Monday, October 31, 2005

The Call That I've Been Waiting For

Tonight I got the call that I have been eagerly waiting for.... woo-hoo, I am not entertaining anyone for Thanksgiving!!!! I have personally prepared every single freaking holiday meal for my husband's family for the last 4 years. Every single one. I even went into pre-term labor in the middle of Christmas dinner. And get this, everyone left and I ended up driving myself to the hospital so my husband could watch Carter at home. Yep that's family support!

My sister in law and her boyfriend bought a new house this summer and they want to host Thanksgiving. They wanted to know if it would bother me. As I was doing back-flips in the backyard my husband informed them that it would be nice to have a break from entertaining at our house. (Please note that the last time they were all at my home was when my mother-in-law was released from the hospital after her stroke and the day ended with a door broken off it's hinges and an aluminum bat broken in half.)

Of course, then they asked if I would make cheesecake, pumpkin pie, and stuffing. At least nothing should end up broken in yammerville.

The Humanity!

I started a new consulting gig today. I'm helping with "special projects" which translates to mean that I am cleaning up a bunch of big messes that people not as smart as me created but have no idea how to correct.

Well of course that means I needed a new outfit. Ok, it was just a new sweater to wear with my favorite skirt but it feels like a new outfit. The day went fine, not great, not exciting, just fine. I may end up counting the minutes until the gig is over but I'm tryig to keep an open mind.

I got home and here I am checking my email and I gave myself the I'm cold and I'll give myself a mini-hug to warm up hug. Egads, what is that I feel. The sticker. You know the sticker that announces to all around you what size you are wearing. In this case "L" not because I'm really large but certain aspects of my top are so no "M" for the girls. I had the sticker on all day. I even checked with big daddy and Carter before I left to make sure nothing like the sticker got through this morning. Of course they declared me beautiful, but not once did they point out the sticker. So now I hope that no one else noticed it either. I'm going to go crawl in a hole now. Or find my bottle of Captain Morgan, but that should probably wait until after I run car pool.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

100 Things About Me

1. I was born in 1972.
2. In September.
3. On the last day of summer.
4. I am 30ish. I don't know what kind of funky math the rest of you use, but I'm 30.
5. I grew up half of my life in the coldest town in the USA, Embarrass, MN.
6. I frostbit three of my toes looking for the perfect Christmas tree with my dad one Christmas Eve.
7. I moved to Montana when I was 14.
8. There are no pictures of me as a baby. I am the often overlooked middle child.
9. I have two sisters.
10. I moved back to Minnesota for college.
11. I went to all all womens college.
12. I am an over-achiever.
13. I met and married a Minnesota boy.
14. I hate the cold.
15. And Winter.
16. I love a Minnesota boy.
17. I have two other Minnesota boys.
18. And a hyper dog.
19. And an anti-social cat.
20. My older sister and I compete for everything. She usually wins.
21. I'm very Irish. I'm 5'6", green eyes, reddish brown hair, and the greenest eyes you've ever seen.
22. My husband is 6'3" and both my sons are on their way to being over 6'.
23. I love cooking, gardening, and being domestic.
24. I am a high profile management consultant that helps companies fix problems.
25. I was painfully shy as a child.
26. I am inspired by things retro and vintage.
27. I buy most of the stuff for my house at flea markets, estate sales, and garage sales.
28. Most people can't believe I get my cool stuff second hand.
29. My dad is an extremely conservative Catholic.
30. I'm a liberal Democrat.
31. I can tell you exactly where I was when Paul Wellstone died.
32. I played the flute in band.
33. I was an honors kid.
34. I read at least one book a week.
35. I worked three jobs to pay for college.
36. I worked two jobs after college to pay off my student loans.
37. I started my own company after I was laid off of two jobs in five years.
38. It is much cooler to work for yourself.
39. I spent 4 months on bedrest my first pregnancy and 5 1/2 the second.
40. I started my business while I was on bedrest the second time.
41. I have awful insomnia and get very little sleep.
42. My favorite movie is "When Harry Met Sally".
43. I am afraid of heights. I fell out of a two story building when I was three and I get stabbing back pain whenever I am somewhere high.
44. I am also afraid of dogs - big dogs. My little sister was attacked by a dog when we were kids and I had to beat it off of her. She needed 20 stitches.
45. I love Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies.
46. I was in 4-H, Girl Scouts, and made every honor role. Major nerd.
47. I will never drive a mini-van.
48. I still have my first car. A 93 Pontiac Grand Am that currently has a cracked engine block.
49. I have travelled to the Netherlands, France, Italy, and Australia.
50. My mom is Canadian.
51. My parents have lived in Australia and Uzbekistan for work.
52. I love reality tv shows.
53. I'm a clutz. I have broken fingers, toes, my foot, dislocated my shoulder, and hyper-extended my knee. Oh and ruptured a disk in my back.
54. I own my own crutches.

Ok. It's still a work in progress.... more to come.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Life of Men

My husband went out of town today. Right now he is sitting in a hot tub in a quiet hotel room reading a brand new book I just purchased. I know. He called to gloat. I just finished changing a diaper that exploded out the back, doing 18 loads of laundry, managing car pool, all that after working 8 hours. The disparity of our day just got me thinking.

Did you ever notice how much happier men are? Just think about how much easier it would be to be a guy.

You get up in the morning slap on a t-shirt, brush your teeth, put a little water on your hair and Voila ready to go. Your underwear is $5 for a three-pack. One wallet and one pair of shoes are all the accessories you need. Wrinkles add character. The
same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe even decades. Wedding dress - $5000; Tux rental - $100. You probably never need to lay down to zip up your jeans. A two-week vacation only requires one suitcase. You never have to contort to shave anything other than your face and neck. You don't gain weight in your hips and thighs. You can wear shorts without caring how your legs look.

Your last name stays put. The garage is all yours. Wedding plans take care of themselves. Chocolate is just another snack. You can be President. You can never be pregnant. Car mechanics tell you the truth. The world is your urinal. You never HAVE to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky. You
don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. Same work, more pay.

People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them. The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected. One mood all the time. Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. You can open all your own jars. You can play with toys all your life. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.

You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes. You never have to shop for the last minute birthday gift or make a cheesecake with 8 hours notice. Your socks get picked up by the laundry fairy no matter where you may have left them. You never have to remember where you left anything or the dates of every birthday, anniversary, and due date.

You never have to make small talk with your feet in the stirrups.

Monday, October 24, 2005

My Weekend

There are only two words to sum up my weekend...

Projectile Vomit.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Damn You National Football League

The NFL is the bane of my existence. My husband is a NFL addict. He lives, breaths, sleeps football. Specifically Minnesota Vikings but since they are all deviant thugs right now he is just obsessed with fantasy football. This has long been a reality. It starts at the NFL football draft each year and ends with the Superbowl. I'm sure there is a countdown involved with the time between the Superbowl and the next years draft but that is even too pathetic for him to admit to. (FYI - my kids are technically both named after football players Chris "Carter" and Tom "Brady". It is an old family tradition for my husband.)

Anyway this is not a post about my husbands obsession, but of my little toddler Brady's entry into football obsession. Carter alas could care less about football much to my husbands chagrin. Brady is two. One of his first words was football. Really, truly at about 18 months he saw a game on tv and yelled out "daddy, fooball". Thus began his descent into obsession.

Anytime there is anything on tv, in a magazine, a book, or a high-school practice field related to football, Brady goes crazy. He screams at the television to show everyone the Monday night football commercial. He runs from person to person on Sunday to show everyone the Best Buy ad that has a football player on their picture of tv for you to buy. Every night we drive home past the local high school and his eyes open up as wide as possible in search of the afternoon practice. Imagine his excitement on Sunday afternoon's. He may only watch little bits of a game, but he watches with such passion. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that I hate and despise football. My dad loves sports also and let's just say that watching a game with him wasn't much fun. After each game there was a pop quiz to make sure you were really paying attention. Once I hit college, I decided there were much better things to do with my time that sitting and watching sports for hours and hours and hours.

Well yesterday something arrived in the mail. I didn't give it much thought. I just tossed it on the ottoman in the living room with the rest of the mail and went on with my day. Brady found it while I was cooking dinner. A really nice dinner for the middle of the week. I roasted a chicken, made Italian potatoes and a nice salad. Brady found the NFL catalog. At first it was cute. He grabbed it and sat on Dad's lap showing him all the football shirts, helmets, bears, blankets, everything football. Then it turned manic. Football, football, football. He had to go page by page through the catalog with everyone in the house. Imagine the excitement the dog had when he showed her all the football stuff. As soon as dinner was ready and it was time to sit at the table and eat, it was meltdown time. No one was available to sit and look at the pictures. We invited him to bring the catalog to the table and show us while we ate. No dice. I spent the meal with Brady literally trying to drag me out of my chair to go read his "book". He refused to eat. Or stop crying. Or stop trying to drag mommy. I have never seen him so upset, ever.

Oh the crying and the screaming. I couldn't concentrate on eating. I just started shoving food in my mouth as quickly as I could. Finally, my husband finished and took him in the living room to read the catalog. It was then we found that they, the devils at the NFL, actually customize each catalog so they have your last name on a jersey on the back page of the catalog. Even Carter found that cool and he wants one, right now. We then decided to put the catalog to bed to stop the obsession. You can only imagine what that meltdown looked like. Finally both boys cried themselves to exhaustion and we all went to sleep.

North Country

I grew up in Northern Minnesota. Home of the Iron Ore mines. My dad is a miner. He is actually a metallurgical engineer which means he's a boss-man miner who tells the other miners what to do. He grew up in Butte, Montana and followed the Iron Ore mines around North America before landing in Embarrass, MN in 1970ish. (Yes, that Embarrass, Minnesota that is on the news about once a year for how damn cold it gets there.)

Well, the late 70's - today was been difficult at best for that region. It goes through ongoing phases of boom and bust. Everyone worked at the mines when I was a kid. If you didn't work at the mines you wanted to work at the mines. Except women. It didn't occur to me then, but I don't know of any women who worked at the mines. There were most likely some, but not many and certainly anyone I knew. When we lived there the mines were going through difficult times and our family went through numerous times where dad got laid off and called back and laid off and called back. Until 1986, then he go permanently laid off. We went through a pretty lean period where we were just scrapping by and then we cut and ran to Montana. Montana was good for us and great for my dad. He spent the next 18 years working in gold mines first in Montana, later in Australia, Chile, Uzbekistan, and Canada. (Overseas jobs pay really well and they timed out really nice as all the kids were out of the house by then and my parents really got to see the world.)

Back to the Iron Range, there is a new movie out chronically live during the 70's - 80's for women in the mines. It is based on a true story of one of the first class action sexual harrassment lawsuits. I'm a little excited to see it and of course a little scared because it portrays some really bad behavior that occured in the mines. Of course, not all the miners were involved and I definitely know that my dad would never have been involved in stuff like that (he does have three daughters and I know my grandma would have kicked is ass if he disrespected any woman). That being said I do know guys who would have behaved poorly. It was a time of terrible fear for everyone. Nobody knew when your last paycheck would come. The mines were the only good jobs and losing that job meant either moving or taking a poor paying job doing menial work. Their jobs at the mines were the mens lives and they were doing anything necessary to save them. My husband and I are going to play hooky this afternoon and see the movie. I hope the movie portrays life as it was back when I was a kid and keeps true to the story as it happened. Oh yeah, and I sure hope that they don't give all the characters that fake "Fargo" accent.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Today kinda sucks

I have kidney disease. I found out about it in September after a couple of months of just not feeling right. The doctor says it is just the beginning stages and we can treat it with medication and some restrictions on my behavior. Sometime I'll really write about it, but not today.

Today I got smacked in the face with a side effect of having kidney disease and some weird genes. My mom have me weak retinas in my eyes. I know this because she just had surgery on hers. She had to have a bubble put into her eye and then spent three weeks with her head horizontal to the ground at all times. I'm still not sure how you accomplish going to the batheroom in this position, but there are some questions you just don't ask my mom. On the other side of the family, there is glaucoma which is when the pressure builds up in your eyes. I've had issues with rising and falling pressures for a couple years and have been closely watched by my eye doctor.

Well, through in kidney disease where your blood pressure can spike up and toxens build up in your system and it's a trifecta for eye problems. Apparently, the pressure must have built up when I was really out of it this summer before I knew about the kidney issue and it caused the my retina to detach when the pressure came back down. Now I need to have surgery on my eye. Totally freaked out at this thought. I have killer green eyes - my best feature. They are the kind of green that other people get colored contacts to have. I love my eyes. (I am a organ donor and I have the one exclusion about my eyes although I doubt that anyone would want them now anyway.)

Apparently if I have the surgery now, they can most likely fix the problem with a laser and eliminate the whole bubble head aimed at the floor for three weeks option. Can you imagine trying to keep your head aimed down 24 hours a day with a 2 year old????

Well, pain in the ass that I am, I need a second opinion although technically todays meeting with the surgeon qualifies as a second opinion so I guess I need a third opinion before anyone is touching my eye. Lord knows what other surprises this kidney thing has in for me in the years to come.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Once Upon A Time

... I could sleep past 5 AM.

... I never drank coffee. Now it's my lifeblood.

... I saw a movie every weekend. Often two.

... I took long, leisurely showers.

... I only needed to do two loads of laundry a week.

... I never had to worry about pee on the seat.

... I didn't have to look for books that had short chapters to match my attention span.

... I didn't believe that chicken nuggets were a food group.

... I had nice very breakable knick-knacks lower than chin height.

... I didn't have a to-do list three pages long.

... I could take afternoon naps.

... I could spend a day watching chick flicks.

... I had girlfiends who could actually go out when you called at the last minute.

... I didn't have to worry if a restaurant was kid-friendly.

... I rarely had to search out the source of the weird smell.

... I never had to type a list with a toddler sitting on my lap drinking a sippy cup of chocolate milk.

... I never even thought about watching movies like "Son of the Mask". In fact I probably still shouldn't have bothered watching it now.

... I never cooked meatballs with a five year old boy who loves cooking.

That's my random thoughts of the day.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Space Heaters with Remote Controllers!!

Did you know that they made space heaters with remote controls? How cool is that!!! I no longer need to get out of my cocoon of 15 blankets and flannel pjs to turn the damn thing on so that my feet can thaw out.

I was sent to Home Depot with a list of really, truly boring things to buy such as a new air conditioner cover, caulk, and a new air filter when I sought out my promised land. The aisle of space heaters. The shear volume of the collection was astounding. There must have been hundreds of styles. I hit the mothership on one that was a kid friendly tower with a remote control. Yep, I immediately grabbed not one but two of those wonderful inventions. One for my bedroom and one for my studio. With just a flick of my wrist I can return to a land of warmth. (During the day "we" as in my evil dictator husband turns down the heat in the rest of the house so I huddle in my room with just the space heater for warmth. I am sure this wonder of technology was developed with macho men in mind for use in manly shops, etc. but I don't plan on releasing that remote control from my cold little hands for a least the next four months.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Forget What I Said

Please disregard my earlier post. I'm cold. Air conditioning has turned my hands blue. Must convince big daddy to move someplace warm.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

This Post Will Self Destruct In 3...2....1

The following is a phrase that I will never utter aloud. My husband will never hear these five words spoken from my mouth. At some point in the future when the snow is waist deep and the words wind chill are uttered daily, I will delete and destroy all references to this post.

I am happy it's Fall.

There, I said it. I'm glad it's fall. It was 53 degrees when I left the house this morning. It was beautiful. I enjoyed the darkness and the brisk temperature. I was glad for the end of summer.

To truly appreciate these words you must understand that I am always cold. All of the time. I love when it is 90+ degrees. I don't even mind humidity as long as it is not cold out. I own 4 space heaters and I detest air conditioning. The boys need to be lined up with sweat running down their backs begging for the air for me to cave. Even then, I need to wear a sweatshirt to stay warm inside.

I spend hours in the summer sitting in the backyard in my big chair reading in peace and quiet. The boys and my husband detest the heat so they hunker down inside and I retreat out to the chair with a book or the garden. Anything in the sunshine and warm air. In the winter, I cuddle into my overstuffed chair in front of the fire under a big fluffy down blanket and my flannel pjs to stay as warm as a possibly can in this artic tundra. I hate the cold.

Why do I stay in Minnesota? My husband won't move. I've tried to convince him. He won't. End of discussion.

This year the arrival of fall has been awful. It flip-flops between cold and hot. One day in the 90's the next it's rainy and 40 degrees out. Everyone has been sick. The fall leaves make my allergies flair up and I sneeze constantly. It's been so cold that you need the heat on at night and the air on during the day. .

The only thing good about the drastic temperature shifts is that every 6 months you get a new wardrobe. I also tend to think that I look slimmer in pants and sweaters that the normal summer clothes which is a small plus. Of course last week I dared to wear my first wool sweater of the year and the next day it was so damn hot I had to wear a t-shirt and was still boiling. By the time I got home from errands the shirt was drenched!

I am tired of the flip flopping and am finally ready for fall to begin. The last of the morning glories are done for the year anyway so I can throw in the towel. Oh yeah and raccoons ate my pumpkins last weekend so I've had it with the man against nature battle of the year. I will be fully retract this statement in a few months as I beg for mercy from the never-ending cold, but for now please let the normal fall weather take hold and stop playing with my emotions teasing me with the occasional hot day. Let fall begin.

The Tooth Fairy Strikes Again

A short update on Carter's surgery. After a bit of a difficult morning yesterday, Carter rebounded in the afternoon to spend a wonderful day of cuddling and watching movies. He is doing great today and even begged to go to school to show his teacher that he lost another tooth.

Everyone Worth Knowing

With Carter's surgery yesterday I was able to finish a new book which I highly recommend. Check out Lauren Weisberger's "Everyone Worth Knowing". She also wrote "The Devil Wears Prada" which is on my all time favorites list.

Monday, October 10, 2005

I need my mommy!

Carter had surgery today. Nothing major just oral surgery to take out a tooth that has been causing him trouble, but this is the third time in 5 short years that he has had to have surgery. It never gets easier, it breaks your heart every time.

It all began with ear infections. Lots and lots of ear infections. They don't tell you at the time that ear infections can damage their fragile little teeth. It's an evil trade-off, you either have a sick child with high fevers that can cause damage to their developing teeth or you can have them take antibiotics which can also cause damage to the deverloping teeth. We went through phases of both for almost a year before the doctors finally recommended ear tubes. After the ear tubes, the ear infections were gone. We all wished we had done it sooner.

Three years later the trouble began with a little cavity and then they started looking at his teeth and decided that the enamel never formed correctly. Yep, ear infections strike back. His teeth are very prone to decay so we have had them sealed, but now that his permanent teeth are coming in they are coming in with some imperfections - like one tooth is only about half way formed! Oh yeah, and he has some "extra" teeth that need to be taken out. (Both my sisters also had these extras and have perfect teeth today.)

So a few weeks ago it was decided that one of his teeth needed to come out and that the only way he could handle it was surgery. I can handle just about everything, everything except watching your child go limp as they put him under for surgery. I didn't want to go there again, but it was the best thing for him in the long run. So I sought out the best pediatric oral surgeon I could find. Carter met him, and they were instant buddies. We got all psyched up with special Carter movies, a soft food stock-up, and plans of a special day curled up watching movies after the surgery. Everyone was fine.

Until that moment. If your child hasn't had any kind of surgery yet, it is hard to explain but if you ever ask a mom who has been there they know the moment. It isn't when your child is scared and calling for you although that breaks your heart and I guarantee you instantly morph into Supermommy ready to do anything to make it all better including holding their little face with tears streaming down it and tell them its going to be ok and your not going anywhere. The moment is the second the sedative hits them and they start to go limp. The moment when you don't see their little spirit in their eyes and their eyes start to roll up. Your heart breaks. You can't protect them. They are in the hands of someone else. Competent, caring, wonderful someone elses. But not you. You can do nothing but wait until they tell you that you can go back and hold your baby. No matter how many times we may go through this I will cry.

It's a few hours later and my little boy is wrapped up in his spiderman blanket watching Sharkboy and Lava Girl. It's time to cuddle, giggle, and laugh with my little boy and enjoy every single minute of it.