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I Could Be Ticked Off, But I’m Too Bleepin’ Excited

kids start school

Greetings from Happily Ticked Off. Remember me? That once faithful blogger who helped you navigate through the highs and lows of tics? The person who gave you all sorts of encouragement when you felt worse than a nit in your kid’s hair after a session with the lice lady?

Side note: Do any of you non-L.A./New York readers have this service? A real, live nit-picker who will comb baby lice out of your kid’s hair one painstaking strand at a time? Yes, even with much of our world in dire poverty, I say without apologies that I blew $400 bucks a few years back to deal with what I can only refer to as the Lice Infestation of 2010. It’s chronicled in this article, “Of Lice and Men.”

SUMMER

Did you all have a good summer? I, personally, did not. Mine consisted of this:

* Commute 1 and a half hours each way for a writing gig that kept promising insurance but didn’t give it

* Schedule kids for play dates and camp dates around my husband’s work schedule – that schedule being his very own I.T. company start up which, of course, does not pay insurance, but we have a dream, people! Dental, schemntal, insurance. Who needs teeth! I’ll start on my smoothie regime, lose weight, save money on the gym, and buy health insurance!

* Ebay on the side to make $29/month to put toward elusive insurance, only to inevitably spend it by the end of the month because I can’t take cooking, cleaning and kid wrangling ONE.MORE.SECOND. so I give my hard earned income to El Pollo Loco, Taco Bell or some other fast food joint that is not full of gluten but inevitably causes me to worry that I’m going to make my kids die an early death from their GMO-laden, toxic, hormone pumped chicken/cows, not to mention increase tics because, you know, I’m going to cure this whole syndrome with food alone.

* Have a few people close to me be less close to me because I’ve been so busy working my patience resembles a burned out elecrical chord on a dried out Christmas tree and, well, apparently I’m not as much fun to be around when I’m on four hours of sleep, six cups of coffee, and enough Oreo cookies to make Santa vomit. 

After 8 weeks of this insanity routine, my kids started school.

Normally I cry.

This year, it was all I could do to numbly kiss them goodbye at the classroom door. On one hand, it saved me the agony of worrying about my sixth (yes, SIXTH) grade boy’s tics increasing. I was too tired to freak out. “He’s a strong kid,” I told myself, and I meant it. “If he’s fine, then stop.” Work, with all it’s zillion tasks and responsibilities, simply didn’t allow for excess rumination. It was fall down and die of fear, or keep moving. I chose the latter.

On the other hand, numbness and stone cold resolve was a real sign for me that in running such a rapid pace I was not only outrunning grief, I was outrunning joy.

When was the last time I sat with my kids and read a book?

When was the last time I had coffee with my mom at the mall?

When was the last time I sat in my room, organized my photos, and just laughed at some of my family and friends’ ridiculous hair-do’s, not to mention my own?

While I can’t say I didn’t do any of those things mentioned above, I wasn’t as present as I’d like to be.

But today, after almost 10 months of marathon training, I was given my walking papers at work. (Well, not 100% true. My job was reduced to 75% of its original description. Which means 75% less pay.)

Fear? Anxiety? A wee bit. But truthfully, not that much. I truly feel God has a plan for me. Despite a whole lot of uncertainty ahead, joy and hope is bubbling up to the surface.

I’ll get to be present.

Present on my site.

Present in my home.

Present in my community.

And people, that is SUCH a gift.

I’ve missed you.

Andrea

(Pic of Stink, Pip and Miss L, starting 6th and 5th)

Wait, there’s more!

Check out more posts about Tourettes at the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome where this blog is syndicated.

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Samstink & Deli-rious

The title is my bad attempt at reframing the Bible story of Samson and Delilah. For those of you who don’t know it, let me give you the quick recount.

Story of Samson and Delilah

1.  Samson is born with the gift of strength

2. Samson is to use his gift for God

3. Samson instead falls head over heels in love with a prostitute

4. Samson reveals to this hoe that his strength lies in his hair

5. While sleeping, said hoe cuts his hair

6. Samson, weak and defenseless, is taken to prison where his eyes are gouged out

7. Samson slowly grows back his hair, along with his strength

8. Other inmates and guards, perhaps due to amazing prison food or cellmate Bible hour, don’t notice his hair getting longer

9. During a pagan ritual, when Samson is marched out to be slaughtered, he puts his hands between two pillar posts and knocks down the temple, killing both himself and the everyone in it

10. The Takeaway: If Samson had just listened to God, instead of that slut, life would have been better.

My Version of Sunday’s events – Samstink & Deli-rious (me being delirious, Samstink being played by yours truly on the bike.)

dom and sophia on bike

1. Samstink is born with the gift of outrageous personality

2. Samstink should be using his gift for God

3. Samstink instead falls head over heels in love with all things Pokemon, BeyBlades, video game and comic book

4. Samstink reveals his passion during Sunday school class and, rather than pay attention, sneaks in a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book during Bible hour. In addition, according to his sister the spy, he talks back incessantly to teachers. Said informant’s testimony is backed up by Samstink’s defiance to parents the whole drive home. (No, we did not get him a do-nut. No, we did not stop at the park. No, we did not get tacos and he would be forced to eat gluten free tuna sandwiches for lunch. Yes, we are awful parents.)

5. Post-church, rather than hang at home and play videos, Mama forces long-haired, moppy Samstink to get a haircut

6. Samstink, moaning and defenseless, cries as the locks are shorn, transforming him from disheveled homeless child to good Christian solider in twenty minutes flat

dom pic

7. Samstink vows to grow his hair back, along with his manners and gratitude

8. Other family members, promising to remind him when he’s being argumentative, defiant and wearing food on his mouth, remind him of how much he is loved

9. During a pagan routine, one that involves Mama sitting at her work desk by 7am an hour from home, gets an email from Samstink’s father. It features a photo of Samstink all ready for school with his new hair and clean clothes

10. The Takeaway: If Samstink had just stopped acting like a defiant turd, his mama would never have had to resort to such evil measures

THE FINAL PUNCH

Samstink, insisting his new hair was goofy, had the final word with his outfit. Because, you know, shiny blue crocs, nylon shorts, a polyester Mario shirt combined with a Scooby Doo hat and rainbow gloves is far more subtle than a haircut.

Mama’s takeaway: Short of dressing the kid herself, this mama is going to have to learn to pick her battles her battles  . dom and sophia post haircut