Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

Politics, Abductions and Generalized Har-Humph.

I haven't been blogging much lately.  I think everyone takes a break from time to time.  I think some reasons came to me late last night.  Or maybe it was early.   Point is . . . I miss blogging.  I really like blogging.  My cluttered mind needs blogging.  Or writing, at least, but I don't write with pen & paper anymore and have few fun projects for creative expression . . . so being a smart ass blogger with opinions is my creative outlet.


During my period of convalescing, I've been watching TV.  I love TV anyway, but I'm intrigued by creepy criminal shows.  Criminal Minds is what I'm talking about.  I love the psycho killer twist, but I'm intrigued, that's the perfect word with the WHY?  I would have been a good profiler.  Let me be clear:  I would have been a good guy. I think it's fascinating.  So a recent show was about these two families with fairly large social footprints whose lives appeared "perfect" thus making them a target for this deranged lunatic who kidnapped the entire family and revealed all of their secrets to each other, then spared the young sons but made the family watch as he murdered the rest of the family members.  Ooh-ooh, creepy.  Made me consider the size of our social footprint and therefore turn down the velocity at which I churn out blog posts.

And with that cheery bit of inspiration, I'll move onto politics.  Seriously?  I despise politics.   I also really hate the time around elections because everything media outlet is so chock-full of negative comments and mudslinging.  I'm tired of politics.   I'm tired of the name calling and mudslinging. It's a bad example for our young people.  It's bad, all of it.  It's a prime example of all the things I aspire NOT to be.  Here's my ONE political opinion, my ONE contribution to the Facebook community this week:

I'm still undecided about the election so if you wouldn't mind posting hateful half-truths from unverified sources about the candidate you hope will lose, it would really help me out. 

Again, I repeat.  I hate politics.  Even my innocent young son is beginning to spout the bullshit ramblings and quote his own father, who has a strong political view.  I'm fine with an opinion, even it I don't agree, but I don't usually like to hear it.  It's just not worth fighting over.  It's exhausting.

Cheery wouldn't be cheery without more, more, more . . .

I'm on to the Jessica Rideway case.  A suspect in custody.  He confessed to his mother and she turned him in to police.  He is SEVENTEEN.  Seven-friggin'-teen!!  What?  Isn't this the third recent arrest of a minor for a terrible, unthinkable crime?   I'm stunned and struck and amazed and frozen.  I keep thinking about Jessica's mom . . . . how her heart must have sunk when she got a voicemail that was, uh, 8 hours old saying her kid hadn't made it to school.  I keep thinking about the school system and how to fix that or upgrade it or make it better.  Surely that's coming.  I keep thinking about the bad-guy confessing to HIS mother that he killed a little girl.  Who does that?  I can't seem to keep my own projections of out it.  In  my house right now, my teenie-bopper girl is in a phase where she comes home from school and has a 15 minute confessional-slash-debriefing about her day.  She sits on the counter and eats peanut butter out of a jar and she verbally expels pieces of her day.  It's how she prioritizes her homework and takes a breather before she dives in again.  But I can't keep that image out of my head . .  . of the bad-kid, plunked up on his mom's kitchen counter, eating peanut butter out of a jar and saying in the same nonsensical tone that Big says, "oh, I need cookies for the NJHS bake sale on Thursday . . . and Mr. Miller said not everyone can bring chocolate chip" . . . . except this seventeen year old psychopath says, "oh, yea, mom, community college is great, I still want to be a mortician and I cut a little girl to bits this week."

In other not-positive news:
1.  It's snowing and cold.  That's not necessarily bad.  In fact, I rather like the weather.  What I don't like is (we can probably all chime in together since I bitch about this every year) . . . Halloween.   I'm not a candy fan.  I'm not a dress up fan.  I'm certainly not a fan of making the world any MORE full of creeps, zombies or scary things than it already is.  I mean, really, we have real life creeps dressed up like Romney, Obama AND that psycho 17-year old child butcher, so HOW can it possibly be fun to put a scary mask on and intentionally try to scare people.  Call me a cupcake, I don't care.  I don't like to be scared.   Oh yea, back to the cold weather.  I also don't like designing cheap Halloween costumes over snow coats.  Grrrr.  Let's all sing this song together now . . .  it's beginning to look a lot like . . Halloween.

2.  Christmas.  The whole damn idea of the season has me on edge.  I wish there were an opt out button.  I don't want to this year.  I don't want to buy gifts, I don't want to play Christmas.  I don't want company in my house, yours, mine, or otherwise.  Especially family.  I don't want to do, really, ANY part of it.  Well, except the pumpkin pie and the winter break from school.  That whole admission also has me on edge.  My mom is stressing me out a little over Christmas.  I know she may read this.  It's okay.  Remember, my honesty curse.  MOTH's parents are also stressing me out over Christmas.  That may wind it's way back to them.  It's okay.  Again, I say, remember my honesty curse.  We might all be a little more healthy if we had the free range to admit to each other's faces, "you're stressing me out."

Plus, I'm frustrated.

Have you ever met one of those annoyingly chipper people in your life?  The kind that just naturally makes lemonade when they are handed lemons.  I'm talking about the smile through excruciating pain, reframe the negative, game face kind of people that just never seem, well, for lack of a better word . . . down.

Well, I'm one of those people.  I'm aware of it.  I am annoyingly positive.  I am the constant reframer.  I'm the silver lining girl.  I just AM.  I don't try.  It's one of my most authentic traits.  I don't get rattled when things don't go my way . . . I just reframe, make a plan B and carry on.  Like I said, it's who I am.    In my tight little circle, however, are a handful of (I actually can't decide) negative nellies OR people who are NORMAL, it's just that I'm so annoyingly positive that their normalcy even seems negative.    At any rate, within my life of unavoidable people, there are at least two critical team members that are just bummers in most cases.  I'm thinking I should protect their names.  But suffice it to say, that last night, I finally got openly frustrated at being the bridge.  I'm exhausted and tired and bummed out about ALWAYS being in the role of re-framing, looking for positive, helping pull through.  I think I'll let my negative nellies stew in their own juice today.   I'm tired of giving, giving, giving and feeling the life is being sucked out of me every second of every day.  I want a break from giving.  I want to let myself heal . . physically and mentally.

That sums up my ick post.  I'll be back to the silver lining girl in a few hours and may try to churn out something positive.  Please, psycho killers inspired by Criminal Minds . . . stay away.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

One last thing . . .

Last prank I pulled . . . uh, I stuck a pantiliner to Big's butt on the way out the house tonight.  She had no idea.  We were on our way to dinner for MOTH's birthday.  I was kind enough to peel it off of her keester before we walked into Old Chicago.  Her mouth dropped and a "YOU!!!" got stuck . . . but it was worth every second.

Last TV show I watched .  . . The Good Wife.  I think.  It might have been Grey's or Scandal.  I love TV. 

Last thing I cooked . . . . eggs and Canadian bacon for breakfast this morning.  It was disgusting but the kids eat it and I feel good about putting protein in front of them in the morning. 

Last time I exercised .  . . coming up on 4 weeks ago now.  I have had, er, um, multiple complications associated with the removal of my baby-making parts and I'm still forbidden to do more than walk.  I'm feeling like a squishy cream puff and feeling emotionally low . . . . am hoping to get clearance to start yoga next week, but it doesn't look good.  Sad me. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Mimi is getting to be hilarious.  Just gut wrenching, knee-slapping hilarious.  She's the toddler queen of one liners and she plainly sees life and all that happens around her through completely different lenses.  I've started a list in my phone, that I'm now capturing here . . .

Usually, her most profound laughables being with a thoughtful, "Mom, did you know . . . "

She is having an internal rule voted upon, bill passed, or making a decision about something global within the confines of her own mind.  It's plainly visible on her face.  She'll be doing something like jumping on my bed, then suddenly stop stock still and say, "Mom, did you know  . . hippos poop super big."

Usually, my eyes widen and I just agree.

Of late, these have been chart toppers that have just caught me off guard.

"Mom, did you know . . octopuses and sharks have NO bones in them. How can that EVEN be?"

"Mom, did you know . . . if you had an empty tissue box, you could use it for a piggy bank."

"Mom, did you know . . . hippos poop super big."

"Mom, did you know . . . dad knows everything about nut sacs."

"Mom, did you know . . . ice melts into water."

"Mom, did you know . . . when it's day on one side of the world, it's night on the other."

Speaking of other side of the world, she also said, "Mom, I learned that in China and Japan, where is that anyway?  Well, it's on the other side of the world and they write upside down and backward.  Like, they right from crayon hand (this is what she calls her right hand) to bracelet hand (her left).   Is that because they're upside down of us?"   Insightful.

I'm alive . . . .

Holy tornado of time!
I'm alive.
I've been busy as heck but I'm alive.

I'll make notes on Fall Festival . . . mostly for my future reference.  I'll catch up on Big, Middle, Little, Mimi.  I'll make birthday wishes. I'll post these hilarious things that have been perfectly bloggable.  They may be random, but that's so authentically me, I think it requires no editing.  So, so, so many posts coming to What The Heck Happened Here . . . soon.

Monday, October 08, 2012

School Photos

I got this question from Homestead via voicemail . . .

(insert:  beep)  Policy on school photos.  Ready go.  Do you do school photos?  Do you make them dress up?  Do you make them not dress up?  Do you buy the fancy package?  Do you buy the cheapest package?  Do you scan them?  Who do you give the photos to?  How do you label the backs of photos?  Changes between when your kids are little and when they get bigger and they want to give them to their friends and stuff? At what point does that happen?  How much do your photos cost?  Holy crap!  They got expensive this year.  Yea, backgrounds .  . . do you let them pick their own?  Discuss.  Inquiring minds want to know.

Holy cow.  There's nothing like voicemail from a friend to remind you of how complicated something can be.

Here's my policy on school photos.  Ooh, wait.  First, results for this year . . . .

I like stats on the back.  It would say "Middle; Fall 2012; 5th grade; Mr. Mann
76 pounds; 53 inches tall"

Little; Fall 2012; 3rd grade; Mr. Norkoli
62 pounds, 49 inches tall

And now the answers.

School pictures happen here twice.  Once in the fall and once in the spring.  I usually spring for both photos.  I buy the cheapest package available.  Always.  One year, the school went with a new vendor and I got suckered into a more expensive package.  For the record, it was a good deal, and I loved the pictures because they did really hip digital editing to them.  But as a rule, I go cheap.   I let the kids pick it all. They pick their outfits and their backgrounds and I don't edit them in those choices at all.  For instance, Little picked a red background, and this year, he made a valiant attempt to match the background.  When he was picking the way-too small polo shirt, which he hasn't worn since, uh, kindergarten, I said, "are you sure you want to wear red and be against a red background?"  He replied, "yea, it will look more bloodier."  So, okay, there you have it.  Red on red.  Middle picked that shirt off of the clearance rack at Kohl's and she loves it.  It's so very touch-ably soft and comfy and it's gymnastics team colors, so she loves it.  She calls it her "droopy shirt".  She was more about accessorizing (see the handmade glass bead bracelet and the tiny necklace?) than apparel.  She's into details like that and she'll remember that she made that bracelet for herself forever.   I don't much care about the sizes of photos.  I don't give them to anyone.  They are for our own personal records and keepsakes.    Yes, I label the backs. See captions.  I like their height and weight on there.  Call me anal. I print extra labels so that I can put that info next to the photo in their school albums and in the school file box.   See, call me anal.  I missed my calling as an organizer.  It gives me a high.  Back to photos.   So far, and I'm not sure this will stay . . . . kids don't exchange photos like they did when we were little.  They just snap photos of each other doing stupid things on their phones, and a picture like this doesn't go into that special place.  It doesn't carry the meaning that it used to.  It's not signed and you don't have to spend time worrying if your message is stupid or delivering pictures to friends.  Thank God.  Middle school is complicated enough without school photo drama superimposed.  Big would rather have a picture of her bestie with  nachos hanging out of her mouth or of one of  her volleyball friends trying to balance a volleyball on her nose.  Anyhoo . . . . Eleven bucks.  Each of the packages above was $11.  Mimi hasn't had school pictures yet this semester.  Big missed her school picture day for an orthodontics appointment.  She'll also miss re-take day.  Hmm.  I'll try to snap a picture of her with nachos hanging out of her mouth to commemorate the semester.

What else, Homey?  Gimme another question . . . and answer the same.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Dear Homestead,

For the love of God, get texting on your phone.  I have things to report.  Get unlimited.


No, really, it's a real word!!

galump - /guh-LUMP/ -- a chunk or blob of something left over, as in, at the end of a sundae, or at the bottom of a dish, to run, but to do so in a clumsy and stupid manner, or (n) gurgling sound or (v) make deep bubbling noise that liquid makes when poured from a bottle

Or, in our house, the clump of spaghetti that comes through stuck to itself.  We consider it lucky.  To consume it is paradise.  Fights have broken out in attempt to get the galump.  Blood has been shed.

Monday, October 01, 2012

A little grumpy with a bone to pick

Okay, so here is what happened.

On Thursday, the 20th, I had surgery.
Thursday night, I spent the night in the hospital.  Friday, my husband came to get me and I got home.  I walked in the door and went to the couch.  That's where I stayed except for to take small walks until mid afternoon on Saturday.   Saturday night, I got in the car with my family and we ran a drive thru errand.  Sunday, I slept an hour later than usual, and moved from one chair to the next, spending most of my time on the couch watching a football game.  Well, and some time reading to stuffed animals and playing quiet games with my kids.  Cards.  We play alot of cards.

Last week, I took it really easy.  Really easy.  By Saturday night, I was done taking narcotics.  I'd be the worst drug addict ever because I despise the way medicine makes me feel.  I just hate it.  I'd rather be in a little bit of pain and feel "with it" than be pain free and a feel like a pile of garbage.    Because I was done taking narcotics and stir crazy as hell, I drove to pick Mimi up from school on Monday afternoon.  Safer than walking that far, I say.  I had made arrangements for someone to help me with that, but she forgot.  Ahem.  She forgot and by they time she finally answered the phone so that I could confirm she wasn't coming, I was already 20 minutes late.  So, yes, I drove.

Tuesday, I had driver plans to get Mimi to gymnastics but she forgot.  Again.  So another awesome friend came for transport.  We were out of the house for an hour.  The rest of the day and night I spent on the couch.  Or in the chair in the backyard.  Or at the computer.  Resting.  I rested.  A lot.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  Repeat.  I went to school on Friday morning.  I was also there for a few minutes on Thursday afternoon.  Why?  Because it's not safe for my kids to walk home during a tornado warning.  So, yes, I was there briefly.  Very briefly.

On Friday, I had a follow up call with a triage nurse.  All's well.  Incisions looking good.  One seeped fluid for a day or two after surgery and then didn't approximate very well, but it was dry and looked alright.  Pain in good control.  Getting back to normal.  Good news.

Friday night, I started feeling crappy.  UTI crappy.  So I hit it with OTC and comfort measures that any well-trained OB nurse knows.  I hit cranberry tablets hard and treated with Uristat and fluids.  And rest.  

Saturday, MOTH took Middle to her meet.  I stayed on the couch and watched movies.  Several of them.  On Saturday, I sent a text message to my doctor and told him I needed meds for a UTI.  We're close like that.  I was out of the house for about an hour mid-day, but aside from that, was resting.  I did extra resting so I was in top shape to go see the Kellogg's Tour of Champions with Middle and Big. and the rest of the 50+ parents and kids that made group reservations.  It was awesome and I would not have missed it for the world.  I came home happy, feeling tired and peeing orange.  No biggie.

Saturday night, in the middle of the night, the scab on my one incision peeled up.  And it was nasty underneath.  Gross.  Nasty with a capital N.  So . . . . I changed my mind on the UTI meds and called in a broad spectrum antibiotic.  And a Diflucan for good measure.  And I started First Aid 101 with my wound.  By this morning, it looked like crap.  So I went in and had it looked at.

Yes, it's infected.  I could have told you that.
But it't not deep, which is what I was concerned about .. . that the whole shaft of the lap entry was infected. It's not even deep enough to pack.
He picked at it for a while and removed a bunch of soft tissue that I had peroxided the hell out of.  And a bunch of ooky gooky crud that was the end of neosporin gunge.  And I have to go back on Wednesday so that he can sew me back together.  So, for now, I have a gaping nasty hole in the side of my abdomen.  It's gonna scar.  Big Time.  It's totally gonna scar.  When this is all said and done, it's gonna look like an exit would.

The point of this rant is these words . . . .

Infections happen to anyone and everyone.  Anyone and everyone gets a UTI.  So my having these things is NOT because I didn't REST enough.  Seriously, I have never been more sedentary than in the days since September 20th.  I have not done a fraction of my normal activity.  Believe me, I am SO resting.  My doctor told me today . . . . you're fine, this is nothing, it's okay, this could have happened to anyone.  It's not because you walked to the mailbox, came off Vicodin early or drove a car last week.  Shit just happens.

That's it.  Shit just happens.  And with my shit, I get a cool scar that looks like an exit wound.