Happy accidents and small heart attacks

When I last left you, I was talking about furniture and how my dogs are disgusting. This is perfect, because today I am happy to report that we have furniture and my dogs are slightly less disgusting but still super-stressful, because I am never happy unless something I love causes me anguish. HAHAHA.

Anyway! The new furniture was delivered on Monday, and the first piece off the truck looked wrong. After checking over the paperwork and discussing it with the (very nice) delivery guy, it was determined that yes, in fact, we had ordered a love seat with a center console (you know, a compartment for remote controls and built-in cup holders, because we are nothing if not lazy) but they had shipped us a regular love seat, instead. We’d waited all this time and they sent us the wrong thing! Such first-world problem-having! No matter, they said to keep the wrong piece until they could get us the right one. So sweet of them. And then… once all the pieces were in place (it’s a sectional setup, composed of a couch, corner unit, and love seat) it became clear that if the love seat was any bigger it would be Too Much. Our family room isn’t that large, the new furniture is very… floofy (totally a real thing). So! Yay for the wrong thing that turned out to be right!

Also there has been no stealth-puking from the pups lately (as far as we know…), but a couple of days ago Duncan became decidedly wobbly. This was concerning. I discovered he had an ear infection and began treating that, but yesterday morning he was having so many tremors and so much trouble standing that I was sure he was having a prolonged seizure. We knew Duncan was sickly when we adopted him but I AM NOT READY YET, let’s just say that. Fortunately the vet suggested he may just be really struggling with his arthritis, and gave us some anti-inflammatories to try, and today Duncan is 1000% better. Phew. MAH BAYBEE.

So! Life continues to never be dull. While I was away dealing with all of that and working and such, I also took to Alpha Mom and wrote my most controversial blog post yet. (Hint: It’s about beets. People have strong feelings about beets.) And then after I finished eating my beets (mmmm… beets), I wished I could save my teens from friendship woes with some sort of Borg mind-meld. Still working on figuring that one out.

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A brief (yet disgusting) interlude

For Christmas this past year, sometime in October Otto and I gazed lovingly into one another’s eyes and decided to forego traditional gift buying for each other to instead embark upon the most romantic of journeys… replacing our family room furniture. Truly, we are an inspirational model of “keeping the flame alive” to couples everywhere.

Although we have worked through our home bit by bit, making it OURS (as opposed to THEIRS—in the case of layers of wallpaper and paint left us by the previous owners—or MINE and HIS as begat by various legacies of our pre-marriage artifacts), the family room—the main hanging-out room in our house—remained a mish-mash of blended family remnants. Otto brought The Man Couch into our marriage, and although it is brown and ugly, it is very comfortable. I, in turn, brought the Other Furniture in this room, a pretty love seat and easy chair/ottoman combo (from a former rarely-used living room) which aren’t uncomfortable, really, but are showing signs of wear now that they host energetic non-adults and small dogs with too-long nails on the regular.

So: Furniture for Christmas. Which really meant, furniture when we could get around to it. (more…)

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Elsewhere, an earworm

Apparently I’m still writing things in other places, on account of those pesky “contracts” and “bills to pay” and all of that. This week at Alpha Mom, I’m telling you why everyone’s favorite song of the moment has become my new anthem. Sure, it goes great with animated princesses, but it goes even better with floundering teens (for real).

Plus, it’s fun to sing in the car.

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Something of a crossroads

When we last spoke (I know, I know; we don’t really speak so much as I type and sometimes you comment, but “when we last spoke” feels more mellifluous than “the last time I bothered to post something”), nearly a week ago, I was a few days in to the latest Germfest, which continued to permeate every corner of our family and house at an alarming rate. Yesterday I still felt like my death might be imminent, but I dragged myself around the house Cleaning Everything (again!) and washing sheets and opening doors (it was a beautiful day, not that it matters when you’re busy trying not to die) and praying for a general restoration of health here at Casa Mir.

At the same time I was having myself a jolly little existential crisis about work and life and my children and my marriage—when I have a crisis, I like to do it up, after all—and thus have I arrived at this particular Monday morning: tired, still sick, about five pounds lighter than I was last week, and panicked about… pretty much everything.

Here let us pause while I assure you that everything is fine. Mostly. Kind of. As my father loves to remind me, my life is never boring. And our challenges often feel unsurmountable, sure, but in the grand scheme of what is truly bearable in a life, I should not complain. I know this. (more…)

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Kids. SHEESH!

Chickadee managed to catch All The Germs during the Icepocalypse week off of school, which is doubly impressive when you consider that we were trapped in the house all that time. (Where did the germs come from? Had she been saving them up? DID SHE EAT INFECTED SNOW???) I ignored her misery for several days before caving and taking her to the doctor, at which point my just desserts were “Yeah, that looks pretty nasty, let’s get some antibiotics on board” and the subsequent and immediate coming down with the crud, myself. HOORAY.

This is where I would normally tell you that in my next life I am only going to have dogs, because kids are just too disgusting. But then this morning Duncan crapped all over our bedroom (you’re welcome for sharing) so basically my whole world is gross and I don’t know what to tell you.

I am now busy alternately blowing my nose and Cleaning All The Things, but also preemptively freaking out about summer plans, because I’m an overachiever like that. If you’re starting to think about what your teens will be doing this summer, please come on over to Alpha Mom and commiserate with me. Misery loves company, and I promise not to breathe on you.

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Guess what last weekend was?

I know I didn’t talk about it a ton this year, but after all of the ice and snow and general mayhem of last week, we ended up putting on just two performances of The Vagina Monologues. (It was supposed to be four, and it’s a charity event, so the truncated schedule was kind of a bummer all around.)

Over the weekend I did a quickie “Hey, would you want to see video?” query over on the blog’s Facebook page, and your responses ran from “yes, please” to “WHY HAVEN’T YOU POSTED IT YET???” so I guess that was pretty clear. If you are NOT interested in hearing me be completely NSFW while making a lot of interesting faces (seriously, Chickie was asking me about why wrinkles happen, the other day, and I explained that your skin loses elasticity as you get older; when we watched this video after Otto made it, her first comment was, “I thought your face was supposed to be LOSING elasticity, Mom”), go ahead and skip this. Also note that there are a couple of skips/cutaways due to camera issues, but this is pretty much most of my piece.

“Because He Liked to Look At It” from woulda on Vimeo.

[And finally, you know I'm not one to beg on behalf of every pet cause, but this production is usually a big fundraiser for Project Safe and didn't make nearly the money it normally does due to the weather. If you felt like donating a few bucks to them---or your own local, similar organization---that would be pretty spectacular.]

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Thawing out

Questions on my mind today:
1) Will the kids ever have school again?
2) Will Duncan ever stop being perplexed by snow and ice?
3) At what point do I have to stop eating potato chips and resume regular living?
4) How is it possible that we’ve been holed up for days and I’ve still accomplished absolutely nothing productive?

Truly, my mind is a deep philosophical well.

While we continue with storm clean-up, I have a great vegetarian stuffed pepper recipe over at Alpha Mom that even the resident carnivores love. I made it last weekend, before the storm hit, because once you’re iced in, you can’t be expected to cook anything more complicated than hot dogs. That’s the rule.

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While we prepare for the Icepocalypse…

… I’m over at Alpha Mom, realizing that Duncan is teaching me a lot about what Chickadee needs.

[In case you don't live in the south or haven't seen the news, we are about to be slammed with an ice storm "of historical proportions." This is alarming, of course, but also comes with a side helping of my-parents-were-supposed-to-visit-but-ICE-STORM and a dessert of our local production of The Vagina Monologues was supposed to open tomorrow night and now we are delayed at the very least, if not canceled. In other words, I'm cranky, and after a morning of storm prep (firewood! batteries! charge all the devices! move the trampoline! bring the grill in to the screen porch!) I'm kind of freaked out, too. If you don't hear from me for a few days, please send gluten-free cookies and trashy novels.]

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A different kind of tough love

After the first time Licorice destroyed one of Duncan’s toys, I put away all of the stuffies for a while. We have some (relatively) indestructible dog toys, and things like tennis balls (motto: a super fun toy if you enjoy pooping out bits of felt), and that seems to keep the dogs happy.

Today, though, everyone needed a little cheering up. I found a battered old teddy bear in the bag of “Duncan’s stuff from before,” and his joy at rediscovering his old pal was… enthusiastic.

Duncan and The Bear from woulda on Vimeo.

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Road noise

There’s an intersection kinda-sorta-nearish to our house that was the topic of Much Earnest Discussion pretty much from the time we moved here, six and a half years ago. It was dangerous, people said. On the main road, people would peel off to another road on the left at kind of a Y and the angle of the road meant that they didn’t properly account for oncoming traffic, they said. People entering the main road from the side road couldn’t see the traffic well enough for a safe merge, either, they said. There were a lot of accidents there.

It was dangerous, they said, and so there was voting and planning and whatever else it is that needs to happen when you want to change the roads. For the better part of a year, I think, finally, that area was under construction.

They changed the way the side road curved; now, instead of a sloping Y, the other road loops around like it means to be a right angle (it doesn’t quite achieve that, but it’s close). And they installed a traffic light, too, because that makes it safer. It was unclear why the construction took so long, and it was a tremendous pain in the ass to get where you wanted to go, especially for someone like me, who isn’t very good with directions and had FINALLY figured out when and how to go that route. (more…)

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