Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Forty-Four.

Today is my birthday! Go me! I am forty-four years old and about to nestle in nice and cozy like to my mid-life crisis years. I can hardly wait. I wonder what perfect meltdown will befall me. I hope it is like the movies and involves a trip to Italy.

I didn't bake my own cake like I usually do. The husband insisted on getting a bakery one, which I reluctantly accepted because I prefer from scratch. It was lemon. I love lemon cake. In the end, I was happy. He was the only one who sang "Happy Birthday" to me. The two littlest ones have very little exposure to the song, at least the English version. They jump in on the Dutch birthday song pretty enthusiastically. Probably because it involves clapping and bunch of hoop-hooraying. This one they sat looking rather blank and intrigued by the whole thing. The Teen doesn't sing. Ever. Ever ever ever. Not even for you, Mom.

I did however make dinner. I wanted a curry so a curry it was. I am not sure of the name of the dish as I completely faked it. It had curry powder, garam masala, ginger, garlic, thai chilis (don't judge, it was all they had at the store), a bunch of other stuff, chicken, and an excessive amount of cilantro. I love cilantro. I served it all on basmati rice. Therefore it is officially a curry dish. So there. And it was delish. Double so there.

For a gift, I bought for myself on behalf of my family two video games: "Dark Fall Light's Out" and "Dark Fall Lost Souls" both by Darkling Room. I owned both before and could have sworn I had made back ups. However they are no longer on my hard drive, on any of my disks, in the back up file on the giant "everything gets dumped here" drive, and even if they were I can't find the piece of paper scribbled with my activation code. So a repurchase was necessary. I easily justified it by knowing the money was going to an Indie game writer who was currently writing more equally awesome games. Happy to support a fellow Indie. Now tonight, as soon as the littles finally fall asleep because seriously they are like ZOMGINSOMNIA, I get to play so late I will regret it in the morning.


There was one surprise. While the husband and I were out buying the cake and ingredients for dinner, the Teen sat the two youngest ones down and had them make their own birthday cards, complete with envelopes. While the homemade cards were precious, and the effort was amazing, they weren't my favorite part. My favorite part was my Teen thought to sit them down and create something, knowing it would make both them and me happy. Her initiative and follow-through got me right in the heart.

Such a great kid.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday Journal Entry

Just a quick recap on what has been happening.

I wanted to finish my lesson plans for next year by the end of the month. It will be tight, but I think I should be able to get it done. I am roughly halfway there now. The trick is finding all the materials free of charge because our budget extends to negative-nil right now. I keep telling myself it is fine. I am just teaching pre-school and kindergarten and really, in the end, the two subjects they are only really going to need are math and reading and I did spend bucks to get proper materials for that. You have one of two things: time or money. You have to spend one to compensate for lack of the other. And right now I am spending a shed load of time. But then I am saving a shed load of money. Silver lining?

Craft wise things are also on hold. I haven't worked on the novel in ages. The homeschool set up still isn't started. I have been battling with the Great Ennui and nothing seems to get done. I truly am a Drama Queen. Without it, I am listless. Why, oh why, can't I be normal? Why can't I be satisfied with the day to day, mundane ritual of life?

Tomorrow is my birthday. Still thinking about what I want to do for it because no one in my family is going to plan something. That wasn't bitterness by the way, that was just plain fact. I am the party planner, and the baker, and the chef, and the clean up committee. I also buy all the gifts. They really have no clue on where to even start. I would rather just do something that works for me and we all have a good time than watch them mope about miserable and overwhelmed. Of course the Great Ennui is making it difficult even for that and at this point I am about ready to head over to the grocery store to buy a freaking chemical-laced pie and call it done. Happy birthday to me. I am going to be 44. Not like it's a milestone anyway.

No running yet. I am still waking up 2-3 times during the night, every night, to deal with some child and their issues. They wake up more the hotter it gets and last night the husband forgot to move the thermostat down because our thermostat is on drugs and thinks 90 is the new 76. So besides being too damn hot to sleep, I had to deal with fixing too damn hot at one am which meant yet again I can't even pull 6 hours let alone 7 hours. The motivation to get out of bed in the morning doesn't exist. The motivation to even live in the morning is borderline. I need sleep. Oh how do I need sleep.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dirty Little Secrets

I hear all the time from my friends how awesome and amazing my house is. How it is so utterly Ikea. How it is so utterly European. How so fabulously fabulous it is. Which makes me giggle because I am so far from utterly anything but shambles that any day now I am going to have to resort to duct tape and bailing wire. Oh, wait. I have already started resorting to duct tape. Damn.

I post pictures all the time on Facebook and everyone raves how clean my house always is, how pretty everything looks, how bright and cheerful and happy my kids are. Well, duh. Do they really think I am not going to crop out that 4 foot pile of dirty clothes? Or that stack of dishes so huge it overflows onto the stove top?  Or take the pic of the kid from the left side knowing that is the one sporting the weird spot where she cut her own hair? And really, toddlers' eyes do not sparkle all pretty like that unless they had been recently crying, and trust me mine spent half her waking day crying over the most useless damn crap known to man. Like the five minute Hollywood swooning death over not getting handed the glass of milk last because Oh My Gosh Mom I Don't Want To Be First. Or the fact she wanted the dog with the bow not the dog with the ball underwear and no she refuses to wear it a second day in a row because that's yucky. What do you mean, yucky? You are still in freaking diapers and I put them on over the top so it isn't like they actually touched your skin for even a fraction of a minute. Hell, I wear jeans more times than that without washing and they usually have boogers and sticky mini fingerprints on the knees the entire time. But ten minutes later, pretty sparkles.

It isn't that my house is a museum. It is simply that I know how to push the crop button on my phone before I hit the upload button. Still my friends live in this belief that I cook amazing meals every day, I sew my entire and rather extensive wardrobe, my house is neat as a pin and utterly spotless at any given time, and my children are a cross between the Beaver and Laura Freaking Ingalls. The thing is, my friends tend to only see what they want to see. And, of course, what I let them see. Most haven't realized they haven't been in my bedroom yet. There is a reason for that.

The bedroom is where most of my secrets lurk.

Now before you even hint that I am saying all this on a blog post for the whole world to see, know that (a) very few people actually read my blog and I am pretty damn sure half of all ten of my followers are only here out of politeness as a follow-back and never stop by and (b) if they are my real friends they will not act horrified at knowing my secrets. They will simply gossip quietly, and politely, behind my back and I will never ever hear about it thus keeping the illusion it is still a secret.

Plus, and this is what's in it for me, if I tell you my secrets and you happen to actually become follower number eleven and read me for really reals, then I can bitch and complain about these things and it isn't like ZOMG BIG CONFESSION because it instead becomes that was so last week, last month, last year. *yawn*

Now that I have that amazing dramatic build up, don't come crying to me if you are all disappointed. I don't want to hear, "that's it?!?!" These are mine, remember. If you don't like them get your own damn secrets to confess.

Secret Number One: I sleep on an airbed. Yeah, like camping. I don't have a real bed. I have one I have to re-pump every morning and makes seriously embarrassing rubbery rubber rub rubbing noises when I move around. Which tend to wake me up. It is as uncomfortable as hell, but way more comfortable than the floor. I also have a lovely bedding set complete with decor throw pillows on it. Then I can pretend it's real and not actually a giant balloon. Because, in essence, that is what it is. I am forty-something years old and sleep on a giant squeaky balloon.

Secret Number Two: All those clothes in the ginormous walk-in closet you see beautifully arranged and neatly hung as soon as you open the door? Not mine. They belong to the Husband. Mine are over behind the door in the deepest, darkest, backest corner. They are all there. The whole lot. Yes my entire wardrobe fits behind a closet door. That's because my entire wardrobe consists of: 5 dresses, 3 cardigans, 5 short sleeve shirts, 3 long sleeve shirts, 2 sweaters, and one pair of jeans. None of which match. Add in my running wardrobe of: 2 jackets, 2 sets of long underwear, 2 pairs of pants, and a pair of yoga shorts, and my section of the closet takes up a whopping two full feet of hanging rod real estate.

It isn't because I do that capture wardrobe thing. It's because I can think of a zillion things I need more than clothes. That and I am barely 5 foot tall so even the petite clothing is too long on me by several inches and shopping makes me really, really depressed. I once had a dream I went on that show where they shame your entire wardrobe then give you $5000 and seriously awesome advice and a fab make over. Only in my dream they didn't shame my wardrobe. They just held me and cried.

Secret Number Three: I have Rosacea. I am too lazy to wear make-up. Correction- I am too lazy to wash the make-up off at night. Wearing it all night exacerbates my Rosacea, so rather than make the effort to clean it off I just don't put it on. Now, having this condition isn't a secret. I mean, seriously. You look at me and see these massive red blotches and sores all over my face. It isn't the totally obvious facial infliction part, it's the "I would rather do anything than have minimally adequate hygiene" part that is my secret.

If I don't make a very deliberate effort to force myself to remember to do it in the first place, I wouldn't shower. Or brush my teeth. Or brush my hair. Or even wear a different outfit than the one I wore the day before. That I actually had worn the day before that as well. I never learned hygiene as a kid, so now it is this big ol' freaking huge ass deal for me rather than "oh icky it has been 4 hours since I last touched soap how can I live with myself until I shower for the fifth time today" that I swear is what everyone else does. I wish I woke up and felt the "ugh, my teeth, must brush" like all you normal people do. I really do. Instead I am stuck with the "crap, better put brush my teeth on my personal calendar with two alarms. Don't want a repeat of last week."

This does, by the way, exclude washing hands. I take that to the extreme in the other direction. Not quite OCD 47 times in a row extreme, but let's just say I can burn through a bottle of hand soap within a few days.

Now that they are out there, I guess I am supposed to feel liberated. I don't really. However I am looking forward to being able to bitch about my sheets not fitting properly and really pissing me off because one of the inside bladders must have popped and now my bed has a funny drop off at the feet and bascially went from a queen to a king in length.

Hashtag first world problems. My queen-sized bed suddenly grew ten inches and I had to buy king-sized sheets which fit awkwardly but at least they cover the whole mattress. Sort of.

Having "The Talk": Love Has Nothing To Do With It

I am not a child expert. I don't have medical degree certificates lining my walls. I don't have letters after my name. I am just a mom with strong opinions about certain things. And my strong, unprofessional, very certain opinion about having the sex talk with your kids is: "Stop telling them love makes babies."

Seriously. Stop it.

My mom told me it did. I bet yours told you. I bet, like me, you heard, "when a man and a woman love each other....." Which is why, way back when my first born was four and suddenly asked "where do babies come from?" I nearly blurted out the same damn thing. And, thankfully, before the words escaped my mouth I suddenly stopped cold.

Our neighbors had a baby. They also had an older kid and were mid-process in the world's ugliest divorce which, every Friday like clockwork, taught my daughter yet another colorful vocabulary word as they did "the exchange" in the front yard. They had a baby and they certainly did not love each other. On the flip side, I had a friend who was infertile. Her husband and she were madly in love with each other. And patient, and kind, and thoughtful, and just amazing people. No baby.

If I told my daughter that love made babies, I was telling her that this pretty much perfect couple was not in love, and that this violently angry couple was. It would be confusing. Or worse, it would be setting her up for misery later in life.

Because I did have a friend, let's call her Friendita, who was a very educated, very bright woman and who also grew up with the lesson that when a man and a woman loved each other they would make a baby. Only Friendita had PCOS and didn't get pregnant. Nothing seemed to help Friendita and eventually infertility put such a strain on the marriage that the marriage was no longer. Which, to Friendita, was proof all along that she didn't love her husband enough. Because if she had loved him enough she would have had a baby. She would still be married. She beat herself up over that for years. She wasn't capable of having children, but even worse she wasn't capable of being able to love someone. She was frigid, she was shallow, she was an icy bitch. That was the part that really broke my heart, hearing her say that. Friendita really, honestly, believed deep down inside, despite all her logic and all her common sense, that some how some arbitrary amount of understanding, trust, and compassion for another human being could fix an unfortunate, unreasonable, and unfair malfunction of one of her organs. And furthermore, she really, honestly, thought she was incapable of being a good enough person to provide that arbitrary amount of love because when she tried her best it still didn't cure her of something incurable.


Love does not make babies. A male and a female, both with properly working parts and under the right conditions and when the odds are stacked in their favor, make a baby.

Now I am not going to tell a 4-year old the additional details. It is too difficult to grasp. But I did tell my daughter when she was nine. And ten. And eleven. And twelve. And again and again every year from then until she moves out and probably will keep talking even beyond that because we don't have "the talk" once and it is done and dusted. We revisit it several times as she matures and her social understanding increases and I can relay more and more detailed information. She knows that love does not make babies, working parts make babies. And when she was old enough to understand she learned sometimes even working parts don't make babies for some unexplainable, unfortunate, and unfair reason. And when she was even older, she learned that sometimes babies are made but babies aren't born and again, love has nothing to do with it.

I did not want my daughter, any of my daughters, who may end up one of those who simply cannot concieve or carry to term, to think this is proof she isn't capable of being loved or loving someone else enough. She will not be Friendita.

"Mom, where do babies come from?"

"Well, first you need a man and a woman. They should be grown-ups and married first."*

See? You don't need to tell them you need love. It works just as easily without it.

*And if you aren't Catholic like me or aren't pushing that whole marriage agenda, you can leave off that part and put in "committed relationship." There will be time enough when they are more mature to be able to understand the concepts behind surrogates, sperm donors, teen sex, same sex couples, and all the other exceptions to the generic " man/woman, adult, and married" rule. And yes, we do talk about those. Whether or not you agree with it, whether or not it makes you uncomfortable or even disgusted, it exists in the world and your child will eventually be exposed to it. Maybe even be a part of it. Therefore it should be addressed and discussed like anything else. But that is a whole 'nother blog post best left for another time.