Monday, June 6, 2011

Rule #281: Shake the Dust Off

So, after over 2 years of dormancy, I've decided to shake the dust off the ol' Red River Rules blog. I'm doing so for a couple of reasons:

Reason #1: I am sitting through a teacher's in-service today and tomorrow. Anyone who has ever been forced to suffer through one of these things knows full well the boredom and frustration that comes through the hours of monotonous "break-out" sessions that leaving you wanting to stab your eyeballs out with an ink pen. Instead of doing violence against myself (or paying attention, I suppose), I've chosen a more constructive route and resurrecting a blog that my wife started a few years back.

Reason #2: Laura and I are about to welcome our second child into the world. Emma Katherine (or Emma Cake, as our two-and-a-half year old likes to call her) is scheduled to make her appearance on Wednesday. I was hoping that Laura would go into labor early to get me out of in-service (see above), but apparently I am not so lucky. I liked the real-time reporting that came out of this blog and the mother-blog ( during the birth of Evie Jane (see October 20, 2008 entries on each respective blog).

Disclaimer: I am making no promises about continued posting on this blog, nor am I promising to maintain the real-time updates that I spoke of above.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Rule #192- Leave Your Vanity in the Parking Lot

I am learning so many things as a new mom. One of the primary truths I have learned lately is that showering, applying make-up, doing my hair, and changing out of my pj's daily is a privilege, not a right . . . at least that is what I'd been telling myself until a recent trip to Kroger.

On this particular day Evie Jane had a rough morning, in which she followed none of her normal patterns. There had not been a nap of any kind and she was in a "I'm only happy if you hold me" mood. Unfortunately, we were down to less than bare bones in our pantry and frig, and a trip to the grocery could not be put off. I remember glancing in the mirror before we left and noting the lack of make-up and the need to at least redo the pony tail leftover from last night's sleep. But somehow those observations were lost in the morning activities and I arrived at the store in pretty much the same condition as when I woke up that morning. I did manage to change my pajamas for an outfit I thought I could pass off as "I've just been to the gym, otherwise I would look perfect" look.

After my shopping was complete, I exited the store with a massive amount of bags and a very tired (a.k.a. screaming) daughter. As I unloaded child and bags into the car I noticed a very attractive lady staring at me. She had actually stopped in the middle of driving lane to watch me. I glanced at her tentatively, thinking that maybe we had worked together when I taught at the community college last year. She took a step forward and said hello. I squinted for a better look and said hello back, now certain that I didn't know her. She began to pull a card from her purse and approached me more closely, "Here honey," she said with that overly drawn out sweetness that feels patronizing, "Let me give you my card." I looked down to see Mary Kay Consultant in cheerful pink letters. "Oh, thanks" I mumbled as my cheeks flamed. I could tell she was picturing huge before and after photos and accepting an award for most cosmetics sold to one person. "Have you ever tried our products?" she smiled politely and I could see her mentally adding "or any make-up from any store." I laughed self-consciously and stammered, "Yes, I know it doesn't look like it today, but I have used Mary Kay before." Again, she smiled as sweetly as she could. "Well, I just think all new mothers could use a little extra pampering, don't you?" I smiled back, thinking that it was nice of her to say "extra" as though she thought I took at least basic care of my appearance. I took the card and promised to give her a call before dashing to the humiliation-free interior of my car.

As I drove home I had to glance at myself in the mirror and laugh. If I had been that Mary Kay sales lady, I would have done the same thing.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Rule #406: Respect Man's Weekend

Andrew and some of his buddies from college get together for “Man’s Weekend” every March. It is one of major highlights of Andrew’s year. While I’m always sad to be without him for the weekend, I’ve come to have my own routine during “Man’s Weekend” that I look forward to each year. So while Andrew is off measuring the length of his beard and talking sports this is what I’ll be up to . . .

Friday Evening: I have dinner with some girl friends I haven’t seen in a while. We eat some kind of Italian dish, maybe even one without meat, and sip something refreshing like sparkling apple cider or white wine. After dinner we watch a movie. This year it will probably be Australia or Nights in Rodanthe or any other chick flick that I’ve missed in favor of Andrew’s choice of Will Farrell’s latest release or something based on a comic.

Saturday Morning: I’m up early. I’ve been thinking about this day for months. I’ve planned my route of shopping very carefully. There is a mix of my favorite clothing stores and places I like to shop for the house. I have specific items I want to look at in some stores, and in others I just wander around in what some might call an “aimless” way. I don’t feel any pressure to leave a store before I’ve seen everything inside. If I stay in one store longer than I thought it’s ok, there isn’t anyone reminding me of kick-offs, tip-offs, or tee-offs that I have to get home to.

Saturday Afternoon: I’ve had a fruit and cheese plate for lunch and now I’m ready to organize! Back home with my packages, I attack the bedroom closet. This is my one chance to get at Andrew’s T-shirt collection. Now that we’ve been married for four years I can safely toss a few shirts that I’ve never seen him wear. I know not to touch anything with Headhunters or TTU on it, but the accumulated camp t-shirts and random restaurant T’s are starting to thin out. If I feel crazy I might even get rid of a hooddie. I fold everything neatly on shelves or in drawers. There is a small temptation to take a picture, just so I can remember this moment in two weeks when everything is out of place again, but I squelch it in favor of living in the now.

Saturday Evening: I stay at home. Tonight is about ice cream, ill fitting PJ’s, fluffy socks, and my hair in a very messy pony tail. I paint my toe nails, listen to Celine without any mocking, and watch another romantic comedy. I fall asleep in the middle of the bed with a Christian novel clutched in my hand.

Sunday Morning: Church is over and I’m starting to feel a bit restless. I might even turn ESPN on just to feel normal. I look at my perfectly clean house and wonder what isn’t right. I start to check the clock regularly and the novel in my hand begins to loose its appeal. When I hear the garage door open I jump to my feet and realize that I’m more excited now than I have been all weekend!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Shout-out to the Birthday Girl...

It's Laura's birthday today. Dang, she looks good. Happy Birthday, buddy, I still like you pretty good.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Rule #30- Celebrate our Guy

Happy Birthday Andrew!!
We love you Andrew and we're glad for the day to celebrate you being in our lives! Thanks for being an amazing father and husband!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rule #18: Beware of Dog

As new parents, Andrew and I have seen our fair share of poo over the past eight weeks. We've cleaned it off carpet at 2:30 in the morning, off lampshades and photos of grandparents, and even off of a guest's sweater (followed by profuse apologies). So when we smell or hear Evie make a dirty diaper it really does not phase us anymore.

Maggie, on the other hand, still has the power to shock me. Earlier this week I was taking her to the groomer. I scheduled this appointment before Evie was born and before a 9:00 am outing with a baby and a dog sounded like a very bad idea. We were running pretty late and both Evie and Maggie were complaining about the trip. Maggie kept running to her crate, rather than get in the car, and Evie (who has no say in being in or out of the car) was crying. On top of that, it was pouring down rain. I finally got Maggie on her leash and took her out for a quick bathroom break before whisking her into the car.

I was very stressed about the rain and Evie crying, so I didn't notice at first that Maggie had moved from her usual spot in the front seat to the back. I did, however, begin to smell something that made me think I was driving past a clump of fresh manure. When the smell did not abate and Maggie would not move back to the front seat I began to get suspicious. Sure enough, there was a large pile of Maggie poo in my passenger seat. I pulled over, grabbed an empty Target bag, and knowingly littered for the first time in my life. Quite sure that I had removed every possible remain, Maggie returned to the front seat with a face that said, "If you'd only given me more time before we left the house this could have been avoided," Evie slept in the back seat thanks to a nursery rhyme CD, and we continued on.

At this point I was annoyed, but not so furious or put out that I wanted to do harm to Maggie or to myself. After all, I should have given her more time before we left. It wasn't until later that morning, inside Kohls, that I began to wonder why I was still smelling Maggie's poo. I went to grab a coupon from my purse and discovered Maggie had also left me a little present inside. That's right, I'd left my purse open in the floor of the passenger seat and it had not escaped her attention. Honestly, had I not just paid to have a stocking embroidered "Maggie" she might still be with the groomer.

When I told Andrew he said that Providence had interviened since I was planning to take his car that morning but changed my mind at the last minute.

Sunday, December 7, 2008