Archive for the ‘Health and Insanity’ Category

Mayfesting our Saturday away.

May 8, 2017

Saturday was Mayfest, a carnival held down on the river in the cultural district. There are rides and games and several music stages. Bee’s After Care program (all of them in the city, in fact) were putting on a show on one of the stages. Since Bee is the captain of the step team, the After Care director had been asking me since Christmas if Bee was going to be there. She knows we’re responsible and that many kids flake out and don’t show up to Mayfest because: traffic. The traffic is a nightmare. Last time we went, it took two hours to make a 20 minute drive.

So I wasn’t really looking forward to Mayfest, because on top of the lovely drive ahead of me, I also still had my bronchitis to deal with. My plans had been to just cuddle up with a book in bed and never change out of my pajamas. But: Mayfest. It was my Ex’s weekend; I could have laid Mayfest at his feet. But they had other plans and it was important to me after promising the director all year that Bee be there. And Bee’s best friend’s dad wasn’t able to take her and her mom was working, so now we were bringing Zari*, too.

So, Saturday rolls around and I pick up Bee-girl and then Zari. We headed out to the festival two hours early because I was a little paranoid about parking, and we wanted to have time for some carnival food and maybe a ride before we had to meet up with the group to practice.

And you know what happened, don’t you? Traffic was a piece of cake. I face worse traffic coming home from work every day. Sigh. So we enjoyed our extra time. We found the stage where we’d be performing and checked out all the rides and food tents (because the ground were laid out in a circle and our stage was the very last one). Then we all grabbed ice cream and drinks because 86°, all the sunshine, and we were all in pants. (Whoops.)

Then, because I’m a good mama who likes to let loose every once in awhile, we splurged on more than a few rides:

The girls loved the bungee jumps (and that’s good, because it was the most expensive ride there!). They did flips and jumps and I have no idea how they had energy left to stomp after all the jumping! They also demanded video, so I didn’t have memory left on my phone to get pictures of the rest of the rides. (They’re all on Bee’s phone and I haven’t gotten them from her yet.) They did a Superman-type ride where they laid down and did a tilt-o-whirl type thing on their stomachs like they were flying. (EESH!) They did the really high swings. They did a mirror maze that I thought looked fun and crazy enough that I’d have to go in there after them, but they were pretty good. [Bee-girl even said to me when we were pulling into the driveway that she hoped I wasn’t too lonely waiting while she and Zari were on all the rides. What a sweet girl to think of that!] The girls had a blast and I enjoyed being able to give them a bit of fun while we waited for the group to get there.

We also stuffed ourselves with food (ice cream, funnel cakes, roasted corn, turkey legs, beer, and so many cold sodas) and took advantage of all the freebies. And I have to say – the festival was really wonderful at having enough to do without spending tickets! (I guess to make up for $3 drinks?) There was a splash station, give-aways and free treats (we all got apples, yogurt, and won tshirts, towels, and sunglasses), and a stilt-walking station that gave lessons. The girls were surprisingly adept at stilts! I was amazed that after a time or two, they were walking up and down the walkway without a single falter! Their favorite freebie tent, though, was the art show.

Mayfest2

We spent a good half-hour in there, cooling off and examining technique on all of the drawings. They looked for and found their classmates entries, and Bee lamented that she hadn’t entered. (Her obsession with art mediums – especially drawing – has grown recently and I’m starting to wonder if art won’t play a larger role in her life. She has an aunt and a great-uncle who are both professionals, so there’s a strong possibility!)

After the art tent, it was time to wander back to the reason we were Mayfesting to begin with – the dance competition. The girls were impressed with the few shows we got to watch (I loved the traditional Mexican folk dancers), and they killed it when it was their turn!

You could see their faces light up when they heard the audience gasp and cheer them on. No one else had done anything outside of traditional “dancing” since it was a dance competition. But stepping is what our school wanted to do, and so that’s what they did, and I’m proud of them for it. I don’t think they won anything more than a participation ribbon, but they weren’t in it for a prize. It was wonderful to see my flighty, funky, hilarious little spazz monkey get up there and shout out the call-outs and lead the steppers with a loud, commanding voice and confidence in every movement.

It was a good, good day. Even if I went through three travel-packs of tissues and got a little sunburnt. I wasn’t planning on walking around a carnival for four hours, but I’m glad I got to spend some more time with my squinky, and that I got to give her a day of fun with her friend. Not a bad Saturday at all!

 

*Not her real name.

Exhaustion.

May 2, 2017

That thing when you get back from vacation and you know that reality is going to smack you in the face and (other than seeing your oldest girl-child again), it’s going to suck. But then it really happens and not only are you dealing with sucky reality, but you’re sick?

Yeah. That.

Double sucky.

I’ve gone through approximately two boxes of tissues in two days and I’m about to commandeer the nice ones, with lotion in the them. Anything to make my nose stop hurting.

This all started the day before I left San Antonio, and I thought it might have been a reaction to the new allergens in a new city, but now everything’s the same, except for my rather unique stopped-up-ed-ness, and I’m ready for that to leave me now. Although It could have been worse and I could have been sick (or allergic to the air or whatever it is) the entire time I was there. Infecting everyone – or exposing them to germapalooza – would have been worse, definitely.

So I’ll take my mountain of tissues and emails and laundry and play poor pitiful mama for a few days and see how far that gets me. And when that’s not very far, at least I know there’s a weekend right around the corner for me to sleep through.

Huzzah? Huzzah.

 

Don’t worry: I’m still swimming.

March 25, 2017

I’ve been having quite a time of it lately. I don’t know how it works for you, but when I’m wrestling with something – an idea, a problem, demons, ghosts, tweenagers, break-ups, and the worst of them all, feelings – well, I shut down. I go into power-save mode so I can ensure that I have energy for the most important things. I feed the kids. Supervise homework. Buy groceries. Go to Beauty in the Beast. Force myself to go to work. The girls know I’ve been…not my best. They think I’m sick. [And, honestly, on top of everything else, I have been sick. I made them draw blood to see if I had listeria because of the constant stomach issues and the fact that I’d eaten some of the recalled Sargento cheese. Why you play me like that, cheese?]

Depression isn’t an easy thing. Yes, that’s the most obvious statement I could possibly have made, but here’s the thing: saying it out loud helps. Writing it helps me even more, given my affinity for writerly occupations. Writing is my oxygen. Writing and reading, they’re one of my best measurements to gauge my mental health and overall well-being. This past week (and maybe longer? I don’t know, honestly, how wide this pond has stretched) I haven’t been able to post because I haven’t been able to write. I couldn’t think of anything worthwhile. When I did think of something, I couldn’t imagine that it would hold any value for any one reading it. Why post useless material? But I persisted. I sat every morning and tried to think of anything of value; things that would necessitate more than three sentences to sum things up. Because I wouldn’t let myself just throw my hands in the air (metaphorically; my depression sucks all energy out of me and I couldn’t even throw my hands in the air in exasperation in my head). I made myself type things out, start stories I didn’t like, just to go through the motions. To fucking do something. I have a couple dozen drafts from last week. I might have written something, but I couldn’t post it. I wasn’t close to swimming to shore, but at least I was treading water. When you’re in the muck as bad as I was, “just” treading water is amazing. It’s a gold star. Getting your mind to loosen the grip on the thoughts of uselessness, panic, anxiety, and general despair…it’s exhausting, but also rewarding because a tiny voice is in there telling you that you made a bit of progress. There’s hope. I was still swimming. Or, trying to anyway.

Gracie kept asking for blog posts. A few book club partners asked if they had missed my Thursday reviews. I imagine Kathy is probably one step from boarding a plane and showing up on my doorstep. But other than that, it’s been quiet. Either everyone is giving me space. Or they have been busy and don’t notice. Maybe I’m barely a ripple in their pond.

But that’s okay. Them, waiting it out. It’s what I needed. I don’t know why I was moved to finally write a post tonight. I don’t know why I wanted to explain all of a sudden. I’m not embarrassed by my conditions. Depression and anxiety are heavily stigmatized in our society, and that’s not right. You can’t seek help if you’re afraid to say what’s wrong. If you’re afraid to admit even to yourself what’s wrong. There’s nothing wrong with being depressed. It’s not your fault if you are. Tell yourself what’s wrong. Tell someone else what’s wrong (if you can). And seek self-care and let others care for you, too.

I’m doing better. I kept swimming (just keep swimming – Dory gives the best advice). I know that I have a wonderful village standing by, ready to throw in a life preserver if I need it. I know that things will get better. It won’t always be like this; it won’t always feel like this. I’m okay, guys. I’m writing. And in just a few seconds, I’ll hit the publish button. I’m back. Ish, but hey! I’m here!

Spring break is broken.

March 13, 2017

I don’t know if I can write when I’m this tired. And, you guys, I am exhausted, no matter how you say it. Tarrrrd, as you’d hear down here. Tie-yid, as you’d hear back home.  Mmmphmph, as you’d hear muffled against my pillow.

I knew taking such a late nap yesterday was a mistake. The problem was, I was so exhausted yesterday that I nearly as dangerous behind the wheel, and I knew I wanted Lebanese food later. So I need a nap. At 2 p.m. On a Sunday, without a day off behind it to buffer any wonky sleep patterns I created.

Guess what I created?

Wonky sleep patterns for the win.

It didn’t help that we sprang? sprung? sproohovened? forward, further breaking my sleeping habits. [Confession: my habits weren’t all that habitual. The delayed-sleep/early-wake insomniac will step aside now.] So, yes, I needed a nap yesterday at 3 p.m. clock time. Which was, uh, 2 p.m. body time. Not terrible, but not great. And, like I said, utterly exhausted. So I let myself lie down for just a few minutes. At 4-friggin-thirty, I got up. And I was tired again for bed at 8, so I didn’t think I’d done that much damage. Until I watched the clock tick by without any sleep. How can a person be that. tired. and not fall asleep? It baffles me.

I finally fell asleep about midnight. And woke up every thirty minutes or so. I’m sure that was incredibly restorative. At 3 a.m., my body could feel me mocking the sleep I was getting and decided to give up the ghost. There’s just a certain feeling that some not-sleeping has wherein it lacks the optimism that other not-sleep still maintains. In other words, sometimes I still hope I can fall back asleep, and sometimes I just know with absolute certainty that I won’t.

Last night – this morning – I knew I wouldn’t. And so I got up, popped on some bad TV, and gave myself an hour. An hour would still give myself two hours of sleeeeepy time after I went back to bed. It would be cool. That wasn’t too mean. Right? Except it took me a while before I fell back asleep and then when my alarm finally went off, I cried a little bit. And by “a little bit”, I mean that I thought about chucking my alarm across the room and calling in sick…

But I didn’t do that. I shut off the alarm clock, dragged myself through the motions of getting dressed, and then decided (the one morning I feel like breakfast) to forego it because I had time for either a nap or McDonald’s. The nap won.

I wish I could go ahead and skip coffee for another nap. That would be just what I needed. Just the ticket to get my spring break back on track. Because adulting for spring break? not how I think it’s supposed to be done.

Five for Friday.

March 3, 2017

Of course today would be Friday, the easiest day to blog, when I actually feel like myself and want to blog about something. Okay, let’s go with it and hopefully this Can-Do Katie is still here on Monday. (Or, you know, I write a coupla drafts in a few minutes…)

So what do we have shakin’ today? A few things! (Five, in fact, Sarcastic Katie would like you to know.) Ahem.

1. Poor pitiful penguin (that would be Gracie) is home with the stomach bug. It hit her like a truck last night – fine one minute at choir rehearsal, then halfway home she slumped against the door. I thought maybe she was tired from a long day, long week, but she said she didn’t feel good. She helped me move the trash bins back behind the house and then bolted for the bathroom, and that was pretty much the last time I saw her all night. She was still pukey this morning, and I’ve told her I trust her judgement when it comes to school or no school, so my penguin is home, making out with the toilet from the looks of things. [Side note: bet she doesn’t argue with me about cleaning the bathroom next time. Hmph.]

2. Before Gracie got all pukey, she was quite adorable. Yesterday she had a full-scale choir rehearsal for their competition that’s coming up. It’s like nerd Olympics, but for middle school choirs. They’re judged on a song they’ve rehearsed, a song they’re given, and a short bit of sight reading. And it’s all done full tilt – which is why Gracie needed black flats and why she was so adorable making all the arrangements like a little grown-up. First she arranged it so that she and a few friends were walking the two blocks to the high school (it really isn’t far and is a good [though busy] neighborhood, so as long as there’s a herd of them, I don’t mind a middle-of-the-day romp – they have to grow up some time), and then one of her bestie’s mom was going to drive them all (because she did mind about them walking alone), and so all I had to do was pick Gracie up at 6p because her dad was busy. She did that all on her own, made sure she had the shoes, and made sure she brought the shoes to school early enough so her choir teacher could hem her formal black choir smock dress.

3. The dress! It was the dress that killed me, because Gracie hated it. As all choir members do, I believe. I told her how Kim and her choir friends (the Altos, natch) from college had dubbed the dresses the Black Frocks of Doom. Even Pukey Gracie collapsed in appreciative giggles at that. I offered to help her take off the BFOD because it still had pins in it (I had offered to help hem all the dresses when Gracie told me on Tuesday that her choir teacher was doing them all; because hemming sucks, I have a sewing machine, I know what I’m doing, and did I mention I know how much hemming sucks?), but Gracie said her teacher was tape-hemming. So I was a little surprised to see the dress was still pinned, but meh. Whatever. Gracie didn’t want my help anyway – the BFOD was off before I finished offering even. And when I asked her why she did it so fast and casually when there were pins in it!!!, she looked at me like I was nuts. She looked down at it and so I did too and then I noticed the pins were SAFETY PINS. Safety pins!!! What the man! Mum never used safety pins! We got straight pins and you learned pretty dang fast to stand still when Mum was pulling the dress over your head because pins hurt. Safety pins. Pfft. Those kids don’t even know.

4. So with Gracie running between the bathroom and sleep, glorious sleep!, in her bed, I was experiencing some major role reversal at my house last night. Usually Bee is in bed way early, gripping her emergency bucket (Bee’s migraines make her pukey), and Gracie is in the living room, chatting with me and playing Rummy 5000 (we have a constant tally going) while we watch TV and talk about our day. Last night, Bee was my companion, as she sat on the lounge chair, playing a game on her computer, while I ate a late dinner. We were chatting and watching TV and having a good time while she did whatever she was doing with her game, when suddenly I heard: “Sugarfingers!!” I about died laughing. It’s the cutest like fake bad word and Imma steal it.

5. It’s cold! [Here is where my sisters in Connecticut where it’s negative degrees reach through the screen and murder me.] I mean, not freezing, because 39°, but my point is that it was cold enough for me to wear my scarf! I’ve worn it a time or two, but this has been a pretty mild winter, so even though February is usually when we get our ice storms, I haven’t had a chance. This morning? Totally needed it. I thought about changing my shirt so I would match, but I decided I still wanted my orange stripes because they made me happy. And so matchy-people can bite me – it makes me happy, damnit. And it’s gonna be 70° later, so the scarf is temporary anyway.

scarf2

 

I hope you all get to do something today that makes YOU happy!

Five for Friday.

November 18, 2016

Morning all! It’s Friday – and this week has seemed like it’s been a few years long. But! When you spent so much energy looking for the happy, it starts to peek around corners and spring up in places you maybe would have overlooked if you weren’t trying so hard.

With that – I give you my five things.

1 I turned on the radio on the drive home Wednesday night and as I was flipping through the stations, I gasped. Christmas music! There was Christmas music! Our oldies channel has flipped for the holidays, playing all Christmas music, all the time. It was 85° outside, and I’m still battling depressing in a fairly heavy way, but I can feel my Christmas spirit starting to engage. I can’t quite bring myself to pull out my Christmas CDs yet, but there’s hope were there wasn’t any. I had been wondering how I was going to motivate myself to get some Christmas shopping done next week, but now I have allll the plans!

2 Perhaps inspired by the little bit of hope I found amongst the silver bells and frolicking reindeer, I started a Harry Potter movie marathon last night. We’ve watched the movies a few times recently because the Xman has fallen madly in love with them, but it always seems to be the same few pieces of the same few movies. It’s time for me to watch all of the movies in order. Coincidentally, it’s something I usually do every year as I wrap presents. I told you there was hope for my Christmas spirit. As an added bonus, Harry Potter and his world remind me that there’s hope in combating idiocy and evil – and reminding myself that whatever Trump does to this country can be undone if we work hard enough is something I need to hear. I think I’m ready to start climbing out of my fit of despair.

3 It hasn’t been all hope and rainbows, though. For one, we’ve all been sick. Gracie-girl has had a cough for the past two months. I’ve been blowing it off because it’s small and minor and doesn’t seem to be bothering her. It’s not asthmatic. It’s not bad enough to need a cough drop. I gave her some Mucinex last week, thinking if she could get ahead of it, maybe it would go away. Then she asked for some cough syrup at night because it was starting to bother her at night. So it’s time to bring her into the doctor’s office next week while we’re home on break. Poor pitiful penguin.

4 Not that coughing fits even touch the worst of the junk going around. Fenway is pretty close to getting shot and skinned and becoming a living room rug. For whatever reason, she’s refusing to go outside to potty unless one of the girls goes outside and stands on the patio. When she does go outside, she’s been eating grass. Or maybe it’s not grass, but I’m thinking so because that’s usually the culprit when Fen starts hurling in the middle of the house. It started last Sunday night, when everyone was sick, and so I assumed she just had a touch of what we all had. (Granted, we weren’t leaving dog food stains in the middle of the living room carpet, so…) I shampooed the rug in 23983 places, and kept my fingers crossed. She was fine the next day. Until Tuesday night, when she horked what looked like a giant dirt pile on the throw rug in front of the back door. Okay, whatever – she tried to make it outside. Yesterday I arrived home to find four piles of nasty that I couldn’t even tell from what end it had been ejected – and it was filled with crazy. Apparently Fenway has been eating things (which I knew from a few chewed up Legos), but now she’s eating-eating them, not just chewing. There was one of Bee’s socks, some Legos, a few Barbie outfits, paper, cardboard, and who knows what all else. I don’t know why Fen’s being all weird, but I’m d-o-n-e.

5 I might need an adult to supervise me at Michael’s this weekend. I’m planning out my Advent(ure) Calendar and Kim sent me the cutest owl ornaments for me to schedule for when she’s here.

winterowls

So I need to get some things to make owls, and then stuff for paper chains, oh! and those tiny glass ball ornaments in a display case thing – yeah, there will be an entire post about Advent(ure) Calendar plans! Because Christmas spirit might be showing up.

So there you go, guys. Five things that were rattling around in my head. If you have some things rattling around – especially holiday crafts! – hit me up. I am going to get crazy festive and hope the cheer rubs off sooner rather than later.

And now, a word from my rather despicable sponsor: Anxiety.

September 22, 2016

I usually post my book reviews on Thursdays, but today I need to set that aside for a moment to talk about anxiety.

Most of you know I suffer from anxiety – at varying levels, at varying times. It’s not something I’m ashamed of: I have an anxiety disorder. I don’t hide it. I firmly believe in talking about it so that I can educate others, hold myself accountable for self-care, let my friends know so they can help me when necessary, and generally let those who hear me know that if they’re closeted, they don’t need to be. Let’s erase the stigma, yes?

There are still times when my anxiety surprises me. I was watching a movie tonight. A critically acclaimed one – Gravity, with Sandra Bullock. It cold opens with a big crisis and a bigger trigger for me. I thought I could manage – Sandra is who plays me in the movie of my life. She’s my girl. But less than five minutes in, I was opening my laptop and googling the plot. If I know what’s going to happen, I can sometimes talk myself through the anxious bits and still enjoy the movie. (It got me through Everest, and that ended up being a movie I’ll rewatch again and again.)

Knowing didn’t help this time. I tried focusing on the project I was working on, writing away, head down, only occasionally glancing up at the screen or reaching over to rub The Boyfriend’s back. (Human contact is a huge plus when I’m sorta freaking out.) But I knew the characters were trapped in space. And space? Well, that just happens to be one of my triggers. I have nightmares where I’m trapped in space. Or in a big, black, endless sea of black. With no hope of finding home. Or my siblings. (I’m frequently tasked in my nightmares with finding them and getting us all safe.) This movie was taking me to Not Good places.

So I hit the brakes.

Or, I should say, I tried to. I wasn’t in full freak-out mode. I was just Pretty Damn Anxious. So I tried to handle it a bit modestly. I didn’t start screaming or hyperventilating; I turned to The Boyfriend and told him I didn’t think I could watch the movie any more. “It’s just a movie!” he said. And then he laughed at me.

I can’t tell you how bad it feels in the first place to be weighed down by this horrible and unpredictable thing called Anxiety. Add to that the knowledge that this stupid, awful Anxiety holds you back from things you’d love to be able to do. And try as you might to do those things anyway, sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t. And when you don’t – when I don’t, at least – you really, really don’t. It’s a horrible, gutting feeling.

If you’re the person on the outside, here’s a little advice: don’t ever laugh. Don’t dismiss or belittle someone for something that is completely and utterly out of their control. I already felt like a failure for not being able to get through a movie – a movie – about something that I know I will never, ever have to do. When I was laughed at, I felt like a person I was supposed to feel safe with dismissed my feelings, belittled me, and made me feel like I was less than everything I needed to be.

Anxiety is hard enough to live with when you’re in a constructive, healthy environment. Talking about it, talking my way through it to the other side of this setback, that can only happen when I feel safe. That might not be the reality for every person who is living with anxiety, but it’s my reality. If you’re in that situation, if you’re the person who’s supposed to be a landline, ask how you can help. And however foreign or silly the answer is, please, please do not dismiss it. Be a friend. Be kind. Be supportive.

Be kind. That’s the bottom line to so many stories.

If I didn’t have half the world’s produce in my fridge, I’d think it was scurvy.

June 29, 2016

You know nothing can ever be simple with me. You know this. You know this kidney stone incident has been cursed from start, to finish. I know this. I know this.

So I was unsurprised when a mysterious rash started near the surgical site this weekend. It was just on the left side of the surgical site, so at first I thought the itchy, itchy hives were maybe an allergic reaction to the instruments or something that had brushed or pressed against me while the medical team was angling to get the kidney stone out of the right side of my body. Except when I talked to them, they said everything was draped. Short of an allergy to latex (which would have manifested in more than just the left side), it wasn’t that.

My mystery rash kept spreading, fingers of red bumps moving down my left thigh. (Yes, I know – gross spoilers ahead. Deal or leave.) So when hyrocortisone wasn’t doing anything other than taking the worst of the sting out, and when the rash kept getting worse, I went to the doctor’s office, who promptly sent me to the ER.

The ER quickly calmed me down and assured me I wasn’t spreading MRSA around half the city. They looked at the new red bumps, and the older ones that had morphed into buttons or bigger patches of blech. They couldn’t rule out an allergic reaction, and floated the possibility that if my rash started Saturday, just twelve hours after my stent came out, it’s possible that my body violently rejected the stent’s presence because that’s what I was allergic to: either a component of the stent itself, or something they washed it with prior to insertion.

The other possibility is that my shingles popped up again, what with all the stress I’ve been under lately.

Hunh.

I got some prednisone, an anti-viral to take (in case it’s shingles), and sent on my merry way. A lovely friend gave me a prescription cream to treat the worst of the itchies. A hair dryer set to ‘pretty dang hot’ is pretty good for that, too. (Science, for the win!) I’ll live. Without even losing my limb.

I mean, probably.

Yes, I’m going outside, turning and spitting and cursing. Spitting and cursing. All of the things!

Sheesh.

What’s next?

The showdown.

June 22, 2016

Today’s the day. Surgery. This kidney stone, after four weeks of doing everything it could to bring me nothing but pain and ruination, will be blasted to smithereens. Well, okay, not really – it’s more of a catch and release type program, but my sentiments still aligns more with the former than the latter.

If only I could so easily deal with this anxiety.

I don’t do well with anesthesia. The first time I ever went under, way back in college for my wisdom teeth, my ears felt like they were going to explode from immense pressure, I couldn’t breathe, and couldn’t move to tell any of the doctors in the room. I remember frantically darting my eyes from person to person, trying to alert them to the fact that something was wrong, but no one noticed. Next thing I knew, I was waking up. The next few times I needed anesthesia, maybe three or four times, I’ve panicked. I’m afraid the same thing will happen. Despite what some people tell me, just because it hasn’t happened since doesn’t mean it won’t. And so I’m worried. And panicked. And have I mentioned worried? More worried, even, than excited about no longer having this constant pain.

I report to the hospital at 2:00p. My surgery is at 3:30p. I’m hoping the anesthesiologist brings extra happy pills, cause I’m going to need one or two of them. Because no matter what time it says on the clock, it’s going to feel like high noon.

Braced for impact.

March 30, 2016

We are all of us crankypants at our house this morning.

After finally getting good sleeps Monday night, we made up for it last night by none of us sleeping. Well – I think Bee-girl did, thanks to an exhausting day-long mandatory testing session. Even with a two-hour nap, Twinkle Toes was ready for bed last night. But Gracie and I? Not so much with the sleeping.

Gracie was fitted with her orthodontia yesterday. And hooboy, is she feeling it. She had custom-order bands made for her back molars because they have extra nodules. My theory is that they morphed with the seedlings for her wisdom teeth because somehow she doesn’t have any of those. Finally – good news for Gracie! After a year of broken wrists, ear tumors, and tooth catastrophes, I’ll take missing wisdom teeth! That doesn’t help her current situation though: trying to convince her incisor to descend into the gap we created by pulling a permanent tooth.

Thus the braces/retainer hybrid. Her custom bands have wires pushing against a retainer piece at the front-top of her mouth to keep her back teeth from moving forward into the gap. And one lonely bracket was attached to the miscreant incisor, which has an elastic band coaxing it down into the space. There’s barely any tension on the band right now, but that will change in six weeks.

Even without much tension (and with a lot of wax on the pointy bits), Gracie’s braces are driving her batty. The poor pitiful puppy couldn’t eat anything for dinner last night. I did get her to eat a few mini-pancakes this morning. She just asks for ibu-pwo-fen and frowns and lays there with her jaw in her hands. No more talking for Miss Gracie, who hates the way all her sounds have turned to mush. I spent a lot of the evening rubbing her back and giving her hugs and telling her how I went through the same thing. I remember crying because I couldn’t even manage to eat macaroni the first night I had braces. Gracie’s managed to stave off the tears so far, but she’s drawn awfully far into herself. That is not my favorite.

Worrying over my tween was part of the reason I didn’t get any sleep last night. The rest of it was from anxiety over the storms expected to hit our area today. Our tor:con was 4 when I checked last night, and I’m a bit scared to see what it’s crept to this morning. There were big, bold red exclamation marks on our forecast when I checked the radar this morning – and I was too scared to investigate. If I did, I was worried I’d never make the drive to work. I’ve gotten a lot better about my storm anxiety – especially my ability to handle tornadoes in the area – but I have appointments I need to drive to this afternoon, and I do not handle driving in storms very well. Needless to say, my blood pressure is sky high and I never fell back asleep when I woke up at 4 a.m.

Tornadoes. STAAR tests. Braces. It’s all a bit much for one mama to handle in a single day. Unless maybe someone wants to make me a Supergirl cape?