Sunday, July 17, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Twins--Hannah & Terry!!!!

My wonder twins--Hannah & Terry!!

Today, my twins turn nineteen, and I'm feeling a little misty.  They're still in bed, but I've been up for an hour, putting up a few streamers and trying to figure out what to do today.  As the temp in Tulsa is predicted to be hotter than the surface of the sun, the zoo is out.  We've seen all the movies.  Maybe the aquarium--which always leaves me craving a nice, buttery seafood lunch??!!

Hannah and Terry were miracle babies.  It took Hubby and I nearly two years to conceive, then I had trouble from the start.  Horrible nausea led to dangerously high blood pressure and too many incidents of premature labor to count.  I was on bed rest for months and months--only allowed up each day for a brief shower and the potty.  During the delivery, I almost died from a bizarre complication.  Long story, but after an 8:30AM c-section, I didn't get to hold my babies until late that afternoon.

Because it was such a struggle getting them into this world, I've always tended to go overboard on their birthday.  We've had blow-out parties featuring live bands and Jupiter Jumps and Safari Joe with all of his critters.  As much as I complain about some of their not-so-fun teen idiosyncrasies, all-in-all, this mom couldn't be more proud. 

I love my Hannah and Terry more than I thought it was possible to love, which is scary now that they're getting so "old".  I'm struggling with letting go, but Hubby's helping, reminding me that's what we raised them for--to lead happy, fulfilling, independent lives.  The thought of which just starts me crying all over again!!!! 

Anyway . . . Sniff, sniff.  Today, we will no doubt manage to find BIG, high-caloric fun.  Tonight, as of my latest Intel, both kids are hanging with friends.  Which again, is how it's supposed to be.  Hubby and I will share a quiet dinner and reminisce, wondering where the years have gone . . .

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Top 10 Petty (and not so petty) Annoyances!!

                                                                       I miss winter!!

It hasn't just been one of those days, but one of those weeks. In that spirit, rather than bore you with details of how every single day has been chock full of ick, I figured why not compose a list of general annoyances and see how many of them bug you, too!!

10. Stomachaches

My stomach has hurt for a solid month!!! I've tried every kind of antacid and potion, but nothing helps. My mom keeps telling me to go to the doctor, but I know it's stress. I'm worried about so much I'd need a Top 20 to even partially cover the angst in my life--and we lead a fairly calm life. My heart goes out to any of you who have really horrible stresses!!

9. Magazines that Look Great in the Check-Out Lane, but Don't Really Say Anything

Petty, but annoying. I LOVE all of Bravo's Housewives series, so when I saw a copy of In Touch with New Jersey housewife, Teresa, opening up about her husband going to prison for ten years, I was on auto-grab!!! I HAD to know what was going on!!! Alas, nothing was going on other than a possible lawsuit that hadn't yet happened and probably won't. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy she won't be without Joe for ten years, but I'm now without $2.99, because In Touch got a little too aggressive with their cover story.

Another magazine gripe while I'm on a roll--the diets promising to lose ten pounds in a week!!! LIES!!!! (But I'm a dufous and fall for it every, stinkin' time!!)

8. Cleaning the Bathrooms

We have three of these beasties in our house. The master, the guest and the kids', which I haven't set foot in for three years!!! Honestly, it's only been a couple weeks, but even that's too much!! I trust the kids are tidy down there, but who really knows? I try so hard to keep the rest nice, but why can't someone invent a cleaner that does everything? I'm tired of needing separate cleaners for the toilet, shower, marble counters, laminate counters and mirrors. I'm also tired of toothpaste spots on said mirrors. Why does someone in my home feel the need to brush so aggressively that toothpaste explodes all over the mirror??? Warning--I WILL find you, and when I do, get ready to scrub!!!

7. Fleas

I just adore this summer treat that seems to invade every May--NOT!!! This May, I bathed all three dogs in Frontline only to still have fleas. $70.00 more dollars and another month later, I repeated the drill. Still we had fleas. My mother lives in Arkansas and swears by a new flea product called Comfortis. It's a miracle!!!!!! I've tried getting it in Oklahoma, but our vet says it doesn't work. I say, bull. We will from now on be setting up an anti- flea pipeline to Arkansas.

6. Exercising

I could literally walk eight hours a day and gain weight. We joined Gold's Gym and weigh more now than when we joined a year ago!! I've tried Wii Fit, but hate that, too. Now, if I could snorkel, scuba, hike-in-a- real-forest-that-isn't-a-hundred-miles-from-my-house or snow ski here in Oklahoma, then I'd be happy and skinny. Until then, I will protest all forms of movement--especially in the heat of summer!!!

5. Dieting

This should probably top my list, but I have so many other things bugging me right now, that this one doesn't seem so bad. I loathe counting calories or points or carbs. Hubby and I were just talking about when the kids return to school, we'd like to purge the house of anything naughty. Lately, I've been using watermelon as my go-to treat. It's good. But then I have to pee a lot. Which reminds me I need to clean the bathroom. Which gets me grumpy all over again!!

4. The Yard

We live in the kind of neighborhood filled with mostly rich, retired people who have nothing better to do with their time or money than worship their yards. They have grass people and flower people and tree people. I have three, lazy teens and no money. (I'd do it myself, but my eyes would be swollen shut for a week!)  I offer to pay them and they say they make more at their real jobs. I've tried being nice about it, but no more. If the backyard isn't mowed by this weekend--for free--I'm turning off cell phones. (Hubby and I pay for the front yard to be mowed by a nice man who actually does a lovely job. If only he weeded flower beds and/or trimmed bushes and trees . . . )

3. Kids who Don't Pay Their Bills

On the fridge, I keep a markerboard that has a running tab of how much The First National Bank of Mom and Dad is owed. All three kids owe monthly for cell phones, car insurance and two owe for car payments. Some months we get paid, some months, we don't. I understand if something important comes up and they can't pay in full, but when two months go by with no payment, it makes me crazy. Again, I'm thinking it's time to get ugly. 

2. Insurance

If added together--car, home, health, life--we pay WAY more for insurance per year, then we do for our mortgage!!! Combine that with agents who don't return calls and bills and fees that make no sense and I'm losing my mind!!! This could launch a whole new debate, but as a kid, I don't remember my parents even having medical insurance--let alone dental. I was paying bills the other day and it dawned on me that a huge portion of our income is consumed by fees for technologies that didn't even exist when Hubby and I were kids.

2A. Thieves

This week we experienced bank fraud. I'm pretty sure my bank is covering our losses, but not for a while. I have the info available on my statement to track down these people in their California lair. That said, why can't my bank find them? Cuff them? And put them in jail forever?

1. Heat

I HATE excessive heat!!!!! I'm a typically calm and rational, good-humored person. Hit me with weeks and then months of temperatures over 100 and I feel crazed. Our AC never stops running and I'm still hot. What happens to folks who don't have AC or can't afford it? In the winter, I can put on a coat to stay warm outside, but with this kind of weather, I feel so helpless. Usually, this type of heat doesn't strike Tulsa until the end of July, but we've had HOT, HOT, HOT weather now since early June. I water my porch plants at six AM and by noon, they're already drooping. I'm ready to move. NOW!!! Only first, I'd need to mow and clean bathrooms and change insurance and I'm pretty sure even exercise, since I'd have to pack boxes.

Okay, whew . . . That's pretty much it. But if #1 dropped to eighty degrees, I'm guessing all of my other complaints would vanish!!!

All right, come on, people!! Tell me what's bugging you!!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

. . . Feeling like a Disney Villain!!!

Prim and proper Daisy

**Warning, if you're not an animal lover, turn back now!!**

Not sure if I told the blogosphere, but last month my mom lost her dachshund, Noodle.  She'd had him for eighteen years, so it was a tough loss.  With that in mind, when Hannah and I started planning the Romance Road Trip, our first concern was who's going to watch Daisy?  Yes, the boys will be home, but only sort of.  Hubby works all day and I don't even want to know what Not-so-Little Terry does all night!!  Russell has moved on to that great land called TU Apartmentville, so that left Daisy alone and crying for the two weeks Hannah and planned to be gone.

Knowing my mom was hurting and Daisy loves nothing more than to be loved and adored 24/7, I figured who better to watch her than her great-grandma?  Mom agreed.  The day before leaving for the East Coast, we met up at the BK Lounge halfway down the turnpike and made the exchange.

The next day, we were somewhere in Illinois when I got the call from Mom that Daisy had fleas and needed a haircut and her nails trimmed, but Mom was on it.  That dog was primped, pampered and plucked within an inch of her life, but came out of the operation looking more like a prim and proper Yorkie than the hairy little beast we all love.  She's still adorable, but in a different way.

As the days went by, each time I called Mom for a report, I heard more about how much Daisy loves barking at golfers and refuses to eat hamburger, but she LOVES salmon!!!  Um, so do I!!!  Mom and Dad have a raised bed, so Mom slept in the guest room to make sure Daisy didn't fall.  The more cute stories I heard, the more my stomach churned.  When we used to leave the twins with my parents when they were babies I didn't hear this much cooing!!

Yesterday was the big day for us to meet back up at the BK Lounge to take Daisy home.  When we arrived, Mom cried to give her up.  I don't mean a sniffle, but cried.  My heart ached.  Had it been up to me, I would've given Mom the dog. 

Don't get me wrong, I love this dog like crazy, but I also have two other dogs, two cats, my own kids, drop-in kids, a high maintenance Hubby and wonderful friends I don't see near enough of.  My heart is full enough to share.  Trouble is, Daisy isn't my dog, but Hannah's.  And from the second we walked in the door from our trip, all Hannah has wanted to know was when we were picking up Daisy? 

I now feel lower than low to have even asked my mom to watch the dog.  Never in a million years did I see this coming.  I offered to buy Mom a puppy, but she sort-of laughed and said she didn't want a puppy, she wanted Daisy. 

When I was a kid, all I wanted was to be grown-up.  Everything would be perfect if only I were sixteen and then eighteen.  Twenty-one.  Now that I'm forty, I sometimes feel as if decisions are hurtling at me like hailstones.  And now, I'm the one crying.  And Daisy doesn't really seem herself.  And I wonder how much time I have left with my parents and was this one of those decisions I'll later look back on thinking, if only I'd done something differently? 

To clarify, for me this issue isn't just about a dog, but my responsibilty as a daughter to my mother. 

My family is terribly small.  Mom and Dad, Grandpa Alisch and a couple uncles and distant cousins--all of whom live in different states.  Dad has this uncanny knack for making friends wherever he goes.  He's thrilled wiling away days tinkering on his boat or Harley.  Mom reads, watches Y & R, and gets her hair and nails done.  I constantly worry if she's lonely.  When she had Daisy, something about her sparkled.  Daisy seemed to give her purpose.  All of which lessened my worries over living two hours away. 

One tiny Yorkie.  Seems like such a small thing for me to have such an awful stomachache over, yet here it is, and I feel like a villain for even suggesting Mom watch the dog.