All posts for the month August, 2016

Brotherly Love

Published August 31, 2016 by sarcasmica

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Camping Tried To Kill Us

Published August 31, 2016 by sarcasmica

But we prevailed!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Aug 27, 4 39 37 PM

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

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

We opted to go elsewhere.

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


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


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

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

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


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


Brown Wenatchee River in smoky haze from the fires

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Too Sweet

Published August 25, 2016 by sarcasmica

Today was an epic dental day for our little familia. One kid went to have two of his FOUR “abrasions” (aka cavities) cleaned and sealed, and my nearly six year old had a cleaning all while the dog was having his teeth cleaned. (and probably one infected tooth extracted)

That’s how it began. It ended with the dog not needing any of his remaining few removed, (we adopted him with only a half mouth of teeth due to some unknown injury) my son finished first for once, and my daughter was found to have SIX cavities. SIX!!!

Having never had a cavity myself, it was very hard not to react to the number 6. She isn’t even six years old, how does she have more cavities than years?!!

He showed me her X-Rays and truthfully, all I could see were dust speck sized areas on each tooth. It was explained her teeth are all right up on each other where most kids’ baby teeth have a little space. .. I think he was trying to make me feel better but simultaneously nailing me for not making her an avid flosser.

Driving home I tried holding it together. My daughter was unsure of how to feel about it all and my state of mind regarding the whole thing was not helping her. Total fail on my part. I wish so much I had been more supportive and proactive about it all. I was too disappointed and completely mad at myself to script a reaction.

We talked about how lately I have been very lax with it being the end of summer. No more sugary cereal and we are only going to be drinking milk or water. No exceptions. Juice and flavored waters seem to find their way into the fridge, and then into my kid’s cups regardless of my personal feelings and choices for what I want them to have. Debating with each of them daily over drinks is tiring enough, but it appears my energy for also fighting adults in the same house about it can be equally frustrating.

My daughter understandably began panicking and listing all the things this would mean she could never have again in her life.

We slowed the panic train down and I told her instead of thinking of all the things she was missing out on, instead to think about it like “I’m choosing to take care of my teeth and my body over eating/drinking junk food.”

I likened it to my not being able to eat lots of bread like I like and really missing it. Instead of feeling bad about it, I just started telling myself the choice is mine to do what’s right for my body and feel good about that rather than feeling deprived.

Who the hell knows if that sunk in or made sense. I was still reeling from my piss poor parenting job evidenced by 10 cavities sitting in the dentist office between two children all in the same day.

I had to also stop and talk to them about my reaction being disappointment in myself for not following up on them every morning with how they manage their teeth and not anger at them for what the dentist found.

… but really, I was kinda mad. Seriously, how many times does one have to harp on the importance of brushing and flossing twice a day?! In grasping at parenting point straws, I can at least say I never uttered a single “I told you so”.

Interestingly, I have a suspicion my husband does not feel 1/4 of the failure at parenting I am feeling at this moment. He just sort of shrugs his shoulders and is all about “let’s just move on and do better”. What is that like?

Perhaps the saddest moment was finding out that after coming home from the dentist, my daughter grabbed the little baggie of cocoa puffs she packed for our camping trip this weekend and threw them away. It is so hard not to tell her that it’s ok and we can go ahead and bring them. How hard that must have been for her! I cannot discount that ambition and just put that treat right back into her hands. … and that is the only reason I wont. If she can find will power at 5, my new mission – besides becoming a Floss Nazi – is to encourage and grow that characteristic I never had.



Hats and Labels

Published August 21, 2016 by sarcasmica

I’m almost 40. I’m not excited about this but hey, as they say: “It’s better than the alternative.”

I feel like i’m entering a new era – just because i like to be cliche – with my daughter now beginning full time school. Both kids at school all day?! YES! Better than day drinking!

Anyway, so i’ve been exploring some alternate universes with the whole volunteering thing which has led me to the whole photography thing. I’ve really enjoyed taking pictures and lugging the big awkward camera bag around in the unlikely event I’ll use my 50mm wide angle lens. I’d really like to better understand what i’m doing with it so i’ve looked into photography class at the “local” community college. Unfortunately I only have “butt crack of dawn” early, or “conflicts with any extra curriculars” late. This has not deterred me.

This summer was a record for my husband and I with following through with an activity. Last summer we camped twice, this summer we actually were consistent and went ahead and camped again. Once. We went two months after the car accident and the cot/air mattress trade off was murder on my back. It was horrible. I slept more and better with a newborn just home from the hospital. We also concluded that tent camping experience with breaking it all down in the rain wasn’t our favorite thing to do. We did have a great time prior to the deluge.

This discussion led us to considering an RV. This was one time “we aren’t getting any younger or thinner” worked to our advantage. Our expensive advantage. We started checking out RV dealers on our way home from that very trip. Like, my daughter and I were literally still in our pajamas. I had scary, frightening 3rd day of camping hair and we all had the day after beach sunburn. We were a sight. We looked like we were looking for upgrading our cardboard box rather than a luxury camping option. (see above: breaking down camp in the rain)

For the last month we’ve been tossing the idea around, researching, arguing amongst the voices in our own heads whether it is a good idea or not. Was summer really a good time to buy an RV? Should we wait until winter? Will there be enough space, will we feel comfortable driving it? And most importantly, is my husband willing to fully take on the “shitty” job of manning the waste line 100% of the time? Because that ship has sailed for me. I had 4D shit show experience aplenty between the two kids. At least this crap is contained within a hose, right? I refuse.

Also, it’s just seems like an obscene luxury. How can we justify buying an RV when we can barely (and by “barely” I mean not at all) maintain our actual house?! How can we commit to this rig when my husband can’t even bring himself to take the trash out? And me, how am I going to maintain any level of cleanliness in the tiny space when my hardwood floors are beginning to look more like forest floors? Are we really going to park an RV on the driveway that borders a yard that is beginning to resemble “naturalscape”?

Well it appears the answer to all of this is YES. Yes we are. Because we can. Because it’s our choice to be inconsistent home maintainers. There’s a reason we chose a neighborhood with no HOA. “Free the weeds!” we say. I have a turquoise frontĀ DOOR for crapsakes.

So if everything goes as planned, this week we will own a new RV. We are going to be campers. I’m going to be a roving photographer.

New adventures. They are intimidating and scary and nerve-wracking and you never really know if you’re supposed to be doing it, but I have found it’s been harder to allow myself the permission to do what we want. It’s going to ultimately bring the family closer – literally – so how is that going to end badly? (she said at the end of summer with 50% more grey hair and 40% less hair on her head from pulling it out)

Why is it so hard to let yourself have a little freedom and self-exploration as you age? I am grateful for the opportunities I have to find these things out about myself and our family. Adventure Chapter 40 soon to come!!

The Purge

Published August 11, 2016 by sarcasmica

As a parent, I’ve lost my right to have “stuff”. Scratch that. As a mother I’ve lost my right to collect and keep “stuff”. My husband has made a side job out of it. Ever since we lived in our first house together, the garage was 98% his crap stuff. Game stuff, paperwork from decades ago, game cords, connectors, controllers, wires that converted old games to new games, bad consoles to mediocre consoles, game cartridges, game disks, game boxes, game guides, collectors editions, boxes to hold things that no longer exist, the list goes on and on and on. This has just morphed into all of that PLUS kids bikes, lawn mowers, buckets and containers to hold the crap that go with the bikes and tires and lawn mowers. Crap to keep the lawn looking good …. only it collects dust because my husband and I don’t fancy losing weekend time to lawn maintenance.

The only things that have accumulated on my behalf are kid-related. I think one, maybe two boxes, in that three car garage that could be associated with me have my old year books, high school paraphernalia, old college notebooks. Everything else is kid clothes, baby keepsakes, holiday decorations. Hardly my hoarder collection of ancient tomes.

Every year before school starts I get a hankerin to overhaul. Get it all out. Today I went through my kids drawers and closets and purged anything and everything that is “too itchy, feels weird, too small, too stained, too ripped, too too too.” It was a lot easier to pull my daughter’s clothes for some reason this time. My son hadn’t purged his closet in over a year, so there was a lot more to see.

For the life of me, I cannot at all understand the hormonal necessity to assign emotion to clothing on behalf of my kid. We were going through shirts that were 2 sizes too small and I could tell you where/who/when they were bought and from whom. I had to just shut my eyes and shout, “Go! Go! Toss!” to the amazement of my kid. In the beginning he kept trying to give me reasons he wouldn’t wear brand new pants or shorts that were bought last summer, but I just wanted to get it done. Didn’t need an excuse or answer or reason. “Don’t like it? Chuck it. Fine. Done. Out.”

In the end between both rooms we had 4.5 garbage bags of clothes that were donated.

I have plenty of unused and unneeded emotions floating around in my head. Why do they have to get assigned to something like a shirt or dress?! Seriously? And my daughter has inherited this association, unfortunately. I had to put the bags in the car out of eyesight of her or she would have rummaged through all the bags protesting each choice.

And it’s a sickness. How do I know this? Because it’s spread to the toys. In all sincerity, it began with the toys and spread to the clothes… i think.. it’s sort of like the chicken or the egg. It really began when they were infants. My son’s clothes were all keepsakes. With the first, every single onesie, sock, pacifier holds some sort of magical power that immediately transports you back to that time it was used…. that one time. God knows you have so. much. stuff. with babies. Especially the first one. The magic is in the immediate time travel. The survival is in remembering what the reality was surrounding the inanimate object. Yes that 0-3m PJ is too precious to give away because ohmygod this giant child fit in that once, remember the sweet baby smell? The sleeping baby on your chest??? Remember???

No. Because it never happened that way!!! USE THE FORCE! Do not get sucked into the Hallmark memory!! That baby was only sleeping on you because it’s 2pm and you have to pee and get a load of laundry done. He didn’t sleep more than an hour at a time the night before and you can’t even be bothered to remember your last name or his birth date when you have to make an appointment at the pediatrician.

Look at that little dress she used to fit into! How did she fit into that dress? She was so tiny and precious and dependent on you for every single need and thing to the point of wiping her diarrhea diaper rash bottom and screaming in your face while you did it …..

While purging closets, you have to be strong and remember the actuality, not the perceived reality. The toys are slowly conspiring to take over the house and kill us all in our sleep to control this command station. I think they are planning to overtake the neighbor’s house next.

They breed in the toy bins. How does this happen?! And the longer between clearing them out, the worse it gets! My kids are next door playing. I took the opportunity to go through toy bins in the front room … because, you know, the whole smuggling toys like a Mexican drug Lord thing is very much reality in this house. My daughter is a dictator with her toys. Epic. Tantrum.

So i’m going through and pulling out the big guns on top who are often played with to get to the bottom dwellers. As I’m pulling them out and hardcore considering who had to go I began naming them in my head as they were being pulled out.

It’s like pigs to the slaughter. Once they have a name, it’s game over! The crappy little action figures are the only things that ever get tossed because they are branded. No one took the time to name them and give them a personality or job. Plus, those li’l f-ers have all the damn accessories that end up anywhere BUT the toy bin beside the corresponding toy.

Today I only had the strength of will to chuck the clothes and a few broken non-emotional toys. I still feel triumphant. Tomorrow I will conquer the remaining toy clutter future hoarder bomb that has gone off in my daughter’s room. If I have to blindfold her and tape her to the kitchen table so this can happen, so be it. When she starts her meltdown, i’ll just tell her a family of spiders built a house and neighborhood beneath her stash. That should do it.

This parenting story brought to you by: LIES! Behold the key to freedom!

Back At It

Published August 9, 2016 by sarcasmica

Last year I had a grand plan to make and sell wreaths using feathers from the sanctuary I volunteer at twice a week. In my head I turned myself into a lone sweat shop slaving away at wrapping wreaths. I was arthritic from all the yarn and felt and blistered from the crappy glue gun I insist on continuing to use.

It couldn’t have worked out further from that expectation. I can barely give these things away. You know that family member that fancies themselves a Rembrandt but when you see the abomination they actually spent money and time to create it just inspires nausea on your part? I’m feeling a bit like this is me. I am the (failed) fantasy Wreath Rembrandt.

I’d like to say that I would love feedback from people so that I can adjust my limited and very elementary business plan, but I doubt I’ll take it well. I guess throwing me constructive criticism safely from a distance – say, behind a screen – would be the best way to receive it. I wont see your green distorted face and you wont see my red flaming one. .. and then I can (or possibly wont) adjust accordingly.

But honestly I look at these and think, “Wow, that’s so cool!” Maybe it’s the phobia people have of birds? It’s not as if i’ve created an ashtray from pigeon feathers. These are beautifully colored parrot feathers.

I don’t know. Rejection has never been my thing, but now after this fantastic lead in I wanted to announce that i’m back at it! I’m trying again. Maybe people will be blinded by the summer sun and brain damaged from the heat and restlessly searching for something to buy that does not at all relate to Back To School. If this sounds like a description of yourself, check out my Etsy shop!



Bad Writer

Published August 8, 2016 by sarcasmica

I figure it’s better to have fewer posts than many posts that are babbling on and on about nothing in particular.

So, summer. We are in the trenches of summer here. I’ve managed to keep sanity until about two hours ago. I am so in need of school to begin now. Like, now. Some people are early Christmas preppers, I am an early school prepper. We have all the lists checked, backpacks bought, lunch boxes ready and I am counting down!

Swim lessons in the am every day are really preventing me from digging a trench in my room to stick my head in. We get up and get out and then spend the rest of the day smelling of chlorine.

Don’t even act like you all bathe your children on the daily when they are just getting back in that chlorinated cesspool in the morning. It’s not like we live in Rio. :0O !

We are down to frozen dinners and hot dog lunches in varying forms; corn dogs, beans and weenies, cold.. Am I Mother of the Year? Nope. But my kids are both covered in bacteria prevention (chlorine) and they can reach all the shelves themselves. They know how to operate a remote control and a game controller.

No bodies have been stored in refrigerators, no siblings choked out by controllers (hellooooo wireless!) and we are all relatively functioning. Isn’t that the point of summer? To push SAHParents to the brink? This way we don’t mind sitting and figuring out math homework every night. We look forward to the fun notes we put in lunchboxes. We appreciate the laundry because it means everyone is going to SCHOOOOOL!

We have no more vacations or trips planned for the remaining 29 days of summer. We have TV, movies, video games and maybe an outing or two. I did go and plan their first ever sleepover. What crack pipe exploded in my face to do that?! I volunteered to have four children in the house over night instead of the regular two. Total crazy town.

Forgive my lack of witty imagination and commentary. It appears my brain cells are fried and the evidence is in the form of frozen dinners in my freezer.

Just 29 more days until sanity …

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