Diary of a Tired Mom: Dead of Winter Edition

Diary-of-a-Tired-Mom

I’m afraid that all of my motivation and Type A-Ness was housed in my uterus. It’s been nearly six weeks since its removal, and I don’t feel like running, eating vegetables, eating less Christmas chocolate, writing, cleaning, educating my children (which I am managing to do anyway – whether quality education or not), or really much of anything else.

I mean, I kinda want to do those things, but my ability to make myself is….lacking.

I am positive that my motivation has been morcellated and yanked out through my bellybutton in confetti-sized pieces. I signed a lot of paperwork for that surgery, but I know I didn’t approve that.

My Only Hope is that it is actually the deadly mixture of the cold hellish depths of winter and the lack of uterus that is actually causing this steep decline in productivity, and that, come spring, I’ll be a normally contributing member of society yet again.

Which brings me to this pondering…

The idea of New Years Resolutions is the stupidest idea of the entire human race. Amie’s comment on this post caused me to ruminate on the absolute awful timing of this concept, and I think we need to lobby for legislation to be passed to END THIS IDIOCY.

How could there be a worse time to try and make huge overhauling lifestyle and diet changes than right after the end of the holidays (depressing!), when we still have loads of chocolate (yum!), in the deepest, darkest, coldest part of winter (we need those carbs to survive!), and besides the fact that January in general is proven to be the crappiest month of the year?

We are literally torturing ourselves into extinction with New Years Resolutions. This is probs what happened to dinosaurs and dodos.

In their place, I propose that we should have Daylight Savings Time* Resolutions. A clunkier naming, sure, but so. much. smarter. We shall diet and exercise when we get our extra hour of daylight back, when Spring is starting to peek around the corner, and when hope fills the world once more, when fruits and vegetables are available in abundance – that’s when we have the energy and mental fortitude for such things as resolutions!

*OBVIOUSLY, I would rather pass legislation to stay in Daylight Savings Time all year round, but if I can’t do that, No More New Years Resolutions is a close second.


You know that bizarre list of traditional wedding gifts that includes romantic notions such as tin and wool? I think we need to make that list more practical and rewrite it to be entirely made up of re-buying wedding presents as they run out of their useful lives.

1st Year: You don’t have any money, but you’re still coasting by on fresh wedding presents. Anyway, your love is gift enough. Maybe splurge and buy a bag of celery.

2nd Year: There is definitely a random minor appliance you got for a wedding present that was a lemon and has now quit working. Is it a can opener? Iron? Vegetable chopper? Replace that bad boy. Otherwise you’ll spend the next five years frustrated that you didn’t.

5th Year: Your comforter is old and has pills on the fabric, not to mention that nasty stain from that one time you tried to drink cranberry juice in your bed while half-sleep. Plus, you probably hate that design by now. This year’s New Traditional gift is: ALL NEW BEDDING!

6th Year: Those three times you’ve actually attempted to iron, you definitely melted something. From now on, every attempt to flatten wrinkles will also include appliqueing old burnt plastic onto the item of clothing. But just throw the thing away. You’re never going to figure out the ironing thing, and the dryer plus a damp washcloth works passably for your level of domesticity.

8th Year: Yo – truth time. Your towels are disgusting. They’re ragged on some edges and pulled into tight spirals on others. They have bleach spots even though you’ve never used bleach your entire marriage. The gift of the year is towels. Your butts will thank you.

10th Year: You are on your second toddler and he has now thrown away all your forks and half your spoons, leaving you to attempt to shovel steak into your mouth on your ridged grapefruit spoon. It’s time for the gift of silverware. But don’t buy that ridiculous $50-a-place-setting kind that you received as wedding presents – at this stage of your life, it’s best to invest in the 108 piece box set on clearance at TJ Maxx. You still have a toddler, after all.

11th Year: Did you know you were supposed to replace your mattress last year? Happy Anniversary! Go lay on 257 mattresses and freak out about the most anxiety-inducing purchase you’ll ever make. And – spoiler – you’ll still pick the wrong one. Then you will attempt to use The Force to hurry along the next ten years so you can try again to get it right. (You won’t.)

17th Year: Your bowls are all chipped, and your plates are ravaged with silverware scrape lines. This year’s traditional gift is a new set of casual china. Plus – c’mon. Your taste in dinnerware was crap when you gleefully danced through Macy’s with that delightful registry gun. Now it’s time to get something you really like.

…But no matter how many years you’re married, the gift of the year is NEVER a Kitchen-Aid mixer, because those things never die – even if you’d really like an excuse to get one of those fancy multicolored ones.


24-36 hours after I cut onions (no less, no more), when I take a hot shower, once the room gets steamy, my shower is filled with the smell of fresh onion – as if I were standing in the middle of a 500-acre onion farm and just pulled up a perfect onion bulb. I believe that my skin is an organic diffuser that is specially adjusted to diffuse the onion’s essential oils. My superpowers are marketable – that is, unless everyone has this skill. Please report in immediately.

A Journalled Year.

This delightful kid turned eleven yesterday.

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Ali recorded her year much better than I did, so I thought we’d tell the story together.

January 2017: her tenth birthday, and when she finally allowed me to start calling her a tween.

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Also, she made sure to record her little brother’s fairly impressive abilities.

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February: She’s always up for a craft project of any kind. In fact, she may craft harder than anyone has ever crafted in the history of craftswomanship.

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She also ran her third 5K (and began feeling eerily close to me in the height department.)

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In her February writings, she took the time to express her lifelong displeasure in the Chick-Fil-A cow’s ability to spell. (She has long told me that she thinks it’s just awful that they teach little kids how to spell wrong. I did not know, until reading her diary, that she uses them as a scapegoat for her own spelling missteps. It’s fair.)

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March: She’s always excited about any adventure and more willing than ever to take risks and try new things.

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She also recorded this fairly quirky moment.

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If you can’t end a story of inexplicable mouth bleeding with TTYL, are you really tweening?

April: She’s a model oldest cousin,

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She’s cool enough for awesome sunglasses but not too cool to bury her Dad,

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And she doesn’t believe in spoilers. Even in one’s personal diary.

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May: Who needs water shoes to walk on a rocky riverbed? Not ten year olds.

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Ali finished her Alabama History project with flourish,

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Our last field trip involving standing under one of Alabama’s finest accomplishments.

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She always loves reading,

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And, when necessary to tell the story correctly, she believes in a good, solid illustration of crying and injured children.

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(And, if you cannot properly see the injury due to scale of drawing, by all means show a magnification.)

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June: She’s an angel. Especially when compared to her competition.

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She’s still 100% committed to her literal lifelong best friend, AJ.

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And she realized that she likes having a pictoral journal of herself, so is willing to pose for any picture, including holding a giant peach that most believe to actually be a giant peach-colored butt.

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Also, ants are the worst, no matter what your age – mainly because it only takes 180 seconds to go from digging up sassafras roots to being the proud owner of a cluster of ant bites.

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July: Ali decided she was going to become a woodcarver when she grew up, so Pop took her to get whittling tools (with which I managed to mortally wound myself but she uses still unscathed), and she began her career on soap, as one does.

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…Which is less dangerous than her backup careers – snake charmer,

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or supervillain.

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She also managed to record her brother’s most humiliating moment of the month,

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Along with a total stranger’s:

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August: She continued being a helpful cousin,

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A helpful photographical muse,

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And a helpful sister.

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She also recorded her once-in-a-childhood opportunity to experience a partial eclipse (I know, I know – we should have driven up to the total eclipse. I still have regret.)

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September: Ali started the Fifth Grade, which sounds super old.

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Her excitement for adventures-in-the-woods went a bit manic like mine does every fall, which was quite convenient.

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And, lucky for her father, her joy from football also grew twelve sizes. Except when she gets stung by mysterious creatures.

a 10 Ali's Diary IMG_6932 2 s “But not all was good…”

She also realized The Way Things Are with Alabama Football.

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October: Our multi-weekly hikes kept her a step ahead of her friends,

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And she cracked the code to happiness.

a 10 Ali's Diary IMG_6936 2 s The definition of happiness always includes “etc.”

November:

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She volunteered at Habitat for (Fairy) Humanity and built a house from the ground up,

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She discovered the joy of coffee (when liberally creamered),

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And she truly Became One With The Fall.

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Also, her football commentary and illustration abilities became ESPN-Ready.

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a 11b Ali's Diary IMG_6938 2 s (Although when I read the lips of angry coaches and players, that’s not usually what they’re saying.)

December:

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She perfected the art of climbing a tree that clearly wanted to be climbed,

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She got to make a fantastic December snowman,

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And she helped me get kids to smile for Christmas photoshoots,

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Including when that kid was just simply her brother.

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Also, her nonchalant ability to move on after documenting illegal residents is a lesson to me in not sweating the small (and furry) stuff.

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January 2018: Her basketball career is flourishing.

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Our long bout of sub-freezing weather has fascinated her, making her eager for a daily adventure to experience this wild and wonderful Natural Ice.

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She is and will continue to be my eager adventure partner,

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Along with my equal-sharing partner in pants, socks, shirts, jackets, hairstyles, and very nearly height.

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I, for one, am quite excited to see where the year of eleven takes us.

The Highs and Lows of Winter.

When you live in the south, you really don’t expect the freezing point to actually mean something. To me, it’s always felt more like a guideline.

“Water could start freezing at 32 degrees.”

But no. I really actually means that water freezes.

And as such, it’s been freezing around here, so we’ve been experiencing the shocking sensation of naturally occurring ice. Who knew that happened south of Michigan?

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We’ve been meandering around town, looking for bodies of water to disturb. And the kids have been perplexed, amazed, and endlessly fascinated by throwing things at the lake and watching the lake fight back.

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(If there’s a rise in general Alabama water volume due to displacement by rocks, that’s on us.)

I’m not saying I’m doing all of this exploring out of the generosity of my heart – I’m pretty geeked out by naturally occurring ice myself. I thought ice was created by ice makers and came out of the door of your fridge in neatly uniform tapered cubes. But ice is way fancier when it creates itself.

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We didn’t exactly attempt walking on water at Oak Mountain, but we certainly considered it. And gave the lake a few good shoves with our feet to see if it was possible. It was not, but the thickness of the ice was nonetheless impressive.

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(And by the way – the most satisfying sound I’ve heard in a very long time is the unique tinkling of a piece of ice being thrown at, breaking into dozens of pieces, and then sliding chime-ingly across a lake.)

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But on our second day of Arctic Alabama Exploration, we hit paydirt.

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There’s something about this fountain – perhaps its extreme shallowness – that made it perfect for an actual attempt at walking on water.

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And so, after a few tentative steps around the edges, the children indeed realized they could do just that.

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I mean, this is SERIOUSLY NOT supposed to happen in the deep south.

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But they were happy to test it out, despite the fact that my dad had just finished telling us a story about a fisherman in Virginia that fell through the ice, and upon asking the locals what they would do about it, they said, “Oh, we’ll find him come Spring – if the turtles don’t find him first.” Dad followed up his story with “Anyone who is trying to walk on ice in Alabama has GOT TO BE stupid.”

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It was treacherous.

And we knew we were taking our lives into our hands.

So naturally, we let my Dad be the first to know of our dangerous adventures.

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Lack of turtles. That’s the key for ice walking.

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So we shall continue our bitter cold adventures until our normal winter temps of the 50s come back very, very soon.

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But we’ll always look down and check for turtles first.

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How are you coping psychologically with the cold?