Tuesday, May 31, 2011
And, I needed extra that day. What a bitch, right?
Well, I ignored the lack of spoons, and began the morning. After about 40 minutes (I know, I'm getting quicker on the uptake), I talked to my husband about what was stuck in my craw. We negotiated, and I went about acquiring a spoon or two, so that the family would live to see another day.
I meditated. I went into the bedroom after explaining to the kids that I needed some peace time, and worked with the CD my therapist had given me two weeks ago to begin my Mindfulness training. So, I cracked the CD open, and began. Sometime in the middle, I heard the kids fighting in the hallway-I supressed the urge to open the door and scream, "I'm trying to F#%KING MEDITATE in here, shut your yaps!!!". But, the training must be working, because I breathed through the desire to psychologically, and physically, scar them.
And, lo and behold, I came out of that bedroom 32 minutes later, with armloads of spoons.
Maybe I should give one to the husband-he looks ready to snap...
Monday, May 30, 2011
This post is NOT for the faint of heart, or people with full tummies, or people who have active imaginations. And, it's especially NOT for people thinking about having children.
It is a very real description of things that I wish I had told my children. But failed to.
- Green scrubby sponges clean bird poop off of cars. They also clean clear coats off of cars. Even brand new minivans.
- Cleaning between your toes is part of the showering process. Yes, those crusties are "scab-like". And yes, they might just "smell like mold". Thank you, Monkey Boy, for the stunningly descriptive visual. :::throws up in mouth::::
- Panty liners DO look like knee pads, elbow pads and shin guards. However, they do NOT protect you when you fall off the skateboard. And, next time, bring me my camera. (I wish I hadn't missed that digital moment)
- No matter how many eggs you crack, the ones in the cardboard container are ALL raw. The hard-boiled ones you like are always in a bowl.
- Ladybugs taste bitter.
- So do spiders.
- Poo, regardless of who it came out of, is NOT OK to eat. Certainly not twice. Even if your big brother forgot to flush, and you are under 2. And, it is WAY WORSE coming out the second time. All 10 diapers' worth.
- You were not born with a tail. I know I said you were, it was a joke-a very bad joke. Please stop telling people you used to have one, and then, when they laugh, looking at me and saying, "I did-tell them, Mom". It makes me feel even worse. And, I'm SURE the pediatrician made some notes.
- Funny at home is not the same as funny in public. Yo Mamma jokes, no matter how inventive, are NOT appropriate in restaurants with cloth napkins.
- Stay out of Mommy's closet. Nothing good can come from you going in there. I will not elaborate, just DON'T. GO. THERE.
Phew, that feels better.
It all started one year, when we went to San Francisco for my birthday. We had decided to splurge on a hotel, and enjoy the city for the weekend, kids-free. We began by checking in, then it was off to the Westfield Mall on Market. After a leisurely snack, along with margaritas (kid-free, maggies for lunch? Yes, please.). Then, a little retail therapy. Westfield Mall has the most amazing Nordstrom. It's like Boot Mecca. I wanted a pair of boots for my birthday gift, so I perused. I browsed, contemplated, coveted. I finally found a beautiful pair of brown boots with buckles. It was going to be my first pair of nice boots.
I was VERY excited, see why:
Now, I don't know if you have ever been to Nordstrom. If you have, you most certainly have spent some time in the shoe department. Which means, you may know their little tricks. They work on commission, and have an ingenious way to boost sales: When they bring out the shoes you want, they also bring out a few other pairs they think you might like. Some people find it annoying---I always like to see what else they pick, to see if they judged me well. And, sometimes they come out with items they don't have on display.
This particular time, I was already indulging in nice boots-they weren't going to sucker me, and I told my salesperson as much. The first pair-navy. HA! I don't wear navy! Second up, a mid-calf pair. Meh. I was feeling strong. I was feeling confident. I was feeling victorious. Sadly, it was not to be. Number three was:
Now, these are Munro. Had never heard of them til that moment. Munro is an American company. They run a bit narrow. I gotta tell ya, they are amazingly comfortable. Truly gorgeous. I melted just a little.
I looked at Sky King, asked what he thought. He smiled indulgently, and said some of my favorite words: Get them both.
My eyes lit up, and I wore the Munros out (they matched my outfit!). I wore them the rest of the day, walking up and down the hills of San Francisco. They held up, and I did as well. After 8 years of back pain and heel avoidance, the Munros had cured me! Okay, a bit dramatic, but still. My back was not a mess of knots, I wasn't growling. The shoes did not make me hate the world, as less expensive shoes had done in the past. I had previously resigned myself to a life of "comfortable footwear" (Read: old lady shoes). Now, I knew there was hope for my feet.
The kicker-so to speak-was that, while I was not a dress size I wanted to spend tons of money on (denial is strong in me, and buying a size 14 dress anywhere other than Ross for $19.99 hurt my heart), my feet had been pretty much the same size since high school. Cha-ching!
I had sealed the fate of my future shoe purchases, a day that would live in infamy for my husband.
He had released the Beast.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Remember when life was easier, you had not a care in the world? Capture that feeling for a moment with a spiffy new pair of Saltwaters.
Nordy's has them for but one, get one half off, women's sizes found in the children's department, free balloon with purchase. I picked up a black pair today.
My Princess is one amazing chick. She has the biggest brownest eyes, and they fill with about a cup of tears before they overfill and spill onto her befreckled cheeks. She is quite the character, and is sure to cause me MANY sleepless nights. She also has the quirkiest sense of humor, much like her mama.
While she may not have the most mainstream fashion sense, she certainly knows what she likes. Her sense of irony is ironic-she has no idea how ironic she is being. Take, for instance, her invisible socks. One day, we went shoe shopping. (We do this a lot, as evidenced by my closet...) Princess needed shoes (Yes, any daughter of mine must have several choices. Not just because she must be fabulous. Her feet tend to sweat excessively. And if she wears the same shoes each day, the smell, in my opinion, is akin to dirty wet dog. She once corrected me---her take on the odor was more of the garbage variety.).
So, off we go to Nordy's. we choose the potentials, and sit, waiting for some 20-something guy to attend to our every footwear need. (Honestly, shopping for shoes at Nordstrom is one of life's great pleasures.)
I noted that she had worn flip flops, and would need some peds to try on some Converse----rainbow, of course. The man said, certainly, and off he went to grab a pair from the box. He came back, and Princess looked at me, while I explained that these were special things to put on your feet when trying on shoes (honestly, what kind of mother am I? She's 6, and I haven't even taught her about peds???). She watches as the man puts them on, then we proceed through our process.
15 minutes later, we are wrapping up the transaction, choosing the rainbow Converse. Then, she looks up at the man, and says: "Can I KEEP these????"
Man: What, sweetie?
P: These invisible socks!!!
Man: Uh, ::awkward pause::: sure.
P: :::genuine awe::: Thanks!!!!
And then, she proceeded to show them off, in the most fashionable way possible. For the ENTIRE walk through the mall.
And, for every day that week, until they nearly fell apart from filth.
(Honestly, did you think I would wash them? If I had, we would STILL be arguing over whether she could be wearing them every day. One week of stench is NOTHING compared to a year of her sporting those hideous travesties.)
Can't you just SEE her pride?
Friday, May 27, 2011
I have now experienced this. I agree with my friend-I don't like it. Not one bit. Now that my pain is under control for the most part (thank you, Cymbalta), I must say that not remembering crap sucks.
One of my control freaky quirks is being right on a regular basis. This requires a good memory. Also, I am always on time (VERY annoying, I know) and I have always valued this quality in others. My husband gets a "pass" because of all his wonderful qualities (and let's face it, if he's with me, he will be on time just to stop my bitching when we are running late....). I feel that people's perception of me is that I am a very "together" kinda gal. (Wow, am I like, 60? In the 60's?). Basically, I gots my shit together, and one of the biggest qualities that has helped me to keep up this facade has been my memory. When you have some time to kill, I can tell you all kinds of stories in amazing detail, like my husband's stint in Mall Jail (yes, babe, I went there) or his pathetic attempt at a Valentine's gift in 1995, that almost got him killed (save for the 2000 miles between us)---I will spare some of the inappropriate details, though. Needless to say, my memory rocks. Or, rocked.
I had been muddling along, thinking I still had it all together. Certainly glad I didn't have that fibro fog I had read about. Then, little things began happening. Just little ones. And SK had read up, and told me it might happen, and that I might have had some issues with it already. Whatever. Deep in the recesses of my mind, I had a little inkling that he might be a teensy bit right.
I think my moment of clarity (read: acceptance) came when the phones at my job got turned off. Yep. Wow, right? Thank goodness I am not in charge of the utilities! One of my right-hand women called (from her cell phone, of course), and very gently told me what the problem was. I came in, and found three bills in my "to be paid" file. Hmmm. Not even a courtesy call? Sheesh! So, an email went out claiming technical difficulties, and I jumped into the computer to take care of the rest. Is it "technical difficulties" when I technically forget to mail a check? I think so, too.
Two days later, my other right-hand woman called. The janitorial supply company and the parking company both had called, wondering what to do with the checks I had sent, for bills that seemed to have already been paid. After I finished blushing, I told her to give them calls back, and tell them to be thankful they weren't the phone company. She laughed, probably shook her head, and let me wallow in my forgetfulness.
Nothing like this kind of stuff to bring things into perspective, right?
A few days after that, I lost something. True to form, I have no idea what it was, but it was important at the time. Of course, I blamed Sky King-once again, true to form-his short-term memory has always been spotty, to say the least. It's one of the things that makes me almost choke him. The only reason he has survived is that I get to blame him for almost everything, because he just has no clue if he really did whatever I blame on him (shhhhh) . As we walked around the house looking for it (cause it was due, or something), he looked at me, and said:
SK: You know, you have been forgetting things just as much as I do lately.Maybe this means you don't get to keep blaming me anymore!
Me: :::sheepish::: Yes I do. ::::sigh:::: But my heart's just not in it.
SK: ::::Smiles smugly, walks away:::::
From now on, I don't get to chastise him when I find the cereal in the fridge or the fake butter in the pantry. I can't scowl at him when I am frantically trying to locate the permission slip. My favorite hat is not where I remember putting it, because it is where I set it down mindlessly. Really, the only time I can safely point the finger at him is when I find the item, and it has been stashed out of reach of me. (He's a foot taller, and puts things out of sight in desperation when people are coming over).
So, I had to devise some more systems to keep me on track.
As an avid Smartphone user (LOVE my Droid X), I use the calendar option. I have always used it to remember dates, meetings, appointments. Now, I have added in little things like, "email Mike about fish tank" and "look up yoga classes for Saturdays" and "bring in Adele CD for Becky" (isn't "21" an AMAZING CD?) and finally, "post bills and pay them". And, all day long, my reminder makes that annoying sound---because the pretty sounds I blow off. And, I then make a conscious choice. I either do the task right then, or I put it off (on the smartphone, I can't rely on memory) until a time when I might be able to take care of it. I even have a reminder to take my medication. In the mornings, I have just vitamins, it's not as critical. But in the evening, I have a mix of vitamins and my important medication, which I should take at the same time each day. So, my faithful reminder goes off, and I swear, it sometimes surprises me. I'm like, "Hey! What is THAT? I wonder why THAT is going off....." Which leads me to....
Pills. First off, I had to take the whole "pulling them all out of individual bottles" BS. I accepted the concept of pills, and lots of 'em, a while back. But, opening all those bottles (and trying to remember what and why for each one) was too much. So, insert old lady pill sorter.
Desk. I have been a notoriously sloppy desk keeper. As in, Geez, what kind of slob works in this pit. But, I cleaned it off (and even used some sort of spray stuff, and wiped it down!), bought some thingys to put stuff in and labeled them (after consultation with my two right hand women) and then...........
I used them. I even clean up the desk each day before I leave. I feel more in control of the situation. And, after I called all the vendors I had to see where I stood with my accounts (I claimed math aversion and complemented them so they would help me), I was aware of the whole situation and able to move forward, fresh.
Lastly, I put things away slowly. This has helped me to be more mindful of where things are. When I run around the house putting things away, I do it almost on autopilot, stashing things here are there. Now, I sometimes put things in places that don't make sense. So, I walk slower, and think carefully of where I am putting things, and I don't stop in the middle (usually....) until the item is put away.
Now, if I could only find the remote....
So, I have tired tons of things. I have altered recipes, and come up with some yummy alternatives. Also, I regularly feed my parents, and they (along with a patient husband and hungry brother) don't mind being my guinea pigs.
Also, bear in mind that I am on Weight Watchers, and I am looking for very low "Points Plus" values for my food items.
I hope you find something new, or steal an idea and tweak it to please your brood.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Where was I?
That's right---me, control, therapy, blah blah blah.
So, at the last meeting, we were given homework. We had to work on what we practiced in the meeting. I hurried to fill out the paperwork, because I had my regular session with her today. So, I walk in, all bummed because I didn't get it all done. This is how the conversation goes:
Me: So, I had a really hard time, doing the mindful breathing.
Her: Oh? (In that calm voice she uses to disarm me)
Me: Yes! I got to 3 breaths, then kept losing track, my mind would wander! It was aggravating!
Her: Is 3 bad?
Me: Ummm, yeah! You said, do 5.
Her: Did I? I don't recall giving specific goals, I just asked each person to practice.
Me: Oh. Well, I did some breaths, then.
Her:And, how did it go?
Me: Ok, but I wanted to get more done.
Her: Like what?
Me: Well, I figured I would do 5 breaths on Friday, then knock out some more on Saturday, maybe meditate for Sunday, adding 5 minutes each day, to wrap it all up by.....
Her: :::::Laughing hysterically::::
Ummm, well, the point wasn't so much to get it done. The point was more about experiencing the process, working on it, seeing how it went. It is more of a lifestyle change, a practice that you will hopefully be able to use as.....(I stop listening, wrapping my head around YET AGAIN missing the point)
Me: Oh. Shit.
See? I come so far, only to find out that the big long road I spent the past 4 months traversing through seemingly insurmountable odds like sleet, snow, hail, and vengeful acts of defiance is actually only my damned driveway.
How the hell am I supposed to be intrinsically motivated? I'm a freaking American, people!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Anyways-I am trying to say I regularly bite off more than I can chew.
I do too much. I get this. I get this so well, I TYPE about it too much. That's how connected to this illness I am. Completely immersed in it. I can hardly defend it. Hardly.
I volunteered way back in fall, before I learned that word, "NO", to do the yearbooks for both kids. Which meant that I had to make sure I got photos of all the fabulous fun ALL YEAR. Now, I get to put it all into an online scrapbook for each parent to decide to buy. I figured, back in September, this was an easy job. Certainly easier than Art Docent, who has to KNOW stuff, share that knowledge, and be reliable certain days. Harder than Book Order Person, but someone I otherwise like STOLE that job from under me.
But, I am asking one person from each class to edit it for me. Baby steps...
A few parents show up to review Family Life Education materials (read: Sex-ed)
the conversation turns to hygiene, of which our children all seem to be clueless. I, very innocently say, "Do you all ever hand out goodie bags, like filled with deodorant?" A teacher says, "yes, we used to, but it's just not in the budget".
Well, there are few smells worse than 20-something pubescent children right after PE, so I say, "I will provide it!" One teacher exclaims, with what only can be described as complete and utter adulation, "Really?????? That would be GREAT!!!!". So, I say, how many kids?
Yep, I have to buy 120 deodorants.
And, the sick freak that I am, I am envisioning 130 bags (what if the count was off????) filled with deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, lotion, shampoo. All neatly packed into a cellophane bag. Red ribbons for girls, Blue for boys. By Tuesday.
Now I just have to figure out how to get dental appointments for the kids, so I can then figure out how to lift a bunch of samples.
And, that is not even the point of the blog. Sick, I tell you. Sick, sick, sick.
The POINT IS.....I am a Girl Scout Leader. Did you roll your eyes? It's okay, everyone else does when I tell them. You are in good company.
But, no matter how much it bugs to try to come up with activities for 13 Daisies and Brownies, no matter how many freakish people I have to tolerate at the monthly meetings (It's like a cult over there, I swear!), I LOVE it. When my husband pushes me to downsize my obligations, I can't bear to drop the girls.
We have such an amazing group. They all love each other so much. They truly get the sisterhood of it. And, I get to do awesome things like take them to a garden, where they willingly spend 45 minutes looking at flowers, and sketching their favorites. It was magical. And, when I ask Princess if she wants to continue next year, she says yes. Then, I ask, "Do you want me to be the leader still?" She looks at me through her ginormous eyelashes, and says, "Yes, Mama. Of Course!" My heart melts, and I finish putting out the paper, Dues jar, and pencils.
Sign me up!
Sunday, May 22, 2011
I know, I know. It's a company, it's a cheesy phrase that has sold tons and tons of swag, from hats to T's to water bottles to messenger bags. It costs a lot, too.
But, I have found that, through the purchase and wearing of these shirts and hats, I kind of embody the philosophy.
Normally, I shirk all things over-positive, touchy-feely, tree-huggy, prone to being embraced by the granola munching daisy sniffers of the world. I have slowly come to realize that these are my people. :::gasp:::
I wear the "Life is Good" clothing. We buy organic. We dismiss artificial preservatives and colors like a gamer dismisses hygiene. I walked my first 5k this morning, and actually envision doing more in the future, possibly at a quicker running-like pace. We ride our bikes to places, like the store, while toting our reusable grocery bags. I am even taking a seminar on meditation. (Don't drop your gluten free, dairy free organic sustainably harvested cookie.)
And, I have changed a lot. I have changed my schedule, my diet, my habits. But most of all, my outlook. Getting my life's philosophy from a T-shirt doesn't seem as lame as I once thought it was. I actually enjoy wearing the shirts, I feel a little bit better, I have a certain spring in my step.
Next thing you know, I will be blanketing my new minivan with bumper stickers-you know, things like:
Republicans for Voldemort
Come the rapture, can I have your car?
And maybe one of those awesome bumper stickers that look like bandages. I could put it where my son washed my car with a scrubby sponge. (Clear coat does NOT hold up to that kind of elbow grease, incidentally.)
Shhh-don't tell my husband. Bumper stickers just might be the thing that pushes him over the edge.
You now have my permission to be a big lame dork. Go ahead, fly your freak flag proudly. I do!
Saturday, May 21, 2011
But, when things start to hurt, or I get a tiny little cold, I have to revamp my day, plan for some chill time.
Despite my inability to sleep well, I can't nap. The sleep just won't come. I have very little access to the remotes, all three people I share a home with make sure of that.
I read memoirs, brain candy garbage, tween books, classics, non fiction. I have always loved to read, but I used to not make time for it. Now, I have tons of reading time! (Glass half full...)
There's something to be said about reading, and enjoying, the books we should have read in school. Maybe that something isn't very good. Either way, though, these classics are classics for a reason. I have also delved into Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, And Tom Sawyer.
I love me some Skippyjon Jones. Ditto, Pigeon books. And Parts. All future classics, in my opinion.
The weirder, the better. If you have a stranger life than me, I want the deets. James Frey, Augustin Burroughs, love them all. Look Me In The Eye is a very entertaining memoir of a man with Asperger's. I also love the writings of a former teacher of mine, Jane Juska. She has written about sex after 60, among other things.