Sunday, August 29, 2010

stupid games for when you're sick

i've been trying really hard not to complain, but i've been sick for 5 weeks now & haven't gone to the doc before today because i don't have insurance & doctors are expensive. however, after it getting progressively worse & talking to my mom yesterday, i did some research & determined that i needed to suck it up & go to the dr, however much it might cost. i was pretty sure i had pneumonia after looking it up last night, so this morning i went to the minute clinic who turned me away because they said i was too sick for them to help me. i needed a chest x-ray & they weren't equipped to do that. i burst into pathetic tears when the PA told me that & sent me out the door. so i mustered up my next batch of reserve & went to the urgent care nearby. i had found in my reading last night that before antibiotics were discovered/created, there was more than a 50% death rate for people who got pneumonia. i couldn't avoid it any longer.

sure enough, i've got it, along w/ a double ear infection. i hurt. i want to whine & blubber, but that makes me ache more. i have a really hard time stopping my life just because i'm not feeling well. i still have to go to work because i don't get paid days off. no one's going to pay me to not clean their house. and being sick & now adding medical bills means i need that money more than ever. whatever. enough whining from me.

brooke & i have been spending a lot of time on the couch lately since i haven't had the energy to do anything else & our favorite game to play is called "i wouldn't like to wear." to play this game, we sit at opposite ends of the couch & say, "i would not like to wear..." and then we insert something that amuses us that's random & foolish. as we say it we throw a ball to the other person. there's no benefit to the throwing, but it helps us remember whose turn it is & lets brooke run around the living room since we throw really badly.

some of the more entertaining things we've come up with in the past few days are -
i would not like to wear wood chip deodorant.
i would not like to wear an angry, wet, freshly bathed cat as a scarf.
i would not like to wear glass panties.
i would not like to wear twinkies for shoes.
i would not like to wear a necklace made of spider parts.
i would not like to wear a shirt made of green beans because it would decay & rot & stink & fall apart.
i would not like to wear shoes made from porcupines.
i would not like to wear a paint wig.
i would not like to wear a bra made from knuckles.
i would not like to wear tin foil sunglasses.
i would not like to wear a butter hat.
i would not like to wear sea urchin flip flops.
and my personal favorite - i would not like to wear a pine cone tampon.

what would you not like to wear?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

where can i find a party nut?

brooke's been playing a sims africa game on her ds all day (i'd worry if this happened often, but it's rare that she's so devoted to it for so many hours close together) and she was telling me all the various things she's learning. like how cheetah's like to eat her meerkats & even though rhinos are vegetarians, the big cats are terrified of them because they could get trampled. how all you have to do to make babies is put two animals together that are a matching pair of boy & girl & then they will make sweet, animal love and shortly after, add newbies to her animal families. thankfully this process is not acted out on screen.

she also told me about the different foods they eat. some sound like real things, others are clearly invented for gaming amusement. like the party nut. if you feed the nut to an animal it will dance around & kick start a shindig of sahari proportions. i told brooke that i'd like to get my hands on one of those fictional party nuts & she said, "oh no you wouldn't! you'd need a sports bra for real! and then you'd have to dance for more than ten seconds! you wouldn't like it at all!"

hmmm.... shows what my kid thinks of my physical stamina. although, she's got the sports bra part nailed.

Monday, August 23, 2010

granola, anyone?

for the past couple days, brooke's back has been hurting her a lot & drugs haven't even taken the edge off it. i even gave her some codeine that she got when she broke a bone over a year ago. no help. i filled up a fluffy knee sock w/ black eyed peas & stuck it in the microwave for a minute & brooke mashed herself all over that thing for half of yesterday & all night long. the feeling of the heat w/ the pleasant sensation of the beans moving around & clicking together made her very happy. the only downside was the funky odor. i'm sure my couch probably smells like musty beans now (they've been in the cupboard for approximately 8 years & have lived in 5 different houses), but please don't tell me if you come over & notice it. maybe i'll febreeze it if i remember before my nose becomes immune.

i mentioned this in my facebook status yesterday because, well, some of my friends are smart & might have something helpful to share on the topic. i had a few different people suggest essential oils for pain which is something i'd never even considered before. of course, since i'd never thought of it, i didn't have any in the house, but i did a bit of research (including calling my mom who's been suggesting oils for the past few years) and figured out where to go & what to buy this morning.

we hit up a health food store in the area called greenlife grocery and had some fun browsing through all the healthy goodies. we've been there a few times before & it's always rather like a field trip through the fabulous cheeses & organic produce. we smelled the oils until our sniffers couldn't snuffle any more due to nostril confusion.

whenever we go there, we always notice how most of the employees look rather... well... natural. there are a lot of dreadlocks, head wraps, gray hair & loose, flowing clothes. today was no exception & when we left there, the topic of "hippies" came up. i asked brooke if she knew what hippies are (her grandparents once told me they had a report of her calling a kid in her class a dirty hippy when they took her to sunday school at their super conservative church, so i know she's used the word) and she didn't. then i found myself trying to explain what a hippy is.

let's see... they tend to be more natural in their lifestyle. what does that mean? umm... they think it's more important to hang out w/ nature than to acquire lots of stuff. and they are pretty green about water conservation. and soap conservation. and they generally don't color their hair or wear makeup or bras. and maybe they wash their clothes less often than some other people.

by that point i felt like i was giving hippies a bad name, so i tried to redirect so brooke wouldn't think that i was saying they were just a dirty, unattractive, droopy boobed sub-culture. so i said that they like to find ways to do things more naturally rather than chemically, like using fewer drugs when they're sick & not immunizing their kids. and they like to eat healthy food & less processed junk. they'd rather spend time outside than in front of a tv. they are less likely to drive than to walk or ride a bike for the purpose of polluting the environment less.

somewhere during the second half of the explanation i realized that there are a lot of things about hippies that resonate with me. even if i don't eat only health food or shun the tv, those seem like really good things. i think we land pretty squarely in the middle of the road between hippies & whoever their opposites would be. compared to some of my friends, we're very crunchy w/ our vegetarian, homeschooling, non-immunizing ways. but compared to our friends who only eat organics, never watch tv & never used disposable diapers, we're practically a detriment to society.

anyone up for some granola?

Friday, August 20, 2010

www.elcome to the internet

i remember when i first got online. it was 97 & i was dating chris at the time, living back at my parents' house & hearing about this whole new fangled "email thing." i was 21 & once i got email i decided to learn how to type too since i'd never bothered before that due to a lack of necessity. i started hanging out on aol & chatting w/ long distance friends & sometimes, late at night, i even went into chat rooms. it seemed so strange & vaguely scandalous to be able to have conversations w/ strangers, all the while, never speaking a word. you could say any kind, foolish, ridiculous, hilarious thing you wanted & other people could read it, but they didn't even know who you were. it was liberating & slightly scary to be able to create a new identity if you wanted to, all the while knowing that the people you were chatting with might be doing exactly the same thing. it was all like a mystery. you heard about people meeting someone from "online" and that was always spoken of as if the person going for the meeting must have a death wish or was incredibly stupid & naive. as if there aren't other people like ourselves out there on the other end of internet connections also looking to meet harmless people.

over the years i've met several people who i got to know online first (none of them romantic because i was already involved w/ chris before i got online) and none of them have maimed, killed or destroyed me yet. the internet has evolved our way of communicating. cell phones & texting have eliminated many of the conversations we might have had in person or at least in voice. i can sometimes go for a few days without speaking to anyone other than chris & brooke.

i miss having human contact sometimes. i miss having a social life and people to spend time with. i have lots of free time and very little of it is spent w/ anyone outside my family, due to circumstances beyond my control.

but yet, since facebook entered my home about 2 years ago, it's like a whole new world has opened up for me. i don't have to see people to know what's going on with them anymore. i don't have to call someone if something i see makes me think of them. i just post it on their facebook wall. there are an awful lot of people in the world who i know & like & would enjoy keeping up with & now i'm able to do that even if i can't leave my house. i can see all the pictures i want of people's vacations or kids w/ missing teeth or new pets or weddings. i can see my friends family members who i haven't seen since i was a kid. i can get a glimpse of all the spouses & children of people who i haven't seen in years & probably won't see again. i can laugh & chat & joke w/ someone i went to elementary school with & revel over how much her daughter looks just like she did at that age.

and blogging is yet another way of seeing into the souls of people whether i know them or not. until i started blogging myself back in january, i'd only read one person's blog ever & i loved it! she was such a great writer & was able to articulate in such a deep & funny way things that i never would have known about her otherwise. now i spend a lot of my free nights hippety hopping around the blogosphere, getting a peek into the lives of friends & strangers. i cry, i laugh & am inspired to think. i love it! there's a whole big, invisible world of thought available for the clicking.

i know that a lot of people feel like the internet gives a false sense of reality and relationships. it's not the same as good ole back-slappin', face-to-face communicating. but for me, i feel like it allows me to have contact that i wouldn't otherwise be able to have. i feel less lonely & more connected. i feel like i'm less invisible than i was before facebook & blogging came into my life. it gives me something to do during my free time when i'm tired of reading or cleaning or watching tv or doing projects around the house. and i'm thankful for it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

home girl

i got a book out of the library to read to brooke titled Minnow and Rose. tonight before i read it, i showed her the cover & asked if she could figure out which of the two girls was minnow & which was rose. there was one w/ long black braids & one w/ shorter, bright red hair. brooke said, "i think that minnow is the indian & so rose must be the home girl." when asked for an explanation of why she'd referred to that girl as a "home girl," she said, "i don't know what to call that kind of person! but she lives in a home & not a teepee, right?!"

my kid is so funny to me!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

rump dragger

i had a friend over tonight. it's a rare treat for me to have someone over who's not related to me, especially when they come over after brooke's in bed. when i was tucking brooke in, she was praying & said, "God, thank you that mommy can have some mommy time with rachel tonight even though it hurts my feelings, i'm still glad for her." we could hear her weeping quietly in her bed shortly after rachel got here because she was missing out on the fun she imagined we were having.

we had a good time - she provided the mojito mix & i provided the rum & it was nice to just sit & talk w/ a friend with no kids around! usually if we do see each other it's w/ our 3 kids running around, asking questions, needing to be directed or fed. whatever, but this was really nice.

about 2 hours into it, the kitten comes walking into the room, drops her rump to the carpet & starts dragging. i scooped her up to find what i knew i'd find. she'd once again managed to consume one of brooke's long hairs & it was stuck & causing problems. so my nice night w/ rachel ended w/ me holding the kitten over the bathroom sink w/ the faucet running & the kitty screaming & clawing to be free. and on that fine note, rachel left. sigh...

Friday, August 6, 2010

clutter aplenty, clutter galore

sometimes, i just want to sit in a peaceful, clean house listening to nothing but the hum of the refrigerator. wouldn't that be nice? wouldn't it be awesome if the house was clean almost all the time because people simply put their stuff away when they were done w/ it? it sounds doable, right? but it's totally not here. i cannot be one of those moms who won't sit down if there are dirty dishes in the sink or cheerios on the living room floor. if that were the case, i'd be even less rested than i am now & i would be grumpier & less pleasant to live with, in spite of my clean house. from where i'm sitting, let me just take a couple pictures to show you what my kitchen/office space looks like. one moment please...

ok, here's my desk...
awful, i know, but i never have a chance to feel lonely when i'm surrounded by so many signs of creativity & life. plus, there's a polly pocket if i need a friend, beverages, a doll bed if my hand needs a nap, & q-tips in case my ears feel itchy. and i never lack for markers. markers aplenty, markers galore.

to my right, we have the school corner/kitchen table. since we haven't done structured school since may & our kitten has learned to pile things up or knock them over to get where she wants to go, it has gotten ridiculously out of control.

i can't believe i'm even putting these on here because it's shameful. and embarrassing. but it's my life & i'm a fan of realism at my own expense. i suspect i'm not the only mom who is surrounded by nastiness or clutter because she'd rather live than clean.

but behind me we have my new friend, mrs. microwave. and when she has a good idea, she lights up on the inside!

and who doesn't like to have a wide, happy face smiling at them while they wash dishes or make snacks? she doesn't say much, more of a gentle presence in the room, but she hums sometimes. and she can be a real hot head if you push her buttons.

and if i was cleaning things, i probably wouldn't have the time or inclination to make the teddy bear campfire for brooke when she's bored in the house on yet another hot, rainy day.

the teddy bear campfire is a family favorite around here. doesn't that little fire just warm your heart?

and if i expected my world to stay clean, i probably wouldn't want my desktop to look like this...

but if i made brooke clean that off, then i wouldn't get to enjoy the gnome family & their rustic cabin. i wouldn't get to sit here, always wondering if one of those raccoons in the tree house is going to fall onto my head. i wouldn't get to check that dangling yarn trap regularly to see what meaty goodness it's caught this time.

and i wouldn't get to see the cute little turtle on the ladybug rock.

or the playful raccoon babies frolicking about in their diorama.

if my life was more orderly, i might not let brooke "go on her animal side" when she's home & transform herself into a jaguar.

and i'd miss out on her happiness at being able to color her face to really get into character. i'd never be smiling at the bits of gray marker left around the edges of her nose & eyes afterwards when she washes it off that leave her looking kinda zombie-ish. it's hard to take her seriously when she's got those bits, but it makes me happy anyway.
and if i kept the living room clean on a regular basis, then i would never get the camera handed to me around the edge of the bathroom door to show me this...
brooke cleaned up the living room to make me happy & so that i could vacuum w/ the new machine & she couldn't wait for me to see it, so she took a picture & handed it to me because i was apparently taking too long. there's nowhere to hide around here.

so in conclusion, my house is messy, but i wouldn't trade the mess for the kid or cats. i love my life & my messy little house w/ all it's quirky little decorations & arrangements.

UPDATE: here's a link to someone's blog who addressed my same current cleaning situation. i think it fits w/ mine today very nicely. and by this standard, i've had a fairly successful day.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

mr lubba is my hero

my honey is my hero today. well, he's my hero lots of days, but today he gets bonus points. i had to get up & go to work today while chris has the day off. and in this day off he has.... done laundry, emptied & refilled the dishwasher, loaded brooke's new ipod, dumped & cleaned out the litter pan, fed the cats & girly lunch, made dinner, washed all the dishes from dinner, cleaned up the kitchen, taken a vacuum cleaner back to walmart & then took brooke to the mall for a train ride so i could have a nap on the couch w/ a full belly. shortly he will oversee brooke getting herself bathed & teeth brushed & then read her books before tucking her into bed.

i'm so lucky!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

a sappy letter to my little love

my brookie, my love. tomorrow you're turning 8 & it seems pretty amazing that we've gotten here already. i know you aren't very happy about that at the moment because turning 8 means you're almost 9 and in your mind, being 9 means you're almost 12 & being 12 means you're practically a teenager & you seriously do NOT want to be a teenager. but that's still 5 long years away yet & we've got tons of living to do between now & then. when i was your age, i couldn't wait to grow up & do all the grown up things. but i think you've got it right. i think you're enjoying your childhood more than i enjoyed mine because you suck up all the things that each day has to offer. you feel all of it intensely & you do the things that are meaningful to you with every ounce of yourself.

i loved snuggling in your bed with you tonight. it's rare that i do that because i'm always in a hurry to get to my quiet downstairs, but tonight when you were crying about your impending birthday & then whacked your head on the top bunk when you were questing for your tissues in the dark room, i knew tonight was the night for the snugs. tonight was the night to let you lure me under the covers for a full on snuggle with a back & head massage thrown in as a bonus.

8 years ago on this day, i was starting to freak out a little bit. i'd gone to the doctor earlier in the day & he told me that in the morning i needed to be at the hospital at 5am for a c-section. that's pretty intense to think about because it's 2 huge things at once - having major surgery & bringing a brand spanking new human being into the world all at the same time. i was finally going to get to meet this amazingly squirmy person who'd been grinding her head into my pubic bone for the past few days. i hardly got any sleep just thinking about it all & having to go pee about every 20 minutes (thanks a lot for that).

daddy drove me to the hospital while it was still dark outside. i had my makeup on & my hair done because i wanted to look pretty when i met you. it took some time to get all checked in, but eventually we were put into a room where they put me into a tacky gown & attached me to every gizmo in there. i could see contractions showing on the printout, and i knew that meant you were ready to come out too. there were several women needing the surgical delivery room that morning, which meant i was waiting in a line of sorts, so i had to be ready to roll when my name was finally called. that meant they put the catheter in while i was still fully conscious & feeling everything (i'll tell you what that means later). that was no fun at all. then i waited. i sent the anxious grandparents out to the waiting room because i didn't want them to see my pee piddling down the tube into the bag beside the bed. plus, i was feeling so nervous, i was almost getting sick. daddy nearly fell asleep in the chair across the room.

finally, it was my turn. i was pulled out of bed by one nurse while another one carried my pee bag, swinging it around while she talked & walked. that is not the kind of leash you want to be led around by. i got situated on the tall metal table & they made me bend forward & try to touch my toes. you were all up in my way & i could hardly bend at all, but i was pushed forward until i was in position for the man w/ the needle to stab it into my back & render me numb. when they laid me backwards on the table, the numb shot from my knees all the way up into my shoulders in about 2 seconds flat. i could only feel my head, neck & 2 or 3 fingers on each hand. seemed a bit excessive to me, but better too much than too little in that situation.

they put up the curtain & then swabbed me down w/ iodine (or something orange & slimy) that i could see reflected in the big, shiny light above my stomach. daddy was holding my hand & trying not to look toward my lower body. i felt them cut me, but it didn't hurt. daddy said he saw a stream of my blood shoot across the room & hit someone in the back. i felt them pull on my stomach from above & below to make room for them to slither you out through the little bitty opening. i heard someone say, "get ready, the baby's about to come out!" i looked into the reflective light then & i saw someone stick a hand down into my stomach & pull out your head. i could see them use the suction bulb to clean your throat while the rest of you was still inside me. then they left your head there for a moment before they pulled the rest of your body out & it looked like there was an alien inside me, trying to escape. that was my first glimpse of you & i thought, you were my little alien head baby.

they pulled you the rest of the way out & then swung you around the side of the curtain all fast & crazy. your arms & legs were sticking straight out away from your body & your mouth was wide open, but silent. you were purplish & covered in white slime. they called you a wisconsin cheese baby. then they whisked you away to the other side of the room & wrapped you up & wiped you off. i asked daddy if you were ok & he said that you were & you were a girl, just like we wanted. our sweet, baby brookie. no more calling you ned.

you had some trouble at the beginning & they wouldn't let us hold you for very long because you were cold & weren't breathing right. they put you in an incubator & hooked you up to wires & tubes. you were so tiny & delicate & you had a little dimple in your chin. a nurse told me your dimple was actually a muscle defect & i would have punched her in the mouth if i'd been able to reach her. how dare she call my perfect pumpkin defective! some people have no sense at all.

eventually i got you in my arms again. it took hours of suffering on my end & threatening every nurse who came into my room, but in time, you came back to me. you were my dream come true then & you still are now. this has been 8 of the best years of my life. i'm glad you're turning 8, even if you're not, because that means we've had a bunch of great years together, learning and laughing. and as you get older, i can see better into who you are & who you're becoming. your future is a mystery & one i can't wait to read. i love you, brooke. thank you for being my girl.

mother nature is a bitch

today was an embarrassing pms kind of day. and to make it all worse, it actually started yesterday. that doesn't exactly make sense, but in my hormonally imbalanced mind it seems like it does, so i'm sticking with it. don't disagree with me!

brooke's birthday is monday. this is our off party year, so she was just allowed to invite one friend for a sleepover & a movie. the friend she chose moved out of town today so we had to do the sleepover on thursday. i worked thursday, so i had to make the cake that brooke requested wednesday night. i don't like cooking or baking. i'm all for short cuts, but this year brooke wanted me to make her cake myself. she wanted to go to the store w/ me & pick out all the ingredients & toppings & have a girly baking day. i couldn't talk her out of it, so that's what we did. wednesday. because she wanted cake w/ her friend on thursday. here's the cake we made together & brooke proudly displaying it for the camera. not so pretty, i know.

chris' parents were coming in for a visit on friday for some family birthday festivities. i planned to plug that candle back in, relight it & sing happy birthday again. yes, i know it was 1/4 gone, but it made sense to me. chris apparently thought that was ghetto. so he came home friday afternoon w/ a fresh hannah montana birthday cake & a new candle.

i was not happy. my feelings were hurt. i just knew that meant he thought my cake looked like shit. he thought that he & his family were too good for my awful cake. i thought he was insulting brooke by disrespecting her wishes for a homemade birthday cake. i cried. too much. and i looked meanly at chris' back. when chris went upstairs i quietly called brooke into the kitchen & told her to say goodbye to her pink cake because i was going to throw it out into the trash can so the grandparents would never know about my ugly, embarrassing cake. she hugged me & cried & told me not to listen to daddy and she loved mine & she didn't even want that pretty hannah montana cake anyway, she would only eat mine. and maybe just a small piece of the new one so she didn't upset daddy either.

that's when i realized how badly i was overreacting. how i was unfairly pulling her into my crazy & putting her in the middle between myself & chris & the slight that i imagined was all up in the middle of the room. i was making her birthday cake into a sore subject & stealing her happy. that wasn't very nice of me. so then i apologized to her & cried some more & told her that the cake daddy bought was way better anyway & we both knew it was definitely prettier. sigh.

today my crazy continued. it was sneakier though at the beginning. it started over the possible purchase of a vacuum cleaner at sams. chris & i disagreed, but we both had valid points. i won, but i felt guilty & nervous. then i wandered off w/ just brooke & left chris w/ his parents. i went to the women's clothing area & i tried on a cute puffy vest. there are no dressing rooms or mirrors, but i could zip it & still bend forward, so i figured it must look good. then i was headed off to find the rest of my group & show them my cute new vest selection when brooke crawled under a huge table thing & got herself stuck. i was in the process of digging her out w/ the assistance of a store employee when the rest of my clan showed up & then that was awkward. cuz i really didn't forbid her to climb under there. actually, she asked if she could as she was headed in & i said "ok, just once though. meetcha on the other side!" (i was feeling generous because of my cute new vest, ya see.)

once the child was adequately rescued & reprimanded, my family members noticed my vest. they asked if it came in a bigger size. i showed them how it didn't need to, see, cuz i could zip it & bend over. and it was so cute! chris thought i maybe should skip it cuz i didn't need it. i assured him that i did need it. he then mentioned gently that it maybe looked a little too small. which i interpreted to mean that i look like a fat ass woman & shouldn't be permitted to show my fat face in public because i'm a blobby blot on humanity. the vest went straight back onto the death trap of a table & i marched off to lick my blubbering wounds w/ brooke tight on my heels. chris followed us from a distance as i pretended to be looking at stuff that i wasn't really seeing. we don't exactly need any onsies these days or boys teenie bopper sized skater t's.

i finally stopped because i couldn't figure out what to do next. chris caught up. i told him i was mad about the vacuum. and how he called me fat. and, and, and... here come the tears. how freakin annoying! his parents approached us about the time my sprinkler system kicked in. they quickly veered away & i noticed the fatty vest in my mother-in-law's cart. because she's so nice & really means well & will take my side if i look upset. i finally mentioned to chris that maybe i might be just a smidge pms'y. i hate admitting that. it feels like it's a weakness. but the only other option is admitting to insanity & i guess in the long run that's worse. once it was out in the open, i really cried. in the middle of sams on a busy saturday afternoon while my family tried not to look on. brooke held my hand & stood behind me (probably glad that i was drawing attention away from her after the table crawling business).

eventually we started moving again & i had to confess to my MIL that we weren't actually fighting & i really wasn't mad & i seriously didn't need the vest. and then i cried some more while leaning my head against a large cardboard carton of socks. i hate it when my crazy shows in public.

and on that note, does anyone want some cake?