Thursday, September 4, 2014

Silence in the, Living Room

I am a horrible mother.  Yes, I said it.  I am a horrible mother.  No, I don't beat or spank or hit my children. I don't keep them locked in the basement tied to a radiator wallowing in their own filth.  No, I don't starve them or pray over them when they have life threatening illnesses.  I don't teach them hatred or intolerance or how to vote Republican.  I am a horrible mother because (dramatic pause for emphasis)...

I love it when they go to school.

There.  I said it.  My children, who I carried in my body and who I spent 9 months cooking then devoted 4 years to each of them as a stay at home mom, who I love more that the infinite Universe plus one; my children for whom I would step in front of a speeding train, for who I would climb Mount Everest in a bikini, for who I would ACTUALLY TOUCH A SPIDER (wait, maybe not that one).  Yes, I LOVE IT WHEN MY CHILDREN ARE NOT HOME ALL DAY AND AT SCHOOL.

I feel so terrible for saying that, but it truly is a wonderful thing.  I have had a child or children following me around every second of every day of every minute for the last 8 years, and while I was very anxious and weepy to see my littlest go off to Pre-Kindergarten this year, that sadness lasted all of about, oh, give or take, six minutes.

Let me explain why.
  • Bathroom Use. - I can now actually use the bathroom for more than 5 minutes without someone knocking on the door to ask me if Optimus Prime has parents (no, he doesn't) or if killing a mammoth while walking through Skyrim is a good idea (no, it isn't).  I can sit and "ponder the universe" for as long as I like.  Seriously, it has been 8 years since I took a shit alone.
  • Showering - Pretty much the same as "bathroom use", but in this case I can comfortably remove my clothes without having to lock 3 doors and run the risk of one of my boys coming in to ask me "why are your boobs so down low" or "is that your vagina? does it hurt?"  Showering has now become a pure art form.  I can actually savor scrubbing my hair with that awesome shampoo I spent too much money on.  I can sit and let the hot water soothe my aching back and let the bathroom steam up so I feel like I'm in a cocoon.  It's wonderful to be able to SHOWER again, instead of that five minute lukewarm water "pits and slits" routine I was doing for so long.  I feel like I am in a spa now!
  • Exercising - My yoga in the mornings is now relaxing.  No longer is my Downward Dog seen as an invitation to body slam me.  My Sun Salutation is met with peace instead of "mom watch this, I'm a Ninja (something breaks)".  My final Savasana is restful and introspective, not "Look mom, I can be dead too!" followed by screaming and swords.  Yoga now, in the mornings, is what it is meant to be.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Savasana with Sword, Dodie -Age 4
Savasana with Sword, D Age 8
  • Household chores - It used to be that folding clothes meant I would fold the laundry, leave the room, and come back to my children "helping" me fold by mixing everything up and dropping half the laundry on the floor or the dog.  The dog would then try to eat the clothes and end up slobbering all over half of them.  Yea kids, thanks for the help. Same with dusting and mopping the floors.  Please, just....dont help.
  • Watching TV/Movie -  I can watch the most inappropriate TV or Movie I want without little pitchers hovering.  To date, while I have been folding clothes or dusting, I've watched, um, ok, that's not bad, no that's a kid show, OK!  I've caught up on Drunk History AND Mistresses so HA!  I am so rocking that TV time.  Today, for example, I watched a whole hour of The Adventures of Gumball before realizing that there were no children home and that I was the only person (read: adult) in the room.  Laughing.  Hysterically.  At Gumball
  • Grocery Shopping - There is nothing more beautiful in this world than going shopping alone.  Especially grocery shopping.  Mysterious items like "Crap on a stick full of sugar that will kill you" do not end up in your cart after you turn your back to pick up broccoli.  Tantrums aren't being thrown when you accidentally walk past the toy aisle and screams of "I want that!" when pointing to some plastic knock-off "Tony the Train Engine" made in Crapzbekistan by blind infants in wheelchairs who are paid ten cents a year. There's none of that.  There's just me and the list and I'm out within the hour with time to spare.  It's amazing. 
  • Gaming - I hate to say it, but I wish I had more time to do this.  For those folks who think that Stay at Home Moms have it easy, they don't.  And now that my kids are in school until 2:30, you'd think I would guiltily take some time to put my feet up and play some Dishonored or Assassin's Creed or finally finish my quests in Solstein and Skyrim.  I would so love to do that, but by the time I'm done with all the other things, there's really no time and I don't want to sit down and start something that I can only do for ten minutes.  Sure, I've taken a few minutes to check out Terraria (still don't get it), and kill a few skeletons in Minecraft, but if anyone thinks I've got a solid 8 hours to sit on my ass and play (like I'm sure some people think SAHMs do), you're wrong.  Gaming is still reserved for late nights, and because I'm so busy during the day, those "late nights" are few and far between.
  • Me - Lastly, and not least, I've found this person again.  You lose yourself in your kids when you're a mom.  I haven't seen me in 8 years.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still a mom and still completely devoted to those boys I love so much.  Just, for a part of the day, I can just be "me" for a while.  I'm not "Mooo-ooommm wipe my butt!" or "Mommy help me with my math!" or "Mama he hit me!" or "Ma, I'm bleeding and my leg is falling off".  While, I love being all those versions of "Mom", it's still nice to discover "Alessia" is still around, lurking about in her Skinny Puppy T-Shirt and combat boots.  
So there you have it, all the reasons why I am a terrible mother.

I can't wait until tomorrow.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Pink or Blue? F**K YOU!

Enough already with the goddamn "Boy" and "Girl" crap.  Really, enough.  I've had it up to here with the fucking "blue is for boys" and "pink is for girls" idiocy.  I've had it with making a normal everyday object, turning it pink, and then saying "it's for girls, yay!" It's  Darth Vader's red lightsaber! Only boys can touch it!  Now it's pink!  Yay girls!

Shut the fuck up with that bullshit. I had an encounter a couple of years ago about this crap with an asshole and I think it's high time this ended.

There are pink versions of every toy you can think of.  Is a piano not going to be able to be touched by a girl if it isn't pink? Is a soccer ball going to melt if it is kicked by a girl and it is not pink, what if her sneaker is pink?  There's even a Transformer that is pink, Arcee. Seriously??? When the hell did the ROBOT TRANSFORMERS grow boobs and dicks?  I had no idea that they were male or female.  Last I checked they were ROBOTS.  And I'm sorry, but I played with Transformers as a little girl and I was never burned, lightning did not strike me, nor did I end up a lesbian. 
And don't think that this is just the feminization of "boy" toys.  It works both ways as well.  Now "girl" toys are becoming more masculine by coloring them more "manly" colors.  For example, the LeapPad series comes in standard "unisex" green and the "girl" option is pink.  Gel cases can be found in "manly" blue and purple (though some may argue that purple still means they're "fruity").

The Easy Bake oven, which only came in one color years ago, now comes in "girly" pink, light blue, and purple.  The website itself is disgustingly infuriating as well as it is literally called "Easy Bake Cooking & Baking Games for Girls!" The whole website, including the videos and the links, are directed towards girls.  There's no, "Hey so you want to be Mario Batali when you grow up" or "Gordon Ramsay's tips on how to make amazing Beef Wellington in your Easy Bake Oven".  No, there's none of that.  The whole site is this overly cute, overly frilly, overly girly, piece of crap that would make any boy feel like there was something wrong with him if he liked that sort of toy.  Trust me, it does.  My oldest son loves to cook and asked for an Easy Bake Oven.  We went to the store to look for one and I hate to say it, he fell into the trap of the whole "girl" "boy" bullshit.  It's hard to teach gender neutrality at home when his peers make fun of him for wanting to jump rope instead of shoot hoops, for wanting to read a My Little Pony book instead of Iron Man.  So I don't fault him for chickening out and changing his mind. Besides, he cooks in our home oven now anyway, so take that Easy Bake.

I got into an argument with the drive up teller at McDonald's (please no hate mail. I know McD's is gross, but once in a blue moon isn't going to kill them) because I refused to say I wanted the "boy toy" as opposed to the "girl toy".  I kept saying that my children wanted the stuffed bear toy that came with the meal and she kept asking me if they were boys or girls.  I insisted that it didn't matter what gender my children were, they just wanted that particular toy!  And mind you, the "boy toy" was a piece of crap football player thing.  What the hell do my kids know about football?  They're 7 and 3.  They want a stuffed animal!  So I pull up to the window to collect the meals and I ask the woman to make sure that apple slices are in the bag (they forget) and when she notices the "girl toys" in there, she says "Oh no! You have boys!  We need to change the toys NOW!!!"  Um, no you don't.  They're not going to magically sprout boobs just because they're not playing with a "boy toy".  The woman looked at me very strangely when I told her not to change them and said "Whatever".  To this day, I refuse to say "boy toy" or "girl toy".  I can't.  It's just bullshit.

And mind you, it's not just directed toward children, this moronic brainwashing of gender specification  also targets (supposedly) intelligent adults.  The gun industry is making a killing on "Guns for the Ladies", that are pink or leopard print, and that fit in your purse or clutch. They even have PINK BULLETS!  Seriously!!! Now we are gender specifying how we kill another human being?!?!?!  Look, I'm not a fan of guns (don't care if you are, I just am not) but if I am going to shoot someone who is about to hurt my children, I could care the fuck less if it had a Hello Kitty logo on it, a fuzzy case, or was pink.  Jesus Christ!  Come on people!!

Don't even get me started on Bic for Her. I kid you not, their tag line is "A ball pen essentially for her!"  Seriously?  Now I need a special pen to write with because my dainty girl fingers can't handle the man pens?  What does a woman need this "essential" pen for?  Do I use it to mark my menstrual cycle on the calendar?  God forbid I use a plain ol' man pen for that!  I might get pregnant! Maybe I should write my shopping list because only girls do the shopping!  Maybe I can use it to score all the cute boys I know, because after all I am just a dumb girl whose only interests are boys, boys, makeup, boys, hair, makeup and boys!  Mean man pens are too hard to write with and if I make a mistake, they hit me!

You'd think that in this day and age, this whole bullshit of "boy this" and "girl that" would be a thing of the past.  Sure, there are differences between men and women.  I can't pee standing up (without making a huge mess) and they can't have a baby (although why is it that when I'm the pregnant one, it's always "we're" having a baby).  But certainly, it is high time to change the toy store sections from Pink (dolls, cash registers, kitchens, mops, beauty products) and Blue (sports equipment, action figures, toy guns and weapons, video games, tools) to just sections labeled "Stuff for ALL KIDS".  This way, more boys and girls won't have to feel ashamed or different for shopping outside of their "color".

Friday, February 28, 2014

Ghost In the Shell

There is something devastatingly sad but also wondrous and amazing being witness to the last breath of a living thing.

Between my sobs and wailings, as I held my beloved doggie in my arms and the vet administered her sedative and final medication, her light flickered and then went out.

That's the only way I can describe it.  She was there.  She gasped. She was gone.  Like the light of a candle.

I think I can understand how a religious person believes in the whole "spirit leaving the body" thing. When Salad took her last breath in my arms, the room changed.  No longer was I holding her, but rather her shell.  She wasn't there anymore.  It was so surreal. 

I held her body for a while longer, gave her a kiss and that was it.

Thanks for being my friend, Salad. 

Salad 2001 - 2014

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Go Big or Go Home

I've always been the nerd who pushed herself to the limit when it came to grades and school.  If someone got a 97 on a test, I needed to be the one who got a 98. Unfortunately, sometimes having a high score isn't always the best thing in the world.

Case in point, my thyroid.  I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease/hypothyroidism four years ago while having trouble conceiving our second child.  Basically, it means that your thyroid doesn't produce enough hormones to balance your body and metabolism.  For four years now, I've been on medication to regulate it but, if you've read my recent blogs here and there, I've been feeling really shitty as of late between the weight gain, surgery, and pain. And thus, I went to the doctor who I screamed about in my last blog and had blood work done.  In keeping with her "I don't give a shit" manner, when the results came in, her nurse informed me that my Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels were "high" and that I needed to go back to my endocrinologist.  I already had an appointment with my endo for the 21st of August so I didn't think to worry.  On a whim today, I decided to look up my lab results on my patient profile online.  The results of my TSH screen floored me and further validated my feelings that doctors today could give two shits about you.

The results were as follows: 

Normal levels of the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) range between .5 - 4.5. My lab results came back and (despite my daily dosage of 200 mcgs of synthroid) my TSH level is at a 10.71!!!!!!

10.71 people.  My thyroid is simply a decorative accessory or lazy motherfucker that just sits there and does nothing.  EVERYTHING I have been doing to lose weight, to feel better, to alleviate this pain has been pretty much for naught.

So, on a whim, I decided to look up the symptoms of hypothyroidism.  I mean, I know I already have it, but I just wanted to refresh my memory.  Remember, I've been dealing with this crap for 4 years.  So here are the symptoms (with my commentary).
  • Fatigue (I'm a mother.  This is a given for anyone of us.)
  • Increased sensitivity to cold (I live in Florida. "Cold" is 72 degrees)
  • Constipation (I eat so much salad and leafy greens that the toilet is my best friend)
  • Dry skin (Yep.  Me and lotion are like "this".)
  • Unexplained weight gain (Well, when I was pregnant, I could explain it.  Now?  Not so much)
  • Puffy face (That pretty much goes hand in hand with being a big fatass)
  • Hoarseness (This one is true as well.  I've found it hard to talk sometimes, feeling like I'm pushing the words out of my throat. I sound like a skvitchery old lady)
  • Muscle weakness (Let's just say that I cannot star in "Over the Top" at any point)
  • Elevated blood cholesterol level (I was told my cholesterol was "high" by the "caring doctor")
  • Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness (No comment)
  • Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints (Really, no comment)
  • Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods (When my period decides to show up, every six months or so, it's like a fucking episode of Dexter down there)
  • Thinning hair (Yep, and no amount of Garnier Fructis Volume Enhance will change that)
  • Slowed heart rate (Probably but I'm not sur.........zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz)
  • Depression (I don't need a fancy named thyroid problem to be depressed, baby)
  • Impaired memory (Huh? Wait?  Where am I?  What is this place?)
I'm no doctor (although I think I have more compassion than some), but I'm guessing that all of this bullshit I am going through is related to this 10.71 TSH level.  You think?

Hope to get some answers soon.  But really, 10.71 TSH and your nurse simply says "it's high"?  Epic fail.