Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Really about me this time.

Ok, if this is too much information for you, stop reading now. I mean it. Stop. STOP. What, you're still here? Ok, here it is. I think I'm crazy, but I'm just not sure what kind yet. And before you all shake your heads and go, "Oh poor Val, she's just overwhelmed with being a mommy and everything", LISTEN TO ME.

Saturday, I felt dizzy. I've felt dizzy before, they ran all kinds of tests, said it was either crud/dust in my inner ear (I'M NOT KIDDING) and gave me "exercises" consisting of rolling slowly back and forth on my bed (STOP LAUGHING AT ME!!!) or called it sinus trouble, and take Sudafed. I took Sudafed, went to bed. Stayed in bed. Have no idea what anyone else did all day. I think a movie was watched in our room. I may have watched it, I couldn't tell you. I kept falling back asleep. Every time I tried to get up, the room would spin. Imagine being drunk, and taking three Benadryl on top of it. Like that.

Sunday am, I drag my butt out of bed because the kids want to go to church. Yeah, I'm feeling real holy right now. Hubby has a horrible headache, which feeds into the "it's all sinus causing your dizziness" theory, and he isn't going. I know I have to drop off a script for him on the way to church. There's construction. I'm not sure where the turn off is. No, I'm REALLY not sure. Everything is flat and 2 dimensional. The oldest directs me, I drop it off, we go to church. Second oldest doesn't feel good, which doesn't help. I want to shake him and say, "I don't feel good either, but I made it here!" Of course, I don't, and he ends up sitting with me during Sunday School. It's a really good message, and I think everything is going to be ok. Then, the lights go down for praise and worship. I don't know if it was the combination of dark along with the loud music (we are in the Modern Service) but I start feeling really really dizzy, and things are buzzing and ringing. I look at William, and he doesn't feel well either, so we decide to get everyone else and go home.

I know I have to take Jimmy back at 3:30p for Praise Team Practice. Swear on a stack on a stack of Bibles, I have no idea how we got there. I don't know how we picked up hubby's RX either. I mean, I remember driving thru and all, but no details.

I get home, I was prescribed Dramamine and Promethazine the last time, so I break down and take some of that. It does nothing for the dizziness, but increases my sleepiness. Hubby picks Jimmy up at some point, the rest of the day is a blur. I remember being worried about dinner, and hubby tells me Jimmy is making hamburgers. Good Jimmy. Must reward Jimmy when I regain consciousness. Surely Monday will be better.

Monday is not better. Hubby has to go to class, I'm home with the 3 yr old until noon. I know I got him some apple juice, I know I turned on Dora and gave him cereal, at some point I just handed him the Iphone and said, "Have a good time!" To anyone who received a random call Monday am, I'm sorry! All this time, hubby has been great. He's ran laundry all weekend, there are baskets piled up in the laundry room clean, he's putting more in the washer, he is a machine! He finally asks me, "Um, what is your plan for getting up?" I tell him, "I don't really know," but my brain says, "How 'bout never? Is never good for you?" I didn't think I would ever feel normal again. Jimmy cooked burgers again, it was either that or mac and cheese. I didn't want to read, or watch tv. I just wanted to close my eyes, and make sure no one touched me. I'm guessing that's what being depressed really feels like, and I know I've been there before, but usually there were other influences adding to the problem. There had been no major stressors or triggers leading up to it, just wham! Dizzy, can't sit up, can't focus, leading into, why bother? I take anti-depressants to help ward off such problems, and every time my meds fail, I think, imagine how bad this would be if I WASN'T on meds?

Tuesday, I wake up and I'm HAPPY!!! Imagine this word in big puffy letters with pink and purple fireworks bursting out of it, and white flying ponies with rainbow ribbons tied in their tails. I mean, I was happy. Hubby was just glad to see me upright, and went off to class. I was still a little dizzy, but I was ok. I folded about 10 loads of laundry and put them up. It was my eldest son's birthday, and I was taking him out to dinner and Borders after. It was going to be FUN!! Ok, to get the full effect of the next two days, imagine every sentence after this to have at least six more exclamation points than it has already, ok? So, I'm at home and I'm waiting for him to come home and - no, wait. Forget the extra exclamation points, let me pause this narrative for a second.

You know when they talk about manic? Manic is when you type a sentence like above and think to yourself, oooh, I'm gonna find a picture of a My Pretty Pony and put it up as a graphic, or maybe a Webkinz Pegasus, and maybe I could do a Grumpy Care bear for how I felt when I was depressed, because oh yeah, that dizzy stuff? Basically a pre-cursor for a 4 day depression, followed by a, oh let's see, we're on day 2 of a manic episode? Yes? It's 11:30pm on Tuesday when I write this part. Ok, right, unicorns, and care bears, that's good, but I gotta wait because (snap back into what I think is narrative time) I gotta take Jimmy to rehearsal first, so I'm muttering about care bears and unicorns under my breath, and wait that's Tuesday, I was talking about MONDAY, aaaaannnndddd -

SNAP! Back into Monday when I was waiting for Jimmy to come home so I could take him out to dinner. Isn't that fun? And that's how my life is MOST OF THE TIME! Not necessarily hyper, just that scattered! So, back to Jimmy. Right away, I was in a good mood, we were going to eat sushi, our favorite food, at our favorite restaurant, Sake's. We get there, and I tell the waiter (who looked about 19), "Hey, if you do anything embarrassing to people on their birthdays here, my son is 13 today!" Yep, gonna be one of THOSE nights. The waiter says he is willing to go down on one knee and sing happy birthday to Jimmy, but first he wanted an audience, seeing as we were there around 5pm, and the place hadn't filled up yet. He goes back to the sushi chef, I can see the chef's bald head shaking back and forth, nope, not gonna be a party to it. Talks to the cute red headed waitress in pigtails, uh uh, not gonna happen. He comes back and wusses out, I think both he and Jimmy were relieved.

We proceed to eat lots of wonderful sushi, and still have plenty to take home to hubby and the other boys. Our edemame was complimentary, Jimmy received a red bean ice cream sundae with a cherry on top, and the waiter couldn't have been nicer. We have made nice chic chat through out the meal, he's a military boy, and I can tell his momma raised him right. He brings the bill, I reach into my wallet, and....... no debit card. No debit card. WHERE IS MY DEBIT CARD???? They don't take checks!!! I look and look thru my purse, even have Jimmy check the car, no luck. I tell the waiter, he couldn't have been sweeter. He says "No problem, I mean, you still have to pay, but take all the time you need." I wondered what exactly he expected to magically happen in the time he was given me, but I knew what I had to do. I had to use a Lifeline. I had to Phone a Friend. Yes, I called hubby. "Um, honey?" "Uh huh?" "I can't find my debit card?" He's actually pretty calm, "Ok, I'm guessing you don't have enough money on the credit card?" "No..." He sighs, and says he's on his way. Despite the situation, the waiter brings me an additional complimentary roll, called a Big Dynamite, I think? It's really good, and he keeps refilling my tea. MY HERO shows up to save the day! (imagine dramatic music playing). He hands over the debit card to me. By this point, I'm not thinking straight, and was only able to give the guy a $5 tip, I'm bringing him a bigger tip tomorrow, seriously! As we are leaving, hubby says, ok you are going to Borders, can I grab the checkbook for the other account, I need to get something at Wal-Mart? Sure, no problem, and off we go!

By the time we get to Borders, I am a really good mood from surviving the Sushi Debacle, and well, I start to act like a 12 year old. With my 13 year old. Who thinks I'm hysterical, but a little embarrassed. I FOUND the Webkinz pony I was talking about, oh yes I did, here it is!!!

Isn't that just the cutest thing ever?? Jimmy wouldn't buy it for me with his Border card, I pouted, but he wouldn't give in. So, I scared the crud out of him with a monkey puppet, he was asking for it!! We browsed the Young Adult section, and while I understand "Twilight" is a hit, there are way too many pale (heh heh) vampire imitations out there. I lost it over one particular title, "Vampirates". "Vampirates!? Vampirates!!?? That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard of!" I just kept saying it over and over until he pulled me away. He finally decided on a book, and we went home.

Tuesday, I'm even more manic. I'M GOING TO TAKE ON THE WORLD! I am vibrating, there is an actual hum under my skin, I can't believe other people can't see it. I create a resume, have hubby proofread and tweak a tiny bit, send it out, set up an interview, I am jamming! Go to Sam's to get a few things for dinner, go to get my checkbook out and... no. Nonononono. I HAVE NO STINKING CHECKBOOK, BECAUSE I GAVE IT TO MY HUBBY LAST NIGHT!! And of course, I still haven't found my debit card yet. By the way, I've probably had 5 or 6 new cards over the last 12 months. The checkbook missing is new. Sigh. I have to call hubby again. He is long suffering, but decides to come up and meet me there. I'm bouncing, I'm bopping, I'm planning this blog post by now. To be honest, I wanted to write about the depression part earlier, but, well, just didn't have the energy (them's the jokes, son!). We go thru the checkout, he is my hero AGAIN, and I buy him a slice of pizza to reward him. I have this sudden urge to get diet lemonade instead of half Diet Coke and Cherry Coke (because NO soda fountain dispenses Diet Cherry Coke). I sit down, and this is what comes out of my mouth:

"I've decided to stop adding cherry to my drinks because I used to just add a little bit to my diet coke but now I add more, and really I'm just drinking Cherry Coke now, and what's the point, so I'm going to drink the diet Lemonade. Oh, but I can still have a diet Cherry Limeade at Sonic, because they have diet cherry syrup there, so that's good, but I don't think a diet vanilla coke is completely diet because I don't think they have diet vanilla syrup, of course, I'm making all these decisions while I'm eating a pretzel so that's not really healthy, but I have to start somewhere, and you know what the samples were today? Pizza bites, chicken salad, and something they said was deep fried turkey medallions, but it was just roasted turkey breast, and I just couldn't eat it, you know, turkey is always so dry, and I don't even really like the flavor, that's it, I don't want turkey any more at Thanksgiving or Christmas, although I do like those birds that Bill gave us, what were they quail? Yes, they were good in that stew I made, well, that's it, we should make turkey stew for Thanksgiving then!"

I promise hubby tried to go along with the conversation, but I think it was only our 14 years of marriage that kept him from grabbing me and saying, "Woman, what is wrong with you?" I go to my first psychiatrist next Weds. Do you think he can figure it out?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Surprise No School Day!

The morning started fairly normally. My sweet hubby had actually made coffee before I got up, so that was nice! The oldest was awake too, and getting himself ready for school. For once, there were no dr appts, church schedule, or needing to get LB (the 3 yr old)ready for school. Jimmy (my oldest) went out the door for the bus at his normal time, about 6:55am. I've gotten the middle two up, and they are getting ready for school, I even find Joey's Star Wars shirt for him, I'm rocking as a mom! At 7:08am, I get a call from Jimmy, "Is school closed today?" "Um, no?" He tells me that the boy who waits with him at the bus got a text from his sister saying school is closed. I check the school website - nothing. I check the weather line - nothing. I turn the TV on to Fox, still nothing. I call the school, and the main admin number, voice mail only. Meanwhile, I have an increasingly more frantic child calling me trying to figure out what's going on. I finally tell him to just come back home and we will figure it out. At NO TIME do I think about looking on Face book, for which I am smacking myself even now. Instead, I call another parent and am told, "The power is out at the school, so no school today!"

I spend a solid 10 minutes ranting about not being informed, and how annoyed I am, even posting to FB about it, which then embarrassed me because of course, everyone else knew because they watched a different TV channel and already knew about it. I also feel stupid because I never heard sirens, or thought anything more than a thunderstorm had gone on the night before! As Jimmy walks in the door, the school message line calls to announce ALL Union schools are closed, which includes the middle boys. Gaaaaaaahhhh!! I gotta keep all four of them at home!? Noooooooo!!!

Hubby gets to escape by going to a morning class, and ignores my pleas to take me with him. I make the kids clean up the living room and den, trying to deal with the bickering. I inform all of them I WILL be finishing my book, so they had better be nice! Of course, they just keep picking at each other. Finally I tell the two middle boys to go outside and play. William (the 9 yr old) asks, "Can I take my water gun outside?" I tell him to make sure his brother has a gun too. The next 45 minutes are blissful, even when they spray my bedroom window with the hose - at least I get to read my book! The 3 yr old has found some of his old toys that work with new batteries. He settles down happily to play with a Blue's Clues alphabet game. Ahhhh, peace. I'm talking to a doctor's office about an appt when I hear my oldest yell, "Of course he can shoot you, you have a water gun!!!" The doctor's office assumes it's me talking, and cracks up about it. Unfortunately. all good things must come to an end, and they come back in. Turns out Joey (the 6 yr old) had an irrepressible urge to pee due to the water, and has to take a shower to clean up. I decide this all would make a good post and start to work on it. LB (the 3 yr old) demands a piece of sticky tape. I give it to him. He sticks it to my arm. I keep typing. Everyone gets lunch, and so far, everyone is still alive. Then again, it's only 1pm, so there are no guarantees. I did finish my book at least!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Creating a Super-Fly Guy!!

About a month ago, my oldest tells me about a Flag Football game his grade does at the end of the year. They split up into four teams, pick names, logos, etc, and everyone plays a part, even if it's just as "spectator". I figured he would just take pictures, since he'd worked on Yearbook all year, and was known as "Hey! Camera Guy" by half the student body. He tells me, no, he wants to be a mascot. OK, I say, hoping it won't be a complicated thing, seeing as I don't DO complicated. I am not the mom who sews costumes or creates dioramas out of macaroni unless under extreme duress. Or bribery. No problem, he says, it will be easy, and he's on top of it.

A couple of weeks later, he tells me he is one of two mascots for his team! Yay! I say. So...what's the team name? He says, "Super Fly"! I ask, like Super Fly Guy?

He says, no, and he's all disappointed because he actually WANTED to dress up like a fly, continuing to earn his nickname of goofball. Turns out,they are supposed to be Super Fly like cool guys in suits. OK, I say doubtfully, but that sounds like a lot of work to me! He assures me everything is under control.

Remember me mentioning how my kids are not supposed to spring things on me at the last minute, because I tend to freak, and yell, and get all sweaty? Just so you know, even when they give me tons of notice, about 75% of the time we end up doing the project at the last minute anyway, causing me to freak out, yell, and get all sweaty - what can you do? Well, THIS time, I am determined to Make It Work!

The day before the game, I drive through McDonald's, pick up 2 iced coffees with an extra shot of espresso, pick him up from school, and hit the Goodwill. It is 97 degrees, but we are now hyped up on caffeine and ready to go! Oh yeah, forgot to mention, the team colors were green and purple, so we were aiming for that in the suit. Think of the guys in suits in the 70's, with the ladies, and the long cars,(I think you know what kind) to get an idea. We head for the back where the suits are, and there it is. It is dark green, almost an emerald color. It is shiny. It has a long jacket. It is obviously too big for him, but it has potential. The jacket and pants are $6.99 together. It has a LOT of potential. We look around a little more, but don't see else that would really work, and head to Wal-Mart, where you can find anything if you look long enough.

We hit pay-dirt again with a purple colored, short sleeved collared shirt, also shiny, woo hoo! With a hat and sunglasses, he resembles the Blues Brothers, only you know, in day-glow colors.

I take him and our haul home, and start working on shortening the pants. This is where the sweating starts. The legs are tapered. That means if you are shortening them 6 inches or more (as we were) you can't just sew them across. I end up bunching up the extra against the side seams, sewing furiously, and hoping no one will be looking at his legs that much anyway! Meanwhile, the toddler really wants to sit next to me and "help" me sew, the 6 yr old is looking for a missing game controller, and the 9 yr old is debating with daddy about what kind of pizza we are getting for dinner, because you KNOW I'm not cooking tonight! They decide on cheeseburger (with pickles!) and smokehouse BBQ chicken, bacon, and pineapple. I mentioned we like weird food, right?

Finally get the pants done, and we eat. We then start playing Lego Rock Band, complete with the toddler and 6 yr old yelling the lyrics to "We Will Rock You", and the oldest rocking the heck out of whatever given to him to sing. At 8:45p, he mentions, Hey, what about the jacket? Ooops, ADHD strikes again! We grab the jacket, look it over, decide we will just have to roll the sleeves, Miami Vice Style, and call it good. He puts everything on, and I glance at hubby's cane and say, Ooh, I wish you could use that as a prop! Well, why not? Along with one of dad's ties, it is the finishing touch, and he is, indeed, Super Fly. Check out the slightly blurry pic at the bottom of my post to see for yourself.

He has to be to school early (even earlier than usual) and as I drop him off and watch him walk off to class, I am both proud and stunned at his confidence. I love costumes, and have worn many over the years, but never to school, and none that looked that good!! I can't wait until he gets home and tells me about it!

UPDATE: Well, Jimmy's team finished 4th (out of 4 teams), and he was the only mascot on his team, but I think he still had fun! Most missed photo opportunity: His friend was a mascot on another team, and he was dressed as a Scotsman, kilt, axe and all, and they play fought cane vs axe in the hall! I would have paid real money to see

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Human Alarm Clock

Every morning, I am responsible for 6 people becoming awake and active at a certain time. It starts with my middle school child, who has to be awake at the unlovely hour of 5:40am. I get up, make the coffee, wake him up, and bring coffee to my hubby, who usually needs to be up by 6am. The next two children have to be up by 7am, and they don't wake up easily, let me tell you! The 9 year old just clutches his blanket tighter, and the 6 yr old cries, yes, CRIES because the dreadful morning has come to ruin his sleep again! After getting 4 out of 6 people awake and out the door, there's the toddler, who may or may not have woken up on his own, but if he IS awake, most certainly wants his juice and cheerios RIGHT NOW, please. Perhaps I should also mention, I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON. Nevertheless, as the only female in the house, it has been determined I am the maker of coffee, the shaker of shoulders, and the harbinger of morning. Tough job, but hey, technically I signed up for it when hubby said, will you? And I said I do, so there you go.

What happens if the human alarm clock didn't wake up on time? If I've been up too late the night before, I'll hit the snooze alarm, and not even realize it until the "Oh crap, it's 6am" alarm blares at me. 20 minutes shouldn't make that much of a difference, but believe you me, it does! Herds of cattle lost in the wilderness would survive better than my family when the schedule is off. Bleary eyed people asking, "Where's my coffee?" The toddler ALWAYS wakes up early on these days, demanding extra attention, especially his "Ap. Pul. Jewse (apple juice)". The middle schooler wanders around in a daze, and never seems to have the clothes he needs. The middle two boys grunt, stagger out of bed clutching their favorite blankets, and randomly find clothes that may or may not fit the season, causing me to either have a headache from convincing them that sweaters and shorts do NOT go together, not in November, and not in May, or I just throw up my hands and say, fine, but don't expect me to sympathize when the kids make fun of you. And you know what? Boys don't get made fun of for their clothes, or if they do, they don't tell me, so why should I fight it so hard?

Wait a minute. That all happens even if I DO get up on time. That does it, I think I'm going to buy one of those horns they get for stadium games, and just sound it off every 5 minutes until they all gather, bewildered in my room and I can say, "Look. You all know Mommy is not a morning person. I love you dearly, but you can handle waking up, getting dressed, and finding poptarts in the am. I will make coffee. I will write you checks for lunch money. Don't tell me about deadlines I needed a week ago, don't ask me to come up with cash for pizza day, and don't expect me to read your library books to you before I've had my coffee." Hmmm, do you think that would really work? Let me know, I gotta go make the coffee.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Like my hubby always told me...

My hubby was always the one who wanted a lot of kids. He was the oldest of four, babysat from the age of 9 on, and helped raise a friend's child from birth to the age of 5, I, on the other hand, was an only child who learned how to read at the age of four, and never really had time for any kid stuff. My life pretty much consisted of books, books, and well, more books. And D&D (before any of this Advanced nonsense, thankyouverymuch). Oh, and vampires. Did I mention the Ren Faire stuff? In other words, I didn't have what you might call the firmest grasp on reality for several years. Anyway, when we were talking about it, I was concerned because I had zero experience with children. Seriously, my one attempt at babysitting consisting of watching the CareBears Movie over and over with 2 very hyper children, praying for it to be over soon.

So, I say to hubby (who was Fiancee at that point, really), "Do you have any tips on taking care of kids?" His answer, "If they are girls, tell them you love them every day. If they are boys, they already know you love them, you just have to try to keep them alive until they are 18. Then they are on their own!" This seemed like sound and reasonable advice to a non-child bearing person, and I was relieved.

Then, we had our first boy. After 16 hours of labor, our beautiful boy was born. He was perfect. I had no idea how much love you could feel for a baby. He was funny, and beautiful and smart, and OURS. We then waited the appropriate amount of time (2 years) and tried for our girl, which would make a perfect set, and we could stop (well, I wanted to anyway). We go in for the sonogram, the tech says, "Yep, looks like you have a little girl there, I'd say 70-80% sure". We went home, had the pink baby shower, the cake saying "God Bless Baby Emily", the cute pink clothes, everything. Can you hear the impending sound of irony approaching? After 3 trips to the hospital with false labor, finally going in and saying, "I'm not leaving until you give me my baby!", watching everyone but my hubby and birth coach leave because I was freaking them out with my super human strength, as demonstrated by me BENDING THE RAILS ON MY HOSPITAL BED because I was pushing so hard, out came Not just a boy, but a 10lb 11oz boy!! Who got stuck (oh, did I mention TMI at the beginning? Ooops, sorry), and we thought might have his collarbone broken, but he didn't, BUT he wasn't breathing and had to be given oxygen, and it was pretty dramatic there for a few minutes and he's ok now, but a BOY? We didn't even have a boy NAME picked out!! Two days later, we decide to call him William after my dad, and Robert after hubby, and it's another two days before we realized we just named him Billy Bob, and we lived in Arkansas, so we should have known better! And he is the most boy-like of them all, he would live outdoors if we let him, constantly bruised and banged up, and loves every minute of it!

Well, after that excruciating labor, you might be surprised to know that these words came out of my mouth, "I guess we could try for a girl one more time!" WHAT?? I only wanted 2 kids!! But, as it may be obvious by now, I have a hard time saying "No" to hubby, and so, less than two years later, here I was pregnant with baby #3. We figured out the reason Billy was so big was because I had gestational diabetes late in the pregnancy, so we were very careful with diet and such with baby #3. I still ended up having to check my blood sugars several times a day, and take insulin shots 3x a day, and I did NOT enjoy that. I told hubby, "Ok, we are not going to be caught off guard this time, I'm naming the baby Joey whether it's a boy or a girl!" Fortunately for Joey, he turned out to be, yes, a boy. And the labor was easy, and I was happy, and I was done. DONE. D.O.N.E. I spent the next 3 years joking to everyone, "You know why we have 3 boys? Because we don't want 4!" Ok, it made sense when I said it.

Fastforward to hubby actually making the decision to Do The Deed. You know the one. The snip-snip one. The night before the consultation, we got into a really stupid fight about the vacuum cleaner of all things, and were annoyed with each other going to bed. We talked, made up, were quiet for awhile, and then, out of nowhere I said, "I think I want to try one more time for a girl." My hubby sat up, looked at me and said, "Who are you and what have you done with my wife?" I convinced him I was serious, and he never went to the appt. Three months later, I was pregnant with baby #4.

By now, I was what they like to call, Advanced Maternal Age (36), so they did a level 2 ultrasound to make sure everything was OK. This left no doubt as to the sex of the baby. We found out we were FINALLY going to have.....a BOY!! Yep, 4 and 0, sorry ladies. But, you know what? We were really happy about it. Let's face it, we had had a lot of experience raising boys by that point, and probably would have had a hard time with a girl. He was born, and was the cutest one of all (shhh, don't let his brothers hear that!), with 3 dimples, and the best smile ever!

It turns out I have a lot more fun with boy children anyway, so it all worked out! I promise to post things they say and do, and I'll try not to be too disgustingly cute, but sometimes you can't help it, right? So, that's the beginning. At this point, my boys are 12 (soon to be 13), 9, 6 and 3. I am proud to say, they are all still alive.