Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What's My Deal?

Fred's friend Nate's wife Nicole reads our blog to Nate. Nate's a teacher and a former Barnes & Noble employee, so I'm not sure if he's unable to read or has to use his finger and is embarrassed or what. (Perhaps Nicole just has such a melodic voice that it soothes Nate's soul when she reads to him?) Nate commented to Fred that I've been feisty lately.

"Yeah, I don't know what her deal is," Fred said.
"What's your deal?" Nate asked me.
(Rolling my eyes.) "Seriously," I said.

Didn't know I was being feisty so I'm not sure what my deal is. But I do know that I'm cooking up a little post on how to clean out your Reader. What's a reader? If you have to ask then I should give you a big, hearty hug for coming here directly to see if anything new has posted.

Monday, September 27, 2010

It is with a heavy heart that I clack out this post as my thoughts are entirely consumed by the passing of Fred's Grandpa Chuck.

I believe that everyone should have a Grandpa Chuck. He's the guy that always stopped to chat, enjoyed a good laugh and doled out wisdom as needed:
  • If you're going to be a bear, be a grizzly
  • It's just as easy to keep the top half full
  • I was lookin' for a job when I found this one
  • If it's free, take two

Last year we celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in style (read: cake). From the day they got married, Chuck promised Judy he'd give her 50 years and, staying true to his word, 50 years is what he gave. Their 51st anniversary would have been next month.

I don't know what the future holds, but I know I want my future to include 50 years with Fred and still be the couple that Chuck and Judy were. Laughing both, with and at each other and telling our grandkids the stories of our young lives as though it just happened yesterday.

We should all be so lucky.
In love, and being loved.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Adjusting My Attitude

I had a post drafted but deleted it. I'm struggling with taking things too personally lately and the reasons I do that are unknown to me. The original post was entirely too heavy. Necessary for me to write maybe, but just too heavy.

That personal introspection led me to this: I don't want to think that everything anyone says is a personal attack on me.

Guess what? I don't have to.

I don't have to get all worked up when someone that doesn't know me scoffs at the idea of formula, saying "Of course I'm breastfeeding, do you think I want my baby to die?" I don't need to feel like I am a disgusting 400 pounds if Fred mentions hearing about a gym class somewhere and thinks I would enjoy it. Canceling lunch with me to go with someone else doesn't have to mean that you never wanted to have lunch with me anyway and that you were thankful that something better came along. I can stop trying to figure out what I did (this time) to make you hate me (again) and accept that the friendship is gone. And, just because you're scaling back on your digital presence, craving (and giving yourself) more of the here and now friendships doesn't mean you don't want people not living near you in your life.

The strangest part of all of this? I know it's not personally directed at me but somewhere between your words and my ears, my heart gets there before my logic does and screws it all up.


I am putting myself in a 3-second time out. I am permitting myself a solid 3 seconds of thought before I decide how I should hear your words. And, with any luck, they'll be a little more like the bluebirds you intended and a lot less like the machine gun shots I imagine.

It is - after all - my body, my choice.

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Apologies

A seemingly long, long time ago, I pushed a little human out into this world and he was quickly whisked away from me and into the nursery for a teeny tiny issue. (See? Not even a "problem" it was so tiny of a thing.)

That was at 5:01 p.m. on January 24, 2007.

I didn't see him again until a little after 7:00 p.m. and even then he was still in the nursery and under some fabulous heat lamps. (Hey, it was January in Nebraska... heat lamps rule.) And I held him. I held him and held him and held him.

But didn't name him.

He was finally brought into our room for us to keep a little after midnight.

Then we couldn't name him. We couldn't decide which of the two names we had so thoughtfully picked out would best suit him. Suddenly it became a huge task - give this 7 pound darling a name that will stick with him forever. Forever. For. Ever.

Relaxed a bit, made a joke of it and had the baby choose.

He chose Elliot James and I think he nailed it.

And while I love our story and love that his name actually took us a little bit to officially determine, it is driving me bat shit crazy that Steph hasn't named her baby yet.

I mean, really, Steph. You've had that little human in the world since 3 a.m. and you still haven't named him? Sure, I tortured the world... but only for 7 hours! I can't believe I'm sitting here, 8 hours later, and still don't have a name.

Do you know what this is doing to me?
Yes, ME? (It's always all about me.)(Duh.)

But it sort of came full circle in that this is what my closest family and friends were likely thinking. The first baby report is standard: weight, length and name. I had no idea at the time that it would cause such anxiety for a baby to go nameless.

For that, readers, I apologize.
I had no idea! The torture! The trickery!

Steph: relax and a name will come. But hurry the hell up because I'm incredibly impatient and need to know if you named the baby 'Handsome' or not. (That was Elliot's suggestion.)

And seeing what time it is, you might be watching Y&R . . . one can only hope you'll name him Victor Newman. (Am I right, Great Grandma Judy?!)

[Edited to add: Baby Boy has been named!
Welcome to the world, Henry Everett!]

Friday, September 17, 2010

I (And 5 Million Other People) Hate Dentists

I don't have a good history with dentists. (Who does?)

In high school, I was getting multiple cavities filled each and every time that I was at the dentist office and each and every time I would tell my mom that I didn't know why I was getting so many. One more visit and 6 more cavities (no, I'm not kidding you) - my mom finally asked him what he thought was causing it.

His response? Pop and candy.

That was when my mom lost it, informing him that I don't even drink pop and really didn't eat candy either. She took me somewhere else for a second opinion. Any guesses?

No cavities.

When I moved back here, I started seeing a dentist that I liked but the drive was ridiculous so I went to one close to my apartment. Turns out I had a big cavity in one of my teeth - bummer. So I went in to get it fixed and during the procedure the dentist cracks my tooth and a chunk of it goes down my throat. I, of course, start gagging.

His response? Stop gagging. Your gagging caused me to break your tooth and now you'll need a crown for that tooth. You shouldn't get so upset about this, I saw the piece of tooth and wouldn't have left it in there forever.

(Has this guy ever even heard of a gag reflex?!)

I moved on to a chick dentist to do the crown work that he created. First visit and she found a total of something like 13 areas that needed fixed. WTF? Good joke! Oh, you're not kidding? What? Fine, you can do one or two at a time. Ugh. Wait, what now? You want me to replace a crown I got not that long ago?

Um, second opinion.

I go back to the first dentist that did the crown and he did all new x-rays showing that there was nothing wrong with the crown or any other of my teeth for that matter. DAMNIT!!

I call the girl and tell them to cancel any future appointments because I'll not be returning. My dentist sent her his x-rays and a scathing letter about me not needing any additional work.

Funny, she's not in business anymore.

And just when this story couldn't get more ridiculous...

It was time for my cleaning and I googled up my dentist to get his office's phone number. Why, what do you think I found on that first page? He got in trouble by prescribing pain pills to himself via his assistants for his pill addiction! And he's an alcoholic! He got a hand slap essentially but what I was ONLY THEN able to put together is that it's likely the reason he changed his practice's name.


So yeah. I had a dentist appointment this morning with Fred's dentist who, at this point, I really like. He gives me the frowny face and tells me about old silver fillings and how they're only meant to last 12 - 15 years. A majority of mine are between 14 and 20 years old and one of them is cracked and leaking and now he has to reconstruct part of my tooth.


Further, he says, I can expect the next few years to involve having to change most of them out because of their age. Yay.

I get out of there and talk to Fred, telling him that IF insurance covers it, it'll still be about 300 bones to get this fixed. Here's our exchange:

F: That sucks about your teeth. That’s not a bill I’m really looking forward too.

A: Yeah. My thoughts too. And that price assumes insurance covers 50%.

F: Wow Wow. We better start listing our new house now! I think we should have had all your teeth pulled and just gone with dentures.

A: Yes, lets. Let’s buy a house that’s under 100k so that I can quit my job and just wallow in my tooth self-pity!

F: Well you’ll need to stay home because it will take you all day to gum your food enough to swallow it.

Good one, Fred.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Because Matthew P. Damon is Awesome

I've officially pranked the interwebs and tubes and nets! Matthew P. Damon and I have conquered the Google Search!

First, I'd like to thank Matthew P. Damon's mom and Matthew P. Damon's dad for hooking up and making a darling little guy. Then I'd like to thank Matthew P. Damon and thank him for being so adorable and kick-ass and funny and for giving me enough substance to scratch and claw my way to the top of the Google Search.

Next, I'd like to thank Aunt Becky for having the great epiphany that ultimately led me to pranking the internet by making myself the important reporter of all things Matthew P. Damon. In fact, just the sheer amount of mentions (and links back to) her blog comments, she has become #3 in the world of Matthew P. Damon Google Searches WITHOUT EVEN TRYING. If that doesn't get a hearty "Hells Yes" then I don't know what is!

I'm a helper, yo.

Just like Matthew P. Damon and his quest to help Africa. And just like how Matthew P. Damon and Benjamin G. Affleck helped each other shoot to super-stardom in Good Will Hunting. I especially like how Matthew P. Damon helped the world see Sarah Palin for what she could've been: The Hockey Mom President.

Matthew P. Damon is a helper, indeed.

Now, Matthew P. Damon, now that I have single-handedly (with the assistance of the FINE Aunt Becky) have rocketed your full name into search stardom, wanna meet up? Yeah, I thought so. I'll be waiting, Matthew P. Damon.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Climbing to the Top via Matthew P. Damon

As you know by now - and shame on you if you don't - Aunt Becky is my bloggy hero. And she decided that we (the collective we), her Merry Band of Pranksters, don't do nearly enough pranking. Her diabolical plan is simple: mention the hell out of someone, such as Matthew P. Damon, in a single blog post and see how far up Google you make it.


You can get up close and personal with Matthew P. Damon's life by reading Matthew P. Damon's Wikipedia page.

As you all know, I'm in love with Matthew P. Damon's character Jason Bourne. He's super duper kick-ass and adorable as a baby kitten.
Oh, Matthew P. Damon, you and your alter ego Jason can protect me from the evil CIA - or any other bad guy - any day.

Matthew P. Damon has been in a slew of movies but the first time he really caught my fancy was playing smarty pants Will Hunting. Sure, he was a total basket case and made fun of Robin Williams' painting (which, Matthew P. Damon - SHAME ON YOU) but in the end he went after the chick and I was proud.


Because, duh, Matthew P. Damon could be coming for me next! I should probably come up with some form of enticement to get you to ditch your hot wife, Mrs. Matthew P. Damon, to come to the cornfields to find me.

I will make cookies. I wonder what kind of cookies are Matthew P. Damon's favorites? I hope to hell not the Tollhouse ones because I can't ever, ever EVER get that damn recipe to turn out. That, and those are my current husband's favorite cookies so if I made them for Matthew P. Damon Fred might get annoyed.

We do have some commonalities that cannot be ignored. Matthew P. Damon didn't finish college and neither did I! Matthew P. Damon has been on Oprah and I've watched that show before! Matthew P. Damon donates to places that support Africa and I once did a piece of embroidery of Africa! Matthew P. Damon's character in Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen was named Linus and I once donated a quilt to Project Linus!

One thing I will not do for Matthew P. Damon is spew out babies at his whim. His poor wife, Mrs. Matthew P. Damon, is pregnant AGAIN and Matthew P. Damon spends his day dodging her punches. Maybe we could work out an agreement where I don't have to have babies but could still use Matthew P. Damon as my personal punching bag.

But I wouldn't want to mess up Matthew P. Damon's lovely face!

Speaking of, I leave you with this:

[Updated to add: I'm on TOP baby! Google up Matthew P. Damon and whattaya see? ME!]
[Also, for more drooly love fests, check this out.]

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Just Another Morning

Me: Hey. Do I look okay?
Fred: (distracted) Yeah, you look fine.
Me: Fine?
Fred: Yeah, what? What do you want me to say?
Me: I don't know, you weren't even looking.
Fred: Yes I was.
Me: Uh, no you weren't.

Fred: You ask me every day if you look okay and every day you do. For like 6 years now. You look fine, you always look fine.

Me: Well. Now I KNOW you're lying.
Fred: What?
Me: You didn't even look and I know I don't look okay all of the time.

Fred: You always look great - it's your great personality.
Me: ...
Fred: ...

Me: I want to kill you. (leaves room)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Navigating the World of Social Acceptance

I stumbled on an interesting article that made light of how the author's choice to not drink bothers her friends – something I can relate to.

Now, I’ve done my fair share of drinking (mom and dad, sorry - I’ve been drinking since I was 18) but for years now I’ve had maybe one drink every 2 or 3 months. No, seriously. I’m just not a drinker and while I have my reasons, that’s not the point of this post.

Over the years, I noticed how differently I am treated because I don’t drink. I am not always included in the conversation and many times am left behind at a table by myself because everyone else got up to get a drink and then flitted off elsewhere. Which is fine. Except that now I’m just that loser sitting at the table by herself. That – OMG! – isn’t drinking! What is wrong with her? Couple this with the fact that I am extremely shy (yes, really) around people I don't know and it's a recipe for social disaster.

(And, poor Fred, is left sitting with me alone at the table, wishing he was anywhere but sitting with me and looking all around to make sure he’s not missing out. Which, he is, because I’ve been deemed ‘a total drag’ by the drinkers and the ring on his finger makes him feel obligated to sit with me.)

That’s just it: nothing is wrong with me. I choose to drink water, or tea or whatever else is there. It’s as if the grounds of inclusivity involve having a drink in hand with anything less makes me strange. I completely agree with this author in that not drinking doesn’t make me humorless or judgmental... I’m married to a guy that brews his own beer for crying out loud!

I was reminded by an on-and-off (and currently off now)(I guess)(more on that some other day) again friend the other day to not make her decisions into my problems. Same applies here.

You drink.
I don’t.
Big deal.
We can still be friends.
We can still be social.
You just have to be willing to talk to me to make it work.

I don’t really know what I’m trying to say here.
People decide to do things and not do other things every single day.

So why is alcohol such a deal maker and/or breaker on being socially accepted?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Long Weekend Done Right

- Long drives in the sun with music blaring
- A perfectly adorable son who was well-behaved and polite
- Movie with the ladies - Gma Judy, Steph and Cindy
- Seeing pregnant Steph for likely the last time she's pregnant
- Wishing I could get my hands on that new Roach baby
- Nights on the deck, cool enough for a sweatshirt
- Cleaning out the craft room
- Nachos for dinner during the Nebraska game
- Sunday morning paper, followed by Monday morning paper
- Sleeping in until 8 and pajama day Monday
- Coloring with Elliot on brand new paper
- Working on a special project for a certain person *wink*
- Hanging out with Fred after E goes to bed
- Watching "a show" with Elliot before he goes to bed
- Catching up on 'Project Runway'
- Think Gretchen on PR is a huge b$*@&
- Answering all of the why's with minor annoyance
- Made headway on some things on my 'to do' list
- Hearing Fred explain football to Elliot
- Great kids clearance at Target for next summer's clothes
- Grilled hamburgers and a bag of Doritos

And, as soon as 'Blue's Clues' is over and Elliot's in bed?
- Sewing time ... just me, myself and I

Friday, September 3, 2010

Panic at the Preschool

Fred picked up Elliot last night and was informed by the teacher that he should wear his Husker gear today.

"I not have any!" a panicked Elliot said to Fred.

Now before any of you blackshirts come banging down my door - he is always equipped with at least one shirt but we just haven't picked one up for him this year. Well, until last night, that is.

The guy at the first store asked what I needed and I told them: a Husker shirt for my 3 year old boy. All staff within earshot chimed in with some comment on necessity and not going out in public without one and disbelief that I would allow my child to not have a fitting Husker shirt at all times. The Horror! But they didn't have anything decent* that fit him so off I went.

My drive to the second store was wrought with anxiety and fear that I would get pulled over and arrested for not having "gear"for Elliot. I'm pretty sure there is some kind of State Statute regarding this. You don't even plan a wedding for a game day unless you have a reception facility with numerous televisions tuned to the game. You don't make any vacation plans for game days unless there will be a television at your final destination. Husker is a way of life and seeing that THE STADIUM becomes the third biggest populated place in Nebraska on game day, I can kind of see why.

The second store is solely dedicated to Husker gear and I easily picked out a shirt for him and drove home.

This morning, he showed up in my room fully dressed and said "Ima wear my Hukskers shirt today! Thank you mommy!"

As if I didn't already know, that kid is definitely just like his father.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
* The guy really did try to talk me into a black jersey, sized 7/8, and suggested I tie a knot in it. Um, no. First, it's too big. Second, my son is a HE. Third, it won't make me buy it if you tell me all the skinny college girls are buying them.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

All That is Precious

Today we had a staff retreat with a twist - it only included the peons of the organization. Our first task of the day was to bring something with us that has momentous value and is precious to us.

It took me a while to come up with something... a picture is pretty easy to do but with Elliot's constant attitude problem, it'd be a total pack of lies about how much I cherish him. (I'm kidding.) (Mostly.) I was laying in bed thinking of what to bring and I looked over and saw my quilt from my Grandma Cropp. That quilt would make my list of "Top 5 Things to Grab Before Leaving the House if it's on Fire" so it'll be perfect.

We gathered that morning and introduced ourselves to the facilitator, giving a brief explanation of why the item we brought is so important to us.

I brought my quilt from my Grandma Cropp. I really didn't get to know her for very long but the memories I have of her are sweet: snitching cookie dough, teddy bear pancakes and picking strawberries for what seemed like all day long. I wish I could have known her longer. She made a bed quilt for each of her grand kids - likely 20 or so at the time - and she made them to be used. I'm happy I did because now it not only reminds me of her but it reminds me of secret forts and bloody noses and a general sense of comfort. Grandma Cropp is a constant reminder that life can be simple: one can be perfectly content being a farmer's wife, raising children and quilting in every spare moment. I try to remember that often.

Let the waterworks begin. Each person had a similar story and the facilitator was BLOWN AWAY by us. While I wasn't surprised, I was filled with love knowing we were all so very able and willing to share these most precious items with one another. (Something I don't think that would've happened if we weren't all in the same "class" at work.)

That one exercise bonded us together more than anything the rest of the day did. While I've always had respect for my fellow workers, I now feel a personal connection to each and every one of them.

And that makes work so much less work-like.