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All posts for the month November, 2015

Gobble Wobble

Published November 27, 2015 by sarcasmica

I survived Thanksgiving. Beyond that, I’m kind of just a walking zombie. We had a typical day home yesterday. A day where everyone in our house is just all here together. All day. No visitors to break it up. No trips out to kill time. No destination to mix up the day a little. Just all of us here … this translates to a grumpy husband with little patience for our kids. Our kids were at each other from the time they woke up. (this is not exactly typical. It happens, but they usually get along for at least an hour first thing in the morning) I was feeling like a moderator between the husband and the kids which means my nerves get shot blocking the stink eyes and grump vibes pinging all over the house. Unfortunately I managed to block most which means I absorb some, so I was ready to drink by 1:30. My mom was busily getting 99% of the meal ready which is a big help, but on the other hand, leaves me feeling kind of useless in my own house.

Once my husband started actually grumping at the kids, I had to walk out the front door and take a slippery freezing cold walk around our driveway in the 30 degree weather.

The neighbors didn’t think anything of this.

I wish I could say they would see me and say, “Hi, how’s it going?” or “Everything ok over there?”

Nope. Instead it’s more like, “Must be time for ‘smoke break’ at the asylum.”

We got through our late lunch/early dinner feast well. .. meaning we all got to eat a hot meal. My daughter had been declaring since the day before she would not eat the turkey. When she saw the naked breast in the pan, she was that much more resolved to not like it. (despite the fact she loves the deli turkey from the store)

“Mom, i’m thankful for you and mashed potatoes!”

I feel ya, kid.

For me the day is all about the stuffing. It’s the only time of the year we eat it, so there’s a giant batch. Leftover stuffing, luke warm stuffing, scalding hot stuffing, stuffing with gravy, stuffing without gravy, stuffing on a roll, (aka bread with a side of bread) stuffing on a plate, in a bowl. In a train, in the rain, on a box with a fox. I do so like that carb overload!

My son was happy to eat anything. A note to all the parents of picky eaters; hang in there. If you have a boy and he’s a toddler and he only eats gold fish and chicken nuggets, it will change. Have you ever seen a teenager only eat 2 things? I have two older brothers and I can guaran-damn-tee that once they hit about 8 everything is fair game for their gullet. They begin eating and then don’t stop until they are out of your house… and even then, they only come back to eat more. (and laundry) Hang in there! I think it all starts with cereal. Once they branch out from there, most anything will be devoured.

So we did the clean up thing, then the pie thing, then the food coma thing under the guise of watching America’s Funniest Home Videos. The kids were wild animals by this point and just rabid for attention, positive or otherwise. At some point, I dozed. During this time my blessedly intuitive husband put them both to bed.

It was a Thanksgiving miracle! I was so happy and relieved. I went up later to kiss them goodnight, but I got to miss the toothpaste griping and the brushing antics and the PJ wiggles. Instead, I lounged like a slug on the sofa in front of the fire. (which was awesome until we nearly had a fireΒ  with one ember and a dog bed)

That night I finished my Odd Thomas (Dean Koontz) book and fell asleep around 11. At 4:30 I woke up unable to sleep and running the black friday ads through my brain. Every year I think I don’t need anything right up until the morning of… then I realize what sales are useful. My husband ended up going out first and then I went to Target.

While I missed most of the “Door Buster” deals, I still picked up a couple asked-for toys that were on a great sale. At 7am in Target, there were zero lines. (we went back later in the afternoon and it was the exact opposite)

I volunteered at the bird place today (Zazu’s House Parrot Sanctuary) and had a wacky time with creatures trying their damnedest to bite my toes and fingers – which i’ll save for a separate post – so needless to say i’m pooped!

Here’s hoping all your turkeys cooperate and allow you to have an enjoyable holiday weekend as well! Gobble gobble wibble wobble!

 

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Lazy Bones

Published November 23, 2015 by sarcasmica

I admit it. I’m lazy. I’m overweight, under energized, under organized and lazy.

Since working out with a trainer in August, however, something has finally kicked in. Well, her foot has kicked in my butt, however that’s not my point. We have had many a project go undone on this house simply because thinking about the effort that goes into all the details overwhelms me and I don’t even begin.

The kids toys, for one. This is just a running joke. They are literally taking over our house… and our house is not small. We have lived in some small places, this is currently not one of them.

My children have never ever ever enjoyed playing in their rooms. I suppose it’s because 98% of their toys are in a play room or living area where all the action with the grown ups happens. I have had it. The legos, the Little People Princesses, the Minecraft figures, the action figures, the legos, the legos, and finally …. the stuffed animals.

My daughter seems to be training to run a global sanctuary because she’s got enough animals to populate one. Insult to injury, she has a mental roster of all individual pets. Hell fire will rain down upon your head if you so much as mention getting rid of one little being. I’ve had to lie and formulate a plan to have a ‘holding area’ in the garage for all the overflow. (sidenote: this has proven an unexpected smart move because once in a while, I will let them trade ‘in-house toys’ for ‘in-garage toys’ at the rate of 2, 4, or even 5 for 1 garage toy. And whenever they do this, it’s like giving them a new toy. It entertains them for hours. Brilliant!)

We have had a few garage sales in their life times and they know when summer rolls around, everyone is in danger of sitting on the curb…. everyone. When my daughter gets a new toy – I know, right? Who the hell keeps buying toys when our lives are threatened daily by drowning in f$#king toys?! – her first sentence is always, “Mom, i’m never gonna sell this, okay? OKAaaaaaaaAAY-uh?!”

“Sure, ok.”

Wow.. that was a tangent. So this past weekend we began the overhaul of toy placement. The toys are heading to the bedrooms, and the living spaces will NOT be mini daycare centers for the kids.

The other disgusting, much-avoided chore i’ve been putting off is scraping. Our master bath window has some sort of oozing STD. When we had the house checked for mold, the inspector took a look at this window and just shook his head. It appears the sealant/caulking substance that holds the window in place – which is black – has been oooooozing out and onto and down the pane. It’s lovely. Little mold spores were growing on the sticky rubbery ooze. The window was partially covered with some rinky dink shutters that do not move. So tonight I spent over an hour scraping, cleaning, gagging, and removing as much of the ooze as I could. I feel like I have orangutan arms. That’s gotta count for some kind of exercise, right?!?!

My original point was that since working out, while i’m still cardio-challenged, I have picked up the pace on getting shit done around the house. It’s not weight loss or a fitness goal, persay, but it’s a step in the right direction! And at this point any step is being counted by me and my fitbit.

Now i’m gonna catch up on sitting on the couch time.

 

Power Struggle

Published November 18, 2015 by sarcasmica

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday. I was over prepared for once. We had presents wrapped, gift cards handled, cards signed the day before.

The day of, I made his favorite treat early in case the power outtage warnings came to fruition later on. We had gramma babysitter all lined up. I had put dinner in the crockpot- obviously not taking the outtage too seriously..? Everything was going well…

Until it wasn’t. The power went out around 2:30. Soon after I got a call from my son’s school, “Three trees fell on a building, but everyone is ok, please dont come to pick up kids early.”

Huh?!

A few minutes later, “Power is now out, put same pick up/release time.”

When I get there I see the damage:

  
Not quite the apocolypse I had imagined in my mom brain. 

We get home, still no power. The crockpot dinner is officially wrecked. Now my husband’s bday dinner becomes a family event.

Sushi doesnt fly with anyone but him, and the open, close-ish, reasonable option is Applebees.

I happen to hate Applebees, but what’reyagonnado. Not many options. 

My husband has been a trooper through all of it. 

Applebee’s sets down out appetizer and we get a room temperature plate of chicken. No plates. No server. No help.

Send it back, inform its a bday dinner, please pay attention when bringing out the dinners. We dont want food poisoning as a receipt. 

Next our food is delivered wrong/cold/terrible.

It just keeps getting better! 

They end up comping the whole thing, my husband has to eat his alone since it was sent back and brought out after we were all done.

We trekk back home through blown down branches and non-functioning traffic lights. 

Arrive home to a dark house and warming fridge.

Sing the bday song, blow out the candle, pack the kids into one room and 80% of the emergency lights. Hang out in the living room on the power-reclining couch where our daughter had earlier fully reclined one seat when the power went out. πŸ˜•

End up going upstairs early to our sleep number-electronically powered- bed. And the final straw of the day?  I start my period early.

Today the power is still out, and as an added bonus, the kids are both home due to school power not yet restored. Hubby gets the inherited-from-last-home-owner-generator out. We pump the tires, wipe it down, get it ready, and gas leaks all over the driveway. 

Useless like everything else they gave us. 

O.M.G. 

Happy birthday, honey!! We get lots of family bonding time, you get a new generator, and I’m not pregnant! 

πŸ™„

Tricksters

Published November 17, 2015 by sarcasmica

Some days I wake up and after a little time goes by, I look around and think, “Yes. I have kicked ASS today! I have mastered this ‘life’ thing.”

Today, for instance, I woke up, got the kids ready, got the 4th grader to school without yelling with a lunch made by moi, thankyouverymuch. (No faces or shapes made from the dough of angel clouds or anything, just a sammich and ‘stuff’)

It’s the hubster’s birthday, so I made his birthday treat. Instead of cake, I made butter tarts. These things are grody to me, but he’s from Canada, so need I say more? (They are a Canadian fave) This involved following a recipe… before 9am!

Our daughter helped out, and then she got to play with the leftover pie crust dough.. and she played for over an hour with the stuff, y’all. Amazing!

I cleaned up the baking mess, and then made breakfast – hash browns and eggs – for my daughter and I. Cooking after baking?! Who’s a badass? I am. And then, just to show off, I put dinner in the crock pot so my mom and the kids will have something yummy for din-din while I take the hubby out for his birthday.

mic-drop

I cleaned up again. This time that involved emptying the dishwasher and then filling it right back up.

After a bit of time, I made lunch for us and that’s about the time I looked around and thought, “I have nailed this day.” I have done breakfast, lunch, and dinner including the birthday “cake” all before 11:30 am.

And then I realize, while still validating my awesomeness, my daughter is still in PJ’s, as am I. Zero laundry has been started, no treadmill has been walked upon, and zero showers had. I could have been tricked into feeling like I should have done more, but no. I will not let my rarely occurring big head be deflated by what I can still accomplish this afternoon.

All in all, I still count it as an epic display of my greatness.

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So You Want To Be A SAHM?

Published November 10, 2015 by sarcasmica

First things first, you have to get with the SAHM acronym. (Stay At Home Mom)

I was pitifully ill equipped for my transition. My transition was a sort of last minute forced “option”. I went to school to become …. a grownup.

It was community college, and I had zero direction. After 8 years of floundering, my dad convinced me to give ASL Interpreter Training a go. I went. It worked. I found a great place in the city of Gilbert, AZ where I could get comfy with my fairly new skills. After a couple of years working as an educational interpreter, I got pregnant. I never expected to stay home with him.

We had a nanny all set up and literally the day before the new school year and my back-to-work mentality began, she quit. I had to tell my boss, who happened to be a good friend, on the worst possible day that I couldn’t make it into work. This became a permanent situation for my son’s first year.

But I still didn’t have the “SAHM” mentality. See, I was going back. And I did! The following school year I started as a part time interpreter. This was the best of both worlds. I got to get up and have a place to be, and still come home and spend a bunch of time with my baby. It was awesome!

But I still wasn’t a SAHM. I was the nebulous part-timer. Half work, all mom.

Then the housing market crashed, my husband’s independent company flopped, and we had to get the hell outta dodge. This translated to a state move within 30 days.

We had to drop everything, including a couple houses, and run. We left behind family, friends, jobs, heat, sunburns, memories. (we had gotten married in our backyard, and this was the house we brought our first child home to)

Talk about hard.

Once we got to Texas, I was in a state of shock and depression. We did what we had to do for our family, but that didn’t mean it was easy. .. or necessarily consensual. I knew my husband needed to work, but what about me ?!

Ah, the inevitable struggle for a mom. You remember that you rank somewhere in terms of importance.

We looked at the options, weighed the costs, accounted for the despair I was feeling, and then decided i’d be a stay at home mom.

What in the hell does that mean?!! What do i DO all day?! This is really it ???

It wasn’t a decision made in the best of circumstances, but after feeling like I was drowning for a little while, I got my feet back under me and moved on. Becoming a stay at home parent is not at all an easy transition. I’ve had this conversation with my husband, a few people, and I am convinced i’m right…. as usual πŸ™‚

Once you become a SAHM you are suddenly introduced to how long a day can be. It’s lonely. It can be terrifying. You are expected to have a range of skills and knowledge no one in your life has taught you. Did I mention lonely? ‘Cause it is … very.

At what point do you call the pediatrician? When do you set a parent teacher conference? How do you clean a hardwood floor? What the hell is on that shirt in the washer, and how do you get it out? Why is the dryer making that noise? Should I call someone? My husband .. a repair man .. that stranger outside Home Depot?

To TV or not to TV
Organic or not
How many languages do I use
When is a public pool safe
How to manage a pool visit without anyone dying and still remembering all your necessities

These are just a small smattering of things you’ll be expected to handle. I’m still working on feeling like i’ve mastered any of them, personally.

You and your partner should probably agree on what exactly a SAHM looks like to you both. I’ve heard lots of opinions on what your expectations should be. Technically you have become the hands-on parent all day, so does that mean you are also expected to take on 100% of the housework? If you hired someone to be home with your kid, would you expect them to mop and wash dishes and make all the beds, too? Are you going to have an education-based day with your kid, or a free form time?

I am lucky to have a husband who always saw the value in my staying home with the kids. Especially because he knew I came from a home where my single mom worked all the time no matter what, and I didn’t want to miss or have my kids feel like I missed out on time with them. Not all husbands or partners are on board with the idea for a variety of reasons. So first I’d say deal with what that reality should look like and realize both parties’ expectations have value. One more of those fun areas where compromise will be the key word. *eye roll*

I’d say the next important step is to find a like-minded group of people in a similar situation. I found a mom group. There are mom-walkers, mom-joggers, mom-hikers, mom-winers, mom-tree-huggers.

Find your posse and treat it like the lifeline it is. You have no idea how much even the most mundane park trip can help you feel connected to the outside world when there is a group of people forced to be there with you. It’s an opportunity to talk about the rash you are unsure of on your baby’s tushie, teething solutions, diaper brands, pediatrician horror stories, kids eat free spots.

The extra perk to a mom group are the MNOs. The Moms Night Out. This is a necessity. A date night with your husband is debatable, but the MNO is a requirement in life, in my opinion. It is your pass to vent, drink, laugh, share, vent, drink, bond and it can be about anything from babies, to husbands, to friends, to elementary school drama to what your life was like before kids.

Only a group of other women who are in the trench with you will see you for all your facets. They will be the ones to remember you actually left something behind, or put it on a shelf, or whatever. But they will see you for the 85% human you are when you become a mom.

Husbands are great, but they get wrapped up into their own crap when you push a baby out of your hoo-ha/belly/adoption paperwork. They are wrapped up in the responsibility, the change to the bank account, the change to your bodies, (because we all know they change with us!) and possibly a bit of jealousy that you no longer sit in the morning commute.

Another struggle I know a lot of SAHMs have is remembering they have needs too. You have to get comfortable with forgiving yourself for lots of things. First and foremost is your lack of patience, most likely. I used to be a patient person. Now I just feel like a patient.

You also need to get comfortable with giving yourself credit. You will have a million accomplishments throughout your day, but you likely will only beat yourself up over what you didn’t do or didn’t do well. And no one else is going to applaud you… at least not sincerely. The bitch about being a SAHM is you no longer get achievements for conquering something new or foreign or scary or gross. You will not get a bonus or a raise or a promotion for your duties. You will probably get a lot of, “That’s great, honey” or “MooooOOOOOOommm, not like thaaaaaaaaaat!”s. So keep a pedicure pot and give yourself a bonus when you achieve that post blow out zen.

It is absolutely ok to take thirty minutes while your kids are napping/busy/playing to sit down. Drink however much coffee you can get down before it gets cold. Veg out on your phone. (but try to avoid the simulated perfection of FB) Watch some of that DVR show. The laundry isn’t going anywhere but up. The dishes will never end. You’ll be in a far better head space to deal with it if you can laugh at the latest Housewives of ___ cat fight or the punch line on Modern Family while scrubbing/washing/folding.

You have to decompress throughout your day, or you are just a butler. Even factory workers get a ten minute break! Do not use every spare minute for housework. Giving yourself an hour in the evening will just make the day that much longer. Why do you have to wait until they are in bed to read that article? You KNOW they aren’t staying in their room.

And do not feel guilty for locking that bathroom door once your kid(s) are old enough. That is to be determined by you πŸ™‚

All I can say is it’s a trip. It’s a change. It’s not something everyone can do, or can do well. There is no switch you can flip to just stop going to a job every day. It takes time to settle into your roll as the primary caregiver and you will have all sorts of feelings about that. I love that i’ve been able to watch and guide and share with my kids their first years because the job stuff will mostly likely always be there after some time. My kids’ childhood will not be. It’s finite.

It took me a good year or two to really understand how to be happy as a stay at home mom and not guilty. Not ashamed or feeling less than. It’s an opportunity I will always be grateful I had…. and it’s probably the reason I like drinking now.

On a final note, good luck at the spouse’s work socials. Personally I hate having the same awkward conversation year after year when they ask, “So what do you do?” “I’m a stay at home mom.”Β  “Oh, how old are they?” … and then inevitably find a reason to abandon the convo. I might start making shit up. “I’m a firefighter” “A surgeon” “A circus clown”

Chances are pretty good i’ll have done something related to those occupations during my stint home with the kids.

Hating Dating

Published November 9, 2015 by sarcasmica

On Mondays the morning radio show I listen to has something called “The Loser Line”. If you text into a number, the station will send you a phone number to give out to those people who are hounding you for your digits. People you would not go on a date with if the zombie apocalypse was over and you and (s)he were the last humans remaining.

When they call the number, they leave messages that run the gamut from fairly normal to downright Douche Bag and/or Serial Killer potential.

Listening to today’s show solidified my thought that dating just sucks. I hope to never be back to that reality ever. You always wonder why people stay in certain relationships, it’s because they don’t want to have to go back to dating!

The anxiety of wondering if this person you like is even going to ask you out, the stress of picking the right outfit for the first date. Remaining calm and cool despite the venue he takes you for said date. Trying not to think about whether or not there is food in your teeth or , God forbid, having to tell him he does. That awkward first date wrap up. The excitement or sickness you feel wondering if he’s going to go in for the post date kiss.

No thanks. Was never a fan. I sucked at dating, though. I never really even would get asked out. If it wasn’t for the internet, I’d still be single. I was always the looming large friend. The one that made sure losers weren’t hitting on her friends. I naturally have a ‘dont mess with me’ type face. Not my fault, just a product of my parents. I always gave off either the unapproachable ice queen, or goofy friend vibe. Kind of a wide gap there, but what can I say … i’m multi-faceted.

I feel sorry for daters now. All the extra social media can only make it more complicated and frustrating. It must only add more rules and pitfalls. As if there aren’t enough to begin with!

So given the option of being single forever or having to date again, just buy me a few cats and be done with it!

Food Demons

Published November 5, 2015 by sarcasmica

I have been working pretty hard on my food demons. I’ve been working out with a personal trainer since August, and simultaneously dealing with food issues with my therapist. A one-two punch, as it were.

I’ve been doing pretty well all around, actually. I’ve made some break-throughs with eating and habits. I’ve made some changes. We’ve eliminated a lot of carbs in the house which is difficult. My mom lives with us and having three adults be consistent is not easy.

We do still have bread. My kids will sometimes have toast for breakfast, or i’ll have it as a quick option for my own breakfast. Sandwiches are usually for the kids, but really they prefer home made ‘lunchables’. It takes us twice as long to go through a loaf as it did in the past, so that’s something. I’m a complete carb-o-holic. If I had a choice between a bag of candy or a loaf of fresh french bread or sourdough, i’d choose the bread every time. Every. Time.

So we went a little over a week without potato chips, potatoes of any kind, pasta, breads-with-dinner (rolls/biscuits/garlic bread) and I think it made a big difference.

Since Halloween, shit has been creeping back into the pantry, though. This whole week i’ve been shit about my food choices. I am working on sucking it up and moving along, but I keep getting stuck. We have managed to not do mashed potatoes with anything, and I have yet to make a pot of spaghetti. That’s something! We also haven’t ordered pizza.

Living on the edge here, people.

The latest f- up is the Halloween candy. I need to accidentally trip and have the bowl land in the trash can. I don’t know who will cry worse if we do that, my husband, the kids, or myself.

I’m out of ideas for dinners, and i’m in a place where I don’t really care. That is dangerous. Because you know when I do care? After i’ve eaten it. Like immediately after I eat it.

Why couldn’t I struggle with wearing too much make up or being addicted to triathalons like some lucky bastards?

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