Thomas Responds…

My husband, who is super supportive of me and of the blog, just finished reading my thoughts on our bed ‘sharing’. According to him, the description of a 75-25 split of the bed was too generous. He said maybe it was my Julia Math skills at work.  He said that he didn’t know where things took such a drastic turn and that he certainly doesn’t remember signing up for this. 

thomas Thomas Responds...

My Supportive, Loving Husband

He reminded me that I still have to check with him at hotels for confirmation of what side of the bed is mine.

Our anniversary is today, and Thomas maintains that ever since then, he has been engaged in a desperate fight for his half of the bed, and that he is losing it, inch by inch.

inch Thomas Responds...

Thomas’s Losing Battle

The cat has already abandoned the bed for the safe sanctuary of a wide open sofa. (While Thomas might be sad about this, I claim this in the WIN column.)  Stay tuned for an update as he says at this rate he will soon be on the floor (or kicking the cat off of the sofa).

sofa Thomas Responds...

The Cat’s Safe Haven

Sharing A Bed Is Over Rated

To all the single girls (and guys who read my blog), I have some advice for you: sleep in the middle of the bed! Use every square inch.  Use every pillow.  Don’t be afraid to sleep diagonally.  One of the great myths about being married is that is soooo wonderful to fall asleep in each other’s arms every night.  When Thomas and I were first together, we did sleep like that. And then I wound up at the chiropractor three times a week because I couldn’t move my neck. Well, fast forward to today; we have been married almost six years (Tuesday), together almost nine, and this novelty has worn off. Also, I have discovered how much I love pillows! In fact, I love them so much that I use four of them when I am sleeping. Thomas LOVES this. 

snuggling Sharing A Bed Is Over Rated

I Love You SOOOO Much

My husband travels a lot (he is a pilot, so this is not really a shocker).  There are times when I am begging him to get a trip because I am dying for a good night’s sleep. Before you judge me, you should know that he is (not so) secretly wishing for the same thing.

tom cruise Sharing A Bed Is Over Rated

I don’t know what my parents did to my sisters and me that make us the Worst Bed Hogs In The World.  We could be considered ‘Combative Sleepers’, and our respective husbands and boyfriend deserve combat pay. Collectively, we believe that the middle of the bed is the best place to sleep (because it is the best place), and that it is fair for us to do so, even with our husbands/boyfriends in the bed as well.   We feel that we have the right to use  as many pillows as we want to, and to cover and uncover- tossing blankets- as many times as we want to during the night. My sister Jen is the worst as she actually bit her boyfriend one night.  Yes, you did read that correctly and every time Thomas starts to complain, I remind him that he does not have teeth marks in his arm.

the pawlik girls Sharing A Bed Is Over Rated

My Righteous Place

Once Thomas got used to his ‘side’ of the bed, we had to address the noise issue. I cannot sleep in total silence. It scares me to death.  I just know there is a one armed ax man hiding outside the house waiting to kill me. Also, I cannot tolerate any sounds from anyone else (this is the main reason I never went to sleep away camp).  Any sound, even gentle breathing drives me crazy.  Luckily for me, Thomas snores.  The invention of the Breathe Right Strip has saved our marriage on more than one occasion.

snoring Sharing A Bed Is Over Rated

THOMAS!

If you are lucky enough to go sleep alone tonight, do me a favor and sleep in the middle of the bed. With all the pillows.  If you are going to be sharing a bed tonight, get there first and claim your rightful 75%! Sweet Dreams!

This is SO True at Our House

If you believe the hype (THOMAS), this accurately depicts our sleeping situation…

bed This is SO True at Our House

More on this tomorrow. For now, I am going to claim my 90% side of my our bed.

 

New TVs! (Does anyone need any extra cords? I have 54 left.)

As I have mentioned, we just joined everyone else- including those in prison- and got flat screen TVs. Yay, us! After a long and heated ‘debate’ (is it really a debate if you aren’t speaking to the other party?), the TVs were hung on the wall.  Whether to hang them on the wall or not was never a question, as Emma tries to hug puppies on TV, kiss kittens, etc,

tv on wall New TVs! (Does anyone need any extra cords? I have 54 left.)

Safely Hung!

however, the actual height at which to hang them was intensely discussed. So, we finally reached a compromise: Thomas could hang the TVs at any height he wanted to, and I could buy whatever furniture necessary to accent the height of said TV. (Thomas waited and waited for these TVs. As a result, he had time to research the details that would enhance our viewing experience.  He spent a few DAYS on Google, searching things like “height to hang TV” and “distance from TV to sofa”. And so, the TV was hung at a height that did actually did improve our viewing experience. Our new, fancy TVs have made our traditional TVs stands look ridiculous.  As you might have picked up on by now, I have respectable non-college standards for furniture (yes, I am in my thirties as my BFF pointed out)- yes, it has to be functional, but it also has to be CUTE.) However, hanging the TVs to the height he wanted wasn’t so easy… And why should it have been? I mean, as everyone knows, something that is simple and straight forward is NEVER simple and straightforward.

After we ordered the TV mounting kits (Amazon I heart you! You saved me over 75% !), the Quest For Cables began in earnest. Fancy TVs require fancy cords that have a lot of letters.  Despite Thomas’ best efforts, we never had the correct length of cable.  Every single time I turned around, we were ordering more cables. The only downfall to Amazon is the delayed gratification.  In this case, delayed gratification looks like a stare down between shiny brand new TVs and old, fat, slow TVs.  Because we are Amazon Rock Stars (also known as Prime Members), the cables (all fifty-six of them) were sent next day delivery.

t j barbadoes 150x150 New TVs! (Does anyone need any extra cords? I have 54 left.)

He is my own Handy Man!

Girls: always marry a man who can fix stuff around the house- my friend Caroline told that me they paid three hundred dollars to have their TVs hung (granted they do live in CA where even air is expensive)! So, in Julia’s Math, this means I have saved three hundred dollars which I can now spend on furniture!

Fast forward a few days, and my new TVs are hanging on the wall (and we have fifty-four extra cables laying around which I am forbidden from throwing away), and furniture shopping has begun in earnest. Furniture in our house collects stuff- really random stuff like old screws and business cards and X-Acto knives and extra buttons.  Instead of transferring all this crap into new furniture (Thomas’s way), we (I) decided to clean everything out and toss what we didn’t need any more (which is, in all honesty, basically everything, but I am trying to be nice and stay married so I went through all of it before throwing 99% of it away).  Thus began The Saga Of Simplifying…

An Ode To Costco

I An Ode To Costco hope you all have admitted to yourselves that if you love Costco, you might be a hoarder. Personally, I am guilty.  As a member of the More-Is-More camp, Costco is a sacred place.  The items available for purchase are practically endless! Let’s say you need a new TV. You drive to Costco, find the TV of your dreams, and are happy.  As you walk out, you notice a gorgeous sectional sofa. You sit on it, and it is the most comfortable sofa ever! You buy that too.  You notice an arrangement of coffee tables… you need heart An Ode To Costcosomething to match the new sofa, right? Suddenly, you realize how hungry you are! In the snack aisle, you select some popcorn (five pounds in the container) to eat while you watch your new TV on your new sofa with your feet up on your new coffee table (caramel coated, chocolate drizzled, kettle korn, spicy, and traditional).  As good as the popcorn will be, you need something Right Now… Costco’s full service snack bar to the rescue! A piece of pizza, a Diet Coke, and some frozen yogurt will provide you the sustenance to get home to set up your new toys. (BTW, I just looked on Costco’s website and you can even plan your FUNERAL with Costco!)

We have a running joke at our house that you cannot escape Costco for anything less than $65- even if you just run in for eggs.  Honestly, it’s not Costco’s fault… as Top Costco Logo An Ode To Costcoa firm believer in capitalism and free markets, I cannot hold Costco accountable for my total lack of control over my purse strings. (Grumbling is allowed though.) I think it is a lethal combination of great quality, good merchandising, superb pricing, and limitless possibilities.

The only downside to Costco is that everyone else acquires the same superhero abilities as I do.  Everyone has temporary amnesia (or else everyone else lives in a gigantic house with unlimited closet space). The siren song of

three ring circus An Ode To Costco

The Parking Lot

Endless Possibilities seduces all who enter the parking lot. Three ring circus does not begin to describe the parking lot outside.  It is every minivan for themselves! Now, parking lot karma is a bitch, but when your brain floods with Costco endorphins, karma is forgotten faster than my husband’s promise to pick up the bathmat. (Every day the man lays it down without replacing it on the towel bar. EVERYDAY.) Everyone adopts the mentality that they will miss ‘it’ (‘it’ doesn’t have a set definition- it could be the last package of crew socks size small, or the supply of organic tomatoes) if they don’t hurry.  Cars swoop down aisles at speeds more appropriate for Interstate 75.  Everyone also loses their religion as common courtesies are thrown out the window- parking spaces are stolen, honks are honked if someone dares to take too long to exit said spot (c’mon lady! Don’t worry about strapping your infant into a car seat! I’ve got shopping to do!)

 Once inside, the chaos would be intimidating to a mere mortal, but remember who we are dealing with-super human

brain waves 150x150 An Ode To Costco

The top graph is Costco Members. The bottom is Everyone Else.

Costco Members! There is serious stimulus overload. The scent of freshly baked cakes mingles with the smell of the free sample pizza and gently breezes over you, while dancing lights from the fifty five giant TVs commands visual attention.  There is a loud hum- the hum of hundreds of people exclaiming in joy, huge shopping carts rolling over concrete floors, and the ever present cellphone rings, text message alerts, and too loud (ever noticed the more inappropriate the conversation the louder it is?) conversations. The absolute worst part of shopping at Costco is the StopShort. The StopShort could also be called Cart Abandonment.  Costco always has a plethora of free samples.  (In college, when we were out of money for the month we would go to the local Sam’s and eat lunch on the free samples… I know, so, so ghetto. What are you gonna do?) The free samples cause folks to act like newly freed prisoners from a communist country.  They swarm the stations, usually taking at least two of whatever it is.  If there are no samples- pizza is baking, for example- they will wait.  They will just stand there like wooden people and WAIT. I am being kind when I tell you that most of these people have never skipped a snack, let alone a meal, and yet, they wait. In an effort to get as close as possible to the food source, people leave their carts behind. They StopShort, abruptly in their tracks, forgoing their carts, and stampede towards the sample station. (At Costco, even the sucky sample stations are always packed- the weird lentils in some Indian red sauce has takers. The salad table, for crying out loud, has a line!) The abandoned carts resemble some sort of battlefield after the fact.

Costco is totally worth all of the trouble. I mean, it makes us Super Human! I do wish that these Super Human Qualities carried over to other aspects of my life… but until they do, I will continue to channel my powers there.  All the best to my fellow shoppers… because I do embrace the Costco mantra and every man IS for himself!!

super human An Ode To Costco

Your Average Costco Member

Six On Sunday, Verison 2

1.Holiday Weekends.  Woo Woo! A special, heartfelt Thank You to all who are serving, have served, or will serve.  You are all truly heroes. Godspeed.military 260x300 Six On Sunday, Verison 2

2.. Graduations. My nephew graduated from high school this weekend. iu1 Six On Sunday, Verison 2Hard to believe my COLLEGE graduation was TEN YEARS AGO this month… I think I am ready to go back.  I have only been back once, about six months after graduation. It was awful- I felt so left out of the community.  I was too old to be an active participant, and not yet old enough to be nostalgic about things. I would love to go back now- I think I’m far enough removed (ten years+ a marriage+ motherhood will do that to you), but I no longer live within driving distance and my husband just doesn’t see Bloomington, IN as a vacation destination. 

3.The Pool.  It’s open! And just as lovely and refreshing as last year.

4. TV furniture (Also known as entertainment centers).  Last week, we were all about the TVs… this week, it’s all about how to house them. Thomas wanted to hang them on the walls so Emma couldn’t get to them (fair point. anytime she sees anything cute- like a puppy- she tries to pet and or kiss it).

5. Streaming Netflix. While at the gym on the PreCor, it is genius!

real housewives Six On Sunday, Verison 2

RHOC Season 7

6.Real Housewives of Orange County. I am finally caught up! Several things have to cascade just so to enable me to watch RHOC.  Firstly, Emma has to be asleep (something about a bad influence). Secondly, Thomas has to be busy (something about stupid, vapid, brainless TV). And lastly, I have to have some free time (something about working full time, traveling husband, having a toddler). Thankfully, the stars were in alignment and I got to watch three episodes on the new TV!!

 

Pinch Hitting At The Grocery Store

You know what is really difficult? Going grocery shopping for other people. It takes a mind reader to be successful. I don’t care what your disposition is, or how much of a go-with-the-flow sort of person you might be; chances are good that someone else picking your produce will end badly. Unless you are married, you probably have to do all of your grocery shopping yourself. Going halvsies with roommates never ends well. In college, my roommate and I split the

diet coke Pinch Hitting At The Grocery Store

The Real Thing

Diet Coke bill (and the Captain Morgan Parrot Bay that we mixed with the Diet Coke, but that is another story). Things were going along swimmingly until she decided to go all cheap on me- which was ridiculous because her parents gave her as much money as she wanted, whenever she wanted it. She came home one day with a case of DIET PEPSI, WHICH IS NOT THE SAME. NOT EVEN CLOSE. (At restaurants, if the server brings me a Diet Pepsi instead of a Diet Coke, I will send it back. Water is always a better choice than that poisonous brew.) She claimed that it was on sale, and that is was the same thing.  I took to hiding cases of real Diet Coke under my bed. Yes, it was warm, but it was ‘The Real Thing’ so it didn’t matter!

Many husbands are sent out, armed with lists, to the grocery store. The list, however, does not stop the sixteen phone calls home with questions like “Where is bread?” and “Do we get the kind with the red label or the blue label?” Many a wife wonders what causes such amnesia as the items her husband is calling about are the same items he sees- and has seen- everyday at home for the last ten years.

I would describe myself as discriminating.   My husband would possibly use words like fussy, picky, intolerant, and

man in grocery store 300x200 Pinch Hitting At The Grocery Store

A Man's Mind the Grocery Store

difficult.  (He would be WRONG.) However, I will concede the point that I like what I like, and that I do not do well with substitutions.  This makes every shopping trip he embarks on an adventure for him.  To his great credit, he does a great job. To my great credit, it is because I set him up for success. For example, say we need deli turkey. When I go to the store, I will write ‘turkey’ on the list. When Thomas goes to the store, I will write ‘Oscar Mayer shaved turkey (Plain. Not smoked, Cajun, or honey.) It comes in a yellow package and is in the deli meat section by the cheese.’ And, with these detailed directions, he does deliver every time. (Here is a hysterical account of why the male brain doesn’t ‘do’ grocery stores.)

The idea for this post came from a conversation I had with my sister Laura. We just spent a long weekend with my family in St Louis. My mother is a wonderful hostess- whom I emulate whenever I have guests- and she always asks for a grocery list prior to our arrival.  She is amazing- she searches down every request, particularly when her favorite granddaughter is involved! But, we had several rather tense conversations while she was shopping; the most heated being about bread. My family eats Sara Lee Delightful bread (preferably in Multigrain or 100% Whole Wheat).  It used to be called Sara Lee LIGHT and Delightful bread, so that is what I wrote down on my list for my mother. She called in a panic because she could only find SL Delightful bread. Things got a little combative because I just KNEW what the bread was called, and that she was going to try to pass something else off on me.  My mother was insistent that she was correct about the name as she was staring at the label and that was what she going to buy. Well, I, being who I am (wonderful, perfect, and a role model) put my foot down! If the bread wasn’t exactly right, I would find something else to eat! I was not going to settle for second best bread! Fine, my mother said. She was off to search for my tortillas. (Super yummy- La Banderita Xtreme Fiber Tortillas!) She was totally vindicated when I visited my grocery later that day and saw the label- SL Delightful bread… I had to ‘eat my words’ on that one.

Last night, we needed iceberg lettuce for salads for dinner. My wonderful husband volunteered to go. (I suspect this might have been a desire to escape the past-dinner-time-toddler-meltdown, but at least I didn’t have to go.) I did not have time to write detailed instructions as I was attempting to head off a meltdown, so I just sent him.  A few minutes later, I received a text picture of cabbage with the message “is this right”. Thank God for picture messaging! I was able to talk him through the produce department, and he was ultimately successful.

t j barbadoes 150x150 Pinch Hitting At The Grocery Store

Happy Shoppers

What I have learned through eight years of sending my husband to the grocery store isn’t rocket science- don’t be afraid to overly explain a grocery list. I have found it is almost impossible to give too many details.  Use positive reinforcement- it is a tedious, thankless job after all.  And, lastly, remember patience with the shopper, after all, you yourself didn’t have to go to the store.  For the shoppers- don’t be afraid to call. Yes, you might sound stupid but sounding stupid is better than making another trip! Best of luck to all the pinch-hitting shoppers out there!

Your Vote Totally Counts!

Regardless of your political affiliation, I need your support! When I put my posts online, a little picture pops up. I need to pick a new one (you know, spice things up!), and I need you to vote for which picture you like best. (I know I am being such a taker, please bear with me!)

#1

Stalker 300x210 Your Vote Totally Counts!

Stalker? Who me?

 #2

 

Im Funnie 300x167 Your Vote Totally Counts!

I'm Funny

 #3

BFF 300x210 Your Vote Totally Counts!

BFF!

Thank you in advance! Love you all! (Please vote on in the comments section or on Facebook!)

This Is What Happens When You Try To Out Smart The Registry

Here is a true story of what can happen when the Registry is not adhered to…

In college, one of my older sorority sisters invited me to her wedding. (She named all the tables for the reception after things from her college career: IU Basketball, Nick’s (a favorite bar). She sat her parents and her new husband’s parents at the ‘Bursar’ table!) One of the non-registry gifts (as my husband says, ‘they were already backing up’) she received was a salad bowl on legs. Yes, legs. A non-registered for salad bowl on legs I guess in theory a good idea: if you

footed salad bowl 2 300x224 This Is What Happens When You Try To Out Smart The Registry

The Footed Salad Bowl

have a small table, the salad bowl takes up the entire thing, thus leaving no room for plates, napkins, silverware, etc.  (It does beg the question: How do you pass the salad bowl?)  (And if you are limited on space- where does one store a salad bowl on a tripod?) She and her husband lived in a wee apartment while he was in medical school, and they didn’t have a table. (I remember this because it was a huge point of contention- they could have a table if they lived in a larger, grosser, farther from campus apartment, or, they could have no table and have a cute, clean, apartment building with neighbors that might or might not have been on Cops. Faced with this choice, they went table-less. They had a couple of stools pushed up to a counter instead. I don’t even want to imagine what would fall into a bowl several feet below the table around people who are eating.) Shudder. They clearly would never use this salad bowl, and so it had to be returned.  My friend had looked the salad bowl up online and was both pleased and appalled at the price of the salad bowl. She was pleased because it was very generous, and appalled because they spent THAT on a legged salad bowl! She checked the price online right after the wedding, and the price was around fifty dollars.  A couple of weeks later, she recruited me to go on exchanging duty with her, as her husband was busy with you know, medical school and all. The fine store folks at Bed Bath and Beyond don’t communicate with their internet brethren because the pricing was, um, a little off…  my friend actually passed out when the return value amount popped up on the screen BECAUSE IT SAID $6.59! When she came to, she ended up exchanging the salad bowl for a lovely paper towel rack (it was on her registry).  In good news, she and her husband are still happily married.  And, in better news, they got everything they wanted from their baby registry when they had children a few years ago!

Wedding are so much fun- open bar, good food, and dancing. Oh, and the whole love and commitment thing is good too.

champagne This Is What Happens When You Try To Out Smart The Registry

Cheers!

(My husband is so embarrassed because I am the girl who cries at every wedding. Even the weddings on shows like ‘Platinum Wedding’s (shut up! It’s a good show!)). Please, please show your hosts the same love they have shown you by giving them what they want! Use the registry.  Love the registry (Men, once you are married, you will use-and love- The List).

You Are Not Smarter Than The Registry

Weddings are, often times, a place where unwanted gifts go to die. The ‘re-gift’ at weddings is egregious. And so obvious. I hate it when people attempt to outsmart the registry. In the sprirt of full disclosure, I have purchased OFF the registry exactly one time. Before you get all judgey on me, let me explain. The BEST wedding gift we received was ourwedding registry list 150x150 You Are Not Smarter Than The Registry cordless mini vacuum. (Thank you Arianne!) Every time I use it, I congratulate myself for having put it on the registry. When my sister got married last year, guess what was missing from her registry? I overruled her registry and got the mini vacuum. (Laura: YOU’RE WELCOME.) The registry can back fire on you, however—I received three shower curtains and zero towels. We also received the same coffee maker three times—we kept returning it and folks kept buying it! (We were returning it because my husband had to have the top-of-the-line, most expensive Cuisinart self grinding coffee maker. Freshly ground coffee tastes the best, he argued. I predicted that he would grind his own beans exactly five times and then never again. He ground his own beans a whopping four times and since then refuses as it’s ‘too messy, too loud, and takes longer’.)

 The absolute worst wedding gift my husband and I received was a stinky, nasty, pre-used dish towel.  This dish rag (I refuse to call it a towel) smelled like it had spent a couple of months in the smoking room at the airport. Seriously. I am amazed that it is possible to get that much stink into one item, outside of an ashtray that has been in a dive bar and hasn’t been emptied in ten years.  We received this gift from Thomas’ family. This was the first time I had ever met them, and I haven’t seen them since (big surprise). I wanted to say to them: ”Are you that hard up that you can’t even WASH your re-gift prior to wrapping it in tissue paper and sticking it into a gift bag? You shouldn’t have wasted all that effort with the presentation! A better use of resources would have been to wash the towel!  Writing the Thank You note for this item (can it be called a gift?!) went to Thomas. (You get one guess as to how that went. ‘Dear Uncle Benny, Thank you for the disgusting used towel. It smelled like you, only worse. You suck. Sincerely, Thomas’.)

Thankfully, most of our gifts were from the registry. And even better, we had registered at places with generous return polices (SO IMPORTANT), so we were able to get what we really needed (wanted). However, not everyone I know was so lucky…

wedding gift You Are Not Smarter Than The Registry

The Best Non-Registry Gift