Thursday, March 31, 2011

The snake got out of the box, Ryan.

I can't really say Ryan Reynolds was ever my hero exactly, but he's easy on the eyes, if you know what I mean. I don't have a lot of actor crushes, honestly, but I don't mind watching a couple hours of him. I didn't really notice him until The Man dragged me to see X Men in the theater and he came on screen as Deadpool. Yeah. You should see that if you haven't.

Anyhow, so then I made a point to watch some of his other movies and I wasn't disappointed. Just Friends, Definitely, Maybe, Adventureland, The Proposal, all entertaining movies. Nothing I'm going to jump up and down about or tell people they just have to see it, although the scene in The Proposal with Betty White and Sandra Bullock in the woods is something I've told people they had to see - oh heck, let me show it to you.


But back to Ryan Reynolds.

So I watched Buried even though it seemed like it was going to be a boy movie and I'm not much for explosions and dirt and grime and all that junk because I figured The Man would like it and I'd get to look at Ryan Reynolds the whole time.

Except you can't even really freaking SEE him! It really is in a dark coffin the whole movie. No flashbacks, no seeing other people outside of the box, and the lighting is pretty much what you'd expect from the inside of a coffin. And the movie itself really sucked. Setting aside the fact that it's horribly unrealistic, because that's about 95% of movies anyway, I didn't even really care if he ever got out of the stupid box, to be quite honest. I mean, you'd think I'd actually care if he got out of the box, right?

And where the hell did the snake go?? The snake got out of the box, Ryan.

Which made me wonder if maybe I've been duped by Ryan Reynolds. Maybe I've been fooled by his glistening, pretty boy, ridiculously cut exterior? Maybe he sucks as an actor? Because if he couldn't make me give a damn whether he was buried alive or not, then I can't say much for him. I mean, I'd pretty much not want anyone to be buried alive... but about an hour into Buried I was sort of hoping the box would just cave in so I could turn it off and go to bed.

The budget for the movie was $3,000,000... to film a man in a box. I could have filmed this movie for $20 with HandyCam. I can't imagine how that money was spent. Maybe it all went to Ryan, I don't know. There are starving children in the world and Hollywood is spending 3 million dollars to film a man in a box. I'm just glad we saw it at home and not in the theater because if I had unloaded the amount of money it costs to go see an actual movie on this, I would have been livid.

Critics loved this thing, too. And I'm not one to poo poo on indie films and Sundance gems and all that stuff. I love a quirky independent film and I'd have had no problem with the whole man in a box thing the whole time if the man in a box would have at least been a little likable. But all in all, you just get the impression that he's an ass.

You let me down, Ryan. I am disappoint.

PS - I guess I should mention that this is Day 14 of the 30 day meme - Write a letter to a hero who has let you down. Although not in actual letter format, the same principle applies.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ooh, it's a twofer! Or a sixfer! Even better!

So as far as the meme goes, I never promised I'd do the whole thing, and this is my blog, and I'm not much for following rules. So I'm half-assing the next 6. I don't think they're worth a whole post a piece, so here's a 6 in 1.

Day 8 - Someone who has made your life hell, or treated you like crap.
I considered posting about one of my ex-boyfriends and making it a whole PSA about teenage domestic violence, but I don't want to drag that junk out. So here's my PSA - if your child is dating someone and you think they might be violent, do whatever it is you have to do to figure out if your child is being hurt. Follow them, stalk them, read their diary, whatever. Protect your kid first. They will most definitely hate you while you do it, but when they grow up they'll love you even more for it.

Day 9 - Someone you didn't want to let go, but just drifted.
I had a friend in elementary school. We were like peas and carrots, y'all. The BEST friends EVER. She moved to Colorado when we were kids. She came back to Florida a few times for visits and we'd see each other but it's not so easy to maintain a long distance friendship when you're a kid. The last time I saw her we were 16 and I had just gotten my first car. Like seriously, JUST gotten it. It was a stick shift and I could barely drive the thing. We drove around all day listening to the Violent Femmes and stalling out all over town. It was great. I still miss her.

*Note - this portion of the post was edited. Originally I had included my friend's name because I had hopes that maybe some day she'd google her own name and find this post. See, when I last went searching for her I did google her name and nothing substantial came up.  I tried facebook, all that stuff.  When I posted this, I didn't think to google her again just to see if anything had changed because it really wasn't all that long ago that I attempted to find her.  Well, I did google her after this was posted and what came up wasn't good.  Evidently my friend and I have walked different paths in our lives and her path appears to have led her to a place where armed robbery is an option for her.  With that new light, I'd rather our paths didn't cross again.  I am deeply saddened to have discovered this. It's shocking to know that this person who was the sweetest, most genuine and kind person as a child, could get to a place where $50 is worth putting someone else's safety in danger. I just don't even know what to think.

Day 10 - Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn't know.
I honestly can't say I have anyone in my life I need to let go or wish I didn't know. I mean, maybe there are some people who come along every once in a while that aren't my favorite people to deal with, but I can't exactly say I wish I didn't know them.

Day 11 - Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
It's my sparkling personality, y'all.

Day 12 - Something you never get compliments on.
My housekeeping abilities. Never once has anyone wanted to eat off my floor... except the dog.

Day 13 - A band or artists that has gotten you through some tough days.
The Cure. It's awesome brooding music. During almost any teenaged angst filled day of the 90s I would turn on Robert Smith and let the black sadness wash over me. Later on I turned to Sarah McLaughlin and lots of country music to get my cry on. Lately a simple Hallmark commercial will do it for me.

Tune in tomorrow for Day 14 - A hero that has let me down where you'll hear my hero say "I'm buried in a box. I'm buried in a box!"

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The golden bed time hour at the Spaz house... now with fancy artwork!

Bed time here at the Spaz house is 8 pm sharp. I've been told that is a little early for most kids, but only by parents who have, like, 1 kid and therefore have no idea what they are talking about. By 8 pm I'm ready to be done with mom duties for the day and it is time for bed.

Every night around 7:45 I remind the kids it's time to get ready for bed. Typically, at this time, I'm trying to get some work done so I just casually call out the door of my office and hope they give a damn.

They don't.

So at 8:00 I give them the solid command.

One of them might brush their teeth at this point. If I'm lucky. Usually, though, they don't stop playing with LEGOs or Club Penguin until I get a little frazzled. Around 8:15 I give my second warning.

Usually this gets them to at least get ready for bed. Teeth will be brushed, they'll come in and kiss me goodnight. They may even go to the correct bedroom. But in bed? No. 8:30 rolls around and I become loud mommy.

Loud mommy typically gets them in bed. They'll be all snuggled in and I think I can breathe. I start to relax and then around 8:45 I hear something. Maybe a giggle, maybe a clink of a LEGO, maybe one of them decided that they're so incredibly thirsty that they MUST HAVE A GLASS OF WATER NOW OR THEY WILL DIE.

And that's when loud and scary mommy comes out.

This typically brings on tears from at least one kid. The others cower in their beds. My eyes start to twitch and I feel like I may, in fact, actually, truly lose it. They go to bed. And I try to calm down.

And usually around 9 pm I hear something else. A whisper from one brother to another or to the dog or to the cat. And I give up. They're petrified to actually leave their beds at this point and they'll fall asleep eventually.

This post is so mushy and sweet it should be called oatmeal

I'm writing today about someone who has made my life worth living for.

I've given this some thought and I continue to come up with the same cliche answers. The people closest to me, The Man, the goblins, my mom and dad, my sisters, my nieces and nephews, and my best friends. They've all made my life worth living together.

There are days I wouldn't have gotten out of bed if it weren't for the fact that I had children to take care of. Dark times in my life when I'm not sure I would have kept on going if it weren't for them. The day that Bug was born my life instantly, without me realizing it at the time, went from all about me to all about him. My goblins cause me such a complicated range of emotions. They are both the most frustrating and most wonderful things that have ever happened to me. I'm almost embarrassed to say it, but not one of my children was planned. Delusion, Birth Control Pills, and IUD failure caused my little miracles and they are the most incredible accidents I've ever had.

With each positive pregnancy test I wondered how I would manage it. When I discovered I was having Bug I had no idea what I was about to embark on. I was a clueless 22 year old, fluttering around in my life like a butterfly being blown around in the wind. I embraced motherhood with the same technique I had embraced every other change in my life up until that point, I took whatever was thrown at me and dealt with it in the moment without much thought to the future. When I look back to the pure ignorance and immaturity of myself at that time, I'm shocked they let me leave the hospital with him. I remember that day so vividly. My mother drove me home from the hospital to the little townhouse I shared with my new and even more immature husband. She left me there, alone with this tiny little creature and I felt a sense of panic I had never experienced before. I think it may have been that very moment that I became a mother.

My children changed me into a better person. They've made my life rich and selfless and shown me how fulfilling it can be to love someone else more than you love yourself. I have learned more from them than I think they will ever learn from me and they absolutely make my life worth living.

The Man came into my life at one of the darkest times. He was always in my life, really, but he stepped up during one of the hardest times of my life and grabbed me by the hand and held it all the way through until I could see the light again. A young mother of two, with the rug swept out from under my feet, I felt worthless and unlovable and sure that no man would ever look at me again. He opened my eyes to my own self-worth at a time when I had completely forgotten it. And for a decade, he has stood by me through the best and worst of times and never even considered leaving. He brings me a happiness I never knew could exist and makes every day worth waking up for.

My parents and my sisters, the family that raised me, they have stood behind me through all of the ups and downs of my life and they will continue to stand behind me. I am the baby of the family, a decade younger than my sisters, and therefore have always had a safety web of adults who have helped me through those difficult growing up years. They've watched me make mistakes and have always welcomed me home with open arms when I needed a safe place to come home to. My mom and dad, my sisters, and the men that my sisters have chosen to marry and raise their families with are truly my friends. I love to be with them and I know that, even though we don't always agree, that we will always be there for each other.

My nieces and my nephews, all of them. Ranging from the sweetest and newest baby on one side of my family to The Teenager, who you may have read about, on the other, and everywhere in between, each and every one of them has a piece of my heart. Such an amazing mix of personalities they have. There is nothing quite like being an aunt. To know these kids and be allowed to watch them grow and become the men and women they will become is an incredible honor. I've always tried to make sure they all know I am here for them, and on many occasions they've trusted me with what is in their hearts and minds. Being loved by all of these amazing kids is a privilege I would have never imagined I would be so thrilled to have. When B1 first made me an aunt back in 1994, I had no idea how much that little baby would steal my heart. And somehow, as each one of them has come into my life, my heart has only grown bigger to allow each and every one of them into it.

And my friends. I have the best friends in the world. As time goes by, I've learned who I can truly call my friend and I can't imagine my life without them. With all the hundreds of people who have come into my life and left an impression, precious few of them have remained my real friends. They're the ones that call just because they're thinking of me. They're the ones who know me at my best and my worst and love me anyway. They're the ones that really get me. They are always there, even if we haven't spoken in a year, they are always there. A phone call away or maybe an email, when times get tough we rally around each other and hold each other up. Those are real friends and they've made my life worth living.

It's a network that makes my life worth living, a circle of hands, of hearts, of smiles, of souls. It's all of them together. Those people who have made my heart so full of joy and love and happiness that make me think I must have hit some jackpot of awesomeness in the slot machine of people who can be in your life. I'm truly lucky and blessed.

Monday, March 28, 2011

This meme makes me frown more than smile... Not sure if 30 days of it is a good thing...

Something you hope you never have to do.

This meme is sort of depressing, you think? Because this topic is obvious to me and when I first noticed it on the list I was tempted to skip it. I don't want to write about it, I don't want to speak it.

It's my biggest fear and one that I know so many parents have had to endure... and it terrifies me that it could happen to me.

I hope I never outlive any of my children.

I have a lump in my throat just to write it.

And it happens so often... and it just never should. I know mothers who have lost their babies, their daughters, their sons, their adult children... and the anguish and despair they must endure is incredible.

Yet, I see them move on. Sort of. In a different way. Nothing is ever the same for them, but they can live. They find a way to keep living. Maybe for their other children, maybe for their partner, maybe for themselves. I'm not sure for what. Maybe just because they don't have a choice.

I can't fathom it. I can't imagine how to move on from losing a child.

I think every parent has had that gripping, chilling, fear when, for a split-second, they think one of their children is in grave danger. Maybe you've been somewhere and you turned around and couldn't see one of them for a second. Or maybe there was a car accident and you didn't know if your child was involved in it. Or maybe you went to pick them up somewhere they were supposed to be and they weren't there.

And when you finally spot them in the crowd, or find out that the blue minivan in that accident wasn't the one your child was in with his best friend's mom, or realize you got the pick up time wrong from the field trip and they're not supposed to be there for another hour... when you realize everything is just fine the sense of relief washes over your body like nothing else.

If ever a day comes when one of these little things happens and everything isn't okay, I just don't know how I could ever pull myself out of it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Around the world in my head for now

Something you hope to do in your life is today's meme topic. How am I supposed to narrow it down to just one?

I hope to travel to as many places as I can go. I want to see the world. So far I've lived a poorly traveled existence. At 34, I've been very few places.

I've had two visits to Washington DC as a child, once with my mom and sister to visit my aunt and once with the safety patrols in 5th grade. Summers were spent with my family in the mountains of North Carolina when I was growing up and those vacations often included day trips to places in Tennessee and Georgia.

It was my sophomore year of college that I bought my first plane ticket and flew with Jenny (I've mentioned her before... keep up!) to visit our friend, Liz, in Boston. On that trip I took the bus to New Jersey to visit another friend for a couple of days. We took the train into New York City and I got to lay on a bench in the plaza in front of the twin towers and look up at their magnificence. That's definitely something I'm glad I did. We were too poor to pay to go to the Observatory at the top, I can't remember how much it cost, but we were poor college students so our observing had to be done from the ground.

That same year another good friend of ours was married in Georgia so we drove up from college in Gainesville to attend her wedding. We had her bachelorette party in Athens two nights before her wedding which was genius of us because she was so sick the next day she probably would have vomited on her groom.

The next year was the year I sold vacuum cleaners door to door. We had a convention in New Orleans so I hopped in my soon-to-be boyfriend's car and crossed into the Central time zone for the first time. Almost west of the Mississippi, but not quite. That was when I learned that, though the law had recently changed and raised the drinking age from 18 to 21 in Louisiana, all you really had to do was show the door guy at any bar and he'd let you in anyway. Evidently they just had to look like they cared. (I would have been 21 in a month, anyhow.)

That was a fun night. I spent the evening drinking these green drinks called Hand Grenades that had little floating plastic grenades floating in them. I collected a ton of them. If it hadn't been for soon-to-be boyfriend, I probably would have jumped on the back of a Harley with this random guy who asked if I wanted to ride. That wouldn't have been stupid or anything. We left New Orleans the next morning and I remember the drive back being truly wretched.

In the late 90s I worked for a company that was headquartered in Atlanta so I got to fly there and back a lot. At the time, B2 lived in Atlanta so it was convenient that I got to see her. The malls in Atlanta are super-fantastic, y'all. I could very happily live in that city.

In 2001 I purchased a plane ticket to fly to visit a Jenny in Portland during her brief stay there. I was so excited because we were going to drive down to visit the Redwood Forest. I have always been enamored with pictures of those gigantic trees. My trip was canceled due to the September 11 attacks, though, so I'm still waiting to see those trees.

In 2005 my dad surprised all of us with a trip to the Bahamas on the Disney Cruise. It was my first time on a cruise and my first time out of the country. Since that trip we've visited the Bahamas twice more, once by plane and again on the cruise. The plane is nice, but that boat is definitely the way to go!

In 2009 I flew to Pittsburgh for Jenny's baby shower and to see the house that she and her husband renovated in Braddock. Jenny took some time to drive me into Pittsburgh and show me some stuff. It truly is a beautiful city, too. And the Heinz bottles! I have to love a city that produces such adorable little condiments.

That is the extent of my travels, though, and that makes me sad. I don't think I see great travels in my near future as it's just difficult to have young kids and animals and travel the world. But give me about 10 years and I'm all over the globe. I want to go everywhere and see everything.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Remember that "Forgiveness" song that Anna Farris sang in the movie "Just Friends"? That was awesome... someone should totally record that.

Something I have to forgive someone else for. That's today's meme subject.

I do have someone in my life right now that I haven't forgiven. Right now, I'm not ready to forgive. Honestly, I don't know if I ever will. And if I do forgive, things wouldn't go back to the way they used to be with this person.

This person and I used to be really great friends. The kind of friend you call when something awesome happens to you because they're one of the first people you think to tell. The kind of friend who you feel like you can say anything to and they won't judge.

Except I was wrong. This person was judging.

And I guess it's that judgment, and the way that it was revealed to me that the judgment was happening, that stings the most. It was like the whole backbone of that friendship broke. Or, I guess, it wasn't ever really there.

I wonder why I thought it was, I guess.

And when it all came out, when the word vomit spewed forth and I saw clearly that this person was so self-absorbed that the reality I saw and the reality they saw were entirely different, everything changed.

There's no way to get that friendship back. Forgiveness won't change the words that were said and the fact that this person truly wasn't ever the person I thought they were.

It's funny because people warned me. And I could see for myself the wreckage this person could make out of relationships. But I thought things were different, that our friendship was different. I don't know why, I guess I just really felt a bond with this person. Or maybe, at the time, this person was the only option I really had so I clung to it.

I don't feel comfortable with the anger I hold inside of myself because of it, though, so I know I need to find forgiveness. Not to regain that relationship, because it's not possible to get something back when you never had it in the first place. But I need to forgive so I can stop holding on to anger.

People are who they are, no matter how much you want them to be someone different. So how can I be angry at someone for being the person they are?

Quite easily, actually.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Maybe I should have been a librarian...

I have a lot of books. A LOT OF BOOKS.

I love to read. When I was a kid my favorite place to go was the library (shut up, I was not a dork). My mom had a friend who was a librarian so I was in luck. She took me a lot.

I was allowed to check out 7 books at a time and I would carefully select them. First in the children's section and then later on in the young adult's section. Every week I devoured all 7 books and then we'd go back to the library.

In middle school, I found myself awash in the world of VC Andrews and other such trash. A friend and I even developed our own pen name where we wrote our own smut together. EB Dahl. It was an awesome pen name. I wonder if she has copies of that smut because I don't. I think it could have been published. :)

My love of books has never dwindled. In college, my roommate and I happily bought a book case and filled it with beautiful books. My parents thought I was spending all my money on beer, but a good percentage of it was really going to pretty books from Barnes & Noble where we would happily spend evenings reading. (Seriously, I was NOT a dork!)

In my life I have moved nine times and each time my books went with me as a priority and each time there were more boxes than the last. If I had to move them now, they would probably need their own U-Haul.

And as much as I love them, they're taking over my life.

There are books everywhere. They have filled two book cases in the living room, the shelf on top of my desk, there are piles in the bedroom and the bathroom and the family room. They are stashed in a cupboard in the hallway, boxed up and in the garage, and there are multiple boxes in the attic of poor, banished books.

Many I've read, many I plan to read, many I read a few pages of and set aside for another time.

So I've made a decision. I'm going to pick up each book and make a decision. I'm either going to read it or not read it, and then I'm going to get rid of it. I will not buy any more. This is hard for me as I spend a lot of my time in thrift stores and seriously, books for a quarter? How can I say no?! But I have made a promise to myself and a promise to The Man (who can't quite understand why I love them so much).

There may be a few that I just have to keep (Le Morte D'Arthur and The Mists of Avalon are very close to my heart and I think I'll need to keep them, probably everything by Phillipa Gregory will remain, and I'm sure there are others I'll be unable to part with) but most of them are going. Nora Roberts, I love you, but I can't keep a zillion paperbacks filled with the same romance written over and over again in different forms. Anything that was part of Oprah's book club is going to be read and given away. Little Children, The Thirteenth Tale, and The Glass Castle (all recommendations I read because of Jason - he has a 2011 edition of his book recommendations, too!) are some of the best reads I've ever had, but they're being passed on to someone else. Sophie Kinsella, Jane Green, and Emily Giffen, you've made me laugh and cry and I thank you, but off you go. Twilight Series, you're being handed off. Thanks for the super fast weekend entertainment. So far I couldn't get into The Host, but I'll be sure to give it a chance before it goes into the donation pile. And Charlaine Harris, you're a simple genius and I'm sure the person who holds my hand-me-down Sookie books will love you just as much.

And once I've cleared them all out and it's all narrowed down to the must keep pile, I'm going to reward myself with this.

it's so pretty...

Oh how I want one. But I need to earn it. And honestly, by the time I get through with this crazy project I'm sure there will be a better one for me to covet.

I just finished The Levee (it was GREAT) and now I'm finishing up the first of Nora Robert's Daring to Dream series (a great bathtub read as all of hers are) and I'll try to whip through the rest of her paperbacks that I have piled up as quickly as possible.

And one day I'll be paperless.

It's not easy to forgive yourself for being a crappy mom

The trip down meme lane is a tough one today. Today I'm supposed to tell you all about something I have to forgive myself for.

So today's post is all about my Bug.

Because I feel like I've failed him more than my other children. He needs me the most and I'm not as available as I wish I could be. And I have to stop beating myself up over it.

I know I'm a good mom. I know I'm the best mom I can be. I know that I give my kids as much as I possibly can, and sometimes more than that even. Bug is no exception to that. It's just that he seems to need more than the other two.

The homeschooling debacle is only one example of how I feel like I've not risen to the occasion with Bug. When we decided to give it a try this year, I really thought we were making the best decision for him. I really felt like I'd be able to give him enough of my time that he'd excel. I really felt like the break from regular school would be just what the doctor ordered for Bug.

But it all unraveled before my eyes as we got deeper into the school year. Bug needed a lot more attention that I would have ever imagined. And 5th grade is no picnic, y'all. I tried to scramble and make up for lost time. I picked and chose to make sure he was learning what he needed to learn but that no time was wasted. But that wasn't really doing him any good and I saw my Bug feeling more and more overwhelmed and I felt helpless.

Thank Heavens for the principal at his school now. The man who let me sit in his office and cry while I explained that I was failing my son. He understood and he told me I didn't suck.

And then, of course, there was the time I ignored appendicitis. I ignored appendicitis. I told him to go back to class and stop complaining.


I still haven't forgiven myself for that.

Bug needs me more than Goober or Munchkin. He wants to be with me. He will come and sit in my office while I work just to be with me. He wants to tell me about all the weird thoughts in his head and about the new iPod that's coming out or the new update to Android. He asks me if we can go out and look for butterfly eggs (cocoons, I guess) and if I have a roll of tape he can use to create a prototype of some invention he's got floating around in his head.

Today while he was doing his homework he imagined the numbers were kids. One number was picking on the other number and then the other number was multiplied and got bigger and picked on the original number back. It was both an interesting and a worrying thought.

He's the one I worry about, he's the one I feel like I'll never be good enough for. And I know I have to forgive myself for all the times I wasn't the best mom for him and just keep trying to do better.

This post was rough. I think we'll strive for levity next time.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The first title that came to my head was largely inappropriate... I'll use this one instead

It's supposed to be Day 2 of the 30 day meme and I'm supposed to talk about something I love about myself. It's not that I don't think I'm fabulous, because I think the fact that I have a certain degree of narcissism is evident by the fact that I write this blog.

It's just hard to really narrow it down to one thing.

I jest. No, I typically don't toot my own horn but there is one thing I really do love about myself.

I'm pretty open minded. I really do try to look at things from all angles before making decisions. I try not to judge people based on first impressions or initial reactions. Sometimes this bites me in the ass, but typically I think it serves me well.

Open mindedness, however, also leads to a lot of analysis* about things that a lot of people take for granted. Big issues like religion and education and morality and small issues like whether strawberries might taste good on pizza (not bad, actually).

Some times it's a pain in the ass to be open minded. It often puts me on the other side of the fence in social situations and it forces me to really think before I make decisions. Open mindedness is often time consuming (maybe that's my time-management issue).

I can remember back to the first presidential election I was able to vote in. It was 1996 and my sophomore year of college. My friends were hugely liberal and were all voting for Clinton. I chose not to think and voted for Dole because he fell off the stage in California during a campaign event. (I've always had a thing for injured animals, too.) That, and my dad told me to vote for him. In fact, I remember sitting on the phone with my father as he told me what answers to put on my absentee ballot.

Hey, at least I voted. Or... my dad did... twice. Our two votes didn't help poor old Bob Dole, though.

Now that I'm older, elections require eons of thought. I research everything until I'm bleary eyed and I'm not sure I even end up making better decisions. My votes will span the entire gambit of political parties because I research the candidates directly. My dad still gives me his insight and I take it to heart, but now those votes are truly my own. It seems pointless, honestly, as I wait for the results on election nights as though I'm waiting to see if the team I bet money on is winning. Generally, I'm disappointed by the results, but if my parents ever taught me anything it was that not voting wasn't even an option.

Being open minded hasn't always turned out for the best, however. I've come to the defense of more than one person who I felt was being bullied only to find out in a short amount of time that they were quite deserving of every bit of ass they had handed to them. Nothing like being made to look like an idiot by another idiot.

In most cases, the fact that I can see things from a different angle has given me a greater perspective and I'm pretty happy with the results. I have friends that I might not have had because of it and I think people probably value my opinions because they know I've given them some thought before spouting them off. I may just be inferring that last point, though.

Sometimes it leads me down some interesting roads of thought, but that's usually a fun journey. And it's always fun to listen to the reactions I get when I take people down those interesting roads.

*Did you know that analyzation isn't a word? At least blogger doesn't think so. I guess that's a non-word of the day. Heh.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What I hate about myself

In an effort to tell writer's block to piss off, I'm going to start a 30 day meme. I've copied it from another blog and maybe it was copied from somewhere else before that, I don't know. I'm not sure I'll do all of the prompts or if I'll do them in order of if I'll do one every day. I'm not that much of a rule follower.

But here goes:

Day 01: Something you hate about yourself.

You mean, besides my ridiculously slow metabolism? Shall we go deeper than that?

This one is a toss up, really. Because if I could solve one of these things, the other wouldn't be a problem.

1. I bite off more than I can chew. I do it all the time. Recently it was taking on Bug's schooling. If I didn't work all the time or do girl scouts or attempt to clean my house or do the fifteen loads of laundry a day my family somehow creates or sleep, then I probably could have done a great job with Bug's school. But instead, I tried to do it all. And I failed at everything.

My business was hurting because I wasn't working enough, girl scout meetings were being thrown together the day of the meeting and the girls were suffering for it, my house was a disaster, there was so much laundry piled in front of my washer and dryer that I literally couldn't walk to them without causing a possible injury, and poor Bug wasn't getting the kind of attention he truly needed to succeed in the 5th grade.

So something had to give. And since Bug's education wasn't something I could play around with, that was the one that went. And I can't tell you the relief I felt when I knew that I would be able to hand his education back to a real bona fide teacher that knows what the heck she is doing. Something I probably should have done back in October when I started to get the idea that maybe I wasn't going to be able to do it as well as he needed me to.

2. I have terrible time-management skills. And see? If I could just get this one figured out I might be able to chew everything I bite off. Or if I could stop biting off more than I can chew I could probably figure out how to manage my time. It's a catch 22, really.

When I was growing up my mother had a saying.

"Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance"

I can't believe I wrote it here. I can hear her in my head. I'll be able to hear her in my head for the rest of my life, I know it. She had a few sayings, but this one was the major one.

My mother is not a procrastinator. She used to set the Thanksgiving table the day after Halloween. Christmas presents were bought, wrapped, and hidden by the time school started.

It must have killed her to have me for a kid. I am the queen of procrastination. I think this blog was started because I didn't want to clean the kitchen. Blogging is a fabulous form of procrastination, don't you think? I never did a school project until the Sunday before it was due. I never did a chore until my parents practically dragged me across the house to do it. My motto was always more like "Why do something now if you can put it off until later?" I mean, something might happen between now and later that would make the whole thing not even necessary, right?

This attitude has not served me well.

I've had good days, before. I've found "systems" that help to keep me on track. And they work for a little while. But eventually I go off track.

So one or the other... if I could stop trying to do it all or if I could just figure out how to fit it all into the 24 hours that I get every day, I think I'd be okay.

Now I should probably get some work done and stop blogging.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I think I'll go join him for that nap...

So today was Bug's first day back at the regular old school house. I knew that waking up was going to be tough for him after months of rolling out of bed whenever he pleased, but I wasn't quite prepared for the sloth like movements and veritable sleep walking that ensued..

He sat at the breakfast table and promptly fell asleep. He wouldn't eat a bagel, it sat untouched on the counter. (As an aside, Tofutti Cream Cheese really does taste just about as good as regular cream cheese... but heat seems to do nothing to it... no melting or anything... weird.)

Bug just wouldn't move.

He told me he hated school.

This was the kid who, just last week, was super duper excited to be going back to school.

He finally got dressed, leaving the clothes he was wearing the day before his pajamas in a heap on the floor, and stumbled out the door with his siblings, grumped about how cold it was (it was 57), and climbed, sluggishly, into the minivan. He dragged his backpack with nothing but some pencils and a folder of loose-leaf paper in it as if it weighed 100 pounds.

When we pulled into the parking lot at school he started to perk up a little bit. I don't know if it was excitement or nerves or a little bit of both, but he managed to walk at a normal pace and his eyes were all the way open. I was thrilled I didn't need to carry him to class. I walked him to his classroom (I had gone in the day before to find out where he'd be going) and met his teacher. I explained to her that he was a little tired as he wasn't used to being up so early and clarified with her which bus he'd be riding home before saying goodbye.

And then I enjoyed a quiet day to myself. It had been a long time.

I forgot how quiet it can be.

It was over too soon.

When the three goblins arrived home after school, we tried to sit right down to do homework. But Bug couldn't keep his head up. He tried to hold it up with a hand, but eventually it was lying on the table and I realized it was futile. I finally conceded to letting him nap for 1/2 hour before starting on the tons of work he was assigned.

I'm assuming it's to sort of catch him up because if he gets this much work every night I think we might be in for a rough couple of months before summer starts. It seems to be mostly FCAT prep work, though, which should be fairly easy for Bug.

I also received the teacher's supply list. I'm not sure if it's unreasonable of me to think that she may have made a different list for Bug since he's only got 2 more months of school left. It appears to be the same supply list given out to every parent at the beginning of the year. Do I really need to send it paper towels, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, dry erase makers, and a ream of copy paper?

Oh, and there's a $110 due tomorrow for an end-of-the-year field trip to Epcot with his class. Evidently the rest of the parents had the luxury of paying in installments. Ouch.

It's sort of like stream of consciousness or something...

I don't have anything to say today. I mean, I have tons of things to say... but nothing that's really worthy of its own blog post.

So I'll leave you with snippets.

I stepped on two pieces of glass yesterday. Two. No one else stepped on any, but I got to step on two. Both in the same foot. I limp now.

It's 1:21 AM as I write this and I don't know why I'm not sleeping. Tomorrow Bug starts regular school again and I have to make sure I get up on time. He can't be late on the first day back. I mean, Munchkin and Goober's teachers already realize I'm a basket case, but with Bug's I have a fresh start.

Backpacks are expensive. I paid $20 for a backpack today and that was the cheap one. And you know it's only going to last for a few weeks before it rips or something. I should just suck it up and buy them all good ones that will last forever, but my kids are so fickle. I had a black JanSport backpack that I think I got in 7th grade and I used it all the way through college. Do they still make them that well?

I planned a two months worth of Girl Scout meetings in like a half hour today. I'm so proud of myself I can barely contain myself. Anyone else a girl scout leader? These Journey things are awesome. It basically plans itself. Huzzah!

The Man and his brother are watching Big Love and it's way too loud. I can't imagine what the kids are dreaming about. Polygamy and Lynn Anderson, I guess.

Today I saw a woman at Goodwill with the coolest hair I've ever seen. It wasn't real, it was totally a weave. But it was the coolest weave EVER. It was like thirteen different colors and huge and was probably really expensive. If I was a betting woman I'd wager that she worked nights, but man I wish I could pull something like that off.

We canceled our cable (they're watching a DVD) and it's probably the best decision we've ever made. The kids aren't watching crap all day and I get so much more work done. Mostly anything I really want to watch I can stream online so I'm not really even missing anything.

Almost. Bravo sort of sucks as far as the streaming goes. They're streaming the first episode of Bethenny Ever After and they still haven't put up any episodes of The Real Housewives of Miami. Why won't they get with the program? I miss my Bethenny!!

Chick Fil A has Banana Pudding milkshakes. Have you had one of these? They are delicious. But very very sweet. I made it about a 1/3 of the way through a small and had to pass it off to The Man.

I bought Fish Eye chardonnay in a box. It was $15 and has the equivalent of FOUR bottles of wine. And it keeps for way longer than I need it to, that's for sure. I'm in love, y'all. I think I'm gonna go get a glass of it and take a hot bath before I go to bed. Yep, I'm going to go do that. :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Inhaling the sweet smell of confrontation

I've decided I'm going to make an effort to become more offended about things.

I let things slide way too often. Why should I let people get away with directly insulting me (whether they mean to or not) without making sure they bear the brunt of my iron fist?

And maybe I'll get good at it. I'll become one of those people who can come up with a witty retort to an insult right there on the spot. It will eliminate all those times when I think to myself "oh, I should have said..." or "dammit, why didn't I think to say..."

It's going to be awesome.

I'll be the person people walk on eggshells around. I'll be the person everyone looks at, worriedly, when another person makes a questionable remark.

Like, when I was pregnant with Bug and the office manager told me how big I was getting. When I looked sad about gaining so much weight, she added on that I probably wasn't ready to have a baby if getting big with pregnancy was bothering me.

And I let it slide.

But honestly? I should have reamed her a new one. In fact, I can probably think back to quite a few examples of times when I should have bit her passive-aggressive, condescending, self-important head off.

I think I'm even going to get offended for other people. Confrontation is going to be my new stance on life.

Like yesterday when I was shopping at a Goodwill. This poor woman was there with her two boys, probably around the same ages as Bug and Goober (11 and 7). She was attempting to find clothes for them and for herself. Her boys (out of school for Spring Break), were giggling a lot and pushing each other a bit and generally behaving just like boys their age behave. Several times she told them to knock it off, stop, behave themselves.

This other woman, probably in her 70s, loudly muttered to herself that people who couldn't control their children shouldn't bring them out in public. She made a few comments, loud enough for everyone around to hear, and I wish I would have said something.

The mother didn't say anything. She looked hurt, she tried to calm her boys down, and eventually she gave up and left. Then Queen Blue Hair made some more comments about children and unruliness and how her children would have never behaved like that.

And honestly, those kids weren't all that bad. Sure, they were making some noise and bumping into clothes, but if anyone should have been irritated with them it was their own mother. They weren't bumping into Queen Blue Hair or me or any other customers, they weren't running around, and the giggling and noise they were making was no more intrusive than the other woman in the store who was talking on her cell phone.

So I wish I had said something to Queen Blue Hair. I wish I had asked her if she felt better that her comments had driven the woman out of the store before she had a chance to purchase the clothing she needed for her family. I wish I had said something that would have shut her mouth up and made her consider someone other than herself.

But I guess if Queen Blue Hair hasn't learned to be a decent human being in her 70+ years, one smart ass comment from me isn't going to change anything. But maybe it would have made that mother feel better to know someone was on her side.

Sometimes I don't realize I should be offended until later. Those instances are going to be tricky. Like when I was in 6th grade and I got all As & Bs on my report card and my history teacher said "Oh Beth! Congratulations! I didn't think you could do it! Good job!"

It was like an insult sandwich and I was distracted by the complimentary bread. But later, when I bit into it, I tasted the rotten insult.

Okay, maybe I took that analogy a little too far.

But the point is, by the time I realized I had been insulted, it was too late for me to do anything about it. Stuff like that happens all the time... and I'm going to have to keep my noggin sharp in order to catch them while I still have a chance to let the insulter know how much they suck.

I'm a Pisces, and all the astrologers say that it's in my nature to be passive. But I'm going to fight it, internetz. I'm going to take a stand for all the nasty insulting injustice in the world. A fight against douchebaggery!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Where I go all ninja on some tech guy and make him wish he had never met the likes of me... but not really

The Man is a techno-geek. He's one of those people who squirms in his seat with anticipation when a new device of awesome is about to hit the stores. He believes himself to be above all Apple products, so don't ask him to help you with your iPhone. He will scoff at you.


In fact, he can't understand why I love my Blackberry better than his annoying glossy black smart phone that I've been forced to use lately. He absolutely cannot fathom why someone wouldn't want to "root" their device, because "you can have more CONTROL over it" if you do.

I'm perfectly happy with the amount of control the manufacturer deems appropriate, thanks.

So The Man has this super-fantastic 4G can do everything Android device phone. It can navigate him to the closest chinese take out place, organize his entire life, play Angry Birds, and wipe his derriere. It's awesome, whatever.

Except for the fact that he lost it.

So anyway, he had to get his phone replaced. It came in the mail today and I got to spend forever on the phone with someone clearly not located in this country to try to get his new phone activated.

Communication breakdown, egads. I almost threw the phone through a window.

For some reason whenever The Man or I have to activate a phone it can never be done the simple way. There's an option on their website to just enter in the little DEC number (which is impossibly small and difficult to read) and the phone should just be activated in a jiffy.

That never works for us.


It always requires a call to customer service, where some guy talks to me like I'm a moron. And then when that tech's efforts fail, I'm always directed to a higher tier technician who walks me through the inner programming of the phone, which finally works.

Today the tech guy located in Bangladesh refused to believe that the phone wasn't activated after the first try. He assured me that if I just dialed this magic 1-888 number that I'd be able to walk through some prompts and all would be well. And even when I told him that dialing the 1-888 number or any other freaking number only gave me a pleasant sounding voice telling me my phone was not activated, he refused to believe me.

I wanted to punch him in the throat.

Finally, we corrected the problem and all is well for The Man who happily has his super fantabulous awesome butt wiping phone again. Next time he's calling them himself.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Spaz makes your life better! Unless you're vegan.

Aside from it being one of my absolute best friend's birthday, today, it's also St. Patrick's Day. The day of the green, the luck of the Irish, and all that jazz.

So today is also the day I will make Corned Beef & Cabbage and The Man will rejoice. It is his absolute FAVORITE meal. He enjoys it with a cold Guinness and usually a movie where things are blown up in epic proportions.

So, in honor of The Man, I will share with you the recipe I use. It is not the standard boiled Corned Beef & Cabbage that we grew up on, it's better. And takes less time.

1 corned beef brisket (I get the biggest one I can find)
Pickling spice (more than what comes with the brisket)
1 large orange, sliced in circles
1 or 2 stalks of celery
1 white onion, sliced in circles
An oven bag suitable for a large chicken
Enough yellow gold potatoes to feed the amount of people you're trying to feed, rinsed and sliced in half or thirds
Enough baby carrots to feed them all, too
1 head of cabbage
1 beef boillon cube (maybe... read further to decide)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Rinse the brisket and rub with pickling spice. You can use the stuff that came with the brisket if it has the little packet. Otherwise, use a couple of tablespoons of the stuff you bought seperately.

Put the brisket in the bag and arrange orange slices, celery, and onion slices on top. Pour in about 1/2 cup of water and fold the bag underneath the brisket so it's tight and place it all in a 9x13 pan.

Now here you have some options. I switch it up as to how I cook the rest so I'll give you both of my options.

Option 1:
About 3 hours into cooking, take the brisket out and remove the oranges, onions, and celery from the bag with tongs. Sometimes this is a pain in the rear because the onions like to hide. But if you leave some in there, it's not the end of the world. I think some people actually prefer to leave them in there. Whatever floats your boat.

After you've removed all that stuff and thrown it out, put in the potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. Reseal the bag and continue cooking for another hour or two, until the meat is tender.

Option 2:

About 45 minutes before the brisket is done, boil a big pot of water on the stove. Dissolve the bouillion cube in it and add a couple of tablespoons of pickling spice. Put in potatoes and carrots and boil until they're almost tender. Then add cabbage and finish cooking.

(you can also use aluminum foil if you don't have a cooking bag... see?)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Don't mind the grit on your pancakes

We're on Day 3 of official Spring Break time here in the Spaz house and the kids are getting more creative with how to entertain themselves.

Today Bug learned all about maple syrup from the Internetz.

So this is what I found when I went outside to let the dog out.

Gotta love those little brains.

Namaste and all that granola, y'all

Yesterday I did something I haven't done in a long, long time.

I relaxed.

It was completely unintentional, really. I mean, I did it completely by accident. I didn't set out yesterday planning to have a relaxing day. I was simply checking something off of my never ending to-do list.

See, my dad has this awesome condo he's selling. And when I say awesome, I mean freaking fantabulous. But you know, the market is bad, and the real estate agent that currently has it under contract hasn't been really showing it as aggressively as my dad would like, so when her contract is up he's decided to give it a go at selling it by owner.

Except for a couple of months, he's not going to be in town so he wanted me to show it for him while he's away. So anyway, to make a long story short (when people say that, the story is already too long), I went over to the beach to do a walk through of the condo with my dad so that I won't look like a total Spaz when people ask me questions.

And since it's spring break and the goblins are out of school, I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone and take them along with me. Mostly so that when they go back to school next week and people ask them what they did for spring break they won't say something like "I played on my iPod" or "I watched The Princess Bride 30 times" or something else that will make me look like I do nothing with my children.

But I digress.

The goblins had a great time frolicking in the waves and building sand castles and collecting shells and my dad and I sat on the beach and watched them. The breeze was beautiful, the sky was a perfect blue, there were hardly any people on the beach, there were a few sailboats in the distance, and there were fish jumping out in the ocean at random intervals.

Y'all, it was my happy place.

I mean seriously. You know when people tell you to close your eyes and go to your happy place? I was there. In real life. With my eyes open.

My feet buried in the warm sand, a diet coke in my cup holder, my dad and I having nice conversation, my children playing happily together, and the most beautiful view in the world. If a happy dolphin had leaped out of the ocean and done a back flip in front of us, I would not have even been surprised. It would have just been fitting.

I can't tell you how badly I needed to relax.

It's crazy how much I don't realize I need to stop and smell the roses every once in a while until something comes along and forces me to do it. It's not like I'm a workaholic or anything, no. I just have too damn much to do all the time. It's terribly difficult to relax when you're sitting in a house and all you can think about is how there's laundry to be done and eBay listings to tend to and email to be read.

But when I was sitting on that beach yesterday all those things were a million miles away. I couldn't deal with them right then so they just left my head. I didn't give the dirty dishes even the tiniest fraction of my thoughts.

Of course I came home to a dog that needed to go out and dishes in the sink and laundry that needed to be folded and email and all of that. But dealing with all of it after a day at the beach is totally different than dealing with it after I've just returned from the grocery store.

Take a day at the beach, y'all. Or the park. Or wherever your happy place is. Go there and forget about all the garbage going on. All that junk will be there when you get back.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hopefully karma will catch up with him sooner than later

Below is a copy of an email I just received from a local privately owned non profit animal clinic in our area. I have never, personally, used this clinic myself but I did make an appointment with them when we first got Sudo to have him neutered. Since Sudo got picked up by Animal Care & Control before the appointment ever came to be, we canceled it. But Paws 2 Help was AWESOME as far as making the appointment and refunding what I paid. They're an awesome organization that is truly there for the animals and receiving this email just sickens me. I've shopped at their thrift store and will do everything I can to support them.

If you can help them by spreading the word about this horrible situation, please do so!

Surgeon Saved Life of Dog and Owner Robs Clinic...

The owner of dog stole the days earnings, after our surgeon performed a life-saving
operation late into the evening yesterday Thursday, March 11.

The owner left at 9:30 pm and at 9:42 pm the register was found empty with the total sum missing being $1,069.

The owner of the dog was called at 10:30 pm. When answered, it was implied that there was a video that he would be interested in seeing, and was asked to return to the clinic. The owner then admitted to taking the money and would return it last night.

The police were notified and interviewed staff, but the lack of cameras, the robbery could not be proved. When the owner gained the knowledge that we did in fact not have camera's the owner vehemently denied it.

The operation that we performed on the owners dog would have cost between $1500 - $2000, but was only charged $250.

Due to possible repercussions, Paws 2 Help was informed that the owners detailed information can not be disclosed. The owner is a 6 foot black male/female that lives on Center Stone Lane in Rivera Beach and is employed at St. Mary's Hospital in West Palm Beach.

Please help us to bring this unfortunate incident to the attention of the public, as this person should to be held accountable and prevented from committing this act again. If his conscience does not provoke him then Karma will.

As Paws 2 Help is strictly a 501 (c) 3 not for profit organization and assistance would be greatly appreciated to acquire the much needed security cameras. Donations of any amount to help offset the loss due to this incident would also be appreciated.

Thank you, Paws 2 Help

A not so typical couple of Spaz days - now with tweet goodness!

The past couple of days have been a whirlwind of activity here in Spazland.

Yesterday was shopping day for eBay inventory. But first I ignored my 7 am alarm clock completely and didn't wake up until 10. What? Kids need to go to school?

Rather than come face to face with the death stare of Munchkin's punctilious 4th grade teacher (word of the day brought to you by Domestic Spaz and, I decided the little goblins could stay home and clean their rooms (I was delusional). I left them in the care of The Man, packed a fat wad of cash in the back pocket of my jeans, and ran off to shop.

(If you followed me on twitter you'd know all of this stuff already.)

After my super awesome score of goodies, I ran home to grab Munchkin for her girl scout meeting where we had an awesome meeting. All the girls took home blue light-bulbs to put on their front porches to light it up blue for Autism in honor of one of the sweetest girl scouts in the world who we're lucky enough to have in our troop.

After our meeting, I got to wash Bug in some crazy antiseptic antimicrobial soap that the hospital told me to buy. It smells all mediciney and Bug hated it but I'm fairly certain that any germs that came into contact with Bug after his bath exploded on impact.

Then I stayed up way too late tying up loose ends and packing for the hospital and making sure my family could function without me for a couple of days.

Early this morning I hopped out of bed, and by hopped I mean dragged myself with much groaning and whining, so I could package up a bunch of eBay stuff. I poured myself two cups of the strongest coffee I could make and got to work.

About a half hour was devoted to absorbing the horrible news about the earthquake in Japan and the following tsunami and freaking out that California was going to be under water within the morning. I composed myself and actually did my work and then at 7:30 I took the younger goobers to school.

Then it was home to wake up Bug and then off to the hospital.

Almost. First I had to stop at the elementary school and turn in the registration papers for Bug to start school after Spring Break and then I had to stop at the post office to drop off all those packages. And then we were off to the hospital.

Bug started to freak out about halfway through the 45 minute drive. Upon arrival at the hospital he was temporarily distracted by tsunami video on CNN which was playing in the waiting room. But the freak out happened all over again once they brought him back into the triage area where all the doctors came and talked to him.

He yelled very loudly that he was scared the surgeon was going to accidentally KILL HIM!!!

Teddy bears and crayons were offered, they did not help him to feel any better. So that's when the anesthesiologist came by and offered Bug a nice cherry drink. And since he was starving and dehydrated because he hadn't had anything to eat since my dad bought him a Big Mac (that's what grandparents are for, I hear) the night before, he gladly drank down the cherry drink.

Also known as a barbiturate.

In about a half hour, Bug thought everything was funny. His fingers were funny, the blanket was funny, the fact that he was only wearing socks, underwear, and a backless gown was hilarious. And I kicked myself for not bringing a video camera. It could have gone viral like this kid.

And then it was time to take him back to surgery. I said good bye to my little man, as he giggled at the scrub cap they put on his head, and watched him wheel away.

The nurse told me to wait in the waiting room and that it should only be an hour or so.

So I waited. And my cell phone battery died. And I realized I didn't bring the charger to it.

And then two women came into the waiting room and sat down. Woman #1 had a piece of birthday cake on a plate. Woman #2 had the rest of the birthday cake in a box from the grocery store. Woman #1 inhaled her piece in a ridiculously rapid fashion and then demanded that Woman #2 throw it in the trash can for her.

After #2 did #1's bidding, #2 sat down with her box of cake and started shoveling large clumps of white and pink frosted chocolate birthday cake into her mouth using a plastic butter knife.

I am not kidding.

I tried to look away, but frankly I was horrified.

And then I tried not to judge because I figured they must have a loved one in surgery and people do weird things like eat massive amounts of birthday cake when they're stressed. In the waiting room at a hospital, straight from the box, using a plastic butter knife as a utensil. That's normal, right?

After a little while, #2 exhaled really loudly and put the box of cake down. Then she left the waiting room. I'm just guessing, but I bet she went to the bathroom to upchuck. At least that's what I would have done had I found myself in her situation.

While #2 was gone, #1 fell asleep in her chair. She started snoring loudly. So loudly that she would periodically wake herself up, stretch, and then act like she hadn't been sleeping. And then she'd fall back asleep again.

After a little while, #2 returned, and then a guy came in and sat a few seats over from me. Guy sat down and immediately started doing one of those nervous foot shake things. You know the ones.

Since all the seats were connected, he was shaking the heck out of me and my Reader's Digest article that my mom gave me about a month ago to read and I promised her I would. (I was just waiting for the right time, Mom, and don't you agree I picked it?)

I contemplated asking him to stop, but thought I probably shouldn't judge... I mean... he, too, was waiting for a loved one in surgery and I can totally understand a little foot twitching.

Then I thought maybe I should just move to another row of seats... but then I thought that would seem rude. So I stayed and tried to hold my Reader's Digest still so the words didn't blur so much.

#2 got up and went to a little desk in the back of the room and proceeded to use the phone there to call all of her closest friends. She laughed and gabbed in the back, occasionally snorting with laughter. #1 slept through most of it.

All of this fun went on for a long time. Long enough for me to read the entire Reader's Digest from front to back, bad jokes and all. I even read the article about the guy who was attacked by a polar bear.

There was no clock in the waiting room and my cell phone was dead so the concept of time was completely lost on me. And then I remembered I had brought my Blackberry! My Blackberry which is not active as a cell phone but makes a great alarm clock for use when you are staying overnight at the hospital!

And that's when I realized it had been over 2 hours.

And then my mommy brain started to panic. No one had come to get me. It was only supposed to be an hour. SOMETHING MUST HAVE GONE WRONG!!!!!

I tried to control myself but that only lasted about 15 seconds before I was out of there and back in the original triage room demanding information.

Well, they calmly said, no one picked up the phone in the waiting room when we tried to call you to tell you that Bug was out of surgery.

There was so much wrong with that statement I don't even know where to start.

First of all, even if the phone in the waiting room had rung I wouldn't have picked it up. No one told me I was supposed to wait on a PHONE CALL. Why in the hell would I pick up a random phone in a hospital?

Second of all, of course no one picked it up. #2 spent the last who-knows-how-long gabbing to her friends on it!

And lastly, if no one picked up the damn phone, why didn't anyone take the thirty seconds it would have taken to WALK INTO THE WAITING ROOM and see if I was there?

I think I may have shot some laser beams out of my eyeballs at the nurse who uttered this sentence to me before she quickly smiled and told me she'd walk me to him.

And there I found my little Bug. Just waking up from anesthesia and super groggy and grumpy and sore. And doing just fine.

And now I can get some sleep.

So soft and pointy... like a cashmere cactus

Remember last year we got a kitten? Or, more accurately, Sudo got a kitten that I bottle fed and wiped his little bottom and did all that crap for.

Our kitten is now a cat.

And he’s got quite the personality.

Felix is demanding. Case in point: Two minutes ago I was trying to type up a blog entry. A blog entry NOT about Felix. Evidently, Felix feels he should be spotlighted on the blog and therefore made a concerted effort to sit squarely on top of my keyboard. He typed out a series of numbers (most of them being the number 9 – a direct nod to the fact that he has 9 lives, I assume) and looked at me with that cat look that means, I assume, “What are you going to do about it, human?”

Of course, I laughed and pet him on the head before picking him up and gently placing him on the floor. Of which he had none of. He quickly jumped right back on the keyboard, obviously to type his demands out more furiously.

Felix loves water. Sort of. I mean, he doesn’t really want to get wet. But he loves water. If there is water running somewhere in the house, Felix must be there. He will come running full speed, barreling through any obstacle that may get in his way (people, doors, baskets of clean laundry), to get to where the water is. And then he will bat at the water continuously as it runs from the faucet. If this dueling of the faucet happens to get in the way of a human trying to wash something, Felix couldn’t give a flying friskie. He must battle the water and show it that he is the superior species.

Felix wants to be outside. I’m sure his feral roots are calling out to him from deep within his kitty genetics. When the front door is open, he can span the length of the house in mere seconds to squeeze himself through whatever crack is left open and triumph to have found himself outside. Once his paws touch grass he freezes, however, allowing for relatively easy access in retrieving him and putting him back inside.

Felix must be at the highest point possible at all times. The top of the refrigerator, the top of the credenza on my desk, the shelf on the top of the closet, all of these are places in which Felix can be found. His dismounts are not always graceful and he has been known to knock over many things placed in these high spaces when he decides to come down to earth. So far, nothing has been broken, but it’s only a matter of time.

Felix would love for the dog to play with him. If Sudo is sleeping, unsuspecting of his doom, Felix will ferociously pounce upon his head and bite his oversized ears until Sudo has no choice but to retaliate. Poor Sudo awakes, shocked that someone has disturbed his beautiful dreams of all you can eat bone buffets and open, endless, soft grass filled dog parks and can only jump up, disoriented and snarl at his attacker. Felix then runs off and prepares his next attack, when Sudo has finally relaxed enough to get back to dreaming.

Felix is impossibly soft. His fur is like an exquisite angora, cashmere sweater or one of those llama rugs people bring back from South America. We all want to bury our faces in his delicious softness but Felix will have none of it. Trying to get him to stay still long enough to snuggle with him is an impossible task. And if we restrain him for a second too long, he will show us how soft his teeth and claws are. How can something be so cozy and yet so pointy at the same time?

But, with all his evil traits, we can’t help but love him. He is a constant source of amusement in this house and he keeps us all on our toes. He’s been with us a little over a year now and the Spaz family really can’t imagine our life without him.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Evolutionary Baggage BeGone!

Last February you may remember when I won a huge parenting trophy for ignoring Bug's little stomachache that turned out to be appendicitis.

Good times.

Well, over a year has passed and Bug still has his appendix. It's an interesting story about a pediatric surgeon who lead us to believe that kids who have appendicitis typically go on for long, happy lives with the appendix never being taken out. And while that may be the case in some circumstances, Bug's pediatrician was horrified when she discovered that Bug's appendix was still inside him.

So we got a new surgeon who will be removing Bug's mean, nasty appendix tomorrow. So The Man is on Munchkin and Goober duty while I spend my Friday night in the hospital with Bug. And the fear of appendicitis for at least one kid will be nullified forever. Silver lining.