Tuesday, February 19, 2008

it makes me so mad!!!

Last weekend, I took a little trip all by myself to Austin, TX to visit my friend Sara. She is engaged to a man I had never met so I figured I had better meet him before the wedding. That way when the preacher says, "if there is anyone who knows of any reason these two should not be married, speak now or forever hold your peace..." I could stand up if I needed to. Do they even say that at weddings anymore?
Anyway, it was a short but very nice trip. I got to sleep late, we took long walks, and I got to meet Sara's friends at an engagement party. It was such a nice and relaxing weekend that I felt completely unprepared for the cold shower of real life that I returned to. Apparently, Wesley was very sick with a high fever for most of the weekend. And you know what they say - sick baby, grumpy daddy.
I took Wes to the doctor first thing Monday morning and he tested very positive for strep FOR THE FIFTH TIME in five months. And as much as I have enjoyed living in a "den of illness" I told the doctor that I am tired of having a sick baby. He agreed and prescribed what I guess are the "big guns" of antibiotics.
This whole process of shooting medicine into a baby's mouth via a syringe has become second nature to me - like tying my shoe or cleaning mashed potatoes out of the dog's ear. So I was shocked when Wesley fought me so much on taking this particular medicine. The perscription said three times a day for ten days - 30 doses. By day two, I was having to pin him down on the floor to get the job done. By day three, he had perfected the art of spitting it out the side of his mouth. Day four, I decided to try bribes - take your medicine, get four chocolate chips. Deal or no deal?
No deal. Finally, I decided to taste this medicine myself - how bad could it be? Well, I didn't have to taste it - as the bottle got close to my face, the stench of a rotting animal carcass filled my nostrils. I almost threw up.
I took the bottle to Walgreens and begged them to flavor it with something even though they aren't supposed to after it has been taken out of the store. I must have been convincing (read: desparate) because they agreed to do it. The pharmacist read in the computer that this is one of the worst tasting medicines they sell and that grape or lemon flavoring would work best. At this point, she could have squirted Cheez Whiz into the bottle and I would've gone along with it because it certainly couldn't have come out tasting any worse. I chose grape.
My question is: why can't these gigantic pharmaceutical companies produce medicines that are both effective and tasty? Or at least that don't taste like rancid meat? And this is a medicine that is supposed to be specifically for babies!
But I am sure that the grape flavoring will make all the difference in the world. I mean, who wouldn't want some rotting meat with grape jelly on it? And maybe a side of poop-flavored licorice...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Would you borrow a cup of sugar from a crack whore?

About two weeks ago, Wesley, my mother-in-law, and I were driving around looking for a house to buy. We do this sometimes, in the absence of real things to do. We found one house that was "for sale by owner" and looked really nice. By really nice, I mean obviously out of our price range. My ever-helpful mother-in-law called about the house anyway and to make a long story short, a few days later we went to look at the inside of the house.

One of the things that I really liked about the house is that is has four bedrooms. I'm fully aware that families with a dozen or more kids live in tiny huts in other parts of the world. And I don't want to seem ungrateful, but there are days when our current two bedroom house seems a little small. Like living in the backseat of a VW bug kind of small. Of course, there were other things I liked about the house - the jetted tub in the master bath, the nice kitchen countertops, and that there weren't bloodstains anywhere on the walls or carpet - it's everything a girl could ask for!
I was careful not to be too excited about the house for a number of reasons. Primarily though, I wanted Bryan to decide the house was right for our family on his own. If there is one thing I have learned in 3 years of marriage, it is that decision making goes much more smoothly if Bryan thinks a good idea was all his own. So I didn't really say much. And it worked - he decided we should buy it!

So we put in an offer and the sellers accepted. And like everything else in our lives, it has turned into a lesson. Remember, the house was "for sale by owner" and we agreed with the seller that we both could save if we did it without realtors. Here's what we learned so far: buying a house by yourself (meaning without a realtor) is much like representing yourself if you are on trial for murder or removing your own appendix just to save a few bucks - the further you get into the process, the more you realize it probably wasn't your best idea ever. To complicate things, the woman we are buying from seems to have a case of early-onset dementia. She likes to say, "I never said that!" Also, unlike Bryan and I, Bryan and this woman were apparently NOT matched up on 29 dimensions of personality. They've already had a few "scuffles."

At this point, we are just hoping and praying that the rest of the sale will finish smoothly and without anyone needing stitches. This, after all, is the first house we've found in our price range that isn't across the street from a helicopter landing pad, next door to a convicted crack-whore, or with an ancient Indian burial ground in the backyard.

I know that buying a new house isn't a magic potion to a better life. But I also know that if we move, I won't have to start each day with my current early morning ritual: watching my neighbor, Delmar or whatever the crap his name is, smoke a cigarette on his front porch in his whitie-tighties. And that, my friend, is worth more than all the McDonald's french fries in the world.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Hello, everyone, my name is Laura and I'm a McDonald's-a-holic

Last night I had a horrible dream: my wallet was so stuffed with papers that they were sticking out and it wouldn't zip. Bryan took my wallet and pulled out all the papers and it turned out they were all receipts - from McDonald's. He read the dates and times from the receipts and figured out that I had been eating three meals a day at McDonald's for quite some time. He was mad. End of dream.

In reality, I like McDonald's. I eat there more than I should and I know it. It's definitely a weakness of mine. I probably eat it once a week now that I'm pregnant but it's not my fault - I CRAVE it - I NEED it. I know those fries must be laced with crack cocaine because they are addictive.

So after waking up from that terrible dream, I knew there was only one thing to do today: have lunch at McDonald's. Of course. After Wesley's morning nap, I loaded him into the car and we set out for the all-too-familiar terrain of the McDonald's drive-thru. Since Wes hadn't really eaten either, I decided to do something I've never done - order him a Happy Meal. And since I hadn't ordered one before, I didn't realize there were so many choices: burger or nuggets, fries or chemically altered apple slices, milk or juice or soda...After stumbling through the first three choices, I finally got to one I was sure I could answer: boy or girl. Oh yeah, I had this one! Boy.
But wait - then I saw the pictures of the toys that currently come in the Happy Meals. The one I assumed was the "boy" toy was some scary skeleton-looking creature with lots of small parts to chew off and choke on. The "girl" toy was either a stuffed puppy or kitten.

Now, as a mom, I know my son so I said to the drive-thru speaker, "Um, he's a boy but I think he would prefer the girl toy." Immediately I realized how dumb that had sounded but it was too late - I had already made my son out to be a sissy. "You want the girl toy?" the worker asked through the speaker as if I had just requested a turd on my cheeseburger. "Yes," I answered.
As we pulled around to the pay window, the worker craned her neck to peer skeptically into my backseat. I guess she expected Wesley to be wearing a tutu and a princess crown. I'm sure she was sorely disappointed to find my manly son looking at a book about animals, not holding a Barbie.

In a world where so much about a person is decided by one's genitalia, I'd like to think that today I took a stand against stereotypes. But before I take any credit for bucking the system or sticking it to "the man" I've got to remember that if I had just stayed in the kitchen, where I belong, none of this would've happened.