Wednesday, June 22, 2011


If you are my facebook friend you know I've been bitching about getting sick.  Honestly this is the worst I've been sick in a long time, and I'm just chalking it up to getting old.  I'm staring down the last lap and a half of my 30's and have noticed some stuff that's changed.

For one thing, I don't remember being THIS miserable before.  When I say miserable, I mean the sinus tingling, sore throat causing, headache inducing plague that has turned my head into a booger manufacturing facility. 

I would like to note here that I'm not sure HOW I can generate so many boogers or where all this crap comes from, but when people suggest that God made us perfect, he did NOT, I repeat DID NOT think of having us burn fat to create mucus.  Just sayin'.  That would make this experience a bit more palatable.

I also noticed that in the past, in my sleep, when not able to breathe through my nose, the worst side effect might be a bit of a split lip from dryness of the old mouth, but now I'm getting these awesome, albeit adorable little pimples that retrace the steps of the drool that runs out when I'm in REM.  Super cool.

And if that isn't enough, the pimples are enhanced by the redness that surrounds my outer nostrils from the constant nose-blowing and at a certain point even the soft-lotion infused tissues are NOT going to cut it.  SO really, I'm just a vision of loveliness, how Mark can keep his hands to himself is a mystery I'll never understand.

But lastly, but not leastly, the most obvious sign that I am aging is that now when I'm sick there's this trifecta of awesomeness:  when I sneeze I also cough and AT THE SAME TIME, yes you guessed it, I pee a little.  What the hell happened to bladder control?  Kegel exercises my ass, and for the record I had two c-sections, never once did I have to force something the size of a bedroll through something the size of a Gopher hole opening.  WHY?!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Should I put a bird on it and call it art?

Today is the last day of school for the kiddos, and while cause for celebration, it also gives me the chills.  After the amount of wine I consumed last summer staying home with the kids.  Alone.  Daily.  I am hopeful that this summer will be better.  I get to work part time so the children will still have the opportunity to miss each other part of the week, which ensures about 20 minutes of solid wrestling-match free playtime a day.

But as usual I'm a bit off-topic.  What I really want to discuss is the danger of leaving your iPhone, iPad, and/or iTouch in reach of any child in your household (that includes the husband who may thing his porn surfing will remain untraceable which I can assure you, it does NOT).

I try to take photos of the kids on their first and last day of school each year so I can see how much they have grown which in turn drives me to drink and drown my sorrows in my favorite coping mechanism: red wine.  Granted, driving me to drink is a fairly short trip, but still, having your children grow up only means one thing:  you better grow up too! 

Before you know it they'll be hormonal beasts, all heads spinning and split pea soup barfing, angry, loving, funny, angry, happy, sad, and angry again, all of this in about a minutes' time.  Begging for their freedom, yet at every given opportunity breaking the rules so they aren't even allowed to pee without permission.  As you can imagine by reading this, when I realized I would someday have two teenagers in my house at once, the thought of three of them tipped the scales in favor of the old "procedure" for Mark (see previous post on the subject for more entertainment).

Wow, am I off-topic for the day.  Sheesh!  So anyhoozer, the reason I am bringing this all up is that AFTER I downloaded the last day of school photos from my iTouch (in my drunken stupor Friday night I left my good camera at a friend's house after saying "my talent is making a bottle of wine disappear" which I did.  All.  By. Myself.) I discovered an entire suite of self-portraits taken by my daughter, Monday when she was home with a fever. 

And while most of them are self-portraits (now I know why she was so freaking quiet that morning) there are some other artful selections of her stuffed toys, blanket, booger-infested tissues and a go-gurt wrapper.  Really Kaylee?  You left photographic evidence of you pigginess for all the world to see!  No denying it now sister!

In a way her stuff is pretty edgy.  I wonder if I change it all to sepia tone and put a bird here and there, if I could enter them in a contest and call it art? 

To view the work of our budding photographer, please clink the link below:


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This morning...

This morning I asked my husband to remind me why we had children. Really, I did. Because I did not sign up for a 6am wake-up call from a very cranky 5 year old whose sole mission in the morning is to worm his way into going downstairs to play Angry Birds Rio Edition without permission on my work-issued iTouch.

No, I did request a dramatic interpretation of (insert any coming of age sit-com here) by my 7 year old daughter for any morning task she’s been assigned, including but not limited to properly brushing her teeth.

I never, ever, ever recall volunteering to referee a WWE match between my children, while still in their pajamas, fighting over something they were never allowed to be doing in the first place.

The “So You Think You Want to Parent?” brochure NEVER mentioned a thing about a child’s god-given talent to eat the same breakfast for a week straight and suddenly without warning declare that they feel like gagging at the very sight and smell of maple brown sugar oatmeal.

These little hoodlums did not, I repeat emphatically, DID NOT come with any warning labels telling me that the simple act of getting oneself dressed in under 20 minutes in an outfit comprised of simply fresh undies, socks, shorts and a shirt is a mission impossible.

I was unaware that even shoes with Velcro can pose a serious challenge at any given moment, in particular when the child in question has decided that dragging their feet is a better option than getting their damn shoes on. Their ability to tune out even the most persistent parent is nothing short of a gift from God. Sometimes I wish I still had the same ability, but apparently the moment a zygote formed itself in my body I lost every coping mechanism I need to survive the insanity that is THE MORNING RITUAL.

And I don’t want to hear that we should be doing the same routine day after day because then, and only then, do children learn what they need to be doing and when. Because we DO. Have. A. Freaking. Routine. But all children have the uncanny ability to come completely uncorked at the most critical juncture. They are like that copy machine in the office that senses your stress and need for immediate copies and then breaks down at that very moment.

And yet, even as I asked my husband the question “Why did we ever have children?” I knew the answer: we wanted them. Really we did, and though I often ask myself “what were we thinking” I can honestly say that I do love my fussy 5 year old at 6 am who, when asked if he needed a hug, simply put his arms up to me. That’s was all he needed, and all I needed too. A nice, long hug with little baby pat-pats from him on my back. Kissing his sweet little fuzzy head and taking him downstairs with me so he could push the on button on the coffee machine for me while I checked my facebook status.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Why I won't go to my 20 year high school reunion

WARNING:  Read at your own risk.  This post is not intended to be funny, nor is it meant to piss anyone off.  If you laugh, or get mad, you're probably one of the reasons I'm not going.

I've been debating, for months, whether or not to attend my 20 year high school reunion.  Surprisingly, it was a tough decision, but once I made it I thought "why the hell was that so hard?" and the following diatribe will enlighten you as to why. 

If we went to high school together, and especially if you are going to the reunion, please don't be offended, and don't think I'm looking for sympathy.  I'm not.  I just need to be honest, for myself, for my two children, who will be in high school someday, and for all the high schoolers I work with and see on a daily basis.

I went to school with the same group of kids from Kindergarten until graduation.  It's not like I had a hard life.  I had a pretty charmed life, actually.  I had two parents who loved me, an older brother who was mean to me, a dog and a cat, a swimming pool around the corner and we never went without food, shelter, or clothing.  Thank God, because if I would have had to put up with all the shit I went through in school, on top of no clothes or a house, well I don't think I'd be where I am today.

It really hit home for me when I started to see all the yearbook photos posted on facebook, and then I dusted mine off and looked through them for the hell of it.  I thought back on school, all 13 painfully excrutiating and embarassing years and honestly, my best memories aren't reflected in those yearbooks.  Those belong to someone else.  Those belong to the kids who belonged.  Who had the parties, went to the dances, ruled the school, that kind of thing.  Not me.  My best memories are outside those four walls of school, with the few friends I have kept, and with my family.

High school was painful, as was junior high, and to an extent so was elementary school.  What I remember most from elementary school was being tormented for being tall and gangly.  Being called Rover and barked at on a daily basis.  Yes, I've been to therapy (not for this) and NO I don't need to go back.  I'm glad those things happened to me because they shaped the woman I am.

Junior high wasn't much better.  I discovered a talent for playing music in the band, and yeah, I liked it.  LOTS.  It sure as hell beat anything else I could have done.  I was never good at sports, even if I tried.  I wasn't EVER going to be a cheerleader even though I desperately wanted to fit in that crowd.  Nope, I was a band geek through and through and some folks never let me forget it.  But you know what?  If I had to do it again, I wouldn't do a damn thing differently.

What I remember most from junior high are all the dances I went to and none of the boys asked me to dance, I remember trying out for cheearleader (what the hell was I thinking?  all legs and elbows and absolutely NO SKILLS) and never making the squad, and I remember Craig Woods (yeah some of you are going to be named!) telling me one day by my locker that I was a pirate's dream.  I didn't understand (I was SO NAIVE) and he said "duh, you have a sunken chest." 

Well excuse me for being a LATE LATE LATE LATE LATE  LATE bloomer (I didn't really get boobs until I was about 25!).  Am I mad at Craig Woods?  Hell no, I bet I couldn't pick the guy out of a line up today, but back then he was a cool kid, and I was just the opposite.  And you know what?  Maybe he was being a little asshole because he was only tall enough to see my boobs (or where they should have been) and he wished he'd been taller and had more choices in chicks.  Who the hell knows.  And I don't give a shit anyway.  I just remember that it hurt.

I remember the last day of ninth grade and thanking God that junior high was over.  And on that last day I went to a party after school at someone's house, I honestly think her mom made her invite everyone, but I only remember feeling awkward and out of place because I didn't fit in with the "in" crowd.  I left early, walked home, and prayed to God that high school would be better.  It wasn't.

The highlight of my high school career was meeting Becky Hipp Hodgen, who to this day is still my friend.  And honestly, it's only because she has never given up on me.  We have been through lots together, but the funny thing is, we didn't even have the same classes at school.  My BEST memories of high school are hanging with Becky and not one of them is at CV.  We usually hung out on the weekends and had a hell of a time.  We were always thankful to survive the week and compare notes about the misery we endured.  She was painfully shy, which folks mistook for being "stuck up" and I was, well, just me.  And guess what?  Becky is the best woman I know, and lots of people missed out on what a rock star she is.

As for me, once again I was a just a band geek who paid her dues and rose to the most supreme level of band geekdom as a junior by becoming one of three drum majors for our marching band.  That was a HUGE accomplishment for me, and an experience I'll never forget.  It really was awesome.  I went to Canada at least three times traveling with the band, all over Washington and Idaho and it was the only place I ever felt like I succeeded.  And where I sort of fit in.

And while being in the band was a blast, it surely wrecked any dreams I had of being "popular" and invited to parties, having a boyfriend and going to school dances.  And you know what?  I wouldn't do a damn thing differently.  Not one.  Damn.  Thing.  Even though at the time I felt like I was missing out.

Then I made a bad decision as a junior to try out to be our school mascot.  After one more failed attempt at being a sophomore cheerleader I had given up on the dream.  I was totally OK with the band and my small circle of friends.  And yet, something possessed me to become a giant fuzzy bear that acted like an idiot in front of hundreds of people for an entire school year.  I was pretty happy about my choice, after all wearing a costume and being a goofball was a nice metaphor for my life. 

I remember after the "winners" were announced (it really wasn't a contest anyway because no one really wanted to be a cheerleader or the mascot that year so it wasn't like I beat anyone out of the job) one of the girls I had known since junior high said to me, "Well I guess since you couldn't be a cheerleader you took the next best thing."  I will never forget that.  Hadn't even crossed my mind that I'd found another way onto the squad, I really just want to make an ass out of myself for laughs, something that I'd learned to do pretty early on in my life.  Making people laugh to cover up how miserable you really are is a wonderful escape mechanism.  And I use it even today.

See, this is the kind of thing I remember about high school, boys that didn't like me, parties I never got invited to, dates I never went on, dances no one asked me to and people that never wanted to be my friend.  I remember feeling like an outcast every day I stepped foot on that campus. 

High school was just a day to get through, every day, so I could go home and not feel so exposed.  When I look at my yearbook I realize that high school wasn't for me.  Those weren't the best years of my life.  No, those started the day I left Spokane and went to college, and they've never stopped.

High school was the most painful experience of my life, up until last July when my Dad died unexpectedly.  I didn't get to say goodbye or tell him I loved him or thank him for everything he ever did for me.  I am still paying for that today.  Unfortunately my reunion weekend falls on that one year anniversary and I cannot relive two if the worst times in my life in three days.

I really don't want people to feel sorry for me, or think I want them to feel sorry for me, or think I want them to think I want them to feel sorry for me.  I'm just telling it like it is, another characteristic I picked up as a young teenager.  These are the reasons I don't want to go. 

I haven't talked to 99% of our graduating class since our all night senior party, and honestly I don't really remember much about that night or if I did in fact talk to anybody because my mom made me go, against my wishes, so I bribed my older brother into buying me booze so I could go drunk.  I figured that would make it survivable.  However, I hadn't really been drunk before so I didn't quite get that you really need to keep drinking to keep the buzz going.  Something you can't do at a well-chaperoned all night party.

I don't really give much of this a lot of thought to be honest.  I'm married, I have two kids, an awesome husband, and a great life.  High school was simply 3 years out of my nearly 39 year life and not the best three years as it is anyway.  I've always heard it said, "the best is yet to come."  So true, the best has been every day since.