Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wherein I can say "I told you so" all I want

On Sunday the DB came into the house, all worried and fretful, to tell me that there was something dripping from his car.

"It's probably just condensation," I said, "because it freezes overnight and then thaws in the morning."

No, he insisted, it was fuel!!!

But, I pointed out, that was crazy talk.  It doesn't smell like fuel.  The last time we had a fuel leak in a car, I could smell it from a meter away.

He insisted.  He brought a paper towel soaked in the liquid in for me to sniff.

Okay, it sorta smelled like fuel, but not that strongly, it could just be random engine smell.

No, no, the DB said, it was fuel!!!

You know those arguments you have with people you love?  The ones where you know you can't win, no matter what you say because they are freaking out and insist that you aren't taking them seriously and for the love of god, don't you trust them to not be idiots???  Yeah, it was one of those.

He wanted the emergency-car-peoples (AAA in the US, Falck in DK) to take the car all the way to our mechanic half-way across the country.  I said, uh, shouldn't we determine if it *IS* a fuel leak first?  Because I'd feel really stupid sending the car that far away if it's nothing.  Because in order to get it back, we'd have to spend a weekend up at his mom's and really, who wants to do that?

Okay, maybe it wasn't the best reason, but since my MIL has been known to drive us both batshitcrazy it's a valid reason.

But but but, he argued, blah blah blah fuel leak!!!

We compromised when he finally said he could have the emergency guys come out and look at the "leak" and if they thought it was a fuel leak they could take it far far away and if it wasn't they could take it to the mechanic in the next village.

So today the Falck guy came and looked at the car.  Not a fuel leak, he said.

But but but, said my dear husband (whom I love, really, I do), fuel leak!!!

Okay, said the Falck guy, I will take it to the local mechanic and if he says it's a fuel leak, I'll take the car to your mechanic, okay?

The DB agreed.

And the mechanic said: Condensation.  No fuel leak.

I'm sure he managed not to make the DB feel stupid.  A bit of manly "you were right to be concerned" and all that.  In fact, I'm positive of this because he came home and said "thankfully, it turned out not to be a fuel leak, but just condensation" and he managed to say this without betraying any embarrassment or damaged pride, but with a touch of defiance, as if I was somehow going to challenge his proclamation.

I tried not to shout "I told you so!"  But his tone was a bit "I told you so" and a bit "now, now, dear, I knew there was nothing to worry about."  And well, I couldn't just let that go.  I'm not that good of a wife.  So I smiled beatifically and said "Well, I'm all pleased with myself.  My car skills are pretty good, if I might say so.  Did I not say that it was condensation?  Why yes, I do believe I did!"

I'm pretty sure he would have preferred "I told you so!" and a fist pump.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Weather alert: a great wave of depressing crap will envelope the earth for all of January

It's not just me.

Everywhere I turn it seems that horrible shit is happening to good people.  Houses burning downcouples taking time apartmothers having to make difficult decisionspeople battling serious depressionserious serious depressionthe universe conspiring to make life difficult for people, a good friend's father was in a serious accident, and dogs getting hit by cars.

You know it's all kinds of crappy when the best news you've heard in days is that the dog only has a broken pelvis.

In comparison, my life is fine.  So I should be all glad and shit, right?  I should just stop reading about sad things and focus on the happy happy or count my blessings or something...

Except.  Well.  Balls.

All of the women I've linked to above have helped me through some tough times.  Their words have lifted me up when I'm down or made me laugh at something I was taking far too seriously or have gone through some of the same shit (or worse) and let me feel just *that* bit less alone.  Or has just been my best doggammed friend since the dawn of time (which was in high school, in case you were wondering).

So their pain kicks me in the taco when I'm already feeling the SADs and I want to just reach out and hold them all in my arms and make it all better somehow.  Why can't I employ my superpowers to protect us all from this global storm of depression?  Why can't I purse my lips and blow the bullshit-crappiness away?  Why don't I have the words that will make it all better?

The depression comes like a thunderstorm, rolling in off the sea.  Whispers of regret and disappointment in the wind, an increase in pressure that is the very air, pressing pressing pressing until you can't breathe.  Tears and shuddering sobs of thunder don't bring release.  The urge to punch, bite, kick, makes me almost insufferable and only a great deal of apologizing (and one particularly understanding DB) settles the static before another charged particle sets me off again.

I try to yell at the ugly regrets that rear their heads and tell me that I've made the wrong choices in life.  Obviously I could have done it all differently, made different choices, gone in a different direction.  But I know that when I made my decisions I made them with the knowledge that I had AT THAT TIME and I did what I thought was best.  Sure, in retrospect some of the choices were stupid (hello first marriage) and others led me down a different path that ultimately led here and not, say, to a professorship or a job as a professional archaeologist.  But those other paths don't include the DB or the Spawn and I wouldn't trade either of them for another life.

But for whatever reason, knowing that this life is better, feeling like I have exactly what I want, does not keep that little voice saying "you totally could have been that other person" and "you let down 16 year old you" at bay.  Despite knowing that 16 year old me also thought that Latin was a language that no one knew any more and that "rendezvous" was pronounced ren-DEZ-vuhss, I mean, let's be honest, 16 year old me was an idiot (yeah, ladies and gentlemen, give it up for the American education system!) - despite all that, the storm rolls in.

So on Monday, feeling the darkness all around and trying to fight it, I employed the Furiously Happy method of dealing with shit.  I turned the radio up and the Spawn and I danced like lunatics in the kitchen.  Not like lunatics-in-the-kitchen, but like lunatics.  We just happened to be in the kitchen.  And technically, a 10 month old can not dance like a lunatic, but like a 10 month old, which is to say, she bobbed and wiggled and looked dammed cute.

And for a while, I felt light and free.

Spring and it's feeling of new beginnings can really not come too soon.

To anyone else out there feeling the sads, keep dancing, you aren't alone.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Is this what life is like for other people?

I got up this morning and sent the Spawn off to daycare (that's another post) with the DB and settled in to my first morning of deadline-free bliss. [Edit: Friday!  This is what you get for writing a post one day and posting it the next, without checking to make sure you haven't made dumb ass errors like this!]

I was sitting in bed, reading and drinking my coffee and it suddenly hit me.

Deadline-free bliss.

I wasn't sitting in bed, convincing myself that I needed to have an hour of relaxation before I got up and did X, Y, Z or prepared for Q, R, or S.  There was no X, Y, Z, Q, R, S, or anything else for that matter!  The dishes had been done the night before.  I did my homework yesterday.  The Spawn was going to be of playing for hours and hours.  No one is coming to visit.  There are no holidays coming up.  I had nothing that needed to be done.  Anything I could think of could just as well be put off for another day.  Or two.  Or ten.

So I continued to sit there, reading and drinking my coffee, and reveling in the complete lack of guilt and anxiety that normally accompanies such indulgent behavior.  For once, this wasn't procrastination - this was freedom!

And then I got up and starting working on projects that I've been wanting to get to for MONTHS.

Like unpacking.

And organizing.

Sounds boring to you, but these are things that have gotten shoved aside because I've had childcare, homework, Christmas, and of course the DB's list of things he wanted to get done while he had time off. But now I had time to do them because there wasn't anything else I had to do first!

I made a corner for the Spawn.  She has two bookshelves that hold her toys.  Decorations will follow.  (Yes, when it's something more than what it is, I'll take a picture and post it for you guys.)  Some books are now in bookshelves rather than stacked on top of bookshelves.  And it is becoming apparent that I have more books than space.  Not that that's a big surprise.  The Spawn has two bookshelves and we used two other bookshelves for kitchen things, so I'm down four bookshelves.  But still, it *is* an impressive amount of books.  Especially since books cost so much here that we acquire books at a much slower pace than I would if we lived in the US.  And we are lacking all the books I lost in the divorce all those years ago.  (Nope, I still haven't replaced them. And yes, I sometimes spend an hour looking for a book only to realize that I don't have it any more.)

Love it!  Want it!

Someday I will have enough bookshelves.  I will never have enough books.  But if I could keep up with enough bookshelves, I'll be a satisfied woman.

So slowly I'm working my way through the house, organizing and cleaning.  

And if I can get this much done in just one day, I might just have the house in order within a year!

There will be bookshelves and boxes with labels and file cabinets with color coded tabs!

Oh, *swoon* bliss!!

(Yes, I do realize that this much joy surrounding organization suggests an illness.  But you gotta admit, of all the illnesses to have, one that causes you to organize and clean is really not that bad.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Best and Worst of Advice

Now I know that having a child is an invitation for universal, unending, unsolicited advice.  What, you thought that because it’s your child, you were the expert on it?  No, no no, having a child means you are an expert on other people’s children and other people are experts on your child.  You cannot be the expert on your own child.  It’s just not how it works.   So it does seem a little silly to be complaining about the buttloads of advice we now receive, because we knew we were in for it... but come on, it’s hilarious half the time!  I really must share!

So don’t think of this as a lament, think of it as a celebration of the absurd.

And if I had to narrow it down to the best and worst of advice I've gotten so far, it would be regarding my child's eating habits.

Yeah, she's not even 10 months old and already people are picking on her eating habits.

My child is an enthusiastic eater.  Wait, correct that, she's enthusiastic about food.  Not so much the eating of it, but the rubbing it all over the place, feeding the cat, the DB, the AG, the floor (which used to get so hungry, but thank god we had a baby, now the floor will never go hungry again!), putting some in her hair for later, in her nose for a midnight snack, and in her ears for, well, god knows when she'll eat the stuff she put in her ears... or it could be to use as ear plugs because the DB and I both snore.

But so does the cat!!

I'm such a tattle-tale.

Anyway, apart from being cute and annoying at the same time, cute because hair sticking out with mashed carrots in it is just cute and annoying because dammit I just washed the child and now it's like I dipped her in egg and rolled her in bread crumbs (I could tempura the heck out of the Spawn), I don't really have any problem with how we spend meal times.

This, however, does not stop the advice from coming in.

Best advice ever: There are clean babies and there are happy babies.

Okay, maybe it's not advice, per se, but it's a great rule to live by nonetheless.  And evidenced by my furiously happy (read: not clean) child.

Worst advice ever: You should hold her arms down so she can't touch the food.

Wait, what?  Are you suggesting I pin the arms of my child down so she can't a) examine the stuff I'm trying to stick in her face b) help learn to feed herself c) move?  Can we talk about great ways to introduce food issues at a young age?  Because I think you may be on to something here!

I'll cut the advice giver some slack, she's over 85 after all and it was a different time.  But it's still the funniest awful advice I've ever heard.

Saturday, January 07, 2012


Get your own fairy names from The Fairy Name Generator!My fairy name is Moth Reedwand
She plays reed pipes and sings spellbinding songs.
She lives close to caverns and stalactite grottoes.
She can only be seen when the seeker holds a four-leafed clover.
She wears dresses stitched with crystals and has deep green butterfly wings.
Get your own fairy names from The Fairy Name Generator!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

And that's the first and last time I make a resolution

I normally don't make New Year's resolutions.  There's nothing that I want to change about myself that I put off doing or need some sort of arbitrary date to say "hey, NOW I'm going to do That Thing I Said I'd Do But Don't."

For the things I've needed to do, most of the time they came with their own deadline that was WAY more scary than some New Year's promise to myself.

But this [last] year was different.

This [last] year I spent the twilight months whining about the little pokey belly I have left over from pregnancy.  It's little.  It's pokey.  It pokes out like I'm three months pregnant.  And I'm not.  I'm SO NOT.  So, I'm WAY over it.  Everything else about my post-pregnant body I'm totally cool with.

150 lbs (68.6 kg)?  Sure.
Balloons for boobs?  Both inflated and sometimes not so inflated? Sure.
Stretch marks?  Whatever.
1,001 new let's-call-them-beauty-marks-and-not-moles-'kay? Fine.
Thighs to finally go with women's shorts/jeans/trousers?  Oh, hell yes, thank you pregnancy!
Hips?  Hey!  Whoot!  HIPS!!  Hip hip hooray!

From the front I look like a normal woman.  Heck, from the back I look like a normal woman (hello sexy butt!)!  But then I turn sideways and it's all, wait, what is that?  It's like I'm carrying the keg they normally hang around the neck of a St. Bernard around my waist under my shirt.

And it throws off EVERYTHING.  Pants have to be big enough to go around it or low cut enough to go under it.  The problem with low cut pants is plumber butt AND the waist band then acts like an underwire bra for my belly, pushing it up and out.  Oh, if only men were turned on by stomach cleavage.  Shirts have to be loose enough to not accentuate the belly, but shouldn't look like I'm wearing a tent.  I'm still wearing a handful of maternity shirts, only a few of them I had to quit wearing because they were too tight.  How messed up is that?  And sweaters... well, I can't button up a single cardigan without looking like I'm going to fire off a button at some poor unsuspecting bystander.

So the belly had to go.

But when do you start something like that?  If I lived in Hollywood, the answer would be "30 seconds after popping out the child" but I'm a normal gal with a normal aversion to exercise, so obviously I put it off because I needed the extra fat for lactation.  Obviously.

Roll in the New Year.

"Aha!" thought I, "I will begin my exercise program as a New Year's Resolution!  I will begin to work on the belly and I will not stop until it is gone or I can button a cardigan!  Whichever comes first because I HATE sit-ups."

I googled a bunch of exercises aimed at toning my core (as if I'm some apple or pear and not, as I believe myself to be, an avocado).  I commandeered a blanket to use as my mat.  I began my exercises on January 1st and successfully did 30 kegels, 30 scrunches (or whatever you call those half sit-ups, because I'm not strong enough to do proper sit-ups) and 10 leg lifts.

I did not get a "high" from working out, as some people breathlessly tell you.  "Oh, I just love a good workout!" they gush "The endorphins from 30 minutes of rapid movement is just SO FANTASTIC!"

I have never felt a rush from working out.  Frankly, I think people who do are just suffering from a lack of oxygen during their exercises.  That's not endorphins, you fools, it's brain cells dying at a rapid rate because you aren't breathing enough!

But anyway, there I was, doing my bit to lose a belly.

And it was all going swimmingly until yesterday when I was picking up some groceries and felt a *pop* followed by waves a pain throughout my chest. I'd dislocated a rib.

Probably because my new chest muscles are just that ripping.

Or possibly because the cough I'd developed over the last few days was nice chest rattler and every cough threatened to dislodge a lung.  Maybe it loosened a rib instead.

Or maybe my body was all "exercise if for assholes" and decided to do something about it.

I don't know.  All I know is that I can't lift much, bend over much, or breath deeply.

So much for my exercise regime.

So much for my New Year's Resolution.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

The wind against your cheek...

...was the holiday season FLYING past.

Holy Crap, what was that?

Hope your holidays were filled with laughter and light and the coming year be filled with joy and wealth (of the spirit and the pocketbook)!