19 September 2010

5 steps to fancy

This weekend, ye olde hubby and I enjoyed an annual tradition in our town called the Parade of Homes. I don't know if other cities have these or not, but it is just so much fun.

Basically what happens is this:

Some rich people hire rich builders to build big fancy houses for them and then they decorate them real pretty like and clean them up to look like nobody's every actually lived there (which is true in some cases). And then they open them up to the (paying) public and probably go on expensive weekend trips while most of the surrounding area's population tramps through their house in paper booties.

The part about the expensive weekend trips is something totally from my imagination, but it could happen.

Either way, the whole thing really caters to my voyeuristic tendencies. And I mean that in the least creepy way possible.

Anyway, so all of this fanciness has me thinking about fancy things and how I can become more fancy because, as we all know... I am all about velvet ropeyness.

I've done some research and here's what I've come up with so far:

1. Put adhesive plastic on all of my carpet.

Why is this fancy? Well, I'm sure in the big, new, fancy houses, they put down adhesive plastic on the carpet in an attempt to keep hicks like the hubby and myself from tracking stuff all over their carpet (with our paper booties?) while also letting us know in a subtle sort of way where we're allowed to walk.

I should interject here, and please try not to be too impressed, that I do indeed live in a 25+ year old house (paneling and macrame planter hooks included) with original carpet in some areas, so needless to say, I am not overly concerned with keeping said carpets pristine.

No, I have another reason for the adhesive plastic. A much better reason.

Because walking on it feels a lot like walking on bubble wrap.

Totally awesome. And decidedly fancy.

2. Put a faucet over my stove.

Oh, sure there are no water hook-ups there, but who's to know?

3. Rip all the covers off my books or turn them inside out and bind them in stacks with twine or ribbon.

Ok... this one I really don't get. Is this some kind of Martha Stewart/Pottery Barn/uniformity/prettiness factor thing going on here? If anybody knows, please inform me. It was actually sorda cool looking, but hubby won't let me do it. I already asked.

4. Build a separate wing for my children.

There weren't really any separate wings in the homes we toured this year, but I was surprised at how far away people put the master bedroom from their children's rooms. On different floors even! The humanity! You mean people actually sleep separately from their kids? You mean people actually keep their identities? And their sanity? And any hope of normal life ever again?


I digress.

5. Buy something like this for Le Bebe...

Yes, that's a crib. And for a cool $4, 000... it can be yours.

Yes, $4,000.

No, the horses aren't included.

Nor is the promise that you're daughter will marry into royalty.

And I don't know if it turns into a pumpkin at midnight.

We went for the chic, the simple, the traditional, the hand-me-down 100% totally free style of crib. And considering neither of our children slept a single night EVER in it, I'm really glad we decided against the Cinderella-mobile.

I've totally veered from the home tour, but this looks sorda like something you would see in one of those houses... and let's face it, if people are going to heat and air condition their barn, a $4,000 baby crib wouldn't really surprise me at all.


I'm sure some people would read all of this as sour grapes or some kind of jealousy. Sure, I would love to be able to have all of the pretty things I've ever wanted to look at every day. I'm not ashamed to admit that.

But jealous? Oh, no.

Our house may be small in comparison. It may be older. It may lack all the attention to detail and all of the special touches. It has numerous flaws. It has missing paint and spots on the carpet. It's dusty and cluttered and fingerprint smudged. It doesn't sit on a ridge overlooking hundreds of sprawling acres. It doesn't have a grand staircase or a breathtaking balcony or a theater room. The trashcans and tooth brushes are out in plain sight, for heaven's sake...

But it's home.

And it has some of the best views I've ever seen.

See what I mean?


05 September 2010

the trashcan

I've found, in all my amassed years of experience, that perhaps the most perplexing element of adulthood is taking out the trash.

Of course, pretty much every household chore is a vicious cycle of doing and undoing (e.g., bane of my existence, laundry is thy name), but there is absolutely nothing satisfying about emptying a trashcan. Clean laundry at least smells nice. Clean dishes are sparkly. A made-up bed makes a room look nicer (and we all know it bounces better).

An empty trashcan offers no reward.

Taking the trash out has never made me feel better.

And so I avoid it at all costs for as long as possible.

And here's the conclusion that I've reached about trash removal in general:

Everybody in the world hates taking the trash out. Everybody in the world believes that if they avoid it at all costs for as long as possible that their husband/wife/child/person who cleans out their home following their demise will finally take it out without being prompted to do so. Therefore, everybody in the world continues to cram garbage into the current bag until one of two things happen.

1. They have to throw away an empty milk jug and there's no way it's going to fit no matter how much they deflate, fold, contort, or melt it and are therefore forced to remove the garbage themselves.

2. The bag rips.

Situation #1 usually takes place in a huffy fit of violence since it is obviously the fault of any other adult in the house that the garbage has gotten to such a state. In most cases and with most trashcans, a bag that full is next to impossible to remove and results in sad stories like this one.

If situation #2 occurs... someone is probably going to die.


So what is the solution to this conundrum? There will always be trash. I can't afford a maid and I'm the only adult home for most of the day.

Practice "the three R's" a little bit more often?

Get a bigger trashcan?

Get multiple trashcans?

Leave when the trashcan gets full?

I'm sure practical, no-nonsense people like my grandmother and my father-in-law would tell me to just empty the darn thing before it got so full, but I have a better idea.

No. I have a plan. We'll call it "a plan."

I will ask Ye Olde Hubby very nicely to take the trash out. Then, I will cough and clear my throat loudly to get his attention as I jam trash into my full trashcan. Then, I will open the trashcan and discreetly fan the fumes toward him. As a last result, I will set the trashcan on his nightstand.

I will patiently bide my time.

And then in two or three years, my firstborn will be big enough to take the trash out and my husband and I will begin to reap the rewards of bearing offspring.

A truly joyful little nugget of parenthood second only to when he's big enough to mow the yard.

AdiĆ³s, amigos and amigo-ettes.


04 September 2010


Who knew peeing on a stick could arouse such emotions? I laughed and cried standing at my bathroom window.

Later, I listened to "Fire and Rain" as I waited on hold for that plus sign to be confirmed by my doctor.

Later, I presented my parents with a tiny pair of booties with ducks on them.

A few days after, I boohooed in the car a la Holly Hunter in Raising Arizona... "I luvvv heee-yim sooooo muuucchhhh!"

My 5-month-old fetus... or "Festus," as you were lovingly called by my dear friends.


My minutes-old wonder boy.
Still nameless.
"It's a boy," still sinking into my brain.
But already oh so loved.


Our little family with you around 6 months old


At my graduation with you around 8 months old.


Your 1st birthday.
When you were in love with Blue's Clues and saying "mama" over and over and over just because you liked the sound of it.

And then your world changed when you became a big brother.
And you are indeed one of the best big brothers I've ever known anything about.


You turned 2.
You painted a rocket.
And I marveled at your bigness.


Best buds.
Most of the time.


Easter '09 when you broke my heart with your handsomeness.


Party of 4.


And that brings us to now.
You're 3.
You pretend to be Indiana Jones.
You have an imaginary friend/buffalo named Bernie, who sleeps in our bathtub.

And I'm 100% sure that you're too big.
And that I'm just going to have to put a rock on your head.

It's not living if you don't reach for the sky.
I'll have tears as you take off,
But I'll cheer as you fly

I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams
And that faith gives you the courage
To dare to do great things.
I'm here for you whatever this life brings.
So let my love give you roots
And help you find your wings