Tuesday, April 24, 2012

That Was Weird...

The traffic was heavier than normal this morning.  Usually the flow of traffic starts moving a little faster once you get over the bridge but today it just crawled.  As I'm sitting there bee-bopping to my music I look out the window and to my surprise there were eyes looking back at me.  Not registering, I look back at the road and continue head-bopping.

Wait a second.  Did I just see eyeballs looking at me?  I quickly do a double-take and yes, yes I did.  There it was.  An Opossum chilling on the median of the freeway watching the cars go by.  I think to myself, "Huh, you don't see that every day".  He looked terrified, the poor little guy.  How on earth did he actually make it across one side of the freeway without becoming road kill?  And how is he smart enough not to jump into traffic?  He looked as though he was trying to figure out how he was going to make it across.  He was definitely having an "oh crap, what did I get myself into" moment.  You could see it clearly on his face.  As I continue driving I am genuinely worried about the Opossum making it to the other side.  Clearly he's pretty intelligent since he stopped to look for cars.  It would be a shame for him to perish after accomplishing the task of crossing four lanes of traffic.  Then it hits me.  I'm so worried about the Opossum but what happens if he actually tries to run across the freeway with so many cars on the road?  What about the people?  Its going to cause a huge accident.  I'd better call animal control but I have no clue what the number is.  Ah ha!  I'll call 411.  News to me, but apparently with the new technology 411 doesn't exist in Portland anymore.  Either that, or they changed the number and I didn't get the memo.  Calling 411 routed me to Comcast.  Those Comcast cretins!  They have a monopoly on everything!

Long story short (err, not really), I got to work and called animal control.  I did my good deed for the day.  Hopefully I saved a very smart Opossum and prevented an accident from happening.  I guess I'll know for sure tomorrow if there aren't guts all over the freeway.

Trivia for the day:

1) Did you know that Opossums have a survival mechanism where they freeze and can't move if they are frightened?  Apparently if a predator is after them, they will freeze and fall over.  This tricks the predator into thinking they are dead and in-theory will leave them alone.  I have a theory of my own.  I believe this is why there are so many dead Opossum's on the road.  They are crossing, see a car and freeze, ultimately ending in their own demise.  I guess this survival mechanism didn't account for cars.

2) When born, baby Opossum's are the size of a bumble-bee.  They then climb up their moms fur and burrow into their pouch until they are big enough to come out.  I found this to be fascinating.

I took a mammals class in college and for some reason I can only remember what I learned about Opossums.  Why Opossums?  I have no clue.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Adventures of Albert

Whoever said having pets is similar to having children, hit the nail square on the head.  Last night was a horrible experience.  Well I guess I should say this morning was a horrible experience.  I slept great most of the night. At 4:45, I awoke to a whimpering dog by the side of the bed.  "Ah man, my husband was right." Or so I thought.

Let me start from the beginning.  Yesterday after work my husband gave our dog his full daily helping of food for dinner.  I tried to give him a half cup in the morning before I left for work but he freaked out and spilled most of it on the bathroom floor.  I made him clean up his mess and then I took the rest of his food away and left for work.

That evening after I got home, my husband tells me that he's already fed the dog.  "Cool," I said. So I head upstairs to get the bowl of remaining food from that morning.  Usually our dog won't eat more than it takes to get full so I didn't think it was a problem to put the remaining food on the floor.  Mistake #1.  To both of our surprise our dog scarfed down the rest of the soggy morning food.  As he's eating, my husband looks down and says "I don't know.  That's an awful lot of food he's eating.  The poop train is going to roll through town pretty early."  I shrug my shoulders and say, "Nah, he'll be fine".

4:45 the whimpering starts.  Crap.  He probably has to poop.  I probably shouldn't ignore this.  So I roll out of bed and take him outside.  As we head back up to bed I hear a faint, "burp, gurgle, gurgle".  I pause for a second and contemplate if I should let him back outside.  "Nahhh, he was just out there for ten minutes."  Mistake #2.

No sooner does my head hit the pillow, I hear that same "burp, gurgle, gurgle," but this time with a little more force.  "Nooooooooo!"  I know that sound all too well.  I grab my headlamp from the nightstand and shine it on the floor. "Nooooooooo!  Are you kidding me right now?  You couldn't have done that thirty seconds ago while you were outside?!"  A big, strike that, HUGE, pile of mushy dog food vomit all over the floor.  Like half the size of my dog, kind of huge.  How did that even come out of him?  Even with the two bowls of food, that was way more that came out than we put in.  Grumbling under my breath I head downstairs for the roll of paper towels, trash can and carpet cleaner.  Trying to be considerate of my sleeping husband I start scrubbing the floor with just the light from my headlamp.  All clean.  I decide I should probably let him outside again but he won't go. "Go Albert, Go!" Of course he won't go.  What else could possibly come out of him?  I let him back inside and we head to bed.  Mistake #3.

Literally five seconds after I lay down he's at it again.  "Burp, gurgle, gurgle".  I lay there and shake my head.  There's no possible way he's thrown up again.  Its just not possible.  As I lay there for a few seconds listening to him smack his lips I know I'm in for it again.  I grab my headlamp and "OH. MY. FREAKING!  SERIOUSLY?!?!  SERIOUSLY?!?!" This one is bigger than the last!  And of course, he couldn't have thrown up directly on the spot I just cleaned.  He had to throw up one inch from the last pile creating a foot wide circumference of vomit stain.  I make the trek downstairs for the cleaning supplies and start scrubbing.....again.  At this point I am so frustrated that all consideration for my sleeping husband is out the window.  How is he sleeping through all of this? Finally, without moving an inch, he opens one eye and asks "Everything okay?"  Sigh.  "Uh huh.  Go back to sleep."  Without any hesitation he's out cold.  A little preview of what my nights will look like in the future I guess.  Just kidding. Sort of.  (Love you babe!) Needless to say, Albert and I spent the rest of the night on the couch so we could be close to the door in case any more "burp, gurgle, gurgle" noises were made.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

That's a Little Personal, Don't You Think?

I wish people would stop asking "So when are you going to have a baby?"  I know this is a common question to ask a girl my age, but if you're a stranger then you probably shouldn't ask such a personal question.  Even if you are an acquaintance, it's still a personal issue to ask someone about.  Unless you are family or a good friend then you probably shouldn't bring it up.  Its right up there with the one question you never ask a woman unless you are absolutely sure. You know, the mortifying question "When are you due?" when you're not even expecting. Thank God I've never been asked this question but I have friends who have, and it sucks.  Just don't do it.

I don't want this blog to be a "woe is me" venting party but I have been asked this question so much lately that I thought it was worth mentioning.  It must be because all of my friends have had babies and now my best friend is expecting.  Logically, people assume that I will be next.  I hope they are right but don't ask me that.  (This rule does not apply to family and good friends).

Last weekend while celebrating a "gender reveal" for two of my friends I was asked this ever so bothersome question - with a twist.  Someone came up to me and asked "So when are you going to have a baby?  I bet you're starting to feel left out since you're now the last one."   Did she really just say that to me?  I know I'm overly sensitive right now and I'm sure it wasn't meant to be malicious, but it was like someone took a dagger to my chest.  "I bet you're starting to feel left out?"  Who asks that sort of question?  I could feel my eyes starting to fill with water.  I didn't want her to see the sadness on my face so I quickly dropped my napkin so I could pick it up and compose myself.

The truth is, I'm sure this question bothered me so much because it's true.  The fear of being left behind has been one of my biggest hurdles to overcome the past few months.  The common thread with all of my friends now is babies.  Babies, babies and more babies.  I enjoy hearing about it but I have absolutely nothing to add to the conversations anymore.  I already felt like a bit of an outsider in my group and this isn't making it any easier. By the time I'm starting to gain acceptance with this reality, that horrible question is slapped across my face.  It felt great.

With that being said, before you ask someone you barely know a personal question, I urge you to stop and think first.  We are all guilty of it.  Myself included.  Saying comments and questions that we think are funny or cute in the moment but can actually be quite hurtful even if that is not our intention.  You never know what a person may be up against.  What you think is a simple question, can evoke a struggle of emotions that someone is trying hard to accept.  If you have any doubts on what you are about to say to someone, then remember this simple saying:

"Some things are better left unsaid"

Monday, April 16, 2012

Those Hippies May Know a Thing or Two

Alright, alright.  I will be the first to admit that I am a big hater when it comes to all things hippie.  You know, the natural, earth-friendly products that seem to be very popular...Especially in Portland.  In my mind its a fad, and I try to stay away from fads.  Well not anymore - At least not this one.

I am starting to become a believer that sometimes natural is better.  I'm talking about essential oils.  These are little vials of magic.  I've always known that they have healing properties but I've quickly dismissed using them myself, mainly because it was too much effort.  Its not like you can go into Safeway and pick up a bottle of Melaluca oil.  You actually have to know where to get it.  Come to find out, it’s actually not that hard.  You can find them at pretty much every health store.  But that's beside the point.

After being urged by a few family members to give essential oils a shot, my sister finally sent me a sample pack.  Yes, she knows me well.  If you want me to try something, you actually have to give it to me.  If it’s any inconvenience for me at all, I won't try it.  So if you put it directly into my possession then I am completely open to it.  Yes, its laziness on my part and no, I probably won't change.

About a month ago, I received my care package of oils from my sister. I read through the guides and quickly familiarized myself with each oil that she sent me.  Apparently they help everything from the sniffles, to MS, to indigestion, to back pain, to warts.  Warts?!?!  Hmm.  Forget about important things like helping my back pain.  I'm interested in what it can do for warts!   

This is kind of gross but I have had a wart on the bottom of my foot for as long as I can remember.  Nothing will kill this stupid thing.  I've tried everything.  Seriously!  Its so embarrassing.  Every time I get pedicures they always scratch at it and then whisper in Chinese to the gal next to them.  Like I don't know what you're talking about?  And when I get massages, I always put a band aide over it, which inevitably falls off the minute she puts lotion on my feet.  Then I just have a floppy, soggy band aide.  Lovely.  I'm sure she loves massaging around that.   I've tried every over-the-counter medicine out there and they all seemed to anger it.  It just kept getting bigger.  Ugh!  So I finally made an appointment with my doctor to have him freeze the crap out of it.  Did it work? Nope.  It just cost me $200 and again, it got BIGGER.  You've got to be kidding me!  So as you can imagine I was ecstatic to find out that an oil can help rid me of the little companion on my foot.  Skeptical sure, but I was willing to give it a shot.

Two days later and only three applications of Melaluca oil, my wart started to burn.  Uh oh.  It better not be growing again.  I took off my sock and went to put on another application of oil and..... WHOA, its completely black.  The oil is working!  This got me really excited.  Like stupidly excited.  I ran downstairs and put my foot in my husband’s face.  "LOOK!  Its dying!"  Obviously he wasn't quite as excited as me, especially since he had a foot in his face, but he humored me anyways.  

After a few weeks of twice-a-day applications, I am proud to say my wart is almost gone.  I love this stupid oil.  I even convinced my husband to try a concoction of oils on his chest to help keep his acid reflux under control. And guess what?!  Its working!  He actually notices a difference in how he feels when he doesn't use it for a day.  Magic I tell ya.  Magic.  Now that I'm a believer in oils I think I might venture into more of this natural healing hoopla.  Next on my list.....Acupuncture.  I've heard it works miracles.  I just have to get over the whole needle thing.  Stay tuned.  

Monday, April 9, 2012

April Showers? How About Paper Flowers

A few months back while watching The Nate Berkus Show they featured a DIY-er who made these beautiful brown paper flowers for her fireplace mantel.  They looked so simple to make and really brought in a charming rustic element.  I thought, I could do those no problem, and I know just where I'll put them.  As you open our front door the first thing you see is this awkward, built-in display box in our entry way.  Who ever thought that this was a good idea?  Its just plain odd.  When we first moved in I was puzzled as to what to do with it.  We even considered not buying the house because of the "what will we to do with it?" question.   Now, after four years in our house I am happy to say that I have embraced this weird, rectangular cut-out in our wall.  I actually look forward to decorating it with each season and experimenting with my creative juices.  This year's spring display is not yet complete but the paper flowers turned out great in my opinion.  Since they are so easy I wanted to share how to make them.  Even if you are lacking a sweet wall cut-out like ours, you can use these flowers for so many different things.  Bow substitutes on gift boxes, an added touch to a picture wall, holiday embellishments, etc....And you can make them in so many different colors.  Use your favorite wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, white printer paper.  The possibilities are endless.

Supplies:  Lunch bags, scissors, glue stick

Cut the bottom off the bag and set aside

Cut out leaf shapes.  I freehand mine but you can draw them first if that's easier. 

Glue four leaves together in a cross shape.

Add four more leaves to fill in the holes and get a flower shape.

Keep repeating steps above.  Fold each leaf in half and glue a crumpled piece of paper in the center. 

VoilĂ !  Wall Flowers. 

If Something's in the Water, Send it my Way

Did you hear the news?  Having a baby is the "in thing" to do.  All the girls are doing it.

I have been ready to be a mom for a few years now.  I love babies and have always been excited of the prospect of having one of my very own. One that knows who you are, looks like you and your spouse, and cries because they want you.  For the past two years, I've watched friend after friend announce their pregnancies and then welcome their little bundles of joy into the world.  I have long dreamt of this feeling and looked forward to my turn. 

Some of you know our baby struggles.  I warn you that the information below gets a little personal.  Maybe an over-share, but this is my outlet so I'm going to proceed.  So if you don't want to know certain things about me, then I would stop reading now.

Last March my husband and I decided we were in a good place in our lives to finally start the family I've always wanted.  The first few months were the hardest.  When my period didn't arrive I thought "Is this it? That didn't take any time at all."  Nope.  That wasn't it.  When it didn't arrive for the next two months I began to grow a little concerned and set an appointment with my doctor.  Everyone kept telling me, "Its just the birth control cycling out of your body.  It can take up to three months for your body to regulate.  Don't worry about it".  By the time my appointment came, I was on month 4 of no visitor.  What the heck?!  My doctor quickly dismissed the theory of the birth control "cycling out" and said that she believed I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome - A relatively common issue which causes a hormone imbalance that can inhibit ovulation.  Really?  But I have no other symptoms of this.  I don't know about you, but when I think of women who have this, I think of large, bearded women.  Now, I'm no stranger to the occasional rogue hair but I wouldn't consider myself hairy.  So I asked her.  "Do you think it would help if I lost weight?"  Fully expecting her to say "Yeah, you're well on your way to joining the fat, hairy, circus ladies, so you'd better drop a few pounds".  But she didn't.  She said that I was well below the top of the weight curve for someone my age and height and that losing weight wouldn't do me any good.  Unfortunately there wasn't a clear cause for why I have it, but that I have it.  Fantastic.  I love unexplained, unfix-able issues.  Still, I figured it couldn't hurt to shed a few pounds so I've been focusing on eating right and conditioning my hip/back to accept workouts 3-5 times a week. I'm sad to say, my doctor was right.  It hasn't helped the process and now I'm just hungry and sweaty.  At least I'm still not hairy!  Point for me!

By October I had finally gotten my visitor twice.  Yeah! A small sigh of relief.  "I'm not totally dead inside!" My doctor recommended that I try a highly successful medicine to help make me ovulate regularly.  She cautioned me that I really shouldn't take this medicine unless we were certain that we wanted a child now.  "You will most likely get pregnant within 4 months of taking this medicine" she said.  I replied with an ecstatic "Bring it on!"  A magic pill that will give us a baby?  We were all for it!

Well......Nothing.  The first three cycles they said they were pretty sure it was "working" but just not how they would have hoped.  Instead of putting me on a "normal" 28 day cycle, it put me on a 45 day cycle.  I guess this is better than a 90 or 120 day cycle, right?  So they bumped my dosage and again, nothing.  What?!  This medicine has an 80% success rate.  Am I really in that 20% chance of failures?  I hate 20%.  Did you know that there was only a 20% chance of rain on our wedding day?  C'mon!  Ha ha ha I had to throw that in for laughs.  But really?  20% is not my friend.

That brings us to present day.  It has now been a year of "trying".  But, its kind of hard to "try" when things don't cooperate.  Between my ovulation issues and my husbands various health issues and job stress, the past year has been a struggle.  We finally met with a fertility specialist this week and have accepted that things aren't going to be easy for us.  It was actually quite comforting being in her office.  For the first time in a few months I actually had a glimmer of hope and excitement back.  Not that I've completely given up, but I've just gotten to the point where I'm over worrying about it.  Its exhausting. Women always talk about reaching that point of "not caring anymore" and poof they get pregnant.  I never fully understood how you could get to that point and completely "shut your mind off"  when you want something so badly.  Now I get it.  Its not something I can explain.  You just reach a threshold where the feeling of failure month after month is too much to deal with and you do just that.  You "shut your mind off" and focus on other things.  I'm finally there.

With everything said, the whole reason for my post is that while our baby plans are delayed, we still have so much to be thankful for.  We have been blessed in every aspect of our lives.  I am so thankful for our family, friends and everything that we have.  I know a baby will come in time.  Shoot.  We'll probably luck out and get three at once.  Oh dear lord!  I hope not but we'll take what we're given.  I joke with my husband that this is God's way of teaching me patience. I think its working. We are meant to be parents and we will be great at it.  The question is when?  Until then, we will take life as it comes.  We will enjoy wearing spit-up free clothing and having full nights of uninterrupted sleep.  We will quietly laugh at our friends who are too tired to think straight, have peas on their shirts and cheerios in their hair.  We too will experience these days.  But for now, we will enjoy our time together, just the two of us.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Damn You Autocorrect!

Here's something about me that not many people know.  One of my secret indulgences is watching the Ellen DeGeneres Show.  I am a huge fan.  Huge!  I've even secretly sent in a few of the funny pictures below for them to feature in their "Horse-Heading" segment just hoping they would choose one and have me on as a guest.  I'll let you know if I ever get chosen.  Keep your fingers crossed.

There are very few shows that I look forward to seeing but Ellen is at the top of my list.  Even though it is one of my favorite shows I refuse to record it daily.  That would be 5 hours of television per week just with Ellen. Who has that kind of time? I would never get anything done.  So instead, the Friday's that I get to work from home I have a 3:00 appointment with Ellen.  This is my treat for the week.  An hour of lighthearted, feel-good TV.

Now, there are too many good segments to name but there is one that makes me laugh until I cry.  "Clumsy Thumbsy" is what it's called.  I'm sure you've all had experiences where when texting, your phone thinks you are trying to say one thing when you are really trying to say another?  If it hasn't happened to you, you're lucky.  Below are a few of my favorites.  Enjoy!