Thursday, January 28, 2010

Git Yo Socks Up Off Da Floo!

I know the video quality sucks, but this is one of my friends and I had to share (I'm sure she'll love that, haha... ahem).

Know What's So Great About Frizzy Hair?

Yeah, me neither.

Anyway, here's another mixed bag of my thoughts.  Fair warning, I'm a bit whiny tonight.

My dad and Margaret's neighbor may have to sell their home because the husband's been laid off and the wife doesn't work (and no, she's not a stay at home mom... I said she doesn't work).  The house is not fabulous, but it's in a decent neighborhood.  They're selling it for about $20 grand more than we paid for this place.  It would have been within our budget.  Margaret said, "But it's small.  It's the smallest one they made."

Yeah, but compared to this place, everything is small.  And I would have been all for a smaller house with a small commute.  And while there are innumberable downsides to living next door to my dad, can you imagine days like today?  I stayed home because Tom spread his yucky germs.  So he had to drop Madelyn off on his way to work... at 5:20 this morning... after a nearly hour-long drive.  She and I could have slept in and then I could have just called Margaret and met her on the other side of the lawn.  *sigh*

And let's just talk about baby logistics for a second.  My plan is to give birth this time at the same place where I had Madelyn.  That's about 50 miles from here.  It's worth the hassle we may end up having because of the house we ended up choosing (which I do like most of the time), but Margaret's already making plans for me to stay with them as it gets closer for the baby to come.  In seven months.

We will have a back up plan*, but the best hospital up here won't do a tubal ligation right after birth.  I'd like to combine the pain and discomfort at once, if you don't mind.  Plus, the other hospital is phenomenal.  Madelyn spent four days in the NICU there** and we really trust them.

On the topic of being sick, I am.  I have the coughing-est, no-face-covering-est husband in the west.  I swear! 

Dude, just because you closed your mouth hole doesn't mean things can't come out the nose holes.  You're still breathing, right?  Argh!

*Tomorrow night Corey has a banquet for band.  We had to provide early childhood photos.  Photos, especially those in albums, will be one of the last things unpacked around here.  I see it happening in a year or two when we finally get to installing a built-in bookshelf/cabinet combo downstairs and a bookshelf/window seat upstairs.  To minimize lifting any of the 15 heavy boxes of albums (thank you Grandma and Grandpa!), I opted for looking through Corey's box.  It has all of the school assignments and art projects that A) show his personality and B) lasted long enough for me to remember to put them in the box.  It also holds some of his treasures.  As I was sifting through I came across a giant Mother's Day card that listed about seven things that made me a great mom.  The first one?  "She always has a Plan B."  Mm-hmm.  I believe he was four or five when that lesson was clearly instilled. 

***On a side-side note, I like this card better than the one where he said "My mommy's the greatest because she takes me to my best store, Target.  She loves the Red Hot Chili Peppers."

**Speaking of Mad and her story, I'm not even sure where I left off.  I'll have to wrap that up before too much longer.

Back on the topic of being pregnant, my willingness to be diligent about my diet just isn't the same this time as it was with Madelyn.  Oddly, and I may have mentioned this before, I associate this with the surprise nature of my pregnancy with Madelyn.  We had agreed not to have any kids together and then I was pregnant.  And we were both so freaking excited that I didn't want anything bad to happen more than the usual bit of concern and worrying.  So it was extremely easy for me (about 90% of the time) to give up coffee and chocolate and iced tea and whatever else I shouldn't have been having. 

Obviously I don't want anything bad to happen this time either, but I guess there's something this time that reminds me of being pregnant with Corey.  After several miscarriages, I just came to a point where I knew he was going to be okay.  I'm not exactly at that point with this one, but I'm a lot closer to relaxed than I am to constantly fretting.  So the call of coffee and brie and turkey sandwiches is greater this time than it was before.  I have to remind myself that I have decrepit eggs and that we are very lucky to be having a baby at all, and that I shouldn't be adding to the risk factors.

And following that stream of my (barely) consciousness*, I have the next part of the genetic risks testing next week.  It's the nuchal scan, where they measure the thickness of the neck.  I am a wee bit concerned that karma is gonna come after me.  Why?  One of the mommies in my group with Madelyn told me that she'd been pregnant once before with a son, but when they had the ultrasound he was deceased.  I'm not sure why I prodded her to tell the story.  It made us both uncomfortable and I don't think it helped her at all.  So, you see... not quite so relaxed just yet.  After Tuesday I will know more.

I can see I've spilled way more than intended here, but that's how it goes tonight.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Shape of Love (and other things)

I'm operating with about half of my usual pea-sized brain lately, so I haven't had any one thing happen worth posting that I can remember by the time I'm in front of the computer.  Here's a snippet of my life lately:

This morning I was too slow getting moving and Mad was too quick.  Thus I showered with her roaming my bedroom (instead of still snoozing in her own room).  When I bent over to put on my panties, she reached up and grabbed each of my nipples and asked, "What that?"

"Mama's breasts."

"Ohh, bwets."

Then, wearing only said panties (sadly, this is not a fantasy scene, folks), I went into the bedroom.  Madelyn came running up behind me calling out, "Heawt" (heart).  I asked where and she poked me in the rear.  Twice.  That is very likely the first time I've appreciated anything about my own ass in maybe four years.


The other night Tom apparently tried to get my attention for storytime.  I didn't hear him and didn't realize that I was missing out until I heard her music start, which signaled that she was ready for some brief rocking and a quick toss in the crib.

Last night he called down, "Hey Shan, it's storytime.  And can you bring up the lotion?"  Mad was standing at the top of the stairs, so when I came around she said, "Hey Shayma."  This is now how she makes personal requests for anything she forgot to bring up.

Last night it was, "Hey Shayma... geh peema?" (get penguin?) and tonight it was, "Hey Shayma.  Hey Shayma?  Buberry?" (can I talk you into bringing me some blueberries?  I just remembered we have them and I didn't get any today).

Madelyn must have thought she hit the jackpot when I brought not one, but four big fat blueberries up while she was taking a bath.


Friday night was the culmination of the efforts my pal Lisa and I made gathering historical facts on the city of Ontario.  The Chamber of Commerce had their centennial gala.  I had borrowed a silver sweater set from a coworker.  When I tried it on at work, it was lovely.  Since I have a not so small tattoo on my chest, I was glad that it was nearly covered without being prudish.

I put it on Friday evening at my dad's house.  Over the course of the next 10-15 minutes, it proceeded to travel lower and lower in front.  Essentially I went from cocktail to hoochie without leaving the bathroom.  Having no other free alternative, I ran to a couple of stores that I thought could help.  One has gone strictly casual.  The other had all sorts of bright spring colors that wouldn't look good on my on my best day.  But in the clearance rack I found a button-up, tuxedo-looking shirt in a black and white print.  I wore it out of the dressing room.  The clerk cut the tag off, rang me up and I was out the door in a flash.  I didn't even wait for the receipt.

It was the next size up, but will work as my belly expands, too.  Or it will once I go back and have the security tag removed.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pray for Rain

Update:  Tom and Mad did indeed return home safely last night.  Their usual hour-long drive was just over three times its normal duration, but neither was the worse for wear (especially once they ate, got changed and ran around).

Or something!  Tom is currently stuck on I-15, not moving. 

With Madelyn. 

In the pass. 

In a snowstorm. 

With no snacks or water.

Up until about an hour ago they were moving extremely slowly with CHP escorts, but now, nothing.

He is about 2 miles from a gas station (for snacks, not gas) and 30 miles from home.

Oh, and when he asked if Mad wanted to talk with Mama, she burst into tears.


Monday, January 18, 2010

A Tribute

To Pat, Nancy's mother.  Thank you for creating this amazing human being.  My best friend.  Best friend to many.  Nancy had told me about some of the characteristics she got from her long-departed dad.  I think she may have alluded to her independence and strength coming from him.  That may be so, but she also got it from you, didn't she?

She has commented in years past about how you always call to make sure someone got home okay, "She's a worrier."  Yet she always wants to know when I arrive after a particularly long or weather-filled drive, doesn't she?

The way she orders a glass of ice water with extra ice?  Could that have been learned from her mom who liked everything cold?

There has been a lot for me to learn since meeting Nance.  She has tried to share her taught me grace, patience and wisdom.  I have learned a lot more in the past two years as she helped her husband with terminal leukemia.

Sometimes I wonder if anyone will ever know all of me.  I suppose not.  The woman I feel I know so well keeps revealing herself as we go through our lives together.

Just the other day I learned more about her by sitting with you as you were drowsing under the effects of morphine.  I learned of similarities and differences that I hadn't even considered before. 

The love does not surprise me.  I thank you for teaching her to love the way you have.

And I thank you for the small mercy of passing away while Nancy was not there.  Considerate to the end, you must have known she didn't feel strong enough.

Thank you for my best friend.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


That's what we have, folks.  That's right... WE DID IT!!! 

I mean... er... eh... well, we wanted to make a baby and SUCCESS!

We sent out an email one by one to each of the grandparents today.  As it was sending, we phoned them up and waited while they opened the attachment and read it.

Here's what they saw: 

Corey & Madelyn learned something new

And now so did you!
Expect the big arrival around August 18, 2010.

Know what this means?  I'm going to have kids in three different decades.  Next time you're feeling old, contemplate that.

Yes, all of the grandparents are excited.  I know... shocking.  Corey is excited.  Madelyn keeps saying "big sistuh," which we think means she's happy, too.  We'll see in seven months, won't we.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

This May Not Be Funny to You

Let me just start off by stating a couple of facts:
  1. I am no lovely petite violet (Judy Juudy!).  I'm 5'7" and lately I've grown a third butt... now I'm like that old Baptist hymn, "Deep and Wide."  I've posted a few rare photos of myself on here, so you can verify that yourself.
  2. I hate meetings.  Go ahead and vote for me to be the person who will find anything else I can to occupy my inner workings while people drone on and on about stuff that is only relevant to them personally and/or needs to be worked out in therapy rather than on my time.  I try to cover myself by paying attention to the best of my limited ability and throwing out some quasi-useful comment or argument when possible.  Last staff meeting I attended resulted in my being "Shannoned" (as in, "*Gasp!* Shannon!!  We can hear you! *nervous laughter*")
  3. My sense of humor isn't always what you might call... um... funny.  Today Nancy and I had a conversation about her dying mother that would not have gone over well if anybody else were around.
That being said, let me tell you about yesterday.  We had a daylong staff development meeting.  The upside was that I'd get to see some of my compadres from my old office.

Oh yeah, and it was being held 12 minutes from my home.

Oh OH yeah, and because we are enslaved by an idiotic union, employees from other areas could not possibly be made to "start work" (i.e., get on a bus at their job sites) before 7:30.  So registration didn't even begin until 8:30.  I slept until 7:00.

I got there early to procure seats for my peeps.  Due to some personal needs of certain members, I selected the last row on the center aisle.  It was perfect.  Close to the restrooms.  Close enough to read what's on the 20' x 25' screen up front.  Far enough to check my email and send texts "as necessary."

In true I'm-surrounded-by-office-types fashion, someone got a little pissy because I saved three other seats on the back row.  Bite me lady, there are five other back rows.  That's right, we work in education, but nobody still wants to sit up front.

My peeps arrive and we're merrily chatting about who knows what when the we are called to attention.  I turn to face the front only to find that it has disappeared.  Completely. 

That 20 x 25 screen?  Occasionally I could make out our logo on the top left corner.  Once or twice I saw a letter or two on the bottom right.

Why?  Because a ginormous woman, who must have been a professional swimmer... or a linebacker... before she grew her third ass... was sitting in front of me. 

I took a picture and sent it to Nance.  Her response made me laugh out loud:

"What - no hat?!"

I'm not including that picture here, because it seems to cross a line even more than my telling the story here.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

If You Knew It Would End This Way...

... would you have stayed home anyway?

Nope.  Despite that teary-eyed sad face, it was all worth it.  What was worth it, you and your enquiring minds ask?  Something heinous at the doctor's office?  First visit to the dentist?


Just a Saturday morning trip to the park.

After a good night of sleep...

We arrived nonchalantly at the park.

Mad hasn't been there, nor to her beloved 'siiide' since the middle of November.  But as soon as we rounded the corner...
... she was off like a rocket.

Straight to the top...

... and down.

The park was crowded.  Sometimes she had to wait.

But as long as she could be with her beloved slide, life was grand!

Then mean ol' Mama insisted on going for a walk.  A tear-filled loud walk.  And not on the grass, because it was recently watered and quite muddy in the "dry" spots.  But lo and behold, what did Mad find?
Puddles make you feel like you can fly!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


I typically don't make resolutions for New Year.  I did two years ago, but it wasn't anything life altering.  I play games on Pogo.  I'm a member (I know... ooh) and sometimes play for badges.  Maybe it's because I was never a Girl Scout.  Whatever.  In any case, I found myself devoting a couple hours a week to badges for games I don't even like.  Resolution?  Only play games I like.  'Cuz I like to push myself like that, that's why.

Who knows when the last real resolution came from me.  I don't even "resolve not to make any resolutions."  Seriously?  That's like deciding not to decide.  You just did, but with less effect.  Doh!

So the fact that I decided upon rising this morning to do some stretches and a few exercises on my bedroom floor had less to do with the date and more to do with the fact that my pajama bottoms are getting snug.  Seriously?  That's not cool.

My "stretching" consisted of touching my toes, being glad I could still touch my toes and thinking about how I must resemble Winnie-the-Pooh getting ready for his hunny pots.

Then I laid down on one side and did about 20 leg lifts with my right leg.

The next thing I know Corey's at my door asking if I'm ever coming out.

Twenty minutes of mind-dazzling sleep later, I no longer had time to do anything else.  I'm gonna have to come up with a new plan tomorrow.  (Tom suggests I do the other leg.)

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Kicking Off

I was as excited as I ever am to return to work after a holiday yesterday.  Since I do love my job and the people I work with, the tug to stay home with Madelyn and Maisy, and to be there when Corey gets home from school doesn't hurt as much as it might.

Somehow I managed to get up on time, but didn't think to check on Corey until 15 minutes before he had to leave.  Not sure how snoozing boy managed to get out the door and catch the bus before it was too late.

Mad and I tried our best to stay on target, too, but the poor kid's finally learned to sleep until almost 8:00, so getting up at 5:45 isn't so much fun.

Some brilliant person scheduled a meeting for first thing yesterday.  I was late.  Half of us were late.  The last line of the minutes said something like, "Once we all pulled our heads out of our a____s, we got a lot accomplished."  Couldn't have been stated more clearly.

I have a gala event to go to in a couple weeks.  Gala events are not my thing, but this one's sort of a big deal and I've had a lot of fun helping get ready.  I am having second thoughts about attending because I do not have anything to wear, and it's not where I want to spend our money these days.  So I've asked a couple coworkers if they have anything suitable (i.e., long or pants and able to stretch across my fat ass) that they'd be willing to loan me for the evening.

One of the things I did yesterday was to schedule an appointment with my doctor.  I've told Tom I want a new one, but it'll be such a hassle because there are no other good options in our medical group.  And anyway, I do like him, I just don't want to argue about tests and vaccinations I wouldn't accept should there be a reason to have them.  I arrived only to find that he was out delivering a baby.  Stay tuned.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Putting the Cap Back On... Or, Uh... Recapping

Here was the plan for the big day (yeah, yesterday not tonight... or as we called it when we were kids, this day):
  • Get up early (like there's another option; Mad's up between 6:15 and 7:00) and find the recipe to make for the breakfast omelet casserole thingy Tom and I last made maybe six or seven years ago.  All Internet searches resulted in yucky dishes that involved soppy bread or cream of something disgusting soup.
  • Make a shopping list for Tom and send him on his way.  He's the better shopper between us when it comes to economics and value.  I'm better with getting it done mas rapido.
  • Finish up the little bit of cleaning and laundry (thank you, New Year's Eve, for coming right after the deep Christmas cleaning).
  • Make an early dinner of roast pork and vegetables.
  • Clean up and work on any food prep that needs to be done before the guests arrive.  Tom's in charge of the veggies, fruit, cheese and crackers.  I'll make a pumpkin marmalade and prep stuff for breakfast.
Here's how it went:
  • Got up at 8:00, because our alarm clock (Madelyn) was a little worn out, apparently.  Begged Tom, AKA Finder Man, to get his butt downstairs and help me look for the recipe because I can't find where Tom, AKA Organizer Man, put anything.  Took him 5 minutes.  If that man has to tell me one more time it's in the second drawer in the filing cabinet... that thing must be like Mary Poppins' carpet bag... *sigh*
  • Made a shopping list that was broken down into "Tonight" and "Breakfast" and figured Tom would know what else we'll need for the week.  Thought to mention that, although we need juice and milk, he should consider that we have not purchased that second refrigerator he talks about after every party; he should not over-purchase beverages requiring refrigeration.  Mentioned that I just did roast chicken and vegetables on Christmas Eve and that maybe we want something different.  Tom offered to grill.  Told him he needed to start the grill at 3:00 to stay on schedule.  Had a conversation and realized that each of us thought the other would be doing the shopping.  Tom won shopping, I won cleaning.  Yay me.  ?
  • Did the laundry.  Corey and I did the cleaning, organizing, refilling of soap dispensers and stocking of toilet paper.  Called Tom at 2:30 to see if he'd fallen off the face of the fricken earth.  Man was stuck at his second grocery store (downside of living in the desert is the dearth of organic... or even decent produce).  Both were madhouses and neither is particularly expedient on a good day.  My economical shopper of a husband spent $400 on groceries.  And, although I'd thought to remind him about conserving refrigerator space, I did not actually tell him.  So he bought four different juices and milk for Madelyn, Corey and himself (they each drink something different).  Plus beer and extra sparkling cider.  No ice for the cooler.  No water for the rest of the week.
  • When Mom showed up a little early for our early dinner, we sent her and Corey to the store for ice and water.
  • Early dinner was about an hour and 15 minutes later than I'd planned, but fricken delicious.  Tom grilled steaks and made some sort of breakfast potatoes as a side.  We still had just under two hours to get ready for the peeps.  I handled the marmalade (which was also pretty damned good, happily) and cheese.  Tom did stuffed mushroom caps, barbecued drumsticks and... oh, just about everything else while I cleaned up from dinner (the kitchen, that is).
  • First guests arrived 15 minutes later.  (Another downside of living in the desert, along the main road that gets everybody from LA to Vegas and all other points east, is that you never can tell how bad the traffic will be.  So they left extra time and had not one problem.)  No offense to anybody else, but these were my two favorite people aside from family.  Having them there early didn't stress me out like it might have with someone else.  As a sign of how cool these two are, Madelyn loves them.  Madelyn is fond of my mother, father and a few other people she sees regularly.  Jo and Pedro came with toilet plungers and Mad was a happy girl.  We laughed through everything.
Right at 7:00 the doorbell rang for the next guests.  By 7:30, Mad was done and ready for bed.  As I came out of her room and approached the top of the stairs, I could hear a lovely hum of conversations.  At 8:00 everyone was there and the games began.  We did the drawing game.  It went pretty well.  There are more artistic people among us than I would have guessed.  (Sorry, Hank.  We'll try out the Mafia game some other time.)

The toilet plungers were for a game that Jo had heard of somewhere.  She was wise to have us split by gender, especially since you just know Corey and Lisa would have stood in line together.  Thank you, but that's an image I don't need to see.  Boys beat the girls because what do we know about carrying toilet plungers between our legs or inserting the stick into a tube?  Not much.  We're okay with that.
I thought we'd play another game, but realized that everybody was wrapped up in conversations and munching.  Just like it should've been, so I left well enough alone.

At 10:00 I realized I haven't stayed up for New Year's the past two years.  Last year we were in Illinois and planning to start our salmonella-poisoned joyride home early the next morning.  As it turned out, the kid-friendly hotel we had chosen ("984 feet from Six Flags") was full of kids... who ran up and down the halls blowing horns and shaking clackers as midnight neared.  The good news is that they retreated to their room shortly after midnight.  The bad news is that their room was right over ours.  Two years ago I was six months pregnant with Mad and went to bed by 9:00.

Now I don't like to be a wet blanket, but I don't have any regrets about missing the stroke of midnight for either of those years.  If it weren't for an extraordinarily long nap this afternoon, I'd be in bed right now.  So yes, there was a brief moment last night when I thought two more HOURS?  They went by in a flash.

At midnight we pulled poppers and toasted with sparkling cider.  Tom and I had an extra special Happy New Year since this was our 10th together.

All told, we had 13 guests for the party and three who spent the night.  By 12:30 or so, we were all in bed.  Happily for all of us, Mad slept until nearly 8:00 again.  Even better for Jo and Pedro, who were downstairs, so did the dog.

We had a late breakfast of an oven omelet and cranberry/apple twist.  I forgot (a-freaking-gain) to take the pumpkin bread out, so I sent one home with Jo and P.  I still have one.  If you like pumpkin bread with nuts, it's all yours, baby.

Jo and Pedro left this afternoon, maybe one-ish.  Mom left, and took Corey with her, about half an hour later.  And that, my friends, is what an overnight party is like in our house.  A little drinking, a lot of laughing, some good food and as much sleep as we're able to squeeze in.  I hope yours was as fun and lovely.
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