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Life is hard, and then you apologize

If some bizarre set of circumstances arose such that I could only say two phrases for the rest of my life and NO OTHER WORDS (wow, as the person my family regularly refers to as “she who makes with the many words,” what a terrifying prospect THAT is), I don’t even have to take time to mull over my choices. Without a doubt, the two most important utterances in the English language, to me, are:

“I love you”


“I’m sorry.”

Most people have no issues with that first one. We could probably all use some work on the second one.

I’m all apologies over at Alpha Mom, because I can’t be mad about other people struggling with it when I am, too, I guess. (Spoiler: Still mad, anyway. Working on it.)

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Because I’m the meanest

They say you should be careful what you wish for, you know. Sometimes I think I WISH MY CHILDREN WERE MORE SELF-SUFFICIENT and then… I have to learn how to let them be more self-sufficient, no matter what that looks like. It’s kind of agonizing. Because if they would JUST… it’d be so much easier IF… but don’t you SEEEEEEEEE…?

Hell hath no fury like a control freak thwarted, is my point.

But hey, my kids will be adults in just a few short years (hang on, I just need to breathe into this paper bag for a minute), and time marches on whether I like it or not. As scary as it is, I’m turning over the reins more and more, even when I know it’s not going to go the way I want to.

Hey, at least it affords me good blogging material. Come on over to Alpha Mom today to read about how I’m letting go of lunch, even if it kills me (and it might).

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Sleeeeeeeeep, glorious sleep

Sleeping is my very favorite hobby. This is what happens when you never get enough of it, I guess.

My kids don’t get enough sleep, either. At least, one of them doesn’t. The other one has a way of figuring it out, but try as I might to encourage a mind meld between the two of them, this talent doesn’t appear to be contagious. Dammit.

If you worry about sleep and your teenagers, come join in the angst with me over at Alpha Mom today. Spoiler alert: I don’t really have any answers, but at least I’m very, very tired.

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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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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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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”
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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The joy of siblings

There’s nothing more magical, as a parent, than seeing your perfect offspring lavish one another with the kind of tender care they’ve learned from your perfect example. I mean… I assume. For other people, who actually set a good example and have kids who follow it. I hear this is a thing, anyway.

But no, in our house, it’s more like… well, I’ll let you see for yourself.

Monkey usually does the kids’ laundry as one of his chores. And Chickadee almost always throws at least one pair of jeans into the hamper still threaded with a (not-to-go-in-the-wash) belt. Monkey has pleaded, cajoled, threatened… all with no results. So this weekend he did the laundry, found a belt, and created his own cautionary tale.


(That’s Honey Bear, the only stuffed animal still hanging around in Chickie’s bed. She was a gift from Kira after our scary car accident years ago.) (more…)

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Nicknames and dopplegangers

It never fails to delight me when someone who knows my kids in real life actually refers to them as Monkey and Chickadee. Those are not their real names, of course (sorry to shock you if you thought otherwise…), but they are their real nicknames from wayyyyyyy back, and we are big on nicknames here at Casa Mir. (Bonus points for people who call my husband Otto even though they know him in real life.)

Nicknames evolve, ’round here. For a long time Monkey was most often called Small Boy and then one day he pointed out that he was no longer small, Mom, GEEZ, so Otto started calling him Medium Boy. And there was that whole thing where Chickie changed her nickname to Pork Rind on my phone for reasons which were unclear to me.

Well. For a long time she was Pork Rind and the picture of her in my phone was a cartoon turtle stuck on its back, owing to her OTHER nickname for quite a while of Helpless Turtle. (That nickname has gone by the wayside thanks to a lot of hard work on her part. If you look very closely at her vision board you’ll find a clever nod to leaving that persona behind.)

Somehow—do not ask me to explain, because I cannot—of late she has become Flerp Derp. This started as a random nickname and has become a whole THING, like, with a life of its own. Are you familiar with the Narwhals song (mildly NSFW)? There is a Flerp Derp song, now, set to the same music. It’s a thing. (more…)

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But what about his royal Monkeyness?

monkey-vacay-text1I actually started posting again, but a few people noticed that Monkey was nowhere to be found. Well, he rudely left us to spend some time with his father over the school break. (I kid! He is always very polite.) He was away for a bit and I tried very hard not to miss him. I failed.

Have I mentioned how much I love the kids having iPhones? I love the kids having iPhones. Of course, for the first week Monkey was gone, I didn’t even hear from him. I finally sent him a series of ARE YOU DEAD? messages and he responded.

As you can see, he’s really growing up, cursing appropriately yet succinctly (and with enough restraint that I don’t have to admonish him). It brings a little tear to my eye. MAH BAYBEE.

monkey-vacay-text2Every milestone feels super-significant with this boy of mine. Even the ones where he’s being a completely age-appropriate little turd. (Hint: Who was tasked with coming up with a project topic two weeks before this conversation? Three guesses and the first two don’t count because c’mon now.) Otto and I have gotten into the habit of saying to each other, “Awwwww, he’s being a regular teenager!”

And he is, mostly. That’s pretty cool.

Monkey also—I hope you’re sitting down, if you’ve been around here for a long time and picture him as a preschooler—turned 15. I KNOW. It’s true, though. I wrote about it over on Alpha Mom, because he’s still my baby, even if he is bigger than me.

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Transcendental rubber cement

How did I become a vision board person? It’s still baffling to me. I am just about the most un-artsy-craftsy person I know, and yet, now that I’ve done this for a few years, it is without a doubt my very favorite new year’s tradition.

Granted, my OTHER new year’s traditions are 1) taking down the Christmas decorations, 2) vacuuming up bits of fake tree and fuzz from destroyed dog toys once said decorations are dispatched and 3) making large salads because none of my pants fit after The Month Of Eating, so it’s not like the bar was super-high, or anything. But still. I don’t know how I turned into someone who spends the better part of a day meditating with scissors and glue. It seems unlike me. And yet it is totally me, now.

Once again, Chickadee joined me, and the only big change this year was that we’d been madly scooping up free and cheap magazine subscriptions all year for just this purpose, so we had… roughly 100 magazines at our disposal. It was insane. I ended up cutting out way more than I actually used, which was fine, but about halfway through our session we were making comments to each other about how Oprah’s concept of a “bargain” was laughable and Martha’s ideas about “good things” should really be labeled “rich white lady with too much time on her hands” things. It’s all part of the process, dontchaknow.

[Have you been around for prior years’ vision boards? Here’s a retrospective, if you care: 2011’s board (my first one), 2013’s board (I missed 2012, whoops), and 2014’s creations (both mine and Chickie’s).] (more…)

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