thank you

Every year on Veteran's Day, I call my father (Gulf) and my grandfather (WWII) to say thank you for their service. Every year, their responses are the same. My father replies with a "No, thank YOU... it's not just the veterans who have sacrificed and served, it is also their families who have given up time with their loved ones who are serving." My grandfather reminds me that he was the lucky one, since he survived and was able to live his life, while others did not get that chance.

So today, I say thank you to all the veterans who served this great country... the ones that came back, the ones that didn't and the ones at home that love(d) them.


it's official

It's official... I'm a parent! Well, I suppose that statement was true on September 17, when Maxwell Stephen joined our family. Scout and I are thrilled to have him in our lives... and someday, he'll be able to take out the garbage, mow the lawn, and walk the dog. Child labor benefits in 10 years aside, I am so in love with this little guy in this moment when he is helpless, and relying on us for his every need.

For some reason, motherhood and parenthood have different duties in my mind. Motherhood (and fatherhood) duties are loving and caring for your child. Parenthood requires setting rules and limitations. I don't think Webster will back me up in my definition, but whatever.

On his birthday, I realized that I was a mother, and responsible for this little life. Loving him, caring for him was my role - and that is what I have done. Hugged, kissed, loved, adored, changed, bathed, rocked - check, check and check.

Today we went to get his birth certificate. As if his presence isn't enough to qualify him as a person, he needed the official stamp from the county records department. Thirty four dollars later, we had two copies (come on, you KNOW he is going to lose one when he sends it away to get an expedited copy of his passport so he can go to spring break in Cancun... what? who? me? maybe... ) and he was official. So I guess you could mark that point as my intro to parenthood, but nope - didn't hit me yet... until our drive home.

We were cruising on a beautiful country road, and in my rear view mirror, I saw a Beemer zoom up to our back bumper with the windows open, and three teenage boys leaning out the sides. They were swerving from side to side, and I can't be certain, but the passenger riding shotgun may have had control of the steering wheel. Since I had my precious cargo in the backseat, I panicked, and looked for the nearest place to pull over and let them pass.

In my fifteen years of driving history, I can't recall a time when I EVER let someone pass me. But as a PARENT, I felt like those crazy teenagers (I guess you could also mark this moment as recognition of the fact that "I am OLD") were endangering my little dude. So I protected him, and thought immediately, "I'm a PARENT now!" Next, I guess I'll have to learn how to set curfew, issue groundings and deny requests for increases in allowance.


the end is near...

The end of my pregnancy is near... not "here"... I didn't say "here", people, so just settle down. Believe me, we will let you all know when the baby is here. :) We are at T minus plus one day, and for the record, I would like to nominate "due dates" as one of the dumbest things ever. The only thing it has been good for is acting as a date by which I could start my "pregnancy leave" from work. Other than that, fake deadlines that really have no bearing on actual delivery dates are just dumb. But whatever, I am "one day overdue" on the imaginary deadline. Which he missed - I don't know if we had a miscommunication, or he just wasn't ready to present, but this is definitely showing up in his performance review for this year. Ha!

Since I am almost at the end of my pregnancy, let me share a few things that I will miss about being pregnant, and a few things that I miss about NOT being pregnant... we'll go in reverse order...

Things I miss about not being pregnant, and am excited for upon said deadline...

  • BEER: seriously, I have been thinking about beer for months. No, O'Douls is not the same. Yes, I have tried.
  • seeing my feet (for 2 reasons): 1. to actually be able to see down to my feet - honestly, it is very strange tripping over things cause I can't see them. 2. that my ankles will be revealed beneath the current sausage casings surrounding them.
  • beer (I already said that, huh?)
  • not having to answer the questions: September 7th, boy, no name (yes, we have a name, but honestly, it is just easier to not have the conversation with people... plus, we aren't telling people, so why should the lady at the grocery store know the name if we aren't telling our family?)... yeah, I'll probably have to answer questions about the baby, but at least that will be a little variety (until I get tired of that after a month). ;)
  • having people comment on my weight/size all the time... or the worst: "really? you're NOT having twins? are you SURE?"
  • beer... nuff said

Things I will miss about being pregnant...

  • having a legitimate excuse to nap at 2pm
  • unlimited ice cream (which I suppose I could continue, but it will be a bit difficult without the next item)...
  • elastic pants - seriously, these things are comfy! I am so showing up at Thanksgiving with maternity pants this year.
  • the excitement and anticipation
  • having the lil dude all to myself... yes, I want him to come out, and to meet him face to face, but then I'll have to share him with the rest of the world

Until then... I'll keep twiddling my thumbs, answering phone calls and emails with the requisite: "Nope, no baby yet".


ejection authorization

Lil Dude -

Since we have reached September, you are now authorized to eject any time you want. Nothing against August (your dad's bday, our wedding anniversary, auntie's bday), but I really wanted you to have a nine-something-nine birthday. You know, cause that sort of thing matters in life. Riiiiight.

If you really want to hit the jackpot, give it a few days and shoot for nine-nine-nine. Super cool - all the chicks will dig you because of your catchy birth date. All you have to do is pull that ejection cord (I know there is a cord in there with you... umbili-something they call it, but since I am not a doctor, I imagine it has something to do with parachuting out of there?) and out you'll come.

the Management



As my college roommate can attest to, I am a master procrastinator. Yes, I am also a master planner, but that is for things I WANT to do. When it comes to the things I HAVE to do, I can come up with any number of excuses to postpone. Which is why, 3 and a half weeks into my "pregnancy disability" leave, I still had not completed traffic school. Yes, even with the impending birth of my child that would leave me no time to finish traffic school, and nothing else to do, I chose to park my rear on the couch and watch four thousand episodes of "designed to sell" and "house hunters" and "property virgins". I Just.Can't.Stop. Scout asked me if I was planning on moving while he was at work one day - he was getting concerned about my interest in house selling and purchasing. I can only imagine what he was thinking when he actually SAW me watching them, and I'm yelling at the people like it's the bottom of the ninth and they are down by a run... "You people are crazy - you aren't going to buy that house because it doesn't have stainless steel appliances? You don't like the paint color? REPAINT IT!"... Ahem, excuse me. Sorry, I get a little carried away watching home shows. See? I am even procrastinating WRITING about my task of traffic school. Moving on...

I think we all know that I got a speeding ticket recently. To avoid getting points on my pristine record, I opted for traffic school. Which, last time I took it (12 years ago), was in a dingy room somewhere in Virginia for 8 hours that felt like 8 days. God bless the advent of the internet. MUCH more pleasant experience this time... 49 minutes total, including interjections of emails, yelling at Scout about how stupid the questions are, and of course, taking notes for this post.

After registering for the course (twenty dollars), I was informed that it would be 5 chapters, with a quiz at the end of each chapter. Passing grade for each quiz was 80%. The reading material for each chapter was 4 pages long, with much scrolling down on each page. I browsed the material, then decided to just click through the pages, try the quiz, and see how I did.

Quiz 1: 70%.... so close
try again
Quiz 1: 70%... arghhhhh
copy/paste results into a word doc so I can reference the ones I got wrong, and not pick that same option again (narrowing my guessing to 1 out of 3, instead of 1 out of 4)
Quiz 1: 80%... YAY!

Here are some of the dumbest things from chapter 1:
  • "In a recent study conducted it was found that 40 hours are spent in traffic that is NOT moving in 1/3 of US cities." Now, I can only IMAGINE how much money was spent on this study, and it makes me want to cry. 'Cause that statistic... MAKES NO SENSE. It has no time qualifier - is it 40 hours PER WEEK, PER MONTH, PER YEAR? Also, it had no point. Just that statement.
  • "In a study recently, the average driver would rather spend money on public transit than on: a) new cars, b) roads, c) bridges, or d) private investments." As I was yelling to Scout in the other room about how I was coming up short in passing the quiz by 1 question, he retorted, "well, maybe you aren't as good a driver as you think you are". But I'm not sure how this question has ANYTHING to do with my driving skills.

For Chapter 2, I did a quick peruse (by "peruse", I really mean: glanced at the top portion of the first page), and scrolled down page 3. No method to the madness. I did note that they used a Wikepedia reference, and had pictures of a dude on a bike using hand signals. Which I still don't know what they mean. I prefer the method of: point in the direction you are turning when you are on a bike. All that studying led to me passing (80%) on the first try at the quiz.

I got cocky on the third chapter. Didn't even look at the title. Just clicked through to the quiz. Where I got a 40%. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. So I did. 100%.

For the fourth and fifth chapter, I also used the "no read" approach, and passed each on the first try with an 80% score, and only taking 2 minutes per chapter. Great use of my time!

I thought I was done, but there was more... a FINAL EXAM! I don't remember reading anything about a final exam (but then again, I didn't really read much at all, so it was probably there). Fortunately, it had almost all the same questions as on the chapter quizzes, and I passed on the first try with an 88%. Woo-hoo! So, my license remains pure, and I just have to drive nicely for the next 18 months, cause apparantly you can't do this every time you get a ticket (and honestly, if I learned anything from this online class, it is how long you have to wait between "get out of jail free" cards).

Now I am free to have this baby... or, um, watch more TV. Off I go...


to my son

To my son,

We are 3 weeks away from your due date, and I can’t wait to meet you face to face. In some ways, I feel like I know you, since we have spent every second together for the past 9 months; and yet, I feel like I have so much to learn about you.

I know that you are a VERY active little guy – you are always bouncing around, busy doing flips and kicks and punches. You like loud music in the car (or you are kicking and screaming in there for me to turn it down… not quite sure, but I’m going with the “you like it” theory). You sleep well when we are taking walks, and you have a tendency to wake up between 3 and 4am. Your father’s voice and touch calms you – when he places his hand on my belly, you are calm and quiet.

I wonder what you look like and what you sound like. I wonder about your personality and your expressions. Soon enough, we will meet face to face, and begin this wonderful journey together – you on the journey of life, me on the journey of motherhood.

I have been thinking about all the things I want to share with you, show you, and teach you… the smell of the ocean, the beauty of a sunset, the excitement of the first day of school, making friends, celebrating successes and coping with failures. Then I realized… all the things I want to pass on to you are memories that I have collected in MY life, not necessarily things that I can tell you about and you will understand. Instead, I am looking forward to watching you and guiding you as you collect your own personal experiences that will shape your life… as a bouncing baby, a curious toddler, a growing kid, a tenacious teen, and ultimately, a magnificent man. We have quite an adventure ahead of us…




I forgot the item I miss the most about my old car! The thermometer! Not that it was ever quite right... clearly, it was not 121 degrees here last month when this pic was taken, but it was one of those things that I looked at every time I got in the car. Just made me happy. Also, when we went to the mountains, and it was below 34 degrees (I think they just gave it a 2 degree buffer to be sure), it would have a little picture of a snowflake... in case you couldn't see the real live snowflakes out the windshield.

As for that North/South thingy next to the temperature... never used it. Well, maybe I tried to use it, but since I am directionally challenged, it was never helpful. You would have to know which direction you were intending to go in order to have it be helpful.


different but the same

After 10 years of loyal service, I have retired my car. It was a happy-sad day... that car had a good life...

She (of course it was a female car) was the first car that I owned by myself (without sharing with my sister), she traveled cross country with me when I moved from Jersey to California (on the back of an 18 wheeler, but whatever, she still crossed the country). She took me up to the mountains for countless snow days, ran into the side of a snowbank once, ran into a stationary post in a parking garage once, blared music to dull my hearing on every trip, traveled to Oregon a couple times, helped me move 3 times, went camping on numerous long weekends (and never acted as a tent), survived a break in, drove me and my shiny new husband home after we were married, carted soccer gear, skis, furniture, friends, dog, and anything else that would fit. And on and on and on... which was part of the problem. 144,000 miles on and on... and we were just fearing the day she would tire of the routine, and give up on the side of the road... or, demand repairs in excess of her worth. So we decided to trade her in for a new car.

What did we get, you ask? Why, we bought the exact same car! A Nissan Pathfinder... yes, we own two Nissans... but at least they are different colors now! Ten years later, and still... it is remarkably the same... just a little bit different. For example:
  • gas mileage: same... while some models of cars have made huge advancements, and Hybrid is all the hype, this mondo still consumes gas as if it lived in Texas, on top of an oil well.
  • size: different - it is a little bit bigger (the better to fit the giant dog into)...
  • radio: same - one CD player (thank goodness, those 6 CD changers just make it annoying to figure out what is in there, and how to get it out without selecting all the other 5 slots first)...
  • radio: different - no more tape deck! :( How will I play my mix tapes now?
  • air: same - it has the classic 2 knob system... turn to hi/med/low, turn to blue side or red side. phew! I HATE those fancy schmancy temperature control settings... I can't every figure out what temp to set it at, or how to make it stop blowing cold air when I don't want any more. (I know, you thought I was in my 30's from my profile... secretly, I am a 90 year old technology protester in a 32 year old body).
  • steering wheel: different - my old steering wheel was open on the bottom, and I never realized it, but apparently I like to drive with one hand on the bottom of the steering wheel (steering at the "6"... it's the new "10 and 2"). The new shape of the wheel has a solid bottom, and I think I am going to jam my fingers one of these days!
  • gages: same (ish?) - I think? I don't even know what most of them do, other than the one that lets me know I am going too fast when I see Poncherello parked on the side of the road.
  • center console: different - bigger, so I can shove more stuff in it, but lower, so I can't rest my elbow on it while driving.
  • color: different - old one was silver (so that our two silver Nissans looked like a matching set when parked in our garage), new one is shit brown. Well, they say "mocha"... but conveniently, it is the color of dirt, so we'll never have to clean it!

So there it is... my evaluation of our new (but markedly the same) car...


ROCK-a-bye baby

The little dude seems to really like music... when I am blaring the music in my car, he is bouncing around. I would say he is bouncing around to the beat, but it appears he has inherited both of his parent's sense of rhythm (which amounts to approximately 0.5 %), as his breakdancing is in no way coordinated with the beat of the music.

I told Scout how much his son likes music, and he inquired, "What KIND of music are you playing for him in your car? Eminem? I thought you were supposed to play classical music to babies in the womb." I laughed and replied, "Not JUST Eminem - I have been mixing it up for him... Eminem, 50 cent, Kanye, Black Eyed Peas, Beastie Boys. I am giving him the whole range of rap & hip-hop... he likes them all." But seriously... what am I supposed to listen to in my car? Classical music? I'd fall asleep and crash on the side of the road! I am that person that pulls up next to you at the stop light, and if my windows are open, you will turn your head and think, "Someone needs to tell that pasty white girl that she is too old and too yuppie to be listening to that music." But I can't help it - I love it! And so does my son. :) Good thing he can't understand the lyrics yet... I don't have the bleeped out versions!


best day EVER

Since I am fluent in dog language, let me translate Crush's thoughts on the 5th of July after we emptied the ice from the cooler for her...

OMG! OMG! OMG! (yes, she is very into the current lingo - from all the texting she does... a bit difficult with those giant paws, but she manages) They must really love me! I mean, I THOUGHT they loved me, with all the petting, and feeding, and walking, and playing, but... now I know for SURE they love me!

Where do I start? I'll just circle it and look for the best angle... No, I can't do this standing up - I should lie down and get closer... Yes, this is much better, standing was so much effort... Look at all this ice... I'll be here forever... oh, look at that part over there... let me move around to the other side... Maybe I should stand... No, I'll lie back down... Oh, they REALLY love me!

[15 minutes later]
Ohhhhhhhhhh... I shouldn't have eaten all that ice! I'll just lie here and rest...

[2 hours later]

Hey! Where did the ice go? It was just here! I was enjoying the sun, lounging around, and those people must have taken the ice away! I'll show them... what can I chew? Oh, that shiny new hose looks good! Mmmm... this hose isn't quite as good as the ice, but it will do for now...

UH-OH! That lady is coming out... I'll just look away, and pretend I didn't have anything to do with it... Oh, no! A piece of the hose is stuck in my jowels... Think she'll notice?


3% or three percent

If you saw a checkout ad that said: "3% off your next purchase if you pay with a debit card"... what would you expect? A coupon for 3% off your next purchase? Hey - me, too! Not so in the land of IKEA... perhaps discounts work differently in Sweden?

Scout and I were purchasing a dresser (to store lil blue onesies for the lil dude) at the famous "build your own furniture with nothing more than a tiny pseudo-tool" store, and after hauling the heavy boxes off the 60 foot high shelves, loading them onto our cart the size of a small car, and rolling it to the register ourselves, I opted for the "self-check" lane. It only seemed fitting... also, there were only two registers with actual humans working them, with about 45.7 people in each line, while there were 8 self check registers open, with nobody in line.

I start scanning the items when I notice the sign offering 3% off your next purchase... well, we were planning on paying with our debit card anyway, so that seemed like a good deal. Then I surveyed our items, 3 items for $9.99 each, and 1 item for $299.99 (what a deal, saving that penny off $300). And JUST THEN... I had a brilliant idea! If I purchased the smaller items first, I could get the 3% discount to use on the big ticket item.

Of course, I had already shot the items with the little "beep" red laser gun, so I had all the items on the screen. At a self checkout line. After flagging the yellow shirt guy down, I explained to him what I wanted to do, cleared it with him that I could use the coupon today, for a purchase 10 seconds from now... he confirmed, and voided my big ticket item. Yay!

A swipe of the debit card (isn't it magical - it practically seems free!), a spit up of the receipt, and I was ready to save 3% off my $300 dresser. Except... where is my 3% coupon? Nooooo... there IS NO THREE PERCENT COUPON. What I got was this: a statement at the bottom of my receipt saying that I could get $0.98 off my next purchase. WHAT???? So, my savings was really 3% of my current purchase that I could use towards reducing the price of my next purchase. IN WHICH CASE... I would have made my purchases in the OTHER ORDER... HAD I KNOWN! I opted not to try to void the whole transaction (mostly cause Scout was glaring a hole in my back), and decided to just make the next purchase.

Here we go: scan box of furniture, scan bar code on the receipt offering a whopping ninety eight cents discount, and... nothing. Well, except an error code asking for Yellow Shirt assistance. Sigh... another Yellow Shirt guy shows up, and tries to enter the code for the discount... over... and over... and over... again. He just can't figure it out. Scout is now growling and frothing at the mouth, and says, "can we just leave for 98 cents?" And I said, "NO! It is the principle!" (Plus, I was pissed that I had been foiled by the 3% discount misleading advertising). So we got a Yellow Shirt girl to come over and enter the discount. Which amounted to a .33% (don't miss that period, it says POINT three three percent) savings on the dresser. So, now I have $9.73 to spend next time I go to IKEA... and use my debit card.... and get another 3% "discount"... and as the King says: "etcetera, etcetera, etcetera"!



Scout, Crush and I took a trip over to the in laws house last weekend. They were hosting a retirement party for a family friend, and we went to help... um, and enjoy the party - it was a win/win. They live about 2.5 hours away - over a couple rivers and through the woods (if you consider grapevines "woods"), and past one speedway. On Sunday, there was a huge race (so I hear, not that I know anything about car racing), and we thought we would be stuck in traffic forever. We couldn't take the back way (because the giant puppy gets carsick, and giant puppy means giant... well, just imagine). Turns out, everyone must have already been grilling and chilling in the parking lot at the speedway, and we flew right by it - no traffic at all.

Cruising home, I was thinking: oh, this is going well... no traffic, I didn't have to stop a hundred times to go to the bathroom, dog hasn't puked (yet). We are nearing our exit, and I see a white car parked on the side of the road... with a guy standing pointing something at me... then we pass... then he gets in his car... then I mutter some nasty words... then Scout starts looking for insurance papers and my license... I pull over one lane and pretend that maybe he is going to pass me... he doesn't buy it, and flashes his lights at me. Crap. So I pull over (underneath the sign announcing my exit in 3/4 mile). I pull off the side of the road reaaaaallll far, so maybe he'll notice my consideration for his safety, and tell me that I am a fine upstanding citizen, and to slow down a little.

He walks up to the car on Scout's side, and my darling husband immediately hands over my paperwork. The guy takes it and says, I'll be back with these in a few minutes... and LEAVES! That was it - no "Do you know how fast you were going?", "Where are you going in such a hurry?" (which I had a good response to - "I'm 7 months pregnant, officer, and I reaaaaallly have to go to the bathroom, and I am almost home."). Just walks back to his car, grabs the clipboard from Poncherello, and starts writing. COME ON! I don't even get a chance to cry? Stupid state budget... if it wasn't so messed up, maybe he would have listened to my lame excuses, and maybe - just maybe - I would have gotten off with a warning. But noooo... Arnie needs money, and I was an easy target. (Yes, I am the victim in all of this, never mind my breaking the law).

Officer H walks back and hands me the ticket, checks off a box on his quota for the state budget reform worksheet, and I am free to go. Scout says nothing as I berate him for handing over my cards too quickly, ruining my attempts to cry my way out of it. Then I start complaining about how I am so annoyed I got a ticket, and make a comment about how I can't harass him about being the last one to get a ticket. He starts laughing, and says, "This is why you're so pissed, isn't it? It's not about the ticket, it's cause you are now the last one to get caught, and you can't make fun of me." Damn him and his mind reading. He laughs some more, good and loud. I inform him that his entertainment is going to cost us money, but he writes it off and says that this will be a bargain for all the times I have gotten away with speeding.

We make it home safe and sound, 5 minutes from the scene of the crime. I pull into the driveway, shift the car into park, lean back on my headrest, and hear the dog puke. Yep, she made it the whole way, and then puked while we were parked in our driveway. Sigh... maybe if there had been more traffic at the speedway, I wouldn't have had to make my own speedway.


doggie day care???

Princess Puppy is at doggie day care right now... Yes, doggie day care. I never thought I would type that, let alone live it. I am not sure which road I turned down that led me here, or which turn I missed, but here I am. With a dog. At doggie day care.

I can rationalize it in my head... we aren't actually PAYING for doggie day care today. We got one free session when we bought our training classes. Kind of like when you buy fancy Air Jordans, they come with a "free" set of laces. And we aren't sending her there on a regular basis. She is there today so that when we drop her off for overnight visits (should we have a desire to jet off to Paris one weekend), she is familiar with the place. See? It all makes sense when I explain it like that... but still!!! Doggie day care?


closet cleaning

Since the little dude is going to be arriving in a few months, we decided to clean out the guest closet. He'll need someplace to store all his diapers, onesies, and stuffed animals. And eventually, his rocks, bugs, frogs and other collectibles (I don't need to include worms in that list, since we already store those in the garage).

Here are the treasures we found in the closet:
  • 4 sleeping bags
  • 6 mats for camping (yes, for 2 people - you never know what thickness you are going to need)
  • 3 suitcases
  • 1 wetsuit
  • 5 blankets
  • 3 quilts (they all landed in the space saver bags, which resulted in me blowing the fuse 3 times while shrinking them down)
  • 284 baseball cards that are actually my sister's, but my mom thought they were mine, so she sent them to me. Yes, my sister wants them back, and was pissed when she found out I had them... she could make millions!
  • 5 backpacks
  • 4 duffel bags (one from my high school basketball team with my name embroidered on it... I brought it camping, and my friend actually "booed" me when I got it out of the car... yes, high school rivalry apparently lasts 15 years)
  • 1 messenger bag
  • 1 guitar (I have never heard the strings strumming in my house)
  • 1 wedding dress in a box

As we were emptying out the closet (and promptly stuffing all the crap in the OTHER guest room closet, so we can postpone actually organizing until we have the next kid), I yelled to Scout from the hallway, "Don't forget my wedding dress - on the top shelf!" He pulled it down, looked at it, and said, "Did you actually wear this? It looks so small..." (then he looked at me, my mouth agape) and continued, "...I know I can't save this comment... I love you very much." We both started laughing, and I reminded him that this was not a good time to be making remarks about size, and maybe he would like to sleep in this guest room tonight? And he says that I open my mouth without thinking...



Since the dawn of time (8.5 years ago), Scout and I have used different toothpastes. He uses Crest (gross), and I use Colgate. We have had two toothpastes (say that five times fast) in our bathroom forever, since neither side will back down in the toothpaste war (just doesn’t have the same ring as “cola war”).

Last week, I went to Tarjay to purchase some household items. Now, I love Tarjay, but one of its flaws (not MY flaws, it is an unwritten rule on the door) is that I have to circle the entire store in case there is something I need along the way. As anyone who has found themselves in the cross hairs of the red target knows, it is a LONG way around the perimeter of their acreage. So by the time I got to the toothpaste section, I was tired, cranky, had to pee, and wishing that I had a cart instead of a basket laden with “necessities”.

I turned down the toothpaste aisle, and was confronted with a dizzying array of tooth cleaners by my beloved Colgate. Did I want: whitening? brightening? cavity fightening? As I looked at the collection of products – no less than 10 feet long, top to bottom shelf full – I wondered: which one do I have now? I was so overwhelmed, I couldn’t even remember if I had paste or gel, which seemed like a pretty basic factor. At least I would be able to eliminate half of the products. And seriously – what is the difference between cool mint, clean mint and crystal mint? Will the minty sparkle make my canines look like they are all dolled up in stripper glitter? I’m not sure that is the look I am going for…

As my bladder screamed and my patience waned, I decided to just buy regular, plain old original Colgate. I scanned the rows, and found an empty section with a Sale tag sticking out, taunting me. Since I could not handle making this life altering decision, I headed to the checkout line with a huff, resigning myself to Crest clean teeth. It seems easier - it is already in my house, next to my toothbrush, and although I don't like it, I just couldn't decide which of the 32 (yes, THIRTY TWO - I looked it up on the Colgate website) varieties should come home with me.

So, we are now a onepaste house.


dog daze

Scout has been very busy with his Crush, trying to make her comfortable in her new home. She has a new crate that will grow with her (seriously, it is so big that we can't fit it in our car), and he just built her a new house. We called it a doghouse, but our neighbor said that it is so big it qualifies as its own house. I hope we don't have to pay taxes on it! But maybe we could get a discount for having an extra dependent? Seriously, she doesn't work, we have to feed her - isn't that a dependent? I'll call the IRS to see if she qualifies... don't hold your breath.

Last week, he devoted every minute to her chateau from the moment he arrived home from work until the moment precisely before he was endangering his digits operating a saw in the dark. First, he bought the blueprints on the internet (no architect was consulted, and no city permits were acquired). Next, he cruised over to Home Despair to purchase lumber, and of course - a new tool! It is an air compressor, and it nails things. Which, I believe there is another tool for... I think it is called, um, let me think... a hammer! Yes, that's it! But this air compressor (cough, hammer) can dispense 347 nails per millisecond! Or something like that. Really, this project was his perfect excuse to buy the air compressor that he has been drooling over for years. And I will help him reduce his cost per project by allowing him to also use it to put up the crown molding I've been wanting for years. See? Marriage is about compromise. He buys tool, I let him do project for me. Win-win. So, after he had all his materials (and some extra tools borrowed from the neighbor), he started building.

It was so big, he built it in parts, and assembled in the final location. Else, it would not have fit through the gate to the backyard, nor would he have been able to carry it. Seriously, this thing is like 3 coffins big. So, after it was assembled, painted and placed, he tried to get the dog in it... which is where he ran into a problem. He built it so it would fit her when she is full sized. Since she is only about 1/4 size right now, she couldn't get into the doorway. She would wave her paw in the air (like you just don't ca-are) grasping for the doorway, but she was just too little. (Too little - ha - not for long!) I felt so bad for Scout - after all his hard work, and she just couldn't use it. Never fear, though, he crafted a step for her out of the half ton of scrap wood leftover in our garage. Tah-dah! Now his princess has a castle of her own...


lessons learned

What we have learned from our puppy that we can bring forward into parenthood:

  • Remember to feed the kid twice a day.
  • If our child drools a lot, we will keep his/her water outside, and wipe his/her mouth before entering the house after drinking water.
  • Always keep the child on a leash when outside the house, else he/she might run away.
  • If our child starts chewing on things we don't want him/her to chew on (shoes, furniture, every single basket full of magazines/yarn/etc. around the house that my husband has been complaining about for the past 5 years - seriously, there has GOT to be a conspiracy there somewhere), we should give him/her a toy to chew on instead of the forbidden item.
  • Take him/her outside every few hours so he/she doesn't pee on the floor.
  • Be firm about sleeping in the crate - don't let the baby sleep just anywhere in the house.
Yep, I think we are TOTALLY prepared for this parenthood position now. Good thing we got that dog...


they say...

They say before you have a baby, you should have a puppy. Since we only have a few months until baby, we got a puppy last night.

Okay, now that you have picked yourself up off the floor, I can continue...

Scout has been talking about getting a dog for YEARS. Over the past 2 years, he has been commenting on every dog we see: "oh, that is a pretty dog," or "honey, wouldn't you like to have a dog to go on walks with you?" My response is always some comment on the amount of hair, slobber, poop in yard, cost of food, blah de blah blah blah versus the benefit of having an animal on a leash during my walks. I have a cell phone - I can talk to people - who actually speak English, not just barky bark woof language.

Over the past few months, he has been researching dog breeds, training (he is very serious about stuff when he is very interested in the topic), and landed on the dog that he says is "PERFECT" for our family. A mastiff. In case you are not familiar with dog breeds (and I am still shocked at how many people ARE familiar with dog breeds), they are the GIANT dogs... look like horses... humongous... mellow, lazy, and um, did I mention HUGE?

Right now, she is a cute, soft little puppy, but she will probably be 80 lbs by 6 months. She is 2 months now, and 23 lbs. I got bumped off Scout's facebook pic for his other woman. She follows him around (well, like a puppy) so much that I started calling him her boyfriend. When I told Scout this, he replied, "she's not my girlfriend... she's my bitch!" That's my husband.

The good news about having a giant dog (we expect she will grow to 150-200 lbs. - I'm really hoping for a "petite" 170) is that we will not need a stroller, we are just going to teach the kid how to ride in a saddle, and have the dog carry the kid around. Maybe even build some sort of contraption like they use on top of elephants so we can strap the car seat to it.

I'm not sure exactly how this happened... I said we could go look at dogs last weekend, and suddenly, we had a puppy taking over our house... I feel like a freshman waking up on Sunday morning in a frat house: "What happened and how did I get here?"

So, it's true... pregnancy can make you lose your mind!


they say selection is RANDOM

If jury selection is truly RANDOM, then how come Scout and I have both received summons for jury duty two weeks apart? Reeeaaaally... random? I would like to present a case that they scroll through the list in alphabetical order. Hmmm... except that his first name would come before mine. Buuuut... this probably isn't the most perfect process, so I'll allow it as evidence that it is possible Scout's name got caught up in a jammed printer, so he was spared for another two weeks, which would allow me to leapfrog ahead of him in potential juror line. It's plausible.

I am pretty sure if I do have to go down to the courthouse, it will only be for one day. Scout assures me that nobody wants a hormonal woman sitting on a jury. Especially once they see how many bathroom breaks I'll need! I am considering bringing a box of tissues with me in case of potential selection, since I'm pretty sure I can cry on demand these days.

No knitting needles to pass my time (deadly weapons - you should SEE the statistics on knitting needles deaths in the U.S. - on the rise!). I'll have to pass my time with the good, old fashioned book. Which might be nice, since I have a stack about 2 feet high of books I've been "meaning to read."

Wish me luck next week... sitting in a room with 347 of my closest friends, all with last names starting with "O."


growth spurt

By the eighth grade, I had already completed my growth spurt, reaching peak elevation at 5'8". Which, I now appreciate - I can reach the top cabinets in my kitchen, don't have to hem my pants, and all sorts of other perks (none of which I can think of at this moment, but I know they exist). But in junior high, 5'8" was ridiculous - I towered over all the boys, and my poofy Jersey Girl bangs only accentuated my height. Fortunately, pegging your pants was in, so I didn't have to worry about my pants being too short - good thing, cause that was well before the Gap made pants in ankle/regular/long versions.

It has been many moons (and perhaps even a score ago, but a lady cannot admit her true age) since I have experienced a growth spurt, but here it goes again... and this time, I am not growing UP, but rather, growing OUT. Yes, it's true - I am currently baking a little Scout in the oven. We are not sure if it is a girl scout or a boy scout yet, but we will be asking the kind people with the cold lotion, metal prodder and mysterious black and white screen if they recommend blue or pink. See justification

My official due date (per Google search) is September 7, 2009 - yes, Labor Day. I am sure since I would so appreciate the irony of that, this child will not arrive on that day. In case that doesn't work out, I will be issuing an eviction notice on 9/9/09 - cause how cool would that be?!?! But rumor has it that the spawn don't listen, even though everyone says they can hear you in there! So, I say to my child: arrive whenever you want - we can't wait to meet you!