Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mood Swings

So I have been really moody lately. Really. No. I mean REALLY. Like one minute I am laughing and everything is just peachy keen jelly bean. And the next minute I am crying hysterically. The ugly cry. The one where there is wet stuff coming out of various holes in your face and you can't catch your breath. And then the next moment I am so angry I want to rip someone's head off. Seriously. People are afraid of me.

So what is my deal?

Well, I just googled my symptoms. And according to the super reliable medical info one can receive via internet search, I am either manic, bipolar or peri-menopausal.

Let me just tell you something right now. I am 37. Freshly 37. And if I go to a doctor and he or she tells me I am on the fringe of menopause, people better freaking duck and cover. They may as well lie to me and start prescribing the happy pills because there is no way I am accepting that diagnosis three WHOLE ENTIRE YEARS before I turn 40. No way. Not a chance. Not even funny.

Depression? Mental illness? Bring it on. But leave my ovaries and estrogen levels alone.

That is all.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

So You Had A Bad Day....

Oh. My. GAWD. People.

You would not believe the day I have had. And really, now that I am home and in my jammies and warm and safe and maybe quite possibly enjoying a refreshing adult beverage, in retrospect I can see that it wasn't that bad. But just enough to furrow the eyebrows causing a severe headache that makes everything that much worse. Are you following me??

So I drop the boys off at school this morning, and then proceed to take Boo to preschool. I made a pit stop at the gas station, where just as I pull in, an indicator light shows up on the dash accompanied by a very annoying dinging sound. What the freak?? "Check right rear tire pressure."

I get out of the car and immediately hear a very ominous shoooooooooooshing noise. Louder than hiss, more quiet than a woosh. My tire was going flat right before my eyes. And ears. I inspect it, trying to figure out where the air is escaping, and then I see it. A broken razor blade sticking out of the tread on my BRAND NEW FREAKING TIRE.

Oh crap... What do I do?? Do I put more air in and throw up a hail Mary that I can make it to Discount tire??? Which is not anywhere near my present location. I call Uberman.

"My tire is leaking. There's a razor blade. It's losing air! Here, can you hear it??? (hold phone to tire) What do I do what do I do what do I do????"

"Baby, you have to change the tire."

"I don't know how to change a tire!!!!!!! I'm a GIRL!!!" I know. And I call myself a feminist. Look. Don't judge me. I have lived this long without ever having to know how to do this. I have Uberman and he is awesome. Why cloud the mind with useless information. I have more important things to know. Like who is nominated for an Oscar and what Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck named their new baby.

Anyhoots, Uberman was at work. Couldn't leave. I was screwed.

"What do I do??" I ask, arms flailing.

"Let me call my dad, see if he can come get you."

And then I see a man walking toward me. "Ma'am? Do you need help? You okay?"

"Uuuuummmm...." I am weighing my options. What if he's a serial killer? Or a child molester?? Or a mugger?? Or something really bad, like a chubby chaser?? But what if he can change a tire??? Hmmmmmm....

"I am having a tire . . . situation..... It's going flat." I look at the tire. "It is flat."

"I can change your tire, I don't mind."

"Really??" I ask him. And then my guard goes back up. "Why?"

He laughed. "You look like you need some help."

I agreed to let the kind, non-murderous (so far) stranger change my tire. Except..... No jack. Yup. There was no jack in my car. Apparently it didn't come with one?? It was forgotten?? GMC just didn't give a crap about a mother of three children cruising the dangerous streets of Phoenix with NO JACK IN HER CAR?? What the H people???

So the non-murderer couldn't help me after all. I called my sister in law in hopes she was on her way to the preschool with my nephew and could swing by and pick up Boo. No dice. Her sister took my nephew and her own son this morning.

"Where are you?" she asked. And that's where the morning overwhelmed me. I started crying. Like a big baby. A big, tire changing challenged, quasi feminist, failure as a woman, BABY. I blubbered on and on about my bad morning, and Boo being late for school and me being late for work and the kindness of a total stranger (which turned into six strangers when a pack of his construction worker friends showed up, one of them with a jack but lacking that other useful bar/stick thingie that actually lowers the tire from its designated spot under the truck).

"Don't move. I'll be there in 10 minutes." And she hung up. As soon as she hung up, Ubes called. "I called JR (our awesome mechanic friend), he is sending someone to change the tire, then they will take the truck to him to see if they can fix the tire or if we have to get a new one."

More tears. Happy tears, thankful tears and frustrated tears all mixed together. The last thing I need is to spend money on another new tire.

She She showed up to get me. Within a minute, the designated tire changer showed up with his red cape and smiled awkwardly as I burst into tears again. Yeah, I know. And it's not even near my time of the month or anything. I was just a huge basket case today.

First, She She took Boo to school. Then me to work (stopping in between to get me my much needed diet coke with vanilla). I was only 15 minutes late. No problem.

Until lunch time. I have been bringing my lunch this week (I made a delicious quiche and have been enjoying the leftovers for lunch), only in my rush to get out the door, I totes forgot.

"Oh Em Gee," I complain to my co-worker The Boy. "I have no car!"

"I'll go get you something," he says.

"Okay!" I exclaim happily. Until I realize . . . "I have NO money!!" I am the mother of three. I never have any cash because someone always needs it for a field trip or a school function or for a treat from the snack bar at school.

He laughed. "I'll spot you. I know where to find you."

So basically what I am telling you is if it were not for the kindness of 6 total strangers and my close friends and family, I would not have made it through the day. I would not be sitting here with a newly patched tire (woo hoo for not having to buy a new tire!!), warm jammies, a delicious adult beverage (which is almost gone, I'll be honest), and a new blog topic.

Oh. My. Gawd. People. I just reread this whole post before publishing. I can't believe you read this crap. Aren't you so glad you stopped by today??

Basket case, party of one please.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Too Much Bounce

There's a woman in my neighborhood who runs. Every day. Sometimes twice.
.
I can see her from my office window upstairs as she silently breezes by my house, her sleek pony tail swishing from side to side. She's like a gazelle.
.
I want to be like a gazelle. I want to run, leaping down the street in cute running pants and matching top. My luscious pony tail swinging back and forth as my feet lightly touch the ground before propelling me forward again. The neighbors will hear a light tapping noise on the street as my rubber soles gracefully glide me by. Nothing but the music of my iPod and my happy thoughts swirling in my head as my body benefits from my heart pumping and the fresh air filling my lungs.
.
Aaahhhh. It's nice to have dreams.
.
The reality is, I have tried to run. I've dressed out, tied the shoes, put the headphones in and started off. Only, I wasn't quite the graceful gazelle I imagined. Let's just say a charging rhinoceros is more graceful than April spazzing out down the street.
.
First of all, I am so not graceful. My feet don't tap tap tap as they hit the asphalt. They THAWHUMP - KERCHUNK - FALUMPADUNK. I swear I can hear the windows rattle as I pass each house.
.
"Honey, is there some construction going on in the street behind us?"

"No, that chick around the corner is trying to run again."

"Oh, poor thing."
.
Secondly, my body does not cooperate with the running motion. There's just too much stuff bouncing and bobbling and shaking. I'm totally afraid I am going to knock myself out with a stray boobie. Now there's an embarrassing conversation in the emergency room.
.
Last, my hair's not long enough for a bouncy ponytail. I can pull it back, but it sticks straight out like bunched up asparagus. And then I have all these whispies around my face and neck. Not exactly marathon chic.
.
I'd also probably be singing along to my iPod, only not realizing how far my voice carries. Instead of the quiet tap tap tap I imagined, my neighbors would hear me belting out something really bad and embarrassing... Like "Hungry Like The Wolf." Dooooot do doot doot do doot doot do doot doot do doot doot.
.
But still, one of these days, I want to be a runner. But I'll probably never be a gazelle. Not everyone can be one. Some of us have to be that hippo in a tutu. I'm totally okay with that. Tutus are pretty.
.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Overachiever

On Wednesday afternoon while I was at work, my phone began vibrating on my desk. Normally I ignore it when I am working, but this time I recognized the number and since I didn't have a client in front of me, I answered.

"Hi Mrs. Uberman, it's the substitute nurse at your kids' school. I'm calling about Junior."

Junior has asthma, so I get these calls occasionally. Just the nurse letting me know he came in for a breathing treatment or to use his inhaler or whatever. But this time I sensed in her voice this was different.

"He fell on the playground and is complaining about his hand. He has been crying since he came in. I gave him some ice for it, but he seems to be in a lot of pain. What would you like me to do?"

Now is it just me, or is that a really stupid question? She's the nurse. The one with the degree and all. Isn't she supposed to be telling me what to do?? She hasn't told me anything about the injury, other than she gave him ice and he's in pain.

"What's wrong with his hand? What happened?" I ask.

"I'm not really sure," she says. "It's a little red, maybe a little swollen."

"Do I need to come get him?"

"I'm not really sure. I am just the substitute so I don't know these kids. I don't know if he's really hurt or if he tends to overreact about stuff. I am not sure."

"Can I talk to him?" I'm taking deep breaths and counting to ten at this point.

My son gets on the phone, and I hear in his voice he is not okay. He is in pain. Something is wrong. Most eleven year old boys do not cry openly in front of their peers unless a significant amount of pain is involved. This kid has been plunked in the hand with a baseball during little league games and blamed the sun for the moisture in his eyes.

I hung up and called Uberman. And this is where I really struggle with the guilt of being a working mom. I could not leave work at that time because we didn't have enough people to cover. Luckily Uberman was able to go get him and take him to urgent care.

The diagnosis - broken ring finger on his left hand. My son's response? Will it heal in time for baseball? The season starts in about a month. The doctor at urgent care was not so sure. You see, this is my overachiever. When he does something, he does it to the best of his ability. Including a broken finger. He broke it at the base of the finger, right above the knuckle on his hand. The doctor was concerned about the growth plate and referred us to an orthopedic specialist.

I took him yesterday. And during the appointment there were several times I felt that I needed medical treatment. First, when the doctor looked at his x-rays he said "Well that's not good. Nope. Not at all." Not very reassuring. The bone was far too crooked. Which meant . . . you guessed it. It had to be straightened.

Oh, here's where it gets good. He gave Junior a shot in his finger with the biggest needle I have ever seen. Keep in mind, I have given birth to three children, mmmkay? Now we all know, I am one of the last people on the planet still watching ER. And I watch Greys and Private Practice. The medical stuff doesn't bother me that much. But when it's your own kid. And it's real and not that fake TV stuff. Good Lord, I'm feeling a little woozy just thinking about it.

So Dr. Bone Guy is digging around in my baby's hand (which is already swollen and black and blue on both sides) with this ginormous needle, getting it all numbed up for the main event. I am sitting next to Junior, holding his other hand, totally using the breathing techniques from my Lamaze class eleven years ago. And Junior is watching this whole thing. Fascinated by this needle shoved in his hand and the doctor moving it around his knuckle and shoving it in deeper. I think the kid was holding my hand to comfort me and not the other way around. "Mom, you okay?" he kept asking.

When the doctor removed the needle, there was a tiny little spot of blood that appeared where the needle had punctured the skin. A tiny spot. So small you would have thought it was a speck of dirt. And that's when the kid freaked out. "I'm bleeding!!!" Dr. Bones, wiped it away and started asking Junior about his hobbies and who his favorite baseball team is. And while they are talking about cars and the Yankees and how Junior met Luis Gonzales last week at the Barrett Jackson auction, Dr. Bones starts pulling on the broken, crooked finger.

Now Junior is pretty numbed up and oblivious, so into sharing his story about meeting Gonzo that he doesn't even hear the popping and cracking sounds his finger is making. But mommy heard it. And mommy wanted to vomit.

"You okay mom?" Dr. Bones asks.

"Oh, I'm fine. I can handle this. I watch ER." I tell him.

He smiles at me. "You look a little pale."

"That's my natural color," I say, trying to be all cool. "I don't like to damage my skin with the sun's harmful UV rays. Plus I'm wearing a darker lipstick than normal, that can make the skin look lighter."

"Uh-huh." He says. "Okay Junior, let's take some more x-rays and see if we got it back in place." He turns to me, "Mom, you want to stay here and uh . . . take a moment?"

I nod.

"Okay," he continues. "If the bone is back in place, that's good. If not, we need to talk surgery."

Breathe in. Breathe out. Blink. Breathe in. Breathe out. Blink.

"What the heck, Junior?? You can't just break your finger normally?? You have to break it so good you might need surgery??" I say to him.

The good news is, the x-rays looked great. I have to take him back in seven days to make sure the bone hasn't moved. As long as it stays in place, no surgery. No surgery means Junior can still play baseball this spring, he can resume riding his motorized scooter, he can continue kicking his dad's butt on Guitar Hero and Rock Band, and I can stop hyperventilating.

This mom thing is not for the weak at heart.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Kid Who Thinks Spaghetti is Gross

Somewhere along the line I started this really bad habit of getting my boys a sandwich from Subway when they have to pack a lunch for a field trip. And somewhere between work and home last night, I completely forgot about Mac's field trip today.

So last night at 8:00, I found myself going to Subway in my pajamas getting the kid his lunch.

Me: Mac, what kind of sandwich do you want?
Mac: The usual.
Me: Salami and pepperoni?
Mac: Yes, with pepper jack cheese.
Me: You want anything else on it?
Mac: Jalapenos, banana peppers and spicy mustard.
Me: Good Lord. I am so glad I am not riding home on that bus with you.
Mac (with a twinkle in his eye): Yeah, those poor people are never gonna know what hit 'em.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I wanna be like Mike

I have this friend. We'll call her . . . uuuuuhhhhh . . . Sunshine. So Sunshine always has a really positive Facebook status. Like "Sunshine just got home from a beautiful afternoon at the park with her awesome kids!" Or "Sunshine feels great and is about to hit the gym!"

Oh how I envy Sunshine. Because my Facebook status is more like "April just ate half a pizza, 6 cookies, an ice cream and a bag of Cheetos and wonders why she can't get her fat ass off the couch to walk to the mailbox." Or "April just spent the morning scraping dried up toothpaste out of the boys' bathroom sink and is now listing two kids on Craig's List." Sunshine would never say any of that.

I need to be more like Sunshine. I need to focus on the positive. Try to see the good in everything. Put down the Cheetos and take my kids to the park.

I have another friend. Let's call her . . . Martha. Martha is organized. Martha has everything put away. In rubbermaid containers. Which are labeled. And alphabetized. And even her labels are cute and fun. Martha never has to search for three days to find a copy of the title to the car her husband is about to sell. And I am sure Martha never has to call her insurance agent for another copy of her proof of car insurance because she lost the last three he sent. And I know for a fact Martha would not just misplace an entire pair of brown tweed pants. She would not have to check the laundry room, the bathroom hamper, the closet, the chair in the bedroom, the pile of clothes to go to the dry cleaner, the bags that just came from the dry cleaner, or even call the dry cleaner and accuse them of not returning a pair of pants only to be told that her receipt plainly stated she dropped off 5 pairs of pants and 5 pairs of pants were returned. And she would know this if she had not lost her receipt. Oh no, Martha's pants would be hanging in the closet where they belonged.

I need to be more like Martha. I need to simplify my life. Get rid of my clutter. Put things away and not leave stuff all over the place. Teach my kids the importance of taking care of things.

One of my other friends, we'll call her Serenity, doesn't worry about things. She doesn't let things bother her and she never takes anything personally. If we are driving down the road and someone honks at her, she'll smile and wave at them and say "I'm sorry" even though they can't hear her. Even if she did nothing wrong and the person honking is just being a jerk. She'll laugh it off and forgive that person for being rude "They are probably having a bad day. I'll pray for them." Serenity is never worried about the future. Why? Because she has no control of it. "I can't see tomorrow. Why worry about it?" She doesn't get her feelings hurt by others. "I can't control how other people feel about me. All I can do is treat them with kindness and forgive when they don't return the favor."

I need to be more like Serenity. I need to stop letting things bother me so much. Who cares if the crossing guard/PE teacher at the kids' school yelled at me for not pulling out onto the street even though he was waving me on? He obviously couldn't see there was a car coming. What does it matter that he screamed "Go lady! What are you waiting for??" And even though I really wanted to, I can see now it would not have done me any good to jump out of the car and tackle him to the ground, yank the stupid stop sign out of his hand and smack him upside his bald little head with it. I should have prayed for the man because he obviously needs Jesus. I need to let things go and stop worrying about what I can't control.

So it's taken me a while, but these are my resolutions:

Be more positive with my words.
Move more.
Take care of myself. Everything in moderation.
Spend better time with the kids.
Organize.
Put things away.
Simplify and declutter.
Let it go.
Laugh it off.
Stop controlling everything.
Accept.

And just for fun:

Try something new every month. New food, new product, new hobby, whatever. Just try something different. Stretch out a little, expand my horizons. Leave my comfort zone. Shake it up.

But most importantly, still be me. Just improved.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Not Rocket Science

There are times when I think I am on a hidden camera show. I have shared many experiences with you that are unbelievable, yet absolutely true. Do you honestly think if I had the ability to make this crap up, I would be sharing it with you for free? Take this little beauty for example.

Today I stopped at Sonic for my morning dose of heroin Diet Coke with Vanilla. Thirty two ounces for 99 cents people! You can't beat that with a stick. Anyhoots, I actually had the following conversation via loudspeaker attached to the menu:

Sonic Girl: Hi, Welcome to Sonic, how can I help you?
Me: Can I get a large Diet Coke with vanilla, please?
She: I'm sorry, can you repeat that?
Me: A large diet coke with vanilla, please.
She: Cheese on what?
Me: What?
She: What did you want with cheese?
Me: No cheese. Just a Diet Coke with vanilla, please.
She: What did you want with your vanilla?
Me: Uuuummm . . . Diet Coke?
She: Yeah, I got that. Did you say you also wanted a vanilla freeze? Because I don't know what that is. We don't have that.
Me: Uuuuhhhh.... No, I said a large diet coke with vanilla PLEASE.
She: Vanilla what?
Me: Vanilla nothing. I am saying 'please.' PLEASE? P-L-E-A-S-E.
She: Oh, I'm sorry. Okay so that's a large diet coke with a vanilla ice cream. Your total is . . .
Me: What?? No, no, no. I want a large diet coke with a splash of vanilla flavor in it. In the diet coke. Not ice cream.
She: Did you want fries or tots?
Me: Neither. I only want the drink.
She: So you don't want the vanilla?
Me: Dude, are you kidding me?
She: Ma'am?
Me: Are you new? Where's Sally*?
She: Oh she's off today.
Me: Is there someone else there who speaks beverage?
She: What?
Me: Look. All I want is a large Diet Coke with vanilla. If the vanilla is too much for you, I'll just take the Diet Coke.
She: Okay. Would you like to try any mozzarella sticks or cheddar peppers with that?
Me: It's 8:00 in the morning.
She: (Silence)
Me: Just the drink please.
She: Okay, so that's one large Coke. Your total is $1.08.
Me: (Staring at the speaker in utter disbelief) Boo, she still didn't get it!
Boo: You should have gone to the gas station like Grandpa does. He gets his own drink.
Me: Grandpa is smart.
Boo: That girl isn't.

And with that my friends, I drove away. I took my daughter's advice and went to QT. Where I got my own drink. With vanilla even.

It was gross. And my whole day sucked because of it.

So tomorrow, I am going to ask Sally* about her schedule, and then go to an alternate Sonic on her day off.

OMG. Maybe the dumb girl isn't really my problem??

*Not her real name.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Open Mouth, Insert Foot. Lather Rinse Repeat.

From the window at my desk I can see the car sitting in the drive thru lane. I hear the swooshing sound of the tube running through the chute and the kerplunk as it lands in the box above the counter.

I approach the window and press the button turning the microphone on. "Hello Mr. Customer, how are you today?"

"Fine." He stares straight ahead, not bothering to glance at the insignificant person handling his money. He's old. Grumpy. Doesn't have time for small talk, just wants to make his deposit and get back to his barcolounger in time for this afternoon's Columbo rerun.

"I'm just going to step away a moment to take care of this for you and be right back with your receipt."

No response.

I notice a white puff of curly hair leaning forward in the passenger seat, the furry little face attached is partially obscured from my view due to pipes leading from the drive thru receptacle into the building. I press the microphone button again.

"Sir, would your dog like a treat?"

His head jerks to the left to face me through the bullet proof glass.

"Excuse me?" he asks, his brow furrowed with confusion.

The puff of curly white hair leans back in the passenger seat. The not so furry face turns to glare at me. I immediately realize my mistake as I smile back at his wife. I swallow the mixture of humiliation and laughter overwhelming me.

"I said, I'll be right back with your receipt."

Welcome to my world. Touching people's lives one embarrassing moment at a time.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Where Have I Been??

I know! Can you even believe it? The FOURTH day into the new year and I have not blogged yet?? What the H? The truth is, I have been busy busy. And sick. I've had a terrible cold since Christmas day. And I am still trying to catch up on the mess that the holidays left behind. There are decorations everywhere. Gifts we received have still not been put away. And the kids' rooms. Oh. Dear. Lord. Let's just say if CPS came knocking, my babies would be in foster care. Come to think of it, I haven't seen the little one in a while.....

Anyhoots, how were your holidays? Yeah? Good? Did you make any resolutions for the new year? I am still deciding on mine. There are the usuals: lose weight, get organized, be more patient with the kids, develop a British accent. You know, the same stuff every year. This year I really want to finish the things I start. I love that sense of accomplishment, that feeling of pride when you do what you say you will. I want to follow through.

I'm a little nervous about what this year will bring. Last year was not the worst year, but there were some moments I could have done without. I've talked to a lot of people who have said last year was the best of their lives. I would love to have a year like that. But I am definitely thankful for the year I had, it could have been so much worse. God has blessed me and my family. We are lucky.

One of the best things I did last year was start this blog. I have met so many amazing people and made actual friendships I never would have had without this. I am thankful for all the people who stop by and take up their precious time reading my word vomit when I am sure they have so many more important things to do. I appreciate you, and I appreciate this space I have created to sort out my thoughts, complain about what bugs me and celebrate the millions of happy moments I am blessed with in life. This is a good thing. And I am looking forward to sharing the uncertainty of a new year with all of you.

Happy New Year!!