Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Two Letters

Sometimes that "kick in the head" I've mentioned needing recently comes from an unexpected source. While I'm sitting here wallowing in my own depression (for a reason I don't exactly think of as totally valid) there are people out there who have it far worse. The only real change that has come in the past month to how super awesome my life was before, is that I now don't have to work 70 hour weeks and 28 days in a row with no comp time. Sure, that brings changes to how we once lived. At least temporarily. No extravagant vacations are on the horizon and (gasp) I've started picking out things at the grocery store that are not name-brand. But we know it's temporary. We know I will get back to work and we can get back to our lives, as regularly scheduled. Just on God's time... not ours.

I've never come right out and told you this on this blog, but my mother is very ill. She was diagnosed with a disease when I was only 2 years old. They told her not to have any more children, so I became the lone observer to a lifetime of her pain and suffering as she slowly deteriorated. This led to years of frustration and dissipating independence, which ultimately brought about my father leaving. When I was just out of college, a mere 22 years old, she packed up her stuff and moved to Florida to be in an assisted living facility. She was only 45. She is now 52 years old and one wrong turn away from being in a full-fledged nursing home. She cannot stand on her own. She cannot get ouf of bed on her own. She cannot dress herself. She cannot cut her food or dial her phone. Her body hates her in the worst possible way.

So when she calls, I drop everything to answer the phone. No, we've not always had the best relationship, but it's been mended significantly over the past 12 years. And now that she is about to become a grandma, she has been exceptionally supportive. (Much more so than the baby's other supposed grandma. Ahem.) She was calling to recommend me getting into some volunteer work to bide the time during my unemployment. I know she's been a worried mess since she found out I'm not working right now. And I hate to burden her with that undue stress. She's got enough problems of her own. I kept insisting to her that I was fine and that I was tired of talking about the subject. But being the bull-headed woman she's always been, she kept badgering me about it. Finally, I just started to cry. (Surprise, surprise.) Her reaction? Well, after an apology, she kinda laughed.

She told me that we must have two criers in the family because she had a breakdown that same morning. About what? Well... about the fact that when she meets her granddaughter, she won't be strong enough to hold her unassisted.

And just like that, the walls of depression just started to tumble down around me. I've never felt so selfish in my entire life... to be griping about being depressed when I still have my husband, my baby, my friends, my family, my house, my car, and my health. While she lives alone, hundreds of miles from anyone, and lives every day without giving up. When it would be so easy for her to just throw in the towel. One of the greatest compliments my father ever gave me was to say that I was like my mother in that I was stubborn and never gave up. Sure, on the surface, that sounds like I'm just a total bitch. But when you realize that she is slowly getting worse and worse every day, yet still managing to get up, go about her life, give an effort, and just TRY... that sounds like someone I want to aspire to be like.

I'm not disillusioned enough to think my depression can just be swept under the rug by one comment someone made. But that statement was pretty damn impactful. It was my kick in the head. I have got to learn to display that same mentality of barrelling through anything in my way. I've got a daughter coming who is going to look up to me now. I want to make sure she sees the best of her grandma in me.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Man Candy Monday

After falling asleep watching the Niners vs. Giants game for the NFC Championship, I had a dream about Mike Alstott. Now, I realize he wasn't affiliated with those teams (he was a Buccaneer) but perhaps my nostalgia for hot football players just came kicking into gear. Probably because Eli Manning is so fugly that it makes me cringe!

The dream about Mr. Hottie-stott that night involved me finding out he had 12 STDs. Yeah, not so sexy. But whatever... it was more of a nightmare. I just remember back in 2002-2003, I made the prediction at the beginning of the season that the Super Bowl would be the Bucs versus the Oakland Raiders. I make a guess every season, and that was the first year I was right! I was living in 420 at the time and I had to get the other girls on the bandwagon... which wasn't hard considering the caliber of sexiness happening on that Bucs team.

Remember Jon Gruden? We let Kimhead have him...



And Mr. John Lynch? Anna took him...

And, well, we ran out of hotties for Biner, so we just gave her Warren Sapp. Sorry girl... you won in the end with your cutie patootie hubby, Zach. So... just live with it. ::insert girn::

Friday, January 27, 2012

Flash Bulb Friday

The past few Januarys, I have bitched incessantly about boats. Some of you know why and some of you don't. Let's just say it was somewhat related to the job I used to have. And since I am no longer in that job, I am feeling a bit nostalgic. Not really for the chaos and problems and dickheads that came with dealing with said boats. But ya know... for that job I used to have that I used to actually love.
This was taken in January 2011 of a display of wakeboards. Now, I have really bad motion sickness. So bad, in fact, that if Puff drives our convertible too crazy en route to the grocery store, I turn a little green. So being out on a boat is not really my cup of rum. Unless it's a giant cruise ship (re: city at sea) that comes complete with lounge chairs and waiters carrying trays of fruity cocktails. I remember being forced onto my grandfather's bass boat when I was young to go fishing in a lake. I'm pretty sure I've been haunted with that horrible trapped feeling ever since. We even turned down a July 4th excursion out on a lake in Michigan with the in-laws since I'm so anti-boating.

All that just to say that while wakeboarding looks all fun and cool (and this display was totally awesome) there is no way in heck you'll ever see my butt out there hanging by a rope attached to a tiny ass boat on a dirty lake. (I have an issue with lakes... unless they're in New Zealand where the water is turquoise and I can see to the bottom.) So, I hope all of you boaters and wakeboarders out there are gearing up for this coming spring. It certainly can't get her fast enough!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Rescue Me

I had posted a nice long blabbering post earlier today about depression. It was written about a week ago and was really raw and honest. After about 50 or so people had checked it out today, I decided it was time to take it down. It was theraputic to write, but perhaps not the correct forum to post.

I'll be back on Friday with our regularly scheduled program.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ring up the Register

Before I start to get into some more serious topics in the next few posts, I just had to share...
How in the world am I going to ever deny my baby Bimmer anything in her life? I only went to two stores and came home with this much stuff for her. This much MORE stuff... since I am so certain Aunt Kimhead and Aunt Rachel are already stockpiling stuff for her. Oh yeah... and my parents too. I'm quite certain they ran straight to Babies R Us the moment they heard Bimmer was a girl!
I even showed a ton of will power with these purchases. I skipped the zebra print pants and the baby jeggings. I skipped the plaid overalls. I skipped the cute little onesie with a giraffe on it. I skipped the three-pack of ruffled Gamecocks onesies!
Now we just gotta shift our focus to the baby registry. We already have the stroller, car seat, carrier, monitor, and swing/seat. Any suggestions from the moms on what I need to make sure not to forget?!?!

Monday, January 23, 2012

I Need Work

I have never in my entire life been so happy about paying bills.
That's because last week, after a seemingly endless wait-and-see cycle, I finally got my first unemployment check. And it was back-dated to include three full weeks. Praise Emmitt Smith! Let's rejoice!
Those of you who are regular followers know that I've been battling some depression lately. (Expect a follow-up blog on that topic soon.) And 99% of that stems from not having a job. And while receiving weekly unemployment checks definitely helps ease our financial burden (even if it is less than half of what I was bringing in) it definitely doesn't combat all of the problems. I just need to see it and accept it as a STEP. It's one STEP forward. And in order to get back to where we were before my fall from grace, there have to be a lot more STEPS involved.
I am constantly trying to take another STEP as well... getting in for an interview. I feel like I have applied for every job available in my field from here to Minneapolis with only one solid call-back. Funny enough, it was for the job I was least qualified for, so I didn't get it. Never thought I would. That's OK. I don't think writing press releases about shoe stores was going to bring me much joy. I know it's a "bad economy" and so on and so forth. My industry is such a niche market, though, that I guess I disillusioned myself into thinking that if something came up, I would get it. With the exception of one job ever, I've always been offered a job I interviewed for! I'm a hard worker and very dedicated. I bust my butt to figure things out and, most importantly, I want to be working. I'm not just doing it to be doing it. I'm not working just for a paycheck. I'm working for something much bigger... the greater cause, the feeling of purpose, and my sanity.
So, on that note, I make a desperate plea to anyone in my area of SC who might know of something in my field to let me know. Or, start sending me some ideas of where to search! I have a feeling if I don't find something by March then I might as well stop looking. Who is going to hire someone that is 8 or 9 months pregnant? I guess the only upside to all of this down-time is more posts for you guys to read. I definitely promise to make them much more interesting from here on out. And to try to stop bitching and moaning and complaining.
I said TRY!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Flash Bulb Friday

In continuation of this month's theme of "cold" photos, thought I'd shove one in from our time in a cold country... Finland. Sure, it was unseasonably warm when we were traipsing amongst the old buildings on Soumenlinna Island (at the fortress in the harbor) but it's not normally that way.
Don't you typically think of snow and cold and reindeer when you think of Finland? I will forever think of a very clean country with very nice people. However, I will still be bored. Sorry, Finland.
Anyhoo... this week, the forecast for Helsinki is snow. With highs and lows around 22 degrees. I think I'll stick with the occasionally gloominess of SC with scattered January days with temps in the 50s and 60s! I probably just jinxed us. I probably just pissed off the weather gods and they'll make it nice and toasty in Helsinki next week but cold and snowy here. I'm good at pissing off those weather gods. But, on the flip side, if it snows so much that Puff can't go to work, then he'll be here to entertain me for a whole day! Maybe there's something to be said about snow days after all!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Nursery: Step 0

In an effort to recapture some of the "I'm pregnant with a baby girl" bliss that I should be feeling (when not worrying about unemployment), I thought I would do a little post today about Bimmer's nursery.

As I've mentioned repeatedly, Puff and I live in a small 1940s bungalow. Our bedrooms are decent sized, but this one needs to be multi-functional. Unfortunately, Bimmer may have to end up sharing this room with the few house guests we do have. (That means the MIL gets up for those middle-of-the-night feedings if she insists on sleeping in there, right?) One day I promise Bimmer will have her own room!

The wonderful thing about Bimmer being a girl? We can keep a lot of the same STUFF and not have to blow our (increasingly shrinking) wallets on baby room decor. Those palm tree paintings mean a lot to me (there's a 3rd above the bed) as they were found on trips to Florida and Rhode Island with my parents while growing up. And since I'm anti-anything too babyish, these work perfect for a sophisticated beach-inspired nursery for our little beach bum.

Some updates we've already made (from the above pics) include a new quilt and pillow shams courtesy of my grandma and West Elm, respectively...

And that ugly orange pillow got tossed in exchange for another West Elm fave in white/light blue...

But now we've just got to figure out how the heck to fit a dresser/changing table in there PLUS this bad boy...


All while keeping the full-size bed, some type of nightstand (which will probably be that lime green trunk you see in one of the top pics) and ::fingers crossed:: that tall white dresser as well. (It's currently overflowing with my t-shirts and pajamas and bathing suits... which have no where else to live!) There is going to be some creative space planning in my future! After that, all we need to narrow down is the fabric we're going to have Rachel use for our custom-made crib skirt and we'll be rockin' and rollin'.

Don't worry... you'll be updated along the way! You know I love to over-share!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's Pink

Well... meet Bimmer. (Again.)
There are girl parts involved now.
And while Puff started to feel like he was going to have a heart attack in the ultrasound room, apparently he is excited. As am I. It definitely makes the entire situation much more real and purposeful. I am growing something someone inside me and SHE depends on me. Like, completely. Yeah, this shit is pretty scary.

Although, our excitement has been put on the backburner for a little while. As hard as it is to admit, both of us are so petrified about our lives right now since I am not working, that it's getting near impossible to focus on anything else. It should have been one of the happiest days of my life, to find out what we were having, after wanting to be pregnant and be a mother for so long. But I spent the hour before the appointment bawling about how I feel like a failure to her already, since I am not providing for our family. It's a heavy burden I hate to be carrying right now.

The doom and gloom of all of this depression I've been having lately will hopefully subside soon. (Preferably in the form of a job offer!) We're anxious to get back to the bubbly, happy days of this pregnancy. We're ready to start shopping for a white crib and pink Cowboys onesies. I'm ready to shift the focus off my feelings and on to her needs. That's just easier said than done right now.

It doesn't mean I resent the baby or anything like that. It doesn't mean she won't be loved beyond words once she is here and in our arms. It's just that depression is a reality in our household right now, and it's got me in a head-lock. So I want to extend a sincere THANK YOU to all the awesome friends and family members who have helped me through some rough days and who are taking on the role of eternal optimists for me and Puff, since it's seemingly impossible for us to be that right now.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Man Candy Monday

The last season of American Idol that didn't totally hurt my head was the season that featured today's hottie, David Cook. Sure, that other twerpy little kid kinda ruined the season for me... he couldn't sing AND he butchered the most classic of all Robbie Williams songs.
But I digress.. this is about David Cook's hottness. And how I kinda just want to watch him hump a guitar.
Or something like that.
He has a new album out, but Puff refused to buy it from my Christmas list. He's adamantly opposed to his music. ::shrug:: And since I'm currently a broke housewife, I can't spend my money so frivilously. So, for the time being, I'll just have to humbly accept my role as internet photo stalker of this hottie.

Which is probably OK in the end anyway. Because his music isn't all that wonderful. It's passable, don't get me wrong. But if I had to choose to be deaf or blind around this sexy muffin, I'd definitely choose deafness.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Can't Rush This

I could sit here and rack my brain trying to come up with a time in my life when I was more anxious, but it would never come. Sure, there were first days of school and jobs that put butterflies in my stomach. There have been first dates, second dates, break-ups. There have been pregnancy tests (some we wanted positive... some, not so much) and big projects and fingernail tapping next to the unringing telephone. But all of these moments pale in comparsion to the excitement and anxiousness I am currently feeling.

Why? Because tomorrow we find out the biggest news I have ever been wanting and needing to know in my entire life. (That's no exaggeration.)

Tomorrow, we find out if we are having a boy or a girl.

The perpetual planner in me is chomping at the bit here. I have been stalking Etsy and Pinterest and Land of Nod searching for the perfect crib and dresser and bedding. I find myself casually meandering through the baby section at Target whenever I am there, checking out the cute little clothes. My parents loaded us down with items at Christmas... but they were all gender neutral. (Well, except the rockstar bib and onesie. That's pretty boyish. But if we have a girl, she'll totally rock it.) I am ready to get some darn pink or blue up in here!

Or well... maybe not so literal with the color choices. Is it funny that both Puff and I tend to prefer boy baby clothes? Maybe that's the reason I'm all of a sudden thinking it's a boy. Or maybe I'm just thinking that to counter Puff's insistence that it's a girl, when he really wants a boy. Or at least that's what he thinks he wants. A friend of his (who has 5 kids, I think) recently told him not to freak out over one gender or the other... because in the end, you learn as you go and you're never more prepared for one gender more than the other. At least not with the first.

I've felt destined to be a mother my entire life, and finding out the sex of the baby just makes it all that closer to reality. We won't have to always refer to the kid as Bimmer; the baby will have an actual name. And while I know Puff is scared and timid about the whole becoming a father thing, I know that he will be a total rockstar dad. Or well, as much of a "rockstar" as you can be jamming to Lionel Ritchie at stoplights.

Stay tuned....

Friday, January 13, 2012

Flash Bulb Friday

When I picked out the photos I wanted to use for January's Flash Bulbs, I was thinking cold. Sometimes, I'll want to think warm to escape the reality of winter. But not this time. Nope... I wanted photos that just looked COLD. So, this week's photo is from our very frosty trip to NYC back in December 2009.

When we walked up to the outside of Grand Central Station, we were layered as much as we could be with still being able to button our coats. We were sporting gloves and held cups of hot chocolate. The heat from our breath encircled our heads with little clouds. Our cheeks were stained pink.
It was the morning after Puff proposed to me in that 18 degree chill in Central Park. (On the rock where the Smurfs are pictured from their latest movie posters. LOL!) I would love to be all poetic and romantic and say that we were so high on love and the giddy excitement from our proposal to even notice the chill in the air. But I'd be a liar. Because it was fucking cold. I don't think I've ever snapped photos faster in my life. Anything to get to run across the street and into the heat!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Halfway Baked

Wowza... am I getting big or what?!?!

Oh wait... awesome news! Twenty weeks marks the halfway point! Are you even serious?!?! That's so nutty to think that I'm halfway done with all this nonsense. (Yes, I'll relish in the final product of all this baby-baking, but it kinda sucks in the interim!) And on January 16th, we get to find out if we're welcoming baby KT or baby KA. Yeah, sorry, that's all you're getting. The kid is probably destined to always be Bimmer in the blogosphere. (And if I weren't unemployed, I'd totally be stirring up ideas on what to call the next one!)
In general, I'm feeling OK. I'm down to taking the anti-nausea meds about once every 36 to 48 hours. Such a difference from the 24/7 grossness I felt for so many weeks. (Yup... I'm still on sharing that story. Don't worry, when Bimmer's 30 and getting married, I'll totally be telling their spouse about how much I hated being pregnant with him/her.) The latest fun has come with the round ligament cramps and pain. Sometimes it's mild and located more on the side. Sometimes it's pretty intense and the only way to make it feel remotely better is to lay on my side and down glass after glass of cold water. I have a feeling it's going to get worse before it gets better. Plus, my skin is soooooo weird! My acne is worse than it's ever been, but the bumps I always had on the backs of my arms are totally gone. Can't make up its mind!

Oh! And the most exciting news of all?!?! I've felt the baby moving around. OK... or well, at least that's what I *think* is happening. Either that or my insides are totally flip-flopping around in there. It's just a really weird, hard to describe sensation. It's definitely not gas or being hungry. Those are pretty vocal afflictions these days. I read that Bimmer's the size of a small cantelope right now. I'm not sure why all the books are always referencing size in comparasion to fruits. ::shrug:: I've gained about 15 or 16 pounds total since this all began. (Those daily unemployed poptarts that happen around 10am each day probably aren't helping!) But after losing 3 pounds in early December and staying stagnant on my weight gain for a whole month, I'll take the 3 or 4 pounds I've since re-gained. Although that number on the scale is totally scary. I guess it's for a good cause though, right?

I will have more to share next week after my doctor's appointment and the ultrasound! Anyone want to start taking guesses on the gender of this kid? I don't have any feeling one way or another. And the general consesnsus is well... pretty split 50/50. Puff thinks it's a girl, just because he thinks God is going to punish him for preferring a boy. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see! Here's hoping the kid cooperates!
Update: This was pre-written prior to yesterday's emergency trip to the labor & delivery ward. I was having agonizing pain in my abdomen and the doc thought it could be my appendix. They pretty much ruled that out (unless I get a fever and start vomiting here soon) but think I might have a kidney stone. I have crystalized pee, apparently. Yup... I'm rockin' some knock-off Swarovski urine over here. Don't be jealous.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Tunes Tuesday

Remember not long ago when I reviewed the new Nickelback album and mentioned I had gotten another CD the same day? Well, that album was the new Daughtry album, "Break the Spell." And while I was disappointed in Nickelback's latest foray, I was definitely uber-pleased with Daughtry's.

Now, I've been a huge fan ever since I first saw his audition on American Idol all those years back. And I was literally devastated when he lost. He's seriously one of the best singers EVER to be on that show. And his success is proof positive of that. Anyhoo... I've pretty much memorized every lyric to every song already. And I can pretty well guess which songs will be the ones they overplay on the radio. I'm just glad it's a solid project and the songs are spot on to what you expect. No, there's not much growth (although the lyrics I'll put below are from a song with a more country twang to it) but that's OK. If it's not broke, why fix it?
I'm pretty much obsessed with songs 9 through 12. (Although apparently there is a deluxe version that has since come out that has extra songs on it. Woops!) My favorite is "Rescue Me" which has that touch of country in it. With all the insanity that has been happening in my life the past month, this song just really resonated with me. Because there are definitely moments where I feel like I am drowning and literally need someone to come to my rescue. This album will probably always be the one that reminds me of this time in my life. My hope is that soon I'll be able to latch on to a more uplifting song and use it to help me come through this depression on the other side. In the meantime, this is the song of the moment. Besides being and feeling relevant to my current debacle, it's just a flat out, good, and catchy song.
Two thumbs up to this whole album.
"Rescue Me"

Our story's old, older than the wind
It's been in sight for years, how can we pretend
That we all know just how it's gonna end

Rescue me in the middle of the ocean
Crashing down, it's always hard to breathe
Some say, it's easier to give up on it
I say, it's time to rescue me

Lost and lonely people standing by, afraid to try
Some of them here, the same as you and I
The difference is so wrong to be left behind

So I need you now

Rescue me in the middle of the ocean
Crashing down, it's always hard to breathe
Some say, it's hard to make the changes
Rescue me and I'll never be the same

Rescue me in the middle of my darkest hour
Time will tell if I never really had the power
Some say, it's easier to give up on it
I say, it's time to rescue me

We've gotta get out, how foolish have we been
To say it's all been a waste of time
We may lose and we may win
But like the sun we will rise again

But until then

Rescue me in the middle of the ocean
Crashing down, it's always hard to breathe
Some say, it's hard to make the changes
Rescue me and I'll never be the same

Rescue me in the middle of my darkest hour
Time will tell if I never really had the power
Some say, it's easier to give up on it
I say, it's time to rescue me

Rescue me in the middle of the ocean

Monday, January 9, 2012

Unemployed & Unarmed

When you don't have a job, any outing is a good excuse to pull yourself out of bed, shower, and get dressed. That's probably why one day last week, I volunteered to go to the auditor's office for Puff to handle the property taxes on our new Batmobile. And why I excitedly accepted his offer to allow me to accompany him to his consultation at the oral surgeon. Never mind we had to wait over an hour to see the dentist. It was an hour that wasn't spent lounging in my pajamas on my own couch, covered in Poptart crumbs.

However... there was one excursion that put the fear of ten charging linemen in me. A trip to the unemployment office.

When I separated from my job, part of the deal was the unemployment. (Can't go into much else!) I dutifully filed my online claim, followed every last instruction, submitted my resume to the state's job board website, and waited patiently. Until a certain amount of time had passed and my online account was still stuck in neutral with no change in status. I was eventually able to call in my first weekly claim in an attempt to get that first check. However, the lovely automated man on the other end told me there was an unresolved issue with my account and I would have to go into the unemployment office. Imagine all the color draining from my face, because I'm pretty damn sure that's exactly what happened. I even waited a few days and called back to double-check I was hearing it correctly. I even had Puff call to listen!

Nope... there was no escaping it. The automated man very clearly stated I needed to go down to the office. Let the fun times begin!

So last Thursday morning, Puff told his job he would be in late, and we bundled up and headed out into the 32 degree morning and drove downtown to the unemployment office. We got there 35 minutes before they opened and we were the 18th and 19th people in line. We stood surrounded by clouds of cigarette smoke (apparently that's a pre-requisite to being unemployed these days) and a very vocal older gentleman who kept threatening to bang on the doors if they didn't open them right at 8:30am. Yup... I was very glad I had the foresight to take Puff with me. It was definitely no place for a mother-to-be to just casually hang out unattended. Or unarmed.

They finally opened the doors, called a few people out for specific purposes, filed us in to rows of chairs, handed us papers to fill out, and we were told to wait. Until about 9am when another lady came over and informed us that their computer system was down, and it could be down for 15 minutes or 4 hours. She didn't know. Just my fucking luck! I let Puff make the call on waiting or not. After all, he was the one with an actual job to attend that day. We made the call to wait until 10:30am before re-evaluating the situation. A few people got up and left, so we shifted around in the chairs. But someone shifted the wrong way and ended up screwing a lady in the row behind us. She gave Puff the evil eye. I sat squished between a large black lady in a giant puffy coat and Puff, who was equally as broad in those tiny chairs. My cell phone had no service. I had no internet access. And the Chelsea Handler book I was reading started off with a long chapter about masturbation, so I figured I better skip that part. Just in case someone was reading over my shoulder in those cramped quarters.

About 10 minutes into fake reading the second chapter of my book, a lady came and asked our section if anyone was there for a new claim. A few people got up and asked her questions about theirs. Of course, I was totally eavesdropping, since that's what I'm good at doing in a never-ending state of waiting. A lady who had filed around the same time as me hadn't waited long enough for her initial claim to go through, so there was no sense in her sitting and waiting in that hellhole. I jumped up. After having two belligerent people cut in front of me (I wasn't about to fight them!) I finally got to explain my situation to the lady. And you know what she told me? That all new claims get that automated message on the phone system. But if it took the information, and I got the info sheet in the mail, I was good. I showed her the sheet. She said I was good. She said I didn't need to do anything else. (Just if it didn't go through the next week to come back.)

So after spending about an hour and a half there, I was able to walk out. (Now, I won't count my chickens before they hatch. I feel it's inevitable I will end up having to go back sometime soon!) Now I just get to say some really persuasive prayers that everything in their system gets worked out and I am good to go. And that I can find a new job... but that's another rant entirely. When we got back to the house, Puff changed to go to work. (I wouldn't let him go down there with me sporting a $200 cashmere sweater over an oxford with pimp shoes!) His hair was a wreck. I finally insisted he go to a mirror when his futile attempts to lay it flat in the living room weren't working. When he came back out he just grinned and said, "That's my wearing a toboggan in line at the unemployment office hair." Sexy hair, indeed.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Flash Bulb Friday

Ever since Puff and I have been together, the month of January has always been pretty packed on the work front for both of us. (Yeah, now I'm kinda missing that chaos! ::sigh::) But we always seemed to find some time to sneak away on a pretty day to a museum exhibit or to the mountains. One time we even off-roaded in our little convertible to see an iced-over waterfall!

I digress... this picture was from the Caesar's Head overlook in the mountains of South Carolina. We've been there several times before, and the view is always changing. This was one particular Sunday morning in January a few years back where we had the roads to ourselves. There wasn't any snow on the ground yet (that was coming) but it just felt and looked like winter. While I've never been a particular fan of the season, I can find some comfort in knowing that I have Puff by my side to commisserate with on those gloomy, ugly days.
Although seeing as we were able to have the top down on the convertible for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's, I don't think many of my friends and family up North have much pity for us. At least not when it comes to weather.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Birthdays in Review

Did I just really cross that threshold? Am I really another whole decade older? Is that seriously a THREE at the start of my age?

Yup... it sure is. And I can't escape it. One bright note? I've still yet to have a gray hair. Boo yah.

I can say that I never, in a million frickin' years, expected to be barefoot, pregnant, and unemployed on my thirtieth birthday. That whole unemployed part really sucks whale testicles. (I did a quick Google search for "largest animal testicles." I wouldn't advise doing that yourself.) I feel like not only am I going through the emotional roller coaster of pregnancy, but then add in the typical freak-fest of turning thirty AND the depression that comes with not having a job to go to every day. It's really hard to look at the bright side these days. Welcome to my pity party.

The last year of my twenties was totally rock star. I picked up 5 new countries and 2 new states. I got to see a prison rodeo, for Christ's sake! And most importantly, I succeeded in tricking my husband into donating his sperm to my ever-present fantasy of wanting to become a mother. With all that in retrospect, it's time to look forward to all the cool stuff that will happen in my thirties... namely the fact that I will get to welcome little Bimmer into this world and then see him/her grow up. And somehow, that makes turning thirty seem all that more necessary. And awesome.


Now, with that stuff out of the way, I feel it necessary to point out the evolution of birthday gifts from my husband over the 4 birthdays we have now spent together. This year was pretty awesome... Dennis Miller tickets anyone? (More on that after the actual event!) So, in backwards order, some prized gifts from Puff over the years...

Please ignore the fact that I'm not wearing real pants.

For my 30th birthday, Puff gifted me a 6 pack of red velvet cupcakes, Kendra's new book, and some sexy pieces from Victoria's Secret. If I can be sexy and pregnant. Apparently he told the sales woman at VS that I don't have a butt, so I don't need a lot of back coverage. LOL! And I can't forget this fabulously awesome t-shirt!



For my 29th birthday, Puff gifted me a cute new outfit and necklace. Plus, purple bra and panties from Victoria's Secret. He felt compelled to model them for me.


For my 28th birthday, Puff gifted me a one-of-a-kind ceramic necklace that he had specifically made just for me. Oh yeah, and the ugliest pajama pants in the history of the planet. I love 'em!


For my 27th birthday, Puff gifted me with a pink lemonade cake I had always wanted, plus a gnome t-shirt. And can't forget the hot pink vibrator. Hard to top that gift, honey.

Birthdays aren't a huge deal around here... usually a few small gifts, maybe a sweet surprise, and dinner at our restaurant of choice. I will say that Puff is so awesome to have treated me so well on my 30th birthday and I am so grateful to have him to support me right now and make this special occasion pretty awesome. Now if I can only request a big trip for my 40th. Just a hint.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I'm a Housewife

They say when God closes a door, he opens a window. Except, right now, I feel like that window is on the 32nd floor of a high-rise and I've got to figure out how in the heck to climb up there.
It was with a heavy heart, a twisted wrist, and lots of tears that I resigned from my job two weeks ago. I may have bitched from time to time about nit-picky stuff, but overall, I really, really loved what I did for a living. I had been there for 4 1/2 years and had lots of high hopes for 2012. I was anxious to build on my two most important projects, interact with lots of cool new clients, train a new team member, and pocket an extra week of vacation. Instead, I'm now officially a (temporary) housewife who gets bored and sweeps leaves on the deck into piles and then has to use a snow shovel to get them over the sides into a wheelbarrow on the ground. (Expect more hilarity like that to ensue!)
My general manager said last week was the hardest (re: suckiest) week he's ever had in all the years he has been there. That speaks volumes coming from a man who was short on praise for anyone who did anything even remotely well. He mentioned several times to me as I was packing up my office that I had done a great job for the company and that he knew I would go on to succeed and do wonderful things elsewhere. It wasn't until he told me that he wished me the best of luck that I got teary-eyed. I had tried to be so stoic.
I will miss having a reason to get up every morning. I will miss the comraderie of the good friends I did make at work. I will miss that interaction with others. I will miss feeling like I have a purpose.
My good friend, Katie, sent me an email saying that it's "just a job" and I've got the "most important job in the world" on the horizon... being a mother. I need to focus on taking time to de-stress, plan for Bimmer's arrival, and love on my husband for awhile. And clean the house. Puff will not like it if I'm home all day and he comes home to a dirty house. And dinner. Preferably served by me in a slutty outfit and hooker heels. I better get right on that.
There will be a lot to think about (re: worry about) in the coming days, weeks, and months. Our lives are forever changed by this situation and we have to figure out a way to muddle through it. I am hopeful I will find the right opportunity at the right time. Yes, I am silently freaking out about the fact that I am 5 months pregnant and no one will want to hire me! On the flip side, Puff is ecstatic that I will have all my weekends free and clear for the foreseeable future. He's already searching for festivals, museums, and activities that we can jump into that we've never been able to do before. I'm glad somewhere there is a bright side to all of this. Because at times, I've been blinded by fear through all these tears.
I have faith it will be OK in the end. I just have to accept that I need to live in God's will for awhile and that He will take care of us in our time of need. Both Puff and I are so grateful for my family and all our friends who have been supportive and praying for us during this difficult time. It will turn around, and with you guys on our side, we'll get through it. There's brightness somewhere at the end of this dark cloud. There just has to be.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Move Over Twenties

Today officially marks the last 24 hours of my twenties. While I am having some mixed emotions about the milestone, I can't help but think back to the past decade. I'm sure when I was turning 20, I sat and reflected on all the differences that happened in my life from age 10 to age 20. And while those that happened in my twenties might not be as grandiose or noticeable (going from fifth grade to a sophomore in college is a much bigger jump... lol) but it was, nevertheless, pretty awesome.
I met some of my best friends in the world during college. I traveled to far flung New Zealand and drove from South Carolina to Vermont. I drank too much Malibu rum and took way too many embarassing photos. I dated some good guys. I dated some assholes. I married the perfect man for me. I graduated college and found the career path I am destined to be in. I moved to a town where I didn't know anyone and actually fell in love with it. I took up cruising and hiking. I own a home and a nice car. I even learned that I like to eat lobster.
Sure, there were hard times and sucky times. I limped through the death of my grandfather. I witnessed 9/11. I survived an abusive relationship and escaped a dead-end one. I lost a job and lived through a terrible car accident. I lost friends through distance and fights. I fucked up and made some bad decisions. I learned a lot and know there's still a lot more to go.
As I struggle with some other things going on in my life right now (that I will elaborate on in a few days) I have to know that I have been through so much in the past already. I have perservered and come through in one piece on the other side, sometimes, a lot stronger. I know I can't stop time, so I don't have much choice in the birthday matter. Perhaps I'll just take a cue from my almost-80 year old grandmother and just tell people I'm 29 for the rest of my life. It's seemed to work for her!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Remembering New Years

The 2011 to 2012 New Year's Eve was nothing to write home about. It included a late afternoon gutter-cleaning and yard-raking session, followed by take-out pizza and my pregnant ass in bed by 9pm. Not much different than last year, really, except last year we had a fancy dinner at a local seafood restaurant, where I made love to some halibut and nursed a few raspberry martinis. Bimmer put the nix on the martinis this year. Oh, but there's always next year!

Right... so while the NYE parties have waned and everything has gotten more tame as I've gotten older, I still love to think back to the NYE's of the past decade or so. Like 2002 to 2003 when Mr. Smith ended up puking in the bushes after downing almost an entire bottle of rum on his own. And there was that silly card game and Rowdy's Asian boyfriend who was kind of a dickwad. And I distinctly remember ending up sitting on the floor at one point in front of the liquor cabinet and wondering how I got there. Oh! And Kimhead's date got too drunk, so he couldn't walk her all the way home when it was over. Oh... good times.

Or the 2000 to 2001 party at my dad's bachelor pad where Rowdy brought her fondue pot! And there may or may not be photographic evidence of me and Miss on the deck in the snow sporting bras and a pirate hat. That was also the year I drunkenly knocked a decorative plate into the toilet while there was still pee in the toilet and I had to fish out the pieces with my bare hands! Yuck!!! Or then the 2001 to 2002 party in the ghetto that Mr. Smith took me to where a guy fake proposed to his woman in front of us. And then we ended up at Steak 'n Shake where Mr. Smith fake proposed to me in the middle of the restaurant. Yup... more good times.

However, the best has got to be the 1999 to 2000 New Year's Eve. We were seniors in high school, most of us still only 17 years old. Miss's parents were gone, so we took over her house for a little get together. I think my dad hooked us up with some alcoholic beverages. (Or was it that 23 year old guy that I was talking to on AOL who once stuck his tongue in my ear?) Regardless, there were definitely lots of Zima's with Jolly Ranchers! (Which is hilarious now because apparently Puff also used to drink the same combo back in the day. We were totally destined to be together!) I don't really remember much about that night, but there are lots of photos that I'm sure the guys at Walgreens got a kick out of processing. It was one of those typical teenage nights that has provided me with good laughs for the past 12 years. Sure they're hazy, drunken memories, but they're fun, awesome memories just the same.


This photo pretty much sums up that evening.

Or wait...

This was before Miss accidentally dialed 9-1-1- and invited the cops to our shindig!!!! ::insert halo::