Holiday Rant

It’s been a rough week around here.  My family had a nice Christmas, and I’m thankful for that.  But for everything else that has happened in the past ten days or so…well, all I can say about that is, “Hey world, go fuck yourself.”

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

The entire week of Christmas my son was terribly sick with RSV.   For those of you who don’t have young kids, that’s a nasty respiratory virus that likes to linger and can often cause hospitalizations.  Bryce didn’t need to go to the hospital, but he did require round the clock breathing treatments and he had a fever for six days.  We were pretty much house bound the entire week of Christmas.  My husband and I started coming down with symptoms on Christmas day.  It only makes sense given how Bryce repeatedly coughed in our faces while we were caring for him.  He can’t help it.  He’s five.  The upside to this was that during our quarantine, we binge watched all the Star Wars movies and all eight Harry Potter movies.

We then had to cancel our holiday travel plans due to the respiratory virus that began sweeping its way through our house.   Our relatives thanked us for not exposing them to our hateful contagion.

10981156_901959096513277_5750103026687627852_n[1]Two days after Christmas, while this virus was happily laying waste to my holiday cheer and energy levels, I got on Facebook and found that the world had turned itself upside down.  You know those moments in life where your reality sort of tips over and sends you free-falling?  Two days after Christmas I discovered that an old friend whom I had known for more than twenty-five years had passed away.  We went to high school together and we kept in touch mostly through Facebook.  I know many people wouldn’t call that friendship, but I went to a small school, and many of us keep in touch with each other through this medium.  We post pictures of our kids and laugh with each other over the trials of parenting.  Well, this friend was a beautiful human being.  She radiated sunshine and light.  She was 40 years old and a mother of five beautiful children.  And, as it turns out, most of us didn’t know she was suffering.   I had no idea she suffered from depression.  I think most of us didn’t know.  She was always happy smiles and kind words, always giving of herself to help others.  She was a great mom and the kind of parent you sometimes envied.  You know, the one who seems to find the time to make everything from scratch and still look beautiful and like she totally has everything together. The day after Christmas she took her own life.  My heart is broken for her family.  For her children.  I can’t even  imagine the emotional pain she must have been suffering to make that choice.  To feel like that was the only option left to her.  Depression is a dirty, rotten, lying mother-fucker and it has claimed another beautiful soul.

Yesterday, my husband called our plumber out to the house because he noticed our hot-water heater was leaking.  Well, not only does the water heater need to be replaced, but unbeknownst to us, it had been leaking for a while, and we discovered black mold growing inside the wall and under the flooring.  We had a crew working all day yesterday, ripping out moldy drywall, wood boards and flooring.  We had no idea it was inside the wall.  I now have an industrial size de-humidifier in my house that sounds like a damn jet engine.  And because of the holiday and drying out/treatment process, nothing can be done for about five more days.  Half of my garage is tented off and part of the stairwell inside as well.  The noise from the de-humidifier is deafening, and I have no hot water for the next week or so.  I know, first world problems.  Blah, blah, blah.

Last night, I went to urgent care to deal with this respiratory virus that seems to be getting worse.  My lungs feel like they’re on fire and my throat feels like I’ve been swallowing glass.  The doctor at the urgent care was super hot.  (Huge sigh, accompanied by an eye roll.)  I look like death warmed over and I’ve got that awesome bright red ring around my nose that’s all chapped and painful.  I accidentally coughed in his face.  I’m sure he gets that a lot.  Whatever.  He says I have bronchitis. He gave me good drugs, so I’m thankful for hot doctor.

12208257_554026368082052_6033707881857329575_n[2]Today, after not sleeping much and dreaming about friends lost, I was woken up at the crack of dawn by the sounds of the moldy men crew using electric saws to cut apart my walls, once again.  After they left, my husband left for San Diego.  He’s going to the Holiday Bowl with his best friend.  While I’m home…sick…with two kids…all the pets…in a house that sounds like it’s sitting on an airport runway.  He’ll be home tomorrow.  He’s staying with his friend in San Diego tonight because it’s a night game.  That means he’ll get a hot shower tomorrow before he comes home.  I can’t shower.  Because there is no hot water.  For a week.  I think I hate him a little bit right now, but it’s not really his fault.  But I’m going to act like it is because I need someone to blame.  I know, it’s the bronchitis talking.

This past week has really kicked the shit out of me.  I’m exhausted, physically and emotionally.  So instead of writing a Happy New Year post filled with bullshit optimistic resolutions, I’m just going to be thankful for my life.  I’m thankful for my family, my recovering health (Yay for drugs!), that I have a house and the resources to fix what’s broken.  I’m thankful for my friends, both real and imagined (that means you WordPress!).  I’m thankful for hot doctors and urgent care centers.  I’m thankful for pharmacies, pizza delivery guys, Advil, coffee and that box of homemade fudge my neighbor brought over.  I’m thankful for endless boxes of tissues and Carmex ointment to put on my chapped nose.  And lastly, I’m thankful for the heart that beats in my chest.  The heart that fills with joy at the sight of my family and also breaks with sadness at the loss of a friend.  I’m thankful for my ability to feel and love and grow from the hard things in life.

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Happy New Year, world.  Wherever you are, may your New Year be filled with light and love.

Cheers,

Wanda

Wanda Says…Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas world!!!!!!

This is the letter my kids left for Santa last night, along with his cookies and carrots for the reindeer.

I love how she waited until 8pm on Christmas Eve to write a letter to Santa with requests for specific items.  (Insert eye roll here).

And this was the conversation between my husband and me after the kids went to bed….

GrinchMe: Dan, eat those cookies the kids left for Santa. You have to eat all of them. I will eat the carrots for the reindeer.
Dan: Why do you get the carrots?
Me: Because I’ve had enough sweets today. I feel like the Grinch, except instead of my heart, my ass has grown three sizes today.

Anyway, our family is enjoying a wonderful Christmas so far.  Everyone slept in this morning so I got to enjoy my coffee in peace and quiet while listening to Christmas music with the dog.  It was heaven.  The kids woke up and loved opening their gifts.  They were pretty excited despite not receiving the items detailed on the letter above.

Now that the morning flurry of activity is over, I’m thinking of my loved ones.  I am thankful for the wonderful, and sometimes challenging people that I call family and friends.  Something happened yesterday that really effected me in an emotional way, and that got me thinking about the meaning of Christmas and what this holiday means to me.

I love Christmas….not for the presents, parties or any of the commercial hype.  I love Christmas because it represents a season of love, hope and kindness.  It makes me sad that we need a designated time of year to remind us that that’s what life is really about.  It’s about coming together as a community, a family, or even just as friends to be a part of something that is bigger than ourselves.  It’s about giving to others, simply for the joy of it, without expectations of reciprocity.  And in this day and age where selfies make up the bulk of a person’s personal photos, people spend more time with their smart phones than they do with other people, and attitudes of self-entitlement rule the world, I think that’s important to remember.  Life is bigger than just you or me.  Life is about all of us, and we all have to contribute something and interact with each other to make it wonderful and fulfilling.

I don’t talk about this a lot because I feel my spiritual relationship with God is private.  But I am willing to share this because it’s Christmas, and maybe it will help someone else the way it has helped me.  A couple of years ago I was praying.  I was experiencing a lot of depression at the time and I just needed some help, some guidance.  So I was praying to God and I asked him, “What is my purpose?  What am I supposed to be doing with my life?”

And very clearly, a voice responded to me and said, “Be the light.  You need to be the light.”

Be the light…for my husband, my children, my family and friends.  Maybe even for someone I don’t know or have never met.

Merry Christmas, and I hope each and every one of you finds a way to be the light for another person.

Wanda Says…Busy, busy, busy!

This isn’t a real post.  This is an I-don’t-have-anything-fun-to-write-about-but-don’t-want-to-ignore-my-blog post.

Things have been busy around my house between managing regular daily life and preparing for Christmas, and it seems like all the funny stuff I think to write about is either way too personal or inappropriate.

So, not that anyone cares, but this is a mash-up of everything that’s been going on at my house in the past week…

My husband and I have been trying to find an efficient and safe way to remove silly string from my drive way.  Let me say that not anticipating the mess and difficulty of cleaning up silly string after my daughter’s birthday was an epic fail on my part.  Epic.  We are having a serious drought here in southern California, and I thought once we had a good rain it would dissolve.  Yes, that makes me an idiot.  It didn’t dissolve and my driveway looks like shit.  Vinegar helps to loosen it up and we’ve used a putty knife to scrape it off, but we can only work small sections at a time.  We don’t want to use chemical solvents because the run-off will end up in the ocean.  And spending an hour at a time on my hands and knees scraping the concrete is less than ideal.  If any of you have a suggestion for this, I would be happy to hear it.

We got the tree up and decorated it last weekend.  It’s beautiful.  I love my Christmas tree. With the bow at the top, it’s about nine feet tall.

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And this is Santa.  He likes hanging out in my tree.  He’s cool like that.

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Ho Ho Ho!

The rest of my week has been a continuous flow of cooking, baking, Christmas shopping, helping with homework, play dates and housework.  I hate the housework and the cooking but I love the baking and shopping.  I love listening to Christmas music when I bake.  I think it makes everything taste more Christmas-y.  I also did my Christmas cards this past weekend, and every year I ask myself, “Why the hell do I still send out Christmas cards?”   They are such a jolly pain in the ass.  😉

That’s about it.  I’m sorry I haven’t had time to keep up with my blog reading, but hopefully tomorrow I can squeak out some time to catch up on everyone else’s posts and see what’s been going on in the world.

Happy Wednesday!  🙂