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Making lemonade, darn it. Tampon lemonade!

So when I first shared here about Chickadee’s toiletries being pilfered by her fellow patients, many of you responded with a righteous indignation that brought a little tear to my wounded mama-bear’s eye. Several of you commented or emailed saying “Let us send stuff to them. We want to help.”

And I was touched by your generosity, so I went and mentioned it the person who I assumed was the correct contact at the hospital, and the response was… lukewarm. “It’s not really about the stuff,” was what kept being said. “This is more a matter of boundaries and appropriate behavior.” And yes, it is, but still. Some of these kids arrive at the hospital literally with nothing.

So I kind of tucked my tail between my legs and let it go, but it kept niggling at me. Really, they were going to turn down FREE STUFF for the patients? Really REALLY? And was I going to just let this go instead of doing something? I took a page out of my kids’ playbook and went for broke: I went and asked someone else, pretending I hadn’t already asked and been turned down. And I chose more carefully, this time. And her answer was, “Oh my HECK YES!”

If you want to help, here’s how: (more…)

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In case you want some flowers of your own

This isn’t a real post, because if it was, I would probably be telling more vacation stories, none of which (thankfully) involve further car wreckage.

Nope, this is about the many comments left on yesterday’s post about the flower my dad is sporting on his blazer. When we first learned we would potentially be having an on-the-spot wedding at the Grand Canyon, I felt certain that flowers were required. But real flowers in the Canyon seemed… complicated. So I went to Etsy—as one does—and it was there I discovered the awesome folks at Muncle Fred Art.

(more…)

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Mir and Otto’s big shopping adventure

You may perhaps remember that during the last few months of last year—having no idea how much 2012 was going to suck, and how much less I’d be working—we decided to give all of our spare moneys to our favorite contractor so that he and his guys could rip down our sagging deck and replace it, and then of course it ended up taking forever, including failing the first building inspection in January because the handrail on the stairs ends on the second-to-bottom step instead of the bottom step. (TRUE STORY!) (Know how you fix that? Your contractor comes over and attaches a piece of two-by-four to extend the railing, and uses a couple of pieces of scrap wood to anchor it to the existing railing structure, and then after the crabby building inspector signs off on it, the contractor takes it off again. VOILA!)

Anyway, that’s all been resolved for months, and the new deck is lovely, and the dog has decided that the $29 doggie door we installed so that she can let herself out of the screen porch to the great outdoors is the best thing in the whole wide world.

As the weather’s improved, we’ve spent more and more time out there, though we’re sitting on folding camp chairs and using a card table for when we need to play a rousing outdoor game of Balderdash, because it turns out that… we don’t really have any deck furniture. And we, you know, spent all our money on the deck construction. Whoops. (more…)

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A little bit of everything

Every now and then I realize that I’ve left you hanging on a variety of things—by accident, and because I’m disorganized (not on purpose)—and/or I think of a few minor things I want to share that aren’t entire-post-worthy. And then I throw them all together in a single mish-mash post and call it a day. Hooray!

First of all, I can’t stop watching this video:

(No, that has nothing to do with anything, I just love it. You’re welcome.) (more…)

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A reminder

If nothing else, I’m learning to sit with helplessness these days. I think Chickie is, too. It sucks (especially for control freaks like us). We are both learning and relearning how to take charge of what we can, and to surrender the rest. Did I mention that it sucks?

While Chickadee was in the hospital I found myself browsing Etsy—I don’t even know what I was looking for, really—and I ended up finding this:


(Image shamelessly stolen from Berkey Designs because I love them and hope you will, too. Beautiful craftsmanship, fast shipping, and pretty wrapping, too.)

I bought it for my daughter, and since it arrived she hasn’t taken it off. I hope it helps her remember.

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Because I’m klassy like that

Lord, but it’s been a good long time since I regaled you with a story about my lady-bits. I mean, lately it’s been all I HAVE ANGST and MY KIDS HAVE ISSUES and IT TOOK 37 DAYS TO BUILD THIS STUPID FENCE, and—surprisingly!—this has left precious little time for in-depth discussions of the various ways in which I sometimes end up naked in front of strangers.

Clearly my priorities are WAY out of whack.

Needless to say, I live to serve you, my loyal audience. And given how long it’s been and the fact that I wasn’t due for a gynecological check-up, I went ahead and did the next best thing: I purchased a certificate for discount laser hair removal off of the Internet. Because what could possibly go wrong there? Surely a spa willing to zap people with lasers is still perfectly fine even if they’re selling sessions for 90% off. (more…)

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Alas, poor closet. I cleaned it. Once.

I enjoy order and predictability. Having a kid on the spectrum has made The Schedule even more important to my life—he just plain functions better when he knows exactly what will be happening when. It’s easier to get his cooperation when things are planned.

And so it came to pass that every Saturday I call for the children to bring their hamper downstairs, and every Sunday afternoon I announce that I need the basket of clean clothes put away (if they haven’t been already) and the basket should be returned to me, emptied, before dinner. This seems to work out pretty well; the children never run out of clean clothes, I am able to keep track of things like when all of Chickadee’s socks have mysteriously disappeared or when Monkey’s undies are starting to unravel (“They’re fine!” he assures me, gamely modeling a too-small pair that fits like a thong and has a tail of elastic sweeping out behind him) and such.

I am constantly reading blogs wherein people claim to do two or three loads of laundry EVERY DAY. Who ARE you people? Do you only own two outfits each? Do you wash every towel every time it gets used? Do you wash each pair of jeans individually? You confuse me. (more…)

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Spend it, spend it good (or not)

I am a stress shopper.

I feel like I should apologize for that; like I should be embarrassed that my preferred outlet for pesky unpleasant feelings is to obsessively hunt down the perfect bargain or just spend a couple of hours walking up and down the aisles at TJ Maxx, certain that today they’ll have that perfect outfit that will make me happy.

It’s not that I’m unaware that it’s a rather predictable and boring transference, and not really the healthiest coping mechanism, it’s just that I’m as good at justifying it as I am at doing it. I’m not binge eating. I’m not drinking or doing drugs. And I’m not spending money I don’t have or buying useless things (it’s not all Hoarders-ish up in here, I swear). So in the grand scheme of things, I guess I consider it one of the lesser possible evils on my personal scale of vices. (Plus it beats just sitting around crying, which I am also embarrassingly prone to, and that NEVER results in a cute piece of clothing or something shiny for my office.)

It probably goes without saying that I’ve been shopping quite a bit, lately, but that never stopped me from saying it before, so: I’ve been shopping quite a bit. (more…)

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Outfitting my eyeballs

With everything else that’s been going on, I forgot to tell you the MOST EXCITING NEWS EVER about my new eye doctor. I know, you thought today was going to be a boring old Monday and here I am with this SCINTILLATING story. Because everyone knows that eye doctor visits are the stuff legends are made of! Yes!!

Okay, maybe not. But I did go to a new eye doctor.

I hadn’t been in over three years, if you don’t count my last few sorry attempts to wear contact lenses. I figured I’d learned my lesson that score, anyway; I just wanted to get an updated prescription and some new glasses.

I picked a nearby optical place I’d heard good things about, and went in for my appointment. It didn’t start off well; someone called my name and brought me back into a room and started adjusting things and telling me to look here and look there and give her my glasses, and she never introduced herself. I am definitely becoming southern because I was kind of offended by that. Bless her heart. (more…)

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Polo, polo, polo

I find my fingers itching to click “Buy” on polo shirts.

I spend a goodish chunk of every day combing websites and sales and coupons for Want Not, and of course some of the deals I’m finding, I’m also buying. I consider it an occupational hazard. Though I don’t really consider it a hazard, even when my daughter opens the pantry and beholds fifteen boxes of cereal and dryly inquires, “Exactly how many people do you think live here, Mom?”

My standard line is that I am cursed with tightwad tendencies but impeccable taste; for me, the deals are about getting the expensive stuff for cheap, not just plain BEING cheap. Just buying cheaper stuff is not the same thing. I’m aware that a large percentage of the items I buy for my family could probably be procured at The Big Box Store Which Shall Not Be Named for approximately what I’m paying to order higher-quality analogs from other stores.

Part of the way I keep us in the style to which I’d like to become accustomed (ha!) is by scouring sales and clearance and buying ahead for things we’ll need next season or next year. And today it seems like I’m seeing polo shirts everywhere, though of course it may just be that I’m subconsciously looking for them. (more…)

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