Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Migraines, caterers, deadlines = SUCKAGE

It has been chaotic in these parts for the past couple of weeks. My blog has been left to fend for itself, and all I have been able to manage has been stringing a few lines of six words to pretend that I am actually writing. But we all know the truth.

Last March, in the spirit of doing things on a whim (as much as any mother of three who works full time could do) I booked our family for a Disney Cruise. Although a bit apprehensive, my (very wise) husband figured it was easier to go with it than to fight me on it. The two younger boys birthdays would be celebrated with the world's most famous mouse, and this family of five would take their very first voyage on the sea (for three nights, anyways).

When I made these plans, I assumed several things. First, and foremost, I believed that our State Mandated test from hell would have been administered in March, as it has been since its inception.

I assumed that Andrew's First Holy Communion would be in late May, as his older brother's was two year's prior.

I believed I had another year before I would have to begin the renewal process for National Board Certification.

I also believed that it would be a relaxing trip.

Fast forward to the beginning of the year and the release of the State's testing schedule. Yeah, you guessed it. The test was scheduled for the Monday after we docked. As a bonus, we also had a short week the week we left, thereby cutting my instructional time as I crammed as much review as I could for my poor students.

When I received the schedules from the Church for the Communions this year, I was SHOCKED that Andrew's would be scheduled for the Saturday of the week that we returned. A mere 6 DAYS after we returned. During a testing week. In which two thirds of my offspring would be required to partake of.

But better yet, the first year I was eligible to renew was this year. And the box is due to San Antonio in a mere 10 days.

A sign of the Apocalypse. And very poor planning.

Maybe I am not cut out to be spontaneous.

But I digress.

The week leading up to the trip was hectic, at the very least. There were orthodontist appointments, birthdays, packing, reviewing, writing and MAJOR picking up and preparing for the party after the Communion, 'cause really, who goes on a trip the week before a major religious sacrament.

After marathon packing into the wee hours of the morning, we departed. The weather was perfect. The food was delectable. And for the three nights I was on that ship, I didn't think about all that I had left behind.

I was reminded as soon as we arrived and got to our car, only to discover that the battery was dead. Some nincompoop (me) left an interior light on the whole time we were gone. Or rather, until the car's battery went dead. After a good 45 minutes and endless attempts of getting jumper cables that were functional, we were on our way home. Clearly, God had other plans than for me to spend Monday morning explaining to my principal why I was still 2 hours north of my school.

The week of testing was endless and harrowing. The children managed not to throw up or have nervous breakdowns in school. There were endless appointments that some nincompoop (me) had scheduled for dentists and such. Oh, yeah, I forgot. The Communion was supposed to be in MAY!!

Our Church decided that the children who were to receive the Sacrament on Saturday needed a lengthy (as in almost 3 hours) rehearsal after religious class, on the night before even MORE testing. Andrew and I had dinner at 8:30 p.m., after they locked the gates to where our car was parked.

Finally, testing finished. The week finished and it was the night before. My late period decided to make an appearance the night before the Communion. John and I shoved stuff in boxes to store in the garage, went out for a last round of stuff we needed for the party, set up tables, chairs and floral arrangements. I prepared platters of food and left them in my neighbor's refrigerator. I ironed (as I muttered silently to myself) the after the ceremony clothes, showered, shaved and blow-dried my hair. I went to bed at 1:30 a.m.

I rose at 6 a.m., fixed the salad, put on my dress (it fit!) and headed to weigh in for Weight Watchers. I did a little gig as there was no change in weight (yippee!!) and headed to the local grocery store to pick up the cake and the mother lode of food for the party.

Here is where we ran into a problem.

The deli department had NO RECORD OF MY ORDER! I had to be at church with dressed children and looking like a person by 9 a.m. At 7:15 a.m., I wanted to cry. And swear. And curse. Except I had gone to confession the night before. I didn't want to blacken my soul before at least 12 hours had passed, you know?

I handled myself with as much grace as I could muster. The deli manager promised to have my platters ready within an hour. I had her draw up a much reduced bill for my inconvenience, paid said bill, and left to put my face on and dress some boys.

John went to pick up the food when they called. I hurried to dress children and make sure lipstick was somewhere in the near vicinity of my lips. As I was heading out the door to get to the church on time, John came back, one platter short.

It was hard, folks. Keeping it together. Not letting my raging hormones just take control and let myself become a sobbing, wet, hot mess. I drove to Church. I left Andrew with his group. I got a knot in my throat seeing my little boy looking so big.

And then, I remembered I hadn't had breakfast. And my migraine began.

I survived the ceremony, in spite of Joshua acting like he was crazy. The food crisis was averted and we got our money back for our trouble. Everyone had a great time. Andrew had a glorious day. It was worth all the craziness to see him smile as he came into the Church, gleaming in his white hand-me-down suit.

But my migraine was bad. I fell at home. With a house full of guests.

I couldn't eat later that night because I hadn't taken my prescription before the migraine got out of control.

I went to bed with bruised knees and a nagging question of where it all went wrong.

But next time, you'd better believe that I won't be so quick to fly by the seat of my pants. Calendars will be consulted. Arrangements will be made. Care will be taken.

I mean, it's simple math. Migraines+deadlines= MAJOR SUCKAGE.

April 30 and a FedEx confirmation cannot come soon enough!

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