Thursday, August 28, 2008

Heading Out

to see this guy in concert once again:

Stop coughing *dork!* under your breath. I like him. I feel relatively young when I'm at his concerts. We're going with good friends. So nyah!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

WW - Good uncles are hard to find...

As some of you know, I am unable to actually be wordless. This is my daughter at about 21 months of age with my oldest brother (19 years older than me, to be precise). He's reading If You Take a Mouse to the Movies, which was her favorite book at the time. Even now when she sees him, which she hasn't much lately since he's been working in Minnesota for the past 4 months (he's in construction, and there aren't many jobs around here right now), she brings him book after book to read. It's adorable, and quite hilarious. He completely adores her (I like to think it's because she reminds him so much of his adorable little sister, for whom he built this box house). This is one of my mom's favorite pictures. You may be able to see why.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

True Confession Tuesday

Even though it's been several weeks since I've attempted TCT, I like having a theme at least a few days a week. It gives me some structure and ideas, which I will very much need now that I'm back to work.
So without further ado, here it goes:
I am having Golden Girls withdrawal.
Yeah, that's what I meant. And I'm not embarrassed to say it aloud - I'd shout it from the rooftops! More St. Olaf and Sicily stories! More jokes about what a tramp Blanche is! More references to Dorothy's mannishness!
And while I didn't watch the show every day, it was a ritual with me...if I happened to be home by myself in the morning, Lifetime would be turned on while I showered. That way, I could watch/listen to the shows while I readied myself for my days of, well, non-accomplishment. And, as always, the good old (stress old) Golden Girls always delivered.
A close second on the lazy ass TV watching? Little House on the Prairie. Show me a girl who claims she doesn't like that show, and I'll show you a girl who is a LIAR. Likewise with a girl who doesn't cry at something on the show. LHOTP is a close second only because I don't really care for the later episodes, you know the ones...where Cassandra and whats-his-name show up. Jason Bateman didn't get hot until Silver Spoons, so that was no added bonus.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Karma is biting me...

right in the jaw. To be specific, the left jaw muscle. OMG, it hurts.

While in grad school, I worked part time as a medical secretary to a oral & maxillofacial surgeon at a large midwestern university whose colors are NOT green and white. This surgeon was known for his guru-ness in TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders (I just had to see if I could still type it as I did when transcribing). One of my duties was to schedule patients who needed a consultation on their TMJ would drive me nuts when people would call and say "I have TMJ and need to see someone,". Uh, yeah. Most everyone has a TMJ, dumbass.

I digress. My point was that I always thought of these people as incredibly whiny and pretty annoying. Wow. I am the biggest a**hole on earth. Because over the past few days? I've been experiencing at least some of that kind of pain, and it sucks.

I had a bite splint made several months ago on the recommendation of my new dentist, who told me that the culprit of my gum recession was not, in fact, due to my vigorous brushing habits, but rather from clenching or grinding my teeth. I was basically unaware that I was clenching or grinding, but apparently the wear pattern on my teeth was indicative. Okay. So give me one of those $500 pieces of plastic that insurance will only cover at 50%, I guess. I wore it pretty religiously for a number of weeks, even though I really didn't like wearing it...I mean, I hated wearing my retainer at night because it gagged me. Then I stopped wearing the splint because I was starting to get some muscle pain from it...I was like, what the hell!? This is supposed to keep me from having pain, not cause it! And I had every intention of returning to my dentist and telling him it needed adjustments, but never did.

And then the stressfulness of the past 3 weeks came upon me.

I guess I must have been clenching and grinding like a fiend, because last Monday and Tuesday I had pain mostly in my left cheek/jaw joint area. Wednesday it was radiating to my head, temple, and chin. Holy mother, it felt like someone was stabbing me with dull metal toothpicks. At this point, it was hard to tell whether the pain was originating from my back molars (one of which has a pret-ty deep filling, unfortunately), my jaw muscle, or my sinuses (allergies have been nasty lately in my neck o'the woods). Thursday was more of the same, and I was going crazy. So I made an emergency appointment with the dentist. He took x-rays of my back molars and declared that situation okay. (phew, no root canal looming) His prescription? Wear.your.splint. And take copious amounts of Ibuprofen. So I've been wearing it the past few nights, and trying to consciously relax my jaw. It seems to be working, cause I've been able to cut down from 4 advils every 5 hours.

Did you know that women suffer from TMJ disorder and/or associated muscle pain far more often than men? Supposedly it's because we tend to carry our stress in our necks, shoulders, and jaws. You know what I think that means? We have perfect excuses for weekly massages, preferably from tanned, handsome, buff men who are not gay. In fact, I order you now, woman friends, to seek one of these said massages STAT.

You'll thank me later.

And by the way, to add to my stress level, we got an offer on our old house. Only took 54 weeks. It's for $14,000 less than the list price and $56,000 less than the mortgage balance. Now we have to wait and see if the bank will accept the offer and release our shackles. Oy. Keep your fingers crossed, pray, send good karma, whatever it is you might do to wish us a speedy end to this ever present stress.

Oh yes, and I have to go back to work today. Full time. *Sob*

I'll stop whining, at least for now.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday Funny

One of the funniest SNL commercials evah!

Friday, August 22, 2008


I just finished reading "Loving Frank" by Nancy Horan. If you haven't heard of it, crawl out from under your rock it's about this Illinois housewife's affair with Frank Lloyd Wright. I really didn't have any expectations, other than it was highly praised and in that Bookmarked thing by Target. I saw it at the Taliesin gift shop when we stopped by there on our way to the House on the Rock. I didn't even peek at the end of the book like I sometimes do.

Oy. I almost wish I had peeked, so I knew what was coming. Suffice it to say that it did NOT end well, and I don't just mean that they broke up. I finished the book late at night, reading by booklight. Freaked me right the hell out.

I won't say any more, just in case the three of you who read this regularly want to read it for yourselves. ;-) It really was a good book, though.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

To explain the quiz...

Well, I have questions for all of you, and stick with me 'cause this will be a long post.

I'm heading back to work in a matter of a few days and will now be full time (I've pretty much always worked full time before last year...and I only took the 80% appointment with the idea that I would be full time in the future). Anyway. I recently got a brochure in the mail for a cleaning company. I kept it, thinking that maybe I'd call to see how much it would run for every other week. Pre-Molly, when I was first out of grad school and working long hours 45 minutes away from home, we indulged in a cleaning service for several months. It was nice, but we stopped after noticing that things weren't always getting done (that we were paying for), plus I found out I was pregnant and freaked out about the cost of daycare, diapers, etc.

A few weeks ago, I was at a home visit (at a very, very nice home that was at least 2500 sq. ft.) and this cleaning service was there. I asked the mom how she liked it and she chatted it up...even told me how much she was paying without me actually asking - $80 biweekly! That's what I was paying at the old house for 1000 sq. ft.! Naturally that piqued my interest. When I called, my phone estimate was $65-85 biweekly. I just need to have the in-home estimate to find out a firm price.

More recently, I was talking with someone (my therapist) and mentioned the cleaning service. then I mentioned that, even more than cleaning, I'd LOVE to find someone that would maybe once a week prepare/assemble meals that could be frozen and brought out later for dinners. And...she told me about this place called Alicat Kitchens, which is a place where you can go and assemble your own meals using their food, etc., but you can also have them make them for you to pick up. The place isn't really close to my house, but it's right around the corner from my husband's office. Now, I really hate grocery shopping (unless it's at Whole Foods, and we don't have any around here *sob*) and I'm not very good at it. We end up running back to the store a few times per week for 1-2 things. Or we say "screw it" and go out to eat. For 12 full meals (that serve 4-6 people; we're only 3) that include meats and two sides each, it would be $180. When looking at the cost of running back and forth to the store, going out to eat, and the time, we probably spend at least that. I'm going to look at the numbers to make sure. Since the meals are larger than we need, we would have leftovers for either another meal or for next day lunches. The only thing we'd need is a chest freezer, and we were planning to get one anyway.

Hence the quiz. What do y'all think about my dilemma? Now, I know that these things sound incredibly spoiled, but believe me, I don't buy myself a lot of other things...I don't spend hundreds of dollars on purses or shoes (well, except a couple pairs of Danskos that I own), I shop sales a LOT, and most of Molly's daycare clothes are consignment or Target's Circo brand. We don't go on big, expensive vacations. (And just because I need to get this out, you know the neighbor that I referenced earlier this week? She spent $1600 on a Prada purse so she could have it for her 10 year class reunion. Six.teen.hundred.dollars. Oh HELL no.) And we don't buy alcohol. These things would absolutely be luxuries for us, and I think it would cut down on my stress level and help me feel more like spending time with my family. (I would not be telling my siblings about this, either. They would never let me hear the end of it. Ever.)

Thanks for sticking with it! And take the quiz down below!

Poll: Which luxury should I consider paying money for?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

WW - Allow me to toot my own horn...

Can I just say that I am not generally a crafty person. I have lofty aspirations for myself, but many projects I envision myself doing either never get finished, or hell, never even get started. (I'm sure there are some others out there).

That being said (even though this is Wordless Wednesday), I did finish this:

The spools around the edge are for hanging hair elastics, necklaces, bracelets, or whatever might need to hang. The ribbons in the middle are, well, for barrettes and clips. When she gets older, she can use the ribbons for earrings. I got a little ahead of myself and, instead of buying pink acrylic paint (pre-mixed), I bought a set of acrylics with the idea of mixing whatever color I might need. Um, yeah. The art major husband really didn't help me out much with the color mixing, so it wasn't exactly the shade of pink I had in mind. Oh well. And as for her name, it's not centered (I did try to pencil it in beforehand, but just sort of said Screw it) and in a fit of extreme stupidity, tried to freehand with a paintbrush. That was so many kinds of stupid, I can't even express it adequately. If I ever attempt another one of these, I will definitely be using a paint pen for the name.

What do you think? Should I try another prototype and try selling these babies on Etsy? Be honest!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cop-Out Meme

Meme borrowed from Tuli...I have ideas swimming around but don't feel like typing them out just yet.

So, with that, I give you...

Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: dishwater blonde/light brown (depending on the day)
Dyed or Natural: highlighted
Curly or Straight: Wavy if I coax it while drying
Right- or Left-handed: right
Tan or Pale: Pretty much pale.
Jeans or Khakis: jeans
Country, Rap, or Rock: Rock
Car: 2003 Honda Accord V-6...and when this one craps out it'll be a Honda CR-V in that light green
Place in order of preference--T.V., book, movie, music: book, tv, music, movie
Your heritage: Dutch & German
Shoes you're wearing today: fake Ugg slippers from Costco (it is 7:16 a.m. after all)
Your weakness(es): books; shoes; clothes for my daughter
Your perfect pizza: thin crust, either with pepperoni or a mediterranean spinach/feta/tomato theme. Must be thin crust, though.
Favorite color: navy blue
Favorite place: anywhere up north, preferably along Lake Michigan
Goal you'd like to achieve: to have a house on the big lake someday...
Your most overused phrase(s): Criminy! or Excuse me, Mrs. Monroe
Your thoughts first waking up: Not yet!
Your best physical feature(s): eyes
Your bedtime: usually around 10:30 (when working)
Your most missed memory: lazy summer days with my best girlfriends
Pepsi or Coke: Cherry Coke Zero (which, by the way, Wisconsin has NEVER HEARD OF)
McDonald's or Burger King: eww.
Single or group dates: group
Adidas or Nike: Saucony
Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: Magical Mint Mate by Guayaki
Chocolate or vanilla: Chocolate
Cappuccino or coffee: neither - not a coffee drinker

Monday, August 18, 2008

Just wondering...

Remember this week, when I had to pick up my car in Chicago? Well, I volunteered to take my neighbor, so as to be somewhat social. She likes to talk gossip, and, well, I listen. I admit, I like me some good gossip. It's not a friendship made in heaven - heck, it might not be much of a friendship at all, but that's a story for another time.

Shortly after we moved in, I discovered that she knows some people that I went to school with - one that was in my class, and one that was a year behind me (and is a niece of my ex-sister-in-law, so cousins to 2 of my nephews. I'm from a small town.). In school, I was friendly with, but not friends with these girls. Apparently, they told her that I was "had another level" of friends and was sort of "above them". WTF? I mean, my friends and I were involved in things like music and theater, and also were pretty good students, but we certainly were no Benny & Steff of Pretty in Pink or anything. My dad was a truck driver, FFS (to borrow a phrase from Tuli)!

So I took the opportunity on our trip to find out exactly what they meant, because I was sort of offended. I guess these girls were basically calling me a goody-two-shoes.

Why am I offended by this? What the hell is wrong with being a goody-two-shoes? I guess if they mean I didn't "party" (which is a term that I absolutely hate - I think it sounds so stupid), they'd be pretty much right. When my friends were drinking Robitussin (did anyone else go through that stage?), I chose not to participate. I mean, why would I drink that shit simply for the alcohol content when it tastes horrible? I never wanted to try smoking; I never thought it smelled even remotely good and really didn't think it looked all that cool. That's not to say I didn't have my times with alcohol, because I did. The encounters just weren't all that exciting, and I didn't like how it made me feel (sort of nauseous). I don't like the taste of beer. So I chose not to imbibe. It goes without saying that I've not tried any sort of drug whatever. Does that mean a person is a goody-two-shoes? And why is that label so cruel sounding?

I've often wondered what it was that my parents did to instill this in me - is it genetic? My father, who grew up in a time where MANY people smoked, especially men, never did. Never even tried it. He claims it was because when he would ride with my grandpa (while they worked as loggers), grandpa would light up cigars and smoke...with the windows rolled up. He (grandpa) didn't like having the windows down, so my dad would be trapped in a truck cab filled with smelly cigar smoke. He said it nauseated him. My dad isn't a big drinker, either. He might have a beer (PBR me ASAP) on a hot summer day after mowing the lawn, and I've seen him have the occasional rum and coke, but other than that? Nothing much. My mother grew up with a German immigrant father, who frequented the Moose Lodge after work. I'm not sure if he really fit the "alcoholic" label, but my mom maintained he drank too much. And smoking never crossed her mind either.

I don't remember my parents being preachy about these vices, I just knew that their opinion was that they were unnecessary. And for whatever reason, I agreed.

That being said, I know how to swear. In fact, I enjoy a good round of swearing if I'm pissed off in the car (learning how to control that with a 3 year old in tow) or at my husband, or at the world. I know who to swear in front of (my mom = NOT okay). I also have a raunchy sense of humor and know that I have to be careful who to show that to. I have LOTS of strong opinions, some that probably go against the majority. My husband says that I'm liberal with a conservative streak. I guess that fits pretty well. I know that, if my daughter chooses to sneak alcohol as a teenager, she'll have to go elsewhere to find it, since we don't even keep any in the house. I'm cheap. My husband might get a beer at dinner sometimes, but usually only when we're dining with friends. Again, I'm cheap. And if I do drink? It's usually something fruity or mixed with coffee or ice cream, and typically I only have one.

Why do I still feel the need to be almost apologetic for who I am? And who the hell cares anymore? I mean, I graduated 18 frigging years ago and this is not a John Hughes movie. Like I told husband as we were discussing this today, I feel that people who are 35 years old should have their shit together by now, and not go out "partying" just for the sake of getting wasted. My idea of fun is having a game night with my best buds, laughing, eating, and having a good time. Alcohol may or may not be involved. I don't feel like I judge people who choose to have a drink, unless it's to excess and they look idiotic. I don't think sitting at a bar is especially fun, either. The guy I dated (and almost married) before my husband used to go to the bar almost every night. I'd go like a dutiful girlfriend and be the designated driver. But I was bored. Stiff. The one good thing that came of all those nights was that I got damn good at darts and bumper pool.

I guess the one thing I'm trying to get out of this long, rambling piece of crap post is - am I a goody-two-shoes? Am I being holier than thou? Does anyone share my opinion on all this? Let me have it...tell me what you think.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Haiku Friday

I am in a funk
but don't know what's causing it.
Wish it'd go away.
Work looming? Weight gain?
I can't reach inside myself
to figure it out.
Hate when I'm restless,
from one thing to another;
so unproductive.
Now I ask you this-
make me laugh, people! I know
someone there can help.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Need ideas...

My kiddo's last day at her daycare is tomorrow - the main provider is going to be having major surgery so they'll be closed until after Labor Day. M will be starting preschool in a couple weeks anyway. Even though we've only been with this daycare just a couple weeks shy of a year (since we moved), we've all loved it for M...they basically helped us potty trained her and have been WONDERFUL with setting a good foundation for preschool and beyond.

My question is - what do you get, gift-wise, for these occasions? I got both providers (it's a small in-home daycare) bookstore gift cards for Christmas. Is it cheesy to do that again, maybe in larger amounts? Over the past couple of months, we've donated toys and books to them for use with the kids, so that's been done. I personally would ALWAYS be happy with a bookstore gift card, so I guess that's why it's stuck in my head.

Any opinions? Ideas?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

WW - horrified by Humpty

This was taken at one of the cooler tourist traps in Wisconsin Dells - Storybook Gardens. These nursery rhyme scenes were all over, with animals thrown in for good measure (zebras, monkeys, giraffes, etc.). I loved the retro-ness of the scenes; they reminded me of a very similar, but smaller awesome place I used to go as a kid. Mein Gott in Himmel, I need a haircut, STAT. And can you see how those gigondous birthing hips squeezed out a 9 lb. 6 oz. kid in 30 minutes?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I'm tired.

Got up early yesterday morning to get the kid to an 8 am dentist appointment. This morning it was to the outpatient surgery center at 6:45 am for PE tubes (after which she puked grape juice while riding in my rental vehicle). Since I live in the middle of BFE nowhere, these appointments involve us getting out the door at least 45 minutes before the appointment time, which means that my ass is up much earlier than my husband's. Yes, I'm whining. Live with it.

Tomorrow I have to get up early and drive to the Chicago area, where I will be retrieving my car from the dealership service department. The awesome thing is that, rather than shelling out $3700, I will only be shelling out $1300. The factory sent a transmission and is not making me pay for it (I think they know that this particular part from this particular year/make of car is crap - I've seen MANY posts and complaints online for my very problem), I only have to pay for labor. And hey, while I'm there unfettered by husband or child, I might as well do some shopping, right?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Vacay Day One - A Photo Essay (if I don't get totally irritated by formatting issues)

We got on this:

It was not smooth sailing until we got closer to Milwaukee, so husband and daughter got a dose of this:

I survived without it. Wonder woman!

Land ho! This is where all the seasick people who were lying on deck got up and cheered. It was windy as hell but felt awesome.

After unloading the cars, we went to look for some lunch. Since our GPS was actually unpacked, we were in charge of finding sustenance. For some reason, my GPS got totally whacked out in Wisconsin. It told us there was an Applebee's where there was, in fact, a dead-end street. This was the first of several dozen times that I wanted to chuck the TomTom out the window. Thankfully, there was a Honeybaked Ham deli place around the corner.

After lunch, we went here:

and my cheap dutch self was glad because we had reciprocal zoo passes and got in for free (although $10 for parking seemed a bit steep).
My child so desperately wanted money to use these freaky "foot massagers". Cheap parental unit made her be satisfied with just sitting for a photo op. I did think one of those might come in handy for mommy. *wink wink*

My husband loves to (try to) take those cheesy hold-the-camera-at-arm's-length-to-get-a-cute-shot photos. This was my defense:
I don't do cutesy very well. Is it that obvious?

After the zoo, we checked into the hotel and let the guys go out on their man-date while the children went to bed. Let me tell you, it's an exciting evening sprawling out in the dark on one of two double beds while your kid sleeps on the other at 8 p.m. TG I had my book light and my copy of Time Bandit. The guys went here, where my husband had the "best. brat. ever." (which, I can attest, equals worst. farts. ever.):

And, since the male half of our vacation buddies loves to visit breweries, they went here:
and here:

And that ends Day One. More to come. Can you stand the suspense?

Friday, August 8, 2008

We're baaaaaaack!

Home now, minus my car. It had to stay in Chicagoland since it needs a new transmission. What a fun thing to have happen on vacation, huh? I have to go back and pick it up next week sometime; not looking forward to revisiting orange barrels ALL. THE. WAY. Oh well.

Photos and stories to follow later. I'm damn tired.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Dells Insanity

Just a couple things:

1. Wisconsin Dells is a CRAZY town. I don't see how they have anyone live here year round. The traffic is monstrous.

2. This place needs a decent laundromat that's open past 9pm. The one we ended up using was seriously ICK.

That's all for now.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Haiku Friday

Off we go on the
morrow. Across the big lake
and east to the Dells.
With good friends and their
daughter; she and Molly will
have good times playing.
Mini golf but no
water shows. Lake Delton has
drained away. Oh well.
No expectations here.
First time visiting the Dells.
Want a getaway.
Gone for a week, so
keep the 'net warm for me and
I'll miss you all. Bye!