Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry Christmas from the Future!

Where our robot overlords are fair and just and not at all tyrannical or terrifying.

Monday, November 5, 2012

This Is/Was Halloween!

     As some of you may remember, Halloween is kind of a big deal around my house.  My boy child, Skeletor, feels that October 31 is better than Christmas, his birthday, Easter, and Valentine's Day all combined.  I tend to agree with him.  Other than working and baby raising, I really haven't done anything for the last few weeks except prepare for the big event.  I'm still exhausted, so I will now release unto the world a lame-o post that is mostly pictures.  You're ever so welcome.

Smarty Pants is clearly the most
 beautifulest witchy poo ever!

Miss Priss, the pretty gypsy girl.

Sassafrass as a gangster ninja. 
That's my girl!

Count Skeletor!

Captain Gingerbeard as Frankenstein.

Shield your eyes!  We're just too cute!

Miss Priss found that Corpse Bride to be suspect.

Visiting the graves of her enemies.

Reaching Nirvana.  Not to be confused with Narnia.
     And with that, my friends, I bid you good day and stuff.  I hope your Halloween was as awesome and spookalicious as ours was!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Inner Turmoil!

     ***Update/Prologue/Maybe It's an Epilogue Since I Wrote It Last***
     (Kimberly at All Work And No Play Make Mommy Go Something Something suggested that I link this up to her Secret Mommyhood Confession Saturday.  And so I am.  Because one does not dismiss a suggestion from such an illustrious lady.  That would be like turning down a cup of tea with the Queen of England.  Queen of Canada?)

    Today I took young Master Skeletor to a psychological evaluation at the hands of the State in order to see if he qualifies for SSI.  (SSI means Social Security something that starts with I, for those of you who are just not as informed as I am.)  As I'm unable to work full time hours while simultaneously preventing my son from laying waste to entire cityscapes, this extra cashflow each month would be greatly appreciated.  And thus ends the portion of this post where I attempt to justify my family's suckling at the government's teat.  Or suckling attempts.  Attempted suckling.  Whatever, point being is we went to a doctor's appointment today where, unlike any other place or time, we kind of wanted our child to be on his worst behavior.  Maybe that's putting it wrong.  More autistic-y?  Ugh, now I've probably offended.  We wanted the full scope of his condition to be shown so that the doctor could make an informed decision about our child's need for SSI.  (Whew, finally spit it out.)  The evaluation went very well, but during the course of the appointment, I grew very confused.  The doctor was giving Skeletor all sorts of tests and other official thingamabobs, and the kid was blowing them out of the water.  The doctor paused mid-question to inform me that "he's sharp!"  Which placed me in such a strange predicament.  There I was being all super proud of my clearly genetically enhanced child, while at the same time hoping that my son's performance on this test wouldn't negate his receiving the SSI benefits that we so desperately need.  Now I feel all guilty.  And dirty.  I'm going to go take a shower, and try to wash off my shame.

Please, sir, may I have some more?  (This is how I felt today.)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Parental Advisory: Explicit Content

     A couple of weeks ago, when I was on hiatus (that makes me sound important, right,) something hilarious/terrible happened.  I had the day off from work, and was all by my onesies while the kids were in school.  I should have done something awesome with my free time like throw a kegger, but instead I was slaving over Halloween decorations.  Anyhoozle, while I was getting my hot glue on, I got a phone call.  From my kids' principal.  Zoinks.  Apparently, Sassafrass, my darling six year old, was in the office.  Her offense?  Calling a little boy in her class a dick.  (In her defense, he was totally being a dick.  In my defense, she actually didn't hear that from me.  Any other curse word I could probably lay claim to, but I really don't know where she picked up this one.)  After my immediate horror subsided, I started getting a little pissy.  The intellectual part of me said, "That's unacceptable.  She can't just walk around calling people names.  Especially ones like that."  However, the dirty, damn the man hippie in me said, "That's horseshit!  Who decides what a bad word is?  If she had called the kid a poopy-head, she would have just pulled a quarter in class.  But, she calls a kid a word that's arbitrarily designated as a 'bad word,' and all hell breaks loose.  Shenanigans, I say!"  I'm still conflicted.  Obviously, because I'm a sell-out, I gave her a good talking to about curse words and name calling and all that jazz.  But it still just makes me all mangry thinking about it.  Not the school's reaction, really, just how random language is.  I'm tired.  And digressing.  Does anyone out there get as hot and bothered about stupid crap like this as I do, or is my crazy just showing?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Stuff That Happened

     Alternate title: Reasons That I Have Been A Terrible Blog Owner And Reader These Last Few Weeks, But Am Now Crawling On My Hands And Knees, Singing, "Baby Come Back," Because I Desperately Need The Community And Place To Vent. 
  1. School started back, which went surprisingly well...
  2. ...until it didn't.
  3. I started back to work as to alleviate our crushing poverty.
  4. I caught the three week funk.  Again.
  5. I had (and am currently in the throes of) a Lyme disease flare-up.
  6. Stupid people.
  7. Halloween.  It's like Skeletor's Christmas, and, much like at Christmas, I stress out about every little thing while trying to make it fantastic.  I want it to look like Halloween threw up in my house, and right now it only looks like it may have dry heaved a little.
  8. Autism (duh-doy.)
     In conclusion, take mercy on my wretched soul, and welcome me back into the bosom that is this blogging community.  Sincerely, Sanstrousers.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Victory Shriek!

     As some of you may know, when my kids started back to school recently, I was terrified of how my dear, sweet Skeletor was going to fare in kindergarten.  I didn't know if the more structured environment would make his behavior better or worse.  I didn't know if we made the right decision by having him attend resource classes for part of the day.  And, most of all, I had absolutely no idea whether he would be able to function academically.  Because, as everyone who knows him can attest, the boy has plenty of information in his head, but getting him to let it out at the appropriate time is the hard part.  Well, I still have plenty of fears, but look at his test from this past Friday!  Say, what?!  That's right; my boy made a 100!  You'll have to excuse me now.  I'm off to walk around and gloat.

Yes, this is the worst scan ever, but I'm tired.
He correctly identified all that jazz up there!  Yeah, boy!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

What Had Happened Was...

     So, I haven't been around here in a hot minute.  Mostly because I suck at life and blogging, but also because of school starting back, my new job, and my funktagiousness complete with low grade fever.  But, I promise on my first born, I will be back soon to write an actual post.  I'm sure you all are just sitting around and holding your breath, right?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Farewell To Arms

     As of 0930 yesterday morning, my service with the Army National Guard has come to an end.  And, even though it's what is best for my family, it still sucks.  So much of my life and my identity have been wrapped up in being a soldier and a veteran, and now that it's over, I feel lost.  I know that it will get better eventually, but I'm currently kind of, sort of, completely terrified.  What do I do now?  Who am I?  What am I doing with my life?  What's up with the universe and all that?  How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?  These are the things going on in the old canoodle right now.  But I do know one thing.  Despite all the griping and complaining about the military that I have done, I am really going to miss it.  It has truly been an honor serving with all my brothers and sisters in the armed forces (even the stupid ones,) and it is something that I will be proud of for the rest of my life.  Sanstrousers out.

Me playing Dr. Giggles in Iraq.
Definitely going to miss this kind of nonsense.

Friday, August 17, 2012

I'm Freaking Out: IEP Edition

     In a little over a week, we will be having Skeletor's first IEP meeting of the school year.  And I am FREAKING OUT!  This is how I feel, right now.  Or, rather, right meow.  Skeletor was in Pre-K at the same school last year, and we had no problems whatsoever.  (I don't even know if that's really a word.  It doesn't look like a word.  I'm freaking out!)  The main cause of my spazz attack is kind of weird.  I don't know what to request.  I spoke to his Pre-K teacher, the teacher's assistant, and his speech therapist on a near daily basis, so I never really had to ask for something to be put in the IEP.  We all just kind of figured things out together.  You know, all go with the flow and loosy goosy-like.  But because my dear, sweet, precious, angel baby is in Kindergarten this year, I'm not in his classroom as much.  Which makes this IEP meeting seem so much more important...and scary.  Also, it's time to get down to the nitty gritty with this whole "formal education" business.  So, obviously I should have lots of things to put into the IEP to make Skeletor's school year go as smoothly as possible, right?  Except I don't.  I have two things on my list of demands: I want to walk him to class every morning so he doesn't end up hiding under a bench somewhere after he has touched each block on the wall that happens to be at his eye level.  And I want him to use the smaller Handwriting Without Tears pencils.  That is the entirety of my demand list.  I would make a terrible hostage taker.  So, I rambled all that, to ask this: What kind of things should I ask to put in his IEP?  I know, I know.  Every child is a perfect, unique snowflake and stuff.  But if anyone would like to help a sister out by maybe telling me some examples of things you have requested in your IEP's so I can get an idea of what I'm doing, that would be super sweet.  Because I am lost in the sauce, and freaking out.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Children: We Just Don't Like Them

     As some of you may know, I recently went back to work.  I'm a hostess at the very same restaurant that I worked at 9 years ago.  This is also the same restaurant that I continued to have stress dreams about as recently as three weeks ago.  Anyway, today I was at work, and I had an encounter that left me positively baffled.  A party of four came in, and requested a table (not a booth.)  Yadda, yadda, yadda, restaurant logistics, blah, blah, blah.  I took them to the only table that I had available at that time.  It was a perfectly lovely table, centered in the middle of section D and all.  I gave them their menus, plus the spill about our specials, and left them to their delicious seafood.  As I was walking away, I heard one of the men mutter, "Oh, great.  There's two of them."  The "them" he was referring to?  Children.

     Now, I will be the first in line to duct tape the mouth of a child that is screaming in public.  But these two kids were seated at separate tables, and they were just chilling.  Not screaming, not banging things on the table, not flinging scrumptious cheesy biscuits through the air (also known as everything my kids would have been doing had they been there.)  None of the party asked to be moved, so I really didn't think anything else about it, other than having a nasty little inner chuckle when I sat another table with two kids in that same section.  What?  I'm supposed to make them wait for a table because you don't want kids near you?  Not likely.
     As they were finishing up their meal, one of the women in the party came past the host stand on the way to the restroom.  She stopped when my manager asked her how her meal was.  And you know what her complaint was?  That we didn't have an adults only section.  She said, "Why don't you make an effort when you see a group of people without kids to seat them where there aren't any kids near them?  Because, children?"  She literally paused and shuddered here.  "We just don't like them."  Um...what?!
     There's a reason that my manager makes the big bucks, because all I could do was look down at the ground and bite my lip.  (I've been told that I make faces that convey exactly what I'm thinking, so I have to avoid eye contact quite a bit.)  He kind of chuckled with the woman, and was all, "Yeah, that would be nice."  It got quiet, and I guess she could tell that we thought she was a monster, because she made a hasty retreat.  They left a few minutes later, and that was that.
     Except it wasn't, because all I could think about was the audacity of those people.  As if they were in any way deserving of special treatment.  As if families with small children should all be tucked away in a hidey hole in the back of the restaurant.  I just don't get it.  Seriously, the freaking balls on some of these people!  Am I the only one who finds this so irritating?  Because it certainly would not be the first time I got all bent out of shape over an imagined transgression.  Let me know in the comments, would you?  Thanks.  You're a peach.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Swimming Telephone

     The lovely and amazeballs Marian at Just Keep Swimming has started something awesome.  It's a bloggy version of the kid's (or immature adult's) game, Telephone.  Her version is called Swimming Telephone, and tells the story of one mother's especially craptastic day.  The blogger who tagged me in is Nicole at Ninja Mom, and next in line is Robyn at Hollow Tree Ventures.  My part in the story begins after "Seriously?"  Okay, let's get this shindig started!



Still Not Great

Downhill, indeed. Just like my youngest, who, by the time I’d stumbled back to my coffee, had managed to get on his Lightning McQueen Trike-to-Bike Convertible Toddler Tricycle with Button-Activated Sounds from Disney/Pixar’s “Cars.” I knew this, not because I saw him as he trundled down our inclined driveway, but because I heard Tow Mater’s voice sing out in Doppler Effect, “Git-R-Done!”
There are some mothers who wake before their children, shower and dress themselves, brush on some age-defying mineral make-up, and are seated at the kitchen table, halfway through a cup of coffee when their children begin to wake. I hate those women.
While I flew out the door to rescue my three-year-old from a traffic accident, the whole neighborhood discovered that I sleep in a tattered old tee shirt of my husband’s that leaves a whole lot less to the imagination than I might like.
“Morning, Ellen!” I called to my neighbor as my cotton panties slid ever deeper between my cheeks.
I grabbed the parent push bars on the trike just before Ellen got an eyeful of my banana-shaped birthmark. She’s lucky it was underwear day.
“Are you kidding me? Since when is it okay to sneak out for a morning bike ride without mommy? Do you realize I haven’t even finished my coffee yet? Do you realize you could have been killed in the road by some texting-and-driving maniac? Do you realize these questions are rhetorical?”
It was nice to have another adult enter the conversation, even if it was a cartoon tow truck with poor dental coverage. At least Mater had a can-do attitude. It looked like I’d need it today.


     Once I had corralled the escapee back into the house, and adjusted my massive wedgie, I was suddenly struck by how quiet it was.  A churning started deep in my gut, as this kind of extreme silence usually meant that something somewhere was on fire.  Even though I had no evidence to support my hypothesis, I made a beeline for my oldest child's room.  As I made my way down the hall, my mommy-powers were validated.  The girl's door was closed, but I could still smell the overwhelming scent of permanent markers.
     The desperate and slightly insane part of me began chanting to herself, "Please be sniffing sharpies.  Please be sniffing sharpies." 
     But, alas, as I flung open the bedroom door, I was faced with irrefutable evidence that my young children had not taken up huffing as a hobby.  My middle child was covered with black permanent marker.  The girl paused mid-stroke, and squeaked out, "Oh, hi, Mommy!  Look, brother's a tiger!"
     A second glance at the child revealed that he did appear to be covered in stripes that were vaguely tiger-like.  Unfortunately, a third glance (more like a double take, really) showed something even more interesting.  Emblazoned on my son's forearm was a word.  And not a very nice one.  Some, like Ralphie from "A Christmas Story," would even call it the Queen Mother of Dirty Words.  And, I'm not talking about fudge, either. 
     I knew that the boy didn't write it on himself.  He couldn't even spell his own name, much less master the elusive "ck" letter combination.  As I opened my mouth to begin screaming obscenities (I wonder where she gets it?) the doorbell rang.  A quick peek out the window revealed my mother-in-law.  Awesome.  Maybe she could entertain the children with stories of how the Democrats want to take all our Bibles and guns, while I did the laundry.  And she could also get a good look at her grandson's sweet, sweet new ink.


   Alrighty then.  I will now pass the reigns over to Robyn.  I'm sure this mom's day is going to get worse before it gets better.  And, thanks again for including me in the awesome, Marian!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Obligatory Post-Vacation Playback

     So, we just got back from vacation.  And when I say "just got back," I obviously mean we got back almost a week ago, and I'm just now able to write anything about it.  Anyhoo, about a month back, my mom and I were discussing the fact that I had not been on a vacation in ten years.  (Unless you count Iraq and Kuwait.  Which I very much do not.)  And that although Smarty Pants and Miss Priss have been on all sorts of adventures with my mom, Sassafrass and Skeletor have never been on a vacation at all.  Upon this realization, my mother was shocked and appalled, and decided to remedy the situation immediately.  So she took us all on a mini-vacation!  (How awesome is my mom, by the way?)
     We left from my mom's house early Monday morning, and drove to Atlanta.  We took copious bathroom breaks and mommy-needs-out-of-this-car-before-she-kills-you-all breaks.  About halfway there, we stopped at the good old Golden Arches, and gorged ourselves.  I have no regrets.

Smarty Pants and Miss Priss being classy.
They get that from me.

     Feeling full and slightly greasy, we then drove the rest of the way to Atlanta.  We went swimming and played in the hot tub at our hotel.  It was Sassafrass and Skeletor's first time in an in-ground pool and in a hot tub.  The fact that they did not know how to swim was of little consequence to them.  After we got done with our water play, we all got fancied up to go out to dinner at a Hibachi grill.  (Yet another first for the little ones.)  I will now make you look at pictures of all of us because we clean up so good.
Miss Priss

Smarty Pants



The best mommy EVAH!

This picture makes me want to punch people,
but whatevers.
     The next day, we got up and went to the Georgia Aquarium!  It was absolutely amazing.  I literally have a thousand pictures from my camera and from my mom's, but I won't subject you to such a thing.  I will show you just a couple of the best, and let you fill in the blanks.  Yes, I did feel like my hair should have turned grey while I was in there, but it apparently did not.

Of course he found the skeletons immediately.

Sassafrass, there's a dolphin behind you!

Skeletor fearlessly touching a sea urchin.  He touched a shark, too!

Whale shark's are big and junk.

Sibling love.

Smarty Pants looking way too grown.

Miss Priss with the lion fish.  Roar.

Mi mami!

At the entrance.

At the exit.
      Well, that's about it.  I apologize for the picture overload, but...I'm a mom.  What can you do, right?  Oh, one more thing.  Although Sassafrass and Skeletor left the house unable to swim, they came back with skills.  Skeletor claims he can "swim like a Hasselhoff" now.  Color me impressed.  I guess all that sea life must have given them some pointers!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I Got An Award,Ya'll!

     Oh em geezy, George and Weezy!  I got my very first blogging award!  (I love how I say that like there are many, many more to come.  That's not conceited at all, right?)  Anyhoozle, the super awesome sauce Marian at Just Keep Swimming gave me the Versatile Blogger Award.  This lady is the first person to make me feel like anybody gave a flying flippedy floo that I had a blog.  She's just the sweetest lady ever!  Thanks, Marian!

This.  This is what I got.  Fancy, huh?

     The rules for accepting this award are as follows:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Include a link to their blog.
3. Include the award image in your blog post.
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself.
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.
6. When nominating, include a link to their site.
7. Let the bloggers know they have been nominated.

     Sooooooooo, 1 through 3 accomplished, now onto number 4.  Here are four random facts about little old me:
1.  I have a tattoo on my upper left thigh that says friendship in Arabic.  My bestie, Slapajawea has a matching one.  We got them in Iraq, and they look like garbage.  But we love them anyway.
2.  I don't do hugs, unless they come from my family or my very, very, very close friends.  So don't be offended if I elbow you in the face if you attempt to hug me.
3.  My mother had to institute a "No Reading At The Table Rule" just for me when I was a kid.
4.  I used to to have a haunted baby doll that my mom found in an attic when I was a kid.  Her name was Chuckette, and she said very strange things when you pulled her string.  She died of decapitation at the hands of my brother and his friend.  Her crime?  Being too creepy to live.
5.  My absolute favorite movie is "Mean Girls."  I refuse to apologize.
6.  I hate egg yolks; my brother hates egg whites; we always share Easter eggs.
7.  I'm usually a very good blog follower, but I've had a bunch a craziness going on.  I'm not ignoring you, my dearies, I promise.

     And here is my list of bloggers to pass the award on to.  They are all just the coolest:
1.  Kate at Some Of This May Be True.  Too, too funny!
2.  Wub Boo Mummy for having the balls to Ermagahdify herself.
3.  Murr at Murrmurrs.  She writes about leaking weasels, and such.
4.  Karen at Ow, My Angst.  Her posts have titles like "Don't Lick Poop."  Sage advice.
5.  Cari at The Incredible Bitch Blog.  The title says enough.
6.  Blanche at All Over The Spectrum.  This lady tirelessly looks for things fun, educational activities for all our youngins.
7.  Mac at Homestyle Mama (with a side of autism.)  She is so nice and funny and supportive!
8.  Lizbeth Four Sea Stars.  She makes the funny a lot.
9.  Kimberly at All Work And No Play Make Mommy Go Something Something.  She's hilarious and brutally honest.  Killer combination.
10.  Mom2LittleMiss at Beyond The Dryer Vent.  Funny and educational = good sauce!
11.  Carrie at Cannibalistic Nerd.  Pretty much the definition of versatile blogging.
12.  Robyn at Hollow Tree Ventures, because da-doy, that's why!
13.  Lexi at Mostly True Stuff.  She makes my heart happy.
14.  The lovely lady over at Naptime Writing.  She's funny, and she's not afraid to say what everyone else is thinking!
15.  Jillsmo at Yeah. Good Times.  Hilarious and mean as hell (when need be.)  Love!

     Anyway, we just got back from a little min-vacation to the Georgia Aquarium, and I'm so tired that I feel like I could vomit.  Do you guys ever feel like that when you get just stupid tired?  Or have I reached the point of being so tired that I'm delusional?  Hmmmm...flubber milkshakes barney socks.  That is all.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ermahgerdify Yourself!

     Clearly you've all seen the Ermahgerd meme by now.  If not...well, I can't even finish that sentence because it's rude.  Anyway, the brilliant woman behind Wub Boo Mummy decided to tweak the meme (mainly because we all have pictures where we look as ridiculous as the Ermahgerd girl, and it's only fair.)  She bravely and selflessly took it upon herself to Ermahgerdify her old pictures.  And the courageous Robyn at Hollow Tree Ventures followed suit.  And, since I try to always be doing the same thing as the cool kids, I'm jumping on the bandwagon.  I'm a joiner.  (And, I'll have you know, I didn't have to look very far for these.  They were hanging on my wall.  I have no shame.)

Yes, those shirts do say "Cheerleading or my boyfriend,"
and those jackets are suede...and luxurious.

We're not even going to discuss my bangs or why I wasn't wearing a shirt.

It's really hard to spell 'rad' in Ermahgerd.
     So, anyway, that's all the public humiliation I can stomach for one day.  Who's next.  You ladies (and gentlemans) better man up!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Friendship: Mating For Life

     Some people mate for life when it comes to friendship.  They meet a kid in first grade, discover they both love Rainbow Brite, and become best friends forever.  Emphasis on the 'forever' part.  Sure, they make more friends as they move through the years, but they always make room in their life for each BFF they accumulate along the way.  My mom and my brother are like that.  She still regularly communicates with kids she was friends with in school, and my brother has had the same best friend for over twenty years (and he's only 28 years old, I might add.)  They've added to their friend menagerie substantially, of course, and it just blows my mind that they are able to commit to that level of friendship with such a large group of people.  Because, dear readers, I have a confession to make.  I'm a friendship slut.  I'm a love 'em and leave 'em kind of friend.  (Don't worry; I'm not proud.)  It's not that I move on to the next friend, and never think of the old one again.  I just don't possess the emotional maturity to devote myself to more than one friend at a time.  And, as we all change in life, when I would 'outgrow' a friendship, I would usually just go for the amicable divorce instead of resentment-filled marriage.  We would part as friends, and wave happily to each other if we met up in the grocery store, but we wouldn't be a daily part of each other's lives any longer.  This is how I lived my life.  Until I met Slapajawea, that is.

Me and Slapajawea when we first got to Iraq. 
Yes, I'm making a duck face.  I didn't know any better at the time.
     I don't know how Slapajawea and I became BFFF's (extra F is intentional.)  We were civilized with each other from the day we met, but she thought I was weird, and I thought she was kind of a bitch.  (Turns out we were both right, which is why we mesh so perfectly.)  We mobilized to Fort Dix, New Jersey to get ready for our deployment.  One day we were just fellow soldiers, the next we were joined at the hip.  It was very much like that scene from Stepbrothers. 

Dramatic recreation of our friendship forming.

     While we were deployed, our friendship grew even stronger.  (Duh.  Combat zones have that effect.)  But ours was a little different.  Even in Iraq, people grew close with each other, and then kind of moved on to other besties.  Slapajawea and I remained so close that I'm pretty sure our DNA meshed together, giving us both super powers.  One of our lieutenants joked that we were the only couple that didn't break up during the deployment.  We even took the giant leap of moving in together, both of us terrified that we would eventually try to kill each other with the rock we used to prop open our door to the scenic Iraqi views.  (We named that rock Monty, by the way.)  Didn't happen, though.  Old Slappy remains the only person in my life other than my family members that I haven't outgrown.  I don't know if it's because of the deployment that we've mated for life, or if we would have been such good friends regardless of how we met.  I don't really care, though.  And for those who would posit that we've only been friends for a few years, I say this.  I've been friends with my Peppermint almost as long as I've been married to my husband.  And I'm equally committed to both relationships.  Even when shit gets crazy hard (and I know it's hard right now,) I'm going to be right beside her, calling her a hooker, and making her laugh.  What I'm trying to say, Slapajawea, is that I dearly love you, and I would crumple up into a whimpering ball on the floor if you weren't here.  So stay here.  Please.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Poop: The Indignities Of Parenthood

     I had my first child over ten years ago, and she was certainly not my last.  And as a parent, it has become pretty difficult to surprise me where poop is involved.  Factor into that my time spent working as a CNA, an EMT, and an Army medic, and I become nigh unshockable concerning any filthy thing that can come out of the human body.  (To, this day, I am still almost as familiar with my Army buddies' bowels as I am my own.  It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it.  Cliche' for a reason.)  But, my son did something a few days ago that definitely falls under the 'shock and awe' category.  It also falls under the 'reasons I gave my kids blog codenames' category, but I digress.
     As I've mentioned about a bajillion times, my son, Skeletor, is obsessed with all things Halloween.  Except for the candy, of course, because that would be far too typical a thing to be excited about.  As an example of this interest, I submit to you that we have three different colors of those trick or treat pumpkins -sans handles by now- that the boy plays with on a nearly daily basis.  Remember that; it will become important shortly. 
     So, a few days ago, I fed the children, and was attempting to get them to at least splash some soap and water on their cruddy bodies.  Sassafrass was in the bathtub, and Skeletor was watching 'Ren and Stimpy' in his room.  (Because I'm an excellent mother.)  As I passed by his room, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that he was sitting on top of his pumpkin.  He was being surprisingly quiet and calm, so I quickly leaped out of his eyesight.  We don't poke the bear, right, kids?  A few minutes later, I heard a terrible shriek coming from the bathroom.  I ran into the room just in time to see Skeletor dumping something most foul out of his pumpkin and into the toilet.  Sassafrass kept screaming, "Brother pooped in the pumpkin!  Brother pooped in the pumpkin!"  Upon further inspection, I discovered that, indeed, Brother had pooped and peed in his pumpkin.  Dumbfounded seems to be a pretty accurate description of my state of mind at that moment.
     To my eternal credit, I didn't scream, slam the door shut, and run away.  And to Skeletor's eternal credit, he appeared to have merely used the pumpkin as a bedpan.  As soon as he was finished, he went and emptied it into the potty.  So, obviously, we had a long discussion about appropriate places to poop, but I didn't feel as if punishment was in order.  I believe he was testing the waters, so to speak.  And he hasn't had a repeat showing, so fingers crossed that the message got through to him.  Anybody have a good poop story they would like to share in the comments?  Don't be afraid.  We don't judge here...clearly.

I guess it could be worse...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Great Infestation Of 2012

     In my internet travels as a blogger and a blog reader, lo these three months, I have seen a lot of people confess a lot of things.  And thank God for that.  Without all of these perfect strangers spilling their respective guts, I may have gone completely insane by now.  (As opposed to the three quarters insane that I currently am.)  One person, in particular, has struck me with her candor.  She even hosts a weekly link-up called Secret Mommyhood Confession Saturday.  I'm, of course, referring to Kimberly at All Work And No Play Make Mommy Go Something Something.  It's fairly self-explanatory.  Every week, mommies from all around the interwebs link-up to post their deepest, darkest secrets.  After weeks of reading and lurking silently in the shadows, I've decided to leap into the fray this week.  Hopefully, I don't scare away everybody.
     As I've mentioned, blogging is awesome because it allows you a forum to talk about things that are frowned upon in polite society.  But my secret mommyhood confession is one that I haven't heard anyone else talking about.  It seems that even in the liberating world of the mommy blogger, there is still at least one topic that is taboo.  Lice.  Yeah, I said it.  We've had a lice outbreak in my house.  No big whoop.  Wanna fight about it?  Nobody, and I mean nobody wants to admit that their kid has lice.  Because even though intellectually most of us know that a lice outbreak has little to do with hygiene, hearing that our child has a damn entomology exhibit on their head sends us into a tizzy.  "What?  Well, I never!  That's just not possible.  I blow dry my child's hair with compressed air every night.  There's simply no way that a life form could survive on his/her pristine scalp!"
     When you find out that your child has lice, you will go through an abbreviated version of the five stages of grief.  They are as follows:
  1. Denial:  I've already mentioned this one.  You could have a licensed health care professional pointing out the little critters to you individually through a magnifying glass, and you will still not be able to accept the situation.  Fortunately, this stage passes pretty quickly, or everyone in the surrounding area would be summarily and permanently infested.
  2. Anger:  This stage is a bitch to get over.  You will lash out at anyone who has ever come near your precious angel baby while having the audacity to have hair on their head. 
  3. Bargaining:  This stage passes more slowly for some than for others.  My bargaining stage consisted mostly of pleading with the follicular gods to pretty please with sugar on top prevent the little critters from spreading to my other children.  Much like genie wishes, I should have been more specific.  None of the other kids got them, but my one poor child got them over and over again for almost five months.  We've since figured out where she was getting them, but still.  Cut me a break!
  4. Depression:  My depression stage hung around for a while, especially since we could not seem to shake the damn things.  It came in many shapes.  From reading the note that the school sends home, all the while knowing that the anonymous child they are referring to is your own, to being forced to ask the make-up counter lady at Walgreens where the lice shampoo is.  These things will send you into a shame spiral.  Side note:  I don't know who you're trying to kid, lice shampoo manufacturers, but your product does not have a fresh herbal scent.  Instead, it smells like I dumped a fifth of Jager onto my child's head.
  5. Acceptance:  Most people tend to reach this stage only after they have managed to rid their house of the scourge.  Hell, I'm doing the same thing right now.  Only after we discovered where the lice were coming from, and did our final treatment, am I now comfortable talking about this.  Yeah, I'm a hypocrite.  So, what?
     Whew!  I feel better already.  Confession really is good for the soul!  Maybe next week I'll talk about something really gnarly.  You've been warned.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Night Is Dark And Full Of Terrors

     First off, yay for "Game of Thrones" references.  Second, as my brain is currently mushy and useless, it's time for another installment of Tales From The Before Times!  This, of course, is when I tell you lovely people all about some strange and random thing from my past.  You're welcome.

     Once upon a time, when I was still a young and sassy firecracker (as opposed to an old and sassy one,) I moved into a new house.  I've moved about a billion times, so this should have been no big whoop.  But things are rarely as they should be.  This move, in particular, took a few days to complete.  On the first day, I basically just moved whatever random crap had made its way to the front of the random crap pile.  I also moved a couch, so I would have somewhere to sleep that night.  Moving is hard work, and I was a lazy ass, so I called it quits around mid-afternoon.  I jumped in my car rather spryly to make a run to the grocery store.  As I backed out of my driveway, a man walking down my street flagged me down.  I may have mentioned that I was young and thusly stupid.  So, of course I stopped my car and rolled down my window.  I was ten feet tall and bulletproof, after all!  Anyway, this man asks me if I've got any spare change.  I used to be a sucker for a sad story, so I gave him the approximately fifteen dollars in change that I had in my console.  To paraphrase Daniel Tosh, "You hit the jackpot, mofo!"  He was pleased with his unexpected windfall, and I left for the grocery store feeling morally superior to everyone I passed.
     Fastfoward to that same night.  I went to the store, and got myself some yum yums.  Tired from my day of half-ass house moving, I ate and then retired to my bedchambers, aka my couch in my new living room.  Around four in the morning, I was awakened by someone knocking on the front door, which happened to be right next to my head.  And I don't mean a polite tapping on the door, or a "it's probably just a tree branch" situation.  I mean a full-on "let me in the house because a monster is trying to eat me" scenario.  I peeked out the blinds behind the couch, and who did I see but the same man I gave about twenty pounds of change to that afternoon.  As we did not have plans to play bridge and have a spot of tea, this immediately sent me into panic mode.  And what did I do in panic mode, you ask?  Oh, just froze solid on the couch, and prayed that the man didn't come around to the side door which didn't have curtains.  As he continued to pound on the door, I managed to thaw out one of my hands, and called my mother.  She told me to stay still and quiet, and that she would call the police.  But since I made it a point never to listen to my mother at this point in my life, I did the exact opposite, and began searching for a weapon.
     At that point in my life, I didn't own a gun.  I also hadn't moved any of my silverware or table lamps.  Basically, I had nothing to defend myself with.  Other than my samurai sword, that is.  Serendipitously, a few days prior, I had passed a yard sale, and purchased myself a fancy schmancy sword.  It also came with a board to mount it on for display, but I hadn't attached it yet.  And this is how I found myself to be creeping silently through my home, with a giant sword held at the ready.  I was absolutely ready to decapitate some intruders.  Suddenly the knocking stopped.  I don't know if the guy was able to see me through the window, and had second thoughts about assaulting a girl who defends herself with a sword, or if he just got tired of knocking.  But a couple of minutes later, another knock at the door came.  Thankfully, the man knocking identified himself as a police officer.  Because I may have had trouble explaining myself for assaulting an officer of the law with a dull, ninja sword.  And I think this story is entertaining enough on its own without having to add attempted murder into the mix.  What say you?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Permission To Feel

     Last night, I found out that an old friend of mine passed away.  I worked with her for several years at the Crimson Crustacean.  Anyone who has worked at a restaurant in their late teens or early twenties knows how close you become with your co-workers.  You work together, you play together, you are completely enmeshed in each other's lives.  I haven't spoken to my friend in several years.  We just drifted apart, as so often happens.  When I was told about her passing, I immediately brushed it off.  I said to myself, "That's very sad.  But you haven't talked to her in years.  You don't have the right to get all torn up about this."  And then I went to sleep, and had troubled dreams that I can't remember.
     This morning, as soon as I opened my eyes, I remembered that she was gone.  And I remembered what a wonderful person she was.  I never heard a hateful word come out of her mouth.  And then I gave myself permission to feel.  And I cried.  A lot.  I'm trying not to cry right now.  I have tried very hard all my life to shove my feelings down into a nice, tidy bundle that can be kicked under the bed.  But, I'm not going to do that today.  My friend Amy died.  And that breaks my heart.

Rest in peace, Amy.
  The world will truly be a poorer place without you.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Crazy, But That's How It Goes

     When I am stressed (a.k.a. always,) I have a tendency to downplay whatever is bothering me.  I like to call this "pathological optimism."  One of the downsides to this is stress dreams.  Once upon a time ago, when my life was relatively carefree, my stress dreams almost always involved waiting tables at a certain restaurant.  We will call it the Crimson Crustacean.  Years after I stopped working for this establishment, I would still have dreams that the hostess was seating me back to back to back.  In the dream, every time I would go into the kitchen, I would have three new tables when I came back out.  Pretty tame, right?
     After I got back from Iraq, and started dealing with my son's autism and the adjustment back to civilian life, my stress dreams got a little more awesome.  They were about zombies.  (I told you they were awesome.)  Now, these were not nightmares, they were stress dreams.  I was not running through some desolate, burned out cityscape, avoiding a messy death at the hands of the zombie hordes.  No, no.  My zombie stress dreams always took place at my grandma's house in the country.  And I was not scared.  Rather, I was irritated at all the logistical demands being placed on me during the zombie apocalypse.  Why aren't those windows blocked?  Who has been dipping into the rations?  Where's my lobotmizer?  Has anyone seen Skeletor?  Maybe he defected?  These are the things that I worry about when it's stress dream time.  Until recently, anyway.
     It seems that my subconscious no longer finds the thought of the dead rising to be upsetting enough to be the stage upon which I act out my anxieties.  What can I say?  I adjust quickly.  No, it seems the old canoodle had to bump it up a notch.  A few days ago, I had a stress dream about finger amputation.  Again, this was not a nightmare.  In the dream, obviously, three and a half of the fingers on my right hand were amputated.  Surprisingly, I don't remember how they got cut off.  I find this mildly disconcerting.  I'm not running around like a crazy person, bleeding all over the carpet.  Instead, I've got a dishcloth wrapped around my hand, and I'm looking all around for the fingers.  I have a cup filled with ice, and it's my intention to gather all my errant digits, and get to the hospital.  One by one, I find the little suckers.  Only, because this is a stress dream, I somehow keep losing one every time I find another one.  This doesn't end.  I don't ever get to the hospital.  I just wake up.  That's right.  I've thrown down the stress dreams gauntlet.  I'm such an over-achiever.  Tell me about your stress dreams in the comments.  Please?  So I know I'm not completely insane?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Special Needs Parenting Drinking Game

     Just in time for the holidays, I present to you the special needs parenting drinking game.  Should you choose to actually play this beast, I will not be held legally or morally responsible for your alcohol poisoning related ER visit.  As my son has an autism spectrum disorder, a lot of the rules of the game are based on that.  But, from what I'm hearing, they're relevant to a lot of SN parents.  A big thanks to the lovely Elle at Call Me Momah for giving me the idea.  She's a hoot and a holler, so I suggest you go visit her immediately.  (Well, read this post first, please.  That would be very cool of you.) 

The Special Needs Parenting Drinking Game

  • Drink every time your child breaks something.  Finish your drink if he breaks something of great sentimental value.
  • Do a shot each time you take your child to Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Behavioral Therapy, or any other kind of therapy.
  • Drink every time your insurance won't cover an intervention.  Finish your drink if it will.  (Celebration time!)
  • Do a shot every time Jenny McCarthy says something stupid or offensive.  Do two shots if it involves showing her boobies.
  • Drink every time someone says so-and-so "was just like that when he was younger, and he's fine now."  Finish your drink if the person who says this is a relative.
  • Do a shot every time your school system vetoes an intervention.
  • Drink every time someone says, "But he looks normal."
  • Drink every time a doctor ignores your concerns.
  • Drink for every referral you get.
  • Finish your drink every time you have to call your child's principal.
  • Do a shot every time someone calls your kid weird.  Do another shot for each violent demise you imagine for the person who calls your kid weird.
  • Drink every time your child reaches a hard-won milestone.  Finish your drink every time your child has a setback.
  • Drink every time your child gets overstimulated.
  • Drink every time your child is understimulated.
  • Drink every time your child starts stimming.
  • Do a shot every time you stay home from an event or family gathering rather than deal with the meltdown that is sure to follow.
  • Drink every time your kid wakes up in the middle of the night.
  • Drink every time your kid wets the bed.  Finish your drink if he wets your bed.
  • Do a shot every time your kid has a meltdown.  Hell, take two shots.
  • Drink every time your child eats chicken nuggets.  Finish your drink if he decides he no longer likes chicken nuggets.  Do a shot if he demonstrates this displeasure by throwing the chicken nuggets against a wall.
  • Drink every time your child screams.  Finish your drink if the scream is coming from one of your neurotypical kids.  Do a shot if you're the one screaming.
  • Drink every time your child refuses to let you cut his toenails, wash his hair, brush his teeth, etc.
  • Drink every time your child plays in the sink.  Finish your drink if he has incorporated a box of tampons into his sink play.  (Thanks to Kimberly at All Work And No Play Make Mommy Go Something Something for that one!)
  • Drink every time your child injures himself, someone else, or you.  Finish your drink if there's bloodshed.  Do a shot if the injury requires an ER visit.
  • Drink every time he cries.  Finish your drink every time you cry.
  • Drink every time you leave a store because of one of your child's meltdowns.  Finish your drink if you stay in the store for the duration of the meltdown.  Do a shot if someone calls children's services on you.
  • Drink every time you watch a certain t.v. show for the billionth time.  Finish your drink every time your child has a conversation with you based entirely on said show.
  • Drink every time your child refuses to go to school.  Finish your drink when he refuses to leave school.
  • Chug for five seconds when your child learns to unlock the front door.
  • Drink every time your child strips naked.
  • Drink every time your child's feces ends up somewhere other than the toilet.
  • Drink every time you replace your bathroom tile.
  • Drink every time your child refuses to wear an article of clothing because it is itchy, scratchy, too tight, feels funny, etc.
  • Drink every time your child dismantles a brand new toy, and then plays with just one piece.
  • Drink every time someone says IEP, annual goals, data, or vaccinate.
  • Drink every time you say an acronym.
     Well, there you have it.  Feel free to let me know any rules that I've missed in the comments section.  If you have been playing along as you read this, then you are completely schwilly by now.  Go to bed.  You're a mess.  And, no, I won't hold your hair for you while you puke.  I'm mean like that.    

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Shiva, The Destroyer Of Worlds

     Things my son, Skeletor, did within the space of three hours.  (Can you say rapidly ballooning aneurysm?  Good!  I knew you could!)

  1. Pulled every book (and we have quite a few) off of the bookshelf.  He then flipped said bookshelf over, and proceeded to jump up and down on the back of it.  He reminded me of Donkey Kong.
  2. Poured an entire cup of juice on his bed.  Not an accident.
  3. Used the dish sprayer thingy in the sink to give the kitchen a bath.  Toaster included.
  4. Made "potions" in my set of olden-timey, glass medicine bottles  The "potion" included tooth paste.  Clearly it needed to be poured everywhere.
  5. Broke another leg off of the end table in the living room.  It was already propped against the wall on just three legs.  It is now beyond propping. 
  6. Made another "potion" in the bathroom sink.  This "potion" was made by running water over a bunch of markers to make pretty colors.  I'm sure you can imagine what happened.
  7. Poured another cup of juice onto the kitchen table.  He then stripped completely naked, and rolled around in the puddle.
  8. Fell from his perch on the back of a recliner.  Now has a hellacious shiner.
  9. Broke his learner guitar over his sister's leg.  In his defense, he seemed to be channeling the spirit of Kurt Cobain, and she was merely a casualty of the mojo.  It's a good lesson to learn early, really.  Never get in the way of rock.  You might bleed.
Skeletors can't fly.
      I have nothing else to say.  I'm pretty sure this list speaks for itself.  I forget, why don't I binge drink?