Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Random Lauren Theatre Part Deux

This time it was totally unintentional.

I lost my Fitbit.  

I am boarder line obsessed with it, so for me to suddenly realize in the middle of the Supermarket that it was not on my wrist was jarring.

I retraced my steps in the market.  No fitbit.  I finished my shopping and scoured the ground around the car - nothing.  Then the car itself.  Nope.

I drove to the gas station and looked around the pump I had just visited.  Then went inside to see if anyone turned in a lost fitbit.  Zero.

I drove home and looked everywhere.  My poor fitbit was no where to be found.

As it was time to go to my appointment at the chiropractor, I left the house (after searching the garage and car one last time).  I was getting so frustrated, and sad.  All these extra steps, wasted!  Argh!!!

So I get to the chiropractor, and as I'm walking in I think to myself "maybe I'll turn on the app and see what happens." So I do.

Fitbit says "looking.......synching......connected".

Wha....?  This means my Fitbit is somewhere nearby and is synching with the app on my phone.  

I walk, and see on the app that my steps are counting up.  I stop, they stop.  I walk, the number goes up.  I think I passed a few people with my obsessive start and go game, but I was so immersed in my own drama that I didn't even notice.

I get to the office and feel like I have to explain why I'm stripping off my coat and sweater, patting both down, and dumping the contents of my purse all over the place.  The lovely receptionist says "That's so weird", which it is, and my chiropractor's partner says "give me your phone and walk.  Let's see if the numbers go up."  I do.  They do.

Finally, the partner says "here, go into my wife's office and strip down.  I have to know how this ends."

I kinda have to know too, so in I go.

Long story short (too late), it was in my pants.  It was in my pants and I had no idea.

How many things can you say THAT about?!?!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Random Lauren Theatre

I'm bored.

This is dangerous.

Pre-kids, if I was bored, I'd dress in an unusual manner (well, unusual for me, anyway) and go shopping or something.  Somewhere public.  Then I'd engage in some Random Lauren Theatre.

Basically, I'd pretend to be someone else.  Loudly.  And I'd crack myself up at people's responses.  

Once I put a sign around my neck that read "Say 'Happy Birthday Bada' to the camera", and I walked around Boston with a video camera taping random people saying happy birthday to my then roommate.  That was awesome.

Or sometimes I would sit at a bar and play the Penis Game with friends.  We would try to fit the word "penis" into our conversation and each time it was said, it had to be louder than the previous time.  Basically it ended by yelling "Penis" in a bar.  Clearly I was in my early 20s.

Very mature of me. 

But now I'm an old and wise 45 and when I get bored I imagine going all Jersey on the shoppers of Burlington VT.  Loud accent and everything.

Except now I have teenagers.  They wouldn't have it, and I wouldn't want to mortify them.

At least I got my fun in before I was responsible for other human beings.  And who knows?  Maybe I can still sneak in some stealth Random Lauren Theatre here and there.

I did wear a red tutu and a tiara to the market on my last birthday and played it straight.....

It's good to know I still have it in me.  :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hooray for the Good Days!

My last post was a downer, so it's time for an upper.  So to speak.

Today was a day of TJ successes.  Little ones, but big to us.

First thing this morning, when I had just gotten home from dropping TJ off at school, the phone rang.  "Mom," TJ said, "Dad gave me the wrong snack!"

Now this has resulted in meltdowns and ruined days before, so I braced myself.

"Oh no buddy!  Can you eat it anyway?"

"No way.  It's Cheezits."

His normal snack is cheddar Goldfish.  Totally different shape. 

"Ok T, I'll grab some Goldfish and be right there.  I'll come to the office, ok?"

"Ok - bye mom."

When I got to the office with Goldfish in hand, I waited a few minutes.  When TJ came in, he was fully dressed in his Gym clothes.

He has the knobbiest knees ever, by the way.  Like baby horse legs.

But the best part about it?  He was all smiles.

"Thanks mom!" He said as he grabbed his snack bag.  Then he smiled again, turned, and left.

It took me a minute to realize that that was it.  No tears.  No harsh words.  No signs of stress.  

No meltdowns.

I was so happy I almost skipped back to the car.  Not really, because I'm 45 and that would have looked really stupid.  Plus, I most likely would have found a way to completely wipe out on the ice.

Anyway, it was a success.

We would have 2 more successes later in the day, too.  TJ cooked his own dinner while I was at Zumba.  Then we had a verbal exchange that sounded downright typical of any 14 year old and his mom.

It was a good day.  A very good day.

Hooray for the good days!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

When it Rains, it POURS!

I used to study theatre.  Some may call me dramatic.

I'm going to wait a sec while you all pick yourselves up off the floor that you just fell down on in bewilderment.

Everybody up?  Ok.

I see this flair for the dramatic in both my boys, and most of the time it cracks me up and I love it.  But when things are gloomy in the Jordan house, they are put-up-a-quarantine-sign-and-stay-away-for-the-love-of-god gloomy.

See what I mean about dramatic?

Anyway, our youngest is 13.  I suppose 13 is the age where kids test their limits and try to get away with what they can get away with.  Not that I did, mind you.  From what I can recall, I was an angel.  But I digress.

When we realize something needs to be addressed with TJ and Peter, they tend to get loud.  They should be lawyers, they defend themselves so vigorously.  TJ immediately yells when addressed with an issue, and Peter stays out of it.  But when Peter is involved in an issue, and voices are raised, TJ is a percolator that we can see the pressure building and building, slowly, as the voices and tension build outside of and within him.

We try to keep voices calm - Sean and I speak calmly, as calmly as we can, and ask Peter to do the same.  Sometimes this is hard for all of us (ok, for Peter and me) and voices are raised regardless.

We try to physically remove TJ from the area of discussion.  We ask him to go to his room, explaining he is not in any trouble at all.  That this issue is none of his business, and we need to talk to Peter alone.

But it doesn't really help.

Regardless of the issue at hand, TJ will start to swear under his breath (if he's in his room, it's yelled loud and clear).  And it's always, always, anti-Peter.

So here is our struggle:  how do you speak calmly to one boy, who is upset, while trying to keep the other boy, with sensory issues, calm, quiet, and out of his brother's business?

Sadly there is no answer.  Sometimes TJ can calm himself down.  Sometimes he has to go into full blown crisis mode to get over it.  It's different every time, and just when I think TJ has made progress with this situation and is remaining calm, he will blow up out of nowhere.

It's tough.  I love these kids so, so much, and I don't want either of them to suffer.  When they do, it hurts me through and through.

But isn't this true in a "typical" family (not that any family is "typical", I suppose, but I mean one without autism)?  Kids and parents alike have to learn how to negotiate through the tough times.  Ours just may be a little tougher, or last a little longer, or get a little louder.

Or maybe not.  Who knows?

All I know is that we all have made it this far, and TJ has learned and grown so much.  We hold on to the hope that he will learn and grow through these bumps as well.

After summer downpours, one thing I love to do with my boys is run outside and look for the rainbow.  More often than not, we find one.  We know just where to look.

Our storm(s) will pass.  We will find that evasive rainbow, by god.

I'm sure of it.

(and when I'm not sure of it, someone remind me, willya?  Great, thanks.)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Dear 18 Year Old Lauren

I was helping a friend yesterday with some fund raising work for our high school.  I went to boarding school for my last 2 years, and for many reasons it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Looking through my old yearbook, I was taken back to those glory days.  All those young faces with big futures ahead of us, eyes filled with joy and wonder, feeling invincible.

Well, 18 year old Lauren, I got some news for ya.

You won't always be able to eat the way you eat now.  So so sad, but true.  And tater tots with ketchup and mayo are gross, although fun at 2am in your tipsy state.  But don't make a habit of it.  The tater tots I mean.  We all know what happened with the booze (4th year sober!  Woohoo!).

Some of these friends, who you rely on and call family, will not be constant fixtures in your life.  Again, so sad but true.  But later, thanks to technology, you will be able to reconnect with them and grab glances into their lives, as they will into yours, and you will feel such a happy contentedness seeing where their lives have taken them.  And those old jokes you share today?  Still funny when you're 45.  In my humble opinion.

Some of these friends you have today, 18 year old Lauren, will remain a constant in your life.  And you will count these friends as family, even when you're an old lady of 45.

Did I mention I'm 45?

You will meet the love of your life, I promise.  You will kiss lots of frogs.  But it will all be worth it.

No offense, frogs.

You will fulfill your dream and become a mom.  You will love like you never knew you could.  You will be thrown some curve balls, so stand strong.  You are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for, which is good 'cause you're going to need every ounce.  Don't want to spoil it for ya.  But even with the bumps, your children and husband will be that light that shines behind your eyes.  Every day.

You will get fat.  Weight Watchers, honey.  It works.

You and your sister will be tested A LOT!  But together you can get through anything.  Oh, and her husband will love your husband and they will take week long ski trips together and they will be the brother that the other never had.   Sometimes it's cute and sometimes it's annoying, but that's probably what they say about you and your sister, so get over it.

Some 80s fashion will come back, but leggings as pants are only something you should do at your age, 18 year old Lauren.  Just sayin'.

Take chances.  You will surprise yourself at what you can do that you never thought you could do.

Do NOT take chances with leggings as pants.  Other stuff, yes, like parasailing or Zumba.  Or writing.

Your hair looks best when it's down.  True for you now, true in the future.  Don't kid yourself.

Well, 18 year old Lauren, that's it for now.  There's more, of course, but I don't want to spoil it for you.  You will have an amazing time figuring it out for yourself.

Love, 45 year old Lauren

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Birthday Couch

My Junior year in college, I was living with 3 other girls - great friends.  One November night, 2 of the 3 came home to our raggedy crappy apartment with a boom and a crash into our kitchen, which is where the back door opened up to.  My bedroom was right off the kitchen.

They started yelling.

"Lauren!!!  Come out!  Happy birthday!!!  LAUREN!!!!"

My birthday was a few weeks away, but with these hysterical ladies, who knows what they were up to?

Which is exactly what I was thinking when I opened my bedroom door to see A and G, triumphantly holding up their arms, yelling "TA DAAAAA!!!!"

And they joyously presented me with.....a crappy, raggedy, broken couch.  They were laughing hysterically.

They told me they found it, and that it took them about 2 hours to carry it home.  It was heavy.  And if I remember properly, there was snow and ice on the ground.

This could not have been easy to bring to me!  I laughed as they asked "don't you LOVE it?"

I thought it was so funny.  I thought it was less funny as it sat in our kitchen for about 2 weeks.

We finally moved it into our living room, and if memory serves, filled the completely hollowed out section of the couch with a bean bag chair, so people could sit on it.  This old gross college couch became a part of our home.

Fast forward to 2014.  One of these ladies, who is one of my closest friends, lives around the block from us with her family.  I have loved having her so close, as now we not only share wonderful memories of college fun and living together in Boston after graduation, but we also share friends, and our kids going to the same schools, and all that our adult lives bring to us.

How lucky am I to have her???

Anyway, last spring, Sean said to me "Lauren, that couch in our bedroom is pretty ragged.  Don't you think it's time we got rid of it?"

Suddenly, I got the best idea.  THE BEST IDEA EVER.

My dear friend A's birthday was coming up.  I knew just what to get her.

Our ripped up couch.  In her front yard.

It was so hard not to let the secret slip, as I often saw and spoke with her.  All I would say is, "I have the best birthday gift for you - you're going to love it!"

Finally the day came - A's birthday.  The couch is a really light Camp Couch, so after Sean helped me load it into the car, and after I knew she had left for work, I drove over to her house, and lovingly placed the couch near her front door.  With a birthday sign.

I giggled all day.  

And when A got home, I got a phone call where we both laughed and laughed and laughed.

I love those kind of laughs, don't you?

Spring is around the corner...I wonder what I should get A for her birthday this year?  MWAH AH AH!!!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

What Kind of Drunk Am I?!?!

I'm just over 3 years 6 months sober.

Yay me!

When I meet new people at a social gathering and they offer me drink, I politely tell them that I don't drink.  Some ask why.  My carefully crafted reply is this: "I'm so good at it that's it's not fair to everyone else."

It's true.  Both the statement itself and that I say it out loud.

Since I quit drinking, and if I'm talking about it with a friend, I always find myself saying "Well, you know, I wasn't that bad.  I never once drove drunk and didn't wake up and drink all day.  That was never me."  All that is true too.

Which got me to thinking - what kind of drunk AM I?

I know I was a fun drunk.  I know that there are some of my friends out there reading this, thinking "Yes she was!!!  So much fun!!!"

But I wasn't much fun to Sean, who had to get me home, or to my kids, who missed me the next day as I slept off a wicked hangover.

I was the kind of drunk who couldn't stop at one drink.  Ever.  Family functions, dinners out, girls' night, whatever.  I could never have just one.  And I also used to wake up not remembering everything from the night before.  Not every time, but a lot.  I was always scared.  Who did I offend? What did I say?  Did I drunk Facebook?  Drunk dial?  Oh god it was mortifying.  I felt bad all the time.  I was always ready with a joke to laugh off my behavior, should anyone call me out on it.  I walked around feeling nervous and guarded, always.

That's why I stopped.  I just took it too far and was sick of feeling badly all of the time.

Now I know that some readers may be thinking, "Who cares?  Once a drunk, always a drunk."  Others may be thinking that I'm weak for not being able to control my drinking.  A lot of you may be thinking that I used it as a crutch, to deal with pain and struggle.

You all are right.

And you all are entitled to whatever opinion you want to have about it.  Everyone makes decisions based on their own experiences.

So I guess what's most important is not what kind of drunk you think I am, but what kind of drunk I think I am.

I think I am a strong fierce cold turkey quitting never having a sip since June 30, 2011 proud wife proud mom proud Lauren FORMER drunk.  With cute shoes.  Always with cute shoes.  And a big, big smile.

That's who I think I am.