All posts for the month February, 2014

Things I’m Thankful for Right NOW

Published February 28, 2014 by sarcasmica

1. Sparkling fruity margarita = malt liquor with bubbles

2. Sunshine! Even if it was only an hour of real bonifide sunshine, it made us all happy

3. Cinderella dresses. In particular, the one worn by the brat that tried to decapitate my daughter at the playground today….with her bare hands. It added comic relief so under appreciated in that type of situation normally.

4. My kids… but only because they were in a great mood today and only fought dinner marginally tonight

5. The afore mentioned malt liquor that now has me remembering the mood of my children today as being ‘great’.



My Little Corner

Published February 27, 2014 by sarcasmica

Things I am thankful for right now:

1. My jacuzzi -with or without my husband beside me in it
1-a. My ability to block out all werewolf/vampire/grizzly bear/serial killer neighbors/angry insomniac toddler scenarios that my husband puts out there as we sit in a dark and peaceful back yard in said bubbly tub

2. DVR. ’nuff said

3. Healthy children
3-a. My diligent need to check the kids before going to bed so I can prevent the toddler from her repeated attempts to asphyxiate herself with any of the myriad of paraphernalia she insists on sleeping with night after night

4. Sleeeeeep. I love sleep like a diabetic loves modern medicine

5. My husband.
5-a. My husband who’s fair share of crazies make my mood swings look like patty cake
5-b. I have a husband who is smart enough not to cringe at my wooly tree trunk winter legs (the summer version doesn’t change in girth, but are at least smooth more often)

6. Mood Swings
6-a. My ability to not fully commit to a mood swing. It doesn’t take much to lure me out of a mood swing; good TV show, a snack, sleep

7. This little corner plot of Cyberville where i can say or do whatever the hell i please with little to no repercussions
7-a. My obscurity and near invisibility that allows no one to know to be offended or pissed that I uttered an unpopular opinion
7-b. My husband only reads the posts I email him….and even then, i’m not convinced

8. Facebook
8-a. There is always someone in your newsfeed that makes you feel:
better about your own choices
that you aren’t the only whack job out there
motherhood and friendship take on many different meanings

9. Alcohol – even in theory

10. Cars. I can barely make it from the car to the kitchen with the grocery bags. I cant imagine doing the trip three times back and forth from the store to get it all home.

11. Blogging. This is where you can go for instant gratification/feedback to reiterate your own ideas really aren’t that crazy… right??

No Shoes For You!

Published February 27, 2014 by sarcasmica

I love zappos, but as a rule, I do not buy shoes unless they’ve been anchored onto my ginormous feet first.

I was born tall and it didn’t stop til I was 16 or so. As a result, I suffer from socially unacceptable big ass feet… syndrome (?)

This sucked as a kid trying to find suitable shoes for dances/parties/school. My mom always chanted at me “if you were a size 5, you’d fall over!”

There were days, my friends, I would have gladly tipped over once or twice just to be able to wear a normal pair of cute completely uncomfortable shoes.

I recently ordered my first pair of Danskos on a tip from someone answering my Croc whining. I have back issues (sciatica) and Crocs – while hideously ugly and socially exiling – work fantastic for me. I was told Danskos were the ‘Soccer Mom Crocs’. Cute, lots of color choices, and VERY very comfy. I guess they are a popular nurse shoe.

Anyhoo, I saved my pennies (paid my credit card off to make enough room for) and bought my first pair from zappos. Not only did I receive my order, but I was sent an additional box by mistake. It was labeled the same order, but upon opening it, found a smaller and less appealing pair.

The devil on my shoulder piped up and said, “you know …. if you returned the small ones, you could possibly have that first pair free!”

But my life’s luck told me otherwise. I tried on the original pair to find they did not at all fit correctly. For $130 they should have felt like they were made specifically to my foot. Quite the opposite was true. So now I have to return BOTH pairs and endure the headache of both returns.

Speaking with a zappos customer service person today, however, I inquired about a possible “honesty policy bonus” and actually received one! Woot!!

Now, if only my printer would stop guzzling ink like a Kardashian in a club, I could get a swift refund.

One Week Report

Published February 24, 2014 by sarcasmica

Bedtime nearly did me in tonight. I have made it one week without yelling at my kids as of tonight. I don’t think I managed to yell through all the talking back and attitude tonight, but I did swat a butt after a certain mini monster decided to hit her momma with a toy. To follow up, she spit her tongue out at me. To which the bedtime three ring circus of Over Excitable Boy commenced. Around and around we went with me having to be Momma Bear instead of Mom Bot.

It wasn’t quite a fail, but no one was read a bedtime story as a result of their actions… and there were no protests when it was taken away, which tells me they are sleeping with very guilty consciences tonight… for at least two and a half minutes.

I’m working on a routine instead of meandering through the day. Bedtime always has a routine, and that rarely goes over well. Hopefully I don’t wreck the streak tomorrow. I think it was to my advantage that week one of no yelling was during quasi PMS time. I was soft and patient with emotions and love for my little monsters. This week, however, the mask of impatience and exasperation seems to be eeking it’s way back onto my face.  I think I deserve extra story time for mommy as a treat…. that and a smidge of ice cream.


Managing Expectations

Published February 21, 2014 by sarcasmica

Tonight was a family dance at my son’s school. When it was announced, I wondered if my son would be interested given his sensory issues… he was. He really wanted to go, and I thought it would be a blast for all of us.

Oh, how wrong I was.

I left feeling like the worst mother in the world. Terrible and ill-equipped to parent a kid with his issues. How could I possibly imagine he’d be ok with a big echoing gym filled with kids and a DJ blasting music?!

In my own feeble defense, we had gone to Great Wolf Lodge in Texas when he was four or five. It was around Halloween and they had a PJ/Costume dance the night we stayed, and he danced for over an hour straight. He was awesome!

I guess I figured if the distraction of playing with friends was great enough, he’d get acclimated to the noise, much like he does at the movies.

No such luck.

From the minute we walked in and the terrible DJ was shouting into the microphone, I knew we were in trouble. I tried to distract him from the worst of it. He was clinging onto me as we walked in. We stood at the back of the gym, furthest from the speakers to try and alleviate some of the overwhelming noise. The music was actually not the terrible part, it was the idiotic woman shouting into the mic that did us in. One of my pet peeves is exactly this. Shouting into a device that’s sole purpose is to amplify and carry your voice. On top of it all, it was mumbled because her mouth was ON the mic. Idiotic.

We shuffled our way to the glow bracelets and necklaces, purchased one for each kid, and scooted back to the rear of the gym to try and convince the kids to dance a little. I managed to get them both dancing for one song, but after that he was searching for his friends/clinging to my hand/worrying and panicky.

Finally, when the DJ had the kids split into boys vs girls and had them scream as loud as they could to see who was the loudest, my son looked at me and said, “Mom, it’s TOO loud! My heart is shaking!”

At that point we packed it in and left. It had only been 25 minutes.

I had to catch myself from reacting too much or letting my disappointment show. My husband is great at taking over at these moments and talking things up. He praised him for trying something so overwhelming. My disappointment wasn’t directed at my son, it was more of a reaction to what I feel he’s missing out on. I finally got to meet his little girlfriend who was beaming when she saw him. He was too overwhelmed to run off and dance with her, though.

Once we got in the car, he said he felt like an idiot because he was right in front of his girlfriend, but didn’t dance.


Broke my heart. How could I allow him to put himself in that situation where all signs pointed to, “Are you Crazy?!”

But I feel like he’s not going to grow and find his way if he isn’t given opportunities to figure it all out.

But oh, how I wish I could have protected him from his own feelings tonight. He had his head hung and it was one of those moments when his challenges seem monumentally unfair. All of the things I could have/should have tried with him before getting into the dance went through my head and I beat myself up a bit on the drive home…. all while trying to talk him up. Trying to tell him how proud I was that he tried it, and when he felt his body react the way it did, he was able to tell us he needed to leave. He didn’t have a fit or a tantrum, he was just an anxious ball of worried nerves.

I’d be lying if i said at the moment we left, i wasn’t a little frustrated with him for not being able to cope.

And then I mentally slapped myself upside my own head.

It’s confusing, to say the least, to have all of my thoughts circling inside my head while simultaneously trying to allow only the positive ones out of my mouth. A lot of people – especially in my family – are of the ‘suck it up and move on’ mentality. Be tough. Be strong. Be hard.

None of that works for my son. I have to rewire my brain to recognize that his going and actually getting onto the dance floor, even though he had to hold my hand the whole time, was being strong. That’s his version of strength. I have to learn to let go of the expectations I have of how things should go, and focus on managing and recognizing and seeing what is actually happening.

I love my son so much, and when I see him managing his emotions so incredibly well – better than his mom sometimes – I can’t help but cross my fingers and just hope I can do right by him and make him a better version of himself and not screw it all up too badly.

And for what it’s worth, when we left the building, MY ears were ringing. Who in the world thought it was necessary to have concert decibel DJ shouting and music at a kid’s dance?! I was completely annoyed that no one figured all of that out before the dance began and made sure it was all a reasonable level… but what do i know..




Zipping My Lip

Published February 19, 2014 by sarcasmica

I follow few bloggers at this point, but the few are mighty in their POVs. One struck a cord with me recently and it’s this post:

Rambling Rowes

She mentions another blogger who has a No Yelling challenge

The Orange Rhino Challenge

Ultimately it’s about stopping the cycle of yelling by shutting your own pie hole. This has been an ongoing issue with my husband and I. Not that we have a problem yelling at each other  – this was something I actually had to learn to do and perfect in our relationship – but the yelling at/around/to the kids always felt out of control and more than we intended. Ironically the sensory sensitive child has always brought out the end-of-my-rope shouter in both of us.

I came from a very loud home. My parents had yelling matches, and my father was a large man with a voice to match. It always made me sensitive to shouting or loud situations. My brothers have decibels and pitch to match our father and when we are all together, things get quite vociferous. I never wanted to be that shouting loud mad-faced mommy, but here I am. It happened despite my best intentions.

So after reading the blog about someone else accepting this challenge and succeeding, I let it marinate. Could I do it? Was this an attainable goal? I woke up three days ago with a gnarly headache. The kind that make me thank little baby Jesus that I don’t have a day job to get showered and dressed and drive to. I thanked my stars I , instead, have the type of job where I can turn on a TV in another room and my children are of an age where they would be sucked in and, yes, babysat for at least 60 minutes while I lay down on the couch with a blanket over my head and let the Ibuprofen have a chance at doing their job.

My son is now 7 and change, and my daughter is 3+. My son was home from school for the holiday and it was going to be a day of challenges for me. The last day of a 5 day ‘mid winter break’. No support troops to call in for help. No playdates pre-arranged. .. and a headache.

Out of necessity, I managed not to shout that morning. I couldn’t do it, physically. In their defense, the kids were miraculously getting along famously despite the above mentioned facts. (see FIVE DAY BREAK FROM SCHOOL) So my challenge began with a boost. Divine intervention prevented me the ability to yell, and I was able to ride on those coat tails for the rest of the day. Once the headache was gone, I didn’t want to ruin my streak of not shouting or yelling.

Come dinner time, things get challenging with wild animals running about the house and anywhere except towards the dinner table.

Normally I’d shout something at this point to cause the madness to scare itself to a stand still so I could get a word out of my own mouth, “DINNER!!!”

But I didn’t. I aimed my focus at all the things that needed to get to the table in order for us to start as soon as we all sat down to eat. Once I redirected my energy and took a few deep breaths, I didn’t even need to raise my voice. They came. My daughter, who is famous for screeching her distaste and lack of enthusiasm at whatever is laid out on the table, even planted her butt to her chair and grabbed a fork.

I had to pinch myself under the table to make sure all was happening in my consciousness.

It wasn’t a hearty and raved over meal, but they ate. Both of ’em. We had some coercing and some bartering for bites, but no shouting.

Hoo Ma !

Next up was bedtime. This would be the test. This would be the tell if this goal was attainable. I was going solo as hubby was still at work. A fact that will be our reality for a while yet as he was promoted in a sense and will have much more responsibility resulting in late work nights. (but still in the same state, so i’m not complaining!)

I did it. I managed both teeth brushing, potty time, pajama time, under covers and stories. … without yelling once ! … at either kid !!

I felt amazing! And better yet, their attitudes were fantastic. My son was NOT excited about returning to school the next day, so bedtime was a challenge…. but nothing that couldn’t be handled with a deep breath, pulling up my big girl momma panties, and an open heart and ear.

I get so wrapped up in the ‘job’ of motherhood and the details of clean plates, cooked food, clean-ish clothes, fed animals, put away toys, brushed hair, that I realized it slips by that I don’t get to punch out for being mom to the kids. I let myself get unapologetic for my selfish wants. Computer time for me. TV time for me. Pee time for me, that it blinded me to what was more important…. i’m still a mom at all of those times. If it’s too hard to be the ‘fun mom’ because the kids have a tough time transitioning to business time (PJs and teeth brushing) then I have to change my hat. I have to be the Leave It To Beaver Mom and wear that hat/mask/apron, whatever it takes to get through it positively without shouting or tears from either side.

I don’t know if that completely makes sense to anyone outside of my own head trying to fathom this thought. … i’ll try to explain it better as I go along.

Things to take into consideration when agreeing with myself to attempt this lofty goal:

My son is of an age where it’s possible. This sounds awful, and honestly I wish I could have erased some of the drama when he was younger, but I can’t go back and change anything. I can simply start now. He understands more. He is more easily reasoned with and the most important, he’s been getting occupational therapy for the last year to help with his issues that often times caused the yelling in the first place.

We are stable…. FINALLY!
I have had a survivalist mentality to our home situation for so long, it took me a minute to realize we are settled somewhere. We have the stability to plan now. I know in one year, we will still be in this house, and I know where the kids will be in school. This is the first time in five years that we’ve had that. Five years is a long long LONG time to not have stability. From my son’s point of view, it’s even longer. For a majority of his life, things were unknown. What state we would be in, what house we would be in, what friends we would have, what school he would go to. All unclear . This has a tremendous impact on everything for a family. Moods, attitude, commitment, traditions, expectations, the list goes on and on and on. Without these things, you have no confidence or sense of security. From that stems a host of issues for a grown-ass person, let alone a little rug rat.

I am part of a team
I can rely on my husband, to an extent, to reign me in, or to play bad cop if necessary. My mom lives with us as well, and that cuts down on untold amounts of stress as well. It gives the kids another outlet for imagination and play and energy to boot. I try not to complain overly much about lack of freedom because of this. This is also a huge factor in getting our family back on track.

So all of the above had to happen, I feel, in order for everything to settle a bit in our home and allow for some focus to aim toward holding myself accountable for the yelling/stress/negative energy that we’ve had for a seemingly endless amount of time.

As a result, I have felt so much better all around. I feel lighter. I feel more confident, and I feel capable.

I’m only three days in, people. I haven’t done anything monumental…. yet. One month and I will feel unstoppable. At least now I know I have it in me. I have given my children some credit .. some space… some room. They have to adjust to my own shifting and tweaking to find what works best. I am confident I will have days where I wonder what I was thinking and my first reaction to something will be to yell or shout. I might even be weak that day and do it… but i’m only human. This honeymoon phase will surely end and there will be terrible bad days. But i’m not focusing on that.

My mini epiphany was this; I have always admired and wondered at the serene moms I see out and about. I see friends on facebook that I know personally and imagine a calm and cool home. A place that was a fantasy in my head. Something I could never make happen in my own life. I pictured their faces when their children would disappoint them, or when the siblings would fight. The women never cracked. And it dawned on me… “Fake it ’til you make it.”

It’s not because they were (all) high on Xanax or three sheets to the wind. They just found their own happy place and turned into Mom Bot until control could be re-established. I’m all about authenticity, but this Mom gig is at times a Job.

You don’t go to the office and throw your keyboard across a room just because the meeting wasn’t going your way. You didn’t slam that co-workers head into the coffee machine because they continue to whine at you about how they have it harder. You do what you have to do to get through that moment, and then you move on.

I had been in survival mode of just getting to bedtime, that I forgot this very important part of my job. At times, the apron has to be put on, tied tight, and the pearls securely fastened because a moment will call for a Mom Bot. Not for the entire day, but for ten minutes. Twenty minutes. Through the teeth brushing and pajamas. Whatever it is that sends your kids to their worst moments. Get through that as a professional mom, and then take the masks off and enjoy the story time or the hide and seek or playing catch because that’s the reward… and if we deserve nothing else for this job, it’s those moments of reward.

Yelling Less Is Totally Worth It

Published February 19, 2014 by sarcasmica

I have begun this challenge! So far it’s in the Honeymoon phase and going great 🙂

Rambling Rowes

I am 21 days into the Orange Rhino’s 30-day yelling challenge. Essentially, it’s 30 days of learning how to yell less at my kids. The good news is that my angriest moments have gone from exorcist-like temper tantrums to a more civilized yet firm (usually through gritted teeth) frustrated whisper. I had one totally ballistic, lose-my-shit moment yesterday that left me feeling horrible, small and stupid but compared to a month ago, I think I’m doing pretty ah-MAY-zing.


More importantly, I see and feel a difference with my kids. There is less tension and anxiety. I discovered some good tools to diffuse our most-likely-to-cause-yelling transitions (getting out the door is much easier…bedtime still has some work to be done). I’ve spent time talking to them about how I am managing my anger and I see them practicing it, too. My five-year-old now regularly asks to “just be left alone for…

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