30 June 2008

I'm Afraid to Say It....

The Husband and his father are at an Orioles game tonight. I was so excited to have an evening to myself to blog that I stuffed the kids in bed by 7:30 (it would have been sooner if PW had not insisted we count all the doughnuts pictured in her Curious George book--I stopped those goings-on at 201). I took out the trash and recycling, did the dishes, ran around the house with Clorox Everywhere sanitizing everything under the sun (finally, after the year of 10,000 diseases), and ran to the computer confident that I could take my time. And now I sit here, staring at the computer with nothing to say.

In lieu of anything interesting in my life to report, I'll resort to embarrassing myself and my family for your reading pleasure. PW recently took swimming lessons. And by "took swimming lessons" I mean "she screamed that she was drowning every second she was in the pool," despite the lifejacket, swimming teacher holding her, and lifeguards staring at her intently. By the end of six lessons, she wouldn't go anywhere near the pool. Nay, she wouldn't even go in the baby pool that had all of four inches of water in it. Sure, she finally got brave enough to sit next to the baby pool and play with a random rubber ducky she found (a pirate ducky no less--I'll have to find one of those), but that was as far as she would venture. How in the world did she turn out like this? The two previous years I had held her while in the pool but admittedly she wasn't a huge fan. Lately she's been screaming "TURN IT OFF, TURN OFF THE WATER!!" in the bathtub if the water even approaches her bellybutton while seated. She's completely insane.

Which leads me to conclude that phobias are indeed inherited (or at least in part) as some suspect. My father's not a huge fan of water. He'll go in if forced, but he doesn't enjoy it. I used to swim (well, got in the pool anyway) as a child, but I've become less fond of the water the older I've become. I'm not scared of the water in the pool (despite several early near-drownings), and I know how to swim just fine, I just derive no enjoyment from it whatsoever. It's as enjoyable for me as sitting in the parking lot of Safeway; at least you don't have to shave your body for the latter activity.

Now, the ocean is another matter entirely. I have no qualms about looking at the ocean from the shore. Lovely. But I don't get in it. I don't like boats. I don't like deep water. And here's a fun fact for all of you taking notes at home: if I see a picture of an iceberg, I get severly nauseated. Why? Because those suckers are FRICKING UNNATURALLY HUGE. And that's just the part that you see sticking up out of the water! That's only an average of 10% of those suckers, and there's a whole 90% hidden, lurking under that mountain of ice, floating silently in the icy, dark depths of a seemingly bottomless ocean. Icebergs make the true depth of the ocean a sudden and unwelcome reality in my mind. I'm gonna find you the worst picture of one (it was photoshopped actually, but it's still the same idea) and then I'm going to stop speaking of it as I'm on the verge of puking on my keyboard. I will not include the actual photo here (as if I want to taint my blog with that business), but here is a link if you care: http://www.snopes.com/photos/natural/iceberg.asp

You're welcome for that. I nearly lost my dinner in the process for you ingrates (is it any wonder PW is such a freak? I didn't think so).

Now how about heights? Dad hates heights. You guessed it: so do I. We don't even like climbing on stepladders to change a lightbulb. We've discussed this many times together and we agree with the analysis one set of professionals gave about why some people are scared of heights: we're scared that if we're, say, on top of a building, that we'll suddenly go nuts and just start running and take a flying leap off the roof. Accidental falling is a worry, too, naturally. But the one where you think you're going to do it to yourself is much worse. Oh, and the husband is also none the fan of high places, either (which is why I'm especially proud of him for cleaning our gutters on the roof). Is it any wonder PW freaks out about that, as well? Mind you, none of us are scared of speed. A fast carnival ride that whips your brains around inside your head is great fun and PW agrees. She is fearless when it comes to that. But up high? No.

Shall I go on? Of course I shall. Who's to stop me? You? I didn't think so. Punk.

Spiders/bugs. Not a fan of spiders and neither is Dad. Now, at this point some might speculate that my father passed all of these fears on to me nearly intentionally. However, I never witnessed him showing his fears about these things until well after my own were considerably developed on their own. In fact, when I had hissyfits over spiders, he would scold me for sending the little beasts (Satan's Pets, they are) back to their Maker and insist I should be setting them free outside. Pffft, whatever. SQUISH.

It is at this point that I would like to point out that PW has a very kind side to her. Despite her distaste for spiders in general, she will frequently see to their welfare. She locates the spiders and I squash them, as a rule. But on occasion she will spot a small one and I will give her the choice of killing it or giving it its freedom. She always chooses to spare its life. So we let it crawl into one of her play dishes, carry it outside, and let it crawl out again. She has a good heart. And it is for this very reason why I tortured the nasty bee that stung her twice two weeks ago. She never knowingly disrupted it; in fact, it climbed into her clothing and had the gall to sting her when she tried to figure out what was rummaging around inside her shirt sleeve. That little bastard died a very unpleasant death, I can assure you of that. So now if she sees anything that flies--including gnats and butterflies--she FREAKS OUT. Great.

On to my next phobia. (Why no, I haven't seen a professional about these. Why do you ask?) Fire. I'm convinced I'm going to die in a house fire. I'm absolutely certain that's how I'm going to leave this life. I have every possible escape route planned out of my house and I'm still certain I'm going to die in it. No, we don't have a fireplace in our house. Screw that.

Large dogs. In my defense, a dog attacked me when I was very young (perhaps 2 or 3 years old) and bit me in the face. And then another dog cornered me when I was ten. If your dog is quiet, appears happy and stable, and is on a leash if outside, I'll pat it. No, I will not play with it. But I will pat it. But if your dog barks at me, I will cry. So keep that in mind.

Speaking in public? Sure, why not. I hate it and avoid it at all costs as many others do (and yet I'll perform for an audience without too much trouble--go figure). I knew I was going to quit my last job before getting married, but I hadn't decided when to officially tell my bosses. That decision practically made itself when they told me I was going to have to brief a general and his staff to "further my career." "Oh man, what a bummer I'm gonna have to miss that. Take care!"

Did you know that there are people who are genuinely afraid of the number 13? Now, those people are nuts.

I hope I've given you enough here to make you feel better about yourselves. I'm such a giver.

26 June 2008

I Fill So Blessed....

The EDS Blog has a new humor blog linked. It's BRILLIANT. It's called "Seriously, So Blessed!" The characters are the author "Tiffany/Amber/Megan/Nicole" and her husband "Jordan/Jason/Wes/Taylor" (aka JJWT). As a satirical blog, the author embodies every negative stereotype of the typical young naive and empty-headed Molly Mormon who Blogs About Her Perfect, Awesome, Blessed Life. My favorite post so far is "Hooray for Date Night!!" Here we begin midway through her account of trying to find a parking spot at California Pizza Kitchen for her date night with her Perfect Husband, JJWT:

"So, after we were blessed to find a parking spot, we had a cozy dinner at CPK (LOVE it...so dang good!) and split a yummy BBQ chicken pizza (totally crave it), big salad and MONSTER raspberry lemonade. We really like to split things so that we can sit on the same side of the booth and feed each other from each other's plates and everyone can covet me and see how JJWT has broughten sexy back. I literally LOVE my life!!

"Then we walked over to the fountain where we found the brick that Jordan/Jason/Wes/Taylor bought for me before he left on his mission. (Anyone want to guess what it says?? I'm not telling . . .) That brick brings back literally a bazillion memories--LITERALLY--of the two years he was away! Whenever I started to miss him too much I would go sit by it, gaze into the dancing waters of the fountain and find the inspiration to write him, even when it was impossible to live because I felt like half myself had literally been amputated. So hard! But we made it through – even though I got engaged twice during the time he was away – I just KNEW that Jordan/Jason/Wes/Taylor was the one I was meant to be with! And now we are more in love and have more fun than anyone else, so thank you for making each and every minute of each and every day the best possible minute and/or day for me!"

Ah, the funny. The author is looking for things to blog about so by all means, email away. Oh, and be on the lookout for the written Utah accent. Huzzah!

23 June 2008

Is It That Time of Year Already?

I tend to plan out Halloween outfits for Peawhistle pretty far in advance. Her first year she wore a onesie that announced it was her first Halloween. Then she went to bed. The next year she was a bat for her first year of trick-or-treating (actual Peawhistle not pictured):

The following year she was a sheep of my own making (translation, a gray sweatsuit with ears and a tail sewed on; no, I don't have a photo. You'll just have to trust me).

And the year after that, she was a sailorette, and an incredibly cute one at that (again, that's not PW; I'm too lazy to find an actual photo of her to upload).

This year I'm leaning towards two outfits: a pirate princess or a mailman. Both are fabulous.

Although PW has expressed an interest in being a farmer when she grows up, I cannot find a good costume for one. Of the two pictured here, she says she prefers the postman outfit, and I have to agree with her. It's fantastic. Although that pirate princess is pretty adorable, too. Thoughts?

22 June 2008

Sundays Will Never Be the Same

So Stephanie and I were at a picnic yesterday. As I was leaving with my family I said my farewells and told her I would see her tomorrow (now today) at church. She said something to the effect of, "Expect big changes tomorrow. BIG changes." I took this to mean she would be getting a new calling, which she seemed to confirm. I spent the entire evening and following morning wracking my brain trying to think of what kind of calling adjustment would qualify as a "BIG change." The only logical result I could come up with is that she and several of her cohorts have conspired to stage a coup and will take over the ward with Stephanie leading the congregation Noriega-style. I must admit, I have never been so excited to attend church in all my church-going years! The idea of a religious dictator may prove emotionally unhealthy after some time, but until then I look forward to the New Order and perhaps fancy and outlandish uniforms.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

17 June 2008

Dare to be Stupid

So there's a blog I stalk (one of many--if that's not an indication that my friends don't blog enough, I don't know what is). The authoress was having a pretty rough week and instead of asking for comments of support, she asked for other people's examples of stupidity to make her feel better. Naturally, I was able to contribute a couple of items, one of which was the open van door story. The other was college stupidity from my friend, Heidi, and me.

Anyway, reading through everyone's comments has been marvelous. I came across one story that has completely made my day. The poster's friend had actually done this, hence the third-person references. I couldn't not share it:

"She was running late to pick up her kid from preschool and still needed to shower. She ran into her hubbies office (he works from home) and handed him the baby while she jumped into the shower.When she got out she ran in to get the baby (totally naked)and heard someone giggling. She then realized that the conference call her hubby was on was a video conference call. Oh wait, it gets better: she turned to run out of the room and ran right into the door jam and fell flat on her back. She laid there for a minute trying to decide what to do, then got on her hands and knees and crawled out into the hall. She later went and checked the camera to see what the view was, and found out they could see the whole office floor and hallway. They saw her crawling out in all her glory."

And my second-favorite:

"One time I went to a movie. When I couldn't find my keys afterward, I realized I had locked them in the car. Which was running. For two hours."

That's something I would wind up doing. Everybody's stupid sometimes--I think that's comforting and terrifying at the same time.

And a quick shout-out to my homey, Misty, who in my darkest hour sent me my favoritest cookie of all time, a giant, pink-frosted sugar cookie with sprinkles on top in the mail. I love you and the money you spent to send it. GOSH, I WISH ALL OF MY FRIENDS WOULD SEND ME GIANT, PINK-FROSTED SUGAR COOKIES WITH SPRINKLES ON TOP.

11 June 2008

A Word About Baltimore

As opposed to its evil twin, Baltimore is a pretty good city as far as large metropolitan cities go. While not as easily navigated as someplace like SLC, it's easier than even Denver, and especially all Nine Circles of Hell found in Annapolis. Parts of Baltimore scare me, as well they should. But by and large, it's not such a bad place. One now well-known establishment in Baltimore is Charm City Cakes, the cake making/decorating business featured on the Food Network's reality program "Ace of Cakes." I like Ace of Cakes for one specific reason: it makes me think I could do that. You watch some of these cake decorating shows and wonder how the crap they manage to pull it off; and that's even with them showing you how they pull it off, too. But with Ace of Cakes, a part of me honestly believes I could do what they do on that show. As we may recall, I am not a master of cake decorating. In addition, the cakes that come out of that shop don't look horrible--they actually look really good. But what they do somehow makes me think I can do it, too, given time, patience, and possibly hallucinogens.

As you know (and if you care) the musical "Hairspray" is set in Baltimore. Ace of Cakes was asked to create a cake for the Baltimore premiere of "Hairspray." Duff Goldman, who owns Charm City Cakes and is a huge fan of "Hairspray," commented during the TV show that "'Hairspray put Baltimore on the map." He was very excited about it. Perhaps it was his level of excitement that prevented him from realizing what he was saying. Fortunately, that is not going to stop me from making fun of him for it.

To "put [a location] on the map" suggests that the location in question had not been on the map previously, figuratively speaking of course. We can accurately state, for example, that Coors Beer put Golden, Colorado on the map. Golden had been something of a large city in its day a century ago as Colorado Territory's capital. However, it gradually faded into obscurity until Coors beer commercials stated that's where their beer was brewed. It wasn't until Coors told the country about Golden that anyone knew of its existence. Thus, Coors did indeed "put Golden on the map."

Now let us look at Baltimore. If Wikipedia is to be trusted (although I refuse to believe "Baltimore was founded by crack addicts"), Baltimore is not only one of the oldest and largest cities and seaports in the United States, but is also the 20th largest metropolitan area in the country, larger than the nation's capital region. With a rich heritage and cultural center, it is a hotbed for tourism, particularly the lovely Inner Harbor region of the city. It is the largest city in the state of Maryland, far larger than its capital, Annapolis (mostly due to the previously mentioned evil contained therein). Baltimore is also home to the vast complex of Johns Hopkins institutions, Johns Hopkins Hospital being named the best hospital in the country for years, and also home to the National Aquarium, one of the largest in the world. Hairspray was set in Baltimore because Baltimore is a well-known city, not the other way around. "Hairspray" did not "put Baltimore on the map."

Stick to cakes, Duff; leave the commentary to the rest of us.

You're Fricking Welcome

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets, stolen from a blog I stalk

You could be reading one of those swearing blogs right now, but you're not. Thank your little lucky stars I have a relatively clean mouth. Relatively.

Peanut survived his proceedure last Friday, coming through it with flying colors and screams that would wake the dead. He continues his weight gain, making it up to over 13 lbs a week ago at his pre-op appt. Go Chunky! However, he's not chubby enough yet to hide both boobs after my front-clasp bra has suddenly come unlatched in the middle of shopping for cards at Hallmark. Did I leave immediately? Of course not. It was 100-flippin'-degrees outside and I refused to make an extra trip later on, especially with these gas prices. So I tried to cover half of my ampleness with Peanut and the other with the arm I was using to look at cards. I came away with three cards and no one making any loud remarks about the chick with no bra who obviously needs one. Dignity in tact! Ta-da!

As I was sitting in my car putting myself back together, a kid in a brand-new car smacked right into the side of a minivan parked in the lot, scraping up the side. As he backed away, the owner of the van got out and glared at him. Only then did he stop. I laughed heartily. Of all the cars this kid hits, it's the only one with someone sitting inside it (well, besides mine of course). He started to apologize as if that would suddenly heal her car, but she appeared to inform him most strenuously that only his insurance information could do that. I laughed again.

Peanut seems to like Coldplay, despite my telling him that Viva la Vida sounds exactly like Speed of Sound, which was a tweaked version of Clocks. "But the words are different!" he proclaims. "Chris has suddenly gotten deeper instead of rambling nonsensical lyrics and pretending they mean something!" To which I reply, "Meh." It's funny how he wasn't this talkative when I wanted to discuss the Bush Administration. I just hope his silence and thousand-yard stare at that time meant his little mind just can't handle the lunacy, lies, and shooting people in the face.

Sometime last week Peawhistle got "Hungry Jack" in her head and it has yet to exorcise itself. If you ask her a question--any question at all--she will slyly reply, "HUNGRY, JACK?!?" No, she hasn't tired of it. It also doesn't take interrogation to get it out of her. She will run around to various people in her life, quizzing them about whether or not they are, in fact, a Hungry Jack. Regardless of the response, she laughs uncontrollably. I'm glad she's such a happy and easily entertained child, even if it means living a very brief life if she doesn't knock it the hell off (1.1%!).

Did I tell you what they figured out Peanut is allergic to so far? Peas (duh), milk, peanuts, cashews, pistachios, and sesame seeds. That's just so far. Not everything has popped up yet and he is very likely allergic to a host of foods we don't know about. First off, this is going to suck come his first birthday. How do I make him a cake when I don't know if his little frosting-covered face will wind up in the hospital again or not? Secondly, the only way we can tell what he's allergic to between now and then is to experiment. I asked if we could just do that in the ER to save time. They said no (no sense of humor, these people). And thirdly (because I know I'm going to get comments if I don't include a "thirdly"...nerds), this is karma for my making fun of all those neurotic Peanut Kid parents all these years. The amusing irony of Peanut's nickname has not escaped me, either. "Hi, my name is Abby, and I'm a Peanut Kid Parent. Thank you."