Sunday, August 23, 2009

Kirby's run-in with the law

Last week we drove down to Justin's brother Shane's brand new house, arriving there with 2 sleeping boys at 12:30 in the morning. We put Cubby to bed downstairs with Jesse, Mishy, and his cousin Seth, then Justin and I fell asleep upstairs with the baby. At 4:45 in the morning, Seth knocked at our upstairs door saying, "Justin wake up: the cops are here - Kirby got out." We ran downstairs to find Kirby being held by a neighbor as 3 cops asked us why we were terrible parents. Actually, they just asked us what our names were and reassured us that everything was A-OK. Upon figuring out what all had happened (which took visiting the neighbors the next day, interviewing the family, and being far more awake) we pieced together this story:
* Kirby woke up, very confused about his surroundings since he'd never been there before and his parents were nowhere around
* Kirby decided to try the front door for some reason, instead of checking upstairs or waking up his family nearby
* Kirby closed the front door behind him and was outside for who-knows-how-long
* Kirby started crying and immediately two different neighbors woke up and ran outside to find him cold in just his diaper
* Kirby let a woman neighbor hold him in a blanket as her visiting grown son (who just happens to be a Tacoma cop) knocked on nearby doors and the other neighbors drove around the neighborhood searching for an open front door
* Without any sign of us and Kirby not saying anything but, "Where's my Daddy?", the neighbors called the police and they got the story then joined the search
* After knocking on Shane's door and ringing the bell for over 10 minutes (and just before they called CPS to send someone to take the baby home for the night), Seth finally woke up and answered the door to the cops
* We were finally reunited an hour after Kirby started crying outside and only God knows how long after he left the house
So praise Jesus that he was safe and loved the whole time he was a little runaway, but boy-oh-boy could that have been a different experience. I'm just so grateful that I never had to worry. The entire time I knew anything was wrong, it was all in the past and I only had to be glad that he was taken care of.

I love my brother-in-law

Jesse Matthew McNeil is the best brother-in-law ever. He's really handsome and funny and his teeth are straight. He puts the seat down after peeing and he doesn't smell icky. He shaves his chest and drinks his coffee without slurping. I love how he never checks his voicemails. It's hilarious. Best of all, he tells me my blogs are depressing so I love that he inspires me to write nicer stories.

Friday, July 3, 2009

a letter I wrote on Monday

Dear idiot kid in his early 20s who tried to sympathize with me on Sunday about my pregnancy,

You know what, pal? I’ve got a feeling you don’t know what you’re talking about. I wish I’d had longer to talk to you while you were working so hard at your booth at the Taste of Tacoma, but I imagine you must have been exhausted watching people fill up paper cups with 6 ounces of water and I didn’t want to bother you. So please hear me out now.

I was first let on to what sort of brief chat we’d be having after you took one look at me and proclaimed, “Whoa! You’re going to pop any moment, huh?” Young man, I may have but a few years on you, but apparently these are very wise years. Yes, I am at a point in my pregnancy where it is 100% obvious I am pregnant, so I do not have a problem with you acknowledging this. But I have heard so many times in the past month the word “pop” in reference to the hours of grueling labor I am about to endure, that you instantly came across as the sort of guy who has never witnessed or understood the wonders of birth. Please remember this: balloons pop, pregnant women push babies out of themselves. If it was as easy as popping, men would get pregnant too.

Then, when I poured a teeny tiny cup of water, you supposed out loud that I “must be headed to the bathroom like every hour, huh?” Actually, you were wrong. Let me explain why: in the past few weeks my baby has dropped, or moved farther down into the birth canal. This has actually relieved pressure on my bladder, in my case. I can breathe a little easier, I get less heartburn, and I now walk like a drunken cowboy exiting a saloon. When I do have to pee (about every 2 hours, just so you know), I have about a one minute time span to get to the restroom before I go in my pants. Any comments about that? In the future when you see a 9 months-pregnant woman while working the water booth, I would recommend the following phrase instead, “Oh my, you must be tired from walking about the park in your advanced condition on such a hot day. Please take a free bottle of water as a token of my awe for the work you endure on a daily basis in creating a new human.”

Lastly, you seemed very curious about my state, but beyond a man’s normal curiosity. Most men would have offered questions such as, “When are you due?” or “Do you know if it’s a boy or girl?” but you went beyond common tact to A Most Unusual Question that I have not been asked before in either of my pregnancies. “So are you having the baby naturally or did you schedule a C-Section or what?” is by far the strangest thing I’ve ever heard while pregnant. And I’ve had a barefoot stranger woman come grasp my tummy with both hands and insist that he would be a beautiful boy. That was strange. But not as strange as your desire to know my intended method of birth. Perhaps your mother didn’t explain all the basics to you, son, or perhaps you just read Us Weekly too often and think knowing the way a baby comes out is ordinary conversation. Well, my naïve acquaintance, prepare yourself for the full answer to my response, “Natural.” I choose natural childbirth, which is the common term for not having medicine during labor, because I think it is the healthiest option for myself and my son. Also, I value my strong aversion to most drugs and desire to solve most ailments by drinking water and eating better and sleeping more, and I choose not to compromise those values especially while pregnant. But I believe what you were actually asking me was whether or not I was going to have a major surgery. No, I am not going to have a C-Section; in fact I am going to have the baby come headfirst out of my vagina. I was really really kicking myself for not telling you that. (Not literally kicking myself, since of course I can barely lift my swollen feet off the ground, but figuratively there was a lot of kicking going on.)

I am sure that you will understand these things better when you are married someday and your wife is pregnant, but until then you really don’t need to treat pregnant women as freaks. Just make the same casual conversation with them as you would with anyone else: “Hot day, huh?” “Having fun?” “Best water at the fair here.” Okay, bud? Glad we got that clear, and thanks for hearing me out.

the 9 months-pregnant woman who just wanted a stinking paper cup of water

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

a guy peed on my bus yesterday

My bus ride from Seattle to Tacoma is about 45 minutes long from the last stop in Seattle to the first stop in Tacoma. At any time in the afternoon, there is a bus no longer than a 10 minute wait to take you there. They come really often. Often enough, that if you had to pee really badly you could get off the bus, go pee, and get on the next bus. As long as you were still in Seattle. Now if you were an Icky Hobo and didn't think that far in advance, then 5 minutes into the freeway part of the ride, you would consider hunkering down on the stairs that sit halfway in the bus, and just pulling out your Icky Hobo penis and peeing on the stairs. Then you wouldn't really worry too badly about 40 minutes more of disgusted other passengers that can't possibly be more eager to get off the bus. Well, that's what happened. Yuck, huh? Some lady starting screaming, "This guy is peeing on the bus!" and some guy standing near the stairs looks over and starts laughing in disbelief. Then some weird dorky guy with a 15 year-old's mustache asked everyone for their newspapers and actually tried to absorb it from the steps. If ever there's a time to not be a hero, it's when there's Icky Hobo pee involved. Just let it be, fella. When we got to the bus station, the man was greeted by a cop and two bus officials...all wearing rubber gloves. I've never been so glad to be home.

Monday, June 8, 2009

New size comparisons for pregnant mamas

I’ve noticed that the method for comparing the baby growing inside you to a common outside object (usually produce) is quite outdated. I mean, honestly how many of us have ever held a Chinese cabbage, and can you really compare a large jicama to a 17-inch long, 3.75 pound human being? No. So I’m offering some suggestions for how to really compare that baby in your body to something external. My original source is from BabyCenter’s information, although most other websites and books have similar food weight/size comparisons. Ridiculous. Starting at 4 weeks (2 weeks from implantation), here are my non-food or more-likely-to-recognize-food comparisons. Mine lean more toward the length side, although I tried to find shape and weight comparisons when available for those sizes.

4 weeks: old comparison – poppy seed; new suggestion – gnat
5 weeks: old comparison – sesame seed; new suggestion – clump of mascara
6 weeks: old comparison – lentil bean; new suggestion – pencil eraser
7 weeks: old comparison – blueberry; new suggestion – Tylenol
8 weeks: old comparison – kidney bean; new suggestion – bumble bee
9 weeks: old comparison – grape; new suggestion – Micro Machines car
10 weeks: old comparison – kumquat; new suggestion – house key
11 weeks: old comparison – fig; new suggestion – contact lens case
12 weeks: old comparison – lime; new suggestion – Hot Wheels car
13 weeks: old comparison – medium shrimp; new suggestion – salt shaker
14 weeks: old comparison – lemon; new suggestion – wadded-up paper towel
15 weeks: old comparison – apple; new suggestion – doorknob
16 weeks: old comparison – avocado; new suggestion – 8 g.b. iPod
17 weeks: old comparison – turnip; new suggestion – Slinky
18 weeks: old comparison – bell pepper; new suggestion – pop-up hairbrush/mirror combo, opened
19 weeks: old comparison – heirloom tomato; new suggestion – soda can
20 weeks: old comparison – banana; new suggestion – TV remote
21 weeks: old comparison – carrot; new suggestion – stapler
22 weeks: old comparison – spaghetti squash; new suggestion – commuter mug
23 weeks: old comparison – large mango; new suggestion – Barbie doll
24 weeks: old comparison – ear of corn; new suggestion – engineering ruler
25 weeks: old comparison – average rutabaga; new suggestion – men’s work boot
26 weeks: old comparison – English hothouse cucumber; new suggestion – half-gallon of milk
27 weeks: old comparison – head of cauliflower; new suggestion – inflated water-wing
28 weeks: old comparison – Chinese cabbage; new suggestion – skein of yarn
29 weeks: old comparison – butternut squash; new suggestion – Zack Morris cell phone, including antenna
30 weeks: old comparison – head of cabbage; new suggestion – mini baseball bat souvenir
31 weeks: old comparison – 4 navel oranges; new suggestion – small pipe wrench
32 weeks: old comparison – large jicama; new suggestion – stuffed animal large fair prize
33 weeks: old comparison – half a pineapple; new suggestion – backpack
34 weeks: old comparison – average cantaloupe; new suggestion – Jenga tower just before crashing
35 weeks: old comparison – honeydew melon; new suggestion – lava lamp
36 weeks: old comparison – Crenshaw melon; new suggestion – car muffler
37 weeks: old comparison – stalk of Swiss chard; new suggestion – foldable umbrella, extended but not opened
38 weeks: old comparison – leek; new suggestion – small potted poinsettia
39 weeks: old comparison – mini watermelon; new suggestion – piñata
40 weeks: old comparison – small pumpkin; new suggestion – toy baby doll

Monday, June 1, 2009

weird hips and legs and lower back when pregnant

So how come whenever I'm pregnant one of my legs grows an inch longer than the other? And if it hasn't, then you explain to me why I'm walking around like Cowboy Barbie whose hips were pulled out of their sockets by some cruel little girl and they're just hanging by that elastic between them. Seriously, I don't have the pregnant waddle, I have the awkward bow-legged one year-old baby mosey/swagger. Ridiculous. Here are all my pregnancy woes (I won't even begin to whine about my stretch marks):
* I'm itchy
* my lower back aches if I sit/lie down in practically any position for longer than 2 minutes
* my tummy is humongous, but my bottom is not, so I look extremely lopsided and I show my butt crack a lot
* I don't have to pee too much more, but when I have to go I need to go instantly or else I swear I'll wet my pants
* my hips ache when I sleep on one side for too long (of course I'm normally a tummy sleeper and that's pretty out of the question)
* I'm a lot flightier than usual and I forget and lose things almost as much as my husband!
* my baby weighs just under 5 pounds, yet I have gained over 25
* I'm getting this gross acid reflux thingie in the middle of the night where I have to get off my achy side, pull up my sagging jammy pants, and waddle downstairs to get some Tums
Aside from those remarkably easy to live with, yet still annoying problems, this has been a superb pregnancy. Frankie is a wild kicking gymnast and I'm convinced he's going to be one of the two best looking kids in the history of the world. #1 being me, of course.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

100 Facts about me...almost

So I've been super into this site for the past 6 months and I just joined a craft swap (craft something for some other woman, she crafts something for you, then you mail them to each other) called 100 Facts About Me. Supposedly she's supposed to get some great ideas from what I say for her to craft. Hopefully she will! I thought I'd share them here.
1. I am a Christian.
2. I was married September 4, 2005.
3. My husband’s name is Justin.
4. We have a 2 ½ year-old son Kirby Oren.
5. We will have a baby in early July named Frank (we’re up-in-arms about the middle name).
6. My favorite color in the whole wide world is robin’s egg blue.
7. I have 5 tattoos – 4 for my Christianity and 1 for my Scottish heritage.
8. My 3 favorite movies are Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade, King Kong, and Star Wars.
9. My 3 favorite songs are My Kinda Lover, Moneytalks, and Tracks of my Tears.
10. My 3 favorite books are Of Mice and Men, Lord of the Flies, and Spoonriver Anthology.
11. My 3 favorite authors are O. Henry, Roald Dahl, and C.S. Lewis.
12. I love Golden Grahams and Basic 4.
13. When I’m rich I’m going to have a lagoon in my backyard with a pirate ship in the middle.
14. I love to bake desserts.
15. Halloween is my favorite holiday and I love costumes.
16. I think Disneyland is the greatest place ever.
17. I know Tacoma is the best city in the world.
18. I’m casual about everything except I won’t wear jeans that aren’t Citizens or Sevens.
19. I am half-Puerto Rican.
20. I went to school for Construction Management.
21. My dream job is to be a Foley artist.
22. I do not take drugs except for allergy pills. I hate most medications.
23. We just bought a chicken coop and we’ll be having chickens soon.
24. I always buy ice cream from the ice cream man and lemonade from a kid’s stand.
25. I can play most percussion instruments.
26. My favorite donuts are chocolate-chocolate and toasted coconut.
27. I love to plan parties.
28. I’m going to have trouble coming up with 72 more items.
29. My husband and I dated for just 6 months before marriage.
30. I am resourceful.
31. I like my son’s kids shows like Flapjack and Bunnytown…a lot.
32. My favorite foods are Beef Wellington and ambrosia.
33. I LOVE root beer. I’ll take it over alcohol any day.
34. I like dancing a lot.
35. I’m super into movies and I love them for their entertainment value (Commando’s great, but The English Patient was horrible).
36. My dream car is a turquoise ’57 Chevy Bel-Air.
37. The best date I went on was to Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity in Vegas with my husband.
38. I can’t stand obnoxious noises.
39. I love the smell of my Dior Hypnotic Poison perfume.
40. My shoelaces never stay tied.
41. I can be very impatient.
42. I adore the Fred company and all their silly products.
43. I love the O. Henry story The Ransom of Red Chief, mainly because of the line “welterweight cinnamon bear.”
44. If I got married today I would have had a picnic reception at the park. I didn’t think of that in time.
45. I get to see movies for free still at the theater I worked at over 5 years ago.
46. Once I saw the Easter Bunny for reals. I was like 6 or 7.
47. I think navy blue and grey are boring colors.
48. I don’t like the wind.
49. If I pray to find something I always find it immediately.
50. The last concert I went to was New Kids. The one before that was Spice Girls. I’m going to AC/DC in a few months.
51. I gave birth to my last son naturally. I like that. Except for the sucky labor pain part.
52. I have a really great idea to make Pre-Natal Ice Cream, but no ice cream distributors will cut me a break.
53. My son Kirby is going to be the first man on Mars.
54. We love entertaining and have people over for dinner at least once a week.
55. I never fold my clothes.
56. I hate poop. My dear husband changes almost every poopy diaper.
57. We want 5 kids, but we are going to adopt our last 2 from the foster system.
58. I got scammed last month for $336. That sucked a lot.
59. My husband is a teacher. So is my mom, my uncle, my aunt, my grandpa, etc. I’m the only one in my family without a Master’s in fact, and I have no plans to go back to school ever.
60. The best party I threw was my 25th birthday: Forrest Gump in Eat-O-Vision. I served all the food on the screen.
61. I have a women’s group called Tacoma Ladies’ Club (TLC) and we get together and hang out somewhere in Tacoma once a month.
62. I don’t like to run.
63. I hate throwing up and I avoid it at all costs.
64. I get distracted easily.
65. I’m a great driver and have never gotten a ticket.
66. I like to make mugboards for parties (the scenes with cutouts for people’s heads).
67. My wedding was the greatest day of my life.
68. I adore the painting Off the Dutch Coast by James McNeill Whistler.
69. I think ray guns are cool.
70. When I’m not pregnant I want to try that P90X workout thingie.
71. On my 80th birthday I’m going to smoke a pipe and get a tattoo of my husband’s name.
72. I love giving gifts.
73. I think Johnny’s seasoning salt is extraordinary.
74. I don’t read my Bible nearly enough.
75. My husband and I like chaperoning his high school’s dances. The kids are terrible!
76. I think the Loch Ness monster is interesting.
77. I love retro (‘50s/’60s) kitchen things.
78. I would like stuffed animals of food, a dinosaur, a monster, Chewbacca, R2D2 or C-3PO for my son.
79. I’ve always liked pirates – even back when it wasn’t trendy.
80. I would like a stamp of our address (McNeil • 3516 N. Stevens St. • Tacoma, WA 98407)
81. I crafted a lot in grade and middle school, but I only started again recently. I just sewed my first apron ever!
82. I like pearls.
83. I’m really having a hard time here!
84. I don’t believe in horoscopes, fortune telling, etc.
85. I’ve never been drunk.
86. My favorite animals are hummingbirds, flamingos, and giraffes, but I own nothing with any of them on it.
87. I like summer a lot.
88. My lips and hands chap a lot.
89. When I’m rich I’m also going to have a photo booth at our house. I like those.
90. I like real wooden pencils a lot more than the mechanical ones.
91. My 2 favorite TV shows are Pushing Daisies and MacGyver.
92. I got my first kiss when I was 17. He was super cute, but he dumped me because I wouldn’t let him touch my boobs. Bummer!
93. I like food a lot.
94. I used to collect antique Coca-Cola stuff and I still have a ton of it.
95. My favorite craft to make is things out of my Dipity-Glas acrylic film resin stuff.
96. People say I look like Anne Hathaway, but with an up-turned nose.
97. I rarely buy things that aren’t on sale or that I don’t have a coupon for.
98. I make everybody recycle.
99. I’m going to be done now.

(I thought of 100. later: I really wish I had freckles. My favorite freckles in the world are on my friend Dejah's 11 year-old son and Morgan Freeman. I seriously pray like once a week that Jesus will give my children freckles.)