Showing posts with label Debacles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Debacles. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Little-known fact about me: I am terrible at driving in reverse.  I mean, truly and pathetically terrible.

When we lived in Buffalo, I had an awful time backing out of our narrow driveway.  The houses are close together there, and in the winter, the shoveled snow piles up on both sides of the driveway.  I got stuck in a snow drift while backing out more times than I will ever admit, and I often called Ryan in a panic, "I am stuck in the driveway, and I have to be to work in thirty minutes!  Please come home and save me!"  He would leave class and sprint home to shovel me out.  (I love that patient man.)  He eventually started pulling the car out for me before he left for school, just to save himself the trouble of running home when I inevitably got stuck.

I am not proud of this weakness of mine.  In fact, I am quite mortified about it.  But no matter how much I try to learn to drive straight in reverse, I just cannot do it.  And it continues to cause all sorts of difficult and embarrassing situations in my life.

Take last Friday night, for example.  I was meeting my sisters and my cousin at D-Bar, a swanky dessert place in Denver where there is never any parking available, and I was thrilled to see a spot open right in front of the restaurant.  The only problem?  I would have to parallel park.

Ay yi yi.

I did my best, but I ended up going over the curb a little bit, onto the grass.  No biggie, right?

Well, it wouldn't have been a biggie if a broken sprinkler head hadn't created a literal bog in the grassy area next to the curb.  As I tried to straighten out my car, I felt my right tire sink about two feet into the mud and heard the bottom of my car scra-a-a-pe against the concrete curb. 

Dang dang DANG it.

A few people who were walking by apparently heard the heinous noise as well, and they turned to stare.  They looked a little bit shocked by what they saw (which I knew was not a good sign), but I played cool, acting unconcerned while I pretended to take a call on my cell phone.  (Not kidding.  I actually did this.)  As soon as the spectators walked away, I hung up my oh-so-important call and sheepishly got out of my car to survey the damage.

This was not good.

Berating myself for being so incompetent, I texted my sisters to inform them that I had landed myself in a bog that I wasn't sure I would ever be able to get out of.  They responded to let me know that they would help me as soon as they arrived, but they were running late because my little sister had bumped a curb on the way to the restaurant, and she had popped her tire.

So I guess it runs in the family.

Once my sisters resolved their dilemma and arrived to help me with mine, we all agreed that we should eat before endeavoring to push the car out of the quagmire, in order to build up our strength and also so that our embarrassing efforts might be cloaked by the darkness of night.  In the end, it didn't make much difference.  No amount of pushing on our part would've hoisted that vehicle out of the bog (believe me, we tried), and no amount of darkness would have decreased the spectacle that we created right outside of a posh restaurant with tons of outdoor seating and an outdoor waiting area (we were dinner entertainment for about fifty people).

Fortunately for us, just when we were about to give up and call a tow truck, a savior arrived: he was wearing a mud-splattered t-shirt and a camouflage hat.  One of his front teeth was missing.  He was walking through the dark alley next to the restaurant when he saw us in distress and came right over to help.  (For the record, not one of the polo-wearing men watching from the porch of the restaurant offered to help.)  We never did learn his name, but at one point, he informed us that we should call his parole officer and tell him about his good deed.  We all laughed, not sure if he was kidding, but then he showed us his ankle monitor.  I thought it was the greatest thing ever.  I love exceptionally nice ex-convicts.

I gladly agreed to call his parole officer, but he declined saying, "Actually, I get off scram on September 1st, so there is no need for you to call.  But thanks for being willing."  So, after he spent almost an hour jacking my car up, forcing huge rocks underneath the tire in order to create traction, and helping us push the car out of the bog, we gave him a piece of D-Bar's famous chocolate cake and all of the cash in my wallet.  He was quite grateful, but we were even more grateful.  Thank heaven for our Good Samaritan.

Now I think I need to learn how to drive in reverse.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


So it turns out that Ryan and I don't have the best taste in apartments.

I think our problem is that we are always looking for the cheapest place.  Unfortunately, I'm starting to realize that cheap usually means bad neighborhood (shocker, right?).  You'd think we would've learned our lesson after the adventures we had on Rounds Avenue in Buffalo (ehem, robbery and mugging), but alas, some people never learn, and we went for a similar apartment here in Denver.

We knew the neighborhood was a little sketch, but the apartment was great and the price was right--and we aren't afraid of adventures.  We genuinely loved our time living on Rounds, despite the few unfortunate incidents mentioned above, and we were sure we would end up loving this place too.

We purposely chose a building right next to the courtyard, hoping we could congregate with neighbors, play outside with Noah, and enjoy a bit of nature in an otherwise concrete-and-asphalt environment. We've learned that, yes, the courtyard is a place where neighbors congregate--but that may or may not always be a good thing.

We started to worry a little bit when, a couple of months into our contract, there was a huge fight right outside our apartment.  It started between two women, but as hair was pulled and faces were scratched and profanities were screamed, their boyfriends joined in.  When the neighbors heard the commotion, they rushed outside to join in the fun, and suddenly, it seemed that the entire apartment complex was in the courtyard yelling and adding to the mayhem.  It's a good thing we had a new baby or else I may have been tempted to get out there and throw a few punches!

The cops broke up the brawl before it got too out of hand--but the whole incident was just a tad alarming.  (You may be wondering why I never blogged about this outrageous event.  I desperately wanted to but didn't want to freak out my mother-in-law.  I was hoping she wouldn't realize that we were living in a questionable area...again.:))

The woman who had started the fight (well, she claims she didn't, but who knows) decided to move out the following week, so the apartment across the hall from us was vacant for a few lovely days.

Then our new neighbors arrived, and I made a point to introduce myself to them and make a bit of small talk.  They seemed nice enough.  It was a little weird that they passionately made out in the courtyard in front of everyone, including young children, but hey, we prefer lovers to fighters, so we couldn't complain.

A few weeks later, I heard policemen in the walkway outside our door and I realized they were there to arrest our new neighbor.  They hauled him out of his apartment in handcuffs.  (I watched the whole thing through the peephole--it was kind of exciting.)  We never did find out what he did, but it couldn't have been too bad because he was back a week or two later.

Then I started noticing groups of teenage boys congregating in our beloved courtyard during the day.  There is a high school right across the street, so it didn't seem that suspect--until an interesting smell started wafting through our open window every day.  I realized, with alarm, that these young miscreants were smoking doobies in broad daylight.  I called the management once and the cops once, but no one seemed to care except for me.  I was a little afraid to speak up to these pot-smoking delinquents because I was afraid they would egg our apartment (or worse), but one day they were rolling joints with a group of young kids playing about 10 feet away, and I could take it no longer.

"Hey, " I said, sounding more confident than I actually felt, "you guys shouldn't do that here.  You shouldn't do it at all, but you especially shouldn't do it here with all of these kids around.  They look up to you."

They were very gracious and quickly put their reefer away and scurried off.  They haven't been back, and thus far, I haven't been egged, so that's a good thing.

Then there were the neighbors downstairs.  From the sound of it, they don't get along very well.  I think I heard more profanity in one of their three-hour-long screaming fights than I had heard in the rest of my 27 years combined.  It was awful.  My friend who is a speech pathologist strongly suggested that we move before Noah starts acquiring speech "or his first word might begin with F."  And let's just say it wouldn't be "father."

But the real kicker--the incident that made us decide that we absolutely must move--occurred a few weeks ago.  My sister called me and said, "Did you hear the gunshots?"

"Huh?"  I asked, oblivious as usual.

"I just saw breaking news on Channel 9 that a shooting occurred in your apartment complex about ten minutes ago!"

Well, dang.  That does it.  I have a pretty high tolerance for seedy neighborhoods, but gang-related shootings are where I draw the line.

So, we are moving next weekend.  I am not happy about it because I do love the inside of our apartment, and we invested lots of time in painting and decorating it, and moving is such a gigantic pain, and all of the nice apartment complexes in Denver charge at least $200 more per month for rent than we are paying here...but I suppose that if it keeps us from getting shot, it will be worth it.

At least that's what I keep telling myself.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Back to the Buff...Eventually

I am going back to the Buff!!  Not permanently--just for a week--but I am sooo excited.  I love Buffalo with my whole heart and soul.  I am looking forward to visiting Rounds Avenue, driving by the beautiful Forest Lawn Cemetery, eating banana cream pie from Wegmans, walking through the tiny airport (more on that in a second),  driving around streets that are so familiar to me, seeing the rolling green farmland and colorful barns near Orchard Park, and most importantly, visiting some of the best friends I have ever had.  I can't wait for everyone to see Noah!  

I was actually supposed to arrive in Buffalo tonight, but I missed my flight.  Yup--I missed it.  It's a long and harrowing tale, but I suppose I'll tell it.  I have nothing better to do tonight.

Okay, so we all know that I am a bit scattered and prone to being late to things.  But today, I was actually ahead of schedule and feeling really good about myself.  I had the bags packed, zipped up, and sitting by the door when Grandpa arrived to take me and Noah to the airport.

I wanted to get there early because I was feeling a little anxious about traveling with Noah.  I've flown with him before, but he was a tiny baby then and much more docile and willing to sit in my lap and be snuggled; now he is a rambunctious nine-month old who would rather do just about anything but sit still in my lap.   Plus, the other flights we've been on have only been an hour long, whereas the flight to Buffalo is about four hours long with a two-hour layover in Chicago in the middle (miserable, I know).  So I stuffed my backpack with snacks and toys and prepared myself to walk up and down the aisle bouncing Noah for four hours if I had to!

We arrived at the airport in plenty of time, but this is when everything started unraveling.  Have you ever been to the Denver International Airport?  It is a monstrosity.  It is the biggest international airport in the United States and the second biggest in the world (thank you, Wikipedia).  To even get to your gate, you have to take a series of trains (the concourses are not connected to the terminal).  And the airport is not just big--it's busy.   When Noah and I arrived, the security lines were insanely long, but I still wasn't worried about missing the flight because I'd planned ahead and been on time for once.  After quite a while, we made it to the front of the line, and I hoisted my backpack onto the belt, took off my shoes and put them in a bin, took Noah's car seat out of his stroller and put it on the ground while I folded the stroller and took off the wheel so it would fit on the conveyor belt; then I took Noah out of his car seat and put his 22 pounds of chubbiness on my hip while I lifted his car seat with one arm and put that on the conveyor belt (are you getting the picture that this was all a production? because that's what I am getting at), and then as I was walking through the x-ray machine, the worker said, "Ma'am, your cell phone is in your pocket."  Silly me--with everything I'd been worrying about, I forgot to put my cell phone in the bin with my shoes.  All of my stuff had already gone through the machine by that time and was waiting at the other side, but they insisted on putting my cell phone in its own little bowl and sending it through the machine behind several other people's stuff. 

I went through the x-ray, got the car seat, buckled the baby in, unfolded my stroller, put the wheel back on, put the car seat in it, picked up my backpack, put on my shoes, put my boarding pass and ID back in my get the idea.  Can you guess what I forgot about again??  My cell phone was probably still making its way through the x-ray machine as I walked away pushing Noah.  Can you blame me?  I had a lot on my mind.

So what would you do at the Buffalo or Salt Lake City airports if you realized that you'd left your cell phone at the security check point?  You'd turn around and walk back and get it, right?  I had plenty of time, so I figured that's what I would do.  The problem was, I had already gotten on the train toward the concourses by this time, so I got off at the first stop and got on a different train heading back to the terminal.   Literally as soon as the doors closed and the train started moving, I gasped in horror as I realized my mistake: The train going back to the terminal does go to the same platform where I boarded--but the doors open to the other side of the platform...

I would have no choice but to go through security again.

Oh man was I mad at myself.  If I were a swearer, I'm sure profanities would've been uttered at this point.  I have been flying in and out of the Denver Airport my whole life--I should've remembered where the train would let me off.  I was just so frazzled trying to get me and Noah through the huge airport as quickly as possible that I didn't think.  

The story goes on...but I won't go into all of the depressing details.  Airport workers and passengers were all very kind and let me go ahead in line, but things kept going wrong, and at the end of it all, I ran to my gate (which was in Concourse C, which means three stops on the train), and I was too late.  My plane was still sitting there, but the door to the jetway was closed, and they'd already given my seat to a standby passenger.  Our suitcases made it onto the flight, but we did not.

It was quite the afternoon.  And all because of my stinkin' cell phone.  Seriously, I think I should just get rid of that d@*% thing!!

So Noah and I will be heading to Buffalo tomorrow.  I told him that today was just a "trial run" for the main event (we are really good at going through security now) and he assured me that he will be on his best behavior for our long day ahead.  I just pray that he is because I don't think I can handle another airport debacle tomorrow!

As for Ryan, he is going to miss us, so he is thrilled that we are home for another night.  I just heard him say to Noah as he was putting him to bed, "Thanks for coming back to see me." :)

Buffalo friends, I am coming!!  I can't wait!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Always Lost and Somehow Always Found

I have written before (okay, more than once) about my ineptitude with cell phones.  (Maybe I should make this its own post category?)  Well I realized earlier today that I hadn't seen my cell phone in 24 hours.  This is not unusual--I lose my cell phone at least once a week--so I did what I always do: I got online and starting contacting friends and family via Facebook and Skype.  Can you call my phone?  I don't know where it is.  

That's when I realized that I hadn't charged my phone in several days and it was likely dead somewhere.  A phone call wasn't going to do it.  


Tactic #2: Dig around in the cushions of the recliner in Noah's bedroom.  This large chair has been known to eat things, including, but not limited to, nail clippers, iPods, and my glasses.

No luck finding the phone, but I did find two (almost) empty bottles that smelled just lovely.

As I continued to search the apartment for my rogue cell phone, I decided that I need some sort of necklace or lanyard in order to wear my cell phone around my neck at all times--so I can never lose it or drop it.  This made me think about the retainer case necklace that my best friend, Liz, made for me in high school.  She was so tired of me losing my retainer (which sometimes led to us digging through cafeteria trash cans and worse) that she drilled two holes in my yellow retainer case and strung it with some twine, creating a very fashionable necklace indeed.

The sad thing is, I wore that hideous necklace.  I really did.  I can't believe I had any friends.

Anyway, I found the cell phone (it was in the car), and when I had recharged it, I saw that I'd missed seven calls and hadn't replied to five important text messages.  (I can't believe I have any friends now.)

Sadly, I couldn't read a few of the texts because my cell phone screen looks like this:

Can you guess why?

I promise I actually am an organized and capable person--but for some reason, I have a real problem with cell phones!

What do you say, Lizzy...want to make me another cool necklace? :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Why I Was Doing So Much Laundry In the First Place:

Noah's brand new pajamas
30 seconds after we put them on him for the first time.
Don't believe the message on his shirt.
I had high hopes that once he started eating solid foods, he would stop spitting up so much.

Turns out, he spits up the same amount--but now in technicolor!


Sunday, February 5, 2012

What kind of a housewife am I??

Remember when Noah was first born, and I had delusions of becoming a great housewife?

Well, this week, I ruined three loads of laundry.  THREE.  First, I forgot that a load was in the washer and left it there for several days.  All of those clothes now have a funky mildew smell.  (Any advice?)  Then, I washed a load without realizing that my purple uniball pen was in the pocket of my sweatpants.  The whites (including Ryan's nice dress shirt and all of our underwear) now have a nice violet hue.  And finally, and this one is the kicker, I did a load of Noah's clothes using fabric softener instead of laundry detergent.  The fabric softener was in a big jug like detergent, and I just poured it right onto the clothes, not thinking.  The undiluted blue liquid left splatter stains all over everything.

I swear I have been doing my own laundry for about ten years now without incident.  How could I ruin three loads of laundry in one week??  I am a total idiot!

On top of all of my laundry mishaps, I am a complete failure in the kitchen.  I can't remember the last time I cooked a real meal.  My aspirations to make dinner more often now that I am a stay-at-home mom seem to have evaporated in the past few months.  Not sure why--I just have no motivation to choose recipes (this step overwhelms me for some reason), then get to the grocery store (so much harder with a baby), and then slave away in our tiny and perpetually messy kitchen (yes, keeping the kitchen clean should be my responsibility too!).

And I ruined a pan of brownies today.  Like, a boxed brownie mix.  After living in Buffalo for four years, I am out of the habit of using the "high altitude" directions on the box, and our brownies came out hard as a rock.

I know, I'm awesome.  Go ahead and call me Martha Stewart.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

What A Day

This is my nephew Callum:

Darling, huh?  Well his personality is darling too.  He is friendly, affectionate, and smart.  He hugs anyone, says that "Aunt Rachel" is his best friend, and rarely throws temper tantrums.  Whenever he sees Noah, he says in an exuberant voice, "Hi, Baby Noah!" and insists on giving him a sloppy kiss.

Though he couldn't possibly be any sweeter, Callum can still be a handful because he has more energy than even your average 2.5-year-old.

I think I temporarily forgot that when I offered to run errands with him and Noah this morning.  Cranky 7-week-old  +  Active 2.5-year-old + Multiple errands = Exhausting disaster.

My sister designs jewelry, and she has a big sale coming up this next weekend, so she asked if I could watch Callum this morning while she got some orders made.  I agreed, but when I showed up at her house to pick him up, she said, "While you're gone, I'm going to run to the post office to mail a few of my orders and then to the muffin place  because my groupon expires today."

"Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of me watching Callum so you can work on jewelry?" I asked.  "We can run the errands while we're out."

She looked skeptical.  "Are you sure?"

"Absolutely," I insisted.

And so off we drove on our blissful little adventure.  We rolled down the windows and looked at the trucks passing by.  We sang "If You're Happy and You Know It."  The skies were blue and a slight breeze was blowing...and then a cop pulled up behind me with his lights on.

Confused, I looked down at my spedometer.  "I'm only going 43," I thought.  "He must want me to pull over so he can pass by and continue on to an accident or something."

No such luck.  As he was walking up to our car, Noah started screaming and Callum started yelling, "Hi, Policeman!  Hi, Policeman!"  I thought this might work in my favor, but the cop didn't even seem to notice.

"I thought the speed limit was 40," I said when he told me I'd been speeding.

"Yes, but this a school zone.  So right now the speed limit is 30, and you were going 13 over."

I almost said the d-word, but I remembered that I had virgin ears in the backseat, so I refrained.

As we pulled away, a nice $100 ticket in hand, Noah seemed as upset about the ticket as I was--he started crying and didn't stop for the next hour.  As much as I appreciated his empathy, I kind of wished he would put a sock in it.

Remember last summer when I got a speeding ticket on my way to church?  And a year later, I'm getting a ticket as I try to do a favor for my sister??  It just isn't right.

So we continued on to the post office, and the line was massively long, so I decided to do the self-service station.  Noah was screaming, and Callum was running around pulling envelopes off of the shelves.  I told him to stop, so he started doing something else exciting--banging on the side of the counter.  It was super loud, and everyone was staring, so I said, "Callum, please don't make a scene."

"But I need to make a scene, Aunt Rachel!  I need to!" he insisted.

I shouldn't have laughed, but I couldn't help it.  This kid is too much.  I got him to come over and help me push the buttons on the self-service screen, but as soon as I put him down, he ran back to the counter and started banging, saying over and over, "I need to make a scene!  I need to make a scene."

Well, you succeeded, Callum.  We definitely made a scene!

So then it was on to the muffin shop.  Callum helped me pick out the flavors of the muffins, and he said he wanted the chocolate one.  I guess the lady behind the counter thought he meant immediately because she handed it to him while I was paying and didn't notice.  (She obviously does not have children.)  When I turned around, he was literally covered in chocolate, as was the floor all around him.

Noah was still crying.

I was planning to take them to the park afterward, but when the box of muffins spilled while I was buckling them into their carseats, I decided it was time to go home.

I have never been so exhausted.

My biggest question do mothers of two children run errands???  How about three...four...five children??  Do they ever leave their houses?

I might not---at least not with Callum! :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Adventures as a New Stay-at-Home Mom

I've never liked cooking.  It takes so much time and effort--and the product of all that time and effort is gobbled down far too quickly.  If I spend an hour or two working on something, I don't want it to disappear in less than ten minutes.

Many of my friends have told me that I will like cooking more now that I am a stay-at-home mom.  They say it's no longer a chore when you actually have time in the day to plan and prepare the meal.  Plus, it's "rewarding" to know that you are making something delicious to be enjoyed by your family.

I decided to test their advice, and I've attempted to make two meals in the last several weeks.

Attempt #1: Chicken Pot Pie

Attempt #2: Sloppy Joes

I don't know if it's the oven or just me...but neither of these meals turned out too well.  The experience was rewarding for neither me nor my family.

Something that I do love is baking!  Baking is the best because the entire process is edible--from chocolate chips to cookie dough to finished product.  Yesterday, I made cookies with my nephew, Callum, and we had much more success than I did with either chicken pot pie or sloppy joes.

Yes, I am wearing Callum's chef hat.
Callum also appreciates the cookie fact, he was eating so much of it that I had to scold him.  After telling him to stop about five times, I said it a bit more brusquely, and he started to cry and ran to his mom.  She was snuggling my baby (who was super fussy yesterday) on the couch, so she suddenly had two little criers on her lap.  I think she loved it.

It's so nice to have family in town now that Noah is here.  I have a cold, and it's hard to get better when you aren't getting too much sleep at night, so Sarah watched Noah for me yesterday while I took a long nap.  While I was sleeping, she tried to take some photos of him with her fancy camera.  He wasn't so thrilled about the "posed" shots.

I am still planning to blog all about the experience of Noah's adoption, but it feels like a daunting undertaking, so I haven't even started yet.  Maybe I'll get to it by his one month birthday.  He had his two week doctor appointment yesterday, and he is porking up quite nicely.  He was 7 lbs 4 oz when he was born, and yesterday he was 8 lbs 7 oz.  Little chubber! :)  They stabbed his heel to take a blood sample, and he was super ticked off.  I think that might be why he was fussy for the rest of the day.  Poor guy.

Overall, I think we are adjusting well to our new life.  Ryan is working crazy hours, so he's not around as much as I'd like, but when he is, he sure loves his little dude.  I found them napping together on Sunday, and it was about the cutest thing I've ever seen.

I get lonely being home all day and part of the night without Ryan--I don't really have any friends here yet--but Noah keeps me company and Ryan assures me that his super busy schedule is only temporary and he'll be around more once his current rotation is over.  In the meantime, thank goodness for my sister and sweet little Noah!

Life is good.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

When Ryan and I were dating, he gave me a gigantic gumball machine for Christmas.

At the time, I had quite the gumball fetish.  Whenever we went to the grocery store, I demanded a quarter.  Whenever we were in the mall, I went berserk when I saw the "Gumball Gourmet" (so many options!).  I even had a t-shirt that featured a gumball machine filled with smiling gumballs.

Since becoming a student of dentistry, Ryan has regretted his Christmas gift from yesteryear.  Though the gumball machine is not actually in our home (it is in my classroom at school), I do chomp on a few gumballs every week, and for the past few years, Dr. Nielson has not been so happy about that.

But this past Saturday, his Christmas gift from 2004 really paid off for him: through all of my gumball chewing, I developed two cavities that just so happened to be exactly the types of procedures that he needed to perform on his regional Board licensing exam.

Usually, dental students have to search high and low to find patients for their licensing exam.  First they screen lots of patients, trying to find the right type of cavity on the easiest tooth possible.  Then they have to decide if the patient is actually dependable: Will he or she show up on the day of the exam?  If the patient doesn't show, then the student fails the test (and the test is several thousand dollars).  Many students actually pay off their patients: "If you show up for this exam, I will give you $100."  Not kidding.

So I think Ryan really lucked out to have me for not one, but two procedures.  Like I said, the gumball machine really paid off in the end--

For him.

When I agreed to be his patient, I really didn't know what I was getting into.  I thought we would go in around 8:00 a.m., and I would be done by about noon.  I thought I would lay there peacefully in the chair while he drilled a few holes and filled them right up.  Quick and easy, right?


Has anyone ever had a "rubber dam" put in their mouth at the dentist?  I had never seen such a contraption before Saturday.  I guess they are standard procedure at the dental school, but I've never had any of my other dentists use one.  Let's just say that when Ryan jabbed that thing between my teeth and up into my gums, then latched it onto my face so that my lips were smushed, my mouth was forced open, and I couldn't breath, I was not such a happy wife.

Five hours later, with my mouth still propped open, by head pounding, my gums bleeding, my back aching, and my anesthetic completely worn off, I told Ryan that he better start moving faster or he was going to be one dead dentist.  I think it came out more like this:

"Ewww bettaa ooove aaser, Yan.  I ant aake is a-y onger."

He got the point.

My husband is a perfectionist, and he wanted the holes to be just perfect, and he wanted the fillings to be just beautiful, and he was so nervous and trying so very hard to do his best.  At first I thought it was kinda cute.

But after six hours of wearing this thing, I didn't think Ryan was cute anymore.  In fact, it's possible that I wanted to bite his hand off.  Luckily for him, I couldn't close my mouth:

One thing is for sure: I won't be chewing gumballs ever again.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Ryan got jumped as he was walking home from school today.

He was less than half a block from our house when two guys approached him from behind, demanded money, punched him in the face, threw him in the snow, kicked him, took his wallet, and walked away.

As they were wrestling him to the ground, his backpack got flung into the gutter, and they didn't take it with them.  But he was so disoriented and mad when he stood up that he didn't think about his bag and just started kinda following the guys from a distance as he called 9-1-1.  He was trying to see if they would get in a car, so he could get the license plate number.  They disappeared around the corner, and he turned around to go back and get his bag.

But alas, in the one minute that it took him to get his bearings and go back for his bag, someone in a maroon truck had come by and taken the backpack (with his laptop inside).

We aren't totally sure if the two incidents are related or just a bizarre string of bad luck--but a neighbor claims that the same truck circled back around with the two assailants in the back, ran a stop sign, and drove off at top speed.

The neighbors, who all came out onto their porches when they heard the scuffle, were very kind to poor Ryan.  One lady brought him a cold wash cloth to put on his eye; another invited Ryan to sit on his porch while he waited for the police to come.

When the first cop showed up, he asked Ryan where he lived.  "Right there," Ryan said, pointing three houses away.

The cop raised an eyebrow, "Are you a student?"

"Yeah, a dental student."

"You should move," he said matter-of-factly.

Another cop pulled up.  He said to Ryan, "You live on this street?  You should move."

Welp, we are moving in three months, thankfully.  But I feel bad for the residents of Rounds Avenue--I swear our neighbors are super nice, and they can't escape the thugs taking over their neighborhood.  The  lady who brought Ry the wash cloth said, "I hate this neighborhood."

You may remember a blog post with a similar title from a while ago...oh yes, the blog post was entitled "Robbed."

Ryan just said to me, "We lived in this apartment so we could save money.  But with the cost of replacing two laptops and several bikes, do you think we came out ahead?"

Probably not.  But you can't put a price on stories like these.

Oh, Buffalo.  We will miss you.  We really will.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Disaster

Yesterday after church, I decided to be a good wife and let my husband take a nap while I cleaned the house.  (Not sure what that has to do with the rest of this story--but I thought I'd throw that in there to show how helpful I am.)

Our sink was full of dirty dishes, so much so that I couldn't really wash any of them until I cleared out some space in the sink.

I filled up the mixing bowls and pots to soak, and I put them on the counter space surrounding the sink. My phone was sitting on top of the microwave, also right next to the sink.  (If this were my English class, and we were reading this story aloud, I would stop right here and say, "Does anyone have any predictions of what is going to happen?"  You know, modeling active reading.  But I digress.)

I must add that my phone has an insane vibration mode.  I know that the vibration mode is supposed to be silent and discreet, but with my phone, I think it is louder than the actual ring tone.  It goes BZZZZZZZ!!  so loudly that people within ten feet jump in surprise; if it is sitting on a table, it literally makes the entire piece of furniture shake like an earthquake has hit Buffalo, NY.

I don't know why my phone was on the vibration mode yesterday.  But it was.

As I was pleasantly washing dishes and humming to myself, someone called me--and my phone started vibrating on top of the microwave.  After jumping in surprise, I looked over at the rogue phone--just in time to see it shake right off of the microwave and land in the mixing bowl full of soapy water.


I grabbed it out of the mixing bowl while yelling, "Oh crap!  Oh no!  This is not good!"

Needless to say, Ryan did not get his nap after all.

The purpose of this post:  The phone is ruined, and I am wondering if anyone who lives in Buffalo has an old Verizon phone that they are willing to give me or that I can buy.  I do not need anything fancy; I just need a phone on which I can talk and text.  I'd really prefer not to buy a new phone because they are way way way overpriced at the stores--and chances are, I will break it or drop it into a mixing bowl filled with water in the near future anyway.  I am hard on phones.  I really am.

Let me know if you can help!

Monday, October 4, 2010

I am awkward.

Ryan and I are attending an adoption conference in Kirtland, Ohio this weekend.  The workshops look great, and I am excited to learn all about adoption.

I didn't expect to be such a doofus on the phone when I called to reserve our hotel room.  Do you ever astound yourself with your own awkwardness?  Well, I won the prize tonight.  Here's a sample:

Receptionist:  Hello, Days Inn.

Me:  Hi, is this Days Inn?

Receptionist:  Uh, yes it is.

Me:  Oh.  Yeah, I guess you just said that.  Anyway, I'd like to make a reservation for Friday night.

Receptionist:  Okay, singles or a double?

Me:  What, like the beds?

Receptionist: Um, yes, the beds.

Me:  Well, I don't care what size the bed is, as long as two people fit in it.

(After making that comment, I realized how idiotic I sounded, and I started laughing uncontrollably.)

Me:  [Through my laughter] Sorry I am asking you such stupid questions.

Receptionist:  [No response to my apology.  No trace of amusement in her voice]  How would you like to hold that reservation?

Me:  Hold the reservation?

Receptionist:  Yes.

Me:  [Confused silence.]

Receptionist:  [Sighing] Visa, Mastercard, etc.

Me:  Oh, a Visa.

And as the unamused operator continued to process our reservation, I tried to fight back my giggles, but every once in a while, one just slipped out as I recalled myself saying, "I don't care what size the bed is, as long as two people fit in it."

Such an air head!

Does anyone else ever do stuff like that on the phone??

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A View from Behind

My buns are sore this morning.  For good reason: my pilates-instructor-of-a-little-sister had me on the ground yesterday doing all sorts of lifts and taps and stretches.

It was fun--for the first ten minutes.  Then, I had to pause to eat a piece of chocolate Heath cake.

The second set of ten minutes was a lot harder to get through.

Speaking of buns, a humorous anecdote from my trip:

On Monday night, I accompanied Laura to the Zumba class that she instructs.  I stood directly behind her, so that her view of me in the mirror would be blocked.  (I did not want to endure her giggles and smirks as I made a fool of myself throughout the entire class.)  From my position behind her, I had quite a nice view of her spandex-clad backside.  This became especially interesting as she demonstrated squats for the class.

As she bent her knees and thrust out her rear, I noticed that the spandex pulled tight and became suspiciously see-through. Maybe it's a seam in the pants, I told myself and looked closer as she again squatted down.

Not a seam.

Imagine my delight as I divulged the news to her after class:  You have been mooning your students for the past six months!

Horrified and mortified, Laura insisted that we drive directly to Target, where she tried on all sorts of yoga pants and where I was forced to do the "see-through check" as she squatted down in the dressing room.  Oh the things a sister will do.

At her Wednesday night class, she confided the problem to one of her trusted students who is also her friend from church.  "Can you please watch during the squats and let me know if I need to stop?" she asked nervously.

A middle-aged woman nearby heard the request and asked what was going on.

"Umm, well my sister informs me that when I squat, my pants get transparent, so apparently I have been mooning you ladies for the past several months," Laura blushed.

To this, the woman responded, "We don't care!  We want to see the GOAL!"

So I was thinking...if a periodic shot of her buns serves as such a powerful motivator to her students, maybe she should return her new pants to Target!  What do you think??

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Habitual Mishap

I am a girl who just does not like vegetables. Period. I've tried to convince myself does not work. Vegetables make me gag.

I do, however, know that vegetables are important to your health. And since I am also trying to convince myself to care about my health, I've attempted to come up with clever ways to "disguise" my vegetables in the foods that I eat. For this reason, a good friend of mine gave me the Deceptively Delicious Cookbook, and I was shocked to see that you can put cooked, pureed carrots in fruit smoothies. I tried it, and guess what...

I couldn't even taste them!


So, I've taken to cooking and pureeing carrots in my free time.

There's only one problem with this new-found hobby: I am easily distracted and always forget that the carrots are on the stove steaming.

Twice now, I have come out of the bedroom (where I was doing something incredibly productive such as blogging) and thought, "What's that smell?" And then, with horror, remembered that over an hour before, I had put the carrots on the stove to steam with just a little bit of water.

Yeah, ruined the pan. Ruined the carrots too.


Currently, Ryan and I have NO saucepans because I have ruined all of them through my carrot-steaming mishaps.

This is what happened last night:

I think I am going to ask for one of these for my birthday. It has a timer and turns off by itself.

Again I say, hallelujah!