November 29, 2019

if the truth hurts

(This story might only make sense if you read the previous post - sorry for being a pain in the butt).  

Tank resurfaced at 3:20.  He looked like a truck ran over his face.  He told me he had been asleep since 12:30.  Uh oh.  I took his temp every 20 minutes.  He was supposed to babysit for Geraldine AGAIN that night directly from church, but this time just for the two boys.  He was going solo, and I had no one that could sub for him. 

As I waited for the temp to spike, I cut my pumpkin bread to bring to the Oireachtas party the girls and I were attending directly from church at 6:30.  Then I glued some stones on Curly's dancing dress.  We had to let the dress down for Too-Tall so there was a row with no stones.  All my years as a dance mom (a term I hate), I have never glued stones on a dress.  I was not sure I knew what I was doing, but rather than obsess over it, I dove in and I was done in under 10 minutes - without ruining the dress!
Not sure you can see the E600 glue
I had on my fingers, but
 happily it came off better than super glue.

I was washing the glue off of my hands when I heard the dreaded sound every (category #2 above) mother fears:  Tank was puking.  It was 4:45 and mass started at 5:00.

Me:  'Ef, ef, ef, ef ,ef''  You get the idea.

I texted Mini, who Coach was picking up from a group project and taking straight to church.  Ed is home from school, but he took Reg to a different travel game really far from home because the team needed Reg to play up.  I wondered if Mini would say she would babysit in Tank's place, but instead she had the brilliant idea of calling her BFF.  BFF agreed to sit for Tank.  

And a sigh goes up from the crowd.  'Ohh - pretty!' 
(and pricey and I will probably not be able to sell it
when she is ready for a different dress.  Have I
mentioned how much I adore Irish dancing?)
After mass, I texted Ed instructions to open windows, spray Lysol, and wipe down surfaces when he returned home from Reg's games.  After the party with the girls, I came home and found Coach sitting in his recliner.  He had gone to some of Reg's far away games after he taught his RE class.  I was anxious as a category #2 mom and asked him what he had cleaned and what Ed had cleaned.  He didn't know what Ed did.  Ed was now out with friends and he didn't respond to my text asking what else needed to be cleaned.  

My current besties.
I got busy cleaning and wiping stuff down while also sharing my frustration with Coach that he was just sitting there.  I wanted him on the same 'no germs allowed' plan as me!  I almost blew a gasket when he admitted that he let Reg go to bed in the room he shares with Tank, the one where Tank napped for 3 hours that day.  Coach got up and moved Reg into Lad's bed because Lad comes home on Tuesday.  If I am not home, why is no one required to utilize their brain cells?  

(Note:  Coach did text me the next day from Reg's OTHER travel games while I was jogging between Curly's dancing class, the store for vitamin water for Tank, the mall, and then Curly's travel b-ball game.  OK, not jogging, because the knee STILL SUCKS.  Anyway, he apologized for not finding out what Ed had cleaned and then cleaning the rest since he beat me home.  I know this text was sent because he wanted me to cut his hair.  And probably other hopes.)

I stayed up another hour and a half scrubbing and wiping and airing out the downstairs.  I sprayed Lysol in all the kids' rooms while they slept -which they sleepily scolded me for.  I went to bed and wondered if I missed anything.  Then I thought, 'Oh, I didn't wipe down the dishwasher handles.'  Rather than get out of bed and do that, I reminded myself that Reg would NEVER open the dishwasher.  

1. He would never voluntarily load something.  

2.  If there was nothing clean, he would go with a paper product.  

My house was in a bit of a shock.  Never had it been scrubbed so hard.  Multiple times in the same night.  You know the thought process that we are supposed to be exposed to some germs?  Well, typically I live by that motto.  My kids should have the most impressive resistance levels known to man.

As of Monday morning 11/25, no one else has gone down with the pukes.  Tank only got sick the one time.  I will deal with forever being labeled as 'dance mom' since I kept Curly out of school today (writing this Monday) and tomorrow.  If the truth hurts!

edited Thanksgiving night to add:  I kept Curly out of school Monday and Tuesday.  The preschool kid I sit for was not quite himself on Tuesday.  When the mom came to pick up his sister (he leaves after lunch on a bus for preschool), she told me that she had been called by the school to come get him. He had a fever and was throwing up, AND HAD BEEN IN MY HOUSE FOR THE ENTIRE MORNING WITH CURLY.  

I reassured myself that he was mostly in the basement in the morning while Curly was on the first floor.  We opened all the doors and windows and sprayed every room, and wiped everything down.  

Just before we left my sister's house tonight, Curly said her stomach hurt.  We assured her that she just overate - typical Thanksgiving ailment.  She came home and threw up 30 minutes later.  She felt SO much better-we decided she just had over eaten.

She threw up again around 9 pm, and then we knew the truth.  We leave tomorrow for Louisville.  I assured her she will feel fine by Sunday.  The question is will I get it or will Mini?  

As if I didn't already dread this weekend enough!

November 27, 2019

two kinds of people

As Thanksgiving approaches there are two kinds of people:  

1.  those preparing food and getting excited to spend the holiday relaxing with family, and 

2.  mother's of Irish dancers

(after spending more time than I care to admit trying to upload a video of Curly dancing, I give up.  It looks like it should work but it doesn't not play when I try to play it.  Maybe once the post is up it will work?  If you would like to see it, you can go to my you tube channel:  Ernie Shenanigan.  Clip is called 'Curly dancing').  That sound you here is me thumping my head against the wall.

Unfortunately, as you know, I fall into category number 2.  Curly dances in Midwest championships on December 1st in Louisville.  Therefore, instead of fussing over food and shopping lists, I walk around armed with hand sanitizer and Lysol wipes and constantly repeat to my kids:  'WASH YOUR HANDS!'

Curly CANNOT get sick right now.  No sirree.  I live in fear of this scenario:  Curly gets sick right before she dances and is unable to perform well at the competition and ALL THAT HARD WORK ends in disappointment.  At all major dance competitions, a few dancers will puke on stage - either nerves or illness.  All the moms cringe and wonder, 'Did she get any on the dress?'  Remember last year when Mini got sick?   She wasn't dancing, but was planning to come to cheer on Curly.  

In Vancouver, (remember - we went there?  You will recall the excessive posts about that trip, unless you are new here or were in a coma.  Too many to share links:  but if you go back to late July or August you will undoubtedly bump into a couple dozen) Curly missed qualifying for World Championships by one place.  Again.  No worries, she can qualify on Dec. 1st.  She has qualified every year at the Midwest Championships or Oireachtas (if you want to trip over the official title and try to pronounce it - go ahead with your wanna-be-Irish bad-self).  Still, stress.

We are in basketball season.  Suffice it to say:  busy.  I am extra busy because I plan/hope to make food for the boys (none of which are attending Louisville) staying at home, meals for the college kids to drag back to school with them, and vitals for the Louisville contingent.  Note:  we are staying at the same hotel that does't have microwaves in the rooms and caused me GREAT STRESS last year

Saturday:  Mini played half of the varsity game and then played half of the sophomore game a few hours later.  Tank was supposed to babysit for Geraldine (whose kids I used to sit for:  think chia seeds and no naps and the suggestion that I lock kids in the car in the preschool parking lot to walk her kid into school.  We parted ways - just not on the same page, but remain friendly).  Curly was going to go to her house to help Tank. Ger was taking two boys to the movies - only leaving a newborn at home.  Really:  Tank was just there as an older kid and Curly was handling all things baby.  

Tank started a new job on Wednesday, and texted me Friday to say he was desperately needed for that job on Saturday morning so he now COULD NOT babysit.  I asked Geraldine if she could drop babykins with me and Curly.  Would she be OK with babykins attending Mini's game with me?  Yes.  

Tank dodged a bullet there because as per usual I was ready to strangle him.  

As punishment for shirking the sitting commitment and being sort of 'who cares' about it, he had to wash the kitchen floor.  Between Mini's two games I baked cookies while Coach drove off to watch Reg play travel ball 25 minutes from home.  I saw Tank return from his job.  After Mini's second game where she made the winning shot in OT, I got busy and kept asking everyone if they had seen Tank.  Nope.  

As often is the case, there is more.  Any guesses on how this ends?  

November 25, 2019

meatballs or bust, kitchen for Xmas, and oddest hotel room feature EVER

(our pink eye suffering protagonist is sitting in the car on the way to the grocery store with Coach while visiting Lad at school.  Up to speed?)

Me:  Why don't I make Lad some meatballs?  Let's text him and ask him if he would eat them.  He could put them in his freezer.  (Please note:  my mind working in mom-mode despite the searing pain in my eyeball.)  

Coach:  Oh, his phone is dead.  (Do you remember this cropping up before people?  Can you say history repeating itself?)

Me:  @#$&*@!#**?!

Guess what's fun?  Wandering around an unfamiliar grocery store searching for vitals with one hand hovering in front of your bad eye.  Coach likes to stick to a list.  I like to improvise, thus my very well fed, happy family.  So, I bought a small frying pan to potentially speed up my self-appointed meatball mission.  I could not ask Lad what his kitchen was furnished with because of the dead phone. 

We got back to his place and I got set up to start cooking the meatballs.  His next game was not until 8 pm.  When I was done, we planned to go eat lunch.

Prepping my space.
Me:  Do you have a frying pan?

Lad:  No.

Me:  Good thing I bought one.  OK, I just need a bowl.  (Don't have one)  Spatula (Don't have one)  Fork?

Lad:  (envision him pulling open a drawer showing disposable plastic ware).

Me:  Oh.  OK, then.   

Coach was a little like:  'That took a long time.'
 Really?  Who stood there making the meatballs
while her eye was on fire?  All I asked was the
occasional photo for m'blog.  Sorry to inconvenience. 
OK, rant over.
I made three pounds of meatballs.  Thankfully, I bought ground turkey.  The  little disposable trays were deeper than the ground beef trays.  I mixed the ingredients in the tray and stirred them with the fork in the newly purchased frying pan.  I started switching out the fork frequently when I noticed the first fork melting into my delicious meatballs.  I suggested he feed that first melted plastic batch to his roomies.  Joking.  

Mission accomplished and I am pretty sure that I managed not to drip any pink eye tears in the food.  We divided the meatballs up and stored them in his freezer so he could pop out a tiny tub of them and have a meal.  

Once we learned that this kid had no BOWL - or ANYTHING for that matter, we hatched another plan.  We dropped Lad off at his unfurnished kitchen place and drove back to the bazaar hotel.  He had to get to the pool early for warm-ups, etc.  We wanted to rest at the creepy hotel, but first:  TARGET.

Weirdest hotel room EVER.  I did take a video, but I don't think any of you will want to watch a 28 second tour of my hotel room.  Wrong audience.  Plus the bed isn't made in the video because I didn't think to take movie when the room was made up.  I am standing in front of the bed here.  See the purple doors?  Not only are they somewhat transparent, they OPEN and lead to the bathroom.  Not an entry way - just a view over the sink.  WHY??!!  There is no tub in there, so not like a guest hopes to soak in the tub and watch a movie with the sly purple doors slid open.  
Coach was all about doing this shopping thing fast and I was really interested in relaxing at the hotel with my ugly eye closed, so I was not about to argue.  We purchased all kitchen necessities in less than 30 minutes.  We sprung for a microwave and a crockpot.  Box of plates and bowls.  Silverware.  Cups.  Box of pots and pans.  Dish soap.  Hand soap.  Kitchen towels.  Cutting board.  Pyrex.  A kitchen without Pyrex makes me shudder.  Just saying.  

Here is the view from the bathroom sink
with the door slightly opened.  You can
 see my dress laid across the bed and in the
background if you squint you can see Coach
 crouched next to the bed plugging in his phone.
After Lad's senior game (where friendly parents tried to shake our hands and introduce themselves until I repelled them with my ugly eye and instructed them to keep their distance), we walked him to the rental car, popped the trunk, and I hummed jingle bells.  Merry Christmas, Lad!

To clarify:  both his roommates are from Serbia.  He lives in a different arrangement off campus than he did last year.  We never knew that he and his roomies had no kitchen stuff until we saw it.  You know what they do have?  Mice.  

At one point, Lad said to us:  'I didn't know it was going to be so hard for you to find a hotel room.  You could have stayed in my room.  I have the biggest bedroom at my place and I have a futon.'  

Check this gem out.  Walking into the foyer -
 there is the front desk.  A balcony where
 people at a wedding are hanging out, and
there, my friends is a photo
 of an odd old couple.
  Front and center.  Is is Ma and Pa Kettle? 
No clue, but guess who became motivated
to secure a hotel room at a popular name
 brand hotel for graduation?  You guessed it!  
We did have a tough time getting a hotel room.  One of the hotels informed me that this was because of some government meeting that was taking place in New York.  Regardless, no way in HELL I would have stayed at his place.  Hey, thanks for the offer though.  

I told Lad how to make chicken taco meat in his new crockpot.  This is getting lengthy so I will not go into detail about the countless phone calls after we returned home asking for instructions on how to make this crazy-ass simple recipe.  When he wanted to start the crockpot late in the day, I suggested he hold off and start it by noon the next day. He then asked if he should re-freeze the chicken meat that he had already thawed.  

I looked at Coach and said, 'Maybe this was a mistake giving him access to a kitchen.  I see food poisoning in his near future.'

Please share when you comment, and you know you will - what is your easiest, (preferably healthy) recipe that you make in the crockpot.  I need to hook this kid up.  So much cheaper to prepare the occasional meal in his own kitchen.  

Meanwhile, I plan to whip up enough meals for both Tank and Eddie to take some back to their respective campuses.  At least I no longer threaten to drip pink eye germs in their food.  

November 22, 2019

My fall (as in the season): think pink

Warning:  this is gonna be a long topic, but I will chop it up for you based on each injury being discussed.  No, I did not physically fall (thank goodness for small favors), but this FALL was epic for moi. 

I am going to start out of order (and just like that I think of my math teacher in high school who died far too young), because I have a recipe request from all of you - but that will not show up until the next post because this got crazy long and I am doing a cut/paste job so we stay friends.

This fall marked Laddie's senior year season playing water polo out east.  Several weeks in advance, I looked at the schedule with Coach and we chose which games we wanted to attend.  Coach has a harder time committing because of work, etc.  I have an easier time as it comes naturally to me to craft ways to jump ship, escape the loony bin, ditch the disaster area, etc. 

Great pants but crappy eye.  If you
did not read how I scored these
 pants at a deal, you should.  Not
 many of you did,
so here is your chance.
This was senior
 game.  I am holding the flowers
 they give the moms and standing
 next to my kid in the speedo.
I was going to attend three different weekends - one with the whole gang, one just Curly and I, and one solo.  Yea me.  One of my visits would be to Lad's senior night.  I booked the necessary flights. 

Coach decided less than two weeks before the senior night game, that he might want to tag along.  That sounded perfect to me, save the fact that I now needed to pawn off our lovely younger four kids on people who once considered us friends.  No prob - I got busy and the pawning was complete.  Then I baked myself into a tizzy, because people are owed treats for this!

I made a mountain of meatballs right before we left.  I find meatballs labor intensive, so I do not whip them up all that often.  Well, that dinner was met with rave reviews.  I told the kids that when they were allowed re-entry to our home Sunday afternoon via key from my mom, they could heat up leftover meatballs for dinner.  Coach and I were not landing until around 7 or 8 pm.

Thanks to Coach's last minute booking, we flew to New York from O'Hare about an hour apart - but we landed at two different airports.  Coach rented a car at Laguardia and then came to get me - a few hours later at my airport.  On the way home, we both departed from Laguardia - I left a few hours earlier than him.  I landed at O'Hare, got a cab home, and then hopped in the car and drove to get him at Midway.  Yep.  That happened.

I assume I picked it up on the plane,
but Coach insists that you get it from
 poop so he blames changing diapers.
  I constantly wash my hands though.
 I am sticking with the airplane and
subsequent time hanging out at
the airport. 
Not gonna lie, it sucked.  
I ended up being incredibly grateful that Coach came along.  I could not have maneuvered around in a rental car on a bright sunny day trying to glance at the GPS with . . . PINK EYE.  Of all things!  I don't think I ever had this, because I swear something so insanely painful would have stuck with me. 

We woke up Saturday morning and hit the workout room in the hotel before we went to Lad's game.  While on an elliptical my eye started to tear like CRAZY.  Then the burning.  Then I considered scraping my eye out with a spoon.  As he drove to the game, I googled.  Oh, shit. 

We watched that first 9 am game (well, less watching for me and more blinking).  I kept going out into the quiet hallway to call my doctor.  They agreed to call me in something which saved us hanging out at urgent care during our visit.  It also saved me from swearing like a sailor into the phone in desperation mode and thereby forcing me to find a new doctor when I returned home.

Lad played Harvard on Sunday.  It was his last game of the weekend, and we were thrilled that he scored a goal - first of the season.  It happened in the 4th quarter.  Super sweet.  This picture is of Dr. Oz.  See him in the pinkish button down?  His son plays for Harvard and he was guarding Lad when Lad scored.  Just saying.  Too bad this wan't our early morning game on Saturday, because I could have tapped Dr. Oz on the shoulder and asked him if he had any pink eye drops on him.  I would've too, you know it!  Timing is everything.
I managed to survive the 30 second intervals of piercing eye pain for several hours till God's sweet nectar in the form of drops saved me.  Coach and I hit the grocery store while Lad went to watch film with his team.  Coach had procured a list from Lad while they watched Lad's girlfriend play in a softball tournament.  I stayed in the car, reclined, begging the drops to work some magic.  

Off to the grocery store, which gives you time to consider what easiest crockpot recipe ever you will suggest for my college kid.  Um, this adventure is not quite over.  

November 20, 2019

worst childhood-ending statement EVER

(FYI - this happened last spring, because Curly is now in 6th grade.  Found this in my drafts.  Not sure why I never posted it). 

Later that evening after I shared the facts of life with Curly, I was cutting the boys’ hair.  I told Eddie during his trim that I had given Curly ‘the talk.’  He groaned a little -  we all felt bad about ending her innocence.  

By the way, she told me that no one had shared any details about the facts of life with her prior to our chat.  I was glad that she hadn’t heard a sneak preview from anyone in advance - unlike my 5th grade end-of-innocence-afternoon, where my friend described ‘it’ in the most horrific of ways.  

Ed is now old enough for me to ask a question that I have always wondered . . . What exactly did Daddy tell him?  I often suspected that Coach had glossed over many aspects and just covered the male’s role in the whole ordeal.  Did my boys know what a period was?  Were they well versed in various situations that they need to be sensitive to?  Like, if a teenage girl says she is not interested in going swimming, leave it alone.  Do not push it.  If a pad falls out of a girl’s purse or backpack, would my boys ask what the heck that was?

Well, that last question was already answered by Mini.  In 7th grade I urged her to carry supplies to school to be prepared for her first period.  One day in the hallway her backpack fell and some things spilled out on the floor.  Tank was in 8th grade at the time.  He stopped to help her.  Imagine her horror when he held up a pad and hollered, ‘What’s this?’  Mini was mortified.  Her own brother!

Ed circa 5th grade - around
 the time his father's
'Well, that's what your
 mother and I did' comment
disgusted him and ended
 his innocent boyhood. 
Anyway, I asked Ed if he remembered the talk Daddy gave him.  Oh, yeah.  Did he ever.  There was one statement Coach made that was burned into Ed’s mind.  Ed was being slightly dramatic, but he said it ruined his childhood. 

5th grade Ed and Coach were sitting side by side on the basement couch.  Facing the same way, so not looking at each other.  Coach told him the main birds and bees story.  Then he followed it up with a childhood-ruining sentence:  ‘So, that’s what your mother and I did.’  

Well, Ed’s haircut was temporarily stalled as I doubled over trying to control my laughing.  We were on the front porch and this haircut had already gone on too long.  Ed has chosen to go with a bushy hairdo of late.  He has declined my typical buzz cut/short cropped style the last few months.  His hair is quite curly.  Let’s just say that he redefines growing hair ‘out’.  His hair is like a thick mop.
The glory days when cutting
 hair was a cinch with the clippers.

Mowing thru the boys’ hair with clippers is simple and straightforward.  Trimming Ed’s hair with a scissors was tough.  It was hard to track where I began and where I left off.  We were losing light and I had to keep making him rotate on the stool so that I could see the other side of him.  
Ed with longer hair, that took more
 time to cut.  How else do you
 post photos of the birds and
the bees talk?

Now I was lost in laughter and had no idea what areas of his mop I still needed to cut.  Coach appeared on the front porch exasperated that I was taking so long to cut Ed’s hair.  Tank was my final customer, and he was pacing around in the house growing impatient and making everyone miserable.  Shock.

Coach, the culprit of issuing childhood-ending statements, standing on the porch looking irritated only made me laugh harder.  Ed just sat there shaking his head.  He whispered:   Who wants to hear that?  It was awful.’  

Haircuts are not always my favorite activity, but this one will go down as gut-splitting and memorable.  

November 18, 2019

age of innocence slipping away, 2 generations worth

Cannot bring myself to cover up this
 precious INNOCENT face to hide her
 true identity.  Face of an angel, or what?
Curly around age 3 or 4. 
Her hair is now 7 billion
times more curly.
I went into my drafts this afternoon, because I know I have a DMV story filed away that I am ready to share.  The DMV nightmare blew up in my face when I was still sharing my Vancouver triology (OK, so what's longer than a trilogy?).  I discovered this gem.  It is two parts.  You MUST tune in for the 2nd part because  it is downright hilarious.  This nugget hails from my youthful memories.  Oh, how I miss the days before I knew so much.  

I hemmed and hawed about it long enough.  I decided to buckle down and get it done.  Curly is in 5th grade, and it was time for me to outline ‘where babies come from’ for her.  Not my favorite parental duty, but with more boys in the mix than girls Coach ended up with more uncomfortable conversations than me.  I could hardly complain.

If memory serves, when I delivered ‘the talk’ to Mini I had notes.  A brochure.  Guidelines, if you will- to make sure I was covering the important points.  This time I had nothing.  Just a goal to get it done. 

I called Curly into my room where I could not stop fiddling with laundry piles on my bed.  Finally, I sat down and spilled the beans. 

Back when I was in 5th grade, a friend of mine came over to play.  She told me that her brother had informed her how a woman got pregnant.  We both assumed he was JOKING.  How could THAT be true?  

Later that night I told my older sister, Marie, who I shared a room with that my friend Michelle had told me something hilarious.  Marie was like, ‘What?  Tell me.  What’s so funny?’  I could not stop laughing long enough to spit it out.  Finally I told her what Michelle had told me.  Marie’s face went from laughing in anticipation of my funny story, to totally serious - in the fraction of a second.  Then she literally spun on her heel and marched out of our room to go tell Mom what I now knew. 

In that moment, I sat alone in my room - no longer laughing.  I pretended to be asleep when Marie returned.  Two things were troubling me.  First, Michelle’s info must have been true.  Damn, that sucked.  I already knew I wanted a big family, but not if you had to go about it THAT way!  Second, Marie telling Mom what I was laughing about was probably going to land me in a bit of trouble.

Fast forward to present day:  Curly took the news as well as can be expected.  I must admit that I felt like my delivery was better the second time around despite the fact that I had no references to glance over while I stumbled thru it.  I believe I sweated a lot less this time. 

Afterwards Coach asked how it went.  I told him that I assured her that if she was ever not interested in partaking in marital relations she could just feign itchiness.  Of course I didn’t really tell her that, but I decided for Coach's benefit to reference my  whole nasty fungal/yeast infection nonsense that I put up with recently.  

How were you told about the birds and the bees?  Or did you figure it out with helpful 'friends'?

November 15, 2019

♫ these are the people in my family ♪

The heads getting ready to be
locked into their storage container.
Are you humming 'These are the people in my neighborhood,' from 
Sesame Street?  OK then, carry on!

Curly gets the gold star for helping me yesterday.  I was bound and determined to get the Halloween costumes put away.  That was supposed to happen over the weekend, but instead:  the out of town literary fest, the groceries, and then the bum knee. 

It is creepy to see them all stare out of their
bins especially if you go down into the
 storage room at night.
Eyes - they are everywhere!
See Elmo peeking out?
Behind him on the top
 of the shelf is the giant cookie
body and below him is the bottom of Bird.
Oscar's can is on top of the bins.
Gumby and Pokey are up higher.

Only I know how to put the costumes away.  I told Tank and Curly to haul Gumby, Pokey, Oscar, Elmo, and Cookie downstairs from the dining room.  (Mini and her friend dressed as Cookie Monster - but just the head, and a giant cookie.  Mini’s friend left the head behind at a party which made me quite nervous, but Mr. Googly Eyes was safely returned so he needed to be stored properly).  Tank groaned about pitching in because he had already dragged two crock pots full of leftovers to the kitchen from the basement fridge for his injured mother.  Curly was ready to serve her Mama.  

I have ziploc baggies labeled for each set of furry costume hands and pants, or feet and body, etc.  The bins were in disarray, but I reorganized them and Curly stood nearby ready to help me squeeze Pokey into the two giant bags once his body was rolled up.  My storage room resembles what I imagine Jim Hendrick’s studio would look like.  

Sink and coffee mugs with marshmallows
 left in the sink even though there is no
disposal.  Plus it looks like someone used
 paints down there and did not
 wash them out of the sink.
While in the basement, I spotted a bunch of coffee mugs from when Mini had friends sleepover on November 2nd.  I brought hot chocolate down to the basement for them.  The next day, I reminded Mini to clean up after her friends.  The basement kitchen area is tucked around in the back and I walk through it to get to the storage room.  I could not believe that she left the dirty mugs down there.  

Background is the castle.  Foreground
is girl legos.  Circled area is where there
was a blanket - there inside the circle
 is garbage and odds and ends of nerf toys.
Then I told Curly to grab a blanket that was just tossed in front of the castle.  Curly played with her legos earlier in the day, when her friend was over because they had no school.  She picked up the blanket and under it was a pile of garbage.  What. The. Hell?!  

I knew right away what happened.  Tank had friends over to watch the Bears game on Sunday.  This plan materialized while I was at the grocery store.  He went down in the basement and ‘cleaned up’ by gathering empty Gatorade bottles and wrappers and nerf gun toy parts and tossing it in front of the castle where his friends would not see it and then he THREW A BLANKET OVER IT.  Five more steps and he would have found himself at the actual garbage can in the kitchen down there.

I live with these people.  

A few weeks ago, when the kids had to do their kid bathroom jobs Tank had to wash the floor.  (There is a list detailing the rotation of jobs).  In order to wash the floor, Tank tossed everything from the floor to the tub.  Um, most of the clothing that was on the floor BELONGED TO HIM.  
Tub of stuff - including the garbage bin.
 The work of Tank!

The coffee table in the basement AFTER
Tank's friends were here.  Darts.  Video
 game controllers.  Napkins.
Empty liter of lemonade.
  Oh, and a textbook with the cover
 ripped off.  And a lone dip chip.  

The next week, he had to empty the bathroom garbages.  I noticed the other night that he NEVER emptied the kid’s bathroom garbage BECAUSE THE OVERFLOWING GARBAGE BIN WAS STILL LOCATED IN THE BATHTUB WHERE HE LEFT IT.  It was as if he could not find it.  WHAT?  We were starting a movie, so I sent him to empty the garbage and started the movie despite his request that we pause it for him.  Um, NO!

Labels on my bins.
Ziploc bags
with lists on them
 are tucked inside.
Curly, who never complained while assisting me, pointed out to me in the basement:  ‘You are so organized!’  Because of how well labeled all of my little furry creations are in their little bags.  I swear if it was up to me, we would not live like pigs - and my costume storage proves it!

Not sure if you can see the swollen knee here,
 but Coach did not think it was swollen.
 Um, and you are a professional?  The aerial
 view shows it.  I first took this photo
without pants on - it was just my
legs, but still.  You're welcome.  
For example:  if I had some delicious bonbons while I lay on my couch nursing my knee, I would definitely make sure the wrappers made it to the garbage.  

* Knee update:  it has improved greatly as of today - typing this late Wednesday.  I hope that by early next week I will feel like myself again.  Mostly.  Unsure if I will be able to workout yet, but fingers crossed to give the elliptical a try.  

November 13, 2019

God-sent day off, delegate fails, & still hobbling

BEST DAY EVER . . . well, the knee is not much better, but freakishly all three families that I sit for cancelled me for today (writing this Tuesday).  Hallelujah!  You know how some days you just NEED  day off – the stars aligned, people!

Remember little baby:  out of town for grandpa’s funeral.  So sad, and he was the first grandbaby.  Family with hefty baby:  preschooler was still struggling with tonsillectomy.  Third family:  baby with a stomach bug. 

So, I type this from the comfort of my couch and no babies to chase hobble around after . . . Coach rolled his eyes when I admitted that I googled how long it takes to recover from a torn meniscus (even one that is just tweaked or sprained) and the answer was:  6 to 8 weeks.  I guess he thinks it will not take me that long, but he did sigh and say that it was possible.  (warning:  here come the CANNOTs) . . .

People, I CANNOT be out of commission for that long, so let’s just assume I am going to bounce back sooner.  Agreed?  

Curly dances at regional championships over Thanksgiving weekend in Louisville.  I cannot be still struggling by then.  While I serve as a cheerleader for her, I am also an Irish dancing sherpa.  OK, OK, I know I flaked out and left a bag in a cab back in Orlando for Nationals champs a few years ago, but for the most part I am a top notch sherpa.  A bum knee cannot be part of this equation.

Thankfully my driving abilities have not been hindered. Thank you, sweet Jesus.  Can you imagine?  Well, I did lose my license back when I accumulated a few speeding tickets, so I CAN imagine.  I am grateful that I do not have to go there.  Note, I did not say getting in and out of a car is very graceful, but I can still chauffeur my peeps.  

I saw Coach at his clinic yesterday because I did not have to babysit and he thought it might help if I saw him.  He did not make me cry, and seemed generally more patient with me in public - so that was an improvement.  I think I had also accepted this suckie reality as opposed to the night before, so I was not an emotional basket case.  

Coach came up with a few exercises that I could do to keep it moving and increase the blood flow to the knee so that it heals faster.  I have already done these exercises twice since I woke up. 

It snowed here.  I am on crutches, for the most part.  Not loving the icy parking lots out there.  I am SUPER grateful that I bought every grocery item available to mankind on Sunday.  To clarify, (Kari) I am still responsible for the laundry regardless of my condition.  I tried to delegate.  I drove Curly to dancing and then attended a writers’ group (new thing I am trying and really enjoying).  While I was gone, I told Reg to set the kitchen timer for 8 pm and then go upstairs to the laundry room and put the stuff in the dryer.  

(Oh, and this video shows me hobbling over to turn off the THERMADOR fridge drawers that decided to fail for the 10th time - no exaggeration, in less than 2 years.  Great timing because we have people coming over on Saturday and I was not in the mood to hop over and turn them off when they beep every few hours.  Seriously!)

When I went to bed last night, the dryer was full of wet clothes.  Is it because I did not tell him to ‘turn it on’?  I remember saying ‘casual’ as the setting, but the on button might not have been referenced.  Sigh.

Before I went to bed, I lay on the couch with my back to the kitchen.  Coach called out that he was going to bed and that he was not going to do anything else with the kitchen.  Mini and Tank were watching TV.  I was in la la land.  They went to bed, and then I hauled my butt up off the couch.  I wished I had made them finish the kitchen, but I did not know the state it was in.

Um, guess who had to gather 10 glasses and reload the dishwasher till they fit, and load the crockpot, and start the dishwasher?  Yes, the gimp. 

Still, a happy gimp who was thrilled to not be babysitting today!!