November 2014

It’s Been a Wine + 2 Advil Kind of Week

It’s been one of those weeks. You know what I’m talking about. Not just a rotten day. But the whole darn week. It kind of just snowballed bad, until finally you could deem it a terrible week. A week where you simply cannot imagine even one more thing going wrong. Every day is compounded by stressful events that makes you wonder if you’ve been cursed.

My husband and two young sons had escaped on a boy’s getaway weekend, just down the coast. They’d taken the train to San Diego. Had the weekend’s activities ended with the train ride, the boys would have been dreamily content. But, it continued with boy fun. The three of them went to the Aztec football game, slept over in a hotel — Daddy had even allowed the forbidden jumping on beds. The next day began without incident. They were eating breakfast downstairs, in the hotel restaurant, preparing for a fun day of exploring the Navy ship.


Nothing like the lull of a locomotive to soothe the savage beasts.

Suddenly, Z topples out of his chair, onto the floor, eyes rolling back, into his head. He was out cold for a few seconds. Someone called 911. Since they hadn’t driven, they all were packed into the ambulance, which the boys thought was kind of awesome. He was transported to a nearby hospital. Apparently arriving in style doesn’t get you immediately admitted. They waited. He barfed three times. By the time he was admitted, I had arrived.

Doctors did a bunch of tests, and they’ll need to do more. This scary thing has never occured before, and we have zero family history of anything like this. When he was released they told us he probably just had the stomach flu. I’m not sure that was the case, since he was totally fine leading up to keeling over, and besides looking a bit wiped out, seemed fine the rest of that day. I kept him home from school the next day, along with all the siblings, because I was sure our home was going down. The girls had complained of tummy aches and I was positive the plague was upon us.

Never happened. Turns out when you try to get four super active, not really sick at all, kids to relax all day, it backfires. They were all so hyper, and full of unspent energy by the end of the day, that I allowed them all to resume normal life that night. I’m still on the look out for stomach flu signs, but I cautiously believe we may have escaped it…for now. But at least we were home all day, so our trusty handyman could come and fix the, overflowing with #2, downstairs potty.

Soup 'n saltines all day.

Sprite, soup ‘n saltines all day.

Yesterday was the swim-a-thon. My three older kids are on the year ’round swim team. Two of them did great. No complaining, enthusiastic about swimming the most laps they possibly could and a positive attitude. My oldest child could not contain her heartfelt, complete and utter misery. Every two laps, she’d moan and whine about it. It was too cold, she was tired, her goggles were leaking, she was sick of it, how much looooonger? Mean while, I’m trying to count laps for my two daughters plus their friend, while one brother sat perched on my lap and the other kept disappearing into the depths of the night.

Not only is it humiliating to be the parent whose kid was acting like a spoiled rotten, wimpy brat, but it’s infuriating. I desperately contained my desire to rip her from the pool, throw her in the car and peel out of there. Instead, I made idle chit chat with other counting parents nearby. We endured. Finally it was over. There were tears. Complaining daughter had decided roller blading that afternoon, when it was time to get ready to leave, was more important than packing for swim. More moaning, tears and lots of shivering. Maybe she’ll remember the towel next time.

This morning at pre-school drop off, I realized my wallet was missing. Such a helpless, sinking feeling. I searched the car, house, re-visited the pool and called the last place I’d used my wallet. No good Samaritan had turned it in. I might’ve cried hot, angry, why me?, tears at this point. Convinced it was stolen, I spent all morning calling my credit card companies and banks. It was agonizing and it was taking forever. About half way through my endeavors I had to leave to pick up boy child from school.

I explained to my kindergartener that I couldn’t find my wallet and I thought it’d been stolen. His response: “maybe somebody put it in sister’s swim bag.” {Whaaaat?} “Do you mean YOU put it in her bag?” Oh no. Really? I’d just spent hours switching all my accounts. DMV was on tomorrow’s “to do list”. It was an auto-pay nightmare. A giant frozen assets folly. Sure enough. There was the wallet in question, in sister’s swim bag. I oscillated between wanting to clobber the kid to wanting to kiss him. I’m still undecided.

Case of the missing wallet: SOLVED!

Case of the missing wallet: SOLVED!

I’m not even going to go into the boy’s haircuts, with the “f-bombing” stylist. Not going to talk about the youngest being assaulted, head to toe, by glue sticks and his sister in the privacy of the playroom. He’s still crispy in spots.

Thank God it’s Friday, as they say. Well, actually today’s only Thursday. Shoot. Not even a full week, and I’m beat. Toast. But, I’m looking ahead, with high hopes of a better day. Tomorrow’s going to be the game changer day, I’m sure of it. Otherwise I’ll need another glass of wine and more Advil.







I’ve been unfriended.

Oh, it’s happened more than once. I’ve been booted by several Facebook friends.  Alright, I am a little ashamed, but I’ll work through it.

I post. A lot. Apparently this offends people. I’m perplexed. If it so offensive, why have a Facebook account? Isn’t it a social network?

Recently I discovered a friend had deleted me. I saw that the person had tagged mutual friends in old pictures. Hmmm. I was in some of those tagged pictures. Why wasn’t I tagged? I investigated. Sure enough, a quick visit to her homepage proved that we’d broken up. I don’t even know when she broke up with me. But it was over between us.

The break up made things uncomfortable during that reunion last week. We made forced small talk. All the while I was dancing around the nagging question: why’d you delete me? Maybe it’s the fact that she’s younger and still single. I’m older, married and most of my posts are centered around my kids. Not sure. But, the real life friend she’d showed up with that night, jogged my memory. Didn’t I…hadn’t I…yes! Oh no. I’d unfriended the friend. Her date.

I guess it was her constant postings about world travels, her newlywed adventures into the mystical unknown. Such a different reality from my current season of life. It was hard to relate. So, I’m wiping tiny bottoms and climbing Mt. Laundry, while you’re zip lining in Costa Rica?

This is just the unfolded, clean stuff, folks.

This is just the unfolded, clean stuff, folks.

I never dreamed we’d see each other again. I’d friended her to snoop on her page. In real life, years ago, we’d been mere acquaintances, not actual friends.  I’m nosy by nature. After the initial snoop, I’d seen quite enough, thank you. I guess I could’ve simply hidden her posts. Why, though, really? Our paths weren’t likely to ever cross. So, I deleted.

There have been those friends whose pictures I’ve noticed in my People You May Know scroll, whom I distinctly remember being friends with at one point. I wonder what made them jump ship? Could it have been the close ups of my toddler’s scream fest? Oh, I know…that rainy day I let the boys loose in the muddy backyard, then posted pics? Was it another post about my toilet overflowing yet again? Back when I lived in newborn purgatory, and my life was a total whirlwind of poop, puke and nonstop nursing, I actually had a friend remark, you really do post about poop and barf a lot. Welcome to my reality, sweet cheeks!

In real life, we have our close friends, our acquaintances and those people whom we smile at through clenched teeth. Facebook is the same. We can’t please everyone all the time. And who the heck would want to? Life would be so dull without different opinions and personalities. So, go ahead. Post your Facebook update. If they don’t like it, they just might unfriend you.




Halloween Hangover

I’m a junkie. Have been all my life. I’ve got a serious weakness for the stuff. This time of year, the holiday season, is always especially difficult. It’s everywhere.

I’ve got a massive Halloween hangover. It’s a more-sugar-than-any-one-human-should-ever-consume hangover. Brought on by massive amounts of gooey chocolate, caramel, nutty, creamy, delectable junk. The type of garbage I rarely allow in our home. The stuff is nothing but trouble. Chocolate is my biggest enemy.

Trick-or-treating is the fun part. Playing dress up, maybe putting on makeup that mom normally doesn’t allow. Buzzing around the neighborhood with massive groups of hyper kids, knocking on doors and being given free candy. The post trick-or-treat trade is like a childhood right of passage.  Purely awesome. What kid doesn’t love trick-or-treating? Now that it’s over, let’s just toss the product of that night, shall we?image

Now, I’m no health food freak. I love my kale, apple and celery green juice. I just say no to red meat.  I try to make most healthy food choices for my family. But, rarely do we pass up an opportunity to pop in and pay a visit to the little old ladies of See’s Candy. We get our free sample and one other piece of chosen milk chocolate heaven. I bake cookies. I’m no stranger to cupcakes and other sweet treats. It’s the overload of all the treats that sends me over the edge.

In the early years, before we’d reached our maximum child capacity, I’d let them freely eat the candy for a few days. After a few days, I’d chuck the loot. No questions asked. As the kids grew older, I was forced to become sneakier. Each day, I’d trash a few handfuls of sinfulness daily. By the end of the week, poof…it would be gone. Last year they were onto me though.

This year, I’ve implemented a new strategy. It’s really quite simple. It’s only a few days after Halloween, and already we’re down to only three small bags of the stuff. Any time they’re naughty, I throw away a large handful, sometimes more, of candy. So far, we’re down one entire bag of candy, and the other three are running much lower. Based on their track record, I know the candy will be gone in the very near future. Their supply has already dwindled way down.

They see candy. I see leverage.

They see candy. I see leverage.

One of our neighbors pays their kids off. Each child is allowed to choose ten pieces from their stash. Dad pays each offspring $20, and chucks the remaining candy. It’s a win-win situation. Everybody leaves happy. A friend of mine says she puts the kid’s bags of loot away in a kitchen cupboard. Every day, for months, her kids are allowed one piece of candy. It’s not unheard of for this ritual to last through Easter. I certainly do not have the level of self control to execute the latter method.

I know, there’s that honorable decision that some people make, to donate their heaps of candy. Mail your processed, diabetes inducing, obesity causing mountain of garbage to those poor souls who aren’t lucky enough to have any. That option has never set well with me. Instead of mailing junk food to our troops, or kids in the hospital, how about care packages of something healthier?

Are your kids still eating eyeball jawbreakers in April? Do you trade candy for cash at the local dentist? Did you mail care packages to our troops stationed oversees? Hidden away and forgotten about? Trashed? What works for your family?