Friday, September 30, 2011

Come and Gone

Another month, come and gone.

It seems like I'm willing time to pass quickly these days, just wanting this year to be over and done with already.

I know I'm not the only one.

I haven't slept well in so long that I'm not even sure that I remember what it feels like.  Last night, no exception.

It seems like right now everything is reminding me of someone who isn't here anymore.  Someone who left this world of ours too soon.  Someone who should still be here.

This has been one of the hardest weeks in my life, in this hardest year of my life, and it's not over yet.  I still have to get through today and tomorrow before this week disappears from the calendar forever.

I don't know why, but this song was in my head this morning.  It's a song about friendship and love, support and encouragement. Getting through the hard times together.  Right now, is it ever true.

We really all do need somebody to lean on.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

We should come with a label

If you've got any good sense to you, by now, you've learned to stay far away from us.

Bad things happen around here, to the people we love, to us.

We really should have some kind of warning label, some visible disclaimer.  There should be some way to put people on notice about the version of crazy that's all up in here.

Again with the vagueness.  I know.  I'm sorry.

Only this time I have real and legitimate reasons for not being forthcoming, beyond my own unwillingness to share, that is.  Usually it's my filter, my discretion that makes me withhold.  This time, I just really can't say much, at least about one of the million crazy things happening in my world. And yes, it's that bad.

There is one new development that I can talk about though.  And it's entertaining, at least to those of us not involved in the physical pain of it all.

This story involves my punch card.  You know, the one that I jokingly wrote about a while back during our streak of visits to the emergency room.

It should be all filled up now, if it wasn't already.

Last night, my husband was being taunted by a little girl.  The one that lives across the street and who, at nine years old, can talk some pretty good smack already.  Tom has this antagonistic relationship with a lot of children.  Sometimes it's impossible to tell who is teasing who.

Anyway, a while back, Tom taught her how to ride her Ripstik after he committed a full weekend to mastering it himself.  For those of you who don't know what a Ripstik is, it's basically a funky 2 wheeled skateboard that requires a whole lot more balance and coordination.  He says it's also waaaaay more fun to ride, but I know better than to tempt fate (or test my balance and coordination) that way.
Seriously, don't try this at home.

The two of them, Tom and the nine year old taunter, often tease each other about who's got better skills on the boards.  Last night was no exception.  She mastered catching and throwing a football while riding.  Then she called him out.

He hopped on his board and they rode circles around each other a while.

Then, something happened.  He went off the front of the board in a strange way, different than how he'd ever fallen off it before.  Put his hand down to catch himself.  Heard a pop.

This is why there should be age limits on these things.

I knew something was wrong when he didn't get up or make any attempt to.  Just slowly rolled over in the middle of the street and cradled his elbow.  Ice, motrin and a phone call to the grandparents.  I took him in as soon as we could leave, and the guy at the registration desk asked what happened.  After hearing what Tom had fallen off of, he decided his son wasn't getting one for his birthday anymore.

I knew that he'd done something to it immediately, but Tom was in his usual post-injury denial.  That denial lasted only until the x-ray tech came in for images and told him to straighten his arm.  It's broken, at the head of the radius.  Basically the place in your arm responsible for most of the manipulation and all of the rotation.

He's home from work today, pretty heavily drugged.  The cast will go on tomorrow after the swelling goes down a little.  He joked with Ashley this morning that he wants to get the same color she has so they can match.

Hell, who am I kidding?

We don't need a label.  It's obvious.  People can see us coming, with our crutches and casts.

Oh, look, there are the DeBies.....

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Restored

When you've had a week, or a month, or a year like we have, you start to question the cosmos.  You start to wonder what the point of this all is, wonder why it's worth bothering to try and seek out the good in humanity when it's constantly thrown in your face as a farce.

At my core, I still want to believe that almost all people are good.  My jaded mind and doubting nature and recent history try to constantly tell me I am wrong.  Even if what I hope is true, though, good people make bad choices sometimes.  Sometimes those choices are unimaginably horrible, with catastrophic effects on other people.

I've found in my life that it's when I find myself doubting the most, something, someone comes along and puts my head back on right.  It happened again last night.

The past few days have been hard on my little girl.  Very hard.  This year has been so difficult for her already, and I hate that for her.

Sunday evening, in shock and disbelief, I returned home from an impromptu gathering knowing that I had to sit her down and tell her something terrible. I left, as did the mothers of the other girls close to the tragedy, knowing what we had to do.  They all needed to know.  It was something that couldn't wait until morning, something they had to know before they stepped foot in the school and were hit with the reality of it.  The mother of one of their best friends in the world was gone.

The next day, Monday, was a blur.  Trauma teams and grief counselors and crying little girls.  Teachers tried to gather themselves and go on, or couldn't and had to leave.  I was called back to school twice before I could leave her there to mourn alone.  

I tried to gather myself, to spend time with others, when I was hit with other terrible news of a whole different variety.  The kind of news that you don't ever anticipate hearing.  That things that happen to other people, but not to those you love.  I barely had time to wrap my head around that new reality when I found myself picking the kids up early from school.

Ashley had broken her second cast, we had to go have it removed and replaced immediately.  In the middle of all the rest of everything going on.

This time, though, something had to change.  The walking casts weren't working.  She refused to rest it, the bone wasn't healing.  No choice left but to immobilize the foot completely with a different kind of cast.  She needed crutches.  And two more weeks.

It took hours to even locate crutches small enough for her in town.  Life suddenly got a whole lot more complicated.  She can't do anything alone now.  She doesn't ask for help easily, she refuses to need others, she wants to go, go, go.  And she can't.  She is sore and tired and sad.

In the background of everything that transpired in that 24 hour period, there was a set of tickets to a concert that she didn't know about.  Taylor Swift.   The circumstances of how we came about the tickets are not good, to say the least, but we had them nonetheless.  Tom and I were supposed to go.

We decided yesterday that wasn't going to happen.  He was going to take her instead.  She needed this.

Sure, it would be complicated trying to navigate the arena with her and her cast and her crutches.  But she would want to go.  She would have a ball.  She would be thrilled just to be in the same room as her hero. She would be shocked and surprised, and for a few hours, everything in her world would be right again.

She dressed up fancy, she glowed with excitement.

Tom carried her on piggyback through the gates, crutches in tow.  They glanced at the memorabilia stands and the long line.  He knew she couldn't stand that long, and they needed to find their seats in time.  It would take a while to get her down there.

Then, from out of nowhere, a stranger.  A kind man, a father of a little girl her age.  His daughter, autistic and at home, they'd made the difficult choice not to bring her.  It would be too overwhelming.  They had two extra tickets, he said.  Tickets that he wanted to give to Tom and Ashley.  He initially tried to get rid of them, he explained.  But then he and his wife decided it would be better to bring them to the concert, to find a little girl who needed a boost, and to give her the experience of a lifetime.

Tom asked if the man was sure.  He took one look at Ashley slung over her father's back and he knew.  He was sure.  Take them.  Come sit with us.

Four rows from the stage.
Taken from their seats!
This stranger, this kind man, this father without his own little girl, he made my daughter's dreams come true last night.

Just like that, for a little while last night, everything was perfect in her imperfect world.

My faith in humanity is restored again.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Butterfly

There's a theoretical phenomenon commonly referred to in nature as the butterfly effect.  Essentially, it's the idea that one small and seemingly insignificant thing can have far-reaching and lasting impacts on others.

One rock thrown in the water here causes ripples a thousand miles away.

I'd like to make the argument that this isn't just a theoretical construct.  That it's real and legitimate.

Each of us in this life is but one in over six billion people who inhabit the Earth.  Individually, it may seem that we are small and meaningless to everything else.  Nothing can be further from the truth.

In the past few days, I've spent many hours with people who's lives are touched by the loss we share this week. 

This one woman, who made such a lasting impression on so many.   Far more than any of us know.

She helped and led and taught.  She volunteered her time and her passion.  She encouraged others to pursue teaching, and through the scholarship fund that's been set up in her honor, will continue to do so.

I'd be at a loss to ever try and calculate the number of children in whose lives she made a difference or how many she will still touch in the years to come because of her endless spirit.  Her infectious laughter.  Her uncanny ability to just know when you needed a hug. Her honesty and compassion.  

It's fitting to me that she spent her last years teaching at a place named Legacy, for she has certainly created one.

It's this hope that we must hold dear.  This acceptance that she will forever be a part of who we are, who our children are.  That she changed the environment of not just one school, but many.  That we will carry a piece of her with us, and that we will share it.  That we will all be made better for it.

And that we will all soar a little higher because we once saw a beautiful butterfly spread her wings.  

Love to you, my friend.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Drawing In

In this town I now call home, there is something beautiful and genuine.  A circle.

A circle of women who love one another and love one another's children.  Who share each other's joy and pain. Who I've leaned on in times of need.

The circle is drawing in closer this morning.  We've lost a link.

We have lost a friend, a shoulder to cry on, a cheerleader for our successes.   We have lost a woman who refused to believe in the impossible.  We have lost a teacher and a leader and so much more.

She wasn't just a friend to many of us, she became a part of who we are.  A piece of our family.

There are nights that you stare at the ceiling searching for answers that you know will never come.  There are days that you dread, knowing that they are sure to be filled with tears and pain.

Today, I urge you all to tell those around you how much you love them.  Put your arms around them.  Hug your children, and hug the babies near to your heart though they aren't your own.

There is no time to ask why this morning, there are too many little people to worry about.  All the little lives she touched, all the children she reached out to and changed, all the hearts that will ache today.

Atop that list, the beautiful little girls who called her Mommy.  For them, my heart breaks.

If you have a moment, we could all use your prayers.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I refuse to believe it's been 20 years

There is simply no way that it has been.

Nope.

Not going to believe it.

I don't care how many radio tributes are running this weekend, how many specials are on VH1 and MTV.  It just can't be possible that Nirvana released Nevermind 20 years ago.

Back then, I was a 14 year old girl.  Angry and troubled in my own life, more than a bit lost at the time.  I wasn't sure who I was anymore.  I'd fallen into too many bad habits for an adult, let alone a child.  I was partying hard, drinking way too much, dating guys much older than me, and hating every single minute of it.  The music running in the background of my life at the time, all heavy metal and hair bands.

Then one day, I heard Smells Like Teen Spirit.  The simple guitar riffs, the plain bass line, the barely distinguishable lyrics hummed by a guy who's hair was so long and dirty that you couldn't see his face.  It seemed like that song was written just for me.

I begged for the album, convinced my parents to let me have the uncensored version.  It was the first CD I ever owned.  I must have played it a million times.

The songs were raw.  They were dark.  They were about the terrible things that people do to each other.  They spoke to my soul.

I was, as the saying goes, mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore.

It may sound silly to say that an album can have a profound effect on someones life, but in my case it did.  I stopped drinking.  I started caring about school again.  I thought about the choices I was making and the path where they would lead me.

I realized that I could rebel from everything I refused to be, without destroying who I was.

I didn't have to be the stoner behind school just to make the point that I wasn't a cheerleader either anymore.

I embraced who I was.  I started the long journey of forgiving myself for the things I had done.  I tried to make amends to those that I hurt.

I cared again.

Now, I'm not claiming that this music saved my life or anything.  I want to believe that I would have pulled my head out of my ass eventually regardless.  It could have just been great timing.

Whether it was just a coincidence, or some cosmic intervention, this album will always be a part of my personal history.  It will always be a part of me.

It allowed me to say this phrase, then move on with what was really important.

Oh well, whatever, nevermind.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I got balls, how 'bout you?

I haven't been very funny lately.

It's not for lack of effort. There have been a few pathetic attempts, sure....but they were so atrocious that I just deleted them forever. You should thank me for that.

But, this....this here, this is going to be some funny shit.  Be prepared.

I was reading something on one of the multitude of quasi-news pages that I read when I gave a passing glance to a story.  I wasn't really capable of focusing at the time, but the topic stuck in my head.

I went back later that day and found the article again, then links to actual, legitimate news sources that discussed the same topic.

One of them can be found here.

If you are too lazy to click on the link and read the article, then actually remember to come back, I will not only forgive you, but I will just tell you what it says. I too suffer from internet surfing A.D.D. and *forget* to go back sometimes.

Basically, there is a conservative mom's group with their collective panties in a bunch.  They are pissed at Ben and Jerry's and it's not the first time.

Ben and Jerry and their flaming liberal ice cream. They should be ashamed.

Not.

They've been up in arms before, this mom's group (which claims to have a million members, but I don't buy it). They were all stirred up last year or so when the company temporarily renamed their "Chubby Hubby" flavor "Hubby Hubby" to celebrate the passing of same sex marriage laws in a few states.

Don't you just hate gay-friendly ice cream??? I mean really, they should have their own ice cream. We should be able to choose to keep our straight ice cream pristine and untouched by sin, right? Next thing you know, they will make some rainbow colored concoction and force feed it to children in public school...

Okay, if you think I am being serious, you clearly don't get my sarcasm at this point.  For that, I apologize.  The rest of this post is probably just going to piss you off, so you might as well stop reading.

Anyhow...

They are at it again.  Writing letters and getting press for being whiners.

This time, they are accusing Ben and Jerry's of making crude and inappropriately sexual ice cream.

I like my ice cream a little dirty, but I guess that's just me.  ;)

The flavor in question this time is a new one, not just something that got renamed temporarily.  "Schweddy Balls."

Some of you out there may not get the reference, and for that, I am sorry.  Really, I am sorry for you.  You should know what it means, and if you don't, you need to watch this video.  Right now.
The name is taken from this Saturday Night Live skit, which originally aired in 2007 I believe. Alec Baldwin was the guest host, and the skit is a satire of NPR-type shows. In it, he talks to Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon, the hosts of the fictional "Delicious Dish" show about his amazing ball recipes. Meat balls, cheese balls, and his most famous and requested, the schweddy balls - which are rum balls dipped in chocolate.

Obviously, the entire skit, one of the most famous in the last decade from the show, is filled with double entendres and sexual innuendo, but that is what makes it funny. In celebration of the fact that Alec is hosting the season premiere of SNL tonight, the company invented this flavor.

Insert the whiny conservatives.

They claim the name of the ice cream is objectionable. That the name is inappropriate and should be boycotted, the containers pulled off the shelves. That it sends the wrong message to children.

Here's the problem I have with that.

Children should not be watching SNL. If you are the kind of parent that lets your kids watch SNL, you aren't going to care if there is an ice cream named Schweddy Balls, or even D*ck in a box, for that matter. Nor should children generally be in the market for rum flavored ice cream. (I mean, unless your kids like rum.  I'm not judging...but whatever).

I suppose that it's possible that a child could accidentally read the label on the containers. Said child may then ask the parent (presumably the angry conservative mother) what balls are. A child old enough to read probably already knows what balls are, though. If they don't, you have some explaining to do anyway. Just sayin.

This assumes that said children are highly gifted speed readers. It took me more than a hot second to find the flavor in the ice cream case, and I was LOOKING for it.

I have kids. I have kids that can read (and yes, they all know what balls are). My kids don't ever pay that much attention to anything in the store. Or anywhere.

This isn't really something that any child is accidentally going to read. This is a soapbox to stand on. A rum-flavored soapbox.

I highly doubt that the kind of people outraged here would splurge for a $5 pint of ice cream anyway.

Just a generalization, I know.

What can I say? I'm a flaming liberal who happens to love ice cream.

For the love of dairy and all things that are funny and sarcastic, go buy a pint of this stuff. I've got mine, and I'm watching SNL tonight with it.

And as for the angry conservatives...I swear you people need to laugh more.

Signs of Fall

Sure, there are the obvious ones.

The temperature changes, the colors on the leaves.

There are other signs too.

Around here, it means that you're shopping online if you need a swimsuit before April.  The floorspace in every store is now already dedicated to coats and gloves and snow pants.

It means that Halloween has fully invaded the seasonal sections of every store you enter, even the grocery store.

It means that people like me (a.k.a. crazy costumers) have already begun, or in my case finished the process. This is a record, even for me.  And yes, it is going to be awesome.  I dare say that it may even be as awesome as the Wizard of Oz year...or better.  You see, I have a partner in crime helping me on this mission to create the most elaborate costumes in town.  My mother-in-law.  She's just as bad as I am these days, and it's fun that someone else gets my crazy.  Too bad she won't let me dress her up too.  ;)

It means that my kids have already started begging for hot chocolate and tiny little marshmallows.  They've already started asking for oatmeal instead of cereal in the morning, and have dug their soup containers out of the back of the cabinet.

It means that you start hoping your son's or daughter's soccer game isn't the early one this week...it's getting cold out there.

It means that craft fairs start showing up somewhere nearby every weekend.

It means that tucked in the back aisle of the store, the Christmas stuff is already out.

It means that blankets and throws have reappeared on every couch in the house.

It means that pretty soon, yard work will be done for the year.  (Sorry for those of you in warmer climates, this really is a huge perk of living here!!!!)

It means that in only a few weeks, the city employees will start setting up the outdoor ice skating rink.  If ever Ashley needed motivation to get her cast off, this will do it.

It means that sleeping with the windows open may require getting up in the middle of the night to close them when it hovers near the 30's.

And, as I was reminded this morning, it means my morning voice has returned.  Ahhhh, allergies and asthma.  Particularly in the fall, particularly on mornings when the weather was perfect enough to leave the windows open all night long, I wake up sounding a little bit like Darth Vader.   Freaks the kids out.  Don't worry, it wears off after I'm up an hour or so. Just another reason I need a big giant cup of coffee in the morning.
Don't make me use my scary voice.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Jumping for joy....in between sneezing fits

Though there is hardly anything these days I am certain about, today there is one thing ringing clear in my mind.  This.

No one in the history of the 
universe has been more excited 
to see the coming of Fall than 
I am right this very second.

Really.  For reals.  I'm the freaking happiest person ever to see the seasons change.

This summer was pretty much the worst ever.  Me and my elusive tendencies, my chronic vagueness. Trust me.  It sucked right up, from beginning to end.

Even yesterday, the last day of summer.  It had to suck ass too.

Whatever.

It's done now.

I shredded the last of my summer squash this week, cut the last watermelon I will buy this year.  The peaches are about gone and the last tray of strawberries has been consumed.

The beach towels are put away upstairs in the linen closet, gone from the shelf they occupy in the laundry room when the kids live in the pool.  The sunscreen making it's way to it's home in the cabinet today.

Strappy dresses are in the basement, sweaters are making a gradual appearance in the mornings.  It's almost time for tights and boots and coats.

I sat in my car yesterday as the minutes ticked by, off in the distance my smallest boy playing on a playground where he couldn't see me watching.   Rolled down the windows and a bright red maple leaf fell from the sky and landed in my lap.

For a moment, I stopped thinking about everything else, and remembered that seasons change.  That things change.  People change.  Or at least, they can.

I have to hope that they can.

The trees are turning here, the mums are blooming.  My roses have stopped growing.  Dustings of snow appear on the tops of the mountains off in the distance.  The sun goes to bed a bit earlier every night.

There is that familiar smell in the air, the one that says that change is coming.  Occasionally I can smell it without being sent into sneezing fits.  It's okay though, I'll be out there, walking the parks, strolling the tree lined streets in our downtown, taking the kids along the rivers and open spaces.  I'm already planning my annual autumn picture day.

I need change in my life right now.  And change is here.

Here's to hoping that next year can be better.  That there will be a summer that lasts longer than the first week of July someday. That the next time it comes around will be different.  Better.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Adaptation

It is uncanny the ability of the human being to adapt to novel situations.

How quickly we can adjust seemingly everything in our lives.

How fast we can become attached to the idea of something.

And then watch it slip away.

Mourning the loss of something that never was.

Apologies, today.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rely

In this modern world we live in, there are a lot of things that we rely on.  Things we expect to work as they are supposed to.  This list seems to grow longer and longer every year.

Fifteen years ago, would your entire day have been declared a failure if your internet was down?  Ten years ago, did you worry about how many bars you had on your cell phone?  Five years ago did you curse the sky in frustration when Facebook applied updates?

No.  Of course not.

We are very demanding people, and we live in a world with a lot of expectations.

It isn't just the digital technology that we've come to rely on.  We assume that everything will work as it's advertised all the time.  We don't tolerate failure.  We believe the late night infomercials.  We want guaranteed results.

If something says it works 99% of the time, we figure that's close enough to 100% and sleep soundly at night.

The trouble with the expectations we have is that nothing ever works as it's supposed to all the time.  Everything fails.

Sometimes it doesn't work because of a computer problem. Sometimes it's a natural disaster, an act of god. Sometimes you are the 1% that something isn't going to work for.

Sometimes, though, the products are not made correctly.  Sometimes they aren't what they are advertised to be.  Sometimes there are missing pieces.  Sometimes there are packaging errors.

And sometimes those packaging errors can affect huge numbers of consumers.  Something as seemingly trivial as inserting the blister card into the package incorrectly can have monumental effects on people.

In case you haven't heard, there is currently a recall issued for over a million packages of birth control pills.  Something that women all over this country take every day, rely on, trust.  Assume will work exactly as it is advertised.

They aren't working.  And thousands of lives are about to potentially be changed unintentionally.

Check your pills, ladies.  Share this information with everyone you know.  

And cross your fingers.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Getting bad at this...

I used to be so good about getting something posted fairly early in the day.

Now, though...not so much.

I like to sleep as long as humanly possible before getting up and going in the morning, which doesn't make things better.  Then I wonder where the kids get it from.

It doesn't help that the small child is in preschool now, which means I have to be up and presentable to the world twice a week.  I can't drop him off in my pajamas like I can with the other kids.  I have to get out of the car and sign him in.  Oh, the horror.

Since I was up, I walked the track at the park for a while, pondering the chaos of my universe.  Wondering to myself what I will do if this thing that I sense comes to fruition.  How it will change things.  How it might actually be part of some bizarre plan that I'm not privy to knowing about in advance.  How it would amuse me to the ends of the earth if certain people knew what was going on right now.  Really....to see the look on a few faces right now...that would be worth the price of admission.

My life truly is stranger than fiction.  Seriously.  If you saw this character in a show or movie you'd immediately dismiss everything that happens as totally contrived.   Assuming, that is, that there is some writer out there crazy enough to conjure up the events of my life as of late.  Which I doubt.

Oh, there is so much you people don't know.  Told ya I'm not as forthcoming as I seem.  Maybe someday you'll hear the best stories of the last year, but it probably won't be for a while yet.

On the edge of your seat, huh?  Good.  :)

I had intentions to come home and write after I scrounged for treasure at the thrift store.  I love, love, love costume hunting.  I found some fantastic pieces to go along with this year's theme.  I know that I'll probably never be able to out-do the costumes from a few years ago, but I'll die trying.

It's a sickness I have, this Halloween obsession.  I know this.  And admitting you have a problem is the first step, right?

I was on the way home when Tom called and asked me to a lunch date.  Without kids.  Which.like.never.happens.

So I hurried home and took the fastest shower known to man and sat across a table from my husband alone.

Until it was time to rush back here to pick up the small child, then pick up Ashley and run her to the doctor.  The cast?  Still on.  She has a new one for the next round.  And it appears that I have passed my obsession to my children.  This cast, by her request, is Halloween themed.

So, you'll have to forgive me for being such a slacker.  I haven't been home for more than 10 minutes since 8:30 this morning.

Oh, the stories I will have to tell eventually....

Monday, September 19, 2011

Date Night

I just realized that I haven't written anything yet today.  Sorry about that.

Spent the morning at Costco, and I still haven't put most of it away yet.  That's the thing about Costco....buying in bulk is really designed for people with infinite storage space.  Which I don't have.

I dream of one day having one of those huge walk-in pantries with shelves and space.  And then I open the door to my teeny pantry and remember that I have to find room in there for all of that.

I'm tired and distracted, trying not to think about the things constantly on my mind, some of which are new and stressful and not in my control at all.

It's hard to be a control freak and realize over and over again that you really have no control over anything.  But I digress.

We went line dancing last night, took lessons and everything.

I know, right???

Unfortunately, it was also family night at the cowboy bar/dance hall, which meant that it became clearer as the night went on that we were about 15 years too old to be in there.  Don't you hate it when your date night is invaded upon by other kids?

We had a good time, the lesson was fun.  I was a pleasantly surprised that my husband could actually dance and pick up the moves pretty quickly.  Without even making the white boy dancing face.

Oh come on, you all know which face I am talking about.

My toes are still a little sore from being stepped on by the old guy next to me.  Inevitably, when we were supposed to go left he went right, when we had to go front, he went back.  Tom said he caught me flinching out of the corner of his eye more than once.  We'd laugh at each other whenever we passed in the circle.

I'd be halfway back around before I figured out where in the steps everyone else was, only to have my groove interrupted by the flailing old guy again.  He couldn't stay in the line at all.  God bless him, he was having a good time.

Which is the point.  Line dancing is supposed to be fun, and we had a great night.

It was totally out of my husband's comfort zone, and something I hadn't done since I was a teenager dancing in a cowboy bar with my dad.

We will probably go back again...and next time there might be boots involved.  Yee haw!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Which is it?

A few nights ago, we curled into bed after putting the kids down and watched a movie.

Correction:  Most of a movie.

I get into a horizontal position and chances are that I'm nodding off at a minimum.  I did see most of the movie, which ended up being far more interesting than I thought it would be.

The Adjustment Bureau.

I didn't really know much about it before it started, I'm not really up on the latest DVD releases and all that.  I don't get to walk into theaters often without there being some singing cartoon bear on the screen, and even then I'm forced only to half pay attention since I'm usually constantly negotiating with my children.  You know them by other names, but for these purposes, I will refer to them as always wants popcorn, always needs to pee, incapable of sitting still and talking incessantly.

Anyhow, this movie was decent and thought provoking.  Without giving too much of it away to those of you with a desire to see it, it was about a man who refuses to accept the path that has been predetermined in his life.  He comes to learn that every single thing that has ever happened in his personal history has been orchestrated for specific purposes, he's been but a puppet to the marionette referred to as "the chairman" in the story.

No less than halfway through the movie, I dismissed it as Hollywood fiction because there is so clearly no way that anyone has scripted my life the way it has unfolded.  Well, unless whoever is in charge has a really freaking messed up sense of humor....and even that assumes that my life eventually finds its way to a happy ending.  Right now, I'm feel like I'm waiting more for the punchline than the happily ever after.

Can you tell I've learned not to question if anything else could go wrong?

It did make me think though.  There have been oh-so-many times in my life where I thought I was walking a predetermined path only to find myself derailed and going off into some direction I never could have dreamt of.  Things have rarely (if ever) worked out the way that I wanted them to.  Plans have come to mean virtually nothing in my world because they never come to fruition.  What I want, usually meaning nothing.

But then, those were my plans I was talking about up there that got derailed.  Maybe, just for arguments sake, there is really someone else in charge.  Maybe I am walking exactly the path that I am supposed to.  Maybe this is all part of some grand scheme that I don't get to sneak a preview for.  Maybe someone else is really in charge.

If that's the case, I'd sure like a moment to pick his/her brain.  I would probably have some not-so-nice words for the chairman.

I'm sure because this movie had worked it's way into my subconscious, I had a very bizarre dream last night.  I dreamt that I was talking to Dr. Ian Malcolm in the Jurassic Park movies.  This has got to be the only way Jeff Goldblum is ever getting into my dreams, I'm telling you.  For those of you who don't immediately identify him with that character, he is a scientist who cautions the other characters in the movie about chaos theory.  About how everything is indeed subject to a certain degree of randomization, and that any human attempt to control is it futile and misguided.  He also rants for a period during the movie about how life will find a way regardless of the attempts the scientists have made to prevent it.

I woke up in a haze.

Clearly I am letting these movies get into my subconscious a little too much.  I did have to wonder then, which one is right?  Are the lives we lead predetermined or at the mercy of random chance and chaos?   Or it is a little of both?

For reasons that I will eventually disclose....I'm going to go with the random chance for now.  Story of my life.  Something potentially huge and life altering may only be affecting a small percentage of people in this country right now, and I just happen to be one of them.  At the mercy of chance, I am.  Waiting it out.

Lucky me.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Surviving

Over the years, I've built up a following.  People who read what I write.

The people who hold me accountable to the promises I make myself about writing every day, completing challenges, being real.

I love you all.

But I haven't been real honest about much here as of late.  I can't.

Okay, so that isn't even true.  I could, sure.  I just choose not to.  For reasons that are valid, I promise.

Instead, I talk about things that are really small and inconsequential in life as though they are the things keeping me awake at night, troubling my soul, making me question who I am.

There are those of you who know that it's all for show.  Who know that what lies beneath my writing is far more life altering and scary and painful.

Half the time I sit here and stare at blank pages, unable to distract my mind from what occupies it long enough to write about something, anything else.  Some days I can squeeze out pages of fictions, wax poetic about the daily adventures of my children, share stories that have nothing to do with whatever else is going on.

And the other times, my fingers are frozen, paralyzed here.  The only thing on my mind half the time is the one that I will never ever write about.  At least not here.  At least not now.

Maybe someday when my world is less shattered and I've picked up the pieces and reassembled them into the life I construct, I will.

But not now.

I apologize for the unexciting writing lately.  I truly am doing the best that I can right now, and I know that it's not good enough to hold your interest.  It's not enough to hold mine most of the time.  I have tried to take a step back a few times, and I know that I should.  I'd miss it too much though.

I guess the point of this today is that I am asking you all to bear with me.  To weather this terrible storm with me, even though I've given you no choice but to be oblivious regarding what it really is about.  To trust that someday I'll be honest and real again.  To believe that a darkly sarcastic sense of humor still resides in me somewhere, and that one day I will find it again.

Today, I am just surviving.

For now, that has to be good enough.

xoxo

Friday, September 16, 2011

Reinventing

Sometimes in life, you just need a change.

Sometimes you know that it's superficial, just a facade.

Sometimes you hear people tell you it won't make a difference.

Sometimes you doubt if it's worth the effort.

Sometimes you know that it won't really fix any of the flaws underneath.

Sometimes you know that it could all be for nothing.

Sometimes you know that the change won't really change anything at all.

But you want it anyway, crave it in fact.  Need it.

Things here, they are a changing.

The pieces you can see now will be altered, those you can't see are trying.

I have to hope that real change is possible.

I have to.

Hope is all I have left.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tired

I am tired.

Of all of it.

Wouldn't it be nice if there really was a way to escape from it all for a little while?  To forget everything going on in the real world, to take a break.

I'd give anything for that right now.

Or a reset button.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gotten Old

We are so over this whole cast nonsense.  The novelty worn off.  It slowed her down for a day or so, until she mastered running in it.  I have to remind her about a million times a day to take it easy.

When she goes back for a re-check next week, I wouldn't be surprised if she gets another cast.  Her foot is still hurting, but she just won't stay off it enough for it to heal.

I've found her out front kicking the soccer ball more than once.  Scolded her for jumping on the stairs.  Reminded her not to climb on the counters.  Pulled her off her bike to many tears.

She doesn't like to be held down.  Never has.

Everything is made more complicated and difficult because of the cast.  Since it's plaster, not just fiberglass, she can't get it wet.  At all.

I can't drop her off at the bus stop on the mornings AJ has preschool because my douche bag HOA president neighbor has the sprinklers programmed to go off when the kids are there.  God, he is an ass.

On days like today, where rain is in the forecast, we have to get creative.  Nothing says awesome more than shoving your kid's foot in a trash bag to keep it dry.

She's had a hard time bathing, obviously.  She's been taking showers for years, but is back in the tub now, leg hanging out the side all awkwardly.  Getting her in and out without getting your toes squished under a heavy cast is nearly impossible.  She's not my most graceful child, and it's a damn good thing she's not any bigger than she is.

I had to laugh yesterday when I heard her whining while I was in the shower.  As I got out and dried off, I quickly realized what the problem was.  She was contorted in a bizarre position, laying on the floor.

Stuck.  In her own pants.

She couldn't get in or out, and couldn't move.  Flopping around like a fish out of water.

I obliged and helped the poor child.

Even waited until she was out of the room to laugh and everything.

Man, I hope she gets it off next week for good....it's officially gotten old.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wonder

I've professed my love of someone on Facebook a lot lately.  Adele.

I'm not the only one, obviously, since she is selling out concerts and winning awards and all the loveliness that comes with being wildly successful.

From the moment I heard her voice for the first time a few years ago, I had a feeling that she was going to be a huge star.  There is something so deep and soulful in her, something that is difficult to capture in words.  You just have to hear it to understand what I mean.

I'm at a place in my life where, for a few different reasons, music is no longer just music.  Movies are no longer just movies.  Characters in novels aren't just characters anymore.  Things that used to exist in my universe before purely as fictions and entertainment are now reflections of my reality.  They speak to me now, in ways that I never could have anticipated.

At the top of that list is her.

I wonder a lot of things about her.  She's written most of her own songs, and almost all of them are stories taken directly from her life or the lives of those close to her.  She's young still, only in her mid twenties, and I have to wonder how much pain she has already endured in those years.

I wonder who did these things to her.  Who broke her heart the way it so clearly has been?  How, at such a young age, has she experienced such great loss already?  How has she been able to take those feelings and channel them into such beautifully haunting music?

If you're not a fan yet, I urge you to listen to her.

There aren't many of us who can't relate to at least one of her songs, who aren't immediately taken to the place of the raw emotions she speaks of.

I wish I didn't feel her pain, but I will be forever grateful for her music and her presence in my life when I've needed it.

Music isn't just music anymore.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Buh-bye

We are rapidly approaching the official start of Fall.

Thank you baby Jesus.

The weather has already started to change here.  The nights are cooling off a little more each day.  The breeze is no longer like the waves of heat that hit you when you open an oven.  The sun going to bed a bit sooner every night.

I welcome this change of seasons for so many reasons, the primary one being that this summer has been the worst of my life.  I can say that with absolute certainty.  I hope that nothing ever happens to surpass what I've been through in these past months.  I'm pretty sure I'm flirting dangerously with the limit of how much I can take.

They say that God only gives you as much as you can handle.  I doubt very much that they ever had to handle this much.  Whoever they are.

I'm ragged and worn, tired and spent.  I look as done as I feel.  The change in my medications led to a sunburn like I've not had in years. I'm peeling, though most of my skin seems to be desperately trying to hang onto the golden tan.  The result is patchy, quite visible, areas of change.  I look like I'm molting.  Trust me when I say it's not a good look.

I've lost a lot of weight in a short period of time.  Not that I am complaining, but I clearly need to explore the depths of my closet to see if there are things buried back there that might fit right.

The stress and sun conspired against me, forcing a whopping cold sore to the surface.  As if the physical discomfort of them isn't bad enough, it's ugly.   Really freaking ugly.

My eyes are perpetually puffy, though that won't be improving for a while.  The pollens are already high again, and the sneezing fits that hit a few times a day tell me the leaves will be changing soon.  As long as my allergies are the only reason my head feels like exploding for a while, I'll be good with it.

I'm craving change.  Needing it.

And change is coming.

Buh-bye summer.  Don't come back 'round now, you hear?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never Forget

Like everyone else in the universe that blogs, writes, does TV commentary or anything else today, I was planning to write about 9/11. About the terrible tragedy it was, about how we must do what we can to protect ourselves from it again, about how too many of our efforts in that department have been misguided and costly in too many ways.

But I won't. You all know these things already.

We all lived them together.

I wrote about my experience the day of 9/11 already, and I shared a dear friend's picture of the Twin Towers from her perspective last year.

What I haven't shared is this picture. I took this the morning of September 11th, my son three months old at the time. I don't know why I did, but perhaps even then I knew that I needed to capture that moment in my life. This is the first picture I have of him that I ever took in black and white intentionally. This is the first time he ever looked this serious in a photograph. This picture will always make me think of that day, and of all that we have to lose.

On this morning, I am again reminded of everything we have to lose. Of the fact that there are some moments in our lives that change us forever. Of the reality that though we may be able to recover and go forward, things will never again be the same.

Not in our nation, and not in my life.

What we as a nation, and I myself, need to do today is to refuse to let the fear get the best of us. Refuse to let the fear of what else could go wrong dictate our recovery. Refuse to live a life of trepidation.

If we let the fear win, we will always, always lose.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I got nothing

Literally.

I have no words left right now.

Maybe someday I will.

I don't know.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Stopped

I went to the grocery store today, knowing that it would be an adventure in patience since I had a little boy with me.  I anticipated lots of negotiating, telling him to sit down about 374 times and the obligatory marathon horsey ride at the end of the trip.

As an aside, can I just say that I love that the store still has penny horsey rides?  

I had a list and the super fantastically awesome cart with the little car in the front and the horn that beeps. AJ was happy, for the moment.

As I entered the store, I made my automatic left turn towards the health and beauty section to start the shopping.

I saw him immediately, the man with the small cart paying for his groceries. The basket half occupied by his portable oxygen machine. The air hose tucked inconspicuously beneath his shirt. His hair perfectly groomed, just the right amount of gray with the brown.

Instantly I wondered about him. He looked to be in his early 60's. Men that age don't usually find their way into grocery stores in the middle of the day. He was alone, looked in pretty good condition despite the tubing and machine beside him. Who helped him?

Without knowing anything about this man, I was trying to decide what was wrong with him. Maybe it was emphysema. Maybe he had COPD. Maybe he was a cancer patient like my father had been, forcing himself to be as functional and "normal" as he could.

My Dad got up every day and combed his hair, whether there was enough of it to really bother or not anymore.  He dressed impeccably, insisted on always putting his best foot forward. He was a proud man. So proud, in fact, that he refused to ever wear his oxygen outside.

I wasn't prepared for where my mind wandered in the course of the 3 or 4 seconds it took to walk past him. The whole time, I was reminding AJ that he needed to stay sitting in the cart, trying not to make it obvious that I'd taken such an interest in the life of this strange man.

Nothing could have prepared me for what happened when I walked past him.

It was the distinct combination, one I haven't smelled since Dad left us.

The aerosol hairspray, the Brut aftershave, the spray of Stetson. The scents washed over me as I walked past the stranger, the quiet humming of his oxygen machine filling the space between us.

I stopped dead in my tracks.

It was like he was here again.

I couldn't breathe, my eyes welled up with tears that I couldn't hold back.

My feet firmly grounded to the floor, I couldn't move.

As quickly as it came on, it was gone. I was snapped back into reality, where I was pushing a grocery cart and reminding a boy to stay seated. I turned and the man had vanished.

It had only been seconds, there is no way he could have walked away that fast on oxygen. How? Was he even there at all?

I took a deep breath, wiped my eyes, assured the clerk who'd stopped at some point to check on me that I was okay. I don't know how long I was standing there.

All I know is that for a moment this morning, my father was with me again.

He comes by it honestly

Aidan is a dork.

He comes from a long line of dorks though, so it's not his fault.  His dorkiness doesn't overshadow the other aspects of his personality though, and he somehow manages to get girls to like him.  

Sometimes I find myself asking him this:  they like you for real???

Apparently, dorks are in now.  Too bad it wasn't cool when I was an awkward pre-teen.

Now, before y'all get your panties in a bunch thinking that I am insulting my son, hear me out.

He's a dork, yes.  But he knows this.  And he loves it.  

He's embraced his dorkish tendencies.  Some may say that he even goes to extreme lengths to enhance them. 

Tom is currently obsessed with the fact that DC Comics is re-releasing a bunch of the old superhero comic book series.  Writing new stories about the characters he grew up on and loved.  He ran out the day the first Justice League came out last week and bought it right away. Read it in the car before he got home.  He claims that he bought it for the kids.

I told you Aidan comes by it honestly.

I think even Tom was taken aback one night last week when the dinnertime conversation quickly shifted from comic books to Star Wars.  This happens too often in my house, I am afraid.

Tom decided to test Aidan's knowledge about the details of the series, since I'd just demonstrated my superior knowledge of the actors who played the characters in the movies.  It took me a minute, but I remembered that Billy Dee Williams played Lando Calrissian.  He tried to get there before me, but he couldn't punch the keys in his phone fast enough to find it before I remembered.

Aidan was amused by our little dork contest, then eagerly asked us to quiz him.  

Tom said fine, name the movies.  In order.  Which, they aren't...and even most non-dorks know this.  The fourth movie was released first, the first not until decades after the sixth. Thinking he'd tricked the boy, he wanted to pat himself on the back.  

Until Aidan recited the complete titles of all six films, in order.  Without a moment's hesitation.

The Phantom Menace
Attack of the Clones
Revenge of the Sith
A New Hope
The Empire Strikes Back
Return of the Jedi

Even Tom can't rattle them off that fast.
Somehow he makes this work for him.

I do believe the term you are looking for is dorkus majorus.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I wanna go!

There are certain phrases that, as a parent, you swear you will never say aloud. Combinations of words that shall ne'er pass your lips.

And then you find yourself repeating them over and over and over again.

My personal current favorite?  

Tuck your wiener.

Ahhh, the joys of potty training a tiny little man.

Other favorites of mine are things like

     - don't lick your sister
     - yes, you need to wear pants

Then there are the things that you never in your wildest dreams imagine coming out of the mouths of your children. Questions you aren't prepared for. Statements that throw you for a loop. Things you hope and pray that they never utter around other people.  

Ally threw a fit a few weeks ago, not that this is something uncommon. She has a flair for the dramatic, this one. It wasn't so much that she was throwing a fit, as it was what she was throwing a fit about that was unexpected.

Let's just say you never want to hear your little girl scream this while she is tucked into the fetal position crying:

But, Daddy, I want to go to a bar!!!!!

Let me explain....well, because this one needs some explanation.

I'm not even sure how the conversation came up, to be honest. When we were in Vegas for my brother in law's wedding, all the boys went out one night. Since Aidan is much older than all the rest of the kids who were present, and all the rest of the kids except AJ were girls, we figured they should take him. He'd have more fun hanging out with them, and they'd probably get in a whole lot less trouble if they were dragging someone underage along for the fun.

They did go out for the primary purpose of drinking, but landed in a restaurant next to an Irish pub. Aidan couldn't technically go in the bar, so they shoved some tables together in the empty room on the other side of the wall. He wasn't so much in the bar, as he was bar adjacent.  

After we came back from Vegas, we found ourselves with only one kid on a random night. Ally was at a party I think and the older two were with their grandparents, so we went out on a third wheel date. Took AJ to a local brew house and sat on the patio for happy hour appetizers and a few beers. Again, he wasn't exactly in a bar, he was bar adjacent.

Shhhh.  Seriously, it's not like I took my baby to a bar.  ;)

At some point we were talking about me getting harassed by my brother for taking my baby to a bar, which I totally didn't do, and we realized that the only one of the kids who hasn't saddled up to the bar was Ally. Tom took Ashley out for Shirley Temples before her first Daddy/Daughter dance a few years ago.

Of course Ally overheard the conversation and immediately sensed a disturbance in the force. She'd been denied something that all her other siblings had. She threw a fit immediately, screaming the now infamous phrase over and over again.

I guess we have no choice.  We have to take Ally to a bar.

It is only fair. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Psychology, by Ashley

There are so many times that I want to crawl into the head of my eldest daughter and take a look around. That I wonder what she could possibly be thinking about. I want to know how she sees the world that all the rest of us live in, for surely hers is a bit different.

She's always been my quirky child. She's always been the mysterious one. She's always been the hardest one to read.

For a good majority of her life, I've been explaining her to other people...even those who are close enough that they always see the real her.  She's not simple, this one. Never has been.

I often have said that she is my challenge in this adventure of parenting, but she is so much more than that. She tries me in ways that the other kids never have, this is true, and I don't anticipate that really ever changing.  Her uniqueness brings more than just challenges, though. It's a gift too.

She truly is a special and rare soul.

In the last few days, I've noticed something else about her. Something that I initially dismissed because I told myself that there was no way that she was actually going through it.

But she is.

She is grieving the loss of her soccer season. She is grieving her broken foot. And like any other grief process, she vacillates between the stages, sometimes from one second to the next.

She went through several weeks of denial. She convinced herself, her coach, her teammates and us that she was fine. She played through the pain. Even at the doctor's office, she tried her hardest to walk normally, grimacing the whole time.

She's been depressed about it. She has cried and cried and cried about all the things she can't do. Her season is over. She can't play at recess. She can't run around at PE. She can't ride her bike or scooter or roller blades or skateboard. She can't go swimming. She had to miss camping. I tried to put her soccer bag away a few days ago and she collapsed into a ball of tears.

She's been through bargaining. Okay, well, I will get a cast, but only if I can take it off in a week, she said. I will put my foot up for a minute and demand that it be healed.

She spends a lot of time in the anger stage. I caught her toting her portable goal out to the grass a few days ago, ball tucked under her arm. Asked what she was doing. She said she just wanted to kick the ball around a little. I tried everything I could think of to get her to stop. She was determined. Her kicking foot is her right, she argued. It wasn't going to hurt the broken foot, her left.

I've never seen her kick the ball so hard or with so much determination. In some ways, this injury might be just what she needed.

The only stage she hasn't spent much time in is acceptance. I'm not sure she will get there before the cast comes off to be honest.

She's never been one to accept the limitations her body has given her. She played with it broken for weeks. She plays through her asthma. She refuses to let anyone or anything tell her she can't. I don't anticipate her starting that now.

Lack of acceptance.

And that single trait about her is maybe the most amazing. Nothing can hold this girl down...at least not for long. That bone had better heal fast. ;)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

This is why

This is why we moved here.

This is why the sunsets are so breathtaking under the Colorado sky.

This is why we took our babies camping.

This is why we went fishing, knowing that we weren't catching anything.

This is why my husband almost has me convinced to try backpacking.

This place is only 30 minutes from my house.

I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as we enjoyed taking them.










Monday, September 5, 2011

Roughing It

We were supposed to be camping for two nights.

It didn't quite work out that way.

For a few reasons, some far more amusing than others.

We really did have good intentions, honest.  Then about a day before we were set to leave, the weather reports changed fairly drastically.  The morning we left, the low temperature up at the campground was 40 degrees.

It's been hot here.  Hot, of course, until we decided in our infinite wisdom to sleep outside on purpose.  

We have a few sleeping bags rated for those temperatures, but we have more people than will fit in them.  Some would have to make do with other sleeping bags and blankets.  We brought up enough wood for both nights, but it was gone the first.

Didn't help that the sky clouded over before sunset and sped up the cooling off process that night.

Just before dinner, a man from a nearby campsite wandered over to us.  Asked us if his generator was bothering us.  Being the nice person I am, I insisted that it was okay.  To be honest, it wasn't really that loud.  Annoying, yes.

Far more annoying than the generator itself, or the fact that he had it running all.day.long. was what is was powering.  A television with a DVD player for his kids.  The ones he'd drug to the mountains so they could park their butts in front of a different tv and eat candy all day.

The ones that were clearly what I refer to as "free range children". You know the type....the kids who are pretty much allowed free reign.
- Who can peek in the tent windows of other people without being scolded.
- Who can get in the face of the dog next door and not be told no.
- Who can invite themselves to your campfire, and who's mother obliges by bringing their chairs on over.
- Who so generously shares their huge stash of candy with your kids right before dinner without asking.
- Who brag to your kids that they brought this movie, and this one, and this one....all while you came up to the mountains to get away from all that.

We left all our electronic devices at home on purpose. Didn't even bring our phone chargers. On purpose. We figured that being in a tent with no hookups, we would be surrounded by people after the same thing.

Good thing that the cabin next to us had an electrical outlet and the people renting it were kind enough to let him run his extension cords over there. How else was he going to power his space heaters and sound machine?

Good god, that sound machine.

Nothing against people who use them for their kids or even themselves at home, but you just don't bring shit like that camping. YOU ARE CAMPING. Sleeping in nature. All the jazz. Why do you need the sound of a bubbling brook all night to soothe your ass to sleep?

Oh right, I know why.

To annoy the hell out of the people sleeping in the tents next to you with the sound of running water all night. Because there is nothing more awesome than waking up freezing in the middle of the night to that noise and feeling like you have to pee even more.

As if that all wasn't bad enough, they were preachy. Bible thumpers.

Again, nothing against those with convictions so strong. Really. I'm happy for you....just don't tell me about God every other sentence. About how God made those mountains over there and that bird in the sky and the squirrel stalking your campsite.

I went to the mountains for peace and quiet. I got generators and dvd players and obnoxious children and proselytizing.

Then I promptly froze my ass off.

We drank a whole lot of coffee that next morning and left the campground before they were even up. Glad someone slept soundly.

We were in Rocky Mountain National Park almost all day, hiking and fishing and everything we went to do. It was beautiful, and I will be sharing pictures and stories from that part of the trip tomorrow.

We were glad that when we returned, they were gone. We got ready to take the kids to the pool and on the way down, Aidan got stung by a bee.(At least it wasn't me, right???)

When his stomach started hurting, we figured that was the signal to pack it up and get the hell out of Dodge. Aidan has a reputation for barfing in tents, and I just wasn't about to deal with that on top of everything else.

So this camping trip wasn't the greatest...even if we all really did have a blast.

There's always next time. And next time we'll be sure to stay further away from any electrical outlets. ;)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Probably a monumentally bad idea...

But, the car is packed and we're ready to go.

3 days and 2 nights of rocky mountain bliss.

We're down a kid, though, since poor Ash has a cast on and it can't get wet or dirty.  She'll be more than sufficiently spoiled, though...don't feel too bad for the girl.  She's got a hot date with a firefighter so I hear.  ;)

For the first time since Aidan was a baby, I am tent camping.  For real.

We slept in a tent during the Relay for Life, but it wasn't really camping.  There were bathrooms nearby, no intention of staying more than the amount of time required, they had food there and I didn't have to cook or clean anything.  And, last time I checked, there was no real threat of bears or snakes or any of the things you find in nature out in the middle of a grassy park field.

As if my general opposition to camping wasn't enough, I damn near had an asthma attack last night.

This should be interesting.

Wish me luck.  I'll see y'all in a couple days.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Fashion Tips

Let me just say this in advance:

You. Are. Welcome.

Please, I urge you.  Learn from my mistakes.  It's just better that way.

1) Do not attempt to try on clothing in fitting rooms with small children who are capable of crawling under the door.  They will always wait until you are naked.  Always.

2) Do not allow those same children to be within arms reach of the tags dangling from unpurchased clothing.  They are grabby little buggers.  You don't need that fluorescent yellow pair of leggings.

3) Do not allow those same children to be within arms reach of sandals.  Particularly flip flops.  I once had a child attempt to consume a flip flop in the store.  True story.

4) Do not make the mistake of paying attention to shopping while your child sits quietly in the stroller.  This is how shoes are removed from the wearer and thrown while you aren't looking.  I spent a good hour searching for a size 8 red Converse shoe this week.  I'm not getting that time back.  Ever.

5) Do not wander over to the Junior's department and fool yourself into believing that you can cram your post-four child body into the cute cropped cargo pants that have a rise measurement that could only be meant for the crotch of a 12 year old.  Just don't do it.

6) Do not attempt to wear platform wedges on uneven grassy surfaces while drinking.  Trust me on this one.  Your ankles will thank you.  The people who see you collapse will be entertained, though.

7) Do not let people take pictures of you before you put a bra on.  Please.

8) Do not wear patterned panties beneath anything white.  Ever.  It's just not good.

9) Do not take your husband shoe shopping with you...unless you are in the market for stilettos.

10) Do not make the mistake of wearing that super cute maxi dress outside after sunset unless you are amply sprayed with insect repellent.  Everywhere.  Yep, even all up under the dress.  You don't want mosquitoes getting trapped in there and visiting the all-you-can-eat ass buffet.

Use these tips wisely this holiday weekend.  Don't make me say I told you so.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Four More

Thank God August is over.

Can I get an amen???

This year sucks.  All of it.  I'm in such a hurry to just get it over with.

Only four more months.

I'm tired of being hurt.

I'm tired of being sad.

I'm tired of being tired.

I'm tired of feeling lost.

I'm tired of wondering.

I'm tired of all that.

I'm also tired of being hot.  It's been beyond hot this summer.  The sticky kind of heat that offers no relief even in the middle of the night.

I'm craving fall.  I want to be cold.  You can fix cold...you can't fix heat.  You can always put more on, but there is (or at least should be) firm limits to how much you can take off.

I want the house to smell like pot roast and beef stew, chocolate chip cookies and roasted pumpkin.

I want to walk outside and welcome the cool breeze.

I want to smell the change in the air.

I want this summer to go away and never come back.

Go ahead.  Go.

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