2011 can eat a bag of dicks

January: We started the shitstorm of 2011 poorly. I weighed in at 190 and immediately became sickened with myself. My mother had her back surgery. Since I spent the day before and day of said surgery in the bathroom puking up my guts, I didn’t call her. After she got home, I was “sent for”. She lectured me about not calling her “What if I had died?” I told her we both knew she wasn’t going to die and if I hadn’t called then I’d have to live with it (whatever that meant), not her; she’d be dead. I then went on the assault. We didn’t speak again for months. Work sucked. It was cold. I started running

February: JewelrySlut turned 40 and I managed to make a nice mid-week dinner for her. Our planned trip to Asheville was scuttled because of my mother’s back, Shmuppie’ s inability to stay at their house without freaking out and my mother and I and the whole not speaking thing. I’m sure Moo did something cute. Work sucked even more. My feet hurt. I needed new sneakers and some $400 inserts. My feet still hurt. I got under 180.

March: Shmuppie was tracked out for 3 weeks. Grr…having her at home for all that time was evil. On a positive note, we took a vacation at the end of the month. We went to WEI and promptly walked into horrid weather. The Wii saved us from certain insanity. We won’t complain about a week off from life, but it could have been better. My feet hurt. I kept running. I got into the low 170s. On a positive note, UConn went on its run through postseason basketball. From a fan’s perspective, it was a joy to behold.

April: Pollen, tornadoes and more suck from work. It really was a horrible year at work. My main account was just terrible; both the clients and my coworkers. I worked way too much in 2011 and am hoping to not be so stressed out from work in 2012. I kept running. I didn’t like it but it was getting somewhat easier. I was up to about 2.5 miles at a time. I stayed in the low 170s.

May: Shmuppie turned 9. I don’t remember anything else happening other than that I’m sure I hated work. I ran some more. IN convinced someone else to run. She became angry with me. She was down nearly 20lbs by now too. I was in the high 160s.

June: It was hot. We had swimming. Swimming sucked. Shmuppie did not take it seriously and lollygagged through the summer. She also tracked out for 5 weeks. My mother took her on another cruise. My parents and I were barely speaking. I was fine with it. Work was awful. Running became infinitely less fun as the temperatures went up. Life was madness. Swimming 2X per week and Saturday meets. It was all a blur of trips to the Y and working on my blackberry late into the night.

July: We went to FLA for July 4th. JewelrySlut’s father was moved to a hospice facility for a “respite”. He was to stay there for a month. S was at home, mostly trying to regain her sanity and life. She’d been caring for him 24/7 for 2 years and it had taken its toll on her. We had a nice visit, ate shrimp, set off fireworks and drive home in storms. Work, as expected, was beyond bad.

August: Happy Birthday to me. I celebrated by running 3 miles. I was in the mid 160′s, having lost 25lbs and had managed to keep it off. JewelrySlut was also running and was cursing me with every step. Work was…you know.

September: Shmuppie tracked out again and we went back to EI. MerlotMan, ChurchBomber, and us all decided that we needed a good trip down there after March’s misadventures. We got it. The weather was wonderful and we had a great time in our oceanfront house. We played in the sand, ate well, and had a wonderful time. Moo really enjoyed the beach. By now, she was more than a handful. She’s developed quite the personality. Watching her play in the sand or stand in the waves with her mother was among the highlights of the year for me. Work… I went to Cleveland for a few days. I hit 162.

October: I got back from vacation and walked into a tsunami wrapped in a tornado, glazed with a forest fire. I spent the first week back waiting to get fired. My team had fallen apart in my absence and everything went to shit. I realized that there was nothing I could do to save things. I was going to have to accept that I was considered a failure and take my beatings that continue to come on a daily basis. I rode the worst of it for 2 weeks.

Then, one fine Wednesday, JewelrySlut walked into my office with red eyes. “Dad’s dying”. FUCK! We had her and Moo no a plane the following morning. We hoped that they could race Death to Florida. They made it in time. Did they ever. By Saturday, he was still alive and I had gone insane. I jumped on a plane, sending Shmuppie to my parents’ house. In typical NoGoodFamily fashion, we put the shit behind us and rallied. They took Shmuppie for a few days. I got to FLA for long enough to realize that my father in law didn’t plan on dying on our schedule. He was waiting until he was ready. I put us all on a plane and brought us home. We needed to restore some sanity.

The running continued.

November: My father in law passed away early in the month. This time, JewelrySlut, Shmuppie and I all went down to FLA for the services. My brother in law and his fat derelict family showed up. We spent 4 days not talking to one another. A year of calls from their debt collectors had soured us all on each other. The services were what they were. My mother-in-law’s family and kids all came down to FLA and it was good to spend time with our new family. Some people don’t get our decision to keep her in our lives; she is, after all, just a step-mother. We don’t see it that way and are happy our kids have another grandmother…a bonus grandmother.

I went to Lima OH for work.

There was a rash of un-friending on Facebook. Apparently, I’m a tad too much of an asshole for some.

We ran a 5K. JewelrySlut won her age group. We ran WAY too fast.

Thanksgiving was its usual bout of wine-induced fun.

December: Work started sucking a little less. Shmuppie tracked out again but spent a week at my parent’s house. The 3 of us sat around the house and relaxed. We went back to FLA for Christmas. IT was a good trip; filled with the usual insanity, but done while in shorts.

I guess we’re back to normal with my family. We talk now and think we’ve reached another level of d‚tente. It is what it is with us. We’ll never be normal or storybook-looking. Too many bridges have been blown up to ever have that. I gained a few pounds at the end of the year and finished 2011 at 168. I also finished it with a 3.5 mile jog with JewelrySlut. I don’t know who these 2 skinny runners are who live in my house, but I think we like them.

2012:
I need to lose 5lbs.
We will run another race or 2.
JewelrySlut and I are taking a vacation in the spring; just us. We need it and my parents are pushing us to do it.
It’s supposed to be a St. John year, but I don’t see it happening. It’s too much money and hassle. I prefer EI and its simplicity.
Shmuppie turns 10. Good lord.
Moo will turn 3.

I hope 2012 is better than 2011. 2011 goes down in the books as a very bad year around here. The only thing I can say about it is that we got fit. That’s good, but not good enough.

Go away if you’re squeamish

Obviously, life changes when you’re a parent. Uh-doy.

But, let’s talk about sleep. You start off, after the baby is born, sleeping whenever you can. Once the baby starts sleeping, you wake up every time he/she sneezes, moves, coughs, farts, etc. These noises, of course, are all signs that your baby is deathly ill and will cause you to not sleep as a result.

Then they move down the hall. Now, you don’t hear every cough and fart, but most of them. No matter how deeply asleep you are; you hear it.

CREAK!

Shmuppie’s door opened. The 3 bedroom doors upstairs all stick somewhat, so JewelrySlut and I have excellent early warning detectors. We heard a creak and I shot awake.

You know when you wake up sometimes from what’s obviously been a deep sleep and you have to really stare at the clock to decipher the rune-like symbols on it? Yea…that was this morning.

My brain churned for a few seconds and came up with 1:48 as the answer. Awesome…

Despite her ninja skills, I can usually hear her if she’s making her way to our door. I didn’t hear said sounds so I drifted back to sleep.

“OOMPH”

JewelrySlut and I are now sitting up in bed. I stumbled out of bed and went out into the hallway. The bathroom door was open and the light was on.

“Shmuppie? Are you O…?”

There was a lake of vomit on the floor outside the bathroom.

So…we had a problem on our hands. I went back to our room and more or less stood in one place while my brain tried to wake up. I suspect it looked a lot like me when I’m trying to start the leaf blower.

“Set the lever halfway between the rabbit and the turtle…remind self to look up what ‘choke’ means on Wikipedia some day, pump the little thing…pull the string 47,000 times”

That was my brain. I knew we had a situation in the hallway that needed cleaning, but I lacked the mental capacity to determine how. I knew I needed rags but my brain could not process where to get them. YES! The linen closet! They’re in a bag on the floor! “Way to go, Brain!”

JewelrySlut was now up and had thrown on some clothes. I was still in my drawers. She hurdled the lake and went into the bathroom where Shmuppie was standing in her pajama top. Only her top. I started scooping up puke while JewelrySlut cleaned Shmuppie up and assessed the bathroom. It was not good. The child had somehow managed to puke her way from the hallway to the bathroom, hitting everything in sight EXCEPT the toilet or garbage can.

We sent Shmuppie back to her room to get new PJ’s as we tackled the mess. I was so happy that I had made those green beans with the nice bright orange sauce made from those cute little orange cherry tomatoes.

(To self)
“Well…this isn’t too bad. At least it doesn’t…”

(Out loud)
“Oh God…there’s the smell”

YAY! It’s 2:00AM and the upstairs now smells like industrial waste. We scooped up the chunks off the rug, cleaned the walls, doors, baseboards, ceiling, vanity, bathtub, car, etc. JewelrySlut went outside to throw away the puke rags. I put a towel over the mess and gathered stuff from the bathroom.

(Back story)
On December 31, Shmuppie was excited because I could no longer call her “Pee Pants”. I had told her in January of 2010 when she wet her bed that as long as she kept that up, I could call her “Pee Pants” for the rest of the year. December 31 meant that the statute of limitations was up…until she peed herself again.
(End story)

I gathered up the bathmats and her Pajamas from the bathtub (where JewelrySlut had tossed them).
(Entering Shmuppie’s room)
“You shit your pants, didn’t you?”
Yes…we are not candidates for Parent of the Year by any means.
“Yes”
“HA! I win!”
I got a weak smile from that comment…she knew what was coming as a result…another year of abuse from me.

JewelrySlut took the underpants outside and I started the laundry. There’s nothing as refreshing as starting the laundry at 2:00AM.

We all went back upstairs and back to bed. Needless to say, Shmuppie is home from school today.

We have a few issues here.
1: She’s on a strong antibiotic for strep throat
2: The ladies spent Sunday at my parents’ house, babysitting my mother who had pulled her ass…AND…had a stomach virus.
3: Shmuppie never seems to have a good ability to sense what’s coming. I can’t tell you how many near-accidents there are in this house because she forgets to go to the bathroom until the train is leaving the station. Last night was a perfect example. She waited too long and ended up missing the target…from either end.

I’m going to go upstairs now and fire up the carpet cleaner. Wish me luck.

Hi…miss me?

When I went upstairs, Moo was sitting at the table, happily munching on a pancake…in different pajamas?

“Yea…when I went upstairs to wake your daughter, I found her covered in vomit”

Oh shit…it’s gonna be like that, isn’t it?

2010

What an odd year 2010 was. Odd to me at least.

I spent 361 days this year sleeping in the same place as either JewelrySlut or one of the kids. In other words, I only was away from home for work for a total of 4 nights. I can’t quite explain how very odd that was. I peaked in 2008 with probably close to 100 nights (including vacations) away from home. It was strange to be normal, but not at all bad. Though, it did make me sad to watch my status at Marriott drop down to “common schlub” .

The year stated off in crazy fashion. We spent January packing up the basement in anticipation of the construction. I worked in the guest room, which I shared with Miss Moo from January to April. But, the work went smoothly and the end result was worth the hassle of being displaced. We now have a nice basement with a neat and tidy office for me, a guest suite and a lovely bathroom that doesn’t flood.

March brought our annual trip to Emerald Isle. The 4 of us had a great time, but JewelrySlut didn’t see much beach time. She did, however, have the opportunity to change some fantastic diapers while I played in the sand with Shmuppie.

Springtime was rough at school for someone, so we decided that we’d move her to a new year-round school. The change of scenery, coupled with the t new schedule has worked wonders. Our future juvenile delinquent is back on the straight and narrow and doing quite well. Summer school was odd and took some getting used to though. But, it’s all good.

Speaking of summer…

The Boy and I kicked ass in the First Annual Stanley Family Drunken on the Side of a Hill Badminton Tournament.

Poolside shenanigans were kept to a minimum. No Coitus Aquatus and very few random hoodlums invaded our little sanctuary. I can’t say I missed the mayhem.

We had an amazing trip to St John. Shmuppie got to see the island for the first time, go to our favorite places, meet our friends and miss a week of school. Poor JewelrySlut had to play school teacher all week. Copious amounts of rum and a kick ass view helped ease her pain a bit. We also learned what puke looks like when you eat nothing but chocolate cake for breakfast. (It looks horrible and is even more horrible at about mile marker 6.5 on Centerline Road).

The fall brought the onset of movement from Miss Moo. Her commando crawl evolved into a standard crawl which in turn evolved into the drunken stumbling that she exhibits today. Her first full year on Earth seemed to have treated her well. She’s quite a little thing. She’s developed a sense of humor but needs to learn to talk. The constant grunting and yelling has worn thin.

Thanksgiving was its usual madness with many offerings to Bacchus. December flew by with a Big Bob Birthday Bash in Williamsburg and the usual insanity of Christmas.

I’d say that 2010 goes into the books as a success. I’m cautiously eyeballing 2011. We’re hoping for the best but are steeling ourselves for what may be a messy year filled with bouts of unpleasantness. However it goes, I’m sure I’ll find a way to be attacked by bees, run over by an old lady in a scooter or generally have things happen to me that could only happen to me.

See you next year.

Puddles puddles everywhere

Let’s go back to instituting an allowance.

Here’s how it works: you help out around dinner time; set the table, bring food to the table, help clear the table, put leftovers in the fridge, fill the dishwasher, get cleaned up after Moo…you’ll earn some money.

See, dinner is a 9-ring circus here. At say time after about 5:00, Moo starts losing her mind. When she does so, she needs to be fed. Invariably, she doesn’t want whatever she’s being fed. This results in a lot of yelling. JewelrySlut and I figured that we needed an extra set of hands to do anything constructive.

Here’s the payment plan: She’ll get paid $.50 per night. She can earn up to $2.50 per week, but must earn a minimum of $1.50 to get paid. So, from Sunday through Thursday, she’s got 5 chances to earn her keep.

Fast forward to tonight’s dinner.

Moo’s in her chair not eating her dinner. It’s mostly a leftover and side dishes kind of night. I take out some leftover chicken breasts and assorted lovely condiments to go with it. I’m cooking rice and roasted vegetables and a simple red pepper/udon noodle stir fry.

“Shmuppie! Come take the food to the table”
“Wha?” (Mind you, her heads buried in her DS. Just 5 minutes earlier, she’d heard me say something to JewelrySlut that had nothing to do with her, but wasn’t a direct order. The child has bat hearing…selective bat hearing)
“Come. Take. The. Food. To. The. Table!”

We eat…Moo yells and tries to grab at anything that’s not nailed down. She wants chicken, rice, noodles, meatballs, pasta, you name it. She wants it and is prepared to yell for it.

We’re done…time to clear the table. Shmuppie gets up and brings stuff into the kitchen. She then opens the fridge and proceeds to stand in front of it.

“What are you doing?”
“I can’t figure out where to put things”
“If you can’t find a place, put them on the counter”
She walks clear across the kitchen (not that it’s very big…it’s the principle of not sing the counter directly opposite it) and puts the stuff down
“Can you leave the stuff closer to the fridge?”
She then goes back to the fridge, opens it, stares a while and then starts putting stuff away…the same stuff that, 12 seconds earlier, would not fit.
“What are you doing?”
“I don’t know”
“Stop. Put the food down…as in right there on the floor. Just put it down and walk away. No allowance earned tonight”

Some time passes…JewelrySlut and I clear the table and wash the dishes. Moo had completed a massive shit (I was lucky enough to catch it) and we have her in her pen.

“Shmuppie…go upstairs and take a shower. This way, we can watch Hell’s Kitchen before you go to bed”

“OK”

(Time passes)

JewelrySlut and I gather the baby to go upstairs.

Here’s my hope:
I’ll come upstairs and find Shmuppie in the shower. She’ll be moving things in the right direction.

When I get to the top of the stairs, this is what I hope to see (in order)
1: Bathroom door closed. I can hear both the fan and shower going
2: Bathroom door open, but fan and shower are on
3: Bathroom door closed and shower on, but fan is off
4: Bathroom door open, fan off, shower running

I got #5. I didn’t even know #5 existed until I got upstairs and turned towards the bathroom. Right before my eyes is a soapy naked 8 year old. She appears to be singing.

5: Door open, fan off, shower on, shower curtain open, lake on bathroom floor.

“What are you doing?”
(Startled child) “Wha?”
“What the hell are you doing? Why is the curtain open?”
“I forgot”
“You forgot? YOU FORGOT?!? You owe me $2.00 now”

JewelrySlut gets one look at Lake Bathroom and starts weeping.

(Shower finished)

“Do you know why, in our country, we use shower curtains”
“To keep water off the floor?”
“Yes…to keep water off the floor. Didn’t you notice that it was open and that you could see the hallway and not just the inside of the shower curtain?”
“No”

No…I’m often at a loss for words. Tonight was another of those nights.

And, it’s only Monday. I learned today that there’s a school dance on Friday night and any child who attends needs to being a parent to help chaperone. They’re not going to have liquor there, are they?

Some pictures and stuff


Here she is at her swimming Championship meet. The season went well…the team still sucks. We turned down a spot on one of the year-round teams. She tried out and placed on the 2nd level…the team with the minimum age of 9 (She’s still 8). But, it was going to be 4 nights per week and that’s just too much right now. She wants to play soccer and basketball this fall/winter and try lacrosse. Swimming isn’t going anywhere for her. It will be there in the fall. Plus…it’s nice to be able to sit down to dinner as a family. We haven’t done that in a year.


She turns 1 in a week. What happened?


I got good loot for mah birfday


She got some cake

Maybe I should write more often…