Thursday, December 31, 2009

Heidi in Review, 2009.

I'm home alone with the toddler for the New Year. Not that I mind, I have NO interest in the bar scene, and since Clay is out working somewhere in Iowa tonight, I'll happily drink wine out of my favorite coffee mug in my comfy pj's. I heard that my brother was doing a "year in review" for his wife and son and thought it was a good idea.

2009 Highlights:
January - I was fresh off the buzz of a fantastic December. It was the trip to Vegas for my 40th with my 3 best friends, the boys. While on this trip I got the call I was looking for, a job offer! I was out on the casino floor when my cell phone caller ID popped up with the college's number. I ran into an elevator to get some quiet to take the call. So in January I was fresh on the job, trying to figure out who the hell I was working for and what the hell an Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Special Project does. I had to scramble to find daycare. The baby was a baby back then, still on the bottle and still not walking.

February - Fired that daycare. I just didn't like them, it was too big and busy a setting for Q. They had too many billing rules, including a rule that I paid for daycare on days the school closed for bad weather, which they did whenever the school districts did, which was too often for my taste. The last straw was the sign on the baby room that said, "Your infant may have been exposed to head lice." Don't lecture me, I know head lice is a part of life, but hell if I was going to let it get near my 1 year old. He didn't struggle in the NICU and have 2 brain surgeries and come out unscathed to be taken care of by those people. My big first work project was in Feb. as well. A 5 day event I coordinated in Minneapolis for 22 people. The hotel was awesome, I am kind of looking forward to that trip this year. I've learned some lessons that will make this year better, and they have the best hotel breakfast, you couldn't even dream of a nicer breakfast. My own room on the executive floor, it's almost a vacation, except for the work part.

March - We realized that the roof had a terrible leak. I was sitting on the couch, downstairs, one day and heard this dripping noise, in the downstairs pantry. I followed it upstairs and found that in one of the closets rain was streaming in somehow, down the vaulted ceiling part, wrecking the whole wall and finding it's way downstairs. Thankfully Dad pushed me into calling our home insurance people. They sent out this quiet weird guy to assess if they could cover any of the damage. There were 3 shingles blown off the house (granted the other end of the house than the leak) that qualified for storm damage and he said they'd buy us a new roof, but only for that side of the house. But it was the side with the leak so we rejoiced. What I know now, when you have someone look at your roof for storm damage, make sure shingles from both sides of your roof are missing! Paperwork, paperwork and waiting for a check.

April / May / June - I don't remember these months...I'll skip them. I will say we had a nice summer, not too much heat at all. Q happily played in his baby pool out on the porch and we spent a lot of time at our favorite park on Hammond & 28th that has the skater park next to it. But then we saw a bear come out of the woods next to the basketball court and we stuck closer to home for awhile. Q eventually got better at walking and then started to run faster than I felt I was ready for.

July - The only month of the year I get full time hours at work. February's trip really did feel like a dream compared to this 11 day event for 20+ people. I suddenly had 3 employees (student employees that would only respond promptly if I texted them, go figure). The paychecks were nice with the overtime and I bought a laptop for Clay. How great of a wife am I? He needed one for the road, and it was under the presumption that if my home computer died, the laptop would come back to me.

August - Quincy had this last follow up appointment with the NICU doctors, a cognitive development specialist, speech therapist and dietitian. Obviously he is growing quite well and is far and above the 100 percentile mark for head size, weight, and height. So I married an ogre, what of it? But, now that Q was kind of on the late side of walking, I think he was a good 16 months (adjusted age) and now that she thought he was kind of behind in speech and other forms of communication, the NICU doctor filling in that day, who we'd never met, sent us to a neurologist worried that Q could have traces of hydrocephalus or need following up if his previous history had lead to any problems in his noggin. Now, after dealing with what we dealt with, when a doctor tells you your child might have brain damage, but they can't really tell, I'll tell you, I don't know where I went, it was like you turned off gravity and crushed my lungs. So we went, back to the neurology department even though we know Q best, regardless of how much we are certain that he's perfectly normal, we wanted that specialist to tell us for sure. And he did. Thank god. Q may be a little large for his age and look more like a preschooler instead of a toddler and he might be a little on the quiet side, he's perfectly smart. Fantastic body mechanics and problem solving skills.

September - Since we were offered speech therapy for Q, we took it. We qualified for free help and the therapist comes to the house every week and Q loves him. He's my Dad's age, maybe a bit younger. He comes over with a bag full of new and exciting toys and sits on the living room carpet and we play games for an hour a week. The therapist explained to me that he can teach Q how to talk, but he can't teach him to understand that communicating through speech is the best way to communicate his needs, that'll come whenever it does. We started with some simple sign language. "More" is still the most popular sign. Clay and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. I don't remember if we did anything spectacular, I think we dumped the baby off with a friend and went out to dinner.

October - Zombie Pub Crawl...That's how I sum up October. Certainly the best evening of partying I've seen in a LONG time. I wished there was a Zombie Pub Crawl 4 times a year, it was that great. Next year we'll be better prepared. What we didn't know this year is that most people arrive as some sort of a themed zombie. Think of a character, and someone was dressed up as it, but as a zombie. Whole Simpsons families of zombies. Blue Brothers zombies. We saw more than one Where's Waldo zombie. A group of flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz zombies. School girl zombies (Bob's personal favorite). In addition to the zombie awesomeness, I met a Minneapolis roller derby girl. We were instant friends and she sold me hard on the derby idea. My response? "It'd be awesome, but I live up in boring Superior, I could never be a derby girl." Her response, "Oh how wrong you are!" She wrote down 4 words on the back of her derby season schedule, "Harbor City Roller Dames". I was at practice a week later. Q was a dinosaur for Halloween.

November - Remember the roof problem in spring? I know you shouldn't let problems like that go on and on, and we didn't mean for it to, but trust me. Arguing with your home insurance people, meeting creepy roofers with liquor breathe and actually getting your mortgage company to sign off on the insurance check that is also written out to them (to protect their investment, bullshit) took a really long time. We found wonderful roofers, a guy who was a couple years ahead of my in highschool, and the fact that he is my insurance agent's brother really didn't bug me at all. Roof done, and my general anxiety level has been down at least 2 notches ever since. November was also birthdays for Clay and I. I hit 31, and he's 35. For my birthday I took a weekend off of Mommy duties and headed for 'the boys' house. Hung out, ate great food, drank too much wine, shopped a bit and laughed and laughed and laughed. I have the best friends.

December - The family Thanks-Christmas-Vaca in Wi Dells. Great time, too short though. The hotel we stayed at was cheap and very decent. It was like a ghost town, we barely saw anyone else. Tyler and Michele even brought a tiny tree with them and our suite had a fireplace, it was perfect. Quincy got some great Christmas gifts. Beautiful cedar blocks and more Mega Blocks from Mom, he's a Mega Blocks monster now. Dad bought him the loudest monster truck toy he could find, but I haven't told him yet that it conveniently has a mute button on the bottom. And the best toy was the Millennium Falcon Clay sacrificed from his collection, still in the box. It's the chunky character little kid version that came out like 8 years ago and Q loves it, it's got different doors that open, cool shooting and engine sounds, you can repair the hyper drive with this hose thingie and robots!

This bottle of Sauvignon Blanc might not make it to the new year, lol. I'm going to sneak into Q's room at midnight to get my New Year's kiss, and we're onto 2010!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's almost 2010! I'm not a big new years resolution type. But, in 2008 my brother and I attempted an art challenge resolution that we're going to revive this year in hopes that we stick with it more than 3 months. The details aren't hashed out yet. In 2008, the basic plan was one art theme each month (we took turns choosing a theme) and one completed piece was due at the end of the month, style, materials, and such were all left up to us to determine. Both of us have always secretly dreamed of being very prolific (is saying 'very' and 'prolific' next to each other redundant? idk), but sadly we're just not. We are, however, great at projects people ask us to do: paintings; tattoos; logos; posters; Halloween costumes. Projects with a few parameters, a deadline, a starting concept. We're also good at starting projects without finishing them and looking at someone else's work and saying, "well I would have done that completely different, and maybe it would have actually turned out."

So with those things in mind, I'll be coming up with the 2010 brother/sister art challenge that should cater a little bit better towards what we already do well. Maybe we could start projects for each other to improve on and finish, or have art assignments with more guides for us to work off of and deadlines for finishing that the 2008 plan lacked. I've got two more days left until the New Year, so I'll come up with a more concrete idea by then, hopefully.

On another note, I learned that I can successfully hide turkey left-overs in mac-n-cheese and the toddler loves it! Also, when napping on the couch during yet another viewing of Finding Nemo, there is a risk of getting sippy cup milk dumped on your head.

Derby news: The next two home Bouts will be on March 20th and May 1st. I really really need to try and get on the roster for one of them. And I better see my friends and family there to see me obliterate some skinny bitches at my first bout. I don't know if I'll be more nervous about it if I knew who was watching me though, but there isn't room for trepidation in derby.

I've been excitedly looking at taking one course this next semester at the college I work at. I filled out my non-degree seeking application today (since it'd just be easier for the one class), and went to talk to a business office buddy to find out how much I'd have to fork over for it, and was appalled. For one course? I'm not going to get in the details, but I'm not eligible for student loans with one course. I'm going to get talk to the financial aid office to get the exact amount, and as an employee there are some perks, so I'm not giving up all hope. I need the husband to get a job like every other Dad I know, that's at home everyday so I can actually devote time to going back to school full time. I can't even pick a program I'd want to work towards anyhow. The accelerated degree night program doesn't offer anything I'm remotely interested in, so that's disheartening too.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My boss is taking me out to lunch today for Christmas. It'll be nice, I haven't been out to eat without a 2-year-old in tow for weeks, and even at that, it was McDonalds. As a Mom of a toddler I thoroughly appreciate the McDonalds atmosphere. Here's why: If the baby decides to throw a big fit, chuck his McNuggets at the people across the room or blow milk out his nose onto the cashier, who really cares? If you thought that you were going to have a peaceful, quiet, enjoyable dinner - YOU SHOULD HAVE GONE SOMEWHERE OTHER THAN MCDONALDS. Q hasn't thrown any giant public tantrums yet (and I know it's coming), but he's into protesting because it's fun to put up a stink and piss off your Mom.

I'm extremely proud of one of my best friends, Erica. With a full course load at nursing school working on her RN, 3 kids (one of which just turned 1) and a night job as a Nurse's Assistant (glorified ass-wiper) at the local hospital, and she managed to pull of a 4.0 semester. AWEsome, simply awesome. She needs a beer!

As the semester is ending today here on campus and starting next month I'm eligible for reimbursement help due to my employment status, I've decided to start one course in January here at CSS. I'm about to head to the registrar's office to start the process. One good thing to help motivate me is the assistant across the hall from my office, we're going to do the course together. We've been busy debating which class to take, and since my heart is set on science, maybe biology, I hope she agrees. We'll do a morning course so that I'll have no trouble with daycare. Exciting!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I'm excited for this weekend, so amped that I'm not sleepy yet, and I should be. The Bob-o-nator is coming up to visit and the Bout is on Saturday!!! Mississippi Valley Mayhem is coming to roller derby my Harbor City Roller Dames. I'm not skating, but I'll be there shouting my ass off for the girls. I think maybe this spring I'll be bout ready? Who knows. Even just skating my ass off in practice has been awesome. I need to get some skates!

I've got this slow burn blister coming in on my right foot from last night's practice. I don't know what it was, a combo of the killer fishnets I was wearing or the sole of the loaner rink skates was messed up. But it'll be nasty and I'll make sure to show it off whenever I can. lol.

Our jerseys with the team logo I created will be ready for Saturday night, and I'm excited to see how they turned out. And I'll get to wear mine, Bluntcakes - 420. Yes, I went with 420 as my number, hehe. And why not?

Ben-jam-in: I finished WWZ. I read it really slow so that I didn't waste it, because I think I'm in love with that book and I wished there was a second one. I don't know about the ending section. The reflection of 'how I made it through with whatever shreds of a healthly pschological outlook remaining' wasn't really my favorite part. But, I'll go tell it to the whales...

Ooh, I purchased something insanely cute from etsy tonight. The cute factor of a life sized Hello Kitty hair bow barrette might be over the top for my cuteness level, but I'm going to rock it anyhow.

Apparently we're having turkey for thanksgiving thank's to Clay's boss. I need to pick it up tomorrow. My surprise that they're doing anything for their drivers will most likely be squashed when I see how small the turkey is, but I can keep my hopes up.

I went to the DMV today to renew the Aveo plates. It was like an alternate universe in there. I was the only customer and the DMV chick said I could come right to the counter and didn't have to grab a stupid card to fill out, she did it all for me. 2 minutes later I had my new sticker and was off to work. It was like Bizarro-DMV. Speaking of Clay, I need to figure out a Christmas present for him. We're just doing small gifts for eachother this year. And then maybe we'll buy something bigger to share. He suggested a microwave (ours is like 10 years old now and makes sounds like Gremlins having a party) or a snowblower. Both sound so responsible and lame, plus our Gremlin microwave still works, it just sounds like crap. I don't really see the problem.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

How do you like THEM apples? Is that how that saying goes? I think I got it wrong, but you know what I mean. Whipped this baby up for the bout in a couple weeks against the Mississippi Valley Mayhem league that's coming up on the 19th!

I got a call on Tuesday, it was Red Malicious, she was asking if I could whip something up by Thursday because who knows what happened to the dude who said he would design posters...I need me some photoshop and next time I'll just demand to know what needs to be on them to get it done myself. :)

I'm off to bed early tonight, before midnight, in hopes I'm not dragging my feet tomorrow.

Last night's practice went well although it seemed a little relaxed, but that was probably because our main practice leader Red was off somewhere for the night. I wasn't sweating like a dog (wait, dogs don't sweat) until a couple scrimages into the evening! Good nights I'm a mess even by the time we get through warm up and stretches!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Oh Buspirone, my new friend...

This is pure blather; just to fore-warn you.

Things you didn't know:
Chopsticks the cat has a shark tooth shaped white spot of fur on his nose. Awesome cat, awesome.
I not only check my straws before I drink out of them to check for bugs, but will rinse brand new straws out in case there WERE bugs and they left bug germs or bug poo.
Quincy tonight was an angel getting to bed. We read The Night Before Christmas because he loves to point out Santa on every page. Then I tucked him in and laid down by his bed and sang him some Christmas songs. Between some lines he would say, "Mama kissy" so that I'd take a time out to give him a kiss and then continue. How fucking sweet is that?
I have the world's best friends. Namely, Rodney, Bob, Jason, my brother Tyler and yes, even Chumpy-Chump Erica. I live a spoiled life.
I'm excited for the Thanks-Christmas-Vaca in the Dells with my Mom, siblings, their families and mine in December. I don't give a crap how fat my gut looks in my swimsuit, I'm going to let it all hang out to party down with them at the waterpark.

In derby news:
Sunday night's practice was BRUTAL, I thought I might seriously have a heart attack. We did a half hour practice bout. 7 girls on a team, 4 on the track for the up to 2 minute each bout with a 30 second break between rounds. So that meant we did about 2 bouts and took one off for a break. Plus, we had to rotate so everyone eventually played all positions. I did jammer twice. Let's face it, I'm not even close to being a jammer. I'm not super fast yet, I fell three times in one round, but the cheers when you work your ass to get up as fast as possible to catch up were worth it. I'm a pack skater. When the jammer goes through and I give her a hefty push to send her flying ahead that's awesome. Skating next to someone to team up to build a good wall is tits. But I have a hard time remembering all I need to keep in mind, plus monitor what the rest of my team was doing, and then throw in the other team! AND we were doing positional blocking only, no real rough stuff as there were a handful of newbie girls in the mix. I kept cutting the track and Jeffy was yelling at me for it, but jeez, I've got enough on my plate to worry about the damn line. I'm looking forward to doing it all again tomorrow night! Just try and take me out!

The birthday:
Had an awesome time. Took the weekend off from Mommy duties and lounged in the cities, ate awesome food, I didn't stick with dieting, but just made sure not to over-eat. Rodney made carrot cake cupcakes just for me with made-from-scratch frosting. Saturday evening when I'd had enough wine to drown a large raccoon I ate one in two bites. Jason totally made fun at me that he's never seen my mouth open that wide. Did some shopping, had a personal chauffeur, Bob, to the MoA, to hit up Torrid to find a trashy derby skirt, and got the perfect 'boutfit'. Even found some decent thrift stores, hung out at Toys R Us and goofed off. Played WoW and partied with some awesome people.

I have to go to bed!