As I type this, it is 3:40am.
I should be sleeping.
But I am not.
I'm eating Thin Mints between cigarettes. It's a bad habit; never pick it up. Sometimes I wonder why the more dangerous things are perfectly legal and other things that shall not be named are not. The husband (Bryan) and I figured out at our old, old house that smoking inside is horrible. We didn't have kids then, so we were fine with killing our own lungs. The smell still gets stuck in fabrics and white walls end up looking yellow with time. Now we're mostly outside smokers. It's only the beginning of May and already we're in the 90s in the afternoon. It makes for crappy, hot days but it feels wonderful at night.
We've been in this place just a little over 8 months. It's easy to keep track of because we moved in exactly two weeks before my newest (Elena) was born.on a 1st of the month. The place is really a shit hole, but we're working on something new every week to make it feel like a home. It's close to the family I like and right down the road from where I spent my high school years. It's out in almost the middle of nowhere. Twelve minutes from real down and about eight minutes from the part of town that you only go to if you have to. It's actually bigger than the place we moved from but the layout makes it seem smaller. But hey, I'll take the front and back deck, an actual yard, the gorgeous garden tub, and extra bedroom that is supposed to be a nursery. I'm idealistic, what can I say? The bassinet ended up staying in our room and the little sneak somehow managed to end up sleeping in our bed with us. A king size bed and Bryan and I both are reduced to about a two-foot space because Ms. Wiggleworm always ends up sideways and splays out like a cat so one of us is getting punched in the ribs and the other is getting kicked in the back. Even though it alternates, I'm usually the one getting kicked. Though, right now she is being adorable and making me realize why I don't mind her in the bed. Her head is resting in the crook of my arm and her little fingers are tangled in my shirt.
Never rent from family by the way; it leads to awkward conversations about who is responsible for what. After the first month or so, those conversations fade away because you realize they are doing you a favor. I mean, seriously, two months before Elena was born, our management company changed and rent would go up $100 a month and they were instating a no pet policy. We were scrambling. Apparently, everything you learn as a kid about money is wrong. Who uses cash anymore? It's all about plastic and balance transfers to make it look like you have more money. Buy what you can't afford and carry a balance on that card, but only a little one. And use some complicated mathematical algorithm to figure out the max you really have on each card, because even though you carry a balance, you can only use a portion of the card. It makes you look both responsible and needy at the same time to banks so they'll make your credit score go up.
The Thin Mints are gone. Don't worry, it wasn't a whole box. Not even half a sleeve.
One hour before alarms start going off.
Two hours before I get the oldest (Ariana) up for school.
She's freaking out about being tested for O.E. and gifted classes. She's too much like me. If ADHD and anxiety incarnate. Left to her own devices, my second grade (at the time) kid was reading chapter books that my sixth-grader cousin was having trouble with. She might not have known how to pronounce the words right, but context clues gave her the meaning. And if it didn't, who cared? There was always the next sentence. But try to get her to spell out words? Hell, sitting down was the biggest accomplishment. Ask her to tell you what a story about a dog was about and she'd end up talking about birds. And math? I'd rather jump off a cliff. I tried to deny it but I saw the signs since Pre-K. Husband fought against me for getting her tested and seeing what other options there was beside medication. Those helped, but didn't help enough. I got a little less "pills are horrible!" when I had to start taking them for seizures. I'm fine with adults taking mood stabilizers, but kids? I couldn't ever see it... until I did. We tried the smallest dosage of the weakest medicine possible. The day of the math part on one of the bigger standardized tests, I picked her up from school and asked her how did it go and she said it went great. "I could concentrate so much better! I didn't know I had it in me, Mom!"
That did it. I mean, I'll admit, I'm a little biased because she's my daughter, but I look at her and see this amazing, intelligent, astoundingly creative ball of endless potential. She is seriously good at anything if she actually puts her mind to it. Like, she's only just turned nine and has like, no less than ten "hobbies" that she excels at. Let's see. There's gymnastic, dance, chorus, gardening, all things fashion (designing, details, sewing), jewelry making, swimming, track, writing, drawing, already learning basic computer coding?!... and I know she's gorgeous. I've turned down about five people who've actually approached me to sponsor her for pageants, have her model custom dresses, photography ads. I want her to know she's beautiful but I don't want to put a crazy amount of emphasis on it. So I let her do one, maybe two, things every couple of years. The dress modeling was her favorite because she got to keep them. And I liked the lady even more because she was a small time designer so she actually let Ariana design her own once and helped her make it. But yeah, anyways... all of that and she tells me she didn't know she had it in her to do well on a math test, or felt like she did well when it was a skill she used all the time without realizing it. I guess it is different if the math is incorporated into something you want to do versus having to do it in school.
But we'll go through the standard morning routine whenever important tests come up. I get up early, or in this case, just stay up all night to make her two eggs, lightly scrambled with milk and cheese in the eggs, two slices of bacon, and two waffles that she will later fashion into a peanut butter and honey sandwich. I'll try to sneak in a random review, which she will call me on and complain about, then go into meltdown mode until I start to get frustrated and tell her to go to her room to calm down. She'll come out dressed and ask me to do her hair. She'll apologize for freaking out. I'll accept her apology and tell her I understand for one because I went through it, and second because we do this same dance every time. She'll ask me "Really?" and I say yes and go back to something she said or did at a previous time, or point out what was on tv when she fussed about going to her room. She'll remember. We'll get in the car and I'll drop her off, wish her well and she'll say thank you and want extra hugs and kisses for good luck. I'm on the "Awesome Mom" level of the Soccer Mom type circut, so she doesn't care if people see really though she may grumble about it a little and THEN whisper her quite "love you too" as she walks off.
So now it is 4:53. I've gone out to smoke twice. That's why this may seem all disjointed and rambling.
I'm going to try to cat nap before the alarm.
Today I'll actually get a character or two up... maybe one of the stories from Tall Tales.
I'll need to find someone to do a cutie mark for Anaphora. The Twilight Sparkle of Tall Tales, who will not be acsending to an alicorn, just discovering the nature of Equestria with her weird special talent that I'm not even sure what it is really. She's Ariana's character really. I just put the world together.