Excuse My Absence, I’ve Been Under the Elbow

If you’ve ever broken a bone as an adult, you’ll relate with this post. If you’ve ever shattered an elbow and were still left to adult, these life lessons learned while under the elbow will resonate with you. Sit down, grab a coffee, and come feel my pain.

Life Lessons from a broken elbow 9 29 15

Y’all, the past month (OK, 25 exact excruciating days) has been rough. I’ve been absent from here, I’ve been absent from social media, and honestly, I’ve been pretty absent from life. Why you ask? I’ve been pretty much under the elbow. Most people are occasionally under the weather, they’re gone a few days, they come back. But you see, when you fall “under the elbow”, you’re pretty much down and out for a good long while. Why do I keep saying pretty much? Well it’s either the pain meds or the fact that no matter how broken (literally) I am, I still have to adult. Honestly, I really haven’t felt like adulting, but I’ve pretty much been pulling it off. Anyway…before I get on to the lovely life lessons I’ve learned as a full-time wife, mom, and employee as a one-armed bandit, let me back up and fill you in on what happened in case I haven’t whined it out enough.

dislocated broken elbow 9 4 15

We were out in the historic district…nothing happens there. I was on the sidewalk. I was standing. I went to walk. Someone stepped on my flip flop. I started to go down and pulled a rookie move. Hand out, hand grab closest chair, elbow shatters, arm bones break. It’s a thing. Kids, don’t try this at home (or anywhere else). Take my word for it, that bruised knee would not have been catastrophic. Just fall, dammit, just fall!

relocated elbow 9 4 15

After a super fun ride in the ambulance, 3,793 x-rays later, it appeared this was not a simple dislocation. Putting it back in place took way too long, and honestly, it looked better before the relocation. But they gave me drugs. Drugs (legal…shut up) give me wings. It was a holiday weekend so I took those drugs and ran with them before they could cage me in until that Tuesday when everyone showed back up. The good news? That super swollen, totally messed up arm, was my right arm. Cool. I’m left handed. This would be simple. I can still play. I can still adult!

jeepus 9 9 15

Yup. I was handling things well. My arm was literally hanging in a sling, I wasn’t sleeping or eating, but after my orthopedic appointment 5 days after the break, B was able to pick up my BRAND NEW JEEP that I can’t drive for months because it’s a stick. The irony. It’s cute though, right? Sitting in the side yard. Dammit. On to the story. I missed other things. It’s been fun.

bugs bday day before surgery 9 13 15 crop

Bug’s 9th birthday was on September 14th…10 days after “the fall”…the day they scheduled the dreaded reconstruction (yes, please, put this shit back together). But, birthday. We changed all plans. We stayed home. We smiled. It wasn’t the same, but…family. I grimaced. I smiled. She loved her presents. I love her. I adulted. She humored me.

rebuilt elbow 9 14 15

On September 14th, I was rebuilt. After five hours of surgery, I got a kitchen hinge, a rake, a new half cast, and a sling. All ready to adult again.

I clean what I can, I wash clothes (no folding required), I cook and clean up the kitchen, I work full time at my real job, I get the kids back and forth to school. I cry in between. I don’t eat much because those drugs don’t like food. I don’t sleep much. But dammit, I’m adulting. I have to.

During this journey, I’ve learned some one-armed bandit life lessons I wanted to share with you. This is a temporary situation (40% anyway since that’s the usage I’ll get back in the perfect world) but you need to know. If you ever find yourself one handed, here are some things you need to know.

  1. I do way more around here than anyone thinks, including myself (this place is a hot, disgusting mess…the toilets, the kitchen, the floors…gross, for real).
  2. If you go to take a “bath” with one arm, you will cut, scrape, or bruise something. Oh, and you’ll never feel clean. Ever.
  3. Arm pit waxing. It’s a thing. Use it before it’s almost too late.
  4. Cutting a frozen pot roast to put in the Crock Pot is way simpler than it seems.
  5. Cutting a small onion to put in the Crock Pot with said pot roast is way harder than you’d think.
  6. Writing with your dominant arm is so simple. Until you realize you were holding that paper with your non-dominant arm all along. My handwriting sucks right now. Don’t believe me? Put one arm away and try. Exactly.
  7. Being “lazy” with folding clothes for a mom compares to no one else’s idea of lazy folding. We can’t even find our bed right now. Actually being a “lazy mom” only makes everyone else around you look lazier, if that’s even possible. Oy!
  8. I typically load and unload the dishwasher 27 times per month. When I can’t do it, it happens about 10 times per month max and the house smells.
  9. You really cannot make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with one arm. Try it. I dare you.
  10. When you’re effed up, you find out who your friends and true supporters (inside and outside of your home) are. I really already knew, but it’s more obvious at the moment than ever before.

And so folks (all 5 of you who are still reading), that’s where I am right now. I’m adulting. I’m coping. I have my surgical follow up today. Good vibes appreciated. This clunky non-cast needs to come off today. I need some normalcy. My family needs some normalcy. I need to clean this place before they let the bugs take us away. I’m ready to be well, to be whole. I’m ready to work at a desk again. I’m ready to sleep and eat. I’m ready for this chapter to be over.

I’ve learned my lesson. I’m tired of being under the elbow.

Life Lessons Learned from a Family Reunion at My House

Family. It’s complicated, especially when you grow up. Everyone moves on. Life goes on. You call each other. You text. You share Facebook space. You love and amuse each other…from a distance. But you don’t share your “space”. There’s a reason for that. You each create your own space, and it’s a beautiful thing. You all have your own rules, again beautiful. But what happens when you try to blend that family back together for an extended visit? CHAOS! That’s what. We, my family, did just that last week and let me share the “life lessons” I learned from this family reunion at my house.

Galveston Family Visit July 2015

Disclosure: This might piss off some family members, but you know what? They can’t deny truth and I hope they laugh along with me on this one. There was fun, lots of fun, but there was chaos and I learned a lot from Galvestongeddon 2015. 

If you’re planning a family reunion AT YOUR HOUSE any time soon, I urge you to read this list first. Because, for real, it might be rough on you and I think you should know. Like for real, y’all, this visit got cray-cray. Although it was awesome to see everyone, I’m rethinking agreeing to this AT MY HOUSE. So, without further ado…here’s my top 10 learnings from this visit…AT MY HOUSE:

If you're planning a family visit at your house, you need to read this top 10 list first.

  1. My granddaughter is the absolute cutest, funniest, and smartest granddaughter on the entire planet. (Don’t argue with me on that. It won’t go well…for YOU).
  2. Adult siblings, especially 3 strong-headed women, should not spend extended periods of time in the exact same space (think eat, sleep, breathe, and shit people). This is a huge issue if that space happens to be the nit-picky cleaner (nit-picky really sounds better than OCD, no?) of the family’s home.
  3. My babies get along incredibly well with each other when there are other children around, basically because they don’t even speak to one another.
  4. Four kids in one house for 6 days that rarely get to see each other are extremely loud. Sound barriers were broken. I’m sure my fine is in the mail.
  5. Toilet bowl lids should always be closed and toilet paper should always be loaded to the holder flap up. I seriously didn’t realize this was a life lesson, but apparently it is. (For the record, I think this one was my very own daughter…that I raised in my house…with my rules. I fail.)
  6. Both of my older daughters have grown into incredible young women and I’m very proud of both of them despite what some of the haters might say (the haters are not in my family for the record and would never be allowed…IN MY HOUSE).
  7. Celebrating your 12th wedding anniversary during a long visit from your extended family will not go well and you might even end up in a spat. Seriously, don’t let this one happen to you.
  8. Having a bunch of grown women in my house all at one time is kind of like a mini-conference and it’s a sure bet I’ll lose my voice within 2 days. Hello, Kermit.
  9. Family visits and picky eaters I learned the true difference between picky eaters and weird eaters. My family has both. Picky eaters are easier to please than weird eaters. Bubby loves peanut butter. He loves jelly. He will not eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Madi loves sea urchins (shrimp), but will not eat a sandwich. The end.
  10. Above all, I do love my family, all of them, but for future reference, I know that it’s better to rent hotel rooms for all, separately,  in the event that we ever all get together in the same place at the same time again.

I hope you giggled, at least a little bit, at the tale of our fun family reunion (agony) while reading this. I’m sure my sisters hate me right now, but that’s OK. We’re family. That’s what families do. We’ll fuss, we’ll forgive, we’ll share our space again…from a distance. We’re grown and it’s our right to be as dysfunctional as we’d like to be. For the record, this trip was not my plan. Like, I wasn’t involved in the initial planning at all. Y’all can blame B and my sister’s husband (who didn’t show up at all, he’s a brilliant man for that) for this trip. Thanks, guys. Love and kisses for that. You totally rock, you really do (please feel free to insert a sarcastic tone here). Life is sort of back to normal, and normal is good. I’m wishing the same for my sisters. It’s all good. Really, it’s all good. Despite the problems and fights (really, adult sibling fights are way nastier than childhood sibling fights), it was really good to see my entire family again.

Encourage Your Daughter to Read and Succeed with Go! Go! Sports Girls

Just so we’re clear, I did receive product from Go! Go! Sports Girls to facilitate this post, but all opinions, ideas, and photos are entirely my own and I’m a firm believer in the message behind this product.

presents for girls, dolls, books, empowering daughters

Let’s just put this out there, I’m a girl, I have four girls of my own, and I know that girls are “pretty”. We’re supposed to be “pretty”. That’s all, right? Not in this house. Sure, pretty is a word we use, but we don’t base our existence on the fact that we’re pretty. Pretty isn’t the be all, end all of anything. Girls are strong. Girls are smart. Girls can and should be successful in life. But often that message is lost with our young girls because of the messaging out there these days. Even the toys just tell our daughters that pretty is enough. It’s not and that’s where Go! Go! Sports Girls come in.

doll and book set bright

Dream Big Toy Company™ created Go! Go! Sports Girls™ as a fun and educational way to promote self-appreciation and the benefits of daily exercise, healthy eating and sleeping habits, self-esteem, and overall healthy life-skills for girls ages 3-12. Go! Go! Sports Girls™ are age and size appropriate. They do not encourage an older or overly mature image. The image is innocent with a subtle yet strong message – appreciate and be true to yourself! The dolls are currently available at retailers nationwide as well as through their online store.

collect all 6 bright

Since my Bug loves to swim, obviously we chose Swimming Suzi and Bug loves the story and the message. It empowers her to use her love of swimming to succeed in life. Yes, I said succeed in life. The books share how your daughter can use her love of swimming, or sports in general, to find strengths in themselves that they can take with them into adulthood to help them succeed. Pretty cool, right? So if your daughter loves soccer, gymnastics, dance, running, cheerleading, or obviously swimming, they’ve got a gift set for you too! There hasn’t been a better toy to empower girls since my older girls were little (in my humble opinion) than this fun doll and book gift set.

bug reading to suzi bright

I listened to Bug read to Suzi earlier and I was impressed with her love of reading, the progress she’s made in the reading arena, and the message this book, this product, had to offer. If you want to encourage your daughters to read, to succeed in life, this is definitely a product you’ll want to check out. It’s Bug approved and that should mean something since my hot mess of a holy-jean-wearing baby doesn’t approve of much.