Friday, September 30, 2011

Monkey Boy's Palate

I am a big one for healthy food, as you might have noticed.  However, I, as most moms are, am concerned about whether my children will grow up to appreciate good food, have a sophisticated palate.  Princess, especially, worries me, as most of her favorite foods come in "nugget" form.  I have good reason to be concerned-Sky King chooses cereals by how many words they misspell (think "froot" or "choco-flav-r") and sticks to the middle part of the store, wandering to the edges only for celery for bloody marys and whipped cream for ice cream sundaes. Oh, and the wine and beer are on the perimeters.
Monkey Boy, however, just jumped to the top of my "proud mama" list. A few nights ago, I had prepared dinner-some sort of meat (fish, chicken, whatev) then a fresh fruit, I believe it was cantaloupe, and a mixed veggie dish.  Now, I had picked up a few bags of frozen veggies to hold us over when I don't have time to steam veggies.
The kids had scooped their food onto their plates, and were contently, if not quietly, eating.  The usual banter was going on-people joking, talking about their days, MB teasing P mercilessly. Then, MB says, "This broccoli is nasty.  Why can't we just have steamed broccoli?"  I take a bite of my veggies, and notice they have some seasoning on them. I get the package and find that I had inadvertently picked a veggie mix that had seasoning, which I normally don't do. What I usually do is steam stuff plain, and serve it, without salt or butter, hoping the veggies speak for themselves.  I hadn't really thought about it and I had never noticed that MB had never salted his veggies.

I beamed!
I was so happy, I wanted to put cookies in his lunch.  I didn't though, because the staff at his school would judge me.  And you KNOW I hate to be judged by my food choices.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What Fibro Fog Is REALLY Like

This is a stream-of-consciousness post about my internal thoughts and dialog, relating to you what my brain goes through in full fibro-fog...enjoy!
:::smartphone chimes:::
Oh!  I need to go take my meds!
(get up to go to the kitchen)
Oooooh.  What a pretty picture the screensaver on the computer chose.  It reminds me of that place I wanted to go for Spring Break with the kids next year.  What was the name? San-something.  I better look it up before I forget.
:::type, type, type:::
Hey!  I have 18 new messages. I better check them in case there is something important in them.  Crap!  My cell phone bill is overdue, they plan to shut it off tomorrow. I better go into my account and transfer some funds to cover....
:::read, read, read, type, type, type:::
Oh, that reminds me, I should start a blog post about that crazy guy I saw at the mall with the nose rings and the Chihuahua.
:::change webpage, type, type, type:::
Oh, I was waiting to hear back from my friend about when we can get together for lunch, I better check Facebook to see if she has responded!
Look at that!  My favorite restaurant is giving 3 Facebook fans a gift card for $10 if they "like" a post!
:::Like, Like, Like:::
I wonder if they have a certified gluten-free menu yet?
:::click, click, click:::
Wow, that risotto looks good.  Maybe I can find a recipe and make it for dinner.
:::Navigate, navigate, navigate:::
A good recipe, let's see.  I have rice, mushrooms, fennel.  Do I have coriander?  I better check.
:::gets up, goes to cabinet:::
:::rummage, rummage, rummage:::
Look at this! Three bottles of syrup. What a waste of space.  I better combine them.
:::pour, pour, pour:::
(hears beeping sound)
What is that?  Oh, the timer.  Crap!!! Forgot about the boiled eggs.
(Goes over to stove, sees that eggs are all cracked and seeping out of shells.)
Monkey Boy: "Mom, what's for dinner tonight?"
Me: "I don't care.  Grab a Hot Pocket.  And some applesauce for the vitamins.  And milk. "
(cools eggs in sink with ice, with the plan to turn it into egg salad for kids' lunch tomorrow)
(Walks to bathroom to *ahem* "use" it.)
(Walks back to kitchen, then into family room, sits down to read a book. Realizes I don't have glasses, gets up to look for them. Goes into kitchen. Spies pill container that I thankfully left out, instead of putting away. Takes medication 2 hours late. Cleans up maple syrup mess on counter, throws two empty maple syrup containers into recycle. Goes back to couch. Sits down.)
(Gets back up to look for glasses again, sees cup by pill container, fills with water, puts down to look for glasses. Walks to bedroom.)
Princess: "Mom, can you do that braid thing with my hair?"
Me: "Sure, lemme get a brush and the detangler."
(Goes into hallway, sees glasses on Monkey Boy's desk, thinks, "I must yell at Monkey Boy for taking my glasses-I wouldn't have left them here!".)
(Goes and sits back down with book AND glasses.)
(Gets back up, goes into kitchen, grabs glass of water I poured 30 minutes ago. Goes back to couch area, stops to check Facebook real quick.)
:::click, click, click:::
:::reply, update status, comment on status, comment on photo:::
:::surf, surf, surf:::
:::check email:::
:::respond, respond, respond:::
I better get to bed, I'm tired.
Gosh, why am I so hungry? What did I eat for dinner? What was it that I made? :::sigh:::  I forgot to eat. I better grab a Larabar, and get the kids into bed.
(Princess comes out sobbing)
Princess: "Mommy, why didn't you come back?"  :::chin quivers:::
Me:  "Oh, sweetie, I'm sorry. Let me read you a story to make it up to you, c'mon, let's go snuggle."

And that, my friends,  is how I go to sleep hungry, and wake up with no working cell phone.

UPDATE: The day I write this blog, I was inspired to write it as my alarm went off, reminding me to take my pills at 5pm.  Thankfully, I checked my pill container before I went to bed at 10:30-I had failed to take them, blogging had sidetracked me. I can't make this shit up, folks.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Holy Hot Shit, Batman!

For those of you that do not know, I'm kind of a big deal.  Not like Brangelina big deal.  Not even Middle-East-Peace kind of big deal.  But certainly Dan-Quayle-said-something-almost-intelligent kind of big deal. Or maybe I'm into the Legend-in-my-own-mind territory---either way, I'm certainly on the cusp of Wikipedia-page important. Unless I'm delusional.

So, I have been writing all my life.  I had another blog that I never really committed to-kind of like a transitional blog.  Now, I have this one.  I have gotten so much from it-laughter, the relief of expression, and certainly comfort in my own skin.  I have gotten A LOT of that.
About a month and a half ago, I applied to Blogher, which is kinda like the A-list of female bloggers.  The process goes like this:
I apply
I wait
and wait
and wait

if nothing happens, I wait, then....


BUT. I got an email, inviting me to join them.  The Cheerleader clique wants to go in on a limo to prom with me!!!!

And, each time you read my blog, I get one trillionth of a penny, for being super awesome.

Now, they want to feature me on their front page (!!!!!!)  and under the "Health" topic, as well as through Facebook and Twitter....Like, OMG!!!!!!!!! And, they are linking a recent post of mine about going to UC Davis for a sleep study (and the waaaay crazy part about my creepily vivid melatonin dreams).

It will happen Monday September 26th at 7am PT, and I want you ALL to know----all 12 of my loyal followers.  And maybe, just maybe, I will have 14 followers at the end of this PR roller coaster they call "the biz" (do "they" even really say that?  Doubtful...)

To me, this is as exciting as having Random House call me and beg me to fly on their dime to New York to discuss first runs, publicity tours and book jacket photos.  But then, I'm being treated for mental illness, so I may be a BIT reaching with that one.

Either way, I have perma-grin.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cheating Binge

McDonalds, Baskin Robbins, Round Table Pizza, oh my!

Even wonderfully committed people like me (or people it would be wonderful to commit?) have days (weeks?) when they just lose interest in following the rules.
You know how it goes-you wake up and skip your vitamins, have a gooey yummy breakfast (gluten-free pancakes and nitrate free bacon, so not too bad), then coast through the day.  Then, your house becomes inundated with your kids and their friends.  And you are just SO SICK OF EATING WELL.

So you look longingly at the bottle of GFCF enzymes that allow you to cheat once in a while and, instead of waiting for a nice meal out with adults where you can indulge in lobster risotto and a creamy bisque, you order pizza.  Not just any pizza.  Round Table King Arthur Combo.

:::Homer Simpson style drool:::

You pop a few pills, and down the hatch goes a slice two slices three slices. I know, I know.  Go big or go home, right? And since you already "cheated", what's a bowl two bowls of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream? Pure heaven is the answer to that question.

I took two extra pills to be sure.

The next day, I paid.  Everyone within range of my bootie paid. Paid dearly, we all did.

And it was worth every fume.

Up Them Meds

Back in February 2011, I was prescribed Cymbalta. Now, Cymbalta is an anti-depressant that has shown, for reasons unknown, to block some of the pain associated with Fibromyalgia.

I started it, immediately felt crappy-dizzy, quiet, withdrawn.  I knew it took a while to get into my system, so I kept at it for a week or so.  I was still feeling like shit with the dizziness, yawning, quiet and sleepy, so I called my doctor. She suggested I switch to taking it in the evening, as I wasn't sleeping very good to begin with. (Sound familiar, fellow fibromites?)

After about another week or so, I started to see many of the side effects diminish.  I was left with some yawning, a dry mouth, and decreased appetite. I figured, I will drink lots of water, stop eating so damn much, and get over the yawning.  Because guess what? My muscular pain was going away! I wasn't having as much burning sensation in my fingers, my arms weren't aching, my legs weren't so tired-feeling.  My mood had improved, PMS was getting better, I wasn't being such a bitch (chronic pain can do that to ya).

After about 4 months, I started to have some anxiety, my mood swings were back with a vengeance, and I was still having some pain in my joints. I was worried that, not only was a struggling with increased fibro symptoms, but Rheumatoid Arthritis was knocking at my door (my blood work shows the RA, but my Rheumatologist says that I am symptom-free, and is not treating RA at this time). 
I sent a message to my primary, who said to double my Cymbalta.

This seemed to defy logic.  Something worked, then stopped working.  Take twice as much.

Didn't sound good.  Also, I was going to have to deal with some of the mood issues when I increased-it made me very quiet, to the point that my husband always thought I was mad at him.  (Apparently, I have a tendency to talk constantly, and quietness is a sign I'm about to open a major can of whoop-ass. Who knew?) So, we battened down the hatches, and doubled up.

The quietness came back a bit, but not as bad as the beginning.  After about 4 weeks, I can say with certainty that my pain has decreased even more.  My dizziness is limited to when I get up too fast, and it seems to be working!

I feel fairly lucky, because many people have not had good results with Cymbalta-it seems to be a regular treatment option by the doctors, but most people find it to not be a positive addition to their treatment. Strangely, the doctors continue to prescribe it. Maybe because it still has a patent, and it costs $50 per month, with insurance?  I dunno.

 I have decided that I like the new, improved calm Aimee.  I know now that if I freak out at someone being unreasonable, they REALLY deserve it.  I LIKE not being such a crab.  Do you have any idea how much energy it takes to be a bitch most of the time? I'm guessing a few of you do, and I'm here to say that it's a pain in my ass having to keep up that reputation.  I find myself not flying off the handle as much, not swearing at the kids as much.  I like that.  I know that I have gotten quieter, less over-the-top-emotional-and-over-involved.  Not really missing that much.

I know my husband misses some of my crazy ways (what does that say about HIM?).  Hopefully over time I will even out a bit more. Otherwise, I may need to make lists of the obnoxious things I used to do regularly, and try to attempt a few now and then so he doesn't feel so confused.

Wish me (and him) good luck!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pick-a-Stalker Program

As part of UC Davis' Pick-a-Stalker Program, I get to pick the people that will watch me sleep. It's all part of a program designed to make creeps mainstreamed into normal society, and the premise is that, if we know the people that will be creeping us out, maybe they will be less creepy.

Or, I am going to the hospital for a Sleep Study tonight. At this point, I have lost track, because I am soooo flipping tired.

You see, I, along with my fellow spoonies, don't sleep well.  I look at the clock approximately 10 times per night.  So, I turned the clock.  Now I wake 10 times a night, but I have no idea when I wake, because the clock is turned.  
I have covered the alarm system keypad with black paper.  I flip my cell phone over so that the blinking "someone sent you an email" light does not wake me (it used to).  I make sure the room is as dark as possible, and I do everything I can to have a good night's sleep. But I don't.  They finally sent me to a neurologist, who got to hear my life story in 20 minutes, and then decided maybe a sleep study would be a good tool to figure out why I don't sleep. all because I said I snore.  I also said that I grind my teeth, smack my mouth, and talk in my sleep, but whatevs. The snoring is the issue, in case I have apnea.
So, let me get this straight-I don't sleep well.  So I go on down to the local germ-infested hospital, park in a large structure that costs money, pay a co-pay to some overworked imbecile, change into my "jammies" which I normally don't wear, hook up to a ton of wires and circle thingies, and sleep in a strange bed in a strange room, while people watch me from another room through the security-type cameras.  Sounds relaxing, right? 
I just hope the intercoms are working right so that I get to hear "code blue-room 2645, stat" all night-it's like a bonus, where I get to pretend that I am living on the set of "House" for the night.  Now if only I could have some strange health problems that no one can figure out....oh, wait....

To combat my sleep problems, I have tried numerous things.
  • I bought a Sleep Number bed-truly one of the most remarkable inventions of the 21st century, just after toilet paper and Nordstrom.  
  • I covered everything that emits light in my room
  • I take relaxing herbs at bedtime
  • I tried Melatonin, a supplement that helps adjust the circadian clock in your body when it is out of whack.
Let's pause for a moment to talk about melatonin.   I have taken it off and on, with mixed reviews.  I DO seem to sleep better.  But.  And this is a big butt---my dreams when I take it are extremely vivid, realistic and memorable.

For instance, this morning I woke up, and my reality seemed to be:
I had just met my husband's family for the first time, and they were a very large black family.  They were very inviting, but they were a little hesitant about my history in the juvenile detention facility. You can't blame them, but they didn't want to hear my story about why I had spent most of my youth in Juvie.  This is why...
When I was younger, I was helping a friend walk to the car repair place.  It was night, and there weren't any street lights in the area of town we were in.  Eventually, we lost track of each other, and I wandered down a street, looking for open repair shops. I finally found one, but my friend was not there. I asked around, and a woman that ran the counter had seen her further down the road, and she walked me down to where she saw her go.  Apparently, my friend (who looks like a friend I had in high school) had decided to spend the night in a tree, nestled in the branches.  I tried to join her, but I was concerned about the quality of sleep I would get, so I encouraged her to jump down so we could find another place to stay.  Just then, there seemed to be a party going on in a back yard, so we joined them.  They were all very nice to us, being new to the area.  Then, a group of stereotypical-looking thugs showed up, who also turned out to be remarkably nice.
This is where things get ugly.  All of a sudden, there is a fight and some shooting-I remember two different weapons being fired.  One of the "thugs" gave me a large stack of twenties, and sent me on my way.
Things get fuzzy at this point, and next thing I know, I am awake in a juvenile facility.  I have a small cubby hole with a bed and a triangular shelf for my belongings.  My cell phone and some old donuts are my possessions.  I am not allowed to have a phone charger, though so things are rough, and I have to turn the phone off after each text. Also, the facility seems to be in the middle of some sort of race war, and my fellow pals are getting picked off by people on the other side of the fence.
I bide my time on my little cubby, and try to get some sleep. I know that I have been here for a long time, but I'm not sure how long.
All of a sudden, my real mother barges in and throws her crazy child on me.  We gather up my stuff including a bucket of paint, and take off.
They take me to a restaurant, where I try in vain to get gluten-free pot stickers.  My "real" mom had abandoned me many years before, and wants to get to know her daughter, but she isn't very nice. She even takes my wrapper-less pot sticker.  Somehow, I ditch her, along with my child (a 2-year-old Princess) that has just appeared, in search of this guy named Mike that raised me.
Along the way, I lose my child, but don't seem to notice. I then get caught up with some bad people again, and sneak into a house for protection. After the bad people go away, I manage to find my way to a family dinner at my husband's family's home. They are all very nice, and serve a good meal.  I keep nudging my husband, though because it has been a long day and I am tired.  Finally, we leave, and I can't find my cell phone.  Luckily, I remember that I have not upgraded yet, so I plan to call Verizon as soon as I get home to get the new Droid X2, and I remember hoping I had updated my backup on the computer recently, because I know I have to call in my Girl Scout cookie order soon, and I can't do it without all the information stored in my phone.

Yep, 12 hours later, this is how vivid my dreams are.

No thank you-I'll take my chances with Ambien, thankyouverymuch.  I hear people do crazy things like sleep-eat and sleep-shop while on it.  At least now, I will get wonderful boots by mail randomly.  It will be like Christmas every few weeks!

Wish me luck-G'Night!

The Day Princess Almost Died

Princess nearly died the other day.

She was viciously attacked by a wasp at a football game, and she was stung on her arm AND her lip. She had never been stung before, and the medic for the game was concerned about whether she was allergic.  All the attention she received made her so irrationally dramatic, I nearly choked her to death.

Luckily for her, there were campus police on hand, and one of them must have seen the murderous look in my eyes as I held the drippy bag of ice just so up to her growing lip,he reached toward his taser, resting his trigger finger on the "lose bodily control" setting. Right before I gave her a squeeze, I looked up and loosened my grip.

I then heard a strange growl coming from Princess, looked at her, and she gave me a look that would wither even Joan Crawford, and I immediately repositioned both ice packs for maximum swell reduction, at which time Princess went back to merely scowling at me, and demanding I take her home RIGHT NOW.

Honestly, I don't know where she got this tendency for the overly-dramatic.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Be Nice to Your Man

I'm hear to tell you that, if you have a good guy, it is important to be nice.  I don't mean, "Hey, honey, want me to grab you some Taco Bell on my way home from getting a mani-pedi?".  I'm talking, "Sheesh, I don't know, where would YOU  like to go on vacation this year?".

Ya know why? He deserves it.  He puts up with YOU, of all people, and we all know how taxing that can be.  He tolerates your family.  He gave you cute-if not completely strange and annoying-children.  He sometimes cooks. He always takes the garbage to the curb.  He doesn't booze it up with his friends---on week nights. He thinks you're funny, and that your squishy belly is sexy (he might be lying, but so what? He cares enough to tell the lie, That's true love, my friends.)

And, you may not realize it, but he subconsciously keeps score.  For each twenty you win, he expects to win one. So let him pick the vacation. Make sure he gets his favorite pie at Thanksgiving. Wear the slutty dress he likes so much (don't go crazy, though. Only wear it when you are sure you won't run into anyone you know, or are too drunk to care). That way, when you whine about needing more wine, he will gladly jump up and refill your glass.
And, he also vaguely remembers that two glasses of wine makes you just tipsy enough to give him some lovin'.

Why?  He's worth it.  Totally, completely worth it.

And when the vacation sucks, you can blame him.

See? Win-win.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

An Open Letter to the Oakland Raiders

Dear Raiders de la Oakland:

I KNOW it is tough to be you-you are the outcasts of the NFL, you are the constant butt of jokes about never being able to fill the stands because the box office won't take food stamps, and you have one of the bat-shit-craziest owners ever to throw his arthritic weight around.

However, I love a man that sadly loves you.  You see, I'm a forty-niners fan.  I know, I know.  How did we ever think a mixed marriage would work?

We try, for the kids' sakes. And January to August, we walk through mostly marital bliss (unless you draft a linebacker with a great arm, or a kicker that is the fastest runner out of training camp).
But during September, October, November and part of December, you make my Sundays and many Mondays a living hell. You see, Sky King will watch.  He will get his gear on, load up on too much coffee, maybe put some yummy greasy food in the oven for a fab Sunday Night grub-fest.  He will sit like a bright-eyed child on Christmas morning, waiting for the enormous loot from Santa despite his mother running out on the family and his alcoholic father losing his part-time gig scraping road kill into a barrel.  And then, like clockwork, he will find that there is NO SANTA.

He then goes through the 4 stages of grief (no true Raider fan can ever truly get to the 5th stage, acceptance, so it might as well not even exist.)

It could be any number of things:
Bad calls by the refs (we all know the refs HATE the Raiders)
Bad plays-interception after interception
Accurate calls by the refs-how many times can one guy get called off sides before he just gives up and walks off the field?

Or the usual.  A great start, followed by some excellent runs, which gives my man hope.  Hope that sounds a lot like reindeer on the roof.  Only to have the team crumble when it matters. It's quite similar to seeing Santa's decapitated head roll down the chimney and land in a viscous pool at our feet. But, like most innocent children, he will NOT go psycho and murder scores of postal workers, or keep bodies in his freezer. Instead, he will forget it ever happened, and be right back in the squishy spot on the couch the very next week, as if the previous week's debacle didn't happen.  And so on, and so on.

So, here is what I need.  Decide at the beginning of the season what the plan is.  Win, lose, it really doesn't matter.  It's the (excuse my french here) total mind-fuck that kills him. It causes him to mope around most of the day. But not only that. he will watch Sports Center to recap. As if his misbehavior caused the loss.  He takes it personally, and he is too good of a man to have to tolerate much more. He deserves better from his NFL team.

Pick a plan, stick with it, respond accordingly. 
And maybe, just maybe, do something about the creepy guys in the Black Hole.

Too much to ask?  Yeah, okay, I concede.  But that first part? Do that.



Don't Judge a Person by Their Shopping Cart-Especially if It's Me

We all do it-while waiting in line to pay for the piles of grub for your clan, you peer into the baskets in front of you and the stuff from the people in front of you.

Some of it it innocent-what if they discovered a new Lean Cuisine that you missed? Maybe there was a coupon on the milk, maybe you might be reminded that you forgot tampons (what, your android phone didn't remind you???).

But really, we are looking to judge everyone else.  We silently compare our green leaf lettuce against their iceberg, our 100% juice against the Capri suns, their Pop tarts to our organic wheat flakes.  And while we stuff it all into reusable bags and wheel it to the swagger wagon, we know we are better than they are.  We know they are going home with their generic cheese puffs, frozen meat bits and Wonder bread to a house full of Natural-Light-Beer-Swilling husbands, and ragamuffin filthy children clamoring for Little Debbie moon pies. We are serene in our pious contentment, bringing home bags full of healthy produce that spans the rainbow along with fresh fish full of Omega Fatty Acids. Our organic 1% milk glows angelically while the whole grain pasta does pirouettes for the cream-on-top maple yogurt.

Until we go camping.

Then, the greasy belt is piled high with jerky, cup-o-soups, S'mores makings, pringles (what are they even made out of?), Lucky Charms, cheap hot dogs, OK! Magazines, gatorades and wine coolers.  And all I can think of is screaming at the top of my lungs, "I'M ON A VACATION!!!! I USUALLY FEED MY KIDS GRASS FED LEAN MEATS!!! I SWEAR!!!!"

That's when I realize just how much I NEED the upcoming vacation.

And I run back for an extra box of Chablis.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Well, Hello, Pisiform!

Welcome back, Pisiform!  I have missed you, oh pokey bone of the outer wrist.

It's been about 7 years---since I got pregnant with Princess.  I hear you have been absolutely buried!  I've been pretty busy, too--what with shoveling carbs into my face.

I have, however, decided that our relationship has been put on the back burner for too long.  I plan to be there for you, and I hope you will become a constant visible presence in my life from now on. I promise to not take you for granted, assuming you will always be there for me despite my actions.

Could you do me a favor, though?  I need additional support, for when the going gets tough.  And by "going gets tough", you know that I mean "ice cream is on sale", right?

I thought so.  Thanks.  Mwah.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Worst Thing He Ever Said...Today.

Every once in a GREAT GREAT while, my fabulously wonderful husband, Sky King, makes a blunder.

Now, when you're great, you're great.  Women wax poetic about how perfect he is: the chickies at the gym, the ladies I work with, his relatives. Hell, if things ever fall apart between us, I'm not too confident my family will have my back.
But when he screws up, he goes at it with the same fervor as when he is doing wonderful things.  He really APPLIES HIMSELF.

The other day, we were having a chat about how wonderfully strange our children are.  Each of us had numerous stunning examples.  For your own point of reference, read here and here and here.  Don't forget about here, too.

At some point, things went sour.  SK said, and I quote:

"I should have listened to your mother."

Now, he backpedaled, but the damage was done.  I looked at him, with murder in my eyes, mouth agape, hands at hips.     I wanted to say, "What? You HATE sex with me? Good, that works out for both of us."  I contemplated saying, "I will give you a 10-second head start before I chase you with this butcher knife".
What I DID say was:
"In what way could you save this conversation so that I don't suffocate you tonight while you sleep?"
He went on to say that my mother had warned him that I was a rotten child (SO not true) and that the resulting offspring of our union would be akin to devil spawn, and that she thought it was important that she was straight with him.

So with that, I decided that, instead of doing 25-to-life for murder (no matter how justified it would have been), I would pen an open letter to the husbands of the world.

Dear misguided husbands:
No matter how many dinners you cook, cars you schlep through the car wash, bags of groceries you bring in and road trips you endure, it is never, ever, ever okay to start any conversation with, "I should have listened to your mother". matter how true it is.

Friday, September 9, 2011

R and R

On a regular basis, I try to focus on the wonderful aspects of a crappy disease. No, really.

For instance,  we have some amazing friends, that have other amazing friends, that kindly lend out their beautiful Tahoe condo.
So, instead of weighing in and going to yoga, I wisked my daughter off to the mountains with our friends, who have a daughter as well-the girls are very close.
We arrive, have a dinner,  and settle in for the night.
The next morning after breakfast I take the girls on a walk up the shoreline to collect shells and feathers (and bottle caps, broken toys, and chunks of styrofoam-after all, it IS Princess...). I then get to sit and enjoy what Princess called the "peaceful calm" of beautiful Lake Tahoe.

If I hadn't gotten sick, I would be at work, running around until 3, then hit a couple errands on the way home. Then, dinner out, and on to the weekend plans, which would NOT include sports for the kids, because we wouldn't have time.
By Sunday, my family would be exhausted with frayed nerves, but I  would not have noticed, because while they were complaining, I would have been in the garage cycling loads of laundry in between activities.

Instead, I'm sitting in the sun, happy to supervise shell collecting, swimming, scootering and a gorgeous backdrop.

Without the clouds, I would have missed all this silver lining.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Entymologist, or Serial Killer. One of those.

Princess wants a pet.  She truly, deeply, madly wants a pet so very very bad.  We however do NOT want a pet, with Sky King leading the "NOT" votes. Somehow, he has managed to skew the voting system in our home so that his one vote beats the two kids' votes, with me being completely inconsequential. Something about hanging Chads, I think.
In between begging for a puppy, Princess acquires critters to name, love, and subsequently murder, complete with fleeting remorse. At first, I was alarmed at the death toll, then complacent that, at least she was off her puppy rants, now concerned for the millions of threatened species. 
You see, Princess puts her complete effort into everything she tackles. If she is working on a birthday card, it will not be given until every square inch is covered in marker, glitter or stickers. If she is making a snack, she will not quit scooping until all food groups are represented. Heavily. All in one bowl. If she joins cheerleading, she will not quit practicing until each song and move is perfected, even if it means cheering in class, in bed, in line at the grocery store. Luckily, her cuteness allows her to get away with more than your average child.
Naturally, she attacks pet acquisition with the same fervor. She started with a frog on her fifth birthday. She loved this froggy. Loved him so much, she played with him constantly. They even played games, like hide-and-seek.  Froggy was good at hide-and-seek, and soon, Princess forgot they were playing. Froggy did not. He leaped and leaped and leaped, out of the bedroom, and down the hall, probably wishing we had a teeny drinking fountain installed along the way. Alas, we had not had the plumber over, as froggy had only been with us a mere 20 hours. So froggy stayed hidden. The next day, we found him. He was such a good hider, he had transformed into a dried-out hunk of stinkiness. Very committed to hiding, he was.
Then we moved down the pet ladder to bugs. Anything Princess could catch.  Butterflies, caterpillars, bees, flies, spiders. Rolly-pollies, beetles, wasps, ladybugs,  crickets. Anything with an exoskeleton. There was Marsellene, Scott, Roger, Wiggles, Betina, Buggy, Crawly, and Mike. We have lost track of all the critters we have brought into our family, and, just as quickly, extinguished.
On a particular camping trip this past summer, the California Coastal frog population went from "vulnerable" to "critically endangered", in their Aquafina death camps. Each death took a tiny piece of Princess's hearth with it, but, being the committed-to-the-process person she is, she blasted through the five stages of grief quick enough to grab the next frog that hopped by. She would then begin the arduous process of naming her new best friend, and would set out to create a vast expanse of intricate habitats, complete with tight-fitting lid.

At first, a friend asked why would I allow her to systematically wipe of small eco-systems of critters up and down the Western Coast.  I would respond, "Anything that keeps dog poop off my carpet is fine by me". 

But now, I have heard that October is Princess Awareness Month, and they even have a slogan and a ribbon:

Would a puppy be worth the ending of the senseless violence????