Wednesday, November 14, 2018


One would think that my eight months off work would have caught me up on the sleep deprivation I suffered while the girls were little and I was commuting.

One would be wrong.

I’m still tired. All the time.

We went to West Lafayette last weekend for the PUDM. It was fun. But the beds in the hotel where we stayed were awful. I slept so badly I may as well have not slept.

Olivia slept great but she’s twelve, twelve year olds can sleep on a pile of rocks and be comfy.

People my age? Not so much. The rocks would need to be covered with a mattress and the mattress would need to be covered with a topper, then I’d need a high thread count sheet to cover the mattress topper. Then, if you please, let’s add the flat sheet because I’m old school like that, a couple of quilts and a comforter that I can kick off when I wake up in the dead of night covered in gross sweat. And that’s IF everything above has been provided and I am asleep on the bed of rocks alone. Add another person and we’re in big trouble and there will probably be no sleep.

I’m ready for this month to be over. I hate wishing the time away but we’ve been so busy, always running, always cramming stuff in.

No wonder Olivia is sick.

This week we are getting our flu shots on Thursday, I’m taking food to play practice, you guessed it, Thursday. The performances are Friday and Saturday.

Next weekend is Thanksgiving. I’m currently thankful that we don’t have to travel to family for dinner. Though, let’s remember that even though we only drive three miles to my mom’s each holiday, I still managed to hit a deer last Thanksgiving. And I don’t think the deer was killed, she got up and ran away while we sat there in my car, which suffered over $8000 worth of damage. Sigh.

But that’s all in the past, where we definitely want to leave 2017. It was a tough year and I’m glad to have survived it. 2018 has been better than 2017 but I am hoping and praying that 2019 will be better still. I suppose I could take the attitude that it will be what I make it. I would like to think I have the power to shape my own destiny.

The problem is, I don’t seem to have the power to shape my own bedtime, let alone my own destiny.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


Anyone who has read my blog for any amount of time knows that we’re a family of co-sleepers. Alyssa slept in our bed from the first day she came home from the hospital. She might have spent two nights in her crib before we took it down and put it away until Olivia came home.

Olivia slept in a bassinet for the first couple of months because she was on an heart monitor at first and it was dangerous for her to be in the family bed. But once she was off the monitor, she was in our bed too.

When we moved to Ohio from Indiana, the master bedroom was so big, that I just put our queen sized bed in there along with a couple of smaller beds. Seriously, it was still not crowded.

In the end, Tom tended to fall asleep on the couch, I put the girls to bed in the queen bed and I slept on a twin bed in the same room with them. That was the case for the first several years in our current house.

So I got used to not sleeping with anyone and it is glorious.

A few years ago, we decided it was time for the girls to sleep in their own room. So, because I’m a hoverer, we all three moved from the master bedroom to the larger of the three other bedrooms. The girls were in bunk beds, Alyssa on top, Olivia on bottom. I was in a full bed. That lasted until Alyssa’s fourteenth birthday (so going on two years ago.) At that point, she kicked me and Olivia out.

Alyssa now sleeps in her own room. See, it happens, eventually, to everyone. . Just saying to everyone who thought it was insane that we were sleeping in the same bed/room forever. Everyone should do what works for them. I’m not judging anyone who chooses to put their baby in their own crib in their own room from the start. If that works for you, go you. It didn’t work for me. But I know it works for most people. So yes, stepping off my non-judgmental soapbox now.

Where was I?

Oh yes, Alyssa sleeps in her own room. We need to take the bunkbeds down now that she’s sleeping in the full bed in her room. It would give her ever so much more room…one of these days. For sure.

When Lyss kicked us out, Olivia and I moved back down the hall to the master bedroom. But we didn’t go back to sharing a bad. Oh hell no. She sleeps in a twin bed and I’m in the queen. Tom is still on the couch, for anyone interested. He always falls asleep there watching tv and I figure I get two of us to bed I don’t want to be responsible for making him get up and come to bed too.

All this (almost 500 words, good lord!) to say that Olivia and I shared a bed last weekend at the hotel in Bloomington and it…was…awful.

That child has no concept of personal space. The first night, I put a blanket between us. It helped not at all. I pushed her leg off me no fewer than five times. She weighs about 105lbs and still took up more than 2/3 of the bed. Please just believe me when I say that I weight more than she does. I hugged the edge of the bed all night long both nights.

The second night, I woke myself up whimpering, “No, no, no, no.”

I’d been dreaming that Olivia had her head in my back and was pushing at me. It turns out it was her knee. Apparently, she wanted more than her 2/3 of the bed. She wanted the whole thing and was trying, in her sleep, to kicked me out. I had to push back at her knee really hard just to get her to give me three extra inches of bed.

The next morning when my mom got up to get dressed, I limped across the room and laid down in her vacant bed.

Ten minutes after I’d vacated the ten inches of bed that Olivia has allotted me, she woke up and asked me what I was doing.

I replied, “Escaping the torture.”

“Can I join you?” she asked sleepily.

I managed a laugh even though every joint in my body ached. “No, you’re the one who was torturing me.”

Alas, I wish I could say that I will never share a bed with that child again but I think when we spend the night in West Lafayette this Saturday I’ll have to brave it all again. I will try the blanket thing again, though. While the blanket was there, she didn’t jam her knee into my ribs so that’s something.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Straight Out of My Nightmares

And eww and every other sound of disgust you can come up with.

On our way back from Bloomington this past Sunday, we decided to stop at a gas station to use the bathroom (and get something to drink so we could use the bathroom again later in the trip) before we got to 465 where there is really no convenient way to stop.

We stopped at a Shell.

The station was fine, the gas was actually about $.10 cheaper than any of the other stations we’d seen on our trip.

The first clue should have been that one accessed the bathroom from outside the building.

The second clue should have been my disgust at having to touch the door to open it, it was grimy and gross but I figured it was from being an outside door.

No. We should have walked away, gotten in the car and driven to the CVS that was a mile away. The problem is that we didn’t know the CVS was a mile away because we had driven past all this in the dark on Friday night. We weren’t sure there was another bathroom anywhere nearby (of course there was, duh!)

Olivia and I entered with trepidation.

I caught a glimpse of the toilet and gagged. I said to Liv, “Okay. I’m going to wipe off the seat and then we’re going to hover over it to pee.”

She looked at me. She looked at the toilet. She took a step backward and declared, “No. I don’t have to pee.”

“Livie,” I started to argue.

She interrupted me. “No. I am not peeing in that. I don’t have to go.”

I remembered when she was seven and flat out refused to pee in a port-o-potty. I knew there was no arguing with her. And who wanted to at that point? I wanted to get out of that disgusting, filthy, germ-ridden bathroom.

But I had to pee.

So I took a deep breath, wrapped my hand in toilet paper (A LOT OF TOILET PAPER) and wiped the seat. There was more than just a few ‘sprinkles’ of pee on that seat. It was also evident by the, uh, color (gag!) of the samples on the seat that more than one person had peed on that seat. It was probably more like five, or hell, a hundred. It was soooo gross.

But honestly, even the pee on the seat was nothing compared to the ring around the toilet bowl itself.

My mom later said she couldn’t tell if it was the remnants of diarrhea or vomit but it was crusty. It had been there for a long, A LOOONG time. When the toilet was flushed, the water just kind of skimmed over the ring around the bowl. It might even have been mold. *shudder*

That bathroom hadn’t been cleaned in, well, maybe not ever.

The only thing that could have made it worse would have been if it had had one of those rags that hangs down in a loop, that you pull down and find a dry spot to wipe your hands. It didn’t, thank goodness, but if it had, it would have made the entire experience that much more surreal.

I hesitated to get back into my car after standing on that bathroom floor. I mean, if there was piss on the seat, you know damn well it was all over the floor.

We slathered ourselves in hand-sanitizer when we got back in the car and then we laughed over the awfulness of the entire situation. What else could we do? It was either laugh at how awful it was, or cry.

Olivia insisted she still didn’t have to pee even when we came across another, cleaner facility. Girlfriend was going to let her bladder burst before she peed in that cesspool of horror. To her credit, she didn’t use a bathroom until we were well along the way on I69 (it was the rest area between Indy and Fort Wayne, very well maintained, thank you very much.)

When we got home and told the story of the bathroom from hell, I said something along the lines of it being right out nightmares I’ve had where I have to pee so bad but the toilet is either overflowing with chunks falling to the floor in the flood of water and filth or I can’t lock a stall door and am trying to squat and hold the door at the same time.

Alyssa asked, “What kind of awful dreams are you having?!?”

Hasn’t everyone had that dream where they have to pee (because they really do have to pee but are asleep and so the need to pee translates into the dream) and they’re either in a filthy bathroom or they’re being stalked by a killer and are trying to pee really quietly but never quite empty their bladder (because, obviously, they haven’t peed in real life and so the urge doesn’t go away.)?

She (Alyssa) claims to have never had that dream. I think maybe she just doesn’t remember the times she has had it. But she did say, rather sassily, “But I probably will NOW.”

Ha, I kind of hope so because I’m that kind of mom.

For the record, I’m also the kind of mom who cleans the toilets in her house on a regular basis, so in the end, it all evens out.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Parent/Teacher Conference

I meet with Dr. C last week to talk about one of our favorite people, Miss Olivia.

There were no surprises. Olivia is doing very well in reading and writing. She’s an ace speller. She whispers to all of the teachers and aides.

She’s struggling with math, has some good days and some not-so-good days. She just really doesn’t actually care about math. Anything that doesn’t come easily to her is ‘boring’. I get it. I really do. But girlfriend has to know how to add and subtract. Plotting lines? Not so important but adding two quarters and knowing she has fifty cents? Yes, important.

One pleasant story Dr. C told me is that Olivia plays with one of her classmates at recess. There is a boy who is in second grade (Dr. C teaches kindergarten to sixth grade students who need a little extra help) and no one else will play with this poor baby. The first time he asked Olivia to play with him, she shrugged and then…drum roll…she played with him!!! OMG!! I’m so proud of her. Not only is she interacting with another kid, she’s being the nice kid who is playing with one that no one else will play with.

I do kind of want to know why the hell the other kids are being allowed to ostracize this child. It makes me crazy when that is allowed to happen. But according to Dr. C, both O and her little friend are very happy with the current arrangement. They chase each other around the playground and enjoy each other’s company. I’ll take it.

Dr. C said that Olivia is actually one of her easiest kids to teach. Sure, she’s also one of the most stubborn but she’s almost painfully polite, she never has outbursts, she doesn’t get loud and unruly. If anything, when she’s overwhelmed, she withdraws and gets even quieter.

Dr. C said that she’s told Liv that she, Olivia, is the only kid in the classroom who is allowed to yell at the teachers. Olivia did laugh at that one.

I’m so grateful for teachers who work so hard to find a way to reach my child. Olivia is a tough nut to crack. Somedays I feel like I’m not reaching her and I’ve been in her life forever. New people don’t always get her. She can be frustrating and I know a time or two, some teachers have given up altogether. I understand that. But I’m grateful for the ones who go the extra mile, who try that much harder to find a way in and are helping Olivia find her way out of her own head.

*Are most parents done doing parent/teacher conferences when their kids are in high school? I don’t see any of Alyssa’s teachers. She’s got a 4.0 GPA and she’s involved in all the extracurricular things. She’s good, she’s amazing, she talks to me when things are frustrating her (I’m looking at you, Spanish) so yeah, unless the school reaches out to me, I won’t be scheduling any meetings with her teachers.

Monday, November 5, 2018

The State of My Hair

Because everyone wants to know and also, but mostly, because it drives me crazy on a regular basis.

I actually can’t stand it. It’s awful.

I let it air dry one Saturday evening and the poof was out of control. It was so fluffy I thought it might fly right off my head and join a flock flying south for the winter.

The back…ugh. I wore a scarf one day last week and by the time I got home, the back of my stupid hair had been pushed up so far that it looked like a wig. It was high and out from my head.

The curls are just awful. The top and back is curly but he sides are not. So it’s just so stupid.

I recently threatened to ask one of my fellow Edon mom’s where she gets her hair cut just to put my hair and myself out of our misery.

Alyssa implored me to just fight through the awfulness. The only way to get past the horror story that is my current hair is to continue to let it grow. If I get it cut/trimmed, it will just keep being this short and this awful.

And so I bitch and moan daily about the trauma my hair is causing me.

All this to say, I know I’m lucky it’s growing back and that it’s coming back so thick and fluffy. I know things could be worse. Hell, they HAVE been worse. But it’s my hair and I’ll complain about it if I want to.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Fitting It All In

These next few weeks are going to be busy. Livie and I leave for Bloomington immediately after school/work on Friday, November 2 for the IUDM. We’ll be there until Sunday morning. We’ll stop in Auburn (a town about 40 minutes from home) and buy groceries on our way home.

When we get home, I’ll unload the groceries, the luggage, start some laundry and head to Defiance, where Alyssa will be performing in an honors choir.

The weekend of November 10-11, we’re all (all being me, Liv, Lyss and Naomi) heading to West Lafayette for the PUDM. That’s only Saturday night and into Sunday so we can pack on Friday night and leave around 11 or noon on Saturday.

The weekend after that is the school play, which is Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I’ve signed up to do hair and makeup so I’ll be just as busy as Alyssa in the hours before the play. I also signed up to take food for the actors on Thursday, yay for them, getting to eat something I cook. Ha!

The weekend after the play is Thanksgiving and then we have Olivia’s birthday the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Whew.

Along with all this, obviously, I’m back to working full-time, 40+ hours a week. That leaves little time for things like, oh, cleaning the house, laundry, groceries (I’m figuring that one out.) Alyssa needs a costume for the play that is in three weeks. I need to schedule flu shots for the entire family. I have a mammogram next Monday, I’m pretty sure the girls have orthodontic appointments Tuesday. My birthday is Wednesday.

So much to do!!!

I’ve been trying to chip away at the list. I hit up Good Will on Tuesday to try and find costume items for Alyssa’s Customer #2 character. They’re doing The Little Shop of Horrors, which is set in the early-ish 1960s. I kind of figure Customer #2 is somewhere in her mid to late twenties. I spent maybe ten minutes in Good Will and came out with a wool skirt, a cardigan and a button up blouse, all varying shades of beige. Alyssa told me several times, “I’m not supposed to look nice, the shop is on Skid Row.”

So yes, beige it is.

My mom has some brown shoes that are perfect with the costume and we’re set. It only cost me $11, which I have to say, I’m very proud of. Go me!!

Now we just have to figure out how we’re going to do her hair. That ought to be fun.

I’m tired just thinking about all this. Alas, I guess I will sleep on Friday, November 23rd. I’m penciling it in on the calendar just so we don’t schedule anything else at this point.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Last Trick or Treat?

Our community held Trunk or Treat and trick or treating last Saturday. It was a chilly, misty day but it was fine.

Olivia dressed as a lady bug. She’d originally planned to go at Barbie, in a bubblegum pink prom dress we found at a consignment store for less than $20. We attached straps to it and took some of the sequins off the area under her arms and it was ready to go.

But then, a few weeks ago, she discovered this cute little cartoon called Miraculous Lady Bug and she’s become obsessed with it. When we found a lady bug costume at Walmart for $12.97, she couldn’t resist. The Barbie dress will just have to suffice for next year.

Speaking of next year, though…she’s going to be twelve, almost thirteen next year. She’s already 5’3” and while emotionally, she’s all of eight years old, she looks all of her almost-twelve right now. Next year she’ll probably look even older than her almost-thirteen years.

So this year might have been our last trick or treat experience.

Because I was thinking along those lines, I made Alyssa go with us. Now, when I say I ‘made’ her, let me clarify that I said, “Hey, Lyss, I think you should go trick or treating with us.”

And she said, enthusiastically, “Okay!”

And that was it. She put on a pair of butterfly wings, some eyeliner and a flowered headband and away we went.

A friend of Lyss’s, let’s call her Sophie, lives in town and so after we hit up the church parking lot for Trunk or Treat, we swung by Sophie’s house and she joined us for our jaunt around the neighborhood.

It was fun. There were a lot of kids out, obviously they were mostly little kids, like seven and under but a lot of the houses we stopped at called Alyssa and Sophie over to get candy. Most of them said something along the lines of, “You took the time to put on costumes, you deserve candy too.”

I thought that was incredibly kind. I hate that kids are expected to be all grown up just because they hit the teenage years. I want society to let them keep being young as long as possible.

I talked to my mom a few days after our trick or treating fun. We decided that going forward, we need to have a family Halloween party so that everyone of all ages can dress up and enjoy the spirit of Halloween. We can have candy, games, contests. It will be great.

And no one will have to grow up too soon.