Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mr. Grant, it's my derriere - take it or leave it.

I hate "shapewear".  Ok, let's just call it like it is...girrrrdles.  Shapewear my fat ass! 

What monster decided that women, or men for that matter, needed this awful business?  For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, shapewear is a type of undergarment that a person squeezes into in an effort to "reduce unsightly bulges and look slim and sexy."  Give me a break.  Basically it's just a means to squeeze one bulge of fat someplace else less noticeable.  It's horrifying and uncomfortable.  Plus, I must add, it does the following:

It's false advertising.  Imagine our partner's disappointment when expecting a particular shape of fannie and coming across a completely different derriere.  He's expecting round and curvy but instead out droops a saggy, sloppy thing.  A nice fellow might stick around but a shallow guy won't call back.  Why should he?  We led him on by pretending we're Marilyn Monroe.  Joe Schmo doesn't need to continue on with his Cary Grant impersonation.

Secondly, girdles are sweat catchers.  Even when it's 30 below outside, our rolls of flesh beneath are dripping with perspiration.  Obviously, if we have to wear these awful get-ups, we're overweight to begin with.  We tend to sweat just thinking about them.  It's not a good thing to pull off a soggy, wet girdle only to catch pneumonia the next day.  Is it really worth the sake of your heath to have a smooth waist line at your brother-in-law's wedding?  You probably don't even like the guy.

I don't know about you, my dear friends and blog readers, but when I attempt to put on one of these horrible things, I feel like a sausage in a casing.  It takes me at least 15 minutes to get the damn thing over my lumps and bumps.  Of course, then I ask myself the ridiculous question, "Did I buy the right size?".   This always depresses me because I purchase what I believe to be a size larger than recommended to avoid asking myself this ridiculous question.  Then, once I look at the size chart to determine that yes - it's a size larger than my weight and height, I think, "Holy crap, I'm a fat terd!  I really do need this shapewear!!!"  

Perhaps this is all a marketing ploy?  In my anger and frustration at the amount of money I spend shifting my sweaty fat blobs about to make me feel like a sausage casing, I tear the damn thing off.  FREEDOM!!!   

So there, marketing monsters!  My butt will continue to be the droopy, saggy, sloppy derriere that it is but at least it will be comfortable and pneumonia free.  I refuse to make apologies going forward not even if it's to Mr.Cary Grant himself. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mama is going mad, looney tunes, crazy...d'oh!

I'm tired of being confused.  I'm tired of losing things.  I'm suffering from what my mother lovingly refers to as, early onset "Oldsheimers".  Now for those of you ready to start yammering away with nasty comments about the plight of Alzheimer's Disease and that it's no laughing matter - Whoa, Nellie!  I get it.  My paternal step-grandmother died of it.  Grandma Bryant suffered the ugly battle and lost forgetting how to see, knocking on door frames, and ultimately succumbing to pneumonia.  No shaking fingers of verbal protest my way, I beg you.

It's an awful feeling when something as simple as a set of lost house keys can screw up my evening.  I'm certain there are many of you out there in the Internet world who can commiserate with me.  What makes my memory battle so much more annoying is that the bi-polar medication I take is actually known to do more harm than good.  One prescription is called Topamax.  My psychiatrist lovingly refers to it as, "Dope"a-max (oh that doc o' mine, he sure knows how to make a lady feel special).  Sometimes my meds are kicked up to such a gear that I forget how to sign my name or what my address is.  Once I had to sing it (this is how we taught the boys to remember it).  Talk about embarrassing, I was totally off key.

So, last night it was my house keys; not the keys to the outside dead bolts, but the keys to the pantry, refrigerator, master bedroom, and closet.  Honestly, I would have felt safer had they been the dead bolt keys.  Why?  Oh, I don't know...could it possibly be because I listened to my angry sixteen year old tell me he would be happier in prison then at home?  Perhaps he wanted an excuse to be there.  When we asked him why he felt this way he thought it would be easier.  This comment was growled to us while he was shoveling down a lovely restaurant dinner.  Oh, did I forget to mention, we had just come from home where he'd spent an hour or so playing Wii?  Wait a minute, who bought the gaming system for him?  Oh yes, his prison wardens.  They're such bastards.

In all of this lost key mayhem, what did I immediately assume happened to them?  Yes, my dear friends and blog readers, you've probably guessed.  This was not one of my prouder maternal moments.  I quickly pointed my mental accusatorial finger at my surly, prison-intent child, William.  I didn't come right out and say, "where are they, demon spawn?" but I was certainly thinking it.

Thank goodness for a two-parent relationship.  I don't know how single parents of behaviorally challenged kids - or even normal teenagers, for that matter - do it.  Who do single parents hand the ball to when their kiddo spits nastiness in their face?  I have several friends and family members who have to raise these adolescents on their own and I'm in awe that they're still coherent and not locked away in a miscellaneous cell wearing a bib.  Eric came to my rescue again last night.  He saw what I was thinking.  He kept me calm and had me retrace my steps.  Damn, I hate the retracing part.  I mean, seriously, I already feel like a stupid moron. Retracing my steps when I can't remember who I just spoke to on the telephone is a wee bit ridiculous.

Here's the line of questioning as it replayed in my mind:

Where was I in the morning?  In bed.  I'm always in bed.  Where was I in the afternoon?  You mean, after I ate two pieces of toast, wrote my morning blog, and pee'd?  Back in bed.  I'm always in bed.  Afterwards?  I think I pee'd again.  Geez, it seems like I'm always pee'in'.  Sleepin' and pee'in'.  Pee'in' and sleepin'.  Maybe there's something wrong with me?  I should make a doctor's appointment.  Eric, please remind me or I'll forget.  Did I have the keys with me?  You mean, when I was pee'in'?  Of course not!  In bed..?  No!  That's just weird.  Well, maybe...you know me.  Then we ate.  That was a good Linner.  Is that what it's called... a meal between lunch and dinner, Linner?  Geez, we're getting old!  Why don't we just eat breakfast before we go to bed and save the hassle the next morning? 

An so on and so forth...

Now along with all of this questioning, I started to get bitchy.  Why not?  My sanity was at stake here.  I knew who did it.  My ornery, eldest child, Damien himself.  He wanted to push his mama off the cliff and laugh demonically as I fell.  Of course, both my boys now knew something was up.  They saw Eric and I whispering and searching strange corners of the house. 

"What d'ya lose?"

"Nothing, mind your own business!"

"Mom can't find her keys, have you seen them?"  I gave Eric the "stank eye" for giving away my dilemma before we had the chance to catch William red-handed.

"No, did you check her coat pockets?"  they both called out in unison.  Of course I did.  I'm not that stupid!  I personally checked my coat three times after Eric and I walked the dogs.  Ha, so there!!! 

At that point, I was sick to my stomach.  I knew there would be room searches and the boys would know we were assuming the worst.  Fights would break out and the relative peace and harmony of the Potts' household would come crashing to an end.  This was all my fault of course, the house looney tune - Bri - the "Dope"a-max maniac. 

"Bri..."  Eric came quietly into the study where I was pondering some writing.

"Yes?"  He gently placed my house keys down on the desk next to my lap top.

"They were in your coat, in one of the inside pockets."  He gave me a sweet kiss on the side of my face. 

D'oh!  I still think one of the boys planted them in there after the fact.  I'm sure of it.  I'm not that crazy yet..am I?  Deep sigh. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sometimes it's up to other parents to make some adjustments...

Let's go back to a day when life was simpler; when there were no TV's, CDs players, electronic gaming systems, etc.  This would make my mornings so much nicer.  The boys, instead of waking up, walking into the study, and saying, "Mom, at 10:00am, can we start playing Wii?", would say something more pleasant like, "Good morning, I love you."  Hmm..yes, that would be nice. 

I suppose I should be grateful.  Most kids don't ask permission to start playing first thing on a Sunday morning.  Instead, they plop their fannies down, remotes in hand, and immediately begin brain decaying themselves.  William and Austynn know better.  They know that in this house there are time restrictions to the games and TV on weekends.  They also know that if they start playing before 10:00am or before they receive permission, they might as well kiss their privileges good-bye for the day.

I would - though - prefer not to be bombarded with the same question every weekend at 9:45am.  It's gotten to the point that the moment I hear them approach my door with, "Mom...", I answer them with something like, "Not before you clean your rooms, get dressed, and have breakfast", or  "No Wii until all your homework is done and dad checks it".

I wish my boys were outdoor kids.  Even when their game time is up, they prefer to sit and play Lego's, read books, or stare at bugs versus riding bikes and being athletic.  I think all parents, in one form or another, have different hopes for their kiddos.  I grew up in an "outdoorsy", athletic family.  My brothers, sisters, and I were always running around in the yard, on our bikes, playing tag, skating, etc.  Eric's family was the same way.  Both our families were highly involved in team sports; baseball, football, volleyball, and so forth.  My boys can't be bothered with any of this.  It's strange coming from these backgrounds and watching my adopted sons mesmerized for hours staring at crickets in bug barns; however, it still makes me smile. 

We all adjust; mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, but there's some things this mother refuses to adjust to: when my thirteen year old hollers that kids at school get to come home and play their Gameboys or Wii before they do their homework, or that they don't have time restrictions, or that their parents don't care about the rating systems on the games...my response is always the same, "That makes me sad for your school friends."  And when this same autistic son screams that I'm mean because I won't change my mind, that I'm a "bitch" because he can't play on school nights, or that he wants to live with a nicer family because they let their kids play their games whenever they want, my response never wavers, "I'm sorry you feel that way, Austynn.  I love you."

Since we can't go back and undo the creative genius of the gaming inventors, perhaps concerned parents around the globe can unite and help each other out?  How about placing a few more time restrictions on the remote controls and shoving our overweight adolescents off the sofas and into the front yards?  If they're like my chubby teens, ok - so they're not hopping onto the hundred dollar bikes that have been gathering dust since two Christmas' ago - but at least they're getting some fresh air taking them apart and losing my husband's tools in the process. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

My name is Bri and I'm a Moaner.

I'm a moaner.  I can't deny it any longer.  Please don't raise your eyebrows at me in an accusatory way like it's some sort of a perverted thing.  I mean, it is. I do moan a lot during sex, I admit to that.  It's slightly embarrassing...

"Bri, are you having an orgasm?"

"No, babe, it just feels really good..."

I moan for just about every daily event.  If I'm enjoying my cup of coffee, a package of M&Ms, or a good fanny rest on a cozy chair.  Of course there are the bad moans too, the getting out of bed in the morning moan, the horrifying is-this-really-what-my-thirteen-year-old-left-me-in-the-kitchen moan, and of course there's the I'm-breaking-my-back-washing-the-tile moan.

My dear husband laughs at me non-stop.  He thinks my noises sound all the same.  I, personally, am appalled.  After close to eighteen years together, I would assume he would have some inkling as to the depth and feeling - the level of intensity - of my grunts and groans.  Not so.  Perhaps after another eighteen years he'll know when the great moment of ecstasy is washing over me.  We shall see.

I bring this all up because it leads to a silly poop story.  What, you ask does this have to do with my moaning and the price of coffee in Columbia?  Hold your horses, I'm getting to that.

This moaning thing has been with me from an early age.  Oh, the shame of it!  I do believe I've mentioned two things in the past; one, that I attended a small, private elementary school and two, I was extremely modest as a little girl.  Let's place these three things together, shall we?  Moaning, small bathrooms, and modesty.  Yes.  Who's following me here?  I could not for the life of me ever use the restroom at school to go poop.  I was extremely cognizant of the fact that I sounded like a professional tennis player serving the ball.  "Uggh, oooohh...aaahhhh!"  This was not going to happen.  So I would have to wait until I got home.

This is where the story begins (my apologies, long intro).  So, after a difficult day at school of literally sweating it out, I ran to the restroom.  No one was home but me.  My mom had to take my other sister to the orthodontist and my older siblings are still in high school, I'm on the pot, I'm moaning, grunting, doing what comes naturally for me, and probably making quite the impressive stink when, unfortunately, the doorbell rings. 
Example of 1970's Ranch Style Home

Here's some background on Southern California homes built in the 1970's, they're called "Ranch Style".  Our house and the others in the area were this design and the architect, for reasons unknown to this day, placed the bathroom right next to the front door.  If this wasn't bad enough, it was a warm day, the window was open, the toilet was located directly beneath the window, and the only thing separating the person and my ass were the green and yellow fluorescent plastic beads hanging from the top of the window sill.  My moaning immediately ceased mid-poop.

Ding dong went the bell again.  I waited patiently, silently for this person to leave.  Sweat started to drip down the side of my face.  These were the days when Encyclopedia salesmen were still coming door to door.  I was certain this was who was standing there.  He was relentless.  He would not leave.

Ding Dong.  Plop.  Good grief.  Go away!!

Ding Dong.

Ding Dong.  Plop.  The smell was horrifying.  Sweat was now pouring down my back.  My Catholic school uniform was sticking to my skin.  My hair was plastered to my scalp.  I couldn't stand another moment of this.  "Sir?"

"Yes, ma'am?"

"I'm not available to get to the door at the moment.  Please come back another time to sell your things."

"Thank you, ma'am."

He finally walked away.  I moaned because I was thoroughly mortified.  This reminds me, I need a sign for my front door, "No Soliciting At Any Time". 


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Let's face it, women can handle the gross stuff.

WARNING: Detailed Grossness Alert.

Women of the world unite!! Why do we get left with all the unsavory household tasks? I can rattle off a list in my mind right now..wait better yet, I'll bullet them below for the world to see:
    "No, mama, no!!"
  • Cleaning poop out of dog's butts. Now some of you may be wondering about this one but if you have small, furry critters which don't get groomed as often as they should (please don't call the ASPCA on me), it happens that my Lhasa Apso is handed off to me quite frequently. I don't know what it is about Tank, perhaps it's the bark he chews on outside, but he has "issues" and to avoid these "issues" from being dragged across my bedroom carpet, Eric tends to turn this continually "stopped up" lover over to me. Up go my sleeves, warm water, soft rags, and a look on poor Tank's face which says, "Good grief Mama, anything but this again!". Trust me little feller, I don't like it any more than you do. 
  • Scrubbing Toilets. When was the last time your guy volunteered for this duty?
  • When my son, Austynn barfed on the top bunk, over the stuffed animals, through the hallway, and perhaps a teaspoon worth in the toilet - who calmed the house down, kept the dogs away, and managed to keep dad from doing the same? You guessed it, Mom - superhero extraordinaire.
  • Sticking hands in dirty clothes pockets doesn't sound so awful; however, do the laundry in my house for a week and see how you feel about it.  I've pulled out everything from soaking wet, snot-filled tissues to crawling pill bugs.  No frogs yet.  Dead crickets and grasshoppers, yes.  I've sliced my fingers on rusted nails whereas I've considered going into the hospital for tetanus shots and zapped myself on active batteries.  Ask my boys to empty their pockets, you say?  Hmm..how many requests have I made?  How many consequences have been given?  Have my children do their own laundry?  This has all been attempted.  Very good suggestions.  Thanks anyway. 
So men I say to you, I'm aware that you're often handed the toilet plunger.  I too have see my fair shair of this nasty device.  I've also been splattered in the face by the effort.  I agree that it's not fun.  I know how disgusting it is to reach down a garbage disposal and worry that one, your ten year old might suddenly have a hankering to turn on the switch and two, you just don't like what you're feeling around down there.  It's gross, I get it. You guys do a lot of nasty stuff too. But when push comes to shove, women have a lot more horror assigned to us.  How often do you guys gag when women hover over a toilet bowl with a sick kiddo or change a poopy diaper?  Ok. I'm done lamenting.

By the way, dear friends and blog readers, I'm on this ramble because my husband would not allow me to pop the nastiest pimple I've ever seen in my life on his face last night. Someone had to do it. I couldn't allow him to go into work today looking like that.  It was an awful responsibility yet I took it on.  Eric owes me a huge debt of gratitude.  I haven't heard a thank you from him yet. I'm still waiting...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My personal butterfly effect.

The metamorphosis of Bri. I was thinking about the changes I've been through over the last 44 years. So dramatic. Obviously, we all change to some extent. It would be boring if we didn't. I'm glad I've had the opportunity to make myself over. I like who I've become. In ten years I'm sure I'll be someone new. That's ok. I'm always looking for ways to improve or grow and along with this, of course, comes change.

Unfortunately, there are people I've known who've remained unchanged; who've kept their same hair style, attitude, and/or haven't made an attempt to expand their education or question their fundamental beliefs. They live in a box, held hostage by their own self-imposed ignorance. These folks are incapable of having an open-minded conversation. They locked themselves up years ago and threw away the key. It's difficult not to make a feeble attempt to pry open a window and let some fresh air in. Try as I might, it's a lost cause. The window is jammed with years of amplified white noise. All I can do is look in, wave, and continue to love them. They just shake their heads and think I've gone off the deep end. I did, hospitalized, 2010. Didn't they hear about that? No. Too much white noise, I guess.

So, here I am today, Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - a brash, almost 45 year old, say-it-like-is, in your face, home-making, bi-polar, blog writing, red-headed, greying at the roots, secretly introverted, adopted mother of two - a walking contradiction on all fronts...enjoying the confusion I bring to everyone around me. Lord, You humble me. To everyone else, welcome to my world and thanks for keeping up with my hair color.

Me, the first 44 years:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubBRJRGXwFI

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Anticipation...Tough Stuff!

Anticipation...it's making me wait..it's keeping me waaaaiting. 

Remember that song?  And if that song didn't drive us loony enough, some clever marketing guru attached it to a Heinz Ketchup commercial in the 1970's as we watched in silent awe as the condiment took it's sweet time to ooze onto a hot, homemade cheeseburger.

Yes, even as I type this - my 30 gram protein shake just ain't doing me justice.  My stomach is a rumbling for something a little more substantive.  Ohhh...BBQ's and summer time.  That marketing fellow was a genius.

We all wait for something fantastic in our lives.  When we were young, it was our birthday party and all the festivities that went along with it; the cake, the ice cream, the presents, etc.  When we were a little older, perhaps an adolescent girl, we dreamt of our first kiss - our first romance.  It had to be spectacular.  How disappointed I was.  What a build up!  I don't know about you, but my first kiss was from a complete stranger while I was cruising down Whittier Blvd. in East Los Angeles - yuck.  A full on tongue shoved down my throat which almost swallowed my own.  All I kept thinking was, "Eeks, is he looking for leftovers?  I ate an hour ago.  Disgusting!"  And then there was the momentous, "First time".  Good grief!  This is at least a three blog litany of ridiculousness.  Let's just say, that handbook for young girls to determine straight versus gay men?  I really could have used it for my virginal experience.  Oh, and by the way, for future reference, hotel disposable shower caps do not qualify as condoms.  Ouch.  
Disney World Trip 2005

We're always waiting for something around the corner...for the next exciting moment.  We buy lottery tickets in the hope that we'll win the big pay off.  We put money aside for amazing family vacations (No more Disney World for this family, thank goodness.  I'm all moused out.).  We look forward to our retirement, to the day when we can finally kick up our feet and give "the bird" to the working world.  Even small things for instance, the poker game next weekend, a friend coming over for a lovely morning visit, or the cookies ready to come out of the oven...it makes life interesting, doesn't it?

Hmm, after all this planning and waiting, I'm hungry.  I think I'll make myself a cheeseburger for lunch.  Where's the ketchup?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Molly's Song

Where does the time go?  What a whimsical question.  Anyone over the age of thirty throws this one out practically on a daily basis. 

I heard a song the other day that almost brought me to tears, not in a bad way but in an oh-my-God-what-a wonderful-memory-this-reminds-me-of kind of way.  We all have these songs.  A particular melody that when we hear it, it draws out a series of old 8mm movies in our minds; glimpses back to a time when everything was sweet and special and we wanted to savor the moment forever.

This particular song was by Nellie Furtado, I'm Like a Bird.  My niece and god daughter, Molly, was very young at the time and it seemed to be playing like a soundtrack in her mind.  She had been humming and singing it in her sweet little voice all morning.

Eric, Molly's mom (my older sister), and myself took several nieces and nephews on an early spring morning to the Poppy Reserves in Antelope Valley just outside of Los Angeles.  It had been a wet winter and the wild flowers promised to be amazing.  They didn't let us down.  When we reached the top of the pass and looked into the valley, it was blinding with shades of fluorescent orange dappled with purple and yellow hues.  It was breathtaking.

We spent the cool morning walking the dirt paths with the children running and giggling ahead of us, and listening to that song...now Molly's song.  Movie clip: Eric and I looked ahead of us, our little dark haired niece, with the cool morning wind blowing against her outstretched arms, the bright blue sky above her, the backdrop of the poppies surrounding her, the sweet fragrance of the flowers enveloping us..."I'm like a bird, I'll only fly away..."

That morning, that moment, all was right in the world.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Look over the fence, you'll be amazed at what you'll find.

When Eric and I lived in Southern California, we had a small circle of friends with whom we'd spend time with every so often.  These people were folks we went to high school with and as the years went by we started taking each other for granted. In other words, we lived fairly close but always assumed that there would be another weekend, another chance to get together.  Not so.  Years slip by with that mentality.  Babies are born, parents get old and need assistance, lives become chaotic.  Places and people get put off until suddenly the nice, retired lady next door we've always meant to introduce ourselves to suddenly passes away.  We never had that chance to share a few moments getting to know one another over a cup of tea.  There's always tomorrow, right?  Wrong.

The day that Eric and I drove over the western foothills of the Rocky Mountains, across the front range of Denver, and into the suburbs of our new lives - we were alone.  There was no one within an hour and a half of us to whom we could remotely count on for assistance.  We could no longer afford the arrogance of saying, "We'll meet our neighbors tomorrow", because what happens if we needed help today?

Making a move to a new state and forcing us to look up and over our fence line was the best thing that ever happened to our family.  We discovered a community of friends everywhere we looked.  In fact, we could never move back to California.  We would miss the people here far too much.  Yes, we miss those we've left behind but sadly, because of the lackadaisical attitudes on both ends, we saw very little of our loved ones.

Here, in this little suburban haven, we have developed unique niches, different groups with whom we've fallen in love with; children and their parents from church, surrogate grandparents who attend our boy's birthday parties, parents with special needs' children who act as an amazing support team, neighbors who've become more like family than merely people across the fence, and women who are closer to me than sisters - whose bonds seem to have been forged long before I've ever met them.

Last night, Eric and I spent time with some of these friends and now that I think about it...we've shared laughter with different friends the weekend before, and the weekend before that.  Our lives are full with the joy of loved ones constantly around us.  We no longer say we're too tired or we don't have enough time.  We don't stress over a dirty house.  Come on in.   I believe we left that attitude back on the west coast.  When someone asks me if I want to meet for a cup of coffee, I always say yes.  And if we can't meet at Starbucks, we'll meet at someone's kitchen table.

A couple of weeks ago, one of my dearest friends and I needed to catch-up over lunch.  We didn't have a penny between us so instead we shared a PB&J with bananas and potato chips.  I would have declined this offer when I lived in Laguna Hills.  I would have waited until we had some money for a restaurant lunch.  What a mistake that would have been.  First of all, that was the best PB&J I've ever had in my life and secondly, I would have missed an amazing time with an incredible human being who just happens to have become one of my very best of friends.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Money. It's a pain in the ass.

Money is such a tiresome thing.  I know I've blogged about it before but come on, let's face it, next to screaming autistic teenagers throwing phones at my face, and dogs that haven't quite mastered the technique of pooping outside after three years, money is my next favorite blog complaint.

I suppose if I was raised in a family which never really had it, this would be a non-issue.  But I'm a brat - I admit it.  I'm spoiled which makes things that much more difficult.  I like nice things.  And no, I'm not content with walking into a spa for just a basic manicure and leaving.  I must have at least a couple of lovely treatments administered to my fluffy body.  I must be pampered and if that can't be done then I won't go in because I'll simply pout.  Yes, I realize how awful this sounds. 

Prior to my engagement to Eric, I should have warned him of my love for the finer things in life; however, I truly thought I had overcome this behavior during my first marriage.  You see, back then I learned the painful lesson of living out of milk crates and donating plasma for spending money.  I truly believed I had been healed of my demons.  Not so.

On one of our first weekend dates, Eric surprised me with a beautiful trip to San Fransisco.  He opened the flood gates all over again.  He reminded me how lovely it was to be spoiled and pampered.  Poor Eric.  There has been no recovery in seventeen years from that magnificent weekend.  The Four Seasons Hotel, a dinner cruise with wine and saxophone music, tours through China Town and Golden Gate Park -- every time I walked through a store he offered to buy me a souvenir.  Oh, so sweet.  Oh, so dangerous. 

Now, I'm spoiled all over again.  It's so hard to undo what's been done.  It's like trying to un-teach Pavlov's dogs -- though I don't know if I like comparing myself to a dog -- hmm, well, it's not like I haven't been called one before.

When I go out to dinner, I really dislike going to Denny's.  I prefer 5-star steak houses.  When traveling, I would wait to book rooms and stay a Sheraton or a Marriott versus a Comfort Inn or a Ramada.  Yes, I'm a brat; however, because of my plasma donating days, I am capable of going without.  I have learned to accept a Motel 6 if necessary and have come to enjoy greasy spoon restaurants profusely.  I have a confession to make...in the meantime, I have turned my dear one, my innocent husband, my love, my Eric...into a snob.

How did this happen?  I can not say with any certainty.  During our marriage he has been shown the finer things in life.  I am not solely to blame.  My parents, who gave me my early lessons in lovely hotels rooms, fine dining, and expensive vacations, have also immersed Eric in these experiences.  My man - the guy who once made me walk three city blocks with luggage through a Las Vegas hotel complex to avoid a valet parking tip now hands out $20 bills like water when someone opens the door for me.  Unbelievable.

Money.  We never have it any more.  I just don't understand why. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Uh oh, trouble in paradise...again.

I'm exhausted.  It's 9:15am MST and I'm ready to head back to bed and call it a day.  The funny thing is, all I've done this morning is drink the delicious cup of coffee my husband brought to my bedside, checked e-mail, and gone pee.  That was enough.  I'm done.  Nightie night.  Back to the deep slumber and peaceful repose of my bed.

Wait, it's Friday?  Eric should be at work today.  Uh oh.  He's telecommuting on an off day, Bri wants to stay in bed, this can only mean one thing...trouble in paradise.

Paradise?  What the heck is that?  Certainly not my home life.  Boy, I'm full of sarcasm today.  I must refrain for the sake of my sanity.  I suppose it's better than the alternative and besides, my tear ducts have been emptied, my eye lids are so swollen that I can barely see my keyboard, and my throat is hoarse from the final scream uttered before my sixteen year old hurled the phone at my face last night.  Fortunately for me, I had enough adrenaline coursing through my body to duck at precisely the right moment to avoid a broken nose; however, our wall didn't fair as well. 

Blue and green make brown.  I have a very dear friend who offered me this metaphysical advice last night:  when he's elevated, ground him.  No, sillies..not like take away privileges but get to someplace safe and imagine myself grounding both of us to the earth - kind of like with a lightning rod.  I do believe I'll need a pretty strong grounding wire for this.  Austynn once cut this wire to the house.  He had the tools and a firm conviction to clip what appeared to be a rogue something or other hanging from the cable box.  D'oh!  Perhaps there's some residual bad karma hanging about from this incident?  After all, William does have a titanium rod anchored to his skull for his hearing implant (BAJA).  He was, in front of my very eyes, almost struck by lightning in the library parking lot last summer.  Hmm...a thought to consider...

So before I received this advice and after I removed myself, younger son, and pets from the house for safety purposes, I found myself weeping on a neighbor's front porch pondering my decisions in life; the choices Eric and I had made to bring us to this place.  Nope.  No can do.  No time to feel sorry for myself. One of those decisions was staring at me wide eyed in the back seat of my car asking me if I was ok, visibly concerned, and worried about his adopted mama.

So what, my friends and loyal blog followers ask, did I do?  I stood up, attempted to dry my eyes, dropped Austynn and the dogs off at a safe location, grabbed a bite to eat, and shopped for lingerie with a friend.  Really, what a silly question!  What else would I have done?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Parents, we're always wrong, right?

I know I'm not alone in this motherly gripe.  This is not an autistic thing or let's narrow it down further, shall we? - an Aspergian thing - an issue whereas my smart ass kids need to show up their mother in every possible thing she does.  No, all teens do this.  It doesn't matter who they are or what disability is attached to their mental health records.  Kids earn the title, "Smart Ass" the moment the piss ants blow out thirteen candles on their birthday cakes.  It's confirmed.  I know, I've personally experienced it.

My adopted son, Austynn recently turned thirteen.  In his disability file it's noted that his behavior can exhibit childlike tendencies of an eight year old.  He's still catching up.  It doesn't matter.  He blew out thirteen candles a few months ago.  In my eyes, he's graduated to that awful level of "Smart Assdom".

Last night he showed me a lovely side of it and I showed the lovely side of holding my temper and walking away.

I, in my infinite need to please my son, purchased a bathrobe hook for his closet a few days ago.  It's not permanent but instead one which has removable tape that in a few years can peel off if necessary.  I made the dreadful mistake of throwing the packaging away in his bathroom.  Austynn, being one who never reads instructions but instead only looks at the pictures, told me that I put it up wrong.  So he, in his infinite wisdom, took off the hook, removed all the tape, and reapplied the hook "correctly".  Breathe mama.

When I tried to explain that he removed the tape necessary to keep the paint from peeling off the wall down the road, he continuously interrupted me, told me to look at the pictures, and insisted that he was right.  My breathing turned into spazmatic, grievous, horrifying fits of rage.  I was exhausted.  I had an incredibly long day.  I was standing in front of my smart ass thirteen year old giving me attitude waiting for me to make his bed with clean sheets, in a room he didn't bother to pick up after breakfast, after having just served him dinner that I prepared at 2:00 in the afternoon because I had three appointments to take him to that day.  Deep breath.  This was not to be borne!

I felt my eyes bulge to such a level that I truly thought they were going to pop out of my head.  All the blood which had drained to the bottom of my exhausted feet had rushed now to my heated cheeks.  The voice that exploded out of my mouth was not my own...it was demonic.  I don't - for the most part - remember all that I screamed other than the last six words..."or I'm going to beat you!"

This is when my husband rescued me.  I shoved the clean bedding into his hands and walked out of the room.  Of course, I would never beat my son.  I would never consider it.  Just words - complete and utter frustration.  I was done.  Mama had left the building, figuratively speaking.  I lay in a crumpled, comatose mess on my bed unable to move.  Such small things can drive us over the edge but really, can't I just get through one day, ONE DAY without one of my kids telling me, "I'm wrong"?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Give the lovely lady a break.

Give Paula a break!  Yes, I'm talking Paula Deen.  This lovely lady was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes the other day and every health food junky and news channel in the world came out and said, "We told you so", in a nasty, spiteful way.  Ok, I give making a cheeseburger on a Krispy Kreme doughnut almost made this cholesterol happy heart choke, but my goodness, the woman laughs, lives, and celebrates her life. 

She's right when she stated that food is not the only factor in causing diabetes; however, knowing what we know today, it does play a huge role.  Eating a diet high in fat and cholesterol could have made a huge impact in her diagnoses but I don't know Ms. Deen.  I'm not her doctor.  I don't have access to her medical records.  At one time in my life I weighed close to 347 pounds and the only thing wrong with me was that I had elevated blood pressure and I couldn't squeeze my fat ass into a roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain.  Personally, I find these negative, nasty folks ass holes.  Back off.  Give this sweet lady some time to absorb this new challenge in her life.

I've always found myself surrounded by people who say, "I can't".  110 pound twiggy girls who look longingly at a cookie and say, "Oh no, I have to go to the gym this afternoon."  People with convertibles who will never let the roof down for fear their hair will get disheveled.  Friends who've never kicked off their shoes or - Hell, ran into the sea with their shoes on for that matter - jumping the waves and screaming for joy.  

Life.  Passion.  Brownies for Breakfast.  Real Butter.  Paula's Butter.  Ok, so she's been diagnosed with diabetes?  So what?  I bet you a half cup of butter, no - two sticks of butter - that this won't slow her down a bit.  We'll hear her beautiful laughter ringing through the lowlands of Savannah before you can shake a mixing spoon at her brother, Bubba.  Why?  Because that's just who she is.  A woman who lives life to its fullest; a lady who celebrates it.  Go, Paula, go.  My shoes are on.  I'm ready to jump into the waves when you are.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I'm at it again!

My husband and I had an interesting conversation last night after a lusty day of marital pleasure (oops, too much information..my apologies) about just this - apologizing.  For what?  About writing about my second most favorite topic in the world, sex

So, my husband, soul mate, and best friend came up with a fascinating idea...start a new blog about it; sort of like this one but a no holding back, cuss all I want to (like that's ever stopped me before), use the naughty words, say what feels good, what I love about it, bawdy as all get out, rated XXX, (well, knowing this somewhat innocent Catholic kid, maybe X 1/2), write what I want to site.  Well, ok then, I WILL! 

It won't be under my name, there must be a wee bit of mystery to it after all.  There are some of you out there who may be interested in following it.  If you are, shoot me an e-mail and let me know.  I'll be sure to send you the link to my opening blog.  Until then, thanks for following this goofy PG-13 one. 

Until tomorrow!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The grossness that is my life.

I'm sorry I've been remiss the last couple of days with my blogs.  I've been too busy being grossed out here at the Potts' Family abode. 

You know, normally it takes a lot to disgust me and quite frankly, I can be fairly repulsive myself.  I hate to chase away the few remaining civilized friends I have left but it's true, I'm nasty.  However; as of late, my husband, boys, and pets have outdone themselves in the gross-out category.  All I can say to this is, "Out of my way, I need to hurl!"

In my younger days, I worked as an aide in a nursing home.  I thought this had prepared me for all sorts of horrific sites, smells, and experiences.  Honestly there were days where I would be working with a patient, God bless them, and through no fault of their own, my stomach could sometimes not endure the moment at hand.  After months of trial and error, I realized that unless I wanted to work an entire day without smelling of urine, feces, or vomit, I would need to bring a change of clothes with me.  So you see, I felt fairly confident that this early training had prepared me for a family of guys and pets.  Not so.

Where do I start?  I guess the best place would be a warning: do not read any further if you have a weak stomach for gruesome detail.  In fact, as I sit here typing and sipping my coffee, I'm wondering what even caused me to recall this awful memory.  Sometimes nightmares haunt on their own terms.  I would share some of the recent ones but they're just too fresh.  I still need recovery time.

Shortly after Austynn was placed in our home, his older brother did his best to impress him with all things gross including just how badly he could plug a toilet.  I was impressed for Pete's sake.  For 30 minutes I plunged, cursed (under my breath of course), and gagged.  With every choke, William giggled with glee.  My nine year old made such a stink that he was making his mama sick.    

I needed a break. It was a beautiful Autumn day in Southern California.  I decided to take the boys and the dog to the park and get some fresh air.  I'd deal with the bathroom when I got home.  We were gone about an hour, maybe two. 

When I opened the front door, the house attacked me with the smell of, well...need I say more?  It was horrifying.  Plus, as I stood downstairs, trying to hold the vomit down in my throat, I heard the unmistakable sound of dripping.  It was coming from the kitchen.  Brown, nastiness (can I call it water?) was dripping through the kitchen vent.  I grabbed an empty, plastic Jack-o'-Lantern (it was almost Halloween), to catch the continuing sewage, wiped up the mess on the floor so my dog didn't find it appealing, and ran upstairs to see what was going on.

It appeared that when I was plunging, the water tank on the toilet started running.  For two hours or so, all the nastiness that was in the bowl came up and overflowed onto the bathroom floor and under the hall carpet.  Breezy was not a happy camper.  I handled it as efficiently as I could with two ADHD, autistic children chattering in the background and an overly affectionate dog sniffing my butt; however, when William announced how proud he was at his contribution, that's when Monster Mama came out to play.  At this point, I was not cleaning up nasty poop water by myself.  After all, the "smeller's the feller". 

Yes, William was not pleased to assist his mother in the clean-up.  He shared this loudly as I listened patiently and instructed him how to use the disinfectant.  While we were in the midst of this project, the humor of the situation kicked in.  Austynn, in his little six year old innocence, whom William had been trying to impress that he plugged the toilet to begin with, stood gravely pale in the doorway behind us.  He too looked sickened by the situation and said without hesitation...

"Oh William, I would not be proud of this!"

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Trust: my new curse word.

When I was young, my parent's bedroom and closet doors had locks on them.  I found it to be so demoralizing.  We had never given them any reason to place locks on the their doors, or so I thought.  Now that I'm an adult and understand some of the issues my parents had with my older brother, I can see where this may have been necessary; however, I remember then making a solemn promise that when I had a family of my own there would be no locks on my doors.

Thirty years later, it's official - the Potts' family is on lock down. I can't believe we've come to this, but we have. When Eric and I are upstairs or out of the house, the refrigerator has a lock on it. The pantry door has been changed to one with a key lock. My bedroom and closet door now have locks on them. How devastating.

When Eric placed the dreaded keys on the kitchen counter last night, I wanted to cry.  So this is what we've come to?  Our little inner circle in the middle of Colorado?  The four of us, who need to trust one another completely, went out and purchased over $100 dollars worth of security for ourselves last night.

I'm sure some of you are wondering why the refrigerator and pantry?  Why can't our kids help themselves to food and drinks when they're hungry or thirsty?  Nothing - within reason.  But when entire blocks of cheese or items needed for meals go missing or the pantry is raided at 2:00am and the food is hoarded between mattresses and in closet corners, extreme measures must be taken.  Our kiddos, in particular our oldest, are not allowed to wander from our sides in markets.  Before leaving stores, we do thorough pocket checks.  He gets angry but he doesn't consider our indignation.  There's obviously a reason it must be done.

Our room has a lock on it to keep the boys from rifling through our dressers and taking things.  We know this has happened from finding missing items throughout the house.  And, personally - I do appreciate having some sort of privacy.  Our closet has been locked to keep batteries away from Austynn.  In fact, the few electronic things he did get at Christmas will be donated to a little boy at church who didn't receive any gifts at all.

I feel the restrictions; the locks, the alarms, the consequences...stifling and out of control.

This week also culminated in some horrific fights between the boys and, of course, us.  When the crisis team interviewed Austynn, he explained that he's frightened of his older brother.  Eric and I have now been asked never to leave the boys alone together.  The lock box that is our home has become just a little bit tighter.

Last weekend, Austynn's respite worker determined that my son is too much of a responsibility for her.  Yes, I would trust any autistic kiddo would be when his medicine was not administered and she took him along with three other special needs children to a convention center for a fish and game expo. 

Lovely.  No time off and trapped in a lock box  with two fighting, angry, autistic, behaviorally challenged teenagers.  I'm wondering if Eric should have bought a dead bolt for our bedroom door?  Overkill?  Perhaps.  But I don't put a lot of trust in these cheap, flimsy locks now a days either.  Trust: my new curse word.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Something amazing placed us here.

Prayer.  It's a powerful thing.  It doesn't matter what faith you believe in, heck - no faith is necessary for prayer.  Then how, do you my friends and loyal blog readers ask, does one pray and to whom does it get directed?  Now, this is the complicated part...to whomever or wherever the wind decides to blow your thoughts or your mind directs it to go.

You see, it's all in one's perspective.  I believe we pray in one form or another everyday; the believers and the non-believers.  If more people stopped and meditated on this idea, we'd have less war and more corner play grounds.  Uh oh!  Tree Hugger..TREE HUGGER!!!  Don't worry, I'm not a card carrying flower child; however, there's something to be said for that lovely generation of people who chanted, "Make love, not war."  

Yes, I hate violence of any sort.  When my voice rises above a normal level and I hear myself yelling at my boys, I wonder who the heck allowed the screaming maniac into my house?  When my ex-husband and I used to fight, it made me sick to my stomach.  That's not the person I wanted to be.  That woman was not the Bri he married.  Instead of hurling crystal vases, I should have listened to what my inner voice was saying.  I should have stopped and prayed.  I would have left him sooner.  We both would have been happier.

Prayer.  I go to a Catholic Adoration Chapel for an hour twice a week not because I have to but because I want to.  I sit quietly before the Holy Eucharist (this is where Catholics believe that Jesus is present and displayed in a special holder called a monstrance) and meditate.  Some people, who are not Catholic, would find this silly.  That's fine. It's not their business to judge how or what I choose to place my faith in. The chapel is quiet and peaceful.  My prayers come pouring out of me like cool rain from a summer thunder storm.  Everyone has their own place.  If they're not religious, their prayers may rally around them while they're driving, sitting in the sunshine, or playing with their animals.  Funny how prayer works.  Some people don't know when they're doing it or would deny it to be prayer.  How could it not be when their thoughts are concerns about a family member, admiration for the sunset, or joy for an animal? 

I truly believe that it's the moments when we're most at peace that connect us spiritually even across the threads of time; the people who came before us and those who'll follow in our footsteps.  We're never really gone, are we?  Something amazing placed us here, pushed a big button, and said, "you all have a common thread of oneness about you".  Let's blow that out into the wind and see where it lands.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

We all know what happens when we assume...

I'm a jack ass.  For those of you who personally know me, half of you are shaking your heads in agreement, the other half are thinking, "Bri?  Yes, she can be a little quirky at times, but she's not that bad..is she?"  Yes, it's true.  I am.

I judge people.  I suppose everyone does, but I'm the queen of judgmental jerks.  I can take one glance at a person and rule out ever going out of my way to say more than three words to them.  It has nothing to do with how many teeth they have or if they're not wearing designer clothes.  Quite frankly, those things draw me closer to people.  It's the look on their face; the steely resolve in the eyes or the downturn of their mouth.  Anger or toughness.  I don't like that countenance.  To me, it's as if the person has intentionally built up a wall which says, "I dare you to be nice" and my quiet response is, "Ok, screw you".

Last night, at church of all places, I was taught a wonderful example of just how deep my -- get ready for this, it's a new Breezyism -- my jackassonyism can go.  Eric and I teach a lovely group of second graders Catholic catechism on Tuesday nights.  (I know, some of you my friends and loyal blogs readers are thinking, "She cusses like a sailor and is the most irreverent woman I've ever had the misfortune to read.  How does she dare teach innocent children about the Lord?"  Easy, I hold my breath and count to ten.  Now who's being judgemental?)  One of the little girl's mothers is a very quiet, stand alone, angry looking young lady who's never approached us after class. I, being quick to assume, didn't like her and felt sorry that my student had such a grouch for a mama.  Nice, Bri.

A lot of our students come from very needy families.  As it turns out, this little girl is one of the neediest.  I actually didn't find out from my student but from her mother.  After class, as the parents picked up their kiddos in the church, this young lady asked me a question about next week.  We ended up talking for close to an hour.  Perhaps she's angry because her home was foreclosed upon in the past and is currently on the verge again with three small children?  Her husband has continuously been laid off and shifted around between states three times in five years?  She stands alone because she's fairly new in town and quiet because she has no one to listen to her chaos and concerns? 

By the time we said good-bye, her little ones were complaining of sore feet, we were laughing in church (I'm certain God will overlook that), and she was apologizing to Eric for keeping me so late.  We hugged long and deep.

I really, really need to stop judging people.  I'm missing out on some amazing hugs. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ladies, it's all about the headlights and I'm not talkin' cars...

I've never made any secret about the fact that I'm big chested. It's a Baxter/Bryant family curse (though some smaller gals would highly disagree).  Live with these tatas for the majority of your life ladies and you would understand the inconvenience.  Sure, sure they get a lot of admiration from the opposite sex and sometimes from the same sex; however, they're cumbersome.  They create problems that we large boobied girls can only commiserate with, for instance...

Living in cold climates is not always a good thing.  I can't tell you how often I have to check my headlights, so to speak. Now if I had small, perky, happy tatas which are always where they need to be, this would not be a problem.

Years ago I worked at a restaurant where the uniforms where fairly low cut, thin, white, french maid blouses.  The air conditioning in the building was always blasting.  Do I need to go into extreme detail here?  There were days when I would walk in, literally go straight to the restroom, stand under the hand dryers, and wait for my nipples to warm up.  I couldn't take orders from customers looking like that.  I was a distraction!  There were times I would get groups of male customers requesting to sit in my section.  It got so bad that I bought a pair of oversized, clear glasses to wear.  In fact, that's how I met my first husband.

"Excuse me, miss..."  (He was sitting at the coffee counter as I was ringing up a charge.)


"Weren't you just wearing glasses a second ago?"


"Don't you need them?"


"Then why do you wear them?"

"Do you really want to know?"


"Because men tend to stare at my boobs before they look at my eyes."

He blushed, was startled by my response, looked at my chest, laughed, and said, "You know, it worked!".

Today, living in Colorado, it's seems like it's always cold.  "Eric, are my headlights straight?"

"Perfection, my dear."

Little, mosquito bite girls just don't get it.  We large chested girls need to make adjustments all the time.  Our tatas can be high beams or one can be a little to the left, a little to the right, and God forbid, in another 15 to 20 years (or sooner) need some serious lifting action.  How depressing is that?!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

The zit that was and won't go away...

If you haven't guessed it by now my husband, Eric and I have very strange and quirky senses of humor.  Obviously, to be married to one another, it's a necessity.  It was also one of the main attractions that brought us together, sort of like bees to honey. 

I believe I've mentioned this in one of my earlier blogs, but when Eric first entered my life it was in high school.  He quite literally jumped into a group friends I was with at a dance, all but one of whom he didn't know, and started nasty dancing with us.  Our mutual friend laughed, the other girls uttered their disgust, and I thought he was fantastic. I asked him out the next weekend.  The rest was history and fate.

Years later, after my first marriage and divorce, we figured out we were soul mates (we were a bit slow to understand God's master plan) and all we did was laugh.  We giggled and enjoyed the silliness of our situation.  We were virtually given an amazing second chance.  How could we not be joyful?  Not only did I have this opportunity but Eric had survived surgery from a brain tumor (yeah, I know...what?!  Another blog entirely.  I can't write about a zit and a brain tumor in the same day.  It just doesn't seem appropriate.  Keep following my posts and you'll learn all about it eventually.).  We lived life to the fullest.  We celebrated.  Which somehow, in a very bizarre and twisted way, brings me to the title of this blog.

On our first New Years together, 1995, we went to Las Vegas and rang it in.  We were hoodwinked into staying at the Circus Circus Hotel with my older brother and other siblings.  Definitely not my first choice in places to stay.  Pink Formica rooms in cheap, nasty, obnoxious hotels tend to make me angry.  We booked it and at the last minute, everyone else pulled out.

Perhaps it was Eric's nerves but at some time during the weekend he had developed the most God awful zit I had ever seen in my life.  It was on his chin and it was mesmerizing.  I couldn't look away from it.  I was spellbound.  Unfortunately, I am not one of those people that can leave something like that alone.  I must tend to it.  A pimple as gruesome as that can not be allowed to wander about in public, not by my side anyway.  It was a distraction.  I could not concentrate.  I could not focus.  It was all consuming. 

Eric, on the other hand, would not allow me to touch it.  It was the first true test of our relationship.  When he was resting, I would attack it.  He would wrestle me off of him.  When we were walking, I would stop and trip him mid-stride.  It was too much for me.  I was overwhelmed by the the volcano that had become his chin. 

While we were at the hotel, we spent a lot of time on the midway.  This is an area where gambler's kids can be found playing arcade games and doing other assorted silly things.  Eric took a magazine cover picture where his face was superimposed as the character of Indiana Jones.  The "zit" is clearly visible in the picture. 

To this day, whenever Eric is nervous, this same awful pimple reappears.  We reference it as the, "Indiana Jones' Zit".  And now the irony is, it's become contagious.  It's rubbed off on me.  I get the same awful pimple in the same horrifying location.  Eric just laughs.   Karma I guess.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Let's be happy!

Shiny, Happy People.  Yes, I think those are actually song lyrics.

Where am I going with this morning's blog?  I'm trying so hard not to be negative as far too many of my blogs have been lately.  Hell, I've unfriended people on Facebook just for sending grumpy, "my body hurts this morning" posts.  I must turn things around.  I must, I must. 

Perhaps it's the weather.  It's cold.  Well, duh.  It's winter in Colorado.  It tends to be on the cold side.  Hmm...positive things going on; my birds haven't died yet.  This front study must be the coldest room in the house but these silly, little chirping critters go on and on and on driving me to distraction.  Oops, wait..this sounds rather negative.  I must work harder on my next paragraph. 

Austynn has only asked for breakfast five times since waking up.  Normally, during the first two pre-dawn hours on a Sunday morning, he requests food between each cartoon commercial interruption and it usually has something to do with Pop-Tarts.  D'oh!  Try again. 

It's Wild Card Sunday for American Football.  My team, the Denver Broncos, are scheduled to play at around 2:30pm here in town.  I'm looking forward to this.  Who cares if they're predicted to be humiliated on our home turf surrounded by thousands of out of town Steeler fans.  The fact is that they made it to the playoffs.  Good for them.  Not only are they in the playoffs, but I get to gorge on thousands of calories worth of chips and dip while listening to my husband stomp and scream at the stupidity of the play calls and failure of the offense.  Boy, I'm feeling so much better already.

Wheew..nothing a little bit of good ole' fashioned positive thinking won't do to start my day off right. 

Happy Sunday everyone!  *wink*

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Please, take them!

God bless respite time!  Respite is a lovely gift of free babysitting given to us by the county where we live.  They take Austynn off our hands for several hours during the week and virtually say to Eric and I, "Breathe".

It won't be available forever.  It's limited, and of course with everything in this day and age, dependent on available funding through the county.  The men and women who have given us this blessed time away from our fire bug have seen the desperation in our eyes.  You see, our family is a family in crisis.  Not only do we receive respite from Austynn but now our home crisis therapist is looking into hours for William.  Yes, he's sixteen years old.  One would assume he could stay home by himself.  Not so.  Our trust in him has evaporated into dust.  We could hire costly sitters to watch him but he manipulates.  Somehow he would get around our rules and the sitter.  The best and easiest prospect for our peace of mind would be that he's not home when we're gone.  Oh respite.  Loveliness.

Last night, Austynn told me that he changed his mind and decided he didn't want to go today.  I almost laughed out loud.  Very carefully and with as much patience as I could muster, I gently explained to him that respite wasn't necessarily for him.  Even though it was fun and he did interesting things, respite was also for mom and dad and I had no intention in the world, in the universe, in the galaxy (at that point, I believe I had lost my maternal sensibilities) to ever cancel his day with Miss Gayle...EVER!  Oops.  He looked a little shocked.  Did I mention we're a family in crisis?

A family in crisis.  How do I define us?  Four individuals doing the very best we can without self-destructing on a daily basis.  When we started this little experiment in togetherness, Eric and I thought we had it "goin' on".  The two of us had enough love to fill the United Nations building.  We could manage whomever Family Health and Human Services brought to us.  

Family Vacation 2008
Now, ten years later, a psychiatrist, individual therapists, a home crisis therapist, an occupational therapist, a pending second psychiatric review, special education classes, IEPs (Individual Education Programs), a plethora of behavioral drugs, a history of court misdemeanors, arson, shoplifting, etc., Eric and I are exhausted.  That love, well - it's hanging on.  We still have it but it's wearing thin.  Every time the word, "Bitch" is thrown out or 4-letter words are etched into bathroom cabinets we wonder how much longer can we survive.

God gives us only what we can manage, right?  So I ask You, Lord - how much more?  


Friday, January 6, 2012

What to do? What to do?

I'm free, I'm free!!  How does this happen?  What a rare event this is when I look upon my schedule and see not a blessed appointment.  Let's write it down, shall we?  NO!  Let's leave it blank.  It looks so pretty, so clean, so fresh.

By the way, for those of you, my friends and blog readers, who follow my daily ramblings on a consistent basis, you'll be sad to know (but most likely not surprised) that my E-reader/scheduler Christmas gift has already gone kaput.  Yes, it's broken.  It took just one day in my purse for it to say, "Bri, you're a maniac and I can no longer survive your hectic lifestyle."

I was honestly quite distraught over the entire situation.  I had spent the evening before setting all of my January dates and appointments into it.  Of course, my poor husband, Eric spent his entire Christmas day loading it with my personal information.  So my two hours was nothing compared to his seriously stiff neck.  My opinion is that if the manufacturers can't make these silly things sturdy enough to withstand a few bumps in my purse, than they're worthless to begin with.  I was aware it was in my bag and was extremely careful not to whack my kids as hard as I usually do.  Oh well, such is life.  Back to my free day..

My first thought, I can finally scrub the toilets!  But then I said to myself, "Bri, what drug is still in my system from last night?  Seriously?  Is that the best I could do with 8 hours of no chattering children and a husband not begging for unsolicited snuggle time.  Heck no!  A movie perhaps?  Shoot, no money.  I went grocery shopping yesterday.  Friends over for lunch?  I would have to prepare a meal.  Sit outside in the sunshine?  It's overcast.  Darn it!  What to do...?  What to do...?"

I guess I might as well get the cleaning bucket out and be somewhat productive today.  Maybe I should fold and put away the laundry on my dining room table..??  Naw, I think I'll take a nap instead. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My Purgatory is in Thornton

I believe every one's Purgatory is different.  Being raised as a cradle Catholic and as a practicing witness to the faith, I still feel strongly that this is a viable option when we "kick the bucket", so to speak.  Even just recently, I've had intense dreams where I've visited with relatives, some of whom I've barely known, waiting in their own personal waiting places to see the Lord.  It's all pretty nifty and of course, controversial as I type about it, but it is what it is.  I'm not willing to go into great depths to describe my experience.  Let's just say, I've shared the stories with my mom and she and I have both been pretty amazed at the level of detail I've experienced.  For this sailor mouthed, obnoxious chick to be given what we think I was given, well...what an incredible gift.  It gives me a profound sense of peace.

HOWEVER, I also feel there must be another type of Purgatory - one here on Earth and it is located in Thornton, Colorado - in the Potts' family abode. 

I never intended to be a half-empty kind o' gal, really.  I haven't always been this way.  There was a time in my life when I would wake up smiling, ready to face the day, prepared to meet the challenges ahead of me, and excited to do battle with whatever presented itself.  Now, I want to hide.  I'm worn out.  My body is pooped, exhausted.  My mind is thoroughly kaput. 

Last night was the latest onslaught of corroded batteries and burned copper wires found in Austynn's bedroom.  Eric and I just re-attached his bedroom door after his last 6 month trust problem from the burning carpet issue.  This past Christmas, my husband and I suffered multiple complaints from our son about how sad his holiday had been because he received no electronic toys.  He almost had me feeling guilty.  Almost is the key word here.
Now we have to find the money to place a dead bolt our closet door.  Lovely.  Perhaps with our personal safety concerns here in Thornton, God will show us some mercy and allow us to skip the whole after life Purgatory thing and give us a free pass right to Heaven??  ...Kind of like a Get Out of Jail Free Card.