Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Laundry Handicap

To preface, I love my wife and I am by no means perfect, but...

April is handicapped when it comes to the household chore of laundry. Seriously.

I work an unusual shift, 10am to 8pm, which limits the time I have to do chores in the evening. Tonight after stopping by Home Depot (aka the Homo) to pick up some house stuff I rushed home to grab a bite to eat and watch a little TV with April. We've been coveting lowkey one-on-one hang out time because soon this will be a thing of the past. After the show April gets up and tells me she's going to surf the net a bit and then go to bed. No biggie. So I let the dog out and noticed that the basement light was on. When I trudged down stairs I saw laundry.

Three bins stood full to the brim. Clothes crushed down into them.

April always complains about laundry. "Didn't we just finish this?" she always asks. And I always reply, "If you did the laundry in one evening, you wouldn't feel like you were perpetually doing laundry." When I do the laundry, I COMPLETE the laundry. I run everything through both the washer and the dryer and fold and put away everything. Conversely, when April does the laundry it takes about a week. She gets the first load all the way through the machines and it ends up on a chair in the living room. The second load stalls somewhere in the dryer and never makes it way out. The other two (or three if it's been awhile) lie in piles on our bedroom floor for me to trip over the next several days.

"April if you feel like you're always doing laundry; sweetie, it's because you are."

In the course of our wonderful 5+ years together April's laundry deficiency has continued if not worsened. I guess I should be thankful she has stopped ruining my clothes in the wash.

I've explained to her numerous times that I am more than happy and capable to do the laundry. Still April keeps on making her attempts. *sigh* Methinks, it's time for me to become the full time launderer once again.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I kissed Paul Newman

A few weeks ago JB and I grabbed dinner at Wendy’s. I dislike fast-food joints, so I ordered my old standby: baked potato and side salad. As I was adding Newman’s Own dressing to my salad, I reflected on how old Paul Newman is getting and how when he dies, everyone will be doing a mega tribute to him. Afterall, he’s a legend. And, he makes some dang good ranch dressing!

Little did I know that he’d go before my baby was even born! He is old and it was his time, but a man like Paul Newman is a rare bird.

I’m not a celebrity watcher like a lot of girls: I have my own life that is interesting enough. But I have always liked Paul Newman. I think it was because he was more than a celebrity—more than just a great actor who was insanely good looking. He did not fall under Hollywood’s demise by leaving scandals in his wake, or by thinking he was better than everyone else just because his face appeared on big screens. Paul Newman was a real man.

One of my favorite quotes of his was about his faithfulness to his wife: “Why would I go out for a hamburger when I have steak at home?” Preach it, Paul!

He was also a huge philanthropist. According to Wikipedia, Newman donated a
ll post-tax profits and royalties from “Newman’s Own” to charity, and as of May 2007, these donations had exceeded $220 million. And this was just one of his charities!

Years ago I was shopping with my old roommates Beth and Amanda when we saw a shirt at JC Penney’s that read, “I kissed Ashton.”

“Screw that!” I said. “I’d rather have a shirt that reads ‘I kissed Paul Newman!’

Beth and Amanda found it quite funny, but I was being serious. I’m sure that countless girls can say that they kissed Ashton Kutcher. But to be able brag that you kissed the great Paul Newman—THAT would set you apart from the crowd.

Well, I never did kiss Paul Newman, but I sure do think he was a hell of a guy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Name Game

Ever since my coworkers learned that Baby H’s name was going to be a surprise they’ve been working really hard to guess it. They are constantly asking for clues and then listing off names so they can read the reaction on my face. I have not fallen for their games. The name has actually been thrown out there (along with like 100 other names) and I’ve given the same reaction. Heh heh heh. It helps to pretend that the baby has some other name, so if I do hear her real name I am not affected.

I decided to make guessing the name a game. My coworkers have all given their top two picks for her name and whoever guesses it will get the call at work when the baby is born, and she can then share the good news with everyone else. It’s actually been pretty fun. I gave some vaguish clues to help them along and these are their current votes:

  • Heather
  • Erica
  • Josephine
  • Olivia
  • Wendy
  • Charlotte
  • Samantha
  • Victoria
  • Carla
  • Stephanie
  • Danielle
  • Brianna
  • Victoria
  • Alexandra
  • Georgia/Georgiana
  • Joanna
  • Cassandra
  • Kendall
  • Annika
  • Paulette

Do you want to play? If you guess, you will be one of the first people we call! Here are the clues:

  • It is a nod to my family…but that won’t help you unless you’re a Teague! Haha! Well, Melissa has the best resources on that, since she has a copy of the family tree.

  • It has a male counterpart name. Example: Christina—Christopher, Anne—Andrew

  • It has literary origins. Or, at least, I read that it was first used in a literary piece centuries ago.

  • This has led me to feel that it is an older name, but a confidant told me that it’s also a newer name.

  • At least one of my favorite TV shows or movies has either an actress or character with this name or derivative of the name.

Good luck!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Pure Michigan

For the last year or so, the State of Michigan has been unrolling several clever radio and tv ads called “Pure Michigan.” In an effort to boost tourism, Michigan native Tim Allen narrates tales about our great state as inspiring music plays in the background.

The ads are so effective that last year The "Pure Michigan" advertising campaign was named the best state advertising campaign by the National Council of State Tourism Directors. In fact, they say that Michigan.org attracts more traffic than any other state tourism website.

Those ads really make you feel like you live in a magical place. (Well, except for the ad for Flint. No matter how slyly you try to candy-coat it, we all know that Flint will probably always be the armpit of Michigan and will never be magical. Not even if Harry Potter lived there. Sorry, Flint-lovers, I’m sure you know it’s true!)

Right now they’re playing one on the radio called Nature’s Show. That dang commercial gets me every time! When Tim starts saying “It begins with the slow dance of turning leaves, and crescendos in a trillion trees aflame,” I am seriously moved.

Who’d have thought that “more power!” Tim-the-toolman-Taylor would have that kind of command?

If they come out with a Christmas one about Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland and going on a sleigh ride down historic gaslit streets as snow lazily falls from the sky, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I might actually like winter for once…and THAT would be a pure miracle!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Magic tricks!

"Illusions, Michael, tricks are what whores do for money... or candy."
-Gob Bluth (portrayed by Will Arnett, also soon to be a father)

Five Finger Discount

Friday saw me through my final baby shower, which was put on by my coworkers. It was so nicely done. I have wonderful coworkers. Baby H got lots of neat things, including a barrage of sleepers. Final count for sleepers received: 28. Fortunately, they’re all different sizes, so I should be able to use them all. She also got a cute pink plush monkey which cracks me up, and my dream outfit for a little girl: a short pleated jean skirt and rainbow striped tights (the outfit also included a hot pink top and a hot pink cable-knit beret)! Agh! They’re the 12-month old size, so I have to wait for her to get bigger. She also got a pink MSU warmup suit that I wish came in my big girl size. Now I’m ready to have the baby so that she can start growing so that she can get big enough to wear her outfits.

I asked Marian what babies wear for the first few months. “Sleepers,” she said. “Ok. What about when you go out in public?” “Sleepers,” she repeated. Bo-ring!! I told JB that this is yet another reason that little babies are boring. You can’t do their hair. You don’t dress them up. They don’t say funny things yet. Sigh.

Out of baby’s present bounty there were a few doubles. So Friday night JB and I took baby’s Target gift cards and got some more store credit, and picked out things that we hadn’t gotten yet: a crib mobile, itso storage boxes for the closet, and a plush “Classic Pooh” piglet to go with her Pooh and Eeyore toys.

As we were leaving the store I was reviewing my receipt. The total I had tallied in my head was more than we were charged. JB was pushing the cart out of the door when I said, “JB, they didn’t charge us for Piglet.” He stopped the cart and we saw piglet sitting in one of the storage boxes, overlooked. He snatched Piglet up and jumped back in line while I went to the car. He was in the store for a very long time and when he finally returned to the car he said, “The lines were so long that I almost just walked back out the door with it!” However, integrity prevailed and we paid for Piglet.

Sunday we returned to Target and bought more of those dang storage boxes and also groceries, etc.

We were walking out the doors again, in the same exact spot, when I noticed a gallon of milk sitting in the bottom of the cart. I tried not to laugh as I said, “JB, they didn’t charge us for the milk.” He looked down at the cart. He looked at me. “I’m not getting back in line. Let’s just go.”

So we sort of stole milk from Target.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Weekend Warrior

Well my weekend went by in a whirlwind! But that was fine by me because I had a lot of fun.

On Friday, Lulu got her haircut and nails trimmed so now she’ll be fashionable for photos with Baby H and will stop tripping on the stairs because of her long nails. Since she had gotten banned from PetSmart (for story, click here), I took her to a private groomer who did a fabulous job with her. Even better than a red bow from PetSmart, Lucy got a pink bandana!

Saturday got kicked off with my Grand Rapids baby shower.

My mom and sisters all came from east Michigan for it, and there was the usual sisterly drama involved. This time Krystal was not ready at her dorm when they got to East Lansing, so they left her behind and she had to drive herself. There was much phone calls and discussion about all this while I was trying to get ready. One would think that Krystal was at fault for not being home at the appointed time, but she preferred to lay the blame on Anne. Haha.

“Didn’t you miss out on not having sisters?” I teased JB.

JB’s Aunt Helen, Aunt Rhonda, and cousin Sarah from Tennessee also attended the shower, though I think they arrived with less issue than the Teagues.

Again, I was shocked by everyone’s generosity. As my mom put it, “I got the mother lode!”

One of the gifts that JB had put on the registry that we did not receive was the video game Rock Band for his Xbox 360. Every time we go to Target JB asks if we can buy Rock Band, which is $165. Baby registry day was no different. I had told him, “No,” as usual. “Fine then. I’ll just register for it!” he had said. So he did. And now everyone asks why Rock Band is on there.

I thought it would be funny when we got home from the shower to tell JB that we DID get Rock Band from Tommy, who thought it would be a good gift for the baby.

“What? No we didn’t,” said JB. “…..did we?” He looked around at the presents.

“He was home last weekend and sent it with Mom today,” we said.

“Really? I don’t believe you,” he replied.

We then admitted that it was a trick, which JB said was a very mean trick. He didn’t really believe us, but had started to develop a small glimmer of hope nonetheless.

I thought it was quite funny. I also think that the baby does NOT need rock band.

After the shower the Teagues also showered me with more presents of cool hand-me-downs that they nabbed from different places. Mom and I discussed things that I have yet to obtain for baby and I mentioned having to shop for a breast pump.

“What! No! Don’t do the breast pump! Those things are terrible!” she exclaimed. This outburst got everyone’s attention, including poor JB, the only guy in the house.

“Well, what the hell am I supposed to do when I’m at work, Mom?”

“Just do it yourself! It’s much less painful. Those breast pumps will mangle your boobs!”

“You want me to milk myself, like a cow?”

Yes, she did want me to milk myself like a cow. I told her that I would not be doing that. She said that perhaps technology has advanced since she last knew about pumps. I said that none of my friends have come to me with horror stories, so I think it’s safe these days. Mom is still quite leary.

Then someone brought up borrowing a breast pump from a friend and Krystal was horrified, “That’s disgusting! I would never use a breast pump that belonged to someone else!”

Annie looked over at her. “This from the girl who has no issue with wearing other people’s underwear?”

Annie's got ya there, K!

Before they left, we all went to dinner at Yen Ching. It was JB and us five Teagues. As we entered the restaurant Mom said to JB, “Look, JB and all these women. It’s like a polygamist colony and we’re your wives. Well, except for me. That would just be weird.”

But JB having four sisters for wives wouldn’t be weird?

After they left JB turned to me and said (as he always does), “I’m really glad we got to hang out with your family today. I had a lot of fun. I really like your family.”

That’s because, well, the Teagues are entertaining even when they’re just being themselves.

After dinner JB, Lucy, and I went directly to the Hilton to hang out with the Tennessee family. There, Lucy wowed the crowd with her dog tricks and jumping Jack Russell legs.

Sunday was church, Crochet Day with some work friends, and then Bible Study baby shower. (Again, more wonderful gifts and love felt from everyone.)

Kristen and Seth gave us this really funny gag book and magnets about how not to raise your baby. There were nice drawings to accompany it. For instance, after bathing the baby, should you a.) dry baby with a towel or b.) put baby in clothes dryer? Apparently, the answer is A. My uncles and cousins have tried drying their sibs in the dryer, and my siblings and I played in the dryer plenty of times (without being brave enough to turn it on, probably because of the horror story that mom told us about the little boy who got cooked to death in a dryer) but I guess we should wait until the kid is old enough to play in the dryer herself and not start her out at such a young age. Besides, my mom gave me these wonderful hooded bath towels that I’m really excited to use instead.

Tonight we had dinner at the Hilton. Sooo good. Then we played a crossword game, where I was given a hard time for spelling Whore. I'd like to point out that others who were playing spelled much naughtier words! You know who you are! :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008


My first baby shower was a few weeks ago in Mayville. My sisters and mom had been working very hard to get the house, food, etc, ready for the party. Sister Annie had been slaving particularly hard on everything. She had made and mailed the invites, managed the RSVP’s, and been home for the days leading up to the shower and thus did a lot of the preparing. Two other characters that were also home were Krystal and Mom. But Mom had gotten food poisoning the day before the shower and was kind of out of commission, and Krystal is a force to be reckoned with and hard to convince to help out if she has better things to do (sorry, K, you know it’s true—I’m sure you won’t deny this). Also, Krystal clashes with Annie and does not like taking orders from her, simply on principal.

One of the battles that Krystal lost was to clean her bathroom, which is the main bathroom that guests would be using. Her and Anne are the only two who use that bathroom and Anne was busy doing other things. Krystal reluctantly scrubbed the place down.

The night before the baby shower Krystal casually asks Mom, “Mom, you don’t use the purple toothbrush in my bathroom, do you?”

It was a silly question. Mom has her own bathroom. Why would she keep her toothbrush in the bathroom on the other side of the house?

“No. Why would I?” Mom replied.

“Good, because I cleaned the bathroom with it,” said Krystal.

Annie’s heart stopped. “That’s MY toothbrush!” she exclaimed.

“Oops!” said Krystal.

Krystal cleaned the bathroom (including the soap-scummed glass-walled shower) with Annie’s toothbrush and then put it back in the cupboard, where Anne later picked it up and brushed her teeth with it.

Annie was livid. Krystal is always messing with her. For example, just a few weeks earlier, she and Krystal had to share a bed when they had a house full of overnight guests. As Krystal climbed into the bed she had said to Anne, “If you so much as touch me in the night, I will kill you!” She then proceeded to wrap her entire body in a blanket so as to assure no accidental skin contact in the night, even though it was July and the house isn’t air conditioned. Anne was so unnerved by Krystal that she slept on the very edge of the bed all night and didn’t get any sleep.

So when Anne noticed that her toothbrush was moved to the shelf below it’s normal place, she had figured that Krystal had moved it because she didn’t want their toothbrushes to occupy the same air space or something.

Krystal is still defending her actions to this day: “I put the used toothbrush on the shelf below our toothbrush place, where the cleaning supplies are! Besides, it was an old ratty thing anyway!”

Anyone who truly knows Krytal would take this defense with a grain of salt. Yes, she is not above making an honest mistake. But she is also an ace liar and not above playing such a trick on her sister if she was in the right mood.

When I heard the story, I asked Anne what she was going to do to retaliate. My first idea was to clean the TOILET with K’s toothbrush, but that could lead to serious disease. And even if I was mean enough to let Krystal get diseased (which I’m not), anything she gets could easily be spread to the rest of us. In fact, all of our ideas risked too much disease, so we’re at a loss. Krystal is constantly getting up in Annie’s hair like that—she steals her clothes, beauty supplies, sunglasses, etc., with no remorse. And Anne does not retaliate.

I told Anne that perhaps Krystal does this because she seeks Annie’s attention.

The day after the shower, Krystal brought her luggage down that she would take back to Michigan State with her for the new school year. Anne said that Krystal’s luggage could not leave the house without it first being searched for stolen clothing. A careful search found both Anne AND Mom’s clothing in the bags destined for East Lansing. As if enough damage hadn’t been done already!

When you have several siblings, one must always be ready for retaliation. I am prepared for a Krystal attack. I have an arsenal of embarrassing Krystal stories that I could share with the world with the click of a mouse. Perhaps this is why she hasn’t messed with me like this. Well, one time she DID symbolically murder my stuffed bear because I said that she couldn’t have him for her own. But I think she knew better than to really murder him. That would have called for retaliation.

I can’t say for sure whether Krystal did this on purpose, but I’m looking to you, readers, to slip Annie some aces up her sleeve to hold until the next Krystal attack.