That Time When I SLEPT!

So the good news is this:

I have slept.

There aren’t even enough words in America’s vocabulary to let me tell you what a game-changer that has been in my life.  After ten nights of not sleeping well, and five nights of not sleeping AT ALL, AT ALL, AT ALL, I finally sucked it up and went to see my doctor on Friday morning, while Mam skipped work to take care of our toddler.  Never mind that I’d just been in for a sinus infection a couple of days earlier… I like to space our insurance payments out, so as to maximize the amount of money that is leaving our checkbook forever this month.

Since my doctor was out of the country now (which is code for HE WENT TO MEXICO WITH HIS WIFE, BECAUSE HE HAS BIG PAYCHECKS AND THEY’RE SICK OF THE COLD AND THE SNOW), I got to see his physician’s assistant, and I fell in love with her.  Like, the kind of love where I said, “You know, I’m just going to slap my signature on the sign-up sheet that says you’re my new doctor forever.”  I’m sure she was overjoyed, considering that the cost of my yearly ailments will have her in Mexico very soon, too.  (I think she was looking at new bikinis online before I had even walked out of her office.)

I sat in a chair in an exam room on Friday morning, and I basically told her, “So here’s the thing:  I don’t sleep.  Like… ever.”  And then she gave me a little prescription for something that I can’t pronounce and said, “You will now.”

Bless her heart.

I took my little pill on Friday night, and… I KID YOU NOT… I slept for eleven straight, uninterrupted hours, while Hubs tended to our baby.  The last time I did that, I was a 5th grader.  I woke up on Saturday morning, feeling a bit hung over from too much sleep and a little disoriented, because certainly I had missed EVERYTHING that had happened overnight.

(You know, all the important things, like when each cat decides to have a bite of Meow Mix in the middle of the night and chew it voraciously, and when the boy sneezes in his sleep, because I’m always awake to hear that stuff.)

Last night, I took another magic pill, and I pulled off nine hours’ worth of sleep.  I woke up at 5:15 this morning, on my own, and I felt refreshed and brand new and completely like a kid again.  I even told Hubs, “I feel like my brain actually WORKS again!  This must be what NORMAL PEOPLE feel like in the mornings!”  Of course, Thing 2 decided this morning that, YOU KNOW WHAT?  I THINK I’LL SLEEP UNTIL 6:45 TODAY.  And he did.  But that was just fine, because WHAT DID YOU NOT UNDERSTAND ABOUT ME BEING COMPLETELY WELL-RESTED?  I got up on my own and read a book in the living room, and I just took in the beauty of a very early morning to myself, after two full nights’ worth of sleep.

(Thank you, Jesus.)

And then… I took Thing 2 in to see his pediatrician on Friday, as well, because EAR INFECTION, ROUND TWO for the season.  He had done nothing but lie on our hardwood floors with his blanket bunched up beneath his head, and holler, “My ear hurts!  My ear hurts!”  I didn’t even need to use my mad skills on WebMD Friday to say, “I think we’re having an ear infection again.”

And that’s how Thing 2 came to be sporting more antibiotics this weekend.

Our Saturday was spent indoors, because it rained and it snowed, and then it blew crazy, nasty wind, and then it poured rain some more.  It was all horribly ugly outside, and what Small Town, USA needs in January is RAIN, because our nighttime temperatures like to freeze all that water up and coat our streets in ice sheets.  So, I played with the laundry a little bit, and I helped Thing 2 build an incredible train track that he smashed in a horrific derailment.  We had lunch at a restaurant with Mam and Pa, and then I tried to enjoy a show on gold mining in Alaska that Hubs was watching, but this is what I learned:  I could never live in the world’s last frontier, with the sleet blowing sideways, trying to pick microscopic flecks of gold out of some giant machine that keeps breaking down and making me have to approach my backers, asking for enough money to fix things up, even though I’m not hauling in any gold to ease their minds about all the cash they’ve loaned me in the first place.

And then… because it is exactly how we roll around here… the boy told me last night, right before I went to bed, “So, Mom?  I think I’m catching a cold in my nose.  I feel all congested and terrible.”

Which is exactly the same moment that I slammed my own head against the wall, because REALLY?!

R E A L L Y ???!!

CAN WE NOT HAVE AT LEAST A DAY-LONG BREAK BETWEEN EVERYONE’S GERMS AROUND THIS HOUSE?!

And, sure enough, the boy woke up this morning and had lost the ability to pull oxygen into his body through his nose.

I don’t know what it is, but the past six weeks have been known as THE WEEKS WE WERE UNDER QUARANTINE FOR EIGHTY DIFFERENT AILMENTS.  The subtitle would be THOSE SIX WEEKS THAT ALMOST KILLED US WITH THE BACTERIAL INFESTATIONS.  We can’t seem to catch a break between everyone’s immune systems being occupied by rebel viruses and guerrilla bacteria.  So, I’ve done my level best today to nurse the boy’s sinuses with breathing treatments laced with essential oils and hot, lemon tea, and finally, “HERE!  TAKE A SUDAFED!”

But… Hubs and I did escape this afternoon to see a movie, while Little Mister Sinus Problems stayed at home with Even Littler Mister Ear Infection.  I know that this is a trait of horrible mothers… this whole concept of leaving sick children at home, with only the television for company, while the mother jets off to a dark theater and the promise of popcorn with extra butter.  However, the toddler was napping soundly, and the boy was getting enough oxygen into his bloodstream with the help of a Sudafed, so Hubs and I took advantage of a cold, football-less Sunday afternoon, and we threw in a spontaneous date.

And, people, the boys did just fine at home.  Thing 2′s ear infection has cleared up enough that he was actually outside this morning, helping Hubs shovel ice off of our bobsled-run driveway, and the boy wouldn’t have laid down to take a nap, if I had forced him to.  They were good to hang out together for a couple of hours.

IMG_3396 IMG_3400Hubs and I saw the movie Blackhat.  Since Hubs is a computer genius himself and can hack systems, too, he always knew what was going on.  Then there was me.  I had to lean over and ask Hubs, “What’s malware?  WHAT was encrypted?  Where’d he find that code?  What do all those numbers mean?  What just happened to the soy futures?”

It was all very relaxing for Hubs.

Also?  It wasn’t very realistic that Thor was a prison-dwelling, computer hacker, running through the streets and outdoor markets of China.  Neither one of us could wrap our brains around the fact that someone who once played a superhero was now writing intricate codes to hack the National Security Agency, because… well... shouldn’t the main character have been a little more NERDY than the hammer-wielding, Crown Prince of Asgard?

But then Hubs reminded me that HE is a computer hacker, too, and he’s every bit as tough and manly as a superhero is, so apparently the casting was spot-on.

And that, people, was pretty much our entire weekend.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have another eight to nine hours of sleeping to see to!

Snot My Fault I Look This Bad

Okay.

So I have a sinus infection.  And I’m taking the big-gun drugs, because apparently my doctor thought that I should.  It might be because of that history of “I CAN TURN A NORMAL BACTERIAL INFECTION INTO SOMETHING OF EBOLA PROPORTIONS ALL ON MY OWN AND NEED A HOSPITAL IV IN A GIANT HURRY” that I have.  I expected to be completely cured by now, because POTENT ANTIBIOTICS, Y’ALL!

And then all the impacted, non-draining cloggage in my face broke loose today like a dam being hit by a torpedo.  Niagra Snot Falls has poured down my face all day long.  I’ve wiped the first eight layers of my epidermis away in Charmin toilet paper, which is why I’ve been applying diaper rash cream to my cheeks and nose.  If it can work wonders on a baby’s chapped bum, I’m hoping it can do the same to my red and aching face.

Also?  Do you know what the big-gun meds do to your gut?  They make you wish for handles on your toilet, that’s what.  Apparently, the giant print-out of thirty-six million possible side effects that comes with every prescription was spot on when it said, “May liquify the output.”

I’m sorry if that’s too much information, but this is a blog for over-sharing.  We’re all family here.  Welcome.

And then, to add some mocking insult to my list of injuries, I was hit broadside by that nasty beast, Insomnia, this week.

I’ve never been shy about admitting that I have some sleep issues.  It might be because I quite often look like THIS GUY at 2 am, even though I am not known for my night owl tendencies.wide-eyed-owl-cute-animal-picturesOn the contrary.  The AARP wants me in their club.  This means I really prefer a bedtime of 6:30 in the evenings, after I’ve had a nice dinner of over-cooked, Salisbury steak and a lemon, Jell-O mold salad shaped like a fish and filled with fruit cocktail bits, but I try to stay awake until a more civilized hour, like 8:00.

And then… I fall asleep nicely, exactly like the good Lord intended, but I wake up in the middle of the night.  And that is when I look like I’ve been playing a drinking game that involves me taking a shot of espresso every single time somebody scores a goal on the Colorado Avalanche.

Last night, I woke up at 12:30.

And I never went back to sleep, because apparently there are a few crazy people in this world who are capable of pulling that little stunt off.

So… you can imagine exactly how lovely I looked when I called my niece, L, via Face Time, to wish her a very happy 12th birthday today.  I told her, “I know I’m a vision of stunning glory right now, what with my hair falling out of my ponytail after my daytime nap, and I’m already in my pajamas at 4 pm.”

And, because my sister has taught her children to lie to their elders, that brand-new twelve-year-old said, “Oh… no!  You look as pretty as ever.”

I’m pretty sure that’s exactly when Jesus nodded at one of his angel jewelers and said, “Add another gemstone to L’s crown.”

(And, y’all!  Listen!  That little girl who grew up in the ’80s and still lives inside of me was plum tickled to Face Time my 6th grade niece this afternoon, because she showed me all of her new birthday clothes while we were talking on the phone!  It was exactly like War Games on steroids, or even The Jetsons.  L just held the phone out and said, “See?  I got these jeans… and this shirt… and this pair of yoga pants… and this sweatshirt… and this bedazzled tank top,” and there they were, right before my eyes, even though I was clear across town, sitting on a sofa, wiping my nose with Charmin.  Even though, when I was ten years old, I imagined that we’d all have our own personal space ships to fly around town in by the year 2000, I have to admit… I NEVER envisioned a future that involved someone laying out their birthday loot on the floor, so that I could see everything from the opposite side of town, while I was under quarantine.)

So really, that’s all that’s been going on around here.

My nose drips.  I wipe it.  It drips again.  I wipe it again.  And then we repeat that scenario a hundred and forty-two more times each hour.  And then I have to run to the bathroom.  And then I just lie awake and stare at the ceiling all night.

Yes.  It’s difficult being me.

The only other interesting thing that I have to tell you is that I made waffles for dinner tonight.

See?  The level of INTERESTING at our house is at an all-time low, so I’ll let you go this evening.  I’m off to bed, armed with yet another roll of toilet paper for my nose and an enormous desire to be Sleeping Beauty this evening.

Y’all carry on and have a lovely weekend.

Me And Mona

Yes, I really DO have something in common with the Mona Lisa…

2ab8ed2b7d322b4f40b20d58a2aabd3eIt’s because I’m going through the toilet paper like she’s going through the toilet paper, and it isn’t due to digestive issues.  It’s just that the extra-big rolls of Charmin have more yardage than a box of Kleenex has.

And yes… I saw my doctor today.  He declared that I’m rocking a sinus infection like I’m a drummer in a big hair band from the ’80s.

(Bless Def Leppard.)

(And also Kip Winger.)

(Because, contrary to Hubs’ opinion, they can both rock a stage far better than AC/DC ever could.  Or even can.  Because apparently those elderly musicians have a new album out.)

(#RetireAlready  #YouMightBreakAHipOnStage)

And the other thing?  Well, I think Will pretty much nailed a word of truth here:

173e865f8da3f6863323c1d81257077fAnd that’s pretty much been my day, except I really did put a nice pot roast and carrots and some rosemary in my Dutch oven this afternoon.  Apparently the hunger needs of my family must still be met, even when I’ve been prescribed antibiotic pills that are roughly the size of a VW bug.

Y’all have a very merry Tuesday evening.  My grape cough syrup and I are going to bed.

A Catch-Up Kind Of Post

Listen.

I am infested with germs again.

I know.  I have no idea how it happened either, because I just lived through Infestation ’14 right before Christmas, where I spent nearly six entire days migrating from my sofa to my bed and back again, and existing in a general state of unwellness and nausea.  And the thing is, I haven’t even been to any foreign countries with unclean water and bugs the size of my palm, where I could pick up these bully germs, but then I remembered what I do for a living.

(Other than being a professional HGTV-watcher, I mean.)

I teach in an elementary school.

Last week, after pre-kindergarten PE wrapped itself up and everyone was sitting on the floor, changing their shoes, the coughing fits started.  And there I stood, right-smack in the middle of a hazy cloud called THIS JUST CAME OUT OF THE LUNGS OF FIFTEEN FOUR-YEAR-OLDS, as my gym suddenly sounded like a bunch of seals watching a televised comedy and barking their appreciation.

Today I’ve been suffering from IT’S IN MY CHEST and also MY HEAD!  MY HEAD!  MY HEAD HURTS!  So clearly I was simply destined to remain in my pajamas all the live-long day, but this is where MOMMY’S SICK is different than DADDY’S SICK.  Even though I wanted nothing more than to lie down and have someone drop off a giant bowl of piping-hot, homemade, chicken noodle soup while I coughed pathetically and was propped up on nineteen different pillows, I ended up doing laundry all day.

Because imagine the worst amount of dirty clothes you can think of.  That’s right.  Think about everyone in the state of Alabama, tossing their wardrobes into laundry baskets.  Now double that amount.  And add just one more load to the total.  And now you know what I was dealing with.  There are no sick days available to the Laundry Slackers.

Amen.

Thankfully, the boy was home from school today for the holiday, so he helped me run defense on Thing 2, and then my own sweet mama came over this afternoon.  She took the boys to lunch, and she washed my dishes.  I would’ve given her an entire diamond-encrusted, golden crown, had she just thought ahead and brought chicken noodle soup, but I’m still thankful for her.  As in… VERY MUCH, YES AND INDEED thankful for her.  It’s difficult to lie on the sofa, with your hand over your forehead, like a good Gone With the Wind pose, when there’s an unattended toddler in the house.

Anyway.

I am going to slap a few snapshots up on the blog here, and call it a night…

We have had some ridiculous amounts of snow here in Small Town, USA.  I imagine that this is a good thing, if you’re a skier, but my comfort zone is simply sitting on the sofa in front of the lodge’s fireplace, sipping hot chocolate and watching people board the lifts.  Forty-six inches of new powder on a weekly basis does nothing for my soul, except make me wish that I lived in a little cottage on a beach in Hawaii.  It’s because I’ve never been able to get down a ski slope, in all the years that I attempted it, without cursing in a most unladylike fashion.  Hence, my title as LODGE QUEEN.

(Haters gonna hate.  I know.)

On Thursday, the heavy machinery came through our cul de sac to plow the snow, and then the bigger machines shot that snow into the backs of dump trucks.  Thing 2 was mesmerized.  I should have popped some popcorn for him, because he spent the majority of his morning watching the big rigs do their jobs from the safety of our living room.

IMG_1430 IMG_1433Then, on Thursday evening, the boy had a little band performance at his school.

And?  Do you know what career I could NEVER have?  That would be BAND INSTRUCTOR.  The thought of being surrounded by junior high kids and one hundred trumpets, clarinets and flutes makes me need to just sit down and hang my head between my knees, to catch my breath from all THE DIZZY.

Of course, this is no longer my first band rodeo, what with the boy being a third-year clarinet player now.  I’ve learned to take pictures of him all dressed up at home, and then again as he walks onto the stage…

IMG_1435 IMG_1441 IMG_1446 IMG_1449 IMG_1452… because, once the performance begins, THIS is all that you will see of your child:

IMG_1456Of course, Thing 2 looked deliciously cute on Saturday morning, so I had him hop up on the fireplace for pictures.

Imagine that.

IMG_1459 IMG_1464And then we went to the little private school where I teach PE, because the boy’s good friend, Ben (who lives seventy miles down the road in Small Ranching Community), was playing against my school’s junior high basketball team.  I was so torn on all the cheering, because all of the boys from our school have been in my PE class and I love them all, but then… BEN!  And we love him, too.

So… yes.  I cheered wildly for both teams.

And then, Ben’s mama (who is one of my close friends) and I marveled over how we’ve sort of come full circle.  It’s because our two oldest boys became great friends at the age of four, when they met in pre-kindergarten.

Here’s the boy and Ben, clear back in the day, when neither one of them was embarrassed to have ketchup from lunch smeared across their faces.

IMG_2299 IMG_2187And on Saturday, Ben’s two little brothers and the boy’s little brother all sat together at the basketball game.  I’m fairly certain that these three are all destined to be very good friends, too, and I couldn’t possibly be any happier about that.  Just YAY!  And also DOUBLE YAY!  Ben’s mama raises some fine boys, and these two will make especially fantastic, lifelong friends for Thing 2 to have.

There’s Levi (he’ll turn two next month), and Thing 2 (who is two-and-a-half), and Levi (who is three now).  Go ahead and say it… they’re every single bit as adorable as the boy and Ben were.

IMG_3372 IMG_3374Of course, getting all three of these toddlers to look at my camera at the same time was like coaxing full-grown cats to sit still and smile, so we did the best we could.  Those three cheered and cheered for Ben, and they ate their weights in popcorn, too.

And then… LOOK!  Thing 2 was adorable on Sunday morning, before church, so I took even more pictures of him…

IMG_1470 IMG_1474 IMG_1472 IMG_1481And as cute as he looked in those jeans, when we came home from church, our toddler demanded to get his “tight pants” off, because he wanted sweatpants.

And then this morning, he made it clear to me that he wouldn’t be wearing “tight pants” any more, because he only likes sweats now.  He instructed me to put his “tight pants” into the garbage.  It’s almost like living with a three-year-old girl, who insists on wearing only princess dresses…

… except we don’t look that fancy in boring sweats.

I guess I’m about to kiss CUTE BOY CLOTHES goodbye, as my opinionated toddler makes his clothing demands known.

And that, folks, is it for tonight.  I’m taking my “THIS COULD BECOME THE MOTHER OF ALL CHEST COLDS” to bed.

Have a great Monday.

A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, there was a girl who had a blog.  She was a faithful little blogger, because she’d eaten an apple sold by a shady-looking peddler with a crooked smile that was laced with OCD.  The OCD made her do things, like lie in bed at night and wonder DID I SHUT THE OVEN OFF AFTER I BAKED THOSE CORN DOGS FOR DINNER?  It also made her think that she had to put a blog post up every single weeknight, because that’s how she started doing things, and she was never one to break tradition.

And then real life happened, because the Handsome Prince said things like, “I’ve HEARD you say that you have to go to the grocery store sixty-two times, but I’ll believe it when I see it happen.”  And then the children did things, too.  They left the lid off the toothpaste on their bathroom sink, and somehow the toothpaste managed to get out of the tube, because TODDLER IN THE HOUSE, and then the Royal Cat stepped in it, and that is why there was once toothpaste on the hardwood floors, shaped like tiny cougar footprints.  And then the children had meltdowns, because WALLYKAZAM IS OVER!  WALLYKAZAM IS OVER!  I WANT WALLYKAZAM!!!!

That’s when the girl with the blog decided to breathe in slowly through her nose (But she never HELD the breath for seven seconds, because she’s pretty sure that method of deep breathing has killed folks before.), and she said, “Who’s the boss at Jedi Mama, Incorporated, anyway?  Who brings the seven-layer dip and the tortilla chips to the annual Jedi Mama Christmas party?”  And that’s when she realized that it must be her, because she was the only one who was actually EMPLOYED by JM, Inc., unless you count the IT guy who is famous for rolling his eyes into the back of his skull when she would say things like, “Tonight’s blog post vaporized like the steam from the witch’s cauldron.”

(It should be noted that the eye-rolling IT guy looked an awful lot like the Handsome Prince, but it might have been the way the disco ball was turning at the time and distorting the light.)

And then, after she realized that YES!  I AM THE BOSS AROUND HERE!, she had one of those weeks, where emotions ran high and things didn’t go as she wanted them to go, and basically she wanted to crawl beneath the covers on her bed and not get up until Groundhog Day.  And that is precisely when she decided to play the Boss Card and say, “I’m taking a vacation.”

She really wanted to take a vacation to the sand and the water, where there was no trace of snow or frigid temperatures, and she wanted to order a drink with an umbrella in it and read a People magazine in the sunshine.  Then she looked at her checking account and remembered that she had married the Handsome Prince for LOOKS and not for his gold.

So she simply stayed at home, but she didn’t blog.  She watched some HGTV and wondered about installing subway tiles in her kitchen.  And then she watched some more HGTV and wondered about hanging sliding barn doors somewhere in her house.  And then the Handsome Prince shut HGTV off for her, because all he saw was himself being solicited as a home-improvement contractor, and he had no desire to lay on that grenade ever again.

Like… EVER again.

And then, like it always does, the weekend came.  It quit snowing and the sun came out, and the girl with the blog even ventured outside with nothing more than her sweater on, and that’s when she realized that MAYBE SPRING WILL COME AGAIN.  Because really?  She is horrendously sick of the winter living.

Thankfully, Starbucks is just down the hill from the Jedi Manor, so she has a place to warm her soul, for $4.89.

And that is when the girl with the blog decided that maybe she’d taken enough time off from posting, and JUST MAYBE she could start writing some nonsense again, for her three faithful readers.

And then she and the Handsome Prince lived happily ever after, just without some really great subway tile acting as a backsplash in their royal kitchen.

(Don’t worry.  The Handsome Prince isn’t interested in installing subway tiles, so she’s going to ask the cute IT guy who helps her with all her computer-related issues… of which she tends to have many.)

Because Every Little Boy Loves Himself A Good Screwdriver

So the ice machine in our freezer door froze over.  I don’t know if it was someone who angered Elsa (and by the looks of our weather outside, that may very well be the case) or what, but all the working parts froze.

And when working parts freeze, they tend to… well… stop working, and THAT resulted in a serious ice shortage for everyone at our house.  We went into panic mode, because HOW WILL WE LIVE WITHOUT CRUSHED ICE IN OUR LEMON WATERS?  (Except that was only me shouting that, because I’m the only one who thinks lemon and water stir up a great kind of health craze around here.  Everyone else shouted, WHAT?  NO CRUSHED ICE FOR THE COKE?  Clearly, they haven’t watched the You Tube videos on THIS IS YOUR STOMACH ON COKE.)

(Shout out if you’re old enough to remember those commercials from yesteryear… the fried eggs cooking in the pan… )

(You’re all way too young and have absolutely no idea what I’m even talking about, huh?)

(No matter.)

This weekend, Hubs employed his ability to understand how things come apart, and he took the ice maker out of the freezer door.  And then he sprawled it all out across my kitchen counter to thaw overnight, because that’s exactly what I wanted hogging up my counter space.

(I say that like I actually use my kitchen counters for cooking.)

The next morning, Elsa had forgiven the ice machine, and she was good to go back inside the refrigerator.  Sadly, it took ALL STINKING DAY before she’d summoned her courage and strength to attempt ice-making once more, but I’m here to report:  SHE DID IT!  WE HAVE ICE AGAIN!  CRISIS AVERTED!

The boy was sleeping when Hubs reassembled the ice machine, because the boy is fourteen and seldom makes an appearance before lunchtime on the weekends any more.  Thing 2 gets up at 5 AM, because his primary goal in life is to see every sunrise, every day, for his entire life.  (Bless his heart.)  When he realized that Daddy was tinkering in the kitchen, he immediately ran to the junk drawer to grab his own screwdriver.  Apparently it’s an embarrassment for any guy to show up at a tinkering party without his own tools, and this is something that the Y chromosome just innately KNOWS, even at the age of two and a half.

IMG_1400 IMG_1401 IMG_1404 IMG_1406 IMG_1408 IMG_1410 IMG_1412 IMG_1417And… just like that… the thing was fixed.

I can’t even put into words my happiness over this, because I was ready to just buy a brand new refrigerator at Home Depot in order to have ice at my command again.  Our checking account is grateful that all our water-freezing abilities needed was some time to thaw out, and that the dad around here knew how to handle the GET IT OUT OF THE FREEZER DOOR WITHOUT BREAKING IT LIKE MY WIFE WOULD HAVE DONE IN SHEER FRUSTRATION process.

Y’all have a fantastic Tuesday evening.

We Will Have No Super Bowl Rings

I’m sure you’ve all heard by now, but the Broncos lost yesterday.

And that, people, has ended our NFL season here at the Jedi Manor.  In case you’re wondering, Hubs didn’t take the loss well at all.  He sort of resembled the man who comes home to discover that someone kicked each of the puppies in his litter.  And then he hung black banners on the outsides of our home, to announce to all passersby that WE ARE A FAMILY IN DEEP MOURNING; WE ARE A FAMILY WITH BROKEN HEARTS.

If you feel compelled to bring us a casserole during our mourning period, when you stop by to leave a lit candle or a stuffed animal in our driveway, PLEASE!  Do so.

And if you’re wondering how I took the loss, let me tell you this one thing:  I took a nap during the first quarter of that Bronco football game yesterday afternoon.  It was the kind of nap where you sleep like you’re dead, drool on the pillow, and dream that you and a friend are moving wild pigs from one pasture to another, regardless of the fact that, in real life, you want absolutely nothing to do with wild pigs.  And then you wake up, and you have no idea where you are, and your hair is sticking up in nineteen different directions, and your mascara has smeared down one cheek.  Yes… I slept exactly like that, while the Broncos went into their playoff game, and Hubs couldn’t understand how I could relax when possible Super Bowl rings were on the line.

It’s all in the deep breathing, people.

In other news, Hubs took the boy with him to our church on Saturday, because they installed hot spots.  Or hot points.  Or hot places.  Or hot I-HAVE-NO-IDEA-WHAT, because apparently our church was in need of those things.  I would love to tell you more about that adventure, but all I know is that (1) it was computer related, (2) they were gone ALL THE LIVE-LONG DAY, and (3) the boy’s Saturday apprenticeship went very well, and he can now run forty-six miles of wires and cables through fiberglass insulation.

While they were gone, my mom came over and we gutted my pantry.

Our pantry has been on the bad end of organization for quite some time now, which is a fancy way to say IT LOOKED LIKE A TROLL SHOPPING CENTER.  I’ve been on Pinterest more than I care to admit lately, looking at different pantries and coveting all the organization and delicious wicker baskets with little chalkboards on the front where the mama can write the words CEREAL BOXES.  I feel that it’s very important to have a cute and trendy chalkboard label for boxes of Life and Krave and Raisin Bran, because?  Otherwise?  How on earth would you know what was actually in that wicker basket?

I had decided that our very own pantry could benefit from this type of organization, because the girly side of me was head over heels in love with the wicker baskets to hold my Minute Rice, and the OCD side of me needed the pantry chaos to be tamed so that I could breathe without developing a migraine every single day when I had to open those pantry doors.

So I went to Walmart, because it’s the only place to shop in Small Town, USA.  You know what they say… “If you can’t buy it at Walmart, then you’ll have to order it off of Amazon.”  As luck would have it, our Walmart thinks that wicker baskets in a pantry is a trend that has gone the way of the avocado-colored oven or the pink bathroom tile, so they don’t have any.  And there was my mama, at my house, ready to attack that pantry with me like a couple of lit grenades, so I wasn’t going to take the time to get free, two-day shipping off Amazon Prime.

I plowed forward, and I bought plastic bins.  They’re not as lovely as the wicker baskets on Pinterest, but listen:  They do exactly the same job, for fewer American dollars.

I didn’t take any BEFORE pictures of my pantry, because I didn’t think that I needed to be reminded of what we were hiding behind closed doors at our house, but then I remembered that I had a snapshot on my phone of Thing 2 CLIMBING the pantry shelves.

This will stand in as our BEFORE picture, even though it was taken a couple of months ago.

IMG_2842I know.  I need to hang my head in shame, because how on earth could anyone in our family get to the Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies when they were just shoved to the back like that?

And now, after forty-eleven hours of manual labor that was reminiscent of digging ditches in the Arizona sun, we have the AFTER shot:

IMG_1429And all the angels said, “Amen.”

And then!  Because he’s so hard to photograph, what with him being fourteen and fearful of the camera these days, I managed to sit the boy down and catch him on a digital memory card, which is getting more and more difficult to do.

His mama thinks he’s rather handsome, even if he is in serious need of a haircut.

IMG_1394 IMG_1399And that’s going to do it for tonight, folks.

Apparently we’ve moved on to the Oregon Ducks and the Colorado Avalanche games tonight, what with the Denver Broncos being completely out of the lineup.  I might just have to go YELL-O at the TV here in a moment.

And then I might have to come back and stare at the pantry that my mama helped me create.  I feel like a disco ball should light up every time I throw the doors open wide.

Happy Monday night, y’all.

That Time I Nearly Died From Deep Breathing

Well, we have merged back into the real world after two weeks of Pajama Bliss, and it’s been nothing but FULL STEAM AHEAD around here.  I don’t know how it happened, but this seems to be the Week of Better Health around here, as I somehow managed to book eye doctor appointments and orthodontist appointments and haircut appointments for everyone, all week long.  In other words, we’ve been scrambling around like a cat being pulled by her tail on the hardwood floor, who is fighting to grab an area rug with her claws as she goes by, just to get from one event to the next.

And then, on top of our very busy week, Thing 2 found, by a happy accident, a video on You Tube that’s all about combines harvesting wheat, but it’s set to Steve Earl’s song, Copperhead Road.  That’s the ONLY video he has wanted to be played on the iPad today, which… you know… FINE AND ALL, but it’s not a video that is easily FINDABLE.  As in, you can’t just type in COMBINES + COPPERHEAD ROAD in the search bar and have it magically appear.  It’s an obscure little home video that successfully hides from me, every time I have a two-year-old hopping mad and breathing down my neck, because FIND MY NEW FAVORITE VIDEO NOW BEFORE I UNLEASH A TANTRUM THAT MAKES CHERNOBYL LOOK SMALL.

(And I know y’all are going to ask how a toddler even knows anything about the song, Copperhead Road.  Please direct all your inquiries and / or complaints to Hubs on that one.  It’s set to play on an endless loop in the CD player in Hubs’ car, and our two-year-old now knows every last word to a song about John Lee Pettimore’s granddaddy running the weekly load of whiskey down to Knoxville in his primer-gray, big block Dodge, with the sheriff hot on his trail, while his mama cried at home.)

(Hubs usually follows this song up with a conversation with the toddler about how moonshine is still big business, because THEY MADE A REALITY SHOW ABOUT IT ON THE TV, SON!)

(If you feel led to include our family on your church’s prayer chain, then you’re probably hearing the Holy Spirit correctly.)

Anyway.

I just have a couple of things tonight, because… well… it has been a busy week, and because Thing 2 now has one of my curling irons (It’s cold, people!  As in, he stole it out of the drawer, and not hot off the HEATING-UP PLATFORM on the bathroom sink!), and he’s plugging it into the little trap door where the hose to the central vacuum cleaner goes.  I probably need to deal with that, before the pipes that run beneath the house, for all the dirt on our floors, end up holding a cheap, Revlon curling iron with a twisted-up cord.  I can only imagine the look that will appear on Hubs’ face if I have to tell him he needs to go fishing for THAT kind of debris in the PVC pipes.

1.  Several of my friends posted a link to an article on HOW TO FALL ASLEEP IN LESS THAN ONE MINUTE on Facebook yesterday, and I’m not going to lie… I hopped on reading that like a rat on an abandoned bag of Doritos.  It’s because I have what is commonly referred to as THE SLEEP ISSUES.  I don’t know any other human being who can wake up in the middle of the night, and then JUST BE AWAKE for the next four hours, for no real reason at all.  So believe me when I say that I was quite interested in learning the ancient secret for falling asleep in under a minute.

When I went to bed last night, I was all read-up on what I needed to do, and I was plum giddy with the excitement, because yes!  I can inhale for four seconds, hold my breath for seven seconds, and then exhale for eight seconds.  I was looking forward to the article’s prediction that I probably wouldn’t even get through the entire nineteen seconds without conking out cold and waking up refreshed to the sounds of a babbling brook and the smell of brewing coffee in the morning.

I laid right there, on my new Tempur Pedic mattress, and I sucked in four seconds’ worth of air, held my breath for seven seconds, and then I STARTED to breathe out for eight seconds, but that’s when things went suddenly awry.  Apparently, my brain decided that I’M DROWNING!  I’M DROWNING!  HOLY HOT HELL!  I’M DROWNING, AND THERE’S BEEN NO OXYGEN FOR PUSHING FIFTEEN SECONDS NOW!!!  And that’s when I ended up panting like the lifeguard had just pulled my head above the water, into the glorious sunshine and air, and ADRENALINE, ANYONE?

I remember having all kinds of breath-holding contests in swimming lessons as a child, and I don’t ever remember not being able to win them.  Obviously, a blue ribbon from the 3rd grade, when you can stay on the bottom of the pool longer than any of your friends can, doesn’t count after your fortieth birthday, because I’m here to tell you that this trick flat-out didn’t work for me.  My relief at SWEET MERCY!  I DIDN’T DROWN AFTER ALL!  FALSE ALARM! had surged enough adrenaline through my body that I could’ve lifted a Greyhound bus off a horse last night, and if you think THAT’S conducive to falling asleep in less than one minute, then I’d like to talk to you about the oceanfront property I have in Nebraska for sale.

2.  Yesterday, my PE classes did a little bowling.  Now, before you think that we have a high-tech, miniature bowling alley adjoining my gym, I’m here to tell you that I teach at a POOR private school that was built over one hundred years ago.  Our gym floor creaks in a few places, our cafeteria is still sporting tiles on the floor that were laid in the 30s, and I’ve heard tales about how a nun haunts the locker room in the basement, where my PE supply closet is, because she died in a fire some eighty-five years ago that happened at the school.  Obviously, there’s no bowling alley.

(Also?  I’ve never seen the little nun downstairs when I have to yank out hoola  hoops and beanbags and volleyballs.  I think it’s safe, especially since the stories are that she was a LOVELY little nun, who never whacked anyone’s knuckles or backside with a yardstick, because her heart was so tender for children.)

Anyway, what I do have in my gym is a place to set up some cheap, plastic bowling pins in a triangle, and then we roll basketballs at them, because YES!  Basketballs will work in a pinch when your PE budget is zero-point-zero dollars, and the one heavy, plastic bowling ball you had six years ago split in half and spilled sand particles all over the floor.

While the kids were competing against one another in bowling matches… getting strikes and spares and arguing about whose turn it was to set the fallen pins back up… one little second grade girl piped up and said, “I really hate bowling.  Especially since you don’t have the gutter guards here, like they have at the real bowling alley.  When I roll the basketball, it goes forty-miles off to one side.  Can I braid your hair instead?”

Normally, I would have said, “Um, no!  We’ll keep practicing, until we get you flinging that ball just TWELVE MILES off to one side, instead of forty,” but yesterday I simply said, “Well… sure.”  So we both sat down on the bleachers, and she began braiding my hair, over and over, practicing her newly-discovered French braiding skills.  And then a couple of her friends joined her, and then suddenly there were six of us girls clustered on the bleachers, and they were all arguing over how best to style my hair so that it looked exactly like Elsa’s.

And, people!  What a glorious thing it is just to have someone PRACTICE THEIR BRAIDING on you!  The boys kept looking at us, yelling, “It’s Sally’s turn to bowl!” and “It’s Susie’s turn to bowl!”  And I just shouted back, “Leave them alone!  They’re doing my hair like Elsa’s!  You boys just do what you’re doing… standing over there, flinging basketballs and stinking up my gym and laughing like hyenas, and LEAVE US ALONE!”

Okay.  I didn’t say that, because I’m trying to be as sweet-tempered and lovely as the supposed ghost in my locker room was.  But still!  What I learned yesterday is that Hubs and I might need to adopt a couple of girls, so that I can have some daughters to play beauty shop with at home.  And by play beauty shop, I mean I get to just sit down, while they would practice braiding my hair, because it’s almost like being at a high-end resort, and, at home, I could get a freshly-poured mug of hot chai tea to sip while I enjoyed my time in the salon chair.

As luck would have it yesterday, recess came some six minutes after my beauty appointment started, and we had to get dressed for recess in our heavy coats and mittens and snowpants and electric blankets, because it was something like 400 degrees below zero with the windchill factor.

3.  I saw THIS today…

10734059_1758681920907804_8057721741051818939_n… so I emailed it to Hubs.

Six minutes later, the incoming text on my phone said, “Hey, beautiful.  I miss you.”

So I laughed out loud (For reals!  It wasn’t even an LOL, where I just SAID that I laughed out loud and didn’t!) and responded with, “You’re such a dork.”

And some people say that romance isn’t alive after nineteen years of marriage.

And THAT, people, is all I have for you tonight.

Carry on, and y’all have a merry weekend.

Oh…

… Mama tried alright.

She really did.

IMG_1391Isn’t it hard to look at that face and know that he squirted half of a bottle of lotion onto his Thomas the Train table?!

And then he smeared it around and around, and then around some more.

And then he drove forty-eleven train engines through the mess.

And then he greased the train tracks up, good and proper.

Do you know exactly HOW FAR half of a bottle of lotion goes?!

He’s still my favorite toddler.

Just Call Me Dr. Mama

When I picked the boy up from school this afternoon, I asked him what the very best thing was that had happened today.  He immediately shouted, “Oh, my gosh, Mom!  We worked on chemical equations in my advanced science class, and I LOVED IT!”

I’m going to call the hospital and tell them that they obviously mixed up MY child with some other lady’s baby in August of 2000.  I’ll tell them that in order to find the boy’s real mother, hospital detectives need only look for a woman who had a distinguished award in the advancement of chemical science, or who is, perhaps, related to Marie Curie, and who was pregnant and admitted for delivery the same week that I was.

I asked the boy, “And what about your English class?  Did you study how to use the semicolon appropriately today?”

The boy replied, “Mom, no one even cares about semicolons.  They’ll do nothing to further this world.”

I have no idea how I birthed this boy, people, but I intend to stand to my feet and clap like a happy lunatic when he accepts his Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

I’ll also probably use more cowbell, too.  I’ll beat the heck out of that thing in the audience, while I’m wearing my Lily Pulitzer dress.  Nothing says, I’M THE MOTHER OF THAT KID UP THERE WHO DISCOVERED THE CURE FOR CANCER better than a Lily Pulitzer.

And then I’ll pretend that I understand EVERY.  SINGLE.  WORD.  of his acceptance speech, while I whisper to Hubs, “What do those big science words mean that he’s using to explain things?”

No matter.

I’m happy to report that we all showered this morning and applied things like deodorant and mascara and jeans with real buttons and zippers, and then we made appearances in the real world.  Our days of sitting around our house, warming germs up under the electric blanket, while we look utterly homeless, are a thing of the past.  And it only took 45 minutes after his alarm went off for the boy to drag himself out of bed and complain that an 8:20 tardy bell is a perfectly UNHOLY time to get things started.

Anyway.

I know that this blog could have a subtitle of THIS IS THE WOMAN WHO HAS HER TODDLER STAND IN FRONT OF THE FIREPLACE ON A DANG-NEAR-EVERY-DAY-BASIS, SO SHE CAN TAKE HIS PICTURE.

It’s true.

But just LOOK at who is officially thirty-four months old today!

IMG_1364 IMG_1371 IMG_1368Yes, it’s true.  In exactly two months, our baby will be three years old.

I’m going to need a moment to come to grips with THAT reality.

He also has a double ear infection.  I told y’all that I suspected the ears and the infection last night, didn’t I?

I guess that proves that I should have been a doctor after all.

So maybe I am the boy’s REAL mother.

Happy Monday, everyone.