Saturday, February 26, 2011

Something that bugs me.

Preface: This is not a big deal. I mean, on the scale of the world's problems, it's like maybe right below stoplights that aren't synchronized (do you hear me, Main Street, Logan, UT?) and above bushes that grow too large and encroach on sidewalk space.

But it bugs me.

It bugs me when I order something at the drive thru, and specifically request "no onions, please". And then the worker from the fast food joint says, all irritated-like, "um, that doesn't come with onions, so....?" Which, you'll note, is not even a question. But it means I have to reiterate my desire for the chicken burrito, leaving out my special request so as to not confuse everyone, but leaving me with the nagging worry that there may, in fact, be onions in my chicken burrito.

And that's my point. If it doesn't normally come with onions, then great. We're agreed. No onions. I'm not sure why that necessitated a response from you. I don't actually memorize the ingredients of the crap food I'm about to ingest; I just know I don't like onions, so that's how I ordered it. No need to educate me further on the subject.

Because the one time I forget to say it? I'll find myself biting into chunks of onions. You can bet your beans on that.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Miracle of the New Corner

Bug was just a tiny baby when we received a small, soft, square sort of mini-blanket with a teddy bear head on it as a gift. Somehow, the snuggly was immediately dubbed Wubby. (I'm not sure how to explain the pronunciation for that. Wubby sort of rhymes with whoopsie, not nubby. Is that helpful? Does it matter?) Anyway, I kept Wubby in Bug's crib pretty much right from the beginning. At first, she didn't seem to show much of an interest, although I suppose it's rather difficult to demonstrate interest without voluntary control of your limbs.

When she was very small, Paddy and I smiled when we saw an identical Wubby at Ross for $4.99.

 Oh cute, we thought. There's a brand new Wubby just like Bug's!

We were oblivious to it at the time, but that was the moment we made a crucial first-time parent mistake. We left without the new Wubby.

As Bug grew, she fell madly, deeply in love for the first time. You guessed it; Wubby was the sole target of her heart's desire. She loves Wubby. Here's the thing, though, toddler love equals item in mouth equals slobbery mess equals dirty.

This terrible formula of germs is especially true in Wubby's case, because, for whatever reason, Bug has chosen only one of the four corners as the particular point of her affection. One corner. The same corner every. single. time. It's disgusting. Want proof?

If that hair doesn't crack you up, you aren't human. But the point is The Corner. I'm not sure what the inital selection process entailed, exactly, and it doesn't much matter. The Corner has been established. Bug grabs her Wubby, even when she is nearly completely asleep, and deftly spins Wubby around until she identifies The Corner. Corner goes up, thumb goes in, and we have one happy Bug.

We soak it in Clorox 2 and follow it up with a heavy wash on the hot cycle at least once a week, but the darn thing is permanently an embarrassing shade of gross. Trust me, the smell of The Corner is pretty awful, too, like a sour dish rag. I'm telling you what, this motherhood business is humbling.

So anyway, we were getting desperate. We scoured every T.J. Maxx in the valley, and I even looked in California when I was there in January. No luck. We checked Babies R Us. We managed to find Wubby online, but were unwilling to pay $27 for a one foot by one foot snuggly. We cursed ourselves for the missed golden opportunity. I was even starting to consider cutting off the dirty corner on an angle and re-hemming it, just for health concerns. You know, mold.

Two days ago, we were out and about with the Bug doing a little shopping when I spotted a similar, though not identical, Wubby on a display rack. We snatched it, and then rushed to the back of the store toward the baby section, not daring to believe our luck. There, hanging on a rack where we had surely looked before, was not one, but TWO identical new Wubbys. For $4.99, plus, get this, BUY ONE GET ONE FREE. I nearly did a cartwheel, and I can't do a cartwheel.

Here is Old Wubby introducing New Wubby to the good life:

 This comparison horrifies me.
I need to tell you that this picture was taken mere hours after Wubby had been freshly washed. So gross.

Anyway, you should have seen the look on our little Bug's face at the prospect of NEW WUBBYS! Can you even imagine that there could be MORE THAN ONE WUBBY!? She was dizzy with joy.

A pile of Wubbys
And that is the story the best day of Bug's life. Now we're just waiting to see if she chooses the same corner this go 'round. Also, we're keeping the old one because, you know, blackmail.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

One step enough.

Quick poll:
Who has had enough of my Boat in Poo Lake analogy? Raise your hands, please. Anyone? Everyone?

I figured as much. I'm pretty sure I rode that train through the city and right on out of town.

I just wanted to take a brief moment and brag about how right I was when I said that 2011 was going to be awesome. We're only, what, 47 days in? It's already awesomer (oh yeah, I said it) than basically the whole of 2010.

I'm thrilled to be done blogging about the trauma that was my employment experience last year. To be fair, a large chunk of the emotional upheaval of the job was likely inevitable; returning from maternity leave to full-time work was exponentially more difficult than I had anticipated, and I'm not sure a different job would have changed those feelings much. When I think about the subsequent events that culminated in the figurative explosion of everything work-related that summer, though, I'm still in awe that it all really happened. It's nearly a PTSD response; I hear the word 'hospice' and immediately break out in hives. (Not really. More like emotional hives.)

This week it was made official. After a couple of weeks of training, I will begin working at a new job with an optimal shift for our family. Being home exclusively is the ultimate goal, of course, but this will be a solid stepping stone with the best possible scenario in the mean time. I feel so lucky.

I have learned from this experience. I'm still processing the best way to describe or discuss it. For now, just this:

Keep thou my feet.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The many faces

"I happen to dress based on mood."

"But you essentially wear the same thing all the time."

"Seemingly, seemingly. But within that basic framework there are many subtle variations only discernible to an acute observer that reflect the many moods, the many shades, the many sides of George Costanza."

"And what mood is this?"

"This is morning mist."

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love and life, as it happened to me.

 I fell in love in a high school cafeteria.
Just ponder on that a moment. Sounds romantic, doesn't it?

The entire story probably seems ridiculously cliche. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Girl waits for boy to serve mission. Boy proposes. Marriage, house, dog, baby... everything happens pretty much in order. Happily ever after.

And it's true, mostly. We are happy and blessed and still head over heels in love.

Like every real fairy tale, though, there have been bumps along the way. Our road of love and life has taken us into places we did not expect. We survived in South Salt Lake for an entire year, for one. We remodeled a house. (Try it sometime.) I survived a looooong 24 months while he was in Mexico, including several unfortunate dating experiences, including the gentleman who bragged about his ACT score (mine was higher) and ruthlessly mocked his little sister behind her back. And then I met her. And she was mentally disabled.

More significantly, we ached for a baby, and while we were blessed to get her much more quickly than many, it was not immediately. We've been poor. A car smashed in to our favorite car, and I was in it. My work life exploded, and we survived a hellish 2010. I cried. We had to put both of Paddy's childhood dogs to sleep, and one of mine, too.

Most significantly, Paddy's mother died.

And then his father died.

In fact, after a quick count, we've attended 6 funerals of immediate family and one close friend together. We have hurt together.

And, although this sounds cliche as well, we are stronger for every moment of it. I love my husband, and he loves me. We are in this together.

My faith in the Gospel is based on many things. That my family is mine forever is at the very root of it, the truth of it lodged immovably in my spirit. It is worth every minute of time in church meetings, every dollar in tithing donations, every second of time spent serving or reading or just plain tolerating the day to day requirements of a demanding religion. Every single last detail of it is worth it, because I cannot be forceful enough in this:

There is no heaven without him.
On the mish



Bug's first date

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The way she was

A couple of days ago, Schmoopsie inundated my inbox with every single picture of Bug from his cell phone. He did this so that when his ridiculously craptacular BlackBerry (you heard me) explodes, as it inevitably will, we won't lose all the pictures he's snapped over the last several months like we did with those taken in the first 5 months of her life.

I don't know why this particular one is cracking me up so much, but it is. This picture was taken in early May last year when we took some of our tulips to the cemetary to decorate Grandma Nancy's grave because the snow had finally melted. I love that Bug is at the peak of chubby- the moment where baby rolls are layered one on top of another like an 80s wedding cake, before the crawling and toddling and running and getting tall (92nd percentile in height at last count. What?!) slimmed her down into the (gasp!) child she is now.

Maybe it's the ladybug shoes. Maybe it's the way her cheeks are so big they actually inhibit her ability to smile. Maybe it's the sassy little scowl, or the way her head is so BALD. Whatever it is, I couldn't help but share.

You're welcome.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

That'll do, Donkey.

I'm sure you're desperate to know what in all the land we've been up to, since I clearly haven't been busy keeping you updated on the Chia Shrek.

Working two jobs, first of all, as one ends (hooray!) and another begins. Making two different pans of homemade macaroni and cheese in one night, secondly, and making my neighbors rate them so that I will be prepared with something fabulously delicious for our family's Superbowl Extravaganza. It's a non-stop party around these parts, which is the excuse I'm giving for the reason my house looks like a bomb exploded.

We attended a fancy-pants dinner with the rockstars of Paddy's office. (Don't judge him for being an overachiever. We were basically the youngest ones there by, oh, a decade or so.)

Bug's been busy, too. Busy getting into Mama's eyeliner and drawing herself a beard.

Chia Shrek is plugging along! Here are some shots of his progress over the last week:

For your patience with me, I'll grant you another of my oh-so-accurate inanimate object-human comparisons. (see the others here and here)

Isn't my Chia Shrek very