Bad (?) Night

So, tonight wasn’t the best of nights. But, let’s be honest – anything past 5:00pm is rough. However …

Wait. What’s that you say? It’s been years since I wrote a post? Well, it’s true. For YEARS I’ve been saying I should get back into blogging. However, my anxiety about NOT blogging for so long made me worried about finally blogging again. Listen – it doesn’t make sense. I can’t explain it. Ask my friend, Zoloft – she needs to explain why she’s not living up to her end of the bargain. We’re waiting, generic name Sertraline.

So, I decided to just get over it. My first post back will be small and insignificant. And I’m totally okay with that (Right??? You’re all totally okay with that? If you’re not, please unsubscribe. I’m kind of a mess and promise that I always will be a mess.).

I realized I’m actually only really blogging for my girls. Before I quit blogging, I printed off each year of blogs into a hardback book. Paige reads them constantly (she’s been warned – I’m always kidding, I love her lots, and also? I really do love her lots). And lately she’s been asking me why I quit writing stories about them. You know what? The only response I could think of was “I’ve been busy.” Which, in my opinion has always been the most idiotic response ever. Because EVERY person is busy, REGARDLESS of what they do. I don’t care what your occupation is – you’re BUSY. Let’s not use it as an excuse. It makes me angry, and even as someone who will cancel plans with you at the last minute because I have crippling social anxiety? Even I draw the line at the “I’ve been so busy” bullshit. Just stop it.

And, viola – tonight’s installment. Enter the “shittiest of nights”:

The story starts with Derrick out of town (no, no – don’t add the dramatic shock sound here – this is normal). The girls had an early dismissal from school, and homework was done by 4pm (post Paige’s kickball practice). The girls lost technology early this morning due to ALL the fighting during breakfast (aka, I forgot to set the coffee maker, so my fuse was SHORT this morning).

The afternoon began sweetly – playing on their scooters and drawing with sidewalk chalk. Then someone must have breathed incorrectly, and the shit hit the fan. A screaming match ensued on the driveway. Did I mention that I live next to the mayor of Indianapolis? And, more often that not, his security is in his driveway waiting for him. I can only imagine they are putting my children on some sort of future watch-list.

Any-whoo – the fight finishes (with multiple red marks on bodies and LOTS of tears). Paige comes in and is oddly easily disciplined. Blair comes inside and calmly asks for a drink of water. This should have been a warning sign. NEVER are both of them easy at the same time. N.E.V.E.R.

Blair comes in, and is hysterical because … I don’t really even know why. Something about Paige not wanting to “play gardening the right way.” Paige claims “we weren’t even playing gardening”. Fast forward to 30 minutes of this insane argument spiraling, and my throat hurting from yelling at them to stop yelling. And then me making them do the worst chores in the house because I kind of hate them just a little bit (when you read this, girls, just kidding – not kidding. Wait until you have kids. The amount of love makes your heart burst, but there’s still room for anger. ALWAYS room for anger).

So, they eventually pull it together and we head to dinner with friends. I’m gonna be honest – they were still pretty jerky at dinner. But, they made conversation with the adults, and they were very polite to our servers. So, I let it go (but they had water to drink while the other kids had Sprite – so BOOYAH!).

Enter the car ride home. Grouchiness hit a level Def-Con. So, I did what any grown woman/parent would do. I pulled the car over, and put it into Park. I turned around and said, “THIS. IS. IT.” With the sternest of faces ever. Then I explained that we were going to drive around the neighborhood for 10 minutes. I was going to play amazing songs (aka, the soundtrack to “A Star is Born”). And the rule was you had to sing AS LOUD AS YOU CAN. That’s it. The only rule – belt it out.

So we did. And the first minute or so, they hated it. But – by the end? They were over their mood. I was over my mood. And we were all feeling ready to hang out with each other and snuggle. Which means watching ‘Fuller House’ right now. Which leads to me also saying a lot of “I’m not sure what’s going to happen to Aunt Becky.” But, I digress.

The moral of the story is, there are FEW things that can’t be solved with driving around and singing at the top of one’s lungs. It’s something I’ve known for years – I’m just not sure why it took me so long to make include my girls in the solution.

Signing off – Paige just asked if we could listen to ‘Rocket Man’ on the way to school tomorrow.

So, I’m doing at least one thing right.

Flu-maggedon

Guys – did you know that there’s a nasty flu bug going around? I could see that you may have missed it … if you live under a rock (or perhaps choose to live an Amish-style life – wait, but then you wouldn’t be reading this, so never mind. You’ve probs heard about it).

A few weeks ago, kids at our elementary school started dropping like flies. I knew it was only a matter of time until I saw one of my worst nightmares – the phone number from school popping up on my phone. I should have guessed it – the timing was impeccable. Derrick had been out of town all week, and was scheduled out of the country for most of the next two (give or take a night in town). So, I trudged to school, grabbed Blair from the nurse’s office – and made a game-time decision to just go ahead and pick up Paige, too. It was a Friday and she’s a third grader – I don’t think they cover World Peace Negotiation Tactics until March this year.

Blair seemed pretty puny most of the weekend and through the beginning of the week. But, her fever never got super-high, and other than a headache and stomachache, she was in decent spirits. I pumped her full of Gatorade and water, gave her lots of screen time, and by Tuesday afternoon she was back to her good ‘ol Honey Badger self. We were in the clear, and she headed back to school on Wednesday.

I remember thinking Saturday evening that it wouldn’t be so bad if Blair’s symptoms were pretty typical of this bug.

Silly, silly mommy. That Saturday afternoon (the day following their retrieval from school), Paige started feeling warm (she had been a little grouchy the day before, but, let’s face it – these kids don’t earn their nicknames “the Ruiners” for nothing). I took her temperature, and sure enough – 100.6. I figured it would be short-lived, but I figured wrong.

*Sidenote here: You want to know what’s an amazing way to start the week? Have two sick, sick kids home from school who are literally fighting about who is more sick, and thus deserves the last blue Gatorade. Also? Have your husband have been out of town the entire week before, with no end in sight of him coming home soon. Add into that rain and snow, a rush to find clean uniforms, a first grader who NEVER wants to go to school and who discovers that her big sister is getting to stay home with her mom. The same person whose uterus, if given the chance, Blair would climb right back into for fear of not ever being close enough at any given moment. Yeah – I think I went through about a pound of coffee.

So, for the next SIX DAYS, Paige proceeded to have a fever. Typically of around 103 or higher. She was a champ, but she felt terrible. We spent most of her days watching Kids Baking Championship, Cake Wars, playing board games and pretty much just hanging out. And maybe doing some homework (what? I’m not a masochist – there’s no way I was letting that work pile up for me to deal with when she got better). Luckily, she never really lost her appetite (thank goodness. Homegirl is hovering at a 12 BMI right now. I know, I know – she CLEARLY gets that from me).

Derrick was actually in town two different nights that week, but his new liver doesn’t take to kindly to strangers (aka, stupid viruses), so he would quickly appear, we would all put on masks, he would dump his dirty laundry (thanks for that, babe), pack a new bag and head over to Dad and Nan’s. Poor guy – sitting in a quiet house in front of their cozy fire. It must have been miserable …

*Another sidenote here: You know what ELSE is fun? When one daughter gets to stay home while the other goes to school. But, the sister getting to go to school gets to do fun things every day since it’s Catholic Schools Week. And EVERY. EFFING. DAY. is a series of multiple fights about NOT wanting to hear about what Paige did with me during the day and NOT wanting to hear about what Blair did at school that was fun. AKA – each child constantly talking about said things to torture their sister. Reading back over this, I may have some mild form of PTSD. I should look into that … 

Things were looking better by Friday – Paige had been fever-free since Thursday afternoon (but I kept her home just in case), so Derrick got to come home. Whew – we were in the clear. The girls were both feeling MUCH better. Case in point: I was on the phone with their Nani Saturday morning, and this conversation happened:

Nani: “What in the WORLD is that?!?!?” (BTWs, this is not at all an uncommon thing for someone to say whilst on the phone with a Feldmann parent)

Me: “Oh, hold on…” Yells at girls, who are currently sitting on/next to me in my bed … “sorry, they were fighting. Blair punched Paige in the face so I needed to send her to her room.”

Nani: “Why did she punch her???”

Me: “Well, Paige asked her what game she was playing on her tablet. The nerve of that one, huh?”

Good Lord, Blair. Dial it down a notch.

Blah, blah, blah – there is a point to this. And that point is that by Sunday mid-afternoon, I realized I was in the full throes of this stupid Influenza. I’ll admit it – I got cocky. I thought I was in the clear, and it’s obvious I wasn’t. I ended up having to go to Dad and Nan’s this time, and I can promise you I was NOT enjoying the quiet and the fire. I felt like I got hit by a truck – and there were probably a few times I was wishing I had.

I’m finally fever free, but still feel like I’m super-hungover without actually getting to have any of the fun that comes with self-inflicted sickness. I haven’t spoken to another grownup other than phone calls, HeyTells and a few brief run-ins with kind souls dropping things off for us (well, actually with their backs – some of them *cough, EJ, cough* literally ran away after dropping things on my porch.).

So, if you see me sometime in the next few days, be patient with me. Try to remember that I haven’t been around grownups in almost two weeks. I miss you, grown-ups.  Treat me like that old grandma who blathers on and on – smile sweetly, pat my head, and send me on my way.  Unless you have the flu. Then you keep your damn hands off me and keep walkin’. We’ll catch up some time this spring.

Thank God it’s Not 2017 Anymore (aka #fu2017)

Listen – I know I promised I was going to start back up again. I also realize that was more than a year ago. I can’t even imagine how you have all been getting by without my posts (that’s sarcasm – I’m a little rusty, so bear with me).

Here’s the deal.

2017? Sucked. For so, so many reasons. I’m not even going to get into it – if you know me, you’ve lived through the past crappy 365 days, too.

But the good news is that on this cloudy first day of 2018 we start fresh and can turn over a new leaf. I’m writing this sitting in front a cozy fire, looking out over a beautiful bay in Florida (and it’s -11 degrees at home in Indiana). My family is healthy and relatively happy for the most part (ahem – I’m looking at you, Paige).

It would be absolutely perfect if my older brother hadn’t just sat down next to me and started making weird mouth noises. No – scratch that – a few of our kids just came back downstairs. So, it’s back to just above average-ish.

Here are my “resolutions” for the new year:

  1. Floss more (this one has been on the list for the past decade – I should probably buy some floss at some point)
  2. Workout at LEAST three days a week (this HAS to happen – I seriously look like the girl that ate Bis Feldmann. Let’s hope by this time next year I have lots of fat people clothes to give to Goodwill)
  3. Yell less (that’s not gonna happen, but don’t you think I’m a good parent for trying to better myself?)
  4. Pet more dogs (duh)

I also hope to write more of these posts – each year (except this past one, obvs). I print up a hard copy book of all the posts I write. Paige has started reading them (with STRICT instructions not to repeat any of the swear words she reads, or to take anything personally that I say about her. Remember, Paige – you make good blog fodder. I love you very, very much. Ish. I kid, I kid!!!)

Happy 2018, everyone.

#fu2017

 

Childhood, or early-onset Dementia?

*Shhhh, shhhh, shhhh. Before I get started, please understand that I am by no means trying to make light of the terrible disease that is dementia. I understand how terrible both dementia and Alzheimer’s can be – we’ve experienced it with multiple family members. I’m just trying to make light of my life – basically what I do best. If you’re super-sensitive (or don’t have kids – or a sense of humor), just skip this post.

The Feldmanns are beginning 2017 with a bang. We just got back from a 2 1/2 week vacation in Longboat Key with family galore, and we are headed to enjoy a ridiculous amount of snow with my twin and his family later this week. (I know, I know – my life is super-hard).

In the meantime, we are beginning a renovation of our laundry room/pantry/mudroom/dining room. Today.

Have I mentioned that I try to only take on as much as I can reasonably handle?

Except the exact opposite of that.

The back half of our house will be basically inaccessible for the next 3 weeks or so, which includes the family lockers – where the girls always (*cough – should – cough*) put their backpacks, shoes, coats and other junk they’ve hoarded throughout the day. And the backdoor, which is the only door we ever use to enter and exit our house.  And our laundry room – and the pantry, where I keep all their snacks. Oh Lord, what the hell was I thinking…

But, I digress.

The point of this story is how my children are preparing for the construction. Those of you who know Paige well knows that she has a bit of *ahem* “difficulty” transitioning from one thing to another. Like, from getting out of the car and into piano lessons. Or out of the bath and into pajamas. Or from one spot on the couch to the other. You know, the really difficult transitions that plague only the most strenuous lives.

In light of the construction, our morning and afternoon routine will be drastically changed (well, drastically may be a strong word – unless you’re under the age of 10, I’d imagine). We will be parking in front of our house. We will be coming in and out of the front door.  Coats will be in the front closet. Backpacks and shoes will be in the art room. I mean, in my kids’ world, we are basically living in another planet. (Although, Derrick had to have me remind him three times yesterday where his car keys were – so perhaps the apples don’t fall far.)

I spent much of the weekend walking the girls through what our new morning and afternoon routines will look like. I moved their coats, backpacks, shoes, etc. to their new locations. During dinner, I talked all about what our morning would look like (especially since their dad would be out of town). This morning, as they were having breakfast, we talked through it all again.

Fast-forward to 7:30 am – time to pack up for school. I ask the girls to a) stop fist-fighting while they are trying to “help” each other make their beds (WTH?), and, b) to go downstairs to get their shoes, coats and backpacks. Both girls head downstairs … and immediately start panicking because they can’t find anything. Like, actually screaming as if their things had been stolen out from under our very noses.

Everything I had discussed IN BRUTAL DETAIL and MULTIPLE TIMES?

Gone from their minds.

When I looked at them like they were crazy people and yelled, “Guys! It’s all in the art room and the front closet! What the heck?!?! I JUST told you that!” They both started at me like they literally had never heard this before. Ever. Paige even went as far as to say, “Why would you put our stuff in the other room? That doesn’t even make any sense!”

Sometimes, I’m fairly certain that my voice is white noise to their little ears. Either that, or their little brains have already started deteriorating to the point where they have zero long- or short-term memories remaining (except for whose turn it is to play the Wii-U – THAT is always clear as a bell).

I mean, it is truly as if I had never even discussed what would be changing with them at all (can you imagine the energy I would have saved). We eventually cleared everything up, and headed out the door. I was pretty sure they understood now. Right.

As we are pulling into school, Blair catches my eye in the rearview mirror and asks, “So, when we come home after school, will our bedrooms be in different places?”

Yep.

This afternoon should be interesting. I may just drop them off at the Forum Memory Care Unit and tell them the construction is done. I bet they wouldn’t have any idea where to put their backpacks…

Humble-brag

Well, it finally happened. After years and years of prepping my ‘Mom of the Year’ application, finely tuning my craft by yelling patiently explaining things to my girls, and pretty much raising well-behaved, respectful children – well, I finally got the recognition I’ve been not-s0-patiently awaiting. Because – you know.

I’m super-impatient.

Drumroll, please …

 

 

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I. Mean. COME ON.

RIGHT?!?! I’d like to thank my parents, my husband, my extended family …

Oh, wait.

This mug right here?

The one that reads: Best. MOM. Ever.

Wasn’t actually given to me by my supposedly loving children. It was given to me at a gift exchange the other night. A BLIND gift exchange. Meaning? I pretty much got it by the luck of the draw (although, Chrissy Sweigart, I’m POSITIVE you had me in mind when you bought this). The fellow women there graciously didn’t try to steal it from me. It’s like they could just SENSE how much I needed this. Also, they probably got the hint when I verbally threatened/dared someone to try to take it from me. I’m such a sweetheart.

I love it more than anything ever – for the following reasons:

a) I have ZERO chance of ever actually winning this award. You know it. I know it. My girls sure as hell know it. I mean, just this morning, Paige lovingly screamed into my face, “Well, I guess you just hate me then!!!” Because I asked her to please brush her teeth. I even really said please this time. So there’s that.

b) This mug is GINORMOUS, and the only thing I like better than ginormous wine glasses? Ginormous coffee cups.

So, rest assured, all you better moms out there. So, basically, all you other moms out there. The award for 2016 has not yet been chosen, and I’ve officially decided to take myself out of the running this year. Mostly because I’m afraid the school nurse will remind the judges that I have had to have her call Paige to her office at least once a week because I’ve forgotten to give her the ADHD medicine she’s supposed to take before school every morning. And because for the past 3 weeks, I’ve forgotten to have Blair do her Sunday night homework of finding a picture starting with the letter of the week.

You’re welcome.

#BestMomEver

A Little Game I Play

I’m going to let you in on a little secret about me – my brain works in weird ways. Like, really weird – I try not to say everything I think out loud, but as many of you know, that RARELY works.

So, I think it’s time I taught you about a little game I like to play. Now, be fair-warned: once you read about this, it’s highly likely that you will begin doing this throughout the day. Every day. Or, maybe you already do it. In that case, I knew I liked you for a reason, friend.

Here goes.

I like to take kids’ behavior on any random situation and imagine what it would be like if it were actually an adult exhibiting said behavior. (Not to be confused with looking at an adult and imagining what it would be like if a child behaved that way – I’m looking at you, Mr. President-Elect. You’d be in your room for a LOOOOOOONG time if you lived in the Feldmann house. And our bar is SUPER low when it comes to bad behavior.)

It really only works when the behavior is outlandish or irrational. So, for those of you with children – it works all the freaking time. Below are a few examples to get you started – then, imagine away. I had to limit it to a few recent faves, because I seriously could go on forever.

  • Today, I went on a field trip with Paige and the entire 2nd grade. We visited the home of President Benjamin Harrison. The kids have been learning all about him for a few weeks, and were super-excited to see where he used to live. (Okay, I’ll be honest – they’re Catholic school kids who are dropped off and picked up everyday in carpool but their parents. I’m pretty sure they were just excited to ride the school bus, but I digress.) About an hour into the tour, Paige’s teacher and I were commenting on how good the kids were being, and how much they seemed to be learning. I’m not joking when I say LITERALLY 10 seconds later, two kids walked by us. One turned to the other and said, “Is this Benjamin Harrison’s house?” The other replied, “I don’t know.” Guys? As adults? This equals a one-way ticket to the Memory Care Unit.
  • Earlier this year, I went into Blair’s class as a Mystery Reader. I sat down before 21 little kids and began reading stories. All of sudden, one of the kids in front of me toots. LoudlyWhile making eye contact with meAnd homegirl just did nothing. Nada. Until it happened again. Yup – just as loud. She then raised her hand and informed the teacher that she needed to poop. Also? This happened when I did this in her preschool class. MULTIPLE times. I mean, I’m laughing as I type this – can you imagine that happening during a presentation you were giving? Try to – and tell me you’re not laughing now either.
  • This morning, we were running late to get to school (I know – HUGE shocker). After asking the girls about a million times to get their socks and shoes on, I looked at Paige (who was completely ready to go, including her coat and backpack), and then at Blair (who was standing barefoot in the kitchen, with nothing else ready to go). I took a deep breath and lost my shit calmly asked her to go get a pair of socks. For the one million and one (oneth? one million and first?) time. Apparently, I had poked the Honey Badger and this was a ridiculously unacceptable request. And she screamed, ran up to her room, and threw about 15 pairs of socks down the stairs – then threw one at my head. Let’s just say the situation resolved itself and both girls made it to school. (Disregard her tear-stained face, principal – the cold makes her cry, I guess.) But, I mean – can you IMAGINE? If I asked Derrick to put on some socks and this was his reaction?!?!?
  • My last example involved my nephew, Nate. He’s such a sweet little boy – just a few months younger than Blair. And this kid can eat like I’ve never seen anyone eat. In fact, I frequently tell his mom that she should enter him into some sort of competition. And he’s only 4 years old. The first point of Nate is that, when he eats, he ends up with food ALL over his mouth, shirt and self. Not just a dab or two you discretely point to with your napkin. Like, ALL over his cute mug. Every time I watch him eat it makes me laugh to imagine sitting across from an adult to whom this same thing would happen. Imagine a first date setting. Or a business lunch. Right??? Also, sometimes ol’ Nate-Dogg shoves so much food into his mouth that he pukes. And when I say sometimes, I mean multiple times a week. Picture your husband or wife – MULTIPLE TIMES A WEEK – putting so much food into their mouth that they puke. Sometimes right at the table.

So, there’s your new challenge – if you think it’s stupid, then don’t do it. I really don’t care one way or the other. (That’s a lie – if you think it’s stupid, then I think your sense of humor is stupid.). Good luck – and get out there to those holiday parties to fart and smear food all over your face.

Game on.

 

 

Feldmann Family Returns

Oh-mah-gersh, guys. I can’t believe it’s been a couple of days since I’ve posted!

Um, yikes. Scratch that. It’s been TWO. EFFING. YEARS. I can’t even imagine how you’ve been getting along. How are you coping? How are you even making it though the day(s)??? I say ENOUGH already! I’m back – so, get your big girl/boy panties on and get ready for the onslaught that is me complaining-yet-unconditionally-loving-my-TERRIBLY-behaved-children.

We’re back, y’all. And boy do I have stories for you. Blair started Kindergarten. Paige is in second grade.

Blair told me to “pull yourself together” the other day.

Paige asked me “how would anyone grab someone by the pussy?”

It’s been a rough, and busy, two years. And I feel like it’s my duty to report on the shit-show that is my life so you can feel better about yours.

You’re welcome. And, you’ll be hearing from me soon.

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