Published October 17, 2016 by sarcasmica

I have always thought of myself as a pretty strong person. Maybe this is an inflated ego or a shallow self-important view, but it’s the truth. I’ve been through some shit and seen some things others might consider anti normal or even crazy. This weekend has brought me to a strange place.

 My father’s birthday rolls around once a year as birthdays often do. The unfortunate part is that he’s not around to blow out the candles. He died 15 years ago. For fifteen years I feel his loss more than other days a guaranteed twice a year. The date he died and the date he lived. October 15, 1946 was his birthday. He could never in my whole life remember the day I was born, but here I am still mentally ticking it off in my head year after year. (The day he died was December 9, 2001)

This post is not about that. Just one event of many this weekend. Our state has been bracing for an epic twice-in-a-lifetime storm. Generators sold out, batteries sold out, gas lines a block long. My husband was out of town for this, so it was ultimately my responsibility to prepare everything. Flashlights, water, bread, lemon bars, cookies, you know, basic needs. I did it. I prepared the shit out of this house! I pulled in patio furniture, I disassembled patio umbrellas, I asked the neighbor to hook up the RV battery. We were READY. 

We got rain, we got a wind gust, the power flickered off……. 10 seconds later it was back on and the storm was over. My kids were crying -disappointment the power didn’t go out! I was happy trees didn’t have to be removed from windows or cars or bodies, but my kids were mad the flashlights were once again a novelty and not a necessity. I offered to cut the power all day Sunday but they protested, “That would be booooooriiiiing!”

Sunday morning my cat decides around 4:30am things needed to be shaken up. She began relentlessly pawing at my bedroom door. It was a battle of wills. Hers was to get me up and incite my fury, mine was to squeeze the pillow as tight over my head as possible to not hear it. 

She won. I got up and hissed at her. She intelligently ran. An hour later it started again, but this time she ran into my room and under the bed. Something she never ever does. I fell back asleep with images of bears and/or coyotes and/or clowns prowling around downstairs and mentally put together escape plans for each scenario….so that I didn’t have to actually get up and check downstairs. That never ends well in the movies. I still have no idea why she behaved so strangely but it made the morning events that much more numb from sleep deprivation. 

After crawling downstairs once the kids were up, I check the bathroom mirror to assess the situation with my newly infected bottom TADs. (The 4 screws that were put in my upper & lower jaws four weeks ago) 

WARNING: this is where the gross begins. Proceed with caution

Right… mirror, gums: Still squishy. Still puss. Still big blisters gaining momentum towards surrounding teeth. Oddly no real pain, though, just a serious Nasty Factor. I rinse with warm salt water, spit, notice one inflammation has maxed out and now burst. 

Fucking gross. Why me? Why now? Why at all?! 

I like to think most people would react the same way, but I tested the tissue out after rinsing away the gore. I gently touch my finger tip to the swollen tissue, it remains intact. I gently touch the screw head and hear, “CRACK!”. I gasp. My kids shout from the other room, “What happened mom?!” I see the entire screw shift inside my jaw, below my teeth and it becomes clear what must happen next. 

I have to shut the kids up.

“What mom?! What happened?! I heard you gasp!”

They didn’t actually come to see. No one decided the sound warranted an expedition all the way to the next room. No. Mom reacts so much better to a situation when she has to field answers to two separate children in two different rooms all while speaking with what obviously sounds like a hand is in her mouth. 

“My screw just came loose!”

They react. I’m still staring in horror as my soul leaves my body so I can handle this. I watch myself grab the head of the screw and pull the entire thing straight out of my jaw bone. 

This was the pinnacle of my strength. 

What the fuck just happened?! This 3/4 inch skinny screw that still had tissue and matter attached is now in my hand as my kids are “Ewe”ing and “Blech!”ing from elsewhere. 

Talk about a nervous breakdown. 

I rinsed, I pulled it together. My daughter immediately asked to see it, my son did not. I managed, after much pacing and frantic calls to dental parties, to move right along. 

I tell you what, I thought I was strong. I thought I could handle some shit. After today’s little ordeal I am more impressed with myself than ever!! 

Until I have to go see the oral surgeon tomorrow who will need to remove the other TAD that is even more angry and infected than the ejected one. 

I know people are going through horrible awful events in this world like floods and disease and death and starvation. That makes me feel humbled and very small. But y’all, I just pulled a surgically placed piece of metal that was screwed into my face out of my jaw with my bare hands!! Tell me that is not cape-worthy and horrific all at the same time! 

(Now 2 of the 4 are out, and yes that is bone attached to the TAD! 😖😱 (temporary anchoring device)

The New (School) Year

Published October 13, 2016 by sarcasmica

My kid is going to be in middle school next year. When he was born, getting through the colic and the shaping helmet and physical therapy were all-consuming. I never thought we’d make it to 1 without a healthy dose of green skin and a penchant for brains.

But we did it.

When he was 2 and getting in trouble at daycare for biting, and the daily scene of trying to drop him off and experiencing the screaming abandonment horrifying sobs and screams I never thought we’d make it to preschool.

But we did

And in preschool when the teachers began the long road of meetings and conferences and concerned behavior charts and feedback, I thought I would never get him to kindergarten – against the preschool’s recommendation

But we did

And in Kindergarten, when the teacher had to break down his days to five and ten minute increments to find the positive reinforcement opportunities, I just began to think it was always going to be a struggle. We continued on through specialists – Speech, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy – learning centers, IEP teams, doctors, prescriptions, diagnosis, guilt, worry, anxiety.

School is one more road navigated by squeaky wheels and parent advocates when it comes to kids outside the box. Every year we start over. Every year the cheerleading begins again and all you want is for each teacher to see that yes, this kid means extra work. Yes, you are already overworked, yes you are not paid anywhere near your actual value. Every parent in that school believes that. But my kid will require you to work more. Work differently. Work outside the very narrow box the school board and district allow you, but as hard as it is for you, the parents have to do it year in and year out. You have my kid for one year. Take him, teach him, appreciate the way he learns because he will not be the only kid who will benefit. Whatever strategy you use – and there will be more than one – understand that you are responsible for the foundation of the rest of his educational life. Just waiting out the year with him in your class is a disservice to yourself, his friends, his family, and most of all him.

Every year we get to look at each other around a table and reassess the needs of my kid. I will push. I will question. I will even tear up and maybe cry a bit. I am tough for him, but I am not tough when it comes to him. I’m a marshmallow of a mom who just wants her kid to have a shot at being average. That’s right! I’m pushing for grade level, regular old average learning. I know how hard he has to work to attain that and I’m ok with that. He knows the value of taking care of his friends. He understands how to respect his teachers. He is a bright, original, eager science lover. He has an ear for music. He thoroughly enjoys P.E. (if you don’t expect him to run) He treasures recess with his best friend. He’s more than the multiple choice answer required by the state on tests he vaguely understands every single year.

But he’ll work for you if you give him the chance to. And here we go again fighting for the chance to let my kid just be a regular 5th grade boy who already has crushes, is a fantastic reader, and is discovering a love for writing.

Sponsored by: IBUPROFEN 🙂


Published October 5, 2016 by sarcasmica

Fall has begun here in the Pacific Northwest. This is my favorite time of year. Crisp air, long lost rain, Halloween, and the best ever: the color changes. As if this place couldn’t get much more colorful, fall starts the decent of leaves from branch down to the ground.

Growing up in California fall simply meant boots….at night… that one time it rained. Texas doesn’t have fall. It’s just slightly less time you have your a/c on and Arizona was no different than Texas.

Here in Washington, everything explodes for about three weeks, then it all drops. It’s nothing you can really plan, either. It’s not like you could pinpoint an exact perfect week to visit and be guaranteed the colors will be maxed out before it all hits the ground. This year it seems to be the consensus that the leaves began changing early. Before fall had really even begun.

Given my new hobby of photography this was a perfect opportunity to practice some pics. Hope you enjoy them🙂



Published September 20, 2016 by sarcasmica

I’ve written stupidly about my dental woes in the past. It’s unexciting to say the least. It’s also not really all that relatable, i’m sure. Who has 7 baby teeth as an adult? Lots of people might retain a couple, but seven?!

Anyway, yesterday was my maiden voyage into Nitris Land. I’ve never had laughing gas for anything because i’ve never had to be put under any kind of anesthesia other than what is necessary for child birth – and yes. it is necessary to this momma!

I had to have TADs put into my head. See, I’ve had braces since May, but my current root system in my teeth is so juvenile and incapable, my options were to add screws to my jaw bone for more leverage or get head gear so the braces could actually move my teeth where they need to go.

It’s bad enough i’m a (7 days from) 40 year old with braces, but I have to draw the line at head gear at my age. Call me vain.

So my orthodontist referred me off to an oral surgeon to put them in. What the hell are they?

And let me just say for the record, I am SOOO glad I waited to google this thing. The images are not pretty. See that itty bitty screw? That goes above your teeth into your skull/jaw bone. I got four put in. One in each front quadrant.

I could make a list of all the things I’d rather go and do again, but frankly the meds are keeping me from spending that kind of time on this. Let’s just say it begins with a papsmear and ends with changing a tire… in the rain… at night … in Texas.

Up until the point my fat ass was in the chair, everyone kept telling me “it’s no big deal. you don’t have nerves ‘up there’ so it really isn’t going to be that bad” (note to self: all the people saying these ridiculous things haven’t actually had to get these screwed into their own heads) Also, at the time of course it isn’t “that bad” because you’re numbed. It’s the AFTER that sucks balls. There may not be nerves where the screw sits, but there sure as hell are nerves in the gum the fucker went through! And there’s hella nerves in the inside of your lip and face!

“Don’t panic the victim”

Nitris review: Awesome! It took me a while to actually let it flow. I didn’t realize how much I was breathing through my mouth until the doc and assistant kept chanting at me, “Nice biiiiiig deeeeep breath into your nose.”

I have issues giving up my self control. I have never been shit-faced. I’ve never been so drunk i’ve passed out or puked. Call me cynical, but I don’t trust others to maneuver or manipulate my body where it needs to go if I can’t. I’m like a drugged rhinoceros. You just need to call in the crane.

But I let it flow. I’m so glad I did because when home cheese pulled out the mega crank that these “itty bitty” screws were being inserted with, I would have just passed out. The first one, admittedly, went in without a hitch. I was totally conned into thinking, “Hey! I can do this! Three more to go like that and it’ll be cake!”

Then he starts to screw in the bottom TAD. Now I don’t know if y’all realize how strong our bottom jaw  bones are, but they are like stone, apparently. Mine, even stronger. He turned this puppy over and over and over and then ..


The head of the screw actually broke off.


Guess what that means! He had to go in after the post. So now I have stitches AND a TAD. He tried to make me feel like Wonder Woman by asking me in my drug-induced and shocked haze how old I was. I mumbled through a jaw opener and a numbed face “lakdj;lkajty” which he translated to “40 next week”

Jokester the Oral Surgeon : “Well, good news: You have amazing bone density. Bad news, the screw broke.”

I did tell him while I was still coherent “you’re funny on gas.” I don’t know if he appreciated my critique but I was drugged, so I didn’t give a flying pug.

So after cutting open my gum – i guess ? – to retrieve the post, and sewing me back up, he had to then drill 2 pilot holes on my bottom jaw to then insert the TAD. So I got drilled six times for 4 screws.

It was all fun and games until the numbing and gas wore off. My husband and I were sitting at the pharmacy drive through window just waiting for my Vicodin/Ibuprofen cocktail. My face began to just throb and ache. I went home and was in a drug induced haze all afternoon. My dreams were enhanced by the thunder storm that moved in. Because of course the one day I’m ‘off duty’ and actually get to sleep in bed all day the cosmos have other plans.

My mom had to pick the kids up from school and as soon as she left the house, the rain came down in buckets. It turned to hail and more thunder and lightening. As soon as they walked in the door 20 minutes later, all storming ceased.

So today I woke up feeling like I have a face of stone that throbbed with every heart beat. I nipped that in the bud with some more motrin and now I get to take my panicked and totally anxious daughter to get her first fillings. Needless to say she’s slightly terrorized by mommy’s procedure even though I’ve reassured her over and over what she’s having is NOTHING like what I had.

…. if only she could understand my slurred and numbed speech

I’ll just leave these here for comparison. The cartoon drawing just doesn’t do the beauty of it justice, in my opinion. :p

(This is not my mouth, but I felt it depicted the reality of what I have  …  only mine are in the front, sitting where my lip connects to my gums. It’s LOTS of fun having a screw rubbing up under the inside of my lip 24/7 x 4) but hey, they say it’ll all be worth it!




School EVE!!!

Published September 5, 2016 by sarcasmica

Okay okay, I know i’m supposed to be giddy with excitement that my kid’s all day drama is now the teacher’s to deal with, and I am. I’m overjoyed. I’m ecstatic that we’ve made it through another summer and into yet another school year. Schedules, tasks, work, lunches, laundry, filled days, practices and due dates.

But each year it gets a little more real that time is never stopping. (except around mid July when it seems summer will never end)

Maybe it’s the friends I have with older kids always cautioning me that I’ll miss these days. Maybe it’s the Hallmark commercials or maybe it’s just my old lady hormones kicking in. Each night I ask myself how much longer he’ll still want goodnight kisses. How much longer could he possibly want to be read a bedtime story? How much time before he stops coming to me with his frustrations and challenges? Once in a while he still reaches out to hold my hand and I have to pretend it doesn’t melt my heart or he wont ever do it again.

My oldest is a 5th grader as of tomorrow. While he has always been the most challenging child on the planet, he is my little man. He’s the little blonde-haired blue-eyed boy that introduced me to motherhood and has been with me through all of it ever since. Big, bad, ugly, funny, silly, and beautiful. No matter what I do he still seems to want me around for hugs and kisses at the end of the day.

How much longer have I got? I know that I take a zillion pictures, but it’s because looking back at how far both of my children have come is my trophy. I don’t take (many) photos of the challenging moments because that isn’t what makes this experience rewarding necessarily. Those moments of tantrums and shouted words are burned into my brain already. The pictures are to remind me that we keep going. We get through the tough stuff, we move along and savor the good.

Here’s to another school year. Cheers to accomplishments and growth and knowing we still have at least now to hug and hold and love these creatures we’ve made before the hormones take them to The Upside Down

Brotherly Love

Published August 31, 2016 by sarcasmica

I had to document this moment. Today was the “Meet the Teacher” day at my kids’ school. This is the first year my son has to share this moment with his sister. She is now a kindergartner. We went to her room first to make the appropriate fuss, and he refused to be seen anywhere near a desk in that room. Mr. Cool stood near the entrance waiting almost patiently for us to be done and move along.

After we do the whole rigamaroll of supply drop off, teacher meeting, name filling out, paperwork drop off the kids all go to the playground for ice cream and chaos. On the walk out of school my son will just not stop the negative talk at his sister about all the things she doesn’t yet know. Rules she wont understand. He named a specific teacher and how strict she is and lots and lots of talk about how his sister is going to not do very well because she doesn’t know how to do anything that will be expected.

After hearing this go on for what seemed days – but in “summer time zone” is actually a span of 10 minutes – I had a moment of wanting to just blow up at him how negative and belligerent he was being. Cut her some slack, man! Divine intervention allowed a moment’s hesitation and a thought occurred to me at that moment.

me: “you are being very negative and I’m wondering where this is coming from… how are you doing with the fact your sister is going to be attending ‘your’ school? How do you feel about that?”

him: “I’m proud of her and I’m happy she’ll be there.”

and that’s when this momma’s heart grew 2 sizes

What he can’t seem to articulate is “Hey sis, I know it’s going to be big and new and scary and different but just know that I’ve already been through it all and I want to help you. I can’t be the one to watch out for you, so I’m going to tell you all of the things you might have trouble with now before it begins.”

The way that translates from his mouth to our ears sounds like negative assumptions and thoughts, but it’s actually coming from a place of love and encouragement. He’s used to being the buffer for her between safety and the outside world. She’s going to be geographically in the same place as him, but he’ll have no tie to her from his classroom and he wont be able to check on her. For a controlling exacting personality like his this must be a little worrisome. Plus, there’s always the likelihood she’s going to make a ton of friends and have stories that don’t include her big brother.

Right now I have six more days of bickering and infighting. I’m running low on holy water and patience, but the light is there and I feel like I just might make it now that I know I’ve done something right with this child.


Camping Tried To Kill Us

Published August 31, 2016 by sarcasmica

But we prevailed!!

My husband and I recently bumped our heads. It must have happened in our sleep, I’m thinking a giant 2×4 fell across the bed and we never noticed because we went and got a travel trailer.

I keep calling it an RV because it’s just easier. When I say the word “RV” people tend to bug their eyes out, so I’ve altered that to “camper” or “trailer”. I think these fit more because of my redneck roots.

Anyway, we let the dust settle on the camper for about 12 hours before we were on our way for our first camping trip with it. The behemoth was purchased under the agreement:

a. Hubbz will be the one driving/towing/hauling the freight train
b. Hubbz is 100% in charge of the poop line – a.k.a. black line.

I found a site in Leavenworth which is close enough and not so far we couldn’t handle it if we had to turn around and go back home. It was deemed an RV “resort”. It was a KOA which everyone but myself seem to understand. The website promised a pool, a playground and lots of family friendly activities.

Saturday morning we began packing the trailer … Saturday afternoon we were still packing and our hopeful departure time came and went. 2 hours later we were on our cautiously optimistic way. As we pull off the highway and get closer to the park we notice huge billowing brown clouds. That can’t be good…. that’s ok, the map has us going this way, and that is clearly happening over – oh wait… shit… are those helicopters? Are those helicopters pulling water from the lake bordering the campground??!

Photo Aug 27, 4 39 37 PM

We pull in to chaos. RVs parked nearly on top of each other, children running this way, parents running that way, dust flying, helicopters chuffing, smoke choking, it was a scene from MASH.

The green panicked employee with the walkie talkie told us the campground was on evacuation alert.

We opted to go elsewhere.

Thank heavens for cell service, unlimited data plans, and smart phones! We managed a reservation at an RV Park 10 miles away and out of fire range. We pull up, hubbz gets out to check in and a pair of ladies walk by and warn me “something sounds really wrong with your back tire.”. I jump out and sure enough, the back tire of the Tahoe has a bolt sticking out of the middle of the tread and loud accompanying “sssssSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!”


We cut check in short and rush to back the trailer into our spot before we have no tire to support this. As long as we can get the trailer in, we can wait days for a new tire! That’s the whole point of the RV, right?! We manage to get it all backed, parked, blocked and set before:


Whew! Now we just need to hope the fire doesn’t actually spread and we have to evacuate before we find a town with a proper tire! (yes we had a full spare, but remember this SUV is fairly new to us still and we have no idea what’s what and what’s reliable, and what is rated to properly tow a 28ft 3500lb trailer)

We manage to alleviate the initial anxiety and panic and set up our spot. The tire will get taken care of and we can enjoy our trip. The next day we get the spare on and head into the local town of Leavenworth for some sight seeing and early dinner.

The next day begins around 4am when my daughter wakes up with something painful in her eye. I rinse. I wash. I flush. I rinse. It’s not budging. I see nothing. I convince her to try to get back to sleep and maybe it will right itself.


Later that day we head to town to have the truck looked at and advise us on the safest way to move forward. We are in a brown dry town called Wenatchee. There is not much to see here, and the one way 4-lane roads will make you crazy. There is, however, a river bordering the town, so maybe the kids can play in the water?


Brown Wenatchee River in smoky haze from the fires

This would be a good plan except my now sleep deprived daughter is a one-eyed pirate. Her eye is decidedly worse and she is miserable. We now stop in at urgent care and have a significant sized speck removed from under her eyelid by a very nice doctor.

My trooper handled it all like a warrior. MY eyes were watering and trembling watching the Q-Tip go up to her inside out eyelid and remove this sharp black speck. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the doctor then puts a liquid in her eye that glows under a black light. This allows him to see if there is any damage to her eyeball. There is. She has a scratch on the iris.

(She is actually smiling in n the pic on the left!)

The only griping she’s done is when I have to put the antibiotic ointment on 3x/day because it burns … and I have to deposit it inside her lid.

The things they don’t put on the hospital brochures when you go in to have a kid. It’s hilarious to think of how intimidating a newborn is in comparison to the things you have to do when they are bigger and even more uncooperative.

Anyway, despite the fires, tire, eyeball ER we actually managed to fit in some fun. Overall the camper has been a dream and certainly the least of the problems on her maiden voyage. I am looking forward to a very boring and uneventful second outing.

The RV Park we stayed at had a little creek running behind it. This made for some fun camera practice for me and our old guy, Barney, surprised us all by wading right into the icy water!


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