Did I Tell You The One Where Christmas Break Would Not End?

1476175_10202797128275919_1196886460_nTeachers everywhere were rejoicing. Of that I have no doubt. It started all extra-nice. (See above photo for evidence.)  It was snowy outside, warm and cozy inside, and the boys loved each other. I was having visions of piling up on the soda, toasty warm, watching our favorite movies, reading our favorite books. Cocoa would be in hand, complete with marshmallows. Zach in his footed pj’s, Evan in his flannel sleep pants, me in sweats.  The world shut out, and the ones I love shut in against the cold. There was no school for me, and only my 3 scheduled days of work per week. It was going to be great.

Then this happened:1480549_10202798469749455_592936327_nIt snowed. I love our street in the snow. The houses look so cute and cozy, the neighborhood becomes a Thomas Kinkade painting. We put up the Christmas tree together. This year, Zachy was really able to  participate, which was adorable. I kicked the OCD into low gear as he put the ornaments too close together, and somehow resisted the urge to tweak them ever-so-slightly the entire time that tree was up.

This year, I even managed to somehow get all of the Christmas presents for the boys wrapped before anyone knew what they were getting. This was about as successful a Christmas as I could’ve asked for, considering some of our previous misadventures. The whole next day, the boys broke  played with their new things. Then Evan remembered how fun toys can be when you are only 3, and Santa brings you things like racetracks for toy cars or little train sets. And it dawned on Zachy just how cool big-kid stuff can be.

Magic: Over. Bubble: Burst.

Next thing we knew, there were fights. “Mommy, Evan did________.”, squealed Zach. “Mom! Zach has my _______.”, whined Evan. And so it went all the way up through the end of their Christmas break. It seemed like the longest one in the history of winter breaks. I seriously thought I was going to die. To make matters worse, I was fresh out of school. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t have that distraction. With me home more, John felt he deserved a break, and left most parenting matters to me. I’m certain the grey hairs on my head have multiplied as a result.

The eve of their first day back to school, I was working the ICU. It really is a good thing my patient was in a medically-induced coma and couldn’t hear me or tell on me. The tv in his room was turned to the news, where I saw the update where the boys’ first day back was called off due to weather.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

I’m sure my wail reverberated off of the walls of the ICU, into the adjacent waiting area and throughout the rest of the hospital. Nurses from outside the room rushed in to see what had happened, as I’m not generally an alarmist at work.

That day. That day I had been dreaming of, hoping for, wishing on….My hopes were crushed. My spirit broken.

The fighting a home got worse as cabin fever started in. Snow kept dumping on us. Just when it would start to clear up, more would come. And then it didn’t. The boys were finally going to go back to school. I was relieved, and by that time, I think they were as sick of us as we were of them causing chaos.

And then that “Polar Vortex” bullshit happened. Anyone remember the “I can’t put my arms down” scene in A Christmas Story? Well, we will never have a modern-day version of that. They cancelled school because it was too cold. For not one day, but days-yep, plural. When we were kids, our parents would just bundle us up. We waited a little closer to last minute to go to our bus stops. But our bus stops weren’t at our driveway, either. Generally, we had to walk. If it was dangerously cold–as in losing digits to frost bite despite gloves or mittens—my mom would crank the heat in the car to warm it up while I was getting ready and then drive me to the bus stop, where I would sit in the car until the bus was in sight. The lowest it got here was 2 degrees, and I am sure that I remember it getting a lot colder. As a matter of fact, I just googled that and discovered we had temps as low as -25 in 1985 in Cincinnati. But they closed school. There was no snow or ice on the ground, no slick roads, no frozen pipes at the school. It was just cold.

It seemed like winter break was never going to end. John and I were never going to have a single moment of peace. Armageddon was going to strike, Hell was freezing over, and we would have to home-school the children from now on. I was on the verge, man.

Finally, on January 10th, the boogers got on the bus and headed back. They were out of school for 29 days in total. I sincerely hope they tack the extra unplanned missed days onto the end of the school year. I am now on a mission to treasure every moment of silence until June, and promise to never take a peaceful moment for granted for as long as I live.

Finally,

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The To-Do List

This is what I have to do this week, so you can understand my level of insanity:

For my health law and ethics elective:

  • A 12-page paper–I chose to do mine on the lack of OSHA regs in healthcare.
  • A matching presentation on the above to be presented to my classmates

For my social media marketing elective:

  • Plan a social media marketing for a local business with whom I have partnered, including an execution plan and integration with existing promotions and events
  • Read two books
  • Write a blog post and watch 2 2-hour videos
  • Present above plan to my class

For my finance class:

  • Get through another 100 pages of text
  • Get through a study guide and over 100 practice problems
  • A case study to be completed in a group
  • Get ready for what is sure to be the most difficult final exam ever.

For my capstone:

  • One more round of decisions for my fake company I have been running all semester (which has a 120% growth  in profits, thankyouverymuch!)
  • An online exam
  • 2 10-page papers
  • A review of the above operations of the fake company
  • Another simulation of a shorter duration
  • The ETS exam required of all MBAs from AACSB-accredited programs in the country

That’s this week. And I work two nights in the middle somewhere.

Now you get it, right? Because nobody in my life right now seems to understand what I am talking about when I try to explain my current stress level.

I’m Having a Heart Attack or I May Just Be Bat-Sh*t Crazy

Okay, so given John’s recent fiasco where my perfectly fine husband’s heart ended up being most definitely not fine, we are pretty sensitive to anything in our house that could indicate impending death. Call us oversensitive.

10 days ago, I started having this chest pressure. It kind of comes and goes with no logical pattern at all, really. So I hemmed and hawed and mulled it over before finally just going to the ER, since it was a Sunday.

Normal EKG. Negative troponin. Negative d-dimer. Normal chest x-ray. It was deemed muscular in nature, and I was freed with a script for muscle relaxers.

Except for one problem: I am incaple on any form of consciousness on those damned things. So I have taken 2 of them in 10 days. And still, the pressure/pain comes and goes. It isn’t severe, but instead just there. Occasionally it will get bad enough that I have to stop and focus on my breathing.

So today I go to my family doctor, simply because it got bad enough that I couldn’t catch my breath and it felt bad enough that I couldn’t even focus on anything. Honestly, it reminded me of the massive squeezing done about 40 times a minute by my dysfunctional uterus just a few years back. Only not really, because it didn’t stop. And it was in my chest, just left of center.

But my tests were normal, so I have to be fine. Maybe it’s just stress. But it won’t go away. But I am under a lot of stress. But then again, I live in stress and have for my entire adult life.

But, but, but….

So the doctor asked me how I would like to proceed. And I don’t know, because the logical side of me who spent years studying all things cardiopulmonary knows it isn’t likely to be my heart. But then there is the part of me that doesn’t know what the hell it is and wants to be sure. So I told her I didn’t know, to jyst do what she feels is best.

I ended up on a proton pump inhibitor to ensure it isn’t something GI-related, a steroid to ensure it isn’t inflammation, and a stress echocardiogram just to be sure.

I’ve never had anxiety issues unless it involves John behind the wheel of the car. Now, I am questioning my sanity.

Bitchypants

Mastering the Art of Suckage

I suck at life right now. No, really, I do.

I woke up this morning to tackle the day. I was ready. Quick shower, yoga pants, hoodie. Ready. To. Go. And then I sat down. And I started reading Justin Halpern’s Shit My Dad Says on my phone. And before I knew what was happening, I had finished the damned book. And then I was exhausted, and we all took a collective nap. I was so hell-bent on not procrastinating on the finishing of the economics, and I suffered a massive failure on that one. (More on the econ in another post-that class is going to drive me into an early grave.)

So lunch came. And went. I didn’t eat a bite. Nothing sounded good other than a pint of black raspberry chip ice cream. And, well, that isn’t diet-friendly. Before I knew what was going on, it was time for dinner. Chipotle. And I ate the whole fucking bowl. With chips. How much more Fatty McFatFat can you get than shoveling heaps of rice and chicken and salsa onto chips to eat it? To use chips as flatware, for shit’s sake! So I’m not exactly feeling all svelte/ bask-in-my-hotness. On the contrary, I can practically feel the cellulite building up on my thighs just in the 45 minutes since I ate the last chip.

So now, the coffee is brewed. I’m ready. I am going to study.

“Andrea, I set a reminder for you, baby.” Awww, my husband is so thoughtful. A reminder for what?

For the season kick-off of Project Runway. Tonight. And suddenly, I can hear my resolve to study screaming in agony as it withers to nothingness.

Summer has entirely too many distractions.

And also, I am kind of tired of being a student.

Bring on the fall semester. Let’s get this shit done.

Fatty McFatFat's Flatware

Fatty McFatFat’s Flatware

Mommy is Losing Her S###

[Disclaimer: I say what I damned well please on here. I say things I would never say to my children because I don’t want to scar them. And the oldest knows Mommy has a blog, but he doesn’t read it. Nor would I do any of the stuff I may say in this post. Please do not call social services on me. aND THIS POST INVOLVES THE WORD “FUCK” AN AWFUL FUCKING LOT. Consider yourself warned. Thanks.]

My children are amazing. They really are. Pretty. Cute. Smart. Funny. Creative. I would dare say that they shit rainbows and butterflies.

I am going to kill these little fuckers.

How can someone so short create such a path of destruction?

John used to do this. The kids were his gig. I loved them and ensured they got immunizations and dental checkups, that there was an array of nutritious food for them. I played with them, cuddled, loved them. And I worked. And did the school thing.

Well the tables turned. Since I have been off of work for the shoulder thing, I have been, basically, a stay-at-home mom. Oh holy shit. These kids are everywhere. Do you have any idea what my days have consisted of for the past 6 weeks?? Do you?

Well, let’s see. At any given point, Zachary is prone to empty the contents of the refrigerator into the kitchen floor. What he is looking for, I have no idea. We bought an appliance lock. He broke it. We bought a different style of lock, and he figured out how to open it. So our newest solution? We cover the entire thing with clear packing tape, and running out of that tape is a federal crisis in this house. About a gazillion times a day, Evan or I will sprint to the fridge to get Zach out of it.

And the baby gate…Oh holy shit. We have replaced it 5 times in 3 months. My house has an awkward arrangement, so it isn’t easy to block stuff off. The bathroom and basement door are right across from each other, so we block the hallway with a baby gate and Zach’s toybox is in our living room. Forget Shabby Chic. We are Toddler Posh. It’s a hot look, and if you have any doubts about that, I challenge you to spread some Duplo Legos, wooden blocks, puzzle pieces, and five tthousand different versions of Lightening McQueen all over your living room floor and see for yourself. My living room is a perpetual dump. But back to the baby gate. I can’t block the kitchen entrance, so we block the hall and let Zach have his run. Until yesterday. That is when that little shit looked me right in the eyes, smiled, and tore down the baby gate in one fell swoop. So just like we dash to the fridge, we are dashing to keep him from plummetting down the basement steps or meeting sudden death through drowning in the damned toilet.

Evan is supposed to be the helper while I am…challenged with one good arm. He is more like the ringleader. “Mom, Zach wants…..” Fill in the blank. Strawberries are the newest. But usually it is some variation of junk food that will get mashed into carpet, which results in the need to use the vacuum, which is too heavy for me to lift and use with one arm. (Fuck you, Kirby Salesman.) Or he wants to watch a movie, at which point Evan will crank the volume up on the tv, insisting it is cool like that because it is like a theater.

Nothing is sacred. Nothing. Over my desk is a huge dry erase board, and I use it to write notes. The latest is the list of words. Every week, when Zach’s speech therapist comes, we recount the new words he has said since her last visit. Now that he is trying to talk more and more, we write the words on the board. So Evan will try to get him to say new words so he has an excuse to get the dry erase markers and climb on my desk. I love seeing an 80-lb. clutzy kid standing on my desk an inch from the laptop I rely upon for school. Love it.

And the damned phone. Oh my God, the phone. My cell, that is. Everytime I turn my back–to answer the land line, write an email, pee, grab a cup of coffee—I turn around and Evan is on my fucking cell phone. Running the battery dead, downloading any and every free game he can find. Watching the same God-forsaken video on Youtube.You need a little slice of this to understand, so turn up your speakers and press play for this little slice of heaven.

Yeah. Full blast. All motherfucking day. No, I’m not kidding. Zach tries to sing along, which was funny the first few times. It isn’t anymore. I keep reminding myself that Evan has an unofficial Autism Spectrum Disorder. He’s off a little. This is enugh to keep me from completely killing him, but it is not enough to keep me from wanting to curl up in the bathtub with a fifth of Grey Fucking Goose. Oh wait. I’m poor now because I am off of work. Make that Smirnoff.

And Cars. Fuck you, Disney/ Pixar. I hate Lightening McQueen. Lightening McQueen infiltrates everything we do. Everything. Zach will not take a nap without a Lightening McQueen cllutched in each chubby little fist. And the Disney people, being as smart as they are, made several different forms of him. The one from Cars 2. The one who drove throough the fence in the beginning of the first movie. Dirt Track McQueen. Dinoco McQueen….Bling McQueen–he has fancy rims on him. No, I’m not kidding. Zach has all of the ones he has received, plus he has inherited all of them that Evan doesn’t have use for. And Evan had every single one they made at one point. Lightening is in the couch cushions, under the crib, on the entertainment center, in the car. Yesterday, I found one in the fucking dishwasher.

Everytime the phone rings, my children become opportunistic little boogers. Just now, my doctor’s office called to schedule my epidural steroid injections I have been waiting all week to scedule. The call took 2 minutes and while I was on the phone, Evan hurried and thrust 2 frozen pizzas in the microwave. Now I know what you’re thinking. They’re starving. Poor kids. No they are not. Evan’s medicine has weird appetite side effects, so he literally never feels full. If I let him eat whenever he wanted, he would weigh 800 pounds and we would never have groceries in this house. But the point is, 2 minutes. Mom cannot have 2 fucking minutes to answer the phone. And the phone rings more than once a day, especially since I am off of work. There are calls to and from insurance, to and from work, to and from doctors’ offices. One of these times, I am going to hang up and discover he decided to roast a fucking turkey.

So that is my day. If I need to do anything at all, I have to just let them run. If I have a paper due. If I have to visit the bathroom. Showering? Somehow that always waits until John gets home. I am a skanky bitch until 5 PM.  I cannot afford the luxury. And I know some of you moms will use this to explain that this is what you do all day everyday. Well, have a fucking cookie. I bet your kids are normal. I am telling you there is something wrong in this house. No sane human could endure this shit. Right now? Right now, Evan is in the recliner rocking back and forth and making it tip, laughing and doing it all over again, while Zachary sits and rubs the tread of the treadmill. Not fucking normal. Not even close.

So I live for naptime. Zach is quiet for somewhere between one to two hours and I let Evan play on the computer while Zach is asleep. He can put in his ear buds and listen to “Retarded Running Horse” on a continuous fucking loop the entire time. And I sneak out to the porch, close the door, and chain smoke the hell out of Marlboro Ultralight 100’s with the shaking hands of a heroin addict going through DT’s. (Don’t judge me. If I didn’t do ths, I would cut a bitch, I swear. Besides, it isn’t around the kids, is once a day, and nobody can say I am uneducated about what I am doing.)

At some point, John comes home. He futzes with his shower. He masturbates over the God-Forsaken Harley—putting it away, cleaning it (OH MY GOD IS THAT ROAD DUST ON THE FUCKING HARLEY? GET IT OFF STAT!!!!!!). We eat dinner. The kids have to be bathed, and I cry because I have a shit ton of stuff to do that cannot be done until he stops jacking off and handles the kids so I can fucking do it already.

I AM GOING INSANE. Fuck this shit.

 

Depressed

I have been off of work for going on 6 weeks. Asking a workaholic to do that is like asking a crackhead to just stop being a crackhead. My job is a part of who I am. I am the one which volunteers to work sixty or seventy hours a week. And right now, I am completely cut off. I feel like I currently have nothing to contribute to society. I am a sponge. A liability.

First of all, my earnings are cut in half. So we’re broke. So much of my family’s financial well-being is tied to me, and right now I am feeling the pressure. Last week, my damned water was shut off. Thankfully I had the resources to just go and get it turned back on, but it was still embarrassing.

And work. Once again, outta sight equals outta mind there. Noone checks on me. I want to scream at the top of my lungs,”Hey guys, remember me? The one who has worked your Christmases and Thansgivings so you could stay home with your families?!?” I’m also the one who works like a dog willingly so they won’t have to work so hard on short shifts. But it seems like nobody ever remembers that.

I feel completely alone and completely depressed. I don’t like this feeling at all. I need to go back now now now, but I know it will be a few weeks yet. I just hope I can make it.

Good Morning, Deputy Carl.

I’m a snobby bitch. I have been all of my life. When I was a kid, I used to refuse to go into any of a number of discount stores, lest one of my friends see me and think I bought my designer clothes there. My poor, poor parents. May they rest in peace. And throughout my life, that has been the trend. I worry about appearances too much. While I realize that the way one looks really isn’t that important in the scheme of things, you have to admit that people judge us by the way we look. Good, bad, or indifferent, that is the truth. And I am seriously being punished for my snobby ways.

Somewhere around the time I started working seventy hours per week, plus managing school, I really stopped putting so much effort into it. Evan was getting old enough to dress himself. In the event that he can’t put a decent look together, I was working all of those hours so one of us parents could stay home with him. (Ahem, JOHN!) Well, over time, Evan’s look has…deteriorated is putting it rather nicely.

Highwater jeans that are not only too short, but may be too small to even button. Shirts with holes/ stains. And it always works the same way: I’ve returned from work and am sleeping. I may be awakened from a deep sleep to run an errand or go somewhere with the family. In a semi-comatose state, I throw on clothes, make sure my hair is presentable, grab my designer bag and make sure the diaper bag is packed for Zachy, and out the door I go.

Somewhere along the trip to wherever, I wake up enough to be aware of my surroundings, and I see Evan in the back seat. And here are some examples of what I have found him wearing:

Shorts that come about 6 inches above the knee with a toddler-sized tee. Proof that the tee is way outgrown? It says “2003” on it. In 2003, Evan was a toddler. And a scrawny toddler at that.

Plaid pants and a striped shirt. And not in the stylish, matchy, quirky way.

Now let me tell you, I buy the child clothes. Expensive clothes. Ralph Lauren. Gap. Calvin Kline. Then he got into skater gear: Element, Hurly, Fallen. They’re expensive, too. And I sort through and get the outgrown stuff out. We keep huge boxes in the basement for outgrown clothes from either boy, and when the boxes get full, they go to a reputable local charity. But Evan resurrects them from the great heap as if he is rescuing a homeless puppy.  And unfortunately, the same applies for Halloween costumes. Yeah.
Well, this past year, Ev’s costume was great.
It was. As he was Trick-or-Treating through our neighborhood, people were taking photos with their iPhones, calling their family members to the door to see him. The police uniform was high quality…for a Halloween costume, not for everyday wear. It was a far cry from the stiff plasticky costumes we had as kids, complete with the masks. But still, the shirt was polyester and instead of actual buttons, had a long strip of velcro. And because Evan is a growing boy, he has already outgrown it. But he saved it from the heap.

He wore that damned shirt everywhere. And with everything. Wake up in the morning? Put it on with your pajama bottoms. Running to the store? Throw it on with some khaki shorts. And we would ge somewhere, and I would discover it by accident. Seriously, my kid looked like this all of the time:
Deputy Doofy from Scary Movie. Yeah, I said it. It kills me. So when I encountered the shirt wadded into a ball under his bed while cleaning his room that day, I did what any loving, responsible mother would do.

I stuffed it into a garbage bag while he wasn’t looking. And for the most part, I got away with it.

Until this weekend. I woke up after a night of work and staggered to the coffeemaker. And John intercepts my path to tell me–no, WARN me—that our son has turned into Carl of Slingblade fame.

And then I see him. Oh, holy shit. He has resurrected another shirt. This one is a blue button-down that I bought him to wear to a wedding 2 years ago. And with a Sharpie, he has drawn his own badge onto it. You know, since he can’t find his police shirt. Logical move. He made his own. But he has it buttoned all the way up. And is rockin’ it out with baggy red sweatpants and grass-green flip-flops. I’m glad John warned me, or there would have been coffee shooting across the kitchen via my nasal passages. So now, picture Deputy Doofy breeding with this:
I swear, I did not ask for this life. And while it may be interesting, can it please just stay behind closed doors? I mean, the screaming and meltdowns are enough attention, already. I just want him to fit in. To make friends. To not be the butt of jokes. And I make every effort imaginable. He is not helping the matter.