Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I'm one step closer to posting Magic House images here. I scanned through them, chose the best ones, and tweaked 'em up. I just didn't quite make it around to actually posting them. Blame M. He was whining about wanting to get started on a West Wing episode and you know I can't pass that up.

In the meantime, here's something to ponder.

Why is it, especially when one works at a day spa and everything, that when one gets a pimple, it isn't just a small little dot, but rather a large growth the size of Montana? You know the kind I'm talking about. The kind where you can feel it burrowing up through your skin for days before it makes its appearance, announcing to all the world, "It doesn't matter that you cleanse twice daily, following up with toner and the best moisturizers in the world, including one with SPF for during the day. It doesn't matter that you exfoliate with abandon on a regular basis and schedule facials with top-notch estheticians. It doesn't matter that you watch what you eat and drink 8 glasses of water a day. I will come, and there's nothing you can do to stop me. Mwuuaaaahh haaaaa haaaaaa."

I'm going to name mine Julius Caesar, as I can practically hear it saying, "I came. I saw. I conquered half her face."

I swear, it actually has its own pulse.

I think at this point it's actually morphing from acne into a cold sore type of thing, with all the little white bumps and such. How do you fight that?!

Always great when the marketing director for a day spa that specializes in skin care looks like Freddy Kreuger due to the megazit on her chin. I'm so embarrassed and am considering purchasing a burqa to wear until it clears up, which should be around July.

We all kid ourselves, too, that we've done a decent job with the concealer and that surely no one will notice.

But really, it just looks like a bad spackle job, and everyone notices.

"Hi, it's nice to meet you. Have you met my friend, Julius?"

So, let's make a deal. I won't look at yours, when you get one (and you always get one, usually before a wedding you're in or right before you run into your ex-boyfriend or whathaveyou), if you won't look at mine. If you have to look at it, though, I recommend not making direct eye contact with it.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I forgot

I forgot to write yesterday that we spent a few hours at Grammy and Papa's Sunday afternoon, and had a blast. Zozo does her best to work her magic on Grammy, Papa and GG, and I think she does a pretty good job.

We laugh because it appears to us that Papa thinks that Zozo doesn't get enough to drink. He was more worried than anyone about her when she went on her sippy cup strike a few months ago, and I think he's never quite gotten over it. He likes to ask her about a gajillion times if she's thirsty and wants something to drink, then holds the milk up to her. She does her typical Zozo thing when she doesn't want something: throws out her hand and pushes it away. I think she only increases his anxiety when she does that, but he'll eventually figure out that she's fundamentally sound in the liquid consumption department.

It's also fun to watch my mother crawl around on the floor and sing songs, and giggle as much as she gets Zozo to giggle.

And GG...well, I'm not sure what GG has going for her, really, but Zozo cracks up any time she comes near. They're like special friends, those two, and I really do think they relate on a level that belies their generation gap.

So, I forgot to write all that yesterday, in the two minutes I took to post something. Call it a brain fart or whatever, but I forgot to write it. And yes, I heard about it from the parentals last night. So nice to be able to mess up in cyberspace now, instead of just through my daily living. Ha! Stupid $%#&* blog.

(That's a joke there, Mom. No need to call me all upset, really. I am mock grumbling.)

We have a management meeting later today, so chances are I won't get to post anything more past this. And, as you can see, I didn't get around to posting any images last night. That's because I was glued to my TV watching The Departed, which is about the most f'd up movie I've ever seen, but very good. Incredibly suspenseful. I highly recommend it, if you don't mind violence, drug references, or the f-bomb. But if you like Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen and Alec Baldwin, you might want to check it out, if for no other reason than the eye candy.

It's one of those movies where you can't help but think about it after, and for a long time. I watched two episodes of The West Wing just to "cleanse my palette" afterwards, and still went to bed thinking about it. Woke up thinking about it. Have a ton of questions that will never get answered, of course. Aren't those the hallmarks of a great movie? One that grabs you and simply won't let go?

Monday, February 26, 2007

Free Starbucks T-Shirt - Woo hoooo!

I have tons to update you on, because the weekend was pretty good: dinner and hanging out with Beans on Friday, plumbing with Dad and Judy on Saturday, the Magic House courtesy of our financial planner Saturday night, kicking back and relaxing on Sunday with a movie and then the Oscars...a very pleasant weekend. I even have photos from the Magic House and everything. But I simply don't have time for the details today and it will have to wait until tonight. After we put Zozo down and hopefully before we watch The Departed, which my in-laws rented for a buck from one of those Red Box thingys and are sharing with us, like they did with Flightplan yesterday.

But the big news today is I finally got through on the Starbucks Web site and ordered my free t-shirt that shows my drink. Not just any Starbucks drink, and not just a mocha, but my specific drink, exactly how I order it. Yes, that's right. In a few weeks I'll be able to wear my Decaf Grande Non-Fat No-Whip Extra-Hot Caffe Mocha on my shirt, and not just because I tripped walking through the parking lot. Which is how I usually wear it on my shirt. And sometimes my skirt. And typically my shoes.

You can go to their site and work through a little process whereby you "build" your drink. They use pre-created art from some dude named Mychael and your drink is created for you. You can download it as wallpaper for your computer, and, if you're fanatical about logging on at 12 noon exactly CST and hitting "refresh" over and over for a few minutes, you can get into the system and get one of the limited number of shirts they're giving away for free. It's the little things for me, really. I love me my Starbucks.

Friday, February 23, 2007

The Cadillac of Flip Flops

Ahhh...I love the smell of Windex in the morning...

I got tired of being surrounded by clutter while I work, and went for a more Zen-like atmosphere on my desk.

So I cleaned. Took everything off and cleaned the top, then put it all back on. Well, as I went I put stuff away, which took care of the clutter and greatly reduced the anxiety I was starting to feel just upon looking at my desk.

Dusted off my framed photographs and arranged them neatly on my windowsill. Moved some items around to more ergonomically (and aesthetically) pleasing locations.

Even googled "how to clean an LCD screen." Mix isopropyl alcohol with water, use a soft cloth, and go from top to bottom. Turning off the screen helps to see the dust and smudges better.

Just a little tip from me to you. Call it the "Cleaning Hint of the Day."

Okay, so I just received a call from a little boutique near one of our locations who wants to partner with us. For every pair of a certain brand of Swarovski-encrusted flip flops they sell, the customer would receive a free pedicure. Hmmm. Interesting. So I started doing my research and getting all the facts, you know, in order to make an educated decision.

Me: "And how much do these flip flops retail for?"
Boutique: "Well, they range from $120 to upwards of $190, depending on what you want."
Me: "For flip flops? Like, flip flops with rubber soles?"
Boutique: "Yes, well, they're studded with Swarovski crystals. Our clients are pretty price-insensitive."
Me: "Yeah, I guess so."

What I was thinking: "They'd have to come with a manservant to massage my feet and serve me frilly drinks with umbrellas for me to pay that much for flip flops."

This goes back to what I wrote a few days ago about excess. Now, I like me a pair of pretty shoes as much as the next girl, and I've been known to splurge now and then on good shoes for business. But $200 for a pair of flip flops? No freakin' way.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Tester Drawer

Taking M to the doc today, to check on his shoulder. I think the doc is going to tell him that he's healing up right quick, and everything looks good. I also think he might give him some therapy things to do, which is great, and which M will like. He's all about healing and getting better.

Zozo finally has her second top tooth coming in. It started poking through this past weekend, and is coming in quite nicely now. She'll go from being an asymmetrical grinner to having what looks like a little gap between her two top teeth. I could be wrong...maybe it'll scoot over as it comes in, but if it stays on its current trajectory she'll look like Madonna by the end.

I tried a new color on my nails last night. "Elegance" by OPI, which is part of their designer series where every color contains sparkles. Can't decide if I like it. It's very pretty, but I can't help feeling like I'm about 12 with it on. Just a tad too bubble-gum pink for me, I think. The official description from OPI is "vivid pink with a sprinkling of sequins."

I was trying to find something new, as I've worn out Red-Y To Help for the year, I think. This is the opposite direction, and will probably become a staple for summer toes, but not so much on the hands. Ach. Live and learn.

When I was a little girl, I would come into my aunt's day spa and play. Which, looking back, probably annoyed the hell out of the employees, but I like to think I was adorable and precocious and therefore my presence was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Anyway, besides composing poems about facials and massages for my aunt (who still has one), I ran up and down the hallway (quietly, as I knew that clients were being tended to), down the street to the awesome deli where my predilection for ham and swiss sandwiches and Like Cola was born (most people I know don't even remember Like Cola, so I'll show one here to try to refresh you), and to Ellis Pharmacy for candy and comics and baseball cards. When I wasn't doing all that, I played in the tester drawer.

The tester drawer in a day spa is every little girl's heaven. I was fortunate to be allowed access to one (that's what happens when your aunt owns the joint and dotes on you). The tester drawer was the drawer with all the sample make-up products. Little pots of eye color and blush, tubes of lipstick, and the softest make-up brushes in the world. It was like an artist's toolbox. Not much ended up on my face, tomboy that I was, but instead on my hands, the smooth rocks from the landscaped bed out front, pieces of paper. Just about anything I could brush eyeshadow on, I did.

The estheticians and make-up artists used forms for their clients to outline what make-up products they recommended. There was a place to write down all the colors, but better yet, there was a woman's face printed on the page where they could use make-up to show the exact location of proper make-up application. I would pay money to see one of my pages from then, because I'm pretty sure it would be hysterically funny.

You have to remember that this was in the late 70s/early 80s, so the make-up colors were bright and nearly all had sparkles.

So, this is what I think about today when I look down and see my sparkly pink fingernails. Makes me want to go up front and play with the testers.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Wash Me

Having a bit of extra time this morning (after getting myself ready, Zozo ready, and M clean and shaved, and lunches made, and the bed made, etc. etc. etc.), I stopped at WaterWay and paid $9.99 to get the ZoeMobile washed.

I swear I heard the car actually breathe a sigh of relief when the soap hit the paint.

I can't remember the last time the car was washed, but I'm pretty sure it was at least two years ago.

I know, I know. Bad driver. Bad!

But I finally did it. I finally shelled out 10 smackers and got all the salt and chemicals and grime washed off it.

And when it came out of the tunnel, and the little WaterWay dude was running around drying it off, I actually had to double-check the license plate to make sure that was my car, since I hardly recognized it without all the crud.

You know how it feels like your car runs better/smoother/faster when it's clean? Yep, it sure does. It's like when you were a kid and you got new tennis shoes and you just knew you could run faster and jump higher in them. I did, anyway.

I think it's funny how a ten dollar car wash can just make my day. I can hear the car gleaming from in here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

How rich are you?

To get a good grasp of where you fall in the grand scheme of things in our great big ol' world, check out just how rich you are. All you have to do is enter your annual income and you'll find out.

It's pretty amazing, I think.

And then, once you know just how rich you are, do something with it.

Square Footage Blowout

Sometimes, every once in a great while, you hear something that sounds perfectly innocuous, but just throws you through a loop. And you can't even figure out why, really. It just does.

In talking to some acquaintances recently, one woman was referring to some remodeling her daughter just completed. Red leather couches and short shag carpeting and whatnot. This is in their finished basement. The daughter, mind you, is about my age, maybe a wee bit younger. Just had a baby a few months ago. Lives in my municipality...maybe five miles away. You know, so we have a few things in common.

So the mom is talking about the red leather couches and the shag carpeting in the finished basement, and how there is room for a pool table, etc. Someone asked if the basement was a walk-out, and she said, "Oh yes, you walk right out to the pool area." Very nice. I like the whole idea of a "pool area."

Then she mentioned the layout of the basement, and how when you walk downstairs you go through one little room, then the room with the gas fireplace, and then over here are the double doors that lead to the "theater room."

Okay. Pool area. Theater room. I'm starting to wonder about this house.

Then she drops the SF bomb. Square footage. This girl's house (yes, I say girl, because she's my age and I refuse to think of myself as old and so neither is she) is 6,500 square feet.


I don't know why this is bothering me. I don't think it's jealousy, because M and I look at giant houses (we're becoming surrounded by them with all the dang tear-downs) and all I can think is, "Can you imagine cleaning that thing?" I want just enough space to live in comfortably, and no more. I don't want more storage space, as that's just incentive to collect more crap we don't need. I don't want rooms that sit empty for 99% of the year. I don't want a foyer that echos and makes people feel intimidated when they come in.

Would I like a larger house? Yes, by a bit, so I could have a main floor laundry, a mud room, an actual pantry, and a dedicated place for the litter boxes. But for the most part, I am perfectly content with the space we have. Feels homey. Keeps us from collecting too much stuff we don't need.

So one of the other women in the group made a comment about why on earth does this girl, with her family totaling two and a half, need 6,500 square feet. The mother replied, "Well, she does a lot of entertaining."

Who does she have over? The Queen of England? The Pope? For the love of Pete. We have our giant Grand Lighting Party every year, and there is usually upwards of 40 people there, and we do just fine with our measly 1,800 square feet.

I think I'm in awe of the excess. I think our society, as a whole, lives to excess. Credit card debt. Gigantic houses. Cars that cost more than most people make in a year and that take up two lanes on the highway and four parking spots at Target.

There is a series of books out by an author/architect named Susan Susanka. I think that's her name, anyway. The series is called "The Not So Big House," and it's all about the idea of not building giant mansions in favor of smaller houses that you can really use, really live in, day to day. No unwasted space. Every room is vital and essential to your lifestyle.

I like that concept. Love it, actually. It fits in with my goal to be able to look around our house and see only things that we use on a regular basis or absolutely love. Things that tell the story of our lives and don't scream, "Pottery Barn!" or "Crate & Barrel!" Not that I don't love Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel...I just want our life, our home, to be personal, to represent who we are, and what we believe in.

And I can't imagine doing that, the three of us, in a 6,500 square foot palace.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Happy Birthday George!

Sometimes life throws you a curveball, and then laughs its ass off when you whiff.

You know, like it's not enough to have a full-time job, a small child, and a husband with only one arm due to shoulder surgery. Life throws in a head cold to top it all off.

Amy doesn't do well with head colds. Amy turns into a sniffly, sneezing, achy, grouchy, funky, snot-filled, all-I-want-to-do-is-sleep lump when she gets a head cold.

Which is pretty much what Amy did all weekend, in between caring for above-mentioned small child and husband.

Tons of thanks to Grammy and Papa for bringing hamingers and feefies from Village Bar on Saturday. We had fun just hanging out with you guys, even though we were all under the weather, so to speak.

You know what? I think it's very, very weird to be responsible for bathing myself, a child, and a quarter of my husband these days.

But, bathed we all are. And off to our respective jobs. I took M in today, delivering him with his lunchbox and backpack (I mean computer bag), and stern instructions to not overdo anything. I'm here at work, getting ready to buckle down and blow through my task list. Zozo is at her grandma's, her full-time job mainly keeping Grandpa occupied today between her naps. Grandpa's off for President's Day, which reminds me:

Happy Birthday George Washington!

Technically his birthday isn't until this Thursday, but the nation is celebrating today.

A long time ago, my Granny gave me a little plaque with George Washington pictured on it, and this quote: Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience. I love that quote, and the little plaque. It hangs in my computer cabinet where I see it daily.

George Washington is the man, and anyone who begs to differ can kiss my patriotic behind.

Friday, February 16, 2007


I got nuthin'. Wow. Life has settled down so much that I really do not have a single thing about which to write.




This is lame.

Maybe I'll have something later.

Maybe not.

If not, have a great weekend.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Something smells fishy

Oh wait. It's me.

Just got a Seaweed Body Wrap from a new esthetician in training. (Yes, I do realize how lucky I am to have the job perks I do.)

While the wrap is entirely delightful, and my skin feels awesome, I do smell just a bit like the ocean.

And not the good ocean smell, either.

Here's our official description from our service menu:
Plato said, "The sea cures all evils." This treatment is excellent for temporarily reducing cellulite, heavy legs, thick waist, flabby and dry skin. Dry brushing stimulates lymphatic system. Treatment time: 1 1/4 hours.

Here's my description:
Pure heaven.

If you've never had a body treatment before, I highly recommend it. Although do schedule it for when you don't have to do anything directly afterwards, because you feel so sleepy and dreamy and good, it's just too hard to do anything productive afterwards.

She put lemon oil in the gunk to cut the smell, and it helped, but every now and then I get a whiff of lemon-scented seaweed. Hmmm. Interesting.

She promised it'll be gone tonight after I take another shower, although if I can stand it I'm to leave all my lovely oils on to get the maximum benefit. Hopefully the one-armed man will be okay with it tonight. If he isn't, well, he's only got one arm so I'm pretty sure I can take him.

E-coli is so not romantic

Valentine's Day was good, despite my Valentine having only one useable arm. My boy planned in advance, and had the card and my gift all ready to go. What did he get me, you ask? Well, he got me the best thing in the world: a Starbucks gift card. Does my boy know me or what? He's a good doobie.

I was the epitome of romance and got him a pepper mill and a meat thermometer. I know, I doesn't sound very romantic. But nothin' says love like properly seasoned and cooked beef.

He's hard to shop for, you see. He doesn't ever ask for anything except Christmas lights (which I don't dare order for him, as he's hyper-picky about them and does months of research before purchasing any components for the display) and a Corvette, which a.) we can't afford and b.) I wouldn't dream of getting without him as picking out options for a new car is half the fun.

So, seeing as how I can't get him the only two things he ever asks for, I have to get him things like pepper mills and meat thermometers.

He's the cook in our family, and he likes gadgets, so it's usually a safe bet that he'll enjoy kitchen utensils. He got a silicone-covered wisk for Christmas and you'd have thought he died and went to heaven. Well, maybe not, but I was quite pleased with myself for remembering that he had wanted one for months and then ordering it from Pampered Chef in plenty of time for Christmas delivery.

He's wanted a pepper mill for years. Pretty much since our honeymoon when the dinner steward on our cruise ship had an awesome mill and we got fresh-cracked pepper every night. I found a smallish one that's stainless steel, which he loves, that is pretty cool because if you turn it one direction you get a fine grind, and if you go the other way you get a course grind. It even came with a little matching salt shaker that has a switch to turn off the holes, thereby avoiding those unlucky salt spills.

The meat thermometer is an attempt to make his life easier so he doesn't have to keep cutting into the beef/chicken/fish to squint at it and try to determine, by sight, if all the bacteria has been cooked to death. I have given him more than just a simple meat thermometer. I have given him peace of mind. You can't put a pricetag on that, baby.

At least I didn't do what my colleague at work did. She got her husband a fancy-schmancy baster for Valentine's Day, making him...wait for it...a master baster.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

First Carousel Ride

Life is inching back to normal now, as I've returned to work and M is no longer hallucinating about his fan base.

It's nice to be lucky enough to have a job that I adore, so that having to leave my recuperating husband and wonderful baby is at least somewhat compensated by the fact that I love what I'm doing.

Last Saturday night we headed to Chesterfield Mall, just to get out of the house for a little bit and do something different. Chesterfield Mall has a carousel, and when Zozo saw it, she went crazy. She pointed and shrieked and laughed and giggled. Her whole little face lit up, and we just ate it up. So, after dinner, when we walked back down the mall and came upon it again (and got the same response out of her), we decided that she should go for a ride.

She laughed the entire time. It was just about the best two bucks we've ever spent.

Unfortunately, we didn't have either of our "real" cameras with us...only M's cell phone. So, here's one of the photographs we got that was actually halfway decent. She's not grinning in this one, but at least you'll get the idea. I tried to get one with her laughing as they were going around, but apparently the shutter speed in a cell phone camera isn't quite up to dealing with motion, so they all looked like blurry messes.

Nothing much new to report. Thanks go out to Mom and Dad Z for taking care of the little one for us yesterday, and to Mom Z for coming over today to take care of the little one and the big one. Thanks also go out to Mama for the sweet Valentine's Day was unexpected and made us very happy.

Happy Valentine's Day to all you lovebirds out there.

And Happy Blog Milestone to yours truly, who is celebrating her 300th post with this very one.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Those must be some gooood meds

He woke up a bit ago, to drink some soda, eat some crackers and soup, and use the bathroom.

I'm thinking he's still somewhat out of it since, on the way to the bathroom, he stopped, pointed to his sling, and said something about "It's tied to my fan base."

It's the meds talking...or he really does think he's Scott Rolen now...

"Ohhh...he's a puker..."

This morning we arose at 5 a.m., got ready, and headed to the surgery center so M could get his long-broken shoulder repaired. To catch those of you up to speed who may not know, M has had problems with his right shoulder since high school. Too much volleyball. This, of course, did not keep him from living, eating and breathing volleyball throughout college, nor did he stop playing once he graduated. The shoulder has been getting gradually worse, until finally this year he decided he couldn't take it anymore. Part of that had to do with it being painful to pick up his own child. He made an appointment with an ortho surgeon, and we bet it was a torn rotator cuff.

Turns out, we're not so good at diagnosing shoulder problems. He suffered, instead, from a torn labrum, which is this little ring of cartilidge type stuff that lines the socket of your shoulder, keeping the ball of the joint in place and moving only where it's supposed to move. When your labrum is torn, there is nothing to keep that ball in place, which means it goes where it's not supposed to and causes pain. We were actually pretty lucky he never dislocated his shoulder, which can happen quite easily with a torn labrum.

So Dr. Rothrock (doctor of athletes and all-around good guy) scheduled the surgery for today. Turns out he's not so good at diagnosing the weather. But that's another story. We got there at 6, he was in by 8, and finished by 9:30. His labrum has been sutured to these little metal posts that were planted in the shoulder bone, and he now sports a helluva sling to keep his arm immobilized while he heals. Dr. R is very pleased with the procedure, showing off his handiwork with color photographs (!) of the labrum, shoulder and sutures. I'll see if I can't get 'em scanned in for ya. Dr. R told M that Scott Rolen had the same thing (torn labrum) and so now M thinks he's all rock-star with his cool Rolenesque injury.

While the surgery went well, post-op didn't so much. M does not handle general anesthesia well. Okay, he doesn't handle it at all really. First time was for the cryo treatment on his eye, and he tossed his cookies and then dry heaved for hours after. Second time was with the appendectomy just over a year ago, when he aspirated and then had to do breathing treatments. This was number 3, and we warned everyone we came in contact with today what was going to happen. They did what they could, fine doctors and nurses that they are, but there isn't a thing in the world that will smooth the way for my M.

Some quotes from the docs and RNs:
"Well, we threw everything and the kitchen sink at him..."
"He's got the entire medicine cabinet in him..."
"Typically only 5% of our patients get sick, he's one of 'em..."
"Ohhh...doesn't matter what we do...he's a puker..."

That last one was my personal favorite.

It wasn't bad, really, compared to the first time with that cryo treatment, and even M, in his drug-induced stupor, said, "I'd rather have this than aspiration." Yeah, no kidding. Me too. It was still hard to watch him not feel well, but he got it out of his system and then appeared to do much better.

Of course, that could be because they put yet another cocktail in his IV.

This, naturally, knocked him out all over again. And so there we sat. Me and the nurse, Cathy, who was wonderful. We watched him sleep, and we watched the snow fall, and Cathy would say, "How far away do you live?" and I would say, "Oh, about 15 minutes." and she would say, "Without snow." and I would reply, "Yep."

Finally, Cathy decided that we needed to get on the road, and that M was probably capable of at least semi-consciousness, and so we started working with him. He totally kills me how he can become completely lucid and capable of following directions when he has to, even though he's pumped full of meds. We woke him up and he asked, "Is it over?" "Yeah, babe, it's over. I'm going to take you home now. How do you feel?" "I have a funny taste in my mouth." "Yeah, that's because you threw up." "Oh."

So I pulled the car around, which despite our carefully parking in the center of the garage to avoid any snow accumulation still had a soft coating, and we loaded him in. So began my trip home, not exceeding 20 mph and mentally screaming at the other drivers to stay the hell away from us. I'm pretty sure I wasn't unlike new fathers driving their babies home from the hospital for the first time. I found myself wishing I had a flag or something that identified that I was carrying very precious cargo, and praying that I just get him home safely so he could start recuperating. The last thing he needed post-op was to get into a car accident.

Katie had called to offer Shawn's snow driving services, and that's probably what got me home okay. I just gripped the wheel, tried to find the ruts, and said to myself over and over, "If I crash, Shawn will come get us. If I crash, Shawn will come get us." Just knowing I had Shawn available made all the difference in the world, I think.

So now we're home and warm and snug, and with our 75 vicadin tablets waiting for the shoulder/arm block to wear off. M is snoozing on the couch, and I think I just may join him. Thank you to everyone who has called to see how he's doing. Keep those calls coming. He should be up for talking later this evening, and I'm sure he'll want to visit with ya'all over the phone.

Monday, February 12, 2007


I'm getting into my mode again, which is resulting in a massive effort to clean things up, clean things out, and cross things off the "things to do" list. You know my mode. Where I say, "We have too much crap!" and I start getting rid of things. M runs and hides his toys when I get into this mode. I've got a warning for you, buddy: the RC helicopter that has resided, unflown, on top of your dresser for the past six months is about to go. And no, flying it tonight does not grant it a pardon, temporarily or otherwise.

My current mode could be because things have finally settled down from the holiday/wedding season.

It could be because I'm sick of looking at the piles o' crap sitting around my house.

It could be because M goes in for shoulder surgery tomorrow and will essentially be a one-armed man for at least a month, leaving me to fend for myself with keeping the house clean and keeping my family fed. I'm okay with the first thing, not so good with the second. M is the chef in our family, and I'm sweating bullets with him going out of commission. "Hello, Imo's? I need to place an order..."

Peaks and valleys are great, because they make life interesting. It would be pretty damn boring if everything just maintained an even keel all the time. We wouldn't have the opportunity to put a gajillion lights on our house and invite 60 of our closest friends and family members to turn it all on for the season. We wouldn't get to have many evenings filled with love and laughter, reconnecting with family from out of town. We wouldn't get to stand up for Beanie and Shawn as they got married, simultaneously reaffirming our own wedding vows and faith in the sanctity of marriage.

We wouldn't get to live a real life without peaks and valleys.

Now that all that livin' has settled down, though, it's time to kick some retentive butt and open a can of organizational whupass.

Yesterday I got my house picked up and my bills paid, and I was finally able to get my 2007 Statements binder underway. I don't know how ya'all sort your bills, but we in Dorkville use the binder system. I love three-ring binders. Love them. So all our bills, paycheck stubs and statements go in a three-ring binder every year. Each section has its own tab, so you can quickly get to all your Ameren bills in hurry, say, if you wanted to see how much money you saved on your electricity bill by being without power for days on end.

I love looking at the shelves in our utility room and seeing the Statements binders for the past seven years lined up like little soldiers, solidly shouldering our entire financial life. Yeah, say that three times real fast. "Soldiers solidly shouldering..." Ahhh. I love alliteration.

It also comes in handy when your engineer husband asks for some obscure piece of information from a few years ago.

Yes, I do realize that I'm creating co-dependency here.

Anyway, last night I also got my laundry done and a ton of other little nitpicky things that just keep piling up, so that when I finally collapsed into bed I felt like I accomplished something.

When I get in this mode, this mode of cleaning everything out, I'm reminded of when I was a kid and my mom would have "Mustgo Night." She'd tell us dinner was ready, and we'd arrive to find the kitchen counter covered with steaming Tupperware and casserole dishes. Little bit of this...little bit of that. Nothing by itself to constitute a dinner for four, but together enough to feed a small army. She'd clean out the fridge and announce, "Tonight, everything must go." Hence: Mustgo Night.

Note: in St. Louis parlance, this comes out sounding like, "Musko Night." Just FYI. In case you ever hear me say it.

Zozo News: She's got another tooth coming in. Halfway to the back, on the top, on her left. You can feel it and everything. Which, by the way, she doesn't care for. I had an inkling something was coming in, because she would crunch Cheerios against something back there and I could hear it.

She's also demonstrating just how much of a stubborn little cuss she's becoming by refusing to walk on her own. Oh, she can do it. We know she can do it. We've seen her do it. She just doesn't want to. She's thinks it's far more fun to watch her parents coach and cajole. M and I sat on the floor in the library this weekend, across from each other, and tried to get her to go between us. At one point, she was standing near me, bent over at a 90 degree angle, holding on to M's hands, refusing to walk and laughing all the while.

M is convinced that she's practically running from one end of her crib to the other when we're not in there. Judging by the noises coming from her room sometimes, it's either that or she's doing cartwheels.

Welcome back to Beanie and Shawn!!!

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Kate Moss Diet

I have reached a new phase of parenthood this week, when I caught the stomach flu from my kid. I fell victim late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning, which resulted in my laying curled up in a fetal position on the bed wondering, "What if I just died? That would probably feel better..." It wasn't pretty. Many thanks to the MIL for coming and getting Zozo, so I didn't risk re-infecting her. I slept almost the entire day, and my diet consisted of five Saltines, a Sprite and some Tylenol.

M was struck yesterday whilst at the airport, waiting to come home. He's at home now, in bed, trying to recover. My MIL came back this morning to get The Little Girl for us. It's so hard to be near her and not be able to hold her and love on her. I do not want her to get sick again, though, as she's still recuperating from her own bout, so I keep my distance.

I actually came in to work today, as I had an important meeting at 8 in Chesterfield, and I was making myself feel better with the thought of only putting in a half day, when I realized that I have another important meeting scheduled at 2 and so therefore will be here pretty much all day anyway.

D'ya think anyone will notice if I crawl under my desk for a nap every so often?

Gurgle. Gurgle. Gurgle.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Alone in cyberspace

Nothing much new to report today. My boy is in Florida, where he ate at The Beach House yesterday. Blackened grouper on the deck while watching the sun set on the ocean...not a bad way to spend an evening. Beats cleaning up the poopy diapers that are remnants of Zozo's stomach bug anyway. My Bean is in Mexico on her honeymoon, and she already sent me a text message from the beach, in which she assured me she's wearing SPF 30. Not sure I believe her, but the proof will come when she lands and she's either bright red or the same color as when she left. We shall see. Steffi is traveling to LA today, for a one-day meeting. Always great to spend more time on the plane getting to your meeting, and getting back from your meeting, than what it takes to hold the actual meeting. Videoconferencing, people! Not exactly a new concept!

What all this means is that my homies with whom I regularly e-communicate are all unreachable. All at the same time.

I feel e-lonely.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Congrats to Beanie and Shawn!

Well it's about damn time, I know you're saying out there. I mean, really, how hard is it to update your stinkin' blog?

Well, when you have your sister's wedding and a small child battling stomach flu in the same weekend, it's darn near impossible.

First up: recap of Bridal Beano's Big Day. It was fantastic. It was better than fantastic. It was superb, and lovely, and fun, and romantic, and and and... Let's just say it's been a long time since M and I have had that much fun. From the girlies getting their mani/pedis Friday to cutting up at our rehearsal dinner table to hair and make-up on Saturday to the actual wedding to the party bus for several hours between the wedding and the reception to the was all good. All of it.

My husband danced. A lot. Fast and slow. He actually came and got me a couple times to dance. For those of you who don't know, my hubby is a straight-laced, fairly conservative, plan-it-all-out-in-advance-and-graph-it-in-Excel engineer kind of guy. Who typically doesn't dance. This should be your first indication of how much beer he consumed throughout the day.

I gave my toast without too much crying, which was good, I think. It's never fun when the maid of honor is a blubbering idiot and you can't understand a thing she's saying. So, I take pride in the fact that I was understandable. Here is my toast, not exactly as I said it, because I did the whole "I can speak in public fairly well on my own thankyouverymuch" thing and didn't read straight from the text. I know, I know, I'm supposed to outline what I'm going to speak on, but I don't operate that way. I'm not an outline kind of person. Except when I'm making my grocery/things to do lists, in which case I prefer to use the outline format as it's way more anal retentive that way, and we all know I likes to be that.

So, here's my toast:
I’ve been writing this toast in my head for months now, ever since Katie asked me to be her maid of honor, trying to figure out the best way to send my sister off to the great voyage of marriage with wisdom and grace. Then I thought, “Hell with it, let’s just tell funny stories about her.”

I could tell you about the fight where one of us ended up with smashed glasses and the other with her underwear hanging from the tree in our front yard. I’ll let you guess who was who.

I could tell you about how we’d fight over the invisible line in the backseat of the car, which was ridiculous because we sat in separate, bucket seats.

I could tell you about how hilarious I thought it was that I got my baby sister to shove peas up her nose at dinner one night, or about the day she came downstairs covered, head to toe, with band-aids simply because she loved band-aids.

But I decided that mortifying my sister on one of the most important days of her life probably wasn’t too great of an idea, and so I won’t.

Instead I’ll remark about the woman who is a constant source of inspiration to me, whether she’s getting me to donate blood, or modeling how to be a great mother, or reminding me to always look for the best in others and count my blessings.

She’s got a heart as big as the world, an innate sense of caring that most people could only dream of having, and our father’s wicked sense of humor. And she herself actually set the events for this day in motion almost 10 years ago.

Way back then, Katie convinced me to donate blood to the American Red Cross. That donation led to my volunteering and then becoming paid staff. Eventually, I had to plan an event for 1,500 people to eat dinner on Ead’s Bridge. I recruited my family to volunteer, including Katie, who was tasked to be a First Aid volunteer because of her ER background.

And so it came to be that evening that she was decked out in her sexy Red Cross sweater vest and first aid fanny pack, that she met the love of her life, Shawn, who just happened to be on duty for the city.

I had no clue when I was making arrangements with the city to have medics on hand, which I thought was a pain-in-the-butt requirement designed solely to make my job harder, that I was ultimately arranging for the addition of my new brother-in-law to my family.

Shawn, I couldn’t ask for a better guy to be my new brother-in-law, and I’ll be eternally grateful you were able to look past the dorky Red Cross sweater vest and first aid fanny pack to see the beautiful and special woman who is my sister and best friend. I’d tell you to take care of her, and of Joey, but I don’t need to, because I see that you already do that, and with tender love and affection. I thank God every day for bringing you into my sister’s life, and into our family.

Let’s raise our glasses to Katie and Shawn. May you have a lifetime full of love and laughter, and auspicious Ead’s Bridge moments.

So that's it. It may seem a little long in the tooth, but given my penchant for rattling my speech out like machine gun fire when in front of hundreds of people, I think I managed to squeak it all out in under 45 seconds.

Congratulations to Beanie and Shawn!

So, as wild and crazy as our evening was, it was somewhat tempered by the news that our little girl was tossing her cookies, multiple times, all over her grandparents. Yak #1 was at their house, in the highchair. Yaks 2 and 3 were in the car, first on the way to the reception and then on the way home, having never made it to the reception due to Yaks 1 and 2. There may have been a fourth in there but I don't know for sure. Say there wasn't, which makes Yak 4 the one where she hurled all over herself and her sheets while sleeping in her crib. God bless my in-laws, for they worked tirelessly to clean up not only our daughter, but also our car, carseat, Zozo's coat, hat, gloves and clothes, the sheets and the mattress pad. There was a bath in there somewhere, too.

Needless to say, Zozo didn't have a great weekend. We camped out on the floor of her room that night, just to be close and to monitor her. By Sunday morning, the vomiting had stopped, but was replaced with an equally disgusting affliction that came out the other end. This was also accompanied by a fever of 102.9. A call to the exchange gave us the instructions we needed to ride it out, but mostly she just needed cuddles and love. Which is what we gave her. All day Sunday, and 95% of Sunday night/Monday morning.

Having gone through two nights of no sleep (giving your toddler at bath at 3 a.m. is just odd, and completely throws off your sleep cycle), we decided it was in our family's best interests, and the interest of our respective workplaces, to stay home today. We wouldn't have been productive in the slightest, and so it would have been entirely unfair to our employers to show up for work and pretend to care. A day of vacation for each of us gave Zozo our undivided attention.

She's doing much better now. We got the fever to break (thank you infant Tylenol and Motrin), and she kept down her "bland food" today, so tomorrow she should be good to go on her regular diet. She was actually up to playing some this afternoon, and we even got smiles and giggles tonight, so I'm confident she's well on her way to a full recovery.

That's about it from the Z house. We geeked out on West Wing episodes while holding a dozing Zozo today, so if her first words are "judiciary committee" or "legislative agenda," you'll know why.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Happy (belated) Birthday to Mom/Grandma!

A big shout-out to the MIL today, since yesterday was her birthday! I admit, I was too busy ranting about the goobers at Sears to post a Happy Birthday to her, and for that I am truly sorry.

My MIL is a very special person, and she deserves better than a Sears rant on her birthday. At least she didn't receive a gift from Sears on her birthday. Now that would be bad.

Zozo gave her grandmother some flowers for her birthday, and a couple poopie diapers and some fun with food ("No no, Zoe. We do not throw our food on the floor."). We went to SanSai Japanese Grill for dinner, and it was fantastic. Grandma and Grandpa got shrimp and chicken plates, respectively, and M and I opted, of course, for sushi. Mmmmm. Sushi. Zozo got a child's teriyaki chicken plate, which came with rice and potstickers, and she did pretty well with it, although for some reason she preferred to be fed rather than feeding herself. I think she likes the attention.

At one point, M tried to take over feeding so Grandma could relax and enjoy herself (we were wedged in a booth, which was comfortable but rendered me incapable of helping with Zozo). He had a spoon with rice and chicken on it, and was coaxing her to eat. She looked at him, got the exact same mischievous glint in her eye that he gets, and flipped her hand up under the spoon. Rice and chicken went everywhere, and darned if it didn't look like culinary confetti. It landed all over the place...on her head, her shoulders, her lap, the table, the floor, and even a few pieces on M.

I know at this point I was supposed to be a parental figure and reprimand her, but it was just so gosh darned funny that I couldn't help but laugh. M was not pleased.

All in all, it was a very relaxed, enjoyable evening. I hope my MIL had a good time, since it was her birthday and all, and that's what you're supposed to do on your birthday.

And to cap it all snowed last night. The MIL loves loves loves snow, so I'm happy she got some snow. It took me a bit of negotiating to arrange that, you know.