Thursday, March 21, 2019


Have I mentioned that Alyssa got her driver’s license in January?

No? How remiss of me. So sorry for that.

She did get it! She failed the first test because, well, the old dude who was testing her didn’t believe her when she told him she was just moving ahead to see if there was traffic coming. He felt she was about to pull into on-coming traffic. Yes.

But a week after the first test, she and the dude became besties and she drove away with her license.

She’s driven herself to school for about two weeks now (yes, it’s March, we had horrible weather in the last half of January and all of February) since track practice started.

She hasn’t yet driving with a passenger other than me and/or Tom with Olivia along for the ride.

Last night it was decided that the girls would spend the day with my mom. Right before bed, Olivia asked who was taking them to Gram’s.

I replied, “Lyssie will.”

Olivia stared at me for a moment and said, “Alone?”

I laughed. “Sure, she’s got her license.”

Olivia looked skeptical. She hasn’t ridden along with Lyss yet. Either Tom or I have always been with them.

I assured her, “It’ll be fine. Gram’s house isn’t too far away.”

“Hmmm,” Liv muttered, definitely thinking we were crazy for trusting Alyssa with Olivia’s precious life.

She did want to know, “But what about Lyssie’s track practice?”

“She’ll drive you guys over in the morning and then leave to go to practice,” I informed her.

“Will I just stay at Gram’s?”

“Yes, I’ll pick you up after I get off work.”

Again, she paused, taking it all in.

“Do you want to stay at Gram’s?” I asked.

“Yes, Gram has good tea,” she declared. “Sometimes, she gives me ice tea and hot tea at the same time. I like it when she does that.”

Well then.

Thursday, February 28, 2019


A reminder popped up on my email calendar on the morning of Tuesday, February 26. It said, “You are older than Amy ever got to be.”

I put that in a few months ago.

I wanted to remind myself to be grateful for every single day.

I woke up this morning determined to be kind to myself. I want to stop hating my body. It’s been through a lot and it’s still kicking. That’s got to count for something.

Every single breath I take from this day forward is a one more breath than Amy got to take.

Her death has hit me hard.

Maybe because she’s a peer. We grew up together. Maybe we weren’t best friends beyond 8 and 9 years old but we were close enough that when we did see each other, it was as if we were children again.

We loved each other like sisters; sometimes long-lost sisters, but sisters none the less.

I see her son at the grocery store every few weeks. He’s a checker and he’s just the sweetest guy. He was very shy as a child and very withdrawn as a teen but he’s grown up to be so gentle.

He went out to see his sister and niece, Amy’s first grandchild, a few weeks ago. I’m so glad her kids got to be together near the anniversary of her death.

I owe it to myself to live better, to try harder to be kinder to myself. I would say I owe it to Amy but you know what? She doesn’t want to live better for her, she wants me to live better for me. She loved all of us (her entire family and friends) enough to want us to live and love and be happy for the sake of happiness.

I am going to try to silence the voice in my head that tells me I’m not good enough, that I’m not smart enough, not thin enough, not pretty enough to deserve the love I have in my life. My family loves me so much and I owe it to them to love myself just as much.

I don’t mean that I’m going to skip through life announcing to the world how amazing I am. But I am going to try and stop telling the world how awful I am.

Because I’m not awful. I’m strong and kind and loving. I’m smart and funny. I, like my body, have been through so much and I deserve all the love that is given to me.

I truly believe that. The voice that tries to tell me I’m wrong will be ignored until it shuts up.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Still That Mom

Alyssa has to write five paragraphs each day in a journal for school. Each time I see her writing in this journal, I say in a really obnoxious voice, “Dear Diary, my mother is sooo annoying.”

Because, yes, it’s true, I’m VERY annoying.

The other day, after the eye doctor, we three stopped at my mom’s house to show her Liv’s new glasses. In Lyss’s words, “Those glasses are annoyingly cute.”

While there, Alyssa showed my mom her bandaid from the shot she’d received the before. She said, “I don’t know what’s on the bandaid, but I don’t think it’s Sponge Bob.”

The bandaid was clearly decorated with cartoons on a yellow background.

I leaned forward and said, “Let me see.”

Then I ripped that bandaid right off so I could get a better look.

This startled both my mom and Alyssa that they laughed for several minutes over the entire situation.

Once upon a time, Alyssa was HORRIBLE about taking bandaids off. She fought it like one might fight someone trying to pull a tooth. I got really good at stealth bandaid removal.

A bit later in the visit, my mom was showing off a deer antler she’d found in her yard.

While Alyssa was distracted by the antler, I took her journal.

I saw that she’d written about the lock-down drill they’d had at school earlier that day and took the opportunity to add some of my very own creative flair.

I wrote, “If I’d come across that intruder, I’d have kicked his butt with my awesome karate skills.”

I was so proud of this sentence because it had so many words. One of the rules of journaling for Lyss’s class is that each sentence must have at least ten words. They can’t simply write, “I’m tired.”

Nope, that doesn’t count. So if they want their teacher to know they’re tired, they’d have to write something like, “I’m really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really tired.”

But I don’t think even that would suffice; though I’m sure there are kids who’ve tried it. They’d have to be more creative and write, “I’m tired but I have to write in this stupid journal and I have nothing to say.”

Okay, I’m overachieving again. I suppose a really annoyed student wouldn’t bother with the additional clause of ‘and I have nothing to say.’

But whatever.

The point is she actually left that sentence in, writing below it that her mom had written the above sentence and her mom is insane and she wanted her teacher to see what she has to put up with.

I feel irrational joy that she left that sentence in her journal. I don’t even really know why it makes me so happy. It just amused me so much and I’m so glad that she’s so comfortable with my craziness that she is willing to share it with her teacher.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Appointments Galore

I started seeing a chiropractor a few weeks ago. Mostly I wanted the x-ray of my hip area to prove to myself that I’m a hypochondriac these days and every pain I have is NOT cancer.

And yes, that’s what he proved.

But he also said that my hip pain is due to my spine and hips being ‘off track’. He did an adjustment that first day and wanted to see me again a few days later.

I ended up going to him three times and in the weeks since, my hip really does feel better.

At my last appointment, which was two weeks ago, the receptionist (the chiro’s wife) wanted to schedule me for the next Monday, about four days after the last appointment.

I told her I needed to call her about that because the coming week was full of appointments and I really needed to get my 40 hours in at work.

What could she say? I mean, if a patient is refusing to schedule an appointment…what is the scheduler going to do? She can’t very well insist on scheduling an appointment.


That was two weeks ago and the past two weeks have been so full of other appointments that I haven’t even bothered calling the chiropractor’s office to schedule anything.

In the last two weeks I’ve had a gynecologist appointment, a dentist appointment, Alyssa has had her well-child/sports physical appointment. Olivia had to be seen by the eye doctor, we had to pick up her glasses and have them fitted and then Olivia had a dentist appointment (two cavities, boo! She has to go to the pediatric dentist for those fillings…again, BOOO!) Next week I have an appointment at the school with Liv’s teachers to discuss her IEP.


Too bad I have to work too. It’s too bad I can’t just claim my job is that of executive assistant for the Ordinary family and still earn a salary and insure my family.

I mean, seriously. Taking care of a family is a full-time job.

Alas, I live in the 21st century, not the mid-20th, when every family had a stay-at-home spouse/parent.

Now we all work and we’re all tired and overwhelmed. Misery loves company, which is the only positive to us all being miserable, we’re good company for each other.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Voice Lessons?

Alyssa’s choir teacher has suggested that Lyss take voice lessons. She’s given us the name of someone in Bryan (the next town over, about the same distance as the town where I work, just in the other direction from our house) who gives lessons for $14/hour.


I mean, if Mrs. F thinks it will do Lyss good, why not, right?

On the way to Toledo last weekend, the mom of Lyss’s friend Tessa, mentioned that their family gave up satellite television so that Tessa can take lessons from the same woman.


Well, since we don’t have satellite television, giving it up isn’t an option. But I supposed we could just not renew our Netflix or our Hulu. That’s always an option. It sounds like a dismal option but…

Ehh, $14 a week isn’t going to break the bank.

Olivia’s orthodontics almost broke the bank. The fillings I had to have in my teeth last week, those almost broke the bank too (damned chemo.) But voice lessons? We’ll probably figure out how to make it happen.

When Mrs. F suggested that Lyss take voice lessons, she mentioned that she didn’t want to send A to the woman who lives locally (as in very close to the school) because, according to Alyssa, this voice coach would just tell Alyssa, “You’re doing great.”

This woman used to be the choir director of the school. She’s since retired (probably over 10 years ago) but she’s still very active in the community and at the school as an accompanist as well as, evidently, a voice coach.

I find it amusing that Mrs. F feels her predecessor would ‘call it in’ when it comes to voice lessons for Mrs. F’s current students.

But we trust Mrs. F to have Alyssa’s (and Tessa’s) best interests at heart and so…Bryan it is.

Now, I just need to remember to make the call to set up the first appointment, I am, after all, the appointment maker in our family.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Pizza Coupons

Every month, Olivia brings home a coupon to the local pizza place for a free personal pizza. It’s for the school’s reading program.

We’re really bad about using these coupons. It’s sad, really. I mean, it’s a free pizza!

But, alas, we live four whole miles outside of town and that means having to actually GO and GET the pizza if we want it.

Tom mentioned this morning that we should use the two coupons currently sitting on our counter. One expires on February 28 and the other on March 31.

I said, “You’re right. We should.”

And then I said, “You could call and order them this afternoon or tomorrow and send Alyssa to pick them up. She needs some excuses to drive a little more anyway.”

I think that man actually paled at the very idea of having to dial his phone and talk into it.

I am always the one who has to order pizza, or make appointments, or anything else that involves talking to anyone on the phone.

I laughed at the face he made and said, “You know, they’ll take orders from people who sounds like dudes.”

At this, he laughed. “Are you sure?”

“I am!” I insisted, sharing his amusement. “Remember how I had to remind you that Kroger let’s men shop? Well, the Edon Pizza Place will let men order and even pick up their pizza.”

I let it drop with that because one doesn’t need to beat a dead horse but…damn. Why must I always do that kind of thing?

Then again, maybe he thinks the same thing when it comes to shoveling the driveway, mowing the lawn and feeding the cat…

You know what? Never mind, I’ll just keep on ordering the pizza and making the appointments, thank you very much.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Well Child

The track season is coming. We had to get Alyssa’s sports physical recently. My doctor is pretty great about billing this visit as a well-child visit, so insurance pays the whole thing as preventative. I’ll take it.

Alyssa always passes with flying colors, because yeah, she’s a healthy kid. I’m very lucky. I know this.

Alyssa, on the other hand, doesn’t have a lot of luck when it comes to doctor visits.

This is the second time we’ve shown up at an appointment and been informed that she needs a shot.

The first time was when she was twelve and she was receiving her first HPV vaccination. The nurse came in and informed us that she was due for four other vaccinations at that time.

She looked at me with huge eyes. I kind of blinked at her and shrugged. I mean, if they were due and she needed them, let’s just do it.

I did take a minute to ask the nurse if it was safe for her to get five vaccinations in one day.

The nurse assured me it was fine.

And what do you know, four years later, no signs of autism in Lyss. Huh.

Wait…maybe the vaccinations are the cause of the gay…OMG! You guys! That’s it! Vaccinations cause previously straight kids to swing to either bi or gay. You heard it here first!!!

Oh right. That’s stupid. Sorry, I got caught up in my own excitement that I was going to be the next Jenny freaking McCarthy, who, by the way is a major hag. Just saying.

So yesterday we arrive for a sports physical that is being called a well-child visit.

Alyssa has been weighed and measured. Her eyes have been checked, left eye sees at 20/15 and right eye sees at 20/25, together, they see 20/20.

The nurse herds us into exam room #5. She looks over Lyss’s chart and…here it comes…

“She’s due for a meningococcal booster.”

Okay, I admit it. I laughed.

Alyssa glared at me.

I laughed some more.

The nurse looked concerned, like maybe I’d lost my mind. Which, see the previous post regarding fifth grade homework, OF COURSE I’VE LOST MY MIND!


She got the shot. And she was fine. She is fine. She is a tough old bird (at the ripe old age of 16) and takes this kind of thing like a champ.

As you can tell, I’m very pro-vaccines. I think people who don’t vaccinate their perfectly healthy children are morons. They’re a menace to society.

Babies should not be dying from the fucking measles and yet…they are because people are stupid and not vaccinating their kids against whooping cough and the measles and so the smallest, weakest among us are suffering.

It pisses me off because it’s so very preventable.

And I’ll step off my soapbox for now.