Thank You, PBS

Published January 23, 2018 by sarcasmica

I will admit right here, right now that I am a typical American. I do not know what is actually going on in the rest of the world, but I at least acknowledge that this country is not the center of the universe..unlike (not) my President. (cough cough sputter spit)

I don’t go out of my way to find these things out, either. Not proud, but honest. Tonight I watched a Frontline show about refugees. I love Frontline because the handful of episodes I have watched are simply educational. Enlightening. It is without an agenda or a side or angle. I appreciate that.

I feel like we have heard the term “refugee” a million times but no one in mainstream media has taken the extra step to highlight what that really means. This show simply told the stories of multiple families who all had a refugee story. Different people, different countries, different situations, same horrifying problem. They no longer had an entire country to live their lives in.

When the option is to stay and die a gruesome death or uproot yourself -and possibly entire family- and start walking until you find another country, there really isn’t an option. You go. It’s nothing any of us would have done differently. We just had the long straw and were born into a country that has not been in religious, governmental, societal upheaval.

After watching for over an hour I felt incredibly lucky. It made me appreciate things I take for granted all. the. time. Those tragically displaced people are children without families. Mothers who cannot provide protection, medication, warmth, food and comfort for their kids. Walking for days and weeks on end. The amount of fight you have to equip yourself with to persevere is astounding.

A common thread was the intolerance they all faced regardless of the country they ended up in. “Go home refugees” was prominent.

There is nothing to go to. They are refugees because they no longer have a home. When a terrorist group blows up not just your home, but your town and city and is now running your country’s government you are no longer a traveler or immigrant. You are a refugee. When family members are being rounded up and killed around you, you don’t stick around to have your name on that list. You leave. You flee.

I keep blinders on a lot of the time for self-preservation. It’s not an excuse, it’s how I can operate and still keep my home fun and open-minded and light for my kids. I don’t know what the answers are, but I am thankful to have been enlightened for an hour tonight so I can try harder to continue the conversation. I can talk to my kids about realizing why we are fortunate and not to squander it. I will pay more attention and peek around the blinders more often.

More importantly, I have a better understanding of the meaning of the word “refugee” and to be quite honest it changed my narrow-minded perception about what that means.


Switch Flip

Published January 8, 2018 by sarcasmica

I feel like there must be an internal switch that makes us a grown up. An adult switch, if you will. Certain things fiddle with it, getting married, buying a house, kids. Having a baby makes you feel like surely adulthood will automatically flip that switch.


In my case, anyway, it just makes you a spastic human being who is never quite sure what is happening. You think you read in a parenting book or on a Facebook post (because thats the same thing, right) that the cure for your baby’s current ______ is most certainly _______.

And then you find out weeks later the original book/article was completely bogus.

You know why? Because the person who wrote it is also a parent who hasn’t been flipped into being an actual adult yet and doesn’t know what the hell is going on.

So what is an “adult”? In my mind, this is it:

Adult- a person who does not live around piles. An upright human who has a completed calendar they can follow without a shadow of a doubt. A mother who knows when her child’s next dentist appointment is. A person who at all times has clean underwear…in a drawer. A person who only wears sweatpants to the actual gym. Driving without the empty tank light on. Someone who can be asked by a stranger, “How are you?” and can give a simple answer like, “I’m well thank you. How are you?”.

None of these things are me, and definitely not today. Driving to my chiropractor appointment in my grown up, but stretchy, clothes I gave myself a pep talk. This poor doctor always gets an earful of gripes and pains and new ailments from me. And not just about me, but the whole family because at some point he has treated each of us.

Not today! I will answer, “Im doing well, thank you. How was your new years?”. I will behave like a responsible grown up today. New plan!

As a reward for my grown up decision out of nowhere I get the thought of wanting to call my dad.

He died in 2001, so that would be just a smidge difficult. So then the waterworks start.

Decidedly NOT grown up behavior.

I’m trying, folks. I swear. Someday I will achieve adulthood. I just hope I’m lucid enough to enjoy it.

Getting Old Sucks

Published January 5, 2018 by sarcasmica

That’s news, right? I’m 41. I remember watching shows like “The Biggest Loser” and being incredulous at these crying, sobbing adults realizing the amount of energy they were lacking once they began doing things like …. ready for it? …. moving. Walking, running, cycling, anything. It was like a revelation to them that this lack of napping could be their lives. My husband and I would scoff and shout at the TV, “Seriously?!?! THAT is what brings you to tears on national television?!?”

Now here I sit. Tired, fantasizing about a quiet nap in a deserted house between my cozy flannel sheets with my fireplace going.

THAT is my fantasy these days. Day napping.

I’ve done the thing where I exercise. I’ve done the thing where I eat healthy. I expected an instant explosion of energy on a daily basis. It did not happen. Granted, I only managed these healthy habits for days at a time, but shit, come on man! That rabbit only chases the carrot when it knows how good it is. Put some chips and salsa on a stick, and i’ll chase that m-fer for days. Can you put a breakfast buffet in front of a treadmill?

I realize food being the only motivation is part of my failure plan. I get it. I will say therapy has helped tremendously with my reasons why I eat. Now I make bad choices because I like yummy food, not because I feel like it’s an emotional experience. The fault is still all mine. I don’t eat when I’m stressed quite as much, and I have identified when I need to to make better choices of what I emo-binge. I have learned to pace myself. But moving and sweating and heart elevating activities do not get my sloth body moving. The only thing that I don’t hate doing is swimming. I do enjoy swimming. We have a membership at a gym with a giant pool, so that’s something. Owning the card does not provide the energy to drive there, however.

So with the new year and everyone being overzealous about their resolutions, I’m just here on my couch finding new and exciting reasons to stay home. Laundry. Dishes. Vacuuming. I guess you could say on a positive note, at least I’m finally becoming domestic. The plus size domestic sloth. Sexy, right?

Being Needed

Published December 22, 2017 by sarcasmica

My big kid is 11. Admittedly, he could be considered a momma’s boy. I’m ok with that. The oldest is the guinea pig, and they teach us the most about parenting…usually the parts you don’t like very much. The oldest has the biggest expectations in front of them, and also the most frustration and somehow at the same time satisfaction. Hey, i’ve managed to keep this kid on the planet thus far -and God willing for at least 98 more years, give or take.

My oldest child is my biggest teacher. Just when I think my head will explode from one more Minecraft story, lo and behold, it still sits atop my head. Just when I think I have no idea what the hell I am doing as a parent, I hear my son encourage his little sister do something only he could convince her she could do.

He’s growing up quickly, just like the brochure promises, and I find he needs me less and less. These are good milestones for sure, and I find relief in knowing he is independent.

Today, however, he needed some TLC and it was nice to comfort him.

The day started off nice enough. We all went to see the new Jumanji movie. It was pretty funny and everyone laughed throughout the film. Once we got back home, my son asked me to look at his foot. He had been complaining off and on the last week about his feet being cold and sometimes tingly.

I look today and he has one dark swollen toe, one toe turning blue, and blotches of red on other spots, but just one foot.

My husband has his podiatrist on speed dial since his own surgery last year, so we called and they were able to see him.

Turns out my kid has something called Raynaud’s Syndrome. The circulation in his feet is being restricted by his own body. His arteries and capillaries restrict the flow to the extremities- in his case, the toes, and it can become very serious.

Holy shit! What?

Turns out, according to two reliable medical websites, this can sometimes be a side effect of some adhd medications.


So we’ve spent the better part of the afternoon and evening warming feet by way of warm bath, fireplace roasting, heating pad toasting, and wool sock doubling up. When it came time for bed he complained of intense itching and couldn’t settle down to get to sleep. This is an already sensory heightened kid, and apparently the symptoms of Raynaud’s are exacerbated by stress.

So around and around we go

I rubbed his back for a bit to help distract from his mutinied feet. After the final goodnight he said,


“Yea buddy?”

“I’m glad you’re my mom.”

Ugh. Straight through the heart.

“I’m glad I get to be your mom, honey.”

And there it is. The rare golden Mom moment. I may have nearly caused my son to lose a toe by dragging him all over town in 37 degree weather over the span of two days. I may not have given much thought to a week’s worth of complaining about tingly feet and frozen toes, but here we are. He is still happy to be my kid, and I am more than happy to oblige.

Plague 2017

Published December 21, 2017 by sarcasmica

This post brought to you by : Mucinex

This month has been pretty hectic, not unlike most folks’ Decembers, i’m sure. My daughter was home sick in the beginning of the month, and I fully expected to catch it like usual. What I did not expect, however, was for it to turn into the plague of the year. This thing morphed from a hard-hitting knock out cold to a lingering cough, to a disturbing sleep interrupting nuisance. I want off the roller coaster.

To date it’s been about 2 weeks and here’s the damage:
Boxes of kleenex: lost count after 4
Boxes of Mucinex: Currently beginning box 4
Bottle of Nyquil: 1 bottle
Zycam spray: 1 bottle
Cough drops: 2 bags
Husbands Patience: working on the last thread
Children’s Concern: Growing
Holiday Parties: 2 – 1 of which I organized and executed solo
99% of holiday shopping: Amazon
Laundry done: none.
Meals prepped: infinity

I’m worn out. I am so glad the kids are on break right now because driving them to and from last week in our freezing temps was not fun. I am going to be Sloth Mom for the duration of this break and I do not feel at all guilty for it. This time last year I was nursing my husband back from foot surgery. I was making a bed every single night for the first time in my then 40 years on this planet. I was waiting on, bandaging, medicating, chauffeuring, and somewhat emotionally supporting him. Looks like it’s my turn this year.

I’ve been putting off making Christmas plates for the neighbors because, let’s face it, no one wants to eat a plate of plague cookies. Even if I shower and put on clean clothes to pass them out, no one is going to purposely ingest anything this face or hands has hovered over. .. but I already bought the ingredients. Maybe i’ll send my little elves to pass them out so no one has to witness the zombie chef who made the actual food. Mwahahahahaaaaa

Merry *cough* Christmas *spit*
Ho Ho Ho

Annual Melancholy

Published December 7, 2017 by sarcasmica

Every year I fight to find some Christmas spirit. My holiday is Halloween. Love it, decorate way early for it, watch all the movies, play all the music and this past year even took my daughter on a combined birthday trip to Disneyland to experience the Halloween Haunted Mansion/park experience. It was so much fun!

When Christmas rolls around, however, I always find myself kind of glum and appreciating all the pretty neighborhood lights and decorations, but not really feeling any of it. Getting all the crap out, the tree up, the tree set up arguing with the husband, the fight to have everyone participate with the ornaments, the kids constant running “I want” list… it just doesn’t feel very festive and fun. I usually force myself to do something festive that will sort of shove holiday spirit in my face and down my throat for a distraction. Nothing has quite worked yet. Last year I did a craft fair where I worked like mad for weeks to prepare, and then sat at a table all day to sell one stinking wreath. It’s one of those crafts that apparently turns out far more interesting in your own head than in other people’s eyes.

This year I took on the job of holiday party coordinator for the volunteers at the parrot sanctuary. I have never planned a party like this before. Sure, I was in HR a million years ago B.K., (before kids) but that was a work requirement. I had all the budget and payment information and we had a Rolodex (look it up, millenials) of vendors to choose from.

Notsomuch now. Now it’s just me in this new city trying to figure out how to accommodate an ever changing number of attendees and diet requirements and budget parameters. I am not a phone call person. I am not organized. I don’t like getting quotes and asking questions to live people on the other end of a phone. (obviously HR was not my true calling) I didn’t so much mind the venue search, and I am enjoying the decoration planning and fun party stuff, but the catering stuff has given me a stress rash. I have asked for help, but it seems this is not a task anyone is particularly fond of. I am going to do my best and that will have to be that. If anyone complains, I will have a volunteer sign up sheet for next year…. and maybe a special finger ornament they can put on their tree. Humbug!

I was talking to my chiropractor yesterday after the post-robotics-tournament all day bleacher/camping chair sitting adjustment and he told me the body remembers trauma. A person can have a sudden injury, deal with it, eventually heal, but the body remembers that trauma.

As I was considering the time of year today and getting sick of myself and my mood, it occurred to me that maybe this feeling of mine goes all the way back to my dad’s death. It was traumatic. It was isolating. It was lonely and sad and all of the terrible things death brings. It was 16 years ago, but the impending day, the ghosts of all of that sadness and loss may be masquerading as Scrooge-itis. It’s hard to start December off with jolly happy feels when December 9th, 2001 began with a 5:30am phone call and a spiral of sorrow for days and days and days after. Just connecting the two thoughts brought me to tears today as I was driving on icy roads back home from errands.

At the time of my dad’s death, our family was not united in any way. I suppose some families come together to deal with it and help each other as a unit. Ours literally went to separate corners and wallowed and processed apart from each other. I didn’t get to do this completely, as I was the only one willing to help my stepmother get through the planning and logistics of losing someone. I was 25 and having to write an obituary for my father, planning casket logistics for someone who didn’t fit in a regular casket. I was helping my stepmother break the news to her family and his family. I also had strep throat at the time, which made consoling pretty complicated.

The good news is eventually the Christmas excitement kicks in. It’s usually not until Christmas eve when I’m wrapping gifts and fretting over how many gifts is too many and alternately hoping everyone has enough to feel special, but at least I get there.

For anyone who has dealt with a loss, I am so sorry. For anyone reading this who has lost a loved one around a holiday, I am greatly sorry. There is never a good season to lose someone you love, but holidays can certainly leave an impression. I suppose we should cut ourselves some slack and leave a little room to grieve and remember so we can move on. Maybe don’t stretch yourself too thin and nominate yourself for ridiculously complicated tasks! (note to self)


Holding It Together

Published December 4, 2017 by sarcasmica

Most of a parents’ job is holding your shit together. No matter what, you are expected to hold. it. together. Use glue, use tape, use chewing gum, use spit, use whatever you need to to hold. it. TOGETHER, man!

I sometimes find that I get into these shitty moods. Craptacular moods that put “hangry” to shame. For me, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. What’s the opposite of “hangry”? Stangry? Feengry? I’ve stuffed all the emotional border snacks into my face and by the end of the internal fit, i am disgusted with myself and all the things i’ve eaten.

Border snacks = anything and everything bordering your space as you move through the house/office/mental ward.
Stangry = stuffed angry
Feengry = Feed [your emotional disgusting face] angry

Anyway, today I’m in one of those moods. I realized it may have something to do with keeping it together through two nights and days of my daughter’s short-lived terror of her dark bedroom and bathroom last week. Also, my son had a robotics tournament yesterday and a parent was required to attend the entire day with the child. 8-5:30 alternating between camp chair seats, cement floor walking, and bleacher sitting. My husband managed to tag me out for an hour out of the day. He was there for the last, most painful bleacher-seating hour, so I guess that counts for double the points….. but not really. (Hello Dear, no I don’t want to talk about it)

Anyway, so back to my point. A parents job is to hold it together no matter what. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve joined into a fit and tantrum a few times in my child’s lives just so they get the full impact of their ridiculousness. It’s quite fun, actually. You can’t get sucked in, though. And boy do they try! The older they get, the more refined their tactics become. It is their mission to suck you into the argument and drag you down with them… to the floor… where they are flailing around in a desperate attempt to find their actual point.

I’ve mentioned before that my daughter conned us. She is a spectacular con artist! See, she began life as an angel. She was a wonderful toddler, and she was a caring and loving preschooler. Then shit started to get real. She has never lived up to the terror and horror her older brother has thrown at us, but she has her own special recipe for crazy-making.

She is terrified by all things imaginary. Ghosts, zombies, monsters, her stuffed giraffe, and now boxes. Yes, boxes. She had a bad dream involving a box being opened beside her and something terrifying jumping out. Therefor in her 7 year old mind, all boxes are now expected to threaten her life. The dreamed box was a threat, so now the boxes existing in real life are naturally the same. Duh. Dumbass mom.

So last week she was asked to go brush teeth and get ready for bed. She had to go upstairs, where her grandma was in her own room, all the lights in the landing were on. The bathroom light was off. Clearly, one cannot simply walk up to the switch panel and turn the light on. NOoOOOOOOOoo. No way. One must stand farthest from the dark room and scream, squeal, cry and rant about it being dark. We are talking utter panic.


To be continued…

At first I wanted to scream and rant right back at her. Instead, I walked away. Once I cleared her insanity radius, I was able to collect my brain cells and chuckle at the absurdity. Then I would go back and try to talk sense into her. Yelling at her right back does not help. Getting loud back at the offender simply feeds the hysteria.

This fit lasted around 20 minutes. Once she saw I was filming she continued without a single care. I even opened the front door at one point hoping the shame of her friends who are neighbors hearing her would snap her out of it. Nope. She was on a mission to have someone, anyone, come turn on a light for her. I will not raise a princess. You will turn on the muthatrucking light switch. No one is going to rescue you except yourself. 2 years old? Ok i’ll help. 3 years old? Ok, i’ll help. 7 years old? I will help you help yo’self.

This portion of the evening entertainment includes coughing brought on by crying that sometimes precedes vomiting:


So I think my new theory of parenting is for each tantrum you manage to contain your own shit through, the crapier you will feel later. All that incredulousness and disgust at your offspring’s behavior manifests itself one way or another. You would think by now I’d become a runner or a power lifter or something. Nope. I have become a power snacker-then-regretter. But i do it really well.

Through Open Lens

Home of Lukas Kondraciuk Photography

The Minivan Princess

for mommies who like to read and share funny sh*t


i forgot the rules

jenny's lark

the beauty of an ordinary life

nappies + milk

moms spilling the beans

The Adventures of Fanny P.

...because life is just one big adventure...

The Cheergerm & the Silly Yak

The life and times of a cheergerm

%d bloggers like this: