Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Paranoia

As a parent, it seems as though we are constantly dancing along the fine line between paranoia and not worrying.

Lately I'm trying not to be paranoid about the safety of my children, and more specifically keeping them safe from child predators. I think a lot about this for a few reasons:

1--I live near a big huge city
2--I'm not naive
3--My son is extremely social, and try as I might he just doesn't get the concept of "don't talk to stangers"
4--I recently heard that a four year old girl was abducted and sexually assaulted in the middle of the day at a busy park in aforementioned big city (note to self: Do not go to parks in the middle of Phoenix--EVER) even though her family was there too.

Now, don't get me wrong, this is actually a very uncomfortable topic for me, and there is a huge part of me that wants to pretend it doesn't exist. But for the safety of my children, I educate myself. So, I visited this website to search for registered sex offenders and preformed a search for my zip code.

I was happy to learn that there were only five and they didn't live by my kid's school or church or in our neighborhood. But I was somewhat surprised to see how normal and nice they looked (the profiles include pictures). In fact, it was downright unnerving. I guess I am a little naive, because I expected to see some sick maniacal look in their eyes that would tip me off or something. But almost without exception, each Man (yes they were all men--big shocker) looked like someone I would talk to at the grocery store or smile at and invite my kids to talk to if I didn't know better. It just makes it all the harder not to fall off of my dance into full on paranoia. But I'm trying my darndest to stay on that line.

Two things I just can't let go of are:

--letting Gabe play outside in the front unsupervised (which I feel bad about concerning this one kid who is ALWAYS unsupervised. He is always asking Gabe to play and he lives at the end of the street, and it's just too hard for me to go over there. So I usually make up some excuse, but what I really want to say is "It's nothing personal, I promise! But honestly your parents are MIA and that just isn't okay for my kid."

--sleepovers. I didn't have a problem with these until my daughter came into our family, but now I see it just isn't possible and I couldn't very well let Gabe have them and not Greta. For those of you without daughters, let me tell you my top reasons for not allowing sleepovers:
-I almost always snuck out of the house with my friends to go gallavanting around the neighborhood getting into all kinds of trouble and meeting up with all kinds of other kids.
-you never know what creep has access to your kid while she is at another person's house, or who could break in.

So there you have it. I'm sure there are some of you who are thinking: "Oh come on, we used to have so much fun at sleepovers! Lighten up!" and to you all I say-- wait until you have a daughter and then get back to me (especially after you remember what exactly you did on those sleepovers and how silly you thought your parents were for thinking you could have been raped, and how vulnerable you really were).

Comments? Anyone??

Friday, December 07, 2007

Down with Oprah



Take a long slow look at these boots. Aren't they beautiful? Don't you just love them? Wouldn't they look simply divine nestled at the bottom of my dark wash jeans? I have already imagined myself walking around in them buttoning them over my jeans, unbuttoning them and folding them over just like in the picture. *sigh* isn't that a cozy image of cuteness?

Well forget about it all. I saw these boots on the Martha Stewart Show, and I unknowingly thought that I'd look them up and email Jon and hope to find that "Santa" had brought them for Christmas (or even better, that "Santa" would buy them for me right now and I would be able to wear them sooner) so I looked on Nordstrom.com and selected my desired size and color only to be informed that they were out of stock and on backorder until February or March. Not to be so easily derailed I checked Zappos.com--nada Piperlime.com--nada saks.com--zip UggAustralia.com--zilch (until March). Fat lot of good that does me here in Arizona, by March it will be 100 degrees and we will be getting out our swimsuits. I barely have a reason to have them in the first place living in a place that has a mildly cool season for two weeks and that's all. So I turned to the place all desperate shoppers of this generation turn to: ebay. And they have them, boy do they have them! 5 whole pages of them in all colors. I almost breathed a sigh of relief mingled with joy, when I noticed the average price people were asking was 400$ when they retail for 140$. Um-- I'm not that stupid, nor am I that greedy to justify 260$ worth of pure want. And then, I saw the reason for this travesty. Under all of the descriptions was this hateful little phrase: "As seen on Oprah's favorite list." There it is, the reason I will not be buttoning those cute boots over my jeans this season--because Oprah had to open her big fat mouth all over national television and tell everyone to buy these boots. And I know just what a hundred or so ebay entrepreneurs did, they tuned into that show just so they could make a note of what was going to be hot this season, and as soon as Oprah mentioned the products, they bought them so they could resell them to everyone else at an astronomically high price.

I hate Oprah.
I hate ebay.
and I hate Arizona.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Love




***This post is dedicated to Natalie because it seems like something that belongs on her blog***

I Love:

Rain. I love big crazy rainstorms that make the sky gray and the street the same shade so you can't tell where one begins and the other ends. I love how it makes everything crazy for a little while. I love the way it sounds and the way it smells (but not after it gets all wormy-smelling).

Emails from my husband. What did marriage do before these little instant notes from the one a person loves?

Citrus season. Is there anything more enjoyable than peeling an orange and smelling the oils squirt out of the skin all over your hands and biting into each juicy bite?

Clementines. Just as wonderful as oranges but easier to peel and smaller pieces--perfect little snack for smiling kids.

ipods and the connectors to my van. I can't even remember the last time I listened to the radio. I get all the music I love commercial free and free from recording company marketing (IE the songs they make you listen to over and over again just so they can sell their music).

Christmas music, specifically MY Christmas music. I have carefully crafted over the years the perfect collection of Christmas music. It includes classic songs sung by the original masters, obscure songs lost over the decades, chorale music, religious music, music that I'm sure is from Charles Dickens' era, a small smattering of silly kids songs sung by the original musicians, A Charlie Brown Christmas (if you don't have this album, you are totally missing an important part of Christmas), and of course really fun party Rock and Roll Christmas music. But most importantly, nothing cheesy (ok, there is a cheesy song called Baby's First Christmas, but we've laughed at it for so long that now it's a holiday classic).

The way my toddler yells "MA!" out of the blue when she wants my attention. She doesn't say "ma" and then graduate to yelling, she starts out yelling and it makes me laugh every time.

My sweet happy 5 year old (especially when he is sweet and happy).

Feeling good and being healthy. You just don't know how great that is until you feel awful and sick.

Snowglobes. Ever since I was a little girl I could look inside and imagine I was in that little world with the snow falling all around me.

Getting Christmas cards. I think this is a wonderful tradition, especially since nobody seems to write letters anymore.

Pajamas. I love opening up a new pair of pajamas on Christmas Eve and smelling the smell of torn paper and new fabric and then putting them on--there is something great about new matching pajamas. And just as wonderful is kids in new pajamas on Christmas morning going crazy over their Christmas presents.

Christmas movies, the great old ones and the occasional great new ones.

When my cat naps. That's when I love him the most.

The Nutcracker Ballet, we see this every year and it always magical. This will be our first year to see it in Phoenix, I can't wait!

Really good expensive restaurants that take a long time to eat there and require a reservation.

Holiday traditions. We take the best of Jon's and the best of mine and do them all.

Chocolate in cereal. I don't know who started this tradition, but it is a fabulous start to my day.

Christmas cookies and Christmas treats.

Advent calendars. When I was little I would stress about my brothers eating the chocolates of the days that hadn't happened yet.

Christmas decorations. My house feels so cozy with them up all around.

Christmas in my own home with my cute little family.

Of course there are many more things and people that I love, but these are just a few that I am loving especially today.

Heart image from:
http://www.annerpino.com/2003/heart.jpg

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Goldfish hit man



Since my son has entered kindergarten, I have formulated several complaints about his school all of which are about the way they choose to raise money for the school. The ones I will not discuss in this post have to do with my kids being marketed to (hey if you buy dinner at Chick-fil-a on this day .00000001% of the sales will go to our school, so beg and plead with your parents, because if you don't go, you will be uncool and fail all of your classes) and believe me, I could write forever on that subject.

Instead, today I thought I'd focus on the carnival they decided to have to raise money. What's wrong with a carnival you ask? Nothing! Except for the goldfish ball toss put on by the Kindergarten classes which I naively thought Gabe would not win. But for some reason they decided to make it really easy and before I knew it, they were dumping our new goldfish into a plastic bag filled with water and thrusting it in our hands with a baggy full of fish food. Don't they make fake fish anymore? Or what about a bag of Swedish fish? Well, anyway there I was with a blissfully happy 5 year old and a new pet. Reassured by my friend's story of her son's goldfish of last year who only lived for two days, I decided to go along with the charade.

So we came home and because we didn't have a fish bowl, we found a Tupperware to put him in. I then prepared myself and my son for the inevitable fact that his goldfish would not last very long. The next morning, I went down and expected to see a little goldfish floating at the top waiting to be flushed, but alas, there he was swimming happily. It has now been 11 days and each morning I look at the fish and he is still swimming happily. So now we have decided that it is time to fish or cut bait if you will pardon the expression. The only option I could think of at the time was to upgrade "Jr.'s" (my son named him) habitat and purchase a proper fishbowl for him. As I began to look online, I realised that Jr.'s makeshift tank had become absolutely disgusting in a matter of days and as I am not fond of cleaning anything, I decided that if I was going to get a tank I was going to get one with a filter so I wouldn't have to clean it. I found a few all in one 2-5 gallon fish tank kits for about 50 dollars each when I stumbled upon a goldfish care guide that informed me that A) Goldfish can live for 50 years and are very "hardy," and B) They require 29 gallon tanks at the minimum for ONE goldfish. So after a good laugh, I convinced myself that I must have been given a gold colored fish of a different species because there was no way I was spending 700$ on a 29 GALLON TANK for this stupid fish. Then I made the mistake of asking for my husband's opinion which was very typical male "Just flush him." "Honey, I can't just kill the fish" was my very female answer. "He's not going to die" My husband insisted. So then I had to dispel my Husband's lovely vision of Jr. sliding down the sewer pipe and landing in the sewer only to become the teenage mutant ninja goldfish. He then gave me the worst answer of all which was "I don't care, do whatever you want to do." Well, now it was too late I had permanently fixed on my shoulders an angel and a devil just like in old cartoons. If I flushed the fish, the devil would say, all my troubles would be taken care of and I wouldn't be out 50 or more bucks. But, the Angel would interrupt, you'd have to answer to your son which would either be lying or telling him that you killed his fish, and what about the value of life? But come on! I tried to reason with the Angel, who knows how long this could go on? Years? Decades? And theoretically, I'd be neglecting him without the proper size fish tank anyway which would eventually kill him right? So here I am, stuck between two roads unable to move in either direction. Does anyone know where I could find a goldfish hit man? I'm sure my cat would take the job, although the fish has been in an open container on the kitchen counter for a while now, and the cat has not even noticed him.

Next time I think I will just save us all the trouble by refusing the fish in the first place and deal with the subsequent crying and whining. Oh what we parents do to avoid said crying and whining!!

Seriously though, if anyone has any ideas, please let me know!

Friday, November 02, 2007

My Eulogy

I've been thinking a lot about this for some time, and more just recently. You might think that's a bit morbid, but let me explain:

Right now I am in the deep throws of the worst morning sickness I have ever experienced (and I have been pregnant 5 times) during which I have to admit, I have complained. I have complained to my husband, my friends, my parents and anyone else who unwisely asked how I was feeling. Now, most of the time it was with a certain degree of humor, but I never did lie and say I was "fine." This has lead me to conclude that I would be a similar cancer patient if I were to ever get cancer. I'm not sure if It's just me, but it seems like of every person that either survives cancer or dies from it it is said that he or she was never heard complaining (I have been to the funeral of at least one person who died of cancer where this was said). At first I wanted to know, "Who are these people that wouldn't complain of radiation treatment?" And then, after concluding that it just isn't possible, I wondered if the person making this outrageous claim is really just an acquaintance and really the family (particualrly the spouse) is thinking "Yeah right, you should have been there when I was around!" Because I can imagine someone concealing the details of the way they feel from a friend or neighbor, but try as I might, I cannot conceive of a person that would not complain-- not even once-- while going through cancer or chemo.

I have also been reading a biography of Rose Marie Reid that was written by her daughter. This particular biography has been a bit hard to swallow because it goes on and on about how perfect and angelic Rose was. Even worse than that is the portrayal of Rose's parents in which a statement about her father says that "If he had one fault it would be his trusting nature." HELLO! That's not a fault, that's a virtue. When did we start confusing bad qualities with good ones? And I really resent the implication that he was so perfect that his only fault really wasn't a fault at all... puke. To me, this is a sign of poor writing. Sugar coated fluff does not a good book make.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the overwhelming temptation to show the deceased in their best light, but sometimes this just confuses the rest of us. It also makes me wonder what is said at the funerals of the people more prone to wickedness. What do they say for instance, at the funeral of a man who beat his wife and cheated on her, and then stole her money? He was a passionate opportunist?

This all makes me wonder what will be said in my eulogy, because I don't think I would recognize a version of me that only included my strengths (I'm not even sure what that would be).

I guess ultimately I like to hear that people are like me, they try their best to be good, but do not achieve perfection, they are tempted as anyone is, and make mistakes-- and when they were sick, they complained.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Day in the Life of My Nose

Tonight I thought I'd attempt to describe what life with my nose is like. This is going to be difficult for me because I have a bad case of morning sickness that is causing me to be nauseous at this very moment, and merely typing the tale I am about to type could cause me to "use the facilities" to put it delicately. The rest of you, however, should be fine.

To preface my tale, I'd just like to say that I generally have a very sensitive nose, but when I am pregnant (which I am right now), my nose acts as if it is on steroids. On with the story (and although it may seem as if it is imbellished, it is not).

My husband and I decided to go to Carrabbas last night for our date. I put on a new silk blouse that I have been wanting to wear and immediately I smelled very strongly the unmistakable smell of pure silk. At least it is unmistakable to me, because I smell it everytime I am around silk, but it is much stronger when I am pregnant. I bet most of you didn't even know silk has a smell, well it does, it's sort of a subtle musty smell. So from that point on, I smelled silk everytime I inhaled. We get to Carrabbas, and make the colossal mistake of accepting a table near the door. We sit down, and Immediately I smell wood varnish as if a fresh can had been opened underneath my nose. It was so strong that I had to turn away and exclaim "Do you smell that?!" Which is a thing I say quite often. Jon looks at me quizzically as I wonder aloud if the wood trim next to us had just been painted. Jon sticks his nose against the wood and sniffs and then he claims he can't smell anything. So I decide to do my best to ignore it even though the idea of eating next to an open can of varnish would put most people off. Pretty soon people come and stand near our table waiting for a table of their own and I begin to smell skin. Yes, you read that right, skin. This time I don't even bother to ask Jon as I am pretty sure I am the only one who can smell the more subtle smell of other people's skin (I mean if he can't even smell an opened can of varnish...right?). Now, while it is true that skin isn't as strong a smell as others, it is incredibly disgusting and way too intimate a thing to be smelling if you aren't in love with the person, so I decide to turn my nose toward the varnish. Pretty soon, our food comes (which Ironically doesn't smell nearly as strongly as the other smells I'm smelling--think about that next time you smell good food), and we begin to eat. No sooner than I had taken my first few bites--my nose went from zero to cigarrette-up-my-nose in nothing flat. I just about loose it as I recoil in disgust and exclaim "Someone is smoking in here!"

---Now, let me pause a minute to say that I'm sure that my reactions seem melodramatic to some of you reading this, but I assure you that I am smelling these smells very very very strongly and if you smelled them as strongly as I did, you would have a similar reaction, anyone would. So you can see that they are really quite appropriate, even if they are a bit embarrassing for the atmosphere. Back to the night:

This smoke smell was so strong it smelled as if someone were sitting on my lap puffing excess smoke from their cigarrette into my nostrils. I kid you not. I had to cover my nose with my napkin and force myself to breathe through my mouth. Jon was so startled by my reaction, he went to see who was smoking. Sure enough someone was smoking--OUTSIDE by our unopened window. Thankfully puffer Joe decided to put out his cancer stick and I was able to resume my meal. That is until a large group of people came in standing by us waiting for their tables and I began to smell Perfume (as though it had been squirted right up my nose), more skin, and old people. This combination was too strong for me and I almost puked all over the floor, so I decided to cut my losses and wait in the car. By this time, we were finished and just waiting for the check so Jon handed me the keys and I bolted for the door. As I left, I was smacked by another vat of perfume from a lady just entering the building, and I continued to smell her all the way to my car. Later I decided that I probably could have tracked down which car she came out of just like a bloodhound (hmmmm... maybe I could use this talent for good?). I escape to my car, sit down and began to breathe deeply: *silk* exhale, *silk* exhale, *silk* exhale.

Couple all of that with a recurring feeling of nausea and now you know why I'm having a bit of a hard time these days.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Awareness

ok, if you know me at all, you knew this was coming--or at least you should have guessed that I would have an opinion about:

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

It's here everyone! Put on your pink ribbons and break out your pocket books because every cashier and company is going to shamelessly ask you for money.

Let's break this down. First of all, is the goal to make everyone aware of Breast Cancer? Because I think we've hit the mark. If there is another purpose, maybe we need to change the name.

Personally, I think that it's just an excuse for companies to exploit a disease in order to make more money. Think about it, how much money is really going to curing breast cancer from the pink M&M's you're buying? And let's counter balance that with the amount of money Mars Inc. is spending on advertising their pink M&M's, and changing their packaging, and dying their M&M's pink. Now, let's think about how much money Mars is making from selling more M&M's to people who think they are making a difference. It's so underhanded too because they make you think that they are making a difference in the health of humanity, when in reality, they are contaminating it! Sure, you might be donating .0001% of your sales to Breast Cancer research, but you're manufacturing CANDY!!! So really, at the same time you're fighting Breast Cancer, you are contributing to Heart Disease and obesity. I'll tell you what, forget about Breast Cancer, and start using real ingredients in your products and we'll call it even. It's probably all those artificial chemicals in our food that is causing cancer anyway, so you might say that they are making the problem worse! It's like those commercials by Philip Morris about quiting smoking when they are the biggest manufacturers of cigarrettes. I mean are you kidding us? Have you all completely lost your souls?

But I digress...

As if that weren't bad enough--now we are being solicited at the cashier before we swipe our cards: "Do you want to donate a dollar to Breast Cancer research?" And if you say "No," you might as well be saying: "I couldn't care less about people who are suffering from Breast Cancer." Of course that isn't true, but it's how they make you feel. One of these days I'd like to say: "You know what, I would love to make an annual donation to breast cancer research if I knew how much was actually going to research and how much was going to pay for the little pink papers that you write people's names on. Is there a report that you can show me?" Seriously, where does that money go? I'd like to know where the money goes, and what they are doing with it before I donate.

The problem with all of this is that if you don't support these companies it looks as if you are being uncaring, when the fact of the matter is the makers of these products are the ones exploiting you and the victims of Breast Cancer. Which I think is the worst form of comercialism. People complain all the time about how Christmas has become too commercial, but I think the commercialism of disease is worse.

As a side note, I'm just so sick and tired of each month having a certain thing that it celebrates or commemorates, aren't you? from all of the ethnic minorities that have to have their heritage months to Earth day (which is technically a day but we have extended it to a month, and didn't it feel more like 90 days this last year?) to disease "awareness" months. Honestly it's enough to make me want to puke. And while we are at it, why do they have to have their own ribbons too? Let's take all of the money that we are spending on ribbons and feed starving children shall we? That's one of the problems with capitalism, all the money is going to the wrong places.

Ok, I'm done, I'm sure you could see that I could go on and on...

I will say one more thing though, I do love that I can get pink versions of some of my favorite candies this month. Every cloud has a silver lining!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Kids (grr)

You can't get away with anything when you have kids, case in point:

Today, Gabe had a birthday party to go to, and quite frankly we're on our last pennies (see prev. post) (why is it that birthday parties always come right before the paycheck and not right after? Like the last thing we want to spend our money on is a present for some kid that we barely know who probably already has plenty of toys, and we can't even buy groceries?! I think it's too exessive anyway, perhaps for Gabe's next birthday I'll tell everyone to bring a toy to donate to some children's charity because trust me, my kids are spoiled enough as is!! but I digress...), as I was saying, we are on our last pennies (payday is tomorrow if you know what I mean) so I decided to use a present from the stash of UNUSED & UNOPENED toys that we keep in the closet for just such an occaision. Mind you, none of this was made mention to Gabe, we just did it without prepping Gabe (oh how niave we can still be).

So, Jon takes Gabe to Peter Piper Pizza, and about 20 minutes later, I get a phone call from Jon. Sounding a bit miffed, Jon says, "Next time we decide to regift, could you please tell Gabe not to say anything about it?" To which I respond with unrestrained laughter because I can only imagine what Gabe could have said. Sure enough Jon recounts the gory details: aparently, Gabe, upon entering Peter Piper Pizza immediately found the first ADULT (of course it couldn't have been a kid) and blurts out--right in front of Jon--"This is one of my old toys that I'm too big for." Poor Jon had to fumble to find some sort of an exit out of such a mortifying experience, so he said "Are you sure? I don't think Mom would have done that." Keep in mind that this toy has never been Gabe's, and we never even said anything to him as we got it out and wraped it! GRRR!!!

So Jon pulls Gabe aside and tells him that it isn't very polite to say things like that, to which Gabe replies: "Ok, Heavenly Father will help me to remember not to say that again." And then he ran off to his old Preschool teacher who was present at the party and immediately blurts out "Hey miss Barb--this is my---(and then he looked right at Jon)---uh, it's just a present." Needless to say, as soon as Jon saw Gabe's ride home, he bolted. And this of course makes us positive that while the kid is opening his present, Gabe is going to say "I'm not supposed to say this, but..."

*sigh*

Kids!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

link to the recipe for Super cookies

I found the recipe, but after reading about it I thought I'd warn you all that these cookies are designed to drastically increase caloric intake as they are meant for the malnurished.

Super Cookies:
http://www.mamaproject.info/pdfs/Super_Cookie.pdf

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Lunch

I dislike lunch a great deal (hate is such a strong word). It used to be dinner that I disliked, but now it is lunch. The reason is that I hate (ok, I had to say it) sandwiches--and why do I hate sandwiches? Two words: Luncheon meat. And "meat" is used in the loosest form of the word. I'm sure you are all aware that all luncheon meat consists of bits of random meats and fats and some kind of cartilaginous filler all molded into a loaf form and then sliced up and sealed in a package of some sort of salty juice. Occasionally I decide that I'm going to push through the pain as it were and eat it anyway, so I load up my sandwich with two slices of lunch meat and cover it up with all sorts of cheese and vegetables and usually that masks the nasty texture of the "meat" that I am eating. But every now and then, I bite into a something that cannot be bitten through and therefore cannot be chewed and that, as you can imagine, ruins the sandwich for me.

Now, because these meats have these unchewable parts in them, I generally choose my meat very carefully but on my last trip to Costco, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Lunch meat doesn't even look appetizing to me, I can't imagine that it would to anyone else. In fact, I don't think a single person looks at a package of lunch meat and says in their heads "Wow, that looks delicious, I could tear into that package right away." No, I think what really happens is that people are thinking "Hm... Which of these look the least disgusting, and the most like something I could imagine forcing myself to eat?" I can't for a minute believe that I am the only one thinking that.

So, now I am left with nothing to eat for lunch. You see, lunch is a very interesting meal, you don't want to have anything too closely resembling breakfast, and you wouldn't want to have something that you could have cooked yourself for dinner either. I suppose this is why the sandwich fits in so nicely--but what is one to do when there is no lunch meat? I could survive on bologna (don't make the mistake of thinking that because it is processed in a similar way that I don't like it because bologna has a very distinct difference, it is all ground up making the texture uniform and chewable), but that would only last a couple of days.

Today, I decided to take a different approach all together. I decided to get my protien the vegetarian way. I had an apple smeared with peanut butter and chips with salsa. It was a very satisfying lunch-- but I can't argue with the fact that animal protiens are better for your body, so I've got to come up with some way to eat meat for lunch. I'm honestly beginning to think that I could survive on two shakes a day and then have a variable dinner. I already have one shake every day for breakfast, and let me tell you, the lack of variety is actually quite liberating. Maybe I'll just get that recipe for the nutritious cookies they make for starving children in third world countries and have that for lunch everyday...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mysteries

There are a few great mysteries in life, here are two in my life:

Firstly, why is it that after every major wind storm a plastic bag is deposited in our backyard? It is always a plastic bag and it is always just one. I'm just not getting it, because I really don't see that many plastic bags hanging around outside. Sure, I see the occaisional plastic bag, but it is usually just one, and not very often. Are we really to believe that that one bag we all see in the street makes it's way over to my backyard everytime it is windy? And furthermore, why our backyard? I want an aerial shot of our neighborhood after a windstorm to see exactly whose backyards have plastic bags in them and whose do not. I'd be willing to bet that not very many do. And while we are asking ourselves these questions, who out there is leaving all of these plastic bags around? Ok, it just occured to me that we can probably account for the majority of them being set free from their garbage can prisons as the exchange from can to truck is made (I have actually witnessed this). So that makes me feel better, at least we can assume that few of those bags have been littered intentionally. Anyone else experience this phenomenon?

Secondly, why is it that we never have enough money? (I'm sure I'm not the only one with this mystery). Seriously though, if you think about it, the reasons people struggle with money usually are the same. For instance:

--They have purchased a home that they really cannot afford (this is not our case, we were given a certain allotment from Jon's employer to cover the cost of our monthly home payment, and like good little children, we came in under that allotment).

--They have too many cars/too big of car payments (We only have one car payment, and while it isn't small, it certainly isn't big)

--They have consumer debt (we only occaisionally do this, and we usually pay it off immediately)

--They spend lavishly (if you consider buying groceries and the odd trip to target to purchase some clothes for my kids on clearance lavish, then I guess we are guilty of this)

Seriously, that's what we spent all of our money on this last payperiod: food, gas for our cars, and about 30$ at target. It has gotten so bad that I can't even buy myself clothes from target because they are too expensive.

Wow, that sounds really bad doesn't it? Please nobody start up a collection for us, I think we'll be alright. It just never ceases to amaze me how we never seem to have enough money.

One mystery that has been solved though is that of why my blog fell into neglect--because clearly I have nothing interesting to say...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Parents Magazine

Parents Magazine is one of the magazines that I subscribe to, and have done so for about 5 years. In the past I have found it enjoyable to read and very informative, but lately it is proving to be ridiculous and overly paranoind. I'm not sure if I have changed or if the magazine has, but let me give you a few examples as I have just recieved the latest issue:

There is an article about eczema which would be fine normally, and has the potential to be helpful but it is written in such a ridiculous way. This part in particular made me chuckle:

"Last summer, Cindy Melvin's sons, Kendall, 12, and Coby, 4, didn't make it to the beach. They didn't play in their neighbors' yards, and they didn't go to camp with their friends. The boys have severe eczema that's aggrivated by sweating and outdoor allergens like grass. 'In September, we had a birthday party for Kendall outside,' says Melvin, of Lakewood California. 'Halfway through, he started itching so badly that he had to go inside and watch the rest of his party from the kitchen window. He was devistated.'"

Well of course he was devistated!! He has two morons for parents that even after 12 years haven't figured out that maybe they should hold Kendalls birthday parties inside because he has a skin condition that is aggrivated by OUTDOOR ALLERGENS. Parents magazine should be using this as an example of moronic parenting rather than attempting to exploit our emotions, because any parent with half a brain will immediately find fault with rather than sympathize with these parents. And even if the story is true, the editors of the magazine should have seen how ridiculous that example was and cut it from their magazine.

Immediately after that article is another article titled "Safety Limits," and the Author starts out promisingly enough making it sound as if she thinks we as parents have a tendancy to be overcautious, but then she ends the opening paragraph with this little gem: "There's no downside to being supercautious." I'm not making this stuff up! Um, by the way, there is a downside to being supercautious, it's called paranoia and it's certifiable.

Aside from the paranoia is the parenting advice from the parents that clearly cannot make decisions for themselves. In one advice column, parents ask questions like: "My 4-year-old always uses his clothes as a napkin! How can I cure his chronic messiness?" As I type this, I can think of at least a hundred different things to try, and I have to wonder, are these parents so completely inept that they can't figure this out on their own? Um--give him a napkin for starters, and make him use it. This next question pushes the borders of believability: "Our neighborhood isn't very kid-friendly. Is it rude to take my children to a different area to trick-or-treat?" Are you really worried about offending your neighbors that are not kid friendly? And chances are, if it isn't a kid friendly neighborhood, they won't be handing out treats. I would just love to hear about the parent that took her kid to the neighborhood pediphile's house to trick-or-treat because she "didn't want to be rude."

"Yeah, the kidnapper wanted to babysit our kids, so what could we do? We wouldn't want to offend the kidnapper. Gee we sure hope that he doesn't hurt our kids. If only Parent's Magazine had answered our question we would have known what to do!"

Believe it or not, it goes on, and each thing is more inane and idiotic than the last. I was just going to let my subscription pass, but I think I'm going to have to call and ask for my money back.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

sheepish

Alright, alright, I found my wallet some nine months ago, it was totally untouched and unmolested. it had been sitting at the bottom of a safe at the Gap in Utah, I guess they just didn't see it when I called to tell them I had lost it-- Further proof of the honesty that is so prevalent in Utah.

I have since lost weight and purchased that pair of jeans, but as summer would have it, I have regained about 8 lbs and am unable to wear them. *sigh* such is life right?

I guess I should catch you all up to speed as it has been almost a year since my last entry...

I have been on a reading spree and I have finally read Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre which I aparently should have read in high school, but it wasn't required. Now I am in a Jane Austen period, I've decided to read the five of her novels that I haven't read yet. I have been delayed though, because our amazing and complete local library only has one copy of each of her novels. Can you believe that? One of the greatest authors of all time, and they have only one copy of each novel. So because I am too cheap to buy one, I have decided instead to read her biography. I am actually really looking forward to this though, because I just saw Becoming Jane, and now I am even more interested in her life.

Anyway, I had better go, somewhere in the back of the room I can hear DVD's being ripped from their cases by little hands, and though I dare not look, I must. And then, I must clean it up.

(by the way, I am aware that the names of those novels need to be italicized, but I am writing from a mac, and aparently the process is different and I have yet to figure out what it is. So I'd appreciate it if you'd bear with me.)

Oh, and for those of you joining us for the first time, please read previous posts, as my bitter diatribe about my wallet is hardly representative of the content you should expect to enjoy from my blog. (it's so fun to write as if people are actually reading!)

Also, spellcheck is not functioning either, so I'm afraid you'll have to be patient with me on that one as well.