Thursday, July 7, 2011

How The Firefighter Proposed.....Redneck Romance at It's Finest

"Will you marry me?"

The question every girl wants to be asked.  For most women, it brings to mind images of fancy dinners, ball game Jumbotrons, or elaborate surprises with romantic music gently playing in the background.

Not me.  I picture a crapper.

Yep, as I've mentioned before, The Firefighter proposed to me in the bathroom of a cruise ship.  Because nothing says "I love you" like the scent of cheap knock off Pine Sol and chorus of automatic flushing toilets blasting romantically in the background.

While it was memorable, I'm not gonna lie, it wasn't exactly the special moment I had been dreaming about.  To his credit, even the romantically challenged Firefighter didn't "plan" to pop the question on his knees next to a Swisher 1000.  As it turns out, my klutzy, nonathletic self had foiled his two earlier attempts to ask me.

Earlier in the week, we had signed up for an exciting shore excursion, in Belize, to a resort that had spelunking and an awesome tree top zip line tour.  The Firefighter had planned to propose on the zip line tour, on the middle platform, 50 ft in the air, surrounded by tropical rainforest.  Sounds like a great plan, right? He went first and was "preparing" on the platform, as I began to zip down the line.  It didn't take me long to figure out my handbrake wasn't working and to begin to holler and frantically motion for him to move.  Coming in as fast as I was, I was afraid I would knock his skinny ass off the other side of the 10 ft. platform.   The Firefighter quickly assessed what was happening, slid the ring back in his pocket and jumped out of the way.

He wasn't to be deterred though, he just decided he would be waiting to do it at the end of the tour when I repelled down to the ground from the last platform.  The Firefighter seriously underestimated my lack of athletic prowess.  I had never repelled before, so when the instructor told me to squeeze the handbrake to move down the rope, I did..... only I didn't catch the subtle nuance that you squeeze as hard as the speed you want to go down the rope.   So, I squeezed it, hard, opening the handbrake completely and basically propelling myself into a 20ft free fall.  I landed unceremoniously on my hinny, spewing all kinds of unladylike profanity, while The Firefighter laughed so hard tears ran down his face.  Well, my ego was bruised a little more than my backside, so I didn't take kindly to his laughing and promptly yanked him to the ground and tackled him when he tried to help me up.   Yeah, I'm classy like that.   Needless to say, that wasn't going to be the moment either.

So, The Firefighter started searching for other times to pop the question.  The closer we got to the end of the trip, the more desperate The Firefighter became.  It was this desperation, to just have it done with, that prompted him to follow me into the shitter and drop to his knees.  He accomplished one goal, it did take me by complete surprise.  When it dawned on me what he was doing, I began to laugh, hysterically - kinda like a hyena, complete with snorting.   The Firefighter had to ask me twice, I was laughing so hard.  Obviously, y'all know what my answer was though I believe it came out something like - head nod, laugh, "yes", snort, laugh.  Sexy, huh?  That's why he loves me.

So now, six years later, every time I hear an automatic flush, I picture his face shyly and nervously asking me to be in his life forever and yes, I laugh a little too.

Happy Anniversary, Honey!  May we have a long life together, and never run out of toilet paper!

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Green Revolution

I spent a portion of my teenage and early adult years in Colorado, near Boulder - the heart of the granola movement - but I'm not a hippie or even a nature lover.  Yet...

I make almost all my own cleaners and disinfectants.  What I can't make, or should say - failed - at making (as my half my wardrobe can attest to the laundry detergent debacle) I shell out the cash to buy organic and free and clear.  Except for Clorox Wipes, the scientist in me just can't completely trust the sanitizing power of all natural cleaners.

I use very little plastic in my home.

I cook as much from scratch as I can possibly find the time to do, and I limit the amount of preservatives and food coloring ingested by my family.

I clean, fanatically, ceiling fans to baseboards, bed linens to curtains, twice a week.

No, I'm not trying to save the planet.

And no, I'm not OCD or trying to win any super mom awards.  In fact, I would rather poke my own eye out rather than dust or do laundry and I would sell a kidney to never have to touch a dirty dish again.

However...I do it for one, very dear reason.

I do it because I love my child.

As I've previously mentioned, Miss Chatterbox has allergies.  How innocuous that sounds.  For 98% of the population, that means the sniffles and some watery eyes.  Not for my child.  For her, to come into contact with a "trigger" means an immediate, life-threatening, asthma attack.  For her, there is no such thing as a little bit sick or case of the sniffles - they all end with her landing in the ER.

It quickly became clear that animals were Miss Chatterbox's most dangerous trigger.  To some pet lovers, it may seem cold how quickly our two beloved dogs were given away, but to me, it was a no brainer.  I didn't hesitate. How could I even consider subjecting my precious newborn to this danger just for a furry head to pet?  The Firefighter wanted to consider alternatives, but it only took a 3 month old Miss Chatterbox having one "attack" for him to change his mind.

Before Miss Chatterbox was two, she couldn't be medicated with any long acting medications for either asthma or allergies.  Our only option was to do our best to avoid triggers and to try keep her from getting any kind of upper respiratory infection.  Yeah, it was just as hard as it sounds, considering we only knew of one trigger for certain and infants put EVERYTHING in their mouths.  When The Firefighter was home, he and I took turns sleeping in her room if she was well, and staying awake if she was sick.  If it was just me...well, I drank ALOT of Redbull and coffee and tried not leave the house with my clothes on inside out (yep, I've done that - more than once).   We refused to go anywhere that had pets, which I know upset many people, and we minimized time spent at public places or around large groups.  We didn't even start to vaccinate her until after she was two, for fear that a chemical in the serum could set her off.  It took me a full year of experimenting like a mad scientist with different combinations of cleaners to determine that I simply had to go old fashioned and make them myself.  

It took 14 hospitalizations, over the course of two years, for breathing difficulties, to finally convince someone there was a problem.  It was disheartening and frustrating to have so many doctors, and people close to us, treating us as if we were overreacting.  I don't think I can describe just how much of a relief it was when we finally found a doctor who believed us and prescribed the proper medications.  Of course, nothing is perfect, and it took a bit of trial and error, but now Miss Chatterbox is the most controlled she's ever been.  I don't believe, for one second, it was a coincidence that Miss Phoebe started disappearing about the same time Miss Chatterbox got medicated.

The last few months have been fun.  We've been able to go to public places, go on play dates, and even brave places with pets for short periods of time.  We've been able to go to large family events, without fear, and let her extended family get to know her.  She even got a summer cold, and for the first time ever, didn't end up in the ER.  It has been liberating to rejoin the human race!

Though, the sight and sound of your child struggling to breathe isn't something you quickly forget, nor can you ever ignore the fact that the possibility will always exist that she may STILL have a reaction to some unknown, even medicated.  So until the day comes when all allergies and asthma are eradicated, I will continue to channel my inner June Cleaver, though I refuse to vaccuum in a skirt and heels.

OH the things we do for our kids!