So, she’s two months old now. It’s like time went by when I wasn’t looking. I need to pay more attention, I think, so maybe I can stop time before it runs away with today.
So, she’s two months old now. It’s like time went by when I wasn’t looking. I need to pay more attention, I think, so maybe I can stop time before it runs away with today.
Growing up in the Charleston, SC area I had a good idea where the more secret beach spots were located. And since my husband loves the idea of getting mauled by a shark, we went often while he was stationed there.
Okay. So Ryan never actually said he wanted a shark face-to-face. But, he would go way out in the waves. Way, way out. And he would body surf in and then go way, way out again. And he kept doing this. So, even though he never mentioned sharks per se, the writing was on the wall like graffiti on an overpass in New York City. It couldn’t be missed.
I mean, hello??? Have you ever seen Jaws? Or the Today Show?
Still, even though Ryan never saw his dreams of being shark bit realized, we did have our share of ‘moments’. Most of them had to do with Joe. That was the summer Joe was what you would call a calm, well behaved, hand full of a 3 year old.
Once, just after we arrived to the beach Joe cried out, I have to go potty! And because Joe was only good at going potty in his pants I was very pleased that he was actually telling us he had to go. But there are no potties at secret beaches so I told him to just wait until we were on the beach and he could go in the water.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
We walked out onto the beach and it was actually crowded for the first time ever. Not Fright Night at the fair crowded, but definitely more crowded than a secret beach should be. Ryan and I started laying out our blankets and stuff right near one of those little tide pools because that’s where the kids liked to play.
You know that feeling you get when you think somebody is looking at you but you don’t see them looking at you because you’re doing something and the feeling is sort of creepy? Well, I got that feeling and I looked up to see that while everybody was staring, they weren’t staring at me. I was relieved. But that only lasted for about 1.7 seconds because I followed their stares to see what they were looking at. It was the tide pool. The part of the tide pool where our sweet little Joe was standing.
And he had his pants down.
And he was peeing.
In the tide pool.
Where other people’s kids were playing.
People were snickering and I was so completely embarrassed. Though I have to say that if something like that happened now I’d just roll my eyes and tell him to pull his pants up.
I mean if he was still 3. But he’s 13 now so if he did that now we’d have other issues to deal with, I think.
It wasn’t long after that the crowd started to clear out. Maybe it was because we always went in the afternoon, when most people leave the beach. Or it could have been because my kid wizzed in the water hole.
I guess that’s one way to get a beach all to yourselves.
You’d think when my house gets to be unlikable because we fell off the cleaning schedule wagon it would be wise to just go back to that schedule because it worked once, so why wouldn’t it work again, right?
No. That would be too easy. For some reason I can’t help but see fail written all over the previous schedule because, well, the house is out of wack now so the old cleaning schedule must have been flawed.
Dumb schedule ruined everything. Trash.
See how good I am at shifting blame away from myself? I should get a gold medal for blame-shifting.
So, I made up a new cleaning schedule to get us motivated and so my kids can’t say, I didn’t know we were supposed to do that. I made it last week. It took all of about 4 hours. I got sidetracked a couple times.
Heh heh. Not much good it’s done. I think we acted on it for, like, 2 days maybe.
I’m just so whiny tired. I slept good on Friday night and that gave me hope. But those hopes were dashed the next night. And the next night. And then again last night.
I just can’t seem to focus on anything. Not even sleeping.
I’ve even been considering Florida’s virtual school for homeschoolers for my almost 6th and 8th graders. Somebody please talk me out of it.
So our schedule, the new one, is really, really thorough. I’m going to post it in the house somewhere. And if it works I’ll even post it on here for you all to see and awe over and say to yourselves, Wow those Culbertsons really have things organized at their house. And you’ll think we’re winners.
Just wait for it.
One of my older boys has this thing he does when he’s really hot. He asks me if I can please turn down the heat.
You’d think he was kidding, like it was just his way of saying he is really warm. But no. He is actually asking me to please turn down the heat as if I have God in my pocket or something. And I tell him, Um… Dude, we live in Florida and it’s, like, 200 degrees outside. If you’re hot it certainly isn’t because I had anything to do with it.
His usual response: Oh. I’m just really hot and thought maybe you had turned the heat up.
So, the other night at about midnight when he came in and asked me to turn the heat off I replied with the usual and I got his normal response. I told him, because I was already in bed, to just go flick the air conditioner button to ‘on’ and it would work hard to cool him down in a timely manner. Just flick it from ‘off’ to ‘on’, I told him. That’s all you need to do.
I know better than to do what I did next. Or more like what I didn’t do next.
I didn’t go behind him to check to make sure he did it right. But I was already in bed. And I was tired. And I thought to myself, how could he mess this up? Off to on.
I was sleeping fitfully, which isn’t unusual for me. I was cold, which isn’t unusual either. I hunkered down under my comforter and tried my darnedest to go back to sleep. It wasn’t working. Lucy woke up to eat and she felt cold to me. And Jesse was unusually fussy – not really waking up, but sleep-fussing. He felt a little cool to me, too.
It felt ridiculous that we were all that cold because one of my children wanted the air on. So I struggled out from under my covers into the icy arctic air that was my house and made my way to the air conditioner controller thingy in the living room.
I flicked it to off. It didn’t go off. I gave it a few minutes thinking maybe Mr. air conditioner needed some time to wind down after working so hard, but he just kept pluggin’ away doing his job of making me feel like I was living in an igloo. I had to make it stop.
I think I actually said out loud, STOP. But that didn’t work either.
It was at this point that I considered that I might be in some weird nightmare where our air conditioner takes on a life of its own and attacks me with coldness until I freeze into a Mom flavored popsicle.
Yes, I have weird nightmares like that. I wonder what flavor of popsicle I am in this nightmare.
However, usually when I’m dreaming I don’t think that maybe I’m in a dream so that basically squashed the am I having a nightmare question and I took a closer look at the air conditioner controller thingy. Which, I noticed at this point, had been set at 40 degrees.
Yes. I said 40 degrees.
That’s four. Zero. Degrees.
My son set the air conditioner at 40 degrees. It doesn’t even go lower than that. He turned it all the way down.
I thought maybe I wasn’t seeing things right. But I was. I turned it back up hoping to make Mr. Air Conditioner realize that 40 degrees was a mistake and I no longer wanted him to blow his frigid air into my home.
Please, man, for the love of all that is good and right in this world, particularly warmth, take a break already.
He must have not understood me because he kept it up. Probably speaks chinese.
My nose was starting to go dumb and I was beginning to wonder how long it takes for frostbite to set in.
Not really. I’m just trying to convey to you the magnitude of my coldness.
After rubbing my eyes a lot and contemplating walking out into the garage to turn the air conditioner off at the breaker box I noticed another little switch on the air conditioner controller thingy that was set to ‘on’. I turned it to ‘auto’. I didn’t know what this switch was for, however, so I didn’t know what position it should be in for me to achieve my desired results.
Google was there for me. Even at 3am. Google knew.
The air conditioner turned off right about the time Google informed me that I did, in fact, want the switch set to auto. So, I went back to bed.
But with hope of warmer times to come.
I learned something. Don’t try to take self portraits unless you have a tripod and a timer or remote button or something. They always turn out looking like you took a picture of yourself and for some reason that just seems weird. I knew this before I tried it. I don’t know why I was so adamant about getting a good one. I think whole episode gave me a stomach ulcer.
Here I have carefully laid out for you the steps you’ll need to take to get a self portrait using a hand held camera. However, if you’re me, which I am so I can say this with absolutely certainty, this is definitely going to be a fail.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Step 1. Hold the camera in such a way that the arm sticking out to hold it can be cut off in photoshop without making the picture look lopsided and dumb.
Step 2. Hold the camera really still in at the angle you decided on from step 1. This won’t be easy with the kids jumping around you on your bed and little 2 month old kicking her feet furiously into your leg. Most of your pictures will be blurry. But reason states that if you take enough of them you’ll get one that’s not too blurry to work with.
Step 3. Delete picture of shoulder.
Step 4. Oh, that one isn’t good at all. Delete. In fact, delete it really quickly before anybody else has a chance to see it.
Step 5. Good. Perfect even. But try again to make the exact same face you just made and at the exact same angle but without your hair doing that weird flippy-do thing. Delete.
Step 6. You never realized you look like a man at a certain angle. Never make that angle again. Delete.
Step 7. Is that a half smile or are you feeling nauseated? Delete.
Step 8. Open your eyes girl. You look like you’re drunk. Delete.
Step 9. Not that wide. Now you look deranged. Delete.
Step 10. Now you’re trying to hard. Delete.
Step 11. Snap a whole bunch one right after the other hoping that at least one of them will be good enough to edit to great in photoshop.
Step 12. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete…
Step 13. Take that only picture that was only a little less-than-bad and mess with it in photoshop until you look like a zombie and the light you’re in starts to take on an uncomfortable orange glow.
Step 14.Undo all that photoshop work you just did.
Step 15. Think up a way to still use it on your blog so you don’t feel like the photography session was a complete waste of time.
Step 16. Go make the kids dinner while you debate whether you’re actually brave enough to post the picture.
Step 17. Go ahead and upload picture but just make it really, really small so hopefully nobody will notice it.
Step 18. Never, never try this again.
I was trying to get a picture of myself to update my blog profile (fail) and realized that Lucy and I have very few pictures together. Not since she was first born has a picture been taken of me holding her. Which is funny because there is always a camera out and I hold Lucy more than anybody else does.
So, since our resident photographer is on a fun vacation at Disney with our neighbors who wanted a mommy’s helper for the trip, I got a wild hair and decided to try to get a picture of us together all by myself.
This is about how it went.
Me: Lucy, smile.
Lucy: I’m tired. I don’t want to smile.
Me: It’ll just take a minute. Just smile for a second.
Lucy: Seriously, mama, I’m tired. I’m not going to smile. You can’t make me.
Me: Just do it for mommy. Please?
Lucy: You’re wasting your time, Lady, and you know it. Let me go to sleep.
Me: Just smile really quick and then I’ll let you sleep.
Lucy: If you don’t let me go to sleep now I’m going to make my eyes look like ghost eyes in the picture and you’ll be creeped out.
Me: Don’t be dramatic…
And Lucy not trying at all. I made it smaller so I would feel less embarrassed by it. I don’t know why that would work but it feels like it should.
I would put up the best one of the bunch but there wasn’t one that deserved the word. They were all less than bla.
Just wait until you see the one I got of just myself. That post is coming soon. Maybe.
For the record I don’t think taking self portraits with hand held cameras should be legal. Just sayin’.
I can’t wait to get my photographer back.
I have to post this video:
Because of this post.
And if you have a tendancy to laugh at funny things you may want to put down your coffee for a second.
I want to tell everybody something. This may baffle you as much as it has baffled me. We’ll see after I tell you.
Actually, you probably won’t be baffled. You may even get bored and exit my blog and delete it from your blog list.
But I’m going to say it anyway.
I slept really, really well last night.
Yeah. You’re not baffled in the least are you. (I know that’s technically a question but I meant it as a statement. Do I still have to put a question mark at the end?)
I slept really good last night and that’s saying a lot because I’m just not good at sleeping.
I mean, I like sleeping. I like it a lot. It’s one of my favorite activities ever. It’s just not something I have any talent in at all. Like singing. I like to sing. I used to enjoy belting it out in the car (while I was completely alone, you understand) trying to pretend I was a good singer who could make it big someday. Then one day I realized that it was no good and I was completely inept at singing and I just gave up my hopes of ever making a living at it. And now that I think about it, it was a wise choice because I would not ever, ever, ever, want to be famous, not ever in any sort of fashion except maybe here on my blog where I can control everything and never actually have to talk to anyone face to face because I can’t go back and edit face to face talking and that’s just scary to me. That last part was a joke. Sorta.
That’s kinda like how it is with sleeping. Except the giving up part. And the hopes of ever making a living at it part.
Can a person make a living as a sleeper? That line sounded like it could maybe be derogatory so I put a line throught it. And I think I just used the word derogatory wrong but whatever.
So I slept well last night, like I said twice already. And I even drank coffee at 9pm because I thought it was way earlier because of the stupid time change that has me all messed up.
I know that was, like, a month ago, but I just don’t handle changes to my delicate sense of time very well. And just as I acclimate myself to the new way of doing things they’ll go and change the time on me again and my life will feel ruined again for another 4 to 6 months.
It’s a sick joke the government made up while they were bored once.
Maybe I should move to Arizona. They don’t change time there because they don’t fall for pranks so easily. I know. I have people there who are very smart.
So I slept well last night (I know. I’m being redundant. I’m sorry.) even though I had coffee at 9pm and the time change has me all messed up and I have a 2 month old baby girl. Oh my goodness she is so cute sleeping in my lap while I write this. I love how babies always have their fists all balled up. But in a very non-threatening kind of way.
I’m going to stop writing now and go get a cup of coffee and maybe wipe something down so I’ll not feel like I wasted my day telling you all how I slept well.
Today we drove to the airport. When we got there I remembered how much I hate the complexity that is that place.
*Just a tip here* Don’t accidentally go towards the parking lot if you are only wanting to drive through the terminal/drop off area because you can’t just back up and turn around and you’ll have to pay money to get out of the parking lot. And then you’ll still have to circle back to the drop off area that you missed the first time which is a disagreeable adventure all by itself. And if you don’t have anything to pay your way out of the parking lot with the money changer lady will look at you like you’re the village idiot and sigh heavily and possibly shake her head in disgust. It will be embarrassing. And then she’ll go home and her husband will ask her how her day was and she’ll tell him that the education system in this country needs a complete overhaul because even people driving giant white duty vans can’t read signs and follow directions at 15mph.
She may even quit her job.
It’s happened. Not today. And not to me. But I’m sure it’s happened to somebody because I’m always afraid of it happening to me so it must be a legitimate concern.
I’m just sayin’ that I hate the airport. I’m just not good at it. Plus, having to follow directions while driving at the same time makes my eye twitch.
After some quick business at the airport we drove away and missed our exit. I ignored attempts by my children to guide me back to where I was supposed to be because, as cute as they are, not one of them has been gifted with any sense of direction that can be relied upon. I opted to keep going straight and magically I met the highway again and hopped on. The rest of the trip was cake. Cake’s good.
Then we, myself and all 8 of my lovely children, went to the super discount grocery store that doesn’t bag groceries so as to save us money. Don’t knock it. It works. We bought 3 weeks of groceries for our biggy family for just $250. Besides, who needs grocery bags when you have 6 boys.
Two very full baskets of food stuff later I checked out, and then while Joe tried to get in the way Kait loaded the unbagged groceries in a maticulously orchestrated mound so that they’d all stay balanced in the back of the van just long enough to quickly shut the door before everything started to tumble down. This is an art. I should definitely have taken a photograph to prove to you how awesome she has gotten at this. You’d may or may not be blown away. I think it would depend on your mood.
Then, because my husband is a coffee snob, and Lucy’s skin is what we call ‘delicate’, and our water tastes like soapy pool water with rotten eggs in it we went to a second, not so discount grocery store and got even more stuff without using any coupons whatsoever. I know I should be ashamed of myself. But I’m just not.
Then we came home. Lucy cried for all of 3 minutes during the trip. We managed to not get the most cantankerous buggy in the cart holder thingy. The eggs didn’t get broken. And I didn’t have to threaten anybody with bodily harm.
In fact, the most eventful part of today was Matthew and Gabe’s joint effort to destroy the pickles in our driveway. And Lucy’s highly explosive diaper.
How ’bout that.
You know once I hit publish something will happen.
Just wait for it.
One time we had this guy that wouldn’t leave our apartment even when we went to bed. I’d call him Weird Guy Who Doesn’t Get When It’s Time To Go Home but that sounds a bit over-reactive. So we’ll just call him Weird Guy and move on.
On one of Ryan’s little sea-going excursions while he was stationed on the Vinson, he got video of stuff like giant waves and jets taking off and all kinds of other I’m-a-the-new-guy-who-is-cheesily-videoing-everything stuff. But not classified stuff. Just in case the government is reading because they’re bored or forgot what they’re supposed to be doing or they’re lost or something.
And there was Weird Guy, who he worked with, who also wanted to see the video because he was a cheesy new guy too.
This was way back in the day when wearing a pager on your belt was still considered cool. It was even before memory cards and thumb drives and stuff. The device Ryan took on the ship with him was a sweet-awesome mini video cassette camcorder we got for a steal as an open box buy at Best Buy or some place like that. It was our very first impulse buy as a married couple. And how sweet is it that I remembered that?
So Weird Guy had to actually come over to our apartment to see the video because Ryan had to connect the camera to the TV because the little VHS tape, while cute, didn’t fit into any normal sized VCR. And we didn’t have a VCR anyway. We spent all our money on a camcorder.
I was pregnant and vomiting everywhere but the video was only, like, 20 minutes long. I didn’t think it would hurt to let Weird Guy come over and take a quick look-see. He arrived somewhere around 7 or so. Plenty of time to watch and go before I needed to go to bed.
Here is where I explain why we let Weird Guy into our bedroom.
When Ryan and I got married we were very poor. We had a bed and a TV and a papasan chair that looked cool but was the most annoying thing to sit in. Seriously, whoever created the papasan chair is just a step dumber than those of us who thought they were cool enough to spend money on.
We had no living room furnature. No kitchen table.
I think we had a bench in the living room with the papasan chair.
Our TV sat on the floor in our bedroom. We’d lay on the end of our bed and kind of look downward to watch stuff. It was awkward but that’s how we did things back then. Awkwardly.
Weird Guy had to come into our room to watch the video. He creepily sat on our floor in front of the TV (I say creepily because he was, in fact, creepy. He sat there in almost complete silence staring at the TV like Carol Anne). He watched the 20 minute video and then I said to myself, Yay. So glad that’s over because I really want Weird Guy out of our room so I can go be sick without worrying about him hearing me heave.
But Weird Guy did not leave. He just sat there making odd conversation with Ryan, who had turned off the video and turned on the TV. It was uncomfortable for me but Ryan is good with odd people (he married me, so you see…). He carried on, switching channels and such while Weird Guy just sat there, staring.
This went on for some obnoxiously long time. Finally I got into some sweats and climbed into bed and laid down. Weird Guy was still sitting on the floor. Ryan mouthed something to me and shrugged his shoulders and said, Well, I think we’re going to go to bed now.
Weird Guy still didn’t budge. I was beginning to be sure that allowing Weird Guy to come watch a video in our bedroom was the most less-than-smart idea we’d come up with ever.
I’ll assure you now, however, that it most definitely was not our most less-than-smart idea. We’ve made many-a-more stupider choices since. I’ve been known to wonder about my husband’s and my decision making skills.
So, Ryan got up and started preparing things for bed, whatever that means. I think he ended up just turning off the TV in the middle of whatever we were watching. But the truth is I don’t rightly remember what caused Weird Guy to finally leave in the end because by that point I was in some kind of nausea induced wide awake coma.
I do remember it was pretty late. Like close to eleven.
And I remember checking all the doors and windows after Weird Guy was gone.
And I moved the TV out of our room not long after and put it on a bench or something in the living room with the papasan chair that I hated but pretended to love because it was supposed to be cool.
P.S. Ryan came home just as I was finishing this post and I asked him if he remembered what he did to finally make Weird Guy leave. He said it was when I was hurling in the bathroom. He told Weird Guy, Hey man, you’ve really gotta leave. So he left.
He also said there was dinner involved. Like Weird Guy ate our food then went back into our bedroom to stare at the TV some more. That actually sounds right so maybe it is.