Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Monday News

Still working on that whole "Story Of Us" post...it will come!

But, some levity -

I went to the dermatologist on Monday and was informed that I have a mole on my ass. And, not only that, I probably should get it removed. Considering I don't exactly walk around outside bare-assed, it's strange that I have one in that location. Frank's response "Oh, yeah, that's been there for awhile."

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Division of Labor

I totally stole this from The Diniwilks. I think it's fascinating to see how families function differently.

Child care: I make the decisions for child care. This part of life is mostly over now that the kids are in school full time (thank god). They just stay at school at the after school care until either Frank or I can get them before 6 PM. And a lot of the time we're racing to get there at 5:55 PM because of traffic or work issues or whatever. We actually need to find a baby sitter for night times, but no luck right now. In a few more years, we won't even need that. We also luck out in that the kids spend 5-6 weeks in the summer with my parents. It's great for everyone- the kids get to spend the summer on the beach, we get to pretend that we don't have kids for the summer. It's like sending the kids to sleep-away camp, except they're staying with grandparents, aunts and uncles.

Newborn care (bonus historical category): I did the bare minimum of 6 weeks with all three kids. And, I was stir crazy and wanting to get out of the house by 3 weeks. Frank took a week with the first child, and two weeks with the next two. He used to work PM swing, so he'd actually get to hang out with the kids in the mornings while I went to work. Then, I'd be alone at night with the kids. He generally got home in time to do the middle of the night feeding- between 11 PM and 1 AM he'd usually have a baby with him on the couch. It meant that I never really had to be a Zombie Mommy, because I got at least 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night even from the very beginning (yes, I breastfed, but we depended on bottles for that middle of the night feeding). My husband got to the point where he could basically change a diaper while asleep. 

Time off (bonus category): My husband works insane hours now- 12-16 hour days. I don't get a "time off" day. But, again the kids are old enough that we can sleep in on the weekends and the kids can occupy themselves. 

Work: We both work full time. My job is a traditional office job 8 AM - 5 PM. His is in the food service industry, so he works 6 AM to 6 PM or 8 PM. A 60 hour week is STANDARD for his position. 

Food: I do 95% of the grocery shopping, because I do 95% of the cooking. I make the meal plans so I pick the food that we eat.

Housecleaning: Frank does 90% of the cleaning. He does the laundry, the dishes, mops and vacuums the floors, puts away clothes, organizes and trashes clutter, changes bedsheets and just about everything in between. I clean the bathrooms- that's the one thing he won't do.

House decorating (bonus category): Mostly Frank. We have the same tastes- simple, clean lines, neutral colors. He likes to change out the art on our walls. He gets a bug up his ass about painting rooms, etc. My only request is that we have only white linens on our bed (I know, it's weird, but I only like white sheets and white down comforters).

Yard work: The front yard is xeriscaped so that there's minimal upkeep. The backyard gets mowed once a month or so, and I keep the pool from going green.

Communications: That's all me. I have to remind my husband to call his parents on their birthdays. We have a synched Google calendar to keep us on the same page, and a huge calendar on the pantry door that appointments, soccer games, girl scouts, tutoring and meetings and stuff are written on .

Finances: We both have individual accounts and a joint account. The joint account pays the household bills, and we each have fuck off money in our single accounts. Fuck off money is the money we keep separate from each other so we can buy the impractical things we want without having to get into a fight about it. As is "I don't care if you hate this, I bought it from my own money, so fuck off." Frank carries the family insurance plans, because his company is HUGE and they have a wonderful Cadillac plan for a reasonable price (I don't skimp on health or dental coverage, I want EVERYTHING). 

Activities: We take turns. Frank is great at planning the logistics of the big trips, I do more of the local stuff. I'm more of a "just tell me when to show up" type of person, he likes to plan things out so we don't miss anything. We do a lot of free and cheap activities on my watch- like Art Walks, Christmas tree lighting, visiting parks and getting ice cream. We go to a lot of baseball games in season, because it's a cheap family outing. Luckily the kids are easily amused and travel well. The kids have flown cross country so many times that they're pros and don't even get excited about it any more.

Who wears the pants (bonus category): I'm the boss. Just ask the kids. 

I think we're lucky in that we've lived together now for 14 years (and we're only 34 years old). We had five years without kids to figure out how to function as a team before we added the stress of kids to the household. Well before the kids, I knew I'd be alone a lot at night, just due to the job field that my husband is in. 
As of today, my husband and I have been monogamous for 17 years. Fully half of our lifetimes, and all of our adult years. I plan on doing a "story of us" type post later on, when I can get some of our old pictures together.  

Feel free to steal this! I think it's a great topic. Link below if you plan on doing a division of labor post.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thus is the saga of the Chicken Parmesan Sandwich

I grew up on the east coast where Chicken Parmesan sandwiches are plentiful and abundant, even stereotypically available on every menu. While not my favorite sandwich, I would have the odd craving once or twice a year. A craving that was easily remedied by going into just about any place that served food and getting a piece of this delicious treat. This culinary treat has been impossible to find in Arizona. I've gone so far as to explain to sub shop employees how it's made:

Typical Conversation:
Me: I want a Chicken Parmesan sandwich
Sub Man: I don't know what that is.
Me: I want a breaded chicken sandwich.
Sub Man: OK, what do you want on that?
Me: Tomato sauce and cheese, toasted please
Sub Man: Sorry, we can't do that.
Me: But you have sauce, I can see it, just take the sauce from the meatballs, and put it on the chicken. Put a piece of provolone on it, and toast it.
Sub Man: I can put the cheese on it and toast it. But I can't put the sauce on it.
Me: OK, then I want a meatball sandwich, without the meatballs.
Sub Man: So just sauce and cheese?
Me: Yes
Sub Man: OK, what do you want on that?
Me: Breaded chicken
Sub Man: I can't do that.

And so ends the saga of the Chicken Parmesan Sandwich.

Friday, November 16, 2012

My Sister, the Ridiculous One

Being ridiculous, purely for the sake of being ridiculous is a prized personality trait in my opinion. When my sister was pregnant last year, for the first time, she had the traditional romantic belly shot and all that comes along with it. This year, with her second child, she's gone a less traditional route:

I present, for your viewing enjoyment- 39 Weeks Pregnant In Under-Armor. Or Super Pregnant Lady.

I never had the guts to take pictures of myself in a leotard, let alone while pregnant, and post them to a public forum. I salute you my sister, and revel in your ridiculousness.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

88 Questions

So, I totally failed Blog a Day for November. But, I think these questions, so here goes:

1.  Do you usually sleep with your closet door open or closed? Closed. The monster totally would eat me if I left it open.

2.  Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotels? No, but I do usually take the little bottles of lotion, even if I hate the smell, because the kids get a kick out of them.

3.  Have you ever ‘done it’ in a hotel room?  Yeah. The husband and I have been together since we were 17 years old. We did the "get a hotel room after prom" thing. We also went to colleges 100 miles from each other, so occasionally we'd get a crappy room around the mid point.

4.  Where is your next vacation? We'll be heading to Massachusetts, as is per usual, at the end of May to drop off the kids for the summer. Our next "grown up trip" we think will be Ohio. So we can do the roller coasters before we're so old that it hurts. I also think Disneyland is on for 2013.

5.  Have you ever stolen a street sign before? No, and I don't understand the allure of doing so.  

6.  Who do you think reads these? Very few people

7.  Do you have a calendar in your room?  No, that's on the pantry door, because otherwise I'd never know where anyone has to be on a given day.

8.  Where are you?  At work, in my fishbowl office. Yes, I have an interior office with three glass walls. The iillusion of privacy that really doesn't exist.

9.  What’s your plan for the day? Get through it, then go to horrible, awful Girl Scout Cookie training

10. Are you reading any books right now? Safe Within by Jean Reynolds Page. It's pretty depressing.

11. Do you ever count your steps when you walk? No

12. Have you ever peed in the woods? Yes, I used to do a lot of underage drinking in the woods.

13. Do you ever dance even if there’s no music playing? Absolutely!

14. Do you chew your pens and pencils? Yes. Unfortunately. Not chew, so much as hold with my teeth while I'm thinking.
15. What is your “Song of the Week”? Mokiki Does The Sloppy Swish- Mokiki It's the SNL digital short from Saturday, and seriously, it's infectious.

16. Is it okay for guys to wear pink? Yes. Some look better than others. Some guys who wear pink are quite douchy however.

17. Do you still watch cartoons? Not gonna lie, I love Pocoyo
18. Whats your favorite love movie?  Love, Actually

19. What do you drink with dinner? Diet Coke or water if I'm eating after 7, which is most of the time. Wine if it's the weekend or at a restaurant.

20. What do you dip Chicken Nuggets in? Chicken nuggets are vile. I don't eat them.

21. What is your favorite food/cuisine? Sushi or New American. I like chefs who are willing to take traditional cuisine and twist it.

22. What movies could you watch over and over and still love? Jaws, Ocean's 11 and Ocean's 13 (don't mention the abomination that was Ocean's 12), Love Actually, The Departed, Center Stage, Bring It On,

23. Last person you hugged/kissed? My husband and kids

24. Were you ever a boy/girl scout? A Girl Scout from 2nd grade through graduation. Now I'm a Brownie Leader (but I hate it, and this is the only year I'm willing to do it)
25. Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine? If someone was willing to pay me.

26. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper? My grandmother. A few months before she died.

27. Can you change the oil on a car? No. Why would I want to do that?

28. Ever gotten a speeding ticket? Not in a few years.

29. Run out of gas? Never, but came close a few times in my old Grand Am with a broken gauge.

30. Favorite kind of sandwich? Meatball Sub or a Steak, Mushroom and Cheese from Zach's in Weymouth MA.

31. Best thing to eat for breakfast? Cinnamon Raisin bagel with Philly Cream Cheese, toasted
32. What is your usual bedtime? 11 PM

33. Are you lazy? Yes. Yes I am.

34. When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween? Most frequently a witch. Because it was always cold and rainy, and the costume would be hidden under a winter jacket anyways. So the pointy hat and a fake nose was generally my costume.

35. Do you have any magazine subscriptions? Bon Appetite, Saveur, Martha Stewart, ESPN

36. Which are better, legos or lincoln logs? Legos for sure

37. Are you stubborn? ME??? NEVER.

38. Who is better…Leno or Letterman? Letterman.

39. Ever watch soap operas? Days of Our Lives for YEARS. I haven't really watched that since 2007 when I had my last maternity leave.

40. Afraid of heights? No. 

41. Sing in the car? Yes, always.

42. Dance in the shower? No. The point is to get done as fast as possible.

43. Dance in the car? A bit of seat dancing occurs

44. Ever used a gun? No

45. Do you think musicals are cheesy? I love them.

46. Is Christmas stressful? It can be. But in the past few years we've been trying to cut back our obligations. At this point, we refuse to leave our house on Christmas day. Dinner is served at 3 PM. If anyone wants to see us, they are welcome to come over after 1 PM and stay for dinner.

47. Ever eat a pierogi? Yes. When I can convince my husband to make them.

48. Major annoyance right now? The next door neighbors who I suspect broke the windows of my van

49. Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid? A mortician. I wish I was lying, but I had a fascination with funeral homes and wanted to live in one.
50. Do you believe in ghosts? Not really

51. Ever have a deja-vu feeling? Yes. Wait, did you ask me this before?
52. Do you take a vitamin daily? Does Diet Coke have any vitamins in it? Because that's the only thing I take daily.

53. Wear slippers? No, I wear wool socks around the house when it's cold

54. Wear a bath robe? Yes, after my shower, when I'm trying to get the kids out of bed. So my hair doesn't get my clothes all wet and wrinkled.

55. What do you wear to bed? Underwear.

56. Wal-Mart, Target or K-Mart? Target.

57. Nike or Adidas? Asics.

58. Cheetos Or Fritos? Cheetos, maybe. Doritos are the bomb.

59. Peanuts or Sunflower seeds? Neither.

60. Ever hear of, “gorp”? Yes, see above. I was a Girl Scout for  LONG time.

61. Ever taken karate? No, it's a scam.

62. Ever kissed someone of the same sex? No

63. Can you curl your tongue? Yes, and my middle and youngest can too, but the oldest and husband can not.

64. Ever won a spelling bee? I can not spell. Like I had to get an exemption in 10th grade because the teacher based 40% of our grade on a weekly spelling test, and I would have screwed up my GPA with a D in her class. I had to do A LOT of extra credit book reports to make up for the absolute failure at spelling. That's what spell-check is for. And, I'm smart enough that I know what word I need, even if I can't spell it.

65. Ever cried because you were so happy? Sure, I've had three kids, I can be a hormonal wreck.

66. Own any record albums? No

67. Own a record player? No

68. Regularly burn incense? No it gives me migraines. 

69. Ever been in love? Yes

70. Hot tea or cold tea? Only hot. Cold is gross.

71. Tea or coffee? Tea, coffee is gross.

72. Favorite kind of cookie? Toll House chocolate chip, homemade, either by me or my Mom.

73. Can you swim well? Very well, and I made sure my kids learned by the time they were 4 years old.

74. Can you hold your breath w/o manually holding your nose? Yes.

75. Are you patient? No. My way or the highway. It leads to interesting parenting challenges with my child who has the same exact personality as me.

76. Ever won a contest? A few. Every decade or so, I get on a lucky streak. It's already passed for this decade.

77. Ever had plastic surgery? No. I have the type of nose that people get surgery to look like!

78. Which are better black or green olives?  Neither.

79. Can you knit or crochet? Neither

80. Wash room or bathroom? Bathroom.

81. Do you want to get married? Already am. 

82. Who was your High School crush? A boy who was in a ton of my classes. We kissed once. It was kind of awesome. But it never went beyond that kiss.

83. Do you cry and throw a fit until you get your own way? No. I just do what I want anyways.

84. Do you have kids? A passel of them.

85. Do you want kids? No more than I currently have

86. What kind of mom are you? Laid back. I let the kids learn from their mistakes and I try not to fight battles over stupid things like insisting on wearing snow boots in the middle of summer. We have very few rules in the house (don't draw on the walls, use your words not your fists), I don't micromanage, and I let the kids get messy.

87. Do you miss anyone right now? My family. We live about 3000 miles from my Mom, Dad and siblings. My sister is having a baby any day now and I miss that I won't be nearby for that, or Thanksgiving.

88. Who do you want to see right now? My girls from high school that I'm still close with. I'd love to be going to cocktails with them this weekend.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Nights Before Kids, Friday Nights After Kids

Before Kids (BK from here on in) 5:00 PM- Get out of work
After Kids (AK from here on in) 5:00 PM- Get out of work (some things haven't changed)

BK 5:30 PM- Sit down for a drink with my co-workers to rehash the week
AK 5:30 PM- Sit in traffic while anxiously watching the clock, hoping that I won't be late for pick up yet again

BK 6:00 PM- Have another drink
AK 6:00 PM- Corral the children into the car, listen to them whine, bribe them with promises of ice cream in order to get home without someone having a crying fit

BK 6:30 PM- Pay tab, go home, think about maybe making dinner
AK 6:30 PM- Get home, think about maybe making dinner, find movie on TV

BK 7:00 PM- Decide to take a nap, to recharge
AK 7:00 PM- Make dinner, because children are in the middle of a mutiny and are threatening to eat each other if they aren't fed NOW

BK 8:30 PM- Wake up from nap
AK 8:30 PM- Husband is home. Pull second load of laundry out of dryer, start sorting clothes, tell kids to take a shower, find soccer clothes for tomorrow's games, empty backpacks, have a glass of wine.

BK 9:30 PM- Get to husband's restaurant, have a cocktail and get dinner. Hang out at bar, flirting with restaurant owner, bartender and/or patrons, sometimes friends will show up
AK 9:30 PM- Get kids in bed (except oldest, who doesn't sleep), turn on Netflix or Redbox movie du jour

BK 11:30 PM- Husband is out of work, out of uniform and ready to go out
AK 11:30 PM- Husband and I are passed out on the couch

BK 2:00 AM- Leave bar, go home via taxi or walk home, make out in public along the way. Stagger to bed.
AK 2:00 AM- Wake up with a sore back from falling asleep on the couch. One of the children is sick or has fallen out of bed. Wake up husband. Console child. Stagger to bed.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I'm Going to do this NaBloPoMo Thing...

November is here, meaning it's NaBloPoMo. Which basically means I'm really attempting to blog everyday this month, just for the heck of it. As you can see by my very sparse posting history, I'm not very good at blogging on a regular basis. Sure, I read a bunch of blogs. But write one myself? Not so much.

So, in the case that I actually get a reader or two, here's a quick background sketch all about me!
  • I married my high school sweetheart at the ripe old age of 22. We celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary this year (I think the traditional gift for the 12th year is a 12 pack of beer), and have been together for 17 years.
  • We have three school age daughters, all of whom were born before I turned 29.
  • The hubs and I grew up in Massachusetts, lived in Rhode Island for a few years, and finally moved to the Phoenix metro area in 2001. 
  • We are rabid fans of all New England sports teams
  • I read a LOT and I have a huge Goodreads account to keep track of what I have read and plan on reading- Goodreads- keen23
  • I don't take life too seriously. Shit happens and you can't let it bog you down. 

Thing I learned today- IHOP has pumpkin pancakes! I'm trying to keep down my carb intake (said as I finish two pieces of nutritionally bereft, but oh so delicious golden slices of white bread toast with ample butter) but now I can't stop thinking about them! We're totally going to IHOP sometime this weekend.

Other thing I learned today- If you attempt to save money and buy the cheap cat food, not only will it stink up your house, but the cat will refuse to eat it, and will intentionally knock it off the top of the dryer, because he's a jerk. (I think I forgot to mention the anti-social 12 year old cat who lives with us. Yeah. Him. We've had him since 2000, and he's survived 4 moves with us. He's more spoiled than the children. Also, everyone feeds their cat on top of the dryer, right?)

So, that's what's happening here.