Tuesday, September 28, 2010

To Post or Not to Post, that is the question

The baby's doing just great. The ultrasounds were beautiful. The doctor even used the term "perfect" to describe it. I know the gender and I am working with family on plotting a baby shower before the snow starts flying. I am however going to admit that I do not want to explicitly share my baby with the internet.

It's been a really hard decision for me to make because I tend to believe in openness and communicating in an open atmosphere but in my heart I do not want to share. I want to keep this baby close and safe and protected and I don't think that the internet is a safe or kind or nurturing place for an infant and I do not want to be that parent who struts their kid around like the prize pig at the fair. My job is to protect this little soul, not to exploit it.

For me, my kid is a kid not a status symbol. I don't care how many comments or "likes" I get about my baby. He/she is going to be the most beautiful thing I ever laid my eyes on and not a soul in this world could tell me otherwise. I know it's easy to live vicariously through your children. They physically are a part of you and it's easy to assume they're an extension of you but they're their own individual right from the get-go. I want to let my kid realize their own potential and find their own path and make their own mistakes. One day my kid can have their own internet presence but for now? Just be a kid. Just be a baby.

It goes by much too fast.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My what a two years it's been

Happy 2 year anniversary to my Trevor.

A year go we didn't have one of these

Or one of these

And now I can't even imagine a life different than the one we have.

And I certainly didn't see this coming

And baby makes...4? (I realize that might be the smallest bump you've ever seen but trust me, it's there.)

Sorry for the hush-hush. It takes a while to internalize that you've got a tiny human being developing inside of you and to decide how much of that person you'd like to share with the internets. I've decided for me that we're sharing very very little because one day when he or she grows up they're likely to lament what I've shared and there's enough to be embarrassed about when you're 17 without adding in pictures of your naked baby bottom floating around for all of the internet to see. Consider it a case of me proactively shortening the area in my kid's autobiography where they blame me for everything that's wrong with them.

So there it is. Baby's coming this winter. We're finding out the gender next month but I'm not sure if I want to share it with anyone right away. (Consider it a compromise since Trevor really wanted to find out and I did not want to find out at all.) I've had no nausea. I sleep great. I have no food aversions and I thank the baby every single day for being such a breeze because I will most likely not be so lucky the 2nd time around.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I like to think I try and guilt myself into updating about once a week or two even if whatever I write makes no sense and is rambles incoherently...hey it's the internet. No one cares about that anyway.

Kids actually put texting shorthand into the things they write because it's so normal to them they think it's appropriate to put into a paper. Sad.

Anyway, commentary about the disintegration of the English language is always fun but...I have a side writing project.

I admit it. I'm cheating on the blog.

So I may be light on updates as my creative juices are simmering elsewhere.
Don't think I died. I did not die.

Am I sharing this project via the intarwebs? I don't know. I guess I'm on the fence about that because it's much more personal and the intarwebs? She is mean. Full of lurking jerks with cheeto fingers. And I have to fence in my feelings because I will inevitably hurt someone's feelings. I am a feeling hurter. I love Brussels Sprouts. Look, I just hurt the feelings of someone who hates them. It's inevitable.

Details will be forthcoming but give me at least a few weeks to work the bugs out. We're plotting a housewarming in July-ish and there's tons to do before we're really open house ready. Many tiles need to be laid. Much swearing shall be emanating from my husband and the general kitchen area. Lots of dust will be all over the house as the mudding process gets revved up again. But the summer is already slipping by us. It'll be painfully hard to do any of this come winter when we won't want to open any windows.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hazy shade of summer

Been nursing a bit of a cold. Probably from running around in the rainy weather before. I kind of want to sleep all day and the things I swore I wanted to write about have all fallen out of my head in a haze of exhaustion.

I'm not sick very often so when I am I am entirely out of my element. Even though I felt awful recently I still made dinner, organized the kitchen, vacuumed and tried to assist my husband around the house. I'm probably not doing myself any favors by running around instead of resting but resting feels like a waste of a day and each day has a long list of necessary tasks. Like going to redeem cans and buying bread and getting blueberries to munch on. All very important things.

This summer should be an interesting one. The Cape Cod Cottage we've spent so many summers at is going to be demo-ed and replaced with a bigger, newer, shiny house where my bonus momma will be living full time. So I have no idea when we'll go to the Cape because we don't really have a place to crash without begging around for a room but I want very much to introduce the Pup to the ocean. It should be adorable.

Other than being sick and annoying I really did have things I wanted to write about, like my cousin Suong getting engaged recently and that her engagement party is scheduled for this August. Can I tell you how out in left field this is? At least to me? She was just talking about meeting him for the first time and suddenly they're on the fast track to marriage. Crazy kids and desire to shackle themselves down to a life of monogamy. I haven't ever met this guy so I hope he's nice but in more selfish news it'll fun to have a wedding in the family. A traditional Viet wedding at that. I've already been tempted by talk of a whole crispy roasted pig at this engagement so I'm practically salivating at the thought of a 10 course dinner reception.

Nevermind the fact that my cousin looks like she's 10 years old and will make the most adorable little childbride you ever saw. It'll be fun teasing her for the next year or so. People give me a hard time about my weight but to put it into perspective she's at least 3 sizes smaller than I am. I got her a double zero dress and we still had to have it sent to a seamstress to be taken in and hemmed. If I ever feel bad about my chicken legs and protruding collarbone I need only to look at her and I suddenly feel rather voluptuous and meaty.

In food news I'm trying to pack on a few lbs so I'm not in that ugly "underweight" portion of the BMI and my doctor doesn't have even more reason to tsk tsk me. That's meant eating something for breakfast everyday (even weekends) and lunch everyday and dinner everyday. It blows my mind but since I'm up at 7 every morning anyway to take care of the Roni I may as well take care of myself. It sounds ridiculous but I haven't had 3 meals a day since...I don't know. That one time I stupidly signed up for a full course load only on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I could have four day weekends every weekend? And that was only because I'd faint from exhaustion if I went from 8am to 6:30pm without breakfast and lunch to fuel me through running around in circles on a gigantic campus. V8 mixed with Tabasco and a bagel with cream cheese AND honey. That was one of my favorite grab 'n go meals as gross as it sounds.

Makes me want to run out and get some V8.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Puppies, Babies, Weddings and Beirut

Clearly I spoke to soon. Takesies backsies anyone?

Lex and Mike eloped this Saturday at Wickham Park on what would have been their planned wedding date anyway. It was very last minute even though they had originally planned to be wed on that day and they've been engaged well over a year but all the most important people seemed happy, albeit rather harried. Since Amanda's been in town anyway I've kind of used her as my go between with Lex and this whole wedding because to be rather honest I thought Alexis fell off the face of the earth and hated me for some confusingly unknown reason. I'm not saying I'm perfect but I try really hard to be empathetic. Rather than bother her about it I just preferred to not push the issue any further. Getting married, or not getting married or eloping is a pretty stressful thing without dealing explaining it to every Tom Dick and Harry. Because through the 1+year of plotting this wedding it's shrunk from a 300+ guest event to a 50 person event to a 30 someodd person event to an elopement with slightly over a dozen attendees. I can only imagine that trying to explain to one of the people who thought they'd be invited when the wedding was 300+ that hey, plans have changed is a rather challenging and daunting task.

Long story short I did attend the elopement in my pre purchased bridemaid dress (everyone else was wearing theirs anyway) but I did not attend the following dinner because I had a dozen cars at my house and a large number of guests I was being a terrible hostess for so I had to return. We were hosting our 2010 Family Beirut and naturally it was the only day that I had so much happening all at once. And it was raining so the old adage that "when it rains it pours" was very apt. But it was a great, fast rain-free ceremony. By some chance the rain held for them and some photos and one of the guests kept insisting I looked like I could be the sister of someone they knew so they asked repeatedly to take pictures of me as I guess proof of this. It was very cute.

I was exhausted. I am exhausted. I'd like to sleep for like, a month. I didn't win Beirut of course but Trevor did very well. He got all the way up to 2nd place through determination and a lot of online game playing in his spare time to sharpen his hand-eye coordination. But with age means neither of us drinks very much at all anymore so unfortunately towards the end I thought he was going to fall over unconscious but he roughed it out and is perfectly fine today. I'm happy to hostess because I love feeding a crowd but man is it hard to do when you have to juggle so much and when the weather sours and everyone's inside your house and your dog is insane from all the attention and hoping people drop food. I made pasta salad and hand formed hamburger patties and teriyaki chicken skewers and Amanda made deviled eggs and helped generally prep. I purchased a ton of beverages and hot dogs and rolls and chips and hope everyone left full and happy. I had more plans to make more things but ran out of time since Trevor insisted on finishing up the bathroom renovations and would not stop badgering me to help so guests had more than one toilet to utilize. To be blunt I don't think they cared too much either way but that it mattered much more to Trevor to have a semi-completed project to show as proof of the progress of the house.

Like he wanted me to weed the garden box outside the door. Insisted it would take like an hour. Well, realistically it took like a day because every weed in there has roots like a MOTHER and it takes forever to locate and dig and pull them out. I'm not a gardener either. I have no idea what I'm doing except that I'm digging and I'm pulling and whatever I'm pulling needs to be disposed of. Also my best friend is in town from New Mexico for the first time in like 9 months and she's only available for a few days so the minuscule amount of time she's around I'd rather spend it with her instead of in a box full of bugs and poison ivy for 2 days so I was already on edge without him being a slave driver about the whole issue. It'll get done...really it will. Perhaps not before you can show it off to your family but eventually. We've already worked ourselves to the bone. I don't know how much more to give before having a full on physical and mental breakdown.

I guess I have a very lackadaisical attitude about it but the house has been standing for over 100 years. I don't think a few more weeks of being in construction zone mode is that big of a deal. Kind of a drop in the bucket, right?

In puppy news our fuzz baby is doing much better with his house training and generally acting like a dog. He's bigger and bigger and yet I insist on holding him like a baby. I love how frisky he's been and I love that he's still a big sweetheart who likes to rest on top of my feet and be nearby me. Sure it's inconveniencing when every time I move to get up he bolts awake so instead of getting anything done I'm resigned to be his pillow, but it's nice to be loved. When you're so tired it's the little things that you get you through the day.

At family Beirut I met Avery for the first time and held her. I must be brainwashed because the only baby I'm around is Kim's Ty-Ty and he's 7 months old so in comparison Avery's a little peanut even if she is like 10lbs and in newborn language that's huge. If she were any tinier though I'd be concerned about holding her. I vaguely remember feeling the same about Tyler when he was first born too. The only other other baby I'm around is like 30 lbs and a dog with nails and teeth that like to dig into me so it's light as a feather picking up these other kids. I'd carry them around all day no problem.

Monday, May 31, 2010


Today has been amazing.

I feel utterly revitalized and everything that was bothering me has melted away into a puddle of inconsequential goo.

We went kayaking down part of the Farmington River today with the Pup. He wasn't terribly pleased but he was significantly happier when his butt wasn't sitting in standing water. He is a great water lover but seemed very confused about the current pushing at him and feeling out of control of where he'd end up. I don't much blame him but the poor dear was crying an awful lot. The weather, however? Beautiful. Sunny and warm but not hot and the water was refreshing. And the scenery was stunning even though it was right down in my own hometown it looked so much more special.

It was like seeing the world from a different perspective and I needed that. I really did. I just felt so terribly downtrodden. And I typically hate physical activity. I feel like that's all we ever do between chores and the house and puppy but this was a nice respite from the norm and I still got to spend time with two of my favorite guys.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Squares of Insanity

I guess I should just say it because I've been ignoring it for months. Lex's wedding has been postponed so, unfortunately no wedding this June. No rush of getting your hair done that morning. No pretty dresses to wear. No tiny favors to wrap. Because the underlying reason for this postponement are hers and hers alone there's not a lot to expound upon except to say that if you have any reservations in your mind about what you're doing then you're absolutely doing the right thing to push the pause button and if anyone judges you for it then they're not a terribly understanding friend or aunt or whatever. It's a huge decision to make and not one that you take lightly after over a year of being engaged in the first place.

Moving on to a different subject, Amanda's still coming to town and I hear Cathy's coming into town as well, so I am elated that I have friends that will be in the area even if they're schedules are busy with seeing everyone else who has missed them all of these months. Cathy, like Kim, has a small child so I don't genuinely expect that she'll be out gallivanting late every night she's in town but I have already committed Amanda to squeezing some time for me, for cooking and a great big hug.

And it's about that time again for the Family Beirut tournament so we'll be hosting the grand event. I'd have reservations about this except that everyone's already seen the house in absolute shambles so the fact that it's slightly improved now will only prove to be a vastly superior to the previous times our family members have seen it. The reservations I have are mostly that our bathrooms are in pieces. The only bathroom that is fully utilizable is the watercloset on the first floor. The rest have bits and pieces that function and then gaping wholes where things are missing and while I've somehow managed to be okay with that, I think it's a bit unnerving for guests to need a roadmap of which bathroom to use depending on what they have to do.

At least it's family, right? They can't judge us too much. Clearly it's been a work-in-progress from the very beginning. And once the bathrooms are updated and the tiles are in for them and the kitchen? It'll be actually functional. Sure it may need some more paint here and some more sanding there and some serious doggy deodorizing but that's going to be the rest of our lives anyway.

My parents have been in their house for years and the list of improvements never stops.

The latest is the kitchen tiles because of course we had to go and pick a natural stone on sale and of course now we're obliged to go through each and every square and inspect it to make sure it's "good" not cracked, the right color composition and the right texture because natural products are not uniform. By nature of being made by mother earth they have serious inconsistencies that, while beautiful, it may not be cohesive to have a gigantic white quartz splotch in the middle of your walkway. So yeah, fun times standing lifting and inspecting hundreds of tiles. Literally. I've probably held on to 400 tiles and each one is a gajillion pounds.

Clearly people choose easier things than this. You don't have to manually inspect each tile if it's a manmade from a mold somewhere in China and quality inspected anyway.

I guess we're secretly masochists.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Shiny Speckled Counters as far as the eye can see

Somebody finally has a beautiful granite kitchen countertop.
But somebody is not sharing any pictures of it because she'd rather have folks come see it when we finally get the housewarming together.

Yes we are planning to have something this summer. I think the constant work we've been putting into the house has made it easy to become hermits. And now that we have a dog who needs human interaction? The pup loves us despite unwashed hair and bad social skills.

Kidding aside, I love this dog but he is waring on my last nerves with the biting. Hardly a day passes where he doesn't break the skin and I'm wiping blood from my arm or hand. Seriously. My arms are a weird roadmap of scratches and nibbles. Between eying his poops and cleaning up wounds I'm really beyond exhausted. I love him but it's been something that wears on you.

The bones have not come out. Repeat. The bones he ate like a MONTH ago have not come out. The vet says that if he's pooping regularly and happy and frisky then chances are he's going to slowly dissolve it with his stomach acid. This is probably way too much information, but I cannot express the guilt I'd feel if my pup died because of a lodged bone. The horrible horrible guilt. So we have to keep an eye on him just in case it's giving him any issues because a big bone could seriously pierce THROUGH his stomach or his intestines and that's not a good time for anyone. Other than that? He's healthy and happy as can be which is good because if he was sickly I'm pretty sure I'd blame myself somehow and make myself feel more stressed out and sickly than I already do.

Not that I'm throwing myself a pity party. Plenty of folks have it worse off than me...I just want a break for like a morning where I'm not worried about him peeing in his crate because I slept in. I can't sleep in for fear he's going to explode into little doggy pee-pee shrapnel bits. He's a boy...it could happen.

In non puppy non house news (and dude I would do anything for non house news right about now) Susan had her baby girl, Avery and now there's a tiny new member of the family. Well, perhaps not so tiny because she was a bruising 9lb 1oz but nonetheless, she is new and Trevor's already met her and I have not so I'm already jealous. But it's not like she's going anywhere, she can't even sit up on her own yet so I have plenty of time to get a snuggle.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Weight of the World

I am ugh..behind in posting.

Have I mentioned I don't believe in owning a scale? Not because I'm overweight. Rather, it's the contrary. I am naturally slim but I have a bit of a streak of obsessive compulsive when it comes to my weight. So in my experience it's better to just not know. Not put the temptation in front of me. Not to have that number scream at evil judgmental thoughts my way.

But my dad asked how much the puppy weighs now. My guestimation is a lot. I carry that little guy around like he's a big sack of sugar. He's such a sweet little cuddle bug and I don't care that he's going to be gigantic one day. Right now he's a puppy and right now I get to hug him and cuddle him. But anyway the point is that dad was curious and asked if he could weigh Roni. Well, sure. Why not?

But you can't get a puppy to sit on a scale, so I had to carry him. Well, long story short the weight of me and the Roni is under 140lbs and I started to immediately panic that I was dying. Of death. Right then and there. I would just fall over from being too frail. This is why I don't own a scale. I go from reasonable to unreasonable in like 0.2 seconds.

Now there's not a lot I can do other than try and pump up my diet with more substantial fare. I'm not anorexic. I'm not bulimic. I'm just stressed out and I can't find the time to eat because my job is stressing me out. I'm grateful to have a job but it's putting a serious dent in my ability to be a healthy human being.

I love to eat. I just don't have time. I have a broken kitchen. I can't even go to the grocery store for more supplies I want because who will keep an eye on the puppy? My husband is climbing all over the place fixing the house. And naturally I'm expected to help fix my house too and I'm just.so.very.tired. I don't want to not help, but I also don't want to die of exhaustion in a sad heap of chicken legs and gangley arms on top of a gigantic pile of leaves out in the yard as my husband yells at me I gave him the wrong screwdriver.

It's a pretty sad way of passing.

Work's been rough for Trevor too but mostly because he's been tasked with hiring for a new position and pretty much everyone's been a gigantic flake. That's my professional opinion of the matter. I realize it's not the most glamorous job of all time but I feel bad that he's had such a big streak of inconsistent employees. And it was only worse when he hired someone we know because they ended up being the worst flake of all and now I will never think of that person as anything other than completely undependable.

I guess it's just best to put a big line in the sand and say no to friends and no to family when it comes to something that has a direct financial undertone. Trevor's job puts food on our table and now he looks like he intentionally hired someone due to nepotism and it underscores his own professionalism. I'm a tad upset about it because people can mess up their own lives and quit jobs in their own time but when it effects us? I am not a happy camper.

It's been a lot of things. A large pile of stress combined with a severely handicapped social network. I don't know what it is but everyone's been bailing on me and strangely enough the only person who's been consistent lately is living in New Mexico and I can't want to see her and prep her guestroom and decompress. I don't blame Kim for being busy though, she's got a kid and she's finally finally going on a vacation. I don't think she's been on a real one in like 6 years. If anyone deserves a trip it's her.

Trevor says he's going to miss all the projects when they're done. I could not disagree more. I can't wait until the bathrooms are finished and I can finally just do my own thing rather than be my husband's gopher. I'd rather shop for furniture and cook in my kitchen and buy curtains any day. And right now? I have no time to do any of that. I can't wait for just one day all to myself.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Mommas and the Puppas

House is coming along. I wish I could tell you I finally had counters but, ya know you get used to whatever you have and I hardly mind the cement board and the wood planks we've been using in the meantime. There's no more visible pink on the first floor. Can I tell you how momentous that is? How much more normal our kitchen looks, even with no tiles on the floor and a ton of junk on top of the cabinetry. This might be how normal people live.

I was reading this article that Nia Vardalos wrote about Mother's Day after finally becoming a mother this year and it nearly broke my heart because although I'm never that person who would ever ever ever assume someone is pregnant without like, a written documentation of the fact and like 3 sonograms I can understand how women have a build in competition. To be the thinnest. To be the most fertile. To be the smartest. To be the most successful...and it's just true of people from all walks of life. Whether you're a celebrity or a little sad peon like myself. You take your own inadequacies and you project them outwards as a snide comment or or mean biting reply and you hope to tear people down so that they're as hate filled as you are.

On a brighter note...hey, MOTHER'S DAY! I treated my mom, dad and Trevor to a Mother's Day feast of scallop and shrimp lasagna rolls with spinach in a homemade cream sauce, a huge mixed greens salad, roasted garlic, store made rolls, deviled eggs and fresh fruit as dessert. I stress the store made rolls part because I made everything else. I even chopped up the pineapple. I was thinking about baking something for dessert but glad I didn't because everyone was so full they hardly ate the strawberries I hulled. Plus my mom hates chocolate and sweets of that nature. She'd always rather have fresh fruit. I wish Trevor's mom could have come but it was sort of an "on the fly" meal I decided on the morning-of. A task that I might add is much harder with a dog that insists on sitting right on top of your feet when you make things in hopes you'll decide to drop some food his way. He even grabbed at some spinach before he realized he didn't like it or actually want any of that green stuff.

I wish I cooked more but it's so hard to pull together with a discombobulated kitchen and the Pup always having little "mistakes". Hopefully come this summer we'll have the ability to pull together a proper housewarming party and we can eat a delicious homemade meal. I need good practice if I genuinely intend on hosting Thanksgiving one day.

I adore this puppy. I know that's really boring reading and I sound like every other crazed pet owner, but...I'm sorry he's glorious. And having him makes me realize that love has no boundaries. Whether your kid is your own flesh or adopted or an entirely different species you can love if it's inside you to share that love.

Happy Mother's day! I hope you have someone to share your love with.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spare Ribs

Roni ate some bbq baby back rib bones...whole.

If that's not enough to give me a heart attack I don't know what is.

To cut to the chase...he's fine. He's as frisky as ever but we have to closely observe him because there's a good chance he'll pass it. But if he doesn't he's going to be rather uncomfortable and verbal about it, so either way we have to stay attentive to him and inspect his poop for bones or blood. What a sexy thought, right?

Because everyone gets a dog to deal with piles and piles of poop.

But he's acting perfectly happy and content so I guess my worries are still unfounded. I was really pissed at Trevor for giving him those bones in the first place but I understand it's not explicitly his fault. Roni was going to eat something whole eventually anyway.

Wanna see our little man? He's huge already and I'm lamenting the loss of puppy but I'm rather proud of what a handsome little fellow he is. But I'll be psyched when he's 100% house trained and I don't have to wake up so darned early to let him out. Trevor gets out of morning duty but in exchange for that he has to work the night shift. Compromise is the root of any good partnership, right? Perhaps one day we'll be entirely on the same schedule again and I'll see more of him beyond him barking mean orders to me all weekend long as we work on the house. I'm not a handiman, okay? I'm just not. I never claimed to be strong or that I know anything about tools but since I'm his partner in life I somehow end up being forced to hold up things and know what he means when he yells the same demand using the same words 3 times in a row getting more frustrated each time before blowing up and doing it himself.

I didn't understand it the first time so yelling the exact same words again in the same order only proves to not clarify anything except that being a jerk comes far too naturally once he's slinging tools. Is it a guy thing? We get along wonderfully otherwise. Or am I way too laid back? It's just a house project. It's hardly as though we're working on the vaccine for cancer.

Since my kitchen is still in pieces I can't report much on the cooking front. I will however admit I got a 2nd hand meat grinder attachment to use with my Kitchenaid mixer and it's fantastic. How did I function before I could grind my own meat? Clearly it was an empty existence to not be able to buy cheap cuts of meat and make my own mix for meatballs, dumplings and burgers at my leisure. I registered for one but never got it. It was the only attachment I wanted too, which I guess is always the case. I'd like a pasta maker attachment to ease my desire for raviolis but that can wait for another time. I'm the only one who's wild about raviolis here anyway but it'd be a nice treat to have some shrimp and crab filled ones with a cream sauce. I've bought into the hype. I love this mixer. I'd like all the attachments now, please.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Who's House? Roni's house.

Puppy motherhood has been interesting. I wish I had a lot to talk about but it's mostly just been a monotonous repetition of the prior day's events.

Wake up way earlier than I should so he can go do his Roni business outside. Take him inside. Prep his breakfast. Watch him eat it and make sure he's being pet and doesn't get overly possessive and aggressive about his food. Play with him for at least 10 minutes or so. Take him out again to relieve himself about half an hour after eating. Take him back in. Make my own coffee. Try to pack something to eat for lunch. Get dressed for work and then my day actually begins and I go on my way to the office.

Then he spends the day with Trevor and I take the pup out again once I get home. By then he's typically exploding with joy to see another one of his humans.

He's extra frisky lately. I don't know what happened to the timid little puppy we got before but he's been replaced with a much more outgoing people friendly dog. I think he's starting to realize this is his home now and there's no reason to be timid when this is his domain and nothing genuinely scary happens here. He loves playing on his back and knows how to sit and stay on command. I'm certain he understands a lot more than he lets on and often sits and stares at me. Trevor and I call it his Jedi Mind Trick. It's like he's trying to communicate to you that he wants to go outside and poop.

House news? Water closet is now reassembled. New tiled floors. Toilet is back in. Vanity is back in. Pipes are all hooked up and operational. Now we just need the light fixture put in.

Kitchen cabinets are lined up and mostly zipped in. No counters. No tiles yet. BUT (and this is a big one) the pink is now gone and replaced with a cream-colored paint.

My sweet sweet Pupperoni is not making it easy to complete these tasks. I am perpetually nervous about him eating paint and sniffing things he shouldn't be and I'm too much of a softie to lock him up in his crate all day. What's the point of having a dog if you keep him isolated all day long? But we're making fantastic headway and the kitchen should be pretty close to done once we actually get all the cabinetry zipped in. Then it's just a matter of getting the granite installed and the tiles laid. The rest from there is all small detail work we can take our time on.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pupperoni's First Week

Pupperoni is settling in fine. He's...eccentric. And not in that puppy way that everyone hears about with the chewing your shoes and eating your homework and pooping on the rug. That's normal puppy stuff.

My Pupperoni's first night was fraught with anxiety. The poor dear hardly moved.

His first day? Mostly spent in his crate. He was just so overwhelmed that I think he felt that if he stayed in his crate at least that was a smaller less crazy start. He did warm up considerably with the addition of very tiny tennis balls that he could fit into his mouth and play with.

His second day he was more like a puppy and less like a cat. He played. He licked. He chased things. And each consecutive day is another step closer to success. My mom already thinks he's a genius, but I guess that's natural for all grandmothers to say. But he can recognize his name and sit on command so it says a lot about him. He knows his puppy parents and he loves us enough to give us many snuggles and licks. He's had a few visitors lately and has been a very nice pup. I hope it helps his socialization to be showered with so many different people and smells and positive experiences.

He's pissed off at the mop and growls at it but he is absolutely shaking frightened by the vacuum. The pup hates the vacuum and will cry and hide in the kitchen far far away from the noise. He loves his toys. He loves laying directly on top of me when he naps so I am immobilized. He is very timid about outside apart from the small bit of yard he's decided is "safe" and every loud car or motorcycle stops him in his tracks.

I get the feeling that being the most passive of 18 puppies likely meant that poor Pupperoni was also likely the most taken advantage of by his more aggressive peers. So being the sole puppy in our house will be good for him to grow and assert his independence. I was a little concerned that having just one dog would mean that our dog would be lonely and starving for companionship but sweet Pupperoni would be dominated by anything. If our fish could jump out of his bowl I'm sure even he would be more of an alpha male than Pupperoni.

He's not half as troublesome as I had prepared myself for. He does chew but he's a baby...he's teething. He doesn't chew excessively, let's put it that way. He hasn't destroyed my sofa or made it a point to chew my shoes to shreds. He does rather enjoy sitting directly on top of my shoes with his head laid out on top of them but I think it's got more to do with the scent of his humans and less to do with destruction.

We've been talking about it ever since we first moved in together way back when, but I would never want to force a puppy to live in an apartment with me. I'd also want to avoid the massive pet deposit I'd likely never see back again. Thankfully we have our house now and Trevor works at home and can take the puppy out at regular intervals and stimulate him. I don't think you're giving a dog a good life if he's alone the vast majority of the day while you work, shop, do chores, etc. and 8+hours every night when you sleep. You wouldn't do that to a baby. At least your kid is stimulated in daycare by other kids and teachers. Your poor dog has nothing better to do all day except destroy all of your beloved possessions and make a gigantic mess to show you he's seriously pissed off.

But all seriousness aside he brings us a lot of joy. My parents came over with their camera yesterday purely to take pictures of their puppy grandchild and coo over how smart he is. Clearly they are ready for grandbabies, STAT. But the furry assortment will just have to work for now because we have a lot on our plate without adding severe nausea and swelling to the picture. It's easy for everyone else to say we should have babies, it's quite another thing to actually be the one carrying that kid around for 9 months. Mom thinks he's a sweetheart. Dad's constantly bribing him with treats so they'll be best friends. It's very cute.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Puppy Time!

Hi Internet, we got a puppy! Wanna meet him?
Isn't he precious?
I know I was concerned about the whole labrador thing but who could say no to that? Or this?(Please ignore the rolls of insulation. DON'T JUDGE ME.)

We've been talking about it for a long time but the opportunity arose today pick him up because he was the very last of his litter and his breeders were rather anxious to give him a home after placing all the rest of his siblings. They described him as their mellow love bug. I was sold. He's rather gigantic for 8 weeks, but he really is a sweetheart. He didn't cry, bark or whimper the whole ride home.

We're working out the name but so far I've been calling him Pupperoni. Because I like it. There's really no amazing story to go with that. I like food names. I was also open to calling him Blanket but Trevor thought it would be creepy to call our dog the same name as the kid Michael Jackson dangled over a balcony. True enough. But really, all the good names in LIFE have already been taken by somebody somewhere.

Pupperoni is currently engaging in some puppy dreams and twitching away on my rug next to my feet. I'm sure he'll be a handful tomorrow but today? He's all tuckered out from all the adventures.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Double Your Stoves, Double Your Fun

House, how's the HOUSE, Kelly?

That's what our families are always asking. If you're tired of house talk, turn away.

Our water closet on the first floor has been though an awful lot. That poor little room. When we first bought the house it had a shower stall and a toilet. Seeing the obvious problem with going to the potty and having to rinse your hands in a shower stall we pulled that shower out and placed it on the 2nd floor (for now) and were living okay with a vanity in it's place. However, like with a lot of things in the house the water closet still needs work and so this past Sunday it got gutted. The toilet and vanity are now in my kitchen (my poor kitchen) and Trevor's been working on fixing the wall there to be more sound proof. It's one of the very few walls through which we can hear our tenants. Otherwise the house is so massive that I can't even tell when they're home. I covered up the pink paint (yay!) and we've bought new tile to lay on the floor in lieu of the cruddy vinyl they had down which was peeling up anyway. And Trevor is working on routing the trim so it matches what's hanging around the rest of the house. Once the mudding on the drywall is all done I anticipate having to bust out the paintbrush again, but at least we're like 90% done with this horrible hot pepto pink.

The kitchen is still in a really sorry state and I can't possibly host Easter with a toilet in the middle of my kitchen. Kind of not a good impression to make on guests who hope I'm feeding them non-poisonous food. But things have been ordered. We'll have a beautiful kitchen yet! It just takes like 3-4 weeks to get the cabinetry and then of course the countertop and picking out our slab.

Once the water closet is done then it's probably on to the 2nd floor bathroom. That'll be another big project but after THAT? Then I think it'll be smooth sailing.

For anyone worried about my eating habits now that we have two functional stoves we've been eating...and WELL. I got us lobster and pate and bread and we had a good time making a decadent mess. Yesterday I made some box-dark chocolate cupcakes and although the pan wanted to slide out because the floor is not level beneath it...my cupcakes came out evenly. And the ones with cream cheese filling? Even better. I had leftover cream cheese from a stuffed french toast experiment over the weekend so I put little dollops in the cupcake tins.

Cream cheese plus seedless raspberry jam with a touch of sugar whipped together smeared between pieces of french toast served with maple syrup. And mushroom onion cheddar cheese quesadillas on the griddle for Trevor as a snack. And yes, I consider that a snack and not an actual meal. Yesterday we had pizza with spinach, mushrooms, onion, scallops and pesto and extra virgin olive oil drizzle.

So the ovens have been really fun thus far. I can make a ton of things all at once, but a few of the elements are different and I have to get used to managing the flow of gas to get the right heat. I have almost burned myself a few times from not realizing how hot the handles of my pots get but I haven't melted or burned anything yet. Given that Trevor will bark at me to help him IMMEDIATELY when I'm right in the middle of cooking something it makes me very nervous to be away from a rumbling stove.

I need to take pictures of the progress. I know. I need to have more pictures of me too, I know. I'm in this weird growing out phase with my hair so I'm not feeling in peak form. I really need a trim to clean it up and rough up my hair into layers, but meh. I go into work with paint on my hands and have been told I've "got a little speck of something right....there" more than I'd like from all my after-work painting. I won't be too surprised if I get pulled aside and lectured on taking better care of myself and projecting a more businesslike appearance. Exhausted part-time painter and handiwoman with broken ragged nails covered in paint splotches. What a model employee I am.

Joking aside, I think of this is a training period because I can't even get pity from coworkers because 99% of my coworkers have kids and live in a perpetual state of sleep deprivation.

So this is what it's like to hardly function.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Random Scoop....on Poop

As you may have already noticed, I have really random luck. Not particularly "good" or "bad"...just random.

Like, that $100 gift card a few months ago.

Like constantly getting hit by other drivers in my car and it not being my fault and my car perpetually being in the shop. If it was good luck I wouldn't be hit. If it were bad luck, I'd be horribly disfigured and hurt. As it stands I'm perfectly whole and healthy.

And I apparently tapped into some more random luck.

If you haven't already guessed I am a bleeding heart. I don't want to be a crunchy granola chomping hippie but I'll be damned if I don't secretly want to wear all organic clothes and throw away everything I own that's plastic. Dirty Dirty Petrochemicals. As it stands I don't want to shave my legs, but that's another story.

So these hippie tendencies in me tend to make me want to secretly save the world. I don't have a brand name one, but I have a stainless steel water bottle. I also have a not-quite-as-fancy Rubbermaid one that I like mixing up my Crystal Light in because it's way easier to clean. It's really hard to get into the neck of a stainless steel one and that's my #1 reason for not using it more often. If I can't clean it right I don't feel good about drinking out of it. My coffee cup is made of recyclable materials and can be recycled once I am done making my use of it. And I try and use the reuseable grocery bags whenever I can remember and when my groceries aren't too drippy and gross and would end up leaking right through them. (ie: fish, lobster, chicken) I don't make it a point that I'm a little eco-conscious because people who rub it in other people's faces are self absorbed jerks who only want to pat themselves on the back and feel superior. I don't care to feel superior to anyone. In fact I know there are people who are 40 billion times more eco-conscious than me, but it's not a contest. You just do it because you should do it, Period.

Anyway, my point is that part of me likes to read up on random green products. Like gdiapers. Well, of course I throw my name into a sweepstakes and of course, of all the people who could possibly win I won me one of these.

Yeah, diapers. No, I'm not pregnant. Yeah...my husband looked mighty perplexed when the gigantic package came but if you're going to let me try an otherwise slightly expensive item for FREE that happens to help the environment? Why not. I'm all for it. And if the claims are the be 100% believed these gdiapers inserts are flushable, compostable and just plain tossable if you're not in a position to flush them.

Does that not blow your mind? When I was a kid there were only two options. To be a clothie kid and have your diaper held together by safety pins, or to be a disposables kid. And a disposable diaper will sit in a landfill for 500 years. They simply do not decompose well because of all the plastic they use in them to keep your diaper unleaky. And yes, I agree there is nothing grosser than a poopy diaper blow out. Gross.

I'm not above saying that disposables are simply a way of life and it makes things easy and when you're a parent you got to do what you got to do to survive. I'm not going to play sanctimonious jerk because I don't even have a kid. What do I know? Nothing. You're always going to run into a situation where you are on the road and you cannot possibly use anything else. But I also think that it's worth trying out alternatives and seeing if they'd fit into your lifestyle too. Like, I didn't think reusable grocery bags where a particularly good idea and then I grew to like them. At first I thought "why would I pay for something when they give it away for free? They just GIVE away free bags. Where is the incentive? I don't understand what the appeal is." But now I think they're less likely to bottom out and the handles are much stronger for heavy purchases like gallons of milk and tubs of detergent. They hold way more groceries per bag and the handles don't hurt my tender girlish hands. It takes me minimal effort to bring in the bags to the store and now that I have some I don't really need more. I always liked to recycle the plastic baggies anyway, but then it saves me the effort of recycling them because I don't have a big pile of them to bring to be recycled.

So I can't give you a full diaper report yet, but if this whole gdiaper thing is just as minimally invasive as the reusable grocery bag thing I'm sold. I'm willing to change my perception of what is "normal" consumer behavior if it actually ends up being a superior product.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Giving the Razor the Stink Eye

I've been teeter tottering between how to approach this subject without sounding really weird or racy. It's not racy at all.

But if you happen to know me you might know that I hate shaving. I just hate it. I can't stand the stumble, I can't stand the repetitive regularity that you have to do it. I can't imagine being 90 and leaning over trying to shave my legs. I'll just tell you now that it just isn't going to happen. I'll just be that really hairy 90 year old, thanks.

Despite my ire, I don't want to be that random weirdo with hairy man-legs. Not that I have anything against it, but the social stigma is too much for me. So I actually find a lot of interest in hair removal alternatives beyond the razor.

My favorite for a while was the Nair Sugar wax system, which I guess I'd liken to cheaper Nad's. If you were alive in the 90's you are all too familiar with the infomercials that Nads made. Oh Nads. What a wonderfully colorful name. But sugar wax is kind of like wiping caramel on you. It's really sticky and it gets everywhere and if you don't close up your tub correctly you have sugar crystals everywhere to deal with. Ick.

I've tried a few others since I think Nair discontinued my favorite kind in the tub. Everything good always gets discontinued. Anyway...so lately I've been making due with whatever Sally Hansen product catches my eye in the aisle of my local drugstore. I'm not crazy about it but it works fine. Mostly I have difficulty reopening the packages after I've used them once because they will seal themselves shut with their sticky contents never to be reopened again.

And I've already regaled you with my tales of threading.

Now? I'm going to have to tell you my epilator story. In case you don't know what that is, please click here. Now that you've been sufficiently scared by the close up of the head I can tell you I got curious and I got my hands on one for VERY cheap. Like I've bought cold medicine for more money. Bargain hunting aside, I was really nervous about 42 pinching metal pieces ripping out my hair at the root. Even though I have pretty much no feeling in my legs anyway, I'm still a bit intimidated about that kind of hardware so close to my tender flesh. What if it pinched my skin and made me bleed and I looked like I had some horrible rash? And because I got one for so cheap if it would just be junk and I'd regret not shelling out $100.

I will not keep you in suspense forever. The epilator did not rip my legs apart. In fact it didn't feel like much of anything, but I do preface this by saying the nerves in my legs are all dulled to such pain after so many years (YEARS!) of waxing them into submission. It hurt significantly less than waxing but I do think it would probably hurt like crazy if you had never even endeavored in a wax before. On the hurt scale, it's pretty mild.

I like it. I might be a permanent convert now, I'm THAT sold on it. No one even paid me off for this glowing recommendation.

Update: I tried it on not-my-legs and it was awful. Not so much I'd never do it again but I'd liken it to being pricked with a needle repeatedly. Like, really really repeatedly. If you're okay with being wildly stabbed with needles than I suppose it wouldn't be an issue to try it out. You may want to pop an aspirin before you start to preemptively hedge your bets.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Have paint will travel

Lex asked for another post so here it goes.

Apart from the mild euphoria of squeezing into those jeans and losing all feeling in my legs and slightly bruising my hips (which by the way, do not whither away as quickly as I do) it's been more of the usual. Weekends spent at Lowe's. Looking at granite slabs. Looking at cabinet swatches. Feeling generally nauseous about the cost. Ya know. The usual.

I'm a little confused about this granite versus marble thing because I've had laminate or tile in my other kitchens and it's been fine. I think it looks cool, and I'm kind of excited about the prospect of having a cold surface for chocolate tempering and dough rolling but otherwise? I just wish for a kitchen that works. My needs are pretty modest. I don't even need a funky back splash or granite light switch covers or a tin ceiling or built in bar sinks or anything.

Other than that I've been painting things, mudding up holes and generally sore from standing precariously on top of a ladder with my arms up over my head. Going in to work with paint in between my nails and spots under my neck. How embarrassing. But you can't get into all the corners of your built-in cabinet without crawling around upside-downy and dripping paint on yourself. At least I can't. Upside down painting kills me. I can't avoid looking like a mess. The prior owners were lazy painters though and didn't go all the way into the corners and they did not go all the way into each crevice of the molding. What jerks. First they stick me with hot pepto pink walls and then they can't even paint correctly.

I'm a tired lady but I'm looking forward to Lex's wedding. I figure by then I am owed a break from painting and will likely take at least a week off. The planning is fun and I'm excited about seeing the girls and being all together again. I miss Amanda terribly. Who else appreciates my Boston Creme Cupcakes as much as she does? Perhaps nobody. Speaking of food related projects, Trevor seems to have faith in me being able to make fancy apples for Lex's favors. I generally have faith in me too, even though I broke my candy thermometer during the move. If she actually wants me to do it, I would. I'd need to many more cookie sheets to hold all the apples on but I dipped like 500 chocolate pretzels for my own wedding so I think 40 apples is a cake walk.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Just one for mankind seems like plenty

I'm going to tempt fate for a hot second and tell you something you totally don't want to hear.

I squeezed into those zero jeans! It's not in the slightest bit comfortable but I wriggled, zipped and buttoned up those 7s. My butt kind of looks like that model's too...really flat, but whatever. I accept that as an unfortunate side effect of being thinner than usual. That fat's gotta come from somewhere, right? In about 8 hours I'm likely to just slightly too bloated for them, but for now? VICTORY.

And designer jean victory, she is sweet.

(I probably just made 39049090 enemies right there, but hey the recipe for such success is packing up a house worth of stuff, going up and down eleventeen billion steps from your 3rd floor apartment, not eating the meals you want to eat when you want to eat them and generally being overworked and underpaid. Easy, right?)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Babysitting has got to be good practice for something

Usually I'm not very timely with my posts but just in case you had your hand on the trigger waiting to call DCF, babysitting was rather successful in that it was totally uneventful. Kim's baby is perhaps the most laid back a child can be without the aid of say, anesthesia. He let everyone hold him and didn't seem in the slightest bit concerned that we were all strangers that smelled different than his momma and made weird faces that him and repeatedly tried to eat his tiny feet.

Kim finally saw the house, and if she were slightly closer and didn't have, oh ya know, a small infant to take care of I imagine she'd love helping out painting, decorating and generally taking advantage of my shiny new appliances. Obviously I'd love help. I can't do all this myself, after all, but she's got different priorities than the rest of us do because of the baby and I'm totally understanding that he's the number one on her list. In fact, if he wasn't her number one priority I'd be a little worried. But she's taken to motherhood like a fish to water, which she admits is even a surprise to her.

Number one on my list is a varying thing, but right now it tends to be associated with the house. Curtains. Cabinetry for the kitchen. Bathrooms that look like proper bathrooms with actual tiled floors. Painting a TON of stuff. Guest room furniture and bedding. The list just keeps on expanding each day.

Naturally the next thing anyone asks about is baby. I know. Everyone sees us in this big giant house and then wonders when we'll fill it with the pitter patter of tiny feet. Well, maybe sooner rather than later but not in the way you'd first anticipate.

We're in the market for a puppy.

And my friend Stephanie bellows "nooooooooo don't do it!" from where ever she is right now, but I think it'd be nice to have a pet. I've never really had a proper pet and having a puppy kind of forces you to get your rear outside. And I know short walks don't seem like a lot but they are when you're a sedentary soul like myself. It'll be good to be forced to get OUT.

Now the problem of course is that we don't entirely agree on puppy breed. Like it could POSSIBLY be that easy. Trevor wants a Labrador Retriever only. His list of approved dogs is pretty short. Just the one because he loved his previous pet a great deal and wants another. But I'm more open to the idea of a medium to small dog of mysterious mutt-like breed because while I love love loved Trevor's old dog it was a rather big task to transport a full sized lab around with us in our tiny little cars. And bigger dogs, although very very sweet natured, tend to create bigger bills because they need bigger everything. Bigger crate, more food, large vet bills...you name it. And that's a big responsibility. We have enough bills as it stands without adding in a whole other (albeit fuzzier) mouth to feed. Trevor was mightily tempted to buy a puppy a few weeks ago when we were eying them in Manchester. I was pretty fond of the little red dachshund she puppy and Trevor was in love with the little red boy lab puppy.

You're probably wondering why we don't start smaller, but we actually do have a pet. We have a fish. A stray fish nonetheless. And YES you can have a stray fish. You can have one when the previous tenants in the unit you were living in left their fish behind in a fruit bowl and clearly had no intention whatsoever of coming back from him. It's not like he was old, or had serious medical issues, or was a huge burden to have around. He's a fish. You don't even have to take him on walks or pet him or really do anything.

And yes he's still alive. And he's rather funny. I think he's so old he doesn't have a ton of vigor still left in him so he just floats around a lot and makes Trevor think he's dead but then magically reanimates. And attacks your finger. It's like his version of playing catch. Clearly this is fantastic practice for a puppy right?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Save the children

So complaining about my life and my house not-withstanding, how are things?

I'm endeavoring on babysitting my friend Kim's kid tomorrow. Wish me luck. I hope not to inadvertently scar him for life. But since he's only like 4 months old he won't remember any of it (thankfully). I joke that I hope baby doesn't hate me, but in all seriously I hope he doesn't because I'll feel like a world class failure at life and that I will never be cut out to produce offspring and my poor husband will have to deal with me whining about how my sub-par mothering will result in crazed emotionally unstable children with bad hygiene.

Joking aside (and yes that was my version of joking) I'm sure it'll be fine. It's not like I'm babysitting for like 12 hours. I'm more or less holding her kid for like 2 hours and then she'll be back from her long awaited pampering since I chipped in for a massage for her in like October and I gave her a salon giftcard for a haircut shortly after bebe TyTy's arrival into the world. Because buying a gift for the baby was way too obvious I thought it was much better to gift something to his mama. If I can't survive a few hours, even if the kid is wailing at me the entire time, that's pretty pathetic.

Speaking of babies, Susan's is getting closer to being cooked. Her baby shower is scheduled for like a month or two from now. I'm not sure what to do about that one but I have plenty of time to acquire a sufficient gift. I've been a little lazy with gifting because the house is eating all of my money away, and because I have no time or energy to wander about and look for thoughtful and endearing gifts. Not like it takes a lot to incite some ooohs and ahhhs at a baby shower. Pick something very very very tiny and someone's going to think it's cute. Tiny socks. Tiny hats. Itty bitty hair clips. It's all good.

Right now my biggest project is curtains. Lots and lots of curtains. It's really no joking matter. I have 11 windows just in the great room alone. And I'm a fan of patterned curtains over sheer panels. So of course it's rather an interesting endeavor trying to find some we mutually agree not to hate, and then hoping the store has enough of them available so our room doesn't look like a hodge podge of found items. And that's just ONE room. I have a whole house riddled with windows to slowly bankrupt me.

My hope is by summertime that it'll look a lot less disconnected. At this rate we're not likely to have anything ready for Easter, but it'd be nice to throw a BBQ when things warm up. I really do want to entertain and do something.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Roughing It

Updates? I have a fridge. No ranges because they didn't fit into the 60" spot they're meant to be in and Trevor had to unfortunately refuse delivery. The description listed one size and when the came? Surprise, too big. I had my heart set on finally being able to cook something. We ordered replacements from the store's direct competitor...ya know, because that's the right thing to do to really stick it to (insert air quote gesture here) The Man.

I have a new kitchen sink faucet because the last one was broken and although it would dispense water would do so only at one super fast velocity and it would splash everywhere all over the entire counter and you. I'm happy I no longer leave the sink soaked from head to toe.

We have a number of rugs now after much argument with Trevor about how I think it's pointless to have beautiful wood floors if you insist on covering every single last square inch with rugs. He's of the mind that we need them to protect that floor from heavy foot traffic and keep our feet warm. I'm of the mind there's nothing worth protecting if no one ever sees it and if you're cold you need to seriously consider more layers of socks and slippers because no rug is going to keep your tootsies warm for more than a second.

Thankfully we have a microwave combo thing that Aunt Deborah got us as a bridal shower gift so we're not entirely sitting around cooking beans in a can over a flame from a burning trash barrel, but it's kind of sad seeing this glorious stainless steel french door refrigerator and then vast emptiness all around it. Also? I think our neighbors must think we're super eccentric. We have some seriously random furniture, window coverings and appliances right now. I will admit that Trevor is using a garbage liner in one spot because he got so desperate to have the light not blind him mid-day.

It's funny that we even have stainless appliances because I think they're terribly overrated. Like, it's nice from a distance but if you actually cook in your kitchen you'll notice fingerprints all over the place within about 2 seconds. And if you wipe them the wrong way you scratch the surface thus ruining that glossy sheen. And as the kitchen person I'm inevitably going to be the one wiping all these surfaces.

I love my husband and I don't intend to make it sound like he doesn't clean. He does a LOT of manual labor for the houses but when it comes to cleaning he gives me this look and says "oh we should clean that" and what that honestly translates into is "oh you should clean that because I'm going to lift heavy stuff and you don't want to do that do you?" And the honest response is no. I don't want to lift a heavy thing from the basement to the 3rd floor but despite my not doing the equivalent in physical labor, I'm still doing work and I do not appreciate your tone because you're making me feel like your maid instead of your wife. And thus goes the ongoing battle between men and women because I'm never going to be as strong as you are. I'm just not; I'm not built that way BUT I still want to be considered your equal.

I make it sound horrible but it's not. I'm just making an example of it because projects like this house will be the death of your relationship if you let them because you're so physically spent and inevitably you're growing more and more financially spent as you continue spending money on your big grand project. And equality is such a big thing for us in many of the other aspects of our lives that the obvious physical discrepancy suddenly pushes itself to the surface. I guess I'll add that to the THINGS I DIDN'T KNOW BEFORE I GOT MARRIED list. Home Improvement may be dangerous to your relationship.

So, while I am not starving to death (at least not yet) I think I have to admit that living without a range or oven is seriously putting a cramp in my style. So I borrowed a hot plate from my parents because my mom has a ton of random appliances. In case you live under a rock, a hot plate is a portable cooking device; mine looks just like the spiral heating element from an electric range but it's singular. The downside of a hot plate is that if you are a vigorous chef you'll find the entire thing will move. So instead of just moving your frying pan you'll find you've moved the entire frying pan and also the hot, dangerous heating element below it. Now I understand why they ban these things in college dorms.

It's been a lifesaver even though I secretly hate it. This might be the very antithesis of the Viking range of my dreams. A single electric burner that takes like 20 minutes to heat up. I guess it's only slightly better than living off of microwave pizzas and tv dinners. I always kind of run past that freezer area full of Lean Cuisines in the grocery store. The pictures are deceptive and the food inside is never ever as pretty.

Living in this house right now is kind of like glamorous camping. Especially the part where I don't know where half my belongings are hidden. I only just found a box with most of my socks a few days ago. Before then I was totally stealing them from Trevor.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A House is not a Home without You

We got the house. Finally.

The problem with that is that I've been so busy packing, cleaning, painting, unpacking, reorganizing and buying stuff that I've become terribly unsociable and grumpy and tired and generally unlikeable.

But after working 8 hour+ days at work, running to our multi, changing, throwing together some boxes, running them all down 3 floors, packing up my car, driving to the new house, unloading those boxes from my car and then painting, cleaning and generally tiring myself out until about 10pm when we go back to the multi, shower, sleep on an air mattress because all of our other furniture is at the new house and repeat. I know, I know, I signed myself up to this. But it's really exhausting and to describe it would be pointless because it's just a haze.

My mom's been worried about my constant g0, go, go and thinks I'm making myself sick. She doesn't even know I've been skipping lunch, consuming nothing but coffee all day long and then gobbling down sandwiches or whatever other garbage for dinner so I don't pass out from lack of nutrients. I didn't even TELL her and she apparently knows. It must be some kind of mom intuition. She can read me like a book. On the bright side? Maybe one day I'll wiggle into those size zero jeans before I keel over and die.

But we accomplished a lot. The floors on the first floor were sanded and poly-ed (by professionals). Plumbers came in and moved the shower on the first floor to the second floor. The jacuzzi on the second floor to the third floor. And they hooked up the gas line in preparation for my new gas ranges. (Which have not been delivered yet due to some snow related delays.) Trevor, my dad and Devin worked off and on, on the floor in the side-apartment of the new house. Carpet folks came in and redid the upstairs of the side-apartment. Kelly scrubbed a lot of shower stalls from a green moldly color back to their original white and swept and mopped a lot of dust bunny ridden floor. Many trips were made to Home Depot. And we covered the hideous pepto pink in The Great Room with a slightly less hideous yellow that I thought would be more gold but surprised me by being rather vividly yellow. It makes the room look sunny so I can't complain too much.

The house? Well, I have a hard time describing it without sounding like a pompous weirdo. In fact, when my husband describes it I almost want to flinch in embarrassment because it's really not that special and it's not that extraordinary. It's just really, really big and it's previous owners were apparently related to Liberace because they had a serious hard-on for chandeliers. I've possibly never seen more chandeliers in one place than I have in my own home. It's a little strange to think I'm that person because we just happened to fall into this house at a good time. It's not like we desperately needed another home under our belt.

And in a way I'm a little ashamed that we've done all this because I'm sure it must incite a flicker of jealousy. I don't think anyone should be jealous of us because we're breaking our backs working on this place and we'll probably be sacrificing every weekend for the next few years renovating, cleaning, moving furniture around...etc. Obviously we've already started playing musical bathrooms moving around tubs and shower stalls. It's a heck of a lot of physical labor. We're not rich enough to just hire contractors to do it all for us either. This is very much a labor of love. We didn't even have money for real movers like Trevor originally promised because the actual house and all the things we needed to purchase ate up the moving funds. The Boston contingent of our family came and helped move big furniture Trevor thankfully did not expect me to help him move. My mom and dad and bonus mom came to paint. Most of the time it's just me and Trevor but I'm rather happy to see the outpouring of familial support. It makes me feel like this is a family's home. It's not just a box that we happen to reside in, it's a place people actually want to come together.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Zombified but still Alive

Work has totally eaten up all my time. I even went into work on Saturday for a few hours to kick out some work that I knew I'd never get to complete otherwise. I feel awful because I want to have a good work/life ratio where I actually, like...live. Like, a LIFE.

So with that said I don't want to stress any more about it than I already do when I wake up at 5am stressed out about how I should load XYZ file as soon as I get in the office Monday.

I roll my eyes just listening to myself. It's so uninteresting but I'm drained and I'm a horrible updater as a result. I'm also a horribly inconsistent chef and my husband has on, more than one occasion, been left eating olives and crackers because there is nothing pre-made for him. I'd feel bad, but if he wanted to he could always fry up some eggs and toast but he is not that person. He's more of a "if there is nothing I can reheat in the microwave there is nothing to eat" fellow. I think he'd rather resort to eating all the pickles and drinking all the milk before venturing to pull out a frying pan.

I'm been racking my brain trying to think of easy food to make, but that would require going to the grocery store and getting appropriate ingredients. Normally I wouldn't mind it, but since we're perpetually on the fence of moving due to this house thing I don't want to buy more food if I can avoid it. In fact I've been trying to find ways to squeeze beans, salsa, tomato sauce and pasta into everything.

In other news, since I've been promoted up to Matron of Honor (MoH) by my friend Lex. I'm trying to rally the troops and make a bachelorette gameplan. So far we're throwing around some really fun ideas. I think it's a good mental distraction from my own life to refocus and think about someone else and something positive I can do. Sometimes when you feel powerless and confused in our own life you just got to keep moving, keep going, and refocus on something you do have control over.

Since she's a reader I'm not going to spoil my plans by sharing them with the internets but I will admit that I'm a little neurotic in that her wedding isn't until June and I have a ton of time left to get all the girls on one page. I certainly don't want to plan on say, taking a group of balding guys to the salon. Or taking vegetarians to a BBQ joint. You gotta play to your audience.

Due to some unforeseen circumstances, Alexis's is the only wedding on my schedule for 2010 and I want it to be amazing for her. Particularly because I know that they aren't in a position to throw money around, I want to give her something excessively special...if that's even a thing. EXCESSIVELY special. Not just that I bought her an expensive gift. Anybody with a credit card can do that. Having a supportive system of friends looking out for you, keeping you happy and playing interference when Uncle Larry is behaving a little extra grabby is priceless. It's better than a million Dyson vacumes.

So while I'm painfully stressed out, anxious, and stretched thin I do find pleasure in the little things. I have to. I couldn't make it through the day otherwise.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Call me up on your video phone

News? Ugh, nothing good, so I'll just say things have been happening but most of them not-so-much things I want to talk about because I totally believe in jinxing things.

For example? My husband went to NYC for a business day-trip. He got there just fine. Hopped on the Amtrak and was at the conference hall just fine. He insisted on taking my phone because mine is a normal cell phone. I told him he should then give me his for the days "just in case" and he brushed me off. I know when he's listening to me and taking me seriously and I know when he totally doesn't think what I'm saying has merit; this was one of those times. He didn't think it was a big deal and I'd be fine without a phone for one day. And I am the first to admit that I am not a phone person, and often forget the darned thing or keep it on vibrate.

Well, inevitably things go wrong. He misses the last train from NYC to our town. He'd have to take a train to New Haven. I'd have to go pick him up. Okay, okay...I can do that. I hate driving and I hate it moreso in a broken crashed up car but I'm not going to leave my husband stranded. So at around 7pm after a long delirious day at work I drive all the way to New Haven (about an hour away) and then I sit. I wait. I wait some more. Well, unbeknownst to Trevor although he got on the very next train to New Haven it was not an express. It's never an express when you need it to be. So he didn't roll in until around 9:15 and by that time I'd been sitting in a cold car for over an hour freaking myself out about how my husband might have gotten lost, mugged by ninjas or is sitting at some alternative entrance I don't know exists at Union Station even though I had been there once and thought there was only one MAIN entrance.

You can bet I gave him a big "I told you so" about taking both cell phones.

It was mighty satisfying.

So that's kind of the pattern of how our days have been. No one's been hurt. Everyone's healthy. But I'd be lying if I said all these mini-heart attacks make me a sparkling ray of sunshine. I'm a little antisocial. I'm a little irritated. I might think the world is falling apart because the counter is covered in bagel crumbs from my husband not ever wiping it down (it's his thing) and my laundry is growing moss because it's been so long since anyone washed anything PLUS the pile of dishes in the sink has apparently taken all the spoons. No more spoons for ice cream! Now that's just sad.

Thank god I don't take care of any other living things. I don't even have a plant I water. I used to like 3 years ago but after I went on a trip (perhaps Japan?) and left it at the office to die I have since decided to spare things from being tortured by me.

On the bright side? We spent some time with Trevor's Aunt Deborah and Uncle Henry. We ate Korean food. Pretty cupcakes. Yummy popovers. That was amazingly free of mini-heart-attacks.

On another random bright side? Lex upgraded me to Matron of Honor. Makes me feel way old. Like WAY old and my job is to chaparone the young bridesmaids and make sure they get home before curfew. Joking aside, she's already got a Maid of Honor and I'm almost annoying in my desire to be helpful, thoughtful, and courteous. Like I prepare lists of possible reception sites and I gave her a bridal veil and I donated many hundred yards of tulle and brainstorm unreasonably long lists of bridal shower themes.

I am one of THOSE people. I can't help it. I just worked so hard and so long researching things for my own wedding that if I can save you from like, 10 hours of being neurotic I would love to. It's amazing how many hours I spent looking at stuff I'd never normally care about. Anyway, with all the other 'maids out of state/out of country I guess I'm in charge of rallying the troops and at least getting the ball rolling on bachelorette planning. Lex already shot down my idea of a male clown that later turns into a creepy stripper. Now I gotta start right back at the drawing board! (The thoughts that run through my head would probably not be socially acceptable but I have many thoughts and eventually one of the 4293 billion ideas has got to hit the nail on the head and Lex won't shake her head in disgust, shame and mild confusion.)

Here's the problem though; things I think are cool are not bachelorette level cool. ie: I'd love to take a professional cooking class and learn how to make something ridiculously complicated. Something with lots of chopping and dicing and marinating and rolling and using tiny paring knives and exotic ingredients I can hardly pronounce. But that's not cool. And I'd love to host a proper English tea while wearing a gigantic rimmed hat and white gloves while noshing on finger foods and cucumber sandwiches. It'd be a good excuse to buy a beautiful tea set and really cool hat. But that's not cool either.

Clearly as I get older my definition of a good time becomes increasingly questionable. If it were up to me we'd go outlet shopping and then sit around drinking girlie novelty drinks.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ringing in 2010 with a bang

Happy New Year!

Let's start off with the fluffy stuff. Did I make a resolution? Not so much. But I hope to focus our lives in the new house and be much more organized. I can't stand the piles we have floating around now. There's so little space everything is on top of everything and it's a bit discombobulating.

Hand-in-hand with that is to throw away/give away everything we don't actually use. I think we're always have way too much of what we don't use and too little functional furniture or storage. I could use a few dozen less bottles of body fragrance type sprays and a few more shelves.

I spent my NYE with my friend Lex and my husband. It's amazing how increasingly calm each NYE gets. If the world doesn't end in 2012 I entirely anticipate sleeping right through it. I used to be out there in a not at all weather appropriate outfit trying not to be killed by drunk drivers and now I can hardly be bothered with leaving my living room.

In much less fluffy news I got into a small auto-related accident at a 4 way stop. And no, not at all related to NYE. And it doesn't bother me in the slightest that my car is a little mushed. No mechanical damage. No physical-me damage. If truth be told my litany of car issues is almost laughable. Things just happen to me as though I'm a magnet for it. What I'm pissed about is that the little teenager that hit me said to the police officer that I ran the stop-sign and I did not run it. I don't run stop signs period. I've lived in this same town my whole life and I know how vicious the police are about traffic infractions. They literally sit and stake out near stop signs so they can snatch you.

I'm going to try and be unbiased about it but it infuriates me when someone decides to lie. I often piss off my husband with the extent of my inability to stray far from the truth because I just feel awful. It's not in me to straight up lie to someone. In fact it's much more likely I've said something mildly off-color and upset them because then I seem really mean and awful. Everyone lies. White lies. Big lies. Medium lies. Whatever you want to call it I want to believe that being truthful is one of few things about you that shows you true character. I also think it will always come back around to you. Lies are ugly in that you need to remember them and sometimes build on them when you're caught in one.

I'm not saying I'm a saint. If a tree falls in a forest there are three stories of what happened. Mine, yours and the tree. You can see an entirely different situation than I saw, but bits of the truth will always show through. I guess all I can do is hope for the best and stand by my story. Thankfully there wasn't enough evidence on the other guy's side and I was not issued any citation. It's one thing to be in an accident, it's quite another to dirty up my record with things I did not do. I'm more personally offended than anything else. I don't care about the car. I don't care about any of that. I care that someone said something viciously inaccurate about me.