Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Music and Lyrics

I do not love gardening, and gardening does not love me. If John Denver were still alive I would call him up and say, “Dude, time for you to come up with one new song and go back on tour and you’re welcome because I have a new verse to add to 'Sunshine On Your Shoulders'.” And he would say, “No WAY!” And I would say, “WAY!” and then sing the following: Goat heaaaaaads in my fingerrrrrrrrrs hurt so badlyyyyyyy.

He would go on tour and pay me royalties and I would be rich. Too bad he’s dead, ‘cuz I don’t have a backup plan.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I swear, I don't even say the words "home improvement" in this post anywhere

When I was working as a professional my resume said things like, “strong attention to detail, goal oriented, calm under pressure,” and I had all the technological experience necessary to support a group of fresh college graduates down a path of experience they soon relegated unworthy of the thousands they paid in tuition.

Now the bad news. That girl is dead. My strong attention to detail doesn’t seem to be spilling over into the laundry department, my list of goals has been demoted to a list of DON’Ts, like don’t spray cement into the mouths of your neighbors’ dogs, don’t put the open paint can there, and for the love of all that is good and holy don’t kid yourself into thinking that you can fit in that window well to clean the other side of that window. That whole “calm under pressure” bit? Doesn’t apply to children. Technological experience? I still tape my favorite shows on my VCR and get my phone messages from an answering machine we got as a wedding present fifteen years ago. I can get my email and read my blog comments, DO NOT HASSLE ME.

My latest discovery: Multi-tasking was invented for other people. I would like to move. I would like to finish up those photography classes that I paid for two years ago. I want to scrapbook our lives from the last three years, and I would very much like to find the time to get back to Michael Vartan about that lunch date he has been hounding me for. Also, I would like to keep blogging because how else will I flaunt my lunch dates with celebrities? Plus, have I mentioned that I’ve been hired to blog for Deseret Book? More details on that to come. In the meantime, people say “change is good”. I hope those people don’t ever need to see my resume.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lightbulb moment

In addition to visiting for Drew’s baptism, my parents and in-laws worked tirelessly to help us with a few projects around the house. One of them was installing some new lights. During the installation of our entryway light, we recognized that our 6' ladder wasn’t big enough to reach the high ceiling where the light connects. We called several people to see what we might be able to borrow, but everyone had about the same thing we did. My mom jokingly suggested pulling over my dining room table and putting the ladder on it at which point my dad’s eyes lit up with enthusiasm.

For real.

“Hey, that could work!” he piped. This was my cue to take the phone to the garage and call my sister to explain the scenario. “So mom said…and then dad was like, ‘excellent!’ and I’m like, ‘OR, not excellent!’” At this point my sister said, “What are you doing talking to ME? YOU GOTTA GET BACK IN THERE!” But in the time I was gone his enthusiasm had amplified for the increasing probability of landing himself either six feet under or in the Redneck Hall of Fame, so I ran to the neighbor across the street to see if she could please have a very tall ladder I could borrow before my dad ruined my beautiful dining room table killed himself, but she was all chatty and like, ‘The new paint job on your house looks great! So are you guys moving for sure? We’ve been thinking about it too. So who’s visiting…?’ then Cory ran over and got caught in the fray until he couldn’t hold it any longer and simply interrupted with, ‘Your dad is putting the ladder on four chairs. You might want to hurry back.” It took six adults to install one light, which we managed to do without any physical injuries. Emotional injuries, well, that’s up for debate.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My philosophy

It's the age old Philosophy 101 question posed to have us think outside the box of our naive college student minds, and it goes something like, "If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" The first time I heard this question I thought, “Does it matter?” I didn’t much excel at philosophy. Despite that, I’ve asked myself some equally poignant, self reflective and philosophical questions lately. For example, “If a ceiling fan goes unnoticed and unused for over a decade at the top of one’s stairs, does it still collect dust?”

I can declare with authority that the answer is yes. Yes, it does.

Overheard

On the radio: "I tell everyone I know about sedation dentistry."
On TV, promoting a disco aerobics class: "Fro and glitter pants not required."
In the car: "Usually I chase girls at recess but today my friends and I were on vacation."

What Drew wrote in his journal about his baptism on Saturday: "Today I got baptized. I had fun at my baptism and the water was all warm when I got in. When I got out of the water I felt like I did the right choice. I really liked the cookies they had. And I liked the cake too except I didn’t really like the middle that much."

Friday, April 18, 2008

I'm not TOTALLY dispensable. She still can't drive.

It's really been pretty hectic around here lately. As the rumors have indicated, we are planning to sell our house this summer, which means we are trying to get it ready to list in a couple of weeks. Hence all the posting about my home improvement woes. [Digression: One of my friends showed up at my door last night with homemade cinnamon bread on a piece of tile that said, "Sorry about all your tile woes". The bread was still warm, the frosting was a-plenty, and I'm all better now. How freakin' awesome are my friends???] Just think how lucky you are that I wasn't blogging when we were finishing our basement.

So yesterday, I got sick. The kind of sick where taking a shower is just preparation for a nap. But it wasn't the kind of day I could dedicate to naps and Sudafed because my in-laws and parents were both coming into town for Drew's baptism, which is Saturday. I made several compromises as to the state of my home upon their arrival, and luckily they are all ridiculously accommodating.

In summary: house in total disarray? check. company coming to serve as witnesses of our true ineptitude? check. no food for them to eat? check. sick? unable to breathe but for the magic of certain pills? check. kids getting to bed right on time at about the time the werewolves come out? check. But they did finally get to bed, and when I went to bid them a final goodnight, Samantha asked, "Hey Mom? How about if I just take the extra alarm clock and I'll get Drew up in the morning so you can sleep longer?" I said she was incredibly sweet, but that wasn't necessary. "Well, it's just that when I'm sick you take extra good care of me, but who's going to take care of YOU?" I gave her the alarm clock, she woke me when it was time to go, and we have never had a morning run more smoothly. I'd like to focus on the positive here, which is that my kid is awesome, and not the fact that she's basically a driver's license away from not needing me at all. Work with me.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

If these walls could talk

If my walls could talk I think my living room might say something like, "Such nice taste in color Kristy has. I'm so happy to be taupe," and I really think my loft/office space identifies with being library red. If my furniture had a voice I think it would say, "How nice to be right by this window to watch the snowfall" or "I just love my cozy spot by the fireplace". I'd like to think the hardwood in my entry and hallway enjoys being the perfect surface to drag the kids over on a blanket, or to serve as the running track when friends are over.

As the newest member of our family, I am more curious about what our new kitchen floor has to say. Specifically, the grout. The grout that was put in, dried, sealed, cracked, dug out, put in again, sealed again, and is now starting to crack again. I can't be sure, but as I was on my hands and knees putting on the second coat of sealant this morning I swear it was contemplating, "Hmmm...how to say this nicely...you are too stupid for this kind of work." Then again, maybe that was me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

If all dogs go to heaven, I'm holding out for hell

My neighbor's dog barked for OVER AN HOUR last night. It began at 4:00 am and not until I was researching the internet to try and find their phone number did it finally stop. Incidentally, they are not listed. Naturally.

Not to worry, my other neighbor waited until 7:00am before hammering away on their new roof. As for the rest of my day, I will be a slave to the grout gods who, by the way, are getting way too manipulative with my time. I'm starting to feel like Cinderella, minus the singing prince and pretty dress. Not that I need a dude in pants that are too tight to spin me in circles while singing a gay song, but it wouldn't kill a fairy to show up with a new outfit.

And I lived happily ever after.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

"I'm gonna go water my crotch now" followed by Indiana Jones music

More home improvement projects this weekend. This is what Cory said right before going outside to cut tile, and followed it up with a little tune from "Raiders of the Lost Ark". If you have ever done this before, you know where the water splashes back in the process of tile cutting. If you haven't ever done this before, the post title doesn't leave much to question. I hope your weekend is more exciting than ours.

Update 5:23 pm - Hard work, saving money, and pride in one's ability to learn new skills is overrated. The end.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

2,920 days ago

Dear Drew: I will never forget the blissful couple of days I spent in the hospital with you after you were born. And it wasn’t just because of the plate of warm cookies Ganelle brought me. I hardly knew you then, and as all mothers do, I wondered what kind of a kid you would be. At that point I didn’t know the critical role that lightsabers would play in your life. So critical that you felt it necessary to wear pants over your swimsuit to swim lessons because your swimsuit didn’t have a belt, and then WHERE WOULD YOU POSSIBLY BE ABLE TO HANG YOUR LIGHTSABER? I didn’t know that learning to swim would make you feel “even more like a Jedi, because Jedis don’t use floaties or noodles.” Your desire for good to conquer evil was also evident one day when Samantha began to make siren noises, and you stopped mid-sentence to shout, “I gotta go save the world!”

I didn’t know that you would be so capable of soaking in simple pleasures of life. But I witnessed it once when we were riding our bikes together, just the two of us, and you sensed it by asking, “Is this something special that we’re doing?” I’d see more evidence later when I purchased you an ice cream on a hot, summer day and we drove down the road with the windows down. You let out a huge sigh as your head relaxed against the seat and you declared, “Ahhh, I just LOVE my life.”

I didn’t know you would care so much about other people, but a few weeks ago when the community was collecting loose change for a boy in need in our neighborhood, you went up to your room and got every penny, nickel, dime and quarter from your own personal stash and turned it over to him. When I told you that in lieu of a party this year I would give you a $50 shopping spree at any store you wanted, your first thought was to spend thirty of those dollars on a friend who really wanted a certain game for his Nintendo. You came to your senses when we went to the store and you saw all the shiny, new lightsabers, but still.

I positively had no idea how much bodily functions would command your attention. Who knew that you would glean motivation from the Old Testament when potty training as you declared, “Moses doesn’t wear a pull-up”? Or that when your slurpee began to drip from the straw onto the couch you would laugh because, “it was going pee”? Or that my saying the word “butt” could make you laugh in the middle of a homework crisis?

I surely had no clue then how much you would come to love all things camouflage, or that you would still beg to snuggle with me every once in a while, or that bad dreams would still urge you to my side of the bed in the middle of the night.

I guess that’s the beauty of the last eight years, is that I can sit here and say that if I knew then what I know now, I would do it all over again.

Happy Birthday buddy.
Love,
Mom

In case you haven't heard, I'm a pretty big deal around here


Yesterday I made penguin cupcakes to deliver to Drew’s classroom for his birthday. Here’s where you should take notes, because if you are ever feeling like you are not that cool, bring treats to your kid’s elementary school class. Birthday or no birthday, this will do wonders for your spirits. I walked in mid-math, the teacher stopped, had the class put down their pencils and greet me in unison with, “Hellooo Mrs. Steele!” I returned their greeting and stepped through the aisles where kids I knew whispered to their neighbor, “I know her!” while animatedly waving their arms at me. Others who desperately wanted to share in the popularity contest would grasp at straws to say something like, “Hey! You were there at the same time as MY conference!” [nudging her friend to make sure she heard clearly, I’m SERIOUS! She was THERE!] It was highly amusing. I was the talk on the playground – I went out to tell Drew goodbye and he and his friends were standing in a circle devouring their treat and when they saw me they came running up to declare that I made the best cupcakes EVER. When I picked up Drew up from school, he got in the car and declared with pride and a grin that his friends Keaton and David said I was a really good cooker. I may not hold a candle to my friend Heather here, but the 2nd graders don't know that.

Seriously, you should try it. Eight-year-old kids is where it’s at.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Favoring columns on public policy and current news

A couple of months ago a friend of mine sent me a link to the Denver Post, which was advertising a writing competition for a section of the paper called "Colorado Voices". Figuring I had nothing to lose, I sent in an application including two writing samples. Yesterday I received my official rejection letter, signed by a woman who serves as coordinator of the editorial page.

The letter states, “I'm sorry to say your entry was not among those chosen. We favor columns on public policy, social issues and current news.” I think what she meant to say was, “We are sorry, but you are way too funny for us.” Luckily, I’m really good at reading between the lines.

"No junk food until AFTER you've had some pizza."

I did. I said this today. Don't judge me.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

No pain, no back hickeys

I believe there are certain signs of desperation that deserve our attention. I also think that rubbing your back up against the corner of your wall to get to a knot in your muscles that you can’t reach is one of them. Luckily, I know a massage therapist who lives on my street that comes highly recommended, so I paid her a visit. There’s something about getting naked in between warm sheets at your neighbor’s house that causes one to reflect.

[Digression: At this very moment my children are laughing over a booger on my bathroom floor. Sam says Drew did it. Drew says he didn’t, and defends that it’s not even a real booger. They were both laughing. I was not in the mood, and actually asked the following question in all seriousness and irritation, IS THERE A BOOGER ON MY BATHROOM FLOOR OR NOT????!! And then tried not to laugh. Back to the main topic…]
First of all, I wondered why none of the current presidential candidates have outlined mandatory foot rubs in their health care reform plans. Or for that matter, why hasn’t it been proposed as an obligatory ritual before UN meetings? If we could just get one undercover American to infiltrate Osama bin Laden’s camp and give him a good foot massage we would have world peace.

Secondly, I would like to know when “cupping” became appropriate behavior in the masseuse / client relationship. I specifically requested “no cupping” this time because of the stark recollection from my previous visit which left me with an allover back hickey. Not to mention it felt like someone trying to extract my spleen with a vacuum cleaner strong enough to suck up cement. She said it would be beneficial in my problem spot, so I relented and tried not to scream like a little girl. I wondered if Jack Bauer ever tried this technique on any of his enemies.

As I left she handed me some bottled water, told me to take a bath in Epsom salts, and to drink half my body weight in ounces of water. I fear this might drain my local reservoir. Doesn’t she know we’re in a drought?

Because it's Spring Break, that's why

The first time I looked at the clock this morning it said "8:45". Way too early to get up on a day when we don't have to be anywhere. I have to pee, I thought. I can hold it. Phone's ringing. I'll check the caller ID later. 9:15, I'm not really tired, I just don't feel like getting up. Maybe I'll read for a while. Reading makes me tired, so I snuggle back under the covers. I'm hungry. All righty then, time to get up.