Monday, March 19, 2012

i waffle.

No, this isn't about some new kind of Apple breakfast gadget. Although, it is kind of catchy.
"Want me to make you breakfast? I'm just dying to use my new i-waffle."  Hehe.


The truth is, I waffle. Verb. As in, I can't make up my mind. I've always been horrible about this. I have a tendency sometimes to just shut-down and ignore something I don't know how to deal with, but lately it's been much worse.

For example, I still don't have baby bedding. It's not because I can't afford it, or because I haven't looked. I have looked. I have even bought a set and taken it back. I've looked at every store between here and the south side of Springfield. I've looked online. At everything. If you tell me what color scheme or theme you want to do in your nursery, I can probably tell you who has what you want for the best price. I KNOW what's out there.

But I can't decide.

It's been that way through this whole pregnancy. We save up some money and head to Springfield bound and determined to finish baby shopping, and then we get in the store and I waffle. I hem-haw as my granny would say. I like this, but I don't want to spend the money. I need this, but not right now, so maybe we should wait. We need bottles, but there are four hundred different kinds and I don't know which ones are best. I like this outfit, but does she need it? She might need more onesies, but maybe not. We'll just wait and see.

Wait and see.

Wait and see.

And usually, although I'm not good at making decisions, I'm a planner. I like to know what is happening and when and be prepared for it.

When I found out Chloe was a girl I already had her room ready. It was all done in Classic Pooh, with a perfect mix of baby blue, pink, green, and yellow, just waiting for extra touches of pink or blue, depending how the ultrasound went.

I didn't have firm names, but as soon as I found out she was a girl, I had named her within 24 hours. By the time I had my baby shower her name was hung on her wall and printed neatly in ink in various places. My shower cake had her name on it. I was ready. I knew what I wanted.

And now I'm so "eh," about everything.

Don't get me wrong. I can't WAIT until this baby gets here. I'm very excited about the arrival and about having a new member of our family. Babies are my FAVORITE and I think about her all the time. But right now I just can't seem to get it in gear. I want to. But I lack something. Motivation? Determination? First-time-mama-crazies? I don't know.

And instead of getting better, it's getting worse.

Much worse.

As in.

That name we picked?

I don't know anymore.

I have dreams that we change our minds and the nurses won't let us change her name.

Chloe or my mom calls the baby by her name and it makes me feel all.....weird.

And the Mister and I still call her bebe, or "the baby." We never refer to her by name. Ever.

I like the name we chose. And if we end up sticking with it, I won't be unhappy or disappointed, I don't think, but there's just something about it that doesn't feel final. I feel unsettled.

But the thought of going back and agreeing on another name is daunting. There's nothing else I necessarily prefer. I just can't seem to shake that feeling that there might be a better choice for her. For us. For me.


Seven weeks and five days.

But who's counting?

Not me. I'm too busy waffling.

Friday, March 16, 2012

I need a vacation!

It's Friday!! Hooray! I haven't had the time or write-mindedness to do a five questions in a long time, so I thought I would break the cycle today. Something about the beautiful weather just makes it easier to write.
1. Will you run to the store or to pick up a kid looking a mess?
Years ago this would have been a big fat NO. Not under any circumstances. Being a teacher meant running into people I knew CONSTANTLY. And I just couldn't have my students see me in sweats and a pony-tail with no make-up!

I still *prefer* to have my hair washed and chiiiied the day of any outing, but there are times when I will bite the bullet and go in public looking less than normal. If I don't have to exit the car, absolutely. If we're just going to feed cows, sure. If it's an emergency that requires me to leave (ah hem, hubby needs jeans because his just ripped), then I will do what I have to, but I am still super self-conscious about it.

2. Do you finish a book if it's boring or you don't like it?
Nope. If it doesn't grab me in the first few chapters I quit. I don't feel one bit bad about it, either. Even if it was for an assignment, I would give it up and read the cliffs notes...or spark notes :) But shhhh. English majors (or degree-holders) aren't supposed to do that! That's like a math geek using a calculator for 9x6 or something hehe.

3. Beach or mountain vacations?
I loved loved loved our mountain vacation. BUT. Given the choice I would choose beach over mountains anytime. I just love the beach. Specifically the Gulf coast. It's where I want to be most of the time. The smell of salt in the air gets me every time. And somehow the sun just *feels* different down there.

Take me now.




4. What thing/event says "winter will end and spring is right around the corner" to you?

When the weather warms up it's very nice. But if things are still dead and brown I just can't feel spring. It's after the first rain and the subsequent sunny day when the grass starts to green and the trees begin to bud that it really FEELS like spring to me. A day much like today. I noticed the grass becoming lush for the first time this morning, and finally came to terms with the fact that winter is over. We got NO good snow, and it's time to move on and get in the spring/summer groove.

5. Would you prefer couples or family vacation?
I dunno. I wrestle with that a lot when I'm dreaming of taking off one weekend to go somewhere. I had SO much fun on my girls only family Pensacola trip. Chloe enjoyed it SO much and STILL talks about it. But I also kinda got gyped on my honeymoon with the mister having Bells Palsey and the onset of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, so we didn't get to fully enjoy a couple's vacation.

So I need one of each, please.

One beachy adult vacation complete with non-pregnancy, fruity drinks from the tiki-bar, and lazy days on the shore.

And one fun-filled family vacation with lots of activities, kid-friendly stops along the way, and my video camera.

Now I want to go on vacation pretty bad :(

So, Sue Me

How many times have you heard someone say, "So, sue me," in sarcasm? The first time I heard it I was just a kid, and I had no idea what it really even meant. It took me a few times to understand that it was sarcasm, and that people didn't *really* sue each other for silly reasons.
And those were the good old days.

The first really crazy law suit I was ever aware of was the infamous McDonald's coffee-in-the-lap law suit. I think that one really started the snowball rolling with people being awarded money over the most RIDICULOUS things.

There was a time in life when rational people would hear about one of these law suits and think, "No judge in America is going to take that seriously. He/she will be laughed out of court!"

But these days, rational people are forced to think, "Shoot. I hope my neighbor doesn't sue me over my dog pooping in his yard."

We don't talk about law suits around the house. It's not something we even say in jest, really, but Chloe has picked it up. I don't think she even understands what it means, but I had to laugh as she suggested it to me the other day.

We were shopping, and I was browsing the baby section. I was still looking for a "coming home" outfit for bebe, but not having a lot of luck.

"Ugh," I sighed. Everything cute and frilly is 0-3. Why can't they make them in newborn, too? The way things are looking, this won't be a very big baby," I said, more to myself than anyone. Then a little irritated voice chimed in.

"Ya really! Why dontcha just sue dem, mom?"

"Sue them?" I asked her.

"Ya. For not making the kind of baby clothes you need!"

And while it was hard to stifle a laugh at her oh-so-serious reaction to my problem, she made a point. Because somewhere in America there is probably a lawyer and a judge who would take time and money from serious business to hear a case of a pregnant lady who couldn't find a dress for her newborn. And somewhere a mad pregnant mama might be awarded enough money to clothe her child for life.

That's the society we live in, unfortunately. Sadly, my five year old is aware of it =/

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Customer? Not always right. Me? Usually right.

I got a text from my best friend this morning asking how my day was going. I told her that it was a good day so far, and I meant it. It's nice out, I feel well, and I'm emotionally balanced (which, let's face it, is a rare thing these days!)
I guess I was tempting the stars by saying so, because a few minutes later the business phone rang.

"Mister's Tire Shop," I greeted the customer. He wanted to talk to my father in law, but he was busy so I asked to take a message. He wanted a price on a lawn mower tire. That's my job.

"I can help you with that, what size are you looking for?" I asked politely. He couldn't read the tire, and had a couple of numbers mixed up, so I had to do some searching, but I finally found some tires in his size. Most of them were tractor-style tires, so I asked him what the tires were for specifically, and if he wanted a ribbed tire or a turf tire.

"Have you ever seen a lawn tractor with a ribbed tire on it?" he asked me, using that tone that (mostly older) men sometimes find suitable when speaking to women or children.

Yes, actually, I said to myself in my head, but refrained and simply kept looking for a turf tire.

"Give me just another second," I said, as I checked the fifth tire supplier. Sometimes mower tires are tough to find.

"Just go ask one of the guys. They ought to know how much it is. Ought to be 8-10 bucks." I giggled inside. We can't even buy a tube for that. "Just tell them the size and they can tell you how much it is," he suggested.

Have you MET my father-in-law? I thought to myself. All he will do is say, "Hell if I know, check Shumaker or something," and send me right back in here.

"Ok, here we go," I started. But I was rudely interrupted.

"There has to be one of the guys there who can tell you. They know how much they are. Just go ask them."

"Sir, they do not know the price of every size tire off the top of their heads. They always have to have me look them up, and each tire price varies by supplier. I just had to find a supplier who had that size in a turf tire. Looks like it will be 48.00," I said. NICELY.

"FORTY EIGHT DOLLARS! Check that again. You've got something wrong," he said. And I had reached my limit. He had already suggested I was stupid for thinking he might want a ribbed tire (though it's not at all uncommon in that size), and he had basically told me to find someone who knew what they were doing (when I knew EXACTLY what I was doing). Now he was telling me I did something wrong. Oooooh. Nerve struck.

"It's forty-eight, sir. I have it right here in front of me," I said, in my authoritative voice, leaving no room for argument. I repeated the size to him and affirmed that it was a turf tire, then told him the brand.

"Well, ok. But I know that's not right," he said, SNOTTILY (is snottily a word? It is now!)

"Actually, it IS right, whether YOU think so or not," I replied, HATEFULLY.

And click.

"Ass hole" I muttered as I hung up the phone.

Twenty minutes later the phone rang again, and I recognized the number.

"Hey uh I called earlier about the tires," he said.

Yeah. And now you've called around and realized that the price was not only right, but most likely a little lower than the other places you called.

"Yeah," I said in a snobby teenager tone. I was done being nice. "It's still 48.00," I added.

"What about a tube for it?" he inquired.

"Sixteen," I said, after a little looking.

"So about half the price of a new tire?" he asked.

"About a third," I corrected. Snottily.

"Hm. Ok. Thanks."

I told my FIL what had happened, just so he would be prepared if the guy called again. He wasn't mad. He just smiled.

And then the next guy who came in and gave him grief over a price heard him say, "HEY! Straighten this guy out like you did the one who called earlier!" to me. Then added, "Go talk to my secretary if you think I'm tough to deal with. She'll straighten you out."

I just smiled and said, "Have a nice day!"

This is likely why I'm not REALLY in the business of customer service. Because when I'm right, I'm right, and I'm not always polite about it :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I left my wedding set at the jewelry store a few days back. It's that time of year when it needs to be polished and dipped and cleaned so it looks brand-new again. I love having it done, but I HATE leaving my rings! Because people are nosy (and weird), often they assume if you aren't wearing your rings it means your marriage is in despair (GASP!). So when they're gone, I have a little gold diamond band I wear in their place, just to hold the finger if you will.

As I was washing Chloe's hair last night, she noticed my ring (for the first time since I changed them) and let out a shocked gasp. "Where are your rings?!" she demanded.

I explained the situation to her, and told her I was wearing this one until I got my other ones back.

"Where'd ya get it?" she quizzed.

"Actually my dad gave it to me a long, long time ago," I told her. I didn't want her thinking it was from anyone else, or telling people her mom got a new wedding ring from someone. It's hard telling what she would translate.

"Oh. I see. And so you just wear it when you don't have your rings?" she asked.

"Yeah. I just like to have a ring on that finger," I told her honestly, without explaining the whole thing in-depth. She giggled.

"Is it so boys won't ask you to marry dem?" she concluded.

"Yes," I told her with a smile.

"You'd say no anyway, wouldn't ya? Because you only love Bryan."

"You're right," I told her, then added, "besides, I don't think we'll have to worry about any boys asking me to marry them." More giggles.

"Why not? Is it because you have a butt-wrinkle?" she said, going into a full-out laugh.

"Um. I was thinking because I'm visibly pregnant, but whatever you say," I finished, not sure how to continue the conversation, and not sure I wanted to. There were questions swirling in my mind, (like, DO I have a butt-wrinkle? And if I do, when did she see it? How big is it? And does it really make me THAT unattractive that NO boys would want to marry me?) but they were all questions to which I was positive I didn't want an honest, five-year-old answer.

Just when I think she can't possibly come up with ANYTHING more hilarious or inventive, (or humiliating?)she proves me wrong.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Exercising Exorcising Grammar

It was the summer before my senior year when I first remember becoming fully aware of my dialect. I was working at Walmart. It was an old-school Walmart. Closed at 9pm, still had a hyphen in the name, and the cashiers did everything from stock soda to straighten shelves.

At the end of each closing shift we were all told to go "face" the shelves and were not allowed to clock out until the manager had done his walk-through to be sure everything was in order. This was the time when my friend Levi, a stock-boy, and I would meet up in the toy department or cosmetics and chat about our days.

Levi and I had been going to school together for just a couple of years, but we had a lot of classes together and he became one of my great "school friends." You know. We didn't talk on the phone or really hang out in "real life," (this was the pre-texting, pre-Facebook era), but we were buddies at school, and at work.

Levi wore wranglers every day. He lived on a farm. He liked horses. He said things like "ain't" and listened to country music. He was about as country as they come at WHS. At that time I considered myself to be more of a "townie." Sure I indulged in country once in a while, when my windows were up or when I was home alone. I wore clothes from Maurices. I wore Dr. Martens.

Anyway. Back to the straightening. As we were doing so, we were discussing the fair and the country music singers. I told him that if I was going to go see anyone, I'd want to go see Faith Hill.

Levi BUSTED up laughing. He was doubling over.

"What's so funny?" I asked him.

"Say it again!" he said between laughs.

"Say what?"

"Faith Hill!"

"Faith Hill," I said, unamused. Laughter again. When he finally composed himself, he explained what he heard.

"Andrea, it's Hill. Hih-lllllll. Not Heuhl. Hiiiiillllll."

"Heeeeh iiiihl" I said slowly. He laughed. And for the entire following school year he would randomly walk up to me and say "Faith Hill," then start laughing. The cowboy. was mocking. MY. accent.

It began to disturb me. As I paid more attention to myself and watched some old home videos, I realized just how strong my accent was. And it wasn't strong like a cute Southern Belle. It was strong like Debutante meets Beverly Hillbilly with a touch of Darlene Connor. I remember sitting in English class thinking, "I'll never have a second date in college if I keep this up."

And so I made a concentrated effort to begin correcting myself. I looked closely at how words are spelled. I had only learned by LISTENING, not by deciphering. I never knew that "pin" and "pen" had different pronunciations. I just thought they were spelled differently. I guess that's probably when my true grammar flair started.

I did a good job. I worked hard and although I didn't remove my accent, I changed the way I spoke. As the years went by, and I became an English major, I started trying even harder. I was surrounded by proper grammar and speech.

I began teaching, and that meant making even more of an effort to understand words and language and to use them correctly. I had been failed by poor models in my life, so if I could at least speak as well as I wrote, I could model good grammar for my students.

Day in and day out I studied my lessons. Taught the same concept three to five times a day. Graded papers. Corrected misuse. I started to not only speak well, but to speak correctly. I started using phrases like, "for which," and "to whom," and I learned the difference between subjective and objective forms (I vs. me) and when it's right to use them. My speech became as perfect as my writing.

And then I quit.

I quit teaching, that is. I traded in my grade-books and red (actually purple) pens, my early alarm and my khaki pants for boots and jeans and a farm-wife life. I started sleeping in. I started working at home. I rode around with my farmer hubby all day checking cows and hauling hay. I moved to a farming community, full of boot-wearing, country music-listening, tractor-driving farmers. I love to listen to my hubby talk. I think he has the cutest accent, and it kind of comes with the territory down here. But it's not something I would pick up.


Before I knew it, I started to notice a change.

It was first when Chloe said "ain't," and I corrected her, and began to worry that she'd picked up the bad habit at school. (Yes, I got more irritated with her learning "ain't" at school than the day she called the dog a bitch haha).

Then the other night, hubby asked me what I had.

And I said.

"It ain't nothin', babe. Don't worry 'bout it."

And he laughed. The farm guy in his Levi's and boots laughed at how I was talking.

Just like Levi.

And I realized I have come full-circle. This little dialect demon that I thought I had overcome had reared his ugly head once again. I've realized that what I hear on a day-to-day basis affects me so much more than what I KNOW. And without daily practice and dedication, I quickly fall back to my old habits. Anyone know of an exorcist for speech and grammar demons?  :)

At least I can still write well :)