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Things have been busy in the last 6 months.  Hell, thing have been busy in the last year.  In fact, the last year has been a difficult one, which is why I’ve been so scare on the posts.  It’s hard to write humorously when you’re mired in shit.  That doesn’t mean that I’m not finding humor in my life, or that I’m focusing only on the bad times…just that I’m finding it difficult to take some of our everyday situations and turn them into a funny commentary on parenting, relationships, mental illness, atypical neurology, and what raging assholes 3 year olds are.  Actually, that last one might not so so hard to write…

In the last year, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, have had to readjust my expectations and my life based on my body and the medications I have to take to prevent irreversible joint damage, started weekly psychiatry appointments for Future Cult Leader to get a handle on her anxiety, ADHD, and daily meltdowns, I’ve struggled with my bipolar disorder, helped my mother after her surgeries (plural, with another one likely coming up) and the after effects of those surgeries (MRSA flare!), dealt with my aging grandmother’s progressing Alzheimer’s disease, hospitalization, moves to different homes and a rehab center for her severely broken shoulder and subsequent surgery, and other minor annoyances that are just part of life that have complicated some of the above events.

On the good side: Future Cult Leader is safely in a healthy weight range, has become a lot easier to handle, Evil Genius has made strides learning how to use the bathroom like a human being (no diapers, holla!), I’ve made some awesomesauce friends, gotten addicted to Words With Friends, had the privilege of officiating the marriage of 2 close friends, have managed a couple times to get my joint pain under control, have strengthened my relationship with Monsieur Stoic (today marks the 6th year anniversary of the day we became a couple), turned 30 (fuck yeah, 30!), have improved my photography skills (maybe eventually I can turn it into a career…who knows?), done a bit of traveling, and I’ve gotten to know my long lost brother who recently moved to Oregon from the Easy Coast to attend Oregon State University.  So it hasn’t been all bad.

Tell me, readers…how has your last year been?

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So. You had a bad day.

Last night and the night before, Future Cult Leader had a hard time sleeping.  Sleep deprivation is a no-no in this one.  Then, today at school, Future Cult Leader got her hands on something with artificial food dyes and ate it.  Artificial food dyes make her bonkers.  In fact, under the right conditions they practically negate her medications.

You see that part about the tired?  HEY LOOK, IT’S THE RIGHT CONDITIONS.

It’s hard, when you’ve been doing all this extra stuff that moms with typical kids don’t do, to feel like all your effort has been for nothing.  And that’s exactly how I felt today.  It’s all for nuthin’.  Dammit.

I have 2 choices: I can curl into a corner and cry and eat lots of crappy food.  (Done.)

Or.

I can dance.

But, I’m exhausted.  So I’ll do the next best thing: watch a video of me dancing that I’m going to (kind of) show to you.  I apologize that it’s just the link.  It’s too late to upload it to YouTube and since I’m cheap and use free wordpress.com I don’t have some of the nifty features other blogs have.  Then again, those blogs don’t have this video.  Ha!

I can’t believe I’m posting this for all to see.

Rolling out the Welcome Home! mat

Future Cult Leader comes home today after a week at her bio dad’s house. Here’s a list of things I didn’t miss when she was gone:

Cooking full fat meals
Since on a good day, Cult Leader weighs as much as a top of the scale 3 year old, we can’t cook the low fat meals I want so I don’t wind up looking like one of the hot air balloons that fly over our bedroom at 6 AM. Sure, I could make my meal or her meal separately, but I’m already playing goalie in the game of kids. Making a separate meal would be like trying to play pitcher at the same time.

Yelling
I know, I know, I deserve to be publicly flogged for admitting that I yell. I remember mentioning to my sister in law that we sometimes yelled upstairs for Cult Leader to get in bed and go to sleep (though, that was more laziness than anything; we didn’t want to get off our asses and go upstairs) and she gave me this horrified look, like WHO LET YOU HAVE CHILDREN as she asked me, dismayed, “Wait, you yell at your kids?” Yes. I yell. And honestly, I haven’t yelled since Cult Leader has been gone. Well, that’s not true. I’ve yelled upstairs to Monsieur Stoic, and once when Evil Genius grabbed a knife out of the dishwasher. No one is perfect, so suck it. It’s one of those parental flaws I try to work on daily.

Shit losing
I don’t know if you know this, but tantrums are common in kids with ADHD. Between all the stimuli they experience (if you Google “Misunderstood Minds” and click the link that says “attention”, you can get a taste of what it’s like to be my daughter. I’d include the link but I tried that and WordPress won’t let me and I’m not smart enough to figure it out) and their impulsive nature, their emotional volatility tends to be higher than that of their peers. Cult Leader has a tantrum a day, and there’s nothing that can be done to stop them. Not dealing with them has been a relief.

Nit picking
Evil Genius and Cult Leader fight and bicker and HOLY CRAP MAN. You’d think that a 4 year age difference would make a difference, but they fight just as much as kids 2 years apart. One of these days, the fighting is going to escalate into World War III, and I shudder to think about the results. Cult Leader could easily start an uprising against the Evil Genius, but Evil Genius could plot some sneaky counter attacks. It’s entirely possible she wouldn’t even need help. She’s way more likely to get her hands dirty than Cult Leader, because Cult Leader would just get someone else to work for her.

MOTORMOUTH
The great thing about conversations in the car with Cult Leader is that you never have to say a word. The bad thing about conversations in the car with Cult Leader is you never have the chance to say a word.

Exhaustion
Honestly, Cult Leader was more work than Evil Genius when Evil Genius was a baby. Oh sure, the reflux made the baby almost unbearable, but at least I could strap her to my chest as a solution. Well, and the 20 minute snippets of sleep at night sucked ass. But that was mindless. Cult Leader takes a lot of mental, emotional, and physical energy. She sucks it out of you, and I think even uses it herself.

It might sound like we were happy to get rid of her, and we were. Believe me, the need for a break was mutual. She was not at all heartbroken at leaving us for a week, although part of that might be because her older sisters were there for the week, too, and they are way more fun than we are. But we’re also really happy to get her back, and she’s ready to come home. The house was empty–and too quiet–without her.

Since we’ll be on a road trip having hotel sex and playing on the Oregon Coast for the next few days, I probably won’t post much, if anything. Enjoy the break!