Night of Horror

I was going to post last night, but I had to Xanax up at the kids’ Halloween Hop at school last night and it knocked me out cold. So, sorry. Maybe tonight.

For someone like me, last night’s shindig was truly a house of horrors. Big crowd, full of kids hopped up on sugar, put into costume,  coupled with at least two parents or family per kid, plus teachers and staff, all equal the sort of mass confusion that terrifies me to my core.

So there I am in the center of a dark gym, being spun around by whirling costumed dancing/running children, trying desperately to keep at least my daughter in eyesight, trying to inconspiciously unscrew the lid of my Xanax still hidden inside my purse, secretly pull out the tiny pill that will help me from not running into the janitor’s closet and locking myself in, ever so slyly placing said pill into my mouth, all while trying to spit swallow it and praying to God it doesn’t get caught in my throat and I choke and die in front of a bunch of kids dancing to I’m Sexy and I Know It. (Except it’s more like serrrrelaiy and I know it, because they blurb out that offensive part, but alas leaving in the fact that he has “passion in his pants and he ain’t afraid to show it,” thank you DJ for keeping my kids safe from the word sexy).

Anyways, still recovering from that traumatic incident. Problem is, the kids (including Mark) loved it, so I will be forced to return next year, but next year I will come pre-Xanaxed and a maybe a bit tipsy. Is that so wrong? It’s called coping mechanisms people.

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A Little Piece of Me

I wrote this last May.  A fairly lonely time in my life.  My husband had been traveling for just over 2 years with no end in sight.  We had yet to find a diagnosis for Will’s idiosyncracies and impulsiveness.  All our efforts were not quite solving his problems and I was terrified of what his first year in school would bring.  So – at a pretty wrenching moment, I wrote this.

May 22, 2012

I don’t why I thought I was strong enough to be a mother.  All my life I have hidden from pain.  Pain of being judged, criticized, ignored, laughed at and so on.  I sometimes feel so sensitive (or paranoid) of other people’s reactions to me that I find it mostly exhausting to be around anyone but those that I trust the most.  So as I grow into myself and enter by far the most healthy self-esteem period of my life, somewhat comfortable with who I am, I think it’s a brilliant idea to procreate.   To take my very thin-skinned introverted self and make children that I love and would protect with my life, children who have to once again go through their own childhoods, adolescence, young adulthood and so on.  To learn the hard lessons, to be a bit different or less than perfect, to struggle, to come to terms with who they are, and be near people who don’t understand just how wonderful they are.

After years and years of building a pretty thick shell around myself from negative unhealthy people, I push myself into it all over again with my kids.  I feel their pain and their terror of entering this world.  Not that they are aware of it, but I am acutely aware of how tough life is going to be for them.

I have a son, who’s brilliant, smart and hilarious already at 5, but so sensitive to everything around him, he finds it hard to function.  It’s hard to sit and see all the other kids and know yours is different, albeit in a beautiful, wonderful way that you completely understand, but one that will cause him hardship, pain and struggle.

I have a daughter, who is strong-willed, beautiful and fearless.  How long do I have that before society gets to her to tell her she’s not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough to be worth anything?  How long before I hear the fat comments, how long before my opinionated loud daughter becomes quiet and doubting?  Afraid that if she is too strong, she will be labeled a bitch? Or if she‘s too smart, she will be labeled a snob or a nerd?   How long before she dumbs herself down for a guy or a group of girls to fit in?

I just don’t understand why I would do this to myself.  To have something so precious to me live outside of me, where I can’t protect it completely and fully?  How do I begin to regain control of my life, my emotions, my feelings and protect them once again?  I can’t and it’s the scariest thing I’ve ever felt.

God I pray for strength and courage to be that opinionated, bitchy, smart woman I want my daughter to be. I pray she enters the grown up world confident, smart and funny – unafraid to be herself and to pursue what she loves and who she loves.   I pray she never doubts herself or lets herself be judged by her appearance.   I pray to raise my son to control his impulses and take his beautiful awesomeness and become the next rocket scientist or Nobel Prize winner and be able to look back at all those who will label him a bad kid, an uncontrollable kid, a wild one and laugh at how they doubted him.  I pray that I see the path you are laying out for me, my children and my husband and I take the road that terrifies me, but ends up the best path I could have chosen.   I just pray that your plan actually makes sense and is in the best interest of those that I love the most and have the least control over – my kids.

Yours Doesn’t Smell Like Roses Either Kid

I just got finished doing something dirty.  Get your minds out of the gutter.  I just cleaned the cat litter.  It occurred to me while doing it that the cat is the only living creature in our house that gets to go the bathroom with any semblance of privacy. 

Mitt Romney will tell you he understands the hardships of the middle class.  Yeah, I bet he’s  never had a house with one bathroom.  The bathroom is where middle class gets real.  Ever had four people in a 5’ x 8’ space, getting ready, going potty, taking a shower, combing hair, brushing teeth , and putting on makeup all at the same time?  Doubtful Mitt, doubtful. 

Our kids are 6 and 4 and we are beginning to wonder when we should start exhibiting some modesty in the bathroom.  Frankly, that’s difficult when everyone has a ½ hour to get ready, and give me a break, I already get up at 5:30 a.m., my body won’t let me get up any earlier.  Besides, the kids are unmovable before 6:30 a.m. anyway.  I just hope we don’t put them in therapy when they wonder why we don’t look like people in the magazines and why everything is so much more droopy than what they see in the movies.  That’s life without a personal chef, a trainer and Photoshop, all combined with a healthy love of lasagna and mint chocolate chip ice cream.    

I haven’t gone to the bathroom by myself since 2006.  Some people can lock the door.  I get a kid throwing himself against the door and screaming like he is dying until you come out.  Ever need a moment to relax and just let nature and gravity work its magic?  Try that when two kids are screaming, “MOM, I have to go potty right now!”  This means the pee is already running down their leg at that point so you better hurry up.  And if you do forget to lock the door, brace yourself, your daughter will barge in and need a hug at that moment, no matter how smelly it is.  Ever have commentary on the smell?  Like you are the only one in the house with smelly #2s?  Ever have them so excited they are screaming for you to get up so they can see it and provide commentary?  That’s fun.  I won’t even begin to explain the joys of my monthly friend.  Most answers to those questions are, “I’ll tell you in 6 years,” or “You won’t need to know these details, ask your dad,” or “No, that isn’t a bomb, a parachute or a mouse.” 

My husband has been trying to talk me into a toilet in the basement, which is the only place in our house we could put a second bathroom.  Problem is, we have a septic system, which means the waste must go uphill to get to the tank from the basement.  That’s easy, just get an $800 toilet, which we can only do when he has a job, but then when he has a job, he isn’t home, so needless to say, it hasn’t gotten done yet. 

Until we can afford an $800 toilet, we will be the definition of middle class.  Come on over Mitt, take a number, see how real people live.  I dare you. 

Hayrides and Introverts

We took our annual fall trip to the apple orchard today.  Great fun was had by all. 

Let’s just say these things are not great fun for introverted people such as myself.  Large crowds of people I don’t know are not my idea of a fun time.  The thought of making small talk with people I’ll never see again makes me nervous.  I can’t be myself in these situations, as I naturally look pissed off and my personality is mostly comprised of sarcasm and desert dry humor, so if you don’t know me, I mainly just come off as a bitch.  First impressions are really not my thing, just ask almost every potential employer I’ve interviewed with and my closest friends, whom I met in college, who if not for the saving voice of one very kind-hearted soul, would have never talked to me again.   I like to have a good read on people before I get more comfortable, so I can know if they will get my Tommy Boy references or if I can make liberal jokes that they won’t get all uppity about.  I need to know they have a sense of humor and know I am just kidding, which is hard to do on a 20 minute hayride.  So, naturally I avoid eye-contact  and just stick to keeping my kids in line. 

I love watching my in-laws, who are completely at ease with strangers.  My mother in law can get the guy next to us life-story within five minutes of sitting next to him.  And trust me, it’s always horribly sad.  I think these people seek her out, or else, no one has happy story.  Going to Nagoya  (a Japanese hibachi  restaurant) where we all sit together with people we’ve never met is not a good place to go with her.   She will become so close to the family next to us that at the end, they are exchanging Christmas cards.  I don’t know how she does it. 

I am finding kids are good and bad for introverts.  On one hand, I have to focus on them so I don’t miss anything or lose them in a crowd, hence making it easier to not worry about the others around me.  But on the other hand, it can be a lot like walking around naked, in that they can be really embarrassing.  Nothing can make an introvert want to hide her house for the rest of her life like a kid yelling TWAT at the top his lungs at the grocery store.   

Anyways, kids will make me come out of my shell eventually, if for anything so they don’t end up like me.  You will see me at family functions, open houses, soccer games and wonder what I am so upset about.  I’m really not, it’s just the way I look, just give me a few minutes.  I will eventually take a Xanax or have a few drinks.  Then I’ll be nice. 

Confessions…of a Parent

I am a bit of a lull after only two posts.  Awesome I know, but I have something I want to write that I can’t share here yet and it’s taking up all the brain matter that is not currently covered with melted chocolate, unpaid bills, and smutty books.  Mainly because it’s about sex, and only my family reads this so far, so it would just become awkward at family functions, so I’ll wait a bit.  But, I might submit it in secret somewhere and fingers crossed, just might get published writing embarrassing things about myself.  I’ll keep you posted, if there’s anything to post, which most likely there won’t, so you’ll all be saved the embarrassment of picturing me naked.  Shudder.  If you do, picture it 10 years and 40 pounds ago please.

Anywho,  I thought I’d give you some parenting confessions to entertain you and make you feel just a little bit better about your life.

At 2 years old, Will dropped the F-bomb completely in context.  He comes running up to me and says, “MOM!  Michael’s fuckin around.”  Like I should do something about it.  NOW.  Let’s just say I freaked the fuck out and made him repeat it at least five more times to verify he did in fact say what he said.  Then I got angry.  What horrible bastards are saying this shit around my kids???  The daycare?  My in-laws?  My sister?  WHO??  Then, I realized.  Shit, it was me.  Driving to daycare that morning, I realized I had yelled, with my children in the backseat, to the driver beside me who was slowly merging into traffic to “Quit fucking around already.”  Yep.  Pretty epic parenting fail.

BTW, I haven’t quite learned my lesson, as this Sunday at the breakfast table, I told Mark to “Quit being a douche,” which apparently is just as funny to them as it is to me, and no, I will not explain what a douche is, other than their father was being one at the moment.

Likewise, my kids recently “made” up a word that they think it hilarious.  The word?  Twat.  Yep, now, I admit, I tend to swear like a sailor at times, but frankly, this just isn’t a word I choose to use on a regular basis.  They seriously put the constants and vowel together and made up what they thought was a funny word and then proceeded to sing-song it all the way down the aisle at Target.

I worry that Gracie might be a stripper.  She really likes to dance and take her clothes off.  Scares the bejeesus out of me.

I am secretly overjoyed that Will and Gracie both know the Single Ladies dance by Beyonce.  Honestly, it’s adorable.  Next up, vogueing.

This is a confession from Mark.  I know you hide in the bathroom to play video games.  No one can poop that much in one day.  Seriously.  I’m on to you honey.

I used to hate the grocery store.  Now, if alone, I will stay there for hours.  Pick the longest line to wait in.  Watch the fish like some crazy lady by myself.  Walk the organization aisles like I am actually going to organize my house one day. Maybe read a chapter of my book in the car before I even go in.   The longer the better.

I know I am not the only one who does this, but I hide the good food from my kids.  Oreos?  Mine. Good ice cream?  Mine.  Brownies?  Hidden until they fall asleep.  Sometimes, when I can’t wait for them to go to sleep, I hide in the corner of the kitchen with the lights off and shovel Oreos into my mouth at what I am sure is a world record pace.  Wait, that sounds sad.  Nevermind.  I don’t do that.

Mark and I play this game with a vengeance.  It’s called pretend you’re sleeping until the other person gets tired of hearing the kid scream and gets up.  Oh don’t get all judgy, you all do it.  Not the blood curdling, something’s wrong scream…the scream that says, I peed/pooped/threw up all over the room and need you to clean it up, or I want to play at 3 a.m.  with no intention of going back to sleep for the rest of the day scream.  I’d say we are equally good at it.

OK – enough confessions for today.  Got any to make me feel better?  Please don’t call Child Services.   I do love my kids and they are well fed, not neglected and honestly turning into pretty decent human beings.  I promise.

 

Sisters

I knew I was going to have a second baby at my grandpa’s funeral.  It was a devastating blow to our close-knit family.  Grandpa was the glue, the head, the life force of our entire family.  As I sat behind my mom, her sister and her two brothers during the funeral, I realized how much they all leaned on each other to get through that painful day.Will was only five months old when he died, but I knew I didn’t want him to have to stand alone when the time came for us.  Not that I was anywhere near ready to even think about another baby with a very cranky, very urpy five month old, who had yet to spend a night in his crib, but I remember the decision was made that afternoon that I would talk Mark into a second baby.  Thank God bad math and “natural” family planning eliminated that conversation.  Who knew one time could get us pregnant?  Seriously.  One time that month.  Give me a break, Will was only sixteen months old at the time, Mark’s lucky he got it that once.

Anyways, maybe that was my parents’ thought when they decided to create my sister.    For me.  How thoughtful.  Not that I asked for her.  At all.  I really really didn’t like her from the get go.   The famous story is, she was home for 15 minutes and I bit her as a welcome home gift.  It really wasn’t her fault.  My mom promised not to leave during my nap (because she ALWAYS did), and the woman had the nerve to go into labor during that time.  So-naturally, I was mad.  And yes, I do remember.  I have memories as a three-year old, but for the life of me, I can’t tell you what I had for breakfast this morning (but I am pretty sure  it wasn’t Ho Ho’s and a Pepsi, I have grown a bit).

I was a bad sister.  So bad, when my grandma died, my mom found a letter written by her to me that she had stashed away telling me that I should be nice to my sister and how God would want it.  It wasn’t dated, but it seriously could have happened anytime between the ages of 3 and 18.  Another story my sister tells often is when I chased her with a knife (which I don’t remember) AFTER she tried to close the garage door on me and hit me on the head with it (which is probably WHY I don’t remember).  Ah the 80’s, when siblings were left alone with only each other after school and garage doors didn’t have safety eyes to stop from squishing you.  I think it’s for that reason a lot of our generation are crazy helicopter parents.  We know what we did, and I’ll be damned if I let my kids try to kill each other unsupervised every afternoon.

Anyways, fast forward to me moving out, having some crazy fun in college (a story for another time) and eventually turning into a somewhat nice rational human being.  Turns out, I really like my sister.  In fact, she’s my best friend.  She’s the only one who will honestly tell me to put the frumpy sweater back on the Kohl’s shelf and to get my ass on the treadmill.  And I get the privilege of telling her the same right back.  It’s fun to joke about being the fattest people in the room, and being able to laugh knowing you are not destroying the other person’s self image, because they know you well enough to know you are not being malicious, just funny, and a bit truthful, but the what the hell, she is the same size as me anyways.

It’s fun to have someone to just give a look to when your dad does something stupid or when you know your mother has phased out on the phone watching HGTV and simply responding occasionally with, “Uh huh, ya, I know…,” when you’ve just told her you are thinking of selling your kids to the mafia and you think you have an STD from your cheating husband. (Yes, mom, I’ve said this stuff and that’s how you responded, seriously, it’s a fun game we play.)

My sister’s lived it with me.  Knows why I am crazy and dysfunctional and why I think the way I think.  She understands why I am crazy messy and disorganized, because she stole all those OCD genes from my parents, or my dad isn’t my real dad and Pig Pen is, which would make way more sense.  She knows I will do everything in my power to be there for her no matter what.  She knows I will do nothing but root for her in all things and only want good things to happen.  She knows that I think she is an awesome mom and thank God everyday that she got the opportunity to be one.  Plus, above all, I will need her with me to take care of my parents as they get crazier and crazier, and thank God yet again that she has the bigger house to take care of my dad when mom decides she’s had enough and heads for heaven.

Love ya sis.  You totally owe me a present for all the schmoopiness.   And don’t get schmoopy back, because frankly, you aren’t that good at it.

Seriously. This was the only together pic I could find after an hour of searching. But doesn’t my hair looks super cute?

OK-Here’s an acceptable pic to my sister. Even if I look like the crazy lady who photobombed the shot.

Death by Chocolate and Brownies and Cool Whip

I am pretty sure my husband’s trying to kill me.  Last March, I went to the doctor to see why I had suddenly gained so much weight and why I couldn’t seem to drop it after giving up cookies for a few days, which by the way, is how my dad has always done it, and wonders why the rest of us fatasses can’t follow suit.  So after giving up all sweets for over a month and only managing to lose a few pounds, I went to the doctor hoping for some sort of thyroid or tapeworm issue that could be fixed with some pills, which would make the weight slide off without exercise and healthy eating.  Needless to say, he ordered bloodwork to establish a “baseline,” since I was so young and healthy, so when things went astray, we’d know what my “normal” was.  Well, I messed that up.  At 32, my cholesterol was 265, which to explain to normal 30 somethings who have no idea what I’m talking about, anything over 200 is bad news.  I basically have the cholesterol of a 50 to 60 year old, who’s lived a Ron Swanson lifestyle of turkey legs wrapped in bacon and fried snickers bars.  I used to wonder what the big deal was about a Ho-Ho and Pepsi for breakfast, so really, I had this coming.   A cholesterol level of 265 at an older age would put me straight on medication, but because I have a few years to tinker with, we were going to try diet and exercise first.  Anyways, that was March.  I haven’t been back for a follow up since, because I keep dropping the ball and playing mind games with myself that tomorrow I will get back on track and show the doctor that I am super dedicated and be one of those smug, I can do it so can you, type people.  But right now, there are slutty brownies that I must try.   To give me an ounce of credit,  I did really really good for about  a month, but only lost like 3 freakin pounds, so I got discouraged and slid a bit every day.  And slutty brownies are really freakin good (see below).

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Back to my homicidal husband.   Mark moved back into our lives a little over a month ago, and God bless him, has taken over the cooking (which for me and the kids means something other than PB&J 4 out of 5 nights a week).  Since then, we have had a steady diet of brinner (breakfast for dinner), complete with tons of eggs (made up mostly of cheese) and bacon.  Lots and lots of glorious bacon.  And trips to Gino’s Pizza, and Saturday breakfasts at McDonalds and Sunday brunch at IHOP.  I am pretty sure I am married to Buddy the Elf, except he likes the meat and potatoes and I am putting syrup on my spaghetti  noodles. Image

Hence why I think he’s trying to kill me.  He knows I could keel over at any moment, but yet, he continues to waive these glorious foods under my nose every hour of the day.  So, if do keel over before 35, you know who to blame.  But just stay quiet so the poor guy can quit looking for another miserable job and live off the life insurance for a while.

PS – You know you want the Slutty Brownie recipe now that I mentioned it.  It truly is worth dying for.

Slutty Brownies