I had a mind once. Now I have small children.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Morning Routine

Mario is in 5th grade.  This means he has been attending regular school for 6 years now.  Luigi is in 1st grade.  He has only been for 2 years, but has watched his brother go through the morning routine for 6 years.  Peach is in half-day Kindergarten.  She, too, has been watching the morning routine her entire life. 

So, with 6 years of morning routine under their belts, why is it that every morning we have to start all over as if we have never done it before?  The very definition of the word routine is "regular, unvarying, habitual, unimaginative, or rote procedure." (thank you, dictionary.com!)  Let's break that down, shall we?  Regular -- not out of the ordinary.  Unvarying--it does not change. Habitual -- something you do all the time that becomes a normal every day occurrance.  Unimaginative--we aren't going to wake up one morning and find dragons sitting at the breakfast table or get to fly our broomsticks to school.  Rote procedure--you shouldn't even have to think about it, you just do it.  

And yet, every single morning it is as if my little Goombas' brains have been reset as they slept.  It goes something like this:

6:45-ish:  Everybody wake up!  Wakey, wakey, eggs and bake-y!  
     Mario--Why do I have to get up so early?
     Luigi--I'm too tired!
     Peach--Do I HAVE to go to school today?
     Me--Because we have school, you went to bed early so you are fine, and YES.  School.  Just like last week and the week before and the week before and the week before.... 

6:59-7:06:  Breakfast!  Come on everyone!  Get breakfast so we can get ready for school!
     Mario slumps downstairs and begrudgingly and ever so SLOWLY gets a bowl of cereal.
     Luigi tumbles down the stairs with no socks on and goes to play with his Hot Wheels.
     Peach bounces down the stairs and begins to regale us with play-by-plays of all her dreams.
     Me:  Mario, move it along.  Luigi, breakfast not cars.  Peach, please sit down and eat while you talk.  (**repeat no less than 7 times)

7:18-7:26--Brush teeth!  Brush hair!  Get shoes on!  Let's get out the door!  (this is in my "happy voice")
     Mario--lingers over cereal.  Yawns.  Stands on the vent to "warm up."  
     Me--Mario, come on.  Brush your teeth.  Do what needs to be done.
     Mario--I brushed my teeth yesterday.  And why do I have to comb my hair?  It's not like anyone cares.
     Me--I care.  I care a lot.  And we have to brush our teeth every day.  Just like I told you yesterday. 
     Mario--Fine, whatever, no one cares about any of that.  
     Me--(getting aggravated) Just. Go. Do. It.
     Mario--stomps upstairs.  Plays in room.  Wanders up and down the hall.  Finally brushes teeth.  Comes down with hair still in curly afro.   

At the same time--
     Luigi--running around island.  Grabbing toys.  Picking on Peach.  Crawling on the floor.
     Me--Luigi, if you are finished eating, please go brush your teeth.
     Luigi--I'm not done.
     Me--Then sit down and finish so you can do the rest of your routine.  (oh, see, there is that word again--routine!)
     Luigi--Ok.  Takes one bite.  Decides that now is the appropriate time to lay on the couch and burrito up in a blanket.
     Me--Luigi.  Finish eating.
     Luigi--I'm done.  Can I play on the DS?
     Me--No.  It's a school morning.  What do you need to do next?
     Luigi--*blink, blink*  I dunno?
     Me--Brush your teeth.
     Luigi--Oh yeah.  Runs upstairs.  Then back down.  Then back up.  Then back down.  Starts to put together a Lego toy.  
     I won't even go on here, because this is pretty much what happens til we walk out the door.

And at the same time--
     Me:  Peach, if you are done eating, please go brush your teeth. 
     Peach--Wait mom.  First I want you to smell my breath.
     Me--No thank you.  You can just go brush.
     Peach--But, I want you to smell it NOW so that you can smell it again after I brush.
     Me--Again, no thank you.  I know what your morning breath smells like.  Just go brush.
     Peach--breaking down into tears.  I juuuuuusssssst want you to smeeeeelllllllll mmmmmmmyyyyyyy bbbbbbrrrrrreeeeaaaatttthhhh, mmmmmmooooooooommmmmmm!!!!
     Me--Fine!  *sniff, gag* NOW GO BRUSH!

7:28:  Ok, everyone get your shoes on and grab your backpacks!  It's time to head out!  (At this point, I am trying to remain cheerful, although my will to live is slowly diminishing.)
     Mario-- I forgot to do my Math last night.  
     Luigi--throwing socks at Peach and laughing maniacally.  Wiggling butt in Mario's face.
     Peach--I don't know where my shoes are, but can I bring blankie and ALL of my My Little Ponies with me?
     Me--banging head on kitchen counter.  Just.  Get.  Your.  Shoes.  On.  

7:39:  GET YOUR SHOES ON AND GET OUT TO THE CAR!!!!!!  (Yes, I have lost it by now.)
     Mario--Why do I even have to go to school anyway?  I just want to play football.  **hair still in curly, bed-head, afro.
     Luigi--I can tie my shoes!  And look, Mom, I got toothpaste on my knee!  (what the....???)
     Peach--I am going to wear my crown to school today because I am a princess and I am only going to meow because I am a kitty princess!  Meow, meow!

Eventually they all get to the mini-van and somehow we manage to arrive at school on time.  But, I kid you not...  Every. Single. Morning.  

And this, my friends, is why beer should be a breakfast drink.  



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hello 2014, Goodbye Gall Bladder

At the request of my mother, the Zaz, and her teacher friends, I am writing again.  Thanks for the nudge of encouragement.  I am, however, having a bit of trouble finding a good story to tell about the Goombas.  So, instead, I am going to regale you with the story of how I came to be without my gall bladder.  Don't worry, nothing graphic.  You ready?  I know you are just waiting on the edge of your seat.  So, allow me to present...

Hello 2014, Goodbye Gall Bladder

Bowser and I had been planning for quite some time that 2014 was going to be our big weight loss year.  Of course, you can't start in the middle of the week, so we decided to start eating better the first Monday of the new year.  Which meant that the first SUNDAY of the new year was a free-for-all.  Eat whatever you can, because ya ain't gettin' it no more. 

My dear friend, FK, and I decided to go to Buffalo Wild Wings to get our grub on.  We ordered the works: wings, fries, fried pickles, ranch dressing, and even dessert.  About half way through the meal, I started to feel not so good.  But, I am not one to be weak when it comes to food, so I powered through like a champion.  Fast forward to that evening.  I sent Bowser to DQ for some blizzards (pronounced bliz-ZARDS) to have as our last pre-diet meal.  (What, you don't consider a blizzard a meal?)  I got about 4 bites into my yummy, ice creamy, chocolatey, peanut buttery treat when the pain hit.  HARD.  I mean like, took the wind out of me hard.  I really can't even explain it.  I think I would rather be in my last weeks of pregnancy again, than to have that pain again.  And that is saying a lot from me.

I figured it had to be gas.  What else could it be?  So, I took some gas pills, drank a little 7-up and tried to sit down on the couch.  That did not work.  I went to the bathroom.  That did not work.  Oddly, the only thing that made it feel better--and better is NOT the right word, because it really didn't feel better, so maybe tolerable--was walking.  I probably walked 23 miles around my kitchen island.  I was really starting to get worried.  I weakly said, "maybe I should go to the emergency room?" and Bowser (my loving hubby) said, "I am not taking you to the ER just so they can tell you that you need to fart!"  And, really, I did see his point, so I did not argue. 

Now we are at about 10 p.m.  I was crying.  I couldn't even pay attention to the Jimmy Fallon special that we had tivo'd and were trying to watch.  And I LOVE Jimmy.  At some point I told Bowser to tell the kids I love them and to call the morgue, for I was surely not going to make it through the night.  At this point, I think he realized I was serious.  We called a nurse helpline and the nurse said to me, "Honey.  You need to stop whatever you are doing and go to the ER right now."  Do not pass go, do not collect $200. 

At this point, I must say a huge THANK YOU to my FK (the one I had lunch with earlier in the day) who came over at the drop of a hat to stay with the Goombas for us.  I barely squeaked into the phone that we needed her and she was here in an instant.  (I love you, FK!) 

Into the ER we went.  Within seconds of walking in the door, the nurse said, "Do you have a gall bladder?"  "Yes," I replied, thinking she was crazy. "Not for long!" she chirped.  Then she said something strange...  "Well, it would have to be your gall bladder because the only thing in that area of your body is your gall bladder and your spleen."  Ok, sure.  **Let me tell you why this was strange:  Bowser and I were curious later what the job of the spleen was, so we looked it up and discovered that the spleen is not, in fact, any where near your gall bladder.  It is on the complete opposite side of your body.  That did not do well for my confidence in the medical professionals that were overseeing my care. 

But, then I was suddenly in a room with an IV and a magical medication was flowing through my veins making the pain go away.  It. Was. Awesome.  So awesome, that I had a conversation with Bowser about Transformers.  I mean, why do the Decepticons get such a COOL name?  They are the bad guys!  And the good guys just get Autobots?  How fair is that?  I'm tellin' ya, that medicine was fan-freakin'-tastic.

I'll fast forward now.  Check into a room, yadda yadda yadda, more pain meds, blah blah blah, Bowser home at 2:30 a.m. to relieve FK and stay with the kids, surgery scheduled for first thing in the morning.  I do feel that I should say here that when Peach bounced into our bedroom in the morning and didn't see me, she got a little worried.  Bowser told her that mommy had a bad tummy ache and had to go to the hospital.  To which she replied, "MOMMY WENT TO THE HOSPITAL TO HAVE A BABY!!!!"  And then proceeded to run into her brothers' rooms to announce the good news. 

Grandma Bowser came over to watch the Goombas and Bowser came back to the hospital.  Into surgery I went.  As the wheeled me into the OR, Bon Jovi's "Bad Medicine" was blasting on the speakers.   And that is how I knew everything would be alright.  I mean, if my surgeon liked to operate to Bon Jovi, well, I knew I was in good hands. 

I was home by that evening.  Isn't it so amazing, and weird, that you can go into a hospital and less than 24 hours later leave without a body part?  And I only have 4 tiny little scars.  Just amazing.  (Then the bills started coming in.  Not so amazing.  But, I digress....)

The Goombas were so good to me when I got home.  Poor Luigi was so relieved that he just hugged me and cried.  Peach and Mario were so helpful.  Bowser even unloaded the dishwasher once or twice.  Hmmmm.... maybe next time I need a break I can come up with some kidney stones or something? 

And now here I am.  Back to my old self, minus a not-so-necessary body part.  Thank you to all my wonderful friends who helped with dinners and driving the Goombas!