yay and boo (a homework assignment)

I follow this wonderful blog written by a woman in NYC. Like me, she writes about life and her observations. Yesterday she wrote this post.
In closing, she wrote:

I’m giving you homework tonight. At the end of the evening, go back and reflect on your day. Write the highs and the lows.

She went on to say the highs must be equal to or outnumber the lows, and wondered at the process.

I’ve actually been considering this as a way to keep me looking for the positive while I’m in this state of mind, so I was inclined to accept her homework assignment.
It was a quiet, and mostly uneventful day. Here’s what I came up with.

As you can see, I made two columns.
A yay column and a boo column. I felt making it playful might possibly cut the edge.

Under the yay column is written:
*pampered with pedi (a curious Tiffany blue color that reads a bit greenish)
*chili for dinner (seems self explanatory)
*ladies free skate (thanks, Olympics)
*Beat Bobby Flay (love to binge this show while I’m doing things around the house)
*sold 4 items (at a discount, but still made profit)

Under the boo column is written:
*stuffy ear cannot hear (also hurts, but already on antibiotics)
*rainy af (especially after two days of gorgeous, the rain just seems to make my emotional mood worse)
*low (seems self explanatory)

I actually enjoyed this exercise. Of course I already mentioned it was an uneventful day, which made it simpler to watch a little TV after coming home from a well executed pedicure at a new salon.
But taking that time for myself, stopping to have my feet pampered, then watching Bobby Flay while I prepped dinner and did a few things around the house made me feel comfortable and content. Simple ways to live my intention.

I’m going to continue this daily exercise for a while and pay close attention to where my focus is during my days.
Thanks, LA for putting it out there so I could pick it up.

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apparently, I need to “calm my stress”

At the holistic doctor on Tuesday, “Your adrenals are pissed. You need to calm your stress.”
Um…Ya think?

I’m staying off social media.
I’m not watching the news.
I’m trying not to listen when I overhear folks talking.
This is what I’m doing to calm my stress over the school shooting in Parkland Florida.

It is not lost on me that I spend my days in a public school. In a huge, open room with no safe place to corral children to hide. With doors that do not lock.
Would I do whatever it took to keep these children safe?
Yes.
Would I die for them?
Possibly.
Do I feel like that’s my job?
Hell no.

Do I want to keep the children in my school safe?
Absolutely!
Do I need to give my life to do so?
I’d rather not, thanks.

I’m a mom. I’m a wife. In the Autumn, I’ll be a grandmother. However grown, is it acceptable for my girls to be motherless because I died protecting other peoples children? And YBW? Is it acceptable for him to be a widower before we even gain traction on our greatest life adventure together? And little Shrimpy, the bebe I long to know and love. To teach and learn with. To watch irritate his or her mother and Auntie. Is it acceptable for that child to miss out on what might possibly be the coolest grandmother-grandchild relationship ever?

I carry this in me each day I arrive at my sweet little suburban elementary school. (Which, BTW shares physical campus space with an equally sweet suburban high school.)

Now this concept is always and has always been in the back of my mind. And to be quite honest, I lived through something similar during the sniper attacks in October 2002. Keeping children safe through that was a bit more simple, we just never let them go out of doors. At school, or at home.

Do I honestly believe someone will come into our school and start shooting it up?
No.
Is my concern understandable?
Yes.

And then we had a two day heat wave. And I mean record breaking warm temperatures.
I opened the windows wide!
I let the cruddy stale winter air be replaced by delightful breezy spring air.
We needed the sunlight. (My vitamin D is so low.) We needed the beauty of the past two days.

Of course, we’re not the only house in the neighborhood with windows open. And so it came to pass yesterday from the hours of 3:00 to nearly 8:00 the horrible shouty man screamed obscenities and threats at his wife.
This is not new in our neighborhood. There is long standing knowledge of the chaos that is their relationship. Apparently it isn’t physical, just verbal. She drinks too much and he shouts horrific things at her. He shouts horrific things at her and she drinks too much.
Which came first?
We may never know.

I’ve been anxious and bordering on depressed for a few weeks now, to such degree I’ve begun conversations with YBW about me talking with my doctor regarding mood meds.
I’m dull. I’ve lost my sparkle. I’m sleeping too much. I’m suffering insomnia. I eat nothing. I’m bingeing.
I can’t seem to shake myself loose from it.

It’s partly because of this that what happened to those kids in Parkland feels…more.
It’s partly because of this that the horrible shouty man screaming at his wife on and off for five hours did me in yesterday.

Early on in the afternoon, his shouting made me anxious. I knew it then, but I was busy with laundry, and had the TV on for sound it was easy to not hear his actual words. And somehow that kept me feeling safe in my own house while I could hear him in his. But as it wore on and on I could feel myself flooding with stress hormones.
But then as suddenly as it began, it stopped.

Just as I began to feel comfortable again, YBW came home. Even though I’m struggling, I had momentary joy.

Before long, the shouting started again. Only this time, it was closer.
From what I can deduce, the wife went over to one of the neighbors to get away from him. So when his shouting began again, they were at the house directly behind ours.
I was sitting in my comfy chair right next to the window. I could hear every word.
I was on the computer in the middle of something that I needed to finish immediately. I turned on music to drown out his shouting. I wanted to close the window but I was hot and the breeze felt nice.
As I sat here, I became more stressed and more anxious. Realizing I was feeling fearful in my own house!
My face was hot and my head began to hurt and I forced myself out of the shallow breathing pattern.

When I finally finished my task, I went downstairs. YBW was watching the Olympics. I came into the room and said, “I’m so anxious from listening to him shout for so long.” YBW immediately wrapped his body around mine and held me close and quietly. I actually felt as though I melted into him for a moment. That embrace was powerful enough to calm my body and my spirit. YBW’s love grounded me, and I’m so grateful.

Just writing about this now I’m feeling nearly as anxious as I did yesterday.

The actions of others are impacting me with a greater force than I would like.
Normally I have the skills to fend off these outside influences. I normally repel them with the strength of my character. My strong will, and sense of humor.
Seems I’m tapped out of late.
I seem unable to calm my stress.
I hear Hagrid’s frantic voice in my head, “It was dark times, Harry. Dark times.”

I have an appointment with my therapist.
I have herbs and supplements from the holistic doctor that are meant to aid in improving my sense of emotional well being.
If I can’t seem to shake myself from the place I am, I’ll go my general practitioner and have a conversation to see if spending a bit of time with Wellbutrin might make a difference.

In the meantime, I’m only watching HGTV, Food Network, and the Olympics, and I’ve closed the windows on my computer and my house to help block things that only make me more anxious.
But I left the curtains open to let in the ever helpful and hopeful sunlight.

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Brendan Benson ~ Half a Boy (and Half a Man)

I’m feeling a little Brendan Benson this morning and wanted to share.
Here’s the single from his upcoming (yet to be titled) album, Half a Boy (and Half a Man)
Please listen responisbly.

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Do you even Bitmoji?

This is my Bitmoji. She looks as much like me as a bunch of pixels possibly can. And y’all, I have to tell you, I love the stuffing out of her!

I enjoy communicating with my Bitmoji. With Nora, mostly via text, and Sundance via text and Snapchat, but especially with Thing 1 and Thing 2. We have a group chat in Snapchat that makes it SUPER easy to use our Bitmojis.

Another thing that’s cool about Bitmoji in Snapchat is that if another Snapchat user has a Bitmoji, they can do things together. But only one at a time, so when it comes to my group chat with the girls, it’s just one of them with me at a time.

Thing 1 sent me a kiss.

Thanks to the Olympics, Thing 2 was able to express her love of figure skating.

I have no idea why Thing 2 and I are behind this tree, but we look shady af.

I sent this one when I expressed my desire to wave a magic wand to alleviate her morning sickness. I love love love her little baby bump!

The girls Bitmojis bring me such joy! They look so like my girls. And seeing them all together makes me all smiley. If our avatars can be in the same place at the same time, it feels more like we’re together even when we’re far apart.

I recently changed my Bitmoji’s hair. I was wearing it curly for so long while trying to grow it out from a pixie cut that was never as cute on me as it was in the photos. Letting my curls do their thing made it simpler to tolerate the growing out process. But now that it’s the way I want it, I’ve been putting forth the effort to wear my hair straight.
Thing 1 quickly expressed that she is not a fan of the new do.
It’s funny, because her straight hair makes her look younger than her curly hair…perhaps as a soon to be grandmother, she ought not look younger?

Anyway, they’re fun and playful and we get great joy from sharing them.
You can check out the updated app that lets you create an avatar here:

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Shrimpy


Baby’s first photo!

That little bebe is super healthy and is scheduled to make her/his debut September 30. (Thing 1 is keen to push it till October. I’m feeling her on that even without explanation. Her due date was February 27 and I was hankering a March baby. I got what I wanted, I’m hopeful she will too.)

When I showed the photo to YBW I remarked the bebe looked a bit like a shrimp. Then I giggled and said, “Aww, little Shrimpy.” Thing 1 called me just a moment afterwards and I shared that nugget of conversation. She repeated it to Husband N and Thing 2. I heard Thing 2’s voice, “We have to call it Shrimpy!”

Thing 1 sent that photo this morning, so I guess we’re going with Shrimpy. I’ll miss saying ‘the bebe’, but it’ll be nice not to say ‘it’ all the time.

Thing 2 also said the bebe would be a Libra.
I’d already deduced that.
In our world, Libra is better than Virgo. We know some really crap Virgos.
What’s interesting about Shrimpy being a Libra is that Thing 1 is a Pisces and Husband N is a Gemini. Pisces and Gemini have a particular duality to them. Could be considered light and dark, or yin and yang. I most often refer to that duality as sweet Thing 1 and evil Thing 1 (or Husband N).
So with these double sided signs it might be handy for a third party to be one inclined to balance the scales. As long as that is tempered with the ability to manage that inclination. That’ll grow in time. Or, Thing 2 will knock Thing 1 and Husband N’s heads together so that bebe isn’t always walking a tightrope.

Thing 1 shared with me that she really liked the nurses at the ob practice, that one of them noted that Husband N and Thing 2 showed an abundance of excitement. Thing 1 is generally reserved when it comes to demonstrating her excitement. Thing 2 and Husband N are not remotely reserved about sharing their excitement!
I have this vision in my head of what it was like.

Thing 1 kind of like, ‘Yeah, but I love them.’

I asked her if seeing the bebe and watching it’s little heart beat made it more real to her. She replied she never doubted that it was real, mostly because there was no reason for her to be vomiting so much if she wasn’t pregnant.
I suspect I asked her because I was asking myself the same question.
Does seeing that little bebe in a grainy black and white ultrasound photo make him or her more real to me?
Interestingly, the answer is no.
My baby is going to have a baby of her own. However next level that is, it’s always been real to me.
As of today, she is 7 weeks 5 days along in her pregnancy. Only 32 weeks and 2 days to go! (Did I math that right?)
Between now and then, we’ll hopefully discover if Shrimpy is a boy or a girl. Thing 1 and Husband N will settle on a name. Thing 2 and I will plan and execute a kick ass baby shower. And a whole load of other not quite as cool and even some cooler stuff.

I’m planning to head to Georgia for part of spring break. Want to hug my girl. Want to hug her husband. Want to rub her little belly and let Shrimpy know we’re all about her or his arrival.

Y’all, we might (occasionally) be idiots, but we have great big love!

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I’m a ray of f**king sunshine

I really like cuss words.
Profanity.
Dirty words.
Offensive language.
Bad words.
Expletives.
Swear words.
Obscenitites
Whatever you call ’em, they make me happy.
I find them excellent descriptive words great for most any situation.

I have been told that my passion for, and abundant use of curse words denotes a lack of intelligence on my part. (You know I’m saying a great big ‘f**k you’ to those folks.) But, According to Richard Stephens at Keele University,

The fact is that the size of your vocabulary of swear words is linked with your overall vocabulary, and swearing is inextricably linked to the experience and expression of feelings and emotions.

Unlike the vast majority of women in the world, (some men too) I am a fan of the “C word”.
I know.
I don’t mind if you judge me. Most folks do when it comes to this particular word.
To me it’s just another bad word. It doesn’t offend me in any way, and in some cases I find it amusing.
So much so that I had a bit of a squee when banter cards ran a half-price sale on their ‘not quite perfect’ hardback notebooks!
I ordered a few. I mean honestly can one ever have enough journals?
And they’re just so me.
(“C word” alert!!)

As happy as I am with each one, and My C**ting Notepad brings me the biggest smirk, I’m going to have to admit that List Whore just might be my favorite.
Like there was any doubt…but y’all! It even has a little heart! I (heart) lists!
Though a reminder to not be a bitch is always helpful, because some times I simply can’t help myself.

Going to contemplate the perfect use for each one…
In the meantime, I got fun stickers for immediate use in my planner.

Organized as f**k.
You know it!

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Paul knew what was up


1 Corinthians 16:14
The general consensus is Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthians between 54-58 in the common era. This verse is from the conclusion of the letter.
I feel like Paul knew what was up when it comes to this particular verse. He’s ending his letter with, well, some good advice really.

Be alert. Stand firm in the faith. Be strong. And do everything in love.

Almost as though he’s presenting ideas for possible rules to live by.

Do everything in love.

Love is my intention.
I live my life by love.
I mean even when I’m crabby and kind of evil…I actually live each day of my life by do(ing) everything in love. (Is it weird that I wonder if Paul would dig it?)

Lately I’ve wondered if I’m not being mindful about doing things in love for myself. That is, living in love for me, treating myself with the same love I share with others.
Only, after considering this for a while, I’ve come to understand that by doing everything in love, I am treating myself with the same love, grace, and gratitude I do for everyone else.
I think I just haven’t been paying enough attention. And while that’s OK on occasion, I must remember to be present and recognize living my intention begins with me.
Love is in the simple every day things.
It’s with the children at school. With my family. With my friends. It’s even in the way I drive my buggy around the grocery store.
Love actually is all around me.
Every day. In every thing I do. And that love gives me hope. As far as I can tell, hope and love go hand in hand.
(Seriously, though, Paul wrote about that in the same damn letter, right!?)

I’m grateful for Paul’s advice. I truly take it to heart. I live my life by it.
I do everything in love.
Y’all, isn’t that the most beautifully hopeful way to be?

Categories: love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

random “Baby Outbursts”

I’m having random “Baby Outbursts” all over the place.
YBW is beginning to get a kick out of tracking them. Luckily for me he’s super patient, because most of these occur in the least convenient times and place. And they look a bit like I may be having some sort of attack of palsy.

I experienced one yesterday afternoon while engaged in a text conversation with Thing 2!
We can get the bebe a load of Nats gear!

I shared that with Thing 1 in a phone call yesterday. First we oodgey-goodgey(ed), then I expressed my hope that people in Georgia wouldn’t be ‘mean’ to the bebe because he or she is a Nats fan. She laughed and said even Braves fans wouldn’t be ‘mean’ to a bebe…maybe to the parents, but she could handle that. Then we laughed again.
It’s tricky being a Nats fan in Braves territory, but she’s on top of it.
We’re idiots, but we have fun.

Another such outburst took place last night.
We went to dinner with M and J. M and YBW were fraternity brothers, and he and his precious wife are my most favorite of all YBW’s friends.
We four have a monthly date. Last night we were meant to go to this new (to us) amazing burger joint, only when we arrived, it was slam-jammed with folks and no place to sit. So we ended up at a little Mexican restaurant instead. (Even though Mexican is some of my fave food, I spent a great deal of time looking at Melt’s menu online and was more than mildly disappointed we missed out on burgers.)
It ended up OK, we enjoyed our dinner. We enjoyed each other’s company. I oodgey-goodgey(ed) about the bebe. And they joined right in on it!
We finally decided to leave the restaurant and head over to M and J’s house. YBW wanted coffee so we stopped off at the coffee shop before we got in the car. My random “Baby Outburst” happened in the coffee shop while YBW, J, and I waited for our coffees.
I realized if the bebe is a girl, I’ll be able to have things monogrammed for her!
Y’all this brought me much joy! Neither Thing 1 nor Thing 2 give a rat’s ass about their monogram. Now partly this is because they each have a repeating letter which makes a monogram look lopsided, and partly it’s because they went to high school surrounded by ‘basic white girls’ who plastered their monograms on anything that didn’t move.
And my girls are anything but basic.
While I absolutely adore my monogram, I am ‘preppy’ not ‘basic’. Because I actually lived through the 1980s. A point I’ve had to make to my girls more than once.

Anyway…
If the bebe is a girl, she too will have a repeating letter in her monogram. But I do not care. And she won’t care. She’ll be oblivious for the first few years of her life. And while we aren’t about gender norms for this bebe, I will sure as hell make sure she has something(s) with her monogram so she and I can be goofy, girlie, and oodgey-goodgey about it together!
If the bebe is a boy, well…he’ll still have something(s) monogrammed, but I suspect there will be less oodgey-goodgey(ing).

I’ll continue to have random “Baby Outbursts” because I honestly don’t think I can keep a lid on this much joy! Or perhaps when the newness wears off, I’ll just present “Baby Thoughts” in a less palsied looking way?
Stay tuned.

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talking mad s**t about you

Thing 1 and Husband N have no patience when it comes to gender norms for the bebe. They’re not about ‘pink’ and ‘blue’.
I’m feeling them…to a degree, I mean occasionally a baby girl needs a little pink something in the midst of her bad ass super hero attire. But I’m all for boys wearing pink and having dolls. And girl or boy, this little bebe of ours will be blessed with more than love, and some pretty fun things. Dollies and the sweetest of lovies. Trucks and blocks, and the softest damn gray elephant blankie you’ve ever felt. (I may have already purchased that. What? It matches the one I gave his or her mommy for Christmas.)

Thing 1 is already showing her zero f**ks given attitude when it comes to humor and the bebe.
She wants it to have a bunch of rude onesies before it understands that there are bad words printed on it’s clothing.
She knows she’ll get pushback from some folks, but she doesn’t care. (Remember I said zero f**ks given?) Personally I think it’s funny. And so very Thing 1 and Husband N. They’re all about letting your freak flag fly.

Here are a few examples of what our sweet bebe could be wearing when she or he arrives. Thing 1 found these at Spencers.

This one is dead on balls accurate because the “F word” is one of all of our favorites.


This one is all about Thing 2. Who is possibly more excited to become an auntie than Thing 1 is to be a mom!


Poor bebe. It’s joining a bunch of zany madcap folks…on both sides!

And finally, my absolute favorite.

I cackled when I read this one.
I can’t even be mad about the grammar.
I can see Thing 1 and her bebe in cahoots talking about the trashy “Walmart babies” in their diapers and needing a bath.
Hmmm…actually the bebe needs a onesie that says ‘me and my (insert TBD adorable grandmother name here) talk mad shit about you’. Because we will.

I know our sense of humor is dark. I know we’re pretty sardonic.
But apart from some (really old and not hip) grandmother reading these onesies on this bebe and being offended, I don’t feel like there’s too much harm in my daughter expressing her sense of humor and world view via the clothes in which she dresses her child. Up to a point…and she’s smart enough to know she’s not sending that kid to school in any of these things, she’s going to have it in their home, and yard, and with us.
I respect the expression of inappropriate points of view printed on these baby clothes. It’s ridiculous, it’s foul, it’s not at all appropriate. But it’s just so damn amusing.
And the bebe won’t be able to read for a really long time. I mean seriously, little muffin won’t even be able to hold it’s head up for a while.
I think they’re funny. But that’s because I don’t have all that many f**ks to give either.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

if you give a girl a shelf

Y’all know I’m a sucker for an around-the-house project. And with this unpredictable weather we’ve been having, icy days close school even though the ice turns to rain, which means I’ve had some time on my hands.
So…I decided to paint and add another shelf in the laundry room (closet?).

Years ago, YBW put up a shelf and hanging bar. But recently I realized how underutilized is the vertical space in there and decided we needed a second shelf.

And just like with If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, another shelf needs cute and practical storage bins, and while I’m at it, might as well paint. And I might need some fun laundry signs to go over the door…and so on…and so on.
Until at last…

Tada!

Cute, right?

Tuesday after school I got to painting.

Two good coats of Waterscape by Sherwin Williams (SW6470) and I rocked it!

Of course I had to do one last load of laundry before I could get started.

Y’all, that was one sad coat of builder grade paint up in there and the walls just soaked in the new paint.

Tuesday evening just after nine, we got the email that county schools would be closed Wednesday. Hot damn! That meant I could sleep in and finish all my laundry room work without interruption!
The drill/screw gun and I are total BFFLs. Up went the old shelf brackets. Up went the new shelf brackets. Boom! Shelves went up. Great washable storage bins on the shelves and lastly, hang the dryer shelf on the wall.

Two days of my time + approximately $60 = a gorgeously organized and functional place to perform my absolute favorite household chore.
Yassssss!
It’s good to be me.

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