Thursday, February 5, 2015

Clone me

I'm frequently asked how I manage it all and I invariably respond with a flippant "if I don't do it, it doesn't get done". Well, there are plenty of things that don't get done, usually my hair and makeup, quite often I also miss out on breakfast and lunch...

My days as a single mum look like this:

4:30am First wake up call
5:30am If I'm not already up, I'm going to be late! Wake the kids, going them to dress
6am Make the boys lunch, chase them to the car
6:15-6:30 Drive the boys the 10 minutes to their bus
6:40 Back home to wait for Baby Girl to get ready. Do laundry. Clean up kitchen
7:10-7:30 Drive Baby Girl to school
7:30 Back home, workout for 30 minutes
8am-3pm Online for work interspersed with random bouts of cleaning while on conference calls, paying bills, catching up on miscellaneous tasks
3pm-3:30 Pick boys up from bus, home for snack and homework
3:30-5pm Finish working while simultaneously refereeing the kids
5-7pm Depends on the season, football practice, band practice, chorus... gym, grocery store run
7-9pm Cook dinner, check homework, clean something... Chase kids to shower and get to bed
9pm-whenever Pour some wine, check to see what didn't get done and make a note to do it tomorrow, fall asleep watching tv...

Yeah, I'm tired. And days like today when I can't sleep make it even more challenging, but I'll get up and do it all again anyway. I don't do anything that any other single mum doesn't do.

I keep five calendars just to keep track of everything, but sometimes the logistics just don't work out.

I make multiple lists and still forget things.

I don't have friends and family close enough to help. Migraines and sick days are a nightmare, but lately Baby Girl has stepped up and is even looking forward to getting her license in a couple months to help with more!

Last September I took a week off work and was just a mum for a week. That's when I realised that my paying job is actually the EASIEST part of my day! Vacation to me means a beach, a bar and a bed! But I don't get vacations.

So I need the following clones:

Mum for teenage girl
Mum for pre-adolescent boys
Legal specialist

And I'll handle the SharePoint architect duties as well as the shopping. :-)

Of course, my life would be just a little bit easier if Douchebag would get bored and stop his shenanigans. Keeping up with attorneys and court dates and paying for it all... I keep wondering when he will just let go, but he won't until he feels he had "won" (I wish I knew what the prize was).

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dodged a bullet!

Well, the lump on the boob that I mentioned a little while ago, has gone. Which is good. I still have an appointment with the endocrinologist to talk about my ability to metabolise sugar at a shocking rate, at which time they were going to also do an ultrasound in lieu of a painful mammogram, so I'm not sure if they'll still want to do that, but since my white blood count came back normal, it will probably be chalked up to a blocked duct. Thank God!

Going through a scare like that on my own was frightening!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Bitter Sweet.... Revenge?

They say it's best served cold.

Today has been a rough day on me. Today my brats leave me to fly to Illinois and spend 11 days with their grandfather, my dad. Who has not spent more than a couple of hours in their presence for the last I-don't-know-how-many-years.

So it's bitter, because I have not spent more than  a couple of days, 5 at the most without at least one of my children. Last year, I had a week without Baby Girl, while she was in Georgia with my uncle, but it was just barely a week before the boys came back from their dad's. I'm panicking for several reasons:

My dad is not a young man anymore and hasn't had to deal with two high-energy little boys like mine.
Baby Girl is an enigma and reminds me so much of myself at that age, they may bump heads.
There have been severe storms, including tornadoes in that part of the country for several days now.

It's sweet because I get some much needed 'alone time'. I have no idea what I'm going to do with myself as I seem to have a dwindling number of friends, but after the last year or two of stress, the doctors are now insisting that I do something for me to get it under control. So while being the support mechanism for everyone else is admirable, it was apparently detrimental to my own health and well-being. How quickly people forget what you do for them.

I digress, but that's been quite a painful sore point for me the last 6 months.

It's revenge, because, well, my dad volunteered to have my kids for two weeks. My teen years spent with him were not great, so foisting my delightful children on him for a period of 11 days (I'm not really counting...), will maybe help illuminate just how quiet and well-behaved I was... Straight A's and captain of almost all the girl's sports teams as well as a school and district record holder.... And yet I was never quite as awesome as my sister in his eyes....

Oh Revenge is sweet, but I'll still miss the Brats :'(

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

On a serious note...

A week ago, I found a lump. Just a small one. On my right breast.

So I told the doctor about it and I have to say I was struck by the doctor's lack of concern. Oh, she took a look, asked a couple questions, but then nothing. So a couple days later, I was back for a check up on the bite (the doxycycline was playing havoc with me) and it was a different doctor. This one wanted to wait until today's check up... but she did order blood work as I've been exhausted beyond belief.


Do doctors not understand just how worrying a lump can be?? I'm 35! I've been checking it 5 times a day hoping it goes away... and since NO ONE seems to be talking to me, I've been worrying myself sick over it.

Oh firefighter is trying, but he's a guy...

Anyway, today the doctor finally said she'll order an ultrasound, which will at least rule out a few minor possibilities, in lieu of a mammogram. The blood work all came back normal, which is a good sign, but I won't sleep until they rule out the big C....

My kids need me.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Arachnophobe and the Arachnid

Yeah, the irony hasn't escaped me.

I am absolutely petrified of the eight-legged freaks (and I should have patented that phrase... I've been using it since the 80's, long before the movie came out!).

So Friday of last week, while hanging at the pool after work with Firefighter and the brats, I had an annoying itch at the back of my thigh. I felt two small bumps, so I joked with Firefighter that obviously a mosquito had found my hamstrings a trifle tasty and had taken more than one bite.

Saturday morning, however, after he'd left and I hopped in the shower, the itch was worse, painful and almost burning and when I looked, I actually had a nasty ring of a rash popping up, so now I'm thinking "Oh great, I've picked up ringworm at the pool". I have kids, which means I typically keep all kinds of potions at the house, so I locate the Lotrimin, smear it on and go about my day. Except the burning gets worse. The thigh is now starting to swell. I use a hand mirror to get a closer look and now I'm concerned as blisters are forming and MY GOD does it HURT!

Ringworm causes burning.... maybe I'm being a wuss. On goes more Lotrimin and a bandaid because I don't want to spread it. I choose my outfit for the evening. Not the dress I had wanted to wear because it was short and showed the swelling and bandaid, but a nice little hi-lo number I've had for a while with no opportunity to wear it. My leg is on fire, but I promised my friend We'll call her Welsh) a night out for her birthday weeks ago and I wasn't going to let her down.

I'd been feeling crappy all day, cramps, a slight headache, but I figured it was the long stressful week and that time of month we females all look forward to... We had a good night out. I may have had a glass of wine too many, but all in all, a good night. When I woke, however, my leg was red. Lobster red. And it was painful to walk, but I sucked it up. Firefighter was on his way from church and we were expected at dinner for Father's Day with his sister's family. I suffered through, despite a lack of sleep, pain and nausea. Once or twice, he told me to go on and go and he'd make my excuses for me, but I stuck it out. When I got home however.... It was more Lotrimin and then bed.

I had a morning appointment at the courthouse (starting to loathe that place, but the guards all know me and smile, so that's nice), then I elected to stop by the doctor's office and make sure it wasn't infected. As is my ridiculous habit, I went commando. I was wearing a maxi dress and it was hot! Anyway, trying to show the top of my thigh without showing my goods, was, um, challenging, then I said screw it, she's a doctor!

So you know you're in for a surprise, when the doctor looks at your rash and says "Hmmm, well I haven't seen that before." And she did her rotation in dermatology. Not good. Then she snapped a pic. Also not good. I was sent home with Doxycycline and instructions for care along with a giant black Sharpie circle around the red swelling. Ostensibly so I could check the efficacy of the medication.

I'm pleased to say that after 24 hours the swelling was down significantly, but I now have a dark red\purple bruise about the size of a silver dollar and the blisters are still there, about the size of a quarter. I tortured myself by looking up black widow bites and brown recluse bites and found images from both that look like what I have. Necrosis hasn't set in, so I'm hopeful... but it hurts. I spend half the day dizzy, the other half sleepy, but I did manage to get in a few hours work today. A special thanks to Welsh, My Past and Firefighter for checking on me at least twice a day each and offering to help. My stubborn, independent side didn't cave and accept, but I appreciate the offers.

Fingers crossed there won't be permanent scarring and I sincerely hope whatever eight-legged freak bit me, had it's own little visit from karma....

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I'm Black??!?

Why did no one tell me???

Holy crap! What do I do now?

Uh, yeah... so the other half of what happened on Monday.

Baby Girl had a friend coming to hangout at our pool. I was not aware of this fact until, oh maybe 10 minutes beforehand. Turns out the Bully in our neighbourhood kinda likes this girl who is friends with my daughter. We'll call her Ballerina, because, well, she dances ballet...

This is getting complicated with the players....

Anyway. Ballerina arrived at the gate to the pool and I went to let her in, but there was a younger girl with her who she introduced as her sister (we'll call her Gannet (a small bird that eats ANYTHING) and said that her mother wanted to meet me. Now that's fine with me, but I had no shoes on. And it was HOT. So I figured I would make it quick, say hi and then get back in the shade....

Her first response when I reached the car (she did not get out) was "Well..... you're black!"

So those who know me, know that sarcasm sometimes drips from me uncontrolled.... I had to take a deep breath before responding, but I still managed to sneak in the insult anyway: "Yep, I am. Sure am." (Whilst looking at my arms and legs... I followed up with "Her (Baby Girl) father's white and my mother is white, so Baby Girl is actually a quarter black too..."

Ballerina is white. Her mother is white. Gannet... is mixed. Like me. So my confusion was whether this mother was just slightly on the racist side or if she was just genuinely shocked that Baby Girl had a black, biological parent.

And not unsurprisingly, the mother followed up with questions about where I get my hair braided, etc etc....

And then....

"So you don't mind watching her then? She doesn't swim."

Uhhhhhh..... I beg your pardon? My understanding was that my daughter's friend was coming to hangout, not that I would also be babysitting the 6 year old, non-swimming sister. My kids are fish and require minimal supervision. I had planned to hole up in a corner with a book. AND the girl liked to eat, but was not provided with any snacks or sustenance....

Suffice it to say the mother made a very poor impression on me. Baby Girl was told in very clear language that the younger sister was not to accompany Ballerina again. (Ballerina is very nice by the way, no problems there)

What kind of parent leaves their child with someone she's never met? I mean, what an imposition! I later came to find out that both girls were adopted. I have very serious concerns about the placement of children with these parents. Had they been foster children I might have called social services....

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tres amusant!

Took me a while to come up with the title for this post. "Very Funny" sounded so mundane in the face of what I'm about to impart, but somehow the same phrase in french about covers it.

So I'm new to this whole pet ownership thing. I'm not fond of them. In fact, they just annoy me. Drooling, licking, shedding etc... But when Onyx started scooting around on her front paws with her butt in the air making the worst, most god-awful whining sound, I have to say that even I was concerned. She had been fine that morning so I had to wonder what had happened. This happened on Saturday, but after Firefighter and I had drank close to 3 bottles of wine Friday night, I was feeling too delicate to take her to the vet. And then she suddenly seemed to be ok again, so I didn't feel bad. I decided if she did it again, I would take her.

Well Sunday was spent with Firefighter; first lunch, then a movie at his place before I had to pick Bad Boy and Lil One up from their dad (I'm not even going to start on how much he pissed me off this weekend because this story is much better without it), so I asked Baby Girl if Onyx was ok and she said yeah, she seemed much better.

Monday however, she was doing it again.... She had been super clingy for the last couple of days and I worried that something was horribly wrong, so I chased the Brats to get ready for the pool. We'd take her to the vet, then go straight to the pool.... The first vet wasn't open (dang holidays!), but PetSmart was, so in we go.

Side bar here while I mention how petrified the poor thing was in the car! She was trembling and every little jerk (I drive a stick shift) had her cowering!

Anyway, we walk up to the Banfield reception and I ask if a vet is available. The conversation was as follows:

Receptionist "Have you been here before?"
Me "No"
Receptionist "Let me see if a doctor is available. What's wrong with her?"
Me "She seems to be favouring her butt... creeping along on her paws whining, or crying" I was actually quite mortified having to describe this to the Receptionist.
Receptionist "Has she been spayed?"
Me "No, she's an indoor cat. Is that something I should think about doing?"

(Now the Receptionist is smiling)

Receptionist "She's in heat" (Me groaning) "You don't have to if she's a house cat."

So apparently, I should do some reading up on cats.... How embarrassing to traipse the whole family into the vet only to find out that she's just horny... smh.

As we were leaving PetSmart Lil One piped up "So it's the heat that's bothering her?" I shared a glance with Baby Girl who just laughed at me. I whispered to her that there was no way I was going to try explaining 'in heat' to my 8 year old son... She giggled and tried to instigate more until I threatened to not take them to the pool. That shut the lil wench up!

Firefighter also found it amusing when I told him later that afternoon while we were getting ready to grill the food.... He Googled the symptoms while I confirmed that she had indeed been doing all of the above. I'm glad he found it so funny.