Panic! At The Steph

Move Along

I took my son to school for the last time this morning.  I won’t lie, I’m not doing well.  We’ll see if I can write a short post with tears streaming down my face.

There was a very dark period in our lives when Landon was around 8 years old.  He was in and out of the pediatric psych ward, for months.  He was not our child during those times, in that space he was in inside his own brain.  Turned out, it was his seizure meds and all the psychiatric drugs the Doctors put into him just made his madness worse.

Out of desperation, we told the Doctor one pivotal morning in a meeting that we wanted him taken off of everything.  Every single little pill they were making him take, we wanted them gone.  They warned us he would have grand mal seizures.  We said we didn’t care.  They had his syringes for that.  Something wasn’t right.  Our boy wasn’t there anymore and we wanted him back.

You may wonder why I’m spilling this dark stuff right now and I’ll get to that.

I told him right before we walked out the door this morning that this was the last time I’d ever take him to school.  He smiled.  I said, “How many times do you think I’ve taken you to school all these years?”  He laughed and said, “About a hundred billion.”

On the way to school, just a few minutes away, memories flooded back of all the people in our lives who have helped with Landon and still do, all the blessed souls who God himself put in our path all these years.

As much as this week is about Landon, it’s also about all those special people.  I could write about the ones who weren’t so special.  The ones who judged us, their kids who reflected their parents and who were the ugliest inside of all, who wouldn’t play with Landon and made fun of him because he was different.  Those people all happened to be in church with us, by the way.  Yeah, swallow that.  But I won’t dwell on that.  This is about the people who helped two stupid parents who were overwhelmed and tired and in mourning that their son wasn’t well and never really would be after he was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.

Thank you to my parents who were there from the beginning of his life and continue to be there now.  Countless nights they stayed with us in the hospital, states away from Texas, to be there for us and our son.  Many nights were spent in tears, not knowing what the next day would bring our way.  They kept Gracie for weeks on end during the “dark days” so we could concentrate on Landon and getting him better.  They have loved Landon like no one else could except for us.  My parents talk to him every day on the phone.  Dad has had a rough couple years but he still makes time to talk to Landon multiple times a day and answers super hero questions as best he can.  And there are a lot of super hero questions.  My Mom has made him countless blankets, the latest being a Harry Potter blanket this past Christmas.  She loves to laugh and tease with him and cook his favorite foods when we’re in Texas.  I love you, Mom and Dad.  Thank you for raising me to be the person I am, and for also loving my son, no matter what.

Thank you to my mother in law, who spends an hour on the phone with Landon each and every night.  He looks forward to those phone calls and teasing with her.  Her patience and love for our son and willingness to listen to him is a blessing I will never forget.

Thank you to the teachers, so many over the years.  You made a difference in his life in so many countless ways.  I can’t count how many teachers have sought me out over the years to tell me how bright Landon makes their days.  I wish I could express to you what a difference we have seen in Landon from being around such caring educators and administrative staff.  You are one of the reasons I’m completing my teaching degree.  I wouldn’t be writing this post without all that you have contributed to his life.

Thank you to our friends who brought meals to us so many times while we were in and out of the hospital.  Thank you for the care packages and the hospital visits, the phone calls, and notes of encouragement.  Thank you for keeping Gracie many times while I was dealing with Landon when E was out of town.  Thank you for coming to the psych hospital when I was admitting Landon by myself because E was out of town and on a plane trying to get back to Texas as fast as he could while I was falling apart right along with Landon.  You are loved and your love for us will never be forgotten.

Thank you to our friends who love him so much today.  Gary and Laurie, who welcomed him to their cabin any time on the cruise this past Spring Break.  I’ll never forget the laughter, hearing how he beat you at Uno.  He loved every minute with you.  Thank you to the Quinn family, who are driving in from Florida right this very minute to be at Landon’s graduation.  You are so very special to our family.  Thank you to Connie and Blake, who took E and I under their wing so many years ago when Blake hired E for his first job out of college.  You were and still are such an example to us.

Thank you to E.  Before we even conceived Landon, we decided that I would be a stay at home Mom.  I have been for the last 18 years.  It was our joint decision but you are the one who has worked all these years, supporting our family.  Yes, staying at home can be hard work all in itself, especially when the kids are smaller, but it’s a tough gig knowing you support three whole other lives and having that immense responsibility.  Thank you for the years you have given me to be with our children.  It has been a priceless, priceless gift and I consider it a privilege.

As my life is music and I have to put a song to everything, as I was driving home this morning from the school, I thought of songs that sum up our life so far with Landon.  The one that popped into my head was a song I listened to over and over during those dark psych ward days.  I listened to it like a mantra on days I was so depressed I could barely drive much less make myself get out of bed.  Thank you to all the people who have helped us move along all these years, to the people who continue to help us move along today.  You have not only made such a difference in Landon’s life, but in ours.

I love you all.

Sweet Tea Is For Pussies Anyway.

I took beer (4 bottles to be exact) into a Baptist church today.

Now, before y’all go cashing in those bets you made about 5 years ago in the “What Year Will Steph Actually Say ‘Fuck It’ And Take Alcohol Into A House Of God” pool, just hold on and let me explain.

It’s been seriously crazy.  Some of you may recall that I started working towards my teaching degree in March.  I’m on my third class, Survey Of U.S. Constitution & Government now.  Yes, I passed my first two classes.  Hold your applause.  Jesus says I don’t deserve any accolades right now.

Good friends of ours are coming all the way to Alabama from Florida this week to see my son graduate from high school.  They informed us they would like to come to this event in January.  I’ve had five fucking months to prepare for this joyous occasion but as usual, I have sat around with my thumb up my ass for almost half a year, doing the one thing I always achieve absolute perfection in:  procrastination.

I have waited until the last 72 hours before my friend’s arrival to purchase a new sectional sofa, boost our obsolete central air conditioning unit which was installed the year I graduated from high school (I shit you not), clean like the damned Pope is coming over, order graduation party supplies (I would thank the dear Lord for Amazon Prime Shipping but he’s still giving me the evil side eye over bringing booze into his condo earlier today), this list could actually go on and on.  E accepted a new job with his existing employer, with much more responsibility, and he’s been working later hours.  All of this is snowballing – in a really great way but it’s crazy nonetheless.

My son is graduating from high school this week.  I know I’ve already written this but my mind still hasn’t completely wrapped around the fact.  I’m waiting for my mind to get its ass in gear and just let me get the meltdown out of the way.  I’d honestly rather just show you good people a picture of my ample ass than cry.  I rarely cry because:

  1.  I usually choose to not be sad.  At the beginning of both of my children’s lives, I cried enough for a lifetime, as they had numerous tubes running from their bodies for the first few months of their lives, keeping them alive in most instances.  I’m still really tired of crying from those horrible times so I choose not to now.
  2. I hate feeling like a little bitch.  I’m not saying you are a little bitch if you cry, it’s just how I feel when I cry.  I can hug it out with you if you choose to be a little bitch in my presence. It makes me a little uncomfortable and I’d rather hand you hard liquor but I usually pull my shit together enough to be a good friend.  I won’t even mention the fact that you left snot on my shoulder.
  3. Crying ruins my makeup.  I spend too much time and money on that shit to have it running down my face.

Right now, I feel like a dam that’s about to burst.  I don’t know when or where the levy will break but if you’re going to be with me in the next week, this is your heads up.  I promise not to leave too much snot on your shoulder if you promise not to judge the fact that I’m carrying my extra large flask in my purse for the next week.  I’m just a bit overwhelmed with all that’s going on in my life right now.

Which brings us back to discussing the circumstances which led me to smuggling hooch into the Lord’s house.

A good friend of mine was really stressed this week over throwing her daughter a graduation party that was held today.  She beautifully plans every event she throws and works really hard preparing and executing tablescapes you normally envy on Pinterest.  She was texting me earlier today before the party, worried over some issues.

This friend is a lovely Christian lady who rarely drinks and certainly doesn’t keep alcohol on hand at her home that I’m aware of.  She and I are the female equivalent to Oscar and Felix from The Odd Couple.  I had to help this dear friend last month when she kept trying to order a Coors Light at a place that only sells a local brewery’s beers.  Finally, in exasperation, she came to the table empty handed.  I went back to the counter with her, gave her a quick tutorial on all the different brews (which most certainly did not include Coors Light).

Anyway, at the end of her text message, she added a really cute little beer emoji.  This is where I feel she at least needs to take some of the blame, okay?

Sending any kind of alcohol emoji to me when you’re in distress is like the Gotham City Police Department flashing the fucking Bat-Signal in the sky.  It’s like Timmy yelling at Lassie to go get help – except I don’t come back with a long rope in my mouth or wielding a bat shaped boomerang.  I come back with alcohol.  It’s what I KNOW, people.

Right before the kids and I walked out the door to go to the party, I packed up 4 of my beers with ice packs in my little collapsible cooler to take to my friend so she could unwind at home after the party.  As I was packing them, I even thought, “I wonder if it’s against the rules of the civic center to have alcohol on premise even if you’re not drinking it there?”  Because I’m not normally a rule breaker, y’all, believe it or not.  Jesus just raised his perfectly shaped eyebrows at that statement.

What is slightly alarming is I’ve been to this church two other times but only in the fellowship wings, where they hold parties and such.  That’s why my brain thought “civic center” instead of “House of the Lord God Almighty”.  That’s my defense and I’m sticking to it.  When I got to the “civic center” I placed the cooler under the gift table and forgot about it.

As I was  inhaling enjoying my generous sized and delicious piece of party cake, E (who had rode over on his motorcycle earlier) laughed and asked in jest if I’d actually went through with bringing my friend the beer.  It went like this:

E:  Did you bring Melissa (fictional name) some beer?

Me:  Yeah.

E:  You’ll give it to her later?

Me:  No, it’s right over there under the gift table.

E (looked over at the red cooler under the gift table while denial, then incredulity, then fear, and finally acceptance flitted across his face):  You brought BEER into a CHURCH??!!

Me (actually putting my fork down):  Holy crap (no, I didn’t curse because Gracie was sitting beside me and I also figured I was already on Jesus’ shit list by that time).

E and Gracie laughed uncomfortably while slowly moving away from me so as not to get electrocuted when the inevitable lightning from Heaven shot through my ass.

I sent my friend this text after the party.

wp-1463983689733.png

My friend has not responded to the text message so I can only hope she has forgiven me and that she enjoyed the beer I gave her in good faith in response to her distress text.

Also, I’m sorry, Jesus, for bringing alcohol into your house.  I’ll try to never do it again, but honestly, you and I both know that I can’t make any promises.

Lastly, can one of y’all remind me on Thursday to take my extra large flask out of my purse before I attend my son’s commencement ceremony?  Jesus also resides at the place it’s being held and I’m pretty sure I’m on a List now.  Fine, I was already on a List but today I moved way up in the rankings.

Cheers, y’all.

Tits And Bits: What Month Is It?

Well, this is awkward.  It’s been a while.  You look good, like you’ve lost some weight.  How have you been?  How’s your Mama?  Your significant other?  Your demon spawn kids?  Job going well?  Weather been nice there?  I’m sorry I haven’t written or called in a while.  I’ll do better.  Let’s do lunch soon.  Give my best to your Mama.

I’m glad we got through that weirdness.  I am sorry I haven’t written in a while.  Life has happened and shit has gotten weird the last few months but in a completely good way.

I start school on March 1st, tuition is paid, and I’ve been kind of freaking out over it.  My friend Lulu, in all her wisdom, says to take it a bite at a time, to not look at the whole sandwich.  I get overwhelmed easily and get a bit panicky so this is excellent advice.  It’s just not so easy to follow through with sometimes.

I haven’t wanted to write here on my personal blog because it’s hard to put everything going on into words.  It’s an exciting time.  It’s just exciting times in unfamiliar waters.  I’d like to wade in but I’ll be unceremoniously dumped into the educational pool on March 1st.  I imagine it’ll be much like when my Daddy peeled me off of him when I was 5, fingernails dug into his back, kicking and screaming, and threw me into the pool without a life jacket on because that would trigger my survival instincts and “teach” me to swim.  For the record, that didn’t work out too well for either of us and I’m still not a very good swimmer.

I thought I’d dive back into things with an abbreviated edition of Tits and Bits.  Remember, Tits And Bits is a semi-regular series where I clean out my list of funny and maybe not so funny tidbits (your mileage may vary) one liners and happenings which may or may not deserve a whole blog post or I’m just too damned lazy to write a whole blog post about.  So, let’s get to it.


 

It’s been tough going for music fans in the last several months with the deaths of so many greats.  E took the death of Glenn Frey the hardest.  One night a couple weeks ago, I was happily doing what I do most nights.  After everyone is in bed, I love my alone time.  I either sit on the couch in complete silence and read or I have headphones on, music blaring.  This particular night, I had opted for silence but E had decided to binge listen to the Eagles on his phone in bed.  At full volume.  Without headphones.  On fucking repeat.  What does a rational woman do when she’s a mere two walls away?  Text, of course.

screenshot_2016-02-24-22-50-45-1.png

screenshot_2016-02-24-22-50-51-1.png

R.I.P. Glenn Frey.


 

We’re going on a cruise with our good friends Gary and Laurie at the end of March.  Time is quickly winding down, so we’re trying to take care of last minute details.  E and I smuggle copious amounts of liquor onto the cruises we go on because we’re cheap bastards.  Or we also may or may not need a 12 step program.  You decide.  Anyway, we buy these flasks that look like shampoo and conditioner bottles.  They’ve worked like a charm every single time.  Out of concern for my friends, that they have a good time (and also don’t mooch our smuggled liquor), I sent this text to Laurie earlier.

screenshot_2016-02-24-22-52-39-1-1.png

ShampBooze Deluxescreenshot_2016-02-24-22-52-46-1.png

Don’t worry, my friends.  If our liquor gets confiscated by the cruise line, we’ll blame it on Gracie.


 

My dear friend Lulu was ensnared in some college football this past season.  Her beloved Dad attended Iowa so she was really excited when the Hawkeyes played Michigan State in the Big Ten championship.  The winner would also get into the 4 team playoff.  Lulu is a very smart cookie but she doesn’t usually watch football.  Here’s what happened.

screenshot_2016-02-24-23-12-59-1.png

screenshot_2016-02-24-23-13-06-1.png

screenshot_2016-02-24-23-13-13-1-1.png

I heart you all 3 quarters, Lulu!


 

Speaking of football, my Alabama Crimson Tide won the National Championship!  I won’t name names but you cocky bastards who’ve given me shit one way or another for the last year can shove that up your asses.  16 National Championships.  That’s more National Championships than your team has won total games in the last four seasons.

I do love making wagers with my friends who are fans of lesser teams.  My buddy Gregg is a Michigan State fan and a fellow beer appreciator so we made a friendly wager before our teams played each other in the playoff.  Whoever lost would have to send the other a local brew, something we can’t get in our area.  Gregg was a really good sport, wished me congratulations after the game, and I’m happy to share that I received this in the mail a few weeks later.

fb_img_1456380586643.jpg

I’m a bit suspicious that he chose to send a beer called “Raggedy Ass” to me but I’ll take it.  Roll Tide, Gregg. Roll Tide.


 

I’ve kept very busy lately getting all my school admissions crap completed but I’ve also been writing a lot for the music blog I contribute to.  You can find my latest entries here. Press passes to concerts have been booming and I’ve been inspired to write about music lately.

I will try to write here more often.  I’m not sure if that’s a promise or a warning.  You decide.  But I do miss y’all.  And I mean it – say hello to your Mama for me.

Pants Are Highly Overrated

I was standing in the kitchen last night (early this morning, actually) at 2 a.m., making noodles and fighting a raging case of insomnia.  I was listening to the new music releases on Spotify (which was utterly depressing, don’t do it) with headphones on.  I was wearing nothing but a long sleeved, plaid flannel button up shirt, and my panties.  I had no pockets and needed my hands to make noodles so I put my phone down my panties for safe keeping.  Don’t judge me.

My panties have done a lot of shit over the years but this was a new one.  They started ringing and not a normal ring tone.  It was that weird Facebook Messenger ringtone when someone calls you wifi to wifi that sounds like a woodpecker playing percussion after a really bad trip.  Don’t hold me to that, that’s just my take on it.  I’ve never actually met a woodpecker and I’ve never been on a bad trip.  Bad hangovers but no bad trips.

But I digress yet again.

I’ve never actually followed through with one of those Messenger calls because it’s usually a butt dial.  But I retrieved my phone from the nether regions of my panties and saw it was my good friend “Lulu”.  Lulu and I message every single day but have never actually talked to each other on the phone or met in person.  It’s kind of weird that a chick I’ve never met before knows that I can’t put buttercream frosting anywhere near my vagina without followup medical intervention but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Lulu and I had been messaging each other earlier, commiserating over our mutual elusive Sand Mans.  She was cooking, I was starving and sleepless in bed.  A coughing fit overtook me (I’m still sick) and I finally said to hell with it and got up when E threatened to (and I’m quoting) kick my coughy-y ass out of bed.

I answered my phone and said, “Did you ass dial me?”  Turned out, she kind of neck/boob called me.  She stressed no nipple was involved but I told her we could save that for the next time.  We have to have something to look forward to.

I sounded like a Southern trucker due to my scratchy voice (Lulu said I didn’t but I think she was just being kind) but we were on the phone for a whole two hours, finally ending the call and going to bed at 4 a.m.

I’m kind of a loner.  I know most of you won’t believe that but it’s true.  I’d rather be home watching a movie with my kids any given night.  I’d rather not get involved in the sticky details of someone else’s life because I have enough sticky details of my own.  Issues?  Oh, I’ve got ’em.  Plus I’ve gotten back on another reading binge, which I always seem to do during the winter and I’ve learned over the years that people generally get offended when you bring a book to a get together.  Going out or inviting someone over is just too much to ask at times plus I have to put clothes on.  You know, normally.

But I’ve been trying these past several months to make myself break out of my comfort zone.  Instead of replying to a friend’s stressed, cry for help Facebook post “Hey, let me know if you need anything”, I’ve made myself type “Do you need dinner tonight or tomorrow night?” or “‘What can I buy for us to drink together and when?”

This has resulted in sitting outside on my deck for so long with a girlfriend, drinking and talking, that we were able to get drunk and then sober up in the same night/morning.  It’s led to me agreeing to be a substitute for a friend’s Bunco group, which I swore to never do again (that’s a Texas story I need to tell y’all sometime) and actually having a lovely time last week.  It’s led to counseling a good friend from high school (or attempting to) about a troubled marriage and actually being there for him via messages when he finally had to make the gut wrenching choice to leave.  It’s led to a 4 hour coffee date with a friend, holding her hand while she cried in Dunkin’ Donuts several weeks ago, confessing dark things we’d all rather keep to ourselves but just have to be admitted before it keeps us hostage in that dark place.  It’s led to having coffee with another friend in a different coffee shop, laughing and crying over much more serious things than Bunco.  Life altering things, big girl panties kind of things.  It’s led to agreeing to go with a friend’s family this Thanksgiving Day to buy dessert for and help serve the homeless in downtown Birmingham a holiday meal.

It’s made me a better person.

Don’t get me wrong.  A friend turning up on my doorstep unannounced is still kind of as perplexing to me as opening the door to a bag of flaming shit.  But I’m getting better.

ahole

Call someone you haven’t called in a while today.  Or better yet, call someone you’ve never called.  Worst case scenario is awkward silence.  Just blame it on this crazy red headed chick you know, say you accidentally ass dialed them, hang up, then put your phone back in your panties.

Have a good week, y’all.

Yell Loudly And Wear A Size 11 Running Shoe

Almost exactly a year ago, I blogged about two vile spider attacks in one day.  Their families must be planning revenge for the first anniversary of their deaths because I caught a fairly large arachnid spy repelling from my bathroom ceiling this afternoon.

For the purposes of this blog, we’ll call the spider “It”, inspiration coming from the Stephen King book of the same name. Book spoiler:  The big, scary, monster in the book was named “It” and could manifest itself in various forms, including a huge ass demonic spider.

There I was, cleaning my vanity when I saw It doing a free fall repel right beside me.  It landed on the floor between my vanity and toilet, right near the entrance of a Wal-Mart bag of purchases I had not unpacked and put away yet.

I tried to step on It but I missed.  It was fast.  Super fast.  I looked all around the bag but didn’t see movement so I assumed It had crawled into the bag to camouflage itself amongst my sundries like the little bitch It was.

I unceremoniously dumped the contents of my newly purchased girl shit onto the floor and performed a scan of the fallout perimeter.   Nothing.  No movement.  It was hunkering down, trying to wait me out.

I surveyed the bathroom landscape carefully, every inch, while in karate stance, looking for the slightest movement.  I spoke soothingly to It while plotting its death, much like Bill Murray’s character Carl Spackler did to the gopher in Caddyshack.

To It’s credit, the beady eyed terrorist (I’m not positive about the beady eyes, I mean, I didn’t see them or anything, I’m just stereotyping here) held steady, refusing to run for fear of revealing its location.

Remembering Carl Spackler’s words, I started to think like It.  Be It.  If I was a beady eyed (again, stereotyping here) little 8 legged bastard, I’d hide under the biggest item in the room that was closest to me.

My attention turned toward the Wal-Mart bag, lying deflated and sad on the floor, much like my hopes of ever fitting into a pair of size 6 jeans.  I then pulled my admittedly rusty Die Spider Die Dance out of my arsenal, concentrating all my efforts on the unfortunate bag, yelling “Oh NO, you don’t, fucker!” while looking like I was playing the video game Dance Dance Revolution in the midst of a seizure.

Amazingly, my Die Spider Die Dance failed me once again.  This was the result.

I don't even need a bathroom.  Burn the fucker to the ground.

I don’t even need a bathroom. Burn the fucker to the ground.

Delaying my victory yell until I got visual confirmation on the kill, I slowly turned the bag over, examining it thoroughly.  No sight of It.  That sneaky motherfucker had evaded death one more time.  But not for long.

I carelessly started turning over all the sundries, tossing them one by one, yelling “Where the hell are you?” and “Come out, you little shit!”  I turned over every last thing in the bathroom that had been in the bag until I ran out of shit to go through.  I stood there in a breathless, confused frenzy and it was then that I spied the bag full of maxi pads that had been by the bag, right beside my vanity.

My killer instincts took over and I quickly turned the bag of pads over, going for a surprise attack.  It paused in fear for a split second and then made a run for it.  Again, It was so fast.  So, so fast.  I yelled “There you are, you bastard!” and stomped the size 11 Adidas running shoe I was wearing directly over It.

It should have been a clean kill but It escaped through one of my shoe treads and made a break for the air conditioning vent.  It was at that exact moment I lost all the shit I had left and yelled “Come here, you wiry little motherfucker!” hysterically.  I landed the death blow this time.  I looked like I was doing Chubby Checker’s The Twist but hey, a win’s a win.  I ground It’s flimsy carcass into my tile floor and also almost exploded the nearby bag of pads in my fit.

On the other side of the closed door, I heard Landon clear his throat, knock, and then ask with soft concern, “Umm, Mom…  Are you okay?”

As I examined the bottom of my freakishly huge running shoe, I was rewarded with visual confirmation of the kill.  Only then did I nonchalantly say, “Uh, yeah.  I’m good.”, like nothing had happened.

I’m still continually inspecting every ceiling in my home tonight.  I look like fucking Stevie Wonder but without the smile and no singing but I’ll go to bed tonight (after I inspect my bed covers a dozen times) knowing I won this battle.

Walk softly and carry a big stick, my ass.  Yell profanities and wear size 11 running shoes.

Jumping The Shark

Do you remember that old Happy Days episode?  Ratings for the show were dwindling, the “kids” had grown up, Fonzie was becoming that old, creepy uncle you don’t want to invite to Christmas dinner but have to, so they decided it would be cool to have Fonzie stir up some television drama by jumping a shark on skis.  Fonzie was on skis, not the shark.  Just to be clear.  Here’s a reminder:

That episode was the final proof I needed that Potsie and Ralph Malph just needed to come out of the damned closet already.  That episode also birthed the term “Jumping The Shark”, which is now used when something has went to shit.

I have officially jumped the shark, as of this morning.

School was delayed here by two hours due to bad road conditions but instead of sleeping in, I was wide awake at the butt crack of 6:30 a.m., writing an apology letter to my best friends for something that I won’t get into here but they were gracious and loving and funny, as usual.  That’s why I chose them to be my best friends.  Collectively, they told me to not give it a second thought.  And I won’t.

My recent weight gain has caused all kinds of physical problems I’ve never had before.  I somehow bruised or injured my heel since I’ve been home from a quick trip to Texas this past weekend.  It is incredibly painful to walk on so I have dusted off the old cotton candy pink Crocs out of desperation.  I started my diet (yes – again – and screw you) yesterday.  I have a lot on my mind and it’s safe to say I’m pretty overwhelmed but I didn’t realize how overwhelmed until this morning.

Our driveway is very steep, so when icy weather comes, we move the vehicles to the top of the hill so we have a chance of getting out if we need to.  On the long trek up the hill this morning, I heard our neighbor’s very loud modified car start up in his garage.

Now, I am happily married.  But I defy anyone to say that just because they’re married, they don’t give a shit about how they’re perceived.  We all want to be cute.  There’s no crime in that.  My usual standard when leaving the house, no joke, is asking myself would I be embarrassed if I was in an accident and had to get out to exchange information with someone?  Would I be mortified if a Doctor had to cut my panties off?  No?  Okay, let’s go.

This morning, I didn’t really give a shit and didn’t even care to ask myself those standard questions and was only reminded of those standards when I heard my neighbor’s car start.  E and I have debated if this dude is gay or not, which is really neither here nor there, but honestly, if he’s gay, I care more about how I look than if he was straight.  If you can impress a gay guy at 9:30 in the morning, you are fucking golden.  I was not golden this morning, as I realized in utter horror that my neighbor saw me at length in this lovely ensemble.

Wake-Up Call
On the bright side, the local toddler club voted me Best Dressed this morning.  On the downside, I”m pretty sure my possibly gay neighbor has turned photographic evidence of my shark jumping over to the TV show “What Not To Wear.”  I’ll let y’all know when my episode airs.

I Will Crush You, Ivan!

Our son has to receive Remicade infusions every four weeks to keep his Crohn’s Disease in check.  Our insurance changed this year – because why the hell not, I’m a stay at home mom and have nothing but time on my hands – and I officially had it with our new prescription service this morning.

Normally, the meds are shipped to our house, I schedule the infusion appointment with our nurse, the nurse comes to my house on the assigned day, bada bing bada boom, the thing is done and we’re good for another four weeks.

CVS Caremark apparently thinks that method is a load of horse shit.  They ferreted out my Remicade scam almost right away and called me on it.  I just got off the phone with Ivan, who is probably in the CVS Caremark bathroom right this very minute with a makeshift ice pack on his asshole.  This is how Ivan’s last 10 minutes went:

Me:  I’m just a bit confused, Brandon took my $250 copay the day before yesterday without any problem, told me I’d have the meds yesterday.  Guess what, Ivan?  I didn’t get those meds.

Ivan:  Yeah, let me check to see what’s going on here.

Me:  I know what’s going on.  I didn’t get the meds.  The meds I paid for.

Ivan:  It looks like, uhhh, you don’t have a plan in place for administering the med.  Like, what do you once you get it?

Me:  I get the med, I call the nurse, the nurse comes to my house and gives it to my son.

Ivan:  How is it administered?  

Me (MAKING myself not say “We usually put all 9 vials in a tranq gun and shoot him in the ass with it.):  Via a pump.  

Ivan:  Gravity drip?

Me (talking as I would to a very frightened, lost four year old):  A regular battery operated pump, Ivan.  No sorcery involved.

Ivan:  It looks like the reason it wasn’t shipped is because you don’t have a plan on file for administering the drug once you get it and we also don’t have what we need from your Doctor. 

*At this point, I’ve developed a tic in my right eye and I’m popping Bayer aspirin in hopes of living through my impending stroke.  Ivan’s waded into the shit pool without his floaties on and he doesn’t even know it yet.  Also, when I’m getting very angry, I repeat your name a lot.*

Me:  Brandon had all the proper forms the day before yesterday or surely he wouldn’t have taken my $250 copay, Ivan.  Brandon transferred me to the pharmacist, who informed me of all the med warnings, which I know by heart by now, Ivan.  Surely your pharmacist wouldn’t waste time for a call on a med he couldn’t fill due to a lack of Doctor’s form?  Right, Ivan?  Also, the Doctor’s nurse said she had faxed it to y’all twice.  Twice, Ivan.  This is a Doctor we have used for several years and they have never screwed us over.  You have, Ivan.  I don’t have the meds that were supposed to be here yesterday.  Ivan.    

Ivan:  Well, again, I think the problem is a lack of an administration plan.

**I have officially lost my shit.  My shit has left the building, saying “I quit this bitch!”  Also, when I’m past the point of anger but I can’t curse, I use the word “freaking” a lot.  Okay, too much.*

Me (I’m so pissed that he’s forced me to use the tranq gun line now):  This isn’t my first freaking rodeo, Ivan.  We’ve been doing this for 4 freaking years.  I don’t know your process because no one has told me.  I am not Nancy Freaking Drew, Ivan.  Please enlighten me.  Send me a nurse, send the meds to the Doctor, send it to the hospital.  Hell, let’s shoot it up his ass with a tranq gun at this point.  I.DO.NOT.FREAKING.CARE.

Ivan (clearing his throat and nervously laughs):  I mean, what are you going to do with $3,000 worth of medicine that just shows up at your door?

Me:  Seriously?  Congratulations, you got me, Ivan.  I’m freebasing Remicade.  Call me in, do what you have to do to sleep tonight but I do not have time for this SHIT.  IVAN!

Ivan:  Can I put you on hold?

Me:  Sure, Ivan.  I need to step up evasive measures against stroke at this point so it’s good timing for some smooth jazz hold music.

If you are a mom to a kid with health issues, stay at home or not, I just want to send you love today.  It’s not easy keeping up with all this shit, the meds, the appointments, the insurance, all the different offices, all the back and forth, all in the name of keeping your child as healthy as possible.  I hope you’re taking care of yourselves, too.  Go to Starbucks by yourself and just BE.  Take a bubble bath.  Drink some wine, eat some chocolate.  You deserve it.

Ivan does not deserve it.  Wherever you  are, Ivan, I hope that makeshift ice pack gives you frostbite on your asshole.  Bless your heart.

Five Foot Rule

I went to the gym for the first time since October last night.  Since I was last there, offices have been built, personnel has changed, new rules have been added.  I was just relieved my membership card still worked.

I was on the elliptical, a bit more out of breath than usual but otherwise killing it considering I’ve been AWOL for months.  I was wearing my new headphones and enjoying some really kick ass music I added to my workout playlist, eyes glued to ESPN, as per usual.  A guy walked by, went out of his way to make eye contact with me, then motioned that he liked my hair.  I gave him a thumbs up and hopefully didn’t shout “thank you.”

I’ve gained at least 30 pounds since last fall and it shows but that one compliment had me thinking all the following throughout my 40 minute workout:

Guuuuurl, 30 pounds heavier and I’ve still got it.  It IS all about that bass.

Maybe E shouldn’t leave me alone on the back row to work out by myself.  Next time, he should carry me in like a caveman, set me down on the elliptical, pound his chest, and yell “Girl mine!”

Damn it, I forgot to wear my wedding ring.  How irresponsible.  Every man in here has noticed my lack of a ring by now.  There could be a feeding frenzy.  Innocent men could become so distracted, they get thrown violently from their treadmills and possibly maimed or killed and I have no one to blame but myself.  Get it together, Steph!

I didn’t even wear makeup today.  I’m a Sephora VIB Rouge member and I don’t even need all that shit.  Think of all the money and time I’ll save by not wearing makeup!

Wait a minute!  There’s that guy who hit on me, over by the weights.  He’s a trainer here.  Guess he’d better get his crush in check because he’ll be seeing a lot of me now that I’m working out again.  It’s gonna be hard on him.  I’ll try to dial it back but that’s like asking the sun to stop shining.

I wonder if any local stores stock graphic tees with “Sorry, I’m taken” on the front?  That would save a lot of time and heartache for these poor bastards.

Oooh, I should post about this on Facebook.  Wait, no.  I shouldn’t flaunt my natural beauty.  Cindy Crawford doesn’t do it and neither should I.  Don’t be that girl.

Oh, thank God.  Here comes E, he’s done with his workout.  I can get out of this meat market now.

As E handed me a wipe for my elliptical, he said “There’s a new sign posted above the wipe dispenser that just reads “Five Foot Rule.  Do you know what that is?”

I replied that I didn’t know but I’d Google it on the way home.  I threw my jacket on and quickly explained that I was the hunted, my pheromones were obviously out of control and it’d be wise to get me out of there PDQ before something unfortunate happened.  I sprinted toward the exit, alert and ready to dropkick rabid, love crazed male suitors as soon as they approached.  No means no, damn it!

E let me walk out alone in a dark parking lot because he couldn’t wait for Google to explain the Five Foot Rule.  He stopped by the front desk to ask an employee what it meant.

I didn’t relax until I was safely strapped into the truck with my seat belt.  I allowed E to get into the driver’s seat only after I carefully checked the perimeter and unlocked the door.  I asked him what the Five Foot Rule meant.  He initially refused to tell me and instructed me to ask Google, since I didn’t care enough to stick around inside for an answer.

He eventually caved to my whining womanly wiles and told me what the Five Foot Rule meant:

Every gym employee must speak to you if they are within 5 feet of you.

Mother fucker.

There Will Be Consequences!

My Birthday was on Saturday and if you recall, I was quite looking forward to my cake.

E did a great job of ordering my cake.  It was exactly what I like:  white with buttercream icing.  Buttercream, the way God intended, not that shitty whipped icing fuckery.  Whipped icing is the work of the devil and/or Richard Simmons, who may be one and the same now that I think about it.

My cake was red and white, which I believe E chose for therapeutic purposes.  I’m still in denial over Alabama not making it to the National Championship so instead of getting me a straight up Alabama cake with a big “A” on it, I think he started cautiously, slowly drawing me out of my football depression much like you would carefully draw a wounded animal out of its hidey hole.

Or maybe he just said “Hell, you pick the colors, bakery lady.”  I’ll go with the wounded animal theory.

wpid-20150110_214309.jpg

I was supposed to start my diet yesterday and I did.  I honestly did.  I ate a healthy breakfast, curtailed the full on sugar in my coffee and increased my water intake.  I was easing back into the swing of things.  But there was one piece of cake left.  A corner piece, with roses.  Buttercream roses.

The well known rule in our house (or so I thought) was that the Birthday Person gets the last piece of cake.  It’s not debated, it’s accepted as fact and the socially acceptable thing to do.  I planned on eating that last piece of cake as a reward for my first day of eating sanely since October.  I was looking so forward to eating that last piece of cake in utter silence after everyone was in bed for the night.  I fleetingly thought about wrapping that last piece up carefully and putting it away in the cabinet but I chided myself with “C’mon, your family wouldn’t do that to you, there’s the Birthday Person Gets The Last Piece Of Birthday Cake Rule.”

Apparently, rules don’t mean shit in my house.  Here’s how it went down.

E:  Thanks for eating the last piece of cake.

Me:  My Birthday, my last piece of cake.  I plan on enjoying it later tonight after y’all are in bed.

E:  No, you don’t.  It’s gone.

Me (thinking he’s fucking with me):  Yeah, right.

E:  No, I’m serious.

(I don’t say anything right away, my brain is attempting to process this new information because the last time I checked, my piece was intact, in the cake box when I arrived back home from picking the kids up from school…  picking up the kids…  from school… my little darlings have been home for almost 3 hours now…  oh dear God and for the love of all that’s holy…  MOTHER FUCKER!)

Me (yelling):  WHO ATE MY LAST PIECE OF CAKE?!

*Crickets*

Me (yelling again but shriller than last time and there may have been a little sob involved):  WHO ATE MY LAST PIECE OF CAKE?!

Landon:  I didn’t!

Gracie says nothing but her facial expression says “Oops, my bad.”

Me:  What happened to the Birthday Person Gets The Last Piece of Birthday Cake Rule?

Gracie:  What rule?

Me:  The rule we’ve always had!

Gracie:  I didn’t know there was a rule.

Me:  You sure knew the rule on your Birthday!  Landon knew there was a rule.

Landon:  Yep.  I know the rule.

Gracie shrugs, puts her headphones on and goes about her business like she didn’t just give me a lifetime of hella cake trust issues.

I can’t wait until her Birthday in November.  I have a hard-on for that last piece of cake like you’ve never seen before.  I’m thinking about making up shit just to have an excuse to buy cake for her so I can eat her last damned piece.  This Was Your Original Due Date cake, You Started Pooping On The Big Girl Potty 11.25 Years Ago Today cake, You’ve Been Wearing A Training Bra For 683 Days cake, Yay!  Your Forehead Pimple Is Finally Gone cake, Congrats On Trimming Your Toenails cake.

She has no clue about the shit storm she’s brought down upon herself.  Godspeed, Gracie.  Godspeed.

As for me, I’ve learned that nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is sacred.  Next year, I will wrap my last piece of cake up like it’s gold and hide that fucker in the washing machine.  In my house, that’s safer than Fort Knox.

*Update:  My “most wonderful husband” pointed out in the comments that I neglected to give him credit for going to Wal Mart last night after the horrific event described above to buy me more cake.  Well done, E.  Well done.  He’s taken, ladies.  Go get your own enabler.

Will There Be Cake?

015

I turn 45 years old in exactly 8 minutes.

I had lunch today with E and his coworker Steve.  I told Steve that I’m not too happy about this birthday because it puts me right at the midpoint between 40 and 50 years old.  I added that the alternative to aging is death so I’ll take the aging but I don’t have to be happy about it, damn it.

This is also my last weekend of complete and total food debauchery.  I’ve been on a spree since Halloween.  If food was cocaine, I’d be roomies with Robert Downey Jr. at the rehab clinic.  I bought a new Fitbit a couple weeks ago (I’ve lost 3 in watery washing machine deaths.  RIP, Fitbits.) and when I entered my current weight, Fitbit’s digital reply was “Wait.  What?  Girl, you crazy.  Stop fucking with me.”  Lane Bryant is sending me passive aggressive emails which might as well say “We all knew you and your fat ass would be back, bitch.  Here’s a coupon for stretchy pants.”

I start eating healthy and return to the gym on Monday, leftover birthday cake or not.  And who am I kidding? There will be no leftover cake.  I’ll be on that cake like a rabid dingo on a poor, innocent baby.

My motivation for losing weight is the Spring Break cruise we just booked.  I’m not that vain, I just really don’t want to get rolled back into the ocean because my fellow cruise travelers mistook me for a beached whale.  Fuckers.  My only hope for avoiding that fate is to lose a bit of weight and avoid wearing black or grey on the cruise but I’ve already accepted that this will probably end badly for me.  I’m fairly certain the term “harpooning” will be noted as the cause of death in my obituary.

Okay, okay.  Enough with the fat jokes.  I’m looking forward to my birthday cake but I’m looking even more forward to how I feel when I get some of this hibernation/holiday weight off.  It’s been kind of a rough few months so I’m not going to kick myself in the ample ass over it.  I will, however, miss lattes that don’t start with “Skinny”, Sugar In The Raw, fully leaded flavored coffee creamer, cookie dough in any form (fuck you, Salmonella!), and my recent wine kick.

The next time I post a blog, I’ll probably be going to or returning from the gym and tits deep in sweat from giving these cushy love handles I’m now sporting a haymaker right to the nuts.

But first, I have to finish that birthday cake.  Dingo.  Baby.  Let’s do this.