Monday, April 30, 2012

Going back to Leap year

I know I'm late today--sorry. Addison complained about having a sore throat, so I took her to the doctor and she was  home with me today. I love having her with me--she is really so funny, but I am too tired to tell you just how funny she was. INSTEAD...I am going to share my post from when I did the Leap around the Blogosphere blog hop at the end of February. One of the hosts, Rock and Drool, was going to have me guest post today, but she had a medical issue that I hope has been resolved. This gives you extra time to check out her blog--and tomorrow be sure to look for my FIRST guest post--ever.

If you didn't participate in this blog hop, do it now. Well, at least answer the questions now--you obviously can't participate in the blog hop now.  I would LOVE to learn more about all of you!
So this was first posted at the end of February (obviously) but it is all still relevant. If you already read it, maybe you could check out some posts that you haven't read yet and let me know what you think. I LOVE (positive) feedback!

Leap Around The Blogosphere Leap Around The Blogosphere Leap Around the Blogosphere...

It is LEAP YEAR, so to honor that, Melissa at Rock and Drool and Jessica at Found the Marbles are doing a  Leap Around The Blogosphere blog hop today.  If you are interested, the linky is: Leap Around The Blogosphere

My childhood nickname was Niks. Nika-nooka,nocka (WHAT?! THAT just made me laugh out loud because I haven't heard it in so long and my Auntie JoAnne coined it which REALLY makes SO MUCH SENSE--to ME!) Nika-Nika, Puerta-rica (that one was from the mean boy in grade school (I don't know if I am allowed to type his name. I won't, because I don't want to be the "mean GIRL," but I am pretty sure that he is the president of his own country now. NOT because he was the mean boy (or because he knows ANYTHING about geography (Puerta-rica?! REALLY?!)), but because he was ridiculously smart and sneaky. Don't ask me WHY that makes him the perfect candidate for running his own country--I just type it as I think it. After sharing this...information...with my college friends, it stuck with my dear friend, Becky and she calls me, "Puerta-rica."  Not so mean when SHE says it! Also in college, SHANEEEKAAAA was a nickname for a short amount of time. We were going through a thing.

If you want to spoil me rotten, buy me a housekeeper. Well, don't BUY me a housekeeper. That sort of thing is frowned upon and is illegal in most states. Maybe not Nevada. I don't think ANYTHING is illegal in NEVADA. I want to go to Nevada. 

The television character I most identify with is Mr. Magoo. I walk around not knowing WHAT the hell is going on most of the time, yet I seem to make it through my days not hurting myself or others. Usually.
Oh--and the mother on The Middle who was the mother on Everybody Loves Raymond--actually, I identify with BOTH of her characters. Maybe it's HER...

If I had a whole day to go shopping and money to spend, I would go to  NEVADA--I just SAID that! Just kidding--I would go to NYC. Am I even ALLOWED to travel? I'd like to see a show while I'm there. Am I ALLOWED to see a show while I'm there?! Am I ME in this scenario or am I a less tired, more motivated version of myself? I need to confer with the test administrator on this one...

The most wild and crazy thing I have ever done (that I can admit to publicly) THIS makes me laugh because it reminds me of how lame I really am. college some friends and I tried to steal a road sign. We were too afraid to actually take a sign from the ROAD, so we [tried to] lug one out of an apartment complex. It was huge and had cement surrounding the bottom of it. Is there a statute of limitations on that sort of thing? 

The one thing on my bucket list that I am most eager to do travel.  Here AND abroad. And EAT. Well, I want to get skinny and THEN I want to eat. But I want to remain skinny AFTER I eat--none of this travel around the world and come back looking like my bigger older sister swallowed me whole. I don't have a BIGGER older sister (those of you who know me know that my sister makes Barbie look bloated), but I think you get the point.

My family will always be loyal to ...okay, this one is hard for us right now. My children are at ages where loyalty is not quite their thing. I'm not proud, I'm just saying that the youngest would trade us all in for Barney (YES...BARNEY.), my second would trade us ALL in for five extra minutes with the MP3 and my oldest would trade us in...well, just to trade us in (and to REALLY tick me off--he would consider THAT a bonus).

If I could spend a day with a celebrity I would choose…I am SO out of the loop! I don't even KNOW what celebrities are out there anymore! I am certain there is (at least) one I would like to hang out with, I just can't think of it right now. I would say a really hot one (Ryan Gosling--he's a person, right? And he's hot? But what would I even DO with him--stop being dirty. This is PG and I am WAY TOO TIRED for all of THAT. Oh---and I'm married.) I think I would want to hang with a celebrity mom--not like Angelina or even JLo--one who seems more down to earth and who may parent (that's what I'M calling it anyway...) the way I do and we could commiserate over mimosas and whine wine...hmmm...

In my opinion, the best invention in the history of the world is…facebook. really. There are so many things that have made me say, "OH MY GOODNESS THIS IS THEBEST INVENTION IN THE HISTORY OF THE WHOLE WORLD!" but I can't think of all of them right now, so I am going with facebook. BEFORE facebook, I would stay up at night thinking about all of the people I lost touch with or didn't check in with and would feel SO VERY GUILTY. And sad. I never MEAN to lose touch or to give up on friendships, but life happens and I am REALLY very lazy. REALLY. And TIRED. SO...facebook came along and I got in touch with all of those people who used to only dwell in my memories (or in the horrible feeling in my stomach because I am such a sucky friend) and NOW I spend my nights thinking about how I suck as a parent. Hmmm. I wonder if facebook can fix THAT?!

When life hands me lemons,I throw them at my husband. Or children. No--just my husband. When we were still in the whole everyone gets up with dirty diapers phases of our relationship (NOW they just get UP!), I would kick him in the middle of the night. HARD. I would be so pissed that I got up every night while HE snored away...this caused me MUCH anger towards him. SO...I would PROBABLY throw my lemons at my husband. Who would THEN either throw them back (it's hard to live with a woman who KICKS you while you sleep!) OR...make lemonade for himself to drink. THEN he would say, "Oh--I'm sorry--did you want some?"  I am TOTALLY going to kick him for THAT one.

NOW it is YOUR turn! I can't wait to read them all--and bloggers--don't  forget to link up at  Leap Around The Blogosphere

Friday, April 27, 2012


For some reason, making lists of forty things to do by the time you are forty is a thing now. Maybe it has always been a thing, but I didn't notice because I was never this close to forty before now. And by "this close" I mean TODAY. Yes, I am forty. Which I suppose is better than the alternative (NOT being here to "celebrate" this milestone). I thought of so many ways to prepare for this BIG day--I was going to LOSE forty [pounds] by forty. I was going to go to forty fun places by the time I turned forty. I was going to write forty letters to forty friends by the time I turned forty. I was going to do forty "random" acts of kindness by forty...I guess I did that one to some degree, but it wasn't very official, and it wasn't in the name of turning forty. I wanted to follow the lead of Robyn Bomar who created The Birthday Project the year that she turned forty. It seems that forty came a bit quicker than I'd anticipated. Everything always does!

If you never checked out The Birthday Project, you really should. This woman wanted to make a difference, so she and her family got together this list of things that they could do for others and she wanted to complete these things before she turned forty. Not only did she complete HER list, she turned these random acts of kindness into an entire movement of people who are randomly acting kind. She is truly an inspiration. I wrote about how I try to do random acts of kindness every day and how The Birthday Project inspired the 12 random Acts of Christmas, and I do try to just be a (fairly) good person, but what in the name of turning forty did I do in the name of turning forty? I guess you could say that I GAINED forty [pounds] (instead of losing forty...*sigh* My metabolism didn't get the right message. It NEVER does). Oh--and I've probably had forty things go wrong with my body (shingles, weight gain, fibromyalgia, migraines (I think I had forty of those just last month!), hypothyroid, Sjogren's, esophogial tightening(?!), hearing loss, arthritis, scoliosis, SHRINKING...I am totally that crazy lady at the park. You remember her--she would stand and watch the kids play and whine about her corns acting up again while she listed at LEAST forty things that were wrong with her. I think God is paying me back for laughing at that lady by making me INTO that lady. Well played, God. Well. Played.)

So we get the point that my forty...accomplishments...are not as much accomplishments as they are...sucky things going on with my broken body. At least it's SOMETHING, right?! I really need to quit whining--I promise you that I didn't mean to make this into a whine festival (HA--WHINE festival--I am pretty funny, right?! Wrong?! Oh...), I just wanted to figure out what (if anything) I did to prepare for this big day and the answer was a little disheartening. Or was it?

 I DID give up sugar (and dairy and gluten ) for a while and I am still trying to limit those things in my diet and to increase my lean proteins and green leafy veggies. I am trying to eat throughout the day, something that (believe it or not) I hate doing because eating is an event for me--something that I truly enjoy, but only when I do it with others. I love the idea of "lunching" with a friend or family member and I find it time consuming and wasteful to cook something and then to sit down to eat it alone. I figure, why bother? Don't get me wrong--I have had those hide-in-the-parking lot-with-my-Heath-bar-moments and work through a half gallon of Ben & Jerry's ice cream therapy sessions, but for the most part, I need to eat with others. I am working on that. I also make sure that I hit the gym at least three times a week and walk at least twice a week. By "hit" the gym, I actually MEAN work out--whether it is in a strength training class or doing the weight machines and the treadmill and by "walking" I don't mean to the fridge. I mean brisk (not crazy-fast-can't-see-her-through-the-dust-like-my-crazy-fast-Auntie-JoAnne) two or three mile walk for exercise with my friend (and motivator) Beth. I have tried to be forty times nicer to my husband and children (though I think you know that the whole "forty times" is a big fat lie, but I AM trying to be nicer, so why can't it be forty times as nice?) and since my house looks like it has been ransacked, I am CERTAIN that I could find AT LEAST forty things to do in it to make it more livable today. Over forty people have already sent me warm wishes on facebook (LOVE fb on my birthday!) and I spent forty dollars on herbs yesterday. HAPPY FORTIETH TO ME!

Sidebar: I WANT to be a gardener. Just like I WANT to be a runner. These are two things I have ALWAYS wanted to do. I remember talking to my uncle (who was a runner his whole life) about driving by people running at like five in the morning and thinking, "I want to be the type of person who WANTS to get up to run at five in the morning..." but it just isn't in me. I remember him telling me that it COULD be me if I wanted it to be me. "Just run for as long as you can, then walk whenever you have to," he told me before we took off for Delaware Park in Buffalo, New York for my first (and quite possibly ONLY) training session. There are no words to describe how ridiculous I was on this day. I was so thrilled to spend the day at DP with my uncle, but it was still dark out, I could see my breath (I don't remember what month it was, but considering we were in Buffalo, it could have been ANY month if it was that cold!), and I had to stop no fewer than...that's right...forty times. In my defense, I had (and HAVE) a hard time running because I have disgustingly large breasts. I'm sorry if this embarrasses you--imagine how it makes ME feel--but it's the truth.  They don't MAKE a sports bra that can harness the ladies, and even before children it was hard to keep them contained. The fact that it was painful to run was only part of the problem--I was MORTIFIED by the jiggling and shaking. It only got worse when the rest of my body caught up to them. No one wants to see all of that shaking--NO ONE. I'm pretty sure that if someone decided to chase me, I would simply stop and roll into the fetal position because A. I have no desire to run (he would eventually catch me anyway, so why spend my last moments RUNNING?!) and 2. He obviously wants whatever he is after more than I do, so why fight it?

So back to the gardening. The only thing I hate more than running is gardening, yet, like running, I desperately WANT to want to do it. The idea of growing my own veggies makes me happier than I can express, yet I LOATHE weeding. And tilling. And waiting. So every year...well...almost every year...since we bought our first house, I have tried to grow some form of food for our family. The first year in our first home we made this ENORMOUS vegetable garden. It was AWESOME. Only the sunflowers that I had lining the back of the garden grew taller that the trees and were a little scary as they tipped over and enveloped the rest of the garden. I had crazy amounts of squash and zucchini, a few peppers--three different kinds and maybe some cucumbers. Oh--and I had a separate container of cherry tomatoes. I think that was all. The winter came and I did NOTHING to maintain or take care of the garden. The next year I had zucchini and squash. I also had (and maintained) a basil barrel and an herb barrel. I LOVE having my own herbs. LOVE it. The amount of money and time I put into those things was paramount, but it didn't stop me from repeating the behavior when we built our new house. I had a basil and herb barrel from the beginning, but didn't try to do veggies until our last year in the house. I learned a little from the first time in that I didn't make it fancy and spend a lot of time on the cosmetics of it all, nor did I start from seeds and plant EVERY SEED KNOWN TO MAN like I did the first time. I also refrained from planting sunflowers remembering that they are great in theory, scary in practice.

My efforts this time were rewarded with a very little bit of lettuce and spinach, maybe a half a dozen zucchini and squash, a pepper and...not much else. I also got one of those easy strawberry kits and ended up with nothing. No tomatoes. It was NOT a good year for fruits and veggies for me (even after my oh-so-kind neighbors put a little fence around the garden to keep out the bunnies), but that didn't stop me. When we moved, I had to give away my basil barrel and my other herb barrel and I was devastated. Yes--devastated.  I'm pretty sure that I would have given at least one of the barrels my husband's seat if I hadn't been too tired to drive. Hindsight...

Anyway...I didn't have the nerve to try my hand at gardening again until yesterday. We moved out of our house in October of 2008 and I have not planted anything (even in MONTANA and EVERYONE gardens in MONTANA!) since then. Sad. Of course, I am the WORST gardener ever (I know--we covered that), so I use the whole "sad" thing loosely. When I walk by all of the veggies and herbs at Home Depot, ShopRite, and WalMart, it seems like such an easy (and practical) thing to do. Also, when I read posts by other friends who garden (or are farmers like You Know it Happens at Your House too) I think, "Surely I can do that..." and spend $4O on veggies, soil, and pots that I am pretty sure I am going to kill/and/or/give away before they yield any actual food or herbs. This time it will be different. This time I will really take care of it. This time I will make up the money in the food that I will grow for my family. This time I am calling it my FORTIETH birthday present, so when IF I fail, I can tell myself (and anyone who judges me) that I paid for the EXPERIENCE of gardening on my birthday--not for the food that never came.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What's the poop? (I need help...)

I think I should warn you that this post may make you sick. Not sick because I am going to hop on one of my many soap boxes and you are sick of it--sick as in I am going to talk about disgusting things. Well, maybe not DISGUSTING things--I guess it just depends on who you are and how you were raised. I CLEARLY was raised in a barn (just kidding, mom, though I believe YOU were the one who constantly ASKED, "Were you raised in a barn?" Conflicting messages--jut sayin')

I'm not really sure what a barn has to do with all of it, just like I am not sure when ANY of my friends or acquaintances had the urge to jump off of the Brooklyn bridge or the desire to buy swampland ANYWHERE let alone in Alaska, but whatever. Or "whatevs." Nope. I can't pull that off. I really wanted to try, but as it stands, word abbreviations (or "abbrevs") don't really work for me. It's okay--I'm pretty sure that the fraction of a second it would take me to let out the final syllable will be well spent, though I appreciate the concern.


My second summer in college I stayed at school since I had four pretty good jobs that needed me (and that I DESPERATELY needed). Yes, JOBS. I find it funny that I used to work three and four jobs AND go to class, yet now I get exhausted cooking dinner, but whatevs. (Yeah, I need to stop that now because it REALLY does not work for me!) A couple of my friends and one of my housemates stayed for the summer as well. This one particular housemate was...a unique girl. Yes, unique is a nice way of saying "crazy," and quite honestly, we were ALL a little "unique." I know that at least FOUR of you are a little concerned that I am talking about YOU right now, but I'm not. You will KNOW I'm not if I EVER get to the story.

So this girl would gag...yes, GAG--if you so much as SAID the word poop. In fact, as I typed that word, I HEARD her gagging from wherever she lives right now. It wasn't just a little gag--it was a serious convulsive gag that indicated that the very SOUND of that vile word reached down into the depths of her intestines and ripped its way back out again. Nice, I know. I guess you can imagine what happened if we actually WENT...pooh (yes, I said "pooh..." again and YES, I do pooh--and so do you, so get over it!) in HER house. This girl had a very strong personality and most of her friends would never go against ANYTHING she said, but one evening I couldn't let it go. The fact that a grown human being could be so very ridiculous made me laugh, so I just kept saying it. Pooh. Pooh,pooh,pooh. POOHPOOHPOOHPOOHPOOH POOHPOOHPOOHPOOHPOOH...sorry, but it needed to be done. Well, I guess it didn't NEED to be done, but I did it anyway. She got so upset that she almost physically attacked me. I mentioned how no one usually went against this girl, but one of her friends was hanging out with us that day and even SHE told my housemate that she was being a little ridiculous. The funny thing is, I don't know why no one told me to stop acting like a five-year-old. Pooh. Poop. Hmmm...

The reason why I brought up this...stinky...topic is because some of you may be my housemate was (though I do not for the LIFE of me know how anyone with children (and she has at least one...) can be afraid of poop. Don't get me wrong--I don't LOVE it--(who does?) and I would play the same  games we all play to get out of changing the poopy (there it is again) diapers, cleaning off...decorated...walls and sanitizing and hosing down EVERYTHING every time my children went on Augmentin  when my children were younger, but poop happens--it does--and if you gag when you even hear the WORD, there really is no hope for you as a parent (unless you have a staff of seven) who actually has to look at it, smell it, and sometimes even touch it (hopefully with gloves). I know--it's disgusting, but what do you want from me? Probably less poop. Got it.

The other night, our family (FINALLY) watched the movie Hop and LOVED it. We were all laughing throughout the film, but the laughter was particularly loud when EB pooped jellybeans. My children laughed so hard that they were crying and could not breathe, when Addison stopped abruptly and said in the most serious voice I have ever heard--from her or anyone--as she looked me straight in the eyes, "If you pooped candy, I would eat it." Funniest. Thing. Ever. Really. I wish I had those magiccam glasses (I don't know if I coined the word "magiccam" or not, but it works, doesn't it?) so that I could just tap the frame and tape our lives because it is impossible for me to convey to you just how funny it was. The fact that she went from hysterical laughter to maniacal seriousness is what REALLY got us--she even repeated herself so that I understood that she REALLY meant it--you know--just in case I ever do poop jelly beans.

Which begs the question, what if you found out that jellbeans (or any candy) were really bunny poop? Would you still eat them? If so, please let my Addie know--so that she will share--she's kind of funny about her candy. And I'm afraid to even THINK about whether she would eat them if they actually had pooh on them, because I'm pretty sure that I won't like the answer. Too far? Sorry. Just tellin' it like I see it...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Six Degrees of Me

Well, this is day two of Smilegram Paper's Earth week giveaway; I hope you are all LOVING her page and entering to win. I LOVE when my friends win things. Even if I've never met them face-to-face (like my bloggy friends), I get excited just to hear that someone I like/and/or respect has won something. Probably unnaturally excited. It's the same feeling that I get when two people I know and like from two VERY different walks of life are friends on facebook. Example: A friend of mine from second grade is friends with a friend I met my first year of teaching in Charlotte, North Carolina. My third grade teacher was Mrs. Bergner (the woman DESPISED me) at Washington Hunt Elementary School in Lockport, NY (the part about Mrs. Bergner was unnecessary, but my self-assigned therapy is to talk about her hatred of me as much as possible so that I will eventually get over it. The woman was like four hundred when she taught me so I am pretty sure she is in a better place (though I am not 100% sure she is in a BETTER place. She WAS an incredibly mean woman. Just sayin'...) by now. Where was I? Oh--right--one friend from Lockport, NY and the other from Charlotte, NC.  How in the WORLD did these people meet (it wasn't through me)? What. A. Small. World.

My husband makes fun of me because I always ask people if they know OTHER people. He makes fun because it is rarely "Oh--my friend Spring Rain went to that school and would have graduated with you. Do you know her? She is over six feet tall and had pink hair at the time..." and is instead, "My cousin Joey lives in Italy--maybe you know him? He is about 6' tall and has dark hair and dark eyes...?" The thing that drives my husband so crazy is that the second scenario works more often than you would believe.

Two Februaries ago, my husband and I were at the airport bar (I love how that makes it sound like we are so worldly. I won't mention that it was when we went to the stupid Mayo Clinic. OOPS. I mentioned it. Oh well...) waiting for a connecting flight and had so much fun talking to this great couple (for my bigoted friends out there, take a breath--I don't want to send you reeling over the edge or anything...and I REFUSE to get into politics or religion today so please don't make me!) about their many travels. Both handsome gentlemen (NO NEGATIVE COMMENTS or you are not invited to play today...) own(ed) and work(ed) at a restaurant near Philly and were headed to their condo in Florida. They mentioned that they spent an entire summer in Scotland (which, I think you should know that I believe I am an expert in everything Scottish because my dear friend Kate and her husband (and the most gorgeous Godson you will EVER hope to see in your life--nope, not biased...just telling the truth...) lived on Isle of Sky for years. The funny thing is, I am no longer one hundred percent sure that it was even CALLED Isle of Skye. Was it Isle of Mann? No--his sister lives there. Hmmm...if only I had a way to research this right now...but that would take extra typing, and I HATE extra typing...What's that? Have I ever actually BEEN to Scotland? knowing someone who lived there is enough, isn't it?!).

Being the self-proclaimed expert on Scotland, I offered (as I watched my husband roll his eyes--yes--I SAW you, Dave--I ALWAYS see you!), "Oh my goodness--my friends lived in Scotland--maybe you MET them!" This is when I saw these fine young gentlemen ALSO roll their eyes slightly (NOT as obviously) and exchange a look with each other. I'm sensing a theme here. I'm fairly certain that the look said, "Okay--this woman is LOOPY! Ever time we meet people, one or both of them end up being LOOPY..." At least, that is what OUR look would have said...

They tried to cover their tracks and to be as gentle as possible (they CLEARLY thought that I was certifiable. As do YOU I know...), mentioning (in a "Back away from the sharp objects" type of voice), how Scotland is quite a bit larger and more populated than some people think. I cowered, tail between my legs, while we discussed the restaurant business, medical issues and insurance issues at length. Somehow, the conversation (warily) came back to Scotland and my new friends mentioned buying jam from a croft (yep...I said "croft," because THAT is how Scottish-by-friendship I am!) in Glendale (Isle of Skye--I AM going with it because I am ALMOST certain that these names are correct...) while they were staying at a Bed and Breakfast there. I am about to LEAP out of my skin (or at the very least, my chair) because I am now almost POSITIVE that the people from whom they purchased their jam were my friends and I was quite thrilled by the fact that I could tell ALL THREE of these fine young gentlemen to SUCK IT. I don't know WHY I love that feeling so much (not the telling people to "suck it" feeling--the whole "I KNOW someone who drove on that same road..." feeling)--I just DO. I LOVE to feel like we are all connected and the more I speak to complete strangers like we have known each other for years, the  more I realize that we all indirectly HAVE known each other for years. It is especially comforting when speaking with someone fun and nice. Not-so-comforting when visiting with stupid or angry people, but I suppose every "family" has one. I'm pretty sure that the "one" in my family is me, but anyway...

It's like the six degrees of Kevin Bacon. I know that practically everyone on this planet is younger than me these days (yes, I know that statistics probably tell a different story, but if I weren't as lazy as I am I would give you the statistics of my life and show you that when I lived in Montana there were maybe three--okay--four moms that were my age in my MOMS and MOPS groups. I may have been the most emotionally immature one, but physically I was like a hundred and literally I was one of the oldest. I mean "literally" as in L-I-T-E-R-A-L-L-Y--not as in "possibly." I thought I should clarify. Again, there were MAYBE four of us even IN our thirties--it was seriously insane), but I like to hope that everyone reading this has at least HEARD of Kevin Bacon and if not Kevin Bacon, then at least the whole concept of the six degrees of separation. I COMPLETELY believe in this and feel that if we are going to uncover the six degrees, we need to communicate--loudly and frequently. Loudly so that people around you can possibly hear the names or places that you mention and perhaps jump in ("I couldn't help but overhear that you taught in Guam...") with their own information ("My sister taught in Guam for five years..."). Frequently because the more information you give people, the more likely they are going to find some connection. You know--if you throw enough against the wall, SOMETHING is bound to stick.

Why is this so important, you ask? I have absolutely no idea, but it FEELS important to me, so can that just be enough?

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Smilegram Paper is hosting an Earth Day Giveaway 
WIN a $25 Gift Certificate for any of her eco-friendly stationery!
Just hop over to her blog, like her on Facebook and leave a comment-that's it! ~GOOD LUCK~

Thursday, April 19, 2012

So Thursday sucked...

Let me first start with, everyone is okay. I think it is important to start with the positive and to sugar coat the negative as you casually slip it into the conversation. My husband does the opposite. Example? The doctor was only going to call me if he found something wrong on my MRI. I had actually forgotten about it and a few days later, while talking to my husband he casually mentions, "Oh--I forgot to tell you to call your doctor back about your MRI."  Huh? "When did he call?" "The nurse called yesterday or the day before..." "Oh. Well--I guess I should call..." least on the line. It was anything but quiet in my head. "Oh--she said it was nothing to worry about--the MRI is fine--she just wants to talk with you about it." "REALLY?! You couldn't lead with THAT?!" I have had far too many of these episodes in the last thirteen years, so I almost always try to lead with the part of the story that the mind of a human would naturally go to. Like, "Is everyone okay?" and in this case, everyone IS okay.

It seems that I will go to unbelievable extremes to get out of going to the gym. Tuesdays and Thursdays I take a strength and toning class (sorry--I laugh every time I say that because those two things (strength and toning) have not been a part of this body for years. Anyway, after my class, I meet my friend Beth and we walk 2.2 miles together while experiencing our version of therapy. Unfortunately, this morning (which was measuring up to be a great one I have to say) I crashed the car. Not the falling apart minivan that has no door handle--and collision insurance--the Navigator which was in GREAT shape and was without collision insurance. Yeah, that kind of bites, but at least everyone was okay. At least as far as we can tell.

My son is complaining of hearing the crash every time he tries to turn his brain off or when he's not watching TV. I feel awful that I caused my child to have PTSD symptoms at the age of eight. I feel awful that my three babies were screaming in terror as my car spun around and I could do nothing to stop it. I feel awful because I am supposed to keep them safe. I feel awful because my son was not in his booster seat--my husband and I traded vehicles this morning (thank GOD--if we had been in the minivan, we would all be dead) and we have three car seats in the van, but only two in the truck. Brayden is tall enough and is over eight, but he weighs only seventy pounds. Dave always laughs about the fact that the kids need to weigh eighty pounds to get out of the booster. He says that he would have gone to the prom in a booster seat if that law had been in place--he didn't break a hundred until college. I'm pretty sure that the same logic would hold true for MANY girls in my high school--and probably a few moms out there now! LUCKILY, I never had that problem!

The seat belt did its job and my Brayden was fine, but I can't help but think about how bad it COULD have been and am sick over the fact that I drove without him in the booster. To turn around and see the nightmare in my children's faces as our smashed-up vehicle lay smoking in the middle of the intersection and they sat in their seats, screaming for me and crying in fear will never leave me. I'm not saying that I will hold onto this and never heal from it--that would be stupid. My children need a mother--not a zombie who is afraid to live because of an accident. Like Brayden, however, I can't stop my brain from zooming in on their sweet voices and frantic cries. I know that people suffer through much worse than a car accident that did nothing but destroy a few cars and a family's sense of security. I know that people fight for their lives--their children's lives--and remain strong every single day. My job is to keep them safe and to help them to feel secure. That is what motivates me to be as mean strict parental as I am. What happened today REALLY did not help in my quest for parental sanity.

The BEST part of today was when my son offered, "You can have my twenty-five dollars to get a new car, Mom--I don't need DS games" when my Ryan said (as my husband drove us to her softball game and passed the corner where we crashed nine hours prior), "It's a good thing we didn't crash AGAIN!"  and Addison added, "Pwease don't cryash again--we didn't like dat, did we Mommy?" No, we didn't. Not even slightly. I'll tell you what I DO like, however. My family. My sweet babies--the same three babies I whine and complain about on a regular basis who (when it comes right down to it) are three amazing little people. They are brave and strong and amazing and THEY help ME to keep it together when I feel like falling to pieces. Will I still complain about them? Pshaaaaaah! Of COURSE I will--it's what I do. But I need it to be known that as much as they may make me crazy, it's mostly because they are trying to mess with my plan to keep them (and others) safe and in tact, not because I don't think that they are three of the most kind-hearted, polite, brilliant, and beautiful babes to ever walk the earth. THAT my friends goes without saying.

Dick Clark--he will be missed

Wow. Dick Clark died. I know he is one of the people who  made you ask, "Did he die--or was that Walter Matthau?" for the last ten years and who surprised you every year by making an appearance on New Year's Eve, prompting sympathetic words and tones (and head nods) while reminding others, "Oh--he looks so great--I thought he died" and "Oh--poor guy--he looks awful--I can't believe he is still doing this" and even, "Good for him for doing this--Ryan Seacrest and Jennie McCarthy can only take it so far--New Years IS Dick Clark!" And now he really died. Such a sad thing to hear.

Why is it that when we find out that celebrities actually died, we feel sad, yet for years up to the demise of that person we are perfectly comfortable talking about them like they already died? Confused? I don't blame you. Let me TRY to work this out in words--my brain is getting MUCH more difficult to translate these days. So I know that most of you have heard of the Dead Pool, right? People pick celebrities who they think will die and get a certain number of points each time that they are right. So essentially, YOU win if your celebrity loses. The thing about Dick Clark is, I am pretty sure that he was a popular pick given his last few debilitating years. That doesn't make it any less sad. The fact that he lived a long and blessed life--doesn't make it feel better. Death is sad for the living--it is plain and simple--and even though we don't "know" celebrities, we feel as if we do--especially an icon like Dick Clark. I've welcomed in more new years with him than I have with any other friend or family member.

One year, my husband, my college roommate and our friend (we will leave it at that because if I discuss how that other friend was an ex-boyfriend of mine who introduced me to my husband and a few years later started "dating" my college roommate, that would be weird and borderline incestuous, right?) had the hardest time trying to find something to do on New Year's Eve in Manassas, Virginia. All of the restaurants and bars were virtually empty--I guess everyone went to DC or Alexandria or somewhere fun that wasn't Manassas, Virginia for the night...anyway, we found ourselves at the pool hall with about seven others (including the busboy and bartender). There was a television on in the bar area, but no one was paying attention to it (except for me as I whined about the fact that WE should have gone to NYC to spend the new year with Dick Clark). Suddenly, all seven of the patrons started yelling, "Ten, nine, eight..." and we joined in to yell, "HAPPY NEW YEAR!", only when I looked at my watch it was only eleven fifty. Five minutes later, they counted down again. The third time was definitely the charm in this case and we all [finally] counted down to the new year with Dick Clark. I couldn't believe that we could just "call" it a new year much like you call first dibs on the ice cream or "call" shotgun in the car, but I decided that it was evidently a new thing  to randomly call "Happy New Year" whenever we want, and I decided to do it throughout that year. I remember how much FUN it was for everyone in my life when I would yell, "Happy New Year" in the middle of  giving an English test in May or while buying produce at the Farmer's Market in August. The only thing missing during these random periods was Dick Clark. I remember saying, "It's not New Year's without Dick Clark!" to which others replied, "Well, it's NOT New Year's...."

2013 will not be the same without Dick Clark counting us in, but I am pretty sure that he will be counting with us in spirit. The good news is, he will be brought to life every New Year's eve when we count down and think fondly of all the years he gave us.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Post all of your hate mail on my timeline so that I won't get it

This timeline business on facebook is driving me batty. Really--I cannot STAND it. How do I really feel, you ask? I hate it. I am usually one of those people who reads other people's complaints about things like facebook and Twitter and think, "Let me get this straight--you are complaining about an OPTIONAL free service while using that same service and this makes sense to you--REALLY?!" That is USUALLY what I think. Now I am changing my tune.

When my justanothertiredmommy fb page changed, I didn't think anything of it. I am used to things changing on facebook--it is like the fourth child I never had who steals the attention away from the other three children and the husband--sometimes I don't like how it treats me, but it is still the favorite and I will never turn my back on it. Even when people complained about the timeline--I thought, "What's the big deal? People are crazy..." until I finally realized that I do not know how to GET to my timeline. People post things and I have no clue how to read what they have posted. The only reason I even KNOW that this is happening is because when someone ELSE comments on something that is posted on my timeline, I can then see it. Then I feel like a jerk because people take the time to post things on my timeline and then think that I ignore them and their funny material. Not cool.

I am finding this tiresome and boring (and confusing) to even TALK about--so as per yesterday's new motto, I should end here. Stupid timeline.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Forced laughter is better than NO laughter

So I have DEFINITELY fallen off the radar these last few weeks. Trust me--you are EXTREMELY happy that I decided to take a break. First of all, I haven't been feeling great and have been incredibly tired which in blogging terms means that I was "Incredibly rambly (it's a word. Now.) and boring, yet refusing to concede..." you know--like continuing to tell a story when the punchline is revealed, yet lacking...punch...but you are certain you can twist the tale around again to get a laugh, only to find that there are simply no laughs to be found in said story? Much like THIS one...

When I am tired or sick or sick and tired, I have a hard time staying focused. When I am healthy or happy or healthy and happy, I have a hard time staying focused. I think we can agree on the theme here and I think that no one knows it better than my faithful readers (reader?!) who desperately try to pull laughter out of some things that are simply not funny.

 It's like when I watch SNL. The skits that are funny are SO VERY FUNNY. You know the ones. Da Bears...Simon and his drawrings...Delta Delta Delta...Wayne's World...The Church Lady...Tina Fey as Sarah Palin...funny stuff. The problem? Every time I decide to give SNL another try, there is absolutely NOTHING funny on it. When I decide to turn it off or to boycott it from the beginning, I end up missing the funniest skits. Every one of the skits I mentioned above I watched in a rerun or on you tube. So when I see something as hilarious as the Jammie Party or Mom Jeans I then find it necessary to watch every minute of every SNL for the following few weeks because I am certain that I am going to miss the funny skits. Here's where the analogy comes in to play again--when my faithful reader(s are) is reading my blog, (s)he is willing it to be funny--like I do on most SNL nights. You know--that forced laughter to make yourself feel better because if you don't even KIND OF laugh, you will have to admit that the time you wasted on reading or watching something that isn't even slightly entertaining is time you will NEVER get back and that is just sad. And aggravating.

I think I indirectly made it sound like I think my blog is held in the same esteem as SNL and that is not even REMOTELY the case. I meant to say that my blog tends to be as...inconsistently funny (if not AS funny) as SNL. Meaning on those days when I'm "on" you may involuntarily laugh whereas the days when I am...forcing may let out a Sheldon-esque squeal that sounds more like an animal writhing in agony than a person laughing at a funny story. You know Sheldon, right? The Big Bang Theory MUST be on your list of hilarious shows. Watch it--you won't be disappointed. Plus, you will be able to keep up with the conversation.

These last few weeks had MANY Sheldonesque moments (Once I use it twice it then becomes a word. Embrace it.) and very few truly laughable moments. This is why I decided to take a break. I thought it was just mean to make you endure reading (let's be honest--skimming) the babble that I tried to pass as entertainment. Of course, I'm doing it again...

When I was on vacation visiting my family last week, my cousin reminded me that he would ALWAYS be on my side for EVERYTHING--just so that I won't write about him in my blog. The good news is he is great so there is nothing to really say (it's only fun to talk about people who are NOT great--everyone knows that), but the bad news is (for HIM) that he did not avoid an appearance in the blog...sorry Dave! We did discuss the fact that my  last few posts seemed to drag on a bit...though I was just thrilled that he admitted to actually READING (or skimming!) it. From now on, I need to end it at the first signs of rambling--four paragraphs ago...insert awkward Sheldonesque laugh here...