I Wanna Kia!

December 16, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Posted in Around Boston | 2 Comments
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I recently said goodbye to the cursed car (that actually turned out to be a great ride once finally fixed), and bought myself a big girl car.  And yes, I say that with every bit of irony I can muster because, as we all know, a woman shopping for a new car alone is ill-advised, so my dad came to help remove the target from my wallet (while the hubs stayed home with the baby).  Annnyway…

At one of the local car dealerships, as RWFOTB and I waited through the “let-me-talk-to-my-manager” negotiation process, we overheard a curious conversation: A middle-aged woman (with her mother in-tow) was standing firm against a sales guy.  He was trying to convince her of the benefits of the Camry, but she wasn’t having it.

Even these rodents can get a Kia!  Step up your game, lady!

Even these rodents can get a Kia! Step up your game, lady!

“I wanna Kia!” she insisted.  “I don’t want no Camry, I wanna Kia.”

We couldn’t help it – dad and I tried to keep our laughter quiet.  But the woman was adamant.  She would accept no substitute.  And even though the sales guy was trying to be polite, we couldn’t ignore the elephant in the room… we were at a Toyota dealership! 

Yeah.

So we may have remarked, loudly enough to be overheard, “Perhaps she’d have better luck at a Kia dealership.” 

The woman just glared and continued her fight.  The salesman looked sheepishly grateful, before saying: “Well, I don’t have any Kia’s here right now, but perhaps we could consider the Corolla?”

“Yeah, but,” and here dad and I mouthed the phrase we knew was coming next,” I wanna Kia!”

Good luck, lady. 

Crickets…

December 5, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Posted in Office Humor | Leave a comment
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Have you ever asked a question, gotten NO response, and said you’re hearing “crickets”?  Well, my colleagues’ and my self-esteem has hit an all-time low because we hear crickets ALL DAY LONG.  It doesn’t matter what we’re talking about, who we ask, or what we need.  We get crickets.

Literally. 

<Crickets>

Take a listen…

They claim it’s the HVAC system, but I think it’s a not-so-subtle hint.

Time for an Encore?

November 11, 2013 at 10:31 am | Posted in Family, Married Life, Pregnancy Fun Time | 2 Comments
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The other day, my hubs got this in the mail:

Does that cardigan come in men's sizes?

Does that cardigan come in men’s sizes?

And he was totally baffled…. Why would he, a MAN, have received a coupon for a maternity clothing store?  I, of course, have NO idea.

(wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

Now that our dear daughter is eight months old (when did that happen?!?), my husband has started his campaign for a second child.  Well, I say “started,” but he actually brought this up for the first time when she was just six days old, and again when she was three months and six months old.  And I feel lucky to have a partner who loves our little one so much he wants another one.

BUT…

(you knew there was going to be a but!)

I’m not ready!  I want more time for just us three (and our sweet pup, too, of course), my first pregnancy was so hard I’m not sure I’m ready to face doing that again, and geez louise man!  No! 

Like in any disagreement, we’re going to have to find a compromise.  Anyone know how close they are to having men carry children?  Because I’m sure he’d look great in that cardigan. 

I Hit My Mother-in-Law’s Car!

September 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Posted in Family, Married Life | Leave a comment
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Alternate title: Please tell me spiders (and frogs) are good luck!

A few weeks ago I ran into my mother-in-law’s car.  Yup, she was here selflessly taking care of my little one so I could save money on daycare this summer, and I backed right into her car.  And even though I continue to be mortified to this day, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be teased about it for the rest of my marriage, I hold firmly to the fact that it wasn’t my fault!

You see, I’d had a very weird week.  On Sunday there was a spider literally THE SIZE OF MY PALM on my car door.  It was horrible.  Ho. Rih. Bull.  In fact, it was so big and scary that we for reals had to shoo it into an empty spaghetti sauce jar, then dump it on the ground and hit it with a BRICK to kill it.  True story!  A BRICK!

Well, it seems that really angered Her Royal Arachnid, because for the rest of that week I was plagued (that’s not an exaggeration – it was totally biblical, people!) by eight-legged jerks out for blood.  On Tuesday I awoke with a “mysterious” bug bite on my arm and saw a creepy crawler meandering up my bedpost.  “How do you like me now, you with your cement bricks?  WE KNOW WHERE YOU SLEEP!”  I swear it was saying that as it slowly, menacingly crept on (until I made Andrew murder it, too).

On Wednesday we had a consultant come in to the office for a meeting.  As he placed his briefcase on the table, I noticed a spider clinging to it.  He noticed it, too, as did my boss, but instead of just squashing it like a NORMAL PERSON, he gingerly picked the little psychopath up and gently placed it on the floor.  Well, wouldn’t you know it: not ten minutes later, that little rhymes-with-mass-toll was crawling up my leg.  TRUE STORY.  I somehow stifled my scream until I could flick it off my pants (thank heavens I wasn’t wearing a skirt!), but needless to say I spent the rest of the meeting on high alert for a revenge-fueled interloper.  This consultant was clearly in cahoots with the arachnids.  Is that a valid enough reason not to want to work with someone?

And now we come to the day of the accident (which I still contend wasn’t my fault).  On Thursday, as I was backing out of the garage, a spider literally sprang down from the ceiling of my car and practically landed ON MY NOSE, which, as you can imagine, is why I backed into my MIL’s car (hangs head in shame).  I was under attack!  War had been declared!  The spiders were using guerrilla warfare tactics!  I had no refuge!  Not my house, not my office, definitely not my car… I was doomed!  And also late for work.

The only upside to the incident was that I thought the Great Arachnid War of 2013 was finally over.  The pests got their revenge (because really, is there ANYTHING more awkward than hitting your MIL’s car and blaming it on a spider?).  I waved the white flag.  I gave up.  And Friday passed without incident.  I regained my confidence, stopped looking over my shoulder, and tried to scrub all this from my mind to prevent future creepy-crawly nightmares.

That night before bed, I opened the front door to take the dog out, and realized the conflict wasn’t over… it was escalating.  Hanging onto my screen door, Mission Impossible-style, was a FROG.  Seriously!  A frog!

So I did what any gal would do – screeched (without waking the baby), pulled the dog back inside and begged my husband to walk her.  And he’s been walking the dog at night ever since.  Because once multiple species get involved, you KNOW you’re in trouble…

And yeah, I called Terminix for an extra visit the next day.

love mother in law

Jiffy Lube? Try Jiffy Screwed!

July 19, 2013 at 7:55 am | Posted in Around Boston | 6 Comments
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dishonest lube

Have you ever taken your car in for an oil change, had the mechanic recommend extra services, and felt like you were being taken for a ride, so to speak?  Well, I recently had just such an experience at the Jiffy Lube at 99 Worcester Street (Route 9) in Natick, MA.  I don’t know if it was because of my gender (women know nothing about cars, right?  Two X chromosomes means a genetic disposition for automobile idiocy), or my perceived age (I look younger than I am – I’m told this will serve me well come middle age, but for now it’s just awkward), or if they do this to all their customers (which would ALSO be shameful, just a different kind of shameful), but the fact is, these folks were trying to scam me, and I’m calling them out!

Shame on you, Jiffy Lube!

Filter This!

Most folks have experienced this – I know it’s not specific to me: you go in for an oil change and hear the pitch about how you need to change your filter, too… “You don’t have to do it now, but I sure wouldn’t want to breathe in that dirty air.”  Happens all the time.  But what I believe was specific to me is the fact that the technician told me I needed BOTH filters in my car changed.  Both.

The issue?  My car only has ONE filter.  Yeah… Dude tried to sell me a filter replacement for a filter that DOESN’T EXIST!

So once we got over that little snafu, I asked him to remove the (single) filter and show me how dirty it was, and when he pulled it out, VOILA!  It wasn’t dirty after all; in fact, I’d dare say it was clean!  His response?  “You could probably wait until your next oil change, but I wouldn’t go much longer than that.”

Thanks, buddy.

Transmission Failed

The next debacle: he told me that I needed to have my transmission fluid flushed and refilled because I was at 39,000 miles and that was “way overdue.”  In fact, he said, it is “dangerous” not to do it.  And even though I literally saw on his computer monitor that it said the service was recommended at 60,000 miles, and showed him my owner’s manual that also said 60,000 miles, he reiterated that I was late and could be doing “serious and irreversible damage to my car.”  We’re talking serious and irreversible here, people!

If he were in my shoes, he said, he would have the $250 service done and “not take any chances.”

Wow.   Talk about FUD!  This guy was, without a doubt, trying to rip me off. Again.

Screeching Halt

I was appalled by this experience; so angered, in fact, that I decided to report it to Jiffy Lube corporate.  I sent a message to them via their website just a few days later and was assured (by an automatically generated message, of course) that my feedback was very important to them and that I would receive a response shortly.

You guessed it: no response.  Jiffy Lube corporate ignored my message and this situation, so now I’m sending my story out on the interwebs.  Drivers of the world: if you take your car to Jiffy Lube, be prepared!  Do your research!  Don’t let them pressure you into services you don’t need!  Don’t let them rip you off!

Or, just don’t take your car to Jiffy Lube…

Rich People Problems

July 9, 2013 at 11:37 am | Posted in Family, Married Life | Leave a comment
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The other day the hubs and I were bickering about household chores – he feels like he does the lion’s share and that I spend more time reading baseball blogs than helping.  I feel like he needs to relax every once in a while and understand that our house will never be as clean or tidy as he imagines it should be.

Okay, okay, it was the opposite, but sometimes it’s refreshing to pretend it’s the gal who puts sports over washing bottles.  Annnywho, in one of my dramatic retorts, I said something like:

“Fine, I’ll just get the maid to do it!  But you never help plan menus with the chef, the gardener is still waiting to hear exactly how many millimeters you’d like him to hand trim off the lawn, and the chauffeur has really been slacking on polishing the dipstick handle.  Can you get off your lazy butt and order people around for a change?  Or do I have to manage the staff alone as usual?”

I think my golden throne (haha) needs polishing!  Where's the bathroom maid?!?

I think my golden throne (haha) needs polishing! Where’s the bathroom maid?!?

It was enough to break the tension between us, but that got me thinking: is that how fights between the uber rich actually sound?  What do the gajillionaire couples of the world squabble about?  Because I’ll bet it’s not dishes, laundry, or which bill to pay first and which to postpone.

I think an experiment is in order.  Here’s what I propose: give me a few gajillion dollars (one of you can give me a lump sum or take up a collection or something; how you make this happen isn’t the important part – don’t be penny wise and gajillion foolish).  I’ll move into a mansion, hire a full-fledged staff (first hire: a personal assistant and then a household manager who will actually hire the rest of the staff for me – that’s not something a gajillionaire like me should have to concern herself with), and report back.  I promise to answer this, and any other questions you have about how the upper crust lives.  We’ll all be the wiser!

You can’t put a price on knowledge like that.  But do try.

Confessions of a New Mom, Part Deux: Mom of the Year

June 7, 2013 at 10:18 am | Posted in Family | Leave a comment
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There is one more important lesson I’ve learned over the past “trimester” which I didn’t include it in Part One because, in my opinion, it’s so important, it deserves its own section.

Say this ALOUD with me:

You are a wonderful mom! 

Even if you don’t feel like you know what you’re doing, or you’re not following every piece of advice to the letter (because let’s face it, there’s a lot of conflicting advice out there, and there’s a lot of advice that’s not “real world friendly,” too), you are a wonderful mom.

True story!

True story!

Nap in bed with your newborn because that’s the only way she’ll sleep?  You’re a wonderful mom (with a well-rested baby)! 

Can’t remember those lullabies and baby songs from your childhood, so you sing ‘80s Monster Ballads to your little one?  You’re a wonderful mom (with a nice set of pipes).  

Using the bottle instead of the breast?  You’re a wonderful mom (with a well-nourished kiddo). 

Body not bouncing back at celebrity-speed because you’re prioritizing your kid over four hours a day in the gym?  You’re a wonderful (and beautiful) mom. 

Break down in sobs when you can’t stop your baby’s tears?  You’re a wonderful (and empathetic) mom. 

Don’t even realize that you’re covered in spit-up when you leave the house?  You’re a wonderful mom (with this season’s hottest new accessory ;)). 

We all do things that make us feel like we’re not “mom of the year,” but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past few months, it’s that if you’re doing the best you can for your kid, you ARE mom of the year to that little one.  So keep up the good work!  And go easy on yourself, momma.

* Provided you aren’t endangering or harming your child, of course.  Duh!

Feeling like you're not the best mom in the world?  At least you aren't taking your baby tanning!!  This really happened...

Feeling like you’re not the best mom in the world? At least you aren’t taking your baby tanning!! This really happened…

Confessions of a New Mom: What They Don’t Tell You

June 7, 2013 at 8:56 am | Posted in Family, Pregnancy Fun Time | Leave a comment
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Nearly three months ago (or, as I recently counted the passage of time, one trimester ago), I became a first time mommy!  Since then, I have experienced the most profound love and happiness in the world.  I’ve also changed approximately 1,100 diapers.  I’ve laughed, cried, panicked, smiled, screamed, worried… I’ve done pretty much everything except sleep (and write blog posts, as you already know).  And one of the things I’ve done most often is ask: why didn’t they tell me that?!

Sometimes it’s a happy surprise; why didn’t anyone tell me how drastically my world view would change once I “became” a mom?  Why didn’t anyone tell me how even a gas smile (as opposed to an emotion-based smile) on my baby’s beautiful (if I do say so myself) face feels like I’ve won some sort of cosmic lottery?  Probably because no one could tell me; no one could possibly find the right words or depth of meaning to convey this to me.  Just as I can’t properly explain it to you (suffice it to say: being a mom is, quite literally, awesome).

But there are some things that could have been shared, some things that would have been useful to know before I took the parenting plunge.  I can remember the day we left the hospital – the hubs and I were excited but slightly panicked as we got in our car, looking over our shoulders like we were making some sort of get-away with our baby.

Note to self...

Note to self…

Why compare going home to a get-away?  Confession number one (of which there will be many to follow in future blog posts): we felt like we were absconding with our baby.  You see, we had made this beautiful, perfect, amazing, little human, and after five days of excellent care in the hospital, we three were set loose upon the world with nary a pamphlet, let alone a handbook – we walked out the doors (okay, I was wheeled out the door but you get the idea) and I thought to myself: What now?  How can I possibly care for this beautiful little baby?  What do I do??

Yes, I am fully aware that babies don’t come with instruction manuals, but come on, people!  A head’s up about common occurrences couldn’t hurt.  And so, my dear reader(s), to save you from a similar panic, I will share some of the things I wish someone had shared with me, and hope that, should fate smile upon you with a magnificent child of your own (because your child will be magnificent – they all are), you’ll find this information helpful (and not write your own missive about how ill prepared you were, too).

Umbilical Cord Stumps & Bloody Tummies

Pediatricians will tell you to expect your baby’s umbilical stump to fall off somewhere between a week and three after birth, and if you have a very thorough medical team, someone might tell you that there could be a little blood when it does fall off.  Okay, sounds reasonable.  What no one told me, however, is that there could be blood in the days preceding its detachment, too, and if you open your baby’s cute little outfits and find blood on her clothes and skin, DO NOT PANIC (unless it is a lot of blood, of course).  Imagine me, a gal prone to worries already, who is completely sleep-deprived and out of her league, finding blood on my little one even though the stump was still attached!  Needless to say, I put my pediatrician on speed-dial…

Maybe I just need Alka-Seltzer!!

Maybe I just need Alka-Seltzer!!

Attachment Parenting?  Try Exhausted Parenting

Have you seen that video of Alicia Silverstone pre-chewing her kid’s food?  Yeah.  I thought that was weird before I had a child, and guess what?  Now that I have a baby of my own, I still think it’s weird.  But it brings up an important point I want to share: you may feel like you are flawed if you aren’t immediately all-consumed with this spiritual connection to your baby.  And THAT’S OKAY!  Trust me.  DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT DOUBT YOURSELF AS A PARENT!  It takes time for a bond to grow and, while you may love your little bundle from the moment you see her, no one expects you to have established the strongest bond known to man immediately.  Get to know your baby, give yourself the grace to heal and adjust to your new life, and don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t ready to regurgitate like a momma bird on day two (or ever… but you get the idea).

You Will Fight With Your Significant Other.  A lot.

Whether it’s the temperature of the bath water or the frequency (or lack thereof) that s/he washes the bottles or the way s/he tries to comfort your mini-miracle (which will, inevitably, differ from how you do it), or something you can’t even put your finger on (but you know it’s there), you and your significant other will feud.  H-E-double-hockey-sticks, you may even want to kill each other some days.  And guess what?  That’s normal, too.  Your lives have changed so dramatically and so quickly, and that, combined with exhaustion (not to mention physically healing), leads to natural feelings of frustration (to put it nicely).  Don’t immediately run to Judge Toler.  Take a deep breath (or a nap), give each other some slack, and if all else fails, remind yourself that new parents around the globe are probably feeling exactly the same way you are (the word mariticide exists for a reason, I assume).  And then throw something (soft… and preferably not directly at your sig. o.).  Or, even better, put him/her in charge of the little one for a few hours and go do something nice for yourself.

But do not, under any circumstances, wake the baby!

Pregnancy Moodiness Was (Pre) Child’s Play

If you think the emotional roller coaster of pregnancy ends immediately after your little one enters the world, you’re in for a rude awakening (and with a newborn, it’s just one of many awakenings).  Your hormones are wackadoo, you’re exhausted and adjusting, and maybe a little anxious, and you’re going to have extreme highs and lows.  Take heart, new mommies: this is NORMAL (and knowing that should help reassure you when you feel off-kilter and out-of-control).  Of course, if things don’t even out for you emotionally after a few weeks, I urge you to seek the advice of a trusted medical/psychological professional.  But if, on day seven, you can’t figure out why you’ve gone from laughing to sobbing faster than you can put a new diaper under your baby before s/he pees again, trust me, it happens to us all.  Sometimes big girls do cry, and there’s no shame in that.  (N.B. This section and the one above are related – your moodiness will contribute to the feuding and vice versa.  Gotta love it!)

Sleeping Through the Night?  Ha!

One of the kookiest phrases I hear from parents relates to kids’ sleeping habits.  Not long after your beautiful little angel is born, people will start asking if s/he sleeps through the night.  Haha!, you think, I wish!  But alas, your child may technically be already doing so!  Let’s say you put your bundle of joy down to bed at 7:30 p.m. and s/he is up again at 1:30 a.m., and then 4:15 a.m., and again at 6:45 a.m., technically your little angel has slept through the night.  Yeah.  I’m not kidding.  While there’s conflicting views about this, sleeping through the night is generally considered a good five-to-six hour stretch.  So congratulations, exhausted mommies and daddies, your kid has achieved the holy grail of slumber.  <yawn>

Mommy readers, what do you wish someone had shared with you before your parenthood adventure began?  Any sage wisdom for future parents? 

And stay tuned, dear reader(s), for my thoughts about advice like “breast is best,” and “colic is a myth.” 

Parenthood & Gratitude: Musings from Week 39

March 6, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Posted in Pregnancy Fun Time | 4 Comments
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In just a two short days Andrew and I will be parents (g-d willing).  It’s exciting, amazing, staggering, nerve-wracking and takes my breath away (in a good way) every time I think about it.  And although my pregnancy has had its ups and downs, I’ve been trying to focus on the good stuff and be open and appreciative of all the amazing people and blessings in my life.

I know I’m getting sappy, but bear with me on this one!  I’m gonna be a mom – I have to set a good example here.  My regular snark will be back soon, I’m sure.  Anyway…

Preparing to bring a child into the world can be intense.  At one point in my pregnancy, I literally had to stop watching the news (which is tough for me – I’m such a news junkie) because it was too much, too sad, too depressing, too awful.  I wondered how I could, in good conscience, expose a child to all that.  As my colleagues will tell you, that week was weird – I didn’t even know Neil Armstrong had passed away until a month later (and it was an awkward discovery when, during the middle of a lunch break, I exclaimed: “Oh my gosh, Neil Armstrong is dead?!” and they all looked at me like I was delusional and then burst into laughter).

But I realized that I needed to change my perspective.  Yes, bad things happen and there are some bad seeds out there, but the good things and the good people are what matter, and I will do everything in my power to ensure my child appreciates both.

This past weekend my parents worked their butts off at my house because I needed the help.  They did our grocery shopping, they cleaned our house, they fed us, they set up the nursery, they assembled the Pack ‘N Play, they gave me a new-to-me cell phone (mine was unreliable, at best, not good for a mom-to-be).  In short, they showed me what it means to be a good parent, as they have been demonstrating my entire life.  But it was a particularly poignant reminder the weekend before I take on that role myself.

My friends, my family and my colleagues (and my husband, of course!) have made the past 39 weeks joyful, no matter how I was feeling physically.  Care packages and visits, baby showers and treats, encouragement and laughter, and support and love.  They have all cared for me and helped me arrive at this point, and I am forever grateful for that, and for being able to bring my baby into a world like this one, with so much to be thankful for.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

Apparently I’m Not a New Englander…

February 8, 2013 at 11:31 am | Posted in Around Boston, Pregnancy Fun Time | 4 Comments
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As I sit here watching the weather report (Read: emotionally preparing for impending doom), seeing the first signs of Blizzard Nemo (Bugging Andrew to come home early – pretty please – this is a dangerous fish!) and reading friends’ Facebook statuses about the joy of snowstorms (Bring it on?  No thank you – please keep it away!), I’ve come to realize something: I can’t be a New Englander! 

Despite our reputation for a chilly demeanor, I think there’s also a certain degree of machismo around winter weather in the Northeast, something like “stormchismo.”  We buy out the region’s supply of bread, milk, bottled water and, for some reason, Pop Tarts (ick); we stock up on flashlights and batteries (why did I buy 24 AAA batteries at Home Depot?  When will I ever use 24 AAA batteries???); we watch the weather reports and poke fun at those folks who worry with choruses of “We live in New England – get used to it!” and “Finally, a little snow!”

I'd probably be at home worrying...

I’d probably be at home worrying…

But not me.  I’m angsty about this storm, I’m fearful that we will lose power, and I’m already dreading the cleanup and dealing with the 24”+ inches of snow that will surely remain with us for days or weeks to come.  What gives? 

Sure, I could blame this on my pregnancy-induced proclivity to worry, but we all know I was a worrier before getting preggers and I’ll be a worrier after, too (less than 30 days left until we meet Baby L-ski!  Huzzah!).  That said, I used to love being home watching the snow, snuggled up with a cocoa and blanket.  And even though I’ve been in New England for most of my life, I was born and raised in Colorado – weather like this is something I’ve always known – no excuse there.  And it’s not like I have to commute in this – my boss is delightfully flexible about letting me WFH (that’s “work from home,” for those not in the know) during inclement weather. 

So what’s my excuse?  What’s the problem?  Is there hope for me or am I doomed to be a lesser Masshole?

And is it time to panic yet? 

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