Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cletus the Used to be Fetus is six months old. And he can sit up. On his own. And reach for toys. Using both arms. And he can roll over from his back to his belly. And then push his torso up using his arms. And hold himself there!

Looking at him you would only see this precious bundle of smiling joy. You'd have no idea that there was a time when his arm looked "off." Where his head looked "not right." When there wasn't much movement. When there wasn't any strength, just a whole lot of limpness.

Miss Heather has been our saving grace. She demands consistent workouts, everyday stretches and pushing Cletus beyond what he would rather do. Thank you, Miss Heather, and to all those wonderful, patient people who dedicate their lives to helping others. We appreciate all that you do!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I attended a Women's Health Fair last night with a dear friend of mine. Which was great because (1) I am a woman and, (2) I am a big fan of fairs. Except this one had some sort of "health" theme going on which clearly meant no cotton candy or funnel cakes. I was ok with that because - just in case you don't happen to know, Burger King sells Funnel Cake Sticks which are unbelievably glorious in my opinion.

We were handed one of those eco-friendly bags to load up with all those goodies notoriously handed out at events like this. Things like papers, peppermints and well, more papers. You know, papers advertising super healthy things like botox treatments and breast augmentation services. At the orthopedic surgeon booth there were 3D bones and super cool pens. And I mean super cool pens. Not Bic cheap. (No offense, Bic. I use your products consistently because I'm poor and I can afford your kinds of pens.) My point is, I wanted one of those pens. The un-Bic one.

There were only five super cool pens lined up and Ortho Surgeon Security was hovering pretty close, so I knew these were worth it. Bound and determined to get one of those sticks of inky goodness I strode confidently to the table and made some serious inquiries. Surely questions of thought would be rewarded with a pen.

I asked if there were any preventative exercises I could do to prevent total hip replacements. I explained that my knees were bad from several years of intense Army training. (No, that's not a lie. I have actually served in the armed forces. Although it was perhaps a slight exaggeration in that I wouldn't actually say I experienced "several years of intense training." Hey - Don't judge me -- you didn't see the pen.) I demonstrated stretches I claimed to perform on a daily basis to see if I was doing them correctly. I even mentioned that I had swell health insurance that would probably pay 100% for a total hip or knee replacement as a form of preventative medicinal practices. And yet no pen. In fact, the more I talked with him the closer he moved his hand in an attempt to shield the pens from my view (and my very probable quick snag).

You know what, after thinking about it, those pens really weren't that great. They probably looked great on the outside but were barely hanging on inside and if Doc prefers the cheapest products would you want him ordering up your hip? I think not.

We ate a dinner full of healthy items I wouldn't actually be able to identify because, let's be honest, my diet consists of microwaveable burritos with a side of Cheetos. I wouldn't know the names of healthy items if my life depended on it. The food was accompanied by a speaker. A lovely bore of a woman who reminded us that we were going to die.

"You will spend a third of your life in menopause. Menopause will be hell so you will probably take hormone medication which will deplete the much needed calcium in your bones. You will develop osteoporosis. You will get a hip fracture. Of the 300,000 hip fractures a year, twenty thousand people will die in three months; another fifty thousand in a year. If you're lucky enough to live through your hip fracture, the medication you would be prescribed for the osteoporosis will more than likely give you breast cancer. And then you will die. Enjoy the dessert."

Now I'm freaking out about getting old. It's not like she pointed out any benefits...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

One Hot Feisty Mama!

I have got to be the luckiest girl in the entire world! I am so giddy with excitement I can barely stand it.... Why? you ask. Well let me tell you:  I have won and will have delivered to my front door very shortly -- Feisty Mama Salsa!

Do you even understand? I will walk a thousand miles for this salsa. I will actually trample people I love dearly in a mad attempt to get to a jar of their Really Sassy Salsa. I will take my big bag of tortilla chips and my bottle of spicy veggie blend and hide out in a basement closet while my children are sleeping just so I don't have to share.

I will put it on chips. On tacos. On baked potatoes. I will stir this salsa in with Macaroni & Cheese (oh, yes, you have got to try that!) and in with tater-tot casserole. The ways this salsa can be used is endless. And so delicious!

If you haven't already, you need to get yourself a jar now. I mean right now. Stop reading. Order. And then you can come back.

I'll wait for you.

Welcome back! So you got yourself a jar or two or three? Good. You know, it's only 5 calories a serving -- but those don't count if you're singing mariachi while eating. True fact.

We won the Soooo Hot Salsa which I am positive Big V will love - and not just for the label. (Curious? Check out the website. Here's a hint: there's a topless woman on the label. Oh yes!)

I'll update you all once my shipment arrives. Until then.... OlĂ©!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Shape Up or Ship Out (which might be easier on a boat and all)

Uh, yeah. So I may have crossed over to the dark side. I just spent $105 on a pair of shoes. Not just any shoes, mind you. These are the Skechers Shape Ups. Designed to tone and strengthen and improve my posture. Mind you, they won't do much of anything if I don't strap them on an walk a hundred miles, but it's a proverbial step in the right direction.

I hate spending money to try to lose weight. I think it's foolish. Eat healthy, walk, run - that doesn't have to cost much at all. I thought that until it was ME that had to try to lose the weight. This baby weight does not want to leave me. It loves me as much as the baby himself. I, however, do not love it. The weight, people, not the baby. I love my baby. Save your hate mail for a different post.

Once I made the decision that I would get the shoes for added help while walking I felt good. That was until the negative stigma met up with me at the store. If you've never seen these shoes they're, well, obvious. The soles are big and clunky. The styles forced. They scream THIS PERSON IS HAVING TROUBLE GETTING IN SHAPE SO THEY BOUGHT MEEEE!!!! It didn't help that the perky size zero cashier with the really loud voice announced, "ohhhh! You got the Shape-ups! I've never tried them [obviously]  but other people say they work." Thanks, Size Nothing Girl. You're such an inspiration.

I took the shoes home, laced them up, and decided that tomorrow I'm going to actually walk in them.
I wasted a cheery wave on someone completely undeserving. This bugs me because I do not cheery wave on a regular basis. I slightly nod if I know you. I plain wave if I like you. But my cheery waves are usually reserved for the innocent: like children under the age of six.

So here I am walking out of work, bags hanging off one arm, cell phone to my ear happily chatting away, and a car at the stop sign honks not once, but twice. It's the end of the work day, I'm on the phone making fun plans with V, so in a weakened state what do I do? Smile happily and cheery wave. I cheery wave to the car at the stop sign. The car whose driver has done nothing but make it her recent life mission to say completely inappropriate things to me in front of my children. Who has accused me of horrible, horrible things. I cheery waved at a woman who honestly doesn't get it. (How many times have I witnessed the oh-so-innocent, "How would I know she'd get her feelings hurt if I told her I wished you had married someone else. I do wish you had married someone else. I can't help how I feel."

Damn. I wasted my wave.

All in the name of a weekend.

This weekend was a busy one. I like those. They make me feel like I have purpose of some sort. But, since I'm old now, I can only do them once in a while. Because, well, if I do too many busy weekends then I just feel old. And that I should up my dosage of One A Day Vitamins.

Friday night was good. We went and saw Diary of a Wimpy Kid as promised to Dotter. I ate a gazillion pounds of buttered popcorn. She refused to sit by Big V (because he talks through the movies and it's annoying and embarrassing). Big V got a super large soda and wouldn't share when we ran out. (Probably getting back at us for the whole "you talk too much" accusation.)

Saturday was our family's St. Patrick's Day party which is my second favorite event of the year, next to our Halloween party. Let's face it, any family can get together for Easter or Thanksgiving... but it's only the coolest families that gather in green to eat corned beef and cabbage when they're not even Irish!

Saturday evening Big V and I suckered Grandma into watching the younger kids while we did a grown-up dinner date with two other couples. I believe it was the first time we have ever been on a couples date - and it was fun! We ate at PF Changs -- and splurged with that hot & sour soup, pork dumplings, orange chicken and desert. It was so nice to be able to eat without hearing the whines of children: "oh my gawd! What is that? It looks so gross! I'm so not eating that." And it gave us a chance to get to know the other couples.

As soon as I recovered from the "I was in a low budget porn called A Feather for Heather. I played Gaspar, the Good Wizard... he didn't see any action, if you know what I mean. The Bad Wizard - he saw the action." story I leaned over to V and whispered, "Please promise me we can hang out with these people... I can totally blog about our excursions!"

If I could've ended the weekend on that high note I would have. Except there was Sunday I had to get through. That meant:

(1) I Answered the door bell to see the strung out on coke neighbor lady standing there asking if she could talk to me about her concerns over my oldest child. See, the Jelly Bean had some friends spend the night and they went out in the backyard to take those silly teen pics - you know, the ones where they all jump up and look like they're flying through the air. Anyway, they were, as teens do, screaming and giggling and acting a fool. At two o'clock in the morning. Were they fools? Yes. Did I need string out on coke neighbor standing on my porch telling me that she's concerned that there was no parental supervision and next time she'll be forced to contact the proper authorities out of said concern? No. This is the woman who sits for hours smoking cigarette after cigarette on a chair next to their garage, while staring at our house, while holding her baby. This is the woman who will sit on her front steps and yell out, "Hey! Hey! Come here so I can talk to you!" if she sees us walking by. This is the woman who entertains a multitude of creepy people every single flippin night in the summer time; the obvious requirements are that there be no less than four yipping dogs, eleven screaming children and various tattooed, pierced adults that pepper their language with F-bombs on a regular basis. Fireworks are also encouraged.

(2) The Devil Dog got out. Again. And peed on our bed. Note: Big V says it didn't actually pee... it was probably just marking its scent. (Yeah, with urine.)

(3) The dryer doesn't work. Or I'm assuming it doesn't work based on the fact that one load of laundry took two and a half hours to dry.

I'm sort of thinking Sundays are my new Mondays.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mmmm....

I am so giddy with excitement I can barely contain myself. It doesn't help that I've consumed my weight in m&m's this afternoon -- I can't tell if I'm experiencing a severe sugar rush or I'm seconds away from having a stroke, one thing for sure I am not missing my plans tonight. No siree!

Tonight is Family Date Night. Also known as The Perfect Excuse To Consume Double My Weight In Popcorn Night.

Big V and I are taking Dotter to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid. (The Jelly Bean can't be bothered with this silly outing. She has real friends. Very cool friends. They watch movies with PG-13 ratings or above only. And take pictures of the movie screen with their cell phones and send picture texts of Robert Pattinson to their other equally-cool-but-unlucky-because-they're-not-at-the-movies friends.) Truth be told, I could care less about this kid's diary, the only thing I want is my special salt shaker and an IV drip of butter. I'm extremely territorial when it comes to my movie theater popcorn - I have actually unapologetically slapped the hands of those who dare steal from my kernel treasure. It's my popcorn and I don't share. Ever. I don't care what you think of me.

For those who think I am mean and karma will come back to kick my rear, don't worry, around 4am I'll be wishing I had shared, stomach as hard and bloated as possible. I won't be able to sleep and I'll plead with God that if He makes this awful uncomfortableness go away and I promise I'll never eat that much popcorn ever again. I won't follow through, though. God knows this. That's why he leans back and lets me suffer the consequences of my gluttony. I can't wait!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

And the Guilty Shall Remain Nameless (ahem, Burger King)

Yes, I get that you need to eat lunch, too. I understand that it must be very difficult to smell that lovely charbroiled food you hand out through the drive-thru all day long. What I don't get is why you feel you have to eat at the drive-thru window where customers might be able to see you. What I don't understand is why you feel it necessary to lick your fingers while looking out the window at my car. You know there's a person in that car, right? I mean, the car wasn't there a second ago and now it is, so a fair assumption is there is a driver inside that car. The car you're looking at. While you're shoving food in your face. And lapping at your hands. Perhaps the driver could even be considered a valued customer. One who probably isn't blind. (Because she can drive a car, moron.) Meaning she can see you.

Yes, I know it probably goes on at every restaurant in America. Employees get hungry, grab something quick to snack on, slather it in sauce, and lick up the mess from wrist to finger before they quick tend to the customer. (Which, for the record, is incredibly gross.) But if I don't actually see it with my own eyes it's that much easier for me to pretend your establishment might actually be one of those where people don't lick their fingers seconds before handing me my food.

Perhaps you didn't notice my look of stunned horror. (That was key to the "gee, she probably thought that was really gross. Maybe I shouldn't do that anymore" realization you were supposed to have.)

I was hungry. Starved, actually, before I was privy to that total lack of cleanliness. Because of you I couldn't enjoy my healthy fish sandwich and apple fries no matter how many times I sprayed the bag with anti-cootie spray. I could only attempt to wash away my feelings of disgust by hastily eating the funnel cake sticks. I'm not even sure if that was enough to block this...this... episode out of my memory. I think the only right thing for you to do to fix this is to send more funnel cake sticks my way. A lot more. With frosting. Thankyouverymuch.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

So close... yet so far away...

I promised Big V I wouldn't make disparaging remarks about the Devil Dog anymore. He was all like, "people think my dog is aggressive and destructive now" and I was all like "but your dog is aggressive and destructive" and he was all "yeah, but they didn't know that until you told them." Of course he was right. (But I still think eventually everyone would've found out anyway when there was a giant hole in the exterior wall of our home and we'd have to explain how the Devil Dog chewed out his escape route.) I asked if it were acceptable to speak in hypothetical's instead and he just rolled his eyes and sighed really loud and I'm pretty sure that meant he's okay with it.

So, hypothetically speaking, let's say someone came home and announced they found a home for their crazed aggressive, destructive devil dog. And that same person packed up dog toys and bones and food and the kennel.... and even put the dog itself in the truck.... one would assume the dog would be gone, right? Sure they would!

If it were me in that situation I'd do what any other loving partner would do: prepare for thank-you sex. First I would clean up the house, because, let's be honest, you can't have proper thank-you sex when you're thinking about the dishes that need to be done and wondering if anyone left a bottle of milk under the couch and if you have enough toilet paper to get you through the rest of the week.

And then I would shave my legs. With a new razor. Because a man who gives up his dog deserves smooth legs. Even if that dog was going to devour the baby the first chance it got.

And then I would go through the deep dark recesses of my closet wondering if I had anything remotely sexy at my disposal - hoping that it would be enough to cover the new weight distributed throughout my thighs and abdomen. And then I would remember that guys could care less about the size of your thighs if you just do most of the work so I could just about sport a chicken suit and he'd think I was a goddess, as long as I was moving.

And, then, what if, hypothetically speaking, he came back with the dog, mumbling something about having to pry open the dog's jaw and fax copies of proof of up-to-date rabies vaccinations?

Yeah, you'd be changing into oversized sweats and pulling wool socks up to your knees, too.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I am fortunate to get together with some really great friends on a regular basis to do the stuff women generally do together: eat, drink, and laugh. There's really not much to it at all. Easy-peasy. The most energy is spent trying to figure out which drink to order.

And then I got invited to Ladies' Night. At a gym. To climb a wall. Of rocks.

A rock climbing wall? I can just see myself now, grasping on for dear life by my fingernails, wine glass gripped in between my teeth, trying to find some form of footing...

I used to be athletic. Surprisingly so. I could run 7 miles without much effort on a regular basis. My arm strength was my best asset. (Which practically saved my life when I was in the Army. Do you know how many times snarky people get dropped by a drill sergeant? A lot. I have repressed memories of hours worth of push-ups, but that's a story for another day.) I used to run up and down stadium stairs because I enjoyed working out. That was years ago. Today I'm contemplating installing an escalator so I can carry laundry up and down from the basement without having to stop mid-staircase. I barely have enough hand and arm strength to grip a pen and sign my bar tab. Like I'm going to be able to climb a wall of protruding objects? And it's not like they give you enough room to heft your arm up and hang out for a bit. These "rocks" as they call them are like an eighth of an inch. I've bitten down all my nails so I have nothing to hang on with!

The other ladies? One runs marathons. The other works out on a regular basis and leads tours in countries where you have to walk like everywhere. And the third? The one who planned this little outing? She climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. A freaking MOUNTAIN! That's like asking Octomom to birth a single child; she doesn't have to blink and she'll be finished.

It's obvious I'd be the one they choose to eat first if we were ever stranded.

Is it me?

Is it wrong of me to salivate every time I catch an episode of  The Real Housewives or 16 and Pregnant? Because, seriously, my life is so good compared to all that drama and watching those shows remind me of that little fact. And I enjoy that.

Sure, years ago a film crew could've followed me around watching me wipe my tears after my boyfriend who impregnated me (I'll just call him El Diablo) finished a mad rant about how horrible of a human being I was... to be certain I was just as foolish as the girls on 16 and Pregnant (except I was older) and I have managed not to behave like those fancy-schmancy rich-without-a-clue women on the Housewives. Watching these shows I can't help but think, "wow, I've come so far." So keep the disfunctionality coming! It makes me feel so normal.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Again with the Daylight Savings Time

Seriously. What is the point of this constant clock movement? Spring ahead. Fall back. Spring ahead again. Fall back once more. Hey, everybody! Let's Spring ahead one more time. How about KEEPING YOUR HANDS OFF THE CLOCK! Unless they devise a way to automatically change every clock and wristwatch that I might possibly come in contact with, I want no part of it.

I'm convinced Daylight Savings Time was created by some guy who experienced an unbalanced amount of bullying in his childhood. In order to "get back" and everyone who had wronged him, and in a desperate effort to feel "in control," he decided to make us endure time changes. Do you know what it's like to wake up and think its 8:00 only to find out the cell phone says 9:00 but the oven says 8:00 and the computer says 9:00 and the car says 8:00? It's like slipping into crazy, that's what it feels like. And just when you thought you got it under control you go to work the next day and think there's ten minutes until lunch time but then learn no one changed the big clock on the wall and you have a whole hour to plod through before you can take a much needed break.

So, Daylight Savings Inventor Guy: I'm sorry you were picked on but it's time to let go of the grudge. Let go and let the time stay.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Protect & Serve

One of the offices I get to visit happens to share a lobby with the police department so we get to hear things like this:

Little Old Lady:  Excuse me, Officer. I was cleaning my house and found a gun.

Police Officer: A gun?

Old Lady: Yes. I don't want it. Can I bring it here and give it to you?

Officer: Well, uh, we don't really accept things like that.

Old Lady: Well, what should I do? Take it apart and throw it in the dumpster at work?

Officer: Yeah, you could do that.



Seriously?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Huh.

What do babies eat? And when? As in, Cletus will be 6 months in a week and we just tried rice cereal this weekend and I can't remember if children aren't supposed to have any clue on how to swallow, because he certainly cannot get it figured out. I know he is a lagging behind kind of kid... he just started grabbing toys and he finally flipped over to his belly (then gets stuck) but he is drinking like a banshee (assuming banshees consume ridiculous quantities of liquids) and the nanny was all, "I got some free samples and just happened to get these three small jars of organic apples and pears and - look! It says "from 4 months" right on the label! I didn't know if you wanted them for later... you know, when you're ready to have him start food" and I was all, "Oh, that's totally cool because we love free stuff!"

And then I drove off to work wondering if we should be up to steaks and potatoes by now and what age did the girls start eating and maybe I was just one of those mothers who slipped rice into bottles at night hoping it would make their bellies feel fuller because I was too lazy to do the whole spoon fed stuff. I'm almost certain I must have wrestled the little buggers into ingesting beets or beans at some point, but it must have traumatized me because I have absolutely no memory of the nightmare commonly referred to as "Feeding Time."

Now I'm doubting myself as a parent because what kind of mother doesn't have a project timeline mapping out future food sources? Not to mention the fact that I'm experiencing early Alzheimer's because I have no clue how my two older children performed as infants. To make matters worse, even though I'm aware I'll more than likely have no memory of Cletus as an infant either, it's still not enough to motivate me to charge the video camera and purchase a new tape. All I keep thinking is, "I just want to go home and sleep; not navigate a parking lot and walk inside and up and down aisles and stand in line for forever and then have to unzip my purse to get money out." Shoot, I'm exhausted just thinking about it. The way I figure it, I need to get home, slide that rice in a bottle and hope to eek out a few hours of uninterrupted sleep as soon as I can get it. And that activity is just not that exciting to capture on video, so I'm good.

Staying Informed

The reason I love the Big V so much (and I mean LOVE) is because he truly is a "hand's on Dad." He is always looking for things to do with the baby. He pours over recreation department programs, sifts through newspapers and even asks strangers if they have any suggestions. Imagine his excitement when he came across a print edition of something (he) called "Community Dads" while we were visiting a local church. V was uber excited about the possibility of finding all sorts of things he and Cletus could do together (not to mention having something to read to distract him from whatever was being said up front). Being the supportive partner I am I asked him to quick pose for a picture, which he gladly obliged.










And then...

Uh, honey. That's "La Comunidad."
It's a spanish newspaper.
Not really about Dads.

Needless to say, he had to listen the whole time.

(Guess who wished they would've taken a foreign language in high school.)

The One in which I take my Father for his Covid Vaccine

I got a voicemail the other day from the hospital saying ‘since you’re the contact on record we just want you to know your Dad can get a Cov...