Monday, November 30, 2009

Red Friday

I woke up at 2:30 a.m. on Friday. I drove into Lincoln to meet my sister-in-law and DH's cousin and we went to JC Penney first where I bought these fabulous red leather boots on sale for $35. After I bought them DH's sister said,

"You don't seem like the type to buy red leather boots."
Don't seem like the type indeed. If you know me you'd know that I have very expensive taste and love fashion but don't have the body or the budget to do much about it. Not that I'm complaining, because even if I had tons of cash sitting around for clothing purchases I can guarantee you I wouldn't spend $500 on a purse or pair of shoes (no matter how cute they are). Or any article of clothing for that matter.
I try not to keep up with the Joneses, because we all know the Joneses are broke.
That being said I think my shopping companions did spend more than the average American does on the entire Christmas season before 6 a.m. on black Friday. We're all doing our part for the economy. Responsible citizens.
I even went to Starbucks and Panera in the same day. I felt like such a middle class suburbanite I wanted to throw up. Not that there's anything wrong with middle class suburbia. Except the cookie cutter houses. But everyone I know pretty much lives there and most people who read this probably live there too. I just don't want to live within 15 feet of my neighbors. I'm not a city or town kind of person, but I can certainly understand wanting a neighborhood with lots of other kids and close proximity to schools, work, church, and of course...
Panera. Because I love Panera. I'm only lukewarm about Starbucks mostly because I don't even really drink coffee. Another thing my dad taught me. He would always tell me never to get started drinking coffee because he did and hated the habit. So now every time I have a tall nonfat caramel macchiato I feel guilty
1) because my dad told me not to and
2) because I always forget to tell them no whipped cream

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It should be noted that at 9:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving eve I inhaled a 410 calorie piece of chocolate cheesecake. It was delicious, but doesn't bode well for the weekend.

Wish me luck.

Bless Her Heart

My husband has a lovely family. They are helpful, and kind, and very close on both sides. They watch Holden all the time, and his grandmother even comes to visit and see Holden. In fact, last week she came to take care of him so that I could do homework for two days straight because I had a couple of tests and I hadn’t read any of the material (we’re talking hundreds of textbook pages here).

Like I told you before, we moved the “guest room” to the basement so that’s where she has to sleep. One morning she came up and said,

“I see you got all your laundry done, that looks nice.”

Harmless. If I told my dear husband that a comment like that bothers me he would call me crazy. It’s one of those comments sort of like “You look great! Have you lost weight?” See prior post about it here:

I’m pretty sure when I’m not around my in-laws say stuff like,

“She is just not a housekeeper, bless her heart…”

Because you know you can say bless her heart after anything and it’s no longer a put-down. Yeah, little known fact. That’s why you come and visit me, for tidbits of useful information like that.

Okay, it’s true that for the last 2 months or so I have had piles of laundry stacking up with lots of used lavender scented dryer sheets littering the floor. Yes, it was disgusting—I don’t deny it. But I don’t care how disgusting you think I am—don’t tell me about it. I know I’m messy, I have always been messy, and I always will be messy.

I’ve tried to change, but to my chagrin I found that I still set things down and don’t really care if they get picked up right away. Just don’t care. And I like that my car is messy because if I ever need a sweatshirt, I’m almost guaranteed to find one in the backseat. It’s sort of like the time I quit biting my nails, only to find that I truly enjoyed biting my nails, and as it turns out they are much easier to keep clean if they are short.

I’m not saying I’m going to give up. I’m going to fight the good fight of clutter, but if I’m knee deep in laundry again in two months, don’t be surprised.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Price Match

There are three types of people I'm guessing are reading my blog (because on the visitor counter all I see is your location and if you're a returning visitor. Yes, I've been watching you. I know, what ever happened to anonymity, right? Damn cookies.)

1) You like me! You are my friend/family/neighbor/acquaintance and you think I'm interesting...

2) You don't really like me but as most humans do you have a genuine curiosity about human nature and want to hear about the good, the bad, and the ugly in my life. But just so you know, if you're waiting for me to post pictures of myself looking ugly or fat--it's not gonna happen. I even untag myself from facebook pictures if they don't meet my criteria.

I'm not saying it's impossible that one might slide by, but it's unlikely.

3) You stumbled across my blog completely by accident and decided I wasn't too boring, so what the hell, you may as well read it. Because who are we kidding, otherwise you'd just be channel surfing. Or pressing the button on the top of the webpage that says "next blog" and sends you to some blog written entirely in Portuguese.

I'm feeling especially festive this week, and today I *almost* got the ladder out and started clipping Christmas lights to my gutters. But then I laid on the couch instead.
I did go to Target thinking I might find some good decorations. I decided I would find something new rather than sift through the 8 large plastic Christmas storage bins currently sitting in my garage. I do not exaggerate, there are at least eight. And two fake Christmas trees. But then I got to Target and was too cheap to buy anything there ($5 for one ornament? Are they on crack?).

I better wait until Friday to break out the decorations anyway. I've decided I'm going to pore over the ads on Thanksgiving day, find everything I want from each ad, and then go to Wal-Mart and make them price match everything. Yes, on the second* busiest shopping day of the year I am going to be that person standing in line and pointing at the target ad saying,

"This is the one, here is the price."

For every single thing I can find. It's a new form of laziness. Less driving and more strategizing. Wish me luck.

*I'm pretty sure I read last year that Christmas Eve was the busiest shopping day of the year. But I could be wrong.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wild Hogs

I’ve resisted the thought of this blog being about coming of age, because let’s face it: It's mostly just an outlet for the running commentary in my head.

But I was thinking this morning about how as adolescents and young twenty-somethings we want our lives to be original. We want proof that we are special and that our life is different. Now I find myself just hoping that my life isn’t different…that the things happening to me as I get older are the same as what happens to other women my age.

I’m always thinking about the future, about retirement, about our golden years. It occurred to me this week that I’m 27, and my dad will be 54 next month. Essentially that means at 27 he was at mid-life. So maybe that knowledge has started my own mid-life crisis. The other day my dear husband and I were sitting on the couch watching TV, and I turned to him and said,

“If Tina needs to sell stuff do you think we could buy the BMW?” (the BMW is a yellow motorcycle of my dad’s)

He turned to me, surprised,

“Neither of us knows how to ride a motorcycle.”

“I know, but I think it would be fun.”

He turned back to the TV. We didn’t discuss it further.

When I was a baby my dad had a motorcycle he sold because his kids were still young. When I graduated from high school in 2000 he bought a Harley. I heard whispers and outright jokes about a midlife crisis, but now I can’t tell you how glad I am that he did some of those things. It's vindication...He was right to do all those things he wanted to do--no matter how strange it looked to outsiders.

Dad and Tina spent the intervening years working and taking long vacations to exotic locales. They went to Belize, Costa Rica, Europe, and Thailand. They rode motorcycles in different countries, spent weekends going on poker runs, and always walked into our house with sweaty hair and their bright leather jackets. They sampled exotic cuisine, got sick from the cuisine, swam in rivers running through caves, drank beer with the locals, and once dad even got hit by a Tuk Tuk. He had more than a few brushes with death.

Oh, but he lived. He lived.

What an extraordinary legacy he is leaving for his children and grandchildren.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I woke up at 4 a.m. to use the bathroom and my husband was still awake and downstairs. He was trying to use a kitchen knife to sharpen a pencil so that he could finish his accounting homework. He had been at it all night. I offered my pencil sharpener from my eye pencil to help out.

Then I gently suggested he go to sleep and take the day off tomorrow instead of trying to get through a 16 hour day on 1 hour of sleep. Stubborn as always, he said no.

But when I woke up again this morning at 7:45 he was still here. Reason had won out, and what is paid time off good for if not for desperate moments like these? He spent an hour or so this morning doing more homework and then when it came time for him to go to work I started begging him to stay home for the rest of the day.

Because despite taking shooters of store brand cherry Nyquil every 4 hours for the last 4-5 days, I still feel really really bad. And I think Holden may be getting sick—but the idea of a sick mommy trying to take care of a screaming, sick Holden is just too much. Thus the begging.

My dear husband acquiesced, sensing my desperation when I said,

“I don’t even care if it’s a paid day off. We can live without one day of pay…”

That and I was begging him not to go to class either, which he doesn’t like so that was a pretty easy sell. He did go to the office for awhile because he had something that needed to get done today, but he did promise to be home shortly.

I have an extremely annoying habit of storing leftovers in containers not meant to store leftovers--like mixing bowls—or pretty much anything I can find. I’m sure this annoyed the hell out of my roommates in college because they were all very neat, orderly people.

This habit originated when I was younger and didn’t feel like transferring things to a new dish (because why have to wash another dish?). It has continued because I buy Tupperware, use it, and then leave it in the fridge so long that rather than open it and gag I just throw it out. So there is a constant shortage of Tupperware at my house at all times.

I have a point.

I have some antique Pyrex nesting mixing bowls in primary colors that are probably worth about $60 for the set. I got them from my mom and I LOOOOOVE them. Last night I was desperate for a storage container so I used the orange bowl to store leftover chili and covered it with saran wrap, placing it on the top shelf of the fridge.

This morning while I was rummaging around on the top shelf for some cottage cheese for Holden’s morning snack I knocked the bowl off. It was one of those comical, slow-mo,

“NOOOOOOOOO!!!!” moments.

I ended up with chili in my hair, but the bowl was intact. Another lesson learned.

Friday, November 6, 2009

As seen on TV

My dear son picking "pretty" dead dandelions and giving to me as a gift. So sweet.
Tony received this gift in the mail courtesy of one of his Marine buddies.

I about fell over laughing last night when he opened it because on the side of the box it says:

"Hail to the Ch-Ch-Ch-Chief!"

My dear husband and his friends are so weird.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Merry Little Christmas

When do kids start building forts? I've been thinking I need to purchase some pillows because I have a pillow shortage at my house. When guests come to stay I have to use throw pillows. I always mean to buy them but it's one of those things that I hate spending $10 on because it feels like they just sit around and are only functional once every 2 months. Except my own pillow, which has been the same for a few years (don't gross me out with stories about dust mites, please. I know my house is teeming with them).

Yes, we treat our guests well here. They get to sleep in the basement with sheets I scrounge together and a mix of blankets that don't match on a double bed that we got free from Tony's grandparents (that may tell how old it is). And my brother says the bed is uncomfortable. But one thing I do know:

A trick I learned from my aunt is to prepare a little (or big) basket for your guests with all kinds of toiletries, so that if they forgot anything they don't have to ask and they don't have to go buy them (especially if they had to travel by plane). I have received many compliments on my thoughtfulness from guests. I hope the toiletry/food basket in some way offsets the other not so savory parts of the visit. Loud dogs, crying kid, floors you can hear everything through, and of course the pillow thing.

I'm working on a list of some great Christmas buys (some for me, some for everyone else). To be clear, it's not my own Christmas list, just some things I've seen around that look fun/cool. Tony and I were sitting around the other night and I forced him to have the Christmas discussion where we decide who is on our list and the Christmas budget. It's not fun but it must be done. And then...I realized that I have a very limited immediate family (no parents to buy for) and my brother is in Reno. So the family gift giving ratio is:

Tony's family: 8

My family: 2

or 4:1 if you want to be picky.

I got a little jealous when I realized this, but I like buying gifts for people (doesn't really matter who) so I got over it quickly. I can make up for my shortage by giving Holden more gifts. However, I am trying to limit the madness this year because he's not going to remember and I have enough crap in my house already

(remember what my garage looks like? I'm totally blanking on hyperlinking so it's in the August archives (the 4th) if you want to re-read it. I'm working on being more blog-savvy but not there yet. As you can tell).

And I'm obviously buying into the evil genius marketers and their Christmas saturation because I never used to think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving. A little embarrassed, a little angry (damn them!), but also very, very excited! As a mommy I get to experience a two year old at Christmas. Is there anything more fun than that? (I mean the joy and delight, not the sugar hangover after he eats his weight in Christmas goodies).