Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Well, I took a bit of an unintentional break. I've hit that part of my pregnancy (probably a little too soon) where I want everything spotless and clean and organized and I have been running around my house like a frantic woman making sure everything is just so. It started with seeing finger prints and scuffs on my wall, which on one particularly emotional day resulted in me repainting large portions of this house. Then I realized it had been a few months since I had cleaned out the kids closets, rooms, dressers, and toy bins. It took me two days but I gutted their rooms, cleaned and vacuumed them and then rearranged the rooms for something fresh and new.

Next on the agenda is to turn our home office into the baby's nursery. We have a huge desk in that room and the only way to get it out is to take it apart, which I know is going to prove to be frustrating and time consuming and then reassemble it in our bedroom -- thank God we have a huge master bedroom. But, before I upend our house I am going to gut the office closet, which has computer parts, board games, old clothing, files of bills and taxes, books we've read and Lord only knows what else and try to find new homes for them at which point we can start bringing the baby stuff out of storage in our garage and setting up the nursery. Well, after I paint the room of course.

Anyway, all of this has proven to be incredibly time consuming and then I came down with a cold a few days ago which has slowed the progress a bit. I just want things done. We leave on vacation in three weeks and when we come back we begin a summer full of birthday parties, programs, etc that I fear will leave little time for anything else until this baby comes.

Oh yeah, we have decided to find out the gender of the baby. I was leaning toward not finding out, but my husband really wanted to know. Since he felt more strongly about knowing then I felt about not knowing we decided we will find out a week from today. Now that that decision has been made I am really excited about knowing. I have felt for a while that this baby will be a girl and last night I had a dream I gave birth and it was a girl, so I'm sticking with that for now. My husband, though, thinks it is a boy. I guess one of us will be right. :)

So, what is new in your world these days?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

If I Wanted Your Opinion I Would Have Asked For It, But I Didn't So Butt Out!

It infuriates me when people I don't know feel they have the right to step in and say something to my kids, however kind or well-intentioned. My husband and I pride ourselves on having well-behaved children. Of course, they are children and they act up but they are disciplined accordingly and for the most part act exceptionally well in public. They know the consequences of misbehavior and usually we don't have a problem. When it has come to behavior I have actually never had anyone say anything negative to us and many have actually commented on what well-behaved children we have. That always makes me happy and proud of them.

So, the type of "stepping in" I am referring to is more "butting in" and it's always from the 50+ crowd. I guess I don't know why they feel they have such liberty when it comes to input into my family. I'll give you an example. Today we were at Target with my mom. Both kids were in the basket part of the cart. I was in front of the cart, paying for my portion. My mother was pushing the cart so therefore standing behind it. My 4 1/2 year old daughter stood up in the cart to point out a pack of gum she wanted to my mom. She wasn't horsing around, she wasn't leaning out, she wasn't doing anything she wasn't supposed to be. The cashier instantly says, "Oh, sit down honey. The cart could shoot out and you could fall and smack your face and then you'd be hurt....blah, blah, blah." She goes into an entire series of events that would be unlikely to happen in the way she said, especially considering my mom and I were both holding onto the cart and it was pushed against the wall of the conveyor. Further, even if it did happen IT'S NOT HER BUSINESS! She didn't say it rudely and she wasn't being unkind, but I just resent the intrusion and undermining of my parenting.

My daughter's feelings were hurt so I said, "You are fine. You did nothing wrong." The cashier said, "Yeah, you're not in trouble. I just didn't want you to get hurt." This further aggravated me because it's not like she has the "power" to get my daughter in "trouble." I didn't want to be an ass, but I was also clearly pissed so I just said, "Yes, but that's what she has parents for. If I felt she was in danger I would have done something myself. I don't appreciate the interference." She was silent. I then said to my daughter, and loudly for the benefit of the cashier, "Sweetie, you are fine. You just worry about listening to your mommy, daddy, grandparents, and teachers. She is none of those things." It really bothered me and it really upset my daughter and it angers me still that she felt she had the right to say anything to a child that wasn't hers. I don't care how well intentioned, it simply wasn't her place.

I witnessed a similar occurrence with an older lady at the mall telling another mother with children close in age to my own that she should take the elevator with the kids because it's safer than the escalator they were riding on. While that may be, why does that lady think she gets to make a decision about the safety of another woman's children? It just floors me.

I can feel myself having to totally restrain myself from verbally berating the "butt-in-skies" and I hate that feeling. I hate feeling like I have to justify decisions I make when it comes to MY children and I don't know what it is about certain people that makes them feel like they're the expert and know what is in my family's best interest more than I do.

Rant over!

Monday, March 22, 2010


Yesterday, on the drive to church, I was telling my husband that I hadn't had any morning sickness for a week, nor had I suffered a migraine. Both had become daily occurrences over the past 4 months of this pregnancy. I made the comment that the worst seemed to be over and that hopefully I'd continue to feel better.

About halfway through the service I started feeling a little funny, but figured it was hunger since I hadn't eaten breakfast. Well, on the drive home I became very sick. My husband stopped to get me some McDonald's french go to food during pregnancy. I couldn't even keep those down.

Then an hour later I got a migraine that knocked me out the rest of the day and well into the evening. I was so miserable. Why did I have to curse myself by mentioning the absence of the two things that cause me to suffer the most during pregnancy?

The today, I have had a horrible headache all day long. No amount of Tylenol or coke (the cola, of course) has been able to alleviate the pounding.

I'm thinking that next time I go a week or so without a headache or morning sickness I should just keep it to myself and not tempt fate. It hasn't been kind to me.

Friday, March 19, 2010

To Err is Human.....To Accept Responsiblity is Unlikely

I realize that being merely human, mistakes are made everyday. Some are unavoidable. In truth, the actual mistake doesn't upset me as much as the poor handling of the situation after mistakes are made. It is rare these days for individuals or companies to take responsibility and rectify the situation without presenting a litany of excuses first. I don't want the reason as to why the mistake was made; I simply want it fixed. The customer shouldn't suffer because a mistake was made on the merchant's end. Am I alone in this thought process?

This past week we travelled out of town and on the way we stopped at a McDonald's drive thru for breakfast. I ordered two orders of pancakes, two sausage McMuffin's and two biscuits. When we pulled through and I started handing out food we were given ONE order of pancakes, two sausage patties, and FOUR plain English McMuffins. The order wasn't even close. So, my husband went in and told them. Instead of just saying, "Oh, sorry sir, let me fix this for you right away" which would have solved the issue, the man went into a diatribe about how the woman, and she was a woman, who took the order was new and that she was still learning the system, blah, blah, blah.

So because she's new and apparently hasn't been properly trained, we as the paying customers are just supposed to accept the food she decided to give us and not the food we actually ordered? This type of treatment and then excuse wasn't a one time thing either. This seems to be pervasive all over the place and not just in the food industry.

It seriously drives me nuts. Part of the problem, at least here in Arizona, is the fact that so many people who are being employed in these types of jobs barely speak English. So you have someone who has little training, no experience, and further can't speak the language. Really, it's enough to make me back my bags....the problem is I wouldn't know where to go.....ineptness seems to be widespread.

The bottom line is that I simply would like for people to take responsibility for their mistakes and fix them. That's it. Apparently, that is like asking for a cure for cancer.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hilton on the Home Front

The older of my two brothers lives in Wisconsin with his wife. He's been out there for about six years now. He attended law school out there and then took a job with a firm there when he graduated. We don't get to see him much -- maybe once every couple years -- which I know is hard on my mom. She would love to be able to go out and visit them more often and would also love it if they were able to come here more often than they do.

Since they couldn't make it out for Christmas they are coming the week of Easter. My mom has been preparing for this visit for a month at least. She's cleaned the house, gutted and rearranged the pantry, cleaned the downstairs portion of the house. Now, she's moved on to what was the playroom for the grandchildren, but which is being morphed into a comfy abode for my brother and sister-in-law. She's taken out all the toys and either thrown away old and broken ones or put "good" ones in a chest out on the back porch. She's had the carpets cleaned and is now looking to BUY a dresser so they have some place to keep their clothes.

I asked her the other night if she was aware that they were not moving in with her, but rather visiting for only a week. I also asked her if she realized who it was that was coming. While my brother and his wife make very nice livings, they live well below their means. They certainly wouldn't expect my mom to be going to all the trouble she is going to. I mean, it's nice and they'll appreciate it, but I just hope she does in fact realize that they will be heading back to Wisconsin after 7 days.

Although, depending on how nice she fixes the room up, I might start vacationing there.

Monday, March 15, 2010


My mom calls to tell me this story tonight. As she is relaying it to me I can't help but think, "Where is she going with this? This can't be real." Apparently, it is. My mom's best friend has a friend. This friend has a sister who has a son. Still with me? This son has some type of mental illness (I don't recall the specifics other than that he lives in his own apartment -- he's in his early 20's -- and most of the time controls this illness with medication. A few times a year he has "episodes" that require medical intervention).

The story:

The son calls his mother and tells her that she needs to come over because he has a "red-headed troll" in his closet. The mother tells her son that she will be over after work. I don't have any first hand experience caring for someone with a mental illness, but it would seem to me that if I had a child with an issue and he/she called with that type of information I might drop what I was doing and go check it out. But I digress. For whatever reason, the mother doesn't go over after work. The following day she gets another frantic call from her son insisting that a "red-headed troll" was in his closet and she needed to come over immediately. Again, she didn't. The third day he again calls and this time she goes over.

When she arrives she finds that he had boarded up his closet and had pushed all of his furniture up against the closet. When she opened it she found a red-headed midget locked in the closet along with three days worth of bodily waste.

Apparently, the son had gone to the library and heard a story about the troll that lived under a bridge. He arrived back home, when shortly thereafter this man appeared on his door step. Thinking the "troll" followed him home from the library he literally picked the man up and barricaded him in his closet. Turns out the midget was a Jehovah's Witness and was more than gracious, even apologizing for "scaring" the man. The mother was profusely apologetic. The midget refused to press charges and from all accounts was unbelievably forgiving.

When I first heard the story I laughed because it seemed so unlikely. Plus, what are the odds of someone hearing this story and then having someone who "matches" the description show up at his door? But really, it's pretty sad. It's sad that the mother didn't come to her son's aid prior to the third day. It's sad that this young man, who struggles with mental issues, was so scared that he literally locked another human being in his closet with no food or drink for 3 days. It's sad that this midget's family, assuming he had one, didn't report him missing -- not to mention the other Jehovah's Witnesses who he presumably went out "witnessing" with. It's incredible to me though that this man, who probably thought as some point that he was going to die in that closet, was so forgiving and apologetic when he was clearly the victim.

Shortly after talking to my mom I read a story about a young mother who fled her house in a manic state (she was bipolar and off her meds). Her husband and father informed the police who apparently searched for her, but were convinced she hitchhiked and probably met her demise that way. Turns out they discovered her body today, a mere 1/2 mile from where they found her car. She died from exposure.

It just seems like there are a lot more young people suffering from a variety of mental illnesses and when properly medicated do okay, yet you hear/read so often of them going off of their meds for whatever reason and it results in some type of tragedy. As far as we've come in understanding mental illness and accepting a variety of what the societal norm would deem "abnormal behavior" we still as a society seem to be fairly ignorant when it comes to the seriousness of these illnesses.

It's just sad to me. Maybe if people took these illnesses more seriously these types of occurrences and tragedies wouldn't happen with such frequency. I don't know; maybe I'm naive to think that, but it just seems that so many of these mental issues are brushed aside or downplayed.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pilot vs. Odyssey

Well, we're back in the midst of one of my least favorite endeavors: car shopping. A while back we bought a mini-van; I had serious buyer's remorse and so we took it back the next day. I felt completely good about that decision because at that time a) I wasn't pregnant, b) we were undecided about even having a 3rd kid, and c) I love my Pathfinder.

Well, now that I am pregnant and about 5 months away from D-Day we realized we need a bigger car. Our Pathfinder doesn't have a 3rd row and it's impossible to fit 3 car seats across the backseat. So, the searching, negotiating, re-negotiating, re-searching, etc. has begun. We have spent all weekend searching the state for the best deals and spending a ridiculous amount of time on the phone and Internet trying to negotiate the best deals.

We have negotiated two smoking deals on two different cars: a 2008 Honda Pilot and a 2007 Honda Odyssey. I am fighting the Odyssey with all the energy I can muster. I'd much prefer the Pilot, despite the fact that the Odyssey has more room and would probably be easier with 3 kids in car seats. My husband wants the Odyssey. He thinks it is the smarter choice.

So, if cost were the same, what would you do? The Odyssey is leather, has navigation, and DVD. The Pilot has none of those features. While those upgrades are certainly nice, they are not necessities to me. That's great if cars have them, but their absence wouldn't be a deal breaker for me.

Any thoughts?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wanted: A Baby Sister

Our son adores his older sister. He hangs on her every word, does whatever he can to please her, and pretty much worships her existence. To say he loves her simply wouldn't adequately explain his feelings for her.

As a result of this, he is insistent that this new baby be a girl (he has yet to fully understand that I have little control over this). He repeatedly says, "I really, really want a baby sister" followed by, "I don't want a brother. No more boys is this house." I, on the other hand, secretly am pining for another son, although either would be a joyous, welcomed addition. Part of me now though really wants to have another girl just for his sake. The thought of him taking care of and fawning over a baby sister melts my heart and while I know he'll be a terrific big brother regardless, there is something incredibly sweet about the thought of him with his baby sister.

Not to mention it is the cutest thing in the entire world to hear him say the name we've chosen if this baby is a girl.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Limbaugh Leaves Socialized Medicine for.......Socialized Medicine?

I find it interesting that Rush Limbaugh declared that if the United States passes health care reform then he will leave the U.S. and move to Costa Rica. Has anyone told him that Costa Rica has socialized medicine? Personally, I am all for him leaving the country. In fact, I'm all for anyone who doesn't like the way we do things to find the first flight, boat, train on out of here.

It just seems that if Limbaugh is leaving in protest of what he thinks will be a socialized health care system, he would head to a country that doesn't have socialized health care itself. Am I missing something?

Monday, March 1, 2010


Today I wrote a $120 check for a man to come out, spend 10 minutes inspecting our house for termites (no sign of them), and extending our warranty for a year. Friday I will be spending probably at minimum double that for a different man to come out and fix our freezer and our dryer (hopefully)! When it rains, it pours I tell ya.

The ice machine in our freezer has been leaking for two years now. So, ever couple of weeks, my husband takes it apart, take a hair dryer to melt the ice, and puts it all back together. He waits until enough water has leaked and formed a solid ice block on the shelf of the freezer before repeating the process again. We've had the repair man out here a half dozen times to "fix" it, which lasts a few months before leaking again. I don't want to have to buy an entirely new fridge/freezer simply because there is a problem with the connection to the ice maker that can't seem to be fixed.

Then our dryer decided that it would quit drying clothes unless I ran them on high heat for 3 hours. I'm thinking our electric bill is going to be a bit higher than usual this month. My husband took the entire thing apart, cleaned out the vents, etc. and the dang thing still doesn't dry our clothes. I'm thinking it might be a problem with the heating element, but really that's just a random guess based on nothing specific.

I just hate having to spend money on things like this. There are so many other "fun" things I could spend hundreds of dollars on, yet it seems like our money always goes to fixing or replacing things. Part of me wants to sell everything and start over with a totally minimalistic approach. The fewer things possessed equals the fewer things that will eventually need to be fixed.