Lead Balloon

Mondays Suck
March 18, 2008, 10:37 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Yesterday, which spilled into the wee hours of this morning, was just the weirdest day for me. I’ve had worse days, for sure. But this one, was just a little off for some reason.

First of all, I didn’t shower all day. Sure, there were opportunities. But it just didn’t happen for some reason. And now, it’s 11:36 AM on Tuesday – I’m having lunch – and I’ve still not showered. I think my normal routine is a bit off because Todd has been going into work later this week, because he’s doing testing after hours. So he goes in late, stays late. And that means he and Natalie are at the house later in the morning, so my day gets started a little later as well. This is not to say my lack of showering or my feeling “off” is his fault. Just a factor in the big picture.

We have a two-story house. I really pride myself on what an efficiency machine I am when it comes to taking things up and down the stairs. When Todd brings the trash down from upstairs (compiled into one or two little waste baskets) I load things into those waste baskets that need to go back upstairs. Like shoes, things that need to be filed in the office, books, things like that. They’re not dirty – they just hold office trash, that type of thing. So I’m okay with using them to transport items. They’re like my little camels here at the house. Well, this got me into major trouble once…I’d loaded one of them up, full of papers, books, and I can’t even remember what. Brought it upstairs into the office and neglected to unpack it before the next trash day. And what happened? Todd trashed all of it. The only thing I could REMEMBER that was in there was a dog-eared baby name book. Who knows what Natalie’s name would have been, had that book not been thrown away…


So in Natalie’s room a few days ago, I’d taken her dirty clothes out of her hamper and placed them into a laundry basket, knowing that I needed to get a load of her clothes ready to wash. (Her clothes get washed separately, in this delicate, delicious smelling detergent.) Well that basket sat in her room a few days and I kept adding to it, when I’d bathe or or change her clothes. Or when she’d spit up all over something.

One day not too long ago I was in the car with my friend Mary and had to run into the store to grab some formula. While I was in there, I spotted a Family Circle magazine at the check out that had an article on getting organized at home. Mary and I had JUST been talking about that in the car, so I grabbed it and offered it to her to read. Unfortunately the article was crap – you had to have a pretty sophisticated drawer and cabinet system already to follow their instructions. So the magazine – not full of the type of articles or pictures I typically like (read: nothing about Brit-Brit or Brangelina) – sat in my car for weeks. It made it into the house at some point, and up to Natalie’s room for some reason.

Well – I threw that magazine into the laundry basket in Natalie’s room the other day, so that it could make its way back downstairs and into the recycling trash can.

Family Circle made its way downstairs. And into the washing machine with Natalie’s load of laundry.

Without going into major, boring details…there was a blanket of magazine snow all over my laundry room when I got up at 5:45 this morning. I’d asked Todd to put that load of clothes into the dryer for me before he went to bed. Well…poor guy…He opened that washing machine to a load full of tiny wet pieces of paper, all over Natalie’s clothes. He shook off as much as he could and put the clothes into the dryer, and didn’t start it, thank God. So what I found when I went into the laundry room was an empty washing machine – well, full of tiny, wet pieces of Family Circle, more tiny, wet pieces of Family Circle on the floor in a huge pile, and tiny, wet pieces of Family Circle all over the half-wet clothes in the dryer.

I cleaned out the washer. Then I shook out every piece of her clothing from the dryer. Now that they were semi-dry, the pieces came off easier. And onto the floor. Re-washed everything. Cleaned out the dryer. And swept up, I swear, a million pieces of Family Circle off my laundry room floor. The pile of pieces looked like the biggest mound of confetti you’ve ever seen. But it was kind of nasty and damp and not from a big party where smiley, happy people THREW it in the air in joy! Yay.

I was telling my friends Mary and Allison about this incident, and Allison said “If one of our husbands had done this, you know they’d never hear the end of it from us.” What an interesting perspective. If Todd had washed the magazine in there, I’d be all over him – “THIS is why I always want to do the laundry! Don’t touch the laundry!” Poor husbands. Poor Todd. He didn’t even make fun of me or complain…He just helped. Sweet thing.

I’m just hoping that maybe, maybe those pieces of Family Circle will have clogged all the mechanical parts of that washing machine, and maybe, just maybe it will mean that we HAVE to go buy a new high-efficiency front loader. 🙂


Like Sands Through the Hourglass…
March 10, 2008, 8:15 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Friday night, I showered and fixed my hair, as we were meeting some old co-workers out for dinner and I wanted to look my best. (Ha!) Anyway – I do shower on a regular basis, but actually taking the time to blow dry and curl my hair is another thing. I wear it wet most of the time, pulled up into a bun. This seems to work well with my schedule. I work from home and am here all day, alone with my cat and dog. They really don’t seem to care or notice if my hair is “fixed”, and they actually prefer it when I’m a little more stinky and not so squeaky clean. So they’re really not the target audience I’m trying to please on a day-to-day basis. My own husband would prefer if I wore no make-up at all. (However, I have noticed that when I get all dolled up and ready to go somewhere, he says to Natalie, “Look how hot that mama looks…!” Maybe he does care…?)

Anyway, the point is that if I were going into an office every day and interacting with people, maybe I’d take the time to take a few steps toward enhancing my state of beauty every day. But really, my natural beauty is so overwhelming to most people, it’s for the safety of the people of this great state that I just keep things less enhanced.

So back to Friday. I got all fancied up and was about to go downstairs to load the baby up and head out with Todd…when I saw it…

A gray hair.

On my head.

I’d have never noticed it if I’d just kept the hair all wet and balled up into a bun on the top of my head. But no, I blowed it all dry and straight and curled it up so nice…and in doing so basically shined a huge spotlight on what is the first sign that I am old, old, old… To make things worse, when we got into the car and I was pointing out to Todd, in the mirror, that there was a gray hair there, I found ANOTHER ONE! Sweet Jesus.

So Todd has tons of gray hair, so he didn’t think anything of it. “So what, you have two gray hairs! Just pull them out!” But he doesn’t get it. I’m a good four years older than him. (Actually from this month, all the way until July, I’m about FIVE YEARS OLDER THAN HIM!) I don’t need any more indicators that are visible and obvious to the outside world that I’m completely robbing the cradle here.

The truth is, I really do embrace getting older and wiser…I’m not really that upset about having gray hair. It just shocked me. I’ve never put any sort of color or chemical in my hair (for fear that it will just fry up, and fall completely out), and I likely never will, so I’ve just got to get used to it. I know people who have no idea what their natural hair color is anymore. They’ve got no idea if they have gray hair or not… I just can’t imagine not knowing those things about myself. What does the “hair color” option on their driver’s license say? Truly, I’m kind of fascinated by that. I’m always intrigued by all the hair color paraphernalia stuff at the salon. The foil, the chemicals, the little key-chain looking strands of hair color hanging on the wall for you to choose from. I have often wished that I could be a member of that hair color club, but the truth is I don’t have the time for it. Anything that requires me to go back to some place for a touch up or a re-do or a re-fill…is a level of personal maintenance that I just can’t get on board with (remember how I started this post, and the ass-whippin’ I feel that blowing my hair dry is…) Some days I can’t believe that I have to keep filling my car up with gasoline in order to make it go. Why can’t it just GO on its own??? (I’m kidding about that, for the most part.)

Anyway, I have gray hair now. I’m a mother, I have gray hair and I have high cholesterol. And receding gums. And perhaps some other issues I’m having checked out. I’d heard from a lot of friends that you hit this certain age – it’s not the same for everyone – but you get there and all of a sudden everything changes. I told Todd the other day that I was really excited about this, my 32nd year. I have so much to look forward to with Natalie and all the really ground-breaking things she’s going to do this year…And in the first week of my 32nd year I found the gray hair and found out I have high cholesterol. Slap in the face!

It’s all just a sign that it’s time to work to make things better and get this old body into working order. And I’m taking the steps to do so…even if I’m grumpy and don’t like it. 🙂

Happy Monday!

March 4, 2008, 8:49 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dearest Allison,

I’m writing you from the confines of my home, as it snowed last night in Dallas and – while I know you, a resident of Portland, Maine, a place that has received record-setting snow fall this year, know what it’s like to have snowfall, surely nothing compares to this! I’ve taken a few photographs to share with you, as I think you’ll better understand our circumstances once you have a visual.

It all started last night while we were eating dinner. (It appears that my craving for Subway sandwiches has not subsided since pregnancy, so we tried to re-create them at home – not successful, I wouldn’t suggest trying this.) Todd got up from the TV tray (in front of the television – which now that I look back, am surprised it was even working in such a storm) and said, “It’s snowing outside!” I could hear the excitement in his voice and I immediately started cursing Mary for all those “snow prayers” she’s been saying. After all, I knew what this meant for me. I’d have to get to the grocery store PRONTO and start building up my reserves of canned goods, bottled water…And I’d have to make sure our First Aid kit was stocked and full of all the cold-weather necessities, whatever those are. But I let him enjoy his child-like wonder of the snow falling, and I got up to join him at the window and watch it, in all its beauty, falling to the ground.

We went to bed, and as soon as I woke up I went to the window and saw it. Yes, it was still there, all white and beautiful. And debilitating. Man, I started to really understand what you meant by feeling so homebound and trapped in your home. I started to wonder if I, too, would need to get out there and shovel the walkway and driveway, much like you’re always having to do, so that Todd could get out the door and out to work. I made a mental note to myself to bring the hairdryer downstairs with me, thinking it might be easier and more effective than the shovel. The shovel we don’t own.

I went downstairs to find Natalie sleeping and Todd working at his computer, so I decided to get bundled up, grab the camera, and get outside to get some pictures of our storm so that you’d have proof and documentation of our misery.

I searched and searched for snow banks seven feet tall, like those you sent us pictures of just yesterday. I’m sure they were there. It’s just that when it snows like this, everything looks white. Things are so hard to find out there. So this is all I got.

This first photo is of one of Natalie’s bath toys, as you can see, COVERED in snow on the back porch table. (Don’t ask why one of her bath toys was left outside. See, the dolphin came in a package of 8 or so toys, and we just couldn’t bare not giving one to Jack. So this one is his.)

Bath Toy - Covered

These next two pictures are just of two of the backyard items that I fear won’t even WORK anymore, once this storm passes. One of a brand new water hose (which ironically, has been brand new for about a year now, still never used.) And the grill. Thank God we covered the grill before the storm hit, or I fear that we’d really never see those yummy grilled kabobs this summer! Maybe once the weather dies down a bit, I’ll convince Todd to go out, scrape the snow off these items, and get them into the garage…fast!

Water hose Snow Covered Grill

So after this really depressing walkthrough of the back yard, I went to the front of the house to get some photos. That walk through the house, from the back door to the front, was heaven. The warmth! Thank God for electric heating! I just checked the temperature outside so that you could get a better idea of how things feel here – it’s 37 degrees!!! THIRTY SEVEN! Good Lord, that’s almost freezing! We could die here, if we’re not careful!!!

In the front yard I made sure to snap a picture of the BLANKET of snow that is covering our few square inches of yard in front of our zero-lot line home. I’m scared to walk out into this, for fear that I might sink and never be found!

Front Yard - Blanket of Snow

I walked over to the car, to see if it’s even DRIVABLE. Of course, it’s not. It’ll take weeks to get the snow off of it. So glad I made that midnight trip to Wal-Mart for my reinforcement supplies. Or else we’d be in big trouble, and hungry for the next several weeks! I only wish I had a really big “scraper” tool of sorts, so that I could get this snow and ice off of the car and actually go VOTE today. But it looks like I’m stranded here, and who knows for how long.

The Car

I also took a picture of the rooftop, and our front flower bed. Don’t let these pictures fool you. Just because there’s no snow on the plant life beneath the roof, that doesn’t mean this wasn’t a nasty storm. And just because the front bed got very little snow (although I’d beg to differ, and say that this is still, in fact, a substantial amount), it doesn’t mean that we’re not suffering here. It just means that Todd plans well. He did something to these bushes and flower beds to ensure that they’d make it through a storm, should it come through.

Rooftop - Covered Front Flower Bed

And finally, after I braved the cold (37 degrees!) and got the photos I wanted to send you, I went back inside and asked Todd to bundle Natalie up and come outside – I felt it was pretty important that we document that this record-setting snow in Dallas came to us the same year that brought us our Natalie. It’s her first snow!!! So of course I had to get some photos. We bundled her up as warm as we possibly could, and laid down a blanket on the ground, so that she wouldn’t sink through into the several centimeters of snow there. Here’s the shots we got. As you can see, she appears to be FREEZING. Don’t worry, we didn’t leave her out there too long. Once her fingers, toes and nose started to turn a bluish-black, we scooped her up and got her inside next to the fireplace. Granted, there was no fire there, but we definitely plan on making one, as cold as it is.

Nat - Almost Gone Nat - Sinking

And finally, I snapped one of Natalie and her Daddy, together in the snow. I hope you can see them, through the actual snow falling. Please don’t be fooled by the fact that Todd is, in fact, not wearing a jacket. And he has on a short sleeved shirt. Don’t let this be a sign of how cold it ISN’T here…He’s just a man and does not know any better. He will probably come down with pneumonia because of this one incident. And of course, it’ll be me who has to nurse him back to health. I only hope I have enough items in the First Aid kit to give him the care he will need through this, as I doubt that any of the hospitals or doctor’s offices will even be open for weeks. I’m sure they, too, can’t get out of their driveways and to the office.

Todd and Nat

I’m going to sign off now. Saving electricity. You never can be too safe. I sure hope that your snow is melting away today…If you pray for the same for us, we’ll reciprocate. Bundle up and stay warm! I’m going to go try that hairdryer out on the front porch.

Warmest of love,