Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Say It Like You Mean It

Okay, so when I'm a bit lazy -- or completely impressed with another person's blog posting -- I like to recycle it.  This posting by Sick and Tired Blog totally cracked me up. And let's face it.  It's totally the truth!  All of our hands are tied by social nice-ities and politeness.  Laugh with me...



Deciphering Performance Appraisal Code

When you manage people, you find yourself hating to do end of the year appraisals or better yet, giving out peer feedback.  When giving someone feedback, it’s important to give honest, objective feedback BUT that really limits what you can say. So, let’s imagine… that corporate choke hold wasn’t there and you could be honest at least once!
This is what the review would read…

Mike is a keen analyst and accepts new job assignments willingly.  He isactive socially and approaches difficult problems with logic.  He is a greatbridge builder with cross-matrix team members and considered very competent.

However, this is the real translation…

Mike is thoroughly confused and never finishes a job.  He drinks heavily andfinds someone else to do the job.  He likes to compromise with his team members caving in all the time. He is so competent that he is able to get work done if the supervisor helps.

Ha!  If only, we could be so brutally honest.  Already Sick & Tired of the management appraisals due next month.  Until my next post; keep the madness at bay from Faylene, Chief Mood Strategist.
More great appraisal translations, http://tinyurl.com/27me92l


Hee-hee!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Reading Aloud

Read Aloud Dad had an AWESOME posting yesterday about the importance of reading out loud to your child each day.  Enjoy Mr. Read Aloud Dad!



FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2010



Why reading aloud is for losers

Every Loser Wins

Don't be afraid. Just say it.

Reading aloud is for losers

Yes. It’s true.

[Note: If you are a child skip down to the part that begins with "Reading aloud is for winners"]

Some parents (Dads - I am looking at you) who have not yet started reading aloud to their kids on a daily basis, still hope that they can have their cake and eat it too.

But if you are about to embark on the read-aloud ferry, it is high time you faced the brutal facts.

The very day you start reading aloud, automatically you will become a loser.

There is no magic trick that can change this. Say it aloud - it will start the healing process. My name is ______     ______, I will read to my kids every day and I will be a loser.

Check out what you will end up losing if you start a read aloud habit in your home.

1. Free time

You will have to invest some time. No question.

There is no magic gadget that can read aloud for you.

Set aside for a second all those the interactive books, edutainment TV shows, child-friendly software... oh yes, and CDs, DVDs, Ipads, Ipods.

These are all supplementary things - if you wish. They are not “reading aloud”.
A woman in a traditional Icelandic costume tea...Image via Wikipedia 
Reading aloud is at the very least about:one parentone child and one book.

Bump up the numbers if you wish, but the three components must be there. A readera listenerand a book.

It's not about one DVD player, one child and one disk.

So, yes. You do have to invest time.

Yes it means that you may not be able to watch the latest episode of your favorite show or go five times to the gym, or go for that weekend poker game sometimes.

Parenting is about sacrifice.

But you know this already.

2. Money

Maybe it’s the cost that is turning you off?

Plus the kid will learn to read and get acquainted with books at school, anyway?

Bear Learns to ReadImage by John-Morgan via FlickrAnd it is cheaper to turn on the TV and kids will listen to the spoken language - from actors with excellent pronunciation? It's true.

Try not buying a book. You've got more money in your pocket! Try not buying 10 books, even more money!

Don't go to the library with your kid - more time to work, or write that blog, or play that tennis match.

But at what price are you getting this? Is it really cheaper?

If you don't pay for something at the tollbooth, you'll pay for it at the turnpike.

Reading aloud isn't really about the reading. It's about the connection and the relationship. It’s about learning together, not about tutoring.

A smaller investment today will make a much greater impact tomorrow.

Reading aloud is not only about reading – it is about instilling the love for books at an early age.
If you miss that moment ... you missed it forever.

Invest a little time and money now watch your (cute little) investment mature - literally.


3. Sleep

Loss of sleep?

Life is hard. We are sleeping less than we need. Reading aloud is merely a hobby they say.

But ask yourself, is reading aloud really taking away from your sleep ... or is it nibbling away from your time allocated for something else.

The World Series and the NBA playoffs, perhaps?

Your favorite sitcom?

TV is the most selfish of all your family members. It only takes away time and never gives it back in any form.

And yes ... The Internet. Don't let me start on that one - I'm guilty as hell.

BedTime StoRy...Image by ●D3● via Flickr
Read to your kids during suppertime, snack-time or lunch – whatever works for you. Introduce a new time for reading during the day, and your sleep pattern will not suffer.

Send the right message to the greatest time gobblers of them all, TV and Internet.

Don’t send that message (“I’m busy”) to your kid.

So, it is good news in fact. You will not lose sleep.

But if you do, don't blame your read-aloud sessions.



Reading aloud is for winners (for children)

Kids, isn't it time you faced the facts?

You are a winner. 

Say it aloud - you know it makes sense.

My name is ______     ______, my parents read to me every day and I am a winner.

Tewanima (winner), Arquette (came in 5th) (LOC)Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

Yes, that's the happy truth. Every day that your parents spent reading to you and discussing what you read together, they helped to expand your knowledge and boost your interest in the wider world around you.

Now, you have to think twice before taking a book into your hands.


There are so many good books around you, so you had to learn to become selective - your interests are so wide. You love fiction, history, science, arts, architecture, world politics and poetry.

Check out what you could have lost had your parents (thanks Mom & Dad!) not made that fateful decision to start a daily read aloud habit in your home.


1. Free time

You would be hooked on TV by now, had books not entered your blood. Of course, you would know all the cartoons on all the channels – but your attention span would range around 7 minutes (just as the advertisements trained you).

And game consoles would rule your world – day and night.

Reading aloud with your parents helped you to cover so many books and topics together that you didn’t have to play catch up at kindergarten and there was no need to try to make up lost ground in school.

Oh, yes, and everybody compliments you on your rich vocabulary. Well, it came as a bonus!

Reading aloud was about: Dad & Mom, you and books.

Childhood was about imagination and adventure. Life is full of opportunities. And it is up to you to choose.

It is just a question of where do you want to apply your knowledge in life.

But you know this already.

Learning To ReadImage by sirwiseowl via Flickr2. Money

Wealth is a complex word. It's not just cash.

School and learning came naturally to you and as a result your prospects are much better than average.

Better prospects for university, better prospects for scholarships will lead to better and more creative jobs. Better paid ones as well.

It's true.

That investment by your parents matured and it was invested in the best investment vehicle of all – in you!
But it’s not about the money for you. It’s all about the communication channels that you opened up with your parents. It is easier for you to talk to your parents about many topics, compared to your peers and their parents.

How can you quantify the sheer amount of knowledge and exposure to different cultures and ideas?

Easy – you can sum it in one word.

Priceless.


3. Sleep

You were one of those few kids in your generation that looked forward to bedtime. Strange - when you come to think of it.

But yes, it was a natural process of winding down, of sharing a new exciting adventure or picture book with your Mom and Dad.

Reading aloud is merely a hobby they say.

Well, it wasn’t for you.

Through reading you came into direct contact with the greatest minds of the human race. And they even spoke to you with your dad’s voice!

It still seems incredible to be able to remember those days when you were a toddler, jumping on the bed and listening to Mom reading about Christopher Robin and his uneven socks.

Reading aloud before another peaceful night, was simply the best part of the day.

It was all about love.

Reading aloud is indeed for losers, but your kid will end up a winner.



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful


* my faith in Jesus Christ and the promise that He will never leave me.


* the opportunities that have been given to me through family, friends, work, our children’s school, volunteer opportunities.

* some of life’s hard knocks have taught me to be stronger, more independent, and even a bit more adventurous.

* such an amazing group of neighbors, who I count as my closest friends -- who have truly gone over, above, and beyond to help me through my depression this year.

* having such a fantastically supportive mother and two sisters. They may not always agree with the choices I make or have made, but they always stand by me (after sharing their two cents). Always. ALWAYS!

* all of the hugs and kisses and cuddles my wee ones give me each and every day.

* fun times playing Uno and board games with family and friends.

* my overall good health.

* my families overall good health.

* our health insurance coverage.

* Despite my gripes, I am very thankful for my decrepit, old, drafty home. I love that we have a home to call our own.

* the groceries that we consume.

* the reliable electricity we take for granted!

* the simple pleasures of hot bubble baths.

* the sound of my children’s giggles.

* the smell of popcorn at the movie theatre.

* PostSecrets.com – it helps me realize I am not the only one with personal demons.

* this blog. I love writing and it’s great to know that I can not only vent here, but get responses from other folks that are encouraging.

* all of our troops who protect our freedoms and lay their lives on the line.

* Half Price Bookstore.

* the entertainment I get from watching Glee.

* Lastly, the many great things and great people in my life. I am truly blessed.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Perfect Parenting

It's just too much when you meet the Perfect Parent.  You know The One.  The Perfect Parent with two point two Perfect Children -- children who have been walking since they were nine-months old, potty trained by the time they turned eighteen-months, reading since they were three-years old, fluent in twelve languages by the time they started their gifted and talented, arts-focused, private school at age four and are still most likely sleeping in the same bed as that Perfect Parent who is still most likely breast-feeding their eight-year old.

I was highly irritated by a blog community posting last week, where an innocent bloggy mommy was asking for feedback about a sassy preschooler.  The poor, beleaguered mom was simply looking for some parenting tips, or preferably some encouragement from other parents.  Instead the discussion was high-jacked by a self-righteous "Perfect Parent".  Finally, a voice of reason stepped in and posted a link to the below video -- which cracked me up!!!



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Shake It

I love to watch my children dance and sing with wild abandon.  I adore when they totally get into it and are just so darn CUTE!  I mean C-U-T-E!!!  So, in an effort to get them to dance for me today, I will post a song that they like and hopefully I'll get to see them shake their darling little buns!




Party in the USA
~ Miley Cyrus


I hopped off the plane at LAX
with a dream and my cardigan
welcome to the land of fame excess, (woah)
am I gonna fit in?

Jumped in the cab,
Here I am for the first time
Look to my right and I see the Hollywood sign
This is all so crazy
Everybody seems so famous

My tummys turnin and I'm feelin kinda home sick
Too much pressure and I'm nervous,
That's when the taxi man turned on the radio
and a Jay Z song was on
and the Jay Z song was on
and the Jay Z song was on

CHORUS:
So I put my hands up
They're playing my song,
And the butterflys fly away
Noddin' my head like yeah
Moving my hips like yeah,
And I got my hands up,
They're playin my song
I know I'm gonna be ok
Yeah, It's a party in the USA
Yeah, It's a party in the USA

Get to the club in my taxi cab
Everybody's lookin at me now
Like "who's that chick, thats rockin' kicks?
She gotta be from out of town"

So hard with my girls not around me
Its definitely not a Nashville party
Cause' all I see are stilletos
I guess I never got the memo

My tummys turnin' and I'm feelin' kinda home sick
Too much pressure and I'm nervous
That's when the D.J. dropped my favorite tune
and a Britney song was on
and the Britney song was on
and the Britney song was on

CHORUS:
So I put my hands up
They're playing my song,
And the butterflys fly away
Noddin' my head like yeah
Moving my hips like yeah,
And I got my hands up,
They're playin my song
I know I'm gonna be ok
Yeah, It's a party in the USA
Yeah, It's a party in the USA

Feel like hoppin' on a flight (on a flight)
Back to my hometown tonight (town tonight)
Something stops me everytime (everytime)
The DJ plays my song and I feel alright!

CHORUS:
So I put my hands up
They're playing my song,
And the butterflys fly away
Noddin' my head like yeah (Oh, nodding my head)
Moving my hips like yeah, (Ooh Yeah)
And I got my hands up,
They're playin' my song
I know I'm gonna be ok (gonna be okay)
Yeah (huh huh), It's a party in the USA (Yeah)
Yeah, It's a party in the USA

So I put my hands up
They're playing my song,
And the butterflys fly away (flying away)
Noddin' my head like yeah (nodding my head like yeah)
Moving my hips like yeah, (moving my hips like yeah)
And I got my hands up,
They're playin' my song
I know I'm gonna be ok (I'm gonna be okay)
Yeah (Yeah), It's a party in the USA
Yeah (hahaha), It's a party in the USA (Party in the USA!)


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Last Babies


The last baby is special in a way that the first baby is not.

The first baby is full of firsts. This first baby is full of surprise and wonder. The last baby, however, makes your heart ache because you know they are the last you'll hold in this way. My Little Man is the last baby I'll nestle in my arms in the middle of the night, with only his glossy eyes watching me — as if you are the moon and forever.

His cheeks so plump and full that when you kiss them, you think they might just pop. His precious smiles and laughs are the last of your babies' smiles and laughs. 

With your first baby you wondered how you would get through the sleepless nights and the around-the-clock feedings.  With the last, you wonder how you'll live without them. How will you live without these quiet midnights with a baby softly sucking, a small hand curling around your finger, and a sweet sighing with the kind of contentment that only stars and small deities can know.

The last baby is the last baby. And for that, he kind of breaks my heart.

My baby will be FOUR YEARS OLD tomorrow...




Friday, November 19, 2010

Glee-fully Addicted

I will admit to being part of the crazy 30-somethings totally obsessed with the Fox tv show Glee.  It rocks!  Normally I'm not a huge fan of musicals.  I mean I positively ADORE all things dance and drama related, but within those genres, musicals are low on the totem pole.  So, much to my surprise, I am utterly addicted to Glee.  I was slow to catch on and actually missed most of last season, but now I can't wait for Tuesday nights at 7pm central!

Some of my very favoritest music numbers from Glee are below...










Thursday, November 18, 2010

Trivial Thursday

Trivial Thursdays are back.  The fabulous-ness of answering a few (usually five) random questions each week is making a come-back.  Feel free to grab the 5 questions and link back to me.





What is your biggest pet peeve about other peoples kids?
Yowsers.  This is a challenging question.  I suppose my biggest pet peeve are rude or inconsiderate children.  I can't stand children who don't respect the adults (and children) around them.

Regular or diet soda?
Always diet soda.  It's kind of a mandated thing after gastric bypass surgery.  Plus, I don't actually know if I can function a full day without Diet Pepsi.  It's my one true love -- after my wee ones and family and... well, it's right up there!

Have you ever hit an animal with your vehicle?
Define "animal".  I have not hit large animals, but I may have accidentally picked off the random squirrel.

When you see a string on your clothes, do you pull it off or cut it off?
I almost always pull the offending string off.  I know it's much wiser to cut it off, but I don't usually have that much patience.

Did you have your own room or share a room when you were growing up?
Both.  I shared a bedroom for the first several years of my life with my middle sister, who is only 11 months younger than I.  But by the time I was in approximately 4th or 5th grade, I was granted my own bedroom and my middle sister shared a bedroom with our baby sister who is 5 1/2 years younger than me.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Throw My Hands Up

My sweet tween, "Big E", loves this song...

And, NO, she's never seen the video. WAY TOO MUCH SKIN! I don't want her to think that is pretty, sexy, or even close to acceptable. (You've been warned.)



Dynamite
~ Taio Cruz

I-I-I-I-I-I
I came to dance-dance-dance-dance
I hit the floor cause that's my plans plans plans plans
I'm wearing all my favorite brands brands brands brands
Give me some space for both my hands hands hands hands.
Yeah, yeah.

Cause it goes on and on and on.
And it goes on and on and on.
Yeah.

I throw my hands up in the air sometimes
Saying ay-oh, gotta let go.
I wanna celebrate and live my life
Saying ay-oh, baby let's go.
Cause we gon rock this club
We gon' go all night
We gon' light it up
Like it's dynamite.
Cause I told you once
Now I told you twice
We gon light it up
Like it's dynamite

I came to move move move move
Get out the way of me and my crew crew crew crew
I'm in the club so I'm gonna do do do do
Just what the fuck came here to do do do do
Yeah, yeah

Cause it goes on and on and on.
And it goes on and on and on.
Yeah.

I throw my hands up in the air sometimes
Saying ay-oh, gotta let go.
I wanna celebrate and live my life
Saying ay-oh, baby let's go.
Cause we gon rock this club
We gon' go all night
We gon' light it up
Like it's dynamite.
Cause I told you once
Now I told you twice
We gon light it up
Like it's dynamite.

I'm gonna take it all like
I'm gonna be the last one standing
I'm alone and all I
I'm gonna be the last one landing.
Cause I-I-I believe it
And I-I-I, I just want it all, I just want it all.
I'm gonna put my hands in the air
Ha-hands hands in the air
Put your hands in the air-air-air-air-air-air-air-air

I throw my hands up in the air sometimes
Saying ay-oh, gotta let go.
I wanna celebrate and live my life
Saying ay-ooh, baby let's go.
Cause we gon rock this club
We gon' go all night
We gon' light it up
Like it's dynamite,
Cause I told you once
Now I told you twice
We gon light it up
Like it's dynamite


Monday, November 15, 2010

Tardy is Okay

A bit late, but enjoying my tardiness just the same!

No Rules Weekend Bloghop with Burcikos!




Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Secret Life of A Warrior Woman

I positively adored this posting from Alison at The Secret Life of A Warrior Woman.  It tickled me pink and resonated deeply with me.  I strongly believe moms need the occasional vacation from their children -- and significant others!


Some years ago I caught a snippet of an Oprah show on moms who took vacations from their kids.
I can’t say it resonated with me particularly – these women were going away on retreats or for weeks at a time.
But I agree we all need a break from our kids now and then.
Sometimes it’s just to have an uninterrupted conversation.
Sometimes it’s to have a nap or an hour’s read.
Sometimes it’s to connect with our spouse.
Sometimes, it’s to take care of important work.

And sometimes, frankly, it’s to have a good cry.

There are times when we need to feel safe from the incessant demands, the noise,the peal of ‘I’m hungry!’ which seem on occasion to bombard us. To know we are absolutely not going to be disturbed.
And it’s not just the kids.
I remember a time when, with infants not yet on a sleeping schedule, I had by some miracle got the boys to nap at the same time.
They were asleep either side of me on the sofa and I daren’t move just in case they woke up. A sacrifice I was more than prepared to make.
I relaxed into this unexpected and unfamiliar experience of peace during daylight hours, slipped down the sofa just slightly, closed my eyes.

And then.

The garage door buzzed up, a roar of an open top sports car entered the enclosed space, music blaring. Doors were slammed, grocery bags banged, heavy footsteps clacked.
My husband had returned from his meeting.
I learned there and then that male energy does not peacefully coexist with a houseful of infants and a sleep-deprived female. My one chance at peace forpossibly years had disappeared.
Phones – another bugbear of mine.
You know how your kids can be playing or eating quite happily when the phone rings and they suddenly start to fight, complain or throw food?

It was ridiculous.

One minute they’d be playing with blocks side by side, doing just what Dr. Brazelton said they should.
Then the phone would go and they’d suddenly be doing a creditable impression of Chucky.
Now they’re older, it’s playdates and classes and play rehearsals and homework.

Organization gone mad.

I feel I have to become one of those professional organizers just to be a mom!
I was complaining about this to another mom in the school parking lot last week. We were bemoaning our lot. We turned our engines off, windows wound down. Lasted half an hour. But, oh it was good.
Pure venting, it was. No solutions, just venting.

Venting. Cocaine for moms.

Yes, sometimes we need a break, a vacation. Even Superman went on one of those now and again so I’m sure Warrior Woman can too.
So where do you go to get away from the incessant? When it all gets too much or it’s about to?
I have friends who go to Hawaii. Other girlfriends have a spa weekend.
Me? I go into our sauna.
Alone.

And naked.

They never follow me there.



Saturday, November 13, 2010

iPhone 4 vs HTC Evo

This is a naughty video that includes lots of swearing, so do NOT listen to it if you have children or highly impressionable folks around.  Enjoy!  Since Husband is a techy -- and a Microsoft Windows loving one, which equals Apple/Mac hating, I had to post this video.  Hee hee!!!


iPhone 4 Battles HTC Evo - Watch more Funny Videos

Friday, November 12, 2010

Evolution

I don’t know how many of you ever read the 1955 Good Housekeeping’s Article on ‘The Good Wife’ rules?  I read it when I was younger. I remember making fun of it with friends in high school.  The other day I re-stumbled across it. "‘The Good Wife" article cracks me up!  Crazy how much we, as women, have evolved… or should I say, told "The Man of the House" ‘to sit down and shut up’. So I’ve decided to post the original ‘Good Wife Rules’ and then write my own!


1955 The Good Wife Suggestions – via article in Good Housekeeping (this would’ve had me canceling my subscription faster than i could dial the phone)

  • Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.
  • Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
  • Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
  • Clear away clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.
  • Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc and then run a dust cloth over the tables.
  • Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will give you immense personal satisfaction.
  • Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimise all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.
  • Be happy to see him.
  • Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
  • Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first-remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
  • Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late, or goes out to dinner, or other place of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.
  • Your goal: try to make your home a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
  • Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.
  • Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Consider this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.
  • Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
  • Arrange his pillows and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
  • Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgement or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. you have no right to question him.
  • A good wife always knows her place.

REALLY?  SERIOUSLY?  I've read this list before, but since I recently stumbled upon it again... and was flabbergasted all over again! All i can say is:

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  AS IF!
So, if you will please allow me a moment to regain a minuscule amount of composure, I would like to attempt to make an updated version of this list -- a "2010 Good Wife Guide", if you will -- inspired by, but not copied from, 1955′s suggestions.

  • Dinner? If Hubby is considerate enough to call you and tell you that he is on his way home, toss some chicken nuggets or fish sticks and tater tots on the Pizazz while mic-ing some frozen veggies. Or there is always the option of throwing frozen waffles in the toaster, cutting up a banana, and pouring some milk.  BAM! (as Emeril would say!) There you have three food groups in one. If he complains about it, there is always the real-love option of placing his plate full of food in the trash. 
  • Prepare myself? Now this one really tickled me pink!  If I get a moments peace, he is lucky if I have showered.  Now, if I were to shave my legs... that would require him to worship me for quite a while.  He is counting his blessings when I have time to throw on deodorant, put my hair in a ponytail and wear clean clothes.  If he doesn't notice the shave legs -- well, HADES!  I'll have to resort to wearing granny panties, so he knows that until he helps around the house, there will be NO action. 
  • "Be a little gay and interesting to liven up his day"?  Oh!  I plan to be interesting.  I plan to share all of the gorey details of my day.  I will entertain him with stories of having Little Man whack me upside the head with a ball that he intended to take off Princess' head with.  I'll explain that I am on laundry revolt until he fixes the damn machine.  I will regal him with tales of my heroism as I battled the blue hairs and other nut cakes at the grocery store with FOUR screaming kids in tow and still managed to only put one child in a head lock in a public place (KIDDING... kind of.)  I will tell him how many times I wiped so-and-so's butt and cleaned up cat puke.
  • Dump all the garbage and dirty clothes HE left out the night before right into the chair he likes to sit in. "Why" you ask?! Well, because that’s what a good (i.e. bitchy) wife does. If he can’t pick it up as he should, he can deal with it when he’d like to sit down and relax. But make sure you do it with a smile!
  • Scream at the kids to come get their crap and put it away for the UMPTEENTH time.  If the neighbors hear, oh well.
  • Make sure the kids are at LEAST wearing clothes. As long as that’s done. Good enough!
  • When he walks in, push all screaming children into his arms.  Instruct him that if anyone wants dinner before 8pm, he will handle them and happen to mention in passing that you loved some of his ‘things’ to his chair.
  • Make sure you smile and wink while doing the above, because we all know a positive attitude cancels out the bitchiness… Right?!
  • Listen to him talk about his ‘hard’ day at work. Then don’t respond AT ALL, just plow into the crappy day you’ve had at home. Go ahead and cry too. Let it all out. You deserve to be listened to too! Tell him what you blogged about. In minute detail. Explain what each child did that embarrassed the hades out of you. And them show him that rash you’ve been meaning to get looked at...
  • If he comes home late, ask him for an explanation. Then explain WHY his stuff is out on the lawn and why you even considered changing the locks.  Remind him that for every one night out, you will be expecting a night out too.  Do not bother to ask when is okay. Just plan it. And remember, don’t get a babysitter… daddy knows how to watch his own children.
So...  That posting may have been a bit tongue-in-cheek, but you get the point.  Don't be a doormat to that man you may or may not live with.  You are a gorgeous, fabulous, brilliant, grand goddess who deserves to be treated as such.

ENJOY THE DAY!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

They're Baaaack

Whooo-hoo!


Trivial Thursdays are back.  The fabulous-ness of answering a few (usually five) random questions each week is making a come-back.  Feel free to grab the 5 questions and link back to me.






What was the last movie you saw in the theater?
It's quite rare that I make it out to a movie.  Now days I'm just too tired and busy.  It feels like wasting my time (not to mention hard-earned money!) to sit in a theater on the extremely infrequent and exceptional occasion that I escape the house without any children.  I'm assuming it was the most recent Twilight movie -- Eclipse.  And truth be told, it was a horrendously awfully acted movie.  I adored the books, but the movies have been getting progressively worse.  That being said... you know I'll be attending any and all of the rest of the Twilight Saga movies.

What do you wear to bed?
I'm sure Husband wishes it was more exciting... but I must admit, usually it's simply an over-sized t-shirt.  Preferably one of Husband's because since he's a good foot taller than me, his T's are way more comfortable.

What do you do when you have time to yourself?
Time to myself?!  What is that?!?!?  If you don't count time alone where I feel guilted into housework... For pleasure, I like to scrapbook, lay in bed with a good book, blog, take a nap, grocery shop (yes! I love to grocery shop), peruse scrapbook shops, journal, more napping.

When you look out your kitchen window, what do you see?
I wish I saw my backyard, but unfortunately, my house is set up in a psychotically messed up manner, and my kitchen is in the MIDDLE of my house, situated between my living room and the wee ones bedroom.  The one lone kitchen window stares into my neighbor's home office window and across the kitchen is the back door that stares at the other neighbor's privacy fence.  Awesome views from my kitchen!

Who or what would you want to be reincarnated as? 
I don't actually believe in reincarnation since I believe that the Lord Jesus is the one and only true God.  However, to play along, I think it would be awesome to be reincarnated as a scrapbook.  All of the love and creativity that would be  put into making you -- all of the personal, sweet, sad, triumphant, tragic stories that you (as a scrapbook) would be able to tell...


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Stop the Mush

I finished pumping my gas and jumped in my car when the white of my husband’s sedan caught my eye as it pulled up beside me. I rolled down the window because, well, sometimes I have to talk to him (I probably wanted money). After our so-engaging-that-I-can’t–remember-it conversation, I proceeded to roll up the window with my right hand, reaching across my body because my left hand was busy doing something... I continued to roll the window up until I felt the crushing pain of my left hand being wedged between the window and its final destination.

Yes, I managed to roll my own hand up in the window.

It took me a minute to process what happened before I made any attempt to free myself. With my brain yelling unpleasant things at me, I reached for the button to release my hand from the evil window, but instead of rolling it down, I accidentally rolled it up and sent another wave of crushing pain through my hand. When I finally got my hand out from the window’s clutches, I looked around to see who had witnessed my moment of utter lunacy. Thankfully, the coast was clear! I sped out of the gas station with a new awareness – my brain was, or IS, mush.

For the last ten years, I have gradually been losing brain cells. A slow deterioration caused by the domestic and parental necessities that have taken over my life -- board games, cleaning, scrubbing, mopping, cooking, shuttling, bathing, referee-ing. These actions appear to be killing any intellectual thoughts from developing by the constant restriction from being expressed. My brain appears to only be reserved for elementary level homework and the precise stacking of folded socks into a pyramid. My mental challenges recently have included attempting to out-smart my preschooler by hiding veggies in their food without them noticing it and by manipulating my 10-year old tween into thinking I am giving her what she wants but really trying to control the options she’s choosing from… Hardly worthy of a Masters Dissertation.

Popular media has suggest a cure for parental “mushy brain syndrome” – a hobby. An article in Parent & Child magazine entitled, “Like Riding a Bicycle”, listed tips on how to find yourself again “in the sometimes messiness of motherhood.” Author, Amy Levin-Epstein, provided several tips in categories like “Be A Role Model”, under which she states “maybe you [the mother] should join an art class, a sports team, or a foreign language-learning club.” Her suggestions continue in the “Think About The Long Run” section where she proposes “…waiting tables on the weekends while your little ones are at soccer practice.” This is it; this is supposed to rebuild the pile of mush occupying my skull? It is hard for me to believe that having a mommy hobby or obtaining a stressful job as a waitress for an hour while my kids are at practice will add enough value to my life to be meaningful.

If I have to think about the long run, such as when I am an empty nester, I don’t want to be left with empty hobbies. I want a career. I want a sense of success. I want to live by my definition of success, which extends beyond raising productive members of society – although that is it’s own very important kind of success. I realize success doesn’t happen overnight. I know that first I need to resurrect the part of my brain that has been longing for intelligent conversation and debate of dynamic ideas but where do I start?!

As I write, I am sitting in an uncomfortable chair at a table in my local bookstore. Not too far away, there are seven women ranging from mid-30’s to late 50’s who have obviously gathered for a book club meeting. Well, I guess the book club was their excuse to get together. However, with some eavesdropping, I heard very little discussion of the book. I heard much more laughter and several bouts of running amok with tangents ranging from pedicures to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell military policy to eating boogers for breakfast to where to get your cat spade.

This is what I need! A group of women discussing anything other than children and cleaning.

My mission is to find such a group. I vow not to talk myself out of it. I will fight the urge to cower in my closet from the fear of leaving my comfort zone and I promise to not to let the motherly routine hold me back.

I must fix my mush.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Crush On You

Tuesdays Tunes

I'm feeling nostaolgic for the times when I was younger and life was less complicated.  I may have thought I had worries, but let's face it -- the fact that my bangs wouldn't stand up HIGH enough, was hardly worth crying over.  SIGH!

I decided to play "Crush On You" by The Jets because they were the very first concert I ever attended.  I was in 3rd grade and my mom was our Girl Scout troop leader.  The Girl Scouts were celebrating their 75th anniversary by hosting a Jets concert in Minneapolis/St. Paul.  Our troop was lucky enough to get tickets.  For a long time, the Jets were my favorite (while I was in 3rd grade).  I remember my bestest friend, Susan, and I playing barbies for hours on end while listening to "Crush On You", "Make It Real", and "You Got It All".



"Crush On You"
~ The Jets

How did you know 'cause I never told
You found out,
Ive got a crush on you
No more charades,
My hearts been displayed,
You found out,
Ive got a crush on you

You must have heard it
From my best friend
Shes always talkin when she should be listenin
Cant keep a secret
To save her life
But still I trusted her with all I felt inside
I never knew, a rumor could spread so fast
(cause now the) Word is out!
All over town
That Im longing for you

Chorus
How did you know If i never told
You found out I've got a crush on you
No more sharades,
My hearts been displayed
You found out I've got a crush on you

Maybe I was the one who left the trace
Was there a message written on my face
One little emotion so easily read
That you would know my love before a word was said...
Was it my eyes that let you know you had control
Because the way you move
It was so self-assured
You knew I would surrender!

Chorus

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o- - - - -

Chorus till fade


Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Blues

Courtesy of Growing Happiness is today's post with 20 Ways to Beat the Monday Blues:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Monday! Monday! Monday!
So full of newness and excitement.
Don’t feel the same way? You’re doing it wrong!
Here are 20 ways to help you beat the Monday Blues:

1.Procrastinate feeling blue. Is a gloomy cloud forming above your head? Ignore it – you’ll give your attention to it later, not now.

2.Wear your best clothes or the cheeriest colour from your wardrobe. You’d be surprise how much your clothes could affect the way you feel about yourself.

3.Early start - bad things happen when you are late, the tension level is high, you are in a rush, you don’t have time for breakfast, when you arrive at your office, people are shoving work into your face. It may seem like a punishment to wake up earlier on Monday but trust me, when you have enough time to organize yourself, you’ll feel like you can conquer the day easier.

4.Treat yourself in the morning – Sit down and eat. Enjoy your food. Monday is Pancake Breakfast day for me, so I actually look forward to Monday mornings. But eat well - although it’s ok to treat yourself, make sure you eat well. I have a good serving of fruits along with my pancakes. Have enough to drink too - your malaise could be a sign of dehydration.

5.Have a list of why you’re having the blues – you might be surprised that there will be things on the list that you can easily work on to make your Mondays better. My problem used to be a completing work from last week (very difficult to gain momentum after a weekend break) which brings us to the next point:

6.Complete as much work possible on Friday – you’ll have less work to worry about on Monday, which lead to the next point:

7.Have everything laid out the day before – your clothes, files, etc. Saves you a couple of minutes in the morning so that you can concentrate on other, more important things.

8.Plan your day in small gentle steps. Apply micromovements throughout the day. You can use a GTD system or simply divide your day into of 1/2 – 1 hour chunks with a goal for each time unit.

9.Talk to a friend – it’s most likely he/she is having the blues too. Keep your conversation short. Remember this is about taking comfort in the fact that you aren’t alone in this, not an hour-long bitchfest about XXX from marketing.

10.Listen to happy songs – a tune can affect your mood. Let cheery, happy songs be the soundtrack to your Monday.

11.Dance - just move that body! Jog in place, stretch, do yoga. You’ll feel less lethargic.

12.Laugh and smile. Recall happy memories or a good joke. If you can’t think of any, do it anyway (fake it till you make it) Some research is saying that even the thought of laughing raises your endorphin (feel-good hormones) levels and a fake laughter provides similar benefits to a real one.

13.Affirmative statements – Today is a great day. I will complete my report today. Stick positive messages around your monitor and take them seriously.

14.Choose to feel happy. If you don’t already know, being happy is a choice, so choose happiness!

15.Buy something new for Monday – it doesn’t have to be big or expensive – a pen, a sketchbook, fancy post-it stickers. Monday is like a birthday for me- I get a present for myself nearly every week. I got myself a sticker for $1 today.

16.Try something new - you’d be surprise how easy it is to feel energized by doing something you’ve never done before. A new dish, a new song, a new route to work.

17.Start working. The thing about work is, it’s usually not the work that makes us tired, it’s the thought of starting work that makes us procrastinate and go into a cycle of unproductivity. Quit thinking about starting work and just work instead!

18.Take short breaks – too much work can be overwhelming and when this happens, it is easy for you to give up. Remember to take short breaks to recharge. If your schedule allows it, you can also take a 10 minute nap after lunch.

19.Plan something special for Monday night – meet a friend for dinner, rent a DVD. The day will be easier when you have something to look forward to.

20.Do not get distracted. Youtube, Facebook, personal emails. Once you allow yourself to get distracted you will be sucked into hours of time-wasting activities. If you don’t have the discipline to limit your distraction to 10 minutes, don’t attempt to do it at all. Reading blogs like this is another time-sucker so now that you’ve reach the bottom of the list, why don’t you get working! :)


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Energy

"Sometimes, when we are discouraged by a difficult situation, anger does seem helpful, appearing to bring more energy, confidence and determination. And while it is true that anger brings extra energy, it eclipses the best part of our brain: its rationality. So the energy of anger is almost always unreliable. It can cause an immense amount of destructive, unfortunate behavior."

— The Dalai Lama



I have often been mislead by my own anger or my friends' anger and thought to myself: "Hey, it's better than depression!"

My bad.

I suppose it's always better to sit and ponder something than it is to react without thinking. Always!  But funny how when you're in reaction mode, it seems so brilliant and empowering...

Oh snap!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Yes? No! Maybe...

I have been in love with scrapbooking for,like, a million years.  Now I’m loving the creativity of blogging too.  Since my recent blog re-design (check out IndieChick Designs!!!), I have seen how fabulous you can make a blog or website.  With all of this creative-ness and my love for all things educational and college-ish, I am seriously considering going back to school for a graphic arts, or probably more specifically a web design, degree. I already have tons of my generals done, so I think I could do it in 18-24 months, but I’m not sure.  I still have more research to do.

There are two main things that are holding me back include:

1)       the financial investment, and
2)       my fear that once I really get into the job specifics, I won’t love it anymore.

I guess I think it would only be worth it if I end up being able to do something being creative and preferably on a freelance basis, so I can eventually work from home on a flexible schedule.  I have wanted to return to school and finish my degree forever, but I’ve waffled about what degree to pursue. 

I know that I no longer have the emotional energy to work as an elementary school teacher.  I discovered early on as a parent that I was not good at working with children all day, pouring all of my love and energy into them, and then coming home and still having enough in reserve to work at the same optimal, loving, emotional place that they, too, deserved.  So… teaching is out. 

Social work and Psychology are out simply because I feel it’d be a waste of my time to go to school for those two topics and go for anything less than a Masters.  Frankly, I have no desire to get a Masters at this time in my life.

I’ve considered a degree in Communications and/or Marketing.  There’s also always an HR (Human Resources) degree, which has always captured my interest.  SIGH! 

My true passions and desires are all captured with photography, visual design elements, and the creativity of scrapbooking…

I guess, I’ll just have to keep pondering and researching and searching my soul.  In the mean time, I welcome any and all feedback!