Friday, March 31, 2006

Bath Time

I have bits and pieces of material floating around in my head (good to know there is SOMETHING in there….) but I can’t pull together a post. See, usually I scratch out posts in the morning after the boys leave and post from work where I have real internet. Yeah, well, Hot Stuff has PT at 6:30 AM every day so he is NO HELP taking Sweet Boy to daycare. So I’ve been doing the mama-scramble every day just to make it to work for 8 hours. Hence & thence…. The lack of posts, but thank you for inquiring. (Ok, nobody inquired…. Except my brother who said, “Hey why don’t you reply to my anonymous comments anymore??” It’s not all about you, dirtbag.)

So, anyway, I have a question.

What do you do while your child is in the bathtub? Sweet Boy has decided he LOVES BUBBLES. So every night is pretty much a bath-marathon these days. He will also get in the shower with me in the morning if he is awake…. The kid is a fish. So he’s splashing and playing away in the tub while I???? What? What do you DO with that time? It only takes 15 seconds to weigh and convince myself the scale must be broken. (Hey, it might not have been broken BEFORE I put my 2-ton-heifer self on there….) Then I brush my teeth & wash my face. (Shut it already. I can see Sweet Boy in the giant mirror over the sink.) Then I sort the laundry. By this point Sweet Boy is barely pruney and the water isn’t even starting to cool off and I’m bored. I sit on the uncomfortable floor and read magazines. I clean the toilet (even though I’ve decided that should be Hot Stuff’s job….. I don’t poop and, therefore, am not responsible for making it dirty.)

What? PLAY with my child? I do. But he would rather I didn’t. He has very complicated projects involving wind-up frogs, dumping tubs of water on his head, playing with plastic deer playing & fighting & making up, pulling on his penis & playing with the crotch cream applicators (fear not: unused) that we acquired after a particularly horrible bout of diaper rash.

He will stay in the tub until the water is icy, his lips are blue & the bubbles are gone. (And those green watermelon Elmo bubbles last a long time.) The up-side being my bathroom floor is spotless and all the drawers are very organized.

You know what this really is??? Just another reason I need a laptop.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Butterfly Effect

If you are pregnant or, well really, if you have a pulse and a heart at all.... don't watch the "Director's Cut" ending to The Butterfly Effect. Ever.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Just thought you should know....

... someone just microwaved their lunch and now the office smells like cat food.....

WHAT are you people EATING???

I'll go quietly back to my bagel with cheese now.....

A post in which a broken leg would be a GOOD thing.

My husband is a horn-hunter. Yes, he’s a very horny guy. (Is that redundant…. Horny guy??) What is horn hunting? You go out and wander around in the deep woods looking for elk antler sheds. The “season” is generally March-April or so. Then you bring the sheds home and make your wife swear when she stubs her toe on the “decorations” in the middle of the night.

So while the boys were staggering the last mile out (took them several hours) I was talking with the wife of his friend that went with him. She was waiting dinner and getting a little worried they weren’t out yet. I made her promise not to tell Hot Stuff she was cooking an actual meal for her husband….. I don’t want him to get any ideas. We decided we’d give them an hour to check in. I actually KNEW where they had gone and had all the appropriate information to relay to search & rescue should it come to that….

I made a lovely dinner of brown rice & steamed veggies. (Don’t get any ideas… we aren’t healthy.) Hot Stuff finally called and said, “Hon, I hurt myself a little.” The last time he said this was when he stabbed himself in the leg with a machete and was calling from the emergency room…..

The good news is he was with a friend and they were on the way out and only a mile from the rig. The bad news? He hooked the toe of his snowshoe while hiking downhill fast and fell…. And heard a ‘pop’ and had searing knee pain.

Now anyone who is an athlete at any level knows when your lower leg stops and your thigh does a ‘fly by’ you’ve probably blown your acl…. Especially when accompanied by a ‘pop’ sound. ACL surgery takes around 6 months to heal. Visions of no employment this summer, food stamps, losing his insurance and living in a van down by the creek flashed in my mind.

Over the course of the next few days his knee looked like a variety of items from the melon produce section…. Cantaloupe, honeydew, grapefruit….. heck, even a watermelon. We saw the regular doc on Wednesday morning, then to the pharmacy, then to the crutch store, then to the orthopedic doc for x-rays & an exam, then back to the crutch store to get the correct size of crutches, then to get an MRI the next morning.

The regular doc didn’t want to put him through the pain of a full exam knowing the orthopedic guy would do the same thing that afternoon so we didn’t learn much there…. Except it pays to have a good regular doc…. He got us in with a top orthopedic guy in 2 hours… instead of the 3 weeks it usually takes. The orthopedic guy said, based on the exam, he didn’t think there was any ligament damage (can you say yeah???) but something looked odd on the x-ray so off to the MRI we went.

I had an OB appt with the regular doc the next day (because I’m one of those people who doesn’t believe in specialized care I guess). So he checked on the MRI and gave me the results based on the radiologist’s read. Then later we got the official word from the orthopedic doc….. HE BROKE HIS LEG. Yup. A fractured tibial plateau. And the best part??? This is actually GOOD news. No surgery. 4-8 weeks of recovery. He can fight fire this summer. He can remain employed. No unemployment and losing his insurance. No food stamps. Happy Homestead Household.

He’s on crutches for two weeks and doing physical therapy. He sees the doc again on the 31st and we go from there. So that’s what is new around here… how about you??

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I finally get it.... not IT.... but it.

So I was just noodling about here* and I found this article about introverts. It explains it all. But do I still have to pretend to like social situations??

*I go here to feel connected with the world at large.... and at small.... and in-between. It makes me feel, possibly, the hickdom I exist in is just a balance for some larger coolness in the world. (You know, creating a balancing plane for some dazzling jewel surface on the other side.) It does not, however, prevent the hickies (hah... I said hickies) from crawling into my ear and melting my brain.... causing it to ooze down my neck and stain my ever-so-not-cool red Gap turtleneck.

UPDATED TO ADD: HAH! Even Dooce thinks the boy is motherfuckin' awlright. (He's pretty damn cute too.)

Hot Date... um, Cold Date.

Sunday for our monthly without-a-kid date we went to Eight Below. Probably not my first choice for movies to spend $14 on but it was the only thing showing at the new CINEMAX theater that we vaguely wanted to see. To sum up:

Um, where are we supposed to park? In the one hour parking? Ok.
They have audio-assisted devices. Very progressive.
How is this place staying open with only 6 people watching movies on a Sunday night at 7:15?
Nice cushy seats and they recline.
Nice bathrooms... no toilet paper?!?!? Oh, found some.
The arm rests fold up! Who cares what movie we are supposed to be watching?!?
Cute movie.
Tough dogs.
The prego managed to make it through the whole thing without having to pee once.
Hot Stuff did not make it.....hence forth we shall refer to him as "Tiny Tank."
All that stuff about absence makes the heart grow fonder.... it is true. Sweet Boy was cute (and still awake?) when we got home around 9:30.

I deem March a successful dating month. Next month I might even splurge on popcorn.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

50 Things About Me

1. I grew up on a farm/ranch near a small town.
2. My graduating class was 8. Not 800, not 80…. 8.
3. I drove a baby blue diesel Volkswagon Rabbit 4 miles to meet the school bus starting in the fifth grade.
4. My brother still drives the Rabbit…. Although he has now moved well beyond the fifth grade.
5. My family is very proud of my brother.
6. Hey, wait a minute, this is supposed to be about me. Quit hoggin’ my time, bro.
7. My parents are married to each other… still.
8. I think this should qualify me for some kind of minority scholarship program.
9. I have one brother.
10. I have two sisters.
11. One of my sisters died when she was a baby.
12. I have long dark hair and dark eyes.
13. I am often asked if I am Native American.
14. I am Norwegian, Danish, German & some other middle-European stuff.
15. My regular makeup is grey eyeliner and lip gloss.
16. My idea of “all made up” includes adding blush/bronzer & some eyeshadow.
17. I am fairly tall. 5’9”
18. I have freakishly long legs.
19. I like to wear baseball caps… but only if they fit exactly right.
20. I almost always wear pink-framed, polarized sunglasses (they are my fishing glasses).
21. I can drive a semi truck.
22. I can’t back up with a trailer.
23. I laugh a lot.
24. I’m left-handed.
25. I always notice left-handed people on tv and in movies. It drives my husband nuts. (And why is it ON tv but IN movies??)
26. My family (immediate & extended) is really funny… they crack me up on a regular basis… whether they mean to or not.
27. I like to make lists.
28. My husband is sexy.
29. Oh, wait… sidetracked again. How about: I had to kiss a lot of frogs to find my prince.
30. I like to use special logic.
31. It took us over a year to get pregnant.
32. We lost our first baby. S/he would have been due on my grandma’s birthday.
33. I hate saying, “lost a child.” Like you got distracted at the grocery store and left them in the spaghetti sauce row.
34. I am one of those pregnant women you love to hate. Gorgeous, energetic & tranquil.
35. I first felt my son move when listening to a loud African drum group in South Carolina.
36. He loves music with a strong beat and so do I.
37. My labor (the whole thing, from waking up to delivery) lasted 5 ½ hours.
38. Our next child may be born on the side of the road.
39. I’m ok with that.
40. I’m one of those weird people that likes bikinis, thongs, boy-cuts, boxers & commando.
41. I don’t like granny panties so much.
42. I like the flexibility of my current job.
43. But I don’t love the job itself.
44. I do love the people I work with and that is important to me.
45. When I eat triangle-shaped slices of food (pie, pizza) I eat the widest end first and save the tip for last. Then I make a wish on it.
46. I deal well with trauma.
47. I have a black belt. 1st degree Kuekiwan (sp?)
48. It goes well with my black shoes.
49. I take the eggs out of the carton in a diamond pattern. Better balance.
50. I’m allergic to latex.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Crave It.

I keep saying I am NOT having cravings or any other odd pregnancy symptoms.

I'm not.

I've always had sophisticated tastes. (Quit laughing. Now.) I've ALWAYS loved REAL hot cocoa.... made with milk & sugar & cocoa powder & vanilla. And the need for real whipped-with-a-handmixer whipped cream? Totally normal. Not a craving.

What? You DON'T drink cranberry juice out of wine glasses?

And those couple gallons of lemonade (with real lemons sliced in it).... completely every-day for me. Not a craving. Really.

The purchase of this. Oh little minty-picked item of perfect oral care. I don't mind that you look like a vibrator for a small woodland creature.... I worship you.

The Girl Scout ice cream (I blove you, Susan.) is a luxury item. It is not a craving.

The potato oles.... those might have been a craving.... I ate them so fast I can't really be sure....

Saturday, March 04, 2006


Hardee's has commercials about using only Angus beef.... so why doesn't The Leather Store do that?? Are you telling me you'll only eat Angus but you'll let them use just any old cow to make your leather bustier?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A few farmer moments....

City folk... pay attention. I'm gonna talk about cows now. I grew up on what would be referred to as a "wheat and cattle operation" in North Central Montana. Just telling you I'm from the Hi-Line and in my early-30's pretty much destroys my "anonomous" standings to anyone from Montana.... process of elimination will just about tell you who I am.... there just aren't that many people.

Growing up wheat was the major crop but cows are my dad's hobby. I can't tell you for sure how many he had in his prime but he's down to about 40 pairs this calving season. That's not very many. They are more pets than anything else. Although I'm certainly not above enjoying one of them hot off the barbeque. (Do you hear that Gunnar? People EAT their PETS. Be a good dog. Get off the couch. Now.) Dad raises mostly black Angus or Angus-crossed critters. I'll just wait for my brother to post anonymously as to WHY that is.... it sure as shit isn't because Hardee's started marketing "We use only Angus beef" or anything like that..... I think it is because they are hardy and easy-calvers... or maybe so you don't lose them in the snow.....

Calving season can start anywhere from January on..... Dad calves early because he's a vet so he will be "on call" to help other people later in the season. When he had lots of cows there was a whole complicated system involving my great-uncle's calving shed, a pickup camper and a hot plate for Dad's comfort on those cold, lonely calving nights.

When we were kids it was sometimes our job to "run a cow and calf into the barn" so the calf could be warmed up or worked on or whatever. I can only tell these stories now that I'm too old for family services to take me away. We would go out with the 4-wheeler and cart. One of us would stand with a bat while the other one tried to load the calf in the cart. (Imagine someone is taking your child away in a little red cart.... now you know who the bat was for....) Calf & kid in cart, kid with bat driving 4-wheeler, pissed off snot-nosed mama bawling and chasing cart, race for the barn and run the decoy in reverse. Kid with bat distracts cow while kid in cart wrestles calf into the barn. Whew. Once the cow was in the barn our job was done. Dad would put the calf in the "hot box" to dry off and get warm. (A hot box is a small wooden box with heat lamps in it designed to dry off a calf as quickly as possible.... ours is an ultra-fancy one... it has a neon pink hairdryer (think 1980's) attached to it for really speedy drying.) More than one rancher I know has crawled in a hot box for a quick warm nap.

If you are lucky the cow gets put in the barn BEFORE she has the calf... reducing the stress to your running skills and the cow's nerves. Then it is just a matter of waiting, watching and leaving her alone. If the cow is a heifer (this is her first calf) then you have to watch a little closer... she might have trouble delivering and she might not quite get what to do after the baby is born. (Do you hear that you boob-nazi? Even in NATURE sometimes guidance is required.)

I will forever associate Palmolive dishsoap not with Madge, the nail lady, but with my dad and the smell of cow shit and afterbirth. It was his brand. Do you really want me to go into more detail on this? I thought not. Let me leave it at this.....I know why veterinarians carry pocket watches. And, yes, calves do know how to suckle before they are actually born... there is nothing so redneck-sweet as getting to be a big girl and "check" the calf and make sure it is ok before it is born.

If things aren't progressing normally there are various assisting measures. Chains. Ratchet pulleys. C-sections. Hey... just like human babies!?!?

Then, if all goes well, you have a baby in the straw. Dad always let us tickle the newborn's nose with a piece of straw to get them to sneeze the gook out but after that you pretty much get out of the way and let the mama do her thing.

There you have it. Baby Calf 101

Clorox of the Brain

I have a very special relationship with my little brother. He's quite a sweet boy, really. No, really. He is. Really.

Here's an excerpt of some of the things that have been said in the last few days....

"It is fucking turbo-charged now." (He was referring to his recently souped-up computer... Hot Stuff asked if he was talking about his dildo.... have I mentioned how special there relationship is too???)

"Clorox THAT outta your frontal lobe." (Ok, I say this ALL THE TIME. Something about the idea of Purexing your brain.... but he has now adopted the phrase and, well, I'm a little scared but oh-so-very proud....)

"What? We have sex EVERY TIME you spend the night here." (Whoa... quick, explain that.... Hot Stuff said this.... about us.... not about my brother.... there is no Brokeback Mountain sequel being made in our house...)

"I just call her Betty." (Me referring to his -possibly mythological- girlfriend/stalker.)

"You just can't keep up with the fuckers." (Him talking about drinking with Australians.)

Oh Brother- Where Art Thou? I know there are some priceless gems I forgot to share.....

This is a trick.....

It is now 50 degrees (F) and it makes me feel all schitzophrenic. I'm trying not to get too excited.... because I know it will get cold again soon.

At -25 just breathing gives you an ice cream headache.

Then it gets above freezing and you are so climatized you open all the windows in your house and start wearing shorts and sleeping naked. It's a 75 degree temperature change in less than 10 days.... That's like 50 one day and 125 the next.....

And the mud..... oh my, the mud. I'm surprised there is any left in the driveway.... it's all in my house.

Dad is back to "normal" calving now. For a few days he was sleeping in his pickup with all the cows crammed in the little lot by the barn. A new baby won't last 15 minutes at -25.... especially if there is any wind. He managed to keep everyone alive and even had a set of twins.

There is something extremely satisfying about watching those crazy little babies run around in the sunshine -bucking & snorting & acting tough.