Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The One Where This Wedding Is Creeping Up On Me...

Less than three weeks til the wedding, and I am slowly turning into a nervous wreck.

I don't know if I've mentioned before that I hate planning.  I'm sure I have.  If not - I do.  The only times I've planned events that have gone successfully have been times where someone else helped me get through it.   Or that time I decided to throw a 26th birthday party even though I was on Day 2 of a horrific stomach virus.  That actually went really well, despite the warning signs.

But seriously, I sent out invites to my first wedding via Facebook because I didn't think to get enough wedding invitations - from Staples, where we'd picked them out.  I'm that kind of planner.

The last couple days I've been Facebook chatting nonstop with a group of my friends who have urged (possibly begged) me to make some sort of concrete plan for when we get to Vegas.  So I (or maybe one of them) found a website and booked 17 tickets to see Cirque de Soilel while we're out there.  I thought that would really be the extent of planning, because hey that's a big outing, but now I'm slogging through websites (also given to me by the girls- thank God) trying to find restaurant and club reservations - because apparently you can't just walk in to a club out there! 

The part that gets me hung up when I plan is that I try really hard to please everyone, and then worry that I'm not doing it right.  I want everyone to have fun, everyone to feel comfortable, everyone to know that they are being considered... and it makes my head explode with the pressure.  And then I invariably end up pissing someone off because I am too wound up to realize that I am making a huge error somewhere, and that just perpetuates the stress... you get the picture.  

So today I am covered in itchy hives, and was up last night til four in the morning tossing and turning and freaking out.  Hubs got rudely awakened more than once by my sniffles that I am ready for this wedding to be here so I can go back to not ever planning a huge outing ever again.  I also managed to do something bad to my abdomen last week that feels like my skin is being stretched super thin on the right side... I keep looking down to see if I'm getting stretch marks there!  I assume it is probably a pulled muscle.  Or my liver trying to break free.  Something like that.  I can't wait for health insurance.

I'm taking the day off from planning.  I hate that I get myself all worked up and start to dread something I should be enjoying.  This is going to be a great wedding and a fabulous vacation with a group of people I love more than any other people in the world.  I need to relax and breathe. 

Wish me luck.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Rock Me Like A Hurricane...

We've spent our hurricane making hot apple cider and gingersnaps, and having spinach lasagna "dinner" at three pm because we were afraid the power would go out.  Of course we had a great time with movie marathons and Facebook chats too because we never ended up losing power [Knock on wood!]

Hurricane Sandy is staying up late and making plenty of noise outside.  We are very fortunate that so far we have been relatively unscathed by this one - Irene was not nearly as kind as Sandy seems to be.  While we lost some siding on the house and had no power for 18 or so hours during Irene, Sandy has only managed to make the basement walls a bit damp and flicker the lights a few times. 

It seems unreal when I watch the devastation that this hurricane is unleashing on places like Ocean City and New York... I just keep being glad we are all okay and safe and my family is safe.  I'm sending out good karmic thoughts and prayers to everyone I know that is experiencing the worst of this storm.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The One With An Explosion

Yesterday was our follow-up appointment at Little Man's clinic.  Of course, I'd made this appointment three months ago, and so was completely surprised totally prepared when I got the automated reminder call the night before.  We were to discuss the changes we've seen since I started him on melatonin... um... three months ago.


Yeah we still haven't started him on melatonin.  A multitude of reasons, mostly my sheer laziness at finding a pharmacy that carries the liquid form (they don't) and then leaving the prescription there to order it (whoops did you need his insurance card?) and then not being able to find his insurance card (um it's red with a big Medicaid logo?) and changing insurance providers (REM FTW).

Laziness though, mostly.  Little Man goes through spurts of sleeping through the night where I decide it isn't necessary to add medicine into our daily routine. Then he goes another two weeks without sleeping and I get motivated to get the prescription.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

It was a fairly typical appointment, the doctor came in and questioned us about life in general and gave us 4 new specialist numbers to call.  Then she reminded us he was due two vaccines and left at 3:45 telling us we'd be seeing a social worker and a nurse before we were allowed to leave.

Nurse came in a few minutes later to stick the Little Man with his shots.  Obviously he hated them, and I rewarded him for the screaming with about 6 or so graham crackers, applesauce, and fruit snacks.  I read the vaccine warnings and tried to figure out a game for Little Man to play that wasn't as gross as his favorite activity of smushing his face against the dirty office mirror.

We waited and waited... I fed him more snacks and prayed I wouldn't run out of food.  I let him play the mirror game.  By 4:45 I gave up and burst out of the room in a fit of anger.  Looked up and down the hall and there wasn't a soul to be found in the clinic except a little old lady doctor.  We'd clearly been forgotten.  I bit my tongue and informed her we were leaving and to have my doctor email me please.  She seemed shocked when she saw my form (it says your arrival time) and asked me to wait just a moment longer and she'd see what had happened.  Lovely thought lady, but I'm out of patience and your head is detachable.  We left.

So my GPS gave me a lovely route out of the city where I had to smoothly reach for the car lock button as I tried not to look panicked... and we made it to meet one of my bests for dinner at TGI Fridays by 5:30.

I savored the glass of white wine and fried appetizers (I'm nothing if not classy) and got Little Man his favorite restaurant meal of chicken fingers and fries.  He ate all the fries, a granola bar or two, and some fruit snacks.  He smiled hello at the little old couple seated at a table close enough to us that we could hear their conversations.  It was all going so well.  Until I looked over at Little Man and he was turning a little green...

I guess we'll never know what sent him over the edge.  The copious amounts of snacking that day combined with vaccines that had "may cause nausea" as a side effect is my first guess.  But suddenly I was holding the basket of chicken fingers under his mouth as he vomited out the entire days worth of snacks.  Seeing it seemed to gross him out enough that he pushed the basket away and was ready to bolt... except he needed to do it again.  Ughhhhhhh. 

Little Man was now smiling and looking much better sans stomach contents.  Well, looking less green tinged, but now he was covered in vomit.  The nearest bathroom was on the opposite end of the restaurant, and the place was packed.  It took me a solid minute of staring before I could figure out what we were going to do next. 

The little old man reached over and handed me a stack of napkins as my poor friend K offered to pay the check so we could run out the door in shame.  Luckily we were hidden away in the back corner of the dining area so I pulled myself together, whisked him out of the highchair and whipped off his shirt.  Wiped him down with the inside of the shirt and the handy wipes they give you for buffalo chicken wings.  Tossed it all in his backpack and stuck him in his jacket as we walked calmly through the restaurant and to the parking lot, his jeans covered in vomit and me pretending like this was totally normal.   And that it totally wasn't vomit.

We drove the two hours home while I prayed that it was a one and done deal.  It was, thankfully.  He got a warm bath and a quick snuggle before heading to bed and sleeping a solid 8 hours. 

And you thought the explosion was going to be me at that doctor's appointment.   Silly you.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The One For Ann (And All Her Friends)

Ann Coulter.  I have nothing nice to say about you, so I really try not to say anything at all.  It is a value that one of the many people who helped raise me into a responsible adult imparted on me.  I am not saying I'm perfect - far from it.  But I know the difference between a little bit of snarky gossip and spouting off a mouthful of batshit crazy hate.  You, Ms. C, tend to do a little too much of the latter.  So today I'm going to tell you how I feel about you - and it isn't going to be nice.

Normally when I see you pop up on television I am in the process of changing the channel.  I try not to watch any political "news" because it makes my head explode and it is kind of boring.  It means I miss a lot of the things you say on a day to day basis, and I like it that way.

But you can't hide from crazy forever, and so when I saw your Tweet that went viral yesterday it made my blood boil:

I don't know you in real life Ann.  I don't know what has happened to you in your past to make you such an angry and hateful person (and I refuse to read your books to find out).  You seem to be very comfortable using derogatory words and nasty comments as a way to get a little fame.  Most of your "journalism" consists of putting down the people you disagree with by using hate speech.  Why do you think this is okay?  Why do 1,119 people think that this kind of speech is okay?  Why aren't you as a public figure more ashamed of yourself for using this kind of language and instead adding more fuel to this fire?  Why are you still being sponsored by a major "news" network?!?!

But I can only control myself, and I can control my words.  I choose not to associate myself with people who take no issue with tossing that word around.   I choose to speak up when someone offends me with that word.  I choose to carefully pick a different word when I find something stupid, offensive, or disagreeable - unlike you Ann.

I look over at my son watching his favorite t.v. show this morning and my heart physically hurts.  Someday he will be at school, and someday he will make another little kid mad or hurt or confused - because that's life and those are kids.  Maybe he will steal their toy, or run into them while walking down the hall, or even just flap his way into class.  And then I worry that that little kid will have no problem calling my son a retard.  Why would they?  They hear that word from their parents, or they see it on tv and no one cares.  Maybe their parents and Ann Coulter use it "properly" - you know, as a way to describe a guy that cuts them off in traffic or a political candidate.  But these kids, they aren't going to be able to discriminate when it is or is not "appropriate" to use that word.  That is where I am not okay with this.

I care, and some day Little Man will care about the "r-word".  I certainly don't think that we are going to eliminate the r-word from our vocabulary anytime soon. There will always be people comfortable saying it among their friends or as a joke. There are the people that consider me to be overreacting when I flinch at their flippant use of the word. There are the people who are "allowed" to use the word because they have a disability, who are taking back the negative language. Yes, all of these things are going to continue, and we have no way of stopping it as much as it breaks my heart.

But I hope that maybe, just maybe enough people will be offended by a public figure using this word that there will be some backlash for Ann Coulter.  That she won't be able to get away this kind of talk just because it wasn't the n-word or the c-word or the s-word or any other hateful speech I can come up with off the top of my head.  I hope that Ann gets a great big karmic slapdown. 

I know life isn't always fair like that though.  So if life can't hand her a plate full of karma, I can hope for something else.  I hope that there are parents sitting down with their kids tonight and explaining to them that what Ann Coulter said is wrong and why it is hurtful and not funny or satirical.  I hope that they explain to their kids that she is not making the right word choices.  And I hope they maybe think twice before they use that word themselves.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The One With Change

I finally changed my profile picture tonight, after 3 glasses of wine and a lot of tears. 

I love you big brother.  Thinking of you every day.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The One With Bedwars: Volume IX

Yesterday as we were putting the couch cushions back together after their deep cleaning (pee is a hard smell to get out of couches) I got a phone call.  It was my favorite social worker with a little news update.

She'd just called to check in on us, since the denial letter has made the rounds over at her office.  No worries, someday we might get approved.  In the meantime, I can get you overnight nursing, whaddya think?

Um.  What???!!!
Say that again??

I spluttered and stammered and couldn't seem to find the words to say what I was actually thinking, which were - WHAT THE EFF?!?!  So instead of purchasing a bed which would be a one-time cost, or even just the "canopy" that Medicaid is denying... you're offering us a human being full-time until he can sleep through the night???!  You know, one that you have to pay a decent hourly wage since she is a nurse who probably has to have had some sort of backround check to prove she isn't a serial killer!

I was floored.  See, Little Man's chewing on everything is fairly benign to us here at home - but every time I bring it up doctors will call it pica.  Which seems a little inaccurate to me since he doesn't actually ingest anything, but whatever, you're the doctors and I'm just here every day watching him.  So since he "has pica" (see what I did there) and is also escaping during the night, we can qualify for night nursing.

I appreciated that the social worker called us to talk about the denial.  She's great, don't get me wrong.  I love that she is being proactive and trying to get us help before I rip my hair out from lack of sleep and stress.  But this is ridiculous.

If he were seizing at night or on oxygen or something medically necessary I wouldn't hesitate to get a night nurse - but this goes back to my original feeling of he's not that needy.  We are so incredibly lucky that Little Man is very low maintenance despite the multitude of medical things going on with him.  I wish Medicaid would stop trying to eliminate an anthill with a rocket launcher.   The original bed we asked for was $1500.  They told me that was unreasonable and applied to get us a bed worth at least twice that amount.  Now their next brilliant plan would be even more expensive?!  I just want a simple solution, to a simple problem.

I told the social worker that we'd consider the idea but I needed to talk it over with Hubs.  He instantly vetoed the idea of anyone in the house all night (he's really uptight about privacy anytime, so I knew that was going to happen).  I agree with him, but only because I think it would be so awkward to have someone get here at what... eleven or so to watch him sleep all night 50% of the time?   Or have them sitting up there if I decide to stay up late and watch bad tv?  I can't imagine how that works.  And I feel like it would be an insult to every parent and child who actually want and need nighttime help. 

Little Man went to bed last night at 2 am and was up this morning by 6:45 am.  I am running on fumes and strong coffee, but I'm here.  I don't know what our next step is going to be, but I'm hoping I figure it out sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The One With Panic!

Today is a great day generally.  It's my mother's birthday.  It is also my grandpa's birthday.  Best birthday gift to a dad ever, so I hear.

Today is also a really effing stressful day.  It is exactly one month til my wedding.  Goodbye nonchalant attitude!  Goodbye "Oh yeah I'm not really thinking much about it."  Goodbye "we have time til the wedding, I'm not worried."

I'm starting to panic.  I went from completely fine and calm to OMGTHEWEDDINGISCOMING.  I'm having nightmares that everyone hates being in Vegas together and they all regret coming.  Or that I served fondue at my wedding and the pots wouldn't turn on so all I had was cheese lumps.  Or that I can't find a dress or a veil or anything...

I have a To-Do list, which basically says "Get Everything Done".  Every time I look at it I freak out.  Every time Hubs asks me to do something wedding related I snap at him like he's just asked me to solve the problem of world piece in twenty minutes or less.  Last night I freaked out at him because at 11:30 PM he casually brought up that it might be nice to settle on a cake design by the next morning.  No really, the "fight" ended with him going "I just don't understand what happened, I wanted to look at cakes and now you hate me?"

[Sidenote: I don't hate him, and I am baking him gingersnaps today because I was acting a fool.  Yes I bribe him into forgetting I'm crazy, isn't that what everyone does in relationships?]

I am also 4 pounds away from my wedding goal weight, which is going to be hard to get to because I'm eating my feelings. 
Why don't I feel better??


So while I want today to be a positive day, and deep down I swear it is... please don't be surprised if you see me FREAKING OUT.  Or eating a bag of popcorn covered in butter.  Both of these things are interchangeable.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The One With A Little Controversy

Hubs is working from home today because we had to drive Maximus the kittycat to the vet for his big day... he's getting declawed.

Yeah, I know, declawing is terrible/inhumane/the worst decision ever for a cat.  But it had gotten to the point with Max that we had to either declaw him or send him back to the shelter.  Not only is he destructive to all the furniture in the house, he uses his claws on us or the Little Man accidentally often enough that we were just worried about what could happen.  Little Man also still has the little kid mindset of "loving too hard" and sometimes squeezes on the cat or dog (or us) without realizing how much pressure he is using.   The dog is an older peaceful dog so she doesn't even flinch.  We just squeal.  The cat - well he sometimes doesn't play nice.

Anyways, we're feeling anxious and hoping everything with Max goes well today.  We heard from the vet already and Max is out of surgery and doing well, but they keep him overnight for observation.  I think in the end, all of us will be happier - so we just have to trust our judgement on this one. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

The One With A Memory

September 27th, 2009.

Little Man was a couple months past his first birthday, and we were an emotional wreck.  His daily therapy sessions with Infants and Toddlers were torture, he'd scream the entire 45 minutes until they left without being able to accomplish anything.  We couldn't go out in public, because his fear of strangers was so overwhelming that if someone looked directly at him he would cry until we had to leave.  No one could tell us much about his future except to tell us to wait and see what happened next.  In addition to all the social anxiety, he wasn't able to walk or even pull himself to standing.  His right leg and arm had so much tone that it was like trying to pull teeth to get him to stretch out either one.

That night my Ex and I were driving the two hours from my mother's house to our little apartment.  It had been a particularly rough day, even Grandma wasn't immune to Little Man's stranger phobia.  I don't remember what we did or what we were listening to on the radio... or if Ex and I were even talking to each other.  We were both burnt out and overwhelmed.

And I looked back into the car, and saw Little Man staring out the window... and I just sobbed.  It was just an intense sense of grief for what I felt I had lost.  I just wanted Little Man to be able to be anything he wanted to be.  I wanted everything for him.  I wanted the baby I'd dreamed about for nine months, and this baby was so different than everything I imagined.

I looked over at Ex and just begged him to tell me if he was thinking this too.  Did he worry every waking moment the way I did?  Did he get discouraged and sad all the time?  What if Little Man never walked or talked, what if he was going to stay just like this for the rest of his life?  Was it always going to be this hard for him, this hard for us?  Why couldn't anyone tell us what was going to happen next?

I don't remember what the Ex said.  Maybe he agreed, maybe he didn't.  In the end, I only remember that I walked in the door to our apartment with a heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach and put the Little Man in his crib while we ran him a bath.

I walked into the nursery to grab him for the bath, and there he was - standing up in his crib.  He was holding on to the side of that rickety old crib for dear life, and was more leaning than standing - but there he was.

I shrieked for Ex to grab the camera, and he ran into the room and snapped a shot of Little Man's first standing moments.  I was squealing and clapping like a fool, and Little Man was so startled by all the attention that he fell back onto his little butt.   He must have only been standing a second or two and so I figured it might be awhile before we saw it again.  Instead, all that clapping seemed to energize him, and he pulled himself right back up in front of my eyes.

For the second time that night I started sobbing.  And also clapping and smiling simultaneously, which must have been fun to watch. 

This is the smile of someone who knows he has just made his Momma proud.

That moment is still one of the most vivid and amazing memories of my life.  That was the moment I realized that Little Man was going to be okay.  It was the moment I realized I was going to be okay, and that we could do this.

Lately I've been so discouraged with how slow progress has been for Little Man.  He's four now and still not talking.  He doesn't play with toys appropriately or enjoy long cuddles with me while reading stories.  But then I go back to this memory, and I know just like I did then that we will be okay.  Less than three years ago I was worried that he'd never be able to stand, and now he can run.  I know life with Little Man will never be normal, he'll never "catch up" to other kids and he'll always need us in his life in some capacity.  But I can't predict what will happen next, and I need to stop trying.  Enjoy the journey and love all the memories we're making along the way, which are all the more special because I'm not expecting them.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The One With So Many Mistakes In One Photo

Remember that time I warned you that it might be impossible to take a good family photo? 

I wasn't lying.

We went to Target a few days ago to get our fall portraits/Christmas cards done.  They did a decent job last time and the photographer was willing to work with our... unorthodox methods for getting a decent photo out of the Little Man.  Since the same photographer was going to be there for this set of photos, I had high hopes for success.

We got there just as a Nice Young Woman (NYW) was finishing a job interview.  The Original Photographer (OP) remembered us and walked us back into the room where you get photos.  NYW speaks up and asks if she could "help" the OP with our session.

Mistake #1.  OP agrees.

Now we all know that Little Man hates loud noises.  He also hates strangers.  NYW did not know that Little Man hated both, she just saw your typical whiny four year old who did not want to sit still for a picture, and was being bribed with fruit snacks to even stare straight ahead.  I'm standing behind the photographer singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider song quietly, because it normally elicits a giggle if I do the voices right.  Yeah, there are voices to that song, I can teach them to you later.

Mistake #2. NYW thinks I am not singing loudly or perkily enough, so she starts singing the ABC's at the top of her lungs and shaking a rattle.  A mother-ducking rattle.  I bet you know what happens next.

So Little Man is freaking out, dealing with two strangers and loud noises and being left in the center of a room without anyone picking him up while he is freaking out... And then...

Mistake #3.  NYW tries to tickle Little Man.

Well that goes over about as well as could be expected.  Which is that it doesn't.  At this point, I tell NYW to please back off, Little Man has special needs and she does not know him. 

"Oh have you tried feeding him a gluten-free diet?"

What the what?  SERIOUSLY lady I'm trying to keep him from losing his schmit and you're asking me about his diet as if that might be affecting his picture taking skills today? 

"I know that my son really loves calculators.  You should give him a calculator, I bet he'd really love it."

Is this really happening?  Please don't make me lose it.

Mistake #4.  OP is only snapping one picture every minute.  And every third picture has a piece of NYW's head in it as she is reaching in to the frame to snap her fingers in Little Man's face (Lord give me strength) or "make him laugh".

I suggest we take a break from the traditional portrait and stick Little Man on a little log thing with a pumpkin in his hand.  Mostly because I need to quietly hint to NYW that she is a little much for Little Man to handle, and also to get all the eyes off him so he can calm down.  And he'll love chewing on the pumpkin stem.

NYW takes this time to inform me that her son has special needs too, and that is why she knew so many things.   I had kind of already figured.  She offered to teach me some basic sign language and started signing random words to "teach" me.  I politely let her know that we already sign at home and use a PEX system right now. Then I smiled extra wide to indicate being happy and well-informed on things because I was starting to develop a tension headache and we were running low on fruit snacks. 

OP decides then that it is time for a couple of family shots.  I thought I had dressed for success in a plain black t-shirt, since I would be photographed from the waist up. 

Mistake #5.  Taking full body portraits.  Hellooooo muffin top.  Also my hair was looking sad and wonky, which was news to me.

Have I mentioned that Hubs was here too?  He was apparently too busy being pissed at OP for Mistake #4 to notice how much NYW was annoying the crap out of me.  Neither of us noticed the other was about to lose it.  Man, are we in sync as a couple.

Mistake #6.   Timing was way off.  Little Man was minutes away from passing out from exhaustion, and he was not having any more of this nonsense once he realized that these strangers were all going to be all up in his business.

So we struggle through about six or seven more minutes of poses, and Little Man finally just gives up.  He is a mess.  My nerves are shot.  Hubs keeps chiming in with the ever helpful "I think we're done, I think we're done."  And I know we haven't gotten a single picture I'm happy with, but ya know what?  We're done.  We're so, so, done.

We had coupons for 50% off the entire portrait package, so we knew we'd get a couple sheets of Little Man's best poses.  And the OP guilted me into buying an 8x10 of the "best" family shot, because we needed one.  I'm such a sucker.

Oh.  I guess you want proof that these photos are as horrible as I am saying they were.  You're thinking... "They can't be THAT bad."

[Put down the drink.  Just in case.]


 Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The One With A Bedroom Dilemma

I'm losing my mind.  Hubs and I don't really sleep anymore.  We just nap. 

The newest alarm system is a closed bedroom door, with the baby gate in front of it.  I was starting to hum the tune from the old toy alarm during waking hours, and it was driving me bonkers.  So now the toy alarm has been relegated to the bathroom for a potty toy (oy, don't even go there) and we have the gate alarm.  When you hear the gate crash down, you wake up and grab the kid and stick him back in bed.  A flawed system probably, but one that prevents him from making it all the way to the stairs without us noticing. 

The problem is that I see no safe alternative to not sleeping.  Sure, we could get a wall-mounted baby gate that Little Man can't knock down.  But then we have no way of knowing if he is awake and roaming his room, and I'm pretty sure he would learn very quickly how to climb over a gate. I have come very close to locking him in his room.  At four thirty this morning, it was very very close.  But I just can't justify it, knowing that something could happen to him where I wouldn't be able to rush in and help him... Maybe I'm being paranoid, I don't know.

Our latest decision is that the crib has to go. At this point he can climb out of it in less than ten seconds.  It is becoming more of a hazard than any kind of help, he hasn't gotten hurt climbing out yet but we can't be sure it won't happen.  So it is going to be a mattress on the floor for now.  Which I'm pretty sure is going to mean extra wakeups for the first few nights til he realizes he has to stay on the mattress and go to bed.  Ughhhhhhh. 

I'm hoping the prescription for melatonin -we finally found a pharmacy that has it - will mean he is at least getting a full eight hours.   It worries me a little that the kid is not sleeping more than five hours at a stretch.  Pretty sure his growth will be stunted or something, and he's already gonna be a small fry. 

Well I need more coffee or this day just isn't going to work out.  I wonder if Medicaid would approve an IV of coffee directly to my veins since that bed thing isn't going to work out...

Monday, October 8, 2012

The One With More BedWars

Disappointment doesn't even begin to describe how I felt when I opened up our letter from the insurance company.

"The request for a medical bed w/canopy is denied.  Reason: Called primary care physician and they were not available, talked to on-call physician and they could not give a valid reason for medical bed."

Say what???  So basically, you made a phone call and didn't reach my doctor immediately.  Then you talked to another random doctor who didn't know Little Man or anything to do with his case, and you decide that is enough information to proceed with this denial?

UGH.  I want to hit something.  I want to drop off my son for an overnight visit with the insurance company and have them see how "unnecessary" it would be to get the medical canopy. 

The REM social worker told us that a denial would be most likely at first and we'd have to reapply with more ammunition to refute their denial.  But this denial is useless because there is nothing to go on.  And now we are five weeks out from the wedding and losing the REM coverage anyways, so its looking less and less likely that we are going to get a bed. 

The only thing that kept me from dwelling on the denial this weekend was that we had an amazing time at a local wine festival, and I got to spend quality time with my little sister and my mom.  We took Little Man to the festival with us and he had a blast running around outside and playing with his auntie.  That night we stayed up til two in the morning playing cards and drinking wine, making popcorn and being ridiculously competitive.   We haven't had a chance to have one of our family nights in awhile, and I'd really missed them.

Little Man being a party animal at the festival

Anyways, today will be spent working on our appeal for the bed, and recovering from the crazy weekend.  Hubs is off til Tuesday so hopefully we can get a few house and wedding errands done.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The One Where I Admit To Being A Horder

Yesterday I cried when Hubs came home with the groceries.  They were tears of joy.  That is absolutely not a lie.

My name is Tara, I am a hoarder.

I have always been a hoarder of some kind, since childhood.  I had a shoebox filled with sheets of stickers I wouldn't use because they were too beautiful.  Chapsticks I didn't want to apply because they smelled great.  A bag of erasers in cute shapes I wouldn't touch.  A giant bin of crayons and markers.  Every Polly Pocket ever created.  Two dozen Tamagachi's (remember those?!?) and a zillion Barbies. 

I hated (and still do honestly) that moment when you run out of something you want.  The feeling of knowing I couldn't run out of something, that I would always have a back-up... I have no idea where it came from, but it was always there.

Fast forward to adulthood.  I've managed to streamline my hoarding and make myself look less crazy.  Well, moderately so.  I still have way too many t-shirts and prom dresses in my closet, and maybe fifty or so nail polish bottles.  And a box of every note ever written to me from elementary school til college.   Plus enough books to start a library.  But... BUT... They are managed.  My books are on shelves, my notes have a box in the back of the closet. 

The only aspect of my hoarding I can't hide is my stockpile.  When I moved in with Hubs, I brought over a few cans and boxes that I was able to hoard in my tiny townhouse.  We stacked them neatly on a metal shelf in the basement, and I joked to Hubs that they were our "apocalypse supplies." 

Since then, my coupon-loving Hubs and my inner hoarder have combined to make a stockpile that would make my depression-era grandma proud.  Yesterday we finally outgrew our metal shelving unit and we added my mother's sewing table from her college days.   The McKays in the neighboring town is moving locations so their entire store is 30% off.  Hubs went kinda crazy.

I'm getting teary again...but seriously.  TADA!!!
I swear I don't normally cry over the ability to add to my obsessive collecting tendencies.  But I was so shocked when Hubs came home with bags of groceries that were not only able to be added to my treasure emergency stockpile, but that they were all the "right" things!  With our new clean(er) eating habits, I was worried that him shopping alone would have been a disaster.  He managed to not only find great deals, but also healthy foods.
So I cried.  Plus I might have done a happy dance.  Several times. The tears might or might not have also had do with hormones.  But whatever.  It was awesome.
Now don't eat my stockpile.  I'm enjoying looking at it too much. 
Dammit, this is the stickers all over again.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The One With Belated Wordless Wednesday

Little Man and the pumpkins from your nightmares!

Hubs and a tired and giggly Little Man checking out the water

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The One With Politics

The first presidential debate is on tonight.  Great.  Wonderful. 

Does anyone care? 

No, honestly, get off the whole "This is going to showcase who the better speaker is, watch my candidate 'win' everything and hit all these talking points" schpiel. 

Does anyone really think that this debate is going to change anything??

Does anyone really think that American voters haven't decided who they are voting for yet?  That they are waiting for this debate to somehow clear things up for them?  Does anyone really think that anything one of the two candidates will say will sway people away from the other?

If you do, I think you're kidding yourself.

There was a time when the presidential debates mattered.  A time when this would be one of the first times many people heard the candidate's opinions and listened to them speak at length. 

This is not that time.  Our candidates now have been campaigning from the minute Obama lowered his hand from swearing to uphold and honor the presidency of the United States.  We've had four years to watch them go at each other.  We've had four years to watch one of them work, and the other discuss how they would do it differently.  We've heard all their arguments already, their pros and cons.

What am I actually going to learn from watching this debate?  If I am one of the Americans that has a genuine interest in policy and government action, my assumption is that my candidate has said everything important and/or surprising that he needed to say prior to this debate.  I could catch highlights on the morning news, and skip about three hours of discussion on issues I've already heard ad nauseum.  I will continue to support my candidate, because one debate really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

If I am not that American - then I will not be watching the debate anyways.  I will catch the bloopers and criticisms on my news or comedy shows, and I will feel justified in continuing to support the candidate I already support based on the reaction of others.

So great - the debate is on tonight.  Just like it has been on every night for the past four years.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The One Where We're Famous At Target

I decided to call and make our appointments for Christmas card pictures today, because my planner told me to.  I love this thing.

We use coupons for everything we can (a dolla makes me holla honey boo boo) and I happened to have two coupons for free portrait sessions at Target and some sort of package deal.  Score.  Then more magic happened.  Let me put it in a play for you:

Scene: Exhausted Mom looks at the planner in her hand.  Damn.  Christmas cards.  She sighs.  "You're right though Planner, I will not remember to make an appointment for pictures before the wedding, there is no time after the wedding... GAHHH!!"

*ring ring ring*

Me:  Hello, I'd like to make an appointment for a portrait session on Friday.  If that is available.  If not, then maybe next Friday?  Or whenever, it's really up to you.  Just tell me when to show up.

[That is actually exactly how I sound on the phone, I am incredibly awkward and have a fear of anyone who works in retail.  I know.  It's weird.]

Target Employee:  Okay... Friday at noon is good.  How many of you are there?

Me:  Three.  Two adults and a child.

TE:  Okay and how old is the child?

Me:  Um he's four, but more like two, he's going to um... be really difficult and will not listen or follow directions or smile....

TE:  Wait... were you guys here last year? 

Me:  We were the family with the gummy bears...

TE:  YES I remember you guys, no problem, see you Friday.



Last year's portraits were not so much a shining example of beautiful family time so much as... "Dammit we are a family and you will be in this photo if it KILLS ME!".   I had warned the photographer that getting a photo of Little Man smiling was not nearly as important as getting a photo of him looking at the camera and where Hubs and I looked great.  Because getting Little Man to smile on cue is next to impossible.  Of course, he also chose that day to have a massive temper tantrum.  So I bribed him to stop screaming with fruit snacks.  Lots of fruit snacks.  4 bags, if we're being honest.

I give it a B- for effort.
Hubs and I look great, although I am doing that thing again where my eyes get tiny when I smile.  Little Man is looking at the camera.  His hair is... passable. You try combing that!!  But if you zoom in really close... you can see evidence of our bribery right there in his open mouth.  Whoops.   Whatever, it's going above the fireplace.
On second thought, I give this a B+.  Especially when I consider what our pictures might look like this year.

Just Another Day...

Today my master-plan was to make myself a big breakfast and then get to work baking - if I felt like it.  I have homemade English muffins and granola on the list, and if there is time, some whole wheat zucchini muffins.

I woke up to the usual banging and slamming of doors that mean my toddler had escaped from his baby prison and was hungry.  So I shuffled off to make sure he scooted down the stairs without hurting himself, mumbling encouragement through my toothbrush bristles.  I brewed coffee while slapping on his fresh diaper, and threw bacon and eggs in a frying pan while simultaneously turning on Caillou and skipping the "bad parts".

It was the usual lazy grey morning, and when I finally sat down with my cup of coffee and breakfast sandwich I noticed the sweet love note written for me by Hubs.  Less than two months til our wedding, and he thinks I'm great.  I'm summing up cause... well... it's personal.  Hahaha.

I know that as a full-time homemaker and momma sometimes my relationship with Hubs is sidelined.  We get into a rut of making sure the house is running smoothly, the kid is clean and fed, the pets are alive, and our weekends are jammed with as much fun as possible.  I think overall I remember to appreciate Hubs and all that he does, but mornings like this make me want to do something extra special to let him know that I'm thinking of him too.  Let's face it, sometimes (at least once monthly) I'm a total pain in the ass. 

So today instead of having Hubs come home to me in my pajamas and folding some laundry, I'm going to put on a cute outfit and do my makeup, so we can go out tonight. 

We're going to the grocery store.

Ya gotta be realistic here folks.