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.


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



Wanda Says…Happy Birthday, Bryce!

birthday boyMy son, Bryce, is turning four tomorrow.  My baby boy is four!  I can hardly believe it. We’re celebrating by taking him to Dave & Buster’s for dinner and games.  He wanted to go to Chuck-E- Cheese, but I was able to talk my way out of that one. (Fist pumps the air)!  My husband and I tolerate Chuck-E-Cheese about as well as most people tolerate having a root canal, without Novocain.

Bryce is funny, smart, witty and adorable.  He is charming, sensitive and has the sweetest personality.  He is also a typical 3-4 year old boy, and often channels both my husband and I by adopting our less than favorable traits.  (If one of us accidentally uses a curse word in front of him, he will unerringly pick up that word and start chanting it).  He adores his big sister and goes out of his way to annoy her in every way possible. (Like right now, he snatched his sister’s new headband, put it on his head, and is taunting her by running through the house and refusing to give it back). He gives all of us his love equally and our family wouldn’t be complete without him.  I’m incredibly honored that God chose me to be his mother and that I get to spend my life with him.

I post a lot about my family on Facebook, and my feed is usually filled with funny comments or snippets of conversations that take place around my house.  So in celebration of Bryce’s fourth birthday, I decided to post some of my favorite ‘Bryce moments’ from this past year.

July 25, 2014—A conversation with my son at 4:30am this morning:

Bryce: Mommy, wake up. I need you to help me put my socks back on.

Me: Why?

Bryce: They came off while I was sleeping. (He climbs into my bed)

Me: Just sleep with them off.

Bryce: Ok. Hey….wait a minute! When you put me to bed, I told you I wanted you to sleep on my bedroom floor all night. You left! I can’t believe you left! I trusted you!

Me: Just sleep in my bed with me then.

Bryce: It’s not the same!

(Yeah, cause as the mom, it’s better to sleep on a hard wood floor all night than in my own bed. Whatever).

July 11, 2014—Today Bryce filled the toilet with toilet paper, wrote on the walls with red marker, had multiple breakdowns over various foods I didn’t have for snacks, and then later told me he invented fun. I think I need a time out before I start losing my shit.

June 29, 2014—A conversation Bryce (age 3) had with Siri on the computer this morning:

Bryce: Bi-doo, Bi-doo, Bi-doo

Siri: I’m sorry, I did not understand that

Bryce: What did the Fox say?

Siri: That was not very nice.

Bryce: I said, what did the fox say? (with a snarky tone of voice)

Siri: You will never know. The secret of the fox is an ancient mystery.

May 3, 2014—A conversation with my 3 year old son at dinner:

Bryce: I’m done eating. I need to take a break from dinner.

Me: You can’t leave the table until you’ve eaten a few bites of your meat.

Bryce: I have to eat the meat?

Me: Yes

Bryce: (sighs) You’re killing me Smalls!

March 26, 2014—It’s official. I will not be winning any ‘Mother of the Year’ Awards. When your 3 year old drops an F-Bomb, that’s pretty much an automatic disqualification. I will try and find a way to carry on. Good luck to the rest of you who are still in the running!

(What I didn’t say in this initial FB post was the context of how Bryce used an F-Bomb. His exact quote was, “Mommy, do you want to play some fucking Jenga?” So, yeah, no mother of the year awards for me).

March 22, 2014—A conversation with my 3 year old son tonight:

Bryce: Mommy, what is this? (He is pinching something small in his fingers and I can’t tell what it is)

Me: I don’t know, put it in my hand so I can look at it.

Me: It looks like part of a booger. Did this come out of your nose?

Bryce: Yes…and it felt crusty.

Then he walks away, like it’s no big deal he just put a booger in my hand. No one taught him this. Boys are gross.

January 18, 2014—We took the kids to see the Endeavour space shuttle today and it was a wonderful experience. The exhibit is really well done and after that you move into the hanger where the shuttle is on display. When you walk in, you experience a true ‘moment’ in time. You stop in your tracks, your skin gets goose bumps, there is beautiful music playing in the background, and you realize you’re looking at something amazing and historic, and you’re trying to soak it all in. This moment is special. And then your 3 year old decides he’s had enough of crowds and he doesn’t give a shit about this special moment and has a screaming break-down in the awe-inspiring quiet of the hanger’s entry way. This is my open apology to anyone who had their moment ruined by my son’s crying fit. Sorry about that.

December 9, 2013—A conversation my husband had with Bryce:

Bryce:  Daddy, will you play blocks with me?

Daddy:  I wish I could buddy, but I’ve got to work.  You will get to enjoy my glorious presence, though.

Bryce:  Ok, where did you hide the glorious presents?

September 28, 2013—A conversation between Bryce and his older sister’s friend, Erin:

Bryce to Erin:  Erin!  Erin!  Erin!  Erin!

Erin:  Yes, Bryce?

Bryce:  (awkward pause) What’s up? (said like a teenage boy trying to flirt with a cute girl)

September 23, 2013—–Bryce now refers to his 7pm cut-off for liquids before bed as “last call.”

Yeah, that’s my wild man, and I couldn’t love him more.