A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.
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Monday, July 27, 2015

The Book of My Life

I was giving the twins a scrub down, with my too big shorts on, and my grubby work tee shirt that I live in when I'm not at work (irony?) and I looked at my slightly sweaty, pony tailed self and I realized - omg, my FACE.

My face is different.

I've been through this before. I lost a bunch of weight on Weight Watchers after I had the twins, and I remember the feeling of looking in the mirror and seeing a stranger. So I'm there, but I realize that it's been happening slowly and I only just realized it. Maybe I didn't quite GET how big I had gotten or just how I looked, or maybe I did and that's why I've hated my appearance for so long. But today when I looked at my face, I saw lines, bones, smooth skin, definition. A face that is lopsided in it's own way (it's my opinion that my face is one half one parent and one half the other parent).

But, I look pretty good...

I'm not used to saying that.

I pulled up a pic from three years ago to compare - YEAH I LOVE THIS BATHROOM PIC I TOOK USING FOR EVERYTHING NOW SORRY. NOT SORRY.

But it showed me that I'm not crazy, my face is smaller. (yes i know the pics have diff perspective shut up you see what I mean)

I'm also wearing around size 24 shorts that I can't keep up, they're perpetually sliding down my hips, that's probably also a hint that I'm vanishing. It's weird that I can't seem to perceive that in the clothes, it's my face where I see it suddenly. Maybe my body was just so big to start with it's going to take longer before it looks "different" to me. It doesn't bother me to say that, shit had gotten OUT OF HAND.

I've got a lot of reasons to change my life. First of all I've got two little boys who need me to be alive as long as I possibly can, and that is going to require me to be HEALTHY. If I dropped dead tomorrow Louis and Julia would be sad, but they are both smart strong kids - they'd be ok. But as a special needs mom, I feel an obligation to walk the earth and take care of my special little guys as long as I can - to be here FOR THEM. I couldn't walk up the stairs at work. I'd say arthritis was the cause, but folks, I STILL HAVE ARTHRITIS and I can run up those suckers now. My parents own bad health of late is another motivator. We aren't healthy people. I'm 46, it's not too late for me to stave off health issues that I see both of them battling.

Even my dad's dementia can be linked to his arterial decline which is directly related to his diet.

I'm not on a diet. I'm not on a health kick. I'm not into a fad.

I'm changing my life. I'm changing who I am, biologically speaking. I might never make my goal weight but I actually think I will. In fact, I can't imagine I won't make it. Losing weight isn't brain surgery. Change your habits, and work out.

Now, if only that were SO EASY.

I'll get there slowly but I'd like another 46 years if possible.

I won't ever be perfect, because the perfect in my head doesn't exist. But it was kind of weird today to look in the mirror and think man, I kind of look ok. In fact, I look kind of good. I'm not used to feeling that way at all.

75 pounds to go.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Afternoon Has Gently Passed Me By

Our pool has become the respite from the anxiety/stress/tantrums that Autism seems to be visiting on us more often than not.  Swimming is a "preferred activity" as they say and even though we have small bouts of unhappy they tend to come and go quickly as redirection is easy in a playground full of water.

Miles loves to be up ON things, riding around. Maybe he's playing that he's the king. I'm not sure but he loves it, and will ask for it. The manta ray has been a big hit this summer.
Maybe sometimes you just need to lay around in the pool and BE. We spent a couple of hours and alternated between playing and just all six of us floating around, staring up at the trees, and realizing how lucky we are to have a pool at all.

It had been my secret motherly hope that being in the pool for a couple of hours or more would tire them out. We've reached that point in the summer where no one finds it necessary to go to sleep. At about 1 am last night I realized I had not achieved my goal.
There is only one cure for this level of sleep schedule nutfuckery, and that's SCHOOL. It's coming, in two weeks we'll cart these little boogers off to the big yellow bus and they'll be hating life for a few days but HEY Mommy and Daddy will get some damn sleep finally.
But until then we'll keep doing the summer things until the days are gone. I wish I had the means to heat this pool, because it's so amazing for the twins (hell for us too). But I'm glad for the days we get in it.

I chose this as my grilling accoutrement and I am glad to report that it didn't kill my stomach WHICH is some sort of damned miracle.

Swimming pool, grilling out, having a beer, this was almost a normal Saturday.

What a rare treat around these parts.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Devil And the Deep Blue Sea Behind Me

My mom isn't well. That isn't a secret. I don't write about it here very much because I don't want her to read it and worry about me worrying about her.

My mom is dying. She has liver failure, and her kidneys aren't working working right either. She's been in the hospital, and out, and in and out. She's officially moved in with my brother and his family and after only a few days of being there she had to return back to the hospital.

She and I had one very short conversation about her death when I was home last year. She told me exactly what she wants. She wants balloons and not flowers. She wants us to all sing along with Norman Greenbaum's SPIRIT IN THE SKY. She wants us to sing loudly and in celebration. She would like a song from Job's Daughter's that has slipped my mind, and now I realize that I'm faced with either sorting through their online info to find that damn song or asking my mother "What was that song you wanted us to sing when you die?"

I hope it's Nearer My God To Thee. I know that one. Onward Christian Soldiers seems too, something. I don't know. Not funeral-y.

My mom is trying to live, however. She's exploring transplant which wasn't something she was willing to talk about last year. Last year she wasn't quite sick enough for it anyway and now it seems she's been flung into very, very sick. Her heart has to be strong enough, they have to sort out the kidney thing.

She told me today that they told her she's failing, and dialysis is going to have to happen which seems intuitive to me. I told her that she'll probably feel better with it and mentally I think that's probably true. Maybe not. Maybe she'll feel like shit. I don't know. I've never had dialysis. I am not close to anyone who has, so I have no frame of reference.

My Dad has an infection, slurred speech and is very ill. He also seems rather depressed. He's got dementia though so who could tell what is real and what isn't. He's in a nursing home for the rest of his days, most of which haven't been very good lately.

Mom informed me today that Dad is depressed because he's going to hell. I have to admit, I had to laugh. She was pretty certain of it, and that he made his decisions and now he's "got to pay the piper".  I can't much argue, my dad spent a lot of his adult life being a real bastard. In fairness, he never had any sort of decent role model, no one to show him right from wrong or even how to love someone. The fact that he even grew up to be an adult is an amazing thing. The fact that he graduated from college is a bigger one.

I don't believe in hell. So I don't think my dad is going there. But my mom does, and it makes her sad.

He made her sad so many damn times in my life - and now he's gonna go to hell and that makes her sad too. Good grief relationships are difficult. You'd think if someone annoyed you that much you wouldn't WANT to spend eternity with them but no, see she actually loves the big idiot. Even 46 years later after all the crazy that has been their life.

There is this great quote from the movie I LOVE YOU TO DEATH, talking about her dead husband the grandmother says "I miss him so much, I forget everything I hated about him."

I think about that quote all the time lately. I don't forget everything I hated about him, but I forgive them.  I think maybe she does too.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

First You Make A Stone Of Your Heart..or Teeth

So this morning I hit the road and drove to a new to me endodentist who's practice is called Soft Touch. Their web page talks about a pain free experience and is very soothing and comforting. I've done this dance a few times, and besides the first time I ever had it done, it's always been a not great experience but the fear of it is always worse than the actual experience. I wasn't expecting a LOT.

The first thing that impressed me was that they did a ton of tests besides "is this tooth too sensitive to cold?". That is literally the only thing that ANYONE ever checked before deciding a root canal was necessary. They checked my bite and did tons of x-rays looking at my freakishly long roots.  The freakishly long roots I have growing on my teeth might have been the cause for lots of conversation except that it turned out I had another freakish thing going on.

I had stones in my teeth where there should've been pulp.  That's right - STONES. Some people get stones in their kidneys, or their gall bladders, or in their saliva glands, I am growing them IN MY DAMN TEETH.

They took some other looks at my mouth and every tooth back in molar land has them on the side they were working on. It's her guess I have them in most of my teeth. This is the root of my many root canals and cracked teeth. It's officially called "pulp calcification" and so yay another weird thing I have.

The doctor was super impressive right out of the gate though, I've got to say, she went over all of the tests they did and explained them, and then my x-rays and explained them. She showed me how #29 next to #30 is going to be my next likely problem because of the stones so we can just watch it. She showed me how there are stones under the crown next to today's problem tooth. She showed me how when they pulled my wisdom teeth THEY DIDN'T GET THEM ALL OUT NICE JOB DR. ROB grrrrrrr.

Anyway, I have to admit, right off the bat, I was pretty relaxed with her.

Shortly after 10:30 she went to work. Dentists usually say "you'll feel a sharp pinch" and it's a sharp pinch in exactly the same way that childbirth is "some pressure". However she said "This will be warm" and suddenly I'm getting a painless but warm and comforting injection. I don't know even know WHAT the heck it was. It actually didn't feel like anything. After she did several of those she followed up with the lidocaine and it was even less of an issue, she didn't bother with the "you'll feel a pinch". Instead she said "you shouldn't feel this at all".

She had to drill through my old filling, and then she had to drill through the stones with a tiny high pitched thing. The stones took forever, she kept saying "WOW these are dense"...and changing gloves and instruments.

At one point I felt a sharp pain shoot up my jaw and she repeated the injections and one into my tooth.

Once she got through the stones, the fun began. My long roots and narrow roots gave her a really hard time apparently. She would drill and then do this long needle thing (I don't know what that is, I think they're trying to clear out your root with it like a drain snake), and I could see her consternation and she'd keep doing the same things again and again.

Both the assistant and the doctor would ask me sometimes "Are we ok to keep going? Are you doing ok?" and I gotta confess, I was really super ok. I wasn't comfortable, huge bite block in my mouth, dental dam thing going on and drool running down my chin but all things considered that she was drilling into my head, I was doing ok. I would almost swear I drifted off now and again, I don't know why because I feel like I remember all of it but sometimes I'd just feel so heavy and tired that I would close my eyes.

She kept assuring me "If you can keep going I can get it" and I didn't really understand what she meant. I mean, what am I supposed to do, go have lunch because it's taking too long?  She got up twice to get different tools. Longer and thinner from the looks of them.

So we kept at it. During the procedure the power went off three times. Once I was in the bathroom.

I have to admit it's really disconcerting to be sitting on a strange toilet, pants around your ankles and the lights go off. It's MORE disconcerting with a dental dam in your mouth. But we made it through.

I felt bad for them because the air conditioning kicked off. They went through more gloves than anyone I have ever seen, and more equipment they kept changing tips and things and they were sweating to death as they worked harder on getting to the bottom of my impossible roots.

When it was all over, it was 1:30 in the afternoon. That's how I know I probably slept. I don't recall it taking three hours.
In addition to my long curvy roots and pulp stones, I ALSO had an extra nerve bundle in that tooth that she had to dig out. Surprise!

She told me I was one of the best patients she'd ever had, which amazed me. I thought she was literally the best endodontist I'd ever had so I think me being good is really just a reflection of her. But she told me afterward that most people won't sit for that long and want to do it over two days. WHO the hell would want to come back AGAIN?

I came home and have napped on and off. I've got a muscle relaxer and I feel exhausted and it hurts to talk. But I survived.

If I end up needing #29 done or any other tooth for that matter, I know exactly where I am going.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Contacts In My Book And In My Eyes

I took this photo only so that I could text it to my friend with the exclamation THE NEW PHONE BOOKS ARE HERE THE NEW PHONE BOOKS ARE HERE, and then he forgot that part of The Jerk and my joke was lost.

Thankfully I could post it everywhere else online AND OTHER PEOPLE GOT IT.

Anyway, I love that pic. But back to today's topic.

I have been having trouble with distance and close up the past few months. It's gotten worse recently and since it'd been a solid two years since I had a new set of lenses I decided I would get new ones. I asked during my exam if I could try contacts. I haven't worn them since God was a boy, but I remember thinking I was cute in them when I was 20 something. They do apparently make some that have different scrips in the lenses but the eye doctor really didn't think they were "IT" for me. She suggested I do MONOVISION.

I would best describe MONOVISION as being able to SEE NOT SEE. Monovision means one eye has one scrip for far (my dominant eye) and one eye has a scrip for close vision.  It's hard to describe how disturbing it is. It was hard to get used to progressive lenses, and this feels harder. I can tell you that, I can FEEL which eye is doing the seeing and that is disconcerting at best. I'd like my eyes to be like my ears, just doing their job and me not really knowing they were there.

Putting makeup on is a challenge, oh sweet lord it's a challenge. Up close OMG CAN'T SEE. Far away - TOO FAR HOW CAN I GET MY EYELINER ON? I did a back and forth dance somewhat like a slow, ungainly Charleston from the mirror with a soft brown eyeliner trying to find the sweet spot in my vision that never did quite happen.

I realized that I now actually had to do my eyeshadow vs just slap some shit on that would be a weird distorted mess under my big old frames and lenses, and in my attempt to make a smokey eye, I flung eyeshadow into my eye (the contact LOVED that for sure) at which point my eyeliner started running off down my cheek making a brown smear. I tried to wipe it off and it seemed to make a thick paste beside my eye - thanks Ulta I love your powder who KNEW it made paste too? I decided at that point that the only solution was MORE MAKE UP and started tabbing on concealer over this spot of doom and eventually concealed plus powdered it out of existence.

My intense makeup preparation was really just busy work because I was nervous about my 11 am appointment with my dentist today. I've been enjoying the classic symptoms of vicious headaches and temperature sensitivity that herald a root canal. I was actually having pain on the top and bottom, but it turned out that the top tooth had some recession at the gum line and they painted some sealant on it and MAGIC it no longer hurts. But the bottom tooth has a crack and needs a specialist so to a new endodontist I go in the morning.

It hurt so bad this evening that I took a for real pain pill, as ibuprofen won't even touch this lance of fire and misery that is shooting through my jaw.

It's kind of starting to work now. Sorry if I get loopy somewhere along the way here.

My dentist office had another great thing - AMAZING LIGHTING IN THE LADIES ROOM.
I look pretty damn good for 46.

My dedication to Mary Kay nightcream and Egyptian Magic (and every other cream I can get my hands on) are paying off. And good DNA. Let's don't forget the value of good DNA.

I'm in so much pain that honestly, I am looking FORWARD to the root canal tomorrow.

One of my best friends told me today that I look like Isabelli Rossellini. Seriously, I love her forever now.

Ok, and my drugs are kicking in so I'm going to go kill things in a video game and I will share my exciting root canal tomorrow ! I know you're excited!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Autism Is Too Hard

I've mentioned the Raptor noise. I've mentioned the fact that Miles makes the noise and Charlie goes crazy. I haven't mentioned that when Charlie goes crazy he attacks someone, usually me.

Miles makes the noise specifically to incite Charlie. Why? I don't know. Evil? Glee? Joy? Malicious intent? Often at the same time he signals Charlie to surrender whatever he has, toy, pillow, blanket, piece of string, it doesn't matter. Charlie will surrender it and then start screaming - followed shortly by ATTACK.

If you haven't even been attacked by your own child, well, that's a good thing. It's a very specific sort of hell. If your child is big enough to hurt you, and strong enough to be a problem, well that's even worse. Mine is big and only getting bigger. He'll grab the flesh on my abdomen and back and twist and squeeze so hard it feels like he's going to rip me open. Or he'll jam his chin or head into me, usually someplace soft, or an arm (or hell a leg) repeatedly, as hard as he can. He bares his teeth like a chimp attacking, the chimp smile they talk about on nature shows that is actually a threat.

It's scary.

What's worse is that having to extricate myself means defending myself  FROM my child. Sometimes I have to fight back to get free, to keep from getting knocked down the stairs, to keep from getting truly hurt vs just bruised and mentally broken. Every time I happens I get lost in the horror that this is my baby, that baby that I gave birth to and was so tiny, so fragile. And he's trying to hurt me because he's in a rage he can't control.

Yesterday in the car he attacked Julia. Driving to pick up Louis from scout camp Miles started the noise, and Charlie started shrieking and screaming. Then Julia started shrieking and screaming - because she was being grabbed. I was driving 50 miles per hour. By the time I got to the pick up location the screaming and shrieking in the car had ramped up to the point that people were staring as we pulled up, more so when I left the car and took Julia with me.

Louis welcome home was a charming reminder of the nightmare his home life can be. Screaming and shrieking for no good reason, and people staring. Welcome home Kid, oh life sucks remember?

They're my babies, and I love them. Sometimes I don't know what we're supposed to do though. Just a notch or two up on the Spectrum would've made our lives so much easier. I don't know how to deal with this new behavior, I don't know how to deal with the way this breaks my heart.

This screaming, this fighting, this attacking and hurting, this is the kind of shit that long term breaks families apart.
Who could blame anybody for wanting to escape this situation? Poopie diapers from 11 year olds and nonstop chaos? Yeah, I can understand not wanting to be here. This is why families with special needs children get divorced. 

There's no  magic pill to make this better. This is literally my life for the rest of my life. I'd like to say I'm at peace with it but that would be a fucking lie. I'm not. I'm pissed off. We're both pissed off and would like our normal lives back now please. 

It's not happening, and I'm trying to find some level of peace with it I am. I don't believe THERE IS A PLAN or I'M BEING TESTED (in fact, I might smack you one for suggesting it). I'm just trying to find a way not to cry at bed time, not to feel like I'm failing everyone, and that there is no hope. That's what I resent the most, the fact that there is no hope. It might get better in degrees but there is no cure.

I normally try to be positive about their autism but sometimes even I can't roll with that shit and after this past week I just can't. It's been bad. 

It'll get better. It'll calm down. 

But when?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Making Things And Stuff

I always kind of wanted to go to the workshops at Home Depot. I say KIND OF wanted because it was always a cursory want, sort of a "oh that'd be cool oh wait I don't build things" sort of passing fancy.  There was one I always regretted not going to where they built adirondack chairs. I bet that was cool as hell.

So when I kept seeing it pop up on my Facebook about building a storage ottoman I decided maybe I should just go. First of all, to see if my anxiety really had abated and I could just go and do something by myself for no reason at all without feeling panicked and out of place. And secondly, COOL THING TO BUILD. It looked easy, so easy even a Gidge could do it.

So I registered and showed up at 6:30. After five minutes of waiting to find out where to go, I wandered back to flooring and hung out another ten, but several people apologized saying that the person had gotten hung up doing something else. That seems plausible as everyone in a Home Depot apron is fair game to disturb and ask for help. I sat and cruised Facebook and I think I might've been singing along to the piped in tunes without realizing it when they rolled up with the goods.
I was the only person who showed up, and I learned that sometimes if you're the only person who shows up you get to keep the item you learn to make!
I was really amazed at how easy it was to make, and how easy it would be to make a bigger one. This one is made with TWO boxes, but I was thinking FOUR might make a really nice sized coffee table - this one is billed as an ottoman but I am just gonna call it a table.

So my take away was, this was incredibly fun. Ok they shot the picture to make it look bigger, or used the SMALLEST SOFA EVER and shot it FROM the floor. However, I'm not disappointed as it's really a cute piece, it just needs stained I think. I could probably knock that out soon if I could manage not to get water rings on it until them. If that happens - hey maybe decoupage you never know. Is that still a thing? I'm bringing it back if necessary, I tell you that.

Today's accomplishments, made a table, worked out, went to work all day. So far - I'm feeling pretty productive!

The Family Night

My oldest child is away at Boy Scout camp all week. He's gone to the mountains of South Carolina and doing Boy Scout things, working on his certifications and he tells me he's going to advance three levels on his quest to Eagle Scout while he's there. He has a really wonderful group of guys he's with and I can remember my own days at camp well enough to know that he's having a great time.

We had originally told him we weren't coming for Family Night. It's way up in the mountains in SC almost to NC, almost touching TN also. But we decided to surprise him so I took off early yesterday and northeast we went. It was serendipity that as we pulled up he just happened to come walking by.
He's bunking with his buddy, and despite the fact that the radar showed DOOOOOOM two nights ago (that was the official forecast) he says it just rained some, no big deal. I can't express my relief enough, let's just say I was more than a little worried and had trouble sleeping. No I'm not over protective at all why?
Julia was incredibly excited to see Louis and shortly after she decided she was going back down the hill for flag ceremony with all of the boys, she then fell and skinned her knee and had to come back. I'm told she screamed "I NEED MY PARENTS." Which is very oddly funny to me.

When the boys came back it was pizza time, a meal for everyone to enjoy together. Not exactly simple camping fair but easy.
Miles started having a bit of a meltdown as soon as the boys went to flag ceremony. We stayed up at the campsite thankfully. I regretted not going for a moment but after his meltdown progressed into full on crazy tantrum (for no apparent reason) I was glad we weren't below embarrassing Louis.
A meal seemed to change everyone's demeanor greatly, Julia was the only person who ate three pieces of pizza. That cracks me up since most of the boys are in high school.  After dinner it was time for some Frisbee or HISBEE as Julia keeps calling it. She was ECSTATIC because the boys let her play with them and they all cheered for her every time, even when she missed.
While the boys all played frisbee and hung out, the adults started a big tub of ice cream. The scouts all took turns making it and since we had a lot of kids, we had a lot of participation in the turning of the crank.
Making ice cream was nearly as much fun as playing hisbee from what I can tell. Not quite as much fun as eating it, however.
Everyone was a pretty darn big fan. I even remembered not to cuss while I was there, I was pretty proud of myself.

I said DANGIT like 50 times. Also DANG. I think I'm gonna start sighing the word "SUG" (as in sugar) like Dale's wife on King of the Hill as a swear and expression of frustration.

He's coming home Friday instead of Saturday - I think because bad storms are forecast for the weekend. I'm sad he's losing a day but glad he's home earlier. I know it's been a week of freedom and learning for him. He's not the kid who has to help take care of his disabled siblings, or who has to help watch his wild child baby sister, he's just Louis for a solid week. He's solo, single, a solitary unit in the world without all of the responsibilities of his normal day to day life.

I bet it's a wonderful and welcome break.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Dolphins are the Dicks of the Animal World

Our passes to the Georgia Aquarium were getting set to expire so we took one last jaunt down there. We like to rotate our family passes to different places. The Aquarium is my favorite place in the world so I'm going to miss it. But it's my goal that in two years when we get passes again (someone tell my husband I want passes again in two years) that I will dive in the big tank. That's a bucket list item that I want to do RIGHT NOW but I also want to do it when I'm not this size so - two years from now should be perfect.
It was a weird trip from the beginning as the aquarium was PACKED. It's not that we don't like crowds, but UGH crowds at the humid aquarium are sort of brutal. It's almost like they are going to have to require reservations because it seemed like there were way too many people in there.
It was peaceful to look UP in the tunnels though, even if there were monsters above you. I wonder how loud it is in there, and if we annoy them. I sometimes wonder if they swim by to have a look at us.
In 12 years of parenting, no one has ever gotten face paint in this family. I am going to admit right now that while no one ever asked, I also never encouraged it. I grew up in a household where writing on yourself with a pen or marker was strictly verboten - something that my mother equated with low class ignorance. "It looks trashy." I can say pretty certainly that this is a reason I never encouraged the face painting thing. But the girl asked, and frankly - WHY NOT. Her Daddy said yes and I couldn't think of a valid reason to object so she picked out a seahorse and away we went, crushing the social norms of my childhood.
Shortly after this we made one of the worst parenting decisions we've made in a long time, we decided to go to the dolphin show - and we decided to sit in THE SPLASH ZONE.

We thought, oh some splashing will be ok. How bad could it be? We've NEVER done it. My kids LOVE the Dolphin Show. Mostly they love the dolphins, the show itself is seriously one of the worst things ever. Picture a really bad Vegas show, now make it worse, now make it like Christopher Walken being Captain Hook and singing and dancing, now, add dolphins. It's like that.  So we thought for FUN, ONE LAST TIME we'd sit down close.

We had to change seats once because Miles reached behind us and plucked a pretzel off the plate of a man behind us. He was turned, didn't notice, and suddenly Miles was eating a big old pretzel that I am SURE this guy paid 6  bucks for. We moved ONE section over - to dead center.

It started out ok. A little dolphin mist and splash. That's when the full attack began...

If you've  never been the victim of five dolphins doing everything they can to soak you with water, and the same number of humans giving them rewards to do so, then you've never been in this particular hell. The amount of water coming off this tank and literally drenching us looked like this...
Jurassic World only had a dolphin. It wasn't a mososaur at all.

As my children shrieked and screamed, and tried to escape up the seats and sobbed and begged the strangers behind us to help us, I considered my poor parenting choices and had to laugh. In fact, I laughed so hard Julia started screaming STOP LAUGHING.
This picture does not adequately show how wet we were, and how unhappy everyone was. But we were trying to cheer Julia up. Every time the dolphins came out she'd start sobbing. She also wiped her sea horse paint all over my shirt, ruining it.

We were wet inside our shoes and top of our heads, and everywhere in between. We had planned to go have a nice dinner - kind of a fun end to a family day out. However, we now smelled like wet dolphin water and weren't fit to go anywhere (not even the Varsity) so we settled on Chinese.
We were eating in Duluth - so if you're local you know how completely accurate this is.

The day wasn't a success. It was perfect family day, ruined by the dicks of the animal world - DOLPHINS.

Oh well, maybe in two years when we go back the trauma will be worn off and they'll have a different show. Additionally - we will NOT sit in the splash zone.

Monday, July 13, 2015

And With That We Are Five..For A Week

I promised not to embarrass him, and I meant to not embarrass him. But I didn't feel like ONE goodbye picture was too much to ask. I didn't hug or kiss him in front of his friends but I think I am feeling his judgment in this picture. MOM PLEASE STOP DOING THAT.

Fine, I stopped doing that. He's gone to South Carolina for a week doing camping stuff with his friends and I loved camp so I'm not going to be all paranoid and worried. It's the longest he's ever been gone. But he's going to be fine, I might not, but he will.
We came home and the girl ruled it imperative that we make some coffee. That's her overseeing the Keurig as it brews. She thinks it's important to watch it so that you know it's done. She tells me this is helping. Who am I to argue.
She has the solemn charge of being in charge of Doggie while Louis is gone. She's taking it very seriously, keeping me abreast of how Doggie feels without Louis. And while Louis was so worried about ME embarrassing him in front of his dorky Boy Scout friends, it was his sister who shouted "I GET TO TAKE CARE OF DOGGIE WHILE HE IS GONE!" holding up the red dog and showing his friend.

Ha. It wasn't me!

We went outside to play and to hopefully delay the nonstop fighting the twins have been doing. Miles gets Charlie all fired up and Charlie loses his mind. Play bubbles outside was a welcome respite from that craziness which gave me a raving headache for the rest of the evening.

Charlie and Julia and unlikely friends, but they spent the most time together every day after school and she has a special place in her heart for him. She's always trying to take care of him. Making Charlie laugh is her favorite thing ever.
For about 90 minutes in the sun, there wasn't any screaming or fighting or attacking. There were just bubbles and the happiness that comes from chasing them. It was pretty good.
It is amazing how there is no downtime, even with 25% of my children gone.

I need to do bubbles 24/7.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Mythos of the Garden Tub

I've been kind of down the past few days and I'm not sure why. Hormones maybe? Latent grief from the 6/30 anniversary maybe. Maybe it's because I haven't worked out in days and I'm building up all that stress and tension that normally gets let out on my Total Gym. I'm unsure. What I do know is that the more I'm thinking on it and examining it the more down I'm getting, the more frustrated I'm getting so as of yesterday I decided fuck it, I'll just be down for however long this is going to be. No big deal. No one died, I've not been wronged, hormonally speaking though I'm not in my happy place.
My husband told me yesterday I should go take a bath in our tub. This is truly some sort of recipe for ultimate bliss. I bought my house BECAUSE of the tub I swear to you. This tub is so big that I have, at some points in my parenting, been able to put FOUR children in it comfortably. Then it was three, then two. I'm down to one at a time now but still, it's a damn big tub. You could join me. We've have our feet all up in each other's business but you definitely COULD join me.

When I think of my tub, I think of this...
Of course, it doesn't look anything like that. Mine is 25+ years old, and the jets don't work anymore and it needs regrouted around the tile. I'm surrounded by this hideous faux victorian wallpaper, which looks a bit like this...
the main difference therein being that the one I grabbed to show you is sort of pretty and the one in my bathroom is like the Fingerhut version of that same print. NOT delicate and lovely, in other words.

The other important thing about my amazing garden tub, the one for which I bought an entire house is this - I never use it. Months, years go by, and I never get into the thing. There aren't enough hours in the day to do all of the things I want to do. I want to get into my tub and luxuriate but I never do, so my husband's suggestion of a long hot bath to help soak away my blues seemed like an amazing suggestion. We added a glass of wine to complete the relaxation and I felt like I was in heaven.

You might think maybe I would look like this...
Well that would be how I look in my mind.

You see, I don't have proper wine glasses unpacked (yes I've lived here seven years leave me alone I'll get to it). What I DO have are some snowman printed goblets from when my brother and SIL came down for Thanksgiving the VERY first year I lived in Atlanta (which was awesome btw guys). In my snowman printed goblet, I pour a liberal amount of  fruity blackberry merlot because life is not too short to drink cheap wine.

There I recline, in a huge tub filled with epsom salts (I was thinking these might soak out the poisons in my mind), and a snowman goblet filled with a wine that makes my tongue tingle.  The door is closed and the water is steamy, and I lay back and let the smell of pink peony and rose oil surround me and just try to think calm things.

Crash conk blonk "Don't BOTHER MOM!" I hear. I like to try to deciper the sounds from behind the door of my refuge. I hear toys being dug for in a toy box, I hear stomping (Miles is into stomping), I hear laughter. I submerge and listen to the same sounds from underwater, indecipherable now, like messages from a distant planet.

I slather on No7 Cleaning gel oil which by the way is the best stuff ever for this 46 year old face, it says it's for dry skin but I think it's a miracle product for 40 year old faces. It also has some magical property apparently, according to it's label it goes on as a thick gel, turns into an oil and then turns into a milk. That's got to be some serious science going on there, or magic. I'm not sure which.

I soak in the magic of the body wash that says it's got pink peony and rose oil, I turn it over and can't find pink peony anywhere on the ingredients. I can't find any latin words that would BE pink peony if I looked them up. There are a lot of isosomethingorother ingredients and sodium laurthorsomething. I do find rose oil about half way down so I've only been HALF lied to and I feel better about this. I feel like Tone body wash has lied to me, though, and I'm mentally shaking my fist at them.

I slather kids shampoo on, and gaze around the room, I'm not surrounded by candles and potpourri, I'm surrounded by laundry that needs pre-stained and sorted. Two kids in diapers at age 11 mean a lot of clothes need extra work before the washer, and there isn't anything to be done by lay it out the best place possible - my huge ass tub's ledge is perfect.

Some people always have such elegant shit going on with their towels. I wouldn't know how to begin to have such an array of fine towels around me. Maybe that's 12 years of mom mentality. I've got the big rack made to hold your huge fluffy bath towels, it's got a single hand towel tossed over it. Over the stand up shower that doesn't work there are the bath towels draped so that they can dry properly. The ninja turtles, Sophia the First, and Lightning McQueen are all represented. On the peg hook Spiderman is represented.

I've chosen Lightning McQueen and Spiderman as my towels today, with my floor towel being a lovely towel that used to be a deep rose color my mom mother purchased at Sears about 30 years ago when she did a spruce up to my Grandmother's bathroom. These towels were SO lovely and fluffy when new that my Grandmother proclaimed them too good to use and promptly folded them and put them away in the cabinet. She gave them to me in their pristine conditions when I moved out on my own in the 1990s.

I finish my second glass of wine and submerge, realizing that I'm underwater, have had two glasses of wine and this is how people suddenly pass out and drown and it'll be a headline "Mother of four drowns in freak accident outside Atlanta" so I come up for air and just lay back in the hot flowery water.

I don't know what's wrong with me, maybe sometimes it's just ok to feel like this "everything is too much" and in a few days I won't feel like that at all. I can honestly say that this morning I don't actually feel like that, I can feel stress glimmering on the edges of my mind but I don't feel it right now. I'm drinking coffee with cream and sugar waistline be damned it's what I want.

Part of me wonders though, waking up on this Sunday, if the 45 minutes of soaking did help part of that fade away? Epsom salts are weird things, allegedly this is true:
 Epsom salt has beneficial properties that can soothe the body, mind and soul. Some of the countless health benefits include relaxing the nervous system, curing skin problems, soothing back pain and aching limbs, easing muscle strain, healing cuts, treating cold and congestion, and drawing toxins from the body

Maybe it's true, because very oddly I do feel better. In fact, I think I'm going to have another coffee. With cream AND sugar. Carpe Diem! Because I only say YOLO when I'm being ironic and it's just too early for that, folks.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Fireworks, and the Fourth

The park next to us held it's 4th of July fireworks on the 3rd of July (I don't understand this phenomenon btw why do people do stuff on the 3rd? Is it for rain dates?) so we loaded up the crew and headed over. Our plan was that we'd eat festival food and hang out and then watch the fireworks. Upon arrival we realized that the food tents were running out of food. There was no food. Thus - there was no dinner.

Some strangers gave us these.
These were FREAKING good. They also gave us these.
So we're now officially those hippies taking and eating food from strangers at festivals. Nobody tell my dad, he hates "damn dirty hippies".
But the fireworks went BOOM BOOM BOOM and four children and two adults were mesmerized. Afterward we supplemented our dinner of various chip products with some Waffle House which was tasty and greasy in a horrible way.
For our 4th celebration we stayed home with our own little fireworks and some chicken on the grill. It's probably the best chicken I've ever made on the grill, and it was amazing.
We used a combo of regular old barbecue sauce with some mustard sauce we got from Maurice's Piggy Park on Spring Break, and it's really the only 'mustard' based sauce I have ever in my life liked. It's amazingly delicious and everyone should try it. While I was cooking, a little mouse named Charlie tried out the pie.
I'm guessing he liked it.

Our own fireworks were less spectacular but I think the kids liked them anyway.

It was as good Fourth of July.