Saturday, February 16, 2013


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. 





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.

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!