Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Hormones + Stress = Snapping at the Bank Teller

So, the other day I was stressed out at work. No, let me rephrase that... I was fuming mad at work. (I'll spare you the details) Time comes for me to go home and I was almost over it, but not entirely. I made a stop by the bank on my way home to deposit some stuff for work and found all three lanes containing two cars a piece.

I've been trying to figure out a strategy for making my bank run as quick as possible. For a couple of months, the lane closest to the building seemed to move more quickly than the others because I figured out that one person was running that lane and one person was running the other two lanes. It made perfect sense to pick that one. So, that's what I did that night. As I was sitting there, the cars that had been doing their business pulled out into traffic again and the cars behind them pulled up. And two more new cars pulled in behind those. In the meantime mine hadn't budged.

"Ok," I thought, "If I would have picked either of those lanes, I would be in the same spot as those cars. So, if I make it out before them, that means that I picked the right lane."

A few more minutes passed and the cars I was watching were now at the sucking pipe things, giving their stuff to the bank. And I was now still one car away from the window and getting more and more impatient.

What happened next? Well, to sum it up, I decided to play musical lanes and finally ended up in my original lane. Had I stayed in that spot the whole time, I probably would have been on my way home.

Leftover fumes that I thought I had left at work turned into a raging bonfire. I was mad at my boss, I was mad that I'd had a cough for 4 weeks and still wasn't over it, I was mad at myself for switching lanes, I was mad at the stupid bank patrons who had more to do than a simple deposit and kept sending the pod-thing through the sucker, and finally, I was mad at the bank for not having enough people working that night so I could get home faster.

My anger finally rested on the cute little bank teller who took my deposit. Because I was close to the window again, she could see the irritation in my face as I said not-very-nicely, "You guys need to have more people working here at night. This is ridiculous."

She looked surprised for a second, then walked off to deposit my checks. When she came back, I fully expected a big, fat crusty from her. Or at least a cold look of indifference. But when she gave me my receipt, she smiled and told me to have a good night. And it was genuine.

I felt like the biggest jerk. I started bawling. I bawled until I got about halfway home. Part of me wants to blame my behavior on the surging hormones of pregnancy, and maybe that's partly the reason why I acted the way I did. But the bank teller's reaction to my outburst made me realize that although it might be harder to repress emotions and hold back anger right now, it's still possible.

Now I just feel embarrassed. I go to that bank about once or twice a week and there's no hope of her not recognizing the lime green VW beetle that I'm driving right now.

I need to give her a Christmas card.

Friday, December 01, 2006

O Tannenbaum

So, last year immediately after Christmas, Steve and I went looking for a cheap, pre-lit tree. My mom has a white one that she puts different colored ornaments on every year, and I've fallen in love with it. I decided I really wanted a white one and talked Steve into it. We went to Target, found the ONLY one they had left, and got it for like, 75% off. Sweet deal. I went home, put it in the closet and anxiously waited to put it out. In the meantime, I picked out decorations for it and got even antsier to put it up.

About a month ago, Steve and I were talking about where we were going to put the tree:

Steve: "How big was it again?"

Me: "I don't remember, lemme look." [looks in the closet at the measurements on the box] "Whoa, it's 7.5 feet tall. I don't remember it being that big."

Steve: "How wide is it?"

Me: "AHH! Five feet in diameter!"

Steve: "There's no way that's going to fit."

Me: [whimpers] "Yes it will. I got stuff to put on it. We're putting it up."

So the night before we left for Mississippi, I dragged it out of the closet myself, put it together myself, and decorated it . . . myself. And voila! Barely enough room to get into the kitchen, and inches away from touching the ceiling, but it's UP!

Still searching for a skirt. And presents. If anyone knows what Steve wants for Christmas, please let the rest of the family know!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thanksgiving Updates

I had big plans for this post. We went to Mississippi for Thanksgiving to visit my mom's family and although I have stories, I don't have any visuals yet. It's getting a little late, so I decided to move on ahead.

The Gathering

The Thanksgiving trip turned out to be a full-blown family reunion. We went down, and we also saw relatives from Colorado, California, and Louisiana who had traveled to join us. We all met in what I thought was the Church of God's version of a cultural hall, but as I glanced around and saw a pulpit and drumset, I realized that we were sitting in the place where they held their services. Interesting.

The Dinner

The food was great! It was sort of a schmorgasbord potluck deal, but c'mon, how cool is it to eat fried okra, cornbread dressing and cajun turkey for T-day? Steve got his fill of peach cobbler. (My poor, peach-loving husband is peach-deprived because his wife detests them and never makes anything with them.) I decided that being pregnant during Thanksgiving (and through the holidays) is definitely a good thing.

The Family (Rednecks?)

When I told my bosses that I was going to Mississippi for Thanksgiving, one asked me if my family down there was a bunch of rednecks, and immediately the other one asked if they liked Nascar. I did see one of my cousin's wives wearing a Nascar t-shirt, and I saw a street close to where they lived named after Jeff Gordon. All in all I'd say only a few came close to being rednecks, though. But maybe growing up in Idaho has skewed my definition of what a redneck is. I might be a redneck to someone back East. (But I'd like to think that I'm not.)

It's always amazed me that a few of the relatives I have down there know exactly what's going on in our lives and are so connected with us, and I've only seen them a handful of times in my life. Most of them are my grandma's sisters and a few of my mom's cousins, who were the closest things to sisters my mom had growing up. Everytime we see them, it feels like we're seeing old friends who we know and love instead of semi-strangers that you hug because you share common DNA. A few examples:

Aunt Betty -- If you've met my grandma, then my Aunt Betty is just a slightly younger, a little more avid housekeeper (if you can believe that), and a little more southern sounding version of her. It's amazing how similar they are. We stayed at their house, and I would probably feel comfortable eating off the toilet seat, it was so clean. And might I mention the pre--buttered and toasted banana bread, muffins, grits, eggs, bacon, and biscuits for breakfast?

Cousin Sissy -- Probably my favorite of my mom's cousins. She's been "Sissy" for so long that I don't think I found out her real name until a few years ago. She's a great shopping buddy and will talk your ear off if you let her. She's great :)

Mabel and Elaine -- Mabel is my grandpa's cousin and Elaine is her daughter, and they live in Bastrop, Louisiana. We drove over one day and spent a few hours with them. Talk about two hilarious women. Mabel is 86, but doesn't look a day over 60. (My mom says it's the humid southern air. I believe it. My great-grandma on my dad's side lived in Idaho her whole life and she was already a prune at 70.) She's adorable. And still concerned about having lipstick on when she left the house. Elaine is in her 60s. She has been through so much in her life -- it's amazing that she's as optimistic and independent as she is. When she was 25, she was in a car accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair ever since. Shortly after, her husband left her, and a few years down the road her only child, a son in his 20s, died in a car accident. Anyone who had been through so much would have every excuse to be bitter and reclusive for the rest of their lives, but not Elaine. I could listen to her talk all night about getting used to her new motorized wheelchair and running into furniture while setting alarms off all over the house. She laughs about it! It's amazing what she CAN do in a wheelchair. When she found out we were coming, she made us a coconut cake and a chocolate pie. Double Yum.

Uncle Junebug -- I don't really have any stories about Uncle Junebug. I just like the fact that I have an uncle named "Uncle Junebug". Now that I think of it. . . I don't even know his real name.

The Sonics

I thought that McDonald's was taking over the world (hand-in-hand with Walmart), and they probably are. But they'll have a hard time taking the South away from Sonic. I have never seen so many Sonics in my life. Even the littlest po-dunk town had a Sonic. . . and a couple of Baptist churches :) And talk about fast service. The ones out here have a thing or two to learn.

The Coast

On Saturday, the boys wanted to drive down to the coast to see the wreckage from Katrina. (The girls went shopping, duh.) I actually have a picture from their trip. Steve said it was so bizarre to see a bunch of concrete foundations with stairs leading up to nowhere. Sometimes the tile in the house was still in tact.

The Weather

As much as I love snow and the climate here, I couldn't resist basking in the 70-degree weather down there. Sunny the entire time. When I got to work this morning it was 6 degrees with a windchill of -7. K, no griping about the weather, Nat, it's supposed to be cold at Christmas :)

More pictures to come.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Deck the Halls . . . and the living room . . . and the pets.

Aside from taking down the Christmas decorations, the biggest project my family has is to put them up. Definitely the star of the show is the 12-foot "damn" tree, as my dad so affectionately calls it.

Here we have Devin, Steve and my cousin David (underneath the tree).

It took a lot of man power to put it up, as well as some acrobatics done by my brother (Don't worry, I was holding his legs. Talk about family trust!) The boys were a big help decorating it, too, as long as a football game was on in the same room. The results . . .

Hillie decided to spread some Christmas cheer on the pets. Jane (the bunny) was pretty patient, but Abby (the cat) wasn't amused at all.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Baby Update -- Week 15

Appointment #2 went well. Amazingly fast and not nearly as. . . um . . . intrusive as the last. I didn't even get poked! Steve was there and we got to hear the heartbeat (no ultrasound this time). When Dr. Wylie was listening, she goes, "Wow, it's moving around a lot in there. Must be a swimmer!" Everything's perfect so far!

And the second best news of the day: I can take Claritin. :)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monster Car

For the Primary Trunk-or-Treat, I "dressed" up the bug. The kids got a kick out of it (the little ones were a little nervous), but unfortunately I didn't have my camera that night. When I was up in Idaho over the weekend, I re-created the monster car so I could show my mom. It was cold, wet, windy and the middle of the afternoon, so it didn't have quite the same effect. You get the idea, though. :)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Selective Sponge

I was driving up to Salt Lake on Saturday, and I heard Paula Abdul's "Forever Your Girl" on the radio. I was an avid Paula Abdul fan in my pre-pubescent years, so I began to sing along. (Of course I was alone!) Much to my surprise, I knew virtually every word of the entire song, and it had probably been 15 years since I had heard it last.

What else is stored in the depths of my memory? Why can't I recall things I learned in school, scriptures I had memorized, or that I had Steve's keys in my purse all day yesterday? (Luckily he didn't have to work.) Then I thought that music may have had something to do with the adhesiveness of lyrics, but after singing hymns and primary songs most of my life, there aren't very many songs that I know every verse of. I was suddenly glad that I hadn't listened to a whole lot of dirty music as a teen.

I got to thinking about raising kids (big surprise, eh?) and how in the world we were going to protect them from all the junk in the world today. I don't want my kids to hear a song in 25 years and regret that they know every word.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Fat Pants Forever

Not only am I suppressing computer nerd tendencies, I've recently been converted to elastic waistbands. That doesn't help my case at all. Luckily I can get away with this while I'm pregnant. I just hope it doesn't carry on for too long afterwards. I'm only about 11 weeks along, but my abdomen seems to think otherwise. I blame indigestion and not my 1.3 in-long fetus. Anyhow, I was faced with four options in deciding how to clothe my bottom half:

1. Keep wearing the 3 pairs of pre-prego pants that I can (sorta) fit into and use the "rubberband trick" when necessary.
This still works. But rotating 3 pairs of pants can be very boring.

2. Buy normal pants in bigger sizes so that I can wear them for two months before growing out of them.
Uh, no. I have a hard enough time finding pants I like as it is, and the ones I do like are most often expensive. I'm not forking over $50-$70 on a pair of pants that i'll wear for a couple of months and perhaps for another month later on.

3. Wear my cotton gauchos. All the time.
I love them. I put them on as soon as I get home from work and stay in them until I go to bed or have to go out in public. I would love to wear them all the time, but one look at my backside convinces me very strongly otherwise. Plus, I think Steve would tease me more. I get the feeling that he thinks they're silly.

4. Buy (and start wearing) maternity pants.
Since I love shopping, I'd already started looking around for (and buying) stuff to wear. I have maternity pants in my closet that I had planned on pulling out around Christmastime.

My pride told me that I shouldn't be wearing maternity pants this early unless I was pregnant with triplets. I swallowed it one Saturday and put a pair on. I couldn't help but notice how comfortable I was. I began wearing them to work, and right now I'm sitting here in a pair of army green maternity khakis. My favorite part was that after a lunch at Parker's, I don't have the need to undo my top button.