Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I Ran Away From Home (I quit Facebook)

Quitting Facebook is the new "running away from home" and I decided to run.

There are tons of reasons to use Facebook. You might need to share your bathroom mirror selfies. You might need validation from strangers.  You may be trying to sell me $90 Nerium face wash, or maybe you just like to lurk on other peoples Facebook pages. Tons of valid reasons.  I used it to socialize at first and then it morphed into something else.

 I connected with real current friends, acquaintance friends, high school friends and stranger friends. That sounds normal to FB users, but to non Facebookers, it sounds weird. I understand it sounding weird because, HELLO, it is weird. "Friends with strangers" is a weird concept.

Every person turned into a story. I was always curious to learn more and know more. That's weird when you aren't seeing or speaking to these folks anywhere but Facebook. Why did I get so invested? Why do I care about hundreds of things I don't need to care about? Why do I need to know what you ate for dinner or where you ate it? Why do I need to hear how wonderful your spouse is? Why are you sharing that info with me and not feeding it directly to your spouse? It's weird.  It's overload for a brain like mine.

On top of all that, I feel like I don't do well with the highlight reel of other peoples lives. I can't hear all the great stuff about everyone's lives without hearing about the humdrum stuff mixed in, the way you do when you're actually talking to a friend. This is the danger of being friends with people exclusively on the internet. You never get the whole truth and it can depress you in your own life. My life is pretty decent, but I'm not traveling the world, sipping margaritas on the beach these days. I'm a homebody, raising some kids and living in a regular marriage. Dave isn't surprising me with trips to exotic locations, fancy dinners or couples massages. An exciting night in our life involves a good television show and kids who stay asleep after I put them to bed. Maybe we try a new flavor of Crystal Light and pop some microwave popcorn without burning it. If all goes well, it's lights out at 10:30 and we'll power sleep. Wow, that sounds like a hell of a Friday night to 35 year old me, but it isn't share worthy.

I guess it's normal to compare your life to the lives of others, but it never makes me feel great when I'm getting the super edited version. My contemporaries have their shit together (or at least it appears that way on Facebook). I don't chit chat with meth moms and prison dads. I guess I'm saying that my pretend friends are setting the bar pretty high with their portrayals of their lives. I would be thrilled for all these pretend friends if I didn't know better. I know that darling baby of yours cries his eyes out all night long and your husband maxed out your credit card on something totally stupid. I know that your house is a pigsty just outside the borders of that profile picture and I know that your expensive dinner will probably make you feel like you're having a poop baby for the next 24 hours. I know the truth!

For now, I'm staying off Facebook and Candy Crush and Pinterest and all the other monster time suckers. I'm going to take care of me and mine. I'm going to fold all my laundry, workout and call my real life friends and really connect with them. I adore these gals and I want to share my time and ear with them more than strangers. If I see you at the store and we strike up a conversation I don't want to use the awful phrase, "Oh yeah, I heard about that on Facebook". I want to hear your stories from you and no where else.

Plus, I've recently discovered that my thoughts flow through my head in "status update" form. When I see something funny or think something hilarious, my mind automatically formats it into three to four well worded sentences that would fit nicely into my Facebook status box. This is a problem. I feel like a major loser even admitting this, but it's so true. I want my old brain back and I hope it goes back to normal eventually. If not, I'm suing Mark Zuckerberg!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Mini Van Shame

Guess what world, I want a freaking mini van. There, I said it. I totally want one. Anyone with two or more kids probably has a deep, dark, hidden desire for a mini van, but most folks will hide it well. Do you know why most people hide that secret so well? I do, it's because so many people understand the concept that I call, "mini-van shame". I can only explain it like this, you know how wonderful and convenient a mini van would be, but you won't indulge yourself in those wonders because you don't want to be caught dead driving a mini van. You KNOW with absolute certainty that you would be ashamed to be seen driving one. It's a slippery slope, I totally get it. Besides, who wants to spend the money on a new car and then feel ashamed every time you walk in your garage and see your mini van waiting for you to drive it. You wouldn't feel pride, that's for sure.

Despite the shame, I still want one. I want all those seats! I want doors that open with the push of a button! I want doors that my kids can't swing outward with enough force to dent the shit of out the fancy car parked next to us. I want to be able to fit my entire body in the back seat while I explain to my child (for the thousandth time) how exactly to fasten a seat belt. I also want the DVD player so that my kids will be too distracted to bug the shit out of each other. I want the option to put one kid on the back row and one kid on the middle row. I want the convenience so bad that I could scream!!!

All that being said, Dave totally laughs at me when I even suggest that I need one. It does look absurd from the outside. I am a little cool and I don't belong in a mini van. I only have two kids of my own and I am not having any more. So the question remains, why now? Why do I suddenly feel that it's van time? My only answer is this, reality. Sure I only have two kids, but I find myself hauling around WAY more than two kids. I hate contorting my body into odd positions while I try desperately to fasten kids into seat belts when they are all sitting in these absurdly large car seats and boosters. It makes me angry. It turns me into a sweaty mess that longs for the good old days. The days when you could throw tons of kids in the bed of a truck and go. Life was easy back then. My mom didn't have to deal with boosters. I bet if I really looked into the current Utah laws, I would find that I truly still belong in a booster seat. It's just all too much.

So yeah, I want to give up on my image and get real. I want a mini van! As dumb as it sounds, I realize that I would be mortified to run into anyone while driving it, especially a hottie, but I might be able to get past all of that. It's just a stupid looking car when you get right down to it. Lots of people drive ugly cars that don't even have push button sliding door. They probably don't even loose sleep over it. I hope I can overcome my fears and just do it. It's so much harder than it sounds. I want to drive without shame. Can't we all just pretend like mini vans are super cool?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Pinterest Anxiety

When I first discovered Pinterest, I was in love. It's the perfect blend of hoarding ideas and organizing them. I thought I'd discovered the perfect way to store my ideas without cluttering up my brain anymore than it already is. It seemed to good to be true....and it is.

The last couple of months I've been to busy with other things to really sit down and browse Pinterest. I've had real responsibilities to attend to like staring at my dog and taking tons of pictures of her and tons of fake responsibilities like Candy Crush Saga and.....well Candy Crush mostly. Well this morning I had a some free time and I decided it would be best wasted on a good, long Pinterest browsing session. WRONG!!!!!

After an extended break from Pinterest I discovered the horrible truth about that site. Pinterest doesn't help me to organize great ideas, it causes me a great deal of anxiety! It doesn't calm me, it hypes me up and overwhelms me. After scrolling through it for a couple of minutes, I felt as though I just drank 6 cups of coffee. I'm jittery and anxious.

 There are to many great ideas. To many cleaning tips. To many clever craft projects and to many beautifully decorated dream home ideas. It's overwhelming and I honestly feel like shit about myself right now. My house could be so much cleaner. My body could be so much more toned. My make-up could look so much better. My children could be crafting so much more intensely. My family could be posing better for staged family pictures that we aren't getting. All the parties that I don't throw could be so much cuter with balloon lined walkways and banners above the food staging area. I could be making really great recipes, growing beautiful gardens and getting super clever tattoos. I'm not up to the challenge today....or ever. It's to much pressure!!!

I'm never going to need my "board" of cute outfits that I've pinned. I'm never gonna wear that shit. If I had a pin of a T-shirt with shorts that probably should have been washed three days ago, paired with the old sandals that I wear every single day, then I'd be in luck. I'm not a fashionista. I'm a mom that lives in O-town. My thoughtless, simple outfits that I rotate on repeat work great and I look super duper for life here. My kids have never put me on the worst dressed list, not even once.

My house doesn't look perfect either. There is a princess dress sitting under my kitchen table (???), along with a my daughters slippers, two dog toys and a princess cash register. I've got at least five pairs of shoes scattered around the front door and the dirty breakfast dishes are still sitting on the table waiting for the dish fairy to find and clean them. My living room looks similarly lived in and so does every other inch of my house. Guess what? My bed isn't even made yet and there is a laundry basket full of unfolded laundry sitting on top of it. It's not perfect, but I can assure you that it's normal. Despite all of this un-Pinteresty chaos, I'm still breathing and my heart is miraculously still beating.  I'm A-Okay! I could seriously go on about this all day, and I would if there wasn't candy that needed crushing. I've got serious work to do. Level 213 isn't going to clear itself (though I totally wish it would).

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Great Life Lesson

As some of you may already know, I've had a couple of changes in my life recently. They aren't huge changes, but they have taught me a lot about myself and life in general. I love when I figure out something big without even trying to, so this has been great for me.

 First, I began babysitting my friends darling baby girl three days a week.  She was three months old when I began watching her. Now let me remind you in case you don't know or you've forgotten, babies are a lot of work. It's not back breaking work, but a three month old needs you for EVERYTHING....all the time. On top of that, they require you to schedule your life around them. If you're one of those people who thinks that life goes on as normal with a newborn, I've got news for you. YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG! The point is that it's a big commitment.

I love babies and I pride myself on being somewhat of a "baby whisperer", so I totally volunteered myself for the job. I knew I would adore cuddling a baby at first, but I wondered like all people do, if taking this on would get old fast. Well, the verdict is in and I am loving it. I get an intense baby fix, and yet my weekends are free and I get to sleep all night without worrying about those pesky 2 a.m. feedings. It's like I'm a grandma at age 34, minus all the horrid circumstances that would cause someone to become a grandma at age 34. Plus the baby is adorable, did I mention that?

The second change is much more recent. We got a dog, a Chihuahua to be specific. Now I would never have seen a tiny lap dog in my future, but this particular dog just called to me. I saw her picture and one minute of video footage of her on a dog rescue website and I just knew that this dog was meant to be with me. I made the critical idiot mother error by showing the video and picture of the dog to my seven year old daughter before even discussing it with my husband. My husband and I  weren't even thinking about getting a dog the day I found my dog online. I can't even figure out why I was looking at that website. It was meant to be is all I can say.

My poor kids have lots of weird allergies so I called the dogs foster mom and asked her if we could come see the Chihuahua and possibly take her home for a trial period. I would not have even considered adopting the dog without that option. The foster mom thought it was a great idea and we drove down to her house to meet the dog. My husband is very much a cat guy (he grew up with cats), but he agreed to meet the dog. When we first saw her, it was love at first sight. She is so delicate and darling and very calm. We let the kids play with her for about twenty minutes and everything was going really well. Dave took a quick work related phone call, and when he was done, he shocked me by saying to the foster mom, "So I guess we'll be taking her home for a trial period. Is that still okay with you?" I was stunned!!! I could not believe he wasn't putting the brakes on this whole deal. With that, I grabbed my check, filled it out to the rescue organization and we all hopped in the truck and left.

By the time we got home the dog was named Minnie and we'd already stopped at the store to buy her a kennel and supplies. The kids love her and I do too. She came to us house trained and so far so good. We've had a few problems with her outsmarting the kennel and her complete resistance to being leashed on our walks, but other than that she does so well with our family. She's even become my purse dog. She loves  it! Dave honestly wishes she were a cat for convenience reasons. Cat's don't have to be let out to pee and they don't seem sad when you leave. Dogs can be a pain in the butt for sure, but we're getting used to it.

Both the dog and the baby have taught me something very basic and very important. The point of life isn't to make things as easy as possible for yourself. A life without any bother is a dull life. I actually like the bother of it all, it's very fulfilling. I like waking the dog around the block two minutes after I wake up in the morning. I love soothing and snuggling a crying, tired baby. I'm good at it and I have a confidence in myself that I wish I had when I first became a mother. This new experience has shown me how far I've come. With my first baby, I was a paranoid, nervous wreck. I didn't realize it at the time, but in hind sight I see that I was so tightly wound. You can't calm and soothe a baby when you're giving of that anxious energy. Fast forward seven years and I know with absolute certainty that I really am an excellent care giver. I thrive on it. I am so glad that I opened myself up to these opportunities. Yesterday morning my daughters and I took the dog on a walk and I carried the baby in the baby Bjorn carrier. Cheesy as it sounds, my heart was overflowing with joy. It's not a burden at all. There was no place else I would have rather been. Now that is a huge life lesson.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I'll Tell You Why I Mow the Lawn

I mow the grass for a few reasons. Reason number one is pretty simple...it needs to be done and I'm home way more than my husband is so I might as well just get it done. I learned a long time ago that if you want something done right now (as I always do), you better know how to do it yourself. Plus, it's a great workout. I can't walk on a treadmill in good conscious knowing that I could be walking behind my mower getting the yard done. Two birds, one stone.

I was roughly twelve years old when I first got acquainted with a lawn mower. I used to do a lot of babysitting for my aunt and she quickly learned that I loved responsibility and I was pretty reliable. One day, she was home and I was helping out at her house. Her small lawn needed mowing, so she started the mower, gave me a couple of pointers and left me to it. I figured out a pattern and the next thing you know, it was done and I felt a nice sense of accomplishment. She also taught me how to bake bread, pick fruit, and milk a goat among many other useful skills. She needed help and I don't think she cared if I did things perfectly, she just needed them done. I enjoyed being the big cheese that she could count on. Win-win.

When Dave and I were dating, Dave decided to start mowing lawns and doing a little snow removal to earn extra money while he was in school and only working a part time job. Who do you think his best and only employee was? You guessed it, me! So I can not only mow lawns like a champ, but I can also clear a snow covered driveway in no time at all (with or without a snow blower).

I mowed tons of lawns during the early years of our relationship, both on a riding mower and walking behind the push mower. Dave did all the weed eating, only because I struggle when it comes to managing that stupid pull starter on the trimmer. I still shy away from it to this very day. I've heard good things about the Ryobi electric start trimmer and I'd love to own one (A girl can dream, right?). It must also be said, that I was not paid for any of this work. Dave used the money to buy new equipment and an engagement ring for yours truly. I wasn't "given" a diamond ring, so much as I "earned" it, free and clear.

That last paragraph makes me sound like an idiot and Dave sound like a dick. Both are probably a tiny bit true, but honestly it was fun working together like we did. We were partners and I liked it. Mowing lawns in the heat (on my days off from the salon) sucked, but I was good at it and I was efficient. I thrive on being efficient. The fun times were the winter nights when we'd clear snow. We'd go out at night after a storm and work in the silent moonlight. The roads would be sketchy and we'd slide around, but it was fun because almost no cars were on the roads. Plus, we were still in that awesome super in LOVE phase where you just love being together no matter where you  are or what you're doing.

I also mow the lawn now because I get a tremendous sense of satisfaction from it. There's nothing like a fresh cut lawn to really amp up your curb appeal. The hair stylist in me loves to cut things into nice clean shapes. Our yard is like an enormous clipper cut. I love to make it look nice, trimmed and perfect. Every time I cut our grass, I find a new, more efficient pattern to mow. Our yard is not square and there are a million ways to cut it. I want to find the perfect pattern and I'm not quite there yet. I know it's weird, but it feels wonderful to make each blade of grass level and clean looking. I feel warm and giddy just writing about it. Cutting things is certainly my calling. I would get the same feeling from cutting off a mullet. Mangy to groomed is my specialty. Perhaps this is why I also shave my legs every single day. It brings me peace.

The last reason is the worst of all because it's pride based. I want to be useful. I want to be a jack of all trades. If Dave ever divorced me, and let's face it, I have a mouth on me and the possibility is there. I would want Dave to marry a useless woman who expects Dave to do everything for her. Then I would live the rest of my life knowing that Dave would cry himself to sleep every single night knowing that I was the most awesome wife of all. I would be appreciated and my true worth as a useful, efficient woman would finally be recognized. I told Dave this last night and he patted me on the arm and said, "Good job." I guess that's all the thanks I'm getting.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Gel Polish is a Serious Commitment

I never ever go to the nail salon. Maybe I've seen too many episodes of Dateline and I'm certain that an incurable infection is just waiting to attack my feet or maybe I'm just cheap. Sure, both of those factors play into my shunning of the pedicure world, but the main reason I don't get my mani-pedis is because I hate when the ladies at the nail place have secret Vietnamese conversations right in front of me. I just know that they're talking smack or making fun of me and I can't do anything to stop it. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I can't stand the thought of someone hating on me right in front of me.

If they put boiling hot water in the fungus covered foot bath, I don't say a word. If the lady is torturing me, I don't say a word. If she's tickling my foot to the point that I'm going to pee my pants, I pee in silence. I don't want to give them any reason to start the smack talk. I refuse to make them mad or even irritate them a little. I cringe when someone in the chair next to me starts getting specific about how they want their toenails trimmed or criticizes the nail ladies in any way at all. But on the other hand, I like it, because it takes the heat off of me. Go ahead nail lady, talk smack about the complainer in the chair next to me. I'll just mind my own beeswax and enjoy the beating that this massage chair is giving me.

The whole experience isn't relaxing for me if I haven't already painted that picture for you. So it may not come as a surprise that I go there as a last resort. I went the other day and all my worst case scenarios played out. Tons of foreign language laughter and shit talk, old lady complaining up a storm in the chair right next to me, and who know if any tools were cleaned before I got there.  Only this time, I added to my own drama by making an awful decision right as I walked in the door. I asked for the gel nail polish. This stuff is like UV light cured, permanent polish. In other words, choose wisely because you are practically getting your nails tattooed. It's no time for dolphin designs and experimental color combos!

I survived my pedicure experience and all was going well right up until the end when I was faced with decision time. The lady asked me to choose a polish color and I chose a nice gold and coral glitter polish. It was light and subtle and just what I wanted. The nail lady informed me that it wasn't really a color, so much as it was just a glitter that you put on top of a color. She then urged me to put an orange toned polish under the glitter coat to jazz it up a bit. She might as well have held a gun to my head. I think I made it clear above that I don't argue with women who are fluent in Vietnamese, EVER. So I panicked and shook my stupid head up and down and smiled out the words, "Sure, whatever you think is best".

BIG MISTAKE, HUGE MISTAKE! I walked out of the salon ten minutes later with a color that can only be called, "Florescent Glitter Construction Cone Orange". Hideous doesn't begin to describe it, but I didn't show a hint of horror as I smiled and tipped her generously. I walked out into the sunlight and shit only got worse. I was blinded by my own toes.

So I go home and take to Facebook to figure out exactly how I get this gel polish off my nails and it turns out it will be a long process that involves lots of Acetone and filing and scrubbing. I can't put my toes through that process, so I've opted to do the next best free thing. I'm painting a normal nail polish color right over the top. Two coats ought to do it I think. It's been a shit-tastic  lesson to learn, but at least I know that I can't handle making long term decisions at the nail salon. Thank you universe. It won't happen again.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Gym IS NOT a Meat Market

I recently joined a tiny little 24 hour gym and it's a dream come true. There are no waiting lists to use the cardio machines and there are no roid rage meat heads grunting away at the squat rack. The place is great! It doesn't even have that lingering body odor aroma in the air. It's clean and fresh and practically all mine. I love that there is hardly anyone there, but I would have hated that when I was younger. The non-meat market atmosphere would have sucked all the fun out of going to the gym. The thrill of the hunt would have been gone. Boy how times have changed.

Years ago, before kids and marriage, I had a membership at a different gym. That gym was VERY busy and it was most certainly a meat market...for me anyway. I would get all set up on the stairmaster, listen to some hip hop or metal on my disc man and then workout in oblivion while enjoying all the eye candy. The time just flew by. There were guys everywhere and most of them were decent looking (if you squint your eyes a little bit) and they were all very friendly. The gym was like a rated PG, daylight, dance club. It was fun and it made going to gym sort of exciting. It was a great distraction and a motivator to get me to the gym.

Fast forward to the year 2013 and my reasons for going to my new gym are very different. I go there for a little alone time. Me time. Kid-free time. My nearly vacant gym is sort of like my own apartment. I can go there at the end of the day and unwind.  I don't even care about the fit factor. I just like being there and enjoying a little peace and quiet  in my air conditioned oasis. The upside is that I'm actually working out for an hour too! My body is going to look great because I now go to the gym even when I don't really feel like exercising. It's a win-win situation!

 It's not even awkward when a stranger walks into my oasis and hops on the treadmill because the weirdos at my gym completely ignore each other. This is amusing to me. I have never experienced this behavior at a gym before. I haven't been going there for very long, but I'm already learning about the regulars. This is a dull cast of characters indeed, but one in particular I find very strange.

I call him "treadmill guy". He seems normal enough. I couldn't really guess his age. He could be anywhere from 25-40. He walks in, gets on his treadmill and he runs 7 miles, without any music. He silently alternates between staring directly at himself in the mirror and closing his eyes. When he's done running, he gets down on the floor and does the kind of leg lifts that ONLY ladies do. It's bizarre to say the least and that behavior leads me to believe that he has an eating disorder and body image issues.

 Yesterday I was running on the treadmill next to him and I kept looking over at him to see if he was even aware of anyone next to him. He didn't acknowledge me at all, to the point that it was comical.  I was trying so hard not to bust up laughing. I got a hell of an ab workout just from that alone. Then he did something only a dude would do...he sort of blew his nose into his bare hand. I don't know if anything came out, but I'll bet he blew a snot rocket, and I was very grossed out. Why do guys do that and think it's okay?  No woman in her right mind would ever do that. He's now a serial killer as far as I'm concerned. Be warned "treadmill guy", I know your secret and I'll be keeping an eye on you (even if you want to pretend I'm not).

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I Tried on a One Piece

I opened my mailbox the other day and found my worst nightmare inside. My credit card bill. I'm not in debt, but I HATE that moment when every purchase from the previous month is brought to your attention all at once. I find myself wondering why the hell I needed this much stuff over the course of one month. Why is my grocery bill higher than my wishful $100 a week budget? I spent how much on gas? I don't even remember buying something from Amazon, so why is there a charge from there?

The whole list of expenditures just brings me down and ruins and my day. But there is one teeny tiny upside to spending too much money on my credit card....REWARDS!!! This is why I put my last C-section on my Old Navy card.  I get rewarded with free clothes from Old Navy. This isn't exciting for most people, but I love it. Old Navy is one of those wonderful stores that puts clothes on clearance quickly and constantly. This means that I can get a lot of bang for my buck. So you can imagine my joy when I uncovered a reward check for $35. At Old Navy that amount of money might as well be a hundred dollar bill. I had a shopping spree in my immediate future. I loaded the kids in the car and the rest was history.

I hit pay dirt as soon as I walked in the heavy glass doors of the store. My favorite workout shorts were ten bucks a piece and I get an additional 10% off just because it was Tuesday and I'm a card holder. Then it was on to some plum colored denim shorts and a super soft T-shirt in a coral shade. I wasn't as wild about the stuff in the kids department, but my girls found a few cute things to try on and we hit the jackpot on sale priced children's swimwear. 

On our way to the dressing rooms, I spied a lone rack of women's swim suits that had beautiful, bright orange sale stickers covering the original price tags. I was intrigued. I perused the rack and did something I've never done as an adult. I picked up a one piece swim suit to try on. The color was a nice purlplish magenta, the price was right and I thought, hey why not? Then the kids and I piled into the handicap dressing  room to begin trying on our soon to be loot.

I have several regular thoughts that pass through my head in the Old Navy dressing room:
1. Was this even designed to be worn on a human body?
2. Holy shit I'm short!
3. Cambodian sweat shop workers are weird.
4. NOT....EVEN...CLOSE
5. OMG, Do I really look like this in real life??? Gross!!!
6. How did I live before I owned this? It was meant for me!!!!
7. I'll buy this if it goes on clearance, but they are up in the night if they think I'm paying twenty six bucks for this!


After putting on a one piece swimsuit and stepping in front of a dressing room mirror, I could add a new phrase to that list and it goes something like this, "I feel pornographic!".  I don't even know how this is possible, but I felt over exposed in that purple one piece. It felt so weird to have it on. I have worn bikini's for so long that it just felt wrong to have all that spandex clinging to my body.  It felt dirty and I felt somehow shorter than I really am. I could not imagine stepping onto a beach, taking off my sundress and exposing myself to the public in that thing. I can't understand why a bikini doesn't make me feel naked and weird, but they just don't. It's almost like all that extra material was hiding something mysterious and it draws more attention to all your flaws. I don't get it, but it wasn't my cup of tea at all. I'm cringing as I relive it right now. Needless to say, I didn't buy it, but my kids got a good laugh over seeing mom in a one piece. Even they saw the awkwardness of it all.

 I know there are tons of women who feel like they can't wear a bikini, but you have to try a few on (preferably at home where the lighting is better and you're not confined in a dressing room that forces you to stand two inches away from the worlds most unflattering mirror). Who knew that the world of one piece shopping was this traumatizing? I thought it would be easy to find one that looked nice, but that experience put me off them for life. I'm destined to be that nasty old lady that wears a bikini and all her sagging glory. You're welcome world!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Costco...AGAIN

Costco aggravates me. Yes, I'm a member there. I choose to go there, but I find myself getting incredibly irritated almost every time I shop there. Oddly enough, I pay for this experience. It's mind boggling.

I am 90% certain that my death will occur in the Costco parking lot. It's a morbid thought, but honestly I suspect that this is my fate. It could happen any number of ways. An aggressive mini-van mom could mindlessly back right into me because her cargo area is stacked to the brim with frozen waffles and toilet paper.  She could also just ram me head on because she remembers that I'm the huge haired guidette that took victory from her in an earlier parking spot battle. What can I say, my blinker is brighter and I won't take no for an answer.

My death could also stem from a physical brawl. Hand to hand combat if you will. Why, just last week Dave almost got into a fist fight with a middle aged Prius driver. This old dude made a classic error. He didn't get to pull out of his parking spot for a bit because parking lot traffic was rather heavy. So he did what we all do in that scenario. He started talking shit. That's all fine and dandy in the winter, but it can get you into trouble when the weather's nice, because we tend to forget that everyone can hear that smack talk when our windows are down.

 This fellas trash talk was LOUD (like he was speaking in capital letters loud), and Dave wasn't havin' it. Something just comes over people in that damn parking lot, rage I think it is. So my husband slammed on the brakes and put the car in park. He then exited the vehicle to see if old man really wanted to continue the brawl once he saw who he had mistakenly chosen to battle (a descendant of the Vikings). Needless to say, grandpa shut his trap and drove home. I loved every second of this encounter. I suspect that this is ultimately what is wrong with me.

I've also thought that my death could happen just as easily inside the walls of the store. Any number of ways really. It could be as simple as me refusing to show my membership card at the door. It's a warehouse store for goodness sake!!! It's not like I'm trying to waltz into a North Korea. Maybe the "bouncer" at the Costco entrance won't be in the mood for my antics and bam, I'm bludgeoned to death with a flat screen or a large jar of mayonnaise. You just never know.

My mouth could get me into trouble too. Sometimes my thought bubbles burst and I accidentally voice my inner judgements aloud. Like yesterday for example. I was looking over the produce when I spied a woman that was practically begging me to judge her. She was at Costco, midday, just like me, only she was dressed like a dowdy hooker. I couldn't help wondering why anyone would bother dressing like a homely street walker when their plans include a trip to a warehouse store? I don't know if she heard me, but I couldn't help myself from letting out a sad, "Oh boy" upon seeing her awful ensemble. I mean honestly, if you're dead set on looking like a lady of the night, at least make a better effort and look hot. If I was her pimp, I'd smack her around over that outfit choice for sure.

The last cause of death is pretty simple. Cardiac arrest. I had a hell of a meal there yesterday. Nope, it wasn't the pizza and churros at the front of the store. I ate enough greasy, delicious samples to harden and clog even the fittest of arteries. My sample lunch was delectable. Sausage, potato ravioli, cheese ravioli, pot stickers, teriyaki chicken, popcorn, cheddar cheese (like anyone has NEVER tasted cheddar cheese???), granola bar, potato chips and pasta with a lovely red sauce. Why anyone would waste their money on food at the front of the store is just beyond me. They are handing it out for free all over the store! Well, not exactly free, I did buy a membership to eat that free lunch. I'm dumb as hell sometimes.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mothers Day

Way to go Linda! I love you and I still can't believe you had me without any sort of drugs. Oh yeah, and I'm super sorry that I caused you to get that hernia. I love you and appreciate all that you've done for me and my own kids. Happy Mothers Day.
 
I am having a fantastic Mothers Day! Really, it's just been a great week all together. My own darling daughter began eating tortillas and crackers (at the ripe old age of four). My oldest daughter performed in a her ballet recital and made me her most heartfelt mothers day card to date. I colored my hair darker (and shinier) and had Jackie cut my hair, so my layers are really outstanding right now.  Plus, Dave and I had one of our thrice yearly heart to hearts where I tell him everything he needs to change about his behaviour to make my life easier. I like those talks because he's AWESOME for a good solid week after. He really makes an effort to be a grown up husband. It's been great.

Apparently the timing of our chat could not have been better. I was handsomely rewarded with one of the best gifts I've ever received during our 11 year marriage. An iPad mini!!! As some of you may already know, I do not own a smart phone. I'm still rockin' the flip phone and for the most part I'm fine with it. Sure, it's a little embarrassing to have the same phone that most elementary school kids own, but it gets the job done for a tenth of the price of a smart phone. I just have that T-mobile pay as you go plan and my phone service costs about $150 a year. I get the thrill of a good deal just even typing that last sentence.

But I digress, I now have an Apple gadget and I feel sort of bad ass if I'm being honest. This thing just kicks ass. I can read books on it, play Candy Crush on it and it somehow it magically gathered all my iTunes music onto it. Oh yeah, I can even text on it. This is revolutionary for a gal like me. You need to recall that texting on your old flip phone sucked royally. If I want to type the letter "c", I gotta tap that #2 three times. Remember that? It's brutal. The upside is that I have no choice but to pull over if I'm sending a text. I'm a hell of a multi-tasker, but even I can't memorize how many times I need to press the #8 to access a letter "V". I'm not entirely certain how it all works on the iPad, but I'm willing to learn because I love this gadget like the third child I'm not having.

Yep, Dave knocked it out of the park with this one. He stepped out for a few hours Saturday morning to "check a job". He legitimately did have to go check a job site, but then he went shopping my gift. This is usually Dave's standard protocol. He goes to a store and buys me a present and a card. He chooses great cards and then he goes out to his truck and writes, "Yeah, that sounds like something I would say" right after all the sweet, Hallmark sentiments and he signs it, "Love, Davey".  He then drives directly home, walks in the door (washes his hands because he's a germaphobe) and gives me my gift in the shopping bag from the store. The receipt is always still in the bag and then he'll say, "There's the receipt if you want to return it and get something better".  He doesn't give a shit if it's ten days before the holiday or the day of. He doesn't dink around with wrapping paper and hiding spots.

This year he accidentally gave me a triple threat gift. Our anniversary is a week or two away from Mothers Day and the price of this gift means that it will cover him for both occasions. He then accidentally got me a card that says, "Happy Birthday" and the bottom instead of "Happy Mothers Day" (this is classic Dave).  He was very pleased when I brought this to his attention. He will now joke for the next 5 months about how he's already taken care of my birthday gift and card (albeit VERY early).

As they say in the South, "Bless his heart!".

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Wheat Joy!!!

With 3, count em, THREE exclamation points!!!

This post needs to be read with extreme enthusiasm. Last week, my four year old daughter ate wheat! She ate a few pieces of whole wheat pasta to be exact. If she passed this food trial I knew that her life was going to change in such a positive way. If she ended up throwing up for hours, we would be looking at a pretty major set back. This is the odd world of Food Protein Induced Entercolitis Syndrome (FPIES for short). A world that we have been living  in since we first learned that acronym when Lyla was 7 months old.

Six weeks ago I decided to take my daughters digestive problem into my own hands. I scheduled an appointment with a Chiropractor. Little one wasn't getting adjusted or anything like what you'd expect from the word Chiropractor. I took her to a man who uses a treatment called Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET for short, we like acronyms around these parts).

This treatment is weird and it involves concepts like "balancing energies". It sounds hokey to a lot of people, but it's totally non-invasive and it's the only thing available to try. I'll admit that before we even met Dr. Goulding, I was already referring to him as the "witch doctor". I had done a lot of internet research about this strange treatment and the two main points that I took with me were these. Leave your logic at the door, and it works for a lot people. With that in mind, I went for it and I'm glad I did. It was strange as hell, and my husband thinks I am crazy (nothing new there), but my daughter is sitting across from me right now, eating a freaking cracker!!!  Believe it or not, this has been my wildest dream for the last three and a half years. It has been realized and now I want to ride a unicorn over a rainbow with Adam Levine. Fingers crossed, that will happen too!

She isn't eating something really tasty like a goldfish cracker or Ritz (way too many ingredients for me to panic about). She is indulging in a box of Carr's Table Water Crackers. If you don't know what these are or what they taste like, I'll explain. Go to your grandma's house and look for a dusty black box in the back of her pantry. Inside you'll find a sleeve of bland, tasteless, white crackers. You'll taste one and you'll throw the rest away because you're certain they're too stale to eat. They've gone bad is what you'll think. The average 5 year old would spit it out during a taste test. They aren't special. Your grandma doesn't even like them. She eats one every now and again to remind herself of the horrible, lean times of her childhood, better known as the Great Depression.

So Little one is eating the tasteless crackers and she is overwhelmed with excitement. She is giddy as can be with this new addition to her diet. She is fighting the urge to put this entire sleeve of white crackers into her tiny belly. "These are just too Yummy!" she says with absolute sincerity. This little cracker represents the beginning of what I hope will be a more normal diet. We haven't tried her other food enemies yet, corn and rice. Last time I checked,  milk and eggs give her hives. Who knows if she can have oats? Her favorite treat is a Hall's cough drop (don't judge, corn syrup free and milk free sweets are impossible to find). It's not a slice of pizza or anything, but she  can eat a bland cracker and I'm thrilled beyond belief. It's days like this that I know for certain that it's the little things in life that you have to grab onto and enjoy. This is, without a doubt,  my best little moment of the year.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A New Kind of Drug Dealer

Please don't confuse this post with a political statement. It's merely an idea I've been tossing around in my head.

I wish that I knew a local drug dealer that rose above the crowd and started dealing nothing but antibiotics.  I would hope that this business would be lucrative enough that said drug dealer would be able to do this exclusively, there by letting me avoid the meth heads and crack whores when doing our drug deals. I would do a good deal of business that sort of person. If you're the person in your family that is in charge of the schedules and the finances, you probably understand exactly where I'm coming from here. When someone in my house gets strep or pink eye, I just want access to the meds, without jumping through all the formal medical hoops.

We have health insurance now, we haven't always, but we do now. We pay a hefty price for it too. I'm grateful that it's there, but most of the time I consider it to be "oh shit" insurance. By that I mean that this insurance sucks for the day to day stuff, but I'd be really glad I had it if someone in my family needed surgery or something majorly expensive. If the diagnosis makes me say "oh shit", we're covered. But this insurance company will haggle you to death on everything else. Example, "Are you sure you weren't crazy before we started your coverage?" "We'll need proof that your kids case of pink eye happened after your coverage started. For all we know she's had pink eye for the last six months and you're only deciding to treat it now." Pathetic really.

Not to mention that they take a good six months to decide if they're paying your doctors a cent. The management at that company really needs to eliminate Facebook access from the office. I know every claim processor is a whiz at Words with Friends and they must all be near the end of the Candy Crush Saga. They sure as hell aren't working away at paying claims. I'm embarrassed to go to a doctor because of this. I'm a prompt bill payer and it infuriates me that I look like someone that gets regular collection calls.

I remember when I first became a parent and I needed the doctors opinions and advice for every little cough or sneeze. Those days are long gone. I know pink eye when I see it. I don't want to wait for a doctor appointment, pay the office $125, and waste and hour and half of my time for the doctor to tell me what I already know....we need prescription eye drops. Let's cut to the chase already. When a kid wakes up with red, goopy eyes I want to page my dealer (I'm so 1996) and meet up in a parking lot for the exchange. It's simple and effective.

I'm not saying I'm qualified to be a doctor (though I totally think I'm qualified to be a doctor), but I know strep when I see it. I know an ear infection when my kid is burning up and crying in horrible pain,  and I don't want to make an appointment at the Pediatric care. My mind calms down and sings one song over and over again. It's the famous words of my favorite Youtube anthem, "Ain't nobody got time for that!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Nh7UgAprdpM

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What's the Moral of Beauty and the Beast?

Lyla's idea of a great afternoon always involves princess dolls and a doll house. She insists that I play with her and she ALWAYS has to be Belle from Beauty and the Beast and she makes me be Ariel from The Little Mermaid. I'm fine with my assigned character. I like Ariel and her prince, Eric. I guess Lyla likes Eric too. The first thing that her Belle dolls says during our play session is this, "Hi Ariel, I'm Belle and I'm getting ready to go on a date with Eric". She says this right to Ariels face! I'm forced to respond by saying, "I'm sorry Belle, but that's just not going to happen. Eric is my man!"  She starts the drama because she loves to watch Ariel cry her eyes out in the dollhouse bathroom and also because, let's be honest here, who really wants to date the Beast? Not my daughter, I hope.

 This scenario always makes me try to figure out the Disney moral of the Beauty and the Beast story. Whatever it is, I want nothing to do with it. I just flat out told my girls that I would be VERY disappointed if they ended up like Belle. Yes I know Belle is the princess who reads books, but come on, it hasn't helped her much. I would go ballistic if either one of my girls began dating an over sized dog, with obvious rage issues. Especially if said dog had held them prisoner in his castle.

Forget all the talking dishes and singing candlesticks. That whole story is a glorified, textbook case of Stockholm syndrome. I don't care how much you like the library inside the castle. If that rabid dog lets you outside for a snowball fight, you bug outta there as quick as you can. You don't stick around to find out if a little unnecessary kindness will soften  his A-hole, outer shell. He might seem nicer for a while, but what if in a few years you accidentally delete his show from the DVR, or forget to pick-up his dry cleaning. And God forbid you accidentally rent a shitty romantic comedy from Redbox. He's gonna go ballistic on you. Before you know it you'll be covering your bruises with concealer and spray tan. You'll tell your friends that you "fell down the palace stairs" or the "talking ottoman tripped you". I see your future with the beast Belle, and it ain't pretty girl!  It certainly isn't happily ever after, that's for sure.

Run Belle! You don't have to marry that handsome Gaston either. You can always get a restraining order against him if he won't leave you alone. You don't have to marry either of those guys because they aren't right for you. Move to a different village if you have to, just don't settle down with a rage-a-holic canine. You can do so much better girl. In the meantime, get some cats and some yoga pants. Buy a box of Zinfandel and fill your freezer with Lean Cuisines. Start watching Lost and Dexter from the beginning. That will fill those lonely Friday nights. Someone worth your while will come along eventually. Don't sell yourself short.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Writing Your Own Future

After writing about old journals, my next thought involved future journals. What do I want to happen next in my life? I like to write so I'm forced to look at this from that angle. Where should the story go from here? My life story that is. I'm a married 34 year old with a couple of kids. Is all the wild and crazy adventure over? Am I too old for a few more "out of the box" decisions?  An adventure maybe? Well of course I say YES to excitement and adventure...Dave, not so much. He's more practical, sometimes overly practical. Yin and yang, right?

Here is my proposed plan. I want to sell the palace. I want to simplify. By that I mean, buy a much smaller, much less expensive home and free up some "living money". Dave basically agrees with me up to this point. He would love to take a few great vacations every year. There's nothing better than getting up every morning and mentally doing the count down to your next vacation. Two or three trips a year would be so much fun to look forward to. Lots of adventure, lots of great journal worthy memories made, especially for the kids.

All that sounds amazing, but something inside me wants to take it a huge step further. I want to move for a year of two. I want to sell the house and most of the stuff in it, get a storage unit and roll out. I want to move our family to Hawaii for a while. Rent an apartment, get mediocre part time jobs there and just live in paradise for a bit.

 It's expensive to live there though. Rent isn't out of control (I've spent lots of time on the internet figuring it out), but everything else like gas and groceries are very expensive. We wouldn't get ahead financially, but we could break even, so why not? I think I need to move out of Utah for a bit. Not forever, just long enough to figure out what I appreciate about Utah.  So far I think the best thing about Utah is my proximity to my family and the cheaper living expenses.  I already know that I love living near family, but temporarily it would be fun to try something new. I think it would be great for my kids especially. What an amazing chapter that would make!

It would be a lot of work to get to the point where it would really happen. There are a lot of road blocks and question marks standing in the way, but I still long to do it. Who knows if I'll ever convince Dave. I want to do all this stuff while we're young, versus waiting until retirement and hoping it all works out then.  Lately especially, I've been reminded that you never know how much time you've got. Maybe your investment portfolio would be massive by the time you're 65 (I dount it) and you'd have the means to move to an island, but what good will all that cash be if you aren't healthy enough (or alive) to do it? What if we're too tired then? To set in our ways? I want to share an adventure with my girls, while they're young and excited about spending time with their parents.

It's good to dream. Maybe I'll win this battle, probably not, but isn't this a good one? Who wouldn't want to do this? I'll just keep watching Hawaii Life and House Hunters International until I convince Dave that we just have to take a risk and do it.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Journals

Did you ever write in a journal? I'm not referring to your first "diary" that had a lock on it, that contained your deepest darkest, third grade dramas. I mean a journal that you wrote in when life was just starting to get interesting. High school, college, those years.

I had a huge notebook that served as my journal for the high school years and my friend Sara upgraded me to a real journal when I graduated from high school. Obviously the book like journal is holding up much better than the spiral bound notebook and I'm so glad Sara thought to give me a really nice book for my post graduation journaling. Those entries are much more entertaining to read than the high school stuff.

So that leads me to my next question. If you did keep a journal, have you ever taken time to go back and read the stuff you wrote? I do it all the time. The high school stuff is embarrassing to re-read. My immaturity blatantly jumps right off the pages. I was pitifully stupid and practically soaked, head to toe, with drama. Most of those pages are painful to read. I want to hop in a Delorian equipped with a flex capacitor and go back to 1995 and smack myself. Honestly it just scares the crap out of me because I am currently raising two girls and quietly dreading the teenage years. I beg my daughters, please be smater than me!!!!

The "college" journal (Beauty school totally counts as college) is where the good stuff is. A lot of it was written in a drunken stupor at two in the morning, but it's pure comedy to read it back as a somewhat stable adult. Yes, it's also embarrassing to re-read, but if you sift through the stupidity, you can see little hints of a smart adult starting to unfold. I had a clear idea of what I wanted my immediate future to look like and in so many ways, it all turned out better than I'd hoped.

The hardest parts to read are the on again, off again boyfriend dramas. I wasted so much time in a dead end relationship and the worst part about it was that I knew how horrible the relationship was while I floundered in and out of it. I had very little hope that I'd ever meet someone that would be the right fit for me. I was certain that I would absolutely have to settle, from day one, if I ever wanted to get married. I believed that I couldn't truly just be myself and find real love that was fit for me. I aspired to it, but for whatever reason I didn't believe I'd ever find it.

That didn't stop me from going out with a wild spectrum of guys. Let me add that all these dudes are the absolute highlight of that journal. I met some of Ogden's most charismatic bar flies. Guys with lots of swag and game. Guys that would have been perfect for me if they'd just avoided a few bad decisions prior to our meeting. But that's life right. That's what everyone means when they say that the "timing" just wasn't right. It's so true. Timing plays such huge role in the world of love and relationships. You have to meet when the timing is right or it just won't have a chance to unfold properly.

I ran out of pages in my college journal at the exact right time. The book ends just after I met my future husband, Dave. It's a happy ending I'd say (after 10+ years of marriage I sometimes question that statement). I found a great guy and learned the major lesson that would finish that chapter in my life. I figured out that you don't have to settle. When you meet "the one", you won't have to work at making it work. You'll fall in love and the first few years should basically be a love tranced, breeze (the work phase of the relationship will come later). You won't have to play all the dumb games. If Dave wanted to talk to me, he called me. If he wanted to see me, he'd tell me. He wanted to be with me all the time and I wanted to be with him all the time. What a simple, yet refreshing concept. We wanted each other at the same time!  This is the magic glue that is so tough to find in the "dating" world. The timing was right. Are we perfect? Not even a little bit, but ultimately we both must want to be together, because we are.

 If a relationship is hard in the beginning, I'm afraid you'll have very little hope of it ever getting easier. Grown up life and kids will complicate your relationship enough. You have to have some sort of foundation that is solid. Life will get tough. Marriage will make you long to punch your spouse in the face from time to time. But going back and reading that old journal helps me remember what life was really like before I met an uncomplicated, great guy. That's my foundation.

Give your kid journal. Let them teach themselves a lesson.