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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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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2015! 2015! 2015!

Happy New Year’s Eve! We are planning a huge celebration here, if by “huge celebration” you mean that Otto and I have been exchanging, “I dunno… what do YOU want to eat tonight?” phrases all morning and might head out to the grocery store in a little while so that we’re not ringing in the new year with only granola bars and beer (and I do).

This is the first new year’s in a long time where I’ve felt like the coming year really could be different and amazing. Of course, my definition of “amazing” has changed a lot, over the last three years or so, but that’s fine.

Life is hard, but it beats the alternative (as my father is fond of reminding me). And the other nice thing about life being hard is that when it’s less hard, it’s good. We celebrate every little victory over here, these days, and lately there’s been a lot of ‘em. I’ll take it. I’ll take it and whisper and knock on wood about how this could finally be the turned corner, even. Shhhhhh.

In fact, we are in the midst of teaching Chickadee to drive, which is definitely an adventure unto itself. I wrote about it on Alpha Mom, if you’re curious.

Here’s to new adventures in 2015.

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Dishes are complicated

In general I try to avoid the whole “and now let us brag about the wonderful presents we either gave or received, be they expensive or The Most Thoughtful Item ever or preferably BOTH” thing, because 1) NO1CURR, as my children would say, and also 2) I don’t want to be that asshole. I mean, I figured there are plenty of other annoying things about me without any of that going on.

Nevertheless, I am now going to be That Asshole and brag, because Santa knocked it out of the park with this double-sided magnet that showed up Monkey’s stocking this year:

Fred Dishwasher Magnet

Every teenager’s dream, AMIRITE? (more…)

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A Christmas Story, sans leg lamp

I make everyone watch A Christmas Story every year, because it’s important that I make sure, every year, that Ralphie doesn’t ACTUALLY shoot his eye out. Similarly, Chickadee requires that we watch Elf every year, because we have to confirm that Christmas is saved and also that if you’re paid enough money, you can indeed eat platefuls of spaghetti and maple syrup. Or something.

I have no problem watching the same movie(s) every year. I enjoy the predictability, especially as our actual lives are not nearly as predictable as I’d like. In fact, it’s something of a family joke, how disastrous our Christmases often end up, so why not watch the films about how everything works out just right in the end, after a few bumps along the way?

This year I just knew that Christmas was going to be amazing, though. The kids got iPhones—before the holiday, even—and I’m not going to lie, I was feeling smug. I’d finally won at Christmas, this year, managing to both make the children happy AND avert any sort of crisis or disaster because the plan was to stay home and have a quiet holiday. With the “big gift” out of the way, there were just a few boxes under the tree… wrapped early, even! The stage was set for family togetherness. If not peace on earth, at least calm and relative happiness.

When school let out on Friday I practically shrieked with glee. Time to relax! (more…)

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