Ohhhh what a month

So, yeah, no posts so far this month. I can tell you why in one word: chaos.

I’ve been sick– over and over– basically since my Viking went to band camp in August. This week, I’ve really got it bad– a new respiratory virus on top of a chronic cough left over from the last one. Soooo . .. my lungs are full of gunk and my sinuses are plugged with gunk and there’s entirely too much gunk to go around.

Add to that the Quest to Get Miss Autism’s Teeth Fixed and you have a recipe for disaster. In order to have her teeth fixed, she had to have a power of attorney given to me and my husband. The surgery center didn’t want to proceed without one. In order to get a power of attorney, you have to get a notary to sign off on it. In order to get a notary to sign something in Texas, you have to have an official state id card or a driver’s license. In order to have one of those, you have to have a bunch of paperwork to prove who you are, then go to the driver’s license bureau that’s on the north end of town.

So, after the initial trip to the dentist, I had to find all those papers (which meant I had to gut our entire filing system and go through months of old paperwork.) Then I had to take Miss Autism out of school and to the DMV. Except we were missing proof of residency papers. Oops. Didn’t mention THOSE on the webpage where it listed the papers you needed. So, another day (since that day wore me out as it was), then another trip to take her out of school and down to the DMV and waiting for that. Then we had to take her to the doctor for a physical to make sure she was healthy enough for the anesthesia while waiting for the DMV to send her new id card.

Finally, they sent that, so I had to take her and all the little boys to the notary, which was a long process in itself. Then after that was done and the papers in hand, I had to force her through the “no eating or drinking after midnight” thing, then take her to the surgery center, then get through the whole mountain of paperwork for that, then endure the waiting and the recovery process. Miss Autism was terribly nervous and didn’t want to cooperate, but she did go along with it despite her misgivings. She was REALLY good for the IV placement and once that was in, we were gold.

Recovery was rough– she ate 3 popsicles and drank 2 12oz cans of Dr Pepper– mostly because she was VERY VERY upset about how many of her teeth had to be capped with stainless steel crowns. Since she is a tooth-grinder with a long history of eating wood and metal and hard plastic, she’s done a number on her teeth. But, after a couple bad days of acting out, she’s settled down and seems to have gotten over the initial shock. It has to help that her teeth are fixed and won’t be giving her any more pain.

But, after all that, this cold has just set me back badly. We struggled along with school last week in a lame way– not much got done by the Ninja, but he did manage his math and religion, and nothing got done by the Tank since he was sick all darn week. This week has been a total wash so far. I may have been able to get something done but the school sent Miss Autism home with “pinkeye” that absolutely is fiction. Once we had to go pick her up and then deal with her frustrated “I want to be at school” behaviors all day, homeschooling was not going to happen. I’m hoping to be actually less sick tomorrow so we can at least do the important stuff– math, phonics, religion, maybe a little history. Maybe I won’t be hacking up a lung for hours on end, who knows.

The weather hasn’t broken yet– these are supposed to be our big rain months but it’s dry as a bone and still in the mid-90s during the day. I just want this crap to be OVER with. I want to be well and I want the weather to be cooler and I want to be able to do the things I want to do with the boys– hiking and picnics and zoo trips and nature study.

I’ve managed to get a few things done despite everything– the Bear’s bedroom renovation is essentially done, all I need to do is sort her little knicknacks and move the storage boxes out of her corner, maybe find a cute picture to hang on her wall in one or two blank spots. Other than that, though, it’s finished– the closet painted and decorated, the linens all changed out, new rugs put in, all the junk sorted. The house is mostly decorated for Halloween. A lot of our books have been packed away, so the house looks less cluttered. It’s getting better. I’m just not where I want to be yet . . . Christmas is so close and the house is still icky. I need to paint a lot of stuff and clean a lot more. So much work . . ..

Well, I’m going to concentrate on getting well. Once I do that, the sky is the limit.

What I’m Doing Besides Slowly Dying

Well, we’re all dying, aren’t we?

Rather melodramatic, I know. It has been that kind of week. The kind of week where death seems to loom over everything and peers over your shoulder to remind you that, hey, by the way, you’re going to die. Any day now. Well, sometime, anyway, and it is inevitable and, how about lunch?

And people wonder why I’m gloomy.

So anyway, I’ve been watching a good series on Netflix, “The Detectives”, which is a documentary about the Manchester police unit that investigates sex crimes. It’s a 3 part series and was, I thought, quite good. You’ll definitely want to give the main “villian” of the piece a good smack upside the head, at the least, but the cops are very sympathetic and seem to take their jobs very seriously. I enjoyed it, although “rape investigations and trials” doesn’t seem like a very enjoyable topic, now that I think about it. But the series is good. I love documentaries . . . it’s just SO hard to find good ones.

I tried to read several books this week. When I was at the library last, I picked up some random Big Fat Fantasy books that had all the markings of good possibilities– expensive-looking covers, nice paper, lots of cheerful blurbs on the back cover. In reality, the books were pretty awful. As much as I hate to demean the work of another writer, seriously, they were bad. And I opened up my email this evening and what do I see but . . . advertisements for those books in big animated gifs on the side of my writing-industry newsletters. If you love great fantasy, you may want to skip “The Grace of Kings” and “A Crown for Cold Silver.” The first one is better than the second– “A Crown for Cold Silver” was, in a word, crap. The Ken Liu book just committed every sin known to Big Fat Fantasy and speculative fiction in general. Ken, if you’re listening anywhere, you DO NOT have to give us the entire backstory of each character when they’re introduced. A little slow reveal of their character through, you know, actions, conversations, actual characterization . . . that’s perfectly fine, really. Infodumps are not fun, even if you’re trying to sell us on how amazing your main characters are.

Anyway, they were both better than the Debbie Macomber book I tried, ill-advisedly, to read. SO SO bad. Not even bad in a good way, but just bad. It read like an outline that someone forgot to flesh out.

All of which reminds me that I need to start writing soon. I know, I know, it’s a lazy thing to say “soon”– writers write and I should have my butt in a chair, right? I’m still trying to figure out this whole “homeschool two hyperactive boys while chasing around a precocious 16 month old who has discovered how to climb EVERYTHING” gig. When you add all the other responsibilities, I just start to fall apart. At the end of the day, all I have left is enough energy to sink into a hot bath with a book or curl up on a chair and try to watch some Netflix.

I think the changes I’ve been making will make things easier, though. I bought a skein of para-cord and we’ve roped it around the dining room table and chairs to keep the Amazing Climbing Baby from climbing up and dancing on the table (literally.) The new baby gate for the bottom of the stairs is due to arrive today. I’m moving down a selection of baby toys and adding more pillows in the hopes that he’ll be more comfortable and happy and maybe give us more peace and quiet while we try to get through the work. But it all comes down to time management. I need to re-fix my sleep schedule again. It’s almost 1am here and I am still awake . . . obviously, something is amiss again.

I’m supposed to be doing a 100 days to better health challenge. Mostly it just makes me feel guilty as I swig down another Coke. But eating well requires time, too– planning and shopping and cooking. I went to the Evil Empire of Walmart yesterday and bought exactly enough food to make tacos and spaghetti and called it good. The day before, we had Dominos pizza. So eating well hasn’t exactly been happening.

I’m trying. I’ve been renovating my oldest daughter’s bedroom, which has taken up tons of energy and time, too. But every renovation project moves us closer to living in a nice place and in a nice way. We moved the computer downstairs and that’s helped, too– got the kids out of the game room, anyway, and stopped the competition for who could play the sound louder, the tv or the computer. It feels a lot cozier downstairs because people are actually staying down there now instead of running upstairs immediately. It’s nice.

Somewhere in there, I have to find time to write. But I dunno when. Miss Autism has dental surgery next week and a doctor’s appointment this week, I need to go to Austin for a shopping trip, I need to do a million different things. Sometime, I need to do something for ME . . . but us mommies aren’t too good at that, you know. Occupational hazard, I think.

Wish me luck, yeah?