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Mama Grizzly mode, activated

I wanted to share a picture of Chickadee’s shoes on her first day of the semester, because for those of you who’ve stuck around for a long time, shoe pictures and the first day of school are a tradition ’round here, and this would’ve been a very significant picture, because… it will be the last one (at least for a good long while, anyway). Because—I hope you’re sitting down, people who started reading here when my darling Chickie-pie was 6 years old and sassy beyond her years—my once tiny and chirpy firstborn is graduating from college in just a few months. Graduating. From. College.

It’s okay, take a minute. I know I need to, every single time I say it out loud.

Anyway, that was… a month ago, and it never happened, because first she was all “Why?” and “You’re the worst” and “Fine, LATER” and then eventually when she texted me a picture she also told me I had to edit it before I could use it. You see, she was wearing booties and a pair of cropped pants and you could see a few specks of rash (remember The Rash Chronicles? GOOD TIMES THAT NEVER END) between the two and eventually I just gave up and never posted the picture. But trust me, she’s adorable. Except I have begged her to throw those shoes away multiple times because they’re falling apart, and I even bought her a replacement pair, which is sitting in her room upstairs here instead of in her apartment, so I guess that’s why she’s not wearing them. Whatever. Now it’s mid-September and no one cares about my kid’s shoes, I know. Which is fine, because that’s not even what I want to tell you about. (more…)

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And then we went on vacation

You may or may not recall that every few years my father and stepmother gather up their collective children and grandchildren and take us all somewhere to sit around eating ourselves silly and telling embarrassing stories about the past. It’s magical. My little nuclear family missed the last trip (which was three years ago) for Reasons and so this is our first time all together in five years. In preparation I went back and read my posts from the very first trip, which was a cruise, so it was fresh in my mind that when the cousins first met, Gerber had just turned one, Banana was a painfully shy preschooler, Chickadee was in middle school, and Monkey was—though we didn’t know it at the time—ten and about to have a really tough year. (And if you’ve been reading here forever, allow me to blow your mind by pointing out that now when we sit around and play cards at night, Chickadee drinks with us—legally!—and Monkey had to request time off from work and also trim his beard before we left. Yeah.) So when we arrived this time, Banana remembered us but is now a nearly-13-year-old gazelle who is entirely unaware of how beautiful she is and huffs and rolls her eyes at everything her mother dares to say or do, and Gerber is now the age Monkey was on the first trip, tall and enthusiastic and impish and remembering us not at all. I told Gerber that the first time we met, he wasn’t even walking yet and Chickie carried him all over the cruise ship with a pocket full of Cheerios, popping them into his mouth whenever he got fussy, and his eyes got big and he laughed and laughed.

All of this is to say: It is a Very Good Thing we’re doing this now, because I think I didn’t even know how much I needed it. (more…)

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This post is covered in pollen

Hello! Sorry it’s been so long. In my defense, I was busy dying. I mean, OKAY, not DYING dying, just dying a little bit. Dying in the “dear God, I have woken up with a massive headache every day this week” and the “do I have a cold? a sinus infection? BUBONIC PLAGUE IN MY NOSE??” sense, which is to say: it’s springtime in the south! The whole world is covered in a grainy yellow coating, my eyes are itchy, etc. Everyone is making the same joke about how meth dealers are trying to turn their product back into Sudafed, and we all laugh every single time, because what else can you do?

Well, I guess you can wash your car a couple of times and switch allergy meds. I mean, that’s what I did. Not telling YOU what to do, of course, but I seem to have lived. So far.

Before I dive into all the RIVETING new news (yes, truly, my life is a wonderland of excitement, I know), I did want to follow up on a few previous items just in case anyone cares. And even if you don’t! Don’t like it? Fine. Go sit on the porch until you’re covered in pollen. (Don’t worry, you’ll only be out there about 10 minutes, I promise.) (more…)

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Our healthcare dollars at work

Before I begin, let me just say 1) I didn’t mean to leave you hanging on that last post, I swear, and 2) THANK YOU for all the nice comments and emails. February/March (Farch, as one commenter called it, which I shall use forevermore) is hard on a lot of us, huh? I’m really glad it’s almost April. Also I am (finally) feeling somewhat better, so do not fret.

But that is not why I am here today. OH HO HO HO, no. I am here today to tell you the story of why for-profit health insurance companies do not work and why when politicians start wringing their hands about how EXPENSIVE universal healthcare will be, I have vivid fantasies of setting living, breathing humans on fire. Also—in case you don’t live in Georgia or follow the news—I find it beyond ironic (like, we need a new word that means mega-ironic, please) that the state legislature here has just passed a so-called “heartbeat bill” aimed at criminalizing all abortion, because they care so damn much about LIFE, but in the meantime, everything I’m about to tell you is just fine and dandy by them because it’s not pertaining to a fetus, just my 20-year-old daughter.

Related: My favorite thing about me is how calm and collected and not at all hyberbole-prone I am in the face of dumbfuckery. (more…)

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You’re gonna be so sorry you asked

Hey, Mir, how’s your week been?

OH WELL I HOPE YOU HAVE SOME TIME TO SPEND! Pull up a chair! Grab a cup of tea, and maybe a few benzodiazepines. Whatever.

Let’s start last Saturday, because why not? Monkey has had a cold which has morphed into a sinus infection, and Otto has remained healthy because 1) Otto never gets sick and 2) Otto is rarely actually home, and I spent most of my spare time since the first sniffle washing my hands every ten seconds. Because I would NOT get sick, damnit! I have no time! And this time, I would escape it! So:

SATURDAY
Otto and I puttered around the house for a while, and then headed out to run various errands. I enjoy forcing Otto to do things like go to the supermarket with me, because then we can engage in romantic activities like arguing over what kind of lettuce to buy. It’s an exercise in resilience. We hit the drug store, big box home improvement store, two different grocery stores, and concluded our fascinating afternoon with actual plans for me to cook an Actual Planned Meal™ the next night, so that was my reward for standing my ground about the unacceptability of Iceberg. Also, we picked up a giant take-n-bake pizza so that Otto and Monkey could have an easy meal after I headed out to work at the theater that night. (more…)

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Something something metaphor

I go thrifting on a pretty regular basis. Sometimes I’m looking for something specific (e.g.: lo, I have partaken of too much ice cream, and require new pants), sometimes I’m just looking. [Sidebar/shameless plug: I’m finally putting some of this thrifting to good use by selling stuff on Poshmark. Here’s my closet, and if you’re new to Poshmark and put wantnotdotnet as your invite code, you get $5 of credit and so do I.] Usually I just look at clothes and shoes, but sometimes I look at other things.

Anyway. A while back I was doing my regular Goodwill rounds and I found a wicker planter shaped like an elephant. It was adorable and I immediately knew I needed to buy it, not just because it was 99 cents, but because Chickadee loves all things elephant and she lives in an apartment now and I think there is no better “You’re a grown-ass adult” marker than someone giving you a plant with the tacit understanding that you’re capable of keeping it alive. (Once upon a time a friend gave me a nice plant on Chickie’s first birthday, telling me that now that I’d kept a baby alive for an entire year, she was sure I could take care of this violet. It took a while, but I did indeed kill it. I mean, not on purpose. But. Let’s not dwell on it, I guess.)

I must’ve found the planter after move-in, because it became one of those things I hid in my closet while I tried to figure out what would be the Right Plant for it, and planned to give it to Chickie at Christmas. (more…)

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Hurricane, redux

I recently received a kind but somewhat plaintive “If you’re never going to write again could you at least TELL us” message and then I felt guilty because guilt is my go-to emotion. (My second go-to emotion is anger, which is a real treat for those around me, lemme tell you.) I never INTEND to stop writing. I just… don’t… for a while… and then inertia kicks in, and before I know it, months have passed. I do miss the days when my children were small and cherubic and uncomplicated and everything out of their mouths was entertaining and I had endless blog material simply from the day-to-day insanity of trying to keep a couple of tiny terrorists alive. (I mean, just to be clear, not just because it provided blog fodder, but because life was so much simpler back then. You know, back when I believed life made sense and if I was a good parent my children would grow up to be happy and healthy and productive. HAHAHAHA.)

Now life is more like… well, on the same day that one (theoretically adult) kid tells me what an unbearably shitty parent I am, the other (also theoretically adult) kid texts me this from across the room with a complete deadpan face and I’m still trying to figure out why:

Sooooo. Yeah. Life is ridiculous, yes? I think it is. It’s the only excuse I can offer. Also, we keep having hurricanes. (more…)

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Happy second GET OUT birthday!

Once upon a time, a long long (longlonglongLONG) time ago, I started a blog shortly after my firstborn turned six. At the time she had buckteeth and dark blonde hair and little blue glasses, and she often glared at me and said I DON’T LIKE YOU when I displeased her. This week that same sassypants turned TWENTY, only now her teeth look great and her hair is currently… um… strawberry blond with pink tips, I think… and she has a little opal nose stud instead of glasses (not to help her see… oh, you know what I mean) and nearly all of her texts to me start out I LOVE YOU but also I get I HATE IT WHEN YOU’RE RIGHT sometimes, and I screen-cap it every time because it delights me.

We thought eighteen was a big deal, but she seems to be taking twenty much harder. “Now I REALLY have to be an adult,” she kept saying, like the Adulthood Police might pull up on her at the park and be all, “Ma’am, excuse me, but aren’t you a little too old to be riding on that playground equipment? Can I see some ID, please, and can you tell me when you last filed your own taxes?” I always found it hilarious when my father would say things about how he knows I’m an adult but he always thinks of me as a kid, but now I get it. Twenty is still a toddler. Twenty is playing grownup and hoping no one notices.

Just as the last birthday before you leave for college is the GET OUT birthday, the birthday before you move into your first apartment is a similar—and yet unique—extravaganza. (more…)

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Recentish

I am positively CRUSHING 2018, in case you were wondering. Why, I made a new vision board on January 1st—as I’ve done for the past howevermany years—and I finally took down last year’s board and hung the new one this week. In April. LOOK AT ME GO. (Okay, in my defense: It has to be sealed with some spray stuff and I couldn’t find my old can of it, or maybe I’d used up the old can, I don’t know, and then I didn’t buy any until my 57 trips to the Big Home Improvement Store during Dressergate, and then I had to find the Command Strips, and… yeah, okay. That’s not really a defense.)

The hanging of my New Year’s Plan (such as it is, in collage form) promptly during the first week of April was perhaps a perfect metaphor for the overcrowding and disorganization in my life of late, so I started making some hard decisions, too. For example: Easter was this past Sunday, so this should be the week I plant my garden. But after a survey of my current life circumstances and the dozen projects I have yet to complete, as well as a quick review of how much I hate tomato-thieving squirrels, for the first year in a decade, I’ve decided not to put in a vegetable garden. Instead, I signed us up for a CSA, like the crunchy hippie I aspire to be. I mean, the cost is probably about the same, but this way I get more variety, less work, and 100% fewer tomatoes pilfered by overgrown rodents. Plus we watch a lot of Chopped and so I’m looking forward to opening a week’s haul and going GOOD LORD WHAT IS THAT HOW DO I COOK IT OR IS IT HERE TO EAT ME. Adventure!

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All grown up and good to go

Monkey turned 18 last week. EIGHTEEN! That’s just plain nutso, because I can barely remember my own name these days, but I have such clear memories of the day he was born, so it cannot possibly have happened so long ago. I remember the doctor insisting it would “be a while” because my labor with Chickadee was so long, and he checked on me and left the hospital, saying he’d be back around lunchtime. Less than an hour later I told the nurse I was pretty sure I needed to push, and she checked me and laid a gentle hand on my knee. “DO NOT PUSH,” she ordered me. She picked up the phone. “We’re gonna see how quickly the doc can get back here in his little red sports car, okay?” Turns out his car was pretty quick, and a good thing, too, because one push and everyone was screaming “STOP!” because Monkey—tiny in comparison to his sister, but a champion in-utero acrobat—was born with his umbilical cord wrapped twice around his neck. The doctor worked the cord free, caught the rest of him, and HOWWWWW was that 18 years ago? We beamed at our new baby while his chin dimple quavered and his lower lip protruded and he wailed about his eviction. I had gushed about how huge and beautiful his sister was, when she was born, but after an appropriate period of oohing and ahhing and getting him settled, I confided to his father that Baby Monkey was so tiny, I was afraid I might break him. And then I added that he reminded me of a very angry naked chicken.

(Don’t worry, he doesn’t resemble a chicken anymore. He’s much larger and far too hairy.)

Anyway, it was all a long time ago, is my point. Now he’s 18, and in addition to the usual suspects (homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast! cake after dinner! cards and presents!), THIS birthday he also got to register to vote, upgrade his driver’s license, finally use the online access to his bank account instead of asking me to check it (that’s a bank rule and it’s dumb, right?), and apply for a student credit card. We’re saving the existential angst and crushing debt for his 21st, though. (more…)

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