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All posts for the month December, 2012

Mall Shmall!

Published December 18, 2012 by sarcasmica

When i was a teenager, it was my mission in life to get       to         The Mall.

Any means necessary. Even public transportation

*horror music plays*

I don’t know why. Maybe because it beat sitting at home alone with the TV on.. maybe it was so i could fantasize about being able to actually walk into a store and buy something… maybe it was because I wanted to check out the cute boys at the arcade.

For those of you reading this born in the 90’s and later, The Arcade is not what you see on Main Street, Disneyland where you pop a penny in a machine and watch an old black and white flip movie. It’s where video games lived before home-bound consoles denigrated the social gathering to a cave-like basement dwelling loner world of online only socializing.

It’s the reason you put on the frosting-pink shiny Wet n Wild lip gloss and crimped your hair before leaving the house. Just in case a boy could tear his eyes away from the monitor to see your face …. that hasn’t changed much.

So it’s fair to say i was a Mall Rat. Even when i had my first baby, the mall was my sanctuary. It was bigger than the four walls at home. It was bright, bustling, busy and exciting. It made me walk … to a pretzel store .. it had a playground for my kid .. so i could sit and NOT make a sippy cup or change a diaper, but just watch him play.

I don’t know what’s happened between my first kid and the second. Maybe it’s the area i moved to, i don’t know, but I no longer view the mall as a haven. It is a battle ground, now. Starting with the freeway ride to get there. Then you have to vie for a parking spot. Covered parking here is a beautiful thing. Then you have to dress for the weather to get from the car into the mall. Once inside, for an instant, i feel that old sigh of possibility and my shoulders ease down a bit as i plan my route.

Then i have to fight my way, pushing a stroller, to the directory to find out where anything is. I have to take into account the Toddler’s mood/rate of exhaustion as we go along our merry way/ and hunger levels. I have to rate stores in order of importance and location. Central to this would be the play area so she can blow off steam.

As i’m shopping the stores i want to see for myself first, i realize either the aisles have gotten smaller, or the strollers are getting wider. It’s a single stroller! There’s also an obscene amount of ’rounders’ in some of the accessory stores.

How do they not plan for stroller/walkers/wheelchairs ? Do those of us requiring wheels need to stay home and shop only online? Are we not fit for public consumption?

I’m trying to get through a Silver store and it’s nearly impossible. I have come to stupidly expect looks of sympathy or just flat out ignored. What i do NOT expect is looks of snide contempt. From the employees, nonetheless! The over-shellacked prissy tacky-Christmas-sweater-wearing employee. The girl clerk didn’t treat me any better either!

That’s when i started caring less about aiming my stroller directly and precisely down the single aisle i could go, and started bumping into the walls.

That’s when i had my Pretty Woman moment.

“you work on commission, right? Big mistake. BIG. HUUUUGE!!”

Just because i don’t swath myself in trendy clothes and jewels doesn’t mean i don’t buy those things for my loved ones at Christmas time, heifer !

And the ballsy people who will walk right towards your stroller and not move out of the way. Your toes are enemy #1 now. It’s a simple matter of geometry, people! My awkward stroller can only fit so many places. Let’s also remember there is a tiny creature inside said vehicle who will not hesitate to scream your ear drums out if you look at her sideways. Me having to maneuver a reasonable sized stroller out of YOUR way makes no f*^$ing sense.

Despite wanting to have a heavily loaded margarita at the end of this expedition, i decided to be responsible, save money, and head to McDonald’s. My daughter has only been to the one by our house with the play place. The one at the mall was pretty dull in comparison. I spruced it up with a happy meal. (so much for being responsible and careful with the money) We finish, head into the bathroom , and on the way out get door-blocked by a woman and her charge. An adult mentally disable woman with a walker.

I would have preferred if we could exit and get out of her way, however, the caregiver had another plan. She didn’t want to move. So i stood with the stroller behind me, holding the door for them to come in.

Apparently the disabled woman was very peeved at us being in her way because she proceeded to roar and scream right at my 2 year old.

I did not allow the door to swing shut on her. I wanted to. But i didn’t.

I talked gently to my daughter, who averted her eyes and was looking at the wall as this person continued on her rampage towards the single handicapped stall.

The caregiver just apologized – what could she have done … except to maybe make sure the bathroom was clear, of course.

So i walked out, talked a little to my 2 year old who was still very shaken up by the whole thing, and went right into Build-A-Bear. Hey, i had a coupon.

That’s when we called it a day and got the BLEEP out of there. And i’m fine if i don’t go back again for another 6 months.

So for those parents out there who have teenagers obsessed with the mall. Fear not. One day your child will have to navigate the place with a child and all the magic will get sucked right out of the whole thing.

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NooB

Published December 18, 2012 by sarcasmica

I’m such a newbie up here in the Northwest, it’s almost comical. It’s a good thing i have little to no self respect. Pushing out two kids the old fashioned way in a room full of strangers, and my husband, kind of stripped a lot of self-importance away.

go figure

So when stupid questions must be asked, i’m the woman for the job.

My husband and I are going away for the weekend for our Anniversary. To a cabin. Sounds romantic, right? Well once we factor in the weather (snowing) and the distance from home (2 hours) and the remoteness of the location (no Target or Starbucks around) it’s kind of a recipe for a good blog post. .. i will be optimistic and not say disaster.

So i had to send an email to the cabin owner and ask if we needed chains or snow tires, or what paraphernalia. She told me chains are required in the car, but snow tires are pretty much useless and no one in the area uses them.

ok. mental note taken.

So now to find chains. A local tire place carries them, great. $90. Then the blatant nOOb question: “how many pairs do we need?”

1

“It’s a front wheel drive van, do we put them on the back?”  (i asked this because the ‘how to install’ vid showed the installation on the rear tires)

“Nope, that wont do you any good. They go on the front.”

ok, thanks.

Any other instincts I have while in the moment, i now know to do the exact opposite of what to me would be common sense guesses.

Nothing like cementing your absolute ignorance for the area to really make you feel like an idiot and you cannot survive a winter .. in a relatively mild climate compared to some. ..

Now, which way to the remote snowy cabin ?!!

Sympathy

Published December 14, 2012 by sarcasmica

I cannot, and hope to never understand what the parents of those Connecticut victims are going through. It’s unimaginable to try and fathom what and how this would happen.
I went through a rollercoaster of wanting to know, to be informed of what’s going on, and then immediately wanting to unknow all of the information as it sunk into my brain.

I fought off the dread and the sorrow that follows information of 20 children being gunned down in their own classroom(s). How do you not get anxious and jaded and terrified for your own kids and society?!

Watching the photos that flashed on the screen across ten channels forced me to picture my own son and what he would have looked like if this was our reality and not something that happened on the other side of the country. That’s when i got emotional. The terror of going down to that hurricane of confusion and chaos and trying to find your one little child in the midst of sirens and cars and other parents and media cameras.

There are so many levels of disbelief and nausea. There is a limit to the amount of information we need to have. Where it happened. When it happened. Who did it, and are they still at large. That’s where it should end.

The circus of news that drags this on and on and on and on and on for hours and hours is relentless and completely unnecessary. I understand news is a business, but when the news is a tragedy of this magnitude, the respect for the families and the space to allow the authorities to do their jobs in the amount of time it needs to be done should outweigh a frivolous news conference about how the victims and families are ‘feeling’. What kind of idiotic insensitive question is that ?! And why is it being televised? ! Why are you holding up the investigation and possible leads and further protection and justice by allowing idiotic reporters to ask two kinds of questions. The kind that they KNOW the police cannot answer to protect the investigation, and the idiotic predictions and suppositions of the facts.

Makes me sick. The whole f-ing circus is just so out of control and sad.

I am anticipating a very joyous and emotional pick up at school today, and i will thank God all day long that I am lucky enough to be able to go collect my child from school, take him home, hug him and kiss him and ask about his day without tales of horror and terror. I will also be thinking of the parents that will not get to do this, and say a prayer they somehow heal… though i do not understand how someone could. I will also say a prayer for the children of the adult victims who wont be there to protect their children, or hug them, or tell them another bedtime story.

I will also say a prayer for the state of society.  Somehow it has become so broken that teachers are somehow expected to know how to react to this very scenario? The media knows how and when to report on such stories is also disturbing and sad. Where has this society gone so wrong that communities cannot at the very least expect the most degenerate and vile to respect the innocence of the children?

A New Path

Published December 14, 2012 by sarcasmica

So i’m slowly making my way down a new path with my son. He’s 6 and very much a character. From the beginning he’s been my challenging one. Sweet, sassy, opinionated and independent are just a few of the words that come to mind. He was a colicky baby who ended up in a correctional helmet at 3 1/2 months old. Along with this came physical therapy and lots of adjustments with the helmet.

This was my introduction to motherhood.

As a toddler he was not afraid to talk back, spit, make jokes, be goofy, and had an inability to recognize that the parents were in charge.

Around preschool, i began to wonder why my kiddo was such a challenge for his teachers as well. I knew how he was at home, but most of the challenges resulted from home stuff. Authority stuff. Following directions, etc. He loved socializing and was usually great with other kids… usually.

His problem was he socialized too much and only his way. He didn’t ‘get’ that there were social cues and boundaries with the other kids. This trickled into the classroom and I had meeting after meeting about behavior and attention issues and impulse problems.

IN PRESCHOOL!

I was told so. many. different. things.

Remembering this is my first experience with motherhood/navigating schools/dealing with teachers/following through with things at home, etc, i felt lost. I didn’t want to believe my kid was bad, and i knew he wasn’t. He was just going to always require more of his teachers than the mainstream student.

Can he help that? No.

Can I help that? Not really.

So it’s come to this path i’m on now where i’ve advocated for him to get extra help and support in his classroom. It’s taken until now, mid-December, to finally get this all accepted and moving forward… three months into the school year.

I’m mixed about my feelings for this scenario. I have seen both sides professionally, and now personally. First and foremost, i’m a mom. I’m a mom who’s honest and open about my kid. I don’t expect teachers to blow smoke up my ass, but on the other hand, i expect them to do whatever necessary to educate my kid.

The approval was given yesterday that services will be provided through his school, and my initial response and feeling was, “WHEW!! Thank goodness!”

But the more i’ve talked about it with people, they’ve made me feel I should have a different feeling. Like worry or shame, maybe? I felt relived that he could get support to succeed at school instead of me being the only person to try and explain and justify his behaviors. As a bonus, it’s all on the district’s dime, and if memory serves they even get money to accommodate him.

I was okay with it all until i read through the Occupational Therapists findings. I began to get a little sad. A little sad that he’s got to work harder than the other kids to get the same information. I’m sad because a little piece of my brain tells me that if i had been a better mom, maybe we could have avoided some of this. I’m worried that he will see the difference between the kids who get to just participate in class and ‘get it’ without having to be pulled out by three different specialists. I worry that my job to make him realize how fantastic and special he is just got a little harder, because I never want him to doubt himself. We can work with the thoughts and feelings of others, but if it’s coming from him, that would break my heart.

But then i do what i do best, and i suck it up. I take a deep breath. I am thankful I have the experience i have , and know what to ask for for my kid. I will not stand by and let him flounder and leave it to the school to figure it out for him.

We all know that wouldn’t happen.

I’m thankful that more than just his teacher get to meet him and hear the funny things he has to say. I’m hopeful this will strengthen his character and help him grow to see hard work makes a difference.

Am I ashamed my kid is ‘different’ ?

Absolutely not. I am proud he’s not like any other kid…… i wish daytime drinking was more socially acceptable so i could deal with it all a little better, but in the end, it is what it is and i wouldn’t trade him for the meekest, quietest overachiever in the world.

I’d love to hear from anyone else out there who has had to walk this path with the school system and their child.

My son will be working with an occupational therapist to strengthen his upper body and build up the muscles necessary to support writing and desk work. Along with this, he needs help with sensory input. He’s going to have some tools to use as an outlet for his overactive body instead of using classmates and disruptive items. Paired with that, he’ll be seeing a speech therapist to figure out how to make those pesky “r” sounds instead of “w” sounds… like Road instead of Woad. The spelling tests will be so much easier for him ! 🙂  Lastly, he’ll get to work with his case manager, a Special Education teacher, who will help him understand turn taking and patience and general conversation as it would be acceptable at school. Poopy Head is somehow not an acceptable call sign anymore

We haven’t gone down the road of seeking any sort of diagnosis or label for what he’s got going on. It doesn’t seem to be at the forefront of what’s necessary for him right now. I’m just glad school will be the cool place he gets to go learn stuff. Not the place he goes and cant seem to not get in trouble.

(although, i must say, he’s doing so much better than he was, and his teacher has assured me that even from the beginning of this school year, he’s already improved.) I’m hoping this continues, and it’s all looking like once we get it locked down and narrowed in, this will not be something that follows him his entire school career. Fingers crossed!!

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Santa

Published December 14, 2012 by sarcasmica

I never got around to sending my list to you  because i feel we’re at a place where i can just speak out loud and you’ll hear me. This is my son’s take on the whole thing, anyway.

So here’s my list.

1. Kids who go to sleep at bedtime

(it’s not much and epic all at the same time)

2. I’d like to be able to ingest alcohol without reprocussions

this comes in handy if you forgo wish #1

3. Any abundant calories i may mistakenly throw down my gullet finds the ass and thighs of all the bitches from high school

4. a full night’s sleep

5. Please help my husband see the wealth of sexiness that could be his in doing any of the everyday mundane chores. i.e. laundry/dishes/diapers There’s an abundance of desire laying around this house, and he doesn’t even realize it. It never quite looks the same on “mom”.

6. As always, that magic pill that would melt away the fat along with the desire to ingest the fat (and the most important part) -free from any side effects like liver damage, anal leakage, kidney failure, heart murmurs, brain aneurisms, bladder leakage, and/or sleepwalking

This list is very short and, i feel, completely within my rights as a grown ass woman still willing to write a letter to Santa. If anything is unclear or my motives are not understood, consult Mrs. Claus. Surely she can clear it all up.

Sincerely,

-S

Twilight Zone

Published December 12, 2012 by sarcasmica

It’s been a weird 24 hours here.

It all started last night when i had my therapist appointment. I’ve only met with this woman once, but i was really positive and felt great after that initial meeting. I thought at the time 6 pm was late for an appointment, but she said she’d just be sitting in traffic, so it was no big deal.

Great!

So i arrange for my kids to be watched until Gramma can get home. I put the leftovers in the oven with info for my mom.

I pull up to the building for the appt and the doors are locked. All the various businesses have put their trash in the hallway. I see people still inside the suites. I knock. nada.

Sighing, i go around the building to see if there’s a side entrance closer to my chick’s office. There is! I march up, pull

clunk.

locked.

sonofabitch!

I knock loudly on the door.

nada.

I go back to the car – because it’s 42 degrees and raining – and search my wallet for the appointment card.

Yup, 6pm 12/11. I wasn’t crazy. I called the number, but it’s just a general voicemail box. I left an interesting message and never got a call.

SOOOOOO irritating!!!!

So i went to Panera to cool my temper and warm my butt with some soup.

What is usually a yummy soup was AWFUL. Dry stale break alongside it. The chocolate babka made up for it all, though. I picked up a couple things at the store and headed home.

When i open the door, i smell the chicken still roasting in the oven…. the kids are in the bathtub… hmmmmm so i ask my mom, “Did you guys not eat the chicken?”

she’s confused. she figured i fed the kids already. she’s cracking up at all the missed info.

I had to ask, “Have you been drinking?!”

she replied in the negative, but i still have my doubts.

“Did you not smell the chicken… or the oven?”

“Nope!”

This explains why the kids were overly excited when she presented them with ice cream drumsticks when she got home. Ice cream for dinner! Gramma rocks!!

So that  gets straightened out, i take my 3 Motrin and i go to bed…. only to wake up at 3:30 hearing every bump and noise in the house. I didn’t get back to sleep until about 6, just in time for my mom to get ready for work, and then the kids were up at 7:01.

*sigh*

So i drop the big one off at school and head to my eye appointment. It’s in a brand spankin’ new unmarked building.

Great idea! Make the visually nearly-impaired question whether or not their eyesight is even worse by not bothering with a number or address on your building!

So i go about my appointment and it’s fine. Then she puts drops in my eyes and says she’s dilating my eyes.

Excuse me ?!

That’s something you are usually warned about, and asked permission so you can prepare for.

Nope! Just drop drip and voila, you are blind! Now take your 2 year old out to the waiting room and try to avoid the new walls and counters!

wtf ?!

After i could feel my eyeballs again, i realized it wasn’t quite as bad as it has been in the past. I didn’t need the silly plastic granny glasses when i left.

So as usual, they give me the Rx and expect me to find a pair of glasses while my eyes are dilated.

hello ?? can i give you a Rx for some common sense?!

They must’ve thought I was born blind and dumb yesterday because the first pair of glasses they tried selling me AFTER insruance were $500.

HA! Try again.

So we search again.

I find a relatively nice pair. and a cheaper version of the $500 ones.

Still at $270 after insurance.

At that point, i let the rude older woman that was pushing pushing pushing me and being snotty and rude to my kid sit and spin and said sayonara and left.

I was so offended at the whole experience!

So then i had to rush over to the specialist meeting for my son at his school. I had to explain myself as i sat down why it looked as though i just toked a bowl before showing up. I explained a professional had dilated my eyes.

The day got more strange when i was excited and happy my kid qualified for not 2, but 3 services provided by the school. Usually parents are a little put off that their kids even qualified for services, and here I am pushing and hoping and trying to get him in.

And i did!

So once I can see straight and without blur, i’ll celebrate by closing my eyes and taking a nap. Hopefully the next 24 hours will be more normal and mainstream .. you know, poopy diapers and laundry. Who thought i’d consider that kind of a day successful?!

Bah Humbug!

Published December 11, 2012 by sarcasmica

Holy shit, the holidays are stressful.

I remember looking forward to the cold winter after we moved here. I’m finally in a place where there are noticeable seasons! Not just double digits as a respite from the triple digits. I did not, however, factor in a traveling husband, a seemingly always bored restless six year old, and his mimic, the two year old.

Then i went and threw a Christmas tree into the mix. a real one, to boot! I could have just decorated one of the hundreds outside, but nooOOOO, i wanted one INSIDE the house.

Stupidass.

And i couldn’t wait for the husband to get back to get this done because a-he’s a zombie for at least three days after he gets back. time change, blah blah blah. and b-he’s getting back less than 2 weeks before Christmas! That’s not enough time to justify hauling the gigantic Christmas tomb out of the shed and up two flights of stairs, unpacking and finding the non-broken ornaments, fish hooking them, and handing them over to little hands to precariously hang from the three loose needles at the end of the bottom branch.

Then the cats want in on the action. It’s like i just planted a field of catnip that fits on a stick and in it’s own water source.

I hardly lifted a finger to decorate the thing, as i was still miffed at it from being on top of my new van. This tree was beautiful in the lot. Enough so that i didn’t mind forking over one too many $20’s to the lot attendant telling myself it was worth it because they trimmed the bottom and tied it to the roof.

That didn’t click in my brain until it was time to take it OFF the roof. It didn’t look that heavy when he hiked it over his shoulder and unceremoniously dumped it onto my car!!

My mom was busy in the house with a toddler screaming the paint off the walls, so i didn’t feel right asking her to help. Besides, it was raining, i only had one stool, etc etc. By the time i cut the ties, lifted it as high as i could and positioned it to somehow float down to the ground, i knew i was in trouble. Looking down the line of the trunk, i just pulled and hoped to God the neighbors were busy with whatever neighbors busy themselves with.

The trunk landed on my thigh and i considered it a success. It was about this moment i started fondly remembering our fake tree. The fake tree that i had for so long wrongly hated with a passion.

Covered in sap, and needles, and wet from head to toe (because this is Washington, afterall) it was finally in the house and I was done with the glorified branch.

So now we have a tree – with lights, even! The cats are happily eating it every hour of each day. One of them has found an interest in the gifts underneath it. I’m finding small shreds of paper alongside the needles.

The children cannot leave it alone. My little one keeps taking off the well-positioned glass balls and reestablishing them precariously on just the needles then squealing, “I dIIId IT!!”

Then the six year old Sheriff says something i can’t repeat on here, and repositions it appropriately with a huff.

That’s when i slap my forehead and go back to my mindless Plants vs Zombies game for fear that i will just take it all and set it out on the front porch.

kids included.

Then there’s the whole gifting thing. I never know what to get my husband. The man has the patience of a nursing mother of triplets when it comes to a product he wants.

That is to say, he just goes out and gets it his damned self, regardless of the bitching he gets from me about it.

As for Santa, i am going to have to ban all Christmas movies/shows/specials from the house, because my son is on a mission to find out every single contradiction and reality of the whole thing and he will not give up until he is asleep. He has the tenacity of a CIA agent with a superiority complex.

And Santa has officially been used by me as a weapon. Where’s the fun in that ?!! Anytime i need to my kid to remember to behave it’s , “Remember… he’s waaaatching youuuuuu.”

And i’m supposed to expect my kid to be excited when the pinnacle of all of this is that a strange fat man in a suit breaks into our house and leaves  gifts .. hopefully. ?!

And to throw it all off, my wedding anniversary is seven days before Christmas.

So i think i’ll begin a nightly routine of swimming my way out of a vat of spiked Egg Nog and asking Santa for a relaxing stay at Betty Ford’s little chalet.

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