Dear Gawd Vaseline!!

One Saturday morning, not that long ago, an amazing thing happened: the sun was up and we were still in bed. Everyone slept in and it was magical. I heard the pitter-patter of little feet and then Miss E and Miss A were in our room. “Can we watch a cartoon?” Miss E asked. She knows how to run the remote control now so that’s a pretty big deal. “Sure.” Hubby and I stayed snuggled in bed as the pitter-patters headed for the TV.

MINUTES later, Hubby gets up and heads downstairs. I’m in the bathroom trying to get my contacts in my eyeballs and I hear: “NO!!!!!” from Hubby. Half-blind, half-awake, and in a bathrobe I come out to see what is the matter. Miss A is covered with baby powder fresh Vaseline. Miss E has very dry skin, so we put Vaseline on her hands before she goes to bed at night. I usually buy in bulk, so I bought a larger tub of it and the Vaseline sits in Miss E’s room, on top of her book shelf. Miss A has Vaseline all over her pajamas, arms, legs, it looks like she’s a child-sized cake and Vaseline is the frosting-it’s everywhere. Hubby is just ticked off. I’m snickering. I bring her into the bathroom and scrape her off. Then I find out why Hubby is so mad: Miss A started smearing Vaseline IN Miss E’s room: her walls, her bedrails, her blankets, then down the stairs on the wall, banister, along the hallway wall to the living room, where she tried her best to lubricate our couch.

We bought new living room furniture when I was pregnant with Miss A…that poor couch has seen more fluids, spills, and now Vaseline, than any other piece of furniture we’ve ever owned. I’m sorry couch.

The next several minutes were spent scraping Vaseline off of surfaces, wiping down walls, floors, banisters, and the poor poor couch. Our washing machine was put through its paces getting all of the linens and towels back to their non-gunk existence. I still couldn’t help but smile: she’s two. I wonder if this was her grand plan when she scaled her sister’s bookshelf and retrieved the tub of Vaseline or if she just rolled with it once she had it in her hand. Either way, the house could have a lot worse smells than baby powder fresh Vaseline.
Oh and I totally get it. HEY KELLI-don’t leave your 2-year-old unattended. Good point Judgy McJudgers…good point.


I Despise Mornings

Let me give you a little glimpse into the little gem of my life that is getting ready in the morning. Miss E is in Kindergarten. Miss A is 2. Hubby and I are not young parents(oh but age is just a number…yes it is and our numbers begin with 3s and 4s). This morning I woke up early.

At 5:30AM my alarm went off and I decided to get up and be productive. I started a load of laundry, walked on the treadmill, baked some blueberry muffins, oh I’m killing this being an adult thing! Then the rest of those people who live in my house need to get up. Miss E was pretty easy to coax out of bed. She loves blueberry muffins, so it was an easy sell. Miss A looked like she had attended a midnight rave. She was passed out-snoring completely backwards on her bed, hair disheveled and using a pillow as a blanket and a her blankets were all kicked off her bed. I woke her enough for her to see me, climb over to me, assume “the position” where she lays her head on my chest and sucks her thumb and then goes back into snooze-ville.

I bring the snoozing smaller child downstairs, show her the muffins(she’s ALWAYS like a starving hyena in the morning so having food ready circumvents the hanger). Then I go to find larger child because she has disappeared. She has started playing with little keychain sized critter toys. I remind her that we have muffins and things to do-let’s try to get moving.

Miss A is now freaking out because she hasn’t physically touched me in seconds…possibly minutes, so she plants herself on my lap to hold me hostage as she eats her muffin and then snuggles in, when she brings her head up again, my shirt has now been covered with muffin, drool, and what I’m assuming is boogers. I go upstairs to change shirts, letting the girls know to put their boots and coats on so we can go. When I come back downstairs-no one has moved except Miss A is now crying because Miss E took a piece of paper away that A was looking at because “it’s hers”. Get your friggin boots on your feet.

Fast-forward through 10 minutes of battles, threats, negotiations, pleading and questioning life-we are in the car. It’s 8 miles to daycare. We get about 2 miles away from home and Miss E says: “I forgot my snow-pants!” Generally I’d say tough noogies, but by this time-we are already running late, it’s the nicest day of the week(it’s supposed to be 40 today!), and she’s already learning a life lesson because her homework isn’t done, so F it. I turn the car around at the next freeway exit and go back home. We get to our exit and she says: “Silly me! I didn’t look on the floor.” She has her snow-pants. That was a fun little 3-mile detour for no reason.

We show up to daycare 15 minutes late, the school bus is going to be there any minute so I tell Miss E just leave all your stuff on and go watch for the bus. Miss A goes into defense mode: spider-monkey climbing, clinging, screaming: “I want to go HOME!!!!” She buries her face into the chest of shirt #2 like she’s an ostrich and I’m a sandbox. It’s fine: I’ll just wear my sweatshirt all day. Her amazingly patient daycare provider peels her off of me. I wish her the best of luck and I’m out the door. It’s now 7:54 and I’m 15 miles away from work.

I have a minor heart attack when the sheriff tapped his brakes when I passed him going 57 in a 55, but he thankfully decided to go the other way. I pull up to work: 8:09AM, lift my purse and see Miss A’s snow-pants mocking me from the passenger seat. Son of a BITCH. My lesson for the day: don’t get up early. Bad things happen and you end up being late anyway.


The Thermometer Froze

My childhood best friend has found herself living in Alaska.  Now if I fell out of love with NoDak, you could find me in Alaska.  I have been there a few times and I would suspect I’ll be there a few more before my hourglass runs out of sand.

Yesterday Hubby told me that it was 22 degrees in Anchorage Alaska…above zero. You see yesterday while I drove to work, my car informed me that is was 24 degrees-BELOW zero. Let’s let that sink in: yesterday there was a 46 degree temperature discrepancy between Fargo and Anchorage and the warmth winner was a heckuva lot closer to the Arctic Circle.

I spoke with my now-Alaskan friend and we discussed the weather and I “jokingly” made the comment “What we lack in snowfall and scenery, we are making up with bone-chilling temps.” This isn’t really fair to NoDak as there are many beautiful scenes in the northern Dakota:




The beauties of the state just do not spring to mind so readily as I sprint from a vehicle to a building with my 2-year-old wrapped in a blanket and the icy air stabbing at any piece of exposed skin as I curse under my breath.

I am CONVINCED though that living with such extreme seasonal changes makes me appreciate all of the seasons more: fragrant and life-giving spring, hot and humid summer, crisp and colorful fall and stoooopid cold but beautiful winter.

Besides if you don’t like the weather in North Dakota, wait 10 minutes: it’ll change.  We’ll have a good 50-degree swing in the next week or so…and we’ll get the odd looks when we’re out with no jackets and water is still frozen.  Besides, if you don’t like the winter in North Dakota, consider moving, winter is half a year here. 😉


Suicide Sucks

I have lost too many people to suicide. The world has lost too many people to suicide. I was chatting with my coworker and she made the comment that she’s never been to a funeral for someone who has killed, or ever where it was suspected, by taking their own life. One of my earliest funeral memories was going to the funeral for a friend of my parents who had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The next funeral I attended in that very same church would be for another who died the same way.

I had a friend commit suicide my senior year in high school. His girlfriend had broken up with him and he killed himself. He was seventeen years old and an only child. His parents found him in his bedroom.  I had another friend who died after taking a bottle of pills, she called her sister to tell her to send help, but it was too late.  She died in a hospital bed a few hours later.  I don’t even remember if we were 21 yet. I have two friends whose brothers killed themselves. Hubby had a coworker who killed himself, earlier that night Hubby had a missed call from him on his cell phone.

I’ve known people who have drank themselves to death, lost battles with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, been killed by other people and in car crashes but the hardest one to take is suicide. I think why it’s the hardest to take is that it is generally unexpected and it leaves a lot of questions. There’s the issue of choice and it also leaves a sensation of failure, or maybe this is just me…but I feel like I have failed my friend/family/loved one. Where did I fail? Was I too blind to see that he/she was hurting? Could I have been a better friend? Should I have called? Texted more often? Stopped over? What if I-? Could I have-? Would <anything> I could have done made a difference?!?

I know some who say suicide is selfish and get mad and want to point fingers.  I heard someone describe taking a life as not thinking about death, just wanting the pain to stop.  I wish we all never experience a place where all we feel is pain and all we wish for is relief, where hope is gone.  I’ve seen too many times those left takes on the pain, guilt, sadness and carry the questions around the rest of their lives from a loved one gone too soon.

I don’t have a wrap-around silver-lining bow to put on this blogpost. I don’t. Just that suicide sucks and mental health is as important as physical health. Seek help and work to be healthy.  If you need help ask.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255