Thursday, March 28, 2013

Celebrate or else.

     Every night she mourns her life. Mourns what used to be. Tears and crushing sadness over what once was. From a boyfriend she lost in the war, to her nursing career, to Gage not being a baby anymore. Mourning what should be celebrated and remembered with laughs and cool stories. Nobody is allowed to celebrate it. We all have to mourn it with her. It is absolutely the most draining experience and feels WRONG. I want off that ride. I refuse to do it anymore. If she doesn't like it when I make jokes and smile and laugh over it all, then too fucking bad. I refuse to mourn anymore. How dare she mourn such a wonderful and amazing life. If there is sin, then surely, this is it.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Feral animals tied to my feet.

     There has been, as long as I can remember, mystery surrounding the mental health of my family. For one thing, my parents grew up in a time when having any sort of mental illness was a shameful secret, and both parents had a strange and INTENSE hatred for psychologists. I asked Mom one time long ago why she never went to therapy for help in dealing with her childhood issues. She became angry with me for suggesting it, as if I had just asked her to go get tortured. Totally strange. My brother had difficulties very early on and was never brought to a doctor, I assume because my parents just thought he was "different" or needed more discipline. It turns out he is bipolar, and is working on it now, doing much better. My Dad and I have panic disorder, which I was diagnosed with as an adult and treated with lifestyle changes. Dad had it much worse than I did and never sought any help, and the dude was miserable every day of his life, or seemed to be anyway.

     Mom had her wild ups and downs, but it wasn't until she started having more downs than ups that she finally agreed to see a therapist, a few years ago. However, she refers to her psychologist as her "friend" and not as a doctor who is treating her. I know for a fact, because I am the only one with permission to discuss Mom's treatment with her doctor, that Mom consistently lies to her about how she's really doing. I have even called her doctor and told her this, and said how concerned I was that she was going from suicidal to elated in a matter of minutes. I told her Mom is a nurse. She knows how the system works and what to say and do to get a doctor to give you what you want. What came of it? Not a damn thing. Mom is still manic, though no longer suicidal as far as we know. But now her mania is dangerous because of her health. Back in the day she would go on a home improvement kick and paint the whole living room, fix the fence out back, plant an entire garden, and redecorate the house in a week. Then she'd flip out and hide all the spoons in the house because she found a dirty one in my room, and declare a strike on housework because nobody cared about her, and then threaten to run away. I'd always cry and beg her to stay, and please don't leave me with Dad....and she'd apologize for scaring me, cry a bit and then go back to being normal. This was a few times a year. Nowadays she'll attempt to clean something or rearrange furniture and totally overdo it, become exhausted and then get depressed and go to sleep. I know she'll never be properly diagnosed. We just have to try to keep her safe the best we can, and it is frustrating and exhausting. I know that if Mom was able to think clearly and not on all those drugs, she would not have made this trip, and would definitely not do all the dangerous things she now does that scare my brother and I. But here we are.

     It's hard not to get angry. Yesterday was so hard, the worst day I've had with her EVER. She kept me up all night, being loud in the kitchen and waking the baby, then while I took Husband to work in the morning she decided to use some awful slippery chemical cleaner to sour my already perfectly clean bathtub, in her bare feet. I came home, started Bug's breakfast and my nose started stinging as the fumes wafted into the room. I ran into the bathroom and discovered her, and I could see she was struggling not to slip in the tub. I flipped and ordered her to stop because she wasn't safe. She adamantly refused. It was filthy and she wanted to help, she knew I was mad at her (?) and wanted to make it up to me by cleaning. Bug was eating breakfast in the other room, and so I had to choose between wrestling my mother out of the bathtub against her will, or going back to keep an eye on my toddler who was surrounded by food she could potentially choke on. It was like that horrible question, "Your mother and your daughter are drowning in a pool, and you can only save one, who do you pick?" I picked my daughter and said a little prayer for Mom. After she was done, she apologized and then started acting even weirder and passed out in the bedroom. While she was out, I checked her pill cases like I always do. A DAY AND A HALF OF NORCOS MISSING. I watched her sleep for the next 6 hours. When she woke up, she told me she took a whole days worth while I was asleep last night, and took a muscle relaxer in the morning (my brother has since told me it's more likely she just hid them somewhere in the house, she just does that sometimes and then forgets about it. GREAT. I can't wait to tear my house apart searching for drugs that can kill my baby if she eats them). The rest of the day was a blur. I don't even remember it. Every time I asked Gage for help, he did what was asked but quickly fleed the scene as soon as he could. He and Husband have been conveniently absent throughout this whole ordeal, and I have to admit, if I were them I would be too. But I can't escape. It feels like there's a feral animal tied to each of my feet. One is a year old and one is 68. Both will totally fall victim to accidental death if I don't watch them every minute. Both make terrible decisions and have emotional outbursts. Both count on me to set the tone and keep them happy. But the older one doesn't take direction as well as the younger one.

     When my brother called me last night I had a huge, hysterical emotional breakdown. I don't even know what I said, but whatever it was, it was everything I have been feeling. We compared notes and what he will discuss with her doctors when she gets home, and he offered to get her an earlier flight home. As tempting as that is, I don't want to break what's left of her heart by telling her to leave. That poor woman has had a cancer diagnosis, two major surgeries, her husband died and her grand-kids moved out of state, all in a year's time. I want her to have as much happiness as she possibly can now. I just wish she could cooperate so that we CAN have some fun. Husband and Gage said they will be more present and social with us from now on, too. That makes me feel so much better. I didn't realize how alone I was feeling until they both admitted to not being there on purpose. Hopefully the next two weeks will go smoother....

     Sorry I stopped being funny and interesting, but the humor in this pile of shit escapes me thus far.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A nice retirement community, a jar of olives and a cereal bar.

     Life is not like the movies and TV. Being old is not an either/or thing, where you're either playing golf with your spouse in Arizona and getting your hair did on Saturdays, or in a hospice paid for by the state, waiting to die. There is a wide range of in-between. That in-between space can be complicated. When my dear Mother was far away in another state, it was really easy to say, "Of course I'll be able to take control of disbursing medications, make sure she eats, help her get around this giant house when her pain is too great, keep her company, remind her where something is or what she was doing, clean up the spills due to her terrible balance, compensate socially for her stroke-induced lack of tact or inability to find the right words, stop her from doing dangerous things and have a great time showing her around our new city and home, and introduce her to my new family while I do almost the exact same things for my toddler simultaneously!", but it was clear immediately after she arrived that I couldn't do those things with any poise, if at all. It has me feeling really.....fucking weird. Or maybe I just feel weird because I have only slept a few hours over the last 2 days... It's shocking discovering how awful she feels all the time and how much help she needs, because my parents were hiding things about Mom's health from my brother and I for a couple years, so this has been the first we knew about most of it. It's been hard for me to internalize it all. I keep going through a vast range of emotions that cover everything from excitement that she's here with me, guilt that I can't "do it all" when she's here, sadness that she feels like shit, and anger that I have to take care of her when I already have enough on my plate. Oh and then guilt for feeling angry. It's stupid.

     There are so many layers on this issue, I don't know how to put it in a nutshell. I guess....Mom goes through a lot of different problems during the day, their severity always being unpredictable. The unpredictability is sometimes the most stressful part. Her diagnoses so far have included severe Fibromyalgia, arthritis, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, PTSD, breast cancer, parathyroid tumors, depression, and anxiety, and her short term memory is very poor, which is either dementia or Fibro-fog (a symptom of Fibro that causes confusion). Some days (or just a few hours or minutes in a day) she is just fine and we have a blast together. We talk about the kids and when I was little and laugh about silly things. Sometimes she suddenly does a 180 from feeling good to crying in pain and exhaustion. About once a month, she is bed-ridden and helpless. There is no warning. You never know what's next. Her refusal to accept that she is infirm and requires help and supervision makes everything a struggle, and I am just not good at catering to her delusions of perfect health. As a result, I end up hurting her feelings. But I am only trying to keep her and everyone else safe, and there is no apology needed for that, in my eyes. So, I just have to accept that I'm a total dick who makes my own mother feel like a helpless child. After a whole lifetime of her making sure I feel good about myself, lending support in every endeavor and offering a roof over my head when I got layed off or kicked out of my own house. Awesome. The last TWO DAYS (that's it!) have been a rollercoaster, and Bug just happened to pick the wrong week to do some more teething, so all the Mom stuff added to little Bug getting up 6 times a night has been quite enough to make me wanna jump off something tall.

     My goal has been to stick to Bug's schedule while entertaining and caring for Mom. BAHAHAHHAAA!!!! Not possible so far. But close, and I am pretty proud of that.

     Losing your independence after being the breadwinner of a family of four, primary caregiver of your children and head of the entire critical care pediatrics department of a huge hospital for 30 years is apparently hard to swallow. She is stubborn and doesn't want to inconvenience us by having to help her all the time. She wants to do for herself and I understand that. But I don't think she gets that if I don't help her, she could get hurt, hurt someone else or make a mess that creates more work for me anyway, and when those things happen she feels bad so why not let me do it to begin with?

     Another thing I'm struggling with is her medications. She was reluctant at first to my helping her by counting them out and organizing them like my brother does at home. She did it herself early in the morning before anyone was up that first day she was here. Then when I wanted to make sure it was right, she claimed my brother's pill chart was probably wrong and that she knew better than him how to do it. Later that morning she took pills from the wrong day and couldn't remember when or how many....she can overdose on something so easily, it scared me. The other reason I don't want her counting out her own pills is because she drops them constantly and can't find them. Last time she stayed at our house I found random pills all over the house. That wasn't so bad when all we had was a cat tasting things on the floor, but now OUR DAUGHTER is picking things up off the floor and eating them, so it's terrifying. Today I hijacked her medication briefcase and got the next two days done and organized, and re-labeled her pill case so she knows which end is morning. I also put the whole briefcase where only I can get to it now.

     She has a tendency to sleep all day and stay up all night. This creates even more problems. For one, she doesn't take her meds on time and I can't monitor when she does because I'm asleep. She gets restless at night and wants to do stuff, so there have been times where someone finds her doing something dangerous like, when Dad found her climbing kitchen counters to dust the top of the fridge. When she's moving around the house at night she tries to be quiet but often drops things or clangs things together and wakes the baby or me, who sleeps on the couch so I can be close by if she or Bug need me during the night. She gets hungry more often at night, and eats nothing but cereal and cereal bars, or candy and ice cream, and for someone who is diabetic and doesn't take her meds on time, this is not good. I made a point to get only sugar free snacks and creamers for the house, but somehow she snuck a bunch of junk into our grocery cart yesterday.

     The whole thing is so sad, and the worst is that I have to watch her with Bug like a hawk. She has always been the best grandmother I have ever known. So involved and sweet and Gage adored her when he was little. But as she has gradually become weaker, she has not gradually become more aware of it. When Bug was 5 months old, Mom almost dropped her. Twice. I had to save Bug from being injured. Ever since then I don't allow Mom to hold her or even have her on her lap because Bug is so wiggly you have to really hang on to her so she doesn't jump off you and get hurt. Today she offered to babysit and ordered me to go take a nap cuz I looked tired. I had to tell her no, she can't babysit anymore. I know this hurts her feelings terribly. It hurts mine too. Mom is still great with her though, they play peekaboo constantly and Bug thinks it's the best game ever.

     When Mom has felt good we have had a lot of fun, but the worry over what is next and if I am staying on top of everything has me tense and irritable. I am trying so hard to just enjoy my Mom, and I want to show her all the beautiful parts of where we live. But we haven't even made it around our backyard yet. It's too much walking on an unsteady ground for her. Today we had plans to go to the mall, and she woke up at 1:30 and got ready to go. Then as she's drinking her coffee, she suddenly got very confused and began falling asleep standing up. I guess that was what my brother called "nap-attacks", where she very suddenly gets intensely sleepy. She's seeing her doctor about it when she gets back home. We have plans to see the beach sometime soon, but we have to pick a day with low humidity and warm temperatures because anything different causes her too much pain. So far, the best day for it in the forecast seems to be Sunday or Monday. But who knows if she'll be having a good enough day to leave the house then...

     One of my other responsibilities is to make sure she eats, which has apparently been an issue for her for several months. I see the issue as being WHAT she eats. She requested sugar free pudding and Special K cereal on Tuesday. She then tore through a whole box of cereal, a box of cereal bars, and 6 pudding cups in 32 hours because it's all she'll eat. Oh, she'll eat a few tablespoons of what I cooked, and rave about it, but have a huge bowl of cereal with a pudding cup dumped in the middle of it right after dinner. What the hell is that about? It reminds me of the weeks before Dad died, he threw his low-fat / low-sodium, no alcohol diet out the window and had a glass of wine with his ENTIRE JAR OF OLIVES for dinner nearly every day. Is it a "fuck-it" move?

     Maybe if I go on auto-pilot and try to think of her as my patient, I'll be able to cope better and get everything done without allowing her to fight me on everything. Or maybe I'll just have mini-breakdowns in the shower every day for the next three weeks. Meh.

     My first wedding anniversary is coming up on the 22nd of April. Are we there yet?
    

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I'm a bro, fuck it.

     Oh, for fuck's sake! I just found a very helpful website for my losing weight journey, Get drunk not fat. I am a beer girl. For sure. Like, the second the kid is asleep I have a beer in my hand, kind of beer girl. I do not fuck around. Out of the "lower calorie" alcoholic beverages I can stand or at least mostly deal with, and are available anywhere you go, I'm stuck with Miller Lite?! They can't even spell "light" correctly. Gahhh......alright, gimme the black socks and white sneaks...oh don't forget the Tap-out Tshirt! I'm a fucking bro now. It's over. Any delusion of coolness has left the building. I don't even want to be seen in public with a Miller Lite in my hand. Jesus Christo! (pronounced; Hayzoose kreeeestow. I think. Wait no that's the white girl translation. Whatever.)

     Oh, just stop drinking beer? No. That's not happening. No, shut up...alcoholic shmalkoholic! You're probably fat and you don't even HAVE a love affair with beer. Vodka and diet coke? That's disgusting and you know it, and the only reason it's a better choice is because you'd only make it through one. Hmm...smoke the pot? Great idea, Mr. two different cereals on a bed of ice cream and whole milk at 1:00am! Mmmm....NO. What's that you say? Learn to cope without anything but the Dalai Lama's daily inspirational quote and the knowledge that I am alive and capable of greatness and a witness to the infinite beauty the earth has given me? Maybe you missed it in my profile, but...I'M AN AMERICAN. So, no.

     I joined this website where you enter your personal height/weight/age info, your weight loss goal, what you eat and what exercise you do, and it calculates your target caloric intake and calories burned for the day. Since I am about to have a beer right now, I will be 127 calories over my 1200 calorie limit. Maybe that isn't so bad, except I have killed myself exercising today and as a result have the worst acid reflux I've had in 5 years. I have a hiatal hernia, so things like bending over, jogging, and crunches cause pretty gnarly pain for me. Is it worth it? I don't know!

     Pretty soon I will be at the beach as much as possible. I already bit the bullet years ago and switched from bikini bottoms to trunks due to being 32 and veins showing through my see-through skin and all, and although that sucked at first, it became a whatever. I made it cute. If I don't get rid of this belly, I'll be in trunks and a sweatshirt. That's not cute. I try to think of my impression of other women on the beach that are overweight, as a reference to reality, and I honestly envy the ones who wear whatever they want and don't give a shit. So then, maybe this is a confidence issue? That pisses me off! I think I am pretty confident, a lot more than most! I feel like it's weak to not have confidence, whoever you are. Why wouldn't you love yourself? You're the only you that you have, your best advocate and SHOULD be your biggest fan and supporter. Back yourself up! Uhhhh.........Fuuuuuckkk........okay, rant over.

      These last few days have been so busy. Mom will be here on Monday. The spring cleaning bug is starting to hit me. The big monthly shopping trip is Friday- which entails 4 different stores and a trip home in-between because there's so much stuff, all with my crazy ass toddler in tow. Gage's grades are slipping in their usual mid-semester fashion, so wrangling a teenage boy is in the mix. I also want to make a few more things for the online auction of Sterling's Closet merchandise, coming up in the next few weeks, so plans for that are in the works. I do still remember to take the camera with me here and there, though, and got some pretty good stuff.

While I was cleaning the bathroom with Bug (I give her a washcloth to wipe the random stuff she notices), it got quiet. All the Mom's are nodding their heads and saying....uh-oh! Yeah. Thank goodness there wasn't much on the roll. But I let her go with it until she was bored. Why not? We wipe our asses with that paper, and poop is waaayyyy dirtier than her hands. In this activity, she gets to see what happens and how something works! That is the true beauty of being a stay-at-home Mom. I am chill. I don't ever have to freak out about this kind of stuff because I have time to deal with it! AMAZING! It's sooo different than when Gage was little. I was so frustrated all the time, it sucked for both of us.

   

This was on one of our walks. She found a dandelion for the first time, and took it. For some reason, that totally floored me. I got to see the FIRST time she noticed a dandelion! How rad is that?!


   

         Oh yeah, a new pope was chosen. Who cares?

    

Monday, March 11, 2013

I am a delicate fucking flower.

     I came across a couple discussions this morning about feminism. I guess it's not surprising that it's still a somewhat controversial topic, but what does surprise me is that the definition got lost in translation. It's about women's equal rights, folks. The right to go to school, vote, earn equal pay, wear pants in public...you know. Basic stuff. As the feminist movement grew and years passed, it became colored by the women who held the torch, making them what we think of when we hear the word "feminist". They all had their own agendas of course, some of them being against what we believe ourselves. Some of them were annoying and made the rest of us look bad. Some of them made men very uncomfortable and go on strike from treating us with some chivalry. Ahhh chivalry...I know my husband is cringing right now, hahaha...He hates that word, and thinks the whole idea is ridiculous. Let's define it, shall we?

chiv·al·ry

[shiv-uhl-ree] 
1. The sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms. 
 
 
     Husband told me when we were still just friends about his distaste for that word, citing that women can and should do for themselves, and went so far as to say that the rule about never hitting a girl is also bullshit. If some woman was seriously trying to physically injure him, he would certainly put her on the ground. Yep, I still talked to him after that, because it makes sense. He pointed to an acquaintance of ours who was dense as London fog but very sweet, but totally useless as a woman and human being. There was nothing respectable about her because she didn't DO ANYTHING. No education, no job, no talent that we could see. She fully expected anyone she dated to be chivalrous, though. Then she ended up dating a stalker who wouldn't let her wear spaghetti strap shirts, and she complained about it. We both thought, "what do you actually WANT, girl?" It was insane. She bitched about how she couldn't find a man to take care of her and take the lead, but when she got a guy who saw her as his possession, she was pissed. That reminds me of the recent Chris Brown story, where he told a valet about Rhianna, "That's MY pussy! Back the fuck off!", and people in the media were acting like he was just being a possessive dick. Yeah, it's Chris Brown, so of course he's a dick, but we don't have the whole story on this particular incident. As Husband said, "That's a fine woman. We don't know if that valet was saying something disrespectful to Chris about her, maybe what he said was in her defense." Well put. I know that Husband would say the same thing to some dude if that's what time it was. Because he is a gentleman.
 
 You must understand that Husband comes from a long line of women who are incredibly smart, independent and capable people, and his female friends are just as amazing women. He just doesn't care to be around anyone, man or woman, that isn't capable of amazingness. However, he gets super irritated with me if I don't let him open a door for me, especially in public. It is disrespectful for me not to, and makes him look bad. I agree. Being RESPECTFUL of women is the point, which he certainly is. Being "chivalrous" is an outdated, unrealistic expectation of people, and to demand such from a man simply because you are female, shows your inflated ego.
 
     There it is in the definition, the word "knight", as in, knight in shining armor. That's a phrase that I don't care for. I am a Disney lover who has seen every movie and knows all the songs in the Little Mermaid word for word. But I do not think it's a good idea to shove the whole love and marriage, knight in shining armor who comes to rescue you from being single scenario into our little girls heads. It creates a multitude of problems for them. Why do our girls need a knight to feel fulfilled? Why couldn't Snow White be happy as a maid to those midgets, it's an important job! What if our baby girl dreams of marrying a princess one day instead of a prince? She can't relate to Sleeping Beauty, it's just confusing her! Then there's the issue of girl-on-girl hate. Cinderella's whole town was killing each other over that stupid glass slipper, and even her evil step sisters who usually stuck together, turned against each other over this man they didn't even know! 
 
     We wonder why girls are bitches? Because that's how our culture operates. Be a bitch, it's the only way to get ahead. If you want something you have to be aggressive and scary. Make sure the men know you mean business by beating them at their own game! Be a dick! And Goddamn it they better treat us right too, or we will key their truck and burn their clothes in the front yard!
 
    
      So then the whole feminism thing gets watered down with bullshit like the shaved heads, grandpa sweaters and opening your own doors of 90's feminism we all remember (The music was great though!). Riot Grrls were hot, but total bitches and didn't put out, not even with each other, which I always found disappointing. You went on a date with a guy and he would staunchly refuse to pay for his own dinner because YOU asked HIM out and he believes in feminism. What? Motherfucker, just because I made the phone call doesn't mean you weren't the one chasing after me for the last 3 months. We can at least go dutch, you dumb sac. 

     I kind of forgot my point.

     Oh yeah. The actual meaning of feminism is equality for women, and is a good thing. Being a cunt to get your own way only gets you so far. Eventually the only men (or women, if that's your thing) who will go near you are the ones who have no backbone and "need to borrow your car right quick". As my Mom always said, "You will catch more flies with honey than you do with shit." Put on a damn skirt, and go get that promotion, girl. 

     I just have to translate all this to Bug.....That's an interesting process. 
 
     And now in all my conflicting message glory, Here's my Ani. I still want my "Not a pretty girl" tattoo.....


 

Friday, March 8, 2013

It's better than threatening four year-olds.

     I only take Bug to the park in the rich people's neighborhood. I like the false sense of security it gives me. I figure if I do get attacked by a rapist or something, at least the people nearby who hear me screaming can afford a cell phone to call the police with. Today we went there so she could play, but mostly so I would have a nice place to push her stroller around and hopefully lose the last of my baby weight. I want to try to do something physical every day, especially right now before the weather turns to absolutely the hottest, dankest level of hell, with mosquitoes, which I expect to be sometime around June. I'm realistic about it though. Some days I have tons of time to walk or whatever, and others I only have time for 15 crunches here and a few push-ups there. I do what I can.

     We've been to the rich park many times, and it's usually just a few kids and their Moms. Today there was a big play date going on, or something, because everyone seemed to know each other. There were a couple of nannies with their little rich-kid clients too. I walked with Bug all over the playground and listened to people's conversations, which is always entertaining. One Mom was discussing the neighbor who never feeds her kid before play dates, and so the kid eats her out of house and home when they come over. A nanny was complaining about the kid's Dad who only speaks Spanish when she's in the room, because he knows she doesn't understand him, and he's an asshole and she suspects he was having an affair with the last nanny. THAT was a good one, but she was talking too quietly for me to hear much else. As we walked across the bridges and went down slides, all the other kids were running around us, many of them annoyed that a baby was on their playground getting in their way. I, of course, didn't give two shits if they didn't like it. Half of them were playing cops and robbers, the others were playing "cougar", which appeared to be a version of tag where the person who's "it" is a cougar. Duh.

     I kept noticing one little boy, about 4, who was being very difficult no matter where he was or what he was doing. First he didn't want to play cougar with everyone because he coudn't always be the cougar and kill everybody. Then he didn't want to play cops and robbers because he didn't want to be a robber. Then he layed on the slide and wouldn't let anyone go down. His nanny put him in time-out. When it was over, he came out and sat sulking in the tube where Bug likes to climb into. She approached the tube and saw him, got a big smile and pointed at him. The boy looked up sharply at her and leaned backward in offense that we were there. I looked down at Bug and said, "Say hi, Bug!" And that little shit looked at me and said, "My name's not BUG, stupid." Okayyyy.....What I said out loud was, "I know, sweetie, HER name is Bug, and I was just helping her to be friendly and say hi." What I said in my head was, "No shit, you little twat, why don't you go fuck right off and do us all a favor. Nice haircut." Luckily the boy's nanny took him home soon after.

      Then I remembered all the times I wanted to kill dickhead children when Gage was a little guy. I had forgotten about that sickly, angry feeling you get when other people's kids are mean to your own. It's terrible and I always feel guilty for wanting to punt a 4 year old, but those Mommy protective instincts are a bitch to think rationally through. I specifically remember one time when Gage was about 4, and we lived in this super ghetto apartment complex. He was playing outside with some of the neighbor kids and I was on the patio, and all of a sudden he comes through the slider door, crying and reaching for me. He said that James ran over his arm with his bike. I flipped out and checked his arm to make sure it wasn't broken, which it wasn't, and was barely even scratched, just had some tire marks on it. I think the muddy grass was soft enough that his arm just sunk into it rather than break in half. Gage kept saying, "Why would he be mean to me, Mommy? Why would someone hurt you ON PURPOSE?" My poor, sweet little boy who shared everything with everyone and sometimes even gave his toys away, couldn't even comprehend why a person would purposely try to hurt someone. I WAS RED HOT MAD. I knew of James, he was in Gage's kindergarten class, and was a year or two older (Gage started Kinder at 4). His parents were the gangsters that lived around the corner to us, and they were not the kind of people I felt comfortable confronting about this incident. James terrorized the whole neighborhood, and even the older kids left the playground when he was around. I went outside and asked another kid what happened, and he confirmed Gage's story and told me James was hiding at the volleyball courts.

     I left Gage at home with his consolation Popsicle and walked down to the volleyball courts in a blind rage. For reals. I had tunnel vision. I don't think I even knew what I was going to do if I found that kid. I was just...hunting. When I finally saw him on his little Wal-Mart Schwinn knockoff, I started walking faster. He was riding in circles around the volleyball sandpit. As I got closer, he saw me and started pedaling faster because he knew I was after him, but he didn't get far due to there being only one way out. I ran up and grabbed him, one hand on the bike and the other on his shirt. And then I told him very calmly in his ear that if he ever touched Gage again, I would tell his parents and call the cops on him, and he'd go to jail and never see his family again. I really said that. No, I'm not proud of it! But it happened. And James never even looked at Gage or his friends again. In hindsight, it was not just an asshole move on my part, scaring a little boy who's home life was probably already scary enough, but it was also a very dangerous move given who the kid's parents were associated with. I have never done anything like that since, and I never will, but I have totally thought about it. I just hope Bug is a little more ruthless in her young life than my son was so I don't have to use every ounce of strength in me to stop myself from scaring the holy hell out of the kids in the neighborhood. Not that I would allow her to be a bully, I just want her to have the presence about her to make the bullies stay away to begin with.

     In other news, I've been looking into Mommy-and-Me classes we can do, for fun but also to socialize us both. There are options but for most of them she has to be 18 months old, and that's not until August. That will be a whole other issue, since I don't like other Mothers. They're like women only worse. Well okay....Women are generally alright if they are over 27 but under 50, have a vice that is slightly out-of-control, low-level jobs, are in school, or at least spent most of their life as such, are out of shape, and don't feel the world owes them anything. The age thing is give or take, I just find that most women who fit my criteria end up in that group. The exception to that rule is if they are super hot and mostly naked and don't talk. Ugh, that sounded like I'm sexist and a hater, didn't it? Oh well. It's better than threatening four year-olds.

     I leave you with Bug and I at the beach the other day. It was only 60 outside, hence the sweater. Bug had a ton of fun though, and we plan to spend as much of the summer here as possible. If I have to be in the south during summer, you can bet your ass it'll be on the most beautiful beach on this side of the country. POOR ME...hahaha
    



    

Monday, March 4, 2013

Girl, where are your parents?

    I think I have walked about 10 miles in the last 5 days. Not because I wanted to, but because even though Bug can walk independently, she prefers to grab my hand and drag me along with her. Lap after lap, after lap...around the kitchen island, through the bathroom into the bedrooms, around the yard, through the park... She can go faster when she's got my hand, so it's too fun not to drag me with her. I can appreciate that. But I am also fucking sick of walking in circles through the house. OH MY GOD SO SICK OF IT. I decided yesterday that I was going to stop this madness and insist that for at least half the time, she walks her damn self around the kitchen island. Nope. Meltdown. Red face, tiny, balled up fists, shaking, screaming and crying....it's epic. I try to be strong, but her scream hits a pitch that is dangerously close to shattering the only useful eardrum I have left, so I just take the abuse and keep walking like an asshole in little circles.

     The guys look at me as if I can stop her. Their eardrums are rattling too. Husband has been off work for a few days so he has been able to witness the crazy that his daughter is capable of, which is awesome for me because usually when he gets home and I tell him of my struggles, I feel like he thinks I'm exaggerating. When Daddy gets home, Bug puts on her biggest smile and shows off her toys, and cuddles and laughs, and gets her belly rub and goes to bed. Shiiiittttt......She's got him SNOWED, dude. The whole thing reminds me of this tattoo he wanted to get when she was born, but it wouldn't have worked out due to the location and detail. He wanted a tattoo of her little hand holding onto his finger. Sweet right? Yeah, he's fucked. HAHAHAHAHA!! Seriously though, we're all kind of at her mercy for a few more months until actual discipline is worthwhile. All we can do now is diversion techniques, so I keep some Goldfish in my pocket and a remote control nearby for her, and hope for the best.

     I love when Husband is home for a few days at a time. Obviously because I love him and he's my favorite, but also because he can get stuff done around the house, which is part of why we came here and something that I know drives him nuts that he can't fix all at once. Constantly having projects to do is very important for Husband, on a personal level. He needs to be kept busy, in order to stay sane. His mind is always going so fast, I think having something to concentrate on calms him. When we were dating he told me that the way to keep him happy was to always have work and projects for him to do, and things to fix. He wanted me to do things I love and to let him make my life easier. He felt successful when I was happy. My response was something like, "FUCK YES LET'S GET MARRIED TOMORROW!" How we actually got engaged is another story.

     Then we went to a monster truck show over the weekend, and he made a badass roast before we left. Beef layered with bacon. Yep, it was awesome. I'd include an after picture but it was eaten before I had the chance. I seriously scored with this guy. He's rad. Oh the monster truck show? So lame. I wanted to go to one ever since I was little, but after going, I won't do it again. The people there were PRICELESS. Teenage girls got dressed up to go to this thing like they were going to the club! It was so....sad! Even Gage, who is technically a sick horny teenage boy, looked at the girls at this place, with four tons of makeup on and barely any clothes, and said, "GIRL, WHERE ARE YOUR PARENTS???" Yuck.


     Oh yeah so, we live in a huge, beautiful, broken house, owned by my parents in law. The story is, the parents started this flooring business, it started getting successful, they bought their dream house, and then Hurricane Ivan hit, and the business got so busy that the parents only had time to sleep here for the next eight years. Every project they had going in the house was left mid-task. Add that to the wear and tear that goes with living in hurricane territory, and then a few of their handymen hired to work on the house getting pissed off about being told how to do their job (by my Mother in law, who I am certain could have worked circles around those guys if she just had the time) and them sabotaging things...and you have a small disaster that nobody has the capacity to deal with given their current schedules. Until a few days ago, we had zero out of four showers which were functional and not leaking in the house. We now have one, and three to go. The downstairs one will be super fun- that one has a pipe full of concrete, courtesy of an angry sexist handyman from long ago. Husband has his work cut out for him.

    I have been soaking up the extra hand in baby care. It seriously makes everything more fun when I am more relaxed. Here we are at the grocery store.
     Usually by the time we get to the cereal isle (halfway through the store) Bug is just about done with our shopping trip. This last Sunday she was fully stoked the whole time. She did the princess wave at people, made friends with the other kids in the checkout line...delightful.

     Then we got home and I felt like roller skating. So, I strapped on my skates and raced through the house, jumped the steps in the living room, skated backwards through the kitchen, did donuts in the entryway, and blew Bug's mind up. She loved watching me, and loved it when I held her while we rolled. Then today she got on the skateboard with Husband, and loved that too! It was so cool to watch her have so much fun!

     As if the last five days couldn't get any better, Gage came home with a certification in Microsoft Office Power Point. This dumbass school was good for something! Hallelujah! This is their saving grace after the whole school missed 4th period instruction to watch a video of the school basketball team play a championship game on Thursday. Oh, I was LIVID when I found that out. Fucking Florida. Let's cancel 4th period to watch a basketball game! How precious! Aim for the bottom America, bouncy balls are TOTALLY more important than algebra!

     As long as I'm on the subject of the boy, I must also mention my pride in his suggestion to his group in food-prep class that their free choice project be homemade burgers instead of the nachos the other kids suggested. The kids in his group wanted to make something easy, but Gage knows how to make something more difficult, and he does it well, so he wanted to show it off. The group won out on the vote of what to make, but just the fact that he wanted to do better made me happy :) Fuckin-A. That's a great kid.


     

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Bug's first birthday!

    Bug turned one!!! We had her party last weekend, and she had a great time. But I had a mini panic attack right before the family showed up. First, I thought I didn't have enough spaghetti sauce (I totally did) so I sent Husband out to get more. Then he comes back with RAGU for Christ's sake! I beat him to death in my head for a moment, but luckily I was able to recover quickly without making too much of a fuss. Then my brother calls to tell me that Mom had a strange "episode" the night before, where he came home and she was very confused, and doing strange things, and unable to care for herself. After talking for a bit, we surmised that these episodes have very likely been happening for some time, but Mom and Dad had been hiding it from us. I completely lost my shit. This was 10 minutes before guests were supposed to arrive. Now I was crying in my kitchen, freaking out about my mother's possible dementia, with Bug on my hip, trying to arrange her party table and praying that I could get it together before people started showing up. I kept hoping my Mother in law would show up early to help with everything, especially now, but I hadn't heard from her at all yet and I was starting to worry that she might have forgotten about the party altogether. She and my father in law are so busy all the time, they sometimes end up being late or having to cancel whatever plans we make with them. It sucks.

     Noon came and Bug was starving, so I got her settled with her spaghetti and meatballs, and she went to town. The family came in and we ate and hung out for a while, and still no grandparents, and no call. Then a text from Mom, asking what time the party was at!!! I gave the phone to Husband to call her, and just as he got the phone, she called us. Dad was golfing and they'd come afterwards. The family all looked at me with these sad smiles that I took to mean, "poor thing doesn't know to expect this stuff from them yet". Whatever. I was upset, but even though I was starting to feel the beginnings of a full-on panic attack, I was determined to enjoy my baby girl's first birthday party. Husband calmed me down, reminding me that the party is going great and that it doesn't matter who's here, as long as Bug has fun. True.

     Eventually the in-laws did show up, Mom apologized and we continued on to cake. Bug didn't get the whole cake thing. She didn't want to smash it, or even touch it, really. I smushed her hand in it so she could feel it and taste it, but she just took a couple licks of frosting and moved on. Fine by me, I didn't want to give her a bath right now anyway!
    I ended up having a really good time, and was surprised that Bug did too. Gage was cranky and tired for one half of his first birthday party, and slept through the other half. So I didn't have any grand expectations for Bug. And it turned out great anyway!

     It is impossible to compare my two kids. I do it anyway because Gage is my go-to reference for raising a child. But they are totally different people, and the more I expect something from Bug because it's what Gage did, the more wrong I am. I have always said that Gage hit all his developmental milestones at the very last minute of "normal", right before I started wondering if he was retarded. But now that I have Bug, who walked at the same time Gage did, but doesn't say any words yet (Gage had two words at 12 months old) I realize that every kid really IS different, and I can't worry too much about these things or I'll go crazy. Or possibly, she's retarded.

     The kids' personalities are kind of similar though, which I find very interesting. They are both funny, sweet natured and affectionate, both are hams, and both are sensitive people. They relate to each other easily. She loves being with him, and he adores her. I feel very lucky to have such cool people as my children.

     Off subject, but it's on my mind. I love that show, Bar Rescue. I have been watching the marathon all day today. I'm pretty sure that I am the smartest bar owner who doesn't yet own a bar, in the United States. Either that, or the people on this show are brainless. Have those business owners ever even BEEN to a bar? Or a restaurant? Do their kitchens at home have roaches and rotten meat and bar flies in the ice tray? Probably not, so why do they allow those things in their place of business?? You have a bar/restaurant on the Redondo Beach pier in California, and the place is empty?! Dude. Somebody give me a few hundred grand...I'll show you how it's done.
Okay I feel better. Off to the backyard bonfire with my family, folks! :)