Archive | April, 2010

Crazy Dedicated to the Cause

We were laying in bed.  We were both exhausted.  Bryan had played some serious frisbee earlier with the boys and I had had Bootcamp that morning.  “I’m getting old,” he said.

“But you’re doing it the right way,” I smiled.

The conversation ensued and we got to the topic of our family genetics, and how we feared what appeared to be inevitable.

“I just .. I WILL NOT put my children in this fight,” I said, tears coming to my eyes.  “I will not damn my children to a lifelong struggle with obesity.”

Jesus, I meant it.  I could not have been more sincere.

Our household is not perfect yet .. none ever is .. but we have made HUGE strides.  We read labels now.  If anything says “high fructose corn syrup”, we put it back and find something that doesn’t.  We work hard to find juices that have three or less ingredients.  We cook.  We involve the kids in preparing the meals.  When I’m grocery shopping with Tony, I introduce him to all of the produce, letting him hold and smell each different item.

Is it time consuming?  God, yes.  Can it be mind-boggling?  Sure.

Has it been worth it?

Beyond measure.

Aside from the Allergy Season from Hell this year (seriously, pollen counts were 1000 points higher than usual for the season), no one got sick in our house.  There was no flu this year.  There hasn’t been any infection.  Our energy is actually much better than it has been.  We play outside more.  Most evenings, we may not even turn on the tv, instead shoving the kids in the backyard while I cook.

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, now over but available online, was such an amazing thing to watch.  Most episodes made me weepy because .. dude, two passions of mine?  Food and kids, no doubt.  And seeing teachers proclaim complete behavioral changes when food choices changed was just so .. real.  The principal of the elementary school lost 25 lbs just by eating smarter.. local, organic, simple, real food.  Everyone saw a benefit.  Even the kids enjoyed it.  I am just consistently floored that our government hasn’t yet opened its eyes.  But they will.

Quick reminder: today is the last day of my Living a Greener Life contest.  Leave a comment for a chance to win a $50 gift card to EarthFare!

Comments { 5 }

A Four Asterisk Day

I’m sorry.  I’ve been doing so well with clear, concise, driven posts and all I want to do today is give you random snippets that are not even next-door to entertaining.  They’re not even that annoying neighbor you can hear thru your paper-thin apartment walls as they loudly sob over that girl getting booted from American Idol when, HALLO, she clearly was a bit pitchy, dawg.  They’re not even THAT next-door to entertaining.  No, in fact, these snippets are like, Alaska-to-Russia entertaining. (Ahem, Ms. Palin.)

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I am wearing a patterned shirt today that, when I went to take pictures of my PRECIOUS LITTLE OWL EARRINGS (courtesy of Owlsome Gifts!) .. my own shirt gave me a massive headache.  I don’t think I should’ve worn this shirt.  I’m pretty sure I’m causing epileptic seizures to the general public by wearing it.  I apologize in advance if I see you today.

Or if you’re really brave: BEHOLD.

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I had to just count how many asterisks I used earlier so I could be consistent.

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I’m pretty sure we had a flash mob at our office today.  Except it was just one girl, yelling loudly about “HOW ABOUT THEM BRAVES?! WHO WANTS SOME BRAVES TICKETS?! OH YEAH, YOU KNOW YOU DO!  HOW ‘BOUT YOU GUYS?  Y’ALL WANT SOME BRAVES TICKETS?  CLIMATE CONTROLLED SEATING, BABY!!”, but we’re all pretty poor here and so she left. I’m not so sure it was a flash mob as much as it was a homeless lady that had tourettes.

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Y’all, last night was Ladies’ Night/Happy Birthday to Jamie Night at our local fondue restaurant, and it was super yummy and .. Ronda and I *may* have had two too many martinis and we got this brilliant idea to go “tag” G.I. Joe’s car.  This seemed like a REALLY great idea at the time.  Personally, I am EXTREMELY impressed at how ninja-like and stealthy we were considering that we did this at 9:10 at night in the dark, all while being tipsy.  I think that’s a testament to how far Bootcamp pushes us.  However, our master plan had a few holes in it.

1) That is not G.I. Joe’s car.

2) Our cover was blown by using our signature colors.

3) I apparently signed our name to it.

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As many of you know, I don’t wear a wedding ring.  It’s a long, drawn-out story that starts with me having weird skin allergies to common metals and ending with me losing so much weight that my favorite ring just fell off, but it’s a puzzle ring so I can’t size it and yeah, this is pretty much the drawn-out story right here.  So I would like to remedy this whole wedding ring thing.  I have a gorgeous diamond that has been passed down through generations (okay, like, one generation, but still) but it’s a marquise cut, and I can’t find a ring “enhancer” or “guard” that I like enough to wear with it.  Have any of you ever had a ring created for you?  Was it crazy expensive?  I need suggestions.

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FOR THE RECORD: Bryan and I have nothing planned for the weekend.  This hasn’t happened since .. geez, God only knows .. and I’m rejoicing in the fact that we might actually  manage a date night.  And I want us to go somewhere fancy and yummy.  I’ve heard good things about our local fondue restaurant, although maybe they should rethink handing out glass chalk as you leave, especially in signature colors.

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Yesterday, in general, was just awesome.  I had lunch with some amazing women, and there is just NOTHING better than sitting around a table of diverse, strong, funny, beautiful women.  We noticed that business men kept finding reasons to hover around our table.  It was funny.  Also we were talking about blow jobs, which might have had something to do with it.  Then last night was the Ladies’ Night/Birthday Extravaganza for Jamie and that was so awesome too.  I sometimes get so bogged down in the day-to-day that I forget how badly I need that time.

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Lastly, I leave you with this amazing piece of news.

Most of you know that I’ve got a baby over at Southern Fried Snark; our weekly webcast is SO MUCH FUN, and if you haven’t joined us there, then BY GOD, go.. GO NOW.  It’s a blast and we love all of you and thanks so much for making that all that it is because we do it for you, and I believe the children are our future; teach them well and let them lead the way.

On top of our video exploits, I’m also now going to be writing for the illustrious MamaPop as a gossip writer.  Don’t know if we’ve met, but this is like peanut butter & chocolate, baby.  I think we can all agree that MamaPop is indeed the Holy Grail of pop culture online, and Southern Fried Snark is now the Monty Python.  Together, they joined forces and created ME, THE ULTIMATE QUEEN OF ALL MEDIA MWUAHAHAHAHA.

Not really.  But I’ll be there.  And I’m so full of squeee that someone should bring a mop.

Comments { 10 }

What’s The Right Answer?

First of all, THANK Y’ALL SO MUCH FOR YESTERDAY.  You are just all lovely people, and THAT?  THAT is the reason I blog.  So when I have a day like that, I can be like, “Y’all, that day sucked SO HAAAAARD,” and y’all can be like, “Yeah, we know; here’s some wine and organic ginger snaps.”  BECAUSE YOU’RE ALL AWESOME LIKE THAT.

And now?  NEW PARENTING DILEMMA!  Cause you did so well yesterday.  Gold star for you.

So.. let’s say that you know a nine year old boy.  TOTALLY HYPOTHETICAL, of course.  And let’s say that you learn that this nine year old boy had a Facebook account set up for him by his mother.

Let’s stop there and assess.

1) Terms of Service for Facebook require that this hypothetical 9 year old be 13 years of age in order to actually even HAVE a Facebook page.

2) He is not, in fact, 13.  He’s NINE.

Okay, so here we are.  And you ask why he has this Facebook account, and the response is: “Well, his friends all have them.  And he doesn’t have any pictures up.  He wants to play FarmVille.”

Another assessment.

1) FUCKING FARMVILLE?

2) Okay, so I may have an ethical stance on Farmville that clouds my judgement here.

3) His friends?  ARE ALL NINE YEARS OLD.

4) We’re totally condoning lying about your age on the internet here.  And that’s a GREAT example to set prior to puberty.

Thanks for that assessment.  When asked about security settings, the response is: “Oh, no.  He’s safe.”

1) I’m online enough to know a thing or two about the internet.  Um, HALLO, it’s sort of my job.

2) Within two clicks, I had found his account and had opened it.

3) Within another click, I had searched him from Google.

4) One more click took me to all of his friends’ pages, where I could see status updates, pictures, and up-to-the-minute LOCATIONS, thanks to FourSquare integration.

So this hypothetical nine year old has this account that opens him up to a world of the internet.

What say ye, internet inhabitants?  What do you think?

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Just an Open Mic

Yesterday, I really and truly dropped my basket.

(Quick lesson: “dropping the basket” is a southern term for “losing it”.  So I am saying, in a southern slang, that yesterday? I totally lost my shit.)

Disclaimer: my husband will feel attacked by this post, no doubt.  Honey, calm down.  I love you very much.  But sometimes, I have to vent.  You go right ahead and to the same when you need it.

One of my long-time readers emailed me awhile back because she had a question about transitioning into the world of being a stepparent.  And the very valid conversation came up of, “What if you feel like he’s putting his child before you?”  And the truth is, and I told her a version of this in different words, that he SHOULD.  He should put his children first.  Children NEED that, while we as adults should (in a perfect world) be content enough and independent enough to not need the attention/support/whatever.  But there are times when .. although that logic is still there .. it is not easy.

A LARGE issue we’ve had recently is the fact that our household chores are just not divided evenly.  They’re just not.  I grocery shop, cook, clean, do laundry, am in charge of making sure the lawn is taken care of, making sure the pets are groomed/vetted, making sure bills get paid, making sure there’s a stock of any staple ever required in the house .. and while I would not say that I’m 100% on the hook for these things (Bryan does cook, on occasion, for example), I am 95% responsible for them.  Because of this, or maybe because I just have issues, I take personal affront when comments are made about the cleanliness of our home.  Par examplè, when Bryan sits down on the couch and says, “Eww, there’s crumbs in that seat cushion,” I think Damn, well, let me get to cleaning that. Again.

Saturday, I did not stop moving from sun up to way past sun down.  Between cleaning out clothes in Tony’s room, switching out my own closets, doing all of the laundry for myself and Tony, washing and changing bed sheets, cooking breakfast AND lunch AND dinner.. I was just exhausted by the time it was time to go to bed on Saturday night.  And I snapped at Bryan.. PERHAPS UNFAIRLY .. because his idea of “cleaning the kitchen” was putting a pot from dinner into soak.  That was it.  No wiping down, no putting away, no scrubbing. I should also mention that, on Saturday here in Alabama, we had a nonstop day of tornado warnings, so everyone had been stuck inside all day.  Two three boys, four animals, and me .. all stuck in one house.  We did every science experiment we owned, and even made up some, and the boys were STILL vibrating.

Whatever, I thought.  Tomorrow’s another day.

Sunday brought nicer weather, YAY, so Bryan promised to take Jack to the YMCA to play raquetball.  The minute Tony went down for a nap, they took off .. and I began cleaning THE REST of the house that didn’t get done the day prior. (Which, as I’m typing, has made me DOUBLE sure that our chores are not evenly distributed.) I had enough time to dust and scrub down the furniture in the living room (getting those pesky crumbs out .. again!) when I heard a weird noise on the baby monitor.  A .. wind chime? .. that I distinctly remember putting up on that nine foot shelf ohmygod what is my child doing?!

I opened the door, and there was my child: on top of his dresser, soaked from head to toe, wearing a green shepherd’s hat, holding one drumstick, sucking on a pacifier, and wide-eyed at being caught.  He had pulled apart and thrown over his entirely full humidifier; he had opened and poured out every bottle of medicine on top of his dresser; he had pulled down a frame of my childhood photos featuring me with my MaMa; HE WAS IN DEEP SHIT, is what he was.

And I lost it.  I was overcome with anger, mainly because JUST ANOTHER FUCKING THING I HAVE TO CLEAN, and WHY IS IT ALWAYS MY FUCKING JOB, TONY?! and WHERE IS YOUR FATHER? OH RIGHT, HE’S WITH THE FAVORITE CHILD and other very honest, awful, childish things that I needed to yell about, and God love him, the only one there for me to yell at was my child.

Which .. yeah, ANOTHER breakdown promptly ensued, about what a bad mother I am.

He just laid in his bed, staring at me.  Shaking his head and whispering, “No, Momma,”.  And God, I hated mysel.. no, I STILL hate myself for it.  No past tense.  No child should ever have to see their parent unravel like that.

I squeezed down in the corner of his room, rocking in a fetal position over water-stained pictures of my grandmother, whose funeral is still fresh.  I was just distraught.

My baby came over to me.  “Park?” he said.

And oh, hell yes, we did.

He in his wet pajamas and I in a dress that was too tight and perhaps too revealing but it was a slip-on dress that was clean and required no fuss; the two of us looking a mess, we went over to the local playground and spent an hour doing nothing in particular.  He had a blast.  I had a moment away from the mess to figure out what had just happened.

I didn’t really have a point to this story.  I don’t really have an end to it.  I know that, for all of my guilt in the last 24 hours, before he was leaving for school, Tony yelled back over his shoulder, “I love you, Momma!  I love you too!”

Which partly covers the wound.  And partly grinds kosher salt in it.

Comments { 15 }

SURPRISE! There Are Other People Around You!

I just.. I HAVE TO GET ON MY PINK SPARKLY SOAPBOX FOR JUST A MOMENT HERE.

I don’t understand you people who seem to float through life as if there is no one around you EVER and that nothing you do or don’t do will have any impact whatsoever on the remainder of mankind.  I don’t understand you people, and I don’t like you people.  Give me back my air that you’re breathing, because you don’t deserve it.  I pretty much wish bad things on you people.  But because I KNOW THAT YOU’RE AROUND AND WHAT I DO HAS AN IMPACT ON EVERYONE AROUND ME, I keep my bad karma to myself and internalize it.  WHICH CANNOT BE HEALTHY, YOU PEOPLE.

(Full disclosure: You People does not relate to a race, a socioeconomic class, an age bracket, a tax bracket, a political party, a gender, or any specifying criteria, other than an extreme ambivalence to the rest of humanity.)

You people tend to have multiple screaming children with you in a “big box” store.  You don’t notice your children climbing on displays, running amok in the aisles, and making my child wonder why he can’t do the same.  You people tend to lodge your cart squarely in the middle of the aisle, and completely ignore me when I politely clear my throat or even offer an “Excuse me, please” because I need to get by.  You people incessantly get in the Self-Checkout when you don’t understand technology, or the Express Check-Out when you’ve clearly gone shopping for your month’s worth of Ho-Hos and five hundred bags of single-serving Cheetos because they were Buy 10, Get 1 Free!, OR you insist on checking out at Customer Service or the Jewelry counter.

You people wear ridiculous amounts of cologne/perfume/scented crap to the gym, even though there are signs posted EVERYWHERE against that.  You people notice that people have taken numbers to use the cardio equipment, but you jump line and then stand on the treadmill to have a conversation on your cell phone.

You people see my stepson, WHO IS NINE YEARS OLD, standing in a concession line at an event of 900+ people and you cut in front of him because he’s just a kid.  You people then snap at him when he mentions that, hey, you people, he was here first.  Yes, because that pretzel is what is KEEPING YOU ALIVE.  YOU HAVE CLEARLY MISSED TOO MANY MEALS, you people, AND THE SILLY STRAWS ARE YOUR ONLY HOPE.

Finally, this morning, you people cut me off getting in line at a two-lane drive-through.  Which, whatever.  I can totally let that go, you people.  And I offered a friendly wave to you people, as if to say, Oh, you probably just didn’t see me, what with my giant red car and everything, but it’s cool!  No biggie! But you look coldly ahead.  And then, when I pull into the other lane because .. well, honestly, because I didn’t want to be behind YOU PEOPLE after you cut me off, you ALMOST HIT MY CAR TO JUMP INTO THAT LANE IN FRONT OF ME.  Now I realize that it wasn’t initially a mistake.  You are just one of those people, YOU PEOPLE.  And when I fling my hands in the air in utter frustration, you won’t even look at me.  Nothing.  Because are there other people around you?  You people don’t ever GAWDDAMN NOTICE.  And then?  When the traffic of the two lanes merge?  YOU ALMOST HIT ME A THIRD TIME TO MAKE SURE YOU GET IN LINE IN FRONT OF ME.  At this point, I’m looking for ANY redeeming quality from you people.  Anything.  A shrug, hell, even a laugh of contempt .. just ANYTHING TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE ALMOST HIT MY CAR THREE TIMES.

You pull up to the window and snap at the poor soul manning the cash register because he gave you the wrong total.  BECAUSE HE WAS EXPECTING MY CAR FIRST, YOU PEOPLE.

Then you pull up to get your order.. and it is a small drink.  A small drink.  YOU ALMOST HIT MY CAR THREE TIMES OVER A SMALL SPRITE, DUDE.  And you never ONCE acknowledged me in the process.

THEN, as if you had to do some prep work with your order, you pull up in front of the line and park.  So I try to get around you, and AGAIN, YOU TRY TO HIT ME WITH YOUR CAR BECAUSE LORD FORBID I BE AHEAD OF YOU IN ANY WAY.

Oh, wait.  You certainly noticed me when I was taking this photo, you people.  And boy, howdy, did this piss you off.

VENGEANCE IS MINE.

Comments { 11 }