Friday, November 13, 2015

It is all gone to sh*t!

My life that is.  Literally it has gone to sh*t.  Now, we are all adults here, right?  Yeah?  OK, so let’s just jump right into it.  Everybody poops.  I know this to be true because when I was a preschool teacher we had a board book in the class named just that; Everybody Poops.  As a side note, every time I would read that title I would always start singing “everybody poops…sometimes” in my head in the tune of R.E.M's  “everybody hurts…sometimes”.  It is not a glamorous topic of conversation and it makes people uncomfortable, but, let’s face it…everyone has a daily sit down in their bathroom.  If more people did talk about it I may not be in the situation I find myself in today.  Which is a sh*tty one.  Oh, there are going to be a lot of puns in this one, sorry, but I tend to go for the cheap laughs.

So I have had this dull pain in my lower, right abdomen for a few weeks.  It wasn’t a big deal and it wasn’t so painful I needed to take anything for it.  I had a doctor’s appointment coming up and was going to bring it up then.  Well, about 4 weeks ago it started to get worse.  I was at work and it was starting to be a bit more of an annoyance and more of a ‘hmm…that doesn’t feel so good’.  I was kneeling down doing something and when I stood up I felt like I was going to pass out.  So I took a walk downstairs to the ER and get myself checked in.  When the doctor came in I tell him my story and I also give him my differential diagnosis; appendix (which is low on my list because I did a jumping jack in the bathroom before heading down….To my Hasbro peeps, HEY!! (said in a Wendy Williams voice)  You can take the girl out of the ED, but you can’t take the ED out of the girl!!), ovarian mass or an ectopic pregnancy (the same jackass that botched my c-section also tied my tubes…so I am certain he messed that up too).  The doctor agreed and said those were the top 3 of his differential also.  Off to the CT Scan I go.  When I get back he comes in with my results….drum roll please, I have an Ovarian Cyst, which he tells me will continue to feel crappy, but it will most likely just deflate on its own. Then he adds, “or there is a chance it could rupture --if it does you  will have intense, excruciating pain and then it will feel better."  OK, so I will either eventually feel better or feel like I am being gutted like a pig and in my case that will most likely happen at the most inopportune time, like when I am in the middle of Market Basket—though I really need not worry about that…I am sure no one there would notice me writhing on the floor in pain and, if they did, they would probably just through some sawdust on me and go about their day.  OK, I can live with that.  Then he says, there was an incidental finding on your scan.  You have an inflamed bowel.  Oh, OK.  He tells me it could be nothing, or it could be something big.  He doesn’t go into detail about what that “something big” could mean he just tells me the GI specialist wants me to have a rapid follow up in a day or two.  Great, because as a working mom of 3 kids and a puppy, a Girl Scout Troop Leader for one group and an assistant leader for another, and on the board of the PTA I have a ton of free time to pencil in a “rapid follow up”.    I call and they want to see me the next day!  Yikes…what could this “something big” be? 

So I run over to the University Campus on my lunch break.  I am sitting in the exam room when a med student who looks about 10 comes in and asks me what brings me in today.  "Umm, you do".  She looks confused so I explain I don't know why I am there-they requested to see me for an incidental finding on the CT scan.  So she asks me if I have any GI symptoms.  Nope.  Then the fellow comes in and asks me what kind of GI issues I have been having.  Umm, none.  Things are status quo in that department.  Finally the attending physician comes in, again with the questions.  He asks me more in-depth questions about my daily "bathroom" habits...I fill him in on this very glamorous side of my life.  He asks what my poop looks like.  I tell him I guess normal and go on to explain I don't really look at for any length of time.  I go, wipe and flush.  Much like when I blow my nose.  I blow then throw the tissue away, wash my hands and call it a day.  I don't open the tissue to look at it.  As an aside, I don't understand why people blow then open the tissue to look at what comes out.  I find that disgusting, just like those that blow their nose while people are eating.  Strange lot of people.  I try  not to judge people, but if there is any group worthy of a protest it is booger peekers.    Well back to my story, he thinks I may have Chrons Disease.  What the what?  I told him, I don't think so...but since he was the doctor I would humor him and fulfill his request for a stool sample.  If you are eating while reading this, now would be a great time to take a break, finish eating and resume  after a reasonable time to allow for digestion.  OK.  Now comes the fun stuff!  

So I am at home when the "urge" arises.  I head into the bathroom with the needed supplies; a toilet hat, sterile cup, tongue depressor and my ass.  I take care of business and start the process of getting the sample in the cup.  For the love of all that is holy this sh*t is NOT normal!!  Maybe I have should have been looking at it all along!  I am trying to get this toxic sludge into the cup without vomiting and I am struck with fear.  I was terrified of passing this sample in...all I could think was after they received the sample Erin Brockovich would be knocking down my door declaring my house a superfund hazardous waste site.  The government would come and cover my house in one of those tent things like in the movie ET and people in space suits would be wandering around examining everything.  

I go ahead with the plan and drop the specimen off at the lab.  I apologized profusely and told them I would nominate them in the next round of Champion of Excellence awards.  If those lab techs were paid 3 million dollars a year, they would still be grossly underpaid for the tasks they are charged with.  They are truly doing God's work.  

So while I am waiting to hear the results, about 10 days they tell me, I do some investigating.  I head straight to the internet and while looking up Chrons I am checking all the boxes.  Could this be true?  I decide to ask people to talk to me about one of the most taboo topics; their bowel habits.  So I know my study wasn't up to international research standards, my sample was not large, about 5 people and there wasn't a standard questionnaire, but I gathered enough data to realize I am an outlyer.  Turns out most people don't go to the "bathroom" if you know what I mean 4+ times a day.  Most people don't have intense stomach cramps when they do go.  Most people don't get a sudden urge to go and go NOW.  Most people don't have to stop mid-sentence to run to the bathroom.  Most people don't relate to Sh*t brick from American Pie.  Most people don't have to drive pretty much standing up for fear of sitting down and having a different kind of car accident.  Most people's poop doesn't look like raw brownie batter on a good day, Chinese rice on a bad day.  Oh, and I may or may not have something other than the weather in common with Al Roker.  Huh, imagine that.  I guess my status quo I bragged to the GI fellow isn't something to be proud of.

I finally hear back about 2 weeks later that my poop did not show signs of Chrons.  I was stunned, not because it wasn't Chrons, but, I was honestly expecting them to tell me what I gave them wasn't human.  So they want me to come back in.  I set up another appointment because "things" are getting worse and I am in near constant pain.  So now they are thinking I have IBS-D which for the non-medically inclined people is basically a sh*tting disorder.  I don't like the idea of them "thinking" it is something.  I say bring Hugh Laurie out of retirement, make my case a story line on House and he will have this "sh*t" solved in 60 minutes!!  Side note-when they told me this you know what I immediately did?  Went to McDonalds for fries and a Coke.  I'll show them!  I ended up in the bathroom for the better part of the afternoon, but it tasted soooo good!

My GI doc tried me on a med and sadly that made things worse.  Yay me!!  So now I get to try this awesome new diet called FODMAP.  It is pretty much everything free--gluten free, lactose free, soy free and some other free things that I can't pronounce.  If I do find something I can eat it also has to be low fat.  Oh, and I am a vegetarian and most of the veggies I eat are now out. Beans too.  Fear not though, if I am symptom free I can have 2 brussel sprouts or 5 centimeters of a stalk of celery.  I went to the grocery store last night looking for some things I can have.  I left with a dairy, soy, gluten free ice-cream-ish product and a low fat, dairy, soy, gluten free coffee creamer-like product for caffeine free coffee.  At that point why bother?  And a GMO, gluten, soy, dairy and something else free butter substitute.  I am afraid of trying that one, very afraid!  After spending 30 minutes of only finding those 3 things I was so overwhelmed I just left.  Chuck and I are going out to dinner tomorrow for our anniversary so I will officially start on Sunday.  Chuck did surprise me with some gluten free pasta the other night and today he is going grocery shopping and took time to look at the list of stuff I can eat and will pick some up for me today.  He said it doesn't seem that bad, but then when I suggested OK, if you don't think it is that bad you should do it with me.  The word "no" could not come out of his mouth fast enough.  

So the take away from my whole "crappy" adventure, forget the national conversations on racism, sexism and feminism.  Let's start talking sh*t!  My new mantra is "Let's break the Taboo--everyone goes Poo!".  You never know, one crappy conversation may just make a difference in someone's life and save the planet.  Now I am not a tree hugger but imagine how many trees would be saved from the decline in toilet paper being used, the amount of water saved from less and less toilets being flushed.  My national dialogue starter may just save the planet!!  You are all so very welcome!

Oh, and I apologize to anyone that needs to be around me for the next 6 weeks when I take on this whole new diet.  I am going to be one hangry lady!!!



Saturday, October 17, 2015

It's all coming back to me now.

I hope you sang that in your head with a Celine Dion voice.  Your ear-worm for the're welcome!

So having a baby is a wonderful thing.  All the pain and exhaustion you have is completely forgotten by the time you start thinking about having another.  That is why so many people tend to get themselves in this situation several times over.  The thing is, they don't stay small forever.  They turn one and then two...the TERRIBLE 2's!!  Emily just turned two.  I know can you believe it?  It has been 2 years since you all had to listen to me whine and complain about the flipping hole she left in my belly.  Well, technically not her, more like Romeo the craptastic doctor that ruined my body forever.  But I digress.  Back to Emily and the terrible 2's...if I am being completely honest, and I always am with my faithful readers, Emily hit the terrible 2's at about 9 hours old!!  The difference is now she has the words and attitude to go along with it.  Here are some of the reasons for her honest to God, full on tantrums;

*  The girls were playing the back yard today.  They found a salamander and proceed to, in their opinion, play with mine torture it.  They had a blast for a few hours making it a home, holding it and trying to make it do tricks in a pie plate on the kitchen table.  I was totally grossed out about the whole thing but, my inner pre-school teacher kicked in and I said a prayer on behalf of the poor salamanders life, which, undoubtedly will be lost at some point this weekend and let them have a hands on science lesson.  So they are done playing.  I tell them they all need to wash their hands before touching anything else.  Sara and Anna comply...though Anna kicked Sara off the bathroom stool and Sara retaliated by splashing soapy water in Anna's eye...I don't intervene because that seemed like a fair fight.  Now it is Emily's turn to wash her hands.  She flat out refuses.  She was the one man-handling that little amphibian more than anyone...I pick my battles with her but, this WILL be a mommy victory!  I chase her toddler body and wipe her hands with a wet, soapy paper towel.  No sooner do I let go and she flops her body down on the kitchen floor and has a full on tantrum.  Yeah, that's reasonable.  Since Emmie is my 3rd child, I step right over her and finish my conversation with Chuck.

*  Being clean really is an issue with Emily.  She just doesn't like it.  Last night I was at a friend's house and her granddaughter came over.  I wanted to take her home.  She is so sweet and funny, but you know what got me the most?  She was CLEAN!  Her clothes were clean.  Her face was clean.  Her hands were clean.  Her hair was clean.  My children, Emily especially, look homeless on a daily basis.  Emily hates getting her face washed, hates baths and anything generally associated with cleanliness.  If I do manage to get a swipe in with a face cloth she freaks out until I "wipe the clean off" I have to take my hands and wipe her face.  That is the only way to turn her from Cybil back to Emily.

*  Emily's love of all things filthy extends to her hair.  She has blond curly hair, not sure where that comes from, I swear Dr. Romeo probably gave us the wrong baby, so if you are unable to wash and or brush curly hair guess what happens?  Dread locks.  My 2 year old daughter has organic dreadlocks.  They completely formed on their own.  Since I don't know what to do with them I figure I will not fight this one... just embrace my hippie child and dress her in tie-dye shirts and spray her with patchouli.  Oh, speaking of clothes, I am so sick of the fight-- she wears her clothes to bed at night, many times she doesn't want to change the following day.  My theory of dressing her goes something like this, "is there any chance we could see someone today that we saw yesterday?  No, great, dirty clothes it is.  Yes, she gets changed.  Third child...I have no fight left in me...

*  Again, with the hygiene.  One time I changed Emily's poop and there was a sticker in there.  It was not in her poop.  One fell into her diaper.  Now, every single diaper change she INSISTS on inspecting her poop over and over and over.  If I roll the diaper up without letting her look at her sh*t lovingly and comment on it...the sh*t will literally fly!!  She will scream so loud the heavens will open up and thunderbolts will crash!  So if you are ever around for a diaper change be prepared to sit and have a half hour dissertation on Emily's excrement.  After said dissertation, you will then be treated to her butt shaking show, that again, needs to happen with each and every diaper change or there will be hell to pay.  You will then see me trying to quietly and ever so gently sneak the clean diaper back on.  Why am I putting it on like a super stealth ninja trying to steal the crown jewels?  Oh, that is easy...she DOES NOT want you to put a clean diaper on her.  She wants to wear the dirty one again.  Em and I have been late to many playgroups/events because I (a 42 year old with degrees in Child Development) can not get my child to cooperate and put a friggin clean diaper on.  I have added Wheelock College to my speed dial...there have been so many times as a parent, I felt it my duty to return my degree because I am, in essence a fraud.

*  Another fun tantrum was when Emily wanted to pat the dog in the Dr. Jeff Rocky Mountain Vet commercial.  She did not care the dog was on TV and not actually in our house.  She did not care the commercial was now over.  She did not care that our TV screen was hard and you can't reach inside it.  She didn't care she had her own, real live dog in front of her she could pat FOR REAL!  Nope, she wanted that dog and she wanted it NOW.  Thank God our neighbors are elderly and have poor hearing because the way she was screaming, crying and carrying on sounded like I was torturing her....I wouldn't blame them if they called the police on us, or DCF...hell, the thought of calling them crossed my mind at about minute 18 of the tantrum!!

*  Proud parenting moment--as we were walking out of Emily's playgroup the other day she grabs hold of my hand, looks at me lovingly and says, "I hate you mom".  Lovely!  Now in Emily's defense she has 2 older sisters who use that word with each other so often I am sure Emily thinks it is a term of endearment.  Now if there is anything slightly distasteful to her sensibilities she just blurts out "I hate it".  Here are a few of the things Emmie hates; me, Chuck, her sisters, her dog, lunch, food, naps, the car, Bubble Guppies, me, coloring, tubs, brushes, our cats, me again, the ipad, the sun, the rain, the moon, diapers, night-night, socks, you get the point...

*  This tantrum was mind boggling.  She was done eating.  I asked if I should save it or throw it away.  She clearly stated I should throw it away.  So like an a$$hole I gave a piece to the dog and I had some...The rage that came over her would be frightening if she weren't so flippin cute.  She is screaming those were hers and she wants them back!  Now!  Well, both Mary and I had swallowed our apple slices...there was no way we could give them back.  She was out for blood!  I told her I could cut another apple.  Nope, she didn't want to eat anymore.  She wanted her apples back!  Give them back they are mine--she shouted over and over again.  Once more I offer her another apple, once again she turns me down.  I ask her if she doesn't want another apple to eat why does she insist on getting her old ones back.  So I can throw them away she answers.  This went on for another few minutes and I just walked away laughing.  Now when she says she is done, me and Mare wait  for her to leave the kitchen before we sneak her leftovers.

*  Emily doesn't quite understand the meaning of privacy.  When I go into the bathroom she follows me in and says, "I give you privacy."  Um, yeah, no Emily...if you were outside of the closed door you would give me privacy.  But, you are inside of the closed door, staring at me and cheering me on when I pee yelling, "You peed!  Good girl Mommy!"...I am not a security expert or anything but I am pretty confident Emily, when I say that is the absolute opposite of privacy.   It is an exercise in futility trying to convince her otherwise.  It is easier for me to pop a squat with her watching than risk kidney damage trying to get her to understand why her argument is weak.  Though every time I am in there on the toilet I can't help but sing Hall & Oates's Private Eyes.  Earworm #2 for the night, again, you are more than welcome my friends.

*  One of her tantrums that spurred her on to scream she hates me happened when I refused to lock her in the dog's crate, with the dog, so they could take a nap together.  Now, I am all for children having the experience of having pets to grow up with, but I draw the line at them sleeping in a locked crate together.  Maybe I am just an overly cautious helicopter mom or an a$$hole, I am sure my kids would go with the latter of the two, but that one I am not budging on. 

 *  I could go on and on about her wonderful two year old behavior but I don't want to bore you all to death.  So I will leave you with this one, again, I am apparently that hands-off parent not completely dedicated to my children's well being...I mean I never wrapped my babies to me with a colorful looking ace bandage thingy and I supplemented them with formula, oh the horrors!  And under no circumstance will I ever, EVER eat one of my children's boogers.  Yup, Emily picked her nose and proudly showed me her treasure.  She was so proud, so proud in fact that she wanted to share it with me.  Placing it in the tissue I was holding was not good enough, oh no, she wanted me to eat it.  ABSO-FRIIGIN-LUTELY NOT!  The look on her face when I told her no, I would not eat your mucus was what I imagine a child to look like when you told them their puppy just died.  She was so hurt that I would not eat it.  She looked physically pained.  She fell to the floor and sobbed the saddest cry I have ever heard from her.  Her dramatics did not sway me in the least.  I wiped the booger off her finger and threw that tissue in the trash so fast she didn't even notice.  Now I know I am not the perfect parent and I am almost certain I am giving my children's future therapists a lot to work with but,  when Emily is in her teen years and I am invited into a counseling session to help her process her traumatic childhood I will punch the therapist in the face if she accuses me of not demonstrating my undying love for my child by not snacking on her snot.

Oh, guess what?  In my experience 3 year olds are WAY harder than 2 year olds...

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Just keep squeezing!

I really hope you said that in the sing-song voice of Dory from Finding Nemo.  If you didn't you might want to go back and have a do-over.  I'll give you a minute...OK, so you are probably thinking to yourself, keep squeezing what?  You are going to have to wait to find out, but, oh my friends it will be SO worth it!!

I have been under an indescribable amount of stress lately.  The intense pressure has been manifesting itself in various ways, one being ocular migraines.   For me the migraines have been coming much more frequently, several a week.  Now, unlike a traditional migraine, I may or may not get the intense headache...each event is different.  What I do get is this strange change in my eyesight.  I get this odd shaped spot in my field of vision that makes everything appear to me as if I am looking through a prism or kaleidoscope.  It can last anywhere from 5 minutes to half an hour.  Most times I get an odd sensation a few minutes before it is going to happen, which is helpful so I can pull over if I am driving or stop doing anything that might not end well with my kaleidoscope eye.  No need to worry, I have been worked up by a top-notch Neuro-Opthamologist at the Brigham.  They are just text book ocular migraines, for whatever that's worth.

So I get on the shuttle for work the other day.  I hate being a shuttle person!  I have been at all 3 hospitals I have worked at, maybe someday I will stay somewhere long enough to earn a spot in the employee garage.  Until then I am a lowly shuttle person!  So back to the story, I take my seat on the shuttle and out of nowhere I get my wanky eye.  This one is a doozy!  It came on so fast and so strong I was hit by an intense wave of nausea.  Awesome!  F*cking awesome!  Not only am I on the smelly, hot, gross shuttle, but seated next to me are the friggin lovebirds...a couple that drive to work together, sit next to each other and hold hands the entire ride...they also come in later in the day so all three of us get to spend 8 minutes in hell together twice a week.  They make me sick.  I want to somehow fast forward their life 10 years and 3 kids later.  Guaranteed they will not be sitting together on the shuttle at that point.  I can, with the utmost certainty, say that one of them will "pretend" to leave something in the car so as to have to take the next shuttle.

But back to my incredible urge to puke.  I REFUSE to get sick on the shuttle.  That will get me remanded to the shuttle forever.  They would never accept me into the employee lot after that.  Puking on the shuttle is just bad form, not at all the behavior one would expect from an elite parker.  So I hold it in.  BAD MOVE.  I should have listened to the warning signs.  My throat tightening, sweat beading on my temples and the little throw up in my mouth that came up by accident.  But, NOOOOO, I ignored all the signs my body was giving me  it needed to purge itself.  BIG MISTAKE!!!  BIG ONE!!  My body shot back with a big ol' F- You Erin!  It was in that moment I learned a valuable life lesson; listen to your body.  My body was pissed at me, in a way I have never seen before.  "Well, Erin", it said, "since you aren't doing this the easy way, I''ll show you who is boss".  It no sooner got through telling me that when my body attempts a coup d'etat, which is the sudden and forced seizure of a this case my bowels...

So my body was going to purge one way or another.  I should have just opened my mouth and let it flow, but, no, I was too good for that.  Well, now I am only 1 minute into an 8 minute ride.  This is perfect.  I am looking through a friggin kaleidoscope, sweating and about to sh*t myself in front of the flippin bobsie twins next to me.  At least it would give them something to talk about on the ride home.  So as I am squeezing my ass cheeks together (see I told you it would be worth the wait) we hit traffic.  Could have predicted that one.  So we are creeping along at about negative zero miles an hour my innards are being twisted all about.  If I had to draw a picture of it, it would look something like a really long Gogurt twisted in loops and with each squeeze the yogurt is getting that much closer to slipping out.  I have no ass to speak of, it is pretty flat, but man even in the throws of this crisis I am pretty impressed with it's ability to hold things in check.

So finally the traffic breaks up and we are cruising along at about 5 miles an hour....for the love of all that is Holy, why is this 8 minute ride turning into a 20 minute test of my ass's endurance?  I swear I can never catch a break!!  OK, so we are one street away from the hospital.  It has to be the most narrow street in all of the city.  Cars are parked on both sides of the street so in essence only one can get through at a time.  At this point I am doing all I can not to scream out in pain, despair and utter contempt for what the world has been throwing at me lately.  So wouldn't you know some country bumpkin decides at this exact moment, at this exact time to perfect her parallel parking skills.  For the love of God lady, just let the shuttle bus go by first. this point her attempt at parking in a spot that is about 4 feet too short for her station wagon, took a good 6 attempts.  Oh and her and the other old bittie in the car were laughing with each bad attempt.  I had a good mind to jump off the shuttle, open her car door and lay into her with a primal scream releasing all of the built up stress and then dropping trow and full on sh*t on her face.  I guarantee it would wipe that stupid smile off their faces right quick.  But, alas, I did not because I knew the second I stood up I would channel my inner Uta Pippig, you know that lady that won the Boston Marathon multiple times, but is only remembered for pooping herself on live TV?  That would be me.  The big take away from this is; if you don't know how to parallel park, then DON"T!!!!  You're welcome!

So after what feels like an eternity we arrive at the hospital.  I somehow make it off the shuttle, up the stairs, into the hospital and end up at the elevator bank.  I say somehow because I am not entirely sure how I managed to get there.  I don't know if my body was shutting down and natural endorphins kicked in while I transitioned, because I was almost certain I was going to die and that is how I made it to the elevators.  Or maybe, my primal brain took over and was on a mission to get me to the bathroom.  I guess I will never know.  So as I am hunched over with intense stomach cramps, sweat now dripping off my face, my ass cheeks clenched and my kaleidoscope eyes an old lady comes over to me with tears in her eyes asking where the ER is. ARE. YOU.  F*CKING. KIDDING. ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I scream really loudly in my head).  Now I like to consider myself a genuinely nice person and I always, always go out of my way to help lost visitors in the hospital.  This one time though I really didn't have it in me, OK, well I did have it in me and it was trying it's best to get out.  I did end up taking her because, although I consider myself a nice person there is that small percentage of me that is cynical.  Was she really looking for the ER?  Or was she sent there by the administration to see how well the employees are with customer service.  So I tell her through my clenched teeth that I would take her.  So I am hobbling around hunched over, shuffling along so as not to give any leeway in my butt, lest I have an accident right there in the hallway.  Oh, and with my wanky eyesight, I have to really try hard to focus my vision on the object I am looking at.  So I have to cock my head in weird positions, close each eyelid to differing lengths and get really close to it.  So considering that, my posture and the sweat at this point pouring off of me I looked like a crazed heroin addict.  Remember all the druggies in the old movie New Jack City?  Yeah, I could have been a stand in.

Finally get on the elevator, get to work, avoid all eye contact with anyone in my way and shuffled my clenched ass down to the good bathroom, the single bathroom right before the locker room.  I can not thank the walking upright Gods enough for getting me here without an accident.  I no sooner sit my ass on the toilet and, drum roll please.....NOTHING!!!!  NADA! NYET!  The urge to go to the bathroom went away like it was never even there.    I sh*t you not!!  Pun intended!  The ass that got me this far, holding itself together for a good 18 minutes was betraying me?  Son of a f-ing bitch!!!  I went to hell and back for nothing?  No reward.  No closure.  Not even a nugget.  I have never been so disappointed yet so relieved all at the same time.  So I guess the take away from this is; my ass really came through in the clench!!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Meet Mee-Ree Asses...

So have been neglecting my blog lately.  Life has been pretty hectic.  The girls were really busy with their year end school activities, work, I signed on for another year as the assistant Troop Leader for Sara's Girl Scout troop, oh, and I have joined the board of the PTA as the secretary.  Couple all of that with the fact two out of our three children believe the concept of sleeping through the night is junk science and you have two completely exhausted parents.  So in talking with Chuck we thought, you know what's missing in this equation?  A dog!!  More specifically a puppy!  It's not like things could get worse...

We were kind of on track to get one early next year.  Remember that whole fiasco?  In a fit of desperation Chuck promised Sara a dog if she could go one year without crying.  She was about 117 days in when a situation presented itself.  Turns out it wasn't the dog for us, but now the girls were not going to back down.  Sara is oh so amenable to life lessons.  You really think she was going to let this go?  So a few days later we were at the shelter picking out a dog.  We were hoping to get one with a few years under its belt, I know it sounds awful when said out loud, but I really wasn't into the whole crate/potty training crap.  Oh, and we didn't want a big dog.  So long story short, we ended up with an 11 week old lab/retriever mix.  Her name is Mary Alice, she is a Southern Belle all the way from Georgia.  She had been dumped with her siblings in a ditch at a construction site.  The poor little bugga was all skin and bones until she was rescued.  She was nursed back to health and made her way to the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, MA.  A wonderful place to adopt a pet by the way.

Oh, and Emily, my almost 2 year old can not say Mary Alice.  She calls her Mee-Ree Asses.  I can NOT get enough of it.  If I ask her once a day, I ask her 100 times a day to say it.  I am a 12 year old boy at heart because I giggle every time she says Mee-Ree Asses!  Doesn't get old!

So leading up to the big day Sara and Anna were so excited!  They couldn't stop talking about it, counting down the hours until we were going to the shelter.  They were making plans on how they were going to divide the labor.  They were so on board and thought that we were the BEST. PARENTS. EVER!  We could have asked them to scrub the toilets with their toothbrushes....they were doing anything we asked of them.  They promised up and down they were going to take care of the dog.  Shockingly, that lasted about 3 days.  1.5 days longer than I had expected.  The one child to really take ownership of Miss Mary Alice is Emily, our 20 month old!  She is forever playing with her, taking her for walks and is a superstar when it comes to potty training the dog.  She will take her out, tell her, "A business" (we use the phrase 'do your business' to prompt her to use the bathroom) and she praises her, "a good girl doggie" when she does her business.  It is the cutest thing ever.    Emily is an awesome potty trainer for the dog, yet, she will walk around in a diaper filled with her own excrement for hours on end because she hates to be changed.  Every time we are out there I hear Alanis Morrisette singing in my head, "isn't it ironic, don't you think".  Fortunately Anna has come around and spends a lot of time patting and play with the puppy.  Poor thing was either being neglect by the older two or tormented by the baby.

Emily's  involvement doesn't end there, oh no my friends...she is gung-ho about training her.  Sadly, she is not very good at this.  I have been taking Mary to puppy training classes and she was doing great!  That is until Emily decided she was a full time dog trainer herself.  She has totally undone all our progress.  She will say, "MaryAlicesitgoodgirl"  all one word and hand her a treat at the same time.  There is no sitting being done.  She does this with "paw", "take it", "drop it", leave it" etc.  So now Mare just refuses to train with me because in her eyes I am the jerk that makes her earn her treats.  She just waits for Em to come in the room and cozies up to her.  Oh, and Emmie has taken to training our cat Lucy.  She will say, "MaryalicesitgoodgirlLucy".  The cat just stares up at her with utter contempt.

One day the dog was in the living room and really fussy and just walking in a tiny circle.  It took me a while to figure out what was wrong.  We have an electric fence, it is a wi-fi kind that you can set the perimeter.  We keep her fence collar on during the day so we can just let her in and out.  Well, turns out, Emily got her hands on the fence base and dialed in the perimeter so Mary Alice was confined to about a 3 foot circle in our living room.  Poor baby!!!  Now before someone calls PETA on us, we have industrial strength tape covering the dials so Emily has no access to it anymore.

I have to say we are so lucky, Mary Alice is a really good puppy.  It took her one night to be crate trained and she hasn't had an accident in the house after the 3rd day.  She sleeps all night without making a peep.  Truth be told she is way easier than the kids.  I am so in love with her already!  That being said, I will never be one of those people that lets their dog tongue kiss them.  In the span of no longer than 5 minutes I witnessed Mary licking her ass, eat some animal's poop she found outside.  I instantly puked after seeing that, she came right over and licked up my puke took off in the brush and came back with a freshly dead mouse.  There is NO WAY dogs mouths are cleaner than humans!!  I don't buy it for a second!! Oh and I will love with all my heart, but, if she ever comes around with a snake in her mouth the love dies right then and there!  The other day she was hanging around a snake hot bed (hot bed meaning I saw one snake there a few years ago) she turned around and had this long dark thing in her mouth...I was already formulating in my head what to tell the girls about why Mary Alice is no longer allowed in the house!  Thank God it was just a stick!! 

The thing I like the best about her is that Mary Alice loves me.  Really, she does.  She is so happy to see me, she follows me around and I swear she looks like she is smiling when she looks at me.  This is in sharp contrast to the attitudes I have been encountering around here lately. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

My children...a constant source of embarrassment!

So as any parent of young children knows, your children will embarrass you like it is their job!!  Here are just a few recent situations where my children have made me want to curl up in the fetal position and just ignore the world.
  • I was at the store recently and was asking the manager where a certain item was located.  I was holding Emily and not really paying that much attention to her.  Mistake #1!  She was kind of fiddling with my shirt.  Anyway, when I walked away and put her back in the shopping cart I noticed she had managed to pull my shirt down and get it lodged under my bra strap.  ON THE BOTTOM!!  So a whole boob was out on display for the world to see.  Thankfully I was in Wal-Mart and since that is kind of the Wal-Mart shoppers uniform no one seemed to notice.
  • Again, this one takes place at a store.  Shaws to be exact.  I was just running to the store to grab a few things.  I had a list with everything I needed.  Anna asked to be in charge of the list.  Sure I said.  So we were in the frozen food aisle trying to decide on ice-cream.  Sara and I are down at one end and Anna and Emmie are in the cart at the other end.  Anna starts reading items from the list.  “Mom, do have paper towels?”  Yep.  “Mom, did you get Crystal Light yet?” Yeah.  “Hey mom, what does T-A-M-P-O-N-S spell?”  Of course she asks this when a guy walks into the aisle.  He immediately turns around and walks away.  I walk over to her and tell her it spells tampons.  She asks what they are.  I tell her…they already know because as a mother I never get a second to myself…not even in the bathroom.  They know all there is to know about being a girl.  So I walk back to the ice-creams and they she says in her Irish Whisper…”So mom, did you get the tampons yet?”  Yes Anna.  “Where are the tampons?  What box are they in?”.  I wanted to die.  So Anna has also recently started using air quotes.  So as we turn into the really crowded bread aisle she asks me if I got my “tampons” with air quotes.  I told her yes, I already told you I did.  She says “Oh, OK…you got your ‘tampons’” in air quotes again.  I am getting the oddest looks from people. They are probably thinking I used the word tampon as a cover for what I was really purchasing.  Like I wrote tampons on the list but I was really buying Jiff Peanut Butter or something.  Like I would use that as my code word!  I will stick to having Chuck do the grocery shopping. 
  • I took the girls to go see the new movie Inside Out…AWESOME by the way.  Towards the end they get a new control panel.  One of the buttons says “PUBERTY” on it.  Anna blurts out kind of loud, “what is puberty?”  I try to explain quickly and quietly because I didn’t want to miss the movie.  So Sara hears me and she chimes in asking what puberty is.  There was a dad in front of me with his 2 small daughters, younger than mine.  He kind of chuckles at my expense.  I just wanted to tell him to wait…just wait…they are cute and innocent now, but once they are a little older they are going to ask you the most embarrassing stuff at the absolute worst time.  But you know what?   I didn’t warn him.  I decided that for his little laugh I am going to let him figure it out the hard way.  Hey dad, check back in with me in say 3 years.  Then we’ll talk!
  • Another shopping anecdote... Anna (I am starting to see a trend here) and I were out shopping.  I needed a good sports bra.  So we head to Dick’s Sporting Goods to get one.  I find the sales girl and enlist her help.  She tells me they don’t sell my size here but I should try the biggest one they have…it should work.  OK I say.  I mean she is a teenager making minimum wage at the local mall.  She is probably an expert when it comes to properly fitting women for sports bras.  Right, what could go wrong?  So I try the first one on…it is a super cute pink one that zips up the front.  I put it on and there is a good 5 inch gap from side to side.  The teenager told me it should work despite being about 4 sizes too small.  I go for it.  Anna looks at me and says, “Are you sure you want to do that?”  Oh, and keep in mind, it is a single dressing room right in the middle of the store.  It is open on the top so anyone walking by can hear you.  I should have taken heed when a 5 year has a look of concern on her face.  I zip it up, I may or may not have cracked a rib or two in the process…my boobs are pushed so far up my torso my head is resting right on them.  I could barely breathe.  I feel like I look like a zit about to pop.  Anna is laughing hysterically.  “Mommy, you have no neck anymore…can you even move your head?”  she asks between laughing fits.  So I take that one off and try another one.  This one is a simple black racer back one that you pull over your head.  It was a cluster f*ck from the get go.  I get stuck in it.  Literally stuck.  One boob is stuck up over my shoulder and the other one has some managed to get stuck under my arm and around to my back.  Anna is in tears now.  I am trying to stay calm…I don’t want to start sweating…then I would have to buy this $68 sports bra that clearly does not fit.  I am now convinced the sales girl is a jack ass and probably bored out of her mind so she takes advantage of poor overweight suburban moms like me and convinces us to shove ourselves into these spandex human torture devices so she can get a cheap laugh.  Ha-f*cking-Ha-Ha bitch!  So Anna starts walking over to the door, she is laughing so hard and saying she is going to get the girl to help me get it off.  Oh sweet Jesus!  NO!!!  I would rather be hauled out of here in a body bag than ask the Dick’s staff for help.  I make Anna help me.  She is trying her best but she is laughing so hard she is no use.  It takes me, no word of a lie, 3 full minutes to get out of it.  It felt more like 30!  I didn’t bother trying the 3rd bra on.  Oh, and I left all three of them in the dressing room, inside out, not on their hangers.  Also, as I was walking out of the sports bra section I mixed up a bunch of the sizes/styles as I passed by.  Take that you ass-clown!  Two can play that game!
I wish I could say these are infrequent occurrences.  But I can’t.  They happen all the time.  Thankfully I have a good sense of humor and laugh them off.  I do however keep a mental note of each and every one of them.  There is going to come a time, really soon, when my children will be embarrassed just to be seen with me, and when that time comes I am ready…and all I can say to my children is; Payback is a Bitch!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The 30 inch Terrorist

It is next to impossible to turn on the TV and not hear anything about terrorism these days.  It is seemingly everywhere; several workers at the TSA are thought to have ties to terrorism, rouge terrorists tried to take out security guards at a controversial art exhibit down south, just last week a lot closer to home, a suspected terrorist was hanging around outside of a CVS...but for me it is much, much closer to home...I believe I may be living with a 30 inch terrorist...

I know in the past I may have mentioned I believe Emily has declared a fatwa on us and that she may or may not have forged a jihad against us.  Emily is forever getting into mischief, always blaming her older sisters for her misdeeds and always looks like the cat that swallowed the canary when you enter the room.  Well my friends, lately the evidence has become too compelling to ignore.

Though she is only 20 months old she is a smart little bugga.  Against my wishes she spends far too much time using the ipad.  She is kind of a wiz on it, I say that not to brag-- as I find it embarrassing that she spends so much time on it when the Academy of Pediatrics clearly states "no screen time under 2 years of age"...I will be returning my Child Development Degree to Wheelock...I no longer deserve it, but more to prove my point that she may be a terrorist in the making.  Somehow she found this cartoon she loves.  It is 2 young boys that look to be of Middle Eastern descent.  No problem with that...I want my children to be open to other cultures.  I can't understand most of what they say.  Again, no problem with that, however, at the start of their show they do say one word that I can make out...they say in unison, "Infidels", at least that is what I think they say...Sara and Anna think it is something more along the lines of, "kick the bells".  Just take that little nugget and sit with it a minute while I describe more...

Yesterday I caught her watching a Youtube video of the Philippine National Army practicing drills.  How the hell did she find that video?  Also, she is quite the little expert when it comes to climbing on the backyard jungle gym...I have seen the Al Qaeda training videos...there are ALWAYS monkey bars involved!!   Oh, I just remembered while she was "playing" on the play-gym she slammed into me nearly breaking my nose...coincidence?  Maybe...or she may just be perfecting her Krav maga skills.  My sweet, darling Anderson Cooper has been reporting lately that ISIS has been recruiting young people, targeting women especially,  through the use of social media...she may just be the youngest member indoctrinated so far.

Speaking of ISIS, the other day she walks into the TV room talking to herself.  She spots me and yells, "ISIS, ISIS, ISIS!"  Could she have been talking about my glass full of ice?  Possibly.  But I am still going to sleep with one eye open as I can not definitively prove otherwise. 

Recently my blog has been viewed from Indonesia, Palestine, Iran and Iraq.  I am grateful for all page views regardless of their origin, but again, is it a coincidence that since Emily has been fiddling around with the computer my page views have jumped in places that are considered "hot beds" of terrorist activity? There are a few too many "coincidences" to ignore.  To quote Ian Fleming;

“Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action"

 And there you have it my friends...apparently I am the mother of a mini terrorist.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day...why should today be any different?

So today is Mother's Day.  It is my first mother's day without my mom.  I tried really hard to get all my sadness out yesterday.  I went to her grave and planted flowers and cried.  A lot.  But today I really wanted to focus on my girls and make a day of special memories with them.  So we make plans to go to this really cool park a little over an hour away.   Of course my life being mine, things are always just slightly off.

The girls are so excited to give me their presents.  All three of them made really cute pictures of their hand-prints at school and were so proud of their masterpieces.  They also got me a Bath and Body Works lavender spray set to help me sleep at night.  Their Auntie Jen helped them pick it out, though they told her I don't really need it because all I do is sleep.  Umm, not true!!  I mean SO not true!  I have been seeing a sleep psychologist for the past few weeks.  Yes, their are therapists devoted just to the psychology of sleep.  I average 4 hours a sleep a night.  My primary care doc sent me to a sleep specialist who in turn referred me to the sleep psychologist.  I just want to sleep...not delve into my deepest feelings about sleep.  Give me a flippin Unisom for Christ's sake!  Now, if I complained about a back ache I would be giving a prescription to treat it in no time.  But God forbid I get a script for sleep without having to see this guy every Thursday for 6 weeks.  But, I digress...that is a blog post for another time.  Anyway, I am very thankful for the lavender spray and I can't wait to try it out tonight!

So then I open my other present.  It is a lighted, magnifying mirror and a pair of really good tweezers.  Just what I wanted!  No, seriously...for real.  I have been dying for this mirror.  I was so excited, part of me wanted to stay home and test it out...but the girls were antsy to get going.  The mirror will have to wait.

So I finish packing up for our trip.  The park has a splash pad so I need to get the girls towels.  Of course we only have 3 towels in the closet.  Chuck goes downstairs but the towels were still in the washer and they will take over an hour to dry.  So we have to make do.  The girls are fine...they will each have a towel to dry off with at the splash park.  The issue being, I still have yet to take a shower.  So, guessed it!  Once again I was forced to be creative in my drying off process.  Tablecloth it is.    I pick the fancy white one...It is Mother's Day God damn it! I say to myself.  I want to at least have some shred of dignity on this day when I am supposed to be celebrated.  Though it is really hard to have any dignity at all when the reality of wandering through the house in a table linen hits you.  Oh well, why should today be any different?

We get out to the park and I go to grab the bag with the precious 3 towels in it and guess what?  Chuck never grabbed it when packing up the car!!  Yeah, that's about right for us!!  No worries, we have a great time anyway.

So they drop me off at home and head over to see Chuck's mom.  Yippee!!  I am home A.L.O.N.E!  I am dying to try out my new magnifying mirror.  Why all the excitement?  Well, I am entering that wonderful stage of life called menopause.  Sh*tty for me...lucky for all of you...I can almost guarantee there will be plenty of posts headed your way.  So due to the surge of some hormones and decrease of other, or however this whole sexy process works, I am slowly becoming a werewolf.  I need the super mirror to make sure I nip any stray hairs in the bud right away.  Sometime immediately after my 40th birthday...I mean within nanoseconds my eyesight sh*t the bed.  So a regular bathroom mirror won't cut it anymore.  The fact Chuck bought me the mirror and tweezers, that, that right there is true love.  I mean, no where in our vows did it say, "in waxed chins and in hairy"...I bet never in a million years did he think while sitting across from me on our first date, "she is going to be my wife one day and I am going to buy her a mirror so she can tweeze away her whiskers".  He is a good, good man.

So I sit down and turn the mirror on.  Now, I am not calling anyone out here but...what happened to the post 911 phrase, "if you see something, say something?"  Turns out I have been sporting a uni-brow.  Now, it is not a super obvious one like Bert from Sesame Street or anything, but it was there none the less.  I know my uni-brow is not on par with I don't know, say an unattended black duffel bag at the airport but come on...someone could have said something.  Don't even get me started on the random, inch long blond hairs randomly placed on my chin, neck and jaw line.  This menopause crap is gonna be fun!  Thank God for my new mirror...not sure what the hell I am going to do when the hot flashes start up in earnest...if you have been reading my blog for a while you know I  whole-heartedly believe I will, at some point, become the victim of spontaneous human combustion, but at least I will be beard free when I blow up.

So here I sit, brows freshly tweezed, plenty of towels in the closet thinking about my day.  I am glad I had my emotional, first mother's day without my mom- breakdown yesterday, and today I focused on my girls and was able to find the humor and joy in my life.  My mom would have wanted nothing less for me today.

P.S.--For the record I will wash the table cloth in a hot water wash with case any of you were wondering!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Life lessons my children have yet to learn...

1.  If you write on something other than paper (the wall, the dresser, a chair, etc.) do not use your go-to drawing.  I know which child is famous for their butterflies, which one is known for their stars and which one just scribbles.  Mix it up a bit...extend your freedom by a few extra minutes while I try and figure out who the graffiti artist is.

2.  Dry shampoo is just a stop-gap measure until you can properly wash your hair.  It is not intended for daily use.

3.  For Emily, my cleavage is not a pocket.  Please stop trying to store things there.

4.  An animal print top with an animal print pant and animal print backpack, headband and shoes is not a good look.  For anyone.  Ever.

5.  Flush the toilet.  Your poop is not that special you need to save it. 

6.  Hounding me after I already give you "no" as an answer will not get me to change my mind.  Ever.  It will just make me more resolute in my answer.  (Your dad, however, will most likely give in so go bug him instead).

7.  If you are going to sneak candy before lunch-- hide the wrappers.  Learn to bury them in the trash or better yet put them in the recycling bin.  Leaving them out gives you away.  Wait, scratch that...don't put them in the recycling bin....that is where I put 75% of the worksheets you come home from school with.

8.  Every single paper you put a chicken scratch on does not need to be saved for infinity.  I save the important ones, but please don't go nuts if you see a 'busy work' paper in the trash.

I am sure there are many, many more life lessons they need to grasp...but, for now we will focus on these ones.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hometown Hero

I know I often complain of living in such a small town and more often than not, I am daydreaming of moving to somewhere a bit more urban.  Today is not one of those days.  Today I am very proud of my small town.  Today we will say goodbye to one of our own.  Today our town will lay a hero to rest.

We live in a sleepy little town in the central part of the state.  It is an old mill town built along the Blackstone River.  It is full of hardworking people who really do care about one another.  In the 6 years or so that we have lived here I have seen and experienced first hand the community come together in hard times.  Within hours of  house fires emails are flying around coordinating donations for the displaced families, when the school override failed parents came together to raise funds to keep some of the activities from being cut and during the awful winter this year neighbors helped neighbors dig out from the snow.  When I had  complications after Emily was born and was in and out of the hospital people came out of the woodwork to help me...watching the girls for me, making dinners for us and even just standing next to my car in the morning so I didn't have to drag the baby out at school drop off.   Many of them I barely knew at the I consider them friends. The term "salt of the earth" really fits for our town.

So when a 22 year old soldier from our town was killed in Afghanistan,  his death rocked our little town to it's core.  Bad things like that happen to other people, other places...not here.  Now, don't get me wrong, our town is not perfect, we have our issues too (break-ins, drug problems and our fair share of crazy), but the death of such a young, promising member of our community has hit hard.

Once again our town has pulled together to support his family.  Almost every house has an American flag proudly displayed, which were handed out by local veterans who stood in the town square for days making sure all who wanted one got one.  The firefighters worked tirelessly putting up flags and yellow ribbons all along the funeral procession route.  The little bridal shop in "downtown" has flags in their window, the cafe has messages of thanks on their sandwich do several other businesses.  I have seen street sweepers coming through to clear away all the winter sand, volunteers decorating the traffic islands in red, white and blue and making sure our town looks its best for the soldier's family.  It is just a small way for us as a town to show his family our appreciation.  It gives me goose bumps every time I drive through town.

One thing that strikes me the most is that no one I have talked to in town knows this soldier or his family.  It doesn't matter.  When one of our own is hurting, we are all hurting.  Through all of this I have not heard any of the typical rhetoric, "we need to get the hell out of there"..."bomb them all"...because, again, it doesn't matter right now.  No matter what side of the aisle you sit on, a 22 year old died.  Showing his family our gratitude and respect is all that matters right now.

Later this morning I will be taking my girls out on this raw and rainy morning to stand and watch the funeral procession.  I want them to understand what a true hero is.  I think too often people look to sports stars and entertainers as role models.  I always hear the term "class act" thrown around when an athlete tosses a ball to a kid in the stands.  To me that is not a hero.  I am sure it is pretty easy to sign a contract awarding you millions of dollars to throw a football.  It takes unbelievable courage and bravery to sign your name on a military contract.  Many young men and women are literally signing their life away when they sign on that dotted line.  To me, a hero is an ordinary person who, when faced with an extraordinary circumstance rises to the challenge; soldiers, firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses and teachers.  My girls like to listen to Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, that is ok...I think they have  good, positive messages for girls in their music.  However, when it comes to role models I will teach them about Malala Yousafza the young girl shot by the Taliban because she refused to back down in her idea that girls should receive an education, Mother Teresa for her dedication to helping the poor...the likes of them.

As I sit and type this post the girls are putting the finishing touches on the signs they plan to hold as the hearse and family ride by.  It is because of the sacrifices of this young man and so many men and women that have gone before him that I am able write about and post my opinions, that my girls are able to receive an education that has given them the ability to read and write their signs, and, that we have the freedom to walk down the end of our street to see his procession go by.  For that we are eternally grateful.  Rest easy Corporal John Dawson.  Thank you for your service.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Till Death Do Us Part?....What about a bad haircut?

 In this year of our Lord two thousand and fifteen, I can formally announce it has happened.  I know many of you thought this day had already come, but you can all rest assured it is now official....the world's worst hair cut ever has been given.  I am the lucky recipient.  In thinking of how I would describe this abomination to you I can honestly say words failed me.  I am having an incredibly difficult time finding the words to describe what has happened on top of my head.  I will try my best, but, in all fairness to my faithful readers, the words I type will in no way, shape or form truly convey the horror that is now my new style.

I have no one to blame but myself.  I haven't had my hair cut in a few is a shorter hairstyle so realistically I should be in the salon every 5 weeks.  It was really shaggy and out of control.  I have been putting off making an appointment because I really haven't been in the mood to be out and about in society lately.  Plus, I can't justify spending $70 for a 10 minute hair cut when I have 3 kids.  The money can be put to better use.  So even though I know I am going to come out disappointed I strayed from the regular salon and opted for a more economical cut. 

I explain what I want to the stylist.  Stick to the same shape of the cut I have, just cut about 1/2 an inch off.  So she gets to work; washes, cuts and blow dries it.  It didn't look any different from when I walked fact, it somehow looked even longer and scragglier.  I voiced my concerns in a very nice way...she wet it again and got to work.  I was only half paying attention because Sara decided to get her hair done also, so as I was getting cut I was chatting with Sara's stylist. Big Mistake!!  When I finally looked in the mirror I was horrified.  Somehow she managed to defy all laws of physics and cut the top short and leave the back and sides longer, yet there was a circle of longer hair that was standing at attention right in the center of my head.  Kind of like a 3 tiered cake.  I know you are thinking, oh, like a mullet?  I wish it were a mullet...then there would be at least a name for it.  A traditional mullet is short on the top AND sides while longer in the back.  This is short on the top and longer on the SIDES and back.  I know it is hard to picture so let's see if I can paint a more descriptive picture for you;  so imagine an old man--bald on top with long scraggly hair around his whole head....kind of like Friar Tuck.  Then take that same man and put a really short toupee on top making sure it is kind of off center and askew.  Yeah, that is a good start.  Oh, then add a cowlick right in the front.  In 42 years I have never had a cowlick there but magically one appeared after this chick's handy work. 

I wish that were the end of the worst hair cut ever, but no my is even better.  On the left hand side of my head she left about 30 hairs untouched.  I have a tuft of hair sticking out a good two inches longer than the rest.  Hmmm...what to do?  What to do?  I have a couple of fantastic options; 1.  I could leave it and just have it blowing in the wind and make people try and figure out if that were a special request on my part, 2.  I could braid it into a rat tail and bring the late 80's back, or 3. I could curl it into a pretty little tendril and place baby's breath throughout.  I decided to take scissors to it and cut that sh*t off.

So there I was sitting in the salon with what is unequivocally the worst hair cut ever when a dad walks in with his two young impressionable daughters.  I know they were looking at me, though trying to not look too closely for fear of their corneas burning off, wondering if I am the "before" or "after" version of myself.  Poor things...they had such pretty hair when they walked in...

When you see me out and about no need to tell me it really isn't "that bad".  I have spent most of last night and early this morning painstakingly cutting each individual hair to try and get it to at least blend  and not look like some futuristic, shelf looking, cheap toupee.  I keep telling myself it is only hair it will grow back.  For the next few weeks I will be going heavy on the eye make-up trying to distract the world and have them focus on my baby blues instead of the bird's nest atop my noggin.

So I am giving Chuck a free pass.  If he wants to divorce me I will not contest him.  It is not because I do not love him, quite the opposite I do very much.  In our vows I remember saying things to the effect of; for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health...I do not, however remember any caveat about in good hair and in bad.  This is about as bad as it gets.

Now, who knows?  Maybe she is fantastic at what she does and was just pissed off at me for questioning her stylistic abilities after her first go around with my hair.  Maybe this is just hair dresser karma.  Maybe I should have just left well enough alone.  Or maybe she flat out sucks.  I will never know for sure.  What I do know for sure is that you all can rest easy the next time you sit in your stylist's will get a decent hair cut.  The worst cut ever has come and gone, and I have taken one for the whole human race.  You are welcome!


Thursday, April 2, 2015

#TBT #tiredhairymess #thankyou #whatthef*ckisahashtaganyway?

So I am not one to fall victim to trends or fads on Facebook. You will never see any #TBT pictures on my timeline.  I have never and will never "hash tag" anything....Oh, when did the pound sign become a hash tag?  And when for the love of God did the number sign change to a pound sign? I don’t pass along any of the electronic chain letters I get.  I don’t forward things to five friends.  I  won’t tell you how we met so you can assign me a number or whatever the heck people get assigned.    I also never get into the whole month of gratitude.  It always cracks me up seeing this poignant posts on people’s walls during November…I want to comment, “umm…I know you in real life…you are not that deep…you really are saying you are grateful for cozy socks, hot cider and a good book?...wasn’t it just last week you were complaining about the smell on the T, the jackass from the parent drop-off lane and the dumbass at Dunkin Donuts that can’t get your order right?”  Anyway, back to my post…I decided it was high time I share with all of you some of the things I am thankful for.
  • Thank you Pop Tarts.  Just as I was feeling bad about eating two of your chocolate crap cakes for breakfast I saw right on the box you are cholesterol free.  So my breakfast was kind of healthy after all.
  • Thank you Emily for waking me up at 5:03 a.m. EVERY.  DAY.  If you did not reach over and pull my eyelid open and stare at me while asking for “Peppa” I might forget to wake up and miss out on my day. 
  • Thank you again to Emily for somehow finding your way into my bed each night.  It's not like I really want a good night's sleep anyway.
  • Thank you to all of my children for staying up past 8 p.m.  If you went to bed on time I would actually get a chance to watch my crush, the one and only Anderson Cooper...thank you for taking away my 60 minutes of happiness.
  • While we are talking about the lovely Anderson Cooper, thank you to the world for being so effed up I can’t watch the Coop while my children are awake.
  • Thank you Anna for collecting and storing in Ziplock bags the cat whiskers, cat nail trimmings and rogue cat hair wisps you find around the house.  I may be the mother to a budding serial killer but at least the house is free of cat hair.
  • Thank you to the TV channel TLC and your show My 600 lb. life.  If it weren’t for you I may have put down the bag of Doritoes after a few chips, but, thanks to your programming I ate the whole bag and felt validated in my decision to “go all in”…bring on the scooter!
  • Thank you to first grade Common Core Math for solidifying my 7 year old’s burgeoning sense that her mother really doesn’t know everything.
  • Thank you peri menopuase for effing up my body.  I really was hoping at some point to relive my teenage acne…oh, and I always had dreams of running away with the circus…thanks to you I am single-handedly keeping Clearasil in business and I am well on my way to being able to fill in for the bearded lady should she need to take a leave.  You are just awesome!

Thank you to anyone who made it through my cranky post.  #youarewaybetterthanme

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Accidental Fecal Release

Again, sorry for the huge gap between posts.  I have not been in the mood to write since my mom died.  Anyway, I figured I would give it a try today and see if I can write myself out of the funk I have been in.  Here goes...

So after coming home from my mom's services I decided we needed a distraction from all the sadness we had just endured.  Chuck agreed and we hastily booked an overnight at the new Great Wolf Lodge that opened up not too far from us.  We booked the fancy room with the Wolf Den bedroom for the anything cool we try to do, it, of course came back to bite us in the ass.  So two days later we spring the kids from school a little early and head to the hotel.  Chuck and I are so excited because we have kept it a secret from them.  We are driving in the middle of nowhere and neither of them ask where we are going...I am so disappointed.  Finally about 5 minutes from GWL I make them guess where we are going.  After a boatload of clues Sara figures it out.

So we get to the hotel, get registered and settle into our room.  The girls are so excited and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the cool wolf den bedroom with the bunk beds.  We get our bathing suits on and head for the water park.  There are so many cool water slides, wave pools and water toys kids will be entertained for hours.  Yeah, except mine.  Safety Sara insists on wearing one of the community life jackets provided by the park...even when she is in the wave pool.  Oh, and when I say she is "in" the wave pool I mean her feet, ankles and her shins are in the wave pool.  Yet, she still insists on the life vest.  I guess you never can be too careful.  On the complete opposite end of the spectrum we have Emily, the baby, whom left to her own devices would sail over Niagara Falls in a barrel if we let her.  That kid has no fear and no sense.  Not a good combo in an everyday setting, a recipe for disaster in a water park.  Poor Chuck was on Emily duty for most of the trip.  Then we have Anna...she had fun for about 28 minutes and then decided she was done.  So we change up, have dinner and hit the arcade.

Bedtime comes and they excitedly climb into the bunk beds in the wolf den.  The baby is in the pack and play and Chuck and I settle into our bed.  I am so physically and emotionally exhausted I just want to get a good night's sleep.  Not more than three tenths of a second after I close my eyes I hear it..." mom..."  OK, so one of my children has long straight hair that she parts in the middle and she is an extremely pale child.  I swear to all that is holy on more than one occasion she has woken me from a deep sleep and when I see her standing over me in my bed I nearly sh*t myself thinking she is a ghost.  Anyway, back to the story...without boring you with all the details Sara is terrified of the wolf wallpaper that is their little bedroom...she ends up in bed with Chuck and I end up on the pull-out couch...oh, and at some point the baby ends up on the couch with me.

So morning comes and we get ready for the water park again.  We head down and are about 30 minutes too early so we hang out in the arcade.  I need to use the bathroom so I head back to our room...and wouldn't you know it...friggin fire alarm is going off so we can't get back to our room!!  I only brought one bathing suit and it is still damp from the day before so in addition to having to hold my pee indefinitely (sorry, there is no way in hell I am going to pull my bathing suit down and be pretty much naked in a public bathroom) I am freezing.

So we spend some time wading ankle deep in the pools.  When the girls have had their fill of the human stew that is a public pool we change up and have lunch.  As we are heading back to the kiddie rides we get handed a formal memo from one of the life guards outside of the pool.  I take a glance at it and it says the pool will be closed due to an "Accidental Fecal Release"...huh?  Oh my God!  Someone sh*t in the pool!  Someone sh*t in the pool and now it is closed.  Now, of course this being me and my family it is no ordinary poop.  No my friends, this is super poop!  Cryptosporidium to be exact.  Now, you may not be familiar with this super sh*t butt, pun intended, being the nerd I am I knew exactly what it was.  I am an avid viewer of Monsters Inside of Me.  Dan Riskin, the biologist that hosts the show is a friend in my head.  I swear to God if someone gets infected with Bot Bot fly larvae I could remove that thing in my sleep.  So if you feel something crawling around in your head and you recently spent time in the tropics give me a call and head over with some Vaseline and tweezers...I can have you good as new in no time.  But back to the Crypto.  So the memo goes on and says that the pool will need to be closed for 18-24 hours per the CDC!!  Yeah, it is that kind of super poop!  Cryptosporidium is not your run of the mill is sh*t that is encased in a hard shell.  I sh*t you not!!  It is crap ensconced in shell a la M&M's.  So seeing that I have the sense of humor of a 12 year old boy I start envisioning some kid popping a squat in the corner of the pool unleashing a torrent of mini M & M-style crap out of their ass. 

Now I am curious, how did they know it was super sh*t and not just your everyday turd?  Who has that glamorous job of testing each loaf?  I hope they get combat pay for that duty...ha-ha...see what I did there?  Duty?  Oh, and how do they know it was an "accidental" release?  Maybe some parent had it and was ready to stick needles in their eyes and decided to take their morning sit-down in the pool instead.  I mean it is kind of a brilliant plan.  Think about it.  Once the pool is closed there really isn't that much to do and you could pack it in early and head home.  Or, another thought I had was this; there is alcohol available for the adults.  A lot of alcohol.  Maybe one of the dads had a few too many the night before during the mind numbing story time/dance party.  It is conceivable that while in the pool with his kids he let one rip and unfortunately it was more than a fart.  Who knows?  It could have been a case of the beer sh*ts that shut the place down.  I guess I will never know.

Since returning from Great Wolf Lodge I have heard from 2 friends that have gone.  Both of them reported being the victims of an AFR.  That is what they call them there.  I guess they happen  so frequently the staff can't be bothered to say it in full each time.  An Accidental Fecal Release is so common it is now simply referred to as an "AFR". 

So the take away from our Great Wolf Lodge adventure is this; don't pay extra for the fun kids room if any of your children are afraid of paper wolves potentially attacking them in their sleep, bring your own Clorox bleach never know when you may need to bleach your entire family down and if you think you may have to urge to stick needles in your eyes due to excess forced family fun, make sure to have a pack of mini M & M's on hand so you can inconspicuously drop them in the pool and yell, "Holy Sh*t!  We have an AFR over here!!"  You are welcome!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

42 years, 1 month, 14 days, 6 hours and 57 minutes...

That is how long I was lucky enough to have my mom.  She died one month ago today and it seems like a lifetime without her already.  I have never known such complete sadness.

My mom spent Christmas Eve with us at our home.  I never imagined she would be dead 3 weeks later.  Everyone says there is nothing like losing your mom, I am sure short of losing a child this is true.  Try to imagine finding out as of right now you could never see, hear or speak to your mom again.  Terrifying, right?  Well, forget that feeling because that is nothing like it at is at least a million times worse than anything you can imagine.  The other day in talking with someone else that lost their mom she described it perfectly.  Before you have kids you imagine what it will be think you know what it is like.  Then you have kids and realize you really had no idea at all.  The instant intense love you feel the moment you become a parent is nothing that can  be described in words.  It was the same way when I lost my mom.  She had some health issues and I had thought about what it might be like when she died.  Then she died and I realized I had no idea at all.  The moment she took her last breath the unbelievable sadness and emptiness I instantly felt, again, is something that can not be described in words. 

I had to tell the girls when they came home from school.  I have never dreaded anything more in my life.  I honestly can say this was the most difficult parenting moment I have ever.  My mom had only been dead a few hours, I wanted to just curl up in bed and sob but I needed to be the one to tell them.  As a Child Life Specialist this is something I do...sadly, I have experience in explaining death to children.   I have been the one to break the news to a child that their sibling died or given parents the words to use with their children.  I know how to do it.  I know what to say.  I had been preparing my kids in the few days leading up to her death.  They knew grandma was sick.  They knew the doctors and nurses were trying really hard to make her better.  They knew they were trying every medicine they had to make her better.  They also knew that no matter how hard the doctors and nurses try she might just be too sick and there might not be any medicines left to try...and she might not get better.  I know for their developmental stages I needed to give the physical explanation of death.  That is what they would understand.  I know I just answer the questions they ask and not to give any extra information.  But you know what?  None of that knowledge made a difference.  It was the worst thing I have had to do.  The girls were devastated.  Sara loudly sobbed for at least half an hour straight.  Anna quietly cried into my shoulder for at least an hour.  Later on I found Anna crying behind her puppet theater.  Several times they would lock themselves in their room and cry under their covers.  It is gut wrenching to watch them deal with such pain. 

In the midst of helping them deal with their own grief I had to help plan my mom's services.  When someone dies somewhat suddenly their is no time to take a minute and catch your breath.  We needed to get a cemetery plot, plan visitation and her funeral.  It is all so overwhelming and unbelievably expensive!  The funeral business is the business to go into.  You can make a fortune!  I think in the same way there are wedding planners, there should be funeral planners.  There are so many decisions to make on the spot and at a time when you really are unable to think straight.  You should have someone run all the errands; to Wal-Mart for picture frames, Office Max to print off the programs, the florist to order arrangements, the mall to buy appropriate funeral attire.  It is all so overwhelming, yet it needs to get done.  I had to get an outfit to wear...I needed a black suit...I don't wear suits to work so I had to get one.  I was wandering the store aimlessly when a saleslady came over and asked the occasion I was shopping for.  My mom's wake and funeral I answered.  It was so surreal.  I was shopping for clothes to wear at my mother's funeral.  What the f*ck!!!  Within 10 seconds she had 3 other sales associates at my side helping me pick out clothes.  I was a blubbering mess in the store.   I had to get a ton of picture frames for the wake.  Sara came to Wal-Mart with me to get them.  We wandered around the store for an hour because I couldn't focus.  Finally we were checking out.  I opened my wallet and my debit card was missing.  I reached for my credit card and that was gone.  I couldn't think straight.  Are you kidding me?  Now on top of everything else I have been robbed.  I pull out my cell phone to call Chuck and it is dead.  I start having a full on anxiety attack in Wal-Mart.  This is not happening.  Not now.  Not here.  Not in front of Sara.  I find my debit card at the pharmacy and turns out Chuck had used the credit card to order my mom's flowers earlier in the day.  But things went from bad to worse.  I get home and spend a lot of time typing up a eulogy for my mom.  With a few sentences left the computer crashes and had only auto-saved the first sentence.  It all hit me.  I have never felt such rage in all my life.  I ran out on the porch and let out a god awful scream.  It was a sound I have never heard before.  Dogs off in the distance started barking it was so loud.  I can't believe #1.  I am having to write a eulogy for my mom who was sitting in my living room just a few days before and #2.  my computer crashes so I have to do it all over was so painful to write the first time now I have to do it again? 

We get through the wake and funeral and I don't know how, but something came over me and I was able to get up and read my mom's eulogy in the church.  My mom deserved it.  She deserved more than just a generic funeral service.  My younger brother also got up and gave a beautiful tribute.  I also wanted to do it for my children.   This was the first funeral they was going to leave an impression one way or another...I wanted to make sure that in addition to seeing great sadness they would also see me stand up tall and strong and talk about the love I had for my mother.  We let them decide how much they wanted to participate, assuring them there was no right or wrong choice...they both wanted to go to the wake and funeral so we let them. 

The first two weeks I was just numb.  I couldn't sleep or eat.  I was just surviving.  The past two weeks have been even tougher.  Now reality is setting in.  My mom is gone.  I will never see her again.  My kids will never see her again and that just sucks.  The sadness is always right there underneath the surface waiting to come out.  I have 3 kids.  I have to get up and get them ready for school.  I have to change diapers and clean the house.  Life goes on.  But there are times everyday when the sadness just comes out.  I was driving down to see my dad and Anna asks, "are we almost to Grandma and Bucka's house?...I mean Bucka's house?"...her innocent little correction killed me.  Thankfully she was sitting behind me and couldn't see the tears streaming down my face.  Another day they were off playing and come and ask me for a box.  Thinking they were doing some craft project I ask what it was for.  Oh, we are playing funeral they answer.  I know that is developmentally appropriate and a normal, healthy way for children to work through their grief but it was like a punch to the stomach.  Walking through the store the other day and I saw cards for "Mom" and I lost it.  On Friday I asked Chuck if he checked the mail because my parent's had sent the kids something.  I burst into tears just as soon as that left my dad sent them something...not my parents becuase my mom is dead. 

Yesterday we had our first family event, a cousin's chocolate Valentine party, since my mom died.  It was heartbreaking to see my dad walk up the stairs to my house without my mom.  The kids had fun but for me it was so hard to have this party go on and not have my mother a part of it.  She was missing and it really was hard not to notice the emptiness. 

For the past 15 years I have been working in hospitals and one of the things I have told families to do when a loved one is sick or has died is to keep things as normal as possible for the other children.  I want to apologize to every family I have ever said that to.  F-ing Impossible!  There is no way to keep things "normal" I am sorry for ever making a family more stressed or feel like they are failing if they weren't able to keep things "normal".

This year is going to really suck having all the first Easter, Birthday's, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. without her.  This is my new reality and I don't like it.  I am terrified of a life without my mom, but, like I said in my eulogy for her;  my promise to her is this; though some days will be difficult, we will get up.   We will go on.   We will continue to lead the successful lives you worked so hard to give us.  We will continue to draw on you for inspiration as we raise our children in a way that would make you proud, and, we will make sure all of your grandchildren know you and the amazing person you were.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Now I have seen it all!

Sorry for the huge gap in posts.  My 16 month old has turned out to be a lot of put it mildly.  Now, I am not complaining...I love her more than life itself and I wouldn't trade her feisty little personality for a more docile one, but, she is a handful.  That being said, I have not had any gaps in observing this weird little thing we call life...

As you know I live in a small town out in the central part of the state.  If it were described on the news I am sure they would include the phrase "sleepy little town"...but lately I have seen a few things that have made me realize it may not be that sleepy after all.

**  Camel Tow.  No, I did not misspell "tow".  I was driving along and had to wait as a huge tow truck turned in front of me.  It was very flashy looking.  It had a cartoonish looking llama on it.  I kind of cocked my head and thought, 'why would a truck have a llama on it?'...Well, it didn't!  It was a camel!!  Huh, that was weird...then it hit me and I could not stop laughing (I do have the sense of humor of a 12 year old boy after all!).  It was Camel Tow!  Friggin Genuis!!!  So after a good 5 minutes of pure unadulterated joy I started to break this whole Camel Tow idea down.  So what was their business model?  Who is their target clientele?   Are they targeting young men?  What happens if they show up to tow away a feminist who has broken down?  Do they get turned away?  Oh, and if the business owner is a married man how did he broach that subject with his wife?  Hey hun, I have an idea for a towing company...I need to dip into our nest egg and use all of our savings...oh and I am calling it "Camel Tow"...Wonder if they are still married?  Oh, and if you are wondering there is WAY more than one tow company with this name.  I googled it and there are several search pages devoted to camel tow. 

**  OK, so now that you are back from googling 'camel tow' I had another bizarre experience the other night.  I was at Kohl's picking up a few things.  I was looking at some stuff right near the ladies dressing room when a customer came out to look for her item in a different size.  Sounds normal right?  We have all done that.  Question for you?  Have you done it in your UNDERWEAR?  I sh*t you not, this lady came out in her bra and undies!  She was wandering around the racks looking for another shirt in her underwear.  Now, as if that were not weird enough, what appeared to be her husband and kids joined in the search for the perfect top.  Not one of them said anything to her.  Like, oh I don't know, "put some flippin clothes on mom!"...not a word from any of them.  This family seemed to be of a different cultural background, however, the children spoke perfect even if they were from a different country at one point, they have been here long enough to know Americans typically wear clothes while shopping in public.  Oh, and to add to it, this lady was no Victoria's Secret model...don't get me wrong, neither am I...Adam Levine won't be calling me anytime soon, but if for some god forsaken reason I decided to walk around in my underwear I would make sure I was a little closer to looking like Giselle than Mama June.  I swear to all that is holy-- I kept looking over my shoulder for John Quinones to come out and say I was on 20/20's What Would You Do?  Sadly, that never happened and I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time...and lucky me got to witness a middle aged lady, in desperate need of a wax, wandering around in her undies looking for a black shirt.  With that kind of luck maybe I should play the lottery today!

**  So I was driving to work on Sunday and was stopped at an intersection.  Something to the left of me caught my eye.  I looked over to see a young girl, probably late teens/early 20's cracking a whip.  She was out in the driveway cracking a whip.  "What the f*ck" is the first thing that came to mind...Then I wanted to know why she was spending her Sunday afternoon in the freezing cold cracking an honest to goodness real whip.  Is she a dominatrix practicing for her afternoon session?  Is she a lion tamer honing her craft?  Is she just some super-nerd acting out one of those middle earth type movies?  I will never know...there was no way I was going to stop and ask her.  Whatever the motivation behind her bizarre hobby, at least I can honestly say a whip cracker does not make for a sleepy little town!

**  My husband is NOT gay!!  No, I am not making some surprise declaration about Chuck.  That is the title of a new TLC show.  I was dozing on the couch the other night and heard a commercial for a show called; My husband is NOT gay.  I thought for sure it was a SNL spoof...but I remembered I was watching TLC and they don't advertise SNL.  So as with everything else super important in my life, I Google it.  Sure enough it is a real show about married men, that even though they say they are attracted to men claim not to be gay.    I wish I could sit here and tell you I had the will power not to watch it, but I can't.  I can pretty much bet you once it previews I will be DVRing the crap out of that and binge watching after the girls go to bed.  I wish I were making this up, but this made me say out loud, "Now, I have seen everything!"

Again, I am going to try to be better about my posts...I learned a very important life lesson yesterday...if I want to get something done, give Emily some chocolate ice-cream and I buy myself 45 minutes.  I will be stocking the freezer up right away!!  Oh, and my little blog is about to hit 25,000 page views.  I know in the blogging world that is not much, but I am kind of excited about hitting that milestone!