Saturday, April 14, 2012

Quack Quack Mother Effer

I have been honest and stated that most heavy hitting life altering decisions I have been successful in making have been "spur of the moment" decisions. Like, you know, getting married. Choosing a career. Having kids. Or at least deciding to have kids numbers one and two. Deciding what to wear. Banal shit like that.

Two weeks ago I had a totally life altering moment. And I haven't had time to blog about it yet, because I haven't had time to get intoxicated enough to blog about it yet. But Lo! Tis Saturday. And I'm pretty intoxicated. And I need to write. So I shall blog about my "moment".

Let me set the scene: I am on the floor. Playing. Not very descriptive, but this is my job. I sit. On the floor. And I play. I LOVE my job. I LOVE it. Who (or is it Whom? Who the hell cares) else do you know gets to sit on the floor with darling little babies and play and get paid? I LOVE being a developmental therapist. Love it. Anyway...

I am on the floor playing with my duck pop beads. Just moving them around, trying to get my little playmate to "quack quack quack quack" along with me. It's not working. I am not inspiring anyone to effen quack. At all. Ever.

I look despairingly to my very close friend, and professional guru "Jenny the OT" and say "I'm not sure how much longer I can do this."

Of course she thinks I mean short term and takes over quacking and integrating sensory processing along with core work and all this very wonderful and smart people work. But she doesn't realize I. Am. Serious.

I'm in my prime people! How much longer can I sit on someone else's floor "quacking" like a moron? 90% of my professional skill set is based on how moronic I can be....the rest is divided between talent and knowledge, but let's face it. I am a 35 year old moron quacking and hoping that some kid and my favorite co-treat colleague will quack with me too.

It's depressing.

And let's face it and say I am "probably" premenstrual or premenopausal when I say I have nothing to offer the "real world" in terms of job getting skills and so I sit. Quacking. Quacking and mildly hormonally depressed. My phone doesn't send pictures much less have Internet access. My "work" computer is something my father in law built for gaming...John won't "let" me get a laptop (which I have been desperately begging for) because I'm not doing rocket science. I don't like MATH. I have no interest in the "business world.". In short, I have nothing to offer of real financial value. So I keep quacking.

Me: "Jenny...when I am 45...10 years from now...I CAN'T be doing this!"

Jenny: "Doing what?"

Me: "Quack quack quack quack least you have a real skill set. You could do Early Intervention...which is what you're doing. You could work in a nursing home. Or in adult rehab. Saying "I'm an Occupational Therapist is respectable". Being a DT? Not so much...even if knowing what I do is important. Quack".

Jenny: ( an aside) : quack quack mother effer.

Actually. I made that last part up. She doesn't drop the "F bomb." But that's what the look on her face said.

So what now? I NEED to keep writing. Editing my children's book. Journaling my whack a doodle life experiences. Blogging the funny but true shit. Maybe...maybe....maybe...pursuing an associates degree in the local college's Occupational Therapy Assistant programs. All is need is to be admitted. And someone to be my supervisor. And wouldn't you know that I know plenty of OT's that want to be the effen boss of me.

I don't know. All I know is that when I am 45....50...or in the range of "being a grown up" I will probably be in a loony bin if I am sitting on the floor quacking.

That's all I'm sayin'.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More Goodbyes and Life Lessons

Those of you who are my BFF's on facebook (all 465 of you) know that my grandmother passed away last week. It wasn't just any granma, it was THE granma if you know what I mean. You know the one...everybody has ONE granma who is always there...or at least tries to be when you're one of 19 grandkids and have 3 of 9 great grandkids. She tried to be at everyone's birthday celebrations, graduations, preschool Thanksgiving programs, band concerts, all that STUFF. She did the best she could, even after being diagnosed with terminal cancer-mesothelioma.

But she was THE granma for me at least, and we always had a special relationship. It's hard to describe what that may be like to anyone who hasn't had the same blessings, but all the same,

She lived over 4 years post diagnosis. What a BLESSING for us to have had that time with her. What a tragedy she lived a good chunk of that time in pain, and discomfort. If was a gift like a double edged sword. You're so glad you have it...until you see how much it hurts someone to just inhale and exhale.

We knew it was her time about 3 days before she passed. I pulled my kids out of school early and we drove the hour and change to the hospital so that they could say their goodbye's. I spent the following day with her as they moved her into hospice, holding her hand, stroking her hair, mingling my tears with hers, and telling her I loved her. She knew what was going on, and was able to tell us her deep dark secrets (she had a speeding ticket in 2005...can you BELIEVE it?) and told everyone in turn she loved them and was going to miss them.

She left us less than 36 hours after that. I come from a VERY large family and so the events leading up to her death were not very typical. Someday I may write a book about it, but for now suffice it to say that damn near all of my grieving has been done in private.

Even when I last saw her at the wake,
Even as I sang her "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" as part of her eulogy. Not many in my family knew I could sing, but, there's a shit load of stuff that the family doesn't know about me, and I will be keeping it that way.

One thing I will not forget is at the wake when I prompted the children to say "goodbye", Nate looked at her and said, "Bye Grammies. I hope you feel better soon". That led to a very long discussion about how she isn't getting better, to which he replied, "I know mom! I know God came and stoled her soul, but I hope she's feeling better in Heaven." With the unspoken "Dumbass" right behind it. Like I should know better. And maybe I should.

Since then though, our family has been inundated with food, cards, phone calls (just checkin' on us), random kidnappings of me to a local restaurant for good beer and a heartfelt conversation. When you have seen certain family members who are supposed to be the ones to hold and love and support you do their very worst and try and bring you down and hurt you it is nothing short of amazing to see and understand that this is NOT the way the rest of the world works.

We were incredibly blessed to have the Prayer Caravan from church (consisting of our male pastor and 2 other guys) come to our home, lay hands on our shoulders (and in the meantime touching our hearts) and as I was huddled with my children and cuddled in a ball...we were able to grieve privately, yet openly with comfort and support.

When you surround yourself with the goodness and kindness of the very best of people, you cannot help but want to give it back. When you remove yourself from situations that are nothing short of crazy making, and from people who have but one goal and that being to puncture your heart to make you bleed...when you leave all that behind, you see that those you surround yourself with become who you want to be.

Lucky, Lucky me. Those I've chosen to surround myself are nothing short of angels and answered prayers.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Conversations with the Doctors

I suppose, that based on my most recent conversations with our family doctors, on some level, someone should have swooped in from Protective Services and rescued my children from my evil clutches.

We have been swamped in this house with what I have been fondly referring to the Plague. It starts with a fever and headache. Moves on to some nausea, and culminates with a lot of time logged lounging on the couch watching the Nate Berkus show (which is awful. And so is "The Chew" and "The Talk" and any other daytime television show). Maddie got it first, so I dutifully took her to The Doctor.

Nurse: "So, how high was her fever"?
Me: "How should I know? She's the third kid. We don't love her as much as the other two, so we don't really keep track of things like how high her fever was".
Nurse: "chuckle chuckle chuckle."

Like I was joking. I really don't take their temp anymore. All I know is that it's a serious inconvenience for them to miss school, mostly because then I am the asshole stuck teaching them days' worth of missed lessons and trying to convince my kids that I actually USED to be a teacher and I may in fact know what I'm talking about. And then I bang my head on a wall for about 3 hours. It has the same effect.

End Dr. Rx- VIRUS

So then a few days later, during the fricking super bowl party at the neighbors, Nate LOCKS IT UP screaming and crying on the stairs that his "head hurts". And of course one look at his puffy lips tells me he is seriously not well.

So I scoop him up, and carry him home. And for 2 days listen to him rolling in bed moaning, "ooooohhhhh, I just CAN'T take it anymore. Legs hurt. Head hurts". Seriously, I am thinking,

"Listen you little shit. Your sister had this same goddamn virus and I will cut my arm off if she even whined half as much as you. Knock this shit off."

Apprently, the whole "men are babies when sick" stereotype has it's basis in solid historical footing. And so, because I was so sick I had to call off work for two days, and because I couldn't take the whining anymore, in goes Nate to the Doc.

Nurse (the same one Maddie had): "And why is he here?"
Me: Because I can't take it anymore. I can't listen to him for 2 more minutes or my brain will explode. If this is just the same damn virus his sister had, I feel super sorry for the poor chick who marries this clown and has to deal with him for the rest of her life."
Nurse: "chuckle chuckle chuckle."

Like I was joking. Again.

And then it was MY turn.
Nurse: "And why are YOU here"?
Me: "Because I'm pretty stupid."
Nurse: "Can you explain?"
Me: "Well, funny story. My ONE New Years Resolution was to get organized. So, I decided 2 weeks ago when I had bronchitis to organize all my shit, which incidentally included my meds. So I put them away, all 'organized" into the medicine cabinet. And then I forgot about them. And then I found them a week later. And I took them. But I went for a 5 mile run outside, in the cold, and I was all sweaty and cough-y and crap. And so now I feel like a Mac Truck hit me going 112 and I might kill myself if I hear my kids whining again.
Nurse:"chuckle chuckle chuckle'.

I swear I was not even close to joking anymore. I felt like shit, I looked like shit, and apparently, I maintain a fantastic sense of humor in the face of adversity.

So the bottom line, at the end of the day was that my bronchitis was a real bitch. I wound up with some funky ass antibiotic that I couldn't have my vitamins or dairy with because it could bind to the medication making it less effective. Whoever I have to thank for my genetics and the whole "penicillin' allergy, "Thanks asshole."

John wound up with Bronchitis. So did Jack. We spread the plague to the neighbors who wound up with fevers too. We had to cancel our end of the group date for Valentine's day at my neighbors church for fear that my little freakshows would breathe on someone and infect them. Total bummer man.

But, on the positive side, I lost 4 pounds, and we're going to an indoor waterpark this weekend, so I am gonna look HAWT hacking loogies in my bathing suit.

I was also told my daughter that "Dads right mom. You DO sound like a man when you cough".
A ringing endorsement for sure.

And when working out today, I still couldn't catch my breath.

This is so amazingly ridiculous.
But hey, I lost 4 lbs.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What is WRONG with You?

Last week on WGN news there was this parenting "expert" on shaming me into becoming a better parent. Apprently, I am a big time rule breaker. Shock. AAAAND Awe.

He claimed that it's in poor taste to ask your children (when they do something they shouldn't) what's wrong with them. In my house, this phrase, "Oh my Gawd, what is wrong with you two" frequently is shouted loud enough for the neighbors to hear when the boys are doing their bone headed boy things. At this point it's a rhetorical question, and they look at me all puzzled and actually have answered, "What? We didn't do anything wrong. Barbie's all tied up because the army guys wanted to shoot at her."

To be fair, I'm not asking the question in regards to their lack of educational excellence, such as "Dude. You got a B. What is wrong with you?". I don't think that's cool.

But seriously, when your kid is outside in the middle of July in his snowboots carrying a foam dart loaded weapon pretending he is shooting nazi's and zombies, I feel that as a parent it's pretty much my civic duty to find out what, exactly is wrong with these kids.

Or, when we're sitting at the dinner table and it gets mentioned that the beets in their salads will make them have red poop, and you start hearing, "Well, I've had green poop, and black poop and brown poop" (sounding for all the world like Bubba talking about the damn shrimps) "and now I get to have red poop" you have to really consider that your children have an odd little social depravity component stuck up their sleeves-saving crap stories (literally and figuratively) for when the Parent gets to come in clean up whatever mess has been made and wonder out loud, "What the hell's the matter with that kid?"

My sister often calls me and hears the kids yelling like Wild Animals in the background, and even SHE has asked, "Dude. What the hell's the matter with your kids" and my response is always, "How much time have ya got?"

I don't think its a good idea to berate kids for trying their best and getting subpar results, like I just mentioned with the school reference. Or even in sports. "Hey, you missed a basket. Whats the matter with you?". That shit hurts their self esteem and makes them resentful towards their parents.

But, when Hello Kitty is being run over repeatedly by a tank carrying those weird looking Ben 10 dolls, and you decide to ask, "What's WRONG with you? You don't leave tread marks on your sister's toys!" and mutter under your breath 'dammit, these kids are going to be in juvy some day, I swear',
Well, when you ask, you may get a whole laundry list of answers, giving insight into a psyche you'd never had access to had you decided to be a "good" and "caring" parent and not ask.

So, What is WRONG with you?

Sunday, January 08, 2012


As I sit here typing, I am also simultaneously devouring my eggs over medium on toast with the gooey center dripping all over my plate, and some crispy turkey bacon while sipping piping hot cup of Trader Joe's coffee. I will be the first to inform you all that failure never tasted so good.

If you are a devoted follower (hah. I'm pretty sure that title is limited to my mom and dad) you will have seen in my last post that I was doing this 21 (or 19) day detox cleanse thing. I was pretty committed to it, until yesterday when I decided to read some online post-ers gloating about their detox success and it pissed me off.

NOWHERE is anyone writing about doing this with a FAMILY to prepare alternative meals for. Look, I know I do some kooky crap but I also know that putting my kids on a restrictive diet isn't very smart. Jack's diet is restrictive enough, what with no egg or dairy being allowed, so for the most part the entire family isn't eating that stuff. But, even so, everywhere online it's "my roommates and I prepared this together" and "my boyfriend and I" and "our office staff". And I was all like, "Where's the working mom spending 6 hours a day in the kitchen preparing family meals?"Strike 1

I also wasn't a big fan of the fact that every time I went up and down my staircases my legs felt weak. Not tired or fatigued. WEAK. Like they didn't want to do this anymore. I stayed on my iron pill regimen during the week, but I don't like feeling weak, ever. For any reason. I thought to myself, "Self, this CANNOT be good." And so again, in reading the Online Bible, I found that some people had these symptoms, and others blogged that they were crazy. Strike 2.

The last straw is that you can't really exercise on this plan. I AM an exerciser, and I was doubly pissed that I was getting cranky and couldn't go for a run in 56 degree January weather. This week promises to be equally as nice, and I didn't want to miss the opportunity. Strike 3. I'm out.

I also started to think about the food choices I make for our family in general. Once in a while we slip and slide, but mostly we DO eat clean, home made, prepared by me meals. I have $500 worth of cow meat in my freezer, hormone, antibiotic free grass fed cow that I split with my parents. (For the first time in my life I "purchased" a bullet, but I won't even ever lay eyes on it Thank God). Not eating it would be crazy, and I have a roast thawing right at this very minute.

Look, for the most part John and I learned our lesson about food. We gave our livers a 1 week vacation. We got some good recipes and ideas out of the process. And now we're back to enjoying life, and not thinking about food all. the. time.

Failure is in fact, delicious.

Friday, January 06, 2012

The Great Detox....2012

I decided on a whim (which is pretty much how I decide everything...big/small; major or minor decisions etc) after receiving the new Whole Living Magazine a few weeks ago to undertake their new 2012 commitment for Healthy/Clean eating and detoxing. I was also so moved by my gal Leslie's blog and her commitment to an ENTIRE year of clean eating, that I thought...."Well, hell, I could stand to lose a few pounds. And I could stand to as they put it, "give my liver a VACAY". " Sure, why not. My liver could use a vacay. And while I'm on it the rest of me could too. But, well, if my liver is the only part of me that gets a vacation, then so be it.

Basically, this Whole Living Challenge (which you can find on their website takes you through 21 days of: NO Caffeine, NO dairy, NO meat, NO gluten, NO alcohol, NO added sugars, NO processed anything. I looked at the menus and thought, "Ohhhhhkay. I can totally do this. We eat relatively clean anyways. Every once in a while we have a snack that isn't the greatest. My guilty pleasure is a bleu cheese burger with fried onions on top and a nice cold beer. Yes on the fries ( I HATE people who eat burgers and then try and get all healthy and want "fruit on the side". What? You think you're going to be all healthy after that quarter pound monster that's sitting in the pit of your belly trying to digest for the next 4 days? Puhleeez. Keep it real people.

However....however. I did NOT anticipate how labor intensive this cleanse is. Made even more difficult by the fact that John has decided to be "supportive" and has decided to do this with me. By supportive I mean he is eating lunches and dinners that I have spent an exorbitant amount of time searching out ingredients for, chopping, and preparing, and cleaning up after. I am surprised that he has almost fully engaged though, because at the beginning he was all like, "Well, I can do everything except no caffeine. I can't work without it". But, he has quit the caffeine, and he's doing fine. Now he's trying to bastardize his dinners. He wants to do the cleanse for 2/3's of the day and I told him he was a quitter. Of course, he would never have brought it up if I wasn't damn near tears last night cursing my cauliflower and olive meal and saying how much I want to quit and how much I hate this.

I also did not anticipate the fact that apparently Day 3 of the cleanse is close to the worst day of your life. That's when the headache kicks in. That's when you're standing in front of the pantry taking in obligatory free smells from the box of spaghetti and lamenting your loss of morning coffee time. I swear to God and all that is Holy that last night I had dreams about fettuccine Alfredo and chocolate. I woke up really hungry and "eagerly" made my beet, mint, and apple smoothie for my cleansing breakfast. On day 3, I remember thinking as I was driving to work that if I died in a horrible car crash, right now, today at this very second, I would not have died happy. All I wanted was a candy bar. Or a cookie.

Yet, I have stuck with it, and am now nearing the end of day 5. No headache. No real hunger pains. I believe my chocolate dreams and feeling of deprivation stem from the fact that I may be harboring some serious food addictions. I'm even anticipating week 2 of the cleanse, when I get to add lean meats (fish) and beans into my diet, along with some tofu and edamame (soy proteins). John was gearing up for a different non-cleanse dinner ("happily" eating his roasted beet and garlic soup) when I told him I have lost FOUR POUNDS since Monday, and so I am sticking to it. He admitted he has lost FIVE POUNDS, but doesn't think it's legitimate. He thinks he weighed heavy with clothes on Monday, so maybe he has lost 3 pounds. We've also decided there's no way it's water weight. You have to drink a shit-ton of water on this cleanse, and to be honest, you're really not hungry, so you're not starving the pounds away.

Whatever he has lost, or whatever I have lost, it doesn't matter, I guess. Aside from giving our livers a "much needed vacay" we have learned a few things. Number one for him is that he always thought he needed meat to be filled up and give him a boost. This vegan veggie and fruit first week has proven otherwise, and he has been surprised that he hasn't been hungry.

I'm supposed to be keeping a food diary keeping track of my feelings about food, but I don't need to do that to learn that food is such a focal point in our daily living activities, whether it be for health or social reasons. Food is not a big priority in my daily life, but when I am deprived of my "favorites", it's easy to see how I start focusing on what I'm lacking.

So I guess we're bettering ourselves and our outlook, and of course our livers. I will caveat this by saying we are planning on this cleanse lasting only 19 days, as we're planning on taking a weekend ski trip for our Christmas present to each other. This cleanse won't cut it on the slopes. Until then though, I am going to try really hard to stick to it. It's no coincidence that in my 2 Yoga classes this week the focus was doing a lot of "cleansing' twists to help the digestive system. I feel like that is a higher power and serendipity telling me to keep going.

Not to mention that come January 19th I'm already looking forward to that celebratory glass of wine.....

Sunday, January 01, 2012

It's 2012...So Now What? Time for a Better ME! YEAY!

Look. I am NOT by definition a very vain person. I very rarely wear lipstick, the latest fashions are mostly lost on me (I maintain that skinny jeans were thought of by sadists, and the latest loose flowing styles make anyone who isn't stick thin look like they're pregnant), I don't have time to give a shit about my hair, and the BEST part of it all is, even if I DID dance with any of the above, my HUSBAND of 11 years takes no notice. It took him 3 and 1/2 weeks to notice this last time I cut my hair (almost 4 inches came off. That's alot). And he still hasn't noticed that I put caramel highlights in it. Before Thanksgiving. Granted, I put in, like 5 highlights and they look like the ones I already naturally have, but he really takes no notice of that stuff. And I am lazy enough to know a sweet deal when I see one. What? You prefer me without make-up? YES!

However, I am superficial and vain enough to realize I'm backsliding into 40. I am, for the most part a-okay with my age. I'm healthy. I'm fun. I have an incredible friend base. I am, for lack of better wording, very comfortable in my skin.

Except lately, there's a bit too much of my skin for my liking. See, I've always had these AWESOME dark circles under my eyes. They are, apparently, genetic. My sister has them. My mom has them. My mom's brother has them. We look like owls on heroin when we're pissed off. But as the years have gone on, these circles are getting darker. I thought taking iron pills as prescribed by my kids' doctor would fix it. No. I tried the allergy eye drops that the opthalmologist suggested- he thought I've had allergies in my eyeballs my whole life and never noticed. Well, Mr. MD doctor dude, you were wrong. My eyes still look like I was bitch slapped at a roadie bar. And NOW!!! I am getting wrinkles under the left eye. Look, this goes back to the vanity statement. I could handle symmetrical wrinkles under both eyes. I'm aging gracefully. But under one eye makes me look like a freak. And while I am not vain enough to wear the latest fashion or even makeup, there are 2 things I can't stand. One is smelling bad. The other, looking like a freak.

I had a deep and intimate conversation about my eye wrinkle with my esthetician. She is a friend and said she can't help me. Great. So this is something for me to discuss with the dermo when I go to get my freckle scan. So I will get this all under control. Maybe.

This segues nicely into what my New Year's Resolution is. Which is nothing. Resolution to me sounds too much like Revolution which means fighting and I think that a resolution is more or less fighting with yourself. So I've decided to just try and be better. Take time out for better skin care...that's number one, and I've already accomplished that. Sweet.

I'm also starting this bullshit liver detox diet thingy tomorrow. 21 days of no alcohol, caffeine, meat, dairy, etc. You eat whole grains, do a lot of smoothies, and basically give your body time to rid itself of toxins that have been building up during the year. I told John to do this with me, and he is all on board except for the no caffeine. Apparently, he is an addict, and can't solve his multi-billion dollar problems without coffee when he gets calls at 3 a.m. to chat up China. Whatever. I figure if I blog about it, I will be held accountable and stick to it for 3 weeks. Or less. John and I may be taking a long weekend away from the kids at the end of the month so this 21 day detox may really turn into a 19 day detox for me.

So, no resolutions here, and I am only slightly disturbed that my 8 year olds resolution is to 'get in shape and run five miles' while the 6 year old wants to get better at his video games. Mads wants to get in shape too. Guess I'm glad 2/3's of them want to live a healthy and active lifestyle....

I have suggestions for other people though. They should try to resolve to be not such big assholes like they've been all year. You know who you are. If you are judgemental, bitter, unforgiving, the "victim", or having a superiority complex, knock it off. And you should probably know that behind your back, people think you're an asshole. There. The cat is out of the proverbial bag. And it feels good to call a spade a spade. I don't have time to sit around and think about the fact that you're an asshole and that treat everyone around you like shit. So I don't. But YOU should resolve to make yourself more like able. I'm just saying.

So happy new year. Happy 21 day detox to me...which starts as soon as I finish this last glass of wine (I can see my dad's eye roll now... "She's drunk. And blogging again"...but I'm not. Just 'relaxing'. ) someone so wisely put it to me can't detox your liver if there's nothing in there TO detox....