24 July 2012

No Sleep, No Shirtless Running Guy, No Nothing. It's One of Those Days.

A thunderstorm came through our area somewhere between 4:00 and 4:30 this morning.  I have been awake ever since.  While driving our son to gut camp this morning, I asked him if he had fallen back to sleep after the storm passed through.  His reply was, "What storm?"  Are you kidding me?

Ever since our kids were born, I have not been able to sleep without my eyes half open and one foot ready to hit the floor, running.  Pseudo-sleeping, I like to call it.  A mother's legacy.  I'm jealous of our son and now even our daughter (who until this summer would be up at 6:30 every morning, whether she had to or not), for their incredible ability to sleep through everything:  dogs barking, giant storms, snow plows in the winter, alarm clocks, the muffler-less truck owned by the dude currently shacking up at our neighbor's house (THAT is a whole other blog in itself).  And there was the time one of our son's friends played the cute prank of setting his phone alarm to go off at 1:30 in the morning.  Do you think the son woke up and turned his alarm off, which happened to be right next to his head?  No.  I had the pleasure of blindly trudging down the hall, stepping on who knows what was lurking on his floor in the dark, finding the phone, and fumbling to turn the damn alarm off.  I still haven't figured out how to pay back this friend.  But it'll happen.  You know who you are.  I wonder if I can coax his mom into loaning me some mortifying baby pictures. 

I'm also jealous of Jay's ability to fall back to sleep, once woken.  By 4:45 this morning, thunder, rain and wind going at full force, he was back to sleep, happily snoring away.  Oh, wait, he doesn't snore.  He makes sure to remind me of this factoid, even when I'm kept awake for good chunks of time by the goofy sounds escaping from the back of his throat (not snoring), only being extinguished by me ripping the covers off him to make him roll over.  I remember reading an article on tips to get your husband to stop snoring.  One of them was to sew a tennis ball in the back of his pajama top.  Oh, really?  "Here, Jay, put these pajamas on that can double as a torture device.  Trust me, they're SO comfy.  And they're excellent as a lumbar massage!"

And so I have been up for a very, very long time today.  To think of what my sleep-deprived, over-caffeinated self has accomplished:  laundry, breakfasts for everyone, grocery shopping, almost all of Sunday's Globe crossword, and now this blog that just keeps going.  Yup, I'm smugly patting myself on the back.  Who cares if my left eyelid has had a constant twitch in it for the last two hours?  Or that if I stop drinking coffee, I will crash so hard I'll end up on my ass on the basement floor?  I even had the impulse to go out looking for Shirtless Running Guy.  I had a good feeling about it: driving up and down his regular route, one jittery hand on the steering wheel, the other on my camera.  Alas, no SRG.  It was at his regular time, but the day started out warm and muggy, so maybe he was out earlier.  I want to shake my fists at the sky and yell, "Shirtless Running Guy, WHERE ARE YOU?!"  I am not giving up, I'll eventually get the perfect shot of him.  I even swung by the cat-on-the-leash house to see if they were out.  Nope.  It's just not in the cards to get a fun pic today.  This is all I got:
No SRG.  Boring.
Still no SRG.  Still boring.

I have a feeling this is going to be one of those days that drags on...and on....and on.  You know the kind.  When you look at the clock thinking it has to be about 3:00 PM and it's only 10:30 AM.  By the time our daughter's softball game rolls around tonight, I should be ready to snooze on the bleachers.  I wonder if I can get away with wearing something pajama-y.  At least I don't snore.

20 July 2012

The Saga of the Softball Season Slobette

I am renaming our daughter The Slobbette.  Kind of sounds like the name of a really bad diner, but it works.  Why?  So many reasons, but not just because of nail polish decorating the bathroom sink or the perpetual state of chaos which is her bedroom.  The main reason right now is softball season.  Each year, from the beginning of April until the middle of July, I get to deal with this after each and every practice and game:

Cleats kicked haphazardly wherever suits the mood, after clomping through the house, leaving a trail of dry (or muddy, depending on the weather) clots of dirt everywhere.  I especially like the creative placement here. 

And this:
Sliding pad is always on the back of the couch if it is not on her leg. 

And this:
Socks, always crumpled up in a ball (and inside-out which drives me insane at laundry time), and usually directly below the sliding pad.

And this:
The equipment.  By this time, its permanent home is the back of my car.  It makes loading the groceries a fun game of balance and placement every time.  Whoo.

If you have/had kids in any kind of sport, activity, etc., I know you can commiserate.  To my friends whose daughters play on the same teams as Janie, I know you're nodding fervently in agreement with my current grievances.  Happily, all things must come to an end.  Our end happens next week.  Until soccer season begins.  &^%*&#&$^ .

19 July 2012

Caution: Too Much Caffeine May Lead to Distracted Ramblings About British Television

Coffee.  If there's one thing you could say I have an unhealthy addiction to, that would be it.  I prefer not to call it an addiction, but a very fond, very involved, love.  Lately, one pot of coffee in the morning is not cutting it for Jay and me.  Forget those crappy K-cup jobbers that give you one cup of weak, watery coffee at a time*.  We need two pots of the strongest dark roast the coffee market offers to get us through the morning.
I blame this partially on Jay's travel coffee mug, which he claims to have "Tardis Technology" (Jay's very own coinage).  For those of you who do not know the word "Tardis", allow me to explain.  First you must know it is in relation to the show Doctor Who.  Since I am not a fan of Doctor Who like the rest of my family, I'm depending on the good folks at Wikipedia to help me out in the definition department.  According to their description (roughly), the Tardis (Time and Relative Dimension in Space) is a time machine and spacecraft.  It looks like a Police Box and it's interior expands to much larger than it's exterior.  Here's a picture:

So now that we all know what a Tardis is, Jay thinks that his travel mug is much larger than it appears to be on the outside, just like a Tardis, and thus holding much more coffee than we expect.  Ahhh, the pleasures of living with a sci-fi geek. I'm thinking that some of his business trips are secretly trips to things like Comic-Con.  But back to the travel cup, it really is deceiving.  Here's a picture of it compared to our coffee pot and one of our regular coffee mugs:
Deceiving, no?  The Tardis Cup takes one and a half of my mugs to fill up.  Sneaky.
Since it takes much more coffee than expected for Jay to fill up in the morning, I'm left with not nearly enough coffee to get me through the day.  Thus, the second pot.  And I'm beginning to see the need to rethink this, due to those pesky heart palpitations I get on the days when too much coffee is involved.  The prices you pay for that little extra jolt in the morning!  I'm not sure which is worse:  going through the morning fuzzy-minded and let's face it, kind of grumpy; or my cardio system doing the cha-cha when it should be getting ready for some down time at night.  For the time, I'm choosing the coffee.  Maybe I can start weaning myself when I feel the strength to just say no.

Now.  Back to the whole Doctor Who thing, since it's on my mind.  This is Amy Pond:
She's a crafty one.
She is a character on the show and somebody that the male gender in my family is apparently very attracted to.  So as a joke, we gave our son this Amy Pond standee as a Christmas gift.  Only problem is that he didn't see the humor in said gift and thought instead that is was just plain creepy.  So now Amy hangs out in Jay's ersatz office and keeps him company when he's working from home.  Sometimes she appears out of nowhere when somebody in the house is feeling frisky and wants to scare the bejeezus out another unsuspecting family member. She can pop up next to a sleeping person's bed to greet them when they wake up in the morning, or be standing on the other side of the door to greet a certain person when they get home to what they believe is an empty house.  I'm not saying who the culprit is (#cough#anymaleinthishouse) nor the victim (hel-lo!), but I'm sure you can guess.  Let's just say that having the jitters from too much coffee do not help being surprised by Ms. Pond.

I'm thinking that I need to give some payback.  So, Jay....Alex....if you're reading this, beware.  You never know who's lurking around the corner.  Nor the hyper-caffeinated person behind her.

*I hope I have not offended any K-cup users.  I completely understand the allure of them and how they are perfect for many, many coffee drinkers, and respect your choice in using them.  I'm just an opinionated idiot when it comes to my personal caffeine consumption.  Another one of my many faults I'm working on.

16 July 2012

Summer Recklessness: Sounds Like a Richard Gere Movie, Not My Life.

I've decided that summertime turns our house upside-down and makes it suspended in a constant state of "WTF?"   From September to the middle of June I have life in relative order.  Appointments and events get written down on the calendar immediately.  Forms get filled out and returned.  We're pretty much on time and on schedule for the variety of things each day throws at us.  But from the end of school until Labor Day it's a whole new, messed-up world. 

Just this morning, I realized we had missed my son's school physical, which I now need to write in Sharpie somewhere on my person to remind myself to reschedule first thing tomorrow morning.  And it wasn't like we had overslept.  No, because we were up at the crack of dawn to bring him to this thing called "Gut Camp" (an hour of ungodly exercise for young people who have too much energy) at 6:30.  Only problem was, I had not written on the calendar that this was the one week they have off.  Got a lovely, unnecessary tour of town in all its early morning sleepiness.  It was even too early for Shirtless Running Guy.  Stupid.  Oh, and I didn't write the doctor's appointment on the calendar either, thus the screw-up.  Stupid again.  And while I was checking the calendar to see if any of this was written down (if it was, it would have been by some magic calendar fairy, because I am the only one in this house who writes anything down on that thing, and it damn well wasn't me), I noticed three more appointment cards attached to the top of said calendar.  Now here's the clincher:  Did I write those appointments down, then and there?  Absolutely NOT.  What the hell is wrong with me?  It's like my brain stops working the minute school lets out.  And as I write and proofread this, those cards are still sitting at the top of the calendar.

And then there are all these weird things everyone else in this family does that they wouldn't dream of doing any other time of the year.  Our son sleeps so late on the days he doesn't have to be up early, that his whole eating schedule gets knocked off course and he ends up usually eating an extra meal.  I know what you're thinking:  Wouldn't a normal person lose a meal if they slept until noon or later?  Yup.  That's what I think, too.  Key here is the term "normal person." I have still yet to figure it out.  I think somehow he eats on his own and then eats with us as a family as well.  I'm just irked that he has a metabolism that allows him to do that and stay skinny. Memo:  invent miracle drug that gives middle-aged women the metabolism of a teenage boy/become bazillionaire. 

Then there is our daughter.  When she is not at somebody's house (I apologize to all of her friends' parents who suddenly think they've gained a new child.  Apparently our house is not nearly as fun as everyone else's in town), she is wreaking beauty havoc.  A couple of weeks ago I was searching through cabinets to find something powerful enough to scrub through bright red nail polish that had seemingly become part of the glaze on the white porcelain sink in the bathroom.  What was going on with her and the polish, I have no idea.  It looked like a massacre.  Or maybe she was trying to emulate Jackson Pollock.  And she had cleverly hidden the nail polish remover well enough to push me into a crazed frenzy to find a decent scrubby strong enough to power through NYC Nail Polish Shade 135A. 

This afternoon, I went upstairs to put away some laundry.  My bedroom door was closed, which should have been an immediate red flag that something was going down.  I opened the door to find our resident beautician sitting on the floor in front of the television, shaving her legs.  Odd, but kind of creative, and resourceful, to boot.  She was totally conserving water by rinsing her razor in a solo cup.  She explained that she needed to shave her legs for her softball game, but wanted to watch TV, too.  Multitasking.  Whatever.  I gave her a towel and walked out.  I'm careful to pick my battles.  The summer is still young.      

Totally normal items...when used in normal circumstances.
The only person who is acting normal is Jay.  Any free time he gets, he's watching the Tour de France and keeping out of trouble.  Amazing how mesmerized he is by watching cycling...and cycling....and....more cycling.  I'll take it.  He's not demanding to be fed non-stop, spilling nail polish all over the place, nor shaving his legs in places he should not be (I'm leaving that last bit just as it is, read into it what you like).

14 July 2012

A Trip Not Quite Like They Show in the Ads, But Who's Complaining? We're Less Than Normal Anyway.

Jumping Jehoshaphat (Who is Jehoshaphat, anyway?  Good thing to Google), it's back to the drawing board!  Or keyboard, in this case.  After ten days of travel to Exuma (a tiny and kind of less-popular-diamond-in-the-rough island in the Bahamas) with the family, and one very full day spent in my laundry room washing a total of ten loads of laundry, it feels good to be back and typing away at whatever ol' nonsense comes to mind.
The trip was fun and a lot of times flat-out weird.  We did a lot of things that we'd never dreamt of doing.  There is one event that stands out, and the only one I'll bore you with: 

So one of our daughter's big dreams is to swim with dolphins.  Jay and I figured before we headed out on the trip, OK, piece of cake.  No problem.  We're headed to warm waters, shouldn't be too difficult a thing to find some kind of excursion with dolphins involved.  We guessed wrong.  Not one to be had.  BUT!  We found THIS
Yup...that's right.  Don't they look cute in the picture?

Swimming pigs.  We rationalized, well, it's an animal, she should be happy to swim with SOMETHING, right?  Not to mention we were probably feeling a little guilt from not entirely believing her right away when she claimed to have been stung by a jellyfish on our second day there.  Which she had, and which we quickly discovered was the truth.  Or for the early morning interrogation she was put through (think the Spanish Inquisition) our third day into the trip, when we got a message from our wireless provider alerting us that her phone number had accrued $4000 (yes--there are no decimals in that number) in data plan overages (that was wrong and got fixed, only after Jay's forehead had turned the color of beets, never to recover 100%).   But those are whole other stories, both which she'll probably keep in her coffers for when she needs to pull the guilt card on us.  And so we signed up for the tour which included the pigs; the images in my feeble, unwitting brain were of swimming with the likes of that little mini pig, Kingsford (damn he's cute):

Kingsford--who wouldn't want to hang out with a beastie that looks like that?
 So you can imagine my surprise when our boat pulled up into the bay and this is what we found:
Yours truly having a grand old time with one of the pigs.  Not quite Kingsford's size.

This gesture apparently means "Feed me NOW."
They were HUGE.  And HUNGRY.  And to make matters worse, there was a really strong current there that made you have to keep swimming so that you wouldn't get swept away from the boat.  Those freaking pigs made swimming against it look effortless.  Not.  So our pathetic, jelly-stung daughter missed out on swimming with the pigs, too, simply because the idea of picking her up a few days later on the coast of Cuba wasn't all that appealing.  Personally I think she would have freaked the minute one of those hooves or snouts came into contact with her, anyway.  Chaos averted.

And now it's back to reality.  The laundry was crazy, but it's done.  This was a portion of what I faced yesterday morning: 
It took me around twelve hours to finish it all.  And actually led me to be grateful for the meagre and terrible way Jay packs for himself when allowed, which to my chagrin usually leaves him for the last two days of any vacation mixing outrageous patterns and/or colors, or looking as monotone as the UPS delivery guy, all because he refuses to pack the least bit over what he believes he needs.  And don't get me started on how he is always short a few pairs of underwear.  Scariest of all, I think this way of thinking is following through to our son.  To his poor wife-of-the-future, I'm sorry--it happened too fast for me to stop it, and now there's no correcting it.  But I won't complain, because I think their lack of clothing chops saved me at least one extra load of laundry.

It's good to be back.  As Martha Stewart would say, "It's a good thing."  And now let the imperfections and dysfunctions resume on home turf.

01 July 2012

A Fond Adieu to Cats and Other Stuff

With our old cat Hobbes (our once resident Cellar-Dweller) being gone since Easter, I took to the task yesterday of releasing our house (well, mostly the basement) of all things cat.  Cat beds, cat carriers, cat food, cat litter.  If it had something to do with cats, it was outta here.  The main reason for such finality is that about five years ago I made a solemn pledge to Jay that I would never bring another cat into our house.  Main reason being that Jay is super allergic to cats and has been living in cat fur/dander/drool hell for almost 20 years, ever since my mother gave me Gulliver, our now deceased Maine Coon who was, without doubt, one of the best pets with the most hot-shit attitude I've ever known.  Jay believes my mother gave me Gulliver purely to spite him because deep-down she doesn't like him (Jay, that is).  Verdict's still out on that one, but I'm pretty sure she thinks he's OK (again, talking about Jay).  She still might have done the cat thing on purpose, though.  Control-freak thing.  Anyway, Gulliver was soon followed by Hobbes, one of a litter from the cat of my very dear friend Helen, who happens to be the mom of my best friend since 5th grade, Laleh.  [Laleh...if you're reading this, we NEED to get together VERY, VERY soon!]  How could I not have a kitten from that litter?  And then Gulliver and Hobbes went on to live for a long, LONG time, happily ever after.

Hobbes and...
Gulliver.  Cool cats, they were.

Enough about the cats.  As I was cleaning up their stuff, I realized that I needed to clean the entire basement.  Not just the cat stuff.  Holy crap.  And so I moved from one end of the basement to the other, removing every last bit of unnecessary junk.  Seriously, why did we still have the car seats from when our now-teenagers were in preschool? 

I finally emerged from our subterranean-jungle-of-clutter-aplenty about 6 hours later, with a feeling of self-satisfied achievement.  I am going to let go of the fact that as I was poking the insulation back up into the rafters, an empty pecan shell fell out.  What kind of entitled vermin were eating premium nuts in my basement rafters?!  And who cares that I couldn't breathe through my nose anymore and that my throat burned in a kind of unsettling way?  The damned basement was clean.  Check that off the list, save for the immense pile of Jay's stuff in the middle of the room by the water heater, waiting for him to rifle through everything and complain that I could have been a bit kinder and not just chucked everything into immense storage boxes all haphazardly and without regard.  Doh.
From sailboat halyards and mooring buoys, to golf clubs and fishing poles; bilge pumps and cycling trainers, to beer making carboys and baseball bats.  You name it, it's there.

Sitting here writing this, my sinuses are still blocked.  And I am still all sneezy.  And my throat is still sore.  I can't help think that karma is paying a visit and letting me know how Jay has felt living with the cats all these years.  Well, touché, karma--I got it!  And Jay, I vow to keep you cat free from now on.  But I still want a pet skunk.