Thursday, September 30, 2010

one lovely blog award

today i got my first blog award from another blogger who i recently discovered. i've seen this award floating around on other people's pages from time to time & i've got to be honest, i've kind of had the impression that this whole awards & linking business was sort of a club between bloggy buddies & i've sniffed at it as if it had nothing to do with me. but then, like in school where one day you're invisible & the next day a cool kid asks you to sit at their lunch table, maybe it seems more important than it did before. or maybe it's just nice to be included in the silliness that is blogging awards.

so with no further blabbering, thank you, tracy aka: average girl at it's an average life for this first time award. i didn't prepare a speech...

in order to accept this lovely award, i'm encouraged to

1. credit & link to the person who gave it to me - that would be tracy. thanks for thinking of me. i've already gotten a new follower today thanks to you!

2. pass the award on to some other new blogs.

3. let the recipients know that i gave it to them.

i've chosen people who i don't think have gotten any awards yet, but deserve them for putting in the time & effort to blog so that we can peer into their hearts & souls. so please feel free to visit & enjoy...

my good friend Jana at 4timesmorefun

my mom at throwoffeverythingthathinders

my former co-worker & friend carrie at shineovershadow

a lady i've recently been reading, louisa at lifeasweknowit

my  friend, melanie from elementary school, who takes awesome pictures at room118

my friend nekey who blogs about her homeschooling adventures at thehomeonahill

and last but not least, my daughter, brooke, who blogs about the adventures in her mind at brookeswonderousworld

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

don't name that tune

my husband just called me a tard. this makes me laugh in the present context, because seriously, who can tell the difference between a bass & a guitar when you're looking at some people playing in a band? i mean, if you're not a musician, who the heck knows or cares about the difference?! he'll tell me, "you know the guy who plays the bass in that band?" i think to myself in my head that i know who he's talking about, but apparently my head thinking business is all wrong because i'm picturing the guitar player. as if there's any real difference! come on! don't tell me about numbers of strings or size of body. those things are inconsequential & meaningless in my world. it's a stick with strings & someone holds it & rubs their hands over it. noise comes out. the end.

when it comes to all things musical, i'm a complete failure. i'll comment to chris sometimes that i liked a song that i heard.
he asks, "what's the name of it?"
"what were some of the words?"
"do you at least remember the chorus?"
in my head i rapidly dig through mental files until i remember what the word chorus means. it's something related to songs.
"can you hum the tune?"
..... blank stare
"was it fast or slow?"
"kind of fastish in parts, but mostly slowish. but not slow like a dirge."
(are you impressed that i know what a dirge is? cuz i am.)
he stares at me with a look of scorn & says, "so let me get this straight. you like a song, but you don't know what the name is, what the words are, how the tune goes or even if it's fast or slow. am i getting this right?"
me, relieved that he finally understands, nodding happily, "exactly! it's a really great song!"

can you believe he thinks i'm a tard?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

toilet stalker

my kitten has very bad manners. particularly when i'm in the bathroom. she loves water especially in the form of a flushing toilet & that seems to be the only thing my 2 cats can agree upon. the big one detests the little newbie all the time unless there's a toilet in action & then there's a minute long truce while they plunge their heads into the bowl, side by side in order to get the closest possible look at the swirling water. i sometimes get the urge to knock them in & then run, but so far i've managed to avoid doing it. however, there are times when i close the lid when the little one's still not out of the way & she just stays there, stuffed halfway into the toilet & .... well, i don't know exactly what she's doing in there, but she'll just hang out for a couple minutes & when i go back in next time, there's water splashed all about & the seat's wet.

if i remember to close the door, she pushes her little feet under the crack & squeaks at me. if i don't remember to close it, she sits on the back of the toilet like a vulture, looking down and making me very uncomfortable. she'll even attempt to sit on the back of the seat w/ me if i don't lean back & that's simply unacceptable. earlier today i was in there & movement caught my eye, making my look down & there she was, lying on her back on the floor, looking up at me between my thighs. RUDE!

nim also likes to hang out in the trash can in the bathroom. she hardly even fits, but that doesn't stop her from getting in.

someone needs to teach this naughty kitten some manners, but i guess since her mama was a young welfare kitty herself, she probably wouldn't have been inclined to teach proper bathroom etiquette.

Friday, September 24, 2010

booger buddies

today brooke & i were driving to see the legend of the guardians movie. on the way there, i kept rubbing my nose & sniffing & finally i said, "i've got a pointy booger that's driving me crazy & just won't move!"

brooke said very seriously, "have you tried plugging your other nostril & then blowing really hard? that can help it move downward so that then you can stick a tissue up & pick it out. but if you go straight to the picking first, you'll just push it up even further & then it'll really be stuck."

i followed her instructions & sure enough - relief.

i heard her chuckling & she said, "i'm still a serious nose picker & i just taught my mom how to successfully pick her nose!"

what would i do without her?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

love notes

yesterday we officially kick started third grade w/ brooke. it seems to me that most kids are at least slightly excited about the first day of school after a lazy summer of excessive free time & lack of brain engagement. my child is not like most in that regard. she's pissed about school. she doesn't understand at all how good she's got it by being homeschooled. she doesn't comprehend how many hours she'd be in a classroom, away from her parents & cats & snacks if she went to regular school. how often she'd have to keep her mouth shut when she was positively bursting with something she needed to blurt out. all she can focus on is how mad she is that i'll be making her turn off the tv or come out of her room & do something that i thought of rather than whatever she had planned for the day. she says that my schooling plans interfere w/ her brain's ideas.


at the end of a long day where we eased our way back into some semblance of structure, we'd had quite a few stress points. she'd been banned from any technology & was told to sit on the kitchen floor & await further instructions w/o speaking unless it was in a pleasant tone of voice. i put away the groceries in silence & then sent her up to get the bathroom rugs to shake in preparation for washing. she performed her tasks sulkily, but gradually worked her way out of her funk while she was washing the potatoes for dinner.

it seemed finally like the rest of our evening would probably be peaceful (cuz school was done for the day) and that's when brooke pulled up her shirt. and there, stuck to her belly was a post it note that i'd written for her a few days ago & stuck to the bathroom mirror. it was a love note telling her about the sunshine she brings into my life & how much i adore her. she'd found it on the mirror when she went up to retrieve the rugs & sticking it to her skin made her feel better. she said it made her heart feel my love again.

and that's how i keep going.

Monday, September 13, 2010

drivers ed

my family is pretty weird. i include myself in that statement, but i came by my weirdness honestly. for example, while we were on our way to charlotte last week, riding with my mom, mom & i were taking turns doing the driving. brooke asked for a turn at the wheel & my mom said, "sure, you can drive after our next stop." i hesitated & mentally calculated how far we were from her house. ok, we were pretty close, so our next stop would probably be in her driveway. they live on a hill w/ a tight turn around, so i was hoping she wasn't planning to let brooke drive in her driveway since i was pretty sure a crash would ensue. brooke wasn't sure she'd heard mimi right. she asked, "are you serious? you're ACTUALLY GOING TO LET ME DRIVE?!!!" mom said, "well, erica (my youngest sister) started driving when she was 8, so i guess you're old enough." i pondered that for a while & then i started laughing. i'm not sure whether or not i laughed out loud, but every time i pictured my tiny little girl driving my mom's camry, i couldn't stop smiling at how funny that seemed! before going to bed that night, brooke was praying & she said, "dear Jesus, thank you that tomorrow i can play with the dogs. and go out in the gourd garden. and especially, thank you that i can drive! i'm going to drive! MIMI'S GOING TO LET ME DRIVE!!!"

the next morning, before i woke up, my mom took brooke over to their old church where there's a huge, mostly empty parking lot. there are lanes & some medians as well as a few shuttle shelters where church-goers can hitch a ride from the shuttles on sundays if they can't manage the walk from the back 40 in their fancy sunday-go-to-meetin shoes. we prefer to call those bus stops. crazy mimi turned her camry over to a kid who can't even see over the steering wheel & had to look through the crack between the wheel & the dashboard. she had her try the gas & the brake before she ever let her take the death machine out of park & it was determined that due to overzealous gas administration, it would be better to just coast w/ both feet off the gas & only use feet for braking.

brooke woke me up by announcing rather non-chalantly that she'd just returned from some driving. trying to play it all cool & stuff like it was no big deal. later mom gave me the blow by blow account & then realized that no pictures had been taken of the momentous event, so we'd need to go back & the next time, i could take the pics while mom instructed & brooke drove. i was also to play the part of bus passenger & would need to get on & off the bus at the bus stops.

here are the photos & videos of our memorable drivers ed experience. i wish i'd been filming from inside when i got whiplash from a violent stop, but alas, i didn't anticipate the excitement in time.

the proud holder of KEYS! (disregard the squinting since i wasn't nice enough to take her pic facing away from the sun)

look, she even knows how to use them!

concentrating on getting the seat position adjusted before buckling up

she looks rather pleased & confident, doesn't she? i think the dog ears helped her to feel even cooler.

and from the next bus stop...

anyone need a ride?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

bring on the wedgie clown

kids birthday parties are always interesting w/ brooke. i first started noticing there was something.... unique about her when i'd take her to parties when she was a toddler. there was inevitably lots of crying & hiding & screaming from her & then the obligatory sweating, cringing & leaving early from me. she always looked forward to parties w/ such rabid excitement & yet they were almost always nightmarish from my end once we arrived at the party.

but we seem to have made great strides over the past couple years. we got through an entire party today with no crying whatsoever! it was practically a miracle! i remembered all the things we needed to discuss before we got there, like -
-the birthday kid is always the most popular kid at the party, so don't expect her undivided attention.
-look for other kids who might appear to be lonely or lost & speak to them.
-don't cry if your seat isn't next to the party girl.
-don't invade personal space during gift time.
-don't ask for more food before everyone else has gotten theirs, even if you're REALLY hungry.
-don't get mad if other kids touch your stuffed animal that you won't put down no matter where you go.
-if you have to go to the bathroom, don't just disappear down a hallway searching for it.
-don't pick your chronic wedgies too publicly.

for the past 2 days brooke has also been harnessing her noisily clicking wrist & finger joint capability and practicing using that skill to click the "happy birthday" song so that she could click it for her friend as an unexpected & unique gift. i warned her ahead of time that there would probably not be even a moment at the inflatable place where her song could be fully heard & savored, so better to save it for the next time she sees the friend. it'll be like a bonus, late present then. and that avoided the likely scenario of her furiously screaming at the room to BE QUIET while she clicked out her tune. whoa, that makes me feel a little bit sweaty just thinking about it.

she forgot the wedgie rule & i saw her w/ her hand crammed down her britches w/ one butt cheek cocked up in the air, digging for freedom a few times in the middle of the room, but i just looked away & pretended i didn't know her then. and she decided that today was the time to play a lot of possum. this, of course, consists of lying on her back on the floor w/ arms & feet in the air & eyes mostly closed (kept open a crack so she could see who was watching) right in the middle of any group of people so as to attract as much attention as possible. she even gave lessons to younger children on how to properly execute a possum position to optimal effect.

during the gift opening time, she ran up to the mom & party employee & told them that the gift bag we brought the gift in is recyclable & she wanted it back. they were kind enough to smile & nod.

all in all, i'd say it was a roaring success from my end & i think we'll probably even be invited back again. we've come a long way, baby.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

sisterly love

the past few days i've been visiting my parents & sisters & enjoying a break from regular life. finally i've ditched my sicko status & feel fairly human again so that i can make the most of my time here.

the day after i got here, i got an early morning text from my sister sarah asking if i'd be willing to shave her gnarly leg wound. let me explain, a month ago she had a freak accident while running on the beach & broke her shin bone & shattered her knee. since then she's had 3 surgeries to repair it & hopefully it's all fixed now, but in the meantime, she hasn't been able to shave that part of her leg for weeks & it was getting somewhat furry. of course, being the tender-hearted sister that i am, i agreed. i pondered the best location for the shavery & made sure she packed her razor before she came back to mom & dad's house with us.

we got back to the house & i popped out of the backseat of the car so i could rush to the trunk & retrieve sarah's crutches. she doesn't like being waited on or asking for help, so i wanted to just hurry up & get them before she was out & had to ask. i slammed my door & as i did, i heard sarah gasp & yelp, "you shut my fingers in the door!" holy. shit. i looked over & sure enough, 3 of her fingers were crushed in the place where the door closes between the front & back doors. she'd been holding onto it to steady herself & i was in such a big hurry that i didn't even look & all i could think was that i'd broken her even more! as if she didn't have enough problems right now, i've gone & lopped off 3 of her fingers w/ the car & how can she even walk w/ crutches without those fingers?! i nearly puked on the side of the car as i was rushing to rip the door back open. she pulled them out & after a moment said that it felt like they were only bruised, not permanently destroyed (thank you, toyota, for making your cars w/ plenty of padding between the door & the car. we are eternally grateful). i didn't know if i should start crying then or wait until later when fewer people were watching. i wanted to run & hide in shame for my careless mistake, but i settled for being sarah's pack mule & carrying her things into the house like an indentured servant while not making eye contact.

we got sar situated in the house after much to-do and i was ready to get down to the business of shaving. i tried to block out all images of me crushing her body parts w/ heavy machinery & hoped i'd do a better job w/ a razor around her wound than i had w/ removing her from the car. we unwrapped the wound & got a good look at it in all its glory. she has 33 staples & numerous holes from where stuff had been attached to her bones. her poor leg looked so sad & non-sarahish w/ its bruising & lack of shapeliness. i was determined to not feel sick about touching her staples as i wet down the leg & then lathered it up with soap so i could give her a nice, smooth shave. it wasn't exactly an easy task considering i've never shaved anyone but myself & what i was having to work around, but i was determined to get every last wayward hair hacked down to the skin so they wouldn't bother her by pulling in the bandage anymore. i think she appreciated that i was being so careful about hitting every nook & cranny the way i'd want my own done if i was in her situation.

i've never handled a major wound before & only seen staples in a human when they were my own after my c-section, (and i couldn't really see those since i was such a fatty then & not exactly bending over to gaze at my grossness) so that was a new experience, but one that surprisingly wasn't disturbing. i just wanted to get an A+ for a job well done so that sarah would feel better. (and to make up for the finger crunch.) i re-bandaged her afterwards & helped her get the huge brace strapped back on so that she could be safe once again. i wanted to be her little helper & make everything all right again in her world. i hate it that she's broken & in pain & frustrated w/ parts of her life right now. i wish i could wave my magic wand & actually do something helpful, but as brooke has so unkindly pointed out, i'm too big to wear the fairy suit, so maybe that's why my wand doesn't work.

the next day we went for pedicures & bonded over how our feet snowed nasty skin when they took the razors to us. it's fun to hang out w/ my little sister who's 11 years younger than me now that she's a full grown adult. funny to pour her a glass of wine & talk about men & not feel like i was doing something inappropriate. when i was her age, i was already married & talking about having babies, so i guess she's all grown up now & i don't need to handle her w/ kid gloves anymore.

it's been great to have this time w/ sarah, even though some of our bonding moments only happened because she was wounded & in need of help, but i've been grateful for them just the same. and next time i see her, i'll try not to break any more of her bones.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

ketchup & rice

tomorrow i'm going out of town to visit my parents & sisters. since i currently don't have a working vehicle, i can't just pack myself & brooke up & go like i always have in the past. so it's a pretty big deal that my mom is willing to drive 6 hrs here & back just so we can visit them & then my dad's going to do the round trip next week to return us. i'm touched that anyone would want us around enough to make that drive. i'm not willing to say no to a trip beyond these four little walls, no matter what.

it's been mentioned several times (not by my parents) that maybe we shouldn't go since i've still got a raging case of pneumonia. but in my head, that's all the more reason to go! when i'm there, i won't be the main person in charge of brooke. there will be other adults who can entertain & amuse & supervise & feed her. she's been really good about finding ways to keep herself busy these last few boring weeks, but i'm starting to feel sorry for her. she's spending days on end at home with only her imagination, kitten & tv to keep herself occupied.

yesterday she made some way too long videos that she wanted to put on youtube & then her blog about a story she'd been playing for hours that day. she drew faces on all my spice bottles & then drew a face on a pair of toaster tongs & named it the tongodile. then they had the adventures of paprika, including climbing up onto my disgusting self while i was coma-ing on the couch. nothing like putting your filthy shame onto the internet.

i think if nothing else, it'll be good for us to get to a healthy house because brooke needs to be able to eat better again. yesterday she made her own dinner - 2 bananas, one of which was heaped w/ red pepper hummus & baby carrots. today she had raisins & rice cakes for lunch & italian ice & cheese for dinner. i'm starting to have visions of myself on the news being taken away in handcuffs while the neatly coiffed news anchor tells the viewers that my child has been surviving on nothing more than ketchup & dry rice for the past few weeks.

mommy, take me away!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

follow your heart

follow your heart - that might be the freakin stupidest line to ever become "good advice". unless i'm totally mistaken, i hear that line & think that it means you should do what you FEEL like doing. since when have our feelings ever been consistent about leading us toward the right things? toward good things?

i FEEL like eating a whole roll of cookie dough.
i FEEL like not going to work.
i FEEL like flipping stupid people off.
i FEEL like not doing school work w/ brooke.
i FEEL like buying myself pretty things beyond my budget.
i FEEL like not cooking dinner.
i FEEL like sleeping all the time.
i FEEL like hitting the neighbor's nasty bitey chihuahua w/ brooke's wagon when it runs over here & attempts to bite her.
i FEEL like spending all day on the internet.
i FEEL like not wearing a bra.

brooke FEELS like sneaking outside in the night to run like a nocturnal creature.
she FEELS like coloring mommy's face.
she FEELS like eating a whole box of italian ice push pops.
she FEELS like biting a hole through her shirt because she's mad.
she FEELS like eating her whole bottle of hannah montana gummy vitamins.
she FEELS like taking her little jeep & riding it to a friend's house when i won't drive her.

i think we can see what would become of the world if we all followed our hearts.

this post brought to you by illness & annoying emails.