Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Texas Roemers will be coming to an end in the near future. We shall now be the "Other Minnesota Roemers." A month and a half short of a twenty year employment with the Boy Scouts of America, John has turned in his notice. He has accepted a job in Waconia, Minnesota. John, Rylee, and Spike will be in MN by the end of the month. I will stay behind to look after the house as we prepare it for market and of course there is a lot of packing to be done. I will have Chopper and Harley to keep me company. The few people I've told have been very concerned about me being all by myself. Let me reassure everyone, I will be fine! I will have so much to do I won't have time to think. This is only temporary and I know even if it is months before I'm in Minnesota the time will fly by.

This job practically fell in John's lap through some very special friends. And these friends are helping us out by letting John, Rylee, and Spike crash at their place until there is a house or apartment for us to go to. Take the word 'grateful', now super-size it, cover it in glitter, make it flash like a neon light on the Vegas strip, make it smell like bubble-gum, and make it taste like chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven and you still wouldn't be able to describe the level of gratitude we have towards our friends!

This next year is going to be nuts. We know that. But we also know being near family is worth any stress we may encounter on this next adventure. We have really enjoyed Texas. We have made so many wonderful friends in Texas. We have been blessed beyond words by the best neighbor on the planet. For crying out loud we didn't just build the house we have lived in, we got married in the back yard! We brought Rylee home to this house. I hope no one we're leaving behind thinks leaving Texas is no big deal for us, it is a very big deal.

We are so excited for the opportunity to have Rylee grow up near family. Not being near family has been something that has broken my heart since the day she was born. We have wanted her to know her family, but also for her family to know her. Not only will we be closer to John's family, we will be closer to my sister and her husband. They live in Iowa and are under three hours away. My sister and I have not lived in the same state since around 2000. I'm so excited for the relationship between my sister and I to grow even more than it already has in the last year simply because I will actually be able to meet up with her and hang out!

So I don't have a lot of details right now, but when I know more I will be happy to share it with you because I know there's lots of family and friends who want to know what the next step is for us. We would really appreciate your prayers right now. Pray that the house sells for a decent price, we will be losing money on it due to the economy. Pray that I find a job that doesn't just pay what I need but that I would enjoy as well. Pray that our stress level doesn't break our spirits. I hope you understand when I ask for your patience if I don't have answers to your questions. There are still so many things I don't know how will work out but I have faith that the Lord will take care of us, just as He ALWAYS has.

Stolen Trees and Elf Messes

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Everyone has some very specific Christmas memories from their childhood. I remember getting my first Barbie doll on Christmas Eve while at my Grandpa’s house. “Oh thank you Grandpa! I love her!” I exclaimed. Grumpily he replied, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, I would have bought you a book. Santa left that for you.”

My mom will be so mad that I’m mentioning this, but I can’t resist because it’s such a special Christmas to me. It’s no secret my family has never had money to burn, but my parents did the best they could do to never bring the stress of not having money into Christmas. The older we got the harder it was to do that, but we were more capable of understanding that stress as we matured. One year, while living in Grandview, MO we didn’t have a tree. We reassured my mom over and over that it was no big deal. We were all together and that was what was important. Mom couldn’t handle not having a tree. So at some point, in the wee hours of the morning, my parents snuck out of the house and went to an abandoned Christmas tree lot. My mom climbed over a fence to procure a discarded tree. They were all getting pitched in the trash in a few days anyway, so why not get use out of one she rationalized. Christmas morning was just like when we were kids coming downstairs to find presents under the tree. Except this time we were just excited to see a tree! I think my dad was secretly proud of my mom’s rebellious and illegal behavior. I know I was! She hates when we mention she stole a tree, so I just say, "Mom, yes you stole a tree, but you did it for your kids. God understands."

Another special Christmas was when my sister and I received a custom made doll house built lovingly by our Uncle Randy. I don’t remember the details; I just remember being told to close my eyes, when I opened them, my uncle and dad were bringing the biggest present I’ve ever received around the corner from my grandpa’s kitchen to the dining room. This must be special if it takes two grown men to carry it! Wait, it has working lights! Get out of town! It has a room for my sister, my brother, and me in there! The details are amazing! Thank you Uncle Randy, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!

We moved from California when I was fifteen and we had to leave the doll house behind at Uncle Randy’s house. By that age it wasn’t too big of a deal to me. I had moved on from playing with it. but I didn’t want to get rid of it. Here it is seventeen years later and the doll house is now back in my hands. I know my uncle is happy to have it out of his house! All this time later the doll house is still gigantic to me! In the time that my uncle watched over it he added more to it, little details here and there that make it even more amazing. When my mom and I were unpacking it from its traveling crate, it was like that Christmas all over again. Unpacking the furniture and accessories and placing them in the right place was a trip down memory lane. I remembered all the stories about where each thing came from, much to my mom’s amazement. Now I have a new respect and appreciation for the doll house that I could not have had when I received it and when I left it behind. I am so excited to share the doll house with my daughter. I’m so glad my sister trusts me to take good care of OUR doll house.

For the longest time I’ve heard my mom complain about not having any Christmas traditions in our family. My siblings and I would remind her we do have a tradition, we always have Pillsbury cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. It’s not exactly what she had in mind. And family arguments don’t exactly count either. I think she was hoping for something out of a Victorian novel or a tradition that would impress Martha Stewart. Now that I have my own family I know what she means. Actually, I knew what she meant back then but it was more fun to give her a hard time about her whining. When we were kids we set cookies out for Santa, we picked out a Christmas tree as a family, we took our picture with Santa, we went to Grandpa’s house on Christmas Eve, and we were always together Christmas morning. Little by little each of those things went away. Maybe my mom didn’t realize those were our traditions back then, or maybe they seemed more like a routine. When we think of routine it brings to mind the day to day boring stuff. But really, Christmas traditions are Christmas routines. Eventually routines change or fade away. So my mom’s longing for Christmas traditions is really her just longing for routine. What we do for Christmas changes from one year to the next. We just have to, forgive the cliché, make the most of the time we do have with each other.

A friend told me about something her sister-in-law does with her kids around Christmas time; I told her I was going to steal the idea. “Holly the Elf” is the name of the mischievous creature that makes messes in your house when you’re asleep. This mom has gone so far as to pour chocolate syrup on her countertops and make foot prints on her wall from ashes in the fireplace! Now I’m not going to push it that far. My husband would not approve of that kind of mayhem in the name of fun. Come on, we have three cats, can you imagine them running through chocolate syrup and the mess it would leave through the house?! No, I’ll stick to non-sticky messes that won’t leave stains.

I like to think of Holly the Elf as a Santa’s workshop disgruntled employee. Due to a shaky economy Santa had to make some cutbacks in hours and benefits for the elves. Holly the Elf’s wallet was already being stretched since her husband decided to go back to school full time to be a woodworking elf. He was bored with the doll assembly line. Now her son needs braces and the family pet hamster needed emergency surgery. So instead of taking a yoga class at the local elf rec center, she decided to cause mayhem to let out her aggression. So far, at our house, she has spilled candy canes on the floor, knocked our stockings down, put Christmas bells on the floor, and left candy wrappers and an empty cup of milk on the kitchen table. Rylee has been shocked at this behavior. She has said, “Well that was rude!” and “We need to write a letter to Santa to have her put on the Naughty list.”

I wasn’t sure how much I would want to get into the whole “Santa” thing with Rylee. I really couldn’t avoid it since she’s around other kids and they talk. I wouldn’t want to tell her the truth and have her ruin it for another kid. Besides, Santa has turned out to be a great motivator for good behavior. I’ve never said I was opposed to bribery and fear tactics as parental tools. I have to say Santa is more fun as a parent than as a kid. As a kid he’s mysterious and maybe even a little scary. As a parent he’s a weapon of deception and fun. Now that Holly the Elf has been added into my Christmas repertoire, I’m having a ridiculous amount of fun. The reaction Rylee is having to Holly’s mischief is priceless. My hope is that Rylee will look back on Christmas when she was a kid and have those little things stick out as being what made Christmas with her family so much fun. I can just picture her doing this with her own kids and calling me to tell me what my grandkid said when they saw a “Holly the Elf mess.”

My parents may not have done the crazy things I’m having fun doing, but that doesn’t mean Christmas, when I was growing up, was boring. If you don’t celebrate the birth of Jesus, then in the end this time of year is about being together, blessing friends and strangers, and from doing those things you will produce fantastic memories and maybe even create a few traditions of your own.

It's More Than a Building

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This morning on the way to Rylee’s school, Rylee asked, “Mom, can I hug my school?”
I said, “You could try, but it might be a little difficult because it’s a building.”
John said, “Your teachers are what make your school special, so you could give them a hug.”
I added, “And say thank you to them since you like your school so much.”
Rylee whined, “But I want to hug my schooool!”
John said, “Well we tried.”

We pulled up to the school and John walked Rylee in while I waited in the car. (She’s less distracted if just one of us takes her in.) I watched her follow behind John towards the door but then she paused. She turned towards the brick building, stretched out her arms, and pressed herself against the rough exterior. She hugged her school. I burst out laughing and hoped John saw it too. I called my mom right away to tell her what Rylee had done. John got back in the car and told me he saw it too.

This wasn’t just a something that a vivacious and loving three-year old did to be funny. Rylee has that kind of heart and personality. She shows great enthusiasm for the things she likes. I was once again reaffirmed of the decision John and I made to put her in this school. The only down side to the school we’ve seen is that she will have to leave after kindergarten.

I prayed two things at that moment.

One: that she would continue to love school/learning for the rest of her life.
Two: that she would continue to not be afraid to express her feelings no matter how silly they may seem to others.

Of course I want her to guard her heart and not give away to the wrong people and places, but I want her to keep that enthusiasm and share it with others forever.

Back in my day...

Friday, April 30, 2010

It's time to put Rylee to bed. Sometimes we let her play with the iPod we bought for the family. The biggest reason we bought the contraption was for the applications you can download that are learning tools for toddlers. Rylee excels at all of them, so I'm thinking we'll have to find some new apps soon. And when I say sometimes we let her play with it, I mean it's Friday night, John and I are exhausted from the week and we need to decompress. We send Rylee into her room a half hour before bedtime and let her play games or watch UP. She's very good about handing over the iPod when she's supposed to. She seems to be in a good mood when we let her fiddle with it too. A three year-old in a good mood before bedtime is a very good thing. Honestly she uses it the most, I've picked it up a hand full of times at most.

John and I sneak up to her door and push it open quietly. Rylee is engrossed in the movie, UP, and doesn't even notice us standing there until John says, "You know you're pretty lucky to have something so cool to play with. Your mommy and I never had anything like that when we were kids."
Rylee says, "Yea!" She doesn't get it of course, but she agrees.
I say, "I didn't even have fun band-aids." (She currently has a band-aid on each knee due to a little stumble in the school parking lot.)
Rylee says, "You can have one of mine!"
John and I start laughing.

We proceed forth in our team effort to get her ready for bed. It takes two of us on a Friday night due to our lack of energy. We have some good laughs, and by good I mean Rylee was hysterically laughing because I asked if she put wood chips from the playground in her underwear. I said, "What's all over your butt?!" The word butt will send a three year-old into a knee slapping can't catch your breath giggle fest. So of course John just can't help himself and he keeps saying butt. Rylee keeps laughing so John and I keep laughing. Round and round we go, how it stopped nobody knows!

Anyhoo, all this made me reflect on how blessed I am to have such a fun family. I am so blessed to know my parents and have a relationship with them. I know so many people who don't know one or more of their parents and it makes me sad every-time I think about it. My mom didn't really have the chance to know her mom, neither did my Aunt Rita. My cousins didn't really get to know their father. My dad isn't sure where he comes from. Some people would say you're not supposed to talk about these things because of the pain it brings to hear it. I think if we talk about it healing will come.

I have always wanted to know my family's history. Well, maybe not history, just all their names at the least. It's funny how we watch TV and are being told what we should desire. Things, they're just things. The things I truly desire can't be bought. I want to be able to give my daughter a family tree, a full healthy not missing any major limbs or branches or leaves kind of family tree. I want the roots of that tree to go deep into her life.

Stupid Baby Book

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I had a plan. I bought the baby book. I was going to fill it out with my thoughts, good or bad, even before Rylee was born. I was going to log all that essential information pertaining to Rylee's childhood. First word, when she took her first steps, first embarrassing moment she caused me in a public place, etc. A lock of hair taped down randomly that would represent her first scalping. You know, the basics. My mom can't seem to remember anything about my childhood. I won't go into how much she doesn't remember, I don't want to embarass her. It's kind of funny though, her memory just isn't there. No one in our family can figure it out. I was determined to document Rylee's life for her in great detail. I was going to be a wealth of information, knowlegde, help, the key to the riddles. I think I have stuck one pathetic post-it note in her baby book about something she did. I cannot recall at the moment what said post-it pertains to. I've been bummed about this shortcoming. I have failed my own expectations. I'm about to start really getting bummed when I have a friend say the most lovely thing to me. She says, "I hope I'm like you when I'm a mom." What?! No way did someone just associate me with what they'd want to be like. "You are so proud to be a mom Jessica. Even though I haven't been able to physically be around Rylee, I still feel like I've gotten to watch her grow up through your pictures. You take great pictures of all the fun things you do. You are a proud mama!" Well holy cow she's right! I do take tons of pictures. There are more pictures of Rylee's first year than there are of my sister, brother, and I combined from our entire childhood. Seriously, it's insane. I also try to be in the pictures instead of just taking them. Yes kids make better subjects than adults most days. Adults are self conscience and fussy about silly things that kids don't even know exist. Despite the awkwardness I feel some days about my appearance I know Rylee will appreciate the pictures of her and I someday. She'll love seeing all of us in a picture together. She'll know she's loved. She'll remember fun things we did together. Okay so I haven't produced a written encyclopedia of her early years, but I have most certainly documented her life!

Another Badge of Honor

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I'm not sure what the badges would look like if I were to create a "Mom Merit Badge" line. I know what some of them would be titled and how you would earn them though. Extra points would result in the badge being made of gold thread or a trip to a day spa.

1. Pregnancy (Surviving morning sickness and being kicked in your organs. Extra points if morning sickness lasts morning, noon, night, and the whole pregnancy.)

2. Breast-Feeding (Surviving what feels like a wild badger chomping down on a most sensitive place.)

3. Feeding (Successfully keeping your child alive by administering food during extreme sleep deprivation. Extra points if you shower more than twice in one week.)

4. Heading Back to Work (Successfully separating from your child without displaying any signs of a nervous breakdown.)

5. Crawling, Walking, & Talking (Maintaining dignity while crawling on the ground to exhibit proper technique to your child. Extra points if child walks and chews gum at the same time.)

6. Potty Training (This is earned by not killing your child. Extra points if the child appears to not be emotionally scarred by the process.)

7. Birthday Party (Maintaining sanity while hosting or attending a birthday party with more than one toddler. Extra points if there's a clown or over-sized animal present and no one cries.)

8. Vomit Distribution (Successfully coaching a toddler through the process of upchucking while not flinching or gagging when spewed upon. Extra points if carpet is fired upon only once and puking sessions stay on easy to wipe service.)

9. Kindergarten (Maintaining dignity while walking to your car on your child's first day of school. Extra points if crying does not commence until safely in the car away from public viewing.)

10. Broken Heart (This is earned by not killing the child whom caused the pain to your child.)

There are lots more to add I know. I've made it to number eight so far. I surprised myself when I didn't get grossed out or ask John to take over as I was puked on a few times. John was awesome, he ran to the store for anything I thought might help. I felt honored once again to be Rylee's mommy. Even though it wasn't a fun situation, it was nice being the one she turned to for comfort.

1987 vs. 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

It was 1987, I was nine, and shoulder pads were big. Reagan was in the White House. Oliver North was in trouble but I had no idea why. My parents always said it was time for bed when “thirtysomething” was on TV. It only peaked my curiosity for a moment since I wasn’t allowed to watch it. Truthfully, the guy with the red beard seemed whiney to me.
A big shoulder pad clad Diane Keaton was in a movie called “Baby Boom.” This was on TV last night and I came upon it right as it started. A flood of memories poured into my now thirty-year old mind. I don’t remember where my parents were always going, but I do remember many a babysitter and many a movie rented to watch while they did whatever they were doing. Given that the movie came out in October of 1987, I can’t say for sure when it was on video, but I remember watching it as a kid. That’s right, I said video, good old VHS.
At the time it was just a fun grown-up movie I got to watch that my parents deemed harmless. I thought the fashion was, no wait, I could have cared less about the fashion back then. Now I see the wardrobe of women in New York in 1987 and I laugh hysterically. It’s quite amusing to see Diane Keaton wearing a robe in bed that has shoulder pads. Sorry, I’ll stop talking about the shoulder pads, they’re just hard to ignore.
When I was a kid I knew Diane Keaton’s character, JC, shouldn’t give up baby Elizabeth to the boring people from Duluth. I thought it was funny when Elizabeth threw spaghetti at JC. To watch JC attempt putting a diaper on Elizabeth was hysterical since I had never done it before.
When I watched the movie last night I realized I had been to Duluth and the people are not boring. I prayed I’d never have to give my baby up for any reason. It is so not funny when a kid throws food at you. I was grateful disposable diapers no longer had tape on them but a Velcro-like material for easy fastening and adjusting.
Back then I was amazed at JC’s genius when she became a gazillionaire by making homemade baby applesauce. She realizes she doesn’t have to sacrifice a home life and love in order to have a career. She is woman, hear her roar, see her sit in a rocking chair while her baby rests her head on those giant shoulder pads.
Now I feel guilty sometimes when I am happy to drop Rylee off at daycare because she’s being a beast. Better they deal with her all day than me. I can’t afford to lose anymore sanity, my jar is almost empty and I can’t find any extra on eBay! My sanity and patience have never been more tested than in the last eight months. Rylee has been potty-training. (Insert scary “Psycho” music here.) Here is a little glimpse of what that’s been like.

Saturday at Home…

Well that was fun playing outside in the little blow-up pool. Did you have fun Rylee?

Yea! I plashed around and dumped up in da air and dumped in the pool! There was gas in da water and a ladybug.

Whoa! That’s amazing! Okay let’s get rinsed off and put on some fresh clothes.

I wanna be a pincess.

Oh you want to wear a dress?


Okay, we can do that. (Thirty minutes later after a shower and getting dressed.)

Rylee-bug, do you need to go potty?


Are you sure?


Okay, are you going to play in the living room?


Are you sure you don’t need to go potty?


(Thirty seconds later the sound of a small waterfall is heard in the living room.)

Mommy! I went potty.

Oh good grief! I just asked you if you needed to go and you said no!

Okay, I’m gonna go potty. (Rylee marches to the bathroom.)

You already went baby. There’s no point in going now. Come on, let’s get you changed. John, can you come here?

Wednesday at Target…

(Family restroom by the pharmacy.)

Rylee, do you need to go potty?


Okay, c’mon.

Don’t fush it Mommy.

I won’t until you’re outside. (The commercial grade toilets are loud and scary.)

You hold me Mom.

Okay, I gotcha. Good job!

Don’t fush it Mommy!

I won’t until you’re outside. Now it’s my turn. Wait right there, don’t touch anything!

YAY MOMMY! YOU DID IT! (This echoes in the small restroom and I’m convinced the entire store just heard what a great job I did using the toilet. I try to hold back laughter.)

Shhh…thanks Rylee! Now let’s wash our hands.

I want soap! No I wanna do it!

Okay then you do it.

I need help.

Yea, that’s what I thought stinker.

This is a drop in the bucket of the stories I could tell about Rylee’s potty training adventures. The good news is John and I have made it out of the damp cave of torture and we are breathing in fresh air finally. Rylee can still drive me crazy but I can’t remember the last time she had an accident. Little did I know when I was a kid watching “Baby Boom” that I’d be a mom one day watching “Baby Boom” saying, “Yea, it’s a good thing they don’t show the potty training part of Elizabeth’s life after she’s eaten all that homemade baby applesauce. It probably wouldn’t have been such a feel-good kind of movie. And what mom has time to make homemade baby applesauce?”

Last of the old ones...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

$$ REWARD $$


Monday, March 17, 2008
Mooty Mishap of March 2008

I thought I had already experienced plenty "being a parent" moments, but I was mistaken. It was a breezy Thursday evening when John, Rylee, and I went to the mall to run some errands. Since it was dinner time when we got there we decided to grab a bite to eat. We stopped in at the Ghangis Grill, but it didn’t appeal to John by the smell of things. So we headed over to R.J. Gators, a place we have been many times before. I love their Gorgonzola Bacon Cheeseburger, delish! We ate our meals and headed off to accomplish the previously mentioned needed errands. The trip around the mall took about two hours including dinner. We got back to the car and I started loading Rylee into her car seat. I looked on the floor in front of Rylee’s dangling feet. I looked in the dark hole next to the car seat that manages to be a vacuum for goldfish crackers. I looked in the front seat. I looked under the front seat. I tried to be calm but the alarm in my voice was apparent, "Where's Mooty?" I said. (For those of you who don’t know, or haven’t noticed Mooty in multiple Rylee pictures, Mooty is a black and white stuffed cow. John brought him back from a trip to Wisconsin for Rylee and she has been attached to him ever since. Her first birthday party was themed around Mooty.) So a plan of action was put into motion without even having to discuss logistics. I made sure I had my cell phone and I almost started sprinting back to the mall to retrace my steps. John got in the car with Rylee in tow; she was completely unaware at the looming crisis her parents were now facing. Yes, we have a back up Mooty sealed in an airtight plastic bag. So what if we can go online to purchase another Mooty, not the point.
I lost a doll when I was kid, and according to my mom, dad, and grandmother I was inconsolable. I was young enough that they were able to buy the same doll and let me believe they had found my lost doll. The point is that I would know the back up Mooty was a fraud, an impostor, a lie. What kind of mother would I be if I committed such an atrocity? I had visions of being compared to Britney Spears and that made me sweat. But I digress…

I passed the Ghangis Grill since we didn’t eat there and headed straight for R.J. Gators. The hostess was nice enough to look all the way in the kitchen for Mooty. (Did she think they were running out of meat?) No luck there so I headed back to the car since I didn’t recall seeing Rylee actually holding Mooty the entire time we were walking around the mall. On a whim I stopped in the Ghangis Grill thinking maybe, just maybe, Mooty might be hanging out telling stories to the waitresses of being dragged on the ground by Rylee as she crawled after our cats. He’d laugh as he was reminiscing about all the boogers and snot he had accumulated from Rylee’s kisses. He might turn a little green as he relived his near death experience in the washing machine.
As I entered the restaurant the hostess was about to seat me when I stopped her and started to ask, "Has anyone turned in a little…MOOTY! Oh thank God!" I shrieked with delight as I turned my head and saw Mooty sitting on the hostess podium smiling at me as though he was oblivious to the heart attack he had just given me. He knew what he had done. The hostess did not question my ownership of Mooty as I left her, she could tell by my reaction that Mooty was coming with me.
I didn’t cry until I got back into the car. John handed Rylee her precious Mooty and at that moment we were grateful she could not tell time or scold us for putting Mooty through such a traumatic experience.
I told John I had visions of some obnoxious child finding Mooty and taking him home. John said, "What parent would let their kid have that dingy cow?" He made an excellent point. I fought off tears the whole way home, I’m not sure why; maybe memories of my own lost doll came to mind. Mooty, the dingy cow, has become a part of our family. I think even the possibility of my daughter being sad over losing her favorite stuffed animal was too much to handle. I know I better get some thicker skin because pain and hurt are inevitable for Rylee, but that doesn’t mean I won’t do everything I can to shield her from as much pain and hurt as possible, even if it meant putting up Missing Posters for Mooty.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
With a flip of the switch!

It's a Christmas miracle I tell you! You know that commercial with the guy asking his wife to help him figure out the function of the mysterious switch in their garage? He flips it back and forth saying, "On, off, on, off...," the wife never looks up and just says, "Nope nothing honey." Meanwhile two doors down from the couple a lady is halfway in her garage with her car and her garage door just keeps slamming down on her hood. John and I were quite amused by this commercial since we too have a mysterious switch in our garage. We've lived in our house over two years and have never figured out what the switch was for. That is until today...duh duh duh.

Apparently it goes to an outlet on the outside of our house near our roof. We actually asked for that to be installed so when we hung Christmas lights we'd have somewhere closer to plug the lights in. Somehow we haven't used it until today. John plugged brand new lights into the outlet and they wouldn't work. Don't ask me what made me think to check that mysterious switch, but I did, and now we shall kick some yule tide butt in the house lighting competition in our neighborhood! Even if we don't win the evil homeowner's association stupid contest, John and I had our own victory today, complete with high five and embarrassing victory dance. Of course John got off the ladder for the dance. God bless us everyone.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
That’s what Purell is for.

(This goes out to all my friends who are expecting their first baby.)

If you have to go to the grocery store because you're out of milk, see if you can have a neighbor or someone watch your baby for like ten minutes. My husband is out of town so I went by myself, which I have done many times with Rylee tagging along. The problem is that this time I had to use the restroom the second I walked into Target. Again, no big deal, but you can not bring a cart, which your child can sit in, into the restroom. I didn't have her carrier with me because she's just too big for it in a shopping cart. She loves to sit up and look at all the happenings. So, what do you do when you HAVE to go to the bathroom and you HAVE to carry your baby? Why you just hold her in your lap while you go, you say. Oh no no no, my friend, not when they have freakish leg and arm strength and are oh so squirmy. You can't hang the baby on the hook by there onesie, c'mon, I'm not trying to out do Brittney Spears here. Setting the baby on the floor is really the only option. Do you lay down one of those paper toilet seat covers? Nope, baby will tear and put in mouth. Lay down a bunch of toilet paper for baby to sit on? Nope, baby will tear and put in mouth. You hopefully have brought your diaper bag with you. In that diaper bag you hopefully have a travel diaper changer pad thingy and a toy. Set baby on thingy and give toy to occupy baby. Refer to nights out drinking with friends and pee like you were about to miss your night in shining armor if you were in the bathroom a second longer. Proceed to pick baby up, do not leave on floor to wash hands, this is what Purell is for. Scurry out of bathroom with minimal shame and hope no one saw your baby on the floor. Shop quickly, leave, and give baby a bath when you get home. Chances of anything actually happening to baby in those 10 seconds are minimal, but the bath helps you regain your dignity. Tell friends story as cautionary tale.
Monday, April 30, 2007
Two for One

So I needed to get my new (new to me that is) VW Jetta inspected so I could register it. I went to the Kwik Kar and handed over my keys. As I waited in the "lounge" a little old lady came in and sat down across from me. She immediately struck up a conversation about the hours of operation. We agreed they needed to be open earlier. She then proceeded to offer me a "sandwich" from Jack in the Box. It was a sausage and egg biscuit and they were two for one that morning. I was hungry and I was taking my lunch break to get the car taken care of. I knew I'd be pressed for time to grab lunch so I happily accepted her generous offer. I couldn't believe how nice this stranger was being to me. She said her name was Barbara. Then another little old lady walked in, no, actually she shuffled in. She was dressed to the nines as little old ladies often do no matter where they are going. She had a wee bit o' red lipstick on her front teeth. I was going to let her know this but she was talking up a storm with the other little old lady right away and I just didn't want to interrupt. They were carrying on a conversation about two different subjects, I'm not sure how, but they were. I found out how many grandchildren they each had, whose husband had passed away, how long they had lived in the area, what they used to do for a living, and their views on the senior citizen discount. All this information came at me within a matter of five minutes. I finished my biscuit while delighting in the ping-pong of history that passed back and forth in front of me. My car was finished and I had to return to the drab gray world of cubicles. I thanked Barbara for my biscuit and wished them both a lovely day. It's anecdotes like this that need to be shared to remind us the world isn't as awful as the news can make it out to be.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Waiting for Justin.

Friends keep asking me if I like being a mom. I don't know how to answer that sometimes. With some people I just say yes and get it over with. With people that know me well, I have to be honest and say, well, it's no picnic. It's so much responsibility. A little helpless person always needs you. They literally would die if you didn't take care of them. It can be overwhelming. This last week my little person has had a cold. Talk about exhausting. She cries so much more because she's uncomfortable. She doesn't know how to blow her nose and she can't say pass the Nyquil. How would you like it if someone keep sticking a funny piece of blue rubber up your nose and sucking boogies out? When you don't have words to say, "Hey crazy lady, stop doing that!" you'd be crying a lot too. So if being a mom means having to torture someone's nose, no, I don't like being a mom. Now if it means you are the only one who can comfort those miserable moments away, then yes, I love being a mom. I have never felt more like a mom than this last week while Rylee has been sick. When you're sick you just want your mommy. Now I'm the mommy and I can feel that she wants my attention and love. I know I'm in love with my daughter now because when I'm leaving work and on my way to pick her up I can't wait to see her, boogies and all. In the midst of having a cold she smiles after I've put away the scary blue rubber thing and calmed her down. It's kind of like opening that present you were really hoping to get Christmas morning but didn't think you'd get. It's awesome. The smile part, not the boogies.

Now, I will say after having a baby your body is just not normal. I want women (and men) out there to know the truth about having a baby. I'll say it again; it's not all sunshine and lollipops. There is so much gas involved in this process. It's coming from you, it's coming from the baby, it's costing a fortune to put it in your car, and you wish you could take it from you and your baby to put in your car. At some point you stop and realize that no one says anything to you when you hold your baby up and stick your nose right next to their butt to see if you smell a poo-filled diaper. You're doing this in public and it's socially acceptable. The saddest moment I've had was last Saturday when I found myself clipping coupons and getting really excited about the deals I was finding. I had to laugh because if I didn't I would have cried. Gone are the days of going to a movie at nine o'clock at night. The drinks and bad decisions until the wee hours of the morning stopped long ago. Now I look forward to grocery shopping alone at Wal-Mart because it's the only moment I get to myself sometimes. Today I'm sick, Rylee gave me her cold, and even though my body aches and swallowing is an all around bad idea, it's nice to be alone in the house. I am just trying to avoid a mirror because I'm scary and starting to wonder when or if my sexy will come back. Justin Timberlake says he's brought it back, but he hasn't shown up at my door yet.

Friday, April 27, 2007
(This was written in response to my mom, Elizabeth (Betsy), worrying over how she was going to handle being a good grandma when she lived so far away.
How to cut it as a grandma:

1. Own funny-smelling face cream.
2. Keep stale butterscotch candy and the bottom of your purse, the more lint covered the better.
3. Ask, "What kind of music is that?"
4. Shake nervously when asked to operate any technology.
5. Refer to the good old days frequently. Sometimes this might be referencing the previous week.
6. Don't let a conversation go by without mentioning a body part that aches.
7. Don't let a conversation go by without mentioning how cold you are, even if you are visiting Texas in July.
8. Serve ice cream or brownies for breakfast.
9. Improperly mix Kool-Aid by leaving out the sugar.
10. Have perfume tray on dresser.
11. Own one perfume that is not in production anymore.
12. Your favorite shows have to be "Murder She Wrote" and "Matlock." Angela Lansbury is your hero.
13. You better know how to knit.
14. Your clothes can't match when you are in public.
15. Your sunglasses have to be bigger than your head.
16. When saying hello or goodbye to your grandchild you have to hug them until they are embarrassed.
17. You must own and display at least one creepy painting in a prominent place in your home. This must achieve the proper level of creepy so as to burn the image on your grandchild's brain for life.
18. All birthday cards and or presents must arrive on time no matter how tacky they are. A five dollar check may be sent to your grandchild for their birthday until the day you can't remember your name, or you write the check to the local grocery store.
19. You are not required to pinch cheeks when you see your grandchild.
20. You are required to love them the best way you know how.

The letter for today is "J"

Friday, March 27, 2009

Obviously this was written a little while before my daughter, Rylee, was born.

Thursday, August 31, 2006
Janaesaquania, Julaxis, Jaroslava, Janki, Jayquaniqua, Joachima, Juba, Junna, Jwahir

John and I are finding it particularly difficult to decide on a name for a girl that starts with a "J". We thought it'd be fun to have our whole family have names that start with "J". Now that we are seeing some of the names to pick from in baby name books and websites we are reconsidering having the baby's name start with a "J". I just don't think I could introduce my kid to my family and friends if I don't know how to pronounce the name I chose. And it wouldn't be fair for my kid to have to deal with the teasing at school just because of their name.

I'm just asking for trouble or a call from the police when my kid is in high school. "I'm sorry ma'am, you'll have to come down to the station to pick up your daughter, Juba, (insert giggle here by policeman) she was caught breaking into the social security office trying to change her name, again."

Julaxis sounds like something you take to cure the hiccups.
Janki sounds like something you could catch while traveling in a rain forest.
Joachima sounds like something a drunk Chinese man is shouting behind the counter at a dry cleaning business.
Janaesaquania sounds like, well, I don't know what it sounds like because I can't pronounce it.

So anyway, I think we'll be brainstorming for a little while longer. I know we still have some time to decide but I am hoping to get the name picked out soon if I am going to get personalized Star Wars towels made up before the baby is born. These things take time! "But wait Jessica, if it's a girl are you really going down the Star Wars path? That seems like more of a boy thing than girl thing."
And I say, "There is no other path." Right honey? John, why are you rolling your eyes? You told me to put it in the blog!

Sunday, January 07, 2007
It's a waiting game.

Wow, I can't believe how long it's been since I've written a blog. I have just been too damn tired to be honest. This has not been an easy pregnancy and I haven't wanted to bitch about it too much. Magical time my ass. This little girl growing inside of me (rather quickly now) last weighed in at six pounds and six ounces. That was a week ago. She could easily be almost seven pounds by now. She likes to stick her feet underneath my ribs. I am eager for her arrival mostly so I can have my body back. When you're not pregnant you take lots of things for granted. Tying your shoes is quite a daunting task right now. You do actually have to roll out of bed at this point. There is no jumping in the third trimester of pregnancy. There is no hopping up to answer the phone. This is when you thank the inventor of caller id. This is when you realize how amazing single mothers are. My Aunt Rita needs medals, trophies, streets named after her, etc. My husband is my best friend, but he is now another one of my heroes. His patience has absolutely floored me. Every time I look at him I wonder what I did to be so blessed. He is an amazing man.

Please don't think I am not wanting to have a baby. I am just at the stage of pregnancy when one realizes their life is about to change forever. This baby will be my responsibility for at least the next eighteen years. (The teen years are what terrify me the most.) Up to this point everything is surreal. Yea, I feel her trying to dislocate my organs one at a time, but it's bizarre to think that I have another human being inside of me. Yes, the movie "Alien" pops into my head all the time. Sometimes it feels like she is going to burst through my stomach at any moment. Strange visions of her busting out of my belly and running off while I lay helpless on the floor are frequent when she starts her Tae Bao exercises. I can hear her saying, "See ya sucker!" as she runs off into the sunset.

I have seen her move around and open her mouth when I'm having a sonogram, but I'm still watching it on a TV monitor and it remains surreal and feeling detached. I have been told that I really won't be able to wrap my head around the situation until I actually hold her in my arms for the first time. I sure hope all those mother instincts kick in like everyone tells me they will. Right now I'm missing having a cold beer at the end of a stressful day. I'm cursing the designer of grocery store layouts, those clever idiots just had to be brilliant and put the milk at the back of the store so distracted consumers would buy more. It's not the buying more that worries me right now, it's the distance to and from the milk that concerns me. Are they trying to make me go into labor in their store?

I'm hoping that when Rylee does finally get here, which should be by February 2nd, that I will be able to tell the entire world without reservation that the last nine months have been worth every ache and pain, every vomit session (including the one at the movie theater, sorry Harkins theaters!) every strange dream, every denial of chocolate ice cream (no not all pregnant women get to eat whatever they want) every migraine, every bottle of Tums consumed, every anxiety attack of wondering if I really can do this parental thing.I guess I believe in being honest about these big changes in life. I don't want to fall into some cliché trap and just repeat over and over what everyone wants to hear when they say, "You must be so excited!" Well, no, not really, not right now at least. I'm exhausted and facing the biggest change of my life. I can't really say for sure that if my pregnancy had been easier I would be more excited. I still think my personality would not be thinking of this event any differently, it needs to be taken seriously. Sure the baby shower stuff and cute clothes are tons of fun and I'm so appreciative of my friends and family blessing John and I with so many things for Rylee, but not everyday will be filled with laughter and bubbles. There are going to be rough days filled with crying and frustration, and Rylee won't understand why mommy is on the floor in the fetal position. Hopefully Rylee's therapy bill won't be too high.

Some pieces of my life...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

After minor trepidation I am going to contribute a few words, well, maybe more than a few. Since I just wasn't able to think of anything current to share, I thought I'd share some older things I wrote while I was pregnant and some thoughts from unusual days. My pregnancy was not easy, but the end result was well worth it. Rylee turned two in January and is so much fun. John, my husband, and I have been married for over three years, it will be four years in October. Life is good, no real reason to complain. So here is some of my previous writing...

Monday, March 06, 2006
Pho or Faux?

Okay, so like it started out weird cause I seriously didn't know what day it was. I was like, is it Friday or Thursday? Finally got up and the deciding of the clothes began. That led to holding back hormone filled tears of realization of the chubbiness. Left the house late regretting outfit. Made to work on time. Annoyed by every voice around me. Kept trying to convince my chubbiness that hormones were on rampage. Can't let hormones rule damn it! Could not focus all day !!!!! Brain sooooooooo slooooowwwww. Damn you hormonessssss!!!!!
Didn't accomplish much, oh well. Looking forward to trying new restaurant called "The Green Bamboo". Thought it was new Chinese place. Oh no no no my friend, it is Pho Vietnamese food. Pho, let's discuss that. I associate Pho with Faux, like Faux fur, like fake fur. So is Pho Vietnamese actually Fake Vietnamese. Not quite, but it did seem like fake food. As in no taste and apparently it does not need to be served hot. My first clue the Pho was indeed Faux was the smell when I walked into the establishment. Didn't exactly appeal to my nostrils. I won't go into the stupidity of teenage service. Left as quickly as they would bring me my check and a to-go box. To-go box you say? Thought the food was gross? It was but I didn't have the heart to just leave it. So I took my styrofoam faux pho Vietnamese food and scurried out to my car. I then hurried to a burger joint in the same strip mall. Ordered a guacamole burger and had them throw my faux pho Vietnamese food in the trash for a starving rat to find and quickly laugh at. "Humans actually pay to eat this?", it would say.
Went home, baracaded my chubbiness in my fort, ate my burger, burped, and started playing on my computer. Which brings me here typing this sad story to you. Hope your day was better than mine.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Mahalo Jamba Dude

So this morning I put on my new hot pink shirt. It's way more girly than I am use to but I'm trying to expand my girly horizons. I've donned my new button, hot pink as well but a shade off my shirt, "Save the Drama For Your Mama". Silver hoop earrings and blacks pants. Well dang, I'm lookin' kinda cute today!
So I'm running behind, I woke up thirty minutes late. No worries, this is the perfect excuse to grab my favorite "running late breakfast", a regular Citrus Squeeze from Jamba Juice. I wait my turn. I place my order with the Jamba dude who has tropical stormy blue eyes. He says he knows my face. I remind him the last time I was in he popped up from behind the counter and scared me. It definitely woke me up at 6:30 in the morning. He recalls the incident with laughter. I wait patiently for my fruity goodness.
The radio or Muzak comes on. A familiar jingle rings in my ears. Ahh yes, California Girls by the Beach Boys. David Lee Roth is singing this version but I don't mind. I am a California Girl! And don't they wish we were all California Girls!? It's like a soundtrack was being played just for me. Ooh, camera zooms in for a close up. (The kind of camera that takes off ten pounds and automatically corrects blemishes on chins.) Our California Girl smiles. Beaming through her beautiful brown eyes is a moment of peaceful satisfaction. She knows it's going to be a great day.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Had to flush.

Okay so Friday the 21st John and I went to a local carnival in a church parking lot or front yard, whatever. We had been wanting to take pictures at night of the lights on the rides. We went, we snapped, we had lots of fun. We met the manager, Levi, who has been working for the company for 22 years. He was a cool dude. I met Mitchell, he was no more than five years old. He won a bunch of goldfish and traded them in for a crab. It had been painted blue and the word NASA was added on for show. He named his crab Caesar. He was very excited about the crab his mom said probably didn't have a chance of surving in their house. Bummer for Caesar.
So I wanted a goldfish. I couldn't pass up the oportunity to care of another pet. I don't have the dog I want. I'm still working on John about that. So John and I spent five smackers for a basket of dirty ping pong balls and attempted to get them in the glass bowls filled with rainbow colored water. I succeded in my attempt, as did John. We took home two fish, Bono and The Edge.
On the way home we purchased a bowl, food, and green marbles for a contrasting color to the gold fish we just adopted. We planned out a video with our cats. It was going to be called, "Why Bono and The Edge think Choppers and Harleys are unsafe". Picture a close up on the bowl with two unsuspecting goldfish swimming peacefully. There is a sign behind them with their names and two arrows pointing in their direction. Pull the sign away to reveal our two cats staring at what they hope to be dinner. (The truth is we showed the cats the fish and we didn't get the reaction we thought we would. Harley was more interested in drinking the water. Chopper appeared to be afraid of the bowl.)
Well, Bono bit the dust in less than 24 hours. The Edge made it until the following Thursday. Poor fish. I hate to flush those little guys. I can hope they are faking it like Nemo and they'll end up in the sea can't I? Never got to make my video. Nuts. Maybe I should have left them with the Carney's.

Sunday, April 30, 2006
I'm going to get a hoe.

Did I ever think I'd have a front yard and a back yard of my own? Yea, but then I lost that dream for a long time. I live in Texas now and own my own home. Well, my husband and I will own it in like thirty years, but you know what I mean. I was out planting rose bushes, caladiums, and purple things today. I haven't memorized all their names yet. I can't believe how much fun I was having getting covered in dirt and sweat. I kept getting surprised by spiders and other unknown bugs crawling over my feet. I hate spiders, but I was okay out there today. I laid down on a beach towel for a moment to rest and stared up at the most beautiful blue sky. Writing this it sounds so silly, but it was truly peaceful. I was thinking I better enjoy this moment because it's Texas and it's going to get hotter than Hades really soon. I saw a toenail moon waiting to make it's entrance later in the evening. I choked back tears because I was laying in MY front yard planting in MY garden. I didn't really forget my dream after all. I think I didn't really know what my dream was until I was laying there this afternoon.

Sunday, July 16, 2006
My first nine weeks...

1. Everyone has a remedy for nausea. Suck, don't chew on, nine oranges for nine days while laying with your feet propped up on a wall. I think you have to listen to Cat Stevens at the same time. (I can't make that up guys.)
2. Except the gas. Embrace the gas. Be proud of your burps and farts. It's the only time you can get away with it and not be judged. Ignore the question, "What did you eat?!"
3. Cats sense the presence of an alien life form. Reassure them they are still in charge and they will not have to eat left over baby food when the alien arrives.
4. Breasts should not be referred to as anything other than breasts at this stage of the game. They should not be teased in any way. Really, they should not be looked at because it might cause the owner to sock the looker just for thinking about them.
5. It is considered exercise everytime you have to briskly walk to the bathroom to throw up. Crouching before a toilet can be considered lunges. Getting up from the floor is considered lifting weights.
6. It is okay to cry over ceiling fans, the Discovery Health Channel, watermelon, and pizza.
7. No matter how hard you try, you just can't make up a game involving how many times you have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
8. Snoring is an unappreciated art form.
9. Peaches smell so dang good.
10. Sleep is the most wonderful thing ever. Ever.