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Monthly Archives: July 2018

Winter is Coming

I may be moving this blog, (I’ll explain why soon) which is sad to have to report.  If you follow me on twitter, let me know and I’ll give you the new domain.  You can also drop me a comment on here.

Details forthcoming.

 

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Tired of nonsense

At what point do you say enough, and completely call someone out on their nonsense? At what point do you get tired of listening to someone spew BS to garner attention and provide a false narrative? I think I’m at that point. I’ve kept mostly quiet about things up until now (don’t want to feed the trolls mind you) but at some point you have to say to yourself “what you allow is what will continue”. At what point do you stop allowing someone else’s mental illness to wreck havoc on everyone?

How I Got Beat Up on My Daughter’s Birthday

This blog post contains adult language. I would say “inappropriate language” but the swears within are perfectly appropriate for what happened.

Consider yourself warned.

Yesterday was the little’s 8th birthday.  We had her party the day prior for family, but yesterday my husband and I both took the day off to spend the day with the kids for her birthday.  This in itself was a treat, as we typically have opposite schedules, and the kids rarely get us both for an extra day unless it’s a holiday or birthday.  We started the day off with gifts, then headed off to do what she wanted.

Aside from a quick trip at the Rec office, which is where in my last post you’ll hear about me yelling at a stranger across a counter, the rest of the day was on 8 year old terms.  Lunch was at Taco Bell, followed by some shopping at Justice with her gift cards, where she got to pick out what she wanted, and then off to the trampoline park for 2 hours of jumping and games.  The kids ran off to play dodgeball on the trampolines, while my husband I relaxed at a table.  I noticed some massage chairs and commented we should go relax after all our hard work at the party the day before and get a massage.

 

chairWe lugged our stuff over, and my husband sat down.  He put in his dollar, handed one to me, and I went to put my dollar into the slot. Just as my dollar slid in, my husband said “oh, OW! Jesus!” and he began to warn me that this chair was no joke…in fact, perhaps I shouldn’t do it because I have  bad back and it could be bad……

The chair gave zero fucks.

The leg massagers clamped together with such force I couldn’t move my legs.  I was nervous they might break my leg if they got any tighter. “Oh my God!  My legs!” I squealed.

The chair tilted back suddenly and hard nodules started pummeling my back from every angle. “ow, ow!  OW!” I gasped.

I couldn’t move though.  It had my legs. It was NOT LETTING GO.

Now, the fact I am really short didn’t help.  The chair was probably at some point trying to massage my neck, only I’m so short it instead punched me in the back of the skull repeatedly.  My head was bouncing all over the place and I began to laugh because the whole situation was so ridiculous. As I am getting punched in the occipital bone repeatedly, I try to look at my husband and the chair effectively punches me in the cheek.  My husband is clearly not comfortable either but is holding it together.  I hear him go “aaarghhh” and “oof” but he is leaning far forward to escape the beatings.

With my short little legs captured by the chair, and the position I was in, I couldn’t lean forward.  I was laughing maniacally, my eyes watering from the discomfort. The whole situation was ridiculous.  I was trying to have nice relaxing massage and instead wondered if I might end up in the ER.

Y’all, that was a long 3 minutes.

3 minutes of getting my legs clamped on so hard I feared a bone might fracture, while the back of the chair beat me like an escaping prisoner.

Finally, the legs started to release.  I thought it was over.

And then it happened.

The chair punched me in the snooch.

No lie, I got cuntpunched by a damned massage chair.

The level of shock I had was indescribable.

My husband saw my face open up into a look of disbelief and I stammered “It punched me in the snooch”. THE CHAIR PUNCHED ME IN THE LADY BITS. He helped me gingerly stand up and the two of us hobbled away like two broken beating victims and went to sit back at the table.  We couldn’t stop laughing.

I woke up today still sore.  My whole body hurts.

And that my friends, is how I got beat up on my daughter’s birthday.

 

 

Yelling at Strangers

I am so tired, I feel that shit deep in my bones.  After a busy work week, with plenty of added jobs, I also had my daughter’s birthday party to prepare for.  In the past we have had her family party at our house or my sister in law’s house (they have a big house with lots of space and a pool, which they have generously offered to us to use for the party many years).  This year, I decided to keep everything super simple.  No theme, no extensive decorations, no tons of planning.  I’ve done it all in the past and I usually end up exhausted.  Frankly, my daughter doesn’t care about all that stuff anyway.  She simply wants a day with her family, playing with kids, opening gifts, and ice cream cake.  She REALLY wanted an ice cream cake, which I found out later on.  This year, I stepped outside my comfort zone and rented a pavilion at the beach. Our town allows you to rent out a pavilion at a reasonable fee.  This spoke to me.  Laid back, beach day, with sun, sand, water, and a playground close by to keep everyone entertained.  I pictured getting leis for the people coming, keeping the food cookout style, and I would simply jump on the grill and it would be a relaxing day for all.

I booked the pavilion, and figured all was well, until my anxiety popped up.  I had this unshakable feeling that we would arrive to set up only to have strangers at the pavilion, and I would be forced into getting someone from the rec dept to have them leave.  I asked the woman at the rec dept what would happen if that situation occurred.  She said “go to the gate and they will have someone come over and sort it.”  Ok, sounded decent, and I tried to not worry.

Then the weather turned. A scan at the Weather Channel app was a rollercoaster of emotion.  I also realized they have likely no idea what the upcoming weather would be.  The weather changed day to day, varying from horrible thunderstorms to partly sunny and warm with a nice breeze.  Each day was a new adventure as far as the meteorologists were concerned. Every day I waffled between seeing we’d have a lovely beach day or a monsoon.

The day before the party, (THE DAY BEFORE!) my phone rings.  When I heard the woman on the other end say she was calling from the rec dept, I KNEW something was wrong.

“So, there is an issue…..we made a huge error on our end…….DOUBLE BOOK………we want to make it right….other alternatives……heading to the beach now to see what can be done…..”

Unimpressed-Dog-Meme-08

I offer to meet them at the beach, and headed off with daughter in tow.

I arrive at the beach and meet up with two women from the rec department.  They honestly couldn’t have been nicer, and were up front with the fact someone had booked the pavilion in June for a gender reveal party and somewhere there was a mix up.  The pregnant woman who booked it had come in freaking out and irate after hearing about the issue.  I can tell they were nervous about speaking with me but were grateful when I kept calm about it.  They offered a different area, said they would set up tents etc, and offered a few options.  The wind that day was coming off the water so hard it was blowing my hair straight up in the air.  I looked at them and said “Look, if the wind is anything like this tomorrow, which it likely will be with storms coming at night….a tent is going to LAUNCH”.  After all was said and done, the options they gave me didn’t feel right and likely would have been a nightmare.  My other brother in law graciously extended an offer for us to have it at his house since they have a large deck and lots of open space.

I excused myself and stepped aside to talk quietly with my daughter.  She said she would be perfectly happy wherever her party was held When she saw me look upset the plans had been all turned upside down, she whispered in my ear “mama, it’s not your fault.  I appreciate all your hard work, but please don’t be sad, it’s OK!”

I’m not crying. I swear.

I walked back and told the women my daughter was ok with us moving the party and the other woman could have the space.  One of the women leaned over and told my daughter how kind and special that was, and how nicely she and I were taking a bad situation and making the best of it. I was promised a full refund, but that I would need to bring the parking passes I had prepaid for all the guests in to get refunded for those.  I wasn’t happy I’d have to retrieve them all, but agreed I would try to bring them in.

I headed off to get my daughter an ice cream cake, which I found out she had really wanted (but would have been impossible at the beach). I let her pick the flavors, the design,etc, and I had a very happy little girl.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING: The party was a success, we all had a great time, and my daughter was thrilled.

Yesterday I took the passes I had and went to the rec center.  It was my daughter’s actual birthday and we had a lot of stuff planned.  I was still recovering from all the work involved for the party and I felt that extreme tiredness in my SOUL.  One of the women I had spoken with at the beach was at the counter and smiled when she saw me. She wished my daughter a happy birthday and handed over a huge bottle of bubbles for my daughter as a gift and as a thank your for being so understanding.  I thanked her and explained I didn’t have two of the passes, but could they let it slide due to the circumstances? She said she’d have to clear it with the other woman, but felt she would probably say yes, because we had been so gracious about the error and so lovely to work with.

Just then, another lady who works there and who I have watched berate another employee there in front of me chimed in and started getting loud with the woman helping me. “WHY WOULD YOU EVEN SAY THAT? WHY WOULD YOU SAY SHE PROBABLY WOULD?” The woman helping me looked extremely uncomfortable.

Not today, Satan,

Not today.

“HEY! DON’T YOU YELL AT HER!”  I shouted.  “This office made a mistake, and could have ruined my daughter’s birthday party.  These two women have been honest about the error, tried to make it right, and are trying to rectify the situation in a positive manner, which is the ONLY reason I have not created a big issue here.  This is not the first time I have seen you berate your coworkers, so why don’t you sit there and go back to your paperwork and make sure this situation doesn’t happen again?”

She huffed.

“GO HUFF IF YOU WANT BUT DON’T YOU BELITTLE HER!”

Yeah.  I became that person.  I became the woman yelling at a stranger over a partition wall because I hate seeing nice people given crap for something when they are just trying to do the right thing.

The woman getting yelled by Grumpy St Bitterbritches is always super sweet and friendly to me.  The last time I went to the office to get the parking passes I watched the other employee belittle another woman who worked there, get sarcastic with a town resident, and make a sarcastic comment to another.

Not today.

I can let a lot slide if people are honest and apologetic.  Accidents happen, mistakes can be made.  A sincere apology without excuses goes a LONG way with me.  My daughter and I had been very accommodating all things considered, which the 2 women we spoke to at the beach were clearly grateful for.  I am sure they saw it was a birthday party for us and a gender reveal party for the pregnant lady and thought it was going to be miserable for them either way because of the mistake.  Instead, it went relatively smooth.  They knew I wasn’t thrilled, but I was honestly kind of ok with it.

To be honest, everything was less stressful for me in the end.  No worries about weather (we had everything outside but moved inside later on so we missed the rain).  I had a fridge, freezer, and everything I needed at my fingertips.  My daughter had the cake she desperately wanted, and a good time was had.  I got to invite more people.  At the end of the day, things fell into place.  Plus, I am getting refunded the money I spent.

But don’t test me, bitter lady in the back of the rec office.

Mama don’t play that.

 

 

She Can Do It All, Until She Can’t

wonder

I grew up the daughter of parents who never made me feel I couldn’t do something just because I was a girl.  I was taught I was equal to men, could hold my own, and to be fiercely independent.  I lived in a two parent household, and my parents stayed happily married until my mother died.  Of course, there were some stereotypical roles that fell into place.  My mother was a stay at home mom, and my dad worked to support the family.  My mother cleaned the house to spotless perfection and looked after me, dinner was on the table each night at 6, and she was the arranger of all the plans.  My mom was the glue that seemed to hold us all together.  My father traveled extensively for work, sometimes even for weeks at a time, and my mother was always the figure in the home who held down the fort.

With that being said, my mother always made it clear that she had been the primary breadwinner before we moved to the US.  I knew she stopped working to look after me, and also because it made more sense financially.  She always told me to make sure I was ok on my own if I ever needed to be, and to make sure I always had my name on the house, cars, and other assets as well as my husband.  She’d had friends who had gotten divorced and ended up screwed because they hadn’t looked out for themselves as well.  In other words, while my parents lived in many ways an old fashioned set up, I was always taught to be a modern, independent woman who could look after herself, and why that was so important. I also learned that I could be a good wife, a good mom, and that there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do just because I was a girl.  Women in today’s society are told we can have it all, the career, the family, the home, and all that comes with us.

We can.  Many women do.  But sometimes, it’s really hard.  Like, really, really hard.

I hesitated to write this, because it’s hard to be vulnerable.  Usually when I admit a vulnerability, it gets thrown back at me.  That being said, I am who I am, and unapologetically so.  I own my mistakes, I own who I am, both on my best and worst days.  The other week someone tried a jab at my parenting when I “lost” my daughter.  (More on that in a future blog). Yet still, I owned it. At the end of the day, I am bluntly, without apology, or explanation, myself.  With me, you know what you are getting.  My filter isn’t very good, and my face will say my thoughts anyway.

So with all the things.  The work, the parenting, the house, the jobs, the peopling, the endless obligations that have stacked up….it’s gotten to be a bit much to manage on my own. My husband is always supportive of me in everything I do, but he works long hours and our schedules are opposite, so much of the stuff around the house and scheduling the kids falls to me.  I am trying to hold all the pieces together of the life puzzle and I ran out of hands.  I’m left tired and drained.  They always say on a plane to put your oxygen mask on first so you can help others.  I have been doing the reverse and I ran out of air. The more I couldn’t focus on a few things, the more everything started to spiral where it got to be just a bit more to manage.

This week I hit a wall.  I’ve only had it happen a few times in my life, but this week was one of them.  This week something snapped.  The year of yes came to a crashing end and I just wanted to say no. I looked around and for all I was doing, it just wasn’t amounting to what it should.

And I stopped.

I cried a little, I’ll admit it.

And then I did what I hate doing the most.

I asked for help.

I hate asking for help. I always think it’s an imposition.  It feels like I am failing at something, and I sort of hate that.  The funny thing is, I always encourage others to ask for help, and always am willing to help others.  I suppose we are always hardest on ourselves, right?

I’ve suffered from depression since I was a teen.  I went through some very bad times with it, went on medication, until I finally got it under control.  The fact is, I will likely always have it, but for the most part I rarely suffer these days.  I haven’t been on meds for it for years, but I do stay very mindful of when it feels that it’s starting up.  Yesterday I realized I need to stop and breath.  I looked around, and realized I needed to ask for help to ease the burden of things for a little while.  I called my dad and said I wanted to come visit and have a mini vacation.

I had an honest chat with my family and the response was amazing. I said I am overwhelmed, and they stepped up to ask how in turn they could each help. That’s family. Even the little things stack up to help.  This morning, my husband offered to run the kids to camp and returned home with a coffee for me.  He called from work to check in, just to make sure I am ok.  He knows that usually, I keep it all together, but when I am struggling, he is there to check in…just to make sure I am hanging in there and to see if I need anything.  The reminder that he is there to back me up and lift me up if I fall is a great source of comfort.

The next week or so is going to be busy.  Much to plan, to do, and to coordinate.  That being said, I will be pausing to breathe more, saying no when I get overwhelmed, and asking for help if I need it.  I will try me best to take care of me a bit better than I have been.  Maybe I’ll even use that gift certificate for a massage my aunt sent me.  Seems like a perfect time to use it.  Rest and recharge amongst the chaos, so I can minimize the chaos.

Yesterday, when I felt my worst, I looked around at ALL the THINGS that needed doing, and I felt like a failure.  My mom had always made things seem so effortless.  I look back and realize how much I took for granted.  I realize I looked at her and she made it all seem so darned easy.  I came home from school to find my laundry done, the house clean, a meal on the table, and I never really comprehended the amount of work that went into making all of that happen.  I also realized she would have told me that while she was a stay at home mom, I work full time.  I have less time for some of the things than she had. I know she would have reminded me of the times when she seemed short with me or stressed that she too struggled with getting it all done.  She would also remind me that sometimes, you just have to go and take a nap and figure it out later.

When you grow up and you watch your mom do it all, you think you can too.  There is a big push on social media and the media in general to be the mom who can be perfect.  Everyone portrays themselves to be super moms.  They post and pin and they present the perfect outside image.  Their immaculate houses, their vacations, their endless smiles.  The fact is, I’m sure there’s a lot of women who feel they too need to pause, take a deep breath, and escape from it all for a few.  To not have ALL the THINGS in their heads and to do lists every moment.  So I’m waving to those ladies, from my yard that needs weeding, my house that needs cleaning, surrounded by all the jobs I need to do but have no time to do them in because there’s only so many hours in a day. I hear you. I see you. I’m one of you too.

 

It’s her birthday

Today would have been my mom’s birthday.  I think we’ll take the kids for ice cream.

I always try to find something happy to do on days like this. They kids know I miss her, every day.  They know that some days, I get a bit sad.  Sometimes, I miss her enough that I may get a bit teary eyed, usually when I realize she is missing something amazing. Grief is a tough thing to show kids, and to talk about with them.  It’s important to let them know that grief is normal, natural, and ok to go through.  In fact, it’s important to go through it.   What I don’t want, is for them to think that it’s ok to get lost in the grief, to wrap the grief around you so tightly that you don’t let the joy in.  It’s easy to do, especially as someone who suffers from depression. If I am not mindful, I know I can get too deep in the grief.

The past few years, we have done fun things for her birthday, to celebrate life.  One year we took a trip to the lake to my aunt’s house.  Another year, ice cream at Carvel.  Each was a simple joy that taught the kids that I want to celebrate my mom in small ways.  If the mention of her is always tinged in sadness, they will associate her memory in a negative light.  I choose to associate her memory with happiness and treats, laughter and funny stories.  It makes it easier for me, and frankly, she would hate if her memory was carried on in a sad light.  She was much too vibrant for that.

To be fair, got teary eyed for just a few brief seconds, and I’m not sure where it came from exactly, but I am back to feeling positive and looking forward to spending the night with my husband and kids.  My favorite 3.  I have so many wonderful things to be happy for, so many wonderful memories of her to share, and knowing her as I do, I know that would be the very best gift I could have given her.

Happy birthday Mum.

 

Keep it Simple, Stupid.

Posted on

Oof, it’s been an exhausting few weeks.

June is always a chaotic month for us.  We have family birthdays nearly every weekend, the end of school, the beginning of summer, and there’s always some extra chaos peppered in for good measure. I always reach July hot, sweaty, exhausted, and ready for a nap.

We entered June in a bit of chaos after hearing that our whole school district was getting shifted.  While we will stay at the same school, most of our school friends will be leaving.  It’s very depressing, and if I’m honest, it’s even more depressing because the whole situation smells like racial and economic segregation to me.  I chose to put my kids in a diverse school, surrounded by kids from all racial and economic backgrounds, in order to mimic the real world they will enter after they finish their schooling.  It feels like we are going backwards in this country sometimes.  Racism seems more on the forefront that it has, and I’m becoming acutely aware that people have a general distaste for poor people. I am concerned that some of the decision making was done for the wrong reasons, and it sickens me. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think so.

As I mentioned, I also joined the PTA.  I am not sure at the moment if I am a good fit.  I am very much an eternal optimist, peppered with sarcasm, and frankly, I’m a bit of a savage.  I’m the mom most likely to drop the F bomb.  I go at things 150%, but I think that scares folks.  I need to figure out if it will work, and I need to do so quickly.

June had the usual nonsense by the usual.  The problem is, people don’t realize I’m hot, I’m cranky, and I am smart enough to always stay one step ahead when under fire.  I’m a survivor, with a smattering of OCD, that touch of savagery, and I always will be.

It was also the anniversary of my mother’s death.  You’d think by now I’d handle it like a pro.  The fact is that over the years, it started to get a bit easier, and then it got harder.  Harder because I realize all the things she is missing out on.  I watch my kids grow and see them accomplish things, and I know just how stinkin’ PROUD she would be.  I know that some things would just be so much easier if she was here.  I have my “other mothers” who are women in my life who have stepped into that mom role for me, and for that I am eternally grateful.  I even have a woman who says she considers me one of her grandkids, and signed a recent note “love you like a granddaughter”.  A someone who has lost both of her grandmas, this made me feel so touched.  These women who have stepped up as “other mothers”, they are moms at heart and soul, who not only mother their own kids, but see a kid in need and step in, even if that kid is in her 40’s. This year was a tough one.  I can’t explain why, but I wasn’t having any nonsense from anyone, and pretty much holed up in the house by myself.  My husband knew it was a tough day for me, and came home from work early armed with buffalo wings.  We curled up on the couch, ate, drank beer, watched a comedy, and all was right in the world again.  He’s the best.

The other turn of events was that I treated myself to a dress.  I had no damned business buying that dress, mind you, but I was obsessed with it.  I had seen it when I went to buy a dress for a family event, and I LURRRRVVVED it.  I tried it on, and I fell in love.  The problem was, it was out of my budget, a bit snug, and frankly, not going to work for the event I was attending.  I left without it.  My heart was sad.  I watched it go on sale, 10% off, 20% off…but it was still more than I can justify spending.  The day I was holed up mourning my mother’s passing years ago, I got an email that said the store had a massive sale.  The dream dress I loved was on sale, for almost 70% off.

I bought it.

No shame in my game.

Ok, I feel a little shame.

It’s not exactly a dress I will get tons of use out of.  It’s a bit formal.  HOWEVER, I do have a big party coming up later this year so I can justify buying it for the price I paid.  Oh yes, I noticed the sku ended in my mom’s “lucky number” so I convinced myself she’d say “oh go ahead”.

Camp started today.  My son LOVES his camp.  It’s not fancy, by any stretch, but he loves it.  I had asked my daughter if she wanted to go to camp, and she declined.  She prefer to spend time with family members, or at home.  I did keep her in a sport activity once a week, as well as sign her up for a camp that’s a half day.  She did her first day today, and when I showed up to get her on my lunch break, she asked to stay.  It was damned near 95 degrees out, but she was having fun.  It made me smile to see the kids tired, sweaty, and worn out tonight.  It seemed like they had had a productive, fun, and tiring day.  I topped off the evening by cooking on the grill, and it felt like a summer day.

Know what else felt like a summer day? When my home office was about 100 degrees.  WooNELLY it was HOT.  Thank goodness for a window AC, although I can’t run it while I’m working on certain projects.  This heat is awful.  I’m not cut out for heat at all.  Well, technically  I am not cut out for anything too hot or too gold.  I’m like an old version of Goldilocks.

So now starts our new normal.  School days have been traded for camp days and field trips.  Early mornings, later nights, and events at every turn.  The little one has her birthday this month.  God knows what we’ll do for a party.  I always figure it out though, usually by the skin of my teeth.  Keeping it simple is normally a good plan, so I think we will go with that.

Keeping it simple sounds really good right about now.  Roll on July…but keep it simple, ‘k?