What I don’t want for Christmas

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to post on here, partly due to lack of time because of work, and kids, and stressful life happenings in general. Also partly because we just took a week off to spend in Vegas with the little ones and I had such a GREAT time that I actually forgot my best friend even existed until we got back. I felt a little guilty about that, but I was able to overcome it once I found that she is still alive and well.

So, on to very important things.

My oldest is asking me what I want for Christmas. She won’t leave it alone, so in an effort to help her out (a mothers job is never done….), I’ve given it some serious thought. I’ve come up with a list of what I don’t want. At least this will help her narrow things down.

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  1. Stuffed animals that fart. I actually don’t want any stuffed animals, but especially not ones that mimic bodily functions. Resist the urge, even for $12.95.

 

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2. Underpants for my hands. I’m good with the ones I’ve got, not on my hands.

 

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3. This monstrosity. I don’t want the sweater, or the baby that possibly comes with it. I know I’ve got lots of kids….but really, I’m good.

 

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4. Ok, actually might be funny if you could get it personalized with the ex’s face… all in good fun of course….

 

 

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5. Might be a cheaper option for me than laser lipo…but somehow I feel not as effective. Probably save your money.

 

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6. On the odd chance that someone might think to buy me a purse made from a dried frog corpse, let me just make it clear that I would not accept it EVER…..unless it had fully intact back legs.

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7. It’s cute, really. but people might not understand….
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8. No subtle references to me aging, ‘kay?
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9. I can see how someone might want to incorporate my love for cleaning, with my desire to work out more to come up with a “super gift”. I just think this might not be “the one”.
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10. Whaaaaat??
I think that pretty much covers it. Stay away from the above, and I’ll accept pretty much anything. Or nothing. Whatever.

 

 

It’s almost that time

Elf on the shelf…….

Last year we got sucked into the elf tradition, thanks to my well meaning mom. I learned quickly that it’s not a good idea for the elf to start spying too soon…..for some reason he came to us in October and we just went with it.

To preserve my sanity, I’ve made it clear to the kids that Moe-our elf-won’t be appearing until after Thanksgiving this year.

I got some great ideas last year from Pinterest boards, which I happily copied.

And sometimes I tried my hand at being creative….

I was supposed to have a month of great ideas by now. That was my homework for myself last year. So a couple weeks ago I got some elf accessories to take things to the next level. things like a leather jacket…. a few T-shirts…..and a bathrobe. Maybe we’ll invest in a reindeer for him to hang out with, or a Saint Bernard….

I need ideas, fast.

 

 

Juggling

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mycareertopia.com

I’ve been going through an adjustment the past month or so, some changes in the office that have required me to take a LOT of work home with me. Instead of sitting up at 1am thinking of good blog topics, I’m typing away, bleary eyed, preparing for patients the following day.

The last few days, something occurred to me.

I feel like I can breathe again…..

It’s what happens when you don’t have a choice but to tackle the obstacle in your path. You adapt whether you want to or not. Things find a way to settle in, and you get used to it.

Not that I love the extra time I’m spending….. but at least it’s not overwhelming anymore.

And then I think about what I do in a day, in a week…geez, it’s a lot!

Get up early, shower and get ready for work before I force the two youngest out of bed to get dressed, fed, and out the door to school. We leave by 7:30, which still causes some internal crying and gnashing of teeth, but I act like I love it.

Drop kids off, and depending on the day I may go to the office, or a facility to see patients. Or I may stay at school for an hour and help with a project before rushing off to work. Driving usually to 2 places, timing myself down to the last second so I see enough patients yet get out in time to pick up the kids after school.

Multiple phone calls to different facilities, patients families, my own personal business as I’m driving….

Getting homes means homework with the 1st grader, reading with the preschooler, dinner, cleaning up, all the household stuff like pesky laundry that can’t figure out how to wash itself…..

millions of little things like stop at post office to mail the rental contract that I just co-signed so the oldest can rent a house with some friends at college next year. And not worry at all about my credit being ruined if no one decides to pay…….  Call the insurance company about some missing social security number, email the teachers to coordinate time to come in and paint with the kids for the school project that’s due next month…….

And then after kids are in bed, I can get started on my own “homework”, reviewing prescriptions refill requests, and loading patient data for the next day. Maybe having some tea and cookie. Or six. Going to bed around 1:30am, trying to stay awake to read ’til 2…..

Does it sound terrible?

Honestly, I know I’m not unique at all in my busy life. Most of us are juggling all day long, right?

But I don’t know what I’d really change right now. Overall, I’m happy. I’m lucky to have my kids, my home, my job (s), even though I think waking up early is crap, I just count down to the weekends, and summer…..and look forward to being 76, because surely by then I will be sleeping in every single glorious day.

So for now, I will post when I get time to breathe, usually at odd hours when I’m sitting quietly in my home and world is asleep all around me. Also, because as everyone knows, Twix and snickers are magically calorie free during the hours of 12-2am.

 

 

 

Weird DMV experience

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I don’t know how it is for everyone else in the country, but where I live, a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles is right up there with root canal, fork in the eye, or suddenly developing a chocolate allergy.

I do my plate renewal online, get the sticker in the mail and go on my merry way each year.

But sometimes….. a trip to this hell is unavoidable.

What I can usually expect from my local DMV is gross incompetence, elevated to an art form. Frowning faces, long lines, and bad attitudes. I have to go there in person when my drivers license expires, and also when I’ve been lucky enough to lose my license, or have to change my name.

I always have a fear that I’m not going to pass the eye exam, somehow I won’t see the flashing light off to the side as I have to press the greasy button down with my forehead to read the tiny rows of letters.

Yesterday I took a chance after I dropped the kids at school, I needed to get my license renewed before the following week. Expecting to see the usual long lines filled with blank staring faces, I was shocked to see it empty!

Not only that, but I was immediately called over to a girl with a SMILE ON HER FACE. Then, she complimented me on my shirt. I almost wanted to step out and just check the name on the building, was I in the right place??

It didn’t stop there. As we went over the details to be printed on my license, she asks if my height and weight are the same. Sadly, no… I tell her she’ll need to change the weight ’cause I’ll never see that number again. “You want me to keep it for you?” She asks, so nicely….  “Nah, better change it”. I’m realistic, that ship has sailed.

Before I know it, I’ve passed the test (the head rest is still greasy…), and it’s time for the picture. Isn’t this the worst part? I never feel like I should smile, I never know when they’re going to actually take the picture, and I never know quite where to look. I end up looking stern, and a little spaced out usually.

Not this time!

She shows me where to look, tells me when to smile, and then…. she asks me if I want to see the picture before she uses it.

I am floored.

Who does that!!??

And guess what? It was the best drivers license picture I’ve ever taken. I swear she used a filter, I’ve got an awesome golden looking glow that I didn’t walk in there with, and I don’t look stressed out or pissed off!

I was out of there in less than 15 minutes, my faith in humanity slightly restored, calling a goodbye to my new best friend at the DMV.

Best birthday present ever.

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Death to all fruit flies

 

 

It’s that time of year again. I’ve gotten past the tiny black ant phase, and now we’re deep into the pesky fruit fly phase.

Swarming bastards of the fruit bowl……

So for your enjoyment, I offer my most effective method to murder as many fruit flies as possible with very little effort.

  1. Grab a jar, or any tallish container
  2. A plastic baggie
  3. tape
  4. apple cider vinegar

A. Pour vinegar to at least cover an inch of container, up to half of the container

B. Place baggie over top and poke a corner down into the jar after cutting that corner off the bag. You are making a funnel into the container. Ideally the open corner should end just above the fill line, and near the side of the container.

C. Then tape the bottom of the baggie around the container so nothing can escape.

I put out one trap last week….. and I lost track of the number of fruit flies I caught. It gives me great and kind of disturbing pleasure to find them caught…walking around the edges of the container looking for a way out…. so I can smash them and leave their little corpses frozen there, stuck for eternity in their plastic enclosed chamber of death.

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You get the idea…

Go forth people, let’s make our kitchens great again!

😉

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t be nice, it’s scary

 

 

I’ve been going to this dentist for a while now, I found the office on Angie’s list years ago when I was searching for someone I could feel comfortable with….I hate the dentist and I hate sitting in the dentists chair. Those shiny little metal hooks, all those instruments lined up ready to gouge me when I least expect it….. It’s terrifying.

So when I started going to this office for my cleanings, I was happy to find that the dentist and all his staff are incredibly gentle and nice. They make sure I’m comfortable, explain everything they are going to do before they do it, and give me time to deal with my fear of having them poking around in my mouth.

But, I think I’m going to quit. I’ve been thinking about it for a while now…. something about that office bothers me.

They are very nice. Actually, TOO nice…..

 

 

There is something twilight zone-ish about walking in and having everyone, EVERYONE ask me about a vacation I took months ago, after my last visit. It’s not just “Oh hey, didn’t you say you were going on a trip, how was it?”

No…. it’s “Oh, how was Disney with the kids? You were going to stay at the Dolphin hotel, right? I heard it rained that weekend, 4 months ago…. cause I was just at home thinking about you guys on your vacation and decided to track the weather the whole time you were in Florida so we’d have something to talk about when you came in for your next cleaning…”

And it’s the whole office. They ALL know. It freaks me out.

Obviously they take note of what we talk about,  so the patient feels like they are important and cared about….  I should be thrilled that I’m treated so well, that they try so hard to make me feel like what I say to them really matters, as I chat around the pair of hands stuffed in my mouth…

This happens every visit. I walk in and it’s like these people are my best friends. But not my real, genuine best friends. It feels too Stepfordy. Too perfect. Something is wrong. NO ONE is that nice all the time.

On the one hand I really want to know how to get my own staff to this level of polite perfection, I would love them to answer the phone by telling everyone what a great day they’re having!  On the other hand, I feel if I dig too deep, ask too many questions, they might lock me in a back room never to be seen again. It’s how my mind works. You’re treating me too well, what are you hiding???

Lets do it the hard way!

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Today was training, our group is changing EHR systems, that’s electronic health records for any of you lucky enough to not know…..

So the whole point of this is to save time, improve documentation, make things BETTER. Save paper, because everything is available electronically, right?…..right??!!

In a perfect world, this would make sense. In the most controlled of situations, it works. But it definitely doesn’t save time……. in fact most offices I know have hired more staff  just to help navigating and completing the charting now. We spend more time charting than with our patients….not by our choice.

There is still paper. Paper all over, paper to be scanned INTO the records…. paper kept in paper charts because our silly EHR system likes to freeze, or shut down a lot…. And funny enough, paper to be printed and given to patients each time they come if you want Medicare to like you.

So…. an example for you, to help understand the very special misery only using an EHR can provide……

Let’s use the example of getting dressed in the morning.

Used to be simple…. underwear items, outer layers, socks, shoes, coat….. whatever embellishments you liked, and done.

Now, you need to choose underwear that Medicare will recognize and give you credit for wearing, and so you have to get the fancy ones that you don’t wear very much and then you can only put them on if  you are facing east, and step into them with your right leg, followed by your left. You can’t sit down, and you can’t fall over or you lose 5% of  your reimbursement.

Your pants and shirt must be in the same color family, they can’t clash, and your shirt can’t be a shirt that too many people have or else you won’t get credit for wearing it unless you do something like rip a big hole in it, so it’s different enough but still the same shirt.

You have to ask your socks about their history, and their family history, and if they smoke, and if they feel depressed every time you put them on. Especially the smoking and depressed thing.

You have to chant a few nonsenses words, and do ten toe touches then turn around three times after each article of clothing….. and then you have to teach your shoes how to tie themselves, because otherwise you are just enabling them every time you tie the damn things.

A very loose example….. but the frustration would be the same…..

Apples, Hay, and Tacos

My plans for a playdate are not usually very exciting, so I have my friend to thank for the idea of taking the kids somewhere new today.

I may have been apple picking as a child…. I have vague memories of paper bags and apples on the ground…but no sense of whether I enjoyed it or not. Today I got to try it with the kids at Hillcrest Orchards.

It was a perfect day, sunny and in the low 70’s, and the place was big enough to accommodate everyone without seeming crowded.

Of course there is the requisite hay maze……

As well as the farm-themed cut out boards for the kids to pose as animals, farmers, or pumpkins…..

We finally headed off to the orchard to put the kids to work, getting there on a rickety tractor pulled wagon of course.

We picked honey crisp today, and at first I thought the rows of trees were just baby saplings. I was shocked to see them bearing fruit, an amazing amount compared to their tiny size. Super sweet, we were allowed to eat them right off the trees. Bonus that the kids found that irresistible. Jenna was shocked to find seeds in the middle of her apple….because she has only ever eaten her apples sliced on a plate before. Eating food from it’s original source, off the tree in this case, instead of from the fruit bowl seemed to stimulate their appetites. I wonder what she would do if I pointed at a chicken and told her that’s where her chicken tenders come from??

There were more things for the kids to do, like a track for go cart type bikes. I can’t show you a picture because I spent my time there pushing Sammy on his, or riding Jenna on the back of mine. GREAT workout, but not fond of the unattractive panting after I was finished.

 

More acceptable ride that doesn’t require mom to exert herself…

 

Didn’t mean for this to be freaky…but reminds me of “The Ring” and if she had started crawling on the ceiling I would have left her there…

 

And the day would not be complete without dried corn stuck in everyone’s pants

 

And finally. The best part. The grand finale of my trip. The reason I will definitely more than consider going back……..

Before we left we wanted snacks. There was a little eatery inside with cider, water, apple cinnamon donuts and cookies.  There was a food truck outside, with a menu posted on it’s side.

I was amazed at the selection of food…. and please, please forgive me for not having a picture of the actual menu. I can recite a couple things by heart…. such as the all beef hot dog in toasted pretzel bun, complimented by apple chutney and cheddar cheese….. or how about the rosemary parmesan fries, complete with garlic aioli dipping sauce? Or my personal favorite….. drum roll please….. butternut squash and black bean tacos. Oh my god. I’m so glad I ordered them, because they were amazing. Not what I expected from a food truck at this farm out in the boonies.

I did not take photos of my food because 1. I didn’t want to look weird and 2. I ate it way too fast. But I checked Pinterest and found something close to just give you a tiny idea….

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Trust me when I say the tacos and fries I ate today were so much better looking and tasting than these examples, but you’ll have to trust me unless you check out Hillcrest Orchards yourself.

 

 

 

Important friendship criteria

 

 

My friendship criteria….were I to actually  have time to cultivate a friendship…..

  1. Must be funny, but not the annoying funny that just laughs at everything. The kind of funny that can be light and dark, funny ha-ha, and funny “god my life is depressing”.
  2. Must not judge my parenting. Unless I ask. And then always follow up judgement with a story about how they are even a worse parent than me because….etc..
  3. Must be able to keep the secrets I tell them, that are secrets I’ve promised others not to tell. The buck must stop somewhere after all.
  4. Must not be evil or possessed by any sort of demon, this is kind of a deal breaker.
  5. Sarcasm is required

There are more things of course, intelligence and wit, integrity-but not too much, don’t want me to feel bad about myself…… kind of difficult to find someone with all these requirements, probably just easier to continue hanging out with the kids……

What made me start to think of what qualities a new friend of mine would need to have? A conversation with Jenna about a boy at school she’s chosen as her friend. I don’t know if he shares the sentiment, but every day I hear his name.

What made her choose him, out of 13 other kids whose names she’s not in the hurry to remember?

Jenna’s friendship criteria:

  1. Must have a Blaze and the monster machines lunch box.

A simple and effective method to weed out those not worthy……