Friday, November 18, 2011

Holiday Update 1.0

I want to preface all of this by saying I usually never have my shit together.  Like, in general...ever.  I'm one of those people who prefer to fly by the seat of their pants and claim to do my best work under pressure.  Around the holidays, I like to have things done earlier than the norm, but I have never been this close to being done by Thanksgiving.  So needless to say, part of me is bragging and the other part of me is just freaked the hell out. 

  • Our holiday portraits have been taken and ordered and will be ready to be picked up by Wednesday.
  • Our holiday cards have been created and sent to the printer and should arrive by next week some time.
  • Santa has been visited and informed; photo was taken.
  • I am 90% finished with my holiday shopping.  Gifts have been wrapped AND hidden.
  • I'm putting up my Christmas tree tomorrow.

I am genuinely surprised at my efficiency.  I don't know where this motivation is coming from, especially when I am the size of Santa Claus (possibly larger) and have a very crazy toddler, a needy dog, and a crazy, needy husband at home.  Part of me wonders if it's somehow being driven by my subconscious feeling that Baby 2.0 isn't going to stay in for as long as the docs are saying.  Maybe a freakish mommy part of me knows that I need to get this shit done and is giving me the willpower, energy, whatever to do it.  I wish that same drive would tell me to put my laundry away, but that's here nor there. 

Along with the holiday cheer, I have to share our experience with Santa this year.  We had a deal from Sears that for $10 you get to take the picture with Santa and get a few sheets of photos.  You also have an appointment time!  In the past we've just tried to show up at the mall when we thought no one would be there.  Typically we had to wait in line for way too long and then they murder you (with holiday cheer, of course) with the cost of the photos they take.  I recall in the past it was upwards of $30++ and you get like, two 5x7's.  They even choose which pose they think is best and generally (in my experience) don't even show you what the other options were.  I was delighted at this Sears offer and wondered if there was a catch.

The catch?  None.  Aside from the fact Santa was a little bit weird and kept saying "Ho, ho, ho! Santa needs some Starbucks!"  He was a pretty legit looking Santa.  Child 1.0 did not appreciate how real he looked.  As soon as we walked in to the little studio, he shut down.  He sat on Santa's lap and with a terrified, forced smile, took a picture.  Luckily the picture popped up on the screen and I immediately told the lady we were going to need some time.  I didn't know that time was going to be forty-five minutes.  Child 1.0 had a few breakdowns (he was really freaked out by this Santa guy) and a lot of arguing, claiming he didn't want any presents and just wanted to go home.  We have been making our "list" for weeks now and he's been reciting it pretty consistently.  He even pretends to call Santa on his fake cell phone and talks to him.  We walked around Sears trying to get him to a happy place and finally I had enough.  I decided I was going all or nothing and taking him back to that studio whether he liked it or not.  I was even willing to put him onto Santa screaming and crying and get that picture.  All of Child 1.0's pictures with Santa are of him happy as can be but go figure that by Christmas #4 he wasn't cooperating.  I march his ass back to the studio and we were able to walk right back in immediately.  Child 1.0 bounces up in Santa's face and yells, "MERRR!!!"  I don't know what merrr is, but it is a loud, sudden sound that makes most people jolt---including Santa.  Child 1.0 was laughing hysterically at his success at scaring Santa, and jumped right in his lap and was cheesing like nothing had even occurred.  He started rattling off the most random "want list" ever, including things like t-shirts, new shoes, and hats (which I worried made us look like we needed DCFS to come down the chimney instead).  When he was done, he told me he was ready for his "treat."  In the heat of his meltdown, I may or may not have bribed him with a toy.  I figured he was shouting so loudly that he didn't hear me say, "Just take a good picture and you can go into the Disney Store and pick WHATEVER you want---ANYTHING!!!!"

He heard it.  He happily bounced into the store, and what seemed to be intentional, took his sweet ass time looking at every.damn.thing. in the store.  Luckily he has cheap taste because this venture only came to be $4.97.  When factored in to the cost of the portrait package, it was still half the cost of what we would have paid the usual mall Santa PLUS we get more prints, so it's hard to even put a price on it.  Hell yeah.

Ho, ho, ho!  Mommy needs some Starbucks!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

When Your Good Intentions Don't Mean a Damn Thing

Ain't that the truth...
Today I learned something terrible: No matter how nice your intentions may be, shit can still go terribly wrong.  See this quote from my least favorite Jurassic Park movie:

Billy Brennan: You have to believe me, this was a stupid decision but I did it with the best intentions.
Dr. Grant: With the best intentions? Some of the worst things imaginable have been done with the best intentions.

It all started with my dog, Dex.  I was so excited to have my first adorable wittle puppy that I didn't put much thought into where to store his crate.  It seemed like the main hub of our house is either the kitchen or the living room, so I plopped the crate in the corner of the kitchen and that is where it has been for the last six months.  Since then, we've gotten a new kitchen table that doesn't quite fit (aesthetically speaking) with the crate.  Grr.  Things like that eat at me, especially when I am super-neurotic and pregnant.

Skip over to our disaster of a laundry room.  It's a pretty damn big space, and I utilize that space by throwing everything in there and closing the door.  VoilĂ , problem solved.  When we first moved in, we put a mini-fridge in there and kept all of our (hubby and my) drinks in there (not just booze, asshole...mixers too.)  We also have a full-size fridge in our garage PLUS the one in the kitchen, so obviously we were NOT lacking in fridge space.  For about the last year though, the fridge in the laundry room has been empty.  It has also been plugged in.  Super efficient, right?  Exactly my thought a few months ago when I was in there staring at the pile of laundry that needed to be done.  I thought to myself, "Wow!  What a waste of money!  I am going to unplug that bad boy!"  So I did.  And I left it.  And because I don't do laundry too often, I don't go into the laundry room unless I have to.  

Skip back over to today.  With all the boys sleeping and me already on my third cup of coffee, I felt like reorganizing something.  Aha!  We'll move the damn dog crate into the laundry room.  It's like killing two birds with one stone or something....So first I emptied everything I could from the laundry room (which really reminded me that I needed to do a load or ten) and figured I'd move the fridge a little closer to the wall.  So with a mighty heave, I pushed the fridge and heard a terrible "swooshing" sound.  Shit.  Genius over here, (me, obvs.)  unplugged the fridge (that has that little freezer part at the top that had turned into a block of ice) and never did anything about draining it.  Dreadfully, I opened the door and although I'm not sure if it was the water pouring out or the dreadful smell, but it resulted in me screaming.  Not only was a shit-ton of water ALL OVER the floor, but the innards of the fridge were COVERED in a moldy/mildewy mess.  Shit.  It smelled awful.  I was embarrassed in my own lack of common sense and for the fact that nasty water was all over my feet and bottom of my pant legs (ew).  

Needless to say the project turned out to be a TON of more work than I had originally planned.  However, the dog crate has been moved into the laundry room, which I am sure it has NEVER been as clean as it is today.  Seriously.  Also, my kitchen table is now centered appropriately and it looks a lot better.  

Now let's hope my uppity dog doesn't have issues with his new sleeping arrangements or shit is gonna get real.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Morning of Failure; Commonly Known as NotChristmas

This morning I woke up laying crooked on the bed, with my head damn near hanging off the side of the bed where my belly is usually overhanging.  It was darker than usual in the room, and I couldn't get my bearings together quick enough to realize what the fuck was going on.  Where the hell was I?  I am such a creature of habit that something as simple as waking up looking at my room from a different perspective makes me wonder if somehow I was kidnapped or something (which I know is unlikely because that would mean someone would have to lift me up, and let's be real, that shit isn't happening without three large men).  After I snapped out of Sleepyland, I realized why I was laying where I was: A child had magically appeared in my bed.  And he was in my spot.  I sat up and looked at the clock: it was 5:00am.  Fuck.  I punched around hoping to locate some piece of hubby, but he had strategically placed himself on the opposite side of the bed.  It appeared he had relocated to accommodate our guest as well.  Child 1.0 has NEVER crept into our bed in the middle of the night.  If he wakes up in the middle of the night, he yells for us and we go in to his room and calm him down, and in extreme circumstances (see: I'm really fucking tired), we bring him into our bed.  This was not the case tonight.  He had somehow managed to get out of his bed, meander into ours, and take over my spot on the bed without waking either one of his parents.  Damn, he's good.  I stared at him for a few moments and contemplated taking him back to his bed.

...Nah.  I went back to sleep and at 6:00 he was breathing his hot breath in my face telling me it was time to wake up.  Not so fast, my friend.  I told him to go back to sleep or he was going to go back to his room.  He fought me on this for about two minutes before I attempted to sit up to whisk him back to his own domain.  He shot himself back down onto the pillow and shut the hell up.  I woke up at 7:00 and he was sleeping still.  Nice.  Back to sleep.  At about 8:00 I woke up to him silently rustling the covers and creeping out of the bed.  He took off running out to the front part of the house, leaving me confused.  Within moments, he was screaming and had entered Meltdown Mode.  Thinking he discovered a dead body (or the candy wrappers I had left on the coffee table), I had to run out to the living room as well (which I'm sure was a sight to see).  He was standing in the middle of the floor, crying, thrashing, and mumbling incoherent somethings.  When I finally got him to get it together, he told me that his presents didn't come.  What the fuck?  I had not had enough coffee to play "What the Fuck is Your Toddler Trying to Tell You" so I asked him to say it again:

"MY PRESENTS DIDN'T COME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

As patiently as possible, I told him I didn't understand.  He looked at me like I was crazy and proceeded to tell me that today was Christmas and that Santa did not come and that he didn't get any presents.  And for fuck's sake, he was pissed.  Part of me wanted to laugh and the other part of me wondered if my big pregnant ass forgot it was Christmas.  I had to exert my last few ounces of patience and explain to him that it wasn't Christmas.  It was hard.  He did not want to hear it.  He had been so exited for NotChristmas that he had been unable to sleep and came into our bed.  He had wanted to wake up earlier to open presents but "mommy made me go back to sleep" and he had waited "like a good boy."  It was awful.  He was distraught and outraged.  I needed coffee.  After a good half hour (which in Meltdown Mode equates to about three weeks), he was on the road to recovery.  Unfortunately, since we had spent so much time battling tears and angry voices, his whole day was gearing up to be whiny and pissed.  Nothing was good enough for him and EVERYTHING was an argument. 

I did what any decent parent would do and dumped him off at my mother in law's.  We couldn't both be in meltdown mode.  We are almost out of tissues as is.  Booyah.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Get Your Kicks...At 3:56 am.

If this post seems more ridiculous than usual you can blame it on my daughter.  No really.  She's not even here yet and I have already been strategically placing the blame on her.  You see, I haven't gotten "good" sleep in five days.  Now pre-kid(s), I would have been fine with this.  You know, not going out until 10 (that's p.m., folks) and not coming home until god knows when.  Then you get like five hours of sleep and you're good to go.  That shit doesn't fly anymore.  My bedtime is roughly 9pm and anything after that should be highly applauded.  I need to sleep until about 7:00am to feel as if I got enough rest.  That is TEN HOURS of sleep per night.  Yes I know, my adjusted age is roughly 93, but my ass is tired.  Needless to say, chasing Child 1.0 around with my new body  shape (see: Round) is reallllly hard.  It's noteworthy that bending over to pick something up results in me panting.  With roughly two-and-a-half months left, I am not quite sure how I am going to survive.  Pregnancy #1 was easier overall because I didn't have a house to clean, meals to cook (and shop for), a child to parent, socks to find the match of, etc.  Boo hoo me, right? 

Now that we are in the home stretch of final pregnancy #2, I am supposed to be doing what are called kick counts.  My OB says to make a note of ten kicks within a two hour span.  When I was told this, I laughed.  TEN!?  I can get ten kicks of of Baby 2.0 in roughly fifteen seconds, every fifteen seconds.  Not only is Baby 2.0 breech, but this lady loves to dance on my pancreas, or whatever fucking body part she is currently tap dancing on.  Sometimes she throws jazz hands in there, and I truly feel as if she is using my rib cage as a ladder (or stripper pole).  It's glorious.  And by glorious I mean painful and awkward.  Lately she has been interfering with my sleep habits because she is on the schedule that I used to be on pre-kids (see above).  She gets moving at about 11 and DOESN'T STOP.  So no matter how I am laying in bed, she decides it's not going to work.  By luck, I am an incredibly light sleeper so this equates to no sleep.  You try sleeping with a snoring husband and the star of Riverdance in your uterus---I dare you.  To add to the aweomeness, because she is starting to pork up, she is putting all kinds of extra pressure on my nerves that have had a three-year break from dancing babies; hence resulting in: LEG CRAMPS!  Oh, except it's not just in my legs.  It's in my feet, ankles, toes, hips---everywhere.  They are so strong and painful that it is actually sore the next day (and the day after).  So imagine that you finally get to sleep, only to be rudely awakened by the sharp, stabbing pain of death the muscles in your body catching ablaze.

Dancing babies, leg cramps, and getting up to piss every two hours not only makes for a long, terrible night, but it also means your day is going to suck.  My eyes twitch like a crack addict and I am pretty sure my demeanor screams "ASSHOLE."  My house is a mess and is starting to smell like a pirate ship (because I know what that smells like...).  I'm pretty sure if it wasn't for the simple pleasure in life (you know, like the fact the Keurig can make a cup of coffee in seconds)(oh, and Nutella), I'd be curled up in the fetal position under the dining room table (the only "small" space I can fit in). 

All anger and "woe is me" aside, knowing that my wee-one will be here soon enough is pretty damn exciting.  Somehow, my hubby and I made a pretty awesome kid so I know Baby 2.0 will continue to bring all the joy that Child 1.0 has already set the precedent for.  Plus, after the baby shower that was just thrown for us, she'll be dressed so damn awesome that I won't even be able to complain about her eating every two hours and making my pirate ship smell like an orangutan exhibit.  I loves me some babies.  Just not being pregnant.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Approach with Caution

Typically I try to speak to Child 1.0 in language that he will continue to understand past babyhood.  I was never a babytalker who used terms that made no fucking sense.  Everyone uses that ridiculous ass voice to talk to babies but avid babytalkers use that voice and say things like, "Does dee wittle baby want a wittle yum yummy?"  Niiiice.  It's a match made in babyland hell and I go batty when I hear it especially when the baby is 48 months old.  I've read a lot of shit from the literary/educator perspective about how important it is to talk to your baby and that babies do pick up on language faster when you use that crazy pitch in your voice but that using proper vocabulary is equally important.  That's not to say that Child 1.0 doesn't say that he has to go "pee-pee" (because if my three year old said he had to urinate---well, I just wouldn't be fine with it...).  So it's safe to say I've been a pretty straight shooter with Child 1.0, aside from my annoying ass voice.  I've always wanted him to know the real words of things, and that evolved into me wanting him to know how shit really goes down.  That's not to say that I lay the burdens of life on him (START SAVING FOR TAXES!), but I try and make things as easily understandable, within reason, as I can.   

Recently, Adam and I were flipping through a magazine and he saw an ad that displayed this gorgeous aquarium.  He told me that he wanted some fish (because having a puppy and a sister on the way ain't enough).  I reminded him that last year we had an aquarium that had lots of fish, but now it's put away until he is old enough to clean out the tank by himself (because that shit STINKS).  He asked me, "What happened to the fish?"


I tried to see how easy I could make this.  First, I reminded him that the tank is down in the garage and we'd get more fish another time.  Nope, that wasn't good enough.  "But where are the fish?"  "Well, they were done living here and went somewhere else."  All truth. 

"Did you give them to Nana?" "Err, um.  No.  I put them in the toilet and flushed them down in the water."  There.  Fine.  I said it.  I waited for a tortured reaction...

"So they're dead."


I stared at him blankly for a minute.  How much of that did he understand?  How much of death does he get?  How much of death can you get when you are three?  I have used the word dead before in conversations with him (like why I'm throwing all my plants away, why the leaves fall from the trees, what happened to that guy on the last episode of Dexter), but it was never a conversation that we had.  It was never really defined to him.  It was clear that he knew the fish weren't at someone's house or back at the pet store, but it really unnerved me that he knew that they were dead.  Is my son's youth gone?!?!!

I had no choice but to try and talk to him about it.  I asked him to tell me how he knew that the fish were, um, as he said it, dead.  Luckily, he is NOT three-going-on-fourteen because he said, "The fishes can't swim in the POOP!!!" <insert his uproarious laughter> (On second thought, maybe that answer IS him going on to fourteen...)

I went with it.  It damn sure wasn't the time to talk about death within the same month that we talked about god.  Too heavy.  I'm too hormonal.  He's too young.  That night I wondered if he is so ahead of his age because I never used baby terms with him.  I reflected on my own skillz (or lack thereof) and wondered what his response might have been had I actually told him that the "wittle fishies went to go play with Nemo" or something.  I rely heavily on the thought that I want him to be extremely imaginative and love playing with toys (see: ACTUAL TOYS---not video games, electronic devices, etc.) because he will have plenty of time to do that other shit later (see also: why we don't watch tv---different story).  But the best thing I did?  I quit beating myself up over it.  He is, without a doubt, a toddler.  Just because he can sing and name all the Beatles songs and loves Spirit of the Radio, he is still a toddler...just one that thinks that the fish actually lived to see the poop in the toilet pipes.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Being Prepared for Being Unprepared

The best thing I learned to do as a parent (within my realm of 3.5 years as a parent) is to be prepared to be completely, utterly unprepared for everything.  Don't waste your time trying to be prepared for every little thing because it will NOT happen the way you planned it.  I went into the journey of Child 1.0 entering school accepting that school was going to make him a bit different.  He was going to learn behaviors of other children that would probably go against how he has been raised, he was going to learn new words, new sass, new everything.  It is my role as a parent to establish how we (as a family) react to all these new things and how we can make these learning experiences.  Sure, the other boys may do Exhibit A, but it is a better choice to do Exhibit B instead.  Things were coming along pretty nicely until yesterday he dropped a bomb on me that I was NOT prepared for.

Let me set this up first:
Child 1.0's class says the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of class everyday.  Adam loves songs and chants and had that bad boy memorized within the first week.  It has worked its way into our bedtime routine and even in the car.  Yesterday we were driving and without notice he asks me, "What is god?"


I asked him what he meant and he referred to the exact phrase of The Pledge where that word pops up.  Holy shit (no pun intended).  How come he couldn't ask hubby?  Nevermind, that probably wouldn't have gone well either. We have made the decision as parents to raise Child 1.0 with no religious influence either way.  As an Atheist who chose to be such AFTER completing the Catholic Sacraments, I did not know what to tell him that would be appropriate for someone his age.  I made up my mind two weeks after my Confirmation that this wasn't the right for me.  My dad is also an Atheist and my mom is Catholic.  Growing up with my dad, when I was interested in going to church (in 2nd grade), he let me go with my friend's family.  He never told me what he believed or questioned my intentions, he supported me either way.  He funded my church adventures and never once said anything that made me change my mind.  I recall the moment my faith disappeared and it was only then that we had a long talk about it.  

Now my answer to his question was vague enough to suit his needs for now (granted, he is 3), but I know that it will come up again, probably after he returns to school on Tuesday and tells all the other kids.  My answer was wholehearted and sincere because I had NOT planned for what I would say---quite frankly, because I didn't think that kind of shit was going to come up for a few more years.  He just so happened to discover that word because he didn't recognize it and it was the shortest one he could repeat (it's great hearing a three year old say "allegiance", "republic", and "United States of America").  

In the past month, I've had to parent-through things that we've never really experienced yet: sharing with 22 kids (check), not talking during announcements (check), pushing/shoving (check and check), girl parts/boy parts (OMFG check), profanities (SHIT! CHECK!), and now we can add religion to this list.  

Good Parenting is hard.

Note: After our conversation, I googled the topic to see how others in our position have faced the topic and found a really interesting essay that I want to share for those interested.  If you're not, don't click the link.  It's that simple.  Not a debate.  STFU.  Essay is 'hurrr.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Le Peep Show

Girlfrans already got a ton of clothes...thank you to all of my fellow mommy friends :)
There is something completely refreshing about having a baby girl on the way.  Maybe it has something to do with the ridiculous amounts of manliness I have to put up with daily, because you know, I am currently the only female in the hizzouse.  My hubby, Child 1.0, and Dex all act like "typical" men.  If "typical" means nasty, smelly, gross men.  I welcome the idea of having a girly girl, wrapped in tulle and lace, even if she decides to go all tomboy once she learns to dress herself.  Fine.  But while I can still have some say, it will be ribbons and bows bitches.  So I fell in love with the idea of decorating Jbaby's room.  I scoured the internet for countless hours, looking at so many different shades of pink that I thought my eyes were going to bleed.  I subscribed to all the Rich Folk baby catalogs, so I could mooch off of their design ideas.  I drew out various layouts, did lots of mapping, and wasted a lot of time meandering in stores that I had no business being in.  Finally, shit started coming together.  I developed a sense of what I liked and didn't like, and I thoroughly took my time getting things prepared.  Contrary to how I decorated our home (threw shit together as quick as I could and hoped for the best), I took a ton of time on this and I cannot even explain how much I love this room.  I even became all sorts of crafty and made a majority of the stuff in the room.  I love it.  Seriously.  Hell, even Child 1.0 loves Jbaby's room.  I don't friggin' blame him.  It's awesome.  It's not completely done yet, there are a few more mechanical-type tasks that hubby needs to complete before The Big Reveal, but I have to share some tidbits of this room.  It's that freaking awesome and I am that freaking proud.  I shall not disclose what these items are, but some might be pretty damn obvious.
Handmade.  Booyah.
This was originally black and my big pregnant ass painted it.  In yo' face!
My BFF taught me how to make these for roughly $4.00 before I spent $60 on etsy.  Thank god for talented friends.
The end result of my first-ever sewing machine experience

The big splurge in the room

This piece has become one of my favorite things in the room.  I mean, le duh...
One of the things I really appreciate in Jbaby's room is that there really is no theme.  I pretty much backed myself into a corner with Child 1.0's room because I did a specific theme and then had very little to work with.  Animals.  Rainforest/jungle animals.  Now I am sure there are tons of people who could have done it right, but my ass had no decorating skillz and everything was matchy-matchy and LAME.  I look back and want to kick my own ass for having such a fugly room that he seriously grew out of in like three minutes.  Oops.  Looking at the pictures now ('cuz I'm like, all mad fierce decorator and shit), I see so many things that I should have done differently.  Everything in the room matched, including the paint on the walls.  Ugh.  In Jbaby's room, I just went crazy with looking for feminine, elegant looking prints that were the opposite of washed out (kids, see: VIVID).  Go big or go home.  Or go Tropical Punch, Fuchsia, and Pink Cadillac.  I wanted clean lines and different girly patterns that Jbaby can grow with.  I mixed brights with pales, polka dots with paisleys, water and oil, and just about everything I could and it LOOKS AWESOME.

Once hubby finishes smacking on the final touches, I shall present the finished project.  Until then, I am trekking the internet for ideas to do Child 1.0's room.  Because I can't leave him out on this redecorating extravaganza.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Heartbreak Hotel: Time to be Overdramatic


Today Child 1.0 had his first "alone" day of preschool.  Earlier in the week they had an open-house style day where the parents accompany the children and filled out paperwork while the children destroyed explored the classroom.  I prepped A for it last night at bedtime, telling him that mommy couldn't stay today and that I'd be waiting for him while he learned at school.  He could give two shits.  I assumed this was because it was bedtime and he wanted to hear me read Interrupting Chicken for the zillionth time (in my head I was reading Go the Fuck to Sleep).  This morning Child woke up at 6:00am and I seriously thought I was going to die.  See, we have a program in this house called "Let Mommy Sleep Until At Least 7:30 and No One Gets Sad."  Sure enough, I was up making bacon and coffee long before that program usually starts.  Being awake while hubby is around getting ready for work sucks.  Not only is he in the way, but he asks me to do shit for him.  WTF?  Next time I'll pretend to stay sleeping until he leaves for work.  What's that you say?  You need coffee and toilet paper?  F-off.  I practiced my housewifery by making sure Child had a belly full of fluffy, sticky pancakes in his belly and that his teeth and ass were clean enough to take in public.  I changed his outfit three times NOT because I wanted him to look good, but because I couldn't risk him coming home with stains that couldn't be pretreated until late this afternoon.  I know my kid.  When he was fed, dressed, and packed up, we ventured off to Preschool Land.  On the ride there (aside from seeing at least nine cops clocking people), I prepped him further for the day ahead.  Although he was more intrigued than the previous night, he was busy making plans for us for after school (see: taking him to TRU, riding bikes, making hamburgers, etc.).  In the classroom, A hung up his coat and backpack and found his little name apple that the teachers use to take attendance.  He chose the best seat in the house (the one nearest to the snack table AND the bathroom), and sat down to play with the blocks that were waiting for him.  He must have forgot that mommy was there.  I stood there, waiting for him to acknowledge that I was going to be leaving, but he didn't even look up.  Finally, I couldn't take it anymore and I bent down (sidenote: those chairs are damn low to the ground) to him and said that I was leaving and I'd be back and I love him soooo much and that I'd see him soon and tha---he interrupted me with, "Okay, love you, bye."  I knew that I just needed to walk away, but my heart was aching.  I felt the blood rush to my head and wondered if they'd notice the pregnant lady hiding behind the shelf.  I could just stay, right?  Maybe they need a parent helper today?  Somehow my maturity must have been in control because before I knew it, I was out the door.  I stopped when I thought I was discretely hidden (or as much as you can be when you're six months pregnant) and turned to see what he was doing.  Surely he would be looking at me walking away from him, maybe he'd even be pouting a little bit, or telling me to come back to give him one more kiss.  NOPE.  Child was tinkering away with the toys on the table, not even phased by the fact I was gone.  I at least wanted to give him one more pointer finger wave, but I couldn't.  He was in the zone.  I dragged my lonely ass out to the car and wondered if I could fit through the classroom window.  What the hell was I gonna do now?  I've been childless before (thanks Ma and MIL!) but this childless was completely different.  Of course, I had errands I could run but I had this overwhelming feeling of sadness that prohibited me from even starting the car.  I was a little envious of the parents who had  children bearhugging their legs with tears and snot running down their faces (the kids, definitely not the parents.  Ew.).

This is not to say that I never experienced the "child-screaming-while-you-abandon-them-at-school thing" though.  I started A at classes through the village when he turned two.  His first experience was an eight week, forty-five minute class that was once per week.  Adam cried and screamed the whole forty-five minutes for the first three weeks.  The fourth week, he cried for thirty minutes.  The fifth, twenty minutes.  The sixth, ten minutes.  By the last two weeks, he was FINALLY not crying anymore.  It's awful to experience your child crying for you, especially when they are two.  By the next session of classes, he didn't cry at all.  He liked "school" and even talked about his teacher.  Ditto on the sessions after that.  I truly believe the best thing I could have done for him was start him on the school structure/setting early, like I did.  So fast forward to today.  He didn't even look up because he'd been through this whole scheme many times before.  Other kids, this was their first day of being without ma or pa.  I pulled my shit together and ran my errands, which surprisingly, get done in a quarter of the time than when you have a kid with you.  With an hour and a half left to spare, I had nothing to do.  I went home and watched the clock ate a box of cinnamon rolls.  Finally the time came to pick him up (ok, so it was still thirty minutes, DILLIGAF?).  To my delight, I wasn't the first parent there (see: the third), so clearly I wasn't the only one who was a wee-bit anxious.  I peeked through the door, somewhat hoping to see Child looking for me out the window or maybe asking for where his ma was, but NOPE, Child was coloring at the table.  The only thing that was different than when I dropped him off was that he moved to the table that was closer to the girls.  Typical.  I stood in the hall for twenty long minutes before the teachers got sick of seeing my face in the door let us in.  I was the first mom in the room (booyah) and although he didn't explode into joyous celebration, he at least said "hi" to me.  Followed by that he was hungry and wanted to go to IKEA.  I'm sure he was waiting to shower me with hugs and kisses for later.

So there it is.  I survived my kid's first day of school.  And I didn't even cry.  And I have a new appreciation for the days I get to cuddle him all day and read Interrupting Chicken.  And Tuesday better take it's sweet ass time to get here because I need time to recover.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hair: The Thing I Usually Don't Have the Time to Bitch About

There was a time in my life when I was on my hair and actually kept up with it.  I was in love with experimenting with colors and cuts and styles and all that bullshit.  This diligence carried on through roughly my sixth month of pregnancy with Child 1.0.  I had always bounced around from stylist to stylist, experimenting with their skills and just being a bit reckless in general (with my hair, duh).  At six months pregnant, I strolled into what I refer to as a WAY OVERPRICED salon with a trendy picture and told the lady to get to work.  I recall feeling as if I sat in that chair for ten years, unpatiently waiting for this middle-aged woman to reveal the hotness that awaited.  When it was time for the big reveal, you could tell she was mortified.  I was equally mortified.  And pregnant.  And mortified---wait, did I say mortified already?  Not only was my hair ridiculously thin and dead; strawlike and lifeless; but it was ugly and fucking ugly.  I was speechless.  She was speechless.  She had nothing nice to even try and say.  Finally I got the words out and said, "What about the picture---I brought you a PICTURE!'" She looked ashamed because I think she knew damn well that she couldn't replicate what was in that picture.  She then went on to try and sell me a deep, deep, deep conditioner; because obviously.  I laughed in her face and refrained from crying.  This rude, rude bitch then said, "It's because your pregnant."  Now I used that excuse many times, mostly to explain why the fridge was empty or why I hadn't gotten off my ass for four days.  I'm not saying she was wrong, because I KNOW that hormones change your hair and that things go all apeshit when you are carrying a parasite.  But I also KNOW that it wasn't just hormones to blame for this shitshow.  I recall being irate that I had to even pay this bitch, and I recall further that I didn't quite tip up to par.  In all fairness, I have gotten bad results in other salons, people's basements, etc., but in 100% of those situations, the stylists try and offer SOME kind of solution.  Maybe you come back another time and they try and fix it, or maybe they even try to fix it right-then-and-there.  I imagine this is so you feel comfortable with them and establish a relationship and trust, therefore returning in the future.  I believe I nursed the shit out of my hair and then box-dyed it right before I had Child 1.0.  Still being who I was, shortly after I had Adam, I went back to my experimental ways.  Of course, I found myself in the same shitty situation when Adam was about eight months old.  I went to yet another fancy schmancy salon and paid a shitton of money for a perm.  This time, I brought in MULTIPLE photos of what I wanted.  I said I wanted a body wave perm; not a poodle perm.  I have thick ass hair and thought I made myself pretty freakin' clear.  The girl (this time SHE was the one super duper pregnant) acted all on-board and although she was a total freaking bitch, I thought she wouldn't screw me over because she was young and had cute hair.  WRONG!  WRONG!  WRONG!  She did the big reveal and BAM! I had been poodle-fied.  Again, I let my disappointment show.  I referred back to the photos I had brought and then the bitch was all like, "Those pictures aren't of a perm..." and "I used the biggest rollers we had..."  Again, I was just blown away by the fact yet ANOTHER "stylist" knew damn well it wasn't going to be what I wanted, yet scammed me.  I paid my $100+ and took my hair home; dead, stringy, disgusting.  That perm took over two years to fully grow out.  It was awful.  Following that catastrophe, I vowed I'd never return to one of the fancy schmancy places.  I got some of my favorite styles ever from girls who worked out of their houses or beauty schools.  After my wedding, I decided I wanted to chop all of my hair off.  After much debate, I found myself at the local beauty school.  Not only was the cut like $8, it turn out INCREDIBLE.  Unfortunately, the upkeep of that haircut is what screwed me.  I attempted to bounce around to different places to get the cut maintained, and EACH and EVERY time it looked like shit.  I fell into a terrible funk and then decided NOT to cut my hair---just get it colored.  I had some great color work done (again, by people working out of their house) but the cut itself was nasty and I didn't have enough faith to even try and do anything with it

That brings me to present day.  I have a choppy ass hair "style" that shows traces of the fact that a year ago I had a reverse bob.  I ran out of time to go and get awesome hair color done, so my latest and greatest color is a box of Colorsilk that cost me $4.  My hair sucks.  Truthfully, I don't care too much because 90% of the time I just throw it in a ponytail and call it a day, but a small part of me longs for a hairstyle that actually consists of a style.  I see great pictures of short hair and say, "Shit, I want to cut off all my hair again!" Reality snaps back into focus and I remember that I was growing my hair out for a reason (see: the maintenance sucks).  I guess the only thing that leaves me with is fooling around with hair color, BUT as you would know it, I'm knocked up again and am TERRIFIED of what my hormones will result in.  I keep saying I am going to do something with my hair, but I always talk myself out of it because hairstyles are SOOO different from stylist to stylist.  One term means something completely different to someone else and there really is no way to 100% guarantee that what you have in your mind (or even on a printed picture for that matter) will be equally interpreted by the person with the scissors (or dye). 

My hair sucks.  Blah.  I am shaving my head.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Doctor's Orders to be Lazy as Shit

Self portrait between the hours of 1:00pm-3:30pm
I am not kidding when I say that this pregnancy has been 100% different than my glorious pregnancy with Child 1.0.  With him, I was sick as all hell for the first twelve or thirteen weeks, but it was clockwork.  I knew exactly what time I was going to be sick (6:40 a.m.), and once I puked, I'd go back to feeling perfectly freakin' fine.  I had lots of energy didn't even feel like there was a crazy ass little boy mooching off of my well-being.  My nails grew in long and luxurious and my hair grew in thick and full (even though in the beginning a lot of it fell out...).  Scroll down nearly four years later and you would think I am having Rosemary's Baby.  I am just about 23 weeks along now and I can't say with complete sincerity that my morning (aka AT ALL TIMES) sickness is gone.  My nails are frail and chip away if you look at them wrong.  My hair is dry and gross and seriously stopped growing.    My body is aching and everything hurts.  I had a small inkling early on that Baby 2.0 was of the female kind ONLY because shit was so different.  I have no freaking energy and I am either laughing hysterically watching the wind blow or crying to my dryer about being so fucking loud.  Gotta love hormones. 

The health aspect of my pregnancy with A was a lot different too.  Even though I was fat as hell, everything was going wonderfully and I was doing SO well that my doctor induced me six days early because I was SOOOO done being pregnant and he was afraid I would eat another Scandinavian orphan.  This time around, I am being closely watched for placenta previa.  The doctors caught it at my twenty week appointment and now my life consists of "taking it easy."  Placenta previa means that my placenta (see: the gross ass organ that nourishes the parasite in my womb) is covering my cervix (see: where the baby comes out).  What this means is that I have to go for ultrasounds every four weeks to see where that bad boy is located.  Right now I am considered to be partial previa, where only part of my placenta is covering the escape route.  It can go two ways from here.  Option 1: the placenta can get off it's lazy ass and move out of the way, bringing me to the status of marginal previa; where its just near the general vicinity of the escape route.  Option 2: the placenta gets off of it's lazy ass but covers the cervix completely, therefore making me forever pregnant.  Kidding about that last part.  I guess Option 3 is that is just stays partial.  Or Option 4 is that it completely moves where it is SUPPOSED to go...a girl can dream, right?  According to my OB, if Lazy Placenta, or LP as I like to call it, remains partial OR moves to complete previa, I'll be having a guaranteed cesarean.  If it moves to marginal, I have a better chance of NOT having a c-section, but it's not guaranteed.  It also appears that if my LP doesn't get a move on it, I'll be looking at bed rest towards the end of my pregnancy so that I don't go into preterm labor.  Although I am snarky as hell, it's a pretty spooky and dangerous thing to have so I have to be extremely careful with my activity.  Not only have I been sentenced to pelvic rest (which means that I will NOT be traveling to Pound Town for the remainder of my pregnancy...), I have orders from TWO doctors to rest as often as I can.  When A lays down for his afternoon nap, I literally kick back on my bed with a bag of whatever empty carbs I can find; or if I'm feeling fancy I'll sit on the recliner.  It's nice to have options.  I spend a lot of time with my feet up challenging strangers to games of Words with Friends.  There is no cause of placenta previa and no kind of preventative measures either, so as much as I hate my LP, there isn't much I can do or could have done. 

So if you are looking for me, check the couch.  If I'm not on the couch, follow the trail of crumbs to the bed.  If I'm not on the bed, I'm just getting another snack from the pantry and I'll BRB.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"In My Life"

The portrait of a child who owns his parents.
Lately Baby Child 1.0's new thing has been really trying to emphasize the importance of what he has to say.  If you ask him something, he puts extreme exaggeration on certain parts of the sentence.  See:

Me: Child, I think we should go outside!
Child: No Mommy.  You think that you should go outside.

Then he struts (seriously, he struts) away and I'm sure he is doing the kid version of saying "ZING!" or "IN 'YO FACE!" or whatever it is people say/do when they "PWN" or conquer someone else.  Meanwhile, I'm standing there, speechless, wondering when my son turned into a cocky frat boy.  Sometimes in public he rationalizes with people who have no interest in getting their ass handed to them by a three year old.  See:

Lady at grocery store:  Are you done with that cart?
Child: You cannot have that cart because it is ours.
Lady: ...........


Friend: Come on Child of Mine, we've gotta go home now.
{My} Child: He cannot go home now because we're still playing.  Sorrrrry.

Most are taken back when this little professor-looking boy (or Drew Carey-looking, depending how you see it) has got that much sass.  For a while I thought, "Holy shit, where does he get this shit!?"

And then it hit me.  He gets it from the asshole who he spends every hour of the day with.  (Hint: that asshole is not you).  I find that my discipline style entails explaining things to him so that he knows the rationale behind the madness (see: avoiding "WHY").  So I'll tell him, "Child, we do not throw the cans of corn because someone can get hurt if they get hit" or "Child, you do not drink out of the dog's bowl because that shit is just gross." (Maybe that second one isn't verbatim...)  On the other hand, husband's style is more father-like and he'd say something like, "CHILD!  STOP THROWING THE BALL IN THE HOUSE" or "GET THESE LEGOS OUT OF MY SHOES!"  No rationale, just loud booming sounds that are almost as effective, but they don't yield the same hilarity results as they way I tend to handle things.

Today I approached said child with an empty packet of fruit snacks that I found in my shower.  I said, "Child, why were these in my shower?"  Appropriately, child responded, "I have never seen those fruit snacks in my life."

Riiiight.  And that Essential Michael Jackson cd you found in my car?  I've never seen that in my life.

Kids are weird.  But wanna know why?  Because we are fucking weird.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Garbage Picker

A view from my vantage point---ok, not really.
Today I spent nearly an hour cleaning up after my neighbor's kids.  This was completely unintentional and I hate myself for doing it.  As I waited in my grass for my dog to do his business, I happened to glance at the landscaping at the front entrance of the building.  Horrifying.  It seriously looked like a plastic manufacturing plant exploded.  Angrily I scooped up my dog's shit and went to inspect the piles of rubbish further. 

Here is what I picked up from the landscaping rocks (not including the half-ton of landscaping rocks that I had picked up off of the sidewalk and put back into the bed):

*Note: None of these numbers are exhaggerated.

12 plastic water bottles of various brands

9 plastic water bottle caps
4 Coke cans 
6 plastic wrappers from freeze-pops
2 lids Snack Pack pudding lids
1 plastic fairy wand (broken in two pieces)
1 plastic toy sword (crumpled)

I was even more angry because I had to make three trips to collect this bullshit and walk it around to where our recycling bins are; all while my crackhead dog was trying to attack the dead leaves that are starting to pop up. 

Here's where shit gets real: I know the logical response to seeing all this crap would have been to NOT clean it up.  It wasn't my kid's mess.  But please be advised: if I didn't clean this shit up, it would still be there NEXT year.  And probably the year after that.  Actually, they'd still be there in 450-1000 years still trying to decompose.  These kids NEVER pick up after themselves.  And the parents would NEVER clean it up either.  Not too long ago, the kids were partying it up in the hallway (see: riding their tricycles down the stairs) and had left all kinds of food (see: cheese slices and Reese's) in the hall and in a pregnant-hormonal rage I went all ape shit on them telling them they can't be leaving food out in the hallways.  Yeah, I'm THAT know, the one that yells at other people's kids.  I'm fine with it.  It stopped for about two weeks until the did it again, only this time they had popcorn EVERYWHERE in the hall.  I took hubby's loud ass shop-vac out there at 7:00am and cleaned that shit up.  Take that, Mr./Mrs. We-Sleep-'Til-Noon.  They stopped playing in the halls, only they took their tomfoolery outside...but obviously decided the mess would stay out there too.  I know I am going to have to say something to them, but I would really like to do it in front of the parents so that they know (even though I don't think it wouldn't make a shit-ounce of a difference).  Part of me wonders if I should "pick my battles" and assume that it will be getting cooler outside and they won't be out as much, but out of common courtesy (which let's get real, does NOT exist anymore), I feel they should be held responsible for messes in the common areas.  If you don't pick up after yourself in YOUR home, fine.  But don't make the entire building reflect your messy ass.  Shit.

Now I'm tired.  In retrospect, these are the SAME people who have BAGS and BAGS of Coke cans in the garage ready to cash them in for fabulous prizes.  $1.86 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Although I could NEVER watch, I'm sure my face looked a lot like this.
At my very first OB appointment with baby 2.0, my good ol' doctor wrote me up a big ol' order for prenatal bloodwork.  The thing with prenatal bloodwork is that they take a TON of vials; not just one or two little ones.  Although I can manage tattoos (have four of them) and piercings (x7), something about getting stuck with needles and emptied of my blood is a wee-tiny-bit creepy to me.  Since my pregnancy with Adam was so easy, I self evaluated that I did not need the blood work because nothing is wrong with me.  I figured they could just use my bloodwork from baby 1.0 and copy/paste the results.  They can do that, right?  Well obviously not, because my favorite nurse calls me every other week asking about them.  It's been ten weeks.  Now that hubby is all union-ified (unified?), our insurance covers everything 100% with no deductible or co-pay.  I had no excuse anymore.  I dragged my ass into the office and prayed to the Vein Gods that mine would cooperate today.  I have had horrible experiences in the past, a combination of the person drawing the blood and my shitty veins, and I thoroughly hate having it done.  Luckily the person who called me back was very nice and while niceness never is a guarantee of anything, she found my good vein and was able to access it on the first try.  I was staring out the window focusing my attention at anything except for what was going on.  I struggled to keep up with the small talk she was making because I was freaking out like a weirdo.  I waited and waited while she switched vial with vial and FINALLY she was finished.  Part of their procedure is that you have to verify the labels on the vials to make sure you're name is on them, which requires me to look and the vial and the contents (EW).  Eight vials later, I was SOOO ready to get the hell out of there.  I don't think I'm in the minority of thinkers when I say that that experience is just awful.  My arm is sore and bruised and it better not impede on me being able to dunk my cookies in my milk.

In other news, I took the initiative today to purchase a new bathroom vanity/sink and new floor tile for my bathroom.  Our place was built in 1982 and I am pretty sure most of the contents are original.  My bathroom is fugly.  It's taking all of my self control (and I don't have much) to not go in there RIGHT NOW and start tearing shit apart.  I'm impatient.  Speaking of impatient, we find out the gender of baby 2.0 in a little over a week and I can't wait to start creating that room either.  At any given time there is like nine projects going on in my house, clearly.  After talking with a mommy friend and fellow DIY-er last night, I have more drive then ever to finally bring our place into the current decade, regardless if I am all super pregnant and shit. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Unsolicited Advice or Why People Can't Just Shut the Hell Up

They should offer these in adult sizes...
People are so inclined to give their two cents whenever they possibly can.  It, among many things, makes me crazy.  I never noticed it until I was pregnant with baby 1.0, but I know for sure it existed.  I know that in certain situations, unsolicited advice is inevitable and mostly from people you don't mind hearing it from (see: family, people you wish weren't your family, doctors, the mirror).  I'm not talking about that kind.  I am referring to situations where perfect freaking strangers feel the need to tell you everything they know on the subject---mostly out of the blue.  It all goes back to that whole validation thing that people need to feel that they are doing things right.  Useless.  Unfortunately, social networking only empowers those who love to thrust their high almighty knowledge on others.  Towards the end of my pregnancy, when I looked nine years pregnant, I attended the local community college to finish my gen eds before venturing off to a different school.  This school hosted all walks of life, and ages in a classroom ranged from 19-118.  I had the mindset of just going there, getting my shit done, and getting the hell out.  Naturally, this attracted creepers like a magnet.  Women would plop down next to me and ramble on about their own kids, their pregnancies back in 1985, and all sorts of shit that I did not give a damn about.  Same situation in the part time job I had at a bank.  These high society bitches would come in and either make sure I knew what to do when my water broke (uhhh, go to the movies?) or remind me how young I looked to be having a baby (to which I responded, "Yeah, we start young in my family..." or "I'm actually 34, but thank you!").  Now don't get me wrong, of course I had questions and often sought information, but I DO MY OWN RESEARCH or I ASK MY MOM.  I would never, ever elicit life advice from strangers coming to deposit their checks; I don't give a shit how many kids they've had.  I love reading and learning new things, so I fully took on the challenge when it came to overcoming the chances of becoming a stereotypical "she-got-knocked-up-at-19" mom.  Once I made mommy friends that could tolerate me, I had a whole new, extremely awesome network to turn to.  Naturally though, the jabberjaws don't disappear once you have a kid.  They see you pushing a stroller and if you make the mistake of making eye contact, they abscond upon you with all kinds of "advice" for your babies "best interest."  I CALL BULLSHIT!  STFU!  Luckily, I have this great ability to make myself appear to be extremely irritable and lose-tempered, so it weeds a lot of them out.  But not all of them.  Unfortunately, some people just love the sound of their own voice, and no matter how enraged you appear to be, they'll still throw their bullshit advice at you.  This morning when I was dropping my dog off at the vet, this old bat who had to be older than dirt, appeared out of nowhere and started bitching about me having the training collar on him, and how I shouldn't have it on him in the car (really!??!!!!!), and how they can come off really easily if it's not a good one, etc. etc. etc.  I stopped what I was doing and gave her the death stare from hell.  I said nothing.  I just glared.  She made this bizarre sound and I thought she was going to drop dead, but she wobbled back off the her seat.  I turned back to the lady at the desk and smiled.  Towards the end of my visit, the nurse leaned over and whispered, "I hate it when people do that, you know..."  I leaned back over, not so quietly, and replied, "She's just mad because she had to wear one when she was building the ark." 

All in all, it won't go away.  I have the most hilarious wedding video because at some point the videographer went table-to-table and had guests record a message for us.  The divorcees are the best.  So spiteful.  So much "advice."  To those who are begininng to embark on cohabitation, marriage, children, life, or whatever, just prepare yourself (that's my unsolicited advice--hah).  And shape up your "mean face" so that you can get rid of some of them really fast.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Divinity of Food

NOT what I had for dinner.

With how awesome I've been feeling (sarcasm), I have not grocery shopped in quite a while.  I'd say close to two weeks.  Sure, I've ran through some stores for the necessities, but as far as stocking the house with things besides ice cream and yogurt pretzels, I've been negligent.  It's just that seeing raw meat grosses me the hell out and I cannot stand the smell of that whole general vicinity of the store.  Here's to say I've been eating a lot of cereal for dinner and Jack's been thrown to the wolves (see: frozen pizza).  Adam is easy because he loves a variety of foods and is perfectly content with a buffet of different cheeses, fruits, veggies, and a cracker or two on the side (or a sandwich).  I found some cool frozen meals by Bertolli and Friday's, but that shit gets old real fast.  I figured out last night that I need to figure something out because Jack was turning into a pizza and I couldn't play off that I had actually prepared the takeout for much longer.  I was going through my mediocre collection of coupons and found a package offered from Omaha Steaks that gives you a plethora of meat for one not-so-low-but-not-highway-robbery price.  Not only do you just walk in to a clean, not smelly store full of frozen meat, but they package it all up for you and it comes in boxes so you don't even have to look at it.  The package I purchased came with two different kinds of steaks, chicken breasts, pork, hamburgers, hot dogs, and side items.  Of course I also purchased some dessert, because obviously.  It was the easiest grocery experience I've ever had.  I literally just stood at the cash register looking at sauces and the girl went from freezer to freezer putting all my stuff in a cool bag.  Excellent.  Last night, I made filet mignon with a light teriyaki sauce and parmesan crusted garlic potato slices (from TJ's, sauteed in a little bit of olive oil---so damn good, so damn easy).  All together it took less than 20 minutes to prepare (and we like our steak medium well) and the meat (from frozen, not thawed!) was extremely tender and restaurant quality.  I was so damn impressed with the product from Omaha and will definitely buy again.

Fast forward to today.  I went out to eat with my friend to a sit down chain of restaurants that is more expensive than it should be (aren't they all!?).  As we walked in, we were behind a couple of loud mouthed oldies and the woman noticed on the door that this establishment has a Zagat Rating for best burger.  She made a comment about how she was going to get a burger and seemed all excited about trying it.  Naturally, we were seated directly diagonally from them, so I had to listen to her talk about all the other places she has been to that had the best burgers.  Now I've never been a picky restaurant eater (or a burger eater for that matter), or one that sends shit back unless something was extremely wrong.  I once dated someone who would CONSTANTLY send things back for the most pathetic reasons and I always felt so awkward for whatever reason.  This woman received her food and judging by how quiet that table was, I assumed it was damn good.  They were already finished eating by the time the waitress came back to check on how everything was going.  So with the burger completely consumed, this crazy ass starts to complain about the quality of the meat.  NOTE: SHE ALREADY ATE THE WHOLE DAMN THING!  She goes off on some beefy tangent about how the meat quality was inconsistent and how it tasted wrong and the texture was off, blah blah freaking blah.  The waitress couldn't help but see that both the woman and her husband had already finished their food, so like any smart woman, she sympathized and apologized and said she'd send her manager over.  (HAH!)  A few moments later, the manager comes over with this memorized pitch about the meat (always fresh, never frozen, blah blah freaking blah) and the woman is attempting to talk over him about it.  The manager finishes (without ever stopping), and asks her if she had switched entrees with her husband, to which she, of course, responded no.  The manager seemed to think she was just as nuts as I did, because he apologized to her again but told her that he had spoke with the cook (cough cough bullshit cough) and nothing had changed with the meat they always use.  Crazy ass decided to take a new route and say she WOULD HAVE sent it back had the waitress come around more.  I really wanted to get involved at this point because we had the same waitress and I knew for damn sure that she had been around checking with the patrons often enough.  Luckily the manager wasn't a shitbag because he apologized to the woman several times but never offered her anything free or something along those lines.  He ended the conversation cordially and even served them the bill himself.  Boo-yah, bitch.  When he turned around he saw that my friend and I had watched the entire thing go down, we both kind of smirked at him and shared a simultaneous, "Yeah, we know she sucks" moment.  It was grand.  Although, it probably would not have been so grand if it were my sandy burger...

Thinking of my experience from my frozen food last night (mmmmm!) compared to my restaurant experience that I witnessed, I may try and cook more at home.  I'm not going to be pregnant for that much longer and I am running out of excuses.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Huge Step in the Right Direction: Pet Edition

Don't call him pretty or he'll eat your children.
I understand that this post may cause people to hate my ass.  That's fine.  What works for some doesn't work for others, just like in that whole raising-your-children situation (see: breastfeeding, vaccines, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, etc.).  Sometimes, when people do things a certain way, they feel the need to lash out at them; or troll them with a bunch of websites to articles and research that supports their way of doing things.  Oh, but they'll throw the B.S. at the end that says, "Just trying to help! myself feel better about the way I do things!" or "Just so you know! that I know everything and you suck at life!"  Tough shit.  This is what works for us and I could give a damn about your research article unless it's one that agrees with my opinion.  ;)

Our dog, Dexter (also referred to as Dex, Dexy, Dexican, %&#(@%&@!), is just shy of 6 months old.  He is a great dog and has come a long way from that faithful Good Friday when I brought him home.  He knows some basics as far as training goes, is potty trained, and has a great little thing he does when it's time to eat (another story for another time).  We crate trained him, and now he'll sleep from about 10:00pm until whatever time I get up or feel well enough to get to him (ranges from 7:00am to 9:00am) and he doesn't make a sound.  He does great with our crazy ass toddler and is just a great dog.  Our biggest struggle was getting him to walk nicely on a leash.  He has always pulled ahead of us, sometimes to the extreme of only walking on his back legs because he was pulling so hard.  I did my google research and tried many different techniques with him over the past several months and NOTHING works.  He just doesn't give a shit.  I've seen him give me the finger as I tirelessly try a technique to get him to walk politely.  The worst is when we go to a pet store.  He senses our presence immediately and starts acting all batshit crazy.  He pulls, chases, jumps, steals things, and it's just awful (and a bit embarrassing...).  Jack's B.F.F. has two big ass dogs (a mastiff bigger than my SUV, and a newfoundland that could eat Adam in one bite).  He swears by training collars (NOT CHOKER COLLARS!), which I think you kind of have to when your dogs weight a metric ton (each).
Training collar is for dogs NOT husbands (like I originally thought)
  He told us that from day one and I just couldn't put my poor Dexy in something like that.  I, the first time dog owner, said, "That's crazy!  Dex is so small!  He doesn't need that!"  "I got this shit!"  Well.  I finally caved and bought one.  Dex is about twelve pounds now and surprisingly he needed the medium size.  Which made me feel comfortable in the sense that they make collars for dogs even SMALLER than Dex.  We tried it out as soon as we got home and I absolutely couldn't believe it.  He walked PERFECTLY and showed no signs of frustration or aggression towards his new accessory.  He just trotted along like he had been walking like that for his whole little puppy life.  When we approached something interesting (and not dangerous) we let him check it out and when it was time to proceed we called him first and he continued on with no problem.  I was so happy I could cry.  It's really frustrating and discouraging to walk a dog that sucks at walking on a leash when you try and try to train it, so I know this is going to make everyone a hell of a lot happier.  I've done a lot of reading on the collars and I feel comfortable in my decision, ESPECIALLY considering the results.  When Dexy sees it, he doesn't get all weird and pissed, he sits nicely just as he had done before for his leash and lets me put it on.  I cannot believe how extreme of a difference it has made.

So hate on, haters of the training collar, but ours is here to stay.

Monday, August 1, 2011

When Saving Money Actually Sucks...

I'm in the center.  Obvs.

I first want to establish that I love grocery shopping.  I credit this to being extremely picky as a kid and living off of cereal and spaghetti-o's.  Now that I am less picky, I love grocery shopping because I love seeing what kind of food I can make and force Jack to eat.  I love going through each and every aisle and looking at everything and taking it all in.  In the beginning of my grocery shopping life (when I was only buying for myself), I would buy whatever I wanted (regardless of price).  I always had the yummiest food in the house, even if it was just Milano Cookies and chocolate milk.  Once I was buying for Jack and I, I started being more mindful of the price of things.  Jack will seriously eat everything in the house in one sitting if you let him.  I have seen him eat an entire large bag of chips in one afternoon.  I started buying the store brands of things because it cost less (and we had to buy double the quantity).  We also invested in a Sam's Club membership for some of the things that go extremely quickly (NOT for the price, simply for the quantity).  Once Adam started eating people food (jarred baby food is NOT people food), I knew I had to wise up fast because he is exactly like his father.  About a year ago, I started clipping coupons.  I feel the need to establish the difference between clipping coupons and couponing.  Those who clip coupons do it more casually and typically don't save as much money as those who coupon.  Couponers can walk out of a store and pay $2.72 for $60 of groceries.  HOWEVER: couponing takes a hell of a lot of time and energy, not to mention organizational skills that I do not have.  I know several people who coupon and they have to shop the ads and keep track of their coupons, etc. etc.  I preferred the lazier way that still saves me $1.00 off just for clipping the coupon out of the paper.  I often talk about my envy of those who coupon and save tons of money and have walls and walls of stockpiled goods.  I have been following an incredible couponer ( who explains her methods and even offers How-To's on her site---all while raising her young kids.  Super jealous.  Anyway, inspired by all of the great deals she mentions, I decided that I was going to shop the ads with my months supply of coupons I had been saving from the Sunday paper.  It took me over and hour just to line up (and write out my game plan) for one store.  My plan was golden.  I was going to get over $20 worth of things for $4.39---a first for me.  I drove to this store and was delighted that there were hardly any cars there.  I walk into this store and over to the first aisle and EVERYTHING on my list was sold out...empty shelves.  I go to the next aisle, same story.  I am fuming at this point because part of my exceptional deals relied on receiving those rewards that print out at the register for future purchases.  I am so angry that I could cry, and to make matters worse, this shithole of a store doesn't hire employees to work in the store aside from ONE cashier.  I walk up to ask the cashier about checking the stock of the items and she informs me she is the only one working at the time and cannot leave the register.  Showing poor manners, I storm out of the store with ZERO items.  (A similar event happened at a location of this store by where I went to college.  A bag of something rang up for $4 more expensive than the tag and the employee couldn't go check the price so she told me she'd have to charge me what it rang up for...).  I need to find some of my extreme couponing friends and ask them about what the appropriate thing to do is in this situation.  Until then, I am going back to my style of lackadaisical couponing.  Sure, I don't get really cool deals or save any money, but it's a hell of a lot less stressful.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Taking the Plunge

When I was pregnant with Adam, I gained a whopping fifty pounds.  My weight gain wasn't really on track throughout my pregnancy; I was able to wear my regular jeans until I was almost six months pregnant and then right at the six month mark my weight just went nuts.  This may have had something to do with my eating habits, as I distinctly remember eating an entire container of iced chocolate brownies with ice cream.  I was crazy for potatoes in the beginning of my pregnancy but toward the middle to the end all I wanted was sweets.  Hot fudge brownie sundaes to be precise.  With my pregnancy with Adam, I had no issue whatsoever eating for two.  By the end of my pregnancy, my belly was so huge that it skewed my perception of the rest of my body.  I'd look in the mirror and say, "Wow, I'm all belly!"  I couldn't see that my thighs had also gotten pregnant because they looked so small next to my belly.  Now in all fairness, I was A LOT of belly but definitely not ALL belly. There was no way that all fifty pounds of glory was all belly.

35 weeks pregnantHoly shit.
When that time came when I could no longer button my jeans, I still wasn't ready to buy maternity clothes.  Instead, I would hit up the local Discovery for some new low quality threads.  I found that buying jeans in a size two or three larger than what I currently wore did the trick for a while.  Were they flattering?  Hell no.  The thighs (even though mine were large) were baggy and the ass sagged.  As far as shirts, luckily my pregnancy was at the time where the empire waist was all the rage, so I bought regular shirts and wore tank tops underneath.  It's safe to say I looked like a frumpy hot mess in denial.  Now to defend the frump, the maternity clothes at that time were not designed with any kind of flattery or style in mind.  Especially not for a twenty year old.  They were fugly.  The only exception was "boutique" maternity stores, where you'd pay upwards of $120 for jeans and at least $70 for a shirt.  With three to four month left in my pregnancy, I couldn't justify spending that kind of money (when I could be using it for cake).  I noticed last summer that maternity clothes were actually getting cute.  I would be in Target and saunter by and a pretty top would catch my attention---SURPRISE, it's maternity.  I would then tell whoever was with me (see: Adam) that maternity clothes are "soooooo much cuter now."

Fast forward to now:  I'm about four-and-a-half months pregnant and even though I've only gained four pounds, my belly is starting to pop and it's quite firm, so there is no mistaking that I'm pregnant.  I have been extremely conscious of what I have been eating and have been making healthier choices so that I don't get myself into the situation I was in before (see: fat).  I can still fit into my regular jeans, but because the cut is higher than the ones I was wearing when I was nineteen (see: my ass crack doesn't show when I bend over), they're just not that comfortable.  It's time for some maternity clothes.  I am actually really excited about it because I've been circulating between the same few pairs of shorts for the last two weeks and I saw some genuinely cute pieces at Target (see: not a shit ton of money).  My endeavor for the day is to find a couple things that will last me until the weather gets all shit balls cold.

Let's just pray that I don't go all demented and end up at Discovery again.  Unless I'm shutting the place down.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Picture Pefect

My friend and I had a conversation today discussing what we do with our digital photographs of our kids.  I have albums that my mother made for me “back in the day” when you had to develop pictures to actually see what they looked like.  With the convenience of taking pictures digitally, many great pictures get posted to the web or stored on the memory card just waiting for a viewer.

I thought I would share how I manage Adam pictures, because I always love when others share their organizational tips.  Today I embarked on a journey to print 431 pictures from 2009 so that I can put them in a nice photo box to sit and collect dust.  I am so scared that due to the digital revolution, adorable photographs will sit on my laptop never to be viewed by anyone---or, get lost when my computer gets another virus.  What I have done so far is organize my photographs of Adam by year:

From there, I organize each photo into a folder based on the month it was taken.  On Windows, you can learn the date taken on each photo just by holding your mouse pointer over the picture:

So that my photos don’t get stuck in Computerland forever, I do several things with them.  I have a chronological 12x12 scrapbook that I do that highlights events throughout the year.  For this, I choose my favorite pictures and do more of the “crafty” stuff, with stickers, backgrounds, embellishments, etc.  Since I can only fit a few pictures per page, I also print all of the pictures from that year and store them chronologically in a photo box (each year has its own box).  I tried to find a 4x6 album to accommodate all of the prints from that year, but I couldn’t find anything of high enough capacity.  Once I know all of the pictures are printed, I then burn that year onto a CD and store that in the photo box as well.  I found that printing all of the pictures from that year forces you to be a little bit more decisive with your pictures.  With the ease of being able to delete so easily with a digital camera, I know I am guilty of taking pictures of things and looking back and thinking "WTF!?"  Suddenly when it comes time to print them all, you can look and say, "There is no way I am paying for six back-to-back pictures of child 1.0 doing the same exact thing."  In the beginning of 2009 when I printed the photos from 2008, there were over 1500 prints (and that was only May-December).  I just got the willpower to go through the pictures from 2009 and there were only 431.  Five more months of photos, yet over A THOUSAND less pictures taken.  I took a peek into the 2010 folder and there are only 355!  As far as the scrapbook is concerned, I am up to summer of 2010 in Adam's album, and tomorrow my friend and I are attending a local scrap night where I plan on catching up on the rest of it.  My biggest joy is that I'll have albums (and boxes and boxes of photographs) to show Adam's girlfriend when he is brave enough to bring her around...I think I'll start with this one: