Wednesday, August 28, 2013

aca awkward

have you ever been in that conversation with that one person who doesn't know when the conversation ended for you?  there are natural and progressive parts of a conversation and if you have any social skills at all, you know exactly that point that i'm talking about.  travis and i used to call it the three taps.  it's where a conversation has a natural break and that's the non-awkward time for someone to hang up the phone, walk away, drive off, whatever is appropriate.

yesterday, i had the pleasure of chatting with someone who has never heard of this concept in her life.  or if she has, she was doing an amazing job of hiding it.  the initial conversation was normal, had to do with our kids who are the same age and what extra curricular activities they were going to be involved in this year.  normal.  once i had answered her initial question and appropriately discussed the topic, she could have walked away.  she didn't.  she stood in the doorway and waited.  then began telling me all about their family history, their background, their goals and past conversations and a bunch of information i didn't want to know.  i wasn't asking additional questions.  i was hardly looking at her.  she JUST.KEPT.GOING.

mandy and i like to mess with each other when this stuff happens ... i'll send her a facebook message, she'll send me a text, whatever we do - we avoid eye contact at all costs...for fear that we'll bust up laughing.  so when i hear my phone buzz, i know it's her.  it's her messing with me.  i read the text.  doing my best to control my laughter when i read, "I mean...what?  You wanted to know his sports history, right?!" 

it was aca awkward.  it was super awkward.  she didn't walk away.  she didn't leave.  she lingered.  how do people not have social skills?!  even my cat knows when i stop petting him to jump down and find someone else to love on.

being aware of concepts like this is probably how people make it past acquaintance and into friend in my world.  that's probably not true.  i think about the people that i consider to be my best friends and wonder how they made it past my wall of, "mmmeehh - i have enough friends," my beliefs that would make a nun blush, and my comments that would cause the cast of SNL to grab a pen and paper.

i'm pretty convinced people who have this delusion that everyone wants to hear what they think, or hear their voices in general, didn't have parents like me.  they probably never heard their mother tell them to stop talking, they probably never experienced a family game night where it was ok that a child lost, they probably never had their parents play cards with another family until the wee hours of the morning - kids banished to the living room with age appropriate games, nintendo, or tv ... they never had to sit through a church service with nothing more than a bulletin, pencil and stick of Big Red to get them through the "boring parts"....

as a parent, i hope to tolerate and listen to (and have) a little more frivolous dialogue, but not to the point that my kids become the one who lingers as an adult with no concept of when to walk away.  whether it's walking away from a relationship, a friendship, a job, or a simple conversation - i hope that they will catch a little bit of the hollie hardass snark ...  that name is a gift from one of my bff's, and it probably fits...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Demolition Derby Details

Call it a whim, call it a lapse in judgement, I agreed to make a trek to Colfax, IA last weekend for a fantabulous night at their local demolition derby.

I have three boys and two men that are constantly in my life, so none of this seems like a stretch for me.  They do crap I want to all the time, they take me places, they spend their money doing a bunch of stuff they don't really want to, but they do it to appease me.  So I've convinced myself that I can do this, that I can sit on some bleachers watching cars crash into eachother, sling a little mud and head home for the night.  Plus, the entire night was going to cost all of $20.  I can't take my family to McDonald's for less than that ...

We get to Colfax and everyone is hungry, the initial plan was to grab McDonald's on the way into town - but the boys had just had that last night, and the thought of spending 80 points on whatever meal I got didn't appeal to me.  I was being a brat and throwing a tantrum and wanted to find something else.  Google told me there is a pizza place, a Subway, a McDonalds and a diner of some sort ... the pizza place had a 45 minute wait so we went in search of Subway. 

We found Subway, ordered, sat down, and I was about 5 inches into my footlong and I couldn't chew.  I didn't have to keep going to know what was in my mouth.  A piece of fatty, ligament, nasty, hard, whatever the hell it's called meat filler in my mouth.  I get the chills, I am seriously ready to throw up.  C'mon.  I do the right thing, I order a turkey sub with spinach and cucumber and THIS is the thanks I get!??!  This is horseshit.

Annoyed, I refuse to take another bite, reminding myself that next time I'll get a cheese sandwich...or a veggie delite...something that would have less chance of making me want to vomit. 

We make our way to the derby.  pay our admission, drive down the gravel road and I feel like fell bass ackwards into a country song.  I have never, ever, in my life seen so many pickup trucks, cans of bush light, or people smoking their cigarettes in my entire life.  I swallowed - hard.  Trying to be excited, trying to be happy, trying to be fun, trying to be a good sport.  I realized, almost instantly, that we should have came straight to the fairgrounds rather than getting dinner.  Afterall, the most expensive item on their concession stand was like $2 - a helluva lot cheaper than my wretched subway.  Turns out, everyone gets to back their pickup trucks directly up to the gates and enjoy the show from the bed of their truck.  There are four small sets of bleachers that are completely full - I mean, COMPLETELY full.  We walk around the arena and come across a spot that has room for about two adults, we are about to fit three adults and three children.  Travis asks the guy right behind the spot if the seats are taken and he tells us to go ahead and sit down.

Lady on the lawn chair next to the bleachers starts objecting, telling me that these seats are taken.  Now, I would love to tell you that SHE was being irrational, that SHE was being unreasonable, but this blog is loaded with honesty and I see no reason to stop that now.  It was ME who was irrational and unreasonable.  I felt like I just walked through a ring of fire (which was actually just cigarette smoke and spilled beer) - I could hear the intro to the tom petty song "wont back down" and if I was about to throw down over these seats.  Just before I was able to prove that despite my brushed teeth, washed hair, and clothing that appropriately covers my body, I will get loud, I will get crazy and I have NO problem being mean, her husband interjects and tells her that he didn't mind giving up his seat, that, "these people have small kids and need a place to sit"  I apologized to her for the things I did and didn't say, she apologized too.

This was not my element - it really, REALLY wasn't.  There was far too much smoking for my liking, we were outside and it felt like everyone was smoking and blowing their smoke right at me and my kids.  I was frustrated by the parents who were holding their babies and smoking at the same time.  I was really irritated that the "officials" or flag people were chain smoking - one right after another! They are like the "cool people" that all of the kids are watching and they have a flag in one hand, cig in another.  Gross.  I was annoyed that people had their newborn babies out at this event, I was annoyed that the "DJ" had a playlist with the same four songs that were playing over and over and over again, I was REALLY annoyed that the theme of the derby was "Get Smashed in Colfax" - my kids wanted t-shirts and THAT wasn't going to happen.

Truth be told, it was a stretch to get the boys to look at me long enough to take the pictures and the biggest two wouldn't look at me.  whatever.  so they had a good time.  the youngest two asked to go to the car with two heats left ... it was about 9pm and was getting dark and I held the boys' hands and made the long trek back to the mini van... it's funny though, every thing I've said about this derby and I would tell you that I wasn't nervous at all while walking two kids by myself in a field of pickup trucks and wrangler jeans ... i figured, in general, the most trouble I would have found was with lawn chair lady, and that was hours ago....and I was right.

There are a million songs about trucks, coon hounds, country back roads, good ol' boys, tailgates and tan lines and I know a good many of them.  someday, local fair grounds will join the rest of iowa in being a smoke free event.  Until then, I'll take solace in the fact that my boys were disgusted by the smoking almost as much as I was ... and when you ask them what they remember about Saturday night, they talk about cars and mini vans crashing into each maybe they weren't in culture shock, maybe they'll be just fine if they have this much exposure to THIS breed of redneck once or twice a year....

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Twenty Ten Baby

Once upon a time I was pregnant and was drinking 100 ounces of water to keep my blood pressure low so i didn't have to have a baby earlier than i wanted to.  I had a doctors appointment on Wed the 18th, was told by the doctor to stay home the 19th because he wanted to recheck my levels the next day once I had rested...went in on the 19th and they redrew labs.  I figured the next step was bed rest, I didn't figure a baby.

I got The Osborn Call that evening when my labs came back, telling me that while my blood pressure and swelling were amazing, my platelets were not.  damn.  surgery the next day.  I remember asking him if it was too early.  I was only 35 weeks pregnant.  he said we'd just have to see.

The next morning, my 7 pound, 15.4 ounce baby was born via csection.

I loved my OB - he was great - after months of promising me that he would get me some valium to calm me down before the spinal - he laughed, said I was fine and that he must have lied to me, but that i'm here and i'm doing great so we're going to keep going.  WHAT?!!?  The ONLY reason I was fine was because I was supposed to have SOME type of anti anxiety medication and I got a the dr who I had seen through three high risk pregnancies and 8 years of exams is laughing at me.  I was floored.  All in all, he was right, I was fine. 

A few hours after he was born I noticed that he was grunting - like a little piggy - I mentioned it to the nurse and she said she would check his oxygen levels.  Turns out grunting in infants is a sign of respiratory distress....they moved him to the NICU before anyone met him. 

I had to fight tooth and nail to do things that I knew as a mother to do - breastfeed, hold him, see him.  And made the swift decision that no one was meeting him until my older boys had.  (Have I ever told you how good I am at making waves??)  Grandma's and Grandpa's were irate, friends were bummed and I was clenching to this one.last.thing. that it felt I was in control over. 

Two days later he was discharged back to the "regular" nursery because my pediatrician is amazing.  my business partner and budding best friend came later that evening to visit and to tell me that she quit her job with the wicked witch of the west via was probably the best evening in the hospital i've ever had :)

About Aaron:

~ he could not have been an Ace or Apollo
~ he is the baby of the family, however is afraid of no one.  brothers be dammed.
~ he will tell on you, even if you think he wont
~ he loves tractors, fast cars, helicopters and every sport possible
~ he loves rollerblades and will tell you all about how he is going to pway bwasebawl soon
~ he loves water, swimming, sprinklers and playing in daycare's drinking fountain
~ he loves food, but generally refuses to sit still during a meal
~ he bites - a lot.
~ he is EXTREMELY ticklish
~ he is EXTREMELY tall and SO thin
~ he has EXTREMELY large feet
~ he rarely will poop in the potty (though he's pretty perfect with pee!)
~ he loves his binky - still.  AND his daddy has decided that he's done with it today.  (mean ol' daddy)

You are indecisive but can be persuaded with logic and reason most of the time.  you don't respond to someone yelling/hollering at you, this makes you shut down.  you are the biggest helper when it comes to cleaning and picking up - you are always insisting that SOMEONE let you help in SOME way...

Aaron, you have your mother's infectious laugh and your fathers sense of adventure.  My predictions about you:  saying goodbye to the binky will be REALLY hard for you.  you will be my tallest child.  you will be trouble for us, you aren't afraid of ANYTHING.  I cannot remember a time when you weren't in our lives.  We love you SO much and are SO happy that we decided to have just one more baby :)  As soon as you were born I felt whole, I felt soul needed you and I'm so happy that I have you.

Monday, August 19, 2013

you're just like your mother.

from the day austin was born I have been told how much like Travis he is.  He looks like him, thinks like him, acts like him ... does everything justlikehim.  right, we get it, he's his father's child.  i get it.  say it again and see what happens.

at a family reunion in nowhere'sville, iowa I was watching my kids play on the park ...for the record, I was also watching my nieces and most of the family's kids ages 7 and under because, well, they weren't and I was trying to make sure no one kidnapped anyone.  i had some sweet scenarios playing out in my head, by the way, of how i would stop the would be assailant.  more to come on that.

This 6ish year old boy walks up to my three boys, who were playing with their two soccer balls and yanks one out of my 7 year old's hands.  I'm sitting across the grassy area in a park bench, watching - waiting for his mother to jump up and intervene and no woman appears - of course she doesn't, why would she?  so austin tells the boy what he's playing and the boy starts yelling that he's not playing that game....he's playing his own game.  austin tells him that it's not the parks ball - it's his ball and he doesn't want to share with him.  still no mother?  seriously?  i mean, i'm about to get all east side on this kid because his parents aren't stepping forward and i'm not a fan of the fact that he's acting like a douche in front of my younger boys, who are watching austin to see how he handles it.

austin looks up, makes eye contact with me, looks at the kid, snatches the ball out of his hand and tells him he can find someone else to play with because, "WE dont want to play with you."  and follows with "this is my ball,  these are my brothers, and that is my mom if you don't like it."  white trash mother enters, stage left.  charging up on the group of boys like she has someone's honor to avenge (to be clear, she couldn't spell honor, and IF she could spell avenge, it's only because her kid made her buy every avengers figurine that the wal-mart had...) halfway drags her little boy off, telling him SOME kids aren't nice and he shouldn't WANT to play with boys who aren't nice.  austin looks up at me and shrugs - i crack up laughing.  

crazy mothers - funny.

the next round of him being like me was in the car on the way home - i am an incessant about flipping through radio stations.  you know how your husband flips through tv channels?  and you're thinking "JUST LEAVE IT!  PICK SOMETHING before I stab you with the closest object that will penetrate flesh!!!"  right - that's me with the radio.  I flip, sing, commercial, flip, flip, flip, sing, commercial, scan, flip, flip, scan, sing -  i'm awful.  truthfully, i'm not sure how my husband can tolerate it.  my not-always-so-sweet seven year old has inherited these traits and is executing them perfectly.  he sings right with me to every song on the radio (my brio magazine upbringing tells me to proceed with caution, my desire to listen to country music says brio sucks, that she's probably still pretending to be a virgin and that i should listen to whatever i want, because serial killers are rarely wearing cowboy hats in their mug shots...).  i hope to record/video tape him singing cruise by florida georgia line soon ... because it's adorable. 

i love him.  even if i the only indication i have that he is mine are his blue eyes, big attitude, and incessant flipping/singing every lyric that he does know and making up the ones he doesn't.  i got the important things.