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Monday, March 31, 2014

No one wants to admit it

My friends and I, we occasionally have strange conversations. The conversations I have in my house are of an equally disturbing nature. The randomness of things that we talk about never fails to amaze me. I love every minute of it.

The other day, while driving down the highway, we passed a truck from a honey farm. This sparked a conversation between Daddy and myself. What happens to bees in the winter? Do they hibernate? Do they fly south? Is that truck carrying actual bees in those boxes strapped to the back of their rollback or is it just honeycombs? We actually talked about it. And I googled the answers. If we were going to talk about it, we needed to know.

We discuss other things too, like what happened to that giant missing plane. We have talked about our theories and what we think happened. We talk about the president and what his crazy ass if proposing we have to pay for this week. We talk about the weather. We talk about our children. Recently, we discussed moving (strictly a conversation before anyone gets pissy, not actually planning anything as of yet.)

We also discuss things that happen, or that we do, that are silly and stupid. I got to thinking about the amount of stupid things that happen to me, or because of me. I thought I would share some because it's been a while since I was funny. The serious posts were starting to make my brain hurt.

*Sometimes, I pee in the shower. I have to. Showering is the only time I have total privacy in this house. And even then I have to holler some answer to some question out the door during the shower. To go to the bathroom during the day, I must leave the door open. So they can investigate where I went.

*Sometimes, I screw up dinner. The other night I decided to make some boxed chicken meal that proclaimed all you had to do was add chicken. They were so wrong. If all you had to do was add chicken, it wouldn't have come out of the oven looking like mushed hell. It was so awful we had to order pizza. We ate a little late that night, but no one died. I'm sure it will happen again too. I see recipes as more of a guideline. Maybe that's my problem.

*I don't always answer my phone. A lot of people think my phone is always on silent. Most of the time, it is. I forget to turn the volume back on. And as of recently, there is no app you can download to change your volume for you at a pre-set time. And if any of you develop that, I am proclaiming here I want half of your profits as it was my idea. But sometimes, I see who is calling, make a face and hit the silent button. Yeah, I do that. Not ashamed either. Sometimes I just can't handle another stupid conversation. I have enough of those.

*I have days when I have to talk myself out of going everywhere in my pajamas. As a mom who only works sometimes, I don't always feel the need to get dressed. Then I see those women dropping their kids off at preschool in various stages of dressed and I can't bring myself to be that girl. Now, let's get this straight, my hair always looks like shit, I never wear make up and sometimes I have breakfast on my shirt. But I am dressed. Half the battle right there!

*I forget things on my grocery list on purpose sometimes. It's my guaranteed way of being able to leave the house for a half hour. Sometimes I just need that bag of cheese I forgot so I can finish dinner. LET ME GO GET IT QUICK! And I run. I don't get many breaks from my kids. Honestly, I get no breaks from being a caretaker, as that is my job as well. I am always caring for someone. Going to the grocery store alone is sometimes like a mini vacation for me.

*After I close the door on my car with both my children safely strapped in, I walk as slowly as I can back to my door. I always put the baby in first. He is right behind my seat and his door is right next to mine. Then I walk to the passenger side and buckle Child 1. Then I slowly (sometimes slow enough people think I have a disability) walk back to my side. It's 90 seconds of silence before I am locked in a moving vehicle with someone who wants to know EVERYTHING they can think of during the car ride.

*I refuse to give up smoking because it's the only thing keeping my children alive. Some people say the nicotine is what keeps them calm. NOPE. Not here. The thing that keeps me calm is the 7 minutes I get to go sit on the back porch and not have to talk to those people. If you add all my smoking time together during the day, I really am only away from them roughly 40 minutes. That's less time than someone of you have for a lunch break. I need that time. And if I have to smoke to do it, so be it. Plus, I like smoking. Yes, I know it will kill me, but something will, and I would prefer it be something I like and that I choose.

*I can never remember to fill my gas tank before it is empty. It's not intentional. I'm not hoping I'll wake up tomorrow and the gas fairy has filled my tank (Hint Hint Daddy). I just can't remember it until it gets to crisis stage. Most of what I remember is in my brain because I have already forgotten it twice, and now if it doesn't get done it will seriously turn into a disaster of epic proportions. This is my feeling about my gas tank. I will fill it when it's on E. Otherwise, we aren't in crisis mode yet, and it can wait another day.

*I have keys. I have a lot of keys. I have keys to everything. And they are all on the same key ring. Which at this current moment I have misplaced. I can't keep those things in one place for any reason. I bought a little thing to hang next to my door to help me correct this issue. I can't figure out where I put that either. Many days I have had to ask Child 1 to help me locate my missing keys. I am sad to report that he usually finds them before I do.


For what it's worth, I am a mess. But I figure my brain must be really busy with a lot of important stuff and that's why I can't get my shit together with the little stuff. If this isn't true, don't tell me otherwise. I like my version better.


Social Media and MY opinions

Social media may be a hard creature for some people to understand. The first big thing that everyone has to remember is that it's named social media for a reason. You're sharing things about your life with people who may or may not be "friends" or "family" or even people you've met. The other big thing about social media you need to understand is opinions differ.

Some people who read my blog may be offended by the fact that I occasionally call my children assholes. That's ok. You take your offended flag and fly it. That's your right. And I acknowledge it. But I'm still going to do it. Frankly, my kids are assholes sometimes. In my opinion. See that? I have an opinion. If you ask my mother, she will proclaim they are just wonderful children. But, they don't live with her. They behave for her. They reserve the asshole for me. Which if you think about it, is how it should be.

Some people who read my blog may be offended that I curse. Be as mad as you want to be. Talk about it. Tell people you read something that hurt your feelings because I said a bad word. And that's ok. Even if you are offended by me, you're still talking about me. And I'll take all the advertising I can get. Bad or otherwise. Even a bad review said to someone may encourage them to come see for themselves. And they may chuckle a bit because they wait until their children go to bed to eat all the good snacks. Or they may quietly call their children bad names under their breath too. Or god forbid, they taught their children some of the same bad words mine learned.

Some people may get offended that people (and in this case, me) voice an opinion about what you put on social media. Let's face it people. You say things on social media hoping for a reaction. You just may not get the reaction you were hoping for. When you put things on whatever social media outlet you use, you encourage people to comment. To voice their opinions. To chuckle and share their own story. Occasionally, you invite criticism. I have criticized. I have been criticized. I, however, have learned if there is something you simply don't want people to react to, you don't post it for the world to see. There are people who haven't learned this yet. If you know any of those people, direct them here. I will help them. Not only do I publically criticize other people, I criticize myself. I have gotten to the point in my life that I have come to realize that I am not always perfect. And while I'm not good at receiving it, I am good at doing it to myself.

Some things are best left off of social media. An unwanted pregnancy you don't want people to talk about, a one night stand that went terribly wrong, an STD you acquired from God knows who, and typically your choice of parenting methods. All poor choices of sharing information on social media. All things that everyone has an opinion on. And are more than willing to share it. Myself included. I have been in positions where I didn't want or need anyone's opinion. Do you know what happened? I didn't post about it on Facebook, or include it in my blog. I called my mommy like all people do when they are at a crossroads. I want her opinion, not Sally from high school who knows nothing about my life.

Basically, this comes down to common sense, which is sorely lacking anymore. Do I post things that my kids will one day hate me for? You're damn right. When they get themselves in a world of trouble for being a bully at school, I shall pull up my thousands of embarrassing pictures, and my world of blogging and remind them that they, too, used to be social outcasts. I will remind them of the ridiculous things they used to do when they have children, so they know what they are getting themselves into. But do I post medical diagnosis' and their personal information? Not all the time. I reference issues that we are having, more as a parent view than theirs. I use discretion. Yet another thing my generation is lacking.

So, let me leave you with a world of friendly advice. I will continue to voice my opinion on things people post on social media. That's why you say it right? If you don't like my opinion, by all means, delete me. Or stop posting certain aspects of your personal life if you aren't welcoming opinions. It's the same as telling people that you're having an abortion. You KNOW people will either be 100% behind you, or 100% against you. You say it to see which way the people are going to go. There's no other reason TO say it. I take all of those opportunities. That's my charm. I am honest to a fault when it comes to what I think. And that's why I either have totally awesome supporters in my honesty, or I have people who hate me for it. But you want to know a secret? Even the people who hate it still come read my blog. And still tell me their information hoping I'll comment on it. People crave opinions. So stop bitching when you get them.

Are we all clear on that? Anyone need a little extra help with it? Direct me to your Facebook page, I'll help you remember by posting my opinion on things you shouldn't say publicly. After all, it's what I do best.

Friday, March 28, 2014

meetings and more meetings

I have had more meetings this week than I ever imagined a sometimes stay at home mom could ever have. Honestly, who ever would have thought going to kindergarten required so much forethought. It's kindergarten! He isn't even supposed to know how to tie his shoes yet!

It's not college. There isn't a whole lot to prepare for. I'm not shipping him off on his own. In fact, he will only be half a block away. Can we stop talking about it now?

Before I get lectured, I know, it's important. "His first stepping stone to education" and all. But for Christmas sakes, I think we can handle it. (My phone auto corrects all my slightly religious words to other slightly religious words- christ became Christmas- I left it on purpose. It amused me.)

Yesterday I got asked what my education background was. Was I a teacher or an aide somewhere? Nope. Nada. Just a parent who pays attention, thank you. Obviously there aren't enough of those if everyone was sufficiently surprised by my ability to pay attention......

We have another meeting in just over an hour. Then I have my own appointment right after that. Should be a fun filled day.

Someone remind me to blog later about my involvement in the head start federal review. That's sure to be a hoot based on yesterday's planning meeting. Haha........

If any of you know me and non-existant mouth filter, you should know why me and federal review should never be mentioned in the same sentence.....

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Babysitting my ASS

So I was watching Divorce Court today. None of that judgy-judgy stuff. I enjoy watching people's lives implode on television. I feel for a half hour like I have all my ducks in a row. And honestly, from 9am-930am during Divorce Court is the only time that happens anymore. HA

Todays episode featured one of the most ridiculous couples I have ever watched. The woman referred to being the one in charge of her children as BABYSITTING. What the hell? I have two children. Two. Let me repeat that. I have two children. I have never referred to raising my children as babysitting. If you breed them, you own them. Is it babysitting if you buy a dog, or do you own it? Last I checked, you got paid to babysit and you got to send them home when you were finished. None of that sounds like what happens here with my children. No one pays me for taking care of them. And they don't ever go anywhere without me. Babysitting, my ass. And the guy said he was willing to pay his wife to watch the kids if she would stop complaining about it! What on earth are you talking about? What you need to do is go ahead and divorce her, and then find a real mom to raise those kids. Holy crap on a cracker.

Hearing someone say that about their own children seriously gives me the largest amount of butt-hurt I've ever had. I immediately want to drive to their homes and just take their kids away. To me, saying that you babysit your own children is akin to not feeding them for 2 days. I mean, seriously. How much do you NOT love your children to talk about them that way????

There are times that I dislike my kids. Bath time happens to be a time that I hate them most of all. No one wants their hair washed. They all want to splash about like epileptic fish. By the end of bath time, not only are they wet, but so is anything else in close proximity to the bathroom. I have had water splashed clear out in the hallway. If ever there was a time I would refer to my children in that manner it would be bedtime, and yet I never have because...... wait for it...... I am their mother.

Dinner time is another time in which I hate my children. Unless I make hot dogs and French fries, no one wants to eat. The little thinks that now that he has 3 teeth, he can eat whatever we eat. Forget baby food. We left that a while ago. Now he only wants what we have. But how the hell do you chew pot roast with 3 front teeth? I'm sure someone somewhere can do it, but not a 9 month old child. Give him baby food because he can't eat what we eat and I just end up wearing it. He shoves the spoon away like I'm trying to feed him lye laced bleach.

Child 1 just doesn't eat. He will whine "But Mom, where's my hot dog?" "I don't want to eat that!" even if it's something he just ate last week at school. Trying to feed the people in this house is like trying to negotiate a peace contract between two warring countries. It's close to impossible, and someone always ends up going home crying. Usually Child 1. Child 2 can still have ba-ba's.

And not once have I referred to child raising as babysitting. It's a frustrating, hard, selfless job. No one finds it fun all the time, and if they do, what in the hell are you doing differently than I am??? There are days I would pay people to take these damn kids for just an hour so I can just listen. Listen to what you ask? The sound of nothing. I miss the sound of nothing. I get up 2 hours before everyone else just to remember what quiet sounds like.

So, if you people still feel the need to consider raising your child "BABYSITTING", you should consider a better form of birth control. Because you honestly shouldn't be allowed to have babies.

Monday, March 24, 2014

I broke the cardinal rule!

I did today what every parent vows they will never do the day they learn they are pregnant.

I cursed at my child.

Not in front of my child, but AT him. Like directly at him, with a sentence that started with his name.

Child 1 pushed me to my limit today. We whined, we cried, we threw fits, we threw toys. And as much as Mommy said "No, don't do that." or "Will you please stop?" the ridiculousness continued. Until Mommy eventually snapped and cursed at my child.

Child 1 wanted to snuggle, but not actually with touching. Child 1 wanted to play a game, but apparently none of the games we actually own. Child 1 wanted to watch a TV show, but none of the ones that were on. Child 1 wanted to play with a toy, but only the lost toy. Child 1 wanted to look at his brother, but didn't want his brother to look at him.

It was an intensely irritating day all around. It did not go well. I was PISSED.

What curse word could I have possibly said, you ask? Oh, well let me tell you. Did I ask him "What the hell is your problem?" Nope. Didn't say that. Did I ask him "What is your damn problem?" Nope. Didn't say that either.

I actually told my child "Are you f$%king listening to me? Go sit somewhere and shut your pie hole!"  Today, I was that Mom. I was that Mom we all roll our eyes at when we hear them speak like this at the store. I was that Mom we all proclaim we will NEVER be. I did it.

Want to know a horrible secret? It felt really good. Not like a brownie sundae from DQ good, mind you. But I felt better than before the F word came out of my mouth.

So now let's review a list a bad things I have taught my child...... (other adults have contributed as well, but I'll shoulder all the blame since I tend to speak like a sailor on shore leave...)

1. Son of a Bitch- This was uttered on a pool ladder in my mothers back yard. HAHA. I will not claim this phrase, as he did not hear it from me. But I'm sure I say it enough.

2. Jesus Christ- This hasn't been said in a while, but was at one point a daily exclamation when something he didn't expect to happen actually happened. I will take the blame on this bad boy, because it is one of my most treasured statements.

3. God Damn It- This is frequently said while playing video games. Because as according to my son "Mom, that is what you're supposed to say when you lose." Again, I shouldn't chuckle, but I did. He's a quick one, that kid.

If I have to pick him up from school tomorrow for asking a kid "Are you f$%king listening to me?" I will scold him appropriately, then giggle relentlessly as soon as he is no longer within earshot. Because I can see my little Sheldon-like child saying this to the kids in his class he feels aren't as smart as he is.

Oh, what a life I live......

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Apparently I endanger my child once a week!

Listen, if you look hard enough, you can find a billion stories online about how "tear-free shampoo made my baby blind!" or "I gave my child a stuffed animal with button eyes and my child almost died!" It happens. Things happen. People aren't perfect. But seriously, not everything is as dangerous as you make it out to be.

There is now an epidemic going on. People are stopping mothers in the grocery stores to tell them that putting a child in a car seat on the top of the grocery cart is unsafe. If my child is walking behind me sipping bleach in the grocery store, feel free to stop me and point it out. Sometimes it's difficult for me to keep my eyes on everyone and still get my list accomplished. If you notice my child is safely strapped into a seat that is safe for him to ride in while hurling down the highway at 65 miles per hour but I have it sitting on top the grocery cart, and you stop me to give me the what-for, I will punch you.

I know I know, some lady hit a bump in the parking lot and her child FLEW OFF THE CART! And it's happened to other people too. But see, I had this idea once. And I use it sometimes. If I hit a bump, I move my hand upward about 2.7 inches and grab the damn car seat! THAT WILL KEEP IT FROM GOING ANYWHERE!

I know with a billion kids and rooting around for your EBT card and checking your iPhone 5, it might be hard to accomplish that. Those parents should leave their children at home. I mean, where would you put them anyway with $300 worth of shrimp and potato chips in the cart? The rest of humanity should just do what moms have been doing since giving birth came into play. USE YOUR DAMN HANDS TO KEEP YOUR KIDS FROM FALLING OFF THINGS!

When my sister was little, I remember my mom propping her on the kitchen counter, holding her with one hand, while using her other hand to do whatever needed done on the counter. I have tried it, but my cupboards are too low and my kid whacks his head. So I plop him in front of the fridge with the ABC magnets and let him go to town.

WHAT???? ABC MAGNETS CAN KILL MY KID TOO!?!?!?!?!?! Seriously people, relax. Once upon a time none of us wore seat belts, we rode in the hatch backs of cars (when cars only came equipped with airbags in the steering wheel- because the driver is the most important person in the car!), we climbed trees until the branches were too thin to hold our weight anymore, we drank soda and ate doughnuts. If I lived through all that, and then some, my kid can play with magnets.

I saw an article that a child was killed in a car seat sitting on the living room floor because her mom didn't take her out of it when they got home. The child died because her little head fell forward and she couldn't breath. It certainly was a tragedy. But it didn't make me any less likely to leave my own child in his car seat. THAT BASTARD WAKES UP WHEN I TAKE HIM OUT OF THERE! So, instead, I just walk by every few moments and make sure his head is the right way. Probably not safe to leave your child anywhere for a few hours without checking on them.

I'm tired of parents making such a huge deal out of all the things that are dangerous for children anymore. They were always dangerous, but there is a huge difference between then and now. Parents paid ATTENTION TO THEIR CHILDREN! Check on em. Yell for em. Keep an eye on em. Something. But parents now just expect that things are so safe that they don't have to be parents anymore.

Frankly, I feel bad for the children of these parents. If you are so worried that you have to chastised parents for letting their kids in car seats on grocery carts, what are your kids lives like at home? Only hypoallergenic everything and a vegan diet? Wooden toys only so they can't collect dander? "Here Billy, snuggle up to this wooden letter block. You can't have a stuffed bunny because it may kill you while you sleep with it's invisible mold spores surrounded by dead skin cells....."

Seriously people, common sense. It goes a long way. And don't ever come up to me anywhere and tell me what I'm doing wrong with my kids. Unless one of them is drinking bleach. Then it's acceptable.

Ah, friends.

I don't pray for things. For those of you who do, I commend you. Prayer is hard. It's hard to ask for something from someone you can't see or hear and just trust that it will happen. I have a different method, and so far it's been working.

I operate by the "it's not what you know, but who you know" method. If I don't know something, I'm sure I know someone who will know it. I don't ask for help. I put my problem out there, and people help who know what they are doing. And they do this because, I have real friends.

I may neglect some of you far more than I should. But in a pinch, I promise I will come through. I work best under pressure anyway. But in the past few weeks, I have learned how many true friends I really do have. I have friends willing to help me in all parts of this book process. I have friends willing to go out and buy it even though none of you know what it's about yet. LOL

I have friends who are willing to lend an ear to help me talk it out if I need it. I have friends who are willing to listen to me bitch. I have friends who are willing to bitch with me.

I have a truly wonderful group of people in my life. Someone I haven't seen in more than half my life offered to help me out last night. Not only was I excited enough to do a little happy dance when I got her message, it made me truly proud to be from where I came from.

Growing up on a little tiny hidden military base made for some really boring times. You only had the friends who lived on the base with you to entertain you. And there honestly weren't many of us. But, the people who were there became lifetime friends. I am still friends with a few who have found me, or I've found them, over the internet the past few years. There are still some I wish I could find and still cross my mind occasionally.

I have the most overwhelmingly wonderful people I can call my own.

I still however have not found a single person willing to watch my kids so Dad and I can have an hour alone to talk without screaming overtop of children. Funny how that works isn't it?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The book

I think I have a pretty good idea of where I want to go with this writing a book idea. I want to write a book my kids will read and enjoy. I know, sounds a lot like J.K. Rowling, but she had the right idea.

I've been thinking, and "brainstorming" and I am fairly confident I can do this. From everything I've read, once you write a chapter or two is when you should send it in to publishers. My goal is to submit my book idea to publishers by summer.

BUT FIRST, I need some friends who would be willing to proofread and basically be my "editors". I want people to read it and tell me what they think. Does it flow like it should? It is easy enough to follow that kids in middle school would read it? It's not going to be a baby book. It's going to be something kids and adults will both read. At least that's the plan anyway.

I am going to start putting it on paper here shortly. I need to before I lose everything I have in my head. Things don't stay in there very long anymore. I blame that on my children.

If you're interested in being involved in this, I will be happy to include you in the list of people I let read this. You have to be someone I can trust to not steal it as your own. You know, even friends can be shady sometimes. HAHA.

I have a few more discussions to have with people, but I know someone I want to do some illustrations as well. I want a few well placed illustrations throughout the book. And cover art! But I have to give her something to work with first. So all in good time, I guess.

I'm a bit nervous about this. It's a big thing to commit to. And it's something that is open to a lot of criticism. I don't handle criticism well. I guess I have to work on that too.

My head hurts just thinking about it.

Friday, March 21, 2014

I want them to know

My last post got my wheels turning. I apologize this wasn't out quite so quickly but it was a difficult one for me to write. It took me a bit of time.

I thought, you know, I want my kids to know that religion isn't just about going to church. But what else do I want them to know?  Here's my list of things I want my children to know as they get older. I'm going to write it specifically to them because I hope one day to sit them down and let them read it all for themselves.

1) What you want and what you need are different: This is especially important when you become an adult. I know you WANT the newest game or the coolest shoes or whatever "Jimmy" down the road has. But you don't NEED it. When you get older and have children and a wife (it will happen, but I'm hoping it doesn't happen until I'm dead), this will be something your wife and children will thank me for. No one wants to marry a man who is constantly spending money on the cool things in life, but can't afford to pay his water bill. Trust me. Because when your wife throws you out for that, you can not come live in my basement.

2) Importance is important: This goes in all ways. It's important to remember that you don't like being made to feel less important than anyone else. Please don't make other people feel that way. That guy who wears pants that are too short in your Biology class may just be dealing with not having new clothes so his mom can pay for her cancer treatments. That girl in lunch who always brings a bagged lunch and never gets pizza from the cafeteria may be packing her own lunch because her mom works two jobs and still can't afford lunch. Be the guy that doesn't judge without knowing why someone is the way they are. If I ever hear you making fun of someone for what they wear, I will go shopping at the thrift store for the most ridiculous things I can find and you will wear it every day for a week. And you better believe I'm mean enough to make that happen.

3) Equality is important: Men and women are not set in these gender roles. Hopefully by the time you get older that's no longer the case. But I feel it still will be. For God's sake, don't leave your wife to do all the cooking and cleaning. Your arms aren't broken (at least not at the time I'm writing this) and you both have functioning legs. Clean something. Cook something. Fold some laundry. Be helpful. Your wife will go to work. And that's how it should be. Equality. Remember that. It will save you a lot of arguments in your life if you realize relationships work only if you contribute the same as you expect the other to contribute. And if you remember, you can not live in my basement when she throws you out for being a sloppy pig.

4) Life isn't fair: It never has been, it never will be. My job is to make sure you get what you should have. But I can't promise to get you everything you think you deserve. Kids may get trophies now just for playing, but you will learn that sometimes you lose and you get nothing. Not everyone can be a winner. I will teach you how to become a winner, but what you do with it from there is your own decision. I will not praise you for doing what you should be doing. Homework is a part of life. An unfair part, sure. I remember that. But do it anyway. And stop bitching about it (because I know both of you will). Bitching does not make it go any faster. Or make it any less unfair. I will also teach you how to be a loser. Because nothing is worse than someone who thinks they should win, and whines when they don't. I will beat you at card games sometimes. I will wipe your ass at basketball. And you will learn that losing doesn't mean the end of the world.

5) Your job is not your life: Your job is a way for you to be able to pay to have a life. It is not your life. Took me a long time to realize this one myself, so let me help you out. If all you ever do is work, you will miss out on life. And life is pretty damn amazing sometimes. Taking a day to do nothing but play with your kids can provide for some awesome stories. So don't always take the overtime. Don't always let your wife be the one handle the kids. Don't let your roommates be people you just see in passing. Take time to enjoy the life you have instead of working it all away. The man who dies with the most money is still dead. Don't go broke enjoying it, but remember to do something fun sometimes. Fun things don't always cost money. Go to a museum. Take your kids there. Go see a baseball game. Take a picnic to the park. Just don't let your kids always see you at work. It's depressing.

6) Family comes first: I wiped your little asses when you were babies. I expect the same treatment. I will one day be taking care of my parents, and you will watch that, and help with that. You will learn that you ALWAYS put your family first. If someone in the family needs your help, you go do it. It's what family does. And you, my boys, have an awesome family. Don't jeopardize that because you want to play video games all day and don't want to help your grandparents mow their lawn. They did a lot for you, it will someday be time to pay it back. And your Ya-Ya is a master at asking you to do things and not giving you time to say no. Get used to that, and just plan on doing what she asks. And by the time you're old enough to read this, she will have taught me how to do it as well.

7) Volunteer: I don't care what you volunteer for. Help the homeless. Become firefighters. Work in a cat shelter. It doesn't matter what you pick, but do something completely unselfish for no reason other than you have the ability to. It's humbling. It reminds you your life is not as bad as you thought it was yesterday. And there is no shame in helping other people. No one has ever had someone make fun of them for being the one that jumps in to help when they are getting nothing out of it. And never take money for volunteering. Ever. It's tacky. You do it because your mother said so. I promise, someday you will walk out of wherever you pick to volunteer and you'll understand what I mean. It will happen. If you ever need help thinking of something to do, come ask me. But I think you will enjoy firefighting and EMS. It runs in the family.

8) Men can cry: I know that society wants you to think that men are strong and don't cry and don't show emotions. Yes, they do. If the only person who ever sees it is family, that's fine. But don't play strong when you really just need to cry and let it out. You are always welcome to come home and cry to me. I will always be there to listen. If a girl breaks your heart, cry about it. Don't let it make you treat the rest of the women in your life like crap. If you lose a job and you loved it, cry about it. It will encourage you to look for a better one if you let it hurt for just a little bit. Life is supposed to hurt sometimes. If it doesn't, you aren't doing it right. And if it hurts too much, you aren't doing it right either. If you can't figure out the balance, ask your father. I can't figure it out sometimes myself.

9) Be nice to your damn brother: I know you drive each other crazy sometimes. I know that it will get worse as you get older. But someday, you will need your brother's help. Homework, fixing a car, moving furniture, taking care of your mother. Something will happen where you need each other. Don't make it an impossible relationship. You two will always need to be each other's rocks. Be friends. Or fake being friends for my benefit until you figure out how to really do it. And make each other the best men in each other's weddings. If you don't, I will not help pay for anything wedding related. And when you two actually do become real friends later in life, please tell me about it. After all the years of fighting, I'll be waiting for some good news about the two of you. And don't share women. Ever.

10) Just be you: Whatever people think you need to be, don't listen. If you absolutely have to have a Mohawk, do it. If you absolutely need to have a tattoo, do it (but only after you turn 18 and you pay for it by yourself). Don't let people criticize you for being you. Dye your hair weird colors. Pick a sport you love, even if people think it's dumb. Wear whatever you want. People will be less likely to notice your lime green Mohawk if you're a total gentleman. And if they don't talk to you because your weird, screw them. I was weird too and I lived. I still am weird. And as long as it's an okay weird, I'll be behind you. Don't lick windows or eat bugs or stick your tongue up your nose. Because then I will make fun of you too.


Life isn't so serious. At least it shouldn't be. Laugh at things. And if you can't, find someone who can that will remind you to stop being so serious. If you feel like dancing, then dance. Who cares if you're at the grocery store? Your kids will, but do it anyway. Sing if you're happy. The happier you are, the happier the people around you will be. And if you aren't happy, fake it. No one wants to be around a miserable person all the time.

Not all of us can do this every day. Some days life is just too damn hard to follow the rules. You hide, and you're mean and that's that. But don't let that become the every day you. If you have a bad day, have a bad day. But don't turn it into a bad year.

I love you. Your dad loves you. Your grandparents love you. And we all always will. That won't change. Remember that when we yell at you for not doing the things I listed above. HA

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Religion versus Living Right

Church is a point of contention with me. I don't go. I probably won't make my children go. It will be their choice. I have had discussions with them about God and Angels and Heaven. And by them I mean the big one. I could tell the little one that Jesus was really a giant gummy bear and he would just smile at me.

And the reason I don't go is a big one. I have a hard time sitting amongst people who are totally 100% devoted to their religion on Sundays, and holidays when people are watching, and all the rest of the days they live as if God is simply a word they use before 'damn'. I even have problems being friends with these people on Facebook and other social media sites.

I simply don't like knowing that you thump your bible in the presence of people who you think care, but behind closed doors you drink and fight and swear and act just like the rest of us. If you lived it 24/7 it would be a different story. Or own up to the fact that you aren't perfect in your faith. Those people who say "I go to church and I try to live right but I still drink and curse", you are honest and real. And we have no issues. No one is perfect.

It's the ones who act perfect I can't stand.

Am I perfect? Absolutely not. I curse, sometimes at people I shouldn't curse at. I gossip, sometimes way more than is healthy. And usually with my two best girl friends. We are horrid to people who have no idea we talk badly about them. I expect people do the same about me. It is what it is. But I own it.

I acknowledge that sometimes I'm a huge ass. I am proud of the fact that I'm an ass. Let's be honest, if I was nice all the time, I wouldn't be funny anymore. I am not always nice to the people who deserve it.

What I am though is real. My mother calls and asks me my opinion, because I call it like I see it. People know not to ask me what I think unless they really want to hear what is in my head. I usually start by asking "Are you SURE you want to hear what I think?" that way they have time to change their mind. Haha. Unless it's family, then you don't even have to ask. I just share.

I also learned that the best way to live is to make a difference for people who have less than you do. I'm not always the best at this. Sometimes I get wrapped up in my own drama. But ask any of my family and friends and they will tell you I drag them into these things they hate to do. We have slept outside in the dead of winter in cardboard boxes to raise money for the homeless. We have rescued animals. We have held god knows how many fundraisers for non-profits who need help. We make things to donate to these non-profits. It is what we do.

I remember one Thanksgiving that stuck with me for as long as I can remember. We had a ton of left over food and nothing to do with it. We made a huge batch of soup, gathered blankets and mittens and hats and winter stuff and drove into center city DC. We spent that evening feeding homeless people from our trunk and handing out things to keep people warm. That night was what caused me to become a professional volunteer.

I intend to instill that lesson in my children. I will take them to help people who are less fortunate. I will make them realize that no matter how bad you think your life is, it could be worse. And frankly, I would rather them learn that lesson than sit and pray for things they don't need. The kids who sit and pray for an X-Box or an iPhone aren't really learning any valuable lessons, are they?

My kids will learn that if you pray, God may not always listen. There may be someone else is more desperate need and you will get only what you need, not what you want. My children will learn that sometimes helping those less fortunate will give you what you need without having to ask anyone for anything. My children will learn the value of receiving a heartfelt thank you and a hug for helping someone without them having to ask. Isn't that what the bible really tries to teach people anyway?

What do we need to go to Church for to learn that? What people really need to start doing is going to a soup kitchen, or visiting the chemo center and sitting with someone getting a treatment and making them smile. Or run an ambulance and watch someone's face light up when they realize that YOU are the best part of their worst day. Get out and build a ramp for someone who can no longer walk up the steps and let them enjoy the warmth of the sun as they get to go outside for the first time in months. Plant a flower garden for someone who can no longer go out and do it. Just be kind.

I mean honestly, would it kill any of you to do any of that? In fact, starting now, my children and I will pick one thing to do every month. One thing that will not benefit us ONE BIT but will teach Child 1 the joy of helping others. I encourage you all to do the same. And to the bible thumpers who spend their free time drinking and acting like idiots, you try it too. I bet you learn a lot more in one day than you did in a month of Sundays.

This isn't preaching. It's simply saying I'm tired of people pretending to be god fearing people and acting like quite the opposite. This is my challenge to prove it. And if you need help getting pointed in the right direction, you call me. I have a ton of really good things to do to show you just what you need to be learning.


Monday, March 17, 2014

A lot like Duck Dynasty

I came home from work and Duck Dynasty was on. Around here, we all love Duck Dynasty. We love Big Bang Theory too, but that show just doesn't relate quite like Duck Dynasty in this situation.

Today's episode was a rerun and it was the one where Miss Kay got goats. She needed a goat pen and called Willy. Willy was working and she said he needed to go over and take care of those goats and make a pen. Willy said he couldn't and her answer was a simple one. "Thanks. I love you. Bye." She hung up, and lo and behold, Willy went to do what she needed.

This is where the relatable part comes in. My mother is Miss Kay minus the squirrel cooking. She will need something done. She calls and says what she needs. The ending of the conversation typically goes in this fashion "I'll see you when you get here, honey." and the phone goes dead. She knows we will do it.

Sorry Mom, as I know you are reading this. But it is what it is. We all come to realize that when you ask for something, you aren't really asking. What you do is something that I'm currently working on perfecting. The asking in such a manner that everyone knows it isn't really a question of IF you want to, but WHEN you plan on doing it.

There is no part of me that wants to say no to my parents. As they get older, and I get older, I realize they need help with things. Hell, sometimes I need help with things I wouldn't have needed help with 10 years ago. But sometimes, just sometimes, the option of saying no would be nice. Instead, I act a bit like Willy does. I look at the phone after the hang up occurs, I put my phone in my pocket, shake my head and put on my jacket.

My parents have been unconditionally wonderful to me. They moved my family into their home for 3 months when they really didn't need to. They spend more money than they need to on our children. They give us left overs constantly. They take care of us. I like being able to repay the favor, mostly.

Ok, sometimes. I like doing it sometimes. Other times I do it because I have to. Karma and all that jazz.

The other person a lot like Miss Kay is my grandmother. She's the one who calls when she can't get anything designed after 1991 to work. She has a computer and a tablet and a phone. She needs help with all 3. Thankfully, she calls my mother. Or my Aunt. She never calls me. I'm too much of an ass to help her learn anything new. I can't do it without making fun of her. And she knows this. SO she doesn't ask me. Thanks be to God for that!

Hopefully, my mother never turns into her mother. Hopefully she just continues to call me and say "I'll see you when you get here." I can live with that for the next 30 years or so.

Besides, I always have the option of not answering the phone and pretending I'm taking care of the babies. ( I love you Mom).

Shopping

I remember being able to go to the store, spend a little bit of money and come home with everything I needed. It was roughly 6 years ago. Since the day I found out I was pregnant with Child 1, everything costs soooooo much money.

Yesterday, we went to the dreaded Wal-Mart. We were attempting to replace the bouncer-turned-child-entrapment-toy. We looked at every option they had. The option we chose was $20 and is a bouncer chair that hangs from the doorway. Child 2 despises it. Of course he would. Why on earth would a child like the cheapest option? Our other choice, an $89 bouncer chair contraption thing.

For $89, I would expect the thing to change Child 2's diapers. Or make some bottles or something. That's a damn lot of money.

We still haven't purchased the expensive one. We still have the bouncing chair hanging in our doorway. I keep hoping I'll put him in it and all of a sudden he will LOVE IT! It's certainly not going to happen. In my heart I know, I have children who have expensive taste. I, however, do not have a fat wallet.

Child 1 always wants the most expensive toys. You know those toys you see on Nick Jr or Disney channel. The $100 Lego set (which of course Daddy wants too), the $40 action figures, the toys you can only order online because no one on earth would spend that much money on a toy in a damn store stuff. This is what I have to work with.

Will Child 1 be happy with a dollar store toy? Sure. As long as he doesn't see those damn commercials. Will Child 2 ever be happy with this $20 bouncer. Hell no.

I think to be able to afford what they want when they are teenagers I'll have to sell kidneys or lungs.  Or kill Daddy for the insurance money (KIDDING, even though you do have an enormous life insurance policy.....).

I thought about starting a college fund for the boys. But the more I think about it, the more I think I need to start a fund for the electronics that they will want here shortly.

Or I need to go work for Best Buy so I can get a discount.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

What a Letdown

I try not to be overly critical of things. I try. That does not mean I excel at it. Hell, half the time I'm barely even passable. But there are some things that I just simply lose my shit about. Yesterday, I had two of those such times.

Child 1 has a TSS that goes to school with him. Her job is to keep him focused. I know, sounds silly, but Child 1 wanders. Mentally and physically. If Child 1 is bored with the task at hand, he will go find something else to do. Drives the teachers absolutely bat shit crazy. They also aren't a huge fan of me telling them to find something more challenging for him to do. "BUT IT'S PRESCHOOL..." It sure it. And my kid is bored. Figure it out, or go get a job slinging Slurpees at 7-11.

Said TSS has decided she is going away for a few days. I get a message on a Saturday afternoon that they want me to keep my kid home ALL NEXT WEEK! Now, let's discuss. He apparently needs socialization and schedules. But we can just not send him for a week and expect nothing bad to happen? Sure, I'll keep him home all week. But when I send him back in 10 days, hold onto your ass, sister. He will be a whirling dervish of ignorance.

Instead, I finally stuck up for my kid against this insanity. I told them if they couldn't find someone to go to school with him, I would find another agency who COULD. A 5 minute voicemail to someone where I let loose on my agitation and low and behold, Child 1 will be attending school all week with a substitute TSS. Way to go, me! I have simply gotten to the end of my proverbial rope.

Now, listen, I was really hoping for a good old fashioned war though. I really wanted these people to know how irritated I am. I wanted to really let them have it. Instead, one well placed threat and it's done. I guess I should be happy it was handled, but I was really hoping. And I was mildly let down that I didn't get to flip the hell out over it. Weird huh?

And Comcast. Oh, I hate Comcast. Dad happened to call to get our bill lowered and got a bunch of stuff moved around and handled without me. Now usually I would be in heaven. He paid a bunch of other bills yesterday, and I was tickled pink that it was just done. But Comcast, oh I love to yell at them.

I. LOVE. TO. YELL. AT. THEM. ALOT.

Dad had the entire conversation without raising his voice. How he did that I will never know. I can barely get out my account number without a curse word.

The entire day was slightly disappointing. I was really ramped up to rip someone's head off and it didn't happen. Does that make me a horrible person? Absolutely. But I've gotten to the point that I have a philosophy in life, and I stick to it.

I'm already going to hell. At this point it's simply GO BIG or GO HOME!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

What If I Don't Want To?

I wish I could handle my life like Child 1 handles his. If he doesn't want to do something, he just doesn't. And frankly, if I wasn't the grown up in the house, I would applaud him for his ability to hold his ground and never cave. He never caves. I want to be able to wake up and say "I don't want to go to work today" and just not go. Or say "I don't feel like feeding you people today" and just not do it.

THAT is my dream. I don't ask for much. I don't need fancy trips or fancy clothes. I just want one day where if I don't want to do anything, I don't do it. But after the age of 7, this really is no longer an option. It just doesn't happen.

I can't call my boss and say "Well, see what had happened was, I didn't freaking feel like going today, so I didn't!". I mean, I could technically do that. But I would also be following that phone call up with a job search and filing for unemployment. Bosses tend to frown upon that kind of stuff. I know because I was one.

I can't tell my children "You drove me insane all week with your incessant rambling and 10,000 questions, so today, I'm not listening to you AT ALL!" I often think about trying it just to see what Child 1's face would look like. He's a fairly comical kid so I'm sure it would be worth it to see his reaction.

Someday, when I'm old enough, I will be that crotchety old lady who just says and does what she wants. I'm halfway there already. Lord knows I have the gray hair for it. A couple more saggy body parts and I can start getting away with being a dick for no reason. AND I'M GOING TO!

Rest assured, when I get old enough, I will be that lady. I will be the one walking around Wal-Mart smacking those kids who can't wear their pants correctly in the back on the head with my purse. I will be the one telling my neighbors that I will put whatever the hell I want in my yard and they had better like it. If I want flamingos, flamingos I shall have! I am incredibly fond of the little pinwheels that blow in the wind. Maybe I'll have a forest of them out front.

If I want to wear a robe to the grocery store, I will. I already think about doing it, I just haven't followed through yet. I have a rather drab red one that I think would be delightful to wear down the aisles of Weis. I can't wait. And slippers. Damn it, I will wear my slippers to the grocery store.

I will call fast food restaurants that F up my order, and yell. And get free stuff. I will fill out those stupid surveys stores give me, and when I think someone absolutely sucks at their job, I will tell them. I have a whole speech stored up for people who honestly are not in their correct profession.  I had a lot of time to think about it when I was a manager. There were a lot of people working retail who were not cut out for it. I would have loved to tell them just where to pound it and where to go.

I just want to do and say as I like. I sincerely can't wait.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Home Day

Child 1 breaks his life up into two categories: home day versus school day.

Ahhh, to be that young again.

I break my days up into two categories as well: home day versus school day. But my way is a little different than just sheer excitement about hanging out in my underwear all day and watching cartoons. School day means I actually get stuff done during the day. The little one is fairly easy to manage. Put him in his bouncer and problem solved. I can clean around him. The big one doesn't have a place I can put him and he stays. Except the closet. And they find that to be offensive over at the Child and Youth Department. So home day means a day of chasing children and avoiding the land mines of toys that develop.

Today, in case you can't tell, is a home day. A three day weekend. This means that I will get absolutely nothing done until Monday. Right now, Child 1 is sitting on my living room floor, creating a mosaic of small popcorn pieces on my carpet while watching Transformers cartoons. Surrounding him is all his various Transformer Rescue Bot toys and any other toy that may have something small to do with this show so "they can watch it too." He also has brought down his pillows from his bed, a blanket and god knows what else he is hoarding over there is "HIS SPOT!"

Today, I will vacuum a minimum of 3 times. There will still be stuff all over the floor by the time Daddy gets home. Child 1 and Child 2 have trouble actually putting the food into their faces. Sometimes I think they honestly believe that if they just rub it all over their bodies the nutrition will absorb into their skin. I will attempt to fold my laundry again today, but I apologize to anyone who may have stray popcorn kernels folded into their pants. Child 1 likes to come ask me asinine questions while I do things so I'm sure popcorn will end up somewhere. Or Cheez-It's. Or whatever other thing he decides to shove in his mouth today. That kid can seriously eat when he wants to. Just never at dinner time.

Child 2 has broken his bouncer. The kid gets moving so fast and so hard he actually collapses the thing onto himself. A little tip to my Aunt and my cousin who also have a Tigger for a child, be careful what kind you buy, mine has turned into some kind of Chinese finger trap where you must extract the toddler without causing physical damage. Tonight we are headed to Wal-Mart to try to find some kind of bouncer that doesn't kill my kid. I want one that attaches to the doorway, but I'm afraid he will bounce so damn hard he will look like one of those 'Bungee Jumping Gone Wrong' videos on You-Tube.

For now, Child 2 is hanging out in his playpen. It's safe for him there. Plus, he keeps rubbing his eyes, so I'm praying he will nap. Right now, he is just gibbering and throwing his toys out of the playpen so I can fetch them for him like some kind of dog. He gets great enjoyment from this. Keep in mind, every time I touch a toy he growls at me before I give it back. I wish he would learn to speak. Some people will be mildly offended if he enters preschool thinking it's ok to communicate only in grunts and growls. Then I really will have to deal with special education classes. That is so not on my agenda.

Daddy left the house less than 2 hours ago. I already have a headache, my children have already eaten half the food I have in my kitchen (or so it seems), and my living room is somewhat reminiscent of a Hazardous Materials drill I did one time. It sounds a bit like an amusement park in here. You know that sound you hear when people ride a roller coaster, that half screaming in fear half laughing sound? Child 2 has perfected it and is doing at full volume. No, he is not upset, he is talking to his toy dog that sings to him. Child 1 also takes time away from his beloved cartoon to wander over to the playpen and lovingly growl at his brother. And by lovingly I mean in a slightly menacing, slightly taunting way.

I have bred assholes. In case you are already thinking it, I will save you the trouble. Luckily, they will fit in with the rest of our circus family. And thankfully, most of the time, they are only assholes to each other.

I already can not wait for Monday morning, when I can drop Child 1 off at school and say "Have a great day" and come home and clean up the messes I'm sure they will make this weekend. Did I happen to mention that next weekend is a 4 day weekend? Apparently Head Start, who is so enthusiastic about children not missing school, doesn't actually feel the need to have them go to school. My son will enter kindergarten thinking life is all about long weekends. I can't wait to see his face when he realizes that kindergarten is real school.

Is it August yet?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Certainly not Perfect

I recently read an article stating children under the age of 12 should not be allowed access to handheld devices. I then read an article that stated how ridiculous the first article was.

Good parenting comes from knowing your child. Knowing what he/she needs. Knowing what he/she can handle. And actually doing it.

I am not always a good parent. Sometimes, mostly when it's time to make dinner or clean one of the various messes, I plop my kid in front of SpongeBob Squarepants. Does this put me in the running for Mother of the Year? Nope. But it makes me just like all the rest of the moms.

When you're a mom who only works sometimes, there are a variety of things you have to do while managing children: appointments, more children, messes, schools and occasionally work. I can't always do it all.

My laundry doesn't always get folded the day it gets washed. The turtle tank sometimes goes a little longer than it should between cleanings. My kids sometimes spend too much time watching TV or playing their "handheld devices". We own a Nabi and a Kindle and smartphones. My kid has access to them all.

I'm not perfect. I wouldn't want to be. Perfect is when you spend more time worrying about how show-perfect your house is than enjoying the things you have in it. Perfect is when you spend more time worrying about advancing your career than advancing your children. Some people can do both without any issues. I am not one of them.

I am the imperfect parent. But my children know that I will drop the sponge and bucket for a game of CandyLand if they really really have to play right now. They know that if Transformers comes on TV, I will make a snack and snuggle on the couch. And on those nights, bedtime is relative.

I sometimes drive Daddy nuts. I don't always do as much cleaning as I should. I do what needs done, then play with my kids. Sometimes we make a mess so huge that it takes an hour to undo what we did before Daddy gets home. But we have fun. And Child 1 hugs me every day, and tells me he loves me, and still calls me the best mom in the world.

Child 1 could care less if we have to hunt for socks in a giant sock pile every morning. Child 1 could care less if the house will make it into a photo in Better Homes and Gardens. And around here, the only people I try to impress are my kids.

My relationship with Daddy suffers for this. I blame myself for a lot of our fights. I very often put the children way before us. We haven't gone anywhere without them in years. There is no "us" time. And he's right, it isn't fair. I absolutely don't do enough to foster any relationships other than my children.

I don't see friends as much as I should. Frankly, I rarely ever see friends. I don't return phone calls, because I'd just end up saying I wouldn't see them anyway. I am that person that forsakes all for their kids. And at the same time, forsakes their kids for what I think I should be doing. It's a vicious circle.

I need to do more on all fronts. But I am a procrastinator. I talk a good game but rarely put any of it into practice. But I really intend to try.

I will ask my mother to take my children for the evening and go somewhere with Daddy. Even if I hate what we are doing (this does not include the gun range, so if you read this, think again pal.) I intend to do more in my house while Child 1 is in school so I can still mess it up with him when he comes home. I intend to start telling people that "No, that meeting time does NOT work for me" and just not showing up. I intend to try to be better.

And I intend to start trying all of that someday. I am after all a procrastinator and a non-finisher.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Are you SERIOUS?

I get mad. Probably more than most people. Whatever reason you give it, it still happens. Mostly I get mad at the dumb stuff. Not enough money to pay all the bills this month? It will work itself out. I ask what you want for dinner and you say "I don't care", I blow a gasket. Silly, huh?

Since I usually write about my children, I thought I would take a chance today and write about something that drives me crazy. A lot of things that drive me crazy. My pet peeve list.


Growing up, we were not allowed to answer any questions with the statement 'I don't know'. At the time, it made no sense to me. I mean, sometimes I just legitimately didn't know. I don't know where I put my shoes. I don't know what my sister is doing. I don't know why I'm driving you insane. BUT THEN, I grew up and had a family. And they answer things with 'I don't know', and I almost can feel my chest tightening. I hate that. Find a different answer. Maybe it's me being a product of my environment. Maybe it's a learned behavior. But please, don't ever say 'I don't know' to me. I'm liable to not know why I punched you.

People who say 'I'm sorry' for everything! Jesus H. Christ, no you aren't! There is no way you can be that sorry that something idiotic happened to someone else. There is no way you can be that sorry about something minor you really intended to do, but got in trouble for. Around here, 'I'm sorry' is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. If you were that damn sorry, you wouldn't have done it in the first place. Reserve that statement for when you actually feel remorse for something. I accidentally broke your __________ (fill in whatever your child broke this week), and I didn't mean to. THAT means something to me. Randomly saying 'I'm sorry' means nothing. Don't do it.

Answering every question with 'I don't care'. Some part of you has to care about something. When I was a manager and asked someone if they could work an extra shift and they said 'I don't care', they got it. And then they would whine that they didn't say yes. 'I don't care' means it matters to you none either way. So I pick the way that suits me. I'm selfish that way. If it doesn't matter to you, but it matters to me, I'll pick the way I want it to be. HA. Put that in your juice box and suck it. OR just stop saying 'I don't care'.

People who ask me if something works for me, but when I say not really they don't care. Don't ask me then! Just tell me when I need to be somewhere and I'll show up. The people most guilty of this are the preschool people. I hate preschool. Does it work for me that I have to pick my son up 2 hours before everyone else leaves? NO. Oh, but I have to do it anyway? Sure. Why didn't you just say that? I feel the need to follow up conversations like this one by adding the word ass to the end of every sentence I say. "Sure, I can be here by 1pm, ass." "No, I don't mind that if I hit traffic and am delayed by even 2 minutes I get yelled at, ass." I should really just homeschool Child 1 and Child 2.

People who wait until the last minute to tell me things. I am normally a procrastinator. I do that very well. I get my best work done when I'm rushed. But I tell people about things in advance. That way, if they don't subscribe to the theory that everything that's done at the very end is their best work, they have time to prepare. Granted, even when people tell me things the day before, I still get it done. I am amazing that way. I am the reliable one. Blessing and a curse. But, let me choose if I wish to do everything on a wing and a prayer. I should get to pick that.

People in the grocery store. This requires an explanation because it isn't normally something that drives people crazy. I hate the grocery store on the best days. On the worst days, I muddle through and forget half of what I intended to buy anyway. People who want to ask me about my children and peer at them like a zoo exhibit drive me INSANE! My son has red hair. It's not that entirely unusual. And I've heard about it like a gazillion times in 5 years. Please don't stop me during my least favorite activity to point out something dumb. And stop staring at the baby. He's little and cute. They all are. The only exception to this rule is people I actually know. If we are acquainted in any way outside of the grocery store, feel free to stop me and gawk at my children. It is a welcome distraction to talk about things I love. But if you don't know me, keep walking sister.


I know, I'm strange. But I write about my kids so much, I thought I would give them a break. Besides, it was so beautiful yesterday, we played outside forever and most of their energy was used up being kids and not saying smart ass stuff.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sick.....

The common cold has invaded my household. Child 1 brought it home from preschool I believe. Child 2 caught it from him. Then they gave it to me. They never give it to Daddy. Either he has the immune system of a GOD or they spend too much time with me.

What starts as a common cold in a preschooler mutates in some awful way. Something about small children turns illnesses into a people killing epidemic by the time it infects adults. And I have two children sharing it with me. Lovely.

Child 1 had a fever, some nosebleeds from the congestion and lots of snot. Child 2 had more snot that a body his size should safely be able to produce. I must stop giving him so much liquid. Or stop touching him when he is sick. What do I have you ask? A hybrid version of bronchitis-pneumonia-black plaque-ebola-salmonella-itis.

I am miserable.

I am good standing up. I am good sitting down. I am good laying down. Moving myself from any of these positions to any of these other positions is where the problem lies. I instantaneously feel as if my brain is attempting a brutal escape from my left temple. I fear by the end of the night it will succeed.

My family will find me in the morning. Dead. On the floor. My brain oozing out of what used to be my skull. THAT is what my children gave me.

Did I mention that both of them feel utterly delightful now? Their sicknesses lasted a total of 17 hours. I am well into hour 36 and only getting worse. Apparently, Daddy does have the immune system of a god, and shared it with my children.

So, I made food for "lunch" that I can not taste but need to eat anyway. So I don't die of starvation before the cold explodes my skull. My mouth has the texture of the Sahara, even after drinking 2 glasses of water and a huge glass of juice. Loud noises hurt my head. And coincidentally Transformers is on TV and Child 1 will burst into flames and die if he can't watch it.

If you, my friends, don't see anything posted for the next few days, it's because my bp2esitis (my new name for this wicked cold) has killed me.

I'll have to make sure Daddy knows how to log onto here and tell you all where the funeral will be held......

Oh my Children.....

I have damn smart children. I'm not bragging. Trust me, sometimes it's a bad thing. But other times, some of the things that are said in my house are down right hysterical.

Thankfully Child 2 still can't talk. His communication is limited to growling. And yelling. Which is also mildly amusing. I love that he wakes us up by growling at us. I just hope he grows out of it.

Child 1, however, says things that are way out of his age range. He's too damn smart.

- At school, during his first week, Child 1 was still learning the rules. He ran from the bathroom to the carpet. This is a no-no. The teacher asked Child 1 to return to the bathroom and show her how to use his walking feet. Child 1 says "I don't have to walk all the way back there to show you. I can show you my walking feet from right here!" I had to leave the room I was laughing so hard.

- I asked Child 1 to snuggle one night. It had been a long day and I just wanted to cuddle him. Child 1 says to me, with all the seriousness a 5 year old can muster "Mom, can we try a new kind of cuddling where we don't actually touch each other?" So we laid on separate parts of the bed and that was that.

- We don't eat dinner in my house. We eat lunch twice. One of the little weird things we have to do around here. I accidentally called it dinner last night. Child 1, the love of my life, decided he needed to set me straight. "Mom, you can eat dinner any time you want, but I'll wait until you make me some lunch, ok?" I continued to make the same food and called it lunch. He ate it.

- Driving home yesterday, I was talking to Daddy on the phone. Child 1 noticed we pulled up to the house and did not immediately get out of the car. He waited until I was done talking and had hung up the phone, which was unusual. Turns out he was just laying in wait. "Mom, we are home and still sitting in the car. Did you know that?" Yep, I knew. But thank you anyway, Captain Obvious.

- Child 1 is loud. Like insanely loud. He yells, he jumps, he pounds. We have neighbors, we live in a half a double. Thank Jesus, our neighbors are my sister and brother-in-law. One day, my brother-in-law was hanging something up on the wall. He was pounding with a hammer. "Who is that?" I answered it was his uncle. I thought we were done talking about it. After hearing the noise again, I heard this statement loud and clear. "I need your phone. They are being very loud over there and I have to call them. It is quiet time." HA

- Child 1 wants to go to Universal Studios to see the Transformers exhibit. We told him it was very expensive and we had to save money for it. "Mom, I want Daddy to stay at work until we save up enough money to go see them." Daddy is a salaried worker. He would never be able to come home. Child 1 did not care what-so-ever.

- Child 1's classroom replaced the dead fish. Child 1 asked a very serious question for a 5 year old regarding the new fish. "Mom, we got a gold fish this time. When he dies, can we vote to get another blue one? I like blue better." Glad to see we got over the dead fish pretty quickly.

I have come to discover that with children, you never know what they are going to say. They are crafty creatures. I have also learned that when you have a child who is incredibly literal it makes life a bit more interesting. If you say something, you sure as hell better mean it just the way you said it.

I'm still working on the finer points of this. I still mess things up. I still say "Later, Child 1" without thinking that he will remember this, and at bedtime he will point out that later never came and he does not want to go to bed until I fulfill this promise. Everything said in my house is a promise. And Child 1 never forgets a promise.

I, however, forget everything. Thank Godness I have a walking talking 5 year old appointment book to remind me of all the things I said I will do, and don't get around to.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The things I have to say....

I like to talk. Normally. Or should I say under normal circumstances. When it comes to my children, when I talk I surprise even myself by what has to come out of my mouth.

There are things I never thought I would say. As a mother, I was prepared for weird. As a mother of two boys, I was prepared for stupid. I was not prepared for some of the things I've said, and continue to say. Maybe I never will be.

*Stop licking your brother- This needs to be said multiple times a day, directed to both children. The little one is, well, little. The big one is, well, weird. And it's their new hobby.

*Get your hands out of your underpants- This is now also directed to both children. I was unaware that boys of all ages have a need to touch anything encased in underpants. Incessantly. And giggle.

*If it's not food it doesn't belong in your mouth- This is mostly said about toys and believe it or not, to the oldest. And now that the little one is mobile I have a feeling it will be a constant statement.

*Stop spinning things- This one is just plain silly. I don't know why I say it. The spinning never stops. It's his thing. But it's more annoying to me than when they lick each other. Watching Child 1 spin things actually gives me anxiety.

*Yes, you do have to wipe after you use the bathroom- Again, not sure why I have to say this. Apparently wiping is optional to children. Or is it just boys?

*Are you serious?- This is my go to question. I ask this when I just can't believe what it is I'm seeing. Or what I'm hearing. It has gotten to the point that Child 1 actually thinks the word "serious" is a bad word. Hahaha.

*Do not play 'Punch the Baby' while I'm in the bathroom. Do you hear me?- Child 1 started a game called punch the baby. BEFORE YOU CALL CHILDREN AND YOUTH, he doesn't actually punch the baby!!!!! He punches the side of the playpen and Child 2 giggles like a maniac. Child 2 is usually smart enough to stay back. Usually.

*You can not touch his butt. Go away- Again, strangely, this is said to both children. Usually it involves one child wishing to smack the other one during the getting dressed process. Guess they see it as an opportunity to really get a good one in while Mommy is busy.

*You are not a dog, stop growling- Originally this was just said to Child 1, as growling is his way of sharing his frustration. BUT Child 1 taught Child 2 to growl. Exciting right? Growling is now how Child 2 chooses to communicate. Child 1 thinks this is a riot. As do the other men in the family. They all now talk to Child 2 as if he was a puppy. He may never speak and they all will just grunt at each other all the time.

*Stop biting feet- This is said to both kids. Child 1 bites his own feet. He wants to bite his toenails. The SECOND I see that foot creep above his belly button, I'm on him like white on rice. I think that's disgusting. But Child 2 wants to bite everyone else's feet. This is even more gross and is not allowed. I freak.

*No, it is NOT Jake from State Farm on the phone- Child 1 asked once when Daddy got a call if it was Jake from State Farm. I laughed so hard I couldn't breath. This made it an automatic question to be asked every time the phone rings. Every time.

I'm sure there are plenty more. I know I walk around saying things daily that I have to walk out of the room and laugh about. I laugh a lot. Children are hysterical if you catch them in the right mood. Mine are in the right mood all the time. I breed comedians. I can't wait to see the April Fool's jokes we can start to do now that Child 1 is getting older.

Speaking of that, friends and family, April 1st is coming up quick. Last year I was pregnant and on bed rest so you all caught a break. This year, hold onto your asses. I'm coming.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bonus Post for hiting 1,000 page views!

So you guys did it! You have read my blog over a thousand times! I won't lie, I didn't expect that. I'm still not sure I believe it. Guess I need to set my standards higher next time. Here's to 5,000!

In my house, I always set my standards too high. Which is funny considering my standards for many other things are so low. I'm afraid I am a perfectionist and I may force it onto other people.

Which brings me to my bonus post.

MOM VERSUS DAD

It's bathtime. Child 1 despises his hair washed, like he acts as if I'm chopping off body parts. Who does Child 1 want to do bathtime? Mommy.

It's mealtime. Child 1 is the pickiest eater this side of the Mississippi. I'm willing to vote in all of North America, but I have more research to do. He eats like 5 foods. Who does he want to get his plate ready? Mommy. (Mommy knows what to put more and less of. HA)

It's time to get dressed in the morning. Child 1 prefers to be naked. Child 1 would even be naked outside in -12 degree weather if we let him. Who does he want to get him ready in the morning? Mommy.

It's time to pick a TV channel to watch for a bit after lunch. Child 1 hates watching "real people shows". Who does he want to pick the channel? Mommy. Because Mommy also loves a good animated movie, and will continue to watch them well after Child 1 loses interest.

It's time to play. And play is rough in this house. Who does Child 1 want to play with? Mommy. Mommy can play the same game for an hour before she needs a break. And that to a child who is obsessed with a game is like heaven.

It's bedtime. Child 1 apparently is unable to sleep unless someone is touching him. Who does he want to lay down with him? Mommy. Mommy's are apparently the best snugglers.

Mommy went to smoke a cigarette, or went pee without informing the house. Or even walked to the kitchen to check on dinner. Who does Child 1 want to ask questions to? Mommy. And if he can't find mommy? He will turn to Daddy and ask "Do you know where Mommy is?"

This is the order of preference in my house. I know that kids love Mommy's. Especially Mommy's who are home so much. Child 2 is very small still and everything revolves around Mommy. Daddy is only a good option if Mommy is physically out of the house and is not coming back anytime soon.

Do you know what Mommy likes? Quiet sometimes. Just once. For a little while. I want to watch a TV show in peace and quiet while Daddy cuddles children. I want to pee without someone coming to tell me about Transformers or Rescue Bots or Doc McStuffins. I want to cook dinner without having to explain the process of everything I am doing.

I want to be Daddy for a day. I want to be the one that Child 1 looks at with disdain while I offer to help with something. I want him to want the other parent. I want to, for once, feel left out. Most parents wouldn't dare admit it. But I look forward to the day that these boys decide that girls suck and they want to spend all their time with Daddy.

On that day, I intend to go get my hair done and get a massage. Without having to hear anyone say Mommy. And then I'm going to drink 75 gallons of water and pee as much as I want without someone watching, or yelling through the door. And then I'm going to lay down alone in my own bed and nap. Alone. Without anyone touching me.

And this will happen in roughly 15 years. I'm really looking forward to that day......

Fat Girl Stuff

This morning I did a "fat girl" thing. This does not mean I'm fat, it just means there are certain things girls can get away with when they aren't so particular about how much they weigh. I'm relatively happy where I'm at. Sure, my tummy could be smaller, but I had a C-section, so.....

On to my list!

1) Bacon- We can eat bacon. We can add bacon to things, we can eat bacon alone, we can even make bacon candy (yes, there is such a thing as bacon candy). I personally love bacon, and would put it on everything if I could.

2) Hamburgers- I love hamburgers. I especially love when they have bacon on them. I don't particularly care if they go straight to my thighs. And they are so much better dripping with fat. Yep, I went there. Did you know they have a butter burger???? A hamburger with a dallop of butter in the center.

3) Yoga Pants- the side bar to this is, you don't actually wear them to yoga. I tried yoga once in my living room. I fell over. And promptly stopped doing yoga. But I love the pants. They are so comfortable. And that's what fat girls go for right? Comfort. Yoga pants and a tank top in the summer. Yoga pants and a sweater in the winter.

4) Snacks- I eat snacks. I love snacks. And there is no way I'm talking about carrot sticks and celery. I mean Hostess cupcakes, and chips and cookies. You know, SNACKS. I could make a meal out of snacks, but I don't. And if I do, I make sure it's the only meal I eat that day. It's ok to be a little fat, but I'm not looking to be the next star of "My 600 Pound Life."

5) The Biggest Loser- I can watch this show and just feel ok about where I am at now, because it's where most of these guys end up at. I don't watch the show and critique how they are doing the exercises. I don't watch how much protein they are eating. I just find it amazing they can go through all that in a short time. And end up weighing what I weigh. And be happy there. Which makes me happy there.

6) Fast Food- I don't need to hide that sometimes I stop by McDonalds. I don't need to feel ashamed carrying a bag of fries across the parking lot. No one at the gym is going to make mention of my eating shit. Because honestly, fat girls don't care.

7) Sneakers- I wear sneakers for comfort. They can even look cute. I do sometimes go to the gym, but I am not one of those girls. I lack the determination. I am a non-finisher, remember? So if they are pink and cute (my current ones are pink and gray with memory foam... so awesome), I'll buy them. I don't give a crap if they are designed for running or for walking or for work. They are cute and feel good on my feet. End of story.

8) Breakfast for Dinner, and Dinner for Breakfast- I love it. There's something decadent about eating the wrong things at the wrong times. This morning I had egg rolls for breakfast, which brought about this whole thing. We are fans of having French toast for dinner around here. The kids eat it, Daddy eats it and Mommy loves it. Winning all around. And if you put the powdered sugar on it, totally makes it like eating breakfast AND dessert at the same time.

9) Gym- I have a love/hate relationship with the gym. I am going to run a marathon in October. This is the only reason I go to the gym. If it wasn't for the fact that I was planning on doing this in front of so many people AT A MARATHON, I wouldn't even be going to the gym. I'm ok with a little extra fat in some places. I hate the belly fat. But my ass looks amazing. The gym may make me lose some weight, and I won't argue with it, but I'm not dieting and "protein shaking" and all that. I simply don't care enough. And probably never will if you want the long and short of it.

10) Fat Girl Stuff- I can write about it. I can do it. I can not feel bad about it. It's ok for me to write jokes about fat girl stuff. I can't buy jeans with a single digit size. I certainly don't fit into a size small shirt. I'm not fat, but I'm fat. And only other 'fat but not fat' girls get this. You can compete with the skinny girls, but you can do all the stuff the fat girls do too.

Honestly, being that pleasant middle ground is just about perfect. I don't kick myself in the ass if I miss a week at the gym. I don't monitor my calories like it's my new job. I don't investigate myself in the mirror for an hour before I leave the house. If my hair is moderately in place and nothing private is showing, I'm usually good. I know it drives some people crazy, but there is no point in all that getting ready just to go to the grocery store, dragging two children, and usually getting covered in whatever those children are eating anyway.

Besides, at one time Marilyn Monroe was considered to be the perfect woman, adulteress and all. I wear the same size she does, so I can't be too far off. I was just born in the wrong time, that's all.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

How did that happen?

I LOVE MY CHILDREN!!

I really do, I don't just need to say it for show. These kids are my everything. They are my sunshine and my happiness.

They are also the reason for 90% of my headaches. I literally am not kidding. These kids are a handful.

Child 1 is a particular handful. Every day is a learning experience. I'm trying to make sure I follow the rules with that one, but when I finally get the rules established, Child 1 changes things on me. What worked last week won't work this week. What he loved doing just 2 days ago, is now a source of boredom.

I basically have to find new and interesting things to do all the time. We rarely repeat an activity. There's a downside to this. Mommy has to do all the prep work. And the research. And I've become a pintrest addict. Seriously, there are a million new things to do for bored kids on there. I just wish letting my bored kid look at them was enough.....

From the sounds of what we heard yesterday, Child 2 will be very much like Child 1. Yippee.....

This also means that all the fun stuff I do with Child 1, I will have to repeat with Child 2. While trying to get Child 1 to not be bored. Which will probably mean 2 projects at once. One for a little one, one for a big one.

Just the thought of 2 of them ganging up on me with their rationalities and their excuses and their crazy behaviors makes me cringe. I only hope that having the two of them working against me will encourage my doctor to prescribe me some kind of anti-anxiety medication. I'm gonna need it.

On a serious side note, I'm tickled pink that what was going on was not something serious. If it is what the neurologist thinks it is, we are in for a long few years, BUT it's a minor speed bump. And it's something we have done before.

So, it seems my dreams of going back to work soon have been sidelined. I am probably going to be a stay at home mom who works sometimes for a long time still. And I guess that's ok. Someone has to handle it all. I just wish some days it wasn't me.

Just once I wish I could go to work all day and let someone else deal with it all. But if it makes my kids the most successful and happy people they can be, so be it.

And I'm sure I'll have plenty more to write about with two little smart asses running around giving me hell. I just hope I'm coherent enough to be able to write it all down.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Big Novel

I decided I should start writing a novel. I want it to be funny, I want it to be heartfelt, I want it to connect. I want it to be something I would read.

I have no idea what I should write about.

I thought maybe I should write about the journey I took from never wanting children to having two of the most wonderful children ever created. And the turmoil they put me through every day.

I thought maybe I should write about my journey with Child 1. It has been a learning experience. With a very steep learning curve. Which I keep failing the tests for. How the hell do you effectively raise a child who will only answer if you call him a firefighter? How do you effectively raise a child who has a concrete valid reason for every rule he breaks? That kid is smarter than he needs to be. And can make some very logical jumps from being bad to having a good reason for it.

I thought maybe I should write about my journey through the medical field. A journey that includes having a cane thrown at me at work, completely botching my first time operating a stair chair (I couldn't get it open for those of you who haven't heard the story), how I got my nickname Crash on a fireground training (I still blame the instructor for that!).

THEN I thought maybe I should just write about life. And my crazy family. And the calamity we get ourselves into. And the fun we have. And the jokes, oh god the jokes.


This is why I don't finish anything. Every thought I have seems better than the last. My brain goes on this incredible journey, and often times I feel like I'm running to catch up. I can't keep track. And ultimately, I spend so much time thinking about it, I don't ever get around to actually doing it. It's insanity.

Maybe I should start taking some of Child 1's medications. I think I need them more than he does. I can't seem to focus on any one thing longer than it takes my brain to jump to the next idea. How on earth does someone make it to the age of 30 with the doctors clearly missing the diagnosis they should have made years ago???

Hi folks, my name is Tristen. I have ADD. And I'm pretty sure some type of Aspergers. And maybe a touch of depression. And a whole lot of anxiety. And maybe, wait, what's that shiny thing over there?

I wish I didn't know

Not all of my life is funny. Some of it is harder than hell. A little bit of it is scary. Yesterday definitely fit into the scary portion.

My morning started off relatively easy. I got paid to go to a 2 hour training, to learn things I've already been doing for almost 10 years. I shocked the hell out of everyone when I knew how to use a Hoyer lift. Its a giant machine for lifting people for those friends who aren't in the medical field.

And that brings me to my current dilemma. I am in the medical field. I have worked EMS for 9 years, I have a background in pharmaceuticals (a legal one), and I currently do home health care. When disaster strikes, I usually know how to handle it.

Unless it is one of my own.

Once, Child 1 popped out his thumb. I cried and ran to my Mommy and Daddy for help. My Dad had to fix my sons finger. I have relocated thumbs before. It's relatively easy. Just never my own child. Now Child 1 does it like a party trick. I taught him how to pop it back in himself, because I still can't do it. HA

Child 1 has had a medical journey. My true friends know what's going on. I'm not ready to share it with the world. But it has been a long one. And a tiring one. And a frustrating one for both him and myself.

Child 2 seems to be embarking on his own medical journey. And his is scary, because I know. I know what can cause some of the symptoms. I know what can be doing these things. And hopefully we are all just being over reactive parents and seeing something that isn't there. But I doubt it.

Last night I sat and cried and ate ice cream. I never eat ice cream. I was upset. Not because both my children see doctors more than most. I cried because I want an easy life for my kids. I want them to be happy and healthy.

They are both happier than pigs in shit. They are both still technically healthy. But, I know. In the case of Child 1, I know his life is frustrating. In the case of Child 2, I just know what certain things means when the nurse says them to me thinking I'm a Joe Schmoe.

I think it would be easier if Mommy was a cashier at K-mart and didn't know squat about anything.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Hello, Dead Fish

There's a reason behind this post. But to get to it, you'll have to follow my slightly irritated ramblings. I'll apologize in advance. Sorry.

Whose job is it to teach children about death? When should this lesson happen? Do we wait until something bad happens, or do we prep them ahead of time?

At my house, we lost a pet. A beloved family pet. Unfortunately, Child 1 was the person who found that we had lost our beloved pet. This is what happens when you send a child downstairs so you can pee in peace. There's no buffer.

This rocked our house for quite a while. There were tears, and explanations, and pictures drawn and lots of talks. But we got over it, we bought a new pet and the tears rarely happen anymore. There are times it still crops up. But it's life and it happens.

Today, the class pet (a fish named Mr. Blue) passed away. It was explained to the kids, and they got to pick the color of their new fish. Child 1 cried, which we expected. But this attachment wasn't as strong as our household pet. It was a relatively short issue.

HOWEVER.....

The reason this post is happening right now has to do with what was said to ME.

Child 1's teacher explained to me what happened, so that I could talk to Child 1 about it should I have to. So we could make sure that Child 1 is emotionally ok with it. Death is a hard thing to handle. Especially at 5.

During this conversation, it was mentioned why the class has a pet. "We have a classroom pet so that we can teach children that pets die" says Child 1's teacher. UMMMM, EXCUSE ME???????

That, my friends, should be my job. I know I can't shield my child from everything bad. I'm not even sure I would want to try. But the person to teach my child that not everything lives forever should be me. Not school, not a friend, I'm not even sure I want Daddy to do it. It should be Mommy.

If they would have said "We use a classroom pet to teach responsibility, but when something happens to Mr. Fish, we use it as a way to learn about how to handle death", I may not have come home foaming at the mouth. Boy was I mad. I still am.

The end result is the same. Kids learn to feed the pet, kids learn the pet doesn't last forever, teacher explains death. I know that process won't change depending on what reason you have for having a pet. But to use that as a reason for a classroom pet actually made me mad.

Today, I lost my shit over a dead fish. Whatever will tomorrow bring?

Disclaimer

I didn't realize I was going to need one of these. Apparently not everyone is on the same page I am. So, let's get it together people!

I am all about differing opinions. In case you missed it, I'm kind of a fan of a good argument. There's nothing better than debating a point with someone, unless of course you're wrong. But I applaud people who argue even when their wrong. There's something to be said for someone who so passionately believes a complete pile of crap. I am amused by this. It makes for good conversation.

That being said, a good social media debate is always interesting. Want to argue that vaccines cause Autism? Bring it on. Want to argue that Obama is the best president ever? I'll go with it. I simply like to debate things. It's in my nature.

This is where my disclaimer comes in. If your opinion is not my opinion, I will listen. I'll even possibly tell you when you make a good point. I may tell you when something you say is horrendously ridiculous. But I will never tell you that you can't have your opinion.

Let's respect that, and don't do it to me. I have an opinion on everything. Sometimes I share it. Often times I share it. I encourage you to listen, and call me out if you think it's something dumb. But don't belittle me, or anyone else on my pages. I like to hear what other people think. I like to listen too, when I'm not talking of course.

Listening has gotten me many ideas. I've gotten ideas for home improvement, parenting, I even got the idea to start this blog from friends. I figure if the way I share things makes people giggle, writing it down ought to be hysterical.

Take a minute to listen. You don't have to believe. You don't have to change the way you think of things. But, my lawd, shut your pie hole for a minute and LISTEN! You'd be surprised what you learn when your jaws aren't flapping. *This bit of advice does not count for me, I can't shut my mouth. It's hardwired to my brain, with no filter.*

I love you all. I really do. I love that you read what I write, I love that you text me to tell me what you think. I love that I get emails. I love it all. I would really love it if you could be respectful while you're doing it.

Treat other people how you would like to be treated. Simple as that. But let's make it fun while you're doing it. Throw in a joke or two. Do some research and make your friends feel a little dumb. Just make sure your facts are right, and that you aren't just being mean.

And when you win the debate, bring it up once a week for the next year. I promise, that's the most fun part.