Holy Shit

Published July 12, 2018 by sarcasmica

So. much. information.

I feel like stay at home moms get a bad rap for mental abilities. Let’s face it, kids dull your pre-kid brain, but fully awaken brain power you never thought you would need.

Example: how many theme show songs must one know? When your toddler is singing one, it becomes immediately apparent how important those lyrics are. We all know “fuckin truck” really means “fire truck”.

Who knew dosing charts and side effects could occupy your day? When you have an infant running a temp, it’s imperative knowledge.

I could go on and on, but frankly right now I do not possess the stamina. Why? Because I have reengaged my pre-kid brain. I have reengaged it like a mutha trucka. Not only am I immersing myself in a language unused for a decade, I am having to actually physically display my use of the language among strangers who are professionals in the field. So. Embarrassing. And im doing this after a night of incremental dreams constantly interrupted with my body waking me up just to remind me im not at home. I cannot sleep the first night away in a hotel and last night was no exception.

In addition to the language, I have driven 4 hours away from my home base to do this in a town I know nothing about and where my childhood friend lived before passing away 5 years ago. I have navigated the hotel info and driving directions (thank God for smart phones!) and lots and lots of solo time.

I have just left the workshop for a lunch break, and y’all…it’s all I can do not to run away! I am so far out of my element I am feeling like a new dad in the diaper aisle. …scratch that, a new dad in the delivery room…watching his wife’s episiotomy while holding his newly circumcised baby.

But I have to go back for another workshop.

I know I can, but using this much concentration on a room full of people over 5 feet tall is seriously exhausting! The classes are 2.5 – 3 hours long with a 5 minute break.

I left the first one for a bathroom break after an hour when the fingerspelling started blending into “bkksfglairyp”

Perhaps it’s the 3 cups of coffee I’ve had in an attempt to awaken and fuel long dead brain cells. Im fairly certain im sweating a mix of caffeine and inferiority.

I have one session left and im wondering if showing up after a few cocktails at lunch will be better or worse for my concentration.

At least the playing field is leveled for my husband who is at home now with both kids while they are on heavy screen restriction.

Mwahahahaaaaaaa

No seriously, help me.

Tonight I better sleep like a husband.

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Wardrobe Woes

Published July 10, 2018 by sarcasmica

I have not worked in ten years. I will soon be attending a workshop for my field in the hopes it will kick start my unused vocabulary and signs. Languages are funny. It turns out if you don’t exercise the vocabulary, it simply goes away and moves into the brain of someone who appreciates it and will use it regularly.

So on the eve of my very brief trip back in time to when I was a functional member of a workforce that gets paid in currency rather than body fluid, I should be stressing about the possibly (and likely) language barrier. Instead I’m freaking out about my wardrobe.

I think it’s just a weird form of denial, actually, but I cannot choose what I’m wearing. Do I go weekend casual with jeans and a t-shirt? It’s going to be 90 degrees and I have no idea how widespread the a/c will be. Do I go professional and wear black from top to bottom as is the interpreter uniform? Again, 90 degrees. … also the last time I wore slacks was at a funeral five years ago. We all know those suckers aren’t making it over the thunder thighs.

Do I represent myself as I am? Grocery shopping yoga pants and a hoodie?

What the hell, man? It’s like my only options are homeless yoga dropout, or failed professional.

I guess I should find something in the middle…. like Moms Night Out attire. Ambiguous. Non committal. .. with makeup and hair.

What have I gotten myself into?! It’s like all the ways I can stand out and announce that I don’t belong are determined to happen.

I know that I can do this, but the question is can I do it in jeans? And what about the shoes?!!

 

Summer Brain

Published July 3, 2018 by sarcasmica

It has begun.

Summer home with my kiddies. We are in the honeymoon stage now…honeymoon of a doomed relationship, that is. It feels like it’s going according to plan, but it isn’t.

I have established rules, but I’m too brain dead to enforce them. The first 2 weeks of break the kids got up (AFTER 7:30) made-ish their beds and picked up rooms before any fun screen time begins.

So really, I would wake up, stumble to their rooms, see 35% of what was asked actually is done, realize it’s after 8 and no one woke me up with tattling or whining and then let bygones be bygones.

We have actually had a fairly scheduled couple of weeks which has helped immensely. I caught myself in the early July trap of “this isn’t so bad! It’s actually going pretty quickly.” but I know that fades near the beginning of August when things come to a grinding halt until September.

I know my brain is already starting to summer mush because I told my daughter today that I would consider getting her a pet. The residual mom brain is still firing because I gave her a completely impossible stipulation; IF you can keep your room cleaned and dresser top clear, I would consider the tortoise she’s been asking for since she was 5.

It wont happen. She immediately charted out 30 days on a piece of paper. Later at bedtime I was comforted by her littered room.

She has as much shot at the tortoise as I have at the Sports Illustrated cover.

Dipping Back In The Work Pool

Published June 20, 2018 by sarcasmica

I had a life before kids, like most folks. Through a series of frantic, chaotic, not always in my control events, I stopped work to be a stay at home mom and traveling wife. I loved working as much as a non-millionaire employee could love work. I loved my co-workers. I loved the challenge my job provided. I was on the verge of meeting new challenges and changing levels when we abruptly had to move to another state at the beginning of the second semester when my son was 2.

I was an educational interpreter in an elementary school. I had good days and bad days. I had people I had to work with professionally that I’d rather punch in the throat, like most jobs, but overall it was amazing. It was always different, but it was consistent. Anyone who works with school age kids can probably agree that it is controlled chaos on a daily schedule. Add to that the comedy of being in a very niche position, and there were all kinds of hijinks to keep me entertained.

After settling into our first move, I actually applied for an interpreting job and was offered a position. After paying for the background check and TB test, my husband got an offer in yet another state. We moved again. After that I vowed not to attempt work until we were for sure settled somewhere. Leaving the comfy work environment I had in Arizona was very hard and it took me a very long time to let go of the expectations of being a SAHM and just missing my life.

A bajillion moves and ten years later (holy shit, how has it been an entire decade?!!?) I have tossed my resume back into the ether.

I am terrified I will get called into a job.

This is more of an agency hiring scenario. I’d be an agency employee instead of a school district employee. At this point, I understand that far easier than understanding sign language.

EEK!!

I could say this whole time I’ve been keeping my skills razor sharp with workshops and videos, but that would make me a big fat liar pants. I’ve done zilch. I’ve watched videos here and there and have used the captions. … then go back and watch the signs and have a false sense of “oh, yea, totally got that. yup.”.

I have committed out loud to a workshop four hours away. I wouldn’t recommend immersion with professionals is the best way to brush up on a language, but oh well. I’m a non-conformist.

It’s getting down to the wire and I’m having to book my trip for this workshop and I just find myself looking for any and every distraction possible. I have filled an Amazon Fresh order, written a blog post and made chocolate chip cupcakes. Any and all distractions welcome just to not have to face this tremendous nerve-wracking trip. I keep telling myself I’m a bad ass because i’m going alone…. when in reality I am feeling like a big wuss. I don’t wanna go. Ironically, I want to go with an interpreter because I know i’m not going to catch everything. Hell, i’ll be lucky to understand 25% of the workshops i’m going to!

I have 22 days to pull my shit together. The kids on summer break are not a great asset at this point. Still, I have to do it or I am convinced my brain will turn to mush if I don’t get back to work and start using my grown up words and thoughts on a daily basis.

Celebrate

Published June 15, 2018 by sarcasmica

This is gonna be a long one. It’s going to be rambly, too.

So here we are. My son graduated from elementary school last night. WE graduated from elementary school last night. Yesterday was his celebration, today is mine. That’s right, I am celebrating all the shit that goes along with being a stay at home mom across four elementary schools, 2 states, four cities, 2 years in occupational therapy, one fizzled out fencing, robotics, band, and countless IEPs and playdates.

WE did it. The staff that was involved gets summer break, I get this post… and the pizza I am about to order. No shame here, just relief mixed with emotional overload. Some call it a breakdown, I call it the last Friday of the school year.

Added to the relief of school being over, he turned 12 last week. Twelve. Firmly into tweendom. Some fun quotes from the week:

him: “Mom, how old do I have to be to say bad words?”
me: “I’m 41 and still barely cuss in front of my mother. You figure it out.”
him: “Ok. So i’m almost 12, and that means I can say ‘ass’.”
me: “No. No it doesn’t.”
him: “Well, i’m gonna start saying it on Friday because it’s my birthday and i’ll be 12 and that is old enough, mom.”

When I was 15 I asked my oldest brother if I could start cussing…. since he was the one I learned most of the colorful vocabulary from, it seemed fitting. He punched me in the arm and said, “That’s for just thinking about it.” I decided to go a tad easier on my kid. .. still a “no”, though.

In the background my daughter has completed first grade with flying colors. I have to tell myself to recognize her effortless achievement because it is still valuable. She loves school and has blossomed with friends and work and teachers. It still matters and it is still work for her, it just doesn’t require a team of people. I sometimes need reminding of that.

When you have your babies, everyone loves to tell you to savor it. “Enjoy it, you have no idea how fast it goes.”  “Relish this time with your baby, before long they will be in school.”

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11 days in

brunch
My son just before going into a shaping helmet

 

I used to say hopefully, “Really? Here’s hoping!” because babies are not easy…. the trick is, you don’t know how easy it is until they get older. I mean sure, the whole “keep them alive” thing is mega stressful when they are limp little meatloaves, but how interactive is their life? Not very. They sit where you put them, they poop and piss their diaper and it doesn’t even always require immediate clean up! Sure they suck your brain cells and sanity slowly on a nightly sleep-deprived basis, but you really aren’t expected to be a fully functioning human being before they reach three months. They don’t talk. They don’t argue with their siblings. They don’t even eat yet, so no dishes are involved! (except maybe for bottle duty which is sort of a pain)

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The elusive Sleepicus Newbornium

New parents are fun to watch. .. once you’re on the other side, of course. It’s fun because they have no idea how easy the initiation really is compared to the rest of that kid’s life.

I used to think once I got them to school I could hand off a lot of the stress and work. Once they’re in school, surely a parent’s life gets easier, right?!!

*record scratch*

No. Not for my first kid, anyway. School equaled lots and lots of work for me. It was a little work for him, which translated into a mountain of work for me.

We did this at four different schools. Getting to know layouts, teachers, teams, administrators, parents, schedules, cafeteria standards, holiday breaks, new friends. My son has started over four times and he’s just now graduating from elementary school.

When you ask him, of course he’s ready to leave for middle school. The first thing he will tell you, though, is that he is going to miss having a recess and he is dreading, absolutely dreading math. He’s not half bad at it, either, that’s the kicker!

So here I sit and sigh looking back over the last 12 years of life with my oldest. I try not to look too far into the future, because that’s where panic lives. My son, while waiting for an Amazon package containing the choice of some very valuable gift cards, said “Mom, ‘now’ is the least amount of time we have. You can’t spend all your time looking in the past because there’s nothing to be done about it. You can’t spend all your time waiting for what’s coming because then it’s here and that’s all you have. Now is really important and we shouldn’t waste it.”

(I’m paraphrasing, of course, but that was the jist)

With those words, I try to value each tuck in at bedtime with him because what 14 year old wants his mom to tuck him in? Sure we’ll hopefully continue to have deep and meaningful conversations, but soon those will involve friend drama and – dare I say – girls (blech) but right now it’s just about the end of school, his best friend moving away at the end of the summer, his favorite new song, and minutiae of individual days. I know that I will blink and he’ll be in high school stressing about finals and dances. And I’ll be stressed out about texting and driving and drugs and sex. But that is for another day. Today I want to enjoy his face when he gets off the bus with his little sister for almost the last time as they will no longer ever be at the same school at the same time. My babies are both growing up, but that doesn’t mean I’m getting older, right?!

I’m doing my best to look forward to summer. His summer before junior high. My daughter’s summer before second grade. My summer before (hopefully) going back to work. This time is precious with them as I fully know there are lots of parents who don’t have the option for it. …. and who also hopefully know how much work it is for us who stay home in the tornado.

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Another candle

Published June 10, 2018 by sarcasmica

My oldest is a year older. He’s 12! I’m also going to be bold and say he’s a momma’s boy. That’s right! I earned that, people. Blood, sweat, tears and many gray hairs have nurtured that boy this far.

Kids are hard work. Some kids are fucking overtime with no pay. This child was damn near close.

Of course it’s worth it, blah blah blah, but I am happy to see 12, y’all. It might be the vodka talking, but I have reached the stage where I am leaning with one elbow on the bar, hair flopped down in my face, makeup smudged under both eyes and the only lipstick left is on my teeth and on the straw of my overly sweet cocktail if parenting was a bar.

I have the other kid coming up behind at 7 years old challenging all of my patience. Number one threatens my sanity, but number two is working my patience like a teacher in June.

I just survived the birthday party. We had 5 11/12 year old boys at the house for 4.5 hours. They played with nerf guns, we had one face shot at point blank range (thankfully only 1) and then we had them play a linked up co-op type game across a few xboxes.

They all got along splendidly…minus the headshot. They ate, they partied, they gamed, then eventually left.

My ears are still ringing.

I must say thus far my son has shown pretty good taste in friendships. Who knows how they’ll actually turn out, but we have plenty of animals and I detected zero urges for animal sacrifice. We had lots of pleases& thank yous and no one threatened fisticuffs.

All in all a great day.

Now I get to look forward to the final days of school and the deep chasm of summer break.

Keep that vodka comin, barkeep!

Like Sands Through The Hourglass…

Published May 16, 2018 by sarcasmica

So are the days with our kids.

That’s what everyone likes to say. Hell, I say it to new moms. It’s unavoidable and it’s all true. It’s true that when you are on the other side, time has flown. It’s also painfully true when you are in the thick of it, time stands still some days. It’s all correct.

My son is on his 6th grade camping trip. This is day #1. He is also turning 12 in less than a month. These milestones echo the countdown of adulthood. Moms of boys graduating high school this month are sure to “tsk” me and tell me how fast it all goes by and to cherish it.  Right now I can’t imagine it going any faster.

I don’t know if it’s because he’s my first, my most challenging, my most colorful, but his infancy, toddlerdom and elementary ages were painfully slow. Painfully.     S   l   o   w    . I’ve blogged/complained/bitched/moaned enough about the trials and tribulations. Very little was exaggerated. I knew nothing about how to raise this child until I was raising this child. We learned and figured most of it out together. What I didn’t know, I faked pretty terribly. I feel like his whole life aside from, you know, keeping him alive, I’ve been waiting for him to grow into himself. He was not a baby who enjoyed being a baby like his sister. He was not a toddler who managed his world. He did not tackle boyhood with fervor and tenacity. It was more triggers and anxiety. Colic and helmets. Physical therapy and occupational therapy. Medication and testing. IEPs and sensory challenges.

Finally, at long long last, my kid has become who he is. This sounds completely insane, but I’m curious if other moms out there understand this at all. My son was always somehow both emotionally far beyond his brain and miles behind his emotions. His reasoning was miles kilometers ahead of his age at the same time he also managed to be underdeveloped with his feelings.

Now he has arrived at himself. Things make sense for him. He is the closest to emotionally mature a 12 year old male human can be. He’s not a breath away from drowning anymore, he’s actually paddling the raft…. sometimes in circles. Sometimes the oar isn’t in the water, but he is controlling his own trajectory. It’s incredibly satisfying to watch. It’s still scary and new and unsure at times, but it is so cool to see him as the whole picture and get glimpses of how the future might be for him.

For the new moms out there, don’t be too hard on us when we tell you how fast it goes. We say it with the understanding of how slow it is for you right now. We wont take it personally when you scoff at our cliche sentiments, I promise 🙂

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