Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It's really a wonder that I've ever been married at all

Do you remember when you first started dating and it seemed like every couple of weeks you talked about your relationship and feelings and the future? Oh, my word that seems like such an insufferable topic now. Does anyone even do that anymore? I don't even know the last time Chris and I discussed our relationship. Sometimes just to mess with him, when he's absolutely exhausted and lays his head down on the pillow and shuts his eyes and it's way past our bedtime, I like to look at him intently and say, "Let's talk about our relationship."

After 11 years of marriage, I would hope we don't need status meetings to discuss our progress. I could probably use a status meeting to keep me in the loop on how many years we've actually been married. Turns out we've been married 11 years, not 12. Most analysis consists of:

Q. "Are you happy?
A. "Yep." 

Q. "Do you want more kids?" 
A. "I don't know. What do you want to do?" 

Q. "What car did you like best?" 
A. "I don't care. Just pick something and put it in the garage. I'm sure one of us will drive it."

I came across an article that gives 10 questions you should ask yourself or each other or random strangers to have a healthy relationship. Why all the deep probing inquisitions? I'm not Spanish.

1. Are you so good to your partner that he/she never wants to leave?
Yes, I am completely totally life-fulfilling awesome. I am nailing all the best qualities anyone could ever want in a mate: Looks, smarts, street cred. If you think you can do better, have at it. You deserve to have the very best.

2. Who are you in it for? 
Me? Isn't that why you're in relationships? I mean, if you didn't want to be in a relationship, surely you'd be alone. I'm confused.

3. Can you take the heat? 
Not all the time. Our house gets really, really hot in the summer. We've had so many arguments over 2 degrees. 2 degrees. And then if I have to actually cook, heaven help us. We're all going down in flames because we've all spontaneously combusted from lack of circulating air.

4. Are you willing to get comfortable with being uncomfortable? 
Ugh, no. Just yesterday I was telling Sadie how I hate that feeling when I've eaten too much and maybe gained some weight. I feel like I'm a sausage stuffed into a too-tight casing and if someone would just remove or slit the casing a little bit to let the insides spill out, I'd feel so much better. I don't like being uncomfortable.

5. Have you laid out your deal breakers?
Yep. Here you go. The list can be modified at any moment without prior notice or warning.
1. Non-believer
2. Smoker
3. Aversion to physical activity
4. Just plain dumb
5. Not funny
6. Liar
7. Political affiliation
8. Poor grooming
9. Poor/nonexistent hygiene
10. No serious job prospects
11. No living quarters
12. No reliable transportation
13. Makes me pay for dates
14. Doesn't want/like kids
15. Nose hair 
16. Doesn't read for fun/hasn't read a book since high school
17. Doesn't use correct spelling/punctuation
18. Mispronounces words
19. Calls me by the wrong name
20. Wants me to wear makeup/jewelry/fancy clothes

6. Are you willing to accept that the achievement of a "successful relationship" directly relates to the level of effort you each put in?
Look, if a relationship requires that much work, it's probably not worth it.  That just sounds like a lot of drama just waiting to unfold. 

7. Have you built your walls?
Why would I build walls? I'm not a licensed architect. Oh, you mean boundaries. I suppose. Only weird/creepy guys at discount stores flirt with me, so I think we're all safe.  

8. Are you honest about your sexual needs? 
Like in general or just to Chris? I mean I try not to bring it up at the latest work function.

9. Do you ask anything of your mate that you aren’t willing to give? 
All the time. I ask Chris to stop at the store on his way home from work because I don't want to go back out once I've been home, had a snack, changed clothes, napped, and have started on dinner. I also ask him to do the yard work every week in the summer despite my lack of interest of ever helping out. It's so hot out there. Blech.

10. Are you willing to play on the same team even if you’re losing the game? 
I'm not very good at sports. I was always picked last as a kid, teenager, and an adult. It's like captains innately sense that I'm going to suck at whatever physical activity is forthcoming. And then if I start losing, well forget it. No one wants to be on a losing team.

So essentially, relationships are just a crap shoot. You win some, you lose some. Keep looking and try to keep the crazy on the inside if you want to have a chance at someone thinking you're "the one" rather than "the one-off."

Monday, April 21, 2014

Posty McPostykins

Me: "I think I would like another baby."

Chris: "You just told me you were too old."

Me: "That's just what I say to make myself feel better. I could do it."

Chris: "Let's just get another dog at the pound."

I do want another dog (a buddy for Penny) but I'm leaning to wanting another baby. I just need to convince Chris that at this stage in our lives (I'm 36...ugh) that starting all over is what I want. Gladly. Baaaaabyyyyyy feeeeeveeeerrrr. The kids are 16 and 9. 16 and 9. This baby fever needs to be replaced with someone more productive like shopping or movies or anything that gets my uterus' mind off of procreating.

Chris is currently helping Ben with his Algebra II homework. They were just discussing a program that Chris wrote for one of his classes on how to find a prime number. I stayed out of that conversation out of respect for math and science. I might hurt its feelings that despite being an older college student, I cannot participate in discussions such as these. I do remember the quadratic equation. Small victory.

I took Penny for a walk by myself tonight. The children didn't want to come with me. They wasted a perfectly beautiful evening staying inside. See? I need smaller children who actually want to spend time with me. We did play Scrabble Slam when I got home, so family values were restored. Ben informed me that I smelled like I went for a walk. I asked for clarification later, and he said I smelled like BO. I guess that better than saying I smelled like a dirty diaper. Small victory? Probably not.

I've given up on cooking dinner. I used to make 16 course meals that took several hours to make and were lovingly prepared with wholesome ingredients. Tonight, though, I dumped out tater tots and mini corn dogs on baking sheets and heated them up. I used the oven, so that's almost like homemade. I rounded it out with some peas and carrots.

Me: "How can I get rid of this baby fever? What can I do?"

Chris: "Look at how much it costs to buy a minivan. Look at the cost of daycare."

It would only be $5000 per school year. That sounds doable, right?

This post was pointless and I've solved none of the world's problems. I've failed humanity. Par for the course.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The doctor's office

Not to brag or anything, but Ben hardly ever gets sick. Maybe it’s his genes or his machismo, but I usually never hear of him suffering from an illness. When he does get sick, it’s usually grand in nature. One Christmas it was strep and the flu on top of each other. Go big or go home.

I took him to the pediatrician despite his being a large man child. There should be some sort of size limitation for going to the pediatrician. It just seems odd. So the nurse is talking to me and asking what’s wrong. I said I thought he might have strep and pink eye. She looked at him and was taken aback to see his Angry Eye staring back at her.

Her: “Oh, yes. I see it now that I look at him.”
 

Right. Because he’s the patient. I’m just the talking piece.

The nurse practitioner comes in and says that the strep test was negative. She gave a quick look at his eye and said he definitely had pink eye. I always feel a slight sense of vindication like, “Ha! I was right! I KNEW it!” Like what if she came in and said, “It’s just allergy eyes, ma’am. Quit pretending like you know things.”

But it was pink eye, and she said he would need to miss school for today and possibly tomorrow. Why is it whenever you mention pink eye to someone, they automatically grimace, like the infected person has been going around rubbing their eye funk all over everything? That was certainly my first thought when I saw it flaring up last night. I made a list of things on which Ben could have rubbed his oozy eye -- door handles, faucet handles, the ham and cheese for the pizza, my shoulder when he gave me a hug goodnight. I wouldn't let him drive home from the doctor because what if he rubbed his eye on the steering wheel before he backed out of the parking space? It's just asking for trouble.

She wrote him him a note for school for today and tomorrow as well just in case. Ben informed us that he was just going to will himself to get better aside from antibiotic eye drops.

Me (confused by his understanding of illness and healing): “I’m pretty sure you can’t just evacuate the illness from your eye through sheer might.”

Ben (going with it): “I really think I could. There should be an experiment where you could just make yourself get better. Like you would have enough mental strength to get better.”

Me (wanting her to think I could be a doctor given my pink eye diagnosing skills): “I think there is a system for that. It’s called ‘crackpot science’ or ‘junk medicine.’”

All this in front of the nurse. I’m not sure she knew how to take it. Maybe we opened her eyes to a new way of thinking about medicine. We checked out and he got a Superman sticker. I asked him if he got one for Sadie. He was going to and then he forgot he had a sister as soon as he saw the sticker bank.
 

 Ben (on the way home): “I would like to experience a coma. Just to see what it’s like and I can come back and tell people about it.”

Me (sleep does sound nice): “I’ll be sure to run that one by Dr. Baker.”

Ben (no, seriously, this could work): “Could I have a medically-induced coma?”
Me (maybe it’s not such a bad idea): “I’m not sure he would authorize that.”

Ben: “Then you could just talk to me. Read a book to me. That’d be really nice.”

I’m not sure you can donate your body to science while you’re still living.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

When crap spills out of my head it becomes words

Yesterday was the millionth snow day of this school year. By 11:50 a.m. I'd achieved a grand total of zero things. A whole lotta nothing. I consumed most of my daily calories in pretzel rolls and hazelnut spread. At one point I was calculating when Chris would leave for work so I could eat more rolls and spread. It was quite the balancing act to enjoy mere bites at a time yet not so much to horrify Chris but still leave enough to fully engage in the gorging later.

You know when people say, "What's your biggest fear in life?" and they mean it all deep and philosophical like you're going to say, "I want to be a good role model." That's not even close to mine. I'm sure I'll disappoint legions of people. You'll survive. No, my biggest fear (or within the top 3) is slipping and falling directly on my face in the cold icy weather. Why wouldn't I land on my ass or use my hands to break my fall? I don't know. I have a face? My fear is I'll use my mouth and/or teeth to cushion the fall. (In case you were wondering fears No. 1 and No. 2 are driving off the side of the road into a construction zone and coming out of the bathroom with my skirt tucked in my underwear.)

The TV in our bedroom has a big green glowing spot on it at various times. There's no rhyme or reason as to when it will appear. Tonight it looked like Bobby Flay had encountered Slimer from Ghostbusters (RIP Harold Ramis -- you were my first movie star crush when I was a kid). Our last TV died so we walked around Sam's for DAYS and DAYS trying to convince ourselves that -- as adults in our 30s -- we were worthy of spending $200 on a semi-decent TV for our room. After hours of deliberations and price comparison, we talked ourselves out of it and put the TV back on the shelf. A friend from work knew a friend who wanted to make a quick $25 selling their old school TV to frugal schmoes. It's very beasty. Nothing sleek or modern about it. But it was cheap, so that pretty much fits our MO.

I would like to go on the show Worst Cooks in America. Surely I can make something atrocious. Once I made a chicken paprikash dish that most closely resembled chicken vomit. I could fumble my way through a couple of challenges and then by challenge three just start nailing it and be all, "I don't know what happened. It just...clicked [26 years ago when I started cooking because I was bored staying home all day during the summer]!" I could use $25,000. I wouldn't even gloat. Much.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What I ate today

It should be known that I never get complimented on my outfit of choice. I usually dress like a lumpy potato so any positive feedback is generally not forthcoming. Today I chose my best thrift store jeans and a purple plaid shirt because nothing says "I'm ready for manual labor" than "Lumberjacking it today seems wise." It was single handedly the most favorably complimented item I've worn. Much like all of fashion, I do not know the magical combination that struck such haute couture gold. Turns out that was the best $.79 I've ever spent at the thrift store. For a purple plaid shirt. That had paint on it. That I did not even put there. And still bought the shirt with the paint. I wonder if I can buy stock in purple plaid.

I made poor food choices today. Today was a physically exhausting day, which usually necessitates eating overly processed and chemically altered foods. I'm pretty sure an alchemist was behind many of the choices today. There was:

Breakfast (banana with peanut butter and jelly, hard boiled egg)
3 cups of coffee
Grocery store vanilla cupcake
Homemade lunch (bbq chicken, macaroni and cheese, salad, yogurt)
Grocery store chocolate cupcake
Can of coke
Homemade dinner (chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes, broccoli)
Frozen vanilla yogurt with shaved chocolate
Two cups of coffee

Good grief. Looking at that is abysmal. How have I not died at this point?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A la peanut butter sandwiches: Valentine's Edition

While I'm ahead on planning Ben's birthday party, I suck at remembering or even caring about Valentine's Day. It usually sneaks up on me every year when Chris says, "What do you want to do for Valentine's Day?" Usually, I want to do as close to nothing as possible. Strike that. I always want to do as little as possible for Valentine's Day. So much pressure.

We agreed that this year we could go for pizza because, well, it's pizza. I don't need any other excuse for not having to cook for a night. It could be as simple as losing a left shoe.

Chris (hypothetically): "Have you seen my left shoe? The brown one?"

Me (in reality): "Have you looked at Papa John's? While you're there, could you pick up dinner?"

So our gift to each other was going to be dinner out and Chris would discreetly look away while I tried to stuff two whole pieces at a time into my mouth. The agreement was ironclad. Pizza. No gifts. Dinner would be the present. But then he threw me a curve ball.

Chris (covering all the bases): "What do you want for Valentine's Day?"

Me (because I was thinking about it): "Ben & Jerry's Greek Frozen Yogurt."

Chris (is he just messing with me?): "I thought dinner out was going to be our present to each other."

Me (I don't understand the rules of this game): "Then why did you ask?"

Chris: "I was just checking."

Since he already bought cards for me AND the kids days and days and days ago just to prove what a worthless Valentine I am, I stopped on the way home from food pantry to get a card from the "Someone Special" special edition kiosk. Hey, I know someone special and need to buy some overpriced card stock to prove I love them. I put back the card that had a dissertation about love on both inside flaps. Gah. BOTH SIDES. That's excessive. No one loves anyone that much. I chose something with four lines so that Chris wouldn't have to take a nap during the Declaration Of Love Day.

I also bought each child (count 'em: 2) a carton of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. I also bought me Chris a carton of Ben & Jerry's Greek frozen yogurt. Frozen love in a tub. We all win.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

They say it's your birthday (in 28 days), well it's my birthday too (in 313 days)

I had The Birthday Conversation with Ben tonight. Usually they're not so ominous, but 16 ushers in lofty expectations. Driving! Fast cars! Beautiful girls on dates! Only not so much because you're in this family and we don't have the money to give you a car -- new or otherwise -- for your birthday.

Me (trying to explain it so I don't crush his soul): "We know that you're going to need a car soon and we want you to drive. But we have to figure out how to get Dad a new car and me have one and you have one as well. It's just a lot of coordination, but we'll get it all worked out." [breathe now]

Ben (earnestly): "I know. I wasn't expecting a car for my birthday."

Oh. Well. That takes care of that.

As I was standing there spewing my car spiel, I thought, Whoa. This is so adult. When did I get old enough to be talking about passing along cars to a teenager? I should be wiping drool or finger painting or mashing bananas. I could also do it for a baby, but babies take up so much time and energy. I don't know why I can't grasp the fact that Ben is growing up and I'm getting older. Maybe I keep forgetting.

This will be the first year I am proactive in setting up a birthday party well in advance rather than, say, something with 48 hours notice. Most years I forget other people have birthdays until I realize two days before that I gave birth around this time so many years ago. For the first time in...well, really, ever, I feel like a productive woman. Like a real, ovary-wielding woman who plans parties and gifts and menus. Not the schmoe I am on a normal basis, pulling half-assed events together from the discount bin at Party City and Big Lots. Internet: I BOUGHT HIS PRESENT ALREADY. 30 days in advance. I feel euphoric.

THIS time I sent out a save the date email and started deliberations with Ben as to what he wants for his birthday menu. He originally wanted just a dessert party where everyone brought a cake or pie and we pretended that we lived in a bakery. Since we don't all consume 3,000 calories a day, I said we have to have a real meal with real food.

Who have I become? Will people expect more of me now that they know I can? Can I get a new dress for this party? I saw one on eBay. Yes, a new dress is definitely in order for someone else's birthday party. I couldn't call myself a woman if I thought I could "make do" with what's in my closet. As if.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The ice day that wasn't

Most of the universe had a snow day today and canceled school in preparation for the coming of the Ice Man. Only no one called the Ice Man to invite him to entomb us in ice yet again, so we just had a Cold Day. Just cold. No ice. No threat of inclement weather. Just...cold. 

Not to poo poo the gift of a free day, I slept in until 5:41 a.m. and lounged around in my pajamas, drinking coffee and shopping on eBay. I tried to summon messages from beyond of people wanting to bequeath the contents of their closets to me since they had an ENTIRE DAY TO CLEAN OUT THEIR CLOSETS. Since no one was offering me their used clothes, I had to go purchase my own at the thrift store. 

I spent two magnificent hours looking at and touching anything and everything I wanted in the store. Thank you, public school, for Shopping Day. I spent $13.20 and got two pairs of walking/workout pants, jeans, work capris, a dress, and a shirt. I even put back some running shorts because I'm 36 and have the legs of an 86-year-old who has lived in a cave since birth. You're welcome.

Then I went to Starbucks and purchased lunch of a Tai Chi Latte. Or maybe it's Chai Tea Latte. Thai Cheese? I don't know. I took down the Starbucks menu board homage when we moved. It was good with the vanilla scone. Thank you, public school, for Coffee Day. 

Then I went to the library to return and check out books. You know, what normally happens at a library. I checked out Falling Upward by Richard Rohr on the recommendation of the pastor at church. Not to brag or anything, but I was totally paying attention. Thank you, public school, for Library Day.

I had to take a nap when I got home to alleviate all the productivity from the day. I did all of this in my Saturday Pants sans makeup and contacts. It was cold. No ice. I need another ice day. Say...next week.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

This Christmas song torture game

A favorite pastime of ours is to find out your least favorite Christmas song and sing it to you in a variety of ways: with drama, with flair, with annoyance. Long and drawn out, operatic, short and staccato. The goal is to torture mind, body, and soul with grating lyrics and melodies. Find and exploit your weakness. Anything from this list is ammunition for the Christmas song weary:

1. Wham! -- Last Christmas
2. Paul McCartney -- A Wonderful Christmastime

There are more, but those are definitely the top two. They are also the only two, but we can't argue semantics right now.

Sadie (launching into torture mode): "Laaaast Chriisssstmaaas. I gaaave you my heart. The very. next. day. You gaaaaavvvvve IT. A. WAY. Why aren't you yelling, 'Arrrgh?'"

Chris (just waiting for her to stop because she doesn't know all the words): "I don't mind it when you sing it. I like your singing."

Sadie (angry her plan was foiled): "Curses to my beautiful singing voice!"

Yes, those beautiful singing voices are the pits.

I listened to a few words of a Carpenters' song. I thought maybe in my old age I would enjoy music that is like a hot ice pick being pierced into the very recesses of my brain. I couldn't do it. If I never hear another Carpenter song again, my life will be complete. In fact, I've told Chris that if I ever fall into a coma, start playing a Carpenters' CD on an endless, vicious loop. Surely I will pull out of a coma -- medically induced or not --  just to be able to throw a shoe at the CD player and yell, "ALL RIGHT. ALL RIGHT. I'm awake. Knock it off. GAH." 

Maybe I should go into the field of medicine. I could do so much good. Or harm. Whatevs. 50/50 odds are pretty good, right? I don't gamble. Or understand probabilities. 

P.S. Rounding out the list of worst Christmas songs in the history of music and songwriting and singing songs:

3. Band-Aid -- Do They know it's Christmas
4. Christmas Shoes -- Newsong

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Post No. 669: Mired in dorkiness

Sadie has entered into the world of craptastic vision. If she's anything like her mother, her eyes will deteriorate at a rapid pace. I'll have to ask her mom when I meet her. She got the cutest glasses at Sam's.  I got glasses about the same time as she did when I was a kid (9, 4th grade), but mine were nowhere near as cute as hers. No one did me any favors when trying on glasses like, "Hey, you're already dressing like an old lady, you might want to ease up on the glasses" or "You know you're looking at scuba masks, right?"

Internet. They were SO BIG. So big. They were the clear plastic kind with a tint of pink. So, so fashion backwards. I believe they took up 2/3 of my face. I've rendered a drawing of my childhood so you can get a clearer picture.
Yes, my hair was that frizzy. If you take away the frizzy hair and glasses, I look like Powder. Sometime around 6th grade, I got new slightly smaller glasses that still managed to touch my cheekbones. Why did my face need glasses? I don't know. No one would help me.
At this point in life, I had discovered the crimping iron, thus the zigzag hair. I also started to look like Mr Potato Head. Was I high? I look weird.

Seventh grade mercifully brought about contacts. Then I just had bookworm appeal and braces to contend with. So, so pretty.
Nerd Life Today. I wonder if they'd have any fashion tips I could use. Sounds like my kind of publication.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

10 Things For Which I'm Thankful, 5th edition

So I've seen this 30 Days of Thankfulness that's been going around. It all seems to start off strong and people are really hitting them out of the park with their biggest gratitude right off the top. Come day 9 or 10, they all start to struggle with things beyond faith, spouse, kids, and home. They become things like:

Day 15: Breathing. I'm thankful for air in my lungs. What would I do without air?
Day 16: The color purple. What would I do without purple??
Day 17: Chicken. I love to eat chicken for dinner.
Day 18: Clouds in the sky. I sure do love clouds.
Day 19: Having all my toes. What if I didn't have my big toe? I'd miss it.
Day 20: I'm glad...for...I'll come back to this day later.
Day 21: Wine. How would I make it through the holidays without wine? My kids are home all day. AAAALLLLLLLL DAAAAAAYYYYY.
Day 22: I bought shampoo today.
Day 23: Don't forget to get dog food.
Day 24: Ate breakfast tacos for dinner. Yum!
Day 25: I haven't read a book since high school. I wonder if I even remember how to spell.
Day 26: I wish I hadn't eaten that bag of licorice for breakfast.
Day 27: How many new shoes is too many? That's a stupid question.
Day 28: I'll never make it to day 30.
Day 29: I'm thankful I'm almost done with this list.
Day 30: Gah. Finally.

And to be honest, I struggled to get to 10 items. Anything beyond 1 through 4 is just gravy. Icing on the cake. The creme de...you get it. I am blessed to even get 1 but 4? I'm just being greedy after that. 

All right. Moving along.

1. Jesus. Every day. I am a sinner saved by the precious blood of Christ. I am thankful for the sacrifice on my behalf to give me eternal life. Me! Of all people! Do you not know the healing power of Jesus' name? The beauty of the sacrifice on the cross? The life He brings and the mercy He gives freely to those who just believe? Please please please let me tell you. We will limp, crawl, walk, or run to the foot of the cross together.

2. Chris. Internet. He is my person. You know how you sometimes get in the comfortable position of marriage where you are -- I don't know -- just content with everything. But then you realize that this is your person and why on Earth am I taking these precious days for granted? I am eternally grateful for his kindness, his unconditional love, his support, and his friendship. Loving him is like breathing. It is like spring in my soul.

3. Ben. You know how you have people that you just want to be with because they make everything better? Running errands, cooking, watching movies? That's Ben. He's always willing to help with dinner, chores, driving me around for errands, always up for a good chick flick. I never want him to leave. Bring your kids, bring your wife. Even better.

4. Sadie. Oh, my soul, that wonderful girl. I cannot fathom how someone could be so wonderful. She made this, Internet:
Just because. And then she tacked this on to the bottom:
End world hunger. A girl after my own heart. She is the kindest person I know, and so so smart. She is encouraging and positive and everyone's cheerleader. I do not even come close to deserving her. 

5. This house. I like it so much better than our last house. We have a whole extra room! Just for roominess sake! I feel so gluttonous, like I'm hogging all the room space from someone would could use it.

6. Chicken. It's such a versatile meat. I can put it in anything. Enchiladas, soup, quesadillas, tacos, sandwiches, casseroles. More than chicken, though, I like beef. I love steak. All the time. Gersh. I could use a good steak now.

7. The color green. Most everything in my closet is either purple or green. There's some red and some pink, too. A lot of black and gray as well. I have a few things that are plaid and a couple of things that are flowery. But not too many because I'm not 80.

8. Space heaters. How would I survive without them? Surely I'd be kicked out of the Amish community.

9. I can eat Thanksgiving dinner twice and then I'm ready to move on.

10. I wonder if I should start working on my New Year's Resolutions. Setting lofty goals in November seems a little premature. 

Happy Thanksgiving, Internet. You deserve it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Going viral and not in a good way

Today marked the first day of staying home with the flu Sadie, who by all accounts, is the walking flu. Chris has managed to catch the official flu as well. Or contract. I'm not sure how one "gets" the flu, like it's some sort of option. Maybe there was some spoon licking at the Salvation Army of which I wasn't aware. We're not playing around here. We'll throw down some serious viral what-what.

Playing nurse wasn't so bad mainly because it was really just me in fleece pants and drinking coffee. I had Belvita cookies and coffee for breakfast, so that was a plus. And I watched the news and then had more coffee. Then I bathed the dog, put ice in juice cups, refilled juice cups, made peanut butter sandwiches. I took a nap when no one was looking. I'm thinking of pursuing a career in nursing.

I spent an inordinate amount of time doing homework. No, like absurd. At the rate I'm going, I think I can graduate by Spring Break. If you're going to give all the work out on day one, I'm going to work ahead and wait for the due dates to turn it in. That seems like a fair trade, unlike trading shiny healthy cells for crap-filled molecules of decay.

This evening I decided that since I've been exposed to the flu thrice over, it was time to get the vaccine. That seemed logical. I am nothing if not logical. I explained my conundrum to the pharmacist (who seemed confused as to my inquiry if he was using a clean needle) of being the presence of the flu and would this little activity even work. He said probably not since it takes 7 to 10 days to take full effect, but some people practically bathe in flu germs and have nary a symptom. Super! I want to be that person! I thought that maybe obscene amounts of caffeine might encourage the vaccine to "take" or "plant" or "blossom" at a faster rate, so I've had two cups of coffee. I'm going to go do some power napping in hopes of fostering a positive environment.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Another man down

Over the Christmas break, Ben decided to go and get contaminated with a whole mess of bacteria and harbor it in his body. His incubation period was successful as he produced not only a nasty strep infection but also influenza type A. If there's any influenza to get, it's type A. It's so neat and orderly. He started with what I thought was a cold and then started complaining of severe headaches and was sleeping for 20 of the provided 24 hours. I kept thinking, That's a really nasty cold. I hope he doesn't spread it to all of us. I wonder if any good movies are on.

This kind of thinking went on for a couple of days and then at midnight one night it dawned on me in big blazing letters, HE HAS STREP THROAT. Like that but on fire. I panicked all night long, thinking how long I had let this fester in his body, sure my Mother of the Year nomination was ruined. I had to resist the urge to sleep on the floor next to his bed since he is, after all, bigger and stronger and hairier than I am. I took him to the doctor and then Sonic for a milkshake because if you're diagnosed with the flu AND strep throat, you should get something. Like an award. He was a fantastic patient, he recovered, our house was boiled in a large pot of water, we survived. Mostly.

I kept thinking with every tickle of the throat and every runny nose I got that, yep, this is it. We're all going down in flames. The other shoe is totally dropping the hammer right now. I don't even know what that means. But then the torch was passed to Sadie, who is by far The Worst Patient in The World. We spent $85 at CareNow on Sunday morning where she was diagnosed with micromanager influenza. First thing after The Big Reveal? "Can I get a milkshake from Sonic?" Apparently that's the thing now.

So I spent the first of two days at home with Sadie, watching TV, asking her to stop moaning so loudly. It seems it hasn't hit her nearly so bad as it did Ben. That didn't stop her, however, from swallowing with great drama and going into the bathroom to make Miss America crying faces and loudly bemoaning her diagnosis.

We'll be here all day tomorrow. As of tonight, it's now unofficially moved on to Chris. I'm just awaiting my turn.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Because every day is Mother's and/or Father's Day

Ben (totally not caring that he's tattling): "I hate to tattle, but Sadie took the controller into the bathroom and locked the door because she's recording something."

Me: "Happy Father's Day!"

Not wanting to steal Chris' thunder on his special day, I let him handle that one. I don't know if it's really tattling if it's in the commission of the crime. Maybe then it's just reporting. TV time is a precious commodity in our house. It's like having cigarettes in prison. Not that I would know anything about that.

It dawned on me recently that Chris and I have known each other for 15 years now. That seems like such a long time and so incredibly short. I know many people are married for 15 years, but they're usually older and wiser and have sheets with higher thread counts. When we met we were just kids, barely 18 and 19 years old. And then -- hey now -- we got pregnant.

Ben (indignant that all children aren't planned): "Great. So I was just an accident."

Me: "Right. Because having a baby wasn't really in our plans at 18 and 19."

Ben (still holding out hope of finding his real parents): "Maybe I'm adopted."

Me (someone should adopt me and pay for my expenses): "Yes. We had unlimited resources and decided to adopt a baby as teenagers. Yes."

I need a vacation from the teenage years or one of us is bound to end up in the circus. I volunteer to go first.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dear Sadie: You're eight! It's great!

Every birthday seems to fly at me faster and faster. Every day you seem a little older, a little more mature. As much as I try, I wish like the dickens that I could stop time so I could keep you at home forever.

This morning Dad said, "It seems like just yesterday she was turning 7."

No, it's been a very loooong year. So long. But we made it out (barely), and you are flourishing and becoming the stunning young woman you are meant to be. Sadie Rose, I cannot for the life of me figure you out. You'd think I would have some sort of an advantage being that we're both of the female population. However, that seems to be for naught because I am constantly in a state of confusion as to your next move, thought, or rationalization. You like to cuddle first thing in the morning but you won't hold my hand the rest of the day. You like robots and art and reading and science. You like dancing and engineering and fashion. That's like using all of your brain all of the time. To be honest, I don't know that I can keep up. Some days I have trouble staying awake once I get home from work.

This morning as we stood on the sidewalk in front of school, I felt like it was just you and me despite the throng of cars and kids and bikes. The blanket of clouds hung over our heads, and I squished your face in my hands and I wished I could load you back in the car and take you for donuts and shopping. You were my piece of home outside the brick and mortar walls of school, and I held on until the very last moment before you had to go inside. I was afraid to let you go because you were taking such a huge piece of my heart with you.

I love you so very much, kiddo. You are the heart of my heart, and I don't know what I'd do without you. Happy birthday, Sadie. You deserve it.

Love,
Mom