Archive for the ‘Babble’ category

Birthdays and Unicorns

February 24, 2012

First, Happy 6th Birthday to my step-daughter Riley. I can’t believe how quickly time flies, and it feels like yesterday when she was a 2 year old and I found myself being a mom to another toddler. Wow! She’s a fun, bright, energetic kid who really looks up to her older siblings and is often the life of the party. I hope you have a wonderful b-day!

Secondly…

It’s the weekend, and what better thing to do to celebrate a few days off than see a movie! What movie, you ask? Well, here’s an idea…

Unicorn City is family friendly, fun, and nothing less than a good time. It’s playing throughout Utah, so find a theater and get out there!

One of the main characters (Rhubarb, the Centaur, and possibly the stand-out character in the show) happens to be a good “friend” of mine… one who happens to be the father of my 3 children. Acting has always been a passion of his, and I’m happy that his dream is being realized. Congrats Clint! Now get me a free t-shirt.

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It’s Gotta Go Wednesday

August 31, 2011

I may offend a few with this post, and I care. I really do, it’s just super deep down inside. In fact it’s so deep that it’s in a place that I can’t really feel it.

ANYWAY, on to this Wednesdays rant.

When I go to a fast food drive up window (which rarely happens these days, but every now and again I do it for my kids), I have this crazy expectation that I will actually be able to understand and be understood by the person on the other end of the intercom.

Oh stop… get off of your politically correct horse and quit crying. I have nothing against those from other countries OR the languages they speak. I do, however, think that in the United States, where English is still (I think) the first language, when in a customer service position, ESPECIALLY when 80% of your job is listening to and speaking with the customer, speaking English, even if it’s just enough to get you through, is kind of an important skill.

When I was in France, I spoke French. Really bad French, but French nonetheless. I didn’t expect the natives of Paris to speak MY language. And when I was in Mexico, I pretty much didn’t say much at all because, well, I don’t speak Spanish. But I DID let those I was with who COULD speak Spanish talk with the locals. And they spoke Spanish because, well, that’s the primary language spoken in Mexico.

I don’t want to debate you on the issues surrounding immigrants, tolerance, same-sex marriage, or why dogs are better than cats (or vice versa). It has nothing to do with people’s rights, respecting different cultures, or where you were born. I just want to order my kids some damn fries and a cheeseburger without pickles AND get what I ordered. Because HOLY HELL, if (insert evil child’s name here) has to eat pickles, or catsup, or whatever life ending item is mistakenly put on their burger, the world will blow up and we will ALL DIE! Or I will have to listen to them cry and moan, and that’s even worse than death.

All of this being said, my beef isn’t with the employee who doesn’t speak English. Like most people, especially in this crap economy, they are probably just trying to support themselves and their family like everyone else. My ancestors were immigrants, as were most who were born in the United States, and I love that there is diversity in this nation. Come one come all! Frankly, I think becoming a citizen should be more accessible and a quicker, simpler process, but that’s an entirely different post. My issue is with the manager/owner that felt it was a good idea for any employee who cannot communicate effectively with a customer, whether because of a language difference OR because the person is a big jerk with a crappy attitude, to hold that particular position.

Dude… That’s Deep

July 26, 2011

This post is dedicated to my friend, Grunt (and his mysteriously disappearing post 😉 )… may you find your path.

I recently happened upon a quote that is probably the most personally profound statement I’ve ever read or heard, and it’s something I’ve thought about every day since I first read it.

People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost. – Dalai Lama

I’m not sure what this means to other people, but to me it resonates more deeply than I can express (at least very well).

In recent years, I’ve changed directions and definitely taken a slight detour from the path that I was on… a path that most people in my life were probably more comfortable with me being on. Some might say that I fell off of the this path and became lost. But I know that I’ve taken a scenic, alternate route, which sometimes runs parallel to my previous path, and sometimes not.

Talking about my these changes has been something I’ve really hesitated to do. Not because I question my decision. In fact, it is something I feel very comfortable and at peace about. But I don’t want to make other people uncomfortable, including myself. My “path” is such a personal one that it’s not something I want to defend, nor do I think I should have to. The truth is: I’m not really much different than I’ve always been. My moral and ethical convictions are as strong as they’ve ever been, and I am still commited to being an honest and empathetic woman, although I am far from perfect. I make choices based on a number of different factors, including wants and desires, but more importantly, I follow what I call my “moral compass”. I don’t do what is “right” out of fear or guilt. I try to do what is right because it’s the right thing to do. I try to make choices that I am proud of, that would make my children proud, that will make me a better person and mother, and better the world around me. Do I always succeed? No. But such is life.

I guess the reason I like the quote is that it describes better than I could ever articulate how I feel in terms of the choices I’ve made in my life and where my path continues to take me.

I believe I was put on this earth for a purpose, and every once in a while I get these small, brief glances at my purpose being fulfilled. By no means am I Gandhi, but I am a work in progress. I believe and have faith in God, that he loves me unconditionally, that he IS my biggest cheerleader, even when I am losing the game. I believe that the little bumps in my path, whether I pass over them gently or trip and fall flat on my face, are simply experiences which teach me and prepare me for the next obstacle. Ultimately, I believe to my very core that when it’s all said and done, it WILL all work out and it WILL be OK.

After reading this quote, I thought about how it applies to me and how I judge those on a different path. Being tolerant and accepting of other people’s paths, even when I think they are stupid, is something I know I need to work on.

I get why it’s hard to watch someone you care about take a path different from your own, especially when you think your path is the one that will lead to fulfillment and happiness. As a parent, it’s hard to watch my children make choices that I find, well, completely idiotic. So I can imagine how seeing someone you love and care about take a different path than the one that is right for you could bring up feelings of sadness and disappointment. I can only speak for myself, and for me, for the first time in my life, I feel like I am on the path that I need to be on… one that does bring happiness and fulfillment.

It’s Gotta Go Wedsnesday

July 13, 2011

Yesterday while I was busy minding my own business and doing some work stuff on my computer, I heard the doorbell ring which was followed by loud pounding on the door. After pulling my savage, barking dog away, I opened the door to two, angelic looking young women. The second I saw them I knew 3 things. 1) They were selling something. 2) The “goods” they were pushing was books. 3) I wasn’t buying.

The reason I knew this is years ago, the same thing happened, and it was eerily familiar. Foreign, young, fairly pretty girls selling these lovely “tutoring”/school books. With THAT girl it took me 30 minutes to get her off of my porch. I guess she was good at her job seeing as it took me that long to get rid of her, but I almost had to call the cops. She tried every tactic in the book, including:

  • I’m a poor foreign student just trying to make my way in this country.
  • If I don’t sell xxx number of books, I’ll probably die or be sold into prostitution.
  • These books are the best books in the world and your children might as well start flipping burgers if you don’t buy them.
  • How can you call yourself a mother if you don’t buy these awesome books?
  • It’s really hot out here… could I just get a drink of water?

After looking at the books, hearing the price, trying to close the door just to have her pull it open, and getting her a stupid drink of water, I finally shut the door in her face, ignoring her appendages that may or may not still be in the way.

I am so not confrontational (I can be quite a wimp, actually), that anytime a salesman comes to the door, I make Greg answer it or if he’s not home, I crawl past the window on my hands and knees so that they don’t know anyone is home. This time I got suckered into opening the door because I was expecting someone. Grrrr.

Yesterday I was nice, but very clear from the moment that I opened the door that there was no way in hell that I was buying anything. She tried to engage me in conversation by asking me my name, how many kids I have, about the neighborhood, about motherhood, etc. Then she slyly pulled out a book. She tried to show it to me, and I looked her straight in the eye and said, “there is really no point in me looking at it because there is nothing you can do or say, I will not buy it”. I must have looked pretty serious because she put the book away and went on her merry way.

I always feel bad telling people “no” when they come a’ knocking, which is something the Mr. doesn’t really understand. I know that I have a right to slam the door in their face, but I still see them as human beings (albeit human beings that I want to punch in the face). But more than feeling bad, I am mad that I am put in an uncomfortable position IN MY OWN HOME! This is my sanctuary, and to have it invaded pisses me off. Phone solicitation is bad enough (which is why I never answer the home phone and don’t answer calls to my cell phone if I don’t recognize the number), but having an unsolicited solicitor… a STRANGER… come to my door and get all up in my grill, to me it’s seriously violating.

Since this incident I’ve been thinking about what I will do or say the next time around, and I’ve decided that it’s time to re-do my “no soliciting” sign on the door. If they still knock after seeing that, I don’t feel so bad about being a jerk.

A word of wisdom to those who are interested in selling me something… Don’t.

People who come to my home uninvited, especially those trying to push their crap that I don’t need… it’s gotta go!

Cupcakes and Counseling

June 24, 2011

Last night I got together with a group of girlfriends (the volleyball/Hawaii group) for one of our “potlucks”. I’ve explained what one of these nights entail, but to recap: It’s a group of awesome women who get together, bring ridiculously yummy food, eat, talk, and most importantly, laugh. There have, occasionally, been tears (both happy and sad), but last night there were definitely only happy tears. I’ve missed my girls, and it was so nice to be able to get together with every one and catch up.

At one point during the evening, there was a conversation where one of my friends was telling another, “… I know I’m supposed to love it, but I don’t. And THAT’S why I shouldn’t have another”. Right away I knew she was talking about children and motherhood. Which THEN sent her into a tailspin of guilt and feelings of inadequacy.

As moms, we are supposed to LOVE our job. Right? We are supposed to embrace the laundry, tornado of mess, endless breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks, crying, fighting, sleepless nights, etc. But just like my friend, there have been times during my mommy career when I’ve had similar feelings.

The group got in on the discussion, and I noticed that the original two (who are also the youngest of us) moms had some serious feelings of guilt about not absolutely always loving motherhood. I remembered feeling that same way, especially when my kids were younger. I remember being up in the middle of the night with babies, telling myself to just keep going for one more day, but also thinking that this motherhood thing was A LOT harder than I thought it would be. I remember nights when I was literally counting the minutes until my (then) husband would get home to relieve me of my duties so that maybe, just maybe, I might have 10 minutes by myself to, oh, I dunno, go to the bathroom and maybe brush my hair and teeth?

I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point, I evolved. As I’ve gotten older, those feeling of guilt have definitely ebbed. I stopped feeling bad about what I didn’t do but should have, what I did but shouldn’t have, and everything in between. At some point, I started forgiving myself for the seemingly inexcusable sin of being human and therefore, imperfect. I didn’t beat myself up for letting my kids watch 45 minutes of t.v. instead of 30, or eating a frozen pizza instead of a fresh cooked meal.

When I finally cut myself some slack and gave myself permission to not love every second of it is when, ironically, I started to love MORE seconds of it. There are some days when my kids are a pure joy and I want to spend all of my free time hanging out and playing with them. Then there are days when at some point I turn on a movie, put myself in a “time out”, and tell everyone that unless there is blood or fire, to not bother me for a few minutes. And instead of feeling bad about myself, I just take it for what it is, take my break, and emerge from my room calmer and hopefully with a better sense of humor.

Obviously I don’t have all of the answers when it comes to parenthood. But in my personal experience (doesn’t 5 kids make me an expert or something? I should at least get an honorary PhD), taking this whole motherhood thing with a grain of salt AND being able to laugh at myself and life in general all while cutting myself some slack has really helped me be the mother I want to be instead of the one I thought I should be.

So moms, give yourself a break… your kids will thank you for it.

It’s Gotta Go Wednesday

June 22, 2011

There is nothing more contagious than the excitement of a child on their birthday or Christmas morning. When it comes to certain toys, that excitement quickly turns from joy to frustration, and from frustration to possible murderous rage. This is due to the ridiculous packaging that toy makers seem find necessary.

OK, does Barbie REALLY need to have her torso and every limb bound with wire ties? And does her hair REALLY need to be sewn into the cardboard backing? You know, Mattel, the TOY STORY movies aren’t real, and your precious Barbie won’t attempt to escape her bondage. Speaking of bondage, at least if they had and S&M Barbie, I could at least begin to understand all of the contraptions in place that makes it impossible for any child to free her doll.

Toys packaged like they are nuclear bombs… it’s gotta go.

A Few For The Summer

June 5, 2011

The baby shower this weekend… I’ll get back to you on that one.

But let’s talk on a different subject. BOOKS.

I’m a reader and I always have been. I was one of those kids who really looked up to and tried to emulate my dad, and my dad happens to be an avid reader. Maybe it would have been best if some of my first “real” books read hadn’t been authored by Stephen King, but that’s a whole other story. The point is, I developed a love for reading at a pretty young age, and it’s one of my favorite pastimes (which really becomes more of a present-time, because I easily get engrossed).

When it comes to me and books, they fall into 3 categories: 1) Books that I start but can never really get into and I never finish (this rarely happens). 2) Books that I like, but it may take me a few weeks to finish (This happens probably 15% of the time). 3) Books that I love and finish within a day or two. The majority of books fall into this category.

Because my husband is wise, he got me a book for Mother’s Day and one for my B-day. One of these said books, A Dog’s Purpose, by W. Bruce Cameron, is a story told from the perspective a dog. A dog who happens to be reincarnated a few times. It was an amazing read which caused 3… yes 3… break down and sob episodes. It reminded me of my dog Shela (who died a few years ago), and brought up a lot of emotion surrounding that incident as well as my +decade with her. It was an amazing read that made me laugh, cry, and really reflect on what type of person I am and evaluate how that aligns with the person I want to be. I HIGHLY recommend it, even if you aren’t an animal or dog lover.

And since I finished it last night, Greg brought home a new book to me this morning. The Art of Racing in the Rain, which oddly enough, is another book told from the perspective of a dog. LOVED IT! This book caused on 1 cry fest, so that’s an improvement. Another book that is wonderful and I recommend.

The other book (the one from Mother’s Day), $#*! My Dad Says, literally made me laugh out loud. It is irreverent, hilarious, and at times touching. Read it (as long as you are OK with gratuitous profanity 🙂 ).

Sometimes a book is kind of like pretty much any Michael Bay movie… distracting and somewhat entertaining for a few hours, until you go back to the real world. But most of the time books reach me on a deeper level. Maybe it’s because of the time you have to invest to finish one, and maybe it’s because the characters are better developed and you become invested in them. For whatever the reason, each book I read affects me on some level, and kind of becomes a part of who I am. I’m always sad when I finish one, and there is a little grieving process in saying goodbye to the characters I’ve come to know and love. The great thing is, there is always another one willing to take the last one’s place.

Summer is nearly here, which means it’s time for some good reading in the hammock quality time. Now you’ve got some leads on where to start :).