Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day One of Cross-Country Road Trip....

So, we rented this 30 foot RV and we're (as in myself, Todd, Colt and our 90 pound German Shepard) are headed through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. So far, our trip has involved the following:

  1. Water pouring from our "clean water supply" every time we turn right. We still have not identified the problem, but we're down to 1/4 tank of water.
  2. A mishap at our very first rest stop that involved a curious baby pulling himself up on the driver's chair, slipping, falling and becoming lodged near the gas pedal. He was scared shitless, but the only actual damage was a small road-rash on his forehead from the steering wheel. Oh yeah, did I mention he's teething? That's been exciting.
  3. During my behind the wheel session we stopped for gas....I'm pretty sure they were thrilled with my back and forth maneuvering while paying customers were stacking up behind me honking. Ten minutes and $100 in gas later, we're about to pull out and witness a huge T-bone wreck right at the gas station. Todd took over driving and has been ever since.
  4. Two full campgrounds and no reservations landed us over-nighting at a rest area near Crooked Gorge, just outside of Bend, Oregon. There were signs all over that said, "Warning!! 300 foot cliff ahead. No pets allowed. Many dogs have died here. Put your pet back in the vehicle." ...and then there was this HORRIBLE illustration of a dog jumping over a small wall to it's death. Seriously.
  5. Overnight the temperature dipped to, seriously, 30 degF and we woke up about 3am freezing to death. So, Todd fired up the generator (our neighbors must have LOVED that) and we turned on the heat. The baby was frozen and the dog had made himself to home on the couch.
So, we're parked at a Starbucks in Bend (a much, MUCH needed caffeine break) googling campgrounds for the next 13 nights. I'm sure things will turn around from here. And, I've discovered I've forgotten to pack many necessary items. Like lawn chairs. And birth control pills.  Anyway - more updates as we hit more wi-fi hot spots. We're outta here because I'm sitting in Starbucks writing this with a huge pee-spot on my back from a backpack baby's diaper blow out. This is awesome.  :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Another One From the Blonde Archives... "But you look so different with your clothes on."

So, the whole "nothing"/"not anything" post got me thinking about the other day when I was outside a store chatting with my friend (incidentally, the same one involved in the Quaalude post..) and someone I thought I worked with entered the store. I paused in the conversation with her and said, "I think I work with that guy. I'm not sure though; everyone looks so different in their street clothes."

At this point, if you're not already aware of the fact I work at an oil refinery - I do. I work in the lab testing area where we all wear dark blue, flame retardant lab jackets - not like on TV where they all where nice, white, pressed jackets. No. Ours are navy blue and made of flame retardant material - which is good, considering most things in an oil refinery are, well, flammable. There are also many, many operators of the units of this refinery. (Maybe 100 of them?) and they must all wear steel toed boots, blue coveralls, hardhats and safety glasses. And they are mostly all men. And I think dressed alike, doing the same job, carrying the same tools that sometimes they even look alike. Luckily (for me) every one's coveralls also have their name embroidered on them. This has not, however, in the past prevented me from confusing one with the other. Seriously, they all do melt in to one person that I refer to as "the operator".

For a long time terror would always strike when I would see "the operator" in some non-work situation and they would call me by my name. Terror mostly because 1.) I could never reciprocate the proper name thing and, 2.) Taken completely out of context, I couldn't usually place that I worked with them.

This in mind, consider this exchange from when I was about 20 years old, working as an intern in the refinery lab and I had gone to the mall, upon where I run in to the dreaded "operator", along with his wife and tiny baby.

Operator: "Rikki? Hey! How are you?!"
Me: "Huh?"
Operator: "What are you up to, shopping?"
Me: "Huh?"
Operator: "Oh, this in my wife, blah blah, and our baby, blah blah Jr."
Me: "Huh?"
Operator: (to his wife) "Oh, Rikki works in the lab at Conoco."
Me: Now, instantaneously recognizing that I in fact work with this guy...."Oh...HEY!!! How's it going? Sorry..I didn't recognize you with your clothes on."

**Insert foot in mouth.***

 WTF did I just say? And, judging by her expression, his wife was thinking the same thing. So, just when I expect a full-on smack down outside the Target store and envision peeling an angry new mom off my back because, really, have I just said, "I didn't recognize you with your clothes on?" Really?

I'm just going to say that the situation got really uncomfortable. Really. Really uncomfortable. So, in the only thing I could do is explain myself. Because 1.) I HAD NEVER SEEN HIM NAKED. Or cared to. 2.)At work, dressed in blue coveralls, hard hats and boots - they all look alike. I swear.

Me: stuttering, "Uhh. I mean I didn't recognize you with your street clothes on." And then, to his wife, "Really. They all look alike at work. And I never see anyone in their street clothes. So, I didn't recognize his street clothes."
Operator: "Well, see ya later I guess."

So, now when I'm out in public, I don't approach anyone I think I might even work with. I wait until they approach me. And, I chose my words more carefully now. Usually.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Not Anything....Just Your Every Day Blonde Moment.

I wouldn't normally post something that makes me look foolish. Right. I would never do that. This one even made me laugh at myself!!

A few minutes ago I was leaving a comment on one of my friend's pages that read, "Not anything a quaalude won't fix, right?!" (Totally appropriate comment, don't you think?) and I just couldn't get over how weird that looked.

Not anything? Hmm. "Not anything" looks weird, right? And I just couldn't get over it. So, I sat there for about 5 minutes staring at it thinking, "There must be some better way to say 'not anything'." Why hasn't someone already invented a better word, or a better way of saying that? (Note to self: it didn't seem weird for me to spell quaalude....which I got right on the first try....that has TWO A's in a row, after a q-u, but "not anything" looked weird? I'm just saying.)

So, I rifle through my mental thesaurus and still nothing. Nothing better than "not anything." So, I moved on to my mental contraction-ator. (Self proclaimed astonishing ability where I can contract words into mini-words retaining the same meaning. Like instead of saying stove and oven, say stoven)  You get the gist...

...anyway. That is when I stumbled upon this gem: Nothing. Get it? Not anything. Nothing. No(tany)thing.
The contraction of not anything IS nothing. Genius, fricking genius.

The Slip and Slide Part Two: Poo in the Wagon

So, here's the real story about the day of fun on the Slip and Slide:

Colt was crawling around the afternoon I had the Slip and Slide out. He loved crawling up the sprinkler (while it was off) and pulling it over. When the sprinkler was on he'd crawl into the spray and grab at the water droplets. Well, towards the end of the day he got quite wet and I stripped him down to just his diaper. By the time crawled over to the Slip and Slide and sat in puddled water a couple of times his diaper was soaked and weighed about 3 pounds. So, while we were outside (for fear of an accident otherwise), I just took his diaper off and let him go au natural! It sounded like a good idea at the time...

I mean, seriously, think about it for a minute: what would your bum feel like if you had to wear wet diapers all the time. I don't know about you, but I can't stand the feeling of underwear bunching up around my legs and pinching all over, so I would really appreciate the feeling of freedom going bare would bring! Baby bliss no doubt?

Anyway, I repeat: it sounded like a good idea at the time.

He was all over the place: crawling around, onto the slide, in the garden and then, finally, his favorite: a ride in the red wagon! The great thing about the wagon is that he loves it so much that after you pull him around a little bit you can park it and he'll stay occupied for at least 20 minutes. He was so intrigued by the apple we'd picked off the tree that he was content to stay parked next to the deck as we cleaned up the remains of the BBQ.

Every once in a while I would get this whiff of dog poop, and after about 10 minutes of this, I say to Todd, "Man. I keep getting this whiff of dog crap. Do you smell that?" After a complete inspection of the bottoms of my shoes I say, "Is it on your shoes?" "Can't you smell that?"

..and right about the time Todd was saying, "No, its not me", I turn in horror and see the pile of crap that has amassed behind the baby. In the wagon. Not dog poop. Baby poop. In the wagon. Beans and corn for dinner. All over the wagon.

So, 2 jugs of bleach and a fresh diaper later I think we managed to get it under control. Here's the cool thing though - poop in the wagon has it's advantages:
  1. We were already outside. Hose the baby, tip the wagon over and hose it too. Clean up was a snap!
  2. After complete biological decontamination there was no need for bath time!
  3. I think emotionally speaking the benefits of diaper-less time definately outweighs the emotional scarring Colt will experience when he's older and reads this blog. Maybe? Right?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

So, Here's the Thing About Slip and Slides...

...they sound like so much fun, don't they? I mean, who doesn't like sliding down a huge sheet of water covered plastic in 90 degree weather? Well, let me explain.
It was really hot last weekend. Hot enough for me to think it was a good idea to bust out the sprinkler and what I call the "Redneck Water Park." We had a giant piece of left over clear plastic that I thought would make a perfect do-it-yourself backyard Slip and Slide. Add a sprinkler, a couple of cinder blocks to hold it down, some soap for slippery-ness and: voila! We have lift off.

Annika and Taylor having fun on the slide.

It was hot enough out that I even donned my swimsuit and slid down the thing! Four times! I went twice on my knees/hip/back and twice on my stomach. And here's a short list of how I can definitely tell I'm an adult:

1. After only 4 runs I was done. The water was freezing and the ground was hard. I now have a complete understanding of why my mom thought relaxing at the waterslides meant laying around in the sun reading a good book while us kids ran around like maniacs. Because really, after 4 times down that thing I spent 2 hours laying in the sun recovering.

2. Sunday morning I could barely move. My hip and upper back (no doubt the points of impact) were killing me! I saw the chiropractor on Monday and have a massage scheduled for tomorrow. So far for this "free" slide I'm out $70.

3. I couldn't wait to get that thing off the lawn because there's a huge dead spot under the plastic! And I've far too many hours manicuring that lawn to have it killed by some sheet of plastic.

So, there we have it. A brief yet concise list describing the difference between a Slip and Slide loving kid and a grown up who's now going to have to invest some serious capital in Weed and Feed and perhaps another round at the chiropractor. I tell ya. It was supposed to be fun.

Griz had fun too! Although, his idea of fun is to sneak up on the sprinkler and bite it!!!

...and more biting....

..until AT LAST he makes his way to the source...

He also waits very patiently at the end of the slide for the kids to come down. Then he bites the soap bubbles...

Monday, August 9, 2010

So Many New Things!!

Sorry to all the die-hard Smeltzerville followers (like my mom and Amy..) about no new posts lately! I could go on and on about how I'm training in a new position, we don't have internet at home, or we've been soooo busy. Really, though, I've just totally let this blog get out of control! So, here is the first of a few installments of what The Smeltzers have been doing!!!

A couple weekends ago we loaded the truck with my mom, dad and the baby and headed to Wenatchee for a family reunion and an overnighter at amazing Lincoln Rock State park. Camping with a baby? Are you nuts!
 All went well except the "Little Swimmer's Episode." The event transpired after a short swimming (OK - splashing) episode which ended after we discovered the only interesting thing for a 10 month old baby to do in the swimming area is eat rocks off the bottom of the lake. The water was cold (I thought) and I wasn't too sure how the "Little Swimmer" things actually were supposed to work. I was, however, quite sure that fecal matter at a public swimming area generated by my baby would NOT have been the hit of the day.
 We headed back to the campground where Todd attempted the swim-pant extraction. (Swim pants don't velcro like normal diapers, they are really tight and you pull them on like underwear. Something I was totally a novice at. Obviously.) Thank god Todd was on diaper detail. They didn't go on easy, and they certainly proved challenging to remove once full of lake water, rocks, sand, and - you guessed it - the biggest turd ever! Only, discovery of the turd didn't come until Todd had rashed 1/2 the crap down the back of his legs. Something about the cold water just made him cut lose. For reals.
Just think: squirmy kid, wet, cold, and poop everywhere! He called in for back up, but it was too late! I arrived just as Colt grabbed his junk (which was unfortunately ALSO covered in poo..) and then began touching everything in sight. "Oh GOD! It's all over his hands!!" "Now its all over the cheerios. Gross. Somebody help me!!" were just a few things I managed to get out before all hell broke loose. We managed to subdue him, clean him (and everything else he'd touched) and recloth him. The towel was a total loss, and better off in the dumpster. And, as a veteran mom pointed out after the fact - you can just rip the sides apart - it works much better!!
Anyway, here are some pics from the big overnighter:

Still happy. Pre-pant-extraction.

Just relaxing!

Ninjas: They're everywhere. No, really, this was after Todd put the sleeping bag bands on their heads. He's imitating Colt. Or vice-versa. Whatever you please!

"Sloth love Chunk!!" Goonies, anyone?

We really did have a blast!! The drive was long and the weather was hot - but we survived!!