How many spills?

Today is one of my favorite days of the year! First, we take the kids to the Easter egg hunt at the park across the street. I love being able to walk to this every year. So easy and low key. It’s more of a race than a hunt. There are hundreds of eggs just thrown in a field and when they say go, it’s a free for all! But the kids have fun. My daughter was beyond excited all morning, and when we called her over to get in line, her exuberant reaction was just too much to handle 🙂 She just kills me. My son on the other hand…last year and this year, he has decided he doesn’t want to do it. He’s got some anxiety, and it’s all just a part of that. But once the race was on, he immediately started helping his sister. “Here’s one Sister! Look there’s one with flowers on it!” He continued to follow her around, pointing here and there, when we finally tried a little, “hey why don’t you grab one.” We have to be really careful how we talk to him because it’s really easy to spook him. But sure enough, he started picking them up and dropping them in the bag. You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. To see him participating…I can’t even put it into words how amazing that made me feel.

After the dust settled, we headed home to dye some eggs! I have loved this since I was a kid. Even before my husband and I had kids, we dyed them, just the two of us. And now, it’s even more fun to see them have so much fun doing it. Yesterday, my son told us he did not want to color any eggs. It was hard to hide my disappointment. Despite his lack of participation in the egg hunt, he has always liked coloring eggs. The more we talked with him, it came out that last year, he must have cracked an egg while trying to color it and he maybe thought one of us got upset with him? We reassured him that was no problem and that in fact it’s fun to crack a couple because then you get to eat them! When the egg hunt was over, my husband had talked to him and apparently they had come up with a plan to make eggs to look like all of the Mario characters. Awesome.

Coloring started and one by one, the cups of dye filled up with eggs. While I usually go the traditional route, my daughter loves decorating in all fashions: stickers, markers, paint, crayons. And no matter what it looks like, she thinks it’s beautiful. “Isn’t mine beautiful? And everyone else has made beautiful ones too!” She’s so sweet and considerate. As time went on, little hands continued to grab eggs from cartons and draw, stick, and dunk the eggs. And then, WOOPS. Down goes the cup of bright green dye. All over the table, the floor, and my daughter. We were sure not to make a big deal out of it since it was my son who accidentally knocked it over. After a big cleanup, we were back in business. Coloring up a storm. Maybe 20 minutes later, WOOPS. Down does the cup of purple dye. This time, my daughter was the spiller. It wasn’t quite as big of a mess, but still required a cleanup. 7 years of dying eggs with the kids, and we have never knocked over a cup of dye. Not even when they were babies! And now twice in one day! Not a big deal, more funny than anything.

We luckily finish up without another spill. I did eventually get to decorate some of my own eggs when the kids finally lost interest. I got to sit at the table by myself and color a few in my favorite Easter colors. I love it.

At lunch right afterwards, you guessed, WOOPS, down goes a full cup of water. Guess we just have the spills today.

But it has been a great day. One of my favorite days. Egg hunts. Egg coloring. Doesn’t get much better than this.


Looney Tunes

My kids were with my parents for the last three days. I met my dad halfway today at a restaurant to pick them up. During lunch he and the kids were both telling me about how they were watching Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry while they were there. They have never really seen either before. Not because I think it’s so terrible (although I could do without shooting people at point blank range) but we just don’t get any channels that play it.

My dad said they were both laughing hysterically at it…that my 4.5 year old daughter said it was “HILARIOUS!” My 7.5 year old son was regaling me with how Tom was trying to be a lifeguard but when he went to jump off the diving board, Jerry cranked it up into outer space. My daughter jumped in to continue that when Jerry jumped in the pool, all of the water splashed out, and he smacked into the ground underneath. Then my son finished with the fact that the water then all fell on top of Jerry. They told it with such enthusiasm, excitement, and pure joy. It was so fun to listen to.

In the car on the way home, I got to hear all about the Coyote and the Roadrunner (or chicken if you hear it from my daughter. “Sister, just so you know, it’s a roadrunner.” “I just want to call it a chicken, okay!”) “And then the coyote did this and the roadrunner did that and then the coyote did this and the chicken did that. It was so funny!!”

On Friday nights we usually watch a movie and eat pizza on the couch. The kids tend to want to watch the same movies over and over. But as I was scrolling the options, I see one come on the screen that we had not watched and that I think just might be PERFECT for today. I turn it on. “Nooooo!” I hear from my son. Then, “What is it?” Yep, that’s my son, saying no before he even knows what it is. Then he hears the music and sees a character come on the screen. “Ohhhh! Yeah!” What did he see? Bugs Bunny. What movie did I pick?




Yes! Space Jam! I loved it! I hadn’t seen it in a long time. Probably since it came out. And that’s also the time I was still watching basketball. I stopped watching when the Bulls all split up after all the championships (I’m from Chicago). But before that, I watched every game, knew all the players on all the teams. So I was super psyched when I was seeing all my guys on the screen! It was like I was transported back in time!

And the best part of watching this was watching and listening to my daughter. She busting a gut the whole time, with the cutest, most precious smile on her face. I couldn’t get enough. It was harder to read my son. He laughed a few times, but I couldn’t tell if he was enjoying it or not. After it was over, I asked him if he liked it, and he said he did. That’s a big win. He would let you know if he didn’t!

Yay! One more movie to add to the repertoire! And a fun family movie night 🙂

HOT and cold, part 2

Maybe you read yesterday’s post, maybe you didn’t. It’s worth a read to realize how stupid and mind boggling this next ailment is. If you don’t want to read it, here’s the super quick recap: I have Raynaud’s. It causes my hands and feet to turn ice cold, blue, purple, and/or white, numb, and super painful. Got it? Good.

A couple years ago, I started noticing that while I’d just be chilling out watching TV, my hands would suddenly feel really hot. You see where I’m going with this? Yes, I said HOT. Just minding my own business, and suddenly, they’d feel like THE SUN. Okay, soooooo I’ve had Raynaud’s for 24 years. While it’s not pleasant, I understand it, and I’m used to it. It throws me a curve ball every once in a while, but never a flaming hot curve ball! The hotness would come and go, but not often enough to keep it in the front of my mind.

Then it started happening to my feet too. I like socks on most of the time in the Winter. But suddenly I had been finding myself at night, running to my room, stripping my socks off as fast as I could, diving into my bed, and rubbing my feet all over the cool sheets, letting out loud sighs of relief. From an onlooker’s perspective, I’m sure I look like quite the crazypants. But still, it wasn’t happening all the time.

But now, as the “you know what” is hitting the fan with all of the ailments of my life, this is starting to switch into overdrive as well. Yay for me being an overachiever! Now, the hands are happening at least every other night. And feet at least once a week. And while it may not be quite as painful as the numbness of Raynaud’s, at least I can stick my hands up my husband’s shirt to try to fix them 🙂

When I get the hot flares, I have to find something cold, and that’s harder to come by. I have to go searching for something. This sometimes means molesting a cold water bottle. Or repeating the dive and rub maneuver explained above only this time with my hands. Last night, you first would have found me smearing my hands up and down the front storm door. I’m sure that looked really great to the neighbors! When that only provided temporary relief, I had to run my hands under COLD WATER…when I have Raynaud’s…Which freezes my hands. WTF. How ridiculous is this? But Wait! Don’t let them stay in the water too long, or I’ll trigger a Raynaud’s attack!! Learned that the hard way! Isn’t this MESSED UP?!!

So I finally looked this up, and it is a thing. It’s called “Berries, you’re screwed.” No wait, that’s not it. It’s called erythromelalgia. Apparently it’s, wait for it….rare! But it does happen where people with Raynaud’s can also get this lovely opposite ailment. Who doesn’t love a good opposite? It does seem like I actually have a relatively mild case of it, but it still sucks. a lot.

Now, just like with that sneaky bugger Raynaud’s who can just creep up and take over my body whenever it wants (usually with some kind of cause but not always), now I have it’s bastard step sister lurking around, ready to strike. like it. Just ready and waiting to set my hands or feet on fire. (hands are much more uncomfortable/painful) What sets off a flare you might ask? I have no clue. So I can’t even try to prevent one.

Here’s erythromelalgia in all it’s hotty pants glory:



It may not look like much, but it feels like this:


Yesterday I was Elsa. Today, I’m Te Kā from Moana. SO DON’T MESS WITH ME. Either way, I’m can kick your @@@. Te_Ka

hot and COLD, part 1

It may sound like a Katy Perry song, but it’s actually the day to day life of my hands and feet. Just a fun little treat I deal with among all of the other delectable sweets that make up my health.

Today’s fun ailment you may be more familiar with. “Oh yeah, my best friend’s cousin’s grandma has that!” Or maybe even you have it. It’s called Raynaud’s phenomenon/syndrome/disease. Call it what you want…it sucks. I first started showing symptoms when I was 12. My finger nail beds started turning purple often and my parents started worrying my fingers were going to fall off. They figured I might need them in the future, so off I went to a specialist, where we learn that I have Raynaud’s. They did a bunch of blood work to make sure it’s not secondary to any really awful diseases like lupus (it’s never lupus…House fans?? anyone?? nevermind) or scleroderma and when they found out that it’s not, they tell us there’s not much they can do for it. Yay. So I went with the purple finger nails. It wasn’t too bad at first. Cool looking manicure. And some of my friends called me Hyper colors, which I thought was kind of fun. Remember those shirts?! I loved those! Can those make a come back? I would totally buy one! Woops, sorry, off track. (but seriously, I want one)

Problem is that as time went on, it got a lot worse.

  • First, purple nail beds
  • Then, purple and very cold finger tips
  • Then, purple and very cold, painful fingers and toes and sometimes even my lips (of course toes are rare and lips are super rare. Go me for being a special snowflake :/ )
  • Then, purple and blue very cold, painful fingers and purple or black very cold, numb toes
  • And finally, for the last few years, any variation of purple/blue/white/red, (as the blood flow starts to return…I often look very patriotic!) cold, numb, and EXTREMELY painful fingers and finger tips, AND dark purple or black, numb, and EXTREMELY painful toes.

It gets worse every year. More painful. The numbness and pain lasts longer. It gets harder to warm them up. My husband, always the engineer…the eternal fixer, has bought me countless warming devices. Some of them have worked better than others, but none are great. The one he really hates is his stomach or his back!! LOL. But honestly, skin is the best one. I’ve had to do it to myself many times. And trust me, when you’re already cold and numb, sticking your icicle hands on your own stomach is one of the most horrible things you can do to yourself! I much prefer the other, grosser, but pretty equally effective method of sticking all of my fingers in my mouth. You may not want to shake my hand right afterwards, but it does the trick in a pinch! You can also often see me driving down the road in the winter with my hands INSIDE the heat vents.

So what sets these crap attacks off? Preeeeeeeety much anything. It’s not even just the winter either. A 65 degree day can set it off. Or peeling an orange. Or eating cold grapes. Or holding a glass of ice water. Or grabbing something out of the freezer. Or the air conditioning being a little too low. Oh and did I mention nervousness????!! Yeah!!!! Isn’t that amazing! So if I’m really nervous about something, I get an attack, so then my hands and feet go all wiggy, which then actually makes me cold. So now I’m nervous and shivering because I’m freezing. A.W.E.S.O.M.E. So you can imagine how great that works out for me during a job interview or a speech or something equally nerve wracking and important. Teeth chattering, legs shaking, fingers the color of the American flag. It’s a hot mess. Or should I say cold mess.

So here’s my Raynaud’s in all it’s glory. (this is nowhere near it being at its worst)


And this is more like what it feels like.


Maybe it’s cool now. I’m mother friggin’ Elsa.


Stay tuned for my next installment, when you learn about Raynaud’s bastard step sister, Erythromelalgia. (say that 3 times fast. Heck I can’t even say it once!) You won’t want to miss it. If today I’m Elsa. Tomorrow I’ll be Te Kā from Moana.

Beware of garage explosions

The kids are safely dropped off at Grandma and Papa’s house. The entire ride home, all I can think about is getting into my pajamas, crawling under my favorite purple blanket and never leaving there again, unless it’s to get into bed, where I can continue being lazy, being comfy and watching TV. I finally arrive at home, alone. (the choir of angels sing!!) The excitement builds. My pajamas are only yards away! Netflix can be on in just minutes! I pull in the driveway, ready to start my VERY much needed 2 1/2 kid-free days. Things already feel different, even though I’m not in the house yet. It’s glorious. I take a deep breath in and let it o…WTF???!!!!

What in the hell was that noise???! And that jolt of my car?? I had to have hit something? How in the hell could I have hit something in the garage with that much force to make that kind of sound (it was LOUD) and to feel it inside the car like that? I was going 2 mph!! And I’m in my freaking garage!!!

My mind starts spinning immediately. “I rear ended someone last year, and I was without a car for several weeks and it cost us lots of money. I’m not working right now, we can’t afford to fix my car again!  This was supposed to be the start of my relaxing time! THIS IS NOT RELAXING!”

So, I back up out of the garage, park the car, and slowly open the door, unsure of what kind of carnage I might see. And carnage it was…


Ahh yes. What sounds like a huge pop that you can feel inside the car? A basketball EXPLODING.


Fortunately, my car is fine. Unfortunately, this is my son’s basketball. That he LOVES. This will have to be replaced ASAP. Thank the internet gods for prime shipping. We may even have it before he gets home from Grandma’s.

“Look son, it’s all shiny and new looking! Don’t mind that basketball carcass over there.”





Stepping back in time through my pain


This question is always hiding in the back of my mind, jockeying for position into my daily thoughts. Every once in a while, especially on a higher pain day (like today), the question finds an open space to squeeze through, and there it is, present in my everyday thoughts. But it’s more than simply “what if I feel this way…” but “what if it just keeps getting worse?” Because so far, my body’s track record isn’t great.

How did I see things when I was…

  • That 14 year old barely teenager just trying to figure out how she fit in this new big high school. She had lost most of her friends from middle school and was an emotional wreck. And now she began to feel this low, dull ache in her back. She mentioned it here and there, but she still lived a relatively normal life. She never saw what was coming next. It was the new normal. She couldn’t imagine things getting any worse.
  • That 17 year old girl had a boyfriend she loved, lots of great friends, and loved being in choir. But she had to make the first of many hard choices because of her pain and only sing, not dance in her senior year show choir concert. She was devastated. That 17 year old who couldn’t take the pain anymore went through a lot that year. Before and after her surgery, she was in hell. But that was her new normal. She couldn’t imagine things getting any worse.
  • That 26 year old young teacher in the beginning of her career, already struggling through the school days and now starting to feel feel worse. Mid back pain soon joined the already agonizing low back pain. It was awful, but it soon became the new normal. It was so horrible that she couldn’t imagine things getting any worse.
  • That 33 year old, now mom of 2 who fought every day for herself. For her kids. For her husband. And now she started feeling fibromyalgia symptoms, bringing on a new kind of hell. New pain that she had never experienced before. She didn’t know what hit her. How could life be like this? Feeling like being hit by a hammer all over your body every few weeks on top of everything else? How can she do this? But she did. She figured out ways to avoid flares, sometimes. She lived through flares. She survived. And that became the new normal. It was so horrendous, she couldn’t imagine things getting any worse.
  • And now, that 36 year old who struggled so hard to keep working. To make it through day after day of work and then other commitments and dinner and bedtime, etc. But she just couldn’t. She couldn’t take it anymore. She was miserable. That mom who feels like she isn’t being a good enough mom to her kids. That wife who feels like she isn’t being a good enough wife to her husband. That person who feels like she is a burden to everyone. That woman. Her fears of things getting worse are yet again confirmed. Migraines, wrist pain, teeth pain, nausea, toe pain, etc. are all new ailments she gets to deal with. She thinks, I don’t know how it could get worse…but if history teaches me anything…it will. Somehow. For now, this has become the new normal. It’s tortuous, and she couldn’t imagine things getting any worse….

It’s really not what if it feels this way for the rest of my life? I think that’s a given at this point. It’s, what more can happen? And am I strong enough?

To frump or not

Yesterday was laundry day. The clothes that were loaded into the machine say a lot about the person I have become.

I have a whole drawer and closet full of nice tops, pants, and dresses. And there they have stayed since September when I stopped working. Every once in a while, one gets a little vacation from what could almost be called storage at this point. I imagine it a little like the toys in Toy Story 3 when Andy doesn’t play with his toys anymore, but they get excited when he touches one of them. My clothes lay still in my drawer. “You know the drill ladies. Just act natural. You don’t want to seem too eager. Black and white tunics out of the way, she always picks you, give the rest of us a chance!” I grab a shirt  and they all cheer. “She touched me! She thought about wearing me! She picked me!! See you later ladies!!” But then the sadness sets back in when they realize that they will not be looked at again for days or even weeks. “The jerks downstairs get all the action. They don’t know how good they have it,” a shiny, fancy shirt complains.

Those downstairs neighbors would be the pajamas and then below them, the tshirts and yoga pants. They seem to get all the love and wear these days. Those clothes that got dumped into the washing machine yesterday…95% of them were from one of those two drawers.

Nice, right? All comfy and cozy clothes, all the time? Sounds amazing! And it is. Mostly. Until I realize that this also means that I have been going through life the last 6 months looking like a rumpled, sloppy version of my former self. I’m usually a decent dresser. Yet, when I look in the mirror lately, I don’t see that. I see…frump. If I’m home, then sure, the frump uniform works. And my BFF and I have come to an understanding where the comfy, frumpy uniform is not only acceptable but almost required at our homes. When we see each other in an actual outfit, we immediately ask, WHERE ARE YOU GOING?? lol. But sometimes when I’m out and about at a play place or a restaurant, I start to feel like maybe I should have kicked it up a notch or two in the clothing department. Sure, there are many other moms dressed like me, but there many others dressed in REAL clothes. And I feel like maybe if I had thrown on some some jeans, I might feel a little better about my mom self. And can’t we all use a little confidence boost once in a while?

The other day, we were visiting my mother in law. I threw on my standard blah tshirt, lazy yoga pants, and dull flannel. I looked in the mirror and this time my brain fought back. NO! I will not leave the house like this. I will let the old me out! The nice looking me! I found some jeans that were buried in my closet and then walked over to the dresser. If I listened really hard, I could swear I could hear whispers coming from the drawer. I rummaged through the shirts and at the bottom, I found my favorite shirt that I hadn’t worn in forever! It wasn’t one of 3 black and white tunics I’ve been choosing over and over the last few months. It was a springy looking flowered shirt that I love. I could faintly hear cheering. I put on the new outfit and before even looking, I already felt better. I turned around to check out my reflection and smiled. I felt pretty. I felt like I looked good, and it’s been a long while since that has been the case. And that felt good. So I actually showed up at their house in real clothes. It was a miracle.

Of course…I still left the house in jammie pants and a tshirt…a girl can only hold out so long.


Never Wake a Sleeping Beast, aka 4.5 year old

It’s the classic scenario. When you have nothing to do, they never nap for you. When you need to be somewhere, they will nap for exactly 7.87 hours. And you needed to be at that place 4.38 hours ago.

So she did that today. She said she was sleepy. And I guess she was. I brought her up to her purple room with flowers and butterflies that I am super jealous of and want for myself. She climbed up into her sheets that almost caused her head to explode last night because they are “PURPLE HEARTS!!!!” I tucked her in, gave her a little kiss on the forehead, and walked out of the room.

She puts on a good show. She always looks like she’s going to drift off into slumberland, but usually, not 3 steps down the stairs, I start hearing singing or talking to her stuffed animals. Whatever. She’s out of my hair for a little while. But today. I walk away…and…nothing. It’s not like it never happens. She does still fall asleep sometimes. The other day, she slept for 3 hours! I had to wake her up at 5:30 p.m. just so she didn’t sleep til bedtime!

So she slept. I rested. But I had plans to pick something up at a store by 5:00 p.m. when it closed. When my son got home at 4:00, we were going to pile in the car, pick the stuff up, stop at Kohls to get him some new shoes (what the heck do kids do to their shoes??!! These are only a few months old and they were literally falling off of his feet), and head home.

Fast forward to 4:30, when she is still sleeping. I now have to wake her up or we’ll never make it to the store by 5:00. I walk in to see her PASSED OUT. It’s sweet for sure. Snuggling her black and white kitty all warm under her blanket. I hate to have to wreck that. I climb into bed with her because I don’t often get this kind of opportunity to snuggle with her in bed!

It goes okay at first. Theeeeeen not so okay. The beast is awakening. Slow at first but it ramps up quickly. The growls and clawing begin first. They are quiet, low, and slow at first, offering a warning to those nearby that something wicked this way comes…very soon. The growls evolved quickly into screeching and thrashing and have spooked me off the bed. They are ferocious and fierce. I’ve only seen her like this once, maybe twice. She may have been taken over by a demon. I’m not sure.

So now I’m pleading with my 4.5 year old demon child to get changed (because oh yeah, she went to sleep in her bathing suit. awesome.) as quickly as possible, because you know, she’s totally rational. Because I’m the one who woke her up, I offer up a lollipop as a peace offering. It doesn’t work at first, but it eventually casts the demon out, and I see peaks of my daughter in there again. I still have to wrestle her to get her underwear, pants and socks on, which of course all parents know is like trying to dress an feral cat. Then I have to carry her downstairs (and I have a wrist brace on, so that’s not super comfy). She’s ALMOST calm and then of course, she hurts herself getting her shoes on. The scream/crying starts again.

We’re finally all in the car, and I go speeding down the road. I’m trying to turn into the parking lot, but it’s rush hour. And there’s no light. So I’m at the mercy of all these cars. And then I see the woman walk out of the store and lock the door. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! I did not just wake up that wild beast child, wrestle her to the ground, hoist her down the stairs, and break the sound barrier to get here for you to close your door while I can see you from the road!

Luckily, I knocked, they let me in, I got what I needed, my heart rate slowed down, and everyone lived happily ever after.

But never, ever, EVER wake the sleeping Beast…aka 4.5 year old.

Let’s put a hundred marbles in there!

My kids generally get along pretty well for a brother and sister. My son adores his little sister. He’s got some issues with us, but he LOVES her. He kisses her on the top of the head when they hug goodbye in the morning, sticks up for her at the park, and patronizes her when she wants to show him something that isn’t so cool but he says it’s cool anyway. And she loves him too. She has to run from the kitchen table every morning to get her goodbye hug, has to get a goodnight hug each night, and loves making presents for him while he’s away at school. They just love each other.

My heart is made happy today after dinner. My son runs into the family room, grabs the marble race box and says, “Oo Sister! Let’s play this!!” Her little 4 year old feet pitter patter across the kitchen floor as fast as they will take her into the room. “Suuuuuure!!” She reaches him, and they dump every one of the 2,437,163 pieces inside the box onto the carpet. But I don’t care. They begin creating together. It’s awesome.

After a few minutes of happy sounding voices and giggles, I hear pitter pats coming towards my office. My little blondy pops her head in and she says in her little 4 year old voice, “We need some help! We tried making it but it all got destroyed!” So, mommy to the rescue. After I help them stabilize it while they make their marble track, my big boy says, “Alright Sister, let’s test it out…Look it works! Okay, let’s put A HUNDRED marbles in there!!”

I walk away and hear the excitement in the sounds coming from the room behind me.