Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ikea and Xanax

I fully acknowledge that I have an abnormally short fuse. Couple this with a personality that incites (sometimes artificially creates) anxiety and I assure you that at times I can be a party to be around.

Just ask my husband. Or my kids, or both. There wouldn't be much of a debate.

Yesterday we went to Kissimmee. My father and mother-in-law are house sitting and visiting the area for six weeks. We decided to drive down to spend the day with them.

The process of getting three kids around, dressed and out the door is sometimes excruciatingly arduous and complicated. It doesn't seem like it would be, but it is. Inevitably someone is lolly-gagging around or not paying attention when I announce that "we are leaving in ten minutes."

Because I guarantee you fifteen minutes later a child will still be in his underwear or crying about not being able to find his socks. I GUARANTEE you.

It is even worse when there is luggage involved. I don't know why this is, but sometimes it is enough to put me over the edge. Even the dog runs and hides when he sees we are getting luggage out of the closet.

Thank the LAWD there was no luggage involved yesterday because even with NO luggage, I still had to take a pill. My insides were crawling with anxiety by the time we all piled into the SUV to head south.

I have to give props to the husband because he is more helpful and attentive than 99.7% of the other husbands out there. I'm sure of it.

I once had a co-worker tell me about her daughter who had married a complete douche bag. As this girl gathered the children, diaper bags and gear and loaded them in the car, the DB would routinely sit and wait for her for her IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT.

Now, I believe that God leads us to our spouses for a reason and I am very thankful that God didn't lead me to that particular spouse because I am certain I would have clawed his eyes out. I thank God for Chris every day.

"What can I do to help," Chris asked quickly. It was only 10a.m., but I saw the wheels turning in his brain. He was undoubtedly calculating just how long he was going to be shut up in a confined space with a strung-out, anxiety ridden bitch.

The Xanax had kicked in and I developed a faintly detached feeling along with a laissez faire attitude that would have made it heaps easier to slow the car down and drop kick one of the offending brats out of the car. You know, if push came to shove.

Oh, I am just kidding. Whatever ~ I would have stopped the car completely.

To "save time" and avoid downtown Orlando we decided to try the toll road.

We pulled up to the first toll booth and handed the operator a twenty. He glared at us hostilely and shook his head. Chris and I looked at each other with the WTF looks. I mean, we had pulled up in the "bills and change needed" lane.

We didn't INTEND to be rude about the twenty, but we had to stop at Suntrust because neither one of us had any cash. We would have stopped at a gas station to purchase a pack of gum if we would have known it put the tollbooth operator out and/or ruined his day.

My anxiety level shot up again, because....well, this sort of thing stresses me out. I hate it when someone is obviously annoyed at me and I don't know why.

"The light," the attendant shot at us, pointing to the way we had just come in. "The light. What color was it? Was it green?"

"Um, I don't know," Chris said. "I think so."

We looked in our rear view mirror and there were about five cars lined up behind us by this point.

"I'll take this," he said as he waved the bill. "But I am closed."

"Okay. Thanks," Chris said. He took $18.00 in ones that the operator shoved at him.

"What the hell was that about," I asked.

"I think he thought he had turned his light off," Chris said. We looked in our rear view mirror again and there were no less than ten cars lined up. Obviously, his light was still green.

We discussed how much it must suck to be a toll booth operator. Really. Because think about it: People are forced to stop their car to pay a fee that they are most likely not wild about paying in the first place. I'm sure it brings out regular pissiness in people.

We had a nice lunch and then decided to go to Ikea.

If you ever have any concerns that your child might be a brat , just take a trip to Ikea.

Because I assure you that you will encounter an even brattier child. Your mind will be put at ease about your own offspring and poof!! You'll feel like an instant rock star.

My impression from the trip to Ikea was not of Ikea; however, it was of the Mercedes dealership on the way there. It was hard not to notice this little gem. A girl can dream, and believe me ~ I did. I would look so uber cute in this, no one would even NOTICE the extra fifty pounds. I'm certain of it. I'd be rocking it in my new highlights and sunglasses and people would shout "Elin! Elin!" Because you know...I TOTALLY look just like her.

The anxiety level of the trip home was surprisingly minimal. Aside from filling up the car at a gas station surrounded by no less than ten bail bonds businesses, it was pretty darn uneventful.

We listened to "Maggie's" playlist on my Ipod. "Maggie's" list includes songs like "O Mio Babbino Caro," "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley, and "Allegro" from Mozart's "Eine kleine Nachtmusik."

I venture to say that the ride home was peaceful, even. Peace is hard to come by in our house, particularly with three children.

We tried to savor the moment as we could and we all sang "don't worry...about a thing" together.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Panties and Green Tea

I am currently trying to make healthier choices in life.

So, drinking green tea in the afternoons seemed to be a brilliant idea.

Several days in a row I fired up a teapot, dropped two bags in the water and drank the brewed tea in lieu of my usual afternoon pot of coffee.

I learned, quite the hard way, that green tea can give you diarrhea when you drink a lot of it.

I spent a substantial amount of time in the bathroom last week.

They were worrisome bouts of bathroom adventures, too, i.e. the kind that sneaked up on me in the form of the urge to pass gas. But alas, it was very much NOT gas as I very rudely realized. I scooted/waddled to the bathroom in tears.

After that nasty experience, I did some research. I typed "Does green tea give you diarrhea" into Google. Actually, I didn't even need to type in the entire sentence because it has been Googled THAT MANY TIMES.

I took comfort in knowing there had been others. Others... who had been taken by surprise as I had been. I hoped they weren't in a public place when it happened.

If you start drinking a lot of green tea, please remember my little story and take heed.

I also learned this past week that although you may have had a specific size of underwear in your lingerie drawer purchased previous to a 50 pound weight gain, it may be advantageous to buy the next size up.

There is a reason that my tidy whities had holes in them. They were stretched and strained beyond any reasonable expectation for a budget six pack of cotton briefs.

My husband was standing in the lingerie section with me as I picked out the next pack that hopefully will last me for the NEXT six years.

I lucked out and the package I chose had two bonus pairs of panties. EIGHT pair for the price of six! SCORE! I threw them in my cart and they landed with a solid thud.

"I need new underwear," I said to my husband. He snorted and rolled his eyes. I guess that was an understatement.

Earlier that day, he had witnessed as my hand ripped through the waistband of my panties when I pulled them up.

He had shaken his head, sighed then turned away. The sight was most likely too pitiful ~ and unsexy ~ to behold.

Sometimes I feel in a way that the ill fitting, broken and ripped undergarments are sort of a martyr complex on my part.

"See? My panties are in shreds. But...alas...I will continue to wear them to let you know that I don't put myself first in this family."

But there is a point when the martyr thing becomes ridonkulous, and this point came this week. The life span on my undergarments had expired about two years ago, and it was necessary for me to do something about it.

My purchase was not extravagant, by any stretch of the imagination. But they'll do.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Siding and Doors

Siding and doors were put up on the house this week. The drywall is finished inside and they are working on the moldings, etc. this week ~ as well as the cupboards. We'll get a 30 day notice in the next week, so we are about 5-6 weeks from closing. :) I'm sure the move date will be around March 1!! Can't WAIT.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hypodermic Needles and Unanswered Questions

I picked up a hypodermic needle today.

It was lying on the side of our street. I was on my way to the bus stop and there were a zillion kids in the vicinity. I could easily envision one of them investigating. The thought of an 8 year old playing with a used needle makes me shudder.

I looked around because I assumed it had fallen out of someone's trash can. I realized at that moment that trash day was two days ago. How the needle got there suddenly became more dubious.

We live in a quiet residential area, although occasionally our Indian neighbors to the north can be pretty raucous with their Hindi techno music, dancing and presumably delicious food.

I almost showed up at their door on Christmas night, half crazed by the smell of something fabulous. I am certain a chubby blonde would not be out of place at that little get-together at all.

I put the needle in the cup holder of the stroller and proceeded on through my morning routine. I walked Wesley to the bus stop and power-walked for twenty minutes after.

I "destroyed" the needle (i.e. broke the tip) on the inside of the garbage can and tossed it in a pile of shi**y diapers.

"You did WHAT," Chris yelled when I told him what happened. "That was REALLY STUPID. You put it in OUR garbage can? Wahwah wah wah wahhhhhhh," and so on and so forth.

Actually, I can't tell you what he said after "stupid" because I tuned him out. He has actually spoken at length before when suddenly I realized I hadn't heard a thing he had said.

Sometimes I can cover my bad; sometimes I can't. Either scenario is quite awkward.

He suggested that I should have called the city so they could come get it and dispose of it. He suggested that a trash collector could be stuck with the needle. He brought up the landfill issue. All good points, none of which I had thought of.

"Did you want me to leave it lying there with dozens of kids around," I asked. "That's stupid, too."

So, I started thinking. What exactly SHOULD one do if she happens upon a hypodermic needle on the road in the midst of curious children? Needle disposal generally isn't on the minds of most people who aren't diabetic or who have a medical condition that require the thought.

I decided to investigate online and found nothing really, except of course, I wasn't supposed to throw it in the garbage. I am smart enough to know that I shouldn't dig around in the trash can to retrieve the needle; I suppose it is now just a learning experience.

There weren't any disposal options presented on the website, either, so I'm still unclear as to what exactly I should have done.

So, I am wondering: what would you have done? I am curious. Just leave your suggestion in the "comments" area, and don't be too hard on me. I already got enough sh** from my husband.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Puppet Shows and A "Bull By The Horns" Little Girl

When the boys were young I never stayed home.

I went to the mall and frequented thrift stores. I went to the gym.

The boys were usually cool with being dragged around; they chillaxed in the grocery cart, stroller or car seat.

Maggie was different ~ she let us know this immediately.

If she didn't want to be somewhere she would protest wildly. If she was a tiny bit hungry, she would scream. If something was mildly annoying, she would blow a gasket.

We had produced a high maintenance baby. She proved, time and time again, that she would not "go gentle into that good night." We began to drive separate cars to friends' houses and events, anticipating one of us would be forced to leave early.

Errands and shopping became tedious, headache producing chores.

However, this morning I had a momentary spurt of "hell yes, I can" fire in my belly.

It is Wednesday. Every week at 9:45, the local library has story time for children between the ages of one and two. Since she is on the latter half of "age one" I thought (mistakenly) that she would be one of the more receptive participants to this delightful, free entertainment.

We arrived about a half an hour early as I haven't quite mastered arriving at places precisely on time with Maggie. The other characters began filing in about 20 minutes later.

I was a little concerned about how she would interact w/ the other children, because honestly, she is never around children her own age. She is quite fascinated by them from afar, like monkeys in a zoo. But she probably wouldn't really know what to do with them if she was given a chance to approach and interact with them in a neutral environment.

I appreciated how the library staff had constructed a large "U" shape out of chairs, essentially corralling the children into one large area. There was only one way out. Brilliant.

The stories began.

You know that kid that won't sit down? The one who stands directly in front of the librarian reading the story, fascinated and oblivious to everything going on around her? That happened for a painstakingly long moment.

Then she noticed a baby in the back row and oh, how she loves babies. She moved swiftly to harangue the tot and its mother.

Then she noticed the puppet stage and how easily she could maneuver herself behind it in such a way that it was almost impossible for me to retrieve her.

It was about that time that she realized that she was pretty much locked in this room. She eyed the library patrons on THE OUTSIDE like a caged animal. THEY were enjoying freedom she did not have. She discovered that banging on the windows would produce an immediate, startled response from those patrons from that place of greener grass.

Then the puppets were whipped out.

She has never seen a "puppet show" before.


You know of that kid who gets SO excited that it can only scream and shake? And quite possibly piss in its pants, it is so jazzed? That, my friends, was my daughter.

She toddled directly to the front of the puppet stage and tried to snatch the monkey. Then she tried to grab the elephant. Then the crocodile.

I tried to stay off to the side as much as I could, encouraging her to "sit down," and "don't touch that," and "shhh."

Every new activity presented a new problem: The beanbag game brought out the selfish, green-eyed beast in her. When the arts and crafts materials were handed out she tore up her tissue with her teeth and ate her crayon.

She wore herself out to monumental proportions.

The meltdowns were rapid fire and uber dramatic as I prepared her lunch. She crumpled to the floor and rolled around, kicking her feet and crying.

When she went down for her nap, I collapsed on the couch and thought about our fun filled and adventurous morning. (Cough.)

I realized that perhaps this is what a girl needs to be in this world: Tenacious, aggressive, feisty.

As I look at the big picture, I suppose that it is fabulous that she refuses to be passive and allow exciting things occur around her; she forces herself directly into the action.

She assumes a fighting stance and lunges for her OWN puppets, dammit, wasting the competition in the process. I'm sure this will serve her well in life and we will attempt to nuture it.

Right now, though?

Metaphorically speaking, I am the one on the floor, beaten and bruised, being trampled as she kung fu's her way towards the fuzzy green crocodile puppet.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Maggie And Your Baby Can Read

This is Maggie and I working on our "word cards" for Your Baby Can Read.

We've been watching the videos/looking at the books since October. I just started doing these cards a few weeks ago.

I know there are critics of this program. I have read that it doesn't really teach your kid to "read"; rather, it teaches them to "memorize."

I don't think it really has hurt anyone to memorize words. Kids aren't required to memorize ENOUGH these days, That's just my opinion ~ we expect too little from kids.

Anyway, it is certainly better than Sponge Bob Square Pants.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Progress 2

Brickwork and the columns in front.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Our new house, as of this week! Bricklaying and electric work going on there right now.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Kate Gosselin v. Gwenyth Paltrow

I never really jumped on board the Kate Gosselin bandwagon.

I was not a fan of Jon & Kate + 8. The screaming kids did nothing but produce anxiety for me.

Personally, an episode of Jon & Kate was much like watching an hour of Supernanny with all of those rotten, screaming brats. I get my fill of screaming during the day. To willingly subject myself to it for "entertainment purposes" just does not sound very "entertaining" to me.

Was I DID think was entertaining was the snappage of Jon Gosselin's last nerve and his subsequent flingage into the bed of the nearest slut. I will participate in rubbernecking with the best of them. I am not above it. Not even close.

What I truly didn't understand was her hair, especially when it was spiked in back like a deranged cockatoo.

I recently heard how much she spent on it weekly and I about shiz my drawers ~ that look was EXPENSIVE??? Holy crap.

This hairstyle, in my humble, unprofessional opinion was a big, fat "don't."

It was done, better and classier, in the 90's by Gwenyth Paltrow.

Notice the Backstreet Boy with her. He looks a TON different since Angie got her claws in him, huh?

And this:

So, imagine my surprise when I was watching my sole source of news(much to my husband's dismay) , Entertainment Tonight.

I saw this picture:

Although ET reported it took over twenty hours to weave these extensions into her hair, I am pretty SURE she will be compensated (in some way or another) more for those twenty hours than my husband will be in one year.

So I don't feel too bad she had to park her COME AND GET YOUR POPCORN ass in a salon chair for hours. She looks ten thousand percent better.

My morbid fascination into Jon and Kate has been renewed. PR stunt SUCCESSFUL on this weak minded, tabloid whore.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Dr. Oz and Fatties

I watched Dr. Oz today. I usually don't watch him because he is an Oprah Minion.

Although I spent about ten years liking Oprah and watching her show, my opinion has changed fairly recently. Now I mostly want to punch her in the face.

Therefore ~fair or not ~ my feelings about her trickle down to the causes, books, and/or people she endorses.

Despite of this, Dr. Oz was fairly inspiring to me today.

He didn't drag out any new information; it was mostly a review of his appearance on the Oprah show several years ago when the "YOU" book first came out.

Today he discussed his magic blueberry smoothies, how one should eliminate the hydrogenated oils, syrups, red meats from her diet. He whipped out the cadaver omentum.

One little depressing-as-hell snippet he shared was that 2% of people who lose weight actually are successful in keeping it off. The glaring, come-to-Jesus lesson of this little factoid is: DO NOT GET FAT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

I want to take expectant mothers, shake them and tell them to keep their cravings under control. No, you won't die if you don't have that pint of Cherry Garcia. No, you aren't going to stab your husband in the eye if you don't get that Chinese food.

Have a salad. Drink a big glass of water or a cup of hot tea. But don't gain sixty pounds if you can absolutely help it.

This would be good advice to take myself, too. I am obviously not good at taking advice as is apparent by my health right now.

My next appointment with my doctor for the blood pressure issue is February 22. I desperately want to be in a better place physically by then. It's approximately five to six weeks away. It feels bleak.

I'm going to work at it though.

I'm also taking his 9" plate recommendation. I just think that a smaller dinner plate a good idea in general.

We'll see. I'll report how life is when February 22 rolls around.

Monday, January 4, 2010

SeaWorld and The X-Rated Penguin Experience

I am not a fan of amusement parks.

Some people are and I think that is terrific.

There a large segment of the population (including my husband) that considers an amusement park a fun vacation. A tiny bit of me thinks that visiting an amusement park is a bit like going to the doctor for a pelvic examination.

I don't care for crowds, crying children and the necessity in consulting a map to know where I am.

I have recently started to feel this way about malls, too, especially during the holiday season. I am becoming a huge fan of Target. If it can't be bought there kids, tough shiz. You aren't getting it.

I made the erroneous decision to stop at the local mall in Daytona Beach several days before Christmas. I don't know why I did this; it was stupid and very unlike me.

I should have taken heed when I had to park half a mile away from the mall entrance. I was trying to be positive and upbeat because 'tis the season, you know? I considered the exercise I would be getting on my way to Dillard's .

Because Lawd knows I NEED EXERCISE.

The shoppers were out in hoards dragging their children/spouses/elderly parents along behind them. People in groups of more than three, in my experience, are difficult to work around and stand, frozen and confused a lot. Specifically, frozen and in my way.

We once experienced this personally when a large group of our extended family decided to take a day trip to Washington D.C. We were in the area for a wedding and it sounded like a fun idea to the majority.

It quickly became apparent that visiting a touristy area with a larger group of people was sort of like dragging a leaden third appendage around. This is precisely why the advertisements for group bus tours around Europe make me want to shoot myself. Perhaps they will hold some sort of appeal when I am older, but I think not.

We went to SeaWorld yesterday. I went a bit reluctantly, with hopes that the 20 month old would enjoy the animals. Indeed, she did.

Yet without her morning nap, the afternoon swiftly turned sour. She is not one who will drift peacefully off to sleep in a stroller; instead, she will scream, kick and make our lives (and those around us) miserable until she is lying supine.

Because it was 32 degrees in the Orlando area, we believed this might possibly dissuade at least a portion of the park's visitors (specifically, the Florida natives), hence less of a crowd.

We didn't take into consideration that the rides' mechanical operations would be adversely affected by the cold and the two major roller coasters were closed until 1pm due to technical issues.

I didn't care so much because I don't do rides. It made little difference to me. Roller coasters are one of my husband's favorite things in life, however, so it made a huge difference to him.

Four years ago we were treated to a day at DisneyWorld by a friend and my father-in-law.

My most memorable moment at DisneyWorld was not the glee on my kids' faces, but of the crippling, a** puckering bowel attack I experienced as we stood outside of the gates at 8:50 a.m.

I watched the Disney characters as they danced and sang and I was certain I was going to sh** my pants. I panicked as I wondered what exactly I would do if this occurred considering the long, long train ride back to the parking lot. The panic only exacerbated the problem and I broke out in a sweat. I also probably started to cry (knowing me).

The husband and boys thought this was hilarious but they didn't think that so much when I knocked them over as I shoved my way past them to the front of the line. I was a woman on a mission to find the bathroom nearest to the entrance when the gates opened at 9:00a.m..

My SeaWorld memory, much like my DisneyWorld memory, is of my day's most uncomfortable experience. We witnessed one of the more disturbing images I have seen inside the penguin display.

They are wild animals, I know, and one would have to assume they mate as wildly as the rest of their brothers and sisters in the Arctic. However, I wasn't prepared for it, a.) happening directly in front of me, and b.) the graphic money shot I saw at the end.

I puked a little in my mouth.

"They didn't show THAT in March of the Penguins," my 14 year old cackled, moved to hilarity by the uncomfortableness of the birds, bees and horny penguins.

I personally had seen enough. We ventured out of the park and subsequently home.

We collapsed in our own beds last night, windburned, cold and shivering. Chris and I discussed what wusses we had become since moving to Florida.

Next winter, when (if) we visit an amusement park, we will officially consider the temperature before venturing out. I suppose we are "Floridians" now; when in Rome.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Cliche-isms and Lemmings

I hate that I like this video. On so many levels.

Some observations.

1.) The cool, expensive Jaguar? And the chick dancing on a simulated "stage" with the wind blowing in her face? Cliche.

2.) I'm a sucker for a drummer who has smooth moves anda black stripe painted across his mouth.

3.) The clown? I swear that is Joel McHale. JOEL MCHALE, a.k.a., my hair plugged boyfriend. I liked him more before Community. But he is still spankin' adorable.

4.) I like this song so much, I paid $1.29 for it.

5.) I bought it immediately after watching the world premier video. I feel like such a lemming. The jacked up previewing abilities of Jay Z's songs on ITunes made me feel like several million other Americans who had just watched the Carson Daly New Year's countdown show did the exact the same thing I did. Lame.

6.) The Rorschach Test? Mesmerizing.

7.) And finally, even though foul language abounds, I think this will be a great work out song. You know, when I finally decide to drag my ass off the couch and go for a jog.