2018 total (so far): $3184.98


Happy Birthday to Me! Now Go Hide in a Fallout Shelter.

Just two short years ago I received a call from a family member saying something to the effect of, "You better get started on having that baby!" I replied, "Uh, no," just as I had for months prior anytime someone voiced that it would be REALLY! FUN! if I got to share my birthday with the baby. In fact, the moment I learned I was due right about my birthday, I vowed that the child would not be allowed to be born on, or immediately preceding, January 23. I don't know precisely how I planned to stop it from happening, I just knew it wasn't an option.

Every time I would look at someone like they had three heads for suggesting just how much fun it would be to share my birthday, they assumed it was because I didn't want to share "my" day. I'm not good at sharing, but that wasn't the real reason. I admit I played along with that theory because it was easier to just nod and agree. All this time, I've kept the real reason a secret. Just what is the real reason? Peeps, my birthday sucks. Every year, my birthday sucks. If something horrible doesn't happen on the actual anniversary of my birth, then it happens a day or two before my day. Every year, without fail.

To demonstrate my point, let's look at the history of January 23rd:

1556 - The deadliest earthquake in history, the Shaanxi earthquake, hits Shaanxi province, China. The death toll may have been as high as 830,000.
1570 - The assassination of regent James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray, throws Scotland into civil war.
1870 - In Montana, U.S. cavalrymen kill 173 Indians, mostly women and children, in the Marias Massacre.
1941 - Charles Lindbergh testifies before the U.S. Congress and recommends that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Adolf Hitler. (Great idea, Charles! Hitler was such a nice guy, after all.)
1973 - A volcanic eruption devastates Heimaey in the Vestmannaeyjar chain of islands off the south coast of Iceland.
1985 - O.J. Simpson becomes the first Heisman Trophy winner elected to the Football Hall of Fame. (I don't care how great of a player he was. He doesn't deserve the honor.)
1991 - World's largest oil spill, caused by embattled Iraqi forces in Kuwait.
1993 - Indian Airlines B737 crashes art Aurangabad, 61 die.
1996 - The first version of the Java programming language is released. (Trust me, this was a sad moment in history.)
2002 - Reporter Daniel Pearl is kidnapped -- and subsequently murdered -- in Karachi, Pakistan.
2005 - Johnny Carson, American television host died.
2004 - Jennifer Lopez breaks engagement to Ben Affleck. (A great day for Ben, but it was all downhill from there for J.Lo. I mean, have you seen her current husband? Yuck!)
2007 - Iraq: twin market bombings kill over 100.

OK, OK, so none of that actually affected me personally. Want some "my world" examples? Fine:

1980 - The water lines in our house froze and we had to spend the night at a flea-bag hotel complete with orange shag carpet, a heavily stained green/orange plaid comforter, and an hourly rate.
1981 - While driving cross-country to my Grandpa's funeral, our car went kaput. We were stranded in the no man's land of rural Wisconsin for hours.
1982 - My birthday party was cancelled due to TWELVE FEET of snow.
1983 - My birthday party was cancelled due to sub-zero temperatures. (I never bothered to try to have another one after that.)
1986 - A little boy in my neighborhood died of Spinal Meningitis.
1989 - My parents forgot my birthday. Seriously, they FORGOT it. I kept thinking there was going to be some big surprise at any minute. I thought wrong.
1991 - My Dad was called up from the Air Force Reserves for deployment to the Gulf War.
1992 - My Mom had a radical mastectomy to treat breast Cancer.
1994 - My college roommate thought it would be a great idea to have her boyfriend spend the night in our all girls dorm. The things that went on in that top bunk were loud, smelly, disgusting, and very memorable. Did I mention that she was pretty heavy-set? What about that her boyfriend was more like morbidly obese? I bet that's a pretty picture in your head right now. I HAD TO BE THERE! I spent most of the night silently praying that the bunk bed wouldn't give way. I spent the rest of the night (not) sleeping in the hall.

I could fill in all of those other years, but since I'm more of a sunny-side up sort of person, I refuse to do it. Just trust me, something always happens. Given that one of my absolute favorite movies ever is Ten Things I Hate About You, I think it's safe to say there's already been one stroke of grief for this year. Let's hope there's not another.

Alexis, just be glad you were born on January 27th. It's a much happier day.

Psst . . . if you want to make my day better, you could maybe click over on one of those little Blogger's Choice buttons over to the right and place a vote. That would make me smile!


Sometimes I Do as I'm Told

Karen over at The Rocking Pony (Who just so happens to make the cutest shirts EVAH! They are absolutely worth waiting for.) tagged me to do a little meme and I thought, what the heck, my brain is still on vacation, I'll do it. Then I realized that it would require digging through old posts and now I'm traumatized. Gah! It's painful reading some of the the old stuff. Why didn't anyone ever tell me how crappy it was?

Anyway, here's the rules of the meme: Go back through your archives and post the links to your five favorite blog posts that you’ve written. But there is a catch:
Link 1 must be about family.
Link 2 must be about friends.
Link 3 must be about yourself, who you are… what you’re all about.
Link 4 must be about something you love.
Link 5 can be anything you choose.

Here goes . . .

1. This whole bloggy shebang is about my little family, but I thought this post was fun. The good news is that I am almost never sick. Alexis swims in a petri dish at daycare every day, so she brings the misery a little bit more frequently, but really not all that often.
2. My very best friend in the whole wide world is my husband. My second best friend is named Tony.
3. I'm all about keeping the Toddler safe. It is, after all, my number one priority.
4. I really, really love Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I just won't pay over $4 for one (and I haven't!).
5. Looking back at this advice, it's still the single-most important piece of parenting wisdom anyone has bestowed upon little ol' me.

Go show those posts some love. At least one of them deserves it, right?

And now to show some other blogs some love. I'm tagging people I've recently discovered so they can do all the hard work of combing their archives for great posts for me.

Marlee's Rant
Poot and Cubby
Life on the Roof
June Cleaver Nirvana
And Then Sum


You Need to Know

- The Toddler has determined the best way to wander the house at night without having to fear what the useless watch dogs will do: Yell "Mommy" over and over and over as you walk around. Useless dog #1 and useless dog #2 recognize that shriek no matter how sleepy they are. The smart one hides when she hears it.

- The not-so-smart one has had her breed rise to the Top 10. This is not a good thing. Bulldogs are not an easy breed to care for at all and over-breeding would be disastrous. While Meg is certainly the sweetest dog of all time and makes a Lab puppy look evil, she is high maintenance. Our pup is rare in that she has very few allergy problems (it's not unusual for a Bulldog to need a special diet or to be on numerous allergy meds), but that doesn't stop her from having the "nose thing" that they all have. That wrinkly cuteness about her nose is a dark little crevice of skin on skin. Think about where you have a dark little crevice of skin on skin. Now think about what would happen if you didn't clean it every day. Much stinky, no? That's what happens if you don't wipe out the butt crack on her face as well. It gets moist, stinky, and just plain gross pretty quick. And if you let it go too long, it will turn into an infection. To make it more interesting, it's rare to find a Bully that doesn't mind having it's wrinkles cleaned out. A 50-pound bowling ball with legs can put up a serious fight if it wants to.

Anyway, if you're thinking of getting a Bulldog, do your research. Make sure you are OK with the worst-case scenario because that might just be what you get. Then research breeders until you are blue in the face. If someone is asking less than $2000 for a puppy, I guarantee that you are asking for trouble. If price is your deciding factor, I strongly suggest you rescue an older dog so that you know exactly what you are getting into. On a related note, a Bulldog breeder would only sell a puppy to a pet store if they knew they couldn't get top-dollar for the pup on their own. I have never seen a Bulldog puppy at a pet store that didn't have obvious genetic problems.

- Another Public Service Announcement: If you STILL have Jingle Bells or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as your cellphone ringtone, please change it immediately. The next time I hear it, the calendar better say November or I'm stealing your phone and throwing it into the river. I won't feel bad if I have to punch you to get the phone out of your hands either.

- The Toddler has slept through the night four nights out of the past seven. The whole thing is quickly leading me to believe that the best form of torture for terrorists truly is to lock them in a house with a bunch of Toddlers. If the screaming and chaotic insanity of the day doesn't get them, the sleepless nights most certainly will.

- Old Navy currently has all their clearance marked down an additional 50% off. I found three pairs of pants, a t-shirt, a sweater, and five pairs of socks for Alexis today which cost a grand total of $23. Score one for the cheap Mommy!

- Alexis turns two in exactly one week. I have zero plans so far. Procrastinate much? Why yes, I do.

(Sorry for the craptastic posts two nights in a row. I'll be more on my game when I have a bit more time. Oh, and the photo is reflections refelecting on reflections. Cool, no?)