Saturday, February 16, 2013

Lamenting

For several years on or near this day I would be updating my facebook status with obnoxious boasting and heavy sexual innuendo from our annual trip to Ocean Isle.  sigh.  Not this year.  With Tim's new work schedule, finances, and the ever-challenging child care issue, it just wasn't to be.  (If you are relieved by this because our openness regarding sex makes you uncomfortable anyway, well... you should discontinue reading now.  Seriously.)

I've bounced around this last couple of weeks between being okay with it, crying like a baby over it, and just being really pissed off.  Back in December, we knew the odds were against us but we were optimistic and a little giddy because we were in the middle of a new christmas tradition --The "O-vent Calendar".  Yep, you read that correctly.  It was great and we were all tough like "no problem, this is the year we bring Ocean Isle home, right?  Damn, right!"  Fist bump.

I think our "we got this" bravado was exaggerated by hyper-orgasmic endorphins.  December rocked.  The new year held such potential.  We were going to stay so connected (not just sex) the absence of a four day escape, uninterrupted conversations, uninterrupted silence, and unchecked nakedness would be a tiny blip on the radar.  Did you see the coverage of the meteorite that exploded over Russia?  Yeah, that's more like it.

And it's not just the sex.  It's the tradition of it.  The drive, the smell of the ocean, the sound of waves breaking, eating in the bed and watching cable reality shows, drinking coffee on the beach, talking about life, talking about us, talking, talking, talking, and kissing.  Not peck on the lips on the way out to work or to the grocery store but like "holy hell, I remember you" kissing.

More sighing.  It'll be okay.  I know that.  It's not the end of the world.  I know that.  There are plenty of people out there who don't get romantic vacations every year.  I know that.  But I also know that I love my husband more than any person on this planet.  I know that we have to fight to stay on the same page in the midst of life and kids with special needs and issues.  I also know that the day I'm okay with NOT getting to have time away with Tim is the day something has gone terribly wrong.  Dealing with life as it is right now is absolutely necessary and we will deal with it.  Fist bump.  But admitting that we are missing it is real. 

 
2009



2010



2011



2012
 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

You're Outta There!

I'm all about throwing things out.

Fingernail polish that is so dried the little shaker ball is stuck on one side of the bottle?  Out it goes.  That unmarked tupperware in the back of the fridge that doesn't resemble anything you've cooked in the last six months?  Tossed.  The prescription pain meds leftover from one of your kids random injuries which expired eleven months ago?  Uh, that probably has another good year or so but come 2014 -totally throwing it out.

I've seen coaches thrown out of sporting events, batters thrown out at home plate, and footballs thrown out of bounds.  There are other things I totally support throwing out like junk mail, suggestions, even bad ideas like:

"Hey wouldn't it be cool to be the millionth person to jump off a bridge over a dry river bed on the same bungee cord as the 999,999 people before me?"

No.  Crap no!  Throw that out.  Way out!

At the risk of over-overstating my point, I had no qualms with throwing things out...until...

This past Wednesday was moving along like most typical days.  I remember getting the kids off to school.  I remember having a quick lunch with Tim and then sending him off for a doctor's appointment on the other side of town.  I remember putting Justus down for a nap and beginning to straighten the house.

I do NOT remember at any point that day, even for a smidgen of a second, thinking "Today, I should like to throw out my back."  Nope.  Never thought it.  Who would?  It's crazy.

And while "I threw my back out" may be the most easily understood description of my plight to the general public, I take issue with its accuracy level and would prefer to offer my own personal interpretation of what happened--

At 2:02 PM, Wednesday, January 16th, my lower back packed her bags, smacked a "Dear John" letter on the table, sucker punched me on the way out, and left me writhing on the floor like a wounded animal.

The letter read as follows:

Dear John,
(I don't know why my back calls me John when she knows my name is Amie. shrug)
I'm done.  I'm done with your poor lifting technique, putting all the pressure on me instead of those flabby thighs of yours, and your awkward cross reaching and lack of support from your weak, flabby core.  You may be all into self-acceptance these days but who do think is carting around that extra twenty pounds on your flabby behind?  That's right.  Me.  And I'm done.

Out,
Your Back

I grappled with the reality of it all for an hour and a half on the cold hardwood floor while waiting for my middle schooler to get home and help me to the couch.  What could I say to my back except "you're right" and "I'm sorry" and "I find your use of the word 'flabby' both harsh and excessive"?  Dang.

I've been wooing my back uh...back with long stints on a heating pad, lots of pillows tucked under strategic locations, and some slow, careful stretches.  I feel the evidence of her gradual return but realize that it may take time to get a full commitment out of her.  That's okay as long as she knows it was never my intention to "throw her out".

In the meantime, I'm glad I didn't throw out those expired pain meds. =)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Naked, New Year, Necking


Naked Parenting

After 13 years of parenting I think it's safe to say that we have tried every form of discipline at one time or another.  Spanking, time-out, loss of privileges, lecturing, grounding, screaming and cursing like a raving lunatic.  Yep.  All of it.

Now we are in the land of teenagers and all bets are off!  Attitudes abound, hormones surge, and their poor underdeveloped brains are doing all they can to hold on.  And mom is doing all she can to allow them ensure they survive it.

Cue moment of genius.

A few days ago, I was sharing with Tim a dream I'd had in which I was stark naked under a sky full of stars and utterly at peace with the world.  (The fact that I was walking through the Wake Forest library parking lot makes it kinda weird but...what?  It was already weird?  Oh.)  Anyway, I was suddenly aware that the boisterous bubbling of rough-housing and tom-foolery previously emanating from the living room had dropped to a deafening silence.  The older kids were staring at me in absolute horror, instantly subdued by the mere mention of my unhidden form.

A surge of power tingled in my gut as their weakness was revealed.  Ah, but how to exploit this fear to my advantage? (picture narrowing of eyes and rubbing of hands in a sinister way)  At breakfast, I announced my plan:

"The next time I get any crap from you people -eye-rolling, back-talking, sorry attitudes, disrespect or disobedience of any kind- I will immediately begin removing articles of clothing.  That's right.  The better behaved you are the more covered I will remain.  The worse behaved you are and let's just say you better hope I'm dressing in layers these days or you will suffer the consequences both now and in your nightmares for years to come."

How's it working?  Well, Tim, for one, admits this is the first time ever that he's actually hoping for disobedient children.  It doesn't work on the littles, of course, because they have no sense of shame over nakedness.  Mine, theirs, anyones.  Oh, and Nathan still talks back, he just does it with his eyes closed.  So, it's not fool-proof but one must embrace a bit of foolishness when parenting anyway, right? =)

New Year

I didn't make a list of New Year's resolutions. The word resolve has negative connotation for me. Maybe not for you but for me. The things in my life that fall under "resolve" are typically things I've decided are unchangeable, unfixable, unmovable. I'm resolved to deal with (fill in the blank with some crappy situation). Resolutions feel more about what must be given up/dealt with for the next year. I did make a list though. I think of it more as a list of reminders than resolutions. My list of reminders is about the things I want to gear up for in the next year. Things I want to remember to do or remember to stop doing because they are important or necessary for my own good, for my own health, for my own pleasure. Here are a few of them.

I'm reminding myself to
  • fall asleep reading a good book
  • never just drink coffee -always enjoy it!
  • get 5 stars on every Just Dance song
  • "O" often (with Tim whenever possible ;-))

I'm reminding myself to stop
  • measuring myself by what I can't do
  • holding on to old relationships and old wounds
  • feeling guilty/embarrassed for being poor
Did you make a list?  Tell me about it.

Necking (aka the psychology of hair)

No, no, it's not what you think.
I cut my hair.  Actually, I've been cutting my hair for about four months now.  I wanted drastic change.  Drastic came in several stages.  It's short.  Very short.  Short enough that I can feel the cold wind tingling on the back of my  neck and that Tim has to shave the little baby scragglies for me.

A friend asked "Is this the first time you've had it this short?" and "do you feel different?"  The easy answers are no and yes.  But the real answer is not that simple.  I had my hair cut (meaning paid someone to do it) this short once before. (not counting childhood)  It was 1995.  Tim and I had been married about a year.  I believe there are only two pictures in existence.  I hated it.  Ha-ted-it!  I cried almost every night for weeks because I looked like a boy.

Fast forward 18 years to me in my bathroom hacking away at my own hair and loving it.  Lov-ing-it!  Why such a contrast?  Because I had no idea who I was back then.  I had no idea that the essence of femininity, beauty, confidence, sexuality were not isolated by social norms, celebrity glam magazines, or other people's expectations. 

It also has a lot to do with this woman whom I've never met and her honest account of her dreads-to-shaved head journey.  And this woman who many already know is one of my personal heroes for her amazing, no b.s., what you see is what you get music, style, life.  (If you missed her performance at the American Music Awards, oh my crapness, you must youtube it.)

It's about understanding that whatever beauty I posses only exists if I believe it, see it, accept it.  If you think I'm beautiful, well, that's nice.  If you do not think I'm beautiful, well, that's nice, too, but either way it's just not about you.  The only person on this planet who truly has to be satisfied with me is me; even on the days when there are bags under my eyes or the scale is telling me that second (or third) piece of cheesecake was a bad idea or the image in the mirror doesn't look anything like a Victoria Secret model.  And seriously, that kind of self-acceptance is hard-enough.  Who the hell has energy to care what everyone else thinks?

So, here is the summary:  I do not feel different because I cut my hair.  I cut my hair because I feel different.  And I love it!




Sunday, December 23, 2012

Jingle Janglin'

Merry Christmas Everyone!

video

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Stranger than Fiction

So, last night Tim and I were in bed talking after watching a television show that included several well-endowed women.  This is the conversation that ensued:

Me:  I can be bosomy.  If you pinch and tape and hoist enough.

Tim:  (seemingly unconvinced) Sure.

Me:  Well, it's just lucky for you that I've gained weight over the years.  I'm almost twice as bosomy as I was when we got married.

Tim:  (reaches over and rubs my stomach)  That's true.  You've grown in several ways since we were first married.

Me:  (gasping)  You can NOT rub my belly when you say that!

Tim:  I'm just saying... well...you take the good, you take the bad, you take 'em both and there you have...

Me: (interrupting) The fat girl wife?  The fat girl wife! 

Both of us are laughing as Tim continues.

Tim:  There's a time you gotta go and show you're growing, now you know...

Me: that you're the fat girl wife.  The fat girl wife.


A new pilot could be in the works.  =)

And please, ladies who are kind and loving and naturally defensive of each other --there's no need to rebuke my husband.  He always worries about the public jerk-o-meter when I post these things.  I'm not saying it would be good for everyone but a relationship built on unconditional love and mutual degradation works for us.  The former allows for the latter quite nicely and holy crap do we laugh a lot because of it!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Little PEEved

Okay.  I have held my tongue as long as I can.

There is a very serious women's health issue which must be addressed.

I have a strong opinion on the matter.  You're shocked.  I know.

Here's the deal, I understand that many will oppose my view.  I understand that many of you have held your
belief for years, maybe even a lifetime, and have difficulty entertaining any other option.  I understand that for some of you it is an issue of personal experience.  I also understand that many of you hold your view based on the input of your own mother or some other woman whom you hold in high esteem.  I am taking all of that into consideration when I say...




PLEASE!  FOR CRYING OUT LOUD JUST SIT ON THE DANG PUBLIC RESTROOM TOILET ALREADY!



Look, I get it!  Truly, I do.  No doubt my mom nursed many a sore back having hoisted me awkwardly over a Penney's Outlet toilet seat while warning in a strained voice "Don't touch anything!"  And I tried to maintain due diligence as a young woman; hovering in such unnatural form and hoping the angle of my precarious squat would provide the urine stream a proper trajectory without, god forbid, overshooting right into the back of my own jeans.

Then gaining a few (ahem) pounds over the years without the foresight to simultaneously build upper body strength in preparation only proved to exacerbate the problem.  And yes, I admit it.  I have used the handicap bathroom simply for the value of the hand rail.  But I did so in protest against my own conscience while tortured by the possibility that an actual handicapped person could enter at any moment and have to wait for me to walk, able-bodied, out of their stall.  ugh.

But there was a day some 10 odd years ago that saved me.  The day of my release.  Dr. Oz (back  on his Oprah cameo days) said that it was okay to sit on the toilet seat.  Specifically, he said that any person with an uncompromised immune system can sit on a public toilet seat and not incur any great harm.  It's all the things you touch with your hands in the bathroom that will get you, not the non-porous donut ring upon which you set yourself.

And so began my life of bathroom freedom.  I sit.  Yes, ladies.  I do.  Full on contact -donut ring to derriere.  I am unafraid.  EXCEPT for one small thing and this is where all of you who choose to hover your haunches come in.  (And where I, for no logical reason break into prose.)

If you must squat, then please clean the pot.
For no one, I dare quibble
Wants to sit in your dribble!

Don't misunderstand me.  There are convenience store restrooms between here and my home town of Atlanta, GA that are lucky I don't line my kids up in the middle of the potato chip aisle and yell "Aim high!" because the funk and filth are too much for even me.  But in most reasonably managed establishments it's really not that bad.

Having patronized one such establishment in recent months, I have had more than enough opportunity and trust me, MORE than enough cause to address this situation.  I know how hard it can be to get centered especially if you are fighting quivering thighs but seriously, why does your fear of toilet seats have to haunt the next occupant?  Maybe it was little Johnny and he just barely makes it over the rim as it is.  So be it but you're standing right there.  You know he missed.  You're going to wash your hands and follow it up with antibacterial hand gel anyway so just give it wipe.  That's all I'm asking. 

Ladies, I respect your right to choose.  But please, please, for those of us who aren't so cushy with our tushy, don't let your hyper hiney hygienics leave the rest of us singing with the Soggy Bottom Boys.

Diatribe over.  =)






Monday, April 30, 2012

To the Polls!

Christians in NC should vote for Amendment One on Tuesday.  Or so I'm told.

NC Amendment 1, Section 6 reads in part:


"Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State."

Okay.  Why?

Well, Genesis 1:27, Leviticus 18:22, and Romans 1:26-28 for starters.

Ah then.  Because the Bible says so, right?

Right.

Indeed it does.  What else does the Bible say?  Like... "the works of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality..." Galatians 5:19 or "Flee sexual immorality." 1 Corinthians 6:18 or "abstain from sexual immorality..." 1 Thessalonians 4:3. 

Seems clear enough.  If "sexual immorality" includes anything apart from sex between a husband and wife then that pretty much covers it all.  Sooooo....

where is it?  The other amendment?  The other amendments?  You know, the ones that say:

"It is prohibited for any man or woman to participate in consensual sexual activity while cohabitating apart from marriage, as defined by Amendment One, section 6."

What about the one that says:

"Any teenagers found to be sexually active prior to marriage, as defined by Amendment One, section 6, shall no longer be eligible for public education and must immediately be withdrawn from any public institutes of learning."

What?  You haven't seen these? Haven't signed the petitions?  Haven't bought the t-shirt?  Hmmmm.  Neither have I.  But I'm awfully curious as to why not. 

If conservative Christians are, as they proport to be doing, protecting God's biblical definition of marriage and thereby speaking on His behalf at the polls, then why aren't we formulating, marketing, and pushing through legislation to protect God's biblical sensitivities regarding ALL sexual acts?  Why, in heaven's name, stop with a marriage amendment?

Come on Amie, grace has to supercede law at SOME point.

Ah yes, His grace is sufficient.  Our constitution?  Not so much, I guess.

Well, you can't expect the democratic government of a free and richly diverse people such as America to legislate every point of Christian morality.  That would be legalism at its worst and set us back 200 years to a pre-revolutionary state church existence and would make it nearly impossible to follow Christ's command to show love given the extremity of the law, constant mutual suspicion and condemnation, as well as the likelihood that none could escape its judgments thanks to that darned "all have sinned" thing. 

Oh, how I love when these conversations go right where I want them to. ;-)  You are right.  And what's more it would be impossible because the line of morality among Christians is as variant as the day is long and is most often drawn just inside of one's own level of comfort.

So INSTEAD ---

Perhaps we should remember that the Constitution of the United States is not Scripture.  And that there may be evidences of MANY sacred writings from MANY cultures and belief systems reflected in its content.  But rights should never have been, and should never again be afforded us by our common religion, or common race, or common gender, or common sexuality--but by our common humanity.

Instead, ask yourself "why do we draw the line here and not there?"  "Here" being Amendment One and "there" being the Nth degree of the biblical standard.  And if, in fact, you're not willing to push the line "there" then you have no choice but to unwrap the cause from its spiritual packaging with Bible-verse-quoting ribbons and bows and see that what you are left with is hypocrisy and discrimination.  Stop dressing it up and putting God's name on the gift tag.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Randomness

I never know which blog to blog under.  (SERIOUSLY a first-world problem)  If I talk about family then it should be Sexton Crew but if I mention the hood maybe it should be Launch 150.  Blah.  I'll just hope you don't mind blog-hopping too much and stop stressing about where to share the randomness of our lives.  Occasions such as this morning when Bella came into my bedroom and shouted, "Mom!  Smell my tits!"

Gulp.  My brain went into rapid flip mode, like a card shark shuffling the deck, searching for a reasonable explanation.  Thankfully, I drew an Ace.  The Ace being remembering that Bella has been begging for deodorant lately.

"Bella, do you mean armpits?"  Please say yes, please say yes, please say yes!

"Oh yeah, mom.  Oops.  Not tits.  Armpit."

Oops indeed.  "Bella, please promise you will never, ever again ask someone to smell your tits, okay?"
She complied.  After silly giggling.  The silly giggling concerns me.


Farm life randomness:  We are finally milking the goats.  It's not a perfect science.  They have opinions and attitudes and ridiculously strong hind legs.  I decided to start wearing my "Bailey's Coffee Creamer" apron while milking.  I thought it might inspire them if they caught sight of the competition.  It didn't.  I would say we're working on our technique and they are working on their patience.  Hopefully, that will translate into an abundance of creamy wonderfulness before long.


Rad randomness:  We see progress.  In ourselves.  In Mamoune.  However, we now also see that a few weeks of what looks like a "normal" kid doesn't mean you have a "normal" kid and doesn't mean that your RAD kid can be parented like a "normal" kid.  Failure to recognize this can lead to bad things.  Like finding yourself being body slammed into the bathroom floor and donning some pretty nasty bruises.  I got the full brunt of this particular eruption. 

In retrospect I can see that the steam was rising and it could have been averted.  And while it's not okay and there is much mending to do...I believe it will be even longer before the next episode because of the knowledge I gained.  The bruises will heal.  I am just thankful for the tools I have been given by our therapy so that my heart was not so badly bruised this time and we'll move on from here.  No ground lost.  Just a rest stop.

Normal is way overrated anyway.  And on that note, I will close with this slightly less random thought...

I love Pink. Not the color. The person.


WHAT?!!! Amie, you do NOT mean the gangster-punk-rocker with ever-evolving hair who is raw and brash and has the nerve to write songs that mention things like drinking, fighting, and masturbation and even has a song with the F-bomb right there in the title... do you?

Yep. That's the one. Love her!

Tim and I recently watched the video to her Grammy-nominated song "Perfect". (The clean title and version of "F#%*ing Perfect") It is powerful. It is convicting. It is moving. I showed it to my daughter. My attachment disorder, fit-throwing, body changing every day, hormonal, pre-teen, out of control, body slamming, effin' perfect daughter.  Maybe you should show it to yours, too.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Reality is a Two-faced (CENSORED)!

This morning, in the middle of home schooling these five kiddos, Tim hugged me and said, "Last night I was with a beautiful woman.  She was wearing a silky, shimmery blue night gown and had on sexy makeup.  You don't look anything like her.  I think I may have accidentally cheated on you."

Ain't that the way life goes?  Sometimes you get to be the hot mama with deep blue eye shadow and maroon-stained lips.  But then the clock strikes midnight and you're just the pony-tailed girl in a sweatsuit and cotton undies.  sigh.  As I pondered this double-sided existence, I was reminded of the musical "Into the Woods".  In our high school performance of it, Tim was "The Baker" and I was "Rapunzel" his estranged sister.  Estranged meaning locked in a doorless tower.  The play is an amazing intertwining of several classic fairy tales and is quite entertaining, especially if you see the one with the anatomically correct Big Bad Wolf costume.  'nuff said.

Anyway, there is a scene in the play in which the Baker's wife and Prince Charming rendezvous in the woods, after which his charm seems to run short and she's left pondering the void between a passionate love affair (an "And") and a mundane life in the bakery (the "Or").

"Why not both instead, there's the answer if you're clever;
Have a child for warmth, and a baker for bread, and a prince for...whatever!"

In the end, she realizes that the tension between the two realities is a necessary part of relationship.  Or at least that's my interpretation of what she realizes.  She also gets stomped on by a giant like the no-good-cheater she is but that's beside the point.

"Just remembering you've had an "and" when you're back to "or",
Makes the "or" mean more than it did before."

So, reality IS a two-faced (CENSORED)!  No sense fighting it.  See it for what it is and now... go have an "AND" with your hubby!   Oh, and keep away from beanstalks.  It's just best for everybody that way.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween in Review

Every year I acknowledge that there are many controversial opinions out there regarding Halloween.  Every year I remind everyone that I am not offering judgement on your position nor accepting comments that judge ours.  And this year is no different.  Take it or leave it, here's how the 31st of October passed for the Sexton Crew:

I love the dressing up part.  I usually love participating in the dressing up but this year it just didn't work out.  I mostly love the challenge of outfitting my kiddos WITHOUT spending tons of money on pre-fab costuming.  After a look around the house and a quick trip to the thrift store, we were rolling.



I found this strange item in the $1.29 bin at GoodWill.  I had no idea what we would do with it but there were some obvious thoughts and soon enough...



one ginormous snake was crafted and became the centerpiece...






for Isaiah's "jungle explorer" costume.



Nathan loves and already has all things army so that's easy enough.



Mamoune got this snow queen dress last Christmas (75% off post-Halloween sale) so we simply added the Dollar store Christmas ornament earrings and then rubber banded the snowflake ornament to a gold headband for the crown.  She was all glitz and glitter which made her quite happy!  And that left the little people.


 

Bella Bo Peep required a $4.00 Princess costume from GW, one of Mamoune's old flower girl dresses worn underneath for "poof effect" and an infant hat stitched in half with ribbon to tie it on.  We decided a four year old with a shepherd's staff could be dangerous for all involved but "lamby" made for a great prop.  And lastly, all was right in the world because...




Sheriff Justus was on patrol.  Take one cow patterned pillow that two pre-schoolers have pulled all the stuffing out of and give it three snips and some stitching and you've got a perfect "Sheriff Woody" vest.  His sister's bandanna, a dollar store hat, and aluminum star and he was ready to round up some sugar-hyped outlaws.



I spent a total of $16.00 on five costumes.  Not bad.  So, costumes -success!  Candy?  Fail.  Major fail.  The rain was the first glitch.  It seemed a complete waste to get all these guys dressed up and then layer them with rain coats and umbrellas.  So, we joined some friends at the mall knowing it would be packed but at least it would be dry.  Dry, crowded, and candy-less.  Yep.  It was a total disappointment.  We walked around and sadly observed the "sorry, we ran out of candy" signs taped to countless store windows.  By 7:30, our tally looked a bit like this:

      3 hours making costumes
      1 hour dressing kids in costumes
     45 minutes driving to, unloading, parking, and getting into the mall
 +   1 hour walking around the mall

     2 pieces of candy per child
     1 spider ring
     5 "this is stupid"
     3 "when are we leaving?"
     2 "what the heck do we do now?" parents


In some small way, we (Tim and Amie) were relieved.  Every year they get bags of candy and they obsess to the point of conflict and we end up fighting and having to ration the candy before eventually just trashing it sometime around January 15th.  No candy -no conflict.  But the tiny part of us that understands our kid's excitement over all things chocolate and sugary felt bad for them.  So... we left the mall, empty target bags in tow, and made a slight detour through the KrispyKreme drive-thru then headed home to watch "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" and stuff ourselves on glazed donuts.

With no masses of candy to idolize and therefore hopefully only one sugar-hype/crash related day of meltdowns and attitudes, I'm thinking we may have found our new Halloween tradition!