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Friday, November 28, 2014

Today Is Going To Be A Short One, Folks

Mostly because I feel like hammered crap on toast. My kids both had a respiratory virus and cough these last couple of weeks that I managed to dodge, and yesterday, it finally climbed into a truck and ran me down like some relentless terminator or something.

I managed to go out and shop last night (go ahead hate on me all you want) and got all the stuff I needed and then some, so all that's left before I pick up the kids on Sunday is housecleaning, present wrapping, decorating and getting the tree up.

Which I will do tomorrow.

Today, I'm laying on the couch in a Dayquil haze until it gets dark outside and then I'll take the Nyquil. I might eat some soup, too.

I think that's about all I can manage for now.

Hope you're all having a great holiday weekend full of seasonal fun and family and friends. I'll chat you on Monday, when I'll have a new Once Upon A Time Recap to regale you with!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Gigantor Arm, Gorgeous Face

Mom, did you see this picture. It is so weird. My arm looks huge.

Oh, I'm sure it's not - holy cow! Your arm is huge!


It's just perspective, Anna. I was obviously at an odd angle when I took it.

My arm is not that huge.

Well, of course it's not.

And I look like I have man hands.

Oh, honey. Seriously, it's just an odd picture...


Of your freakish gigantor-arm.

I love you, Mom.

And I love you, Gigantor.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

So I Finally Finished Binge-Watching LOST On Netflix

I finished watching the final episode of LOST at 2:30am Monday morning, which was really stupid considering I had to be up for work in three hours. Strangely, I felt no lingering exhaustion yesterday and even went to bed early. It decided to hit me today, and I'm seriously yawning as I type this.

But back to LOST.

I started binge-watching it a month or so ago, taking in several episodes on each of my kid-free weekends whenever I could. I never got to see it when it aired originally - the kids were babies then and anything outside their periphery in those early years is basically a blur now. I don't think I sat down once, much less turned on a TV show.

I became a huge fan of Once Upon A Time, however, and they seeded it with all kinds of LOST references, since head writers/producers Eddie Kitsis and Adam Horowitz worked on LOST. I figured I'd give it a try.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sometimes You Forget How Alone You Are - Until It Hits You In The Face

So, it's official.

Charles Manson is getting married, and I'm still single. Not just unmarried, mind you. Single. Alone. Just me, myself and I.

Yeah, yeah...I could probably find my own serial killer psychopath if I looked hard enough, I know. I'm the only one to blame for not pursuing that. It's not like they're evading me or going anywhere.

Heh. That was an attempt at humor. Because it's really not terribly funny that Charles Manson has someone who loves him - no matter how batshit crazy she probably is - and I'm looking at another weekend with only Netflix on the horizon.

To add to that unique sort of melancholy, I got a message from a friend of mine the other day, asking for my thoughts on the subject of Christmas gifts.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Happy Friday! Time For Another Visit To The Gallery of Awesome Stuff

It's Friday, it's really, really freaking cold outside, and I would like to be independently wealthy and sipping a mai-tai on a beach somewhere.

Obviously, that is not going to be happening today.

But all is not lost. I have assembled an amazing gallery of awesome stuff for your perusal:

Let's start with these:

And this:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Of Mice And Men And Mermaids: The Challenge Of Special Needs And Siblings

"Mom will you sing 'Morningtown Train' tonight?" she asks as we eat dinner.

"Oh, Boo, you know I can't. That song is too long and David climbs all over me and makes it very hard to finish," I say.

Anna nods, dejectedly.

"How about...'Goodnight, My Someone'?" she asks, hopefully.

"Okay," I relent. "But only the first verse. You two need to get to bed."

I will stand next to the bed and sing. Stand, when I used to sit. I used to hold her long and stroke her hair and sing and sing and sing. We used to sing "Morningtown Train" and we'd lay on the bed and rock like we were on a train, her softly saying "chugga, chugga, chugga" under her breath between the choruses.

And then when it was over, she'd pretend to be asleep, and I'd pull the covers up over her and kiss her and wish her beautiful dreams. But not anymore. Now it's a hasty song, by the side of the bed. I quickly smooth her hair and kiss her cheek, reminding her that I love her. I don't dare touch her longer, or hold her close much or David will attack.

Yes, David will attack.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: My Life Philosophy Regarding The Cold

It's an oldie
But a goldie
And still holds true today
This is how I personally feel about winter
And about life, in general

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Five Reasons Why I Would Totally Date The Hell Out Of Me

I am datable. I mean, I am really, really datable.

At least, in my mind I am. I haven't actually tried to apply this principle, you understand. It's more like a theory right now. But seriously, I have a whole list of reasons why I'd date the hell out of myself, if I were an eligible guy between thirty-five and dead.

Yes, that's my age range. I ain't gettin' any younger, y'know.

So here's why I'm dating material:

Monday, November 17, 2014

Once Upon A Time, Season 4/Episode 8/9 Recap: The Episode Where Regina And Robin Totally Did It

We begin today's Epic Two Hour Episode(TM) in Arendelle, where the Snow Queen is seen hiding the Disney Hat of Death(TM) in an extremely shallow hole in the ground (apparently, the hat has no effect on groundhogs) and freezing it over for good measure.

She seeks out the Sorcerer, talks to his apprentice and offers him a deal: find me a magical blonde baby and you'll get your hat back. She makes the deal by uttering her words (as usual) in a smiling, creepy deadpan, three words at a time. It's like Christopher Walken and Julie Andrews had a demon-possessed child or something everytime she's on the screen, I swear.The apprentice thinks that kidnapping a baby is do-able, but she may have to wait a while for a magical one, in a land where every third person and anyone born of true love has magic. Well. Okay, then.

Embracing New Traditions After Divorce: Celebrating Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

It was 2010, and Thanksgiving was fast approaching. For the first time in all my life, I was going to be spending Thanksgiving alone. Thanksgiving, once I became a married woman, was always about my husband's relatives. We didn't live anywhere near mine, so we always traveled on the holiday, catching up with his side of the family. I never did mind that - I adored my in-laws and still do. 

When my husband left and we began the long, arduous process of going from "we" to "me", we agreed to split the holidays in an equitable fashion, and I insisted he keep Thanksgiving all to himself. The kids always loved to visit their aunts, uncles and cousins, and I wasn't going to take that away from them, particularly when it was only going to be the three of us and neither of my kids cared for turkey. 

So I signed up with a temp service in town to work over black Friday weekend - it made some badly needed extra money for Christmas and it kept me from sitting around feeling sorry for myself. The holiday was looming, and the last thing I wanted to do was make my kids feel terrible that Mom was going to be all alone. Even if Mom did feel terrible. And believe me, I did.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Big Hero Six: My Movie Review

Big Hero Six looked like a lot of fun when we first saw the movie trailer in the theater, and Disney has been on a roll lately, so the kids and I were really looking forward to this one.

Let me tell you - it delivered!

So much fun!!! 

Interstellar: My Movie Review

I love science fiction, and have since I can remember.

Saturday nights at my house were spent with a huge bowl of popcorn and Star Trek on the TV. I read "The Martian Chronicles" so many times, the book fell apart and I had to buy it again. Twice.

Science Fiction now is more like "Action Adventure Blow Up! Lens Flare! science fiction" which is all well and good and fun but sometimes, you just want your brain to be working overtime.

Interstellar is that kind of movie - forcing your brain to stretch and turn and twist and weave with the story, all while throwing in some magnificent cinematography, outstanding performances and special effects. I saw it in 2D on a regular screen, and I'm wishing now I would have popped for the extra to see it on IMAX. It would have been very, very worth it.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

FMLA: When Family Doesn't Mean Family

Earlier this week I happened across this article in The Atlantic regarding the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and its restrictions, particularly on how it defines family.

The article details the case of Barbara Sapharas , whose brother became disabled in a workplace accident. He needed help caring for his children, and could not walk or drive. She went to her HR department to request FMLA time, and was told that under the terms of FMLA, siblings aren't considered family.

You read that right. Under the terms of FMLA, siblings aren't family.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: This Is The Year He Lost The Shopping Cart

This is the year he lost the shopping cart
He's eleven, you know, and even though he's always ridden in the shopping cart (with Mom trying to haphazardly stack groceries in the seat and around him), he can't do that anymore
Because there are rules, and he's all about the rules
Autism is nothing but rules
At four, we told him that you're not allowed to wear diapers anymore when you're five
It was a rule, you see, so he worked it out and potty trained in a day 
At seven, the rules said Mom can't give you a bath anymore
He mixed up the shampoo and conditioner the first time, but he figured it out soon enough
When he turned ten, the rules said you can't go in the ladies' room with Mom anymore 
He was nervous and didn't like that one much, but now he's a pro
At twelve, the rules will say you can't play on the kids' playground at the mall anymore
That one kind of hurts to think about, since he relates so well to the preschool set
This is the heartache of having a kid who looks two years older but plays six years younger
This is autism, and this is what works
Losing a little more each year, forcing him into a new, adult-shaped mold 
One rule at a time

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It's 11/11 And He's 11

He's eleven today.

Eleven years of belly laughs and volume set at three points beyond loud and a body in constant motion until he lays down at night, tousle-headed and full of smiles, wrapping an elbow around my neck in a death grip as he tells me I'm his real mommy forever and he loves me. He loves me so much.

And oh, do I ever love him back.

But he's not always easy, you know. Autism isn't easy, for either of us.

He's repetitive and sometimes wildly inappropriate. When I'm trying to write he'll sit next to me sometimes, insisting that I do pretend voices for all his action figures and refuses to take no for an answer. When he has a meltdown -which isn't as often now that he's older, thank goodness - he's big enough to put a hurt on me now.

Days like that, we work it through. If there's one thing this kid has taught me, it's perseverance. And blinding faith in the belief that we love each other, so it's all okay.

We love each other, so it will always be okay.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Once Upon A Time, Season 4, Episode 7 Recap: Family, Schmamily

We begin this week's tale in the lovely Austrian Alps Arendelle where we see the Von Trapps Anna and Elsa's maternal family skipping idyllically (is that a word? Yeah. I just checked and it is) through the green meadows, over the hills and under a kite, holding hands and obviously bestest sisters forever.

A very bad man comes  of nowhere, having obviously used the previously idyllic kite to lure them, tries to grab all three (even though there's no way he could with two arms) and Ingrid (whom we all remember is our Snow Queen) freezes the everloving crap out of a single tree branch that he hesitates under conveniently and ends up smushed because of it.

Ingrid is slightly taken aback by it, but her sisters are like "It's chill, babe. Whatever." and they all share cheap, dime store ribbons that they obviously bought at a convenience store at the foot of the mountain and conveniently had on hand and with them, they reaffirm how happily they've got each other's backs before they perform an intricately choreographed number to exit the scene.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Quick note for my FanFic Readers:

I know, I know.... you want an update!

Working it now, I promise. You've got to know this is going to be one hell of an epic battle and it must be sketched out and worded in and perfect. You deserve nothing less.

It'll be up today, I promise.

In the meantime, please enjoy these two completely gratuitous pictures of Colin O'Donoghue:

Now, excuse me as I get back to writing.

My Ex Is A Better Parent As An Ex

I was perusing one of my favorite websites earlier this week: Humans of New York, and came across this guy:

[Photo credit: Humans of New York]
His blurb reads:

“I was worried the divorce was going to destroy my relationship with my children, but it actually ended up improving it. Before the divorce, I was a working father. Work always took priority. I knew that if I had to skip a soccer game for a work meeting, my wife would be able to take the kids to the game. After the divorce, I only got to see my kids every Tuesday night, every other Monday, and every other weekend. It completely changed my mindset-- I went from being a working father to being a parent. If there was a work obligation during my time with the kids, I had to change it. I couldn’t spend weekend mornings at the gym anymore, because that would cut into my time. I began cooking dinner on my nights so we could all eat together. The time restraints that the divorce put on me caused me to completely realign my priorities.”

And oh, this man's story struck a nerve.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: An Utterly Decent Proposal

Mom, will you marry me?

David, I can't marry you. I'm your Mom.

But I like you. I even love you.

And I love you. But you can't marry somebody in your family.

I got you a ring. Try it on!

It's beautiful!.

Will you be my Mommy forever?

Forever, David. I promise.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Forgive Me Internet, For I Have Mommy-Sinned

Forgive me internet, for I have sinned. My Mommy-sins have been many, and I humbly beg for absolution.

This week, my Mommy sins include:

1.  I forgot that the parent teacher conference in-service day was moved from Monday to Tuesday to accommodate election day, sending my kids into a mad scramble on Monday morning once I realized my mistake, thereby resulting in my thirteen year-old daughter going to school without straightening her hair first. DEAR GOD. I am a monster.

2. I told my children I didn't buy any good Halloween candy. I did. I did and I ate it secretly and with great relish.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Once Upon A Time - Season 4, Episode 6 Recap: Captain Guyliner And The Evil Ice Cream Truck

We begin today's story in a land far away, or should I say a library, where a beautiful woman who could only be Belle's mother is heroically saving books. She yells for her daughter, who is apparently an afterthought to the books, and in scurries Belle, wasting precious time reminiscing about a particular bedtime story. This, of course, gives the ogres time to show up, and Belle loses her Mummy, because, Disney. Oh, and she loses all memory of it, too, because, Kitsis and Horowitz.

After a quick seven seconds in Gold's shop (where we see him put the magical hat box in the safe) we rush off to the Sheriff''s station where Emma has convened anyone whose name appears on the credits at the beginning of the show, shows them the videotape with the Snow Queen from her childhood and they all take turns saying obvious lines. "She cleared everything out of her house and shop," "That means she's hiding something," and that sort of nonsense.

Luckily, Henry is here to remind us that he is a kid, despite his lowering voice and five o'clock shadow, and he knows all about the Snow Queen's Magical Evil Ice Cream Truck. They split up and decide to search east and west, even though David just told everyone the Snow Queen is hiding in the North Woods. It's a bad day when David is the smart one of the group, people.

{Courtesy of ABC Television}