Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pump Up the Volume

Ha! Funny, but true, story. During mommy time this afternoon, I went to the convenience store down the street to get a car wash, gangsta rap CD in full effect. I decided that I would not wuss out and turn down the volume. So I get out of the car and go into the store to pay for my wash and a drink, and there is a HUGE black man smiling at me as I come in.

"Nice tunes," he says giggling. "Is it all Nelly?"

"No way! Akon, Jay-Z, Juvenile, Fiddy. You know," I said smiling.

"That's good stuff!" he nodded.

"Yeah, it's how I roll," I laughed.

And then I got a TRUE DAT! YAY!

Dear God I am such an idiot!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Yes, I am old and apparently trying to remain hip. I actually said "harshin' on my coffee buzz" at Starbucks today. Dear God, when did I become Californian?

Is it just me or is everyone going through a BLAH thing this week? Usually I have some quirky thing to put down here, but I'm kind of at a loss. Unless we talk about SLEEP...

Which has not been too great here. Right now (praise GOD), Little Diva is taking a snooze. Since she recovered from the fever, we've had major post-traumatic sleep issues. Coupled with the fact that the days are getting much shorter here (it's completely dark by 7-ish), I'd say unless tonight goes fantastically, I'm headed towards the fashionable white coat with extra long sleeves!

My mom used to say "I'm at the end of my rope with you," and I'd always kind of wondered what that meant. Now I know because I was there Monday night. You know how in the movies when someone is clinging to life at the end of of rapidly fraying rope? When they get down to the very last thread? Yeah, that's where I was on Monday night post-bedtime. I was ready to free fall into the canyon at any moment when my hero, the sleep angel, finally appeared! Thank God for small miracles...

Anyway, everything else here has been BORING. I'm bored to tears. Literally. Not that I can't mop the kitchen floor, clean my dressing room, steam the carpets, etc. It just doesn't sound like anything that might improve the action around here.

On the upswing, I am considering downloading some old tunes to my new MP3 player (don't get all horny and jealous - it's a cheap one). I've already got plenty of gangsta rap on there, so I need something light. Any suggestions? Perhaps some Marky Mark? Bon Jovi? Something from the late eighties/early nineties. Tell me your faves...

On the gangsta rap front, I find it quite fun to be driving around in my over-driven prior-yuppie mobile with the car seat in full effect while Jay-Z belts out of the speakers. I spent an hour one night creating a CD of nothing but explicit rap to move my booty in the car when Little Diva is not in tow. Wonder what the other playschool moms would say. Are they haters? Are you??? There's just something extra-gratifying about figuratively giving the finger to the suburban mommy stereotype. Can I get a HELL YEAH from you muthas??? And yet, whenever I turn into a parking lot or down a residential street, I turn the volume down to "barely audible." I'm a wuss...

One down, two to go...

GM is back at work! So, we're not sure if Chrysler or Ford will be next at negotiating (they may even go at the same time). So we'll just wait and see. Thanks so much to all of you for being a little pep squad for me. We're not out of the dark yet, but we can see the light. I really do appreciate you all just taking an interest. It's been really nice.

I need to go do some stuff for a bit, but I'll be back later to GET MY SNARK ON!

Monday, September 24, 2007

To strike or not to strike? That is the question...

Well, friends, GM has hit the picket lines. Apparently, American car companies don't want to promise that they'll continue to build American cars in, uh, America. Hmmm. If we're going to be politically correct, they want you to drive Mexican-American or Chinese-American cars (some of them already are, thank you horseshit that is NAFTA). I'll keep my trap shut about how much that sucks because I think most of you would see where I'm going with it. But, if I may say so, for a country that wants to be so ingenious and independent, we really don't do anything ourselves anymore. Isn't it ironic (don'tcha think)? Now we just get to wait it out and see what comes down the poop chute to Chrysler. Grilled cheese anyone? But just half; we're rationing. HA HA HA!

Anyway, Little Diva has been going through this fever mess that's being passed around. Yuck! I HATE HATE HATE high fevers, especially at night because I'm the only one home. High fever for Little Diva = night watch duty for mom. So Saturday night I didn't sleep because hubby was at work, but he did grant me some blissful hours on Sunday morning. She was acting fine and going about her crazy toddlerness all day yesterday, but the fever reared up again at bedtime. Another agonizing night of being uncomfortable. I felt really bad for her because I know how much I hate being sick that way. I'm hoping that all is well tonight; she's been fever-free so far today.

The most important things is fever today = no playschool tomorrow. And we all know what THAT will do to mommy dearest. Oh the humanity!

Well, hausfrau has been haus-slacker today, so I must go run a paper towel over the counter so I can feel productive.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Snarkiness Aside

Girls, my husband rules today! I got to sleep in. And I mean SLEEP IN! Hubby woke up with Little Diva, took her to the park, went to the bank, and brought home lunch. The icing on the cake was that he left out a card for me telling me how awesome of a mom I am and how much I mean to him. I was actually bawling! It was so nice. I feel like a totally different person today. Of course, something tells me that this is to iron out any yuckiness because he will be playing in one golf tournament this weekend and one next weekend. So I think this may be part damage control, but I'LL TAKE IT!

For those of you wondering why hubby is home right now, he works second shift, which absolutely sucks. Right now, he goes in at 4 in the afternoon and gets home after 3 in the morning. It just makes time for us (and us alone) and time for me (and me alone) rather difficult. But the shift differential in pay is what makes it possible for me to stay home, so we'll work with it. And it is kind of nice to have him around during the day to play and stuff. But. oh, what I would have given during 2 years of nursing to have him home at night.

Anyway, I'll be snarky later...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Labor of Home Improvement

Alright, it must be almost time for my next home improvement project. Home improvement is kind of like a birth experience for me. I get some labor pains off and on in the beginning. Then they become much closer together and more painful each time. Finally, I've had enough and find myself swinging a sledge hammer at something (well, that's not with babies, just my house).

Last time, I had enough of staring at this crumbling walkway we had leading away from the back patio. I'd been staring at it for years wondering what the hell I would do with it. I got tired of looking at it one day, got out the sledge hammer, and starting swinging. Enter my husband, halfway through the demo, with that all too familiar "oh-my-hell-what's-this-gonna-cost" look (which often resembles the "oh-shit-what'd-I-do-this-time" look). Two months later, in the ruins of the walkway, we had a 9X12 ground level cedar deck. What I thought might become a $50 zen rock garden exploded into $600 worth of wood and galvanized deck supports. Damn, I did a great job, though (props to dad for his help).

Prior to the deck, I'd gotten sick of the atrocity that was our front hedge. I called my father-in-law to bring the chainsaw. He cut the labrynth of intertwined shrubbery down to the ground, and voila, we had a brick paver area with landscaping and a park bench 3 days later. The list goes on and on. My modus operandi seems to be that I have no idea what the end result will be until after I demolish that which I hate. And I end up doing it mostly myself because my husband HATES home improvement (I probably would, too, if manual labor was my day job). But for him, basically, our home is improved by some little lumber sprite or drill fairy.

I'm not quite sure which piece of crap in my house is next to go, but I've been eyeballing my tub and shower. Here's the real deal: our house is 40 years old and the grout and tile suck. It's been my biggest pet peeve about this place. The soapdish keeps coming ungrouted from the wall because my husband refuses to believe that grout and caulk need at least 24 hours to completely set. I'm tired of watching him in there with the bullshit-grout (in the aerosol can) every two months making a bigger mess every time.

I'm a little intimidated to start this one in case I rip it wide open and find out our plumbing sucks. We don't have the cash laying around to fix that shit. And of course, being the only shower in our house, this will set us out to bathe elsewhere for at least a week. I hate bathing at other people's houses. It just kind of grosses me out.

So, maybe I will have to settle for painting or reorganizing stuff. Oh! Here's one I need an opinion on...

We have three bedrooms (a master and two smaller). The larger of the non-masters is currently the nursery. We still have the crib up and also a twin bed where Little Diva sleeps now. The other smaller room (office) is home to my PC, books, and a daybed that will be leaving the premises ASAP. So, whattaya think: clear out toys from the overcrowded living room into the office and have a playroom/office (ploffice), or make the office into Little Diva's room? The PC would have to go into the basement, which unfortunately has no windows (boo). There. That feels good.

Anyway, I think I hear a soapdish falling into the tub. Dammit...

Hausfrau in das haus?

Yes, I am back to make you smile/squirm. I hope everyone's day is going well. A special shout out to those of you having mediocre days, as I had one yesterday (well, afternoon anyway).

God I love Wednesday mornings! Little Diva and I began attending story time at the local Barnes & Noble a few months ago. We had the good fortune to meet up a fantastic mom/daughter pair whom has multiplied our midweek joy. For those newer moms out there looking for a great way to meet other moms without joining the dreaded playgroup (yech), I highly recommend story times, either at Borders or Barnes & Noble (you can find the times on the web). I really look forward to seeing S and E every week! I'm not a playgroup type and I'm not high maintenance enough to gel with the playground mommas at the park. "Literary slut" is more my style, so the bookstore gig has been great. And, hey - bookstores have cafes. And cafes mean tea and coffee. Coffee, books, and a cool mom friend does a great Wednesday morning make. Love and kisses to S and E from my virtual home here.

Yesterday afternoon was not quite so wonderful. Have you had one of those days where there is so much in your head and so little focus outside of it that you want to call the mental hospital? Yeah, that was my Wednesday afternoon. Moving on...

Today hubby decided that Little Diva should be allowed to ride her tricycle inside the house. Uh, what the hell? What happened to "that's an outside toy?" It may not have been so bad IF:
1) I had not previously said NO;
2) we had more than 600 square feet of living space on the first floor; and
3) she didn't keep riding into the pathway of the oven door whilst I was making lunch.
So that was fun.

I keep getting hit with sudden bursts of thought about things I should get done around the house today. The problem is my alter ego keeps making an appearance and telling the energy to "calm the hell down." Consequently, the shower curtain with a mildewy hem has not made it to the washer yet and the kitchen counter looks like Office Depot threw up on it. Oh, and there's an abstract painting on my kitchen floor done entirely in juice droplets and some stray dog hairs (my daughter is EXCELLENT with mixed media expression).

So, the hausfrau has now been to Starbucks and is ready to corral some dust bunnies (more on midwestern dust later). This post is mega boring so I need to go "work" to come up with more material for later. Until then, HANG IN THERE!

Sometimes I just need a little change of SYNTAX

Hey, everyone! Sorry I was a blog slacker yesterday. I had a busy morning and a melancholy afternoon. And who wants to read a melancholy blog?

Blogging = therapy. Know what I mean? Sometimes I just need a little change of SYNTAX to get me going again. From reading all of your blogs, I think we may agree on that point. Most of my day is spent using nicey-nice kid-friendly words, and when I'm at my breaking point, it's nice to have a big girl group on here who not only completely understands when I say "MY HUSBAND IS SUCH AN ASSHAT/DICKSMACK/DAMN FOOL TODAY!", but can also laugh about it with me. Bonus: you don't presume me to be some sort of Midwestern trailer goddess (I hope).

Anyway, I've got some hausfrau shit to sling for a bit, but I'll be back this afternoon to entertain.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I HEART Starbucks

Good morning, my lovelies! I have just dropped Little Diva off at her third go-around with playschool (one half-day per week). The first time, absolutely no tears. The second time, a tear and then she discovered the sensory table. This time, lip out and tears posed to fall. The teachers scooped her up and told me to SCRAM (nicely) and that she'd be OK. I know she will be, and I certainly am! The highlight of my "mommy down-time" is the stop for coffee/chai on the way home. YAY! I am currently enjoying the delight that is a raspberry mocha, non-fat, on ice. Oh, and a side of "reduced-fat" banana chocolate chip coffee cake, which is surprisingly decadent for being "reduced-fat." All of which I will shove down my throat until I want to puke from the corn-syrupy over-goodness.

I must say that if there was a mom-and-pop coffee haunt on the way home, I would certainly stop there instead of Starbucks. However, in the spirit of big-box store greediness, Starbucks has stolen another piece of corner Americana. Damn The Man. And yet, I am a sucker. Perhaps I will deviate from the routine and head to Wired Coffee (a mom-and-popper) next time. I couldn't today as I was not carrying the absolutely necessary cell phone, and needed to go home and retrieve it. Before setting foot back in the abode, coffee was a necessity. Starbucks was merely a convenience today.

Which brings me to another point... what the hell do I do with my time off? After my 2 1/2 year term as Executive Nose Wiper, I am at a loss as to the perfect use for my time while Little Diva is at school. Last week, I ended up going to the grocery store and sitting on the phone with a computer tech. I will NEVER do that again. Any suggestions for ways to piss my time away are welcome.

Happy Tuesday to you all!!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Culinary Delights of the Pre-Strike Menu

Well, friends, it's that time of the year: pre-strike menu planning! Let your taste buds feast on this great array of culinary rotations: meatloaf, grilled cheese, mac-n-cheese, and hot dogs. Alternate faithfully until a new contract is signed. If no new contract is signed, make meals out of only one component of the above for as long as possible. God, how I LIVE for a piece a cheese for lunch!

I'm a white-collar gal who married a blue-collar man. Over the last few years, I've had several eye-opening experiences dealing with the UAW. However, until I left my job at a Fortune 500 company to stay-at-home with Little Diva, we didn't really worry too much about the state of the union (HA HA HA). It's only recently that I've come to understand (or NOT understand) the way the union works. And BOY IS IT FUN!

My new basic understanding is that my husband shells out union dues every month so that someone will do the dirty work of "collective bargaining," which I actually thought had something to do with the employees (silly me). For all of you who are just like I was, collective bargaining pretty much amounts to this: employees pay union officials to make decisions without the employees knowing what the hell is going on until the officials come back and say, "You have to work under this new contract." Hmmmm. Several years ago when this whole scenario came around, these geniuses managed to keep my husbands job for him but hours were repeatedly cut, he received no pay increase for the life of the multi-year contract, and they reduced health care to a pile of dog shit (i.e. they don't cover anything and offer no way to pay for an upgrade).

So, while GM is sitting at the bargaining table with the UAW, we lie in wait to see what mystery meat will be served up down the cafeteria line. If the union doesn't want the meal du jour, I get to take jelly sandwiches to my husband holding a picket sign at a Chrysler dealership and try to figure out what the fuck we do then. (And did I mention that some union reps are elected because they have the best beer selection in the back of their pick-up on voting day? What the hell is that?)

I am aware that everyone has a different financial viewpoint of unions and such (I certainly do and it might surprise you), but I'm not here about politics. I'm here writing about the silliness of this whole bargaining thing. To keep myself smiling, I've concluded that a contract or strike is a result of one of three things:

A) a staring contest;
B) rock, paper, scissors; or
C) whoever has to leave the table to pee first.

OK, really, I'm not trying to degrade anything here. But desperate times call for desperate humor. Someone please laugh with me. And give me the damn loaf pan while you're at it...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Second Round of Babysitting

So we had our second round of babysitting tonight. And for the record, the end result is playing out something like this:

stabbing pain in the left eye
head swim
floor tilting
wobbly legs

Yeah. Too much fun at the wineries and a biker bar. The sad thing is that I think I had less bottled fun tonight than on a light night out a few years ago. Am I old? Damn, I feel like it.

Happy Monday to all.

Also, a shout out to "Ballwin Dave" and Bone Daddy and the Blues Shakers. What a great night!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Rollin' in da Lou? Fo' Shizzle!

This weekend is NUTS! Any other time of year I would say we average 1 babysitter per month for any sort of social gathering. This weekend alone, we have TWO, yes TWO! Perhaps God has seen the gnashing of teeth going on here and granted us a reprieve. YAY!

Last night, Little Diva, my sister, and I headed to Forest Park for the annual Balloon Glow. It was cool - for like 10 minutes. Uh, note to self for next year, get there like 10 hours early! It took us an hour to park and left us with only 10 actual minutes to see flaming hot air balloons. However, all was not lost. We were able to walk around and take pictures of Forest Park landmarks at night (art museum above), which is not a feat to be attempted when there aren't 250,000 other people around. Well, I suppose you can attempt it if you own body armour or don't mind being assaulted/carjacked...

Anyway, today hubby tended Little Diva while I headed to Busch Stadium with my mom and took in a Cardinals game. It was great - baseball, beer, and buns (in baseball pants - YAY!). The only problem was the weather. I was anticipating, based on our illustrious forecasters here, that we'd have a 70-something degree day. In all actuality, it was 61 with a wind and we were in the shade. The upside? My huge beer stayed frosty cold!!! The downside? I turned into a human popsicle wrapped in a baseball jersey by the end of the second inning. Enter the Stadium Store... where I purchased a way-too-expensive piece of Cards gear to keep my elbows from freezing to the armrests. Good thing I'm a big fan...

On the subject of baseball fan gear... I SMELL A CAREER CHANGE!!! I now qualitfy for hip-hop star status! Between my jersey purchase a month ago and the jacket I would have died without today in the tundra that was section 135, all I need is a little bling, a record deal, and an entourage (anyone? anyone?). I can't rap worth a damn. But don't disrespect me, bitches! REPRESENT! "I'm from The Lou and I'm proud..."

Anyway, it's late, I'm tired, and I've got much more to write. Alas, it will have to wait till tomorrow. Stay tuned for tomorrow's episode "White-Collar Girl (married to blue-collar man) Misunderstands Term 'Collective Bargaining'" or "Blue-Collar Plate Special."

Peace. I'm out.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Little Diva and the Non-Bedtime Opera

This evening's drama is brought to you by vodka, antidepressants, and morphine. Oh, and the guys who make ear plugs, too.

It's such a shame, dear friends, that you couldn't enjoy the symphony of wailing that occurred this evening in my home. I believe that my daughter has discovered a previously unknown octave judging from the ear-splitting scale amplified through the Graco monitor. In between the instrumental sections, my daughter bellowed a chorus of "I no wanda goduh bed, pleeeease" interlaced with a lovely "I need more appoe juice." It was quite the performance. I honored it seven times with a standing ovation and a swift escorting of my operatic diva straight back up the stairs to her room. Heaven help me. I NEED A DRINK!

It is now 11:00 PM and I hear snoring coming from little diva's bedroom. I hoped that our sleep worries were over this time last year. But I know all too well that nothing is ever that clear-cut with kids. Mother Nature always finds a way to kick you square in the ass when things have gotten a little too comfy. So, new parents, listen up: never think you've got it all figured out. That is the sole reason that us slightly seasoned parents make fun of you (well, ok, it makes us feel better about ourselves, too).

To see more ways Mother Nature kicks you square in the ass, please stay tuned for our coming ramblings. Better go buy some ass pads, kids!!!

The First Lesson of Motherhood

For all of you Chicken Soup book fans out there, here is a little ditty I'm submitting to see if someone will pay me for the crap that floats through my murky brain. Enjoy!


The First Lesson of Motherhood

I sat on the toilet lid with the tell-tale test in my hands. I’d thought about this moment for months, imagining some wave of contentment and indescribable joy washing over me at the sight of a positive result. In this less-than-idealistic experience, I gracelessly urinated on a narrow fibrous stick and found myself staring with cantaloupe-sized eyes as urine slowly progressed through tiny plastic windows. Two pink lines were left in the wake. There they were in all of their glory, proclaiming I was pregnant. I sat waiting for the maternal love to kick in; it didn’t come. Instead, I was on the verge of hyperventilating, shaking in complete disbelief (and slight terror).

I had imagined from the beginning of my marriage that this moment would be much tenderer. I’d suspect I was pregnant and clandestinely take a pregnancy test. I’d break the news first to my husband. This revelation would occur with all the drama of a made-for-T.V. movie, ideally on an important holiday like Christmas or Father’s Day. We would hug and cry and kiss excitedly about our new future unfolding. We’d keep it a secret, I’d thought, and enjoy this knowledge just between the two of us for a while.

In reality, it was the end of July without a holiday in sight. My husband was away at work, and I found myself immediately phoning a person with pregnancy experience – my sister-in-law, mother of two. I needed confirmation from a reliable source.

“Well, if there are definitely two lines, you’re definitely pregnant!” was her reply upon my speculation about the test’s accuracy. “You really don’t need to take another test.”

My sister-in-law lovingly congratulated me, and I got down to business. Ignoring the advice I was given, I took a second test, then a third. I now had six pink lines of evidence (and no more urine to give for eight). Even the most skeptical jury would have found me irrevocably guilty of having a bun in the oven. So there I sat on the toilet lid, newly pregnant, and alone in the brash vanity lighting of my bathroom. I was painfully aware that the moment of a lifetime had come and gone without the anticipated fanfare. My first pregnancy was utterly entrenched in everyday life.

That was over three years ago. Looking back, I think I learned the first lesson of motherhood that day: genuine memories are entirely unscripted. The most magical moments catch me completely off-guard. They appear without my intervention. This is why no one ever has a camera handy when a baby takes her first steps, and a witness can’t be found when she utters her first words.

As a hopeless romantic, I’d spent my time concocting fantasies about the manner in which extraordinary things should appear in my life. I would be disenchanted when my dreams didn’t materialize the way in which I expected them. I believe I lost a lot of joy from experiences because I couldn’t appreciate them simply for their unadulterated happening.

Through my motherhood travels, I’ve learned that my most treasured memories are those that appear in the midst of everyday living. They sneak up on me and yell, “SURPRISE!” My daughter’s first steps, first time saying “mommy,” and first view of a live swan are some of my most precious memories. Yet none of these was arranged like a symphony; they all happened surreptitiously on average days in between diaper changes and breast-pumping sessions. I didn’t plan for them at all (which is excellent because having children means planning is often gratuitous).

Over the last three years, the first lesson of motherhood has served me well both as a parent and an individual. I spend more time enjoying the life I am given, and less time directing it in Hollywood-style scenarios. I look forward to the surprises and miracles of each day without any expectation of how they should arrive. I hold no grandiose standards for how the truly wondrous must unfold.

The end result is untainted bliss at the exact moment a miracle is revealed to me. Now I experience authentic happiness knowing the most poignant moments of my life can occur at absolutely any time. And they do when I merely let them.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sarcasm rules here

Well, here I am. At the urging of several gals with whom I choose to affiliate, I have begun a blog! I realize this is a common "fate" for many a stay-at-home mom. Those of you who know me, rest assured - there is neither a minivan purchase in my forseeable future nor will my toddler be trying out for any sort of soccer team. I will continue to be my same crazy self wrapped up in all things visible and invisible, wholly bound to the idea that not all moms need be soccer moms. For those of you tuning in for the first installment, I should explain a few things. Firstly, I am the queen of sarcasm (hence my pen name "mom of the year"). Secondly, satire is tons of fun; please react accordingly and save any nastiness for those who truly wish to offend others. Lastly, let's all have a little fun on this trip called motherhood. Welcome to the order of chaos!