Wednesday, February 20, 2013

And, then I did an awesome face plant

Well, I assume it was awesome. Don't remember a thing.

What? Where's the story? Back up, you say?

OK - On Monday, I took the chilluns out for their "good behavior" treat. They each reached 12 stickers, and therefore earned a treat. So, I took them to a local fast food joint with a play place. Apparently, every other parent in town had the same idea since it was President's Day and school was not in session. Mad house, I tell ya'.

That has nothing to do with the story of the face plant, but I thought that you might need to know, AND it gives me points for being a good parent. You know, with the whole "positive reinforcement" stuff and the willingness to sit inside that chaotic room and touch/breathe eight billion germs... I rock at parenting.

Anyway, about halfway through our visit, while one kiddo was eating his ice cream cookie sandwich, I started to feel really cold and achy. That's never good. And, I rarely get sick. (I rock at parenting unless I'm feeding my kids crappy food from a germ infested place. Sixes...)


Anyway, after having some more fun running around, climing, and screaming, we finally left so that we could stop for a gallon of milk on the way home. In the ten minutes that it took to get the milk, I really started to feel awful. We got home, I threw the milk in the fridge, and told Bub that I needed to get warmed up in the bath. (Mind you, she's still not 100% since her strep/flu attack last week.) So, she made sure that the boys didn't burn the house down while I bathed. When I got out of the bath, she went to bed.


I did manage to re-heat the boys some AWFUL pizza for dinner (like it matters - they never eat anything anyway) and got myself a half cup of soup. (OK - all good parenting points are out the window with this admission. Yes. Awful pizza. So awful that it was once in a box in the freezer section of our local grocer. I'm a horrible parent.)

I was freezing. You know - those wonderful chills that accompany a 102* fever? So, I broke out the heating pad and sat in the recliner with two blankets while the boys trashed the place. Like I care....

Then, the dog barfed her dinner up on the white carpet and Meatball's slipper. So, I had to clean up the mess. With towels and the hand-held scrubber and a load of laundry and a gagging 5-year old. While shivering. No, that doesn't have anything to do with my face plant either, but it does score me some sympathy points, right? (Since I just lost all of the good parent points, I have to score them somehow!)

UG. Finally, it's time to go to bed. I let the boys fall asleep on the couch because, well, I felt like crap. They could have fallen asleep hanging from their feet on a chandelier for all I cared. After putting them into their beds, I came back to the recliner to the heating pad and the blankets. I slept like crap. (Uh, duh.) Chills, sweats, chills, sweats. Up, down, up, down. I never barfed, so there's that positive note...

At 5am, the alarm went off on my cell phone. I thought about turning it off the night before, but I was sure that I was going to be feeling better by the morning. (Have I mentioned that I expect a lot from myself? Like, I never get sick...) So, I rise from the (finally) warmth of my recliner to turn off the phone alarm.

The next thing I know, I'm laying face down - left side, half way around the house, and Bub is shaking me.
All I knew was that the right side of my face REALLY, REALLY hurt.

I wanted to know where my glasses were. Bub found them in the kitchen by the back door (20' away from my prone body and around a 90* corner, also 20' away from my cell phone and around a lesser corner).

Oh, I SO didn't want to get up. Things hurt, but not as badly as my face. I would hate for my amply padded areas to take the brunt of the fall.....

I have a cut above my eye from the hinge area of my glasses. I have a visible bruise on my cheekbone, and a more visible bruise next to my eye. I look like I've been boxing, but without the six-pack abs. I realize today that I'm lucky to have my teeth and an unbroken nose. My right shoulder is a bit stiff, so it must have taken some of the impact.

My theory: I was SO hot from the heating pad (it works!) and the blankets and the sweatshirt and the slippers that when I went to turn off the alarm, my body cooled off VERY rapidly and that's why I blacked out. Bub keeps telling me that I need to go to the doctor, but I'm not convinced. The explanation that I just gave seems plausible enough. Chalk that one down to "lessons learned."

Monday, February 18, 2013

Letter #1 To Myself

“Letters” is a series of things that I wish I could tell my younger self or that I hope for my older self to remember someday. It’s more than just a journal or log of what’s happening in our lives right now, but an attempt at something more introspective and meaningful. It’s intended just for me, but if the words and experiences that I write make sense to anyone else, then all the better. None of this is in chronological order; it’s just whatever I’m thinking about at the time.

Dear You. Well, Younger You. OK – High School You.

Those boys – they don’t know shit. High school boys suck – especially those that are in the “in” crowd. They are awful to those who aren’t cool. And, try as you might, you’re not cool. You are, however, nice. You always have been, and that’s more important than being cool. You’ll find that out eventually. That boy who “mooo-ed” at you when the drill team was exiting the floor after a basketball half-time? Yeah, Todd? When he is 40, he will be fat (like a cow) and unemployed and divorced. I want you to just forget about him. Don’t carry that around with you for 24 more years….. (Well, too late. You did carry it around for all that time, but it wasn’t worth it. Trust me.) Screw him. And, you know what? There’s a chance that he was mooing at someone else. You’ve never entertained that possibility, but it may not have been about you at all. Try that on for size!

And, speaking of drill team. You aren’t the only person that made a mistake during a performance. Yes. Your bobble happened during the state competition, but other girls made mistakes during that performance, too. You’ve just never seen them before because you’ve always been so focused on your mistake. You know what? You will make more mistakes, and you really shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. Nobody used drill team to launch their successful careers as secretaries, teachers, business owners, moms, or hospital administrators. You didn’t thwart anybody or anything. You just made a bobble. So, the team got 2nd place in that category. Honestly, they probably would have anyway.

You were always a year behind the fashion trends. You knew it then, and it’s true now. And, guess how much it matters? Well, it doesn’t. At all. You’re clean, and your clothes are clean and you make sure to get the wrinkles out. Finally, you won’t really care that you’re not fashion forward. It will be a liberating day – trust me.

And, your best friend? Wow. Who would have thought that she would immediately abandon you? That one hurt for a long time. You will spend the next 24 (maybe more) years wondering how she is. You’ll try to smooth things over and find out what you did to make her turn from you. It won’t work. She wants nothing to do with you. You’ll be happy when you find out that she is finally a mother because she wanted it for so long. But, you know what? All you did was move away for the summer, and there was nothing wrong with that. In fact, it helped you grow in ways that you never could have in that small farming town. You wrote her letters, you tried to call, you tried to remain her best friend – because she was truly the best friend you ever had in your first 18 years – but it was not to be. Whatever reason she had for ending her friendship with you – it was all about her, not you. It was her decision. And, you’ll probably never know. At the time of this letter, you still don’t know. And, someday, you’ll be OK with that. I can’t tell you when it happens because I can’t remember the day/time. I think that it happens about the time that you forgive Jody. (You don’t know Jody yet.) But, there comes a time when you forgive a lot of people, and it seems to happen all at once.

You had big plans and big dreams, but you learned to settle. That didn’t do you any good. You look back later, and you’re disappointed. Try not to be afraid of doing something amazing. Try not to compare yourself to The Golden Child. You’ll never measure up until you realize that he’s no better than you, never was – that he gave up – that he became suspicious and mean – that he forgot how to empathize and forgive – that he became a drunkard. Then, you’ll be happy that you’re not him. Stop settling. Stop being second best. Stop being afraid.

In the end, you go on to college, and you make your parents very proud. You get your MBA, for heaven’s sake! Remember to be proud of your accomplishments; don’t minimize them – don’t negate them – be proud of them – be proud of yourself.

Friday, February 1, 2013

365 photo challenge, 2013

So, the photo challenge of 2012 didn’t work out very well. I only got about half way through the year before I forgot to do it on a monthly basis. Hell, I was too busy doing the VX4 challenge (which went well most of the time except for June, November, and December). In thinking back, by not doing the 2012 photo challenge, I missed out on a lot of beauty that I was going to be sure to see. Best intentions and all of that.

I’ve decided to try this again, but this time, I’m upping the ante (what the crap is an ante?) by doing a 365 photo challenge as part of 101 in 1001. It’s all about me. ME! Yes. I realize that by doing 365 pictures, I may actually just fail bigger, but then again, I may not. If I don’t fail – if I actually remember to do this daily - I may learn something about myself. I may just take 365 pictures of blah-ness and call it good. I guess we’ll see.

In all honesty, I’ve already failed. This is a hard habit to get into. I don’t seek out the camera, and I’ve got plenty of stuff crammed into my brain. Remembering to take a picture of myself is hard. Plus, six days into this, life didn’t just throw me a curve ball – it threw me several balls, each less like a ball with firm, hard sides and more like balloons all full up with shit. Yes. I played shit ball for a week. Not only was it messy, but it involved so many tears from my red-rimmed eyes. So, I missed some days of picture taking. That just means that I’ll extend the final date past 12/31/13 to encompass 365 days. Well, that is the plan so far. Then again, maybe not.

So, to start the year off like that, I can’t help but learn something about myself, right? Or maybe see myself transform from sad and scared and angry to someone who is less of those things and more happy, secure, and contented? Only time will tell.

1/1/13: yes – I’m hiding. Partly because I gained ten pounds over the holidays. How do you like our new shower curtain, though?

1/2/13: I’m forced to spend four hours per day on public transit because we are a one-income family. I like to say that it’s because I care about the environment (I do), but if I could get three of those hours back by driving myself, I totally would. Oh well. You’ve got to have comfy shoes when you walk from bus stop to bus stop.

1/3/13: This is the ratty sleeve of one of my favorite sweat shirts. UTAH UTES, baby! I wear this shirt as much as possible (which usually means all weekend long).

1/4/13: We just woke up, and we’re still in our jammies. See my lips? I can make them do that in both directions. Not a lot of people can do that – none that I’ve met, in fact. It took me months to be able to do it the in the direction not shown here. I consider it a talent. Look at my face – it has talent written all over it!

1/5/13: Oops – forgot

1/6/13: This? This is my plumber shirt. That? That is my screw-you-damn-stems-valves-and-pea-traps smirk. Yes. On this day, I replaced fittings in both the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms and replaced the entire curvy pipe thing under that bathroom sink. My plumbing can stop trying to intimidate me with these little problems. It’s going to take a lot more than that to make me call a professional.

1/7/13 through 1/10/13: This is the timeframe for the shit storm. Trust me. You don’t want to see pictures of that sorry face…. Really.

1/11/13: I’m not an alumni of Tooele High. I’m a Sanpeter through and through – NORTH Sanpete to be exact. I’m a hawk, and proud of it. However, sometimes you just gotta’ support the neighborhood, right?

1/12/13: My mucklucks. Oh, I love these things. LOVE THEM. This is what my feet spend the entire weekend in unless I have to leave the house. And, those are my pajama pants…

1/13/13: Dammit! Forgot again!

1/14/13: That is my right foot. The one that is going to have surgery next week. Yup. The doctor is going to shave off about 30% of my bone that has formed an “impressive ridge” (his words, not mine) that prevents my big toe from flexing more than about 15 degrees. You don’t know how much you bend your toes until you can’t!

1/15/13: Here I am in my cubicle. Behind me is an incredibly exciting (oh, ha-ha) spreadsheet that I worked on for most of the day. Tabs and graphs galore! Oh, it’s a glamorous life…

1/16/13: This is just me on the bus. It’s so cold that I wish I could wear my hat all of the time. This year blows so bad that this is how I feel all of the time. This is how miserable my face looks all of the time lately. Shit.

1/17/13: Check out this shnazzy scarf! It’s silk, and came directly from China via the mother of one of our friends, Ying. Ying’s son is a year younger than the boys and they play together occasionally. Ying is super nice and very smart. Her mother and father come to the US to visit yearly (and spend months). They are so nice. None of us understand each other, but Ying’s mom thought that I needed this scarf. Sweet. (Notice how I accentuated the fanciness of the scarf with my work sweatshirt? I can really spiff things up, no?)

1/18/13: This is my boot. It is scuffed. I am at work with no access to shoe polish. Hey, ya’ gotta’ do whatcha gotta’ do.

1/19/13: See me? I’m in the right side of the little orange flower on the screen. This is a super cool app that Meatball found that uses his webcam to create “stickers” that he can use to decorate the image on the screen. The two of us fit in a flower nicely. Sadly, I’ve been working on organizing the basement all morning, and I don’t smell very flowery!

1/20/13: I was really busy this day – I swear…

1/21/13: I ran on the treadmill in the company gym today. (May I say how AWESOME it is to have a company gym? Well, it is.) Then, I got ready for work. Then, about two hours later, my face stopped being beet red….

1/22/13: Look at how CUTE this scarf is! My best friend and running partner, Carol, knitted it for me. It goes with EVERYTHING, and it actually keeps me just warm enough (with a sweater) that I don’t need to sport that brown sweatshirt all of the time.

1/23/13: Oh for the love of frickin’ Mary. You know what? I’m so damn done with this year already. The main pipe leading from the city water pipe to our house (so under the yard/driveway) is frozen. We have no water in our house. Taking a picture is the last damn thing on my mind right now.

1/24/13: I had surgery today on my toe. I spent the day under anesthesia and sitting with my foot up. PERFECT time to sit around and take pictures, right? Well, my phone was dead, and my camera is at home.

1/25/13: Hey – look at that sexy footwear. Oh, yeah baby! I’m being very good about keeping raised, but my ass is getting really tired of sitting in this recliner.

1/26/13: I’m tired of this recliner. I’m tired of sitting still. I’m tired of having no water and listening to Bub lug jugs in and out of the house (because she is not happy about it and it’s a constant stream of cuss words). I just want to go to sleep. Unfortunately, I’m not THAT kind of tired.

1/27/13: Hey – at least I have cute company while stuck in the recliner!

1/28/13: I keep trying to convince myself that I have good lookin’ calves. After all, I do yoga, I run, I do squats and lunges and hike and park in the furthest stall from the grocery store door. But, all I see is cankles. And, this dorky damn boot thing isn’t making my calves any shapelier, I’ll tell you that right now.

1/29/13: When I was a 13, my sister bought me make-up for Christmas. I was so excited. I followed the instructions on the back of the eye shadow to the letter. Then, my brother-in-law asked me who gave me a black eye. OK. I may have used a bit too much shadow. Anyway, this is the same brand of mascara that I had back then. I used to buy it no matter what. Then, I became an adult who had to pay for stuff herself, and I just started buying what I could afford. Then, I married Bub and just started getting free samples from her shopaholic mother. Hey. You take what you can get. I think that Santa put this mascara in my sock last month. Full circle…

1/30/13: My Chinese fortune cookie said to wear a new hat and the whole world would look different or I would have a new perspective or some such nonsense. Turns out, it looks a lot the same – especially since I’m wearing the exact same sweater I was wearing just last week and sitting in the exact same cubicle. At least I can now better bend my toe…

1/31/13: Recovery. Isn’t this purdy? It won’t always look like this. In fact, I think that it will actually turn out very well with barely a scar. I get my stitches out next week. I’ll try to remember to take a picture of my awesome foot doc as he is removing them.