14 November 2009

Christmas in the bag, it's Sesame Street FTW

My daughter, all 23 pounds and 27 inches of her, loves Elmo. Not like most little kids love a character. She obsesses over Elmo, can spot the tiniest Elmo image from across the store, sings the Elmo song, begs for an Elmo show after school, wears Elmo clothes, and on and on. Did I mention she's not quite two?

Her older brother, on the other hand, is four going on 16, loves anything battle related or superhero related, loves to enact battle scenes, and only puts up with his sister's Elmo obsession because, well, he loves his sister. And, let's face it, they are awfully sweet when they play nice together.

If you're a mom like me, you'd give anything to let your toddler test out toys before you shell out the cash to keep them. Luckily, I had just the opportunity. While doing some pre-Christmas scouting in the store the other day, I spied some cool new building blocks, and of course they're Sesame Street-themed, which is why they caught my eye to begin with. But I took them off my mental list after seeing the recommended age of 2-5 years. Imagine my delight when I received a reviewable kit of Sesame Street K'NEX in the mail from Team Mom!

Sadie was overjoyed at seeing her favorite friend, Elmo, and his trusty pal Cookie Monster, in cute, lovable, changeable block form! But the biggest surprise was seeing Jacob chomping at the bit to have a go! We put the 1-2-3 Brownstone together, and she laughed at Bert in an upstairs window. She danced Elmo around the building, singing Elmo's song. She took his head off and learned how to put it back on. Then Jacob took it apart and made an Elmo robot to prowl around. The best part? Jacob has been playing with the set, rebuilding, playing Elmo and Cookie Monster hide and seek, the better part of the day.

All of the sets are designed to work stand-alone, or together, which means I can buy as few or as many as I want. Plus, the pieces are big enough for Sadie's tiny hands, big enough not to get lost in the carpet like other blocks, yet not so big that Jacob would call them "baby blocks". Even better, the sets are what I consider to be reasonably priced! Which is great, since this is going to be an Elmo Christmas, followed a month later by an Elmo birthday...

Below you'll find info on a great video contest sponsored by K'NEX. I won't be entering, but after watching mu Elmo-girl and my big tough boy play with these all morning, I think I know what Santa's bringing us!

Want to get in on the fun, and have a shot at winning $1,000? Create a 30-second to 3-minute video of your child playing with any K'NEX 400 pc tub or K'NEX Sesame Street set. Do not include last name, city, street, or other personally identifiable info on the video itself, beyond state and first name of your child. Post the video on your blog or website, and send the link to knexvideocontest@knex.com. Don't have a blog or website? Send the video to Make a K'NEX Video Contest, K'NEX Brand, L.P., P.O.Box 700, Hatfield, PA 19440. You'll need to include an official entry form (which I will gladly email upon request) so that you get credit, and can get notified if you win. Entries must be received by K'NEX by 7 December. 10 finalists will be posted on knex.com and the K'NEX Facebook fan page, where fans can vote for their favorite. Must be a US resident, not a resident of Florida and over 18 to enter. Complete official rules can be found on www.knex.com. Good luck!

The contents of this product review are strictly the work of the author, and do not reflect the opinions or any policies of the product in question, or the review's sponsor. Author has received no monetary compensation in exchange for this review, beyond a product sample that is author's to keep or distribute as she pleases.

03 September 2009

What to do??

I need your suggestions. Let me hammer out your criteria:

While I am trying to find a reliable babysitter I can use all the time (as in, her and no one else), I am also trying to find things for my husband and I to do on date nights other than dinner and a movie. And I need your help, as you'll see why:

The town we live in is relatively small, racially-charged, uni-cultural, and boring. Sure, there are meat-markets I mean dance clubs, a movie theatre, a renowned Shakespeare theatre, a couple bowling alleys, and that's about it. We have 1 Indian restaurant (hubby's not a huge fan), a couple decent Japanese restaurants (hubby's all over this), 1 decent Mexican restaurant (hubby's not a huge fan), and lots of places specializing in Southern cuisine (i.e. fried shoe leather).

We could stay home and play Wii together, but that wouldn't require a babysitter or a new environment, just our tired old living room.

We could go see a movie or play, but those aren't really interactive, and frankly we're tired of seeing movies together all the time.

There is a minor-league baseball league, but neither of us are fans of baseball. There is no hockey (pro, minor, or city-league, but that's what you get in a city that doesn't experience natural ice, I guess), no rollerball, but tons of college ball teams (we're not really into cheering on schools we have no affiliation with).

Studies have shown that couples that experience new things together build longer-lasting, happier relationships. And since I've been feeling pretty lonely, down, and neglected lately, I really want to do something about it, lest my secret-guilty fantasies about leaving take root (only in my blackest moments do I fantasize about this; leaving my family would probably kill me) .

Can anyone help? What do you do on dates?

26 August 2009

No one gets me

Seriously, no one gets me. Sometimes I feel so cut off from the rest of humanity. Not like Bella, who chose it. OK? So we're clear? I'm not some whiny emo teenager here, ok?

Wow, so that sounded a tad defensive. See, here's the thing. I'm wife, and mother, to attention-deficit. And I have no idea how to deal with it. Up until I met my husband, seriously, I'd never met anyone with ADD. I thought it was a myth concocted by shrinks to explain bad behavior, get press, and make oodles doping kids up on ritalin.

Turns out, it's more serious than that. But what kills me is that even though I've learned that it's a real disease, apparently no one else in the educated world has.

Now, I know not everyone has time, energy, or inclination to read my blogs. We'll shame them later. BUT if they did, maybe they'd have a clue into my life, and how hard and lonely it really is, instead of dismissing my gripes. "He's all boy, isn't he?" they say about my son, or, "Wow, he's wide-open, huh?" Um, sure. I guess those apply, but it's so much more than that.

And my family doesn't get it, either. I try not to throw my hubby & kid in with my brothers and father too much, just makes for really tense times. Because they don't get it.

And when I go out, my friends don't get it, either. They tell me I'm really quiet, and then I feel boring. But it's hard to be awesome and the life of the party when I'm so fucking tired. I haven't slept in four years because of this. Sleeping in, for me, is getting uninterrupted sleep until 6AM. Sad, huh? And when I try to explain my kid, well, you saw what they say.

Inside, my 24-year-old self is screaming at me to let her out. To be fun, crazy, and let loose. But it's hard when I have 3 other people depending on me for everything. And it's always on my mind, crowding out all the fun.

Sometimes, I wish I could become a vampire, super-strong, no need of sleep, able to clean the entire house in under a minute. But I'm just me, with an apple-shaped body and gray hair and sunken eyes, and a to-do list that never gets finished.

One of my Facebook friends wrote, "You are only as strong as those who support you." I guess that means I have the strength of 1, then... is it enough? Do you get me?

01 August 2009

Top 10 Reasons....

Why you shouldn't let your scary-smart, ADHD preschooler have ANY time unsupervised:

10 - Shout, while an effective stain-remover, is not an effective wall cleaner.

9 - Discovering, and eating, my chocolate stash.

8 - Scaling the front of the entertainment center to get his piggy bank.

7 - Getting his 18-month-old sister out of her booster chair.

6 - How the hell did he figure out the buckle? Even I have trouble with it!

5 - Food coloring experiments in the sink

4 - and on his hands

3 - and on the floor.

2 - How the hell did he get the food coloring down from above the stove??

1 - Silver Metallic Spray Paint was not meant for built-in wooden cutting boards!


08 July 2009

Fun trip with kids? It IS possible...

We have two young children, 4 (going on 20), and 18 months (going on 20). Taking trips with them is almost never relaxing, and only fun in spots. However, this last trip we took, I think we played everything right, and the entire five-day trip was a blast! Here's what we did, and if anyone else has some great tips for traveling with kids, feel free to leave it in your comment!

First, book a good hotel. Not a Motel 6 or Super 8. Bite the bullet and pay for a good hotel. I'm talking, the kind with a free hot breakfast, free wifi, and a courteous staff. Why? Sure, you think, we're only sleeping there, why spend more than $50 a night? Well, if you have young kids, you're not just sleeping there. You're trapped in the hotel room every night after they go to sleep. So splurge a little, get a room with really comfy beds, a hotel that spends money on insulation between rooms and a heat lamp in the bathroom. And having a fridge and microwave in the room is a godsend! Don't stay with relatives if that will stress you out. Anyway, the hotel is a must.

Next, and I know everyone says this, but have a truly relaxed schedule. Don't plan out a detailed itinerary, scheduling every minute, because kids' naptimes and mealtimes will just throw a wrench in and stress you out. Instead, say you're going to the zoo on X day, and plan all day for it, that way you're not rushing to get to something else. Plan a waterpark day for Y day. And don't have a set day for visiting with friends and relatives. Instead, do a short little visit each day. That way, you don't spend all day in a non-child-proof home with curious kids and nothing for them to do but get into stuff. Small visits, that's the ticket.

Third, food. For young kids, hit a grocery store as soon as you arrive, get some juice boxes, small bags of chips, and something like Uncrustables. Keep them in the fridge in your good hotel room. Perfect for snacks, on-the-go meals, or to keep them busy.

Last, either rent a car, or borrow a dedicated car from a relative, one just for your use while you're there. Having your own wheels means you can go get food when you guys need it, you can leave an activity when your kids are melting down, you can go do something your kids want even if no one else wants to.

Here's some other points to consider, the good and the ugly:

  • $500 for all three tickets was great; 6am flight out, and 9pm flight home, were not.
  • We had our own hotel room, so our kids weren't disturbed when sleeping, and we were able to keep to our own schedule. Awesome.
  • We hung around a relative's house most of Friday (arrived at 8, check-in wasn't until 3), kids bored and curious. Not fun.
  • Hotel had an indoor pool, awesome.
  • Saturday, after a free hot breakfast, we sort of tooled around, visited a sick relative, and generally tried to keep the kids busy.
  • Sunday, we planned all day for the zoo, and left when our kids were done. That was great.
  • Park birthday party on Monday was awesome, plenty of room for kids to run and get dirty and be kids, with minimal interference from us. Gave us time to visit with friends instead of being overbearing parents. Then played in the park's water park until closing, which was awesome.
  • Tuesday, after checking out, went to a petting zoo with tons of baby animals, which the kids really loved.
  • Tuesday night, 8PM flight (bad idea) turned into a 9PM takeoff, which had us landing at 11 and actually driving away from the airport by midnight. Bad, just bad. Got home around 3AM. So yeah, hubby and I didn't go to work today...
So, there's my thoughts. Your turn!

02 June 2009

Hormone Power

Step right up ladies, and sign up for an exclusive vacation to Hormone Power! We have special rides and areas dedicated to your favorite Hormonal activities! On the midway you'll find our most popular game, Deck the Husband! Hurl irons, rolling pins, or pots and pans at him, for prizes of shoes, bags, or a complete spa package! Or take a leisurely cruise on Cry Me A River, where viewers are treated to touching scenes from Beaches, The Family Stone, and other sob-inducing movies. It's OK to tear up, ride cars are equipped with handy tissue dispensers and makeup wipes! Feel like snarling? Why not enjoy an afternoon in our snark simulator, complete with trashily-dressed strangers you can insult but who won't yell back. Safe Snarking is conveniently located next to Chocolate Rx, our most popular gift shop. There's so much to do and see at Hormone Power, you can't get it all done in one day! And the best part is, while you're visiting us, it's not visiting your poor family!

*Warning: Hormone Power, its investors, advertisers, affiliates, etc. (Park) cannot be held liable for any damages incurred by raging hormones. We cannot replace mascara or self-respect lost on Cry Me A River. Photos of real husbands will not be allowed at Deck the Husband. Should you choose to participate in venting your negative emotions on other Park patrons (Patrons), Park is not responsible for injury caused to you if/when Patrons retaliate. Chocolate Rx is simply a chocolatier, and is not intended to treat, diagnose, etc. any medical condition; consuming too much chocolate may make your hormones worse, and if this causes disturbances to our other Patrons, sedatives will be administered and any spa packages won or purchased will be cancelled. Don't say our name didn't warn you. Who do you think runs this place, anyway, a GUY? Right...he can't even find the remote, let alone his ass with both hands. Geez, I frickin' have to do everything around here! Why can't you people pipe down and take care of yourselves for once? What? Who are you? No, don't come at me with that big needl...*

So, if you read my last post, you'll know that some knuckle-draggin', hairy-backed, tobaccy-chewin', immoral guy needed to get a quick present for his best girl, and what better place to shop than someone else's luggage, right? It's quick, easy, convenient, and hey, it's free! In fact, they're even getting paid to do it! Talk about a bonus!

So yesterday, I called my insurance company to see if this particular theft was covered. Upon discovering that NO, it was not, and even if it was I'd have to pay the deductible first, I practically hung up on the poor guy, and promptly stomped upstairs to my desk, so mad my ears were steaming. I sat down and started browsing; not for a replacement camera, but for my camera, the exact one my husband picked out for me. Silly and unreasonable, sure, but it's not often that he picks out something for me, unprompted I might add, that I end up loving. By the time 20 minutes of searching had passed, without seeing anyone selling my camera, I had to wipe away tears.

In an effort to allow the caged, "normal" part of me to interact with the world (instead of the hormonally-charged, unpredictable me), I sent my husband an email:

Hey, maybe next time, I'll just bring in a gift, and give it to the ticket agent, and tell her to throw into a crowd of baggage handlers to distract them while my bag goes by. I mean, if I'm essentially going to be buying them electronics anyway, I might as well have some fun with it!

His reply prompted several moments of gleeful, malicious giggling:

I just had an image of a bunch of Dobermans crammed in a room, dressed in coveralls, drooling over a piece of steak that's about to be thrown in with them...

And thus we see, in one day, irrational anger, inexplicable tears, and inappropriate giggling...Oh, PMS, why oh why do you only come around once a month?

And while we're on the subject of inappropriate giggling, I just realized something: that ticket agent and anyone who rifled through my suitcase probably caught strep throat! MWAHAHAHA!!

18 May 2009

Dear Airport Baggage Handlers

Thanks so much for rifling through my suitcase without my consent! I love the feeling of violation I get at knowing someone's seen all my dirty laundry, and the souvenirs I brought home for my kids. Thanks for not caring about other people, or their belongings. It's really liberating, the way you throw baggage around as if it were pillows, and nothing could get damaged.

I really hope, from the bottom of my soul, that you enjoy my mauve digital camera, and the pink hard case I picked out for it. I hope you enjoy the 2GB memory card that had pictures of my kids and my trip. I know those pictures always made me smile. Maybe deleting them, erasing forever those precious smiles that I can never replace, and using your ill-gotten gains, the fruit of someone else's labor, will make you smile, too.

Did I mention that camera was a Christmas present from my husband? But that's ok, I still have his love. Thanks so much for taking away the pictures of my friend, whom I haven't seen in almost 6 years. I guess if it's taken me that long to go see her, I don't need the pictures anyway, right?

Well, they're all yours now, Mr. Sticky Hands. Every grin of my precious baby girl; every moment with my adorable son; all the memories I shot on my trip are now yours. I can only hope that you have an attack of conscience, and turn it in, or else someday you know just how violated and angry I feel.

25 April 2009

Dear Smooth Away

Dear Smooth Away:

How do I love you? Let me count the ways:

I love the way you've made this look so easy! One simple pass should get rid of my unwanted leg hair! I must have done something wrong if it took me an hour to get the hair off my lower legs...

I love the versatility of your product! One simple pad should remove all of my unwanted body hair...except for my armpits, but I must have done something wrong there, too...

I love the way you've convinced me that I need your product to simplify my life. Now I can get rid of all of my razors, all of my exfoliators, and all of my free time...

I love the crafty marketing you used to convince me to buy your product, instead of, say, a sander. The sander would probably be quicker, but where's the fun in that? And it's funny, but the "microfine crystals" seemed a lot more like sandpaper than I would have thought...

I loved the thrill of fear I felt during the hair removal process, seeing the fine white powder of my skin getting "gently" buffed off...

I truly adore the way you promise no razor burn! How did you do that? I must have done something wrong in my hour-long use of your product to de-hair my legs, because the lotion you recommended I apply burned, and left me with razor bumps.

But best of all, I love the stubbly, poky way my legs felt the next day.

Thanks, Smooth Away! Thanks to you, I can kiss my free time, my outer dermis, and my smooth legs good-bye! I know you said I can use this on my face, but I'm just not confident enough in my abilities to take a sander to my upper lip...

20 April 2009

Beach hilarity

We spent a fabulous weekend at the beach...huddling in blankets. It was cold and windy, almost too cold and windy to enjoy ourselves...almost! But there were some funny moments, things that just make you shake your head.

My good sleeper spent half of each night, after midnight, rolling around in our bed, alternating between trying to sleep and trying to play. My poor sleeper spent each night fast asleep in his own bed!

I've decided I'm going to design the perfect swimsuit for the fashion-conscious C-section mom. A bottom that's cute and stylish, that completely covers the rump yet doesn't roll down the baby belly to sit on the scar tissue. A top that's cute, yet doesn't show off too much of the Girls and their prime real estate. And I'm going to pass out a catalog to every mom I see, C-section or not, who thinks that her large Girls fit just fine into a triangle top or a junior's halter. *shudder*

My tactile girl, who loves to have fabric in her hand while she sucks her thumb, hates the feel of anything new on her palms or feet. But she had so much fun playing in the sand, scooping, raking, and destroying castles as fast as Josh could make them. Those wild squeals of delight kept me laughing from the shelter of my wind-proofed chair.

No matter how many shells you collect on the beach, you have to make a decision: discard most, or ship your clothing home in a box so there's room in the suitcase for the shells.

However, I learned a valuable lesson this trip. Typically, when we go to the beach, we stay at a cheaper hotel up on the mainland, rather than shell out the dough for a nice beach-front hotel, which we stayed in this time. I had no idea what I was missing! The most comfortable hotel beds I've ever slept on, no lie! We were there the tail end of Spring Break, but you'd never know it from our room; seems like some of that money they've been charging for rooms went into good insulation. And getting to walk out of our hotel, straight to the beach and back, rather than a gritty half-hour car ride before we can shower, was absolutely worth the price. But so was Jacob's reaction when he saw the view from the balcony: "Holy crap, Mom, come see this!"

16 April 2009

Getting my spirit back

I love my mountains, the solitude of the impossibly blue sky above your head, lightly sprinkled with fluffy clouds, feeling the forest growing around you. Something in the mountains has always kept a part of my spirit, my self, feeding it back to me at each visit. It's immediately cleansing and soothing to my soul to feel the solitude, the silence, the earth doing what it does best, and to know that out here, I am merely me, and my problems and trials are so small.

That's how I feel about the ocean, only more. There's something about the ocean that has always called to me. The waves, with their gentle sighs, give and take the edge of the sand, always changing it. The sound is like the heartbeat of the universe, calling out to me, begging me to let go of my negative emotions, to let the waves carry them out. The wind ruffles my hair, like the gentle breath of a loving parent. The wind, the sea birds' cries, the waves, all take the toxins from my soul, my spirit, cleansing me; I can breathe, I can think, I can daydream. The gentle sun, warm on my skin, is like a caress; not the caress of a lover, but the soothing, calming caress of a friend, a partner, a parent. Warm, safe, and comforting. I may leave the mountains feeling a little forlorn; after all, I've left a piece of myself there to fly with the eagles. I always leave the beach feeling energized, ready to tackle my life.

09 April 2009

Yay, long weekend! Or not...

My kids' school is closed for Good Friday and Easter Monday (not currently celebrated in America, but hey, everybody likes a day off, right?). Which means, of course, that Josh and I have to use personal time to be home with the kids.

We were each going to take a day, make it fair. Then Josh says, "Oh, wait, honey, I forgot...If I take 8 hours of personal time, I'm not going to have enough days for our July beach family reunion, or the "honeymoon" we want to take in December!" Convenient, eh?

>So I'm taking 16 hours of personal time to be home with them Friday and Monday. Friday is covered, we're going to Pump It Up in the morning, taking Josh lunch, picking up the dry cleaning and sending off the sale from my Etsy site. Saturday, god willing, my hair dresser will be able to give me a break from my kids new perm. If not, I'm getting my nails done. And conveniently, we can't go to the commissary until Saturday when Josh can come with, because I just have too much to do on Friday and don't have the next week's menu done. Like my sneakiness there? Maybe it's retribution for him reneging on taking the kids one day...

Sunday, we're having an egg hunt with my friends Kendra and Ariel, and having our own Easter dinner. Monday, the girls and I are taking our boys (5, 4, and 2) to a local coffee shop that has, besides coffee, cute purses and an indoor play area. However, no matter what I have planned, I know that on Tuesday morning, I'm going to hop out of bed and eagerly dress for work!

Here's what I want to know: why is it called a day off when I'm really going to be working harder than I do at work, and a dairy cow to boot?

06 April 2009

Oh my god, it's on my foot!

My poor Sadie...she has both of her incisors coming in, and teething always gives her loose diapers. Which means diaper rash. But this time has to be the worst.

She screams and arches away from diaper changes. I actually cried last night changing her diaper, having to inflict pain on her. Even putting diaper cream on her makes her scream. My poor angel!

Her school called this afternoon to tell us that they couldn't take her crying anymore. She was crying and screaming whenever she wet her diaper, not just at diaper changes. So they had her in a large T-shirt, letting her poor little area air dry. We took her home like that, and left her like that while Josh went out to find the ultra-mega diaper cream.

Of course, the inevitable happened. She's a baby not wearing a diaper, you figure it out! After I got dinner started, I found her in the hallway playing in a puddle (gross!). Cleaned that up, and her. Stirred dinner halfway through, and found another puddle on the kitchen floor (gross!). Cleaned that up, and her. After dinner, we let her play in the living room while we took a quick, 5-minute break outside. Guess what we found in the living room? Not a puddle...(gross!gross!gross!)

Josh cleaned that up while I got her and her dress into the tub (gross!). Got Jacob in bed, Sadie in jammies, with the ultra-mega diaper cream that she didn't scream for. Hurray, this expensive shit might actually work!

Stood up from nursing her to go lay her down for the night, and my bare foot, right in the arch, found a tiny piece that got missed in the clean up. (gross!gross!gross!gross!gross!gross!) Can you tell I don't do bodily secretions very well?? shudder I stood there, grossing out, a sleeping baby on my shoulder, horrible grossness glued to my foot in all it's sticky, gooey, cold glory, begging my husband in stage whispers to get his butt in there and get it off my foot before I totally gagged myself, him laughing all the while. Some white knight...

Now that I've confessed to the un-mom-like quality of grossing out at my kids' bodily needs, I totally have to steal a line from Jacqueline's blog: Who the hell put me in charge??

03 April 2009

Saying good-bye to Momformation

Today, I prepared myself to say good-bye to Mommy Wore Combat Boots, the column I've written for BabyCenter's Momformation since July 08.

And saying good-bye with grace was harder than I expected it to be. It's funny how finding relief, and ridding yourself of one more thing on your to-do list, can be difficult. I guess it's the emotional investiture that makes it so...

But now I can focus on blog posts when I want to. I can make them any word length. I can cover any topic. I can cuss if I want to. I don't have to worry about turning readers off from a nationally-recognized sight, one that's paying me. I can be me, unedited.

But I find myself adrift, wondering just who am I without it. What's my voice, now that I'm not writing for BabyCenter? What do I want to cover, what do I want to promote, what do I want to accomplish?

The first thing is getting some sleep! I've got a lot to tackle this weekend, besides the obligatory dishes and laundry. We have 2 birthday parties this weekend, which means gifts. The slacks I ordered Josh don't fit right, so they'll have to be taken back and replaced. (How does that man wear through slacks so fast, just sitting at a desk?) And we have to start getting the house ready for my mother-in-law's sort-of surprise visit in 2 weeks.

She had told us she was flying to the beach, staying for a couple days, we were joining her for a couple more, and then I thought everyone was heading home. But she told Josh tonight that she's coming back with us! SO, the playroom will have to be cleaned and rearranged, the playroom TV moved somewhere else, the living room cleaned up (oy! the living room), etc. Oh well, I guess it's incentive to straighten the house, right? At least I finished the wallpaper border in that room!

It's not that I don't have things to look forward to; I do! I just don't know how the writer Emily is without BabyCenter. Guess I'll need you guys to help me figure it out!

31 March 2009

I f-ing hate taxes

Seriously. I don't get to decide how they're spent; some old, rich white dude up on Capitol Hill does. And mostly, I don't like how they spend it. This is what I imagine goes on behind those mahogany doors our tax dollars paid for:

Let's decide to give billions (yes, billions, as in more money than Joe Public will see in personal income in several lifetimes) to banks who are failing because of bad debt. Let's act shocked when those banks later use that money indiscreetly to pay off their cronies, rather than their bad debts. Let's publicly castrate them for doing what we knew they were going to do anyway with that government money, and hope it saves our ass.

Let's not give some of that to, say, Joe Public to pay off his credit cards and car loans, thereby making it much easier for his family to put money back into the economy by, say, buying food. Let's see what happens when Joe Public doesn't get his share of several hundred billion to pay off his debts; that certainly won't help those outrageous banks.

Then, when we've proven to the public that we haven't learned our lesson from Wall Street, and turned a blind eye to blatant obsequious grafting of people with already inflated wallets, let's instead direct our ire at the blue collar workers of the auto industry for not doing more. More with what? Are they supposed to wring money out of their coveralls to retool the assembly lines into making more fuel-efficient cars that people can't afford right now anyway?

And then, to top it off, let's make some random person, who is doing her mother's taxes out of the goodness of her heart, sit on hold for 45 minutes with the IRS only to be cheerfully transferred to a department that is now closed so she didn't get a chance to get her important tax question answered.

GOD, if women ruled the world, this shit just wouldn't happen! Give a Mom the reigns of the White House, Capitol Hill, and the national budget, and before you know it, every single f-ing American will be given a band-aid, a peanut butter sandwich, $5 for the road, and a kiss for luck. What's your take on this?

26 March 2009

Whining with Sour Grapes

So, I have a dilemma. I recently started working full-time, which I LOVE. I love being at work, making a name for myself, being professionally respected. I love that I don't have to watch, save, entertain or punish Jacob all day long, just for being himself. (God, I have GOT to get that boy some help!)

Being away from the kids for 50 hours a week puts me at a disadvantage in the parent blogosphere. I mean, really, how do I write a 900+ word essay every week on being a full-time mom post-military, if I'm not a full-time mom anymore? I'm rapidly running out of material.

So when my other blog gig called me and laid me off due to recession cuts, it came as somewhat of a relief. I mean, I truly love writing, and I love writing about my zany kids and my adorably wacky husband. But between my messy house, my work schedule, and the sleep Jacob is not letting me have, I really haven't had the energy to write. So, I took the news with grace.

Then I log onto the site, and see a new writer. Granted, she has previous posts so she's not NEW-new, but her last post was a year and a half ago! And they let me go because they had to cut someone and my page views aren't high enough to justify keeping me, but hers are? Serious ego drain.

And then my friend Andrea gave me some great advice, which I think I'm going to embrace: "Please don’t let this irk you. You got to XX Website because of your cajones – and you’d never written before? Now you can write to someone new saying you have written for a huge website. That’s BIG." Thanks, Andrea!

So, I guess I'll focus on work, focus on my kids and marriage, and vent and laugh on Chocolate and Whine. Thanks for listening!

01 February 2009

My Kingdom for a Break!

I really detest weekends now. There's not much going on that we can take Jacob to, other than shopping. We can't take him to Chuck E Cheese, because that's where all the working parents go on the weekends, with their big kids, and god forbid they pay attention to the smaller kids getting run over or pushed out of the way.

There's no library story time; no story time at the bookstore. The kids section of the art museum is overrun with big kids shoving, parents no where in sight. The skating rink is only open for regular skate. And I am so sick of taking him out for fast food just so he has somewhere to play.

The kids are sick, I think they both have RSV. We'll know tomorrow or Tuesday, whichever day the doctor's office wants to see us. They're both miserable, horribly stuffy, snot running down their faces, too sick to really eat, too sick to play, up all night and moany all day. But they're not running fevers, and their coughs are minimal. I just want to spend all day holding them, if they'd let me!

Sadie took her first steps! I can't say she's walking, but if you stand her up a couple of feet from you and hold out your hands, she'll happily totter to you, then fall into your arms with wild giggles, flailing her arms in excitement. She's so proud of herself!

All of this adds up to one tired momma. There's at least 2 loads of dishes in the sink, and one in the dishwasher (I need to run that...). There's a load of clean clothes in the washer, and both kids' hampers are overflowing. But damnit all, I need some frigging sleep...wine just adds to my headaches. And thank you, Mother Nature, for not giving my any warning that you were about to ruin my new leopard print undies from Victoria's Secret...seriously, give a gal a break!

29 January 2009

The Freedom To Write

I have a regular post on BabyCenter.com called Mommy Wore Combat Boots. I get to chronicle my change from active-duty military to full-time mom. And it's fun, it really is. I re-discovered my love of writing. I discovered that I'm pretty good at BS. And I also discovered that as wonderful as BabyCenter is, it's not enough for me.

BabyCenter reaches a wide audience of moms and women. The regular commenters are nice enough, they never flame me for my lapses in parental judgment. But there are those that vehemently flog me with their verbal whip, and that's pretty demoralizing. I mean, I'm putting it all out there for the public, in order to help other moms feel like they're not alone, and I get slammed for it!

So I started this blog, to help myself improve my writing; to give myself another outlet, where I can play around a little more. A place where I don't have to watch what I say quite as closely. And where I can be a little more personal, a little more me. Hopefully I'll have interesting things to write, and learn things along the way!