Friday, October 31, 2008

Ode to U-verse

Dear AT&T,

You suck. Your product sucks. Your customer service sucks. Your customer service managers suck. Your customer service manager's manager sucks. Except for Dominic. I love him. I want to marry him. Although, that isn't a huge compliment for him, so I hope somebody better marries him. Like Heidi Klum (sorry, Seal).


Thursday, October 30, 2008

The second child....

Ok, this post is going to ignore the fact that I have a stepdaughter... so just take her out of your mind. She is a completely different scenario, and something I could blog about til the cows come home (and we have no cows, so that would take awhile). But, this is about my two children that are mine by birth. So, the second child is Jack. Now that that's straightened out... let me actually get to the point. When I was pregnant with Jack (my surprise, "birth control isn't 100% effective" baby), I was concerned that I would never be able to love him as much as I love Will. I never knew I could be so enraptured by anything until I met Mr. Will. Even pregnant with him, I didn't get the warm and tinglies like other preggers that I know. So, I questioned whether or not the maternal thing would kick in. But, kick in it did... and then some. David Beckham couldn't have kicked it any harder. But I wondered if it was possible for that kind of lightening to strike twice. And I feared that loving Jack that much would somehow decrease my love for Will, or the flip side... what if I just didn't have it in me to love them both that much?

The other day I met my entourage (Homa, Lori and Laura) out for drinks and Lori asked how it turned out. Did I love Jack the same? Is that a question or is that a question? Why not talk politics? Laura had on a Sarah Palin tee and yet this topic was more disturbing. Did I love Jack the same? The answer is, honestly... no. After typing that, I took a thirty second pause to wait for God to smite me... but, I am still here.

I do love Jack. Look at this face... how could you not? I do love him more than I thought I could love anything (sorry Mark), but I am not sure it has reached Will status. Mental note... delete this before either of them learn to read. I attribute this to a couple things. Number one... I am not a baby person. I don't hold other people's kids and I don't really coo and giggle at mine. Not even Will. When Will was born, I was in such shock that I made this creature, that I was entranced. I think with Jack I am not so entranced because I already knew I could make a creature... so instead of awe, I just have a baby. I think Will, at this age, is just so charming and cute (yes... and certifiable), that it overshadows boring baby. But, I have little doubt that I will love him equally when he is more interactive. A little smile or laugh would go a long way. How evil am I? By that standard, I should be head over heels for Jim Carey. But, since Me, Myself and Irene, that ship has sailed. The other possibility for my lack of equality is that Jack cries. A lot. See post from Monday!!! I don't hate him for it, though. Please don't alert CPS that a shaken baby incident is coming, because one thing Will gave me plenty of practice in is dealing with crying babies. But, he's not the cute, cuddly cooer that one would hope for. And lastly, I think its that my life is completely different. When I had Will, it was just me and Will. Me and this little creature in a quiet, serene home (except for 5p to 11p when he screamed his fool head off) communing with Mother Nature and all things lovely. I am pretty sure cartoon blue birds landed on my shoulder and deer nuzzled me gently a la Snow White walking through a forest. In this life, I have a 9 year old living here full time, and while this post is not about her... she is a challenge. I have a psychotic, energizer bunny of a toddler who never NEVER stops. And a crabby baby. I may not love anything by 8p most nights. Not even George Clooney, if he showed up.

So bring on the comments. I know I am a terrible person to feel this way, and even worse for actually saying it. Laura said she loved her two kids differently... so maybe that is it. Maybe Jack and Will aren't more or less, maybe they are different too. My mom says the differently thing is her take too, but what is she going to say. "You're right, Second Child. You never compared to your brother." Lori can't remember because her kids are 20 years apart. And, that is as far as my research has gone. I do think that no matter what people say and how they describe their birth moments... choruses singing hymns, flower petals and shooting stars, warm and fuzzies abounding... it can take awhile to fully bond with the child, right? That being said, I do love him, have bonded, no postpartum Susan Smith incidents in my future. Its just not the same and I am not going to pretend or BS otherwise. Maybe I am not the only mother who has felt this way, and maybe others will have the courage to say so. Or, maybe you all have CPS dialed, so I should just leave you to complete the call.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Mark Post

Let me just say this for any Mark fans out there... he totally knows this is coming and totally knows he deserves it... so save the Mark love for a time where he needs it.

Ok, you all know that Mark is my husband. Let's just get it out of the way and say right now that he is special. Not special in a lovey dovey way ... special special. He has this amazing ability to hold down a really successful job, dress, feed and bathe himself, and to the untrained eye... almost seem like a normal human being (an excessively loud one... but normal nonetheless). But, if you know him... really know him... you know that he is one sandwich short of a picnic. Homa calls it his 30 second delay. I say at the minimum he is really lacking in common sense. Its part of his charm. Let me give you a couple of examples.

1. Saturday morning we had AT&T's Uverse installed. I do not know what Uverse does, except that it has been the bain of my existence since it was put in. It controls my phone, tv, and Internet and because of its razzle dazzle, it cannot seem to do all three at once. Word on the street is that its all fixed, but if we can keep all three services for 24 hours, I will begin to believe it. Anyhoo... The installation team shows up at 8:30a on Saturday morning. In my book that is down right evil. I had told Mark in advance that its his Uverse, therefore its his problem. So, he set the alarm and was up and ready by 8a. Will and I were asleep in my bed dead to the world, and suddenly I open my eyes with a creepy feeling that someone is watching me. I look up and this long haired scraggly man with a handlebar mustache is watching me in bed. Hello, Uverse guy! One would think a husband would wake up the wife and say, "My dearest sweetheart (or Lynn, in my house), the Uverse dude needs in here... do you want to get up?" And, then I would say, "Yes, my love (or Mark), let me run and hide before he comes in as I am bra-less, make up smeared and matted haired." Not in my house. In my house, Mark just leads the lost member of ZZ Top into my room to let him at it.

Oh no... that is not all from this weekend.

2. We won (thanks to Lori and Laura) five feeder fish from a Halloween party a week ago. Of course, we had no home for said fish, so we go out and spend $45 on a tank, rocks, prettier rocks, a car, a fake plant, and two cuter fish. I can't do anything halfway... its a curse. So, we now have a lovely fish tank in our kitchen bringing joy and serenity to the masses. But, the tank is cloudy. The Pet Safari people (I love that place... its like taking Will to a free zoo right around the corner) say that goldfish are dirty fish, so we need a new filter. Laura (whose husband has fish) says that he always gets a filter for a tank twice the size of the one he has. So, they have a 55 gallon, and he gets a 110 filter. I mistakenly told Mark this. Our little tanklette is a measly 2.5 gallons, and they don't make a 5 gallon filter. They make a 5 to 10. Mark installs it and promptly leaves to go get Tabbi who spent the weekend with her mom. Some time later, I walk into the kitchen and see that our 6 fish (one feeder died of natural causes...we're waiting for the autopsy results) pinned against the back glass unable to move. You can see bubbles swishing around like its the great white rapids. The car, the plant, the gravely rocks and the bigger prettier rocks are all in a mountain against the back, pummeling against the paralyzed fish. I immediately turn off the filter (which is clearly too strong for our teeny tiny tank) and call Mark to tell him. Mark's response... "Yeah, I thought that was weird. I thought they just had to get used to it." Mental note: Never let Mark take the kids to the pool alone. I am pretty sure the fish were never going to get used to being pinned against a fish tank wall and pummeled with rocks, a car, a plant and prettier larger rocks. I am pretty sure the fish were on their way to the fish tank in the sky (or toilet bowl like Chubbers 1... our already dead one).

So, that's just a little info about the man I married. He's a stranger bringer iner, and a fish murderer. I am so lucky and so proud!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Shampoo in My Eye

I am having a bad day. The title of this entry just about sums up the way that my day is going, and please note that it is only 11:03a eastern time. That means there is about 12 hours left to go before I get to go to sleep and wake up to start a new one. That is a really depressing thought.

Just to put things in perspective, before I continue whining, I am not Jennifer Hudson or John McCain, so my version of a bad day is nothing in comparison to a real bad day. Jennifer has lost three people in her family to violent crimes (and while I have disliked her since her American Idol days, I do send out my heartfelt condolences) and John McCain is a looo--seeeer... or going to be soon. So, they are much worse off than me. But, as stated earlier... I got shampoo in my eye. So, my day is bad, too.

The shampoo in the eye is just a starter. I also have two children from hell. Really... I am pretty sure that they are Satan's minions (much like Oprah... but that is another blog for another day). I did check for 666 tattoos or weird birthmarks and didn't find any yet, but I am guessing that stuff must show up as the kid ages. Will has encountered the terrible twos with a vengeance these past few days. His tantrums know no bounds, and they occur over just about everything. So, I have spent the morning diffusing tantrums over the Halloween package my aunt sent (thanks, Barb... and not sarcastically because of the tantrums... but sincerely because if he weren't the Black Knight, it would be a fun package to get), waffles for breakfast that he requested but then decided to throw across the room, the tv channel, the lack of tv channels when Uverse was taken down (YET AGAIN) and changing his diaper. Not to mention the tantrum that occurred after I took the electric toothbrush away when he drilled a hole in the bathroom wall. Don't ask.... just call Super Nanny or CPS... whichever you see fit. Then there is Jack, who has the face of a really fat angel, but a temperament from the fiery pits of Hades. He cries. A lot. And, because they are in cahoots, when Will is settled, Jack takes over and vice versa. I am tempted to put extra shampoo in my eye next time so that I can go to the emergency room for a little break.

And, the shampoo has led to bigger and better issues. For one, I couldn't get my contact in my swollen, mostly closed eye. So, I am wearing glasses. Don't get me wrong, I have cute glasses. But, I always feel like I am still in my pjs when I wear them. Plus, eye make up without contacts is a nightmare, so I look like a blind person applied my eyeliner. My blow out isn't much better. I wasn't wearing the glasses when I blow dried my hair so parts are still wavy, while other sections are straight. It looks like I got tired halfway through and just quit. To make matters worse, we have dinner plans tonight with a couple I don't see often. So, they are going to see me and wonder when Mark and I got divorced and why he remarried Sloth from the Goonies in drag. But on the plus side... my eyeball has never been cleaner.

So, to sum it up, I have demon children, shampoo in my eye, bad hair and make up... and my favorite jeans are all dirty so I am wearing faded yoga pants and a maternity t-shirt. I hope the AT&T guy that has been dispatched to my house to fix my Uverse (which will be the topic of another blog, so stay tuned) is prepared for the carnage he is about to encounter.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Happiness Experiment

I was reading Good Housekeeping magazine (no I don't subscribe, my mom does and I just read it every month... so that means I can still maintain a little bit of my 'I'm still young and hip' dream personality). There is an article called "The Happiness Experiment" where the author determines 10 ways to achieve marital bliss.

Here's her count:
1. Write each other a New Year's resolution. Its a wish list of your partner's improvements. Or a personal honey-do list.
2. Begin each encounter with a smile.
3. It feels good to look good.
4. Write each other love notes.
5. Give the gift of eye contact.
6. Grumpiness is contagious.
7. Try not to interrupt.
8. Generous compliments lighten the heart.
9. Control your tone.
10. Celebrate more.

While I think the author may be onto something here, there are a few things that I think shouldn't make the list. They are general manners, eye contact, smile, don't interrupt, control your tone. Even the grumpy one isn't a marital thing. I think I received a list similar to this one when I was a checker at a local grocery store. If you want a successful relationship with anyone (be it husband or customer), numbers 2, 5, 6, 7 and 9 are key. So, no offense to Valerie Frankel who wrote the article, I have come up with a few of my own. Marital bliss... here we come.

1. Write each other a New Year's resolution. I like this one, so I am keeping it. Mark... here's yours. I want you to resolve to keep your nose and ear hair trimmed before I have to tell you. I want you to tell me when you don't want to get up with the baby (and I reserve the right to say I don't care) instead of just doing it and acting tired and grouchy later. I also want you to do three totally unexpected things for me a year. I don't want to tell you when or what to do... but you used to leave me love post-its and now... nothing. It doesn't have to be monetary, but I want three special somethings a year.

2. Ask how your day was and actually mean it... and actually answer. Mark walks in the door and immediately its a list of things we have to do. On a given night its "Ok, its 6p, we have dinner ready at 6:15, get Jack because he's crying, Tabbi has Girl Scouts at 6:30 and Will wants to play outside." What it should be is "Hi Mark (because I don't call anyone Honey), how was your day?" And when he answers, I will actually listen. On the flip side, Mark does often ask how my day was and more often than not, I roll my eyes and say "How do you think it was." After all, my days are pretty similar. But, I vow to actually answer and come up with a Will, Jack and Tabbi story so he can really hear how my day was... good or bad.

3. It feels good to look good. I like this one too, but I am going to change it. She means go to the gym and be healthy for each other. I say bah. Bah to the gym and bah to good health. Here's my meaning. I will dress up for you. When Mark and I go out, I change out of the spit up and plum juice covered long sleeve tee, into the clean long sleeve tee. When I go out with the girls, I get out my clothes from my former life and actually enjoy being fashionable with a dash of sexy. Why do I do it for my hetero girl friends and not my husband? I will look good for you.

4. Write each other love notes. Mark used to do this for me, back in our "we actually do things for each other phase." He would leave me post it notes on my car or in my desk drawer that were as simple as "I heart you." But it meant a lot to get it. So, Valerie Frankel, I respect and include this commandment in my list too.

5. Take-out speaks volumes. In a very wise movie "House Sitter," Goldie Hawn describes true love as a husband bringing home Chinese food on a Thursday night because he knows his wife won't feel like cooking. Amen, sister!!! Whomever does the cooking, male or female, would be thrilled by an unprompted night off. On your way home, call her and say "don't touch that stove," and bring home something delicious and unexpected. A way to a woman's heart isn't through food, but through the absence of having to prepare it that night!!!

6. Watch each others dumb tv shows if that is your only alone time. Mark and I have drastically different opinions of good tv. For him its whatever is on either Food Network or TLC. For me, its a good, totally annoying reality tv show. Ace of Cakes versus MTV's Real World. But, when the kids are all in bed (9:30 at night) we sit down to watch our Tivoed programs and often do so in separate rooms so we can each watch our own shows. But since that is our only alone time, we ought to do it together. I know, other relationship experts would say turn off the tv and romance each other. But give me a break. In the real world (no, not the MTV one) who wants to get all romantic on a Wednesday night after cleaning up 4,000 toys and washing 500 dishes. Sometimes you just want to be together and exert no effort whatsoever. So, I vow to sit quietly through American Chopper to be with Mark and he can sit quietly through Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. Because just being together in the same room will be enough.

7. Tell me when I have a booger in my nose. Another brilliant movie, "Sex in the City," has a scene where Miranda is told by her husband that she has latte foam on her lip. To me, that is what love is. Tell me when I have a booger, broccoli in my teeth, or my hair is sticking up. I love you and trust you to not let me look stupid and I will do the same for you.

8. Be unspeakably kind to one another. This goes along the same idea of Valerie's compliments, but I take it a step further. Do compliment each other, but really mean it. Don't just say the obligatory "you look nice" because I finally put on something other than my long sleeve tee. Actually mean what you say. And, take it a step further than that even. Do things for each other. Last night I had this in mind, and I made Mark a lunch for today. He usually takes Lean Cuisines to work and commented that he didn't like his lunch yesterday. So, last night I packed him flank steak sandwiches, mac and cheese, mashed sweet potatoes, an apple, a soda and Pecan Sandies cookies. Its dumb, but I felt good going out of my way to give him something a little more special than his Lean Cuisine.

9. Communicate, even when you really don't want to. Mark and I are different from most couples in that we don't often fight. When we do, its a doozie, but we are pretty good at talking about things. Most people call it bickering, but I can honestly just say to him "when you do (fill in the blank) it really ticks me off." And he will explain, or accept it and work to not do it anymore. We don't hold things in, they don't fester and huge blow ups don't occur like they do for some of my friends. Truly, the last fight I remember was right before we got married and it was over whether or not someone could choke on water or whether it would be called drowning. I still say drowning, but why dredge up that fight again.

10. Make sure the world knows you are in love. God knows, I don't mean public displays of affection. I am hard pressed to do private ones. But, you can see in couples when they are truly in love, and everyone should strive to put out that vibe. Here's my example... my grandma would get my grandpa a cookie and a cup of coffee every night. He didn't ask for it and she didn't make a production of it. She carried it in to him and he would say "thank you, mother." And to this day it is one of the sweetest encounters I have witnessed to date. It was so special, and so small, but it oozed love and affection, way more than I can portray by writing it here. They were one of those couples together for over 50 years that love radiated off of. We should all be so lucky, and we should never strive for anything less.

Ok, so those are my Top 10 things to do to improve your marriage. Now that I've got that taken care of, I am going to tackle health care, the economy and world peace. Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Seriously Boring

I have come to the conclusion that I am totally boring. B O R I N G. I have a boring life, and have nothing but mundane experiences in my past, present and future. Why this boring pity fest? Well, I have come back into contact with some folks from my past and that has gotten me thinking. They are leading such interesting lives, and what do I do? I have kids. Anyone can do that. And spare me the whole "motherhood is a magical thing" blah blah blah. Even stoned out Courtney Love manages motherhood, so let's not get the ticker tape parade lined up just yet.

I moved to Overland Park, Kansas when I was in 8th grade and I met a girl named Julia Francis. She was my first friend there. I just reconnected with her on Facebook (so I guess I do keep in touch with people after all... maybe I should delete the old entry that said I didn't). She is in her last year of residency in Pediatrics in Philadelphia. She lives Grey's Anatomy. I just watch it on tv. Score one for the interesting team...

Facebook also lead me to my best friend from High School, Bess Price. She was always one of those people who you knew could do anything. How annoying is that? She was smart and talented and beautiful (I hate those people, too) and sickeningly sweet and endearing so you couldn't even hate her for being so perfect. We lost touch when we went to different colleges, and now I find that she is living in the Austrian Alps getting her doctorate in the evolution of intelligence and she works with ravens. I have a beagle and study the evolution of intelligence in a two year old who just washed his hair with hand soap. The evolution is a slow process in this house. I believe living in the Austrian Alps with ravens is worth more than just one point, so I am giving her a touch down and the extra point. So the new score is Other Interesting People 8, Lynn 0.

In thinking about my interesting friends from the past, I wondered about my friends from the present. Are they interesting or on my team? Well, my friend Homa escaped Afghanistan in the trunk of a car when she was 4. Score 9 to 0. Lori escaped an abusive husband and got pregnant at 40 and has a grandson who is 11 months older than her daughter. So her grandson's aunt is younger than him. Twisted, perhaps.... interesting, definitely. 10 to 0. Laura has the 411 on all the cool happenings you never thought you would want to do, like church festivals that are better than amusement parks and Amish auctions. Not to mention that she can give you the definition of a cockerell and pullet and its not dirty like it sounds. She's totally "Little House on the Prairie" interesting. Yep, 11 points. At this point, its getting too depressing to keep listing how my current friends are more interesting than I am. Its time for me to get in the shower, so I guess I'll see what interesting thing my kid does and live vicariously through him. And if you don't hear back from me, I moved to Norway to get my medical degree and study pygmy goats while hiding from a fascist regime, planning to get pregnant in 11 years and raising chickens. One point, me!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Reason Number 5

I trusted him. Dumber words were never spoken about a kid who is almost two and a half years old. Today we have our weekly play date and this time, its at my house. So that meant I needed to be showered and ready, and attempt to have our house semi-inhabitable by lunch. That is no small task. Will woke up at 9:00ish, and I jumped in the shower since Jack was still sleeping. I thought Will could watch a little Backyardigans and I could zoom through my "get ready" process. He was totally mesmerized by the show, so I knew I didn't have to worry.

After a few minutes in the shower, I heard him say "wash hair, momma." Yeah, buddy, Mommy's washing her hair. Oh wait... upon exiting the shower, I learned that it was not that he was saying that I was washing my hair... he was letting me know that he was doing his. On the treadmill. With hand soap. And no water. Yet another reason why three kids is more than enough.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ahhh... Peace and Quiet

My husband did the most generous and lovely thing a man can do last night. He asked me to take a bath. Ok, dirty minded perverts... not with him. Even better... all alone. He sent me to my room to take a bubble bath after Will and Tabbi went to bed. Granted, he sent me away for totally selfish reasons; he was watching Heroes and I was on the phone and my talking was distracting him. But I don't care what the motivation was. I was being dismissed to read my book and soak in a hot tub filled with wonderful Victoria's Secret bubble bath (thanks, Amie!!!). After five minutes, I couldn't help but think that life was back to normal. The exhaustion from the new baby is over (he has even slept through the night four times...not consecutively, but four times nonetheless), and things had settled back into a routine that allowed for a little R&R for mommy. I almost laughed at how worried I was when I found out I was pregnant with Jack. I cried when the stick said "PREGNANT" and they weren't tears of joy. They were tears of "Oh God, I can barely handle the two kids I've got." But, as I inhaled the bubble bath's calming scent and cracked open my book of girly fluff, I realized that all that panic was for nothing. My life is full of family and peace at the same time.

Then Mark knocked.

Will and Jack were screaming in tandem and Mark was at a loss. Turns out that Will was in his crib screaming because he had thrown up all over his sheets and himself. Jack was screaming for food and every nipple we own was in the dishwasher being cleaned and sanitized. So, my peace and quiet was over. All five minutes of it. Instead of immersion into soothing bubble heaven, I was immersed in puke and dried formula. Is this heaven? No... its parenthood.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Don't be a hater...

I have always had this weird ability to separate personal feelings from discussions or work or basically anything. I was able to evict my friend's daughter from a rental property I own and our friendship was never affected. In HR, I had a friend fired and still was invited to his wedding. And, I can talk about politics and still be friends with the opposition. And quite honestly, I don't get why others can't just suck it up and accept the fact that other people have other views and by God, that's their right.

My in-laws were here this weekend and my father-in-law has political views that directly oppose that of my husband. But, instead of just agreeing to disagree, my husband's head nearly exploded (and this occurred at a restaurant, so that would have been really unpleasant when mixed with my omelet and hashbrowns). My friend Homa, too, has opposing views from her boyfriend and they nearly broke up over his attendance at Sarah Palin's rally last Friday. I say if Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwartzenspelledwrong can make it work, why can't the rest of us? As Rodney says it... can't we all just get along?

I do not understand the need to prove each other wrong or get angry or try to convert people to our views. If Homa wants to vote for Obama and Ryan says McCain... isn't that the very basis of our political system? Shouldn't we applaud the fact that Homa and Ryan both have the right to their opinions, and more so, the right to act upon them? (Picture God Bless America being played by an orchestra right now). America is founded on the belief that the every day citizens know best how to run this country, and therefore we are given the right every four years to say this person or this party is going to run this country the way I want them to. And you have the right to say the other guy and other party will run the country the way you want them to. So Homa ought to be able to say to Ryan, "You know what... I think Barack Obama is my guy." And Ryan ought to be able to say to Homa, "Why?" And when they are done giving their opinions, they can both just stick with their guys and on November 4th majority rules... the relationship between them unaffected because they both did what their constitution (both internal and the paper one) told them to do. So what if they are different opinions? Its our God given right to believe any darn thing we please. In a relationship, be it father and son or boyfriend and girlfriend or just pals, why can't we have different views and love each other for it? Not even in spite of it but for it. Let's take a page from Maria and Arnie. If they can do it, so can we.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Too many babies

Ok, I am sure that when Mark reads this, I am going to get a lovely comment... but what can I say, the truth hurts. I used to question why God's plan included women doing all the crap work. And by that I mean monthly hemorrhaging from 12 to 60, all the lovely side effects of carrying a child, like hair loss in some areas, hair growth in others, birth and the biological pyrotechnics that accompany your new child, breastfeeding and the bloody nipples that result, etc. It seemed like something unpleasant should occur for the dude involved in baby making, but no. All the pain and misery is for the woman alone. Now, after careful consideration and four years of living with a man, I know why. Men are way too wussy to deal with any of it. Case in point.... MARK HAS A COLD!!!
There is something about men and illness that makes them turn into the biggest weenies in the history of the world. They can lift a 300 pound TV with no help whatsoever, but if they need a tissue, suddenly they turn to mush. Now, I am sure Mark feels icky and has a sniffle or two, but dear lord you would think the plague hit our household. And before you all jump to his defense, please do keep in mind that Will, Jack and I all have the cold too. So, we can all sniffle together.
Now, being a big strong man, Mark won't sit there and say that he feels bad. However, he will sigh and moan and groan more often than Sarah Palin gets stumped by an interview question. And we all know that is a lot. He'll rub his eyes and throw his head back like the Angel of Death is about to take him and he is ready to stop the battle for life. His last breath is about to escape any second, and God forbid he have to get up at night and feed the baby or lay on the couch because Jack Attack fell asleep in the swing downstairs. His guttural noises show that he is far too feeble to be able to perform those functions. Its a miracle he can lift his hand to fast forward through the commercials on his Tivoed Ace of Cakes episode.
Now, Mark, before you comment that I am exaggerating or that you really did feel bad, let me just say this. In the six minutes that I have written this post, you have paced into the office 4 times and sighed three times per lap. I rest my case.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


If you ask Will how he feels he always says "me mad." He could be on top of the world (which in his world would be him in a diaper or mostly nakey as he calls it, eating an ice cream cone at a playground with people in animal suits... his idea of heaven) and he will still answer "me mad." If you say why, he will always say the same thing "TabbiJessie bed." Because one day, way over a month ago, Tabbi and her friend Jessie wouldn't let him play on Tabbi's bed. So, he apparently holds major grudges.

Well, today... me mad. I am not going to get into why, but man... I am mad. For those of you who don't know me, I have a temper that is a wee bit over the top. At my former employer, my temper was legendary and something to be feared. When in a fight, I go for the jugular right off the bat so I make sure I win. I have this horrible evil super power to sling insults and arguments at 100 miles per second and it flows out so easily I don't even have to think first. In truth, it would behoove me to think first most of the time, but that would just slow me down.

The odd situation right now is that while I have the utmost desire to let it fly, I cannot. And like I said, I am not getting in to it. But it goes against every fiber of my being to sit back and not let the wrath of Lynn go. So, I guess the purpose of this entry is to let the world know that if my head explodes in the next few days... this is why.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Let's take a moment to review the amount of housework that has taken place over the last few weeks. We've ripped out the family room carpet and put in laminate, planted flowers and a tree, painted clouds on Will's walls, plowed through the "file pile" on my desk that was taller than Will (and we all know that is pretty darn tall), cleaned out all the closets, organized the dressers of all the kids, and replaced lightbulbs that have been out since we bought this house. For the record, that was two years ago. Why did we do all of this work recently (and if you are some Bob Villa wannabe who does that kind of stuff in one weekend for fun, just shut the h-e-double hockey sticks up)? Because, company's coming.

I was talking to my friend Laura about the company phenomenon and based on her confirmation, I know its not just me. When the out of towners are coming in town, a frenzy takes place. And the funny part is that its all stuff that we should have been doing anyway. Why is it that we lived with a kitchen light out for YEARS? And why would I let my file pile get so big that the thought of putting something away was too much to deal with? But then, I receive a flight itinerary and suddenly this lazy butt kicks into high gear and stuff gets done? I need to request that someone visit on a monthly basis so that I could actually keep this place in working order. Then again, for those visitors that come often (like when your son needs Tylenol meltaways and you can't get to the store... Thanks, Homa), I get so complacent that I don't care what you think of my house. So, even the monthly visitor isn't going to work. So, I guess we just buy lightbulbs once a year and call it done. I just have to hope that people come at least that often or my family would be sitting here in the dark just to avoid a trip to Lowe's.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My little tough guy...

I wasn't going to post twice in a day, but I have to give Will props when props are due. My little man (head cold and all) got his flu shot today. He never cried, squealed or moved when the nurse stuck him and said a very polite "thank you" when she was done. The nurse said she's never had a kid thank her before. That's my tough little guy!

Ode to Sick Kids

OMG - to quote The Hills stars. Translation for those of you who don't speak "Hills"... oh my God! I am so tired. Please read that with the whiniest inflection you can muster to fully comprehend the tiredness that I currently feel. Mr. Will is sick. It all started with the ominous runny nose. You see the snot start to drip and think... could be just the weather change. Could be dust in the house... it is cleaning lady day, after all, so the day before tends to be a little scary here. But... then night comes. (Listen carefully and you'll hear a wolf howl as the clouds roll in and cover the light of the full moon). He went down peacefully, but then... MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! I am not going to lie... I tried to ignore it. "Maybe he'll go back to sleep" Mark and I whispered to each other. Uh... nope. In fact, he cried off and on all night long... which is why the only thing I can really say with any confidence that it is understandable is... I'm tired.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

RSVP - Yay or Nay

OK, I am faced with a real conundrum these days. Mark's work, which shall remain nameless, sent out their annual Christmas Party invitation. These folks go all out... its at a hotel and there is cocktail hour, dinner, dancing and door prizes. I like me some door prizes. But, I hate me some office Christmas parties.

I have never worked anywhere that had real outside of work Christmas parties. When I worked for the State of Indiana, it was not allowed because people might be offended. When I worked for a small staffing agency, there were all of four employees so we went to our boss's house and everyone got ripped and said inappropriate things to each other. I stayed sober as I was pregnant with Willy and not really a "get ripped and say stupid things to your boss" kind of girl. It definitely didn't rank up there in the world of office Christmas parties. At Mark's previous company, I attended a company picnic, the wedding of a higher up, and a Valentine's Day party. Let me just say that those three experiences (while not actually office Christmas parties) ruined me on all other office functions. Especially when the office is not mine. No one talked to me EVER and I think it goes without saying that I am witty and charming and most people would love to talk to me. (Or, at least be mildly amused by me for a short time). Last year Mark had just started with this new company and he attended the party alone as we legitimately could not find a sitter for Will and Tabbi that night. This year..... I have no excuses (although I haven't tried to find a sitter yet, so there is some small hope that no one is free that night).

The truth is I just don't want to go. I don't want to stand there looking all awkward and surrounded by a bunch of computer nerds who won't socialize with those outside the fray. I've never played Dungeon and Dragons and I think they can tell when I walk in the room and therefore have no interest in me as a person. The idea of computer nerds dancing does entertain, but I can watch bad dancing on Dancing with the Stars Monday and Tuesday nights with Cloris Leachman still appearing, so why get all gussied up to head to a hotel to see non-famous people do it.

So now you are wondering where the conundrum is... Well, Mark wants me to go. So, in theory its my wifely duty to do so. But, anyone who knows me knows that I don't do my wifely duty. So, to go or not to go... that is the question.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Will Be Careful

Everyone we meet thinks that Will's name is short for William, which its not. In reality, if it were short for anything it would be short for Will Be Careful! I am pretty sure that I call him "Will Be Careful" more than any other nicknames combined (and that is saying something because he's known as anything from Wildebeest to Willamunga to Gump, with a whole lot in between). Most people make fun of me for constantly telling him to be careful, but seriously, the man is nuts. (While rereading this post to make sure it makes sense I had to say "Will Be Careful" four times as he tried to climb onto the entertainment center and when he decided to use his hammer on the glass door. He is currently attempting to climb onto the computer tower to get a leg up onto our fax machine).

Will is absolutely not even remotely afraid of anything that could actually hurt him, so his lack of fear gives me nightmares. Meaning, he will do just about anything and I sit back and watch trying not to wet my pants (or more often I run to stop him praying I get there before he breaks his neck). He will climb the tallest slide, and scale the top of a rock wall for kids twice his age (OK, that is only 4... so let's say kids three times his age). When given a Cozy Coupe, he wasn't content to ride in it, he had to climb to the top and perch on it. It was all fun and games until he tried to stand and surf on it like the van scene in Teen Wolf.I would like to think that this is a sign of bravery and strong personality, but really I am not so sure. He is terrified of loud noises and recently had a major meltdown about going on a hay rack ride. The 18 month old next to me bravely held on while Will the Wimp cried and screamed "done". So, I am not sure if I can call him brave or if its really just stupidity on his part. Then again, when he was 6 months old he did a belly flop off the kitchen counter (some would claim that is my fault), so maybe his theory is that if he survives that, he can make it through anything!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Relationship Rollercoaster

I read somewhere (and don't recall where, so no credit will be given to the author... sorry) that relationships all follow a certain pattern. More specifically, marriage does. The author (whoever that may be) said that the stages of a marriage is as follows: when you first meet, you're friends, then lovers (and not necessarily in the sexual connotation, but in the "in love" passionate kind of way), then you get married. After the wedding you are back to friends, then kids come and you are reduced from friends to a co-parent, then if you are lucky when the kids leave home you are friends again. Notice that the lover part is gone forever after the wedding takes place. When I first read this breakdown I thought it was crap, but you know what? Mystery Author has a pretty good point.

After kid number one, Mark and I spent about 6 months not speaking at all except to bicker. I resented him for being gone all day while I was home with a baby and no life whatsoever (even though it was my choice completely). So, when he came home, I didn't even want to look in his direction. Not to mention the fact that I was certain every single thing he did was wrong...especially when it came to Will. He burped him wrong, dressed him wrong, held him wrong and to make matters even harder, Will was colicky. Unless you've experienced real colic, you are blissfully unaware of the torture that little word can inflict. So, my Mark hating was fueled by the screams of an inconsolable baby. We worked our way back though, and then came baby number two.

This time, I wouldn't say that I hated him or even despised his presence like I did with Will, but our relationship totally dwindled to the co-parent stage. Friends at least talk to each other about their lives and what is going on it. Co-parents don't. Co-parents go out for dinner without the kids, but they become the only topic of conversation. We have no idea what is going on in the other person's life, because life doesn't really exist outside the kids. It’s not fighting or arguing or even negative feelings, it’s really the complete absence of feelings. The other person exists only to bathe Will while you feed Jack. It’s a slippery slope into nothingness and you don't know that it happened until you are entrenched there.

The good news is that I think you can prove Mystery Author wrong. Mark and I saw that we hit co-parent stage, and we have worked our way back. I would like to think we’re at least friends, because we actually communicate about each other while dividing our attention amongst the three children. It ain't easy, but sometimes, I think we might even be back to the lovers stage....or at least we will be if we can ever stay awake long enough to give it a shot!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

"Life is not all about butt fat"

Last night I was watching the show Private Practice (on Tivo, because God knows I don't have time to watch TV shows at the time it's actually scheduled to be on. I watched 90210 when feeding Jack at 5a this morning). One of the characters (a totally neurotic shrink) made the profound statement "life is not all about butt fat" and I thought that was about the best comment I have ever heard on TV.... except maybe "where's the beef" or "nobody puts Baby in the corner." Those are good too.

Is it not amazing how much time we spend thinking about, talking about, worrying about (in my case typing about) and generally caring about the size of our... insert body part here. Its not just the ladies either... I know that men think about it too. Maybe not in the same "oh my god, he won't love me if I go up a size" way but in a "I need to bulk up the muscle" sort of way. I am a prime culprit, too. I think/talk about dieting quite a bit. And do I do it? Not yet. But by God, I talk about it. Wouldn't it be nice if somehow, we could all just say... you know what... this is me, and I am comfortable with it. And maybe if the character saying that life isn't butt fat was bigger than a size four, I may buy into the concept a little more.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

To lift or not to lift....

Ladies and gentleman... it is time to get personal. If you can't handle it, go back to the silly posts about putting toddlers in baby car seats and driving my automatic with both feet. Are they gone yet? Ok, here's the big announcement... drum roll please... I have come to the conclusion that I want a breast lift. Pause for reaction.
After two children, both of whom were quasi-breastfed (meaning they drank breast milk, but I pumped... so its not technically breastfeeding), I have realized that my breasts hang about five inches from the floor. If I were only 8 inches tall.... I suppose that would be just about right, but at 5 feet 8 inches tall it just doesn't work. I have weighed the pros of keeping them like this, and I will certainly save money on bras since I can just tuck them into the waistband of my jeans. And, think about how much easier it would be to get through tight doorways now that my breasts are vertical instead of horizontal. I told Mark, my husband, last night that I would like to save his hard earned money (because God knows I don't make any) for what I consider a must, and he said the appropriate husband comment of "you don't need that, you look great." While I appreciate the sentiment, however fake it may be, I am not really thinking about it from his perspective. God knows he wasn't looking for Heidi Klum when he married me. That, or his bad vision is much worse than I thought. If I had it done, it would be for me... or George Clooney (although unless I could go for liposuction, butt lift, and an all over face transformation into Angelina Jolie, there really is no point in trying to snag him with a perkier pair). So that means it really would be just for me. Because I don't need one more thing on the list of physical flaws to make me feel self conscious about.

The truth of the matter is that we couldn't afford it anyway, and if we could, that stupid Jiminy Cricket conscience of mine would not let me spend that kind of money on a breast lift when it could be put toward the new minivan we desperately need. And really, if you are tooling around town in a minivan, no one is looking at your breasts anymore anyway. So, maybe this post is a plea for help. If anyone knows of a concrete bra maker, send them my way. That is what its going to take to get the girls up into the air where they belong.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Is it me?

Do you know that I am only friends with one person that I knew back in high school? To say we are friends is even pushing it as we trade emails maybe once or twice a year. I went to her wedding a couple years ago, and that is the last time I saw her. So, I would say that while I care about her and would like to talk more, she is my friend in the loosest definition of the word.

I would like to think my friendlessness is because I moved a couple times. I grew up in Iowa until 14 and then moved to Kansas. So, I think my elementary school friends went by the wayside because I left. Then I left Kansas to move to Indiana after college graduation because my parents moved and it was either follow them and mooch some room and board or live in a box. I picked mooching.

Really though, I am not sure I can blame the moves for my lack of lifelong friends. I can't think of anyone that I really miss. I think I am absent an attachment gene or something. I lived with my college roommate for three years and upon graduation and move out, I just waved goodbye. No hugs, no tears. My high school/college sweetheart and I broke up after a nearly 4 year relationship and I literally cried for roughly 30 seconds and then was 100% over it. When I moved from Iowa, I didn't even bother to write my best friend since preschool. I am not a lingerer. I say I will keep in touch, but I really don't. (Keep that in mind if you are a current friend of mine that is moving... I don't mean it when I say it so don't expect it.) I am like a guy who says he will call you after a date. We all know he won't so, don't wait by the phone, so to speak. I see my friends hang out with their friends since elementary school or high school and it amazes me that those connections still exist. I am not sure I even know the person I was back then. And I certainly don't know that I would want to be friends with her.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Reason Number 4...

This reason cannot be directly attributed to children, nor did I do anything directly to any child. But, I have to think that since I used to be a semi intelligent person, obviously the addition of children directly relates to the decreases in my brain cells. I am going to call Mayo Clinic shortly and check it out.

Tonight I was driving my Hyundai Tucson home from Sunday dinner with my parents. I drive an automatic, but obviously a man bent on making something simple into something difficult (see past blog entry on topic for details) decided to add some extra options to the standard park, reverse, drive shifting options. On my car, the shifty stick can also go to the right and somehow be driven in a stick shift-like manner. Why? If I wanted a stick, I would drive a stick. Anyway, my dog kicks the shifter into the "drive like a stick" option. Keep in mind that I have never read my manual, so while I know this shifting option is there, I have no idea what do to with it. So, somehow it gets in my head that it is driving like a stick shift, so me, in my inifinite wisdom puts my right foot on the gas pedal and sticks my left foot on the clutch to shift (I can drive a stick, if I so choose Mr. Hyundai Complicated Man!!!). Here' the downside though... I don't have a clutch. I have a break pedal. So, with my husband, three children and dog in the car, I start putting pressure on both the gas and the break. Luckily, we all lived to tell the tale, and we didn't even get in a wreck because it became apparent quite quickly that we were not operating the vehicle in the manner to which we would actually get somewhere. But, I just had to post it as yet another reason why I am losing my mind.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Oh no she didn't....

Unlike my others blogs, this one has a direct audience in mind. Friends, neighbors, family members, and loyal readers.... you may read this, but please keep in mind that while I enjoy your company on this site... this time, I am not here for you.

I am here for the people in the world that have some burning need to speak about a child's behavior when it is... how should I say this politely... none of their damn business. I have been the victim of this occurrence more than once. Here's my favorite example. When Will was 18 months old we took a family trip to the Plainfield Indoor Water Park

(let me give them a hefty shout out, as I love that place and highly recommend it for winter fun to any and all Hoosiers). While we were getting ready to depart, I handed Mark a diaper and told him to take Will into the locker room to change from his swimmies into his dry clothes. Satan, in the form of a crotchety old woman (who I hope reads blogs), says to me "He is way too old to not be potty trained." HE WAS 18 MONTHS OLD. And for the record, Vampira, he still isn't potty trained at 2 years and 4 months so HA! Why did I deserve this comment? Apparently because my 18 month old was teetering off the growth chart and looked older than he was. He still does, so I look forward to seeing Captain Grouchy Pants this swimming season!

The more amazing part of this is that these random acts of meanness happen to my friends too. My friend Laura has two children who also fall into the "giant for their age" category and she too has suffered from the people of the world who can't keep their comments to themselves. And Lori, who I mentioned in an earlier blog, was driven from her dentist's office when a fellow patient felt the need to lecture Lori on how children were raised when she was a child in order to point out Lori's failures. The sad part, Lori said, was that Sophie was actually behaving rather well at that moment!

So, on behalf of Lori, Laura and myself, to all of you unwelcome advisors in the world that clearly know best and can put all of us to shame with your parenting skills, let me just say this. Some day our giants/mischief makers will beat up your little angels so piss off... or when that happens, we may sic them on you instead!

Friday, October 3, 2008

A simple tube of mascara!!!!

Could someone please explain to me where the gene for complicating simple purchases is located on the male DNA strand? I first realized its existence years ago when my aunt sent my uncle to a hardware store to grab a hose reel for my grandpa. You know what I mean by hose reel, right? A little round thingy that the garden hose wraps around to store it when not in use. Sounds simple, right? My uncle came back with a hose reel/garden table/robotic nose hair trimmer/bicycle built for two. Ok, so that was a few too many slashes, but a simple hose reel it was not. A couple weeks ago, this phenomenon occurred in my own life. My husband (the bigger one in the photo) does our grocery shopping, and one day I added mascara to the list. His terror was evident, but since he mastered purchasing maxi pads (Always Ultra Thin Long with Wings) awhile back, I thought he was up to the challenge. I told him that I am really easy to please and all I need is a basic black mascara. As long as its not Debbie Gibson electric blue I am good to go. My personal shopper comes home with mascara that requires launch codes from men in suits with briefcases handcuffed to their wrists. Its a multi step process with two separate brushes and wait times in between applications. First you paint the lashes white, then they dry, then you apply black, then they clump, then you utilize the separation brush to separate (clever title for the brush). It would take more time to apply that mascara than my entire shower/hygiene/style processes combined. I am not sure where "anything black" became translated into boy language so that he heard "try to make something simple into a complex gadget." Next time, maybe I need an interpreter. Or, maybe I should buy my own stinking make up!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Let's Hear it for the 19th!!!

No, I am not talking a date.... I am talking about an amendment. Did you know that the 19th amendment gave women the right to vote? That means that it took 18 prior amendments for men to decide that we were equal enough to have an opinion. Sad, right? What's even sadder is that it happened in 1920. Meaning that our country was around for 144 years (the math should be right, I used a calculator) without women having a say in government or laws. That is staggering to me. What is even more staggering is that we have had the right to vote for 88 years, and according to Parents magazine, only 55% of women between the ages of 25 to 55 did so in 2004.

I will come out and admit that I am a democrat most of the time (I say most of the time, because in the Indiana gubernatorial race, our democrat option is a wee bit scary). I am a big Barack Obama fan, and whats more, I am even more anti Sarah Palin. I think John McCain is a great man, but my personal views lean more toward the Obama/Biden ticket, so that's where my vote is headed. But, this blog is not about my personal views. I don't care if you say yay Obama or yay McCain or say that Sarah Palin is God's gift to the human race.... just say something. SAY SOMETHING! By age 18 we are granted a right to help decide how our country is going to be run. I have never met a soul who didn't complain about issues this country has, but I have met tons who freely admit they never exercised their right to choose what to do about them. What sense does that make?

I am a woman and a mother, and I feel like this race in particular affects those categories more than ever. I want my children's children to breathe clean air and walk outside without their flesh burning, so I care about the environment. I want my grandchildren to have social security so they can retire and play with my great grandchildren and not work themselves to death. I care about gas prices because I want a new car and I want to be able to afford to drive it somewhere. I care about Roe V. Wade because while I don't believe that is a choice I could make, I deeply believe that women have the right to decide that on their own. I care about the war and future wars because some day that could be my sons fighting it. I believe in creating an affordable health care program for every man, woman and child in this country, because the search for good health should be the most fundamental human right we have. It should not be for the rich alone. And, I want family to mean something in the work place. I want flexibility for men and women to be with their families when they need to be without sacrificing their employment to do so. And, I care about our economy, because it is our job to create a world for our children that is better than the one that we live in. My guess is that most of you care about that stuff as well, and while I certainly don't know how to fix it, one major step is electing the person that you think can. Go to and (their official campaign websites) and decide who you think has a better plan for fixing the issues that you care about.

Just remember, if you don't vote, don't complain later. And more importantly, the worst thing you can do for yourself and your children.... is nothing.