Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Spitty close talkers, allergy attacks & that time I was basically Meredith Grey

I've perfected the tap out method, and I use it often enough. I had to tap my husband out of a conversation this weekend. I can be nice like that sometimes.  He has a terrible habit of allowing himself to be sucked into a stupid conversation with some boob for an hour. But I just can't do it.

Life is too short to be cornered by spitty close talkers.

That's my personal motto.

Because really, isn't it?

This weekend we went to this local event that was pretty cool. It was this thing where a bunch of food and wine vendors and restaurants come and set up tables with samples of their stuff. It was a benefit that benefited the town I live in, so I was (somewhat) into it.  Plus I love food so there was that. Plus I said I'd go when I was feeling not mental, so even if I changed my mind I still pretty much had to go because I said I'd be the driver.

The event was held in this barn in the country. I love that barn. Kara had her wedding there and it was pretty much the best wedding I ever went to, if I do say so myself. 

The place was cool and there were a bunch of people there, as one would expect.  I have a little issue with introversion though, so things like this always send me into a little inner hysteria. It's inner, so nobody would really know. I know how to keep my shit to myself and slap a smile on my face and be nice.  I've been doing it for pretty much my whole life, so.

My sister and her husband went with us, and Kara and her husband too, so I had some of my people there for a buffer. We saw some people there that I genuinely like, so that was good. The food was pretty great. I filled my plate and I wasn't even halfway through the place. I was positive that I would go back for another plate but then I got full. Damn it.  I hate when I get full when I'm not ready to be done eating.

So Alex was in this conversation with this jerk that I can't stand. I so wasn't planning on going anywhere near that trainwreck because I really can't stand the guy, but a stupid amount of time passed, and eventually I was like, WTF.

So Alex and I had eye contact, and then we had a conversation without speaking.  It went something like this,

Me: WTF.

Him: I know! Sorry! I got cornered and I can't tap out! MAYDAY, MAYDAY!

Me: Fine, I'll rescue you. 

So I went up and expertly tapped him out like the kind wife that I am.  Then Alex had a legit allergy attack so we had to get the hell out of dodge, quickly.

Thankfully I had the opportunity to eat all of the great stuff on my plate AND some cupcakes, because if the allergy attack happened sooner it would have been much harder to leave. I mean, I'd have been standing there looking longingly at my plate, then looking at him with his red swelling face, back and forth a few times. I'm sure I would have chosen him over the food, but it might have been begrudgingly.

Anyway, I was basically Meredith Grey with my doctoring skills, and I was a god damned hero. Of course everything turned out fine because I probably should have been a surgeon but instead I decided to fulfill my destiny on an office couch. The rest of the weekend went off without a hitch, and here we are. One step closer to summer vacation. WooHOO. 

I'll let you decide if the woohoo is in the sarcasm font or not.

Monday, May 16, 2016

All over the place, and also: Do peanut butter cups have expiration dates?

Don't you just hate when you buy a stale peanut butter cup?



Like, it takes a lot for me to actually buy a peanut butter cup in the first place, because obviously if I've made the leap to buy it, I'm going to eat it. And lets face it, if I bought everything I wanted to eat, I'd be in big(ger) trouble (than I already am). My point is, if I get to the point where I really, really feel the need to eat a peanut butter cup, I want it to be worth it. A shitty, dry peanut butter cup is so not worth the calories. Right?

Do you think they have expiration dates?

Because if not, they should!! I just ate a cup that sucked, and it was so disappointing. I actually considered not finishing the piece that I had in my mouth. Like, who would do such a thing? I tossed the second cup, because what's the point? What a shocking turn of events. I just wanted a piece of chocolatey, peanut buttery candy! Jeez.

On a similar note, who in the world would ever mix candies that should never be mixed, like, Skittles and m&m's, in the same candy bowl?  There really should be a rule about such trickery.  It's almost sacrilegious. Imagine happily reaching into a bowl of what you think is chocolate, tossing a handful of those candies in your mouth, then having your poor taste buds assaulted by tastes that just don't go together. I strongly believe in the separation of candy.

Does that make me a bad person?

On a more serious note, last night I clenched my teeth so hard in my sleep my jaw is killing me. So a handful of candy is kind of out of the question for me right now. 

I've been in such a cranky mood, I think it's making its way into my dreams. I better get my shit together or I'm going to have to go to see the dentist, and we all know that the dentist is one of my least favorite guys to visit.

I actually really like my dentist. I always sort of had a crush on him. Plus, when the other jerky dentist in the office fired me for missing so many dentist appointments, my good cute dentist let me come back because he is so nice and cute.

I know missing appointments is so not cool, but I have a phobia! My original dentist fired me twice. And I don't really care because he duped me once and scarred me for life.

I'll discuss that story at a later date, because I have to go get a warm pack for my jaw. Wah. And also, this morning has gotten away from me and I have done nothing productive.



Thursday, May 12, 2016

Facebook unfriending and a generic letter of intent

Don't you think if someone is going to unfriend you on Facebook, they should put out a generic letter of intent or something?


I mean, lets be real. When you unfriend someone for no apparent reason, you're sending a pretty harsh message to that person. Deleting people from social media is the modern way to tell people that you don't want them in your life. In my opinion, the cost of maintaining a Facebook friendship is pretty low and if you make a conscious decision to push a button to get rid of someone, it can be pretty puzzling to a person who always assumed you were on a friendly basis. I have to wonder, why wouldn't you just "unfriend" me to my face? Too awkward?

The other day, my sister came stomping in the house and was all like, "Do you know (this person we know) Jen unfriended us on Facebook?"

I was like, "Huh?"

And she was like, "Yup!  She unfriended me and you and Ty and Alex! Can you believe that??  That is SO RUDE."

And I was like, "Well maybe she deactivated her account or something."  Because really, this person is a local Mom who grew up with my husband, someone whose daughter is friends with mine and my sister Ali's kids. I literally speak to her every time I have to call the place that she works.  I'm friendly. I mean, clearly we aren't BFF's or anything.  But in my defense, I'm not BFF's with anyone.  We all know that I'm socially uncool. But its like, did we do something?  Did we mass-offend her with something we did or said?  How could she hate us all in one fell swoop?

I'm pretty low key.  I'm not a Facebook over-sharer.  In fact, I'm not a big Facebook person in general. I pretty rarely post, maybe hop on every day or two to see what's happening, comment here and there and maybe wish people a happy birthday. I don't have political rants or aggressively comment on people's posts. I'm a pretty private person, so constantly posting updates and pictures about my life is something that I don't do. I definitely don't take Facebook too seriously. Obviously, different people have different reasons for using Facebook- and obviously her Facebook is HER Facebook to be friends with whomever she chooses to be friends with, but seriously, deleting someone from your social media is definitely sending a strong message. And the message "I don't want to be your friend," comes through pretty loud and clear.

Then Ali was like, "No, I saw she changed her name on Facebook, like she was being all incognito or something."

So huh.  That's pretty lame.

What sucks is, I really do see this person enough for it to be freaking awkward.  I can't help it, I'm offended! Maybe before unfriending someone, you should post a generic letter of intent, so you don't take anyone by surprise and unnecessarily hurt feelings. You have to know that you're guaranteed to run into them on the sidelines of your kid's field hockey game or something and have one of those awkward "I unfriended you because you're annoying and I know that you know you've been unfriended, but we just won't mention it and we'll continue to pretend that we're friendly" types of uncomfortable run-ins.  And let's face it, nobody like those kind of run-ins.

Way back in the beginning of Facebook, it was like you friended everyone from the person who takes your order at the pizza place, to that one guy you hung out with at a college rager once, 25 years ago. I get that these days people might be all like, "I just want to be friends with people that I actually know and like."  That definitely makes sense.  And chances are, the random that you accepted as a friend two years ago probably wont even notice if you unfriend them.  

But as far as local people that you don't necessarily dislike and are bound to run into often enough to make it uncomfortable?  Like, why not just put them in a category of like, "people that I'm not tight with." In doing that, you can keep most things private from them, you can set it so they don't see your posts, or whatever. If you do that, they're none the wiser, and they're not all offended and confused.

ANYway, it really isn't worth getting bent out of shape about. It's Facebook. But next time I see her, I suppose I'll keep my distance.

Have you ever been randomly unfriended by someone you thought you were cool with?

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

She almost unleashed my inner bitch. Then I controlled myself.

So I was washing dishes last night (I do have a dishwasher, I just like to wash dishes sometimes because I am a weirdo) and my cell phone rang.  I kind of assumed it was Alex because it was almost 8 and he wasn't home yet, but when I picked up the phone, I saw that I was getting a call from a cell phone number that I didn't recognize.

Ugh, I hate talking to people on the phone.  I barely want to talk to my main little crew of people, much less a random who somehow has my number and feels like they should call me.  I was kind of thinking, omg what if its someone who wants to chat?? 

Normally, I wouldn't have answered a call from a number that I didn't recognize.  I would have let it go to voicemail, and if it was important enough, whoever it was could have left me a message. But because Megan was out doing some pre-prom prep with her friends, and Alex wasn't yet home, I figured, ah, I'll just answer the freaking thing in case its someone who needs me.

All of this mental debating happened while the phone was ringing, of course.

So I answered it.  "Hello?"

And a lady, who I don't recognize says, "Who's this?"

Huh.  That is something that irritates the crap out of me.  YOU called ME, remember?  You should know who it is, dumbass.

So of course, I answered with, "Who's this?"

And she says, rather snottily, "Well you called me."

And I was like, huh?  Pretty sure my phone rang... and I answered it...

So I said, "No, I didn't. You called me."

And again, snottily, she goes, "Yes you did."

Welp.  I so wasn't in the mood for people being snotty and argumentative with me for no apparent reason. And besides, I knew I didn't call her, or even pocket dial her accidentally because I was up to my elbows in soapy water and my phone was across the room.

So I said, "Nope. I didn't."

Which was when she interrupted me (!) and said, "Your number is on my phone, so you called me!"

And I looked down at my phone to check the number, to see if I actually recognized it, or if I possibly somehow called it without my own knowledge, knowing full well that I literally only call my people or the doctor. But I looked anyway because I was puzzled.

So I reigned in my mounting irritation and pleasantly responded, "I'm sorry, I think you have the wrong number."  I was so pleasant, guys. Even though I wanted to reach through the phone and smack her snotty mouth.

AND SHE INTERRUPTED ME AGAIN, saying "You called me."

I was like, whoa lady, you're about to unleash fucking cranky me, because cranky me had been percolating all day long for no good reason. Cranky me was just waiting for a good reason to burst. Also, I don't tolerate snottiness well.

So, shockingly very controlled, I said, "Nope. I didn't."

And then that jackass HUNG UP ON ME.  But not before she could get the last words in, "Yes you did!"

OK, so I am pretty chill in general. Not a ton gets me crazy, I let shit roll off my back. I'm pretty well medicated. Most of the things that get me all fired up have to do with a lack of general respect/common courtesy.  

So I stood there for a minute, like, "Who does she think she is hanging up on me!"  Also, that snotty woman got the last word!! I HATE when jerks get the last word! It's one of my worst things.

So I googled the phone number, and shockingly, a name and address came up. That's a little freaky, right?  It was a guy's number. But then I was distracted with the fact that maybe my cell phone number is google-able! With my actual name and address attached!  For whatever reason, I don't like the idea of that.  It would be nice to have ONE THING that could be slightly private. So of course I immediately checked and found that my number pretty much wasn't out there. Which was good because what if crazy lady decided to come stalk me for some weird reason? For example, me telling her I didn't call her phone, even though I didn't. You never know how a crazy person's mind works.

OK fine, I personally know how a crazy person's mind works, because I have one of those. I am a little crazy on the inside. So I kind of know your basic crazy persons thought process.

Anyway, though it briefly crossed my mind, I didn't call her back or anything.  I had to bring my kiddo up to bed, and while I was waiting for her to brush her teeth, I was thinking, I bet that it was her boyfriend or husband's phone. I bet she looked at his phone and saw a number she didn't recognize. I bet she thought her guy was stepping out on her. Not sure how my number comes into play, but damn.

The thought of going through my husband's stuff never crosses my mind. I might be crazy, but I trust him, a lot. I feel like if we ever get to the point where we need to snoop around, checking up on each other, we've hit a pretty low point in our relationship. Like, the point where the relationship might actually be doomed. Honestly, the snooping thing wouldn't work with me.  At all. I like my privacy, and I like my space. I respect my husband enough to give him privacy and space. He definitely knows how I feel. Crap like that never even comes up with us.

ANYway, I kind of want to Facebook stalk the guy and see if he looks like a guy who would have a crazy woman in his life.

Monday, May 2, 2016

19 common phrases or words that I secretly hate. Just sayin'.

I enjoy pop culture as much as the next guy, but I have to say, I get irritated at some of the annoying words and phrases.  To me, it kind of feels like the person speaking is trying a snitch too hard to be cool, and I can't help but be turned off by that.  It's actually one of my pet peeves.  Actually, the term "pet peeve" is one of my pet peeves.

In case you didn't know, pop culture is considered to be a fad or trend that has caught on quickly and becomes the next novel thing to say, do or consume. (oh, I just sounded like Lloyd Dobler right there) At the risk of offending all of you one reader, I feel the need to list several pop culture words or terms that irritate me, and that I think are pretty played out and/or cringeworthy.  Come on guys, you have to admit that it's time to retire them already.


For example, it inwardly bugs me when people refer to their husband as "hubby" or "hubs." I get that it's a highly used term of endearment and I may actually be offending you by putting that out there. Sorry.

1. Hella - You could always just say, really.  Like, instead of saying "This is hella cool!" and sounding like a dumbass,  how about you just say it's really cool.  I promise you'll sound less stupid.

2. Sorry, not sorry - OK, I get this.  You're saying sorry to be polite, but then turning around and telling someone that you're really not sorry sort of negates that...

3. Whatevs - Ridiculous. Just say whatever. Actually, don't. Whatever is annoying too.

4. What up? - As opposed to "What's up?"  Because you just can't get it right?

5. Just sayin' - I know what you're "just saying" already, because you just said it. 

6. Nomnomnom - Welp, is there any way we could just put this one out of it's misery? Why cant we just say Yum??

7. JK - What you really mean is "just kidding," but you're way too busy to type or say the actual words? This also includes saying "O. M. G." instead of actually saying Oh My God.

8. Bromance - The romance or super tight friendship between bros.  Or, guys that may or may not actually be brothers.  Pretty sure this word isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

9. I know, right? - Just need that confirmation, eh?

10. Frenemy - I like combining words.  This one means, I'm pretending you're my friend but I really hate you.  This is actually a decent word, but it's definitely gotten played out.

11. El oh el - I'm pretty sure you just “texted” out loud without the use of an actual cellphone.

12. Baby bump - A lump of baby.  In your belly.  Really?  I hope that whoever came up with this term copyrighted it, because jeez, it's everywhere.  And it has privately annoyed me for years.

13. Hilar - What is it with not being able to coherently complete a word? 

14. FAIL - Well, this just looks like you're yelling. And it's really run its course, don't you think?

15. It is what it is - I know, I know. But what it really is, is making you sound annoying. Don't say this.

16. Bae - Ugh. I originally thought I was mis-hearing "Babe" or something. But apparently it's an acronym that stands for "before anyone else." So huh. It's annoying.

17. All the feels - People will say something gives them "all the feels," to represent feeling emotional, but it's so freaking cliché, and I'm sorry if I sound like a jerk, but I just hate the way that sounds.

18. Awesomesauce - anyone who uses this with any sense of seriousness is so the opposite of awesomesauce.

19. Amazeballs - so just amazing isn't nearly enough anymore, huh? Had to take it up a notch?

What words or terms bug you?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Fat Barbie, yay or nay?



So its been a few months now that Mattel came out with their new Barbie dolls.  If you aren't in the know, the makers of Barbie added three new body types to the "regular" disproportionate doll that they've been selling since my mom was a kid. This was following the big changes that were made last year, where they added Barbies with a bunch of different skin tones and hair textures. The purpose for the latest big, secretive change was that the dolls are supposed to better represent the kid population in all of it's glorious diversity.

Tall, petite and curvy.

So, how do you feel about it? 

I'm not sure how I feel.  On one hand, it's so important for little kids to actually see diversity and differences in the dolls (toys) that they play with, because imaginative play is one of the ways they practice being grown-ups. But is Mattel missing the mark by focusing so much on body shapes and sizes? Why not just introduce a few new Barbies without concentrating so much on physical attributes, but just quietly adding them? Like say, putting out an athletic looking Barbie, who might have thicker, stronger thighs and flatter feet (better than the typical tippy-toe Barbie for cleats and sneakers). Instead of calling her "big-legged Barbie," they'd be focusing more on her strength and athleticism. I mean - why are we still so absorbed with "looks?"  Shouldn't we be paying more attention to more important attributes, like being smart, strong, independent?  Is beauty an important attribute?

I mean, chubby Barbie can certainly come packaged like a doctor, right?  Not all doctors are thin.

The truth is, physical characteristics can definitely play a role in how a person is viewed by others, and there are plenty of physical characteristics that people are born with that cannot (and should not) be changed. I think if beauty is an important attribute, the dolls should represent a broader view of beauty, but it definitely shouldn't be the sole focus.

Images that kids are bombarded with on a daily basis are not often true to nature, or at the very least, aren't the norm.  Seeing these images consistently equated with "perfection," or "beauty" discourages kids from accepting their own beautiful imperfect selves.  Ultimately, we should all be encouraging our kids to embrace the unique physical characteristics that they were born with, since those characteristics make them who they are. Dolls and toys that represent more of the general population is a step in the right direction.

I'm down with the idea of the new Barbies, I'd just like to see the focus move from "looks," to "strengths." What do you think?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Kirk Cameron officially deserves a kidney punch. Or seven.

Back in the day, Growing Pains was one of my favorite shows to watch on a Tuesday night, and part of the reason why I loved that show was because I loved Kirk Cameron, the guy who played the son, Mike Seaver. I swear, he is the only celebrity I ever wrote a fan letter to.

So that's embarrassing.




I just read an article about Kirk Cameron, in which he stated that women should be submissive to their husbands, that wives are to honor and respect and follow their husbands lead, not to tell their husband how to be a better husband.

“Wives are to honor and respect and follow their husband’s lead, not to tell their husband how he ought to be a better husband,” he opined. “When each person gets their part right, regardless of how their spouse is treating them, there is hope for real change in their marriage.” Kirk Cameron

Huh.

So Kirk Cameron has been happily married for 24 years, and has 6 kids. He's an Evangelical Christian. And wow, he is apparently a male chauvinist asshole, too. A dude who believes he is superior to his wife because he is a MAN.  A guy who thinks that "regardless of how they are being treated" (Really???) women should basically bow down to their husbands and kiss their feet in gratitude.

I'll tell you this.  I enjoy being a wife and taking care of my family.  I enjoy taking care of my husband.  And truth be told, I'm completely fine in the "traditional" role as a wife.  I like being home taking care of things here while my husband is off bringing home the bacon.  It works for us.  But in no way, shape or form will I ever believe that my husband is superior to me because he is a man.  And I don't "serve" him, I work with him to make a successful and happy relationship. I don't "listen to him," because he tells me to do something.  First of all, he never tells me to do something, because I am a grown up.  And secondly, I listen to him because I value his opinion. NOT because I am submissive. 

I do honor and respect my husband - and he honors and respects me.  We are EQUALS in our marriage.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I could be bare assed in my casket, and you'd never even know it.

Alex and I recently went to breakfast together and were asked, in a group of people, if we minded being seated at a group table. Apparently there were no more two person tables, and if we didn't elect to sit at a group table, it would be a while before we could be seated. 

Being seated with a group of people is an introvert's nightmare.  My nightmare, actually.

Alex on the other hand, is the exact opposite of me, and can totally hang with anyone. He never seems uncomfy and he never says stupid stuff (well... he actually says a lot of stupid stuff, but I think I am the only one who notices).

So of course, we had to smile and say, "Oh sure! No problem! We just want to eat some breakfast!" We couldn't be the assholes who said, "Nah. We'll wait,"

Meanwhile, I'm inwardly panicking at having to talk to people and make eye contact and be sort of normal.

So we were seated with 4 other groups of two, a total of 10 of us, at one table. People immediately started chatting like they were old pals, nobody seemed uncomfortable with the arrangement. I of course was doing my typical sit back and assess the situation quietly thing. One lady was like, "Can you believe those jerks who said they wanted to be seated alone?" And while my husband gave me a sideways glance, I inwardly said to myself, "Phew, thankfully we weren't the jerks." Because I can't stand being looked at as the jerk.

So I have to be honest.  It was a pretty fun breakfast.  All sorts of interesting conversation was flowing. In the course of the breakfast, we learned that two of the women were a gay married couple, and one of them was a pastor.  I always thought that might be frowned upon, like being gay in a church-type situation, so it was pretty awesome that whatever church they belonged to seemed to be super accepting.  So the pastor lady discovered that she had something in common with this one single lady (who was there with a single lady friend), and that it was that they were both singers.  Gospel singers I think. 

The one single lady gospel singer started talking about how much she has overcome in her life, how she was a recovering drug addict (7 years sober! so awesome), and particularly, how she had her funeral completely planned out.

And I was like huh.  This lady couldn't be more than ten years older than I am.  Should I have my funeral all planned out? I mean I do send my oldest kid an email whenever I go away alone telling her what I want her to do if I die. I suppose that is a plan. 

But the gospel singer recovering addict single lady was all, "I want a PARTY, a CELEBRATION. I want a full body casket because I look FINE.  I never leave the house without my hair and nails done. My kids know what I want to be buried in and it better show some CLEAVAGE. And I don't want anybody feeling like they only have a minute to talk about me, there is A LOT to say about me, so they can stay up there talking about me as long as they want!"

I just laughed... it was the funniest conversation.  I had literally just met this woman ten minutes ago and I knew a good portion of her life story, AND exactly what she wanted to happen at her funeral, down to the music and setting. Including the people she wanted to invite (to her funeral)... all of the past boyfriends she's ever had.  So they could look at her in her full body casket all dead and looking fine (her words) and miss her.

So that was probably one of the most entertaining breakfasts that I had ever been a part of.  I wasn't ready to leave.

When we wrapped up and my husband and I were walking away, I was like, "You know you better not put me in anything that makes me look like a fatass in my casket!"

And he was like, "Well nobody would see your ass anyway.  You'd be half covered.  You could have a bare ass in there for all its worth. In fact, maybe..."

So I said, "You would never!"

And he said, all smirking, "I guess you'd never know, would you?"

And I was like, "OH YES I WILL! I will haunt you!  I'm picking out my death outfit as soon as we get home and you better honor my wishes!"

So that's why I decided exactly what I want to be buried in when I die, hopefully far, far in advance. At least I know it'll be sort of flattering.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The pressure of projecting perfection

For a lot of years, I worked really hard at being the mom who had it all together. 

I tried to be the mom who had her kids in outfits that all matched for every holiday and/or photo op, the mom who decorated the house perfectly for every season, for every holiday. The mom who made homemade cupcakes with cute little decorations for all of the class parties, the mom who actually signed up to be the class mom every year, for each kid's classroom. 

I did all of those things because it helped me feel like a "good mom." Looking around and comparing myself to other mom's who seemed to have it all together, all of the time, put a ton of pressure on me. 

What's funny is, more than likely, nobody was judging me but me.  In looking back, I have to imagine that the majority of the other moms were far more concerned with their own little families than mine.  I put the pressure on me, because I always felt judged. I felt like other people actually cared if my kids were mis-matched in a family picture. But why?

Where does that come from, that feeling of being judged? Where does that feeling that everything needs to be perfect to the outside world, that you need to project this picture of perfection in order to be considered "good," or "worthy," come from?

For me, most of this came before the explosion of social media, where people became professionals at making their reality look like an elaborate photograph of sheer perfection that is the composition of their life. 

It's always been difficult for me to neglect the inclination to compare and criticize myself and my own life to falsified images that others create.  It took me many years to comprehend that the reality is, REAL LIFE IS MESSY SOMETIMES. And that's OK.

There came a point when I recognized that the pressure of projecting perfection was crushing me.  

I'm not saying that you shouldn't make (or attempt to make) cute cupcakes for your kid's class party. I'm not saying don't dress your kids in coordinating outfits for your annual family picture. I'm just saying that chances are, if you show up with store bought cupcakes to the class party, nobody will go home snickering about your shitty store bought cupcakes. They'll just be happy that you brought cupcakes. If you don't get around to taking a perfectly coordinated family photo for the annual holiday cards, chances are, nobody is going to discuss how awful it is that one daughter had a red dress on, and the other was wearing a brown skirt. They're just going to be happy that you sent a card, and that they get the opportunity to see how much everyone has changed and grown since last year's picture.

Something that my oldest daughter and I laugh about every year is the fact that every single birthday cake I make for her has a sunken middle. No matter how hard I try, I can not get her cakes to cook perfectly. It used to make me crazy, but it's turned into something really funny between us. I actually think if I presented her with a perfectly baked cake, she wouldn't know what to do with it.

When we look at family pictures from past holidays, one of my favorites is from a Christmas when Megan was a few years old, and she just had the worst smile on. Every picture looks worse than the previous one. I did not get a perfect holiday picture that year, but we always laugh when we look at those pictures. They're so funny, and they are so Megan. I wouldn't trade those pictures for "perfect" ones!

Looking back at your past, your real lived lives, however embarrassing or uncomfortable, can be actually be really healthy and enjoyable.

The reality is, perfection is unattainable. Perfection doesn't exist. Wanting to put your best face forward is entirely understandable, but the dark side of attempting to achieve this is deeply losing yourself, and negating your own authenticity to the degree that you no longer recognize yourself or your life, or your life experiences.

I think that until we realize this, we can't be the best versions of our true, authentic selves. I wish I realized this sooner!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Try to be understanding...

A few weeks ago, on the plane(s) home from FL, I ended up seated pretty close to a few parents with babies and/or young toddlers.


To a lot of people, that is like their worst nightmare.  There were lots of eye rolls and sideways glances.  They're thinking, I just paid $487 to sit next to some brat, obnoxiously crying for three hours and 57 minutes?!  To those people I have to say... invest in some good noise canceling headphones.

Trust me, the parent on the plane trying to entertain her kid for three hours and 57 minutes is just as horrified as you are.  Have you ever tried to keep a little one still that long?  Without a healthy dose of Benedryl? Just kidding. Kind of. It's hard!  I mean, there are only so many things you can carry in the allotted one carry-on plus one diaper bag, right?  Think about what it takes to entertain a 12-month-old new walker for four hours at home, forget about confined to a seat the size of my elbow.

At home, you have the exersaucer, the baby swing, the cradle for a cat nap.  The entire cupboard of pots and pans for noise making, the family room for exploring and testing out the new walking skills, the toy box filled with things to dump. Endlessly. A kitchen stocked with snacks and food, a highchair for eating those snacks and food, and a kitchen sink for an afternoon bath. A changing table for a smooth and effortless (haha) diaper change.  At times, four hours at home with a baby can seem to stretch on for days, but at least you have options.  At least you can pop your baby in the stroller and distract them with a walk around the neighborhood or something.

There are though, the parents that unapologetically let their kid scream it out.  I'll admit, that's kind of rough to witness.  Even for a non-judgemental person like myself.  It's just, when you're in a confined space with a hundred other people who cannot escape, you should really make an effort to corral and hush your kiddo.  It's just common courtesy.  And speaking of common, use some common sense!  If you know your child's crabby time is pretty much at 4:00 every day, don't schedule a 3 pm flight.  In fact, ideally, you should schedule your flight during your child's typical nap time!  Bring a bottle or two, the flight attendants can heat it up for you.  Also, you can request to be seated by an empty seat - which they are generally happy to arrange if the plane isn't full.  An empty seat gives you a few more square inches to utilize in entertaining.

One of the kids that I was seated next to was tough... she cried.  Literally for 3 hours.  She of course fell asleep during the landing.  But, the mom overcompensated.  And the dad did absolutely nothing.  The mom loudly and ineffectively tried everything, it seemed.  I think the thing that pushed most of the understanding people over the edge was that she called her baby (named Tyler) Little Bear, approximately once every four seconds.  It was cute initially, but after 3 hours and 57 minutes of hearing, "Little Bear, do you want my keys?!"  "Little Bear, have a cracker!!" "Little Bear, do you want to read a book/tear up this magazine/look out the window?!!" it definitely got old.  Thankfully I do have a great pair of noise canceling headphones.  And I definitely used them.

But I don't know, you can't get mad at the parent who is doing everything they can to keep their child busy and calm and quiet... because it's not like they're purposefully trying to bother others. They're in a situation where they have very little control.  You just have to try to be understanding.  You can get mad at the parent who looks away while their kid kicks your seat incessantly for the entire flight.  Or the one who pretends they don't notice their child is tossing crushed crackers at you while simultaneously jumping up and down on their seat, which is attached to your tray, which of course spills an entire glass of ginger ale in your lap.  Or the one who doesn't change their kid's dirty diaper, a diaper that was dirtied within the first 15 minutes of the flight.

I don't know why I have been so lucky, but with four kids who have flown several times, I have never had an instance where one of my children were difficult on a flight.  I prepared of course - filled a bag with as many toys, snacks and books as humanly possible.  I had portable DVD players, and stickers and crayons and play do.  Also, for take offs and landings and general bribing, I was armed with lollipops and gum.  

Also, my kids were firmly aware of my evil eye.  Along with packing the right stuff, I think it's every parent's obligation to perfect their evil eye before attempting a lengthy flight.  

What do you think?  Have you ever had a bad/embarrassing/annoying airplane-child moment?