February goes out with a loud sucking sound

I started off the week thinking, “Huh. It’s almost March. THE SUCK IS NEARLY OVER.” But I guess I forgot I still had a whole week to get through and that I am me.

This past week included: Taxes, a giant box of ordered-on-the-cheap Christmas candy which turned out to have a short expiration date (and Amazon gave me my money back but now I have 15 pounds to lose and a GIANT FREAKING BOX OF DELICIOUS CANDY ABOUT TO EXPIRE), the disappearance of several key lunch-packing containers (but no one knows anything about that! IT’S DARK MAGIC, they just DISAPPEARED), a snow day completely void of actual snow, a planned teacher dinner for which shopping and cooking had already happened but then, you know, SNOW DAY OF NO SNOW, so things had to be rearranged (and this was not my job because I am not in charge—honestly, who would put me in charge of anything, right? RIGHT—but I had whipped out my crock pot and cooked up several pounds of food no one needed anymore, so that was great), canceled teacher conferences which meant I was receiving emails of “proposed schedule for next year” and sending emails that said things like, “Who put this together? Because I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Monkey didn’t ask to take Zoology, just a thought,” and life in general was giving off a lot of THINGS ARE NOT GOING THE WAY YOU THOUGHT THEY WOULD sorts of vibes. You feel me?

It was a long week, is my point. Also, I am old and feeble and stupid so I injured myself. That wasn’t even this week; it was weeks ago. ANCIENT HISTORY.

But this week it got worse and I made a two-pronged error: I both
1) Googled my symptoms
and
2) crowd-sourced information.

Rookie moves. In case you’re wondering, I’m probably dying. (more…)

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Crossing their furry little legs

It snowed this morning, which was Terribly Exciting. School was not canceled, however—SAD FACE—which was Terribly Disappointing. My poor, poor children, reared in snowy New England for the first half of their lives, complained that they would surely DIE on the school bus because of the tragic winter weather. There was an actual dusting of snow on the ground! THE HORROR!! Because we are suckers, Otto drove them to school.

Tempting though it is to declare the kids the wussiest wusses of Wussville in the face of this Major Weather Event, that title actually goes to the four-footed family members. You see, there is SNOW just sitting there ON THE PORCH. This is unacceptable. This means the dogs have ventured out just far enough to determine that OUCH OUCH COLD PAWS HELP OHNOES and then they run back inside. This means that it’s nearly lunchtime and neither dog has been outside to pee yet today. They have tiny bladders of steel, true, but I am still very afraid I’ll be stepping in a puddle sometime very soon. (So far they’ve just been sleeping here in my office, though, because Not Peeing uses up a lot of energy and they need naps.)

While we wait for His and Her Highness to deign to venture out for the ceremonial bladder-emptying, let us discuss the miracle of raising smarticles. Specifically, I’m examining a particular Very Dumb Thing a lot of bright kids do, over at Alpha Mom. I did it. My kids are doing it now. It’s making me INSANE. Please come tell me how to make them stop. Or lure the dogs outside. Either one.

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Ice day!

Sure, you people in the northeast have been trapped under a dozen feet of snow for a whole month, but here in Georgia we had a teeny bit of freezing rain last night and now the world is ending. School is canceled! Trees are falling over! The power flickered on and off all night and we tried to sleep to the dulcet tones of distant transformers exploding! It was super fun.

And did my darling, charming, best-thing-that’s-ever-happened-to-me husband leap out of bed in the middle of the night, insisting that there was someone in the room with us? He sure did. And it had been quite a while since he last had a late-night freakout, plus I like him a lot, so I let him live. (Fascinating observation: Now that we have a house alarm, I was not worried in the slightest, and calmly talked him back into bed, knowing full well there was no one in the house who didn’t belong here. BUT! Once he put his head on the pillow and pulled the blankets back up, I exhaled and my body released a flood of adrenaline so overwhelming that I actually began to shake. Even though I knew everything was fine. BRAINS ARE WEIRD.)

In other, unrelated, news, I’m afraid I suck at raising healthy children. I wrote about our collective exercise and sports failures over at Alpha Mom because I’m pretty sure the Internet exists to solve my problems. (I read that on the Internet once, so it must be true.)

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Maybe it’s just… February

The other day a dear friend said something along the lines of “Maybe I’m not a horrible person and maybe the world isn’t awful. Maybe it’s just February.” (I am paraphrasing a little, I think.) This struck a chord with me, because everything does seem particularly awful right now, but doesn’t it EVERY February? And aren’t I just as surprised, every single time, to discover that JUST POSSIBLY it’s a Calendar Thing rather than a Life Sucks Thing?

I am a slow learner, is my point.

Calendar or not, this “short” month is feeling particularly long, not the least of which because it always seems to be in February when I decide that’s IT, I am really going to get in shape now, seriously, I am, because my pants don’t fit and it’s cold out and I require pants. The problem is that at various daily intervals I also decide I require: cookies, chips, a second helping of whatever I had a good-sized serving of already, or a Random Piece Of Cheese. I’m not one of those “I work out daily and eat right and goshdarnitall I cannot figure out why I’m not losing weight” kinds of people. I am one of those “I do not exercise nearly enough and also I eat constantly so SURPRISE, I weigh more than I should but, you know, Sour Patch Kids are delicious” kinds of people. I start working on it (daily exercise! sensible eating!) and then life gets hard and I remember that chocolate makes everything better. Whoops.

Anyway, I’ve decided that yes, I’m totally going to blame it on February. Why not? Hey February, you are disgruntled and a little pudgy. You remind me of myself! Let’s be friends. Or let’s just move on to March. Whatever. But first: a moment to pause and appreciate Valentine’s Day. (more…)

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Maybe she’s my spirit animal

This week has just about eaten me alive, but I did take a few minutes out to admit that I might be seeing an apparition in our yard. I’m sure it’s a REAL dog. It’s just that… I’m the only one who’s ever seen her. That’s not weird. Not very weird. I mean, plenty of things are weirder.

Does a ghost dog explain my relative silence? Not really, but sometimes life is like that.

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If I had a few million dollars

Otto picked up a handful of lottery tickets last week. The Powerball or whatever it’s called was up to… I don’t even know what. 250 frajillion? It was a lot of money. And while I firmly believe lottery tickets to be a tax on people who are bad at math, we could spare a few bucks for the fun of what-if-ing for a few days.

Spoiler: We didn’t win. My dreams of lounging on a divan all day—eating bon bons and directing underlings to peel grapes for me—have been dashed. (Related: We don’t own a divan.)

Lately it feels like Otto and I talk about money a LOT. Part of this is the looming college thing, and gearing up to complete a FAFSA so that the government can tell us that if only we were to stop paying our mortgage or eating, we could certainly afford to send Chickadee to any college she likes. Part of it is the fact that both kids will be licensed drivers before we know it (pardon me while I breathe into a paper bag…) and will we want another car? Another two cars? WHY DO WE HAVE SO MANY CARS?? And our car insurance recently got confused and sent us a bill which covered having a licensed teen driver (neither of them are licensed yet) and said bill caused my face to melt off and me to suggest a number of high-earning but not entirely legal career paths to said expensive teenager. Part of it is that some dear friends of ours are about to begin a kitchen renovation and OH ENVY UPON ENVY, happy for them (for real), but we would like to redo OUR kitchen, and should we? Could we? The only thing that costs more than a kitchen renovation is, I don’t know, a combination face lift/tummy tuck/breast implant surgery, and Otto’s boobs are already beyond reproach.

We have enough money for everything we truly need, and then some, because “need” is not the same as “want.” I get that. No complaints; we are lucky. (more…)

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It’s gonna be quite the year

2015 has barely begun and already I can tell that it’s gonna be a doozy. Why, we’ve already had January, Month Of Eternal Sickness, and now we’re starting February, Month Of ZOMG PLEASE PUT ON A COAT. (You know how boys wearing shorts year-round is a thing? Here in Georgia, children facing 20-something-degree mornings but still refusing to wear a coat is apparently a thing. I am cold just looking at them.)

It recently occurred to me that if Chickie opts to apply to school somewhere via Early Action, we could know where she’s attending college before this year is over. Except that’s impossible, because she is my TEENY WEENY TINY SMUSHY BABY. Right? Right. That’s totally what I told myself when she was driving us home yesterday and I was calmly saying encouraging things like, “Try to stay on the road, honey.”

We’re gearing up to do some college trips very soon, so I wrote about it for Alpha Mom, because I’m beginning to realize this whole college selection thing is complicated. I mean, beyond just DO YOUR HOMEWORK I WANT YOU TO MOVE OUT SOMEDAY kind of complicated.

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It’s my fault

This morning I sent both kids off to school with something akin to GLEE. Monkey chatted all morning and was clearly, FINALLY, feeling better. I’ve asked Chickadee several times a day for nearly a week if she’s feeling okay, and with growing impatience and annoyance she has assured me that she’s FINE, MOM, GEEZ, STOP ASKING.

So I told someone that we’re done with the flu and only Monkey got sick. Rookie mistake.

Chickadee went to the nurse around 11:00. The nurse took her temperature, which was normal, and then Otto and I ended up doing triangular triage via phone and text because I was headed to a hair appointment. I realize that sentence makes me sound like a privileged, self-centered jerkwad, but allow me to follow it up with the clarification that I have not had a haircut in A YEAR (not an exaggeration), and hair like mine doesn’t get LONG so much as it gets HUGE. My hair was minutes away from becoming sentient. Otto was able to bring Chickie home while I was getting my hair weed-whacked, thankfully, which meant I only felt like a neglectful mother instead of a truly shitty mother. By the time I got home her fever was already up to 101. So. Yeah. I’m just going to finish this up and go buy some stock in Tamiflu, y’all.

But last night, back when I still believed no one else was going to get sick (HAHAHA), Otto and I went out on the town. I wrote about it for Alpha Mom, when I apparently should’ve been hanging biohazard signs all over the house, instead.

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Here, have some toast in a pretty bowl

Monkey is not recovering as quickly as I’d hoped, plus he doesn’t really like to be coddled when sick. Well, he likes me to fetch him things, sometimes, but for the most part he just wants to lie down in a dark room and cough in a way that makes me wonder if maybe he has tuberculosis rather than the flu. My constant, “Honey, do you need anything?” prodding is both annoying to him and doesn’t fulfill my need to MAKE IT BETTER, so I have to content myself with making toast, mostly. In case you were wondering, yes, I DO spread the butter all the way to the edges. Because LOVE.

I did manage to sneak out briefly because the other kid (still not sick! everyone knock on wood!) has an upcoming school competition for which she requires pantyhose. (Apparently the competition is taking place in 1985….) Confused by the bright orb in the sky and the fresh air around me, I drove to my closest Big Box Store to procure said pantyhose, and then decided to actually LOOK AT SOME BOWLS just in case there was something wonderful there. And there was!

striped-bowl

(Here you understand “wonderful” to mean “colorful and cheap.”) We are now the proud owners of 6 new bowls which are NEARLY the same size as the rest of our bowls, and these are rainbow-y and make me happy, plus they were $2 apiece. I will remind myself of this when I start breaking them. Or maybe you will remind me? Thanks.

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These two things are unrelated

I am nothing if not inconsistent; I started writing here again and then I saw something shiny and wandered off. Or, more accurately, life happened and I realized I’d abandoned you again. I’m a jerk. I have no other defense.

There’s two things I’ve been meaning to share, though of course the more time that passes, the more I realize that they may be interesting only to me. NO MATTER! You will care about my Bowl Situation, yes you will, and also I can never resist the opportunity to point out when I have completely screwed up as a parental unit, so here we go.

Matter the first: “You’re fine!”
Monkey has missed quite a bit of school this month. We all had a stomach bug shortly after the kids returned post-winter-break, and then the following week he had a brief relapse, and so when the third week rolled around and he AGAIN said he wasn’t feeling great, I was having none of it. NO SIR, YOU ARE HEALTHY AS A HORSE, GO TO SCHOOL. I did this because:
1) I’m an idiot jerkface
2) I figured he had somehow become acclimated to the newish routine of “but I don’t go to school on Thursday/Friday anymore”
and
3) Sometimes I forget that hey, my autistic child has a VERY high threshold for discomfort and does not complain (mostly) unless he is probably dying*.

* Other spectrum parents are about to start nodding, but here’s the further explanation of the Sensory Weirdness that is our normal: Brush up against my child and he will howl that he has been punched, but give him a fever of 105 and he will say he’s fine. I don’t know why; that’s just how it goes. (more…)

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