Evangeline...

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    Thursday, November 29, 2012

    A Little Disaster Preparedness is Always a Good Thing

    November is almost gone and so is my little blogging holiday. It's been fun sharing some favorite blog posts from Breathe In Breathe Out's history. I look forward to sharing further adventures in womanhood as they ambush me. This post from last fall isn't an experience I'm anxious to repeat, but as long as I'm navigating my various roles, some human error is bound to occur. That's when things get interesting.

    I could always stand to brush up on my...

    Disaster Preparedness

    We don’t have hurricanes in Colorado. We do have blizzards, but all the preparation they require is a trip to the store for milk and chocolate chip cookie ingredients.

    Nevertheless, I like to be prepared for emergencies.

    That’s why on the first day of school I went to the office and picked up the required paperwork to keep my son’s rescue inhaler at the school. I was wearing my Evangeline is A Responsible Parent hat. EARP for short.

    That’s also why I made arrangements to lie low this weekend while adjusting to a new migraine medication that has a lot of possible side effects. It’s a good thing too, because Saturday was weird. I was dizzy and sleepy and at one point, deep. I tried to explain this to Kory.

    He asked me if I felt hyper-aware of my surroundings.

    “No,” I said, “just deep.”

    He said, “You mean, profound?”

    I said, “No, just deep.”

    Considering my new-found affinity with the Mariana Trench, we agreed that Grandma would drive the boys to school this morning on her way to the YMCA. After all, driving while dizzy and “deep” would not qualify me to wear my EARP hat.

    So Mom and the boys scooted off to school, and I tooled around the house for awhile. Then, right as I was getting in the shower, and I do mean right, the phone rang.

    I grabbed a towel and answered it.

    “Mrs. Denmark, we have your son here in the office. He needs to use his inhaler.”

    Hand to forehead. Towel to floor.

    You see, while I did wear my EARP hat to pick up the paperwork, I didn’t keep it on long enough to fill out said paperwork and get it and the medication back to the school.

    What’s a drugged, naked, vehicle-less woman to do?

    They reassured me that it wasn’t an emergency. Monkey was wheezing but not having an attack. I knew Mom was probably in the pool doing her water exercises and wouldn’t be able to get out quickly. I couldn’t think much beyond that, so I decided to ride my bike—under the influence—to the school and deliver my son’s inhaler.

    Thank God I put clothes on first.

    I did fine until I needed to cross the street. I don’t know why I didn’t do it at the crosswalk as I rode out of our neighborhood. I guess I figured there would be another opportunity further up the road. Or maybe I thought dolphins would appear and ferry me across the street on their backs.

    I kept riding, going past the road I needed to turn on to get to the school. I was now almost to the YMCA where my van was parked. Finally, I just got off my bike and jaywalked across the street and back in the direction I needed to go.

    I’m pretty sure I never got back on my bike after that. I do remember walking up to the school and catching sight of myself in the reflective front door. My bicycle helmet was on backwards.

    I got Monkey his inhaler and—minor miracle—got myself home again.

    But somewhere along the way I lost my EARP hat. I’m probably going to have to get another one anyway. Something like Parent Fail Trust (PFT!) or Do Not Leave Unattended (DNLU), or Doesn’t Understand Medication or Bicycling (DUMB). Or maybe just Woman Trying to Function (WTF).

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    The Cat Toy Story (by special request)

    Today is my mom's birthday and since I'm running "best of" posts from Breathe In Breathe Out's history, I decided to share her favorite blog today. Yes, it's incredibly disturbing that this is my mother's favorite post. Oh, well. The woman has a good sense of humor.

    This post is from December 31st, 2008. Hope it gives you a giggle. It still makes me blush. And please remember this was way before 50 Shades of Gray had average women discussing bondage in Costco.

    The Cat Toy Story

    Those of you who’ve read my “Anyone Lost Their Panties” entry, know that I’m a practical girl when it comes to undergarments. It may surprise you to discover that I occasionally spend more on underwear than a measly $6.99 for a three pack of panties. Yes, you got it, only on special occasions.

    Last Christmas, I was shopping at Target when I spotted a snazzy little black number in their pajama section. I liked it, but I was on a mission for Christmas presents, so I put myself back on course and steered away from temptation.

    For Christmas that year, I decided to do something a little different. Our anniversary is January 16th, so I booked a room at a B&B in Estes Park where Kory and I honeymooned. I wrapped up the pertinent information and stuck it under the tree as a gift for Kory.

    A few days after Christmas, I was thinking about our upcoming getaway, and I remembered the black lace nightie at Target. I was out shopping, so I took the opportunity to pick it up, expecting that it would be marked down for the after Christmas sales.

    Let me stop a moment and fill in a little back story. We had a special feline guest in our house this time last year. Mom’s editor was out of town for the holidays and had asked us to cat sit for Easy, a very fun and sweet-tempered kitty. We loved playing with Easy but somehow managed to misplace one of her cat toys, a long stick thing with feathers and a bell attached to the end. I suspect one of the boys absconded with it, thinking it was some sort of modified light saber.

    While I was at Target, picking up my skivvies, I remembered we owed Easy a new toy, so I swung over to the pet section and picked up a toy pretty much like the old one.

    Now I know all of you would have the good sense to throw some other things in your cart—garbage bags, laundry soap, Scooby Doo band-aids—whatever. I can be painfully clueless about these things.

    And so it is that I arrived at the check out lane with a black lace baby doll and a long, feathered, whip-like cat toy . . . on New Year’s Eve. I put my items on the conveyor belt and then the reality of the situation hit me. But what could I do? Explain to the clerk that the items were totally separate and had no correlation whatsoever? Like she woulda believed me.

    “Sure, ma’am. Whatever you say.”

    So, this year my second New Year’s resolution (the first was not to de-bone so much as a chicken breast for not only the year but the rest of my life—but that’s another story) is to be just slightly more aware of the world around me in hopes that I will not end up--flushed crimson at the Target check out--paying for a black lace negligee (on sale!) and a feathered cat toy.

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    The Princess and the Pee

    Raise your hand if you're running on caffeine fumes. Yep, that's me. We've had school drama, a minor medical drama (everything is OK), Kory's work schedule is insane, and my laptop died the final death. I'm trying to be upbeat about Thanksgiving next week, but honestly, I want to skip town. But as I searched for a favorite blog post to share this week, I had to smile about our family's adventures. I can't believe this post is from way back when Monkey, now 11, was a squirrely 7-year-old. I hope you enjoy...

    The Princess and the Pee

    Have you ever felt vindicated? Yes, I know God says vengeance belongs to Him. And truthfully, I seldom seek revenge. Yes, I might, on occasion leave certain supportive garments on the bathroom doorknob, and maybe that’s a subconscious payback for all the socks my husband leaves on the floor. But, on the whole, I don’t tailgate people who cut me off, or leave poor tips for lousy service. I leave vengeance to Someone better suited for it.

    But this week, I confess to enjoying a sublime moment of vindication not of my own doing.

    Monkey and Chunky started swim lessons on Monday. Monkey loves water. He’s a second generation Monkeyfish. Put that kid in water and he’s as happy, as, well, a clam.

    His class consisted of four or five young swimmers just confident enough to cause trouble. On Tuesday, I noticed the whole class was riled up. At one point the instructor sat them all on the edge of the pool and laid down the law. Bravo, I thought. He’s in control of his class.

    I returned my attention to the book I was reading only to be interrupted moments later. Another mom came over to inform me that my son was “torture splashing” the other kids.

    Really. Torture splashing? Isn’t that a bit of an overstatement? I’ll be the first to admit that Monkey enjoys a splash war as much as the next seven-year-old. But it’s not like the kid is waterboarding his classmates.

    I should have smiled and told the mom that I would watch my son more closely and intervene if necessary. Instead, I went to the side of the pool, crouched down, and chewed out my bewildered child.

    Yeah. Bad Mommy Award for me.

    Monkey got the message and continued his lessons with only minor splashing and acceptable cavorting.

    But, today, my moment to smile came. See, I’ve been bouncing back and forth between the large pool, where Monkey has lessons, and the small pool, where Chunky has lessons.

    More than once, I giggled about the class one level below Chunky’s. Taught by a tough-guy lifeguard, the class consisted of six adorable little girls. Too tiny to be in the water alone, they’d all sit in their frilly Disney Princess swimsuits on the edge of the pool, while Buff Guy showed them the very basics.

    Today, after their lesson, Buff Guy lined them up on the wall and sang “Six Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree.” Every time the “alligator” snapped, one little girl jumped into the waiting beefy arms of the instructor. Yeah, almost too cute to be legal.

    Except one itty bitty princess should have been wearing a swim pull-up. She pranced. She danced. She squealed. She peed.

    Buff Guy immediately enlisted the help of another nearby, very reluctant, lifeguard, who whisked the Peeing Princess off to the restrooms for probably no reason at all considering she was, by then, done.

    I, and the other parents, looked around for the unfortunate mother of the pool-christening toddler. Who should come hurrying over but the mom who’d accused Monkey of violating The Geneva Convention.

    Yes, I smiled, which was maybe not so Christian of me. But I did not go tap her on the shoulder and say, “Excuse me, your child is using biological warfare against my child.”

    Monday, November 5, 2012

    Left Behind (in a bathroom stall)

    Here in the Denmark household we are all focused on a certain big event happening this week.

    Yep, my birthday is Wednesday!

    No matter who wins the election, remember that November 7th is all about me.

    As a birthday present to myself, this month I've decided to run some of my favorite posts from the past five years.

    Just last week someone asked me about the post I'm sharing today, and as I read through it, I couldn't help but relive those special moments in that stall. Hope you enjoy.

    One more thing, in all seriousness, please head to the polls and vote Tuesday. And as a favor to the general public, while you're in that tiny voting booth, keep track of all your personal items. Don't leave anything behind but your vote!

    And now...

    Anyone Lost Their Panties?

    It all started innocently enough. One Sunday morning, I went to the women’s restroom at church. I quickly scooted into the second stall, thankful that, for once, there wasn’t a line. But to my consternation, there on the floor of the stall I saw a pair of tiny, black, lace underwear.

    I pondered.

    Of all the places I might expect to see abandoned panties—the gym locker room, a Victoria’s Secret dressing room, the stage at a Justin Bieber concert—church certainly was not one of them.

    Who did they belong to?

    Why had she taken them off?

    And what sad state of distraction was she in to be wandering around church sans underwear and oblivious to her skivvy-less state?

    Then I got to wondering what God thinks of black lace underwear. I’m not legalistic in the least, but is church really the place for lace lingerie? Don’t get me wrong, if I were wearing such an item of clothing, it wouldn’t be the risqué nature of my undergarments distracting me from the service, but rather the itchiness of the fabric. Maybe that’s why they ended up on the floor of the women’s room.

    I did what I’d come to do and then went to the counter to wash my hands. Another woman entered the restroom. She went into stall number two. Then she came right back out and looked at me, one eyebrow raised.

    “Did you drop something?” she politely asked.

    “No, they were there when I came,” I replied. Still have my granny panties, thank you very much.

    She looked back at the minuscule panties. Her voice tinged with reluctance, she asked, “Should we take them to lost and found?”

    I wrinkled my nose. She frowned. Clearly neither of us wanted to carry our anonymous sister-in-Christ’s g-string to the church office. We agreed it was best to leave them be in case our natural friend became aware of a draft beneath her skirt.

    I don’t know what became of the black lace underwear, but I have a vision in my head of a grizzled janitor poking at the tiny pile with the handle of his broom. Far better that than my other mental image: an associate pastor holding them up in front of the congregation.

    “Panties? Anyone lost their panties?”
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