Category Archives: Crappy Days

The Thing About Lice Shampoo

I walked up to the barely-past-teenage cashier at the crappy grocery store down the street much earlier than I was even usually awake and dropped multiple boxes of lice shampoo down on the conveyor belt much harder than necessary.

Barely-Past-Teenage Cashier: “Ooo, looks like somebody’s having a crappy morning.”

Me: “Yep. What gave it away? The fact that I just woke up and look like I crawled out of a gutter or that I borderline abused your conveyor-belt just now? Sorry about that by the way.”

Barely-Post-Teenage Cashier: “No worries. And I have some news… that lice shampoo works great apparently. So have fun with your killing.”

Me: “Yep, that’s why I’m buying it. It was either that or pour bleach over everyone’s heads.”

and without missing a beat the guy looks at me and says “Do it. I think you’d look great as a blonde.”

Well for the record I completely disagree that I would look good as a blonde, I think I would look jaundiced and awful. But the guy totally made my day.

That morning I found a lice. Or a louse. Or whatever the singular term is for those little fuckers that crawl from kid to kid, ruin my life, and haunt my dreams. I cannot get over how grossed out I am by the idea of tiny bugs crawling over or in and out of anywhere or anything because OMG ew. And I’m not even someone who’s super scared of bugs.

Anyway I found a lice, or a louse, or whatever, on Verona’s head so naturally I handled it like a totally level headed adult and checked everyone thoroughly for lice and then acting calmly and accordingly. Just kidding! I totally lost my shit, flew through the grocery store like a crazy bat out of hell grabbing every anti-lice product they sold, then upon arriving home I sprayed everything with horrible noxious cleaning chemicals that I normally never use (sorry essential oils but I’m benching you, shit just got real) and then accidentally saw a pair of scissors so I chopped everyone’s hair super short. Including about 18 inches of my own. My madness knows no bounds.

Here’s the thing about lice shampoo, it says right on the bottle that one of the side effects of using it is that your head will itch like mad…

…but your head itching like mad is usually how you know you have lice…

…so the stuff that’s supposed to kill the lice gives you the symptoms of having lice…

…which means you have no way of knowing if you still have lice or not…

…which is terrifying.

In retrospect I may have totally over reacted. But like I said… tiny bugs and whatever. Eww. And it’s been a couple weeks now so even if we were mostly lice free to begin with I’m pretty sure we are for real lice free now and that’s good. And just for funzies I took a picture of my new super short hair… the shortest it’s ever been since I first grew it past this length at age like 4… and did a 30 second awful photoshop job to it to make my hair blonde so we could all see what that would look like if I did a horrible job of dying it.

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There is no reason to keep torn sheets. Absolutely none.

Y’all, I just have to publicly shame myself for a moment. We’re moving which means I’m going through every cupboard, corner, closet, nook and cranny in my house, going through every. single. thing. that we own and deciding what is coming with us to Portland and what isn’t.

The five years that we’ve been in this house have been some of the most chaotic of my life. We moved, then immediately had a baby, then had some health issues from that birth that sucked and made just existing hard, then almost immediately had another baby, then had some more stressful health issues… all while David was working AND in school full time trying to finish up yet another degree. Needless to say keeping on top of the clutter was not my #1 priority at all during any of that time (and I’ll cut myself quite a bit of slack for that) but I had no idea just how much crap we had accumulated in that time.

Anyone who has been to my home knows that it’s in a constant state of chaos. There are always dirty dishes, there are never not toys on the floor for more than 5 minutes, and I’m not a clean freak at all… but I honestly didn’t think we were packrats or anything. For having two little kids I didn’t think we were doing that bad. Until I started going through stuff.

I’ve been pulling everything out of completely full closets and only putting back one shelf full because everything else is going to Goodwill or the trash.

I went through the linen closet thinking there were probably some things that could go. We had FIVE SETS of torn sheets in there. And not really nice sheets that just needed a little mend, sheets that has been in use for 10 years that are so thin you can see through them and torn all the way through that beyond all doubt just belong in the trash. THERE IS NO FREAKING REASON THAT I SHOULD BE KEEPING TORN SHEETS!

We had about 15 travel coffee mugs. Do you know how many people in this house take coffee with them out of the house ever?

Me. End of list.

The whole moving process has left me feeling like I need to call the producers of Hoarders on myself so they can come film an episode. That’s a little bit of an exaggeration but seriously, I do not need an entire shelf of baby blankets. Everyone in this house is too big for them and we have zero plans to reproduce again, the fact that they’re still here instead of having been donated to a women’s shelter the moment my kids grew out of them makes me want to hide my face.

So that’s my confession. It is what it is. Now if you’ll excuse me I have three more days at home before the movers show up and only about 90 bazillion things to get done.

Princess Farts

This is my dog Daisy.  Daisy is a little princess.

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Seriously, I have never met a dog more dainty and refined than this girl, it’s ridiculous.  If she had a dating profile it would say things like

Likes: Playing dress up, eating culinary masterpieces my daddy cooks, sleeping on top of a massive pile of pillows.
Dislikes: Intruders, dog food, having to sleep anywhere that’s not on top of a massive pile of pillows.

But one of the things she hates the most, in true pretty pretty princess style, is getting her dainty little paws wet… so when it rains getting her out the dog door at all is a win, but getting her far enough out into the yard to poop… well let’s just say she would die before she’d do it.

This is what our neighborhood looks like right now.

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True story, that is the intersection right by us (I’m choosing to believe that truck got stuck when the water was much much lower instead of that someone was dumb enough to try and drive through), and our backyard looks like the junior version of that.  So Daisy has given up pooping cold turkey in response, and subsequently has been filling our world with the most noxious gas imaginable that we’ve started referring to as “the princess farts”.  It’s the worst.

When I woke up this morning after sleeping next to Daisy all night I almost threw up in my mouth our room smelled so horrible.

There really isn’t a point to this post, I just wanted to complain a little about the deadly fumes filling my house until this monsoon completely ends.

Hallmark does not make a “Baby’s First Head Injury” card.

We had a huge fun day planned out today.  Kristen and I were taking all the kids including her niece and nephew to IHOP for breakfast, then to the Arizona Science Center, and back to my house to watch movies while we build a TLR camera I have parts for that needs to be assembled (and somewhat jimmy rigged… because I don’t actually have ALL the parts per se).  Regardless, it was going to be an awesome day for everyone.

Breakfast was awesome, but as I was putting Finn in the car before heading to the Science Center I watched as Verona lost her footing while trying to climb into her own car seat, and somehow tipped backwards and fell out of the car, landing straight on the side of her head on the rough and outrageously hot parking lot asphalt.

There was screaming, crying, and way more blood than I was expecting… and since our car was actually closer to Kohl’s than the IHOP in their shared parking lot I high tailed it in there carrying Verona and dragging Finn along by the hand, to the bathrooms which conveniently are located at the furthest furthest back corner of the store, as far away from the from entrance as humanly possible.

It wasn’t until I got to the bathroom that I realized how much blood there really was… and why everyone was staring at us.

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I also realized other than wiping some of the blood off my own face there wasn’t a ton I could do in a dirty department store bathroom so we meandered back through the store to the front, dripping blood the whole way, while I called the pediatrician and asked what to do.

I don’t remember exactly what the doctor’s office told me, but it was the politely worded version of “Ummm, why the hell aren’t you already at the ER?  If your kid is bleeding from the head that’s where you go… why in the name of all that is good and holy are you wasting your time calling me when you should be driving your kid to help.”

But the ER would have to wait a moment because as soon as we got out the front doors of Kohl’s, being wished “Ummm, get well soon!” by the horrified woman at the register Verona abruptly stopped crying and turned to me.

Verona:  “Mom, I need to go potty.”

Me:  “Right now?  Can you hold it until we get to the hospital?”

Verona:  “Nope, but don’t worry mom, I can hold it till we get back to the bathroom in the store.  Remember?  The one we were just in.”

Me:  “I remember, why didn’t you go when we were in there a minute ago?”

Verona:  “I was distracted by how sticky my blood is.”

So we had to turn around and walk back through the store… to the continued horror of the staff.  (Not that I blame them.)

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Kristen (who had already driven off by the time Verona fell) had come back by then and took Finn home with her while I took V to the pediatric emergency room, which happens to be at the hospital closest to us which is good to know.

She’s fine.  They used lots of fancy words that basically mean she has a huge pool of blood between her skull and scalp, and several abrasions but no big cut which meant she didn’t need stitches.  Usually they would admit her for observation but because David is a medical professional and I’m reasonably versed in all that jazz they agreed to discharge her if we felt comfortable assessing her state from there on so we went home.

Verona is currently counting the whole day as a win because the nurses all told her a bazillion times that she was a genius, (although to be fair it was after she informed them “The medicine you gave me will go to my stomach, then to my small intestine where it will be absorbed by my villi.” so she either is a genius or just watches a lot of Magic School Bus), she got a pretty hospital bracelet with her name on it, and they gave her popsicles… and popsicles are always a win in Verona land.

Yes I’m covered in urine, but don’t worry, it’s not mine.

Monday the kids and I got back from a trip to Kansas for little brother’s senior recital… his crowning musical glory before he heads off to musical grad school.

Usually when we go back we do it for a week but this time it was a lot cheaper to go the weekend before as well so we ended up being there 10 days.  Being there 10 days made me realize why we usually go for 7.  It’s right around day 6.5 that everything stops being awesome.  Up until then the suuuuper annoying things about my parents, small towns, red states, and being blown away every time you step out side are endearing and quaint because I’ve been gone so long… but then I remember why I moved a thousand miles away from everything and the vacation isn’t fun anymore.

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But the trip did finally end and Monday we flew back to Phoenix.  It is not the first time I’ve flown half way across the country by myself with two small children, not even close.  I’m well versed in the art of keeping chaos in bay for a couple hours on an airplane (or at least closing my eyes and breathing deeply while everything breaks down) and in general they’ve both been awesome every time we’ve flown.  Even last summer when we came back and they both developed raging double ear infections that we got to fly with they still did a pretty stand up job of the whole bit.  So naturally I didn’t expect anything different from this flight.

The first half was uneventful.  They played, they opened and closed the window about a bazillion times, opened and closed the tray table about a bazillion and a half times, all the normal stuff.  Then Finn signed that he wanted a bottle so I pulled him up on my lap hoping he’d fall asleep while he had it but when he was almost finished he looked up at  me and grinned… and that’s when I felt it.

Baby dude was peeing, and for whatever reason his diaper was having none of it.  He was peeing all over himself and all over me and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it.

Also, this child pees more than most adults.  I don’t know what it is about his bladder but it’s out of control.

Right as I started looking around for a place I could take him to change his clothes they turned on the seatbelt sign so there was nothing I could do even if I wanted to.  I couldn’t even take him off my lap because, since he’s young enough that we didn’t to buy a ticket for him, that meant he had to be on my lap whenever the seatbelt sign was on.

And just then he realized how wet he was.  Poor dude was completely soaked… like, I’m gonna have to wring these overalls out in the sink soaked… and he was pissed.  (Pun intended.)  He wanted me to change him.  He wanted me to take his clothes off.  He wanted me to let him off my lap.  And I couldn’t do any of those things.

And he thanked me by completely losing his shit.  He shrieked at brain shaking volumes and pitches, arched his back, kicked and flailed and I’m pretty sure I saw his head spin all the way around at one point like that freaky little kid in the Exorcist.  And since this was all on my lap I was then also soaked, from nipples to knees, with his pee as well.  The tiny plane reeked of urine, childless people turned and glared, the people across the aisle from us covered their ears (dude’s got lungs), I apologized once or twice but then realized nobody gave a shit what I said so instead started loudly singing Finn’s favorite German lullaby in his ear to try and calm him down.  (It didn’t work.)

This went on for the next 45 minutes.

And just as I thought shit couldn’t go any further downhill I heard a subtle “click… click… click…” coming from next to me.  I turn to find Verona, who had been sitting there quietly the whole time, holding my phone and taking pictures of the shenanigans.

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She shrugged and without missing a beat responded,

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Well with logic like that.

About nine years later (at least it felt like that) the plane landed, I put Finn in the sling and piled all out belongings on my back like a freaking pack mule, and we made our way at a snail’s pace toddler’s pace out of what was now an incredibly smelly enclosed space to where David was waiting for us.

He hugged me, then backed up with a sour look on his face because he obviously smelled it.  “Yes.”  I said, “I’m covered in pee.  No, I don’t want to talk about it.  I just want to go home.”

And go home we did.

And because I knew you would all probably ask for it, here is one of Verona’s pictures.  You’re welcome.

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Believe it or not, I know more about my boobs than you do.

I could not breast feed. I couldn’t. Not that it’s anyone’s damn business or that there would be something wrong with it if I’d just chosen not to. But regardless, I couldn’t. Could not.

At least half the time that comes up with someone who has or is breast feeding they get this really sad look on their face and say something like “A lot of moms think that, but everyone can. Some women just need to give it more time.”  Or a short “It’s normal to worry you don’t have an adequate supply, most women worry about that at some point or another.” Then look at my poor, miserable, obviously suffering children with pity because their mama *bless her heart* just didn’t stick it out long enough to do what was best for them.

And you know what?  There’s nowhere positive a conversation can go after that.  Because I don’t want to discuss my boob issues with someone who already has that attitude.  I don’t want to tell them about my daughter crying in pain from hunger because at the advice of the hospital lactation consultants I was refusing to give her formula even when I suspected something was wrong.  I don’t want to tell them about the tearful conversation where the doctor sat me down and told me point blank that Verona was in serious danger, that she was starving to death, and that if I didn’t give her a bottle they were going to have to re-admit her to the hospital.  I don’t want to rehash the guilt I lived in for the better part of a year over knowing that I had intentionally put my child through that.  I don’t want to tell them what it feels like to have been a mother for less than a month and already be failing miserably at it because you’ve made breastfeeding a higher priority than the well being of your own child.

Because I’ve forgiven myself, gotten over it, we’ve all moved on.  And I don’t want to spend the rest of my life reliving it through useless conversations.

And I sure as hell don’t want to try and convince someone that what happened to me really does exist because, ya know what, I don’t have to explain myself to anyone.  The few times I have attempted the other woman either just keep staring at my kids with that look of pity because, oh poor things, they’re probably going to grow up to have two heads and be serial killers now because their mom is a quitter.  Or they respond sanctimoniously “No, I had a doctor tell me that doesn’t ever happen.  A doctor.”

To which I want to respond “I had my boobs tell me that you can go fuck yourself.  My boobs.”

I wonder if I could get a note from my doctor. Like in school when you need to prove something medical is a reality “Here, I have a doctor’s note.” I wonder if I can get a doctor’s note for this that I can keep in my purse and when this happens just yank it out, hand it to them, and then not have to engage in the same tired discussion yet again.

Or I could just start smacking people.  That’s another option.

The TMI Post

I am sick, like raging raging sick.  I do not get medium sick ever… I’m either feeling slightly under the weather and am totally fine again after a day of chilling out or I’m shooting all the nutrients in my body out of orifices I wasn’t even aware I had.  It’s super gross.

I have found a secret weapon though… it won’t make you feel better but it will make feeling crappy a little less terrible.

vitamin water

Acai-Blueberry-Pomegranate Vitamin Water.  This is super gross so I wasn’t going to tell people but it helps so much I kind of felt like I had to.

If this is the only thing in your stomach your vomit will taste exactly like those little Swedish Fish candies.  True story.  Throwing up is never any fun, but it sucks quite a bit less when it doesn’t taste like regurgitated corned beef or fried pickles (which are, in my opinion, the grossest things to throw up ever… you do not want to know how I know that.)

As an added bonus, it smells like Swedish Fish candies too.  You know that moment in the middle of the night when you just threw up in the trash can next to your bed and you can’t find the energy necessary to go throw the trash bag away outside but you know that otherwise your room is going to smell like upchuck in the morning?  (No need to answer, I know you do, we’ve all been there.)  Well now you can just go back to sleep and/or rolling around in your bed moaning without worrying about it.  When the cursed morning lights rises on your rolling and moaning your room will smell like candy.

So that’s my TMI for the day, next time you’re not feeling good you’ll thank me.

How I Grieve

There are several normal ways people process terrible news.  Some people get angry, some people cry and get depressed, some people get drunk so they don’t have to think about it.

Always the rebel I don’t do any other that (at least not at first), I have my own system.

First, I have a small break down where I twitch, laugh like a crazy person, and talk about what’s happening very loudly and making inappropriate jokes.   Usually I can contain this enough to only do it in front of people who know me well enough to not be horribly offended, which is good.

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Then I get a hold of anyone and everyone I know going through something rough who don’t know what’s happening to me, and coax them into telling me everything about their terrible situation cause I feel a lot better being the comforter than the comforted.

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Finally, I go about my normal life, but insert whatever’s happening in my life into every conversation in my mind.

(Anyone who knows my family, my grandpa did not die and my mom does not have cancer.  I'm just using them as examples.  Don't panic.)
(Anyone who knows my family, my grandpa did not die and my mom does not have cancer. I’m just using them as examples. Don’t panic.)

Come, let me gently stroke your lifeless feathers.

My kids are masters at entertaining one another.  Don’t get me wrong, they have their super clingy moments… but now that it’s nice out they’ll spend hours in the backyard just moving dirt from one place to another (I’m convinced there’s some super fun angle to the game I’m just not aware of yet) and since the yard is all walled in so they can’t escape all I have to do is poke my head out every few minutes or check on them through the kitchen window to make sure one of the new dirt locations isn’t an oraphis in someone.

This afternoon while they put dirt on each other’s heads and giggled I used the opportunity to make my house look less like a disaster zone, until Verona walked in cuddling with a new special friend.

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Yep.  A dead bird.

Now I am not the germaphobic mom… not by a long shot… I think running around like a half naked dirty little monster for the first couple years of your life is the way it should be.  I even consider the 5 second rule germaphobic, in our house we have the “If I remember how it got there you can probably eat it” rule instead.

But even so, there are some lines that just cannot be crossed… and carrying corpses into my house is one of them.  I threw up in my mouth a little bit and my one eye started twitching uncontrolably, but I wrestled all of that down and I kept it cool, didn’t freak out, and said “Ah, a dead bird.  We need to go wash your hands… like a bazillion times.  So go put it back outside please.” in the best not-freaking-out voice I could muster.

But instead of going and laying it back on the ground outside like I meant…

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It’s tiny bird body sailed through the air in slow motion, wings and head contoring in horrifying angles, until it hit the ground with the most horrifying thud.  I let out a long, drawn out note in my crazy opera voice because, for whatever bizarre reason that seems to be my default freakout noise.  With that toss Verona crushed not only that dead animals tiny bones, it also crushed my ability to keep not losing my shit.

When things get crazy I get weird… specifically I sing weird things about what’s going on in the afore-mentioned giant crazy opera voice.  Seriously,  it’s weird.  I can’t explain it.  But it was on.

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and sometimes random phrases on one single high pitches note,

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as I led the kids to the bathroom (them staring at me like I’d totally lost it the entire way) where I started to throw them in the bath but after a short vision of them sitting in stagnant dead bird ick threw them in the shower instead.  Then covered them in about half a bottle of body wash each and gave them the shower head to play with while I went and called the west nile virus hotline.

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On the upside, (at least I think it’s an upside because it smells better than bird death) in my crazy freak out state I used David’s body wash instead of the baby soap because I figured it’s meant to handle man sized messes… or something like that… so after marinating it in for half an hour the whole back part of my house smells like man land and my kids smell like tiny frat boys who bathed in Axe before hitting the club.

My biggest accomplishment today was that I didn’t smack anybody.

Verona and I have had a rough week.

Girlfriend is two… and she is very, very two,.  And this week has been a clusterfuck of all the awful stereotypes about two year olds.  Most of the days I have spent almost 100% of my time either dealing with chaos or attempting some serious deep breathing and have gotten absolutely nothing else done.  But I’ve handled it all fairly well.  There has been the most minimal amount of yelling, soooo much deep breathing, and a level of patience that made me wonder where regular Jenna went.

One of the things that happened at the beginning of the week was after explaining that we could use the glitter in a few minutes as soon as I put the baby down for a nap, she climbed up the craft shelf, got all the glitter we had in the house, and emptied it all on the back porch.  So the whole rest of the week every time she wanted to do a glitter craft (which was all the time) I got to explain that we have no more glitter because you were being totally crazy sauce the other day and wasted it all, and she would start crying and be downright heartbroken that she couldn’t do a glitter craft… her absolute favorite thing in the world.  Natural consequences and all that.

But last night I decided she’d suffered enough, and in an attempt to mend the bridges and start the weekend on a good note we made a special trip to the craft store together, a fun mom and daughter only trip, and she got to pick out a giant container of glitter in whatever color she wanted.  A giant, very expensive container that should have lasted us a very very long time.

This morning she asked if she could do a craft with the new glitter and I said yes, that was a marvelous plan!  Give me just a moment to get our stuff together for it and we’d go outside and do it together.

But in the five minutes it took me to do that she climbed like a monkey, got her hands on the glitter, and I came outside to find this.

The entire container.  The entire giant container.  And one very unhappy boy with glitter in every crack and crevice in his body.  And one very unhappy mother over the fact that glitter is the herpes of the craft supply world and what gets tracked into the house will never, EVER leave.

I gritted my teeth and said in the least nasty voice I could muster “BED.  NOW.  GO.  NAP.  GO.”  After I took care of the saddest/sparkliest baby in the world and cleaned everything up I went in to the bedroom where she was still crying a little and said “We can’t talk right now.  I’m still too angry.  I just wanted to come cuddle with you because I still love you so much even when I’m angry.”

Which brings me to this moment, writing a story that I’m 97% sure we’ll all laugh about later.

Now who wants to bring me a margarita?