Monday, January 31, 2011

A Good Marriage is a Minefield

The other night I had a dream that my husband flirted with women in a bar while I was standing next to him.  This is stupid on many fronts, but mainly because we don’t go to bars and he does not want to die.  But all the same, I feel it’s important as his wife to keep his mind young and spry by trying to trip him up.  I like to shoot verbal bullets at his feet and watch him dance around them.  I do this because I love him.  

Here is how our conversation went the morning after the dream:

“I had this dream last night and it made me sort of hate you.”

“Super, this will be fun.”


“So, we were at this bar and this girls rugby team walked in....(pause to read his face)....”

“What?”

“Nothing, I’m just seeing how you react to the idea that a girls rugby team walked in.”

“I have no reaction yet, I don’t know if it  is going to be good or bad that they walked in.”


“Oh, OK.  So, they walked in and they all started....wait....what would need to happen to make it a good thing that a girls rugby team walked in to the bar?”  **snicker**

“Well, I mean....it would only end well if you ended up having a great time with these girls while I sat in the corner holding every one's jackets.”  

Wow....I’m in awe.  In our 8 years of marriage he’s become so good at this little dance!

“Mmmmhmmmm.....so anyway for some reason the rugby girls decided to change out of their uniforms in the bar, and they disrobed in front of everyone.”

Here I paused again to read his face. People! He let no reaction show on his face!!  

“That’s disgusting.  People sometimes eat in a bar, no one should be naked.”

Damn.

Tripping him up at this point in our relationship is taking more mental work than ever before.  
He has adapted to my skillz, and now tests me with his cool reactions to keep my mind sharp.  

Just as I challenge him to maneuver around my verbal grenades as gracefully as possible, he is challenging me to become more stealthy in my manipulations.  

And through this manipulation of one another, we show our love.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Christina-Taylor Green

Sometimes the media does things that make you think they are the lowest of the crappiest schmucks.  The media holds a limitless power to impact our entire world, and unfortunately sometimes uses that power in a completely classless way.

I am sick to death of seeing the deranged, cold and creepy mug shot of the Tucson shooter.  His smiling photo is displayed almost constantly throughout the day on various news outlets.  Each and every time my whole body and soul ache for Christina-Taylor Green's parents and brother.  


They have handled themselves with grace in a time when I would not be able to even get out of bed.  Her parents are striving to convince their remaining child that they will not stop breathing, if only for him.  Can you imagine under taking the task of mirroring the appropriate way to grieve and keep living for one child, when everywhere you go see the smugly satisfied expression of the man that murdered your other child?  


It would be absolute torture, stirring up pain, anger and a sense of despair each and every time it smacked you in the face.  It would stir the kind of pain that those who lost loved ones in 9/11 experienced each and every time they had to watch the clip of Osama Bin Laden chortling with glee when he was told his attack was successful.  

The efforts of a mentally deranged man should not be celebrated.  He smiled in that picture because he knew we would see it. 

I know my blog still has that new blog smell, and I should keep it light and happy.  But I feel compelled to end the week by putting a different picture up and keeping it there.  I'm hopeful it will be seen by many this weekend, and instead of feeling unsettled people will have a sense of the bittersweet mix of sadness and hope.  Sadness for what is now gone, and hope that for every deranged individual walking amongst us, we have a million more Christinas.  


Christina came to us as a sign of hope on 9/11, and she had to bear the burden of leaving us the same way.   

Christina Taylor Green

Thursday, January 27, 2011

These Kids Are Cramping My Style (And These Pretzels Are Making Me Thirsty!)

I feel like all these play-dates we have could really be so fun, if the kids stopped attending them.  
The setting is perfect, we are not working, there are usually snacks and good friends.  It's sort of like college dorm life- we had seemingly all the time in the world and very little responsibility.  Of course, my lack of responsibility in that situation led me straight to Mono. But again, I come back to the fact that these kids attending the play dates seriously mess this up.  


We should be able to watch E! and talk about how all the celebrity women look like pez heads from under eating or watch Britney beat an SUV with an umbrella, BUT we can't because it would be inappropriate for our children to hear us discussing body types or to ever see Britney when her hair extensions are not in properly.  So there goes that plan.  We could talk dirty about our husbands, but our children are the result of the dirtiness and frankly no one wants to know that about themselves, so there goes that idea.  Thus we are reduced to sitting around with one another, praying that the children will go play upstairs, or downstairs, or in the other room or outside or SOMETHING so the real fun can begin.  


But alas, even when everything aligns and the children are happily playing away from us, it always ends too quickly.  Undoubtedly someone needs to be fed, or a substance needs to be wiped off of someone or something, or a child needs to be taken off of another child who took their favorite piece of crap, lead filled Happy Meal toy, and then they ALL come back together in a big herd like very small cute buffalo.  Then we again have to force ourselves to change the channel and watch our mouths.  And there's just seriously something so wrong with that.  

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Day Andrew Bogut Met Me

Because my mom lived in Minnesota and my dad lived in Virginia while I was growing up, I spent a great deal of time traveling on a plane as a kid.  We were always those kids you’d see taking up the 3 seats in a row near the bulk head, wearing airplane wings and acting like little shits because we were currently between parents.  For many reasons, airplane travel has spilled into my adult life.  After 30ish years of traveling, I have some great stories.  Actually, they are not so much great as they will make you hope to never share airspace with me or my family.

One of my first travel memories occurred during a layover my sister and I had while traveling to our dad's. I swear we spent half our childhood hanging out during a layover. Now, at this time I was in high school and my younger sister was in junior high, therefore, she got to hear my friends and I use all sorts of questionable language and held a permanent front row seat to our immaturity.  One of the phrases we found highly entertaining was “camel toe”  (Yes, I am blogging about camel toes.  The best part is that I may pop up in a google search for camel toes now.  My parents must be so proud!)  I walked away for a moment and my sister heard the boarding call over the loudspeaker.  What happened next took place in slow motion.  I made eye contact with my sister who was quite a distance away just in time to hear her yell out, “HEY CAMEL TOE, OUR FLIGHT IS BOARDING!”.   Now, my sister being young and innocent, thought that camel toe was just a name my friends and I had for each other that she didn’t understand.  She did not know the true definition of the word or that everyone knows what it means, and time stood still as the entire airport turned dead silent and stared at us.  At least that’s how I remember it.  

Fast forward to years later, my husband and I were on a flight sometime during my first trimester of pregnancy.  During the flight he noticed that Andrew Bogut was on our plane and  he was hopeful that we could catch a glance of Mr. Bogut before we landed.  Through the flight G.R. shared information about this athlete while I did what I always do when someone talks to me about sports, my eyes glazed over and I started trying to remember what that one guy on the movie Cocktail said the name of the hard plastic end part on the shoelace is called (Flugalbinder).  The plane started its descent, and things got a wee bit bumpy.  I started feeling a little icky.  Then I started to look green.  Then our plane landed and I was so thankful to have gotten through it.  G.R. watched for Andy B.( I can call him that) to come down the aisle as I sat there trying to gather myself and wait for my nausea to subside.  At the same time that G.R. said, “Here he is!”  I grabbed the air sickness bag and let er rip.  Here is what’s unbelievable- G.R. has never once thanked me for making sure that Andrew Bogut noticed him.  I mean, he may not have even spotted G.R. if I had not hurled loudly in the strange silence that happens while a plane is deboarding.  

My last story again brings us back to my sister.  My husband and I refer to her as Jackie, as her relationship to us is similar to the character of Jackie on Roseanne.
 
Anyway, our two families were flying together and we had already annoyed most of the Milwaukee airport with our hi-jinks and now were irritating the people of Detroit during a layover.  They announced our flight was boarding and Jackie, who struggles a little with grace, called to her family to get it together and get on the plane with her.  She picked up her giant purse and started walking forward with great purpose and dignity between two seats in the lobby.  The problem being that the two seats had one of those low tables between them that people can set books, etc upon.  Jackie walked directly into the table and flipped over it, pretty much onto the lap of a business man who was trying to be kind but found it hilarious. Jackie jumped up and, saying nothing, walked past all of us who were having a hysterical laughing fit. She kept going down the tunnel to board the plane and away from her humiliation.  She then tripped on...well probably nothing, and threw an arm up on the wall to steady herself, but instead put her hand on a print on the wall and she just tore that bad boy right down.  I don’t know how they got me on the plane I was laughing so hard.  I’m super supportive like that.

So what fun traveling misadventures have you ha
d?

How I Learned Quickly That Children are In Fact Not Easier to Deal With Than Co-Workers

When I quit my job to become a stay at home mom, I had these images of walking to farmers markets with my daughter, who would be dressed in a beautiful sun dress and we’d purchase organic things that we would take home and turn into meals.  It would all be very earth mothery and Zen and what not.  Then I woke up and realized we live in the Tundra, thus we have a farmer’s market about 3 days of the year, and also walking there from my house would only be done after a great deal of whining and bitching on behalf of both my daughter and myself.  

After the Farmers Market we would take a drive to the local story hour, where I would relive all my childhood favorite books through my daughters eyes.  We would end that visit by purchasing a book which we would go home and read together, thus cultivating in my child the love of books that I have always enjoyed.  Instead of this idyllic celebration of literacy, I brought my daughter to story “hour”, which began early and lasts about the length of a child’s book- approximately 4 minutes.  So basically we were there for two minutes of a story since we made the mistake of showing up on time.  During these 2 minutes my daughter managed to run past the classic children’s books and dump all the books off the shelf that featured a little Hispanic cartoon character and her weird fox friend.  My darling girl then whined about wanting to get all the books, until I finally made her leave and go home with me with no book at all.  



After reading the book we’d purchased at the book store, I pictured Nora going into her room where she would escape into a world of make believe with all of the MILLIONS OF FREAKING TOYS SHE HAS and I would clean a few things (because I would never let the house get to messy) and then I’d sit on the couch with my legs crossed nicely and read a book.  What actually happened is Nora continued her tantrum from the bookstore for another 5 minutes, had a time out, then came out of her room and proceeded to say forty billion times, “What can I do now?”.  Meanwhile I had thrown out all thoughts of cleaning because every nerve I had at this point was shot.  Plus, cleaning is stupid.

Then I imagined G.R. would walk into the door, excited to see his calm and happy family after their fun day of togetherness.  It would be a soothing and calm environment and he’d be so proud to be making the sacrifices that came with having a stay at home wife, because just look at how wonderful his family turned out to be!  Instead, G.R. walked in the door and I barely made eye contact with him before complaining in great detail about how “his” daughter had acted all day and how I was totally done and there was no dinner made and unless he wanted to make dinner himself he could just order us all something because I was going to our room to lay down and look at People magazine and think about the fact that I had quit my job and ruined every body's lives.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Today I Learned I Am Not Oprah's Half-Sister

I know that we are all reeling from Oprah's news today, but I'm going to go ahead and post anyway.  I think Oprah wants us all to move bravely forward.


So, internet, I decided that if we are really going to do this thing there is some must have information regarding yours truly that I shall share with you today.  It's really important stuff and I feel it's just best to put it out there now.


First, there are some terms we can't use here.  They include, but are not limited to the following:


  • Panties
  • Making Love  This disgusting term reminds me of a skeevy long haired poetry writing pony tail guy from the 70's
  • Moist  **shudder**


And here are the things of which we may never speak:


  • People walking on stilts
  • Clowns of any kind 
  • Claymation
  • Oompa Loompas  (Actually, anything Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
  • Cantaloupe
  • Ronald McDonald ~ He's enough of a freak show clown that he merits his own mention.
  • Sucking on the Popsicle stick after finishing a Popsicle.  The thought of this alone makes me feel like my flesh is peeling off my face.


Oddities I love to discuss:


  • Little People ~Whether they are baking cakes, making chocolate, or just living I love their shows.  Thank you TLC.  
  • The Polygamous lifestyle
  • Why Khloe Kardashian ever let her sister wax her bikini area in that one episode.  


If we stick to these simple guidelines, we will be internet BFF's.
So tell me, what are your quirks? 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

All Hail the Epidural

This one is about epidurals, so you may not want to read it if you feel I should have had a home birth or a drug-free birth, or that I should have frolicked off into the woods to birth my children.  Because this post will come just short of worshipping the epidural as a false idol.  Here’s the thing;  if you want to do it drug free, or in a tub, or silently Scientology style, I support and encourage you.  I have friends who have had drug free births and to me it’s like knowing a real life She-Ra. So cut me some slack. I personally feel like the only ones that should be silent in a birthing room are the people not giving birth or doling out the drugs.  

My first daughter had to be coerced out of the womb the way moles need to be forced out of their holes by having water shot down into their tunnels. She adored her life in there, and who could blame her as it was December and that’s a chilly time in the Midwest.  I should know, my feet were so huge that I wore sandals to work and I would have cut anyone that mentioned it to me.  So at about 53 weeks pregnant I finally had to face the dreaded induction.  The thoughtful nurses kept putting their hands on my tummy and proclaiming my child would be gargantuan, so I took the epidural as soon as I could, lest I experience birthing a huge toddler sized baby naturally.  Plus, throughout my pregnancy I had really begun to notice the size of my husbands head and was considering what it would mean for my birthing experience.  When I received this epi (us cool kids can call them epi’s) I was the Admissions Director for a local private school and the anesthesiologist questioned me about the school and it’s football team as his son was a prospective student.  Because I wanted him to give me the good stuff and at the time I was obsessed with my job, I decided to chat him up about the advantages his son would have if he attended our school.  Looking back on this, I think my brain must have temporarily turned into gravy, because seriously?  While my spine was on the receiving end of a large needle, I was giving a lecture about diversity statistics and AP classes.  Whilst in the middle of all of this,  my water broke on the nurses new shoes, which she and I had just talked about a few minutes prior.  Anyway, within seconds I was one happy little laboring woman and that epidural took me to the end of a 24 hour labor which yielded a 9 # 10oz baby and I never felt a freaking thing.  Until it wore off.  

My second daughter was born to a mother who was certain she would again experience a gestational period the length of an elephant's, and thus had no clue she was in labor pretty much all day.  While writhing in pain I just kept thinking, “Damn, these braxton hicks blow!”.  I was in a deep denial about being in labor at only 38 weeks, so I spent the day taking my kid to the library and soccer before I finally gave in to lying on the couch.  Because I’m not that bright, I still did not grasp that I was in labor by the end of the day.  

Now here’s where I just got straight up dumb. I decided to take a sleeping pill so I could get a break from the dastardly braxton hicks contractions.  Now I was drugged and in labor.  I would fall asleep from sheer exhaustion and every two minutes be startled out of my deep sleep from shooting pain.  Finally around 2am I decided that perhaps timing my pain was a good plan and my husband tried to keep it together when he woke up to contractions a minute and a half apart.  I like to forget the next part.  I was in some serious pain and I was about 35 minutes away from my hospital and, tragically, even further from my epidural.  My husband drove 150 MPH, but by the time we got to the hospital I was sweating buckets from pain.  I was also too dehydrated from the day of not taking care of myself as I labored for the nurses to find a decent vein, an intricate part of the epidural process.  This went on so long that I started eyeing up the needle and wondering if I could just grab it and jam it in a vein myself.  I was so annoyed, that I wanted to pick up one of the nurses and beat the other nurse with her.  Finally they called the anesthesiologist to do everything, including finding a vein for a simple IV line.  This apparently offended him to his very core and he proceeded to pout and act as though he was Bill Gates and he’d just been told that he needed to take a technical support call.  I could not sit for my contractions at this point and every minute would jump off the bed and wander around like a caged animal.  During one of the doctor’s 17 attempts to locate a vein a contraction hit, and I told him I needed to get off the bed. He looked at me like I look at people who scream at their kids in Walmart from their scooter, and snapped, “Fine. I’m just trying to get you to a place where you don’t have this pain but you need to make the choice to HOLD STILL!”  
So obviously, this is the part where my eyes bulged out and my head spun around on my neck and I levitated off the bed, while one of the nurses ran to find a priest to perform an exorcism.  In the end, I decided to let the doctor live because I was afraid that if I killed him all the hoopla surrounding arresting me would keep them from locating another anesthesiologist for me.  Finally, Dr. Jackwagon was able to get the IV going and throw a needle in my spine.  


Within minutes I was a different person.  I began chatting and laughing and trying to show them how super dee doo I could be.  Dr. Jackwagon became my hero and I promised to name our daughter Little Jackwagon.  I thought about ordering pizza for everyone. After I had Evelyn (who ended up being a mere 8# 13oz) I thanked the nurse for being so great.  She said, “You were actually very nice after your epidural.”  

As superb as my epidural from Dr. Jackwagon turned out to be, I still have this great daydream wherein he suffers from a mammoth kidney stone while stuck in a horrific traffic jam, while I sit there whispering in his ear, “Gosh, if only you would just hold still.”

Friday, January 21, 2011

Because I Know You Can't Quit Me Facebook

Since I was trying to put together a blog this week, I didn’t have much time to torture the world with my random thoughts via Facebook status. So I now present to you all the status’ I normally would have posted, if I had not been so busy being tripped up by what is probably the world’s easiest free blog layout.


1)  I may have to stop watching television altogether just so that I can get that freaking Jenny from the Block song out of my head that all talk shows adore using for J-Lo's introduction.  Also, why does Steven Tyler wear Mary Janes?  

2)  Sarah Palin- please shut it.  While I don’t blame you for the actions of a mentally ill person, I do blame you for not handling it with grace.  Quit using terms like, “blood libel” and “don’t retreat, reload”.  We get it, you think guns are super fantastic.  
PS- I will be endlessly grateful to you for having the Kate Gosselin episode of your show where she had a complete meltdown while camping.  It was all I dreamed it would be.

If you missed it, here you go. You're welcome.



3)  It’s fun to have a Wii because you get to say things like;
“G.R. won’t stop playing with his Wii”.
“I’m going to take a Wii break”
“Wow, that Wii is quite small”
"Let me hold your nunchuk's"

4)  If Evelyn does not cut the tooth she’s been working on since what feels like the beginning of time, I’m going to start yanking my own teeth out because OH MY GOD ALL THE SCREAMING!!

5)  If my husband mentions that the weather in Texas is much warmer once more during this week’s work trip, I WILL change the locks on him so he can better reacquaint himself to the weather here in winter hell.

Enjoy your weekend! I'm off to touch my Wii.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The End of the Dorothys

I wrote this back when Nora was 3 years old. Decided to post it because Evelyn is trying to sleep train me and I've been up for two days.  It's scary to think of what I may write in this state.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Spoiler Alert: Sometimes My Baby Does Not Wear a Hat

Today I woke up with a healthy self-esteem, so I decided to go out in the world with my baby so that people could knock it out of me.  

I went to the grocery store and in the check out line my wish came true.  An elderly woman behind me said, “Oh, dear.  I hope you are going to put a hat on the darling baby before you go outside.”  I contemplated having the lady put a hat on the baby, because then she could see what it’s like when a 4 month old tries to kill you with daggers shooting from her eyes.  Evelyn is a sweetheart, but she’s 15lbs of strong willed fury.  I admitted that I was not because it only caused her to scream, which then caused her to overheat in the Bundle Me I keep her in, and then she screams worse.  The elderly lady and the check out lady shared a look that clearly stated I was one asshole of a mother.  This was sort of embarrassing because it is the same store I was in with Nora back when she was potty training and obsessed with underwear, so naturally she told the teenage bagger boy what color underwear I was wearing that day. 
A few moments later as I was trying to get out my debit card, remember my pin, keep Evie happy and contemplate whether or not I had accidentally set my keys on a shelf in the store and lost them, she apparently thought I had time on my hands to chat so she asked me if I am a “stay at home mom”.  Crap.  I was immediately annoyed that I do stay at home, knowing it would make her happy.  So I said yes, but happily told her I did not the first 3 years with my first.  She shared with me that it’s such a gift to a child to have a mother stay home.  Yeah, it is.  I am so lucky I am able to have the option. But it is an option, and if it becomes the option that does not create the right dynamic for my family- financially or mentally for me-I will choose another option.

But you know what else is a gift?  Having money to feed your kids and keep them warm in a house filled with happiness and love.  Quality time spent with your kids whether you work or not is also a gift.   It’s also cool for them to see a mom who has interests inside and outside the home. The likelihood that my girls will be able to afford to stay home when they have kids (when they are 28 and not before) isn’t the best.  I mean, it's probably going to take a two income family to pay for the maintenance those flying cars will necessitate. So I think giving them a role model for their future is also a good idea.  But screw that, what do I know.  An elderly lady I’ve never met clearly knows what’s best for my two children and all of yours. I make it a habit to not yell at old people, because some day I plan to be old and super crotchety and it’s going to be awesome.  Plus, no one is harder on each other than a group of mothers with young children- so this lady was nothing.  I did hightail it out of there before she found out I was not able to successfully breastfeed either of my children though, that may have killed her.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Husband is Handy, If By Handy You Mean He Can Jiggle Stuff

My husband is an amazing person with numerous attributes.  He’s smart, generous, kind, analytical, empathetic, logical and extremely successful.  If there was just one little issue with him....it’s that he sort of blows at anything related to home repair. As stated in a previous blog entry he has even found himself trapped on our roof after deciding to clean out the gutters.  We have a long list of G.R. home improvement stories that we both enjoy, most involve about 16 trips to Home Depot per day until the project is complete.  

We have a ceiling fan in our room, it’s one of the nicer name brands, but it does not matter how nice a fan is if it’s not installed correctly.  For a long time the light on the fan didn’t work.  It was the main source of light in our room, so that was quite a dark period for us.  G.R. fixed that issue only to find that now the fan can not be turned off.   You can turn the light switch off as you enter our room and then both the light and the fan are off, but if you have the light on the fan has to be on.  We also can’t control the speed, so the wind is always whipping around our room.  We have both decided just to live this way, the idea of G.R. gambling his life one more time by touching the wiring is to daunting.  

G.R. has one major technique for fixing things.  He “jiggles” them.  I can’t make fun of this because it has worked time and time again.  One freezing night we noticed our heat was not working.  I was ringing up dollar signs in my head, figuring we were screwed, as G.R. went downstairs to “look at stuff”.  While down there he took the furnace and “jiggled something”.  The heat started shooting through the vents right away.  This jiggling has also worked on toilets, cars and our babies when they are screaming.  

You don’t have to look very far to see where G.R. developed his skills.  His dad, also a superb human, faces similar issues.  When we moved into our home my father-in-law was trying to run cable to the upstairs with G.R.   He carefully measured around the plastic plate that would be fixed to the wall and then cut out the space he had outlined.  He placed the plastic cover over the hole and it went right through.  The hole has to be smaller than the item you use to cover it up.  

I’ll never forget one day when G.R.’s dad was dispensing advice about a certain home repair situation.  He was very serious in saying to G.R., “Now this is what you need to do in situations like this.”  G.R. and I both leaned in thinking we were about to receive some nugget of information that has been handed down through the family for years.  Very slowly he explained, “You want to take apart the item.  Then get a bag.  Place the item in a bag and go to Home Depot.  Find someone and say, ‘This one is not working.  I need another one of these, please’.”   

We have found a happy medium with my brother in law rule.  No one can do anything in our home (meaning G.R. and his dad) without the capable presence of either my brother-in-law or his.  This has worked well for us, now G.R. sits near them as they complete a task and basically cheers them on.  And everyone gets to live.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Being a Parent Keeps Me Feeling Like a Schmo





Last week I took Nora to the doctor for her 5 year old visit.  I loaded up the ladies and took them to the doctor.  Before the physical exam the doctor asked Nora a series of questions.  She’s 5 and extremely verbal, which is saying it nicely.  While she’s talking incessantly you are trying to keep up by saying, “Uh-huh.....oh, that’s neat....really?”, but in your head you are screaming “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD SHUT YOUR FACE FOR THREE SECONDS OR I’M GOING TO CURL UP IN THE FETAL POSITION!!!!”  But I’m an awesome mom, so I rarely actually say that to her- my husband and I just say it to each other with our silent pleading eyes.  

The doctor showed interest, so Nora talked her face off for about 20 minutes.  She took it as The Nora Hour and loved each and every question, answering them with gusto and acting as though a camera and an audience were present.  She had just answered the question, “What is your favorite vegetable” with “I like broccoli, corn....really all the vegetables except for the rutabaga.”  Um, I don’t even know what rutabaga looks like, so I know for certain she has not had it.  Finally the question came up;  Does anyone smoke in the home?  

I sat there smugly, thinking how we are ideal parents who would never smoke or be around smokers with our children.  I was about to open my mouth and say, “Oh, I don’t think she even knows what smoking is, doctor” when at the very same time Nora said, “My dad smokes.”  I was so shocked that I couldn’t say anything to the doctor’s  judgmental glance in my direction.  This was particularly wonderful timing because we had just extensively covered Nora’s asthma issues.  Nora went on to say, “Yes, he smokes and once I tried to save my baby sister from all the smoke but my mom told me to stop it.”  Awesome.  Finally we sorted out what she was talking about.

About 2 months ago my husband had cooked dinner (hurray!) and afterwards decided to turn the oven to self-cleaning mode.  Well, since we’ve had the stove for almost a decade and have never cleaned it (stop judging) it produced enough smoke to give the impression the house was burning to the ground.  Nora became hysterical and began waving a blanket in front of Evie, trying to wave the smoke away.  That’s what she was trying to do, what was actually occurring was that Nora stood an inch away from Evie whipping a blanket around, and Evie’s reflex to having air blown in her face was to hold her breathe.  As I like my infant to be breathing I yelled to Nora to please stop.  We sorted the situation out, and the doctor thought the whole thing was great. 

Our daughter has a mind like a steel trap and hangs us out to dry on a regular basis.  Most recently it is telling everyone the story about how Evie scooted out of her bouncer and onto the floor with neither of us noticing for about 3 minutes.  But that’s a whole other story.

Oh, and don’t worry I got my revenge.  I consented to about 4 vaccinations necessary to have her ready for kindergarten....hee hee!  What?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Handing Down the Nut Job Gene

I spent a lot of time making fun of my mother as I was growing up.  She gave my sister and I a lot of material.  There was the time that she lost the banana she had been eating and we later found it on top of the towels in the linen closet.  Or how she made a game of “Hide the Wig” when she was undergoing chemo treatments and hated the crappy wig they gave her, so she would place it in the most shocking places for us to find.  Imagine going about your day, pulling a cereal bowl out of the kitchen cabinet, and having a wig stare back at you from the bowl.  She used to whisper things she felt were best unsaid out loud, as though they were to unseemly.  She would say things like, “Do you need to go to the bathroom before we go girls?”.  As though the word bathroom was the equivalent to the F bomb.  She also whispered the followings words;  tampons, underwear, toilet paper and potty.  She was also always trying to seem cool, although not one thing she tried to say was actually all that cool.  She was a fan of pretending to “raise the roof” and calling other parents “rents” all the while saying, “I know you girls are calling parents ‘rents’!”.  Like we had been trying to keep this information from her and she had found us out.  In reality, my sister and I never once used that phrase.  She put together songs and dances that were seriously ridiculous and you wanted to hate them, but they made you laugh even when you were a dour teen. Yes, she was a nut job.

Unfortunately for me, I’ve found that I am now my mother in a million ways.  I can’t remember my daughters names EVER and usually call them Gladys, which is our cat’s name.  More times than I can count I have found the peanut butter put safely away in the fridge, which then tips me off that I need to check the pantry- where I of course find the jelly.  I sing all kinds of ridiculous songs to my daughters, all the while dancing and making faces like she did.  I’m one step away from taking my favorite coffee with me in a plastic bag when I have to stay somewhere other than home.  Yes, she really did that.  

I hope that I’m like her in other ways.  She kept a lot of great quotes, prayers, pictures, etc.  taped to the cupboards in the kitchen and on the fridge.  One of them said, There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: One is roots, the other is wings.”  Her doing so allowed me to take a risk by going away to college and starting an entirely new life, even thought it hurt her to see me go.  When we did poorly in school, but she knew we had tried our absolute best, she told us she was proud of us. This kept me from getting to fearful of failure to try.   If I got into some trouble and I was pleading with her to believe me that I had nothing to do with it, she would tell me that if someone thought I had played a part in it somehow then I must have been closer to the trouble than I should have been.  A lesson that taught me to pick my friends and environment carefully.  My mom kept our house a home.  We moved 7 times in one city while I was growing up, starting in a house and moving to smaller places until we settled into a 2 bedroom apartment towards the end.  But, she made every single house feel like the same home I’d always known.  This taught me that part of life is rolling with the punches, but you can always make your own contentment and happiness in the face of hardships.  

Tonight, I told my daughter to help clear the table.  She picked up her dishes, and I watched her start to sing a goofy song she made up as she absentmindedly walked into her bedroom holding the plates.  Then she noticed what she was doing and yelled, “I was about to put my dinner plate in my room!”.  

I hope she’s like my mom in other ways too.

2010 Facebook Ramblings.....

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dear everyone who has had their entire sense of self rocked by the new zodiac sign information: 
Remain calm.  You are still yourself.   
Love, Amanda

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Other people do things like this, right?




The House is Trying to Kill Us

Anyone that knows us well, knows that we are trying to get the hell out of dodge. We made a SERIOUSLY bad error in judgement in buying our home due to it’s location across the street from a ghetto mart. But, it is what it is, and until we sell it we are just trying to survive. I say that because this house is trying to kill us.


Here are a few of the ways our house has tried to kill us:


1)  The Stairs 
 A few years back, before children, G.R. tried to make a simple trip down the stairs. Somewhere along the way this went horribly wrong and he began a violent descent down the stairs. He slid down the steep stairs, landed hard as hell on one step, and brought the whole thing together by smashing his fist into a photo of the exact moment we got engaged- shattering the frame to pieces and causing shattered glass to spill all around him. Hearing all of this, I ran to help him because I am a loving wife. Unfortunately, G.R.’s solid tumble had caused him to actually break one of the stairs (this house is a total piece) and when my foot hit that stair it caused me to fall down the rest of the stairs, and ended when my feet planted themselves solidly into G.R.’s kidneys. I don’t think he was actually hurt until I gave him internal bleeding.


2)  Basic Upkeep 
 Due to the craptasticness of this house, our gutters seem to hold on to leaves far better than the average house. It’s also a bungalow so watching someone attempt to get to some spots is like watching a circus freak contort themselves. This is why G.R. ended up climbing out of a window on the second floor, onto one of the peaks of the house. What resulted next was about 30 minutes of me sitting at the window he climbed out of crying and thinking about our life insurance policy, while he sat on the roof paralyzed in fear and completely white. We are both pretty pasty, so to notice that one of us has turned pale means we are nearly translucent. Finally he gathered all his courage and jumped back to the window and through it. I think that gutter is still full of leaves and sticks. I don’t care.


3)  The Driveway Becomes a Glacier
 Our driveway becomes the ice rink from hell during the winter. If we pour all of the salt in the entire county on it, it still rivals an Olympic rink. I finally had a giant meltdown about how tired I was of ALL THE FREAKING ICE and G.R. went out and spent over an hour chipping it all away. He did a great job and the entire drive and walk way were perfectly clear. I left to go get ice cream for us and enjoyed walking to my car without putting on ice skates. I was so happy to be able to walk to the car without doing the splits. I pulled into the driveway and was thinking about how it was a miracle that neither of us had gotten hurt or had any bad falls with all of that ice, and was glowing with happiness that my husband had fixed the situation. I got out of the car and started walking to the ice free house without fear for the first time in a wall, tripped on a stair and face planted right there on the driveway. No ice, just the stairs trying to kill me. I did protect the ice cream by not using my hands to shield my face, so that was at least good. I looked up from my ice-less driveway and saw G.R. laughing hysterically. It’s probably fun to see something like that after your wife has a melt down that leads you to doing a sucky chore. Jerk.


4.)  The Entryway
Let me just start this by saying when I’m pregnant I’m......less loveable. That’s a nice way to say it. But in my defense I have giant G.R. sized babies that cause me to vomit for 9 months straight and obsess in terror about the day I finally birth the toddler sized child. As a kicker to that, this pregnancy my husband had spent most of his week days in Texas for work, leaving me to be pregnant and in charge of Nora. That’s a lot for any person. So we bought a new couch to replace the ones that did not allow us to wallow in the way we prefer. The couch is a giant sectional and is a small piece of heaven that made us happy. So of course, the house tried to sabotage. It all began on delivery day when two men who spoke no English came to bring it into my home. G.R. was in Texas so it was just me there to let these fine fellows in with the biggest couch imaginable. The nice man came to the door, took one look at our entry way and said “Oh no Ma’am....oh no. Not enough room”. See, G.R. and I had carefully measured the living room about 180 million times, knowing it was a large couch. We seriously measured for days and finally decided it would work. We never once thought about how the biggest couch that ever lived would fit through the entry way of a bungalow built in 1928 when people were shorter and smaller (no McDonald's or Old Country Buffet). So thus began an hour of the nicest Mexican man in the world trying anything he could to help me get the couch in. He took off our porch door, screen door, main door and french doors. He made the other guy, who sucked by the way and just sat there looking bored, pick up the coach with him and spin it all different ways. Through the entire hour or so he must have said “Oh no Ma’am....oh no” about 74 times. I just kept saying “Are you sure?” over and over. Those were the only things we could say to each other through the language barrier. Finally it was time to call it a day. I tipped the nice guy, hoped he’d keep it all for himself and watched my new couch speed away from me in it’s giant truck. Then I did the only rational thing. I called G.R. and lost my shit.


So, long story short; our new awesome couch came through the window in the front of our house, that doesn’t actually open, no it had to be pried open and the glass taken out and everything. It involved a day off of work, my brother-in-law, and very patient husband. Had I not been pregnant, it probably would have involved Xanax for me. I wish my Mexican friend could come back and lay on the couch with my family, it’s seriously comfy.


What’s great about this topic is that the fun will just keep coming. I am willing to bet that on the day we try to move out, the driver of our moving truck will become distracted by a flashing sign advertising sugar free red bull and accidentally run over our entire family in the driveway. It would be a fitting end.