Saturday, January 29, 2011

One year and $5000 later....

One of our favorite restaurants is a sports bar called Summits.  We started going there during football season a year ago because we could watch all the games at once.  But… truthfully, they have amazing food, (lots of it) and hundreds of different beers.  So, technically, it’s a beer pub that doubles as a sports bar.  And, with a donation to Habitat for Humanity (one of our favorite charities) you can join a beer club to earn a mug.   Since Tom loves a challenge and a good cause, he signed up!
 When he joined, he was given a passport with a list of all the different beers that they serve (600+, it seems).  You had to try 100 different beers to earn a 20 ounce mug with your name on it.   He made it his personal goal to earn a mug.  So, every time we went to Summits, he tried a different beer, or two, or three.   I became the designated driver, so that he could enjoy his challenge.     In the beginning, we went about once a week to watch football.  But, soon the challenge consumed him!  And getting to the 100 mark became a real challenge.
The problem with a goal like this is that I’m not a good one to say NO to eating out.  Let’s face it, my favorite thing to make for dinner is reservations.   So, it’s really easy for me to say “Hey, let’s go to Summits” in order to dodge having to come up with an idea for dinner.  And, since Tom was working on his list of beers, he never said no!  Hmmm… maybe I should get him to sign up for a margarita challenge so that we can have Mexican once a week.   
This beer club is one of the best marketing schemes I have ever seen.  You give a man a challenge… ‘drink 100 beers and we will give you a $10 mug’… and they can’t resist.  There is no thought to the fact that most of those beers cost $6-$9, and that you can’t drink a beer without getting food, and you usually take someone with you, so the bill just goes up.  So… we made a weekly trip or two to Summits, spending roughly $50 for each trip… Hmmm… you do the math… Yes, we could have bought the mug ourselves for $10 and used the money to pay for college, but dang it, we had a 20 oz mug to win!  Besides, being responsible adults is overrated, anyway!   Right? 
Well , one year and about $4000-$5000 later, he earned his mug!  And, he got to have it engraved!  Woo Hoo!  I am so proud !    We sat around the table trying to figure out what he should have written on it.  Of course, he just wanted his name on it. But, no… we wouldn’t go for that.  That would be boring, and we’re just NOT boring!   We wanted it to say something meaningful.  I suggested “the Tomonator”  and then on the back it should say “I’ll be back!”…  hahaha…. But..the girls decided that it would not be appropriate to have anything on there other than their favorite name for their dad -  “Tommy Appleseed”…    One of Britt’s old boyfriends started calling him that years ago, and it just stuck.  We laughed so much trying to sum up DAD in 10 words or less…  I mean, this is a prestigious award and all… Then Britt nailed it…
Wait for it….
Wait for it…
Tom is now the proud owner of a mug that says… ‘Tommy Appleseed’ on the front…. And when you turn it around, it says “Bad to the core”!    Hahaha 
Good time, laughs, achieving an goal, and your name etched in print for posterity...  It just doesn’t get any better than that! 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Advanced Maternalage

I found out that I was pregnant with my second daughter  3 days after my 35th birthday.  Apparently, if I had found out a few days earlier, everything would have been fine.  However, thirty-five is the magic cut off for normal pregnancies.  And the fact that my husband was 3 years older was of even greater concern.  The Doctor said “You’ve got old eggs and old sperm… it’s always a concern.  Do you realize that you will be ready to retire when this child starts college?”  REALLY?????? Needless to say, I cried all the way home.
Absolutely NO consideration was given to the fact that I was in great physical shape.   I was considered high risk just because of my age.  The kit gloves were coming out.  I was running, and doing aerobics every day, but I was still a concern to my Doctors.  He ordered additional tests because of my “condition”.   After having an abnormal result from and AFP test, he ordered an amniocentesis.  I was concerned, but also wanted to know what we might be up against.  So, we decided to go forward with this test and headed off to the hospital.

When I arrived and signed in, I noticed the words “Advanced Maternalage” noted on the chart.  So… I asked … “What is Advanced Maternalage?”   The nurse gave me a very condescending look.  You know the kind… looking down her nose, with the implied “you’re a total idiot” look and said… “It says ‘Advanced Maternal AGE’, it means that you are past the normal child bearing years. “  OMG… here I come for this test, scared to death that something might be wrong with my baby and I find out that not only am I OLD, I am apparently also STUPID!   Thank you Nurse Betty for your concern and your candor! 

Well, I suck it up and go through with it.  They stick this huge needle in my belly while they are doing an amazing sonogram.  And, I do not flinch.  Braveheart would have been proud!    But, during this test, we figured out that baby has positive blood, and since I have Negative, I have to have the Rhogam shot to protect our precious baby.  They take me to another room and brought back Nurse Betty .    “NOOOOOOOO!!! Not Nurse Betty!  Please!!!   Apparently,  Nurse Betty has decided that I am a total idiot since I questioned her handwriting, so she decided to take it out on me.  She tells me to pull down my pants, and then she rears back and totally STABS me in the butt.  When I gasp… she says “ Oh suck it up, you big baby!”    The redneck in me wanted to punch her, but I was totally caught off guard, and the southern lady prevailed!   I can’t believe that in one  45 minute visit, I find out that I am OLD, STUPID and apparently a Wheenie!  All I can say is  ‘Praise God  that the Diapers and Depends are on the same aisle in the grocery store.’  Since I was going to join the geriatric ward after delivering this baby, making it down 2 aisles might be an issue!  

Throughout the entire pregnancy, I could not believe the way people treated me.  The same Doctor that told me to suck it up when I was 27 and pregnant, told me to take it easy during this pregnancy.   Even my aerobics instructor announced in front of the entire class that I needed to be careful because it would not be good for ‘my uterus to overheat’.  And from that point on, if I stopped to let a contraction pass, people would come up and pat me on the back and ask me if my uterus was overheating.  Believe me, it was only funny the first 100 times.

Needless to say, I made it through just fine, natural childbirth and all.  But, now that I’m starting menopause, I am wondering why this isn’t call Advanced Maternal Age?   Too bad it’s not -  I could say that I had already been there, done that and bought the T-shirt!           

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Aunt Punch

A few months ago, my sister-in-law and I hosted a wedding shower for my niece.  This was a Saturday afternoon shower with all of Mother-of-the-Bride’s aunts and cousins.  So, basically, it was going to be a family shower with older women.  In fact, we estimated that the average age of the guests would be about 60.  So, we decided that serving wine would NOT be a good idea. 

The shower was mid-afternoon, so we opted for desserts, coffee and punch.  We made a very light citrus punch that was very refreshing.  I took an old recipe that I had from Southern Living for a Vodka Slush and just left out the vodka.  Why, oh why would anyone leave out the vodka, you ask?   Well, I asked myself the same question.  So… I made a special “secret” batch for the Aunts.  Our own personal ‘Aunt Punch’!    

Well, might I add that the 4 Aunts usually make for a very fun bunch.  And since one of us was the Mother-of-the-Bride, the rest of us had to take up the slack. I mean if you’re down one girl, the rest have to step it up a notch!   We could not have the MOTB get tipsy in front of all of her relatives.  However, they were HER relatives, and not ours.  J  

So, once the ladies got their food and retired into the family room to start the shower, we broke out the good stuff.  We quietly fixed our punch and went joined the party.  After the first game, we made it back for another glass of Aunt Punch.  Several times during the “opening of the presents”, we ventured back to the kitchen for refills.  We were like little kids that didn’t want to get caught by mom for sneaking a cookie.  The sneakier we were, the funnier it became.  And, did I mention that NOT one of us is quiet?   Nope, we are a very loud group!  Yes, the laughter from the kitchen was quiet obnoxious.  We tried to be quiet, but it was just too hard!  Thankfully, the group in the other room was even louder! 

After the shower, we fessed up to my niece.  Whom, may I add, was not surprised one tiny bit.  The only disappointed person was the MOTB.  When she asked why we had left her out of our usual Aunt party, I just reminder her that she was officially the mother this time, and not an Aunt.  Being the wonderful people we are, we just couldn’t let her misbehave in front of her family.  (True story!)   We totally had her back!  Everyone knows that the MOTB is supposed to behave, but no one expects the Aunts to.   And, I know without a doubt she’ll return the favor when I am MOTB – and I will not like her for it either!

We definitely saved some extra Aunt Punch for our next family function when she could resume the role of Aunt!   It’s just so much more fun as a foursome!      

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Real men don’t buy Whipped Cream Vodka!

About mid day Sunday, I received a text from my daughter that said “Haha!  Best text ever!’   I had not texted her, so I was a little confused.  However, with a quick look at my outgoing text messages, I saw what she was talking about.  Apparently, my hubby had picked up my phone and texted her pretty late the night before.  The text said  ‘This is Dad, I just became the best husband ever, I just came up with a great chocolate martini.’ 

This was followed by arguably the funniest thing I ever read!  ‘I need you to buy some whip cream vodka, I just can’t do it.  Real men don’t buy whip cream vodka and we are almost out. ‘    This is hysterically funny because my husband was dead serious! 

Mind you, we’re not huge drinkers, but we do enjoy an adult beverage every now and then.  Back in the fall, our daughter introduced us to the whipped cream vodka.  She went with her dad to the liquor store to look at the craft beers.  She picked up the bottle and handed it to her Dad, telling him that it was amazing, and he should buy it. They came home with it, but the story of the in-store adventure had us rolling in the floor.  Brittany re-enacted  the events at the store.  She puffed out her chest and  used her best man voice to pretend like she was her dad.  She said “He took it and read the label.  Then he quickly threw it back to me and said ‘you’ve got to hold that!  I can’t hold that!   I’m going to have to find myself something manly to hold after having that in my hands.’”  I would have loved to have been there, but the retelling of the event was probably even funnier than the actual event!

Later that night, we mixed the WC Vodka with Baileys for a very sweet girlie drink that was pretty good, but very rich.   And yes, he tried it, and liked it.   But  we’re not supposed to tell anybody ‘cause real men don’t even LIKE whipped cream vodka!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

James and the Giant Peach

Family road trips are the best!  Since our oldest went off to college,  it’s rare that we ever get to go somewhere with all 4 of us.  A few weeks ago, we took a road trip up to Chattanooga just to get away.   To pass the time, we brought along the cards from our Disney Scene it game. 

Interesting fact – Disney re-releases its movies in 7 year increments.  Since my girls are 8 years apart, they both had the same favorites.   So… with that said… after watching these movies over and over with 2 different girls, I know many of these Disney movies BY HEART!  My hubby on the other hand… well let’s just say that he may remember a few Disney classics from his childhood, but that’s about it.   So, playing this game is a total domination by the women in the car.  And… being the lone testosterone in a sea of estrogen is hard enough, but when the estrogen is showing you up… well, it’s not pretty…

‘Your name is your buzzer.’    That’s the rule.   When someone reads the card, you yell out your name, then you get to answer the question.  After a while,  my hubby was as getting beat badly, and he doesn’t lose well.  So he started yelling his name as soon as the question was asked.  The question was actually something to do with an older Disney  movie, and he probably knew the answer.   Unfortunately, when he was called on, he went blank.  So, my oldest whispered in his ear… and he yells out ‘James and the Giant Peach” .    What?  James and the Giant Peach???    Too bad it had nothing to do with the question. The girls can not stop laughing.   I can’t stop laughing, and hubby is laughing because he was totally duped by the girls. 

A few questions later, the same scenario repeats itself.  Whisper in the ear, and hubby yelling ‘James and the Giant Peach’.    Laughter ensues.    I sure wish we had a question about James and the Giant Peach,  because it became the go to answer for the rest of the trip. 

Now… this is just a good example of those ‘location jokes’…. You know the ones…you have to be there to get it.  But,  we don’t care…  we still yell out  ‘James and the Giant Peach’ when we don’t know the answer, and we laugh hysterically every time.   It’s just one of the many things that binds a family together. 

Moral of the story… If you don’t know the answer… it’s probably ‘James and the Giant Peach’.   Bwahahaha…

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mind your beans!

I may have mentioned (more than once) that I don’t cook much.  Well… every now and then, I will break out the pots and pans to cook something other than chicken nuggets and French fries!   Growing up, I learned how to cook southern style… mashed potatoes, fried chicken, green beans cooked all day long, etc.  So, today,  I decided to cook beans.  
I like to put them in the big pot to cook for  4+ hours until they are completely falling apart.  They are so good that way.   Yum!   So today, I put them on the stove and checked them periodically.   But, I was having one of those days in the office.  The kind where I start something, then get interrupted, and then the interruptions are interrupted.  You know the kind… So, needless to say, it was quite a while before I could step away from the office to run downstairs to check on the beans. 

Well… all the water had cooked out, and the beans were completely stuck to the bottom of the pot.   I mean, I tried to dump them in the garbage, and over half of them wouldn’t even come out of the pot!   They went from Yum to YUCK in just one contract, one email, and a boat load of questions.  And, you wonder why my kids like it better when Tom cooks!  Tom knew better than to say a word though. !   He was working on a contract, and was the source of most of the interruptions!

There was no cleaning this pot in the sink.  I had to put water and soap in it and put it back on the stove to boil.  It was the only way to get the beans out!  LOL   Before long, the soap suds were starting to boil up over the top in a nice blackish foam that boiled over the top.   Yes… I made a huge mess!  And, the garbage can smelled so badly that we had to take it outside right away.   So… did we have green beans for dinner?  NO!!!!!!!!  

But, burning the beans reminded me of a wonderful lesson.  I am the queen of multi-tasking.  My job requires it.   I’m usually juggling 20-30 clients at once and I try to make sure they all feel like they are my only client.  But, sometimes, you just really need to “be where you are.”    You’ve got to focus on the task at hand.  You don’t have to answer the phone the second it rings, or answer the email the second that it comes in.  You sometimes just have to pay attention to the ONE thing you are doing at the moment.  The best way to get nowhere is to try to go in too many directions at one time.  And the best way to create more work for yourself is to try to do too many things at once.

So remember… If you don’t mind your beans, you might end up with none. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's a French Toast Emergency!!!!

We had 6 inches of snow last night!   If you don’t live in the south, you may have NO idea what I am talking about.  However, you should know that the prediction of snow causes a frenzy here.  And… one snowflake causes the entire city to shut down! 

I was born and raised here, so I know this phenomenon all too well.  I LIVE IT!  I survived Snow Jam ‘80!   and  ’82 and ’90, and ’93 and ’97,  (and I guess I really do have to mention ’73).   In 1980, I was stuck on Interstate 85 southbound for 4-5 hours.    We had snowball fights with the passengers of a Marta bus in front of the old stadium.  Fun times. 

Our friends from the North always have a huge chuckle when they see us on the news.  And, those that have moved here, just shake their heads in disbelief.  What I am talking about is the mad dash to grocery store to get milk, eggs, bread and toilet paper.  Once snow is predicted, the bread aisle of the grocery store is EMPTY.   Signs are put up on the milk refrigerators that state “Sorry, but due to the weather, we are temporarily out of Milk’.    The eggs are all gone too.  But, alarmingly so is the Toilet Paper.   I guess it’s just southern nature to worry that we might run out of TP while we’re stuck inside.  Heaven forbid! 

Since I do move a lot of people here from all over, I tell all my clients that are relocating from the north that it’s not anything to laugh about.  I just tell them that when we have snow here, we make a ‘special snow casserole’ with milk, eggs, bread and toilet paper.  I assure them that it is a secret recipe, and that once they’ve lived her for about 20 years, a true southerner will give them the recipe.  LOL  

However, yesterday, I heard it called something even funnier.  My sister-in-law texted me and asked if I was ready for the ‘French Toast Emergency! ‘  Bahahaha.    I never thought about it like that.  What about all those poor people that can’t get the ingredients for French toast because we’re panicking?     We’re keeping our neighbors from making French Toast just because it’s snowing.  What the heck?   Are we animals?  Why would we do this to the poor transplants from other parts of the nation?  Where’s our southern hospitality? 

Well, I wish I could explain it.  But, I also went to the store on Friday to stock up on my French Toast ingredients!   Earlier this morning, I heard that our snow storm was declared a 'State of Emergency".  
 Our own personal 'French Toast Emergency!' 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

5 Second Dance Party

Have you ever been so excited about something that you just want to dance?  Well… welcome to my world.  I get excited over lots of stuff.  And, well… when something good happens,  I  yell ‘5 Second Dance Party’ and do a really obnoxious dance.  The dance is never the same, and it is always good for a laugh.   It requires full body movement, arms high, legs moving… pretty much just a plain old ‘happy dance’. 

I started the 5 second dance party to celebrate my kid’s accomplishments.   Before long, however, it became a way of celebrating a lot of things.  I had my great niece dancing at one family function when she showed me a cute trick.    Later that night I had a facebook post from her mom saying “Ben (her husband) just said ‘Five Second Dance Party’… Yes, it’s obnoxious, but it is catching.
It happens at family functions, at home, and occasionally when we are out somewhere.   But my all time favorite is to do the five second dance party in public and watch the horror on my kid’s faces.   It brings me great joy to hear them say “Really, mom?”   It’s funny to see the look on their face.  I can tell that they secretly wish I would continue and stop all at the same time.  Haha!  I tell my kids all the time… ‘Don’t embarrass me in front of your friends, and I won’t embarrass you in front of your friends. ‘   However, this rule does not apply to the five second dance party.   
Umm… I should probably learn to control myself at some point.  After all, I am starting menopause.  Isn’t it time to start acting like an old lady?  Naahhhh….I think I’ll stay young for a while longer… and  I’ll have a five second dance party to celebrate my youth!   

Monday, January 3, 2011

Drinking makes me a better dancer

Hmmm… does it?  
A few nights ago, I played Dance Party 2 on the Wii with my girls.  Now, let me first explain that neither one of them was gifted with the dancing gene.  Nope… nothing even similar to a dancing gene.   I mean they both have a couple of good moves, as long as you can’t hear the music that they are dancing to.   They seem to be hearing something completely different.  But, they love to dance, and it is always good entertainment!

One of my daughter’s close  friends is a professional hip hop dancer.   She currently lives in LA, so my girls decide to call her up on Skype so that she could watch them dance.  What a site… the Laptop was on top of the TV facing the girls who were watching the TV and dancing up a storm.    I could see Maddie’s  face the entire time.  She was laughing so hard that she was almost crying.  Several times, she just slowly put her head down into her folded arms.  Other times, she just gave that slow side to side  “REALLY”  nod that gives the world notice that you absolutely can’t believe what you are seeing.    Finally, she says… “OMG , have you been drinking?”

Well… as a matter of fact, she and I had just enjoyed a margarita. (Yes, she’s of age!)  So, she keeps on dancing and yells out…. ‘Yes… drinking makes me a better dancer!”….  

Maddie laughingly replys “ uhhhh… no …  it doesn’t.”

I had been watching the entire time, and laughing hysterically.  They may not be great dancers, but it was absolutely priceless entertainment.   We all danced for hours playing that silly Wii game.  We laughed our fannies off, and didn't really care how we looked. 

So the unsolved question of the night... Does drinking really make you a better dancer?   Or does it make it easier for the rest of us to watch?  LOL