Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Near Death Experience

It was your typical day in suburbia. She packed up her gym bag and the children and headed out the door for her morning routine. This morning Her Chef said he'd accompany her to a new "spin" class.  She was excited for a little gym date.

After changing into her workout gear, she headed to the cycling room. The only bike left near Her Chef was the one directly behind him. She climbed on her machine knowing it would be a familiar view with him in front leading the way.  And that's the way she preferred it (mainly so she wouldn't be self conscious about all her bits and pieces jiggling about).

The instructor (who, if she was a dog breed, would most likely fall under the chihuahua variety- small, lots of energy, cute, but kind of bugs a little bit) started the class with a nice uphill, meat out of the seat, warm up climb. She felt her heart starting to work. Chihuahua barked "crank up that resistance" and her quads started to burn. "Run, run, run" came the commands and she could feel her body temp raising and her skin start to itch from the heat. Next her heart started to beat out of her chest and she wondered how much longer she could keep up the pace of Her Chef.  She looked at the clock. 3 minutes into the class. 47 more to go.

Mother of two, loving wife. Here lies ol' Nikki Handeland (on the couch). They still don't know if it was a heart attack or just sheer revolt from every muscle in her body.  They're pretty sure she'll walk again...someday. And that someday will most likely be tomorrow when the lure of two hours of child care calls.

The End.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday's List: New Year's Resolutions

Last year, my Sasquatch of a niece (I say that with love) posted something on her facebook page about not understanding why people make New Year's Resolutions. I think her point was somewhere along the lines of why people waited weeks, months or even an entire year before they decide to make a change for themselves. I understand her point...but nevertheless...I am one of those unfortunate souls that only does self reflection and attempts of self betterment twice a year. Once is New Year's. The other time is Lent.

So let's get on with it already:
Nikki's New Year's Resolutions.
(Uhg.)

  1.  Actually use the re-usable grocery bags that are piled high in the laundry room right next to the pile of plastic grocery bags to be recycled.
2.  Be nicer to the maid so maybe she'll clean more than once a month.

3.  Sign up for and actually participate in NaNoWriMo. Thankfully, that's not until November.

4.  Floss daily.

5. Write real letters a couple of times a month to my peoples.

6.  Make an effort to brush my hair daily so as to be a good example for my little friends.

7. Create.
(Not to be confused with procreate. Mainly because they do not make maternity sized straight jackets.)


That's it. I was going to add something about making more dinners and eating right and exercising and spending less time at The Boutique and being more patient. But let's not over do it. There's only so much self betterment a gal can try before she finds herself at the bottom of an empty wine bottle wondering if she's good enough. 

Happy Resolving my friends.

Monday, December 27, 2010

My Mudda

She's a nice lady. I like hanging out with her. I like to call her numerous times a day just to tell her stuff like "I've discovered apple jelly and there's no turning back."  She likes to call me after she's gone somewhere new for dinner so she can describe to me in detail everything she ate. Once, she ended up at an NRA event for women and she spent more time explaining the variety of meats and cheeses they had on the buffet than how she even ended up at such an event.



She hates having her picture taken. And she will probably want to have words with me after she sees that I've posted her picture for all the world to see.  She will forgive me, just like all the other times.  The worst offense was when she so graciously came to help me for two weeks after Bear Cub was born. I was so full of pregnant hormones that I "allegedly" told her her hair looked stupid (amongst other verbal travesties). And apparently I was so mean the entire two weeks (that I begged her to come for) that she was crying tears of joy on the way to the airport. On the way there, I proceeded to tell her that she didn't think she was going to get off scott free from dealing with a monster daughter? That she had it easy during my teenage years. Now it was just her turn. Then she got on the airplane and I cried for two whole hours.

I was thinking about that time as I dropped her off at the airport this morning. So I verbally vomit on her the entire ride hoping she would be so engrossed in whatever came out of my mouth that she wouldn't remember that terrible event. I think it worked, because she was not crying.  That or she was just so nervous about making her connecting fight in Hotlanta that she couldn't focus on my past transgressions. Either way, she's nice and I'm glad she's My Mudda.



Sunday, December 26, 2010

Car Karma

Every time I am attempting to get a really good parking spot, and one just opens up right when I pull into the lot I say "Car Karma, Baby."  It's kind of like when good things happen for My Chef, he says "Clean Livin', Hunter" (sometimes he likes to refer to me by my maiden when he is pointing out that he has had a few more years of "clean livin' under his belt than I do).  I digress.

It was Christmas Adam and My Mudda and I were running up to the mall for a little last minute shopping. I see a GREAT spot and squeal "Car Karma, Baby!"  In all of the excitement of being shopping with no children and an adult to discuss things with, I hardly noticed that I was coming in to the spot at a bad angle. My Mudda tries to point this fact out, but I feel my eyesight is better (fact) so I wave her warnings off.

The next thing I notice is the car in the adjoining spot starts to rock a little...like some massive truck was running up on it's fender. DOH! Oh no way, oh no way, oh no way. Immediately I have a flashback from 10 years ago when I was driving a 15 passenger van (belonging to my employer) with a few close friends (co-workers) headed to the local laundromat. I was paying so much attention to the dump truck on my left that I hardly noticed the UPS truck on my right and the "Nik, nik, nik, nik, nik" warnings from my friend.  I ended up sideswiping the parked UPS truck and am still not really sure what did more damage - running up on the truck's fender...or backing off of it. Either way, the van I was driving had a dent from the front tire well to the back of the sliding door. That's a long way on a 15 passenger van.

Every time I find myself in a situation where there is a split decision to be made, I do just that. Split. Once inside the mall, I was calling myself "The Bump and Runner." It wasn't like I HIT the car. I just bumped it, and kind of nudged it, a little. Was there a mark? Maybe. Would it buff right out with a good car wash? Maybe. Did I stick around to leave a note? No. AHHH. I am a terrible person!

Two hours later, when we emerged the safety of the mall, we noticed that my windows were not bashed in nor the tires slashed and there were no key marks down the sides of the truck. It was then that I decided that I owed the Car Karma - big time. It being the last of the holiday shopping, the traffic around the mall was terrible. I let people go in front of me as often as I could to repay the world for my foul actions.

The next day was Christmas Eve. And as a new tradition, My Chef and The Taz baked Santa a nice batch of sugar cookies decorated nicely with a big purple R.  The Taz and I, with Bear Cub in tow, took a batch of freshly baked cookies over to our neighbor. On the way over, I feel a little lighter in my step. Our sweet neighbor is Indian and probably actually believes in Karma. We are doing a nice thing and bringing her cookies. This may be my shot at righting the wrong I did the day before! (Did My Chef bake the cookies? Yes. Was it his idea to take cookies to the neighbor? Yes. But was I the one actually delivering the cookies? YES!)   And just in time for Santa!

So this Christmas as I was giving thanks to the Lord for the birth of Christ and for His forgiveness, I found myself also thanking Him for an Indian neighbor and praying that the owner of a certain green Jeep had the same forgiving heart. Is that bent? Maybe.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday's List For Santa

Christmas List:
If Maggie could talk her Christmas list would include the following:
1.       Someone to find my nuk in the middle of the night
2.       A puppy
3.       A puppy
4.       A puppy
5.       A big banana for breakfast every day for the rest of my life

Rylee’s list is always the same when asked what she’d like Santa to bring:
1.       A Doll
She doesn’t grasp that Santa can bring more than one present, but if she knew about lists, then she’d probably ask for:
1.       Anything purple
2.       Candy
3.       Anything Maggie is currently touching

Troy’s list would probably go something like this:
1.       52 rounds of golf
2.       A little girl that goes to bed at 8:00pm on her own with no fighting
3.       An 18 month old baby who was potty trained
4.       52 foot massages from his loving wife

I was thinking about my list, and all of the things on it seemed dumb.
1.       A frilly apron. (Really)
2.       A bookshelf
3.       World Peace
Well I guess World Peace isn’t dumb. But then I thought what do I really really want? And in my heart of hearts I just want My Tazmanian Princess and Bear Cub to live long happy lives. To know real love and to pour it out on those around them. To not live with fear or sickness. To be each other’s best friends. And mostly, to go to bed without a fight.

Merry Christmas Friends.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day One of Round Two

This is my first day on my second try around as a stay at home mudda. It seems to be going OK. Bear Cub has only thrown four tantrums and I haven't even tried to hide in the bathroom. All in all, a success. My very own mudda comes here in less than 36 hours. As a little treat for her visit, Bear Cub and I are going to preform an abridged version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Bear Cub will play the part of Cindy Lou Who:


Our version will go something like this: Grinch (played by yours truly) is lodged in the fridge pulling out all sorts of delicious treats and the roast beast, when enters small Cindy Lou Who with big pleading eyes. Upon seeing such a sorry sight, Mudda Grinch gives Wee Who all of her delicious treats and sings that song Ah Voo Door Ay. Then we will take a bow and possibly a long nap.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day Four

It is Day Four without my wing man.


This is us at the recent holiday party.

Man, do my teeth look white or what. Guess I shouldn't have been so hard on you-know-who the DDS.

I have that cheesy grin on my face because I am bending my knees a little so Troy will look taller.

Troy has that cheesy grin on his face because he knows that I'm bending at the knees
and he just called me a "stupid-head."

I spent quite a bit of time "smoothing" out my hair and thought it looked much smoother when we left the house for this party. I did get the sweats a little bit upon arrival because I did not have the correct understanding of "casual" when dressing for this party. Getting the sweats will start to fuzz up the base of my hair, which makes it very wide. I will be considering The Brazilian Blowout that Jennifer Anniston gets to make her hair smooth before my next social outing.

Things are more fun when he's not in Texas.
 For instance, I have someone to talk to and therefore do not dwell on the width of my hair.

You may recognize THE jacket from the recent list:
 Things I won't be bringing to What Not To Wear should I ever get on that show.
I wore it as a top, not a jacket.

I may have just said this, but things are more fun when he's around.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Yup

These are my last few days of just hanging out by myself before I embrace the stay-at-home mothership.
And as you can see, I am making good use of my time.


video

Day Three

The Handeland Girl Cries Wolf

It is Day Three without my partner in crime. And like any other night that I am by myself and need to contain the children and minimize the destruction, I put them in the tub. It's an over sized tub, so for them, it's more like going to the splash pad than a chore. A win-win for everyone.

Some nights you have to be cautious with the little one. You know the saying "Does a bear poop in the woods?" Well around this house, it's "Does a Bear Cub poop in the tub?"  Yes, my friend. She does. (If this subject matter is not your cup of tea, stop reading now, because it's not going to get any better.) But tonight, as I was feeling pretty smart, I did not draw up the bath until the wee one had had her evening constitutional.

I plopped The Taz into the water first and she immediately sits on the edge of the tub and says "There's a huge poop in there."  I tell her "No there's not, just get in." She informs me that she was just pretending like the other night.  The Taz likes to recreate funny scenes from our life. Funny to her is when I am in hysterics. Last week, when I was not as smart and tossed Bear Cub in the tub before her evening constitutional, The Taz thought it was super funny as I was hootin' and hollerin' "CODE BROWN! CODE BROWN! Everyone out of the tub NOW!!!"

Her re-enactments were off and on for the next half hour. I had stopped double checking her broadcasts and started picking up tiny little articles of clothing that had been strewn about. When I went to check the prune level of their fingers, there it was. Right on the seat ledge of the tub. The Bear Cub's yule tide log. Mocking me and my smarts. I look down into the water to assess any additional damage and sure enough, the wee one was splashing around small bits of brown.

Two thoughts crossed my mind. 1. Tonight's bedtime story will be The Boy Who Cried Wolf  and 2. My letter to Santa is going to include something about a poop-less night.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dear What Not To Wear

Tuesday's List:
Items of clothing I will hide in the neighbor's garage if I ever get on the show What Not To Wear:


1. The Black Vest




Whenever I pull this out of the closet, Troy says "Well Hello Old Friend." Because he knows how old it is and how much I really like to wear this.  There may be a picture of me wearing this very vest on a ceiling tile of a certain mexican/pizza joint in Northern Minnesota. 



2. Ol' Blue 

Another fine piece of clothing that should not end up in a trash bin. Ever.



This picture was also taken in 1999. I've worn this pullover every winter, at least twice a week since. I am wearing it right now. After a gagillion washes, it's still like new. Now that's craftsmanship. I am sure that every friend I know that lives in Minnesota has a similar picture to this. Even Maggie has a picture with me wearing this and she's only 1.5.

(PS- I may look like I am smiling, but really I'm saying nice words so
the lama doesn't try to eat Maggie's little fat finger.)




3. THE Jacket.

As in:
"Troy, have you seen my jacket?"
"Which one?"
"THE Jacket."




This little gem has been waiting patiently in my closet. Waiting for me to lose a little bit of the love handles so she could zip up again. (Ol' Blue is not as discerning when it comes to my weight flux, and I love her for that.) I am sure the fine people on What Not To Wear would tell me to toss this in the bin only because sometimes I like to wear this as an actual top and not just protective outdoor wear. 

That's it. Just those three little things. They can have everything else. All 6 paint splattered shirts, the three pairs of mom jeans I own and even my favorite pair of salmon colored corduroy pants.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day One

I've just sent My Chef off to the airport. He will be spending the week in Dallas learning about fancy ways to track the yogurt and baked goods he sells. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I will be installing a lock on the pantry door. Here's why:



Industrial sized boxes of delicious treats. You can't just open a box and make a little 24 serving batch. You have to have 59 of your closest friends over....or a membership to the YMCA and countless hours to spend there. Wait a minute....maybe I don't need 59 friends to visit after all.

And right next to the boxes of cake/brownie mixes:


Endless samples of granola bars.


I most likely won't have any trouble taking a pass on the granola bars as I have yet ANOTHER visit with the infamous Mole-less Enrique Iglesias D.D.S. today. We are going to have an honest conversation about why he can't seem to get my tooth fixed.  It's going to go a little something like this: "Ok. Listen. I'm a happily married woman. And quite frankly, your not fixing my tooth properly, just to get me back in your chair, is very unattractive. I don't think I am going to even mention you to my single girlfriends." (He doesn't need to know that my single girlfriends live 8000 miles away.)  I may wait to say this after he fixes my tooth. It's takes a delicate touch to scold someone when you need something from them.  Not that I'm not up for the challenge. I have a 3 year old and have to employ this tactic daily.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ah HA!

Just as I suspected. There are absolutely no comments on yesterday's blog about what gets people motivated to work out. Which leads me to believe that Thursday's discussions on healthy eating and whatnot should be scrapped. WORD!

Thanks people.

PS- TLP- this does not let us off the hook for the week's challenge. Just so ya know.

That's all I've got for today. It's Saturday, and I try not to "work" on the weekends. :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dang...Part Duex

It occurred to me earlier this morning that three weeks ago I wrote about Thursday's being the day I would discuss healthy eating and whatnot. Let's recap what's happened in those three weeks:

1. Thanksgiving. I haven't officially called writing this blog a "job" but it is the closest thing I do that resembles "working" so I decided I would take a few "vacation days" around Thanksgiving time. As I was putting pumpkin pie in my face that particular Thursday, I was thankful that I didn't have to write about healthy eating.

2. The next two Thursday's were consumed with dental appointments. As I type this, I realize that I did inadvertently write about making healthy choices. Floss people. Floss.

3. I find writing about good eating habits just about as boring as keeping good eating habits. (Insert heavy sigh.)

Nevertheless, I said I would talk about the 9 good health guidelines...so here goes, even if it is Friday. The first week I wussed out and went with the easiest one. Taking a vitamin everyday. Which I am happy to report that I have taken said vitamin everyday since that post.  And as a bonus I have found that my fingernails are stronger and don't break off when I am cracking open a can of pop. (you win some, you lose some)

Next up.  Exercise.

This week's challenge is to workout at least 30 minutes each day. I have already challenged my BFF Tracy of Breezy Point MN to the task. (Now you have to do it TLP) We have been trying to motivate each other for about 10 years now. (We usually end up laughing about our failed attempts over a cocktail or three.) We'd like to know - What motivates you? (Please leave comments!)  Right now, Pink on my iPod is doing the trick.

Happy Sweating Everyone.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Letter To My Dentist

Dear Mole-less Enrique Iglesias D.D.S.,

While I can appreciate that it may be hard to find pleasant patients who will try to crack some jokes and pay their bill in full upon departure; I find it inexcusable that you would provide less than exemplary work so that I should need to return to your office so quickly.  If you'd like for me to hang out with you in the future, I would be glad to run your x-ray machine and be put on the payroll.

Sincerely,
Drooly McDrooleson

PS- I think it's just flat out mean that you keep the blinds open in exam room two, leaving a direct line view to the Chipotle next door. M.E.A.N.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Social Debut

Well last weekend I had my first social outing in Orlando. Even though it was a really nice evening, and the people we met were welcoming and warm, I am not entirely sure I would call it a success. Let's recap:

The event was the annual Christmas Party for My Chef's work. It was at his boss' house. I think it was 8 employees and their families.  The invitation came about a month ago and was on cute holiday stationary and mentioned something about BBQ and casual and to bring your kids. Perfect. Any event with BBQ is within my comfort zone, so I mark the calendar with a fun star.

The night of the big event, I brushed my hair and spent quite a bit of time debating what to wear. I had a button down shirt on and some slacks. Then I remembered. BBQ. Casual. So I switched to jeans and a some kind of shirt. I am sure if video taped, I could have landed on What Not To Wear. (Which BTW- I am not-so-secretly hoping to get on that show.) Our children are sporting cute, yet comfortable clothes that I think they will be fine sleeping in, since we will be late getting home.

As we pull up to the house, My Chef points out a co-worker getting out of her car. She's wearing slacks and a sparkly shirt. The dread starts to creep in. Then, he points out another person walking down towards us. She's in a dress suit! I debate not getting out of the car. But the visions of shredded pork and cobbler were too much to bear. I tell myself that surely the other people with kids will be much more casual.

We are greeted at the door by the lady of the house. She's wearing a dress and pantyhose. I've never been to a casual event where the hostess was wearing pantyhose. Next up, a pregnant lady in her 8th month, wearing high heels. I hear children and think that I will just play with them in the game room the whole night. But sure enough, there's an 8 year old boy with more gel in his hair than I've ever even owned. And a pair of twins that look like they walked off the cover of Macy's Christmas Dress catalog.  Suddenly, we are the kind of people who show up to a wedding wearing blaze orange hunting gear.  I may have nodded too quickly when asked if I would like a glass of wine.

I decide that I will try to make up for my lack of dress etiquette by being super charming. I approach a small group of women, assuming they are talking about their children only to find myself in a discussion about what's next on their plates for cosmetic procedures.  I decide this probably isn't the best time for me to be charming. I wind up talking with the pregnant lady who also just moved from Minnesota. MY PEOPLES! She laughs at my first joke, so I do not leave her alone.

Then mid way through dinner, my sweet little Bear Cub bumbles over so I can get a whiff of her pants. It just doesn't seem like it would be a normal outing if I didn't end up in the bathroom with some sort of debate going on in my head. Do I leave the stinky diaper in the trash can and try to cover it up with wads of tissue? Do I just chuck it into my diaper bag to take home leaving the bag to stink up whatever room I  stash it in?  Do I walk across the house, leaving a trail of green smoldering stench in my wake, to ask the hostess where I should toss it?

I curse myself for not having a more organized diaper bag- equipped with mini trash bags, or zip locks or fancy sparkly shirts and a copy of Cosmo.  Maybe next time. Hopefully, next time.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What If?

What if the Unabomber and Bob Vila had a son?
Would he look like this?




This is my broheim.  This is the mass of hair that can hide a silverware drawer full of utensils. I bet in a week's time, he'll pull some wooden mixing spoons out of that beard...or maybe even one of his small children. Yes, someone procreated with this guy. He's not as unabomerish as this photo makes him out to be. In fact, I think that his growing out of the 'fro is so that his debut appearance at the Shave to Save event is all the more dramatic.  Shave to Save is a fundraiser that his company does to support the American Cancer Society. I don't think the unabomber would do something so nice as as raise money to fight cancer. Also, I don't think the Unabomber had eyes that made you want to bake him cookies...or at the very least, get a can of beer from the fridge for him.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dentures by 50

It is sunny and 50 degrees outside and I am slightly over-caffeinated. Also, it is quiet in my house. It's almost a perfect day. Almost so perfect that I do not want to dredge up the awful experience I had at the dentist this week.  But, I think I may have promised or something, so here it is.

It was your typical first time at a new dentist visit.  Paperwork, x-rays, and (this is a new one) digital photos of my smile and inside of my mouth. Things were going swimmingly.  Now enters the hygienist. She puts my x-rays on the monitor and I mentally prepare my history lesson for her: The Life and Times of Nikki's Mouth. But before I get a chance to talk, she throws me off guard by handing me a pair of protective eye wear.

My mind starts spinning. What are these for? Racing through the possibilities - is shrapnel going to be flying out of my mouth? Is the pressure too high on their water squirter thingy? Why could I possibly need these. I was so wrapped up in my own mental tailspin, that I barely heard the hygienist yapping away at me while pointing to my x-rays. But her last words were like a shotgun through the noise in my head "Next thing you know, you're in dentures by the time you're 50." WHAT!

My eyes bulged as she continued on about the importance of a mouth cancer screening. I just nodded in agreement. I was swishing some sort of liquid that shows cancerous cells under a blue light; all the while thinking about the Dentures at 50 comment. Rylee will still be in high school when I am 50. She won't want friends to spend the night for fear that I might come down for breakfast without my teeth in. Ahhhh! My eyes start to well up.

I was just blinking away the potential for real tears, when the hygienist announces that "Doc" will be in to examine my mouth shortly.  The dentist goes by Doc?  Just like my dad, my dad who was a dentist? Immediately I had visions of my father taking a short break from his golf game with The Lord God Himself, just to shake his head in disappointment.  I brace myself for the brow beating that is to come.

Now my eyes are closed, as just blinking isn't going to do the trick. I hear the dentist sit down next to me, so I collect myself and open my eyes. DOH. I am staring right at his nether regions. A little flustered, I dart my eyes around and see that my dentist is a tall, mole-less Enrique Iglesias. I get a little nervous now and start to giggle like Beavis. I think he asked me how I was doing. I think I just replied that I liked the protective eye wear.  He smiled nicely as said "We use so many sharp tools, that you can just never be cautious enough."  I start to envision the scraping tools poking out of my eyes and am thankful for the distraction from the dentures scenario.

The rest of the two day ordeal is somewhat of a blur, except the 36 times I have brushed and flossed since I left the office. Floss the ones you want to keep people. Floss the ones you want to keep.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tuesday's List...A Day Late

I've just realized that today is not Tuesday. Nevertheless, I still have a list:

Jobs I have applied for and the reasons I am glad that they haven't panned out:

1. Scam artist.
I think it may be obvious that I didn't realize I was applying to be a scam artist until I was emailed the company video. A video which never actually said what the company does, but did boast that all of the employees like to play flag football right before happy hour most nights of the week. A video in which, at the conclusion offered me a job as long as I owned my own cell phone.  It may also be obvious why I am glad that didn't pan out, but for those that don't know me...well, I hate flag football.


2. Assistant to a Hotel Sales Director and his second in command.

The Director's name was Juan. His second in command was Dawn.  If it had panned out, I most likely would have given myself the nickname DiMarco. And I don't really look like a DiMarco. So I'm glad that didn't work out. Also, Juan said that he thought having children was a nice "hobby."


3. Dental Office Receptionist

I went to the dentist today. I will spare you the histrionics right now (but will have more details tomorrow). I imagine that people are more willing to go to the gynecologist than they are the dentist. Grumpy people knowing they are going to be put in a headlock for the next 30 minutes to an hour are not the kind of people I want to interact with all day. Knowing this, I tried my hardest to be pleasant. But again, more on this subject later.


4. Dog Walker

This one I would actually like to pan out...and it still might. But, I imagine if it doesn't pan out, by next July when it is 182 degrees outside with 150% humidity, I will be glad I'm not a dog walker.


5. Personal Banker

I actually think I would be pretty good at this gig. But, apparently from the "screening" process, they expect you to brush your hair every day. So, for that reason, I am glad that didn't pan out.



6. Photographer

Maybe I should have waited to submit my application with some recent work I've done.
(See the recent post Holly Jolly)