Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Livin' The High Life...Literally.

Today, I was a rock star.

Well, at least I pretended to be one.

I have a new client.  This new client is implementing a really fabulous vision plan on October 1st and today was a fun-filled day of employee enrollment meetings.

Basically I had to stand up in front of a bunch of people and talk about how really great their new vision plan will be.  It really is a great plan, I promise. 

Anyway, the morning meeting was in one part of the state, the afternoon meeting was in another...(red dot on right was the morning, red dot on left was the afternoon)


Naturally, when I first learned of these meetings, I assumed I would be driving the 250+ miles to get to the 2nd meeting.  And then I realized it wasn't going to be possible considering the amount of time it would take to drive this distance, especially since nearly the entire state of Wisconsin is under some form of road construction.

So, how did I manage to do 2 enrollment meetings on opposite sides of this fantastic state today and still get home for dinner??

Private jet, people.

Oh yeah.  My new client is pretty awesome.  They have their own form of air transportation...

What would have taken over 5 hours to drive one-way, took less than half an hour in the air. 

And this was my view for the flight:


Not a bad view for a Tuesday, eh?

The pilots were super nice and gave me the low-down on what they do and how they do it:

No, I did not learn enough to fly a plane.
Would be cool, though.

The cabin was quite comfortable and very schnazzy:


And we didn't even have to turn off our electronic devices!

Finally, during the flight I got to catch up on my new favorite magazine...


Funny how I couldn't find a copy of SkyMall anywhere...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Heads up, Colorado

You may recognize this chick...


...that's Jeni and she's pretty damn cool.

Oh, and guess what?!?!... 

I'm going to visit her this weekend at her home in Colorado!!

Yeah, I'm just a smidge excited.

There are a few things I know will happen this during my visit. 
We are going to...

          Talk.  A lot.
          Eat.  A lot.
          Laugh.  A lot.
          See Stomp
          Talk, eat and laugh some more.
          Maybe cry a little.
          Visit the DQ.

I am looking forward to every one of those things.  Seriously looking forward to them.

So, heads up State of Colorado.  A little bit of Wisconsin is headed your way and she's pretty damn pumped!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

11 Years Ago Today...

On September 2, 2000, a handsome young chap got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

And I said yes.

Our engagement photo:
Yeah, that's totally not my natural hair color.
I know you were wondering...

And on September 22, 2001, I married that handsome young chap.




Happy Anniversary to us!! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

One

I'm good at a lot of things, however there's one thing I kinda am not so good at:

growing vegetables.

If you remember, I did a post last year about my Topsy Turvy and the fact that I only got one tomato out of the plant. 

So note my sad little lonesome 2011 tomato:

This year, I opted for the non-topsy version of a tomato planter.  I took the plunge and planted a healthy little stater of a tomato gem in my herb garden.  I followed the directions oh so carefully.  It was actually marketed as a patio plant, so I knew I wouldn't get too much out of it.

Yeah, ain't that the truth...

Observe:

One.  Again, one stinkin' tomato.

*sigh*

Oh, and don't let me forget to mention that the one little guy that I grew so lovingly disappeared one day...

...and I never even got to say goodbye...

So, if as a society, we're ever dependent upon growing our own vegetables to keep us alive, I won't be much help to anyone.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Bungee Cord Incident...Part 2

This is the continuation of Part One of the oh so tragic story of me vs. the bungee. If you haven’t read Part One yet, you may want to do that.

Or, here’s a re-cap.

Labor Day 2001. Bungee Cord hit tooth. Tooth knocked out. Hillbilly.

So, the last I left this wonderful heart-warming story I was on my way to the dentist…on a holiday…with my tooth in a glass jar full of milk…

The entire way there I kept picturing myself walking toothless down the aisle for my wedding (which was 19 days away). I even remember thinking we should change the wedding date. No, I’m not that vain, I promise; but I’d be lying if I didn’t have that thought run through my head at least once.

When we got to the dentists’ office, Dr. K greeted us at the door. He was in blue-jeans and a plaid button down shirt (yes, I totally remember that detail)—claims he was working in the yard when he got the phone call….then I noticed the grass stains on his jeans and knew he really was doing yard work.

I sat/laid down in “the chair”. Dr. K took a look at the gaping hole in my mouth and asked if I had saved the tooth. Presenting the jar to him, he took the tooth out and confirmed my smart thinking likely saved the tooth and thus, he could put it back in!

And that he did.

Now, I have to give a huge shout out to my then fiancé (now husband). He was Mr. dental assistant during the entire visit. You know those suction things they put in your mouth to suck out all the spit? Jesse was holding that. You know that little mirror thing the dentists use to look around? Jesse was holding that. Dr. K had him doing all the stuff a normal dental assistant would be doing.  What a guy, huh?

I sat in that chair for a good hour and a half.  The procedure was pretty painless (the root had come out with the tooth and apparently the nerve did too), but still weird. Awkward. Full of drool.

Because the tooth didn’t really have anything to “hang on” to, he cemented the back of the tooth to the other teeth around it. That’s how it was able to stay in.

For 11 years.

And I had a beautiful smile for my wedding.


I had to go back (to a different dentist because Dr. K retired) three times since to get it re-cemented, but the tooth hung on.  My slightly (but not really noticeable) discolored "dead" tooth hung in there.

Okay, that sounded gross.  Sorry.

The first two times I went back to get the repair done, x-rays were taken to make sure all was good.   Well, as good as it could be.  On visit number two (in 2009), Dr. M told me I wouldn’t have much longer with that tooth.  Normal “wear and tear” on a dead tooth would cause it to likely break.

And because it’s sorta cool (and I hope this totally doesn't gross you out), here’s that x-ray from 2009:

You can see the tooth is barely hanging on.  That white spot is a hole that was drilled into the tooth to "hollow" it out.  For what reason, I know not.  If I did, I'd be a dentist and I'd making WAY more money than I do now.
Fast forward to September 2, 2012. The day before Labor Day.  My birthday.  The morning of Pork Fest.

I was blowing up an inflatable cooler and bit down on the little plastic thing used to blow it up.  I heard a crack in my mouth.  And I felt my tooth “fall forward”.

I quickly pushed it back and prayed that it would stay. (and yes, I cried a little)

Luckily, the tooth stayed in place enough that I didn’t have to make another emergency visit to the dentist.  I could still eat (kind of) and talk (kind of) and the tooth held on. (And as I type this, it’s still holding on for dear life.)

The Tuesday after Labor Day I went back to Dr. M. He took another x-ray and gave me the news.  He could no longer temporarily mend it.  I needed a permanent fix.

I knew this time was coming. I had lasted 11 years with just a little bit of cement holding my tooth in place.  I was lucky.

So, in 4 days I will have an implant put in place of the dead tooth that has held on for 11 years.  I am actually quite excited about this dental work to be done. I’ve gone 11 years without being able to bite into an apple or eat a cob of corn. (I’ve gone the last 2 weeks of not being able to bite into anything…that’s kinda challenging. Take my word for it).

Wish me luck.  And if you'd like to contribute to the "Jesse is getting a really expensive tooth next week" fund, let me know.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Bungee Cord Incident...Part 1


(Even though this happened 11 years ago, I do remember many of the details quite vividly. Trauma like I experienced will do that to you.  Some of the quotes may not be remembered word-for-word, but it's darn close, I promise.)


Some people are afraid of spiders, some are afraid of clowns.

Me? I have a fear of bungee cords. (and spiders and clowns too) 
Here's why...

September 3rd, 2001 was like any other Labor Day. My husband and I were enjoying some time in Northern Wisconsin, relaxing as much as we could before our wedding, which would be upon us in 19 days.

We had just taken a leisurely trip in the Bayliner (boat) on the beautiful waters of Green Bay and decided to pack up and head home to do some more wedding prep.

I, being the ever awesome fiancé and helper, was doing my duty in helping strap down the cover of the boat. No, we didn’t have those fancy strap things or expensive ways to go about this.  We used bungee cords.  The bungee was attached to the boat cover on one end and the boat trailer on the other.

Something kind of like this…
I was at the back of the boat bungee’ing the last of the cords to the trailer—on my knees in the dirt, pulling that cord as tight as I could get it when I lost my grip.

Smack.

The bungee cord snapped back at my face and the hook on the end hit my front bottom tooth dead on.

A little shaken at first, I had no idea what happened...until I pushed my tongue against my lower teeth and realized there was a gap.  My tooth was gone.

I screamed like I’ve never screamed before.

Jesse (the then fiancé) ran to my aid but for many moments we both had no idea what to do.  Surprisingly, I wasn’t in any pain, which I thought was odd…until I later realized that with the tooth came the root as well.

“Find the tooth!!” I screamed as blood was dripping out of my mouth.

As I was searching the dirt/gravel area around me, I only had one thought:  I’m getting married in 2 weeks.  I can’t get married without a tooth!  I’ll look like a hillbilly!  FIND THE TOOTH!!!

So I cried.  And continued to search for the tooth through my tears.

Amazingly enough, I found it.  Even though the bungee snapped back with such force, the tooth didn’t projectile as far as I thought it would.  Nor, did it break.  The tooth was in perfect form.

“Get me a glass of milk! Quick!” I yelled to Jesse.  He looked at me, puzzled. “Just do it!” I yelled back at him. (man, I was demanding back then, huh??)

A few seconds later he came back with a small glass jar, half-filled with milk. I threw the tooth in the jar and closed it up.

For whatever reason, my mind had decided to retain this little piece of knowledge that if you put a tooth in milk, the tooth won’t discolor. Don’t ask me where I learned that or why I thought it would be a good idea to hang on to that little nugget of knowledge. I had no idea if the tooth was even remotely salvageable at that point, but to me, it was worth a shot.

And then I remembered something…

It was Labor Day.
I was 2 hours from home.
I'm sitting here with a bandana on my head and a missing tooth.
What am I supposed to do?? 

I panicked and did what any 22 year old woman would do. I called my mommy.  She, bless her heart, called my dentist.  At home.  On a holiday.

Dr. K was home and completely willing to go to his office and meet us there.

With a glass jar half filled with milk and my front tooth, we jumped in the car and started the 2 hour drive to the dentist's office...


...to be continued...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

6 Weeks Old!!

May I present to you a very cute 6-week old....


Is he precious or what??  Man, I just want to squeeze those cheeks!

The guys tell me all is well back at home.  They're settling back into a routine and Tomas and Honza are loving every second of fatherhood (how could you not with a kid that cute??). 

Me, well I'm doing great!  I was supposed to have my 6-week post-partum check up today but I had to reschedule it due to a bit of an issue with my tooth.  Let's just say I'm looking forward to a nice $4,000 dental implant next week.  Yes, that's one tooth.  Be jealous.  (I will get you more on that story in a few...here's your teaser:  bungee cord)

Besides that, I really am doing great!  Emotionally I'm MUCH better than I was a few weeks ago.  It was sure tough to say goodbye to the guys, but knowing that I'll see them again makes it easier to deal with.  We were able to Skype with them last week and it's always great to "see" them.  Yeah, I wish I could have them over for beer and pizza, but we'll be able to do that again some day...

Physically, I'm awesome.  I've been walking every day, watching what I eat and overall I feel fantastic!  Hearing the words "you look great" on a semi-regular basis sure feels pretty damn good.

Oh, and as of this morning, I had 2.8 gallons (364 ounces) of breast milk stored up!!  (for those on the metric system, that's 10.7 liters).  That's a lot, eh??  I've been working hard on pumping and it feels so awesome to have that much stored up.  I will be donating it to a preemie milk bank and feel pretty great about that.  My plan is to continue for a few months--sure, it takes up a lot of time and it's slightly annoying to have to wake up in the middle of the night to pump, but if I can help some preemie babies out, that's all worth it to me.

So, the 6 week mark is pretty great overall.  Jáchym is growing like a weed, the guys are loving their daddy roles and I'm doing fantastic.  

LIFE
IS
GOOD

Monday, September 3, 2012

KY, Pork and Fat Ass

Catch your attention, did I?

This weekend was pretty fantastic.  Here's why....

On Thursday night, my friend Cole and her family drove up all the way from Kentucky (KY) to stay for the weekend! If you recall, Cole was the one I met up with in Indianapolis last year (in a Fiat).  Cole and I try to get together at least once a year, if not twice.  We met over 11 years ago and she's pretty awesome.  Though I didn't plan anything too exciting for their stay this past weekend, we still had a super time hanging out.  Good friends are nice to have, ya know?
I'm so very glad you didn't think the KY had anything to do with a certain lubricant.

Here are our children of the corn...
 

From Left to Right:
Kaylee (Cole's child), London, Emerson, Elliot, Joey (Cole's child)

Friday was Elliot's birthday--



That little guy turned 7!!  I offered him his choice of a birthday breakfast and he chose the ever scrumptious Hamburger Helper.  So, the little birthday boy got some cheeseburger macaroni and was as happy as could be!  We had a tiny party planned for him on Sunday, so we didn't celebrate a whole lot on his actual birthday (explaining that to a 7 year old is a little tough...).

Sunday was actually my birthday (I turned 29 again).  It was significantly better than last year.  My day started out with a birthday breakfast made by Elliot:

Peanut butter and banana sandwich.   Oh Yeah.
The day was great--here's why:

PORK FEST
2012

This tiny party I referenced earlier was our first annual PORK FEST and it was a freaking blast.  Okay, so it wasn't a tiny party.  We had a good 80 people there (including a substantial amount of children).  My husband and I have wanted to do a pig roast for some time--we figured this year was the time.

And it was awesome.  A huge success.

Dan, the pig guy, arrived around 8:00 am to start roasting Mr Piggy and he (the pig) was ready to consume at approximately 3:30 pm.  Yes, that's over 6 hours of roasting.  Now, to not offend anyone I shant post a photo of said swine, but do know he was pretty good and perhaps not big enough because by the end of the day, Mr Piggy was gone.  Completely.

What I love about these kind of parties is we bring together people from all over--family from all sides, friends who've never met.  It was pretty fantastic and a damn good day.  Here are some photos...


The PORK FEST EXPRESS with its captain, Elliot.


Love this.  My mom drinking a Smithwicks. 
The woman has had 2 strokes but still knows a good beer when she sees one.


We had a tent.  And tons of people.

Mario, uh, I mean Elliot with his cake.

The house of bounce.

Husband Pyro getting ready to start the bon fire.

For an amateur, my husband put on a darn good fireworks show!
Excuse the blurriness of the left hand side of this photo.  But I thought the fireworks part was kinda neato.

What's a party without your own custom pens?
We have extra-if you want one, e-mail me with your address and it's yours.  Free.

So where does the fat ass fit into all of this? 

Here.


One of the last nights before Tomas and Honza left, we went out for Mexican food and decided (more like I kind of begged) to do a few tequila shots.  The waiter recommended this brand and I must have expressed my liking of it...because the above is what my mother in law got for me for my birthday.  Nice gift, eh?  Yeah, you should totally try it.  It's dang good.

So having friends in town, Elliot's birthday, my birthday and Pork Fest were all pretty awesome.  It was a pretty fantastic weekend.