Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen affirmations to live by ~ by Louise Hays

1. I am not responsible for others. I am under the law of my own consciousness.

2. Each day is a new opportunity. Yesterday is over and gone.

3. I am neither too little nor too much, and I do not have to prove myself to anyone.

4. I give myself the gift of freedom from the past and move with joy and into the NOW.

5. Love flows through my body, healing all disease.

6. I drop habits that no longer serve me. I feel good!

7. I appreciate the abundance that surrounds me.

8. I am grateful for all that I have received in life.

9. I follow my higher instincts and listen to my heart in all that I do.

10. I give myself permission to be happy and healthy.

11. I am so much more than I give myself credit for. (This is a tough on for me to remember sometimes)

12. The more love I use and give, the more I have to give, the supply is endless.

13. In any given situation, I know that I have a choice between love and fear. I choose love.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Mother's Prayer

Dear God,

When you gave him to me, I tried to be philosophical. Really, I did. I tried to believe that there was some reason I had been chosen to mother a "spirited" child. I mean...I know I got a little sanctimonious when the first one turned out to be so well-behaved and I'm sorry. I realize now that the credit lies with his easygoing nature, and not my superlative parenting skills as I might have implied once or twice...or, every time I saw my friend with the serial biter.

And I completely understand and accept that my patience level was not where it needed to be in order to parent such a resolute child. Worms in the pocket, matchbox cars in the toilet and grooming the dog with my hot rollers and a lint brush were all valuable exercises in that regard. Thank You.

I can honestly say that my patience with and tolerance for such behavior has increased tenfold. I could have done without finding him perched atop the play structure, but I realize it was for my own good. So I have tried to be humble and accept that you are testing me, challenging me, encouraging me to find new and better ways of parenting with my second son, who has shattered every preconceived idea I had about myself and parenting in general. I have tried to appreciate that I was being given an opportunity to learn and grow. But after nearly 9 years of doing it your way, I have to face the truth of the matter....

You're just messin' with me, aren't you?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

(Me and my cousin, Julie......I'm the one in the blue)
Thirteen Things I Remember Doing As A Child In The Summer

(I don't think alot of kids even do this anymore.)

1. Leave the house after breakfast, on our bikes and be gone for the whole day. The rule being that you had to be home at 5:00 for supper. We would bike forever.

2. Water balloons, dodge ball, Red Rover with all the neighborhood kids.

3. Take the portable tape player outside in the yard and listen to music

4. Walked barefoot all over the place, and the ashphalt used to sink in when we stepped on it.

5. Sleep overs in the neighbors or cousins tents.

6. Ride our bikes all the way to the pool, or walk depending our mood.

7. The corner stores and the Merc used to take our empty bottles back, our parents gave us two glass litre size bottles to take back, and we'd buy candy with it.

8. We took all the patio furniture out into the grass, and make huge forts with sheets and clothespins.

9. We would actually spend a whole day at a playground, making up scenes. Every kid in the playground was involved.

10. Bridge jumping.....nuff said.

11. Sit around on blankets in our bathing suits, reading Archie comics.

12. Skipped rope; I remember how we could get a ton of girls together, and skip all day long. Believe it or not I could even double dutch, cant remember how now.

13. Ride our bikes to Fast Eddie's for ice cream.

Boy after going down this memory lane, I wish I were a kid again. We had way more fun than kids today. Now a days, they're inside, cuz its too hot. Playing video games and watching tv.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cliche? You don't say!

I have always been befuddled by explaining things that don't involve words. Specifically to my kids. I can show my kids how to love, but I can't really tell them how to do this. As each person displays and receives love in a myriad of ways. I can tell them not to run into the street, but I can't explain how to be gentle to all people.There are some things that can only be shown.

But in the meantime, it seems as if this mom is losing her patience.I am going on a limb here-but when William Shakespeare said 'to thine own self be true' he wasn't speaking about being a parent.How do you 'stay true to yourself' at the same time leading by example? May not be possible, I say.

I came to this troubling conclusion a few weeks ago, as Randall is getting to where he pushes the envelope. I don't like the term 'sassy' as I view that in a different light than what he is up to. No, no, I am not watering down my issue with him. That is SO not my bag. I mean, I know kids always push envelopes-and then you go through phases when they are placid an easy going. It is the eternal roller coaster ride.Upon close evaluation, I notice Rand isn't (always) trying to get mouthy with me. Alot of time he is trying out his hand at sarcasm. A personality trait he learned by watching his parents. (tee hee)

But this is a fine line and one to be walked in shnazy shoes. With a sharp point matching that sharp tongue. I am all about my children learning how to be quick witted and enjoy dark humor. I am also a big fan of respect. We definately don't tolerate back talk. Not for a millisecond. And we have a laundry list of words and phrases that are unacceptable in our home. 'Shut Up', 'Stupid', 'Hate', 'Dumb' just to name a few.

Then how do you explain in simplified terms what respect is? You can't just outline it with a sentence(which is all the focal time I get in one sitting with my kids). I get that you have to display it and 'lead by example'.....but thats the other cliche.How, pray tell, do you get the point across that sarcasm coming from a youth's mouth can sound tiredly disrespectful without discouraging their want to come off humorous like their parents?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Things I Just Don't Get

My creative juices have dried up in the face of a small personal crisis, so what you get today is a short list of things I don't:

This is art? In my humble opinion, it is eerily childlike, blatantly sexualized, thinly disguised pedophiliac fodder.

Let's bring this down to the lowest common denominator, shall we? Show me a guy who drives a Hummer and I'll show you a guy with a small one. Guaranteed.

I have no comment. Grown men in tight pants pummeling one another defies explanation.

I'm as gastonomically adventerous as the next person. But seriously, have you seen some of the stuff Japanese people eat? I'm not too keen on following their lead when it comes to epicurean delights.

Those haircuts with the back all messed up.
People go to school to learn how to do this?

Children's beauty pageants.
All children are beautiful. Quanitfying that beauty is truly tastelss and sad and servers only to illuminate the superficiality and hubris of those exploiting their offspring for commercial gain. Ick.

Get a real job you pathetic loser. Nobody buys the "Prince from Dubai" schtick.

Penis enlargement products.
Is there really anybody gullible enough to believe these claims or insecure/desperate enough to actually pay money to avail themselves of these methods?. If so, chances are, they drive a Hummer.

People who create computer viruses.
Get any job, and stop being a blight on mankind you pathetic loser. Anybody who uses their brilliance for such malignant purpose should be horsewhipped.

Paris Hilton.
Being vacuous, ill-bred and easy is apparently enough to gain one a measure of celebrity these days. Perhaps I should change my ways. I could use the money
Lip plumping products.
Look, either you have lips, or you don't. Everybody knows if you're faking it.

Bullies. insecure, embittered and misanthripic does a person have to to derive pleasure from hurting others?.

People who write without using paragraphs, capitals or punctuation.
I guess I missed the memo about these thing being phased out of the written language. Or perhaps they have simply become optional, to enable those who actually speak without breathing or thinking to write the same way. Who knew?

Natural beauty.
Simply put, unless you are thirteen, there is no such thing. Do everyone a favor...get your brows and stache waxed and put on some lipstick. And a bra wouldn't hurt...those puppies don't come with anti-gravity boosters.

That's all for now, but I will edit to add more that come to me. And I'm sure that more will come to me.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Darn you, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Darn your overly caffeinated/bouncing-off-the-walls Ty Pennington (and darn him for being so annoying, yet oh so yummy).

Darn your toothy, too-much-time-in-the-tanning-salon designers.

Darn your slap-you-in-the-head-with-an-anvil product placements (yeah, Bissell, Craftsman, Panasonic, we get it already).

Darn your Pottery Barn-perfect homes (I'd like to see what those places look like 3 months later).

Darn your country music guests (can't we get some relevant pop or rock artists on that show?).

Darn your worst-case-scenario/horrific tales of hardship, barely skirting the line between exploitation (for Kenmore, no less) and charity.

And double, triple darn you for making me cry. Every. Single. Episode. How the heck do you do it? And where the heck are my tissues?

Darn you, now my nose is all stuffed up.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Health of Mothers Makes No Difference To John McCain

I thought I had heard it all in presidential campaigns. But John McCain really took the cake Wednesday night when he decided to mock all women with this little snide retort:

Did you hear me scream when he said that? WTH doesn't even begin to cover it.Was he really suggesting that there are women who make up fake maladies to be able to procure late-term abortions, as if they were just sitting around in the Lazy-Boy until they hit their eighth month and then decided they just weren't in the mood to become mothers yet? No one in their right mind could really believe that, so all I can assume is that John McCain is truly out of his mind.

Either he let that little gem rip for effect, which didn't go so well, or he really meant that women like to feign physical problems to get medical attention. I suppose that could be based on some personal experience, but none of the women I know go around faking any sort of health problems, no matter what they're related to -- they don't have the time.

All I can say is this -- I hope none of McCain's daughters ever find themselves in a situation where their doctor has to raise the possibility of a late-term abortion. Because it doesn't sound like they'll be getting any sympathy or help from dear old dad.And don't even get me started about the fact that McCain apparently doesn't even know the difference between Down Syndrome and autism. *Sigh*

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ho, Ho, Ho!!!

I wish I still believed in Santa.

The facts don't lie. Every year I have to do Santa's job for him. I buy the gifts. I wrap them up. I put them under the tree. And he takes all the credit. If there really is a Santa, he owes me $12,234.67, and I want it.

I am pretty sure there is no Easter Bunny either. Who goes out and buys bags of yummy little chocolate eggs? Me. Who gets up at the crack of dawn and packs jelly beans and little bunny candies into plastic eggs for the egg hunt? Yep, me. And who puts up with the wads of Easter grass that continue to surface around the house until Thanksgiving? Me, that's who. So, Easter Bunny, if you too are out there, you better run, because I'm coming for you and I've got Elmer Fudd with me. Oh, and run the vacuum next time you swing by.

I am just down right positive there's no tooth fairy. Who's kidding who here? If this chick is for real I definitely want a refund of all the singles I have slipped under the pillow. What does she think I am? A stripper?

But kids, ahhh kids, they believe. Do they believe because we tell them to? Or is it inherently within them to believe? How nice it must be to be pure enough in mind to believe that anything is possible. Can you even remember when you could believe the existence of a big old fatty cramming gifts into a flaming chimney in the middle of the night? Can you recapture a time when you actually believed that a winged tooth swiper would fly into your room and trade parts extracted from the human mouth for cold hard cash?

Ahh the beauty and innocence of youth. So my question is this: At what point do we pull the rug out from under our kids? When exactly are we supposed to burst their bubble of innocence? You know, when do we tell them that Santa or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy are not real? Now I know a few of you may be scratching your heads, squirming in your chairs, saying "what do you mean the Easter Bunny is not real?", but I am here to tell you if you don't already know, that these things are all just a part of the magic of childhood. And someday, probably through no fault of our own, but rather from some whiny, snot nosed, little spoil sport at school, your kids too will find out that you've been conning them since birth.So is it best to tell them before that a-hole little Timmy does?

My question remains, when are we "too old" to believe in things like this? At what age is our youthful innocence mistaken for being a "baby"? I ask this only because recently my middle son, lost another tooth. He is 8. I dutifully shoved the money under his pillow after he was sleeping. When I went back to my room I thought "how much longer will this go on?" He seems so excited and elated to think that the tooth fairy would be flying in later that night. I wish that that innocence never had to fade. I wish that I could hold him in that moment forever. I wish that I could count on him not to rat me out to his younger brother when he finds out the truth. So, how about you? Do you believe?

(This post was inspired by Sam's Club. Why the heck do you have Christmas Decor out already?????)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

11 years? Already??

So yesterday the hubster and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary.....and if you crunch those numbers, you'll realize, that I have spent just a bit over a third of my life with this man. Amazing when you think about it like that.

No I’m not living in a fairly tale. My life is not all roses and champagne. Ross does plenty of things that really get under my skin. But some time ago I realized I married him for some pretty good reasons and I need to learn to pick my battles. Is it really that big of a deal if he leaves the butter sitting out on the counter after dinner? Or that sometimes his laundry doesn't quite make it to the hamper? Is it worth a screaming match? No.

I don’t know about you, but for me I like to be in control of things. Unfortunately, Ross doesn’t like to give up all of that control. Sometimes that leads to an argument. If he would just realize I am always right, things would work out so much better. But since that’s probably not going to happen any time in my lifetime, I’ve decided to take a new approach. We compromise. And instead of constantly nagging about all the things that drive me crazy, I’ve decided to be more conscious of the things I love. Every now and then I like to just do a little reality check and write down all of the reasons I’m in love. So, in no particular order, below are some of the reasons I love my husband:

*He always calls in the delivery orders when we're having pizza or Chinese food For some reason I don’t like to call and order take-out. I don’t know why. I never claimed to be a perfectly normal person. So Ross always does it when he’s home. And if he’s going to go out and he knows I want take out, he orders it before he goes so it’s on its way before he leaves.

*He helps with the grocery shopping. I almost never have to go to the grocery store alone. (Because we all know from my recent other post how much I LOVE grocery shopping alone wit the kids.....not!!)

*He always buys me candy at the store even when I don’t ask for it.

*Even when he’s comfortable, he will get up to get me a bottle of water or glass of juice when my glass is empty.

*When I came home from a month long trip to Canada, he met me at the airport with a dozen roses and took us out for a nice dinner.

*He sends me e-cards to remind me how much he loves me.

*He lets me sleep in every weekend and he gets up with the kids.

*He likes to cuddle in bed. In fact he tells me it’s hard for him to sleep when I’m not there. He likes to touch my leg with his foot or my back with hand. Just a little reminder that I’m still there. Or is it a reminder to me that he’s still there? Either way, it’s very nice.

*He massages my feet or my legs when they cramp up.

There is so much more, but I don't want to bore you all. Ross is not perfect, but he’s all mine. And I consider myself to be pretty lucky to have him. Sometimes with our busy lives, we forget to stop and smell the roses. I know that’s an old cliche, but have you ever actually stopped to smell the roses? And do you remember how beautiful the sun is as it sets? You’re envisioning it now aren’t you? We tend to forget about the beautiful things until somebody actually points them out to us. Well you live 24/7 (for the most part) with your spouse. Nobody knows him (or her, for you gentlemen readers) better then you. So it’s up to you to remind yourself of the good things. Remember why you got married and why you stay married. Remember why you get a big smile on your face and why your heart skips a beat when you see him at the airport after a few days away. Don’t forget to appreciate the little things. And don’t forget to recognize the reasons you love your spouse.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Okay, here are some ways that you know you have too much time on your hands:

1. You try to blog everyday, and have more than one blog....hmmmmmm. (

2. You are able to watch at least one two hour movie a day

3. You are undressed by 12 pm at least four out of 7 days (okay, let's get this straight, I am self employed. I can actually work in my pjs if I want to; stop judging me!!!)

4. You find parachuting, which you have never had an interest in, is an appropriate way to celebrate a birthday.

5, You are one of the people on Jack Ass.

6. You can spend hours comtemplating whether you should get up and exercise now. Only to come to the conclusion, nope, I will just stay right here where I am.

7. You are more than five days in the future on your blogging. (Haha, you can't tell when I posted this).

8. Time and dates are no longer a certainty, because really "what does it matter".
You are enjoying life. (here is a big clue that you have too much time, as opposed to the boredom ones above)

9. You are way too interested in what your neighbors are doing next door (and they are not that interesting).

10. You shop for something on QVC almost every day, and almost as often get packages from QVC (you may not know it, but you probably have too much money too....please send it to through paypal)

11. You have time to make Thursday Thirteen lists (hmmmm).

12. You still have time to read a book in a sitting position (sneaking a page or two while on the loo doesn't count

13. You know the names, histories and complete back story of every soap opera character.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

An Open Letter To:

I'm tired.

We women are often so eager to please everyone, so convinced that we must be able to juggle everything all at once, always be available to everyone, that maybe admitting to being tired is a really big deal. So, I admit freely that I am tired. Very tired. Too tired to even think up any interesting, funny mommy stuff for you to peruse. This is how I know that I am exhausted. I have an endless supply of source material for your reading pleasure, and yet I can't get my bleary little eyes focused, or my foggy little brain clear enough to post anything for you.

Since I enjoyed that open letter to Senator Palin so much, I thought I'd jot down a few other 'open letters' rolling around in my brain.

Dear Women of America,

Just because a book makes it to Oprah's Book Club list, doesn't mean that it is a great book. Granted, there are some good ones. But, someone mentioning Oprah's Book Club as a "showcaser of the great works of literature" almost made my head explode. Please do me a favor, visit a library. It is a forgotten past time. There they can help you to uncover the true great works of literature.

Love,La Momma

Dear Very, Very Large Women at the Pool,

I so wish I had the guts. I really do. I just don't know how you do it. If I won't even be caught dead after three kids in a two piece bathing suit, how on earth do you find the courage? I mean some of you must have 50, 75, even 100 lbs on me. How is it that you have no problem 'letting it all hang out'? When you get dressed and look in the mirror, does it not look the same to you as it does to the outside world? Seriously. Because I look, see one little roll, one little bit of flab and it's back to the closet I go. Now, I would not dare to discriminate or judge anyone based on their size, but I am sorry but there is something just not right about a women that weighs 300 lbs. walking around in a bikini. Not that their is anything wrong with weighing 300 lbs itself, well aside from potential health factors - but I digress. Some things just don't look good. Some people don't look good with short hair, some people can't pull off bright red lipstick, and people who can't see their feet should not wear bikinis... or spandex now that I think about it. Large women- don't hate me. I'm not saying you shouldn't go to the beach or pool. I am not saying you don't deserve to wear a bathing suit and splash around and have fun, I am thrilled that you are comfortable with your bodies. I am just telling you that the bikini- it just doesn't look good. Sorry.

Love,The Mommy

Dear People who take their kids to restaurants,

Clean your crap up! If your kid throws stuff on the floor- pick it up! The people that work in restaurants are not your maids, they are not your servants. They are there to serve us food. If you're too good to pick it up, hire someone to follow your lazy ass around and pick up after your kids. Mmmmmkay?

Love,The Momster

Dear Child Beauty Pageant Entrants,

Three year olds should not wear lipstick and eyeshadow. That is all.

Love,Mommy Dearest

Don't you worry, I'll think of more. Right now though, I am tired. I have to go and do a million things that I am probably too tired to do, but I agreed to do, because that is what we moms do. Whew! Hey, feel free to suggest your own open letter topics. I just might make this a regular feature.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Can You Hear Me Now?

Sometimes I feel like my kids see me as more of a friend than an authority figure. Yeah I know, it's like the cardinal rule of parenting. Be their parent not their friend. I try to excuse it by saying that they are so young, they won't even remember half of what transpires between us in these years. Which, really makes me sad. But that is for another blog post altogether.

I guess it stems from the fact that growing up, my mom was my best friend. She was a very young mom, and I had very little discipline. Discipline has never been my strong suit. I hate confrontation. I hate yelling. I hate people not liking me, or being mad at me. Yeah, I know. I am a big pansy. Sometimes I get really frustrated with the lack of respect my kids show me, when I know it's my own fault. I wind up resorting to yelling and ranting in a ridiculous tirade that my kids don't even really understand. It certainly isn't effective discipline on any level.

My husband does a better job with discipline than I do. Hubster is stricter in general than I. He is less likely to let them get away with their shenanigans. He's the one who would first say no to an inappropriate request (no you can not have a DVD player in your room, you're 3). But there are certain things that we both agree are just good, normal parenting ideas. For example, we don't think that kids really need cell phones. I might concede to getting Andrew one of those prepaid or you- can-only-call-so-and-so models, because he's a tween who is out of the house a lot. But really, that is about it. Unless you are old enough to have a job and buy it and pay the bill yourself.

So, Saturday night, I'm at Drew's basketball game when the following conversation happens between Randall and I :

Rand: Mom, Annoying friend #1 has a cell phone.

Me: No honey, he doesn't.

Rand: Mom, he does. He let me see it.

Me: I am sure it was just an old phone that doesn't work anymore.

Rand: Mom, he let me call and talk to annoying friend # 2 on it.

Me: Wait- you really called someone on his phone? It wasn't his mom's phone?

Rand: It was his. He really has one.

Long Pause.

Me: Well, that's just ridiculous.

Rand: Mom, can I get a cell phone?

Me: Hell No!

So, I come to find out that the child actually does have a cell phone. He is seven. Seven. Did I mention he is seven? Seven. Seeeeevvvvvveeeeennnnn. What the hell? I mean, I've admitted the whole we're stricter-than-the-average-2008 parent and all but come on. Seven? Really? Please tell me it's not me. Some of our friends have kids who are in the ballpark age range of ours. Some of them have TV's and DVD players in their room, Wii's, PlaySations, their own phone lines, really expensive clothes, toys, etc. but I have yet to encounter a seven year old with a cell phone. What on earth could he need a cell phone for?

Um, hi Joey, it's me Timmy. Meet me at the playground in 5 minutes okay?

Um, hi Mikey, it's me Timmy. Can you come over and play trucks?

Um, hi Jake, it's me Timmy. I'm going to grow up to be a little spoiled brat that no one can please because my standards are set impossibly high.

Tell me this, and then I'll lay my head down on my pillow and try not to dream of little Timmy and how he will probably grow up to torture my poor, underprivileged kids all through high school. Where do you go from there? You get the kid a cell phone at seven? What's next?

Mommy's to do list:

Petition DMV to lower driving age to 8. Little Timmy wants Ferrari.

Call France. Little Timmy wants to visit, but doesn't like planes. Can you move closer?

Can anyone add to Mommy's to do list? Grrrrr.............

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I'm Lovin' It

Ahhh yes, fast food. McDonald's, Burger King, etc. Otherwise known as the downfall of civilization. But, it is so damn easy! Why? Why must you call to me chicken nuggets? Why must you read my mind the way that you do? Just as I am thinking that it is too damn hot to go home and make lunch, you are there, up high on a shiny billboard. Your icy cold beverage and just salty and grease laden enough fries beckoning me from the heavens it would seem.

And I don't even usually eat the stuff. Though I must say that I love the southwest chicken salad. But it isn't the food that makes me do it- usually. Usually it is the convenience. Bad mom. Bad, bad mom.So, the yesterday I did the deed yet again. I stopped for a quick lunch for the kids at the drive thru. Let me just say as an aside here that if a healthy food place with a drive thru would pop up in our area, I would be doubly inclined to spend my "fast food" dollars there as opposed to the more unhealthy spots.

Anyway, back to the drive thru. Or as I like to call it 'the prelude to the cardiologist.' I ordered the food and proceeded to the window. Or as I like to call it 'the gateway to hell.' When I checked my bag I was a little surprised at what I saw. McDonald's. I realize that isn't really a sentence, but I want to illustrate the power of McDonald's. It has the ability to stand on it's own. It is the Madonna or the Cher or the Bono of the fast food world. It is immediately recognizable by it's simple one word brand name. There are McDonald's in every possible corner of the earth. Everyone recognizes the golden arches. You could be walking through the depths of Siberia for 3 days, cold and alone and looking for civilization, when all of a sudden you see a golden arches appear before you. That is how popular and huge and corporate McDonald's is.

So imagine my surprise when I opened up my bag to find a big old hunkin' wad of paper towels jammed on top of my food. Was someone in the middle of windexing the drive thru window, got distracted and accidentally shoved this pile of Bounty into my food bag? No. McDonald's had run out of napkins. Yes, napkins. The largest fast food restaurant on earth... has no napkins. I can't tell you how amusing and yet disturbing I found this all at once. I mean it's not as if I was at Jeb's roadside burger joint. "Oh sorry y'all, Betty Sue forgot to go to the market for more napkins. Here's some paper towels instead." This is McDonald's. Don't they have an entire department whose job it is to make sure they don't run out of stuff like, oh say, napkins!?

I realize that this is a rant. I realize that this post may be a little more 'off the cuff' than what I usually blog about. But I usually think of a topic and then prepare a post about it. This is just something totally random that happened and I can't seem to stop thinking about it. Is it just me? Does anyone else think that this is odd?

I am waiting for some McDonald's person to contact me now for one of two reasons- either to yell at me for indirectly implying that McDonald's consumption leads to heart problems; or to apologize for the lack of napkins and offer me free food. (Which McDonald's reps- I am not above taking)

So McDonald's, it's okay. I forgive you. We're all cool again. I still think that your food is probably a bad idea for my heart, not to mention my ass. But, it is the yummiest and most convenient bad idea I've seen. Plus, my kids love it. Send coupons.

Oh, the original point here? It was to find out not only if anyone thought it was odd that I got a wad of paper towels in my food bag; but to get others to confess to their own fast food weaknesses. You all know that my ulterior motive with every post is to get you all to confess right there with me. French fry fanatic? Burger lovin' blogger? Secret shake indulger? Come on, spill it!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Kids Gone Wild

I let my kids play with the little sugar packets, jelly cups, creamers, or any other random thing on a restaurant table, to occupy them.

I never used to do this. I used to actually cringe when I would see parents doing it. I'd spew out such pearls of wisdom as "I'm never going to let my kids behave like that in public" and "if that were my child (insert any ridiculous, smug, non parent, comment here)". As a former waitress, I'd picked up more than my fair share of crackers, french fries, and assorted other goodies from underneath tables. I tried to be sympathetic because it's my nature, but inside I always said "not my kid..."

Fast forward to the modern era. The era I like to call PC (post children), though it is anything but. I bring the huge bag with the crayons, and the sticky placemats, and the cheerios, and everything but the kitchen sink, into the eating establishment, to keep them from causing the kind of chaos that can only be had when you go out to eat. But they don't want any of that stuff. That is stuff they can play with any old time. No, they want to play with the forbidden stuff. The tabletop treasures that they can only get at a restaurant.

So, there you are. You are sitting with your children, they are exhibiting what can only be described as model behavior, having flung only half of their food onto the floor. You notice a few stares, perhaps a comment muttered under the breath by an obviously childless person. . If my children are not being loud, annoying, getting up from their seats to run amok, why does it irritate people if I let them spread a few sugar packets out on the table, or build a jelly tower. It's not as if I am not going to clean it all up.

Sometimes I just wish people would mind their own business.So what is your take on taking kids to restaurants? We have a few family friendly in our area which I would happily take the kids to. My husband on the other hand, he would rather forgo dining out altogether until perhaps their high school graduation dinners.

Let's be clear here. I am not talking about taking them to The Four Seasons. I am not talking about letting them run laps around the tables while others are dining. There is simply no excuse for that. Unless of course mommy has one too many margarita's and can no longer be held accountable for the actions of her kids.

But, in a place like Denny's or Joe's Crab Shack, there has to be some expectation that it might be a little noisy, and that yes, there may be kids smooshing crackers on the table. If you don't like it, go somewhere else, somewhere that doesn't cater to families, or better yet stay home.

Friday, October 3, 2008

And Then Sarah Palin Invoked Dick Chesney

DISCLAIMER: This is directed at you, Holmes Bailey. If you read this blog post, I apologize in advance for my lack of jounalistic creativity. Some of the statements you read will be ver batim of our earlier converstation. Please forgive me. LOL

Sarah Palin is good at memorizing.

That was clear last night during the debate between Palin and her Vice Presidential opponent Joe Biden. Many think she held her own and redeemed herself by being able to answer questions in complete sentences.

That's not what I saw.

I saw a woman who was prepared for the debate by memorizing a few answers and was schooled in the 'if-you-don't-know-the-answer, talk-about-something-else' model of exchange. I was shocked, though, that she outright told Gwen Ifill and Biden, in her own special Northern Exposure perky way, that she'd darn well only answer the questions she wanted and was going to ignore them and talk to the American people about the topics she came to talk about. I've never really seen that kind of F- you moment in a national debate.

It was a true Dick Cheney moment. Palin, in a way Cheney has done so many times, was clear in her contempt for her opponent, the moderator, the process and, yes, the American people. Palin was a woman who was convinced that she didn't have to play by the rules. She'd say what she G-D pleased, thank you very much.

Even worse, was her lack of grasp on how the economy got in the situation it is today.

She thinks we can get out of this economic mess by tightening our belts, learning how to be more responsible with our credit cards and trust that John McCain, who has called for deregulation up until a couple of weeks ago, will bring the hammer down on predatory lenders and Wall Street?? Clearly, she needs to do a little more research on her running mate's historical perspective on the evils of government regulation and guidelines and his misguided ability to trust in voluntary compliance.

But here's the thing that really jolted me back to reality when it comes to the McCain/Palin ticket.

Earlier this week, it was clear during the Katie Couric interviews that a woman who wants to be second-in-command of the United States knows nothing about any Supreme Court decisions, maybe not even Roe v. Wade. I don't expect people who haven't gone to law school to be able to answer that question, but if you want to be someone who has influence and sway over the national process and future Supreme Court appointments, you should be able to name a few -- especially, for Palin, a recent one that directly involved her state.

During the vice-presidential debate, it was also obvious that either she doesn't understand the Constitution or doesn't care to. If you were averting your eyes and ears for a quick second, you might have missed it, but Palin announced to the world that, as far as she's concerned, the Constitution makes her not only a part of the executive branch, but the legislative branch, as well.

"The Vice President should have more authority over the Senate if the Constitution would allow it."

So the woman who can't name a case other than Roe v. Wade is now a Constitutional authority??

I think it's time to turn in my Visa and head back to the Great White North, because I don't want to live in a country where a woman like Sarah Palin is a Vice President who will be pushed into the mold of Cheney.

It's scary enough to think of Palin as a heartbeat away from things like having to deal with our current economic crisis or how things are going in Afghanistan. But we DON'T need another administration that will run roughshod over the clear, unambiguous provisions of the Constitution, like Article I:

"The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided."

Period. That's it. The only legislative duty of the Vice President. Clearly, Palin didn't watch the John Adams mini-series scene where Adams was horribly put out, as he had to preside over Senate debate, yet remain silent.

My blood pressure was high enough with the economy going in the tank. It wasn't helped by watching Palin's performance in the debate. Her tone, her smirk, her refusal to answer questions about her understanding of substantive issues like the bankruptcy laws and her penchant for winking at the camera, almost made me get out the home BP monitor and stay hooked up for the duration.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

OK, todays list is 13 books I love reading with or too my kids:

1. "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak

2. "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch

3. "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

4. "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle

5. "Where the Red Fern Grows" by Wilson Rawls

6. "Goodnight Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown

7. "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" by C. S. Lewis

8. "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" by Judith Viorst

9. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl

10. "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams

11. "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L’Engle

12. "I Love You Stinky Face" by Lisa McCourt

13. "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" by Laura Joffe Numeroff

I would really love to see what you come up with for your own Thursday Thirteens

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Who Lives In A Pineapple Under The Sea?

The sponge. The yellow sponge. The yellow, square, pants donning sponge. Need I say more? Now, if you know me at all, you know the answer to that. Sponge Bob, where do I begin? He's an odd fellow. He definitely says some things that are questionable, and while he is probably okay for my 8 year old to watch, I am thinking he is rather inappropriate for the 4 year old. This is evidenced by the fact that last weekend my 4 year old called my husbands business associate an 'old coot'. When asked, like so many other times recently, where he picked up this little gem, the answer as always is a resounding "Sponge Bob!"

So, what's a girl to do? Elmo? No dice. Barney? Ummmm...not interested. You see, the curse of the older siblings is that your precious little cherubs begin to see/watch/say things much faster than the previous did. They want to do what the older kids do. My oldest loved Barney until he was about 4 1/2. The second declared Barney 'babyish' at 2. The third won't even give poor Barney the time of day. And so I am left to rely on the one thing that for some inexplicable reason, seems to 'entertain' all three of the kids. The sponge. Now, I am not one to use the television as a 'babysitter'. I've read the articles. I've heard the psychologists and parenting experts declare that this is awful for their fragile little psyches. I know that if they watch more than an hour of t.v a day they are likely to never go to college and possibly become a homicidal maniac. I have to tell you though, there are days where I am willing to take my chances.

We've all seen various t.v shows or commercials where the family is in the kitchen making dinner. The older kids are happily playing checkers at the kitchen table. The little tots are sitting on the floor with plastic spoons and bowls 'helping' mom make a delicious meal. You've seen it? I have too- just not at my house, like, ever. At my house, if I do not properly occupy, my kids will run around in the kitchen, screaming like maniacs (can someone say inside voices?) try to open all the cabinets, try to pull down whatever I am preparing on the counter to examine it, and just generally cause chaos and disarray until my meal is likely ruined, and we end up ordering pizza.

So, I have no choice but to say loudly and proudly; "God bless you Sponge Bob."

Easy Ways To Be Happy

In the monotony of daily life, chasing after happiness can seem like an endless, really big project. And sometimes, it is. But sometime...