Sunday, May 31, 2009

and just when you thought it was safe to go outside...

And here is the freak accident story of the week. I’ll have to file this in the list of things to be afraid of somewhere between opening cans of biscuits and walking under those giant televisions hanging from the ceiling at Wal-mart. This poor, poor woman. Who would ever think?!?,2933,523542,00.html

Thursday, May 28, 2009

anybody have a paper clip?

Much to my dismay, our television was showing a signal error today, apparently from our satellite. Fearing the worst (that I might not get both episodes of Wife Swap recorded), I got right on the phone with Direct TV.

But there are some things you should know. First of all, when you are watching four small children and you pick up the phone to talk to anyone for any reason, all of the children immediately NEED something: a drink of juice, a band-aid, a Kleenex, a pair of pantyhose, matches…they need things.

Plus, we just cancelled our “equipment insurance” last month. It was $5 a month that I thought we could save. So now I figure about ten minutes after we cancelled it, each individual piece of equipment spontaneously combusted and now it was going to be ALL MY PROBLEM. My shackles were already up while I waited for my turn with a customer service representative.
When I finally got to talk to someone, it was a friendly woman with a slight accent. She led me through a simple 712 step process to check all the input/output/signal strength things that might have been causing the error. And the whole time, her voice was so soft and soothing. Perhaps Direct TV is her day job and her night job is hypnotherapy. I was being slowly lulled into a state of relaxation, which is an excellent technique for a customer service representative to use. I began to wonder if I could somehow “experience problems” with my receiver every night at about 10 pm and just call and ask for her.

And that idea reminded me of a small office in Mountain View, CA. I worked there for a little over a year but that was long enough to notice that the copy machine needed service an awful lot. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that the office women were purposely jamming the machine with paper clips – because the repair technician was what some might call “completely HOT.” Not that I ever engaged in such nonsense. Please, jamming a machine with something as absurd as a paper clip? I didn’t do such ridiculous things because I knew how to throw off the stapling mechanism which at least looked a little more legitimate.

Back to my Direct TV lady, she finally came to the conclusion that my receiver would need to be replaced and for some reason, it wasn’t even my fault, Hallelujah! And next time I’m suffering from insomnia, I just need to find a paper clip, jam the receiver, and pick up the phone. Aaaaaahhhh.

Monday, May 25, 2009

caution: this is extremely positive

Today was a good day. (In case you are wondering, this IS the right website – and I’m not even mocking myself.) It was just a good day. I got to sleep in, Wyatt seemed to be feeling better, I saved $33.47 at the grocery store using my precious coupons…it was just good. In the afternoon, I took the boys outside and was laying on a blanket in the backyard with them and then pushing them both on the swing set. And while I pushed them both and listened to Wesley giggle about me touching his “love handles,” I realized something – it has been awhile since I truly enjoyed myself and my boys. Maybe it was the sun shining or the fact that I wasn’t working but it felt so nice.

It made me realize what a funk I’ve been in lately. I have known for over a decade that I struggle with depression and it is definitely a struggle. Some days are better than others. Heck, some years are better than others. I know life is full of ups and downs but like most other people on the planet, I really prefer the ups. I’m hoping there are many more good days to come in the near future.

But don’t worry – I haven’t gone all “Pollyanna” on you – and I apologize for being so chipper. I promise that no matter how good my days are, I will do my best to remain my usual snarky and facetious self. After all, you deserve nothing but my best.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

scientists say the cutest things

Yesterday Bryan took Wyatt to the doctor for his second of three shots this week – shots for a recurring ear infection. The doctor says Wyatt has a double ear infection which is really a nice way of saying “your baby has been crying for two weeks” and for some reason antibiotics aren’t touching it.

I was holding Wyatt, trying to comfort him, having no luck. Bryan commented, “Didn’t we just go through this same stuff with Wesley? I thought we were done with this stuff.”

And I said, “Bryan, this is just part of having kids. If we have another one, it will probably happen again. That’s life.”

Bryan, ever the scientist, said completely seriously, “Laura, having another kid is like taking organic chemistry again for fun. We could do it, but WHY would we?”

I think it’s time to take away his Einstein and Friends action figures for a few days.

Monday, May 18, 2009

and it's always the cart with the broken wheel, too.

When you own a home daycare, there is a lot of shopping that goes along with it – and not the fun kind of shopping. In a typical week, I go through three gallons of milk, probably the same amount of juice, three bunches of bananas, a bag of grapes, a carton of strawberries, two containers of baby wipes, two dozen eggs, and many, many other things. I am the reason Sam’s Club and Costco were invented. But since we have neither a Sam’s Club nor a Costco or even a SuperWalmart within an hour’s driving distance, I am stuck making weekly trips to the only alternative – plain old Walmart.

I consider going to Wal-mart a form of torture. Like one step above water boarding although I’ve never been water boarded so maybe Wal-mart is worse – I don’t know. It used to not be so bad until I needed so many things every time I go there. I remember the days when Bryan and I would walk around Wal-mart leisurely, looking at all the things we didn’t really need but suddenly wanted anyway, occasionally tossing a completely useless item into the cart because it was shiny and cool and we “needed” it.

Those days are over. Now I have entered another phase of my life: the phase of needing two carts. It is completely embarrassing. I’m not even kidding. When I make my weekly trip to Wal-mart (once is all I can stomach) I need two carts to fit all the stuff I have to buy. TWO CARTS! I feel like a complete idiot pushing one cart and pulling another. I’ve tried to just do one cart but by the time I get to the checkout, things are spilling over the sides, my arms are full of other things, and I’m kicking a few items that fell out along the way.

This weekend our family went to the zoo in OKC with a couple who don’t have kids yet. They were talking about the distribution of household workload (in their house it is split evenly and they do many chores together – isn’t that precious?) and I asked about who does the grocery shopping. They do the grocery shopping together. And right then, I had a realization – I had a flashback to our wedding day. Not the one at the courthouse, the one with the big white dress.

Pastor Bob: Do you, Bryan, take Laura to be your wedded wife, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, and that she will never have to go to Wal-mart alone again, for as long as you both shall live?

Bryan: I do.

And there you have it – I shouldn’t have to suffer the torture alone. So yesterday I made Bryan and the kids go with me to Wal-mart. The least they could do is push the second cart.

It was a bad idea. Wesley is just starting to “get” potty-training and in the middle of the trip screamed, “I need to go pee on the potty!” Wyatt was fussy for some unknown reason. Wal-mart was crowded and had run out of many of the things we needed. I sensed that Bryan was about to crack and then he gave me the look that means “This is never going to happen again.”

Whatever, you wedding vow breaker, you!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

if you can't take the heat...

Yesterday Bryan got home from school and announced that he was tired and going to bed. He’s been fighting a cold for a week or so. The problem here is that I had planned a dinner which, once prepared by me, needed to be grilled by him. I had already thawed the meat and was marinating it or I would have just declared it a PB & J night. But I’m always up for a challenge (cough, cough, unconvincing smile).

I really don’t use the grill much. It’s not that I couldn’t, I guess. Once when I lived in Colorado and I was still single, my roommate and I bought a little tiny grill (it was the kind college boys use and it was called a Smokey Joe I think) and used it to cook salmon. Or I should say that I used it to cook salmon while she laid on the couch. And the salmon turned out okay but it took a long time for all the hair on my arms to grow back.

Bryan turned the grill on for me before he went to bed, as I don’t even know how to do that. This should have been a flashing red light for all involved. Meanwhile, I finished constructing chicken-pineapple-pepper kabobs. I took them out on the back porch and opened the grill. This may seem dumb, but I had underestimated how HOT it would be. I singed my eyeballs just standing there. And I wasn’t really sure what to do with the skewer part – we have the kind that you wash and reuse. I read the little sticker on it and it said “To prevent damage to skewer, do not place over open flame.” Easy enough. So I put the kabobs on the grill and went back inside to start some rice.

A few minutes later I returned to find that the skewer ends had melted all over the grill. Open flame my foot. They weren’t on open flames! So I needed something to remove the melty things from the grill but all I could find were my kitchen tongs. And those things were short. Picture the tweezers used in the game Operation. My tongs are about half that size. It was good that no one else was around to hear what happened next.

It ended well – food was cooked, was edible, and I retained the hair on my arms. Who knew that keeping my arm hair would some day be a victory?!?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

it could have been me,2933,519737,00.html

This is a really tragic story. But it’s also the reason that last week when Bryan was using the chainsaw to cut down a tree in our front yard at 9:00 at night, I was inside taking care of our boys instead of being outside watching. I’m sure the neighbor lady who watches from her kitchen window was thinking that I am lazy, but it isn’t that – it all ties back to my intense fear of freak accidents.

This is also the reason I refuse to get near a running combine or industrial sized-potato masher.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

an apology letter

Dear UPS man,

I just wanted to let you know that this morning was a rough one. I woke up to a cranky baby (possibly an ear infection??) and had been up during the night with Wesley, changing his clothes and bedding because his diaper leaked and with Wyatt because he was hungry. So I didn’t exactly wake up feeling “refreshed.” The sink was already full of dishes that I didn’t get to last night so I had to wash them before I could even start breakfast for five of my closest friends. Then, without mentioning any names so as not to embarrass the culprits, I changed four poopy diapers before Sesame Street was over, one of which was so bad that I literally gagged. As I was finishing cleaning up breakfast (someone had thrown strawberries all over the floor and apparently the dog doesn’t eat strawberries) while holding my fussy 10-month old, he coughed once and then puked all over me and the kitchen floor. I’m still not caught up on laundry from the washer/dryer breaking down last week so my shirt selection was already limited. And that is why when you rang the doorbell this morning, I answered covered in puke, with one sock on, the smell of poo effervescing out of the living room, messy hair, no makeup, and one eye twitching.

Sorry about that. I’ll try not to let it happen again.
Sincerely, the crazy lady in the tan house

P.S. – thanks for the package of pictures.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

it's JUST like us!

I was visiting with Bryan's family today and I overheard someone speaking of how their teenage daughter and her boyfriend interact. Apparently, the boy is head-over-heels for her. The phrase that I heard was, "When she says, 'Jump!' he says, 'How high?' " And it struck me how much that couple is just like Bryan and me.

Like when I say, "Jump!" Bryan always says, "Did you say something? And why are you out of the kitchen anyway?"

Uncanny, isn't it?