Monday, August 31, 2009

Six Pack and a bottle of Pucker, Please

Last week, I got a picture text message from my oldest nephew. It was of an empty watermelon liquor bottle. And my first thought was, “Oh dear God, please don’t let the first time he gets drunk be off of watermelon Pucker.” (Yes, he is 19 years old and a sophomore in college, and yes, I do believe him when he tells me that he doesn’t drink. He’s an athlete on scholarship, and for some reason, just isn’t into the whole underage drinking thing. Maybe it’s because he has seen his 11 year his senior aunt tipsy at Thanksgiving a little too often. Can you say drunk-dial your nephew’s girlfriend?) (and it wasn’t even Pucker, it was a brand that I’d never heard of, but I could see WATERMELON plastered on the front of a pretty label)

Any-hoo, I asked him to please tell me that wasn’t his evening the night before, and he clarified that he went to a party and his friend gave him the bottle. (and reiterated again that he doesn’t drink) Whew! Getting drunk off of any kind of Pucker-type alcohol makes for a killer hangover and a desire to never. drink. again. (however, he did think to send me the picture of an empty liquor bottle, so again, maybe I should re-think drinking in front of my nephews)

The picture made me flashback to my freshman year of college though. Not the Pucker, as by my freshman year I was WAY past getting drunk off of sweet 15% alcohol beverages. But something that happened probably the third week of freshman year. (this was before the resident advisor was shot and killed by one of the guys on his floor who just happened to be a coke dealer, so things were a little more lenient back then)

The summer before I left for college, I had decided that I wanted my dorm room to have an alcohol-theme. And the ONLY decoration I could come up with, besides writing on my loft, was empty liquor bottles. So we proceeded to save mementos from our nights out, and don’t even ask me where I hid them from my parents, as I couldn’t even begin to remember. I probably told them that they were my friends though; I tended to blame most things on my friends. They were the bad seeds. (sorry guys) I remember having a bottle of Aftershock (you know, that red stuff with the crystals in the bottom that you could eat?) Absolut, Bacardi, and who knows what else. I proudly displayed them on the top shelf above my desk; I couldn’t normally reach that high anyway, so it was useless to me. (pretty sure my roommate was scared of me when we met and I put up those bottles, but she got over it and decided she liked my friends)

After a few weeks, a couple of my new friends from the dorm got caught sneaking beer in. (it was a six pack!!) I wasn’t there, I can’t remember what was going on, (oh wait, now I remember, I think I was juggling dating three different guys…don’t recommend that) and I don’t really even remember the drama of the aftermath of the girls getting caught. I just remember that they went in front of the disciplinary board and while one of them cried (yes CRIED) and got out of making any restitution, the other one was punished and told that she had to make an anti-drinking display case. After some brain-storming with some of us on the floor, the bright idea was born to use my empty bottles in the display case.

I’m not quite sure how it happened, but I remember walking down the hallway of my dorm seeing the head lady walking with a cardboard box full of empty bottles. Which happened to look just like my bottles. Being the blond that I am, I thought not much of it, and the next thing I know, my friends are all up in a tizzy because the head lady tore apart the display case and my friend got in even more trouble for using alcohol in an anti-alcohol message board. Guess the idea wasn’t so bright. So what I wanted to know is… where were my bottles? I worked hard for them, both to buy and to empty. (At that point, it probably took 2 hours of working just to BUY one of those bottles. Not going to say how long to drink one.) I went to the receptionist, who just happened to be an old friend of the family who had known me since I was just a few days old. She was the one who got me my awesome roommate, instead of a crappy roommate, and got me on the even awesome-er 2 West floor. After complaining to her for a minute, I walked away, resigned to having to find a new theme for my room.

Next thing I know, I am called down to the head lady’s office and given a big long apology. (Apparently, having an alcohol themed room was against the rules in the dorm, even if the bottles were empty) I got an apology voicemail that was approximately 5 minutes long from one RA, and an apology gift basket from someone else. Meanwhile, my poor friend is on probation for bringing alcohol into the dorm and our other friend got off scot-free. Turns out the friend of the family went to bat for me, and pointed out that my stuff was stolen (by the head lady) out of the display case and I was just an innocent bystander and poor. little. Gail. My friend who got in trouble still can't believe that SHE got in trouble while our other friend cried and got out of it (yes, she did learn a very valuable lesson) and that I got apologies and gift baskets. These days, you get kicked out of the dorm on the first offense, and there probably aren’t any more parties like in the “olden days.” As much as you can party with a six pack.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day at Daycare

I am somewhat of a procrastinator. I think I may have talked about this before. I even posted a facebook status, “Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?” (I think it was in regards to unpacking…never fun. It could my life motto, though.) So when I was pregnant, I kept saying, “I need to figure out this whole daycare situation.” I kept putting it off, mainly because that is what I do, but also because it didn’t hit me that I was having a child until, well, she came out a girl.

My MIL enabled me a bit in the daycare situation, because she really wanted to baby-sit her new grandchild. Her FIRST grandchild. And then my mom jumped in and said, “Well, if you would like my help for a little while, I could come up a couple days a week and watch Samantha.” A little while turned into 4 months, for which I am eternally grateful. (Not only would she baby-sit, but she also pulled weeds, made dinner several times, and vacummed. My house and yard miss her…as well as Sam; and Workaholic and I’s stomachs.)

When I started looking at child care centers, I was really hopeful about the one that was literally on my way to and from work. It was inside a church, and they did part-time daycare, and did I mention it was ON THE WAY TO WORK? And it was OK, but who wants to send their kid to a place that is just OK? And then there was another one, which I totally had my mind set on, and then I heard a couple of things and I started to have doubts. So around that time, my husband reminded me that his cousin works at a daycare. And I was a little hesitant, because what if I didn’t like it? What if I got a bad vibe? What if she started going and I was convinced that they were neglecting her and wanted to pull her? I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, sometimes mixing business and family doesn’t work. But I decided to give it a go. It’s not too far out of the way, it is licensed by the state, and Workaholic’s cousin could always keep an eye on Sam.

And I walked in, and I didn’t get a bad vibe. It was bright, and clean, and there was artwork of the kids hanging everyplace. And you could hear kids laughing. They weren’t chained to a sewing machine, forced to sew together T-shirts for Steve & Barry’s on college campuses everywhere at the lowlow price of $7…buy one, get 3 free! I thought, “OK, we’ll try it out, and Samantha will let me know if it isn’t going to work.”

So today was Sam’s first day at daycare. I went in a little earlier than I normally will, lugging her huge bag of diapers and wipes and clothes and bottles and pacifiers and her blanket, and I left her there. I said good-bye, and between me and the kid who wanted out of the highchair, and the little boy who was teething, and the little girl who didn’t want her dad to leave, Samantha was the only one in the room who wasn’t crying.

I realized that I had forgotten Tylenol and proper diaper ointment, so I made a run to Walgreens and used that as an excuse to check in her at lunchtime. And you know what? She was sleeping. On her stomach, with her blanket, in the same clothes. (The clothing thing was a little test…she always has a really dirty diaper in the morning, and if you don’t catch it in a timely manner, it goes up her back. Since she was still in the super-cute outfit I put her in, that means she didn’t sit in her own shit for too long before it was discovered. Yay!)

The women in the room raved about her, how good she was, she wasn’t fussy at all, how she didn’t even cry when she was hungry, she just fed her because it had been about 4 hours since she had eaten. YAY! They followed my instructions! They even said that they wished all babies were JUST LIKE HER. Now, that could be a line of BS that daycare people know to feed parents who drop their kids off for the first time, but I think they were pretty sincere about it. And they knew my husband’s cousin, and had for years, and even knew my MIL’s name when I said that she might stop by. Our cousin had talked about her. So she isn’t just some random kid. I left there feeling good. And I called my MIL, who is probably there as I type this, checking in on her. Which is fine…better than fine. I feel blessed to have so many people care about my little girl.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Finally...a Label

Back when I started this blog, it was because I had things to say that I wanted to get off of my chest. Certain things pissed me off, and I wanted to vent to the world about it. I have since realized that when you don't have a completely anonymous blog, well, you can't do that. You can't bitch about your boss when there is a chance your boss could read it and know exactly who you are talking about. (my desire for people to actually read what I was writing overwhelmed my desire to keep anonymous...and really, in today's world, having an anonymous blog is an oxymoron)

Somewhere along the road of my life, I decided that most people are in need of some sort of psychiatric help. I am not sure where this came from, but it seems as though just about everyone can be diagnosed with some level of affliction that can be categorized with three little letters...OCD, PPD, ADD; or others that need full names that everyone knows; manic depressive, bipolar, bulimic, social anxiety, or whatever. And if they can't be categorized, there is still some tragic event in the past which requires therapy. I don't think of this as a bad thing, it is what it is. Americans strive to be happy, but few actually are. (apparently, in order to be happy, you have to move to Denmark) Hence why everyone has some sort of diagnosable mental disfunction. ('s not like I sit around and wonder what a certain person's issue is, and try to diagnose them. I'm talking generalizations here)

Workaholic and I joke about his OCD...he often will check to make sure that he has set his alarm clock two or three times. (of course, this could be fear of his father instilled in him to not be late to work) He has been known to turn around at the entrance of the neighborhood to ensure that the garage door is closed or the front door is locked. (this could also explain his propensity to watch the same TV series for months and nothing else) I never, ever, thought of myself as OCD. I think of people with OCD as the obsessively clean ones...they wash their hands 50 times a day, or get up in the middle of the night to straighten the fringe on the rug. So. not. me. I vacuum only when I can either see the dog hair on the carpet or there are fur balls in the corner. I put dirty dishes in the dishwasher when they are either piling up, we run out of glasses, or if someone is coming over. You get the picture.

My brother-in-law, who is the closest person I know who could even be considered OCD (with regards to the cleanliness), commented this weekend on Samantha's outfit after she'd been crawling around on the dirty it was. He said, "Gross, let's go wash your hands. Eww...look how dirty the carpet is, check out the dog hair." My kid has never been sick, and she hasn't exactly been kept in a bubble. (as in, not at all) I like to think that I am exposing her to germs to help build her immune system, without being disgusting and sticky. Because I am not a big fan of sticky kids...although I know it'll happen soon enough. (And YES, she is crawling!! EEKS!! MOBILITY!!! She hasn't mastered the art yet, but the days of setting her on the bed and walking away are long over, as I discovered not once, but twice last week)

So imagine my surprise during a visit with my doctor today when he said, "Oh, you might have a touch of OCD." OCD?? Really?? Me??? I don't think so. But as I kept talking, he smiled a little bit more and nodded more, and I thought to myself, "Self, I think he may have a point." That would explain the insomnia, the constant messing with the hair, the rubbing of the fingernail until it shines. It would explain my tendency to focus on things that most people, well, don't. Example, I am still mad over the ending of Mystic River, which I just watched start to finish for the first time this weekend. WTF-Sean Penn just gets to kill innocent people and get away with it? Really? Is that how it works in Massachusetts??

I am also annoyed over several other things, which my co-workers got to hear about today. (sadly, it didn't make me feel any better) And then I remembered about my blog, and why I started it in the first place. It makes sense now, I can't let go of things. And I wanted to bitch to the world about the shit that I can't. let. go. (it really sucks that I can't do that exactly how I want to) And it's stuff that no one really cares about, and in the long run, I won't either. My doctor that I went to see isn't a shrink, so it is entirely possible that he is way off base in saying that there is a chance that I might have a touch of OCD. But I doubt it, everyone probably does to some extent. In a weird way, I feel more normal now that I get to say that I might have a label. YAY!! I actually thinks it's pretty friggin' funny, me, OCD. HA!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tummy Time

I’ve never been a super-paranoid person. I am the one who says, “That’ll never happen to me.” If there is a tornado warning out, I go outside to look for said tornado, because it won’t hit MY house. I’ve led a fairly uneventful life, and I plan to keep it that way.

Samantha, up until now, has always slept on her back. We swaddled her for a good 6 months, and she was unable to roll over in that thing, she could just move her head side to side. (leading cause of bald spots on the back of babies heads) She could wiggle around a little bit, enough to get her blanket over her face, but that was about it. And when she sleeps, she ALWAYS has to have her blanket over face. She has been this way probably since she was a month old. Want to get her to go to sleep? Put her down and throw her blankie over her head. I would joke that she would wind up being the poster child for SIDS. Not a good thing to joke about, but it was just weird how she always wound up completely covered from head to toes when she was basically in a straightjacket.

Now that she can roll around a lot and is THIS CLOSE to crawling, she apparently likes to sleep a little differently. As in, on her stomach. Which I discovered today. And I don’t like it. My usual attitude of, Everything Will Be Fine and It Won’t Happen To Me has not yet kicked in. I haven’t done anything crazy yet like, wake her up just to roll her over, but I am not going to lie when I say I didn’t think about it. I know that it is perfectly normal for babies to sleep on their stomachs, especially once they get big enough to roll all over their cribs. It is just weird for me. I’ve never really worried too much about the SIDS thing, (because the leading cause of SIDS is babies sleeping on their stomachs and she always slept on her back) except for the blanket over her face, which, let’s face it, is probably more of a danger at this point. So I’m trying to be rational, and not think of all the worst case scenarios which really do play out all over the world every day. Instead, I’ll just kick myself for not taking a picture this afternoon, to mark this momentous occasion. My kid now sleeps just. like. me.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Will Work for Outlet Malls

A couple of weeks ago, I did one of those 50 Things About Me. I really had fun doing it, and even contemplated expanding it to 75 Things. But I thought that might get a little long, and people might be like, “Uh Gail, really don’t care that you don’t care about which way the toilet paper hangs.” So my 50th thing about me was that I really really really want to be a stay-at-home mom. I am getting a little taste of it this week since I am on vacation. YAY!! This is probably one of the first vacations that I have taken a whole week off of work without going somewhere which requires spending a ton of money. I am at the lake, at my in-laws cottage, which is one mere hour from the outlet malls. (which, ironically, are a mere 45 minutes from my house) And when I woke up this morning and it was raining, I knew that I needed to go shopping, because Workaholic needs new work shirts. And he only likes Polo shirts. To wear to work. As a carpenter.

I’m not even going to pretend like I don’t like to shop. I will say that I am not a real big fan of spending money, but I do understand that in order to shop, you must spend money. And the outlet malls are PERFECT, since everything is on sale. And right now, there are BACK TO SCHOOL SALES. Which means even more money saved. YAY!! (My mother-in-law would tell you that I do have an issue with shopping, just look at Sam’s closet. I think sometimes she holds back buying her anything because she already has so much…and for this, I am genuinely sorry. Poor kid can’t even get spoiled by her Oma.)

Workaholic has to work part-time this week, half days until Wednesday. Which is great, because Sam didn’t wake up until almost 11am. (I was actually lying in bed, waiting for her to get up. Weird. Not bad, just weird.) So he has to pass by the aforementioned outlet malls on his way home, and I figured he could just meet me there; we’d eat lunch, and commence shopping. I promised myself that I would just hit the core stores, J Crew, Polo/Ralph Lauren, The Gap, maybe Carter’s for Samantha.

Usually, I take one of my best friends Dr. Nadene with me when we go to the outlet mall. She complements my shopping style perfectly; we cruise through stores at about the same speed, bounce ideas off of one another, and have the same mentality when it comes to whether something is on-sale enough. Which is to say that it is worth our hard-earned money. Today of course, I had Workaholic as a shopping partner. And he is not nearly as smart a partner as Dr. Nadene. Not even close.

Exhibit A: (this photo doesn't really do the pile justice, because that stack on the top left is at least 8 shirts. And the pile next to it is 4 more. And so on...)

We went to The Gap, Osh Kosh B’Gosh, Gap Kids, Nautica, Polo, Banana Republic, Aldo, Puma, Children’s Place, Gymboree, Coach, Tommy, Hanna Anderson, J Crew, Nine West, Carter’s, and others that I can’t even remember. I didn’t buy something at every store, just most of them. (Carter’s I had something in my hand, but when I realized that not only was there only one clerk, but she was training someone, and that the person they were checking out had, and I am not even kidding, 40 things, not even the first of which had been rung up when I got in line behind them-I knew I had to put my stuff back and leave. I can get better deals on Carter’s stuff at Penney’s anyways) I actually had to tell Workaholic no on certain things. “No, $40 for a Polo shirt is NOT a good deal.” ($20, on the other hand, is) We were there almost 6 hours, and Samantha was a shopping CHAMP. (She crashed on the way home.) Workaholic, too, was a champ. Then again, he LOVES to spend money, and understands that shopping is a necessary part of spending.

I tried hard to not spend frivolously, and feel pretty good that I bought stuff on sale, and good sales, stuff that Sam can wear next year. And Workaholic has 30 new shirts to wear to work (OK, maybe not 30, more like 12), and I don’t have new J Crew pants to wear because the stupid store didn’t have my stupid size. (such disappointment) But mom? Mother-in-law? Sam could still use some cute winter clothes, you know, if YOU feel like shopping. So much for this being a cheap vacation. Outlet reason for working.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Just the Four of Us

Back in June, I went to the state (boys) baseball championship game. My cousins were playing in it, and they played against my old high school. They lost, but before we ran back to the hotel to visit with the family some more, my sisters and I managed to gather for this picture. We only get the chance once every couple of years because one of my sisters lives in Germany. As we were posing, the tornado sirens were going off and the lights were being dimmed in the stadium. Basically they were telling us to get the hell out. All I can say is, I may be the youngest, but at least I have the biggest boobs!!!