Hunkered down and craving french toast

The ZOMGSNOWPOCALYPSE is hitting Georgia right about… now. The kids only had half a day of school, there are actual snowflakes in the air, and rehearsal for The Vagina Monologues this evening has been canceled. (Did I mention that I was doing that again? I am. Also, I’m not quiiiite off-book yet, as I was supposed to be for tonight, so yay for canceled rehearsal!) (Did I spend an hour this morning doing chores around the house, belting out dialog about my vagina, much to the dogs’ consternation? Indeed I did. Duncan seemed particularly uncomfortable, which is saying something, because he regularly flops down in the middle of the floor to lick his phantom balls for an hour.)

Now that I’ve successfully rendered this post porn according to most search engines (HAAAAA), I thought it would be a good time to direct any whippersnappers to my post today at Alpha Mom about how these southern snow days do NOT remind me of my youth. And if that’s not enough—or if you’re in a cooking mood—last week I shared some suggestions for Super Bowl snacking, though here at Casa Mir we will, of course, be dining on Extreme Bitterness That The Patriots Aren’t Playing.

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We’re gonna need a bigger vacuum

Today ended up completely sideways and I don’t really know how or why. This is me cheering myself up with the conversation that STARTED the day, before everything went to crap.

Her: So explain to me, again, why you want to be cremated when you die?
Me: Well, for one thing, I’m cheap, and I think the cost associated with buying a hole in the ground and a fancy box to bury in it seems dumb to me. For another, I don’t believe that the body means anything after the soul leaves it. Why fancy it up? Get rid of it, I won’t be using it. And I don’t want a place that you feel compelled to maintain, or that you have to sit and feel sad.
Her: But… so… then what do you do with the ashes?
Me: Sometimes people keep them around, like in a pretty container, but lots of people rather they be scattered somewhere that made them happy. Don’t save my ashes, that’s creepy.
Her: Oooooooohhhh. Okay, so after Licorice dies, we should have her cremated and then spread her ashes under the couch in your office. And after YOU die, I should just dump the ashes in your bed.
Me: That seems kind of gross for Otto, if he’s still around.
Her: Nah, he’ll love it. He can still sleep with you every night!
Me: You’ve got it all figured out, I guess.
Her: Don’t worry, I’ll sprinkle Monkey on the keyboard when it’s his turn.
Me:
Her: What? It’s where he’s happy!

Debate continues as to where Duncan should go (maybe the landing on the stairs, though I feel he’s mostly just confused there, not really happy), but thankfully Otto has already picked his finally resting/sprinkling spot. [Note to self: Revise will to specify that Chickadee never gets to decide where anyone's ashes go.]

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Just a friendly reminder

While I’m not fond of the old trope about moms always putting themselves last, a large part of the reason I dislike it is because—for me, anyway—it tends to be true. Thank goodness I have friends who sometimes drag me out of the house. I hear it’s even good for a person to do that! So I’m over at Alpha Mom today with a few words about my Village and how much I appreciate it.

And as long as you’re over there, last week I rounded up some of our favorite soup recipes, which you may find useful as this second round of Arctic weather hits us.

Friendship or soup; take your pick.

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tl;dr: Money makes me paranoid

I have not been sleeping particularly well these last few days. Otto was doing a work thing all weekend, which meant he was coming and going at weird hours, and we have a friend of his staying here (for said work thing), as well, and I love our dogs, you know, I love them SO MUCH, they bring such joy to my life, but they are not all that bright about guests in the house. After however many years it’s been (4? 5?), we’ve grown used to Licorice feeling the need to bark anew EVERY SINGLE MORNING no matter how many times she’s already encountered the same stranger in our house. (“You’re still here this morning? BARK! BARK! BARKBARKBARKBARK!”) But now she barks, and then Duncan barks and HOWLS, and no matter how we try to separate them or whatever—say, tucking Duncan in for the night in his customary spot in Monkey’s room, faaaaar from where the men are returning to the house late at night—the moment our guest steps in the house or appears on the stairs in the morning or DARES to visit the bathroom in the night, it’s the Barkpocalypse.

So: I’m sleepy. Sleepier than normal, anyway. I got up this morning and sat down to go through my email and had one of those CUSTOMER FRAUD ALERT DANGER DANGER WILL ROBINSON emails from Discover Card, which was awesome, because you KNOW how I love it when people screw around with my beloved credit card. (more…)

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Pottymouth

I don’t think it comes as any surprise to regular readers when I confess that I sometimes use curse words. (The horror!) Some people might consider this a moral failing or character defect, but I prefer to believe it’s not. After all, they’re just words, right?

Today I’m over at Alpha Mom trying to unravel modeling appropriate language behavior for my kids, now that swearing isn’t exactly off-limits, but it’s not necessarily awesome to hear coming from my teenagers’ mouths, either.

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Tiny little bits of info no one needs

Trampoline: It finally stopped freezing and/or raining, so both children have had the chance to try out the trampoline. True to their individual personalities, Chickadee pretty much treats it like a hammock and lies there waiting for someone to peel her a grape, whereas Monkey BOINGed around for ten minutes and then wanted to argue about whether or not the dogs could join him (no).

School: Today was the first day of Monkey’s second week at the high school, and so far his only complaint is that there’s not enough work. I… yeah. I don’t know, either.

Weekend: After the aforementioned first week of school ALL I WANTED IN THE WORLD was a relaxing weekend after five straight days of being wound tighter than a spring. I sort of got my wish… I got a stomach bug! (Yay?) When a friend asked via email on Sunday if I was feeling better, I reported that I was no longer sick but was “dragging around in a dehydrated state of extreme self-pity.” I can’t say I recommend it.

Dogs: I feel that pack integration is now complete, as Duncan will simply walk up to Licorice and start gnawing on her neck and/or ears when he wants to play. And she lets him. They bark, they play, they seem to understand they’re stuck with each other.

Everything else: There is nothing else. I am just over here guzzling Gatorade and waiting to feel human again.

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Date night with a side of caketastrophe

Otto and I don’t get out enough as a couple. This is a subjective assessment, of course; what is “enough,” really? Whatever it is, we aren’t there. This is because we have jobs and other commitments and needy teenagers and a fairly comfortable couch and also because my natural inclination is to be a hermit. Otto, however, as both the extrovert and better wife in this relationship, periodically insists that we leave the house together, just the two of us. (And apparently when we go grocery shopping together, that doesn’t count. Sheesh.)

Last night we went to the sort of artsy-fartsy thing college towns are known for; there was black-and-white photography! There was poetry! There were figs stuffed with fancy cheese! I very nearly felt like a grown-up, right up until people started packing into the tiny seating area and a woman planted herself next to me and set her wine glass on the floor. “I’m going to try really hard not to kick that over,” I told her. “I’m sort of clumsy.” I thought I was just making conversation, but she looked at me like I’d just confided that I both had Ebola AND sometimes I tongue-kiss the nearest stranger. So that was nice.

But I should back up, a minute, to earlier in the day. (more…)

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Did you know it was cold?

I’m sure it comes as a tremendous shock when I tell you that Hey, it’s cold outside. It’s not as though 1) it’s cold absolutely everywhere, and 2) the news is all OMG HIDE YOUR CHILDREN IT’S THE COLDPOCALYPSE!!1!!!

So yes, it’s cold out. (In other news: Water is wet. Amazing!) It’s so cold out, we didn’t have school today.

Today at Alpha Mom, I’m telling you why this is all my fault. And I’m only sort of sorry.

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Everything is just fine. WEIRD.

School started up again today, and this morning was pretty much a study in the different personality types in our household.

I ran around at a frenetic pace, packing lunches and asking the same questions over and over (“Do you have…” “Did you remember…” “But what if you…”) until Chickadee told me to “stop freaking out.” (I did not, in fact, stop freaking out. I just tried to be a little less obvious.)

Monkey bounced his way through the morning, communing with the dogs acting like today was no big deal at all, like he wasn’t just heading off to high school for the first time or anything.

Chickadee dawdled and kept assuring me “I’ve got this” and responded to my four “WHY AREN’T YOU IN THE SHOWER YET??” queries with, “Why aren’t YOU in the shower?” (Answer: Because I already showered. Also, STOPPIT.)

Otto ate his cereal and read the news and observed his family spinning around him as if it’s still somewhat confusing to him, how he ended up surrounded by all of us.

In other words, it was a perfectly normal morning except then both kids went to school and Monkey was amazing and I am kind of a mess (a hopeful mess, you understand) so we are not going to talk about that. (more…)

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Smells like cinnamon and big changes

Last night I mixed up and kneaded the dough for the Super Fussy Pain In The Rear But Most Beloved Homemade Cinnamon Rolls so that I wouldn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn this morning. I took a break to call you and your friends downstairs for a bedtime snack of milk and cookies (hey, you may be teenagers, but cookies are cookies), and then you all swarmed back upstairs without even saying goodnight. I felt a small pang, but you were having so much fun, I tried to let it go.

I should’ve known better, though—you all got ready for bed and then you snuck back down to the kitchen to give me a hug. I squeezed you tight, marveling anew at how you’re nearly my height, now, and then demanded a second hug, on account of it was to be the last 13-year-old hug I’d ever get from you. You did a little dance of glee, hugged me again, then ran off with your buddies to a room littered with sleeping bags, video games, monster manuals, and stinky socks. I finished forming the rolls, ready to throw in the oven this morning.

The cinnamon rolls are always the same. They’re a fragrant anchor in a sea of ever-accelerating change, where every year I cannot believe you’re the same kid who had a birthday just one short year before. (more…)

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