Saturday, March 31, 2007

Happy Easter!

Ok, so here's my thing.......Every year since my babies were born I have taken them down to the mall to get a picture taken with Santa and the Easter Bunny. It has been fun to get out the yearly pictures at each holiday and see how my children have grown. As Easter is quickly approaching, we decided to make the trek to the Layton Hills Mall so my girls can sit on a giant bunny's lap. I'm sad to say we did not get the anticipated picture.

First, it was quite an ordeal to get to the mall. My middle child, Madison, is very self-concious right now. She couldn't decide what to wear. She was in her room crying her eyes out because she looked "fat". My dear sweet husband stormed into her room and told her if she "wasn't ready and in the car in two minutes she was NOT going". Of course, hysterics followed. Being the mother, I had to go calm the child down. She was sure her daddy was kicking her out of the family!

After I got Madison dressed we continued to the mall. Steve and Madison had a huge argument about the radio. Steve wanted to listen to Madonna (yuck!) while Madison wanted the radio off due to her "father induced migrane". Steve, acting like the 39 year old he is, blasted the radio at full volume for a minute before he turned it off, all while yelling about his bratty 12 year old.

Finally we arrived at the mall. My five year old, Aliza, was bouncing up and down with excitement to see the Easter Bunny. She practicly ran to the display. We got in line and waited our turn. Finally, it was our big moment. Steve went to the attendent to figure out the picture end of the deal while I started giving my children direction on how to pose. Suddenly, I heard arguing. I looked back at my husband and noticed he was having a heated discussion with the attendent! You've got to be kidding me!!!!!

I ran over to help. I assumed there was a problem with having all three children in the same picture. But no, that was not the problem. My husband was arguing about the price of the photo. Now, keep in mind we have been taking these pictures twice a year for 15 years!!!!! The prices of these photos has been steadily going up and up and up. My husband was "appalled" the price had risen to $19.99. By the time I reached him he was livid. His voice was quite loud as he accused the attendent of being a "communist"!

I tried to calm him down but it was impossible. He started yelling "there is no way in hell I am paying these communist prices!" At this point I knew I had to get him out of there before mall security escorted him away. I started dragging him toward the escalator as my children looked on in confussion. Aliza, with tears streaming down her face, asked, "what about the Easter Bunny". My husband looked at his precious child and yelled, "this Easter Bunny is a communist FAKE!"

As you can imagine, Aliza started crying even harder. But the real meaning of Easter became clear as ALL the children in line started crying over the fake bunny. Now, not only the attendent wanted to kill my husband but all the parents in line wanted to kill him. Of course, being the mother, I had to drag my husband and three children up the escalator while my husband yelled "fake bunny" all the way up at the top of his lungs!

At the top of the escalator I demanded to know what the heck he was thinking. He stated he was standing on principle and I should support him. "What about the picture?", I calmly asked. I was informed we would drive down to the Salt Lake valley and search for another mall with a "non-communist" Easter Bunny. I sweetly reminded him that Crossroads Mall had been torn down. He said we would get the picture even if we had to drive to Provo. At this point I looked at him with my sweetest sarcastic smile and inquired, "won't that cost WAY more then $19.99 in gas?"

Today, Easter is a week away and I have yet to get my yearly picture. I guess the good news is my husband is sorta talking to me again! Aliza has prayed every night for Heavenly Father to direct her daddy to the "one true Easter Bunny". I hope all of you have an easier time getting your Easter Bunny pictures this year!!!

Monday, February 05, 2007

My Not So Funny Valentine

Ok…so here’s my thing; Valentine’s Day is coming. I HATE this holiday!! It is right after Thanksgiving on my worst holiday ever list!!!! This has never been a good day for me. For instance, I am allergic to chocolate. Every year, my husband, inspired by Homer Simpson, gives me a big box of chocolate. He then eats the whole box in front of me! One year, I was so annoyed I ate the chocolate and ended up in the hospital. In 2004, I decided I would try to make a good Valentine’s Day memory.

As I was driving home from work one day, I heard about a contest the local radio station was having. One lucky recipient would receive a $10,000 make over. Holy crap! It was as if God was talking to me from a burning bush! I was positive this make over was MINE! The winner would get the following:

  • Lasik eye surgery (I’m blind as a bat. I’ve had to put braille on my love handles so I know how many I have!)
  • Laser teeth whitening (My teeth aren’t even in the white family. They are more yellow then the snow my 4 year old likes to eat.)
  • A personal trainer
  • A gym membership
  • Gastric Bypass Surgery or lap band surgery (Band???? I could fit a whole orchestra in my pants…and like it!)
  • Hair (Cut, style, color, etc.)
  • Make-up
  • New clothing
  • A week at a spa!

Words cannot describe how badly I wanted to win this prize. All I had to do was submit a picture and an essay explaining why I should win.

No problem! One day I came home from work and spent two hours searching for my frumpiest outfit. I finally settled on an old pair of pj’s. I took off my bra and let the girls gravitate to their nesting ground: just above my knees. I polished my Coke bottle glasses up so the dark circles under my eyes could be seen. I didn’t wash my hair for days so it would look greasy. (It worked. It actually looked chewy.) I stuck my buckteeth out as far as I could get them. Then I took about 25 pictures. I brought several friends over to evaluate which shot I looked the worst in. I wrote my sob story down, got an oversized envelope to mail my picture in and sent it off. The rest is history…..

Soon after, as I was driving home from work I got a call from my husband. He said he had a great surprise for me when I got home. This was it! I raced into the house and awaited the big news. My husband sat me down and informed me that…..HE had been selected for a Valentine’s Day make over show! What the *@#$@ It turns out that, “inspired” by my idea; he decided to apply for a contest on his favorite radio station. His sports talk radio station, 1280 the Zone, was having a contest called: Queer eye for the sports guy. Imagine his parent's horror when they were told their son entered a contest with the word "Queer" in it. (They were serving an LDS mission in San Francisco at the time!)

As I sat there watching my husband beam with pride I imaged what body part I would dismember first. He turned on the radio, tuned it to 1280 and jumped up and down as the radio announcers discussed the winner of their contest. Words cannot describe my feelings as I listened to the announcers discuss my husband. They used words like: loser, slob, and train wreck. These comments were based on the picture and essay he sent in.

Now, unlike me, he put no thought into his picture. He just grabbed one of himself and sent it in. Steve sitting in a recliner eating a piece of pizza during a Lord of the Rings marathon. The picture wasn’t even staged!!!!!

Here is a copy of the essay he sent in:

Why do I need the most help? Because I am an: unemployed, 36 year old, overweight, bald, full-time student, BYU and SF 49er fan, and father of three. As you can see I am not exactly prince charming right now. My wife works full time so that I can go to school, so it is she that really deserves the benefits of my winning this contest. Also, in our house Valentine’s Day has always been a downer. Our first Valentine’s Day was while we were engaged and instead of a romantic day together, we spent the day apart because I was in bed with mono. As a result it is hard for my wife to get excited for Valentine’s Day each year. My wife has also had to put up with a very grumpy husband lately, as a result of the fact that my teams have all sucked. So from a man who is in the depths of despair, please, please pick me. Thank You.

With tears streaming down my face, I listened as my husband explained what he had won. A limo would be picking him up in the morning. He would be taken to breakfast. He would be taken to a spa. He would be taken to lunch. He would receive a $1000 outfit. He would be taken to Victoria’s Secret to get something for me (if you don’t know how I feel about this read my other blogs). He would get $500 to spend in a jewelry store. He would get a limo, roses, and a dinner for Valentine’s Day for the two of us. Oh yeah….did I mention he would be accompanied by the “Zone girls” for the day???? These are scantily clad women whose IQ is less then the circumference of their nipple!

Now, I consider myself to be very reasonable. But, you have to understand a few things about us. First, I sold my house in Logan, Utah and moved into my in-laws house in Bountiful, Utah so my husband could finish school. Second, I went to work full time to put my husband through school. I really tried to be gracious as I listened to my husband explain that he would be missing school so he could go to the spa and Victoria’s Secret with the dang Zone girls!!!!

Well, Steve’s big day finally arrived. As I drove off to work I was speechless. The neighbors were congregating outside our house awaiting the arrival of the limo and the “girls”. It was too much for me. I punched the gas pedal and stormed off to work thinking I would find some peace and quiet there. No such luck! My co-workers were talking about the contest oblivious to my connection to the winner. They had the radio station on so they could hear the updates throughout the day.

I tried to concentrate on work as I listened to these updates. I was humiliated as the DJ explained they had to stop for a snack because “fatty” needed to eat again. I felt like crawling under a rock when they explained how much wax was needed for his eyebrows. I almost lost bladder control when they interviewed Steve on the radio. They asked Steve to describe his purchase at Victoria’s Secret. He actually said…”It’s sexy yet tasteful”. ??? What the crap does that mean?

After my 10 hour day AT WORK, I decided to listen to 1280 on my way home. I just about caused a major pile up as I listened to my husband describe what he got me at the jewelry store…a $500 pair of earrings. @#@$#@#$ I DON’T have pierced ears!!!!!!!!! My husband and I arrived home at the same time. I asked if I could look in the limo but the driver was late and had to leave.

I patiently gazed upon my husband’s newly waxed body as he explained why he picked out earrings. (He didn’t get to choose them…the jewelry company made him take them). He told me how wonderful the Zone girls were. He showed me the lingerie he picked out (as if he would be seeing me naked in the next 10 years!!!) I decided I would try to be a good sport. After all, I would get to ride in a limo and have a dinner the next night right?

Wrong! It turns out the limo was overbooked so we had to drive ourselves. (This was very disappointing as I had never been in a limo before. The limo driver gave my girls a ride to school the previous day so I was the only one in the family who has not been in a limo!)

We drove to the fancy French restaurant, which only serves seafood! Since I don’t eat seafood I ordered the “Eiffel Tower”. (French fries shaped like; yes you guessed it, the Eiffel Tower). Oh well, my husband did look very nice in the lovely outfit the Zone babes picked out for him. He became the neighborhood hero for a while. He was asked to write an article for the ward newsletter. His pictures were posted on the 1280 website so everyone could see the before and after shots. He also had an experience he will never forget!

Are you wondering what happened to the contest I applied for??? I got a lovely letter from the radio station on Valentine’s Day informing me they chose someone else because I had “too much to work with”!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Great Taste! Less Filling!

Okay, so here’s my thing……I recently went to Las Vegas to watch my beloved BYU Cougars spank Oregon and win the Las Vegas Bowl. If you caught the game on television, you may have seen me dancing on the field during the trophy ceremony. While in Vegas I decided to visit my dad’s grave. Whenever I visit my dad’s grave, I bring him a bottle of Budweiser. (Bottle, not a can but a 12 oz. bottle of Bud!) I have a theory. Since I live in Utah I don’t get to visit him often. I figure if I leave a bottle of beer on his grave I can accomplish two goals. First, somewhere my dad knows I am thinking of him. Second, homeless people will visit his grave looking for free alcohol. This way, my dad is visited more often!! In the past, I would ask a friend for a bottle of beer (since I don’t drink). However, this time I didn’t have time so I decided to pick one up in Vegas. You would think this would be easy!!!! However this wasn’t the case! The obstacles I encountered while trying to buy one bottle of beer reminded me of the obstacles I encountered while trying to bury my dad!

My parent’s divorced when I was 5. Since my dad drove a Semi-tractor trailer across country, I only saw him a handful of times throughout my life. My dad had three true loves in his life. (Unfortunately, my mother and siblings weren’t one of them!) He loved driving a truck, smoking, and drinking Budweiser. He usually did all three at the same time. While driving across country, he would drink the beer, pee in the empty bottle, and then throw it out the window.

In June of 2002, my Aunt called to let me know my dad had collapsed and was in ICU. He was dying of emphysema. Although I recently had a baby, I packed up my family and drove from Logan, Utah to Las Vegas, Nevada.

As I made the trek from Utah, my sisters and their families came from Arizona and California. Finally, we all arrived in Vegas. My sisters and I tried to visit with my dad while all of our children and spouses waited in the family waiting room. This proved difficult. As we were sitting with my dad, the doors to the ICU slammed shut as alarms went off. Doctors and nurses were running all over yelling and shouting. Turns out some idiot pulled the fire alarm! A look of horror crossed my sister’s faces. We ran to the waiting room to check our children. I was sooooo happy to know it was my sister’s kid that pulled the alarm, not one of mine. Besides, it was really the hospital’s fault. The hospital was politically correct. All of the alarms were at wheelchair level! This makes it the perfect height for handicapped individuals and 4 year olds!

My aunt decided to pull the life support system on my dad because “he is dying anyway”. My aunt had power of attorney so she made the decision. Once my dad’s breathing tube was removed and after the fire alarm fiasco, it was determined my dad would be moved to another floor while we waited for him to pass. We were sent to this deserted area where the kids couldn’t do much damage.

I have a few very distinct memories of this time. First, my cousin came to visit. She strolled into the room in the shortest shorts I have ever seen. She announced they were my dad’s favorite! I was startled by this since they were about 4 sizes two small. She told me “Uncle Pete” loved how they molded to her every curve! EEEEWWWWW!!!!

Second, the doctors came to remove the breathing tube from my dad. This would be the last moment we would have with my dad alert, since he would be on a morphine drip until he passed. We asked for a few moments with my dad before this happened. What could have been a beautiful moment with my dad turned into my aunt crawling up on the bed, shaking my dad as she begged him to have a priest give him last rites. Now, my father was either agnostic or atheist. (It depended on the day). He kept shaking his head no while my aunt sobbed for him to reconsider.

Third, my aunt brought a trucker that sometimes talked to my dad on the CB to the hospital. It turns out my aunt and this guy became attracted to one another and they “did” it in the hospital room. (They wanted to be there when my dad died and why waste money renting a room!!!!).

Fourth, my sister explained to her small children that grandpa was dying because he smoked tobacco. At one point, my nephew saw the catheter bag coming out of my dad. He thought it was a bag of tobacco and started violently pulling on it. We needed a janitor and a nurse to fix that one!

Fifth, my cousin (the ho in the Daisy Duke shorts) snuck a bottle of Budweiser into the room. She dipped q-tips into the bottle and then placed the q-tips into my dad’s comatose mouth. Ironically enough, he actually responded to this. How comforting to know that the taste of beer could reach my dad in a coma!!!!!

Sixth, since I was nursing my baby, I needed to drink a lot of fluid. I asked a nurse for a cup and she gave me a urinal to drink out of. I had many weird looks as I gently sipped my ginger ale out of the urinal. Funny thing is, I saved that urinal! I just can’t seem to part with it.

Finally, the moment came when my dad passed. That is when the real fun occurred. My aunt wanted to have my dad cremated. She then wanted to ship the ashes to New York, exhume his mothers coffin, and have his ashes sprinkled on her corpse. (Ever read the story of Oedipus???) The great state of Nevada requires the closest living relatives to make the cremation/burial decision, even when someone else has the power of attorney. After a family discussion, some of my siblings would not agree to the cremation sprinkling plan. My aunt was furious with us. Especially with me when I pointed out that my dad couldn’t be buried in my grandma’s coffin because he didn’t have last rites!

This led to a great legal battle! While we battled for the body, the funeral home called to let us know flesh was starting to separate off my dad’s bones. Have you ever seen that commercial where they put saran wrap on the bowl of Jell-O? The wrap seals the bowl tightly so the food can’t fall out. Well, this is what they did to my dad. They wrapped him like a mummy in saran wrap. This upset my cousins because they had heard stories of how my dad only had one testicle. They were hoping to check it out but now couldn’t due to the separation issue.

In the long run, we won the battle. We got the call on Father’s day. My family went to the funeral home to dress my dad for burial. While there, the funeral director had to explain to us that my dad’s mouth had been accidentally sealed before his dentures had been put in. They handed me the case of dentures and gave my children and I a few minutes alone with my dad. My children wanted to see what his dentures looked like. I don’t know what possessed me but I opened the case so they could see. The case was a little tight and as I tried to pry it open, slimy, smelly, water and teeth went flying and landed on my dad. I quickly collected the teeth and got them back in their case as the men came back into the room.

The next step was placing my dad into his casket. As the men began to pick up my dad, one of the guys dropped him with a thunk! “Holy #@#@”, he yelled. “This guy is leaking!!!!” The men started to panic as my husband burst out laughing. I had to explain to them my denture adventure. They were so glad to hear it wasn’t embalming fluid they were touching.

As my dad was laid into the casket, we placed a Budweiser into his hands. I have been bringing him Budweiser ever since. That’s why I was so disgusted last month when I couldn’t find the correct beer!!!! Please explain to me why you can get married by Elvis in Vegas, buy a 7 minute prostitute in Vegas, eat a $3.00 buffet in Vegas, but you can’t buy a single bottle (not can) of 12 oz. Budweiser in Vegas!!!!! Long story short, I had to put a whole six pack on my dad’s grave!!!!! Oh well, Merry Christmas, Daddy!!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

One-eyed Jack (or Jolene in this case!)

Okay, so here’s my thing…..I believe every person should engage in service. It is a great way to focus on what is important in life. Whenever I am feeling upset, depressed or stressed I try to insert a little bit of service into my life. Unfortunately for me, more often then not these service opportunities seldom turn out the way I want them to!

For example, I work retail. During this time of year the hours can be long and harried. The stress of the holiday season was recently getting to me. I found myself experiencing a bad case of tourette syndrome after being yelled at for the fourth time that day by a guest who couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t tell them everything on the ad that would be coming out in 3 days!!!!

Then I had to clean up a level 3 spill on the magazine aisle. (A Level 3 spill indicates a spill that could possibly contain hazardous materials ie…blood, throw up, chemicals, bodily fluid) You don’t want to know what it was but a guest slipped on it and fell AND the person who left it was arrested for shoplifting ladies panties and indecent exposure!

About this time I decided I needed to perform some form of service so I could remember what the season was all about. Outside the front doors there was a collection of people who had been camping out to buy a WII Nintendo system. They had been out there for days and it was very cold. I decided I would take them some hot chocolate. Now, I'm allergic to chocolate. However, I decided I could safely get the chocolate to the guests outside without coming in contact with it.

I went to the food area to pour the chocolate. UNBELIEVABLE! The machine was broken. I decided this was Satan’s attempt to stop my act of service in its tracks! I was not going to let this alter my plans. I was determined to do a nice deed! I went and bought a can of Swiss Miss (with marshmallows even!) and made 15 cups of steaming, hot chocolate. I carefully carried the cups to the front door. I balanced the cups on a row of carts. I unlocked the front doors, picked up the tray of chocolate and proceeded to spill it onto my crotch! It was so cold outside I could actually see the steam coming off my pants!

As the hot beverage soaked into my clothes, I ran to my office. I scrambled to find my epinephrine pen. I gave myself a shot and grabbed my inhaler. I had the pleasure of managing the store the rest of the day with a chocolate stained crotch while trying to walk without rubbing the hives and blisters raw that formed between my legs!

This brings to mind another time in Logan, Utah when my service goals went awry. I was assigned to visit-teach a blind lady in my ward. This lady was very kind but was very high maintenance due to a drug addiction. During the time I knew her I went above and beyond the call of duty to try and help her any way possible.

I once drove her to the local Wal-Mart (there was no Target in Logan!) and helped her pick out lingerie for a special night with her husband. I wished I was blind when she asked me to help her get the outfit on and then, “How do I look?”

Another time, I invited her to come to a ward party. The men were going to be serving the women dinner. I arrived at her house to pick her up and found she wasn’t ready. I asked her if I could help in any way. WAY WRONG QUESTION!!!!! She asked me if I could put her eyeballs in! What the #@##%#$#@. Up to this point in our relationship I didn’t know she had glass eyes. I actually would have been okay never knowing this information. (I had a beautiful neighbor who once told me she shaved her big toes and that was all I could think of for years.)

My neighbor explained to me how to tell which way they went and I proceeded to “pop” them in. I got them in and immediately noticed one didn’t look quite right. From the side view my neighbor looked like Igor from Young Frankenstein. The Christ like thing to do would be to “pop” the eye back out and start over. However, I’m not very Christ like. I took her to the party with the bulging eyeball.

Midway through the meal, Jolene started complaining that her eye felt dry. (Since I put the eye in upside down, her eyelid wasn’t closing over it properly.) She asked me to help put some wetting drops into THE eye. No way, Jose! I could see that thing was only holding on by a thread. Finally, we got to the speaker portion of the evening. As we were listening to the talk, Jolene……sneezed.

Yep, you guessed it! Her eyeball flew out of her eye and started rolling across the floor. All I can say is at these stressful times in my life I tend to have tourette's. There I was, chasing this poor lady’s eyeball across the floor. Thank heavens for the microphone cord! It stopped the eyeball. I grabbed that slippery little sucker and raced back to the table. I tried to clean it off by rubbing it on the hem of my skirt but that was creeping me out. I decided to drop it into my glass of ice water to get it all clean and shiny again. (Besides, she said it was dry)

Just in case this ever happens to you….I don’t recommend putting an eyeball in a glass full of ice water. It tends to ruin the spirit when people start screaming. I took the eyeball out with my spoon, breathed on it to try to warm it up, and put it back where it belonged.

The moral of my story is…..For about a year after this whenever I thought of the scripture…..When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God…..I could only think of that eye, floating in my cup of ice, staring at me!!!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Adventures in Breastfeeding!

Okay, so here’s my thing……..I had an experience recently that caused me to ponder my feelings about breastfeeding. Now, before you get upset and send me hate mail let me assure you, all of my babies suckled at their mother’s breast. I believe it is a great way to bond and get all of your vitamins for the day. Blah, blah, blah! However, there is a point where enough is enough!!!! Let me explain.

I was recently visiting teaching. (For those of you who are not familiar with Mormons, this is a program in my church where women in the neighborhood visit other women. We give them a message and words of hope and encouragement.) On this particular visit I found myself bringing along my 4 ½ year old daughter. I normally would leave her home but the house I was visiting had a boy the same age as my child. My neighbor and I thought if the children played together then we would have a more enjoyable visit.

Upon entering the house, my daughter and the boy, let’s call him “Chester”, ran off to play. I was having a nice relaxing visit with my neighbor. I found myself wondering why I didn’t hang out with this girl more often. After about 20 minutes, my daughter and “Chester” came into the room. The children announced loudly their need for a drink. I immediately started to rise to help when my eyes widened in horror. Sweet little 5-year old “Chester” started undoing the buttons on Mommy’s shirt. What in the name of all that is holy was this kid doing? Mommy continued the conversation without missing a beat while my daughter and I watched speechlessly.

What great hand-eye coordination this child had! He easily undid all 12 buttons (13 if you counted the clip on the nursing bra!!!!), gently pulled out a boob and started to drink. I am normally not a girl of limited speech but what do you say to that??? “I would like mine shaken not stirred!”??? The best I could come up with was “Wow”. My daughter, however, piped up with her cherubic voice and said, “Is that a drinking fountain?” I found myself grabbing her as she started forward for her turn.

As “Chester” came up for air I found myself thinking he resembled a vampire with the blood from his latest kill oozing out his mouth. As the little Dracula wiped the milk from his chin and exclaimed, “Yum” I found myself uttering sounds like a dolphin. The mother quickly explained to me the benefits of breastfeeding children. She patiently explained how your chances of breast cancer go down if you breastfeed children through the fifth year of life. I found her concern with cancer humorous since this woman obviously used a tanning bed. Trust me on this one! It’s the dead of winter and those boobs were evenly tanned (with no tan lines I might add!)

I asked the mother if she wanted a moment to finish feeding time but she said no. She gave me a lecture on the right of a mother to breastfeed any time and any place she wanted. I wholeheartedly disagreed. She was quite offended by this. However, she didn’t understand where I was coming from. (Remember in “To Kill a Mockingbird” when the dad tells his child that you don’t truly understand where a person is coming from until you “walk around in their skin”? Well, this mother couldn’t possibly understand my reservations on breastfeeding in public without “walking around in my lactating boobs!)

After the birth of my second child I had a breastfeeding moment that scarred me for life. I was attending church with my husband and two children. I have always had a policy of sitting as close to the front as possible. I have found my children misbehave less when there are no children in front of them. For the longest time we sat in the second pew from the front. The pew in front of us was occupied by the men (most wards use boys but our ward didn’t have any) who passed the sacrament. Once sacrament was over, these men would sit with their families leaving no one in front of us.

Moments before the sacrament was to begin my baby started to cry. It was time to feed her. My husband suggested that I stay in the meeting and feed her there. I gave him a crusty look and snorted at this idea. He pointed out several women in the chapel who were doing exactly that. These petite, cute moms had blankets modestly draped over their shoulders. Since it seemed to be working for them, I decided to give it a try.

It took several minutes of trying to get my 38HH boob out of its confinement. Now, did you know that when you have horrendously large boobs full of milk, the second they are free milk tends to dribble out of them until a little mouth begins to catch the liquid? I could feel the milk soaking my skirt as I tried to get my baby under the blanket and “hooked up”, all the while holding the blanket in place with my chin. While juggling the baby, I dropped my soaked nursing pad onto my shoe, “SPLAT”. I was determined, however, to make this work. At last I managed to find a comfortable position for the baby. My husband helped tuck the blanket over my shoulder to hold it in place. I had one arm under the baby and the other was holding back the large boob mass so my child wouldn’t be smothered to death. I couldn’t believe my success!!!!

After a few minutes my oldest child glanced over at me. I guess she was confused at what I was doing because she came over and pulled the blanket off!!!! A few things happened at once: First, Madison jerked her head as the blanket was flung off. Second, as she broke the connection my 38HH boob started spraying milk across the backs and necks of the men waiting to pass the sacrament. Third, the bishopric seated on the stand started to laugh. Fourth, I dropped the baby as I tried to grab the blanket. Fifth, the baby started to scream. Sixth, pretty much everyone who attended church saw my boob! To this day I can still see the droplets of milk dripping off of the ears of the men in front of me.

So to sum up my feelings on breastfeeding let me reiterate. If the kid knows where the milk is coming from, can undo the buttons, zippers, snaps, etc. to get to it, he or she is probably too old to be nursing. Finally, not every one is coordinated enough to discretely breastfeed in public. So think carefully before undertaking such a feat!

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Joys of Childbirth

Ok, so here's my thing.......Today, after a 12 hour day at work, I was informed that I needed to help my child with her homework assignment. Now, I'm a big fan of education. I'm an even bigger fan of creative ways of learning. However, I am not a big fan of stupid homework assignments that I'm going to end up doing. For example, two nights ago my child had to create a completely edible diagram of a cell. Please, explain to me how making a cell out of jell-o will help my kid remember where the nucleus is? Honestly, I'm thinking of suing someone when my child fails the ACT because she adds cherry jell-o to the parts of a cell.
Tonight my child was working on a project where she had to come up with 5 words per letter of the alphabet that describe Utah. ARE YOU FREAKIN KIDDING ME???? That's 130 words!!! Then she had to put the word on a 3x5 card, include a few facts about the word and how it relates to Utah, and COLOR it!!!!! Added to that she had to have a title card and a card to "announce" each letter of the alphabet for a grand total of 157 cards!!!! How gay is that??? Do you know how hard it is to find 5 words for every letter of the alphabet that have some connection to Utah??? I mean, "M" was okay.....Mormon, Mormon Battalion, Mormon Tabernacle Choir.......But try "X" or "Q". I spent hours looking for words that would work. Then I had to help my child draw pictures and color. I mean, really, isn't there some sort of rule that your child should no longer be coloring for school assignments once they start shaving their armpits? It was while I was coloring Jedediah Smith, a famous explorer who traveled throughout Utah, that my memory drifted back to the beginning. I vividly recalled the birth of my first child. Since it was a humiliating experience, I decided to post it here.

My husband and I desperately wanted a baby. All of our friends had one, plus we could use the tax break. After much effort (we were not able to spontaneously conceive on a camping trip in Logan, Utah while talking to friends through the side of a tent) we were rewarded with the great news; we were expecting!!!! Although I was ecstatic to be pregnant, I wasn't prepared for what was coming. Someday I'll write a book on all the things you should know but no one will tell you. For instance, the first time you take a shower after giving birth, don't become alarmed. That isn't your liver that just fell on the shower floor. DO NOT try to scoop it up to put on ice so the doctor can put it back in. DO NOT press the call button while you are franticly yelling at the nurse to help you find your liver! It is only chunks of placenta....You will be very embarrassed listening to the nurses laugh about this all night long.
And speaking of placenta.....If your mom is a little bit crazy, don't let her come to the hospital until the doctor has left. Otherwise, while you are being stitched up, you will have to act as referee while your mother yells at the doctor demanding the right to keep her daughter's placenta. (This is actually against the law. The hospital sells it to make-up companies. Cover up anyone???) My doctor and mother compromised. My doctor allowed my mother to "play" with my placenta while she explained how some cultures eat the placenta. For the record, no one asked me if this was okay. I left strict instructions to keep her outside!!! Unfortunately for me, this wasn't the most embarrassing moment of my daughter's birth.
All doctors and nurses should be required to take classes on tact, empathy, and etiquette. Is it really necessary to gasp every time I step on a scale? Do they really think I need them to point out how close to the 200 pound mark I am? Is it necessary to comment on my stretch marks EVERY time I come for an appointment? Let me explain.....I got huge stretch marks very early in my pregnancy. They were not only huge, they were deep red and purple. I wasn't too pleased with this. I thought stretch marks would come after the baby started to grow. Not in the first month! I looked like a mutated X-man. As my stomach started growing I looked like a watermelon. The kind with the strips running down it. UGH!!!! To make matters worse, every appointment someone had to comment on them. My favorite was when I was asked if they were varicose veins. It really builds self esteem when you are told you are a 200 pound varicose vein. It gets worse. Not only did my own nurse and doctor check them out at each appointment, but they brought in other people to see them. HELLO!!!!!!! They could at least charge admission. At about month 7, my doctor brought in some guy who was working on a medical book. They agreed mine were the worse stretch marks in the history of child birth. Long story short.....This stranger took PHOTOS of my stretch marks for his medical book. He asked if I wanted credit for the photo. No thanks! He asked if I wanted a copy of his book for posterity. Hell no!!!! Humiliating! However, this wasn't the most embarrassing experience of my child's birth.
Well, the big day finally came. My husband and I eagerly entered the Orem Community Hospital at 12:00pm. We were admitted to our room. What followed was a long line of people who thought they had a right to not only look at my "hoo-ha" but to stick their hand into said "hoo-ha" to announce how big it was. I realize this was necessary but you would think they would at least buy me a drink first, offer me a mint, SOMETHING!!!! And don't they learn in medical school to at least warm up their hands??? Honestly, I didn't even feel bad when a nurse went to check "how I was progressing" and lost her watch! That's what she gets for placing her cold hands there in the first place!
After a day of this trauma with no success, my doctor suggested an enema. Excuse me???? What earthly reason could there be for this?? The doctor felt maybe my stool was blocking the baby's pathway to freedom! What is this??? The Shawshank Redemption?? After smacking my husband for being jealous he couldn't have an enema, I had to crawl up on my bed, get on all fours, bend over and have some orderly (I think he was in one of my classes at BYU) stick a plastic tube up my butt. After the initial shock of, "what are those welts on your stomach???" (I had almost forgot the stretch marks) the orderly actually patted my right butt check and told me to relax! Was he kidding???? He then proceeded to pump warm, soapy water into me while telling me to "squeeze my butt cheeks together". When the 200 pound, stretch marked, Shamu (me) couldn't hold it in any longer I had to get off the bed and walk into the bathroom while trying to keep my butt cheeks clenched together in a death lock. Would my baby be born with "dish pan hands" now? Humiliating!!! However, this wasn't the most embarrassing experience of my child's birth. Are you ready for this? Here it is......
After all of this (no the enema didn't speed anything up) the medical team started to become concerned. The baby had been in the canal for too long. The stress test showed she was becoming stressed. You think??? At this point, with my stretch marked legs in stir-ups everyone and their dog began coming in to check me out. I was really starting to get angry. These professionals didn't even ask if it was okay. They just marched into my room, lifted the sheet and went to town. I decided enough was enough. If my husband wasn't going to stand up for the honor of my "hoo-ha" then I was!!!!!!
When the next person walked into the room I yanked off my sheet, flung it to the floor, and yelled, "go ahead, look all you want! Build a summer home for all I care!" I shall never forget the look of horror on this poor boy's face as he cleared his throat and said, "I'm just here to empty your garbage". What???? "STEVE!!!!! Of course, my dear, sweet husband was in the bathroom!!!! How did my sheet get on the floor??? Have you ever tried to reach a sheet on the floor while your legs were in stir-ups? Unbelievable! This was the most embarrassing moment of my child's birth!!!!!
After 48 hours and 6 minutes my little Brittney was born. I was actually being prepped for a c-section when the surgeon came into the room for one final check. He discovered my baby was posterior. He stuck his hand in up to his elbow, pushed the baby back, turned her head, and out she shot like a torpedo!
Isn't it a good thing we forget the labor and delivery experience. Otherwise we would only have one child each!
P.S. I did see this poor garbage boy in the produce section at Macey's several months later. As I tried to hide my face with a head of lettuce, my husband pointed out my head probably wasn't the body part this kid would recognize!

Monday, December 04, 2006

My first MeMe

Okay, so here's my thing.....No Cool Story tagged me for a Christmas meme. Since I had no idea what that meant, I had to consult with my Blog expert. (Sorry this is new to me!). Well, here it goes:

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Neither! I am basically allergic to everything! My doctor once suggested I be placed in a plastic bubble but, you guessed it, I'm allergic to plastic. I'm very allergic to chocolate. If I even touch it a have trouble breathing. If I eat it, or drink it as this case may be, I have seizures! I'm not a huge fan of eggs thanks to my dear old dad! When I was a child he sat me down, cracked open an egg, and preceded to show me the umbilical cord. He said he wasn't sure if an egg was a "chicken's period", "chicken's abortion" (do they have the morning after pill for chickens?), or a "chicken's miscarriage"! I have had a hard time keeping them down ever since. However, my family was very excited when they asked my husband to buy them Egg Nog one year in Arizona. Having been born and raised in Utah, he had no idea some Egg Nog contains alcohol. My family really got into the holiday "spirit" that year!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Unfortunately, he wraps them. I have to be totally honest here. I am anti-wrapping paper. Every Christmas I try to get people to band together and boycott wrapping paper sales. We, as consumers, are so stupid!!!! We pay horrendous prices for colored paper! Then we spend hours cutting, tapping, and folding this paper onto weird shaped presents. Have you ever tried to wrap a golf club, football, toilet brush??????? After spending hours creating this work of art, this paper is ripped off, strewn all over the floor, and discarded never to be thought of again. Unless of course you are like my mother. Then you must attempt to get your paper off without ripping it so you can gently place it in a box and reuse it. I find this is handy only if you give the same gifts every year! (What to get Coz this year? Oh yeah, I have paper already wrapped into the shape of a toilet brush!!!! Problem solved).

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Don't even get me started!!! I love Christmas lights. I believe that you don't have enough lights on your house unless you can see it from space! I personally like the white icicle lights for the house. If you are going to put lights on your trees or bushes, let me tell you this.....It is totally moronic to throw one string across a couple branches. People will mock you! If you are going to do it, be thorough. It cheapens the Christmas spirit to have one string of lights covering a 40 foot oak! When I see this I get so irate I stop my car and steal your mail! It gives me pleasure to imagine your feelings when you think dear old Aunt Edna forgot to send you a Christmas card!!! So please, don't force me to retaliate. Either deck the house all the way out or stick to the house! Due to the fact that our Christmas tree is a Star Wars Christmas tree we have to use white lights. My husband won't allow colored lights. It interferes with the color of the light sabers.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Not since the hubby started putting it on his pants! Enough said!

5. When do you put your decorations up? Thanksgiving day. I am an executive with a retail store. I only get Thanksgiving off. After that comes black Friday! My family doesn't see me after that until Christmas is over. If I want to participate in the decorating (which consists of taking the Star Wars ornaments out of the boxes....Only Steve gets to put them on the tree) we have to do it this day.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Real mashed potatoes made with butter, garlic, and whipping cream! I pile it on my plate and pretend I'm Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind!!!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: I don't really have any from my childhood. My parents were divorced and my mother told us every year that Santa doesn't visit single parent houses. (I'm sure you are thinking this explains a lot about me!) My favorite memory with my children was in Logan, Utah. My daughter wanted a bike. She had written this letter to Santa explaining how she wanted it but would understand if it cost too much. We had a balcony where we put the bike. We attached fishing wire to the handle bars and tied the other end to a jewelry box. We placed the box under the tree in the very back. Brittney thought all the gifts had been opened. I could tell she was disappointed but she smiled and thanked us for everything. I asked her what that little white box was all the way in the back of the tree? She got it and started following the fishing line. I will never forget her opening the balcony door and collapsing into tears of gratitude. It was the most humbling experience to watch this sweet child. I will never forget it!!!

8. How and When did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't understand the question. What truth about Santa???!!!!???

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Only if the kids are getting pj's. Now that they refuse to wear matching outfits we stopped giving them. I thought about giving everyone a coat like the one from "Better Off Dead" but I doubt any of them would wear yak fur so what would be the point!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? First of all, I like real trees better then fake but I'm no longer allowed to have one. Steve says sap could get on his ornaments. Second of all, our tree is all Star Wars! We used to have Yoda at the top of it. In recent years, Steve has switched to Darth Vadar. I once raised objections to this. My husband and I argued about what Star Wars has to do with Christmas!!!! When I came home the next night, Steve had all the children sitting at his knee. He was telling them the "true story of Christmas". It is hard to argue with your 3 year old when she is telling you of the ultimate story of love and forgiveness. Now I just smile and let him do his thing.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it!!!! I don't mind the cold (I can always put more clothes on if I'm cold but I can only take so much off when I am hot before I am arrested or scar someone for life).

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Once again, I didn't get gifts as a kid. I did get a hair sample of my mom once to make a voodoo doll out of. Now every year I poke it with an ornament hook for good measure.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Sleep!!!! I work retail! The hours are long this time of year!

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Why limit it to the holidays? I love dessert period!!!! I could eat a whole gallon of Peppermint Stick Ice Cream in my underwear watching movies. I would gladly partake of your pecan pie if you are offering. I love it!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Leaving corn out for the reindeer so they can fly to the next house. It's "corny" but then again, so am I.

17. What tops your tree? A gigantic Darth Vader head! (my husband is obsessed).

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? Is this a trick question???? I suppose the correct answer is giving. However, I missed out on a lot of receiving years. Either way I answer this question it will sound shallow! Can I phone a friend? Poll the audience?

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? My favorite is "Oh, Holy Night". Does anyone else have issues with Neil Diamond making a profit with Christmas songs???? I mean, I love the guy as much as the next but I find it offensive when he sings songs like, Silent Night, Away in the Manger, O Little Town of Bethlehem, etc. The guy is a practicing Jew! Last time I checked they didn't recognize Jesus as the Savior of the world. Why is he singing about it!!!! That is why I totally respect Adam Sandler! I will take his "The Hannukah Song" any day over Neil Diamond's "Silent Night".

20. What is your favorite Christmas story? Do you really have to ask? When the dad brings home the lamp with fish net stockings, when the tongue gets stuck to the pole, when Ralphie shoots his eye out with the red rider bb gun.....Genius, pure genius.

Well, there you go! Am I supposed to tag someone now??? If so I hereby would like to tag:-Millie. (Sorry Gnat, you're the only one I know!)