30 December 2010

The most wonderful time of the year...

...has come and gone and all that's left are a bunch of toys that defy organization and a big ass can of Lysol. The tree came down as soon as I was able to stand upright after the holiday; Santa left us a big ol' stomach virus in our stockings this year and in addition to zapping my holiday appetite (Wha?! For realz, that happened, folks.) it also zapped my holiday spirit. I couldn't get that thing down fast enough. Brodie was kind enough to help - on Christmas night I hear he finally attempted scaling the tree. I have no proof of this event; Nick and Zach were sleeping on the sofa, I was curled up in the fetal position on the bathroom floor after heaving my guts and then some and Brodie was left to his own maniacal devices with the tree. Nick said he woke up to find it sort of leaning on the sofa with our monkey of a son covered in glitter and candy canes on the floor. I would have liked to have had photographic evidence of this but alas, there is none.

Bummer, dude.

Our holidays (pre-stomach virus) were great - food, family, gifts and fun. I love that time of year and usually I'm the one wanting to keep the decorations and the spirit going into early summer. But not this time. The tree was looking sad and taking up space in the living room. Valuable space we need for toys. I am seriously going to have to find some sort of toy organization system. Because the giant bucket things we have going at present are just not cutting it. Suggestions? Anyone? Anyone?


It's New Year's Eve Eve. Yesterday was Nick's birthday, he's officially entered his mid- to upper-20s - he's 26. He likes to tell me (almost daily) that he'll never be as old as I am. But at least for the next few months I don't feel like quite the cradle robber; our age gap is just four years instead of five.

I'm working on my New Year's resolutions. Last year I tried to set resolutions for everyone else to avoid disappointment in myself when they fell to the wayside by the beginning of February. That just resulted in a lot of arguing and yelling and disappointment in others so I'm back to the old standby.

Post to come later. (Hopefully before spring.)

09 November 2010

Everybody say "Cheese!"

Ahh, the holidays are soon upon us. Trees and lights and cookies and turkeys and cards. Lots and lots of cards. I have a horrible time picking Christmas cards - mostly because I want to do a really nice photo Christmas card of our family and I can never get all of us, with clean clothes and clean teeth, in the same room as a capable adult with a camera. (And don't bother to point out that my camera has a timer; that also requires a capable adult.) I think photo Christmas cards and I think portraits. Boo to that.

I'm ordering from Shutterfly this year. I'll be using one of their totally informal, colorful and fun designs that matches our completely informal, colorful and fun lifestyle. (If you're reading through the lines, you know that for us, that means pajamas, jelly on our faces and funny weird, not really funny hahaha.)

For example, I kind of like this one:

I'd like it more if that were my family with an ocean breeze in our hair, riding horses in the clear blue water, but you know - I'll take what I can get.

I also like this one:

But I'm pretty sure I'm just jealous that this mom can get smiling, coordinated photos of her two active children. And check out how she got them to pretend that they like each other? Nice job, momma.

Maybe I'll just go with the old standard: you know, red and green and matching snowman sweaters, antlers on the dog. Anyone want to take our picture?

(Just so you're aware, I don't often dedicate posts to random companies for no good reason. I'm informing you about all the wonderful choices available at Shutterfly so I can get my grubby hands on some free Christmas cards. Woot!)

27 October 2010

Titles are overrated.

My children are driving me to drink.

Well, one of them. Baby Z is developing the nasty habit of requiring constant entertainment, especially at bedtime. And when he isn't being entertained, even for the slightest of moments, he is screaming. At the top of his lungs, his tiny little baby lungs, he is screaming. It doesn't matter if I have laid him down because rocking him for hours has given me a cramp in my shoulder or if I have to pee or even if the freaking house is burning down. The entertainment must continue or my ears (and my sanity) will pay the price.

And so now, with a sleeping baby (and toddler and husband and dog), I am having my second glass of wine. Because my nerves can't take that much screaming. And because I had the points to use up this evening, seeing as my dinner was pretty cold and crappy by the time I got around to eating.

Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where's the Tylenol?

Along the lines of Christmas (since that is one my all-time favorite lines from one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies), it flurried in our neighborhood today. Three words: DE-PRESS-ING. Fall is my favorite season (I mean, when I take the time to venture outside) and it doesn't last nearly long enough (eleven months would be good for me, how's about you?). I came across the Christmas tree decorations when the Bee and I were on a purging spree in the garage last weekend and it took all my willpower not to bring them inside and put up the tree. I love my Christmas tree. I would really love to have it in my living room year-round but the Bee gets pissy if it's up before Thanksgiving and after his birthday. He can be such a fun hater sometimes.

Have you seen this?


11 October 2010

Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket

Is there a full moon? Have the planets aligned just so? Is today really my lucky day?

Because I convinced the Bee to partake in some furniture shopping and I know I didn't succeed in that endeavor based on my charm alone.

(Although I can be pretty charming...)

Not that we bought anything. Do you know that Staples commercial, the "Wow! That's a low price!" guy that walks around and screams, "Wow! That's a low price!" at everything in the store. Yeah, see, furniture shopping with the Bee is kind of the same thing, except you have to replace "Wow!" with the "Fuck!" and "That's a low price!" with "They want how much money for one fucking chair? Are they serious? Where's the clearance section? Is it made of freaking gold? Is it going to rub my shoulders and bring me chicken wings and tell me I'm good enough, smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me? No? Well, keep walking then sister. We can't afford that shit."

(This is the Staples commercial. It's sort of like shopping with the Bee but far less obscene.)

I was okay with not buying anything because the only thing I liked was the exact same chair that we currently have in the living room, just in a different color. I think I liked it because it wasn't broken, it wasn't covered in dog slobber and dog hair, and there's not a Hot Wheels car rattling around in the innards. Or maybe I just have a fear of change - that might be. (I have been sporting the same hair cut since the ninth grade - I know I have change issues.)

Anyway. Furniture shopping made us all cranky. Then we took our cranky asses to Perkin's where we indulged in a fantastically abysmal meal while surrounded by two screaming children (our own). Overall, a good night.

How was your day?

09 October 2010

What's bugging Janel?

I kid you not, about an hour ago, I committed murder in my living room. My victim was a giant, brown, hairy, scary spider. I would have taken a picture to prove to you how big this thing was - I swear it was as big as a silver dollar pancake with big long nasty legs - but it was chasing the dog across the room and I didn't have time to get the camera. Ugh, I'm giving myself the heebie jeebies just thinking about it. But I talked myself down (literally, like, out loud, said to myself, "Dude, it's just a bug. You're seven million times heavier than this thing. Just kill it.") and grabbed one of the Bee's shoes and smooshed it. After I scared it onto the tile first, I didn't want to have to clean bug guts out of the carpet.

I've still got a nasty case of the shudders. Ick.

I broke the chair in our living room today. Well, I was the one that was sitting in it when it broke. I'd hate to think that I'm paying for all this Weight Watchers hullabaloo and still weighing enough to break furniture. Truthfully, it was a cheap chair when it was purchased four years ago and I'm kind of surprised it's lasted as long as it has - I've hauled it across the state and back again, it serves as a trampoline for Brodie after I tell him to stop jumping on the sofa or for the dog when he's in the throes of one of his "boxer blitzes." Anyway, I'm sitting here, trying to feed Baby Z when this spring apparently pops out of place and after I figure out that I have not been bit on the ass my something under the chair, I find that I'm sitting basically on the chair frame and leaning about 45 degrees to the left. Neat-o burrito, baby. So I flipped it over and thought maybe I could "fix" it - me, being as mechanically inclined as I am and all, I had visions of fishing line and duct tape and a MacGuyver-like scheme to hold that spring back in place - but when I got up in the innards I saw there is no fixing to be done; it's toast, it's trash, it's junk. Plus, I wasn't too excited to poke my eye out on that giant piece of metal poking through the fabric - wouldn't I feel like a big horse's patooty? My butt can vouch for the velocity of a sprung spring; I've probably got a bruise. I think I'll save face (ha!) and stop playing Dr. Quinn, Furniture Fixer.

My ESP(N) is buzzing... I see furniture shopping my future. Or at least chair shopping. I doubt I can talk the Bee into purchasing multiple pieces of furniture... unless I can manage to break the sofa, too. :)

08 October 2010

What's your excuse?

I have a case of blogger's block. It's not that interesting, bloggable events aren't taking place in my life every day - I just have zero motivation to write anything about it. It probably has something to do with the fact that I'm living on five hours of sleep a night, every night. Baby Z is a demanding little thing: "Feed me, change me, hold me... ME, ME, ME..." It's the Baby Z show, all day every day. It's Baby Z's world and we're all just walking around in it. Well, except for him. He's still lying down and letting us all tend to him.

Babies are so selfish. Good thing he's so cute.

The Bee is out of town this weekend, working, working, working. It's sort of disrupted all the plans I had set up for the next couple days. Well, that and I discovered that I forgot to pay the electric bill this month. I was rudely reminded of that when the electricity went off this yesterday. Not because we didn't pay the bill, it was for a squirrel that met an untimely death at the substation. But my first thought was "OMG, did I pay the bill?" and my second thought was, "Oh shit." But the power came back on. Now I just feel sorry for the squirrel.

I'm bored. I think I'll go to bed.

01 October 2010

Settle down, I'm breaking a sweat

Um, what the heck happened to September? Was the whole month unworthy and unbloggable? No, probably not. I'm just that unfocused lately. I have all these projects going and things I want to do and can't seem to finish anything. I have a bookcase in the boys' room that I want to paint and a pantry I'd love to organize (all the cabinets actually; I threw them together pretty haphazardly and even though we've lived here for nearly four months I still can't remember where I put the cutting boards without opening two or three cabinets - but maybe that's premature dementia and not a lack of organization) and a garage to clean (OMG, that's making me crazy, there are boxes stacked everywhere and toys and loads and loads of crap) and about 14 books that I'm the middle of reading and an entire season of True Blood to catch up on. Not to mention, a constant barrage of laundry and diapers and dishes and cooking and cleaning and kids to chase after and a dog to let outside...

I've officially exhausted myself and I haven't even moved.

And that's good enough for today.

31 August 2010

Schedules are for wimps

My day, for the last 19 or so days, begins early. So early that it's practically still the day before. I mean, it's definitely dark and most normal people are sleeping. But Baby Z. has zero concept of time and therefore when he's hungry, wet or bored, he wants attention and he wants it now. Combine that with a Big Man B. who believes the world revolves around him (and only because we've led him to believe that that is actually the case) and it makes for one tired momma.

I keep looking for the routine in our day to day lives and so far I'm not finding it. If not having a routine can actually be our routine then we are succeeding on a daily basis but that's really not the scenario I'm looking for. I'd like to sit down with both babies and have a discussion about expectations and responsibilties but I don't think they're ready to commit to chores/self-bathing/conforming to normal business hours just yet. Crap, I'd buy them a freaking pony if I could get them to conform to regular daylight hours, but I don't think that at the ages of 16 months and 22 days that I'm going to get anywhere with that idea.


So for the time being, our non-routine will continue to be our routine and I'll keep working on becoming one of those people that doesn't have to have control/a clean house/a daily shower/matching socks.

22 August 2010

Life is good

I'm currently lying next to the cuddliest, snuggliest, most perfect little man in the world.

Zachary Michael arrived 13 days ago and already I can't imagine life without him.

I think I've taken about 100 pictures of this sweet little man sleeping.


Not only because that's all he does at this point...

... but also because he's so stinking cute when he does it!

I love my boys. Life is good AMAZING.


19 July 2010

I wonder what my name is in Chinese?

I've decided it's time to blog; if nothing else, to satisfy the needs of my ever-growing Chinese audience. Any other bloggers out there experiencing a surge in Chinese spam? WTF? I never write about anything having to do with China, Chinese food, Chinese people or even Asia in general. Of course, now that I bring this up, my Chinese audience will revolt, my blog will become even more of an outcast among blogs and I'll find myself with absolutely zero commenters, my mom not included. So maybe I should embrace all things Chinese. Here we go: I, SuperJanel, hereby declare that I. LOVE. CHINA. Bring on the Chinese bots and spam and egg drop soup... it means someone or something is paying attention.

So... what's new in your world?

It's raining here. Again. It's been raining all morning and it's got the dog all sorts of discombobulated; he won't step out from under the cover of the porch to pee and he's rather pissy about it. (Sorry, Pootie, I don't control the weather.) I took him outside earlier with the umbrella and the galoshes and the whole garb only to stand in the yard while he stood in the garage, looking at me like I'm the one with issues.

I'm still pregnant, despite my best efforts to evict this child from my womb. Actually, that's not true. I have not yet issued an eviction notice. But this baby has been playing mind games with me about when he'd like to make his appearance. Thursdays, so far, have been his favorite day to pull the "let's-cause-contractions-and-other-annoying-labor-like-symptoms-so-Mom-and-Dad-will-disrupt-everyone-else's-business-and-drive-to-the-hospital-just-to-be-told-that-they're-more-likely-to-win-the-lottery-on-that-given-day-than-have-a-baby" stunt. This baby is so grounded whenever he arrives. You're in a heap of trouble, mister Z. You hear me? As of Wednesday, we'll be considered full-term (37 weeks along) and that's when I'm going to sit down and have a serious discussion with my uterus.

We've moved. I think that was going on about the time that I last blogged. Yup, we've moved and we're all unpacked and organized and settled. My OCD wouldn't have it any other way, are you kidding me? Despite the fact that our new town lacks a 24-hour supermarket, I actually kind of like it here. It's quiet. Not a lot of traffic. We live far enough away from everything that in order to get anywhere I get to hear more than one song on the radio. Our neighbors are nice, a little crazy, but it seems to be working for them. All the more reason we fit right in...

We bought a double stroller over the weekend, seeing as Brodie is still pretty attached to being pushed around where ever we go and it's pretty rude to make the new baby walk. I feel like I'm pushing a Smart Car; it's kind of heavy and bulky and even worse since I have zero depth perception so I can't tell if I'm pushing the child in front into inanimate objects in stores or not. I'm relying on Brodie to let me know when I have him pinned to a clothes rack and I'm not sure how that's going to work out. But if he's in front then there's less chance of him poking Baby Z's eyes out and for the moment, that seems to be the extent of the relationship Brodie has with anything his size or smaller. Actually, his victims aren't always smaller than he is - I've had a couple close encounters with my son's fingertips that have resulted in near bruising or the ripping of my eyeball from my socket. He's getting good with nostrils, too, the little shit.

I believe the Bee is experiencing some baby-related stress. I found him sitting straight up in bed last night, panting like he'd just run a marathon (or at least up the steps) and sweating like a mofo. I asked him what he was doing; he replied, "I'm waiting for stuff to happen." Hmmm... That and the bi-hourly text messages ("R U OK?" "R U STILL OK?") are leading me to believe that he's a little worried about the whole second-baby thing. Or maybe it's the being present while I'm giving birth thing. Or being a dad again thing. Or perhaps it's the "your water broke in the parking lot of a Chinese restaurant and then continued to leak all the way across town and into the hospital" thing and he's concerned that at any given moment we're going to find ourselves wading through a pool of amniotic fluid and/or the damage it might do to the leather seats in the car. (Will seat warmers still work if they've been doused with baby water?) I'm far too preoccupied with being a raging hormonal bitch to offer the poor guy much support, other than to tell him that that's why God invented beach towels and dish soap.

But I don't have time today to sit around and wax poetic about the joys of pregnancy and motherhood and marriage and pet-ownership and all that jazz. Much to do, much to do - I mean, it's close to lunch time and I haven't decided what I'm eating yet. So you guys all have a great day (or is it nighttime in China? Sorry, I'm not good with time zones and moon phases and calendars and things of the sort.); I'm going to go stand in front of the refrigerator and wait for inspiration.

14 June 2010

Monday musings - the married edition

Well, we did it. The Bee and I got married last Friday afternoon and I am now officially Mrs. Bee. Scary, isn't it? A couple days beforehand, the Bee asked me if I was nervous and I was all nonchalant about it: "No worries here." And then about 90 minutes before we were scheduled to stand in front of the judge, I had a small nervous breakdown in the bathroom while trying to tie the Bee's tie and nearly hyperventilated.

I'm not sure why, really. I could blame it on hormones. I could blame it on the fact that it was about 412 degrees outside with 942 percent humidity (I'm not making that up; it was freaking miserable). Or that I was stuffed into a dress that was inching shorter by the hour due to my ever-growing baby belly and that I looked like a big bloated Dalmatian while sporting the updo redux from prom '97 and legs so white they bordered on clear. Those are all excellent reasons to hyperventilate and throw a small tantrum ("Tie your own tie, you don't even need a tie, I told you that you didn't have to wear one! Wahhhhhhh..."). But I think the biggest reason for my meltdown was just letting my emotions get the better of me. If you've been a reader for any length of time or even if you just know the Bee and I and the bullshit we put each other through (not to mention those around us), then you know that this was a big decision for both of us. With the beginning we had and the path we've walked, I don't think anyone expected much from us and sadly we were two of our biggest doubters. All that said, I think the decision was made for the right reasons and I think we're both happy with it. He calls me "Wiff" and I call him "Hubs." Gag you with a spoon, what? I'm happy with it.

And that is that. :)

I think I'm getting a cold. My head is feeling a little swimmy and I have a sore throat. I'd like to go back to bed but Brodie seems to think that's a bad idea.

I found an amazing recipe for Key Lime Cupcakes yesterday. (Well, technically I can't say that I found it; it appeared to me in Google Reader.) I was all gung ho to make cupcakes this afternoon and then I remembered that I've already packed all my cupcake pans and most of my bowls too. And since I refuse to unpack anything until we're moved, I guess I'm just going to have to suffer. I've kind of been on a cupcake kick lately. Cupcakes are sort of the personal pan pizza of the dessert world - one of everybody's favorite foods in a size that allows you to be greedy enough not to share.

If you have a Blogger blog, you probably have the "Monetize" tab at the top of your screen too. I can't tell you how many times I've been tempted to click on "Monetize" and commercialize this baby to the max. Ads here, ads there, ads everywhere. But I feel guilty, selling out my readers (all seven of you) and making you endure ads for cupcake pans and maternity clothes (which would be the relevant topics from today's post) just so I can make $0.000062 for every click you accidentally make. So I refrain. For now. In the future I may decide that your continued support is worth 62-bazillionths of a cent and sell you to Google Ads. Don't be shocked.

I have a million things I need to be doing and blogging is actually not on my list of things to do. I'm just sitting here babbling so that I feel like I'm being productive when really I'm not. So I'm going to leave you with a couple videos. The first one just disturbs me but makes me giggle and the second is Brodie's (current) favorite thing to watch on the computer. (I find myself humming this all the time now; it's kind of annoying.)

Happy day!

08 June 2010

All aboard the train of thought...

I think I would blog more often if I didn't suffer from such a short attention span. I have all these great ideas and I either forget them before I get to Blogger or I can't think of a way to turn it into a whole blog post. So I end up not writing at all and that is a big, blog FAIL. So instead of entertaining you with a single topic, I'm just going to talk. I blog I read calls this "stream of consciousness" writing. But I don't want to a be a complete thief, so I'm going to ask you to ride along on my train of thought.

Here we go...

This week, I become Mrs. Bee. For reals! A day I thought would never arrive, as recently as just a couple days ago, and it's coming up on Friday. The plan, you ask? Well, because we both strive to be as complicated as possible, we're having a small civil ceremony at the courthouse on Friday and then in a year (because next year, June 11 will be on a Saturday) we'll have a more traditional ceremony. The Bee has stated he would prefer a real wedding as opposed to the court-imposed variety we're partaking in this week; but in the last couple days he's said that he thinks we should renew our vows in Vegas and screw what everyone else thinks. I've had to restrain myself from pointing out that "everyone else" is really just "him" but whatever. So Friday, if you're in downtown Des Moines and you see a huge and uncomfortable preggo chick in an obnoxious black and white polka dot dress entering the courthouse, fear not - it's just me and you should do what everyone should do for someone that's getting hitched: offer your condolences and then offer money. Because that's just polite.

I kid, I kid. About the condolences, anyway. Money is always a good idea.

We have Netflix for our Wii. It's a great invention; I can find tons of kids shows to keep Brodie entertained when I'm off doing something uber-important, like scouring the pantry for candy that I've hidden from the Bee. And we can watch all sorts of movies, stuff we like, stuff we missed - not a lot of brand new stuff but that's what the Redbox is for. The drawback to the Wii is that a lot of the non-kid movies are the B-, C-, even D-grade flicks that didn't get any sort of hurrah upon release because, let's face it, they didn't deserve any because they SUCK. And what kind of movies does the Bee prefer? The movies that SUCK. Like right now, we're watching some crap about the Red Baron, who apparently had a massive head injury - his only endearing quality if you ask me. I happen to like the Snoopy version of the Red Baron much more, but my voice goes unheard if the movie has anything to do with war, guns, airplanes, military, boobs or Sylvester Stallone. Or any combination of these things. I do have to say that "The Red Baron" is a much better flick than "Ghost in a Teeny Weeny Bikini" and yes, that's a real movie and I'm not making that up.

We're moving at the end of the month. Have I mentioned how much I hate moving? Not recently; at least not for a year and a half but my feelings haven't changed.

Top ten things the Janel hates:
  1. Creepy crawlies, spiders in particular.
  2. Fish & peas, ughhh... (I like fish and I like peas, I just don't like them together.)
  3. People who think it's okay to wear navy blue and black together. (Come on, you look like a freaking bruise.)
  4. Baby snot. (I can handle all the other bodily functions but snot grosses me out.)
  5. Brussel sprouts. (It's the snot-like consistency that I abhor; see above.)
  6. Moving.
  7. Green Jell-o. (Think snot; see #4.)
  8. Dirty fingernails.
  9. The US Postal Service. (Not the Postal Service the band, they're okay.)
  10. Supermarket cashiers that read all the fine print on a coupon before they scan it. (Yes, I will argue over 50 cents. Try me, you stingy bastards.)
(This list is not all-inclusive nor is it an "all-time" list. This is what's on my mind. Tomorrow it will be different.)

Anyway, see? Moving rates between Brussel sprouts and green Jell-o. And that's not a good place to be. But we're moving from Ankeny to Polk City, which kind of seems backwards to me. We both like the place and it's more room for babies and Pootie and the Bee. I'm a tad concerned with the fact that there is no grocery store in Polk City but I suppose that will make me more efficient at grocery shopping and preparation. Or it will frustrate me on a regular basis when I find myself driving to Ankeny because I forgot something important, like Goldfish crackers or hair color.

I think that's all I have for now. I'm kind of tired. And I have apple dumplings to eat. (I made The Pioneer Woman's Apple Dumplings tonight and they are all sorts of AMAZING.) We're out of ice cream but I'll suffer and eat them plain because I'm a team player. YUM.

10 May 2010

What's a little judgement among friends?

I'm a pretty accepting person. Seriously. If your lifestyle doesn't hamper my lifestyle, generally I could give two shits about what you do in your spare time. But I got pissed yesterday and in fact I'm still pissed today, the more I think about this. And feel free to tell me if my line of thinking is wrong; it wouldn't be the first time. After all, I put my thoughts out there on the world wide interweb-thing so people can openly argue with me... or try to sell me Chinese Viagra, there seems to be a lot of that going on lately.


Let me preface this with a few bits of information.
  1. I'm aware that people have different beliefs. I'm no dummy; it's what makes the world go 'round. And I know that I'm not going to agree with everything everyone says; that's what makes me, me.
  2. I know that when people find something that makes them happy, they want to share. It's human nature. Examples: "Mint M&M's rock my world and you should try them; you're going to love them." "The Octagon is the best movie of all time - you need to watch it." "Tyler Florence is the hottest man alive and therefore everything he cooks is AMAZING, I'm not kidding." See?
  3. In spite of the fact that I publish many of the minute details of my life here and on Facebook, I'm sort of a private person. There are two things I think shouldn't come up in conversation with strangers or with casual friends: politics and religion. And not because I'm not informed (although I don't watch Fox News 24/7 nor do I attend church on a regular basis) - but because some things are just private. To me, faith is a very private thing. My relationship with God is just that - my relationship. Last time I checked, I didn't need to have to check with anyone else in order to maintain that relationship. When and if I choose to divulge that information is my prerogative.
  4. And just as a side note, I have known two door-to-door vacuum salespeople, two travelling missionaries and have family that belongs to the Church of Latter Day Saints.
So taking into consideration all of the above information, read the following narrative and decide if my feelings are out of line.

The Bee and I hosted a small get-together yesterday afternoon. My youngest brother and his significant other and their new (adorable!) puppy as well as a friend of the Bee's and the friend's older brother. We grilled hamburgers, cut up a watermelon and ate too many no-bake cookies. Good times, right?

Sort of. The Bee and I are lackadaisical (at best) in our church attendance, as is my brother. We each have faith, in our own personal ways, and believe in the Lord but religion is not at the forefront of our daily lives, even though we're aware that it would provide comfort and stability to our relationships and our lives in general. We get that. I get that. However, the friend and the friend's brother are members of the Church of Latter Day Saints, have strong beliefs and convictions and, as former missionaries, are happy to spread the word of Jesus Christ into the lives and homes of their friends and even the homes of strangers.

This is where I start to get pissed.

This isn't my first encounter with the Bee's friend and it's not my first encounter with the friend's brother. However, it was my first encounter with the two of them in my home, eating the meal that we provided to them, and enjoying our hospitality. It's also not the first time that the Bee has heard their spiel - he's listened quietly and declined, he's spoken loudly and declined. Knowing that he's not interested in their message, don't you think they would have passed on offering up their message once more?

Nope. After dinner and during (too many) no-bake cookies, here it comes: "I have a gift for you that I'd like to leave here for you to peruse at your disposal. It's a gift that changed my life and I think it could change yours..."

What?! Are you serious?

Now, since it's the Bee's long-time (we're talking they shared diapers and playpens) friend, I decided to stay out of this conversation and see how he would handle it. The friend continued. "I have a book I'm going to give to you, it's 521 pages but you don't have to read all of that. I'm going to mark a few passages that I think will improve your life."

Not joking here.

In the three years that I've known the Bee, I don't think I've seen him pick up a book unless he was moving it out of his way or using it to steady a drink. He's not a literary kind of guy; I know this and accept this about him. His friend knows this too, having attended high school with him and probably assisting him in passing classes that required large amounts of reading. But the friend continued. "As the man of the house, it's your decision as to whether or not you allow your family to enjoy such happiness..."


First off, "the man of the house" makes all the decisions that affect the family? Since when? The man in this house can't ever decide what we're having for dinner, much less make the decision to join a church and bring happiness into our (apparently) dismal lives. Second, who are you, friend, to make the judgement that the man of this house and his family need to be saved and you're the one to bring us to the light? By coming into our home and telling us that our lives need improved and here is the path to that improvement, isn't this friend passing judgement on the way we live our lives, the decisions we make and the relationships we have with God? Who is he to do that? What is so hard about accepting the idea that we do not need his gift, we have not asked for his gift and that we will not be acknowledging his gift into our lives? Why can't we all continue to be friends without the constant rift of religion? Knowing that God accepts all his children, sinners or saints, regardless of the path they choose - shouldn't that be enough to keep the propaganda at bay and allow friends to be friends?

But, like I said, I chose to stay out of this discussion, knowing that whatever came out of my mouth would likely be words that discouraged further barbecues, and I wanted to see how the Bee would respond to his friend. The Bee's response? Gobble, gobble, freaking gobble. After imbibing in a little bit (ha.) of Wild Turkey and Coke, he generously accepted the invitation to keep the book, read the message and see if this path could improve his life and the lives of his family members. Knowing that I was sitting just a few feet away, close to boiling over with obscenities, he quickly ushered the friend and the brother outside and bid them farewell.

So as I write this, there's a blue book in our kitchen junk drawer, mocking me, inciting me, reminding me that we're apparently not good enough and our lives will forever be lacking because we're not following the chosen path to enlightenment. If I weren't against the desecration of books as a general rule, I would have happily taken the gift outside and set it on the still-burning charcoal grill in the driveway. I'm still pissed about this little exchange; I'm pissed that his friend has the nerve to come into our home and tell us our spiritual beliefs are inadequate, the nerve to brazenly declare his path the best path, the chosen path, the only path. And to be honest, I'm a little peeved at the Bee for letting this take place in our kitchen.

Am I wrong? Am I wrong to be offended by this "invitation?" Should I be more accepting of the message and the messenger, even if the messenger is aware of our lack of interest? Should I write this off as a friend merely sharing his excitement for his passion in life or is it okay to be offended by this shameless speech and bit of propaganda left in my home?

I've given you the topic. Discuss. Get back to me. I'm curious. If I'm wrong, I'll admit it. I'll also be happy to share a gift with you, a gift that I've received that has made absolutely zero change in my life or my beliefs but might make a change in yours - and it's not even a fruitcake.

26 April 2010

We like to party all the time

We're hosting a birthday party on Saturday. And it's not just any birthday party, it happens to be Brodie's FIRST birthday party. Can you believe that? Brodie is going to be one next week. (And that makes me officially old, because I can now quantify my child's age in years as opposed to days, weeks or months.) One! Where has the last year gone? He seems so advanced, he's done everything so early I feel like he's literally running out of the baby stage and turning 12 years old. I tried to tell him that he's not allowed to have any more birthdays but just like when I tell him not to unfold all the dish towels it's in one ear and out the other.

But the planning of his party has been enjoyable, at least for me. I'm pretty sure that everyone around me is sick and freaking tired of discussing the pros and cons of homemade red velvet cupcakes and butter cream icing vs. a boxed cake mix but I've had a good time making and sampling cupcakes. (Come on - who doesn't love a cupcake?! Oh, really? Well, I'll eat yours.) And I know for a fact that if I bring up party decorations to the Bee again he's going to strangle me with streamers and stick candles in all my orifices. (And not in a fun way, either.) I guess we have strikingly different ideas of how to celebrate a one-year-old's birthday party.

For example...
  • Superjanel: "I think we should get a banner for Brodie's party, you know, one that says, 'Happy Birthday, Brodie' on it." Bee: "If they're at his party, they're gonna know his freaking name."
  • Bee: "Do you think a keg would be out of line?" Superjanel: "Can you get kegs filled with apple juice? He's turning one; ask again in twenty years."
  • Superjanel: "Do you realize we're sending out forty invitations to our son's birthday party?" (Imagine look of shock and awe; for the most part I can't think of 40 people I want to spend 10 minutes with let alone an entire afternoon.) Bee: "That's all? Who did we forget? Let me see that list..."
Fun, fun, fun.

Oh, here's some news for you. The Bee and I have come to another stage in our relationship: we're getting married June 11. Now there's a shocker, huh? We've been the ultimate transitional couple - together but not together, living together, not living together, totally not together, together but don't tell anyone, together, not together, together, in jail, in limbo, together - for the last three years and now we're getting married. I'm not offended by the look on your face; up until we applied for the marriage license a couple weeks ago I'll admit that I was one of our biggest doubters. And not because I doubt the Bee, his feelings for me or his commitment to Brodie or myself - I was in complete denial that marriage is where we were headed.

Let's face it, I'm not exactly batting a thousand in the marriage department. And I've been the relationship asshole for the better part of the last year. (You know every relationship has at least one "relationship asshole" - the person that's snarky for the sake of snark, mean for no reason, unhappy with everything, and the first to pack their bags - or pack the other person's bags - when things get hard.) I'll own that title and I can't even give you a good reason for it other than fear. But it's time to grow up. We're living the life - kids and house and bills - we're forever intertwined. And for all the time we complain about it (and who doesn't complain about it at one point or another?), we're actually pretty happy. And since that's the case, let's make it official. I love the Bee. I love that we've created the most amazing person and we have another one on the way. And I'm genuinely happy to be getting married.

The wedding is not a big deal. I don't mean that we're not taking it seriously, I mean it in the sense that we're taking the easy way out and getting married in front of a judge. It's in a courtroom. No kidding. Bring on the jokes about marriage and the proverbial "death sentence" - it makes me giggle that we're being "sentenced" to a lifetime together. Jokes aside, we'll be having a party in the fall to celebrate and have all our friends and family together. At this party, we might even have a banner, a keg and more than 40 people, no arguments from me.

21 April 2010

Closing the door and throwing away the key

The last couple weeks have been challenging for me. Don't get me wrong - life at the moment is good: Brodie is amazing and the Bee is happily back to work. I lead a chamed life - I get to stay home and raise my baby and prepare for my next child to be born - lots of people would love to be in my situation and I'm honestly very grateful for what I have.

All that said, I came across some news that shocked and saddened me. I can't decide if it's wise to share it here, the conflict I'm feeling leads me to believe that I should keep it to myself so I think that's the best route. However, I can say that it left me feeling more than a little hurt and wondering why I wasn't good enough to be put in that position, to be offered those chances, to be that person. I know that everything happens for a reason, that God sees more than I'll ever know and in the big picture (to which I'll never be completely privy) it will all make sense. But I was more than a little stunned. I suppose it's part of the process of healing and moving on; I think the psychological term is "closure." And now I guess I've acheived closure... or it's been achieved for me.

I'm okay with that. I've (obviously) moved on  my life is good. I'm not the only one that deserves to be happy.

And in the very remote chance that you ever see this, congratulations. I think you'll find this opens your heart more than you ever imagined - I'm truly happy for you. You deserve it.

27 March 2010

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus...

So I got a random comment from some guy, I think his name was Mike: "So is this thing, like, over or what?"

No, Mike, this thing is not, like, over. I tried to take my blogging business elsewhere for a while but I never really felt comfortable over there. Someone told me it felt like I was writing for an audience instead of for myself and when I re-read what I'd written with that critique in mind, she was right. My whole "voice" had changed. I sounded stuffy and uppity and (as my dad would say) high-fallutin' and totally not like me at all.

So here I am. I'm back. I can't believe it's been six whole months since I've written here. I'm trying to think of what's been going on for the last six months. The highlights, or at least the December and January highlights, can be found at the other location. The Bee and I had some big news - baby #2, Z, is due August 11. We spent New Year's and a lot of the month of January in North Carolina; we talked (okay, I talked) about moving out there but the idea was met with such resistance that I gave that up pretty quick. (Okay, not really. I pouted for a good month or so before I decided to let it go. I can always try again later...)

February went by quickly, as always. I got surprised with flowers and a card from the Bee on my birthday - I hadn't even expected him home from the job he'd been doing. Brodie even got me a card - he's so thoughtful. :-) And even March has flown by. We did our taxes, paid off a TON of bills, bought a Wii and Nick got called back to work (at his real job, even!); it's been a good month.

And that's pretty much my six months in a nutshell. Boring, isn't it? Aren't you glad I didn't blog? Me too.

It seems like most everyone I know that has had a blog has stopped. Is life so blah right now that no one has anything to talk about? I have stuff to talk about - I just can't seem to find the time to do so. I'm working on that; it's on my list of things to do.

But not right now - apparently we're going to see the Harlem Globetrotters tonight. Interesting. I'll let you know how that turns out.