Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2012 we had a good run!

It's January 31, y'all!  It kinda snuck up on me.  One minute I was bitching about how many freaking days were in January??? and the next thing I know it's the last day!!!  It seems a tributary list is in order.  This is not my idea.  I blame Michael Feldman for this one.  He did a listener call-in for the best of 2012 in a show that ran here a few weeks ago.  So, if you don't like this post - it's not really my fault.

Reasons why 2012 was the best year ever.

1.  I did not get the flu and die.
2.  No one in my family got the flu requiring me to nurse them to health like Florence Nightingale.
3.  All of my major home appliances are in working order.
4.  We did not buy a dog.  Or a cat.
5.  The suicidal bird that has been trying to die on my bedroom window is recovering slowly from his depression (he senses the end of January is near).
6.  I kept one of my resolutions..........I think............what were my resolutions?
7.  I bought a chore chart that my kids are taking seriously (if you don't count the fact that the three year old considers getting up and eating good chores that should be rewarded).
8.  Our family now gets Netflix.
9.  I gave up coffee.  Then I started drinking coffee again (a few minutes later).
10.  I had jello shots on my birthday!

Happy New Month, y'all!  Let's make it a good one!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Does this blog make my butt look big? Or, Rachel Ray needs my kids.

I am battling the bulge lately.  Seems everywhere I turn there are things that make me fat.....like my fat.  Here are just some things that confuse me and/or cause me to wonder about eating healthy and staying fit.

1.  Exercise - especially rigorous exercise for one hour a day - makes me want to eat like a horse for the other 11 hours in the day.  And not really fruit and veggies.  More like thick, juicy burgers and greasy fries.

2.  Rachel Ray can cook all that yummy looking food supposedly in 30 minutes because she doesn't have to plan the meal, shop for the meal, prep the meal, and cook the meal while also:  wiping a three year old's butt (sorry, just speakin' the truth), breaking up a fist fight, responding to an email marked urgent that apparently has been in my inbox for a week, and monitoring Wii time.

3.  Some of my favorite food blogs, like Rufus, often call for items that I am not familiar with nor do I have any idea where to buy.  For example:  rutabaga, prosciutto, turnip greens, coconut milk, etc.

4.  I want to watch a cooking show starring a lady that has four kids - I suggest ages 10, 8, 7, and 3 - all having their eating idiosyncrasies.  During the show the kids are with her the entire time she is doing anything involving feeding this TV family.  And then if she is successful I want her show to be cancelled.

5.  Although hubby and I are foodies and will pretty much eat anything that's not nailed down, our kids are a mixed batch.  The boy child eats like us.  His tastes range from sushi to greasy burgers.  He's not too keen on fruits, though, but will eat a wide range of veggies.  Girl 1 would eat this all day everyday if left alone:  pancakes, sweets, chocolate, fruit, bread, and raw sugar.  Girl 2 eats a wide range of things, although she fiercely avoids tomatoes, onions, and peppers if she can identify them (1.  Isn't that the Holy Trinity? and 2.  Did I ever tell you we are Mexican American???).  Girl 3 must sniff and pull apart everything she eats.  Although she would eat sushi, tuna, and hummus daily, she will avoid peanut butter like the plague.

6.  I think every time a fitness guru says, "It is a myth that you can tone your abs by ab exercises alone.  It requires core training." an angel eats a donut.

7.  I *might* be developing a healthy relationship with my muffin top.

8.  I *might* not want toned abs as much as I want to eat yummy food and enjoy tasty beverages.

9.  I've googled things like "tasty and healthy recipes," and I am just suspicious.  In other words, the recipes usually wear me out.  If it takes me five minutes to read and understand the recipe, frankly I don't want to cook it.   

10.  I have been hearing a lot about food allergies and it makes me infinitely thankful that - so far - my kids have none.  If they did they would starve and I would shoot myself.

That's what I've been thinking about.  Off to work-out for one hour, then eat like a horse, then prep for a lasagna recipe that I got off the back of the box!  Happy Monday, friends.  Try to stay fit.  Or, don't try.  I totally understand either way.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Keep your head down and walk quickly.

So, if you are a "regular" you know that I have had some recent testing done on my womanly parts (the ones up high, not the ones down low and immediately after typing that I realize I could have selected a much more accurate description since I have birthed and breastfed four wee ones).  This (and my excessive procrastination) has kept me away from posting for a few days.  I thought I would check-in, let you know I am still here, and give you just a few tips I have learned should you find yourself in my situation later (you're welcome).  Call it Radiology Protocol I learned from recent trips to the radiologist.  Here it goes:

Radiology Protocol For Dummies (no offense)

1.  Listen carefully (wear a hearing aid if you have to).  The radiologist that I went to (I have only ever been there possibly under 10 times in my whole life) is extremely crowded every time I go.  There is one receptionist, and she *might* feel the strain of having such a stressful job.  I learned the lesson about listening carefully with both my ears this last trip there when I did not hear what she said to me so I politely said, "Excuse me?"  Then she said rather loudly, "ARE YOU HERE FOR A PAIN IN YOUR BREAST AND A MAMMOGRAM???"  Yes, that would be me.

2.  While you are in the waiting room, try not to make eye contact with anyone because you might meet them later backstage when you only have a hospital gown on.  This can be awkward to say the least.

3.  You will probably be told to remove some articles of your clothing and then join the tech with your "valuables" so that he/she can escort you to the x-ray room.  Think carefully about this.  I was told I could leave my clothes in the dressing room and just take my purse.  Now, after thinking about this a little I cannot see how this makes sense.  Would I rather have my purse stolen, but be fully clothed, or have my UNDERWEAR and CLOTHES stolen, but have my purse???

4.  When you are waiting in the dressing room with nothing but a hospital gown on be careful to close the curtain.  There will be a few people wandering about (also with hospital gowns on) and one of them might accidentally make eye contact with you.

5.  When you are undergoing any kind of ultrasound you will have a goo liberally applied to your skin that is similar to whale blubber.  You will be given one nonabsorbent paper towel to clean your entire body with before dressing again.  Pay attention to where the tech places the roll before he/she exits the room because you are going to need the whole roll.  And then you will still find goo on yourself when you are back in the dressing room putting your clothes back on.

6.  A tech will probably come back to your dressing room to escort you out of the building.  I suspect this is for the privacy of all the people who are still in gowns and might be embarrassed of some lost clothed person wandering around wondering where the hell the exit is.  When you exit the building, again, follow the tech, and pay attention once they leave you with mere directions.  Radiologists apparently is a French word that means likes mazes.  And, if you do not follow the left, right, left, another right, past the Radiology Starbucks directions you will end up accidentally startling gowned people for a LONG time.

That's all I got for now, bloggy peeps.  I hope you are surviving January.  Keep your chins up!  Only SEVEN more days to go!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Don't give me a toothbrush. It's for your own safety.

I had planned on bringing you a Happy Birthday To Me post today about the woman who married her iPhone and then gave birth (I read that on a grocery store check-out mag.  They're all true, right?), but that fantastic and terrifying post is going to have to wait.  This post is hot off the press and includes the following disclosure:

Please excuse any typos, grammatical errors, and just plain $hit that don't make sense in this post because it is being sent from my decaffeinated brain.

So besides the usual awesomeness that is January, I have been dealing with some minor pain for the past few weeks.

Without violating any HIPAA regulations or sending you to poke your eyes out with sharp sticks, let's just say I've had an unusual pain that's made me want to wear a metal bra and not engage in any hugging that involves people whose heads come up to my "chest" area lately.  I had said "pain" checked out first with a delightful mammogram and then yesterday with a visit to my friendly and competent M.D.

Turns out I have a condition that although it requires further tests, appears benign and harmless.  Of course, I am imminently grateful and happy about this news.  That's the good news.  Here's the bad news.  My doctor was going over the results of my mammogram and examination.  When I asked what the treatment for my condition was she said simply, "Well, we'll have to wait until the further testing is done, but it can usually be managed with dietary adjustments."  It was when I said, "Like what?" that she *may* have looked like the devil.  She asked, "Well, do you consume a lot of caffeine?"  Of course like any person faced with a threatening doctor who is looking more and more like the devil, I lied and said (or more like gulped), "Yeah.  A little."  She then delivered the horrifying news, "Well, you might have to give that up." 

In case you don't know me, let me just say - I love coffee.  We have a long and strong relationship.  Here are the reasons why I love coffee:  1.  I love coffee.  2.  There are only three things I love as much as coffee - beer, dark chocolate, and Pinterest (Oh, wait.  Did I forget God, my hubby, and my kids?  Yes?  Oh, well.), and 3.  Coffee is my BFF.  So, when my usually friendly doctor said I might have to give that up it was kind of like she said, "Well, you might have to cut off your right arm."

This news came yesterday around 4:30 p.m. and I decided to plunge right in and go cold turkey.  I have a good friend with whom I texted back and forth about my new challenge.  Because we have worked out the details (such as who will be my sponsor and the fact that I will probably need an actual 12 step program), I wanted to share this with you.  This *might* become a huge part of my blogging - my journey through rehab! 

If I was technology competent (or possibly had a fertile iPhone) I would insert our actual text screens right now.  Since I can't do that, I am just going to type out what we texted and you will get the picture (no pun intended).  Please excuse the typos (it is TEXT after all), and I have crossed out the irrelevant or self-incriminating parts (thank me later, friend).

Me:  stolen K-cups.  bad news:  I *may* have 2 make a "dietary adjustment" 2 help w soreness....GIVE UP CAFFEINE.  SAY WHATTHEF???

Friend:  Oh dear gawd!  Plze don't say u have to quit booze, too?!?

Me:  no.  i didn't even ASK.  but, there goes the new keurig.

Friend:  What about coffee benefits, like depression, heart disease, sanity, the health and safety of others around you?!?  De-caf?  Hot cocoa?  Do you need a 12 step to take you down slowly?

Me:  Hello, my name is Mxnxca.

Friend:  I'll sponsor you!  But only if I can score some free coffee at the meetings.

Me:  God grant me the serenity to change the people I can and ignore the rest.  Amen.

Friend:  Can i pin that?

Me:  Yes, but you have to pay me the royalties.

Friend:  Once you quit coffee, you'll have tons of extra money.

Me:  We are so clever we should be famous.

Friend:  I'll be the "source close" to you when you go AWOL from coffee rehab.  "yes, we all knew it would be hard for her, but we didn't expect her to assault the nurse with her toothbrush.  it may be time for a true intervention."


So, that's my birthday story, bloggy friends.  After finishing this post I have decided that since I have such a long journey ahead of me, I am going to start rehab tomorrow.  Right now I am going to brew myself a nice hazelnut blend!  Technically is this my first relapse?  I say "no" since I haven't really started yet!  So, have a great weekend and wish me luck............tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA (and I ain't talkin' mexican soup here)

For the truth about the dangers of SOPA from one of the best bloggers ever you can click here.

If you are still not convinced to say ,"no to SOPA," you can get some more facts here  .

A Post For A Friend or Pinterest for Dummies (no offense)

This post if for my good friend over at Cyberbones because she is having some trouble.  I feel I owe her a lot for eternity because:  1.  She taught me a lot of parenting truths (not what you read in all those damn books), and 2.  She forced me (literally kicking and screaming - mostly obscenities, and mostly at her) into reading blogs and then blogging when she decided to move to another continent (without me) and started a blog so that she wouldn't go insane keeping up with everyone.

So, her trouble right now is navigating my addiction (knowing how to Pin on Pinterest).  So, I am paying her back for all her wisdom (I know, it's not really fair - she taught me to parent and I am teaching her how to do Pinterest.  Blah, blah, blah.  Life isn't fair.)  I made it super easy and have broken it down into a list!  My list is not numbered because I am not that organized and because of that whole teach a man to fish thing.

  • "YOUR timeline on Facebook" on Pinterest is kind of here:  Do the drop down menu under your name and picture and click on "Boards."  That's kind of your "home base."  In other words, that shows YOU.  If it's empty mostly that means you need to waste some time and start pinning crap stuff.
  • When you are "surfing" looking for cool stuff you will need to click on the red Pinterest.  That will bring up what people are pinning - kind of like Home on Facebook.
  • Download the pinning button to your computer so that you can pin anything that is cool, insane, funny, delicious, etc.  To find directions on how to do this go to:  About -> Pin It Button.  Then follow the directions there and try it out by pinning something you see online.
  • Pin other people's pins.  So, when you login to Pinterest you will see a bunch of things other people have pinned.  If you see something you like, hover over it.  A "Like," "Repin," and "Comment" button will pop up at the top of the picture.  Click Like to let the person who pinned it know that you liked it (common courtesy), then click "Repin" if you want to repin it.
  • Create at least a few "boards" by going to Add and then Create a Board.  You will need a basic board name for this board.  For example, if you want to pin a bunch of yummy stuff to eat, you might name your board "My Big Butt" (just a suggestion).  Then Pinterest will ask you categorize your board so that other pinners will be able to easily access what you have pinned (not rocket science - just use the drop down menu).  You will think of a bunch of boards you want to create once you become addicted.  Then you will probably have too many and have to consolidate.  Don't worry.  That's NORMAL.  Everyone goes through it!
  • Follow everyone!  Follow me!  You can do this by either clicking my icon right here on my blog, or you can find me on Pinterest.  The way you follow other (less important) people is by:  hovering over your name (Which should be in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.  If it's not - you totally screwed up and I cannot help you.) and wait for the drop down menu.  Click on Find Friends.  This will lead you to your Facebook friends and then click on those of them that are on Pinterest.  OR you can search for a "person" in the upper left hand corner of Pinterest. 
  • Repeat bullet number 2 (I realize that's confusing - sue me) till your eyes go blurry, your kids are weak with hunger, you look at the clock and 12 hours have passed, or you try to pin something real in your house.
  • Remember to have fun with it!  It is only virtual and it's SUPPOSED to be fun!
That's my list, Cyberbones.  I hope you like it and that you learned something.  Now GO WASTE SOME TIME! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My kids may not take me seriously.

Santa in his infinite wisdom brought the kids a Wii for Christmas and frankly that thing drives me nuts.  First of all, I am a control freak.  Yes, I said it.  I'm not a control freak in all areas of my life (well, I make myself feel good by saying that), but when it comes to what my kids are doing - I am a little psycho.  I can't stand them mindlessly playing video games (of any kind) while there is:  laundry to be done, a kitchen to be cleaned, food to be cooked, a floor to be cleaned, or a carpet to be vacuumed.  It makes me a little irritated.  So, tonight I reached my wits end and decided to make another chore chart (we've had approximately 100 chore charts in our lives because I am inconsistent and a slacker mom).  This one was to be entitled Technology Usage Chore Chart (not as daunting as it sounds - apparently).

My charts are not power point material.  They are more on par with a kindergartner's presentation.  For example, I made the chart with recycled paper and a thick black Sharpie (because I couldn't find a decent pen).  The columns read (as far as I can remember):  Make beds, fold blankets, put all lovies on beds, put clean clothes neatly away, practice piano, do homework.  So, when I finished showing the kids my masterpiece and explaining all the intricacies of what must be accomplished in order for them to use technology (Wii and iTouches) here is what happened:

Boy Child:  Um, mom, is there going to be a Q and A?

Me:  Huh?

Boy (snickering):  Mom, do you know what Q and A means?  Without giving anyone a chance to answer.  It means Question and Answer!

Wild laughing amongst all the children.

Me:  Okay.  Right.  Do you guys have any questions?

Girl 1:  Are we allowed to fold the blankets into origami cats?

Me (Quickly realizing I *might* be losing control.):  Um.  No.

Girl 2:  Are we allowed to fold the blankets into triangles like they do flags?  Because dad showed us how to do that one time.  It's really hard, but he took the time to show us.

Me (Thank you, hubby, you are immensely helpful.):  Um.  No.

Girls 1 and 2:  But, baby doesn't practice piano............or do homework.

Me:  Fine.  I'll cross those out.

Baby:  YES I DO PRACTICE PIANO!!!  AND I DO HOMEWORK.

Me:  OKAY.  Does everyone understand???  We start tomorrow.  Are we all good with this???

Boy:  Are we to the Q and A yet?

Me:  YES for the love of God.

Boy:  Okay.  My question is - are you taking questions?

Again, collective snickering.

I may need to make another chart entitled Taking Mom Seriously.

Monday, January 16, 2012

My brain may have just figured out It's January.

So, I am usually mildly depressed in January.  Call it Seasonal Depression, Post-Christmas Blues, Whacked Out Mom-of-Four Syndrome, whatever.  But, it's usually the case that in January I like to sit around in my jammies and think about everything sad.  I know that's weird since January is such a fabulously jazzy month what with:  post-Christmas finances, dreary disgusting weather, MLK Jr.'s march that we can never attend because someone is always napping and it's raining, my BIRTHDAY when my greatest fear (aging) is realized, and the days that end at 5:30 p.m. when all the kids are still WIDE AWAKE???  Surprising, but true.  In the past, you might have known (not that you in any way should care) that I am in Mild Depression because I won't post or if I do it will all be about Death and Dying (yes, like Kubler-Ross). 

This year I was sure I had kicked that nasty habit to the curb.  I had my Happy Gal groove on.....for the first 13 days.  Then it hit me.  IT'S JANUARY.  I am supposed to be in a Super Funk where I don't cook, clean, brush my teeth, or shower.  What the heck am I doing wandering around like a normal functioning woman?

As soon as that "cat was out of the bag" it's like my brain said, "Shut down.  Eat like a bear that's going into hibernation, refuse to talk to the children, and stay in your room."  And, with a few exceptions (I am talking to the children - occasionally and upon emergency), that's where I've been for a few days.

That brings me to today.  I decided it's time to take this bull by the horns and kick this thing.  What better way to do that than to concentrate on what makes January great?  So, here it goes.  (If this works, this could be my meal ticket, and I *could* be a millionaire - as it seems there are few side effects to making list.)

The Great Things About January (don't worry, I could only think of 10 - and that was a stretch)

1.  We are that much closer to Spring Break.
2.  We will not face the pressures of the Christmas season for another 11 months.
3.  The Golden Globe Awards are in January and we can make a list of movies that are supposedly good so that we might watch them sometime int he next 20 years.
4.  There are lots of season premieres and it can feel almost like September.
5.  There is the hope that shows like Whitney will be cancelled so that we won't have to accidentally stumble upon them and then be compelled to watch like a bad car crash.
6.  There isn't a lot of pressure to shop for new clothes since it will be rainy, cold, and dreary for a good two months.
7.  Even though I am faced with the fact of aging when my birthday rolls around, I do have a nice chance to score birthday booty (the accessory kind, not the other kind).
8.  The kids are fairly content playing with their Christmas loot and less inclined to fight with each other.
9.  January puts this irrational hope in the minds of my kids that it will snow (here in South Texas - where it's snowed a handful of times...ever), they will be able to make a snowman, ice skate, and have a snow day.  This irrational hope keep them excited and eager well into the fourth week of the month.

And probably the best thing about January:
10.  We are already halfway through and just 15 days away from FEBRUARY.

Well, that was worthless.  It turns out January does suck.  (I won't quit the day job.)  Try to keep your happy face on and if you can't do that, at least wash your jammies and hunker down.  We only have 15 more days to get through!!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

UGH! In which my kid throws a fit for being good.

I will preface this by saying:  My kids are weird.  They are from Uranus (I've always wanted to work that into a blog post, so congratulations to me!) and hubby and I are not from Uranus (thankfully).

I don't usually write about Girl 2 because there is not a whole lot to say.  I love her as much as I love all the others, but she's fairly "easy."  I can trace this "ease" back to when she first popped out and didn't ever cry.  Since I was used to the Boy and his, shall we say, unique personality, and Girl 1 who cried The First Sixteen Months of Her Life And Then A Whole Lot, I was immediately alarmed by Girl 2.  While I was enjoying my two day quiet recovery from giving birth, I mentioned my concern to a nurse at the hospital and she laughed and said, "Baby, do you have other kids?"  When I said I had two others who cried 24/7 for all reasons or sometimes no reasons she said, "Well, it looks like you finally got lucky!"

Now, lucky was probably ambitious.  But, I must say of all my kids, Girl 2 is probably the most easy-going.  She's a lot like hubby.  They roll with the punches for a long time and then either blow-up, or become extremely agitated for No Good Reason.  What follows is an example of the latter.

Example of a Blow-Up for No Good Reason

There is a lovely Reward System at the kids' school called Caught You Being Good.  If you have kids, you might be familiar with this reward system since it dates back to Tyrannosaurus Rex and Baby T-Rex and is more American than apple pie.  (I got that from Wikipedia, so I am sure it's true.)  If you are not familiar with this system, it's pretty easy to learn.  The kids act "good" and if they are randomly seen by an adult doing anything "good" they get a ticket that says, "Caught You Being Good!"  It's not like going to Disneyland, but oddly the kids seem highly motivated by this system (which is probably why it has survived the Roman Inquisition, the plague, the Trail of Tears, and the Royal Wedding (not in that order because remember I Don't Know History). 

So, fast forward to last Friday when I got a note from the Principal saying both Girl 1 and 2 would be eating lunch with the Principal compliments of the Principal.  AND they would be getting a dessert.  SA-WEET! 

If you are a regular you know that one of the things I hate most in life is making school lunches.  It's not because I am not good at it - as you will see later - I can make the hell out of a school lunch.  It's just because I am lazy and a Slacker Mom.  Making 3 to 4 school lunches each and every day wears me out.

I do it because:  1.  We cannot afford school lunches ($1.80) for each of our children every school day, and 2.  Despite Jamie Oliver's best efforts I remain seriously frightened of school lunches (this dates back to My Used to Be Life). 

So, my kids get homemade lunches (all four of them) each and every day. 

This is super fine with the girls.  The girls are terrified of school lunches, the lunch line, and the cafeteria workers (I take no responsibility for this neurosis).  The Boy (for reasons we have yet to figure out) loves preservatives, chemicals, grease, and salt.  So, he will happily save his money and buy a lunch at least once a month.  Since I am all for him living, I don't allow it more than that (or he would buy it every day - since most days he has more money in his wallet than I do). 

So, here's how it mostly (I have taken some author's privilege with details) went down last Friday:

Girl 1 and 2 squealing in high pitched voices:   MOM, GUESS WHAT!!! WE BOTH GOT PICKED FOR CAUGHTYOUBEINGGOOD TO EAT LUNCH WITH THE PRINCIPAL!!!  ISN'T THAT GREAT, MOM!!!

Me:  Yes, that's awesome.  I am so proud of you.  And, even more super sweet is that I won't have to make lunches that day!!!  So, yippee!!!  Great job, girls!!!

Girl 1:  Wait. So, we have to eat the school lunch?

Me:  Well, yes.  That's what the note says.  Principal is buying you a school lunch and a school dessert.  So, YIPPEE, right???

Girl 1:  But, we hate school lunches, mom.  They are gross.  AND we are scared of the lunch line, remember?  AND the ladies frighten us a little, too.  So, no this is not good news.

Girl 2 (who has been eerily quiet on the matter):  So, does this mean we have to eat a school lunch???  MOM, DOES IT???  DOES IT MEAN WE WON'T BE GETTING A SANDWICH, FRUIT, CHIPS, A NUTRITIOUS SNACK, AND A COOKIE???  (Her voice has somehow managed to raise in pitch so that now all the dogs within a five mile radius have their ears perched up.)

Suddenly I felt like this situation was spinning out of control, but similar to when you are about to lock your keys in your car, or eat dark chocolate when you know you shouldn't - I was powerless against it.

Me:  Yes, babies, you are going to have to eat the school lunch, but just for one day and you get a dessert, and THIS IS A REWARD YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO LIKE IT!!!  NOW LET'S STOP SCREAMING AND BE HAPPY!!!

Girl 1:  Okay.  I guess it's not that bad.  Skips off while I say a quick prayer of Thanksgiving.

Girl 2:  Now, pay attention because this is one of those zero to sixty Parenting Moments.  I AM NOT GOING TO EAT A SCHOOL LUNCH, MOMMA.  I REFUSE TO DO CAUGHT YOU BEING GOOD.  I WAS NOT REALLY GOOD ANYWAY.  I HATE THE SCHOOL LUNCHES.  THIS IS AWFUL.  I AM NOT GOING TO SCHOOL THAT DAY.  CALL DAD.  I AM NOT GOING TO SCHOOL.  NO MATTER WHAT THE PUNISHMENT.

You get the picture - and, yes, it was that BIG.  I'll spare you the details except to say this fit lasted about one hour.  The fit contained high pitched wailing and screaming, moaning incoherent words, flailing, and possibly foaming from the mouth.  And the simple reason:  A lovely reward from the principal for good behavior.

The moral of the story?  I have no idea.  Let me know if you figure it out.  I remain skeptical and more than a little frightened of school lunches and Caught You Being Good as a staple of Reward Systems in America.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Clean enough.

Thanks to everyone who clicked over to A Nervous Tic Motion and read my guest post.  Thanks also to everyone who left me some comment love.  For some reason some of the comments did not appear on the site.  But, I got them through email and am grateful for you guys taking the time to read it.  Big hugs!

My mother was a Very Clean Woman. She taught me the Proper Way to clean many things. Here is just a small sample of the things that I used to know how to clean properly:
  • the toilet
  • the tubs
  • the baseboards (Who the heck cleans those things anyway?)
  • a light fixture
  • the refrigerator
  • the range hood (if that's even what that thing is called) and all its respective parts
  • the inside of the oven
  • silver (the real kind that you eat off of, not the kind you wear - because I still know how to clean that)
  • the bottoms of all my pans
  • the windows - inside and out
I am not quite sure what happened in between when I used to know how to clean and now, but now I pretty much hate to clean and quite frankly, I am not sure I even know how.  I'd rather try on bathing suits in tiny dressing rooms, with four children staring at me, bad lighting, pasty skin, and incorrect sizes (because it couldn't be I've gained weight in 20 years).  That's how much I hate to clean and am not really interested in helping myself. 

In the interest of my happiness (I think) hubby let's me have a cleaning lady.  He's such a great guy that in the past when we've had to tighten our proverbial belts (different from chastity belts, but I'm sure just as painful) he politely makes no move to "cut" the cleaning lady.  Suffice it to say:  Hubby is the best, and I pretty much love our cleaning lady.

As much as I love our cleaning lady, there are two things that have me a little worried.  1.  She does have limitations.  She clearly outlines the items she does not clean (see above list minus tubs and toilets).  And I wonder:  Is this in the hopes that the actual homeowner will manage those?  YIKES!  And, the other thing that has me a little worried:  (since I no longer really remember)  2.  I fear my children are not ever going to know the proper way to clean things. 

It seems that we may have reached a point at which my two concerns have converged in such a way that *kind of* makes me want to have a cleaning refresher course.   

My conversation with Girl 2 the other day: 
Girl 2 in kitchen gazing up toward the range hood:  Mom, what's that nasty looking thing up there?

Me:  Oh, that?  That's called a....hmm.....I think that thing's called a range hood.

Girl 2:  What's that thing inside of it that's all..........gooey?

Me:  Oh.  Hmm............that mesh looking thing?  I'm not really sure what that's called.  (I have a vision of my mom rolling over in her grave.)  Why do you want to know???

Girl 2:  Well, it looks gross.  I guess it can't be cleaned?

Me:  Hmm.  (Feeling suddenly and oddly defensive about said gooey thing or myself for not cleaning it.)  No, I think it can be cleaned.

Girl 2:  How would you clean it?

Me:  Good question.  (Thinking:  How would you clean that nasty looking thing?  But more importantly:  WHY?)  I think you could just put it in the dish washer?

Girl 2:  Hmm.  So...........I guess you just don't?

Ouch.  It would be fair to say I was hurt.  It's left me wondering a little about cleaning and the possibility that I should take it more seriously.   

But, I have decided that until she (or anyone else who lives here) discovers something else that is lacking in cleanliness, I will wait patiently for the feeling to pass and try to avoid the Range Hood.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I Cuss Like a Sailor, But I Swear It's Not My Fault

If you want to read the rest of the post (you will learn how baby's possible future expulsion from preschool has nothing to do with me), click here.  I am guest posting over at one of my new favorite blogs for one-stop reading - A Nervous Tic Motion.  If you like the post, leave me some comment love over there.  Peace and happy Monday!  I'll be back over here soon.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

8. Barbie scares the Little People

Since I already told you about my premature post-aculation (I *may* have just changed the name of the disease), I thought I'd share another deeply personal side of myself (consider yourself warned).  For a long time I was a staunch Barbie-hater.  So much so that Barbies were not allowed in my home, I forbid, forbode, forgave, forbade my son to ever marry a Barbie, and I told my girls that if they ever became Barbies as grown up women I would write them out of my will (wait, I have a will?) and basically ex-communicate them from my family. 

I don't know where this hatred came from.  I was allowed to play with Barbies as a child.  I really loved them.  In fact, when I tried to make one of my Barbies look more like me by washing her hair (thereby turning it brown) and chopping her some bangs - I am pretty sure my mom was pissed. 

It's not that I am prejudice, either.  Some of my best friends are Barbies............wait a minute.  None of my best friends are Barbies.  Maybe it is prejudiceWhatever. 

Here's the important part!

Good news:  I have overcome my hate and allowed Barbie into my home.  Bad news:  I still hate her.

Here's why:

1.  She's always naked.  Seriously?  How old is this freakin' girl???  She can't dress herself???  STILL???  She wears me out.

2.  She looks like a hooker, dresses like a hooker, behaves like a hooker, and YET she's a doctor/veterinarian/lawyer/teacher???  I don't get it.

3.  She has unnaturally huge boobs with no nipples.  As a young girl that kind of creeped me out.  Twenty years later as a mother of three girls, it still creeps me out.  It's like an episode of Nip/Tuck meets Extreme Makeover.  Eww.

4.  This may be excessively prudish of me (and, yes, I have been known at times to be an excessive prude), but it still feels weird when Boy Child or Girl 3 see Barbie hanging out.  Naked.  (Because remember #1?  SHE'S ALWAYS NAKED.)  I want to either shield their eyes or quickly run to get Barbie a robe.

5.  She seems to live a charmed life of fashion, a great job, a cool car and house, gorgeous, sleek hair, big boobs (albeit with no nipples - still a teensy bit jealous), and a great profession (doctor, teacher, vet, lawyer).

6.  One size does not fit all.  I'll be damned if Santa didn't spend a gazillion dollars buying Barbie clothes (in the hope that she would STAY clothed) only to find that Barbie is apparently modeled after Sophie Dahl and has had a range of sizes.  This would be refreshing (to know that Barbie actually had weight change in her life span - like actual women) except that the sizes that Barbie has gone from range from -10 to 0.  Good money - DOWN THE DRAIN.

7.  Beach Barbie (who was purchased with some of the Christmas money from Grandpa - which just seems like a sin) has super huge feet.  Damn her.  None of the regular Barbie shoes fit her.  In the dramatic words of Girl 1 (after attempting to cram poor Beach Barbies' Goliath feet into some cute little size 0 hooker pumps):  Mom, she's not normal.  Her feet are just not small enough.  Can I cut them???  Yeah, that girl's not going to need a therapist later.

And the last and probably most important reason that I still hate Barbie:

She got drunk, took her clothes off (not necessarily in that order), broke down the door of the Little People house, and passed out in their living room.  They were confused and more than a little scared.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Premature post-ulation. And future avoidance.

I know I already posted today and that might have been a little premature.  Embarrassing, but true.  I suffer from premature post-ulation.  But, don't worry - I'm on medication.  The side effects make me sarcastic, impatient, bitchy, gaseous, and unkind but I haven't prematurely posted in about a year so I think it's working.

Enough about my medical conditions.  My post earlier was about my one nano-second of fame when I was in the BlogHer sidebar.  The bad news:  I am still a Little Person.  No one has called me to offer me a book deal.  In fact, no one has called me period (because that would be gross and weird).  Sorry.  I am rambling.  The good news:  I logged onto Facebook and it appears that resolutions (collective gag) are all freakin' over the place.  Sample of Facebook (in the form of random people's status updates - and my comments...JUST KIDDING - I'm not that rude!):

What are your resolutions?  Who cares?
Resolutions?  No, I'll take a beer.
Already screwed up my resolutions!  I could have guessed you would!
Resolutions SUCK!  Or, is it the person making the resolutions?

Vomit.  I know.  So, how is this good news?  Because it is blog fodder and might provide subject matter to totally make up for my premature post earlier.

I, personally, could care less about resolutions but it seems other people are obsessed with them.  So, I had a brilliant idea.  I am going to make resolutions for other people.  I'm going to start small since this is kind of a daunting task.  My family is coming first (as it should, right?).  I'm only doing three each (remember low expectations = goals met).  Here goes!

Boy Child - 10
1.  I resolve to put my dirty clothes in the dirty clothes basket not on the floor one inch away from the dirty clothes basket, or under my bed, or in the corner of the dark closet.
2.  I resolve to bring my lunch box home everyday and not leave it at school for days on end (like a two week holiday) so it can grow mold and smell like an old sock in #1.
3.  I resolve to speak respectfully and kindly to all members of my family (and friends and strangers) especially my sisters.  "Speaking respectfully" will not include terms such as:  fart, turd, booger, poop, pee, noogie, wedgie, or wet willy.

Girl Child - 8
1.  I resolve to be less dramatic.
2.  I resolve to be less dramatic.
3.  I resolve to be less dramatic (unless it involves an actual drama class).

Girl Child - 7
1.  I resolve to cry in a less high-pitch tone so that every dog in the neighborhood does not cock its head to one side and hike its ears up a notch.
2.  I resolve to interact with my three year old sister in a way that does not cause her to scream at the top of her lungs.
3.  I resolve to ignore the Boy Child when he cannot keep his third resolution (which will be in about five minutes).

Girl Child - 3
1.  I resolve to be a human not a vampire and stop biting people in order to suck their blood.
2.  I resolve to learn to read, write, and do math so that I can enter kindergarten one year early and mom can get a j-o-b.
3.  I resolve to have patience with Boy Child and Girls 1 and 2 when they can not keep their resolutions and I want to scream at the top of my lungs (or bite or pull hair).

Hubby (I saved the best till last.)
1.  I resolve to pat my wife kindly on the head (and go directly to retrieve her a beer) when she is having a meltdown about:  Hot Flashes, Migraines, The Kids, The Economy, Life in General, or me.
2.  I resolve to say (loudly and eagerly), "How about we go out to eat?" when my wife looks at me in desperation and screams, "I DON'T KNOW," after I have patiently and kindly asked, "What's for dinner, babe?"
3.  I resolve to update my Facebook status every hour on the hour.  (Just kidding, babe, if you are reading.)  I really couldn't think of a third one for you since you are already perfect to me.  (If you are still reading, sorry!  Gratuitous brownie point getting that I might need when #1 happens later on tonight.)

As with all my "resolutions," I reserve the right to amend them at any point for any reason!

P.S.  I have decided to chuck the idea of a parenting book (What the hell do I know about parenting anyway???) and focus all of my attention on a book entitled A Year In Other People's Resolutions or The Year I Decided to Change Everyone But Myself. 

Yes, you can offer me a million dollars to write a book!

So, I'm barely awake.  Today is the second day of 2012 and the first day back at this:  making lunches, getting up while it's still dark, drinking my coffee while small (often annoying and excessively loud) people are asking me a lot of questions that I don't know the answers to, making lunches, working out before 5:00 p.m., attempting my "to-do" list, and making lunches.  Did I mention making lunches?  I got all my school-age children on the bus (my faith in a God is increasing) and I sat down to surf the net (because it's too early to start on my actual "to-do" list).  I figured I would check into my blog, see if I had anything compelling to write, and then possibly post.  If not, I figured I would see what the hoards of people are up to on Facebook.  (Did I say the baby is STILL SLEEPING???  God:  Looks like you got a chance today!).

I logged into my blog and I perused the More From BlogHer sidebar and I see a blog title that looks familiar.  Remember:  I am barely awake.

It took me a few seconds and multiple clicks to verify that I wasn't going crazy.  I realized:  ONE OF MY POSTS MADE THE BLOGHER SIDEBAR. 

Yeah, I know.  That probably doesn't deserve large font.  I'm pretty sure it's random and kind of like jury duty (as in:  I should not be this excited).  But, it feels a little like I won an Academy Award or at the very least a Pulitzer.

2012 - you might not be that daunting after all!

Happy Monday, friends.  I'm going to write an acceptance speech now and wait for the book deal offers to pour in.  (Or, I might just add "Write an acceptance speech (remember to thank mom...and God)." on my to-do list.)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Do I need a resolution to do that?

So, doing a little research today and read that New Year resolutions date all the way back to 153 B.C. and Janus a mythical king whose head was at the top of every calendar (at least that's what Wikipedia said and if they said it it can be taken as gospel).  This news in no way makes me appreciate resolutions, believe in their worth, or want to hear any one's (my own included).  And yet, I would somehow feel like I disappointed you if I did not blog my resolutions while AT THE SAME TIME blogging them seems self-righteous and over-rated.  So, what to do?  I am blogging them, but I am giving you fair warning.  So, if you think this is totally self-righteous, disgusting, and you want to vomit - please click to check your email or update your Facebook status.  If not, read on!

2012 Resolutions (low expectations = goals met)

1.  I resolve not to watch Millionaire Match Maker again......on weeknights.....more than once.
2.  I resolve to not care about what Charlie Sheen tweets.....or read about it on Google....or in the newspaper.....or if it comes on NPR I resolve to immediately turn off the radio and not listen intently because it feeds my shallow, voyeuristic self.
3.  I resolve to increase my stalkerish blogroll by only 2...okay, let's be realistic....only 12.
4.  I resolve to research the correct addresses for the five returned Christmas cards that are next to my home phone...just kidding!  They are going in the trash right after I finish blogging.
5.  I resolve to purge my home of any "Christmas" (except the Christmas that lies within my heart - collective gag) before day's end.
6.  I resolve to continue in my procrastination as long as it isn't hurting anyone and my kids are not hungry....well, just a little hungry because that means they will eat good at the next meal.
7.  I resolve to eat less preservatives unless they are in marshmallows because I have researched making marshmallows and it's not going to happen unless someone is paying me a lot of money and then only if they look like Johnny Depp.  We are talking about making marshmallows, right?
8.  I resolve to pin more things on Pinterest because my memory is fading quicker than most people's hope to resolve.
9.  I resolve to not harbor bitterness toward people who love to workout....well, not a lot of bitterness and only the kind of bitterness that doesn't really hurt the person you are bitter toward (physically).
10.  I resolve to always end my lists with 10....unless it's a good list and I really need to say more stuff.
11.  See?  I resolve to not let my three year old eat dead s'mores off the ground from last night's fire pit (I had to add that because it just happened and until now I had no idea I would need to resolve that).
12.  I resolve to reserve the right to delete or add to my list at any point during 2012 when I change my mind.  Does that require a resolution?
13.  I resolve to be honest with others...even when it hurts....(them).
14.  I resolve to blog more about things that matter.....JUST KIDDING!

Okay!  I think that takes care of everything.  And, if it doesn't I'll just amend my list!  Happy New Year guys!  And when resolving, remember:  It's gonna be a LONG freakin' year and there's always tomorrow!

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