And I thought boys were bad...

All the dirt of boys, plus the attitude...

Monday, September 9, 2013

Bevo's Adventure

Saturday morning started off like any other.  I woke up to the sound of my alarm at the awful time of 8:30am.  I know, that probably doesn't sound early to you and you might even being thinking, "lucky bitch" if you have a baby, but this is still an early Saturday for me.  I don't like being awake that early any day of the week...I am, but I don't like it.

Anyway, I got up and got ready to go grocery shopping like I always do.  As I was doing this, Hubby was checking out his Facebook feed and noticed that our very dear friends' dogs got out the night before.  We decided that grocery shopping could wait and that we would help them look for the dogs.  When we arrived at their house, we were told that one of the dogs had been found already, but there were no leads on the other.  We started looking immediately.  We divided up the town into parts that the dog could have gotten to and went off to search.

After about an hour or so, the other dog was found.  He was hanging out at a yard sale.  When our friend found him he had a couple cuts on his face and was exhausted, but other than that he was okay.  We figured he had gotten into a disagreement with a raccoon during the 8-9 hours he was out.  Little did we know, Bevo had had an adventure.

Apparently, a little while after he had gotten out, Bevo found his way to the gas station down the street.  He went inside and, I guess after not finding what he wanted, he left.  Then he came back in.  Yes, in the store.  We were told he went in and out of the store quite a few times.  Finally, the owners were ready to close up and were wondering what to do with this dog who seemed quite at home in the candy isle.  A local bar owner happened to be inside at closing time and volunteered to take Bevo home for the night and find his owners in the morning.  How nice!

Unfortunately, Bevo did not want to stay in this man's backyard and broke out.  He wandered around for a while, we guess, until he found the yard sale he was eventually recovered at.

Now, to top all this off, our friend had asked a man he saw on the street the night before if he had seen the dog.  The man hadn't, but said he would keep an eye out.  As it turns out, this man is the neighbor of the bar owner who rescued the dog from the gas station.  Both the bar owner and the neighbor ended up coming by our friends' house to make sure the dog had returned home safely!

This is just a piece of the awesome that comes from living in a small town!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Back to Life

It's been a really long time since I have written anything here.  I'm pretty sure anyone who read it before has given up on seeing something new, but here it is anyway!

We have been super busy with wrapping up summer and getting back to school!  Miss A is off to a wonderful start and I could not be happier!!  She is enjoying all her classes and even made the volleyball team!!  She is doing really well and has her first game coming up really soon!!

Little CC is loving her new class, especially since she already knew her teacher!  She has "gotten back together" with some friends from first grade and is super excited about school.  She is also in the midst of planning her 8th birthday party.  So far, she has decided on a "Diva" theme (zebra print and pink) and I think we will end up doing hair, nails, make-up and maybe even do a fashion shoot!

Having the girls back in school has been a welcome break for Hubby, I'm sure.  He was juggling them and working from home all summer long.  I know he is happy to have his quiet days back!

Actually, in celebration of the kids going back to school, we both took their first day off of work!  We spent the whole day just being grown ups and hanging out.  It was fantastic!! 

Honestly, I think they missed school as much as we did.

Anyway, I will be writing more now that things have died down.

How was your end of summer/beginning of the school year?

Friday, August 2, 2013

At a Loss

I have been sitting her for quite a while trying to figure out how to start this.  I still don't know, so I figured this would work.

It's not that I haven't had anything to say these last couple weeks.  It's more that I haven't really known how.  There have been a lot of things on my mind and I just haven't had the words to write.

I found them, though.

Get ready.

I'll be back on Monday with a new post.

Thanks for your patience!

Friday, July 12, 2013

California - Saying Goodbye

This is part of a series.  Click the following links to catch up: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

This post has taken me the longest to write.  Actually, as I type this I am sitting at home.  I am sitting in my living room, having already said goodbye to everyone, and I am still having a hard time with it.

See, leaving California to move to Texas was a big decision.  It was hard, but at the same time it was adventurous.  The sadness associated with saying goodbye the first time was overshadowed by the adventure I was going on. I was starting this new life and it was exciting.  This time it was different.

I wasn't more sad this time.  In fact, I may have even been more okay with leaving this time.  It was just different.

Every interaction began with the foreboding of goodbye.  The girls felt it most of all.  I could see them tense and act out as time wore down with any person.  It was very hard to watch.  We, of course, talked about it and decided that we said "good-bye" when we left, and that wasn't true because there we were saying "goodbye" again.  So we decided that unless we want to be liars, it's not "goodbye."  It's "see you later." It's "see you in a while."

We will be back to visit, California.  Make no mistake.  This is not "good-bye,"  it's "see you soon."

Monday, July 8, 2013

California - Racism In The Bay

This is part of a series.  Click the following links to catch up: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3



Something I have noticed since arriving in California, that I never noticed while I lived here, is the sheer amount of blatant racism. I mean, I never saw that while I lived here and if I did, I guess I didn't notice.

Let me explain a little. See, the typical conversation I have encountered with people who I used to see everyday, goes like this:

How do you like Texas?”

I love it! It really was the best decision Hubby and I could have made for our family.”

I bet it's a lot more affordable there, right?”

Oh, yeah. I mean we have a house for less than we paid for our apartment here. It's great. And the kids can play out at the park and the schools are great. Really, we love it.

Yeah, and I bet there aren't as many (insert race of people who are not white) out there”

What???? I mean, my typical response is something like, “you know, that wasn't really a factor in our moving and the Austin area is quite diverse,” but WHAT???

Really, people? Check it out California, and especially Bay Area, you are seen by the majority of this country as the area that is most culturally diverse. You are seen as the place that accepts anyone. You have a reputation to uphold and all this talk from Caucasians about how many Middle Eastern, Asian, African American, Mexican, and blue people live in that area is ridiculous.

I have experienced less talk like that in Texas, yes Texas, in any 24 hour period than I have in my first 24 hours visiting in California.

Get it together.

Next time...Saying Goodbye...

Friday, July 5, 2013

California – Friends, Family, and Food

This is part 3 in a series.  Click on Part 1or Part 2 to catch up.


The three things that I was most looking forward to were my friends, my family, and the food...and not in that particular order. I'm not telling which order, just that that may or may not be it...lol

We got the wonderful opportunity to see lots of people while we were in California!! It was great to catch up and spend time. I got to go to my old 12 step meetings and catch up with people I hadn't really talked to since I left. I got to see old high school friends, and I got to see family. It was great!

The girls spent the weekend with my mom and, from what I hear, had a BLAST! Swimming, new foods, and their awesomely recently redone room are just a few things I have heard about. It was awesome because they got to spend some quality time with Grandma while Hubby and I spent some time just being grown ups.

We ate tons and tons of Mexican food while we were here. Ask me how that was. Go ahead, ask me...ok, ok, I'll tell you. It was the BEST!!! You just can't get food like that in Texas. I mean, don't get me wrong, Tex-Mex is great. It's a genre all on its own. It's just not Mexican food. It's not carne asada in a super burrito. I ate so much Mexican food in such a short period of time that I think I might actually be sick of it...Mission accomplished!!

We have had a great time here, and though I miss home, it's still hard to leave. More on that later. For now it's time for me to go to bed. I have a plane to catch tomorrow.

Next time...Racism In The Bay...

Monday, July 1, 2013

California - We Have Arrived

This is part 2.  For part 1, click here.

Our arrival in San Francisco was exiting, to say the least. Well, our lading really. I think the pilot thought that the ground was closer than it was when he touched the plane down. He kind of dropped the aircraft, which caused it to bounce hard and then come down again...scared the crap outta me, and the rest of the people on the plane. We landed safely, though, so all in all I'd call the ride a success.

Can I just say that the San Francisco airport in freaking HUGE?? Man, we had to walk forEVER to get to the train, yes train, that took us to the rental car area. No way to get there walking...wow.

So, we got our car and were on our way to the East Bay Area. It was weird. I mean, it was nice, but it was weird. Everything looked so familiar. Like, familiar enough for me to currently live here, but I don't. It's kind of an eerie feeling. Super cool, but eerie just the same.

We drove across a bridge that I have known almost my entire life. We drove up freeways that I know like the back of my hand. We drove around towns that I could navigate in my sleep, but we don't live here. This isn't home anymore.

There's no longing there. I don't miss the sirens, which I have heard almost non-stop since we have been here. I don't miss the actually having to hide my valuables when I go into a store. I don't even miss the familiarity. My town is just as familiar to me as the East Bay is. I think that's what it was. That's where the odd feeling comes in. I have never known another place as well as I know the East Bay, until we moved.

I'm going to try an analogy because I really don't think I am explaining this well. It's like going back to your childhood house as an adult. You know every nook, every cranny. You have memories on the front porch and in the backyard. You could walk to your old room with your eyes closed and not bump into anything. It's that familiar, but it's not home, and you are okay with that because your new home is amazing as well.

Have you ever had that experience?


Next time...Friends, Family, and Food...

Friday, June 28, 2013

California – In Flight

Yep, I didn't post a single thing last Monday or Friday.  Wanna know why?  Cause I was on vacation!!  These next couple to few weeks I will share that vacation with you...starting now...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Right now I am sitting on a plane on my way to California. It's weird. I really don't like flying. Actually, it terrifies me. I feel a little jinxy writing about this while I'm on the plane, but I think it'll be fine. Here's how my morning went:

3:45am (roughly 4-5 hours after finally falling asleep) my alarm goes off. Immediately I contemplate canceling the whole trip so that I can stay in bed. About a millisecond later, though, I am overwhelmed with the excitement of seeing my friends and family. I got ready more quickly that I knew I could and went to wake my babies.

Both Miss A and CC got the same wake up: “Wake up, it's time to go to California!!”

Both responded the same way: Smiles and squeaks of excitement!

In practically no time we were ready and on the road to the airport.

Before I get to the on the plane part, which if you enjoy laughing at other people's silly fear as much as I do, you'll love, I want to go over the getting to of the airport...

I am not a good passenger in the car. I'm just not. I like my control. I like being the one who does the driving. Being that it was 4:30am, though, I did not even consider the idea of driving a vehicle. Regardless of the reason I am sitting in the passenger seat, though, it makes me nervous. I'm sure there is some deep seated unresolved something or other there, but whatever. So, Hubby drives us, in the dark, to the airport down stupid roads that have no street lights and speed limits that rival racetracks. Yes, this is Texas. Welcome. It's fine at 4 in the afternoon, but at 4am, I'd like some light...something to think about there, Governor Perry...

Anyway, we made it safely to the airport, despite my ridiculous fear that we wouldn't. We got the car parked and got us into the terminal. We got through baggage check and security. We got to the gate in time for the flight and into our seats with no issues. All is good.

Then my irrational fears kick in yet again... Well, they are not completely irrational, but almost. Here's how it went down: The pilot comes over the intercom to give us the information he is supposed to give before take-off, and all I can think is that this guy, this man who is entrusted with the safety of all these people including my family, sounds awfully young. Young and unsure. I'm not sure if his voice cracked because it's super early and this is his first flight of the day or if he is tired and it's his last. Or maybe his voice just cracked because the circulated air on the plane seems to be very dry. Whatever it is, I don't care. All I could think is that this guy is really a kid and this is his first flight ever and...

Yep, totally irrational. Completely unfounded. Incredibly ridiculous.

I'm good now, though. We are over 2000 feet in the air and we are fine. I think that typing all this out kinda helped.

Do you have any irrational fears you want to own up to? How do you do on flights?

...to be continued...next time: California – We Have Arrived

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Monday Monday

It's Monday again, and I have to say that I am okay with that.  I know.  Shocking.  It is for me too.

We had a wonderful weekend.  We got to celebrate Fathers' Day with my awesome hubby and our awesome friends!  I am so grateful that my kids have the dad that they have.  I mean, he really is amazing!

I think the most exciting part of my life, right now though, is planning for our trip to visit California.  It's coming up soon and I am so excited!  I have come to terms with certain things that were holding me back, so all that's left is this awesome feeling of bliss!  It's nice to have that feeling back.

See, as a person with life issues, I am prone to letting little crap that doesn't really mean anything fill up my head and my heart.  I have tools to get through it and let go but, as a person with life issues, I don't use them nearly as often as I should.  As a result, I end up sitting in my own shit feeling bad for quite a while before I actually deal.

I finally got to the point where I had to deal, so I did.  I feel so much better!!!

Anyway, enough with the cryptic.  How was your weekend?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Boring, And I Like It

I'm not really sure what to write about today.  I mean, there has been a lot going on, but none of it really seems like it belongs here.  It doesn't seem exciting enough to share.

The girls are doing great, really enjoying the beginning of their summer vacation. 

I'm doing well at work and am being considered for a promotion. 

Hubby is doing well, and being Hubby.

That's all normal life stuff, though.  Actually, thinking about things right this very second, I realize that my life is mostly just normal life stuff.  I mean, sure we have the occasional funny thing that happens, there is the once in a blue moon drama, and more often than not there are mini-issues with the kiddos, but it's all normal.

And it's nice.

I used to think that growing up and getting clean would be boring.  I used to think that there would be nothing to me or my life without the constant string of drama that I dragged around with me.  Who's arguing with who, friends going to jail, or constantly wondering how I was going to pay the bills was my life for a long time.

It's not anymore.  It hasn't been for a while now.  It's still a little strange.

I cherish the slow pace of my life, though.  I like that I get to be picky with who I let in because I don't want any of the drama that is attached to most people.

I think the realization that I have come to is this: I am boring.  I am boring and I like it.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Busy Weekends Are The Best Kind

These last couple weekends have been super busy!  I mean, so busy that by the time Monday morning rolls around,

I feel like there has been no weekend at all...

A couple weeks ago, we had Miss A's birthday party.  Now, her birthday isn't until July, but she wanted to make sure that certain friends could attend so we planned it for during the school year.  The girls had a lot of fun.  We had a scavenger hunt at the mall.  I made a list of things for the girls to collect, take pictures of, and even some silly videos to make.  It was great.  Afterwards, we got some ice cream and each of my girls had a friend spend the night.








<---- I even made t-shirts for the
girls that came to the party! ----->







This past weekend was even busier.  See, little miss CC has become quite the social butterfly.  This weekend was no exception.  She had two sleepovers at different friends' houses and was only home for about 14 waking hours this weekend.  I'm thinking that two sleepovers in one weekend might be a little much for my little munchkin for a while.  While she had a blast, she was super grumpy and touchy during the time she was home.

Miss A ended up having two friends stay the night last night...yep, on a Sunday. Nope, not happening again...lol.  I mean, the girls were good.  It's just that when I have to get up at 6am, I am not a fan of not being able to sleep the night before because I know the little preteens in the room down the hall are still awake...I'm thinking that sleepovers on work nights are not a great idea.

It was a good weekend, though.  Lots of busy + swimming + poker = awesome weekend for me!

How was your weekend?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Just a Couple of Days

This week was a little different than most weeks.  This week my hubby went out of town, well state, for a couple days.  It was a lot harder than I thought it would be.

I mean, he's left for a few days before.  Jobs have sometimes required him to do out of state training and he has gone on trips with friends.  The difference is that this time I really missed him.  Before you start getting all, "you've been married for almost ten years and this is the first time you missed him?!?!" on me, remember that the first few years of our marriage were very different than most couples'.

The point here is that I missed him.  I was genuinely thrown off of my norm by his absence.  I didn't sleep well.  It was hard.

Also, I just want to say that I have a whole new respect for single parents.  I mean, really.  I know 2 days is nothing compared to a lifetime, or whatever it was that someone at work told me when I said this out loud...  Here's the deal:  I did not like leaving before my kid got on her bus, commuting to work, working 8 hours, commuting home, picking this kids up from their respective after school situations, and then being expected to make dinner, and do baths and bed to get them in bed before bedtime.  I mean, thank goodness they didn't have homework!

As it was, we went to the store and I let them pick out TV dinners and they were in bed 30 minutes late because we watched a movie.

Yeah, me = not a fan.

Single parents = heroes in my book

Monday, June 3, 2013

End Of Year Reflections

Wow.  Today begins the last week of school for my girls.  It's amazing how quickly this school year has passed.  Both my girls have grown so much!

Miss A has gone from a kid to a preteen.  I don't like it all the time, but I can see that she is finding her way.  She is becoming the person she is meant to be.  She is about to join the world of upper-middle-schoolers...Oh My...

CC has blossomed from my baby to a little girl.  I mean, she went on a field trip sans Mommy for the first time!  She is going to be joining the upper-elementary-schoolers next year.

Like I said, it's gone by fast.


How has your child changed over the past school year?

Friday, May 31, 2013

Helping Animals

So, I have a question...and please bare with me while I get to the explanation...

Is there, like, an animal memo distribution list?  Do all the animals of the world have monthly meetings or something?  Do they pass around a list of humans that will help them if they are ever in need?

Cause here's the thing:  I don't ever remember taking in a stray animal at my house when I was growing up.  I mean, like, never.  We adopted from the shelter, but there was never a time where there was a hurt animal outside and we helped.  I also need to say here, that I never even saw an animal who needed our help when I was a kid.

Now?  I have taken in litters of kittens and helped birds.  I mean, last night was a weird example...

We have a dog.  She likes to chase bunnies.  She doesn't catch the bunnies because they are grown and faster than her.  Last night, though, our Rosie-dog found a bunny nest...in our backyard.  Yep, she got ahold of one of at least one of the bunnies.  The kids saw this, of course, and the bunny wasn't dead so we needed to do something.

I called the shelter and then animal control and was told that there was nothing that could be done since it's wild.  The Wildlife Rescue Center closes at 4pm.  By this time we had it in a towel and had examined it.  It looked ok.  Next step was to hit the interwebs and see what experts recommend.

Basically, we found that cottontails are one of the hardest animals to rescue and that they usually don't even need it.  The advice was to put the rabbit in the nest and leave it alone, so that's what we did.

Really though, what kind of rabbit builds a nest in the backyard of a dog who wants nothing more than to catch and play with bunnies?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Feelings


Dear Readers,

Guess what?  SCHOOL’S OUT!!!  I am so freaking happy to not have school work clouding up my schedule anymore!  Really, it’s awesome. 

I’m also pretty freaking ecstatic about planning our family vacation to California this summer!

That’s right!  We will be taking a trip back to Cali for a few days.  We already have plans with most of the people we want to see.  There are a few who I am waiting for callbacks from…AHEM…but it’s mostly planned.
The thing with visiting my old home, though, is that it’s bringing up some feelings.  It’s bringing up some feelings I, honestly, could do without.

See, the thing is that I have this person who I was really great friends with before we moved.  I mean, we were REALLY close.  Since we moved, though, I have only talked to this person a few times.  I called for a while and texted with no response, and then decided that I didn’t want to be the pathetic person so I stopped.  Now, though, I feel like my trip wouldn’t be complete without seeing this person, but I absolutely refuse to call.

I know, I know, I’m five.  I’m throwing a tantrum of the silent kind and it’s not going to do me any good.  I don’t care.  I feel like I have given enough and put myself out there enough and I don’t want to do it anymore.  I’ve put the info that I will be in the state out on my personal Facebook and am hoping that if this person sees it, they will contact me.  I know it’s not the best way to go about it, but I really don’t feel like I should do anything else.

Now, if this were one of my kids coming to me with this issue, I would say that this person is not their friend.  This person does not deserve the kind of brain space that they are currently receiving.  The difference is that, well, it's me.  No, really, it's that as an adult you build stronger relationships.  We weren't friends because we were in second period together.  We were friends because we were friends.  It's hard to let go of that sometimes... 
I guess at this point I just need to come to terms with the fact that this person will probably not contact me.  It’s a mourning process in a way.  I just need to deal and move on.

 

Any advice?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Doing The Right Thing

I said I was going to be more careful regarding what information I shared about my eldest, Miss A, and this is too awesome not to share.

Earlier this week, Miss A had another one of her bedtime confessions.  I sat down on her bed to tuck her in and she said she needed to tell me something.  Of course, my first reaction is "what did she do now?"  Not the case.  I mean, it is, but not in that way.

She went on to tell me how one of her best friends was mad at her and some various reasons for that.  They are not that important.  Basic middle school stuff, ya know?  But then, she told me something that mattered.

The girls she was sitting with at lunch that day were talking crap about a teacher that they all share.  The girls were saying things about this teacher that made my daughter uncomfortable.  The girls think that this teacher is gay and were calling her all types of names because of it.

My daughter, Miss A, told those girls that they were being mean.  She told those girls that it doesn't matter if the teacher is gay or not.  This teacher is a good teacher and they needed to stop being mean.

Well, the girls didn't take kindly to that and proceeded to ignore her for the rest of the day.

She didn't back down, though.  She was sad, but knew she did the right thing.

I love my kid.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Confession Time

You know, when I started the job I have now, I never wanted to like it.  In fact, I would have been perfectly happy to hate my job like most good Americans do.  I never wanted to like the people I work with.  I never wanted to care about this meaningless sales job that I was taking because I couldn't seem to get hired at the school district I kept applying to.

Really, I only took the job I have now so that I could be making money while still trying to get hired on by my first choice.  I wanted to walk away as soon as that happened.  I never even suspected that I would stop applying...I even told my supervisor that I would walk away if I got this other job.

That was 6 months ago.

Turns out I like what I am doing.  It helps that I'm kind of good at it.  It also helps that I work with a fantastic bunch of people!

The other day, I caught myself wondering what I would need to do to move up in this company.  Immediately I gave myself a mental slap on the wrist.  I wasn't ready to admit that I like this job enough to want to move up.  I did though.  I guess I'm a sucker.

It seems that this job has crept into my brain and seduced me or something.  It seems that I have been brainwashed.  It must be some wave that is being sent from my computer screen...

Oh, well.  Eventually I'll find something else.  Eventually I'll get into a BA program and then get my Masters.  Right now, though, I kinda like my life, and that includes my job.  I think I'll keep it.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Revelation

I haven't written much about my girls lately.  A lot of that is because I have been so overwhelmed with parenting them lately.  I mean, having an 11 year old is a lot harder than I ever thought it would be.  I haven't wanted to air her dirty laundry, per se, because she is getting older and a lot of her friends are on the internet.  Now, I have no idea whether or not any of them would ever come across this blog, but I guess that's the point.  I have no idea.  Anything could happen and I don't want to put anything out there that could make these next years any more difficult than they already will be simply because she is going to be a teenager.

I will say this:

I was talking to a friend at work about all the issues I was having with my eldest.  I was saying how hard it is to parent her because one minute she is coming home with issues at school and being rude around the house, and the next she is being honest at the expense of what she really wants.  I was telling my friend how freaking confusing it is to parent her because I never know who she will be next.

Then my friend responded with the most profound, relevant, and valid thing she could say.

I said: "I'm so confused!"

She said: "So is she."

Wow.  Just like that I stopped.  It all made sense.  If I think I am confused by how she is acting...if I think I am confused by the flip flopping that has been happening, how confused must she be?

She is the one who is trying to figure out who she is.  She is the one trying to reconcile her friends with her parents and herself.  She must be so confused!!

So now I am trying to remember that in everything I do.  I am trying to remember that with every problem we face.  She is even more confused than I am and we need to be on the same side so that we can help each other through this.

Yes, there will still be consequences, but they can be done from a place of understanding.

Anyway, what a wise friend.  I'm pretty lucky I had someone to point that out to me.

Friday, April 12, 2013

I Think I Lost My Girl Card

So, as we all know baseball season has started again.  Now, most years this would be the time of the year where I would sigh and come to grips with my television being constantly tuned to the crack and cheer of whatever game was going to be on.  This year is a little different, though.

I think it all started when my kids started cheering for football.  Bare with me...I promise it makes sense.  See, I never cared about any sports at all.  Really, they were like the black plague as far as I was concerned.  Sports were these horrible things that came in and took over my house for months on end...and my hubby isn't even as bad as most men.

But when my kids stared cheering, and I was team mom, I had to learn how football worked.  What the rules were.  When to have them do the defense cheer and when to do the for offense.

That was the in.

Last baseball season, I didn't even mind the games on all the time.  I wasn't really into it, but I asked questions and learned more about how it worked.

Then last football season happened.  BOTH my girls did cheer and guess what?  Now that I had learned about the game from the little one's cheer squad, watching the bigger one's games was actually fun.  I found myself cheering and booing along with the rest of our small central Texas town.  Along with all this of course came me watching and enjoying regular season and post season professional football and even college games.

Now for the part where I lost my Girl Card.  ((Deep breath))  I signed up for my hubby's fantasy baseball team.  I won the first week and am super stoked!

Yep.  My Girl Card has been revoked.  Don't care.  I'm having fun!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Family Vacation In The Works

As you may have noticed, I did not post anything on Monday.  This is because school started again for me.  I am taking 2 accelerated criminal justice courses and the workload is WAY more than I thought it would be.  Seriously, it's like a full time class load.

I am going to be only posting on Fridays until the end of the semester.  It's only 8 weeks and I'm pretty sure this is week 2.

On to the cool stuff, though!!

We are planning a family vacation!!  I mean, we have gone down to the coast for a few days before and we went to Utah to visit my MIL for Christmas one year, but this is different.  See, this is the first time we will be buying our OWN plane tickets!  Man, let me tell you.  Plane tickets for 4 people are not cheap, but it will be worth it.

Wanna know where we are going?

CALIFORNIA!!!

We are going to visit family and friends in Cali!  It's going to be pretty freaking awesome.  I mean, I absolutely love where I live.  I say that enough that there should be no doubt.  I literally exhaled when we got here.  It was like I had been holding my breath my whole life and I was finally able to just let it go.  None of that means I don't have people I miss, though.

So we are going to go visit them!!  Yay!!!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Open Letter to Victoria's Secret

Recently, The Hubby posted something to my Facebook wall.  It was a letter from a father of daughters to Victoria's Secret.  Take a minute and go read it.  I mean, come right back, but go read it.  I'll wait.

This is my open letter to Victoria's Secret.

Dear Victoria's Secret,

As a mother of a daughter who is in the age group that you are attempting to attract, I have a few things to say myself.  My daughter will NOT be wearing these items.  There will be no "call me" on my daughter's ass.  This is absolutely unacceptable.

Marketing to full grown women who may or may not see themselves as worthy based on their underwear is one thing.  I mean, I'll admit, I feel sexy when I have pretty underwear on and you do make some pretty stuff.  The issue is exactly that, though.  I feel "sexy" when I have pretty underwear on.  My preteen does not need to feel "sexy."  Kids at that age don't even really, fully, understand what that means.

No, I don't want my child to have suggestive or flirty words on her most feminine area.  Why would she?  She is not even allowed to have a boyfriend yet, let alone show people her underwear.  Why would I encourage that behavior? Why would you?

And don't even get me started on the thongs.  Thongs for middle schoolers.  Do you not have even one mother on your marketing or design team?

Victoria's Secret, I would like you to know that I will not be shopping in your store until this line is discontinued.  I will not be buying your pretty smelling perfumes.  I will not be buying your sexy bras and panties.  I will not set foot in your stores until this line is off the market.

I would ask that all of my friends do the same.

Sincerely,
A Mom

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sick

My favorite poem growing up was "Sick" by Shel Silverstein. I loved reading all about little Peggy-Ann McKay and all the ailments made up.  See, I was not a huge fan of school. I loved staying home in my nice warm bed as opposed to going out into the world to learn. Call me crazy, but I did.

Now, though, sick it's not what it used to be. Missing work pretty much sucks. See, cause as a grown-up, we have these this called bills. Someone told me that they need to be paid if I want things like hot water and lights. Ugh...

So, as an adult, faking sick is less than ideal. Actually being sick sucks!

That's what I am today. Sick. 100%, no bullshit, sick. Full on, walking up nauseous at 2:30am and puking an hour later, sick.

I got up and tried get ready for work, but it's not working.

I got up and wrote this, but I have had to edit more spelling errors than I think this post is worth.

I'm going back to bed.

I hope your day is better than mine.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Camping

I want to take a moment, as the weather starts to get warmer, and address something that will inevitably come up in my family.  Actually, this is something that came up just last night, but I know it will come up again. 

Camping.

I do not like camping.  I do not like it in a tent, I do not like it that's what I meant...or something like that except at the end I still don't like it.  I've gone camping many times and I have never been a fan.,

There is dirt.

There are bugs.

You sleep on the ground.

There are wild animals who want to eat you.

And really, it's just not my cup of tea.

I've taken my kids camping.  We all went back in California.  Now, I didn't like the bugs there...You think I am actually going to go out into the wilderness HERE?  In Texas?  Where everything is bigger, especially the bugs?  Ha!  Trippin'.

Do you think you can convince me that camping is the way to go?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Saint Patrick's Day Nail Art

As some of you know, I am addicted to nail polish.  My name is Kristen, and I have a problem...I seriously have almost 200 bottles of nail polish and do my nails about 3-4 times a week, if not more.  I just want to get that completely out of the way.  Let the judging begin.

I am writing this post as a tutorial-type deal about how I fade 3 colors on my nails.  I wasn't able to find a tutorial online that worked for me. 

A friend asked me about this and I really don't know how to explain it in a super short way so I figured I would use pictures and put it on here.  Enjoy!

First I choose 3 colors that I think will fade well.  Any colors will do, but since St. Patrick's Day is this weekend I chose green to white.


Next I paint on the darkest color.  This is after a clear bottom coat of course.


I paint the white a little above the area where I want the next lighter color to begin.  It actually works better if the white is a little sloppy.  It adds more depth to the final product.


 Paint the next color over the white, careful to put some a little under where the white ends.  This begins the "fade" look.


 Next more white.  This needs to be a less messy because it will serve as part of my final product, but I don't want the bottom to be a line because the fade will look more "natural" if it's uneven.





 I use make-up sponges and actually paint the polish directly onto them instead of soaking it up from another surface. 


 

 I do the medium color first over where it connects with the lighter and darker colors.  The I do the lighter color to blend that a bit more.




 I continue sponging back and forth until I get my desired fade/transition.


 This is what it looked like before clean up.


And this is after clean up and the addition of my awesome holographic top coat.



Let me know if you try it.  I'd love to know if this works for you as well, or if I'm just weird...

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Life Of A Parent

I always look forward to the times when my kids have mini-social lives.  It's nice for them to have time out of the house and I can't say I hate it when I don't have to answer to "mom" every five seconds.

This weekend both my girls were invited to a birthday party here in town.  This other family has a girl and a boy in CC's class and a girl right around Miss A's age.  It's pretty perfect.  AND they live less than a full block away!  Oh, AND I like the parents!!!  It's very rare to find all this in one family.

Anyway, while we were at the party the mom invited both my girls to stay the night.  They had a girls' night planned and were going to the mall.  The girls had a blast!

The point is, though, that I always look forward to the times when I just get to be Kristen.  Me.  I don't have to be "mom" or set a semi-decent example...lol.  The silly part is that I never know what to do with myself when they are gone.  I mean, take last Saturday for example.  The Hubby and I were just people, married people, but not parents for the evening.  What did we do?  Went and got some pizza and ice cream and then hung out at home and watched 2 fairly disappointing movies.

When did I get old and boring?  Haha!

What do you do when your kids are away?  I could definitely use the ideas for the next time!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Changes

This week I made a giant change.  I needed to. 

See, sometimes I start to think that my life is too normal.  I feel like my life is to predictable. 

When that happens, I get really antsy.  I get anxious and want to do something kinda crazy. 

Since I have become someone who follows most rules there aren't many options for "crazy-ish" behavior.  I'm responsible so going on a huge spending spree isn't really in the cards...I have limited options.

I want to point out that normality and safety are good things.  Predictability means that I'm doing it right.  I have kids and a husband and bills and they all get taken care of.  This is good.  I am just weird so I get bored with safety and feel anxious about normality.  It's a me thing.  Not sure if you'll get it...

So, what do I do to take out my anxiety about my life being normal and safe?


<----------I go from this


To this ----------------------->


I cut my hair and I LOVE IT!!!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Reality Check

Last week was a very stressful week.  My mom was in the hospital for most of it.

She is okay and home now, but I was pretty worried.  I'm not going to go into the specifics because that's her business and not mine to put out there.  I will say that it was very scary, there was a minor kind-of-surgery involved.  I say kind-of-surgery because the doctors don't really call it that, but I do.

This is the first time I have ever had to think about the mortality of a parent.  I mean, yes, I lost my father when I was ten, but I never knew him.  By the time I got to know him, he was long gone.  I'm still getting to know him.  He wasn't a parent.  Not really.

This is my mom.  I have never even considered the idea that she might not be around.  I mean, yes, I know that no one is around forever, but that has never connected as far as my mom goes.

I am so glad that she is okay.  I am so happy that what happened wasn't more serious.  I mean, it was pretty freaking serious, but she was out of the hospital in 3 days.  It could have been a LOT worse.  I don't know what I would have done if this had worked out differently.

I guess what I need to take from this is that I should cherish her, and the other people in my life, more than I do.  Everyday is special.  Everyday is one of a kind.  Everyday is one that will never come again.

Cherish those close to you and bring in those who are too far away.  Don't wait for something like this, or worse, to happen to make you realize what you have.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Technology and Smoking

So, I didn't post yesterday, but I didn't want to leave you hanging all week.  Also, I have some pretty cool news that I want to share.

Does anyone know what this is?


Yep!  It's an electronic cigarette.  As of Saturday morning, this is what I smoke.  Water vapor and nicotine.  I have smoked 11 actual cigarettes since 11am on Saturday.  That is HUGE for me since I was up to a pack to a pack and a half a day!

I am pretty freaking stoked at how easy this has been!

Anyway, I just really wanted to share that with you.

Have a great week and I'll see you Friday!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Artificial Enhancements

There is something I have been noticing a lot f lately and it's really been bugging me.  Maybe I'm listening to the wrong radio station in the mornings.  Maybe I'm just being too touchy.  I don't really care.

I listen to a morning show most mornings on my way to work.  I have noticed a few ads that get repeated. You know the kind where the DJ's actually do the little 30 second plug before or after an actual commercial break.  They are different every time, but the companies they are advertising are always the same.  These are the three things this particular morning show is always pumping.
:
Plastic surgery
Laser eye surgery
Laser hair removal

Why or why are we so focused on artificial enhancements????  They all say "do it for yourself" or something like that, but where do we get the idea that we are not good enough just the way we are.  Yes, I suffer a bit too.   I wear makeup every time I leave the house.  I used to say it was so I would look pretty to me.  That's how blinded I was by society.  Yes, pretty enough for me...who the hell told me I wasn't already?  Now, I just love to do my makeup.  It's fun...lol  Sure, still some society in there I'm sure.

Yes, there will be the one out of a thousand people who need laser eye surgery to fix enough of their eye problem to be able to wear glasses.  Obviously I am not talking about them.  This is all the people who are getting laser eye surgery because they just don't want to wear glasses??  Or glasses aren't cool...whatever.  I don't think I even need to start on the plastic surgery bit.  That speaks volumes for itself.

We wonder why our daughters are fucked up.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Entering A New Decade

Yep, I didn't write last Friday...I'd love to tell you that there was some kind of reason, but I don't lie...lol  Reality?  Thursday was my birthday so I stayed up late, I called in on Friday, and I don't plan far enough ahead with my writing to be able to be lazy and not miss a post.  Hey, I'm honest, right?

So, yes, Thursday was my birthday.  It was pretty damn cool.  I mean, it had to have been, right?  It's my birthday...lol  My dearest hubby and I went to a movie sans children thanks to my in-laws!  We saw Mama.  It was alright.  I mean, I'm a little jaded because I have seen so many scary movies, but it was alright.  It ended the only way it could have without me feeling cheated.  That's something.  Most directors are wimps so they won't end the movie the way it needs to be ended for fear of pissing off the audience.  This one wasn't a wimp.  No spoilers.

I also got some pretty freaking nifty gifts!  First, my dear friends sent me some awesome nail goodies in the mail!  I am a nail polish addict, just in case you didn't know...


My MIL also made me a pretty freaking awesome cake!  See the picture below.


 My hubby, though.  He is the best!  He got me my very own Kindle Fire and my very own SODA MAKER!!  How awesome is that???















With friends and family who know me this well and love me this much, I don't even mind that I turned 30! 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Making Amends

I realized something this weekend.  Something big.  Something that has been affecting my parenting.

I realized that I feel guilty.  I feel really bad for the way that Miss A had to spend her first 5 years on this planet.  I feel guilty for not being a better mother before.

I realized this when my awesome hubby sent Miss A up to her room because she was back-talking/disrespecting/being a buttheaded preteen for the seventeenth time this week...I felt bad about it.  I didn't like that she was up in her room.  I proceeded to get huffy until the hubby suggested I go up and talk to her.  While I was up there, she continued the shitty attitude.  Instead of calling her on it, I let it go.  Hubby pointed it out so of course I then got upset with him.  I mean, how dare he point out any faults I may have for the betterment of our children?  Who did he think he was, right?  lol  Yeah...right....so after we talked, and figured out what was going on, I came to my realization.

I immediately went to talk to Miss A.  I apologized for the way she had to start her life.  I apologized for carrying that around with me because I know it has effected her.  I explained that I feel bad for the past.  I explained that I have been letting her go more often than I should.  That allowing this guilt to rule my parenting has made me inconsistent and that I have been doing her a disservice.

I told her I love her.  I told her that I am going to stop letting her get away with some of the things that she has been getting away with.  I told her that this is probably going to suck for her, but that it's because I love her that I have to be better.  She understood and told me how she knows she has been getting away with stuff she shouldn't. 

The best part is what she said to me after that.

She said, "Mom, I think you are a really good strong parent because you stopped doing what you were doing when you were a bad parent."

I cried and hugged her.  I love my preteen...

I am going to do better.  I can't let guilt rule my life.  I can't let my guilt ruin my children.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Parent Confidently

Let's be honest.  None of us really and truly knows what we are doing when we are raising kids.  We are all just winging it.  No matter how many classes you take or how many books you read, there is no way to be prepared and completely confident in every action you take as a parent.  There will always be things no one told you about.  There will always be things that you know of, but when you experience them, you have no idea what you are doing.

All of us, everyone, will be less than confident at some point or another about raising our children while actually raising our children.

I remember the first time Miss A threw a fit.  I was stunned!  Absolutely stunned!  How could this beautiful, sweet, amazing little girl turn into the monster I saw before me?  What the hell happened??

I remember when CC punched her big sister in the stomach at about 4 years old.  I was speechless.  **side note, she is not a violent child...she had gotten sick of being picked on and didn't have the vocabulary to express it...there is no hitting in my house.

Anyway,  the point is that we all get shocked by our children.  The question is "how do we handle it?"  Do we let our kids know we have no idea what we are doing or do we act as if we know exactly what we are doing at all times?

I used to think that no matter what we had to pretend we knew what we were doing at all times.  That there was no room to show weakness...lol  Not quite that dramatic, but you get the picture.  Now, after living with a preteen and dealing with her issues?  I think it's a little of both.  I think there is no harm in admitting to my kids that I am human...

What do you think?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Formal Tuesdays and Fancy February

There are a lot of things wrong with our public school system, beginning with us not valuing teachers where they should be and ending with a lack of funding and a bunch of political/religious nonsense.  That's not what I want to write about today.  I want to write about something that my kids' schools do that is oh so right!

Every Tuesday, Miss A puts on her most formal attire and heads to school.  Now, as a parent, the first time she came down in a dress and heels fit for prom on a Tuesday morning, I of course asked what the deal was.  She informed me that her school does something they call Formal Tuesdays.  Formal Tuesdays are when the whole school dresses up, or is supposed to, and all the advisory classes have a competition to see what can have the most students in formal attire.  Now, to the kids, that's all it is.  A fun contest.  To me, this is AWESOME!!

Then, last week, CC came home with a flier for, wait for it....Fancy February!  This week they will all learn fancy words and use them all week.  Then, on Thursday, they will all dress in their fanciest clothing!  How great!

See, it's not about letting the kids dress up, it's about teaching them there are times they should.  Our children need to learn to dress themselves in a way that will get them jobs and show respect.  I am a huge fan of all the fancy!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Almost Thirty

30 years.

3 decades.

360 months

1,560 weeks

10958 days, give or take 1 if I counted the leap years wrong.

That is how old I will be in just 13 days.  I'm not sure how I feel about it.  I mean, part of me goes into a panic attack whenever I think about it.  Part of me starts skipping around and singing, "it's almost my birthday, it's almost my birthday..."  and part of me just doesn't care.  That last part is a VERY small part, but it's there.

Seriously, I imagine two of me in a room in my head.  One of them is wearing pigtails and skipping around the room singing that teasing tune over and over again, while the other is sitting in the fetal position in the corner rocking back and forth.  Did you get the visual?  Do I belong in a mental hospital?

What I am really trying to figure out is, what do thirty year olds act like?  I mean, do I need to buy different clothes?  Is my tongue ring suddenly inappropriate?  Do I need to go buy lacy flower print shirts in pastel colors?  I mean, I already feel like a little kid playing dress up as I go to work everyday...

Now, I know those are all very silly questions.  Thirty year olds act the same as 29 year olds because, really, I'll just be a day older.

I'm not going to go through this massive metamorphosis on my birthday.  There will be no shining light or cocoon shedding.  I'll just have a birthday like any other year.  It's still a landmark though.  One I'm torn between celebrating and ignoring...

For those of you who have never stared down the barrel of the 30th birthday, this is what's coming...lol
For those of you who have, did you freak out like this? 
For everyone, what is the best piece of advice that someone who is turning thirty should hear?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Pre-teen Battles Overcome

Miss A is the topic of this post.  That child never ceases to amaze me.

See, we have been having a lot of trouble with her and her grades this school year.  She has been failing some courses, not turning in her work, paying too much attention to boys, and choosing socialization over education.  It's been hard because I can't really do a whole lot about that. 

I can't be with her at school.

I can't physically steer her away from the boys.

I can't hold her hand while she turns in her schoolwork.

I can't sit next to her in class and remind her to pay attention.

My reach only goes so far...then it's all up to her.

This is truly the first time, the first situation, where I have had to talk to her at home, and simply hope she does the right thing "out there." 

We encouraged her.  We gave her consequences.  We took all of her stuff away.  We gave it back.  We set her up with a reward system.  We talked to her about the importance of education and explained that socializing is good, too, just after school...

Over Christmas break, Hubby and I noticed that her attitude had improved.  We crossed out fingers that it would last as she returned to school.

Over the first week back at school, she had no missing assignments and her attitude stayed good.  We crossed our fingers that it would last.

She got her first progress report of the spring semester yesterday.......................................

ALL A'S AND B'S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Her attitude is still awesome!  She still has no missing assignments!

I am so proud of my little girl!!  She did it!!  Now, I know it could fall off at any moment, but right now I am just proud of her!!  She is doing great!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Pictures

Lately, CC has been mentioning a lack of pictures of her in the house.  She notices that we have more pictures on the walls and in albums of Miss A than we do her.  Now, part of this is simply that Miss A is 11 and CC is 7, but she does have a point.  There are more pictures of Miss A around the house than there are of CC.  I think it's because when you are a parent of one child, it's pretty easy to take all kinds of pictures and then find time to put those pictures in albums.  When you have 2, it's a lot more difficult to find the time, or the energy when you do have the time, to put pictures in albums.

So, seeing as how this picture shortage was bothering my youngest angel, I decided to rectify the issue.  I found the discs/flash-drives with pictures on them and ordered a bunch.  Well, 150 to be exact.

One hundred and fifty pictures to span about 5-6 years!

Of course when I got them, they were not in any kind of order.  Yep, I put 150 pictures in chronological order (mostly) and placed at least 100 of them into 2 albums.

As much work as it was to sort and organize the photos, it was a LOT of fun.  I got to relive tons of memories.  It was great!  And now we have 2 albums full of photos of CC!

What do you do with your pictures?  Do they live on the "interwebs"?  Do you put them in albums?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Desperation: A Poem

This week has been incredibly long.  Seriously, the journey from Monday to Friday morning took WAY more than 4 days.  I swear someone added an extra day in there somewhere.  A friend at work says that no one added an extra day, but someone definitely turned back the clock on Monday.  Whatever it is, whoever did it, I want you to know that it's wrong.  That's really f-ed up and I forbid you from ever doing it again!  ;)

Anyway, since the week has been so long, I haven't even thought about what I am going to write this morning.  I have made no attempt to prepare.  I think what I'll do, instead of boring you all with some half-hearted monologue, is just share a poem that I wrote a while ago.  I'm not sure exactly when I wrote it, but I know I was feeling like a fake because I wasn't happy and I felt lost but I was pretending I was fine.  So, here you go:

Desperation

Whenever you start to think that
I'm brave
Please stop
I'm not
You're wrong
I'm terrified inside but I can't let it show

Whenever you start to think that
I'm strong
Please stop
I'm not
You're wrong
I'm dying inside but I can't let you know

If I let it out I'll never recover
I'll never be able to move again
My world will stop turning

I'm afraid
I'm weak
But I can't let you know

I share this because I know that we have all felt this way at one point or another.  This was how my heart felt at that point.  Even typing it now, I feel the desperation I felt when I wrote it the first time.  Things got better.  They do that, things, they get better.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sleep Training a Dog

We have had our amazing dog, Rosalie, for a little over a year and a half now.  When we got her she was 4 months old.  She has been a wonderful addition to our family.

We decided, since she is almost 2 years old, that we would try letting her sleep in our room.  She has been sleeping downstairs in her crate since we got her.  She's a lab/hound mix and ALL PUPPY.  We didn't want the house to be chewed up and figured this would be a good way to provide her a safe place to sleep and keep our things in one piece.

She has liked her crate from the beginning.  I think it has to do with being a shelter dog.  I think she feels safe.  Whatever the reason, she has had no trouble with her crate and the arrangement worked out for all of us.

Seeing as how she is almost 2 and has calmed down quite a bit, we went out last week and bought her a bed.  You know, one of those nice "therapeutic foam" ones.  My kids absolutely love it...

So, anyway, last Friday was the night to try this out.  We brought the bed upstairs, after letting her get used to it in the living room of course, and set her up nice in our room.  She laid down on the bed and I thought this was going to be great!  I thought she would lay down and fall asleep like she does in her crate.

That was not the case.

She got up and tried to mess with the cat.  She got up and tried to curl up on our bed.  She got up and paced around the room.

It was not working.

Finally, after about 2 hours of us trying to go to sleep and being woken up inside of 3 minutes of getting there, we put her back downstairs in her crate.  The funny part?  As soon as the hubby opened the bedroom door, Rosalie ran down the stairs and into her crate!  She was fine the rest of the night.

I think this situation is like trying to sleep train a baby.  We just need to get her used to the new place.  That's not going to happen this week.  I have work and I am definitely not going to be up all night with the dog and then try to be productive at work the next day.


Have you ever gone through this?  Seriously, any tips would be appreciated.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Confessions of an Over The Phone Salesperson

My new job is a sales job.  I'm not sure if I told you that before, but there it is.  I've never done sales before.  It's an over the phone, cold calling businesses kind of job.  Yep, I am the person everyone hates.  Actually, the reality is that if they talk to me for 30 seconds, they will love me and even if they don't buy from me, we have had a fun conversation.

I call all over the country and let me tell you, there is a "worst place to call."  I've talked to other people in my office and it's pretty much unanimous.  I'm actually a little ashamed to say it, since it is the state I grew up in...yep...California.  Now, Southern California is ABSOLUTELY the WORST place to call in the country, but Northern California is a close freaking second!  Seriously.  I don't get it.  It might be because they are so busy, but both coasts have that mentality.  There's got to be some reason.  I don't want to think it's because people in California are more rude than the rest of the country.

Yes, it's worse that New York and everywhere on the upper East Coast.  I don't think anyone from the upper East Coast has hung up on me.  I get it calling California all the time.

My biggest pet peeve is the rudeness I encounter every day and I am going to break down some things for you.  This will be a good lesson no matter what part of the country you are in.

-Saying "Thank you" before you hang up on someone does not mean you have been polite.  Let's just get that notion out of your head.  "Thank you" is not equal to polite when it's followed by a hearty "click" on the phone.

-Simply picking up the phone and hanging it up without saying a word is, in fact, the rudest thing you can do.  I'm not even worth a "hello" in your mind?  Well, thanks.  I hope you have a fantastic day as well.

-The question "why are you calling me again" gets me every time.  It goes right along with "I'm busy, I'm at work" and "I have a job to do."  Um, guess what?  So do I.  I have a job also, and right now it entails calling you.  Oh, you need your job to keep a roof over your head and feed your kids so you can't be bothered with me right now?  Guess what?  I have a roof and kids, too.  This is how I support mine.  Please stop acting like I am some other species because the job I currently hold is one where I call you.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I like my job.  I do.  It's fun and I get to talk to people all day who are funny and interesting.  We make jokes and try to brighten the other person's day because, guess what?  We are all stuck at work.  Why not have fun?  Seriously though.  I don't get too many people that hang up on me.  It's just that the rudeness of those few floors me.

There are certain things you can say to a telemarketer to get them to stop calling you.  These two work with everyone in my office:

"I am on the do not call list"
"Take me off your list"

OR you could take a few minutes and listen to what I am offering, because it's a damn good product and will save you a LOT of money each year, and kindly tell me you are not interested.  I will take you off my list because there is no point in calling you if I know you are genuinely not interested.  This is when it becomes my call.  When you hang up from the gate or blurt out that you are not interested when I say my name, I am required to call you back.  It's the rules.

Anyway, this has been long, but well worth it for me.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Hope For The Future

Christmas break is almost over and guess what?  My girls survived!  Actually they did much better than simply surviving.  They were pretty great.  Now, you may think that's kind of a skewed perspective because I work outside the house and Hubby is the one who deals all day, but even he said it's true.

You can even look through my recent posts...not a whole lot there.  Wanna know why?  It's cause the kids aren't giving me much to write about.  They have, for the most part, been following the rules and behaving.  It's weird.  I expected WWIII to break out sometime in the last couple weeks and it just hasn't happened.  Makes me feel kinda good.  Makes me feel like a might actually have a shot at the whole teenager thing.  Ya know, cause Miss A is practically there and her attitude has gotten better and cause CC has been acting like a teenager for the last year or so and even she seems to have dropped a little of the 'tude.

Actually, yesterday, I started thinking a little about what having teenagers is going to be like.  I mean, all I hear is horror stories from people.  I've seen many people in my close friends and family battle their own teenagers.  I always think that I can learn from what I see them do and maybe do it better.  Not because I'm better, cause I'm not.  Just because I have the benefit of seeing what they are going through and trying to maneuver around it.

I don't know, though.  Whenever I say that out loud, you know the whole "I might be able to learn and do it better" thing, people smile a knowing smile and nod.  It's kind of worrisome for me.

I guess I'll just do what I do best and work on the things that I don't.  I guess I'll just have to wait and see what life brings.  I guess, at the very least, I'll have plenty of people around to ask questions of when the time comes.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Protection of Self-Esteem or Deprivation of Life Experience

I had an interesting conversation with my mom this week.  We were talking about the different ways kids are raised and all the lengths parents go to in order to ensure they don't get hurt.  Of course, there are the obvious ones like don't talk to/accept candy from/get into cars with strangers, but there are some other things we as parents do as well.

We keep our kids from falling off the jungle gym by telling them not to climb so high when they are little and have less balance.  We tell them to put pads on when they ride a skateboard, or put a helmet on when they ride a bike.  These are all necessary protections we put in place to make sure our kids don't get too badly injured.

The problem arises when we keep our kids from doing things that they could learn from.  Let's take the skateboard thing as an example.  Some parents make sure their kids wear pads and a helmet while they ride.  Others tell their kids they can't ride at all.  Even though the sentiment is the same: we don't want our children to get hurt, the practice is very different.  Allowing a child to ride a skateboard with pads is still allowing them to have the experience and, quite possibly to get hurt, but in a way that is safer.  It's allowing the child to make mistakes within a controlled environment where they can experience the consequences of stepping on the skateboard wrong and learn from it without breaking their head open.

My mom and I were talking specifically about sports and the "everyone gets a medal" approach.  The sentiment behind this approach is that no child is left feeling less than and every child gets a "self-esteem" boost.  Here's my take on it:

Self-esteem is not the belief that you are equal to everyone else.  Self-esteem is not feeling like no one is better or worse than you at any particular thing.  Self-esteem is the knowledge and acceptance of who you are and where you stand.  It's knowing that you suck at football/soccer/softball and being ok with it.  It's knowing that you are better than someone else at drawing and not feeling like you are a better person because of it.  It's knowing that you are worth something as a person and yet accepting that you are not the best or the same as everyone else.

Giving every child a medal for participation, while not recognizing the children who excelled, is depriving each child of an experience they need in order to become a successful adult.  If we keep our kids from experiencing failure, they will never know what it's like to try again.  We are depriving our kids from experiencing the feel-good that comes with being great at something.  We are not giving them that feeling to strive towards or away from.

Kids need to be able to make mistakes, fall down, and fail while they are inside the force-field of childhood(yes, super corny...whatever).  They need to be able to get hurt while mom and dad are there to help them back up.  Can you imagine what life would be like if the first time you failed at something was as an adult?  How would you handle that?  Would you know how to pick yourself up and try again?  We are creating an entire generation(or another entire generation) of self-important children who don't have any idea what's ahead for them.  Teachers aren't going to pass them in college because the kid might cry if they fail.  College coaches and employers aren't going to pick them because their "self-esteem" might suffer if they don't get the spot.

Yes, protect the kids from getting seriously injured, but don't deprive them of the experiences that will shape them into successful, productive, ambitious adults.

What do you think?