Tuesday Brain Dump

“I bet you’re getting a lot of writing done now.”

Three people have said this to me over the past week. Each time I smiled and nodded enthusiastically in a way that indicated I was indeed working on the next big thing. Look at me, with all my free time, being productive! My stepmom, who never takes an interest in anything I do, took an interest and asked what. Dammit, woman. I told her about an outline for a YA novel I wrote several months ago because I wasn’t admitting to working on nothing right now and sounding lazy. I don’t know why they expect me to be writing so much in the week the kids have been back to school.

In reality, I’ve written nothing more than some blog stuff. I’m sure I’ll get around to working on that outline or some other outline that probably won’t go anywhere, because my ability to finish a writing project that is longer than 20 pages doesn’t exist it seems, but right now, nada.

So, I didn’t get the Big Job, it appears. I wrote about being sent a contract for a writing job and then not hearing anything back after signing the contract. I went against my husband’s advice and reached out and heard nothing. I’m not sure why you would send someone a contract and then not give them actual work, but whatever. I’m equal parts bummed and relieved because with riding all over the country for these kids’ schools, BG’s therapy, and other crap, I’m not sure where a fullish time job would fit right now. Okay, maybe it’s not equal parts anything (I’m 90% bummed), but I guess it’s sort of a silver line? Hmm.

I whined to my husband about it. He told me not to worry and that I didn’t need to move into something so quickly anyway. I ignored him and whined more about wanting to make money and feeling like things don’t ever work out, which made him roll his eyes. Mr. Corporate America himself told me I shouldn’t be selling myself out for corporate America in the first place. Okay, then. I’m allowed to be disappointed. 

Yesterday LM asked me for some needle-nose pliers and wire cutters. I gave them to him, happy to see that he was building something. And then I asked what he was making.

“A lock-picking kit for school.”

I asked why.

“In case I forget my combination. There’s a place for a key in the back. I could whip out my lock-picking kit and get in.”

Oh boy. I told him nope because the school has a master key for those locks, and I was pretty sure that they’d frown on a student being able to open every locker in the school. Also, carrying around a bunch of wires in his pocket would not be good. He didn’t understand why. Really, son? You don’t know why poky wires in your pocket near your junk isn’t a good idea? Hmm.

He decided that he’d continue with his set anyway so he could open any door in our house. He wanted to be able to get in the front door if we got locked out and couldn’t find the spare.

First, you really have no concern for the poky wires, do you?
Second, you are so not fucking with the door that is already fucked up. I can barely get in as it is.

The kid ended up locking himself out of the bathroom in an effort to show off his lock-picking abilities. The bathroom has an exterior door on it for whatever reason, so it has a real lock. One that we don’t have the key for. LM offered to kick down the door, noting that it’s possible he’d break the wood but that the hinges would probably be okay. My husband got it open.

Whew, BG was a mess to get ready for school this morning. She refused to open her eyes, because if her eyes weren’t open, then she wasn’t awake and couldn’t go to school. That’s how she explained it, anyway. I got the pajamas off her little stiff-as-a-board body and dressed her. After getting her shoes on and telling her that she really need to stop messing around so I could brush her teeth and hair, the waterworks and kicking and screaming began. After I got her calmed down, I carried her out to the bathroom and found LM dancing while drinking a Capri Sun. He wasn’t fully dressed, of course. We got out the door on time, though, and LM didn’t forget his backpack like he did yesterday.

I took BG for breakfast at the place with the legit best chicken sandwiches. She did not eat, but at least we got a picture of her favorite stuffie of the day.

Weekend Coffee Share: School And Stuff

If we were having coffee, I wouldn’t bitch and moan about the heat today. We’re getting some respite from the heat this weekend, with highs in the upper 70s. It’s accompanied by clouds and rain, so it’s rather dreary, but I’ll take dreary over 90s any day. Our area has had almost 60 days of weather in the 90s (real feel in low 100s typically, thanks to humidity), and that is more than this time last year, which ended up 74 miserable days. So, this break is welcomed with open arms, even if it’s rainy.

That’s not us this weekend, yay!

If you were actually at my house for coffee right now, you’d probably give me a pat on the back for having a reasonably tidy house. I missed the kids while they were off at school this week, but my house is not a disaster zone, and for that I am grateful. Silver linings, amirite? I’ve got a load of clothes going and need to wipe down the table from this morning, but otherwise, it’s all good. I wouldn’t even turn someone away from my doorstep if they came up unexpectedly, and that’s saying something for me. (They’d have to wait while I put on a bra, but that’s it.)

You’d probably ask how the kids’ first week of school ended, so I’d tell you that LM’s ended on a very positive note. He had zero complaints for the week, enjoys all of the teachers he has met, and has made a couple of nerdy friends. The boy also made a 97 on his English quiz and a 95 on a math quiz. As long as he stays on top of his assignments and turns things in this year, he should do just fine. (He had a few Cs and Ds on his progress reports for not turning in stuff last year, so I’m hoping that won’t be an issue!)

Baby Girl, on the other hand, is still trying to adjust as I mentioned in another post. She doesn’t have any specific complaints, and she seems to like her teacher, but she has cried in the mornings and at night a lot and says she doesn’t want to go. Part of it is she’s just not sleeping long enough, despite lying down early. She also wakes up in the night, so she’s understandably very tired. Hopefully when she gets those tonsils out next month, I think she’ll sleep better. Even if she doesn’t fall asleep earlier, she’ll get a better night’s rest at least.

The principal greats her every morning and lets her cuddle his dog, so that usually perks her up before she goes inside. I should probably make a point of asking if she gets upset or has a meltdown if they’ll take her down to cuddle the dog for a bit. We will have a meeting to go over a 504 Plan soon, so I’ll bring it up then. Hopefully the coming week will be easier for her! I know it would take time for any kid to get adjusted, and even more so for one who is having sleep issues and is on the spectrum. It just breaks my heart to see her so upset.

We have no real plans for the weekend. My husband originally wanted to go to the zoo since the weather was supposed to be cooler, but it’s a) rainy and b) the kids are tired and want to hang around the house. We can always do the zoo in the fall. My friend messaged me about going to dinner tonight, so I may do that, but that’s it if anything. I may also have a drink or two or three tonight. Lazy weekends are the best, especially when they come on the heels of an exhausting week!

How was your week?

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Eclectic Alli

Friday Funnies

This has been an exhausting week, but I’ll save all that for another post. For now, I’m gonna focus on a few things that made me chuckle this week.

My husband’s uncle is on Facebook. He’s in his 80s and is quite a piece of work (he once told my husband all Obama supporters should get out of the country). My husband showed me something he posted this week that had us both laughing.

Nope, you’re not gonna find friends on Facebook by posting a status, dude. The funny thing about this is that he has multiple Facebook profiles (two with his name misspelled, including this one), and he has added himself to his other accounts. And I don’t even get that last thing. Why would you do that? My husband’s dad has ten, yes TEN, Facebook accounts that we know of, and he adds himself to all of his other profiles.


Coming in the year 2040: MarsFrog Frozen Yogurt. It will be available on the planet Neptune. Originally, it was going to be on the moon, but Baby Girl changed it to Neptune. She decided that after she becomes an astronaut, she’s opening up her own frozen yogurt shop. Fine by me, because I love the stuff. She asked me to go through astronaut training so I can come with her and help with her shop. I agreed. She’s still deciding what she wants to have on her toppings bar.


I swear, sometimes I still feel like I’m dealing with a toddler. Last night, I succeeded in pissing off Baby Girl while giving her a bath. Somehow we started talking about our vacation for next summer, and I told her we were cruising to Mexico. She asked what language they speak there and I told her Spanish. BG said she didn’t want to go there because she doesn’t know enough of the language to talk to them. I explained that many people there also speak English like she does, so she’d be fine.

“I don’t speak English,” she said.

“Yes, you do.”

“NEVER! I would never speak English! I talk regular.”

I told her that English was the language she was speaking at that moment, which caused her to start thrashing around and yelling. After she calmed down, I explained that England, another country, colonized this country, which is why we speak English. She seemed satisfied with that and stopping fussing over it.

Of all the ways I can piss her off, I would never have imagined that would be one of them.


That’s all I’ve got for now. Happy Friday 🙂

School Days, School Days

School days, school days
Dear old Golden Rule days
‘Reading and ‘riting and ‘rithmetic
Taught to the tune of the hick’ry stick

I have fond memories of my grandmother singing that in the mornings to wake me up for school. She fixed my “breakfast” of a Carnation Instant Breakfast drink since I wouldn’t eat real breakfast and got me ready. Good times and something I sorely missed after my dad remarried and we moved out of her house. My kids didn’t care for me singing that to them very much, which may have something to do with my inability to carry a tune.

So, Little Man is only on his third day of middle school today, but he said yesterday that it was still awesome. He likes the lockers, the extra bit of freedom, and having different kids in most classes. He also really likes the teachers he has had so far and even likes riding the bus. He made a friend (whose name he can’t remember, of course lol) who is into superhero stuff. He said even though the kid thinks Spider-Man could beat Superman in a fight, he’s pretty cool otherwise.

LM said his heavy backpack caused his desk to flip over in class when he got up, and was shocked when no one laughed and another kid helped him get it back up. I hope this polite behavior continues. Middle schoolers can be pretty harsh to each other, but it’s starting out on a very good note.

Baby Girl, on the other hand…yikes. She said her first day was “fine,” but didn’t give me much in the way of details, aside from playing with the other little strange girl at recess. (And I won’t refer to her as the little strange girl again, just specifying since I did in my last post.) Last night when we got her ready for bed, she was rage crying over having to go to school again. I hoped she’d feel better after a good night’s sleep, but more rage crying again this morning. She perked up a little when we got to the school and the principal let her cuddle his dog, so that’s good.

I know it’ll take a little time for her to get used to the longer days and less fun atmosphere (compared to preschool), but hopefully she’ll come around. She’ll only have a half day once per week since she has to go to her therapies (which she enjoys), so maybe that’ll help. I hope we won’t come to regret starting 5K instead of opting for another year of preschool.

The transportation is a headache. Even though LM rides the bus, we have a 20 minutes drive to the bus stop, and he has to be there an hour before BG’s school begins. I’m not feeding her breakfast at home and letting her sleep a little later and taking her to get grits while we wait for her school. And in the afternoons, we’ll have to wait about half an hour for his bus to get to the stop. Leaving at 6:40 and getting home at 4:20 every day. Less than three hours of free time before taking showers and getting ready for bed, and that doesn’t count homework and supper. Yeesh. At least they aren’t doing any sports or plays.

It was nice to have a quiet house for a few hours yesterday (and take a nap!), but today I’m missing them. I’ve gotta stop dragging ass and get on my to-do list. Eventually.

If your kids have gone back to school already, how’s it going for them?

Hello, Middle School

Today was the first day of middle school for Little Man. It took all I had to keep from crying at drop-off. I made a comment to LM about being on the verge of tears, and he said that if I cried then he’d cry, too, so I held them back for the moment. The boy was in first grade when I started this blog (and his sister was just a few months old), but here he is starting sixth grade.

LM only had a half day today, but he said he liked it. He said his homeroom teacher is awesome and funny, and he’ll have her for language arts and an elective class. He said the math teacher told them she was really strict and would probably make them cry. Yikes. His favorite teacher in elementary school also told them that — and compared herself to Darth Vader — so hopefully the math teacher ends up being cool. (He needs strict, though.) The other teacher he saw is someone he knows from the community playhouse that thinks a lot of him, so that’s good, too. We’ll see about the other ones on Monday.

Yesterday, I asked LM which classes he was looking forward to this year. “None of them. I don’t like learning the stuff the school wants to teach me. I want to learn what I want to learn.”

Lordy.

So I asked which classes specifically he didn’t look forward to. He loves language arts, math, social studies, and science. He loves theater and technology. After thinking about it a little more, he admitted that he did look forward to all of those classes. He also said he kind of looked forward to homework again because it was nice to have a routine. I don’t think he was being sarcastic.

I was worried that the class transitions, lockers, etc. would be overwhelming for him, but he said he already has his locker number and schedule memorized. He’s unsure about when he can use the bathroom outside of class. He insists that there are no restroom breaks and that kids are supposed to go during class, which doesn’t make much sense. Can you imagine having 30 kids and half of them needing you to sign a hall pass to leave during a 45-minute class? I would’ve lost my mind and wouldn’t accomplish a lot while teaching!

Baby Girl had open house last night. We practically had to drag her in since she decided she wasn’t going to kindergarten anymore. That was a sight to see. After she settled down, she met some other kids and seemed to get along well with another girl who was every bit as strange as she is. They had dinosaurs attack the Barbie dollhouse set up in the play area, which got the stink eye from some other girls. Weird kids unite 😉 The siblings of a couple of kids who bullied LM are also in her class, but hopefully she has a better experience with them than LM did with their older brothers.

The girl will have her tonsils removed next month. She has sleep apnea and very large tonsils, so hopefully this will help her get better quality sleep at night. (And maybe even stop the 1AM wake ups, where she also wakes me up and keeps me practically hanging off the bed every night since she has us in the “H” position.)

This mom doesn’t know how good she’s got it:

BG is understandably very anxious about this. We have a month to get her feeling okay over it. I’ve already told her about the rolling bed, wheelchair, fun mask that helps her sleep for the procedure, getting to miss school and eat ice cream for a week. She said all of that sounded good except for getting her tonsils cut out. I wish she didn’t need to have it done. Her apnea is mild enough that it’s not absolutely necessary, but they said she likely wasn’t getting good sleep at all most nights. The doctor also said it can cause ADHD symptoms. I know it’s a relatively safe surgery, but all surgeries have risks. I also hate to make her go through years and years of not being well rested, so hopefully all will be well.

Aside from some cleaning around the house, we have a lazy weekend ahead of us. No plans to go anywhere, plus a list of superhero movies to watch.

The Boy Is Back

Little Man has not had the best summer. He has often been moody and defiant. He hasn’t wanted to read or do any of the summer school work I’ve prepared for him (the last part is understandable, though). And he regularly antagonizes his sister, which leads to the screaming and name calling. I chalked a lot of it up to puberty coming on.

Since school is starting up in a week, I decided to put him back on his ADHD meds. (We don’t typically have him take them on weekends or school breaks.) Plus I made him start going to bed earlier, so he can get back on a sleep schedule that will be appropriate for when school starts.

And now my angel boy has been back for the past two days. He has been ridiculously sweet, hasn’t had an attitude about doing his chores — he even asked what he could do to help — and he finished a Harry Potter book and started another, without being asked to read. Plus he is making LEGO creations like crazy and isn’t asking to watch TV or play video games all the time.

Praise the lord.

It’s interesting. I know his ADHD meds help with focus (although he was always a big reader in the past, meds or no meds), but I never noticed not taking them affecting his mood/behavior in the past, but that is the only big change, so it has to be it. (He isn’t sleeping any longer than normal, so it’s not going to bed earlier I wouldn’t think.)

I am so grateful. Now, I know for a fact that he’s definitely in the throes of puberty (which I found out for a fact earlier this week in a way that has scarred LM and I both), so I know those mood flair ups will still happen at times. But seeing such a turnaround in his attitude and his love for reading coming back makes me so damn happy. There won’t be anymore skipping ADHD meds during weekends or breaks now.

In other news, BG had her kindergarten readiness assessment earlier this week. Her teacher said she is definitely ready for 5K and was impressed with her reading and other stuff. While she did well on that, BG said she isn’t ready, though, and wants to go back to preschool.

I think school anxiety is contributing to her meltdowns. She doesn’t want to be away from me, she doesn’t want to give up Pizza Hut Wednesdays (probably obvious, but our routine was Pizza Hut on Wednesday), plus she’s worried about making friends. BG said she doesn’t think people will like her because she’s different. And then she said if anyone asks her to be her friend, that she’ll say no because she doesn’t want to make new friends.

Plus her teacher doesn’t have superhero stuff and has “that yucky Barbie doll and princess crap.”

I think she’ll feel differently after she goes for a couple of weeks. She has her share of challenges ahead of her, but she’ll like getting back into a more scheduled day. I think she’ll also enjoy some of the enrichment classes she’ll take, like a STEAM-based class. Fingers crossed.

Quick Vent: Stop The Screaming

The closer we get to school, the more you’ll hear me making comments about how I’ll miss the kids and how I feel like we didn’t do enough this summer and so forth.

That day is not today.

At one point, I muttered under my breath, “I can’t wait for school to start back.” BG heard me of course, and after shrieking at the top of her lungs, she accused me of not wanting her. Oops. Dammit.

The kids were up before 7:00 as usual this morning. And BG has shrieked at the top of her lungs no less than 30 times today. We didn’t have the cereal she likes for breakfast? Shriek. Her brother looked at her funny? Shriek. I told her to pick up her toys? Shriek.

We are used to her meltdowns, but the shrieking is taking it up a level. And this isn’t just typical child yelling and fussing about. This is a blood-curdling scream that sometimes lasts for close to a minute (but feels like an hour), one that I am absolutely terrified is going to result in the neighbors calling the cops on us because they think we’re beating the child or something. It’s the kind of shrieking that is physically painful and makes my anxiety go haywire, and my anxiety has been haywire-y enough over the past week.

Thirty times. And the day isn’t quite over.

LM hasn’t been helpful. I’m pretty sure he is going through puberty now, and he is Mr. Moody Tween Asshole a lot of the time. Despite complaining about his sister shrieking today, he still antagonized her and made it worse. She doesn’t like him grabbing her or getting in her face, and of course he does it. She doesn’t like him doing jump scares, so of course he does it. Aside from the usual punishments of taking privileges, we started making him do push-ups this summer. His arms are getting pretty swole for an 11-year-old.

So, boo, yucky day. After my husband got home, I took some extra strength headache medicine and a couple of Xanax. I’m still waiting for it to kick in.

At least we’re on the list for therapy to help her manage her symptoms of ASD. I don’t even know if that’s what this is, though, but I’m sure we can address this mess and hopefully move far, far away from it.

Right now my husband is giving the girl a bath. She’s yelling for me to come. I feel like Ryan when Michael wanted him to come help him in the bathroom.

Pray for me, or at least send rum vibes my way.

Lazy Monday

It’s been a “stay in my pajamas” kind of day. My husband worked from home, we didn’t have anywhere to be today, and he picked up pizza for dinner, so I don’t even have to mess with that. I have washed some clothes, but I’m not even gonna fold them today. I have multiple laundry baskets for a reason, and I’m not ashamed to admit that we sometimes live out of them.

BG has commented a few times about how she’s happy that I’m still in my jammies. Out of the stuff in my jammy drawer, there are two striped nightgowns that she loves. I bought them when I was pregnant with her, and they’re super soft and great for cuddling. (But heaven forbid I lean over to pick up something, because then the ass is on display.) The girl is low-key obsessed with the nightgowns, and last night she told me she doesn’t want me to wear anything else but the nightgown from now on. Maybe I better warn her that I’m not wearing this when we go see her teacher tomorrow.

The kids have had me cracking up big time over the past few days. While we were out shopping this weekend, LM saw an Oregon Trail handheld game and made a comment about it. BG perked up and said, “ORGAN TRAIL? You mean there’s a game where we walk around and look for body organs?!” That child was over the moon at the possibility of such a game. She was kinda disappointed when I told her they didn’t have a serial killer in training game and that it was something else. LM said he might print out some body organs, paste them to cardboard, and make an Organ Trail outside for her this week. This is all so weird, but he’s a sweetie.

And yesterday, their shenanigans caused a booboo, but how it happened was hilarious. I was doing stuff in the living room when I heard a bump and crying. She fell out of the bed and hit her head. After consoling the girl, I asked what happened.

“I was being Scar and LM was being Mufasa and the bed was the cliff. I was trying to push Mufasa off the cliff, but I fell over, too. I’ll never try to push Mufasa off a cliff again.”

You really can’t make this shit up.

The girl LOVES Scar, by the way. She thinks he’s funny. Hmm. I’ve only watched the cartoon version all the way through once and then the live-action, so I didn’t get the funny vibes with the murderer and then attempted murderer so much, but okay.

So, I’m the person everyone comes to when they want their tech stuff fixed in my family. My MIL needed the battery in her laptop replaced, and it wasn’t as simple as sliding off a battery compartment cover and popping it out, because there isn’t such a cover. I had to open up the laptop and remove the keyboard to access the battery and unscrew it to get it out. Not easy-easy, but easy enough. Until BG came in the room.

She wanted cheese samples. She is obsessed with going to Harris Teeter and other grocery stores and getting samples. So now she wants me to make her samples, which I do buy cutting up a cheese stick in smaller pieces. I told her to wait five minutes while I finished screwing the battery in place, but she didn’t want to wait. So she climbed up on a footstool next to me and told me very loudly in my ear that she wanted her samples, but then she slipped and fell, and grabbed the laptop on the way down. The damn ribbon cord connecting the keyboard to the motherboard tore in half.

BG felt terrible and kept talking about how she was a bad girl now who messes up all the time. (Any mistake she makes these days, no matter how tiny, gets that reaction from her.) I got her to quit the negative self-talk and then we talked about the consequences of our actions and stuff, and I think it clicked why it’s important to be patient. (And I learned to never work on anything expensive when she’s in the house.)

I found a couple fix-its online, but they were done by people who really know what they’re doing and looked like a pain in the ass (and probably not possible for me to do anyway). Shit. I found a refurbished Chromebook online for cheap (like about the same cost as taking the old one to an expert and having it fixed) and ordered it. I told BG that I got her grandma a new laptop and asked if she was going to help me pay for it. I was teasing, because it’s not like she has money anyway. Her reaction:

“Why would I give you my money to buy something for someone? I’m saving it so I can go to Taco Bell. I could give you a penny, but I don’t see why.”

I told her I didn’t actually expect her to help pay for something like that, but did explain how when people break something they usually help pay for it/help fix it/whatever. She left and returned with some money.

“I have a dollar bill in my piggy bank, but I’m using that to get a cheesy roll-up from Taco Bell. I did bring TWO pennies for you, though, and you can use that to buy the laptop.”

So generous.

I’m so glad we had a lazy day at home. Appointments, appointments, appointments for the rest of the week! Buuuut nothing in the evenings, so yay.