What turns on your lights

The Husband planned an elaborate belated birthday date for me, which was supposed to take place today. We were going to ride the train to Chicago, have dinner at Giordano’s, and finish out the evening with a walk through Millennium Park. It was going to be great. We were going to laugh and enjoy each other’s company, walking hand-in-hand through the park. I was going to lay my head on his shoulder and fall asleep on the train ride home. A fellow passenger, probably a sweet elderly lady, was going to smile and ask if we were newlyweds. We were going to giggle and say, “It sure feels like it, but no. We’ve been married five years!” Like I said, it was going to be great. It was way out of character for The Husband to plan something so thoughtful. I should have made a big deal about it, went on the date, did the hand-holding and snuggling and giggling, but….I started thinking about all of the other things we could do with the money….and that’s how I ended up lightbulb shopping for my birthday date. Read on.

Last night:

Me: So I’m really excited about tomorrow. And I really want to do it. Seriously. And it’s totally up to you, but should we consider spending that money on some lumber to start framing the basement? Like either way is fine with me. Both would be fun. But I am really anxious to get started on the basement….
The Husband: 😐

Now some of you may be feeling bad for him right now. He planned this fantastic date and I’m just kind of politely declining, but you should know that the reason he wants to do the date instead of buy lumber is not because he wants to have a romantic evening with me. It’s because we’ve done enough home improvement projects together for him to know that taking me on an expensive date is one of the billion things he would rather do than start another project. Right next to hack off his own leg with a dull knife, sleep on a bed of scorpions…

When we do a home improvement project, I believe we’re like Carl and Ellie from the movie, Up, lovingly fixing up our dream house, writing our names in a heart on the mailbox. In his head, it’s probably something more like a scene from Roots:

The Husband: *sweating, dirty, breathing heavily, grabs a glass of ice water and collapses in the chair while reaching for the remote*
Me: Oh, you already got it all done?
The Husband makes up some obscure tool that he needs so that I can’t force him back to work: I need a fligeradoo before I can do anything else.
Me: Well can’t you do another step until we get the fligeradoo? Like start hanging the drywall?
The Husband: No. I can’t hang the drywall before the studs are up to hang it on. Unless you want me to hang it on air.
Me: Fine. Just watch TV then, I guess.

I’m awful, I know. Anyway, we went back and forth on whether or not to go through with Chicago date night, but because he loves me:


Soon enough, we’ll have the extra bedroom done and I can stop listening to the boys complain about sharing a room, I thought. Chicago would have been great, but this will be really great.

The Husband had made a shockingly long list of light bulbs we needed (27 bulbs to be exact) and we decided to grab those first. An hour and a half and nearly $100 later, we left Lowe’s with nothing more than 27 light bulbs and a new broom. Who knew that so many light bulbs would be so ridiculously expensive!? And how in the world did we need 27 light bulbs!? Had I just gone along with the original plan, we would have been leisurely strolling through the park right now. Instead, we’re at home changing light bulbs while all three kids scream their fool heads off. Sometimes I’m disgusted by my own practicality. But the good news is that the security lights that I didn’t even know we had are now functional. Happy birthday to me.

I can’t complain because it’s my own fault, and I must add that he did insist that we at least eat at Cracker Barrel, where he talked me into buying a few swan trinkets that he knew I wanted, but was too cheap to buy without the extra encouragement.

So thanks for planning a fantastic birthday date AND for actually taking me on a mediocre one, dear. Sometimes it really is the thought that counts.

Let’s see how far we’ve come

Some women are natural mothers, full of patience and kindness, ready to nurture and raise many children. It’s like they have a sixth sense about all things motherhood. That was not me. I have fumbled through raising kids in a constant process of trial and error. The boys were (and still are) a learning experience – kind of like Chernobyl or the Titanic.

Boy One got the worst of it.

He got to experience the trips to the ER for possible gastrointestinal bleeds and West Nile, both of which turned out to be nothing more than constipation.

He was the one that came with the poorly packed diaper bag that carried eight and a half pairs of shoes that no longer fit him, but no diapers. This resulted in him being diapered in a dish towel more times than I care to admit.

He was the one that fell off of the couch (more than once) because no one ever told me that a completely stationary baby can master the art of rolling over in one hour and, after that point, it doesn’t matter if you are standing right next to him, if you aren’t actually looking at him (even if it’s only for 3 seconds), you can’t catch him.

Which brings me to my next point: He’s the one that taught me that moms do not actually have eyes in the back of their heads. And they need them because…..

He was the one that taught me that a penny is the exact size of a nine-month-old’s windpipe and that screaming and flapping your arms wildly will not remove said penny and that you just better pray that The Husband happens to be standing there at the time.

He was the one that listened intently to Basic Contract Law for Paralegals instead of nursery rhymes because I was in the middle of my degree when he was born.

He got to deal with the dental issues because I was “that mom” that was too stupid to heed the warnings about sugary juice; however, for the record, I still believe that some people are genetically predisposed to acidic saliva, resulting in increased susceptibility to cavities.

He still suffers from inability to sleep solo because I let him sleep with me from Day One. And by sleep “with me” I mean we slept with our faces inches apart and our arms around each other, which is still his preferred sleeping position.

But hey, as of today I have somehow successfully kept this guy alive for eight entire years. I didn’t think I had it in me.