Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Stitch Happy

Yesterday Joe finished work early and was home by 11. I can count on one hand how many times this has happened during the last 7 years. And considering that he will be out of town for the rest of this week and next, it was very much needed.
Whenever he has to work out of town the kids join forces and find new ways to destroy my flimsy grip on my sanity. It is these days that lead me to wonder how smart it is for us to continue adding to our family. If our kids are anything like we were, the youngest will be the mastermind and pure evil (I was the youngest). We're so screwed.
Joe knows how crazy those long days make me which probably explains his willingness to let me buy a new sewing machine yesterday.
It's been 7 years since I've had a working sewing machine which explains my excitement (and possibly Joe's horror at the amount we just spent on this thing for me to get excited over such a little thing) when I managed to thread it right the first time.
Tomorrow I hope to find the on/off switch.
In the meantime I am going to pretend we didn't spend as much as we did on this machine. Instead I am going to pretend that it can magically sew all the clothes we will need for the next 10 years making the expense well worth it.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Who's The Boss?

"OK Davey, it's time to go to the grocery store!"


"What? Boy, get your shoes on. We're going."

"No Mamas, I watch Dora."

"Uh-huh. Let's go to the store and you can get a cookie."

"Watch Dora first."


"Mamas. Shhh!"

"David. We're leaving."




So. Um. Dora was pretty good today I guess.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Customer Service At It's Best

I've spent the last few hours roaming the house, kicking the walls and mumbling obscenities to myself. I have scared the dogs, dented my toes and sort of damaged the door to the pantry.
Note: Yelling random things about people being idiots and 'hello! Identity fraud you dill hole' at no one in particular may be fine while in your own home, but doing so while standing on your front porch waiting for your dog to get done doing his business makes your neighbors run away.
I got a letter today. A letter from a credit card company to a certain unnamed store (twits!) about my credit card with them.
A credit card that I don't have.
One that I never applied for.
Sufficiently concerned, and slightly suspicious since the name of the store (dingus!) was not on the letter, I called the number that was microscopically printed on the bottom (bastards!).
Have I ever mentioned how much I hate talking to robots? Those stupid automated answering services that wait for you to say a certain thing and then come back with a 'Sorry, I did not understand that. Could you repeat your request?' when all you said was that you wanted to talk to a real live person and not be lost on the phone with a robot for 45 minutes. I do. Hate them I mean. It's rather difficult to ask questions and get real answers as to what is going on when you can't talk to an actual person. UPS does it too. It's one of the many reasons I hate UPS. Well, that and the fact that our UPS guy refuses to ring our bell when we need to sign for a package. He sticks a note on the door and then runs away even as you are chasing after him yelling 'wait'. I once sat on my porch for 4 hours waiting for him because I knew it was the only way I was getting my package. He looked pissed when he saw me sitting there and didn't even notice when I signed 'bite me' instead of my name.
Anyway, I sat on the phone with the robot for long enough to start crying and begging to speak to a real person and I don't know why, but it worked. Unless, maybe as I've often wondered, that robot was an actual person totally screwing with my head.
So real 'person' (tomato brain) comes on and says 'what'.
How about 'what the hell?'
I explain that I got this letter about a credit card that I never applied for and I don't even know who they are and could she tell me what's going on?
Oh. Yes. This should be fun.
In the most I'm-bored-and-you're-stupid tone she could muster, she said the name of the store and suggested that I had a credit card with a different store in the past. How having a card with a different store (which I didn't) would translate to this card now I don't know but that was my first indication that this was going to be way more difficult than was necessary.
She insisted upon the date that I opened this account, I insisted that I had not opened this account and could she please close it.
She demanded my social security number. I assured her she didn't need the full number.
This is where she began to YELL AT ME.
Ho.ly. Shit.
I offered her the last half just to confirm that she had it and she offered to hang up on me.
Joe came in the room at which point I told him "Dude, this lady is yelling at me and I'm not really sure why."
Meanwhile she's screaming "Ma'am" in my ear until I think I'm going to go deaf and I started to shake because I was getting pissed.
She finally let me confirm my information without giving her the full number (seriously? was that really such a big deal to just take the last 4 digits and then verify it with the rest of the info?).
After which, she smugly reported that if I didn't open an account with them then how did she have that information?
Hello dumb ass, welcome to this century. Have you ever read a newspaper, watch TV, or maybe listened when any one has ever mentioned the words 'identity theft' to you?
But, still wanting to maintain some level of decency here, I told her to please stop yelling at me and consider that someone else may have opened the account with my information. At any rate it didn't matter, the account needed to be closed.
She continued to yell in my ear (I'm holding the phone away from my head and Joe can hear her from across the room. It was like talking to my MIL only more pleasant) about how I opened an account and no one else could have given them that information but whatever because she was closing the account.
And then she hung up on me and I didn't even have the opportunity to tell her that the sticky side of that maxi was supposed to go down. So, sorry. I may have been able to save the next person's eardrums but she was way too fast on that hang-up for me.

Monday, February 19, 2007


When I was a teen I changed my hair every month. From cutting it, to the unfortunate perm to coloring it, it was the one thing in my life at that time that I had control over.
And it always seemed to cause problems for someone else in my family. Funny how my hair could cause so much grief for someone whose head it did not sit on.
The unfortunate perm, as it will always be remembered by me, started with my very odd desire to have spiral curls. Like Shirley Temple. Because when you were a teen didn't you want to look like Shirley Temple? Wait... no? Well what's wrong with you then? Whatever. I did want them and I bugged the hell out of my dad for weeks about it. Having a step mom who owned her own beauty salon would make one think that this would be an easy enough request to fulfill. Except that I was a teenager and we didn't like each other very much back then.
Then my mom decided to take me to her stylist and give me the perm as a birthday present. This was a huge deal and should have sent the alarm bells ringing in my head. Especially since my birthday had passed several months before and I had thought that the phone call was my birthday present. But my desire to have those curls outweighed my natural suspicion of anything involving my mother so I agreed.
I had really long hair at the time (which the stylist managed to burn quite a bit of it off as she was burning my neck with those damn chemicals) and my mother repeatedly mentioned how this was costing her a fortune and I had better appreciate it. Other than that, nothing was said in regards to my hair. Not even a roll of the eyes or a snort from my stepmother when she saw it.
A few weeks passed and I grew annoyed with the constant poof in the back and I began to get that itch to do something odd to my hair. I thought that I had better show restraint though since my mother had spent a 'damn fortune and a little appreciation would be nice'. So I only shaved off the lower half of the back. Something that would not be noticeable to anyone unless I wore my hair up and that was something I only did when my best friend and I were sneaking off to a club an hour away where all the other little freaks hung out.
Except that I did wear my hair in a ponytail one day when I was painting. I paused to get a drink and my stepbrother saw my hair.
It took exactly 2 days for him to rat me out (bastard).
My mother waited for Thanksgiving to pounce.
As soon as I walked in her door and went to give her a hug, I knew. She crossed her arms and took a step back. She demanded to see what her ungrateful daughter had done and then proceeded to chew me out for 20 minutes for ruining the gift she had given me. Then she decided that we wouldn't discuss it further because she didn't want her holiday ruined. Naturally the rest of dinner was spent discussing my hair and how ungrateful I was.
I think it was 6 months before we started speaking again.
I started coloring my hair when I was 13. I always did it myself, never made a mess and as long as I wasn't wrecking the house I guess my dad figured it wasn't the worst thing in the world. I was blond for about a week once (I look terrible as a blond), varying shades of red or brunette. Black hair a few times but it was such a pain to get rid of that I stopped using the permanent color for that one. When I was 17, I died my hair pink.
My dad had a bit of a meltdown over that one. Not really because it was pink but because it was right before we were to go over to my aunt's house and she already had a rather low opinion of me. He kept asking 'why?' over and over again.
My answer of 'they were out of blue' didn't seem to satisfy.
Through all those years of hair damage, the one thing I learned was that black hair dye is bad. Very bad. Especially when you are as white as me. I earned the nickname 'snow white' during that time which was then a compliment but not so much now. My hair held that black dye like it was it's true love. The last time, I had to have my hair stripped and even then it clung to my hair in patches.
3 years later the black was finally all gone and I felt certain that that was the last I had seen of it.

And then I decided to dye my hair this weekend. A perfectly harmless dark brown.

It's black.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Food For Thought

The one part about pregnancy that I am never ready for is the food cravings. I know it's pretty normal and whatever but I still just don't get it.
There are times where I'm craving something so bad that the thought of eating anything else makes me nauseous. There was the week where all I could eat were BLT's. Then it was cinnamon Life cereal. Baked potatoes. The 2 days where I ate nothing but apples and cheese. I can deal with all that.
What I can't handle are the other odd food cravings.

*Pickles- They're OK on burgers but I've never been the kind of person to suddenly decide to just eat one. What really makes me bonkers is that it's never sour enough. Do they make extra sour pretzels?

*Olives- I hate olives. They are revolting and I've admitted more than once that they freak me out. Those little red pimentos in the center make them look like eyeballs. Disgusting, free-floating eyeballs staring back at me every time I open the refrigerator.

*Steak- OK, I know. It's not disgusting. I've just always preferred chicken. Except now I can't eat chicken.

*Gummy worms- again, not disgusting but I haven't eaten a gummy worm since I was a kid. Last week? I ate the whole bag. And then told Bre we must have lost them.

*The jar of mystery in the back of the fridge- I have no idea what it is. They look like little white flower buds. I don't know where they came from but the urge to eat them is there. Which totally explains why I put it on Joe's car seat the other night after he went to bed. I don't know what he did with it once he got to work but they are gone.
When I was pregnant with David, I woke up at 2 am craving a pumpkin pie so badly I made one. At 2 am.
And then ate the whole thing.

With Bre I ate an entire jar of applesauce without even realizing it.

I don't know. Maybe it's genetic.

When my mom was pregnant with me she ate a jar of cold sauerkraut every day (and she hated sauerkraut). She also blamed me for feeling so horribly sick for her entire pregnancy (yes, the sauerkraut had nothing to do with it).

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Biting Off More Than I Can Chew

In the time that my husband and I have been together we have celebrated Valentine's Day exactly once. It was the first year together and it just happened to fall on the weekend that I flew out here to see him (I still lived in PA) so I'm not sure that it really counts since we would have done all the things we did whether it was Valentine's Day or not.
I have nothing against celebrating. I mean, whatever tops your taco. We just... don't.
But we do have a ritual.
About 2 weeks before Valentine's, Joe will start mentioning a funny card he saw for me or talking about flowers, etc. Then I roll my eyes and tell him to please don't.
It's not that I don't appreciate the thought. It's just that I add up the total that he or I would spend on cards, flowers, candy or whatever and I think about all the other things we could use that money for, like going to the movies, or applying it to a credit card, and I just don't see the point. We tell each other we love each other every day. We do nice things for each other all the time. If we're out and we see something that the other person would love or could really use, we usually get it.
But this year? This is a little different. Because there is something I want for Valentine's Day this year.

This year, I want him to help dig me out of the big pile of volunteer work I managed to get myself into. This year, I want him to help me make the 300 scrapbooks I accidentally volunteered myself for. Or maybe just teach me to say no.

Monday, February 12, 2007

I Think I Remember My Name

The nice thing about blogging is that right now? I can talk to you and breathe at the same time. And you can possibly understand just what the hell I'm saying. Because really? I sound like Mushmouth.
If I turn my head to the right, I can breathe out of my left nostril. If it I turn the the left, I can breathe out of my right nostril. If I look straight ahead, I can't breathe. If I stand up, I can breathe again.
It's a really fun game and my husband has been enjoying my nightly sleep routine because he always enjoys not being able to sleep.
I tell you all this so I can also tell you that I am not allowed to be sick right now. I have tried to explain this to my sinus' (bite me grammar people. Or get me some decongestant so I can think), but they told me to suck snot.
I am not allowed to be sick right now because it is Monday. Which means it's no longer the weekend. And you know that rule right? The one that says moms can't be sick except on weekends when someone else (in my case, Joe) is home to take care of the kids, nothing major needs to get done, the kids don't have some activity and you don't have important plans (like getting roasted to death in your friend's very beautiful new Durango on your way to dinner because she doesn't have blood in her veins. No, she has ice cubes floating around in there which force her to freeze even if it is like 90 degrees. But since she didn't yell at you for taking a goofy picture of her with your camera phone and she doesn't laugh at the stupid things you say, you put the window down and pretend to be a dog. Did I mention I had fun?).
Right. So, it's Monday. I am not allowed to be sick anymore. I just wish this rule also applied to children. Because there is nothing more pathetic than a sick little boy who can't sleep. Or, more accurately, can only sleep in 10 minute increments before he coughs which then makes him cry because it just hurts. And you can't even hold him to comfort him because it hurts to be touched.
His eyes are all red, his nose just keeps dripping, he's had a fever and he sounds like he swallowed a seal whole.
We sat around at the walk-in clinic for 3 hours just to be told that he had a 'flu-like' illness that was not the flu. Which makes me feel even worse that I let them do that test to see if it was the flu. Have you ever had that test? David highly recommends it. They take this thin wire (it looks like the under wire from a bra) and shove it up each nostril. As the Dr put it, "Not all the way back to brain but... well he's not going to like it."
Well, duh.
He screamed for 20 minutes after it was over and when the Dr came back in the room he ran and hid behind the table with his hands over his nose.

And for all that time and pain?

He was rewarded with cough syrup with codeine.
Or maybe I was rewarded.
I guess it depends on how you look at it.
I look at it like he was asleep 15 minutes after taking it and he's been asleep for 3 whole uninterrupted hours.
I'm sure we are horrible parents and whatever but the best part was when we were getting him in his jammies and his eyes were closed and he was talking. "Piggies... oink, oink, mooo... stinky.... NO MINE!... haha...."
He was snoring when we laid him down.

I hope that after this round of illness, we get a break. We need it. We need 7 days where no one is sick.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Language Arts

It wasn't that many posts ago that I admitted that I couldn't understand most of what my Hurricane said to me. There were a few very clear words: cookie, juice, no, stinky. Simple, basic words needed to get through your average day. Everything else seemed to be a different language. Something spoken only in those jungle tribes featured on the Discovery Channel.
Recently a new child has taken the place of that foreigner I pretended to understand. Someone who says things like "mommy wake up" and "open ta gate peas" and "no mommy no. no boccli, no rice. I want pop-tar."
Someone who speaks complete sentences. Someone I can understand.
Most of the time.
There is still the matter of the "Nahg a dopito don don ok?"

I have not one clue as to what he is referring to but I know it's important because even if I'm in the middle of explaining to the cashier that she can't put my milk on top of my bread, he will grab my face and pull me into him, his head tilted into mine so that he is peering down at me for a change. We are eye to eye as he very sternly tells me, "Nahg a dopito don don ok?"
But the part that kills me is that he leans back and pats my cheek as if to say "that's my girl."

I'm not sure what it is I'm supposed to do but I'm clearly not doing it if his disappointed sigh and head shaking is any indication.

Despite her many objections, Bre is getting the new vaccine Gardisil.
We went back and forth for all of 5 seconds on whether or not we should. I don't know if our insurance will cover it or not and quite frankly we don't care. It's worth it.

My husband is dragging me into this century and forcing me to get a cell phone.
Yes, my dirty little secret is that I don't have a cell phone. The 5th grader down the street has one but not me and he thinks that there is something wrong with that.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

It's Never Going To Be Different

I had a regular check-up with my OB today. Just your average once a month check. Weight, questions, heart beat.
Except that when I was laying there waiting for the nurse practitioner to find the little thumpy-thumpy, she didn't.
It felt like forever, laying there while she moved the Doppler around searching for my baby. Each second that passed made me feel heavier, as though the absence of that sound was pushing me through the table.
"Well, it's still early so I wouldn't worry."
Of course you wouldn't. But I would. I'm 14 weeks. I've heard and seen the heartbeat. I've had several miscarriages before. Those patronizing words did nothing to alleviate my worry.
She suggested an ultrasound and asked me to wait while she went to get someone else who could do it.
I lay there on the table listening to my son crinkle the paper at my legs. My already swelling belly was covered in gel.
And it had been a long time since I had felt that alone.
Please God please please, not again.
She came back with a nurse who took my hand and said she'd try the Doppler once before the ultrasound.
And she found it immediately.
I was surprised to realize that I was crying.
I know it was partly in relief. My baby is OK. I am still pregnant and moving ahead.
But I think I was also crying because I know that I am never going to be as naive as I was with Bre. I am never going to be that relaxed. I am never going to be able to look at my ever swelling abdomen and not wonder if everything is really OK, or if it's all going to go horribly wrong. Again.
I thought I was doing alright. I hadn't freaked out once in the past few weeks since I heard the heartbeat. I ignored the headaches I was getting and my stiff neck and considered a new pillow. I never thought about how my muscles react to stress.
And I know that I'm doing it again. I'm bottling up that fear, that anxiety about this baby because I don't know how to express that to the people who care about me. I am afraid of them telling me that I'm crazy or worse, that I need to 'relax'. That is the sort of thing that makes me feel justified in punching them in the nose.

Before they found the heartbeat, David was tickling my feet. My feet. Anyone who knows me knows that this is a huge deal for me. I can't even stand the thought of anyone touching my feet. I have never had a pedicure because I can't refrain from kicking people who touch my feet.
But he tickled them. After we left I realized that I never even reacted. Not even a little bit.
I need to do something, find some way of handling this better.