Lead Balloon

August 27, 2008, 2:20 pm
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Have you ever had a “feeling” memory? )I made up this word, I don’t know what else to call it.) It’s like a mini-flashback where, in a split second, you are reminded of exactly how you felt at a particular place in time?

I had one the other day. I wasn’t doing anything special, I was just getting a coffee mug out of the cabinet and about to pour myself a cup of coffee. And I remembered, in an instant, and felt, in that same instance, exactly how I felt the week Natalie was born, when I was preparing for my mom to come visit.

Now, I know that I’ve mentioned here only 200 times before how that was the best week of my life, ever. I still maintain that nothing will ever top it. But what I was remembering in this instant were the days leading up to her arrival, when I was preparing the house for family to arrive, preparing for my hospital stay, etc. I remembered making sure there were blankets and such for my mom, who was going to be staying for a couple weeks when we got home.

And this gave me the most comforting sense of peace. My mother coming. To my house. To take care of me.

I remember how excited I was about THIS and how nervous I was about PUSHING A BABY OUT OF MY BODY. But this particular memory was just around the “good” butterflies that were in my stomach about my mom’s impending arrival.

I love those feelings.


August 23, 2008, 8:18 am
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I’ve spent a lot of time in airports over the past couple of weeks. I’ve just had a lot of work lately that takes me out of my comfy home office where I don’t HAVE to get out of my PJ’s and into an environment where uncomfortable shoes are just a by-product of the good and necessary other goings-on.

Anyway, as we all know, airports make for very good people watching. A couple of observations this last trip:
1. I’m pretty sure that the trend of having a very small dog that fits into a designer bag makes airport workers want to kill a bunch of trend-following females.
2. It’s a shame that you could get arrested for picking up and consoling a stranger’s child. Even if that stranger is spending 45 minutes or so on the phone with her husband while her one year-old is screaming for attention, and clearly scared of her surroundings.
3. Airplanes smell. They just do. And there’s nothing you can do about it. They have this sweaty, oily hair smell.
4. Related to #3 – no one cleans airplanes. The insides of them, I mean. The windows have a film on them from hair products and dirty hands, the floors are covered in crumbs, and the seats themselves should be re-upholstered more often than they are.
5. First class shouldn’t be so close to the first few rows of coach. On the last leg of the last trip I took, I sat in row 8, just a couple rows behind first class. As I munched on my Chex Mix, I closed my eyes and imagined that I was eating whatever it was that smelled so good up in first. You know nice, lovely things are happening up there, but when you’re sitting in the 25th row it doesn’t bother you so much. When you have to look at it and smell it…That’s a different story.

Just some random Saturday thoughts.

Confession, McRib
August 22, 2008, 11:47 am
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When I was a little girl, my dad used to take me to McDonald’s to get a McRib sandwich. We owned restaurants, as a family, for years. Even a fast food restaurant (Texas Stop Sign!) But for some reason, he loved these things. And McDonald’s doesn’t sell them year-round. They come and go. And when they’d make their return, we’d drive to a nearby town (to the closest McDonald’s at the time!) to get one.

No one knew meat better than my dad – his last job was actually in sales for a meat packing and restaurant supply company. He was actually a “meat snob” in some ways – if you even DARED to put a drop of steak sauce on one of his steaks, he’d be insulted and he’d let you know it. “A good steak doesn’t need a sauce of any kind.” He was the Meat Nazi, before there was an anything-Nazi besides real Nazis. The point here is, it’s very strange to me, still, that he liked the McRib. There’s nothing else in the world that might be better described as MYSTERY MEAT than a damned McRib sandwich!

This takes us to today. And my confession.

I drove to McDonald’s for lunch, in my pajamas. And the McRib is back. And I got one.

My confession is not around the fact that I ate the mystery meat, but the fact that I LIKED IT. Not nearly as much as I love a Quarter Pounder, though. WHY!?!???!?? Oh…and the DELICIOUS french fries. We all know that in my first trimester of pregnancy, I craved McDonald’s hamburgers. Didn’t care for McDonald’s before that…I was even a little grossed out by it, especially after seeing “Super Size Me”, the movie. And I live with the Anti-McDonald’s President, my husband. My confession is that today, I realized that I love McDonald’s. I hate to love it. I hate to love those Quarter Pounders. I can see each one of them in every dimple in my thighs.

It’s not “cool” to love McDonald’s.
It’s also not very good for my cholesterol.
I feel like I should hide the evidence.
But I won’t, because that will mean I have a whole other set of problems.

Rainy day thoughts
August 15, 2008, 8:00 am
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I had a dream last night that I weighed 243 pounds. I knew this was my weight because in my dream, they were lining us up and weighing us at work. At work! And I remember the exact number because it’s the amount of a check that I have been needing to write and desposit for some time now. How do my weight and the amount of a check come together in dream land like that? Dreams are so strange.

I’m looking forward to this weekend, but am not in any way looking forward to next week. I was out of town three days this past week, and will be out for four days next week. This traveling makes me crazy. Have I mentioned that before?

This week was our three year anniversary. Three whole years. Why does it seem like ten? I think that’s a good thing. I do feel like I’ve known him my whole life… However, I spent most of our anniversary on a plane, and not with my dearly beloved, but with my very good friend, Mary. She’s always been my back up, so it seems fitting. 😉

It’s raining here. I just realized, also, that it hasn’t rained here in months. I know this because Jack’s little wet paws have never bothered me so much as they do now that we have “show anything and everything” fake wood downstairs.

I was hoping to get some time by the pool this weekend, since I’ve only done that (I think?) two times this summer. Much different than last summer, and more of a pattern to expect for summers to come. Unless we get a pool. Not likely, since we’re not even sure where to fit Natalie’s blow-up pool in our matchbook back yard. We really need to find a bigger house.

Back to how I started this random post…why is it that you don’t see the fat on your thighs, hips and stomach as much in your own home as you do in hotel mirrors? This is what I hate most about traveling – all the full-length mirrors that are in the most AWFUL places in the room. Like directly in front of the toilet…Or on the closet doors, where you’re standing – naked – about to put your clothes on?

I think that overall, I’m having a gloomy day. I think it’s the rain.

August 6, 2008, 7:16 am
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All along, I thought we had a surplus of recycling to place on our curb because I live with the Recycling Nazi who picks through, even, bathroom trash to pick out recyclable, biodegradable items.

But no. It’s not that.

My husband brings home all the recycling from his office because they don’t recycle.

He’s bringing trash home from work.
In his car. The same car he transports our daughter to school in…It’s not a truck. With an open bed. It’s a Hyundai.

To our home.

The Price of Things
July 23, 2008, 3:08 pm
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I have never, EVER been conscious of how much groceries cost. Other things, yes. I’ve ranted here a number of times about my feelings on high-dollar cars, purses, sunglasses and the such and how that money could so much be better used helping our homeless or aiding the illiterate in their efforts to learn to read and subsequently find adequately paid work that can take them off the welfare rolls. High-dollar pedicures, on the other hand…That money is basically useless when it comes to charity. Trust me, I’ve done the research.

There’s a perfect storm brewing in the Luckey household, though. It involves things like saving more and spending less, having and feeding a 10-month old who is more “experimental” (read: wasteful) than “efficient” with her food, and the general nationwide increase in food costs… All of this is brewing up a frenzy that I’m afriad will cause my husband to, despite his very expensive and healthy eating habits, go into cardiac arrest the minute he sees our grocery charges come through on his budget spreadsheet.

(Yes, the man has a budget spreadsheet. And this is why he is so stinkin’ sexy.)

Anyway. Today I do my “strategic grocery shopping” at lunch. It’s strategic because it involves the development of many lists, the clipping of many coupons and the planning of every trip down every aisle. I have to optimize my time because I go on my lunch break – this means more time with Natalie in the mornings and/or evenings. This is how much, or most, of my time is planned.

I had two stops to make. One at Costco – the bulk item grocery store giant, and the next at Tom Thumb, my neighborhood grocery store. I love going to Costco at lunch time because they have all of those delicious free samples!

But today, they all sucked.

I bought enough Ziploc bags to last us a lifetime – even longer, considering that Todd re-uses his over and over again. (To me, Ziploc bags are kind of like condoms or maxi pads – very, very useful but only intended for one-time use.) I also bought tons of produce – Costco has great prices on fresh veggies and fruit. And with the amount Todd consumes in a day, we buy in bulk or die. (Clearly, he cannot survive on a coffee, a granola bar, tap water and lean pockets throughout the day like I can.) And I got other household necessities like 7,200 rolls of toilet paper, Cascade, and the like.

I get to the register and I’m thinking this is going to cost around $100. Although the cart is pretty hard to push at this point, so maybe more…But not too much more. You know, you used to be able to gauge your spending by eyeballing your cart. No more, my friends. Not to mention, when they scan my card it’s time to renew the membership. Fifty more bucks. Doesn’t it always seem like “it’s time to renew your membership?” They’ve got you by the balls at that point, it’s not like you can “check your records” to see when you actually last did it….you just trust it, hand over your cash, and move on. Because there ain’t no way Mama’s leaving there without that new GoLean Crunch cereal.

Turns out, it was around $250. Still. A lot for a 3-person family with one member recycling Ziplocs and the other eating only items that come in cigarette-sized packages.

Move on to Tom Thumb and to save you the misery of outlining the details of this trip I’ll just say that 1) I was buying the ingredients for two brunch recipes for this weekend, as I’m having some new people over, 2) Natalie was out of her food at school, and 3) we needed some staples. Like ice cream.

$150 more. People, I’m not very good at adding without a calculator, but I believe that’s $400 in groceries IN ONE LUNCH HOUR. (Okay, it took me more than an hour.)

It’s INSANE. And I use COUPONS. COUPONS!!!!!!! It can’t just be us and our perfect storm. The increase in food costs has to be affecting others. My friends and I often wonder how people who make minimum wage can even afford to DRIVE to the grocery store, much less BUY anything? It’s very disheartening, this world. I wish Angelina and Brad would get back to the USofA so they can focus their energies on those that might be going hungry here on our continent…Well, that and their new little angel babies that will no-doubt have perfect lips.

July 17, 2008, 10:21 am
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When I was pregnant, Todd didn’t gain weight like a lot of dads-to-be do. You know, the pregnant lady is usually eating more, some even using the pregnancy excuse as a reason to eat BAD food, and the husband follows suit and eats more crap and gains weight. You know, that whole deal. Instead, in our house, Todd begain training for triathlons, and has continued to do so. His new hobby.

When he trains, he burns calories like crazy. When he actually does a race, he burns a couple THOUSAND calories. Literally. THOUSANDS of calories. So, he has to eat more. And he wonders why our grocery spending is so high. He blames the general cost of food increasing, and the fact that we now have another “eater” in the house…but I’m not so sure that it’s not the fact that he eats ABOUT TWELVE TIMES A DAY, and not all of them “small meals”.

My point is – the tables are turned now. He’s the one eating more. And, allowing himself some indulgences (like brownie/ice cream sundaes) because he really needs to consume more calories. To stay alive.

And I’m consuming right along with him, just as any devoted wife would do. But I’m not participating in these triathlons, nor am I growing a baby inside of me.

Something’s got to change. Quick-style.