Checking in.

It’s been a long while since I’ve blogged. No apologies; chronic illness doesn’t give a shit about plans. There were a lot of depressive bouts and migraines; there were weeks without bathing and way too many days housebound. Now that we’re in a stretch of hot summer in my piece of the Pacific Northwest I get pain flareups on the hottest days. I tend to be shit at recognizing in a timely fashion that as-needed pain or anxiety medication is warranted until my pain or cycling is high, so symptoms go poorly managed more often than not. Stress primes me for digestive issue flareups so between all my conditions it’s been as tough a year as any thus far.

Nevertheless, I persist.

Recently I managed to lose my wallet and my most vital cards along with. I’m still in the process of replacing the vitals, which for me includes my library cards (now for four systems because I am a major nerd). Libraries that make reporting a lost card as simple as filling out a form online or sending an email are my favorite because having to call during business hours when my sleep is super fucked up and I still have phone anxiety on the regular means I’ve only been able to initiate replacement on 3 out of 4 library cards so far. Having to visit libraries in person to complete the process is a barrier to timely replacement but at least I was able to replace my State ID reasonably quickly. (So far one library system did offer to mail a new card if I couldn’t come in soon but I’ve had physical items to return so visiting soon would happen regardless.)

As for a new wallet, I wanted something small but closeable and finally settled on a very plain $5 trifold that I may spruce up with a patch at some point. I was hoping to score coin storage but my chosen replacement wallet is as coin-unfriendly as the old, so I’ll hit the usual suspects (Hot Topic, Claire’s) for some cute little coin purse and then I should be reasonably set.

Kid is doing great overall, and just had a particularly successful weekend of toilet use. For the record, the Minions underpants we got him from H&M months ago are the cutest little boy underpants in the whole world. My favorite design, predictably, is Team Bob because #TeamBobForLife #GoBob #KingBobMicDrop (and so on).

No promises on how often I’ll be posting going forward; I’ll be here when I’m here. I know consistency builds readership but pageviews ain’t my game here, darlin’.

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Standing Outside the Renton IKEA, Smartphone in my Hand

To quote the good Cap’n Reynolds, “Never goes smooth. How come it never goes smooth?” In the case of our trip to IKEA this past weekend, the reason would be me, my streak of poor sleep, and my disrespect for mornings. So what would have been an epic, super-productive day wound up being a differently-epic experience — one of survival rather than conquest.

The Plan

Head out in the morning. Pick up Rx from local Target, then stop by another Target along way to IKEA to see if lamp I want is in stock as Target website claims. Proceed to Renton IKEA and be super-efficient.

Reality

Dawn was nearing when I finally went down for sleep and I didn’t get up until noonish. We left home a bit before 2 pm and I grabbed Rx and snacks from Target while the boys hit the gas station. We finally got on the road toward IKEA. We snacked in car on the drive.

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Look at this happy child before we embarked for IKEA

The parking situation at Renton IKEA is still far from ideal; the new store is open but the main section of parking is still under construction. We had to park in an overflow lot and take the complimentary shuttle to the store. We finally got to the store around 3:30 pm.

Once inside, orienting ourselves took longer than expected. Kid was behaving increasingly poorly as time wore on; by partway through the showroom level, he was whining about being hungry. We resigned ourselves to hitting the cafeteria, as it was well past 4 pm and everyone was starting to feel hangry. Kid threw away his shot at having an ice cream cone after checkout; he kicked Jeremy while we were in line, then was rude during requisite chat regarding his misbehavior, so also lost himself any chance of appeal.

Verdict on new cafeteria itself: more spacious, but food was less satisfying to us on this trip than in the past.

We survived the self-serve areas and I didn’t have a complete meltdown in the warehouse. Checkout experience was pretty good: lines weren’t too long, I’d brought enough reusable shopping bags for everything, and we managed to get our stuff out of checkout in a reasonably timely fashion.

We acquired all the items on the final version of the list (new bed for kid, 2 guest chairs for dining area, TV stand and bookcase for living room), except for one substitution (we preferred another chair pad once evaluating options in-store). We hadn’t decided on which frying pan we’d get before getting to the store, so that wasn’t really an “extra,” but otherwise we didn’t wind up with too much unplanned stuff: small plate to replace a broken one, kitchen towels (does anyone have enough?), a couple cute USB-powered task lights, a few kitchen utensils (including 2 wooden spoons because 2017 is the year I’m bringing wooden spoons back into my life), another utensil container so all the utensils will have a place to live on the counter, and a frame for Jeremy to use for Owen art at work.

Kid and I waited at the vehicle loading area while Jeremy hopped the shuttle back to our car. Owen met some nice kids who shared their sidewalk chalk and let him keep a piece of blue chalk when they had to go. If he could have just kept drawing and not mindlessly wandering into the path of foot and cart traffic over and over and over, this portion of our IKEA adventure would have been more pleasant for both of us. Finally, Jeremy arrived with the car and we loaded it up.

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IKEA Tetris

We had our usual post-IKEA confusion trying to get to the freeway (even with the aid of GPS). After we finally got home (almost 8 pm!), I tweeted:

A trip to wears me out as much, if not more, than 5K walk events. MY BODY IS WEARY, AS IS MY SPIRIT.

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“Everything hurts and I’m dying.”

Title reference: Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand