Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Mad Money Ninja Skills

We were invaded this summer. By flies. Dirty, disgusting flies. Flies intent upon destruction. The destruction of  fresh fruit, glasses of wine, children's snacks, ice pops, chocolate cake, my sanity. The little jerks circled our heads in the bathroom reflecting over and over in the mirror becoming an army of mayhem. I woke up bleary eyed listening to a chorus of "M F'n flies!!"

My house is clean, I swear! My house is also full of animals. Animals that I have invited to live here. Animals who aren't always cared for by their owners (don't ever fall for "I will take care it, Mom, I promise..."). These animals lead to flies.

I don't believe in poison, but I also know that flies are nasty and spread disease, soooo the gloves were off. I bought the spray, pulled out the fly swatter, and set to work. I flew from room to room upstairs spraying with one hand and swatting with the other. At one point I hit three with one blow and felt like Jack the Giant Killer.

Things were looking up. We went out shopping, and I bought a new maxi dress. Back home, I tried it on to show the girls. I pulled my head through the top of the dress and... dive bombed by flies! What the actual F.....?! I chased those suckers down the hall, determined to find their evil little lair. They lead me right to the playroom (which is where we keep the rabbit hutch). They landed on the ceiling taunting me, so I hiked up the skirt of my new dress and smacked the ceiling yelling "Die mother fuckers! Die!" Did I mention Caroline had a friend over? It's OK her friends know me and my ways.

The ones that escaped the swatter flew under the shade. I lifted it and HOLY CRAP, 50 flies flew out at me! I threw open the window and most of them escaped (clever little jerks). The ones that didn't got hit with a one two punch of spray and vacuum cleaner. Yes, the vacuum cleaner hose attachment is an awesome way to catch flies buzzing around your head. I felt like King Kong on top of the Empire State building, only much better dressed.

My pretty new dress survived the massacre and is now dubbed "The Fly Killer Dress." as in "Hey, Melissa do you want to meet me for drinks? Sure, just let me change into my Fly Killer Dress. Do you mean Killer, fly dress? No Fly Killer." I got all of the flies, except one. Little does he know, I am stealth, when he least expects it... Whoosh, vacuum time!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Bittersweet Stage

We are in the midst of major transitions in our home. Both girls are moving on to new and huge transitions. All of the sudden it feel like someone pushed the fast forward button on the DVR of my life, they didn't just hit it once, but three times, you know that speed that your family always demands so you can get past the commercials faster? Yup, that's my life. But instead of racing after them shouting "guys wait up!", I have slowed down (see the post after this one). I have to get my head in the game. I can't afford to miss a moment. This is the conundrum of anxiety, you take medication so you can participate in life and not drown in it, but the medication makes you so chill, life just moves past you. What do I do? Chill or panic? Not sure.

Anyway, enough about me. This post is about my girls. Not to brag, but they both ended the school year like champions. Lily did very well in school. She passed her state tests and made honor roll. Caroline just literally took the world by storm. I love how she sticks with things, tackles them, sometimes gets knocked down, but always keeps going (hmm, I wonder where that tenacity comes from?). She is driving and working. Her job loves her and she has already found another job for the school year. She is so excited about her new independence and can't wait to fly off. Part of this flying off process involves pushing back at me. Rob says to not take it personally, but some days it feels like I am damned if I do, damned if I don't. Hence, the retreating. I was warned about this. There is more sharing about weathering the teen years, although still not as much as there is about the baby and toddler stages. The baby and toddler stages seem never ending and immediate. There is this frenzied terror and delight during those years. None of it prepares you for teens. Everything seems life or death when your child is younger (if you choose the wrong sleep, potty training, feeding method,  will your child will be scarred for life?). The teen years? They really are life and death. You are guiding the formation of an adult. Good grief, nothing that you have ever done as a parent has been more important and you are doing it all with an all knowing, slightly terrified, occasionally surly young adult as your co pilot. Don't get me wrong, in the world of teens, we are beyond blessed. Caroline is amazing. Truly! Sometimes, I watch her and my breath catches. I get that feeling of awe that I had when we first brought her home. "We made this...we created this magical creature."

And then there is Lily. I was so unprepared for this. Lily has always been my little joyful firecracker. Suddenly, she is almost as tall as me. When the hell did that happen? There was no warning that the days of toys and public goofiness and little clothes and sweet pats to wake me up would be leaving soon. When Caroline grew up, that was ok because I still had Lily. Oh, if I'd paid attention, I would have treasured the joy and exuberance more. Of course, I was also trying to survive the fury and confusion that accompanied it. The change has been subtle, worrying about her hair, increased sarcasm (the power is fierce with this one), cooperation and compliance (loving this!!!). She has entered this quiet thoughtful time. She is suddenly weepy and doesn't know why. She has moments of quiet. She can sit and read a book for 30 minutes. When we were cleaning her room (not quite the usual beginning of the summer crap storm as usual), she looked at me and said "You know, soon I won't be playing with dolls anymore." Still, she disappear and spend hours tending to them, right after she has declared R5 the best band ever. She is in between. It is such a confusing and tender time. She is doing it in a way that Caroline never did. It is like she is purposefully and slowly saying good bye to childhood. It is heart breakingly beautiful and completely unexpected.

I miss the days that were so full I collapsed in bed and wondered if we would ever make it. Truthfully, I loved the child stage. The funny things they would says, the music, the toys, the cartoon, the wonder. I don't miss babies, I miss MY babies. My girls are looking at the world with wide open eyes and hopeful hearts. We are standing on the edge, ready to take on new roles as daughters and mother.


I have had a bad case of writer's block this summer. Well, really it has been more a case of timing. I have wonderful ideas and compose beautiful thoughtful pieces in my head. The problem is these all occur at times when I can't get to the computer: stuck in traffic, on a walk, in the garden, right before I fall asleep. In the past, I could hold onto these ideas and write them out later. Now, every time I sit down at the computer, they fly from my head like startled butterflies. Is this another causality of middle age? Something new to add to my list of things to get used to, like the psychedelic halos I see when I drive at night? Is it a side effect of being a multi tasking mother? Of course, these sorts of things always concern me because I am unsure of how aging will effect the LD brain. I believe that my generation is the first the was identified as LD and given education services. It should be interesting to see how our unique (notice I did not say broken or damaged) brains handle aging. I have not found any research as of yet. Then again, I haven't dug very deeply. In truth, this "memory fuzz" is most likely do to the cocoon of a lazy summer full of reading and Criminal Minds marathons. I have not give this imagination of mine enough variety.

So, I have given myself some small chores to get back on track. Organizing always centers me (those who know my classroom will most likely laugh at this). I have tackled some of the scary areas of the house (you know those places, where if you open the door a world of crap and confusion comes tumbling out?). We have plenty of those, and I have just begun. I have also finally found a place to store and catalog all of my pictures. Caroline was surprised at how many pictures I have. What can I say? I like to take pictures and so does Lily. I have also tried a couple of home improvement projects, but have discovered two things: one, I don't like doing things by myself without Rob (misery loves company?) and two, I am not very good at DIY. Honestly most of my projects end up a bit of a mess. The one thing that I have going for me is my tenacity. I usually stick with it until it is at least OK. So there you have it, the push to break out of the hazy cocoon of sloth and push on towards the light.