Monday, March 31, 2008

Now I can totally say we hung out together

1
Here is a picture of Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama
holding a copy of the newspaper I work for during his recent visit to our area.


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And, um, in case you missed it, I highlighted the most important part.
Jerry retrieved the paper saying, "Obama is holding a picture of your head!"

I think I'll start the story like this: "So this one time, when Barry and I were hanging out eating hot dogs and discussing the American political landscape ..."

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Newspaper column

I'd like to introduce you to someone who may not change my life but certainly could affect the outcome of it.

His name is Jason Ray. As a 21-year-old honor student at the University of North Carolina, he became known on campus as the mascot for the school's basketball team.

A year ago this week, Jason was in New Jersey for a game. A few hours before it started, he was walking along the side of a highway on his way to get something to eat when he was hit by a car. Jason was rushed to a hospital with severe head trauma and doctors told his parents there was no sign of brain activity.

Three days later, March 26, 2007, Jason was pronounced dead -- but more than just his memory lives on today.

Jason had opted to become an organ donor.

He helped save the lives of three people waiting to receive transplants. Jason's heart went to 58-year-old Ron, who was suffering from congestive heart failure. One of his kidneys and his pancreas went to 40-year-old David, who had struggled with diabetes for more than two decades. Jason's other kidney went to 15-year-old Antwan, who was living with one failing kidney at the time.

Not long after, a reporter told Jason's story on ESPN and it spread around the nation as other networks followed suit. Because of that, Jason has likely saved countless others as more and more people realize the importance of becoming an organ donor through his example.

People like me.

I guess I hadn't ever given it much thought. And when I did, I had irrational fears that doctors would opt to spare the lives of others rather than do their very best to save me.

Jason's story inspired me to do some research on the subject. Not only were my worries completely unfounded, but I discovered a disheartening statistic: Of the nearly 100,000 Americans currently on a list for transplants, almost half of them die waiting. Even worse? Only a small portion of the people who could donate actually do.

Those facts sat with me for awhile. I found myself thinking about it whenever my mind wandered.

I suddenly realized how important it is to give the gift of life to someone who needs it if I'm ever in a position to do so. Maybe it's because I'm a new mom and have a renewed appreciation for life, but I know if any of my loved ones ever needed a transplant, I would be praying for a miracle.

Strangely enough, a day or so after learning of Jason's story, a reminder came in the mail that I needed to renew my driver's license. It was almost as if someone was trying to send me a message.

I heard it loud and clear.

The process was easy. It was a simple click on a key pad at the DMV and my new license printed out with the words "organ donor" in green.

Granted, I hope I'm never in a situation where someone else could use my organs more than me, but if that day comes, it would be a little something good out of a terrible situation.

And if you've been inspired by Jason Ray's story?

Feel free to introduce him to someone else, too.

ray

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Another head-slapping moment

I've written before about how Jerry is so enamored with "The Biggest Loser" that he considers the product placement personal advice from the show's physical trainers.

Well, last week Bob talked about One-A-Day vitamins. Which happens to be the brand I take.

Knowing this, Jerry shot up from the couch and ran into the kitchen. Then I heard a gigantic crash as the contents of my super-sized bottle scattered across the floor.

"THE LID WASN'T ON!"

"I'd like to see YOU try opening a childproof container with one hand because a baby is in the other! ... Besides, I have the women's brand, so get your hands — and now FEET — off them!"

"Can't I take one?"

"Sure, knock yourself out. They're fortified for breast health."

Suddenly, he wasn't so interested anymore.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I don't think we took enough photos of the baby

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Allison with her Easter Bunny bounty.

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A special occasion deserves a special dress.

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It tastes good. You got a problem with that?

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Allison's cousin Emily also got bunny ears.

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Too cool for school, but not drool.

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Aunt Amy gave Alli a sweet new seat.

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Bunny slippers!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I hearby vow to dole out more petting

Our dog has major abandonment issues. He never lets us out of his sight when we're in the house, following closely enough that he often runs into us if we stop short. And closed doors? Absolutely not. If it's not latched properly, he will nose his way into the bathroom to stare at us on the toilet.

Because, well, apparently we might decide to leap out the second story window never to return.

Maybe one of the reasons he loves Allison so much is because with her has come a responsibility to have someone with her at all times. And most of that is spent at our house.

But on the rare occasions we have to leave as a family to go someplace without him, you can practically see the anxiety radiating off his tiny body. The second we break routine and start placing things in the diaper bag, he paces between us looking for extra attention or some sort of confirmation he might be allowed to tag along.

And on Sunday, we discovered that if we don't give him the extra attention he's seeking, he will retaliate.

We were getting ready to take Allison to church and had about an hour to feed her, shower and make ourselves presentable, then wriggle a 4-month-old into an Easter dress -- which I can not begin to explain how much EFFORT something like that takes. I have a feeling chiseling Mount Rushmore took less time.

And after watching us go through our entire morning routine, then turn our attention to the baby? Well, that was too much.

So he took a big steamy dump on the carpet right in the middle of the hallway upstairs.

I'm not sure which one of us was the first to spot it, but Toby got his message across loud and clear. Well, loud and smelly, anyway.

I couldn't do anything but laugh.

I've heard of Easter surprises, but that's a load of crap.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

bunny2

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Newspaper column

Sometimes I wonder whether I missed my calling in life.

Because I think I would've made an excellent race car driver.

When I was little, my dad took me to a race in Watkins Glen, N.Y., which isn't too far from where I grew up. My little brother, Sean, and I were allowed to pick a car, and my dad placed a small bet for each of us so we'd have someone to root for.

I vividly remember the bustle of the place and holding onto my bet stub as if it would magically turn to gold. After getting a few bags of cotton candy -- pink for me, blue for my brother -- we made our way into the stands and found our seats.

The place certainly was loud. Sean held his hands to his ears to muffle all of the engines revving in succession. I tried not to do the same as I watched the preparations and shouted an uninterrupted string of questions.

By the time the checkered flag waived, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. Around and around they went, wooshing past us one by one. Knowing I'd get to keep any money my car choice produced, I was standing on my feet and cheering in no time.

Years later, I don't remember which number car I picked, or even what color it was, but I do know that I walked out with about 20 bucks -- much better than gold at the time. It also instilled in me a deep interest in driving. I almost couldn't wait to see what it felt like to get behind the wheel and experience that kind of exhilaration myself.

Judging by the number of speeding tickets I racked up in my teen years, this probably would come as no surprise to my mother. Driving turned out to be every bit of fun as I'd imagined it would be.

My first car was a Geo Metro, otherwise known as a roller skate with doors. My friends used to joke that it didn't need gas, I just had to wind it up in the back and give it a little shove. It didn't help that it had smaller tires than most riding mowers, either.

But I loved that car. When I got in and turned the key, I could go anywhere -- and sing as loud as I wanted in the process.

Maybe it's because I grew up in a populated area, but driving in heavy traffic never bothered me. Despite my tiny car, I felt comfortable making my way around much larger vehicles, taking in my surroundings and planning my next move.

Even now, I prefer to drive when given the option not to. There's something wonderful about the hum of wheels on pavement and watching the scenery fly by. And even though I've slowed down now that I'm older -- and hopefully wiser, I constantly resist the urge to see how far I can make my speedometer spin.

Just once I'd like to go to Germany, rent a luxury sports car, hop on the autobahn and push the pedal to the metal.

Then I snap back to reality and my family-accommodating mini-SUV that easily holds two adults, a car seat, a dog and even a few bags of mulch if need be.

Besides, there's something wonderful about being a writer.

Words can take me anywhere I want to go, too.

Friday, March 21, 2008

I'm thinking about hiding them in plastic Easter eggs

I know that most dogs have a gene that tells them to stash away treats by burying them in the yard for later, but Toby is such a fat ass, he is completely able to ignore that urge and wolf everything down when given to him. If Toby had a motto, "Why wait?" would be it.

And, frankly, I can't blame him. Because who knows if someone else is going to come around and find that treat before you decide to reclaim it?

Someone else like Toby.

When Toby's cousin Sparky is over at my mother-in-law's house, he abides by the dog code and hides treats all over her house. You never know if you're sitting on a Milkbone until Toby starts frantically digging at your lap, jumping and yelping like a maniac. And when you're so fed up with all of the commotion and you finally get up to yell, "WHAT? WHAT, TOBY? WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT?" He buries his nose under the couch cushion your butt was just comfortably resting on and comes up with a tasty morsel.

In fact, he spends the entire visit rooting out all of Sparky's treats. Under the chair, behind the floor plant, buried in the couch. Every once in a while he settles down on the living room floor to dig into his bounty.

And while he's busy smaking his teeth together in jubilation, I know he was meant to be a part of our family.

Because we don't find his weird behavior strange at all.

P1020150

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Jerry and I should not be allowed to own small appliances

Some of you might remember the Great Toaster Debacle of 2007 in which I nearly set our then brand-new house on fire trying to reheat three measly taco shells in our toaster oven.

Well, Jerry apparently made an equally spark-inducing move yesterday at work.

I could tell something was up the moment he walked into the house.

"What's wrong?"

"I had a bad day."

"How bad?"

"I almost set my office building on fire."

"WHAT? ... Oh man, that's pretty bad."

"I forgot to put water on my rice."

Apparently instant rice bags really do need to be submerged in water or each grain turns into a mini combustible engine.

"There were a bunch of people hanging out in the lunch room and someone asked, 'What's that smell?'," he said. "Then I saw the smoke pouring out of the microwave."

Jerry apparently ran out the back door carrying the smoking bowl with him and just as he thought to himself "at least the fire alarm didn't go off" ... it did. Bringing the local fire marshals (and a lot of finger pointing) with it.

In his defense, he got about four hours of sleep the night before. And I know from experience that even the most simple tasks can seem insurmountable when you're sleep-deprived and irritable.

I just gave him a big hug and promised to make rice for dinner.

On the stovetop.

Or maybe we should just stuff an entire box of instant rice in the microwave and shove a whole package of taco shells in our toaster and be done with it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I'm surprised she's not already in the Guiness Book of World Records

So it's nice to know I'm not exaggerating things. Allison is ridiculously long.

In fact, I'm pretty sure that's what the doctor said when he measured her yesterday at her four-month checkup appointment.

She is 25 and three-quarter inches, which places her at the 97th percentile on the standard baby growth chart. Or, in other words, if there were 100 babies in a room, Alli would be longer than 97 of them.

For weight, she's now 13 and a half pounds, and her head circumference is 16 inches -- both placing her at the 50th percentile for those measurements.

For her sake, I'm so glad they make jeans specifically for tall people now. I remember having the hardest time finding a pair of jeans that fit me when I was growing up. My ankles were always protruding out the ends like pale toothpicks.

Because I never wore socks.

Socks were NOT cool when I was in junior high. My mother loves to tell the story of how I walked to the bus stop in my treadless penny loafers -- which WERE cool, ironically -- when there was four inches of snow on the ground. And I always left the house with wet hair and no hat. Which would make her CRAZY. So crazy that the door usually shut behind me as she was yelling something about how I was going to get sick.

Psh.

Moms.

I remember my hair would form a bunch of tiny little icicles by the time my bus pulled up, and I spent the entire ride to school breaking the chunks of ice off and brushing them to the floor. Amazingly I had friends to sit with.

So years from now, when we're back-to-school clothes shopping and Allison tries on a pair of jeans marked "L," I'll be forced to tell her how they didn't have long jeans when I was growing up. And that she'd better appreciate them and all of their extra fabricy goodness.

In the meantime, I'll just keep buying larger and larger footed pajamas. We'll probably be at the nine-month size in a few weeks because they don't make baby sleepers marked "L."

Maybe by the time I have grandbabies, they will.

And I'll be forced to tell them how they didn't have sleepers marked "L" when their mother was growing up.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

If I'd known, I would've had a kid sooner

As I was proofing the first paper off the presses for mistakes, my eye caught an ad for a restaurant that read:

Moms get a free ice cream sundae on Easter!

I'm thinking about showing up with Allison in a T-shirt that reads:

My mom's in it for the free sundaes.

Because I totally am.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Maybe I'll make green cresent rolls out of a tube later

A few days ago, our town held a St. Patrick's Day parade. It started downtown with a kickoff celebration where kids could come and get their pictures taken with a leprechaun.

And the Pillsbury Dough Boy.

After laughing at the sight of some pour soul trapped inside a giant foamy costume with a hugemongous chef hat, I had another thought.

I wonder if his motto is "Eat me, I'm Irish."

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I didn't realize we all wore so much red

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Jerry with his hands (and legs) full.


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All she needs is a cape and I swear she would take off.

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Being a superhero is hard work.


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Allison with my mom.

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Must. Get. In. Mouth.

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My little drool monster.

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Giddy up!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Month 4

Dear Alli,

This month has been so tremendous, I don't even know where to begin. You've grown so much in the past few weeks that I struggle every day not to become one of those parents who talks incessantly about their children. Then other times I say screw it. You're totally brag worthy.

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I'd like to take credit for your recent milestones, but you've attained them all on your own. In fact, you attained them in spite of me. The problem is, you've never been much for tummy time. When I put you on your stomach, you protest wildly, creating sounds I didn't think humans could make -- high-pitched screaches that probably feel more at home among hyenas.

So when I heard those sounds, a voice inside my head said, "AAAaahhh! I'm killing my baby!" And I scrambled to pick you up.

In reality, you need time on your stomach to develop the muscles necessary to ensure that you won't need me to carry you around when you're 30. Muscles for holding your head up, which every book and website said you're supposed to be able to do by now.

So just when I started to freak out that you were never going to make your three-month milestones and I had completely derailed your physical development, you picked your head up with ease and held it there for several minutes.

I could practically hear you thinking, "See? What's the big fuss all about?"

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Now tummy time has become a favorite activity in our house. You love it because you can see more than just the ceiling. Toby loves it because you drool all over and he gets to sniff the wet spots. And your father and I love it because you look hilarious.

If we had a green screen and knew how to use it, instead of writing this right now, I would be busy composing a video of you flying like a superhero over the city of Manhattan. You work so hard to keep your head up that your arms are glued to your sides and your feet sort of kick off the ground. All you need is a red cape and a wind machine and you would look like you were soaring through the clouds.

I'm sorry to say that I don't have the capability to make that video. Without a doubt, it would be a YouTube sensation.


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The easiest way to get you to smile has always been sticking our tongues out at you and making farting noises. Your grandma kept saying, "Keep it up and one of these days she's gonna do it back." I'm pretty sure she meant it as a threat, but I took it as encouragement.

So we kept doing it. And doing it. And doing it some more.

And just this week you did it back. I nearly fell out of my chair laughing. You must've been so impressed with the reaction you received that now you do it constantly. First thing in the morning? Farting noises. When you're on the floor playing? Farting noises. After you're done eating? Farting noises.

You always look so pleased with yourself. It's your first attempt at interaction and you must feel understood. You're happy that I get you and your farting sounds.

And believe me, I do.

Although, were they really necessary when you were pooping all over the changing table? Making a gigantic mess of your clothes, the clean diaper I had just placed under you, the changing pad and my sleeves?

There you were, just pooping and making farting sounds, waiting for me to cheer you on.

And believe me, I did.


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You also discovered your hands this month and if you could, I think you'd give them four stars. Sometimes you try and fit all 10 fingers in your mouth, but mostly get stuck around eight because your thumbs don't want to cooperate.

I know exactly what you do in there because you like to do the same thing with my fingers -- chomp down.

A few nights ago, you didn't want to sit still during dinner, so I picked you up and put you on my lap while your father was finishing his meal. Since I was done, I let you grab and play with my hands. I shouldn't have been surprised when you shoved my thumb right into your mouth because that's your favorite thing to do these days. Anything your little fists manage to grasp is likely to be gnawed on.

Well, my thumb wasn't enough apparently, so you decided to chew on the side of my hand like it was an ear of corn. And all of the smacking and drooling had your father so grossed out that he started gagging and carrying on as if someone had told him his meal had been dipped in the toilet before he consumed it.

The whole thing was incredibly entertaining.

I hope you learn how to high-five next month.


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There are so many other changes that I couldn't possibly list them all, but I'm sure the moments will be forever solidified in my memory.

Like on my 30th birthday when you finally figured out the concept of toys. Grandma and I were sitting in the back seat of our car with you between us and you just sort of grabbed the stuffed animal we had placed in front of you, focused on it, shook it and crammed it in your mouth.

Later that night, everyone told me to make a wish as I blew out my candles, but you know what? I honestly couldn't think of one.

I just kept thinking about my wish from last year.

I wished for you.

And everyday I'm grateful that it came true.

Love,
Mom

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Right on target

Thanks to being on maternity leave hibernation, I hadn't been to some of my favorite places in almost four months.

Like Target.

And oh how I missed thee.

Last night on my dinner break at work, I found myself driving past the glowing red bulls eye. Then my car mysteriously merged into the turning lane and wound up snug in a parking spot.

Who am I to argue with that?

I know it sounds strange, but it was great to be baby free and wandering the aisles. I didn't need anything other than the need to be there. If I hadn't been in a time crunch, I probably would've tossed down a ton of throw pillows, opened up a comforter and snuggled in for a nap, breathing in the inviting scent of newness.

Even though the best part was shopping solo for the first time in a long time, my only purchases were for the people I care about: Easter presents for Allison, a mini stuffed dinosaur for Toby and a bag of jellybeans for Jer.

The trip itself was present enough for me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Can't think of a better way to spend my time

I just spent the last 30 minutes exchanging farting noises with my daughter.

It was awesome.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Busy jinxing myself

I woke up so well rested yesterday that I went into Allison's room and told her what a great day it was going to be.

Oh, how wrong I was.

Jerry and I got into a lovely argument over the #@%ing car seat again because Alli has outgrown the original settings. And we never had to adjust the straps to begin with thanks to a very helpful nurse at the hospital.

So there we were, four arms elbow-deep in the fifteen layers of the seat, searching for something, anything that looked like if you finagled it, it would lengthen the straps. After 20 minutes and what might as well have been a tug-of-war match, we were nearly ready to pull a Britney and simply ride with our daughter on our laps when we needed to drive somewhere.

If I didn't know otherwise, I would suspect the manufacturers of car seats were trying to torture adults, not save children.

But after what can only be described as divine intervention, we figured it out. And we kissed and made up, apologizing for all of the nasty things we said about each other just moments earlier. Of course I didn't really mean it when I said I was contemplating buying a one-way ticket to Zanzibar. Although I bet the safari tours would be amazing.

Then, right when we thought life had returned to status quo, I left for work.

And discovered Jerry's car was tilted at sort of a weird angle.

Probably because of that flat tire on the front passenger side.

Eff.

As I turned around to go back inside, I knew Jerry was going to explode. So I tried to break the news to him very gently.

"Take a deep breath."

"No."

"You're going to need it."

"Why?"

Because your car has a flat.

That's when I saw the flames shoot off the crown of his head. It was the one night in a month that we both needed to be someplace and, therefore, needed both vehicles to be in working order.

In the midst of profanities that couldn't be rivaled at a swearing convention, Jerry tugged on his shoes and went to take out his anger on the tire. After more than an hour, he nearly gave up when he realized the rim had nearly solidified to the axle. But he had parked the car in the alley, blocking in my vehicle, permanently stranding us at the house until he managed to get the donut on, which apparently gave him all of the incentive he needed.

Nothing a hammer, a rubber mallet and pent-up aggression can't fix apparently.

Then we kissed and made up again. And I promised to return the one-way ticket to Zanzibar I had already purchased online.

Hopefully today will be better. Just in case, I didn't make any predictions to Allison this morning.

Except that there would be diapers.

Lots and lots of dirty diapers.

But that's the kind of crap I can take.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Bringing sexy back

Do you know how hard it is to get intimate with a baby in the house?

I mean, I thought it was bad when we got a dog. Particularly because the only way to get Toby to shut up at night when he was a puppy was to put him in bed with us, which turned out to be a gigantic nightly commitment. He now hops aboard, paws at the covers to get underneath and assumes his position between us as a gigantic furry chastity belt.

In the summer, we can leave him outside for awhile, but the winter is a whole different story. Fortunately Toby's smart enough to pick up on certain cues when he's not wanted on the bed -- well, most of the time anyway -- but he always retaliates by stealing away with the underwear we cast aside. So we can no longer disrobe with total abandon in the heat of the moment.

Often times we'll remind each other that our clothes need to land at a higher altitude than the floor. And, let me tell you, the words, "Don't forget to put your underwear on the nightstand, honey," are TOTALLY sexy.

Even more sexy? Hearing the dog pace around the bed, whining loudly about not being a part of the party.

I didn't think it was possible to have more obstacles to overcome in the sex department, then we filled the room next to ours with a child.

Not only has caring for an infant made us so tired that we usually hit the bed with our eyes already closed, but on the rare occasion that we have a little bit of energy left to enjoy ourselves with, we have constant reminders that our lives have changed.

Like the fact that my boobs are now function over form. Or catching a glance of any of our daughter's happy little stuffed animals that made their way into the bedroom to stare at us. Or the looming fact that, while our little lady is the best, we DO NOT want another one. Not right now anyway.

The coup de grace was when she woke up from a nap and started crying while we had tried to take advantage of the alone time. Talk about a complete and total buzz kill. It was almost as immediate and disastrous as if one of our parents had walked into the room.

But we refused to let it ruin our fun and summoned our inner college student -- a time in life when it was completely normal to have to block out the unsexiness of your roommate. Like drowning out the sounds of kung-foo movie blaring in the next room. Or the pizza delivery guy ringing the doorbell because someone else ordered dinner. Or when your friend lost her psych book and knocked, wondering if she could come in and look around.

Much to our surprise, it wasn't completely impossible to do. Years from now I know Allison will be grossed out at the fact that her father and I even touch lips, let alone anything else. And I'm sure she'll mentally deny that we ever had sex, even though she's living proof of it.

But, it's true.

Kids make it a lot harder, but parents still have sex.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Note to self

Don't ever leave a container of orange juice -- even for a second -- on the top of the porch railing while you fumble with your keys and other bags of groceries in attempt to get inside the door.

Why? Because right as you're thinking, "Hmm ... that might not be the best spot for that." Right then? Right at that moment? It will come crashing down at your feet, spurt open in all directions and cover your sneakers and pants and coat the porch in a sticky river of orange.

Then your husband will open the door, baby and dog in tow, to look at the scene with such utter disbelief that the only thing that could possibly come out of your mouth is "Fuck." Then you slump your shoulders in defeat and resign yourself to the mess you're going to have to clean up as you track all of it inside, one sloppy shoe print at a time, as you make your way to the kitchen.

And, of course, the only thing you wanted in the entire car full of groceries was a big glass of orange juice. Because of that, you had purchased the largest and most expensive swimming pool-sized container of the stuff. You wanted it so badly that you briefly consider placing your mouth under the spot where it's dripping off the porch and flowing down each step and onto the sidewalk.

Instead, your husband springs into action and starts sweeping the mess with your gigantic outdoor push broom. The liquid flows into the snow and the entire scene looks like a giant wild animal had diarrhea all over your front walkway. Awesome.

To help, you fill a pitcher with water and start dousing the porch as fast as you can fill and empty it without accidentally letting the dog escape. Because, of course, he is very interested in the commotion, as well as the delicious aroma that is wafting inside.

But then your husband yells at you for "making a sheet of ice." That's his thing these days. "A sheet of ice." Everything is a sheet of ice -- the roads, the car windshields, the back walkway. You want to remind him that the temperature is well above freezing and the weather forecast predicts it to stay that way, but instead, you just mentally imagine pouring the water over his head and that's revenge enough.

In your mind, the only positive thing about the entire situation is the fact that it's cold outside. If the calender pages had been flipped over a few more times, every bug in North America would be attached to your porch in a disgusting clump of juice and legs.

Thankfully, the juice stopped pulsing out after it leaked below the spot the container cracked open, so there was enough to salvage a glass.

It was easily the tastiest few gulps of orange juice ever, but not delicious enough to make up for the fact that dozens of oranges had to die in vain because of your carelessness.

Oranges deserve better.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Taking on a life of its own

I'm going bald.

As in hairless.

Without hair.

I'm losing my locks at such a rapid rate that I'm sort of surprised I have anything left to run a brush through.

I've read a ton of literature about how women's hair follicles become like steel traps during pregnancy and that almost no hair falls out for nine months. But I had no idea that the situation would reverse itself so completely and quickly after giving birth.

I practically leave a path of hair behind me when I walk. Hansel and Gretel wouldn't have needed bread crumbs if I had been hanging out with them. We could've just followed the furry trail out of the forest.

I am constantly freeing myself from rogue strands that make their way off my head. You know how you get that annoying little tickle where it aggravates your skin every time you move, and then you paw at it blindly, trying to grasp something that's so small your fingers can't even detect it? So you keep trying and trying and trying until you finally trap that sucker and it feels like a major victory?

Imagine doing that every second of every day. Pawing at the one that's sticking to the back of your right shoulder. And the one that found its way down the front of your V-neck shirt. And the one that's still half tangled in your head, but far enough down that it's tickling your neck. And the one that somehow managed to fall into the back of your pants and wedge itself firmly into your ass crack. Yeah. That one's my favorite.

Then there are the clumps. They come out together in little hair gangs when I run my fingers through. It's like they refuse to travel alone. They grew together, they're leaving together. In mass quantities.

The shower is the worst. I've always lost a few strands under the water, but now it's enough to form a baseball-sized clump. If I forget to move the clump from the drain to the garbage, Jerry very kindly reminds me that I left my pet hedgehog in the tub and it might need to be fed before it gets angry.

I think I'll name him Harry.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Jerryisms

While I was suffering a particularly bad bout of hiccups:
"You sound like a pterodactyl during mating season."

After I asked which piece of ham he'd like for dinner:
"I'll take the one shaped like California."

After telling him I feel like a million bucks:
Really? I feel like a buck fifteen.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Somebody needs a refresher course on animal sounds

Conversation while showing Allison a book filled with animal pictures:

Jer: This is a frog. A frog goes ...

Me: Ribbit, ribbit.

Jer: This is a cow. A cow goes ...

Me: Moo.

Jer: This is a pig. A pig goes ...

Me: Oink! Oink! Oink!

Jer: Here's a bear. A bear goes ... GRIZZLE, GRIZZLE.

...

Me: Grizzle, grizzle?

Jer: Yeah.

Me: Not grr? ... Grizzle?

Jer: Why not?

Me: Or how about "growl?"

Jer: I stand by grizzle.

Me: Hell, maybe even "roar" would've been more appropriate.

Jer: Grizzle's GOOD.

Me: Is it even a word?

...

Me: You realize that if she rides the short bus to school, it's totally going to be your fault.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Tob-le-roni

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned Toby's middle name. We call him Toby Lerone. After the Swiss chocolate Toblerone.

Anyway, as I was importing all of my videos yesterday, I discovered a good one from a few months ago that just had to be shared. Enjoy!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Must. Not. Kill.

No matter how many diamonds I have on my left ring finger, sometimes jealousy still gets the best of me.

I knew when I married Jerry that as long as he was in the radio business, especially in hard rock, there would be other women around. Case in point? A female fan recently got a job in Jerry's building just so she could meet him. When she found out she wouldn't be working directly with him, she got mad and quit.

On the other hand, I also know that Jerry treats marriage very seriously and wants nothing more than for it to last a lifetime like it has for his parents. Not to mention he tells me how important I am to him every single day.

But despite all of those things, I couldn't avoid the tight knot that formed in my stomach when Jerry and his co-anchor, Troy, celebrated their morning show's one-year anniversary at a bar party Friday night. To help promote the radio station, they hired four girls to walk around in skimpy clothes, much like beer corporations do. And they spent the week with the guys in the studio, wearing bikinis and high heels and making them sandwiches -- but that's a whole different post.

It wasn't until Jerry and Troy were called to the front of the stage by the band's lead singer to get a lap dance from the girls that I really let it get to me. But I took a deep breath and reminded myself that it really is all for show. The girls all have boyfriends. From the few moments I was introduced to them, they actually seem really nice, if completely whorish. And they're 20 and 21 and certainly wouldn't want a guy with a kid in the picture.

Afterward, Jerry came running to find me saying he didn't know that was going to happen and reassured me repeatedly that they didn't touch him and he loved me, oh my God does he love me. So much. Right down to my weird crooked little pinky toes.

So really, it's my own insecurities. I know that they're somewhat valid, because, well, frankly it's tough looking at girls with perfect thighs and abs wearing practically nothing while posing for pictures with my husband and toying with his hoodie string in their mouth. I mean, if I acted on my initial gut instinct, I'd cram his whole sweatshirt right down their throats and watch them choke to death.

Even as I write this I feel the urge to follow through with it, but I know that I'm making a bigger deal out of it than it really is. The bottom line is I know Jerry has three important girls in his life.

His mom, his wife and his daughter.

Saturday, March 1, 2008