Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Thursday. Please give me a chance to explain and don't be all judgy.

So I have a little confession to make. Go ahead and find your center, or your happy place, or take some deep breaths or something. Only read ahead when you are ready.

I don’t really care much for this whole “holiday season” thing. As in, I’m not a super big fan of Thanksgiving and my Christmas countdown calendar looks forward to the 26th when the whole thing is over.

*GASP* “Outrageous! We must gather the pitchforks and torches right away! She must not love her family! She has a heart as black as night! We must rescue her children from the clutches of pure holiday scroogary!”

Calm down and don’t go getting your panties all in a twist. Let me explain myself. If you choose to hear me out, then for that I am thankful. If you prefer to make your own assumptions about me, then stop reading and go enjoy your meal. No skin off my back (which is a horribly graphic euphemism by the way.)

This whole Holiday Season nonsense seems to start creeping into our periphery somewhere in mid-September. It gathers steam by mid-October and by November it feels like everyone is in this frantic, cooking, cleaning, shopping, state of perpetual celebration that really gets exhausting before we ever even make it to Christmas. Only nobody wants to admit that it is exhausting. And we all run around with smiles on our faces and holes in our wallets to prove that we are indeed just as Merry as the next individual.

The busyness, the money, the gathering, the decorating, the cooking, the expectations are all such a departure from our everyday environment that it becomes really overwhelming for a struggling Obsessive-Compulsive with Agoraphobia and moderate to severe Generalized Anxiety Disorder w/panic. I don’t consider myself Un-Merry, but more like neutral to the whole pageantry of it all. I could take it or leave it. Mostly leave it.

“But what about your family?! (in a righteously indignant tone)

This is the part where anytime I say “I’m not super into holidays” conclusions are made that I must not love my family or care about my children. Well, I DO like my family. I like getting together and visiting and eating and playing games and talking. I just don’t like the stress of creating some insane Winter Wonderland to do so. All I need is my couch and some coffee and Catchphrase and maybe some burritos. Hold the fancy decorations, china and hours of mess to clean up later. And if my family can’t all be together on one specific day, then that’s OK too. Sometimes that’s even better.

I’ve always felt this way, but until this past year, I was liberated enough to say anything about it. I’m on my way to managing mental illness. I’m learning to be unapologetic for who I am. And who I am is not super interested in Thanksgiving or Christmas. Love me or hate me.

The good news is that this is only my opinion. I am not trying to influence you one way or the other. I also don’t really like romantic comedies, but you don’t see me protesting outside of movie theaters. Enjoy yourself in your way and I will have holidays in my own way.

But I am thankful.

I am thankful that I can speak my piece and not pretend to be all enamored with the Holiday rush anymore. I am thankful that my dear husband accepts me for me. I am thankful that we can reach amicable compromises for this crazy time of year. I am thankful that he loves holidays so much. It’s like he turns into a kid again for an entire month and I love watching how happy he is. I am thankful that we have food to eat and a house to decorate. I am thankful that we have money to spend on presents. I am thankful that even if we didn’t, we would still be a family. I am thankful that God is good and loves me even if I don’t like holidays. I am thankful that we can be thankful 364 other days out of the year as well.

Happy Thanksgiving! You know...if you're into that sort of thing.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Yay! We got to see Bulls-Eye and Tiger this weekend! We had so much fun and I got to talk to baby E even if he/she has no idea what that noise was.

This week I am also thankful for the great Doctors who kept my baby breathing. Her crazy “reactive airway disease”, which is essentially asthma just by a different name, took us on a wild ride this week. We ended up in the doctor’s office in an attempt to avoid the ER and then we ended up in the ER anyway.

They let us back right away because of all of the not breathing and low pulse oxygenation and what have you so the waiting room wasn’t a problem. As soon as we got to the room this kid just walks right in after us. I say kid because he was about 19 and was sporting a huge black eye that could have only been attained in a bar fight. The kicker was that he was also in scrubs and had ID which read “Respiratory”. As I was pondering his ability to make scrubs look thuggish, I realized that this kid was about to treat my child. So I almost needed a breathing treatment then too. He actually did a fine job in between flirting with the doctor and hitching up his saggy pants.

In case you are unfamiliar with meds used to treat breathing trouble, what they usually give us is a combination steroid and albuterol. Both of these drugs have the side effect of revving up small children to an energy level that, if contained, could power an entire city. The downside is that the steroid and reactive airway disease make for a weakened immune system. I am tasked with keeping my little 5 year old away from terrible germs that could cause serious complications to her breathing. So, what does the little darling do to help me? She runs laps around the little room, dragging her hands along every surface she can, sits in the floor and rubs her hands along the hospital room floor and then licks her freaking hands. So I am doing a great job at the “keep her immune system protected” thing. But so far she seems to be alright even though she put her hands in her mouth no less than 4 times that night and her sister went ahead and stuck her shoes in her mouth. Why not, right?

I am also thankful for my dog. I love that silly dog.

Tuesdays with Chuck E. Episode 4: Holy Crap What Is That Smell?

I realize that this story comes a few days late. We had the sickness and I got all involved in making sure my child was breathing and what not. But we seem to be in the clear now, so without further delay…Tuesdays with Chuck E. Episode 4: Holy Crap What Is That Smell? I bring you this story by special request of my dear husband who is the star of this little tale. This was approximately the summer of ’99, back when he was my boyfriend and both of us were still too young and dumb to question the authority of our management. This story has the distinction of being the single most disgusting thing I have ever seen and that includes vomit ping pong and blood pizza.

It started out as a regular summer evening at CEC. It was melt your face off hot outside at about 6pm so we had a good crowd. Enough to keep us all busy but not busy enough to run us ragged. It seemed as though the store was a little warmer than usual. I checked the thermostat and turned it down a few more degrees. 15 minutes later the temperature inside the building was still climbing so I jacked the air down as far as it could go. Finally, one of our blinding intellectual minds decided that maybe it was time to go outside and check the units and make sure everything was working OK. At this point I was about 2 seconds away from taking my shirt off because of the heat, so I think it was probably me who decided to check the air unit because honestly what guy is going to prevent shirts being removed?

Unfortunately, when I got outside, I was greeted by the sight of all the air conditioning units frozen inside huge blocks of ice. So it looked like it was going to be a shirtless day after all, or at least a wet t-shirt contest. Although some of the unwitting wet t-shirt contestants were XXXL individuals who were sweating through their “It’s not a bald spot, it’s a solar panel for a sex machine” T-shirts. I went back inside to suffer through the rest of the shift in the blazing inferno which was actually hotter inside than outside at this point thanks to the sweat of young children and heat from the pizza oven.

I saw the little girl before anyone else did. She was about 3 and running straight towards me wearing a top and nothing else. She was completely naked from the waist down. I intercepted the pantless child and tried to get some information out of her. Surely there was a responsible adult somewhere…We looked and looked and finally resorted to using the overhead intercom.

“Attention ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. We have a young girl looking for her parents. She’s about three and she’s wearing…well…a shirt.”

No luck. Apparently this little girl was able to strip down and run around without ever exciting the attention of those who were supposed to be responsible for her and as of yet have not noticed her absence.

What I didn’t know was that at this exact same moment the complaints were starting to filter in. Luke, being the game room attendant for the evening, received the first few:

“Excuse me, sir? I think there might be something spilled over by the ball crawl”
“Um…Hey son, I think there might be a coke or something spilled in that ball thing.”
“Yeah, is there anyway you could check out that ball deal. A couple kids came out of there with some pop or something on them.”

By now I have wrapped a table cloth around the little girl’s naked bits and sat her down in a booth with some breadsticks while waiting for someone to lay claim to her. It was a real trick to keep her bare bottom from sticking to the vinyl seats since the temperature and air quality in the building was now approximately that of a sauna. That was when I started getting my first complaints:

“Hey sweetie, there seems to be some kind of smell in that room over there”
“Maybe it’s just heat, but there is something spilled or something and it really stinks”

Then, it hit me.

It was like in a cartoon when there is a bad smell and it’s depicted with a green cloud. Only this cloud was brown and actually stuck to the inside of your mouth and nose and lungs. It was such a thick and hot smell that I felt like I could actually take a bite of it. Imagine if a wolf or elephant ate rotten spoiled meat and milk and then threw up and then ate it again and then had diarrhea. It was like that. It was only a few minutes later that the evacuation began.

People were fleeing from the hanging cloud of death faster than we could even find out where the foul stench was coming from. So since it was 4 billion degrees and the brown cloud had successfully choked out all the remaining brave souls who tried to brave the heat, we decided to just go ahead and shut down for the night. There was one small problem; naked 3 year old was still sitting in a booth. Finally after the evacuation was almost complete, a woman ran up to me and happily reunited with naked bottom and both scurried out the door as though the place was on fire. To be fair, if I had the choice to run too I would have, because it seriously felt like we had been attacked by tear gas or some sort of cruel biological weapon.

But the real fun hadn’t even started yet. Now I know why she was jumping ship so quickly.

Now that we were cleared of all paying customers, the search began. We knew that there was a trail of something leading either into or out of the ball crawl. Quickly paper rock scissors were thrown and Luke thrown into the lion’s den. The ball crawl has a history of yielding some pretty interesting objects, so they donned rubber gloves, aprons and waded in. Almost immediately…

“Poop! It’s poop on the balls! There’s poop in here!”

So the crack team at CEC did what needed to be done and decided to wash the ball crawl balls. We created a sort of fire brigade line and Luke passed the balls out of the ball crawl to eventually be deposited into a mesh laundry bag. Once the bag was full, the balls were placed…wait for it…in the industrial dishwasher. The very same dishwasher that washes all of the cooking utensils, pizza trays, etc.

We continued on that way for a while; the heavy noxious air getting hotter and thicker with every few balls removed. Somehow this stuff had gotten everywhere. It seemed like every ball had come in contact with ground zero at some point. Suddenly…

“Holy crap! Holy crap! Holy crap! Holy crap!” Luke starts freaking out and then pulls up this mass of balls. It looked sort of like one of those diagrams of DNA, except that it was all held together by hot sticky diarrhea. Shortly afterward we found the missing diaper.

NOW we were starting to piece together what happened. Naked girl became naked when she discarded her poopy diarrhea pants. The heat created a sort of glue out of the diarrhea. And last but not least, the children in the ball crawl acted as big mixers in a gigantic fecal mixing bowl, spreading poo about the area more effectively than a port-a-potty in a hurricane. And just for fun, the air goes out creating a hot steamy bacteria room.

The solution to the 8 ball high diarrhea molecule-put it in the mesh laundry bag and run that sucker through the washing machine. The best part was when chunks of “matter” were coming out into the food trap. We had to run it a few times to get the whole strand of DNA to come clean.

It took another hour or two to clean and disinfect the empty ball crawl. I can’t really remember exactly. I blocked some of it out to protect my sanity. I think that Luke still takes showers every now and then trying to cleanse the mess of that night. The good news is that now that we have our own children, nothing phases him. Although our children have not yet taken a massive diarrhea in the middle of a public place. Yet.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stayed tuned this evening...

A) I realize that there was no Tuesdays with Chuck E. yesterday.  I spent yesterday in the doctor's office and last night in the ER with a sick child.  She has now been quarantined to the inside of our house which means that I am stuck in here too.  Neither of us slept so it's been a pretty great morning.  I have a great story for Tuesdays with Chuck E. and I actually wrote it all out once already today until the stupid computer battery overheated and shut the system down and auto-save decided to screw me over.'ll get it later.  But it's good.  It's really good
B) What demented SOB (I apologize for my use of cursing abbreviations) invented medicine for sick kids that decreases their immune system so they must stay quarantined while making them as insane as caged hyenas?  Honestly, dude.  What did I ever do to you?  Why can't you throw a little drowsy sauce in that little pill?  Also, is it really a great idea to give asthmatic kids medicine that makes them literally run in circles when the original problem is that they can't freaking breathe?  You'd think that as out of breath as she is, she would eventually get exhausted and collapse.  Not so.  Because the immune system draining wonder pill is power packed with Red Bull and pure electricity.  Also there is something in there that makes her scream and kick and fight everytime we try and do a breathing treatment which is like every two hours.  So do the math on that; 15 minute treatment followed by 45 minutes of hysterical running, jumping, and roof repeling followed by 60 minutes of chasing her around trying to get her to sit still for the next treatment. yay!
C) Please check out my other blog and don't be too shy with the ads ;)

Monday, November 16, 2009

How to read Angela's blog: A tutorial

I’ve noticed a growing trend in my blog readership. Apparently my writing presents a challenge to men, so they have their wives read my blog out loud to them. I don’t know why this phenomenon occurs; I just know that frequently I hear “So I was reading your blog to my husband last night…”

What’s the deal, guys? Are you uncomfortable with the copious amount of boobie discussion? Is it my occasional mention of how much I love online shopping, Dr. Pepper or burritos? Do I not say “chest hair” or “hot babes” or “football” enough? I totally gave Megan Fox credit for being hot a few weeks ago. I should get some points for that, right?

Whatever the problem, you are probably only aware of it because your wife is reading this out loud to you right now isn’t she? (Wives READ THIS PART SILENTLY IN YOUR HEADS…I am going to help you out. Just keep reading and act cool and natural…OK. Out loud again…NOW) well, she deserves a little love for her hard work. You should get up right now, walk away from the TV or computer or whatever, and go make her dinner and fix her a nice glass of wine or iced tea or something. Also, she told me that you are the handsomest, smartest, coolest, funniest, guy she has ever met ever and she could not live her life without you.

Ladies, I will now give you some tips to enhance your out loud blog reading experience:

1) I use the “…” thing a lot. Make sure to really give it a good artistic pause.

2) Use your hands a bunch. I am constantly waving my arms around like I am signaling the last helicopter to get me off the deserted island. Sometimes I even knock things down or hit people about the face and head. If you are uncomfortable demonstrating the correct level of hand exuberance necessary, just pick up something and throw it occasionally or pound your hand on the table at random intervals. That’ll probably work.

3) When you read the word “boobie”…giggle. In fact, when you read any word that might even be mildly associated with anything remotely anatomical or a bodily function…giggle. Other examples being “duty” “Uranus” and “illegal touching” which is said about every single time we watch a football game. I giggle pretty much for the entire game. And also, I just talked about football in my blog. So there, husbands. Maybe you have a valid excuse now to start reading for yourself. You could be all “Yeah, it’s a chick’s blog but she totally talks about football and Megan Fox so it’s cool. Armpit hair.”

4) Speak quickly with a mild southern accent. Especially when calling people names like “stupid” or “dork”. Really accent those up. Start each blog reading by saying “Oooo child {chAHld}, this is so funny {FUH-knee}. I’m fixin’ to read it to you. Don’t you be runnin' off now.”

5) Change the pitch of your voice frequently from high, loud and super excited to loud but lower. Volume is key here.  I am a loud individual.  Don’t forget about your hands! Are you waving around your hands?!

6) Words in italics are often sarcastic and require a special emphasis. Do not underestimate the italicized words. It could jeopardize the entire post.

7) Finally, laugh a whole bunch while you are reading out loud. I find myself hilarious and constantly laugh at my brilliance. Sometimes I find it even funnier a few weeks later, so I am always reading my own archives. It really screws up my stat counter.

8) There is no number 8 really, but I have obsessive-compulsive disorder and I really needed to finish on an 8. 8 is a good number and 7 is a bad number. But the good news is that thanks to medications and CBT, I no longer suffer from the bone crushing paranoia that previously prevented me from blogging. You are welcome.

P.S. Be sure to check out tomorrow, TUESDAY NOVEMBER 17, 2009 (or find it in the archives). My blog review will be the featured blog of the day. Be sure to stop by and support this great site! The reviews are interesting and informative and you just might run into some really cool new blogs to read out loud to your husbands.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thankful Thursday (with serious overtones)

I was wondering if you could pardon me for being mildly serious for a moment. Only for a moment. I haven’t lost my mind or anything like that. Well, OK, technically I am mentally ill, but my mind is still in tact. Anyhow…the mildly serious.

I am thankful this week that I was able to go to the first Singing Churchwomen Concert that I have been to in a long time. Agoraphobia took away the last few concerts from me. Of course, I make excuses and come up with semi-legitimate reasons that I can’t make it, but really it was agoraphobia and OCD all along. I tried to worm my way out of this one about 14 times, but my dear husband and unrelenting safe person kept saying “Woman, you are not missing another one. Take your pills and do your breathing. You can do this.”

So I made it all the way to the concert with the help of another friend and Singing Church Woman. She drove the car and I sat shotgun and occasionally squeezed my eyes closed. I did call Luke during our break and have him talk me down from a breakdown that consisted mainly of 2 phrases repeated over and over again, but thankfully Luke speaks “OCD breakdown” as a second language and managed to get me saying other words. The big news is that I never even took my anxiety medication. Yeah yeah!!

The concert was exactly what I needed. There is some fabulous music this season and since this was my first rehearsal/concert to be able to make it to, I heard a lot for the very first time. God is good and last night was no exception.

I am thankful that obsessive scrupulosity I suffer(ed) from has not taken away my faith. OCD makes you doubt a lot of things. OCD challenges your belief system and distorts reality and fantasy. OCD is relentless and exhausting and holds your brain captive. OCD lies and makes you question every thought and action. OCD is chaos and extortion and chronically misunderstood by everyone around us. Agoraphobia robs you of experiences and life and memories and being an effective person. However, OCD has not been able to shake my belief in Jesus Christ. Of all the things that I doubt and fear and spend hours trying to compulse away, my peace that comes from knowing I am saved has never wavered. And for that, I am thankful. On my worst days of obsession and compulsion, I can always come back to the root of my being which is that I am saved by Jesus Christ. That fact is protected deep inside my being and cannot be touched.

So now, just because I don’t want anyone straining anything with all of the seriousness, I offer you this: Kick in the balls. Because that is always funny.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesdays with Chuck E. Episode 3: Is it warm or cold?

When I worked at CEC, I had the job of hosting children’s birthday parties. Often, I would host several parties in one afternoon. The schedule was tight and cleaning up was a fast and furious process.

Many times, parents brought ice cream to serve with their dear little one’s cake. This usually resulted in the little darlings participating in some sort of primitive cake and ice cream flinging competitions. As I had not yet developed crippling OCD, I was able to just suck it up and clean as quickly as possible and every now and then smack a couple of the little guys around while their parents weren’t looking.

One afternoon, a nice big pile of chocolate ice cream found its way to the floor. I heaved a big sigh and set to work. To save time I bent down and started scooping the stuff up with my hands and transferring it to the plastic table cover so that I could just roll everything up and throw it away. This is the conversation that I had with my friend and co-survivor of CEC as I was cleaning this little mess.

Ryan M.: Holy crap, what are you doing?

Me: I’m just cleaning this mess up. Why?

Ryan M.: That is disgusting and I cannot believe you are doing that.

Me: Doing what? We do this everyday. I only have like 10 minutes before the next party and I need to re-set quickly.

Ryan M.: I do NOT do that everyday. I can’t even watch you do that.

Me: Since when does chocolate ice cream freak you out so much?

Ryan M.: Is that what you think that is?

Me: Of course, that is what it is.

Ryan M.: Let’s investigate. Do you see any other evidence of ice cream on this table? Any containers or plates with ice cream or spoons or a scoop?

Me: Well…no.

Ryan M.: And what kind of cake did they have?

Me: Chocolate.

Ryan M: And is it warm or cold?

Me: It's kind of warmish...

Ryan M: And…

Me: Crap.

Ryan M.: Yes. You are scooping up puked up chocolate cake with your bare hands. Congratulations.

The Wedding: It's long but trust me, you want to get to the end of this one

I am a professional. I have been in more weddings than I am able to count as a musician, coordinator, bridesmaid and matron of honor. I have stood on stages for hours. I have always maintained control of myself and fulfilled the duties to which I was called…until this past weekend.

We were headed to my sister Jacqui’s wedding! There were plenty of crazy shenanigans in the weeks leading up to the big event including lost dresses and belly poking, but all that was behind and we were on the way. We loaded all 4 of the Cavetts and 1 Pete the Wonderdog into the car. By car, I mean the throwback mobster mobile known as the HHR. This is not a vehicle designed for those of us who are taller than, oh say…those people on that TLC show about the little people. Also, when I am in that car I constantly feel like we should be headed to the speakeasy and drinking bathtub gin.

So we managed to leave town after circling around our neighborhood for nearly an hour doing things like getting gas, running back home to pick up the things we inevitably forgot, forgetting to return our movies, driving through McDonalds, cursing about forgetting to return the movies, getting snacks even though we were all eating McDonalds because calories don’t count on trips. We made it to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner and had a great time. The food was amazing and my children managed to keep most of the breakables intact inside of the exclusive dinner club where the dinner was held. Lily only showed her panties about 4 times which is totally within the acceptable limit of rehearsal dinner panty flashing so I’m pretty stoked about that.

The real fun didn’t start until wedding day. First of all, it occurred to me after the fact that I had had no water to drink since Thursday evening. We were now at Saturday mid-morning and I was working on my 4th cup of coffee and a huge Dr. Pepper. It also occurred to me after the fact that I had had very little food on wedding day. But all of these things have occurred to me after the fact so a fat lot of good that does me.

It would seem that going to the mall to have our hair done would be a simple task, and in fact it was. What was much more challenging, however, was all 4 of us who went to get our hair done arriving in the same place afterward. Melissa and Meredith went shopping with my Visa card. I was still in the chair. So when I was done, I joined them in the food court as we waited for Marie who was to meet us there. In a spasm of misguided helpfulness we all 3 decided that it would be easier to go back to the hair salon and meet her there. When we got there, she was gone. Presumably to the food court where we were supposed to meet. And so began the great mall crisscross of wedding day ’09.

We went back to the food court. She came back to the hair salon. We went back to the hair salon. She went back to the food court. I decided to plant myself in front of the hair salon while Melissa and Meredith continued their marathon run of the mall. I figure they are younger and better equipped to run all over the longest mall in the world and plus I thought of it first so sucks to be you. This little scene continued for 30 minutes which makes that exactly 30 minutes AFTER the time we were supposed to be arriving at the church. All of this was complicated by the fact that all parties were not with cell phone. When it finally occurred to me to go to customer service and request a page the geniuses looked at me and asked “Well, have you tried calling her on the phone?” Oh, thanks crack team of investigative masterminds. I hadn’t thought of that. I thought it would be easier to just run around with the music to the Benny Hill show in my head.

Finally reunited and at the church late but together, we flew into a frantic flurry of ironing, steaming, make-up, bras, boobie hoisting with said bras, corsets and Dr. Pepper. The air in the church building was already off for the season. It was November after all. However this particular day in November chose to be around 80 degrees and with no AC, that can make for some sweaty bridesmaids and a glowing bride. I double coated my deodorant, hoisted my boobs and strapped on my corseted dress. I looked freaking amazing if I do say so myself (and I do because…awesome!)

Pictures were done, guests were arriving and we were relegated to the dressing area to await the start of the big event. My 4 inch heels were tucked safely under my chair until the time that I needed to put them back on. These shoes did make me approximately 8 inches taller than anyone else in the wedding party, but without them I was still the tallest anyway so what are you gonna do? Plus they perfectly matched. As the moment approached I slid my shoes on and touched up my lipstick just in time for my brother-in-law to say “Don’t lock your knees or you’ll pass out”. That is when I uttered the now infamous words “Rolland, I am a performer. This is not my first time.”

At this point I will allow you to hear my inner monologue as well as the audibly spoken conversation. The things inside my head will look like this.

Yay! My turn to walk down the aisle! Slowly, slowly. Keep it steady in the shoes. Holy crap I look good. As I walked the aisle I could actually hear people saying out loud without even the courtesy of a whisper things like “That is the tallest girl I have ever seen” and “How tall do you think she is?” Seriously dude. I can HEAR you. I’m tall but we still have reception up here. And enough with the pointing and gesturing already.

OK, in my place. Dang it is hot in here. Don’t crowd the string quartet. Just keep it together. Yay! Here she comes! Oh, how sweet, the groom is crying. Luke didn’t cry at our wedding. He is such a robot. He should have cried dang it. It was the happiest day of his life! I need to remember to kick him in the balls when we get out of here. OK, time to make my way up the stairs. Careful…careful…these are the skinniest steps I have ever stood on and the wood is slippery. Keep steady shoes. Feet you shut up your whining. I don’t have time to hear it from you. Aaaaannndd… I forgot to fix the dress. Thanks a lot you stupid feet.

Honestly, how hot is it in here? Bend left knee…bend right knee…left leg…right leg…hmmm…oooo ring time. Just slip the groom’s ring right off my finger here. Wow…hot…and my mouth tastes funny. Legs, chill out down there. I can’t stand still with the all the shaking and whatnot. OK, now my hands are shaking. Well, this is just perfect. Why are all the guys over there staring at me like that? Only a few more minutes, just hang in there. But it is soooo hot and the room is spinning a little. Just take deep breathes. In…Out…In deep…and out

OK THE BREATHING HAS MADE IT WORSE. BREATHING HAS ACCELERATED THE PROCESS. BOUQUET HEAVY. THINGS ARE SPIINNING, LEGS ARE STARTING TO GIVE OUT, BLACK EDGES AND DOTS IN MY EYES! I’ll just grab Melissa’s arm right behind me. She can just hold me up for the next few minutes until I can get out of here.

Melissa: (anxious whisper) What are you doing?! Are you OK?
Me: *nodding “no” frantically
Melissa: You sit down! You do NOT pass out on me! You SIT right now!
Me: Yeah, you’re probably right. It’s just so hot and I’m so dizzy and…and…and I’m sitting down now. OK, cool. I guess I didn’t technically pass out I just glided to the step. I’ll just sit here and cool off. Nobody will notice and then I’ll just walk out like nothing happened.

OK, why are those people motioning at me? Man, they are really serious about something. Arms waving. Are they just saying hi? Hey guys I’m kinda busy sitting on this step right now. Ooooooo…is that water they have? I wish I could get over there and get some.

Well heeeeeeeeeyyyyyyy there handsome man in the suit-thing. Groomsman. You are called a groomsman. Are we going somewhere? Cool. We’ll just slip out over here and nobody will notice. Tiptoe across the stage, tiptoe in front of the singer, tiptoe to the pew. Shhh Shhh Shhh. Close my eyes so no one can see me… Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. Why am I soaking wet?

I’ll tell you why I was soaking wet. I was pouring buckets of cold, clammy sweat. That goes really well with lots of make-up and hairspray. I had plenty of help because as soon as I started to sway, the medical representatives in the congregation all popped up their heads like a bunch of on-call prairie dogs. Apparently I had also turned an alarming shade of white which is why all the groomsmen were staring at me with such wide eyes. And I thought it was the dress.

When I finally cooled off and became more aware of my surroundings, I realized that my sister Melissa the ICU nurse was still busily coordinating the scene from her new position as bridesmaid closest to the bride. She called the “if for any reason one of the bridesmaids can’t fill her position…” rule into effect. Meanwhile, the ceremony has continued on without me the whole time and my other sister the Bride has no idea that all of this is even happening.

Meredith, the youngest of the Murphree sisters, had the designation of Jr. Bridesmaid. When I went down, she got called up into the majors. With just a few hand gestures, Melissa had taken the bridal bouquet and my bouquet, and passed her own bouquet down. Meredith leapt into action as though she had been planning for me to become overwhelmed by dehydration, corsets, and heat. (I still suspect her to be guilty somehow I just can’t figure out how) She could not have been happier. Melissa quickly shifted everyone to their new positions and was just in time to pass the bridal bouquet to a stunned Jacqui who for the first time realized I was not beside her as planned, but instead in the front row being fanned by her new sister-in-law and supplied with water by 2 more individuals. I had really tried to convince myself that no one noticed my epic bridesmaid fail, but just in case anybody missed it, Jacqui turned all the way around and mouthed “Are you OK?” God bless the girl for being concerned when she could’ve been all kinds of upset.

So after all that, I was able to walk back down the aisle with the groomsman who had come to my rescue and who was escorting the newly crowned bridesmaid down the aisle as well. I ate cake, I drank lots of water, and pretty much kept a low profile during the reception. Lesson learned: Dehydration, no AC and corseted dresses are a disastrous combination, but praise Jesus Eric and Jacqui were happily married anyway.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thankful wait's already Sunday


I woke up with the intention of a great Thankful Thursday. Then I spent the day running around all over the place, doing laundry, cleaning house, teaching all of my Friday lesson that had been rescheduled to that night and then packing everyone’s suitcase. I was still extremely thankful, but also tired. I chose to leave writing down my thankfulness until morning to decrease the risk of Thankful Thursday becoming Cranky and Slightly Annoyed Thursday with a Dramatic Increase in Grammatical Error and Huge Decline in Impressive Vocabulary Words and in Increase in the Usage of “Crap” “Stupid” and “I Will Punch You in the Face”

Still very thankful, but awake earlier than expected due to a late night session of mucus and coughing. Not mine, but disgusting nonetheless. Since I had an extra sick child and one more lesson to teach before leaving for the wedding, I was not as quick in getting the suitcases together as I had hoped. You can’t be too careful when packing a suitcase; you don’t want to end up washing your underwear in the sink. By the time the 4 hour drive (which we turned into about 5ish), rehearsal and rehearsal dinner were over, I was very thankful and again extremely tired.

I thought that maybe I could hammer out my thankfulness pre-wedding. Did not happen. Considering everything that DID happen on wedding day, I am thankful to be writing at all…

Finally, thankfulness shall be revealed. And the unexpected delay has actually caused a re-write in my thankfulness. Here are the things I am thankful for this week (or technically last week
Our drive to and from was safe if not a little bit too long. I hate being in the car, but I totally managed. It gets easier and easier to be a passenger without screaming out every few moments and causing Luke to pee himself and/or curse. Although I must admit that sometimes I still scream out a little bit just for the peeing/cursing.

Water. I have a new appreciation for staying hydrated. I have never in my life been so thankful for the opportunity to hydrate. Of course, I took a dramatic act of God to help me see the error of my ways in taking my hydration so for granted. I love water. I love to drink it and wash in it and use it to help me cool off. Honestly, we have clean awesome water anytime we want. And I won’t soon strap on a corset dress without drinking some water first.

It has not been my intention to be so neglectful. I love your faces. Please don't stop reading my blog. And also follow me on Twitter

The situation is as follows...

I tried to blog in the car to get a Thankful Thursday done.  I lost my network.  The next day was wedding day.  It was very exciting and as usual I cannot stand for anyone else to be the center of attention besides myself.  Now that is an embarassing story and one for which I am truly sorry to the dear Bride and Groom.  I now find myself awake on Sunday morning with no Thankful Thursday, a long story to tell and it is time to pack up everything and begin the drive home.  Hopefully all will be revealed soon enough and you can then marvel at my ability to magnetically draw catastrophe to my person all while being thankful.  I love your face.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It's cool. Sometimes I forget my pants too

I found a new blog that is really awesome. I had some trouble sleeping during backyard camping this weekend (more to come) and I stayed up most of the night reading it. Yes I had the laptop in my tent. I also watched TV and played with my phone. Anyhow, this blog set in motion this chain of events.

I woke up early Sunday morning and as usual I made my coffee, took my shower, and decided to spend a few minutes reading the local and national news online. Then I remembered that I still hadn’t read a few of the blog posts so I decided to read one or two. The next thing I know, I look at the clock and we must leave for church in 45 minutes. Both my kids, my husband, and my dog are all completely still sacked not to mention filthy because I was too lazy to give them a bath the night before and decided to wait until morning (the kids, not my husband but I wasn’t going to argue if he wanted to clean himself up a little too)

So I spring into action, alarming everyone in the house who now think there is a fire or tornado or wild elephant loose in our home. I stuck both girls in the bath with the instructions to “wash your hair and don’t screw around”. Usually I wash their hair so this was going to be an adventure for them, but I like to think of it as a learning experience because honestly, you are in Kindergarten now so suck it up and be a grown-up already. Also you need to learn how to make my coffee.

I left them to their shampoo (after draining my first bath filling attempt because Lily peed in it) and went tearing off into my bedroom to decide what to wear and to do something about my crazy case of towel head. My decision involved picking the dress that required the least amount of ironing because I had no time to actually iron. Luke finally rolled out of bed and after quickly getting dressed and buffing his bald head a little, he went to check on the kids in the bath (whom I had actually forgotten about for a moment). These are the moments when I am jealous of his hairlessness.

I listened to the commotion of him chasing around two naked children while I finished straightening my hair. I managed to straighten myself I nice patch of stick-up-in-the-front bangs that would not lay flat no matter how much I begged it to. When they were finally dressed he sent them in to me to have their hair fixed and to get final approval on their outfits. Somehow “wash your hair” translated to “turn your hair into a 6 inch high rat nest on top of your head”. Then I checked the outfits. Grace had a dress and tennis shoes. Lily had chosen tap shoes for her ensemble.

We were at T-5 minutes before we HAD to be out the door. I attempted to tame the rat nests while my children were screaming that I was actually ripping off their scalp. Good news everyone. Scalps are still intact. We did NOT have time to blow dry said undamaged scalps, so I did the unthinkable; I sent my kids to church with dripping wet hair in 40 degree weather. Yes, I’m that mom.

Since I had also run out of time to actually feed and nourish my kids and husband, Luke and I decided that I should go on ahead and start the class while he took the kids to get donuts. I made it to church and was welcomed by a full class of adults without children who had beaten me there. 10 minutes later I saw my dear children walk through the hall and realized the scope of what they actually looked like. Donuts on their faces, chocolate milk in their hands, mismatched shoes, wet tops from dripping wet hair, chattering teeth from the wet heads, and somewhere along the road they had raided a gaudy plastic jewelry convention. But we were all at church, finally. And that’s the important thing.


The rough start to the morning must have set us up for some residual side-effects. Since I have to be at church earlier in the afternoon than anyone else, I take my own car and let Luke handle getting the kids up there later on for their stuff. He is great at it. This was an absolute exception to his normally fantastic dressing of our kids.

I went to my rehearsal and a couple hours later went to the other side of the building to pick up the girls who by now should be done with choir. I picked up Lily first. She was now wearing tennis shoes with tights and a dress, but hey; it’s more practical than tap shoes. Then I went to Grace’s class. Shirt: check. Shoes: check. Tights: check. Skirt:…

Um, Skirt…. My child is not wearing a skirt! Just thin tights! As though those are an adequate substitute for real clothes! It’s a good thing she’s only 5 and too little to remember this horribly scarring incident.

We finally made it home, got into our PJ’s and got to bed early for a better start to the next day.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I bet that marine life everywhere has better mental health because of my pee. You are welcome.

The medications have turned my head into a vacuum.

Remember that part on Titanic where the front half of the ship goes down and then they just bob there for a minute and all of the sudden the other half goes down and sucks everything back into like all the lifeboats and people under water? It’s like that. All the fabulous drugs sucked all the major crazy out in a big ol’ hurry. I just bobbed around for a while with an empty head, until recently the second half of the ship started going down and grabbing everything it could and sucking it back into my ginormous vacuum head.

So what does that have to do with anything, you ask?

First of all, I went to an event to play and sing. I went all by myself. I set up the equipment, I talked to some folks, and I took my money and went home. And I never even needed anti-anxiety drugs. This is the empty head part. I also went to Halloween carnivals, trick or treating, and get togethers unmedicated. I still OCD all over stuff, but I have only cleared visions a handful of times in the last few weeks. That’s way better than clearing endlessly for hours on end every day and night and having a minimum of 1 panic attack per day.

So suck it agoraphobia. You suck it too OCD.

But after the meds wiped me clear and left empty space all up in there, the second half of the ship started sinking and pulling anything it could reach back into that little prison in my mentally ill mind. It’s cool. I was ready for a backlash. I have a better understanding of how to deal with it. But it is still really crappy. It’s like, you know that food poisoning is going to give you the gut squirts but that doesn’t mean that you like wearing a bruise into your bum in the shape of the toilet seat.

Anyhow, the backlash…I had my first nightmare last night in about a month. Remember how vivid and terrible and borderline hallucinogenic they are? Yeah, well…good morning to me! It took me about an hour to breathe it all out. I finally broke down and took the stupid anti-anxiety drugs (along with the five freaking maintenance meds). The ship was going down fast and I was going to be incapacitated if I didn’t act quickly. I managed to swim away, but it is still freaking freezing out here in the water and that stupid guy won’t try to get on the floaty thing with me and he is all frozen to my hand and that is just plain nasty.

Bonus: My new meds might have crack in them. Or speed. Either way, I’m like the freaking energizer bunny after taking it and I am pretty sure that people are all “Um, do we need an intervention?” And I’m like “I’m so excited…I’m so excited…I’m so…so…Scared!” And then I laugh for like an hour because honestly, everything is funnier on crack. Plus when OCD makes me repeat all my words, I can do it way faster…so that’s awesome.

Seriously, we ARE getting better (I say “we” but I promise I don’t have multiple personalities. I mean like me & my safe person who is coaching me. Also I just watched Neverending Story and that big turtle thing calls himself “we” and that is awesome. I aspire to be like the big lazy turtle.) We are working hard and making progress. When you live with a permanent condition, you learn to be happy with the results of the day and let tomorrow worry about itself.

Sorry if you still have the image of the gut squirts in your head.

Sunday, November 1, 2009