Why I’m spacey

I’m feeling spacey today. There are reasons for this absentminded, distract-able stupor which I am slogging through.

Allow me to elaborate.

Reason Number One
It’s Monday. Mondays make me spacey.

Reason Number Two
This morning the two Up With People girls left.

They had been living with us for a week, and after eight days of changing around our schedule to accommodate theirs (morning and evening runs into town, some of which were quite late, and suppers at bedtime), I feel a little off-kilter.

The girls were great though, and we were all a little sad to see them go. Marjo (pronounced “MA-rio,” kind of) was from Finland and Joelle was from San Diego, CA. They were up for anything and everything: tree planting at some friends’ house, trying raw milk, biking, and multiple games of memory with the kiddies. It was fun and totally worth it, but now I’m worn out.

Reason Number Three
Marjo just so happened to be a photographer, so Friday night I sat her down and she explained all sorts of camera-y things to me. We talked about things such as “time value” and “aperture,” concepts that twisted my brain up in knots and made me concentrate super hard.

Having a semi-professional photographer at my fingertips for all sorts of silly little questions was a dream come true.

She was a dear to oblige me.

But there’s no two ways about it: playing with my camera makes me spacey.

Reason Number Four
Speaking of cameras, my new telephoto lens arrived on Saturday and I about went crazy with glee. In fact, I was whooping and hollering so much that Joelle decided I was video-worthy. Now, thanks to me, all the San Diegonians will think that Virginian women are so isolated and deprived that they weep with joy and dance jigs whenever the mail truck stops.

This new lens is guilty of messing up my life in a BIG way. Every time I think I might be able to focus on writing or trimming my fingernails or cleaning up the back hall, I spy my sexy new lens and have to go play.

This lens is making me really, really, reallyreallyreally spacey.

Reason Number Five
Last night we went trick or treating for the first time ever. It was the first time for my kids, and, believe it or not, it was the first time for me.

Since Marjo had never celebrated Halloween and was really excited and curious about it, I figured it’d be a bloomin’ pity for her to travel all the way around the world and not get to do the Halloween thing. It just wouldn’t be right.

For a variety of reasons, I’ve always been opposed to Halloween.

A.) Spiritual reasons. I was raised to believe that Halloween was a celebration of evil and that we, as Christians, were supposed to eschew the dark side and instead fill our heads with happy thoughts about Jesus.

B.) The whole candy thing. I don’t mind candy here or there, but a whole glut of candy in the hands of my children seemed a very unwise decision indeed.

C.) The realest reason: it was just one more thing to do and I didn’t feel up to it.

But then, quite spontaneously, I tossed all my ideas out the window and decided—BOOM!—we’d hit the streets come Sunday night.

And once I decided we’d do Halloween, I was all over it. Ghosts and goblins? Let’s terrorize the little sweeties—the scarier the better! Free candy? Yippee! Bring it all to mama, my sweets!

The kids grabbed clothes from the dress-up box. Nickel was a ragged, safety-pinned together spiderman. Sweetsie went as a we’re-not-sure-what. (Some of our guesses include a wigged out nun, a cleaning lady, and a Christmas tree ornament.) Miss Beccaboo transformed into a queen, complete with an iron curtain rod scepter and a paper crown. Yo-Yo was a clown.

And then we were off. It took The Baby Nickel a few houses to figure out what in the world was going on, but then he was off and running, literally.

After an hour of tromping around in the dark, shivering, and munching on candy, I was hooked. Halloween was a splendid holiday! So community oriented! So neighborly! So fun! In fact, I was so gong-ho that I suggested we hit a second neighborhood, a notion that got vetoed by my more sensible husband.

We arrived home with a boatload of candy and bad attitudes. This morning we’re dealing with the after effects, trying to find a balance between a candy free-for-all and the parental regulatory board.

And it so happens that sugar-induced hangovers and grumpy kids make me spacey.

Reason Number Six
We went to bed at ten o’clock last night, but I was awakened a half hour later by a whimpering Baby Nickel. Hoping that Mr. Handsome would rise to the occasion, I played dead. Turns out, Mr. Handsome can play a fine game of dead himself.

Perhaps Nickel will fall back asleep on his own, I thought, rolling over and squinching my eyes tightly shut.

But Nickel kept up his pathetic whimpering and Mr. Handsome kept making like a possum so I finally tumbled my tired self out of bed and on down the hall. I reached to scoop up my little boy and—eeeeew! I was hit by a wave of stink at the same time my hands touched wet slime.

The child, bless his heart, was whimpering because he had thrown up all over the bed and then face planted—no, body planted—in the stinky filth.

And thus commenced a three-hour puke fest. The poor child worked his way through one bedspread, several blankets, a couple sheets, one mattress pad, two pillowcases, two outfits, two sleeping bags, and multiple wash cloths and towels.

By round five, he was an old pro. A sweet, but weak, little voice would rouse me from my drowsy stupor with a polite, “I’m ready,” and I’d bound out of bed and whip a bowl under his chin. (At one point, Mr. Handsome mumbled something about sharing a bed with the Road Runner.)

A fraction of the damage

Piles (and piles and piles) of puke-soaked laundry on four hours of sleep make me very spacey indeed.

Happy November First!

The end.

The same time, years previous: Greek yogurt, oatmeal bread


  • Marie M.

    Oh dear. Poor baby. Poor you. My mother taught us when we were very young — when you throw-up, you throw-up in a bowl. Maybe the first time you can't make it to the bathroom. Then get a big bowl and use it. (I had a large, light, stainless steel bowl. I could clean it with boiling water.) I taught my son the same thing. They get to hold the bowl by themselves because you may not get there in time. There's nothing worse than having a child who can't stop vomiting. But they can learn to use a bowl by themselves. Of course, you still get to clean the bowl. But it cuts down on the wash.

  • AmyShow

    Up with People is sounds like such a cool program. And your pictures and stories could definitely be part of their PR. I would love to spend a week with you.

  • Kare

    Aww, I can just imagine the weak, polite "I'm ready!" – how sweet, even when barfing.

    So glad you enjoyed (mostly) Halloween! I love the whole trick or treating thing. 🙂

  • Karen Sue

    I remember a night when I had 2 doing the tag team thing….one of them would throw up every hour, on the hour. If it wasn't so sad, it would have been hilarious!!
    Here's hoping you got a nap and no one is up for another round tonight!

  • Jennifer Jo

    Beth, Nope, I didn't nap. I wrote this post and ate candy instead…

    Mama Pea, There are things I don't like about Halloween (gore and death themes), but what we did as a family—innocent dressing up and knocking on doors—was a BLAST.

    Meshan! You were with UWP!? As a singer? Dancer? Now I feel I know about a part of your distant past and I've never even seen you!

    SuburbanCorrespondent, Yeah, after the third spew, we knew it wasn't from sugar. He even threw up once the following morning making for a grand total of 7 times (I think). So far no one else is sick…

    No, my husband wasn't complaining—he was marveling at my speed and vomit-catching aptitude. In fact, he always followed behind to turn on the lights and minister with the wet washcloth.

    Everyone, I appreciate all the advice on how to handle the Halloween glut. I'm taking it under advisement.

  • Suburban Correspondent

    Nope – candy overload would not result in his puking 5 times. One time and everyone goes back to bed. You are in for it this week, I'm afraid. Oh, I hate the puke laundry pile-up! Especially when it's cold and I run out of blankets…

    I do hope your husband wasn't complaining about the disturbance as you leaped out of bed for the fifth time to help a puke-y child while he slept. Can't be, right?

    We let the kids eat whatever they want on Halloween; then they pick out 10 pieces of candy to savor over the next week. The rest, I pay them for. And Larry takes it straightaway to the office, so I don't start eating it all.

    I do love me some Snickers.

  • Anonymous

    My kids love Halloween. They wait all year for one night when I allow them to eat as much candy as they want. I like the whole dress-up thing…so fun!

    Your kids looked adorable. You certainly have every reason to be spacey after all that!!!

  • Margo

    Now you will forever connect Halloween with barf!!! I think that's the Lord speaking to you.

    No, really, I am being a smarty. I've only been trick or treating with my kids three times now and I agree with your assessment (spiritual and otherwise).

    I hope nobody else gets pukey in your house. That is the worst.

  • Meshan

    Fun, I'm glad you hosted UWP girls! I was in it once upon a time. Sorry about your babe though. Probably sugar overload! Blech! I limit my kids to one candy per day or they can do a job if they want an extra piece.

  • beth

    I sure enjoy reading your posts. This one gave me a few smiles…then…I felt sooo bad for you. What a hard night!! Hope you can nap a little today. You probably don't do that though, do you?

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