Monday, February 28, 2011

Racist Scottish Lady

Some of you are so excited about Racist Scottish Lady that I'm not sure I can make this little story amusing enough to live up to the hype. But I'll try. It may involve some embellishment. Hopefully you can imagine the hilarious awfulness of it despite my inability to reproduce it well.

So, I was sitting in the airport with my laptop at 2:00 in the morning when a middle-aged lady came up and plopped down in the seat across from me with her bags. She looked a little peeved.

(Now, bear with me because accents aren't my thing, but this story is very hard to make amusing without at least attempting to reproduce her accent; and this is hard because it was so thick I had trouble understanding her at times. It was also really lovely; I could listen to her recite the phone book.)

Her: Marnin' to yeh!
Me: Hi.
Her: Whatcha doon hur a' this arr?
Me: Oh, my flight got cancelled. I'm here till 7:30 this morning.
Her: Ooh, ain' tha' soom bad look!
Me: Yeah, the wind here was terrible earlier, and it was snowing. There was also some lightning.
Her: Ooh, ay'm gla' I goot in winnah did. Joost came frum NooOhlahns [New Orleans, and somehow she made it into one very musical syllable].
Me: Oh, cool! I've always wanted to visit there. Did you enjoy it?
Her: Noo, I came back two week earleigh! Tha' whool toon, goon to roobish.
Me: Really. I know a lot of the historical areas were destroyed by the hurricane...
Her: Noo, it ain' joost the old areas. It's evrwher! Sooch a sad toon nagh.
Me: That's too bad.
Her: Aye, I tell ya, it's thoos blacks.
Me: Excuse me?
Her: Aye, I nivvah seen sooch a lot o' booskers, thoos blacks. Lazy, lazy, lazy, the whool lot o' them.
Me: Ooh.
Yes, I know I could have done better here, but it was two in the morning, and the incongruity between that musical voice and the actual meaning of the words had me dumbstruck.
Her: Soo sad. It's bean six yeeas! The streets, filthy, the buildins, foolin' doon, and ool tha' people, sittin' aroon', waitin' for handoots. I tell ya'.
Me: ...
Her: Soo, tell me, dear, do ya' noo where tha' wee girls' room is? Imma goon for a pee, then I need a fog [= fag = cigarette; that one took me a while]. Bye nah!

The conversation was much longer than that. But it's hard work trying to reproduce her accent, and I'm lazy.

So. I hardly ever write anymore! As if you didn't notice! I'm going to stop apologizing for it, but I think I'll explain a little bit.

Normally if I don't post frequently for a while, it's because I'm stressed out, or sad, or sleep deprived. Turns out I don't post much when I'm ridiculously happy, either. Huh.

Seriously, folks, I haven't felt this good in year. Yes, you read that right. Probably since before Grace was born, maybe even earlier. I was bouncing around the house the other day when I suddenly realized that this is how I used to feel all the time. This is not abnormal for me. This is me.

I might not go so far as to say I've been depressed for two years, but now that I'm feeling so great, I can see that I was something less than great. I don't know if it was crazy hormones brought on by breastfeeding (much as I love breastfeeding and miss it, I do think it gives me a little bit of The Crazy because after weaning both times I noticed a sudden upswing on the happiness scale) that finally went away, or if it's Utah, or if it's having more time with Jeremy at home, or if it's the working out. But wow.

Of course there are bad days, but I find I'm able to take them in stride now. I don't lose my temper with the kids anywhere near as often. I am not annoyed with Jeremy for no particular reason. I spend the entire morning doing housework and I like it.

I made chicken broth for fun this morning! This turned out to be a bad idea. First, I nearly cut off my index finger (thank the in-laws for those sharp knives, or it would have bled for hours). Then it turned out to be a messy, day-long undertaking. But by golly, that broth is good. It had better be. It had better give me whiter teeth and drop me down to a lower pants size.

Tomorrow I will attempt to find my sister's box of maternity clothes (somewhere in a stack of boxes in the garage) and organize the girls' bedroom (too-small clothes everywhere, since all the bins are somewhere in a stack of boxes in the garage). If I don't write again for a while, it might be because I was smothered to death in a rain of cardboard and Rubbermaid.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I am not lying in a gutter somwhere in Chicago.

I lived! And it was kind of fun. I mean, I was nearly delirious by the time I got to my friend's house and fell into bed. It was fun in the I've-never-done-anything-like-this-before-and-I-did-it-anyway kind of way. Flight canceled, spend 13 hours in the airport (I didn't post yesterday until I'd been there for a while), eat almost nothing for 24 hours, catch a new flight to a different destination, find my way through O'Hare to the bus station (which is an entirely different building, BTW), buy a ticket, and make it to my parents' town without getting mugged, lost, or kidnapped. And I won!

It's kind of exhilarating.

I miss my kids, but not as much as I thought I would (so far). I miss Jeremy MORE than I thought I would. I mean, not that I wasn't expecting to miss him at all, but I'm far more used to being away from him for a few days at a time.

I'm cutting this short because I have to get up early, but remind me to tell you about Racist Scottish Lady.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I feel naked.

I am in the Salt Lake City airport waiting for my flight to Denver. Child-free until Tuesday morning.

I was half excited, half dreading this trip. The dread was mostly due to the packing. I really hate packing. Now that it's over, I'm pretty excited. I DID get pretty choked up in the car when Jeremy dropped me off.

My MIL (Grace calls her "Great Grandma" for whatever weird, toddler reason she has) was just here for a week, and she left this morning before the kids woke up. Grace is her new biggest fan. At breakfast, Grace looked up from her pancake and said, "Great Grandma?" rather plaintively.

Now I'M leaving for a week. I hope she doesn't lose her mind.

But, oh, I need a break. It's been two and a half years since I was away from them for more than a few hours. Well, a couple months ago, Jeremy kicked me out of the house to go have fun for a day and a half. But other than that, it's only been pieces of days here and there.

I feel weird.

I packed as light as I could. This means I will be wearing some bizarre outfits all week. Two pairs of pants, four shirts, and some really weird socks. I did all the laundry except the sock/towel load. So right now I'm wearing bright red socks with black horses all over them. These jeans look really weird with the one pair of shoes I brought. They're boot cut, but for some reason, with these shoes, they look like skinny jeans. Also, did I ever mention that I have gigantic feet? I do. Black clown shoes, red horse socks, skinny jeans. Awesome. I did have an awesome hair day to balance it out, but the hurricane-force wind today ruined all that. I now look like I went through a car wash in a convertible. My sister will have fun with this when she picks me up.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I love how every time I'm beginning to lose sympathy for my always-teething children, God smites me with Terrible Wisdom Tooth of Doom.

Yes, I'm teething. Oh my heck. I have two wisdom teeth in all the way, and two halfway in, and every few months they start burrowing their way up again, and it makes me want to rip my jaw out of my face because that would hurt LESS that accidentally chewing on the wrong side of my face 37 times a day, and WHY don't I learn?

I may be the only adult in North America to still have her wisdom teeth. We used to not have insurance. Then I was firmly in the not-removing-things-from-my-body-just-because camp. Then my friend became a dental hygienist and actually explained to me why they routinely remove your wisdom teeth these days. And then I turned into a big, fat pansy.

Speaking of which, I have begun weightlifting.

I was so fed up with my ellipticalling and ellipticalling and ellipticalling and still only GAINING weight. So I poked around a bit and found that hey! One of the keys to weight loss? Is building muscle. I am an intelligent woman who knows all about how having muscles helps you burn more calories, but I never actually put it all together.

Yes, dieting is also an option, but I refuse to do it, other than just eating a decently well-rounded diet. First, I am hungry ALL OF THE TIME. I have been like this for as long as I can remember. I don't eat because I'm bored or stressed. I eat because I'm hungry. And you know what? If thinness will only happen if I have to tolerate a gnawing sensation in the pit of my stomach for the rest of my days, I AM NOT INTERESTED. Second, I have kids to feed who need fats in their diet. I'm not interested in having two different kinds of everything. We don't have enough refrigerators. Third, I mostly dislike the taste of low-fat, low-sugar things. I aim for foods that don't need butter or sugar, but when they do, I will use the good stuff.

So. Weightlifting. I am a weakling. No, I take that back. My arms, despite their... flying squirrel-ish appearance, are pretty ripped. I can curl as much as I could in high school. My back is stronger than I'd expected, too. But everything else is shamefully weak. Like a wilted piece of lettuce. I'm a droopy piece of broccoli.

And? I lost a pound and a half in two days. It probably would have been even more this morning, except that my MIL took us out for dinner for Emmy's birthday, and there was far more food than any of us had anticipated. It was well worth it. I will never regret fresh mozzarella or a perfect tiramisu.

Oh, the look of wonder on Emmy's face at her first taste of chocolate ice cream and whipped cream. It was almost accusatory: "You KNEW about this, and you held out on me for a YEAR?"

It was a good birthday. Thanks, MIL.

PS: I forgot to mention in my last entry that my father is adopted. So, I didn't get any DNA from my grandma, sadly. I do like the air of mystery this lends to my father's side of the family tree. I bet I am related to pirates! Norwegian pirates!

Also known as Vikings.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

You should see our laundry pile.

Well, I seem to have taken a turn for the totally boring and uneventful. "You were already there!" I can hear the peanut gallery muttering. Whatever. Boringer. Uneventfuler.

I am the kind of person who lives and breathes routine. The chaos of my brain makes my little routines necessary. In a new home, with everything different, everything is off kilter. Changing routines are the bane of my existence. Or, at least, the bane of my ability to function as an efficient housekeeper, wife, and mother.

We think we have found a church. This is a huge relief. I was expecting to have to church-hop for weeks before we found a place we liked. Nope. First (and closest) church we tried. I'm strangely at ease with these people. I'm never at ease with new people. I don't know what happened. I'm not going to question it. We'll just hope it's not something in the Kool-Aid, right?

Emmy is walking like a pro these days. That's another reason I haven't written much: walking, teething, a streak of independence a mile wide. She will no longer take a bottle. She has gone from 4-5 bottles a day (plus solid foods) to a few small cups of formula a day, which she will only drink while stumbling through the living room like an intoxicated baby monkey. She's suddenly picky about food, too, probably a result of the most horrific teething episode I have ever witnessed in my short life as a mother. Four molars, no sleep, and high fevers for three (four?) days straight. I wanted to strangle myself.

This set of molars is also when Grace stopped eating.

The advantage of both children living on air, water, and bread is that our cost of living just plummeted.

And now? We are sick (just a cold, but I like to be as whiny about it as possible). It just keeps getting better, doesn't it?

Another also: My grandma died. This is not as terribly sad for me as other grandparents' deaths have been. Not because I don't love her (I do, very much), but because I have almost no memories of her. Recent memories after she came to live with my parents a few months ago, yes. We had semi-regular phone conversations (less than a better granddaughter would have had, to my shame), and she and I wrote a lot of letters back and forth when I was little. So I knew her. But my knowledge of her has always been long distance. We visited a few times when I was tiny. The only thing I remember was nearly drowning in our friends' pool. A couple Christmases and weddings since then.

She was one of the funniest ladies I've ever known. Her wit was still razor sharp until just a few months ago. I remember a few years ago, she wrote me a letter recounting a terrible fall she'd taken recently. I knew she was badly hurt, but the way she wrote about it, I still laughed so hard I almost choked.

She used to knit us sweaters. I remember hating a few of them, but I'm pretty sure if I had them now, they would look gorgeous to me. I was a snotty little kid.

I'm glad I got to see a bit of her before we moved away. It wasn't much, but at least she got to meet the girls.

I'll see her again someday, and then she'll be able to remember my name and which grandchild I am.

I'm going back to Wisconsin in a couple of weeks for the memorial service. I will be leaving the kids with Jeremy for nearly a week. I don't know if I want to jump for joy or cry at the prospect of being away from the babies for that long. For now I'll just look forward to it. I'm sure I'll be busy enough I won't have much time to miss them. And then when I get back, I will smother them with so much love they'll wish I'd go away again.