Thursday, May 29, 2014

The "Gift" of Music

When it comes to grandparents spoiling their grandchildren, I'm all for it. Better them than us, we say! And as the year-'round mini-Santas, they can always be counted on for something. Whether it be a piece of candy they've had since the '70's, or this....

(Grandma and Grandpa are no longer welcome in our home...)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Our House, Is a Very, Very, Very Warm House

....With two dogs in the yard,
Making lives of squirrels so hard.
But everything seems easy with friends and family like youuuuuuu.

It's hard to believe we've been in our new house for six months, especially since we still have boxes that have yet to be opened much less unpacked, and we're still organizing, decorating, changing, and settling. As searching for a house became more and more frustrating, having a housewarming party became more and more of a necessity. We really worked hard to find a home we loved so the desire to show it off became even more important; we even sometimes find ourselves unhappy with people, "Why haven't they come to see our house yet?!" Like it's our child. (Technically, they do cost the same...)

Packing up our old house was also a good motivator to have a housewarming party and not be shy about asking for gifts. As the amount of crap piles higher and higher, many things start to seem like more of a burden than something that necessitates every day living. And you realize that most of your stuff is total crap. And since you just plunked down some serious money on a house, the last thing you want it filled with is the crap you used in your college dorm (I'm sorry, the George Foreman grill does not deserve counter-space).

But it's always nicer to have a party when the weather is nice, and with the small amount of painting I wanted to do, the middle of May seemed like the most opportune time for such an event. We were right. And a little wrong...

 There is a relatively small wall that pretty much has zero function in the kitchen and I decided to turn it into a chalkboard wall. It was by far the most popular thing at the party. And not by the kids.

 Louis, my very pointy belly, and I talking to my friend and fellow Heights-Bitch, Holly (that is, apparently, what kids at the high school in downtown refer to girls at the high school in the Heights, a suburb of Billings situated on the rims, physically above the city of Billings).

 Zoey is slowly getting the hang of this photography thing, practicing on her Grandma Sally and Grandpa Jeff.

 *Must* include a Zoey original, though.

 Fortunate for us, the fantastic landscaping (and corresponding fancy-pants sprinkler system) was done by the previous owner so we've been reaping the benefits this, our first, Spring.

 In addition to the very snowy winter we had, we've been getting a good amount of rain lately. Obviously.

 I just thought this picture was funny... :-)

 Some of our guests enjoying the nice weather. It wasn't particularly sunny, but it wasn't windy or cold so being outside was pretty enjoyable.

 Of course, hanging around the food is always popular, of which I'm pretty proud of myself. Let me take a moment to toot my own horn, here. I made homemade: potato salad, coleslaw, broccoli salad, brownies, ketchup, ranch dressing, and Cheeseburger soup. TOOT TOOT! Jacob pitched in too, manning the grill with brats (of which Louis stole a bun from one kid, a brat from another...)

(...and Durbin just sat and begged. Why do children forget everything you've taught them when people come over?!?) Mer, Andy, and Myla having a stare-down with Durbin over Myla's brat.

We had a really nice turnout of people and it was fun to have everyone over, this being Jacob and I's first time hosting a party, separate or together.

The weather this time of year is a considerable improvement but doing any outdoor activity is always a crap-shoot. For the week leading up to the party, the sky would get very dark and threatening, the wind would pick up, and it seemed like serious shit was about to happen only for the sky to break apart and it blow over. So when the sky started to look like the Wicked Witch of the West was close to crashing our party, I was the annoying one who kept saying, "It could just blow over."

 Blow over, it did not... This was taken by my Sister-in-Law. The pink thing is her Eos lip gloss.

Good thing we took that picture by the flowers earlier... :-(

Surveying the damage the next morning.

 Luckily Jacob was thinking ahead and pulled in our gorgeous new hanging flowers - this bunch from our awesome realtor who stopped by the party - .....

 ...And these from my friend and former co-worker, Pam.

So they are thankfully still alive.

Jacob and I truly had fun, even though it was a lot of work, both leading up to and during the festivities. We felt truly fortunate, thankful, and thoroughly house-warmed. And it was nothing more than an unfortunate coincidence that the golf-ball-sized hail-storm happened half an hour after Jacob's Grandfather did a house-blessing... DUN DUN DUN! ;-)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Pregnancy From the Outside

I was talking to my mom recently who always makes it a point to ask how I'm doing and feeling, pregnancy and otherwise. Having last seen me when I had the I-just-ate-a-cheeseburger pooch, she has yet to see me in all my current, 7th-month glory.

Mom: "I'll bet you're pretty big!"

Me: "Yeah."

Mom: "I'll bet your boobs are really big."

Me: "Yeah."

Mom: "Jacob probably enjoys looking at you."

Me: *Sarcastic snort* "Yeah."

I relayed that conversation to Jacob so I could have a self-deprecating giggle and, of course, fish for compliments. The only problem was that Jacob is unfailing honest and when he tries to sugar-coat I call bull-shit immediately. But his honest answer hit the nail on the head about the true nature of pregnancy (and gave me something to ramble about and obsess over).

"Pregnancy from the outside is beautiful. To look at you, you're gorgeous. But I witness everything that goes into being pregnant: the throwing up, you're hawking loogies every 30 seconds, most of the time you're in your pj's, you also have to deal with taking care of Zoey so you don't have energy to take a shower every day, you're tired, and bitchy." Ok, I added the bitchy part; he was nice enough to not mention it. Sometimes I'm surprised by my husband's insightful insight.

On the outside, pregnancy is beautiful, gorgeous, voluptuous, a miracle, blah, blah, blah. And celebrities who artfully cradle their baby-bumps on magazine covers and spout that they've never felt more beautiful, sexual, self-confident, and that they absolutely love being pregnant are full of shit and their lies and embellishments give the rest of us pregnant schlubs a bad wrap. Every once in awhile, someone will come out and speak a little bit of truth, like Kelly Clarkson who eloquently said, "Everyone tells you that you glow and your hair is pretty and your nails are pretty. That is total crap. My nails are short, my hair still falls out, and I have no glow unless it's something left over from a bad throw-up. I'm so happy I'm pregnant, I just wish he or she wasn't trying to kill me."

Looking at those professionally shot, creatively airbrushed pictures of people we already sort of look up to makes it hard for us to imagine Angelina Jolie with her head in the toilet or Heidi Klum applying hemorrhoid cream. So not that it makes me happy to know that Princess Katherine had severe morning sickness kinda does.

My pregnancy with Zoey was different in this regard in a few ways. Jacob still witnessed endless days of me "refunding," just as many if not more loogies, was subjected to equal amounts of emotional and crazy, and I drank gallons upon gallons of milk which only compounded any already-present digestive issues. And the sucker married me during this pregnancy! And wanted to get me pregnant again! But I worked full-time until delivery so I pretty much *had* to make myself presentable. Oh, and we had our wedding day so I made slightly more of an effort for that.

I'm also a lot busier this pregnancy than I was with Zoey. Since I'm not working in an office, I'm on my feet and moving around a lot more (and that's not counting the two full flights of stairs I need to climb), and doing more physical activities like cleaning, laundry, my every-30-seconds trip to the bathroom, and whatever Zoey might need help with at any given moment. In addition, I've kept up with my social life, however minimal it might be, and have been painting and setting up our house, all of which attributes to the shower-lacking, pj-sporting mentioned above.

I don't know how other husbands and fathers feel during their partner's pregnancies aside from the horrifying "16 & Pregnant" show which seems to be on constant rotation when I'm pregnant, but I know I have one of the good ones. We shook on two - a legally-binding contract - and if nothing else, pregnancy from the inside is the best birth control you can get. I guess all of the pictures and "pregnancy from the outside" is just a bonus, and I should make more of an effort to be pregnant from the outside for the people who truly matter: my book club. Just kidding, of course I mean Jacob.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Zoey Lets It Go

Children or no, chances are excellent you're just a wee bit sick of this song. But this is by far my favorite version. It makes my inclusion into the group of mothers who can't get this song out of their head that much more bearable.