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All posts for the month May, 2017

Batty

Published May 23, 2017 by sarcasmica

My kids are driving me frigging batty! 

I know it’s me and not them…sort of…except for the whining and the not listening and the talking back. That is definitely contributing to my asylum fantasies. But if I were walking, eating fruit instead of chips, crunching on veggies instead of peanut butter toast, they’d still be annoying as hell, but i might be less likely to be sucked into the void of insanity. 

My daughter has begun a particularly irritating habit of asking a question, me saying no, and she immediately says, “But Im going to do it anyway…”

And my eyes roll back, my head spins around and I hear Latin chanting.

She has also figured out how to try for Door #2 if she doesnt like whats already been offered. “You wasted story time because you didnt pick up your toys.” 2 minutes later I hear, “Grandmaaaaa? Will you read me a story tonight?” (Sweet face closer)

And my fists ball up, my neck veins bulge, I turn loud and green and burst out of my pajamas. ..The Mulk. 

I am not going to end this with how much I love and adore my kids. I’m not going to elaborate on my blessings. I just want my little humans to listen, follow through, and then use their noggin for making life easy. 

Ha! And monkeys might fly outta my butt

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Garage Garbage

Published May 22, 2017 by sarcasmica

There is nothing like buying a house to test the limits of your marital bliss, except for maybe sugery for a spouse. ..also moving can definitely make you revisit some wedding vows. My husband and I can now say we survived this all simultaneously over the last four months. The sprinkles on the top of that divorce cake was the neighborhood garage sale this weekend. We just moved in like three weeks ago. My forward thinking proactive spouse had all the big furniture items we knew we wanted to get rid of strategically placed in the garage to be easily accessible. Genius! 

We found out soon after moving that there was going to be a huge neighborhood garage sale and we stupidly thought, “Hey! We have some shit we can sell!” But because rifling through the cardboard chaos to find singular items to hock from our driveway wasnt stressful enough, I had the genius idea to let the kids sell lemonade. 

That lasted all of about four sales before they abandoned their posts for the shade of the couch inside. My 6 year old daughter angrily hounding people to buy her lemonade didnt live up to the retail money tree she had built it into I guess.

I was truthfully doing just fine until we had to put all the crap that didnt sell back into the garage. 

That’s when it happened. Somewhere between the mildly sunny day sweat, the defeat of leftover inventory, and my husband’s OCD need for rows in the garage I lost it. I felt that imaginary matchstick snap in my brain and fantasized about just burning down the wholefucking garage. To hell with the boxes and multiplying bikes and holiday decorations that have been dragged across four states and seven garages-give or take-Burn it down!! 

Instead I quietly told my husband, “The next time we decide a garage sale after moving is a good idea, lets just pass. It would seem, dear, that I am now overwhelmed.”

After my head stopped spinning around we did manage to get it all squared away, we cleared some crap out of the garage, the kids made some money and we survived­čśÄ

And now because I am old and fat I need to recover from the whole thing! Goodnight

Seriously

Published May 11, 2017 by sarcasmica

This is one of my more serious posts… read at your own risk, but be courageous enough to consider reading it and please leave a comment with your thoughts.

I believe I have mentioned maybe once or twice (or 8,000 times) that we have recently moved. We went from private-ish acre properties in a huge sprawling community to a close-quarter development. Tons and tons of families. Kids run to and fro from one house to the next without invitation or knocking. It has struck me in the past week just how many parental units are freely interacting and just wandering about with their kids- like parental interaction is a normal activity and not an extra curricular. It’s fantastic, really.

But the other night I had a dream that has made one thing glaringly clear. The stranger-danger talk with my kids, specifically my daughter, is long overdue at the ripe old age of six.

Here’s the part that I am compelled to write about because no matter what I do, I cannot scrub this horrible dream from my brain. I’m hoping in writing about it it will stop the post-dream-feeling I woke up with and have not been able to shake. I purposely did not share this with my husband because there’s no need to transfer this awful feeling, but I’ll share it with the faceless followers and anyone who is brave enough to take on the challenge this has inspired.

Let me start by saying as a woman now, I grew up a girl. Shocking, right? Oddly enough most women start as girls. There are lots and lots of us. Tons, even! While this shouldn’t be a novelty, for predators it seems it is. Mothers and sisters begin as girls. Despite this, men seem to continuously victimize girls. I do not understand it, and there is no reason big enough to justify it … ever. But still, it happens. I had multiple attempts as a child. From a camp counselor, to family members, to family member’s friends, to neighborhood regulars. For the most part I was able to avoid physical contact, but not every time. That does not mean it isn’t still atrocious and scar-building. I will drop this disclaimer here and now and only this once, because i’m not writing this to be careful. Yes, sometimes women are the predators. Yes, it also happens to boys. Yes, some women actually start as boys. However, let this not distract from the overwhelmingly massive numbers that it’s usually men, and it very often happens to girls.

Now, having said all of that, you understand I have a foundation for some opinions and deep rooted reaction. Here’s the dream:

My family is at a restaurant. My six year old daughter needs to use the bathroom. I walk with her to the restrooms and let her go in. I’m waiting in the hallway outside the bathroom.

A few minutes later she exits completely naked and looking lost and confused. She’s smudged and her hair is a mess. She walks out with a haunted look and crumples to the floor.

Then a man leaves the women’s restroom well over six feet tall with a handlebar mustache looking completely sure of himself, buttoning his pants.

I stomped up to him and immediately put my hand through his nose and into his face, turned to gather my daughter and then woke up.

……

5am, shaking, sick to my stomach and fighting everything to go wake up my sleeping innocent daughter and hug her to me and never let her go. The dream and feelings and reason continued to play out in my foggy brain. I couldn’t help but replay it over and over with different outcomes of me exacting vengeance on the nightmare monster in my dream. Nothing alleviated the helpless, dark, hopeless feeling I was left with.

It stayed with me all day. I resisted sharing this with my husband because I couldn’t see causing this for both of us, but something had to be done. I told him I needed to talk to the kids about predators. We both agreed it was necessary. We have spoken before to both kids about all the standard things. Bathing suits cover your most private parts and that is never to be showed to or touched by anyone, etc etc.

This did not convey the real life worry, though. Not really. It’s just become one more thing for them to ‘learn’.

This morning on the way to school I changed that conversation. I shared with my kids that moving into the neighborhood is wonderful, but it’s made me realize that we haven’t really talked about what that may come with. I told them when I was a kid that I had a family member’s boyfriend say creepy things about my body over and over again, and I didn’t tell and I wish I had. I told them when I was my daughters age I had a trusted camp counselor try and take me outside into the dark one night and hide me from my mom while he tried to get me to kiss him on the mouth.

My daughter looked horrified.

I told her that I had the presence of mind to say “NO!” and run to find my mom. I told both of my kids that the predators are hidden. They only reveal themselves to the kids they try and prey on and convince those kids never to speak up which keeps them hidden.

I told them there are grown ups and older kids who are not right in the head, and they try to touch children, specifically. I explicitly told them that there is never ever a reason for a grown up or other person to ever ever see, touch, or feel their body or have my kids see, touch, or feel another person’s body. Ever.

You can vaguely discuss the concept with a kid, but until you honestly speak with them about what you are actually protecting them from, how are they going to know? There are not child predators on cartoons that look like Uncle Bob or the neighbor’s father, or the football coach trying to pull down their pants.

It’s a difficult concept to allow into your brain. Believe me, I understand that. This conversation is markedly more difficult than fathoming how to speak to kids about puberty and sex. This conversation breaks that innocence bubble and begins the reality that the world can be ugly and cruel and unfair. It’s revealing scary concepts that grown ups – a trusted group of people – can actually be dangerous.

But it’s necessary. It’s absolutely necessary to protect them. Children, girls especially, need to know they have a voice. They need to know it’s possible they will one day be in a situation where they can and must stand up to a grown up – a VERY scary situation to a kid – and they absolutely CAN say “NO!” no matter who that person is that is trying to harm them, touch them, feel them, or see them.

I wrapped it up by saying it isn’t something that happens often and it isn’t every adult, but it does exist, unfortunately, and I’m sorry that I have to talk about it. I told them fires aren’t an everyday occurrence, but they still know to “stop, drop, and roll”, right? Burglaries don’t happen to everyone, but we still know to lock the doors and shut the windows.

Kids need to know this is a danger, and it’s real, and it’s the most sinister because the perpetrators are mostly unknown. Hidden. They lie and they threaten and it’s all based on the assumption the kid stays quiet and is able to be manipulated.

My kids know they are smart, they know they are strong, but now they know they have permission to fight for themselves. They were always told and warned, but now they have been given permission to fight and deny and resist and tell, tell, tell. Shout it, yell it, bite scratch kick, get away and talk and tell no matter what.. and to my daughter’s delight, yes even cuss and use “those words” if needed.

So the challenge is to talk to your kids, boys and girls both, about the reality that a grown up may lie or threaten them to allow access to their body, or give access of their own. Our kids must know that it is absolutely okay to deny, to say NO, to run, to fight that authority figure. Under no circumstances are they to believe or listen to that grown up, and it is always safe to talk to mom and/or dad about it.

This subject is horrifying and awful and unfathomable on so many levels, but at the most basic level, it’s real. It’s something children will be confronted with and will need to know what to do before they find themselves in that situation. Give them permission to use their voice, and know that there are safe places to tell and get help.

It’s so ugly that I have no witty closer. I want to say that I pray for those children who have experienced this, and it’s true, but it makes me sad that I have to. I want to say that I pray for those parents who have had to deal with the reality of this, but I know that there are parents who are creating this very situation and that is just too depressing to fathom.

It is sometimes a shitty world, and when you reveal that to your kids, you are empowering them despite the feeling you get that you just dropped a giant crap bomb on their heads.

Moving Mahem

Published May 10, 2017 by sarcasmica

I say this every time, but seriously. Never again. Or at least not for a long long time. For us that translates to more than 5 years.

This move was interesting. It was stressful on many levels, and it was and still is difficult, but we all seem pretty happy with it all. We exchanged a big yard and old house in need of updating for a newer house with very very little yard in a neighborhood filled with kids.

So we packed up and moved with some assistance with the furniture, as my husband is still “lame”. Literally. He is still in the recovery stages for his bone spur/achilles surgery. Unfortunately the whole box-lifting, truck stepping, garage stacking has set him back a bit with swelling and such. That was his challenge. My challenge became a massive break out of hives all over both upper legs. Big, swollen, patchy red rash that itched like nothing else I’ve ever felt. The more stress I had, the worse the itch and the more it spread.

I finally broke down after all the moving was complete and saw my general doctor who informed me it was a form of eczema. Great. I also had the thyroid talk. We discovered through lab results last fall that I had a low functioning thyroid. He wrote a prescription and digitally sent me the info. No face to face discussion, no question and answer portion, no door #2. I didn’t take them. Since I was sitting face to face itching, I figured i’d look into it a bit more since my exhaustion was reaching newborn parent level at all times regardless of the sleep I had the night before or the nap or the rest. There were some other symptoms I don’t need to go into since I don’t know you like that, but dry skin and further complications from that are very common. (hello, eczema)

 

Look at those lithe, sleek, toned hives! (yes, i know i have tree trunks disguised as legs. All the more to cover with itchy hives, m’dear!)


(This is after it began to heal, btw)

I’ve been on the meds for two days and I already feel an energy difference. It’s awesome! I don’t feel like a lazy slug in molasses anymore! I’ve had horrible sleep the last two nights and I’m still managing cooking and kid-wrangling and parrot photographing and all the household necessities of life. Yay for drug induced normalcy!

The neighborhood we moved into is girl-challenged just like the one we left, but there are actually a couple of girls here. (the last one had 1… my kid) My daughter was so excited she’s already deemed the girls nearby as her besties. All of this new neighborhood networking is testing my introvert limits. To their credit, everyone here seems genuinely kind and nice and normal. No one seems to be putting on a front or one-upping the next guy. I’ve seen moms in sweats and yoga gear, little make up and full glasses of wine. The fanciest thing i’ve discovered about them is they aren’t afraid to walk around with actual glass while the boys are whacking wiffle balls with bats and scooter derby going on all around. It’s great!

I’ve also been challenged with designing this house to make it appear as if mostly adults live here on purpose and not because it’s a frat house. Real life working grown ups. This means furniture that I get to worry about getting scratched or dented. I have researched and planned and perused more dining room furniture than I ever thought i’d have the brain cells to manage. I’ve been lucky enough to pick and choose a real grown up adult-like sofa with textures and colors and pillows that all match and flow with the wall colors.

It’s a regular science lab around here!

Once this damn rash is finally gone and my meds fully kick in, we are on track for having most of the boxes unpacked and really actually being moved in before the summer!

Stress Test

Published May 3, 2017 by sarcasmica

Moving. It’s a stress test. I have failed…or rather my body has failed while my mind wont stop listing all the things that need to be done.

We began loading trucks on Wednesday last week. Well, we hired movers, but it seems as though we selected from the clearance rack. The three rag tag men that showed up to pack our very abundant and very over sized furniture seemed to just dabble in moving and excelled at complaining, one-liners, and abusing every single bathroom across each house. We are talking full on deliberate fan-on-first usage. 

Somewhere around Wednesday morning a rash began to bloom on my legs, but I didnt have time to dea with it.

We were arranging painters, designers and walk-throughs. Shit needs to get done and there quickly became a realization that ‘tomorrow’ was no longer an option. 

By Friday my husband and I were finishing up the pain-in-the-ass that is debris wrangling and clean up. That last day where you look around with your bloodshot crusted over eyeballs and think, “How are we still not done?!?!!!!” 

We were animals at this point grunting and gesturing at each other. My legs were itching even more. 

By Sunday we were finally fully into our now box-filled disaster of a house and just trying to survive. Minimal groceries, no coffee, can’t find anything so you use what’s in front of you living. 

And my legs were covered in welts. Itchy, swollen, scratchy, irritated welts from the tops of my thighs to the bottom of my knees. 

Pop some zyrtek and move on! ..but it wears off around 3 and benadryl doesnt work at all.

Monday afternoon we have our first mailbox check. Low and behold there is a letter from my heretofore email-only orthodontist. The very same one that handled my son’s braces & now a year into my own 20(ish) month plan. It states he has retired & shut down his practice. Here are some suggestions for new services.

?!?! 

More welts. More itching.

Try soothing natural skin-irritation bath salts soak. Lather on cortizone cream, benadryl cream, all the cream and find another ortho.

I decided to try and find a dermatologist in the event a space opened up on my dance card. Ha! The three I called had nothing sooner than 3 weeks out.

*Itch itch*

I’d write more but my daughter has caught a bug from school and is now throwing up.

*Itch scratch*

(I would post a pic of my beautiful new skin treatment but I like you all too much. Picture about 50 really pissed off bees with a suicide wish all connecting with the wall of my lithe and model-esque tree trunk legs, making sure to wrap around all the curves inside and around to the back. This way when I walk or wear pants, my skin is sure to rub and irritate itself on it’s own)

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