Saturday, November 28, 2009

Book Review: The Arsonist's Guide To Homes in New England- Brock Clarke


The thing about being sick is that you get to do a lot of reading. And for those of you who care for a health update, I am over my H1N1, and now I have moved onto bacterial bronchitis which is, a pain in my ass. Or my chest. Whatever- either way it sucks and if this is even a portion of what death feels like, I hope I can just be trampled by an elephant to really round out the pain factor. Those around me are probably THRILLED with the fact that my voice keeps going in and out especially my kids who have been running wild since my commands of "stop throwing your milk" and "stop coloring on the carpet" are going unheard.
Anyways.
So I finished this book I found in the $5 bin at Barnes and Noble. There literally is an entire website dedicated to this book: http://arsonistsguide.com/. I think you'll like this book. It's written as if the main character, Sam Pulsifer, is speaking to you. And really this is kind of a tragic story essentially making fun of memoirs. I loved how the story unraveled and even though it's meant to be a comedy I found it to be kind of sad. I felt bad for Sam and in the end kind of felt like he always got the raw end of the deal except he doesn't think he did. So it was weird, but good.
And if I had more energy I'd go more into this. But...you'll have to settle for this. But to make up for my lack of energy- the first person to comment and say they want the book...it's yours. I will mail it to you for free. :) But leave your email address so that I can email you and get your mailing address because unfortunately, the illness has knocked out my psychic abilities. ;)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Book Review: The Search for God and Guinness


So this is obviously not the type of book I would normally choose to read since
1. I'm not religious and
2. I don't drink beer. Or any other alcoholic beverage.

(The horrors!)

But I agreed to review the book because it was free and at the time I had nothing else in my "to read immediately" bin.

And I have to say, this was a very hard read for me. It literally was a book that made me want to sleep. It has taken me over a MONTH to finish it, which is huge because I'm not only a very fast reader, but I can pretty much get through anything (except Anna Karenina...I still can't get page 5- my head basically wants to explode).

The first part of the book is a very lengthy, almost way too much detail for my pee brain to absorb about the history of beer. Where it originated (maybe), how it was made (we think), and the wonderful journey it's been on since. It connects beer with God and speaks of how different religions viewed beer.

Then it moves onto (finally) Arthur Guinness and his quest of making an even better brew, something that was better for you. The most interesting part of the entire thing was how Arthur literally built a business by being smart and savvy yet being an absolute gentleman to his workers and the community around him. He provided a great social service to Ireland which continues today in the Guinness world. The things he did and provided for his staff and their families was amazing and is ironic because in America, you are LUCKY if you get sub-prime health care coverage. It really shows that it is possible to provide generous wages and benefits to employees AND make a profit. Consumers are willing to support companies that support their staff- it's just too bad that more companies aren't that way.

So I would recommend this book if you like beer, are interested in companies who changed a social and economical climate of an area and a person who genuinely strived to do more and be better. On the other hand, if you aren't a history person (like me) you may be bored to death. But I assure you- you will survive. And might learn something.

If you want to become a Thomas Nelson book review blogger, go to: http://brb.thomasnelson.com/join

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Are My Kids Still Alive?

Jeez- I am realizing that I have posts far and few between of my kids. I'm sure some of you wonder if I even really have kids- but I assure you I do. And I don't have a basement or cellar, or even a really usable garage, to stash them away only to parade them out to show off their cuteness. No, they live in the house with Matt and I. Which could really be good or bad depending on the day and their temperament.
I'm sure you understand.
But dang- my kids are getting bigger which translates to me getting older and possibly my boobs starting to sag. I can't be sure if it's true sagginess or if I just need a new bra. Let's go with bra! and hope I get a very nice Victoria Secret giftcard.

(hint, hint, Matt. GIFT CARD does not mean BUY FOR ME. As much as you maybe wish I was, I am not a 34D. Bless your heart. Up that by 4 inches and in some cases another cup size and there you go. Sorry. I'll do better on the diet bit next year. Maybe.)
So let's start with Halloween. My kids had a blast and although it was so cold that according to Matt- your balls could fall off- we made them parade around in their costumes that cost me $30 combined so I'd get my money out of them.

Olivia the wicked witch and Jackson the monster. Both fitting to their personalities most days.

And some thanks should go out to the houses of South Superior- huge improvement on the candy this year. I enjoyed it. A lot.
Fast forward a few weeks (so like a week and a half ago maybe) and we are sitting in weather that's in the 50's. We were putting up outdoor Christmas decorations. I hate doing it and according to Matt I suck horribly and should just sit on the sidewalk.
Olivia dragging the plastic snowman across GRASS!!

Jackson having a special moment with plastic Santa.
Matt really isn't one for decorating or caring about stuff in general so it's always been me to pretty much force the issue. For the kids. And their memories. Which we will continue to do until his life insurance policy discourages him from getting on a ladder to put up icicle lights when he's old and stuff. Then we might hire out.
And Matt has always kind of gone with the flow. But every year we get more and more decorations. And this year- well we hit the motherload. A former boss has given up on the whole decorating scene and has given it all to us. I know. Major. So I pretty much made Matt drive the distance (a little over an hour each way..) to get them.
The best stuff in there??? The gigantic 8 feet tall snowman and Santa!! (The Santa really waves, yall!). Matt could have died. Because every year I have debated on buying items such as these but he hates them with such a passion, I mean he has joked about deflating other people's blow up thingies because he hates them. And my mom always joked that ONE DAY she'd get him one as a gift. And he'd be so mad, but try to be polite and it'd be hilarious. For everyone, mostly me.
So here he is. Trying to get these bastards inflated. And they look glorious once they are up. But here, Santa kind of resembles a drunk, eh? That's ok. That's how we roll in South Superior.
And because it was so nice out, we busted out our sidewalk chalk. Olivia and I colored pretty flowers and such, but Jackson- well he ate a lot of it. It obviously tastes good otherwise the first bite would have stopped him. But nope- after eating 4 sticks, I finally caught onto where it was going and took them all away. Gross diaper after nap, that's all I have to say on that.
But our neighbors have out done us those bastards. So I'm hoping once I pull my Christmas arsenal out (all 6 jumbo rubbermaid boxes not including the tree stuff) I will have more to make Matt put up. I will not be out done. If needed I will buy more. OH!! Maybe I can get one of those inflatable domes! How awesome would that be?!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Songs. Because I'm tired of laying down.

H1N1 is kicking my ass, yall. Like I cannot stand to lay in my bed another minute. Which is a travesty because I am so tired I can barely function. So if this post makes little to no sense- sorry.

I've gotten a ton of emails lately about my playlist. Yes, I have it automatically play because I am lazy and I listen to it at work. Continuously until I get bored with it. So if you know this, and you don't want to hear it (and really...what is wrong with you?!) press pause/stop.

AND, I've been getting suggestions. Which, cool- I guess. But I was browsing blogs the other night, in one of my "I can't sleep even though I'm so tired" phases when Matt is snoring, and I came across Cristina's blog (see below for link- she gave me my most recent award...) and she mentioned a Jason Mraz song she likes lately. And so since I hadn't heard of it- I clicked the link. And Cristina?? I LOVED IT. So I added it. And I added a few more that remind me of the Twilight series because I firmly believe I should have been a consultant on the soundtracks because the New Moon soundtrack? Sucks fucking ass. Like really???? Where was Hana Pestle's "Need"?! They pick "Meet Me At the Equinox" from Death Cab For Cutie but not "I will Follow you into the dark"?! WHO WAS IN CHARGE HERE?! And Sara Bareilles' "Gravity" should have been on there. Bitches. And if you want to hear these songs- scroll through my list. But really, Hana Pestle's song is beautiful. I've loved it for awhile and it's a shame she didn't get the big break on this soundtrack. Maybe next time 'round.

OK- I'm going to try out the comfy couch. And an ice pack. And my big down blankie. Did I mention I suspect I have strep and just this morning I have a wicked cough? Yup- I think I'm dying.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Because I know you wanted a poop update

(edited to add: This was actually written on Saturday but it is just going up to day -Monday...I hope- and I will be MIA for awhile as I have H1N1. YAY!!)

Some of you (who know me in real life) know how Olivia and I struggle with her poop. Or lack thereof. To give you a quickie synopsis- basically she will hold her poop for 7+ days until she looks pregnant (see picture below- this is only day 3 of holding it) and then complains of horrible pain, and then proceeds to poop something out roughlly the size of a softball. It could literally been used as a softball because it is that big and hard. Poor kid.




Jackson had to get into the picture action, too. He poops perfectly and a lot. Just like his daddy.


I'm at my end with this. We have tried bribing, threatening, scaring her, etc and nothing has ever worked. We've tried ignoring it, special potty games/books, candy (this was Jackson's favorite), we did a game, I have tried every single thing in all the potty books. Nothing worked.

We saw a pediatric G.I last Wednesday. OK- so basically we've learned nothing new about Olivia's poop or lack thereof. She's full (obviously) and so we are to do what an adult would do to prep for a colonoscopy. Yuck. She's to drink an entire bottle of the miralax mixed into a drink (preferrably Gatorade, but she threw up when I gave her that so I went with Kool-aid and instead of mixing it all once, I gave her a huge mound of the medicine with each cup) and poop until nothing else comes out. They did a blood draw to test for celiac disease and we are waiting for the phone call with results, but they were only able to draw one tube of blood instead of two, but instead of poking her again (because she was screaming "help me mommy" the entire time which makes me feel like complete shit) they are going to use that, and if they need more blood they will call and we'll go to her reg. doctor to do that.

She saw her regular doctor Friday to get x-rays and to basically see how the process is going. And let me tell you- I was nervous. Mostly because even with adult doses of Miralax ALL DAY, the kid only pooped two times. That's it, folks. And it was like wet farts, basically.

So we went. And she is still down 8 pounds which isn't good but guess what? Her X-rays? AWESOME. Girl was empty. Now I can really see how stretched out her intestines and poopin' parts are. :( That's no good. But the best part of her being cleared up is that we don't have to get her poop pumped out. Because that doesn't sound fun, and not only would I not want to do that, I wouldn't want to hold my gorgeous 4 year old down to do that. :( Boo.

Now that she is officially cleaned out we start a new medicine routine. We do 1 to 2 caps of Miralax every day so that she poops one or two times a day, normally. Like not major huge balls, no "leakage" (and that's as fun cleaning up as you are picturing it to be), but normal. Then we start her on more Benefiber. Apparently, instead of the spoonful once a day, she needs it 3-4 times a day. Yikes. This is because girl don't eat veggies or fruits. Like mommy. :) The closest to veggies I get are french fries, because those are potatoes, yall.

Anyways.

So yes. She is so cleaned out. She pooped two times yesterday without crying and strain, no accidents. I wouldn't know first hand because I've been sick and in quarantine in my room, but I take Matt's word for it. But let me tell you- when we left the doctor on Friday, I kept telling her that I knew she could do it, I'm proud of her, etc- and she was BEAMING. Like beaming ear to ear and she was so happy. She was telling everyone about it. My kid is a trooper, that's for sure. Let's hope we don't have to do this EVER again.

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Moon, I am in love

You all know I had to see New Moon on opening night. Thankfully, I have a kick ass sister in law who got us tickets as soon as they went on sale. Although I was apprehensive of a midnight showing what with my playing chicken with 30 an all, my love for Robert Pattinson took over my common sense. And it was all I thought it could be and more. :)

First off, I have to tell you that seeing the movie at the Duluth 10 theatre in Canal Park was awesome. They had the entire place decked out in Twilight inspired decor. This is only 2 pics I have , but the whole place was decorated. On the walls to the ticket counter they had huge posters with memorable lines from the book which was awesome.


And a cardboard cut out of my love Robert that I seriously debated on stealing. Yummy. And since this is probably the closest I'll ever get to him, I had to get Kate to do the picture. Obviously.
This is after the movie, around 2:40 in the morning, and I am VERY tired. And bloated. YAY period. But at least I got a "Team Edward" shirt. Which apparently makes my boobs look bigger. Which sucks. They need no assistance. They should carry their own I.D.'s for god sakes. But that may also be because in this picture I'm wearing 3 shirts and a sweater. Because you know- I can't think ahead and realize hey- I'm buying a shirt, so maybe we can lose a layer or two.
But before the movie we ate yummy, super greasy food at Old Chicago. Have I ever expressed my love for their Italian Nachos? Fantabulous. Yum. Then we headed over to wait in the line. Amazingly- there was hardly a line. Of course you have your die-hard Twilight freaks with their home-made shirts (which we are totally doing for Eclipse, Kate!!).
And obviously, you have the people with little to no hygeine skills who insist on testing our lung capacity by standing dangerously close to us in a poorly vented area. These two women in particular, in their early 50's or so, who came just as we were getting seated but a husband held their spot in line so they got to cut in line and unfortunately got stuck next to us. And let me tell you- my lungs ain't what they once were which is disconcerting because I don't smoke. I avoid second hand smoke and yet my lungs suck. I thought I was going to vomit. The only way to explain the stench is that it was a combination of smoke, cat, possibly really stale liquor and lack of showering. And there were two of them like this and everytime moviegoers from other movies walked past- a cloud wafted towards us. It was seriously, the longest 30 minutes of my life standing next to them. They were continually referred to as "cat lady 1 and 2" and it was bad. Like I could smell them through the movie but thank god weren't sitting next to them. They ended up being 4 or 5 rows back. But still. Ew.
So before the movie started we got to see the first promo poster for Eclipse. *Exciting* and I almost pissed myself when I realized that it comes out in June. June 2010, lambs!!! The same month True Blood, Season 3 starts. It's going to be a hot month for me. I may turn into a hot mess. Which is fine- I'm totally ok with that. :)
When the movie started, super excited. Basically the movie rocks socks, the ending was GREAT, and now I'm so fucking excited for Eclipse I may not make it. Even more so because Eclipse was my favorite in the series. And Kate- WE ARE MAKING SHIRTS. Or I will make one for you. ;) HA!
But the most annoying thing? College and high school girls screaming everytime Taylor or Robert came on screen. Now don't get me wrong. Seeing Robert makes me all hot and bothered and makes me think crazy thoughts of leaving Matt and the kids to throw myself at the mercy of Robert and beat the living shit out of crazy Kristen Stewart because I fight dirty and would totally win that. But damn. You don't see me losing my shit up in there. Like have some class. Freak out in your car or something afterwards.
And in the bathroom after? There were a couple of chicks crying. Absolute sobbing because they are so in love with the movie and can't wait for Eclipse. Again, control your crazy yall.
So yes. It was awesome. You must see it. And can I just say? Even though I don't like the Jacob character, Taylor Lautner is yummy. And I know he's 17 but damn. He's got to be turning 18 soon. It's fine. And Robert in the almost revealing himself scene? Well, we won't talk about it. Or the beginnign at the school on Bella's birthday? The facial expression? Matt has no chance on a sunny day in hell against Robert. And he totally knows that. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cristina rocks my world...

...because she has given me a blog award!


She amuses me daily and I really look forward to all of her posts. And despite the fact that she's a busy gal, she posts at least once every day. So that means she practically shames me in the blogger department, but it doesn't matter because I am a winner. But you know her goodwill comes with strings:

The rules:
Share 7 things that you don't already know about me.
Name 7 other blogs to receive this award.
Leave a comment on each of the blogs I nominated.
Thank the person who gave you the award.



Giddy Up Yall:

1. I wanted to be a singer when I was growing up. Which obviously didn't work out because I can't sing. But I try anyways when I'm cleaning or with my kids in the van and dammit- I know the lyrics to a million songs. At least.

2. I am an absolute SUCKER for mix tapes/cd's. Like major sucker. And there's more to come on that in another blog in the very soon future (like maybe tomorow). But I'm a sucker because when I was in like 10th grade I met a boy online (stop your eye rolling) named Brandon who I thought would be the PERFECT person for me based solely on the absolutly fabulous mix tape I got in the mail from him. Sadly, not only can I not remember half the songs on there, I've lost the tape. Sorry, Brandon- wherever you are. BUT, one of the songs I know for sure was "Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star. Wasn't he dreamy?? *sigh*

3. I sometimes get sick of being a mom. And before you start throwing things, cursing me out, and have your trigger finger on the phone for CPS, hear me out. I love my kids absolutely and unconditionally but SOMETIMES I wonder what it would have been like if I don't know...waited. And sometimes (usually when I've been up in the night for poop blowouts, woken up at 5 a.m when technically I am able to sleep until 7, or when I'm in the house listening to screaming for no reason...) I wish that at that very moment- someone would come kidnap me.

4. I don't drink. I've never smoked. I've never done drugs. I am constantly referred to as the permanent sober cab and have lost a lot of friends because I don't drink. Which is kind of ok because if I have to hang out with them while drinking and they suck when they drink- that's fine by me. I don't like sucky people.

5. I struggle between the balance of work, family, and friends. My family doesn't like me as much as my friends do and I think if they had to write down a list of all of my positive and negatives- you'd get two very different lists. Which is odd because I'm the same around everybody, so explain that! And I work full time and I think the biggest complaint people might have about me is that they don't spend enough time with me. Which in theory, is great to hear people like you and want to spend time with you, but on the other hand- sometimes people forget my life doesn't necessarily revolve around them. Shocker!

6. I like to drive. I don't care where I'm driving- I like to drive. People think I mind driving us to places far away- quite the opposite. I really like it. It relaxes me and I get to sing in the car. And this whole thing is kind of funny because I hated driver's ed and my parents had to force me into the car. Plus, the fact I almost killed us all (my driver's ed teacher and fellow driver, Steve) probably didn't help me much. But I drive ok now and I'm not scared! (Except for the time I almost killed Tammy and I on the way back from Paramore..)

7. Despite what you might read or think based off my blog....I have really shitty self-esteem. I don't see myself in a positive light and sometimes that might come off wrong to people. I don't like how I look, I don't like how I feel, and I struggle daily with getting dressed without crying every morning.

Sharing the Love:
1. Mr. O from A Rush Of Blog to the Head is super. Like he could have the potential of being mix tape worthy. I know- big deal. He is into all kinds of music and I look forward to his posts on concerts because really? I'm jealous he obviously lives in a non-ghetto concert area.

2. Jessica from Alright, Still is awesome. I try really hard not to hate on her for being all skinny and shit. Because I bet she can wear button up shirts without flashing her boobs. But her blog is clever, she has a fashion sense that puts me to shame and if she lived near me I would literally hold her hostage for a make over.

3. Nikolett over at Better Than Coffee is simply cool because she did my header and rocked it out.

4. Finny from FinnyKnits is like the coolest person I have never met. And I know she's all gonna be like, "Psh- I ain't doing an award" and whatevs but I DON'T CARE. Because if she ever made badges that said "finny's whore" I would totally wear it. If she needed someone to plant 800 bulbs with her I would totally do it if I lived closer. But I don't, so 'dem the brakes yo. I feel like she could appreciate my in-person smart ass-ness and would totally join in my public remarks about idiots walking past me.

5. Smile Steady. Because anybody who can continue smiling after dealing with gross people at a dentist office? Awesome in my book.

6. Rhonda from In The World of Rhonda. She's my cousin and I'm making a completely biased choice here. And she's new- so show her some blogger love!

7. Sara from Handy Hooker. I mean, can you really not-nominate someone who unabashedly calls herself a handy hooker? Didn't think so.

Have fun!!

Book Review: I'm Down, by Mishna Wolff


First off I have to tell you that in case you haven't noticed, I'm on somewhat of a memoir kick. And I prefer funny ones a la Jen Lancaster and David Sedaris but I'm not a complete loser. I'll read other ones too. Just not today.
So I can't even remember where I heard about this book, and it may have been on Jen Lancaster's summer reading list although let's be real- it's not summer now and I can't remember that far back. But I knew I wanted to read it and one day there it was. The lone copy on the wrong shelf looking at me. It was practically destiny. Our Barnes and Noble employees are getting slack on keeping the place tidy and orderly. Whatever.
So the premise of the book is Mishna is white (obviously from the cover) and is from a totally white family. Her dad however, believes he is black and after her parents divorce insists on raising Mishna and her sister, Anora as black people. Which is just dandy for Anora being the younger child, but Mishna is pretty white and the black kids let her know. She tries, throughout her childhood, to become black enough for her Dad who I am sure in his own mind tried to be a good dad. But what becomes an insight into poor America is the realization that Mishna is very much left to raise herself. She doesn't fit into the black neighborhood she lives in and really stands out at her rich white kid school so she never really belongs anywhere. She tries multiple sports and other activities to find the one thing she is really good at but her childhood is a struggle.
And it wasn't until the very end of the book when everything clicked into place for me and I suddenly realized why I felt so connected with Mishna. My childhood was very much like this and I continue to live in that "not sure where I really belong" middle ground. I'm white and grew up in a semi-white neighborhood when in Florida but we were poor but we didn't know any better. It wasn't until I grew up that I realized that we were poor and that wasn't going to change. And I have always struggled with trying to make my parents happy. I never really felt like I did anything that really stood out and made my parents brag about me. Sure, I got good grades and for the most part was a good kid. I had my faults as all kids do, but I wasn't really good at anything. When I went to a technical college and graduated I was proud of myself. But years later in a conversation (and truly, I can't remember what we were even talking about) I remember one of my parents said, "Yeah, but that's not a REAL college" and it really sunk me. I think my parents had higher aspirations for me to be something better. But to be honest, I like being a secretary. It requires me to be organized (check), detail oriented (check), I get to make and follow lists daily (check), and I deal with people (check). PLUS- office supplies are like the most fun thing ever. I can't even tell you how exciting it is to get new supplies. Back to School shopping is my 2nd Christmas.
Anyways. But I related to Mishna because I have often felt the way she felt. I had a great childhood and my parents did do a lot for us and worked very hard to give us what we had. And in truth- I think every kid grows up and later feels badly at something that was lacking in their childhood- it's unavoidable. There is always something.
But it is a great read, and I read it in 2 days so it's a good weekend book. And you root for Mishna the whole way through and then you thank god that your parents weren't racially confused. :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Black Friday Countdown

Almost all of my friends refuse to shop on Black Friday. I only know a small handful of people who do shop on Black Friday yet the stores are mobbed. I love it. I love getting all of my shopping down in matter of 5 hours. Because that means I have the entire Christmas season to sit back and eat all of the baked goods I keep making for no reason and ponder the reason I can't lose weight.


Moving on...


I get a lot of leaked Black Friday ads online and kind of decide from those what people are getting. And in the past Matt and I used to go all out and get everyone lots of cool stuff but in recent years I've given up on that. I just buy for the kids and I get our siblings like a small thing or gift card because it gets too expensive. And nobody ever really wants what you get them unless it's really a big thing but who can do that? I know people who spend $800 or more on gifts and that to me is insane. Like you really don't have anything else to spend $800 on? Our banner year of spending was $500. Last year I got us right under $300. I am hoping to do that again this year, but we'll see. The kids last year got nice toys and games and I think I ended up getting them 7 things each. But I got them things I knew they'd love, thigns we could play together and let's be honest- things they could only play alone.

Last year Mom and I ventured out at 3 a.m. and went to Kohl's and Walmart. Target's ad sucked monkeys last year, but this year...looks better. SO, the plan is Kohl's at 3 a.m, Walmart at 5, and Target at 6. We go in, we get out. We know what we are looking for and tag team and help each other out. Someone waits in line while the other person shops. Easy cheesy peasy, man.

But what really gets me are:
  • the psychotic soccer moms who are out for blood on Black Friday. I mean really- they are just legos. And no, your child does not need the Xbox 360. He's probably overweight and ADD already- put that money toward some exercise equipment or meds. I mean jesus, people.

  • Then you have the people behind you in line who bitch about the lines. What did you expect? I guess if you are a BF virgin, but jeez- watch the news.

  • You have the people who get up to the checkout insisting they get the $5 gift card with the purchase even though the sign clearly states you don't, but because they are so fucking stupid and ignorant they continue to embarrass themselves over $5.

  • There are the people who use their cart to block an aisle off so they can look at everything at once. Really? Did it occur to you that MAYBE you should know what you are here for first instead of making people angry at you.

  • Let's not discount the violent people who run (while wearing heeled mules no less) through the store. RELAX. The last time I checked, toys don't get up and move around.

  • Oh, and my favorite- the eager eBay seller who thinks it's wise to buy every PlayDoh set on sale for $6 to turn a profit only. Guess what bitch? I? Am taking some of the shit out of your cart. Otherwise you can explain to my children why Santa was out of motherfucking playdoh.

So gear up folks! Stop paying your bills now so you can stimulate the economy by spending! Negotiate for higher balances on your credit cards so you can rack up more. And then have a nervous breakdown when you get your bills in January and realize that not only do you not remember what you got everyone but now you owe a lot and you have late fees. :) Thankfully, I won't have to do any of that because I? Have cash this year! Which actually means people will get less than last year, but that's ok. We'll survive. And maybe it's good to remember what Christmas is about rather than if you can outspend your relative.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dear...part one

Dear Lenny,
If you could stop eating Rosie's food and then puking it up in nice little surprise piles all over the place, that'd be super.

Thanks,
your mommy who yells at you daily for this.

***********************

Dear Matt,
It would be really fantastic if you could put the kids' shoes and other outdoor gear all in one place. Let's be crazy and put it in the front porch where all the other outdoor stuff is. I'm really sick of searching for Jackson's lone shoe that can't be found. 20 minutes was wasted on this morning and he went to Grandma's with the snow boots he can barely walk in.

Sincerely,
The wife who thinks you are very lucky you aren't there in the morning because you may have died. Again.

**********************

Dear Drivers,
I am not sure if you are aware that there are road laws put in place for a reason. I mean- green lights mean go. I expect you to go. And I realize you might be stumbling out of Jack's bar at 7am, but that's really no excuse for you to do 8 mph down a 35 mph stretch of road. SOME of us don't live off of welfare and disability. We have jobs. And we need to get there if you want us to continue to support you.

Sincerely,
The lady honking and screaming at you who is thankful her kids weren't in the car hearing what I was shouting.

********************

Dear laundry sink from the 1800's,

Your time is coming soon you big piece of shit. You need to start draining again and stop being a bitch because as soon as Christmas is over and the tax money comes- your lazy piece of shit ass is out of there.

Angrily,
Your master. Bow down.

********************

Monday, November 9, 2009

Let's Chat About Poop.

Unless you can't really read, you know that I have two kids, Olivia who is 4 and Jackson who is 19 months.

And I've previously mentioned our escapades on poop here and here and that really is not even close to the amount of poop stories I could have told. We've been dealing with Olivia and her bizarre poop problems for almost two years now. And a normal person would have thrown in the towel like...2 years ago, but I'm one of those people who live in sometimes denial that there may be a problem and since she is my first born, I really have no idea what the hell I am doing.

At least I'm honest.

But everything has come to a bit of a head about two weeks ago where I felt as if I'd have a nervous breakdown in my bathroom when I realized that after 27 accidents (in a row) in her underwear of poopy goo and me screaming at the cats for not helping, Olivia crying on the toilet, and Jackson unraveling the toilet paper that I realized- I need help. I can't keep doing this. So I called her doctor and made an appointment for the following Friday.

And this wouldn't be our first round at the doctor. This summer I took her in for multiple visits to different doctors for the same thing but at the same time she also had lost about 10 pounds. Now my little girl is a tiny little thing. She's (on a good day) 35 pounds. Stick thin. (If she's lucky, she'll keep her dad's figure and not inherit my "bubble butt" and extra weight in the front. Moving on...)

And basically I was told to keep her on Miralax, use suppositories as needed and change her diet. Well I did all of that and yet we continue with the issues. I'm done. As I've mentioned.

So when I took her in on Friday they of course did another x-ray and I thought this would be misleading since the day before she pooped something as hard and as big as a softball. I am so very much not kidding. This is her routine- hold it for 6-7 days, poop a softball. Well the x-ray revealed that she was FULL. I mean as full as a 31 pound kid could be. Which explains why she isn't eating- there is nowhere for it to go.

The doctor wanted me to admit her to the main hospital right then so they could basically rotor-router her, and I just didn't want to do that. I opted to try some enemas at home, Miralax every two hours, and suppositories in between. We were going to wage a war on her butt. And colon. And intestines. Yuck.

Well guess what. NOTHING HAPPENED. All weekend. I kid you not. Now today she did her softball and then I gave her an enema thinking that with the ball being gone, the enema could get to the other stuff. Nope. I got one wet fart, tons of screaming, and leg cramps from sitting on the bathroom floor.

And I have to tell you that I felt like an idiot. Seriously, I felt like a labor coach when I was repeating, "Just push it out. You are doing a GREAT job. You are such a big girl, you are doing so well, keep going", etc while rocking and massaging her. All I needed was some ice chips. Discouraging isn't even the word I'd use here. Defeated is more like it.

And at the bottom of it all, I have a little girl with a pooping problem. I honestly don't know if we have a health issue at the root or a kid who for whatever reason is holding this poop in. She's never had a traumatic experience on the potty, but she's always (since an infant) had gas issues and really hard, pellet like poops. But now we just hold it for days. I just want her to feel better. So now we see a pediatric GI the middle of November and then we also have a follow up with her doctor. I am going to call on Wednesday to let her know our at-home clean out efforts didn't work. My guess is that she'll make us go into the hospital Wednesday or Thursday to get her pumped out clean. I am REALLY hoping Matt can come with me, because I don't do well with medical stuff. Like, I'm not a nurse for a reason, yo. But she needs me so obviously I wouldn't let her be in there alone. But if you have some really amazing tips on how to get a massive amount of poop out quickly- let me know.

So if I'm not around much this week- that would be why. I'm coaching a 4 year old to poop. And slowly losing my sanity at the same time- which means I can't guarantee what kind of shape I'll be in when I get back. :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Swellers, Paper Route and Paramore Oh My!

This is going to be a long post with a bunch of pictures. So you know. But I got to go to another concert with my super fun friend, Tammy. She is awesome. I wish I could just parade her on here for you to fully get how cool and fun she is. So on Friday we had our Swellers/PaperRoute/Paramore concert that was not only moved to a new venue but rescheduled because of Hayley of Paramore's voice being a bitch. But FINALLY we got to go.

(As a side note, if you want another review of this concert check out my bloggie buddy Mr.O. His blog rox.)

I had a ton of errands to run Friday morning and then I had to work for a bit in the afternoon on some projects that I pretty much put off all weekend. BUT by late afternoon Tammy and I were hitting the road so we could check into what we were afraid was going to be a super ghetto motel. Like real ghetto. Thankfully, on a scale of 1-10 ghetto-ness (10 being 100% ghetto) I think ours was like a 7. I mean our key was huge- look at it.


And they had the real motel rooms where your doors open into the parking lot. Which I hate. But we got a room on the second floor. Which turned out not to be a ton better because it wasn't sound proof at all. And our neighbors (translation= everybody else in the joint) was having a really good time. If you catch my drift. AND, there was this gem in the parking lot.


The neighborhood wasn't too bad until you got like a block down to what is called "Porky's" which looks like some kind of fast food place. Let's just say I wouldn't want to be hanging out by Porky's after dark. And then the bars near us all had cops arresting people, so I don't know. We stayed in our room after the concert.
But yay! I got us there, without getting lost (translation= I followed the GPS directions perfectly). And can I just say of all the places I've seen concerts, the Roy Wilkins Auditorium kind of sucks. It's like a glorified high school gym. But whatevs. We stood in line FOREVER, like 2+ hours with people (translation=kids under 18). The guy ahead of me had some bowel issues and believe me- the gas clouds around him were horrible. And you are crammed in there, so it's like you have no where to go. And then we had to hear a 19 year old preach to her 13 year old sisters about socially awesome Paramore are and how much human trafficking sucks. For 2+ hours.
So when we finally get in and realize that it's going to be packed on the floor and that we are older than 90% of the people there Tammy and I longingly look at the balcony. After paying $5 for a coke and tyring to understand why you can't get lids or straws in a concert anymore (seriously, weapons??) we decided to fuck it and go to the balcony. Plus, we're both 5'3 so the chances of us seeing anything were slim if we were standing.
Finally- the Swellers started. I can't say that I know the Swellers but let me tell you- I will be buying their music. They are awesome. They played a short set (bummer), but they had a ton of fun up there. It is always really exciting to see a band perform when you can tell that they not only want to be there, but love being there. Love playing, love their bandmates, etc. Plus it does not hurt that all 4 guys were hot. It's like a bonus.
The Swellers


And then after them came Paper Route. I have no pictures of them because they sucked so mother fucking hard core. Tammy and I both hated them. Like hated so much that I debated how far I could throw my ginormous coke. They had literally 11 instruments, and at one point there was an accordian and sleigh bells. I was waiting for cowbell because that may have brought them up a notch but nope- they leave out the cowbell. Bastards. They literally just banged on things, you couldn't hear lyrics, one of the lead singers (there appeared to be 2) was so annoying. He's up there trying to be all bad ass going from one instrument to the other and nothing sounds cohesive. They sucked. THANKFULLY they had a super short set. And it should be some indication when very few people clap for you. Ever.

And then after another round of rearranging the stage Paramore came on. And if there is ever been anyone who should be a singer in a rock band that person is Hayley. She is awesome. I can't even tell you all of the songs they performed but they obviously did the two off of the Twilight soundtrack (both amazing), a lot of new ones of the current album, and a few from their other two albums. And for an encore they did 3 songs one of which was the acoustic "Misguided Ghosts" which is such a terrific song and EVERYBODY in the place sang to it. Great moment.

They interacted with the crowd and in return got a lot of crowd participation.

Tammy and I. Sorry it's super blurry but my camera was being a douchebag. But let me assure you we looked hot. As usual.
I will note that about mid-way through the concert Hayley started coughing in between songs, and throughout the entire thing you could see her drinking tea. A stage helper dude kept bringing warm tea out to her. Tammy and I both thought her voice was going to completely give out towards the end, but somehow she rallied for the encore. But I'd bet my next paycheck she paid for that the next morning. I hope that she is able to make it through the rest of the tour. AND, if you are able to see them- it definitely is worth it.
So on the way home, it's obviously dark but I had my trusty GPS, Maggie. (Thanks, Dad!) And I don't know if it was because I was tired, or that my eyes burned BAD from being in a smoke free, yet really smoky auditorium, or if because I'm truly just an idiot, but when Maggie tells me to take a left and dings- and I do so- I don't expect to be going the WRONG WAY ON A HIGHWAY. Maybe my expectations are too high. And I realize this as soon as my only two options of A)drive into a grassy embankment or B) continue going the wrong way until our real exit because that sucked. And I apologize to the lady getting into the turn lane that I happened to be driving in because I know she probably peed. I almost did. Thankfully, I do Kegels like it's nobody's business and was able to hold the urine that threatened to come out all over the seat. AND, thankfully we only had to drive about a block the wrong way until our exit. And I figured there's no point in waiting for a green arrow since I'm already breaking road laws left and right. But once we got onto I94, we were just dandy. Except our blood pressure was pretty high and I was paranoid this all happened in front of a state trooper or something. But it was Maggie's fault.
Fast forward to the next morning. We decided that on our way home we'd hit up the Tanger Outlet mall in North Branch because that's fun. And we got some GREAT deals. Like cute stuff for the kids. And I got a scarf at the Old Navy outlet for $1. Yippee.
And then we had to stop in Hinckley at Tobies to get baked goods. I picked up Matt two of the lemon poppyseed muffins (his favorite) because I'm a good wife. AND because he did the enema on our daughter (more on that later) because he has his good moments. :) But as we turned out of Tobies- this is what we were stuck behind for 3 minutes at a light.
Welcome to Minnesota- Deer Hunting Season.
You can probably guess that I don't hunt because it's so disgusting. And don't comment about hamburger or chicken because in my head I still believe that these come from a grocery store and I like my meat injected with dyes and water. THIS is not my idea of food. And I don't know if you can tell, but there is another deer inbetween the ATV's with it's legs all sticking up. Disgusting.
Anyhoodle. We finally made it home and on our way back decided that we must get together more often. Of all of my friends, she is the one who understands my "married with kids and don't want to get old" struggle. Have I mentioned how awesome she is??
Stay tuned for my next post tomorrow about enemas, poop and tears. It's riveting.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tampa 2 for 2

I feel as if I have neglected you on my flight home story. Now, I wasn't blogging back in the day and therefore you have no idea that I am apparently I have the face of a terrorist. At least according to the Tampa International Airport. Before I tell you of my flight home experience, let me start by giving you a brief description of what my flight home from my honeymoon was like.
  • I was "flagged" in Duluth because me being a fucking idiot, switched my driver's license the Monday after our wedding not realizing my actual plane ticket had my maiden name on it. We flew out Wednesday after the wedding, so yay! I was flagged immediately.

  • This meant nothing on the way to Florida because I'm assuming Duluth, MN and Detroit, MI don't take the threat of terrorism as seriously as Tampa does. And I get this- Duluth is so tiny that really, the biggest threat you have is the guy running the Avis car rental counter and in Detroit you should be more afraid of the nut jobs who hang out at the airport for fun. (And as a side note, flags should go up with flight attendants give you the "low down" of the Detroit airport. Such as, walk against the wall, don't look or talk to anybody, use the buddy system, and absolutely hold on to whatever you are carrying like your life depended on it)

  • On the way BACK however was a different story. In Tampa I was flagged immediately and was told to get in the line with the red cones. Sure. So being the genius I am, I made Matt carry my purse and carryon. Because there is nothing suspicious of a young 20something male carrying a bright blue and green jelly purse. Totally normal.

  • Keep in mind, I'm in the special line being headed up by a woman who I swear to god looked like Mimi from the Drew Carey show. And ahead of me is a 18 month old child in an umbrella stroller, who like me, has been "flagged".

  • At this time it was 2004 and that was when all the new airport security junk was just coming out and they were REALLY searching you. So I was told to get into "the booth", which fine, no problem. I'm thinking I'll have to get the pat down which you know, is fine.

  • NO. I will not speak of all that was um, searched, but let me tell you- it's a dark booth with a cheapy lamp in the corner and two female searchers. Are they cops? I have no idea. But they weren't gentle. And they give you no time to reassemble yourself.

  • After a 5 minute search, you are literally shoved out of the booth so the next person can go in. I walked out of there and what Matt saw was me standing there, clutching my belt, my shoes, my sweater, hair accessories, jewelry, my pants undone, my shirt all messed up and kind of rolled up in the back and my socks on wrong. I just told Matt I didn't want to talk about it.

So fast forward 5 years. Thankfully I can personally attest to the fact that The Booth has improved. I know this because again, I was flagged in Tampa. I believe it is because I had a sweater on again. I can't be sure because other people with sweaters and jackets were going through just fine. So I get to the guy and he asks me to step into The Booth. Now, I must have had the look of fear because of my last booth encounter, so I'm sure that didn't help me. So I get into this see-through tube thing that kind of looks like one of those time transport tubes. Keep in mind, in my hand is my license and boarding pass. He tells me to put them in my right pocket. Okey-dokey. So you stand there in a bizarre stance, then turn to the other side and hold your arms like an idiot. Then you wait until the mysterious voice through the earpiece says you can go. And the guy goes, "Ma'am- we have to get a female here to search you- you appear to have something in your right front pocket." To which I respond, "And that would be the items you just told me to put in my pocket." And the look in his face was enough to make me almost wet my pants because I again, am thinking of The Booth. So this lady comes over and tells me the procedure of a pat down no less than 3 times. And she's speaking to me so slowly that I can't help but wonder if she thinks I'm deaf, can't understand ebonics, or if I'm a retard. Either way, it's annoying. So she gets mother fucking tongs to get my boarding pass and license out and the guy is like holding his holster thingie. I mean COME ON. Do I look like a terrorist??

Fuck you Tampa.

On a dumb ending note, we bought $30 worth of stuff from the store in there (and for those of you wondering what $30 gets you in Tampa that would be: 3 pens, twizzlers, m&m's, water, 2 coloring books). and my bag is totally degradable. Weird.

I also think this is the most ridiculous list of things to reuse this for. Really? Only one muddy shoe? What do you do with the other one? Judging by the size of the bag (the size of a Target or Walmart bag) you could put like 2 pairs of shoes. Or like 10 diapers. And no, I would never use this as a shower cap. I'm pretty sure every other plastic bag I've had explicitly tells you not to put bags on your head because they can be choking hazards. But maybe I'm just an idiot.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Shameless Self Promotion and Zip Ties

So lambs, I know it's only November 1..and let's not get freaked out but you know that now we're in November it's practically a fast slide to Christmas. I mean, forget about the wasted holiday that is Thanksgiving, I'm freaking out here. Like, I have NO idea what to get my kids. Olivia (4 years) tells me she wants a pack of naked hotdogs (her term for hotdogs with no bun)and a squirt bottle. And they are so young still that Christmas is really all about me, and me buying them cool things I'd like to play with since I'll be playing with them too. Like a lot. And trying to get them to use the toy that I spent a ton of money on. Because it had cool lights and music and wasn't so loud it could make a deaf person wince. ANYhoodle.

But at Christmas, most people send out Christmas cards. (I do, with a letter too. And pictures- but that's ANOTHER story for later). And I typically make cards for people as my side business that supports the buying toys for no reason habit as mentioned above. And my affinity to continue buying ribbon even though I never intend to use because it's too cute. My husband is really sick of seeing me come home with ribbons spools. And jewelry. We've gotten to the point where those things need to be smuggled in. Again, another story for another day.

SO- head over to my etsy shop: http://strandupdate.etsy.com to purchase yours today. AND, you should know that all orders come with a little somethingsomething extra. Also, if you want a picture frame personalized or made just for you, let me know. I can do that. Only because you're cool enough to read my blog. ;)

And also- I can't end this post without something kind of funny.
I mean, it sucks you obviously got into an accident. (Even though by the paint on your bumper it looks like you don't know how to back out of a parking space). But zip ties to hold it together? Really? This is like the best you could do? At least you had the decency to trim the excess tie ends off. But dang. How about you save your money to fix that instead of driving your hoopty van-mobile to JCPenney. Just a thought.