The Day The Lights Went Out At Target

I have this recurring dream.  I’m at a store, and all of the lights go out and I’m totally in the dark.  This isn’t really a terrifying dream, unlike the ones I have where we have a tidal wave.  Totally unlikely as we live in Iowa.  If that ever happens, I’m moving.  More realistically, I also have lots of dreams about tornadoes.  And being naked, but never naked in a tornado.  Or a tidal wave.

snowpocalypse

Something like that is coming our way… must go to the store!

Because we have yet ANOTHER snowstorm coming our way, I popped into Target quickly to pick up a few things in between work and the 3000 other important things I needed to do.  As I have shared before, Target and all other civilization is in a nearby town.  I was in kind of a hurry, but never in too much of a hurry to check out those fabulous end caps with 30% off, 50% off, 70% off, and NINETY PERCENT OFF!

As I was making my way from the Valentine’s clearance to the shampoo aisle, this happened:

blankThat’s right, suddenly I was in complete darkness.  The lights went out completely. This was followed by a few moments of awkwardness. Then a light, then two, then ten, because smartphones!  Then the back up generators came on and were accompanied by… that’s right, the fire alarm.

What’s so amazing about that?  People, that’s what.  You’d think that 1) complete darkness followed by 2) a really loud fire alarm might get people moving.  But people kept shopping.

No, no, go ahead.  If there’s a fire you’ll burn up, that’s all.

This really, really bothered the former cashier in me (more than ten years in retail and no strange diseases contracted, thank you very much).  Hellooooo…. no one will be able to ring up your stuff.  Cash registers run on electricity people!

It wasn’t until some of the employees had to come around and assure people that while nothing seemed to be wrong other than the entire block shrouded in darkness and chaos,  they would have to leave since the fire alarms were going off.  They could put their names on their carts if they wanted to come back later.

I looked at my cart with a bottle of Miralax, a large bottle of ketchup, Craisins, my diet pop,  and two Valentine items that were 90% off and asked myself if it was really worth it to try and come back in a little bit.  It wasn’t.  So I left.

My kids were fascinated by this tale.  When I told them why I didn’t get anything in town today that was all they could think about.  They must have asked 1000 questions.
“Why did the lights go out at Target?”
“Were you scared?”
“Was there a fire?  Were the toys okay?”
“Did you die?”

That night I sat and looked at my dwindling supply of diet pop and flirted with the idea of driving all the way back to town to retrieve my precious Diet Sunkist Lemonade at the low low price of 3 for $10.

Nah…

Later on today when we are sitting at home in the middle of the next blizzardpocalypse I may very well regret that decision.  I’m lucky though because t least I’ll have some entertainment this evening.  Ironically, tonight at 8:30 pm EST there is a very special event going on. Got snow?  Got kids?  Want to gripe about the snow… and maybe the kids too?  Click on the image below to be taken to a magical place-the Moms Who Write and Blog website!

1780212_10152644617652796_746900889_oPS-If there is some kind of award for writing posts with Target as the subject I so think I need it…

I Got The (Insert Really Long Phrase Here) Blues

Oh yeahhhh... play those blues...

Oh yeahhhh… play those blues…

I got me a blog
Ain’t wrote in awhile
This thing called life
It cramps my style

Should I just give it up?
Should I stop for awhile?
Should I eat that bowl of frosting
And then go walk seventeen miles?

Don’t mind me I got the I’m-a-mom-who-works-outside-of-the-home-and-has-a-house-to-clean-and-is-trying-to exercise-and-sleep-occasionally-and-maintain-a-blog-that-I-don’t-get-paid-anything-for blues

I’ve been writing a teensy bit, but sure not much.  I don’t just have the blahs, I have the blogging blues.  And maybe a bit of it’s just too damn cold blues.  I’ve been doing something besides just sitting on my couch.  Just what exactly have I been doing?  Pardon me while I do a sort of rant…

facebook post

Damn you FACEBUTT!!!!

I’ve spent plenty of time being frustrated.  Like with Facebook, they keep changing the rules.  Yet that’s the only place I really see any interaction with the exception of a couple of private groups I’m in.  I love posting something and only getting 11 views out of 777 people that like my status.  I can share something that someone else posted and sometimes get lots of views, but it’s so inconsistent.  What a bummer!

Speaking of frustrated, I seem to get pretty much the same number of pageviews regardless of what I’m doing.  I’d like to thank the pervs looking for pictures of women peeing their pants.

The workplace: Where paper cutters roam and attack without warning.

The workplace: Where paper cutters roam and attack without warning.

There is work.  The PAID JOB.  While my job is interesting and flexible and all of that jazz, it does take a lot of my time.  AND some weeks I like it better than others.  This week, not so much (mostly due to the fact that it has been too cold for kids to go outside=loud noisy kids!)  I spend way too much time analyzing what I could have done differently or better after each session, while I should just jot down a little note and move the heck on!  So the brains?  Nowhere to be found!

workoutTo some of you this may not be that impressive.  But to me this is a new start.  I have a condition where my muscles get knots in them as well as having chronic back pain.  Exercising this past year has been very difficult.  Add to that the fact that I literally try to hibernate in the winter.  This getting out and to the gym when the weather is so darn cold is really a challenge.  So far, so good!  I’m sure it will get easier come spring because I really hate walking indoors.  Having a motivating playlist on my Iphone has helped make it easier, but I still want to be outside!

Magnum ran a 5K.  I looked at pictures of him running a 5K...

Magnum ran a 5K. I looked at pictures of him running a 5K…

Also, as you can see Evil Genius has been running.  He’s actually been training for a marathon.  His first 5K was the last day of January.  While I’m not moved to run any sort of marathon, I would like to at least compete in a 5K!  He has been doing really well with his training, and that is motivating me too!  While I’m still just walking, I’m walking further than I have in a long time and that is what counts.

IMG_0180 (2)And of course, kids.

IMG_2732And I’ve been trying to find the stuff in my kitchen.  I’ve been both blessed and cursed by this pantry.  The pantry is wonderful because not only does it give us space that we otherwise didn’t have to store our food, it also is the entrance to our “secret passage”.  However, the shelves are pretty deep and not very much space between them.  The containers I had would fall off the shelves and we’d be ankle deep in the mess!  So new containers that are long and skinny, new labels, and it’s looking pretty snazzy! It is close to completion now, at least that phase.  There are other things going on with the organizing too…

IMG_2730

Behold the nicely organized spices!

So if you wonder why a) I haven’t been blogging my little heart out b) I haven’t been reading your blog b) I haven’t been sharing your blog c) on Facebook but don’t seem to do anything but post a bunch of silly Valentines that I have spent way too much time trying to find (like you see it, HA!), then hopefully this will give you an idea of why I’ve been so… bleh.

(I’m sure you probably haven’t even noticed… but I’ve got this thing called anxiety so I do…)

Have you had the blogging blues?  Have you had things that have been taking precedence over writing?  What is your kryptonite when it comes to blogging?

Twisted Mixtape Tuesday: Music That Makes Me Move For More Than Ten Seconds

twisted mixtape tuesdayDemetri Martin on exercise:  I go the gym and I try to run on the treadmill and I listen to music but it doesn’t motivate me enough. So I’m going to get a recording of a pack of wolves gaining on me. People would be like, ‘Why is that guy crying on that treadmill over there?’ ‘I don’t know, but he’s been yelling, ‘help’ for like 20 minutes. He’s getting a good workout.’

In case the previous quote didn’t cue you in, this week’s theme is a mix to get motivated to do, well, anything.

Trust me, I need all the motivation I can get these days, especially in the exercise area.  While I haven’t gained any weight according to the scale, I am certainly gaining what is known as the middle age spread.  I am not planning on subsisting on ten calories a day or eating nothing but cabbage for six months, so instead I am simply trying to spend more time at the gym.  I already lift, but I hate cardio.  My schedule doesn’t allow me to attend fitness classes like I used to, so I’m just trying to walk whenever I can.

So here is a sampling of the songs on my Iphone that motivate me to get moving.  And I behaved myself this week and stayed as close to five as possible.  Are they working?  Ummmm… sort of.

Did I mention I saw these guys LIVE in CONCERT?  What?  I did?  A few too many times?

Let’s Get Rocked-Def Leppard

Blame Percy Jackson…

My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark-Fall Out Boy

Fun to sing, especially in the shower.

As If-Sara Evans

I really don’t think I need buns of steel. I’d be happier with buns of cinnamon.-Ellen Degeneres

The video to this song is probably going to cause me to lose my “family-friendly” rating here.  So do me a favor, if you watch it a)  Don’t be offended-because trust me, this particular group has made waaaay more offensive stuff than this.  b)  DO NOT watch it with children in the room, unless you want to field some uncomfortable questions.  “Mommy, why is that guy’s crotch like a light bulb?”

Now, forget all of that and please listen to this very motivating song.

Danger! High Voltage-Electric Six

Moving on…

Viva La Vida-Coldplay

I’m not a huge Britney Spears fan, but good lord that girl sings some catchy stuff that makes you want to move!

Til The World Ends-Britney Spears

I should work out. It’s hard to find time to work out when you really don’t want to.-Jim Gaffigan

I love this song.  I don’t know why…

DJ Got Us Falling In Love Again-Usher

Hell yeah Josh Turner, I’d go with you.

Would You Go With Me?-Josh Turner

What songs motivate you to do stuff?  Check out the links over at My Skewed View to see what gets other people motivated!

It’s The Best Day of My Life… So Far!

1-The first picture

The first ever picture of The Professor, and one of the only ones during the first few months of his life where he was awake-man that kid could SLEEP!

I’ve been a bit slow to write about it, but believe it or not we have a situation on our hands:

We have a nine year old.

Believe it or not the little baby who always wanted to sleep is now a big nine year old in third grade!

Ezra 2005

His half birthday is July 4th…

The big day started off, well, not so great.

I awoke to a terrible smell.  Something.was.burning.

I raced downstairs to find a black burnt bagel sitting on the table in the living room.  The Professor was standing in the kitchen looking extremely guilty.

He did the thing where he looks at me but not really at me as he stammered “I… I… really wanted a bagel so I cooked one in the microwave.”

“Really… for how long?”

“Only three minutes.”

Oh is that all?  I may never, ever get that smell out of the microwave.  Now for some useful information for everyone: Yes there IS a smell worse than burnt popcorn!

Never fear, the day could only go up from there…

Since it was a Saturday, he got to do what he likes best. On Saturday mornings one of our local channels has the equivalent of the Saturday morning cartoons that we enjoyed as children.  If he gets to watch “Vortex” as it’s called, it’s a great day!

We hit Pizza Ranch for lunch, and then he got to go to a high school football game with his dad that afternoon.  He was in hog heaven.

You know WHY he loves Pizza Ranch so much?  His words: "You can get pizza AND fried chicken AND mashed potatoes all in the SAME MEAL!"

You know WHY he loves Pizza Ranch so much? His words: “You can get pizza AND fried chicken AND mashed potatoes all in the SAME MEAL!”

Part of this particular week had been spent agonizing over his cake.  He knew he wanted a superhero cake for quite some time.  Last year he had his heart set on a Batman cake but this year he was having a hard time making a decision about which superhero he wanted.  (No, mom is NOT going to put every superhero on one cake-he knows this because he asked.)  One thing I would suggest to any parent in their right mind is to NOT invite your child to look at cake ideas online with you.  Naturally he wanted every fancy cake he saw.  Anyone who knows me knows that my cakes are less than fancy, at least in the Pinterest sense.

After vetoing about 50 other cakes that he liked, I convinced him that a Flash cake would be quite nice (as in the superhero, not other things that might come to mind).  It wasn’t perfect-and I think last year’s Batman cake far surpassed this one, but it turned out ok.  The Flash symbol was off center, so I tried writing on it with frosting.  Yes it made it look more centered, but probably because my awful “frost writing” was very distracting!

In the end tt didn’t matter-he loved it.

IMG_2696After chocolate cake and mint ice cream we opened presents-he received five LEGO sets for Christmas, four of which were superhero themed, so it was only natural that he also got a LEGO book for his birthday.

IMG_2676He got some wonderful gifts this year.  Oddly enough, one of his favorite gifts happened to be a Slinky.  He wanted a Slinky in the worst way.  I thought that was neat that in the age of video games that he wanted such a classic toy. That was the best 90 cents I’ve spent in a long time.  He and his sister spent a lot of time playing with it that evening and loved making the Slinky do stuff!

IMG_2690

Yes that’s right, it’s fun for a girl and a boy…

I’m glad they got a lot of use out of it, because in less than 24 hours it was tangled up in itself and totally unusable!

Before bed we gave grandma a quick call.  He told her all about his day and announced “This is the best day of my life… so far.”

That’s good-I like it that he’s expecting bigger and better things as life goes on.  Maybe his momma needs to take a cue from that!

And now that The Professor’s birthday is over and done for this year, we now get to hear every day from now until May just what The Princess expects for her birthday…

Big Stuff

Finish the Sentence Friday

This is a post participating in Finish The Sentence Friday.  This week we had to finish the following sentence:  I once saw the biggest…

It was summer.  I had spent a hot day walking around with no real destination.  My stomach was rumbling, my mouth was dry, and I was exhausted.

Just when I was losing faith that was when I saw it.  I could see it through the windows of a nearby building.  It was big, it was brown, it was beautiful.  It was beckoning to me, calling me to come closer.  As I entered the room, it smelled wonderful.  Masses of people converged just to have a look at this magnificent sight!

All I wanted was a little taste. I wanted to be part of this like no other.  Just a little satisfaction and I’d be on my way, never to bother about it again… but alas I was denied.  Turned down, rejected…

That’s right, I once saw the biggest piece of chocolate I’ve ever seen in my entire life at the Iowa State Fair, and they wouldn’t let me have any.  😦

549725_3828482667487_2115772115_n

Yep, there he is, all that chocolate. Surely there’s someone would split it with me?  Maybe with a big glass of milk…  Oh that’s right, you can have the milk-I’m lactose intolerant.

This was short and sweet. HAHA see what I did there?  Chocolate?  Sweet?

Speaking of big stuff, I now invite you to transport yourself to a magical world.  I’m part of a campaign designed to try to get the dictator for life back into the driver’s seat over at The Adventures of a Misplaced Alaskan.  Terrye has been missing in action in the blogging world for quite some time and it’s time for her to start planning her triumphant return.  I offer up ten reasons why she needs to do so.  Please click HERE  to come over and snoop around.  It’s okay to check the medicine cabinet, but be careful!

Finish the Sentence Friday is hosted by the following princesses of blog land:

Kristi of Finding Ninee

Kate of Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine With My Quiet Time?

Stephanie of Mommy Is For Real

Janine of Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyholic

(A little aside before I go:  this was supposed to go live this morning. Apparently you have to actually hit  an extra button before anything happens on WordPress.  Duh.  You’d think I’d learn that after four or five times.)

If I Had A Million Dollars…

Finish the Sentence Friday

If I had a million dollars I would…

Before I begin we must have background music… (I love this song AND this group, I hope you do too!)

one million dollarsThis is only for fun, so no I’m not going to pay for world peace or an end to hunger or a cure for cancer.  So yes, I’m going to be downright selfish.  I’m still having palpitations over buying workout clothes on clearance with a coupon at Target today-it would be nice to not have to worry so much about things like that.

So if you were expecting all of that crap… Sorry people, it’s MY fantasy.

First of all I would sell my current house for a song (literally!) and find a house closer to where my husband works.  Nothing fancy, just one that is big enough.  With a fake fireplace.  And a tub that I can actually submerge my body in. And of course a man cave in the basement where Evil Genius and The Professor can plan to take over the world. And the Princess could have the dream bedroom she’s been lobbying for with a castle in it.  With a castle and a slide and a trampoline.   I could have my secret passage to my secret room where I hide and write.  Or where I could just take a nap without small people staring at me.

I’d invest enough of that money so my children might actually be able to go to college. Because even though I’d have a million dollars college is super duper expensive, especially by the time they are old enough. Oh and for that matter, I would go back to school too.  Heck I could even start my own school, like in one of my favorite movies Accepted.

I’d buy a car that isn’t starting to fall apart. Purple Prius here I come!  Maybe I’d even have a lava lamp installed in it.  You can run one of those from the cigarette lighter, right?

purple prius

I would name her Violet…

Invest in an indestructable yoga mat, that way my dog won’t be able to eat it.  A purple one.  Oh and perhaps a personal trainer.  A nice personal trainer that would not yell at me, but secretly coerce me into working out without me even realizing it.  And I’d get those meals that are delivered to your door so I’d quit eating so much crap.  Or better yet have my own greenhouse, and chickens, and a cow.  Or maybe not a cow, because I’m lactose intolerant.  How about a Sodastream instead?  Yeah, now we’re talking!

What I just did a million sit-ups?  How did you make me do that...

What I just did a million sit-ups? How did you make me do that???  Oh.

Evil Genius and I would finally get to take our honeymoon.  It’s only 14 years overdue.  We’d go somewhere.  Anywhere.  Heck right now I’d take just getting out of IOWA!

Last but not least I would finally purchase that elusive self hosted blog and all of the perks and write for a living.  And I would host my own blogging party conference.  It would be The Sadder But Wiser conference.  And like in my recent Secret Swap post it would only cost $1.99 to attend!  There would be chocolate fountains and wine fountains and nothing would actually have calories.  It would be held at a water park next to the hotel, because that would be really, really fun.  Lazy river here I come!

Oh yes, a million dollars could be so much fun-I couldn’t resist fantasizing about that!  But now back to reality.  Sigh…

Yep back to reality.  Hey I found a QUARTER!  Woo-hoo!

Yep back to reality. Hey I found a QUARTER! Woo-hoo!

This post has been a part of Finish The Sentence Friday, hosted by these witty and wonderful ladies:

Kristi of Finding Ninee

Kate of Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine With My Morning Quiet Time?

Stephanie of Mommy, For Real

Janine of Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyholic

Check out their blogs to see what other people would do with a million dollars!

What I’m Really Still Doing Here Besides Staring At My Laptop

Finish the Sentence Friday

This week’s sentence for Finish the Sentence Friday is “My blogging goals for this year are…”

Goals?  Where we're going we don't need goals...

Goals? Where we’re going we don’t need goals…

Goals?  Perhaps one of them should be to include a Back To The Future reference in EVERY SINGLE POST THIS YEAR!

(Or to not use so many capitals.  And parentheses).

I could aim to use not so many references to bodily functions, but what fun would that be?

Last year I thought I might be on my way to making a living writing.  How’s that working out for me these days?  Not like I had expected.  While it has provided some very unique opportunities for me, now it’s something I do when I can do it.  Which sometimes is nearly impossible with two young kids, a husband, a house to maintain, and oh yes the paying job.  The job which just increased my hours and is about to give me a raise, because I’m almost off of probation, yo!

(That is the probationary period when you start a job, not as in ankle bracelet check in with your parole officer type of probation.  Hey look, more parentheses!)

And to be a “blogger” these days one is expected to maintain all sorts of crazy online presence giving and sharing on various forms of social media.  Some of that like Facebook that would rather show my stuff to one person than the almost 800 people who have signed up to follow it.  Frustrating…

So what the hell am I still doing here?

1)  Connecting  Because the online community is fabulous with a capital “F”.  This past month was definitely evidence that you don’t necessarily need to hang out with someone face to face every day to have a great support network.

2)  Venting  Because I certainly need that.  Even if I have to speak in clever code that no one but me understands.

3)  Creativity However weird it may turn out, I need a way to get that creativity out of me and into something tangible.

4)  Sharing  Because if I can share the weirdness that makes my family unique and make someone laugh in the process, it’s worth it.

So while I don’t have any goals, I think it’s good to have some concrete reasons as to why I keep hanging round these parts when I can.  As long as you are willing to read my crazy randomness occasionally and maybe get a laugh or two out of it, then I guess my job here is done.

IMG_2514This has been a Finish The Sentence Friday post, hosted by the delightful ladies of the FTSF universe-

Kristi of Finding Ninee

Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine With My Morning Quiet Time?

Kate of Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine With My Quiet Time?

Mommy, for real

Stephanie of Mommy, For Real


Janine from Janine’s of Confessions of a Mommyholic

Hello 2014: Faking It In The New Year

philosophy

Aw, that’s right Phil…

2013 has come and gone, and here it is a new year.

I don’t make resolutions.  I feel like I let myself down enough-let’s not set myself up for failure right off the bat!  I do however have the utmost respect for people that do make resolutions AND keep them!

However as 2013 left us I saw some things I that made me smile…  This one made me LOL.

common new years resolutionsLOL!  And of course any meme that includes Star Trek in it is great.

make it soAnd this, good for a writer…

write good bookAnd this just plain made me smile.

be awesomeIf I DID make resolutions I would have to make ones that I could actually meet. No failing in 2014.  So I made some fake resolutions.  If I don’t meet them, well there’s nothing to really feel bad about, right?

1.  Eat as much chocolate as possible.  (This one is very important.)
2.  Waste at least two hours a day on Facebook.
3.  Be sure that my husband plays lots of video games.
4.  Let the dishes pile up.
5.  Not get published in a book.
6. Gain three new followers.
7.  Pee at least three times a day.  Intentionally.
8. Shower occasionally.
9.  Change clothes daily.
10.  Drink plenty of caffeine.
11.  Be ADD.  Be very ADD.

Take pictures of adorable children.  This is The Princess and her new toy, she named it Bob.

12.  Take pictures of quirky yet adorable children. For example, this is The Princess and her new toy, she named it Bob.

Set the bar low, that’s the key!  😉

Do you make New Year’s resolutions?  I’d love to hear if you did, or if you don’t!  Here’s to 2014!

Oh that's true...

Oh that’s true…

Deck the Halls With Lots of Vomit, Fa La La La La…

Did you miss me the last few days?  Do you feel like I kind of left you hanging there?

Let’s review…

Previously on The Sadder But Wiser Girl

Protecting the earth from evil by dying them hideous shades of tie-dye!  Look up in the sky, it's a peacock, it's a rainbow, it's TIE-DYE GIRL!

Sewer grossness be gone!  (Because I have to put this picture in whenever I can…)

We last left our sort of heroine counting her blessings after the sewer backed up into her basement and left behind an odor similar to what one can only imagine the bog of eternal stench would smell like.

I was a little busy, but I managed to keep writing some stuff.

Enter the family Christmas this past weekend:  A little more than twenty four hours spent doing Christmas with two different families two and a half hours away from home.  Plus a visit to a third on the way home. Busy, busy, busy.

My stomach was rumbly.  I figured it was just all of the fish chowder I ate.  Or stress.  Or lack of sleep.  Or kids.  Or that I’m crazy.  I downed a Coke or two or seven and ignored it.

And while we were doing Christmas we received quite a few gifts.  However we got one additional one that we were not expecting.  A wonderful group of people in the blogging world got together to help us out in our time of stinkiness by making sure that we didn’t have to wait until after the fact to celebrate our Christmas day at home.  It’s something that I’ll never forget.

Again, for the zillionth time, thank you my friends.

Thanks to this thoughtful gift, the Monday after our weekend jaunt was spent at Target getting the presents that we had been putting off.  Even though I’d been up all night the night before with a stomachache, I was dead tired, and I felt like my food had been sitting at the bottom of my throat for two days, I was going to get my shopping finished!

As it turns out, I was pretty much spot on.  After I finished all of my shopping, I topped it off by puking for five minutes in the store bathroom.  Pretty much everything I had eaten the past day or two.  Isn’t that magical?  I’m sure that the people in the bathroom who heard me making sounds like I was dying thought so.

Then I came home and slept and puked and slept and puked in a vicious cycle that lasted through Christmas Eve.  I know there were things going on around me.  My kids played, they checked on me, they asked me for stuff.  At times I even responded with a half conscious “Honey I love you, I’m not being lazy I’m just really sick.”

I vaguely remember Evil Genius wrapping all the presents, doing the last minute grocery shopping, cooking all the meals, renting some movies, and even washing some dishes.  If there was a medal for that, I’m sure I’d dip it in chocolate and give it to him.

I said I wanted to rest and not gain any weight this Christmas, I didn’t mean it quite like that!

Luckily, I recovered enough to enjoy my kids opening their presents, and a wonderful dinner and dessert cooked by Evil Genius.  I was even conscious for most of it.

December 2013

See the tie-dyed shirt that Evil Genius is wearing? Is that not the coolest shirt ever in the history of geekdom. And sadly not in my size.

Now that Christmas is over, it’s back to the real world.  I’m still not feeling well *urp* but there are no more excuses and I have to work as well as attempt to do those things known as chores.  The kids are for the most part well entertained by their gifts, except when they’re not.  Yesterday as I attempted to do the working from home part of my job I heard my daughter yell at least once “Mommy I’m LONELY!”

Translation-she’s ready to go back to school already.  We’re only a little ways into the SIXTEEN day break that the kids have this year.  Wow.  They have it rough.  We may not survive this…

The Professor is good, because he has a lot of screens to look at and that makes him happy.  Except when he’s not.

Oh… and the Christmas card?  Remember that from last week’s Fly on the Wall post?  After all that had happened, I thought I had better be a good girl and take them with me while I was visiting family and work on them in the spare time I foolishly thought I would have.

Then I left them at my mom’s house, because apparently the flu which infected my gut had already seeped into my brain, I just didn’t know it.

Once my brain began comprehending things, I mentioned something to my mom and she immediately sent them to me, only they no longer can be considered Christmas cards.  We’re now in the beginning stages of turning them into New Year’s cards, with only a few days before I have to send them.  The beginning stages as in I bought stuff to make them with and have felt too lousy and had too little time to do anything with them.

We’ll see how long before I just give up and figure that this year Christmas has just officially kicked my butt.

I hope you are all having a joyous holiday thus far!  I hope you actually got your Christmas cards sent out, enjoyed a lovely time with your family, and are enjoying the stretch of time between the two holidays without any sort of poop or puke in your midst.  Let me know how your holiday went by telling me in the comments!

And I leave you with my absolute favorite picture from the holiday…

Where else do you play with catnip mice but in a Christmas kitty bag?

Where else do you play with catnip mice but in a Christmas kitty bag?

Oh Crap, Literally: Counting My Blessings

fortune-cookie

So it’s not exactly fortune cookie material…

Count your blessings, because in the blink of an eye you could be ankle deep in your own poo!

All right, I admit it wasn’t really ankle deep, but there was definitely poo involved.  It was definitely a crappy thing to have happen!

This past weekend we had a not so welcome gift from the sewage fairy.  Some roots from the tree outside our house got into our sewer line.  Our basement went from 0 to a lovely spread of muck on the floor on one side in a few hours.  I just happened to go downstairs for a loaf of bread and ended up playing a game of stepping stones to get to the freezer.  I more or less had to sit IN the freezer to get the bread out, and I hollered to Evil Genius to come look at the basement.

The next morning we had a quick visit from the city guy who simply said “Yup, you’re backed up.”  This was followed by waiting a few hours for our local Roto-Rooter guy to come out and snake the drain.

Yeah, this tree.  I like this tree...

Yeah, this tree. I like this tree… I’m sad about it.  It’s going to have to come down.

And by the way, he didn’t have to do it once.  Or twice. He had to run it FOUR times.

Lucky us!

Incidentally, I have discovered what the worst smell in the world is.  If you have kids, take their worst diaper or poop accident and multiply the smell by 1000.  That is the smell that will linger after Roto-Rooter has left your house.  I started smelling it about the time he was finished, and then he brought the weird drum shaped device through the upstairs he stopped and showed me the sewage covered tree roots.  I just about threw up, it smelled that bad. And remember, that stuff doesn’t usually bother me.  That means it was really, really bad.

As he often is, Evil Genius was amazing.  He came home from work while I was at my job and cleaned it all up.  By the time I came home my house was transformed from stinky mess to a lovely Lysol smell.  And I like the smell of that particular cleaner, so that’s quite all right.

Confession time:  I have to admit when it happened I went a little nuts.  I worried and I cried.  Because that’s what I do.  Having to shell out a large chunk of change ten days before Christmas when you’re not exactly rolling in the dough makes your wallet hurt.  Add to that fact that I had just had my hair colored for the first time in many years the Friday before. It was my Christmas gift from my husband.  While I loved how it looked and it wasn’t terribly expensive, the guilt of spending that money on myself instead of my kids just about killed me.

Moms do that.  We put our family first.  So it’s a natural mom reaction to feel bad in these situations.  Even though no one was dying and nothing really terrible was going to come of it, I still felt bad.

And I continued to feel bad about it.  I was so preoccupied that I ran into the side of the cart corral at Target.  While the car was fine other than a few scratches in the paint, my already wounded pride was aching.  And then I burst into tears in the store, because here I was surrounded by all of the things I would like to get for my kids, but couldn’t at the moment.  Not that my kids NEED anything, because they have plenty of toys.

So then I felt bad for feeling bad.  After all, we still had a house, food in our kitchen, heat, running water, clothing, and so forth.  Why was I fretting over the fact that we might have to postpone Christmas?  They would be spending time with their extended family and would get gifts from their grandparents the weekend before.

I guess because I don’t want my kids to know just yet that sometimes life just really sucks.

And we’ve had it worse.  Much, much worse. Three years ago we had a flood.  During this flood our sewer system got overwhelmed and backed up.  And kept backing up-all the way up our basement stairs.  It was one of the scariest moments of my life.  My husband was at work and couldn’t leave, and I thought we were going to float right out of our house.  We lost our furnace and thought we’d lost our freezer, which was floating around in the basement.

Weeks later miraculously our freezer came back to life.  And we got a new furnace through a local organization who happened to be helping winterize our house at the time.

I also have to keep in mind that this is the first Christmas in a long time that one of us hasn’t been out of work or in school.  My husband is working a job that while the commute is long and some aspects of it are stressful, he is doing what he loves at a company that is very supportive and truly appreciates him as an employee.  We have good health insurance.  We have great benefits.

So what the hell am I upset about?  Counting my blessings makes even the worst situation seem a lot better.

Speaking of blessings, I want to thank my blogging friends who had kind words to offer me as I was fretting about the whole thing.  It really meant the world just to hear that things will get better!  Sometimes it’s nice just to have someone listen. We don’t need any help, we will be fine!  It’s just another setback in a series of things that are getting better slowly but not quite fast enough to make me happy.  I just have to remember that sometimes it’s one step forward and two steps back!

Oh, and by the way, I’ve got about a thousand crap references saved up since this whole mess started.  I bet you can’t wait!

crapNow before you go away thinking “Sheesh, I thought this lady is supposed to be funny!”  I want you to remember that even the funniest people have unfunny days.  But you can get your laugh on over at Moms Who Write and Blog, where they have a little shindig going on known as Mom For the Holidays!  You can read many great posts (but not ghosts) from Christmases pasts!

And to go right along with that, tomorrow is Fly on the Wall, The Holiday Edition, going live at 10 am EST/9 am CST!