< Upheaval: August 2005

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A picture and some lunch

The best lunch today is a turkey and pepper jack cheese sandwich on wheat bread, with spicy mustard, guacamole, and fresh sliced tomato. It is perfectly complemented with a tall icy glass of chocolate milk. As soon as it is in my belly, I am going to take a short afternoon nap so I won't be irritable at class today. :)

Also, a friend took some maternity pictures of me this weekend. This is the best of the bunch. What soccer ball??? I don't see a soccer ball!

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I'm, like, a college student!

School started for me today! I actually dusted off my backpack and carried it with me. All it had in it was gum and a pen, but I felt like a real student!

I guess the stress of going back to school made me a tad irritable. Today, the bane of my existance was phone conversations. Not conversations that I had, but those that I was subjected to.

I had about 45 minutes to kill between classes, so I sat on a couch in a lobby and read. Someone would walk through the door and say "Hey!" pretty loudly. I would look up to see who was saying hi to me (um, you know, cause I am so popular), only to realize that they were shouting into their phone. Everyone talks on the phone! I hate talking on the phone! Other people should too!

Another irritating thing was something one of the phone talkers said. She said "Cool beans." I am not kidding. Do people say that anymore? For the record, I never said it "back in the day" because it doesn't make sense, but really - do people say that still???

I puzzled over that for a while, till she interrupted her conversation to say "Hey, lemme check out who just text messaged me!" She then looked at her phone, laughed obnoxiously, got back on the phone and told the person what her message said. Then she laughed obnoxiously loud and said she had another call, and could the other person please "Hang for a sec." Then she clicked over. Then she said "Lemmecallyaback!" before hanging up on the interrupter.

This entire conversation was had within about two feet of me, since she had joined me on the couch. After reading the same sentence about 18 times, I decided to put my book away and go ahead to class, even though I would be geekishly early.

Cool beans, huh?

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Aw, spit!

**Warning: The following story may alter the way you feel about me. I am not normally a gross person, but this event makes me seem generally unhygienic.**
When I drink ice cold water at night before bed, and after brushing my teeth, I often wake up in the middle of the night with a bad taste in my mouth. I drink a lot of water, and the bad taste isn't usually enough to deter me from drinking water. However, after the events of last night, perhaps I need to reconsider.
Last night, in my dream, I was brushing my teeth. I have a fancy electric toothbrush which oscillates around and stirs up lots of saliva and toothpaste bubbles. I was going from sink to sink in my bathroom (apparently, I have about 75 sinks) looking for a place to spit. The problem was that each sink was filled up with stuff!
One had some clean clothes in it. Another had a car motor. Another sink had dirty dishes. Etc, etc... Well, the spit and toothpaste bubbles are building up in my mouth, and I am starting to panic that there won't be a place to spit. Finally, I spot an empty sink! I run over to the sink, bend over, and, YOU GUESSED IT... spit all over my pillow.
Not drool.
No, that is normal.
How nasty is that??? Luckily I sleep with about six pillows these days, so the slobbery one got tossed onto the floor and a fresh one took its place.
The sad thing is, this is not the first time that I have spit in my sleep. Maybe I should quit drinking the water, cause I am pretty sure that is what causes me to want to spit.
So, I have just confessed an embarrassing and abnormal behavior. We all have them - what is yours???

Friday, August 26, 2005

Lucky Sevens

I tweaked this a little, but got tagged by Jemmers. I didn't tag ANYONE, so don't be scared. Just thought you might want something new to read today...

7 things I plan to do before I die
1. Take another breath
2. Squeeze this baby out
3. Be a good momma
4. Get a job that I love
5. Make a difference
6. Go swimming in the Virgin Islands
7. Drink a margarita with salt on the rim (hey! It has been a LONG nine months!)

7 things I can do
1. Clean my house
2. Cook
3. Take care of Daniel
4. Read
5. Relate to kids
6. Change a flat tire
7. Make jam

7 things I cannot do
1. Watch two movies in a row
2. Suck my stomach in
3. Whistle
4. Eat asparagus
5. Share ice cream
6. Ignore my sweet dog, Tux
7. Resist clearance sales

7 things that attract me to Daniel
1. Humor
2. Kindness
3. Smile
4. Sexy SWAT uniform
5. Emotional stability (in direct contrast to myself)
6. Good triceps
7. Strong work ethic

7 things that I say most often
1. Whatever!
2. Dannnnnieelllllll! (usually from the bathtub when I need something)
3. I gotta check my email.
4. Tux! Wanna go outside? HUH? Do ya?
5. That makes me sooooo sad. (say the "sooooo sad" part in a sing-y voice - it makes Tux cock his head funny and it makes Daniel laugh)
6. Did you get on this couch? (to Tux, which makes him slink off under the end table)
7. What? (say this as fast as you can, like it is the shortest word ever.)

7 celebrity crushes
1. Jesse Metcalfe (come do my yardwork ANYTIME!)
2. Owen Wilson
3. Rascal Flatts (I don’t wanna look at ‘em, just hear ‘em)
4. George Strait (I do wanna look at him, and hear him, too!)
5. Kevin James
6. Matthew Perry
7. Matt LeBlanc (I know, I need some new crushes...)

7 songs I love right now
1. You’ll Be There by George
2. The Woman with You by Kenny
3. Get it Poppin’ by Fat Joe and Nelly
4. If You Want Me To by Ginny Owens
5. Restless by Alison Kraus and Union Station
6. Mississippi Girl by Faith Hill
7. Landed by Ben Folds

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The sweetest day

Daniel and I have been frantically trying to "date each other" today. I think we both sense the end of that era closing in on us, so we are trying to hurry up and have fun being a couple.

Today, we went to a local spring-fed lake. Camp Tonkawa Springs is a popular hangout for college kids and families during the summer, but today we were the only ones there. We took water, grapes, and some magazines. We swam in the clear, frigid water and then dried off in the sun. It was really fun and relaxing. I kept thinking, "We should have done this more often!"

Then tonight, we went and ate Messican food and rented a scary movie. Not that we will cuddle up to watch it or anything, because, there ain't no cuddlin' goin' on with me! But the fact that I am going to watch a movie is a big deal in itself, since that is one of my least favorite pasttimes. We picked up a TCBY that got melty in the car. It is re-freezing as I type.

We have just had a good time being "Daniel and Amanda." I know that years from now I will remember the sweetness of today, and the time we spent together. It is important to appreciate being us before our "us" gets bigger.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I don't usually do this, but I think it is hilarious!

I love Dave Barry. He makes me laugh out loud. A lot. A lot a lot a lot.

This is one of the first columns he ever wrote. A dad's perspective on natural childbirth. Of course, it is relevant to us right now, but print it and keep it, cause you may need it someday, too!


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Monday, August 22, 2005

My Very Own Quick Mart

Six months ago, I would have told you that convenience stores are anything but convenient. The prices are really high, they have old inventory, and they carry questionable brands and items.

But my opinion has changed.

There is a store right around the corner from our house. They sell Exxon gas and Icees just like the rest of 'em, but THESE PEOPLE LOVE DANIEL AND ME (yes, that is gramatically correct). They run a tab for us from month to month so we don't have to buy gas every week. We just make a big payment at the end of the month. They keep me full of Icees. When my neighbor and I go for walks, the clerk chases us down with free bottles of water.

A few months ago, I was pretty whiney because I couldn't find Now n' Later candy ANYWHERE. I was really wanting some. I checked Walmart, Eckerds, Kroger... no luck. I mentioned my troubles to the convenience store owner, and he ordered some for me. It was on the shelves the very next day.

Better than all of that, here is what happened tonight:

I stopped in to buy milk. I KNOW! GROSS! Milk from a convenience store? But, no. This milk is excellent (Borden), and always has a good amount of time before it expires. They sell whole milk and 2%, but don't carry skim. But WAIT! I asked the clerk and he said he would be happy to order some and keep it in stock for us! Yes, it is a few cents more than it would be if I went to the supermarket, but think of the gas I am saving! I think it all works out.

This is what being in a small town is all about. These guys invite us to barbeques and give us great customer service. In return, I don't buy gas anywhere else in town and they even have me checking out their supply of "Dye-pers."

Don't you wish you lived here, too?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Dillon's room

We are finally done with the baby room, and I am so proud!

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My dad and Daniel stripped and stained the dresser to match the crib and changing table.
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Daniel's mother made all of our bedding, recovered the chair, made a changing table cover and a diaper stacker. It looks amazing!
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My mother helped me decorate with cars and trains, made curtains, and painted the wall plaid. My sister painted picture frames to match the fabric in the bedding. This was truly a family effort! All we need now is a baby!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Advertising attempt

You know how, when you go to Red Lobster, you scarf about six of those Cheddar Bay biscuits before your food even gets to the table? Then you choke down whatever seafood you ordered, cause it is so darn expensive and you feel bad for filling up on the free stuff?

Well, I would like to solve your problem. Let's cut out the middle man.

We all know that the restaurant itself is just the middle man. Would you really go there if it weren't for the biscuits, or would you just pick any other ol' seafood place?

Let me introduce you to Pillsbury Oven-Baked Cheddar Garlic biscuits. These biscuits come in a freezer bag, so you can cook 1 or 2 or 10 at a time. They taste so much like the R.L.C.B. biscuits, that I have decided that this is what R.L. is really giving us.

So go get some!

And, Pillsbury, I am watching for my commission check in the mail.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Honey dos and honey don'ts

Daniel has created for himself a mammoth list of things to do. These things vary from "mow the yard" to "pay off vet bill." I have added a few things to his list, but the majority of these projects are his own. I think it is his way of handling his baby anxiety, but that is beside the point.

I knew my sweetheart had a lot to do today, so I came home from work to help him work in the yard and get a few things accomplished. (My list is short, and continues getting shorter because I work on it.)

Imagine my surprise when I pulled up to my house, and cannot park in the driveway because of the extra vehicles there. I cannot pull into the carport because a circular saw and multiple pieces of wood are strewn about.

I admit, I am a little naive as I think, "Maybe he and his friends are building me shelves for my laundry room! Not on his list, but definitely something he has been telling me he would do for a while!"

The boys are standing around the carport sweating. I walk closer, then realize the extent of my naivity. They are building washer boards. OF COURSE! Just what we have needed.

It must have been in the fine print at the bottom of his list.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Another shopping expedition

Alright. I realize that this is the second time that I have posted on this, and many of you probably think I should change my shopping habits. I would like for you to realize that I live in a town that is (.) this big, and my options are limited. So, I continue to torment myself.

Yesterday, my friend and I went shopping at Hobby Lobby. I am in the market for some baby announcements, and thought I would get a jump start on that job.

Scrapbooking stuff is half-price this week, so we were browsing stickers and 12 X 12 paper. I found several printed papers that I liked and I carefully counted each one out. 23 pages is what I ended up with because I got all that they had of the three prints I like.

As we neared the register, I became saddened by the thought of the cashier's dirty hands on my papers. I counted them again, carefully, so that she wouldn't have to.

When it was my turn, I announced: I have 23 of these 12X12 papers.

She said: Okay. Aren't they 4 for $1? (Remember, Hobby Lobby does not have scanners! They have registers from 1981!)

I (hesitantly) said: No, ma'am. They are 2 for $1. (Honesty, people. That is the key!)

She said: Oh. Well, lemme see.

(insert abrasive Psycho knife-stabbing tune here)

The cashier LICKED HER FINGER, and, oblivious to my dry heaving, touched every single paper in my stack as she counted them.

I was hyperventilating, and my friend was laughing hysterically at some Party Poppers she found at the checkout display. Not that Party Poppers are funny, but she had to have something to distract herself from my reaction.

My pretty papers each had a bent corner with a tiny smudge of checker-saliva-and-dirt.

The cashier looked up and said: I got 24.

Are. You. Kidding. Me?

I could have been dishonest and let her charge me half of what the paper was worth, and she is going to fight me over ONE SHEET.

I said: No, ma'am. There are 23. I counted them twice.

She said: Well, I can count 'em again...

And I said, dejectedly: Noooo...that's okay.

Once again, I left Hobby Lobby close to tears. So, when your cute little announcement comes in the mail, handle it with care. And you don't have to keep it. I'm not keeping mine.

Say what???

Daniel's brother (R) and his wife (C) are home from England, and we got to see them this weekend while we were visiting my in-laws. One of R's obsessions is his 1964 Mini Cooper which the Air Force shipped home for him. R hasn't had time to get it registered, so it isn't street legal yet, but the boys took it out anyway.

Daniel was begging R to let him drive it, and this was his arguement:

"Man, you let me drive it in England, and that is where the streets are on the other side of the road!"

Um, yeah. Lets not let HIM drive.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Man, I feel like a ... woman?

In light of the heat and weight of this summer, my pace of life has slowed significantly over the past few weeks. However, tonight, I had a surge of excitement that made my heart race and caused my swollen feet to move quickly as well.

Daniel is working, so I am home alone with Tux (the inside dog) and Bo (the outside dog). I was reclined on the sofa, weeping through the end of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Tux was reclined on his doggie bed, and Bo was barking endlessly outside. On a commercial break, I fed both of the boys, thinking that Bo would at least pause in his incessant noisemaking.

I was wrong. He inhaled his food, then continued to bark. I peeked into the backyard to see him hunched over a small spot of grass. He was barking/coughing furiously at the ground. I had flashbacks to this, so I yanked the door open and waddled out into the yard to see what was wrong.

Bo had a friend - a small, furry, yellow-toothed gopher. He was alternately barking at it from one inch away and then grabbing it and tossing it playfully in the air.

Being the calm and poised person that I am, I screamed and then started chasing the dog away from the gopher. Through no fault of my own, I exercised parts of my vocabulary that are reserved for VERY special occasions. I am sure the neighbors are talking badly about me tonight.

I waddled quickly around to the front yard to get a shovel and called Daniel on the phone at the same time. He didn't answer. Then I went back into the backyard and proceeded to beat the snot out of the gopher. The phone rang, and I answered while beating the rodent. He convulsed. Bo barked. He gnashed his big nasty teeth. Bo barked more. I chopped at the gopher, screaming ugly words the whole time. I forgot that I was on the phone. Daniel heard this:

A: Ahhhhhhh! (wham) Yuck! Bo, put it down. You little s***! Get away! (wham) AAAHHHHHH! ewewewewew! Get the hell away from that THING! BO! YUCKYUCK! Oh my gosh. YUCK.

Needless to say, Daniel thought something nasty and pregnancy-related had happened so he sped home to save the day. To his surprise, he found me beaming with pride in the carport, guarding a little mound of dead rodent with a giant shovel.

I am pretty sure he has never been prouder.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Redneck Parenting, Episode 3

Tuesday was our last parenting class. We got certificates, so I guess we are all Certified Parents. Wahoo! It is a little bit disconcerting that some of these people passed, though. Here are some enlightening things that were said ALOUD in class:

"I think breastfeeding is soooooo nasty."

A: Great! Have an opinion, why don't you, but let's NOT share it when the lactation consultant is visiting.

"Can we tan while we breastfeed?"

A: Probably not at the same time.

"I used to have my nipples pierced. Is that going to affect my breastfeeding ability?"

A: Yes. Your breasts are now the sprinklers from hell. You should have listened to your mama.

"I got dogs at my house, and they are my babies! If I brang this baby home and they don't like her, somethin' is gonna have to go! And it AIN'T gonna be the dogs!"

A: Probably something that should have been considered about 9 months ago. Thank you though, for opening your redneck mouth and confirming your intellect.

Anyway, the classes are over. We are all released upon the world. I know I am not going to be a perfect parent, but I can't help but think that I have one thing over on these women who are mostly concerned about joining Weight Watchers the day after birth. Maybe the baby needs to come first for a while, ya think?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

All apologies

I have insulted a friend. I hate when I do that. Usually it is my witty comebacks that get me in trouble, and this is no exception. I told "Ben" that Minnesota is an armpit. That is apparently a derogatory term up north. Let me explain.

Armpits are necessary. They keep your arm connected to your torso. They are useful for holding things when your hands are full. If you are skinny, and you stand on your head, you could fill your armpits with liquid. Armpits get a bad rap (wrap?) because they have to wear special odor protectants (normal antiperspirant, or sometimes antibacterial soap), but that is just because armpits are so busy.

As penance to "Ben," I found out some interesting facts about Minnesota that would make any Texan hop on his horse and ride up there to live. Here are some of the tantalizing tidbits:

1) Minnesota's state motto is Fatti L'Etoile du Nord. This doesn't have anything to do with fat toilets, so don't even go there. It means "The North Star." That is going to become my motto, too. Because, you know, when the going gets tough, "the north star."

2) Minnesota is also known as the gopher state. Now, in Texas, gophers are annoying yard pests that drive my husband to drinkin', but apparently, they are highly revered in Minnesota. They are proud of them! Go Gophers!

3) In Minnesota, they are hard on crime. For instance, the following is an actual law on the books in this state. Daniel would have a heyday!

It is illegal for a woman to appear on the street dressed as Santa Claus.

What about the sidewalks though? That is where our problem is in Texas. Not so much the streets, but the sidewalks.

4) Another really cool thing is the sheer number of lakes in this state. No wonder "Ben" is always fishing.

That is really all I could come up with. I challenge you to add to the list! First, to bolster "Ben's" self-esteem, and second, because I want a lot of comments.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Life Goals

Daniel took me to Tyler (a huge metropolis to our north) last weekend to get some last minute things for baby, such as a stroller and carseat. One of my favorite things about bigger cities than mine is the everpresent Jason's Deli that is inevitably right around the corner from where we are shopping.

I love Jason's Deli. I get a turkey wrap with fruit, and a sweet tea. Then I get two complementary yellow muffins and two complementary brown muffins to eat with my meal. Then I finish the whole thing off with a low-fat ice cream cone. Yes, it is a bit ritualistic, but that is sort of how I am.

Life is good at Jason's Deli. It is so good, that if you enjoy life to the age of 99, you get to eat there free. ALL THE TIME.

I don't have a lot of really ambitious goals in life, but living to be that age, and living right beside a Jason's Deli are two of my goals. It keeps me going on tough days. Really!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Note to self

Dear Amanda Sue,

There is the saddest form of abuse going on right now. It is called "self-abuse," and I think we should discuss it.

Let's say it is a Thursday evening, and in your nightly inspection-of-body, you notice a tiny, microscopic white dot on your chest. This happens to be located right in the middle of your chest, where flesh lies close to bone, and there is not the cheery cushion of fat that there is elsewhere on your body. The tiny dot does not look to be full of ghastly fluids, but is just an irritated pore.

The thing to do is merely dab it with some alcohol and go to bed. Don't touch it.

Apparently, touching it leads down the path of no return. It leads to a four-day obsession.

Touching leads to squeezing it, just a little.
Then maybe poking it with a needle, and then squeezing it again.
Then putting ice on it, and rubbing a partially dissolved aspirin on it to reduce the swelling.
Then scrubbing it with your Clinque facial cream and staring at it in the mirror to see if it goes away.
Then putting Neosporin on it, and carmex too, because that has healing properties.

This will continue for three days. Every time your husband walks by the restroom, he will see you bent as close as you can to the mirror, performing some minor surgery without anesthetic. He will say "AMANDA SUE! Please STOP touching it! You are making it worse!"

By day four, it will look like some misplaced part of anatomy a la Chandler Bing (reference season 3). It is swollen and almost looks infected, despite the many doses of antibacterial-whatever that you have layered on it.

The worst thing is that, from your already limited wardrobe, you must choose some high-necked smock to wear EVERY DAY of the weekend because you don't want to scare people into thinking you have chest-leprosy. Unfortunately, not many maternity shirts are high-necked, and you only own one of them. A band-aid does not help.

So, you see, there are many reasons to not touch. Next time, just dab some alcohol on it and go to bed. I am begging you. As for now, go get an ice cube. That sucker is gettin' HUGE!


Friday, August 05, 2005

Another important parenting tip

From class this week:

Do not use tweezers or needles to remove debris from your infant's eyeball.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Still learning...

I want to share a little something that I have learned this week. I think I have learned shades of it before, but I learned it again, in a little different way, and needed to. Got it? Good...

I have been doing a little reading and soul-searching in order to evaluate my role as Daniel's wife. Along the way, I have found some interesting analogies and thought-provoking ideas. Lemme tell you about one.

"Proverbs 12:4 - A wife of noble character is her husband's crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones."

At first, it is almost comical how the Proverbs liken a contentious woman to all things irritating and dreadful:

"The incessant dripping of rain on the roof? Yeah, my wife is like that."

"What about living on my own? Yeah, that would suck, but, sometimes, I would rather do that than live with my wife."

But this one really hit home.

Decay in his bones? That is like cancer. That is the rotting of the marrow of his bones - the substance that protects his body from infection and that gives him strength. I am responsible for the DECAY of THAT. Instead of being Daniel's crown, which is an outward sign of strength and prosperity, I have the ability to break him down so that he cannot even fight off basic infections of his life.

How can such a marriage be strong in the face of adversity? How can we be expected to function as husband and wife, as partners, and as friends? How will our marriage last for a lifetime?

I want to be a wife of noble character! I want to be his crown! It takes conscious effort, though. And accountability. Thus, this post, that is neither funny nor sarcastic, but real.

Won't you tell me what you think?

For Jes, Melissa, Michelle, Jenn, and Heidi (for calling me adorable)

**If your name is not in the title to this post, do not read it. This virtual gift package is in no way intended for you because you did not participate in the virtual baby shower. Stand outside the window of this party, and drool.

Alrighty, girls. The basket itself is not so much of a basket, but I hope it will do.

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We want to make sure you look good steppin' on the gas, so make sure you stop in for one of these, before you go.
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When you get here, you will probably just want to relax for a few days and let it all sink in.
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But make sure you stay nourished.
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If, for some odd reason, it is rainy out, open the windows and listen to the surf. But then, pop a movie or two in for entertainment.
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Finally, give me a call to let me know how the weather is. I will be in my massage chair at my own island, with two diaper bags, being just adorable.
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You guys are the best! :)