Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Gathering of the Girls

Vicky and Jenn were supposed to arrive sometime Thursday afternoon. They were flying stand by and arrived sometime Friday afternoon. They spentmost of Thursday in Charlotte, NC.  In the airport.  Not fun. I mean, how many Cinnabons can you eat before you feel Death coming for you? Julie (and Ms. Greta) and Andi were at my mom’s already waiting for them. They ate some pulled pork sandwiches while they waited for me (the party) to arrive. Me and Koley got there around two and sat and chatted with me seesters. There was some Bradley Trivia, some faces on the Wooly Willy Game, and some Easter candy! Which was my fave. My mom had a whole bunch of jelly beans and Robin Eggs and peanut butter eggs and she just dumped them into one big huge clear bowl. It was a free for all and a real feast for the eyes to get your sweet tooth going. Vicky and Jenn brought presents for all the kiddies. Kole got a sun/gear/rattle toy. He loves it. Drags it around with him everywhere he goes.

Teener (Krissy) got there with her kids a couple hours after me and the weekend began.

First on the itinerary was the photo shoot. I love that my family calls it a “photo shoot.” Is that normal? I think almost everyone else says they are “getting their picture taken.” I guess that’s just a little too hum drum for the Bradley Girls. After dinner we all donned our high heels and favorite jeans. We glammed up our eyes and our hair and headed down to the Innov8 Studio. Josh Peterson has been a part of Andi’s life since high school. They are incredible photographers and he was the Chosen One to take our pictures. It was a blast. There was a huge ballroom for the stage. There were those big umbrella flash things. He had an assistant that helped with hair and how to stand to look the best. There was music. There was dancing. There was laughter. There was me--- always in the middle having to stand facing forward feeling like the chubby plum in the middle. But I think we are all becoming familiar with my thoughts on that. “Every game needs a loser and every group needs a chubby friend. I fill both those roles.” Plus! Once I voiced that concern Josh and his assistant were incredibly accommodating.

I came home right after “the shoot” to welcome Ken home from SLC.  But as soon as our chores were done Saturday morning,  but we headed back up on Saturday. We got there just in time for a bowling tourney! It was a big surprise. Now, me? I love bowling. I could bowl like 6 or 7 times a week and not be bored with it. I’m not a great bowler- but I break 100. And to me that’s pretty good. I got 105 on Saturday. I threw one round of gutter balls and that just wrecked it for me and then I didn’t know it was the 10th frame and it was and I missed out on all the extra turns. Anyway- fun was had by all. I would say fun was especially had by Jossy. Krissy’s little girl. She’s 3 and really really got into the game. She wore bowling shoes (that were way too big for her) and everything. She even started cheering for other lanes. And Jenn somehow got really cool looking bowling shoes. They looked like Adidas. I almost thought she had packed them and brought them from Pittsburgh. We are all tromping around in our clown shoes and Jenn was sporting really hot looking bowling shoes. If there is such a thing. And I can testify that there is.

Mom cooked and fed us so much good food. Oh I was stuffed. But not too stuffed I couldn’t hop on the two seater bike with Andi Girl and laugh our way around the neighborhood. Have you ever been on one of those? It’s really hard to get started. Especially when you are giggling. And the seat is way too high. And people are watching you as they pass in their cars. It was funny. We were riding around the neighborhood and all the sudden this huge dog starts barking and jumping and we couldn’t tell if it was tied up or not and Andi just starts sca-REAming like the dog was already attacking her. Her screaming made me scream we were both making the bike all wobbly and then we were trying to correct ourselves. Oh, it was fun. The dog was tied up which made us laugh even harder. The evening ended in the hot tub. Nothing like a good soak to let all the fun sink in to your muscles. Fantastic.

Ken was incredible with Koley all day.  Being the best dad.  Ken’s idea of a relaxing weekend does not include a photo shoot, bowling, lots of food, bike riding, and hot tubbing with 5 overly excited girls.  (Well maybe the food and the hot tub part) (Mine does.) But he was up there and in the best of moods and smiling and laughing and carrying on with the rest of us monkeys. I love that man.

Monday, April 25, 2011

My List, My Sisters, My Koley

For starters I can check a second things off my "26 Before 27" list.  (Number 1 was dye my own hair... saving that post.)  I played the piano in church.  I have done it before as an accompanist which to me is always pretty overlooked.  You just figured there is some piano super star playing and you listen to the singers.  I was asked to play for Easter.  I practiced for hours.  Ken was so sick of the song.  I was so sick o the song... "Easter Prayer."  It was a medley.  Why do medleys always have really dumb names?  Anyway I wanted to know the song really well.  To the point where it was almost memorized.  I was there.  I was so ready to play it. I was first on the program... and was doing well.  I play really soft. I get nervous.  About half way through I heard Kole.  Not cry.  Just make a sound and, I am not kidding, I looked up.  I looked away from the music.  I stopped playing for like a second. It felt like a minute.  Slow motion big time.  So embarrassing- and what was even worse?  I lost my place after that.  Because I had it mostly memorized I didn't really know where  I was.  I found my spot but my confidence was shot.  Let's just say the song ended. Period.  There was the normal "You did really good" comments in the hall- I live in a super overly nice ward.  I want to play it again just to say "See!  I CAN play this!  I just got distracted. Come on!  Give me another chance!"  But- I did it.  2 down.  24 left.
Let's see.... I would like to dedicate an entire post to the Bradley Reunion which occurred over the weekend.  At this time I only wish to offer a teaser.  We had our pictures professionally taken on Friday night.  I am incredible misplaced in a family of tall, gorgeous, naturally slender women.  But the pictures turned out great.  I think we were honing Kardashians. (May become more evident in pictures posted later.)  At the shoot, I felt like the problem child.  The photographer and his assistant kept having to stop and say, "Patty could you put your chin up... no... too far.... sigh... back. "  or"Patty your hand is... not right."  "Patty."  "Patty."  "PATTY!"  Posing and looking good doing it are not natural abilities I possess.  I can make killer caramel popcorn and I can read really fast.  I can't pose right for a picture though.  Notice how I am the only one doing nothing fun?  I am just looking at the camera?  Boring.  Boringboringboringboring.  But!  Please also take note of those killer calves!  I am so proud of my legs.

There's news with Koley too!  First off, he has taken off with his crawling as of Friday.  No more GI Crawl.  No more Swiffering.  He can go.  I think it was being around his cousins.  He is completely enthralled by other children.  He just stares.  Like a love-sick teenager.  Or a little puppy being offered the biggest bag of Pupperoni ever.  And wants to be as close to them as he can.  It's so tender.
This is him saying, "Mom you're in my way.  I'm trying to get closer to these miniature humans I keep seeing around here."
Note all his extra joints on his forearm.  There's the elbow, the mid arm, the pre-wrist, the wrist.  the kid has chub.  AND!  He's cutting two teeth!  It's a twofer- toother.  I couldn't resist.  His bottom fronts.  You can't see them yet but you can feel them.  His little gums are sore, sore, sore.  And my nippies are sore, sore, sore.  I swear he is using me as a grindstone.  Youch.  He's going to blog all about it this week- so check over on his des temps en temps.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Get This!

I was reading a magazine (Oprah) article about how to defy your age.  It was a fashion-geared column.  It showed a 31 year old with gray hair (that will be me.), bare shoulders at 60, long hair at 70, and miniskirts at 50.  I'm not for all these ideas mostly because people won't do them right.  They will just read "miniskirt at 50" and think they can slap on some pleather leopard print tighty and look great with their pale legs, spider veins, and saggy knees.  They won't read the fine print.  I love fine print.  And, although, I am not 50 I was most intrigued by this woman.  She stated that when she turned 50 she decided to celebrate all year.  Totally my thing.  She was going to celebrate by tackling 50 new experiences and blogging about them.  Copy Cat Buzzer going off.  What a way to break out of your box!  Now, I am only half her age (plus one year and 8 months) but I am going to do the same thing.  I started a list and am trying to think of more. 
"26 Before 27"
1. Dye my own hair.  I've had others dye my hair before- both professionally... and in the kitchen sink.  But I haven't done it on my own.  Does anyone?  Is there a reason?  Beats me.  Or should I say- I'm going to find out!
2.  Learn to knit.  So when I am 50 I'll fit in with the really cool old ladies.
3.  Decorate a cake.  I have the tools.  I have a book.  How hard can it be?
4.  Go swing dancing.  My Uncle Victor used to swing dance with us when we were little.  Taught us the basics.  A couple weeks ago we did some swing dancing at young women and Mama's still got the moves! 
5.  Golf.  Ken is a great golfer.  I normally.... just drive cart.  Not no more.
6.  Retry the foods I "don't like."  Does this need an explanation?

That's my start.  I've got 5.  I am open to suggestions.... come one.  Give me one.  I need 21 more ideas and I only have  4 months.  Help me out here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Getting Dressed for Church

Yesterday morning I just woke up in a bad mood.  (Ken says I do that now.  Whatev.)  I think it was my pillow.  We have these fantastic Sealy pillows that replaced our old, stained, flat pillows.  The new ones are very soft and full and for the first couple nights it was like sleeping on a cloud.  Now it feels like I am sleeping on a cliff side.... like straight up... with no give.  It takes me a really long time to fall asleep.  Ken can fall asleep in about 45 seconds.  Most nights, after he is asleep, I'll look over and study his position and try to copy it.  I mean he is obviously very comfortable.  Rarely works for me though.  He says that I put to much emphasis on being absolutely comfortable.  I should just be happy to be regular comfortable.  Interesting.  Anyway- Sunday I woke up in a bad mood.  Which just got worse.
I got up and got Kole up.  I fed and dressed him and brought him in to Ken (who was still in bed... we remember that trick don't we?)  I went about getting ready.  In the shower I cut myself about 5 times shaving.  You see, I decided to try to save some money and I got these really cheap Bic razors.  There's like 2 blades.  Youch.  And on top of youch- they didn't do the best job getting rid of the hair.  So I really feel like I wasted the buck eighty-five that they were.  And I only have 14 more to go through.  After the shower I tried to blow dry my hair.  *Sigh*  Make that a really long airy sigh.  My blow dryer is on it's last leg and toppling.  About a month ago it sparked and then reduced it's power.  And since then about once a week it'll click and the air comes out slower.  It's so weak.  Like there's a little sick squirrelly in there trying to blow my hair dry.  Anyway- my hair drying took tons longer than I thought it would and my hair was still a little damp which meant I wouldn't get a good straight look. I decided to let it air dry while I got dressed.  Ken suggested I wear this shirt dress I got a couple summers ago.  It is a gorgeous dress.  It has something like a giraffe print on it and goes to about my knees.  He said with a big belt I would look great.  I figured with a big belt and some Spanx.  So the Spanx went on, the dress went on, the belt went on and boy was it too short.  I asked Ken what he thought.  He thought it looked great.  I finished my hair, put on my boots, some jewelry and went out to the living room.  Ken said, "Maybe that is a little too short."  Uh.  Yeah.  It was 9:25.  I went to my closet.  What could I put on without changing my earrings or boots.  I found a brown floor length skirt.  I put it on.  When I put a sweater on that matched it there was a hole in it.  Take everything off.  Frizzy hair.  What else is in here?  Ah!  A mid shin one piece.  Perfect!  It'll slip right over my head, smooth out my hair, I don't have to change my boots or earrings... I put it on.  And couldn't quite get the zipper to go all the way up.  Ken tried.  Nothing.  Let me say that there was no problem getting the zipper over my hips, waist, and belly.  My chest is just too Pamela Anderson-esque.  I don't know if it's the nursing or my natural feminine curves but that zipper was not going anywhere.  And all you members of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee who wish you had something more to fill in your A cups..... trust me... you don't.  They don't make clothes for big-busted women.   So that was out.  It was 9:30.  Church was starting.  Ken was getting restless.  I went in and changed into a shirt and a sweater (that also wouldn't button over my chesties) and a brown pencil skirt.  I had to change my shoes.  I mean I looked nice.  But I looked so... so much like I always do.  Pencil skirt and heels.  Boring. And I just hated that nothing fit me.  And not because I am chubby.  It was frustrating.  When we got to church we did get good seats in the back by interesting people.  Which was a plus.  And two of my young women spoke and did really well.  I did end up going home after sacrament to put Koley down for a nap and I changed again.  Floor length black skirt and floral top.  No one noticed.  Make me think I put too much thought into what I am going to wear.
Am I the only one who does this every time I get dressed? 
I know Julie does.
I know Karlenn doesn't.  She actually wears her clothes in the order they are hung in her closet.  Which is amazing and easy.  But I can't do that.
It's funny how clothes can change your whole day.
For the better of the worse.
And Kole just wears sweats all the time
Yup!  And sometimes not even sweats!  Sometimes I'm just in my pajamas all day!
How great would that be?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Eerily Similar

Twinners, right?  Wait.  Is it just me?  Am I really the only one who sees it?  It's like some kind of Benjamin Button effect.  Koley is the old guy from Jurassic Park!  Grandpa George would be so thrilled.  JP is my dad's favorite movie.  Jurassic Park 2 is his second favorite movie and Jurassic Park 3 is his third favorite movie.  Blood, Gore, and Dinosaurs.  Remember when JurassicPark was the scariest movie ever made?  It was the raptors.  See, you thought the T-Rex was as bad as it could get.  Oh no.  The raptors.  In the kitchen!  They can open doors!  I am so renting that this weekend.  If not for the thrill of dinosaur chases, then at least to see what Kole will look like in 75 years.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Gunn-ing It

Been reading a lot of books lately.  For two reasons.  One, I love to read.  Two, I have oodles of free time.  I've got this take-care-of-the-baby thing down.  I've just been using my "me-time" so poorly.  I think it's because I was referring to that time as "me-time."  When isn't all my time my own?  I can do with it as I will.  Kole spends a lot of my time with me.  And that's fine by me.  He's just about my only friend these days.  My anxiety and lack of ability to talk on the phone has chased most others away.  Let's get back on track. 
I just finished a book by Tim Gunn.  Tell me you know who he is.  Please.  I loved him before I read Gunn's Golden Rules and love him even more 250 pages later.  It was in every way a guilty pleasure.  But, I feel no guilt.  It was delightful.  I felt like I was sitting having tea with him.  (I'd have to have peach iced tea- because I don't like any other kind.)  He is so proper and refined in the way he speaks.  And he's not even British.  Love it.  The book was a mix up of an etiquette guide, a fashion dos and don't, and a gossip column.  My favorite tips from the book.... hmmm.... let's go with Top Ten.  I love top ten lists.  I struggle picking one thing of anything.  ie- favorite color, food, TV show, movie, song.  But I can roll out my top ten in any category like *that*. 

Anyway TOP TEN:

1.  You should not have your hair past your shoulders if you are over 30.  Interesting, huh?  I can think of a few exceptions to this rule- but most often and there should be a huge emphasis placed on most-- hair below the shoulders after 30 is a big no no no. (Karlenn... I'd put you in as a exception.  Your hair has a very mature look.  But I never think of you as thirty...or thirty plus four.)  When I turn thirty.  SNIP!  It's off.
2.  I'm going to quote right form the book on this one: "In Life's Little Instruction Book, which has sold more than ten million copies, the writer advises us to: 'Compliment three people every day.'  Well, maybe, but only if they are worthy.  "Buy great books even if you never read them.' 'Own a great sound system.' 'Sing in the shower.'  Really, it's like: 'Act aggressively happy whether you are or not.' A lot of that book is about busting out of social constrictions and getting all touchy-feely and feel-goody.  Well, I think a lot of people feel entirely too good about themselves and bust out of social constrictions entirely too much....People need boundaries and rules.  Society does too.  You don't flourish if you're left to do anything in any situation.  Amen, Tim!  And can't you just hear him saying all that?
3.  You should dress and groom every day.  Does it take time? Yes.  But you need to make that commitment.  Taking a shower takes time, but if you never take one, you won't be invited out very much, so you'll have plenty of time left over.  Mothers of young children often say "I don't have the time."  Tim Gunn's advice?  "If you think about your family as a brand, are you not a brand ambassador?  When I see frumpy mothers out with impeccably turned-out children, I think they're making their children the family ambassadors, and that's too much pressure on someone who still picks her nose."  You can be in jeans and a T-shirt, but you'll look good if you're paying attention to the shape and size that's right for you.
4.  Beige dresses things down.  Really, a good rule is no beige after five.
5.  Be a good guest or stay home.
6.  Texting and e-mail are not appropriate for somber situations.  If you win a Bloggie by Patty- tweet about it.  But if you're talking about a death or an illness.... you need to use more formal channels.  No facebook, e-mails or Tweets.  For example:   You can ask someone out through e-mail... but not break up with them.  You can promote an employee via e-mail but you can't fire them.  Good rule of Gunn:  Happy occasions can be casual.  Sad or serious ones require a personal touch.
7.  "That person is living in the monkey house."  Let me explain... when you're at the zoo and first go in to see the monkeys in the Monkey House I think it is natural to exclaim "This place stinks!"  but after 15 minutes it doesn't smell as bad and after a half hour... it doesn't smell at all.  The trouble is: It still stinks.  You're just used to it.  So if you started doing something you don't like (a job, gaining weight, etc.) and one day you think "This isn't that bad."  You're fooling yourself.  You are living in the monkey house.  And you shouldn't.  Move out of that situation.  You don't deserve it.
8.  You should spend one night in the guest room at your house.  Then you know how your guest feels and you know if they need anything.
9.  You need to differentiate between good, mediocre, and poor.  They took school ranks away because "It made students feel bad." Well, if they're in the bottom 5 % of their class maybe they should feel bad.  Everyone needs a push to reach what he is capable of.  Self-confidence should be earned.
10.  You can be too rich and too thin, but you can never be too well read or too curious about the world.

I just loved reading the entire thing.  It was written in his voice, with his mannerisms, and wit and charm.  A couple other interesting facts:  Time Gunn has not been in a relationship since 1982 and prefers to be alone.  Tim Gunn was not paid for the first 2 seasons of Project Runway.

This book is free to check-out of Patty's Library for The Less Educated Than She at any time.  Getting a card is just a few forms away.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I Feel Good Ne Ner Ne Ner Ne I Knew That I Would.

Things I Did Today That I Did Not Like:
1.  Run on the treadmill.  My knees have been hurting when I get up to a good pace.  So I am switching between jogging and major incline power-walking.  Still no weight loss.  But my legs are looking spectacular.  Hello, skinny jeans.  I have missed you.
2.  Laundry.  I hate, hate, hate doing laundry.  Actually, I don't mind the sorting, the carrying it downstairs, the loading of the soap, the switching it over to the dryer... all that I do in domestic bliss.  (If there is such a thing and if I were that type of person.)  What I dislike is folding clothes and putting them away.  You have already devoted so much time to the process.... it just gets old by then.  I want those 3 fairies from Sleeping Beauty to come and do the rest for me.
3.  Drove my drunk neighbor to Community Care.  My neighbor is fond of the bottle and will occasionally fall and get hurt and want to go to Community Care.  I am really glad she doesn't try to drive herself- but COME ON!  She has more neighbors than just me!  Quit calling ME.  Give someone else a chance to be nice for once.  I don't know.  Today she just had a stomach ache.  I shouldn't say "just."  This was after all the worst stomach ache of her life and she has had it for three weeks.  According to Ms. Cuervo.  I still took her- she was somewhat behaved.... and they couldn't do anything for her.  Wah. Wah.
4.  Cleaned out under the sink.  I hate under my sink.  First because it is dark and that means there are probably spiders in there.  There is garbage that has missed the can from like 4 months ago.  There are tons of bottles of cleaning supplies some of which have been leaking.  It was just messy and icky.  Rubber gloves helped.  Kole did not.

Things I Did Today That I Liked
1.  Read my Oprah magazine.  Actually, I just looked at all the pictures.  I'll read it over the month.  I don't want to achieve too much in one day.  Disney has been putting in advertisements for families to take vacations there.  Last month Queen Latifah was in one and she was all done up like Ursula.  It said something along the lines of "Let Your Imagination Run Wild."  I thought that was pretty clever. I never notice The Queen's resemblance to Ursula.  This month Johnny Depp is dressed up as... Jack Sparrow.  Same tag line.  Doesn't work.  Johnny Depp is Jack Sparrow.  That's not imagination at all.  That's redundancy.  It was so weird.  Luckily there was a whole section devoted to one piece bathing suits under $50.   My budget is thirty.  We'll get there.  With Oprah, all things are possible.
2.  Crawled with Koley.  He's really getting better.  He can go about 2 paces and then it's back to the uncoordinated army crawl.  The man has mad skills... he's just in too much of a hurry.  So he gets there any way he can.  Which just happens to look like a soldier.  Who got shot 4 or 5 times in the fanny.  And is trying his hardest to get to the infirmary without further injury.
3.  Made sugar cookies.  Tonight I am bringing a snacker to Young Women's and for some reason when I was baking these cookies today- I felt really whole.  Like, "Yes.  This is me."  Maybe that was divine intervention summoning me to the Bakers Guild of America.  Maybe that's my calling.  (Maybe I just love cookie dough.)
4.  Started setting up a room for my out of town guests arriving soon.  I love going around my house and trying to find other uses for things.  I am honestly quite terrible at it.  I just have a lot of stuff in closets- so I take it out and try to make it look nice and not-dusty.
5.  Read Julie's feature on another blog!  I couldn't believe it!   I didn't snoop around too much on the blog she was featured on but they said beautiful things about her.  I am so proud of her.  She puts a lot of time and work into her blog.  And she's got like a kajillion followers.  Thus, enters Julie into a new world of blogging- leaving me (the pioneer) here in the wallows. 
Why don't you brighten her day and check it out... HERE!....

Just kidding.  here.

Oh I'm funny.

All in all the good outweighed the bad today.  Much like every day.  But I think that's all in your own perspective.  I think you should let all feelings happen in a day.  If you limit the negative you also limit the positive.  Let life live.  Feel joy.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Better Than Santa Coming

This weekend my sister, Andi, is flying in from Monterrey.  Yeah.  I'm excited.  She is a riot.  The girl has no inhibition whatsoever.  Loves to share embarrassing stories and make me laugh.  Plus, she eats whatever she wants whenever she wants- which takes away that "shame" factor for me.  And she dresses like a high-fashion model and lets me borrow whatever I want.  (That fits.  So basically necklaces and earrings.)  She'll be here for two weeks! 
During Andi's stay, my older sister, Victoria, is flying in from Pittsburgh with her girlfriend.  Jenn.  They will be here from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday.  I love it when Vicky comes.  She is really good at putting me at ease and making me feel like whatever we are doing is very fun for her.  Which I love.  Plus you can count on Vicky having at least 3 fully stocked iPods full of great dance music.  She knows how to start a party.   I haven't met Jenn yet- but I know that she works for Whole Foods.  And I love those huge cookies that are sold at Whole Foods.  So, according to a Philosophy class I took... If I like Whole Foods cookies and Jenn works at Whole Foods... I must... like Jenn?  Something like that.  Anyway- Vick and Jenn are the Cool Whip on the pudding for this trip.
Hark!  It gets better.  Where 2 or more Bradley's flock- more will follow.  Jules is coming up from Utah the same day Vicky and Jenn are getting here.  Julie is the gamer.  If we are all sitting around talking about getting in the hot tub or doing makeovers- Julie is the one to recommend a game instead.  Which she will insist on winning.  And for some kooky reason, when we play Monopoly, she always has to be the car and always has to have the arrow facing her.  Me and Andi used to think that was really ridiculous.  Wait- I still that's ridiculous.  (Quick Side note:  When the Bradley girls play Monopoly $500 goes into the middle of the board.  Anytime you owe money on a Community Chest or Chance card that money also goes into the middle of the board.  If you land on Free Parking... you get the money!  We also used to have a rule where if you landed on your own property... the bank would have to pay you the rent.)  Anyway- there will undoubtedly be games played.  And I will probably lose.  Just to make Julie feel better.  No.  I'll probably lose because every game needs a loser and I am fine being that loser.  Just like every group of girls has a fat one.  And that's me too.  I am confident in my role as the chubby loser.  I am loved for my roles/rolls.
And to cream the crop- Kris is coming up too.  She only lives about an hour away- but it will be so special to have us all together.  Krissy is the oldest and is hilarious.  She can tell the funniest stories from highschool and about her kids and she just does funny things.  Like in the background.  (andi... "triscuits"  "saltines"   "wheat thins")  It's great because she is the one who always recommends the most relaxing route.  Well, relaxing for us.  Kris can give the best makeover in under an hour.  I am planning on getting my eyebrows done, my hair cut and dyed, and a new spring makeup line applied.
It is going to be fantastic. 
Ken keeps saying he doesn't get why it is such a big deal when my sisters come and why I feel like I should be with them every minute of the day.  I gave him three good reasons.

1.  He's never had sisters.
2.  He's never had sisters.
3.  He's never had sisters.

I love going back to '93 and saying that.  You know... three good reasons all the same reasons.
So the stars are aligning, the heavens are blowing their trumpets, the Bradley Girls are reuniting.
I hope Vicky and Andi are bringing some soubies!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

That's Hot.

I will watch any movie with
Hugh Jackman (meow) in it.  I don't care how long it is.  I don't care how stupid it is.  I don't care if there is a plot.  I don't care if the actress is horrible.  I don't care if it is interesting.  Just put me in front of the screen and I will watch the entire thing- rewind it- and start it over.  His voice.  Mmmm.  The eyes.  That jawline. Definitely climbing the celebrity crush list.
Speaking of such list:
New Arrival!
I don't even feel the need to say anything.  He has surpassed Jim Cramer and Phil Mickelson for sure.  I think he's above Ari Gold.  (I don't like Jeremy Piven... just Ari.)  There may be a three way tie for first place.  Robert Pattinson, Stephen Colbert, and Ron Weasley.

Seriously- any movie he is in- I watch even if it's incredibly dull and pointless.  It doesn't matter- I will watch it.  Maybe it is the scruff I like so much.  I really like it when Ken doesn't shave for a day and he gets scruffy and scratchy.  I think that is the hottest look on a man.  You;ll notice old Hughie has some scruff in his picture.  You know?  Ari, Phil, and Jim all have scruff too!  Personal epiphany JUST occurred. It's a must. To be on my celebrity crush list you must have scruff (or be Harry Potter's best friend.)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

All Before Noon

So you want to hear about my morning?
To fully understand and appreciate how ridiculous this morning was we need to start on Friday.  With the Big Cleaning.  Remember those non-interesting home buyers came to have a free look into my life and home.  Rude.  Anyway we didn't know at the time they were just spies for Nepal's government.  And all weekend me and Ken felt like "something is about to happen with our house."  Ken's been a big Dorothy Downer about selling our home- you know like- "It's never going to happen" or "We'll have to sell it for a couple nickels and a piece of gum."  Just not that optimistic.  But, miraculously, over the weekend there was a new light within him.  Sign!  Monday we found out that these buyers were a no-go and I had a little chit chat with my realtor.  The following list of what I said will give you the gist of what I said:

You need to find me a buyer.
An interested buyer.
We've been listed with you since Christmas.
It's Easter.
You need to call me.
You've been blowing smoke for a long time.
Get to work.
Show my house today.
I'm serious.

Sometimes I am really quite gifted in saying mean or harsh things in a loving manner so no one is offended.  Then again, sometimes I am pretty point blank.  I think my little missy understood.  And although I didn't expect immediate results- she called in an hour with "an interested buyer."  She told me he's an investment buyer and loves my neighborhood.  Well done, Janny.  (<--Her name is Janet.  But when me and Ken are talking about the house we always refer to her as Janny.  Helps the camaraderie.)  She said he wanted to come at 3 o'clock.  It was ten to two.  Yikes!  (Bikes.  Mr. Colson rocks my world.)  All the major things were still done from Friday- but things like swiffering and the dishwasher and cleaning the glass and sweeping the steps and fixing the beds and doing something with the dirty clothes and taking all the garbages out and staging everything... made me a little anxious.  Could I finish it all?  Did I have a choice?  Luckily, Kole was in a fantastic mood and found it quite comical to see me running around.  (Do I run funny or something....) We pulled it off.  They came and stayed for a full hour!  Did you read that with the exclamation point at the end?  Which is a good sign.  I think.  Definitely some interest right?  I waited to hear from Janny. Nothing.  I called her at like 8.  She said he really liked my house and she was pushing really hard for it and was going to call him and see if he wanted to see it again.  What else is there to see after you were there for an hour?  I can leave my journals on the table for you, heck.  But we were going somewhere.  Janny called back about twenty minutes later and said that they were going to come Tuesdays in between 11:30 and 12:30.  I refer to that time of day as "Kole's Naptime."  The sleepy little bugger would have to sleep in the car.  The house was ready.  They came and stayed until 1:30.  2 hours!  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  Did they put in a DVD?  Should I have popped some popcorn?  I was perplexed by the amount of time this man was spending in my house but really happy.  He must really like it.  I didn't hear from my realtor all day.  No surprise.  I called her at 8 and she said that she had spent the whole day with him and was so exhausted and yadda yadda yadda.  What's the scoop, Janny?  She said he was preparing to make an offer but wanted to go home and look things over one more time and she'd call me in the morning.  Which I translated to mean "Patty, Call me at noon, OK?"
Now- we're at this morning.
My phone rings at 8:00.  I am still in bed.  (Kole normally sleeps until quarter after.)  It's Janet.  My heart races "An offer?  This early?  Sa-Weet!" Not quite.  Janny said that he wanted to see the house one more time and that they would be here in 15 or 20 minutes!  WHAT?!?!  I explained very calmly and sweetly that I have a baby.  Who is still asleep.  Who would need fed and changed.  I would need time to put things back in order.  I would need to get out of bed.  Kind and gently Janny Panny said she could stall and get me 25 minutes and pretty much hung up.  AGHHH!!! PANIC AT THE DISCO!  The next twenty minutes was a whirlwind.  But we got out of the house.  Kole was semi-cranky.  We drove over to Tautphaus Park and I nursed him there.  That homeless poor feeling came back.  So pathetic.  At 9:30 I figured it was safe to go home.  I pull unto my road and there are no cars in the driveway- good.  I go in and all the lights are on.  Bad.  When you show your house- you turn all the light son so the home looks bright and cheery.  When Realtors leave they turn all the lights off.  Both to save your electricity and I like to think of it as a secret code that means "We're all done here."  I text Janet.  Nope.  They hadn't come yet.  Well... good thing I ran out of the house braless this morning.  Me and Koley get back into the car.  Drive around.  At 9:45 I get a text that they got to the house.  Bravo!  They stayed until 11:30.  I have never heard of showings going on this long.  This time she called me with questions and concerns so I felt a little more involved and a little less like they were having a dance party.  Kole was good in the car which I applaud him for because he still had the sopping wet diaper on from the night before and there's not THAT much you can do in the car.  (I forgot the diaper bag.)  When she called and said they left and were heading back to the office I was so relieved.  I get home and guess what?  I WAS LOCKED OUT!  I mean, obviously, the front door was locked.  But I always keep the door the door that goes from the garage to the house open and this morning I left the back door that goes to the back yard unlocked- because I just had a feeling.  Well, these GD people shut her up like Fort Knox.  I called Janet- no answer.  I called her assistant- no answer.  I called Ken- he wondered why I called him.  I called the realtor's office building- voice mail.  I really didn't want to pay a locksmith to get in.  Waited 3 minutes called everyone (but Ken) again.  No answers.  So, just picture it.  Me in gray sweats, a stained t-shirt, no bra, flip flops, glasses, un-showered, unbrushed teeth standing in the driveway with Koley in his jammies that were pretty cold and wet around the diaper area.  So sorry, Koley.  So so sorry.  After about 20 minutes Janet's assistant called my back and said she'd be right over to let me in and apologized over and over.  She came at about 12:30- gave us some funny looks as if to say "Why are you in your pajamas in the middle of the day?" and "Where is your bra, lady?"  But she did open the door.

Yeah.  Rough morning.
He better stinking buy my house.
And if he doesn't- Janny better give me a gift card to the Outback for all my troubles.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Playing Risk in Real Life

A while ago Ken started taking over the downstairs.  This was before the "For Sale" sign went up.  I think it's a way for men to feel that "world domination" feeling.  He claimed the bathroom as his.  This pleased me.  No more shaving stubble in the sink, no more pee on the toilet seat, toilet bowl, and floor.  No more stinky clothes balled up in the corner.  He had his own bathroom to make his own mess.  Nice.  Plus, the downstairs bathroom has always been scary to me for some reason.  I have always thought there were a lot of spiders in it.  Even though i have never seen spiders down there.  I just figure basement bathrooms = big, hairy, venomous spiders.  So I was fine with him using that bathroom as his own.  Have at it your majesty!  Then he moved all his clothes and shoes out of our room and into the laundry room.  We have a really over sized laundry room.  With a ton of closets and cupboards for storage.  He put his ever growing clothing collection in there.  He moved a wardrobe in and hung some racks to put additional shirts on.  This also pleased me.  I had more closet space and Ken had a feeling of independence and property.  Win.  Win.  Win.
For awhile. 
I started feeling like he was taking over the entire house.  He was claiming all this territory.  If our home was a Risk board it would be mostly his color.  I mean the kitchen is basically his- sure we share the dishes and what not -but I don't cook.  Ever.  So Ken has all his spices and contraptions and hoo ha where he wants it and I just don't touch it.  The living room is beautiful but decorated 100% by Ken.  It's gorgeous but masculine.  The more I looked around the house the more I realized ken had control of the whole game board house!  He said he was simply taking undesirable areas of the house and making them more desirable.  I couldn't exactly argue with that now could I.   He was only using space I deemed unwanted and scary.  (Spiders made the laundry room scary too.  Well the possibility of a spider invasion.)  AND!  Ken has a lot of confidence and skill when it comes to home decorating.  Yes, it's also very symmetrical - but he's better at it than me.  But it was just bugging that I lived here in this house- with nothing of my own on display. 
This summer, right before The Koley Canoe arrived we finished remodeling our basement.  We put a guest bed in one of the downstairs bedrooms for all of our frequent visitors.  If you know me and Ken you should have just laughed.  We rarely have over night guests.  I could have a seep over every night.  Ken could never have one. I think it is how we were raised.  I remember lots of people staying at our house.  We had a woman live with us for over a year.  She just slept over one night and then stayed on a mattress on the floor in Krissy's room.  She was part of our family and we love Barb.  Ken says they never had a lot of company.  We tend to lean more his way.  Sad.  Anyway- we have one guest room (that we use mostly for naps) and the other bedroom has been vacant.  We thought since we were showing the house a lot occasionally it would be nice just to keep it neat and empty.  This empty room bothered me.
For a long time.
Then, last week I was through with it.
It started on a Monday night.  I was at my mom's.  She has a little office downstairs that is my old bedroom.  It has her computer and file cabinet and treadmill and then the decorations are just her things.  The theme to the room is "Things Ginger Likes."  They don't necessarily match but they aren't totally clashing either.  It just feels peaceful in there.  Homey.  Comfy.  Loved.  It has some art work that Julie has done.  There are pictures of us (her kids), and her mom, and her grand kids, and my dad.  She has a school calendar.  There are some quote magnets on the file cabinet.  One says "There is no such thing a small act of kindness."  There is a mailing rack with the monthly bills.  She has like 12 index cads stapled together and all her usernames and passwords are on it.  What I like so much about that room is you can go in, and learn all about my mom without meeting her- just by looking around the room.  (Not by logging on using all her passwords.)  It's kinda like a non-trashy-non-teen version of Room Raiders.  I told my mom I loved being down in that office.  She said she really liked having all her things in there. 
Light.  Bulb.
"Operation West Wing Takeover" in full swing.
Buckle up.
I moved a desk we had in the garage down into the sad empty room.  Washed the spiderwebs, oil, birdseed, and dust off of it.  I got my computer and set it on the desk along with all the Internet wires, photo up loaders, and printer.  A start.  Looking around it still needed.... a light.  Looked in the closet and there were two desk lamps.  Surely I could sneak one of them.  Then the fire was lit.  I went to the garage and got my box of things.  My box has old school papers in it, yearbooks, pictures, knick knacks from my old room, you know- stuff like that.  I opened my treasure chest and picked through all my stuff and found my absolute favorites.  Things that reminded me of places I have been, people I have changed and who have changed me.  I filled about half of a laundry basket.  On my way back in the house I spotted a bookshelf that was also collecting garage junk.  That came down too!  We have all of our books up in a closet on one of those shelves that are meant for folded clothes.  I rummaged through them and picked out my books.  None of Ken's learning (*cough* boring *cough*) books.  And you know?  I have more than I thought.  I proudly displayed my collection on my bookshelf.  Some flowers.  A picture of Koley. 
A couple hours later and I had it....

It feels good in here.  Loving.  Healthy.  Kind.  Warm. 
Reminds me of someone....
I want to get a big funky chair to sit in and read.  Then get some curtains.  And maybe one of those fish tanks that take up a whole wall.

Monday, April 4, 2011

"F" in Life.

This morning I woke up and instantly felt like going back to bed.  Kole can't get hurt in his crib... maybe I can just keep him there until... like.... noon.  I wasn't tired I was just so sick of the fight.  The fight against or for life.  To keep things going and up beat.  I was ready for my Caribbean vacation.  Which I can't afford.  I got up but things didn't get better. 
I've been getting on the treadmill everyday except Sunday.  For 3 weeks.  Monday is my weigh in day. Have I lost any weight?  Oh yes!  I have!  I have lost 6 whopping ounces!  Go me!  Go me for sacrificing my time doing something I really don't like in the hopes of looking better!  Go me for being sore and having aching legs.  Those 6 ounces have made it so worth it.  And have really made me want to keep running.  Lame.  Bummer.  Ugh.
Friday night someone came and looked at our house.  I spent the entire day cleaning.  Mi casa was sparkling.  And my hands were burning from bleach and Soft Scrub and Brillo pads and Pine Sol.  I had to let Koley play by himself for a lot of the day which breaks my heart and makes me feel like a slacker-mom.  Today the news comes down the pike that the buyers are simply not interested.  No reason.  Just not interested in my house.  Yeah.  I cried.  Really hard.  I've been the one keeping our hopes afloat.  Staying positive and bouncy and happy.  And now, I just feel like an idiot.  A naive idiot.  And I feel like a widow/single mom. 
Koley will be 9 months in a couple weeks.  I love my cubber.  A lot.  I think he is an amazing being.  But, I was reading some child development books and I just feel like he is really far behind.  Regardless of what the books say about "each child develops at their own rate"- I just wasn't feeling that.  This is what I was feeling... Koley can crawl backwards for like 4 paces.  That started a little over a week ago.  A little late there.  Kole loves to grab the spoon when I am feeding him so I figured it was time to let him feed himself.  I cut some bananers and was so excited to see him soar.  No.  He picked them up- squeezed them and would not put them in his mouth.  Everything ELSE goes in his mouth.  Anything he can find goes in his mouth- except food.  What the heck.  I tried giving him a bottle and sippy cup to teach him to drink on his own.  I've been trying this for 2 months.  Nothing.  Nadda.  It doesn't make me mad at Kole at all.  It makes me ask myself "What are you doing wrong?"  or "What aren't you providing him with?"  Am I not reading enough?  Am I not giving him enough of his own space?  Am I not encouraging him?  I know I'm not good at Baby Talk so, I don't do it.  Should I try to get better at Baby Talk?  I know whe's not good at these things because I spend too much time cleaning the house for people who won't buy it.  I'm a sucky mom.
I have a friend who put it really well once... she said... "I feel like I am failing at life."
Bing. O.
I showered after my non-productive run and came down to the office.  I was looking around before I turned on the computer and found this little book I used to read all the time called "Time for Joy."  It's one of those encouraging thought a day books.  That's really meant for people with addiction problems but I received during some of my darkest days emotionally.  I opened to today's date.

April 4
There are days when it is difficult to stay positive.  There are days when you feel like giving up.  There are days that even a drink or a pill or a candy bar (or a Sticky Finger Salad with extra sticky finger and extra ranch) or any other destructive addiction might APPEAR to be your only answer.
When life seems at its darkest...Stop.  Call your friend.  Ask for help.  Pray.  Meditate.  Talk to someone healthy and positive.
Hang in there.

Today I am hanging in no matter what.  Even when my conscious mind wants to give up, I will reach for that healthy, loving part deep within me and with the help of prayer and meditation and the good people in my life, I will find a rainbow.

Amen, Sister!  Doesn't that feel good!  Ahhh!  Breath deep!  It's going to be fine.  I am a good wife.  An outstanding mother to my son.  I am attractive and healthy.  I am hanging in.  No.  Matter.  What.  So bring on your criticisms.  I can't even hear them today.