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Saturday, July 27, 2013

I Think My Inner Barbie Grew Up

I started to write a relatively long Facebook post about my play date with Sassy Girl. Then I remembered that once upon a time I wrote a blog, and decided to blow some dust off of my Blogger page.

Totally not winning any awards for consistency any time soon.

Anyway, as I was saying, I had a date with my favorite girl to play Barbies today. We pulled out the classic Rubbermaid tub filled to the brim with half naked dolls, whatever tiny worthless accessories were spared from death by trash or heating vent, and tangled masses of whatever the heck their hair is made out of. 

Designer Kitchen Decor? 


Fast forward to play mode:

Sassy Girl - (In a ridiculously high pitched Valley Girl voice): Hi Sabrina! Let's go shopping. I need a new dress so I can get a boyfriend. 

Me- (In equally ridiculous high pitched voice) Oh you don't need a new dress. Whoever the lucky guy is should like you for YOU. Not because of some piece of fabric you put on your body. Besides, who needs a boyfriend? Look at me. I am smart, successful, and I certainly don't need a man to define who I am as a person. 

Sassy Girl - ...

Me- (Continuing high pitched feminist Barbie rant) I mean...look at everything I've accomplished. I went to college and now I enjoy success in my extremely profitable veterinarian clinic doing what I love. Do you think I needed a man to do this? Nope. It was all me. All in here. (Awkwardly moves stiff Barbie hand to sort of point at her heart.)

Sassy Girl - (Gets out of character by whispering) Mom...you're not doing it right. I want to find my Ken so we can play wedding.

Me - (Turns the volume down on Lilith Fair Barbie. Decides not to pull out Equal Rights Barbie.) Ok. Fine. Let's go to the mall. 

Doo dee doo dee doo dee do. Oh look, we're here. Man, that pink convertible can cruise. 

We "shop" for new outfits. I think the fact that I'm Mom really shines through in this comparison. Can you guess which one is MY successful, smart, classy Barbie? Dang you, Hannah Montana. 

Golly Gee! Where's my cardigan at now?


Cat Whistles


After the fun of outfitting the Barbies, I pull out a Barbie from the bottom of the tub. 

Me - Hey! This used to be my Barbie when I was little!

Sassy Girl - Oh she's really old. Hey, I know what we can do! She can go to the Sock Hop!!

Me - (Glares at innocent child.) Yeah. Great. The Sock Hop...






Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Furbys are Evil

If you know me in what we call the "real world" then you've probably already heard this story. Bear with me, or quit reading, but I have to tell everyone. This is like a PSA or something for anyone thinking of getting a Furby.

Sassy Girl turned the awesome/crazy/shock-inducing age of 8 last week.

She's been asking for this Furby nonsense since Christmas. I just ignored the initial request in November, thinking it was just a short lived phase, and I'll be damned if we are buying a 50.00 doll that speaks "Furbish".

Fast forward. Yep. She still wants the thing. The only product she has requested for 5 months.

Bit the bullet and purchased possibly the most annoying thing to ever enter this house.

She opens the gift before school and is stoked. She wrote us a thank you note at school, so I know she was thinking of the hours of fun she would have with this stupid Furby when she arrived home.

Her excitement is deflated when she comes home. We had a little gathering with Grandma and Grandpa for her birthday and Grandpa worked on getting our Furby friend out of the package. Why they screw toys to the package is a mystery to me, but it sure makes the process a hell of a lot harder.

Once Furby was released from captivity he worked for approximately 3 minutes. Then....nothing. I troubleshooted the best I could. New batteries. Hit refresh button, whatever that means. Nothing. Poor Sassy Girl was in tears. What a piece of crap.

I called the customer service number and he told me to do everything I just did. Which I told him.

"Yeah. I did that. I did that too. Nope. Did that too." Must be nice to have a job where you tell people the obvious all day.

He sent me a shipping label to return the defective creature.

Screw that. We are going to Walmart for an exchange.

Happy Birthday Sweetie. Let's go to the customer service desk at Walmart for an hour. Yay.

Her original Furby was a gray color. Walmart didn't have the same color Furby in stock.

"Honey, this purple one is nice. We can get him instead."

"No. I want Bob." Yeah. She named him Bob.

"But they don't have the same one. We can either get this one, or wait until they have a gray one."

"Well....can you ask them if they have any more Bobs?"

So we grab the purple Furby as a back up and go back to the customer service desk to inquire about any Bobs hangin' out in the back.

45 additional minutes go by, and then we get the call. Nope. No Bobs.

I look at Sassy Girl...glance at the purple Not Bob Furbs and ask her if this creature is okay.

She shrugs and decides Not Bob Furbs is better than nothing.

So off we go to stick batteries in him and unleash his Furbiness.

At least this one works. And keeps working. Forever.

It isn't long before we discover that this creature does not have an off switch. It also has multiple personality disorder, but I'll get into that later.

I spend the night diving into the Furbish dictionary like any good mom, and I soon know if her friend is asking for food, tickles, or just really loves her.

I'm putting Furbish as an additional language on my resume, by the way.

When I tip toe in to kiss the kids good night before I go to bed, the creature starts to stir in response to my movement.

I immediately freeze in a ridiculous position, to stop the thing from waking up.

A loud Furbish "I'm hungry" breaks the silence, and ruins the sweet moment of a mother kissing her children in their sleep.

Much like trying to escape a room of an infant that was just placed in it's crib, I silently try to slink out of the area. I get into my bed and I hear, *Groan* Me HUNGRY!"

I get out of bed...just to "feed" this stupid toy so it shuts up. I threw a blanket over it and told it to go to bed, because at this point that didn't seem crazy at all. It finally shut up. I think it knew that it's batteries were next to go.

Sassy Girl woke up still excited to play with her Furby. She was at the breakfast table "feeding" her Furby when all of a sudden Furby Hell broke loose.

He started shaking, his eyes rolled back in his head, his eye lids fluttered, and he said, "Furby...Change....Change...CHANGE!!!!"

Before us, this cuddly creature was PISSED OFF. His LED eyes turned all slanty. He freaked out whenever we tried to touch him, GROWLED, and pictures of FLAMES appeared in his eyes. What the heck??? Who makes a toy like this?

Seriously, you guys. I was freaked out. That weird feeling in the pit of your stomach when something doesn't feel right...it was there. Satan Furby totally ruined our morning waffles, that's for sure. At that point I was ready to either spray the thing with Holy Water, burn it, feed it to the dog, or all of the above. I spent the next twenty minutes trying to cheer this demonic creature up, because frankly, it scared the crap out of me. And remember? No off switch. Creep O Rama.

I turned on some happy music on the computer, sat the thing in front of it, and started to sing to it.

Totally normal behavior. 

It worked. Maybe a little too good. It freaked out again and did the whole "Furby...Change....Change....CHANGE!!!!" deal.

Now...we are left with some sort of Valley Girl Furby.

It says things like: "Seriously...Blah blah blah...OMG!"

Oh well. Annoying, but not Chuckie, so I'll take it.

Still, this doll has me sleeping with one eye open, and honestly I've had a few nightmares. Sassy Girl seems unphased. She obviously hasn't seen the horror movies I have.

If my family disappears and only an evil eyed Furby remains on the premises...well you know what happened.

RIP "Bob" 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Math Schmath

I love Sassy Girl.

I love teaching her many things.

I do not love teaching her math.

She is a brilliant child. Her vocabulary and reading skills are top notch. Naturally.

But, just like me, her math skills don't quite come as easily. I may or may not STILL count on my fingers from time to time. And I was once involved in payroll. Be afraid, be very afraid. 

Our math sessions go something like this:

Me: Okay. So 7 children are waiting for the bus. 4 of them are girls. What fraction of the children are girls?

Her: I only have 4 kids that wait for the bus at my bus stop.

Me: That's not the point. We are talking about THIS problem. 7 children. 4 are girls. What fraction of the kids are girls?

Her: I don't know. It doesn't make sense because I don't have 7 kids at my bus stop. Plus. We are all girls.

Me: *Sigh.* I understand that, but we are talking PRETEND here. PRETEND you have 7 children at your bus stop and only 4 of them are girls.

Her: SCREAMS: I DON'T KNOW!!! THIS IS STUPID. WHY ARE YOU BEING SO MEAN??!!

Me: I see you're frustrated, can I show you how I would figure this out?

Her: NO! I don't like math, and I don't like you!

Me: *Thinks: How is this MY fault?? Breathe. Reminder: I am the parent.* Ok. Let's take a break, and maybe we can come up with a fun game to figure this out.

Her: Psh. All of your games aren't really games. You just want me to learn stuff. See? Smart kid. She's on to me...

Me: *Thinks: God forbid...*

Seriously. I need help. How can I make math fun?? Suggestions welcome! I really don't care to remain the "MATH ENEMY" in this house any longer.




Monday, March 18, 2013

The List I Wasn't Prepared For

With the recent births of beautiful new babies and the pregnancy announcements among so many of my lovely family and friends, I have been thinking back to the moments my little ones came into my life.

Yes. I get all sappy-dappy-lovey-dovey when I think about this.

The cuddling of my newborn children.

The overwhelming amount of love you never even imagined you could feel.

Sigh. It really is a beautiful thing.

But, there's the other stuff too. The not so Hallmark card stuff.

Guys, I'm giving you a fair warning. You may want to skip this post.

I give you my:

THINGS I NEVER EVER COULD HAVE PREPARED FOR BEFORE THE BIRTH OF MY CHILDREN- AN ALL INCLUSIVE LIST


1. You may not know if you are peeing your pants or your water has broke.

I had always pictured the classic woosh of fluid, and then off to the hospital we would go. Like in a sitcom. Because TV is always the best source of reliable information. 

Not so much. It took me a full hour to realize my water had indeed broke, I was in labor, and I was not experiencing severe incontinence. 

That's the other thing. I never really thought about CONSTANT LEAKING during the labor process. It was one of the most uncomfortable and surprising things that came along with the labor of my first child. For some ignorant reason I was still picturing WOOSH. Done. Which makes absolutely no sense now that I think about it...but meh, you live you learn. 

2. Breastfeeding doesn't always happen in an instant magical natural way. 

Never had I been so devastated, than when I tried to feed my newborn girl for the very first time, and she wouldn't latch. I was so let down, and spent a lot of time beating myself up about not being able to cut it as a mom. When you're naked from the waist up, crying, holding a crying newborn like a football, and a nurse is trying stick your nipple in your baby's mouth...the magic just isn't quite what you pictured. 

A side note with this topic - Thrush. My second child I did get my "instant latch magic." But eventually we both got Thrush. You know knives? Pins? Swords? Needles? All of them combined? Every feeding. I cringe thinking about it again. 

3. Maxi Pad ice packs and Witch Hazel. 

That's all I'm saying about that. Just...I wasn't prepared for any of that.

4. You may feel like a farm animal. 

Because my first wouldn't latch, I wanted to pump milk for her. When you pump milk in a hospital (or at least THIS hospital) they wheel in an industrial grade machine and hook you up. For someone who has never pumped before this is a little intimidating. And maybe, just maybe you might hysterically cry while your husband looks pitifully at you strapped to this machine as you wail, "I feel like a cow!!" 

5. You might cry in Target.

My pregnancy hormones were a breeze compared to the shocking mood swings I experienced postpartum. I threw a temper tantrum in Target (my first outing since I gave birth) when I had mentioned I wanted to maybe get some hair dye. The only thing my poor husband said was, "Do you think you really need it?" I lost any shred of dignity or common sense I may have had. I started crying that "ugly cry" because how could he say such a thing? He must not love me. Oh no. Now my breasts are leaking through my shirt. Cry harder.  

My mom bought me the damn hair dye. She knew...

6. You will soon become an expert in poop.

Never did I realize the importance of poop. Smell, texture, consistency. It all played a role. And your beautiful, sweet, cuddly little baby would at some point cover itself and you in it. Over and over again. I have left many a public place with at least a little poop somewhere on my clothing. 

7. Every pregnancy, delivery, baby is different.

Now, I should have been prepared for that, because this is something everyone tells you. But I was way over-confident going into my second pregnancy because I really did have a fairly easy pregnancy, birth, and an easy going newborn the first time around. Little Dude knocked me down a few notches, because nothing was the same about any of it. I was uncomfortable when I was pregnant with him, I had a much more painful labor/delivery with him, and he was more fussy than Sassy Girl was. Also I had a toddler when he came into the world, which really shakes things up at home a bit more. The guilt I felt bringing another child into the home was unexpected, and was tough to adjust to at first. In the end, I feel silly for all the worry. My kids are so close now and I am thankful that they have each other. 

8. In a blink of an eye they grow up. 

You've heard this before, too. But I'm serious. A blink of an eye. We spend so much time waiting for that next milestone, or daydreaming about the people our little ones are going to become. And then, before you know it, you are sobbing as you walk to your car on the first day of preschool. Or you get in your car and follow the bus all the way to the elementary school. And they just keep growing and growing. We don't deal with too many sleepless nights anymore around here. But we continue to glide right through milestones and defining moments. Little Dude will be starting Kindergarten next year, and he has already lost his first tooth. Sassy Girl amazes me every day as she starts to mature into a young lady, so fast. I was marveling the other day at the realization of how I can have a conversation with her and she just seems so grown up. With independent thoughts, suggestions, solutions to problems. It's no longer "No. No. Don't touch." She's growing up and it's happening fast. 

9. You would do it all over again in a heartbeat. 

There's a lot of nitty gritty that goes along with this whole parenting business. But I think we can all agree that it's all worth it. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the simply amazing. 

Please feel free to add to this list in the comments below! I would love to hear some of the other things parents just weren't prepared for!! 













Sunday, March 17, 2013

"It's a Beautiful Day"

I don't have much to post about today, except that I had a great Sunday.

We have a new pastor at church, and the words of his sermon left me with a really great feeling when I left.

I feel inspired.

Isn't it amazing what words or actions can do?

Inspire. 

I strive to be a better me every day. I want to inspire with my words, with my actions, with simple gestures.

Whether it be at home with my family, or a stranger on the street, to inspire is to make a difference.

I'm reminded of an older man I met at the grocery store in the checkout line. He struck up a conversation with me and my son.

In our conversation I learned he was widowed and had several adult children he hadn't seen for awhile.

He gave me some parenting advice, seeing Little Dude in the cart getting bored.

But the biggest impact he made on me is when we parted ways:

I said to him, "Have a great rest of the day!"

He told me, "Every day that I am breathing is a good day. Thank you, though for taking the time to care."

This man inspired me. A completely random interaction that I will keep with me for life.

Happy Sunday.

Have a wonderful week everyone, and do your best to be an inspiration to yourself and others around you, because it's amazing the life we live.

XOXO



Saturday, March 16, 2013

Brunch Tacos and Big Beautiful Burgers

Spending a Saturday watching 'Man vs Food' and other mouthwatering teaser food shows.

Why Alex, I believe that is "What is the stupidest thing you could do while trying to eat healthy."

I'll take 'Self Loathing' for 500. 

It all started off innocently enough. I was enjoying my coffee and eating yogurt, while my husband chowed down his "Brunch Tacos."

 Yeah. I don't know.

This wasn't some fancy egg concoction in a tortilla. It was just plain old tacos with leftover Taco Bell hot sauce packets. He made them at 10 am and declared he made brunch. Tacos don't belong in the brunch category. An early lunch I can accept...but brunch? Never. 

We turned on the Travel Channel and got sucked into some 'Greatest Water Slides' show. Because we live a very interesting and spontaneous life, duh...

In the time it took me to clean up the "Brunch Taco" mess and get back to my important TV watching duties, the episode had changed to 'Man vs Food.' I'm sure you are familiar with this show. If you are not, well it's for the best, because it encompasses a great deal of what is wrong with our fat country. But I digress...

I laid eyes on the biggest, juiciest, most mouth-watering burger I had ever seen. 

Frankly, it was beautiful. Yes. I know it was a hamburger. But it was beautiful. 

I get it "Foodie People." I get it. 

I had to have one. 

But no. I can't. I won't. Must. Continue. Eating. Yogurt. 

Delicious. Healthy. Plain. Squishy. Sawdust-no-meat-or-onions-or-bbq-sauce-tastin' yogurt. 

Damn it. 

I was derailed and decided we would have our best version of the "Big Beautiful Burger" I viewed for dinner. 

The "Brunch Taco" creator was thrilled. So thrilled, that he offered to redeem his poor example of a brunch menu, and recreate my "Big Beautiful Burger."

I love this man. 

He pulled out some secret fried onion recipe, splurged on some good beef, and toasted some fancy onion buns with olive oil. 

ERMAGERRD... 























Yes. That is a child's plate I'm using. Get over it. 

Look at this masterpiece. 

Totally worth the wait. And guilt. And heartburn. 

I think I have a problem. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Liar Liar, Pants on Fire

My kid is a big fat liar.

Not in the sense that he lies in important situations. He's the kid that will rat anyone out including himself with the promise of a lessened consequence if the truth comes out.

He lies more creatively in situations that don't really harm anyone.

At first I thought it was cute, and I may have even enabled this behavior.

"Oh? How big was the boat you took to the island for your class field trip?" 

But now, I worry slightly as I watch his wheels turning hard to weave incredibly imaginative tales that defy even a slim chance of plausibility.

"You know, I've driven a Monster Truck before. You were sleeping. I snuck out of my bed and went to Dad's work. He was still there. He showed me a big green Monster Truck and he told me that I could drive it home."

"This glass turtle is real, Mom. When you are not looking it gets up and walks all over the place. You keeping missing it, but it really happens. He's really for real."

"I went to Disney World with my class, once. We took the bus. It was really fun and Mickey Mouse rode on the bus with us."

"I know someone named Big Foot. He's my friend."

I'm not exactly sure how to respond to these tales anymore. He told me the Monster Truck one today. It took him awhile to get the whole story out and he was so excited and animated about it.

When he finished his story I said, "Wow. I love how big your imagination is! That's a great story!"

To which he replied with large sparkling eyes that were begging me to believe him, "No. It's not just my 'maginations, I did it for real."

Honestly, I think his creativity and ability to tell stories is amazing and I don't want him to lose an ounce of that.

 I just want to make sure my responses to this behavior don't encourage him to grow up to be a thirty year old pathological liar.


"So, it says here on your resume that you know 7 different languages, traveled to the moon, and you've listed Big Foot as a business reference? Interesting. Can you tell me a little more about your previous job duties as a Monster Truck driver?" 








Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sex Sells!

Sassy Girl tried to get me to allow her to go to school this week in her brother's shirt.

Why? Because the too small garment was turned into a "belly shirt" and apparently in second grade that's an acceptable and trendy thing to want to do.

Whether we realize it or not, sex appeal is being drilled into our heads starting at a very young age.
Look at one of the Barbies my daughter has.


I don't know about you, but any veterinarian I've ever met sure doesn't dress like "Cinnamon, Queen of the Stripper Pole" at work. They wear scrubs and step in animal feces. Not whatever the crap this doll is wearing.

Or the Disney shows that feature twenty something year old actors playing high schoolers wearing skinny jeans and never answering to any sort of parental figure.













THIS is not what an awkward teen looks like. Before I entered high school I had braces, wore knock off outdated Girbaud jeans my mom would find on her garage sale runs, and sported over-sized ESPRIT sweatshirts.

 I'll save myself the embarrassment of posting a picture...

Ads have become over the top SEX and we all just overlook it because it's become the norm. Do you ever see an ad and say, "What did that have to do with anything they are trying to sell??"



They are trying to sell shoes. SHOES!? I don't know about you, but my shoes currently have some gum jammed in the sole...is that sexy?

Oh. And of course there is music. Try hiding "Call Me Maybe" from an almost 8 yr old. Doesn't work. She knows the lyrics, and I CRINGE when she sings, "Hey! I just met you. This is crazy. Here's my number. Call me maybe." Now, she's too young to know what these lyrics imply, but still... My apologies to everyone that just got that song stuck in their head. 

In the adult world it's not much better. Some adults push the envelope beyond any sort of acceptable interaction.

On a dance floor it's not uncommon to get a comment or get groped by some intoxicated loser. Hey! This isn't a perfume ad and you smell like smoke, beer, and the opposite of sex. But to be honest, all it takes to make women go crazy on the dance floor is some sexy song. Now, I can  sway my hips with the best of them, but if I try to "Drop It Like It's Hot" then I'm afraid I may look more constipated than sexy...

It's no different for men either. A musician I know told me about some girl that thought it was okay to BITE HIS LEG in an attempt to be some sort of vampire seductress while he was on stage. WHAT?!? Too much Twilight perhaps?

Where are the boundaries? I have a pretty large bubble. I like it that way.

I guess my point is that life is not and should not be blurred by values a fake sexy shoe or insert any other product commercial portrays. Sorry boys. Those AXE commercials are complete bullshit.

The request to wear the tiny shirt was settled by me simply telling her that showing bellies was only appropriate for the beach in a swimsuit. We picked out a pretty lacy TURTLE NECK (What? Maybe overcompensating?) and life was all good.

At almost 8 that explanation flies. I hope I can instill in her the right values, so that she knows, not so many years from now, that she doesn't need to show her body to be validated. She is beautiful and I hope she knows it and can respect herself despite the media's pressures to exploit herself.

Anyway...does anyone feel the urge to buy some new shoes, or is it just me?






Thursday, February 28, 2013

Up to my Eyeballs in WHAT??

You all are going to read about my crappy day. My literally crappy day. Yes, I know the word "literally" is typically inappropriately used...but read on and you will see that it was indeed literally crappy.

 At about two in the morning I wake up from blissful new comforter sleep to screaming from the children's room. 

I stumble out of bed half awake to find Little Dude upset, ticked, and wet in his bed. 

"I have been yelling for you forever and you just ignored me!" 

Ugh. Way to make me feel like the worst mom EVER. Maybe I was sleeping hard and dreaming about, oh I don't know, ANYTHING OTHER THAN CLEANING UP PEE! 

I asked him why he didn't just come and get me. 

He looked at me like I was the dumbest person on the planet. 

"Because I peed the bed. I can't walk like this."  DUH.

I helped him clean up, brought the laundry downstairs, scrubbed the mattress, and finally remade the bed. By this point I probably should have just cut my losses and got up for the morning. 

But as you all may or may not know...it doesn't matter if it's 2 hrs until it's time to wake up or 2 minutes. If it is before that alarm goes off I am rolling over and snoozing for any possible amount of time. Pretty sure I've reset the alarm for 30 seconds at least once in my life. 

So the alarm goes off at its normal time. I am not happy about it. But the show must go on. Since Little Dude is in the same boat as me (even worse because he was rudely awakened in a sea of piss) he is the king of crabs. 

Finally get both the kids off to school/daycare. Not without an argument over why I should pick all of the non-marshmallow pieces out of the Lucky Charms, mind you. 

Get myself ready and head to work. Once I get to work I have to pee. 8000 cups of coffee will do that to a girl. 

Open the door to the bathroom. 

Cue Jaws music, Psycho music, pretty much any horror movie music and you will get the point.

I walked into World War III.

Catastrophe in epic smelly proportions.

Whoever caused this aftermath needs to see a doctor STAT.

Toilet was clogged in ways I didn't know a toilet could be clogged.

I shut the door and ran out to the front office to yell out my findings. No one took credit for the present and no one seemed to want to help remedy or situation.

I had to get out of there. For one, it stunk. For two, I still had to pee out the nine billion cups of coffee I ingested prior to arriving at work.

I went to the gas station to relieve myself, and continued to dry heave at the reality that I was going to have to deal with the crap floating in the toilet.

When I arrived back at work, a co worker of mine was thankfully on board with helping me since she saw/heard my stomach's intolerance of this task.

We gear up for this mission. Gloved and plunger in hand we dive into the shit. Someone else's shit. So pissed at this point. Who the heck would just leave a toilet full of their bad decisions for someone else to take care of???

Several dry heaves, a run to Wal-Mart for a better plunger, a snake, masks (yes MASKS) and half a can of Glade air freshener we think we have the issue somewhat solved.

The afternoon rolls around and again the toilet floods. At this point we are happy it's of the number 1 variety not the number 2.

Screw it. Not dealing with it again. Dialing the maintenance man, who LAUGHS at our escapades.

Do you even UNDERSTAND that I will need to BURN these shoes??? 

I call it a day at work. Head out a little early because I have to pee again. Because I'm human and this no functioning facility business is ridiculous.

What do I find when I get home?

A guilty dog that wouldn't look me in the eye and garbage strewn across the living room.

I wade through the coffee grounds and air head wrappers to get to my couch. Sit down. Look at the disgusting mess.

I laughed. Because I didn't want to cry. OF COURSE THIS WOULD HAPPEN.

After my slight breakdown I clean up the mess.

And now? I am drinking a beer.

Cheers to the shittiest day ever.

Cheers everyone. Cheers.








Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"The Best Things In Life Are Free"

Ok. This may be a rambling post, but I have to get this all out.

So here's the deal. My husband is about to get a significant raise in two months. We've known it was coming for the last couple of years.

Now it's almost here. Will we be "wealthy"? No. It's not anywhere near the realm of "The Elite" salaries. But it's enough to be comfortable. Which is all I care about. So many years of barely scraping by. Making poor financial decisions because we were young and inexperienced. Trying to figure out which bill we were going to skip for the month because we couldn't afford it. Getting a foreclosure letter during a maternity leave. (We thankfully were able to get ourselves out of that one.) You name it, we've been there. And we take full responsibility for putting ourselves there. But, we've always worked hard to provide what we can and thankfully we've always had family that has been there to help us out when we were in dire need. Our pride has always insisted on paying them back...whether it be from 6 months of savings or the next tax refund we paid them back sheepishly and graciously.  

I feel a little weird posting about money, because it seems like a taboo. It's definitely not something (or enough) to flaunt around. You just don't talk about it. 

But, I have reasons for writing about it. You see, we have known about this raise for awhile and before it just seemed so distant. Now it's 8 weeks away. And I have to admit. I started a list. A long list of things I want done for the house.

 Furniture. Basement finished. Landscaping. Paint. Appliances. Wood Flooring. Central Air.

It's an expensive list. And of course the raise wouldn't be enough to cover all of those items in the near future...but it was something to hope for.

Then I started thinking bigger: Trips to Disney World. Surprising children at Christmas. Dang you, Disney World commercials!!

But then...I got embarrassed. I usually strive to not be super materialistic and this list is exactly that.

It's extravagant and full of "I Wants". 

We are a fully functioning family without all of those extras. My children share a room, but it works. We all share a bathroom...and it kind of works. The carpet is worn and shows WE definitely live here. We have hand me down furniture...which lets face it, you don't get as angry about chocolate syrup stains smeared on the arms of hand me downs as you would on something brand spankin' new. We go on vacations around our state, and the kids seem to have a great time.

My list that was originally created as "NEEDS" seems trivial.

I still "WANT" this stuff. But I don't need to kid myself into thinking I MUST do all of this in order  to prove something or feel like I'm successful. It's still...stuff.

I've toned it back a bit and we are focusing on putting enough money away slowly to finish our basement. That's all we are going to put on the list for now. It's something that we can all enjoy, and mostly our kids can have their own bedrooms.

This will be a convenience, an extra, a perk. Also an investment as it will add much needed equity. But I need to remind myself that it is not a "Need".

Truly, catching myself in this greediness reminded me to step back and count EVERY SINGLE BLESSING.

Because regardless of my financial status...I will always be rich. <---Cheesy, but true. 




Tuesday, February 19, 2013

No, Doctor. I FEEL FANTASTIC!

Well, I am a crappy blogger. It's been over a month since my last post...but sometimes life just happens. Life being moments where you have something really funny to write about, but instead you watch reruns of "The Nanny" and eat a whole tube of Girl Scout cookies and feel totally awesome about yourself...

I'm REALLY busy, okay?

Anyway, now that I got that self deprecating statement out of the way we can move on.

Here's the deal. I never understood when I had kids that I would joining the club of "ENDLESS EMBARRASSMENT."

Let me explain.

When I was younger, my mom would tell stories of all the horribly embarrassing things I would do to her. One that sticks out in my head was the story of my mom and I grocery shopping in the cereal aisle. When she put the Wheaties in the cart, I loudly exclaimed, "You need those so you can poop, right?"

Of course I always thought she was exaggerating her stories.

Like when we would go to the doctor's office after I had convinced her I was on my death bed. Only for her to explain my symptoms in a worried tone to the doctor, and me to respond by bouncing off the walls telling the doctor I feel "GREAT!"

No. Before I had kids...honestly I thought she was the master of embellishing stories.

Then...I became a member of the club.

From the moment those darlings are born, we as parents are destined to be embarrassed.

Starting with leaky breasts, stinky diapers in awkward locations, and your baby spitting up on someone dressed in a suit more expensive than your whole wardrobe. All of sudden...this shit gets real. No longer able to be a wallflower when you have an adorable, screaming, stinky bundle of joy.

I think with Sassy Girl being almost 8 and Little Dude being 5 years of age that I am at the early middle point of the embarrassment timeline.

A current log of recent moments I have been embarrassed by my little darlings:

Doctor/child thing I mentioned earlier? Oh yeah. Been there.
I swear she just had a fever of 104! YES, I see her running through the waiting room giggling. NO, I DO NOT HAVE MUNCHHAUSEN SYNDROME!

I teach Little Dude's Sunday School class. I told the class about the bowling ball that fell on my foot earlier that week and broke my toe. (Yes. THAT happened.) The little bugger told everyone I cried like a baby. Which I absolutely did not...much.

Trying on clothes in a dressing room. Loud eight year old voice: "MOM!!! I can see your BUTT! Get dressed, that's gross!" Great. Thanks.

Taking work calls at home. Or any calls, really. WE WILL MAKE IT SOUND LIKE A MURDER IS HAPPENING RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW!!!!

Talking to someone about an owie: "My daddy did it." What the little sweetie fails to mention, is that he went running like a bat outta hell towards his daddy who wasn't prepared to catch him, which resulted in a catastrophe. But...now we have a possible social services situation, I guess.

Oh. We think it's funny to ask the waitress to bring us BEER. What the waitress doesn't realize is they are asking for mother effing ROOT BEER. Don't judge me lady. I don't feed my kids Miller Light, okay?

Anyway, I could go on, but you get the point. Kids...are honest. They are honest and they don't mean to, but they embarrass the crap outta their parents.

I wouldn't trade it for anything.  Soon...I will be the one embarrassing THEM.











Saturday, January 5, 2013

Resolution Junkie

With it being the beginning of the new year and all, the buzz is all about making resolutions.

I can't really say I've sat down and made a formal New Year's Resolution.

The thing is, I'm a resolution making junkie. Except I don't save my resolutions for the beginning of the year. I get a wild idea in my head, draw up crazy plans with arrows and keys, spend money on the operable parts to this plan and then half ass succeed until I give up.

I've mastered the art of MAKING resolutions. I create them. I mold them from the gargantuan stash of big idea clay stored in my crazy brain. I just fizzle out in the actually accomplishing anything phase..

Some of 2012's failed projects:

 I hate laundry. I needed a better system. While briefly entertaining the Charlie Brown wardrobe theme for my family, I scaled down THAT idea and decided to tackle the sock matching crisis in my home. The thought behind this was I would purchase everyone in the family the same color socks so that when I went to fold them there would be no hair pulling mismatched sock pile nonsense. Except...when I tried to put this plan into action, I quickly realized that four people with different sized feet BUT same style of socks was a TERRIBLE idea. Now I had to hunt for the exact same white crew sock that matched the size 10 foot size NOT the size 13. This leads to holding socks together to eyeball size differences and this SUCKS.

You'd think I'd stop there with the sock scheme. Sigh. I didn't. I went back to the drawing board and revised my plan. I thought...well, it was a good idea just needs some tweaking. I decided to get each family member their very own color of socks.

You guys. We have a shit load of socks. And we still have a mismatch pile. It's just bigger.

Fail.

Next idea? I felt like I was stuck in a cooking rut. I wanted to experiment with new recipes. BUT, I couldn't just keep it simple. I wanted to cook healthier...possibly organic. AND I needed to put together a slick Excel spreadsheet grocery list. AND I needed to clip coupons.

I spent one whole day off from work devising this plan. I Googled new recipes. I hunted down coupons from not only the newspaper but the internet as well. I made a menu plan and proudly hung it up on the refrigerator with our Jimmy Johns fridge magnet. Hmmm. 

We went to the grocery store and spent far more money than I want to let on. Then I spent the rest of the week trying to put together foreign recipes ahead of time. When my family turned their noses up at the change in diet I wanted to scream, "But it's ON THE SPREADSHEET! EAT IT!"

I realized that I was spending WAY too much time planning, shopping, using 5 million pans, cleaning the 5 million pans, storing spices that I've never heard of, trying to figure out what the hell blanching really meant, and prepping late into the night for meals my family disliked. As I threw out the leftovers no one would touch I cried a little.

We're back to spaghetti, casseroles, and meat 'n potato dishes. My family is relieved. Every once and awhile I get a little crazy and purchase a different shape of Tator Tot product. To keep things fresh and interesting, of course.

The Menu Plan was donated to a nursing home. Enjoy.

Unfortunately I have MANY more of these incidents. But I'm only going to talk about one more, because I made the resolution JUST NOW to not write long winded boring blog posts. I'll devise the flow chart on accomplishing this later.

Working out. I wrote a blog post earlier on this. This resolution comes up quite often. Usually after a dressing room incident, a tagged picture on Facebook that makes you hate the person who thought this was acceptable for public viewing, a comment from my innocent children that makes me die a little inside, a particularly awful glance in the mirror, or while sitting on the couch after a 7 course Kentucky Fried Chicken meal feeling like the scum of the earth.

However this resolution comes up, it always leads to me immediately squeezing in a work out, eating a celery stick, and then wondering why I haven't lost ten pounds after my excruciating 20 minute work out. Then I buy stylish pants that fit and accept that I can look good without killing myself, and MAYBE vacuuming is a good enough work out for today.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

So, No. I do not have a New Year's Resolution. But rest assured my family is cringing at what crazy ideas will pop into my head through out the year of 2013.

Maybe I'll take up pottery...

And don't worry. You guys will hear ALL about it.

Good luck with any resolutions any of you have made. May the force be with you.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dude, Where's My Hover Car?

Happy New Year everyone! I'm not going to hide my disappointment that it is now 2013 and we are not driving, err flying around in hover cars and transporting ourselves from place to place in those bank sucky tube thingys. I'm sure they are called something a bit more technical and if I used them to transport myself to the mall, I most likely would remember the fancy name. Or is it just called a vacuum? Whatever. Doesn't matter. I don't have one.

BUT...we do have Siri. (That link entertained me for far too long...)

We have cars that also talk to us.  Uh...hello? Am I the only one that imagines my GPS voice is actually the car from Knight Rider? Crickets? Okay. 

 My preschooler works at school on a freaking iPad. Remember the old green screen Apples that we shoved our Oregon Trail and Number Muncher floppy disks in?

It's almost unheard of to not have Internet access anywhere you go. Peace out dial up.

We have video games that respond to our body movement. Don't worry "Duck Hunt", I still love you. 

We have robots that roam our houses seeking out an enemy to destroy. Dirt, duh. I actually won't get one of these Roomba thingys because they weird me out. Maximum Overdrive. 'Nuff said. 

Anyway, you get the point and by now you have realized I am not a technology expert, because:

A) I have used the word "thingy" at least twice in this post.

B) None of this is actually brand new cutting edge technology for 2013.

Which is FINE. I am just REFLECTING on the super cool gadgets that we take for granted. And I am always late to the party when it comes to technology. So don't take any advice from me in regards to the latest and greatest new toy. Because it would be a lie. (Coming soon in 2014! Flying Cars! It's TRUE! No really.) And my blog title would be incredibly off topic if I started blogging about technology...

Despite not having flying cars and transportation tubes, I guess we've come pretty far for 2013. I wouldn't mind having a robot named Rosie to do all my housework for me and to give me advice 24/7, but then again she could kill me in my sleep, so I guess I'm content with searching for apps on my phone and Googling "How To Get Sharpie Marker Stains Off Of Your White Dog The Safe Way."

True Story.