Monday, October 31, 2011

Haunted House

Happy Halloween!! Since it is the day to celebrate the dead, I have a scary story for you. Brace yourself. It’s going to be good.

I grew up in the country woods. At night, it is the darkest place I have ever seen. My husband is terrified of my parent’s house. We didn’t have close neighbors and if something happened, no one would hear you scream. My parents were out one night and I was home alone. I was in the kitchen probably trying to uncover some hidden stash of chocolate when the radio went all funny. I walked around the corner to fix the station and I saw a head peeking around the bathroom door. A white, see-through, woman ghost-head. She quickly ducked back into the bathroom. I ran downstairs to the basement (because that is less scary, right?) and cowered in my bedroom. Yes, I was hiding from the ghost. Why did I think I could hide from a ghost? Didn’t anyone ever teach me that ghosts can go through walls, doors and ceilings? Alas, I never saw the ghost again. I have myself convinced that she was more afraid of me than I was of her.

My parents never believed me and I’m pretty sure my siblings made fun of me.

So……I hope she haunts them.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Newborn Quiz Show

Hey everyone!

I'm back. And tired. And happy. And emotional.

My house is a mess. My kids are disheveled. I'm rocking the ponytail. And there's a burp cloth somewhere in every single room in this house.

The only way I can describe to someone what it's like to have a newborn is to say,

"It's the intersection of Heavenly and Hard."

She is perfect. Everything else is far from it. A three-year absence from doing this sort of thing has me playing my own sort of sleep deprived quiz show/guessing game almost 24 hours per day.

Sample Questions:

1. Your newborn hates her crib, and after a full feeding wakes up every time you lay her in it. What do you do?

A. Hope that after some time crying, she'll eventually fall asleep.
B. Don't be heartless. Go get her and rock her on your shoulder until she falls back asleep then lay her down again even though this option takes a half hour of your sleep time.
C. Pick her up, change her diaper, give her an extra burp and lay her down again in hopes that she'll quietly lay there until she sleeps.
D. Forget it. Sleep her in her car seat and worry about the crib thing later.

I tried A, B, and C. The only option that allowed me to sleep was D. Terrible, I know.

2. You've just picked up your daughter from school and your newborn falls asleep in her car seat. You come in the door and know that if you don't wake her now, she'll most likely be up more at night, but there's homework to do, your other kids are hungry, and you could REALLY use a nap. What do you do?

A. Let her sleep, put on a show, take a nap, and pay for it later. Let the homework go for a couple of hours.
B. Wake her up, and try to convince her to sit in her bouncy seat while you feed your children and attend to homework now (you never know what will happen later) even though she's likely to scream.
C. Let her sleep. Do a quick job of the homework. Feed the kids. Do the laundry (did I forget to mention the laundry in my scenario set up?), and pay for it later.
D. Just leave her in the car seat sleeping, take your nap, forget the homework, let the kids run wild.

I've done all of the above on different days.

3. Your kids need a bath now to ensure they'll get to bed in time to wake up for school; your newborn needs to be fed which needs to also be done now as indicated by her screams. What do you do?
A. Bathe the kids with one hand while feeding the newborn with the other hand and just hoping you won't drop her in the tub (but then if you did, she'd get her bath really, really quickly, so maybe this would work out for the best).
B. Let the newborn scream. It may drive you nuts, but she'll make it. After all, the world only "seems" to revolve around her right?
C. Forget baths altogether. One more day of scum never really hurt anyone.
D. Feed child #3, then bathe other kids, put them to bed late, and gripe a little about not bathing or feeding yourself for quite some time.

Sadly, I did D on this one.

Those are just a few samples of the many scenarios that accompany my life these days. And here's a final one:

You're trying to write your Pear Shaped Thoughts post for the week after a month long hiatus and your newborn is next to you crying about who knows what seeing as she's fed and changed and it doesn't appear that anyone is torturing her. What do you do?

A. Shut it down and end it NOW.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Dealing with Rage

Nature provides us with some interesting examples of how females deal with rage.

The wolf spider, black widow, tarantula, scorpion and praying mantis all kill their mate when their done with them. This is the real life equivalent of people in TV shows, movies, and the crazy lady in the shopping centre screaming ‘Stop it or I’ll rip your head off!’, ‘I’m gonna kill you!’ or a variety of other ‘death’ inducing exclamations… except that the animals actually follow through. A bit extreme, perhaps.

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a CD by a guy named Don Spencer which is filled with cute folksy songs about Australian animals. I used to listen to it as a kid, and wanted my kids to hear it too. Go ahead and type Don Spencer into You Tube if you’d like to sample a slice of the delight. In listening to the songs, I relearned something I remember learning as a kid. I was reminded that it’s the female mosquito that does all the biting. The male will just buzz around happily without malice. It’s the female that’ll get you!

Mosquito, I like your style. What better way to irritate someone than to buzz around their head all night, make them itchy from head to toe, then come back again to do it all again the next day?!

What is the real life equivalent of this? Sneakily taking all the towels out of the linen closet while the person (your husband?) is in the shower so he has to shake dry like a dog. Hiding the TV remote so only you know where to find it. Using his razor for shaving your legs so when he comes back to use it on its face, it’s blunt. Taking all his underwear out of his drawer and putting diapers in there instead. Taking all his money out of his wallet and replacing it with monopoly money. Giving him a ridiculous nickname and tell him you think it’s endearing.

Subtle mind games. Because we love you.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tis the Dress Skanky

We all know that Halloween is an "excuse" for women to dress sparingly. However, hailing from a place where October can have freezing temperatures I don't see it much. But as I was perusing the Internet looking for a costume this year I saw that they have skantified almost anything you can imagine.

I've watched more Star Trek than I'd like to admit (thanks dad), but I don't recall any of the outfits looking like this. Captain Picard wouldn't allow it.

We all know that if you really wanted to look like a Power Ranger for Halloween you would wear this...

But if you wanted to draw more attention to your, ahem, self you could wear this - complete with a strategically placed hole in the front.

I've read Alice in Wonderland twice and watched the movie countless times. Somehow I don't remember Alice ever being a hoochie-mama.

Oh great, now we're dragging innocent insects into this?

Really? Candy?

These people will stop at nothing...including skunks.

This is what I ended up ordering:

Okay, not really.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Melting Pot

Speaking with a friend some time ago we discussed the diversity of our city.  She hails from the diversity rich University that is Yale.  I hail from the cookie cutters of Utah Valley.  Now, that isn’t to say there is no diversity in Utah, because if you ever talk to people, EVER, you’ll realize that no two people are exactly alike.  Even in Utah.  It’s fairly common knowledge.  Besides that, I really like Utah and how lots of people are similar there.  (So don’t go hatin’ on Utah, you Utah haters.)  But truthfully, I rarely (and I mean pretty much never) saw black people, middle eastern women with traditional head scarves, or Jewish neighbors walking to their worship services whilst there.  I did see plenty of fake (or possibly real) big boobs, but you’ll see those anywhere J

So, when I came to Virginia I felt a little bit out of my element.  I have never seen such a unique and diverse culture.  Stay-at-home dads at story time, Egyptian women taking care of my kidlets at the gym, AND more that two female doctors to choose from, just to name a few.   It is spectacular!  And when I’m walking around the mall with three kids in tow, I’m practically Ms. Diversity herself!  (I should get a sash). And Super Woman to boot!  (You know I’d be glanced right over with only three kids in Utah.  So, I’m reveling in the super stardom of mom-ness while I can).  I see a lot more piercing here too.  And, although it brings diversity, I am not quite fan of it.  Being brought to the attention of complete strangers' nose hairs via one of those nose barbells isn’t my favorite thing.  

My friend, however, is less than impressed by the diversity here, citing Yale as much more diverse.  The environmentalist and gun activist must be camping out together up there to make her statement true.  Which, it probably is true and I totally believe her because, after all, she went to Yale J 

What kinds of things make your city diverse?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Psycho Analysis

I recently stumbled across "30 Pictures of People Freaking Out at a Haunted House."

I don't want to build this up too much... but it is the funniest thing I've seen in a very long time.

Please go look at them. Immediately. I think there is probably a lot you can tell from a person by how they respond to sheer terror.

Some men may seem seem unaffected, but when push comes to shove...they push the real strength out in front and cower like a baby.

And yet others make last minute attempts and gallantry. It's endearing really.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mind Your Manners

I feel like some people may need a refresher course in manners. Did you know that there are some questions or statements that are just impolite? Well, just in case you weren't are a few examples.

(Your mom is excluded from this. Mom's can ask whatever questions they want. They birthed you.)

1. Why don't you have kids yet? When are you going to have kids? Why doesn't Sophie have a baby brother/sister yet?

You never know what other people are going through so just keep your mouth shut on the subject of children.

2. Congratulations! When are you due?

Unless the woman tells you she is pregnant, or you actually see the baby's head coming not comment on bellies. After I got home from the hospital with my first baby, I remember unloading the car. My husband had already taken the baby up to our apartment. I could hear my neighbors a few cars away arguing whether I had had the baby yet. The husband was convinced that I was still pregnant due to my "huge belly". Thanks a lot.

3. How much do you weigh?

No explanation needed.

4. How much money does your husband make? How much money do you make? How much did you pay for your house?

On the subject of money...shhhh. I may be a little old fashioned, but I think it is just impolite.

5. WOW!!! You look like you are ready to pop! Are you sure it isn't twins?!?

Once again. Bellies are off limits. Unless you are telling them that they have the perfect shaped belly and you can't believe how fantastic they look. It is always ok to tell someone that they look great. Always.

6. Are you really going to wear that?

I accidentally said this to my husband the other day. Apparently it is rude and does not go over well.

7. Why aren't you married yet? Is he EVER going to ask you to marry him?

Yes, please, rub salt in someone's wound. Everyone wants to be reminded that they aren't married yet or that they person they are dating is never going to commit.

8. Have you tried wrinkle cream for those crows feet?

Pointing out someone's imperfections is just mean. Most likely they already know about their new found wrinkles.

9. So, what went wrong in your marriage? Why did you get a divorce?

None of your business. If they want to tell you, they will.

Sadly, I have made a few of these comments. Please add to the list!! I would like to avoid saying things that offend others :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Shirtless Men

Today, I saw not 1, not 2, but 3 shirtless men running (not together because that's a little creepsies, but separately).

Where was I, you ask? Hanging out at a place of ill repute?

Taking my daughter to school, going to the grocery store, and heading to Costco.

I used to think there were two types of publicly partial nudes:

Hotty Heroes

Those who have a smokin' bod, know they have a smokin' bod, and want the world to know about how smokin' their bod is. Most likely they have some sort of tattoo somewhere on that upper bod to draw even more attention to their smokin' bod.

Former Hotty Heroes

Those who used to have a smokin' bod, still think they have a smokin' bod, and still feel they have to prove to the world that their body is smokin' hot. And yes, they still have their tattoo because those things just don't go away.

However, my opinion changed about 5 years ago when I first headed to the East Coast. Those were different times...the husband and I were just "the husband and I" living it up in a big city together, seeing the sites, and eating out at least twice per week. It was during this time (and only this time) that we decided to exercise together. So one morning we went for a run. The thing about the weather and my two teams (The EAST and the WEST) is that even when the temperature is the same, it's not the same. The East is way warmer feeling. Not only that but the temperature doesn't ever cool off at night:

Today's high here: 77 degrees
Today's low here: 69 degrees

Today's high in Utah: 75 degrees
Today's low in Utah: 45 degrees

See what I mean? You can imagine what the summer does to that temp too. It goes WAY up. So we're running, in the summer heat, struggling and sweating profusely. About half-way through our run, I looked over, and guess who was shirtless? That's right.

The husband.

And guess who would have been shirtless if it was at all an option?


The Moral of the Story: We all learn compassion differently, and that day I learned that even the shirtless deserve not to be judged. So today when I saw my shirtless friends, I just thought, "Good for you."

Friday, October 21, 2011

Low Blow

Last year, I taught Year 9 English. Kids are not thrilled about English. This is especially true when you’re teaching the ‘low literacy’ kids. You know, a class of 25 students of which 20 are boys who are actually pretty smart but would rather throw spit balls, kick each other’s chairs out, and flirt with the girls than actually read anything.
There was one delightful little critter in one of my classes who almost every lesson would say something about my ‘big booty’ (it’s true, baby got back). Typically, I would change the subject, threaten him with detention, or just ignore him. But one day…

It was a Friday, 11.20 am and the crows were squawking ominously. I was just locking up a classroom after fourth period. As I turned around to head down the stairs toward my staffroom, I saw this same kid approaching with a big group of his friends. It was about to begin. He called out ‘Hey Miss, Alex in Year 11 agrees with me that you’ve got a big butt’. Now, I can’t be blamed for what I said in response. I was three months pregnant and hormonal… nuff said.

I responded, ‘Really? Would you like me to tell all of your friends here what I think is big or small on you?’ He looked at me like I’d just kicked him where the sun don’t shine. And let’s face it. I had.

I felt a bit bad for him when his friends laughed as hard as they did. Only a bit.

Needless to say, he never spoke out of turn again. Teacher 1: Student 0.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Perfect Mom

I was going to be one of those perfect moms...

My child was going to always eat a well balanced son ate popcorn for dinner last night.

I was never going to be a hypocrite...after months of telling my son not to bite, I bit his finger after he stuck it in my mouth for the umpteenth time.

Temper tantrums were never going to get the best of me...sometimes you'll do anything for a little peace and quiet.

My child would not need to be driven around in a car seat, placed on a clothes dryer, or any other odd thing to get him to fall I'll do whatever it takes.

I was going to wean my child of thumb sucking by the time he was 6 I encourage it during nap time.

My child was not going to be whiny...and then I found out that whining is what they excel at between the age of 2 and 3 (or 18?).

Yes, I was going to be one of those perfect moms...and then I became a mom.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

When You Remember That A Broken Heater Isn't So Bad After All

Lets get real here.  Sometimes I complain.  And I’m going out on a limb here (not really, not really at all) but I’d say I’m fairly dramatic when whining.  Okay, I’m totally dramatic.  For example, the 30 minutes before I got an epidural and had to deal with those stinkin’ contractions (although I do feel contractions warrant some complaining) I grabbed the side of the bed and yelled out in agony even though I was only dilated to a three.  Yeah. 

So when I started talking to a pregnant friend, whom I haven’t seem in a while, only to find out that she’s been in and out of the hospital for the last six months, throwing up so much that her mouth is corroded, I realized 30 minutes of contractions wasn’t so bad after all.

I also recall those times when the heater broke down in the middle of the winter.  I can’t even count how many times that has happened since I’ve been married.  I’m a big fat whiney pants on those days.  Then, my mother-in-law sends us the movie, “17 Miracles.”  

Have you seen it?  I thought “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” stole my tears, but this movie told stories that dried my tear ducts right out! What is she trying to do to me??  I already cry about everything as it is J 

Seriously though, faithful saints with a fervent testimony of Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon trek across the United States so they can receive temple blessings in the bitter cold and pure drudgery of winter with little food, no shelter and less than meager clothing.  Add that to family members laid to rest in shallow graves with wolves constantly on the prowl.  Talk about amazing people with rock solid testimonies!  I can't imagine any of those saints would whine about a broken heater.

I suppose you could say I’ve had a re-awakening of sorts this week.   Because really, no matter how bad we have it, someone else probably has it worse.  Except for my varicose vein…it doesn’t get worse than that.  (kidding) 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Being an Adult

I've been a true blue (literal) pioneer for the past four days. We've had no hot water. Not even lukewarm water. Just frigid arctic springs out of our pipes.

After my most recent pneumonia-inducing attempt at a bath, I declared that I couldn't take it anymore, and that I was going to the in-laws to take a shower in the morning before school. To which my husband replied...

"Why don't you just shower at school?"

Excuse me? I have never showered in a communal-all-out-in-the-open-for-free-peeks shower and I'd rather not start.

My husband is really sympathetic so he said, "Wow dear. You show grow up and be an adult. No one else thinks this is weird. It's not a big deal."

Now I may be totally off my prima donna rocker, but I don't think that I'm the only girl out there who has yet to shower in a public watering hole. If I remember right, NO ONE in junior high dared shower after P.E. in the girls locker room. One girl did once (in her underwear--hehe), and she was forever labeled and marginalized.

In fact! I once talked to the building planner for BYU and he said they were considering taking out the showers in the girl's locker room because they are the most unused waste of space on campus.  So there! I know that showering in locker rooms is like a coming of age rite for boys so can't expect my husband to understand, but do I have any female sympathy out there?...

...or do I need to put on (or take off) my big girl panties and be an adult?