funny

Granola Bar Glasses

The following post describes an actual event that took place some time ago. It is forever stuck in my mind:

One day, Momsy and I were sitting at the kitchen table doing whatever we do at the kitchen table.

Suddenly, Momsy says to me:

Picture 1

I looked down at the table in front of me and realized that Momsy was gesturing to an object towards my end of the table. However, it wasn’t her glasses – it was a granola bar.

At first, I was confused. Perhaps her glasses were behind the granola bar, or maybe she meant to say “granola bar” but I heard “glasses.”

That was impossible though, because she clearly said “glasses” and was referring to a granola bar.

Picture 2

 

I looked up at Momsy, and back at the granola bar, then back at her. I saw that she was not only already wearing a pair of glasses, but there was an additional pair resting on her head. Both pairs were of little help – clearly – considering she just pointed to a granola bar and said, “Can you pass me my glasses?”

The hilarity of it hit me all at once. It was, honestly, overwhelming. My body started trembling with uncontrollable emotions and sensations. Overall, it was thrilling.

Picture 4

Picture 7

And then, I was gone. I’m not sure why it was as funny as it was, but nevertheless, the situation took over my sense of reality and I couldn’t think of anything funnier than this moment.

Picture 5

Momsy didn’t understand. Of course she didn’t! She did not yet know of her mistake… which made it all the more hilarious.

Picture 8

Between giant gasping haaaa’s and hooooo’s and deep hissing exhales during my fit of laughter, I tried to convey the message.

Picture 11

I also gently mentioned that she was wearing a two pairs of glasses on her head. Momsy finally understood the big picture. It was all too much for her.

Picture 9

 

Picture 12

I tried to reassure her. I don’t think I was very effective…

Picture 13

In the end, Momsy got herself a REAL pair of glasses – ones that actually help her see. No more CVS Pharmacy $3 glasses for this woman! Still, the granola bar incident will live on forever. I don’t even know what happened to that granola bar…if it only knew the incredible role it would have in our lives.

Picture 14

xo kelly

Advertisements

Food Shopping Part 2: Big Decisions

I recently had another ridiculous food shopping experience. Afterward, I realized it would make an absolutely marvelous blog post. So ladies and gents, here we go:

After shopping with momsy for what seemed like several hours in preparation for a BBQ, we finally reach the frozen food aisle in the grocery store. We decided to pick a frozen meal to have for lunch because:

a. We never have frozen meals, therefor it would be different and exciting

b. We were tired and hungry and the frozen food is for the lazy.

Momsy quickly selects her frozen lunch. Some chicken pot pie thinger-whatever. Good for her, I thought to myself. Now it was my turn.

Let me remind everyone that again, this was the END of long day of shopping all over town, and if you have read my first post about food shopping (click here to read it) you will remember that food shopping can be a somewhat very extreme sensory nightmare.

So there I was, surrounded by freezers with dozens, if not HUNDREDS of options for what to have for lunch. I was overstimulated, COLD, tired, and very hungry.

Picture 5

I had to make a decision.

Picture 8

The task at hand was not really complicated: Choose a frozen meal to have for lunch. But it felt so much more intense:

Picture 11

(If you’re interested, the choices on the wheel are: lava, darkness, sword, chocolate, sharks, ice, puppies, poo, spider, knife, water, snow, fire, bugs, snakes, and bieber…whose name I spelled incorrectly. Go me).

Neurotypical people, like momsy, for instance, make decisions based on the fact that their brain does not struggle to process sensory information. All that comes naturally, so when they are in an overstimulating environment, their brain can focus on important decisions….like what to have for lunch.

Picture 18

Then there are people like me, whose SPD brain – when pushed to the brink – experiences difficulty when having to process anything other than sensory info because it’s so darn busy trying to process basic sensory info that it LITERALLY doesn’t have time for anything else. My brain was like:

aint-nobody-got-time-for-that

When deciding on what frozen thing I wanted, my brain would only respond by stating what it could process at the time:

Picture 19

Picture 20

GENIUS. UGHHHH

I remember standing in the aisle, pacing back and forth in front of the freezers and nothing was making sense. It felt like forever.

Picture 28

Picture 33

 

I couldn’t stand myself! How could I have possible graduated with honors from my university just months ago, yet I couldn’t pick a frozen lunch from a freezer? WTF, you guys. To hell with my SPD brain, I was hungry and incapable!

Luckily, my lady in waiting, momsy, was there and she recognized that I was overstimulated.

Picture 35

Picture 37

(Note: someone please make this frozen meal a reality. I don’t know about you, but I would buy Mr. Miyagi’s Kung Pow In Your Face Super Asian Noodles with SAUCE.)

And with that, all was ok. My brain accepted this box of asian cuisine and I was thankful that my decision making nightmare was over. I realized I had pushed myself too much all day, and my frozen meal meltdown – a seemingly random event –  was actually the product of too much overstimulation. I WAS SO OVERSTIMULATED THAT I COULDN’T RECOGNIZE THAT I WAS OVERSTIMULATED. Oh the irony!

Picture 48

 

xo kelly

Partying with SPD

Ask any person with sensory issues about how much they like going to parties.

Oh wait, you don’t have to, I’ll tell you for them. They don’t like it.

Large social gatherings are basically the OPPOSITE of the bees knees for SPDers (well, like 98% of us).

I was at a family/friends party recently. There were about 25 people there of various ages. I spent a lot of my time outside (because outside is usually better than inside because sound has no walls to bounce off of).

But then I came inside….for cake. Everyone was watching the world cup on the tv.

Of course, having impeccable timing like I always do, one of the teams scored a goal at that exact moment, and the house erupted in a roar of whoops and clapping. One of the party goers was clapping so forcefully that I felt as if he was slapping the side of my face with a piece of plywood. Oh yes, it was fun.

That was all I needed. I froze as my sensory system tried to understand what the heck just happened.

Picture 48

Things went downhill quickly. Thankfully, my mom was nearby and witnessed the trauma as it unfolded. She quickly removed me from the scene:

Picture 50

Meanwhile, my body moved zombie-like alongside her, unable to really process much of anything. Amazingly, I did not cry. AS usual, my body deals with trauma by zoning out, crying, and/or going full t-rex (which you can read about HERE). This time, however, I just zoned out.

Picture 63

Mom and I had to then walk down a very steep hill to get away from the noisy, chaotic house party. As we walked, she joked about when my t-rex arms would appear. So I started making dinosaur noises and humming the theme song to Jurassic Park.

Picture 51

It was all fun and games until we had to go from steep hill to steeper driveway. Mom was in heels, and it wasn’t pretty:

Picture 52

MIRACULOUSLY, we made it down to the street where we found a nice little path to walk on….a flat path.

The combination of the air, walking, and having my mom to support me (no really, she was actually holding me upright) started to make me feel less like I was going to die. She started verbally bashing people, parties, society, etc…and it was funny.

Picture 54

Even when we came across a barking dog, and I wanted to destroy him forever,  mom didn’t miss a beat:

Picture 55

(NOTE: I would never wish a dog to die, but when I’m overstimulated, I can’t tolerate anything and become a vicious beast).

As we made our way back to the party, I decided to sit on the front porch steps and mom said she was going to bring me some cake. She said it would make me feel better. She came out holding what appeared to be the majority of the whole cake squished onto a little paper plate:

Picture 56

Of course, she was right. I felt so much better after eating all that ice cream cake. Food for the SPD soul. This post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning that the cake had blue icing on it that stained our teeth bright blue, so we both looked like this:

Picture 58

 

So that’s my party story.

Moral of today’s post: If you’re going to a party, especially where there will be loud, obnoxious people who will unknowingly destroy your will to live, make sure you bring a SPD friend or caretaker, such as MOM, who can carry out to safety and give you large pieces of cake.

Picture 53

 

Thanks, Mom.

xoxo kelly

I AM THE T-REX

So there’s this funny thing that happens to me when I experience sensory overload. Apparently I’ve had it for quite some time now, but I’ve only just given it a name and I’m working on stopping it. Sort of.

I call it, T-REX. It sounds way cooler than it actually is.

When I am over-stimulated, I struggle with what’s called proprioception. This is the ability to be aware of my own body movements and my spatial orientation, or position of my body and limbs.  In other words, it’s the ability of me knowing where my body is and what it’s doing. People with sensory difficulties may struggle with proprioception, although it’s not usually discussed because it’s not something general (like sound, touch, taste, etc).

In any case, when I experience this, my body and brain attempt to fix my sensory issues on their own and it doesn’t always work out so well for them.

It’s like when your husband says to you, “Honey, I’ll fix that leaking faucet even though I’ve never done so before but I totally can do it anyway.” The next thing you know, the faucet has exploded and there’s two inches of water in your home. Your husband put some duct tape around it and it’s “good enough I guess.” It has stopped leaking, but it’s certainly not fixed.

When my brain and body are over-run with sensory junk and they fail to fix it, they use their own version of duct tape. My brain tells my body to contort into the position of your average, everyday tyrannosaurus rex. It looks a little something like this:

Picture 8

Not only is this embarrassing, but I have no awareness of doing it. When I try to change my position, it’s extremely difficult if not, impossible. The T-rex pose is the only way my body and brain have decided to put a temporary fix on a problem they cannot seem to solve. I can only assume this pose comes from my brain trying to find balance.

When my mom and I are out together and she sees me doing this, she whisper/yells “T-REX. T-REX. T-REX.”

My mom then suggests that I try to change my arm position into a more normal-looking one. She says, “swing your arms!” But my arms refuse to. Instead, they swing in unison and I look even worse. It gets me weird looks and small children cry at the sight of it.

Picture 9

 

When all else fails, I must embrace it. I become the T-Rex, I AM THE T-REX.

Picture 11

 

xoxo kelly

 

SPD vs just being sensitive

I have found that there appears to be a bit of confusion as to what it means to be sensory sensitive.

This confusion comes in many forms.

One area of confusion is often with children. I have read about and seen several instances where children display very poor behavior and their parent(s) explains that they have a sensory processing disorder (or something of that nature). While I don’t doubt that children with sensory sensitivities are prone to tantrums, meltdowns, and strange behavior or movements, SPD is becoming the name given to out-of-control children as an excuse for their behavior.

For example, I was in a bookstore and there was a young boy running around, making too much noise, taking things off the shelves, and generally causing mayhem and not caring what his mother had to say about it. I overheard his mother tell someone, “Well, he has the sensory processing thing, so…”

ok.

Who knows. Maybe this four year old boy did have sensory issues, but that shouldn’t be the excuse for his unruly behavior. Unfortunately, I see this a lot. It is becoming a default diagnosis for badly behaved children who don’t fit into other categories. It sounds like this:

“Your child likes to throw and break stuff? SPD.”

“Your child doesn’t listen to you at all? SPD.”

“Your child screams and punches you? SPD.”

This is very scary, considering the fact that I know how real SPD is, and that there are many children and adults with it, yet, it is becoming very much like ADHD in that it is being overly-used to compensate for lack of decent parenting or other issues in children. Then what happens is that people who DO have sensory issues are not taken seriously by the medical community.

 

The second area of confusion I’ve noticed is that there are people who don’t understand the concept of SPD and claim that every little thing that bothers or annoys them is because of a sensory processing issue. This is not true.

So let me give you a little demonstration:

Person WITHOUT SPD (a generally sensitive person):

Picture 5

TWO SECONDS LATER….

Picture 8

 

Person WITH SPD (a person with a sensory disorder):

Picture 9

TWO SECONDS LATER….

Picture 11

 

Can you see the difference?

A person who is generally sensitive to things may be bothered by something, but they have the ability  to push that sensitivity into the back of their mind. It no longer bothers them, and maybe they notice it….but they have the ability to remain calm and focus on other things despite this sensory annoyance.

A person who has SPD cannot stop perceiving sensory input (unless you are a hypo-sensitive person who needs MORE sensory input, than this little bit doesn’t apply to you, but you get the gist). The jeans are more than uncomfortable – they are disturbing and nothing else matters (NOT EVEN CUPCAKES) because my brain cannot stop being upset with the sensation of denim jeans on my legs. I cannot focus on anything else, and I definitely do not feel calm.

The latter story ends something like this:

Picture 21

 

I hope this post has helped clarify the difference between being annoyed by a sensation, and having a sensory problem. As usual, comments or discussion is welcome!

Also, here’s me and a giant cupcake:

Picture 22

 

-xoxo kelly

Occupational Therapy Adventure (for SPD)

Back in the glorious and confusing days of my childhood, I went to see an occupational therapist once a week to help with my sensory integration/processing disorder. His name was Frank, and he was a young guy who was extremely good looking (and now I CURSE myself because I never appreciated his attractiveness). I was obviously too distracted by the fact that I was 9 years old and more interested in the candy I received at the end of the session. Here’s a picture of Frank:

Picture 59

Alright, so that’s not exactly him.  It’s just a picture of a hot, shirtless guy I found on google, but let’s all pretend this is Frank.

————————— *————————–

Frank and I did LOTS of things in our short time together each week. He made me walk across a balance beam. This was to re-orient my vestibular system. I hated that. Frank would counter with some sort of ‘comforting statement’ like, “You’re only 2 inches off the ground.”

Picture 60

Not very comforting Frank. Your charm and wit didn’t amuse me.

Picture 61

Then he made me stick my hands in some glue and junk. We turned it green using dye, because why the heck not? It is very hard to describe to people who don’t have a sensory problem how it feels to do something that bothers your sensory problem, like sticking your hand in an icky substance. All I knew was that it was more than uncomfortable, and it created ugly signals in my brain. Therefore, I hated that too.

Picture 63

Picture 62

Sometimes he would suggest that I take a trip through the rainbow tunnel. You know the kind – a small, plastic tunnel that most children enjoying crawling through.

Picture 65

Not me though. My sensory system interpreted small, unfamiliar spaces as threatening:

Picture 66

Picture 67

Then we played a stupid game, Connect Four. (Though not as stupid as the game I wrote about in my last post, Operation). I hated this the most because the sounds of the game were sudden and unpleasant. “This game is the pits,” I casually mentioned to Frank.

Frank chuckled at my statement, rested his perfectly featured face upon his hand, and encouraged me to finish the game. I couldn’t wait to tell my mom that she was paying a man to watch me play games that I didn’t even like. UNBELIEVABLE!

At this point of my OT session, I was slightly irritated with Frank. His smiley-ness and optimism was all too much for one girl to take.

Picture 64

But it was not over yet. Before my OT session with Frank ended, he would spend the last several minutes doing joint compressions (pressing my joints in gently) and brushing. The brush looks like this:

Sensory-Surgical-Brush1

It’s kind of FANTASTIC. (Although, those without sensory deep-pressure needs may find the brush against their skin to be unpleasant or just weird).

But who cares about those people, this brush is wonderful. After some deep pressure exercises, brushing, and joint compressions, I felt like a new girl. My hatred for Frank and his gorgeous smiling face seemed to vanish. Things got a little freaky:

Picture 68

Finally at the end of the session, I received my candy of choice and went on my merry way. This lasted for a few weeks or so, possibly longer, I don’t actually remember.

What I do remember is the absurdity of it all, and yet, my strange willingness to comply. I continued the compressions and brushing at home, but I don’t think that alone was enough to counteract the intense over-stimulation I was experiencing daily at school. Still, it was something, and definitely an experience I will never forget.

-xo Kelly

Why Operation is the Weirdest Game Ever

I don’t know about you guys, but during my childhood there was one game that I absolutely despised playing: The game of Operation.

You all know it. The creepy naked dude with his internal organs exposed for children to poke at and remove for their selfish pleasures. Yes children, harvest the organs! HARVEST THEM.

But, that was not the worst part of the game. The terror was in the removal of the organs themselves. For if you didn’t do a decent job during the surgery, a loud and sudden buzzing sound would be released from the man’s body like it was his own bloody screaming.

As a child who was terrified by basically everything, and saw everything very seriously and realistically, this game was absolute horror.

Picture 15

Picture 17

What a nightmare.

Let’s look closer….

Here’s the box – it always freaked me out as a kid. Firstly, the dude on the table is AWAKE. Perhaps slightly drowsy, but definitely conscious. Naturally, I felt bad for him, and the pain he must have been experiencing during the game. For the sake of this post, let’s call this guy Norm.

operation-board-game

Norm clearly has a lot of medical problems, as demonstrated by the outrageous amount of surgery being done.

Looking at the box, we can see Norm with his inflamed red nose (which by the way is NOT addressed as a problem for him in the game). Does anyone care about Norm’s obvious nose issues?! No, no they don’t.

On the left, we have Einstein – in pink socks and red striped boxer shorts – holding a butterfly in one hand while jamming a ginormous metal device into Norm’s thigh.

Picture 10

Apparently pants aren’t required when you’re a surgeon. Also, he is unnecessarily standing on a tiny ladder. The whole procedure is disturbingly close to Norm’s crotch. Yes, I said it. You all noticed it too.

Behind Einstein is a small, cheerful boy holding a bucket of water and staring directly into Einstein’s butt. No further comment on that one.

Moving to the right, we have a taller fellow who looks like Ferris Bueller’s principal, Mr. Rooney.

Picture 11

This must have been his after-school job. Mr. Rooney appears to have serious back issues, but at least he’s wearing pants and shoes. And look! A face mask! …..not on his face though. SO CLOSE ROONEY! Below him is a happy little girl holding a very large weapon.

Picture 8

But it only gets weirder my friends! The game looks like this:

operation_game

Norm not only has a serious nasal condition, but also, terrible hair.

I’m going to point out the weirdest thing here: why on earth are we supposed to remove things like ice cream cones and butterflies and apples from this poor man? I get the creativity here, but from my childhood experience, it was all very disturbing.

Here I was, a young girl, expected to remove absurd objects from Norm’s naked body with a pair of giant tweezers while he looked up at me with that hairdo. I knew it was a stupid game, but I couldnt’ help but take it very seriously and the buzzing sound gave me tremendous anxiety. It wasn’t exactly a sensory-fun game.

None of my friends seemed to understand the fear.

Picture 12

Picture 13

(p.s. I loved my friends)

So there you have it. Operation is an irrational game where children are asked to pull foreign objects, like ice cream cones, from a naked man with a nose deformity.

May this game never see the light of day again.

xoxo ~Kelly

Horse Therapy Adventure

Back in high school, when my dear mother was desperate to help me with the never-ending stream of problems that I faced, she opted to try healing with horses. Specifically horse back riding, or hippotherapy, which by the way, has nothing to do with hippos.

Picture 28

This is the part where I should explain my feelings regarding hippotherapy. However, you should know that I have great talent at blocking out huge chunks of time that may or may not have been traumatic. What you are about to read is my fuzzy recollection of my first day of horseback riding therapy. What is clear, however, is the fact that that day will never be forgotten.

I remember my mom and I walking into the place. The first thing that hit us was the smell. It was hard for me to get past. Everyone else seemed immune, or at least, mostly unaffected by the stench.

We were greeted by a cheery lady (her real name I can’t remember, so I will call her Susan) who gave me a helmet to wear. I think it was blue. But who cares what color it was.  Bottom line: I was HOT. See for yourself:

Picture 11

We went and sat with her in a tiny room with appalling lighting. My mom explained why I was here and how sensitive I was to, well, everything. She explained my severe sensory issues and my recent diagnosis of ASD. Susan said she understood my situation. That was too easy, I thought.

Susan walked my mom and I through a short hallway that led to a door. “This is the barn,” she said. The door opened up to a massive open space covered with hay.

Then she walked us to another door that opened up to stables. We opened the door and I nearly lost bladder control because this was the first thing I saw:

Picture 13

“She’s the largest breed of horse in the world,” said Susan. Also, the most insane-looking.

The next thing I knew, the horses all started smashing their hooves into their stable doors. BANG BANG BANG BANG!

Well, that was all I needed. Now that I was reduced to a pathetic crying blob in a helmet, Susan began to understand the seriousness of my situation.Picture 42

I was ushered quickly into the large barn where I waited for my horse.

My horse, I thought. I imagined something regal, majestic, and strong. Something along the lines of this:

4-amazing

Heck, I’d even settle for this:

white-horse

However, when my horse came into the barn, it looked more like this:

Picture 1

Ok. So it wasn’t what I had pictured in my mind….at all. Still, I would not give up hope. His name was Neil, I was told. “He’s very relaxed and he just loves everyone!” said Susan with delight.

Neil was a nearly as round as he was high. A blue blanket with yellow stars covered his back. I am unable to comment about Neil’s intelligence level at this time, but I’m certain it wasn’t too high. Still, there was an strong air of calm about him that I definitely appreciated.

I walked up a set of stairs and was placed onto Neil’s back. Although he could’ve passed for a miniature pony, I still felt disoriented and high-up off the ground. My grip tightened on his reins as we slowly started to walk out the barn and to the trails. The cheery lady guided Neil and another older woman walked next to me as I rode.

We barely walked three feet though when Neil stopped abruptly and I heard plopping sounds somewhere behind me. “Oh, he’s very relaxed,” Susan said, “he must like you!”

I was all like:

Picture 5

To my horror, I quickly realized that Neil was a popping-machine. It was practically his favorite activity. Outside the barn, the two women guided Neil down a short dirt path. “We’re going to try this hill now, ok?”

She made that sound like a question, but I knew she wasn’t really asking me. It was more of a command: WE ARE GOING OVER THE HILL KID.

With my already over-stimulated state from the stable trauma, and my terrible body-spatial awareness, going over the hill wasn’t going to be pretty.

I basically thought I was going to die. Neil probably thought so too, although he never said anything. He just kept pooping.

Picture 17

Picture 16

When I thought it couldn’t possibly get any worse, Susan said “Let’s walk Neil through this stream up here. Maybe he could stop and have a drink too.” Susan’s joyous spirit was making me nauseous. Maybe Neil could poop on her.

After several upsetting, sensory-crushing experiences, all sense of perspective was lost. Everything seemed bigger, more horrible and dangerous. This was no stream we were crossing…

Picture 19

Picture 21

Nobody cared though, so I buried my face into Neil’s mane and placed a death grip on his face. He probably disliked that, but again, he didn’t say anything to me. He pooped though.

Picture 23

Finally sensing my distress, Susan told me that we were going to walk around the ring. The ring was a dirt oval surrounded by a wooden fence. When we got there, another teen girl was riding a muscular black horse. I entered the ring, and the difference between the two of us and our horses was striking, if not, hilariously noticeable.

Picture 25

I sensed a air of superiority from her. Neil stopped pooping, so something was definitely going on. She was a professional rider on a champion horse. I knew she thought of me as one of “those kids” on “that horse.” And actually, I was. YEA. I WAS ONE OF THOSE KIDS ON THAT HORSE. So as she left the ring, I said out loud:

Picture 26

I’m not sure she heard me, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that Neil and I survived steep mountains and the raging river. We braved the dirt paths and Susan’s annoyingly sunny demeanor.We were a united force. We were one.

Picture 27

And so my day of therapeutic horseback riding came to an end. I rode around the ring endlessly, somewhat enjoying the consistency of the circle. No hills, or waterways. Just dirt. It was all so…. unsurprising. Just how I like it.

And I learned that Neil may not have been the most impressive-looking creature, but he certainly had the confidence to carry me – having meltdown while clawing at his eyeballs – without flinching. I guess that’s why he’s a top-notch therapy horse. I’d bet ya that that other horse couldn’t do HALF of what Neil does.

-xoxo Kelly

By the way, here is a picture of the type of horse that Neil is. This isn’t him, but it looks just like him.

Good boy, Neil. Poop your way to victory.

picture_1621

Drive-in Movie Nightmare

This post has nothing to do with what I normally write about. However, it is very awkward and typical of my life, so here it goes:

It was a warm Monday evening. My sister Shannon and I decided it would be perfect if we spent our night under the stars watching Despicable Me 2 at the local drive-in movie theater.

On the way over, we sang songs and danced merrily in the car. We are best friends. We GET each other. She is the peanut butter to my jelly; the cookie to my milk. It was going to be a most wonderful night….

Picture 10

When we finally arrived, we decided to park our car right in the front row for maximum screen viewing.

However, moments later, I felt a sensation.
A pressure down below.
A full bladder.

Picture 9

I confessed to Shannon the devastating news. She munched on her stick of beef jerky and laughed at my predicament. But this was no laughing matter.

drive in 4

I had no choice; I had to use the drive-in bathroom.

At first, I thanked the Lord Almighty that the bathroom was not a porta-potty. Maybe luck was on my side after all. I found the women’s bathroom was located on the side of a shack-like building. The roof was crooked and the red door was made for the citizens of Munchkin Land. Unfortunately, I was not in Oz.

drive in shack 2

The red door squeaked loudly upon opening. Immediately there was a step down into a small cave-like space. Further, another step down led to what appeared to be some small, blue wooden doors. The entire space was dimly lit by a singular pathetic florescent light. The ceilings grazed my head, the walls were filthy, and impending doom hung in the air.

The illustration below actually makes the space look good:

Picture 8

After my initial shock, I pressed forward. There were two stalls; I chose the one on the left. As I entered, I crashed into the toilet with my legs, turned around and shut the swinging door. However, I then realized that the door was also short in stature. I could clearly see over the door, and anybody standing outside could very easily poke their head in and watch me as I do the business. I knew I needed to get in and out fast before someone else came in.

Picture 7

As soon as I had emptied my bladder, I heard someone come in. I dashed out of there like a cheetah. Faster than a cheetah, maybe. Like, if I was racing a cheetah, I would’ve won.

Back in the car, Shannon was still munching away at her jerky stick. Being my younger sister, it was her job to ask me the obvious and annoying question:

Picture 13

Picture 14

Then it hit me: I forgot to wash my hands.

I was so terrified of being in there, I peed and ran out. Now, I was covered in the most germiest germs imaginable.

We searched the car like wild animals for any kind of hand sanitizer, or wipe, or something. Suddenly, Shannon thought of an idea:

deodorant

Yea right. No way on earth was I going to rub my germ hands all over her deodorant and feel any cleaner. Although, props to Shan for creative on-the-spot thinking.

So I went back to the bathroom shack of horrors and found the tiny sink. Again, made for the people of Munchkin Land.

Picture 9

Darn it all, I wasn’t there to wash my knees. I WAS THERE TO WASH MY HANDS.

I scrubbed my fingers and palms and again dashed out the red door, mortified that I had to go in there TWICE.

Picture 12

**Note: Ignore the fact that my outfit changed from black pants to pink shorts. I made these illustrations on two different days and apparently, I wanted a wardrobe change.

Where was I…oh yes, so back in the car, with my hands now clean, I was finally able to relax and enjoy the movie with my sister. Despicable Me 2 was really good and heart-warming and junk.

Moral of the story…

Let this be a lesson to all: Empty your bladder before you leave the house, or you might end up having to pee in a dilapidated shack from Munchkin Land and then be tempted to rub your hands on deodorant. Not to mention….PSYCHOLOGICAL SCARS FOR LIFE.

xo kelly

Food Shopping

Going to the store to buy food is always an adventure.

But is it a fun adventure?!

NO.

Why?

Let’s take a trip to the local grocery store.

First, there’s the list. Gotta make a list, or nothing’s going nowhere. The process is complicated though, because Momsy likes to please everyone and nobody knows what they want.  I’m never hungry, Shannon searches Pinterest for a vague recipe, like Guacamole dip, and Dad wants Beer. Also, Chips. So it’s like this:make the list

2hrslater

After the list is finally made, it’s time to go to the store. I’ll volunteer to go because Momsy’s tired because she sleeps only 3 hours a night. Also, it takes us nearly two hours to make a list. So off I go.

When I first get to the store, I’m optimistic that everything will go my way.

But after just a few moments, my confidence is crushed. Then it is thrown in the garbage.

There was this:

carts

And then, there was this:

babies

With the people noises, the fluorescent lights, the squeaky floors, the colors, the smells, I KNEW I had to stay focused. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t make it out of there alive. The family needed food. It was do or die.

focus

I figured the best way to do this was to pick an item on the list and just focus on that item. Nothing else would matter until that item was in the cart. Yes. This was my strategy.

So I took a gander at the list.

list

And there it was. PASTA. That’s easy. I got this. I GOT THIS.

As I make my way to the pasta aisle, I see that the choices are enormous. There are different brands, different shapes, different colors; whole wheat, whole grain, whole lotta choices.

pasta

But then it hit me. The pasta aisle was HUGE. The shelves were towering over me. I started to sweat, and my eyes felt hot and squinty. It was like that time Frodo Baggins decided to go on an adventure to Mordor with his bro Sam, and it ended up being not-so-fun for either of them.

It was all too much. This was the end. This was the end of the end.

pasta2

In a panic, I just grabbed any pasta and dashed out of there to the next aisle. However, I’m barely around the corner when I sensed a familiar presence; an unwelcome presence.

turn corner

And then I saw it.

babyscream

IT WAS THE EVIL BABY. It was following me. Somehow, I knew it could sense my fear. I was straight-up terrified.

Picture 12

I didn’t know what to do.  So I smiled.

Picture 9

PUT SOME PASSION INTO IT, I thought to myself.

Picture 8

My face hurt from smiling at the evil baby, but my efforts were futile, so I decided to make a run for it. I had nothing left to lose.

Picture 20

After my half-mile sprint across the store, I hid behind a cart of baked goods and reviewed my options. Evil baby screamed in the distance. It was his battle cry.

Picture 21

The fluorescent light glared down upon me. Everything else was dark and cold (probably because I was near the frozen food aisle, but still, it was very dramatic and tense). I huddled myself behind the bread and the light revealed my hiding spot; like a criminal during interrogation. I was nearly done with the food shopping. Somehow, I managed to gather my items during my sprint.

I stood up and gathered my last items. It was time for checkout. I had to be swift.

The problem with getting on-line to pay for your food is that there are usually about 10 possible registers you could go to, but only 2 or 3 are actually open. Not to mention, it’s overstimulating to be waiting there.

Picture 22

So not only am I not overstimulated from the workout that is food shopping, but now I have to wait on a line with noisy people doing noisy things with noisy machines while the speakers in the store shout noisy things at me.

I waited on line #2 for what seemed like half a century, and when I finally get up there, I’m relieved. Of course, the pimply adolescent male at the register informs me that he is now “closed.”

Picture 23

No he wasn’t closed. His light was still on. I decided to address this contradiction. I thought it would be best to address him by his name, that way, I’d look like I meant business, while still being sincere. So I glanced at his name tag.

Picture 20

Ok. So the dude had a weird name. I’m gonna roll with it.

Picture 21

Picture 22

Picture 24Picture 25Picture 26

Well, “Blake,” obviously didn’t give a flying poo about me or the fact that I was near sensory meltdown. Thankfully, another store employee said something like, “Blake, just help this young lady then you’re done for the day.”

I was overjoyed with gratitude for this person! I could’ve cried with thankfulness. Dear person, whoever you are, I love you.

And I was all like:

Picture 28

And Blaeck was all like:

Picture 29

After dealing with Blaeck, and the incredibly loud beeps at the register, I left the store with no additional encounter with evil baby.  Although, his demonic screams will forever haunt my nightmares.

I put the groceries into my trunk, got to my car, and got lucky with no horn/car alarm related incidents. It was just another food shopping adventure. Victory was mine. All in a day’s work.

Picture 31