Friday, March 30, 2012

Three hours. THREE HOURS. The amount of time I spent on facebook and someecards this morning. The time I did NOT spend showering or cleaning ANYTHING. Three freakin' hours. And here I sit spending even MORE time on the computer. At least this time I am actually WRITING something, though the quality of what I am writing is definitely questionable.

A few weeks ago, I started writing those cards you see on facebook in my head and would crack myself up over them. Of course, now that I found out how to actually CREATE the cards, all the funny deserted me. So here I sat with my awkward forced funnies that I felt the need to forward (yes--I am being annoying with the alliteration. Oops.) and hope for my brain to remember the good ones. For now, I will share the ones I made and you can be the judge--I KNOW that some (if not all!) of them suck, but I had to start somewhere, right? I hope at least one will make you laugh! I'm also going to try to post them on facebook...if they are worse than I think, let me know so that I can delete them and maintain SOME dignity!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Don't you KNOW how that happens?

People are seriously out of their minds. I know--I am one of them, but still. A few years ago I had to go back to work. My son was almost a year old and it was hard for me to make that sacrifice. It was also hard for me to put food on the table because of our depleting financial status, so off to work I went. A girl who taught across the hall from my office found out she was pregnant at the beginning of the year. I was (obviously) very happy for her as were all of her friends and colleagues. It was funny for me because I had been where she was the year before, so I could see just how crazy I acted when pregnant. I really tried not to be TOO high maintenance, but that only goes so far with a pregnant woman!

This particular woman was quite bossy. Her students seemed to love her because she was also loud and fun (NO--I am not talking about a "friend" who is really me--there are other loud and obnoxious teachers out there!), but as her team's leader, she seemed to call all of the shots and the other members of her team were willing to let her. After she had her baby, she told our friend that she would not "let" her babysit.
Here's me:
"REALLY?! She won't LET you babysit? Because it is SUCH an honor and SUCH a coveted position?"

Here's my friend: "Well, she won't even let her mother do it yet--she just doesn't feel like her son will be ready to be with anyone but her until after the first or second year...she also wouldn't let her mom give him a bath--she is very protective of him!"

Here's me:

Here's my friend: "Teeheehee--what?! It's not a big deal! She'll LET me eventually..."

Here's me:

Here's me:

Here's me:
*SIGH* "So let me get this straight--if I act like watching my son for me is a PRIVILEGE, then I will eventually be able to get free babysitting? SIGN. ME. UP."

Here's my friend: "Do  you WANT me to watch him? Because I WILL..."

Here's me: "You are SOOOO missing my point. And what's this whole bath business? Did her mother not bathe HER successfully when she was a baby? I never had THE NERVE to tell people who had a hand in my husband's or my upbringing that they could not participate in things because I was unsure of their abilities. Any time I felt that little pang of...control loss? I reminded myself that the only person who was new at the parenting thing was ME!..." THAT was me (supposedly) not judging.

Anyway, I got pregnant with my second that fall as well, so we definitely were able to commiserate with each other. We both left at the end of the year and I never saw her again. Until I DID see her again. The following year I was working out at the Y and her son played in the gym with my two. We ran into each other on the way out and she noticed I was pregnant...AGAIN...and after asking me if I knew how it happened (YES--I KNOW--WE ALL KNOW, so you can STOP asking us!) she went on to say,

"We will NEVER have another one--WE just think it's selfish. There is no way you can have enough love and time for more than one child. PLUS, aren't you afraid that at least one of them is going to be messed up? Because I look at families and there is always ONE messed up kid--like my one sister is a TOTAL mess, so if my parents had stopped after having ME..." (As only an oldest child can say...)

Here's me:

"Well, it was nice seeing you. I am going to go work on damaging ALL of my children now--this way it will be fair."

Now I can't help but think that maybe her parents should have stopped BEFORE having her. Just sayin'...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Oh, Gluten--why do I love you so?

It turns out I am IN LOVE with GLUTEN. I know that EVERYONE has a gluten allergy or intolerance these days, but for the love of all that is good and tasty in this world, could we AT LEAST get a yummy substitution? I KNOW we had delicious foods when I was younger (and when my mother was younger, and when HER mother was younger...) and we NEVER had a problem with gluten. So what's the deal?

I decided a few weeks ago to give up gluten and dairy. It really wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, but after a good month of it, I stopped. Well, I stopped purposefully giving it up--I allowed myself the occasional glass of milk and yogurt and devoured a ridiculous amount of my friend's chocolate cake that she kindly brought over to my our house for me us to sample. You have NEVER eaten a chocolate cake as delicious as this one--I PROMISE you. And I am QUITE certain that there was MORE gluten in THAT cake than I ever want to know about--EVER. And that gluten was DAMN good.

So after my face-off with that chocolate slice of heaven, I continued to live my life gluten (ish) free and didn't have a problem. Spaghetti squash for pasta (I started doing this in Montana and LOVE it!) and quinoa and almond flour for pancakes. I use agave nectar and honey for sweetening things. Yesterday I got cocky. Way. TOO. Cocky.

You see, I thought that since the pancakes were so yummy, surely I could make muffins or bread that would be just as good. The key would be to make something that I could grab and go, but homemade (because I am also avoiding processed foods). Something that is FULL of protein, good fats and essential vitamins, that can be used as a meal on the go. I decided to make gluten-free zucchini bread. I'm not sure exactly where I went wrong, but it could have happened at any time during the making of this anti-gluten disaster.

I was so excited for this yummy treat--I never doubted for a SECOND that it wouldn't be delicious. As I was mixing my dry ingredients, I decided to add some ground up flax seed to the mix. Flax seed is ALWAYS a good thing to have in your food (right?)--and I never usually even TASTE it in my meals. Next, I thought I would add some spinach. Now I know this is making some of you gag, but I swear to you that you can put spinach in pretty much EVERYTHING and not taste it. REALLY. I also decided to add extra zucchini and some leftover smoothie (bananas, berries, peaches, kale, spinach) from the freezer. What is making me seriously laugh right now is the fact that so many of you are gagging and thinking, "Really? You put all of THAT into it and you are blaming the lack of GLUTEN?!" to which I would have to reply, "Yes."

When I bit into the bread (that SMELLED delicious) I almost immediately vomited. In fact, twenty minutes AFTER I took that bite I told my husband that the bread could be used to induce vomiting if anyone in the house swallows poison. Poison OTHER than the bread that is. If the consistency of the bread wasn't the worst part, the lack of sweetness was. Who knew that agave nectar and honey would have such a minute affect on the taste. Couple that with the grainy consistency due to lack of flour and it is a nightmare. One I DO NOT want to have again.

When your next recipe calls for two cups of flour and two cups of sugar, embrace it. Throw in some chocolate chips and enjoy every morsel--you never know when the gluten will be sucked out of your life and the baked goods will be nothing but a distant memory. Do you love gluten as much as I do?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Black and White Makes Green

Foul Mouth Mama posted this today...JUST for my blog I think...
I don't like to get political--I swear--but I also cannot keep my mouth shut. EVER. I need to weigh in on this whole Trayvon mess. I have purposefully NOT been listening to the "news" (you KNOW how I feel about THAT) and NOT been clicking on links because as horrifying as it sounded, I knew I didn't have the energy to research ANYTHING on my own. That said, I am so glad that I did not click or get involved with postings on it. I am P-R-E-T-T-Y sure that I would have said WAAAAAYYYY too much that I would have then had to take back.

It wouldn't be so complicated if we could all just get along. And by ALL, I mean ALL. I don't care if you are red, green, purple, brown, or blue. I take that back--I DO care if you are green--sorry--it's just that I have three small children and I myself struggle with autoimmune issues. You understand. I also DO NOT CARE if you are a three hundred and fifty pound male who likes to wear women's panties while he goes swing dancing (haha--SWING dancing...hahah--okay, I'll stop) with his boyfriend Bubba. As far as I am concerned, THAT is none of my business and the only reason I am MAKING it my business is because I am either A. hiding something that REALLY scares me or 2. jealous of your women's panties or jealous of the fact that YOUR partner takes you SWING dancing.  Either way, hating the "unknown" is not an option for me. I taught English for years (as is NOT AT ALL evident based on THIS blog!), so my JOB was to make people see that there are THREE sides to every story (I know we covered this HERE, but there ARE some newbies who weren't around for that)--your side, my side, and the truth. There is ALWAYS something more to a story--you just have to be willing to look for and find it.

Back to Trayvon. I saw pictures of a sweet and innocent young boy plastered across my computer screen for days. I was actually AFRAID to click on it because what happened to him was obviously so disgusting and I felt that my psyche would not be able to handle it. I KNEW I was outraged and I KNEW that what happened to him was despicable, I just didn't know exactly WHAT it was that outraged me because I was certain that if I read about it I would never let my children out of the house again.

THEN my husband came home last night and asked me if I had heard anything about it. I told him what I just told you and he filled me in on a little more information. Like, for example, the fact that Trayvon was not actually a "young" boy as much as he was a seventeen-year-old who had previously punched a bus driver (NOT a fact that I confirmed), and who was staying with dad's girlfriend because he was suspended (or expelled) from school and who may not be the only "victim" in this case. My point is NOT that he was doing anything wrong--it is that I don't know WHAT he was doing--and regardless of what he was doing, he did not deserve to die. That said, why is it that he has been portrayed as an innocent young child in every picture I have seen and why has this become a race battle? I feel...used...because those images were MEANT to sway my opinion. If true justice is what we want, then would it matter if Trayvon was a child or a man or black, red, green (yes, I covered that earlier) or purple? Killing an unarmed PERSON is wrong--right? But now we have to play games, which makes me wonder what else is being misconstrued.

Don't get me wrong--Zimmerman (the child-slayer) DEFINITELY had issues--he went after someone even after the 911 operator told him not to do it. The thing is--I was under the impression that he was some sort of vigilante racist who shot harmless young children simply based on their skin color. Now it is coming to light that a witness saw Zimmerman on the ground after an altercation with Trayvon--with blood on his nose and the back of his head, which indicates to me that the innocent young boy (who stood inches above the self-proclaimed neighborhood watch man, Zimmerman) could definitely hold his own--not that he should have HAD to if he was simply walking through a neighborhood not looking for trouble. The thing that bugs me more than ANY of this case is the fact that the thirteen-year-old witness is now in danger because the "media" published his name--because THAT is a good idea--everyone is already being so very REASONABLE about this case. Everyone is waiting for FACTS before they attack--I'm SURE there is NOTHING to worry about--AT ALL.

I still have limited knowledge about this entire case--which is why I don't profess to have the answers. What I DO know is that people are always so motivated by politics and stereotypes that I do not know WHAT is true anymore. If we could all just be...normal (relative, I know) about things then we wouldn't have to WORRY about these gray areas. If people weren't so quick to hate and judge this never would have happened. Maybe if the media wouldn't operate under a convict first, get answers later mentality,we wouldn't be so quick to make assumptions and perhaps we would even be willing to give people the benefit of the doubt (Yes I like it here in Nikatopia. The butterflies are made of chocolate.)

It is a travesty that a seventeen-year-old was killed, that is irrefutable, but is the person responsible for this untimely death really the malicious racist he is made out to be? I don't know--and right now, you don't either. Hopefully the evidence (typically an inconvenient annoyance to the most successful "journalists") will lead to the truth for the actual jurors in the case--and hopefully those involved (like the young witness who was publicly outed by the media) and their families will find peace when the truth comes to fruition--even IF the truth fails to make a lot of money for the media.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Miracle Ear and Duran Duran

I know that most of you know that I am broken, but yesterday I found out that I am...well, MORE broken. Evidently I am losing hearing in my right ear. I SAID, I AM LOSING HEARING IN MY RIGHT EAR. Of all of the... maladies I have, this one and the shrinking thing annoy me the most.

How am I supposed to embrace forty when the senior citizens in my exercise class are in better shape than I am? They stand taller, they move better, and NOW they even hear clearer. They all say, "Wait 'til you're MY age,"to which I respond, "I am pretty sure that I am not going to MAKE it to your age!"

I spent the better part of my appointments yesterday convincing people that I did not have a long career in construction, nor was I in a band (unless you count the time I spent singing Duran Duran into my hairbrush in the eighties). Here I thought that the REST of my family was hard of hearing! Maybe when I THINK I am asking them nicely and OUT LOUD, I am REALLY not saying anything at all--maybe my hearing loss did something to my SPEAKING...? OBVIOUSLY THAT isn't the case--NOTHING could keep ME mute--ask my mother!

As for the shrinking thing, I KNOW that people supposedly shrink as they age, but I'm not THAT age! So now I am shrinking and need the Miracle Ear--and this is BEFORE I hit forty. What do I have to look forward to when forty DOES hit?! Luckily I won't know because I will be too low to SEE it and too deaf to HEAR it--even if Duran Duran shows up and sings it into my hairbrush.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

REALLY?! I guess the apple really didn't fall too far...

I know I am supposed to be doing "Wordless Wednesday," but I think we know how I feel about EVER being wordless! My friend at You Know it Happens at Your House too has the greatest guest posts, which (coupled with the fact that I feel particularly crummy today and I am not supposed to be using words ANYWAY) inspired me to ask the oldest maniac if he would like to guest host for me. He was surprisingly thrilled about the opportunity to be heard and the second little maniac is already planning HER debut. I am going to let him type it and everything...I may even make this a once a week event.  Of course, it will probably just be another thing that I forget to follow through with by week two, but maybe THIS will be the thing I actually see through to fruition...
Here's Brayden:

Okay,so I'm sitting at the table drawing and I hear Addison saying weird words like fat cat and then "everyone
laugh your heads off "! I can't stand how loud she has to scream just to tell Ryan right across the table not even.                                                                                              
Then  Ryan hands me a napkin  that says Idiot and said "that's who I am''. I  wouldn't say she is an idiot but she  is forgetful . She forgets  her agenda and  forgot three weeks worth of   homework. And  she forgot that she can't ( well she is not
allowed to ) say idiot.Anyway, girls in second grade  are bringing in diaries that say I (heart shape)Boys. They read them
to people out loud. I think there crazy! Oh my gosh ! Ryan  just  literally  made a plate full of ranch dressing. She was going to eat plane brussell sprouts with ranch but then she poured way too much ranch. I think I hear the brussell sprouts screaming for help but Ryan forgot how to swim in ranch so she can't save them.

Well, as you can clearly see, the apple did not fall very far from THIS tree! I am concerned that my son began this with, "Okay, so...!" and that half of my posts begin similarly! It's bad enough that one of the first complete phrases he said (before he was even TWO) was, "You have GOT to be kidding me!" and that "Seriously?!" and "REALLY?!" are regular parts of his vocabulary. When I read this aloud to my husband, he assumed that the "Okay, so" part came from me. Who was it that mentioned that we shouldn't raise our children to be exactly like us? Me? Oh yeah...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mother of the YEAR?!

Did you know that there is ACTUALLY a Mother of the Year...contest?! People are actually NOMINATED for Mother of the Year. REALLY. those of you who throw those words out there like I do already KNEW that it was an actual THING? REALLY? Because once again, I am late to the party. I thought we were all just joking and that it wasn't really a thing.

So for those of you who were too make it to the party on time, let me fill  you in on all of this. There is ACTUALLYa MOTHEROFTHEYEAR. I guess it is an award and there is a ceremony and everything. I don't know WHY I am so surprised--why WOULD I know of that?!  YELLER of the Year, DEFINITELY. COMPLAINER of the Year, maybe. But MOTHER of the Year? PSHAAA! (That is how I am scoffing now--file that away in your files in your brain, because I just may whip it out when you least expect it. PSHAAA! See? Just keeping you on your toes...)

I first started claiming the MOTY title in a facebook post explaining my feelings about the Tooth Fairy. It seems that SOME "Tooth Fairies" leave ridiculous amounts of cash and Wii games for THEIR children when they lose teeth. No...the teeth are NOT made of gold or platinum--I asked. No, the teeth DO NOT clean and organize the home--I asked that, too. It seems that these Wii wielding, money making teeth are just like the teeth that my children have in their mouths, yet SOMEHOW, my children't teeth are worth like a quarter. Or fifty cents. POSSIBLY a dollar--depending on the tooth.

After whining venting to my facebook friends about the racket we call "losing teeth," I continued on with my night, complaining about Tommy and Lexi's parents "Tooth Fairies," who set the bar so very high. Really--a WII game makes sense for losing a TOOTH?! He didn't discover the New World for crying out loud--he lost a freakin' TOOTH. And FIVE dollars?! Though significantly less than a Wii game,  FIVE FREAKIN' DOLLARS?! She had better be scrubbing some floors for that amount of coin...

I was so caught up in the absurdity of it all that when I finally settled down, it was to go to sleep. WITHOUT removing the tooth from under the pillow and WITHOUT "helping" the Tooth Fairy to bring the fifty cents to a dollar that my husband and I deemed reasonable for a lost tooth. I woke up the following day to, "Why didn't the Tooth Fairy come, Mommy?!" MOTY moment! I believe that my response on THIS particular occasion went something like this," Are you sure? Maybe she put it somewhere else?" I asked as I used stealth maneuvering to place a dollar and a chicken scratched note (that I wrote while my husband and Brayden "looked" for the surprise) under his blankets. MIRACULOUSLY, he found it. The note read something like this:
Congratulations! I hope you enjoy your dollar--I always give more money and allow you to keep the FIRST tooth because THAT is the most exciting tooth! I couldn't put the money under your pillow because when I tried you rolled over and took your pillow with you! Don't forget to brush--I can't give money or presents for a dirty tooth!
 When I posted my MOTY moment, SO MANY of my friends posted similar stories. This was back before I even knew what a blog was, but I should find it now and share the posts--some of them were pretty funny! My point? I always used  Mother of the Year sarcastically--never knowing that there could REALLY be a Mother of the Year! I wonder what I would need to do to get nominated. Stop yelling, I would imagine. Oh--and stop making them cry all the time. And I would guess that sarcasm is out. And I suppose I would have to FEED them. regularly. Oh--and BATHE them. And brush their hair. And REMEMBER to have the Tooth Fairy come. And at least give the illusion of having a calm and happy family. 

Wow--I am exhausted just TALKING about this award. I think I prefer to win the sarcastic MOTY award. So no one is going to send me to DC or buy me presents...they don't do that now AND I do not have the added pressure of PRETENDING to be good at this job! I am just happy that we are all walking (almost) upright at the end of each day. Maybe they could lower the bar to MOTMinute--even then I don't think I stand a chance...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fancy salads and relinquishing control

So let me tell you about last Tuesday. And Wednesday. But mostly, Tuesday.

My friend, Melissa just started a new job. She is a little overwhelmed, as she has been home with her four children for the last...five years? Six? I'm not sure, though I probably SHOULD be. Sure that is. Anyway, this new job (although it sounds AHMAZINNNG to me) is really taking its toll on her. You see, she only needs to work five days a month, but those five days are (usually) spent travelling. She will eventually be earning enough money doing this that I am sure it will be worth it to her. I know--I shouldn't speak for someone else. My husband would hate the job (though he would LOVE the hours and the pay!) because he hates to travel. I don't believe it when people tell me that they don't like to travel, but he has stood by this for thirteen years now...maybe there is SOME truth to it. Anyway, it is really hard for Melissa to relinquish control over the home--something I COMPLETELY understand. As a stay at home parent, your job BECOMES you. You have a way of doing things [what you consider to be] the RIGHT way and another person cannot simply step in and make your world happen. There is a routine. Rules must be followed. 

I know for me, I was extremely threatened when my husband stepped up to the plate and was able to do...well, EVERYTHING without any major disasters and with everyone still standing at the end of the day. Whenever I was too sick to do the daily routine, my husband would take over and would do things...HIS way and would seemingly complete everything with ease, which drove me out of my mind. It made me feel like the world would be just fine without me and what a CRUMMY feeling that is. I know--this sounds so selfish, but be honest with yourself for like a second and tell me that you don't long to feel needed--at least to SOME degree in your life. See? It sucks, right?

Just a few weeks ago I was having a bad day and I asked my husband to make the salad for dinner. Who knew that my husband (whose main only dishes are french toast and macandcheeseandhotdogs (yes--all together JUST like that)) would go all Gordon Ramsey on the salad chopping and fluffing and peeling...

I need you to know something. When I "make" a salad, I wash the veggies and MAYBE slice them--MAYBE. I leave the peels on pretty much EVERYTHING because A. The peels are generally the healthiest part and 2. I am DAMN lazy tired. Gordon Ramsey My husband not only peeled things, he sliced wagon wheel cucumbers and radish flowers. I can't work with this. I wish I could explain to you the level of disgust I felt for my husband when I looked at his...masterpiece. No, I was not ecstatic that he significantly helped me get a healthy meal together for our family. I was not thanking him profusely. Instead, I was stewing over the fact that he had made a "fancy salad," and I kept mentioning his, "FAAANCY salad" like he had stolen the last morsel of food out of my baby's mouth. "Look at you with your FAAANCY salad...I don't ever make FAANCY salads..." I was like a little bully--NOT an endearing quality I have to say.

A few days later, I was going out with some friends. Yes, I KNOW that I should have spent my time being happy and grateful that I was able to go out with friends, but he did it AGAIN. I had dinner all ready for everyone, but my husband felt the need to make ANOTHER fancy salad. I cannot explain to you how upset this made me. I am not proud, but I became ENRAGED over that stupid salad. All I kept thinking was that he had to go and make a fancy salad to show that he could make a salad better than I could. REALLY?!  As I am typing this I cannot get over how RIDICULOUS it sounds. But aren't we ALL that ridiculous sometimes? The more I got in my own head, the angrier I became. My husbands blatant disregard  innocent ignorance of my irrationality just made me more irrational. I  had to tell the story OUT LOUD so that I could hear myself and finally laugh at the absurdity of it all. It gave us something to laugh at that night. The next day I told my husband about it and he had NO CLUE (duh!) that I was even upset!

I know this started with Melissa and she is not a lunatic as crazy as I am when it comes to how she "runs" things at home. Like any stay at home parent, she  became invested in her children's daily routine and feels a lack of...control now that (at least for five days a month) she has to relinquish that control and adapt to a new identity. We have all been there to some degree, even if it is only with someone offering to help. "This is how I do it..."   'Thanks, but they are used to ME and the way that I do things..."  We are truly worried that if we relinquish control our entire identity will spin out of our hands. First it's cartoons before breakfast, next it's dropping out of high school. We are so afraid of something horrible happening when we aren't there to protect our children, but we are also afraid that NOTHING horrible will happen. That the routine we spent YEARS fine tuning and adapting to our family's needs is completely unnecessary and the family will function without it.

THIS is quite a tangent! I was GOING to tell you about the madness that prompted my I'm Leaving Tom post, but I clearly needed some catharsis and there seems to be a shortage of therapists in Jersey. Perhaps Tuesday's story will be better told...well...on Tuesday. I think I want a salad. A fancy salad--with wagon wheels and radish flowers. No peels. And I will make it MYSELF...

What are some ways YOU relinquish control OR refuse to relinquish control?

Friday, March 16, 2012

THIS IS THE LAST TIME...I SWEAR! (At least for today...)

So yesterday I was annoyed because I evidently had READ an article on facebook about Obama and a friend somehow learned of the appalling fact that I did so. This prompted a word-lashing of sorts and it REALLY annoyed me. First, I was annoyed because FACEBOOK  tells people what I READ or LOOK AT now? REALLY? And B. How dare anyone infer ANYTHING about something I read or looked at on my own time. Seriously. How. Dare. They.

I cannot even tell you what the title of the article was and I REALLY have no idea what it was about. IN FACT, I do not even REMEMBER clicking on it or reading it. EVER. That is not to say that I WOULDN'T have read it, nor does it mean that I agree or disagree with its premise. I generally do not try not to base my assertions on ONE article. If something IN the article intrigues me, I will either A. research to find other support for what I have read or 2. Ask my husband to look it ALL up and explain it to me because I am just too lazy tired and don't care enough. That said, the only thing I remember about the article that I allegedly read is the fact that a friend of mine felt the need to bash me for it and to drum up support for Obama in the process. I am P-R-E-T-T-Y sure that anyone who was on the fence about Obama was pushed to his side after my friend pushed his views onto me (and anyone else who had the pleasure of reading it). I'm not sure if THAT was his goal, but that is what he did.

This...incident...prompted me to write about how much I LOATHE politics and to possibly make generalizations about Condervatives and Republicans. And Conservative Republicans. This is of course unfair to those intelligent Conservative Republicans out there--I apologize to you both. HA! You get it? BOTH of you? Like there are only TWO...oh. you get it. Anyway, I was just kidding--I needed to pick up the tone because it is SERIOUSLY getting way too angry on here!

I do apologize for the generalizations, I just wish that more of you would get upset with the hate mongers and loud mouths who make it appear that your politics are the same as theirs. Contrary to popular belief, I am not affiliated with either party, nor do I appreciate being lumped in with , "YOU liberals..." because I am also NOT a liberal. I am liberal MINDED...perhaps a Liberal Conservative? I am not one thing because I refuse to follow one person simply because a group that I belong to tells me I have to do so. I want my leaders to convince ME that they are worthy (or as worthy as a politician can BE these days). I do not choose to discuss my political choices with people because for ten years of my life I heard about how I was "supposed to" feel about certain candidates and no one seemed particularly interested in finding out why (or whether) I did or did  not agree with them.

When I was growing up I was taught that it was impolite to talk about politics or to ask a person who they want to win an election. That was right up there with asking how much a person makes and how much a person weighs. What I learned in my thirties is that the loudest person wins, controls the room and tries to sway everyone into voting for the candidate of said loud person's choosing. This is not to say that I am not loud...I am probably one of the loudest people you will just learned that when it comes to people who are very passionate about politics, they do not care what anyone else thinks or says--they make up their minds and never look back--regardless of what transpires.

This tenacity can almost be admired--I cannot even make up my mind about favorite colors and ice cream flavors--it just worries me that so many people refuse to budge in their thinking--even when they maybe SHOULD...

The reason I was so...hard on the Republicans (and Conservatives and conservative Republicans...) is because in my experience (and it COULD be that I am the only one to have experienced this), they are the ones who rudely make assertions about MY politics without any supporting facts and who try to force their opinions upon me. Now, this could be because the Democrats in my life simply assume that I am one of them, I don't know. The thing is, even at mixed gatherings (yes--even in Virginia there are SOME Democrats), the Democrats or Liberals were not the ones dictating how to vote.

I do not CARE about your political affiliations. I do not CARE who you do or do not want for president. I don't. AT ALL. I DO care about what kind of person you are--to my my friends...I DO care if you spew out hatred of any kind--racial and ethnic slurs are unacceptable regardless of your political party or religious beliefs. I want my children to be kind. I want them to ALWAYS put themselves in another person's shoes. I want them to constantly think, "How would I feel if someone said that to me?" or "How would I feel if I were that person right now?" and if the answer is "NOT GOOD" then the behavior needs to change. I expect that of my children, I expect that of myself and I expect that of my friends. Republicans. Conservatives. Conservative Republicans. Democrats. Liberals. Liberal Democrats. And Conservative Democrats and Liberal Republicans. Whew. I must be REALLY popular...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

SO what if little sleep makes me cranky...and political...and foul-mouthed...

Don't be a hater. If you want people to hear you and if you REALLY think you have important things to say, then be nice. If you are...sorry...a d!ck, no one will want to hear you and they will MOST DEFINITELY not listen to you. Unless your name is Rush. Or Glen. Or Hannity.

 I'm not sure WHY, but people over the last decade have become comfortable with being yelled at and told what to think. THEN they yell at others and tell THEM what to think. It is maddening. Why is it considered LIBERAL to formulate your own opinions instead of following herds of sheep who are taking orders from a blowhard with no sense? And why is being LIBERAL an insult? Liberalism (from the Latin liberalis) is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Should we not ALL be liberals? Can we not dislike masked men who pillage and rape, yet take the time to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that we do indeed have the right man behind the mask? my analogy is lacking, but surely you see my point. In fact, I INSIST that you see my point, because these days, that's what people seem to want. They want to be TOLD how they are supposed to feel and want to move forward without researching anything on their own and without questioning their heroes--or anyone who confirms what they WANT to believe. 

Years ago, I had a friend who was(is)a die-hard Republican. This "friend's" political party made up her entire BEING. Her small children claimed to be Republican as well. In fact, when Obama was elected, her young daughter cried and said, "Oh no, Mommy! What are we going to do now that a LIAR is running our country?!" Really? REALLY?! (I know what you are thinking...EVERY PERSON WHO HAS EVER RUN FOR OFFICE AND EVERY PERSON WHO HAS EVER BEEN IN OFFICE LIED--I know that and YOU know that, but that is not the point. For today at least...) I looked at the mother in disbelief. She REALLY finds it okay to put this burden on her child? REALLY? Not to mention, THIS is how we "train" our future leaders? By raising them as little sheep from the time they exit the womb? By teaching them that it isn't okay for them to think for themselves--EVER--and by TELLING them what THEY believe? Every time I think about this I feel sick. And sad.

 During that time I taught high school English and I had a group of tenth graders who...let's just say they liked to fester in their negativity. The class was really diverse ethnically speaking and there were some STRONG opinions for fourteen-sixteen-year-olds and some conversations got a little...heated due to ignorance on the part of some--because of the way they were raised. Hate is taught. One day the anger and negativity was too much for me. I told them to write the three things that made them the happiest on a sheet of paper. When the majority of them did nothing, I told them that I was going to mail their responses home and that they would only get full credit if they had a proper heading ( remember...your name, the date, the class, the period...HEADING...anyway...) and if they wrote THREE things that made them happy. I showed them on the board:
 1. My marriage 2. My children 3. Chocolate

 I am sure that I am totally lying right now. There is NO WAY that chocolate came third at that point in time and I am P-R-E-T-T-Y sure that my marriage didn't even make the list at that point (My children were three, two, and one. Wine was probably first and marriage probably never entered the equation. I told you I was angry. And tired. And thirsty.)

 Anyway, they had to follow the model and pass up their papers. I know you think that I am being overly repetitive right now and that this is a bit too basic for a group of tenth graders. You would be wrong. Three people did not do it, five people forgot their names and seven people did not follow the model. When I told them I was going to mail it home, I cannot even DESCRIBE the level of disdain that was thrown at me. Here's me:
 "Seriously?! It is THAT upsetting to you that I am going to show your parents THREE THINGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY?!"
Here's them: "OHMYGODWHYWOULDYOEDOTHATYOUCAN'TDOTHATIT'SMYOWNPRIVATEWORKDON'TPLEASEMRS.CORWINYOUWOULDN'T...!" It was mayhem. When all was said and done (or whined and chicken-scratched out) what I found the most interesting was one paper that read: repulicans,guns,mony god dad
 Hmm. Well...I guess it's nice that he thought of his father. And God made a brief appearance, so there's THAT. I found it a bit...disheartening that a child who was not even old enough to vote wrote that the thing that made him the HAPPIEST was what I could only assume was supposed to read, "Republicans." Obviously SPELLING and PENMANSHIP weren't up on his list. Noted.

 Don't get me wrong--political parties make me happy, too. Especially when they give me MATERIAL. I just don't understand how a boy--barely a teenager--could place his happiness in the hands of a political party--regardless of which one he chose.

 Now, during that time I also taught classes full of--advanced isn't strong enough and genius sounds pretentious...gifted does not even begin to cover it--think Big Bang Theory--you know, Sheldon (which is what we call my son at times...)? No? Let's go with Future Cancer-curers of America. Many of these students, though I did NOT play the same game with them could have answered similarly and it would have caused me less concern (though still wouldn't be my FAVORITE answers). The difference being that THESE students (even if they didn't do it FOR an assignment) would research EVERYTHING they were passionate about and do whatever was in their power to PROVE that they were right. It happened, but RARELY would there be a blowhard yammering on about undocumented facts that they spewed after listening to talk radio or MSN. Like I happened,I mean, they WERE high school students after all, but it was rare. My point? Do you really feel good about yourself as a parent if you are raising your children to follow along blindly? Are the more educated people (and by more educated I do NOT mean "most powerful" nor do I mean Democrat OR Republican) in our world "following blindly" or are they researching to find out for themselves? And if the answers are not found, do we really want our children to lead with hate and to follow those who are yelling the loudest? Is it THAT important to us to have our children grow up having the SAME EXACT views that WE have? Are we REALLY that confident in ourselves?! How are we raising people to cure disease and to take care of us if they are simply following along in our shadows? WE didn't cure cancer. WE'RE not even PLAYING someone who cured cancer on television. And following a political party does not a politician make. (You see what I did there? No? Yeah...I don't either...I just thought--I know--I shouldn't do that. Think, I mean...) Or maybe that IS what does make a politician and maybe THAT is what is wrong with politicians. They don't THINK...

 I really try not to get political (OBVIOUSLY...)--I don't like what most blowhards people have to offer because too many people think they have the answers and too few people are actually LOOKING for said answers. I am NOT a liberal, but I AM liberal. I live in a democracy and choose to exercise my democratic rights--or not to if the case may be. I become more conservative the older I get, but I do not push my views on others--it is not my job, nor do I feel that it is my right. Also, if a person takes the time to PROVE an assertion, I can be swayed. These days I am swayed more easily because I am just too damn lazy to research things on my own.

 My children DO NOT live in a democracy. They live in...a kingdom. I am the queen and they MUST do as I say or suffer the consequences. I have run the kingdom into the ground a bit because I...listen to too many complaints from "the people" instead of continuing with my tyrannical lead with little to no thought of their opinions.I blame the blowhards for this. I am so afraid of pushing my beliefs onto my children instead of allowing them to learn and grow for fear of BECOMING a blowhard that I cave when I should be strong. I do not want my children to think that they need to follow blindly and that my way IN LIFE must be their way when they leave here. I want to teach them how to look for answers on their own and how to deduce fact from fiction and news from...whatever it is that WE get these days. I want them to form assertions based on proof and to CHANGE their opinions if the facts change (instead of standing up for something merely because they initially thought that they were right). I'm trying to find...the have my tyrannical lead WHILST teaching them to question...just as long as they don't question ME...that can be done, right?! (Yes...I DID use "whilst..." it can be done...)

 Why is it that changing one's mind has now been deemed flip-flopping and indecisive? When did we go from wanting to know the truth to having to firmly stand on a position that is no longer valid to give the APPEARANCE of strength? When did we lose humility? That same year of teaching was the first time I was given a hard time (by parents AND students)for admitting to not knowing things (imagine how hard THAT year was, considering how LITTLE I really know...!). We are now a world where everyone must give the illusion of knowing everything. Humility is weak and standing on principle...with no supporting considered strong. Bullying others into believing whatever nonsensical information you spew out of your mouth is now revered. Good news for Brayden...he came out of the WOMB KNOWING everything. I have spent my days trying desperately to teach him humility and to show him that it is OKAY to not know everything. Unfortunately, this world is going to show him otherwise...

 Thanks to The Klonopin Chronicles and Unconventional Wisdom for the above photo. It couldn't be more perfect!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I'm leaving Tom

So I had to interrupt my own blog (or include a preface!) to remind you to look at and enter yesterday's contest and to let you know (or WARN you!) that I WILL tell the actual story of last night that inspired this post when I get more than two (three?) hours of sleep. Happy reading! That's it--it's final. I'm leaving Tom. I'm done. We've tried counseling and self-help books (or manuals. Tomato...tomato...?) and have even tried time outs, but nothing gets through to Tom. I know what some of you are thinking--I KNOW that my husband's name is DAVE. I am speaking of Tom...Tom. And I am leaving TomTom for Siri because Tom hates me. This isn't the first time I thought that Tom and I should part ways--it has been in the works for a while now. There was the time when we were in Canada and almost ended up at the bottom of lake Erie. Or when we visited my dear friends (and my DARLING Godson) in Poughkeepsie and it got stuck...on Poughkeepsie. So much so that while we were driving in SOUTH DAKOTA seven months later our map read POUGHKEEPSIE and practically drove us INTO Mount Rushmore (or the Roosevelt Mansion as Tom would have you believe). The fact that whenever I truly need him he fails me is definitely becoming a problem. I deserve FAMILY MEMBERS deserve better. And better is what I hope to give them. Maybe if I get a paper route or something... So my latest...debacle with Tom was just last night. I can safely write this now because I will not be needing Tom's services for a good day or two. If he gets offended and tries to freeze me out or give me the silent treatment it won't matter because I know how to get to anywhere I could possibly need to go for the next few days. This is why I thought that now would be the time to voice my disdain. What I want to know is how do I end up with the only GPS on the PLANET with an attitude? If Tom tells me to exit right and I don't exit ENOUGH right, a pissy voice may or may not come back on to give me an alternate route. Heaven forbid I should do it TWICE--then Tom decides to go silent and leave me on my own. For the ENTIRE trip. Grrrr...TOM. I know that some of you probably think that my words are hyperbolic and surely do not accurately describe what happens--after all, a GPS couldn't possibly give the SILENT treatment, but you have not met Tom. Two friends now have witnessed Tom's infractions and would FULLY support a switch to Siri. Before I try to convey a story that may or may not be able to be put into words, I have to do what I hate--I have to play favorites and compare Tom and Siri.I know it's not good for their self esteem, but getting caught between gang fire in downtown Newark isn't good for MY self esteem. At least it wasn't CAMDEN. *shudder* Where was I? Keep up, KNOW I'm not going to and SOMEONE should know what it is I think I am doing here...right? So Tom...tells me to get off of the highway for no particular reason and then leads me back TO the highway again more tolls? Waste gas and time? No clue. Siri on the other hand responds to, "Why are we leaving the highway, Siri?" "Oh, my! So sorry to startle you, but we need to exit the highway because you only have a third of a tank of gas left and gas prices get more expensive down the road. I should have explained it to you before I told you to exit. Forgive me?" (In my world, Siri is Mr. Belvedere meets Mary Poppins. It could happen--you don't know.) Tom finds that you are in an unsafe location and threatens to blow up your vehicle as you circle "the hood" for hours, desperately trying to escape. Tom says nothing--just circles and circles and...SIRI on the other hand? "Goodness, this appears to be the outskirts of what may possibly become a sketchy neighborhood. Please forgive me for taking this way. You must IMMEDIATELY turn around (she would say a specific location here) and (specific direction, specific direction, specific direction). Would you like me to wipe your brow? The stress of almost being in the outskirts of somewhere dangerous seemed to cause a small amount of perspiration to form on your otherwise flawless brow..." Tom just lets me rot like the sweaty flawed-brow woman I am and tries to sabotage me in my endeavors. THIS is why I am leaving Tom. And why I have to end this because I'm going to have to get started on my paper deliveries if Siri is going to be invited to live here. Do they even HAVE paper people anymore? Siri would know...

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Pinterest Giveaway

Pin It

Wanna get started on Pinterest but have no idea what to do or where to begin?

Better enter this giveaway!

Winner will receive a copy of Designher Brands' latest digital handbook by Internet marketing strategist Melissa Bolton. It details everything you need to know from getting set up to pinning like a pro.

All you have to do is:
  • LIKE Just Another Tired Mommy on Facebook
  • LIKE Melissa's page, Designher Brands, on Facebook
  • and leave me a comment on THIS post to let me know you were here
  • If you're one of those 'extra credit' types you can BLOG about this giveaway for FIVE extra points!  (Enter the link to your blogpost to your comment).

Keep track of your entries using the Rafflecopter tool below.
A winner will be selected via a random number generator next week.
Stop back to see if it's YOU!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Memey Monday: What do YOU think?

Well HELLLOOOOOOOO there! I'm sorry I left you--I am CERTAIN you felt a loss of some kind...maybe confused it with heartburn...but really, you missed me. And I, you. I would like to say that I was off doing something spectacular, but I would be lying. Of course, for all some of you know, I could be lying all the time. Perhaps I am a three hundred pound male from Duluth (not sure why, but Duluth is my new "go to" place. Or why the weight of said gentleman would be a factor... roll with it...) who is misunderstood and researching the mind of a SAHM for his new book...I am a Misunderstood Three Hundred Pound Male from Duluth Pretending to be a Crazed SAHM who Blogs. P-R-E-T-T-Y sneaky!

Well, today I am going to follow the PLAN --you remember--MEMEY MONDAY (I really need to work on that!).'s topic comes from my friend, Agneta who posted this on facebook this morning . Go on...right click and read it. I promise you, it will be entertaining. Not entertaining like Amber Dusick's article about the things we will never let our children do, but entertaining like...poetic justice. So read it now. NOW.

Okay, is that not a beautiful thing?! Senator Nina Turner is now my hero. I really try not to get political on here, but this woman's actions speak to EVERY party and this is how she wants to make EVERY party listen and take note. The important issues are getting lost while everyone settles into their playground fighting, though it seems that Senator Turner just found a way to break up the fight and make every party listen from their respective corners.

Without getting TOO political, what is your reaction to this article? you have a suggestion as to how we get ALL parties to drop the hypocrisy and focus on the issues that are getting pushed aside to further political gain? BE NICE. nice fighting on here! Why do I suddenly feel like I am asking for trouble...? Really though, even the most conservative of conservatives has to admit that there is a blatant double standard, right? fighting. Can't WAIT to hear responses...really...not nervous AT ALL...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pinteresting Friends

So some of you may remember that I did a post about Twitter and then a post about Pinterest and my extensive research (sitting on my sofa with a cold beverage rambling inanely about things that confuse me to people who are nice enough to read it) shows that the Twitter and Pinterest enthusiasts really know what they are doing whereas those of us who do NOT know what we are doing...REALLY do NOT know what we are doing!

That said, I have several friends who tried to get me on both venues for the longest time. Now that I have obliged, two of them want me to actually KNOW what I am doing--at least on Pinterest! This brings me to my FIRST GUEST POST and my FIRST GIVEAWAY! Having a guest post and a giveaway on my blog makes me feel so very important--like people actually give a rat's @25 what I have to say. Even if they don't--THIS makes me feel like they DO!

Kate Jones is a talented  and REAL Ohio Housewife (nevermind DC and Beverly Hills--Ohio is where THIS housewife likes to roll...) and is the mind behind Katie J. Designs (check out her headbands and American Girl Doll clothes) and Sweet Mia's Desserts. if you haven't "liked" her pages or followed her blogs, please do so...NOW.
Okay...did you? DID YOU?! There is always one slacker who makes the rest of the class wait. Usually it's me.

NOW...if you didn't do it yet, please be sure to when you are done reading this. It will make us all so very happy and you won't be disappointed! Some of the desserts that she displays look so delectable, it's almost enough just to LOOK at them! And I ONLY have to look at them for them to attach to my hips...but that is a story for ANOTHER day.
Well, Kate was kind enough to send me a copy of her blog post about Pinterest in hopes that it would help those of us who are Pinterest...impaired.  We hope that you find her advice helpful while you practice with Pinterest and wait for next week's giveaway...(more about the giveaway after this message from Kate)

Pinterest – The Basics

Ah, Pinterest.  I am sure you have all been hearing about this amazing pinning site in the last few months.  I am here to give you the lowdown (as I see it, anyways.)  I joined/was invited to Pinterest six months ago, so I have had time to learn my way around the site and really see the benefits of it.  I have seen a major jump in users in the last month.  Wowzers!  Invitations were flying! I love that I can connect with friends by sharing all the things we find interesting. I have learned a lot about people just by looking at their pins. It’s like a glimpse inside their minds.
What is Pinterest? Wikipedia defines it as a pinboard-styled social photo sharing website.  I don’t think that begins to cover it.  While it photo-based, it is much more than just photo-sharing.  It is sharing inspiration be it fashion, food, crafts, or funnies.  Each photo, or pin,  represents a link to a website page where I can find these inspirations. Each pin is stored on a themed board.  It is a “corkboard” full of ideas that are all about me.  My recipes, my sewing patterns, my home decorating ideas – all in one convenient spot, organized onto my boards.

This is a screenshot of all of my boards. If I click on a board, it will show me all of the pins that reside within.

I chose my Pink! board as an example. You really can make a board for anything! You can see each pin on that board.

Finally, here is a pin on the Pink! board. The blue circle shows the website origin of the image. The green circle is the re-pin button. Use this to add the image to your board.
Why Pinterest?  If you are anything like me, you have a zillion bookmarks on your computer for everything from recipes, home decorating ideas, crafting/sewing tutorials, and more. How many times have you forgotten what you bookmarked or had to open them all just to find what you were looking for?  I was constantly forgetting which recipe I wanted and would spend way too much time opening bookmark after bookmark trying to figure it out. Or worse, I would forget to bookmark a recipe I liked and have to search forever online to find it again.  Pinterest offers you a neat, organized way of keeping all of these bookmarks, and missed bookmarks, in one spot.  And it includes a photo, so you always know exactly what the pin is and you are reminded of all the great pins you may have forgotten about.
Another benefit is self-promotion.  Have a website that you’d like to get noticed?  Pin it!  This is great way to show off your website and bring in traffic.  Especially good for newbies, like me. :)   Don’t be shy.  It is a terrific marketing tool and we all do it.
Need more convincing?  How about this. My kitty dumped a glass of water onto my laptop.  Needless to say, the laptop did not survive. No worries, the cat is fine.   Now I am left with a ton of lost bookmarks!  So many recipes and free sewing pattern links, just gone.  I was very happy that I had taken the time to pin my favorite ones.  They were still there all safe and snug on my boards.
How do I join?  To join Pinterest, you need an e-mail invitation.  You can request one from the site or Facebook fan page, but if you know someone who is using it already, it will be quicker to have them send you the invitation.  Once you get the e-mail, follow the directions to get your account set-up.  You will get a set of pre-determined boards when you sign on.  Feel free to change them, delete them, and/or add your own.  They are there just to help you get inspired.  You will also need to add the “Pin it” button to your internet toolbar.   You will use this often, so don’t skip it.  More details on how to use it below.  So you have your account, your button , and your boards.  Now what?
How and what do I pin?  There are three ways to pin.  You can use the “Pin it” button to pin something you found on the internet or you can re-pin an image you found on Pinterest.  If you have some favorite bookmarks, go ahead and start with those.  When you find, say, a recipe, that you want to save, click on the “Pin it” button and you will get a page that shows you the images available for pinning.  Pick the one you like and a “Pin this” button will hover over the picture.  Click that and a small pop-up window will give you the option to choose which of your boards you want this to go on and a section for a description.  Don’t skip the description!  A simple phrase is sufficient.  More on that later. Click “Save” and done!  The third option is to upload a photo from your computer.  This will not have a link attached.  I have yet to see the benefit of this, but it may hit me one day.

If you look closely, I have circled the "Pin it" button in red.
Sorry.  The images are smaller than I wanted, but hopefully you can see what I am talking about.  I hope this has been helpful.  I will be talking more about Pinterest over the next week or so.   There is so much I want to tell you all!!  Up next, etiquette rules and pet peeves.  Have some rules or peeves you think I might need to know?  Post them below.
 Thanks, Kate for taking the time to put that together for us! We will check out your blog for more tips throughout the week! (RIGHT, CLASS?!)
Now, I did mention a giveaway--I'm not sure WHY I mentioned it TODAY because we are going to do it next week--I am just so excited! I want everyone to mentally prepare for the fact that this is REALLY going to happen! Not the promise of one day having shirts that say "JustanothertiredmommyFanOfTheWeek" on them, but an actual ITEM that you can have seconds after you win it! And I am told we will have a RAFFLECOPTER. I seriously thought that only important people got to use RAFFLECOPTER. I am hitting the big time! Okay, so MY FRIENDS are dragging me up is really what is happening, but I am not above riding on ANYONE'S coattails! Especially MY friends--they rock. You are one of them, you should know. Seriously, if you are taking the time to read my blog, you are my friend. No takesies backsies--sorry! week...focus...
Next week Melissa Bolton of DesignHer Brands and Adored Before fame will be joining my blog for a Pinteresting Giveaway...
If you haven't had the chance to check out Melissa's sites, there's no better time than NOW (or later if you really don't have time--just make sure that you do--there won't be a test. Yet.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Just Another Tired Mommy: YAY--The Sunshine Award!

Just Another Tired Mommy: YAY--The Sunshine Award!: When I was in school, only one person won each game. Only those who truly excelled received trophies and only the top echelon won awar...

YAY--The Sunshine Award!

When I was in school, only one person won each game. Only those who truly excelled received trophies and only the top echelon won awards. That said, I did not ever get an award. Or a trophy. Or win. Heck, I was just happy not to get picked LAST every game!  I was your average awkward tween/teen and just wanted people to like me. I tried to 
blend in because A. From the time I was in kindergarten, I was a giant 
and 2. Whenever I was noticed, trouble followed. I was ALWAYS at the wrong place at the wrong time.

WELL, my friends in the blogosphere, that gangly girl of the 80s has now received her THIRD award. Yes, that's right--THIRD. She was completely taken by surprise when she got the first, was convinced that the second would most definitely be her last, but she has now been given A THIRD. Why is said girl speaking in the THIRD person, you ask? I don't know really--and it IS annoying, so I will stop.

I feel a little weird "...thanking my fans..." for making all of this possible (because who do I really think I am, anyway?!), but it always makes me feel so honored to know that 
1. Someone (ANYONE besides a blood-relative or in-law) is actually READING my material and B. Said person actually LIKES what I've written. THIS even tops getting picked first in kickball (not that I would know)!

Check out Melissa Gardener at My Unpublished Life as she was nice enough to nominate me for The Sunshine Award and I am so thrilled to accept it--thank you, Melissa! You will definitely not regret checking out Melissa's page and sharing the love!

There are five rules that go along with accepting The Sunshine Award and they are:
1. Include the award's logo in a post or on your blog.
2. Answer ten questions about yourself.
3. Nominate ten to twelve other fabulous bloggers.
4. Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know that they have been nominated.
5. Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

Now, those of you who have been doing your homework and reading my posts for these last few months know how I feel about LISTS, but I already knocked out two of the listed items, so I may be able to accomplish this before I lose it (which is HUGE for me)!

Now for the questions (for the record, I am the worst question anwerer (yes it IS now a word) EVER, so bare with me...
What is your favorite color?
REALLY? My FAVORITE color? Of what? Car? Bedroom? House? Dog? I have never been able to accurately answer this question. I KNOW that "normal" people have "favorites," but I've never really been good at it. I like warm browns, oranges, and reds for my clothing and my walls, yet my FAVORITE VEHICLE OF ALL TIME was royal blue. I generally choose red Skittles and Starburst, but love a green Jolly Rancher. I find yellow very cheerful and love it paired with teal or hot pink. I will pretty much like ANY color if it is presented nicely.
What is your favorite animal?

Again, it is hard for me to have a favorite, but recently I seem to be partial to this:
...and THIS...

Although, THIS is too cute for words...

...and THIS!

Of course, we watched Mr. Popper's penguins and I was quite convinced (as were my children...husband, not-so-much) that we could make the whole penguin thing happen. Maybe if we were still in Montana...
Favorite non-alcoholic drink
I am SO VERY BORING. ANYONE who has had the (dis)pleasure of dining out with me knows how VERY ANNOYING I am when it comes to my beverage. I ALWAYS drink a large ice water (no lemon because I waited tables and it cured me of EVER wanting fruit in my beverage...) with extra ice. Often times I will ask for ANOTHER glass of just ice because few people really believe me when I say I want extra. If you ever come to my house you will find that we have alcoholic drinks, milk, and water. Not the BEST hosts...
I do have to say that my time in Montana introduced me to yummy coffee drinks--or dessert in a cup as I like to call it. Some of my former students will attest to the fact that I should RARELY partake in coffee drinking as I am already hyper enough!
Favorite number
Again, REALLY?! My whole life I have made up "favorite" numbers and colors because it seems like people ALWAYS have a favorite, but I rarely have a favorite ANYTHING! I guess thirteen was my "number" for a while because it was the number I used to type in orders when I waited tables. Then, 2 and 19 were the numbers I used when I lost all of the money that I earned waiting on those tables on Keno. Now...three? Five? I honestly don't know, but if I ever win the lottery, I am certain that my feelings will change!
Facebook or Twitter
This should probably read, "Facebook or...anything else..." because it seems I love facebook a little too much. Maybe I can start a support group on facebook...
My passion 
my family...blogging...teacher's rights...human rights...(that should probably be in a different order...) I am quite certain that my husband and son (it must be a weird male thing, because my daughters could care less) would say, "The computer, facebook, blogging, Words With Friends..."
Prefer getting or giving presents...
Giving, definitely...especially now that I am older. I always did love giving presents more than getting them, but now it is even more so because I know the value of things and I would much rather spend the money on someone else. Unless my husband wanted to buy me a pair of great boots. you know--a pair of, "Wow, Melissa nominated me for the Sunshine Award and I am so happy to have  that AND new boots!" boots
Favorite pattern
Hmmm. I guess it depends on what colors are used and if it is for clothing or house decor, adult or child... I like plaids and stripes and polka dots...hmmm...
Favorite day of the week
Saturday. I love having my family together (when my girls aren't trapped in their room "cleaning" all day!) and knowing that we have one more day together before everyone is back at work and school.
Favorite flower
Well, Melissa posted this:

and I LOVE it! It's a Frangipani and this is the first time we've met. If I HADN'T "met" her flower, I would have said sunflower or gerbera daisies. Sunflowers are just so happy and bright and cheerful...did I mention happy? Gerbera daisies are so pretty--one of my (awesome and amazing)students watched our cats for us when we went to Buffalo (TWELVE years ago!) for my grandmother's funeral (which happened to be on my birthday). When we returned from the trip there was a bouquet of multi-colored Gerbera daisies waiting for me in a vase on the table. So now they remind me of my grandmother and I have LOVED them ever since.

SO...thank you again, Melissa--and I would like to nominate these amazing ladies and a pretty cool gentleman for The Sunshine Award. There are quite a few listed, but that is because of my whole "Can't pick a favorite" issue! PLUS--they are ALL AWESOME!