Welcome to One Busy Momma! The Blog for Busy Moms by one Busy Mom.....

Welcome to my blog. One Busy Momma is my space to rant about my life and the things that happen in it. I have a crazy life - and instead of focusing on the crazy - I like to focus on the funny. Because if I focused on the craziness - well, I'd have been shipped off to an institution long, long ago. And while, I'll admit, there are some days when being institutionalized sounds PRETTY GOOD compared to making ANOTHER diorama at 1am - I'd rather be right where I am - in my messy house with my not so perfect kids making crooked dioramas in the middle of the night.

Monday, July 30, 2012

I Am Not Normal

So - I have arrived upon a major, life altering revelation - and here it is: I am, in no way, a normal person. Now, while some of you have known this for years, this fact just hit me today. I am SO not f'ing normal - it is beyond the pale. How did I come to this conclusion - one that has probably been obvious to everyone but ME for the past 10 years? Well, it all starts with a bit of writer's block - which is like constipation for a writer. Nice image, huh? Well - sorry Peeps - but it is. I was sitting at the pool, trying to figure out what to write for my next blog post. I had nothing. NOTHING - which is very odd for me especially after coming back from a week-long meeting followed by a week-long vacation. But I had nothing - nothing weird happened at the meeting and nothing bizarre happened while on vacation. Nothing worth writing about. So, I decided to pull out an "oldie-but-goodie". One of the stories that people ask me to tell over and over again. And in compiling that very list, I realized how NOT NORMAL my life is. It occurred to me that other people do not have stories like the ones I can whip out at a moment's notice. Now, while these stories can be very helpful and useful - the very fact that I have an ARSENAL of such stories is terribly messed up.

Useful? Helpful? What do I mean, you say? Well - let's pretend that you are hosting a cocktail party and for whatever reason - it just sucks - if I am a guest at said sucky party - you might say something like: "Hey Busy Momma, why don't you tell everyone about the time the guy sitting next to you on that plane died? You know - the guy who died after you told him off?"  And I would tell that very story and Ba-Boom! The party is brought back to life. (Yes, I realize how crude and innappropriate THAT turn of phrase just was.) But here is the thing - normal people don't have stories about people sitting next to them on a plane dropping dead. That is not a normal circumstance.

So, while these stories are somewhat useful when one of you is having a bad day, or a bad year, the list of them just proves that I am some sort of freak of nature. One who is doomed to have all sorts of messed up fuckery happen to her throughout the course of her life. Don't believe me? Think I am exaggerating? Ohhh - think again my friends - think again. Here is the list of "funny" stories I compiled while sitting at the pool today - you be the judge of the extent of fuckery that I have somehow, unwittingly invited into my life:

  • Let's start with the elephant in the room - the  flying dead guy. Long story short, I was flying into Houston from BWI. And, in some sort of demented trick of karma - I got bumped up into First Class. So, as I am taking full advantage of the FREE BOOZE in First Class - my flight gets delayed on the runway. (Yes, that's right - I am already drinking and we are not even off the ground yet. Did I mention that the booze is FREE? I am NOTHING if not thrifty. I was bound and determined to drink every drop of free booze I was entitled to.) Anyway - while sitting and drinking, I was finishing a tear-jerker of a Belva Plain novel. So, as any normal person would - I started to cry. Not sobbing, making an ass out of myself crying - but there might have been a bit of sniffling. And perhaps a badly stifled sob/hiccup- from the wine. So, the guy next to me looked at me and said something quite obnoxious about "girls and their romance novels". And this pissed me off. Because first and foremaost - I was a WOMAN, not a GIRL. And secondly - this was NOT a romance novel - how DARE he? And I told him that - and also to buzz off and mind his own business. (Yes, I did actually say "Buzz Off" and I might have called him an asshole under my breath as well.) Fast forward a few hours into the flight - we were actually getting close to landing and I woke up from my pinot grigio induced flight coma, and this guy's big, fat head was lolling about on my shoulder. How DARE he? First he called me a girl, then he accused me of reading ROMANCE NOVELS and NOW he was using me as a personal in-flight pillow? This shit was not going to be tolerated! So I shrugged REALLY hard to get him off of me. And his head kind of shot up and then landed WITH A BIG THUD back on my shoulder. And this is where the story gets a bit fuzzy for me - what with all of the panic and yelling and crying that followed. But long story short - the guy was dead. Yep - dead as a door nail. (I don't actually know what a door nail is - or why it is equated with death all of the time - but he was dead as dead can be.) He somehow met his maker on that flight. And the last words he heard from any human being was "asshole". OK - that is not entirely accurate as I do recall the flight attendant asking him to buckle his seatbelt AFTER I called him an asshole. But that is not the point. My point is: WHO the HELL do things like this happen to? ME - that's who! ME!
  • How about the time I managed to insult the Vice-President of Slovakia while in an elevator by asking what the hell kind of "crack-pot" nation Slovakia was and explaining that I was pretty god-damned sick and tired of all of these little countries rising up out of Russia like they were "F-ing" TCBY franchises. Now, in my defense - I had NO IDEA that the guy was on the elevator with me. Because really - who the hell knows who the Vice President of Slovakia IS, never mind what he looks like. And back in the 90's - who had really even heard of Slovakia? Seriously - was it just me? (According to my brother - YES. Yes it was JUST me who didn't know that Slovakia was an actual country. With a government. Run by people.) Whatevs...
  • Let's not forget the time I decided to give my pet bunny to an animal rescue because I was travelling way too much to take proper care of him. I found this place called a "Primate Rescue" and they agreed to take good old Flopsy because they wanted to mate him with another of his kind. So, I was expecting to drive up to a nice farm, with a farmer dressed in overalls, an apple orchard and a babbling brook. Instead, I drove up to a ramshackle house and meet a woman outside who appeared to have a dowager's hump. She wordlessly led me inside and what ensued is SO screwed up, it can only be explained with the words: Monkeys, Apes, Monkey balls and  what could be construed as a possible monkey blowjob. Seriously. I won't even BEGIN to tell that story - that's a whole other blog. What I WILL say is that in no way was that monkey blow job intentional and while you might be laughing right now - having your face raped by a small Capuchin monkey is no laughing matter.
  • Then there was the time that I decided - as an adult - to take a ballet class. Epic fail - EPIC fail. For some reason - my ballet teacher didn't like me. And I mean she REALLY didn't like me. She disliked me SO much, in fact, that she decided to make the most of my presence by using me as an example of what NOT to do when attempting to do ballet. So - for example - she would say - in her awful Russian accented voice:" Ev-le-one stop vat you are doing and look at MALLY" ('cause the bitch couldn't pronounce my name)"Look at how she holds her hands - like she is holding a hambuger - that is NOT how we hold our hands ladies." And from then on - the bitch called me "hamburger hands". No joke. She also managed to tell the entire class that when I pointed my toes, I made my feet curl into "Sickles of death - jew know like the GLIM Reaper holds - the sickle. Look at Mally's Sickles of death." Needless to say - I quit that class. But WHO does that happen to? (This, by the way - if Fifi's FAVORITE story of all time. It also involves me leaping through the air like one of those tutu wearing hippos in Fantasia - but again, I'm saving it for a different day.)
  • I haven't even broached the topic of the "Epic Polyester's Dance-Off of 1998" - when I somehow managed to challenge the general manager of some professional ball team to a Grease danceoff at a club on the River Walk in San Antonio. There are actual pictures of this danceoff and I am told that I won because the guy ended with some sort of move that had him squatting on the dance floor in his million dollar suit and I decided that it would be a great idea to "tip him over" ... with my foot. Keep in mind that I don't so much "remember" this incident as I have pieced it together using the photos that I have gathered as evidence that this dance-off even occurred. There were witnesses to this stunning display of drunken debauchery and unfortunately, many of them wound up in the CLASS I WAS TEACHING the next day. Try recovering your professional composure after someone asks you: "Are you that girl from the Grease dance-off last night? Wow - I think they had to call an ambulance for that guy."
  • How about the time I was sitting at a restaurant with a colleague, eating dinner, and a PRIEST from a neighboring table leaned over and asked me if I was going to finish my prime rib. And then TOOK IT OFF OF MY PLATE with his fork when I said; "Um, I think I'm done". And proceeded to EAT it. Seriously - you cannot make this shit up. 
  • Then  there was the time that I was apparently really snotty to a bartender and he "soaped my glass". Ever had that happen you you? Nope - thought not. Soaping one's glass ensures that the booze contained therin goes DIRECTLY to the recipient's head AND also ensures that the recipient vomits up every last thing in her stomach...and the process takes HOURS and HOURS. Because you vomit up not only everything you ate that day - but everything you have ever eaten - ever. Like baby food and rice cereal come up at the end.  Gross - but true.
  • And then there is the time that a guy in my class KILLED himself rather than come back to my class after a break. Yep, Peeps - I'm THAT good at my job. People are literally DYING to get out of my classes...
I could go on and on and on - but I think you have the point by now. Anyone who can just rattle off stories that contain the words: monkey balls, capuchian monkey raping my face, Grease dance off, dead flying guy and hamburger hands should be locked away for safe-keeping. This is NOT normal. Far, far from it.

But whatever you do - don't feel sorry for me. I can handle it. I am used to this crazy being a constant in my life. If you are feeling bad for anyone - let your empathy rain down upon my children and PC. They have done nothing to invite this type of tomfoolery into their lives. Poor babies - once they hitched their wagons to me - they never had a chance at "normal".

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Destination Dysentery

Ahhh...vacation. A time to unwind, eat irresponsibly and throw back a couple of margaritas. Sleep late, read a good book or two and, if you're lucky, enjoy the company of a few good friends. That was the plan, my peeps, for Busy Momma's July 4th. The whole gang headed to Rehoboth with Sookie and company for our annual July 4th getaway. We've been spending July 4th together for several years now and have always had a really great time. Sookie's husband Bill grew up on the lower shore and his dad invites us to spend a few days with him every July 4th. And we happily oblige!It's usually a magical time - the kids all get along, we all have our OWN bathrooms, the coffee is always hot in the morning and there is always someone willing to watch the wee ones if the grown ups want to get away from it all for a night. It's a pretty great thing we've got going on - I have to be honest. And this year I was REALLY looking forward to this vacation. I've been working too hard, putting in A LOT of hours travelling and I just really needed a break from it all.

It started out beautifully. Almost - too beautifully. There was NO traffic on the way down - as in NO traffic. The night before July 4th heading to the beach. We took this as a sign from the vacation gods. We thought they were saying: "Come, come to the beach ye tired and weary overworked people. Come, let the sun tan you, let the gentle waves massage you, let the tequila numb you..."

Unfortunately, something got lost in translation. That's not what they were saying AT ALL. More on that later.

We all met for dinner at our annual "1st night in Rehoboth" place - Jake's. We had a few laughs, a great meal and threw back a few drinks.We got back to the house, unpacked, settled in and went to bed. The fourth dawned hot and sunny - perfect beach weather. So off we headed to the beach. The kids boogie boarded, Sookie, Bill, PC and I took turns watching them and we all had lunch at our favorite pizza joint - as we do EVERY July 4th. That night we attended a great party that Bill's dad throws every year. Good food, fun friends and lots and lots of booze. We slept late on the 5th, lounged about, drank too much coffee and headed out to the bay for a lazy day of floating on our boards and reading. It was all going so, so well...until it wasn't. As we were talking about packing it up and heading home - Sookie's little girl, Alice, came out of the water and said "My tummy hurts". And that's when the real fun began. We assumed that she might have been dehydrated as it was extremely hot that day, and we had only seen her drink one or two juice boxes. So, we packed everyone up and took them home. Sookie put Alice into a cool bath and I gave her some icy cold gatorade. When Sookie's older daughter, Leena, began getting sick - we wondered if they might have food poisoning. They had shared a sub for lunch. Maybe they had a funky sub? About an hour or two later - Jack got sick and that's when we knew - a STOMACH VIRUS was in our midst.

Now, I won't get into the nitty-gritty details - let it suffice to say that there was more gross stuff flying out of these kids than 4 adults could or should ever be expected to manage. Oh - and I forgot to mention that Sookie's dog is on her last legs, so they brought her along as well...and she suffers from colitis. And decided to demonstrate this as the kids were spewing and ... Need I say more? So - by 1 am on July 6th - I was sleeping in the nursery with the girls. All 3 girls had puke pots in bed with them. Bella wasn't sick - but she was sort of sick because watching everyone else get sick was making her sick. Kinda like in the movie Goonies.... PC was in bed with Jack, Sookie was on the couch in the living room with the pooping dog and Bill was in bed because we had to have 1 adult at the ready the next morning who actually had a few hours of sleep in him.Plus - he wasn't feeling so hot.

Friday morning dawned to 2 new dilemas - first the kids were now running fevers. The throwing up had almost stopped, but now they were incredibly dehydrated and feverish. And, of course, even though we had all brought fever medicine - just in case - it wasn't the "right" medicine. Who would have thought that 3 sick kids could be medicine connoseurs? Oh yes, apparently children's Motrin tastes like "barf" to Jack, while Leena likes it. And no one likes grape flavored medicine...ewww. So, PC spent much of the day hunting around Walgreen's, Giant and CVS to find the proper medicines that all of the children would take. He also got Ginger Ale for the kid who doesn't like Coke, Coke for the kid who doesn't like Ginger Ale, gatorade for everyone and about 453 cans of chicken soup - in every variety and brand known to man. because GOD KNOWS if you're that picky about fever medicine - SURELY you are very choosy about your chicken noodle vs. your chicken and rice. The SECOND dilema was ME! I woke up on Friday morning and could barely walk. Somehow, some way I managed to almost BREAK my left foot on Thursday. Somewhere in the mayhem of packing up puking kids and hightailing it off the beach, I stepped in a hole or something and screwed my foot really well. I had iced it up when we got home - but by Friday morning - my pretty little foot looked like something that belonged on Shrek the Ogre. The toes were so swollen, I could not move them, and I was in tears - seriously. So - off the the local ER I go. And folks - that was an adventure in and of itself. Ever been at a beach ER? I hope not. Sincerely. I walked, or rather, hobbled in and the 97 year-old woman at the reception desk said: "May I help you?" I told her that I needed to be seen because I think I might have broken my foot. She took my information and told me that I've been a patient at the hospital already - in 1997. Now, I know that I drank A LOT in '97..but not THAT much. I assured her that I had never, ever visited the hospital before - and asked if I might have an ice pack and a wheel chair. Well, apparently, that was just way too much to ask of Mabel-Mae because she just started shaking her head and told me that she was having "a really bad day".  To which I somewhat snarkily replied: "Really? How 'bout that? Me too! How is that wheel chair coming along? " She proceeded to print out my wrist band, attach it to me and confide in me that she had actually had a pretty bad year. And I felt for her - I really did. But I still had no wheel chair or a god -damned ice pack and my human kindness only extends so far.

Once I made it through triage and had both an ice pack and a wheel chair - things were looking up. Until they called me back and I met Ronnie - the Wonder PA. Now, to be fair, the ER was crazy busy and Ronnie was only 1 man. Actually, I really could qualify him as a boy - a boy-man let's say. Ronnie walked in and said: "Hey, what's going on?" but not in a comforting way - kind of like in a stoned, Dazed and Confused way. NOT a good sign. So, I explained what had happened and told him that I really thought I broke a bone or two in my foot. He asked me to show him "where it hurts" and I did and was VERY CLEAR about the fact that it REALLY hurt if you touched it. So Ronnie proceeded to take his overgrown, HAIRY hands and use his monster-sized fingers to squeeze the hurty spot to the point that I SCREAMED and pulled my foot back so fast that I kicked him in the chin.

Now let me explain something. I don't scream. I gave birth 3 times. The first time the baby was backwards and BROKE MY TAILBONE on her way out - while my epidural was turned OFF. No screaming. Cursing - yes. but NO SCREAMING. Ronnie the Wonder PA elicited a scream that was so primal, I was quite mortifed. And after the scream was finished he literally said: "OK so that's where it hurts."


So, after he read the XRay, Ronnie sauntered in and said - and I quote: "Well, it AIN'T broke. And the radiologist looked at it and he DON'T think it's broke NEITHER." It was at this point that I asked to see Ronnie's hospital ID badge because SURELY, SURELY this was some kind of sick joke. This guy must be the janitor or an escaped mental patient pretending to be a PA - right? A trained professional PA certainly wouldn't speak that way - would he?

Why yes, Momma, yes he would.

So, Ronnie diagnosed me with either: tendoinitis, a severe sprain, a severe strain or a "real bad bruise". But also it could be a stress fracture - he just didn't really know. He gave me a pair of crutches, anti-inflamatories and pain meds and sent me on my way. When I got home, Jack was STILL puking into a bowl, but Sookie's girls looked much better and Bella was still A-OK. I slept with Jack that night, PC slept on the couch, Sookie and Bill stayed in their room. As I drifted off into a drug-induced sleep, I thought that we had surely hit rock bottom and things would be looking up in the morning.

Then, Sookie fell. The virus took hold around 3am and that poor girl was sicker than sick. By the time we woke up, she was covered in 12 layers of blankets and buried in her bed. She was so feverish, she was shivering and her teeth were chattering. That's when I knew we were goners - every last one of us would fall to this deadly bug. It was only a matter of time. We had all sat around marinating in these awful germs and they were sitting inside of Bella, PC, Bill and I just waiting to ravage us.

And they didn't disappoint. Bella started getting sick on Sunday - as we were driving home. By the time we arrived home - I was so sick I had to go directly to bed. PC and Bella spent the night in the ER as she was so sick and I spent the night on the bathroom floor - praying for death. Monday afternoon found me in a real doctor's office where the lovely, professional PA told me that she would be treating my poor little piggy as a stress fracture and put me into a beautiful post surgical boot so that I can wean myself off of the crutches and support and protect my foot as it heals. We lost PC to the virus on Monday afternoon. He went down hard and fast. 

So - now it's Thursday night - exactly 1 week since the first one of us fell. And I am happy to report that everyone is on the mend. PC and I are still not 100% , but we're getting there. Bella is still getting headaches and isn't her usual perky self - but she's bouncing back. She's working on bedazzling my boot as I type. You'd never know Jack was sick. Sookie is better, her girls are fine and Bill never really got horribly sick.

So - here's the weird thing. Are you ready? I STILL had a fun time on our vacation. Was it what we had planned? Nope. Would we want to EVER revisit it again - negative. However, I will say this - I think we LAUGHED more on this vacation than on any other. We were SO bored sitting around that we came up with ridiculous names for the vacation - like The Rehoboth Retch, the Throw-up Throwdown, IndaPUKENS Day and The Sandy Spew. We had a Facebook "name this vacation" contest and people contributed hilarious names. Then we had an "It could have been worse" contest on the way home - as Bella barfed in the back seat. In between barfs - she was even playing along. The kids were so kind and gentle with one another. They took care of each other and really made us proud. This Worst-Case Scenario vacation brought out the BEST in us. And while I wouldn't want to experience this one again - I will say that it certainly COULD HAVE been worse. And I, for one, am looking forward to laughing about all of this NEXT July 4th!