Monday, February 25, 2008

Super Dog = Super Freak


Our almost-7-year-old yellow lab Super Dog was at her veterinarian's office this past weekend for boarding because Super Man, Super Boy and I went out of town. I picked Super Dog up this morning after taking Super Boy to school, and all was peaceful and serene, as usual. Of course, for some reason, now Super Dog has got THE stinkiest gas I've ever smelled coming from a dog's rear-end.

Not that I've smelled that much gas coming from dogs' rear-ends, but you get the drift.

Let me just say that Super Dog looooves to go to the kennel for boarding. As in the second she sees us touch a piece of luggage, her tail starts wagging at about 300 mph, knocking over anything in a four foot radius.

After the tail comes the prancing feet. She cannot sit still once she gets it in her doggy brain that she's going to the kennel, whether she's actually going or not. She couldn't sit still even if her life depended on it. Which it sometimes has, after she's pushed Super Man or me to the breaking point of patience...

When you get tired of saying, "Sit," over and over and you finally yell at her to go lay down, not only will she NOT go lay down, but she'll stand there in this bizarre pose where her massive head and neck are like somehow sunk back into her body a little, and she starts looking at you like a walleye (a fish for those of you who didn't grow up in the north woods on the Great Lakes), whilst continuing to wag her tail and prance like a maniac. It's like she KNOWS she's being naughty but she just... can't... help it. She looks like a complete idiot when she does that.

Oh, and the second you move (take a step away from the luggage, or go into a different room to grab something else to pack), Super Dog will BOLT down the stairs to the back door as though she expects you to be hot on her heels so you can GO! This usually leads to more yelling at Super Dog to, "GO LAY DOWN!"

When the moment has arrived and it's actually time to leave the house, Super Dog can't contain her excitement. She jumps up on you (which she knows darn well is absolutely forbidden), leaps like a bunny around your feet, and as soon as you open the door to the outside, she races like an idiot all over the back yard (which is especially fun when it's muddy), barely halts to pee, and then bolts like a jack-rabbit straight for the back of the minivan.

Once in the back of the minivan, she will audibly whine the entire 15 minute drive to the kennel, alternating between sitting and furiously wagging her tail and standing and furiously wagging her tail. She also likes to throw in a few rounds of slobbering all over my windows, or randomly but obsessively licking my leather seats. She will also break another rule by slinking her way up to me in the driver's seat and repeatedly nudging my elbow (rather hard) with her nose. Never mind that I'm trying to DRIVE and not get us all killed, Super Dog! Geez...

When we get to the kennel, she prances in her impatience to be let out of the van and drag me into the building. Yes, you read that correctly: She drags me in to the building. I've often seen other dogs cower in fear and dig in their heels or try to run away from the vet's office, but not my dog! Nope, she's the dope that cannot wait to get IN to the vet's office. And she's always like that - whether she's getting spayed, having her teeth cleaned, going through something else unpleasant, or just going for boarding, she is equally ecstatic to go there.

Despite her excitement to go in, however, I've learned that I must insist that we step over to the grassy area outside the building for just a moment because Super Dog sometimes has difficulty "controlling her bowels" when she's so worked up. We used to get charged an extra $10 "environmental clean-up fee" nearly every time we dropped her off because she'd poop mere seconds after we'd walk through the door. I'm sorry to say it took us an embarrassingly long time to figure out that we needed to make her go before we brought her into the building, but alas, we've finally learned our lesson.

With the pooping behind us (literally), I struggle to keep my feet under me while Super Dog drags me into the building. The staff at our vet's office knows Super Dog by name, both because she's there at least one weekend a month and because she's "so friendly," as they so kindly put it. Simply put, she's a maniac! She loves the people, she loves to "play with the puppies," she loves to leap up and give kisses to anyone or anything she passes, and she will often strain so hard against her leash that she'll make herself pass out while waiting to be taken back. The first time she did this, Super Man and I completely freaked and I was scared to death, but apparently that's her "thing." She never learns... Thank god the staff love her!

Always when I pick her up, Super Dog is freshly bathed and exhausted. She has no doubt played, barked and run herself ragged and gotten very little sleep because she's too busy trying to chat with the other dogs nearby. She comes to me as docile as a lamb at pick-up, goes out and pees in the grassy area, gracefully steps up into the back of the van, and sits there calmly looking out the window as though reflecting on her lovely weekend. She sleeps most of the day, eats her meals without much fuss and drinks plenty of water. And all is well.

Except tonight. It's like something very bad is nestled in her gut and letting off this horrible, putrid stench. She's all about the SBD farts ("silent but deadly"), so I can't even hear them coming. All of a sudden, I breathe in just like I did 3 seconds ago and suddenly my nose hairs are on fire from the stink. I make the requisite, "Good God, Super Dog!" noises and look in her direction with disgust and she just lays there looking back at me as if to say, "What? Like you never fart? Puh-lease."

But she's smart. I think she knows I'm writing about her because I keep looking in her direction (and laughing) and now she's started doing her annoying weirdo moans for attention. Yeah, that's right: My dog will moan at you. She won't howl or just get it over with and bark, but she'll make these very guttural and repeated moans that have a slight whine to them. Sometimes it means she has to go outside. Other times it just means that she wants you to gaze lovingly at her until she's had enough and wants you to look away. And still other times she just does it for something to do.

I just let her outside. I told her not to come back in until whatever crawled up her ass and died is OUT. Where I'll eventually have to scoop it up and dispose of it. Ugh....

Still, she's so pretty. I love her, even if she is a freak.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Addicted.

Alright, this is kinda lame, but I feel the need to tell you that I'm absolutely addicted to the show "Charmed." I'm watching it right now as I type this. I'm so ashamed...

I don't even know how it happened, since I'm really NOT a big t.v. watcher during the daytime. Truth is, I pretty much only watch it while making lunch and while preparing dinner. I know a lot of people joke about stay-at-home moms sitting on the couch watching t.v. and eating bon-bons all day, but that really isn't how I roll. After all, I hate soap operas and I have no clue what time Dr. Phil or Oprah are even on, much less on what channel.

Anyway, it all began last spring, when I was first at home with Super Boy and ended up catching a rerun of "Charmed" on TNT. I think I might've left the t.v. on after making lunch one day because I was either baking or cleaning in the kitchen and wanted the background noise. Next thing I knew, I was sitting and watching the t.v. with rapt attention as Phoebe, Piper and Paige kicked a little demon ass. And I was totally hooked.

I never saw the show when it was running on regular prime-time t.v., so the downside of watching it only in reruns is that the episodes I see are not even in normal, chronological order. But I don't care. I still must watch it. And I get very upset when TNT shows "Law & Order" reruns all afternoon instead of showing the two episodes of "Charmed" per afternoon that I've grown so accustomed to at 3:00 and 4:00pm. Seriously - it's a huge buzz kill.

I will admit that one (big) reason I kept coming back once I started watching "Charmed" is the presence of Julian McMahon in several of the episodes; he plays Cole, Phoebe's demon lover/husband. I happen to be a huge "Nip/Tuck" fan, and Julian McMahon plays crazy-sexy plastic surgeon Christian Troy, MD, on the show, so when I saw him on "Charmed" I had to keep coming back in case he was on again. To my delight, he was apparently a pretty regular character on the show, until he was killed off by Phoebe (at which point I bawled like a baby. That heartless witch...). Other people don't seem to share my attraction to Julian McMahon, and I just don't get it. He's completely sexy in that tall, dark and smoldering handsome way. His eyes are intense, his voice makes me weak-kneed, and the whole way he carries himself is just a little too much for me to take. He's my big celeb crush and has been for, like, the past three years. I think if I ever met him I'd actually turn into a pile of goo right there on the spot. Well, that or I'd do things to him that Super Man wouldn't like much. But I think the goo scenario would be far more likely anyway.

Okay, so back to "Charmed." I know it's cheesy. I know the special effects suck. I know that Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan are D-list Hollywood actresses (although I really like Holly Marie Combs). I don't care. I still love it.

So there.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Five...HUNDRED...Calories

That's how much I burned already this morning on the elliptical machine at the gym. I feel like a goddess, like a superstar athlete, like..

Like...

LIke I need a shower.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

This Girl Says, "O-Bam-a, GO!"

What a day!!

It was Primary Day here. I was anxious all day about when I'd finally be able to go vote.

It shouldn't have been that difficult -- considering that our voting station is right next to our house. Literally.

And yet somehow I didn't manage to go do it until 7pm...

Huh...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Ack! New Friend "C" Had Her Twins Today!

Wow, it's a good thing I finally got off my ass and got her all that baby stuff, because my new friend C had her twin babies earlier this morning!! HOORAH!!

She wasn't due until March 20th and I kept thinking she still had all this time... Heck, I just saw her at a party on Saturday night, her belly all big and cute, and she said she wasn't having any contractions yet and was feeling great. I'm just glad it happened on its own and that the babies were both right around the 5 lb. mark. Her OB would've induced her on 3/3 if she hadn't had the babies by then.

And, as I predicted, she had BOYS!! Little identical cutie pies. Can't wait to see 'em and hold 'em... My ovaries are screaming right about now.

Anyway, good thing I was such a good super friend and got her my baby stuff LAST weekend... Whew!

Friday, February 15, 2008

60 Things...

Alright, at the suggestion of master blogger Dawn from "Because I Said So" (see a link to her blog along the right side of the page), I'm going to give myself a "blogging freebie" and just answer sixty questions about myself for a post. Gets me off the hook from having to come up with something witty and wonderful, and gives you a little more insight into my twisted mind. See, we all win.

60 Things You Possibly Didn't Know About Me

1. What is in the back seat of your car right now?
Well, first of all, I drive a minivan, so there's a whole lotta back seat to cover! Let's see... where to start... An extra booster seat, the umbrella stroller for when Super Boy is too lazy to walk, an ice scraper, a huge golf umbrella, not one but TWO emergency blankets, a First Aid Kit, my ice skates, a sand bucket and shovel (why???), a spray can of Lysol (mm... love the germ-killing Lysol...), two plastic grocery bags, an old picnic blanket, at least a half dozen of Super Boy's small toys, one of Super Boy's dinosaur books (the child is obsessed), a half-full water bottle with the label torn off, at least two sets of markers, some scrap paper, a U.S. road atlas, and countless crumbs. Whew, that was exhausting! I think I need a nap...

2. When was the last time you threw up?
Oh, no... not that. Eewwwwww.... I think it was two years ago, but I can't say for sure. I'm a huge emetophobe, so I dread vomit and vomiting more than anything. Even thinking about it makes me want to vomit. Yuck. While I can't say for sure when I last puked, I can tell you that I took a direct hit to the hair and shirt in October when Super Boy came down with a stomach virus. NOT fun.

3. What's your favorite curse word?
Hands down it's "sonofabitch." I mutter it under my breath no fewer than six times a day, I swear.

4. Name 3 people who made you smile today?
Super Boy, Super Girl and a mom on my local moms' discussion board.

5. What were you doing at 8 am this morning?
"Reminding" (also known as "nagging") Super Boy (every two seconds) to hurry up and finish his breakfast so he could get dressed and brush his teeth before we were late for school.

6. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Driving the Super Kids home from dinner.

7. What will you be doing 3 hours from now?
Mmmm... hopefully dreaming about Sawyer from LOST...

8. Have you ever been to a strip club?
Does working at one count? Just kidding, just kidding. :) Ah, no.

9. What is the last thing you said aloud?
"Can you help your brother get his jammies on, please?"

10. What is the best ice cream flavor?
Starbucks Mud Pie -- it's cellulite in a carton.

11. What was the last thing you had to drink?
At dinner I had a glass of pinot grigio and an ice water with lemon.

12. What are you wearing right now?
My favorite old Gap jeans, a green apple-colored cashmere V-neck sweater and an old t-shirt underneath.

13. What was the last thing you ate?
Hawaiian pizza and bruschetta.

14. Have you bought any new clothing items this week?
As a matter of fact, yes. I bought a super cute pink "be.loved." t-shirt from a local boutique. Wait... Did my husband tell you to ask me that??

15. When was the last time you ran?
HAHAHAHAAAA!! Oh, that's a good one. :) Probably 1997.

16. What's the last sporting event you watched?
We went to our local pro basketball team's game against Seattle a few weeks ago.

Hmm, there wasn't any #17, so I'll make up my own... 17. If you could go anywhere right now, where would you go?
Definitely somewhere warm where it doesn't snow. St. Martin, St. Bart's, Jamaica... Hawaii?

18. Who is the last person you emailed?
My lovely girlfriends.

19. Ever go camping?
Yes. Most of the time it's quite fun, but the last time I went SUCKED. We ended up in a hurricane-like thunderstorm in the middle of the night whilst camping on a sandbar in the middle of a major river. I was scared to death. Thank God the daytime weather was perfect because we were canoeing!

20. Do you have a tan?
Humph. I wish!

And where are numbers 21 through 23?

24. Do you drink your soda from a straw?
Nope - I'm a "straight from the can" kinda girl.

25. What did your last IM say?
Um, I don't IM. I'm soooo lame, I know.

26. Are you someone's best friend?
I think so.

27. What are you doing tomorrow?
Hopefully working out in the morning, showing Super Girl how to make something (it's top secret - it's something I plan to start selling on Etsy soon), baking some banana bread to use the bananas that have gone off, and then hitting a Hat Party tomorrow night for a bit. Then tackling my sexy Super Man when he finally gets home tomorrow night after being gone all week!

28. Where is your mom right now?
Probably either playing computer games or asleep on the couch at her house. I can guarantee my stepdad is already asleep in his recliner, 'cause it's after 9pm.

29. Look to your left, what do you see?
Super Boy lying down next to me on the couch.

30. What color is your watch?
Silver with tiny diamonds around the face. It was my beloved "parting gift" from my lovely work friends when I quit to be a SAHM.

31. What do you think of when you think of Australia?
Heath Ledger, sadly.

32. Would you consider plastic surgery?
I wish I could say no, but I can't. Would love a tummy tuck, lipo and a "breast augmentation." And maybe a nose job and face lift, too. Oh, bloody hell - can I just have a whole-body transplant?

33. What is your birthstone?
Garnet

34. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit thedrive thru?
Usually drive-thru on the rare occasion we do fast-food. I can't stand how filthy some of the eat-in areas are.

35. How many kids do you want?
That's a really touchy question for me these days. When I was younger, I wanted four children. But then I met Super Man in my mid-20's, and he's eight years older than me and already had a child from his first marriage. So we compromised at having two of our own plus Super Girl for a total of three. Unfortunately, my body (or his?) has other plans, because we only have one child together right now (Super Boy), despite trying for nearly two years for another. It's really troubling me lately...

36. Do you have a dog?
Yes. Why, do you want her? Just kidding. We love you, Josie.

37. Last person you talked to on the phone?
Mmm, Super Man...

38. Have you met anyone famous?
Jay Leno (twice, and I have pictures with him from both times). I also attended the Hollywood movie premiere of "For Richer or Poorer" in '97 and met and got pictures with Tim Allen, Kirstie Alley, Wayne Knight, Richard Karn, Zachery Ty Bryan, and Taran Noah Smith, Debbe Dunning, Christopher McDonald and Daryl Mitchell.

39. Any plans today?
Yeah - going to bed.

40. How many states have you lived in?
Sadly, one. What I wouldn't give to move to sunny California...

41. Ever go to college?
Yes - I'm a UW-Madison girl.

42. Where are you right now?
Home

43. Biggest annoyance in your life right now?
The clutter in my house. And my lack of motivation to dispose of it!

44. Last song listened to?
Super Boy keeps singing the "Prince Ali" song from "Aladdin." I cannot get it out of my head...

No #45 either? Well, I'll make-up another then. 45. What are two things on your wish list?
A baby and a successful writing career.

46. Are you allergic to anything?
Shellfish (iodine), penicillin, codeine, sulfa meds, ibuprofen.

47. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?
In the winter, my light blue Keen Mary Jane's; summer my black Mary Jane Crocs.

48. Are you jealous of anyone?
I have been jealous of other people at certain times and for certain reasons, but right now - no.

OK, this is just annoying now - where's #49? That's it, I'm making up another! 49. If you could bring back any one person from the dead, who would it be?
While I miss my grandfather terribly at times, he lived a good, full life, so I would have to say my friend Peter, who was killed in a car accident when we were in college. He was one of the sweetest, kindest, most gentle people I ever knew, and he had ultimate faith in God, always. The world lost a great soul the day he was killed, but Heaven gained a true angel.

50. Is anyone jealous of you?
I couldn't say.

51. What time is it?
9:45pm CST

52. Do any of your friends have children?
Yes. Practically all of them.

53. Do you eat healthy?
I try to.

54. What do you usually do during the day?
Same thing I'm doing now -- goof around on my laptop. ;)

55. Do you hate anyone right now?
Hmm... I'm trying not to.

56. Do you use the word 'hello' daily?
Yes.

Number 57 ran off, too, eh...? Alrighty, here goes... 57. If you could go back and make a different choice at any one point in your life, knowing that it could change what you have in your life now if you did, would you?
There was once a time when I would've answered "yes" in a heartbeat. However, now that I have Super Boy, my answer is absolutely not. All my choices led me here, where I was meant to be.

58. How old will you be turning on your next birthday?
Thirty-five. But it's practically an entire year away, as I just turned 34 a few weeks ago.

59. Have you ever been to Six Flags?
God, no. I hate those kinds of places. Rollercoasters scare the piss out of me, and the crowds make me homicidal.

60. How did you get one of your scars?
My C-section with Super Boy. I wouldn't trade that scar for anything. :)

Super Boy and "The Poop Mess"

Oh, Super Boy... Someday - probably when you're a rebellious teenager, with my luck - you're going to find out that your good ol' mom posted this for all the World Wide Web to view, and you will rebel against me with renewed vigor. Well, have at it, kid, because this stuff is just too good of blog fodder to pass up. You know I love you though. Always and forever, no matter what. ;)

The other day, Super Boy and I were in the kitchen making his Valentines for his classmates. This was taking us quite a bit of time because we opted to hand-make the Valentines this year.

Pretty much right after we started, Super Boy said he had to go potty and bolted into the half-bathroom just off the kitchen. This is not so uncommon. However, once he was safely ensconced in the bathroom, he locked the door. He does this from time to time, but usually only when he's up to a little mischief -- or when he has done something in his pants that he doesn't want Mom to see. My mom instincts were on high alert.

"Hey, baby? What are you doing in there?" I asked, trying to sound nonchalant.

"Nothing, Mom. I've got it under control, don't worry," came his firm little 4-year-old voice through the door.

"What have you got under control?" I asked, hoping to trap him into a confession.

"It's nothing, Mom. Seriously. I just needed some privacy."

For Pete's sake, this kid is only FOUR and he's already talking to me like I'M the child.

I decided to sit back and see how the whole thing played out. I heard the toilet flush and then the sound of running water, and smiled at the knowledge that Super Boy has finally figured out - without reminder - that he MUST wash his hands after going potty, because I will check to see if his hands "smell fresh."

What seemed like an eternity later, Super Boy raced back out of the bathroom and up onto his stool at the counter to continue working on the Valentines. I asked, "Did you go pee or poop?"

He replied, "Poop."

"And did you wipe good?"

"Yep - I did a good job, Mom," he answered with a serious tone and expression on his face.

All is well. Until five minutes later, when I see Super Boy squirming on his stool and then pulling at the seat of his pants.

"Dude, what's going on?" I asked.

"Nothing." He continues to pluck at the butt of his pants. We continue working.

Two minutes later, he leaps back off his stool and says, "Hold on a second. I have to go into the bathroom again, but DON'T bug me - I need privacy."

Oh, God...

I waited a few minutes before bugging him again. (See, I don't listen at all.) "Hey, baby? What's going on, and do you need some help?"

"No, Mom - I've got it under control. I'll be out in a minute."

I heard no sounds of toilets flushing or hands being washed, so my curiosity was entirely piqued, and not in a good way. After a few minutes, Super Boy emerged.

"So... what was that all about?" I asked.

"Nothing." Super Boy got back on his stool and went to work, ignoring me.

"Super Boy, listen - tell me what's going on. Did you poop in your pants? Did you not wipe good? What's the deal?" I asked, getting a little frustrated at his blatant stonewalling.

"It's nothing, Mom. My underwear got screwed up, that's all," he said, very matter-of-factly. (I should mention that my little boy says "underwear" more like "undawear," like he forgets the first "r" is in there, and it's really, really cute. You need to imagine him saying it that way as you read on...)

I bit down on my lower lip to attempt to hold in the laugh that threatened to break free at any moment. "Oh. Okay, then. Is it all under control now?"

"Yep. Good as new!"

We proceeded with our Valentine-making endeavors, chatting amiably as we traced, cut and glued our way to fabulous Valentines. Twenty minutes later, the squirming began anew, and then Super Boy hopped off the stool yet again and bolted to the bathroom (and yes, he locked the door again, too). I'd had it.

"Honey. Do you have a tummyache or something?"

"No, Mom."

"Then WHAT is going on?" A million - bad- possibilities ran through my mind.

"NOTHING! I'll handle it," he shouts through the door.

This time, I heard water running not once, but several times. My mind spun with all the possibilities. What the hell is he doing in there?!?

When at last Super Boy came out, he said, "All better, Mom!"

I turned around and saw that Super Boy had large wet areas on his pants. I was thoroughly perplexed. I looked at him, trying to find the right words. His sweet little face was turned up to me, an innocent smile on his face, and a question in his big brown eyes.

"Sweetheart... why are your pants all wet?" I asked, dreading the answer even as the words came out.

"Well..." He stopped, unable to find the right way to explain The Situation. I waited with eyebrows raised, an expectant look on my face. "Well, Mom, I had a little poop mess."

I couldn't help it. I laughed. Out loud. Come on, can you blame me?

"What do you mean by a 'little' poop mess? Does that mean you pooped in your pants 'a little' or did you not wipe good? Or... what?" I asked, trying desperately to stop laughing, because my poor little man's expression was quickly changing to one of shame.

"Well, I think I didn't wipe very good, because there was just a little, tiny poop mess in my underwear," he explained, using his inherited-from-his-father hand gestures to illustrate the small size of the infamous "poop mess" to me. "Just a little bit, Mom."

The kid was killing me.

"So, that still doesn't explain why your pants are all wet," I said slowly, trying to piece it all together in my head.

"Well, when I saw the little poop mess, I figured I could clean it up!" He said this with such pride it broke my heart. "So I took off my pants and then my underwear, and I rinsed my underwear." He smiled up at me. I doubled over and bit my lip so hard it nearly bled. This was just too funny!!

"You rinsed your underwear? Where, in the sink?"

"Yep!"

"And then... you put it back on?" A loud guffaw escaped.

"Yep! Wasn't that good, Mama?" he asked me, starting to wonder if perhaps his plan may have been a bit flawed as his water-logged underwear continued to soak his pants.

I actually had to walk out of the room. I held up a finger to let him know I'd be back in a second, went into the office and busted out into body-shaking silent laughter as the tears streamed down my face. He was too darn cute!

I returned to the kitchen still fighting the giggles and said, "Baby, it was really good that you tried to take care of the mess on your own; Mom's proud of you for doing the best you could. But... now you're wearing soggy underpants and they're getting your pants all wet, so let's just go upstairs and change your pants and underwear, okay?" He happily grabbed my hand as we marched up the stairs together, water trickling down his legs, leaving a trail behind us.

When we got to the upstairs bathroom, I stripped him down, washed him up (and made sure "the poop mess" was all gone!) and dressed him in fresh underwear and pants. Super Boy said, "Boy, does THAT feel good to get some clean, dry underwear on! Thanks, Mom!" He gave me a big hug as I continued to suppress my laughter.

All of a sudden, he pulled back from me and said, "Oh yeah - I need to wash my hands again, too."

"Okay... Why?" I asked.

"Because this finger," he said, holding up the first finger on his right hand, "smells like poop."

I lost it. Completely and totally lost it and stood there bent over before my son, laughing my ass off and crying from laughing so hard. I could barely ask why said finger smelled like poop, but I managed to choke it out.

"Because I used it to clean the poop mess out of my underwear, Mom. Duh."

I love that kid...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Finally....

For those of you who know me personally, you know that I'm really not much of an athlete.

Growing up, my athleticism consisted of chasing boys, cheerleading and marching band. That's about it. I was forced to run the mile in gym class every year starting in maybe 5th or 6th grade, and it was hell for me. I swear, my lung capacity is like a quarter that of normal human beings', because I could never regulate my breathing and was panting and wheezing the entire way. At the end of that long, long mile, I would be doubled over, red-faced and trying not to vomit. Several of my friends who ran track or cross country would talk about how you just need to "push through" that and then you experience the "runner's high," at which point your breathing regulates and you get a burst of energy. Um, yeah - I had no idea what they were talking about, having never experienced that. Ever.

After college, when one of my super fit super friends was going through cancer treatment, she - in all her bald and proud glory - would drag my healthy butt down to the lakefront with her and force me to run*, rollerblade and bike alongside her. I whined (only a little) but since she was going through cancer treatment, I kept it to a minimum, shut my mouth and just allowed her to torture me with vigorous exercise as much and as often as she wished. Oddly enough, I was in the best shape of my life then. Go figure...

* By "run," I mean shuffle a few steps, stop, bend over trying to catch my breath and then repeat. It can't really be called running, in other words.

Last year I started working out again because my super girlfriends and I all decided to do the Danskin Women's Triathlon in July. Two of them had done it before but the other four of us had not. The two who were old hats at it swore that while it was definitely challenging, any of us could've done it the following day if we'd had to. This led me to believe that I didn't really have to prepare much for it if it was that easy. I should mention that the triathlon consisted of a 1/2-mile swim across a man-made - and very deep - lake (a half mile, people), a 12-mile bike ride, and a 3-mile run. I warned the girls up front that I would NOT be running -- I'd walk the 3-mile run portion, thank you very much. Otherwise, how hard could it be?

I worked out at my gym a few times a week in the months leading up to the triathlon, but really didn't push myself too hard. And if I missed a workout... oh, well. Needless to say, when the triathlon finally rolled around, I was not NEARLY as prepared as I should've been. To top it off, the weather on the day of the triathlon was sunny, humid, windy and 96-degrees. In retrospect, seriously, what the hell was I thinking?!?

My worst fear was drowning during the swim portion of the fun, which would've been okay since the swim was the first leg of the event and would've saved me from the rest! Alas, I did have a minor panic attack less than 5 minutes into the swim and needed a "swim angel" to bring me a noodle to use until I could catch my breath and calm down enough to continue. I swam with that stupid noodle for about half of the distance, and then chucked it up onto a platform because I refused to walk out of the water carrying that thing. It took me nearly 40 minutes to complete the swim. My friends all did it in less than 25 minutes.

The bike ride was next, and we only had a few moments to transition from the swim to the bike ride. I was in such a rush to get going that I took a small sip of water, ate a granola bar and hopped on my bike. I then proceeded to ride into the strong wind up several small hills. My girlfriends, by the way, had told us newbies that the bike course was flat. Liars.

I made it nine miles before feeling light-headed. I was confused by this, but then looking back on it, since I was having trouble reaching my water bottle on my woman's bike frame, I only stopped once in those first nine miles to take a drink. Clearly, I should've stopped a few more times. I was dehydrated.

I managed to get to a group of volunteers along the route before I stumbled off my bike and lay down in the grass in front of them, mere moments from passing out. Thank God one of the volunteers was an off-duty fireman, because he hosed me down with water, made me drink a full bottle of water and made me keep talking to him so I wouldn't lose consciousness. It was the most bizarre feeling for me because I could hear him and the others talking to me and about me, but when I thought I was answering them, I was mumbling. It was not a very safe situation, and I was mortified once I came around a bit and realized how foolish I looked and how dumb it was of me not to have drunk more water along the way. I ended up losing about 20 minutes due to that mistake because I had to sit there and drink a ton of water and the fireman wouldn't let me keep going until he was sure I was okay.

I considered giving up then. I had my cell phone in my bike pack and could've called Super Man at any moment to come pick me up. I was thisclose to doing it, too. But then I thought about how I'd have to look him, Super Boy and Super Girl in the eye if I gave up, and what kind of impact it would have on the kids to see me quit just because "it was hard." For myself, I thought about how I'd feel looking myself in the eye in the morning if I gave up, especially since the worst of it was already behind me. All I had left, after all, was three more miles of biking and then the three mile walk. So I bucked up, got back on my bike, drank like a camel and finished the bike ride. All in all, it took me about an hour and twenty minutes.

The "run" was easy, because I walked it! And I had three bottles of water in my arms for the walk because we had zero shade and it was hotter than the surface of the flippin' sun. And I sweat, my friends. I sweat a LOT. I finished the walk in about 50 minutes.

All in, it took me 3 hours and 50 seconds to complete the triathlon. I was the last of my friends to cross the finish line, but I didn't care. I bawled like a baby crossing that line and getting my medal, and while I was completely exhausted, I was so proud of myself for not giving up. After all, I am a self-proclaimed NON athlete, and there I was finishing a triathlon, something that many of my pretty fit friends wouldn't even attempt!

It was great. But then I sort of gave up on working out regularly. Oh, I still went here and there, maybe took a yoga class or Pilates, but didn't really do anything too strenuous.

Skip ahead to the beginning of this year. I vowed to myself that I was going to take better care of myself, including eating better and working out regularly. While most of my New Year's resolutions each year end up in the trash within three weeks, I actually have kept this one. I am eating healthier and I've been working out three days a week. And not easy-peasy workouts either; I've been pushing myself hard.

I still haven't attempted running, but I can go at least 30 minutes on the elliptical and another 15-30 minutes walking at a 15-minute mile pace on the treadmill if I have time. Today, I had time.

I worked out at a harder pace than usual on the elliptical for a half-hour, and then got on the treadmill and figured I'd just go until I felt tired. Well, I felt tired within the first five minutes. But - for once - I did push through it. I didn't reduce my pace, didn't take a break, I just kept going even though my calf muscles were screaming and I wanted to do nothing but lay down somewhere quiet and go to sleep.

Lo and behold, after a few minutes, I suddenly felt FAB-U-LOUS! My breathing was perfectly fine, my muscles stopped aching, and I actually felt like I could walk at that pace forever. But since I had to pick-up Super Boy from school at 11:05, I only walked for 45 minutes.

But who cares? For once in my life, I experienced that "runner's high," even though I wasn't actually running. The point is, it gave me HOPE that perhaps I can work my way up to running, and not barf up a lung doing it. I've always had dreams of myself running and feeling such a great sense of peace and relief (seriously, I dream about that at night sometimes, which I've always found ironic because I just couldn't get the whole running thing), and maybe, just maybe, those dreams can become a reality sooner rather than later.

Here's to better health in 2008. And to finally, after 34 years, experiencing a "runner's high!"

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I'm a Super Freak!

My stepsister sent me one of those silly questionnaire emails earlier today, one for which you were supposed to answer the questions with one word, and I did it only because it was pretty quick.

This was Question #28: Something you're not wearing.

This was my answer: Underwear :) (Yes, I put a smiley face next to it...)

I then sent the email back to my stepsister and forwarded it to my sister and a half dozen of my girlfriends....

Flash forward to ten minutes ago. I check my email and my sister has completed the questionnaire and sent her responses back to me. I'm reading through them and I get to Question #28.

And suddenly notice the word "not" in the question... and panic.

OMG! I AM wearing underwear, people, I swear!! I'd never NOT wear underwear!

So I had to email my sister, stepsister and friends to tell them all that I clearly misread the question, and had I read it properly I would've answered with "jacket" or "boots"... or "brain."

Yikes... See, that's what happens when you skim through things too quickly and don't take the time to actually read them carefully. You end up being viewed as a panty-less freak in the eyes of your friends.

When. Will the Stupid Snow. STOP!!!

Aaaarrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhh....

Super Man left yesterday for a business trip (to Florida, the lucky super hero) and will not be home until Saturday. As in Saturday night.

Grrrrrrrrr.....

We got about 3" of snow last night. On top of the, oh, thirty some inches we already had on the ground. And it's still coming down. I've had to go out and snowblow once already this morning, and will have to go out and do it again when it finally stops snowing. If that ever happens.

I'm soooo done with winter. I really cannot take it anymore. I saw on the news two nights ago that this is - so far - the 20th snowiest winter on record for our state. We are over 30 inches above the average snowfall for the entire season already, and it's only mid-February. We still have at least another month and a half of this to look forward to.

I'm sorry, I know I'm whining. And I hate when I whine, so I can only imagine how you all must feel about it. But seriously, folks. Enough is enough already. This is ridiculous.

I just wish it wasn't so pretty. It would be that much easier to hate....

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Who's Super Now?

I have a new girlfriend (we'll call her "C") who recently moved into the neighborhood who is expecting twins (TWINS!) next month. Anyhoo, C joined our book club and so I see her at least once a month, plus a coffee date smattered here and there amongst our emails.

During one of these occasions... before Christmas... I offered to C that she could borrow some of Super Boy's baby things if she needed them, seeing as she needs double of everything for her two little bundles of joy to be. She happily accepted my offer, and I felt good. See, I am a good super friend!

Except, with my bad memory (you know this already if you've been reading along...), I kept forgetting that I'd offered her these things until I was face-to-face with her again. And then I'd feel really bad for not remembering. See, I'm NOT a good friend.

I'm SO not a good friend that I ended up getting a phone call from C yesterday, asking if I'd had a chance to go through and gather the baby stuff yet, as she and her husband were working hard to set things up in the babies' room, etc. I was mortified...

I spent my morning in my basement and up in Super Boy's closet. Going through maternity clothes for C, gathering my pack & play, wet wipe warmer, baby floor mat/gym, portable and full-size baby swings, bouncy seat, changing pad and covers, my Baby Bjorn and a few other odds and ends, cleaning them off and writing our name on them.

Now, before I lose my "good friend" status forever, I have to go shower so I can run these things over to C's house... which is right around the corner.

I'm pathetic.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Baby Blues

I need to let you in on a little secret. (Boy, I'm chock full o' little secrets this week, hm?)

I want another baby. I very badly want another baby. Very. Badly.

But I can't seem to get pregnant this time around. And that's making me very, very sad. It is, quite literally, breaking my heart.

Super Man and I have been trying for another child for almost two years now. Super Boy will be five soon, and our plan was always to have our two kids together be three to four years apart. At best, if I got pregnant tomorrow (which, believe me, isn't bloody likely, if you get my drift), they'd be five-and-a-half years apart. Not the most ideal, but hell, I'd take it in a heartbeat simply to have another baby.

My arms ache to hold another infant mine close to my chest. To smell that delicious and all-too-fleeting "baby smell." To feel the tingle of tiny baby fingers reaching and wrapping around one of your own fingers. To be the first face that baby sees when it opens its eyes, prompting it to smile with pure adoration and coo, all for me. And perhaps most of all, I ache to make my little Super Boy a big brother - his heart's greatest desire, something he talks of at least once a week.

My little Super Boy would be the world's best big brother, of that I'm sure. He is sweet, gentle, protective, smart and a natural leader. He would love nothing more than to take a baby brother or sister under his wing, to help me care for him or her, to "show him/her the ropes," to give his boundless love and affection.

When he first started saying, "When I'm a big brother..." it would melt my heart. And I assumed that Super Man and I would be able to provide that experience for Super Boy in fairly short order, having conceived him in only three months. But as the months - and years - have slipped by with nary a baby in sight, those words now stab my heart rather than melt it, and pierce my soul. I want to give this to my son, more than anything. I want to talk about "my children" and mean more than Super Boy and Super Man's daughter, who will never truly be mine, regardless of how good our relationship is or will be.

I can deal with my sadness and frustration most of the time. I can keep it bottled up tight, tucked away from public viewing, and I can swallow its bitterness and go on with my life as though nothing is wrong. When the cork pops, though, is when I believe this time I might be... and then, once again, I'm not. When the first stains of red appear, the tears well up in my eyes, the lump forms in my throat, the knife digs into my heart, and I swallow it all and force myself forward.

This is not right, it is not fair. I know that God gives us what we're meant to have in our lives, and I accept that - most of the time. This just cannot be right though. He must be making a mistake to withhold another child from me. Am I so bad a mother? Am I so overwhelmed with what I've already got on my plate and don't even know it?

Because I don't feel like I'm a bad mom, nor do I feel like I couldn't handle another baby. In fact, I've worked very hard to make my life ideal for another child to come along, given the circumstances I've had to work within. I'm a stay-at-home mom now, for one thing, brought about by Super Boy's health problems, which have resolved beautifully as his doctors and we had hoped after getting him out of daycare. I no longer have the stress of my career constantly wrapping itself around my throat and squeezing. In that aspect, I am totally serene. Yes, money is tighter that I'd like, but we're managing okay. And I will get a part-time job when Super Boy starts full-day school in the fall. A very low-key part-time job where I'm not direly needed or else the whole works stop in my absence.

Simply put, I'm ready, God and all the positive forces in the Universe. Please, please, please give me another healthy, beautiful, sweet child to love and care for. Let me be a mom once more, let Super Boy be a big brother, let us expand the love in our family by one. I beg you.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Damn, I'm Good

Yeah, that's right. They don't call me Super Woman for nothin'. ;)

Today is Super Boy's teacher's birthday, and as one of the two Super Room Moms for the class, I volunteered to collect money for the class gift, purchase the class gift AND make a "special snack" in honor of the teacher's big day. Unfortunately, as you'll quickly come to realize over the coming years of reading my posts, I'm a little Type A-ish, and because I love a good birthday as much as the next person, I tend to go a little overboard.

And overboard I did go...

I've obsessed over this for the past two weeks. Really - obsessed. I've emailed the teacher at least three times to ask her (1) what she wanted for her special snack, (2) what time she wanted to have her mini birthday party, and (3) to fill out a questionnaire including all sorts of personal and impersonal details about her life-to-date to give me insight into what would constitute "The Perfect Gift." (I'm not being entirely honest about #3 - I think I only asked seven questions, all totally appropriate and reasonable.) I think the teacher was a little annoyed by my persistence, but as she is probably opening her fabulous gifts and enjoying my tasty fresh-fruit snack as I type, I have a feeling she'll forgive me. :)

Okay, so we'll start with the gift.

We ended up getting, oh, about 20" of snow from Tuesday night through Wednesday, and I had Super Man and Super Boy both home sick from Monday afternoon until Thursday morning, so I was really under the gun to get those gifts purchased, having just collected the majority of the money on Monday. So all my shopping had to be done yesterday (Thursday), driving around in the messy aftermath of the Blizzard of '08. I made no fewer than five stops to purchase items for The Perfect Gift.

Super Boy's teacher loves art and said that if she could go anywhere tomorrow, she'd want to go to the Louvre in Paris. So I found a great coffee table book about the Louvre on sale at Barnes & Noble for $19 (score!). She also loves healthy cooking and scrapbooking/stamping, so I bought her the latest copy of "Cooking Light" magazine plus a cool-looking paper crafts and stamping magazine. Then I drove to a neighboring suburb to a craft store and a fabric store to purchase a gift card and the makings for a personalized tote bag.

I should mention that part of personalizing the tote bag meant having to sew on a cool ribbon trim and some ribbon ties. And, um, I don't really sew. At all. Nope. I'll get back to that in a minute.

After picking up my artsy-fartsy stuff, I drove back to my community to the flower shop to order a bouquet to be made for the teacher incorporating one of her favorite flowers: stargazer lilies. At a cool $5 a pop. Oh well - it's the woman's birthday!

Oh, and on top of the preparations I had to do for the teacher's birthday, I also had to bake and decorate a cake for the Cake Walk for tonight's Winter Dance. Hey, I'm nothing if not over-committed.

I get home, start wrapping the gifts, deliberately putting the sewing project aside until Super Man got home from work. Because (and I'm about to reveal a secret here)... Super Man is the tailor of our household. Yep, the man can SEW, ladies!! He made all our window treatments, and has sewn numerous other things over the years, much to my delight. Seriously, it turns me on to see my Super Man at the sewing machine.

Sewing put off, I baked the cake, cut up all the fresh fruit for snack, worked on the cards for the teacher and then killed some time (okay, a bunch of time) by checking email and tooling around on the Internet.

When the man of my dreams came home last night, coughing and sneezing his flu-germ-filled mucous hither and yon, I immediately tackled him and asked him to, "Sew for me, baby." I may have even whispered it into his ear in a breathy Marilyn Monroe-esque voice. He groaned (not with pleasure, I should note) and said, "Baby... You really need to learn how to do this yourself, you know." He proceeded to stall (much as I had done all afternoon) for an hour or so before lugging out his old sewing machine, threading it properly (this is always where I get confused - kinda hard to actually sew if you can't even thread the machine), and getting it ready to roll. And then he walked away.

WHAT?!?!? NO! You can't get it set up and then walk away!! That's like engaging in foreplay and then leaping out of bed, clapping your hands and saying, "Alrighty then. Gotta run." You just don't DO that, people!!

I leaped at him, grabbed his well-muscled hand and literally dragged him back to the machine, pleading and near-tears. But Super Man remained firm. He said he would stand by and watch me to make sure I knew what I was doing, and then he was going to go watch LOST. I whined and whimpered for a few minutes but, seeing that it was having no effect on Super Man, decided to just bite the bullet and get down to business.

It was all good until Super Man walked out of the room. Then the needle struck one of the straight pins I'd had holding the ribbon in place, and the stupid needle broke. DARN IT!!!

I went whining to Super Man to ask him to help me replace the needle, but he told me to figure it out. I tried for a few minutes, swore in frustration, and then walked away to watch LOST for a little while. During a commercial break, I again pleaded my case to Super Man to help, and he finally did, swearing the whole while.

Ten minutes later, I broke that needle, too. I don't even know HOW that one broke - I had figured out that I should remove all straight pins by that point. Thank God I had another two needles left, and I quickly finished up the sewing and moved on with my life. The bag, by the way, turned out BEAUTIFUL. If I hadn't already ironed on letters of the teacher's name to one side, I'd have kept it for myself! Of course, it was nearly 9pm at that point, so I was dead tired from my day of preparing for the teacher's birthday.

This morning, I awoke bright and early (okay, at 7am), showered and put all the birthday goodies into my minivan as Super Boy and I raced against the clock to get to school before the bell rang. After dropping him, the snack and the gifts off with the student teacher, I ran to the flower shop to get the bouquet, and delivered that - and the cake for tonight's Cake Walk - back to the school. The teacher smiled as she saw her bouquet of stargazer lilies and roses. :)

And I'm back at home, taking a much needed gulp of a honey latte with soy and kicking back to pat myself on the back. Job well done, Super Woman!! Keep up the good work!

Now if only I could remember that pesky password for my work computer and email...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Hello, My Name is Super Woman, and I Have a Confession to Make...

I need to confess something to all of my loyal readers. (All two of you - thank you!) This is a very difficult thing for me to admit, especially since I just observed another birthday and am not the spring chicken I once was. Okay, I'm almost ready...

(Here is where I take a deep breath...)

Alright here it is: I'm severely password challenged.

I have probably 30 different passwords for 30 different pieces of technology and websites that I have to remember. And my memory is not what it once was. Is it because I've reached the ripe old age of 34 and have developed dementia? Could it be early-onset Alzheimer's? Or has being at home with my four year-old for the better part of the past year finally dumbed me down to the point where I can't remember even the most basic of things, such as the password to my work computer, the computer onto which I've logged daily for nearly eight years straight??? (Ack!)

I'll admit something else here. I cheat when it comes to passwords. I do write them down. In one super-secret location which I'll never reveal, even under extreme torture involving aggressive tickling or the withholding of chocolate.

Oh, I know you're not supposed to do this. But if it weren't for writing them down, I'd surely forget them within hours.

Which is exactly what happened with the password to my work computer and my work email. The lifeline to my WORK, people!!

Three days ago, I sat there before said work computer, read the fifteenth warning that my password was about to expire, and in a fit of frustration and rebellion thought, Fine, you want me to change my password? I'll change my password! Hah! Take that! I was all flip about picking a password that was - like me - fun and sassy, yet also in compliance with "The Password Rules" of my company. Something I'd be sure to remember, since I didn't have a pencil and paper handy to write it down to later add to my super-secret list of passwords.

And lo and behold, a mere 12 hours later, when I went to login to check my work email, I drew a complete blank. Not even a glimmer of an idea. The perfect password had passed into the black hole that is my memory!

I panicked. I tried fifteen different things - at the risk of being locked out of my account altogether - that seemed distinctly possible as passwords I might have chosen. Nothing.

My heart started beating fast as I imagined all of the incredibly and urgently important things that might've been sitting ominously in my inbox, completely and utterly out of my reach. (Never mind the fact that no one has emailed me anything critical for about a month now. It was still a possibility.)

It was exhausting, the stress of it all. I had to take a nap.

During my nap, I dreamed about finally remembering the password. I awoke with renewed vigor, sat before my work computer, and tried another five possible passwords, each well-peppered with punctuation marks, numbers and the like, as I was sure I'd had at least an exclamation point in there somewhere. Nothing.

With nervous sweat pouring down my back, I sat before my personal computer last night and typed a very humble message to my former direct report to ask her to assist me by obtaining the name of the correct person in Tech Support whom I could contact today to have my password reset. I hit "Send" feeling like a complete ass. God bless her in her wonderful efficiency, she emailed me back promptly this morning with the name, email address and direct number for the God in our Tech Support department who could help me. I wanted to kiss her. But, alas, I work remote.

The God in our Tech Support department called me after I sent him a very humiliating and pathetic email (from my personal computer) full of groveling and begging for his assistance. (Oh, and I decided I needed to copy my wonderful, patient and fun-loving boss on that email so that he'd know what a dumbass I was - and so that he'd know that if he wanted to reach me, he'd have to either pick up the phone and call me or email my personal email address.) The Tech Support God asked me a few questions and then determined that, indeed, I am a dumbass. He needs my computer in his hands to reset the password because I work remote and it would take him hours to dig up the info required to do it otherwise. I'm so ashamed....

Anyway, due to this little snag in the plan, I will be without my work email and unable to access any of my electronic work files until at least next Tuesday, when I can finally get in to the office. Unless, of course, we get another 20 flippin' feet of snow that day, as we did yesterday. Which is a distinct possibility.

I'm absolutely mortified. I've logged onto my work computer and into my work email practically every single day of my life for the better part of eight years now, and despite having to change my password on what I'd swear has been a weekly basis to comply with "The Password Rules", I've never - NEVER - forgotten it before. Until now. Just as I'm about to wrap up my employment at this wonderful, beautiful company.

(Gulp.) I'm sure they'll be glad to be rid of me now that they've seen what a demented dumbass I am.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

And Did I Mention That Everyone is Sick?

Just wondering. Because I've been at home taking care of Super Man and Super Boy for the past two days, as both of them have fallen ill with influenza.

Super Boy went to school yesterday (he's in half-day K4), and an hour or so after we got home, he said his head hurt and he wanted to lie down. I took a good long look at his rosie red cheeks and glassy eyes and knew instantly that he had a fever. Turned out to be 100.5. Since then, it's vacillated between 100.5 and 101.5, and with it has been his appetite and energy level. There's nothing sadder than listening to your little 4 year-old son coughing hoarsely and croaking out a request for ice water.

Except maybe the sound of 42 year-old Super Man moaning and groaning and coughing hoarsely and asking me to get him some Advil. His temperature got as high as 102.4, and he's also had the body aches, chills, sore throat and cough.

Being the huge germophobe I am, I've been going nuts washing my already dry, cracked hands and wiping down every square inch of surface area in my home every 30 minutes in my efforts to keep myself from falling prey.

Seriously, I am going to bed and not coming back out until May!

Did I Mention That I Hate Snow?

I'd heard earlier this week that we might get a "Winter Storm" tonight/tomorrow, maybe 6-8 inches of snow.

The National Weather Service upgraded the Winter Storm Warning earlier today.

Our total estimated snowfall from tonight through 3pm tomorrow is now as much as 16-18".

And the forecast shows varying degrees of additional snow through Sunday.

<<big sigh>>

That's it. I'm done with winter. I'm going to bed. And staying there until April 1st.

Scratch that. Make it May 1st, just to be on the safe side.

Grrrrrrrrr....

Monday, February 4, 2008

Six Reasons Why I HATE Winter

I was born and bred a Midwestern girl. I've lived in the same Midwestern state my entire life, despite dreams of escaping to the warmer climes of California on many an occasion.

Alas, when I chose Super Man as my mate, I committed to stay in this state, at least until Super Girl (Super Man's daughter from his first marriage) is grown. What in the sam HELL was I thinking?!?!?

I've passed 33 winters in this state. Yes, you read that correctly: Thirty-three. And I'm not a girl who loves winter. In fact, I'm a girl who despises winter. With every fiber of my being.

Why? I'm happy to share.

Reasons Why I HATE Winter

1. It's cold. Very, very cold. Downright frigid many days, especially when you factor in that stupid thing called "wind chill." Just last week, we had wind chills of 50 below, and regular temps below zero. Are you hearing me, people? Below zero. That's just wrong.

2. We get wayyyyy too much snow every year. And particularly this year. As a matter of fact, we've already gotten as much snow season-to-date as we usually get in an entire average winter. Which in our state pretty much lasts until April.

3. My husband travels on business. Often. Which means I have to blow far more of that snow than I care to. (Can you hear me slitting my wrists?)

4. Everyone is sick, all winter long. I'm not joking about that either. So far - and remember, there's still plenty o' winter left, people - the stomach flu has gone around three times (and I'm the world's biggest emetophobe -- look it up, it is a real word, and a real phobia), the "real" flu (aka: influenza) has hit HARD, and you can't spit without hitting someone with a cold.

Not that I'd do that. Spit on other people, I mean. I'm a huge germophobe, so I would never want to risk having someone actually spit back on me. Yuck.

5. It's dark when we wake up. And it's dark well before 4:30pm. (Daylight Savings Time doesn't last nearly as long as it should, in my humble opinion.) Come to think of it, it's often dark and dreary even when it's supposed to be light out. I have serious Seasonal Affective Disorder, my friends, and they call it "SAD" for a reason!

6. It's cold. And we get way too much snow. And I have to snow blow a lot of it, which is one of my least favorite activities of all time. And I have to endure vomit, snot, fevers and sore throats at least twice - EACH - for the better part of six months because of winter. Did I mention all of that yet?

I dream of warmer days. I cannot wait to put on a pair of shorts (even if I have to wear a sweater, or even my winter jacket, on top), my favorite black Crocs and be outdoors in the sun and have it be even moderately warm. And by that I mean in the upper fifties or sixties. Yep, I'll be that person who will brave the odd stares by wearing shorts the second it gets remotely warm-ish, showing my whiter-than-white legs to the world, goosebumps and all.

I cannot take it anymore, people. I need some sunshine, some warmth. Something other than snow, freezing rain, slush, -50 wind chills.

Gosh darnit, I really hate winter.