RSS Feed

Getting Ready for the UK

So we’re in the 24 hour mark.  I can’t believe our big vacation is upon us!  I, like usual, am in chaos.  In all honesty, I’ve done a lot.  Picked up all the little things we need but often forget before a trip.  Travel bottles for shampoo/conditioner, small toothpaste, a luggage scale, snacks for the kids, earplugs, etc.  I put the travel alerts on my credit cards, notified the cell phone company, did all the check ins online for the car and the plane.  I bathed the dog, made sure we had food and supplies for the animals, had keys made for the house sitters, and made sure I have my GPS preprogrammed for the trip (it was WAY cheaper to have the rental company ship me one to use rather than deal with it over in the UK).3

I’ve also answered the same questions from the kids 80 bazillion times, so much so that I just typed out an itinerary for my daughter to follow so she knows what’s happening when.

I’m pooped.  

I still have to drop the dog at the sitters, drop off keys, feed the kids and get them showered, and then begin the packing.  Oh yes, and tidy the damned house.  Did I mention I am working tomorrow morning too?  Why NOT work right before a major overseas trip when you have tons of stuff to do?  I am rethinking my choice there.  

Packing isn’t horrible, it’s just SO time consuming.  Why? Because I have to sort through everything, pack it, and then start unpacking when I realize I’m being ridiculous and don’t need all the masses of stuff I have packed. It’s a process, that’s for sure.  Wellies? I need those.  I also need my heels for a party, and shoes to wear each day, but do I need more than one pair for daily use?  And so it begins.  A suitcase piled with shoes.  One that my husband will gaze at with lifted eyebrow before telling me I am being ridiculous.  I will realize he’s right, and begin to sift and rethink everything.  Before you know it, it will be late, so late, and I will cry from being over tired, as if I’m a little kid again.  He will tell me to go to bed, and I will gratefully do so, only to frantically get it all done in a few minutes before we leave for the airport.  I’m a last minute kind of girl.

I’m thinking it might be a good idea to get off here and go get stuff done, don’t you agree?  See you all soon!

Advertisements

Quiet, Kindness and Chaos.

First snow of the season is here.  I’ll be honest, I wasn’t quite ready for it. Today was supposed to be my crazy chaos day…a crazy day at work followed by the first orthodontic session for the little one, topped of by parent teacher conferences at the big kid’s school.  I was prepped, caffeinated, and ready to attack this day and all it would entail.  I hammered out my work stuff today, ending feeling really good.  While the day was progressing, however, the calls and emails starting coming in.  Conferences…rescheduled due to the pending snow.  Orthodontist called…”can we reschedule until tomorrow due to the snow today?”.  Before I knew it, quiet and calm had fallen, along with big fat snow flakes.  I did manage to drop a return for Amazon to the UPS store on my lunch break.  Aside from that? It’s going to be a quiet night.  I can’t complain, it’s been hectic.

With our trip looming, there has been an outpouring of money, so it’s been a little tough. We needed more luggage, I needed (ok, fine, wanted) some new clothes, and we needed outfits for a party we are attending while there.  My daughter asked me if we could have matching outfits for the party.  I managed to find a dress for her that is very reminiscent of mine, a similar cardigan to go over, and similar shoes.  She’s thrilled.  I’m thrilled she wants to dress like me.  I know in a year or two, she’ll start that stage where she is mortified by my very existence, although I, like all mom’s deeply hope she won’t go through it.  She will anyway, which is why when she asks to match me, I will always say yes.  She has her own style, her own look, and is her own person.  We celebrate that.  I’ve never wanted her to be a kid who has to be like everyone else, does what everyone does, etc.  I’ve seen kids who’s parents spend a lot of time and effort to always have them keep up with whatever their friends have.  Sure, kids like to have what their friends have,  but sometimes you can see it’s a constant comparison.  I never want her to place her worth on what other kids are doing, but rather on who SHE is.  That being said, sometimes she likes the novelty of matching me, or her cousin, so I go with the flow, as long as she stays true to who she is.

I’ve commented before about the issues our school has been facing.  Redistricting brought in a lot of low income families, and the school is struggling to fundraise.  I hate to see the kids lost out, and have offered to help when possible, especially the 6th grade committee.  The PTSA and I sort of had a rough go of it, and while I love many of the women on there, I’m sure it’s best if I help in other ways.  I was blessed to have a friend of mine reach out with “hey charitable lady, need raffle prizes?” on facebook.  I emphatically said yes, and was rewarded with bags of awesome items and gift cards to donate into the school.  She also handed me a $50 gift card to a grocery store and told me to use my judgement to help someone.  How amazing is that???  I have find that many people love to help, donate, or offer something for a good cause.  They just don’t always want to do the heavy lifting of coordination, or other commitments prevent them from jumping in as they would like.  I’m a boots on the ground person, who doesn’t mind doing the work, but needs the resources.  This works well.  The fact people know I’m a doer has served me well, as you can see, because now I don’t have to beg…amazing folks just offer, knowing I’ll have a need.  It’s amazing, and I am so very lucky.  After picking up the items yesterday, my car was filled, as well as my heart.  While it sounds cheesy, it feels good to be able to put together something that helps. The gift card for the groceries…that needed a home sooner rather than later.  Next week is Thanksgiving and I wanted to be able to make someone smile.  I thought of a single mom I know.  She lost her job over the summer, and is now playing catch up.  She has always had it rough financially, but she does the very best she can for her kids.  She is always the one to be the team mom, the mom at girl scout camping, etc.  What she doesn’t have in cash she makes up for in time.  When I placed a call about needing a helper over the summer, she was the first to volunteer as my sidekick for whatever I might need.  I knew that card may make her Thanksgiving easier.  I knocked on her door and said “Happy Thanksgiving!” I explained I had been gifted the card to find a happy home for someone who deserved a break and could use a little help around the holidays.  The beaming smile I got in return made my whole day.  I’m lucky to have a friend who would donate some money to help those that need it.  I’m also lucky to have a friend who will give her time and energy to help those around her.  I’m luckiest of all that I got to be the one to help hand out some kindness and see the joy it brought.  I messaged my friend who donated the card and thanked her. She was pleased with my choice of whom to give it to.  Everyone felt a little happier last night.  Kindness will do that to a person.  Choose it whenever you can.

Then again, take no shit.  That’s a good motto too. Which leads me to:

North

So, many of you found me via twitter.  Many of you also know from both twitter and here that my family member has been stalking me online for years using fake accounts that she creates whole fake lives for.  I’ve listened to the lies, the projection of what she does on to everyone else, etc. A few weeks ago, I got a follow request (had to lock and block on all my social media) from someone that didn’t sit right with me.  I did a search, and low and behold it’s a coworker of the stalker.  I’m not mad at the coworker. She listened to what she heard and I’m sure they thought this would be a “stealth” thing to do. I think mostly, she was shocked I figured out who she was.  In fact, as soon as it clicked, I had all her info.  The internet works like that.  I messaged her, spilled all the tea, and wished her a happy Thanksgiving.  Now that being said, I’m all set.  I’m done with this.  Let me be clear.  If you come for me, my husband, or my kids, I will come back for you like it is my 2nd job.  I’m a nice person, until you make it not so.  So understand, very clearly…..I’m tired.  I’ve had enough.  The North Remembers, and Winter is Coming.

 

 

 

 

Hey stalkers, how you doing?

Yep, and now there are two.  Hi Smarpet74, or shall I refer to you by your real name, Gail.  You and Evelyn/Christa/Positive Change and the slew of other fake accounts she has are now teaming up.  Cute. Took me a while to figure it out, but here we are. If you have questions, I’d love to chat.  Really.  I have so much to tell you, and the proof to back every word up. See, what you’ve heard isn’t the real story.  Ask me, I’ll fill you in.  Want to do coffee?

 

Of course, I unlocked my account, so it was all for naught, really, wasn’t it? But it’s all good.  Locked up again, snuggly and warm.  Guess you guys can try a new one?

 

 

 

Where is the time going?

You know, I thought with vacation planned that time would creep.  Slowly ticking by, agonizingly slow, the days would pass.  In fact, that hasn’t been the case at all.  I looked at our flight reservations today and the trip is just over 2 weeks away.  Where did the time go? Why is it flying by?

I suppose family life is keeping me on my toes.

Halloween was last week.  It’s a HUGE holiday for our family, as we get about 500 Trick or Treaters and their families a year.  For my husband, it’s SHOWTIME! We dress up, the animatronics are out, and the house is specially lit.  We have music and food, and a good time is typically (hopefully) had by all.  We get a LOT of positive feedback from people who come trick or treating, and even get asked to pose for photo ops.  It slays me that tons of random people around town have pictures taken with little old me in costume each year.  This year I dressed as Pennywise, and my son went as Georgie.  Of course, my son invited a friend over, so I got totally dusted.  That’s fine though. The kids had lots of friends stop by and I think they’d tell you it was their favorite Halloween yet. The house got tidied up (somewhat, but the nice part of halloween is that dust is considered ambiance), and I feel a bit more relaxed.  There is still tons of stuff I need to go through as I continue on my “purge of the things” but I felt more relaxed.  I had BAGS of clothes I had washed from when my washing machine broke.  Since nobody had worn anything in them since, I purged every one and donated all of them.  It made me feel lighter.

What hasn’t made me feel lighter at all was stepping on the scale this morning.  Stress, candy, and bloating, not to mention eating all the fatty foods has ballooned me up a bit the past few months.  I have about 2 weeks to shed some of the bloat and a lb or two. It’s going to be brutal.  I hate that I am the “chubbier one” of the family.  It’s not even like I am that big, because I’m not, but British people seem to be smaller than Americans, especially where I’m from.  I think it’s because they are more active, and tend to spend more time outside…at least my family does.  Here in the States I work full time at a desk job and don’t get out and about as much as I would like.  I said months ago I needed to lose weight, yet here I am.  I didn’t do what I set out to do, and I’m honestly a little down about it.  I have two weeks.  Let’s see what I can do with that.

I’m beyond excited to see my family.  It’s going to be different this time because my husband and kids are going with me.  I feel a bit nervous about keeping them all entertained.  I tend to have my habits when I go home.  This year I want to visit my mom’s grave the day I get there.  It’s a bit of a habit.  Having her buried 3000 miles away is tough in some ways.  I have no “place” to go to memorialize her.  When I go back to England, I feel like visiting her grave signifies a lot.  I’m also arriving on the anniversary of my grandfather’s death, which also lands on my cousin’s birthday.  I usually go to the cemetary and visit both my mom’s grave as well as all the other family members that have passed as well.

The weekend we are there will be my cousin’s birthday party.  This is awesome, not only because I get to go and take my favorite 3, but also because a lot of the family will be in one place.  It allows me to see almost everyone in one shot.  Trying to make it out to see the whole family is no easy task.  Having everyone in one place is awesome and hopefully feel like old times.  It’s tough because there have been some family estrangements and arguments over the years, which means likely everyone won’t all be together.  I kind of hate that, yet on the other hand, I understand it.  Assholes are going to asshole, if you get my drift.  It does make me sad though.

My daughter’s teeth have been another major concern.  I was heavily impressed last week when the orthodontist and coordinator called me for a conference call to address all my questions and concerns.  I feel like we’re on the right track, and am cautiously optimistic.  The process will be a bit more drawn out than I initially imagined.  She had teeth pulled, a 3d scan done, and next week we begin the process.  Her canine teeth are impacted, meaning they are bearing down on her 4 front permanent teeth.  I’m a raging mess about it but am hopeful we can save her teeth and give her a beautiful smile in the process.

This week and next week are a whirlwind at work and home.  Appointments, school conferences, and getting the family ready.  I’m excited but nervous as my usual procrastinating self needs to kick it up many notches so I’m not a raging lunatic the 2 days before we leave for vacation.

Who am I kidding?

I’ll be a raging lunatic the 2 days before we leave.

 

 

 

Drowning Puddle and Rising Tide

I’ve always been honest in this blog, even when it reflects how awkward, emotional, and chaotic I am or my life can be. I own my crazy, I own my messy house, my chaos, and my choices.  Sometimes feel like I’m doing pretty darned well at this thing called life, and sometimes, meh, not so much.  The past few weeks have been a combination of the two.

Let’s start with where I feel things are tanking a bit, and end with a positive bang, shall we?  (Not that type of bang, you perverts. ha!).

So, the house.  Oh my god, the house.  I’ve never been great at housekeeping, probably because I am always so damned busy.  I’m always working, running kids from place to place, and on the move somewhere.  When I am not doing those things, I am resting because I am exhausted,  trying to tackle some sort of project, or I am laid up with a bad back or pinched nerves in my hip.  I’m kind of a mess, and my house reflects that.  It’s not hoarder status, but my mother is probably rolling in her grave like a rotisserie chicken about my current mess.  The washing machine broke the other week, meaning I had to tackle a lot of the clothes stored in the laundry room.  Some had to be tossed, and I ended up washing every piece of clothing in there and the laundromat, sorting into bags by person vs donate.  Massive job that took me all day and a handful of cash.  My husband, through rage and youtube alone, was able to repair the washer (we were both aggravated the washer went right after we replaced the fridge that broke and didn’t want to spend the money buying a new one.)  Bags of laundry are in my living room, y’all.  Like, bags and bags.  And I need to put the clothes away, except there isn’t enough room because we have minimal storage space.  Which means I have to go through those damned bags again and pick out only essentials, and also donate clothes in closets that can go, so that I can make room.  See, it’s never just one job, it’s two massive ones. Add to that 3 other bags of hand-me-downs that someone passed on, and it’s a big project.  That’s part of where my problem lies.  It’s never just a simple job….it’s a job that needs 4 other jobs done before it.  Effectively, we have too much stuff, and it needs to be purged.  Once I do it, I know I will feel divine.  It’s just a matter of getting it all done with no block of time to give it.

Not to mention, I clean it, and five minutes later someone comes by and messes it up.  It’s an endless cycle.  I hate it.

Financially, I need to dig myself out of some debt.  I want to get all the weight of money and housemess off myself.  This will include cutting the cable cord, although I have been too chickenshit to do it.  Ridiculous really, because I literally watch maybe 3 shows on TV.  That being said, I’m not the only one who lives here, and I can probably get the shows I need for everyone else a different way.  The cord cutting is in progress.  Researching and trial running things is currently going on.  I picked up a second job.  Honestly, the company told me up front the pay is shit, and really, it kind of is.  That being said, it’s money, and I’ll take it.  I had said “the only way I could do a second job is if it was remote, could be done outside of my regular job, and had flexibility.  The odds of getting something that met all those criteria was pretty slim, until the universe handed me exactly that.  It’s something I can do remotely, nights, weekends, and has a load of flexibility.  Score.  Even if it’s just a couple of hundred bucks a month, it’s a good side gig. I’m also going to be in the process of selling some stuff we have.  I have gorgeous, brand new with tags on Disney kids’ princess dresses that have never been worn.  Time to sell them.  Collectibles that I no longer collect.  All of it…it can go.  Kids clothes I can sell.  Now, I say I’m going to do this quite a bit, but this time I need to ACTUALLY do it, so I figure if I write it here it will spur me on.

Drowning in stuff.  It starts with a dribble and ends with a pond.

Yet all is not lost!

I’m realizing that we are raising really kind, loving, and giving kids.  My son has volunteered to tutor younger kids at an elementary school.  My daughter is a warrior of a girl who volunteered to get her teeth pulled, yet cried over her friend struggling with a family issue. She hates to see anyone struggle, and tries very hard to be a good friend.  I am seeing more and more as they grow that lessons of trying to be kind and helping others have taken root with them, and it brings me a lot of happiness.  I also see they have a quick and sarcastic wit which I enjoy quite a lot.

In other bright news, one of my favorite neighborhood kids told me yesterday she was surprised to see me “stylin'”.  When I questioned her, she looked at my ripped jeans and said “it’s not often you see old people with style, wearing jeans like that”.  I joked about her calling me old and while I realized I’m officially old, it sure did make me laugh.  If I’m a stylin’ old lady, I can deal with that.

One month before we head out on vacation.  I had thought that time would drag, but it has ZOOMED by.  I can hardly believe it’s happening so quickly, but I am beyond excited.  I can’t wait to see the intense green fields, smell the country air, and see the star filled night sky with nothing to block the view.  I want to taste the foods that bring me comfort, like fish and chips, custard, bakewell tart, and more.  I want to hug the people who will tell me stories about my mom.  I want to sit at my mom’s grave and tell her all the stories and gossip since my last trip.  Giggling with my cousins, having a beer and cracking jokes…I am excited for every moment.  I can’t wait for my children to see where I grew up.  My only sadness is I can’t show them the land and houses (unless I want a trespassing charge that is) where I ran in the fields and climbed the trees.  I also want to know if there really are leeches in the brook by the old house of if the adults just told us that to make us stay out of it. I’m glad we’d already booked the vacation and paid for it before some of life’s burdens fell on us.  I know otherwise we’d have had to postpone, and mentally, I think all four of us NEED this break.

Life is a balance.  When we feel like we are drowning, we need to grab tight to the life preserver and hold on.

 

 

 

 

 

Traumatized Mama

Today we had the emergency consult with the oral surgeon for my daughter.  In  my last post I detailed that her canine teeth are coming in where her permanent front teeth are, putting those teeth at risk.  The DR reiterated what I had expected the procedure would be (I googled the issue last night and felt better after reading what the recommended path would be to correct…it matched what everyone had told me thus far.)  He did recommend taking out two baby teeth, however, in order to start the path for making space.  We discussed it, and my daughter decided she didn’t want to wait and wanted to have the extractions done today.

I was floored.

“You want the dr to remove the teeth today?”  I asked, just to confirm.  “Yes, let’s get it done today.” she responded.  I asked again, and got the same response.  “Mama, will you still with me though? and hold my hand?”.  “Of course” I responded.  “I wouldn’t have it any other way”.

That, y’all, was a teensy white lie.  Of COURSE I wanted to comfort her, be there, and hold her hand.  That’s what mamas do.  What I didn’t want to do, however, was see the procedure of pulling out teeth.  First, it makes me queasy, and secondly, I remembered all too well having to have the same procedure done as a child.

It wasn’t until I stood there, holding and stroking her hand, softly talking to her, and quickly glancing at what the did, that I realized how badly I was traumatized by the same procedure as a kid.  I had 12 teeth pulled in total, a combination of baby, permanent and wisdom teeth, done over several appointments over many years.  My mouth, while loud and opinionated, is physically very small, and it caused a great amount of crowding as my teeth grew in.  I had gapped, buck teeth as my front teeth came in, and the rest just crowded in.  I had teeth pulled, a headgear to space them out and move them, and then braces.  The headgear made me look like an utter dork, and I hated it with the power of a million suns.  The braces were a pain, and I slacked on wearing my retainer.  The result? Years of orthodontics to end up with a snaggle tooth and still a few crowded teeth.  The teeth pulling though…that was the worst.

Our dentist was Dr White.  He was ok, I suppose.  A good dentist, but not a children’s dentist per say.  He was a family dentist, but not a dentist geared especially for children like my kids go to.  I remember the gas, and not much liking the feeling.  At first I was happy and giggly, but I keenly remember being afraid.  I think I bit him out of fear, and he yelled.  I remember the teeth hurting.  Today, I felt a feeling of the same fear wash over me, even though it wasn’t me having the teeth pulled.  I realized the whole teeth pulling trauma had been more of a trauma for me as a child than I had remembered.  I turned my head, still talking softly to my daughter and comforting her.  One of the teeth broke when the dr went to remove it, so he had to try going in and digging out the fragments.  The other tooth had a HUGE root on it, far bigger than I had seen on any baby tooth.  I had to look away during the fragment scavenger hunt, because I started to get really queasy.  Oh, the things we do for our kids.

On the way home, I sat in the back seat with her.  She had what looked like little gauze teeth sticking out, but they got bloody fast, so I had to change them.  She looked a bit worse for wear, but soon picked up as the laughing gas left her system.  By the time we got home, she looked herself and asked for a snack.  The numbness bothered her the most.

So now we go down the rabbit hole of getting her teeth fixed so that we can save her front teeth and get her canines in the right spots.  It’ll be a process, and I foresee some of it (the gum surgery) being unpleasant.  I’m stressed on a mom level.  Nobody wants to see their child hurting.  That being said, she is strong, brave, and I think she’ll take it all in stride.  I may be a bit more fragile in the process than she is.  I held strong today for her.  That being said, I felt terribly sorry for the little girl who was so frightened and traumatized all those years ago.  I had no idea how much it impacted me until I was in the moment today and it all flooded back.

 

Glass Box of Emotion

I’ve been an emotional wreck all day.  Luckily, everyone else left the house so I was able to do it without having to put on any sort of brave face. Sometimes a good cry cleanses the soul, although it usually leaves me puffy, splotchy, and red faced.  The source of the tears? Well, I’ve been sick for 2 weeks, so I think I’m run down to begin with.  I’m exhausted, my ears feel full of fluid every day, and I just feel generally like a pile of crap.  I’ve been getting a bit better since the doctor put me on antibiotics, which has helped.  I was just starting to feel a bit brighter, when we got some difficult news.

I had taken my kids to the dentist a couple of months ago.  They mentioned offhand I may want to take my daughter to see an orthodontist, as one of her teeth appeared to be damaging the root of another.  I left under the impression that the tooth in question that was going to be pushed out was a baby tooth, and none of us were concerned.  The orthodontist called me last week and mentioned the dentist had asked them to follow up to get us in for an appointment.  I decided we might as well have her looked at, and headed in this morning.  Everyone there is super nice, and I felt instantly at ease…..

…..Until they showed me the x-rays.

The X rays they took showed a much more dire situation.  My daughter’s canine teeth, which have not come in yet, are coming in not where they are supposed to.  AT.ALL.  Instead, they are coming in from above her from 4 teeth, at an odd angle.  By all accounts, her canine teeth are about to push out all of her front 4 permanent teeth.  As soon as I saw the X Ray, I knew we were going to have a situation on our hands that was going to be pretty significant.  The Dr came in, and explained the severity of the problem, and that they wanted us to see an oral surgeon, who would go in and expose the teeth, connect something to them, and then orthodontic hardware would be used to “pull” the teeth to the correct spot, as well as expand the space in her mouth to make room.  The whole thing sounded uncomfortable, and I was glad my daughter couldn’t see the fear in my face.

Then the Dr said something that DID get me visibly upset.  “your insurance takes about a minimum of 12 weeks to get approved.  We recommend starting well before that due to the severity of the issue.”  In other words, I’m going to have to come up with a couple of thousand dollars I don’t have, and have no idea how to get. Of course, I will figure it out, because that’s what needs to be done.

I hate the fact that when it comes to health and well being, money dictates so much of the care a patient gets.  I am sure there are families who aren’t able to raise money like that, so should their child loose their permanent teeth?  It’s heartbreaking. I chatted with my father about the situation, reminiscing about when I had to have braces, and the changes in the methods they use now.  When I mentioned the insurance not kicking in for months, he said “well, we will just have to figure it out, won’t we?” That’s the attitude I’m trying to have.  Keeping it positive and knowing that somehow, it’ll get figured out, even if it means hustling a bit.

It is hard, though, because my daughter is always the one with the medical issues.  She has a congenital eye issue, Strabismus, with alternating amblyopia, which she had surgery for, but needs further treatment as the eye has dropped back in when she gets tired. She had to have her tonsils and adenoids removed.  She suffers from massive nosebleeds. While her brother sails through school, she struggles more.  She just always seems to have a tougher time of things getting through life.  That being said, she’s a tough cookie.  She’s brave, smart, sociable, loving, and I call her “my warrior girl” because she gets through the challenges she’s faced. One one hand, I’m sad this is yet another surgery and issue she has to face.  On the other, I’m a tiny bit grateful that out of the two kids, it’s her, because I know she will handle it and get through it easier than her brother might.  She’s a tough kiddo, and I know she’ll be ok.  That being said, I’m her mama, and I can’t stop crying that she has yet another challenge to tackle.I would love to see her have an easy time of things for a while.

Hopefully at the end of the day, she’ll have a beautiful smile to match her amazing soul.