Welcome to my less than perfect life!

Embracing the imperfections that make my life practically perfect in every way.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Shhhh....it's Saturday

The Nugget attending her first movie; popcorn and candy and movies, oh my!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

That's right, folks, it's my blogiversary.  Before one year ago today, this blog but was a twinkle in its momma's eye.  I have had so much fun finding my imaginary friends out here in the blogosphere!  I can't wait to celebrate more years to come.  To celebrate this occassion, I am taking this opportunity to present you with my random rants of the day (in a neat, not so random list form, of course).

1.  Debt Ceiling:  Enough already.  I do not want to hear anything about this anymore.  Republicans suck.  Democrats suck.  Folks are not focused enough on wanting to actually do the right thing and make this a good nation.  They are too focused on the "politically correct" action which will get them more theoretical votes when the time comes.  Perhaps we need to consider term limits for all members of congress, too, so that we can eliminate that part of the issue.  Fix it you buttheads.

2.  The heat, my God the heat!  I know it's the end of July, but we have had temps in the 90's for a couple of weeks now and heat indexes often over 100 degrees.  I am praying for rain and at least some temps in the 80's.  Please.

3.  Where the hell is my housekeeper?  I swear, each week I wait and wait while the dust piles up and the showers scum over and the housekeeper never shows up!  I am so sick of having to take care of this place on my own.  The rings around the interior of the toilet simply will not clean themselves (believe me, I've begged, pleaded, tried prayer AND magic).  If this keeps up, I may need to fire my imaginary current service.

4.  Diet Coke.  As you regular readers know, I am a lover of the dark and bubbly.  However, lately the Coca Cola company keeps coming up with ways to charge me more money for less Diet Coke.  Folks, I wasn't born yesterday!  I know that I shouldn't have to pay well over a dollar for 16oz of beverage.  I want a metric ton of Diet Coke for 67 cents, just like in the old days!  A liter and half?  That's just a way of you saying, "Drinkers of our product, we know you are too stupid to realize that we are downsizing to save money!"  A 20-pack of cans instead of 24 for the same price?  You, sir, have insulted my intelligence.  Good day. 
*But please don't punish my anger by stopping the production of your delicious beverage or *GOD FORBID* changing the formula.  Nothing will ever replace Diet Coke in my heart, even if it is made by money-grubbing, corporate bastartds*

5.  Road contruction.  I have to cross a bridge every day on the way to and from work.  It is the only way.  They are now working on this bridge.  They have been "working" on it for over a month.  And by working I mean they have been blocking off lanes and bringing in equipment.  They haven't even STARTED the repairs yet.  Of course, the lane restrictions have forced me to go through all of the worst parts of the bridge that really need to be repaired - parts I would have been able to move over and avoid before the construction.  It's looking like one of those projects that, I kid you not, will likely go on into at least next year.  Yea.  Yea me.

And that's my anniversarial post, people.  Nothing left to see here.  I know you were likely expecting more (A giveaway?  Something deep and meaningful?), but this is all you're getting.  I'll catch you on the flip-flop.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Shhhh....It's Saturday

Well, except it's Sunday.  But, as usual, I refer you to the title of the blog.  Hope your weekend has been restful and joy-filled.

The Nugget delights in a bubble-blowing session

Friday, July 22, 2011

Failed Intstincts

Mama's Losin' It

I lay in the hospital bed laughing with my husband as we watched Ferris Beuller's Day Off.  It was a Friday night, so The Mister could stay late with me.  I always felt more secure and relaxed when he was by my side.  If I tried hard enough, I could imagine that we were just home on the couch, watching a movie and relaxing like we used to do.

When the nurse entered to strap a device to my belly so she could monitor the baby, I didn't let it interrupt.  This was our norm.  I lived in the hospital and the nurses came and went.  They were just part of the date, as normal as the dog needing to be let out or the cat wanting her chin scratched.  Routine.

In the back of my mind, I noticed that The Peanut's heart rate seemed slower than usual.  I tried not to let it worry me.  Worry had become my second nature in the past many weeks, but I was finally moving through it and reaching toward hope.  The nurses would know what to do.  The large team of specialists who saw us every day would be able to take care of us.  They didn't seem panicked at all.

Soon, the maternal fetal medicine specialist was there to do an ultrasound.  Again, not a real break from the routine.  We got these at least once a day if not more frequently.  I felt secure knowing that he was checking things out to make sure The Peanut was doing just fine.  I continued to watch the movie, trying to keep my giggles to a minimum so as not to interrupt the doctor.

After at time he said, "It looks like your going to be having a baby tonight."

I smiled, "You think so?" 

The now me wants to go back to the then me and wipe that smile off of her face.  Who does she think she is?  Doesn't she know she is only in her 27th week of pregnancy?  Doesn't she know that being surrounded by all of these medical professionals and fancy equipment have engendered in her a sense of false security?  Can't she see the disaster approaching from her still-miles-away view?

"Oh, I don't think so, I know so," the doctor resonded in a matter of fact way.

Excitement bubbled up inside of me.  My baby boy is coming to the world!  It felt right.  I knew he was early, but we were in one of the best hospitals with one of the best NICU's in the state.  We had been watching this little guy so closely for weeks, I just knew that, though he would struggle a bit, we would all be home soon.  The Peanut was filled with a strong spirit.  I knew this because each day he tumbled inside of me like an acrobat, kicking at my catheter, rolling across my belly like a mid-game soccer ball.  He had what it took to make it through.

Recently, I had taken to joking to family members that once the baby was born, "The baby will be in the NICU, I will be in recovery, and The Mister will be in the nut house."  In that scenario, I had never questioned that any one of us wouldn't make it out.

As they took me into surgery (they were performing a c-section which the doctors felt would be easier on the baby due to his prematurity), I felt relaxed and calm.  The Mister soon joined me in the surgical suite.  I smiled and laughed with him, trying to ease the stress I saw on his face.  I mouthed to him the words, "Elephant Shoes", which evoked from him an, "I love you too."  A game we played.  He wouldn't have fallen for it in less stressful times.

Soon enough, there was a tug and some movement behind the curtain which hid my belly from view.  There was no cry, just silence.  I briefly saw the tiniest baby I had ever seen being whisked through the room.  Craning my neck as best I could I said to The Mister, "Was that him?  Was that the baby?"  I couldn't believe my eyes.  This little guy who had been kicking away inside of me was so very small.

Once I was sewn back together, they wheeled me into recovery.  I waited, groggy, to see my new child.  When I was able, they wheeled my bed through the NICU so that I could touch his warm head as he lay there in the incubator.  I wanted to stay by his side, but before long, the nurses nudged me away so that they could get me back to my own recovery.

"Mommy's here.  I love you."  I let my had fall from his furry little head.

As the days went by, my little Peanut grew in his incubator.  Family came to visit.  He met people.  I received frequent reports from the doctors who were there around the clock.

"He did well last night." 

"He is stable." 

I had faith that everything would be fine. 

For 24 hours, I was required to stay in bed by my OB/GYN.  The moment the doctor let me out of bed, I had The Mister load me into a wheelchair and I virtually raced to the NICU to see my baby boy.  There he was, so tiny, but strong.  I lay my hand on his warm little body and knew that it was going to be okay.

The next morning, one of the neo-natologist visited our room.  He told us that The Peanut had a rough night.  They were doing tests.  I worried, but I didn't panic.  I knew that the NICU was full of ups and downs.  We went to visit as soon as we could.

As soon as we arrived, I knew that things had shifted.  The Peanut's oxygen sats were well below normal.  He had a monitor alarming.  While he looked no different, it was clear that things were not good.  My heart raced to the beep of his alarm.  Where was the nurse?  Why wasn't someone saving him?  Who was looking out for my son?

When the nurse arrived, a neo-natologist arrived with her.  I have blotted out everything about this woman except the color of her hair.  A brown bob is the only thing I can see when I dredge my memory banks.  She spoke slowly and quietly, kindly, to The Mister and I.  My memory of her words is a fragmented, hiccoughing blur.  She spoke of a bleed he had suffered.  She began to describe the stages of severity in such bleeds.  As she described them, my hope was squeezed from me like the final drops from a soaking tea bag.  I cannot tell you to this day what stages 1-3 held for him.  I only know that she spoke in slow motion, moving through her explanation while time stood still.  I waited, my throat catching at every stage.  Maybe it's stage one.  Maybe not so bad.    But she kept going.  My baby?  My baby had a stage 4 bleed.  My baby was failing.

And my instincts had failed.  All of that warm, bubbly hope I had held inside of my heart had been a mistake.  My sense of security was only wishful thinking and I had wasted his short life believing that we would have more time together.  All because the one thing I thought I had, the one thing I should have had, my motherly instincts, had failed. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bending the Scowl Like Beckham

I am just going to come right out and say it.  I have had it with Victoria Beckham (Victoria, if you are reading this, I will henceforth refer to you as VBeck.  I can do that, right?  I mean, we're not friends or anything and I am sure we never will be (certainly not after this post) but I feel like it's better to stick to a catchy celebrity nickname which includes at least part of your last name and therefore seems more formal than to go ahead and just call you Victoria, for God's sake.  Okay, so then, it's settled.  VBeck it is).  I mean, this is a person who has virtually everything that anyone could want.  She has four healthy children and a husband who is thought of by many as quite the catch.  She is beautiful and wealthy.  And yet she never.  Ever.  Smiles.  Go ahead.  Google some images while I wait.  In fact, here are a few for you to ponder:

Pretty sure holding this face is giving her a migraine.
"It hurts when I even think about smiling."

I can only assume she's thinking how much this purse is killing her arm.

And now she's gone and stolen my baby name.  I. Have. Had. It.

VBeck, you have got everything.  And, as far as I can tell (from an admittedly extremely outsider perspective), you don't really appreciate that fact.  And now, on top of the everything you had before, you have my baby name, Harper!!!

I can only assume you didn't know I was planning to use it on the next child I have.  Who has not yet been conceived.  But STILL.  You could have checked this out with me first.  I mean, while readers of my blog don't know my daughter as anything but The Nugget, she does have a real name.  A real name which went quite well with the sibling, unisex name of Harper.  Because we are into literary, unisex names around here.  But now, every time I hear that name, I will be seeing that freaking scowling face staring at me.  The face I have to rush past in magazines because it pisses me off.  That thankless, scowling face which I can only assume has been developed through years of hard practice at looking exceptionally cool and perpetually bored.  It's the only way to be posh.

So, I beg of you, lighten the freak up.  You are now the mother of 4 children.  We know you have a less than perfect body and a less than perfect sleep schedule and a less than perfect life because them's the breaks when you have 4 children.  Fess up to it.  Dare to smile at your  children once in a while.  Or your husband.  Or your fans.  Or even to yourself.  Take the risk that by laughing and smiling and possibly even being seen looking less than perfect, you will be seen as someone who is *god forbid* NORMAL.  And I mean this in the best possible way.  Normal isn't so bad.  Your face hurts a lot less when you don't have to maintain a "sexy" pout.  And your arm hurts a lot less if you don't have to carry multi-thousand dollar purses the size of Mini Coopers around.  Your feet will likely thank you when you no longer have to wear 5 inch heels to every event in your life (your husband plays soccer; sporty might be an appropriate look for a game).  And I am sure, I have to believe, that your family will feel a lot more relaxed and calm when you feel more relaxed and calm.

Anyway, VBeck, treat that name well.  I hope I'll see you smiling in some pictures in the future (perhaps with the knowledge that you stole my name, but still).  Run.  Frolick.  Have fun.  And remember, you have a fantastic life.  Celebrate it.  And bend that scowl upside down, baby.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Listograpyh - Ice Cream


Check out Kate Takes 5 to see other fun lists and to read her fantastic blog!

I thought this sounded like too much fun to pass up!  It's also been interesting to see people from all around the world list their ice cream favorites to see what is available where and the different names some things are given in different places.  So, without further ado, my top 5 ice cream picks:

1.  Dove Bar:  The chocolate is so creamy and thick on these it makes my mouth water just thinking about it.  Not only for cool weather, they are great by the fireplace, too!

2.  Ben and Jerry's Peanut Butter and Jelly pint:  they discontinued this flavor years ago, but I still dream about it.  Ben, Jerry, I beg of you, bring it back!  The jelly was strawberry.  Just for those of you who think this sounds gross, you must taste before judging!

3.  Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake: This is one of those that seems to go by many names around the globe.  As I said in a comment on someone else's list, it reminds me of days at the public pool as a kid.  I always felt like I'd won the lottery when I managed to have money to buy an ice cream while I was there!

4.  The good old ice cream sandwich:  You cannot go wrong with one of these babies.  Ever.  It really doesn't matter what brand as long as you stick with the traditional soft chocolate cookie on the outside and the vanilla ice cream in the middle.

5.  And last, but certainly not least, the Nestle ice cream cookie sandwich.  Brand is critical here.  Unlike with the regular ice cream sandwich, where almost any brand will do, Nestle is the only company to have mastered this bad boy.  Of course, it has enough calories that you really have to count it as a full meal.  Fortunately, it's big enough for that.

And there you have it.  Cool refreshment for summer.  Or for any time of the year, really.  Enjoy!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

An Open Letter to IKEA

Dear IKEA:

Thank you for taking time out of your undoubtedly busy day to read this.  I know that you have millions of customers to please out there, so I won't take up much of your time.  I really just wanted to thank you for not bulding a store near my home.

Before you get all huffy and offended, please know that I LOVE your stores.  I have taken many a pilgrimage to your bastians of cheap and stylish stuff.  The closest store to me is at least two and a half hours away.  Sometimes I go in the other direction, and that one takes a little over three hours to get to.  But it is sooooo worth it.  From minute I enter the store until the moment I leave, I am surrounded by unbelievable quantities of affordable STUFF. 

IKEA can meet any need.  Need new forks?  Got 'em!  Remodeling the kitchen?  Right there!   Lighting, artwork, furniture, baskets, storage, organizing...It. Is. All. There.  And, just when you think you're growing a bit weary, you arrive at the cafeteria and re-energize with some (what else) Swedish meatballs before you tackle the second floor!  Plus, you can take everything home with you TODAY.  I can remodel my entire house if I want to and wheel it all out to my semi trailer and take it home and assemble it later that same day.  I have actually seen moving trucks in the parking lot.

I know it seems odd that I would not want you to build a store closer to me considering how much I love the place, but here's the thing:  going to IKEA has become a bit of a vacation for me and one of my besties.  We both have young children and, while we get together fairly often, there are only bits of adult conversation strung between constant interruptions from our daughters.  When we go shopping at IKEA, we are forced to sit together in quiet in a car for a total of about 5 hours together.  And that's just the car part!  It's safe to count on a sore throat from talking at the end of the ride, and I never fail to be amazed at how many things we haven't told each other throughout the year.  When we were in college, we spent countless hours together, often just us two, sharing dreams and thoughts and memories and experiences.  Now, much of our communication consists of quick messages on Facebook or texts to plan get-togethers with our families.  So, on our annual vacation to IKEA, we get to digest our experiences as wives, mothers, friends and family members and share our thougths, great and small, while we drive and shop and eat and enjoy our free time.

So, again I say, thank you, IKEA.  Please don't build a store in my city.  Continue to force us to stop and take time for one another and just breathe

Well, breathe and shop.  And eat meatballs.

Friday, July 1, 2011

In Search of Sandals

I have recently been on the hunt for a new pair of white sandals for The Nugget.  Frankly, I did not consider this to be a potentially difficult undertaking.  She's two.  They're white sandals.  How hard, really, could it be?  I pretty much planned on walking into the first store I came to and buying the first pair of shoes I found.

As always, anything and everything can always be a lot harder than it seems.

First of all, my child is apparently the only one in the known universe whose feet grow at odd times during the year.  It's the beginning of July, but the supply of white sandals has dwinlded to virtually nothing.  The sandals that are out there are mostly on sale, to be sure.  BUT you must be looking for anything other than a size 7 if you want to take advantage of these on-sale sandals.  Size 6?  There are at least 10 pair of normal-looking, appropriate white sandals available.  Size 8?  Sure, have at it!  Size 7, no way in hell will you ever find a pair this size.

Unless, that is, you would like your child to dress like she is an adult.  An adult sales and marketing person or perhaps an adult exotic dancer.  In the high-heeled style, white sandals seem abundant.  I am perpelxed by this fact.  My two year old can trip over NOTHING in her FLAT shoes.  WHY would I want to add the possibiliy of a broken ankle by putting her in HEELS?  I mean, I get it, Suri Cruise made being a todller in high heels while drinking a latte from a bottle popular:
from People.com
But when did we ALL buy into it?

Of course, my other option was to buy her thongs.  No, not the sexy underwear (which I am absolutely SURE they make for toddlers), but the kind of shoes with the strap that goes through the middle of your toes:

Also from People.com
I am the queen of sandals.  Never in my life would I don a closed-toed shoe if I did not live in the Midwest where it becomes necessary to do so about 6 months out of the year.  However, I find this particular type of sandal, while stylish, to be a bit less than comfortable.  I know, fashion should ALWAYS trump comfort for adults, right?  But should it trump comfort for TODDLERS?  I just want a generic-colored shoe that will match pretty much any clothing I put the kid in that will allow her to go romp and play and have child-like fun.  IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?

So, she's currently wearing the size-small shoes she had from last season.  Her toes hang off the front and her heels hang off the back.  They are scuffed and ugly and clearly need to be replaced, but she doesn't seem to mind.  I'll keep looking for those elusive comfy white sandals, and in the meantime we will just keep trucking along in our un-fashionable, oh-so-comfortable, velcro-fastening sandals. 

I just hope we can survive the looks of fear and loathing from the other two-year-olds at the park.