Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ayudeme, por favor! (Help me, please!)

I need a drink.  A big one.  But therein lies the problem.

One of my besties and I were having a discussion about the blog, and she was saying she wanted to hear my smartass opinion of "up there" versus "The South".  Don't you love how "The South" with it's capitalization and title makes it sound all fancy?  Well, that's a novel, not a post. There are just too many differences.  And I'm afraid, I wouldn't know how it would turn out.  I mean, I'm southern.  It's takes less than one sentence to know I don't belong up here, but I don't really belong down there, either.  I blame my mama.  She was raised in a combination of the midwest and the south, so I was bound to be screwed up.  So, naturally, I can plant my roots any ole where and have a grand time. 

Except, when no one can fix me a drink.  That's right.  Girl lourves her a margarita.   In Mississippi, we frequented Las Margaritas, well, frequently.  And by frequently, I mean, we had our own table, and Wallace (the big ole teddy bear looking bouncer type) would probably have made people leave if they were in our spot, at least that's our theory.  He took care of us.  I mean, how many people give the guy at the door a hug when you go eat Mexican?  Well, I do! 

Then, transplant me to the North.  Twenty-five miles (though it could be 100, since we rarely venture into it) out of Philly.  I'm near 4 Targets, 3 Five Guys, a Cheesecake Factory, a million Japanese steakhouses, a billion Chinese places, and every other eatery in between. You name it, we have it.  (Except Logan's, poor Baby Bear.)  Every store you have ever dreamed of is located near or in the Cherry Hill Mall.  And the outlets.  Sweet paychecks, the outlets.  There are 4 within an hour of me.  Heck, NYC is only a short train ride.  But wanna grab some chips and salsa and enjoy a nice afternoon? Forgetaboutit. 

Salsa.  It's tomatoes!  And they sell those suckers on the side of road everywhere I live.  But for the life of me, I can't find anyone who understands salsa.  You'd be better served by taking a jar of Tostitos or Chi-Chi's brand to the restaurant tucked in your purse.  And if you know me, I must be disgusted to even make that suggestion...right Sarah? 

We are the adventurous sort, so we've tried several places.  One tasted like right out of the jar.  Another had the strangest flavor.  I swear there were CHUNKS of garlic in it.  It was like eating Italian sauce on my chips.  I almost cried.  But no matter what struggle, we've been through with salsa, nothing compares to the pain and suffering (yes, it's that extreme) of not being able to find a decent margarita.  I've had something that tasted lemon flavored, something that was like an icy water type drink, and even Chili's tasted foul.  I don't understand.  At the least, get some mix, pour in some tequila, and stir.  Cmon!

Yes, I do know how to make a good one myself.  Thank goodness for a ladies tennis league.  Oh, warm and cozy feelings about the south for that one!  But my awesome recipe makes a pitcher.  And I refuse to waste it....or clean it up, let's be honest.  But on beautiful, warm afternoons, I'd love to have one (by the way, this was NOT today.  Cloudy, damp, and cool.  Hey, Jersey, it's spring, get a clue).  And it's true, I'd probably get teary-eyes even having a drink with some C & S without my girls, but I need to find us a spot before any of them come to visit.

And let's face it, Cinco de Mayo is literally days away.  It's go time people!  So, if you need me, I'll be cleaning out my blender and researching salsa recipes. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

I hate lies.  All lies.  Little white lies.  Big ruin you f*cking life lies. And I hate liars.  Whether you are six or sixty, lies are a part of your life.  You're either telling them, hearing them, or wading through them in search of some smidge of the truth.  And worst case, you're trying to remember who you told what, so you don't get caught.  We lie to the ones we love, the ones we hate, and sadly, even ourselves.  And some times, it's not an actual lie.  See, my definition of a lie somewhat differs from good ole Webster.

Webster says:
lie (verb)- to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive.

 I also believe it is the absence of statements; the absence of information.  But it seems a little extreme to start conversations with a hand on the Bible swearing to "tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth," though, let's face it, it'd be a hell of a lot easier to figure out who to trust and who to toss out. (am I right or am I right?)  I loved the show Lie to Me that used to be on Fox.  At one point in my life, I watched it like a research project for grad school.  I needed to learn ways to discover if someone was trying to get away with murder, or worse...cheating.
As a mom to twins, I have taught them that we live in a "truth house."  As long as you tell the truth, you get in less trouble.  Mostly, I find a face frozen, not wanting to tell a lie, but fearful of what the truth might bring.  And I can understand that.  I am the worst at the sick to my stomach, getting called to the principal's office feeling.  (I was a teacher, and a call from the principal's office is even scarier then!)
As I became an adult, I perfected my skill of lying.  I know my tells, but I sure ain't going to point them out to others, especially those I might one day need to deceive.  And there's no chance of me passing a polygraph.  But then again, I usually operate with everyone else's feelings coming into play before my own.  In one such previous relationship, I had to lie to survive.  Needless to say, that prison term is over.  I got out for really, really bad behavior.  But that left me with only myself. And that can be the most dangerous of lies to tell.  A "yes, you should buy that, and no, this is a good idea, don't worry."  But as I've gotten older, in some ways I've gotten wiser.  I refuse to lie. I figure if I have to lie about it, then I shouldn't be doing it.  That, or I just tell the person to f*** off if they don't like it.

But what do you do if someone lies to you? What if it's someone you trust?  What if it's the most important person in your life?  I expect everyone to tell the truth and do the right thing, but life has shown, that ain't gonna happen.  And sadly, even those we love, fail miserably sometimes.  Therefore, I am not a very trusting person.  Oh, and I don't forget.  I may forgive, but you can forget about me forgetting.  So, how do you rebuild trust?  Or do you?  Are you constantly watching, stalking, waiting for that other shoe to drop?  And if it has dropped...would you really want to know?  It's easy to say that you want to know the truth, but do you?  You are going to have to make some seriously tough decisions based on this new version of events. Do you keep the friendship, relationship, marriage?  I really don't think most of us want to know the truth.  We just want you to know that we know.  It's a pride thing.  We don't want to look stupid, vulnerable, or weak.  And God help you, if you make us look stupid to others because of your lies.  And don't give me the excuse of not telling me to protect me.  Lies are only to protect the idiots who told them to begin with.

Now, don't get me wrong or read too much into this post, this isn't about me.  I am a liar.  I have done it before, and since I'm still breathing, I'm sure to do it again.  But I want to know if you all have ever told a lie that was found out.  Have you ever had your world rocked because of a lie?  Did you keep that person or did you wash your hands of the whole thing?  And if it's the did you learn to trust again?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Buns of Steel?

Laundry.  Out of Sight. Out of mind...until someone runs out of underwear.

My laundry room is two floors down from any of our closets. Surely, you can see the predicament already. 

I live in an old house in New Jersey, and by old I mean, young, vibrant, in the best years of her life.  She's 38. I'm 35, so I go easy on that old and falling apart stuff.  For the Northeast, it's a relatively new home. Heck, the first school in our town was built in the 1800s.  But to most of my friends living in their just built, shiny new appliance, new car smelling homes, mine is one wind advisory away from a pile of lumber.

So when the baskets are full of clothes, I throw gently carry them down the stairs.  A steep, treacherous, Mt. Everest moutain of stairs.  Once down to the main floor, I catch my breath and drag slowly walk around to the next set of stairs. 
(yes, blue carpet, just like the walls, carpet, curtains, EVERYTHING! renting is awesome.)

 Again, steep and exhausting, they pose their own hazard...these are the steps leading to the basement and some layer of hell in Dante's Inferno, also known as, the twins' playroom. I never know what challenges await me on these steps. It's like my own version of ABC's show Wipeout. Often boardgames, at least two partially assembled Lego sets, and a sleep buddy from the night before. Oh, did I mention that often the Hubs (and I) will just throw things down the stairs? (random toys, blankets, clothes). Always a fun time on these stairs. Usually, I stop to Tebow and thank God for my safe passage down the stairs without breaking my neck.

(this is what I would call a light day)
It's a full basement, one part finished, one not.  Want to wager where the washer and dryer are?  Oh yeah, in the dungeon.  'Cause isn't that where all the torture goes down in a castle? (And goodness knows I live in a castle with Princess Lola.)
(camera angle to avoid actual piles of laundry)

I start a load of laundry, head back upstairs for some other, cleaning, finding out that no one has read my blog today. But the real kicker is that I am easily distracted, so I sometimes forget that I even started laundry. Mostly, it's because it's so rare that I do it.  And I have been known to forget. FOR. DAYS. That is a smell that Tide can't erase.  Then, I have to start all over.

A few weeks days hours later when all the clothes are washed and dried, I have to carry them all back upstairs to fold and put away.  I'm almost embarrassed to say that I just shove them all into the same laundry basket and begin my ascent into the Alps.  Almost. 

Before you even ask:
1. No I don't fold them downstairs because it's creepy back there.
2. I can't monitor two 6 year olds running around the house with who knows what.
3. Above mentioned 6 year olds sound like the floor is going to cave in on top of me.
4. There is no internet connection to keep up with FB or my blogs in the basement.

Going up the stairs is harder than down. When you are eye level with step 4 or 5, that's steep!  By the time I climb the first set and head around to the second, visions of Mt. Everest and those lucky bastards with the oxygen spring to mind.  If I am lucky enough to make it back to the top without passing out or a trip to the ER for a mild heart attack, I feel that folding and putting away the laundry can wait until I've had a shot of tequila Dr. Pepper and a nap.

If you do the math, that's 1-2 outfits, one pair of socks, one pair of underwear, and at least one towel per day per person, it comes out to roughly WAY TOO MUCH FREAKING LAUNDRY to be two floors down.  I really thought by the time we are stationed at another base, that I would have buns of steel from all the loads of laundry and steps it takes to get it accomplished each week.  But in reality I know, that would require me to actually do the laundry and remember that I even started it.

Disclaimer:  The Hubs would like it noted for the record that I rarely ever carry the clothes up the moutain(s).  (This is true when he is home, and I can convince him with my girlish charm and my best Scarlett O'Hara that "fiddle-dee-dee this basket of clothes is just too heavy for the likes of little  ole me, if only I had some big strong man to help carry this upstairs..." Don't worry, he rolls his eyes, too, but he does carry it up for me anyway.  But I don't think it has anything to do with chivalry.  Most likely he's afraid that I'll fall and break something, and then he'll have to do a lot more than carry up a basket or two. You know, either way, I'll take it.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I'm going to jail

One day, I'm going to wind up in TSA Jail.  Is that a thing?

My first trip to see my now husband was life changing.  Well, of course, because he is now my husband.  But I was so sad to leave that I cried most of the way to the airport.  Yes, I am that girl.  By the time I got to security, my eyes are bloodshot, I look a flushed hot mess.  As I was embarrassed, I didn't take off my sunglasses.  So they insisted that I did, and then began a line of questioning about my current state.  Basically, "Ma'am, are you okay? Are you on something?"  I convinced them it was allergies and sadness.  They didn't press the issue. 

On my second trip to see my beloved last March, I set off all the alarms during the routine security check.  I stand there like a good girl, making my triangle with my hands at the screening.  Honestly thinking, I wish they could just screen for cancer or osteoporosis while they are looking for hidden weapons.  When all of a sudden, I am being asked to step aside and let them swab my the buttocks area.  They did the same to my bags and purse, which again set off all the alarms.  What the hell was on my pants? Finally, the tested my hands, which were clean.  Turns out, I had GSR on me from the Jeep.  Yes, that's right.  The Hubs is a Marine, which means Gun Shot Residue can likely be found in the Jeep, on his clothes, and around his gear after a week at the range.  I thought I was going to kill him, but I knew better than to utter those words during my interrogation.

Last Thanksgiving, I was flying to Tennessee with the twins.  It was November.  In Jersey.  That means...brrrr! Cold.  We each had a suitcase, a backpack, and a coat.  The kids each had a booster seat for the rental car. For those of you bad at math...that's 11 items.  And this was when the kids still had to take off their shoes, coats, hats, gloves, belts, etc.  Basically, our number of items just doubled. After getting dressed for the second time that morning (and I mean MORNING, it was 5am), I picked up all 11 items and started walking.  The kids were still in sleep comas.  As I start to walk off, one TSA guy says, "That's impressive."  Being the only people in the little Terminal F, they all started to notice and gave me round of applause.  I kept thinking I couldn't feel my fingers, but I was resigned to never let 'em see me sweat!  Sadly, I only make it to Gate 3 before I told them to snap out of their haze and carry some of this crap.  What?  I'm not the one who packed all that junk to play with for five minutes on the plane before falling asleep.

Yesterday, after waiting at security for an extremely long amount of time, my kids were losing their patience.  Completely understandable as it was a million degrees.  We all looked like we had just entered some third world country devoid of any air conditioning.  My kids took it upon themselves to be adorable to all of those around us, yet stare daringly at TSA.  So, Lola (of course it would be Lola) starts to ask questions.  Basically, a why the hell do we do this.  I tried to explain about looking in our bags in a way that wouldn't terrify six year olds.  At this point, I notice her face.  She is thinking about the contents of her bag.  I get a case of the giggles.  She's thinking about Bullseye (Toy Story horse) that she stuffed in there this morning. 

Then, she puts her new Build-A-Bear, a dog named, whatelse, Doggie, into the tray.  She walks through the metal detector and right up the TSA guy and asks, "What is that machine?"  I try to answer her, but he interrupts and explains it's an X-ray machine.  She smiles and tell him what an X-ray machine does.  The instant look of shock on her face.  He asks her if she is okay, and then he asks me.  She starts to mumble and then stumble on her words.  She is trying to explain her stuffed animals.

Lola: Um, my Doggie is going to look weird. He is not real.  He has no bones.
TSA agent (playing along):  He's not real?
Lola: No, I made him at Build-a-Bear.  So he isn't going to have any broken bones.  He isn't going to have ANY bones.
TSA agent: No bones?
Lola: Nope, but he isn't dead or anything.  I didn't kill him. He's just fluff and a heart. Oh, and my brother's dog isn't going to have any either, I don't think.  He was from Build-a-Bear too.

She walks over, grabs her bag and Doggie, and starts to walk off.  She looks at me, as I am stunned, and says, "C'mon Mom, let's get a Sprite or something."

Seriously.  TSA Jail.  Who's coming to bail me out?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Oh Hell No, Kitty!

I love me some Target.  And my current address affords me access to not one, but 4 of those fantastic establishments.  Can you believe that?  I used to drive at least two hours for the sweet joy that is that bullseye taunting me with its awesomeness.  Yes, two hours.  Totally worth it.

And I have learned there are good targets and then....there is the mother of all Targets.  Over in Mt. Laurel, NJ, sits the mothership calling me home anytime I'm heading down Rt. 38.  It's hidden over there by the Wegman's (or what I like to call Heaven for the Hungry).  Yep, I didn't even know this Target existed.  It's like a well kept secret to those displaced Southerners just trying to not get killed near the Turnpike or those All Turns Right Lane (a later post, I promise).

This Target is great for clothes.  Such good finds, especially with my picky children who have started to develop their own style.  Bear wants anything with a sports team, a couple of polos, and comfy cargos.  Lola, oh Lola.  Depends on her mood.  She loves jeans and sneakers, but fawns over the pretty sundresses there every time.  Makes it impossible to buy for her when she's not there.  So, she's always along for the ride.  And lately, it is a ride.  Like a get-the-cart-and-push-them-both-around-the-store ride. That's a 90lb workout.  I should be thinner at this point.

Now, in case I have failed to mention, we live just 45 minutes to the famous Jersey Shore.  (No worries, I won't be running into Snookie anytime soon; that's a different beach.)  So, we will be in need of swimsuits sooner rather than later.  Lola saw her swimmies she leads me toward them, riding the cart like Jack and Rose on the Titanic.  I'm just praying we don't crash into a rack of clothing from the weight of the cart and her squeals.

Now, my daughter is NOT a girly girl, but her little girlfriends are.  And she has decided that Hello Kitty is tolerable.  (Yay! Secret high five to myself.)  She is picking out different suits, and I'm trying to hide the shock that people would put their little girls in tiny two piece bikinis.  Lola isn't having that.  She is so sad to see that all the Hello Kitty ones are like that.  She asks, "Mama, why are they all so small? I would need a LOT of sunscreen to cover me up.  (and whispers...and some things are private, I think you could see my boobies in this one)."  (another mental high-five).  As I'm rejoicing my sweet baby's innocence and smarts, I stop dead in my tracks when I spot this:

Yes, folks that is a bikini bottom in the CHILDREN'S section.  From sizes XS-L (basically size 4-12 for little girls) they have a swimsuit with the words Hello Kitty written across the butt.  Now, maybe I'm reading too much into this, wouldn't be the first or the fortieth time for that, but this is ridiculous. 

Yes. It is a brand.
Yes. It is on an innocent child's clothing.
Yes. I would like the punch the designer in the face.

For years, women have been wearing words across their derriere.  Juicy. Pink. Sweet. But that's a grown woman.  A consenting adult.  An idiot who wants male attention drawn to her ass.  News flash!!  You don't have to put words on it for men to stare.  And in my experience, I'm constantly trying to downplay the sheer size of mine.  So, I definitely don't want to put an advertisement there.  And now these consenting adults will be dressing their daughters the same way.   WHY???

Why are we asking our children to grow up so fast?  Why are we making them targets for pedophiles or even just order boys?  Why did someone not catch the inappropriateness of this product placement?  Why didn't somebody think someone would make the connection between Kitty and.....Well, that P word. You know, that one.  Now, are you in shock?  Now, are you pissed?  Now, what do we do about it?  Because I'm still in shock, and I'd like heads to roll for this one!

Maybe you think I'm blowing this out of proportion.  Maybe you want to tell me it's all innocent fun.  But it's not cute on my 6 year old daughter.  It's not funny on my soon-to-be 9 year old step-daughter.  And it's downright inappropriate on a 12 year old.  And if you want me to put you over the edge....there are little pictures of the Hello Kitty cat on the two little triangles over the chest right on top of, as Lola would say, "boobies".  (Forgot in my haze of anger to snap that picture).

So, I'd like to cause a shit-storm of trouble because of this.  We have to stand up for our children and say NO!  No, to the sexualizing of our children.  We are their voices, their advocates.  If not now, when?  Who's with me?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Death of a Spider

I love my husband.  I do.  I'm the luckiest girl in the world.  Mostly, because he humors me.  I'm a hot mess.  I don't deny it.  But also because he plays along with my crazy.  When I first started reading blogs on a regular basis, it was because of The Bloggess.  She is amazing.  I will read them to the Hubs because they are too good not to share.  But his one request is that I read them first and get my laughing hysterically to the point of tears fit out of the way beforehand.  If you don't understand, you need to look up and read Beyonce the Big Metal Chicken.  (And if you know me, and especially if you know my friend Sarah, then you know why I heart this woman and her blog.  It's because this is how we sound.)

And this fascinating woman, The Bloggess, has a husband named Victor, who tolerates her tangents, love of taxidermied animals, and general hilarity.  And after the first time I read a post that was only a conversation between her and Victor, I was hooked.  Not because it's a riot, but because it sounds like me and the Hubs, although we aren't quite up to their level of conversation skills of crazytown.  But in our defense, we've been married less than a year.  Give it time, people.

Case in point. Conversation while we was out of town in Texas, and I was home in Jersey with the twins in our big creepy house. ALL BY TEXT.

Me: Have you seen the floss?

Hubs: In the bathroom, in the floor, beside the closet.

Me: Seriously?  The floor?  Why didn't you pick it up?

Hubs: Because I didn't need it.

(10 minutes later)

Me:  Shut up!  The floss was exactly where you said it was.

Hubs: I know.

(30 minutes later)

Me: I have no idea how to play, but you should download Draw Something.  Everyone is talking about it, and I am an excellent drawer.

Hubs: I love the game

Me: Who do you play with?  Are you App cheating on me? OMG, I hate you.

Hubs: No one I haven't got it yet.

Me: Then, how do you "love it" Don't start with your lies

Hubs: The guy on the plane had it.

Me: Guy on the plane?  Seriously, Alec Baldwin got in trouble for games on the plane.  And why are you stalking the guy next to you.  Guy?  Don't you mean...your lover?

Hubs: Ha! Also Lesley has it.

Me: Download it and let's start playing.

(while I'm waiting and waiting)

Me: Two things. 1. The kids are sleeping in our room.  There are 14 stuffed animals on our headboard.  Yes, I counted.  2.  I just killed the biggest fucking spider I have ever seen.  He was in our bedroom just sitting there watching tv.

Hubs:  So you are with big bugs now, huh?  Maybe you are the one cheating.

Hubs: Did he say anything before you killed him?

Me: He seemed to whisper in his little dying bug voice..."Peanut butter jelly time.  Peanut butter jelly time."

Hubs: He didn't dance?  No, he wasn't dancing because you killed him.  He could have been our ticket to the big time.

Hubs:  Welcome to the singing and dancing big fucking bug show.

Me: Nah, he was just sitting there.  I think he had ADD or was an addict.  A tv addict.  I'm pretty sure he would have gotten famous, but it would just have ended in celebrity scary bug rehab with Dr. Drew.

Hubs:  What if Dr. Drew is afraid of bug, especially spiders. That wouldn't have gone well.  Good thing you killed and saved Dr. Drew's life.

Me: Speaking of addicted.....paper toss=hooked.  I'm so lame.

Hubs:  How fast is the fan blowing?

Me:  WTH?  How do you know all these Apps?  App cheater!

Me: Uh.  That little fucking intern in the chair.  I wanna beat him...with a stapler.

Hubs:  If you do enough, you can buy a stapler.

Me: SHUT UP....are you kidding?

Me:  OMG, I just found it.  I must have it.  I must have a virtual stapler!

Hubs:  (where is my stayplur, I need my stayplur)

Me: You know, I'm totally saving the rainforest this way...though I've never sat and tossed paper into a trash can, but it I was going to, this would save the rainforest.

Hubs: There's an app for both of those.

Me: Both what?

Hubs: Saving the rainforest and beating your boss with a stapler.

Me: I don't have a boss...guess I'd just have to beat you, LOL.  Though...."you ain't the boss of me!"

Hubs:Wouldn't attempt it. Wouldn't wanna be responsible.

Me: Wow.  This room stinks.  I think the dog has gas.  It's almost like you are here.  Awww.  Come home soon.  Miss you and your smells.

Hubs: G'night hun.

(If you made it through all of that, then you are either 1. My mother. 2. My best friend, Hey Kel! 3. Married to me, and looking to be quoted correctly.  4. REALLY REALLY bored.  Either way.  Thanks for humoring me as well.)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Nemo- Rated R?

I love movies.  And not just Rom-Coms or something found on Lifetime...although last week...Wait!  I digress. Everyone in our house loves movies, especially mystery, intrigue, action.  A thriller on the edge of your seat, the who-dun-it?  SIGN. ME. UP. 

Now, don't get the wrong idea.  Television is very limited in our house.  We only watch it together as a family.  I don't use it as a babysitter for my kids  (though I'm not being all high-and-mighty, I use to Nick Jr. the heck out of the twins to score a shower).  It's just I don't want them wasting away in front of the tv when we could be outside practing baseball or riding bikes.  So only on movie nights or lazy pajama weeken days.

Yet, my kids are addicted to one show.  NCIS.  Gibbs. DiNozo, Ziva, Ducky, Abs, McGee, Palmer.  Yep.  It's true.  Now, don't call DCHS.  It's harmless.  In fact, they like Bones, Castle, Body of Proof and a few others.  Seriously, put the phone down.  DCHS is closed at this hour anyway. 

The thing kids think this is fiction.  It is.  But to six year olds, this is a completely made up organization with no chance of being real.  They like it because their step-daddy is a Marine, so they think the people on tv are dressing up like the military just like they do.  No way these are real people doing real things.  They think they are real marines about as much as they are marines themselves.

But here's the kicker....they think cartoons are REAL.  Yes, nonfiction.  Reality, even.  Yep, it's a nail-biter everytime Mickey is faced with a challenge.  Is Dora going to outsmart that Swipper once again? Will Snow White wake up from that apple? (side note: my daughter refused to eat apples for a couple of years because she thought the same thing would happen to her, no lie.  I wish there was a picture of my face the day she explained why she hated apples.)

It's so serious that my kids don't want to go watch a new movie when it comes out.  Hey, no skin off my back.  I can save some serious dough by waiting to Redbox it for $1.21 instead of 4 people at the movies with snacks.  So, I humor them.

Last week, we decided to watch Finding Nemo.  Sweet Nemo with that crazy Dory.  Oh, how I heart me some Dory. (I tend to hug and tickle the kids and call them my "Squishy").  She is just good fun.  As the movie progressed, the kids freaked out at the sharks and the weird fish with the light and the crazy teeth. (Now that I think of it, this would be kick-ass in 3D, except for the piercing screams of my kids).  My kids are hiding under the covers, covering their eyes with their hands, and asking "Is it over, Mom? Is it?  Is it?"  So, we reassured them that it was a cartoon, since fish don't talk or sing, etc.  That seemed to help, but then Dory starting speaking Whale, and the kids were all, "Hey, Mom, maybe fish do talk and sing, but you just don't speak their language.  Can you speak Whale?"  (Oh, you know I did!)  Then they asked if I spoke Clown Fish and Doryfish.  Ugh, mental head slap.  good job Dory, even my kids think I'm full of it now.

After the "fun" was over, Nemo was safe at home with his dad, and all was right in the cartoon world, I had to ask.  How could they watch NCIS and not be scared, but Nemo freaked them out? 

Bear answered: Mom, NCIS is just gross, not scary.  But it's just pretend.  But, Mom.....Nemo?  That's terrible.  Every time I watch it I just worry and panic that he isn't going to make it home.

EVERY. TIME.   Lightbulb!   They don't realize that a DVD doesn't change, that it isn't an episode with a different ending.

Oh my goodness....they are watching NCIS to see how gross and disgusting it can be (and Lola thinks Gibbs is cute.  Don't we all Sweetbaby.)  But when something like Nemo is on...The Shit Just Got Real!

After what felt like talking myself in circles, we decided to take a break from cartoons and stick only with comedies....Zookeeper, Mr. Popper's Penguins, etc.  And until they are ready for something more, I guess we'll just keep swimming.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What the hell, Peter Cottontail?

I ask this question too often... Is it just me?

So, is it just me or have parents lost their minds?  I think the pressure of being the best at everything has officially crossed into new unchartered territory.  It was bound to happen what with Over-Achieving Moms (OAMs) and all.  One of my favorite blogs, PIWTPITT, talks about these OAMs.  They've taken Elf on the Shelf and Leprechaun Traps (making us green with...vomit!) And now....THIS!


What the hell? I get inflation, cost-of-living increases, but really?  The Easter Bunny? When did we go from a little chocolate bunny to $100-$300 per basket, albeit fun looking.  I remember thinking a chocolate bunny was awesome, even now I'd go bananas for one right now (should have gone down that sale aisle.  But I don't see how we as parents can even justify a car payments on jelly beans and a basket of crap.

And no offense to my peeps, but I really think this is a Southern thing. Since moving the Jersey, I have no heard a single person in our community speak of $100s on Easter unless it is for a beautiful Easter outfit.  When I mentioned it, the look of shock on the Kindergarten moms' faces said it all.  This is just another reason they think Southerners are nuts.  And, on this, I couldn't agree more. 

I'm not gonna get all preachy, but...uh...lose sight much?  Bigger picture here!  And I ain't talking about chickens and eggs.  Almost all religions, go amendment 1, have a holiday around this time.  And I don't remember studying one (in my many religion classes in college) about bunny and basket worship.

I once had a friend tell me at lunch that she had spent almost $300 on her daughter's Easter basket (and went on to say how tight her budget was going to be for the month...would she be able to buy groceries...etc.) WHAT?!?!?  And I sat there, open-mouthed with my ABC (already been chewed) food-my apologies to my other colleagues.  I couldn't pick my jaw up off the floor, much less finish chewing that bite.

And though I complain/rant/discuss this distrubing trend, I have no quicl fix.  There will always be parents trying to keep up with the Joneses, put others down, or just showing off to feel better about their own parenting.  I have found in my Facebook stalking that people are so busy trying to give their child everything, they never teach them about hard work and earning anything.

Why are we giving them everything?  And don't give me any crap about a better life that they had.  That was our parents' generation.  You do it to earn favor with your kids, to make your friends jealous and to find satisfaction with yourself.

As the mother of 6 year olds, I know all too well how she can too easily equate gift=love.  And how not getting something she wants can tear you down with one look of disappointed and disgust. There is even the phrase of "My daddy will get it for me."  That one used to rip me apart as a mom struggling to maintain order in a post divorce household. 

But I'm the mama.  I'm 35.  You are 6.  I'll make the rules in this house. (I scream on the inside as I drag her dead-weight-temper-tantrum body out of the store as I smile nervously as the other shoppers.  Heck, we've all been there.)

I'm not worried about failing as a parent, not living up to a six year old's version of the world, or giving in to her desire.  Instead, she gets my full attention and my unconditional love, which is way more valuable than a basket of chocolate or monogrammed crap.  And guess what?  It's free!