Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Unsolicited Advice for Parents-to-be

We've been married 5 years. We spent over a year on our nursery/playroom. I read everything I could get my hands on before we even tried to conceive. We are very aware that:

  • We will no longer get as much sleep and our lives will be changed forever.
  • We will have to take care of a baby and they cry/spit/poop/crawl/walk/talk/make mischief.
  • There is nothing like holding a child/looking at a child/giving a child a pot roast for the first time.
  • We are to be congratulated on doing something that mostly everyone else on the planet is also capable of doing.
  • Every other piece of "you're going to hate this so much" or "you're going to love this so much" advice you feel like giving us.

People are driving us bonkers. If we have a question, we'll be sure to ask all of the mommies and daddies we know, and you'll be in that big group, we promise. Until then, we don't need unsolicited advice and please don't congratulate us or touch my stomach. We didn't conceive for attention or for congratulations. The best and worst people in the world are able to make children. We're just somewhere in that group. We very thoroughly, carefully, and attentively planned to have a child so that we could pass our genes on to some little person who probably doesn't want a huge chest and sticky-outty ears. Please, for the love of Michael, stop telling us "enjoy those nights of sleep now, har har har." You're not making parenthood appealing for anyone with that kind of "special club" attitude.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Adoption: Could We Ever Afford It?

John and I were in the toy aisle today and I was looking at cute Buzz Lightyear birthday candles. He told me I should buy them and save them for someday when we have a child. I frowned and said, "It's probably not ever going to happen until we adopt and we won't ever be able to afford the adoption fees."

A woman from the next aisle walked around to us and said, "I couldn't help but listen in. Don't reconsider adoption because you can't afford it. Do it anyway. God always gives us what we need." Now, I'm not religious, but I thought this was very sweet. She had with her several adopted children. It made me smile and she was right. Now where do I sign the paperwork for that giant loan?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How To Love A New Pack Member

Three days ago, the shelter called. The dog we have been waiting over 3 months for was available. She had gone into the shelter with health problems and the vet finally gave her the all-clear. We picked up a dog that had clearly been terrified for too long. Her name is Maggie and she is a Siberian Husky. We own a Husky-Shepherd mix, and we wanted her to have a friend.

Now, Huskies have issues with cats, and we have a cat that thinks it's a dog. Maggie has been doing fine with her and the cat has already beaten her up several times.

Maggie is bonding well with my brother and my husband, but not with my dad or me.

Here I am for 3 days thinking that this isn't going to work. I wanted to take Maggie out of a shelter situation and give her love, but I got cold feet and wanted to find someone else to take her because I felt guilty about betraying my first dog, B.

I have seriously been crying about this for three days. I have felt like a black cloud is overhead and felt like nothing would remove it unless I gave the new dog away. I felt like she just wasn't what our family needed.

Maggie started off in our home too scared to come out from under an end table and is now free-wheeling around the house. She bolts sometimes when she sees me, and all the time when she sees my dad. Dad and B are very close. They take walks together 3 times a day and car rides even more than that. I brought B home when she was 5 weeks old and she is a wonder dog. She has never growled or snapped at person or animal, catches baby squirrels to lick them and mother them, never chewed anything up as a puppy, and has never cowered or been afraid. This dog is Mother Theresa in a fur coat. My dad and I love her like she is a human being. B is just a remarkable dog. Everyone that meets her wants to take her home - including a toddler at Home Depot who fell on the floor crying because he didn't want to leave his new best friend B.

So, here I am feeling miserable. I'm telling my husband that it's not fair to our B that Maggie is here. I'm wondering, how can my husband treat this new dog as if she has been here all along? How can he betray B and just love the new dog so much already?

Then, we had a long talk. I wasn't giving Maggie a fair chance. I couldn't understand why she wouldn't bond with me, but I was treating her like she was not staying for good, and favoring B. She wasn't bonding with me because I didn't give her the chance.

I was tip-toeing around B's feelings, not showing as much affection to Maggie and Maggie couldn't understand why. 

Tonight, I looked Maggie in the eye and saw B in there. The same love and affection just waiting to come out. I baby talked with her and gave her kisses in front of B and I didn't go and coddle B to make her feel better. I just let go. I let Maggie in and I treated them as equals. I let Maggie know that I could love her, too. Next up, Dad has got to do the same thing. It will happen with time. 

I had closed off my heart and it needed to re-open. I did it. I can feel again. Welcome to the family, Maggie.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Remodeling - A Life Of Layers

We're remodeling. My husband wants a baby. I have talked myself into having one, too. I'd like to wait a few years, and I want to be prepared. I want all of the baby clothes, things, diapers, swings, playpens and pacifiers and things, more things and things. I want the toys, the history, the happiness, the memories, I want it all one place before he or she enters this world. So, we're remodeling.

My husband is peeling layers of wallpaper from walls. Walls that saw me grow up, that held my posters, that felt my head hit them when I tumbled too far. Walls with gobs of glue, paint, tears and blood. Walls with fists through them when older brothers got angry, walls with drywall cracking at the seams. He's peeling back the layers of my life. I never knew there were so many patterns. There's a bunch of dots on the wall and I remember being small and my brother having a dart board. I hadn't thought of that in decades.

The joys of having a family home. May it never leave our possession. May the walls be painted again and again. May our child make their own layers and may they all be memorable. Happiness, sadness, anger, joy. May they spend their years in this home and love it the way that I do. May they remodel and update, peel and paint. May they have happiness the way that we do. May their health stay strong. May this home love them.

We're remodeling.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Film Review: The Muppets Most Wanted - Spoilers

I'll be the first to admit it -- I'm a Henson fangirl! I own Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Fraggle Rock, Muppets Take Manhattan, The Muppets, and The Muppet Show on DVD. I have a Brian Froud art book in my collection. I'm head over heels about Animal (sixteen t-shirts just aren't enough) and the Swedish Chef.

We went to see The Muppets Most Wanted on a Thursday evening at 9:30pm and had the cinema to ourselves. It was lovely. My husband and I could talk about the movie as it played, and point out the funny nuances in the film. I think this helped us enjoy it.

We saw it again on a Sunday evening at 6:30pm and went with friends. The other side of the theatre was filled with annoying Urkel laughers and candy bag rustlers. It wasn't ideal. The picture had also been moved into a smaller cinema with lower sound, and it just wasn't the same. I could hear my friends laughing, but of course, we couldn't communicate about the funny bits.

My opinion of the film is very biased. I love Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, so I was super happy when I heard the opening number and could recognize its Flight of the Conchords familiarity. I was even more chuffed when Jemaine appeared on screen. Both my husband and I love those two New Zealanders, so we were very happy with their work.

If there was a rehabilitation center for Ricky Gervais fans, I'd be in it. I love the man and watch his comedy routines on a regular basis. Nothing and no one makes me laugh the way that he does. Just hearing his giggle sets me into fits of laughter. My husband doesn't enjoy his comedy, though. Not in the same way that I do. I must admit that I've a bit of a crush on the man.

I'm not a huge fan of Tina Fey, but I think she did a great job in this role and I'm warming to her. When she's away from Amy Poehler, I enjoy her performances more. I think it's because I don't feel excluded from the funny club. You know how it can be, when something is funny between actors it can sometimes feel awkward for the viewer. I feel like they're the cool girls and I'm not in on the joke.

I have little-to-no experience with Ty Burrell, but I thought he and Sam the Eagle's relationship was adorable. They did a great job with the running badge and EU jokes, too.

The film hearkens back to The Muppet Show days that old-school Muppets fans will love, but also has some amazing subtle jokes ("Press button to open all doors in prison", "Slow News Week: Muppets Dominate Headlines") that only adults will see. I love it when Constantine mispronounces Muppet names ("Zongo" and "Fonzie") and forgets who some people are ("Small man in glasses"). Bonus points to whoever wrote those funny bits into the script.

There were tons of celebrity cameos, including Usher, Gaga and Diddy, but the best were the lesser-known actors. My husband and I both LOLed seeing Zack Galafianakis. That dude is funny no matter what role he plays.

The only problem I see with the re-vamping of the Muppets franchise is that the younger audience isn't getting it. I didn't hear any laughter from the kids in the audience, nor did any of the kids with me laugh. They recognized Gaga and heard a One Direction name-drop, but without any toilet humor or dazzling CGI, they seemed lost. They were most excited about the Rio 2 trailer than the film they went to see, and that's a shame, since Rio wasn't one of my favorites and I paid to see The Muppets Most Wanted twice.

All in all, this film was a "Good Frog!". I'd recommend it to adults because it really captures the fun of Muppets past. Maybe ditch the kids and enjoy this in a smaller audience, because it can really be ruined by Matilda in aisle 7 taking 13 potty breaks with her brood (who were bored and didn't want to watch the film at all).