Thursday, March 31, 2011

Happy Birthday, Buddy

Dear Former Baby,

Three years ago tonight, you were born.  It was a cold and rainy night, and, typical of your personality, even your birth was on your own terms and rather long and drawn out.  Late that night, your hot uncle (Hunkle, I like to call him) and I went into the nursery with your mom and dad to meet you.  You were so cute.  Just a little blonde squishy ball.  You also looked just like your grandpa.  I had no idea that night how much you would change our lives.

Aunt Non-Mommy, why are you taking pictures of me at 3 a.m.?
I will admit it.  I was upset when I heard that you were coming.  It wasn't you that I was upset about.  I was upset that it wasn't me having the baby.  Being single and childless hasn't been easy on your old aunt.  But then I saw you and my heart melted - that is WHEN I could get my hands on you.  Your grandparents liked to hog you!

When you were born, I was very busy in grad school.  I was working full time, completing a full time internship, and taking night classes.  My time was very limited.  Your parents were very tired, so I offered to spend the night and take the night shift with you a few times.  You were such a sweet boy.  You didn't cry much.  You were wide awake all through the night.  We spent hours upon hours just staring at one another.  With you snuggled on my chest, making those precious baby noises, I fell completely in love with you.  Those nights together are very special to me.

As you have grown, you have developed such a fun personality.  Being an aunt has been so much fun!  I love drawing and writing with you.  You are completely obsessed with swimming pools.  That makes me so happy!  When you were an infant, I used to make you practice your swim strokes.  I look forward to years of going to the pool together.  I like to wrestle with you and teach you things that are slightly naughty.

Former Baby, in your very short time, you have been through quite a bit.  When your grandpa passed away unexpectedly, it rocked all of our worlds.  Your grandfather was completely crazy about you.  You were such a joy to him in his last two years here on earth.  When he passed away, everything changed.  It made us so sad when you wandered around the house looking for your grandpa.  Yet, even in the midst of such turmoil and chaos, you helped keep us all going.  You kept us laughing and gave us hope.

Recently, you were playing in my house when you suddenly stopped and said (completely out of the blue) "Where is Grandpa?"  It has been a year since he passed away, and you are so little.  I was completely taken aback, but I simply looked at you and said "He's in Heaven."  You were satisfied, and went back to playing.  Where did that question come from?  It makes me very sad to know that you will never remember him, so I want you to know how very much he loved you.  You were his special boy.

Life with you is so precious and fun.  I never dreamed that I'd have a nephew that I would see so often, and be able to do things with all of the time.  The time we spend together is very important to me.  Some day, you will be taller than me.  You will be too old for me to hug and kiss all of the time.  You won't want to go swimming with me.  You won't want to sit down and play.  But I hope you know that I will always be there for you, whether you like it or not.

Stick with me, kid.  We'll always be a team.

Happy birthday.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Single Woman Saturday

Single?  Trying to find Mr. Right?  Follow these helpful dating tips and you won't be single for long!

Friday, March 25, 2011

I Am the Best Aunt, Ever

I've had the week off of work.  I've been spending each day with my adorable, giant nephew.  I always want to call him "The Baby," but the reality is that he will be three next week.  He also is wearing Depends sized diapers, he's just that big.  So, I knew the big Potty Training Bootcamp was approaching, and what else would an aunt want to do on her week off besides step in her nephew's urine and scrape off poop?  I've been helping teach the Former Baby basic potty skills, and overall it's been going very well.  However, the other morning, I sent this email to my sister, the Former Baby's mother:

"The Day Thus Far"

9:05 - Arrive to the pool for little splashers.  Today he jumped around like a maniac, he was thrilled.  He also was jumping like a kangaroo in the shallow water, slipped, and fell entirely into the pool.  Aunt Non-Mommy  yanked him up, he wiped off his eyes, coughed, and said "Again?"  But then he wouldn't go back under the water.  He did, however, ask Aunt Non-Mommy to go under water about 700 times.

10:00 - Leave the pool.  Former Baby is belting out his favorite tunes.

10:15 - Get all dressed.  Put on undies.  Aunt Non-Mommy begins to dress. 

10:16 - Pee all over his new clothes [Former Baby, not Non-Mommy].

10:17 - Aunt Non-Mommy puts on a diaper, has no pants to put him in, so he leaves the gym wearing just a t-shirt, diaper, and shoes.

10:19 - Former Baby runs around the outside of the gym, laughing hysterically, having a good time.  Aunt Non-Mommy is mortified that he is only wearing a diaper and keeps yelling loudly so people would know "Come on, we have to go home to get some new pants!" 

10:21 - Aunt Non-Mommy thinks Former Baby looks excessively pale and white trash in just a diaper, so she drags him away.

10:23 - Stop at Sonic for a drink.

10:33 - Pull up to the house and notice that the car seat is completely wet.  Uh oh.

10:35 - Take the kid out to find that the diaper is OVERFLOWING with urine.  Apparently he never peed while in the pool.

11:15 - Eat lunch.  Aunt Non-Mommy teaches Former Baby to tell his grandma that she sounds like a dead cow.

11:45 - Aunt Non-Mommy cleans up the kitchen.  Former Baby plays the piano.

11:46 - Former Baby comes running out of the piano room holding his crotch.  He had peed on the piano bench.  But hey, he stopped what he was doing, so we call this a victory!  Former Baby pees quite a bit in the potty and is very proud of himself.

12:00 - Aunt Non-Mommy resumes cleaning the kitchen.  Former Baby works on the piano again.

12:01 - Former Baby has gone strangely silent.  Aunt Non-Mommy walks in to see that Former Baby has apparently grown a new appendage on his bottom.

12:01:30 - Former Baby immediately begins crying before Aunt Non-Mommy says a word, because he knows he pooped.

12:02 - Former Baby and Aunt Non-Mommy go to the bathroom and knock the large grapefruit sized poop into the toilet. 

12:03 - Former Baby says he needs to go again.  He sits and strains and strains and strains.  He poops out something the size of a green bean, and pees.  Victory!

12:04 - Former Baby sees that he has smeared poop ALL over the potty seat and freaks out. 

12:04:30 - Former Baby sees that he has poop on his socks.  He sits down on the floor to take off the offending socks.

12:06 - Former Baby stands up, and now sees that he has smeared poop all over the carpet, and freaks out more.

12:07- Aunt Non-Mommy keeps trying to reassure him that all is well, it's ok, but he's not convinced.

12:07:30 - Grandma comes back in, Aunt Non-Mommy sends out an SOS

12:08 - Grandma puts a diaper on Former Baby, Aunt Non-Mommy begins to clean up PoopFest 2011.

12:15 - Former Baby goes down for a nap, proud of himself for pooping. 

12:18 - Aunt Non-Mommy emails an update to Former Baby's mother and changes her socks.  You don't want to know.

I am not getting paid enough for this gig.  For sure.  Good thing he's cute.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Tack That Saved Non-Mommy

I have some sleep issues.  Besides being a light sleeper, I am a very active sleep walker.  It runs in the family.  My Grandpa did it, I have a cousin who does it, and as long as I can remember, my mom has woken up, seen "a man" in her bed (my father) and thought "He can't see me in my pajamas!" and put clothes on to protect herself from "the man in her bed." She wakes up very embarrassed.

It seems to manifest itself more in me when I am stressed, but can happen any time. There have been three significant times that I have turned my alarm clock off in my sleep. All three times were before important events. Two were finals in college (one I completely missed, one I took the test in 15 minutes and then looked down to see that I was still wearing a white shirt with no bra), and one was a day I had an important meeting and was supposed to pick up another woman to take to the meeting.

There have been a few times I have woken up in the middle of the night, and in my sleep showered and dressed for the day.  As a teen, I did this and wandered around the house yelling "Hello? It's time to get ready to go!"

I've woken up roommates, yelling at them in Spanish.  I've woken myself up throwing alarm clocks, or chopping them with my arm.  I woke myself up once in my living room saying

"It's not me, I'm not the mayor."

But the piece de resistance was when I woke myself up, in my car, holding my bills.  Woah.  Not good.  I'm glad my subconscious didn't remember to pick up the keys.

In the past few years, I have used a sure fire solution to sleep walking.  I was wandering around in a Crazy Sleep Stupor, when my foot found a random carpet tack in the middle of the floor.  I'd lived in this house for years and had never, ever felt that tack before.  It was extremely sharp and woke me right up.  I even bled.  I went back to bed.  After that, I found that stupid carpet several more times, all while walking in my sleep.  In the midst of yelling "!@#$ %^&& !@#%!" it was keeping me from more trouble, so I guess I shouldn't complain.

I probably developed Tetanus from the stupid thing.  Hang on, let me check.  Yes, my jaw definitely feels more stiff.  I left it, though, with a pony tail holder around it so I wouldn't step on it during the day.  Thankfully, my subconscious didn't remember what that pony tail holder was for at night!

Now, I have moved.  As far as I can tell, I have not slept walked in the new house.  I have also not discovered any tacks in the carpet that might save me.

If you see a blonde driving erratically, holding her bills, and screaming about city governance, call 911.

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Celebrimania Continues

I have said it before, and I will say it again. I don't know WHY I do, but I am a celebrity addict. Why, just this morning, I saw that my BFF Michael Phelps (he did send me a birthday card, thanks to my sister!) started following me on Twitter, and I almost passed out.

So recently I heard that Elton John was coming to my area for a concert. I know that a lot of people think I'm a total dork for liking Elton, but I do. I know a lot of his songs, and thought it would be fun to go to his concert.  Tickets were going on sale Saturday morning at 10:00, so I had to be ready.

I set my alarm so I wouldn't oversleep (shut up, I'm not a morning person, ok??).  As the time drew near, I sat up in my bed, laptop at the ready, phone in my hand.  I was going to try and purchase them online, but would use the phone as a backup.

10:00 came, and I was on it!  I excitedly went to the website, only to be put into a stupid lottery!  How is that fair?!  I mean, it's not fair, because I want a ticket and I want it now, thank you very much!  So I dialed the number.  Busy.  Curses!

So, I redialed.  Busy.  Dang it!!

So, I redialed.  Busy.  WHAT THE.......

I then sent this email to my sister at 10:03 a.m:  "not looking good so far"

She then received an email from me, stating "9 minutes later, no tickets."

At 10:18, "18 minutes, no tickets"

Did I mention that this entire time, I am holding the phone, hitting redial over and over and over, and being greeted by a busy signal?  Stupid lottery!

At 10:35, I began to lose steam.  I was beginning to feel hopeless.  How could I not get tickets?  I mean, I set my alarm, doesn't that count for anything?  It should!  Who cares that people camped out?  I woke up before 10 a.m. and was working hard trying to get those tickets.  Granted, I was working hard in my bed, in my pajamas, and my hair had a special Eiffel Tower style to it.  But still.

At 10:49, I sent her an email that said "49 minutes, and my fingers are beginning to cramp."  I was feeling really sorry for myself.  I pondered giving up, but I couldn't do that.  I'd already invested this much time trying to get a ticket!  At this point, my competitive streak kicked in.  I would get a ticket.  Two tickets, actually.  No matter what!!!!  I would DO IT!  My cell phone kept ringing, and I kept getting texts, but I ignored them.  I needed both hands.

So, I obsessively redialed, and redialed, and redialed.  About 70 minutes into my quest, the phone was no longer busy.  I was put on hold.  I've never been so happy to be put on hold in my life!  I sat up straighter in my bed.  A renewed sense of victory came over me.

They will be mine.  Oh yes, they will be mine.

At 11:20 a.m., a full 100 minutes after my quest began, I was connected with a customer service representative.  At this point, the mania took over me.  I squealed into the phone "I'm calling to get Elton John tickets, please tell me that you aren't out!!!!!!!!!"  Yes, I think I really used that many exclamation points.  She laughed and told me that there were still tickets.

I was in the process of getting mid-range price tickets, when she suddenly put me on hold.  She came back and told me that they were all out.  I gasped.  My body twitched.  I would not be beaten!  I asked her what she had left.  All they had left were the expensive seats.

I screamed into the phone "I'll take them!"

I gave her my credit card information, and was floating on air to think that I'd be so close to a British legend!  Sir Elton!  WOW!  She told me that my purchase went through, and that the tickets would be mailed to me.  I thanked her as if she'd just rescued me from the depths of despair.

I then called and texted everyone I knew and told them.  I won!  I did it!  My sister thought I was nuts for paying so much, but I don't even care.  Not at all.  We're going, and it is going to be awesome!

And in the end, the internet failed me.  The good old fashioned phone saved the day!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


This has been one rough week. Last week was the anniversary of my father's death, and I was struggling. I was very emotional.

Then this week, I had to work 14 hour days on Monday and Tuesday. Ironically, this was after the time change, which made this Non-Mommy very, very exhausted and cranky.

I have had to make testimony against a child, I have heard a child called a "pile of s@#t," a retard, and a "f@#$ing idiot" to their face and been powerless to stop the abuse she is enduring, I have listened to a grown man sob his heart out about the path his child is on. I participated in a lock down at school this week because of threats against children in the building. One of the large pieces of playground equipment collapsed with two children on it.

And then, there is Japan. My heart is overwhelmed with sorrow for these people and what they are going through.

My mind is tired. My body is tired. My heart is very sad. I'm struggling.

Thankfully, there are a few things that can lift my spirits. Since it's St. Patrick's Day, how about a few Irish things that lift my spirit?

(If you are a crazed anglophile like myself, you have to go watch BBC's Ballykissangel to understand this last video. Very romantic, sweet show, although I won't tell you why I stopped watching it after the third season. Well worth the watch, even if it is technically Irish and not British.)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Weird Things We Do

Once, there was a tornado directly headed toward the place where I lived.  Being the calm, rational person that I am, I ran around the house like a chicken with its head cut off, looking for a bra.  I looked all over the house for a bra, when my bras were in my underwear drawer all along.  Panic causes crazy things.

This summer, I was in a decently strong earthquake in San Diego.  I know what to do if one hits, but instead I sat in a rolling chair, rolling around the room, not taking cover.  Again, panic causes your mind to do odd things.

I am absolutely sick about this ongoing tragedy in Japan.  I wish there was something I could do.  These poor people are constantly on my mind.  So I mean this in the kindest way possible, but did anyone else notice anything funny in this grocery store footage as this HUGE earthquake is happening?

Yes, ladies, whatever you do, SAVE THE WINE!  That's right.  Don't run for your life, just hold onto that glass filled shelf of death and ride out the biggest earthquake in your history!

Again, they were panicking.  And I feel guilty for kind of snickering about that, but I did.

Certainly they are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The cat, er, camera, is out of the bag

My sister, the budding photographer, had a big birthday coming up.  She was positively dreading it, so I knew we had to go big, or go home!  I decided to get her a fancy, cute camera bag that doesn't necessarily look like a camera bag.


I agonized over this purchase.  I mean, a) they aren't cheap b) I didn't know if she wants one that will hold only her camera, or one that holds her laptop and her camera, and c) my sister is what the french call



I mean, if it were up to me, it'd be either the red Lola, or the turquoise Clover.  No problem.  But my sister?  She's deathly afraid of color!  She might as well be Mennonite.  That might be a slight exaggeration.  Anyway, I had to pick one that my sister would actually go out in public with.


A few months ago, the bag came.


My friends, this baby is HOT.  Waiting for months to give it to her was torture.  It is Fuddy Duddy, yes, but it's also shockingly cute for its slightly old lady undertones.  And much bigger than my crappy photos can show.


Anyway, I am CLEARLY no photographer, but I'm ready to get a camera just so I have an excuse to have a camera bag like this:

or this:

The special day finally came, and it was only rained on slightly by the fact that my brother in law got her a purse that is even cuter.  But, you know, can that purse hold a camera and a laptop?  I think not!

It was fun to shop for this.  I highly recommend Epiphanie.  They aren't paying me to say this, I just want you to know - the bag is adorable, it came very quickly, and hopefully it will hold up well!


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