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Thursday, December 21, 2006

5 Days of Christmas

So I was shopping the other day at what used to be my favorite second-hand store until they decided to close an hour early and kicked me out! Something about a wind storm. People, people, people... just because the weather man says it's going to arrive at 6pm does not mean it will ACTUALLY arrive at 6 freaking pm. Try more like midnight.

Anyway, while I was there I stumbled upon a book called "Christmas Conversation", which is full of questions about Christmas. I figured for fun I would answer some of them here so I started flipping through the book until I found one that struck me as a question I wanted to think about and therefore, respond to.

Today's question is...

"If you were a photographer who was given the chance to go back in history to capture a Christmas photograph, where would you go and what year would it be?"

My first though, obviously, is to go back to the Nativity. The birth of Christ. To have a photo of that moment... Wow. But then I started thinking about flashes and weird digital sounds and changed my mind. It would be cool to get a photo of that moment for a lot of reasons-- many of which I'm sure you can think of-- but why ruin it? I shutter to think about what would happen if I showed up and looked like paparazzi. I'd either be struck by lightening from God, or ruin the magic of that night.

So, my final answer is...

Whether it is truth or rumor, I don't know. There is a story of a Christmas during WWII where the German and Allied soldiers camped only feet from each other called truce and shared stories and cigarettes for one night. They celebrated Christmas. I'd like to go back to that moment in time and take a picture. There's just something about making peace to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

What's your choice?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Two Heart Attacks and a Christ-ma-aaa-sss Treeee!!!

According to my husband, it is part of the Christmas Tree shopping experience to load all members of the tree hunting party into the car and drive around aimlessly for hours until said car happens upon a Christmas Tree lot. Such was the case on Saturday when the three of us loaded into the car and headed out.

And in case you missed it... I said car. A perfectly good truck in the driveway.

So we head out, and drive to the furthest country road and head up the hill into what my husband apparently thinks is going to be Christmas tree territory. He may have been right, as there were signs everywhere pointing to this lot or that lot or the other lot down there. Do we go to any of those? No. I don't know why other than to say that perhaps the mood just didn't strike him. We instead drive... and drive... and drive... and drive... in circles. The short person in the back seat is piping up about needing to go to snowy mountain to get a Christmas tree and I'm trying to convince her that the view of Mt. Hood is the closest we're going to get.

But she just keeps on and after about 45 minutes of driving in circles I'm figuring she's maybe right- after all, had we simply headed in that direction we'd darn near be there by now!
Finally, my husband sees a sign that piques his interest. "Any tree $10.00." Okay, I can go for that. After all, I don't like the ones that say "Any tree $30.00" when I'm looking to buy a tree that's maybe 3-feet tall. So, we follow the $10 tree signs to...

A private drive.

That goes on for a mile.

I'm starting to think that this is going to be one of those times where we're going to be the victims in some horrific movie scene where there's a mad man with an axe waiting for us at the end of this long road because we were the only idiots willing to drive 30 miles to get a $10 tree!

Finally, we get to the end of the drive, and instead of a man with an axe, there is A MAN WITH A CHAIN SAW!!! and a big, friendly grin... as well as a bunch of other cars and happy families, so I guess all was well. LOL

All the trees were nobles that were about 10-12 feet tall, but the man with the saw said that they were going to salvage them all and replant, so we could take any tree we wanted for the price I mentioned above-- even if that meant chopping the tree right in half and taking only the top.

We set off in search of the perfect tree, me carrying the short person up a big hill on top of a not so snowy mountain, but definitely a very cold one. Our heads were craned back looking at tree tops.

Now, here's the truly funny part...

We've not been able to have a floor tree since we got Sam. His tendency to pee on everything has prevented us, or rather killed, our like of greenage on the ground. So after an hour, my husband finally found a tree top that he thought was perfect and chopped the tree right in half. It wound up being as tall as him! It's a noble, so if you shorten it, you take off the fullest branches, and you can't take off from the top because then it looks funny.

Now, in my defense, I really believed we would be getting a 3-foot tree. It would have fit in the trunk. Which is why our little Honda drove home with a 6-foot tree strapped to the hood even though there was a perfectly good truck at home in which to haul it.

Later that same day...

So, we get home from Christmas tree shopping, eat dinner, and start cleaning up. At the risk of making it sound as though I don't bathe my daughter, I tell her in an excited voice, "Guess what?! We're going to go take a bath!"

The short person, who has somehow figured out incredible timing and delivery, grabs her heart and lets out a gasp comparable to that of 100 people that have just been told they've won the lottery.

I died laughing. Her first heart attack-- I'm so proud.

Still later this same day, we decide to decorate the Christmas tree. It's a nice evening, Christmas Vacation is on the television and I am pulling out 35 years of collected ornaments to hang on the tree.

Now, I expected my daughter to help. I even figured that I'd give her the non-breakable, squishy, stuffed ornaments so she could do it all by herself. However, if you've ever had a two-year old you know that nothing ever works according to planned.

The short person picked up and dropped ornament after ornament, while I had mini heart-attack after mini heart-attack. Which will explain why, if you come to my house, most of the ornaments are still in a box and the tree has ornaments on the very bottom... and the very top.

The end. LOL...

Friday, December 15, 2006

I Think I'm Wanted for Bank Robbery

Yesterday afternoon, I needed to take a small check to the bank. I ran through the downpour of rain, inside, to what I felt was a very friendly branch. Everything was open and there was a hustle and bustle of happy people-- mostly tellers, which is unusual, but they really seemed to enjoy working there and I thought that was nice. I was immediately ready to switch branches, but that's neither here nor there.

I make it up to the counter and give the money to the teller and tell him I need to make a deposit. Usual standard procedure stuff. I notice that he's young. Cute. Friendly. And he writes my name better (prettier) than I do. I pause to think that's maybe something to do with his being left-handed.

He finishes writing everything down and asks me to slide my debit card through the reader, which I do, and then enter my pin number. Check! All completed.

He looks at the computer screen and I get ready to leave... I just need my receipt and the final "Have a nice day" so that I know the transaction is complete. But nothing is happening-- or rather what's happening, is that he's just standing at the computer STARING at it.

Umm...okay, that's weird. I know my balance is low, but... Wait! How low is it? I calculate in my head. No, I should still have money in there.

But the look on his face is getting more and more serious-- and he's stopped looking at me.

I'm thinking... okay, what's going on? when he calls over to the teller beside him. "I think you probably want to look at this..." A blond girl goes over and looks at the screen. "Huh..."

This little conference brings over two more employees who are looking at this computer screen their faces all going from curious to dire and I'm starting to do a little freak dance in my head.
Identity theft?! Did they finally find out about that bank robbery in Tennessee? Am I wanted by the FBI? Is there a mug shot of someone that looks like me on the screen? Oh wait, maybe that bank robbery was in Ohio. Am I wanted for murder? Have they frozen my account?


Finally, he looks back at me and smiles and I resist the temptation to look behind me to see if there's a security guard standing there. The other tellers walk away. He hands me my receipt and as he opens his mouth to say "Have a nice night" I have to ask... what the heck was that about?

"They've grounded all planes in the Northwest due to the severe weather warning."

I laughed and told him that for a second there I was worried that maybe I was wanted for something-- to which he chuckles-- and I leave.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Weight Loss Calculator

Wouldn't it be wonderful if there was a weight-loss calculator similar to the ones that they have for mortgages and loans? You could type in how much you currently weigh, your goal weight, what you ate the day before, and hit a button. It would calculate the number of calories you eat in a typical day and then tell you that if you worked out x amount a day for x days a week, it would take you THIS long to reach your goal weight.

Add to that the benefit that you could change some of the parameters to get a length of time that looks good. For instance, you could put in a "goal menu day" and mess with calories, or change the length of work out time, etc.

If such a thing existed, I believe it would motivate many, many people to get off their butt-- including me.

As for me, I always go to bed with big dreams of walking the next day. I have a treadmill right there in my office ready for use. Then, as in last night, the baby is keyed up until midnight, I finally get her down and asleep, my husband gets up and wakes the entire household up with him, then after getting the baby back down, the dogs settled... he starts snoring. So, in frustration and to keep myself from bonking him in his sleep with the pillow, I grab my pillow and blanket and head for the couch only to hear a voice ask "Hey, where are you going?"

"You're snoring! I'm going in the living room."

"No, I'll roll over."

And he does. Then, he starts snoring in my ear. VERY helpful. NOT! I grab my pillow and go to the couch where it takes me another 15-30 minutes to go back to sleep. So, total, I've gotten maybe four hours of sleep. Exercise... is the furthest thing from my mind and sleep takes center stage.

Until I get dressed and it starts all over again.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Fire Place

Last night brought the annual Fire Department Holiday Light Parade. The fire trucks get decked out with Christmas lights and they drive around the town for an hour and a half. You'd think it wouldn't be a huge deal, but people line the route, leaving the warmth of their home even on rainy days, to watch the parade. Afterward, they serve cookies and cocoa at the Fire Station where kids can look at the fire trucks, see Santa, and people can meet and greet eachother.

The short person apparently had a blast. I say this because as I was writing last night, I can hear her in our bedroom with her daddy telling him all about "The Fire Place" and the loud trucks and that there was a Santa on one of them. Her daddy asked "Really? A Santa" and she replied. "Yeah! A real Santa! On the truck!"

Thursday, December 7, 2006

The Heathen House

We've lived in our house for 10 years now, and for the last five of those years every time that the Church of Latter Day Saints puts out a new little magazine thing I get a visit from a little old lady.

I don't know why. I don't know who she is. But it's like clockwork. She'll show up with pamphlets in hand, proceed to ring the doorbell-- which makes the dogs bark, which in turn makes the baby scream-- and then start a five minute, one-sided conversation with me about these new pamphlets seemingly oblivious of the noise in the background and my impatient sighs.

I've never been rude to her, however. I have always been nice. Even though I am irked for more reasons that one.

Seriously, WHY does she come to our house? As long as I can remember, she has never gone to any of our neighbors. Is there a sign on our house that says "People that don't go to church live here" or "Two year old daughter learning to swear like sailor"?

The thing I find interesting as well is, if I were not brought up the way I was (in a Christian home) I would probably be rude and tell her to get lost. But I'm nice... and she keeps coming. Like clockwork. To her apparently chosen "Heathen House" on the block.


Wednesday, December 6, 2006

I Could Have Been Great

I used to sing. Well, really, I still do. In the car mostly, or after hours at work, when no one can hear me. I used to sing to the short person too, but lately not so much.

I used to have a really good voice too. I remember getting picked a lot at youth group to teach new songs. My shining moment was in Idaho at a youth camp. I remember setting all the kids abuzz with how good my voice sounded. (I also remember it was a great lesson for what clean air and altitude will do for acoustics and voice.) My dad wanted me to try for a scholarship in voice and attend college with it, but I didn't. Not sure why.

But all that's over now. Now, I must suck because I've gotten the "hand" from my daughter.

We'll be in the car and she'll ask me to sing along with a particular song, so I will, only to have her lift her little hand about three seconds into it and say, "No, no, Mom... don't sing."

Sad, but true.


It occurred to me last night in one of those blinding flashes of pure genius (haha) that the birthday system is totally screwed up because your first birthday is not really your first birthday-- it's your second birthday. Your first birthday was the day you were born.

Now, if you wanted to say first birthday anniversary, that would make sense. I could go with that one.

So, what that means is that I just celebrated my 36th birthday.

Man, that sucks.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Dear Santa, I Need Condoms for Christmas

So, I'm making it my New Year's resolution to have sex with my husband at least once a day for the upcoming year. I've really been slacking in this department, not because I want to, but having a child takes work and I'm just a little more tired than I was say, three years ago.

So this morning I was calculating out the number of condoms that I need to purchase in order to fulfill my goal and how much money it would cost. It went something like this...

365 days - (7 days for female "issues" x 12 months) - the 16 days he's fishing in October = 265 days

265 days / 12 condoms = 23 boxes

23 boxes x $30.00 per box (I'm allergic to latex, so we get the horribly expensive Naturalamb) = $690.00

*gasp, choke, gasp*


It's too expensive to have sex! I need a loan, or at best I need Santa to bring me condoms!!

Monday, December 4, 2006

Chucky Reborn! and I’m Raising a Hypochondriac

I don't watch the news and I don't read the newspaper. It's a self-preservation action that I implemented years ago when I found that much of what I read and saw stuck with me for far too long. I have found, however, that I really enjoy Yahoo's news writers. Not really sure why-- it may just be sheer volume of information to choose from-- but they also do not piss me off or depress me with their added view injections.

All that might have to change though. I have found a new site that is right up my alley. It's called Comcast WEIRD and they grabbed me from the first story I read.

It was about a teenager who had been involved in an auto accident when the doll that she had in the car started to cry. The sound so startled her that she smashed into the concrete barricade on the highway and then into a Ford pickup truck.

Apparently, there is a new doll out on the market that is meant to be used in health classes to teach parenting and family... whatevers they think that class teaches. Instead of the five pound bag of flour that you had to lug around as a student they now have a baby doll that cries and wets. Inside this doll is a computer chip that records how long it took the student to attend to the "child's" needs.

Sheesh! You'd think they'd at least warn the kids first. Any kid that's ever seen the movie Child's Play is going to be scarred for life after this experience!


Sadly, it has come to my attention that I am raising a hypochondriac. The short person in our house is totally addicted to taking medicine.

I have always appreciated the fact that my daughter is so darn good about taking medicine. When she was a baby, all I ever had to tell her was that it would make her feel better. Now, she tells me when she needs medicine-- and even which medicine she needs.

But this weekend, somewhere right after she'd asked for some Dimetapp because her nose was running and she became obsessed with walking around the house with the Little Noses Saline Nose Spray bottle up her nose, it hit me that she's an addict. Every booboo, every hurt, needs some sort of medication.

I don't want to over-react because I LIKE that she takes medicine. We might get to some point where she really needs it and I don't want to say something to her that will ingrain in her brain as a reason she shouldn't take it the next time she needs it.

So for now, the Vitamin C will double as "owie" relief. The gas drops will double as "tummy hurts" relief, and pretty soon, Flinstones Vitamins will double as something else.

And I will watch as she walks around the house squirting air from the Little Noses bottle up her nose because "her nose hurts".

I'm creating a monster, you know.


My husband and I went down to the park so that the little person could play and we could toss the football around. I do this more because it cracks me up that I can throw better than he can, but it really gets to me that his crappy throws make it look like I can't catch the thing!

Yesterday was no exception, but to add to his throwing was a pulled muscle in my shoulder. It was one of several injuries I have gotten from weird positions I force myself into in some strange sexual act. (Okay, maybe not strange. Pretty normal actually. I'm just a klutz.)

It reminded me of this one time that I had hurt either my ankle or my knee. Pretty badly too if I recall. I think I had a brace and crutches and everything. Anyway, I had gotten my foot caught under the recliner in our living room and twisted it.

For weeks, I had been successful as passing it off as an injury from playing soccer (which I was doing at the time). Until this one day that I was at my grandparent's house when my uncle was visiting.

I had gone through the round of "How'd you get hurt questions" and was enjoying the day when my uncle came up to me and pulled me aside.

"Okay, so... how did you really get hurt."

I looked at him, I'm sure with surprise written all over my face. He was looking into my eyes and I remember thinking "this can't be good".

"I hurt myself playing soccer."

"Yeah, umm... okay. So, how did you really get hurt."

I'm turning red at this point and looking back into his eyes. There was a look of "I know this is all bullshit" totally written there.

"I uh... got my foot caught in the recliner... umm... having sex..." the last part came out meekly, and I sighed in relief as he gave a little chuckle and walked away. I remember thinking that I was glad I hadn't grown up with him because I'd have never gotten away with anything!

Thank goodness he wasn't there yesterday. I'd have had a hard time telling the truth!

Friday, December 1, 2006

A Sudden, Potential Crisis

As I was getting the short person's bag ready this morning to go to the babysitter, my husband came in and poked his head through her bedroom door.

"I don't want to alarm you, but we have a potential crisis on our hands."

I looked up worried. He never uses that tone or those choice of words. "What? What's the crisis?" I'm prepared to charge forward and battle whatever it might be. Did one of the water pipes break? Is one of our dogs sick? I had just rolled out of bed, my eyes not fully open yet, but I was ready.

"Well, I don't want to alarm you, but... we're almost out of..."

In the space of that word and the next, I could feel my heartbeat increase. No, don't say coffee! Don't say it! I need it. Wait, maybe it's toilet paper. Okay... I can deal with that. Or maybe it's...
"... hairspray."


I cracked up laughing. Never have I understood why my husband, who is sadly losing his hair faster... well, faster than the pussy mentioned above does... uses hairspray. We go through a bottle about once a month-- and I don't use the stuff! At all. It's all him. Every hair perfectly in place and then about two seconds of spraying his hair with schellack.

It's one of those funny things that totally endears you to a person.

He is so going to kill me if he reads this. Rule 1 for writing-- don't write about him. LOL... I can usually sneak it in behind the short person, but this is blatant.

Other People's Blogs

You know, it amazes me how insanely easy it is for people to make other people angry with what they write. Right now, I specifically mean me.

I don't pretend to be good at this blogging thing-- and to be quite frank I usually write thinking no one's going to read it (no offense it just let's me be me a little better than I usually would be if self-consciousness came into play). But if being good at blogging means that you have to tear people down and insult them for their choices, I'd just as soon leave this to the "pros".

I decided, still not sure why, to go and look at some blogs. There's a little doo-hicky button thing that let's you access them easily off of your home page and go look by category (on MySpace). I chose the top one for no particular reason... and can't tell you how sorry I am for doing it because now, it will eat at me for the day.

It's a blog written by a single mother who is (if memory serves) 27-years old. In it she writes about a news report she heard about a couple that bought a baby from Mexico only to discover that it wasn't legal-- the baby was returned. Now, if the blog were solely about that story, it'd be one thing, but it isn't. Instead, it's an insulting piece on how selfish people are that "choose" to have children with the aid of medical procedures or adoption. Her view is that if God did not give you the ability to create children on your own, you are selfish for seeking out help. Immediately, I'm angry. It is such a narrow-minded opinion.

It took me seven years to get pregnant. Seven years of wondering why my body did not work the way it was supposed to work. Seven years of wondering it the doctor that told me at 21 that if I didn't have a child by 24 I would never be able to, was right.

Seven years of getting more and more hopeless, years of getting more desperate. Years of looking at adoption papers and trying to figure out how I would find upwards of $15,000 to adopt a child. Of asking myself if I was strong enough to adopt a child rather than a baby that had mental or physical issues. Until finally, I had rearranged my life to accept that I would never have a child.

Seven years, only to be surprised by the Short Person.

Was I selfish for wanting a child? I don't think so. Can I explain the insane need to have one? No. But I don't feel selfish for doing it. I don't feel selfish for wanting another one.

And I don't view people as selfish for seeking out what they feel is necessary to do what they need to do to have one. Invitro, Adoption, Shark plugs up your nose and in your ears... whatever. I understand that desperation. I wouldn't criticize for it.

Is that really what blogging is? I don't get it. Because if that's the case, I would write pages on how selfish it is of some one like her to have had a child. Of how sad it makes me that her views will be passed on to a child.

But then, hey, I don't know her. Maybe I just misread the damn thing. Maybe I was selfish. Maybe the world would be better off if no one had children that wasn't physically able. Maybe we should just let all those kids that were born but not wanted by their parents go without loving arms to hold them. Maybe they will grow up to be heartless and unable to love, or be drug dealers, or murderers.

What kind of a fucked up view do you have to have where that's the least selfish alternative?