Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I am Alive, I Swears.

I am here, I am here. I promise. I have not joined the cat in the heavenly plain. I am simply overwhelmed with lots of exciting new work right now that is taking 99% of my brain power. The other 1% gets divided between parenting and watching TV. Priorities.Notice that no percent goes to upkeep of the Manor. Y'all don't want to even see this situation.

I will be back ASAP, once I figure out how to balance all this madness. Which will hopefully be next week.
I will be back. I swears it. On my love for one hour dramas. Which is a serious statement. Unless I drown in dust and dog hair first, in which case, it has been nice knowing you.

In related news: If you are looking for someone to help run your business blog, do a little writing, or help you run your Facebook or Twitter, I am your girl.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Death is Complicated.

As my faithful readers know, our cat Lovee passed on to the Great Beyond this year. We didn't mention that she had died to Lady Baby. I was going to let it happen organically. Wait until she asked me about it. Cause that seemed like the best way to do it. Wrong

She never asked. Not totally surprising, since Her Highness never actually interacted with the cat. She though it was funny to hiss at her when we happened upon her in the hallway or basement. It is hard to get emotionally attached to a cat that spent her life avoiding all human contact. The wee one made her especially nervous with her squeals and outstretched, dirty little hands. So they were not exactly buds. It was more like they were boarders in the same rooming house. Lady Baby was the sweet young girl who was new to town, and the cat was the decrepit old woman who hated everyone and refused to speak. So we just never talked about the fact that we were now a one cat house. 

Her Majesty would refer to Lovee when she was doing family roll call. She would tell me Lovee was my favorite cat and Gypsy was her favorite cat (because two people can NEVER have the same favorite, obvs). And she insisted on putting food down for She Who Had Departed when she fed the other cat. I took the bowl, but she managed to find it and we would once again have two bowls heaped with food. Finally, one day, I had enough. It was time to explain. It was time to tell my sweet child that Lovee had left the earthly plain. I got all serious and down on her level and composed myself for a very. serious. conversation. 

Me: What are you doing?
A: I am feeding Lovee.
Me: Honey, Lovee died.
A: Huh?
Me: Lovee doesn't live here anymore. She got sick...
A: She's at the vet?
Me: No, she is in heaven.
A: Hmph. I though she was in the basement.
Me: So, we don't need to feed her anymore. Just Gypsy.
(1.9 seconds later)
Me: What are you doing?
A: I am feeding Lovee.

So conversation #1 didn't really take. I was pretty sure that my tactics were not those approved by the American Association for Good Parents Who Want to be Real with their Kids (AAGOWWRK). I enlisted advice from my friend Sara who works with Palliative care. She gave me some ideas of how to explain death to wee childrens. I felt more prepared the next time it came up, which was riding in the car a few days later.

A: So Lovee is with Evan (I have a good friend named Evan.)
Me: Huh?
A: Lovee went with Evan.
Me: What?
A: Lovee is with Evan.
Me: Oh, oh. Lovee, Evan. No baby, Lovee is in heaven. Heaven.
A: What is heaven again?
Me: *Cold sweats and deep breathes, remembering what I learned*
Heaven is a place that is beautiful, um, and far away but right here, and um, that is where we go when we die.
A: Ok.

I felt a little better this time, since she said OK. Like maybe she understood. Except we have since had this conversation in various forms 784,628 times since then. I think the concept it way too big for her. I get the sassy response, "I know, I am just talking about her." I swear we have talked about that cat way more posthumously than we ever did when she was skulking among us.

The last conversation we had focused on my delicate flower's favorite discussion topic. Diarrhea. 

A: (out of the blue) Lovee was sick and had to go to the vet. 
Me: Yes.
A: She probably had diarrhea. 
Me: No, she had something much more serious.
A: Like diarrhea.
Me: No, she was really really sick and felt really bad and was never going to get better.
A: With diarrhea.
Me: What did you do at Sam's today?

I think she still thinks Lovee really is hanging out in the basement and I am just confused. I also have a feeling we will be talking about Lovee and heaven and diarrhea for a long time to come.

Devil cat has gone to heaven to pee on The Good Lord's white velvet couches
and he is now having to get his duvet filled with clouds dry cleaned on a regular basis.
Bet you wish you would have left that one down here amongst the living, am I right Big Guy? 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Gotta Get a Few Things off My Chest

We have all done it. Omitted a truth, not fessed up to something, told a little white lie. I have a few that I have carried for quite sometime. I feel that I need to get them off my chest.

The sit-and-reach was more of my jam.
I am quite good at the sitting, and my reach
is above average. 
In elementary school, I missed the day my class was supposed to run the mile for the Presidential Fitness Test. I had to make it up another day during PE. Halfway through the first lap I got really tired of running. cause running is boring and I was alone. I told my teacher I felt like I was going to throw up. Lies. The truth was I hated running and much preferred waiting for my turn in kickball and gossiping with my friends instead. She let me stop and I never made it up. Wherever you are Ms. Isenhour, I am so sorry I lied. However, I think we can both agree there was little-to-no way I would actually have qualified for the Fitness award anyway. I was built more for library helper, less for shuttle run.

Lordy, I feel better. Let's try another. 

When I was little we got a set of World Books. When they arrived you would have thought my parents were putting the Dead Sea Scrolls on the den shelf. Brother and I got a thorough lesson in showing the encyclopedia the proper reverence. I am surprised they didn't keep white gloves in a box beside them for us to wear. From the moment they arrived, with their luxurious faux cream and burgundy leather covers and gold leafed edges and extensive set of handling rules, I was smitten. I treated those books with the utmost respect. One day I was working on a project and looking up a key piece of information in what I believe was the 'W' book. At the same time I was using a silver paint pen. And I got paint pen on the cover of the book. And I started crying. And sweating. And hyperventilating. And I swore I would take my transgression to the grave. Then not long after that, while doing some other report, I tore a page by accident (I am an aggressive page turner to this day). Commence the silent screaming in terror and regret along with full body shaking. I am not sure I ever opened our set World Books again. I worried that if my parents found out I would be grounded for life. And worse, they would be disappointed. Gasp. If only I would have known then that those books would later be turned away from Goodwill because they were so out of date, I probably could have slept a little better for three long weeks in third grade. 

Sweet mother. Unburdening my soul is amazing. 

Optimus Pwime, I am so sorry I broke one
of your brethren.
When I was little, Brother got a brand new Transformer in his happy meal. The whole family was in the den, presumably watching The Sunday Night Disney Movie or TGIF, and I went to the bathroom. Then I moseyed through his room, looking for things to touch that were not mine. I saw the new Transformer and it begged me to turn it back into a car or truck or helicopter or whatever it was. I started messing with it, and I broke it. Rendered it useless with one slip of the hand. I panicked, put the two pieces back where I found it in one piece, and prayed no one would notice that my time in the bathroom coincided with the mystery maiming of the Transformer. And I never told anyone. Brother, I do hope you can forgive me after all this time. I am sure you have been wondering who broke that Transformer.

A few other little things...
My mom hid cash behind a picture frame in the kitchen. I once stole a $10 bill in high school. 
I was the one who drank out of the liquor cabinet in junior high, not brother.
In 8th I was laughing so hard I wet my pants. I was so embarrassed  I told everyone that I dropped them in the toilet. 

Ahhh...clean slate, ready for the next 33 years. Anyone else need to clear the old conscious? It really is amazing. 

The next time I do this, when I am 66, I will tell all the things I have done to Hubs. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Post Nap Scaries

You never know what you are getting when a kid wakes up from nap.

Happy child? Angry child? Weepy child? 

Lady Baby still sleeps 2 to 3 hours most days for nap. She needs this time. I need this time. Anything less than two hours I call a failed nap.

However, upon waking my delicate flower is often less than pleasant. She is normally downright horrific. Sometimes when I go in to get her up she is smiley and happy and chatty. Then something happens between that and the obligatory just-woke-up tinkle that flips her little switch. Today it was that I helped her pull her mermaid dress and tutu up to get on the potty. How dare I be helpful. RUDE. There was screaming. Crying. Gnashing of teeth. I am pretty sure she was cursing me. It was ridiculous  But there is no reasoning with her. The bad humor tends to wear off between 30 minutes and an hour of waking. Right up to the very second the switch flips back to normal, she is a powder keg waiting to explode angry child all over me.

It sucks, but not enough for me to push dropping the nap. I will take hell-child for an hour after nap over hell-child for two hours before bed any. day. Besides, it is not like I am not used to being verbally berated by a toddler. 

Dont' be fooled. That is a time bomb right there folks.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What we Learned at the Manor in 2012

It is a new year. 2013 is here. Therefore, I want to clean out my brain and share with y'all, my people, my loves, what we have learned at the The Manor in the last year. It is a little long, so run go grab a snack, maybe a beverage, before you start. You may also want to take notes, because there are some true nugget in there worth remembering. Of course the majority of it is worthless, but who knows what will speak to you.

Potty training is the most frustrating and rewarding part of parenting that I have experienced. During the throws of floor peeing and scraping poo out of panties, one can be driven to tears. Repeatedly. But once everything clicks and your child is going consistently, it is awesome. And when she is sitting there taking a doofenshmurtz and looking at a Runner's World, you can take pride and say, "I am the reason my child is no longer crapping their pants. Well done, me."

Changing Jobs is hard. It is scary. But happiness is pretty awesome and makes the risk worth it. Even if you are working harder and making less. Right. RIGHT? Yes, IT IS.

Putting a pet to sleep is totally awful. Even if it is a cat known for being hateful who bites and scratches and repeatedly pees on everything when she is mad, which is all time time. Even if her main form of communication is hissing and you have to wear oven mitts to put her in a carrier. Especially if the only person she loved was you.
You will be missed, angry pee-er.
 PS>Her eyes glowed like that all the time.
Not just in pictures.
Not having the right underpants clean is a serious issue. If it is a Barbie kind of day and the lazy good for nothing that washes, folds, and puts away your laundry is falling down on the job and their are only Minnie Mouse panties in the drawer? There is hell to pay. Heads will roll. Management will hear about it. Loudly and repeatedly.

Its okay to say "this isn't working" and try something different. My disciplining tactics were not working. They were making things worse. Even more confusing is that they worked 6 months ago. But sometimes you have to admit that it's time to try something new. We are still working on it. More on that later since I am in no way 100% sure the new ways will keep working or be sustainable, but I am trying!

The Mayans are terrible calendar makers.

It is impossible to force someone to eat, drink, or go to the bathroom. It is nearly impossible to force a person into clothes. You can do it, but the aftermath is so horrendous that I can only imagine like two situations where it would be worth it. Add a Honey Badger, the hulk, and a screaming banshee and stuff them into a sweater dress and tights and stand back to see what happens. That is why my kid looks like a tiny gypsy Olsen twin 24/7. 

The word diarrhea is amazingly beautiful to a 2 year old. Only use it if you are prepared to hear it at three times a day for-ev-er.

When you are a kid, seeing a closed bathroom door makes you have to go to the bathroom. Immediately.  Especially if you are a nosy two year old who likes to have a captive audience. I will only get to be alone in the bathroom 7.4% of the time for the foreseeable future. I have to accept it and move on. There is no me time. Only us time in the potty.

Mrs. Kardashian did a terrible job explaining birth control to her kids. Might I recommend the book This is How you Were Made? Effective pictures, so they wouldn't even have to do much reading.

Tutus are the most versatile clothing item on the planet. Sleepwear? Check. School friendly? Sure. Riding the tricycle or playing soccer? No problem. And the best part is the can fit under or over virtually any outfit. 

Two year olds will go forever without taking a bath or brushing their teeth. You have to get involved and make those things happen. They will, however, wash their hands 74 times a day for 10 minutes at a time. Makes no sense. The hands? Sparkling. The teeth could be rotten and flies and a dust cloud could be radiating off the child but the hands are ready for sub-cranial surgery.

Korean pop stars are amazingly contagious dancers.

A good preschool is life changing. I don't know what I would do if Her Highness did not have somewhere else to go three mornings a week. And they are teaching her things that I could never. Like Spanish and how to listen. Saints, those ladies are. Though I think that might be where all the hand washing encouragement is coming from.

Trader Joes, Pinterest, Impractical Jokers and flavored seltzer water changed my life this past year. Check them out. You won't be sorry.

Hope everyone's 2012 was amazeballs and that 2013 is even better. No resolutions here, just going to keep trying to be a better person, a more caring mother and a nicer wife. And to cook more. And to spend less money. And to stop eating sweets like sugar is about to be rationed. And to take more deep breaths. And them some more deep breaths. And then maybe just a few more. And then stop because I will be hyperventilating. 


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