To read the story of our precious Harlynn Renae, start here and follow the "next" links at the end of each post. Thank you for coming and sharing with us in this journey.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Drive-Thru Etiquette

I'm sitting with my feet up, listening to Brent's Spotify station of Christian music, waiting for our groceries to be delivered. (Also, I'm officially now a Hornbacher's customer for life, because they out-stock and out-perform the "other store" in every capacity. Thank you, Hornbacher's, for catering to little ol' me.)

Brent is downstairs being productive, and I had my burst of productivity earlier today, so I'm resting now. My hands and feet are the slightest, tiniest bit puffy, and given my history I'm just taking a break. Not doing anything. Including not worrying about a little pregnancy puffiness.

My Dad is a great story teller. He's lived through like - 28 lives - and remembers each adventure in detail. When he tells a story of something that happened to him in days gone by, not only is it incredibly entertaining and captivating, but you can just imagine it as he tells it. It's like you're there experiencing his near-death, but funny experience, right alongside him. I always wanted to tell stories like my Dad.

My Mom is also a great story teller, but in a completely different fashion. She tells stories by embellishing every detail, making something seem as it was far more dramatic than it actually happened, uses huge gestures with her arms and hands, and usually ends up telling 30% of the story in a very high-pitched, excitable voice most dogs can't even hear. It's always entertaining - unless, dear gracious - unless she tells a story when she's driving and she has to slow down to 20 mph and forgets where she's going because she's trying to tell this story that doesn't make any sense because she starts throwing in street names and names of businesses she's passing. *sigh*. What was I talking about?

So guess who I tell stories like? Guess and keep quiet, because I don't even want to hear it. Also, most of my stories have to do with bathrooms and/or bodily functions. I'm not sure how that became part of my most-shared material, or why I'm so comfortable in sharing those stories to whoever is nearby. It probably has something to do with my maiden name being "Butts", but...t that's purely speculation.

Today's a two-for-one story day, though. Only because the stories are so similar they might as well be the same.

A few days months ago, (let's pretend for my doctor's and husband's sake, that I rarely eat out.) I drove through Arby's because all I wanted was a classic roast beef sandwich. I ordered, was given my total, got the exact change ready (is anyone else OCD like I am about exact change?), and drove to the window.

"Number 4 with a Jamocha shake?" asked the window attendant.
"No, I just ordered a roast beef sandwich."
...pause...turns to look at the next bag. "Beef and cheddar with fries?"
"No. Just a classic sandwich."
"...well I don't have that on my screen! What the - she's screwing up the drive through orders again, Mac! (turns back to me) You just want a classic roast beef?"
"$3.21" (as I hand her the exact change.)

I thought this was odd. But, sometimes fast food places just have off-days, or off-occurrences, or what-have-you. So it should be no surprise that I was more than willing to go back this past Thursday year, as I wanted to treat myself to a roast beef sandwich and maybe even a molten lava cake. I pulled up to make my order.

"I'd like a number one, with a --"
(interrupting speaker starts interrupting) "--with what to drink?" (1. rude to interrupt as I'm still talking.)
"Well, I was ordering a Sprite."
"What size?"
"Whatever size it usually comes with? That's what I want." (I was confused, because I don't think I've ever the few times I've ever been there.)
"(sigh) That would be a small. $7.19 is your total, thanks." (2. rude to not ask if I want anything else, and to sigh at me for ordering whatever I usually order.)
"Wait, I'm not done ordering yet."
(awkward silence) (3. rude to not acknowledge you heard me say I wasn't done ordering yet.)
"Hello?" I asked, to see if she heard me.
"Just. A. Minute."
Oh no she didn't! She just "just-a-minute"ed me! FOUR STRIKES!!
I drove off. I didn't pick eating there because I wanted to be treated like a criminal. So I drove off.

I was telling my husband this story and he chuckled to himself and said, "Well, it wasn't the first time!" I laughed - isn't it funny how you can laugh about things later that such a big deal at the time you're experiencing them?

It was earlier in our marriage - maybe 2004 or 2005, so several years ago. It was a Saturday, and I can't remember exactly, but I want to say we were cleaning our apartment - and when I say cleaning, I mean going through and throwing stuff away. Still to this day, every time we do that, an argument ensues. This day in particular, though, whatever we were doing, it ended up in a full-blown fight, during the middle of which, we became hungry. (This is making me laugh now just re-telling the ridiculousness.) We hopped in the car, piping mad at each other and continuing our argument, and drove to Burger King, so we could drive-through and take it home and not have to actually eat together.

I ordered his food, I ordered mine, and I ordered a cherry slurpee. This was way back in the day when fast food establishments still took checks. (Remember those days?!) I was given my total, wrote the check as we waited behind the car in front of us, and then pulled up to the window.

The little teeny-bopper attendant told me in between gum-smacks that the slurpee machine was broken, so I couldn't have my drink. Truly, it must have been the one thing I wanted most, because I was really upset by this. I said I didn't want a substitute, so just take it off my order. I started to rip up the check I had written to write a new one when she spouted, "I could have given you the difference, but whatever."

She totally said, "but whatever" to me!! In the middle of me fighting with my husband, and them being out of the one thing I wanted!

I looked at her, my mouth open in shock, turned my head (mouth still open), looked out my windshield, and drove off. I drove. Off.

Brent was absolutely humiliated and we got in an even bigger fight, because he really wanted whatever it was he had ordered, and because apparently I had just made a big deal out of nothing. To him it was nothing, but to me, she was a snot and I was already being berated by a snot on one side, I didn't need to be surrounded by them, let alone pay to be exploited by one.

I have no idea what we ended up doing for lunch that day, or even still what it was exactly we were fighting about. I do remember though, I was wearing a florescent orange tank top. How weird is that? Not weird that I remember that, but that I was actually wearing a florescent orange tank top?

What was I saying?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sciatic Saturday

It turned out to be a good day, but didn't go as I had planned. I woke up this morning with killer sinus pressure and lead lungs. Sometimes it's hard to catch a deep breath, and when I try, it mostly just hurts. As a result of feeling less than awesome, I stayed home from the morning coffee I had planned to attend. Instead, I got to read books, put a puzzle together, and play tickle monster with little miss Haley. It was a good morning.

Our snow blower is dead. Dead dead. We're under a blizzard warning with 40 mph winds and 6 - 12 inches of snow possible. Considering Brent has to be at work Monday morning earlier than anyone should even be awake, we had a decision to make. I told him I could lay across his shovel and create a wider path for him to clear, but he informed me my jokes weren't helping. (I still think it's funny.) We argued had some intense spiritual fellowship for about two days, trying to decide if we should use some of our emergency fund money to purchase a new snow blower. I might surprise you by saying I was actually campaigning to get one. Do I want to spend the money? No way. Especially if the weathermen (and women) are wrong like they were with our last storm. However, if they're right, and if Brent hurts himself somehow by shoveling through thick wet snow and feet-high drifts, medical bills aren't a desirable expense either. Not to mention having a husband out of commission would be one of the worst possible scenarios I can imagine. Plus, we're going to have to get a new snow blower sooner or later anyway (this is North Dakota), so before a blizzard seems like a good time... Kudos to my husband, though, for being torn about it. I can tell you, though, he came home with a new one today and I think we'll both rest a little easier tomorrow night.

Anyway, while he was out doing that, I started doing some serious cleaning that's been neglected around these parts. I moved the fridge and the stove to get under and behind them, even. Don't worry, they're really easy to move. (Remember the first time I moved our fridge?) In the process of vacuuming our living room rug, however, my sciatica got a hold of my right hip and I went down to my knees. Haley came around the corner to ask if I was okay, and I smiled and told her of course I was. "Sometimes Mommy just needs to take a break from cleaning." Like, when she can't walk, for instance. That's a good time to take a break. The last several days I've been having worse issues with my sciatica than I care to admit. I'll be starting physical therapy for it soon (which I'm not looking forward to...I can't even bend over to put my own pants on half the time. I'm sure stretching and bending my legs and lower back won't be the most pleasant experience I've ever had). My cleaning blitz took a backseat. For that matter, my backseat took a seat.

Then it was time to get ready to go to a birthday party for a good Fargoan friend tonight. I took one step. Yeah...the party wasn't going to happen for me. Totally disappointed, because there were a lot of lovely ladies I was looking forward to seeing tonight (shout out to the 2012 35 Under 35ers!). Since, I've been trying to find a comfortable position. A comfortable position for me to stretch this out would be bent over touching my toes, but I haven't been able to do that for...about six years. Instead I try to recline and shift my weight to my left side. It's not comfortable, but it helps. (So Katie et al, I'm thinking about you right now, certainly hoping you're having the best time possible tonight!)

Brent took Haley sledding this afternoon because it was warm enough (a relative term, based on where you live), and she loves, loves, loves playing in the snow. (I might not live in the right region but she sure does.) I stayed here and thought about which restaurant I could call for delivery tonight. Of course, then I'd have to get up and walk to the door to carry the food and hand them the money. I can't wait for the day I can do cartwheels again...of course that's been about as long ago as I could touch my toes without wincing... Speaking of cartwheels, pretty sure that's what Cletus-the-she-fetus is doing in utero right now. My goodness this little girl is constantly on the move. I hope that doesn't mean she'll be too wiggly to snuggle. Seriously - some of you might be a little weirded out if you could see my stomach shifting shapes right now.

So I didn't get to socialize at all today as I had intended. I did, however, get to spend some fantastic one-on-one time with Haley, got some cleaning done I wouldn't have otherwise had the energy or the excuse to do, and now I might even get my husband to agree to making dinner. After all, we finally have maple syrup...

Friday, February 1, 2013

Cry Baby

Oh goodness. I have to share what just happened before I share what I was going to actually share. Haley was just going potty before her bath and told her daddy she had a lot of pee. She actually had just gone moments before, so didn't really go all that much. Then I hear daddy say, "you over estimated your pee-ness."
....."that came out wrong."

I'll give you a little while to stop laughing. I'm still cracking up.

At this point it doesn't even matter what I was going to share, because what just happened is way funnier. Where was I? What was I going to say? Give me a minute...

We are in the middle of yet another North Dakotan cold snap. The temperatures have been ridiculously cold (it was -23 this morning when I was driving to work, and that doesn't include the wind chill) and we've gotten a bit of snow on top of that. Imagine my surprise when I could race home and still have enough time to order groceries so they'll be delivered TONIGHT! Gosh I love this town. However, I'm hoping we don't have the same catastrophe we had earlier. Allow me to explain.

As you're very aware (and pray for my husband, because no one is more aware than him), I am extremely hormonal during this pregnancy. I can cry at a moment's notice. Or no notice. Just cry. I'll laugh so hard I start crying, even. Actually crying, not just eye-watering-from-laughing-cry. Actual crying. Usually the culprit of my tears is raw, unabashed, seething anger. I just get pissed. I mean equivalent to sheer rage. Mad. So I cry. The following was no exception.

It had been a great day at work. I have good days and bad days, but I don't often have great days. I picked Haley up from daycare and she was cute as a button the entire drive home. However, it was snowing to beat the band outside, and the snow was falling on top of a layer of ice - so the roads were scary, but not near as scary as the other people out and about driving on them. I had gotten a text from Brent about how yucky the roads were, so left work a few minutes early to try to stay ahead of the rush-hour traffic crowd. I was excited in a way, because for the first time in a long time, Brent was going to be home when we got home, and we could spend the evening staying in from the cold. We had ordered our groceries online and selected the pick-up option. Brent had picked them up after work and brought them home. Splendid!

I pulled in to the driveway, opened the garage, and saw that it was empty. I started to get irritated. Why? Because my husband was MIA during rush hour traffic on a horrible night to be out MIA in rush hour traffic. I told Haley Daddy wasn't home, and she responded by crying. I might be rubbing off on her a little bit.

We got inside and I see I had a text message that Brent decided to go to the hardware store and would be right back. "It better be freaking life-or-death important if he went out to a hardware store" I told myself.

I saw groceries on the table and started going through them when I saw something I did not order. Lite chocolate syrup. I also saw something I did order - a giant bottle of regular chocolate syrup. "What the...?" I started thinking and checked the receipt to see why I had two bottles of chocolate syrup. Then it dawned on me. I was missing the bottle of lite maple syrup I ordered. I checked my order history and next to lite syrup was written "out" and they subbed with lite chocolate syrup. I ORDERED MAPLE SYRUP.

Let me just explain to you that sometimes after working a full day and bringing home an energetic toddler, this preggo doesn't feel like throwing together a three course meal. Sometimes a woman just needs to have her french toast for dinner. With syrup. This was one of those nights. I was planning on brinner. (Breakfast for dinner = brinner) Now I had no maple syrup and there was no way I was going to put chocolate syrup on french toast. Let's not get weird.

As I'm figuring this all out I hear, "MMmmm, this is yummy!" I look over and see Haley has helped herself to an apple. No big deal, I'm glad she likes apples, but I hadn't washed the apples, and I'm a little OCD about that. Plus we had a talk about helping herself - she needs to ask first if she can have food. Especially since I was trying to figure out what we were going to do for dinner.

Time....lots and lots of time....passed by. My husband was still MIA, it was snowing and blowing outside, and I heard sirens every few minutes. This was stressing me out, on top of not having my maple syrup, and my daughter eating unwashed fruit.

Finally, nearly an hour and a half later, my husband came home. I had texted him about the maple syrup ordeal. He asked me if I called the store and I answered, "No, because I'm too upset to talk about it" (without crying is what that statement implied). I was happy he was home, but mad he went out in the ridiculous weather. To buy a different snow shovel. I was really really mad about the maple syrup. While our little exchange was taking place, Haley deserted the 2/3 of the apple she had started eating, and grabbed another apple to take a bite out of.

I started crying.

Brent looked at me like I had just run through an executive board meeting, naked, singing "Do your ears hang low?"

He started defending the shopper saying because I had in fact ordered chocolate syrup, he could see why there would be confusion. I cut him off because I did not care, I JUST WANTED MAPLE SYRUP. Like I ORDERED.

Brent left the room and called the store to explain the mistake. I cried some more. Haley asked if she could give me a hug. Brent asked, "Are you okay?" and I thought he was talking to Haley when I heard him pause and continue, "Mommy?"

"I just need a minute" I squeaked.

Finally we ate dinner - beef biscuits - and I sat at the table holding my head. "Does your head hurt?" Brent asked.
"No. I just need to cry for like 45 minutes." I answered.
"Well then...can't help you there."

I went to bed early. I slept hard. I was still a little sensitive the next day, and not willing to admit that I was upset for silly reason(s) the night before.

And I still didn't have my daggum maple syrup.

I recovered, and I've managed to go this long without brinner. But it's been rough, and involved a night of pizza to get by. I can tell you if the delivery shows up tonight and there is no maple syrup, I might need to be committed.

...but then I'll remember someone over estimating their pee-ness, and I'll laugh so hard I'll actual crying...