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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Letters II

I had originally thought that I might be up to writing one of those letters people used to send out around Christmas every year on this blog, but let's be honest here bitchez...I usually can't be arsed to commit to anything that serious as I have a hard time choosing the appropriate shopping cart in the grocery store,  I can't even pretend that it is going to be an every other year thing as the last (and, well, the first really) was in 2013.  2016 has been a super special year, though, so I figured that it deserved a letter as well.  Enjoy, and happy holidays!

Dear Bitchez,

Well, 2016 has been quite a year.  And not just for this family, really, but for the nation as a whole...staring with Harambe and ending with Donald Trump and some super fun conversations with my daughters as to why slightly less than half of the nation thought it would be OK to vote for someone who lacks the appropriate knowledge of the female anatomy and thinks that you can grab women by their pussies in an attempt to get them in bed.  Seriously, Donald, if you are gonna be a misogynistic douchebag, at least make your pathetic attempts at exuding toxic masculinity somewhat believable.  No one grabs women by their pussies.  Hair, maybe.  Pussies, no.

This letter has gotten off to a great start, just like 2016 did for us!  Sadly for my husband, there was not as much talk of felines as there was of surgery and physical therapy and being off of work for 5 months.  The good news was that he was able to stay at home with the little girls this summer while he healed.  The bad news was that he had a slight look of despair in his eyes most of those days, but let's be honest, he is married to me so that *might* have had something to do with it.  Don't worry, he's back at work now.  He totally missed the mismanagement and politics of his job, and was super excited to return to the news of no Christmas party or raises this year!  Go team!

I left my former employer and went to private practice full time.  So far, the reduction in stress has been worth it and I have remembered that I am in fact an adult who is capable of things such as time management and good decision making skills.  Waiting for the insurance companies to pay up sucks monkey balls, but the trade off is totally worth it.  Charles also decided to go and buy me a new to me vehicle that was more reliable for the longer commute since the van only had like 191K miles on it and was in totally great shape.  If a heap of rusted metal with sometimes working parts constitutes "great" shape....

Elizabeth has graduated from high school and started college.  She so far seems to be loving it and has managed to get a paid job running social media.  She claims that the only reason she got it was because it is for the practice I am working at; however I only tried to extend nepotism to getting her an unpaid internship.  She did all the work involved in getting them to pay her.

Alexis continues to barrel full speed toward puberty, which I look forward to with as much anticipation as I do things such as my yearly pap and a colonoscopy.  She has continued to dance in competitions and to date has not descended into any kind of unsavory behaviors as a result, so I'm thinking that was a solid parenting decision there.  High five for me!

Charlie decided to stop competition, briefly did gymnastics, then returned to the dance studio for acro classes.  She started kindergarden this year, on the same day Elizabeth moved into college.  This worked super well except for the fact that I had managed to injure my groin in a misguided attempt to start running to better myself, and this turned into a massive ball of suck to try to move her into college and then come visit while limping/on crutches.  It also worked super well while trying to get a five year old ready for kindergarden.  Yeah, I try not to think about the kindergarden/college thing too much....

It has been a bad year to be an animal in our household, too. Unless you are Reggie, then the prepping and ninja skills will serve you well.  It started out with Bean getting mauled to death by Deogie, possibly from the frustration of not being allowed to hump Angel.  I am sure the aftermath of this did not add to any therapy needs Elizabeth has AT ALL.  Then, Angel passed away as well.  She went fairly quickly and unexpectedly...started to pee a lot, and then died before we could get her to the vet.  Then, Spartacus died unexpectedly shortly after this as well.  Nothing like losing three animals in rapid succession to generate some super fun talks with the little girls!

All in all, things have been just a wonderful ball of change around this house!  And stress.  And uncertainty.  So super fun and exciting and not at all anxiety-provoking!  Here's hoping that 2017 has a little less of the change that 2016 has.

Merry Christmas!

Laura, Charles, Elizabeth, Alexis, and Charlie


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Minimalism

There is this thing going around the internet lately: The Minimalism Game.

The basic idea is that you start on the first day of the month, and eliminate one thing from your household.  Second day, two things; third day, three things, etc., etc.  I need something to distract myself from November as it is generally a month full of suck for me, so I figured why the hell not.  I can only do the thirty days of thankfulness thing on Facebook so many times.  We get it.  I'm blessed to even be in a position to be able to whine about having so many things to be blessed about.  Insert hashtag firstworldproblems.  I was looking for something different this year.

(Aside here...Alexis showed me a pound sign tonight and I told her it was a pound sign.  She said, "You mean hashtag?"  I clung to my defense of it being a pound sign.  They don't say on the automated phone thingies to press the hashtag, now, do they?  I rest my case.)

So far, I have faithfully thrown away, donated, or somehow eliminated items for 20 days straight.  It actually hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be, which raises concerns for me that I may not be just crazy, but hoarder crazy.  Like seriously, I know we have lived in this house for over 10 years now, but dear God, when did we collect so much shit?  On one day alone, I threw away 11 medicine dispensers.  Eleven.  Like, why didn't I just tell Walgreens after the first three that I didn't need any more medicine dispensers?  And one would think that they could have seen in their computer that this is like the 8th antibiotic I had gotten for Charlie because of ear infections in 6 months (wish I was joking here...she totally got tubes...) and that it is likely I did not need yet another dispenser.  And why did I keep just tossing them into the silverware drawer?

Now in my defense, I do feel that we have an especially deep silverware drawer and that they honestly did just get shoved to the back.  But that does not explain all of the other crap I have been able to eliminate.

Old shampoo and conditioners from hotel stays.  Expired OTC meds and sunscreen.  Old toys and dress up clothes that no longer fit the little girls.  Freezer burnt food from the bottom of the chest freezer.  Jars.  Holy fuck, when did I accumulate so many jars and why was I keeping them?  And the paper...OMG, the amount of old receipts, instruction manuals for items we no longer have, warranty cards for baby items...I am continually surprised at my ability to find things to get rid of with little to no effort.

When I started this, I fully anticipated the last few days being me taking a pair of shoes, removing the shoelaces, and counting that as four items.  It has been surprisingly refreshing to purge this household in a deeper way than I usually do when I purge stuff.  It's not just eliminating the papers brought home from school or clothes that don't fit.  It's getting rid of baggage from the past in a way.  Those medicine droppers, a time when Charlie was constantly sick with an ear infection.  The dress up clothes, a time when the girls were little and required help to get them on and off when now they are pretty self-sufficient.  The instruction manuals, a time when whatever item we had was shiny and new, but now is no longer needed/wanted.

It has been surprisingly refreshing to participate in this game.  Maybe there is something to be said for the whole "less is more" thing.  Maybe I can pretend that it was all of this stuff that was driving my crazy to be...well, crazy.  Maybe the challenge is simply a welcome distraction from my dad dying, my dead son's due date, the unpleasantness of the election, and the general suck that is November in Ohio.

Or maybe I became a hoarder without knowing it and this is my wake up call.  Who knows.  I'd ponder this more, but I have to figure out what 21 items I am going to eliminate tomorrow.