Monday, May 23, 2011

An Unsung Hero

Ed Rehder is my father-in-law. He's a man of few words, but many emotions. A man of few pounds, but much stature. Ed is a fighter, a poet, a laugher, a dreamer. He is an enigma to some, an inspiration to all.
Ed the Father
Having planted the seeds that grew into five beautiful, enthusiastic, and talkative children, Ed is the patriarch of the Rehder family, with children Regen, Darth, Vance (pictured lovingly above), Sloan, and Mikyn. Bravo, Ed! Oh...and Pam, too, I guess, helped a little bit or whatever.

Ed the Grandfather

See this adorable baby? Her name is Brisen. I'd like to tell you a story about her. When she was a newborn, she squirmed and squirmed. So squirmy! She didn't seem to like people holding her, so we'd just sit by her as she squirmed. Well, Ed Rehder would not stand for it. He'd take her outside, lay on the hammock, and whistle church hymns at her while she squirmed. He'd feed her (see photo above), sing boring songs to her, and tell her weird stories.

These days, baby Brisen is grade A prime cuteness who likes everyone to hold her. But truly, when it comes down to it, she only has eyes for Ed. Most babies don't get Ed's tough-love/dry humor/slight abuse (such as trapping a baby in a patio chair), but Brisen is all about it. You'll never see a bigger smile out of her as you do when Ed stomps into the room, kicks her in the back and yells at her to get out of the way. It's magical.

Ed the Road Warrior

Have I ever mentioned that this man, Ed Rehder III used to drive a truck up in Alaska? Yes, folks, he was an original ice road trucker. Ed loves to drive. Loves it. LUVS. One time, he drove me, Sloan, and Pam 24 hours straight from Utah to Tennessee. No biggie.

There is, however, a darker side to his favorite past time. Because Ed likes to drive, he likes to "take the scenic route" every time he goes anywhere, no matter if he's alone or has five protesting adults trapped in the car with him. "Big deal," you may be saying, "so he likes to take a different still get home!" Ah, dear reader, I can tell you've never been within five miles of your home after a three-hour car ride only to feel the sudden jerk of the car as Ed decides last minute to careen into a newly-developing neighborhood to "check out what's going on" whilst cruising at 8 miles an hour  past dumpsters and house frames. Or perhaps you're sitting in the middle of the backseat 8 months pregnant, having sweated through your church clothes (and those of the passengers on either side of you) and you CAN SEE THE CONDO FROM THE CAR as Ed turns the opposite way into an "interesting looking" cul-de-sac. Never trust a man like Ed Rehder to go as the crow flies. Never.

 Ed the Photogenic
Ed, like his sons, has the peculiar inability to pose and smile normally for a picture. Now, this is not so unusual in men, so perhaps it alone doesn't make him special. However, this trait is likely to be the one that his progeny will most readily note as they look at photos of their great-great-great-grandfather and ask each other, "What was wrong with that man?"

Ed the Coastal Native

You can take the man away from the ocean, but you can't take the ocean away from the man. Born and raised in Alaska, living in Seattle, vacationing in Hawaii. One look at his tan and swimmer's physique would tip anyone off.

My Post-Vacation To-Do List

1. Untag all photos of me in Hawaii posted by family members on Facebook.
2. Yell at Sloan.
3. Dump suitcase onto floor, sigh really loudly, kick contents under bed.
4. Marvel at the continued smoothness of my week-old waxed armpits.
5. Google "How long after the Sell By date can I eat a yogurt?"
6. Have yogurt taken away by concerned husband.
7. Drive car to work while trying not to breath in through my nose (Mikyn stunk it up on our way to the airport).
8. Tell everyone to "Shut your mouths or I'll sell your children on Ebay" during work meeting.
9. Fall asleep on toilet.
10. Write blog entry!!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Aloha means both? But that makes no sense...?

Tomorrow, I travel to Hawaii.

Today, I get a spray tan.

Yesterday, I cried in three different stores' dressing rooms whilst trying on maternity bathing suits.

Apparently, most pregnant women who are interested in swimming  are built less like me (boobs > belly) and more like Homer Simpson.

My dirty pillows cannot be tamed, I guess, and that is something that Sloan's grandmother, parents, and small nieces are going to have to deal with, along with the residents of Maui (which, I hear, consist mainly of chickens). I will be strong and proud like India.Arie and I will not let this bother me.

I cried a little during prenatal yoga (which essentially, is repeatedly bending over and then standing back up slowly) because the downward facing dog pose has now become I-didn't-know-I-had/could get-cellulite-on-my-knees-pose. Honestly, though, any woman with a strong self-worth would be so annoyed by this blog post, and I SHOULD CARE ABOUT THAT. Especially if she kept reading and learned that my effort to edit some work manuals turned into a two hour journey deep into the archives of Facebook's photos of my beautiful and thin friends, and their beautiful and thin friends. What a waste of a brilliant mind like mine that can add three digit numbers together without using my fingers to carry the ones. 

And so what if I put down my copy of The Feminine Mystique so that I could read InStyle's expose on why women just love chocolate and Oprah so darn much? Isn't that something important to know? 


What have I turned into? Someone who is so emotionally wrought by Lycra that I sob quietly in a tiny changing stall as Josh Grobin plays on a loudspeaker? Someone who actually and sincerely wishes that her pretty acquaintances would get maimed or otherwise disfigured solely to lower their aesthetic appeal? Might I try to (surreptitiously) emotionally abuse my sisters-in-law to shame them into eating more and stop wearing cute clothes while on our island vacation? A well-placed barb about one's intelligence/demeanor/skin can really be effective in crushing one's confidence to pull off that cute new sun dress. And if that's what it takes to make me look less like a freshly-shaved hobbit, then that's what I'll do.

Oh, honey, no. Don't wear that adorable eyelet dress with those gold sandals. You look terrible.  I didn't want to say it, but somebody had to. Try this muumuu with the Birkenstocks. Much better.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Spring Cleaning!

It's that time of year again! Spring has sprung! SPRING HAT GESPRUNGEN. That's how they say it in Germany. A lot of people don't know that. Of course, up here in the mountains, spring is a term loosely defined as the season when it snows only once a week while the remaining days give a you sunburn and a hot punch in the face.

Little man has been visiting home on Bainbridge for the entire week while I've stayed here makin that paper. I pick him up on Saturday, which means I have GOT to whip this house in to shape before then!! Or I'll get the hose again.

"Julia," you might be saying, "You need to slow down. You're pregnant! And you're really pretty! You do NOT need to work so hard! Can't you ever relax?" Nope, dear reader. *shakes head* Alas, I am unable to overcome the energetic ambition that courses through my veins. I've finally come to terms with it: I am a super hard worker! All of the time! I would've been an awesome pioneer, or maybe coal miner.

What does every spring cleaning need, you may wonder. A checklist, you imbecile!!!

J. Rehder's List of Vital Cleaning Activities
  1. Dump the dead houseplants into the apartment complex flowerbeds. Replace with  fake plants from Ikea.
  2. Sweep lint and dust accumulations back under dryer with foot.
  3. Vacuum easy-to-reach places in living room (don't go near furniture legs due to the weird noise they make when hit by vacuum)
  4. Go through winter's mail.
  5. Clean bathroom mirror with Windex. Go ahead and clean counters and sink with Windex.
  6. Flip dining chair cushions over to clean side.
  7. Finish off bag of Cool Ranch Doritoes currently lying under couch.
  8. Get distracted and watch Bio-Dome while looking at baby pictures.
  9. Rinse out bathtub with bucket of warm water.
  10. Run hands over window blinds to scatter dust.
  11. Throw away old pencils, unused napkins and loose change.
  12. Google "How to wash pillows." Then spray pillows with old Febreeze bottle filled with water.
  13. Light Kirkland Signature Home Aromas candle.
Voila! *deep breath* Feels good to have a house in order. Real good.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Gunnin for 50!!!

I haven't hit my third trimester yet. And I don't know if I've mentioned it or not, but I've gained 26 pounds. No big deal though because I'm 5'2, which means I hide it quite well. The trick is vertical stripes.
to scale
I'm frowning because my roots are showing,
I have an emerging beard and because I lack
the arms to eat my chips
I know some women say pregnancy is beautiful, that the distortion of an enlarged womb is its own kind of sexy. What? No. Naked pregnant women look gross and weird, even the ones who have a lot of money and really white teeth, like Demi Moore or Angeline Jolie. Icky! And that's okay, my friends. Nature made you sexy in order to lure men into impregnating you in the first place (even though that's not so hard anyway). Once you are pregnant, aesthetics hit the back burner because, listen ho, it's time do some work. For instance, the facilities manager in my building told me that I was tired. "Good God, you look exhausted!! I can see it in your eyes." Well, thank you Jamie, I like you not only because you're observant, but also because you are almost seventy, have a half sleeve, and play Primary songs on your harmonica on Friday afternoons. However, I can't be bothered with your presence. I'm busy looking at my vending machine options whilst flattening a dollar bill, and that has me out of breath.

Attention, all the bewombed: no matter if you get hairy, fat, or suddenly have an Iranian accent (that's normal, yeah?), your body CAN'T BE BOTHERED WITH YOUR BUGGIN, it's busy making those sloshy noises in your stomach. Okay?  Even though it means you can't wear pants for a few months, you should gain weight at an aggressive rate, no matter what you hear otherwise from the "professionals." For example, my doctor told me to slow down with the weight gain, but I know he only really said that because I brought a bag of chips to the appointment. I get what he was really trying to say: it's a respect thing, Julia, don't eat salt and vinegar Lays while I take your blood pressure. My bad, Dr. Harward, that's on me. Boundaries.