up to someone who's kid had broken a (Spanish speaking and very expensive) Barbie of hers and then had falsely accused her of making the story up....and she totally held her ground.  And won, and was proven right.  I remember how Alexis is perfectly content to do her own thing at home, school, and dance, and honey badger don't give a shit what others think.  I remember how Charlie, at the age of 10 months, learned how to crawl up the stairs before she could even walk because her sisters were up there and that was where she wanted to be and dammit, she was tired of waiting for her slow ass parents to take her up there.

Then I go and get the last ice cube and pour myself a drink.  Because pretending to parent responsibly tends to leave one parched and emotionally drained.  Gonna kill two birds with one stone with this drink here...

Monday, February 2, 2015

Snow

So I am supposed to be recuperating from my hysterectomy, right?  And part of that is that I am supposed to be resting.  Not cleaning, vacuuming, doing laundry, sweeping the floors. 

Right.

It is kind of hard to do this when the children keep NOT having school.  I mean, seriously, where the fuck was all of this snow during Christmas?  You know, when it would actually be welcome?  It started snowing early Sunday morning, and it did not stop until Monday afternoon.  Some places even got the joy of snow, then rain, then snow on top of that.  Because Mother Nature apparently got cranky at the horrible play calls for the Superbowl so she decided to torture everyone.  Way to take your aggression out on Northeast Ohio, MOTHER.  Other people who do that get charged with felonious assault.

We don't even live in the fucking snow belt, where they expect this kind of snow.  Not that we were unprepared for it.  I live in Ohio, land of the really really crappy weather no matter what season.  Snowpocalypse does not scare me.  Hell, chances are if it is above 20* I'll be heading to the grocery store without a cumbersome coat.  I get annoyed when school is closed just because of snowy roads (ice is understandable).  In other words...It's old hat.

But not when I am supposed to be relaxing.  And that is hard enough to begin with.  And the little girls have picked up a new habit.  Of fighting.  Over everything.  Constantly.  It's super cute, in the way that that stupid groundhog is super cute until you realize that the fucker is predicting 6 more weeks of winter.

I was running out of ideas to entertain them.  I gave them Mr. Clean Magic Erasers for a while, and that kept them busy for an hour.  (Bonus:  the walls going upstairs are now clean!)  I even turned the TV on, but that only led to a fight over what to watch.  In desperation, I did what any good Ohio mother would do.

I bundled their asses up and made them play outside.

It was 17* with a foot of snow, plus it was still coming down.   I really could not go out there with them, as that would involve me actually putting real pants on vs the yoga pants I have been living in for the last two weeks.  Plus, you know:  supposed to be resting.  I sent them out by themselves and left the door open to watch them.

It wore their asses out.  By the time they came in, their cheeks and noses red as can be, I could see it.  The cold took the fight right out of them.  They were ready to behave, if only because they were too tired to try to start an argument.

It's almost enough to make me wish that there was snow year round.  Then I mentally wallop myself upside the head and remember:  Swimming pool does the same in the summer.

Score one for another awesome parenting moment!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hysterectomy

On Friday, I went into the hospital to have a few spare parts removed in what my work apparently deemed to be a solely cosmetic procedure based upon their reaction to me taking three weeks off after having a couple of organs removed.  This has got to be one of the most solid adult decisions that I have ever made. I have zero regrets about the surgery. I tried to get my doctor to do some additional rummaging in there to remove any other potentially problematic spare parts, like my appendix or the excess stomach fat I have, but he wasn't as excited about that as I was.  He was more about the fact that a robot named DaVinci was going to be doing the surgery.  This isn't as sexy as it sounds, folks...really the doc is the one controlling it, so it's more like a really big, expensive remote control car.  Or scalpel, if you will.  My sister was all disappointed that it was not an actual robot doing the surgery, but I was kinda glad because I recently had a conversation with a client about when the robots become aware and take over the world, and that woulda just hit a little too close to home for comfort...

Despite her disappointment, my sister did her best to comfort me in my time of need.  She did it in the only way the Lambkins family knows how:  through food and humor.  She totally would have brought me alcohol too, I know she would have, but I was still on the Vicodin at that point and that might not have been a good idea.  Or maybe it would have been a good idea because I keep trying to do shit around the house like laundry and picking stuff up, and if I don't sit my ass down and stay still my lady parts are gonna end up getting further mauled when they have to re-stitch me back together.  But maybe then I could convince the doctor to do some extra nipping and tucking....or perhaps I should have had this conversation with the robot?

I digress.  She made me a cake.  A wonderful, sparkly, purple uterus (because naturally, that was what my uterus looks like.  Duh.). And cupcake ovaries.  With RIP written on the right one because that one was removed. Then she printed off Happy Hysterectomy because she couldn't get it to fit on the cake in frosting.


Here is the inspiration for the cake:

Notice the boring, flesh colors.  Not fun at all.

Here is the actual, far superior cake:
 Purple, sparkly, and fabulous.  It was amazing.

Folks...I come by it honestly.  But in all seriousness...why aren't hysterectomy cakes a thing?  Or cards, for that matter...personally I would like one that says "That wonderful moment, when you realize...you will never have to ever worry about pregnancy again."  Now I realize that not everyone is as excited about reproductive organ removal as I am...but I really feel that there might be an overlooked market here for an aspiring entrepreneur.  
Only downside...the laughter makes your incisions hurt.  But that is where the Vicodin comes in.  And the alcohol.  Just not together, bitchez...safety first!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Insidious

As I was driving home from work tonight, I was admiring the way that the snow was drifting and blowing ethereally across the roadways, kinda wispy and mystical.  Then I started to skid a bit and my immediate thought was "Imma find that bitch Elsa and cut her frozen ass."

The number of times that I find myself in very adult situations and come up with a reference to children's programming is truly alarming.  And get your mind out of the gutter, pervs...while I'm as nasty as the rest of y'all, I'm actually just referring to every day adult situations and not just the boudoir.  What's really sad is that I actually watch very little TV.  I am *that* parent that is always making my children do things like get off their asses and go play, preferably outside.  Or at least get Mama a refill on her wine to wash down this Xanax.

I can't tell you the number of times I have had to restrain myself from asking "Do you need to poop?"
when someone complains of stomach pain.  I distinctly remember one time in a graduate class, working on a team project with three other women (all in their early 20's, single, with no children).  Something did not go right and I let loose with a "Rut-Ro!" in my best Scooby-Doo voice.  Two of them looked at me like I grew a third nipple out of my eyeballs, but the third just laughed and said, "I can tell you have kids."

Those sneaky little bastards totally take over your life.  I don't know that I know how to have an adult conversation any more without some kind of reference to kid stuff.  I probably have bored my coworkers to death and back to life again with my stories of my children.  (Wait...does this mean I work with zombies?  Freaky, but explains A LOT...especially the irritability as I would imagine being the undead would make one pretty cranky...)  I'm willing to bet that there is probably an underground betting pool of when my kids will finally drive me to the psych ward or to get arrested.  Or maybe even to get arrested on the way to the psych ward.  Hell, go big or go home, right?  I mean, most parents are bumbling idiots according to children's shows, right?  So truly, I AM kinda expected to do both at some point in my life.  May as well kill two birds with one stone.

And let's just discuss how parents are portrayed here for a minute.  Now, I am not necessarily a goddamned ninja or anything, but I like to believe that if my beloved (new) spouse was trying to poison my ass or to drive a wedge between me and my children, I'd go all seriously pissed off Samurai on their ass and boot them to the curb.  But how many times are either the marriages seriously dysfunctional because one partner is totally unaware of the other trying to off them, or is there some other really evil adult lurking in the shadows waiting to take over the kingdom?  If that were to happen now, I'd be all like, "DUDE.  LOOK AT MY HOUSE.  YOU ARE INHERITING MY MOUNTAINS OF LAUNDRY AND THE MANY JUICE BOXES MY CHILDREN LIKE TO HIDE IN THE COUCH CUSHIONS TO FUCK WITH MY SANITY, ALONG WITH THE PILES OF DOG SHIT IN THE YARD.  IT'S ALL YOURS, MOTHAFUCKER."  Do children really view their parents as this inept?  I like to think that I recognize evil.  And that I am only inept enough to add, say, 6 months of therapy to my children's ever growing time.

Perhaps this is the way that the nebulous "they" are going to take over the world.  It starts with the insidious but seemingly innocuous Disney songs that get stuck in your head.  "Do you wanna build a snowman?"  I dare, DARE, any parent out there to read that last sentence and not sing it.  You can't fucking do it, can you?  It's THAT pervasive.  Next thing you know you will be a slave to the likes of Dora, Callilou, and Elmo, while secretly admiring the style of iCarly characters and thinking that Steve from Blue's Clues is kinda hot.

Perhaps there is more to the Doc McStuffins theme song than meets the eye..."This will only tickle a little"...perhaps they are referring to the insertion of their characters into the very fabric of our being...

Or maybe I just need to get out of the house more.