Thursday, December 19, 2013

Life As We Have Known It

I was talking to a friend recently and she commented how she couldn't wait for 2013 to be over because it sucked. Just a lot of commotion and not enough joy. And that is exactly how I feel. It seems when I reflect at the end of the year I always think of the bad things and how I want the next year to be better. Which I guess is sort of human nature?

I was super duper looking forward to selling our house this year that we had been in for 9 years. And WE DID IT! Do you know what happens when you sell a house that you have been in for any length of time? You have to pack. And there is so much packing that in order to do it properly you should take your time and think about it and sort things and be practical and get rid of things. Since Workaholic and I are champion procrastinators, you just know that didn't happen. Packing up a 4100 sq. ft. house into boxes sucked. Especially since the house was empty when we moved in and it was FAR from empty when we moved out. Workaholic wasn't (isn't) quite as willing to part with certain things like I was (am).

For example, all the furniture we inherited or took in as hand-me-downs so we could fill our big new house? He wants to keep. Or not just give away. I say, "Let's become Craigslist's best client." Bedroom furniture, office furniture, living room furniture, rugs, toys, bedding sets, and more I would be happy to part with in a big fun bonfire. I know it sounds stupid, but I'd rather not have a matching bedroom set of dressers that I don't like than have mismatched pieces of furniture that I do. AND, as it turns out, Workaholic and I have quite the different taste in...well, everything.


As a result, the story-and-a-half much smaller house that we bought has things in it that I really like. And a basement full of crap that I don't. Don't get me wrong, there are also things down there that I like. Kitchen gadgets that don't fit in our new cabinets, kid's clothing, Christmas decorations, Halloween costumes, fine china, and toys that I swear we'll bring out and the girls will play with them. Then there are other things...like Workaholic's dozen boxes of paperwork on I-have-no-idea-what, boxes of wires that belong to electronics that don't exist anymore, and OH-EM-GEE THE EMPTY BOXES. We have at least 20 LARGE cardboard boxes that are piled into a corner. This does NOT include that pile of broken down cardboard boxes that are in the same corner. There are also random assorted piles of wood and tools and sawhorses and electronics that actually DO work. And let's not even talk about the boxes (that I packed) of meticulously packed toys that were no longer played with that were unceremoniously ripped open and the contents tossed all over the basement. I walk down there and it is so overwhelming I just turn around and go back up the stairs.

Common sense and a host of hoarders experts would say that you take the big project and break it down into small projects and tackle them one at a time. A while ago I found out I have this lovely personality flaw trait called the "all or nothing". Which means if I don't think I can do it immediately and do it perfectly, then why even attempt to do it at all? I've been this way as long as I can remember and I have no idea how I graduated from college. With a somewhat decent GPA. Almost the only time I can get any type of large project done is when Workaholic is there pushing me. His unending energy and relentless desire to get everything done (and done perfectly) makes it almost impossible to just sit around. Not to say that I work as hard or as long as he does, but at least I do put in some time and energy and amazeballs, I get shit done!!

Our new home has very few decorations hung up and the Christmas decorations are half-assed at their best. And were mostly done over last weekend. I'm not a decorator at heart and I definitely cannot imagine what an entire room should look like based on one piece of furniture. I'd hire an interior decorator but HOLY SHIT THEY ARE EXPENSIVE. Their hourly rate doesn't sound bad, until you have them put in a few hours at your house and a few more shopping and all of the sudden you are looking at a couple paychecks worth of services.

Anyway, so that is where we live. The house we moved out of was perfectly decorated because I hired someone to make it look perfect for the real estate listing, and the new house is a scattered physical rendition of my brain. 

The house that we were in and that we are in now is only a part of why I am looking forward to 2014. In between houses we decided to live in the cottage in Michigan for the summer. I commuted an hour-and-a half to work twice a week, while Suky and the girls spent the summer on the lake. And Workaholic came up on the weekends. Let me repeat that...Workaholic came up on the weekends. So during the week I got little sleep because of the commute and the working and the fact that my daughters didn't like sleeping in their own room or going to bed at a decent hour or not waking in the middle of the night to come in and crawl in bed with me which then woke me up. On the weekends family and friends were there and FUN ENSUED. (It really did.) Then they went home and I drove to work and finally caved and let the girls sleep with me all the time just so I could get more than 2 hours of sleep at a time. Even with Suky there, the stress level was at an all time high. She missed her friends and working out at her gym, the girls and I missed Workaholic more than we ever thought possible, and then there was a host of other things happening that added to the fun. As much as I was looking forward to living at the lake for the summer, I honestly can say that it will never happen again unless I have a) a drastic personality shift, b) a promise of 8 uninterrupted hours of sleep every night, and 3) an exponential increase in energy. So...when pigs fly. (insert smiley face here)

2014 is going to be an awesome year for a multitude of reasons. We are "settled" into our new house. Which is smaller and much more manageable. We WILL get the basement cleaned up and out. The house that my father-in-law and brother-in-law and husband are building will be finished by Memorial Day. (It better be.) I will continue to work on my all-or-nothing personality and therefore hopefully will be able to more fully enjoy every moment. Good or bad. Stressful or not.

I'm not really into making New Year's resolutions because they are crap and I never keep them. (See aforementioned personality flaw.) And I am not making them this year. This year is going to be a continued resolve of the things that I have worked on in the past. I may have fallen off the bandwagon, but damn if I'm letting it go on without me.

GO 2014!!!

And MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Motorcycles

The other day I was driving somewhere with the girls down a relatively well-traveled road. I noticed ahead of me a couple of motorcycle cops with flashing lights, and at a stoplight they did a couple of circles in the intersection and then proceeded to head my way. There was a red light ahead of me, but the line of cars I was in didn't move even when there was a large space between them.

I was confused for about a half a second until I saw the motorcycles. Dozens and dozens of them, all riding behind the police motorcycle escort. Every summer there is a big motorcycle ride, I don't know where all it goes, but it always drives by the lake. The sound of a couple hundred Harley's makes the air shake. I called to the girls and told them to look out the window because they were about to see something very special. Seeing as how it was Veteran's Day weekend, I figured this was a fundraising ride of some sort and rolled down my window and gave a thumbs up, and waved for a moment.

The men all drove past. Staring straight ahead. In perfect rows of three. And then I looked further down the road, saw a long line of cars with headlights and small red flags stretched out as far as I could see, and sandwiched in between them and the motorcycles was a gold hearse.

Boy I felt like a dumbass.

Not a fundraising ride. A funeral. A funeral for a soldier.

I don't know if it was an active duty or veteran, but it really didn't matter.

Sam had started her running dialogue of questions when I tell her to look at something, and for a moment I couldn't answer her. The lump in my throat wouldn't let me. A couple of tears let loose and then I was able to compose myself as car after car after car passed me.

I have never really known a soldier. My grandfather was in the Navy, but he never really talked about it, I never asked about it, and he died when I was in college. None of my good friends from high school enlisted. I didn't hang with the ROTC crowd in college. And even though my dad's cousin's son (first cousin once-removed?) is in the Army, I don't know him well and we would only see each other about once a year. So it isn't like I have close, personal experiences with soldiers. The closest I have come is watching Army Wives. (and yes, I understand that doesn't count)

But I have heard stories. I have seen photos, read books, watched documentaries, and of course M*A*S*H. (as if that counts too) Certain stories stick with me. War sucks. I've never lost anyone that I was super duper close to, much less had them killed in a foreign country probably scared out of their minds.  

So I have empathy. And respect. And seeing a parade of veterans on motorcycles honoring their fallen comrade tugs at my heartstrings.

When Sam asked who died, I told her a soldier. She asked what a soldier is. How do you explain soldiers and war to a four year old girl who is scared of the dark and dinosaurs and loud noises? I'm not even sure what I said, something about a guy wearing a uniform with a gun who goes far away to other countries to help people. She was quiet and then started asking questions about panda bears. I was fine with that.

I think as a country we are getting better at thinking of veterans more than just on Veterans Day. We see the difficulty their families have while they are gone, the trouble they have when attempting to acclimate back into normal life, and the wounds they have suffered...inside and out. And that is a good thing.

Of all the people I have never met in this world, hands down the person I respect the most is a soldier. And that is how it should be.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Suckity-suck-suck

UUUGGGHHH!!

You know what sucks? Eating.

Putting nourishment into your body to keep it healthy and strong and allowing it to get you through every day. And I SUCK at that. I suck so hard.

Last spring I had a couple of chats with a nutritionist. You know what I learned? EVERYTHING IS BAD FOR YOU. Even the things that you think are good for you are bad.

Milk? Hells no. Skim milk is basically sugar water. The fattier stuff is fattier and still has sugar and that annoying thing called lactose. Which apparently isn't good for you either.

Bread? Nope. Not even wheat bread. I can't remember exactly why wheat is not good for us, unless it was the gluten, but grains aren't that great, and there is processed sugar in it too.

Processed sugar=BAD.

Do you know what has processed sugar in it?

EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING SINGLE THING ON THIS GODDAMN PLANET.

Except organic meat and organic fruits and vegetables. So ideally that is what I should eat?

That and quinoa. No one likes quinoa. Anyone who does is trying to sell you something.

So I have taken this information that I have been given and have essentially said "screw it" to attempting to eat healthy. This has resulted in me eating terribly, or not eating at all. Do you know what eating terribly or not at all does to you? It makes you tired. I am so goddamn sick of being tired.

I have no solution to this problem. I have tried the protein shakes and they are OK, some of them, but there is no way in hell I'd be able to drink those every day for breakfast or lunch. Or both.

So I continue to eat whatever catches my eye, meanwhile teaching my children the same awesome philosophy. (Yes, I understand that is bad.)

It's stupid, and I am sick of it, but it seems so overwhelming to even attempt to make one meal a day really good for me.

IT JUST SUCKS.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Stubborn Work

There are really great perks to working from home part-time. I am home every other day, and it is a fantastic time to not shower, sit in a recliner with a laptop on my lap, and throw some laundry in the washer. I also get to see my kids a heck of a lot more than I would if I were in the office full time. Which is awesome. And sometimes, it is not so awesome.

The not-so-awesome times are the same things that all working moms deal with, just on a more frequent basis than they typically hear them. Like...hearing "mom" 18 times in the span of 10 seconds. Or "push me!" every 30 seconds as the child swings on a swing for 10 minutes. Or there is always the "watch me!" as the not-so-talented child attempts to do a cartwheel. All. Day. Long. The only time that Sam is quiet is when we let her watch TV or the iPad, so...yeah...we don't have really strict rules on screen time.

As difficult as Sam can be to deal with, Charlie can be even more frustrating. She is stubborn. Like, really really super duper stubborn. She is so stubborn she can come across as not so bright. Colors, for example. If you ask her to pick out the red M&M from a bowl, she does it. If you ask her to pick out the yellow M&M from a bowl, she does it. And green. and blue. And orange. But if you ask her what color a strawberry is, she'll scream YELLOW! at you. We have an iPad with a pink case and one with a black case, and she'll often say that she wants the green iPad. Even though we call it the pink iPad. If you hand her the pink one, she'll start screaming that she wants the black one. We are constantly asking her what color things are, and each time, with the same amount of enthusiam, she will yell GREEN! No matter what it is. Today though, her color changed to yellow. So when asked what color her bedroom is, she answered YELLOW!! (It is green.)  

When she was an infant, I asked the pediatrician about doing a hearing test. The child never ever ever responded to her name. Even as a 6 month old. At that point, the kid should definitely at least acknowledge that a noise came from my mouth. Do you know how hard it is to talk to a child who is completely oblivious to you?  As she got older and could move around, it was apparent that she did not have a hearing problem, she was just ignoring us. I got super excited a couple of months ago because she was running away from me at Target and I called her name and she stopped, turned around, and came back! I was as proud as if she had just learned how to wake surf at two years old.

Charlie will turn three in August, and just in the past couple of months has her talking really taken off. Before that, she would grunt and point and whine and screech, with a few key words thrown in so we could just understand what the hell it was she wanted. When she was ready, she decided to start talking. So she did. In almost complete sentences. When she wanted to. Trying to get her to say "Can I please have a strawberry?" is like pulling teeth. It more often is "MOMMY! I. WANT. STRAWBERRY!" Then after a look from me she'll throw in "PLEASE" with a cute little head tilt and smile. The thing is, I could use the excuse that she is only two and she doesn't need to be speaking in complete sentences. Except I've heard her. Every day. Playing with her toys, speaking in completely clear, coherent sentences. Having the Little Pet Shop puppy and bee talk about going to bed. Five minutes later I can't get her to ask nicely for a strawberry. (Can you tell it is strawberry season around here? Both girls may or may not be turning a light shade of red.)

The other thing that is really frustrating with Charlie is the potty training situation. I don't really remember potty-training Sam, we just showed her what to do, she decided when she wanted to wear panties, and we helped remind her that she should go every so often. She was definitely potty trained by this point. I think. But with Charlie, if you mention going on the potty, all you get is a NNNOOOOO. If you ask why, she simply states "I don't want to."

OK, how about candy? Nah. Cookies. Unh-huh. Seeing as how she practically lives for sugar, this is saying a lot. "OK, how about this new toy? The one right in front of you?" Meh. "All right, fine...here is the iPad, you will sit on that potty chair until you pee. I know you have to go, you just got up from nap and your diaper is dry." All I get is a lot of screaming and crying until I hand her the iPad, and then she sits contentedly until her butt is red. Even then, if you are watching her, she will keep sniffling until you look away, just to make you feel bad.

So I don't even think about potty-training anymore. When she wants to do it, she'll tell me, and we will help her.

The latest thing, the thing that has broken me, is bedtime. We have our routine. And we follow it. And when we are on the last step of me snuggling them in their bed, she is still bouncing off the walls and demanding things. This is true even on days when she has had no nap, or less than normal sleep the night before. It happens when she should be tired. Days where we went non-stop and there were no naps and Sam is asleep before her head hits the pillow. It also happens on every. other. day. And it isn't like bedtime around here is early. We are talking 10 or 11 o'clock in the evening. And she'll be up, bright and happy, at 8am. Which I know that some parents would kill for their kids waking up at 8am, but I am quite sure that they don't want to listen to "mommommommommommommom" for 14 hours straight.

Even the nights I can get the girls to go to sleep at a somewhat reasonable hour with only a moderate amount of fighting between them and yelling from me, they get up in the middle of the night and find their way into my bed. Which then wakes me up. So basically no one in this house gets a full night sleep. I just want 8 straight hours. I honestly can't remember the last time I got 8 straight hours of sleep. Hopefully too, this stage will pass and Charlie will decide that sleeping isn't such a bad thing. And Sam will stay on the same page with her.

I mean, I knew I was marrying into a stubborn family, but holy cow, some days I can't wait to go to work!



     

Monday, June 17, 2013

Talking and moving

I always want to write down things that Sam says but in reality I never actually do. Most of her best lines are forgotten by the next day. I wish we could just mike her and record everything. Then edit out all the boring parts. But since that isn't ever going to happen (Let's hope that she never ever ever is on a reality show) I try to jot down some things here, but I always forget the best ones. I used to think that all kids talk the way that she does, and maybe they do, but man...that girl is hilarious.

I was just told this story by Workaholic's aunt, it was from last summer. When she was 3. Sam was telling her about the "roller coaster" we had set up at our house in Michigan, which is on a hill. It is basically a ramp and the kids can sit in a little plastic car and ride down the hill.  We have had quite a problem with geese up there, and Sam was explaining how she was telling her friend who wanted to ride on the roller coaster that they couldn't just yet, because there was goose poop all over the yard.

"B, there was poop everywhere. I mean everywhere. It was all over the yard, just everywhere. B, you don't understand, it was shit, just shit everywhere."

Then one recent morning we were talking about Workaholic, and Sam quips, "Yeah, dad is still sleeping. He didn't even get up to go to work in the middle of the night." (He usually leaves around 5am.)

One day she asked, "You know, we haven't see Tiff in a while. Do you think we could spend the day with her tomorrow?"

Another day she was getting a ride home from a play date and she was telling the mom of her friend that she really wanted to come over again. "I'll have to check my schedule, but I am pretty sure that Tuesday will work."

Both of my girls know another little girl named Khloe who recently moved away. While lamenting about how much she missed the one year old, Sam says "I wonder what Khloe will look like when she grows up. She is just so cute with that hair."

And then one day there was a random Dad, someday can we go on a family bike ride?

The other big news in our lives is that we sold our house!! Amazing! Seven years after we planned to, we have sold it. We closed on June 7th, and Workaholic (and me) packed up the house and either put in a warehouse or brought it to Michigan. That is because we will be living in Michigan the whole summer!!! Until September 9th!! I have been commuting down to work twice a week and working the other days from home. Workaholic has been spending his weeks at his parents' house and coming up on the weekends. So far so good!

The packing and the moving and the stress of it all is just now starting to unwind. I felt pretty good most of the time, and decided that it was all manageable. Especially once my husband got on a roll and emptied out the house. While we were still living there.  I just had to stop and breathe every once in a while and repeat to myself that everything will be alright. And gosh darn if that worked! Everything WAS all right. After Labor Day we will be buying a house in the same town that we lived in before. It is smaller, with a yard that is already fenced in, a pool, and a play set! Everything we need! I am super excited to move into it...after the summer.

You know how some people say that dogs can sense things? Like, if Kale obsessively starts licking my leg, I might want to get it checked out because it might be cancer? I don't know if anyone ever says the same thing about kids, but Charlie might have a gift. After a looong weekend of playing and playing and playing with kids, I forced Sam and Charlie to go to bed last night. (the HORROR!) Around 1am, both kids woke up screaming bloody murder. I thought that perhaps someone was dying, or Sampson had cat scratch fever and gone ape shit on the girls while they were sleeping, or that maybe there was just a bug on the bed. I go in, and Sam told me she had a bad dream about snapping turtles (much thanks to the fellow 4 year old who found one yesterday and felt compelled to show it to my overly sensitive daughter). I asked Charlie what was wrong, and she said, and I quote, "nothing."

It took about 2 seconds for both girls to realize that I was up, and in their bed, and they will have me do their bidding. This included snuggling and fetching of the black iPad. Not the pink one, the black one. (Yes, we have 2. Yay for credit card points!!) And when I declined to bring said iPad (because it is the middle of the night), the screaming crying Iwanttodie-whine temper tantrum started. Meanwhile, Sam is laying next to me squirming around like a worm trying to get away from a bird, making a noise that was not unlike that of the whiniest kid you have ever seen in the mall or grocery store. There is a family history of restless leg syndrome, and so I get all worried that perhaps both kids have that because WHY IN THE HELL WILL THEY NOT SLEEP?!

At some point in the next 5 minutes it dawned on me that I was getting played. They wanted to be in bed with me. And at 1am, I didn't give a shit. Fine, come in bed with me. Sam was perfectly content and rolled over and went to sleep. But not Charlie. OH NO. That kid whined, and cried, and tossed, and turned, and begged and begged and begged for the friggin' black iPad. I was able to doze in and out for the next couple of hours, always waking up to Charlie clearly not sleeping. Finally, around 3am, I caved. Fine, take the damn thing. Just SHUT UP. It was also at that point that I realized I really hadn't slept and I was expected to get up in 3 or 4 hours and drive an hour and a half to work on roads that are less than thrilling. I had stayed up too late one night the week before and scared myself while driving to work because I almost dozed off on numerous occasions. I didn't feel like a repeat trip.


So I did what any sane, sleep-deprived working mom would do...I e-mailed my boss and declared vacation day. I wanted to sleep in. I wanted my kids to sleep in. I wanted to get the chance to catch up. And we did. I got out of bed at 9:30 only to do a smidgen of work and the girls came stumbling out of my room after 10am. And even though I really just wanted to crawl right back into bed, I looked outside and saw something that I had been waiting for since there was no snow this winter. Summer. Summer had arrived overnight.

The sky was that shade of blue, with wispy white clouds lingering near the sun, and the lake was shimmering. A soft breeze blew the green leaves in the trees and when we stepped outside, the sun warmed my cold, defeated-by-a-3yearold soul. We spent the day in and out of the water, fishing (Did you know that when fishing, if you catch a fish, you have to touch it in order to get it off the hook back into the water?! Gross!), and laying out in the sun, generally being useless. It was fantastic. It was exactly what I needed. Maybe that stubborn 3 year old is smarter than I give her credit for. Maybe she knew I just needed a day. A nice, quiet day with my four year old and two year old daughters. 

      


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Growing Older and Up

I was reading through some old blogs over the past few weeks and realized that last year was a pretty tough year for me. Us. Me and Fonz, that is. I mean, I lost him, he hurt his foot (again) and got an ear infection (again). I am so infinitely happy that this year is going much, much better. Even though I gave up Coke and it was a two week detox. Not kidding. Even a little bit. There was nausea and crabbiness and general misery. My pants fit better, and even though I am not doing well in the food category, I am trying to make better choices.

A couple of weeks ago I took Fonz down to see Dr. Nadene so she could do something about his foot. The hole in his toe never really healed from last summer, and now when he walked he would leave little red spots all over my hardwood floor. Super annoying. He had began to limp a little more recently, and I noticed that his back end had given out more than usual. Dr. Nadene decided to amputate the toe, a decision that did not surprise me in the least. But then, while prepping his foot for surgery, she realized that he was also missing a toenail on the same foot, and it was all gnarly looking. So she decided to focus on that instead. Since he has been home, the limping and falling has greatly decreased and had the most adorable bandage on his foot. I think that, for now, we have resolved one issue. Eventually though, that damn toe will have to come off. Have I ever mentioned how much I wish we had pet insurance on him??
Do you see the heart? And the K? And the flowers? I love Dr. Nadene and her peeps.
 
One night, we got a shit ton of rain. Over the past month, I had stared into my back yard at the dead yellow grass. There was barely a green blade to be found. It was so icky looking that I had absolutely no desire to go pick up the poop that litters the whole entire yard. But then the rain came. And I looked out one morning and THERE IS GREEN GRASS GROWING! It happened! Spring is here!! AND NOW?? The whole damn yard is green. And the grass cutting guys showed up right on time. It looks friggin' beautiful.
 
The appearance of spring has made me ruminate over our family. Fonz is getting older, but he is still strong and young at heart. Kale is also getting older, more mature, but still insanely food obsessed. I recently got the name of a local certified behavior specialist in hopes I can elevate his level of awesomeness before everyone sees us again for the summer. No promises, but if I have someone I have to be held accountable to, the more likely I'll actually follow through on his training. He has big shoes to fill, and it doesn't happen overnight. Sampson is, well, Sampson. He is in and out all throughout the day and comes home every night. He is a big boy at over 11 lbs, yet still expects treats whenever he comes in the house. Like, "Hey, I came home, right? Gimme candy." I was so fortunate as to open the door the other morning and found his first present of the warm weather season for us on the back porch, a lovely robin. Dead. Under our patio table. In my screened in porch.  
 
The biggest change, obviously, has been in the girls.
 
Sam is now a mature little four year old. Going on fourteen. She rolls her eyes and sighs and tells us that she hasn't been to school in nineteen years. She loves to say the word truth, but has little idea about how to use it correctly. She treats the dogs and the cat and Charlie exactly the way I do...which means she scolds them when they piss her off. It is so cute, but yet...you are not their mom!
 
The other day she was telling me "I swear that the toy was under the seat in our car. I swear it was!" She has the memory of an elephant. Of course she always has, but it drives me crazy when she overhears us say that someone died and a week later she asked how and why that person died. I also had no idea what to tell her when she asked me exactly HOW does the baby get in the mommy's tummy?  

Her favorite activity is to watch You Tube videos on the iPad or play games on Workaholics old phone that he just gave her. She has to take it everywhere. "Wait mom! I forgot my phone!" (Oh boy.) Don't worry, it isn't actually a phone anymore, more like an iTouch. Another one of her favorite activities is to play with her Barbies and Littlest Pet Shop toys. She watch videos on YouTube where a little girl acts out scenarios with her toys, and then Sam runs and plays with hers. I'm assuming she is mimicking, but since she doesn't want us to watch what she watches or listen while she plays, I'll just keep that as an assumption. She loves anything baby...her favorite Free Willy movie is number three. She calls it the "big Jessie" movie, because he is older. But she mainly likes it because at the end, Willy's girlfriend Nikki gives birth. Like, actually gives birth. Workaholic is grossed out by the scene, but Sam loves it. Alternately, in many movies, she says her favorite scene is the one in which someone dies. Like in Pocahontas? When Kokoum gets shot by Thomas and he dramatically falls into a stream, dead? Yep, her favorite. I'm not quite sure what that means, although I am guessing it is the one which has the most impact on her so she has no idea how to handle her feelings.
 
She also has developed modesty and she notices what people think of her. Both of which make me infinitely sad. The modesty is expected, but I am just afraid it is because she doesn't want to be laughed at. Which I know because she has told me so. She goes to pre-school two days a week, and now that it is April, I think she is quite ready for summer break. She just doesn't want to go anymore. She also LOVES to help. As long as it is her idea. Since her fourth birthday she has taken to saying no when I ask her to do a task, like let the dogs in. It depends on my mood as to how much I push that issue, also how fast she turns around and walks away. I don't like chasing kids, too tiring. I am trying VERY HARD to have patience and try to impress upon her how it feels when she is rude to me or others. Sometimes I feel like she is just trying to be "cool." At four years old. But maybe this is the girl drama that everyone always talks about. Starting at four. years. old. (Actually, it really started at three, but has kicked into high gear lately.) 
 
The things that have come out of her mouth over the past few months have been priceless. I wish I have written more of them down.
 
"Daddy, put that knife down before you hurt yourself."
 
Sam was talking to Sook after having lunch with Sook's sisters and dad. She asked her, "Why did your dad give you up? Does he not want you anymore?"
 
I have to preface the next story by saying that we do NOT talk about salons and manicures and pedicures a lot in our house. If ever really. And it is in the context of "I really want to get a pedicure." We also don't talk about people of different races and stereotypes, as I am very conscious of how impressionable our kids are. That said, Sam got taken to get her finger and toe nails painted once. It was months ago. Yesterday, she and Sook were sitting down to play nail salon, and Sook lined up all the colors and told Sam that she was going to paint her nails, she just needed to pick the color. Sam responds with, "OK, but can you pretend to speak another language and not English?"   O.M.G.

Sam also is teased mercilessly by Workaholic. Actually, both kids are. Sam just has a more direct way of dealing with it..."Daddy, I've had enough."

I love how little kids have no concept of time. Sam will often say that she hasn't been to see grandma in 13 weeks, even if it has only been two. She is slowly learning that when we go away for the weekend, it is for 2 nights and 3 days, and it does seem like she really understands that. When we recently told her that we may be moving to a new house, she was extremely concerned about leaving her doll house and her fairies and Sook. Once I promised her that everything was coming with us (God help me pack), she became very excited and wants to know the color of the new house and her new room. So I guess that means she might be able to handle change well? Hopefully better than me.

She is forever telling stories that she makes up as she is telling them. Usually they involve her panda bear and his mom and dad and brothers. She makes up pretend friends who have names that change all the time, and are half of one name that she likes and half of another name that she likes. Although that is only for girls, the boys names she chooses are strictly the names of the little boys that she plays with, the sons of my friends.  

In general, she is a beautiful, incredibly smart 4 year old who never. forgets. anything. Yesterday she brought up when Oma fell down the stairs when she was carrying Charlie. And how Oma cried. She was two. I have a feeling she'll be spending a lot of time in therapy when she is older.

Charlie. Oh Charlie. Our fearless little girl. Here is her climbing up on the counter.


Normally she can do it in 2 seconds flat. I need to get her in some sort of tumbling or gymnastics class, she is forever jumping from a table to the couch. Or from the couch to the floor. Or from the bed to the floor. When we went and visited Uncle T at his boat store, she climbed up onto one of the Mastercrafts and hopped from the open bow to the open bow of the boat next to it. While it really was only about 6 inches of open air, it was a good 7-8 feet in the air over a concrete floor. Talk about a heart attack.

Her talking is getting much better every day. If you ask her to do something, she'll say "Of course mommy." While she often speaks in whine, she gives the best hugs and she is really hard to resist. She has this terrible habit of whipping things over her shoulder. Done with a toy? Throw it back. Digging through the toybox to look for something? Toss all the toys in the way over your shoulder. The higher and farther they go, the better. It isn't unusual for her to whip something across an entire room. While is actually is pretty good at picking up, she is definitely her father's (and grandfather's) daughter in that it has to be her idea. Otherwise crying ensues. And she is a master at producing crocodile tears.

Charlie revels in playing the little sister role. One of her favorite activities is to take something that she knows is near and dear to Sam at that exact moment and run. Sam plays along with her game like a puppet, screeching and chasing her through the house while Charlie laughs manically. She can be kind to Sam though, and it is in those little moments that I know that we're doing something right and they really do loves each other. I love to hear, "Here you go Sam" because it means that my little Tyrant is actually being thoughtful and mindful of her big sister's feelings.

Neither girl seems to be enamored with the animals, although they each love to feed the dogs. In Charlie's case, that means both putting Kale's dog food out for him and also feeding him her food from her chair. She is not so fond of sharing her food when he takes it right from her without her consent though. I guess I get that, but I always tell both girls that if they don't want the dogs to bother them while they are eating, then they should SIT IN A CHAIR AT THE TABLE INSTEAD OF WALKING AROUND. Just my little attempt at instilling common sense.

Long story short, my girls are growing up. I hate that when parents of grown children tell you to enjoy it because before you know it, your babies are adults are right. I'm trying to savor moments and remember the little things...hence the reason for this post. Enjoy some pictures of my little (growing-up-fast) little girls. And yes, Charlie did get herself up on the banister.





   
 
 
  

 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Roller Coaster

With my new found independence from Coke, I still have yet to find another source of energy. I know that I need to eat protein and all that crap, but I'm just not into the new rhythm yet. The mornings are the hardest, I lay in bed and dread getting up. I never know what to eat, although I know what I should eat, I don't want to do that.

This morning I had a couple of errands to run that shouldn't have taken too long. So I hopped in the mommy-mobile and headed to Tar-shay. While checking out, the door to the entrance for just the carts was stuck open and a brisk freezing cold breeze had me and the cashier shaking in our North Face jackets. Putting my purchases in the car proved to be even worse than checking out because the wind coming out of the north was now whipping my hair in a frenzy of five degree, 20 knot wind gusts. I clearly remember seeing my phone in the front of the cart and I totally thought I grabbed it and shoved it in my pocket because I remember thinking that I should zip the pocket but I wouldn't because I would be in the car in 5 seconds. After that I went to the dry cleaners and then to the vet to pick up some meds for the 4 leggers. (HOLY CRAP $$$!!!) I was so proud of myself that I was getting so much accomplished in such a short amount of time. 

It was getting out of the car at the vet that I realized the phone was nowhere to be seen. I didn't immediately panic, it surely had to be somewhere. (As in, somewhere close to me.) After I gave my soul to the devil so my dogs won't get fleas or heartworms, it slowly dawned on me that my precious iPhone was not in the car. Anywhere. It was not in my pockets. It was not in my purse. It was...lost. *gasp* And that started the slide down the hill of happiness I had been on.

I still didn't panic even when, after returning to each store, the phone stayed missing. I combed the parking lots, thinking that perhaps it fell out of my conveniently unzipped pocket in my rush in and out of the wind. It wasn't until I got home and called Apple that I panicked. Apparently there is an app for when your phone goes missing. It's called Find My Phone. Of course it is. It is even installed in your iPhone when you purchase it, so all you have to do is activate your iCloud and WHAM...you can find out exactly where your iDevice is at any given moment. The geniuses at Apple know the population of the United States well.

As it turns out, I never activated that app, nor my iCloud. I didn't have the serial number of the phone, so Apple themselves could not track it. Verizon was absolutely no help either. Basically, I was screwed. The nice CSR at Apple gave me my last option...retrace your steps. (BTW, mad props to Apple customer support. I was on the phone for a total of 15 minutes for them to tell me that I was screwed. She tried hard, I could tell, but I gave her nothing to go on. Had this been, um, coughComcastcough, it easily would have been three times as long.) Apple customer service withstanding, I went into full on panic mode. The calm rational part of me ran off and allowed the mean thoughts to creep into my head, "You are such a dumbass, how could you lose your PHONE? Workaholic is going to be soo pissed, yet something else you have lost or destroyed. If you weren't rushing like you knew you were you wouldn't have lost it." I thought of all the pictures on the phone, the numbers, the appointments....everything that was on there. I HAD TO FIND IT.

So I did things the old fashioned way. I retraced my steps. I went back to the parking lots and the stores. I walked out in the now zero degree wind chill to check the carts in the parking lot at Target. And in a final, desperate attempt, I went inside to customer service.

*angels sing and the heavens opened*

They had my phone. A wonderfully nice lady turned it in after finding it in the cart. A lovely lady who was concerned that someone would be absolutely lost and panicked because they were missing a limb, along with half of their brain. I practically skipped out of the store in my excitement. I was back on top of the hill, on top of the world really, and I managed to make that last the rest of the day. Now if I can figure out how to keep myself energized without giving myself a heart attack... 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Buh-Bye Coke, Hello Life

There are times in your life where you look back and say, “Oh…that is what was going on with me.” Like when you have a newborn and PPD, and you look back four years later and think, “So THIS is how I was supposed to feel. I wish I would have reached out more back then.” Or once your new puppy is housebroken and has stopped chewing up your shoes; and the infant that you already had when you acquired said puppy is now feeding herself; and your husband isn’t working 100 hour weeks. I look back and think, “WTF was I thinking? That was a lot of shit to deal with in a short span of time!” That is how I feel about last week.

I decided to go with the meal replacement plan. It sounded ideal. Easy as pie smoothies (did you know that pies are actually not that easy to make?), bars for meals, bars for snacks, and a yummy sensible dinner. I also decided that on the EXACT SAME DAY I would give up Coke. Did you hear that? I would GIVE UP COCA-COLA CLASSIC. It wasn’t a conscious decision in that I said, “As of 5pm on March 8th I am finished drinking my most favoritest carbonated beverage in the whole entire world. No, I just didn’t have any at home. On Saturday, day one of the meal replacement plan, I was hyper-focused on eating healthy and following “the plan”, so going to McDonald’s drive-thru for a treat wasn’t exactly high on the list of things that I wanted to do. I mean, sure…I WANTED to go, but then I figured taking a nap was just as good. And it was. Sunday wasn’t much different; I treated the caffeine headache with Excedrine and lazed around all day. Monday was more of the same, except while laying around, I also worked on my laptop.

Part of the plan is to make smoothies for breakfast and either lunch or dinner, with two scoops of flavored protein powder mixed in. I thought, “Oh! This will be great!” And then I actually tried making a smoothie with my new blender that I only spent $53.99 on. Yeah…not so great. I wound up fighting with the ice or frozen fruit most of the time (I lost one battle, my kitchen and my clothes and the ceiling paid the price…did you know that berries stain?), and the other times I put in too much of something disgusting and I had to choke the damn thing down, and then struggle all day to keep it down. By Thursday morning, I’d had it. All week I had been nauseous and could barely get out of bed. The thought of fighting my blender was too much to bear for the powder-tasting concoction that I was whipping up. I was exhausted, felt like shit, knew I had been complaining to my co-workers entirely too much, and was questioning the meal plan decision. As it turns out, easy as pie also tastes like shit. And therefore isn’t easy as pie.
The only good thing about my days were the evenings. Most days I was too nauseous to eat anything, so by dinnertime I was starving. And I could give a shit what I ate. Leftover sour cream and cheese enchiladas? Yes Please! Leftover lasagna? Hand it over! Toasted ham and cheese sandwich? I am drooling. Food had never tasted so good. The best thing about the whole week though was that I did not have a single Coke. NOT ONE. I did not celebrate that victory as much as I should have.

Thursday night rolled around and it was time for bed. The girls had been extra energetic lately; cabin fever is reaching its pitch. In other words, I wanted to strangle them. Actually no…that isn’t true. I wanted to lock them in a soundproof room and leave them in there for 24 hours. Someone else could make sure that they had food and bathroom breaks and diaper changes. And whatever the hell else they wanted. (THIS toy, to paint, THAT sippy cup, MOM!! CHARLIE PUSHED ME!!) I was ready to snap. I think the girls finally got the hint and lay down to listen to me read the ONE book I begrudgingly agreed to….5 Minute Princess Stories. (Five minutes my ass.)

After the stories were read I tucked in my little angels and tried to leave the room. I still felt like shit and just wanted out. I wanted to go watch an adult show (like NCIS or Parks and Recreation…not that XXX stuff you all are thinking) and play on my phone. I wanted to snuggle my favorite yellow blanket and hide from everything that was bothering me. And then I heard the little voice, “Mommy, snuggle?”
Sigh. The guilt. Oh the mommy guilt. I agreed to snuggle with my little girls and fetched my yellow blanket and iPhone. I nestled myself in between the girls and wrapped myself in the coziness that is my yellow blanket and Workaholic's blue blanket. I turned on Candy Crush Saga and began trying to beat level 65 for the hundredth time.

Charlie was the first to snuggle up close. She was the one who wanted me in bed with them in the first place, so I wasn’t really all that surprised. She loves to watch my phone when we’re in bed at night, the lights turned off, no TV on, the glow of the screen illuminating her beautiful long eye lashes. It doesn’t matter if I am playing a game or on Facebook or reading Scary Mommy Confessions, she puts her little head on my shoulder and presses up next to me as close as she can. A couple of minutes later Sam crawled out the cave she had created for herself under the covers and did the same thing on my other shoulder. Before too long I heard the long steady breaths of little kids dreaming as only little kids dream. For all the drama before bedtime, they were out like a light once I got them to hold still.

I put down my phone and stayed there a while, taking it all in. The soft chirps of the sound machine in the background, the heat from two little bodies pressed up against me, the quiet that resonated throughout the rest of the house. At one point Sam, in her slumber, began stroking my arm and Charlie reached up and laid her little hand on her face. The softness of their skin when they are clean and being gentle always makes me pause. These are my two little girls. At the end of the day, I can come home and burrow myself in their arms, caress their soft hair and live in the moment. I can stop thinking about how tired I am and how hungry I am and wonder if I just go throw up would it make me feel better. Life at its simplest. The purity of kids is never more apparent as when they are sleeping. I eventually made my way to my bed, desperate for a good night sleep.(only to be awoken at least twice by my little angels).
Friday morning came and I was more tired and nauseated than ever. The cycle was starting again. I wanted to cry, but couldn’t, because we had a doctor appointment to make in Chicago. I had to push through. It was when I sat down in the passenger seat of the van where I finally caved. I couldn’t take it anymore. I forced Workaholic to pull into McDonald’s for ONE Coke, and threw in some fries for good measure.  By Saturday I had decided to give up on the meal plan because the thought of that powdery smoothie made me want to vomit. The nausea was starting to go away, and pizza and beer on Saturday night with friends made things much, much better. By Monday the nausea had pretty much disappeared, and I was eating healthier but not eating any of the meal replacement food.

Looking back, I realize that drastically changing my diet at the same time as giving up the caffeine and fake sugar that I depended on every day was probably not the smartest thing to do. I was having full on withdrawal. Even though I supplemented with Excedrine, my body was PISSED OFF that I would take away the yummy deliciousness that is high fructose corn syrup. I can’t believe that I was so hard on myself. Giving up pop (or soda, depending where you live) is a HUGE accomplishment. Screw those disgusting protein bars and smoothies that piss me off. Screw the “guilt-free” snacks of raw carrots, celery, and broccoli. Screw feeling guilty and ashamed that I “can’t do it.” Fuck. This. Diet. I. Gave. Up. Coke.
My ultimate goal is to have more energy and lose weight and be a happier person, without meds. I am going to do this. But I have to take baby steps. Really little baby steps. Teeny tiny baby steps. Coke is my first. (OK, so quitting Coke is like a baby taking its first step and falling down the stairs. It hurts, but no reason to stop!) Daily fast food is my next. I am trying to only eat out twice a week…that includes lunch AND dinner. This will be a huge fete for me as well, seeing as how a month ago I probably ate out a dozen times a week.

I wonder what I will think a year or two from now when I look back. Will I think that I was getting my life in order? Or will I think that I was crazy for trying to quit all of the things that I loved? Only time will tell!   

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Everyone is on the Internet...and Don't Forget It

***Update
After 200,000 views and apparently some death threats, You Tube took down the video because of its "content". Yeah, no shit You Tube. I guess it is re-posted places, I haven't seen it. It was reviewed by TV network.



Last night while playing with my kids, playing with the dogs, playing on my phone, I came across a video my nephew posted on facebook. The still frame was a guy wearing a Notre Dame T-shirt, and my nephew's post was something to the effect of "Stay Classy Notre Dame". The title of the video included the phrase, "I am not racist." HOW COULD I NOT WATCH?

Here is the video, which is NOT on the YouTube account of the guy who originally posted it.


In case you don't feel like wasting four minutes and thirty-six seconds of your life, here's the gist. Samuel Michael Hendrickson would never want to be Asian. (He also does not go to Notre Dame.) He was bored at work and made a list of why he hates Asians, which he then put on his own version of cue cards and made his own video. I think he was attempting a Daniel Tosh approach, but it came across as more racist ignorant asshole. It actually reminded me of a bit Margaret Cho would've done on Stand Up Spotlight on VH1 back in the day. She is Asian, he is not. 

One guy stood up to SMH (SMH, LOL get it?!) on facebook in the short time after he posted his video, and that kid (my nephew) was assaulted with insults by the idiot and his friends. But then the video spread. And was shared by everyone. And, as it turns out, no one actually thought that SMH was funny. I'll admit, I watched it and kind of kept waiting for the point. Which, as it turns out, was that by grouping Asians in such a racist way, Sam was epitomizing the negative stereotype of a dumb Indiana farm boy. He probably isn't even a farm boy, but since anyone who isn't from Indiana thinks that all boys from here are dumb and live on farms, it make total sense. (I wonder if he plays basketball?) Especially since Asians are short, identical, and the men are sexually inadequate. (I won't even mention the Notre Dame T-shirt, because I would not want to be accused of stereotyping ND football fans who possibly might also be fans of Indiana basketball. But seriously, anyone wanna take a bet he is?)   

Someone wrote a blog post, and since I LOVE blogs, I must link to it here. Because it is well written and makes a super great point. Go read Victoria's post. If for no other reason that she is a dog person. The thing that I love the most about what she wrote is that making fun of everyone equally does not make making fun of people OK. If you want to make fun of me, go ahead and do so to my face, but be sure to personalize it. I mean, don't just talk about short, white, overweight moms who drive minivans and have a blog. Oh no, be sure to bring up how I wrecked said minivan three times in a 3 month period, or how I sometimes won't update my blog for a month, or how I hired a nutritionist but didn't actually do anything she told me to do. Except freak out about how I can't do what she said I should do without even trying. 

I am proud of my nephew for standing up in what he believes in. Racism is bad. (duh) It all goes back to my new found attitude since I became a mother...if everyone treated each other like they would like to be treated, the world would be a much better place.  (So no, please don't make fun of me to my face either, that would make me sad.)

     

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sugar Addict

A while ago, after talking to my mom and a nurse, I decided that I have a sugar addiction. Like, for real. Did you know that sugar affects the same part of the brain that heroin affects? So yeah...I'm basically addicted to heroin.

Awesome.

After several weeks of being a chicken shit, I decided to call a nutritionist. She is in another state, so all of our correspondence will be either through the phone or computer.  She started asking questions, and I filled out a health history. Which included a list of the foods I generally eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And wow. I mean, WOW. I'd say that sugar is the number one ingredient in every single food I eat. If you can even call those foods "food", because they are so processed the nutritional value can't be very high.

What sucks about sugar is that you don't realize it is in EVERYTHING. Well, at least everything good. And everything that is readily available. Think...bread (no matter what kind), all dairy, and pretty much anything with preservatives. And that is a problem. You see, I am NOT a "foodie". (This too was a revelation to me. I always thought I loved food because I ate so much of it.) But I dislike preparing it. I abhor preparing to prepare for it. Lots of the times I hate the actual act of eating, there is no way to not look awkward when you are eating unless you are Lady Mary. If I could pop a pill that gave me all of my nutrition and satisfied any cravings or hunger, I'd be on it like white on rice.

In general, this hating of food sucks for members of my household. They are developing the same eating habits as me...fast food and already made frozen entrees. One serving of vegetables a day, if you are lucky. Fruit? Yes...but generally it comes in a cup in light syrup. This eating habit I've had for all of my adult life makes me feel like crap. I've tried all kinds of drugs (legal of course!) to make myself feel better, and they have motivated me just enough to call a nutritionist. And that is where I am at now. 

The problem with talking to a nutritionist who is also a RN is that they know the ABSOLUTE BEST way of doing things. Which is great, right? She is totally an expert in her field. This also means a whole foods diet. Organic? Yes please. (duh) And that is just too overwhelming for me to ever even contemplate. Organic is more expensive, having fresh food in the house all the time requires a trip to the grocery store more than once a month. And to really do it right, you make everything from scratch. Every. Single. Meal. Have you met me? To be fair, Gina (my expert) is trying to work with me in baby steps. Baby step one, eat a healthy breakfast. She gave suggestions, which I have only given one recipe one chance, and this morning I had cold pizza and a Coke. And it was delicious. So it is going really well.

I've also started taking some different vitamins and some thick red liquid that is supposed to heal my gut. I don't really know much about guts, and neither does MODG, but she did write a post about it that makes some sort of sense. Vitamins-check. Bloody syrup-check. Healthy breakfast....isn't there just a pill I can pop???

I'm trying to keep in mind that eating healthier is my goal for two reasons. I want more energy to play with my kids and I want to lose weight. I'm assuming that if I am skinnier and have more energy then a better mood in general comes with it. I could be wrong, but let's hope. All I know now is that sugar is ruling my life. Not just in Coke addiction, but in carbs too. And I'm going with sugar as one of the primary reasons I have so many high and low periods every day.

I am even contemplating doing a meal replacement program for a month. Actually, it is less than that. Three to four weeks. Shakes and bars and probably some other crap for during the day and a "healthy" dinner at night. Let's be real...me cooking and not eating take out or something straight from a box will be considered healthy. Gina has assured weight loss and the breaking of the sugar addiction. Apparently it only takes three days. I am lucky to get through one morning without it. But I know me. I'll cheat. And do I really want to cheat when I am paying money for food that is supposed to help me and be as easy as it can be without straight up being a pill?

I hate all this. I hate that it is something I have to think about and worry about and I am trying super duper fucking hard not to give it my all-or-nothing mentality. (Why even start something you know you won't do 100%? If you are going to fail, why even try?) Today has not exactly gone well with that, considering once I ate the pizza and drank the Coke I decided the day was shot and I've since eaten almost an entire sleeve of thin mints. And three packages of fruit snacks. And I skipped lunch.

Speaking of lunch, I am notorious (in my own mind) of not preparing for it. Not that I really prepare for any meal. But I can remember walking into the lunchroom in high school and being starving, and realizing that I had nothing to eat and no money. I would scrounge up a dollar and get fruit punch and a Little Debbie snack from the snack bar. And then I wondered why I was so tired all the time. Even now, the days where I don't bring lunch to work greatly outnumber the ones that I do. At least now I have a car and money. Panera Bread thanks me for my business with a free bagel.

Here is where I am. Sitting at home after work, starving, not really feeling all the great, kinda tired and yawning, and craving nothing in particular. It is nights like this after a day like today that remind me why I called Gina in the first place. Maybe I can make my second 35 years a little more peppy than the first.

  

   


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Carrots-Charlie's Way

You know how everyone has their own way of eating a Reece cup? Or an Oreo? Or Smarties? (wait, you don't?)

Charlie has a certain way of eating carrots. It would be a disservice to the Internet if I didn't share.

Step 1: Dip the carrot into ranch.

Step 2: Suck all the ranch off of the carrot.

Step 3: Nibble at carrot like you are a bunny to get more of the ranch flavor.

Step 4: Realize that you don't like the flavor of carrots and spit out.

Repeat

Monday, February 18, 2013

Maybe I'm Old, Who Gives a Sh*t?

Life is busy. It's so busy, that you don't even realize that you are getting older. When I was in my early twenties, I remember talking to a couple in their mid-30s and thinking, "OMG, they are so old and responsible and grown-up!" News flash people...you never feel all the way grown up. That's why we continue to eat like we are in a fraternity after we have kids. (frozen pizza and Hot Pockets) That's why we always think, "Oh, I'll start working out on Monday. I'm not that old." You never feel responsible because "OH SHIT I FORGOT TO PAY THE MORTGAGE!" 

And then your nephew turns 21.

Now it wasn't the fact that one of my sister's sons was turning 21, the same thing happened to his brother a year and a half before. But this time, this particular nephew, made me realize I was old. I was actually kind of surprised how I felt about it.

The kid goes to my alma mater, Purdue. And he was PSYCHED, as any red-blooded college boy would be, to be able to go to the bars. And I was PSYCHED, because him turning 21 on a Thursday meant I finally had an excuse to go back to my favorite bar on my favorite night. Aaand then I realized I'm a mom. And I look it. I instantly started fretting over my wardrobe. I'm a mom, who works in a business casual office, who cares absolutely nothing about what her neighbors, co-workers, and strangers at Target think of me. So I had to go shopping. (of course!)

I was nervous and excited all week. OMG, there is going to be a whole bunch of 21 year old girls who are single (Because it was Valentine's Day, and who else goes out to the bars on Valentine's Day other than sad single people?) 21 year old girls are hot. They'll be dressed to the nines and do their hair and make-up in the cool new way and they will see me and think, "WTF is she doing here? Who does she think she is?"

We pre-partied at my nephew's house, and as soon as I opened the bottle of Bud Light THAT HE BOUGHT ME, I started to feel better. These were just kids. Sitting around taking shots of some disgustingly cheap blueberry flavored...vodka? They went out for a smoke and I shook my head, thinking that they have no idea that they'll wake up one day and be 35 and still smoke. (No, not me.) They talked of awesome house parties and which bars they were going to and we also talked about gluten. Yep, we sure did.

And then, then the moment came that I had been waiting for. We went to the bar. And even in the parking lot, I felt fine. I was wearing kick-ass cowboy boots, had more money in my pocket than a dozen college students combined, and I was going to see my buddy Bruce. Even if he didn't have time to sit down and chat with me, I have never had a bad time at Bruce's place. And then I got carded!! (OK, to be fair, they card everyone. Literally. I once saw a 60 year old woman get carded. She laughed, and the bouncer apologized, but seriously, they card everyone.)

We sat down and I took in the scene. Hot girls? Check. Miniskirts? Wow, check check and check. Baby-faced boys? Check. Hot 21 year old boys? CHECK. (I had kind of forgotten about that little perk.) I went to the bar and pushed my way to the bartender, because I have CASH and these kids don't! And I'm buying real beer, not that cheap ass Keystone. (And yes, if you are wondering, the real beer is Bud Light in a bottle.) I saw Bruce mingling with all of the hot chicks and the people who obviously were musical in some way, considering they were practically writing songs together. Then, of course, I had to pee.

And waiting in line for the bathroom is where I saw this. Hint:look for rolls.
 

As it turns out, I had no reason to worry about what those 21 year old girls thought about me. Because I became Judgey McJudgerson once I actually opened my eyes. The girl in black, OK, she can pull that off. The girl in purple is toeing the line a bit, and don't even get me started on the girl in black and white. I snapped this picture and I didn't even care when the girl in black said "truuuee looooove." Oh wait, she just glared at me.
 
I remembered that I am smart. Maybe not smarter than them, but definitely wiser. I may be a frumpy mom of two, but at least I am not wearing a dress that is clearly two sizes too small for me, in a pathetic attempt to impress the boys on Valentine's Day. And while these college kids have "their whole lives in front of them", I am secure in my family and friends and, with a Bud Light in my hand, myself. I felt sorry for all those college kids who were there hunting. I was there to have a good time. Just like I always used to. I didn't have a 7:30 class the next day. I didn't have to walk 10 miles up a hill just to get home. And I certainly didn't live in some disgusting old apartment run by a slum lord. Even if they were there for a good time (like me...not like that), I knew that my bed was most definitely more comfortable than theirs. 
 
So I went back to my table, didn't even notice if anyone gave me any looks, and participated in the piano bar with my nephew. Because that is why I was there. Certainly not to impress anyone. (However, it certainly helped my case when Bruce said hi to me in the middle of song and my nephew freaked out. And a little bit later, when he got picked on by Bruce in a fantastically awesome way, it definitely helped when his friends looked at me and said, "Just how do you know him?")
 
THIS is why I went, and will go back whenever he wants.   


NO, his hand is NOT on my boob you sickos.
 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Invasion of the Fur

When I first meet people, and I am with my dogs, they invariably ask the question, "Is that a black Golden Retriever?"

The answer is no. There are many differences between the typical Golden Retriever and the typical Flat-Coat Retriever.


Besides the obvious...color (blonde vs. black), there a couple of other noteable differences.

Energy level (the flat-coat is a very high energy breed).

Size (flat-coats are taller and more slender then the typical stocky Golden)

The most noteable difference for me though is their coat. Kabo has a thick double layered coat, which means that he sheds a lot. Flat-Coats have a long single layered coat, which means that he sheds a lot. So what is the big difference, you ask?

This.

 
That's Kabo's on the right, if you didn't already know.
 
Holy double coat batman! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How To Get Pregnant

I haven't blogged in a while, mainly because I was insanely busy at work. Workaholic didn't understand what I meant by that, because his every day is what the first 15 days of 2013 were for me. It sucked, because I had to think SO MUCH. I would get home, and yes, I would usually leave work on time because I had to go in on the weekend anyways, and it would be 5:30 and I would ask if I could go to bed. I was always told no, which is crap, but whatever, I'm totally over it. (or not)

So I am just sitting here in my basement trying to think of something awesome or random or stupid to blog about. And the only thing I can think about is how I don't understand how young girls get pregnant by accident in this day and age. I mean, seriously. With the internet, and the internet, and of yeah, the INTERNET, there is so much information available on how not to make a life changing whoops. In the past year or so, two ladies in their early 20s that I knew pretty well were incredibly shocked when they found out that they were pregnant. It was a joke in my house that we were going to offer to give lessons on exactly how to get pregnant. Not how not to get pregnant. But HOW to get pregnant.

So here goes. 

First of all, if you want to get pregnant and are on the pill, then don't take it at the same time every day. Because in order for it to be 99.5% effective, you have to take it at the same time every day. If you miss a day, or two days, or better yet three days, your chances for getting prego increase.

Secondly, if you are on birth control and want a baby, go on antibiotics. Because that little white pill is useless against the medicine meant to make you feel better.  If you don't use back-up protection, then trust me, you will be feeling a LOT worse soon.

Third, there is a rhyme and reason to your bodily functions. If Aunt Flo is reasonably predictable, then there is a good solid week where you need to be extra super duper slutty. (or careful, if you actually are trying to prevent becoming with child.) If not longer. Really, anytime between 8 and 17 days after the first day she arrives are your go days.

Condoms are for losers. At least losers who don't want to become parents.

Oh, and just as a side note, the pill and the ring and the shot are all great at preventing babies. They are not so great at preventing fun stuff like chlamydia and herpes and HIV. Just sayin'.

So yeah, there you go, a step-by-step tutorial on how to get pregnant. Remember, the younger you are, the easier it is.

***Disclaimer, I don't really want 16 year olds or anyone who isn't married and/or financially stable to have kids. Because kids are a lot of work and cost a lot of money. For other side effects, please see www.scarymommy.com.


  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Common Sense in Higher Education?

This whole Manti Te'o thing has me bothered. But not for the reason that it has everyone else all riled up.

The people who regularly follow college football and watch ESPN and the like are pissed off that they were duped. For weeks, months, they had to listen to a "heartwarming" story about a guy and his dead girlfriend. (The fact that his grandmother also died seemed to be an unimportant fact.) Now, after Notre Dame was humiliated in the national championship game, it comes out that it was all a hoax.

I could actually give a shit about Manti Te'o. The guy has a girlfriend thousands of miles away who he talks to on the phone and internet and has either never met, or only met a couple of times. Whatever floats your boat dude.

What bothers me, and I'll fully admit reading this article is what triggered it, is the fact that Notre Dame knew it was a hoax, and they covered it up just like they cover up other things. More important things, like assault and rape by their own players. How many crimes have been committed by Notre Dame players where real, normal people were hurt and no one had to suffer any consequences? A girl committed suicide after reporting rape to the police by a ND player. She went to the hospital and it was only investigated after she died. And even then, nothing happened. Even if the rape didn't happen, even if she made it up, (which I sincerely doubt considering she killed herself), shouldn't the alleged crime have been investigated as if Joe Schmoe did it? Joe would have gotten into trouble. Perhaps (hopefully) gone to jail. The girl would not have been blamed. This particular girl was brave, at least she reported it. In the same year, another girl claimed to have been raped by a player, but she was harassed so much she was too terrified to report it. So that guy walked too.      

Everyone was shocked when details of the Penn State scandal were revealed. Frequent cover-ups and dismissals of players breaking laws, from everything to minor consumption to violence, was not unusual. The NCAA handed down an extremely harsh ruling, hoping that Penn State would be an example to everyone else that shit that happened 50 years ago does. not. fly now. The "Penn State culture" had to be changed. Everyone seemed to agree upon that fact. It is NOT OK for the members of the football program at any school to have a higher power than the president of that school. I (and they) don't care how much money it brings in. 

And yet, here we are again. The media is focusing on the fact that this kid lied, and it was widely reported, and it was a hoax, and the school knew about it, and nothing was retracted. Nothing was done. There was no investigation. They did even less research than the reporters who told the story of Manti Te'o. The sad thing is, it isn't unusual.

Athletes have a lot of pressure on them. If you are a Notre Dame football player, it feels as if the weight of the school, of the world, is on your shoulders. And to top it all off, God is on your side, so you really should be winning. There is no excuse for not winning. But that is not a reason to be treated any different than any other student at your college. There are thousands that were before you, and thousands that go after you. In 10 years, most people will not remember your name.

The old men who run these schools, run these programs, are responsible for the student athletes of the NCAA. Yes, they are young adults. But if a 19 year old kid killed someone on his parent's property and they knew about it and helped to cover it up, then they would also be held responsible. They would be charged with a crime. These kids leave their parent's houses and those parents trust the coaches to keep an eye on the athlete.

If you read this blog, you know that I am a Purdue fan. Not just a Purdue football fan or basketball fan. I LOVE Purdue. All of it. I am proud when the teams do well and disappointed when they don't. If there is a crime committed on campus, I expect Purdue police and the West Lafayette police department to investigate it. And I while I think the administration should be kept informed, they should not influence it. Am I naive to think this is what really happens? Perhaps. But it is what I EXPECT. And I believe that the leaders of Purdue understand this.

Gene Keady was our basketball coach for 25 years. I'm going to admit I don't know his graduation rates, but I do know they were above average. He expected more from his players than just basketball. He expected them to be decent human beings. Players who were not were disciplined. He did not tolerate insubordination. He demanded respect, and also believed in actual consequences. Not many of his players went on to the NBA, but many turned out to be coaches and many more had successfull lives. A lot of them credit Coach Keady for teaching them positive life lessons.

When Coach retired, one of his ex-players was brought in to lead the team. One of the reasons the Boilermaker community loves Matt Painter is because the guy has morals, much like Coach Keady did. While he has been known to give a kid a second chance (or more, looking at you Barlow), I'd like to think that he would never ever ever tolerate and cover-up a report of violence. Especially against women. He WILL sacrifice a win, perhaps even a season, if a guy doesn't follow the rules. (I'm not naive enough to think that there has never been a cover up or influence of a coach or faculty member at Purdue. I'm just naive enough to think that it won't happen again, and wasn't commonplace in the past.)

I would hope that every alumni, every fan, has the same expectations of their alma mater. Don't be a dumbass and try to cover something up. In this day and age especially, it WILL COME OUT. Besides the fact that it is the right thing to do. Every report of a crime that a student athlete commits should be investigated. By the police. With no input from the administration. Or the coaches. This seems like common sense. I guess the people who run (ran) places like Penn State and Notre Dame just don't have any.