getting my house in order

getting my house in order
it's a jungle out there

Monday, May 31, 2010

It's all a big blur



I still have shitforbrains and this weekend didn't help much.

It was a lovely weekend. Perfect weather. One day running into the next. A houseful of kids. In and out. Overnights. Back and forth.

Never ending sun. Never ending blue skies.

Never ending kids.

Which is fine.

The best part of the weekend was waking up Sunday morning, thinking it was Monday, then realizing not only did I not have to get up because it was Sunday, I also wouldn't have to get up on Monday. The thought of two more mornings to sleep in was just heaven.

Yes. I ignore my kids so I can and sleep in. It's been 12 years people! My kids can fend for themselves for a few hours on a holiday weekend morning. And if that means they eat double chocolate rocky road for breakfast, so be it.

Amen

I ignored them a lot this weekend. They roamed in and out of various houses, playgrounds, and backyards. They got savage tans. There were no fights. They all had a really good time together. Laissez-faire in motion.

It was good even when they set the patio on fire. Also while I was ignoring them. They had a blast. They asked if they could make another fire Sunday night and couldn't believe it when the answer was no.

But why not?
Daddy and I are going on a date and Amy's coming. You can't make a fire when Amy's here.
But WHY?

seriously???

No fires. No matches. No lighters. No sparklers.
Can we just do sparklers mom?
No. No sparklers.
But why no sparklers? You can't set fire to anything with a sparkler.
Because sparklers need lighters. No lighters.

We promise we won't set any thing on fire.
liars
No. No fire.
I'm the meanest fucking mommy around. Just ask them

Sunday and Monday at Splashdown. The local water park. It was a fucking zoo. But, because I am so good at ignoring them, I planted my ass on a chaise lounge in the shade and napped.

No one drowned.

Ty was mad, though. I wouldn't go on the new toilet bowl ride with him. I had no desire to drag a double inner tube up six flights to sail down a plastic tunnel into a ginormous plastic bowl and circle a plastic drain to get pooped out into a swimming pool.

He said I was mean.

So I took them to McDonald's. Fuck it. I ate a quarter pounder with cheese and refilled my cup with Coke on the way out.

You only live once.

Mia got stung on her eyelid and the whole thing swelled shut. I gave her a dose of benadryl and she fell asleep in the bathtub while I was rearranging the plants on the porch.

Ignoramus

At 7:30 this evening, Ty says to me mom, tell me about when I was a baby...
OK. To make a long and painful story short, Ty has an autobiography due tomorrow.

Right. Birth to present. With pictures and a table of contents. Due tomorrow.

aargh...

I have a friend whose oldest child is 15. For as long as I can remember, she has stayed up until ridiculous hours the night before a big project was due because her son waited till the last minute. She basically does the project herself cause it's super important that her kids do well in school.

Well.

Not me. Being the mean mommy that I am, it's sink or swim as far as I'm concerned. I don't get mad. I don't yell. I don't punish or threaten. Instead, I say in a calm, even voice

A whole project honey? And you waited till tonight? Wow, that's messed up.
and Ty says mom why do I always do this?
I don't know, honey.
I'm a procrastinator said like you'd say nazi or slave owner or pedophile

So here we are. Both of us writing away. Me telling him stories about himself of which he has no memory. Me being forced to recall highlights of his first year, second year, third year.

It's all a big blur.




Thursday, May 27, 2010

shit for brains wednesday-OK I think I fixed it


SEE?!?

It's not Wednesday. It's Thursday.

So instead of Wordless Wednesday or Thousand Word Thursday

today is Shit For Brains idon'tknowhatfuckindayitis

I'm all outta whack

but this is funny and made me laugh...





Make-up: 60$
Boob-job: 6000$


Forgetting to tuck in your nuts:
priceless


hee hee

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

COUNT. WITNESS. BREATHE. or at least give it your best shot


Sigh...
I've been writing for days and the words just aren't coming out right.
Sigh...

I'm in that place of heaviness again. It's not so bad. But I'm there. And I could blame it on this or that or the other but the bottom line is it's just those pesky brain chemicals.

goddamfuckers

I'm in that place where it takes extra energy to smile. Extra energy to breathe. That place where it's easiest to be at the bottom of an exhale. And just stay there.

stupidfuckingserotonin

oh well

Last week Sister Halona reminded me of the importance of gratitude. Especially when you're not feeling it so much. Those are the times we you really need to count our blessings.
Now is one of those times. I'm not pookie or angry or anything. Just feeling kind of sad...

So Sunday that's what I did. I looked at the backyard and thought
this is as good a place as any to find some miracles and blessings...



my own jungle
my own heart of darkness
what a mess


So I pushed the lawn mower back and forth. breathe. In and out. breathe. One foot in front of the other. breathe. Count the blessings. breathe. Witness the miracles. breathe.

the roses are blooming, Angie
count

witness

I think of Ms. Moon and Allegra Smith who count their blessings and bear witness to the miracles in their own backyards every day. And I think about the beauty and comfort and peace I get from their words. I think about Allegra's natural habitat. I would love to do something like that. It would be really cool. I just need a water feature i've said that before. The backyard chaos attracted hummingbirds and butterflies last year with barely any effort at all. Think of what a little planning could accomplish. And then maybe I wouldn't resent the goddamnfucking groundhog so much cause he would be part of the habitat


I can smell these roses as I type
count

I need to paint the garage
sigh

blue false indigo
witness

the previously fungi infested peach tree
which rose from the dead
and now is bearing peaches
count


I've been watching the birds. They start singing before 5 a.m. and just go all day long. Countless sparrows and chickadees. There has been a pair of cardinals swooping through the backyard for a few weeks now. One day I caught a glimpse of an impossibly blue bird flying low into the lilacs. Last week I noticed a nest being knit together by a pair of robins in the branches of the small japanese maple.

But the red headed couple who nested in the hanging fern last spring had yet to be seen. It seemed to be a weird freaky fluke last year. Why would birds nest so close to a houseful of loud crazy humans anyway? And besides, I had never seen that species around before. My SIL said they were ruby throated or purple headed something or others but I don't remember now.

do you see the mama robin's eye?
she's sitting in her nest
right in the middle
looking straight at you
click on the picture
and
witness


I decided to take down my big blue balls and move my indoor plants to their summer home on the porch. It's a lovely spot

Up and down the ladder. In and out the front door. Count the blessings. breathe. Witness the miracles. breathe. Hang the ferns...

I hear the easytalk between Bruce and Mia as they make dinner together.
tilapia. we'll make a lemon butter sauce for it
what's this, daddy?
caponata. eggplant and other stuff and some very special olives from Italy. i brought home extra for you honey cause i know you love black olives.
these are the best olives i've ever had daddy.
They're Cherignola olives. they only grow in one small town called Lanciano. In the province of Cerratina. In Italy
daddy, can i help you grate the lemon and garlic?

And this blessing that I count and this miracle that I witness is the one that allows me to feel the gratitude. And we eat a yummy dinner and I think it's true what they say about baking and breaking bread together. And even though I don't feel like I can eat at all, I take a bite of the local rainbow swiss chard and the onlyfromatinytowninItaly caponata and I break off a hunk of farmer's market bread and I breathe.

And I count the blessings and witness the miracles and I feel the gratitude.


no more big blue balls
the boys are ecstatic
count

And after dinner, as Bruce cleans up oh yes he did I go back to check out the porch. And I see something flitting around the big japanese maple. And it flies over and perches on the hanging fern that has only been there an hour. A small brown bird with a reddish head. And his mate. Scoping out real estate

they're back
witness

And I count the blessing and witness the miracle and I feel the gratitude

And I breathe



Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Fragments



I haven't fragged in a while. Today it seems like a good way to tie up some loose ends...



Friday Fragments
courtesy of Mrs. 4444

come frag with us


*****

Puberty Update
with Jack's permission, of course

I noticed Jack checking himself out.
He was in the black spandex compression shorts that he wears under his track uniform.
I also notice a package
????
OK. I know how kids develop. And I know that there is no way in hell Jack is that endowed.
Yet
Mom, check this out
He points to his package
I look at it through squinty eyes
Mom, this is awesome. There's a pocket inside these shorts...
I think that's for a cup, Jack
Yeah, mom, I know. But look...
And he pulls out his cell phone
seriously???
Yes. He was walking around with his phone in the cup pocket of his compression shorts feeling... bigger
OMG
He replaced the phone and 30 seconds later it rings. And vibrates. He almost jumped out of his skin.
He's a very funny boy.



Jack and his buds at last week's
Junior Honor Society induction ceremony
such. good. kids.


*****

Ganesh Update

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to all those who are contributing to Kim's Wish
What's Kim's Wish you say? Click here to find out
Looks like we'll have enough to get Kim and Matthew to the big Down's conference. YAY

Here are bits and pieces of emails she has sent me

Hi Michelle,
The response that you have gotten from your blog, is truly amazing. How wonderful and awesome these people are. The responses you have sent me, have lifted my spirits, I was starting to get a bit discouraged, from some of the responses I have gotten lately from some of the people around me. Again thank you for your help.
You stated that every little bit helps, this help was more than a little bit. You have helped a whole lot, more than you know. I just love your friends and their kindness.
Kim

Hi Michelle,
We have a board meeting this Monday, so I will go in and present what I have done and where in the process I am with everyone... Then we will have to work on fund raising......and granting wishes......we already have $28.16 in the IGive account. That is pretty exciting... I have also come up with an idea for an annual fund raiser called dimes for down's. What I am hoping to do is to get people to collect and donate dimes. This would be an awesome fund raiser, getting kids and Down Syndrome organizations to collect dimes. This would be really wonderful for people with Down Syndrome to also participate in. It is something simple that they can do and be proud of.....just an idea, have to run it by the board........but I am excited about it. I first want to put a donate button up on the website first and then work on a campaign for the dimes for down's. So that is where I am at. Oh, I am so excited and can't wait to have it up and running. Thank you for everything. I will keep you posted.
Kim

Hi Michelle
...they just wanted to prove that ultimately we are all connected in one way or another. It was an awesome show......So I know that eventually something will happen, the primary issue is that most people don't want to be the first person, to take the chance. That is what I have found, that is why I started with Wish Upon A Hero to start, so that I could show people that it can be done. I have to thank you for your support and resources. I so appreciate it. I will not let you down.....you will see. Maybe some day I will write a book, with the majority of it going to the foundation. I will see what happens. I certainly have a lot I can write about. Anyway, thank you so much for everything. I will keep you up to date....
Kim

This lady is so motivated and driven and energetic. She's uber positive, not in a rose colored glasses way, but in a if I didn't laugh I'd cry kinda way. Just like some of us.

Kim is Good Energy in the Universe
And special thanks to Angie, Shannon, and Halona.


more Ganesh

first sitting
2 hours of REALLY BAD PAIN
going back for round 2 next week

I can't wait

*****

One last Mother's Day Memory

I watched this movie with my kids in between breakfast at the diner and Ty's cello concert
We all snuggled up in the bed and had a very cozy time




Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?


It was awesome.
If you've never seen it, or if you haven't seen it in decades, go now to Netflix Instant Watch.
Stellar performances by Ms. Davis and Ms. Crawford.
Creepy. Suspenseful. Totally not appropriate for kids.
They loved it.


Happy Friday


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Mother's Legacy


No. She's not dead.


She's in a nursing home for a few weeks of rehab. Apparently she's doing much better. She's eating. She's making friends. She has more energy.

YAY. seriously. sigh of relief.

I didn't call her when she had her new pacemaker placed.
I didn't call her on Mother's Day.


I did go to her apartment today to start packing up her stuff. Since I couldn't bring myself to visit or call her, it's the least I could do. Sister Melanie Sister Adrienne and Sister Halona visit and call. I offered to throw her shit out.

I'm good at that.


*****

Monday at work, one of the medical assistants was talking about her grandmother. How her grandmother was so poor as a kid that she ate saltines with milk and sugar as a treat.
A lot of the ladies were like what???... crackers with milk and sugar???... I've never heard of that.

I remember my mom telling us stories about growing up dirt poor during the Depression. They would pour milk over stale bread and sprinkle a little sugar on it and that was the meal. She said for a special dessert, they would sprinkle sugar on lettuce leaves and roll them up like cigars.

So I shared, and then the ladies started remembering stories or habits, mostly of their grandmothers. Most of the stories revolved around food, or the lack thereof, and paper products. One of the students remembered her grandmother unfolding paper napkins and tearing them up into quarters and getting stressed out if they used more that one napkin.

I repeated one of my mother's mantras don't use a tissue, use toilet paper... don't use a napkin, use a paper towel... don't use a paper towel, use a sponge.

Dr. Arlene looked at me and said but you didn't grow up poor.
No, but my mom grew up poor. So our habits growing up were part Depression Child and part Flower Child.
We were taught not to waste. Especially food.

She would cut off the green moldy part on the edge of the bread or cheese and we didn't think twice about eating the rest. It's fine. Just eat it.

She would stick her nose in all the containers of really old leftovers and make garbage soup.

We never got sick.

Bruce to this day is astounded by what I'll eat.

What?!? It's perfectly fine. I scraped the fuzzy part off.

He's also astounded that I never get sick from eating old food. And I tell my kids it's fine. Just eat it.

So Mother's Day, after Ty's cello concert, we hit McD's drive through. I was tired and not at all willing to cook dinner.
And I needed to hear mom you're the best mom in the whole world we love you mom one more time.

I, however, had my taste buds set on Saturday night's leftover pizza.
I get a bizarre satisfaction from eating leftovers.
No money wasted, no food wasted.

We got home, I turned on the oven, and Bruce walked in right behind us. Home much earlier from the restaurant than expected. Nice.

He asked me if I had eaten and I said no I turned the oven on like half an hour ago. I'm gonna heat up leftover pizza.




shit

Oh. Right. Left the pizza in the oven over night on plastic plates. Forgot that part.

Pre-prozac, this would have left me in tears. Sunday, I was able to look at it and laugh. I was not, however, able to throw it out. I cut away the melted plastic and ate the rest. It was delicious. Bruce kept offering to go out and get me something else. He thinks I'm crazy.

I am.

*****


So. Cleaning out and packing up my mom's place today.
I got aggravated at the ancient, outdated bottles of medicine.
The sixteen open packages of panty liners.
The pieces of once used aluminum foil carefully folded up to be reused.

Then I thought about my own kitchen cabinets.

expired vitamins
like 2005 expired
seriously


I also have several once used pieces of aluminum foil carefully folded for reuse.


*****


I packed her clothes. The top dresser drawer was filled with jewelry boxes. At first I just packed them up too, carefully nestling them between socks and panties and scarves. At some point I realized some of the boxes were empty save for a square of cotton bedding. OK fine. So I started checking each box. Jewelry. Old coins. A stack of 20s.


a necklace

*****

I called her
it was good

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Ins and Outs of Mother's Day



Ins and outs ups and downs good and bad

Good
the necklace I made my mom when I was in kindergarten. Peach colored sealing wax dripped onto black thread.
It was beautiful. I still remember the way that sealing wax smelled

Bad
feeling so estranged from my mother that, except for the sealing wax necklace, I have no other childhood memories of mother's day

Good
I'm not blindingly furious at my mother anymore. I understand her better now

Bad
I still feel little motivation to pick up the phone and call her after 10 days of hospitalization and a new pacemaker.
Maybe I'll call her today.
Maybe

Ups n downs
Ty sight reading Bach's cello suites
An hour later finding him on YouTube watching how to build a smoke bomb at home

Mia is better. Kind of. I think

Jack is awesome

My family is intact and my husband is healthier than he's been in many a mothers day but today he has to be at the restaurant cooking for other kid's mothers and other men's wives. Oh well

Ins and outs
Trying to get a grip on slippery sticky situations with growing boys.
While watching Lost on Hulu, Jack not shepherd notices a tube of K-Y on my bedside table. The most awesome cleaning lady had done her thing. One of those things being cleaning under our bed and fishing out the tube of K-Y that was tossed under there, like, last week.
Mom what's this?
Ummm...uhhh...
As Jack reads the label, Ty notices that he does not recognize the tube either.
Mom what is that?
Jack got to "personal lubricant" on the back label and all of a sudden was like
it's nothing TY it's just skin cream don't worry about it Ty OH MY GOD MOM UGGH WHY DID YOU HAVE TO LEAVE THAT THERE IT'S SO DISTURBING!

Well. Then of course Ty had to read the back. Personal loo... loob... rik... ant...
Meant nothing to him. But CONDOM meant a whole lot.
Condom? Condom mom?
Honey I don't know what that label says...the words are too small... I don't have my glasses on. slip slidin away
Mom. It says CONDOMS.
Daddy doesn't use condoms. good answer

I think Ty remained in the dark regarding the tube of gelee is it french mom? and why it was in my posession. Poor Jack, on the other hand, was not in the dark. He made it perfectly clear that he wanted to gouge his eyes out to rid himself of the image of his parents and a tube of K-Y.

Being a mother. Best fuckin thing I ever did. Never so much fear and never so much joy. Never so much strength and never so much courage. Never so much love

Happy Mothers Day to all you strong courageous loving blog mamas!

Your fairy is called Columbine Icedancer
She is a bone chilling bringer of justice for the vulnerable.
She lives in mushroom fields and quiet meadows.
She is only seen when the bees swarm and the crickets chirrup.
She wears lilac and purple like columbine flowers. She has icy blue butterfly wings.