Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Stupid, stupid, stupid

I'll just warn you ahead of time; if you're a bit squeamish, there's a somewhat gross picture at the end of this post...

Today I was opening a toy I bought for Elise because she has been such a trooper with her shots lately. We were sitting in the parking lot at Toys R Us, and I thought it would be nice for Elise to be able to play with her new toy on the drive home. So I got out a Swiss Army knife that I have in my glove compartment and starting cutting those annoying, grey, twisty wires that grace the packaging of every child's toy; whether it needs them or not.

And yes I know; aim the knife away from your body, away from your body. But today I was stupid, and although I abhor stupidity like this, I also have my moments. You know where this is going, don't you?

Right. The knife slipped and sliced off a sizable chunk off the heel of my left hand. It was quite awful to be standing in a parking lot with blood dripping off of my arm, my 21-month old in the car needing to get home because it was almost dinner time and she needed to get her shot, and me not quite knowing what to do. Luckily my husband works about 10 minutes away and came to my rescue. We finally got it to stop bleeding after about 20 minutes, and he followed me home.

I'm now finding out how difficult it is to do life one-handed. It's a good thing it's not my dominant hand, but I'm not quite sure how I'm going to give Elise her shot tomorrow. I'll tell you this, it has made typing out this post slow and painful.

Another not-so-great thing about this was the number of people that walked right by me in the parking lot as I was standing there trying to get it to stop bleeding. They looked, but not one person stopped to offer help.

Because I look like the type of person that would stand in a Toys R Us parking lot and pretend to bleed, just so I can trick someone into approaching me, giving me the opportunity to steal their purse or something.

Harumph. Okay, yucky picture coming up...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Mom's World

What world do you live in? The "real" world, or Mom's world?

It's weird being a Mom. There are no "Mom Schools". You never receive any formal training. And yet, it's really one of the most important jobs there is.

As Moms, we are (partly) responsible for bringing up and training the next generation. Who they will become has a great deal to do with how well we do. From the day they are born, they are watching us. When I see Elise take a toy and slam it down in frustration; it looks all too familiar. Now where would she pick something like that up? Oh yeah... me. I do that too when I'm upset. Well, I don't use a toy, but you get the picture.

I graduated from the "real" world to Mom's world on a rainy evening September 4th, 2007. I had taken a few measly childbirth/breast-feeding/how-to-keep-your-baby-alive classes, but there is nothing like practical experience. I felt wholly unprepared for my new life.

I have so many hats these days, I'm running out of places to hang them all. My resume includes; CFO, COO, teacher, chef, chauffeur, maid, dog walker, and errand girl. Just over the past year I have added nurse, nutritionist/dietitian, and pancreas to that list. I wonder how much a pancreas earns in the real world?

I bet my yearly salary would be a cool half mil in the real world. But here in Mom's World my salary is kisses, cuddles and hugs.

Would I trade it? Nah. Money can by lots of things, but your little girl coming up to you and saying, "ah la oo" (I love you), has no price tag and could never be bought.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

7 ways you know it's time to do laundry

1. The Leaning Tower of Laundry is starting to rival the size of the Leaning Tower of Recycling.

2. When you're sorting through the laundry, you find sweaters and other cold weather clothes. And it's June. In Texas.

3. You find yourself trying to fit your 21 month old into 12 month old clothing. Because it's clean.

4. You have to dip into the pile of donation clothes.

5. You implement Naked Thursdays, and not because you support nudists.

6. You start doing sniff tests on clothes that are in the dirty pile.

7. You start thinking about implementing Naked Mondays as well.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

What an amazing Father looks like

Dear Freddie,

Elise is one lucky and blessed little girl. I know it, one day when she's a bit older; she will know it, and I hope that you know it too.

I love that, from day one, you jumped into fatherhood with both feet. You had never changed a diaper or fed a baby a bottle before, but it didn't matter. You make being a father look natural and easy.

I love that you love to spend time with her, making memories that will stay with her the rest of her life. Your time with her will assure her of how loved she is, and she will grow up knowing what a good man is.

I love that when she is scared or upset, she calls your name too. She knows her Poppa is a great source of comfort, and she can rest just as easy in your arms or mine.

I love that she gets her sweet and out-going personality from you. When I see her going up to kids she doesn't know in a store or playground and chatting with them; there is no doubt that she's your daughter. She loves to be around other people and thrives in those situations.

I love how excited she gets when the garage door opening announces that you are home from work for the day. I think every father should be greeted by little shrieks of joy at the end of a long work day.

I love that you find fun in things that most people would view as a chore. You have made bath time and getting ready for bed one of her favourite times of the day. I enjoy listening to the songs you sing and the little rituals you do that are just yours and hers.

I love listening to you speak to her in Portuguese. I think it's wonderful how passionate you are that she learns that part of her heritage. I also love to hear her speak Portuguese too and am blown away at how well she's doing.

I love the man that you are, the husband that you are and the father you have become. I mean it when I say that I couldn't be raising such an amazing little girl without you.

Momma and the Beans

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Perhaps I'll wear a dress tomorrow

I am not what you would call a girly-girl. I practically live in jeans. I don't wear make-up. The most I ever do to my hair is put it in a clip. I hate high heels. I have no clue what the latest fashions are and I don't care who's wearing who and dating what. I. Just. Don't. Care.

That's why the thought of going for a pedicure seemed so un-Joanne-like that I almost snorted when it was suggested. But as I thought about it a little more, the idea seemed pretty fun. Good friends, great conversation, warm water, and me sitting and not having to do anything but enjoy myself.

feet before

feet after... pretty!

Mmmmm, I could get used to pampering like that.

Good friends. Great conversation. Thanks guys; it did my feet, and my heart good.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Being Weird is not so Strange

My husband walked in on me vacuuming the ceiling of the master bedroom the other day, and what is so supremely awesome about that statement is what followed. He came in the room to get Elise who had wandered in to watch the freak show that is her Mom, saw what I was doing, batted not an eyelash, and walked out.

The reason I was vacuuming my ceiling, besides the glaringly obvious fact that I am insane, was because I looked up there the other night and noticed the copious amounts of dust that had collected on the space that hung over my head while I slept. You see, we are unfortunate owners of a house with a popcorn ceiling. And the dust collects up there on the pebbled surface; holding like barnacles to the side of a boat.

On a side note, I would like to travel back in time so I could meet the guy who thought popcorn ceilings were a good idea and give him a good, swift kick to the groin.

Anyway, if you know me, you know this little dust collection was causing me to obsess to the point of not being able to do anything else until I got rid of it. So I got the vacuum out and did my thing.

Which brings me to the part about Fred walking in on me. What I love about the fact he didn't think it weird that his wife of nine years was vacuuming the wrong surface, is that we have gotten to the point where he is totally okay with all my weirdness, all my quirks, all my idiosyncrasies, all my foibles; and it doesn't even register with him that I'm doing something that most people would think is bizarre.

When I asked him about it later, he just shrugged his shoulders and said, "it was just Joanne, being Joanne."

My husband gets me. I'm glad somebody does.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Please hang up and don't try your call again

Dear phone survey lady who thinks it's okay to call my house before 10 am on a Saturday,

I don't mind doing surveys. Sometimes, I actually enjoy them. But I did not enjoy your attempt to goad me into a survey this past weekend.

Your first mistake came when I answered the phone with a rather english-sounding hello (the language, not the accent). Why did you feel it necessary to proceed speaking to me in Spanish? Just because my last name happens to be ethnic looking, doesn't mean I speak that language. I feel so... so... profiled.

And don't sound so baffled when I continue to speak to you in english. By the way, my last name is of Portuguese origin. Spanish and Portuguese are two different languages. Get your nationalities straight.

And when I tell you that now is not a good time to answer your survey because I'm just about to walk out the door; do not argue with me. Because I would never just say that to get off the phone with you. Not ever, never ever.

Well, today I actually was trying to leave, and could not believe your chutzpah when you started arguing with me. By the way, chutzpah is a Hebrew word, but that doesn't mean I know that language either.

You see, the conversation should have gone a little something like this:

You: Hi ma'am (notice you are speaking english here), I represent x-company and we're conducting a short survey about _______. Do you have time to answer some questions?

Me (also speaking english): I'm sorry, I was just about to leave. Now is not a good time.

You (still speaking english): I'll call back another time.


See how polite and civilized that was?

But for some reason, you insisted on arguing with me. As if that would change my mind. And by the way, when you kept telling me it would only take a minute of my time; you used up that minute by trying to convince me how little time it would take. Can you now see how it all went so horribly wrong?

And when you asked when would be a better time and I responded, "anytime but now"? That really meant never. Actually, scratch that. I'd like you to call back so I can yell at you some more when I'm not so pressed for time.

Sincerely Yours,


P.S. My maiden name is of Czech origin, but I don't speak that either.

Friday, June 12, 2009

my 200th post!

Who knew I would make it this far? I think if you're a reader of this blog, the congrats should really go out to you for sticking with me for this long. There's really a whole lot of nothing that gets churned out on this blog.

Keeping with the theme of nothing, I thought I'd share 200 facts about me in honour of my 200th post. Kidding. Seriously... nobody should have to sit through something like that. Instead, enjoy 20 Joanne-facts. See how I did that? I just dropped a zero. Man, am I clever.

1. My first concert ever was The Cure. Let's hear it for teen angst!

2. I really, really want to be on a game show. Something like "Wheel of Fortune" or "Millionaire", you know... where there's a wee bit of skill involved. Shows like "Deal or No Deal", where people basically get money for showing up are stupid.

3. I have a screw in my chin and a pin under my left cheek bone. I used to have another pin under my right cheek bone and titanium plates in my legs.

4. I hate to admit this, but I seldom read non-fiction books. For me, reading is pure escape, and it frustrates me to have to learn stuff when I'm checking out of reality. Interestingly enough, I like to watch TV to learn stuff. I think with most people they use TV for escape, and books to learn.

5. I once met Jean Chrétien when he was the Prime Minister of Canada. I don't remember much about it except that I think I mumbled something in french to him.

6. The only reality show I would ever dream of being on is the Amazing Race. I really think I'd be their ideal contestant. Take away my food and my sleep, and there is no telling what would come out of my mouth. My penchant for having really entertaining flip-outs would be an added bonus. I can go from zero to raging maniac in about 1.5 seconds.

7. I used to play the saxophone.

8. I also was in drama, and sometimes think it would be nice to take part in community theatre. You know, if every single second of my day wasn't already taken up with something else.

9. I once got my hand caught in a cigarette machine at a restaurant. They had to call the fire department to get me unstuck. All I wanted were some matches, I swear.

10. I am afraid of heights, but jumped off a 30 foot waterfall in Hawaii. Three times. It just seemed like the thing to do.

11. I love action movies... especially ones where things get "blowed up". Needless to say, I loved the Die Hard series. I also like sci-fi and hate romantic movies. Sometimes I'm more of a boy than Fred.

12. I once woke up and had breakfast in France, lunch in Belgium, dinner in the Netherlands, and fell asleep in Germany. And yes, all in the same day!

13. I'm not really superstitious at all, but I don't like the number 13.

14. I can speed read. It takes me about two hours to read a 400 page book. But I am starting to slow down in my old age.

15. One time at a grocery store I got over $120 worth of groceries and paid under $2 for it.

16. Out of the 3 cars I've ever owned, 2 have been manuals. If given the choice between manual and automatic, I would chose manual every time.

17. I can play racquetball, tennis, and ping pong with either hand. I can also switch hit in softball. I have more power with the right, but better accuracy with the left. I shoot left when playing hockey, and I'm right-footed in soccer.

18. I once got pulled over by a cop for speeding, not wearing a seat belt (yeah, I know), and an illegal lane change. The guy knew my Dad and let me off; laughing at me the entire time.

19. I was almost named Heidi, after the family dog.

20. I was the fastest girl in my elementary school, and the second fastest kid. It was my dream to be able to beat Steven Howitt in a race, but that guy was a running machine. I bet I could have beaten him up, though.

Annnnnd, I'm done. I bet that was 5 minutes of your time you wish you had back. Don't you hate people that think they are waaaaaaay more interesting than they really are? Yeah, me too.

Monday, June 8, 2009

What a difference 378 days makes

Picture taken on 5/25/08

Picture taken 6/08/09

Is it just me, or is she getting cuter with every passing day???

Friday, June 5, 2009

How to make Joanne cry

I am not what you would call an overly emotional person. I just don't cry a lot. It could be due to the fact that I don't have tear ducts (kidding), or that my heart is three sizes too small; I just don't know. I think that growing up a tomboy with two brothers and a general disdain for all things girly stunted the growth of the part of the brain that deals with emotions.

That's not to say I can't cry... I do for the big stuff. You know, like when my first-born child made her way into the world. I'm not sure who was wailing louder; me or Elise. I mean, I may be emotionally constipated, but I'm not dead inside.

But there is one thing that gets me every time. And that thing is "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. I don't know what it is, but as soon as I hear that ukulele, the pathway to my emotional neurons fire up and the water works start. You can blame it on the rain, you can blame it on the stars.

But I blame it on the ER episode where Mark Greene died. A little part of me died that day too.

When Fred and I went to Kauai in '06, guess what song was playing on the radio when we started our rental car? My first thought was, "groan... how cliche". My second though was, "Oh, crap, where's my kleenex?"

I had to tell Fred I was crying from the sheer happiness I was feeling about NOT being in Dallas.

Our Kroger also has it in heavy rotation on their in-store muzak . When I hear the opening notes, I make a run for the freezer and stick my head in until the song is over. Because nobody wants to see a grown woman stumbling through the grocery store; weeping over the mangoes. Fred thinks I'm checking out all the expiration dates on the milk.

But at least I'm not raising an emotionally constipated daughter. The other day I was feeding Elise her dinner, and I had my IPod on in the background. Before I could stop it, THAT song came on (yes... I downloaded it, but never listen to it. I'm saving it for when I get my big break in Hollywood and I have to do a crying scene).

So, of course the tears start and as I"m trying to stifle my sobs, Elise reaches up, gently pats my cheek and says, "awwww, Mãe sad."

Then she reaches up her arms, and asks, "ug?" (hug)

So what if I am dead inside? I have the sweetest daughter. EVER.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

La la la, I can't hear you

We have been having some nap trouble here in our little household. I keep trying to fall asleep, but that darn Elise is just too loud.


But we are having issues with her waking up only 30 - 45 minutes into her nap, screaming. As I was seeking a friend's advice about it the other day, I said to her, "at least she falls asleep without a fight. She's out within 5 minutes of me putting her down."

You know how you sometimes jinx things by talking about them? Yeah. That must be what happened because for the last two days, along with waking up screaming after 30 minutes, Elise now has an opening act of screaming for 30 minutes.

As I'm typing this, she just stopped screaming Mãe for over 40 minutes. Either she fell asleep, or I've gone deaf.

At this point, either option is lovely.