What’s up with Wanda?

Hello, world!

Lately I seem to have difficulty finding time to attend this blog with any regularity.  I’m envious of all the amazing bloggers I follow who seem to have the time, energy, and creativity to post weekly, if not multiple times each week.  How do you do it?  If I can post once every two weeks, I feel accomplished.  And in order to do that I have to hide from my family and make them pretend I’m not home.  I am so very behind on my blog reading, it’s pitiful.  I’m trying to catch up, so if you see me comment or like five of your posts in one day, I’m not really stalking you.  Much.  As far as you know.

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I guess this post is really just a mish-mash of catching up.  You know, sort of a ‘What’s up with Wanda?” kind of thing.  Not very exciting, but here goes…

happy squidBryn got home from camp!  She was tired, happy,  and her dirty laundry smelled like Hell farted in her face.  I’m not kidding.  I gagged as I was loading the washing machine.  It was a weird combination of body odor, some outdoorsy kind of smell, and dirt.  Aside from that, I was so happy to have her home!  You could say I was giddy.  I couldn’t stop hugging her and I could tell she wanted to be hugged.  She said she had a great time, and they kept the kids so busy she didn’t have time to miss us.  They did nature hikes every day, learned some cool outdoor skills, and got to do fun science experiments that included dissecting a squid and building a model structure that was designed to withstand an earthquake.  They studied marine biology, engineering and geology.  She loved it and we all survived the week.  Well, everyone but the squid.

The hubs and I started the My Fit Foods 21 Day Challenge, and we are currently on day 14.  No coffee, no alcohol, and no sugar for 21 days.  The diet involves eating three meals and two snacks per day, and My Fit Foods provides all the meals and snacks, fully balanced and portion controlled.  The diet is completely clean with no processed food, gluten or added preservatives.  The food is pretty good.  Honestly.  The hardest part is denying yourself all the things you would normally eat or drink that become routine and habit forming.  Like coffee.  And wine.  I really miss coffee and wine. 11188254_10152787327525737_6854965520899974824_n[1] I also miss eating out.  I love good restaurants, and eating out is a huge part of our social activity as a family and while spending time with friends.  That’s been one of the hardest habits to break in the past two weeks.  Oh, and you also have to drink what they call the My Fit Cocktail.  You mix it up first thing in the morning and down it before breakfast.  It’s a combination of unsweetened cranberry juice, apple-cider vinegar, and lemon juice.  It’s like a super cleanse, detoxifying punch to the face.  I won’t miss that when the 21 days are over.  We started this challenge as a way to break some of the bad habits we’d fallen into with ordering out and just over-indulging in our favorite restaurants and meals, far too often.  Also, despite my working out with a trainer, my ass seems determined to hang on to its double-bubble, and I needed to shake that up.  So far, it’s paid off.  Dan has lost eight pounds in 14 days, and I’ve lost five.  The plan is expensive, so not something a person or family can sustain over more than a few weeks time.  It’s also time consuming in a way.  Although the program prepares all the food for you, you still have to deconstruct the meals so that you can eventually re-create the type of meals you need to eat on your own once you finish the challenge.  That’s what I hate about dieting in general.  It’s the constant awareness of everything you eat, why you eat it, how often you eat, and the combination of foods to maximize the effect on your body.  It’s exhausting, and did I mention that I really miss wine?

Amen

Amen

My son had his pre-K promotion ceremony last week!  The two classes put on a Hawaiian themed performance, singing Beach Boys songs and muddling through some nicely choreographed but poorly executed dance moves.  At the end they were all called up by the pre-school director and given little scrolls of paper tied to look like diplomas, but in actuality the papers were blank.  (The kids were given real certificates later.)  It was adorable, and as usual, most of the parents devolved into the most self-centered, inconsiderate versions of themselves.  It’s sad really.  It seems every parent is willing to piss off ten others by hogging the good camera angles instead of just getting their picture of their kid and then moving aside so another family can get some decent pictures.  We have no useable pictures of Bryce because of the mob of parents who kept standing up to take pictures, or kept raising their cell phones above their heads to video the performance.  All we have are pictures of the top of Bryce’s head and the arms and asses of several other parents who refused to sit down, despite the director halting the show to ask parents to be considerate of others in the room.  Dan was about to lose his shit because the dad sitting in front of us kept standing up every time Dan tried to get a picture.  He started to get mouthy with the guy, so I leaned over and quietly informed him that the asshole in question was the father of the boy whose birthday party Bryce was invited to the next day.  He’s actually a really nice guy.  So, the bottom line is, don’t be that parent.  Don’t be the douche-bag dad or mom who only cares about their own kid at a performance and denies other families the opportunity to enjoy the experience as well.  And remember, all the other parents whose experience you ruined, will talk about your douche-baggery for years to come.

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My older brother, who is also one of my best friends, had major back surgery yesterday morning.  He has a degenerative disc disease that destroyed the cushion between a few of his lower vertebrae, and he was at the end of his options for any type of less invasive medical intervention.  He’s only 42 years old and has been living with chronic, debilitating back pain for years.  Yesterday morning he had an ALIF (Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion) for L5-S1.  Let me tell you, it’s some serious shit.  The surgeon entered through his abdomen to reach and fuse the lower part of his spine.  Think about that for a moment, and let the gravity of what that entails sink in.  He made it through surgery like a boss, and I’ll be traveling to Texas next week to help my sister-in-law take care of him while he’s recovering.  I’m anxious to be there with him, and the past week building up to the procedure has been stressful.

So, there you have it.  That pretty much sums up the past two weeks.  Throw in some housework, ten thousand loads of laundry, constant ass-kicking’s from my trainer, some butt-wiping, end of year school activities and there’s my full plate.  🙂  And just to leave you with something funny that made me laugh…..

Have a great weekend!

Have a great weekend!

 

Wanda Says…Settle down tiger, it’s just camp.

kids campI sent my daughter off to camp today.

Her entire fifth grade class left this morning for science camp.  They get to spend five days in the San Bernardino Mountains, doing science experiments, learning about nature and doing a ton of other cool stuff, like archery and zip-lining.

Five days.

And no contact with parents is allowed.

No contact.  For five, whole days.

I’m a fucking mess.

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She was pretty nervous about going, and the last few days have been hard for both of us.  Hard for her because she was suffering from anxiety and nerves.  She’s never been away from us for that long.  Hell, she only started feeling comfortable doing sleep-overs this year, and she’s ten years old.  Outwardly, I’ve been supportive and encouraging.  I know this is important.  I know she needs to spread her wings and begin to learn to be more independent.  She needs to see how capable she really is, and that can only be achieved by working through tough stuff.  In this case, it’s working through her separation anxiety and realizing that she will be ok and can have fun, even when she’s missing her family.  In this sense I’ve done nothing but tell her how much fun she’ll have and what amazing memories she’ll make.

Angry VolcanoInwardly, I want to shout and scream and demand that the school bring my baby home now!  I can’t believe I paid for this shit!  I can’t believe I agreed to let my daughter go two hours away into the mountains and be supervised by people I’ve never met.  Doomsday images keep floating through my head.  What if there’s an earthquake?  THE earthquake?  The big one that will supposedly redefine the west coast?  How would I get to her?  What if there’s a bus crash?  What if she meets up with a bear?  What if some asshole ten year old from her class shoots her with a goddamn archery arrow?  What if one hair on her beautiful head is damaged in any way?  I will go ape shit and rip that camp apart looking for retribution, that’s what!

(I’m taking some deep breaths right now.)

This was probably the wrong week for me to give up wine and coffee, but that’s a post for another day.

The truth is that my heart feels like it has a giant hole in it.  The house feels empty.  The hallways sound hollow.  She’s only been gone for twelve hours and her absence has left its mark on all of us.  This morning her little brother cried.  He loves her so much, and he couldn’t understand why his Bryn was leaving for so many days.  I held it together until the bus pulled away from the school.  Then I couldn’t stop the tears.  Other parents saw me quietly crying, despite my giant sunglasses covering my face.  They offered me sympathetic looks and as a few of them tried to talk to me all I could do was put up my hand to ward them off and march home, crying the entire way.  My husband held me and offered to take the day off work so we could spend the day together and take my mind off of Bryn’s absence.  While I adore his gesture and love him more than words can say, I decided to just keep busy and get on with my day.

A few of the other parents have been thoughtful and kind enough to text and email me today, checking in to see how I was doing.  While I truly appreciate their consideration and thoughtfulness, it makes me feel like a giant candy-ass.  For fuck’s sake, it’s just camp!  My head knows this, so why does my heart feel like it will be ten thousand years before I see her again?

We’re a close family, and we don’t like to be separated.  I’m so thankful for that.  I’m so thankful that our family unit is so connected that when one of us is missing, we are all affected.  I grew up in a household where that wasn’t the case, so I am doubly appreciative of the bond my husband and I share with our children and with each other.  It’s priceless.

And learns how to do her ponytail!

And learns how to do her own ponytail!

So, I am now trying to banish the ugly, apocalyptic thoughts racing through my head and find the silver lining.  I’m trying to focus on the good things that will come from her week at camp.  She will learn how to manage a bit without me.  She will learn to be more independent and self-assured.  She will learn how to keep track of her own stuff.  She will learn how to pack her own damn suitcase when it’s time to come home.  And, for the love of God, if one of her friends actually manages to teach her how to do her own hair, then it will be worth every tear shed and every expensive dollar that it cost to send her there.

So, if you feel like contributing, I would love to hear your best camp story.  🙂