Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Let me recap my week for you.

My phone decided it was possessed and shut down 20 seconds into every call. My computer all but blew up. My dishwasher decided that it needed a reboot. The dog yacked on the carpet and the children are so keyed up about Grammy and Poppie coming to visit that I had to bungee them to the roof rack to get home from school yesterday. That being said, this is me!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Apples in a Barrel

I have tried my best to steer clear of all the drama that is going on out in Bloggy Land lately. It really looks like women being women. It started with the Twitter/Motrin debate of '08 and slopped over into popularity contests over a Wii. It turned into hate mail and blog bashing. Just pretty much one big mosh pit of ugliness. I am a non-confrontational person so I was actually repelled by all the nonsense but it did get me thinking.

You know the saying, "One bad apple can spoil the barrel?" We all can agree that that is true right? But how does it happen? First, someone isn't careful when they are loading the barrel. They let a questionable apple in. Then they forget about it, neglect it, leave it there. They never do anything to take it out.

Other apples get put in with it. They rub up against and snuggle that questionable apple. The tighter they are packed and the more they rub up against one another the faster that apple turns. Pressure maybe. And then the bad apple is done.

But since it was packed in with all these other apples it's already had the chance to spread the ugliness that is rot. And those apples don't get away. They stay there and they rub and they rot. If all of the apples aren't divided out and the bad ones gotten rid of, you have suddenly lost a whole barrel.

So I was looking at my barrel yesterday. It's not terribly full. I don't have a lot of people I consider close. And the ones I do consider close and the ones I do put in my barrel don't have ugly spots. Are they perfect? No. They have bumps and they may not glow all the time. But they aren't rotting.

I don't pack my barrel super full either. I keep just the apples I need. Just enough to keep me going on my rough days. Just enough that I can give them the good in me too without going dry.

There have been a lot of campaigns and rants and posts about bringing positive vibes back to blogging. Boost one another's esteem etc. I say, just go through your apples. If you have a rotter, get rid of it. Don't comment on posts. Don't push more apples down on the rotter. Just get rid of it. If you have some apples that may be questionable, get rid of them or take a minute and find out if they are rotters or not.

What's in your barrel? And are YOU a good apple or a rotter?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Have you Ever...?

Have you ever been in the middle of your bathroom cleaning routine only to turn around and find a naked child?

Have you ever sent a three line e-mail to a friend and when you were done found a child with diaper cream from eyebrows to mid scalp?

Have you ever reached for the milk only to find an empty jug?

Have you ever heard someone talking and suddenly realized in mid search that it's you - talking to yourself?

Have you ever decided that the smell really isn't worth finding anyway?

Just checking. I need to feel normal today.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Things I Baked this Weekend

I think we have established that baking is my therapy. Well, it's a good thing I wasn't charged for the time I put in therapy this weekend! Holy Smokes!

Doughnuts for Mo's sleepover breakfast!

Birthday cake for Mo's Sleepover Dinner.

Cookie Pizza #1 (decorated by Tuck & Munch) for school party.
Cookie Pizza #2 (decorated by Mom) for School Party!
I should be ok until the Thanksgiving bug hits next week. And then the cookie bake right after? I should make it to the New Year on a pretty even keel!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Wonder about Priorities.

I tried very hard to stay out of the Twitter/Motrin firestorm this weekend. Ok, so maybe "tried very hard" is a bad choice of words. I tried to ignore the Twitter/Motrin firestorm.

In case you missed it, Motrin had an ad in the que that offended mom's who use slings and other baby carriers to keep their children close. **I refuse to use the phrase baby wearing or any version thereof because children are not clothes. You wear the sling and carry the child in it. You do not wear a baby.** They referenced to this parenting style as a fad and insinuated that mothers who do it are trying to prove something - that they are "official moms" because they practice this form of bonding.

What does this have to do with priorities? Everywhere I turned this weekend this was on the front burner causing all kinds of outrage and back and forth. Not all of it was handled with grace (very little actually in my opinion!) and even more comments looked just a touch hysterical. Women were outraged! They actually managed to crash Motrin's website expressing their displeasure. The ad, by the way, is being pulled from everywhere they can catch it so your "approach" worked.

Congratulations for being outspoken on a cause you felt worthy. But really? An ad for a pain reliever? That's what you are willing to get outraged about? As Trish over at MomDot said, where is the outrage over land mines? World hunger? Children in our own country who don't have health care or even food and clothing? Where are the advocates for the crack babies that are screaming in hospital nurseries?

I understand that you feel like society as a whole looks at you cross eyed when they see you with your child in the sling. Let 'em! You made your choice. Stick to it and go about your business. Who cares what they think? I think your socks are ugly! Does this mean you rush to your sock drawer and change socks? Am I going to get a UPS fleet pulling into my driveway dropping off boxes of "protest socks?" Get a grip! Do your parenting your way and let society stick it in their ear.

You are willing to rail at the wind and scream offense because someone posted a 60 second ad about your parenting practices. Are you willing to take the 2, 3 or however many hours you spent on this this weekend and donate them to delivering flowers to nursing homes? Or serve in a soup kitchen? Or take canned goods to a food pantry? You do realize of course that long after that ad campaign would have been completed there still will be hungry children and people in general who need just a little love and human compassion. Why in the world would anyone put so much energy into something so trivial when there are so many other worthy and in my opinion more important matters to address?

The next time something causes you outrage could you do me a favor? Really stop for a minute and ask if it's really THAT important. Is this something that will pass? Can you put your outraged energies into helping someone else?

I promise. You can carry your child in your sling while you do it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

All this talk of partying and the holidays over at the Zoo got me thinking about food and holiday foods. Man! I love to cook! I mean love it right up there beneath my family. So here you go. A shot of me cooking my first turkey ever! Christmas 2003. Nice hat huh?**Sorry - it's a scan.

Can't get enough of Wordless Wednesday? Pop over to MomDot and grab a few more linky's!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Oh, Mainstream News Media! How I Love Thee!

Just when I think the blog inspiration well has gone dry, you do yet another new piece that just takes me to new levels and places of blogging joy! And for once I'm not going to pick on NBC. This time it's Ms. Sawyer and her network who is going to get my skewer! Ready?

Victoria Secret: Formaldehyde in Bras? So here's the story. A woman is suing VS for a rash that she developed in areas that contact her bra. Testing by her attorney's office has revealed the presence of formaldehyde in the bra; VS disputes that claim. That's the short version.

Now I took the time to actually look at some (not all 193 at last count) of the comments left for ABC on this news story and I am blown away! For two years or more in some of these cases women have been wearing these bras and having these problems. You never thought maybe there was a problem with the bra? You never thought maybe you should change your brand? You are just now putting two and two together because you saw it on the news?

I understand brand loyalty and as a woman I am incredibly aware that finding a bra that fits is a chore and a pain in so many areas other than your behind. But you are more willing to deal with rashes and blistering and SCARRING than you are to go find a new brand of bra? I don't know if you are crazy, lazy or just certifiably nuts!

Do I think VS should launch an investigation and find out what the problem is? Absolutely! Should some kind of restitution be made? Give them a refund on the faulty bras they can return to you and take the rest off the shelves. Pay them some kind of settlement? Not on your stinkin' life! Make people take responsibility for their own stupidity! You wore the bra even though it was giving you a rash! And someone else should pay you?

Well, if that's the case I'm going to go out and walk into a street sign. Then the steel industry needs to pay me for my head trauma! Or maybe the city for putting it somewhere where I could get to it.

And people wonder why children play the blame game when they get in trouble!

Stupid people tick em off! And shame on you Mainstream Media for giving them two minutes to be stupid for the whole world! But keep it up because someday I'll be able to say, "This blog brought to you by the find producers of ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and FOX NEWS!"


Friday, November 7, 2008

Is the Media out to Just Tick me off This Week?

New Hampshire is looking as shaving 2 years off of high school so that we can send students to college at 16 instead of 18! No kidding! Check out Should Kids Be Able to Graduate After 10th Grade? and take time to read the full article.

I am having a hard time figuring out where to even start with this. I want education improved in our country. I am all for mandatory Pre-K and higher teacher salaries. I would even be in favor of the idea put forward by The West Wing - the GI bill version for teachers. Get a teaching degree and we'll pay for it if you will teach for at least x number of years - and maintain a high standard of performance.

I will NOT rush my children through school. I would be appalled to send a 16 year old off to college. These poor kids have barely wrapped up puberty and you are sending them to college? If you thought you had a problem with underage drinking before, toss a glut of 16 year olds into the mix. At least the states would be able to raise revenues from DUI fines and arrests.

I graduated right after my 18th birthday. I went to college in the fall and I declared a major right away. I hated my college and I hated my major so I transferred and changed majors. I busted hump in college and finished on time (in spite of transferring) with a BA in Christian Studies. Ask me how I'm using that now. Yeah, I'm not! Ask me what I would have majored in. Business. Or I might not have even gone to a traditional four year and I would have gone to culinary school instead and become a master chef somewhere or at least a pastry chef.

How can you expect a 16 year old to know what they want to major in? And if they are graduating at 20 what happens next? Are they really ready for the corporate battle ground?

I really think between the growth hormones yesterday and New Hampshire education today that there is a conspiracy to make children grow up too fast and another one to just tick me off!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Am I the Only Person Bothered by This?

I am a person of average height (5'7") and my husband is tall (6'3"). My children have always been in the 95% in height. Height has never been a problem for our family but I still have a problem with this.

Aren't we trying to eliminate growth hormones from our food? Hasn't it been shown that these can have effects beyond building them taller? I'm confused.

But my big problem with this is the motivation behind it. Your perfectly healthy child is being picked on for being short so you boost them with growth hormones. Why not just teach them how to cope with bullies? What ever happened to "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?"

Better yet. Why aren't the bullies' parents taking active steps to stop the action? Is it ok for people to be bullying about height? Or color? Or weight? Are we going to start allowing children to get gastric bypass? And what are we going to do for the children who are teased about being too tall?

I am a little concerned about the things we are doing with science and medicine. Instead of focusing on cures for disease we are researching how to eliminate teasing? Where is the line? Is there a line? Will we eventually get to the point of Stepford medicine? Will we eventually be able to fix every little imperfection or facet that we don't like about ourselves?

What happens to the personalities? What makes one person different from another? Where is the emotional strength? I know I am firing off questions like a machine gun but I can't make sense of it. Why would you spend 10's of thousands of dollars to "fix" a perfectly healthy child? What message are you sending? If someone bullies you, retreat into your shell and go buy a cure for yourself. Or is it, the bully was right. You ARE short and that is wrong.

I understand in the piece they noted that this child was not able to reach the water fountain and that is an issue. But isn't it the law that provisions are made? Like maybe a step stool? My husband gained inches late in high school. What is going to happen to the 8 year old who goes through this therapy who has a growth spurt in high school?

I am concerned about the implications this bears. But I'm not the only person with an opinion. What's yours?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So Now What? What are you Going to Do?

I know that there will be political commentaries popping up all over the place this morning - I have already come across them. People who "lost" are stomping and still dragging down the policies that our new President-elect has said he will support. They are still railing that the country is headed for hell in a hand basket. And they are raging that we just put on our gasoline underpants.

Those who won are celebrating that it is a new beginning today. Life is going to dramatically change and things are going to get better. Then there are the people who are looking at our situation and are standing slack jawed at the history that has been made. Two women were in the political forefront. An African American man was finally voted President. A new day has downed on our great nation.

It really does not matter to me which column you are putting yourself in. I could not care less who you voted for. That part is done. I want to know what you are going to do next. Are you going to stand in the rain and rail at the storm that it ruined your picnic? Are you going to dance in the rain and say look the drought is over? Or are you going to come in out of the rain and say where can I help? Are you going to use sense or are you going to hope someone else does it for you?

The wrestling match is over. A winner has been declared. Are the fans just going to walk out of the stadium or are they going to stay and help clean up? A commentator said last night that now it is about expectations. We expect our new President to do wonderful things. To turn our economy around, to end war, to promote our image in the international arena.

I expect him to lead us in those directions (and I would have expected it of both candidates!) but I expect him to LEAD. Not to pull the wagon while we all sit on our behinds and cheer. As Americans went door to door and knocked and asked for votes I wondered how many would walk door to door and deliver canned goods to those who need groceries. As they made campaign donation after donation, I wondered who would give to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, soup kitchens. As they made phone call after phone call I wondered how many would go to the nursing homes and veteran's hospitals and St. Jude's and visit with those who need love and company so much.

Yes. There is a new and historic era coming in America. But what are you going to do about it?

Wordless Wednesday

Before anyone thinks I am celebrating one candidate or another - Today I am celebrating America and democracy. People voted in record numbers for ALL offices that were on the ballot. People stood by their beliefs. I'm just celebrating that I live somewhere where that can happen without violence.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I'm Sparky!!

Susan from What Happened to my House? has awarded me with a Sparky! How honored am I? The funny thing is that I don't think of myself as a sparky person but in the past week I have posted 3 times about things that would be considered sparky! Blogging is bringing it out in me!! So here's my Sparky!

If you haven't been by Heather's Maternal Spark yet on your own you really should head over. This is an incredible lady who takes time to promote the creative spark in all of us. You have to love the chance to be creative. And make sure you visit some of the Sparkers that she is interviewing. Wow!!

So now I get to pass my Sparky on...Hmmm...Who is worthy? I have to pass this on to...

Kadi and the bearded dragons at Womb at the Inn(sane)
Mrs. Schmitty at It's a Schmitty Life
Sissy and her Blogger issues at Mama's Other Side
Karly at Wiping up Snot
RMD at Insanity Corner

Religion, Politics, and Things I Generally Avoid.

Confession time. I am not very involved in politics. I understand that as an adult and a parent I should be. I find politics very boring and very divisive. I prefer to keep my mind busy with things that are positive and uplifting that make life more pleasant for others. You may judge me how you like but at least I am open about my stance. Since you have chosen to visit my blog, I expect you to respect my decision not to be involved if I so choose whether you agree with me or not. And now that that ugliness is out of the way let me get to my point.

I looked around the sanctuary this morning during church and I noticed that there were quite a few more filled seats than I have seen in recent weeks. As we were leaving I noticed that the line of cars headed into the parking lot was a bit longer than I've seen in the past few weeks too. So what does this have to do with politics?

I have heard the phrase "We need to pray for our country is this time of trouble" more these past few weeks than I did in the past two years. As a matter of fact the last time this country seemed so united and religiously focused was right after 9/11. People filled churches then too. When we went to war initially, pews were packed. A few weeks ago when the bailout package was showing its face at every water cooler on the planet, there was a small spike. And now the Sunday before the election, look at the parking lots of your local churches.

I know why but I'm going to ask anyway. Why? Why is it ok for people to turn now and not every other week of the year? Why is He ok to talk about now? Why is it so important today when it wasn't that big of a deal this time last year? Does our country need MORE prayer now? Why? Because all of a sudden we find our McDonald's budget reduced?

Before I get skewered again, I have no problem with people turning to God. I would love to see more and more people turning. I would rather not have a whole empty pew beside me on Sunday morning. I don't mind waiting in line to pick my children up from nursery. I just hope they are sincere.

It is the people who aren't sincere who are giving the church the black eye. When people refer to hypocrites they are talking about people who act one way on Sunday AND IN A TIME OF CRISIS and a completely different way the rest of the week.

So my prayer is that on Wednesday when the election hype is over and the votes are tallied. In seven years when the economy has stabilized and we have forgotten all about this recession. When our property values are restored and we are telling our children about "when you were young." My prayer is that the church will be even more important than it is today. May the pews always be this full.