Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I love you, baby sister, and hope you had a fantastic day. You are a fabulously, awesome woman who cracks my arse up on a regular basis -- plus you put up with me and the kids at our worst and keep coming back for more.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
If you're going to interrogate social mores to the fullest extent possible, you need to be above them, at least intellectually.
Shame can be seen as what we feel when we cower under some disapproving social gaze. It is not - contrary to what most people tell you it is - what we feel when we *know* that we've done something wrong -- although we may feel shame under those circumstances.
Shame does not necessarily need to be associated with guilt. One can believe whole-heartedly that they are entirely in the right with a given action or behavior, but still feel shamed by the disapproving reaction of their community. We can feel shame for living in poverty, for loving a member of the same sex, for breastfeeding publicly… if any measure of social disapproval is directed at any of those things. It doesn't mean that we feel guilty for those things or that we feel blameworthy.
It means that social approval matters to us, and that social disapproval stings.
I am vulnerable to being hurt by social disapproval. It doesn't matter whether that disapproval comes from one person, or a hundred, or a thousand. I'm vulnerable to it, as are most people – whether they admit it or not.
I was gently humbled and reminded of this last week. I think that is all of the detail I will delve into today. Let us all be aware of how much weight our comments and feedback can carry, especially when we least expect it.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wow! Make sure you read the "rules" on the right side of the blog. Love it. I may need to try this... but seriously give myself more than 2 seconds. I am not that spry!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Earth Hour - The First Global Vote for the Planet
On March 28, 2009 at 8:30 p.m., hundreds of millions of people in more than 500 cities and 75 countries around the world will come together once again to make a bold statement of concern about climate change by turning off their lights for one hour - Earth Hour. An event that symbolizes by working together, each of us can make a positive impact in the fight against climate change.
Here in the U.S., it sends a message that Americans care about this issue and stand with the rest of the world in seeking to find solutions to the escalating climate crisis. With every flick of a light-switch, a vote is cast for lasting action and solutions to the escalating climate crisis.From melting glaciers to increasingly intense weather patterns, climate change is already impacting life on our planet. To alter the course of climate change, we must act now.
Earth Hour Expands its Reach in 2009Cities around the world have already committed to Earth Hour 2009. US cities include Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Dallas, New York and San Francisco. They will join international cities such as Beijing, Copenhagen, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Moscow and Paris. Organizations endorsing Earth Hour include 4-H, Astronomical League and the National Education Association. Celebrities pledging support include recording artists Alanis Morissette, Kathy Mattea, Wynonna Judd, KT Tunstall, Gavin DeGraw, Rise Against and Jo Dee Messina, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett and Janeane Garofalo.
Teaching guides, toolkits for colleges, communities and businesses and links to Earth Hour’s communities on the social Web sites Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube, and the limited edition Shepard Fairey “Vote Earth” poster are available for download at www.EarthHourUS.org.
An Historic Event Earth Hour was first celebrated two years ago in Sydney, Australia, when 2.2 million people and thousands of businesses turned out their lights for one hour. In March 2008, an estimated 36 million Americans joined the effort, with more than 400 cities and 50 million people participating worldwide. Earth Hour captured the public’s imagination with lights going out at some of the world’s most iconic landmarks including the Coliseum in Rome and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and symbols such as Cola-Cola’s famous billboard in Times Square and the Google homepage. Stories were featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, NBC Nightly News, Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Evening News, CNN, NPR, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Time.com and more.
One hour - Earth Hour. Turn off. Take action. Vote Earth.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I, just like the articles author, struggled violently with the decision of whether I should (or shouldn't) take anti-depressants while I was pregnant. It is such a double-edged sword. Was it safer for my unborn baby to have a basket case of a mom-to-be or to have anti-depressants passed through my blood stream into theirs? What about my children who were already born?! Was it safer and "healthier" for them to see me as a sniffling, crabby, bitch or as a stable mommy who was content, patient and loving?
Read the article and seriously contemplate the negative stereotypes and bias' our culture still harbors against folks (specifically moms!) who suffer from mental illness.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Over the past year, I’ve questioned my sanity, my self worth, my everything. I’ve felt sensible one minute then as if I’ve been pushed into a pool of hot, sharp anguish the next. I’ve felt hopeful for a fleeting second, only to feel like a quivering ball of anxiety and despair the next. I no longer feel like the same woman I used to be. I’ve learned a lot this past year.
I’ve never considered myself a strong person. At least not emotionally.
But when I look back at the past couple of years, I see I’ve still made deadlines, cooked, cleaned the house, did lots of laundry, paid bills, grocery shopped, attended family gatherings, remembered birthdays, as well as tinkered with house and landscape projects. I’ve taken my children to museums, zoos, and parks, as well as met with teachers, volunteered in her classroom, attended soccer and t-ball games, hosted a play dates, lead a girl scout troop, wrote a a weekly newsletter for her elementary school, created the entire yearbook, helped with homework and reached out to my friends in need. I was still able to take on a few new volunteer projects, work on a few other creative endeavors, as well as organize several rooms in our home and even try to organize bits of my life.
In short, the world didn’t stop for me. I had to keep up. People were counting on me. And I delivered. (And yes, millions do it everyday. And no, I don’t expect a medal.) I was still able to make goals for myself and achieve them.
I’ve learned some crucial life lessons this year. I’ve learned to trust my instincts. I learned I’m smarter than what I give myself credit for. I learned that sometimes you have to let go. Sometimes, you have hold on. Sometimes, you have to ask for help. Sometimes you have to give help. Sometimes you have to let go of beliefs you’ve held onto for years. Sometimes you have to create new ones. Sometimes you want to give someone a solid kick in the butt. But sometimes its YOU who needs it. But always. You always need to be true to yourself.
There’s anxiety in change. But there’s also opportunity and hope. And if you keep your mind, heart and eyes open? Who knows what will happen.
HopeLine collects old wireless phones, batteries and accessories in any condition from any wireless service provider. Proceeds from the program are used to provide wireless phones and cash grants to local shelters and non-profit organizations that focus on domestic violence prevention and awareness.
Two convenient ways to donate a phone to HopeLine
* Drop off your phone at any Verizon Wireless Communications Store. Find the nearest store by visiting the Verizon Store Locator.
* Print out a Verizon Wireless HopeLine postage-paid label and adhere it to a box/envelope. Come on! It's FREE! Please be sure to review all shipping instructions carefully and include a return address on the label.So, open the junk drawers, check out your closets and please let others know if they donate their old cell phones, it can mean hope and new beginnings to a survivor of domestic violence.
There are MANY options for recycling and donating old cell phones. There is no excuse to throw them away or ruin the environment. Check out these links: http://www.charityguide.org/volunteer/fifteen/cell-phone-recycling.htm
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Okay - I'm sure hades will be much worse than that.
A few weeks ago my insomnia was acting up so I started channel surfing. Not a good plan, (sigh) but that's what I did and I ended up watching The Real Housewives of Orange County. It was hellish ... if not hell itself.
Anyone ever see this?
Who the halibut are these people and why on God’s green earth would they put their lives on a TV show? Especially their children's lives?! It was an absolutely horrid show. I decided right then and there that this is what happens to people with insomnia -- they end up watching garbage in the middle of the night. That's when I decided no more insomnia for me.
Err .... Ummm. Yeah.
So my insomnia returned again this week and I found myself channel surfing ... and I watched it again! Damn it! I'm sure my subconscious is either playing tricks with me or is a closet voyeur. Yes - I get the psychology behind that statement. Shut up.
I'm an idiot, I know.
But these women on the show are awful! Just awful!
I judge, I know.
All the women are pretty much the same. It's all about their looks, long legs, big boobs, using men for their money. Awful stuff! I'm so far from that type of woman I don't even recognize them as the same species.
It's surprising to me that these women then watch the show and don't see anything wrong with themselves or their lives. It's shocking! And no! I'm not jealous of these women - I suppose if I wanted to be like that I could (all short legged, five foot nothing, red haired, lumpy body me) but why would I want to be like that? Their behavior and attitudes are hideous! So shallow. And seriously, what will become of their offspring?!
Anyway, that's it. I'm not watching again. I hope. No really, I'm not. Well, I probably won't. I mean if I wake up and can't get back to sleep or something maybe I'll turn the TV on. But no! That's it. No more. I'm serious!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Ms. P is so awesome and talented. I saw her for the first time approximately two years ago at St. Catherines... and then again tonight. Rock on and check her out!!!
Then the other day I realized that Husband and I actually haven't been doing that. G has some thin, fine, wildly untamable hair and everyday we run the gamut of detangler, soaking every layer and picking through the snarls, combing it out. "De-constructing the nest" is what we call it. It's definitely a process -- one that goes completely AWOL about ten minutes later. Inevitably I end up combing her whole head about three more times each day. If I don't do this, G’s hair looks like a pack of rabid squirrels ran through it while trying to find a place to nest. Seriously. I would not be surprised if one day I saw a pair of beady little eyes glaring out at me from that blond halo of hair.
Why are we trying to suppress and tame G's hair so much? Friends, family and neighbors glance sideways at her hair each time they spy her. "What are we going to do with it?" ask members of our family... as if it a detriment to national security or something.
Finally I decided to say "F*** it!". It's her hair. That is the way she is and trying to comb it down only shows G that I am trying to change who she is and that's not what I want her to learn from me.
Am I reading too much into it? Maybe, possibly, probably. But think back to how many of us have tried to change ourselves to conform to what society deems acceptable. Are we ever as happy as we think we should be when we do conform? The answer is usually no.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
The SCISSORS! Yes, you know where this is going... don't you?!
Our precious little four year old cut her own hair. She had gorgeous, long locks of beautiful brown hair. Very soft and thick and slightly curly. Unfortunately, H thought she would assist her hair by cutting it -- and not only trimming a bit off the side, but splicing her bangs really close to her forehead, in a very efficient manner. Needless to say, she needed a professionals assistance and ended up with much shorter hair.
Oh well! It's only hair and it grows, right?
We had a similar, but less drastic, experience with E when she was about the same age as H. And honestly, I must say I am truly shocked that G hasn't cut her hair yet. It's only a matter of time.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Big news people.
And best of all? It was only $ ? (I don’t actually know since my hubby bought it) and can hold, like, a bajillion songs! Gimme another “Whoa!”
Oh yeah, I'm all happy and hip now.
Okay, truth be told I all but needed a flashlight and a magnifying glass to read the screen and most of the instructions... and no I'm not exactly exaggerating for comedic effect. Nothing funny about me peering stupidly at the techno-gadget-thing-a-ma-jiggy.
Well, maybe a little funny. I did have the flashlight under my chin...
Anyway, when I told my baby sister about this exciting news she was almost impressed! (Or perhaps not.) I had to repeat it so she'd believe me. Then when I told her how easy it was to download and transfer the music, she was even more impressed. Well, she was impressed until I told her what I had downloaded – Etta James and Nat King Cole!
She thought that was an interesting choice for my move into the future. Anyhoo...
I'm now downloading NKOTB as I blog! Go me!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
The answer: So that someday, when you are a parent, you can plan your own children’s summer schedules.
It doesn’t seem like it would be that difficult. You take a finite number of weeks, investigate summer day camp and activity options, determine your budget and your goals for the summer, and register. That’s it; you’re done.
It would be more accurate, I believe, to describe summer-camp planning as a complex algorithm. You must assemble all of the factors and plug them in at the appropriate times and places to arrive at the correct result, and at all points in the process, you must be aware that any single change can affect the outcome of the whole.
I have collected a list of camp options for my daughter. Ready, Set… GO!
I take a pass through the camp options with E and we highlight the camps we think she’ll like best and pencil (never use pen) our selections on the calendar I have printed out for this purpose.
Time for that pencil eraser...
I then remember that we don’t have a date set for mini family vacation we plan to take around Husband’s work schedule (3 or 4 days). I send Hubby an email to inquire about this year’s dates and receive back a frenzied reply about the uncertainty of which items he will need to travel for. Time for that pencil eraser … As soon as he figures out the lives of himself, his subordinates and all other company staff, he promises to get back to me. No problem. I return to my calendar and cross-reference the selected camps with the descriptive brochures—specifically now, I am looking at the deadlines for registration and cancellation and the non-refundable registration fees and matching those to my summer budget. I said budget… HA!
My budding scientist of a daughter informs me that she wishes she could go to the Science Museum of Minnesota “every day.” Naturally wishing to encourage such intellectual devotion, I revisit my initial rejection of summer camp that are exorbitant and excessively over-priced. I print out the museum’s summer offerings and run through the brochure once more, taking into account which camps are offered for my daughter’s age group and the weeks still open on my calendar.
Okay. Time to finalize the summer. Some weeks are set on my calendar (though I’m still not prepared to use a pen). For others, my daughter has to make a choice. I spread out the options on the kitchen table. For week X, she can choose between week one of a two-week drama/acting camp or staying home, but that decision must be made in conjunction with the decision for week Y, which is week two of the two-week drama/acting camp versus a two-week multi-sport camp. She has already decided to go to the second week of the drama camp. The drama/acting camp’s two weeks can be selected independently, but the sport camp’s two-weeks go together, so it’s all or nothing. What does she want to do?
“Mom,” E asks in a plaintive voice. “Can I decide this later?”
“Sure,” I respond. Who can blame the kid for not wanting to deal with this? I’m, well, older than eight years old, and I find this confusing.
But she’d better decide soon: registration begins Monday. And I think they’re going to make me use a pen.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Was super lucky and got to tag along on a business with my hubby to good ol' Las Vegas last week from Thurs to Sun. My fantastically phenomenally awesome in-laws took all of the kids while we were out of town. Grand time was had. I got lots and lots of sleep and read a fabulous book. However, I barely, and I mean BARELY, saw my hubby since he was working insanely long days and nights! That was quite the bummer. We did manage to slip away on Sat afternoon to the Hoover Dam. Never thought I would be so excited to visit, but it was really amazing.
Here are a couple of snapshots of our "Dam" adventures.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Go us! My dearest women friends, you totally and completely rock! I love all you do and appreciate your phenomenal-ness.
If you are unaware of the history of International Women's Day (IWD), here is a brief paragraph from the International Women's Day website:
International Women's Day has been observed since in the early 1900's. . . .
Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women's craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more.
Many global corporations have also started to more actively support IWD by running their own internal events and through supporting external ones. For example, on 8 March search engine and media giant Google some years even changes its logo on its global search pages. Year on year IWD is certainly increasing in status. The United States even designates the whole month of March as 'Women's History Month'.
So make a difference, think globally and act locally! Make everyday International Women's Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.
* * * * *
In case you are interested in going to a FREE and awesomely informative event, please click on the link below for details about a March 14, 2009 event at the University of Minnesota.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
I love it, because I can relate to the "irresponsible" ideas that HGTV fills us, HGTV-addicts, with but more importantly, I can totally see this exact thing happening to us when we renovate our bathroom in the feature... Read on and giggle.
* * * * *
I think I might have to file a class action lawsuit against HGTV. After watching so many do-it-yourself shows, it appears you are almost brainwashed into thinking that you have some type of skill level when anyone with eyes can clearly see that you are lucky just be able to put one foot in front of the other without falling. It's irresponsible programming at best.
Last week, I noticed that the upstairs toilet had begun to run. Feeling brave, I lifted off the top to the toilet tank only to be confronted with a rusty, moldy, cracked tank that probably would've even been rejected at the foulest of gas station bathrooms. Ugh. I'm fairly certain that this is the original toilet - over 50 years old! Just think about the crap that toilet has seen.
While I realized that we could probably pay someone to fix the toilet, I figured we'd just get a new one considering the disgusting innards of our current toilet. I checked Lowes.com and found a Kohler toilet on sale for $264.00. I don't know that I've heard much about Kohler toilets, but I've heard good things about their faucets, so I was interested.
Plus a name brand sounds better than the poop-in-ator or some such thing.
I decided to see if it was in stock. SWEET! Now the toilet has gone down to $199.00 plus I remembered a 10% off coupon lurking around and end up with a toilet for under $200 including tax. I hadn't asked for a commode for my birthday but was feeling pretty smug seeing as how I'm an awesome toilet shopper.
We get the toilet home and I put a few calls out to see if anyone is interested in installing a toilet. (I'm even willing to pay in cash vs. brewski's, but no one is calling me back. Maybe I should've paid in beers.) Meanwhile, hiking downstairs to use the john at 3 AM is losing it's appeal.
While waiting for my toilet-installer to call, I begin to get inundated with friends declaring the relative ease of replacing a toilet. We start to wonder if maybe - just maybe - we could just do it ourselves and save a few more bucks. (I bet you can see where this is heading... Note to self: Must build time machine to warn self and head off toilet disaster.)
Friday comes and Jim decides that he will be able to install the toilet. The easiest part is at the beginning - draining the water from the toilet. I even think to use the wet vac and we're feeling like pros. Jim expresses some concern when opening the box and seeing all the extra parts but I am comfortable since I see directions and perversely enjoy putting ready made furniture together.
Almost immediately we are confronted with our first obstacle. We can't loosen the nut connecting the toilet supply line to the tank. I check YouTube and decide we don't have the correct tools. I run over to the local hardware store where I use my new found toilet vocabulary with ease -- throwing out terms like toilet supply line and channel lock pliers with reckless abandon. I imagine that everyone is awed at my plumbing skills.
I come home and have to leave for work. I figure we will finish when I get home.
I probably should've left for home when I spoke with Jim at lunch. Our conversation went as follows:
Me "Hi, how's it going?"
Jim "Hi, hi, hi, hi.... the toilet's leaking. The baby's screaming but I've got to keep going . . . Help!" *click*
I pretend like this is a normal conversation and continued on with my day. I left a few messages throughout the day, but never got Jim on the phone again.
While I was at work, Jim was dealing with non standard parts on our toilet and at one point in time the toilet supply line broke and he was squirted in the face with streams of water. (Think cartoon style -- the reenactment was pretty good but I'd pay money to see the actual event!) I didn't hear back until that night.
We were so close! Jim had everything set up and just needed to remove the water valve majiggy because it didn't fit the new supply lines.
That's when the copper piping twisted and broke -- shooting water throughout the walls.
Cost of the toilet? $188.00
Cost of the plumber to fix the broken pipe in the wall on a Friday night? $560.00
Friday, March 6, 2009
It may take a few viewings to fully understand what is happening in this convoluted video, so let me paint the picture for you... Idiot diver gets into WEAK cage to watch Great White sharks as they eat bait from the near-by boat. Shark, who is innocently exploring his environment, swims head long into divers cage, gets stuck and thrashing ensues. At this point, the cage actually BREAKS and falls partially on to the diver -- in essence, somewhat protecting him from the flailing, might I add massively huge and strong, GREAT WHITE shark. Happy Ending... All escape safely, shark and man. YOWSERS!!!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Me: I wish I had more friends.
Husband: You just need to find a group of people who have the same interests as you.
Me: . . . I wish I had more interests.
Whenever I'm feeling lonely he has to try and do his best to prop me up and make me feel better. It's not that I want to be a big sad, pathetic drip; it's that I don't know what else to do.
How do you make friends when you're an adult? I know it's pathetic that I'm even asking but I'm serious. I only work three days a week in a teensy office with 15 (mostly middle aged) women. I'm not very fond of doing new things unless I'm with someone I already know and that kind of works against the purpose of meeting new people. My previous attempts at meeting people with similar interests and similar lives have been less than successful.
It's not like I have no friends at all. I have a few and I value them very much. I guess I just wish I had more. I wish my evenings had more "I think I'll call up so-and-so and see if they want to blah blah blah whatever it is people do together" and less "I think I'll see if my sister is on Facebook tonight."
So come on internet people, sitting in your bathrobe with the Cheetos stain on it, tell me how I make friends! Or else I will be forced to ask Husband to spend yet another evening telling me how awesome I am.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
1) Husband's Name: never before revealed on my blog, but Hubby's REAL name is.... (drum roll please) Christopher
2) How long have you been married? Since November 5, 2005
3) How long did you date? We had our first date in May 1998. I was 20 and he was 23. We were, but, little children...
4) How old is he? He is 34; I am 31.
5) Who eats more sweets? Used to be me... and, yeah -- it's still me. Unfortunately, he isn't a fan of sweet treats.
6) Who is the better singer? (snorting chuckle) Neither of us! But he thinks he can sing. I mean that with the utmost respect and kindness. We truly cannot sing any better than a drowning cat.
7) Who is smarter? Hubby is DEFINITELY smarter. He remembers stuff from school that I am STUNNED he can recall. He also remembers stuff that happened to us when we were dating a million years ago.
8) Who does the laundry? We both do.
9) Who pays the bills? He does but I wish I did... I am out of the loop and finances tend to massively stress me out, so I close my eyes, take a deep breath and let him handle ALL of it.
10) Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? If you look at the head of the bed from the foot of the bed, I do. The right side is closest to the bedroom door so the kids can wake me up first. (Honestly, I hear them walk in the room anyway...)
11) Who mows the lawn? He does... and let me tell you, he is often complaining about it. I am allergic to fresh cut grass. Seriously! I end up laid up in bed for the rest of the day if I cut the grass. No joke. I don't even play outside in the yard with the kids on days that the grass is cut. Tragic, isn't it?
12) Who cooks dinner? Me. Always me. He rarely cooks -- even on weekends. Claims he doesn't know how, but I know he is intelligent and knows how to read (!), so I am not buying it! i.e. Try reading a recipe, Honey.
13) Who drives? He always drives if we're together.... always. Unless excessive amounts of alcohol are digested.
14) Who is the first to say they are wrong? I think it may be a draw. We are both VERY stubborn.
15) Who kissed who first? He kissed me. I am old fashioned and don't think I have EVER kissed someone else first. Plus I am a huge chicken s**t.
16) Who asked who out first? I am old fashioned about the kissing thing, but not about asking for dates. I am fairly sure I asked him out first, but I have a terrible memory, so I may need to edit this in the fiuture.
17) Who wears the pants? We make big decisions together. We co-parent our children. (My husband is very patient and loving... GREAT dad!) We truly are partners in every sense of the word. So, I guess you could say we both "wear the pants". Like all couples, we have disagreements, but we resolve them.
We're in this for the long haul. Huh, Honey!!!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
I had barely heard of the series before the hype of the movie began. My co-worker turned me on to them and I reluctantly agreed to begin. It wasn't long before I was completely engrossed and ALL life as I knew it came to an abrupt halt. It's a special kind of mom that agrees to sacrifice most of the quality time with her children (and sleep) for the love of a fictional vampire.
But . . . seriously . . . Edward (OR JACOB!)
Now that I am have finished the entire series for the SECOND time... I have to ask myself -- What now?
Do I return to my normal, pre-Twilight life? Do I go through my days working, taking care of my kids, and staring into the not so amber eyes of my husband? (Actually, his eyes are kind of amber, in a weird, little brown way and quite lovely... BUT STILL!!!)
Do they have a rehab program for Twilight addicts?
MMM . . . Jacob! I might consider becoming a "dog" lover for him.