On Monday I worked then did a quick grocery trip to a nearby grocery store, which happened to be Grocery Outlet. Grocery Outlet is sketchy at best, and sells interesting foods like your favorite breakfast cereal only in a totally weird flavor you've never heard of. But they also have an expansive wine collection which is also maybe sketchy but I don't like wine so I wouldn't know. I did score some new pot holders there for $2.99 because mine look like something you'd wipe a dog's ass with and are so thin you scald off a layer of skin each time you retrieve a casserole from the oven. But I digress......
After the grocery shopping, I picked up my daughter so we could have some fun mother/daughter bonding time which meant Starbucks on the way to the hospital. The children's hospital is probably only a few dozen miles from my home but in traffic it might as well be in Oregon. My daughter needed to be fitted for a back brace. Last week, we found out she has a broken back! Apparently she broke it doing gymnastics and has been in pain off and on for about two years. We never really thought much of it because she would complain after gymnastic workouts and then she would stop complaining after a few days. We figured it was just the nature of the sport. In June, the pain got worse so she had an x-ray. The x-ray revealed spina bifida (yes, the horrific birth defect, only in this case it was "occulta" which means "hidden" and so it wasn't discovered until this x-ray). We were referred to the children's hospital for a consult with the orthopedic specialists and after a follow-up visit it was determined she needed a CT scan. The result of that was a complete break in one of her vertebrae, which may or may not heal up on its own. So, now she gets to wear a back brace for 3-6 months. The spina bifida, by the way, is unrelated. Just a weird fluke.
As you might imagine, a back brace is no small appliance. As soon as we left the appointment, my daughter reminded me that she needed a "business" outfit for a conference the next day and we determined she did not have black pants or a polo shirt (as specified in the flyer) at home, so we headed to a clothing store. An hour later, we managed to find black jeans that sort of, kind of, looked like dress pants, a pair of pricey boots and a maternity sweater that fit nicely over the back brace. Ka-ching! We got home around 8 p.m. and the only good thing about that day was that my husband made dinner.
Tuesday I got my flu shot. Plus I had work and got to deal with all the requisite bullshit involved in raising multiple kids. I was tired.
Wednesday I had a long and stressful meeting at work followed by a long training with information overload so my head was swimming by the time I arrived home and all I wanted to do was lie down on the floor and eat homemade chocolate chip cookies. But, alas, no cookies. So, I cobbled together a dinner (I HATE MAKING DINNER) and then we had an evening of forced family fun carving pumpkins. But let me backtrack a bit.
Coordinating a family of six, including two young adults and two teenagers with their own busy lives for a trip to the pumpkin farm requires the organizing skills of a hopped-up housewife with a California Closet magazine. Fortunately, I am pretty good at such things, so that after a two-week investment in time and multiple text messages to the kids, I managed to carve out approximately two hours in which to drive to the pumpkin farm, take adorable photos, pick the perfect pumpkins, and leave in time for everyone to get to work and activities on time. We enjoyed this blissful family outing on Sunday before noon, which was notable in that we left the house before noon on a weekend and I have teenagers!! Did I mention that? Plus, none of them looked like hobos. And I have the pictures to prove it. See?
So, since we dropped $51 on pumpkins, and since last year we never got around to carving pumpkins because we were dealing with things like surgery and hospitalization, I was determined that this year we WOULD carve them. And we did, but for some reason, the evening turned out differently than I planned. For one thing, my oldest suddenly decided she would like to try on my wedding dress. So, she did.
I had never taken it out of its tissue-paper stuffed, coffin-like box it was carefully preserved in. It looked like a headless dead person. I tossed aside the stuffing and shimmied her into it. She declared it "unattractive and so 90's." But then my youngest daughter wanted to try it on as well. So, she did.
The really depressing thing was it fit both of them, and so I have living, breathing proof that I was once that small. SIGH! However, we did end up carving pumpkins and then, while the kids were finishing up someone exclaimed that American Horror Story was on and the little serrated pumpkin-carving knives were dropped like the bass as my four scurried to the family room to watch, leaving the carnage in their wake.
Thank God they cleaned it up (after I told them to) and we ended up with some pretty cute pumpkins. I declined to carve mine because I am fundamentally opposed to carving pumpkins on the grounds that pumpkin guts stink and feel disgusting and I kind of liked my little gourd intact.
We went to bed way too late so that this morning (and this whole day) I was pretty tired and really did NOT want to go to work. More stressful meetings at work ensued and I couldn't wait to get out of there. I was so happy to be able to come home and not run errands all afternoon. But that glee was short-lived when I remembered I signed up to help with the Fall auction/choir concert tonight. I'm supposed to "man" a table while the concert is going on, which I have no idea why I would have agreed to this because I could care less about the auction and only want to watch my son perform. I know I'm supposed to be a good music booster and all, but I'm REALLY not looking forward to interacting with a bunch of tired parents bleeding money on hot-ticket items like pizza gift certificates and Seahawks memorabilia. But, I soldier on!
Except that my son JUST arrived home, exhausted and running a fever, insisting he cannot miss the concert because his teacher is mean and will grade him down if he misses. Plus, he's in two choirs. And has some solos. There's no time for dinner, and we're already late to pick up the husband on the way to the concert. Late as in, he's still in the shower at 4:57 and I'm supposed to drive in traffic to pick up my husband and arrive at the school at 5:15. And there's no way to notify the overly-zealous booster mom who's heading up the auction that I'm going to be late to "man" her table. So, yeah. This week can suck it.
Tomorrow my calendar is unmarred by pencil marks. I have nothing on my agenda (yet). Perhaps I'll just lie on the floor and eat chocolate-chip cookies. But I'd have to make them first.