Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

No "lion" we had a great Halloween! And Natalie made the cutest, sweetest little lioness :) Thanks to my wonderful SILs for the hand-me-down costume! I got all "super crafty" - which means I dug the hot glue gun out of the drawer - and added little pink bows - one to each ear and another on the tail.
She started out the day indulging me when I asked, "Natalie, what does a lion say?" But her adorable "ooooaaaaarrr" quickly faded ... sometimes she doesn't like to show-off her skillz, and that's all right. But I bet she'll be roaring all day tomorrow ... now that the costume is put away!

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

And you think your life sucks ...

If life suckiness were a contest, which would be lots of fun, I have to tell you that in the past few weeks, my friend Laurie would've won the gold medal, the cheesy trophy, the bronzed piece of dog poop ... whatever the Life Sucks Contest organizers decided was an appropriate prize.

This isn't my story, but I feel compelled to tell it, and I hope to get most of the details right. Laurie hasn't been bitten by the blog bug yet, so if I don't tell this story, it won't get told to the masses ... besides my life hasn't been anywhere near this interesting as of late ... or sucky for that matter :) You should also know that this post is based on a series of phone conversations ... some tear-filled, others peppered with laughter - 'cause sometimes life sucks so bad you cry and when it gets worse, you can't help but laugh :)

A little background ... Laurie's husband, I'll call him PIMP 'cause he'll love that, took a new job in Chicago, which meant a move from the Lone Star State to the Windy City. A move they are excited about, despite the vast difference in weather conditions, primarily because it means that Laurie will get to be a full-time SAHM, and well, what's more delightful than that? The move also meant deciding to be separated for a month. With PIMP heading up to Chi-town to start his new job and enjoy a few weeks of bachelorhood, no doubt ... well, not literally, but you know what I mean! While Laurie and her darling 15-month old son staying behind to tie-up loose ends ... like selling the house, packing an entire house worth of stuff, ... you know, minor details.

Not surprisingly, Laurie handled the month of single parenthood like a rock star, and even managed to get packing down during naptimes ... impressive! And so the month was challenging but manageable, especially with a light at the end of the tunnel. Soon enough they would be together again as a family, in a new town, on a new adventure ... but this story takes a turn of misadventure.

Scratching the surface of suckiness ... the movers took 15 hours to load the truck, twice as long as estimated, which sucks because they were paid hourly ... ouch! The house didn't go to closing as expected because of an issue with the appraisal. Not devastating but an end left untied.

These are things you could deal with, right? I mean things like this happen during a move. But you have to admit, it sucks. And it gets worse ...

So the movers came on Sunday, and by Sunday night, Laurie and Benjamin were "homeless" but staying with friends in Texas until Tuesday when they were schedule to depart on a flight bound for Chicago. On Monday, Benjamin got the stomach flu. Do I need to get graphic here in order for you to fully appreciate the suckiness of his situation? Well, Benjamin puked all over Laurie's friend's house, had constant d-word (yuck!), and felt too crummy to sleep well. That's a tough combination even in the comfort of your own home, but when you're a guest in someone's house ... let's agree, that sucks!

In addition to the inconvenience of having your son puke all over someone else's house, Laurie was also facing a trip to the airport, through security, and on a plane to Chicago. A trip that had been her light at the end of the tunnel, they would finally be reunited with her husband and his daddy, had become a mommy's worst case scenario. A 15-month old puking, pooping machine confined in the cabin of an aircraft ... could she possibly pack enough plastic bags and changes of clothes? Should she even attempt such a feat? When we spoke on the phone, I could tell she was struggling to make a decision ... flying with a sick munchkin wasn't an appealing option, but the thought of staying in Texas - and away from her PIMP - until she could get booked on another flight was pushing her over the edge. She asked, "Would you take Natalie if it was you?" Without hesitation, I assured her that given the circumstances, I would risk the flight if the puking had stopped for at least 4 hours. The pooping could be dealt with ... and hopefully no one would get close enough to risk getting the stomach flu germs from her little man. And so, they did make the flight and at least their family was back together again.

But, the suckiness continued. The moving company was in an accident before the truck even got out of Texas, which delayed their boxes by two days. This especially sucks because Laurie and the PIMP and Benjamin are in their new place with a chair, an inflatable mattress, and a pack-n-play ... and a washing machine that isn't working. Oh, and the puking started again Wednesday morning. Benjamin managed to puke on the one piece of furniture in the house. Not to mention, their supply of clean clothing is dwindling to just about nothing.

I am sincerely hoping this is the end of Laurie's sucky-streak. I've said, "It can't get any worse," and been wrong too many times in this little tale. But for those of you who know Laurie and her family, they are alive and in Chicago ... and hoping for a puke-free day of unpacking tomorrow!

House Party

Every hour on the hour - between 7 am and 7 pm - I am neglecting my daughter, forgetting my responsibilities as a mommy, wife, friend, ... to call and try to win tickets to the 92.5 House Party 2008. My boy, Nelly, as I affectionately refer to him, is going to be here in Seattle on November 8th, and I must see him ... if even from afar. And you can't BUY tickets. They must be WON.

Caller 25. I just want to be caller 25. I've tried at 8, 9, and 10 this morning ... nothing but busy signals :( And yesterday when I was at the peak of discouragement, feeling like I was going to give up ... I was caller 21 at 11am ... so close! It totally sucked me right back into calling 13 times a day, listening to the awful busy tone, ... and when it actually rings, my heart rate goes off the charts. I want these tickets so badly!

Deb - Just to clarify, Nelly is my NKOTB ... are you feeling my pain?

Update: A huge thanks to my sweet hubby who is doubling my efforts by calling to win tickets . And he is having far better luck than I am today. He's been caller 5 and caller 12; you go, CPV!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pumpkin Patch: Flashback

Last year at this time, Natalie was just three and a half months old. But the fall traditions took root ...
We made an effort to find a pumpkin patch, but the weather was crummy, our nursing schedule left us with very limited time for an outing, and we didn't think to get directions. So we drove around on some beautiful country roads and ended up stopping at a road-side market with a darling pumpkin display.
Natalie looked so cute in her Halloween onesie and too-big hat. We leaned her against a bail of hay and a few perfectly round pumpkins. She took her time considering this new scenery and then delighted us with her perfect baby grins. We picked a tiny pumpkin and called it a day.

Today's experience was very different, and yet in some ways not that much has changed. First of all, we actually went to a Pumpkin Patch, a local farm called Jubilee. And the weather was gorgeous; blue skies, sunshine and temperatures in the low 60's. I am willing to bet this type of weather for our future trips to the pumpkin patch will be rarity at best.

Most of the time, Natalie was very serious. She has this adorable way of taking in what's around her ... observing and considering and studying. And her smiles were accompanied with babbles and signs and requests. She sat atop a John Deere tractor; her grampy will be so proud! She walked and tripped through the rows of pumpkins. She squatted - with a determined look on her face - and tried to pick up pumpkins weighing at least as much as she does. She got ridiculously dirty, ate some dirt, and drooled on a few gourds, too. She said, "neigh, neigh" as the horse-drawn wagon passed by. She entertained a small crowd while dancing to the music of two acoustic guitar playing musicians. And she did get hungry; we shared a banana and a little apple cider.

Just as Natalie is bigger this year than last, so is her pumpkin. The one Chad searched many rows to find. It's round - my shape preference - and smattered with a little unripe greenness and has a perfectly trimmed stem.

What a beautiful day we spent together during our
2nd Annual Trip to the Pumpkin Patch :)

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Pumpkin Patch Spy Photos

It was another gorgeous day here in the NW. Seriously, I am beginning to fear for our reputation because the skies have been blue and rain-free for so many days :)
And what did we do to enjoy this particular beautiful day? We visited a local pumpkin patch and took lots and lots of photos of our sweet NHV. We also took these two pics - unbeknownst to the subjects ... for your blog-viewing pleasure.
Pumpkin wrestling, the only way to settle
a "hey-that's-my-pumpkin" dispute!

And, well, that's definitely one way to make
sure no one else takes your pumpkin.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dear Milkman

Please make the milkman stop.
Do whatever you can.
Sleep with him if you have to.
We can't take anymore milk!

This was the note left by my husband as he hurried out the door to work this morning. As you can see, we have a problem, and I guess it's a "good" problem to have if there is such a thing.

About three weeks ago, I signed up for milk delivery service. Yes, I have a milkman.

I can't help but wonder if he's the same milkman that fathered my dear sister - tee hee!

I also can't help but make the comparison between this milk delivery service and the 11 months I spent providing this service to my darling NHV. Mine came on schedule and in an insulated container ... but I never "delivered" more than we needed!

Ummmm, so what's the problem? Glad you asked ...
It all started with an unexpected knock at the door; must be my month for those - remember the neighbor-needing-a-recipe story? Despite the "no solicitation" sign, he knocked and I answered. Clearly, there was some force of destiny at work. His sales pitch was convincing, and he offered to leave a half gallon of organic whole milk - free of charge. Facing a trip to the grocery store - in need of you guessed it, milk - Yeah, "you had me at free milk."

Thus began the delivery of 3 half gallons of organic whole milk ... every other week. Except, well, it's not every other week. It's every week. Every Friday three half gallons of milk are left in my handy-dandy insulated milk box on the front porch. "From, moo to you," indeed!

Oh, yeah, the problem ...
There's a surplus of milk in our fridge that would suggest perhaps our consumption to delivery ratio is way off! I've even been gifting whole milk; a gift my mommy friends are all too happy to receive, I might add. But the amount of milk in my fridge is borderline ridiculous ...

And now I am off to call the milkman ... again ... to explain my dilemma, offer sexual favors if it comes to that, and hope to put an end to this milk madness :)
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