Monthly Archives: October 2014

Halloween is Stupid.

Halloween, I’ve decided, should be an adult-only holiday. As a parent, Halloween is just a giant pain in the ass. Kids stuffed into costumes that are itchy or tight or too hot or too cold, driving to a subdivision and then walking for miles in the freezing cold to get candy that I’m either going to sneakily eat myself or throw away because it’s “bad.”

And I didn’t have it any better as a kid.

In this picture, I had just cried out, “Don’t hurt him, Pop!” But I was talking about the pumpkin, not my little brother who is clearly about to lose a hand.

pumpkin carving

And here’s me as the saddest black cat you’ve ever seen:

sad costume

Or maybe I was supposed to be a pumpkin. I’m not really sure what the hell that was.

Then there was the year of the butterfly. As far as I know, no pictures exist of The Butterfly Costume.

That year my mom bought a yard of the most beautiful, shiny fabric for my wings. Then, instead of making me wings, she draped the fabric over my shoulders and sent me on my way. I was a kid in black tights wrapped in a yard of satin, more cocoon than butterfly.

I believe that same year my brother wore, taped to his chest, a piece of yellow paper from a legal pad with an ‘S’ drawn on it.

Then you’ve got pumpkin carving. I always start out with such high hopes. Then I spend an hour pulling gooey strings out of 5 pumpkins and I remember that I hate pumpkin carving. This year my oldest kids didn’t even participate and my youngest spent most of the time crying because we wouldn’t let her use a knife.

Next you try to actually carve the damn things and realize that pumpkins were not meant to be carved.  They are hard and dangerous and I don’t even know why this is a thing. When you’re finally done, your pumpkin ends up looking like the jackass no one wants to hang out with and the other pumpkins are giving him the side eye.

Guess which one's mine.

Guess which one’s mine.

Before kids, I used to leave haunted houses laughing and shrieking as the chainsaw-wielding clown chased us out. The last haunted house I went to, I had a kid wrapped all the way around me and I was literally yelling at the actors to “LEAVE US ALONE! WE ARE DONE HERE!” I almost got into a fight.

This week at school my daughter gets to dress up EVERY DAY. The school wants me dead, I just know it. She’s already been to one Fall Festival and has two more left. The boys have parties to attend. And of course Friday we will load up and go trick or treating.

If Halloween were just for adults, I would have exactly one event to attend. I would only worry about my husband’s costume and whether or not it was offensive. I would drink beer by a large fire and not eat any candy. I wouldn’t knock on a single door or attend any Fall Festivals.

I wouldn’t hear my children laugh as they dunk for apples. I wouldn’t take a picture of my daughter smiling proudly by three half-assed jack o’lanterns. I wouldn’t pick my oldest up from a party and listen to him laugh about all the fun he’d had. I wouldn’t hear a sweet little voice say, “Trick or Treat!” and “Thank You!” at every house. I wouldn’t watch them dump their candy bags in the floor for inspection and theft. *sigh*

At least there’ll be candy.

Are you dressing up this year? What was the worst Halloween costume you ever wore?

 


How I Found Out I Wasn’t the Smartest Person Ever

When I was a little kid, I was a big nerd. You may be saying, “But, Steph, you are still a big nerd.” Well, you’re right, but I was an even bigger nerd as a kid.

I was also an Army brat and when I was in the third grade we were stationed in Virginia.

Now, I was smart and I knew I was smart cause I’d been in special classes for smart kids. When we moved to Virginia my parents upped the ante and sent me to a special school for smart kids.

I. Was. Pissed. Number one because my brother and all my friends and neighbors got to go to the regular school, number two because my bus ride was really long, but most importantly because I WASN’T THE SMARTEST KID ANYMORE. It was ridiculous.

I was used to getting the highest grades without even trying. Now you’ve got me here reading my Christopher Pike and these kids are devouring The Hobbit. I was out-nerded! I couldn’t stand it.

Christopher-Pike

We switched classes, just like in high school. I hated that. The teachers all wore high heels. I really hated that. I had to do actual work. I really, really hated that.

I would like to tell you that I learned a lesson in how important hard work is and how I struggled to the top of my class and even became class president and made the teachers stop wearing such offensive footwear, but that would be a lie.

Instead I became depressed and cried everyday until my parents finally took pity on me and sent me back to public school where my academic excellence and lackadaisical study habits were received warmly with many ribbons and A+’s.

Don’t judge me. I was nine.*

*I’d do the same thing today.

Were you a nerdy kid? Did you ever feel like you got thrown into the deep end and couldn’t swim? For that matter, did anyone actually throw you in the deep end when you couldn’t swim? I’ve heard that’s a thing.


Search Term Tuesday

Yes, I know it’s not Tuesday, but Search Term Tuesday just has a special ring to it.

search

Sometimes I like to look at the searches that lead people to my blog. People go to Google with serious questions, and Google sends them here where there are no answers. It is sometimes sad and always bizarre.  Here are my top ten favorite searches.

1. Grandmother I’ve pissed myself on purpose – I’m trying to decide who peed. Did grandma pee? Are you trying to figure out how to tell grandma you peed? Commas are important, people.

2.Peeing on myself in the store – obviously, I need to stop talking about pee so much.  Google apparently thinks I’ve cornered the market on accidents.

3. How husbands fuck a maid  – I’m guessing the regular way? I’m sorry I couldn’t be more help.

4. Walmart fight I’m next in line – We all know Walmart is a dangerous place.

5. I peed – And we’re back to the pee.

6. Crap my mom says – Now this actually makes a little sense.  If it was one of my children.

7. I pick up hookers tee shirts – I PICKED UP ONE HOOKER!  ONE!

8. Free sex stories of my mom fucked my pet snake – I don’t even.

9. I saw my husband fucking our maid and I did tell them – I feel like my maid story was not helpful to you. Again, my apologies.

10. Why Doberman hump strangers – A question for the ages. Actually, according to my commenters, it’s a dominance thing. You are that dog’s bitch.

What’s the weirdest place Google has led you? Have you ever searched for something just knowing the results were going to be awful? Do you think Grandma peed or what? Let’s not ever speak of the snake one, ever again.


And This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

I’m really, really, incredibly clumsy. I have tried and tried to tell my family that it is a syndrome and not something I can control. They insist on mocking me nonetheless. My goal in life is to own a blowtorch for jewelry making purposes but I persist on this path of self destruction and humiliation and I can tell that it is just never going to happen. If it did, I would probably burn my own face off.

break2

 

This past week alone I have amazed myself and those around me with my gracelessness.

First I was in Walmart, where bad things always seem to happen, just minding my own business, when I saw a clearance sticker. I am a sucker for a good deal. The items on sale were syrups used in making those crushed ice drinks. My daughter had gotten an icee machine for Christmas last year and we’d let her use it about none times since then, because it’s loud and messy and generally a pain in the ass. But. The syrup was on sale. And I thought, she’ll be delighted to finally get to make an icee with flavoring since the one I let her make was just ice with Koolaid poured over the top. I know, I really outdid myself there. Anyway, they had grape and cherry and whatever flavor blue is. I reached in for a red one and KABLAM knocked over about half the display. They really weren’t stacked well, if you ask me. SPLAT! Purple sticky disgusting syrup EVERYWHERE. Now, because I used to work at Walmart about a million years ago, I remembered from their indoctrination tapes that if Jose stole something you should report him, unions are a no-no, and if there’s a spill you have to stand guard over it so no one is injured. So I stood there. And stood there. And stood there. Finally one of those tiny old ladies who surely shouldn’t be working any more wandered by and I corralled her to stand guard while I went to get someone who could actually carry a mop. It was a damned mess, all caused by yours truly.

Next on my list of things to destroy was my brand new tablet. I’ve been moaning for years because my kids have ipods and ipads and galaxy whatevers and I have none. My dad finally took pity on me and surprised me with a Surface tablet. I was so excited. Yesterday I ordered a fancy case for it, because I know myself well. I’d only had it about two weeks and was just finally figuring out how to work it when disaster struck. By ‘disaster’ I mean me. I don’t even know how it happened. One minute I was holding it, reading Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness, and the next it was facedown on the concrete floor. I hoped that all was not lost, but sure enough, that fragile bitch was all cracked up.

These are not the only times that my clumsiness syndrome has caused me to injure myself or break something. Oh, no. There was the time that I dropped something while making pancakes and accidentally stuck my forehead to the pancake griddle. And the time I attempted to jump over a hedge while wearing platform wedges and a fancy dress. That didn’t end well, let me tell you. I once fell down my front steps in the rain while carrying my middle child. He was a baby at the time and somehow I protected him but cracked my tailbone. I’ve broken more toes than I care to count, and I broke my wrists so many times as a child that the hospital started taking me back alone to make sure I wasn’t getting beat up at home. No, sorry, I’m just a goddamn accident waiting to happen.

My mother-in-law knows I collect green glass and she used to give me glassware in that shade, but I would break them one at a time until they were all gone. Now she buys me plastic glasses in a pretty green and I still manage to break those too.

I used to smoke and my friends would always walk on the side of me that did not have the cigarette because I was really bad about burning people, and I have a scar on each finger from burning myself with cigarettes. I guess in light of all this I should be glad about my husband’s “No Fire” policy, but I really feel like he is stifling my creativity.

Are you accident prone? Do you want things even though they might be bad for your health? Do you think a blowtorch is an unreasonable request? We have insurance.


 


Free Birth Control

Alternate title: Top 5 Disgusting Things That Have Happened in the Last 24 Hours

So, I love my family to pieces, I really do.

But they are so gross. It’s unbelievable, really.

Here are the top 5 disgusting things I’ve had to deal with in just the last 24 hours.

1. Lunch boxes. I don’t know how these kids can destroy a lunchbox like this, but here is what greeted me last night when I went to make lunches:

A nice banana-chocolate pudding surprise.

A nice banana-chocolate pudding surprise.

2. My daughter hardcore blew her nose into her own hair. It was a sight to behold and I wish I had thought to take a picture because I totally would’ve shared that with you.

3. My cat just ran over acres of hardwood flooring to puke on a calendar that is for some reason laying in the floor. I actually learned something from this, and that is that I can lay any random piece of shit I don’t care about in the floor and as long as it looks like something I do care about, my cat will puke on it rather than the floor. I had thought she was purposefully puking on my carpet, but now I see that anything she thinks I love will do just fine.

I blocked it out because I love you.

I blocked it out because I love you.

4.  I went outside because I wasn’t ready to clean up cat puke and this was the first thing I saw:

A dog. Licking his penis. At 7 a.m. And it's not even my dog.

A dog. Licking his penis. At 7 a.m. And it’s not even my dog.

5. This morning Thing 3 was blowing her nose again, this time thankfully with a tissue, but each time she blew she would wipe up her nose instead of wiping like any normal person would. So she was getting snot all over her face. I felt like I had done enough in the snot department last night when I spent 30 minutes trying to wash boogers out of her hair, so I tried to tell her the right way to wipe. This led to many tears and much more snot. Not exactly what I was going for.

I thought my house was messy yesterday, and I knew it smelled like I was raising a herd of gerbils, but at least it wasn’t covered in snot and cat puke and chocolate pudding. Ah, motherhood. I can’t wait till they get home from school. Maybe someone will shit on me and really round out my day.

Do you think they are trying to break me? (They obviously don’t realize who they are dealing with.) Do your kids/pets test your mettle in the most horrific ways they can think of? Is this your dog?


The Spoon Theory

my spoons

Warning: This is not a funny post. It is about chronic illness. I’d really like you to read it. I promise I’ll attempt to be funny next time. I’ve been dealing with a lot of health issues this past week and I’ve felt very helpless and misunderstood. I want you all to know that I am not asking you to feel sorry for me. I don’t want anyone to pity me. I just wish everyone could understand what life is like with chronic illness and the Spoon Theory, I think, is one of the better ways to describe it.

The Spoon Theory basically says that with chronic illness, you start the day with a certain number of spoons, when a healthy person would start each day with an unlimited amount.

Pretend you wake up and you have 12 spoons.

It costs you a spoon just to get out of bed because your entire body is one giant ache and you never feel like you got any sleep. Next you have to walk down the hallway and wake up the boys and get the daughter’s clothes for school. This costs a spoon because this early in the morning you have the most intense pain and sometimes can barely walk. You have to use one hand to uncurl the other hand because they don’t want to work yet. You can hardly lift the coffee pot to pour coffee. You think about asking your husband for help and then feel guilty because he is going to work and you are not. It costs you a spoon to get yourself mentally under control and continue getting the kids ready to go to school. If you made lunches the night before that’s good, but if you were too tired then you have to do it now and that will cost you a spoon because of all the bending and walking and you are still in a lot of pain.

The kids and husband leave for the day and you are left with 8 spoons. The house is a mess. Do you have to go anywhere today? If you do, you can’t do anything else because driving and running errands or just running around town will take all the rest of your spoons. All of them. You will be in so much pain and so exhausted by the time you get home that you will be unable to do anything else.

This day, let’s say you get to stay home. So you do the dishes and maybe start a load of laundry. Take away a spoon. You need to think about your depression and do something positive so you will color or write in your journal or meditate or do yoga. This costs at least one spoon, depending on what you decide to do.

Remember, you haven’t showered, gotten dressed, or even brushed your teeth yet. You get dressed and brush your teeth and you are tired, so tired. It costs a spoon.

You’ve got 5 spoons left and it isn’t even noon. The house is still a mess. If you really, really clean it, it will cost all of your spoons for today and probably some of tomorrow’s. You need to eat but you are so nauseous that you can’t, plus you hate to waste a spoon just to feed yourself. You decide to watch t.v. for a while and rest. You think about taking a nap, but you can’t because you are too anxious and feel like you can’t breathe. It costs a spoon to get your anxiety under control.

You have 4 spoons left. The house is still a mess. You still have to figure out something for dinner or maybe your husband will bring something home. You better have him bring something home, because you will have to use at least 3 spoons to check the kids’ backpacks, sign papers, help with homework, and generally be present as a mother when they get home. You won’t be able to make dinner, and since you’re still nauseous, won’t be able to eat it either. It is 7 pm and you’ve only got one spoon, but your daughter still needs a bath and you didn’t even shower today. You still have to pack lunches and make the coffee for in the morning and your husband hasn’t gotten any of your attention. You feel like a failure as a wife and a homemaker and a mother. You feel so sorry for your family because you don’t have enough spoons to do everything you want to do for them. The stress leads to a migraine. You are down for two days, crying and throwing up and maybe going to the emergency room. This takes all of the spoons for those two days, and possibly some from the third day because you are exhausted after such a bad migraine.

So that’s basically the spoon theory, and basically my life. I didn’t mention allergic reactions, and I think I actually spend more spoons on managing my health and depression, but you get the idea.

It takes all my spoons just to get through a day doing the bare minimum. If I want to take the kids somewhere fun, that’s all my spoons. If I want to go out to eat with a friend, I have to realize that I will not be able to do something else. If I have a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon, I better lay down all morning.

I have a really hard time dealing with my health. It makes me incredibly sad to not be able to do the things I want to do. I hate having to plan my day around what I feel physically and mentally capable of. I hate that I don’t have enough spoons. I hate that by looking at me, you can’t see how hard I fight every day. I hate thinking that people think I am hateful or lazy because I don’t do things and I cancel plans all the time. I hate that I have to budget my energy and my time.

The Spoon Theory was written by Christine Miserandino at www.butyoudontlooksick.com. You can check it out at http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/

Does The Spoon Theory apply to you? If so, what things do you do to stay positive, knowing that you’ll be counting spoons for the rest of your life? Do you find that you judge yourself more harshly than anyone else does? I know I do. Don’t you love my nail polish?

**EDITED TO ADD: I love each and every one of you. I swear I feel stronger with every kind comment and it really means so much to me that you take the time to send me your thoughts. I might cry, guys. You are all my favorite.


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