Saturday, June 7, 2014

"You're a trooper!"

I can't even begin to describe my abhorrence for that platitude.

In the last month, I have lost both of my grandparents. They raised me from the time I came home from the hospital until I was 15. So, essentially, they were the parents of my childhood. And losing them, kittens, has been unspeakably difficult. There are no words to describe the depth of my grief for the loss of their presences in my life. They taught me so much, gave so much, loved me so much and were undoubtedly two of the best people I have ever known. The sheer amount of people who have shared so many wonderful memories of them with us is a testament to the type of people they were. They were lovers. They were helpers. They were servants. And they did everything with a song in their hearts. And it is to them that I owe so much of who I am today.

Don't get me wrong, in a way I am thankful that they are together once again and that they are both no longer in pain. My grandpa had a rare form of cancer that made living a painful experience as it spread all throughout his abdomen and eventually ate away at his internal organs. I was with him when he went into the emergency room with severe abdominal pain three years ago, and I was the first person to know that he had cancer. It's a moment in my life I'll never forget. My sweet grandpa, who was always so strong and capable, eventually wasted away to a shell of himself. I will also never forget what he told me three years ago as I was there with him in the E.R.: "I'm glad you're here with me." My grandpa and I had a special bond, an understanding, and a relationship that I am incredibly thankful to have had. I was one of the very few people to whom he would listen. He trusted me, was proud of me, and loved me beyond all bounds. And his death hit me harder than I had ever thought possible. It was peaceful, it was quiet, and it was the best possible end of his life on this Earth that I could have thought to ask for - excepting the possibility of his family being by his side as he passed.

My grandma had more things medically wrong with her than I could probably even remember to list. She had been in and out of nursing homes and hospitals for the past two years. One of the last straws to her no longer being able to be home was the day I was helping her to stand up and instead her legs gave out and I had to slowly lower her to the floor so she wouldn't be injured. The final straw in ending her life was her right leg dying from the knee down and beginning to gangrene. She opted to go into hospice care rather than risk more pain and suffering with an amputation. And I believe wholeheartedly that she made the right decision. And so began the week-long process of helping my grandma to die. And it was around this time that I began to go completely numb. There was so much grief and sadness that I couldn't continue functioning if I allowed myself to feel any of it. And for days, my family and I sat at the nursing home and spoke softly to her, said our goodbyes, reassured her that we would all be okay because we had each other, and told her that we all loved her.

It was bittersweet. It was a relief. It was unforgettable.

And then she passed with her family by her side. I'm not sure if it was the numbness or something else, but I could hardly even cry. Even seeing her room empty and all of her things packed up, it didn't seem real. The entire month of May felt like a bad dream, and one that I had hoped so desperately to wake up from. But after my grandma's funeral and the graveside service where we saw their urns interred, I woke up. And the reality has been worse than the dream. Why can't I just go back to sleep?

I've been coping by trying to continue living my life as normally as possible for my little one. I've been going to work, I've been smiling and joking with my co-workers, and outwardly I've been what people have come to expect of me. But I've always been really good at hiding the type of pain that cuts you to the core...

And so, when my boss' wife gave me her condolences this past week and told me to keep on keeping on, my co-worker chipped in with, "Oh, yeah, she's been a real trooper!" I know he meant well, and I know it's meant as a compliment to the capability with which I am continuing my life after all this loss.

But a trooper? As if this is simply a trek through the wilderness? It's a journey, for certain; but it's one that not many people, even some who are close to me, can begin to grasp how hard it is for me to take. And for someone who doesn't know me that well personally to assume that I am trooping through this is infuriating. If I had the option of simply wallowing in my sadness and crying in the dark, I would. To me, it almost feels wrong that I'm not doing so. As if by continuing to live my life, I'm not appropriately showing my devastation for their loss. I break down a little each day, and it definitely doesn't make it any easier. But the thought that keeps me going is that they raised me to do better than that. They taught me to rise above the difficult, to shine through the dark, to lift the heavy burdens and to do so with a smile on my face and love in my heart. And so I continue to live for them. To carry their songs in my heart.

Not a single day has gone by that I haven't been hit by a memory or a thought of them and my vision is blurred and my heart breaks all over again. Not a single day has gone by that I haven't felt empty without them here. Not a single day has gone by that I'm not wordlessly thankful that they gave me something worth missing so hard.

Monday, December 30, 2013

The 2013 MommyWantsVodka Meme!

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
I enrolled in a 401k at work! (Also, how lame am I that this was my first answer to this question?)

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My New Year’s resolution is the same every year; to be a good mother to Caden. Only time will tell if I have irrevocably fucked the kid up, but he seems to be doing just fine for now.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not anyone I’m particularly close to. Plenty of people I know on Facebook, though. My timeline this year looked like a brag book for an obstetrician.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
I can’t say I was particularly close to him, but my grandma’s ex-husband (my aunts' father) died this year. He was always nice to me, and I was very sad for my aunts.

5. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
An apartment that doesn’t have a ghetto couple screaming at odd hours on one side and a drug dealer on the other with pot-smoking loafers down the hall.

6. What countries did you visit?
The United States of You’re an Asshole for Reminding Me That I’m Too Broke to Travel.

7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why:
I’m going to skip this one.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Probably not killing anyone. 2013 was kind of a shitty year, and I’m quite happy it’s almost over.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Why the fuck is this meme so depressing? All of 2013 was pretty much fucked.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Um, not really, I don’t think I was ill at all in 2013. 2012 saw my first kidney stone and an abscessed tooth, though.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A skirt for $0.97 that was originally $43. And is totally adorable.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My son - for being an incredibly hilarious and tough little cookie. He dealt with so much crap this year, and he’s still an amazing, sweet, affectionate little love.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Some of my family members’ behavior. I reiterate - 2013 was full of fuckery. I really hope 2014 sees a better year for everyone.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Bills. Always bills. Y U SO DEPRESSING, MEME?!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Apartment hunting. Fuck I’m old.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
There are a few that I think will always stir up memories from this year. My mind has very powerful associations with things like that. A song can make me re-live things.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?  Happier.

ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter. (I read that word in the Dylan/Cole Sprouse voice from Big Daddy.)

iii. richer or poorer? Depends on your definition. Fiscally, I’m better off, though not necessarily richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Being more confident in myself. Giving my feelings validity instead of discrediting my gut instincts.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Second-guessing myself and my feelings.

20. How will you be did you spending Christmas?
I spent Christmas Eve with Caden at my aunt’s house for a late lunch and then brought Caden to church. We went home and snuggled together and watched The Polar Express. Christmas Day we opened his gifts then hung around for a while until it was time to go to my parents’ for dinner. Afterward, we brought him to his dad so he could spend the remainder of Christmas vacation with him.

21. Why does the term “designer drugs” conjure up an image of a bunch of pills hanging out wearing tiny Chanel and Prada clothing and snappy accessories?
It doesn’t for me, but Vicodin always conjures up images of my beloved Aunt Becky. Even though Vicodin is too suburban.

22. Did you fall in love in 2013?
I fall in love with Aaron all the time. 2013 was no exception to this.

23. How many one-night stands?
None. I’ve never had one in my life.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Game of Thrones. WHERE IS THE GOD OF TITS AND WINE?

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
There are certainly people that I wouldn't feel horribly overwhelmed with grief if they happened to be mauled  and consumed by a bear, shit into a stream, eaten by fish, then massacred by sharks. But hate? Hate is a strong word.

26. What was the best book you read?
I haven’t really read any new books that I can recall this year, except for caving in to purchase, ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’ to see how it compared to the movie. I was delightfully surprised.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I re-discovered a love for Pink. Walk of Shame and Slut Like You are both amazing songs.

28. What did you want and get?
Uh, shoes? I think that’s a safe bet as I generally tend to be a shoewhore. Too bad living in Wisconsin renders my adorable shoes useless 9 months out of the year. This weather has been fucktacular.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I don’t think I obsessed over a particular film this year the way I have in the past – where I watch it over and over again… But getting to see Desolation of Smaug in theatres was pretty epic.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I worked and then I went out for dinner with Aaron and Caden. I turned 28 this year.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Having had the capacity to move out of Rape Me Stab Me Murder Me-Ville sooner.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Shoes.

34. What kept you sane?
My son, without question. He is what keeps me grounded when I’d rather surrender myself to the chaos within.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I have developed a deeper appreciation for Jon Stewart.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Pshaw, politics. I don’t mess with that shit. It’s all a rather stunted game of who can lick balls the best.

37. Who did you miss?
George Carlin.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
I don’t know if I really met anyone this year that would qualify to be listed as the ‘best new person I’ve met’.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013:
It’s a lesson I always tend to forget; to allow myself to have a voice.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“If you speak, you’ll only piss ‘em off. If you don’t, you’re another robot. If you stop, they’ll just say you quit. If you don’t, you might lose your shit.”

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The ABCs of Me, a.k.a. How I Hate Everything

A- Age: 28, and I don’t feel old because I’m almost 30. 30 is young, and I’m still a puppy in a world of bitches. Er… dogs?

B - Bed Size: Futon. Fuck you for teasing me with all this ‘bed’ talk. I want a real bed to sleep on. You people with your good night's sleep can kiss my left meat curtain.

C - Chore You Hate: Cleaning anything. At all. I’m the anti-Mary Poppins. I hate doing dishes. I hate taking out the trash. I hate picking things up. I hate rearranging furniture. I hate paying bills, too. Fuck hard stuff. Adulthood blows.

D - Dad's Name: David

E - Essential Start to Your Day Item: Shutting off the goddamn alarm. It’s far too chipper for 6:00 a.m. Maybe I’d be happier upon waking if I could smash something, but my $150 phone coverage deductible says otherwise. Jerks.

F - Favorite songstress: Kelly Clarkson. Love that woman. If I could have her baby, I would.

G - Gold or Silver: Silver, white gold or platinum. Very rarely will you see me donning anything with a yellow gold or bronze hue when it comes to jewelry. Also, do you know how difficult it is to find emeralds set in anything not yellow? Jeweler bastards.

H - Height: 6’0”. Plus heels sometimes.

I - Instruments you played: Ha, instruments. I am way too stupid to read music notes.

J - Job Title: Website Quality Control Analyst I. That sounds way fancier than it actually is, and it basically means I’m anal and correct things that don’t necessarily need correcting. Sometimes I actually fix shit, though. And it’s pretty cool.

K - Kids: 1 that I know of. Pretty sure I haven’t given birth without my knowledge, though.

L - Living Arrangements: I live in a shoebox. From Kmart, cause its ghetto. Stupid apartment.

M - Mom's Name: Noelle

N - Nicknames: Ash or Trashley. Yay for having an unoriginal name.

O - Overnight Hospital Stay: Firing my fetus cannon and when I had toxic shock syndrome.

P - Pet Peeve: All the little OCD things that Aaron enjoys provoking. Like leaving time on the microwave, not changing the toilet paper when you use the last of it, movie cases being out of alignment or sequels not being placed next to one another… The list goes on and on. I’m batshit crazy.

Q - Quotes You Like: If you’re going to be real with someone, be prepared for them to be real in return.

R - Right or Left Handed: Righty tighty. Which has nothing to do with my crotch.

S - Siblings: 4. And I only really speak to one of them on a regular basis. I am Facebook friends with another sibling, and don't speak to the other two.

T - Time You Wake Up: During the week, 6:00 a.m. On the weekends/my days off, however late I feel like it. Unless Caden decides otherwise.

U - Umbrella: I haven’t owned an umbrella in about 5 years. I’m not the Wicked Witch of the West, for fuck’s sake.

V - Vegetable You Dislike: Onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers… I basically eat like a two year old. Give me some chicken nuggets and French fries, and I’m good. I’m good.

W - Ways You Run Late: Usually ‘cause I’m lazy and wait until the last possible minute. And that’s just when I start getting ready to leave.

X - X-rays: When I got pneumonia, when I had TSS - they used a portable x-ray to insert a catheter into my vein to inject antibiotics as close as possible to my heart, when I had a broken ankle, and when I had a kidney stone.

Y - Yummy Food I Make: Parmesan tilapia seems to be my most popular dish.


Z - Zodiac: Taurus. I’m a stubborn motherfucker.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tales From The Ghetto...

I live in an apartment building that features what has to be one of the trashiest collections of human beings this side of Section 8. That's not to say that everyone on housing is trash, because I know some great, hard-working people who are on, or who have been on, assistance. However, my apartment building features cheap rent and no background checks. You do the math.

I have now lived in this building for nearly three years. I chose it because it was what I could afford on my foray into single parenthood. My city features ridiculously high rent for apartments that, most of the time, aren't anywhere near worth what they're asking for them. And the majority of the rentals you can find that are reasonably priced have income limits. It's all sorts of rampant fucktardery. But I digress.

Some of the tenants there have been fairly quiet, and a few seem like they are semi-normal. Of course, as my luck would have it, neither of the apartments on either side of me have housed any of those types of tenants... When I moved in, there was the crazy ass couple in the corner apartment (featured in this old blog post), and it has only gone downhill from there.

The newest tenants both moved in within a few weeks of one another on either side of my apartment. With the exception of their playing annoyingly loud music at inappropriate times during the night, I thought the couple who moved in seemed pretty decent. Oh, how wrong I would be...

My little guy was spending the weekend at his dad's house, and it was a good thing since the female decided to go full-on, Jerry Springer, who is mah baby's daddeh, batshit insane. Around 2:00-3:00 a.m. Saturday morning, we were startled out of sleep by what can only be described as a body being thrown around the apartment next door. Thuds against the adjoining walls, things crashing and breaking, and all manners of twatwafflery. And then, oh sweet baby Jeebus, she got on the phone. And proceeded to fill just about every stereotype she possibly could.

The majority of it was muffled screaming that was pretty much unintelligible. I don't speak fluent Ebonics. One phrase that stood out was, "WHERE IS MAH DAMN BAYBAY!? YOU COME GIT MEH AND BRING MEH TO MAH BAYBAY!" My favorite line of the night was, "YOU AIN'T MAH BABY DADDY, YOU JEST MAH BO'FRIEN'!" She apparently decided that she was being too loud after a while, and went outside. We have our windows open because the site manager doesn't know the difference between, 'too warm for heat' and, 'too cold for no heat' and enjoys turning on the heat when it's far too warm for it. So the crazy bitch is now outside, her insanity echoing off the brick walls in the alley, and is now clearer and louder than she was in her apartment. Great. Why didn't you just use a fucking megaphone in case they couldn't hear you WITHOUT the phone? She's screeching at her bo'friend' to come pick her up and bring her to her baybay because apparently she's NOW concerned about the welfare of said squalling meal ticket.

The time for that is past. Try leaving your crotch muppet with someone you actually trust instead of the dude you're banging. This continues for a period of time, and then she shuts the fuck up and comes back inside. We breathed a sigh of relief and started to fall back to sleep. But she wasn't done with her spree of murdering REM cycles, oh no... She gets on the phone AGAIN and starts screaming at someone different. Wash, rinse, repeat. She ends up outside screeching like a howler monkey once more. Ugh.

And then, on the other side of us, there's another moron. This one sat in the doorway of his apartment the first few nights on his laptop. No joke - half in the hallway, half in his apartment. Then he proceeds to set up a router that's got a signal booster on it in the hallway. Real smart, numbnuts. We had to call our IP to fix our WiFi, and they tagged his booster. Two days later, I come out to this:


This is what it says:

"To whom this may conserne.
first off who is stealing cable? I get my wifi from my sister in apt. 2. we split the bill. 2nd off If it was illegal to use a wifi extender than why do they sell them. So before you go accusing people of crimes get the facts straight. nobody is stealing shit.
Sincersly
Adam Apt 10"

Oh my lord, the grammatical and spelling errors. It makes me tic just reading it. A few days later, the router disappeared from the hallway. Then, a bunch of tires apparently lost their rubbers and spawned a fuck-ton of tire babies, because there were five tires in the hallway resting against the wall. And then a day or so later, this:


Hiding your illegal router fail.

And just for good measure, someone has left this nasty-ass thing that looks as if it is covered in the ass-juices of 100 anal whores who didn't douche before buttsex:



It's been in the hallway for at least a month and a half. Aww yeah, you wish you lived in my apartment building. FML. I need a shower in straight bleach while I scour myself with an S.O.S. pad covered in Comet. I wonder how much the skin grafts will run me?

Monday, September 9, 2013

My Reluctant Journey

I have a confession to make…

I never wanted to be a mother when I was younger. I can recall a moment in middle school when a girl who was a good friend of mine in elementary school told me that she thought she was pregnant. She was cradling her stomach and humming soft songs to herself. My first internal reaction was revulsion. I could barely put together a school project; how could someone my age possibly take care of a child? Why would anyone possibly be happy with that situation? How could she be so cool and relaxed about it all? She ended up getting excited over a false alarm. After that, I kept my distance from her. Callous? Perhaps, but it was so similar to the circumstances surrounding my birth that I couldn't bear to be around her. She wanted to keep trying, and I couldn't be around to watch.

Unfortunately for me, it was a similar situation into which I was conceived. The woman who gave birth to me was 14 when she became pregnant, and my dad was 16. I ended up being the real thing instead of a false alarm. For years, I carried the guilt that my birth had ruined my parent’s lives. To some extent, I still wonder. If I had been a false alarm, would things have turned out differently for them? Neither of them had been ready for parenthood at that age, and they both knew it. Her father tried to convince her to have an abortion. Finally, they settled on giving me up for adoption. I came very close to a very different life than the one I have, all without any say. Thankfully, my father fell in love with me at first sight and couldn't let me go. You can see it in the photos taken at the hospital after my birth; my dad had my tiny fist wrapped around his finger, and his eyes were gazing at me in love and wonder. She looked as if she had better places to be. Probably disappointed that my dad no longer wanted to allow her the option that would have let her walk away.

My grandmother volunteered to raise me, and it was to my grandparents’ house that I went home for the first time. When I was around 3, my father brought home the woman who would become my mother, the woman who has loved me from the moment she heard my tiny voice cry, ‘Da!’ when she came through the door with my dad. I was very fortunate to have some very loving people in my life as a child.

Still, all of this turned me off to the idea of having a child. What if the maternal instincts of the woman who gave birth to me were somehow hereditary? What if I ended up being like her? I couldn't handle the idea of a child feeling about me the same way I felt about her. I didn't want to be responsible for hurting a child like that. I was afraid of ever having a child. So I made up my mind not to have children. I didn't want to take the risk.

Fate usually has a different plan in mind than the one you have for yourself. At the age of 20, I found out I was pregnant. I have never been more afraid in my life. I was afraid of being responsible for someone besides myself. I was afraid to have a tiny life dependent upon me. I was afraid to tell my family. I was afraid because we lived 4 ½ hours away from home. I was afraid of how ecstatic my fiancee was. We were working commission-based jobs that had both of us traveling all over the state and didn't guarantee any sort of steady income, how could he be happy with this? So many women would have been thrilled to receive the news that they were going to have a baby. What was wrong with me?

My family’s reactions were all over the map. My grandparents were excited to become great-grandparents. My grandpa was looking at bassinets online. My mom was pretty pissed. My dad asked if I had considered all my options, and told me he supported me with whatever choice I might make. My mind was made up, however. We were responsible for starting the life of this child, and I wasn't going to harm it or give it up, even if my fiancee had been in agreement. And so I reluctantly decided, a little too late, to become a parent.

We moved back home when I was about 6 ½ months pregnant. I barely showed even when I was about to give birth… I carried far back, and just looked chubby. Matter of fact, when I was a few weeks away from giving birth, I was working a temporary job and informed them that I could possibly go into labor at any time. They had no idea I was even pregnant. I had morning sickness all throughout the summer, and lost weight until my 7th month. The nurses were thoroughly amused when I told them I was happy to have started gaining weight. They told me that most women aren't that happy about it. I had been worried that all of my morning sickness had been keeping my child from being healthy. I felt like the character of Jenna in the movie Waitress… I still didn't feel anything like affection for the child inside of me. This increased my anxiety about my maternal potential. I didn't want to end up like the woman who gave birth to me. People around me told me that my life was going to be over; it would no longer be mine. How right they would be, but not in the way they meant it.

I woke up on my due date, a Friday morning, with cramps… Eventually, I realized that they were coming at regular intervals. After timing them for a bit, I realized they were a minute and a half apart and remained so until I gave birth 12 hours later. I was more afraid of giving birth than I had been when I found out I was pregnant. What was going to happen once this little guy - who had a fondness for wedging his feet into my ribs - took his first breath?

At 9:35 p.m., I found out. I saw him for the first time, and I knew exactly how my father had felt. I fell in love with him. He was my heart, and my world, and it was right that he was part of my life. The doctor laid him on my chest after he was born, and the world I knew stopped. The life I had before that was over; a whole new one had begun. How anyone could turn their back on that? I couldn't fathom it. His soft skin, his tiny face and hands and his sweet little breaths all quelled my fears. He didn't know it, but in that moment I resolved that he would never feel about me the way I felt about the woman who gave birth to me. I would use my childhood to make myself into the mother he needed me to be.

It has been 7 ½ years since the day my new world began. My son is still the one thing that can make me happier than anything else on earth. We've been through a lot together, and times have been tough, but even at this young age he knows that I will be there for him. And my pride in him knows no bounds. He is tall, fit, strong, handsome and smart. He is wonderful, and he has made me a better person. He is a Momma’s boy, without question. His at-the-hip attachment can be overwhelming at times. However, I take it in stride, because I know that in just a few short years the affection won’t flow nearly as freely as it does now. I can’t bear to stifle his affection and love. I sing him to sleep most nights, and he still loves it when I do. I know that these days, too, are coming to an end. However, I feel confident that they will be cherished memories when he’s older. He’s becoming more independent, and he performs stunts on the playground equipment that have my heart in my throat.


I sometimes wonder how I could ever have had the doubts I had. It seems so long ago, and so surreal, that I was afraid of this. It was, and still is, the best thing that ever happened to me. Perhaps for me, the mantle of motherhood was one that I fought against until I found that I wore it well.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Totally Would Have Been A Rat-Pack Groupie

My experience with Pandora radio falls into a few different categories… As I mentioned in my post about how completely stunted my thinking process is, I spend most of my work day listening to Pandora. Occasionally I listen to it while in the shower at home, or while putting on makeup (ha, like THAT ever fucking happens) or while doing my hair (ha, like THAT ever fucking happens either – ponytails and plastic clips are my BFFs). But mostly, I listen to it at work. Because my thinking process could be equated to that of a three year old cracked up on Pixie Stix and Mountain Dew, I often have strange ideas while listening to Pandora.

While I listen to my Kelly Clarkson station, I often have fantasies of bursting out in song at work. As if it is socially appropriate to bust out in a terribly off-key rendition of, ‘Tough Lover’ in the middle of a workday. After all, who the fuck doesn’t want to be serenaded by my screechy voice squeaking out a horrible version of something by Christina Aguliera? The answer to that is NO ONE, of course. There is no one person who would not be completely blown away by the sweetly well-intentioned sound of my pathetic attempts at being an awesome singer. In my ego-centric delusions, I am met by applause and copious amounts of flattery… Why no, I haven’t had any professional singing lessons. It’s all pretty much self-taught, thankyouverymuch.

While I listen to my Alan Menken (read: mostly Disney songs and musical numbers) station, I think to myself that it would be so damn awesome to be a mermaid. And it becomes really difficult to keep myself from singing along with the songs I’ve had memorized since the age of 7. To satisfy my insanity, I will lip-sync along with these words and I will promise myself that this year, goddamn it, I WILL dress up like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz to satisfy my inner 8-year-old – even if I have to hand-sew myself a fucking blue gingham dress. And because my son would look motherfucking ADORABLE in a Cowardly Lion costume. Except he’d be majorly pissed that I prevented him from being Batman, Spiderman, Iron Man, Thor or some equally masculine comic book character that reigns supreme on the playground that year. But fuck it, I’m paying for the damn thing. Sadly, this will only end one way; with me buying the $25 comic book character costume with the fake muscles that he will inevitably try and convince me would be the best thing ever to wear to school under his clothes because MOOO-OOOOMMMM…. Everyone will think I have big muscles! No, kiddo. No, they won’t. Because the fake Styrofoam muscles look like a 12-year old photoshopped them onto a costume. This station constantly leads to disappointment and sadness all around.

When I listen to my Static-X station, it is usually up deafeningly loud and it is usually because I’m pissed and contemplating things that would inevitably end up with me playing a game of cat and mouse with a profiler from the FBI.

When I listen to my Christmas Don’t Be Late (Alvin and the Chipmunks) station, it is because I’m not listening to it because it is my son’s station. And he loves nothing more than to listen to (and be sung) Christmas carols any time of the year. Perhaps he thinks that if he listens to Christmas music, it will make the joyous holiday come around that much faster. I don’t know. His mind is as screwed up as, if not more so than, mine.

My Dean Martin station is another station that constantly leads to sadfaces and dashed hopes and dreams. Because I listen to the music of an era long gone, and I see myself in a beautiful A-line cocktail dress with some super adorable coordinating shoes and a jaunty little hat perched flirtatiously over one eye, cat-eye makeup and red lipstick, and completely in my element. I see myself at some glamorously Mad Men-esque party, martini in hand, telling funny jokes and stories that have everyone enraptured. And then the band strikes up something wonderful like, ‘In The Mood’ or the French, ‘La Vie En Rose’ (also, I can’t hear that song and NOT picture Audrey Hepburn serenading Humphrey Bogart in Sabrina), and a dashing partner in a well-tailored suit whisks me out on to the dance floor. He leads me through a beautiful dance, and the atmosphere is intoxicating. And then I realize that the era I would have thrived in is long gone. We just don’t have the same class and standard that we used to. Granted, a lot of other things have come a long way in terms of social acceptance, but some of the wonderful qualities that were commonplace have gone the way of the Dodo bird. I am also incredibly sad that I’m too young to have had the opportunity to thrown my cat at Dean Martin. And if you are young enough to think that ‘Little Bitty Pretty One’ was originally sung by Aaron Carter, you can go fuck yourself.


Pandora is depressing as all fuck.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

It's Almost Back-to-School Time!

The first day of school is coming up in just over a month. A new school year, full of struggles, arguments to get homework done, tearing my hair out because he just won’t put on his pants in the morning… And, best of all, celebrating his progress, achievements and growth. First grade was a year of leaps and bounds in terms of his academic progress. His method of learning is very similar to mine. It may look like Greek to him at first, but once he understands something, he doesn’t lose it and he flies from that point on. He’s a smart little boy, and I’m so proud of how well he does in school.

I found this great article today, The 31 BestBack-to-School Tips for 2013, and I wanted to share it with all of you. Some of the tips I read will be really beneficial for us this school year, and some of them don’t really apply to us.

Some of my favorites include:

Celebrate the first day – Start a first-day-of-school tradition, such as making their favorite breakfast, going out for ice cream after school, or slipping an encouraging note in their backpack.

Choose brain food, not junk food – I’m just as guilty as some other moms are of slipping my son processed cheese and cracker packets as a pre-dinner snack, but peanut butter on whole wheat crackers or a smoothie would be so much better for him – not to mention he loves pressing the button on the Ninja blender.

Create a home gallery – They suggest stringing up empty picture frames with clothespins glued to them so you can rotate artwork, graded tests and school projects. I don’t know about you, but I’m personally convinced that schools are singlehandedly responsible for deforestation with the INSANE amount of paperwork that comes home in my son’s folder every day. This is a good way to allow him to choose what to display while letting me recycle a bunch of the stuff he doesn’t so I can avoid the Leaning Tower of Handouts on my side tables.

Expand attention span – This focuses on reading aloud, or having your child read aloud to you, a book every night. This allows their attention span to get back into the groove of remembering details.

Schedule playtime before homework time – This is one of those, ‘of course, why didn’t I think of that’ type tips. My son is 7, and he’s got enough energy, if it could be harnessed, to power a skyscraper. It makes sense to let kids burn off that energy to help them focus better on their schoolwork.

Make a morning checklist – I can’t tell you how many times last year I wondered if CPS would be called if I allowed my son to just go to school in his underwear because it was such a hassle to get him to dress every morning. The checklist idea puts them in charge of getting themselves ready, and they can feel it is an accomplishment rather than a chore and can help motivate them to take on more responsibility in the future.

Take an a.m. breather – I have done this sporadically in the past, but I have always enjoyed it. Setting aside 5 minutes to crawl into bed with your child and snuggling them quietly can be a very peaceful way to start the day that benefits both of you. My son is a cuddler, so this suits us to a T. Tweaking this for you and your children’s personalities and relationships shouldn’t be too difficult.


These are just a few of the great tips in the article that I think will work for us this year. However, I encourage you to check out the article, because there are plenty more tips – such as making them more responsible for their allowance, downloading apps to keep track of after-school engagements, and exploring ethical dilemmas with, ‘what if’ scenarios – that I’m sure will hit home for you and your child or children. After all, as a parent you know that anything that will ease the school year turmoil is one small victory on the way to winning the war…