Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Astin Crush

I love my husband and he fulfills me in every capacity. That being said, I think every woman still has a 14 year old girl inside of them who’s clipping out pictures of hunky guys from Teen Beat and taping them to her bedroom wall.

I have my share of celebrity crushes – Ewan McGregor being at the very pinnacle of that list. However, coming in at a close second is someone slightly unpredictable. It’s Sean Astin. And no, Goonies is not my favorite movie of all time, though it is a fine piece of cinematic art.

I never really thought much of him when I was younger but he really caught my eye when he played Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Yeah, I’m a little bit of a sci-fi babe but only in the sense that I enjoy some Sci Fi/Fantays books and movies. Nothing major though. I don’t speak Klkingon and I’ve never dressed as Leia in the Jabba the Hut slave scene or anything like that – though that might just be because I can’t find that metal bra in a size 38 DDD.

But anyway . . . Sam is my favorite character from the LOR books and I thought Sean did a wonderful job of portraying him so I’ve had a soft spot for him ever since.

Then there was a particularly juicy 3rd trimester dream (you moms know what I mean) starring him and I found it interesting when I awoke that I was actually disappointed that halfway through he switched into Brad Pitt.

I’m not sure what it is about him. Maybe because he looks so sweet and cuddly. Maybe because he just strikes me as an all around nice guy, but whatever it is, it’s enough to move him into 2nd position behind Ewan on my celebrity lust list and just to show you how much my hubbie loves me and accepts me for who I am I offer this piece of evidence that he got specifically for me while shopping for his sportscard hobby:

Yep, a genuine signed Sean Astin collectable card. Isn’t that fab? I don’t know what I like more – the card or the fact that my hubby got it for me.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Like a chasm of despair in both my tooth and my soul.

There’s not much about me that’s remarkable. I’m of average height, average intelligence, average abilities, and average attractiveness. The only thing about me that’s above average is my weight, the size of my tits and my astoundingly excellent dental health.

Yes, yes I know that sounds incredibly pathetic. Some people have greater gifts. They’re great speakers, or great motivators and leaders; or they have great physical prowess, they’re Olympic athletes or can put their feet behind their heads and scoot across the floor on their buttocks – but my one small claim to fame was that I hadn’t had a cavity in my entire life.

Whenever anyone spoke of their upcoming root canal or the bane of their semi-annual dental appointment that they were sure would end up involving a drill, I puffed up my chest and proudly proclaimed that I’d never had a cavity in my entire life. Never, not one. I had the teeth of an immortal. Sure they might not be gleaming white or even incredibly straight. But they were healthy and pure and I basked in the wonder of people’s faces and gasps of amazement when they realized the miracle that was my oral health.

But it all came crashing down on me last week at the dentist office. I HAVE A CAVITY. And if that was not enough of a blow, they said they were keeping a close eye on another tooth that looked like it was headed for the same fate. I was, and still am, devastated.

It’s not just a cavity to me. It’s another small detail of my body and my life that’s falling to shit. It’s another blow to my already bruised ego and sense of self worth. It’s not bad enough that I’m so exhausted and tired looking that I don’t recognize my own reflection. Not enough that my hair has been stripped of all it’s natural gleam and is peppered with grey, not enough that I can’t wear any of my pre-pregnancy wardrobe. NO! Fate/life/old age had to steal from me my one small claim to fame.

I suppose I’ll get over it eventually. I’ll fill up that hole in my soul just like they’ll fill in that gaping hole in my tooth. Except I’ll probably try to fill my emotional canyon with oreos and french silk pie instead of dental grade enamel. All that sugar might lead to more cavities though – damn!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hike up your stockings Granny

I wear trouser socks 5 days a week. It’s shameful really. I never really thought of myslef as the trouser sock type. However I find them to be the perfect sockware for my work attire. They’re thin enough that my feet don’t get uncomfortable in these god awful work shoes I wear and they don’t fade like a cotton sock would, plus I think they look professional.

But here’s my problem. The damn things keep falling down on me. Maybe it’s because I buy the cheapest ones I can find. Maybe it’s because the girth of my upper calves is more than the nylon can handle. But no matter the reason, by the end of the day I end up feeling like my great Grandmother.

When I was in elementary school my brother and I would spend our afternoons between school and the time Mom got off work at my Great Grandmother’s house. To be honest I don’t remember much about her personality as she wasn’t really a hands-on Grandma and we usually played amongst ourselves. All I remember is that she made the driest cake in the entire world and her support pantyhose were always rolled down. They looked like little life preservers made especially for her ankles. Just mention the woman’s name and that’s the first image that pops in my head - that roll of nylon around her ankle – oh that and she always gave us underwear for our birthdays. Imagine trying to sound grateful for that gift year after year!

So any correlation between myself and my Great Grandmother doesn’t in general make me feel real good about my recently one year older self. So I think next time I hit the store I might try to find some different socks. Maybe something trendy like argyle – argyle is “in” now right? I’m so out of the loop. I might as well order my dentures now.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Excuse me, my bra is ringing.

I'm notorious for being near impossible to reach by phone. Truth be told I hate phones. Talking on them makes me uncomfortable. I don't know why, perhaps some deep psychoanalysis might some day bring that issue to light.

I cringe when I have to call a business, like an insurance company or the bank or any type of customer service line. I get as nervous as if I was calling in for a job interview. I make Matt phone in all of our take out orders. Those incompetent 16 yr. olds on the other end of the line are just too frightening. (He hates this by the way but I think he's finally just embraced this duty and all I get is a sigh followed by a playfully surly "hand me the phone")

Now that's not to say that I don't like speaking to friends and family via phone - I do - once I'm actually on the phone that is. I just don't like calling. I really wish I could explain why but it's a grand mystery - kind of like the popularity of "Rock of Love" or how so many college girls can convince themselves that it’s cool to be degraded and exploited in a Girls Gone Wild video.

My other problem is that I can never seem to hear my cell phone and this is the very bane of Matt's existence. Not much rivals his temper after he's called my cell phone 20 times in a row only to find out hours later that I left it in the van or on vibrate in the bottom of my purse.

However, recently I've made great strides in my cell phone awareness and have begun carrying it on my person at all times. This way even if it is on vibrate, in theory I should still be able to recognize that someone is trying to reach me. For the most part this newfound dedication is for Matt's benefit alone, but truth be told, it's also because my very great friend is getting closer and closer to her due date and I want to be available should she need me to catch the kid as it falls out of her, and/or to fetch some Hawaiin punch and Bugles and marvel at the disappearance of her belly button (I swear, it's completely gone - it's stretched so far it doesn't even exist anymore!).

My problem in this new phone carrying endeavor is that I don't always have pockets. So I'm often forced to go with the "universal carryall for the ample chested" – the bra. The phone is not quite so discreet as a pacifier though. It's too sleek and slick to be safely housed in the cleavage – there’s too much danger of it slipping through and onto the floor. Therefore I've determined that the best place is near the top of the cup, close to the strap. It creates quite an unsightly lump though but that’s the sacrifice I’m willing to make for my hubby and my friend.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Skeptics Beware

The package said "Up to 10,000 bubbles per minute" No Way!! Oh yes way!
Check out this awesome bubble maker we got at Target. It's the best 8.99 I've ever spent.

Who knew that a battery operated fan and some rotating bubble wands could cause so much joy. Sure we could blow our own bubbles - and we still do - but can we blow 10,000 per minute - I don't think so!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I could take a crap without an audience!

I’ve been relatively brain dead recently. My still lingering 3 week old cold and Mother Nature’s desire to completely piss me off with snow and freezing temperatures has pretty much rendered my brain to a big pile of mush. So in order to gain some sort of inspiration for posting this week I asked my BFF for some ideas. She came up with quite a few but the most intriguing one was: “write about what you would be doing if you didn’t have kids.”

Now my first reaction to that thought was soaring excitement (yeah go ahead and hand me the shitty mother of the year award.) I mean think about it. No breaking up screaming matches between 2 toddlers, no more poopy diapers, no more whining, no more exhaustion, no more dreading the thought of leaving the house by myself with 2 kids in tow, no more countless hours of putting other people’s needs above my own.

Then I began to seriously think about what I would do with all my time. If we didn’t have kids, Matt would have no need to work the night shift. We’d have our evenings together, basking in the glow of all the extra cash we’d have lying around. We could decoupage the coffee table in $5 bills. We could eat out 3 or 4 days a week, we could "GASP" go to a movie, hell we could do almost anything on the spur of the moment. We could have sex without barricading the bedroom door!

I could pursue my writing to an even larger extent. Who knows, maybe I’d get some articles published, my first novel written – JK Rowling would have nothing on me! Perhaps I would have the freedom to pursue another career that actually made me happy. Maybe we’d be able to afford a bigger house and furniture to fill it with that didn’t come from a garage sale or a dead relative.

But here’s the problem. I wouldn’t be happy. I’d be miserable. Because the only thing I’d be doing is what I was doing before we had kids – wishing for kids. Once I knew I was ready to be a Mom that was my only goal and now that I am, while I still fantasize about the freedom of being without them for a day or so, I’d be miserable and aimless without them.

Why would I want a larger house without children to put in it? What would I write without the inspiration those 2 little people give me? Before I had kids I had no idea what I wanted to do. They’ve helped me prioritize my life. Helped me to see what is truly valuable to me. If I do nothing else in my lifetime, at least on my deathbed I can say that I improved the world just one tiny bit by bringing two fabulous, intelligent and loving creatures into it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Do I smell artificially flavored gum base and corn syrup or is that you?

I was in the elevator the other morning at work and the gal in front of me smelled exactly like Chiclets (the fruit flavor pack of course). I think it must have been some product in her hair or something but I found it enchanting. And it was at that moment that I realized that I too had a deep desire to smell like my favorite childhood candy coated gum.

Now some of you might not know what Chiclets smell like and if that’s the case then you have my pity. Go out and get yourself a pack (they can be quite difficult to locate so try to find a convenient store that hasn’t added any new items to their inventory for a couple decades). Rip that pack open, shove your nose directly inside it and enjoy. It smells like sunshine mingled with partially hydrogenated artificial fruit flavors.

At this point you might be tempted to actually chew the chiclets and here I would have to advise you not to. The fabulous aroma only translates into fabulous taste for approximately 3.2 seconds and then starts to resemble a stick of juicy fruit gone terribly wrong.

So I shall now commence my search for Chiclet scented hair products so that I can live the dream of smelling like that fabulous shiny candy coated gum. Or perhaps I should put a request in to the folks at Demeter to see if they can add this to their novelty perfume product line along with Grass, Dirt, Play-Doh and Funeral Home.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

If I had a million dollars . . .

One of my favorite songs of all time is “If I had a Million Dollars” by the Barenaked Ladies. Why? Because it’s catchy and it’s campy and it’s just plain fun. My favorite line is “But not a real green dress that’s cruel.” and if you don’t know what song I’m talking about you should feel ashamed of yourself and you should go get it right now and put it on your I pod or your cheap generic MP3 player until you have all the words memorized like I do.

Anyway, the point of this post is that I heard that song the other day, and then as normal, had it rattling in my brain for about 3 days afterwards, intermittently singing out lyrics “maybe a nice Chesterfield or an Ottoman” at random moments like some poor soul with Turrets. And I started thinking – what would I do if I had a million dollars. And not the boring stuff like pay off all my debt and set up trust funds for my kids etc. etc, but the fun stuff like buying a miniature pony so I could name her Buttercup and paint little stars and rainbows on her rump and braid her mane.

Here's what came to the top of my list:
I would buy a gigantic Pinpression thing – you know the things with hundreds of little pins and when you stick your hand in it or your face it leaves the impression of it on there.

I can’t resist sticking my face in these when I see one at the store even though I know it’s likely that some toddler probably pulled his hand out of his diaper and stuck it in there a mere 5 minutes earlier.

They have a huge one at our local science center – it’s like 7 foot by 8 foot and I’d buy one even larger if I had a million dollars. I’d make it span the entire wall and we could spend hours with it every day: “Look, I’m walking like an Egyptian, How about this one, it looks like the guy on the little crosswalk sign, Here, look at this one – (pushing in pins to make a hump on my back) now I look like Quasi Moto – Sanctuary, Sanctuary!”

We could have big parties and instead of playing normal, boring Pictionary we could play Pinpression Pictionary – “it’s your butt, no mooning – the moon - Full moon!” “Yes!”

What would you buy just for fun if you had a million dollars?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

How NOT to check for a poopy diaper

I’ve already related to you some of the horror stories of my travels. Pissy train employees, long layovers, sick kids, family feuds, fatigue etc. So I want you to keep those issues in mind and consider their influence on my state of mind as I relate this next tale to you.

We were sitting in the Chicago train terminal during our 4 hour layover. I still smell like vomit, I’m tired and approximately 300 people have lined up around our little makeshift camp of suitcases, empty Happy Meals and baby paraphernalia to board an earlier train.

I begin to notice the not so subtle odor of human feces. Now there are 3 options as to the source of this smell. It’s either my kid, my niece, or one of the 300 people whose asses are currently at nose level. I ask Matt “who stinks?” which as all mothers know translates into – “hey check our kid’s pants for poop and change them if they’re dirty, please My Love”. Well obviously he needs to brush up on his Mom/Wife-ese because all he did was shrug his shoulders (I’ll admit, it’s a complex language with several dialects, but you’d think after dating for 6 years and being married for almost 8 he’d have a little more mastery of it).

So I haul the kid up off the floor and proceed with the “smell the pants for evidence of crap” maneuver. However, I made a fatal error during this maneuver; I didn’t look first. I don’t’ know where I was looking, perhaps my eyes were glazed over with fatigue, but I didn’t look where my nose was going and it was all too obvious when I felt the sensation of warm goo on the tip of my nose, that it was indeed my child’s diaper that stunk. Yes, she had diarrhea and it had traveled up out of the diaper and onto her back and some of it was now deposited on the tip of my nose. It was a proud moment.

After the panic subsided I tried to calmly assess my options. I was holding a child’s ass in my face and there was feces on my nose, and I’m in the middle of a crowded train station. I do not have a free hand to procure a Kleenex or other substance to wipe my nose off, nor do I want to remove the child and hand her to someone else because then my shitty nose will be exposed for all to see. So I did the only thing I could think of. I wiped it on the back of her shirt. After all it had poop on it in other places already and would need to be changed anyway. After that it was a pretty normal diaper change, except that the other women in the bathroom looked at me a little strangely when I stuck my entire face under the faucet and washed it with enough anti-bacterial soap to disinfect an entire elephant.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

When I say Non-Catholic, you say Meat . . . Go Meat!

(Warning: Yes I'm still going on and on about my vacation with the in-laws that happened almost 2 weeks ago. Give me a break, it offered me a wealth of subject matter and I've either been in bed, at the Pediatrician's office or on the toilet for the last week and a half and trust me - you don't want more details about that!)

I’m not Catholic. I’m not anything – at least religion wise and quite frankly I’d like it to stay that way. When Matt tells me he would like to get the kids baptized someday I just tell him that I can quote some scripture or something the next time I rinse the shampoo out of their hair. I’m not really one for rituals and rules or organized religion at all really and while I someday might concede for my husband's sake, I currently have no problem with living a very happy, secular life.

However, the majority of my husband’s family is Catholic and the reason for our trip to visit them was to be in attendance at my beloved nephew’s baptism/confirmation/first communion. Don’t ask me what all of those mean. All it meant to me was 3 hours in a church trying to keep one kid from screaming and the other from using his “outside voice” when he repeatedly asked, “Momma, why is that man wearing a dress?” “It’s a robe dear, let’s use our quiet voice now, OK?”

I was happy to do it for my nephew though because I love him and he's a great kid and although I’m not religious myself, I’m not one to stifle anyone else’s religious practices or beliefs. That being the case I don’t like my own non-religious beliefs to be stifled either and so I was very happy to stir the pot on the Friday before Easter “THE HOLIEST DAY OF THE YEAR” by eating meat.

My brother-in-law being the fair and democratic gentleman, went against his strict Catholic grandparent’s suggestion and ordered one pepperoni pizza amongst the cheese pizzas for the consumption of the non-Catholics. And I must confess that sensing the grandparent’s discontent with the mere presence of meat on that holiest of days, I might have gone a little overboard and made sure to repeatedly ask my children if they’d like a slice of pizza with MEAT on it, or if they’d like the plain old soggy cheese one.

When one of the Catholic nephews reached for the pepperoni and was scolded, I loudly announced, “Your Aunt Amy isn’t Catholic so she doesn’t have to worry about such things.” And seeing the look of disgust on Grandpa’s face I really had to fight the urge to stand up, pump my fist in the air and yell out a hearty “GO MEAT” like they do in those Hillshire Farms commercials.

Does that make me a bad person? Probably, but I’m okay with that. What do you expect from the non-baptized?