Category Archives: Crappy Days

The Five Stages of Presidental Debate Watching

Stage 1: Denial

When the presidential candidates take the stage and you think to yourself this might be ok, maybe these guys will be ok. Just because they’re politicians doesn’t mean they can’t be reasonable, logical people… right?  Just because every experience in your entire life indicates otherwise this time could be different… right?  Right?

Then they start talking and the first couple things out of their mouths aren’t terrible.  Political rhetoric that doesn’t mean anything yes, but it’s not SO bad, and you’re getting more and more convinced that this time, for the first time in memorable history, this debate is going to be an exchange of ideas between two reasonable people with the good of the American people at heart.

Stage 2: Anger

With each passing word you realize it didn’t sound that bad because they were just setting the metaphorical table, now that the forks, knives, and plates are down they can get onto the main course; a nonsense burrito smothered in crazy sauce and served with a side of WTF.

Stage two is when you start getting pissed.  Screaming at the TV, throwing things across the room, until eventually you’re so upset and flustered you’re mixing your profanities around until what you’re saying makes as little sense as what they’re saying.

That’s when stage 3 sets in.

Stage 3: Bargaining

“I can deal with economic policies that screw us all over in the long run, as long as you keep half heartedly attempting to fight for civil rights I’ll still vote for you.”  “On a 1-10 scale of awful, as long as your main talking points are a 6 or below I promise I won’t move to Canada.”  “God as long as you don’t let that jag win I swear I will… oh I don’t know just please don’t let it happen.”

If any of the above phrases sound familiar you’re in stage 3.

Stage 4: Depression

Despair sets in.  All the swearing has worn you out and all you can do is melt into the couch and groan while occasionally muttering things like “We’re all so screwed.”, “Why do we even try?”, and mumble a sentence nobody can decipher with the word “hopeless” in the middle of it.

You remain a semi-catatonic lump of anguish on the couch, broken pieces of hope scattering the floor around you, occasionally punctuating the TV noise with a dejected cry of “Ugh, no!” followed by burying your head further in the pillow until…

Stage 5: Acceptance

You remember these are just a couple political chimps throwing bumper sticker slogan feces at each other, and while it does impact your life this is also something that you have to go though every four years and something that they and a couple hundred other poo-flinging mamals we elected do every single day in Washington.  And the world hasn’t come crumbling around you yet, so it’s probably ok to peel yourself off the couch now.

Moral of the story: You should never watch political debates unless you’re going to turn it into a drinking game, the stress isn’t good for you.

That time I attempted to see a doctor, and ultimately failed.

My to do list today had exactly one thing on it, get an xray of the leg that I royally jacked up this past weekend in the mountains.  (I hurt it while scaling the vertical side of a cliff trying to rescue a pair of baby eagles from imminent doom.)  I really should have gone when it first happened, but I didn’t want to miss any of the fun so instead I got really good at putting anything I needed to carry on a plastic chair and pushing it along while I hopped on one foot behind it.  My own upcycled white trash walker… I’m the classiest person you know.

My insurance is a super pain in the ass about never letting you see anybody unless you get a referral from whatever doctor they tell you to see first, so my first item of business was finding out who that was.  I called the office I was supposed to call, listened to the phone ring for about two minutes, then heard the distinct sound of someone picking up the phone and immediately hanging up.  It had to be a mistake so I called again.  This happened four times.

So I called the office above that one and got an automated message that told me,

The bastards didn’t even have the decency to put me on hold, they just hung up on me.  But I only had one day of guaranteed childcare and the only thing that sounded like less fun than hopping on one foot to the doctor is to do it with two small children in tow… I was determined to get in today.  So I continually called that number again and again and again for an hour and a half, always getting that same message until finally I got through to a real live person who told me,

I told them I couldn’t get anything from the regular office on account of them continually hanging up on me so they told me to call another number.  The next number, of course, told me the exact same thing and gave me another number to try.

This pattern continued for the next four hours and involved me calling nine different places just trying to get the name of one freaking doctor that they wanted me to see.  When I finally got the name I called Dr. SoAndSo’s office and explained what happened, hoping to either get a referral to the xray place over the phone to save myself some hopping or get an appointment in the next few minutes.  The woman laughed at me when I asked if I could get in before 3:00.

They told me I could go to Urgent Care instead, but when I got to Urgent Care the receptionist told me,

So I ended up going to the clinic by the hospital.  Not the real ER, more like the ER’s illegitimate younger brother that nobody likes to talk about.  A place with a disclaimer prominently displayed  in the waiting room letting you know they were staffed by doctor-esque people, but no real doctors ever.  So if you needed a for-really-realz doctor you should probably leave now, cause you were going to be disappointed.

I got in and a guy who reminded me Guillermo from Weeds (in the good cute-charming-smile ways, not the shady-human-trafficing-and-murdering-gang-member ways) checked everything out, took some xrays, and said it wasn’t broken I had just torn ligaments (which he then explained was actually worse, lucky me).

“Here lady, put this led blanket over your stomach while I do the xray… you know, incase you ever want to have babies again that don’t glow in the dark or have two heads.”

He even gave me my drugs (pain med prescription) without making me do a brick dance first.  Chivalry might be dead elsewhere, but not in Not-Quite-A-Dr. Guillermo’s office.

Morning Hooping

We have a new tradition in our house.  Morning hooping in the kitchen.

My kitchen is the bane of my existance.  It’s that boyfriend who treats you like a princess but cheats on you every weekend; it’s the job that you love but doesn’t pay shit; it’s the margarita that is so delicious you (figuratively) can’t see straight but turns you into a blubbering drunk mess who (literally) can’t see straight and can’t find her shoes.

I adore it because it has tons of cabinit space, funky green counter tops, and because cooking makes me happy.  But it drives me completely insane because it’s the one and only space in the house I can’t stand not being clean and I have two kids and two  dogs(at least one of whom is almost certianly requesting food at any given moment) so it is never clean.

It’s the Romeo to my Juliet.  The love is real but like seven people are probably going to die before the story is over.

And now I’m rambling.

Anyway, one day the kitchen was already a hot mess when I woke up so instead of getting depressed I made my “summer of whimsy” project for the day officially telling the kitchen mess that I did. not. care. and that it could go fuck itself because I was having a first-thing-in-the-morning dance party with my little monsters instead of getting all twitchy looking at it.

Which turned into a hooping party for one.

And you know what?  The mess didn’t both me so much after that, and it was a lot easier to find the motivation to clean all the things when I’d had a blast in the space already.  Positive vibes and all that jazz.

So the morning hooping became a thing.  After we all get up I make them some breakfast then crank up the tunes, Verona giggles and Finn dances in his high chair, and I get my hooping on while they eat.  Morning hooping, making mornings and kitchen suck a little less, one rotation at a time.

Age Defying Lift

I would rather have a root canal than go bra shopping.  (Full disclosure, I’ve never actually had a root canal.)

But seriously, I hate it so much it makes me swear… but not swear normally, I’m so full of hate I spit out weirdly put together swearing phrases that make me sound like a Persian immigrant.

As if having to stare at myself topless in all my stretch marked glory under the outrageously unflattering flickering fluorescent lights of a smelly beige Kohl’s dressing room weren’t enough, if I grab a bra that’s slightly the wrong size/wrong cut/wrong color/wrong anything all of a sudden I’ve got bulges where bulges just. shouldn’t. be.  There is the double boob or side boob or weird empty space where the bra fabric sinks in like the sad sad windless sails of my womanhood.

I make it a point to only go bra shopping on a good hair day so I can try to focus on that instead of the afore-mentioned unfortunate bulges, but after pulling my shirt over my head ten times even that goes away and I’m left looking similar to when Verona rubs balloons on my head.

I thought it couldn’t get worse… but then I had kids.  Now that I’ve got two pregnancies behind me I have to get bras with tags that sport phrases like “reverse gravity!” and “age defying lift!”  Yes, I have procreated, but I am still much too young to need age defying anything (or so I like to tell myself).

But despite it all I end up in that stupid beige changing room in Kohl’s under those god awful fluorescent lights, staring in rage at what can only be described as a reverse muffin top created by an underwire out for vengeance because the years of “just free balling it” are behind me (thanks kids… you owe me) and now the only alternative to this scenario is to strut around looking all National Geographic.


Love. Ridiculousness. Beauty.

I told you all a few weeks ago about my friend being attacked, beaten, and sexually assaulted.  I am not going to pretend to know what she’s going through… there’s no way in the world I could.  And honestly talking about how this is effecting me sounds like such a self centered bullshit thing to do.  It didn’t happen to me… it happened to her.  And yes, it’s effecting all of us but something seems so incredibly wrong about going on about how this makes me feel.  Forgive me for indulging in such lunacies nonetheless.

We (myself, my friend, and the rest of our small community) belong to a religious tradition that believes not only in pacifism and non violence but also that returning love for hatred is the only way.  Those are all wonderful things to talk about abstractly and to believe when you have nothing on the line, it’s something else entirely when you’re face to face with that hatred.

Obviously this tragedy is making everyone re-evaluate those beliefs, it would be dishonest to claim otherwise.  We’re being forced to examine why we believe what we believe and whether or not those beliefs are realistic.

But here’s the thing.  Love isn’t realistic.  And love in the face of violence and hatred is downright insane.

It is ridiculous.

It makes no sense.

And maybe that’s the point.  Maybe that’s what makes it so beautiful.  Maybe the beauty of loving even when it’s so unbelievably hard is that you have no choice but to rely on God.  Standing up to pure evil (and what this guy did to her was nothing if not pure evil) and refusing to fall into the trap of returning the hate, returning the violence… refusing to keep that cycle of evil going gives you no choice but to throw up your hands and say “God, you make no sense and I’m following you anyway.”

(Or maybe it’s not.  Maybe it’s just a terrible idea.  I could always be wrong.)

I won’t stand here and say I know everything (or that I know anything for that matter).  I can’t say that I understand what happened or that I know that it’s because of some divine plan, or even that there is some divine plan.  I don’t know much of anything to be honest.

(Maybe there’s beauty in that too?)

And I won’t say that I love the guy who did this… because right now I don’t.  Right now all I can do is try my hardest not to hate him.  But I do hope one day I can come around, I hope we all can.  Because if I can’t believe that love wins then I’m not sure if I can believe in anything at all.

The night of bodily fluids

Once a week David has a soccer game in the evening.  Sometimes they’re before the kids go to bed so we can all come and watch, other times they’re after they go to bed and I get some time to myself while he’s gone and they’re asleep.  Every once in a while though the game is right over bedtime which sucks because I have no help but isn’t usually a big deal.  Tonight was one of those nights.

We’ve read a few stories, the lights have been turned off, and I’m sitting on my bed with Verona drifting off to sleep next to me and Finn passed out in my arms.

Just as Verona’s eyes close Finn’s mouth opens wide and out of it shoots a horror movie worthy stream of projectile vomit… it covers me, it covers Verona, it covers Finn, it covers the bed, the floor, and the dog.  Vomit vomit everywhere.

Needless to say we took a detour towards the bathtub from bedtime.

When we got out of the bathtub and were walking down the hall back to their room to get re-pajamified…

Despite being only 10 lbs this boy can shoot pee further than most grown men… meaning it went clear down one end of the hall and, when I freaked out and turned him, clear down to the other end too.

I flew into their room and put him down on the changing table while Verona jumped up on her bed but before I could start to clean him off I heard her exclaim in horror

She was horrified that she was sitting in a rapidly expanding puddle of her own pee on the bed so through her tears she ran in shame into the closet, slamming the doors behind her.  All I could think was how fortunate I was that the pee didn’t hit the pillow, sheets can go in the washer but pillows getting messy is THE WORST.  How lucky could I be that there was no pee on the pillow!?!  Before I could try and coax her out so I could clean her up and put a diaper on her though I heard the crying stop, followed by a tiny voice in despair exclaiming

When I finally got her out of the now pee filled closet, cleaned up, and tear-free I turned to Finn who was still covered in pee (although significantly less concerned about it) and heard Verona announce “I help mommy.  I help clean pee.”  I thought that ment she was going to get a towel and try to mop up the pee like she does when she spills a drink but before I could say “thank you honey” she grabbed the pillow, which had miraculously stayed pee free, and slammed it down in the puddle of pee exclaiming

She was so damn proud of being “helpful” there was no way I could get mad.  So instead I pulled out the secret mom card that we’re all ashamed to even admit is in our arsenal… TV baby sitter.  Fraggle Rock was turned on, kids were put in front of it, and I cleaned up my bed, the floor in my room, and all of our clothes which were all covered in vomit and the entire hallway, Verona’s bed, the floor in her closet, and the pillow which were all covered in various people’s urine… all while practicing some serious deep breathing.

Oh, I forgot to tell you the best part.  This morning David got up and made a fabulous breakfast which included bacon meaning the dogs got some grease from the pan poured over their food as a special treat.

Bacon, however, gives them the most rancid gas you could ever possibly imagine.

So throughout this whole horrifying ordeal Daisy and Barney were following us from one room to the next, filling each with their awful bacon farts from hell as we went.

New Love

I fell in love tonight.  I fell in love with a new man, his name is Finn.

I wrote about Operation Regain Sanity the other day, trying to make it as light and funny as possible but the truth is there wasn’t much light about it… there hasn’t been much light about my life lately at all.

Since Finn was born I’ve been having a really rough time.  I didn’t tell anyone, partly because I’m not someone who can easily articulate when I need help and partly because I didn’t even fully realize what was happening.  To say I’ve been depressed isn’t accurate, I haven’t been depressed, or sad, or angry… I haven’t been anything.  I’ve been empty, going through the motions that I’m essentially programmed to do, with absolutely nothing inside me at all.

I’ve been living in an entirely beige world.

Then the other night I was holding Finn when he passed out after three or four hours of crying and I realized he was one month old.  One whole month, and I hadn’t been around for any of it.  He and Verona weren’t being seriously neglected, I fed them when they needed to be fed, changed their diapers, when they cried I held them… but I had done absolutely nothing beyond what I  had to.

He was a month old and I didn’t know him at all, and what’s worse was I didn’t care.  I wanted to cry, I wanted to be horrified by this realization and break down and be disappointed in myself, or frustrated, or anything.  But I couldn’t, I felt nothing.

I had a problem.

So I started Operation Regain Sanity, hoping that if I changed the way I acted it would eventually change the way I felt.  I know if I go to my doctor she’ll probably prescribe me something, and I am not opposed to that but want to try to do it on my own first.

The past couple days I’ve been making myself get off the couch where for the past month, despite physically feeling fine, I’ve spent almost all day, everyday.  I’ve been getting back on the floor and playing with Verona instead of just letting her watch Baby Einstein and Fraggle Rock all day.  I’ve been forcing myself to do things with other people even when I’m not socially obligated to do so.  I’ve been making myself eat food… usually reasonably healthy food… even though I don’t really want to (and similarly I’ve been making food for Verona instead of just giving her toast and fruit snacks).  I’ve even been showering which I didn’t realize until I thought about it but I’ve only done a handful of times in the past month.

I’m not myself yet by any means, but I’ve definitely been feeling better.  Last night when Finn was crying I instinctively stood up and started rocking him… this shouldn’t be a big deal but up until now all I could bring myself to do was sit and hold him while he wailed as I stared vacantly off into space.  This morning Verona told me a story and I smiled… I mean really smiled… with my eyes and everything, not just the mouth smile you do when you know you should but don’t mean it.

Then tonight I was holding him during a rare time when he was both awake and not crying.  I was talking and smiling at him… something I’m sad to admit I haven’t done hardly at all in his life.  And suddenly he smiled.

He smiled at me.

A little half smile, goofy as hell but a real smile.  He smiled and me and right then and there I fell madly in love with him.

I love this kid.  And I’m not saying that because I know I’m suppose to, I’m saying it because I genuinely, honestly, for real and true, love him.

Operation Regain Sanity

In terms of actual writing on this blog in the past month or so I have done a grand total of two “here’s a few pictures of my new kid” posts, a stupid story when I was trying way to hard to find something to write, and one angry rant.  In short, I apologise for writing pretty much nothing of value.

The abridged excuse for my sucky blog-havior is that I’m the weariest panda in the zoo. (That thing a few posts ago about how well I’m doing was complete bullshit.)  Finnegan has a serious case of colic, he also refuses to sleep anywhere that’s not on top of me, I’ve got a serious case of “I don’t remember what sleep feels like” and “my hormones are draining the color out of the world”.  It’s the exact opposite of the blissed out love fest that happened after I had Verona. I feel bland and kinda like a crappy mom.

Anyway it ends now.  Commence operation regain sanity!  My epic plan to get my happiness back is as follows…


Music.  Happy music to be specific.  We used to have music in our house all the time and in the past few weeks we haven’t… it’s coming back!  Michael Franti, Jason Mraz, and Matisyahu Pandora stations?  Prepared to become reacquainted with my home!  And in the small moments when Colic McCrankPants Finn let’s me put him down and V is entertained I’m playing the piano.

Eating real things.  When I’m stressed I eat like it’s my job, when I’m depressed I quit cold turkey (seriously, I lose like 20 lbs every time somebody dies).  Anyway, I’ve been eating about as much as I’ve been sleeping lately which is code for not nearly enough.  Great for post pregnancy weight loss, less great for being a healthy happy person.

Actually, I’m going to change this one to “ingest real things” because I’m not sure at this juncture cutting out Naked Juice as a valid meal option is feasible.

Deep breaths.  Easiest way to chill myself out and it needs to happen more.


TV.  The TV ends up on in our house way more than I want it to.  I am not anti-TV (or anti-Netflix as the case may be, we don’t actually have TV) but I am anti-it being on as the background noise.  It grates on my nerves, distracts me from whatever else I’m trying to do (like eating real things or deep breathing), and sets an example I don’t know that I want to set for my kids.  From here on unless someone is actively watching it the TV is off.

Exacerbated face.  When something happens I’m not a fan of I do this thing where my eyes roll up, my head leans back, one eyebrow cruises skyward, and my mouth pulls up into this weird sneer.  (I was trying to take a picture of it to put on here but then realized how ugly I am when I do that so I’m not doing it.)  When I was a teenager I wore leather bracelets, dated douchebags without jobs, and made this angsty face and while I should have grown out of all of that for whatever reason the face stayed.  For the record I don’t want to get rid of the face, I think it’s very good at showing exactly how I feel sometimes, I just want to stop doing it so often… especially to my kids.

So it’s on.  I’m getting my happiness back.  Wish me luck.

I Come First. I’m Ok With That.

There has been some building stress in our lives over the past few months.  The basic reason?  Things have been going in a drastically different direction than we anticipated them going.  It kept getting more and more frustrating, more and more uncomfortable, and further and further away from what we wanted our lives to look like.

But we were helping someone.  They need help, we were helping them, we were doing the right thing… right?

I don’t know if it’s right or wrong or we’re being selfish or not… I don’t know and I really don’t care… but a few days ago we decided that since things didn’t look like they were going to change on their own we needed to make a decision between helping and making our lives a peaceful, joyful, minimally stressful place.

We chose us.

Like I said, maybe we’re being selfish, maybe we’re being uncaring… but honestly I feel so much better and the future looks so much brighter that I can’t bring myself to worry about it.  There are specific things I want for our lives, there is an environment I have in mind that I want to raise my kids in, and while I know not everything will be exactly how I want it to be (because nothing ever is) we can start moving in that direction again and it’s freeing.

We’re putting ourselves first… and right, wrong, or otherwise I’m totally ok with that.  (Insert big fat stress free smiley face here.)

Can someone show me where the middle of the road is? I can’t seem to find it.

I have exactly two productivity settings.  #1 I’m all chill and everything is fine, I’ll live right here in this moment, play with the kids all the live long day, laugh, smile, and get absolutely nothing done.  And #2 Running around like a maniac doing everything in sight, getting every single thing done, and being all around uber productive.

The thing is, neither scenario stays the way I described for long.  In reality, Productivity Setting #1 ends with David being all stressed out and pissed that the house is a disaster zone and our dinner options are seriously limited by the fact that all the forks and cups are sitting dirty by the sink.  Him being stressed and pissed makes me stressed and pissed, and everyone ends up hating each other… in filth.  Productivity Setting #2 isn’t that much better, it ends with me thoroughly pissed at everyone in the house for not bowing down and thanking me for everything I’m doing, for having fun without me while I’m slaving away, for needing things from me that interfere with my crazy lady productivity (How dare you interrupt me with your need for food, child!  David, don’t you dare try and kiss me when you get home from class, I’m busy damnit!) and because as far as I can tell they’re just maliciously following me around destroying all the progress I’m making.  Topping this self-induced martyrdom sundae is a caramel drizzle of both physical and mental exhaustion, a hot fudge drizzle of general pissyness brought on by the fact that in my cleaning rage I never stopped to eat, a large dollop of self loathing that I did this to myself at all, and a cherry on top of feeling like a giant life fail because dispite all the crazy I look around and things still aren’t done.  Usually this whole depressing scene is played out while I lay on the couch showing off my pouty face and eating nachos, a frozen burrito, a Sonic foot long chili cheese coney, or something equally awful.

Needless to say, neither scenario is healthy or sustainable. 

For years I’ve been trying to find some sort of acceptable middle ground… one where I can be happy and not ridiculous but still manage to get at least four things done in a day, one where I can be a good mom without everyone living in chaos and filth, one where everyone can go to bed reasonably happy at night or at least not be able to attribute their unhappiness all on me.  Furthermore I need some indication that I can actually be a functional adult and that I in any way deserve the wonderful life I have.