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Hijacked by Stress

We’re taking a short break from my prissy eyes. They will come up in this post, but Take 4, Part 4 is being delayed by life right now. Not that you even expected it this soon, of course — all two of you (and that’s probably being generous) who’ve stuck around to see if I ever post again. 😉

I can already feel the tsunami of overwhelm taking over my mind as I struggle to think of how to even begin, and am forcing myself to push on through this tedious sentence to make myself commit to this post. I’m also listening to the Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony, and it’s nearly the thing that overflows the bottle I’ve been shoving all my feelings into this week so I can get stuff done. (Not that I’m getting a lot done; just the bare minimum to get by. Depression is a hell of a thing.) I love this music so much I can barely handle it.

In addition to my stupid eyes being stupid, and an inability to buy glasses without having to send them back multiple times (and allergies making my eyes feel raw and tired all day long), I also have some mild family drama that I tend to forget about until it crops up at random times and becomes emotionally conflicting; a good friend I’ve only had for a year has moved away (though I am very happy for her; she really needed the change); there has been a lot of drama with the Symphony I’m heavily involved with, and we’re scrambling to finish up the 75th season with a bang so there’s also a lot of planning and activity to keep track of; I still have a ridiculously messy house and no productive routines to speak of; I’ve barely written anything but the last blog post in months; and, on top of it all, we found out recently that one of our old friends has basically committed a long, slow suicide by alcohol, and lied his ass off for years about it and a whole bunch of other things that make us question everything we thought we knew about him forever. It’s extremely emotionally draining, and there are so many feels to feel that I can barely process them. They come in waves, when I least expect them, and the residual fatigue from all of it is kicking my butt.

My heart hurts right now. It’s heavy in my chest, and tight. And it’s not just emotional pain, it’s also the overwhelming nature of all the emotions put together. If my mind drifts over to a thought about needing to clean off a section of my table — or even just fill in the calendar for this new month and put it on the fridge — I feel this surge of sadness that kind of sticks in my throat and behind my nose. It’s as visceral as it is psychological — but it’s not enough to make me shed actual tears. I’m not much of a crier, honestly, and haven’t been since adolescence. It takes a lot to get me worked up enough, or it takes a very particular trigger (and there are very few of those). I can feel like I’m going to cry all day, but I probably won’t actually shed tears. If I do shed tears, they might not even leave my eyes. If they do, there aren’t many. I just have to blow my nose a lot. But it’s the same kind of rush and ache from head to gut that steals your breath and makes you want to go curl up under a blanket for a few hours. Not fun, and not easily ignored.

Since I’ve been researching ADHD and Executive Function Disorder (EFD), I’ve learned a lot about the signs and symptoms of each, and I know that at least with ADHD, it’s much easier to be overwhelmed with or by strong emotions (link is a slide show, but it’s not annoying like the click-bait ones), and have your actual brainpower hijacked by said strong emotions. I’m usually pretty good at regulating, but when I am bombarded by stress from several angles at once, the regulation goes a bit haywire, and — to use a Star Trek reference — I have to make the decision whether to take power from the engines (barely running on impulse control) to run the shields, or drop some defenses and less-important functions in order to keep the engines running and maintain life support.

For example, in the struggle to try to stay positive and on task — or even start a task — I feel like I’ve lost the ability to speak in a coherent manner, or I’ve lost whatever tenuous control I had over my ability to concentrate long enough to remember what it is I’m doing and why I’m doing it. If I do manage verbal coherency, I feel tension in my chest, and laughing — even genuine laughter; I don’t usually fake it — feels painful. The loss of concentration is like staring at a shelf in the grocery store (something I did today) and knowing there is something there you need to find, but the memory of it keeps sliding out of your head as you become overstimulated by all the labels and things around you. You can even stare at your list and hope you can concentrate long enough to find one of the things on it that should be in front of you, and suddenly all your energy is directed at this one thing, and you walk out of the grocery store utterly exhausted after having only bought maybe ten things…

I get angry, too, but lately I feel like sadness has kind of overwhelmed the anger, especially when it comes to our friend dying in the hospital. I want to be sad, but I’m also kind of angry with him. But I can’t stay angry, or even grieve for him right now. I’m just…depressed. Depressed with a side of tension. I think I’m sad for my husband, too, who was closer to our friend than I was, and has been spending the most time with him and his family. I have no problem with being emotionally supportive, but I hadn’t realized how much of it I’ve been taking on, myself, until this weekend.

I have things I have to do this week: commitments to fulfill, kids and pets to take care of, cleaning and shopping to do, a big Symphony gala to make it through next Saturday. I’m not so depressed that I’m completely nonfunctional, but there are other daily things I’m letting slip by, because managing to do the caretaking and socializing that needs to be done takes all the brainpower I have. I feel like I’m moving through molasses — like there is not enough caffeine in this world to wake me up all day. Crazy weather changes and allergies are not helping with that, either. Ugh.

But this, too, shall pass. Times of refreshing will come. And I have The Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild to help me escape once in awhile. I’m trying to use it as a reward for getting important things done this week, and I have sort of managed to keep from letting it be too much of a draw on days I have a lot to accomplish and no time to play.

Anyway, that’s what’s up with me right now. I have more developments in the saga of my stupid eyes that I need to finish documenting for your entertainment. Even if it’s tedious and annoying, it’s more fun than this.

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My Incompetent/High Maintenance Eyeballs: Take 4, Part 3

If you’re just joining me in this long, stupid saga of tedium and whining, you might go back the riveting beginning and read the whole epic from start to finish. Just follow this handy guide:

Take 1
Take 2
Take 3
Take 4, Part 1
Take 4, Part 2

All caught up? Okay, good.

I believe I left off on 5 February, 2018, while bringing back my glasses for the first time. I never did have any idea what their paperwork looked like, other than what I glimpsed when they unwrapped my glasses (it was collecting a good-sized stack by the end); I’d only received a printout of the unmarked receipt and one of the Rx. One thing I should have done when I brought the glasses back was to have the lens Rx read and checked against the Rx I’d been given. Mistake #4. (I did, however, make an appointment to see the doctor again in two days [Wednesday, 7 February] to check the Rx.)

The next few visits to the shop are kind of blurry (lol get it?). I’m pretty sure that when I talked to Ms. C on the 5th of February, she said the glasses should be ready in a day or two. I’m mostly sure I went in the next day (a Tuesday, 6 February, just before my choir rehearsal), and met Mr. G. We’re going to go with that narrative, because I know I didn’t go anywhere on Wednesday. But I’m starting to get ahead of myself…

6 February 2018:

I stopped in around 5pm, I think, and only Mr. G was there. I hadn’t met him yet, but I think I knew who he was from another friend who’d had a good experience there before. I asked him if the new glasses were ready, since the girl from the day before said they would be available in a day or two. He said no, it would take longer and they would text me. I honestly can’t remember if I had more of a conversation with him, but that wasn’t an unpleasant experience at that time. A little embarrassing, maybe, but not really my fault since I was given faulty information.

I was supposed to go in to see the doctor again the next day, but woke up feeling really sick, so I rescheduled for the following Monday (12 February).

12 February 2018:

This is where my memory completely fails me. Utterly.

I cannot remember what happened when I went in. I remember driving there, I remember other events of that day, but I do not remember if I ended up seeing the doctor. However, the side-bar prescription on the exam sheet might have been the result of that visit (I do know that it did not improve my next set of glasses, which wouldn’t be in for another week or more).

I’ve checked just about every lasting piece of social media and private media I can to try to piece together what happened that day. I know I left the boys with my parents and went to the mall, then took the long way around to go to the library and Super Supplements. But I have no recollection of the exam, or if it even happened. That irks me, because things started going downhill from that day, but information from that day would have been helpful in describing why. The new set of lenses was being delayed a bit because of some kind of malfunction with their machinery that they needed someone to come in and look at. I think. I remember someone mentioning something about that, and I think it could have been that day.

I wish I could remember. Stupid brain.

24 February 2018:

I met my sister-in-law at the mall for dinner and to hang out, but had intended to pick up my glasses before meeting her. However, the shop was completely swamped when I went in, and I would have to wait 45 minutes or more, so I just said I’d pick them up later. After dinner (over an hour later), my sis-in-law went with me to the shop. We waited probably 15 minutes for someone to be freed up to help me. In the meantime, we tried on glasses and talked. No big deal; when a place is busy, it’s busy, and you wait patiently for your turn.

When it was finally my turn, Mr. G helped fit the glasses. I do not remember what the lenses were made of in this pair, or if they’d only adjusted the Rx (from the wrong one they allegedly gave me in the first place). At first they seemed like they might be fine — or at least I would give them a try. Mr. G seemed kind and complimentary (I think he over-adjusted the earpiece, though, which got a little wonky and touched the back of my ear in a weird, annoying way), but we didn’t really converse beyond that.

My sister-in-law and I went to stroll around the mall some more, and the longer I wore the glasses that night, the deeper my sinking feeling became that I wasn’t going to adjust to these, either. I would give them a shot, because maybe the distortion was something I would eventually get used to, but here’s the thing: Every time — every. single. time. — I have gotten glasses that I knew were “right”, I adjusted to them within a day. My prescription doesn’t change so drastically between exams and is not so strong that I have a lot that I ought to be adjusting to. So when I constantly am having to blink or adjust my head to find focus, am looking down and feeling nauseated, or am feeling fatigued by early evening and experiencing pain in my right eye (again, not the one with the worst astigmatism, but it does have opinions when something is off or light is too bright), I know there is a problem.

I wore this version as long as I could, but I could not shake the distortion around the edges. I tried to tell myself that maybe I was just being overly sensitive, but eye pain and fatigue, and occasional nausea when looking down or from one thing to another, were not things I could ignore. I finally gave up and brought them back on Saturday, 3 March.

3 March 2018:

This was the day when my experience with Pro-Optix really began to slide downhill fast. I brought the glasses back in the evening. Mr. G was there, as well as Mr. J2 and Mr. J[1] — the guy who had helped me all those years ago with my materials issue, when no one could figure out the problems I was having. He had been so knowledgeable and helpful and patient. I’d so hoped the shop still had that kind of character, even if he wasn’t the face of it anymore.

I told them — after waiting for another customer to finish up — that the edges were still distorted, I was still feeling too much fatigue and nausea, and lights were too bright. I didn’t know what else to do, except change the materials. I was lectured at one point by Mr. G about blue-light blockers not being effective for anyone, because all they are supposed to help with is macular degeneration (or something) later in life, and we would need another 60 years to see any results from their use. Okay, fine, whatever. I’m still having problems with light being overwhelming in my glasses, and I’m in front of a computer often. I guess I can wear sunglasses. (I didn’t say all that, but I wanted to solve my lens issues before branching out into other problems. And by that point, I didn’t want to spend any more than I already had on add-ons to the next set of lenses, so I gave up on any form of tinting or solutions for light sensitivity.)

In front of Mr. J and J2, I said to Mr. G, “I will make another appointment to see the doctor, if I need to—”, only to be told by Mr. G that, “No, you don’t need to see the doctor again.” (Red Flag #2 — and Mistake #5: I should have documented everything at this point, and insisted that the doctor check the Rx against the lenses at least one more time — or taken the lenses somewhere to have them checked with someone else’s tools. Getting a second opinion would have been key at this juncture.)

I ended up sort of shooting myself in the foot by once again bringing up that perhaps my problems lay in the lens material, since all the times I’ve had trouble in the past adjusting to glasses, it was a materials issue (I was wrong, and I know that now, but in my defense they should have listed off the other things that could have been wrong, since they’re the professionals and understand proper lens correction techniques). I did tell them every time I went in that I wish I could accurately describe the problems I’m having — other than “distortion”, fatigue and nausea, or “starbursts” around headlights, to name a few — but I lack the terminology to identify the exact problem, or the experience to suggest other ways of fixing it. I was, however, lectured about the difference in polycarbonate and Trivex — Trivex is just an expensive, high-index form of polycarbonate, and there is no point in trying it if polycarb isn’t working for me. (And when I say “lectured”, I mean that it had that “we know what’s best for you” vibe, while sounding ever so slightly defensive, even though I understand he was probably trying to impart information on an uninformed customer. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I was chafing at the tone, and already disappointed that the first solution was not to double-check the Rx.)

So they all recommended that I try a material called “Standard Resin” (aka “plastic”). “It’s so much less expensive,” Mr. G assured me, “and the optics are second only to glass, which has the best optics of any material available on the market today.” (Silly me, I thought that meant I would get some money back from my ridiculously expensive polycarbonate lenses, but they skirted or altogether ignored all my questions about price difference. I was left to assume that regardless of how much less expensive plastic would be, I would not get any price breaks with them.) Mr. J also assured me that he has issues with materials, too, and Standard Resin is what he uses. And since I respect Mr. J’s opinion, I said that was fine; let’s try it. I mean, what do I have to lose at this point?

Isn’t that just the most cliché of loaded rhetorical questions? Especially at the end of a chapter? You’re welcome.

This post is already long enough and I have other things I need to do, so I’m leaving you with the cliffhanger cliché. Keep your eyes peeled for Take 4, Part 4 — out soon! 🙂

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My Incompetent/High Maintenance Eyeballs: Take 4, Part 2

Haha, apparently “soon” translates into “months later”. Did you really expect more from me? At least it’s not years later. And two months isn’t too bad, right? In my defense, we were just entering peak end-of-year Symphony craziness, and Camp NaNoWriMo started at the beginning of April. I have only recently come up for air and remembered I was still on a quest for new glasses. I also saw a new eye doctor recently. More on that later, though; let’s finish the story at hand.

Because I’m writing this gripe months after it happened — and trying to create some documentation so that I can have a more seamless, trouble-free glasses-buying experience in the future — I sat down and patched together the timeline of interactions with Pro-Optix. I wish I had done it the minute it happened, but alas that was Mistake #… What are we on now? 3? Sure, let’s go with 3. I am not a good records keeper until everything has turned into a gigantic cluster. But that’s another post for another time.

ANYway… I’m going to more accurately rehash the information from the last post, because, as I may have said before, I’m nothing if not tedious. 😉 But this one includes pictures! So you can FEEL MY PAIN.

8 January 2018:

I had an exam performed by the eye doctor at Pro-Optix. He was very nice and seemed to know what he was doing — but he has ridiculously horrible handwriting, which may or may not have contributed to the incorrect Rx in at least the first pair of glasses issued.

8 Jan Pro-Optix Exam

I mean, what even is this? Besides the fact that their copy machine/printer is terrible, how is any of this illegible handwriting useful to anyone?

Ms. C helped me pick out frames (while my eyes were dilated, heh — it’s a great time to pick something that will cost almost $200 before lenses, and be on my face for at least the next year). Then, after my exam, Ms. C and Mr. D (who I am going to henceforth call “Mr. J2”, because his name also starts with J and I have to keep looking up the arbitrary letter I gave him) attempted to navigate the complicated computer system to try to order what I needed within my budget. The receipt was supposed to say that I would receive a Trivex lens with a blue-block coating (the lens line contains a code I don’t recognize, but Ms. C had written “Trivex” next to it. The coating said “Anti-Reflective Oleophobic”, with “blue light” written next to it). The total would be $353.95 — and that included a $19.99 discount on the coating and no charge for sales tax.

However, I got a call that night to notify me that the girl who had helped me was new to the system, and the blue-light blocker would require a higher-index lens and another $250 in price — but they would change to standard polycarbonate with a standard AR coating for the same price. If I’m reading the following correctly, it took two more days to order them (I went in on a Monday):

In the language of the Old Ones...

I finally figured out this says “ordered”, but I’m afraid that if I stare at it too long I might lose sanity points.

Note: I did not know much about lens materials (and lens shapes — more on that later) other than what I had experienced in the past. I now know that I probably have a high-index lens in my Target glasses (because I didn’t know any better — but Target got them right on the second try and the lenses have held up well for the past three years, so I’m not really complaining). The glasses before that were a polycarb/plastic blend that Mr. J at Pro-Optix had ordered for me before they were making their own lenses. But, here’s the thing: I didn’t just make up the problems I’ve had in the past. I repeated things I was told by multiple people in multiple facilities, and it’s all I have to work on when glasses don’t work for me and I’m being treated like my eyesight through their lenses is my fault. On top of that, it’s very frustrating that opticians don’t offer more education about all the weird terms they use, and then work with you to explore all the options available when glasses are being a problem. I had to Google everything, and even then I can’t quite understand the numbers, especially when it comes to the mechanics of correcting for astigmatism.

Maybe I’m one of those people who knows just enough to get myself in trouble and be a PITA to customer service — but maybe communication would be facilitated if we were all on the same page, if I’m given the correct terminology to be able to articulate my problems.

(And before anyone is like, “Why didn’t you just ASK?” I could go on another rant about how I’m kind of gun shy where doctors and medical professionals are concerned, and then confess that I’m really not good at confrontation or pressing very busy doctors/nurses/technicians who give off the “we’re done here”, “I’m the expert and know more than you”, or “don’t question me” vibes. I always feel like I’m whining. I’m working on advocating and standing up for myself, but it’s hard. I’ve also only had about ten pairs of glasses (if that) in my life, with two or more years between each one. Lens technology is constantly changing, and I find the learning curve is still a little steep every time I go in.)

31 January 2018:

I went in to pick up the new glasses (which had taken about three weeks to come in), and get my pressure checked (it was fine). At first the lenses seemed great. There was a little distortion around the edges, but I thought that was probably something I needed to get used to. Lights were really bright, but then maybe I was just being sensitive that day (and I had to have those weird numbing drops for the glaucoma test). I tried really hard to adjust to them for the next five days, but light was still too bright, I was getting headaches and feeling horribly fatigued by evening, and I had to keep blinking and concentrating on focus to see things that should have been clear. Then, sitting about seven or eight feet away from our 36” TV that we use more often as a computer monitor, I realized I was having trouble reading words on the screen. I closed one eye, then the other, and the right eye was blurry. I put on my old glasses, and could read clearly from the same distance.

That was a no-go. So I took them back.

(Now we’re caught up. I feel a little like George R. R. Martin releasing book five after six years of making his readers wait. “Most of this book takes place at the same time as events in the fourth book that you waited eight years for. You can finally move on when I catch up with myself!”)

5 February 2018:

The only person at the store when I had a chance to go in was Ms. C. This was a good and bad thing: If she couldn’t navigate their computer system even with help, it probably wasn’t likely I was going to get answers that day if she was working the shop alone. However, she was nice and the only person I’d talked to the most when I ordered my glasses originally, so it was likely to be an easier conversation.

I told her what was wrong, and that I honestly wasn’t 100% sure what exactly was ordered, since at least three people had a hand in ordering them, and I only had the old receipt. She nodded and said she told them I would be back, because I’d said I was non-adaptive to polycarbonate and (Red Flag #1) they had put in the wrong prescription, anyway.

Okay, you know how it’s a well-known joke that the more illegible someone’s handwriting, the more likely they are to be a doctor? And how a percentage of medical mistakes are caused by transcription errors? And how computers are now available to kind of take the guesswork out of a medical professional’s unreadable documentation? I’ve had it happen before with medicine prescriptions (like, a decade and a half ago, when doctors still wrote out prescriptions), and now it’s happened with vision correction — in an era when computer transcription is far more ubiquitous and actually saves lives and time by standardizing what everyone sees.

So let’s play a game. Which of these prescriptions is the correct one?

Pro-Optix Exam, Day One, left side of the page:

8 jan 2018 rx

“Is number one better?”

Pro-Optix Exam, Day ??, right side, in the notes section:

8 jan 2018 rx from notes column

“Or number two?”

Pro-Optix Printed Rx, Day One:

8 jan 2018 rx printout

Ignore the “ADD”. I think it was supposed to be a mild magnification at the bottom to combat fatigue, but the cost was prohibitive, so I canceled it.

Pro-Optix 3rd try, as written at the top of their copy of the receipt, and dated 3-3-18:

I just don't even know anymore

It’s ever so slightly sharper than this before I took a picture and then a screenshot. But only slightly.

Rx read by PNW Eye Associates, from 3rd set of lenses from Pro-Optix:

pro-optix 2018 rx read from final issue by PNW EA

“BC” is “Base Curve” — the actual key to this whole stupid issue. Also, the optical tech left out the decimals.

For contrast, here is what he wrote down for my three-year-old prescription in the glasses I was there to replace, at the top of the exam sheet:

2015 Target Rx

Ummm…wut?

And what the PNW Eye Assoc tech read:

target 2015 rx read from PNW EA

Well, now they don’t seem far off, do they? There must be some other way to read an eye. And that BC is just over half of what is in the distorted lenses. This is foreshadowing, but also the past coming around to bite me, because I didn’t remember the problems I had before, other than materials. But I get ahead of myself…

If I were to try to type out that old, handwritten Rx, it would look like this:

OD: -0.25 -1.00 x 096
OS: +0.25 -1.20 x 034
(First number is Spherical, second is Cylindrical, and third is Axis)

As written, it appears my old Rx was farsighted in my left eye, because there is a plus sign in front of the first OS value instead of a minus. That bottom axis value I’m pretty sure should be an 8, but looks an awful lot like a 3. Also, where are the ones in front of the decimals, which should have indicated just how nearsighted I was?

Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about the relationship between the Cylindrical and Axis measurements to know whether those negative Cylindrical numbers paired with larger Axis numbers (95, 85) translate into positive Cylindrical paired with smaller Axis (005, 006), just measured from a different side of the angle (and I had to do an extensive internet search just to figure that out). This makes reading results by the layman, who doesn’t have their instruments or the knowledge, nearly impossible. How can I tell if my prescription is wrong or mistranscribed? Especially if someone doesn’t explain it to me? I can’t.

UGH. 😡

****

This post took me nearly a week to write. Granted, it was a very busy week, and I don’t organize my time well. So I’m going to stop here, then finish the rest shortly. Yes, for real this time. More complications may be coming down the pipe as I try to order glasses from somewhere else, and have a Vision Field Test on 8 June. I don’t know what that is, but it should be interesting! Back soon…

If you want to continue reading, here is the saga so far:

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My Incompetent/High Maintenance Eyeballs: Take 4, Part 1

I’m breaking my inadvertent year-and-a-quarter radio silence to bring you this ongoing gripe I have, which I now expect will be a thorn in my side forever. But maybe I’ll learn something. Who knows.

I hope you weren’t expecting meaningful content. I don’t have the energy for meaningful content anymore — not that I ever really provided meaningful content in this blog. I try to provide all that over at Seeking Aleithia — which I haven’t updated in a long time. But I want to. Just like I say every time I write a new post after not posting in forever. I’m sure it’s what my readership has come to expect from me.

But it’s pretty obvious I don’t care about readership, so I’m just gonna go ahead with my gripefest, because I’m annoyed and devastated and angry. Not necessarily in that order.

Since having children, it seems my eyes have been getting worse and worse — though not as much my prescription as my sensitivity to materials. Well, I take that back: My prescription is getting stronger year by year (I just renewed my driver’s license after turning 40, and I couldn’t see the line of letters in the light box that determines whether I can drive without my glasses). But it’s getting harder to get corrective lenses to work with my stupid eyes. Or maybe it’s just hard to find a doctor+optical shop combo that a) saves me money, b) tries to find solutions to my vision problems, and c) doesn’t make me feel like an ignoramus because I can’t articulate the problems I’m having.

It doesn’t help that I have difficulty trusting the medical community, in general. But I just had the most disappointing experience I’ve ever had when dealing with an optical business, and am, once again, back at Square One.

If you’re just stumbling onto this blog by chance (apologies in advance; I’m nothing if not tedious), here are Take 1, Take 2, and Take 3.

There have been SOOOOOOOOOOO many (non-glasses-related) things that have happened that were blog- or gripe-worthy between the last post and now (which I might eventually get to in retrospect), but I feel the need to follow up with Take 3 — because what had been such a triumphant experience waaaaaay back in 2012 has just flipped backwards on me and become a massively disappointing experience I really wish I could have avoided by being more relentless and/or organized about information I was getting in the process of trying to find glasses that worked — or getting an optical referral from my doctor, shopping around more, or trying to find something within ten or fifteen miles of home.

I’ve thought about leaving a review on Yelp and/or Google, but I’ve seen this shop reply to poor reviews and turn it back on the customer. Maybe part of the problems I’ve had with them are my fault (am I just too prissy about my vision?), but I’m pretty sure their customer service is what I don’t want to deal with anymore.

After my great experience with Pro-Optix in 2012, the shop grew and moved to a different part of the mall. They now have a lab in the back and manufacture their own lenses. The guy who helped me originally (“Mr. J” for anonymity; I believe he is the business owner, at least) is there infrequently, but his dad (we’ll call him “Mr. G”) is there most of the time and and they have a few very young employees (two of whom we’ll call “Ms. C” and “Mr. D”).

My Target glasses were getting a little old (I guess it’s been three years since my eyes were last checked), and my distance vision just a tad blurry. However, the most immediate signs I cannot ignore for long are frequent headaches and eye fatigue from squinting. I really suck at being proactive about that sort of thing, but having had so much trouble in the past with doctors and optics, it takes a lot of psyching-up (and pain) to get me to finally see to it.

I decided that I would revisit Pro-Optix, because I’d had such a great experience with them before. I walked in one afternoon, got in to see the optometrist right away (I don’t remember his name), and had a pleasant experience with him and the gal (Ms. C) who helped me pick out frames and price lenses. I thought I was going to be able to get a blue-light coating (which I’d heard was quite useful, especially if you’re sensitive to light and in front of a computer a lot), but I wasn’t going to be able to afford the slight magnification at the bottom of the lens that I’d gotten when I went there in 2012.

I should probably just get used to the reality that my glasses will never again be less than $350. They cost at least that much at Target (not including the exam), and I couldn’t get it any lower at Pro-Optix, either (though the exam was free if I bought glasses there). But at least I was getting a little more bang for my buck, with Trivex lenses and a blue-light coating. Right?

Nope. I got a call from Pro-Optix while I was on my way home. Apparently, Ms. C messed up when ordering my lenses (quote: “She’s new and doesn’t know the system”), and the blue-light coating was only available on a higher-index lens, which would add another $250 to my cost (I think — or the total cost of the lens would go up and add whatever the difference was. Whatever it was, he didn’t explain it). But I could have plain polycarbonate with an anti-reflective (AR) coating for the same price as I’d already paid. Um, okay. It seemed steep, but I guessed that must have been the price of going to a larger, independently owned boutique.

This was Mistake #1: I did not fully research the added costs at Pro-Optix vs. what I normally got for free almost everywhere else. Mistake #2 was not keeping the guy on the phone and getting a full breakdown, and warning him thoroughly that I have had problems with polycarb in the past, and I will most likely be darkening their doorstep to let them know something is wrong shortly after receiving my glasses and trying them for at least a week.

Which I very well did.

They were done nearly three weeks later, and I picked them up whenever I managed to make it back there (Mistake #0.5 was going to an optical shop 30 miles away from home). I guess their lab was not functioning at the time, or they sent lenses out to get coated — I don’t remember, I just know they had sent out for a new left lens because there was a flaw in the AR coating. It wasn’t somewhere that obscured my vision, so I could still wear the glasses; they would just replace the lens when it came in. I believe sometime in that time-frame I went in for a pressure follow-up, because it was elevated in my first exam (probably due to sinus pressure that day; I’d had cluster headaches at near-migraine levels the day before, and was still fighting the tension in my neck). But the doctor did not recheck my prescription.

I wore the new glasses for several days. At first they seemed clear. There was a little distortion that threw off my depth perception, but not as much as problem lenses I’d had in the past. My right eye hurt some (that’s the diva eye, though I believe the astigmatism is actually worse in my left), and lights were extra bright with starbursts around them (which, if I’d recalled correctly, the AR coating should have reduced). But I didn’t have the wacky, looking-through-aquarium-glass rainbow effects I had the last time I’d dealt with polycarb, so maybe I just needed to adjust. I stuck it out for a few days, but soon had trouble focusing and was becoming fatigued much earlier than before the new lenses. I knew something had to be off. The clincher was when I was trying to read something I should have been able to see from about six feet away, and it was blurry. I took off the new glasses and put on my old ones, and could see clearly.

Sure enough, the new glasses were goin’ back — the first of several times.

* * * *

I’m trying a new thing, where I break up super-long posts into parts, so I don’t take days to write one, and you don’t have to take an hour to read it. I really need to go do something else now, so at least I can post something before I abandon yet another draft for a year or more. Blogging used to be so easy! But, then, I didn’t have kids or as much distraction as I do now. Since I was actively keeping up an online journal in 2004, blogging has become synonymous with meaningful content. I’ve already told you how I’m managing with meaningful content. So maybe I’ll just go back to my old blather, and not care what people think about it — but I have to cut it into chunks, or it will never get done.

Anyway.

Part 2 should be done soonish.

If you want to continue reading, here is the saga so far:

1

January 2017

Oh, look, it’s January! Time to make resolutions I probably won’t keep! Time to renew my commitment to a mental facility to do more writing, especially in my long-neglected blog!

This time, I have incentivized myself. I’ve purchased the domain “coffeeandlollipops.blog” AND made calling cards with that info, and the forwarding email “deltasierra47@coffeeandlollipops.blog”. (It’s clunky, but it’ll serve for now. Especially since I’ve already printed cards. But if you want to contact me, use that address!)

This is in anticipation of launching a big plan to, among other things, document my struggles, failures, and successes in helping my kids learn to eat. I’ve mentioned before that they have feeding issues, but it’s kind of long past “issues” now into “disorders”. As in, I feel safe diagnosing them both as having “SED” (Severe Eating Disorder), without the need of a medical professional to do it for me. Granted, SED is an umbrella term, but one that is becoming more widely known and accepted, as “SPD” (Sensory Processing Disorder) and “Autism Spectrum” have been.

Before anyone worries that I’m one of those WebMD parents who thinks they know better than doctors, I want to remind or inform you that my kids are not toddlers or speshul sneauxflaykes. They’re eight- and six-year-old boys who have been eating five foods or less since introducing solid foods, have been to a few years of OT and feeding therapy (with small progress), and who would rather starve themselves past the point of feeling hunger rather than try to learn to chew anything, including treats like Jell-O, ice-cream, or cookies.

If that doesn’t convince someone of the severity of this situation, nothing will.

They do love lollipops, though. I daresay it’s the only solid food my six-year-old eats. So there’s hope!

In addition to blogging here, I hope to start vlogging, as well, and might set up a separate blog the boys can contribute to in the far future, which will feature their own videos. I bought them an inexpensive action-camera set-up for Christmas so we can create cooking videos. I homeschool them, and realized that cooking classes would be a great way to learn all kinds of concepts, and my eight-year-old mentioned that it would be fun to put some of our cooking exploits up on a YouTube channel. (He’s been angling for a YouTube channel for months; this is one way I can cave to his request while also making it educational and limited in scope. If it were up to him, he would post videos of himself rambling on about everything and nothing, pacing back and forth in our cluttered living room, and I just can’t let him do that. I’m a mean mom for promoting meaningful web content. 😉 ) So watch this space for kitchen antics!

Before that can happen, though, I have to address another extremely severe issue in our house: Ridiculous Overabundance of Clutter (and dog hair). It has gotten so out of hand, I could ALMOST make it on the TLC “Hoarders” program. Yes, really. I am not exaggerating.

I’ve always been a messy person. I know now that it can likely be attributed to a level of ADD (and OCD, but not the clean kind) I’ve always had, but got out of hand after I had kids and lost my ability to keep up with it. Now, I fight fatigue and motivation every day, and can just manage to stay on top of most of my outside commitments, making the kids’ food (for home and travel), doing the dishes, and emptying the trash. This is compounded by the fact that my husband is on a nine-month deployment (Army, someplace that rhymes with “Little Beast”), and it’s winter, so depression and anxiety are at their highest, too. I admit I haven’t really done much school with the boys this year, even though it’s the first year I’ve had to declare to the school district that the eight-year-old is homeschooled.

I’m a hot mess, y’all.

Which is why I need to blog — or, rather, “document” — my journey back up the downward spiral I’ve been on for awhile. In about a week I’ll be leaving for the Feeding Matters Pediatric Feeding Conference, which I managed to talk myself into going to this year. I’m really looking forward to it, not only because it’s in Phoenix, AZ, in the middle of January. 😉 I’m hoping I’ll be able to network as well as learn some new things and gain more advocacy for our situation. I wasn’t happy with what I’ve had available to us in the past, but I’ll address that in a later post. For now, I need to go make lunch.

Here’s to a successful 2017! 🙂 Feel free to post your own resolutions, struggles, recommitments, etc., in the comments. Please refrain from advice at this point, however, though well-wishing is welcome. Soon I’m going to write a more comprehensive post about feeding disorders and the issues we’ve had to deal with, and why conventional advice for “picky” children just cannot work for us.

Thank you! See you again SOON!

Confessions

My kids don’t eat “food”. My oldest son has eaten oatmeal, with few variations, for every meal (for, not with) since he was a year old. He’s eight now. My youngest doesn’t chew; he drinks a nutrition shake for every meal. This presents all sorts of issues I will get into eventually, but that’s not what I’m actually going to post about this time, ’cause that’s just gonna get depressing.

No, what I’m confessing this time is my unabashed love of McDonald’s cheeseburgers and French fries. Apparently, I was a little picky as a toddler and went through a “crackers and French fries” phase, and I am still a very big fan of both. McDonald’s fries aren’t really all that special when compared to the flavor and cut of several other competing chains, but they’re always hot, extra-salty, and crispy — not to mention nostalgic and probably laced with crack, or something. The same goes for their cheeseburgers. They taste like childhood. And if that’s wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

Seriously, my kids don’t know what they’re missing.

So, you’d think that having two children who do not eat McDonald’s fare and cannot be bribed with food would keep me from falling into the temptation of using the Golden Arches as a reward or incentive — but you’d be wrong. 🙂 When I bribe my children with McDonald’s, it’s not because I’m going to fill them with junk food and let them act like monkeys in the Playland while I play on my phone and ignore them for half an hour. It’s because I’m going to fill me with junk food and let them act like monkeys in the Playland while I play on my phone and ignore them for half an hour.

I will have paid less per person to have access to a covered, air-conditioned play environment, compared to the age-limited, expensive indoor playgrounds we have around here. And I’ll get food I didn’t have to cook for myself. What’s not to love?

More importantly, I’m not having to buy them each a Happy Meal or something else they are not going to eat, that I would only end up eating in addition to my own meal — because one does not simply waste delicious McDonald’s food. I watch the other moms and dads in the Playland, coercing their child into eating just one more chicken McNugget, or take another bite of their cheeseburger before they can go play. (For the record, I was that kid, too. Mom would tell me I had to eat my whole burger and at least half my fries before I could go outside — there were no covered play areas when I was a kid — but I liked to eat all my fries first. And then I had no room for my whole burger.)

Now that I’m an adult with aliens for children, I’ve realized there’s not much point in begging them to just tryyyy a French fry. I simply feed them at home, then buy the Happy Meal for me. I get to satisfy my junk-food craving with very small portions of the yummy food I love there. I mean, have you seen those cute little fry boxes? It’s, like, half a small fries off the adult menu. It’s probably less than they served in Happy Meals when I was a kid. Instead of a small soda, though, I get a juice box and apple slices with it. Boy 2 gets the juice box, Boy 1 gets an order of small orange juice, and I order a medium drink for me. If the Happy Meal contains a kind of toy I might want (like My Little Pony) the toy is MINE (what? I’m a fan; don’t judge). But if it’s something they like, I’ll just buy an extra toy. I have, in the past, ordered two Happy Meals to avoid questions from the cashier, but eating two Happy Meals while my kids play seems a little too indulgent, even for me. An extra toy costs less (in money and calories) than another Happy Meal, so it just makes more sense, overall.

After that, they go play in a covered, air-conditioned (albeit ridiculously loud and germ-ridden) Playland while I eat and don’t do the things I brought with me to do…because phone.

Win-win, right? 🙂 Tell me you’re not jealous. And if you’re not, turn your thermostat up until it’s 85°F in your house and tell me how much you look forward to cooking for yourself, and how much you don’t wish you could get into your air-conditioned car and go to an air-conditioned place where your crazy children can get their energy out and you can sip iced-tea and not sweat. Because that is what summer is like in our house, and it is miserable.

Honestly — why suffer? McDonald’s has more seating than any of the playgrounds in our area, and it’s fully covered so I don’t have to bake in 85° sunshine because the postage stamp-sized covered area is packed with a bunch of moms who want to socialize. I do not go to the playground to socialize (with the exception of the few times I’m meeting a friend so our kids can play together, but none of my friends down here homeschool). Often, I’m taking my energy vampires to the playground for a break (from them — so they can feed off someone else for an hour or so). But if it’s 85° in my house and 85° outside, the playground is not a break — it is torture. I wrote an entire post that didn’t end up getting posted (I don’t know why, and it was stupid-long and I’m kind of glad it’s too out-of-date to post now) about adventures at a playground, including no seating anywhere and having to wait for the porta-potties to be washed out before Boy 2 could go pee (with help, because I have nightmares about my tiny boy falling into one of those) — and sometimes that hassle is just not worth it.

Besides, I don’t feel like I can be as readily judged by other McDonald’s parents. We all know we’re there for the junk food and leisure time. High-five, McDonald’s Moms! Now leave me alone.

BONUS:

I’ve been itching to blog more. (Yes, again. I know, I say it every time. I really do mean it this time! Probably.) I have more content that isn’t stupid day-to-day stuff, and a lot of crap to work through, especially where it concerns my children’s eating habits. We’re also staring Real Homeschool in the face this year, and as much as I’ve been looking forward to it, I’m terrified. McD’s might very well become my office and the boys’ recess some days.

Therefore, I’m embracing my new tagline in the banner: “I am the very model of a major modern-mother fail.” Not that I think I’m a failure, but I’m a failure at modern mothering. I love my kids and they’re great, but sometimes I love them more when I don’t have to pay attention to them. Anyone who thinks that’s bad parenting doesn’t have kids. Search your heart; you know this to be true.

Meanwhile, I’ll be at McDonald’s, ignoring my kids. 🙂

3

I Rule at Pizza

Not to toot my own horn, but I make a darn good pizza. (Okay, I totally am going to toot my own horn, but I don’t do it that often, so it’s okay right?) Even if it’s a cheapo cheese pie from Costco that I put the fixin’s on, myself, pizza is a subject at which I excel.

Homemade, from-scratch pizza is a labor of love, but no one has time for that every time a pizza craving rears its ugly head. So I’ll share a few pizza-making secrets, which can probably be found on the Food Network, either as Rachel Ray shortcuts or looked upon with disdain by Emeril Legasse. But pssh. Who cares? This isn’t a food blog!

The first suggestion is find a decent base. If you’re not picky, even a Totino’s cheese pizza will do (and, despite my quarter-Italian heritage, I’m so not picky). Costco’s cheese pizzas are great, and come in a four-pack. Hey, if D’Giorno can claim to be gourmet, so can your homemade concoctions. Just sayin’. You know what you like, so go with that. I make mini pizzas with Orowheat Oatnut bread, because it’s what I’ve got.

I can make my own crust — and I’ll post a recipe — but I do it in the bread maker, because I also don’t have the patience/attention span to do it by hand. 🙂 Unfortunately, I have not managed to develop my own sauce that tastes right, so to save myself time, I’ve used Contadina’s “Pizza Squeeze” and Kroger’s “Pizza Sauce” in a jar (the latter is my favorite so far; it has the fewest additives and tastes yummy). As for cheese, fresh mozzarella is tempting to use, because it’s SO delicious, but it is also labor intensive, because you have to drain all the moisture out of it or it will “weep” all over your pizza — and no one likes soggy pizza. Alternatives are block mozzarella and pre-shredded. I’ve used both and they’re fine. However, you have not lived until you’ve tried pepperjack on a pizza. Trust me and do it. You will wonder where it’s been all your life.

ANYway, back to the base… Regardless of how you do your crust, sauce, and cheese, the toppings are the most important part. I can make gourmet out of cheapo, with just the right toppings. And you can, too! So here is a list of toppings we have used to “decorate” our pizzas, with great success:

  • Canned chicken, browned in butter or oil (make sure it’s a very chunky variety. Kirkland is my favorite, and you’d do well to avoid Hormel)
  • Bacon (sliced and browned)
  • Garlic
  • Onions (I use Mayan Sweets and sauté or caramelize them in butter. Scallions work well, too)
  • Mushrooms (sautéed in lots of butter, with herbs and maybe a little wine)
  • Hamburger (browned — in a pinch, you can slice frozen meatballs in half)
  • Herbs, like sage, rosemary, basil, savory, chives, garlic powder, thyme
  • Sauces, like Smoked Chipotle Tabasco

Honestly, the best thing to do is to use your imagination. For instance, we usually do some chicken/bacon combination that includes onions and garlic. Tonight, I made bacon, onions, garlic, and sautéed mushroom (with sage, basil, thyme, and red wine), and put them on a cheapo Costco pizza, then sprinkled it with grated Asiago. It was excellente! If I’m feeling super-lazy, but also super-hungry, I’ll just cut frozen meatballs in half and place them evenly over the top.

I am by no means a gourmet cook, so don’t think I learned any of these techniques anywhere but the School of Hard Knocks. So when I say “caramelize”, I’m probably not doing it right. The onions are lightly browned and soft, and crazy delicious. Good enough for me! By the time they reach that stage, our mouths are watering and we couldn’t care less if they’re properly caramelized.

However, it has taken a bit of trial and error to get the crust just right. I have a basic recipe, which I have tweaked shamelessly until I got rid of the bitter taste and dense texture. Again, this is for a bread maker. I’m really not one to ask for tips on how to do it by hand, so that will have to be something to look up on your own, unless you already know how to do it. More power to you if you do!

BASIC 12″ Pizza Crust (with tweaks in parentheses):

* Put these ingredients in the bread pan in the order given, unless your bread maker says to do otherwise:

  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (substitute with a dollop of yogurt)
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 & 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sugar (substitute with a dollop of honey, in a corner of the pan)
  • 1 tsp yeast (in a divot in the center of the flour)

* Set to the “pizza dough” setting and check once to make sure it’s wet or dry enough while mixing (I tend to eyeball the yogurt and honey, which add extra moisture content, so you might find you need a little more flour than just the 2 & 1/4 cups). It should take about 55 minutes, or so; about as long as it would take doing it by hand.
* When it’s done, dump it out on a floured surface (wet fingers will make this easier) and coat it in flour. Squish it a little, then ignore it for a minute (go pour a glass of wine — or another, if you’re like me 😉 ).
* I’ve discovered that rolling pins do not work well with fresh pizza dough. Lift the lump of dough and balance it on your fists, letting gravity stretch it while you kind of walk your fists around the edges (I should probably do a video on this…)

Now for the rest of the pizza!:

* Preheat the oven to 425°F
* Once the crust is the right size and even through the middle (don’t let it get too thin!), place it on your pizza pan or pizza stone, in a circle LARGER than the finished product will be.
* Brush sauce over the whole crust, and sprinkle cheese (pepperjack, I’m telling you!) over the entire circumference.
* Start rolling the outer edge of the crust inward, folding in the sauce and cheese. Gently pull the crust in the direction you are rolling (left or right), and it will stay rolled better than if you just roll it toward the center.
* Finish cooking or prepping your toppings and spread them evenly over the cheese.
* Brush the outer crust with a thin layer of sauce. Finely grate Asiago or Parmesan over it, or sprinkle with garlic powder or garlic salt.
* Depending on your oven, cook for 15 minutes or so, checking after 10, until crust is golden brown and cheese is thoroughly melted. Sometimes, I’ll start it on a low rack to make sure the crust is well done before transferring it to an upper rack to brown the rest of it.
* Take it out when it looks done and let it cool as long as you can possibly stand it.

There you have it! I hope you have success in your future pizza-making endeavors! If you have any interesting tips (especially on how to make sauce), post them in the comments! 🙂

My Incompetent (or should I just say “high maintenance”?) Eyeballs, Take 3

I had written about this before (Take 1 and Take 2), without ever completing the story. It did have a happy ending: I went to a place called “Pro-Optix” in the mall, and the guy not only helped me pick out a cute pair of glasses, but hooked me up with a polycarb/plastic blend that worked absolutely perfectly with my eyes, as well as added a slight magnification in the bottom of the lens to combat eye fatigue and the difficulty my eyes sometimes have adjusting from far to near. It was wonderful, and I don’t know why I didn’t just go back to him when it was time to get new glasses again, especially since the total for everything, even having to send the lenses to two different labs for all the optimization my prescription required, was only $145. (It did take two weeks for them to arrive, and then he had to send them back because they reversed the lenses – right was left and left was right – so it did take a total of four weeks for me to finally get them. But I did not have to send them back again!)

I’ve had these glasses I’m wearing now since late 2012, and, as much as I love them, I realized recently that I seem to be squinting more and getting more headaches when focusing for a long time. When it occurred to me that it had been almost three years since I’ve had an exam and new lenses, I looked up a new doctor (because we have different insurance now) and had an exam at our local Target Optical.

Problem #1: I did not get a referral from my doctor for this clinic, so even though it is listed as a partner, I only got a discount on the exam, and still had to pay $75 out of pocket. Not what I was expecting.

Problem #2: New glasses, even with $100 discounted through insurance, are INSANELY EXPENSIVE. I was kicking myself from here to the mall, where I happened to be going the very night I reluctantly purchased the frames and lenses from Target, which came to well over $300. I’m sure Pro-Optix could have fetched me a better price (and since then I’ve learned that they make the lenses onsite now, though I imagine my speshul snowflake eyes would probably require the same amount of exactitude and coddling they did last time).

Problem #3: Insanely expensive materials for lenses do not guarantee your eyes will adjust to them. I just went back for a re-exam today, because the new lenses weren’t quite as bad as my first experience back in 2012 with material incompatibility, but they were still pretty bad. At least this time, both the optician and the optometrist understood that it was my astigmatism that was making my eyes incompatible with even the most advanced lenses (my last eye doctor never came to that conclusion, or if he did he never told me). The frames – which are super cute, and totally not something I would have ever chosen for myself without help – are going back to the lab to have the lenses redone. Hopefully it will be done just as quickly as the last ones, which came a few days after we ordered them.

For $300+, they’d better!

(I just posted over in my other blog, Seeking Aleithia, if you are interested in taking a look: “Christian Feminism and the Modern Church“. God Bless!)

Hello! I’m coming back from the future to say that this goes on for a long, loooong time — and it only gets worse. Here is the saga in full (more to be added later):

2

A.D.D.? Me? Why do you say th––hey SHINY!!

My husband was listening to a radio station the other day, and a woman was speaking about how ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) usually manifests differently in girls and women than it does boys. Female ADD tends to show itself through clutter (can’t concentrate long enough to finish a project), being late to everything (no real good concept of time), and traits that tend to characterize a person as flighty, lazy, undisciplined, and directionless. She also said that it’s extremely underdiagnosed in women, because usually one sees, say, a homemaker with the above traits and just thinks she’s a slob who never learned how to run a house. And the woman characterized as such believes that, and addresses the fallout (depression, anxiety, shame) instead of the root cause (inability to focus long enough to Get It All Done).

Now, I’m not advocating more medication for women (or anyone) with ADD. I still believe ADD is as overdiagnosed and overmedicated as autism. But just because it is overdiagnosed does not mean some people don’t struggle with it. Adult ADD has kind of become a thing in recent years, and I’ve joked about having it in the past (never taking seriously that this could be my problem, too), but I have to face something in my life: There is something about my brain that does not function like a normal human’s is supposed to function, and it is Making. Me. Crazy.

I’ve always been cluttered. AL.WAYS. I have always been a daydreamer, a people-watcher, more effective at night when it’s dark and quiet and I can pinpoint what I need to focus on. As an adult, I get overstimulated very easily, and I’m anxious, scattered, HORRIBLY cluttered, and exhausted by a busy day — especially a busy morning. I have always sabotaged myself and as much as I intend to finish some things, it just never happens.

When my husband told me about this woman who was basically describing me, he said he began to think that, maybe, ADD wasn’t some kind of throwaway diagnosis, after all. I did a little research on my own, and realized that, sure enough, I now had a name for my dragon! This beast I’ve been fighting for years, and that’s gotten worse with the chaos of having children (and subsequent hormonal and activity changes).

What I don’t want to do with it is use it as an excuse. It’s not that I was poorly disciplined as a child or never taught such-and-such — I’m an adult, and have access to anything I want to learn about how to conduct my life. It’s that I have only ever faced these problems as things to be ashamed of, reasons I am a lousy, unproductive individual — character issues, rather than issues of brain/hormone/emotional dysfunction. What I need are strategies to overcome it. To harness that dragon and make it MINE.

I’m reading a book now called “Your Life Can Be Better: Using Strategies for Adult ADD/ADHD”, written by a psychiatrist with ADD. It’s probably one of the most straightforward, ADD-friendly self-help books I’ve ever read, and I’m enjoying it so far. 🙂

I want to go on and on, but part of my problem is the inability to judge the flow of time. I have ten minutes before I have to leave, but I don’t know if I have ten minutes’ worth of tasks to do to get out the door. So I’ll wrap this up for now, and write something more later. See? Progress! 😀

2

Rebranding Time?

I’ve neglected my blog forever. There are many reasons (the biggest one because I’m lazy), but one of them might be because I created it with a niche mindset. “Oh, I’m a mommy now, I should blog about my life with kids!”

Bleh. Other people have kids, too. I spend all day with the kids, and they probably spend all day with theirs. I need a blog more oriented toward life in general. Absurd life. Ridiculous life. Stupid things that run through my head that don’t make sense to anyone but myself. Stories. Jokes.

So, welcome to Coffee and Lollipops — a place where stuff doesn’t have to make sense to be funny. I can observe the ridiculous that tickles my funny bone and it doesn’t have to have anything to do with my kids.

Except that they both like lollipops. It’s the only solid food my three-year-old will eat.

Oh, there will be kid-related stuff here, too, because they ARE part of my life — and they are ridiculous on a grand scale — but this isn’t a “mommy blog”. It’s a ME blog.

I always have big dreams for blogs. We’ll see how I do with this one. 😉