December 30, 2019

wisdom teeth, not funny- but my best laughing fit of all time

 Allow me to set the scene for you . . . I am writing this in the middle of the night on the 27th  -I guess technically it is the 28th.  I ate a really late lunch because I was trapped in the oral surgeon’s waiting room a good chunk of the day.  Tank AND Mini had their wisdom teeth out today.  The doc office called my house to let us know that we should come at 10:30 instead of 10 because they were running late.  Mini’s surgery was AFTER Tank’s, so we didn’t get home until ALMOST 3:00 in the afternoon.  I did not think to grab food and the elusive protein bar I keep in my bag for emergencies was, well, elusive ‘cause it wasn’t in my damn bag. 

In addition to my forced hunger sit-in, I was subjected to a couple of ladies in their early 60’s who arrived at the office all ready for a little afternoon of ‘Since-you-agreed-to-drive-me-here-for-my-procedure-I’ll-tell-you-in-great-detail-about-my-grown-children-and-who-is-addicted-to-what-drug-and-whose-boyfriend-might-turn-out-to-be-a-wife-beater-and-how-I-refuse-to-allow-my-grandkid-to-control-me-and-other-dark-and-annoying-secrets-about-our-messed-up-clan’ in as loud a voice as they could muster.  I suspected the fish wanted to hurl themselves to an untimely death by flipping let’s-save-Dorie-style onto the floor of the over-the-top-decorated-Puritan-themed waiting room.  I cannot make this up.  I whipped my head in the woman’s direction and gave her a save-it-for-your-therapist’s-office look, but she didn’t take the bait.  Shock.   

'I can't feel my mouth,'
Mini's attempt to eat oatmeal.
I have been trying a new thing where I eat dinner as close to 5:00 as I can, and then not another morsel of food till morning.  Without getting gross, my body does not always allow me to sleep if food is in my system.  Good times.  The doc just says it is IBS.  I don't think that is what I have, but whatever.  This early dinner plan works well for me, but it is not always practical.  

Well, a late salad (AFTER racing to the pharmacy for drugs and administering said drugs to kids who had to eat something first but couldn’t feel their faces – well, Mini couldn’t, meant I ate LUNCH terribly late, like close to 4) led to a slightly late dinner where I stress-ate a bigger plate of leftovers than I needed to, ‘cause hello – recent salad, but hello so many leftovers that need to be eaten.  Now my insides are anything but happy. 
It wasn't pretty. 
She could not grasp
 that half of it was
on her chin.

Add to that the fact that Coach kept getting out of bed tonight and leaving the room, then coming back to bed.  Then repeating the same thing for what felt like 10 times.  This is a signal of college kids (this was Eddie, not Laddie) stumbling around downstairs after a night of too much fun with friends and I try to ignore whatever is alarming him thinking ‘he’s got this’, but since my gut was shouting at me anyway I decided to take some Tums, chug a couple gallons of water, and describe my day to you. 

I have already decided to postpone the remainder of the Ding-Dong-Ping-Pong table that got a tad sappy at the end, and share this with you on my birthday.  It’s my birthday gift to you, and I hope you like hyphens since it seems I am trying to win a hyphen-insertion award of some kind. 

I got an early gift this evening in the form of a laughing fit, the likes of which I do not know that I have EVER encountered.  And I thought I would share it while my stomach still hurts from laughing.  (Separate pain than the cluster-eating, over-doing-it pain I have in my gut right now). 

Much of today was not funny.  I think I needed to laugh.  Hard.  So when I got a chuckle out of the remarks from my pain-management patients, I allowed it to rumble until it was simply out of control.  The bummer here is that I do not anticipate you will find my hysterics as humorous as I did.  If you do, bonus.  I have already scolded my puffy-faced friends for not capturing my own laughing-gas moment with their phones, because the other family members missed it and it was something to behold.

Coach and Ed were invited to our friends’ house tonight.  Coach’s buddy – we will call him Buddy – is Ed’s good friend’s dad.  Because Buddy is very much still a kid himself, his own kids have never called him ‘dad.’  They call him ‘Buddy’ like everyone else.  

Buddy is one of the most social people I have ever met.  He would host people at his home every night if his wife would allow it.  Turns out, as my luck would have it, Buddy’s wife is an introvert.  She will entertain, but more often than not, Buddy will host the guys to watch a game and she will not agree to include the wives.  That was the situation tonight.  

Coach enjoys Buddy’s company and I enjoy the wife’s company . . . . when I am included.  That Seinfeld episode does not lie - it is hard to find a couple that you both like to spend time with, so it does bum me out that she is missing the socializing chip.  Ironically, Coach tends to be a bit more content to avoid social settings.  He is not always up to hang out with Buddy when Buddy texts and suggests they meet out for a drink.  Whereas I am usually ready to get out and be social.  Granted I spend my days with tots and Coach TALKS with patients all day long which pushes him to the edge at times. 

After Coach left, Tank happened to glance at the instruction sheet from the doc.  It said a good first meal suggestion is a shake.  Tank and Mini felt robbed.  They begged me to go out and get them a shake.  I invited them to eat the ice cream in the freezer.  Same difference!  Meanwhile I texted Coach to let him know that anarchy had ensued over a missed shake opportunity, but I assured him that he should have a great time with Buddy and not to fear for my well being.  

Curly is sleeping over at a friend’s house –was at a different friend’s house sleeping over last night.  I envy her as she escaped the drool-face, blood-spitting theme that we had going on over here today.  Last night she (and Reg and Mini) missed the:  this-is-our-house-follow-our-rules drama that ensued between Coach and I and Lad.  That ended with a little ‘I will never speak to you again once I leave here to go back to school in early January.  I mean it -NEVER’ talk.  This stemmed from a sneak-out-of-the-house late Christmas night situation but ballooned from there into an array of confused topics.  

I will leave that long story at that, but know that the finger-pointing about his childhood (same delightful childhood the other 5 kids rave about by the way) and how I managed to ruin his break because I was not ‘happy-go-lucky’ enough for him (he actually used those words) when I was busy racing around to get things done (and he was busy playing Xbox for hours and working out for hours and requesting the car be available for him but then sleeping till noon while we all jumped thru the only-one-car-available-for-us hoops) ruined his break and other confusing, hurtful tidbits (while Coach is accused of nothing since he was always at work when I was busier than busy with the gang at home) led to me sobbing in my car as I left Tank for his surgery and drove 40 minutes round trip to collect Mini for her surgery.  

Lest you think my stress eating was centered on the temporary discomfort of two teens drooling their food on my island and begging for more pain pills.  That was a cakewalk compared to the Lad shit.

Anyway, Lad hung out in the basement in an attempt to steer clear, I guess.  That left Tank, Mini, and Reg and I to watch a movie.  Tank chose ‘The Devil’s Own,’ which I had not seen in years. 

compliments of pintrest.  This is what I
 was picturing, so maybe
I didn't make it up.
After the movie, the night was still young.  Reg went to play Xbox in Lad’s ‘Lad-cave’ and I finally remembered to text my brother a happy birthday message.  I included a photo of the two extraction victims.  Pat texted back:  Tank too?  (Evidence that he does not read my Christmas poem because the last lines mention the upcoming wisdom teeth pulling of both kids).  I texted back ‘Yep, it set us back close to $7,000.’  

Ice packs, swollen faces, pain meds, good times.
Fingers crossed that insurance will reimburse for some of it.  (And for that amount of dough you would have thought they would have included a truckload of gauze, but they skimped on it which had Mini in an all-out panic till her mouth finally stopped bleeding after we had scraped together some gauze left over from Ed’s wisdom teeth extraction in July.  Yes, 2019 was a real kick in the pants over here, or maybe that should be kick in the gums). 

Mini and Tank were up moving around doing their best imitation of Ebenezer Scrooge when he had that toothache (or did he just sleep like that?  What am I thinking of?) and he had a white cloth tied around his head.  They have a Velcro ice pack that they stuck in the freezer for 30 minutes and then wore it for 30 minutes. 

In order for them to have more pain pills I insisted that they eat a bit more.  Mini was ingesting like her 15th pieorgie.  I made these for the kids when they were really small, but Mini does not remember them.  Today she fell hard and fast in love with them, but could NOT remember what to call them.  She mumbled things like:  ‘Can I have another Patagonia?’  ‘Will you make more peleogosists?’  ‘Is it OK for me to eat even more papaorias?’ 

I wish I could remember all of the comments Tank made as his pain was never as bad as hers.  Coach and I both assumed it would be just the opposite.  Mini remembers waking up a bit during the procedure.  Kid you not – I woke up during my extraction 20 plus years ago, and saw the doc using all of his weight to break apart the damn teeth in my mouth till they pumped some additional sedative in me.  I think hers were harder to extract than Tank’s thus more pain.

Tank did say this:  Gosh, like I was totally out of it.  They could have hit me in the face while I was out and I never would have known it.

Me:  We asked them to do that, but they said they would charge extra for it.

Once when Mini was really struggling, Tank was like ‘Yeah, you have four huge holes in the back of your mouth.  It is gonna bleed.  Now shut up.’

Oh, and he called out JUST AS SHE WAS TRYING TO SWALLOW A HORSE PILL:  ‘Wait, is she still unable to swallow a pill?’ 

Mini (like her mother before her) had a real issue swallowing pills and used to have to get antibiotics in liquid form, but she has gotten better (and I am fine now too, thanks for asking).  Mini proceeded to choke on the pill once he focused on her past ‘issue’.  She eventually got it down, but then had that awful pill taste in her mouth since it took a couple of swallows.  I rushed over with some protein shake on a spoon to alleviate the after-taste.  She only drooled half of it on the counter.  Progress.

Then Pat texted me this gem:  ‘Why did they have them out?  Were they interfering with other teeth?’ 

I was a bit dumbfounded.  I almost texted back something along the lines of:  ‘No, purely cosmetic.’  Or, ‘No, we just thought it might be fun to watch them suffer.’  Like, huh?  Instead I texted back the truth:  ‘Recommended by dentist and the ortho.’ 

In the background, Mini sang in a sarcastic tone:  ‘Notre Dame edu-ca-tion!’

Tank:  ‘Like, what?  There is something wrong with him.’

I was lying on the couch with the mate-less socks that I was attempting to sort arranged all over my blanket.  It had been a long day, and I was asking the victims patients how many pieorgies were left and telling Tank he could eat the apple-puff pancake still in the fridge leftover from Christmas morning.  I couldn’t move.  My serving-them-stuff window had closed plus I was trapped by my unmatched socks dilemma. 

In response to Pat’s inquisitive text, Mini half-mumbled, half-hollered, “Yeah, well some of us believe in seeing the dentist for our teeth Mr. ‘I-never-had-braces-even-though-I-needed-them-because-it-might-interfere-with-my-flute-playing.’ “  

To jazz things up, Mini's raynaud's disease
 ramped up - I don't think the
 photo does it justice,
 but her hands literally turn
blue.  She looks like
 she could star in the next
Guardians of the Galaxy flick.
Pat relentlessly teased me for being tall when we were kids.  Eventually I figured out that I could whip back an insult like:  ‘OK, Bucky Beaver’ because he had some significant chompers.  They are still front and center, but hey – great flute player.  If you have any doubts about his musical abilities, I will hook you up with my folks who will gladly spout off about that and his many other impressive attributes.  (You follow me where I am going here?  My middle-child, glossed over self butted up against this I-do-no-wrong king.  He was even born 3 days shy of my 1st b-day.  ‘A king has arrived’ who promptly bumped me off the baby throne PLUS first born son sort of phenomenon.)

All of a sudden it dawned on me in my on-the-couch-mode that I was no longer alone in my quest to stick up for myself as the glossed over, frumpy middle child.  I called out to my gimpy-mouthed teenagers:

‘I am just so happy to be raising a small army of people who will make fun of my siblings with me.  At last – reinforcements!’

But under her bandaid
was NOT blue.
I then started to laugh.  It turned into a cackle.  Then the kind of laughing where there is no sound.  I gasped for air, but the laughing would not release me from its firm grip.  My head was thrown back over the arm of the couch.  Tears streamed down my face while Tank and Mini started chortling along with me.  Their bursts of laughter were interrupted by moaning and begging me to stop.  Plus they were trying to eat more soft stuff like ‘paledonias’.   

Their pleas only made me laugh harder. 
‘It HURTS to laugh.  Stop it Mommy!  Ohh!  Bahhhh!!!  Eww!!  Haaaa!!  No –stop!’

I could not stop, though.  It just struck me as too damn funny.  Coach came home a bit later and I was all – Hope you had fun with Buddy.  We’ve been tearing it up over here with pain pills, a repeated DVD, laundry, ice-backs, pieorgies aka petunias and the longest laughing fit I have ever encountered.’ 

Tank and Mini begged me not to start up again.  Tempting, but I only giggled a little. 

I apologize for the length of this post, but it's my birthday and I'll post as long as I want to.  Ha.  I would love for my birthday to receive a record number of comments.  I invite you to share your goofy sibling story, or rough sleep issue, or wisdom teeth ordeal, or favorite soft food, or your best laughing fit, or your request that I either continue to write during all-nighters or NEVER write during a lack of sleep again.  I will read your comments while softly singing 'Happy Birthday to me.'  I hope to get some Z's now that it is 5 am and I have been awake since before 2 am.  Grrr.  

December 27, 2019

dropping the ping pong ball & a hug from above

Twas Saturday, the 21st  and all through our un-decorated house - only Coach and I were stirring - he was going in early to see a few patients, being as quiet as a mouse.

OK, the rest of this tale will be told sans rhyme, cause that's all I got!

I asked Coach that morning in a rare moment alone before he left for work, 'Hey, what are you doing about the ping pong table?  Did you pick one out?  What's the story?'

Well, he said he was waiting to hear if I found someone to fix the air hockey table so he hadn't completed his research.  Oh.  Crap.  

Air hockey hasn't worked in a year.  Coach was researching putting a ping pong table on top of the air hockey table (not sure how to phrase that - just the top, resting on top of the current broken air hockey table).  I thought it was silly to do that unless we knew the air hockey table could be fixed.  Why keep a piece of junk?  Coach felt like it made sense - cheaper to just get a top vs a whole table.  I reached out on that Nextdoor website and asked if anyone 'knew a guy' who could fix an air hockey table.  One neighbor thought his son could do it, but then he didn't get back to us. 

I figured Amazon would save the day, but they could not ship me a table top or a table in time for Christmas.  Just when you think Amazon is capable of anything.  I tried to find one at a store that I could physically drive to  . . . oh, the horror of driving to a store.  Nope.  Then I checked into Letgo and Craigslist.  One family was giving one away not far from us.  This grabbed Coach’s attention, but the table looked wobbly in the photos and one corner was broken off.  I want this table to be a draw to our clan’s friends, not an embarrassment.  ‘OK, someone hold the table in place while we play.’

Also on Craigslist, a brand-new, in the box, professional grade table that folded up nicely in the photo.  It was being sold by a warehouse/business type thing – so price haggling was not an option.  Fear not, I tried.  It was almost ½ price of the retail price, so we said, ‘Let’s do it!’ 

The warehouse was a hike – out in the boonies.  They weren’t open on Sunday, so I told Coach that I would drive out there after Reg’s eye doc appointment and pick it up on Monday afternoon.  The plan:  dump it in my folks’garage until Christmas Eve. 

I swear this guy's arm was
the size of my torso.
On the 23rd when it took four big men, and a forklift to get that mother in the back of my van I knew I had to go with plan B.  What was plan B?  No clue, but I had a nice long drive to scrape one together. 

On my way to this place in St. Charles, I sent an email at a stop light.  I had read a Christmas letter from a family friend named Kathy the day before.  She ended her letter with 'If you ever find yourself out in St. Charles, give me a call!'  Well, heck.

Long story, but Kathy was my Uncle Pat's girlfriend.  Pat was my favorite uncle who passed away the year I was studying in Ireland as a junior in college.  I was devastated.   He was in his mid 40's at the time.  If it had not been for his poor health (he had 6 strokes when I was a senior in high school, was a diabetic, had been a smoker, etc), I think he and Kathy would have been married.  I only had Kathy's mailing address, but I reached out to my aunt and got her email address.  

Anywho - I emailed Kathy from a stop light and said, 'Hey I am a few minutes from St. Charles.  I thought I was going to make it to Mini's b-ball game, but my errands have run amuck and that will never happen.  Kind of a long shot, but this is my cell #.'

As the dudes were loading the table into my car, my phone rang and it was Kathy!  I said, 'yeah, I am kinda freaking out about the size of this table, can I call you back?'  She laughed:  'Yes!'

As I drove away, I called Kathy back.  She asked me where I was and when I told her the intersection she burst out laughing.  I was a few blocks away from her house.  Nooo wayyyy!

So, I pretended that I had NOTHING to do (like reconfigure a basement to fit this monstrosity in my van never mind find a moving crew to haul it down there while my kids were . . . where exactly?)   Less than a minute later, I was pulling into Kathy's driveway - she was on the phone with me telling me where to turn, etc.  It was faster than plugging her address into GPS.

Friends, I needed this little pit-stop from my life as one of Santa's elves on speed.  I love Kathy.  Wish she lived closer.  She never married.  She recently retired and took a fabulous 3 week trip to South America.  I gave her my little 'Well, you probably remember that I was always the black sheep of the family, and over the years that has only been exaggerated.  My family (that raised me) makes me a tad nutty at times. . . I've been doing a lot of writing, joined two writing groups and have gotten lots of great feedback on my stuff that I hope to turn into a memoir.'  

(my family does not know this and Mini, who thoroughly enjoys reading my stories, keeps giggling and asking me:  'What do you think they will say when they read this?'  To which I say:  'That would be a good problem to have, because it will mean I am getting my book published.'  hee hee

Kathy just laughed and nodded.  'Yeah, I think that's why you were always Pat's favorite.  You just did your own thing.  He got such a kick out of you.'
If I do head back to St. Charles, I MUST
delegate who cleans up the kitchen. 
Seriously?! Somewhere in the photo
below is my kitchen island.  

This was not new information, but it was a reminder that warmed my heart and was the exact Christmas gift delivered just when I needed it.  It was like a hug direct from Uncle Pat, sent through Kathy.  At the end of our hour and a half long visit (when I swear I stepping into a wrinkle in time), I told her that when the not-so-easy parts of life spiral out of control for me, I find myself saying:  'Do you believe this horse shit, Pat?'  

Ping pong table:  check

Awesome visit with
an old friend:  check

And, Kathy is interested in reading my chapters.  I look forward to her input and to continuing to stay in closer contact.  Maybe I need to disappear to the boonies of St. Charles every once in awhile to recharge.

Did anyone else get an unexpected treat this Christmas?

December 23, 2019

Merry merry, here's NOTHING

Did you catch in my beautifully crafted song from my last post that one of the families I sit for DID NOT GET ME ANYTHING for Christmas?  At the risk of sounding selfish or greedy, I just have to say . . . I am appalled. 

When the mom dropped the kids off in the morning Thursday, I handed them a bag of my top-notch chocolate chip cookies along with two homemade ornaments covered with photos of our adventures.  When she didn't have a gift for me, I assumed she would scramble and call her husband and instruct him to bring something over when he picked the kids up later.  Nope.  

I have never experienced this kind of oversight in all my years as a babysitting.  I have been doing this in-my-house gig for 5 years.  Prior to that, families I sat for over the years have always recognized my willingness to care for their children in some way.  There are articles written about guidelines for what to give people who nanny for you, etc.  A typical bonus according to that linked article is the equivalent of one week's pay.  I am not a nanny, so I understand that the guidelines might need to be adjusted a tad to consider that I watch kids in my home.  

During the most recent 5 years of my babysitting-in-my-home days, I have gotten gifts that have run the gamut from extremely generous to not-so generous.  Last year, a family who I sat for full time gave me a few gluten free cupcakes.  The cupcakes were accompanied by a very nice note, but the parents both work full time at very good jobs.  I know they were THRILLED with my services.  While I  was touched by the note, I admit to being a bit surprised that they felt a dessert cut it for the year-end bonus typically found in childcare.  

thank you
The family that gave me nothing this year was NEVER a family I anticipated getting a generous gift from.  Based on how they dress their kids and the activities they do when they aren't with me, etc., I gather that they are not as financially secure as some of my other families.  Trust me, I did not pull a Grizwald.  There are no plans to put in a pool based on the bonuses I might receive.  While I don't feel like I missed out on much from a monetary standpoint, because I didn't think they would give me much anyway - I STILL cannot wrap my brain around NOTHING!  Not even a baked good and an appreciative card.  

I have never, ever run into a family that didn't bother to recognize that I CARE for their TWO children three days a week.  I know they think I am doing a great job.  A few weeks ago she forgot to put the baby's formula in the diaper bag.  Her mom came and dropped some off.  It was NO BIG DEAL.  She was extremely apologetic - like she feared I might kick them to the curb despite me saying, 'No biggie' like a dozen times.  

To top off my feeling of shock, just before the preschooler left on his bus for afternoon school, the mom texted me.  I was reading her kids books when I got the text.  Spending time with them.  Making sure they were safe, fed, ready for the bus, put down for naps, etc.  

Anyway the text:  'Please make sure (insert kid) remembers to hand the bus driver the envelope I put in his backpack.'  I would guess that there was no gift inside the bus driver's card, but it was in fact a card.  With words written in it, presumably.  Which is more than I got!  In his backpack were cards for all of his preschool teachers.  So it isn't as if she blanked on what was happening in the world around her.  She is a teacher, so she knew this was the last day before break.

The preschooler told me in his whiney I-should-have-had-speech-therapy-years-ago-but-my-folks-are-clueless voice a few days ago that they just bought the biggest TV he had ever seen.  I was like 'Sweet!  Did the old TV break?'  Nope.  

So, they are not destitute.  They both work full time.  They could have either gifted me something small (like the $25 gift card I got from a family last year) or baked me something or bought me a greatest babysitter coffee mug even though I don't drink coffee.  Nothing.  Wow.  

Coach was speechless.  He compared it to how incredibly generous the families are when he teaches religious education for 1 hour one day a week.  How.  On.  Earth. Do. You. Forget. Your. Childcare. Provider???

Another family gifted me with a very generous cash bonus.  And the 3rd family went all out - with the same amount spent on a Visa gift card, fuzzy slippers from Pottery Barn, an AMAZING candle (I do not buy myself candles because there are too many good scents to choose from and I end up being indecisive), and an ornament of a mama bear reading a book to a baby bear.  

I do hope that posting this does not cause me to lose my delightful readers.  I do not think all families 'owe' me something, but it is nice to be recognized once a year for caring for their children - their most precious little people.  Thoughts?  

December 20, 2019

𝅑 It's all about the numbers, but who's counting π…Ÿπ†”

I don't think the photo does the cake (from a box) justice.
  I decorated it with white and blue sprinkles.  The blue ones
were snowflakes and icicles.  It turned out
really cute.  And I managed to
 find blue and white candles in my stash.
It is crunch time, and sleep is eluding me.  Damn it.  I wanted to go to bed at around 9 last night, but it was Curly's 12th birthday and I could not go to sleep before the birthday girl.  Because me grumpily chopping veggies in the kitchen while she relaxed in the family room with the males of the family is the stuff almost-Christmas-birthdays are made of, right?.  

I am gritting my teeth trying not to STILL be upset that a certain someone called to me that he unloaded a dishwasher and loaded another after work (granted he works from 9 am - 8 pm on Thursdays), so he was not going to set foot back in the kitchen to clean up anything else, JUST TO LET ME KNOW - and um - I guess it didn't matter that I make 6 loaves of pumpkin bread, the cake, babysat, or that I peeled the potatoes, and cooked the favorite chicken dinner and drove to and from dancing.  And printed out the last 12 envelopes that got messed up or overlooked originally.  

I know he INTENDED the kids to clean up the kitchen, but high schoolers have exams, Curly had a bday, and Reg and Lad wandered out a few times in response to my demands but pretended they didn't know where anything went or that moving a dish from the island to near the dishwasher mattered.  Groan.  This isn't over folks - I still got shopping to do, you should be TRYING!!!  Anyway,  . . . 

Curly asked me where her favorite new outfit is on the way home from her Irish dancing Christmas party (thank you dancing for celebrating today, because it sort of took the pressure off).  She brought these missing clothes to Louisville with us and she mentioned it before, but I assumed it was just in a laundry pile.  This many weeks later – now I fear that we may have left it in the smoking or non-smoking hotel room.  I called the hotel and they sent me to their lost and found website:  

Did you know about this?  You can find stuff that you left in airports, hotels, stadiums, etc.  Brilliant.  I wonder if they could locate the Yellowstone souvenir t-shirt I bought with my own money that never made it home from our trip back in 1987.

Anyway I stayed up late filing a report online and now we wait to see if they have it, or if I find a bulldozer to borrow and I maneuver it up to the girls’ room where poor Curly shares a room with slob-ola (aka Mini) and I uncover it on the bottom layer of their room. 

Between and chopping veggies, because I didn’t have to do that today for my 7 layer dip, I got caught up with the idea of pushing forward to get some more stuff done, and it was 11:30 when I crawled into bed.  I woke to pee at 4:30 am and my mind started to race with all of the things I need to do and the hope that chargerback finds Curly’s fav jeans and top that she wore exactly twice. 

I want to be fancy and write this to the tune and the pattern/beat of '4 calling birds, 3 french hens, 2 turtle doves,' etc. - not sure I can get my tired brain to be that creative so just play along here as I list shit I have done or encountered with that tune in mind:  

🎝🎜A week and a half before Christmas my Christmas plans went off the rails, I took 2 pills to deal with an doc office procedure ON MY DAY OFF, that procedure ran a muck after I waited 2.5 hours and finally went home and slept for 2 hours (nothing got done.  Nada.  Zilch)!🎝🎜

🎝🎜 I got back on track baking 120 cookies, 6 loaves of pumpkin bread,  4 outstanding time-consuming dinners, 2 birthday cakes, while forgetting to run the two dishwashers ONE flipppppping night . .  .  πŸŽπŸŽœ
Tank's cake from Dec. 5th

🎝🎜 Each day averaged 3 loads of laundry, 2 trips to kids' practices, a pricey grocery $523 run, and 1 round tripppp to dannnnnnce, πŸŽπŸŽœ

🎝🎜Over the weekend I attended 8 sporting events, 1 was followed by a b-ball party, chose 2 grabbb baggg gifffts, and bought a fraiser fur Christmas treeeee🎜
The year-end rhyming recap
required a legal size page
this year as it was the longest ever.

🎝🎜I rhymed 52 stanzas to my annual year-end recap poem, printed 175 envelopes, and emailed the printer begging for a speedy delivery a few timess🎝🎜

🎝🎜Monday I had the day off and got soooo much-uch done, needed a nap, got 2 allergy shoots, and attended a 3 hour city council meeting cuz some ass holes think it would be cool to open a cannabis shop in the heart of our little townnn (this is when I was going to go to bed early after stuffing my cards, quiet sobs, - more on the meeting later)!🎝🎜

🎝🎜 Tuesday I took 12 photos of the babies, ordered 11 or more of them for 4 photo-craft ornaments, shopped online for a watch for Curly (still not purchased), and stuffed 150 envelopes with Christmas car-arrr-arrdddds,   πŸŽπŸŽœ

 πŸŽπŸŽœOn Wednesday, I finished loading envelopes, bought 5 stamps for cards to Ireland at the post office, gave kids bags of cookies for 8 favorite teachers, and took a much needed nappppp! πŸŽπŸŽœ
example of our photo hodge-podge ornament

🎝🎜Thursday I decorated for a birthday, cared for four kiddos (last day before break), gave 3 families gifts, received 2 gifts from families* (note the numbers off here - will explain in next post), fretted over Curly's missing jeans, and started making 7 llllayer tacooooo dipppp,  πŸŽπŸŽœ
Me shoving bags in car to race back to dancing class.

🎝🎜In the last week I've made 3 runs to the mall, had 40 gifts wrapped there, hobbled down the escalator lugging 85 pounds of gifts on an efff-ing bummmmm knee, πŸŽπŸŽœ

 πŸŽπŸŽœTexted my sister how to make a baked potato in the microwave, cuz I guess she doesn't have google, ordered 15 things from Amazon, no idea what, 'cuz I'm in freakkkkk out mmmmmode, πŸŽπŸŽœ

 πŸŽπŸŽœI gained 3 pounds missing my workouts, ridden a bike for 8 to 10 miles a day though, quit eating stuff I love, lost the 3 pounds, and finally met with a guy who will build a hood for my kitchennnn,  πŸŽπŸŽœ

🎝🎜I made 25 pieces of french toast for Curly's 12th birthday, while wondering if Coach will decide on the 1 kid gift I asked him to research, and I question if it even makes sense to decorate with only 5 GOLDEN dayssss till Christmasssss🎝🎜

🎝🎜 All this and I have not strangled any of my offspring, even though I have 1 college kid already hommmme!!! πŸŽπŸŽœ

Now if I can get those last 12 cards in the mail, workout, take a nap, get Mini to the doctor today to get her excessive ear wax vacuumed out, finish the 7 layer taco dip and then drive everyone where they need to be while Coach and Lad drive 8 hours round trip to pick up Eddie at college, I might make it.  Damn, need to decide on show tickets to a magic guy, Curly's watch, and Reg's Bulls jersey. Bahh haahhh!  (those are my weeping sounds).  Nap - priority #1. 

I invite you to tell me what you have left to do or what derailed your progress the most this year - mine was hands down the botched office procedure.  Entire day lost.  If you haven't been able to comment in the past - give it a whirl, because I just changed my comments from embedded to pop up, whatever that means.

December 18, 2019

An Irish Mother's Letter to her Son, or text

My phone died while I was printing my envelopes Sunday night.  I got a text from Eddie after it was partially charged.  

When I was growing up my folks had a linen banner displayed in the stairway leading to our finished basement.  It was called an 'Irish Mother's Letter to her son' or something like that.  It said things like:  "I was going to send you 5 pounds but I have already sealed the envelope."  

I don't know why, but this text exchange I had with my well-behaved, responsible son reminded me of that letter.  (No sarcasm here, just imagine how nutty the other knuckleheads get if this is the straight arrow guy).  Note the high praise of his great grades, and the moving right along to more pressing topics. Ed's texts are in white:   
Just to be clear I did not eat 'chiki' whatever that is, I did, however, eat chili.  And, I did not love to tell about it - but I did LIVE to tell about it.  My chili is damn good, but probably should not be ingested after a two week time-frame.  I have been crazy busy and I have cooked a few gluten meals for the fam while I continued to dine on questionable chili.  

Coach had a fever last weekend.  Can we take a moment to recognize how crazy gross it is that Coach did not notice the 'spilled chili' - if that is indeed what it was - until the second night?  He wasn't THAT sick.  And I did not know he was going to sleep in the empty boys' room (even if I did I am not the kind of wife who would rush in said college room and turn down the bed and put on a set of fresh sheets).  I will share that I did a little dance when I went to bed  a few hours after him and found that fever-boy was not sleeping in my bed.  Rest assured, the sheets on all beds got cleaned today.  

I did get a text back from Eddie after this where he lets me know that it is not a realistic possibility for him to not drink with his friends while home over break.  I said this will be addressed.  He told me 'Don't be difficult' and I told him to watch it.  Reminder:  THIS IS THE WELL BEHAVED KID.

In other excitement we got our tree - and it is up, unlit and undercoated in a room where the lamp stopped working - only light is on the piano.  So, yeah.  I think I best get a new light before we try to decorate.  Might be our smallest tree on record.  Slim pickings.  First time ever we only had Reg and Curly with us.  Curly loves the tree, so I will not complain about it's size. 

Tell me, how do you do cards?  Do you send a bunch, or a few, or none?  Photo of the family?  Personal note?  What do you do when you have a name pop up that you are on the fence about - send it anyway, or say 'Haven't seen these peeps in forever, gonna cross them off my list?'  What constitutes getting crossed off of your list?  Our list is crazy long.  I do cut people off at times, but others - well, I just have a hard time eliminating them.

December 15, 2019

where is his leg? & envelopes are done

This is what my computer looked like as I printed
envelopes.  Pillow on floor to kneel on so I could
get up in there.  Crap on top of my desk?  Remnants
 of the many drafts of the Christmas poem, addresses,
 lists of things to do.  I do not exaggerate people,
 this place is up for grabs.  I usually sit here perched
 on my yoga ball because it is better for my back
 but I rolled it out of the way so I could
 load the printer with my envelopes. 

First off, let me just share how freaking happy I am that my envelopes are printed for my cards.  A few printed cockeyed and I recognized a few as having an outdated address as they spit out of the printer, so I have a bit 'o fixin.  But HEY - me wrangling almost 200 addresses into a mail-merge for envelopes is always a CHORE.  

And my Christmas poem (longest to date) is at the printer and I am crossing my fingers that he emails me tomorrow to say that I can come and pick it up.  Because . . . 

I have the day off tomorrow and I can go pick them up.  I sit Mon- Thurs this school year but I only have one baby on Mondays.  His folks are delightful, appreciative, and very sweet BUT . . . I so wish that they would use me Tu, Wed, Thurs vs Mon-Wed so that I could have BOTH Mon and Fridays off.  Sigh.  They switched things up this week, which is joyous because I have so much to do.  I had the day off on Friday but it turned out to be a huge frustration.  I will describe that fiasco in another post as it is solo-post worthy.  

Snapfish mailed me my cards and envelopes with the return address on the back flap.  I usually print return address on the front of the card when I run them through my printer.  I am not really liking that Snapfish opted to print this without running it past me.  They took the liberty of using my first and last name and our address, so it looks like maybe Coach and I are no longer together.  Just weird.  As I was begging my printer to stop printing things kinda crooked on occasion (like 2 every 60 cards, and oh - I have had much worse printing experiences, so I am coping), Curly came in to say good-night.  She wanted to look at the poem, but settled for the card.  Imagine my surprise when she said:


The front of the card is one photo of the kids.  The back is several pictures in a collage.  One photo is of Coach and the 4 boys in Vancouver at the garden where the kids were forced to eat the one meal out cafeteria style like their pants were on fire, member?  Anywho - Reg is kinda tucked into the shrubs in order to fit in the photo and it looks like his one leg had been amputated.  I am raising a family of blinkers (like their father before them), so I never thought to check that everyone appeared to have their limbs - only looked at faces.  Despite the stress of feeling stupidly behind this year, I HOWLED with laughter!  Oh.  my.  gosh.  
I am a tad slap happy now because of the 220 cards featuring my son with the trick-leg, the - "Hey, so we split up" address-flap-tease, and the relief of essentially having the envelopes printed (mostly . . . damn those people who move and mess up my address file).  

I still have much to accomplish, but in other exciting news:  Coach and I went to the grocery store today.  I gave him part of the list.  VERY well organized and in order.  We have done this a few times in the past.  He usually texts me when he is done and I tell him my status or give him a few additional items.  One never wants to ask too much of a pitching-in hubby, right?

Today he texted me to say that he was done and that he was in THE CAR.  I was like, 'Huh?'  He let me know that when I was done, he would pull the car up to the curb.  Such service.  I assume he wanted to listen to the Bears game in the car.  Um, he spent about $100 and I spent over $425.  I did buy lots of meat for dinners now that the everlasting batch of chili is gone (that will make more sense in the next post - I decided to divide my ramblings so as to make it manageable in case you all need to wrap or shop or bake).  Anyway, I have two hungry college kids coming this week.  Still, that's a lot of groceries.  

Good thing December is not expensive or anything.

Have you ever sent a card with a typo or a funny photo or something else you overlooked?  Mini CANNOT believe that the two of us missed the leg thing.  We put the finishing touches on the card LATE at night the day we drove home from the Irish dancing weekend. 

Tell me I am not alone here on the 'oops' cards.