Thursday, May 28, 2009

Killing It Softly

Not to brag or anything, but I kind of killed it today. Worked, got in a good nap, made both hair and makeup look decent for once, unloaded the dishwasher while giving kid advice, worked a ton more, during which I remained non-plussed while being continually spat-up upon and enduring the overtired toddler pterodactyl cry, bought wine (the need for which is completely unrelated to spit-up and pterodactyl-type toddlers), went to both banks we patronize, and put gas in the car. That last bit is what really put the frosting on the killed-it cupcake, as there's not much I loathe doing more than putting gas in the car. Only one thing, really, speaking only of things I actually have to do, of course, not things that I do not have to suffer through which are much, much worse (first world problems, blah, blah, blah), and that's scraping my car's windows when it's chilly. So there are two things I cannot stand, right there at the top of the list, and they both have to do with the car. Clearly, I was cut out to be a public transportation kind of girl. Nobody makes you scrape windows on the bus, or gas it up, for that matter. Same goes for trains, both overground and under.


Not to be making any sort of big announcement or anything, but Jarod and I have been having a lot of adoption related discussions, mostly centered around the fact that we're filling out an application and have to answer important questions like "Are you applying to adopt a special needs child?" The short answer is yes, but the longer one is that we will gladly parent a child who is reasonably healthy or one who needs a bit more care, and the even longer one is that we are prepared to deal with some needs and not others at this point in time. Anything correctable or treatable is a go, and for me there are some not-so-fully treatable diseases that I'd be fine with, but that's me being all comfortable with the idea of anti-retrovirals and buying enormous packages of latex gloves at Costco and such. I would open my arms to an HIV positive child without hesitation, but it's not just about me, and the truth is that I know it would make a lot of people very uncomfortable, and that's not a position I want to put my child in. I find this to be frustrating, considering that it's not an airborne disease, but what I find to be even more frustrating is the position we end up being in when it comes to diseases that are similarly transmitted (blood to blood contact, sexually, needle sharing, etc.) but for which there is a vaccination. I understand people being nervous about some freak accident happening in which our child's blood would somehow get in their child's scabbed over wound, and that when it comes to a disease for which there is no vaccine and no cure, it's just hard to get around feeling protective of your own child. I get that. But the conversation turned to Hepatitis B, for which there is a vaccine, and Jarod made the point that even though there is one, it doesn't mean that people will have their children get it. This makes me want to smack people just a little bit, or maybe just call them selfish stupidheads.


There will be another blog, by the way, once we get our adoption-related cows over their adoption-related buckets. Because if there's one thing I need, it's another blog. First, though, we'll get through the first step of actually being approved by an adoption agency. I'd hate to point you somewhere only to have to go, "Oops, no, wait a minute."

I'll keep you posted. For now, you can think happy adoption thoughts and send them our direction, praying that the adoption-related cows will come in peacefully from the meadow to be milked by the loving hands of a couple of nerds who want to be parents.

Something in that metaphor kind of fell apart there; let's ignore that bit.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Some of You Will Nod in Understanding; Others Will Roll Their Eyes

I'm getting closer and closer to heading to bed after some late night catching up. I headed to bed the first time tonight with a raging tension headache, and no amount of tossing and turning or kitty cat petting would cure it. Even extensive pressure applied by loving fingers to my head, neck, and shoulders didn't make a significant dent. So I broke it down to what was bothering me, and I got up and took care of it.

Lest you think I was on a quest for deeper spiritual meaning or needed to solve a key budgetary issue or something, let me give you a brief list of what was bothering me.

1. Lack of workout since Friday.
2. Laundry, bunched up in the same baskets I put it in last Monday, minus the articles we'd dug out and worn during the week.
3. Dishes--pots and pans mostly, with two cookie sheets and a non-dishwasher-safe travel mug thrown into keep it interesting.

As I completed each task, I felt the tension easing more and more, until finally, when I threw in a quick clean of the bathroom for good measure, it was just a dull pull at my temples.

I can sleep now, at last.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Generally when little things go wrong or someone mistakenly thinks I have done something wrong of which I am innocent, I can let it go. But for some reason, the parking company that manages both the Country Club Plaza garages and the Power & Light District parking gets my goat every time. I think it's the combination of incompetence and...oh, wait, it's just the incompetence. It irritates me no end. It makes me want to punch the parking company in the face. I'd like to beat up the parking company. Except I suspect that, like in every single dream I have in which I am required to fight, my fists would become like delicate little flowers, and my arms would turn to something more appropriate to Gumby than to someone who does the second and third levels and the 30 Day Shred twenty minutes apart from one another. "Oh, yeah, parking people? You wanna take this outside? Okay, you...uh...go out there..."

The problem is that the parking control folks not only fail to recognize that two people can share the same vehicle, but also cannot make a record of the message I've left three times before. "This is the car I share with my husband. He works on the Plaza, but generally rides the bus or his bike to work. If the car is parked in a space that is not appropriate for a Plaza employee, it is because I am driving it. I am not a Plaza employee. Please check your security cameras. Do you see a woman getting out of the car? That's me, not my husband. He's not a woman. Please call me at blah-di-blah-woof-di-woof if you need further information. Otherwise I will assume that no further action is needed. Again, my name is Mary and my number is blah-di-blah-woof-di-woof." The last time I was tempted to add "ASSHOLES" to the end of the speech, but I didn't. This is because I recognize that we are all human, and we can make mistakes! Okay, and also because I don't want them to target me for any parking-related mischief.

Clearly, this didn't work, because today I found a FINAL WARNING on my windshield, advising me to contact their office to discuss parking options. Or else! Ticket! Removal of vehicle! WARNINGWARNINGWARNING!!!


I mean, how hard is it to make a note where you've recorded our license plate number? I've used Excel. It's not that hard! Tomorrow I will march into their office and show them. Or I'll just say, "I'm the woman who left you a very long message yesterday and did not once call you dumbasses. Because I'm a giver! Now figure out how to identify who is parking the vehicle in the customer space instead of just assuming it's an employee. This is your FINAL WARNING." I don't know if I should bring a bullhorn for that last bit or just use my own voice talents. What do you think?


It probably doesn't help that I discovered ants in my cereal box this morning. Every weekday morning I eat yogurt with Kashi granola in it, and for some reason I thought the ants either wouldn't find the granola or wouldn't bother it. Um, yeah, wrong. Two ants were climbing around the outside of the box, cluing me in to what was inside, which was more of their brethren climbing around inside the bag, on the cereal itself.

So I ate just yogurt for breakfast.

Well, okay, no, I didn't. I consoled myself by also eating some of the chocolate toffee peanuts that jumped into my bag on Saturday. It kind of helped, but I left for work still pretty pissed off at the ants. If only they knew that I'm not a morning person and could ruin foods I'd find later in the day. I'd still be mad, but maybe I wouldn't fantasize about dumping all the cereal into the sink and pouring boiling water on top of the ants, simultaneously cursing their mothers and the day they were born.


Also, just now I burned some hamburgers. I'm pretending they're Cajun style, blackened.

I should quit while I'm ahead.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I've Gone and Done It AGAIN

I booked our autumn trip so that Jarod's birthday occurs while we are away. I'm not sure whether we'll be in London or Nice at that point, but either way, don't you kind of want to look at Jarod and sneer at his good fortune? Go ahead, he's not looking. And I won't tell.

We scheduled the trip then for a few reasons, but mostly because we went at the same time last year and it worked out well. It's not so late in the season that everything is shut down in Nice, yet late enough that many of the tourists have cleared out and prices on accommodations are lower. The weather is still warm enough in both cities that we don't suffer being out and about, even in the evening. It's a good time to go.

You may be wondering, too, why we keep going to the same places. What are we, boring? Uninteresting? Stupid? Possibly all three, but the truth is that London always has something else to offer, and from Nice we can get to myriad attractive destinations. It also seems more like a vacation when we are comfortable and don't feel like sleeping in will cause us to miss something very important. To us, the sleeping is what's very important. Well, that and the pastries.

I am, of course, already dreaming of those pastries. September simply can't come fast enough.

Monday, May 11, 2009

This Will Be Totally Disappointing

I don't blog often anymore because what would I tell you? Hi, we found another snake in our garage. Also, I have no time to keep my house in order and get enough sleep, so I choose sleep and just accept that sometimes I don't get the non-perishables put away for two days. At least I moved the bag with the chocolate chips in it out of the sun, right? I should probably get a special prize for that; bag scooching takes some serious effort.

Other than that, I've been thinking a lot lately about being an introvert and how that shapes my relationships (that came out way more self-help-bookish than intended). Particularly I'm noticing how I react to children. When kids are small, I tend to do well with all of them; this is largely because they sleep a lot, so even if they're chatterboxes that hate to be alone for even a moment, I still get a break. As they get older and the naps disappear, I find it much easier to deal with introvert children. This is not to say that I don't love the extroverts, but man alive, if they don't find a friend to play with, it nearly drives me to drink, which isn't smiled upon in my line of work, except by certain families (props to the dad who encouraged me to spike my eggnog if it would help me make it through the day). When I think back to the days I had alone with Mary Liz, I realize that the reason they were so blissful is that we are of like mind. She was happy to sit next to me wherever we went, quietly amusing herself, chatting a little, but mostly getting lost in what she was doing, so I was free to do the same. All this is to say that I pray every night on bended knee and with great fervency that when we have kids, they are not all extroverts. It takes a lot of time to pray until my knees are bruised and/or bloody, and that's why I have no time left to blog.

The end.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Public Service Announcement

If you have a small ant problem, and find that the ants are mainly in your dishwasher, noshing on the food that's left on your dirty plates since you no longer leave dirty dishes or food out anywhere else in the kitchen, please consider the following:

1. They will somehow live through the dishwasher cycle, even if you have your hot water heater set at the highest temperature possible.

2. Because the food source has been removed from the dishwasher, if you do not shut and seal the dishwasher door completely after unloading, the ants will exit in search of food. Your counters will then be covered with hungry, frantic ants who have just been through a very traumatic experience.

3. You will never find all the ants, so drown the ones you can in the sink and then accept that you'll find more, possibly crawling on your back during your workout.

You may now return you to whatever it was you were doing, and I sincerely hope it wasn't killing ants.

Things That Have Changed My Life: A List

1. Naps.

2. Modern Friction from Origins. It helps prevent acne by sloughing off dead skin cells, and my skin looks brighter when I use it. Plus, it's helped heal a lot of my acne scarring. I tried to go without it and got three enormous zits. Lesson learned.

3. Copious amounts of 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide Gel from Daniel Kern. This is the guy who started What I love about it is that, in conjunction with my Origins products, it's completely prevented breakouts. I had horrible adult acne, and this did the trick. It's also made without parabens, which I love.

4. Yoga. Running started me on my way to understanding better how my body works and how to listen to it; yoga has fleshed that understanding out more fully. I think a lot more now about how I am holding and moving my body, about how my body and mind and spirit are working together. It's taught me a lot about balance and acceptance. Plus, for the first time ever, I asserted myself in regards to my schedule and my own needs; everyone I work for knows that I go to yoga on Tuesday evenings, and I am not available to work then.

5. Boden (and other retailers like them). I know, I know, hello consumeritis. But the truth is that it feels good to spend a little more on clothes that are produced ethically. The fit of the clothing I've ordered has been excellent, and the quality is superb. Now that I'm pretty much an old woman, I'd much rather buy classic pieces that will last, and I love that I don't have a twinge of guilt every time I put the clothing on, wondering if it was made by a child or someone who is enslaved to their employer.

6. Staying a nanny. I know that being a nanny is something that many people do while they are going through school or between college and their "real" profession. It's been humbling in the best way possible to keep doing something that most people think is for those of lesser intelligence or experience. I am proud of the job that I have done for the people I have worked for, and prouder still of the little people I've helped grow up. I am good at this, and I like doing it. I don't imagine that doing something else would be as good a fit.

7. Accepting my night owl tendencies. It's nearly midnight, and I'm glad I'm still awake. Goodnight to those of you turning in already; if you need me, I'll be reading a bit in the quiet of the lamplit living room.