Sunday, January 31, 2010

All in the Family, unless you're me.

My brain is so scattered right now. First, I freaking love the TV Show "All in the Family" and I've married someone who's basically a not racist Archie Bunker. Secondly, my SIL's baby shower was on Saturday, which was also her 27th birthday. I love the 3 months of the year when we are the same age. The shower was at our house and, as usual, my amazing mother in law swept in and waved her magic wand to make it perfect. The horrible stomach virus that took 3 days of my life 2 weeks ago struck John on Friday night, so instead of making dip and cleaning up and decorating, I took care of my poor sick baby boy from 11 pm to 4 am, then got up at 7 am to get prepped for the party. Thanks to Shauna (Izzy's Mom) and my inlaws, no guest suspected that I dropped the ball on about 1/2 of the stuff at the party. Instead of blue overload, Allie chose a theme of wintery white and blue. Buying all the decorations was a snap because a ton of Christmas stuff was like 90% off in mid January, so I got a ton of blue/ silver/ snowy decorations for a song. After the party I went to check on John, who was very needy and wanted me to cuddle with him. I have to say that I love how needy he is. It's not obnoxious (he doesn't call me 5 times a day to ask what I'm doing), but when we are together we are either holding hands or at least rarely apart. Despite having a big house we are rarely not in the same room. I lay down with him for about an hour and then came out to help clean up. It was a miracle: my wonderful mother in law had cleaned EVERYTHING. The decorations were down, the dishes were clean, the trash was taken out. I didn't get married; I won the family lottery.
We have a new roommate. (Told you my brain was all over the place). Her name is Gina and we've known her for several years. It's a small world. She not only went to Ireland with our friends who recently got engaged, she also went to Clemson and knows Allie through some good college friends. She and I were talking after the party about how awesome my inlaws are and she mentioned how her family isn't as happy and relaxed and willing to help as Allie and Johns. I relayed this story to Allie and her husband and her husband echoed that sentiment: he knew his family loved each other, but they weren't as close and didn't go as over the top as our inlaws, and were a little more judgemental. I said, "Oh, my family (meaning my Mom, Dad, aunts, uncles, etc) are just as tight as our inlaws." Then I paused. "Unless you're John or I, then they really don't care."
Which transitions into my "All in the Family" thoughts. The thing is, my extended family IS really close. They all love each other and are totally in each other's business, in a good way. One of my aunts is in HR and was invaluable when I was a recent college graduate looking for a job. One of my cousins is a riot and an awesome Mom with a hilarious son who I used to visit pretty regularly. Another one of my cousins knows the DC/ Baltimore/ NoVa area really well because he travels all over there for his job and gave me some great pointers when I was new to the area. Things changed a little when I moved to SC but not really. My aunts still emailed me and kept me in the loop, and we all still sent tons of cards to each other. (My family should buy stock in Hallmark. We send cards for EVERYTHING. I moved in with John in October 2007, so in the first few months that we lived together there was Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine's Day. John was in disbelief as to how many cards I got/ sent out.) Then my wedding fiasco happened and it was like all of a sudden I didn't exist. I'm not joking. Remember how I said we all used to be super close? And how I JUST mentioned to my brother in law how my family is super tight, unless you're John or I? What inspired this blog post was me playing on facebook this evening. I unfriended all of my family except my brother and one of my cousins a week after my wedding. My family basically acted in the crappiest way possible to my wedding and to my husband. I think the only person who really understands how much it hurt me is my best friend since we were 5 years old, SquirrelGirl. They were not only horrific in real life, but would go on facebook and find inspiration for their jerkiness. I saw that my oldest cousin wrote something on my brother's wall and on a whim, went to see her profile. She has almost everything public, so I clicked through her pictures. She has three daughters and I basically haven't ever seen her youngest. There were pictures of her, my aunt, and her two oldest daughters at John's and mine wedding reception this May. Except she didn't call it a wedding reception when she captioned the pictures. She called it a garden party. For a picture of her oldest it was, "My flower at the garden party." Her middle girl playing in my parents yard? "Ella's favorite lawn ornament at the garden party." My aunt and my cousin's kids? "Mom Mom and the girls at the garden party." There were about a dozen pictures like that. None of the bride or groom or my parents, BTW. And the wedding reception, for which she got an invitation that said wedding reception and where she gave us a wedding card wasn't a wedding reception, it was a garden party.
So, basically, except for my father (who couldn't care less about the wedding) and my brother (who told me all the bs that was going on behind my back), and my Mom (who has been trying to make amends, though nothing will ever undo how much her cattiness hurt me AND my wonderful husband), all that family I had in MD is gone to me. It still hurts because we used to be so super close, but oh well. The best thing that ever happened to me was marrying John and a close second is having the amazing in laws that I do. I will never, ever, ever, ever stop being grateful for them.

Friday, January 29, 2010

So frustrating

I've been trying to post a video on facebook for the last 3 hours. For the last hours it's said I have two minutes left until the video is uploaded and the computer is making that awful clicking sound over and over and over and over and over and over...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wrong wrong wrong wrong, wrong wrong wrong wrong. YOU'RE WRONG. YOU'RE WRONG. YOU'RE WRONG.

In case you haven't heard, please check out the video below for what our fantastic Lt. Governer said this earlier this week. What he said is obviously wrong theoretically, but HE doesn't even follow his own grandmothers advice! Several times a week I drive past a bulletin board for an animal rescue organization that says that Andre Bauer donated to a program that they have. In fact, a super fast Google search shows that Lt. Gov. Bauer donates his time to Project Pet, PAWSitive Effect, and the Humane Society of South Carolina. So dude, you seriously freaking donate your time and effort to organizations that do feed stray animals.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

That will be very useful in 12.5 years

Yesterday Izzy, Izzy's mom and I went shopping at a fantastic consignment store. Izzy found a twee Vera Bradley purse and, at a price of $4, her mom couldn't resist the accessory for her 3 year old. Izzy proudly held up her purse and proclaimed "It even has a pocket for my license!"

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Once a bridesmaid, once a bride, and that's about it.

I've been a bridesmaid once. In 2002 I went to Ohio for like 20 hours to be a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding. I've since lost touch with that friend. Oh well. I went to a wedding or two over the next few years, always as a guest. Yeah, being a bridesmaid would have been cool, but no worries. Then, John and I totally jumped the curve in our group of friends and got engaged. We had a long engagement and my wedding was EXACTLY what I wanted: 5 people, including John and I. Two of those people are my inlaws now. I love that! I love that for the rest of my life, whenever I look at my brother in law, I'm also looking at the man who legally married John and I. Up until a few months before the wedding we joked about our other friends, "What's wrong with you? What do we not know? How come NONE of them are engaged?" Long term relationships abounded, but no actual engaged couples. Oh boy, did 2009 change that! At a party this weekend for, comically, an engaged couple, John observed that now only two of his friends weren't married or engaged, when at this time last year that was the minority.
It looks like I'll be sticking to my Ohio memories of being a bridesmaid once. As SquirrelGurl lamented last year, no one asked me to be a bridesmaid. We have five weddings (s0 far) this year and one last year and no one has mentioned the b-word to me. I've analyzed it, and I think I dug my own hole. First, I continue to be SO HAPPY that I had a simple wedding. It made alot of people cranky, but it was exactly what I wanted. Pastel tulle, overdressed children, rented linens, "Mustang Sally" thank you. I don't want to be a bridesmaid for the pomp. I want it because the women and men getting married are lovely human beings whom I love and want to stand beside them and say, "YES! You are getting married! You are perfect for each other! I want to tell everyone that both of you are great, but you're so much better together!" I've seen these half dozen couples (well, most of them...don't know too much about one of our friend's fiances. I'm sure that will come later.) for years, through thick and thin, and I want them all to succeed. And I want THEM to know I want them to succeed. And I want THEM to want to tell OTHER PEOPLE that they know I want them to succeed. Getting that out of the way, I've seen that my downfall here was not having a big enough wedding to have bridesmaids. Not to sound too much like a second rate comedian, but the bride/ bridesmaid relationship is this weird Survivor-esque alliance. Let someone be your bridesmaid and you're guaranteed a spot in her wedding party. One of the brides to be told me last year that she was considering having a small wedding specifically so she would not have to have a certain someone as her bridesmaid. Well, guess what? That certain someone made my friend a bridesmaid in her own wedding, so the woman whose presence my friend was attempting to exclude is a bridesmaid in her wedding. I didn't have any showers thrown for me or bachelorette parties, so I didn't get to giggle and bond with my other female friends over flatware. It's kind of a lonely feeling. Again, it has nothing to do with wanting to be included for pageantry's sake... I have known these people for years and years and want to show that I am so happy for them.
Not to sound too doom and gloom, there are some circumstances that flesh this out a little bit. My sister and brother in law had a TINY wedding with just family. Since I was the only woman there who wasn't a mother of someone getting married, I consider that bridesmaid-y. Another engaged couple decided to go the same route that John and I did: teeny wedding, and take the money and run. I can't fault them for that. A downpayment for a house and investment in one's education beat passed hors d-oeurves any day.
I want to somehow acknowledge the women whom I would have had as my bridesmaids, because I do love them. Is that weird? "Hey, what's up? I just wanted to let you know that when I got married 10 months ago I would have had you as a bridesmaid if I went down that spendthrift, cookie cutter path."
I'll smile and be happy at all the upcoming weddings. I would just be happier and smilier if I was wearing a matchy bridesmaids dress.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dr. Who?

I have been in the computer lab for 40 minutes and the PhD student who calls me by the quasi-wrong name has called me by that name at least 5 times. During these 40 minutes, an administrator came in and called me by the correct name. Wow.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I bragged to EVERYONE that having a one eyed (and scarring in that eye) cat is great because we can have 8 quintillion Christmas trees up and Odin won't destroy them, since he can't see the ornaments. This was disproved tonight.
I have no idea how much Odin can see. I thought that it was basically seeing light and shadows. If you put your hand between a light source and Odin (so he can clearly see where your hand is blocking the light), get him interested in watching your hand, then move your hand to a place where there is less light contrast, he can't follow your hand. Also, he seems to be extremely nearsighted. He can bat a toy in front of him for several minutes, but if he bats it too hard and it goes more than 18 inches- 2 feet away from him, he does not look to see where it went and loses interest. He definitely cannot perceive depth. Despite being in fine physical shape, he can't jump. At least two of his feet are on the ground at all times. He has figured out he can get on our table by getting on a chair, then manuevering to the table. When he gets down from the sofa or bed, it's quite possibly the least graceful thing ever. It is NOT a jump/leap/ pounce. It is totally a contolled fall. The best way I can describe it is that he is like a small child going off the diving board for the first time. He clings to the edge of wherever he is, then lets gravity take its slow course. We haven't tried this, but the wonderful woman who fostered Odin told us that he can't navigate around dog gates.
Tonight I had what may be my first heartfelt, proud, UNDERSTANDING moment with Odin. I was at my laptop and the Valentine's day tree was in front of me. (Yeah, I have a Valentine's day tree. Jealous?) He examined the tree, then used his paws and teeth to get an ornament off. He did this three times!!! HE CAN SEE!!! I mean, he's not going to be a fighter pilot, but he can see enough contrast to get an ornament off. This makes me especially happy/ hopeful because one of the things I assumed he needed to see was high contrast. There are pink ornaments on the pink tree, so he must be able to perceive sublter differences than I thought.
I mean, figuring this out while your cat rips apart your Valentine's Day tree isn't ideal, but OH WELL!!! I'm so happy! My little man can see! I took pics and video that my lazy butt will post later.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Science. It's boring, I know, but it's my job.

SOOOOOOooooo I will happily tell anyone who will listen that I love diet drugs. When I was 18 and 19 my boss at the catering company where I worked wanted to lose 40 pounds for her 40th birthday. She tried several diets, and then became a convert to drugs. It was like she just found Jesus. "These are SOOO GOOOD!"she would say as she clutched them. Um, ok, sure, whatever. Well I gained thirty pounds my first semester at school and needed to drop it, pronto. I couldn't buckle my pants. I found a bariatric physician about half an hour away and got a chubby friend with a car to drive me there and back. What can I say? "These are SOOOO GOOOD!!!" My boss spoke the truth. I lost 11.5 pounds the first month and 8 lbs the second month, after which the doctor switched me to a less drastic pill. Better living through chemistry! While in Clemson I got 3 women to try it (and lose weight and keep it off), one of them that I know of got a friend to go with her who also lost weight, and since graduating I've had two women start treatment with phentermine after I told them about it.
It certainly isn't a pill to take if you want to lose 5 pounds. I lost 35 total, and my boss ended up losing close to 50. I don't know the exact number, but a woman who I was very, very close to lost so much weight over summer while under a doctor's care that I didn't recognize her. She came to my door started talking to me and I just thought, "Is this one of my residents? How does she know me?". The weightloss is dramatic and usually permanent. I love it. I love it, I love it, I love it. I know it's not a trend or something cute; it's seriously taking care of the one body that God gave you. Diets often fail and those support groups get EXPENSIVE!!! Using phentermine really is a lifestyle change. Your stomach is elastic and after you don't gorge yourself for months, it shrinks. After a doctor determines that you don't need care anymore, you still don't eat as much as you usually did because your stomach gets fuller faster.
I preach this gospel to EVERYONE. Why people don't do it is beyond me. Yes, it is initially more expensive, but how much will 10 months of Slim Fasts cost?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What a difference a year makes.

This weekend really highlighted all the fantastic changes that have happened in the last year. On Friday I spent most of the day either cleaning the house or with Shauna and Izzy and then went out for family dinner. On Saturday I put away Christmas decorations and got a little bit ready for Jim and Jen's engagement party next weekend. Jim and Jen came over with their puppy and we decided to try a new restaurant in Columbia. We went out on Saturday night with Jim, Jen and our friend Gina and had a great time at Hunter Gatherer in the Vista. At dinner we decided that Gina was going to be our new roommate starting in February. Yay! Today I ran errands including buying school books for this semester and John helped me alot in the yard. We went out to a new (to us) Indian restaurant about 10 minutes away and then Jay, Shauna, Izzy and Jack came over to chat for a little bit.
Several weeks ago John summed up our Columbia experience as different from Greer because in Columbia when we want to go out we have a choice of friends to go out with. The amout of socializing we did this weekend is more than we would have done in a month in Greer. Living close to family and friends makes a huge difference, but I still often feel like I'm visiting Columbia and that I really live in Greer. My life is so different from a year ago: I'm a full time student, I have a different last name, I'm going to be an aunt, Mom Mom died, we have a cat now, we live in Columbia, we live in a house that is much more impressive than the Greer house but that actually requires several hours of upkeep per week, Cujo sleeps in the bed with us now, we have a time frame for when we will become parents, I know how to strip wallpaper, I'm nowhere near as close to my Mom's family, I'm getting medical treatment for my obsessive disorder...My life is so great, but no matter where I live, as long as John is with me I am happy. I think that is the biggest difference from twelve months ago. Going from living with John for 14 months to only seeing him from Friday night to Sunday afternoon was hard as hell for me and I know I will fight tooth and nail not to ever have to do that again.
My life is so awesome and perfect right now. I can't imagine how my heart holds all of this love.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Stuff that was said today

Izzy, as my SIL visited with us for about 90 minutes: "Is he a boy or a girl?" in reference to my nephew.
SIL, explaining the labor trials and tribulations of Izzy's Mom: "They didn't give her the epidural till she was 7 inches dialated!"

I got no patience, and I hate waitin'

I want to see my nephew. NOOOOOWWWWW now now now now now. AJ will be here on March 1st, according to my SIL's doctor. There have been a few instances when we thought he would come early, but at this point it looks like he will be marinating in uterus juice for at least 6 more weeks. I know that if he is born now he will still be a perfect little man, but will need help with oxygen intake and will probably not know how to suckle. That reflex is the last to develop and it's interesting to me to hear moms who delivered just a few days or weeks early tell about how their 38 week old at delivery babies couldn't quite get the hang of it, while full term or late kids know just what's going on.
However, I am whiny and needy and I just want to kiss AJ's face and tummy and change his lil diaper and all that goodness. He is sooooo ready to come out, immune system be damned! I want to see him!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

No thanks, kid.

Today while watching Izzy, she ate about 80% of a tootsie roll pop and couldn't finish it. We were in my car when she gave it to me and told me not to eat it. What followed was my first actual fight with a three year old.
"But you gave it to me, so I am going to eat it."
"No, you can have it. Not eat it."
"I'm eating it now."
"No! Don't eat it!"
She wanted me to do *something* with the lollipop that I couldn't understand. She kept saying, "Do this with it." and very demonstratively moving her hands quickly closer to her face and making a weird noise with her mouth. I finally figured it out..."Izzy, I am not hitting myself in the face with a lollipop!"
"If you don't know how to do it, I can help you."

No words needed.

Ok, three words: emergency dental surgery. Wait wait, three more words: dentist moose knuckle.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

This displeases me greatly

Comedians, please start being funny again. We were watching a Comedy Central special and it was the guy who won "Last Comic Standing". I only know this because he said it about a dozen times. His name was Jon Reep and the title of his special was "Metro Jethro". His schtick was about how anyone can relate to people from small towns or the south. Jeff Foxworthy, what hell have you wrought? Ok, when a totally funny guy from small town Georgia is funny and from a small town and from the South, thumbs up all around. And then...Larry the Cable Guy. Bill Engvall. That guy who has the cigar. WE GET IT, WHITE MEN. You have wives, kids, and you're from the south. If you're on a blue collar comedy tour, don't you have a blue collar job to get back to? Hunting, dogs,'s done. For me at least. Finito.
Jon Reep did not have a single original bit. He didn't steal, it was just that every joke was like hearing a joke about airplane food. Yup, people in small towns do sit on their porches. They like the county fair, too. Let's hope this brand of comedy is OVER.
As PG as he is, I still love me some Jim Gaffigan.

You're welcome.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Down by one on New Years' Resolutions

My 2010 resolutions are to go to church on a regular basis, talk to my brother more, and buy more local food. Staying up till 4 am last night did not help resolution #1. I, as usual, hit the snooze button and missed church. Idealogically I could never be a Southern Baptist, but dang it must be nice to have church like 5 times on Sunday. Ditto for Catholics.
On the bright side, once I rolled out of bed at noon, things were super productive! I trimmed all of our front yard bushed and raked up the leaves and branches, finished the trim in the computer room/ nursery and did the second coat of paint in that room as well. Life is great in 2010!

Talking Crap

In preparation for our feline friend, John and I bought one of those automatically cleaning kitty litter boxes. It arrived a while ago. (Sorry for the late post.) It is bigger than the average litter box, but the shipping from Amazon was a ton of overpackaging. I took a picture of it next to a full size Rottweiler to give it full effect.