11/23/2022

Random Wednesday

A few random thoughts as we stare down the long Thanksgiving weekend:

  • The Sleepy Pup was given two tiny pieces of steak fat last night at dinner and now is suffering a tinge of pancreatitis. So yeah. No fat for him ever. We had thought (hoped?) that a tiny bit wouldn't be too much. Not so, it seems.
  • Hubby unearthed big stump rounds and has set them up for youngest to shoot arrows at. Youngest is now dressed in the old Assassin's Creed halloween costume outside firing arrows for hours on end. It's a delight.
  • Eldest is asking what chores I would like him to do. I suspect he wants something big and amazing and is buttering me up. I will at least have clean floors prior to dashing his hopes and dreams.
  • Just kidding. I know I'll probably say yes. I'm a sucker.
  • My sister and cousin arrive tonight. They are moving back to the area. They have yet to find out when their belongings will arrive from California. The long-term plan is to live with Dad, but since - in preparation for them having their own things - Dad cleared out the guest rooms, they'll be staying with us until that happens.
  • I am looking forward to hubby having Friday off. Hopefully he'll actually manage not to work on his day off. The "benefit" of being set up to work at home is that sometimes he works even when he doesn't need to be. I'm sure his job appreciates it. I do not.

11/21/2022

Same As It Ever Was (Thanksgiving Dinner Edition)

As seems to ever be the case, I started out this lovely Thanksgiving week with no food in the house to speak of. I certainly was not in possession of all the things I will need on Thursday when everyone descends upon the house for the nosh.

So, I thought myself quite ahead of the game when I rounded up the kids, loaded in the van, and carried us forth to Costco, thinking I could surely kill all the birds with one stone at said location and get eldest some long sleeved shirts to boot. (Because he's been wandering around in short sleeves and finally, upon cornering him and asking about it, it turns out he's outgrown all his warm shirts. Sheesh.)

I was thrilled to land a decent spot out in front of Costco. Little did I know this would be the best part of the trip.

They had no turkeys. 

I honestly believe they just never were selling them start with this year? I don't know. I'm used to seeing one freezer case full of Butterballs when I'm there around this time of year and I was a little stymied by the fact that, having chosen this year to be a turkey year, I was now going to have to go elsewhere to get one.

Also they had no green beans.

Or whipped cream.

Or sparkling apple cider.

It was like the Costco twilight zone.

They did, at least, have long sleeved shirts and various other sundries we needed (dishwasher pods, but alas, no dishwasher rinse aid!)

After checking out, to a tune more expensive than what I intended because, haha, my membership had expired so I had to renew as well, I eyed the contents of the cart and decided it was going to necessitate a trip to Wegmans. Since we were just down the road from same now (vs going home and taking another 30 minute trip at some other point sometime between now and Thursday) I deemed it cold enough to risk just getting it over with.

Wegmans, thankfully, was chock full of turkeys. The only small problem came when trying to find something in the ten pound range instead of the 30 pound area. Because we most definitely do not need a bird that big.

We found nearly everything that we needed this time. (Except the dishwasher rinse aid. But that was more a trying to rush through the store and just get done and so I forgot thing than them not having it. Probably. We didn't actually go down that aisle.)

I'm sure I forgot something.

But it may end up that this year that becomes something we do without. Because the grocery store at Thanksgiving is not my favorite. Nor will it ever be.

Some day I will plan ahead enough that I don't end up there during this week.

11/19/2022

Tool Time Tales

The new dishwasher is fantastic. I think I can hear a quiet choir of angles singing, "Ahhh--AHHH---ahhh---ooooo" when I open it.

Maybe only in my mind, but still.

It actually cleans the dishes. (Wonder of wonders!) And they're dry when it's done!

Magic.

I've also become someone who has opinions about paint brands. And because this is my blog and all six of you who come here are gluttons for punishment, I will now regale you with said thoughts.

My least favorite is Benjamin Moore. I wanted to love it. I love that they only distribute to smaller retailers. I love their colors. Their website is easy to use.

And yet.

Their paint is thin. It drips. It splatters when you roll.

And maybe you're saying that's user error, but it's not a problem I have with any other paint brand.

And when it comes to covering the grey on our walls, the Benjamin Moore paint required three coats.

Middle of the road is Sherwin Williams. (Or Sherman Willhelm as hubby has taken to calling them. Why? No ideal. But there it is.) Their paint doesn't drip, but it does splatter when rolling if you're not uber careful and slow. They have an app. (Because of course they do.) And that's kind of fun, except also I'd rather just look on their website at colors.

You can buy some of their colors at Lowes. But the rest (read: majority) you have to go to an actual SW store. And I think I mentioned here how much trouble we had finding a store that had the correct base so that we could actually buy the paint we wanted. (If I didn't, let's just say it was a multi-week, multi-store operation that was significantly frustrating.)

It needed two coats of Sherman Williams to cover the grey.

Most favorite? Valspar. From Lowes.

It covers in one coat.

The paint is thicker than the other two, so it's not dripping on the wall or making big splatters when you roll, even if you get going at a decent clip.

It covers in one coat, did I mention that?

And then there's the ease of acquiring it. Because we're going to be at Lowes for other things anyway, so it saves a trip elsewhere.

Of course, even after all of that, I'm eyeballing some Benjamin Moore colors for the school/music room. But I might take the paint chips over to Lowes and see what they have that's close enough. (I don't do color matching at Lowes, because they frankly suck at that.) And of course, the neutral for halls and stairs that I chose is Benjamin Moore, so it's not as if I'm never using them again, for all that I don't like them as much as the other options.

And now, I should be off to help the hubs install a new fan/light combo in the bedroom, because for whatever reason, the prior owners weren't fans (ha) of lights that actually made it possible to do silly things like see in the room when it was night.

11/15/2022

Numbering the Days

The new dishwasher comes tomorrow.

To say I am excited is, perhaps, an understatement.

Of course, seeing those words in print makes me cringe a tiny bit inside, because, well, it doesn't seem normal to be excited about a new dishwasher. Still, perhaps you'll understand a bit better from the following conversation this morning.

I go downstairs and, after coffee, open said dishwasher to unload and reload (because no one reuses dishes around here I guess? I don't know. I just know the sink is always full.) And I'm greeted with a clearly dirty dish right there in the middle of other dishes that are clean (ish) and exclaim, "It's like you're not even trying."

Hubby says, "Me?"

"No. The dishwasher."

He laughs. "It's not that bad."

I point to the dishes and quirk a brow.

"Oh. Well, new one tomorrow."

And then I commence re-writing Tomorrow (a la Little Orphan Annie) to be about the demise of the dishwasher.

I'll run it one more time tonight (because no one ever reuses a dish and it's better to start out with clean for the day when possible) and then I will tap dance on its corpse when they haul it out from under the counter.

(Well, I won't. But I will want to.)

11/09/2022

Watching "Monk" Did Not Prepare Me for a Child with OCD

It's not a big surprise, really, but goodness. I know I've been guilty of a little teasing fun about OCD and let me just say, that's stopped.


Eldest doesn't have the germaphobe kind (turns out there are 4 major types of OCD. Who knew? I mean, psychiatrists, I guess, but it's not what I would have ever considered "common knowledge.") He's a "checking" and "intrusive thoughts" guy, mainly -- although I see some hoarding tendencies with certain things.

It feels like germaphobia would be easier to deal with, but I imagine I'm wrong in reality with that.

I just know that these two kinds are absolutely miserable to watch your child battle.

And what's funny (not in a haha kind of way, really), is that the checking has been present for most of his life. He always needs to know where everyone in the family is. The first words out of his mouth in the morning tend to be, "Where's SleepyPup?" And I tell him. Then it's, "Where's Dad?" I tell him. "Where's brother?" I tell him. He just needs to know.

Then we move onto "What are we doing today?" Even though our schedule is pretty consistent and I have a big whiteboard calendar in the breakfast room (which I started because I was tired of reiterating our schedule ten or twelve - or more - times a day. Now he just goes to look. But I still have to say it at least once.)

We go through the "Where's X" routine at least two more times during the day.

Before bed, it's "What are we doing tomorrow?" And another run through of where everyone is. And he checks the locks on all the doors. And makes sure lights are in his preferred on/off state. 

I'm pretty sure he adjusts three-way switches so that they're all in the same position on the wall plates. (To be fair, when they aren't, it bothers me, but I generally don't fix them. I just try not to look at them or dwell on it.)

When we're out and about, the checking is amplified. Where's his brother? Then there's a lot of anxiety about brother's behavior. (And yeah, I mean, I have that anxiety too. Because ADHD is hard, too.) But eldest checks and corrects -- and I assumed for a long time that was just overbearing older brother.

Nope.

But it's more than that. Do I have my purse? My phone? My keys? The shopping list? He carries a backpack full of essentials (like a first aid kit and pocket knife) at all times. 

I've begun to wonder if the Boy Scouts' "Be prepared" motto stems from someone with OCD.

And it all teeters precariously and spirals into out of control panic when checking doesn't result in the order he needs.

Is it amusing (it sort of is. But also not really) that for all of that, his room is consistently an absolute disaster?

With the swirling panic that's been amplified lately, I've just begun to see how much of my day is actually devoted to reassuring him that all's well in the world. 

And that doesn't even touch on the intrusive thoughts. Which in his case are simply devastating. And overwhelming. And seemingly insurmountable.

We're getting help, but nothing is immediately effective (because of course it isn't) and for now, things seem to just get worse and worse with each passing day.

It's hard. For him, most of all, absolutely. But for the rest of us, too. Because I find myself stepping into the role of She Who Manages and Regulates Everyone's Emotions. Which leaves me ridiculously few resources to manage and regulate my own. 

11/05/2022

On Dishwashers

The dishwasher in the new house is not super amazing at doing the whole "washing" part of its job. Mostly, it sterilizes whatever you put in it, but if you want it to actually get something off said dishes, well good luck to you.

It's been annoying.

Now that the other house is under contract and the bridge loan is dealt with, it's been nice to start prioritizing the things around here that need addressing.

Today we went out to look at dishwashers. I was content to just look and price things out, but hubby was swayed by the fact that "Black Friday prices" have already hit, so he's just as happy to do it now and move along.

I was down to either a GE or an LG (although I went in there planning on a Bosch, but the one I wanted wasn't going to be available "anytime soon. Probably at least a year." Stupid supply chain.) Ultimately, LG won out by a slim margin (mostly consisting of the $200 cheaper price point.) 

It'll be delivered the 16th.

I came home and stuck my tongue out at the dying Whirlpool machine sitting in blissful ignorance.

10/28/2022

Baby Steps

As of yesterday, we are officially under contract on the old house. I would be happier about it if the market hadn't shifted so much lately that we're well under what we should have been able to sell for if we'd had a decent realtor in the summer. 

But whatever.

I'll breathe easier when it's closed in 30 days.

Yesterday, I had the joy of ordering the HOA docs for the new owners and it was just one more big middle finger from the HOA people to us. $322. For a link to download the manual.

Three hundred twenty two dollars.

For a download link.

I'm so glad we're out of the world of HOAs and I have no intention of ever being part of them again.

I also had the "parent onboarding" zoom with the therapist for eldest. She seems competent and able to hopefully give some good coping mechanisms for the OCD. (Have I mentioned when all was said and done he got an OCD diagnosis? I don't know what I did and didn't put here.) We'll be working out meds as well, but everyone/everything I've read suggests a two-pronged approach is needed. So that's what we'll do as it's really reached a point of impacting his life negatively.

Of course, both she and the psychiatrist (who we also see for younger's meds) have to probe about our homeschooling decision and act as though that's solely responsible for his problems. And the social anxiety part (because he also got that diagnosis) would just be so much better if he was in public school. Oh wait. Regardless, with eldest, I just told him look, if she asks about it, be honest. He's like "I don't want to go to public school. All my friends who go hate it." I just smiled.

I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and give her a little shake though and just say, "Can we treat the problem and not look for other things to blame?" 

Anyway.

Here's hoping for a little bit of a breakthrough on this front as well.

In the meantime, I went to my doctor and got my meds increased. Because I joked to hubby that my meds weren't strong enough for my life currently and he just kind of looked at me, eyebrows raised. And I was like right. I can fix that.

So I did.