Mean Boys

I will be the first person to admit that bitches be crazy and mean to one another. Unfortunately, despite my hippie dreams, we are not all lovey dovey towards one another and like ‘hey sister, can I braid your hair for you?’. More often than not we are like holy shit! look at that girl, she has a booger in her nose. BAHHAAAA I am totally not going to tell her!

We can be catty….but let’s face it we can also be awesome and sweet to one another…what is this called?…oh yeah – being a human. We have flaws and shit, but then we redeem ourselves. I find it pretty strange that there is this general consensus that women are mean and that men are not. Men can totally be mean.

Maybe not in the same way as we can be, but they can totally show their own proverbial claws at times. This idea that men are simple and uncomplicated, thus not having the time/energy/see a need to be mean to others is just kerfluie…is that how you spell that?

This project at work I am helping with involves reviewing surveys revolving around operations and what have its in this particular city…..trying not to be too specific here. Most of the survey involved those “pick a range of satisfaction” questions. But a few were write-in. Overall the survey results were positive, with people offering their suggestions but also saying ‘we love how things work, but THIS would make it even better’.

As I was writing out my conclusions from the survey I was thinking ‘wow these are some nice people’. Then I get to this one write-in comment that is open for “any additional comments”. And someone said “this survey and the people associated with it are a total waste of money and time”. Awesome.

Now this isn’t like a super personal comment, because really I am just helping out another department with this project, but I couldn’t help but take a little offense. I mean, did you really need to write that out? What’s worse is, I know his information because it wasn’t an anonymous survey.

I want to take his info and write him a letter saying ‘hi, why did you even waste your time and ours writing that comment? we are trying to get input on what sort of improvements can be made and you get all assholish on the survey? At minimum you could have said this survey is a waste of time, but left off the part about the people associated with it’ But alas, obviously I won’t do that. Blatant acts of meanness are just bothering me right now.

Maybe I am overly sensitive? Probably so. I am always overly sensitive. But I am going to file this guy’s name in the back of my head and if I should ever run into him (highly unlikely) I will at least try to close a door in his face or something. Because whilst I might talk a big talk, at the end of the day I am passive aggressive as shit.

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Bosom Friend

I loved me some Anne of Green Gables growing up. From reading the books to wearing the shit out of the VHS tapes, I probably still have every line memorized. Every time I say the words ‘I’m sorry’, I won’t lie that in my mind I hear the way those crazy Canadians say sorry…all drawn out like ‘I’m soar-reyyy’. I can’t type it. You just have to know it.

If you aren’t familiar with A.G.G (which is what all the cool kids know it as….you down with A.G.G. yeah you know me! I’m down with A.G.G…..oh deari apologize for that) then you already know that the term “bosom friend” isn’t technically meant to be naughty. It is like a friendship you hold dear to your heart….or your bosom. But if you know me, then you know that the term bosom friend pulls at my childlike heartstrings yet appeals to my ridiculously inappropriate side.

Today I am saying Happy Birthday to one of my bosom friends, Oak! Girl be turnin’ older on me and I really must get a little sappy for a sec and say, this girl is one that I hold dear to my heart. And the term bosom friends has additional meaning for the two of us, because our boys were born 3 days apart. So every bosom issue we went through breastfeeding and then pumping, we went through together. We have been each other’s sounding board, she has taught me how to have grown up relationships with my Step-mother (notice how I do not refer to her as the Evil Temptress anymore? see growth!) and a couple old friends.

And I have taught her…..hmmm….well probably not a whole heck of a lot actually. Oh wait! I know! I have taught her about grass root structure! There’s one she didn’t know before we were friends. Oak, aren’t you so glad we are friends?…..I guess I need to work on what I bring to the table.

Hey I thought of another thing! I come up with extremely bad ideas! Remember this one? Yep! All me.

You do have a hot ass by the way 🙂

Happy Birthday to one of my Bosom Friends!

A Toilet Training Toddler – Lesson 1

Well well well. You know that whole concept of the power of suggestion? Yeah it will bite you in the ass. Not 24 hours after I wrote this last post, I was staring at a shit on my floor. Awesome. So that brings us to lesson 1 of toilet training – your kid is smarter than you.

Sure sure maybe he doesn’t know the nominal dimensions of a 2×4 or the order of treatment for removing mineral stains on 100-year-old stone buildings, but when it comes to him learning how to poop like a grown up, he is smarter. End of story.

First off, let’s pat ourselves on the back for a minute. Because I do in fact think that our “plan” is a good one. When we brought him home from daycare I put him in a cloth diaper and fed him dinner. Then we cleaned him up and let him run around. Andy brought his toilet (sorry folks ‘potty’ is just too much of a ‘parent’ word for me…..I refuse to admit that I am actually a parent and use parent words….whatever okay just placate me) out and he ignored it for the most part. Then a little while later he walked over to it and started trying to push his diaper down, as if it were actually underwear. So Andy busted him out and we proceeded to laugh as he ran around naked again.

He got on and off the toilet a couple of times and then I kind of decided ‘eh it’s probably not in the cards’. So back in the diaper he went. Next up was bathtime and then a diaper. I had a laundry basket full of clean clothes and of course the pajamas were at the bottom. So I just let Jack off the changing table while I put away his clothes and located the pjs. Andy was standing next to me chatting up a storm, like he does. A bit later in walks Jack butt ass naked.

Andy: hey buddy where did your diaper go?

Me: ooo check to see if he went in the toilet!

Andy: (walking out to the living room) well we have located the turd….it isn’t in the toilet per se

About a foot away from the toilet sat a little poo. Hmmm what do we do here? Well…okay….wing it Natalie. Jack look, (scooping up poo with wipe) this goes in here, see?

brain: you have no fucking idea what you are doing here do ya?

natalie: shut it brain, no one actually knows what they are doing….this just seems logical

brain: it may seem logical, but now you have to clean the floor and the toilet because you wanted to put the poo in the toilet to show him.

natalie: you know what brain? you can suck it! I don’t see any other amazing ideas coming from you

So that is what happened. I mean on the one hand: technically Jack is starting to see the benefit of not shitting in your pants…..but shitting on the floor?…hmmm. What have we gotten ourselves into with this whole ‘raising a human’ thing?

Also it was pretty much our bad in this case. If we had been in the same room, paying attention maybe we would have seen him wanting his diaper off and been able to swoop in and set him on the pot. So apparently you need to just hover over your kid like all the time….or force them to continue to shit in a diaper? Hey guess what? I have no idea what I am doing! Isn’t parenting fun?

Nat and Kate plus…poo

Something really whacked out happened this weekend. We went to this big consignment sale to pick up some more fall/winter clothes for Jackhammer. I figured we should pick up a potty….OMG guys the word potty is ridiculous. I can not believe I am writing that word and what is worse! GASP I have actually said that word. OUT LOUD….with my mouth!

Anyway, it isn’t like we were AT ALL planning on doing anything with the….the….the potty (cringe) it was more that I wanted to have it on hand just in case. I mean I don’t actually know what I am doing here, it just seemed like a logical thing to do to maybe put it in the bathroom and let Jack get used to it or whatever he felt like doing.

It must be pointed out that Andy was thoroughly grossed out at buying a….a….a potty chair (ugh) at a consignment sale. In fact he would not only not touch it, but he would stand a good two feet away from me while I carried it around. Really? Maybe I would have done the same two years ago. But I have touched so much poop and not just my kid’s but others, that it doesn’t even bother me…not to mention that the chair we picked out was completely clean.

But when we got home I bleached it just to make him feel better. Now the smart thing about Andy is as we were standing amongst the selection of potty’s he chimed in that having one that looked like a frog maybe wasn’t the best idea…perhaps the best idea was to have one that looked more like a toilet because if we bought him the frog one he might just want to try and ride it around the house and never make the connection. Perhaps Andy is right? Who knows, but despite thinking the frog one was cute, we went with the plain jane chair.

Jack was super interested in it after I got it all cleaned up. He had to take it all apart and put it back together. Sit on it, then get off, shut the lid, then open it and take it all apart, repeat basically. I just had it next to the toilet in our bathroom, but after about 20 minutes of playing I was like ‘okay buddy let’s go play in the living room’. And he picked it up and brought it out into the living room. Eh whatever. Our evening proceeded. He played with other stuff, then went back to the potty to check everything out.

Later he was sitting on the couch with us and he let out this huge toot. ‘Bahhaaa you got something going on buddy? You want to try out your potty?’ I didn’t really know what I was doing at this point. But I stripped him down and then we proceeded to laugh as he ran about the living room pantsless. Is there anything more hilarious than a pantsless baby? I think not. He went back and forth to the potty (yep still makes me cringe) and would get on and then back off.

Andy and I sort of zoned out for a sec and then I looked down and realized there was a poop in there! WHOOAAAaaa. We were not expecting that at all. Jack was standing there like ‘eh no big deal’. I turned to Andy and said: ‘holy shit, he did it!’. We started clapping for him, which he obviously loved. Then I proceeded to pick him up and run to the bathroom with him straight out in front of me….because duh, there was poop on his butt. Gross! We cleaned him off, with TOILET PAPER instead of wipes. So big. Then we both pondered what to do next….it is sort of a huge deal, but also really fucking disgusting. I suddenly realized that Kate, from Jon and Kate +8 really isn’t as crazy as I originally thought. I saw an episode where she took a picture of one of her kids with their first poo and recall saying ‘OMG that is so disgusting!!!!’

Then suddenly you are standing there realizing what a huge accomplishment this is and thinking ‘should I be taking a picture?’ I decided not to, because at the end of the day, YUCK. But Andy was hilariously cute and proceeded to call all of his parents to tell them about Jack’s pure genius.

The excitement suddenly turned to worry as we realized we have no idea what comes next. We were not prepared for this shit, literally. We chatted and have come up with a plan…which is not surprising. Our “plan” is to just see what happens. Whenever he starts wanting to play with the chair or we suspect he might be ready to “go” I will get him naked, but then no pressure for anything after that. And we will just see what happens.

I am fairly positive that I will be writing a post or two in the future saying ‘I had to clean shit off the floor tonight’, but who knows maybe our plan is a good one, we shall see.

Happy Spirit Transformation Journey Anniversary

My Big Butter is weird. He does weird things, says weird things and often times looks weird to….example – we know several people with the same name, so when I will talk about him Andy will ask “my Bob? or Jesus Bob?”…Big Butter looked like Jesus for a while…also his name is not Bob, protection for the innocent or some shit. On my birthday he posted on my facebook “Congratulations on your Spirit Transformation Journey Anniversary!”….because he is weird. And I love it.

My Spirit Transformation Journey Anniversary, aka my 30th Birthday was pretty laid back and epic at the same time….confused? Me too. I am one of those peeps who likes to drag celebrations out…for as long as possible. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like doing that. In fact I will probably be celebrating my 30th birthday up until next September 8th. That is just how I roll.

The celebrations began on Friday 9/7 and just kept going…in fact they are not technically over. I still have the impending arrival of my iphone (what what) and a pedicure…and probably some shopping because shopping is funsies. Also I have a promise of a family get together at this amazing dessert restaurant….desserterie? Is that a word?

First festivity – renewing my license plate registrations…wha wha whaaaaa. No seriously that is what we did. Eh whatever. It was necessary and Andy and I went together, so the Jack-assery was truly a gift. Andy has decided he wants to get the “advancing green energy” specialty plate for his ’72 Bronco. I won’t tell you the gas mileage he gets….it is just better if we don’t say it out loud. No one really believed us that the H3 was a fuel efficient vehicle. Just take our word for it now.

Second festivity – sushi! YAY! In fact Friday night sort of turned into the “stuff you can’t do while pregnant” adventure. We ate sushi, drank cocktails, then went to a family fun center and rode go-carts, played putt-putt, bowled, played ski ball, and drank more beer.

It was awesome. We crashed into bed at about 2am and found ourselves pleasantly well-rested when Jack called out at 11:30a. That kid is awesome and yes he stayed up until 2am with us with little fuss. Jack and I played in the living room…okay Jack played in the living room, I drank an angry orchard because it was almost noon and it was my birthday…. I am a grown-up bitches!

Then it was off to a massage with my SIL – Aaaaammmmaaazzziinnggg -stop for chocolate malts, a fun-filled naptime for the parents (brown chicken brown cow), then dinner with friends and a sleep-over….yes a sleep-over. Like in 5th grade…only with booze.

Emmicakes made me an amazing cake:

Which not to nerd out on you, but it has something to do with this guy.

We had intentions of sitting around the firepit and making s’mores, but after birthday cake, who has room for s’mores? But give us 12 hours and we will rally. The next morning I turned to emmicakes and declared ‘let’s make s’more pancakes!’. You can probably guess they were amazing.

Andy stopped by on his way home from work and we all hung out and chatted for a bit. Then it was home again time. I spent the rest of the day hanging out around the house. Doing regular stuff like laundry and watching movies. It was a great weekend.

Things took a bit of a freeze during the week, but Thursday night it was back to celebrating. My dad came down to take me out to dinner and to pass on a pretty amazing heirloom. More on that coming soon.

Friday we took Pickles (emmicakes hubster) out for his birthday….which I choose to believe is actually about me….because duh, it is all about me. My in-laws watched Jack and brought me some delicious cookies, which lasted me three days…so in my book the celebration went on for another three days based on cookie consumption alone.

Just a great, great Spirit Transformation Journey Anniversary.

Older and Wiser

Is it a coincidence that this happens to be my 400th post and also the first one as I enter my third (BU pointed out it is actually my 4th…damn this old age) decade on earth? Probably. Man I am long winded. 400 posts? Really? Have I really had that much to say about life?….I won’t say they are “meaningful things”….as most of them are just thought vomit, but this has really been fun. I appreciate each and every one of you…except the assholes….I haven’t had any run-ins with assholes on my blog, but there have to be some out there and I want to be clear that I do not appreciate their kind…..oh wait….I can totally be an asshole sometimes.

Whelp looks like I don’t like my own kind. Whatcha gonna do? I will be sure to recount the birthday activities at a later date. Needless to say, I may have been turning 30, but gosh darn it, we celebrated like I was turning 15…..well minus the drinks, which is obviously the only notable difference. But the most important difference.

Let me wrap up these Chicago pictures though. Because obviously you guys want to see the other part of Chicago besides the Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. So let us begin with the less nerdy images….but still nerdy all the same.

Have you ever tried to take a picture of your baby while in his/her carrier. It is hard yo. This is the only not-too-blurry-to-make-out-Jack-kind-of picture I could get. Also I should dedicate an entire post to how much I had to modify some of my images to make them not look like a drunk person took them. Taking pictures while your kid is “helping” you hold up your camera and point it is really difficult. I am surprised I have any pictures from this trip.

Here is my travel partner-in-crime, the SIL.

You know how to get Jack to sit through a boat ride? Peanut butter crackers…you know how you get mom to chill out on a boat ride? A Cape Cod. Gotta love boat touring and cocktails.

Unfortunately I can’t find the “remove dew from lens” filter in Photoshop and it was a rainy weekend, so please don’t judge the photography too harshly. I don’t in fact dip my camera into water before I take pictures. Here are the “corn cob” buildings. Otherwise known as Marina City designed by Bertrand Goldberg.

After the boat tour, next stop was Navy Pier and the ferris wheel.

Wheeeee…okay it was moving super slowly, so wheee might be an overstatement.

The end of Navy Pier

Here is what the beginning of day 2 looked like. Yikes. Just wanted to show you what the majority of my pictures looked like.

Misty/foggy view of the river.

Under the “L”

Misty/foggy picture of the Chicago Theater

So I had some fun with photoshop. I can’t help it.

Another Frank, but about 100 years later. Frank Gehry’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millenium Park.

Aqua , the tallest building designed by a female. Her name is Jeanne Gang.

Hope that was a good little taster of my Chicago trip. We did and saw so much more, but rainy weather is bad for cameras.

Nerdiest to less Nerdy

Alright Chicagoland! I decided we should start things off by showing the nerdiest aspect of the trip first.

That translates to Oak Park…shout out to Oak!…who has no relation at all to Oak Park. But whatever. Maybe I already wrote about the story of a young 7-year-old girl who stole her brother’s Frank Lloyd Wright book and decided she would be an architect one day? Anyway that is how it happened. I still have said stolen book….and I also stole the prints someone gave him of FLW drawings….basically you shouldn’t have a little sister, she will steal your shit and never give it back.

Anyway I won’t nerdy this too much with words. I will just show you some pics and you can just imagine how excited I probably was about this stroll….and then times that imagined excitement by 100 and that is about the levels….okay just one thing before I stop talking though:

In my opinion, to really appreciate FLW you have to have some context. If you just look at his designs you wouldn’t necessarily understand that they were revolutionary because today we have such an extreme level of revolutionary architecture. So the best way to see the dramatic shift FLW made you have to look at the houses around his. So context. Here is what the neighbors houses look like.

This is a Victorian Style home in case you are nerdy curious.

So as you can see they are beautiful houses….but the common idea was that houses looked “pretty” and somewhat “frilly”. Alright now contrast that with these and hopefully that is enough to explain the shift.

And we’ll end with Unity Temple…which is obviously not a house.