Friday, May 30, 2008

Postmortem (hopefully soon to be Postpartum)

Because I am one classy broad, I will not give anything away. I am writing only to say that I came, I saw, and I left one happy girl. Enjoy ladies (and gentlemen, of course)!

The Hospital Called, Your Brain is Ready

This morning, I had to wait for J to get home before showering, as I was expecting a delivery. When I came out of the bathroom I noted (because I am a very observant girl) that the apartment was filled with smoke and the vent fan was blasting on high.

I wrinkled my nose and stated disdainfully, 'gross.' Lord knows I've never burned food before. I proceeded to fill the washing machine, while he apologized and I sweetly turned to him and said "I'll wager you didn't do it on purpose."


My cute husband looked sheepishly at me, as I asked what happened. Apparently using a COOKIE SHEET with no edges to make bacon in a gas oven results in grease dripping onto the bottom of the oven and creating large quantities of smoke...WHO KNEW?! I simply walked across the room and opened the window.


My day cannot be botched, for I'm watching Sex and the City in just four short hours!!!


*Image taken from this website.


**The title to this post was written on a T-Shirt that I saw once when I was about 12 and was going to get for my big sister, but my mom wouldn't let me...curses, foiled again!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Life's a Beach

Can you guess where I'm going? I'm packing my bag for my little daytrip tomorrow, and here's what I'm taking; giant tote bag with ample handles, water bottle, gum, cell phone, large towel, something sweet and something salty.

The beach, you say?

Well, one might think so, but this is actually the bag that a person who is in their forty-second week of pregnancy would take with them to the movie premier that they've been dying to see, but would prefer not to slink out of a wet seat due to the fact that their little one finally decided to make their own debut.

That's right folks, little Baby C appears to have decided to hold off long enough to ensure that his mama gets to see the Sex and the City move in theatres on the day it premieres. Did Mother's Day come twice to the HP house this year?! Now that he's dangled this carrot and allowed me to get my hopes up, we'll just hope that he stays put for the next 20 hours or so.

Yesterday, J and I were driving home from my friend Alex's house as she had generously offered to take H for me for the afternoon; this offer came after I was a complete hag to H in the lobby of the Y for no apparent reason as we were eating lunch the day before. Hmmm...was my behavior indicative that I might need some alone time? She politely said that it had been her greatest desire while pregnant with her YS that someone would take her OS so she could nap. I think that it roughly translated to when I tell H that he needs to go take a nap and quit whining because "nobody likes to be around you when you act like this." It was much appreciated.

Anyway, the conversation went something like this:

J: I know what you would choose if you were given the choice between C being born right now and watching the Sex and the City movie right now.
Me: Nodding and turning to him to say, while feeling a little blush rise to my face; The movie...
J: (Unfortunately not before my answer, but at the same time) C being born...

Ohhh...well, here's the thing; I know that C will eventually be born, but if we're talking right now then the movie would win. Honestly, who knows when I'll really have the chance to watch it with a newborn?! Plus, the right now he was referring to was prior to the release date, so I'd know all the secrets before anyone else!

Does that make me a terrible person?

Probably. Oh Well, there are worse things to be. Samantha would still like me.

Writer's Note: I hope that people understand that I am just being sarcastic, and the birth of my child could not be eclipsed by any social event. *

*Except, perhaps, seeing the Sex and the City movie on the day it premieres as I know that all my friends will not be able to keep their traps shut and would ruin all the surprises.

Monday, May 26, 2008

...So are the days of our lives...

Sunday morning, I armed myself with a Venti Starbucks and The Other Boleyn Girl at 9am, and we were off to the playground. I knew that it would not be packed, as it was prime church time, (yet another good reason to be committing a mortal sin every Sunday) so was excited to get a little reading in while H played. The day could not have been more beautiful...or so I thought. I pulled into the parking lot and noted that we had the place to ourselves.

This was exciting until about a half-hour later when Ward and June Cleaver showed up with little Timmy and got in the sandbox with him. Never before had I been glad that I'm so hugely pregnant, because then I felt like I at least had a reason to have my ass parked on the bench about 50 yards away from my kid who was happily playing in solitude. As soon as they sat down, however, H was immediately drawn to their similar-aged child, and acted as though he'd been starved for attention. I grudgingly put down my coffee, book and purse and ambled over to the sandbox.

H could not have cared less that I hadn't been playing with him, but I could not stand the thought that they would think he did, or that they would see me as an uncaring, inadequate parent. I realized that the downside of being the only people at the playground, is that when just one other person comes, you are the focus of the attention, instead of being able to sit on the bench and down a coffee in relative ambiguity. Also, it's usually just moms at the park, socializing with one another, but the Sunday duo made it all the more apparent that they had come for some good family fun.

While I may have been internally grumbling at first, I have to say that it was all worth it when I was pushing H on the swing later and he yelled out between peals of laughter "I LOVE swinging!" As cliched as it is, time with your kids really does slip away too quickly. I knew that Anne and Mary Boleyn would still be waiting for me at the exact spot I'd paused when I found the time to return to them later that evening. I know I can't say the same for H.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

And This Little Piggy Went...

Yesterday we went back to what I'm learning will be our hot spot this summer; Davis Farmland. For those of you outside of Central Mass (or inside and not yet privy) Davis Farmland is North America's largest private sanctuary of endangered farm animals. It contains loads of today's modern farm animals' ancestors (DNA-wise anyway), and a great way for kids to get up close and personal with them. In addition, it has a splash pad, large play structure, and an 'imagination' zone with a crop of outbuildings decked out with kid sized tool stations, etc.

H had his first pony ride, which was a roaring success, milked a goat, and saw his first piglets...not sure how we missed them before. Looking at those baby pigs brought back memories of the days when I raised hogs for FFA in high school, as they were about the same size as when we'd load up in our trucks and head over to get our picks of the litter. As the piglets got more and more eager for their dinner to arrive, and started bothering one another, their quiet snorts turned into the signature squeal, making H turn to me and say 'What's that noise?' Yeah, generally, I don't encourage the noise identification portion of his animal board books to include the ear piercing scream of a pig.


Another while-away-the-hours locale has been the plethora of fenced-in parks. They are great because you can sit on a bench and watch your child play without fear that they'll dart into on-coming traffic; always a bonus. How else is The Other Boleyn Girl going to be completed before book club? H's favorite is generally the sandbox, so I don't really have to worry about him anyway because he settles in and enjoys playing with all the shovels, buckets and digger toys that are provided by the parks system; great because no child can get too bent claiming that it's 'mine'.


This leads me to this morning. I was checking out my little sister's new blog, when I heard H wander into the kitchen. I called down for him to stay out, which was useless, so I did a little investigation of my own. Literally, 30 seconds of him being in the kitchen and he had already created his own sandbox at home. Sweet...he'd found the cornmeal. He was so happy that it was 'pink' sand (aka yellow), but not so happy when I sucked it all up into the vacuum. I know! I'm such a spoil sport, I didn't even let him play in it.


Don't get me wrong, I love waking up with the little cherub at 5am, especially when he wakes up at midnight as well, but when you find a pile of cornmeal on the carpet of your dining area, you just want to go 'wee wee wee' all the way back to bed!


Fun on the Farm Fact (according to my omniscient source Wikipedia): Occasionally, in captivity, pigs may eat their own young, often if they become severely stressed.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Ommmmmmm....

For the last two weeks, I've noticed an almost zen-like calm in the relationship between H and I. It's been refreshing, but a part of me is just waiting for the other shoe to drop...oh wait, I mean for me to go into labor. I wish I could have been this sweet to him during my entire pregnancy, and that he could have listened to me this well.

I really do think that a huge part of our newly functional relationship is that we have been able to play outside for at least two hours almost every day. A little fresh air is good for everyone it seems. Now the question of the day is, how do I make the transition from him cuddling up to me all the time, listening well, alerting me to his dirty diaper status, etc to having two kids?

I'm fortunate that my parents will be flying in for two weeks just after the baby's born, so H will have lots of one-on-one 'Granny and Papa time' because honestly one of the biggest anxieties of actually having this baby has been how do I do it without displacing H? I get that it will be a change regardless, and that there will be some rockiness in the adjustment, but my hope is that it can be a positive change overall. I cringe when I think of stories of me holding my sister in her cradle upside down (without parental supervision, of course, because we shared a bedroom)...

I feel like I've done what I can to prepare H for the birth of C, but was made painfully aware of his lack of understanding when he started referring to C as being "up-down stairs" instead of in my belly. I didn't understand why he started thinking this, although J stated that it was because we had put some of the shower gifts in the loft. H was 'up-down stairs' with me this week, and spotted a large stuffed lamb that had been in C's crib, but that I had taken out when I realized that H needed to see that there shouldn't be a bunch of stuff in the crib (you know, suffocation hazard and all). H pointed his chubby little finger at the lamb and said "It's C! C is up-down stairs!" Great, he thinks his brother is a large stuffed animal! I guess all those gory births on baby story didn't have the intended effect of demonstrating to him what a baby is. This just goes to show that you can do all the preparing in the world, but nothing compares to the real thing.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Textiquette

I've realized that I will never be an official bad-ass texter because I refuse to use the stupid shortcuts that so many insist on. This realization came last night, when I had to use my asterisk key several times in a row to have the correct punctuation come up. I won't be saying Gr8, because I feel like it's not that much more effort to use the predictive text function and tap out ALL the keys that will spell 'great'. I think that the most I've used is a sporadic LOL, which even felt silly to me, and I feel stupid doing.

I think that texting is a great form of communication in this fast-paced world where kids screaming in the background are not always conducive to an actual voicemail, but I do have enough respect for the recipient that I will use full sentences, thus, full thoughts.

I guess you can check back with me in a couple of years but 'OMG' I would be very sad to see the English language slip away while the human race reverts back to a series of caveman-esque grunts and abbreviations just because we're too lazy to use the full word for something.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Date with the Devil

It's happened. Last night, while reflecting on the brevity of this year's season of The Hills, I sent a text (or txt to the lazy) to my sister, asking what we were going to do for Monday night television. At the time, I was watching the sweetest movie ever made, Overboard, on the Oxygen network. Then fate intervened.

I know that most reality junkies such as myself will be shocked to learn that I have not yet watched a single season of The Bachelor (in this case, The Bachelorette). Mainly because it seems so silly that two people would really marry each other after knowing one another for only six weeks, but that could just be my bitterness of having to wait three and a half years before the question was popped. I guess I shouldn't be that surprised, as I've also never watched an entire season of Survivor, Dancing with the Stars or American Idol. Now that I think of it, I've stuck to the quality reality programming on MTv, because what functioning adult shouldn't be enthralled by those crazy kids in Laguna Beach?


My sister texted back about The Bachelorette, so my date for the night was determined. What followed was two hours of furious back and forth text messaging, because Sherri's daytime minutes are gone until tomorrow...for the second month in a row, and her "anytime" didn't start until an hour into the show. Our ritual of calling on commercial breaks would have to wait until the second hour of this edge-of-your-seat season opener. Yeah, it's amazing where they're able to find the drama to insert that music.


Can I just say, wow?! I was amazed at the men who were 'presenting' themselves to this woman, and the amount of confidence they displayed in their sweet martial arts moves, or their dedication to the proper application of hair gel for a 'great first impression.' Um, last I checked, a man's fake tan, hair gel and frosted tips are not a turn-on. I am eternally grateful to MTv for the abrupt season this year, because it has allowed my and Sherri's extreme cattiness when it comes to people in whom we have no vested interest or real connection to have the best venue ever! FYI, I was very surprised when DeAnna handed a rose to The Mullet and The Virgin...two of the more unlikely candidates upon interview, but I'm sure the producers needed something to stir it up at the homestead.


I'm just glad that I now have a reason to look forward to next Monday, since at this point, it's obviously not going to be holding a new baby in my arms. I swear, I am going to end up like that woman in India who discovered she had a forty year-old calcified fetus in her womb. C, COME OUT!

I fail to blog for a couple of days, please don't call to ask if it's because I'm in labor. I'm most likely just too lazy to walk upstairs to the computer. You'll know if I have a baby.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pet Peeve

As a new subscriber to the Lion Brand Notebook, which is a blog regarding 'News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn' I read this post. Aparrently, there is a new movement of people who are knitting with their pet's fur. WHAT?! Yes, you read correctly k-n-i-t-t-i-n-g with their pet's fur. According to the post, even Martha Stewart is in on this one, planning to have a skein of yarn made out of her dog Paw Paw's fur.

As I forced the mini-vomit back down my throat I thought to myself, these must be some die-hard yarn crafters, as I could not imagine that somebody else was doing this for them. Oh no, no...never fear. There is a service to meet every need. VIP Fibers is a Texas-based company who specializes in 'Mail Order Custom Handspun Yarn from Your Very Important Pets!' They do warn, however; 'Many dogs and cats have a fine and lustrous undercoat so suitable for spinning. It does not, however, have the crimp or elasticity such as found in wool from a sheep, and therefore is not suitable for all projects such as socks.' Yeah, because your feet didn't stink enough, now they'd smell like wet dog on top of it!


How, you may ask me, is this different than using any other natural fiber, such as wool or alpaca? Well, because the last time I pet a labrador or a freaky cat that was shedding everywhere, I don't remember thinking to myself "Oh my God, this would feel so luxurious in the form of a cozy sweater." It was more like "Sick, now I have to go wash my hands."


Yes, I agree that part of this is my own issue, as I have always been slightly grossed out by stray pet hair, and have to repress the urge to wipe stray hairs off of my pant-leg when Snookems rubs against me in their owner's presence. That said, I am not anti-animal or a proponent of shaved/hairless pets, and I understand that household pet hair is an unavoidable part of owning something that has fur and having them share your living space. HOWEVER, my understanding of that issue does not extend to the point of wanting to wear the animal, or make a sweet dream catcher out of it.


Even my friends who love their pets thought that the idea of this was gross, and I know that they own several lint rollers with which to 'de-fur' themselves before leaving the house. Honestly, when I read this blog post, I was almost waiting for a gotcha! at the end of it, but alas, I must just sit at my computer and silently shake my head shivering with repulsion at the thought.


One must admit that there is a slightly Hannibal-esque quality to it..."I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti." Except now, you wore your pet hair with some corduroys and a nice turquoise bangle.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Up and At 'Em!

I'm helping out at the yardsale for my mom's group this morning, and was very excited to drop off my cast-aways yesterday. It's the first time in a long time that I'm waking up and have to immediately start getting ready. It feels kind of funny since I usually have at least an hour to wake up with H before I put him in his room while I shower and get ready. It is truly one of the things that I appreciate about not working right now, because mornings are pretty sacred to me.

The loft area in our apartment easily became a crap catcher over the year we've lived here, so it was nice to go through all of our storage bins, and see what we moved but didn't need to, or saved from H for the next baby, but don't want anymore, or have accumulated in the short time we've been here.

I was surprised to find that there were easily three of the big Rubbermaid tubs worth of stuff that we (read: I) packed lovingly away when H was done with them, unable to imagine a time that they wouldn't be irrevocably linked to that chubby baby and his time with them, but when it comes time to decide between the life that was his baby-hood and actually having room for the next baby, it was easy to become a little more judicious.

I now know how my family of six grew up in a 900 sq.ft house with only one bathroom; my mom had a massive yardsale every summer, and made us really think about the things that were important to us. Now, before you go thinking I am great at purging, it was not until our cross-country move that I went through the large box, yes large, of notes and letters between me and my high-school friends. Seriously, who wants to keep that kind of ammunition around for their kids?!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Still Got The Right Stuff?

When I saw the first ad on NBC, I marked my calendar in anticipation of the end of a fifteen-year hiatus of my absolutely crush-worthy childhood band; New Kids on the Block (NKOTB for those who were cool like me). They were slated to perform in Rockefeller Plaza as part of The Today Show's Summer Concert Series.

Maybe it was due to the rain, or a bad sound check, but I was forced to admit that the performance sounded eerily similar to when school-mates used to perform the hits for a 'talent show' that always sadly lacked talent. It was more than a little disappointing, because it affirmed my recent suspicions that the lack of visible wall-space in my bedroom 15 years ago may have been for naught.

That said, it was also funny to note that my tastes have changed and I definitely prefer Donny to Jordan (who I had previously planned to marry), although I'm sure that has something to do with my slight adult crush on Marky Mark...known now as just plain Mark Wahlberg.

That said, in honor of the thirty-somethings who camped out for over 48 hours in order to re-visit their middle and high-school flames, here you go:

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Heart of Steel

So, I was reading this post at Lil' Mommy That Could. I too am a glutton for Steel Magnolias and the slobbering sob fest that always results from watching it, so eagerly clicked on the video so that I could fully benefit from my raging pregnancy hormones and have good cry while H naps. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, because it certainly beats crying...all I can say is, wow!

Time Keeps on Ticking, Ticking, Ticking...

Last night I left my bathroom uncleaned and a couple of piles of sorting for a yard sale so that I'd have something to do when I woke up with contractions and was in active labor. I perused the calendar and decided that based on J's scheduled days off, and the amount of time (or lack of) that he'll be able to take off, Sunday in the early afternoon would be a fantastic time to go into hard labor.

Until then, I'll just keep reciting each night: "Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my womb to reap. If I should dilate before I wake, I swear to Lord my child I'll take (to church when he's born)."

I have a feeling that all I'm going to end up with is a pile of crap in the loft and a scuzzy bathroom.

**I can just hear my mother, who refused to let us watch the Madonna video for Like a Prayer, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Sally that is sacrilege!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Gesundheit!

Yes, today I'm going to talk about health. Last night I went to my mom's group meeting, where we had a guest speaker on the topic of probiotics. I was pleasantly surprised by the speaker's fairly moderate approach to probiotics and supplements in general. While she was an advocate of the use of probiotics; providing approximate doses (NOT providing medical advice) for people, reasons they should not be used, reasons they should, and what they really are. As a whole, she doesn't advocate a lot of supplement use, as she feels that most things can be provided with proper diet and exercise...really? It was exactly what I needed to hear in order to be really open to the rest of the presentation. It certainly didn't hurt that she was very well-read, had a lot of information and the way in which she presented it did not in any way feel like a sales pitch.

This is the second speaker we've had, that I've been able to attend, who was a practitioner of alternative medicine; both of whom were fairly moderate and talked about utilizing both traditional and alternative medicine to have a balanced life.

So, while I'm still a fairly staunch believer in traditional medicine, I am open to hearing about small changes that I can make that will extent my life, while making it more enjoyable. It got me thinking about my family's recent eating habits. I already know that after the birth of C, I have a lot of work to do in the weight-loss department. Not because I gained a ton of weight while I was pregnant (because I've actually done fairly well), but because I started out as a bit of a fatty. Like Tommy Boy, I've got a little bit of what you might call a weight problem.

You see, I'm the girl who orders a large milkshake because it looks so damn good at the time, but then when you get back to the office and realize you have the ice-cream equivalent of a Big Gulp you hold it up and say Can you believe how out of control portions are getting? This is a small! It's crazy! Yep, that's me.

Growing up, my mom made whole-wheat bread from wheat flour that she ground herself, used 2/3 cup of sugar instead of 2 full cups in Kool-Aid...believe me, that makes a huge difference in the taste, and it was a family tradition to get the tiny boxes of pre-sweetened cereal for Christmas morning, because throughout the year, we almost never had cereal in the house with sugar in the first three ingredients. The point is that I have a good foundation for healthy eating, it's just slid away a bit in the past decade.

Overall, I'd have to say my basic eating habits are not horrible, it's the sugar that I crave like a slobbering fiend that has become my ultimate downfall. With my dad and his side of the family being LDS, ice cream played a large role in our lives (you Mormons will know what I mean, and if you say you don't you're lying...and can't take the sacrament on Sunday.)Over the past couple of years, it's come to the point that the day is not complete unless I've had at least one sweet treat.

I started thinking about this when H asked for broccoli the other day, and I was suspect. Each time J or I have tried to get him to eat broccoli, he has touched it to his tongue and then quickly turned his head pronouncing it to be yucccchhh, so I asked him what broccoli looks like. He looked at me like I had two heads and said "Cake." (duh). I was mortified and so glad that nobody else was around to witness his proclamation.

When we lived in Portland, H was fairly worldly eating everything off my plate from Curry with Tofu to real broccoli. Since I've been staying at home, it seems like he's had a steady diet of chicken nuggets, PBJ sandwiches and hot dogs. Also, I could have counted the number of times on one hand in which he'd tried McDonald's (including the long road trip out here) and he'd NEVER stepped foot in the PlayPlace. Part of the picky eating, I know, is his age (he wasn't quite two when we moved here), but perhaps a larger part is my complete lack of motivation to be in the kitchen over the last couple of months.

Because I have committed to completing my first tri-athlon in September, I know that I'll need to be eating more healthfully in order to achieve my goal. This seems like the perfect time to make that turn-around...new baby, new body, new life.

Plus, I have to look semi-decent in my bridesmaid's dress for the wedding in August, so I'm sure that has a little something to do with my resolve. (Because a Grecian-style flowy dress is really not all that pretty when you have arms the size of a Texas cattle rancher, except with dimples where definition should be.)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother, May I?

One thing that I noticed as a constant while discussing ideal Mother's Day plans with other moms is that most of us have a desire to spend at least a portion of that day without those people who have made us mothers; namely our husbands and children. While it may be ironic, it sure is nice to have some time to yourself without a little guy grabbing at your pant legs.

Yesterday my mom called just to let me know something that she appreciated about me, telling me that she loves being my, and my sisters', mom. What?! It was such a nice gesture that, of course, I had to pick a fight about something inconsequential about half-way through the other part of our conversation which had nothing to do with either she or I, but about one of my sisters, because we are always in each others' business.

In seconds we were back on a more neutral topic and all was well, but it just made me laugh after I hung up; not because it was funny, but because why did I have to spoil it? My poor mom always claimed that we would grow up to write a book called The Witch and Mr. Wonderful because she was convinced that we like our dad better than we like her. Turns out, we like them both quite a lot, but when you're going through the crazy hormonal teen years, the parent who sits quietly in the corner and observes, or merely shakes his head in disbelief usually wins out in the popularity department over the parent who matches us in emotional intensity.

Now, however, I hope she feels secure in the love that we all feel for her, because it's certainly there. No matter how much we tease and make fun (aka calling her Crazy Nancy because she's on Zoloft, which, ironically makes her notCrazy Nancy) we know that we couldn't have chosen a better and more loyal mom.

I hope my kids will know how lucky they are to have her as their Granny (as long as she takes her Zoloft, because Granny sans the ability to let the kids make a mess in the craft box, or make a wonky teddy bear without wanting to fix it for them would not be as much fun for anyone, including Granny.)

Random: I found boxes of MINIATURE CHARLESTON CHEWS at Walgreens while I was picking up my photos...I hadn't had Charleston Chews since I was in about 5th grade at the Cove Swimming Pool. Of course I snatched up a box and shared the love with H...just doing my part to spread the word of the nougatty goodness.

Oh yeah, and I'm still pregnant. Each night, I sadly do my own version of Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep asking that I awaken to racking pain and fluids a'gushing. I'm pretty sure that I jinxed myself by actually packing a hospital bag, but I knew that I had to have H packed for the sitter and couldn't stop myself...now I'll never have to use it.

Here's to at least 10 more days of pregnancy until I officially become C's Mom.

Happy Mother's Day! Oh, and Congratulations to Alex for officially completing her first tri-athlon. What an accomplishment!

Book Meme

That Girl, participated in a book meme and then tagged me and four other bloggers.

Here's how it works: Pick up a book of at least 123 pages and open the book to page 123. Find the fifth sentence on that page and post the next three sentences. Then you get to tag five people.

Unfortunately, That Girl tagged my sister Sherri over at Desperately Seeking Sherri whose last post is titled "Waiting"...hmmm, should have told us something about what we'd be doing for the next TWO MONTHS! Sherri, you betta fulfill your tag on this one...don't want to make That Girl look silly for putting her faith in you!

Okay, public shaming over, I have chosen Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen because, like Sex and the City, it's just one of those stories that you never tire of hearing and the smallest snippet can make you want to start it all over again.

"Mr Collins's return into Hertfordshire was no longer a matter of pleasure to Mrs Bennet. On the contrary she was as much disposed to complain of it as her husband. -It was very strange that he should come to Longbourn instead of to Lucas Lodge; it was also very inconvenient and exceedingly troublesome."

I tag Alex Elliot , Sherri (because I firmly believe in peer pressure to make things happen) and then I have to pick a couple of people who probably have no idea who I am, but I'm going to tag them anyhow because I like their blogs; Rima over at Rimarama Mama Drama , Dawn at Because I Said So and Karianna of The Karianna Spectrum: Kari's Couch. Let's see how this goes!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bare Naked Exhaustion

Today my friend Alex and I took our boys to see BareNaked Ladies at the Barnes and Noble...no, that's not a typo...Bare Naked Ladies put on a free concert at Barnes and Noble in a neighboring town today, and all we had to do was buy their new children's cd, Snacktime, which is really good, and arrive at 9am to secure a wristband for the afternoon performance.

I decided about 45 minutes before I was supposed to be out the door (of course, I hadn't showered or begun getting ready yet) that today would be a great day to test out the new double stroller, as I knew that Alex's OS would most likely tire of walking at some point, and H always does better when contained. The double-stroller was still sitting in the hall closet...in the box. After about 10 minutes of struggle, I had it out of the box, with all parts on the floor. It really was easy to assemble, so it wasn't long before I was in the shower, forgoing shampoo for my hair, as the salon blow-style from yesterday still look way better than when I do it myself...okay, out the door and almost right on time.

The only hitch to our grand plan to treat our kids to their first concert was that we then had to arrange activities to occupy ourselves from about 9:30 am until we could go back and be admitted at 2. The first no-brainer was to get a coffee the size of my head at Starbucks, then take it with us to the playspace at the mall. The kids ran themselves silly for over an hour until it was time for lunch.

After lunch, we did a little shopping for really exciting things like nursing tanks from GapMaternity. Yes, say good-bye to the days of flipping through the racks at Victoria's Secret. I have to say that it was worth the time and effort to get the stroller to the car because it was great! I'm very happy with my purchase.

We made it to Barnes and Noble just in time to stand in line, then to be ushered to our seats. We quickly realized that our plan to put our coats at our chairs and have the kids play at the train table until it was time to start was just not going to work. Even worse, Alex and I met each other with a look of horror when we realized that the concert started at 3 THIRTY, not 3 o'clock as originally thought.

Awesome, H is so easy to contain, I'm sure he'll do great with an entire 90 minutes to kill. I ingeniously unclipped the tail from his 'back-pack' wrapped it around his seat and re-clipped it into place. He still had plenty of range of motion, he just couldn't run off...well, at least he couldn't without giving me ample warning.

Although I was getting tired and annoyed by the time the band came on, it was well worth the wait. After about 30 minutes of music, we got our CD signed and left the store...EIGHT HOURS after leaving the house that morning. Yes, EIGHT HOURS.

It was on the drive home I realized that at some point over the last couple of days, the corner has been turned. No more am I upbeat and silly SallyHP who responds to the daily, and unceasing inquiry of how are you feeling? with "Great!" Nope. No more. I am DONE being pregnant. I am so ready to squeeze Baby C out that I can hardly stand myself.

It's like when Carrie saw Natasha whack her face in the stairwell, which made her finally tell Big that they were 'so over, we need a new word for over.'

I decided that in order to speed things along, it couldn't hurt to write the adult version of a Santa letter, but instead of the big one, I'm hitting up the big three.

Dear V, Uterus and Cervix:

While I know that we've had a pretty good run so far, and I've been a little nervous about the whole parenting two kids thing; please finish. Please start contracting with ferocity. Please dilate. Please expel this child from my body in the usual fashion, so that I can regain my waist (and ankle) circumference. Please. Please. Please. I'll never ask this of you again (for at least two more years when the next baby comes). I know that you may be snickering at me, because you know that I'll be even more exhausted in the coming months. But I don't care.

Please. Just go.

I'll even go so far as to quote Pee Wee Herman to convince you how much I deserve to be done; "Believe me Santa, Please, I've practically been an angel."

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Sincerely (and with naked exhaustion),
SallyHP

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Where there's poop there's...

Yep, mice. I received a knock on my door the other day and found my neighbor (no, not the freaky nail lady, but a super-nice mom of two young kids, who we'll dub NN for Normal Neighbor) standing outside my door. I used the peep-hole this time and shushed H prior to opening the door, lest my other neighbor have a snagged toe-nail or something. NN said that she was sorry for just dropping by, but wanted to let me know that they had a 'mice problem', and she just wanted to let me know since we share a common wall.

I couldn't help the look of horror that crossed my face, because there is nothing I dislike more than rodents. I tried to think back to my kitchen and if I'd seen any 'signs' of mice, as she said that she'd had pest control out and they patched a hole, but she still had poo on her counters and in the laundry area this morning...double gross. I couldn't think of anything, but you can bet that as soon as I closed the door, I'd found the motivation I needed to deep clean the ole-kitchen.

There's nothing quite as entertaining as a hugely pregnant woman wielding the vacuum hose and gathering the fuzz and dust from around the dryer, refridgerator and under the stove, then on hands and knees using pine sol to clean the floors. I then flew like a maniac from counter to counter with my new 'earth friendly' orange kleen ensuring there were no errant crumbs, and that all food containers were appropriately sealed. After a final perusing of all cupboards and ensuring myself that there were no droppings to be seen and that all appliance fittings seemed secure to the wall, I sat my sweaty self down and finished "Happy Feet" with H, who'd abandoned the movie in order to stand at the entry to the kitchen asking in his Eliza Doolittle lilt "Wha' are you doooooing?"

Once summer during college, I moved my stuff back to my parents house and unwittingly brought a little hitch-hiker with me. When I was getting ready for work and saw him (or her, I didn't get close enough to see) in the doorway to the bathroom, I left the house in whatever state of readiness I was, and called my dad from the road, notifying him that they had a mouse in their house, and that I hoped it would be trapped by the time I got home.

My mom called me at work to let me know that not only had the mouse been trapped, but she had done her own little OCD cleaning of the house, to find that the center of that little mouse's world had also been the center of mine. Yes, she had found mouse poop in my bed under my pillow! I knew that my room was messy, but didn't think that it was literally a rat's nest (okay, smarty, I know that mice and rats are different, but mice nest is not as catchy).

After two nights of dreams filled with mouse poo, I've eased into the kitchen each morning, flipped on the lights and scanned the nooks and crannies. We're in the clear so far, but lets just hope that the inhumane poison and whatever else they used works. Yes, my name is SallyHP and I'm a heartless beyotch.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Cutting Costs

When J and I first started merging our finances, one of the biggest shocks to him was the amount of money that is spent on the cut, color and general maintenance of my hair. A former Army Ranger, his high and tights were the most demanding style he's ever employed as far as upkeep is concerned.

I'm still the only one who spends any real money on my hair, so don't feel bad about it. H gets his hair cut at home, and J goes to the local chop shop. After the cut pictured here, where H's hairline in the back ended up level with his ears, I decided that maybe I'd be just fine learning the fine art of hair cuttin' since J didn't seem to be as concerned about the end result as I might be.

J's most recent experience at salon de sale resulted in him saying with disdain "I'm not going back to that place." I carefully looked at his hair, and saw no difference in the resulting coif, so asked what happened...

Wait for it...

Yes, the 'stylist' attempted to up-sell. Before you gasp in horror, you have to know that when you pay less than $10 for a hair-cut, they've got to recoup their costs somewhere.

While in the middle of the cut, he'd been asked if he wanted a 'camo'. He asked for clarification and was informed that a 'color camo' is a simple procedure in which your gray is covered...he scoffed in return. "Doesn't your gray bother you?" asked the oh-so-silly woman. Ummmm, no, no it does not.

Actually, J's gray is one of the things that I really like about his hair. It's not the ugly springy grey, but the distinguished silver-flecked temples. Love it. Apparently, the retail-whoring did not end there, as J was then asked if he didn't notice that he had a bit of dry scalp. He agreed that he did, which was why his loving wife doesn't allow him to use the Suave Daily Clarifying that he was oh-so-fond of, and buys Paul Mitchell's Tea Tree instead.

I guess that's not quite good enough, because he was told that he needs to start using the conditioner as well. J was about to walk out mid-snip as he has about an inch of hair at the longest points, and is not exactly what one would call metro-sexual; I've just recently convinced him to stop using bar soap on his face, and to apply moisturizer with SPF...that's as far as it's ever going to go.

He paid for his cut and left, using every reserve of strength not to ask the cigarette-smoke infused diva if he could interest her in any Nicorette gum, as her stench was certainly more of a concern than his gray hair or dry scalp.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Meeting of the Mines

Landmines that is...

Last night, I attended a meeting for my mom's group. The meeting topic was "Spousal Relations" and it was intended to be the time and place where we could all get ideas on how to better communicate expectations regarding a division of labor in the household, teamwork in parenting and the other minutae that come up during the course of a marriage that includes one or more children. Nobody had come to the meeting at a crisis point in their marriage, feeling un-appreciated, unloved, or on the brink of divorce (that I know of). The speaker had been chosen based on a referral, although not a lot was known about his credentials as a counselor (because he didn't have any), nor about his world-views.

As I listened to him present his bio and 'expertise' my stomach began to sink. This man was not qualified to speak on the topic we had intended, and he kind of knew it; 'know thy audience' would have been an awesome piece of advice to whisper in this speaker's ear prior to his presentation. After all, (and please note the sarcasm here) I guess it's not his fault that we weren't all there to raptly listen to, and agree with, the ideals that he learned by attending a weekend retreat sponsored by The Sterling Institute (which was, we learned what made him feel he was qualified to address our group on the topic of spousal relations)...he couldn't say enough good things about it, hoping that we'd all run home and tell our husband's to attend. Here's what their site had to say:

The Weekend is led by A. Justin Sterling, an acknowledged relationship expert, author, and founder of the Sterling Institute. His expertise and familiarity with the innermost thoughts of women, has given him the insight and perspective to teach men to be better relationship partners by being more masculine, more honorable, and more disciplined. Men who are not ready for a long-term relationship will find good advice on how to manage their emotional well-being in romantic endeavors, while men who are considering marriage and family will find much needed guidance on self-preparation, choosing the right mate, and staying on the path to a thriving marriage.

Lest you be up in arms that these pearls of wisdom are only available to men, here's what Mr. Sterling himself had to say about the women's retreat, and how he got his start in relationship counseling and 'the weekends':

I had a professional relationship with a director of a women’s organization that counseled women about how to be successful in their career. We began to see a correlation between women’s ability to be successful in their careers and their inability to be successful in their personal relationships. This organization began referring clients to me and I experienced a great deal of success with those clients.

When asked to describe the basic philosophy of the Women's Weekend Mr. Sterling replied:

The basic philosophy of the Women's Weekend is that when a woman begins to accept and embrace all of her female characteristics, then she can make wise choices. These choices are very personal ones, ones that will affect the direction and outcome of the rest of her life. A woman’s freedom lies in the acceptance of her feminine nature, not in trying to adopt what are fundamentally male characteristics. A woman’s happiness and satisfaction in a long-term relationship with a man lies in accepting her man just as he is, without burdening him and the relationship with her expectations that he will change to accommodate the way she thinks he should be. The more a woman accepts herself, the easier it is for her to accept her man.

Armed with the vast and wordly knowledge gained at his weekend, our speaker also added fun on the farm facts such as "sex with your husband will go a long way, and will solve 9 out of 10 problems." Okaaaay...I'm as big a fan of sex with your husband as the next gal, but this sure doesn't seem to give much credit to the intellectual processes of men.

I had a little mini-barf when he stated "...and if you're not having sex with your husband, let's just say you can't be angry if he goes somewhere else for it." Seriously, this man was clearly over his head in presenting to our group, and was ridiculously underqualified given the topic we'd requested he speak to. Nobody had said anything about not having/liking to have a healthy sexual relationship with their spouse. I'm pretty sure Al Bundy had more respect for his wife than this man, and for women in general.

Here's the last portion of the interview with Mr. Sterling that I'll post and then I promise I'll stop. This is just like a 10 car pile-up and I can't take my eyes off of it:

"You say women should be 100% responsible for the success of the relationship - can you expound on that?

Whether or not men will admit it, the success of a long-term committed relationship is not really all that important to them. In a way that’s good, because men basically don’t have the desire or the skills to create a successful relationship; however, women do. Simply put, the one who has the skill and the desire should be the one who is responsible for its success.

If the woman is completely responsible, then what is a man's role in a relationship?

A man’s role is to make sure he doesn’t become feminine in his actions and attitudes, and to begin to learn what he as a man can do to accommodate or take care of a woman in the best possible way. A man who is secure and confident in his masculine identity has more to bring to a woman, which enables her to more effectively assume responsibility for the success of that relationship."

After reading what The Sterling Institute is based upon, I know that I would rather shove bamboo shoots under my fingernails than be married to a man who espoused (pardon the pun) these ideals.

The tragic part of the evening (actually there were many of them) was that we had foregone the use of a member's priest, who actually is a counselor, as we didn't want to offend any members of the group who may not have been of that religious affiliation.

Sadly, the speaker we got was about as appropriate and well-received as a fart in church.