Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I'm so tired..........

I really hate days like today where I'm so tired while running errands that I actually entertain the thought of lying down on the floor for "just a second while I rest my eyes." But the thing is, I'd fall asleep for sure. And then I'd snore. And then I'd probably get kicked out of the store.

But that's how I felt today - THAT tired. And the thing is? I didn't take a nap. I could have taken a nap, I suppose, but I have a really hard time surrendering to the nap. I LOVE NAPS! But I don't take them as much as I'd like. Because for one thing, chances are that as soon as I drift off, someone will interrupt me for something completely stupid. Case in point: I was once awakened from a deep, dreamy nap sleep by a child asking "where's the scotch tape?" (I would like to point out that the child's FATHER was awake at the time...grrrrr!). And the other thing about naps - I always wake up from them all disoriented and spacey. Even though I love the feeling of snuggling under the covers in the middle of the day, the nap hangover is a bitch.

So, I just plug along, doing stuff to keep myself awake. And I always tell myself I'm going to bed early tonight. And I keep telling myself that till about midnight when I go "aw, f*ck" and figure I'll try for that again another day. If I do get to bed before 10 p.m. it's usually because I'm ill.

And then my kids post on Twitter about how they got ten hours of sleep. Or how they spent all day lying in bed. Losers. Remember when the kids used to scream and beg and cry when it was naptime? Who knew, right? Ugh. Ain't no rest for the wicked.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The fourth long day.....

I had to write this post on the fifth day, because on the fourth day, I was too tired to keep my eyes open. On the fourth long day of the busiest week of the year, while my husband was busy out in the woods "not" hunting elk, I woke up early to take Hannah to a school assembly. I kind of figured I'd just drop her off, take a few pictures during the performance, then we'd be off and running in a half hour or so. Not. We arrived at 8:20 to find out the assembly didn't start till 9. So I got to sit with the drama kids waiting for their performance at the pep assembly, AND it turns out the performance was the very last thing on the agenda. Good times. But what I learned was that high school NEVER changes. Same groups, same cliques, same "popular" and "not popular" stuff. Nope - don't miss those days at ALL.

After the assembly, I picked up Hayley, who was house/pet sitting for a friend of mine. We dropped her off at work, and then Hannah and I went to Tully's for coffee and breakfast. It was lovely to just sit and enjoy coffee, even though I knew my time was limited because my mom and sister were driving here from Boise to see the kids' performance tonight, and my house was a pig sty! Gah! We arrived home around noon and I had exactly two hours to: do three loads of laundry, clean up Harrison's room and change the sheets on his bed, same to Arlie's room, vacuum the upstairs, pick up the downstairs, dust, and  text the other kids the chores I needed them to do upon arriving home. I picked Hayley up from work and left minutes later to take Hannah to her school appointment. An hour later, we left there, arrived home for about ten minutes to change and were out the door again for call time.

My job last night was "kid wrangler" backstage. Let's just say it wasn't my favorite job.

After the show, everyone went to Applebee's. I wanted to go home since my mom and sister were now sitting at my house, with no one home, making fudge (yay!). But the kids wanted to go, so I had a mudslide drink with double kahlua. We arrived home at midnight, visited for a bit with the family, tasted the fudge, and then went to bed.

Well. They went to bed. I discovered that I'd left a HUGE pile of clothing and towels that needed to be folded on my bed. I REALLY didn't want to fold them at 1 a.m. so I pushed them all over to Jeff's side and crawled in. Finally a good reason for him to be gone!

On an unrelated note, I cut my finger on something in Harrison's room while I was cleaning it. It was more of a little, tiny slice, really, no big deal. Except I kept "catching" it on everything so I tried to trim the excess skin, but that didn't work. It was apparent that I needed a fingertip bandage. Which we don't have. And the thing is, I know we had some at one point. You know how you buy that box of fingertip bandages for that ONE time you cut your finger and then it takes you six or seven years to use it all up? Guess my seven years was up. So, I concocted this fingertip bandage of my own, using several different bandaids, but nothing worked. I don't even have a normal-sized bandaid. Clearly, it's bandaid shopping time. I don't even know why I just told you that story.

And since I'm writing this in the morning after the fourth long day, I will say that I had to get up early this morning.....again. I have had about five hours of sleep a night for the past several nights, so I was really hoping to sleep in this morning. But no. I had to go pick up Shade. The demon from Hell. I was not looking forward to this AT ALL, but Jeff asked if I could pick him up this morning so we didn't have to pay for boarding over the weekend. I agreed (but only because money was involved. Not love). At the vet, they gave me Shade's "report card" which said things like "I played well with ALL the dogs" and "I was a good, quiet boy!" WTF? They could not have been talking about OUR Shade? I even got a picture of Shade lying nonchalant next to a lovely golden retriever who seemed unfazed by the fact that he was in such close proximity to the Devil himself. When Shade came trotting out on his leash, he was indifferent to me. He couldn't get himself into the car so I had to struggle to help him. He weighs about 75 lbs! As soon as he was in the car, I could feel my stress level rising - his obnoxious noises, his disgusting breath....and I realized the sense of peace and calm I'd had every time I passed his empty kennel this past week. He wasn't home five minutes when he started barking and making noise while everyone was still trying to sleep. Back into the kennel he went. Get used to those bars, kid. (Bonus points for who can tell me what movie that line is from)!

The hunter returns today. Just in time to make pizzas for the cast party tonight. When I mentioned this to him he said he "owes" me one. I'd prefer my payment in the form of a massage or a weekend away, thank you. :) He won't be bringing home an elk, or any other form of nourishment for the family. I'm just hoping he doesn't bring home lyme disease or hantavirus. I can hardly wait to see (and smell) him - the mountain man, returned after the long hunt.

And now I just really want to sleep. But it's show day - again. A matinee and a show tonight. Call is at noon. Maybe I'll just shut my eyes for a minute...................

Friday, September 7, 2012

The third, long day.........

Today I got up before my alarm AND I had everything I needed for the day already packed and sitting by the door, AND I had time to make a smoothie for breakfast, AND I took two pink cookies in my lunch, so the day started out pretty awesome. It was my "longer" day at work, so I got a lot of stuff done after the kinders left, and then I ran to Target to return the pants I bought for Harrison yesterday (see yesterday's post!), then Costco to pick up the poster I had made of the kids' choir for the lobby. Then, I came home and actually had a few minutes to eat something, check my email and Facebook, and.........the best part ever.........I got to lay down for an hour and I may have just fallen asleep for a few minutes! The bad part about that is I was sleeping because my head hurt. A lot.

So, I woke up in time to remind the kids to get ready for the show, and that we needed to leave in a half hour. Harrison was on his iPad and ignored me. I noticed he had failed to completely clean up a spot of dog barf on the carpet (because of COURSE the dog barfed since my husband isn't here to clean it, and of COURSE it was the dog who NEVER barfs. Except when I'm home and my husband is not, apparently). Anyway, Harrison had to re-clean the spot and I reminded him, again, to get everything together. Finally, at 5:30 Arlie and I headed to the car and I asked Harrison if he was ready. He assured me he "just" needed to "grab" his things from upstairs.

We arrived on time, but of course, that had to be cursed, because minutes after we arrived, Harrison realized he had grabbed the wrong shirt from the dryer (he was supposed to have all his stuff put together, not grabbing stuff from the dryer!). I had to drive all the way back home and get the correct shirt. 45 minutes round trip (and we only live 6 miles from the school, but it was rush hour, after all!). Made it back a few minutes before curtain and all was well. Except for Harrison, who will not see his iPad for many, many days.

The show went off without a hitch. Well, there were some hitches. Like mics that were not turned on, lights that didn't go up or down on time, and some awkward moments with the emcees, but otherwise it was a good show! We didn't get home until after 11, but thank you, Taco Bell, for being open late because we were craving tacos something wicked. And of course I had to edit and upload photos so here it is, almost 1 a.m., and I'm not even in bed yet. Have to be back at the school by 8:15 for an assembly performance. Take Hayley to work by 10. Take Hannah to her consulting teacher appointment, pick up Hayley from work, and then get the kids back to the theatre for another show tomorrow night (during which I will volunteer as "kid wrangler" which means I have to keep the kids' choir in line - mwahahah!). Oh, and did I mention that I have family coming in unexpectedly for the show? I'm super excited but my house isn't guest-ready. And likely won't be. Because when would I clean it? I just hope they can overlook our slovenly ways. I wish I had a maid.

Update on the husband front - he sent me a picture of an owl, and texted that he hiked a bazillion miles today and "accomplished his goal of seeing elk". Um. I thought the goal was to shoot an elk. With a bow and arrow.  Okey doke. He also mentioned he hiked 10 hrs and burned 4500 calories (because only my husband would be out in the wilderness but still have his heart rate monitor on him!). Well, la-di-dah. He's missing his bed, hot shower, and apparently (but in third place) me.

Toodles. Time to crash.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The second, long day..........

So, today was just as long as yesterday. Which doesn't surprise me because they're all 24 hours, no? The kids started school today so I made sure to block out some time to take the requisite pictures with the requisite sign (that we've had for YEARS!). Then, I sent them off, smiling and happy, to start a bright, shiny new year of school. HA! Kidding! I sent them off with grimaces, sleepy and nervous, to the way-too-early bus. I barely got into the house when I got a "we forgot our lunches!" text. Crap. I raced up to the bus stop in the van and the driver was loading the last kids. I motioned frantically for them to come and get their lunches but they just looked mortified to be caught in the "dork forgot their lunch" moment and looked helplessly at me from their window seats. WTF? The bus drove off and I circled back around to the house with the lunches, leaving them on the porch for my ex to pick up and deliver (saved by the dad).

Then, I was ten minutes late for work. BUT I was a total badass so it didn't matter. Here's why. I was supposed to bring in pictures of my family to do "show and tell" today (which was really a lesson in how to do show and tell for the kids). All my pictures are on my computer and I didn't have ANY time last night or this morning to put something together, so I just grabbed my whole laptop and took it to work with me. When I got there, no one was around yet, so I plugged in my computer and put together a powerpoint presentation of my family in TEN MINUTES! And it was the VERY FIRST time I've ever done a powerpoint. I mean, I'm lucky I even knew where to FIND it on my computer. Rockstar!

I mentioned that I needed to leave immediately after work to run an errand, but got caught up laminating some stuff and left 15 minutes late. I raced to Target to buy black pants for Harrison for the show this weekend. While I was there Hannah texted me that she needed black sweats. I scooped up two pairs of black pants for Harrison, the sweats, and, ok, a couple of lip tints for myself. I scurried home to pick up Hannah and take her to rehearsal. Dropped her off and headed to Walgreen's to pick up a prescription. And, ok, a couple more makeup items for myself. By this time the jr high kids would be getting home, so I drove back to the house to collect them and take them to a little "first day of school" coffee outing. But first I stopped by the thrift store to find some black shoes for Harrison. Total score! Not only did I find black shoes, I found black pants (hello, returning the 29.99 pair and the 24.99 pair I picked up at Target!), and two whole bags of other clothes for a grand total of $20. This included a fancy dress for Arlie, a jacket, sweater, top and skirt for me, the pants for Harrison, the shoes, AND, the find of the day, the most horrendously patterned dress with the tag still attached ($80!) for 2.50. Hello, Halloween costume for me! :)


Then, we headed to Starbucks where I dropped more cash for coffee and treats than for all those clothes combined. By the way, the new salted caramel cake pop is divine. The kids unloaded a mound of papers on me to sign, fill out, and read. We went home for a few minutes to change and then raced to rehearsal (after I looked at the clock and said "HOLY SHIT! Is it really 5:10? We've gotta GO!").

Rehearsal. Wow. Lots of tension. STRESS with a capital "S". The kids ran their numbers, there was lots of discussion, we waited for Harrison to run his number with the high school cast. I took a group picture of the kids (after reminding them to gather for the group picture and then having half of them change out of their costumes before we got the picture! Argh!). Arlie and I ran to QFC for some dinner stuff around 7. I just ate my sandwich, which was a hot panini at 7, but a mushy mess at 9:30. Oh well.

I got home, edited the group picture, ordered a poster to pick up tomorrow at Costco so it will be ready to put in the lobby for the show, and made a mental note of all the extra supplies the kids need now that school has started (A 120-page spiral? Wow, that's specific. And a 1 inch binder for just your class? After I bought the huge zippered binder for "all" the classes?). Now I get to make lunches, clean up the kitchen, put together the essential items for tomorrow, and, hopefully, finally get some sweet sleep.

Jeff texted me earlier from elk camp saying he was tired and at camp "waiting for night to come". Whaaattt?

Whatever. I have pink frosted cookies I bought at the store. So there.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The first, long day.........

Today was my first day back at work after a long, lazy summer. Sleeping in WAS the norm, and everything was relatively unscheduled. It was fun to be a kid again. Today, I had to be a grown-up. Which we all know sucks. :)

So, I went to work (thanking GOD I only work part-time because 1. I need at LEAST the other half of the day to drive my kids all over Hell and Creation, and 2. I work with special-needs kids, which feels like working a ten hour day every 30 minutes!), and after work I raced home to pick up the girls by 1:30 so Hannah could be at rehearsal by 1:45 (ish). Dropped her off, and headed to the junior high to pick up Harrison who was working as a "Web Leader" helping incoming 7th graders become acquainted with the school (and singing the praises of the nacho cheese sauce at school which is "real, not rubbery. You don't even have to peel off the first layer to get to the cheese!" Thank you, Jesus, for real lunchroom food.). After dropping him off at home, I received a text from Hayley that said "My bike broke and I can't ride it home." Because we're down one car, she had to ride her bike to work today. But, alas, it "broke" (read, the chain fell off!) so she could not ride it home. Back down the hill I went to pick her and the broken bike up and deposit both back at home.

Finally I could run my errands! I desperately needed to go to the dance supply store and get Hannah new character shoes because she LOST hers (and she will pay dearly!) and new jazz shoes because hers were full of holes and her performance is this weekend. Arlie also needed tap shoes and new jazz shoes, and these nifty little things called "foot undies". They are basically a thong for your foot. Slutty feet. Anyway. Getting to this place was a death-defying feat as it is located off a VERY busy highway and you have to veer over an on-ramp and swerve into the parking lot at breakneck speed to avoid being broadsided by a pickup truck, then narrowly avoid hitting the car leaving the parking lot just as you are driving in. Well, maybe that was just me. We spent about 30 minutes trying on shoes in a stuffy upstairs room and then went downstairs to plunk down $220 for four pairs of shoes! Good Lord in Heaven.

We then had to take the shoes back to the high school so Hannah could try them on. Thankfully, they fit, so I'm hoping I don't have to return to the store and make another stunt move to get into the parking lot. After the shoe drop (haha, see what I did there?), we headed to the music store to pick up the newly repaired flute ($95) and the piccolo which needed a complete overhaul to the tune of $295 which we declined. A very nice lady, who had THREE flute degrees (really?), worked on the piccolo for us (for FREE!) and got it working just fine. So, now Arlie has both a flute and a piccolo for band tomorrow (and a promise from nice lady to provide private lessons next month).

We also stopped by the dance studio to sign up, but no one was there. So, that's another thing I have to do tomorrow!

We finally got home and I was STARVING! I whipped up a tater-tot casserole and realized I had ten ears of corn I bought several days ago that weren't getting any fresher. So, I shucked corn while literally shaking from hunger, and added that to the dinner menu (along with watermelon which has become a staple around here!). What's this? A home-cooked meal after a long, long day? SUPERWOMAN! Eh.

And now I have to assemble some photos because tomorrow is my "show and tell" day at kindergarten where I "show" pictures of my family and "tell" the kids about them. I also have to fill out a sports packet, get a package ready to mail, get my clothes ready for tomorrow, make lunches, do some laundry, and make sure the kids are ready for school tomorrow (which mostly consists of changing the date on our "first day of school" sign we use every year in pictures!). Oh, I also did some legit work for my husband on his computer, with directions texted to me from a remote campsite, and I made a couple of appointments/phone calls while waiting in the car.

But, most importantly, it's Dance Moms night so all this shit needs to be done by 9 because after that I'm watching my smut, and enjoying my fleur de sel caramels my husband had shipped overnight to me from San Francisco for our anniversary. And then I'll sleep a few hours and do it all over again.

Being a kid is FUN! Kids, quit bitching about going to school and that one stupid science teacher you have! You could be paying your own bills! I'll leave you with this:

Happy Tuesday! :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Anniversary conundrum.........

Tomorrow is our sixth wedding anniversary. It's also our "familyversary" because it's the anniversary of the day we all became a family. As such, I'd like to do something together to celebrate our family. Jeff enjoys researching traditional and modern anniversary gifts and coming up with a creative gift for me that incorporates those traditions. For example, when the traditional gift was wood, he gave me a wood vase. When the traditional color was red, I got red dish towels. He also includes the traditional flower, sometimes the jewel, etc. It's very creative and sweet and I'm always impressed that he goes to such lengths to come up with a creative gift.

BUT. I have SUCH a hard time coming up with gifts for him. For one thing, most of the things he wants are incredibly expensive, or so specific that he would have to pick it out himself. He's not into trinket-y things. He already has most everything he needs for his outdoor pursuits (or only he knows/understands the specifics of what he needs). I try to do what he does and find gifts that incorporate the traditional anniversary gift ideas. But it's SO much harder to find things a guy would like. For example, this year the gifts are iron, wood and candy. The candy part is easy, but the iron and wood parts are a lot harder. And he just bought himself a muzzle loader gun which just happens to be made of iron and wood. There goes that idea.

When I tried to buy him a card, I could not find ONE card that was from a wife to a husband. There were dozens from a husband to a wife. Does this imply that only husbands should give wives gifts? Or that it's more important for the husband to give the wife a gift, than the other way around? It certainly seems so, since the only cards I could find were either from husband to wife or from someone else to the happy couple. I guess I'll just make a homemade card.

But the gift part is so hard. Jeff actually keeps a wish list of things he's wanted for years. I use it for Christmas and birthdays. But, often, he buys himself something from the list and fails to "check it off", or the item is expensive or over-the-top (a Harley?), OR it's a book that has been out of print for decades. Lately, he has packages arriving all the time with little things he's bought himself - a video on how to shoot better, an elk call; things I knew nothing about him even wanting!

I would like our anniversary to consist of dinner out together, and perhaps a gift of something for the home or an experience we can enjoy together. And, since it's also the day we became a family and our kids became siblings, I'd like us to celebrate as a family and perhaps buy something for the family (i.e. a big-ticket item we wouldn't normally buy) or buy tickets to a show or event that we'd all enjoy. I feel so much pressure to pull off a gift as creative as his every year and it's making me crazy. I know it's not about reciprocity - I should just be happy to receive his sweet gifts (and I am!) but I REALLY want to give him something he truly wants/needs/can enjoy each year.

What are your anniversary traditions? Do you exchange gifts? Go on a date? Take a trip together? Do you only celebrate the "big" ones? If you are in a blended family, do you do anything special to commemorate that? What about not spending money? Are there non-monetary ways you celebrate? Making homemade cards? Homemade dinner? I'd love to hear your ideas!

It's the end of the world as we know it............

It's happening. It was inevitable. Summer is over. It went so fast! We say that every year, and, really, summer is only ten weeks (if you count vacation from school) or about thirty days (if you count actual sunny, warm days in the Seattle area). This summer, as is true of most summers around here, it took it's sweet old time getting started, and when it finally started to warm up to a toasty 75 degrees, it was almost over. We had about two "really hot" days (in the 90's) which was just enough time to grumble about no air conditioning, and, just like that, it was 45 degrees this morning and I was shivering under the covers.

We took one road trip, did lots of fun day trips, watched a lot of sunsets, ate a lot of watermelon and never even took our camper out of the garage (this makes me sad!). And tomorrow is Labor Day (and, coincidentally, our 6th "familyversary" - our anniversary and the day we all officially became a family). After that, it's back to alarm clocks for me, and getting out the door at 7:30 for work, and then school for the kids the following day.

And if the start of school/work is not enough to make one long for summer days, add to that the fact that my husband is leaving early Tuesday morning to go elk hunting for five days. So, he - along with one of our vehicles - will be gone during one of the busiest weeks of the year. In addition, it's "hell week" for the kids which means rehearsals from immediately after school until 10 p.m. in preparation for their upcoming show. Also, our nearly 16 year old dog has become incontinent and requires constant care. It's enough to make me want to crawl back into summer in the worst way.

So, this week, I have to figure out how to get myself and my oldest daughter to and from work using one car (and we work completely different hours), get the kids to daily rehearsals and pick them up when I should be going to bed, buy dance shoes for Hannah and Arlie, sign Arlie up for dance, fill out a sports packet for volleyball (and ensure Arlie gets to and from try outs), volunteer at the kids' shows, take a group shot of the kids' choir for the show (and get it printed in a large size for the lobby display), make dinner every night, pack lunches every day, and deal with any emergencies that come up (and there WILL be emergencies). My husband will miss all but one of the kids' shows, which means I will be taking pictures AND videotaping by myself. I will have to get the kids back into the "routine", which means chores and homework, and, inevitably, a lot of stress and unhappy people.

I usually look sort of forward to the beginning of the school year but this year it is just too much stuff. Mostly just because I don't have Jeff to help me with the overload. I'm heading into a new year of teaching special-needs kids, so the first week of school will be a big challenge anyway. I questioned why he needed to go hunting THIS week of all weeks, and he said because it's bow-hunting season and he has to go now. Sigh. He's planned this trip for a year. A YEAR! The preparation has added up to hours and hours and hundreds of dollars. Chances are, he won't get an elk. So, it's really just a very expensive, extended camping trip. Argh! Hunting is so dumb.

I just want summer back. Carefree days, no alarm clocks, no agenda. I have a stack of magazines I didn't even get to read. Most of them are from spring. Sigh. Where does the time go? We had such big plans. Goodbye summer, 2012. You will be missed!