Monday, May 30, 2011

Is There an App for That?

Ah convenience, we all love it don't we?  Who doesn't like to "one stop shop" or "just sit back and watch" but lately I am becoming a bit concerned with Americas love for convenience.  I mean I get the convenience store where you can buy milk, lottery tickets, candy bars and a Playboy all in one stop, but I don't get the ever increasing desire to have to do absolutely NOTHING. 

You could literally find "convenience" items for everything these days (wow, someone is sounding old).  Walk into the grocery store (notice the automatic doors that open to welcome you) and you enter a sea of pre-washed, pre-cut,  pre-packaged foods all making it "easier" to cook.  Those that want to do even less are provided with aisles of already pre-cooked convenience meals, and those that want to do even less work, hey there is always a McDonalds on the way home. 

And once home you need not worry about lifting a finger. You can buy automatic shower cleaners, automatic toilet cleaners, automatic vacuums and mops.  You can even buy an apparatus that will stir a pot for you.  Yes, stir a pot, because god forbid you burn a calorie stirring the pasta sauce.  Plus you may be standing in the way of the automatic floor mop!  Something tells me the people purchasing automatic sauce stirring machines are not the same as those who actually MAKE homemade soups and sauces, but I digress.

So now that you are settled in your automatically cleaned house you wave your hands under the automatic soap dispenser and then under the automatic water faucet and wash up for dinner.  With your pre-made dinner fresh out of the microwave you sit on your sofa and click through channels with the remote.  After dinner you pop the dishes in the dishwasher to be cleaned for you and sit back down to check your email on your phone.  A few moments later you decide you want to listen to some music so you click the app to start up your ipod player and relax with the online version of the newspaper all without leaving the comfort of the sofa. 

Later you have a craving for ice cream so you open the freezer and grab a carton of Ben and Jerry's along with a spoon and settle back on the sofa.  While perusing Facebook on your phone you realize that people are already posting pictures of pool parties and lake trips and it reminds you that you aren't exactly swimsuit ready.  No problem!  A quick Google search and a few clicks later you are the proud owner of extreme weight loss pills that ensure you will loose up to 10 pounds in a single week without changing your lifestyle.  Just sit back and watch the fat melt away.  Perfect.

Satisfied with your purchase, you polish off the carton of ice cream, I mean why not, it's all going to melt away when the pills arrive, and head for bed.  You brush your teeth with an automatic toothbrush, have a pee that is flushed away with automatic toilet cleaner and as you walk to bed you are spritzed by an  automatic air freshener.  Ah, refreshing. 

Of course I am being somewhat sarcastic, but honestly I think it is getting out of hand.  I don't so much have a problem with the products being provided as I do with the effect they are having on us as a society.  People are actually forgetting how to perform simple tasks and/or beginning to think they are incapable of doing things for themselves.

We are loosing sight of the fact that life isn't supposed to be easy, not everything SHOULD just be done for you.  I think we are forgetting what it feels like to accomplish a task, even one as mundane as scrubbing the toilet.

OK, let me step down from the soap box and clarify.  I like convenience just as much as the next guy.  I don't want to scrub my laundry on a rock or strain fresh pumpkin to make a pie.  I check email and Facebook on my iphone in bed, wish there was a pill that would melt the cartons of ice cream away and I sure as hell don't want to stand up to change the TV channel, but at the end of the day, doing things for myself like chopping vegetables and pumping my own damn hand soap make me feel human.  And sometimes it is important to remember that we are just that, humans.

36 Weeks

Here is the belly at 36 weeks
I can't believe we are less than a month away from meeting "it"

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Reward

Ryan spends A LOT of time working his ass off in our garden.  
Because we live here and see it every day, 
Sometimes we forget how far it has come. 

I get giddy just thinking about plucking sweet raspberreis from the bush.
Meanwhile, notice my serious man hands!

These are a special variety of lemon that has striped peel and pink flesh!
For a minute I was like, is this where pink lemonade comes from?
Then I thought about how stupid that was and didn't ask

Can't eat this, but is sure is pretty

Our yard is becomming such a beautiful place to hang out.  
Soon I will post pictures of it before and after.
You'll want to send Ryan a back brace and Advil when you see!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Slow Down

Last Thursday Abner tweaked his back again and was in a lot of pain; so was I.  I am telling you it is pure torture to watch an animal in pain knowing there is nothing you can do to quell it, TORTURE!  I'd tell all my secrets, give up all my money, let Ryan tap his pen AND leave smudge marks on the fridge if I never had to see it again.  I am just not cut out to handle this kind of thing. 

So why the hell am I having a baby!?!?

He didn't respond as quickly to the pain medication and muscle relaxers this time due to his body building a bit of tolerance so by Sunday I was ready to close my puffy eyes, pull my hair out and retreat somewhere, anywhere but here.  It was that painfully long Sunday that I found myself thinking a lot about how I would deal with a sick or  injured child.  After a lot of thought I came a conclusion; I wouldn't.

I would be the WORST.  Well, not the worst because I can put on a poker face and tell them that everything is going to be alright but inside I am a battlefield of physical and emotional pain. I used to think I wanted to be a vet when I grew up.  It is almost laughable now to think that I could have dealt with animals and their people hurting every day.  I ugly cry at the fucking Sarah Mclachlan animal TV commercial 

So, an update.  Abner is now officially feeling better and all the while making me feel like an epic failure at life because I won't let him do anything fun.  You know, like chasing butterfly shadows, taking flying leaps off of furniture, diving under the bed and jumping with Lilly, playing viscous games of tug of war and/or going for a walk.  He just stares at me with big sad eyes because he doesn't understand and I, like a fool, try to explain it to him, repeatedly. 

On Friday the vet was explaining the game plan to get Abner better and after discussing that he needed to rest for at least 2 weeks then gradually get back to a bit more normal activity, the tech helping out reminded me that I shouldn't put him  up on anything that he would have to jump down from.  I shouldn't PUT HIM UP!!!???  Are you kidding me!!??  I looked at the vet, took a deep breath, and said, "trust me, I don't put him anywhere.  He is a mutant freak dog that can FLY!  I can't even take a pee without bringing him with me for fear that he will do something stupid.  The last thing I'm going to do is PUT him up on something!"

So maybe I was a bit snappy.  But the beat goes on...

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I don't know if people lack a sense of humor or if they just don't understand mine, but I have had a few good one liners lately that were met with blank stares.  Here are a few examples

1. The other night I wanted phish food ice cream and told Ryan that I was going to the store if he wanted anything.  He asked that I pick up some beer.  No problem.

At the checkout I presented my two items and stepped aside.  The cashier looked me up and down, looked at my items and said, "interesting combo." "Yeah, the ice cream is for my husband," I responded.  He just stared blankly at me for a moment and rang me up.

Part of me wanted to explain the joke but as you all know once you have to explain a joke it is lost anyway.

2. I took Lilly to the vet a few weeks ago for her annual exam and was met with a barrage of questions.  What does she eat?  How much time does she spend outside?  Does she lick her feet?  Do we give her treats?  Is she on flea medication?  Does she have a microchip?  And so on and so forth.

I was doing a pretty good job of holding back the sarcasm until she asked me the last question; What does Lilly drink?  "Vodka," I replied.  The vet tech just looked at me, a confused gaze over her face.  "Water, she drinks water, why would you ask that, what else would a dog drink?"  "Well, some people give their cats milk."  "OK, butt she is a dog." Nothing, just the same blank look.  Wow

3. Quite a while ago I had to visit the drug store for condoms.  That is honestly all I needed but like a 14 year old girl buying tampons I couldn't JUST buy condoms.  I had to have at least one more item on the conveyer belt, so I perused the aisles for a while trying to come up with something to add to my purchase.

Finally I decided on a candy bar.  Nothing like a Snickers to mask the purchase of condoms, right?  I made my way to the register where the cashier was a sweet looking 17 year old boy who I could tell was made uncomfortable by my purchase.

"Is that all for you today, mam?" 

I tried to resist but I couldn't. "Sometimes this is all you need." I said.

His face turned bright red and he immediately dropped eye contact with me.  In fact he didn't make eye contact for the rest of the transaction.  Sorry kid, but if you ever want to need a condom you are going  to have to lighten up.

I guess not everyone likes a comedian, but sometimes I can't help myself.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Give Him a Quarter

...and he'll sing you a song

Someone got a ukulele for their birthday 

And as you can see, he has a captive audience in our dogs

Upon receiving this gift, Ryan spent a good 2 hours plucking strings, singing songs about nonsense and walking around making a lot of noise.  You know, a typical morning.  
"I'm going to drive you crazy with this aren't I?"

"Aren't I implies that you haven't already."

I knew what I was getting myself into when I bought it for him, but he does have rhythm and soon I'm sure he will have a song.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Let's Trade

So far I have had a very easy pregnancy.  I honestly have nothing to complain about but I'm not going to let that stop me, not today.  I'd say that out of the almost 250 days that I have been pregnant only 10 have been shitty.  Today is shitty day #11, today I want to complain.  I want to WHINE!

Today I would gladly trade places with someone I don't like to have my old body back; even if only for a moment.  Today I am so OVER it.  My joints ache, my head hurts, the baby is in a very undesirable position and is rearranging my organs, I'm pretty sure I found a stretch mark on my boob, my dry skin is itchy,  my stomach is unsettled, I'm hungry but not at the same time, I should drink more water but it is really unappealing, my feet hurt, my brain is completely useless, I want to cry every five minutes and punch someone every 10 and I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that all of this might have something to do with the fact that I haven't slept in 8 months because I still can't FUCKING BREATHE!

Ah, I feel better already

I know that it is just "one of those days" and that it will all be worth it in the end, but today I say screw being a mammal, give me a goddamn egg to sit on for 10 months!

Ah Memories

Remember last week when I posted about bonding with Ryan while we had food poisoning and some of the funny memories we made?  Well, I thought I’d share one of my favorites. 

After being up all night and most of the day vomiting and having diarrhea, Ryan pokes his head out of my bathroom and asks me if I have any lotion.  I don’t think much of it and grumble to him that there is some under my sink. 

A few seconds later his head pokes out again only this time he is holding a bottle of lotion.  “This one?” he asks.  Mustering up the energy to open my eyes and look at him seemed like a lot of work, but I did it anyway. 

“What are you doing with that?”

“It’s lotion, right?”

“Yeah, self-tanning lotion.  Do you need some color on your legs while we die a slow painful death in bed?”

A horrified look comes over Ryan’s face as he tries to slink back into the bathroom.

“What were you going to do with that lotion?”


“Then why did you need lotion?”

Looong silence...

“I was going to put some on my butt.”

“Your butthole?  Why the hell were you going to put self-tanner on your butthole?”

“I didn’t know it was self-tanner!! I just need some lotion for my butt!”

See, good times, and we still to this day get a good laugh every time someone mentions self-tanner.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cobbler Time

Our peach tree is covered with babies,

And I can already smell the cobbler.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Defying Gravity



So I'm in the office checking email, minding my own business, when I hear the all to familiar sounds of Abner beginning a freak out session.  It starts with digging and barking and barking and barking and some more digging and barking.  I hope that if I ignore it he will go away, but I should know him better than that.  He NEVER goes away.

My ears are beginning to bleed from the incessant barking so I decide to walk into the bedroom and see what his malfunction is.  I figure he is either under the bed scratching the carpet and barking or on the chair scratching in the corner and barking but no, OH NO! He is in the baby's bassinet rolling around on his back scratching and you guessed it, barking!

He is pretty damn proud of himself and I am completely dumbfounded.  What the hell does he think he is doing? And more importantly, how the hell did he get his fat ass in there?  If you have ever seen a French Bulldog you know that they are short and stout, not exactly built for jumping.  Oh, and by the way, maybe he forgot that he has a bad back and is forbidden from jumping!  I swear to god this dog is an absolute freak of nature.  

Most people, including myself, are worried that their cat might jump in the bassinet and suffocate the baby.  THAT is logical, that could actually happen.  But me, I have an almost 30 pound flying French Bulldog to worry about too.  


Monday, May 16, 2011

34 Weeks

Ryan wanted his head in the shot for "scale"

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Summer Bloom

A beautiful hibiscus popped up to say good morning, Summer is coming

Friday, May 13, 2011


Before I married Ryan I heard many bits of advice as to when I would know he was the one or what needed to happen in our relationship before we got engaged.  The two bits that stand out in my mind are: 1. See the person in each of the four seasons and 2. See the person with the flu. 

The first is particularly important for me because I do NOT keep well in the heat.  Think of me as the mayonnaise at a Summer picnic, I'm the first to spoil.  Lucky for Ryan he met me in the Summer, in Fresno, in 100+ heat.  He got to see the real me real fast, because nothing brings out the bitch in me like 100 degree heat.  I remember reassuring him that come Fall I would be much more pleasant to be around.  Unfortunately come Winter I'd probably complain about being cold and in the Spring I'd probably complain about the rain, so basically, enjoy me for the 3 months that I'm only kind of crazy. 

I think we all have a "best" season and therefore this is a good bit of advice for couples.  It also gives you a good solid year to run away while you still can if your girlfriend refuses to ride in your car without AC, dramatically sighs and moans every time she has to go outside and/or will not enjoy life when it is above 80. 

Oh Ryan, you had your chance.

The second bit of advice I thought was kind of silly.  I mean yeah, it is good to see how your partner reacts when he or she is sick, but do I really need to see Ryan with the flu to know that he is going to be a giant baby?  Sorry love, but you, like many other men out there are. Then I gave us simultaneous food poisoning and now I see why that bit of advice is valuable.  You really should see your partner with the flu.  I mean nothing bonds a couple together like taking turns vomiting and having diarrhea for a full 24 hours.

Some of our most memorable experiences came from that horrible bout of food poisoning and we still get a laugh about it to this day.  Never are you more vulnerable than when you are sick and have no control over your bodily functions.  At first I was embarrassed and would RUN to the bathroom on the other side of the house but after a few hours I was like fuck it, what is he going to do, break up with me because he can hear me vomiting in the tub while sitting on the toilet? 

We spent a solid 24 hours together laying in bed, watching movies, eating popsicles, visiting the bathroom and caring for one another the best we could.  Looking back it was actually kind of nice.  I not only got to see how Ryan acted when he was sick but I also got to see how loving he was towards me, even with puke breath.  So, if you are in a new relationship I have a bit of advice for you before you walk down the aisle; poison your partner.  You will get to see their true colors and maybe even share a few laughs.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

They're Back

...said in an eerie tone. 

I know that is some infamous movie quote involving the return of some sort of monster, but that is not where I'm going with this; though I would prefer a monster in this case.  I'm talking about headaches.  I had bad headaches in the beginning of my pregnancy before I knew I was pregnant and thank god I'm not a pill popper or that embryo would have been lit up.  

I hate headaches.  To me a headache is the most debilitating form of pain and the special pregnancy headaches tend to linger.  I have had this one for over 24 hours.  It does letup a bit here and there, but most of the time I want to squeeze my temples or the back of my neck so hard that I'll leave fingerprints! 

Give me a backache, a sprain, a strain, a bump or a bruise, but please keep it out of my head.  My head is messed up enough as it is.  When I am in any other kind of pain I use my brain to ignore it, but when my brain is pulsating in a vice or being eaten alive by a swarm of pecking ducks this does not work, and quite frankly pisses me off, like A LOT. like I want to punch someone.

Just to give you an example of how much a headache messes with me,  I am pretty sure this is the worst blog entry I have written in months and I have already had to retype at least 10 sentences because they were grammatically incorrect or made no sense!  I also gave up on writing thank you cards a few minutes ago because I kept misspelling words and molding letters together to the point that I'm pretty sure some of my writing is illegible.  Sorry to those of you receiving those thank yous and sorry to anyone reading this right now.  Why I thought, hum...I can't write thank yous to save my life so I'll write a blog is beyond me. 

On another note, my dog has developed a case of hoarding

Greedy little bastard

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Kindness of Strangers

On Friday morning I walked the dogs to the bank to make a deposit at the ATM.  While processing my deposit, a woman came in behind me and of course was immediately under sniff interrogation by my dogs.  I tried to rope them in as best I could while apologizing for the noses in both her crotch and her toes.

She just smiled and assured me that they probably smelled her dogs and was perfectly fine with them sniffing.  I quickly finished my deposit and told her to have a nice day as I was walking toward the door.  She smiled at me and said, "You too, and Happy Mothers Day." 

I was completely caught off guard.  What?  Happy Mothers Day?  Oh my gosh, Happy Mothers Day!  She was the first person, besides my husband speaking through our dogs, to ever wish me a Happy Mothers Day.

Of course I teared up but thankfully the tears were concealed by my sunglasses and I pulled it together long enough to thank her and wish her the same...and then hope that she was a mother and I didnt' just put my foot in my mouth like when the ticket attendant at the flight gate says have a nice flight and you reply, "you too!"

As I walked home filled with emotion it became that much more real;  I am a mother.

So Happy Mothers Day to everyone.  Animal mothers, birth mothers, adoptive mothers, grandmothers, foster mothers, and bad ass mother fuckers.  You truly make the world a better place.

Love you mom!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

32 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

To those of you who are lucky enough to know my husband personally, this will simply be review.

Ryan is not the kind of guy you meet every day, he is a rare breed.  A true gentleman who opens doors not only for me, but for everyone.  He stops for stray dogs, respects his elders, remembers the little things that really matter, cries when he is truly touched,  goes out of his way for others, and loves his friends and family more than anything.  He is always honest, even when it hurts, closes the toilet seat most of the time, thanks me for doing mundane tasks such as mopping the floor and ironing his work shirts, and will stand up for the people he loves no matter what.

He is a kind and gentle man who is just rough enough around the edges.  And whether you call him Ryan, Rilo, brother, son, friend or family, consider yourself lucky. 

On May 7, 1979 the future love of my life was born.  Neither one of us knew it then, but he was destined to change my life.  Though I am still a cynical kind of gal, just one look in his direction and I feel like the Grinch whose small heart grew three sizes in one day.

Happy Birthday to my love, my rock, my baby daddy

Friday, May 6, 2011

Riverside Picnic

On a sunny Saturday, a vacant calendar lead us to the river's edge

My Boys

Dozing off during a staring contest.  Does that mean he wins?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Does He Have A Mute Button?

The reality that I am going to be a mom in a few weeks is setting in more and more.  Emotions range from oh my gosh this is so exciting, I can't wait,  to scared out of my mind I can just be pregnant forever, right?  Yes, it's not the best look, but I don't have to suck in my stomach and I'm saving money on tampons.

There is the whole downside of not being able to have a cocktail and the issue of...I don't even like kids!

OK, that's a lie, I do like kids but I like them how I like the rain.  If I am going to be home all day and can bake some cookies and enjoy the cozy weather I'm happy, but if I have a million errands to run and feisty dogs that need walks then "rain, rain, go away" plays on repeat.  Basically I'm saying that I am completely selfish in my love of children.

See a cute baby in a stroller sleeping while mom is on a leisurely stroll.  Love it, can't wait.  See a kid screaming at Target because you won't buy him a Superman action figure.  Hate it, can't you shut that kid up?  Yes, I'm guilty, I pull the, "my kid will never do that!" card but I am sure ALL of you have at some point. Probably before you had kids and you were the perfect parent.  You see, I am only going to be a perfect parent for approximately 7 more weeks then reality strikes so I need to get in my shit talking about other parents while I still can.

Here's the problem.  Once the kid is yours, signed, sealed, delivered, you can't pick and choose when you want them around.  Crazy concept I know, but it is true, and it is hitting me like a ton of bricks.   My space, time, agenda, brain, vodka, will never be mine again.  I am never going to be just me or even us (Ryan and I) we will forever be the 3 of us.

Want to come to dinner?  Sure but there is a baby and its nap is during dinner or it screams at dinner or I didn't get a shower for 3 days and you could braid my leg hair so no,  I can't be seen in public.

Of course these are all things that will eventually work themselves out and we will create a new "normal" but right now, at this moment, the enormity of change that will soon be taking place is blowing my mind.  Not in a bad way, but HOLY SHIT!

So for the next few weeks I am going to enjoy my time with baby safely, and quietly, inside and continue to judge parents who let their children honk bike horns in Target, scream at restaurants, and eat candy for dinner.  After all, I am still a perfect parent...for now.

Monday, May 2, 2011

And Now To Piss People Off

I am not sure why, but I feel compelled to briefly share my opinion about the death of Osama Bin Laden and the way America has reacted.  Some will agree, some will strongly disagree but wherever you stand, perhaps for a moment you will ponder this.

Right now, thousands of Americans are celebrating the death of a man and what they believe it symbolizes.  Was he a good and decent man?  No, but he was a human being and I can't for the life of me imagine celebrating the death of another human being. 

Turning on the television and seeing the jubilation of the crowd does not evoke feelings of joy in my own heart.  What I feel is much more somber and reflective.  It never ceases to amaze me how well trained we are as a nation in our reactions.  When the blood is on our hands we rejoice but when the blood is on our soil we become enraged and peruse blind revenge, retaliation.  But how can we so mindlessly think that carrying out our own revenge will not be met with others searching for the same satisfaction. For in the end, an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

And while the acts of 9/11 were indeed tragic beyond belief, do not be so quick to forget the number of deaths America has itself imposed.  For compassion should not stop at our shores with only those like us, whom we can relate, but should spread the world over. 

32 Weeks

5 weeks to "full term," 8 weeks until this kid better vacate the premises 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

5 + 3 = 8

Her face may be turning gray, but her heart is pure gold

Happy Birthday Lilly

We love you even more than you love bacon