Monday, September 19, 2011

Why I'm glad I didn't hook-up with Edward Cullen

Much like half of the twi-hard fans, when the Twilight Saga first came out, I had a small, itty-bitty, obsessive crush on Edward Cullen and, by extension, Robert Pattinson. Even though I have since stopped writing "Dani Cullen" all over my journals, I find myself more accepting of "vampires" in general, like the ones on True Blood or Vampire Diaries.

Anyway, I was reminded last night when I was lying on Ava bear's floor as the other incisor was breaking its way through her gums and wrecking havoc on the once-quietness of our house, that I'm pretty glad I didn't wind up with Edward. Not only would vampire-parents have to deal with their children's fangs coming in but does it hurt every time they pop out? If Bill Compton from True Blood can be believed, by the look on his face, it looks like he feels uber-constipated when the fangs descend. I doubt Mylanta could touch that with a ten foot pole but there are other reasons I'm glad I don't have a vampire for a child:
  • I'd hate to see a vampire child during witching hours. I know how impatiently Ava bear waits at my feet while I'm making dinner- screaming and demanding that I cook faster. Can you imagine a baby vampire? And when exactly would witching hour be? Between 3 and 5am?
  • Although it would be nice to not have to figure out what to make every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, what goes on the side of blood? Definitely not garlic mashed potatoes but what? Broccoli? Stuffing?  Plus, what if you have guests over? "Please ignore the body dangling from my child's mouth?" That's like trying to ignore the proverbial pink elephant. I'd never get to have a dinner party again!
  • I could barely open my mouth far enough to say "Mommy's here" every five minutes from the floor of Ava's bedroom. Imagine having to actually be standing and upright during the whole entire night? And what on Earth would we do every night? Bounce houses, libraries and Wegmans would totally be closed (Well, I guess bounce houses would be out anyway because of the pointy fangs).
  • I am STILL scarred by the birth scene of Renesmee. You think I want to go through that 3 times? I'm sorry but I don't care how cute he is, how well he can sing and play the piano and how fast he can run, pregnancy and the toddler years are hard enough without adding blood-lust to the mix. I'm just saying.
Anyway, I'm not saying I'm Team Jacob. I never will be (although I did have a very delicious dream about him last night- first time EVER!) but I'm just saying that I think I'll stick with my own cub's. They may drain the life out of me figuratively but it's about a thousand times better than having it drained out literally.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Throne Room

I don't really know where the expression"throne" room came from because I've never talked to a single woman who has ever been royalty in her own bathroom. We're more like the serveant to every living thing that resides in our house. So, much like most of you, on any given bathroom trip, I have at least 3 creatures crammed in there with me (not to mention the bean in my belly that is the reason for the frequent bathroom trips) and that's no easy feat since our bathroom is literally the size of a janitor's closet.

I have my black retriever, Ebony, crushed in tight between the toilet and the shower. She doesn't realize she's 65 pounds and that the space is only big enough for the toilet brush (which is where she likes to rest her head) so she's pressed in againt my left hip. Then I have Simba, my golden lab, who truly believes that a person's lap is HIS domain. If you have one, he will put his head on it. I was born a girl so you can imagine there is a lap every time I use the throne and yes, his head is.....right....there. Then there is Ava bear who insists on playing with the water in the sink, which means climbing up her sister's steps, "dancing" on them while pouring water all over the floor.

So, at any given moment, I have my left hand on Simba, getting him away from....well, the reason I'm in the bathroom. My right hand on Ava's back so she doesn't fall off the now-slipery steps. I'm getting pushed off the pot from Ebony and I'm listening to K-bear yell at me for forgetting to brush her teeth, get her milk, give her a snack, play with her, etc.

Now for those wise-asses who are asking why I don't just close the bathroom door? Well, then I would have Ebony standing....literally standing on the other side of the door. Simba crying, lying down directly on the opposite side of the door to which Ava-bear would come over and join in on his crying and will see his lying there as a perfect opportunity to take out her frustration...on him. If she ignores Simba, she will then just chose to go over to her sister and torment her so much that there will be a strong echo of screams and "AVA, NO!" bouncing down my entire neighborhood.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I totally understand why everyone puts such an emphasis on the benefits of "the man cave" but I'd like to bring forth a movement to create a space just for the woman. The kitchen is grand central station; the living room has no doors that you can lock; the minute a girl even steps into the bedroom, she either has someone slamming on the door that they need something or a husband who thinks her presence in a room with a bed is an invitation for...making more living creatures and the attic may be quiet but then the woman is too bothered by "what the heck was that noise" to really relax.

So, to all of the home builders and architechts out there, you want to know how to get out of this economic slump? Screw the mancave, give us a damn throne room!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

An endless supply of OOPS!

At the end of my life, I will definitely be able to say that I've lived a full life and by "full" I mean, chockful of OOPS. Some have been small, mere hiccups in the chaos of my days- stupid stuff, like putting the ice cream in the frig or drunk-dialing my high school crush in the middle of my senior year of college (of course, I called his parents first to get his phone number at like eleven o'clock at night just to make matters a thousand times worse). But then there are the others....
  • Like the time I ordered 200+ beautiful invitations to our wedding and wrote the wrong time down.
  • Like the time I inserted all of our wedding money into the ATM without an envelope (I like to think my stupidity was the reason for those new envelope-free ATM's)
  • Like the time I was singing and dancing at my best friends wedding to the song, "Mony Mony" and the mother of the groom, who just so happened to be the most spiritual, religious person in the room, came over and asked what everyone was singing after the words "Mony, Mony" and I helpfully, without guilt or awareness, told her "Get Laid, get *$%@" and guess whose overly perceptive videographer got that little exchange on film?
  • Like the time I sent out an e-mail about a recent hook-up and accidentally included my aunt's in the "to" line (yes, this happened to me in my 20's and yes, I still cannot look them in the eye).
  • Like the time I told my husband we were safe at a particular time of month when we were smack dab in the middle of "you need to stay at least 20 feet away from me" and we are now expecting our 3rd child.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Puppy chow

Would it surprise you to learn that you can actually eat what's in this picture? Would it surprise you to learn that someone has probably just licked the computer screen in an attempt to prove my theory wrong? Well, I'm willing to risk your shock and awe with this TTD (Taste, Tested and Drooled) recipe. It's easy. It's perfect. It's literally insane. I can't remember where I first learned about this recipe but found this description here.

9 cups of crispy rice cereal squares
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar

Melt peanut butter and chocolate chips in your microwave in a large bowl (please use a microwave-safe bowl). Stop and stir every 30 seconds until completely melted. Add the cereal (you can add more or less depending on how much chocolate-y goodness you want in every bite). Dump the sugar into a large plastic bag and then add the cereal mixture and shake!

Viola! Go ahead and kiss me...never mind, just kiss the screen but this time, hold back the tongue.

Shut up? Really?

"A closed mouth rarely has room for a foot."

I've always wondered what kind of tattoo I'd get if I wasn't such a major woos. Back in high school/early college, I thought a butterfly would be totally bad ass but then I found out that tattoo artists use needles instead of permanent markers to burn the image into your skin. If I wanted to be branded, I'd been born a filet but I get why people singe their bodies. It's to remember important people, events, flavors of ice-cream, you know, things you wouldn't want to forget. For me, I'd have the above expression as my tat.

I cannot tell you the number of times I've said something and then cringed for decades later (please see OOPS for further examples). It isn't that I'm a conflict-heathen and that I jump on the roof of people's cars with a baseball bat and threaten to knock out their "My child is an honor roll student AGAIN" bumper sticker if they ever cut me off AGAIN. I actually avoid conflict at most costs (do not dare ask my parents, siblings or husband) but I definitely believe that there is a time and a place for baseball bats and crazy eyes. Let's take for example, oh, I don't know, off the top of my head...the splintering of my shed.

So, Irene uprooted a monstrous tree in our backyard and in the weeks following, the tree slowly descended but it would get trapped up by the other trees around it. As it came down, we could tell that in time it was going to take our shed out (which was fine for Papa Bear because he always wanted to rebuild the shed) but we figured we'd get some "professional" tree remover's to come in and take care of it so that it didn't. These professionals put some dental floss over the top of the tree to try to "hold it up," and instead of cutting it away little by little, they thought they'd just take a chainsaw to the base of the tree and cut it the remainder of the way down. Guess what happened? No, go ahead....that sucker smashed the daylights out of our shed. In a single moment, I saw weekends just flying out the window with my husband now cutting up this tree (since $600 is only to knock it down 2 feet). I saw weekends flying out the window of my husband building a brand new shed (for a house that we were putting on the market in a month). I saw the thousands of dollars dancing prettily out of our empty bank account since not only did we now have to pay these jack-wagons but now we had to rebuild the shed.

I came out and in my best 4-year old temper tantrum-y voice said, "That didn't work." And they laughed and said, "Nope." So, what did I do? I stormed away. That's right. I was shaking, crying, mentally screaming but to the professionals? I merely slammed my screen door closed (and um, yea, slamming a screen door isn't really effective).
So, although I love the above expression, I'm going to tweak it just a tad.

"A closed mouth rarely has room for a foot but if the foot belongs in someone's ass...."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Five Senses

My family is a very sensory family.
Katie bear is the ears of our family. She moves and grooves to just about any sound (her fave now is “Bad Romance” but she sings it “Bad Fro-mance.” I chose not to touch that with a ten foot pole but can you just imagine what a bad Fro-mance might be?) K-bear also has a special affinity to hearing when I lower myself down onto a couch, the dinner table or for a quick shut-eye in my room to which she screams out that she is hungry, thirsty, etc.

Ava bear is definitely our touch fiend. This child…all you have to do is sit her on your lap and run your fingertip around her face, on her arms, on her legs, on her hands and she becomes puddy. I mean it. She goes into this little trance where she totally focuses on the sensation and will not move an inch. It’s the coolest thing until you stop. She tries to duplicate it by running her fingers up and down her legs and gets frustrated when it’s not the same sensation. She also expresses her touchy-feely thing in other ways by tackling her sister….biting her sister….you get the idea.

And then there is a Papa Bear. He’s a taste man. He has this uncanny ability to taste if something is not made with full fat. If I even put low fat cheese NEXT to the chicken cordon bleu pan, he instantly asks, “This isn’t healthy, is it?” To his credit, his father was a chef who still cooks with bacon fat and gets so pissed whenever I discard of any grease or lard.
Whereas, me? I like to say I have heightened and weakened every sense but I don't think it counts if it's been by choice. I’ve always been a great listener which is why I went into the mental health field but two children who break noise barriers with just a single screech have taught me to lower my mental hearing aid a few octaves. I appreciate delicious scents (Yankee Candle’s pumpkin buttercream scent is my new fave) but 4.5 years of pretending “I didn’t smell that she pooped” weakened that ability. I have also sharpened my taste buds to enjoy the full-fat food introduced by my in-laws but have made to turn off all taste buds when eating the foods my blood work tells me I need to eat. I’ve always been an astute people watcher but have turned off the ability to see clutter and mess. As for the touching? Well, I'm baking my 3rd child, have at least 2 creatures pressed against me at all times (see the Throne room post) and turn into playdoh under a good hand massage. What do you think?

Friday, September 9, 2011

The double-edge belly

I've never been a small girl. Well, I take that back. When I was born, I think I was 6 pounds something but since then, I've become a compass of sorts with things sticking out of me from every single direction.

But my body tends to invent new directional aid's when I get pregnant. You know that commercial that says that science is getting closer to determining the minute a woman is pregnant? Yea, I don't need no stinkin' test. I have my stomach and my boobs. Boobs? Not a problem. Stomach? Huge problem. At 10.5 weeks gestation, I look about 5 months pregnant and there's no sucking it in. Anyone try to suck in your uterus? It's an epic fail.

I've tried those stomach/breath girdle's but I turn blue the minute I pull it out of the drawer. I've tried to wear just really baggy clothes but my boobs get so big that by the sheer fall of the fabric, my stomach almost always gets accentuated. So, what's a girl to do? I embrace it....I don't mean some guru "love your body" type of stuff. I mean, LITERALLY embrace it.

Hi, my name is Dani and I'm a 1st trimester stomach rubber. Oh sure, later on in the pregnancy, it becomes a bonding/sweet/ loving thing but at this stage? It's merely complete vanity. I'd rather someone see me and instead of quadruple-taking the size of my stomach, start the rumor that I'm months from popping. They needn't know how many months....

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Geriatric what?

So, I’m only 10 weeks along in what is one of the biggest surprise of our lives. We did not exactly plan to involve a baby bear just now because I still haven’t regenerated the loss of brain cells from the other two cubs but God seems to know better, or so people tell me. I know they mean this to be supportive but really, all it tells me is the Big Man is saying, “Sorry, chick. You can kiss those brain cells good-bye. This is as good as it’s going to get.”

The morning of my first appointment, we had an earthquake and were told to possibly expect after-shocks. Around the time my personality-challenged midwife began scrubbing up for my internal, I was in full prayer mode. If there was ever a time NOT to use those freaking duck bills, it would be when there was a threat of the Earth doing the salsa. I don’t need my midwife missing or putting it in holes those suckers should never be in. They shouldn’t even be in the hole they’re intended for!
Well, ten minutes later, I'm duck-bill free, trying to regain my pride when she drops two words onto my lap. Geriatric pregnancy. She tells me this like I should’ve filled out paperwork for the nursing home years ago. I am so thankful my shock holds back the words that would like to bounce out of my mouth and slam straight into her perky breasts. Geriatric. I’m 35 years old! Okay, 35 and 11.5 months but still! That’s young. That’s Sex in the City, Season 1. That’s the entire Friends cast by the last season. Geriatric?

These little words repeat back to me a few times in the next few hours until I decide that the midwife must have had one or two mimosa’s before coming in to see me. Her eyesight must’ve been blurred and she’d seen a “1” before the “35.” 135 IS old to get pregnant so I decided to let her have her mid-day buzz.

Fast forward 8 hours and I’m sleeping on the floor of Ava-bear’s floor. Don’t ask me why (because you know I’ll just bitch about it). Bad night= waking up the whole house = me sleeping close to reassure her= having something real to bitch about. The floor sleeping lasted one scream fest until my sciatic nerve started acting up. I decide to head upstairs and attempted to peel myself off of the concrete carpeting. It’s here that I hear the first crack. It was my ankles. I pause, in slow motion almost, seeing the disaster about to commence but unable to stop it when my entire body explodes in a set of bubble-wrap-inspired pops that echoed in every corner of the silent room. Ankles, knees, hips, pinky finger, elbows, neck. You name it, it cracked. But I couldn’t exactly stand upright without leverage so I (without thinking) grabbed onto the top of the crib for support and the whole side-rail rattled the crib like a freaking after-shock. Guess who woke up?

Finally got her back to sleep but now I have to remove my hand from her back and walk gingerly from the room without moving a single cartilege. Uh-huh, guess how many attempts that took? After about a dozen false starts with a number of breathless 4-letter words, I emerge victorious and creep up the stairs. I try to ignore my knees popping or the way I’m creaking as loudly as each step I’m stepping on. I crawl into bed with an over-exaggerated grunt (if I’m getting out of bed in the middle of the night, I’m totally using that as a reason Papa Bear should get up with the cubs in the morning.)  Rest into my C-shaped pillow and….waaaaaahhhhh.

The next morning, Ava-bear is bouncing off the walls because she is happy as a stuffed pig covered in mud on a cool day and Katie-bear is doing something electronic in another room but it’s still pretty quiet. Not something that happens often. All of a sudden, I hear someone grunting. Now, all you parents out there know that grunting from a toddler usually means one thing so I look over at Ava with my best, “I JUST cleaned your diaper” face and notice that she’s leaning over and picking something up. She doesn’t dilly dally down there so I might be able to soak a few more hours out of that diaper. I go back to Facebook and not five minutes later, I hear it again. She’s picking something else up. Huh. This continues for a good 30 minutes until FINALLY my last remaining brain cell kicks in and makes a connection. This grunting thing is a learned behavior. I go in and throw something on the ground in K-bears room and ask her to pick it up….no groaning. I do another test on Papa bear that night. He bitches but no groaning. Which leaves one last person.
The geriatric patient but in my "try to find the good in all of life's crap," I decided to try to look at htis another way. At least maybe I’ll get a good night sleep in the nursing home or at least some awesome nighttime drugs.