Monday, December 27, 2010

It's a Wonderful Life

Well, we had a fantastic Christmas! We had the Hubcap’s (a.k.a. my husband) parents, Granny, and uncle up for Christmas along with my parents as well. After a great Christmas Eve service at my cousin and aunt’s church, the whole gang headed back to my cousin’s house for a sumptuous, scrumptious meal. My cuz is the hostess with the mostest. She went all out to make the evening an utterly enjoyable success. We had really great hors d’oeuvres and delectable main courses and side dishes, and we topped off the evening with a birthday cake for Jesus, complete with the Happy Birthday song. We elected not to try to fit a couple thousand candles on the cake, however. We even had entertainment. My cousin is the consummate storyteller. She can frequently send me to that really ugly laugh where I have tears rolling down my face and I can no longer control my manic, cackling grin. Not attractive in the least, but quite satisfying.

Christmas morning dawned bright and not early. I think we got things rolling around 8:30 or 9:00, which is pretty late for Christmas morning with a three-year-old. We did stockings and had cranberry orange pancakes (yum!), and then we created some serious chaos with present opening. After that, it was cookin’ time! We had Honeybaked ham, pear and parsnip sauce, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, green beans, rolls, and crème bruleè (sans bruleè) for dessert. We ended up with just the crème part after a major torch malfunction. We feared for our lives, set the torch outside, and tucked into our vanilla custard.

After a superb Christmas Eve and a first-rate Christmas, I had my own little Christmas miracle on Sunday. As my dad and I were moving the couch to hang a picture (which my brother drew) in the living room, my dad found a ring. A ring which just happens to have been lost for the last three-and-a-half-years. It is my wedding ring, the one that my nearest and dearest specially ordered in my size, as it is, in fact, a replica of his wedding ring. It is very special to us, and I lost it in the move to our current house in September of 2007. I could hardly believe my eyes when that little glimmer of gold turned out to be my long lost wedding ring.

Overall, we had a blessed Christmas, and I am looking forward to a blessed year ahead. I hope your Christmas was as happy as mine, and I hope your year ahead is filled with happiness as well.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Conversations with Jewel: The Coffee Bean

This is our morning ritual. As I put my medium roast beans into the grinder and get my machine ready to brew my morning cup of sugary wakefulness, I hear, “Smell, smell!” Every morning, Jewel loves for me to walk over to her, canister outstretched, and let her take in eau de caffé. The smell is usually succeeded by, “Mmm,” or “That smells good,” or something similar. This morning, however, my rather strong-willed little urchin said, “Can I have one? I want to try it.”

I was now faced with two options. I could have told her no because I know it’s disgusting, and then I would have spent the next umpteen mornings being hounded for a coffee bean (Did I mention she was strong-willed?). Or... I could let her have one, warn her that it’s gross, and let her learn a little something about the world. I might even be a little bit entertained by her response. Hmm... which one, which one. Of course I chose the second option.

So, I hand over a bean with, “Now Jewel, sweetie, coffee beans don’t taste very good by themselves. I don’t know if you really want to eat it.” She returned with, “I just want to try it.” And so she did. And she loved it! No, not really. She sputtered and spewed and made horrible faces to my heart’s content. And, of course, she learned something. Two somethings, in fact. One, when Mom says something is gross, she’s right. And two, coffee beans don’t taste very good.

Now, I’m not totally heartless. I helped her get her milk and clean the coffee bean out of her mouth and off her hands (and off the couch... mental note... don’t let her eat yucky stuff on upholstery). We talked about the experience, and I made sure she wasn’t traumatized. All in all, it was a very entertaining and educational morning. I wonder what will happen tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The First Annual Vanderburg Thanksgiving Extravaganza

Well, Thanksgiving is coming up next week, and this year, for the first time, we are hosting the meal. Wait, we’re hosting?! AAAARGGHHHH! <------ That was my panic about the impending invasion of my family and my realization that I have done pretty much nothing to prepare for it. I mean, sure, in theory I know what all needs to be done and when to do it. In theory.

Traditionally, Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It was the only time all year that my dad’s entire side of the family would get together. We’re a bit stereotypical on Turkey Day in that the ladies spend the day cooking and the guys watch football, and our meal time is worked around whatever time the Cowboys game starts. We must all be stuffed to the gills before the game starts so that we can lounge around, semi-conscious, snoring, burping, and... well... you get the picture.

The past several years, since my nearest and dearest and I have lived up here, Thanksgiving has been here in Arlington, at my aunt’s house. However, she is getting too old to work so hard every year (she is a well-preserved seventy-one), and my cousin, who also lives in town, hates Thanksgiving. No, really, she hates it. She hates turkey, and she hates the smell and taste of sage. Care to take a guess what the main seasoning in the dressing is? So, she’s a no go. That leaves my dearest and I with the responsibility of maintaining my most beloved tradition. What were we thinking?!

Well, time to go do something Thanksgiving-related. Perhaps a grocery list. Of course, I’ll have to leave a couple things off so that we can send at least one male to the store, maybe even repeatedly, for the things we run out of or forget. Usually eggs. Pardon me while I add eggs to the grocery list.

Oh, and have a happy, Happy, HAPPY Thanksgiving!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Gall of It, Part 2

So, after seven months of pain and pie-lessness, I finally had my gall bladder removed. It went pretty well, I can say. The only hiccup was my blood pressure. The lovely nurse had to stand me on my head for a little while as the anesthesia was wearing off because my blood pressure was too low. If I remember correctly, and I might not since I was in a drug-induced stupor, it was down to 76/38. I also remember being just freezing when I woke up. The nurse saw my eyes opening, and she asked how I was, and the only word I managed to eke out between my full body violent shivers and my very heavy, woolly feeling tongue was c-c-cooold. She wrapped me up, head and all, in blankets straight from the warmer, and I was a happy camper in my toasty flannel pseudo-womb. I don’t remember much after that until a couple hours later when they sent me home.

I found it interesting that I didn’t make it to the operating room awake. I should have known, when the anesthesiologist was one of the folks wheeling me away, that there would be little chance of remaining conscious for long. He said, “Are you ready?” and I guess he meant it more immediately than I realized. I was out before I hit the hallway.

It’s now been four days since the surgery, and I’m feeling good. I’m still sore, of course, but I now only require ibuprofen instead of pain medication, and apart from the fact that it looks like somebody played “Where’s the gall bladder?” with my incision points (there are four, but there are supposed to be four anyway), I’m none the worse for wear.

I will be glad when I’m no longer sore, though, because it hurts to laugh. With my dearest husband, and my little three year old comedian, it’s a real challenge to remain pain free. On the other hand, I actually got to butter my bread yesterday morning, and that was exciting. It may seem trivial to you that butter is exciting, but when you’re deprived of something so simple for so long, it becomes a monumental event to revel again in glorious butteriness (yes, that’s a word).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Futility Is In the Eye of the Beholder

I usually try and refrain from serious and/or depressing subjects when writing here, but in this case I felt that the importance of the subject warranted further examination. A couple days ago, a dear friend of ours attempted suicide by shooting herself in the head. We have yet to hear whether or not she has survived, and if she has, what sort of damage has resulted.

I know I just delivered this news in a rather detached and clinical way. Is this because I don’t care? Quite the opposite, in fact. The situation is so horrifying and heart-wrenching that I find myself quite unable to deal with it. This friend of ours is a total delight. Her energy and spirit always fill up any room she enters, and her empathy and sense of humor are remarkably uplifting. In short, she is adored. Not to trivialize her circumstances, but I feel as if I have undergone some sort of trauma myself, to have the memory of this lovely woman forcefully ripped from my mind and replaced with the intruding knowledge of what has befallen her.

In our country, suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death, ahead of liver disease and Parkinson’s. It outnumbers homicides two to one. Worldwide, a full one million people die at their own hands every year. I can’t decide what I think of these statistics. Is life so seemingly futile for so many people that they feel they must end it? As one who has suffered from depression in the past, I can understand some of what it feels like, though I was never in the pit of despair that others sometimes experience. So, what does it feel like? I describe it as being inside with sunglasses on. Everything you see is dim, and even the bright spots in your life are considerably dulled. If you have ever accidentally worn your sunglasses inside, you know that it can be challenging to see things clearly.

I thought about this friend just the other day, only a few short days before it happened. I thought, “I need to call her, see what she’s up to.” If I had followed through on that thought, what would I have heard on the other end of the phone? Would I have heard her pain, or would I have continued on, unaware, wrapped in my own self-serving pursuits as I am most days? It’s hard to say.

Is there a lesson in all this? I hope so. I hope that somewhere in this seeming black hole, there is some small ray of light trying to escape. I don’t yet know what it might be, but I still hold out hope that it’s there. God would not let such a tragedy occur without at least some small gain for His glory.

Please pray for her and her family.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Reading Between the Lines

I love listening to Jewel as she reads. No, she doesn’t really read. We’re still reviewing her letters and their sounds, just to make sure she knows them all before we start really reading. But Jewel really loves to read. When she’s not demanding that we read her books to her over and over, she will read them back to us. Often, when she can’t remember the words on the page, she’ll make up a story by looking at the pictures. And the funny thing is, they’re pretty close to the actual story.

Then there are the books she remembers. Who knew that she could recall whole paragraphs at a time about the doings of Mama Bear, Papa Bear, and Brother and Sister Bear. There’s just nothing else around that beats listening to her sweet little (loud) voice saying “The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food, by Stan and Jan Berenstain.” Priceless. I look forward to the day when she will actually read the words on the page, but until then, I’m pretty content with listening to her version. It’s usually more interesting anyway.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Don't Bother with Curiosity. I'll Do it Myself.

You know, I’ve met a lot of cats in my life. I’m an animal person, and while I’m really a dog person at heart, I love cats too. We have two cats, Cleo and Itty Bitty (not her real name, but it might as well be). Our cats are stupid. I’m not saying it just to be mean, either. I’ve met other people’s cats, and they seem perfectly smart. Sometimes I’m even impressed with what they figure out, and then I go home and there are my two dimwit feline furballs staring up at me.

What do your cats do, you ask? Well, for starters, Cleo licks. She licks us, sure, but she also licks everything else. Upholstery, windows, carpet, random children’s toys, fireplace bricks. Yes, I said bricks. In addition to her licking, she also howls. Constantly. She howls when she’s happy. She howls when she’s hungry. She howls when she’s scared. She howls when she wants to play. She howls whenever any mood of any sort strikes her. And she doesn’t have one of those cute little “mew” sounds. Nope. She has a full-blown, hear-it-around-the-world RROWWW which resounds through the house and lodges itself in my spinal cord. Lovely creature.

Now, Itty Bitty is a little smarter. She’s got the cute factor going for her since she’s so little and has a rather dainty meow. However, her main foolishness is that she lets Jewel catch her. She knows Jewel will chase her and pick her up, and that it will be highly unpleasant for her. Yet, almost every time, she will allow it. I used to wonder how many times she would allow herself to be hanged from her middle and toted around like a poor, hapless stuffed animal, but I stopped asking myself when no change seemed forthcoming.

I love our cats; I really do. They’re soft and sweet, and they’re nice and warm during the winter. They also seem genuinely pleased to spend time with us, which seems to be a hit-or-miss quality in cats. And, of course, they are endlessly entertaining. I just figured our two fancy felines could stand to gain a few brain cells. I think I’ll go listen to their conversation and give them a little attention. They probably deserve it, since they have to live with such a grumpy gus as me.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fuddrucker Stew

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything here. Oh well! =)

Okay, most of you know now that I’m in the last month of pregnancy for kiddo number two, and I was thinking the other day about how much more annoying people are when you’re pregnant. Is most of it hormonal? Probably, but I still maintain that people find out you’re pregnant and lose their brains immediately. Oh, and if you have a newborn, you’ve also got a giant target painted on you.

For example, when Jewel came along and was about a month old, my dearest husband and I headed down with our brand new bundle of joy to visit our folks. We (my husband, myself, my child, and my parents) headed out to dinner as proud new parents and grandparents. We assumed we would have a normal, lovely family dinner. We all forgot about that giant NEW MOM target painted on my shirt. No sooner had we sat down with our food than a Fuddrucker’s employee came up to chat.

She cooed and oohed over Jewel adequately, and we swelled with pride. Then our food came. Did she leave? No. Instead, she began to tell us a story about how her child was crying inconsolably the first day home from the hospital and how she realized that all the baby wanted was some of the beef stew that had just been cooked. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, she fed her child beef stew at three days old.

So, between the stupid parenting stories, the unabashed belly touching (Hello, people, personal space!), and the repeated ridiculous comments like, “Wow, somebody pointed their finger at you, and now you’re pregnant,” (Really? What am I, five?) I could just do without this whole stage of pregnancy. Personally, I’m praying this kid comes just a little bit early. I know this whole irritation is probably my hormones having a field day, but hey... I’m entitled to my grumpiness at this uncomfortable stage.

Take this as a lesson. When you encounter an enormously pregnant woman, whatever foolishness pops into your head, please keep it there. Harsh? Maybe, but there’s another lesson here. Really pregnant women are grumpy.

Well, now that I’ve vented, I feel better. I think I’ll have some low fat ice cream. =)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

It's a Nerd! It's a Brain! It's... My Husband!

So, guess where my dearest husband is at this very moment. If you guessed that he’s at a midnight showing of Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan, then you’re absolutely right! Okay, so you didn’t guess it, but that’s okay. Why would he be there, you may ask? Because he’s a nerd. He’s always been a nerd. He’ll always be a nerd. Yes, I knew he was a nerd long before I married him, and that’s okay with me. I’m quite fond of my Lego-loving, Star-Wars-quoting, History-teaching, Super Trekkie, in fact.

I’ve been married to my delightfully nerdy husband for almost seven years now (our anniversary is in a couple weeks), and I’ve been attached to him for about thirteen. That’s quite a chunk of my life considering I haven’t yet reached my thirtieth birthday. So, what have I learned about my heavenly hubby so far? To start, he is classically white. And I do mean white. I like to joke that his glowing white legs guided my way to him when the power went out one stormy evening, but it’s really not a joke. It’s a true story.

After his overwhelming whiteness, there’s his corny jokes. Upon seeing a passing hearse (empty, I hope), his comment was, “If the hearse has done this before, doesn’t that make it a re-hearse?” Feel free to groan and roll your eyes. I do. Frequently. Then there are the Star Wars quotes. So many Star Wars quotes! And who knew that lines from Star Wars could apply to so many situations? Apparently, I didn’t.

Even though my nearest and dearest revels in his extreme nerdy-ness, and he has more Legos than 10 or 15 entire families should have combined, I wouldn’t be without him. My nerd is the best husband, life partner, and father to our daughter (soon to be daughters) I could ask for. I am so blessed to have him in my life, and I think I’ll start telling him so more often.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sale Me Away

This weekend was our big garage sale. *gasp* On a holiday weekend? Of course! That’s the best time, since nobody else is foolish enough to have their garage sale on a holiday weekend. That, and it’s right after the first of the month, so people still have money. Of course, every time we have a garage sale, I always say how horrible it is and how I will never ever ever do it again and how I’ll just be heading to Goodwill or Mission Arlington next time I need to get rid of junk. And then what do I do? I convince myself, in the end, to go through the trouble all over again. The results from that decision this time? Some were good, some bad.

On the good front, we sold out of almost everything on Friday, so we didn’t have to open at all on Saturday. The extra sleep on Saturday was really nice. Plus, the weather wasn’t too bad on Friday. It was cool and cloudy, and a little bit sticky, but much better than the usual garage sale forecast of baking sun and shrivelingly hot temperatures. There’s nothing quite like being held hostage by your junk at a small table in the abject heat all day, idly dripping sweat down unmentionable places.

On the bad front, we got mauled on Friday. We had people showing up at least half an hour early, and it was crazy for a good two hours. There were people everywhere, and nobody put stuff back where it was supposed to go, and everybody wanted to buy stuff in the garage that wasn’t for sale. Oh, and then there was the fact that everybody wanted to ask questions at the same time, test out things with plugs at the same time, and pay for their junk—I mean treasures, at the same time. The only other bad thing was the weather. While it was nice and cloudy and cool, it also rained on us at the end and forced us to close early.

So, how do I feel after this, unusually good, garage sale? I am never ever ever doing this again. Next time I’ll just head straight to Mission Arlington.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I’m psyching myself up. Why? Well, I’m going to make another blender full of green smoothie. It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve made any, and up until a couple weeks ago, I was making them almost daily. They really do make me feel really good and full of energy. What happened the last time that made me reticent to try again? My blender exploded. Everywhere.

Okay, so it didn’t explode. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but still, it did vomit profusely all over the counter and the cabinets (and me). Now, green smoothies are delicious and super healthy, but somehow, when you’re scrubbing pre-masticated spinach, greens, and fruit off of every surface imaginable in your kitchen (and sweetened with honey... nice and sticky), that fantastic smoothie seems just a little less satisfying. Oh, and I really loved hearing, “Mommy, you made a big mess!”

Ever since the spewage incident, I’ve been finding little dried splatters of vaguely greenish brown material in strikingly strange places (and it’s REALLY hard to get it off when it’s dry), so here’s a tip for those of you who are considering starting this wonderfully healthy habit: if your fancy high-speed blender is struggling to blend together so much frozen fruit, don’t open up that little cap in the top to add more liquid. Take the time to stop the blender, add liquid, stir it up a little bit, and then try again. It’s a surefire way to keep your blender happy and nausea-free.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

We Made Her Bed, Now She Has to Lie In It

It’s my favorite time of day... Jewel’s bedtime. It’s been a long hard day of playing, reading, running, dancing, dressing up, un-dressing up, changing, pretending, and eating. I don’t really know if she’s worn out yet. Is she ever? One thing’s for sure, though. I am exhausted. I don’t think I’ve played this much since I was little. I used to bemoan the fact that I was already tired from work when we picked her up from school, but no more. It’s far more draining to play with the girl all day than it is to go to work and play with her for the few hours before bedtime.

So, then, what should I do with my free time this evening? Should I do schoolwork? Almost definitely. Should I continue the cleaning and organization streak we’ve been on today? Perhaps. I know my nearest and dearest would certainly enjoy that. Maybe I’ll empty the dishwasher. He really likes it when I empty the dishwasher. Or maybe I’ll just sit here on the couch and watch TV. Really, though, I should probably get some exerciszszzszzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....................

Monday, June 21, 2010

Just Call Me Switzerland: I'm in Neutral

As you might know from my last post (if you actually bother to read this stuff), my family and I went down to visit all of our folks this weekend. While we were happy to visit, and we haven’t been down in a while, the real purpose behind the trip was to acquire another vehicle. We’ve been a one car family for several months now, and it’s been alright, but a little inconvenient at times. So, what kind of vehicle did we bring back? We brought back an old, standard transmission, Ford Ranger.

This is a car with personality. Does it have air conditioning? Yes. Does the air conditioning work? No. It has some other quirks as well that come with a long and happy automotive life. No biggie. The real issue is the standard transmission. I have never driven anything but automatic, and neither has my hubby, although he had an unfortunate (and very brief) experience with a U-Haul truck a couple of years ago. May I just say that I would have paid good money to see him lurch his way home in that gigantic truck, going 25 on the freeway the whole way, but I digress.

Part of the deal of us taking the Ranger (from my in-laws) is that my father-in-law teach us both how to drive it. I feel for him, really. Of course, he regularly puts his life in God’s hands as a driver’s ed teacher anyway, so I guess we were in good company. And despite the lurching, dying, grinding, jerking, and peeling out (and the panic... can’t forget the panic), we did okay. My father-in-law has the true heart of a teacher, and for that I am truly grateful.

So, my dearest husband drove our new acquisition the six hours back home, and while every time we stopped for gas/food/potty break, he either killed it or peeled it out, he did a pretty good job for a beginner. Did I laugh heartily? Of course! Will he laugh at me when it’s my turn? Of course! If only he hadn’t locked the keys in it the minute we got back. *sigh* I guess it’s time to check out the subversive lock-picking skills of our neighbors.

The bottom line is this: we’re just happy to have another car that works, even if we have to kill it a few times on our way.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Out of It

Well, it only took me six entries to get to this point, but I’m officially out of things to say. I know I’ll come up with other topics, but I’m at a complete loss at the moment. So... what should I write about if I have no topic? I’ll give it a try and see what I get.

For starters, I have food stuck in the permanent retainer behind my bottom teeth. I hate that thing. And my bottom teeth are a little crooked. So... why is it in my mouth? It’s obviously useless. But let’s move on from this topic. Too weird, and a bit TMI, I think. Not to mention completely pointless.

What else have I got? Well, there’s the six hour drive we made today. I have to say, I was surprised at how little I had to stop and pee (speaking of TMI). Pregnancy is brutal when it comes to traveling and peeing. The last time, when Jewel was on the way, I made my poor hubby stop about six or seven times in that six hour stretch. The six hour drive quickly (or not so quickly) turned into a seven-and-a-half hour drive instead. I still haven’t heard the end of that one. Even worse, I made my other half stop in a really seedy part of Houston. This stop was at the kind of gas station you only see in horror movies. It had reflective windows, and it was a little too dark in the building. There was a man muttering to himself outside the car, and he muttered to me too, but I couldn’t tell you what he said. I tried not to make eye contact.

And what did my dearest, defender-of-my-honor, husband do when we stopped there? He let his very pregnant, exceptionally rotund wife waddle past the delusional muttering man while he holed himself up in the car and locked the doors. Coward.

The point? I would say I’d try and hold it next time, but you ladies know how that goes in late pregnancy. I guess I should just brush up on my self-defense. Or maybe buy stock in Depends? I think next time I’ll just stay home.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This Omnivore's Dilemma

As I sit here watching my charming child chow down on fried balls of corn, which are radioactive orange, freeze-dried and reconstituted, and then coated in a “cheese-like” powder, I feel a little guilty about giving my child “food” instead of wholesome, real food. Then, I rationalize and tell myself that she doesn’t get these things very often, so it’s more like a treat than nutrition. I know her body won’t see it the same way, but it’s nice to make myself think it anyway.

Between my gall bladder, my second pregnancy, and Jewel’s asthma and her allergies to milk and soy, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what we eat here in America. The media (and all the fat people such as myself) bemoan fast food and obesity related illness, but then we proceed to turn off our brains and stuff our faces with all sorts of mystery “foods.” When did food start coming from factories instead of farms? And when did factories become acceptable sources of food? When did it become okay to have one real ingredient in a “food” and have the rest come from a lab somewhere? When we can’t even pronounce what’s in a food, then that ought to be a red flag, but we look at the pretty picture on the label, and it looks so good, so we ignore the adverse engineering and fill our bods with pseudo-food that is loaded with fat, sugar and salt. It's food that completely lacks real nourishment and saps our energy and health. Sad, really.

As a way to get maximum nutrients with minimum time (and fat), I’ve started making green smoothies. I don’t know if you’ve ever had one, but they’re pretty fantastic. That is, if you upgrade your blender (the $15 Walmart version won’t work... believe me... it gets ugly). The main idea is blending greens and fruit together to make a tasty smoothie packed with super nutrition. I know it sounds disgusting, and I have to admit it does look pretty disgusting too (who doesn’t like gloopy brown food?), but it tastes really great, especially since we add local honey to ours to help with our allergies. I feel really good when I drink the smoothies, and I can tell a definite difference when I don’t. Even Jewel likes them, and she loves helping put the frozen fruit into the blender. The challenge is keeping her from eating it all before she puts it in.

I guess that’s all for my soap box today, and I’ll try to keep things on the lighter end from now on. Oh, and I think I’ll give Jewel a peach with her lunch. Maybe it’ll make up for the cheese balls just a little bit.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Father Fodder

The hubby and I are headed down home to visit the parental units this coming weekend, and we’ll be there for Father’s Day. While my dearest and I tend to keep Mother’s Day and Father’s Day pretty low key, we usually go out for a nice meal and give each other a standard “Happy Mother’s/Father’s Day. You’re a really great Mom/Dad.” And so on and so forth. However, since we’ll be visiting both of our families this weekend, it would be nice to do something a little bit more. So, given our current gift-giving budget (i.e. nil, zip, zero), what could I possibly do for free? And what is it that I do best? You got it, cheesy poems! I figured a poem for each of the major dads in my life would be a good option. These are a bit beyond my usual cheese threshold (and a bit shy of my usual poetic standards), but that’s what holidays like Father’s Day are for. I know it’s a bit early, but I’ll share my queso-rific creations with you here:

For My Hubby

You’re stubborn and nerdy and at times quite annoying

But smart, thoughtful, loving and determined you are too

You’re so much fun to be with, your smile lights up my day

And for serving our country, I’m so proud of you

You’re the best Daddy Jewel could possibly have

She runs to you, laughing, when you come home at night

You're part horse and part playmate as she giggles with glee

And she hugs you and kisses you when you tuck her in tight

For My Dad

You were cleaning your guns the first time he came over

My teenage self was mortified, I asked why

Pretending your timing was just coincidence

Your ploy didn’t work, but it was a nice try

Now he’s around for good, you’re a great dad-in-law

And you’re now the almighty and benevolent Pop

A super grandad for Jewel and her soon-to-be sister

In twenty-eight years of dad-hood, you’ve been at the top!

For My Dad-in-Law

Campers and coasters, cycles and scooters

To think, you take your life in your hands

But it’s not from all the adventuresome fun

But from teenagers and their testosterone glands

Fun and silliness you exude from your mouth

A better Grandpa is not anywhere to be found

From the backseat of the car everywhere we go

A thundering “I WANT GRANDPA!” does resound

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Gall of It

It started with the worst spring break in history. My gall bladder decided it had had enough of this life and was ready to give up the ghost. And so began the excruciating pain as one small organ declared war on my digestion. In the beginning, I think it was winning. But... I went to the emergency room and to the surgeon and got myself all psyched up to have surgery. And then I didn’t. I was “not sick enough” to have surgery while pregnant. I don’t begrudge the surgeon for not wanting to operate on a prego, but what’s the real outcome here?

I have a severely limited diet now, 6 grams or less of fat per meal, and yes that’s for the entire meal. Can I push it a little bit sometimes? In short, yes. Will I pay for that in fairly unpleasant ways later? Unfortunately, yes. Now, in some ways, this diet has been really good for me. I’ve lost 15 pounds, and while I would have preferred to not lose it while pregnant, the weight needed to come off anyway. My diet affects everyone around me, though. My dearest husband has lost “sympathy weight” as a result of my low fat cooking, and we rarely get to have any special treats such as ice cream unless it’s more like ‘ice cream’ than real ice cream. Luckily, with a three year old (almost), sorbet still counts as ice cream.

Another good example? Right now my husband and daughter are at the store in search of fat free mayonnaise. I know, not worth eating, right? I mean, is it even considered mayo if it’s fat free? Somehow I doubt it. Who knows what kind of horrid Frankenstein-like engineering had to go into that jar to make it fat free. Why fat free mayonnaise, you ask? Well, we’re having some really good friends over this evening (they have to be good friends because mediocre ones don’t stick around through fat free cooking), and we’re making potato salad. It can’t be good potato salad, mind you, with fat free mayo in it, so, in the end, everybody else gets to enjoy their food a little bit less just so I can eat it in the first place. Cue dramatic sigh.

So, think of me this evening as I try to enjoy my low fat potato salad (eww), and take pity on me as I choke down my fat free turkey dogs (again, eww) while my friends and family enjoy their juicy burgers. At least, in the end, I’ll be able to drown my sorrows in a large bowl of watermelon.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Underwear Everywhere!

I just have one question: is it normal for guys to have tons of underwear? I mean, really, isn’t it the gals who are supposed to have all the undies? Granted, a lot of it is for cute and/or sexy purposes, but we’re supposed to have all the clothes, right? Well, not so around here. My nearest and dearest has the market cornered in our house.

So, on the off chance that I don’t get laundry done (okay... make that regular event), he complains that he’s almost out of underwear. I can understand that. I mean, nothing says “I love you” like clean underwear, right? So I check his stocks. And I count. And I keep counting. And I count some more. How is 30 more pairs almost out?! I don’t have that many to start with! I guess it’s just like in the car when you hit the E on the gas gauge. E means 20 more miles, so why wouldn’t the E on the underwear drawer mean 30 more pairs?

My only consolation is this: when the nuclear war comes, and I’m instantly vaporized, my husband will have enough underwear to last through the apocalypse. He just might have to wash it himself.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Two Have Become Three (aka What Happened?!)

Okay, so I've joined the blogging revolution. You know, the one that happened a few years ago when I wasn't paying attention? I figured I might as well jump on the bandwagon while the wagon's still there. This is probably one of those things that I'll start, and I'll go with it for a few weeks and/or months, but then I'll get bored and abandon it to start some other short-lived new hobby. But hey... that's okay with me. It's fun entertainment, and it's free. And I am all about free entertainment right now.

So, now to the real topic. My sweet, adorable, bright, charming, sometimes strong-willed, little girl has suddenly become a monster. I'd been warned before that the threes are worse than the twos (a friend of mine calls them the Torturous Threes), but it never really hit home until the screaming began. And once I calmed down, I realized Jewel was screaming too (okay, I know, that was lame). Seriously, though, who flipped that switch and where can I find it? I need to flip it back! I want the little girl back who doesn't scream at bedtime and doesn't have a total meltdown when she doesn't get her way. And who knew that asking 'why' all the time started so early? That, and I think she just keeps getting louder. Do they always have to get louder?

Still, she's more cuddly now, and she can reason out her thoughts. She even started using adverbs the other day... correctly. I love listening to her tell about experiences from her day and make up silly games and stories. Her imagination gets stronger every day, and she is constantly fascinated with the world around her. I'm not really enjoying much of her three-ness right now, but I wouldn't give it up for the world.