Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Sister

Yeah, I have one. That's her on the left. Five years older. My brother is on the other side. I'm the little Orangutan looking baby in the middle there.

Families are hard. You can pick your friends, you can pick you nose and you can even pick your ass but you can't pick your family. You get what you get. Being embarrassed by them is a waste of time, trust me. I would know. Sometimes you have to love them enough to tell them how much they suck and on this Thanksgiving after making phone calls to my family, all but my sister, I find myself a little annoyed.

I love my sister. I feel like I need to say that but my animosity towards her has reached a fever pitch. And I don't want any responses from this post telling me how life is too short and I should accept her for what she is because this goes way beyond that. You can say that to me when your 46 year old sister has been jobless for over twenty years, uses TENN CARE and her son's injury settlement like her own personal piggy bank and seems to enjoy watching the cycle continue in her children...and Grandchildren. Did I mention I was from Tennessee?

My brother discovered, much to my shock and dismay that my sister was on Facebook. Now you're going to have trouble understanding how earth shattering that is without a little bit of back ground so here it goes. My sister once (in 1999, maybe) asked if I'd talked to my brother. I told her that I hadn't talked to him but I'd emailed him. Her response, "What is email?" She just isn't up on the latest things and where she lives, to be honest, it isn't necessary. So perhaps you can understand my chin dropping to the ground when my brother sends me an IM, "MELODY IS ON FACEBOOK!" I immediately responded with "NO SHE ISN'T!" because there was no way my sister had a Facebook account. It was just inconceivable to me but sure as shit, I searched her and not only did she have one, but my nephew did as well. My initial response, I was furious.

I was furious because she's had a Facebook account since September 27, 2010. She has 176 friends and she even has as section for family and none of her family are listed. Well, he son is. But the other people listed as her "daughters' are of no relation that I know. This isn't a "You didn't friend me on FB!" thing. This is a "How dare you send my mother a letter over the summer begging her to bail you out of jail when you'd been on Facebook for eight months with an easy way to contact her or me to tell us you and your children were OK and you never made the fucking effort?" That is so offensive that I can't even explain properly how my blood is boiling. So incredibly selfish and self serving.

I'm not going to post any recent photos of my sister for a couple of reasons. First, while my blog is about my story and my life as I see it, it isn't about hers, until it intersects with mine. Then it becomes my story to tell. A photo of her with a boyfriend I haven't met, a photo of her in her cap and gown when she received her general equivalency, neither of those are mine to share but photos of us when we were younger are. I'm also not sharing them because she's fallen so far that to be honest, her recent photos are difficult to look at and I just don't like to.

I have all of the family photos as well as my Grandmother's china because she couldn't be trusted with them. She wouldn't take care of them and show them the respect they deserved. This has been proven time and time again. Thank God because they'd be on an episode of Storage Wars right now instead of safely in a chest down stairs at my house.

I've been asked time and time again since I moved away from Tennessee "Why did you move away from your family?" Trust me, it wasn't easy. If I remember correctly, I cried for at least 40 miles and even had to pull over at some point because I couldn't see the road through my tears. It was tough but there are times in your life that the hardest thing to do is the right thing. I could have lived in Nashville my entire life and been absolutely nothing and it would have been OK, perhaps even expected. My sister is a failure and I mean at almost everything. I love her so that is difficult for me to say, but it is the truth. She dropped out of school in the 8th grade and that's where her mentality stayed. She's never grown past that point and at 40, I'm just tired of waiting. I haven't spoken to my sister since I finally found her well over three months after the HUGE flooding in Nashville about two years ago. I searched her out. None of her phone numbers worked, but they never do. I contacted local businesses and even residential addresses around her until someone finally found her. Her response, "What?"

Seriously? Is she so stupid that she didn't for one second think that her family would be concerned for her and her children after a flood like that? People died!! She didn't once think of calling one of us to let us know they're alive? No, she didn't and there is only one reason for that. She didn't need anything.

My sister calls, whenever she's in jail. Written promises of a payment plan and all the ways she'll make it up to you if you can "just help me out this one time." The last time I bailed her out it was to the tune of $2500. There were lots of promises that time. She's not made one attempt to pay anyone back and we know she has no intentions. Selfish. She's just selfish.

I've stopped making the effort. I guess it's been two years now. Her birthday is the day before mine. I'd call and wish her a happy birthday and at the end of the call she'd say. "Happy birthday tomorrow if I don't talk to you!" Yeah, that meant she wasn't calling and she didn't. She doesn't call for Thanksgiving, She doesn't call for Christmas. She doesn't call on my children's birthdays. There were years when I would drive to Tennessee, pick her kids up and drive them for a week at my mother's house in Georgia. I'd buy them some new clothes, school supplies, things they needed and then I'd drop their ungrateful asses off with her and drive the twelve ours back to my house. I stopped doing it when I had kids because, I have kids and that trip isn't as easy with a two year old and because I don't want my children around the lifestyle she has chosen for herself. In that world people lose their kids as often as they get arrested which I tell you is all the fucking time. I'm not interested in being anywhere near that. I want more for my family.

My sister is the reason I think trailers are the worst form of failure. She's the reason when we run out of toilet paper or milk I feel like a failure. She's the reason why my kids always look nice even if we're only going to the market. I don't know how to absentmindedly throw an outfit on my kids because I don't want to feel like I didn't give it any thought. I just don't know how to do that and the dirtiness of my young nephews stuck with me and I refuse to allow my own kids to appear the way hers did. It was just wrong. She's the reason I own so many bibs for River and worry so much about her clothes. The intelligent adult in me knows that they're only clothes but the feeling of poverty and dirtiness I see when I see a child in stained clothes and a dirty face is unsettling for me. She is also the reason when my house is cold, I feel poor because there were times (often) she didn't pay her bills and she and her kids would all sleep in one room because their house was freezing. Yet she was never with out pot. That seemed to always be the one constant. I wasn't the one in a cold house but knowing your family is in that situation weighs on you. Perhaps me more than her. Twenty+ years of having that weigh on you takes it toll.

I was talking to a friend one night not so long ago and I confided that I needed to slow down on buying the kids clothes. River more so than Owen. River didn't walk until she was almost 23 months old and when she did, I went crazy buying dresses. You can't wear a dress well when you're crawling. It's just difficult so now River has so many dresses that I can't fit them in her drawers, even after giving away three boxes worth of clothes. She had probably 20+ dresses laying over the rocking chair in her room because I have no place to put them. I told my friend this and she turned to me and said "What void are you trying to fill?" To be honest, it was an excellent question. The answer after way too much thought is that I just don't want to feel poor. I mean I already think like a poor person in that I buy cheaply (most of the time) but something about not having what I need or nice things like a new dress for my daughter, makes me feel dirty and pathetic and I blame my sister for that. For all the times I gave her kids gifts to visit the next time and they were either broken or had been pawned. For all the things my nephews did without because she took their money and used it to buy drugs. For all the times we couldn't send them cash in their birthday cards because she would take it. I blame her.

The truth is, my sister is the worst thing I could ever imagine being. That's a terrible thing to have to say about your sister. Every youngest child wants to be able to look up to their siblings and I feel like I have that with my brother but I've never had it with my sister and as a little girl growing up, I always wanted that and never got it. I want so badly to be proud of her but she never gives me the chance. It's shameful and I'm tired of feeling guilty for it, I'm tired of the constant concern I have to have for her because she takes care of nothing. I hear people say "my sister and I are nothing alike." I always laugh because I think they have no idea.

If I could say one thing to my sister today it would be this, It's Thanksgiving at my house too. It sure would be nice to have a big sister I was proud of but I gave up on that the time you shot up drugs in front of me when I was twelve. I have children and I want more for them than you clearly want for your own. They're good kids that you'll never know but get over yourself and do for my kids what I did for yours. Send them a fucking Christmas card. Know when their birthdays are. It's really not that difficult to care about someone besides yourself. Try it for once in your life. Also, while you're at it, tell me who you think is going to pay for your headstone, because I'm not.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"I Could Refer You To A Clinical Psychologist"

Mother of all things holy!

My husband took the day off, which was nice. My kids have been a special kind of crazy this week and I have no idea why, so it was nice to have him here knowing I had a doctor's appointment later today. A doctor's appointment alone? I was sure it would be like a mini vacation!

Chris made breakfast this morning and after I finished washing the dishes, we went to the market to shop for our Thanksgiving dinner. The In laws are coming up tomorrow so it isn't just us. We're keeping it relatively small but the smallest turkey we could find was over seventeen pounds. We did pretty good polishing off the leftovers last year. I just hope my husband understands that next week he'll have turkey in his peanut butter sandwiches, underneath his corn and at the bottom of his cup of coffee. It will be everywhere. I like turkey but I would have preferred a Cornish game hen. Meh..whatever.

We got to the market early as to hopefully find a turkey that wasn't frozen solid. We did. In fact, most of them were thawed. I'm not sure what you do with a frozen turkey on Thanksgiving Eve. So we got our things in spite of the place being full of crazy people who just stood there and get the hell out. I was really careful when I picked out the turkey because last year Giant tried to wipe out my entire family by selling us a rotten turkey. When I went (on Christmas Day ) to return it, they had nothing so I was forced to go to Safeway and purchase what was probably the most disgusting piece of meat that we ended up just throwing away. I'd like for that not to happen again. We'll see. If you don't hear from us for a week, send the police to our house.

On the way home from the market I stopped by the fabric store and signed up for knitting classes. You'd think knitting classes would be easy to come by but they were kinda hard to find. Michaels, nope. JoAnne's, nope. The only reason I found this class was becauce I found an atricle about the girl teaching this class as I was searching for knitting in my area. And these aren't just any knitting classes, this is Irish knitting! Please don't ask me what that means because I have no idea. It may just involve pounding Guinness while you knit. I don't care. It sounds romantic. It's a three week class that I start in December. Hopefully I'll learn something. I'm excited at the prospect!

Later in the day after I'd done some prep work for Thanksgiving and my daughter was napping, I grabbed my Kindle and went to my mini vacation, I mean doctor's appointment. I was going for two reasons. One, while I was at my mother's house last week, I thought I felt a lump on my side. Not a big gigantic mass, but something hard that I didn't feel on the other side. Since I'm of the chunky persuasion I almost didn't go thinking it was probably nothing and I felt kinda stupid going to see my doctor when I tried to find it this morning and couldn't. Two, and this is unrelated, I have a clear learning disability and I think it's time I made an attempt to find out more about it and what can be done. If nothing else it could help me understand my son's disability and how to better help him. It would also be nice to read a book like a normal person without having the Kindle read it to me as I read. Retaining some of what I read would be nice as well.

So as I laid down on the table and was explaining to my doctor that I felt stupid because I couldn't find the main reason why I'd come to see her, I found it. It took me a minute and it was higher than I remembered but it was there. It isn't tender, which she said was a good thing but it's there and I'd like to know what it is. I asked her if it felt like something that shouldn't be there and she said "It definitely shouldn't be there." OK, now what.

I have an ultrasound Tuesday at 8 AM. I knew it had been too long since I had a near catastrophe. She mentioned that it was near my incision from gallbladder surgery and that it could just be scar tissue, but the ultrasound should tell me. On to the next issue....

I explained my learning disability issues to her in hopes she could steer me in the right direction. I understand it isn't a medical issue but as a medical professional I thought she could refer me to someone who could help. She listened to me explain my iseues and then sat down and said, "I could refer you to a clinical psychologist." My mind screamed "You must be fucking kidding me!!!"" My mouth said "Is that where I have to go, really?"

My first thought was to scrap the whole thing.

Then I thought of my son and if understanding myself better would help me understand him, I at least have to try. I had immediate visions of explaining to a psycho doctor that while I lived in an orphanage for a while as a kid, don't have the best relationship with my father, have a sister who I never talk to and is in and out of jail more often than I fart and have a family that is, well, distant, that I'm not crazy, depressed or even confused. Hey, I'm not saying I don't have issues, I do. I just don't let where I've been dictate my life. I found out years ago that being a victim didn't benefit me so I stopped. But that isn't my only issue with psycho doctors. This may shock you but I tend to be a little arrogant and don't like being told what to do, even if it's just hinted at. I'm just not opened to it. To say I'm an insufferable patient is an understatement. I once had a psycho doctor tell me that "perhaps you could attempt to be a more forgiving person." Really? They sent you to school to learn that shit? I told him, yeah him, "You know nothing about me if you'd even suggest that." I never went back. I'm not paying someone to blow wind up my ass an hour every week.

So while I will go out of my way to locate a reliable psycho doctor on Monday morning, I won't be happy about it. I know one thing, I want a woman. I've had both male and female psycho doctors and I like women better. There are certain professions that I just prefer a certain sex. I never questioned that my children's pediatrician had to be a woman. I would never have chosen a man. I want my dentist to be a man. I want my neurologist to be a man. I want my surgeon to be a man. I want my general practitioner and yuck doctors to be women. My Urologist is a man and I love him. I love my female Endocrinologist as well but I could take that either way. A man wouldn't bother me. I know there are good doctors in all these professions both male and female but I choose what I'm comfortable with and usually it's a woman. I certainly wanted a mother for our pediatrician. I thought that was paramount. How can you get practical advice from a non parent man? If it makes you feel any better, I like the person who cuts my hair to be either gay or crazy. Right now, she's crazy.

So in the end I got a referral for an ultrasound which I need to fast for so I scheduled it for Tuesday. I'm trying to get someone to watch the kids so Chris doesn't have to take the day off. I hope the results come in quick because while I'm sure it's nothing, it will worry me until I hear someone say that. I also have to call an attorney for a totally different issue involving my son. I was hoping for a uneventful week but I should have known that was a pipe dream.

So, on Monday I get to call a doctor and a lawyer. Add an Indian Chief to that and we've got ourselves a fucking nursery rhyme! Yay me!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Walmart is a Shithole

I wish I just meant that my Walmart is a shithole but sadly, I don't. I mean I think my Walmart is a special case of filth and laziness but all Walmarts suck these days and it's a shame. Poor Sam Walton must be turning in his grave over the crapfest his dream turned into.

Where I live we have a choice of two Walmarts. The newer "Super" Walmart by the airport and the "Armpit" Walmart by my son's school. I'll be honest, neither one of them is great. The one by the airport is better but it's by the airport and that's a bit of a drive from the school. I just didn't want to make a production of the few things we needed. I dropped my son at school this morning and River and I drove to the closer one, knowing ahead of time that it is a big ole' mess. My theory was this; Breaking Dawn is coming out tonight! I'm going to see the midnight showing with a friend and then I'm going to turn around and see it with another friend tomorrow night. Nothing can stop me today. My "Isle Esme" tip top mood can not be broken...right? RIGHT?

We needed dog food. Dog food and a birthday gift for our friend Logan who is turning two today. We're going to his party on Sunday so we've got some time to play with but I wanted to find something good so I'd have it done.

We walked into the building that houses Walmart and River immediately runs to this jet ski ride that I always let her ride when we go. It's only $.50 and she loves it so what the hell? I helped her crawl on top in her kick ass rockstar boots (which are not made for jet skis) and she gets situated. I pulled out my black "I Run with Vampires" case (yeah, I have one) and dug out the two quarters I needed. I dropped the money inside while saying "Now hold on River so it doesn't jerk you" as I put in the last quarter.......nothing. I banged on it a few times....nothing. I checked to make sure it was plugged in...nothing.

"Sorry River, this P.O.S. is broken. I'll get you a treat inside."

"OK, Momma." I helped her down from the faux jet ski, kicked it once with my own boot and we walked into Walmart.

Ummm, nothing like the smell of Marlboro Reds and failure to get the morning going. Now this Walmart really is a treat. It's dirty, it generally smells like stale sausage and the people who work there would rather chew on their own feet than go to work. I know these things before I get there. The reason I go to this one is because it is (or was) a regular Walmart and not a "Super" Walmart. I'm from the south. I remember when Walmarts were still a good place to go. I remember when they were clean and people were proud to work there. Also, because I'm from the south, I know what a real Super Walmart is. It is a gigantic Walmart where a grocery store is added in addition to bigger departments within Walmart. Here (which I understand is technically a southern state because I know where the Mason Dixon is but come on) a "Super" Walmart means they shrink a regular shitty Walmart, delete departments and take things from departments to add a grocery store that carries old fruit and shitty milk. The Walmarts here suck and there is nothing southern about this state and the only people who think that are people who are from here. Not judging, but this ain't the south, that's all I'm sayin'.

So a "Super" Walmart does nothing for me and I know if I want to find something, I have to go to the normal Walmart where they still have shit. At least that was my plan until I discovered they're turning this shitfest into a "Super" Walmart. I mean if a normal Walmart carries fifteen types of laundry detergent and they take away five of those to shrink the department, am I seriously the only one who notices that? Granted, they're not going to get rid of Tide but I don't use Tide so I noticed.

We walk into this Walmart hunting dog food and a birthday gift. Oh, we also needed a Santa hat for daddy. Upon our entrance we had to walk through a Walmart "pep rally." If you 've never seen such a thing, every vision the words conjure up are true. I'm not even going to get into it but it was like walking through a 1970s, really bad movie, complete with rainbow footed socks and horribly fake eyelashes. I'll just leave it right there.

Anyhoo,I went for the Santa hat first because that would be the first thing I'd forget. I found it. $3 and right under the blow up decoration of Santa taking a shit. Total side note but if I drive by your house and I see this shit in your front yard, I am going to pull over, dig my special Eclipse pen from my diaper bag and drive it into that hideous monstrosity. Consider it a gift. I know your neighbors will thank me.

We got the Santa hat and moved onto the dog food. It was easy enough. I mean it was so high on the top shelf that I had to make River hide behind the cart while I knocked five bags onto the floor just to get one. Whateves, I got my dog food. Not very customer friendly but no surprises there. Veruca eats good tonight. Then I moved onto the toys.

Sigh....Walmart is not the place I like to buy toys but I was trying to kill two birds with one stone so I looked around. I found a toy that Owen had when he was younger.

He didn't have the exact one but it was similar and he played with it for ages. I thought Logan would love it so I threw it in the cart. Now we'd probably been in the store for over thirty minutes at this point and on my way to the checkout, I realized I'd forgotten to get him a card. I circled around and searched for the cards that aren't where they used to be because everything is in the process of moving. Even the front door is in a different place and the directionals are so poor that you have no idea where you're going. I find the cards and behind me, this "pep rally" is still going on. Now I have no idea what would take thirty minutes to discuss between these people or why some idiot thought it was a good idea to not only block up the isles with this thirty person gabfest but to block up the front entrance. I mean, really? Think it through people! Do you not have a stockroom? You have to do this where we walk into the store? I guess it makes sense to some people to stand around holding your dick while you're store is falling apart. There was cheering. It really was off putting.

So, I got my card and headed to the checkout after looking for the new Entertainment Weekly that I knew wouldn't be out yet. There were four isles open out of the over more than fifteen or so. Why not? God knows you don't want to break up "Walmart University" in the name of customer service. So, I waited. I was third in line and I wasn't complaining. If you go to Walmart looking for a smile and to get out quickly, you're an idiot.

At some point one of the managers walks by and starts pointing at the customers behind me. There were three and he points at them to go to other registers as opposed to waiting in this longer line. If you've ever been in this particular Walmart, you probably would recognize this guy. He's got the shiniest head you've ever seen and the worst hair plugs. It actually looks like he's got a dark coloured donut under his plugs. Oh wait, was I not supposed to notice that? He's apparently not only a client......

Call me crazy but when new lines open up, doesn't common sense (something else you shouldn't be looking for at Walmart) dictate that you take the first person in line to a newly opened register and not the three people directly behind her? I look at him like "Are you a fucking idiot or what?" because that is exactly what I was thinking and he actually said to me, "Sorry Ma'am, there were no more registers. Without blinking I responded. "No shit, really? You don't say?" Fucking. Moron.

So finally I get to the front of the line and Chainsmoker McCheary checks me out. Brush your hair much? Is there no dress code or hygiene code at Walmart? I'm going with no. I know it's gross but I honestly expect some of these people to be walking around with shit stains in their underpants. Most of them seem so dirty. How does someone not notice this?

When I put the toy I'd gotten for Logan on the counter I realize it's been banged up and scuffed so I don't want it for him. Instead of waiting in the "Customer Service" (another thing not to look for at Walmart) line twice, I go back, get another one and bring it up. Now, the one I am replacing it with is filthy. I mean it looks like it's been sitting outside there is so much dirt on it but it's the kind of dirt I can wipe off whereas the other one was not fixable. I wasn't happy about it but I took it to "Customer Service" anyway to switch it out. They only had two so if I wanted this toy, it was my only option. I'm not even sure these photos show the level of filth on this toy but it really is terrible. There are only two reasons why someone would be proud to work in a store that allows their shit to look like this and that is because you are a buffoon or because you are a buffoon.

Nothing annoys me more than having to walk someone through something. I mean it's not my fault you're stupid. Why should I have to educate you on your own job? It's like me walking up to you and saying, "Do you know how this diaper works?" After being completely ignored by the chick on the left with no teeth, I walk up to the counter and slam the toy down after she starts helping someone who was just walking by. I just start talking. I'm annoyed by this point and I would just like to go home and cleanse my daughter and myself.

Here's the conversation:

Me ~ "I just bought this. It is damaged. I am returning it and buying this dirty one." Straight to the point as not to confuse her.

Stupid McStupidton ~ "You want to do what?"

Me ~ Heavy "Sigh...I am returning this one." Hand on top of the toy. "I am buying this one." Hand on top of other toy so that a goat could understand.

Stupid McStupidton ~ "You want the dirty one?"

Me ~ "Yes, apparently this is the best y'all can do and I can clean this one. I can't meld plastic back together. You take this one." I push it towards her because her ineptitude was wearing on me and the only thing keeping me sane was the vampire sex in my near future. "I am taking this one." I picked up my receipt and I walked away. She said something but unless she wanted to chase me out of the door that I couldn't find, I wasn't going back. As it is, I walked to the wrong end of that vile obstruction of a store and had to turn around and come back, passing Shiny McHairplug on the way out. Thank God my mood wasn't compromised before I got there. These people have Edward Cullen to thank for that. They have no idea! Make fun of Twilight all you want but that shit saved your ass today!

Moment of Zen...Moment of Zen....

........Must move on......

I walked out of Walmart ready to spit fire and I couldn't wait to get out of there. I mean I felt dirty and my dog is going to have to eat something else because I plan to shun that place for a while. Here's the kicker. When I pulled out the toy to look over it's dirtiness, I noticed something. See that empty spot where a car should be? That's where Lightening McQueen goes. HE ISN'T THERE!! I HAVE TO GO BACK TO THAT INBRED CATASTROPHE OF MISSING TEETH, WRANGLERS AND LOVERS OF WAFFLE HOUSE!!

Fuck me. I'm just returning it and doing what I should have done to begin with. I'm going to Target. Those people may be assholes but at least they bathe. Also, I like red.

I feel dirty.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Hotel Room Smells Like Vomit

For the first time ever I decided to load up my brood and drive them the 10+ hours to my mother's house in Georgia. I've made the trip in 9.5 hours by myself but with my chitlins in tow, it took 12. No biggie. They were really good in the car so it didn't feel like that long at all. They never bitched and moaned about getting out of the car or screamed for different music. River did knock her DVD cord out a few times so I had to stop to fix that.

We spent a few days with momma and then I drove up to Nashville to visit with my father and his wife, see some friends and get a really good haircut. It was the first time daddy had met my kids so that was nice. Owen spent the whole visit asking what kind of food they have. I swear his next meal is always on his mind.

Since it's a bit of a drive I decided to get a hotel room just outside of Nashville. The haircut is tomorrow but today we left Georgia around 7ish and drove to Tennessee. We visited a friend, drove by the house I grew up in, went to Centennial Park to see the Parthenon, visited my Grandparent's graves and even hit a Confederate Cemetery on the way up just for shits and giggles where I got to hear a recorded speech about how the Civil War was not about slavery, but states rights and the distortion of the meaning of the Confederate flag, ummm, ok.

I've always loved cemeteries but only stopped here because it was right off the Interstate and River had kicked out the power cord to the DVD player again. I'm not poking fun at the cemetery or the men buried there but I could not possibly disagree with anything this guy said anymore than I do. That aside, it's moving to see headstones that are marked only "Unknown Soldier." It must stink to never know.

When we rolled into the hotel both kids were asleep and it was only 4:30. Time wise, we are totally lost. We live in Eastern time, drove to Central time and we fell back on Sunday. I'm so fucking confused that as I sit here I can see three clocks and they have three different times. I have no idea what time it is.

When we came into our hotel room Owen immediately set up his Chuggington tracks on the floor and River got out her bag of Strawberry Shortcake dolls. All was good. There was some fussing when Owen kept laying Strawberry on his train tracks and running her over but I put an end to it and all was right with the world.

I noticed that River was acting sluggish. She was clearly exhausted but it was so early that I felt like I couldn't let her go to sleep. She crawled under the covers, put her head on a pillow and pulled the covers up to her neck and with a smile announced "I'm going to sleep." I thought she was joking until I looked over and her eyes were closed. She can't go to sleep at 4:30ish or she'll wake up in the middle of the night. So, because it was so early (either 4:30 or 5:30) I plucked River out of bed, dressed her, put her in the stroller and we walked over to the shopping center across the street. They have a Target and I was on the hunt for the Breaking Dawn Part I soundtrack that came out today! We passed a little shop where I bought a pink (yes, pink) dress for River with matching bloomers. They were having a 60% off sale so I bought it. She doesn't have much from Nashville and I figure this was better than a big ass ugly orange sweatshirt she'll never wear. Go Team!!! But we just don't do orange.

So we were in Target when I asked the kids if they were hungry. River said lightly "Yes momma." This should have been a tip off for me that something was up. She'd not once tried to get out of her stroller and she wasn't forceful about dinner. That's not my River but I knew she was tired so I let it go. I found a small train for Owen and looked at Strawberry Shortcake dolls for River. They didn't have anything that she didn't already own so I didn't get her anything. She didn't complain. That was curious.

I walked through Target pushing my sleepy baby while my big boy ran along side me checking out all the toys and marveled on how great the trip had been so far and how much fun I was having with them. The trip had been so easy and I was loving spending time alone in the hotel for the night with them. We were really just having a good time. Those are thoughts you should just push away because no good can come from them. They're only something you remember with a laugh after everything has gone to shit.

I found the Water for Elephants DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital Copy I'd been looking for but they only had the regular Breaking Dawn Part I soundtrack instead of the Deluxe Edition so I didn't buy it. I was bummed because I'd been looking forward to listening to it but I'd rather wait. On the way out, I asked the kids if they wanted some milk from Starbucks. I got them the milk, opened them and handed them off. River sipped hers lightly and I went to the Target food area to get them some mac & cheese and apples for dinner. I picked up the apples and looked away for a second and that's when I heard it. The sound of projectile vomit. By the time I turned back to look at her it was over. It's like seeing the coverage of a natural disaster on TV and thinking to yourself, "I just can't imagine how that happened." I immediately felt terrible for pushing her to stay awake. I don't think I've ever had to do that but it had just made sense.

She had whistled beef all the way over to my cloth Bannanarama shoes. I think that's the farthest either of my kids has ever thrown up. I mean she didn't clear herself by any means because she got the worst smelling puke all down her denim jacket and white knit dress, which is one of my favorite things of hers. I left the apples on the counter and grabbed my Starbucks napkins to catch the stragglers that were coming out if her mouth. She was so tired that it didn't even phase her but it was horribly vile.

I don't think she's getting anything and I don't think she's sick. I just think her clock is off, she's been eating mostly crap and she was in the car for most of the day. Tomorrow, I will make sure she eats better. We might even stay in the hotel as late as we can so she can get some sleep. I'm thinking of taking the kids to get a croissant in the morning and maybe some eggs. I think she'd do better with something decent on her stomach. I mean a box of milk pushed her over the edge. I'm sure it would have been the same if I'd given her water. It was just her breaking point.

So, instead of spending the night in a big comfy bed by myself like I'd planned, I am sleeping next to my four year old while my tiny 26 pound two year old is wrapped up by herself, sleeping it off. Instead of watching my baby play with her Strawberry Shortcake dolls, I got to clean her vomit soaked clothes with a bar of cheap hotel soap in the sink with water that never got hot enough. Although I've done a really good job of cleaning, my hotel room smells like vomit. I have no way of washing her clothes properly until I get back to Momma's house so I'm sure the van will smell like roses on the trip tomorrow. I guess I should just be happy that she missed her Timberlands.

Even with all that, there's an upside. River is incredibly gentle, as is Owen when they are not feeling well. I couldn't even do that when I was in high school. Hell, I'm still not sure I could do that. If I throw up it ruins my whole day. My kids just shake it off. Also, Owen is being hella sweet tonight. He's been just this side of crazy for the last few days but tonight he's being very quiet while River sleeps and occasionally touches my face with his hands, pulls me to him and gives me a sweet kiss on the lips. Such an angel.

Good times.