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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I’d almost memorized the new number

Hello, I’m irresistible. I’m AWESOME. You want to BE ME. Specifically: You want to be my Discover Card, perhaps the most sought-after avenue of fraud in the world. Because it was just a few short months ago that I lamented once AGAIN having my card compromised and needing a new one, and GUESS WHAT! After dinner yesterday, I learned that I’d been on QUITE the spending spree at Best Buy! Also, I placed rather a large order with a purveyor of e-cigs, because you KNOW how much I love smoking. I also apparently tried to book a stay at a swanky lodge.

I’m glad that Discover catches this stuff and I am never liable for the rogue purchases. On the other hand, this happens ALL THE TIME. When I pointed this out to the Fraud Prevention Specialist on the phone, she offered me the number of their Investigative Division to see if they could maybe explain to me how this keeps happening. Once connected with them, a kind but somewhat flummoxed woman said, “Ma’am, we’re not the police. We do the best we can but it’s not like we’re catching criminals over here.” (I think someone had had a long day.) So. I am without my card for 7-10 business days (again) and I have to switch over all automatic billing (AGAIN) and I am GRUMPY.

So it seemed like a perfectly logical time to head over to Alpha Mom and wonder about my kids’ normalcy (or lack thereof). Maybe I shouldn’t be buying them all those e-cigs….

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But we didn’t actually die there

If you’ve been reading here since the dawn of time, you might recall that I had a hysterectomy at a pretty young age. My uterus was a complete asshole, and both of my ovaries were bitches. In the space between my first period and the triumphant day when I bid the plumbing good riddance, I dealt with debilitating cramps, excessive bleeding, countless ruptured cysts, infertility and pregnancy loss, and let us not forget the endless migraine headaches. Basically I was a mess. I am much happier without any rogue organs, and I love receiving a small, controlled (read: non-system-poisoning) dose of hormones via the miracle of modern pharmaceuticals. I take juuuust enough to stave off the hot flashes and a full beard.

I’ve had… maybe… two? three, tops? migraines since my hyst (over a decade ago). I kind of forgot about them. Maybe I did forget about them, kind of, until my darling daughter lay sobbing on the kitchen floor yesterday morning, moaning about how she could feel the blood pulsing through her head and the light was too bright and was she dying?

Ohhhhh, pumpkin. No, not dying. You thought menses was when you became a woman? NOPE. First migraine; that’s when shit gets real. Sorry, baby. Welcome to womanhood in our family! It sucks.

I did all of the things I could remember for her, yesterday, and many ice packs and hours of sleeping and Excedrin later, she asked to be taken to school for a test she didn’t want to miss. She made it through the test but didn’t look so hot, after. I put her to bed early last night, hoping she’d be better today. (more…)

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Because I’m smooth like that

This story begins with bacon, which SHOULD mean it’s a happy story, but I am all about the plot twist, yo.

Bacon! We love bacon. (Well, not the vegetarian. Though she does still comment that it smells good, which is fascinating to me.) Once upon a time while on one of the awesome summer family trips with my folks and siblings, someone purchased turkey bacon from Costco and I relentlessly mocked this choice, because BACON IS FROM PIGS and TURKEY BACON IS AN ABOMINATION and probably makes the baby Jesus cry. I am ardent about my pork products, you understand. But lo and behold, this particular turkey bacon was 1) actually yummy, 2) much cheaper than real bacon, and 3) marginally healthier than pork bacon. The next time we went to Costco, we bought some, which—because it was Costco—was something like 5 or 6 pounds of delicious fake bacon from pig-turkeys.

For the first however many packages, I would pull it out on a weekend and make some with pancakes on a Saturday or whatever. Last weekend I noticed we were down to the last package (“Hey Otto, we have to go to Costco! BACON EMERGENCY!”) and I had a brilliant thought: Why not cook up an entire package one day, then reheat a couple strips for Monkey every morning with his breakfast? I don’t possess the time or alertness to fry bacon on a busy school morning, but 20 seconds in the microwave I could manage. And Monkey needs the calories. BRILLIANT. (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.

honeybear-lynching

(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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