Friday, May 25, 2012

May 25, 2012: Five Question Friday



1. Are you a napper?
Sometimes. I prefer not to nap though because all it does is make me feel more tired than before I laid down. There are some days though, usually followed by insomnia nights, that I just can't keep my eyes open.


2. What was your favorite subject in school? Most hated?
I really don't think I had a favorite subject in school. High school anyway. I had classes that I liked more than others because I liked certain teachers more than others. Hated is easy though. I hated algebra. Still do. It is truly one of those things that when you hear a kid say that they'll never use it, with Algebra, it is true. The mandatory math in high school should be teaching kids how to balance their bank accounts and budget household finances. My favorite class in college was my vampire class. My least favorite was accounting.


3. Did you have the something old, new, borrowed, and blue at your wedding? What were they?
First of all, I didn't have a wedding. But, I had something old and blue but nothing new or borrowed as far as I can remember. And the blue and old were totally coincidental.


4. What one thing are you determined to do this summer?
I dunno. I want to take the kids to Sea World, make sure the oldest child has a good 16th birthday, visit with friends, buy a fire pit for the backyard, and stuff. I just want to have a good, enjoyable, and relaxed summer.


5. Ice cream or Popsicles?
I like both. If I'm really hot though, I want a popsicle because ice cream just makes me thirsty. But I really love both. Yup.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Random Stuff

Five Question Friday is on a break today so I'm coming up with my own random stuff to post. I know. It's a novel idea.

First of all, have you ever considered how much cell phones are contributing to noise pollution? I'm not just talking about people's obnoxious ring tones or their incessant notification bings and buzzes or people talking on them loudly in restaurants. This morning, I'm behind this lady in a mom-mobile. We're in the left-hand lane and she starts drifting to the right, edging another car towards the curb. They blow their horn at her, she corrects, and we stop at a stoplight. I can tell by her body language that she's fooling around with her phone. Either that or she was really obsessed with how her palm looked. So the light turns green and she's still sitting there. Then I toot my horn at her. Geez lady! You're behind the wheel. DRIVE.

Secondly, I'm rereading the J.D. Robb's In Death series for the umpteenth time. I organized my bookshelves recently and they caught my eye. What can I say?

Thirdly, I cleaned out my refrigerator today. It was gross. There was some stuff in there that I couldn't even tell what it had been at one time. It really hasn't been that long since I cleaned it out, but the temperature control on our older-than-the-trees refrigerator is dinky. The ice thaws and refreezes into a solid block and the lunch meat in the fridge was frozen. Wth. But, it looks nice on the inside, aside from the rust that I couldn't clean out, and we seriously need to go grocery shopping. It's empty now.

Fourthly, I've been driving the Mister's car for two weeks now and I miss my car. I like driving his car, it's a Rav 4, because it's more convenient. I don't have to slow down at EVERY intersection so that I don't rip off my front bumper, it doesn't have the worst blind spot in the history of cars, it has tinted windows which is nice with all the sunshine, and it's roomier. But my car has a kick ass stereo and I MISS IT. My car is cute, sporty, and zippy. And it doesn't have a funky smell that comes out of the vents. And it doesn't have golf balls rolling around the back. And it's clean. On the inside it's clean. The outside, not so much. I want my car back.

Fifthly, Plantweed is done. It's still alive. It was actually a lily-type plant. It bloomed an orange flower which is how I know. But it looks like crap. The leaves are all chewed and turned brown on the edges from the damage. It's ugly. Maybe it'll come back next year and with it being inside, it won't get eaten by snails.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dear Jason Good

I feel so strongly about this that I've had a hard time not harping over it the past couple of days. It would seriously help if Jason Good would stop tweeting/posting about it too. ;) Just saying. So this is my rebuttal to Jason's post on his blog. By the way, I find Jason hilarious. You should totally read his posts on fruits and vegetables. I don't disparage him as a person, writer, or man in general, but I totally disagree with his point of view on this subject. That being said, I will continue to read his blog because I find it entertaining. I hope we can agree to disagree. Side note:  I apologize in advance for the language. I don't think the f word has ever made an appearance on my blog before today. So without further ado...

Dear Jason,

I would first like to address your tweet from Thursday where you said, "If you don't have kids, you're opinion about the Times Magazine cover can go fuck itself." I replied yesterday but I would like to add one more thing:  In my opinion, if you're not a woman or the father of said child, you should have next to no opinion about breast feeding unless you have an Oedipal complex.

Now as to your blog post from today...

You said, "Think about how you might feel if, instead of a boy, the cover showed that same mother breast feeding a 3-year-old girl...It's different isn't it?" No. Not even a little bit. For me, this issue isn't with the gender of the child at all but with the age of the child. I don't look at that picture and see a sexualized (is that a word?) picture of a little boy breast feeding. I see a child who can walk, talk, feed himself, is most likely potty trained, who will be starting preschool incredibly soon (if he hasn't already) and who is old enough to ask for a snack, or in his case, a boob. Once a kid gets to an age where he can feed himself and understand his mom when she tells him to stop biting her, it's time to put the breasts away.

Next you asked how people would have felt if the appearance of the child had been different, would we, the public, feel different about the photo. My answer is that if the kid had been in a diaper, I would have questioned why an almost four-year-old kid isn't potty trained.

Then you said, and this is where you really lost me, that the photographer had the boy standing on a stool in front of his mom because of his height. Come on! No he didn't. He had both of them standing because that, in and of itself, made the photo even more shocking. Is that how his mom feeds him in the privacy of their own home? I mean, is she standing in her kitchen doing the dishes with her boob hanging out and the kid hanging on, standing on a stool? Probably not. I'll go out on a limb and make an assumption here and say that if the mom had been cradling her son in her lap and feeding him or in another "natural", affectionate, respectable position, it wouldn't have garnered as sensational a reaction as it did with the mom, her clothing, and the boy positioned in the way that they were. Irregardless of my opinion, the stool had NOTHING to do with the boy's height. And your eye is way off. Minus the stool, the kid would have been sucking somewhere in her abdominal area which is a whole other issue (meaning concern, not magazine issue).

I will concede your point that everyone's feelings on this picture and the issue of attachment parenting are highly subjective. I object to your use of the word "puritanical" however. That's off-base. By using the word "puritanical" you imply that people opposed to attachment parenting and breast feeding teenagers (I exaggerate) are just uptight which isn't the case. Every comment that I've seen, read, or heard on this story is on par with my own. Then again, going by your rationalization, the people that I tweet and Facebook with, my friends and family would all be Puritans anyway and that's why we have the same opinions. FYI, a poll that the Today Show conducted showed that 73% of people didn't like the photo with only 27% agreeing with it. Not scientific, I know, but they're not people I know on any level that I'm aware.

I worry about the long term effects on this poor kid who could NOT POSSIBLY even come close to understanding what it means to have his picture on the cover of Time freaking magazine sucking on his mother's boob. Agree or disagree, that kid is going to get made fun of on the playground. Anyone who thinks differently is living in a sunshine, kitty, fantasy land. I asked my 13 year old daughter her opinion this morning and she replied, "Why would his mother do that to him?" Why indeed. He will get made fun of, I have no doubt. I am also unaware of studies conducted on kids who were breast fed past a certain age. Someone needs to do one though, I'd be highly interested in the results.

Lastly, if that woman had been an unattractive woman instead of a pretty, thin, blonde, we wouldn't be having this debate because they would never have put her on the cover in the first place.

I could do a whole other post about attachment parenting but I'm not going to do so. I will say one thing on that subject because I apparently like to open myself to criticism. I think attachment parenting is more about the parent and less about the needs of the child. So there. 

That's my two cents for what it's worth.

P.S.

I am the mother of a 13 year old and almost 16 year old. I breast fed both of my daughters. I understand that bonding experience and I'm aware of the health benefits of breast feeding. I also understand and applaud women who choose to do what's best for them and their babies even if that means that they didn't breast feed for whatever reason.

May 11, 2012: Five Question Friday


 1. What advice would you give a couple getting married?

Honesty and trust are #1. If you don't have it, you don't have a solid foundation for your marriage. Make sure that you're marrying someone you'd call your best friend. I also like something that I've seen around Pinterest which is, is the man you're with the image of the son you hope you have someday. Picture yourself when you're old and gray and retired. Do you see yourself sitting on a front porch swing with the man you're with beside you?

2. If you could tell your 16 year old self ONE thing, what would it be?


Lighten up.

3. What do you do to keep cool in the summer? (AC, windows, fans, swimming, etc.)


We run the AC, of course, but we'll also hang out at the coast where it's usually significantly cooler than inland. 

4. What did you (or your wife) crave most while pregnant?


I can only remember having cravings with my first pregnancy and I craved sweet and sour soup.

5. Who is your favorite TV mom? Why?


Probably Claire Huxtable. She was beautiful, smart, and successful. She could sing, dance, and speak Spanish. I agreed with most of her parenting ideals. She was fair and loving to her kids but when they deserved it, she could be a force. And her kids respected her. I also really love Kristina Braverman from Parenthood. I can relate to her being the mom of a special needs kid.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

You Can Love Your Cat...

...but just don't love your cat. Know what movie that's from?

Anyway, after yesterday's rather intense post, I thought I'd lighten things up a bit with a post about my cat. I kinda got the feeling that nobody knows what to do with yesterday's post anyway. I had an enormous spike in page views but only one comment. Wondering if people are going to be afraid to be around me now...

Bailey and Kit-ten snoozing together


I have morning "Scratch and Purr" sessions with my cat. It's not dirty, you filthy-minded people. This is where he...Wait a minute. I never told you about how she is a he.

::Side Story::

We sorta rescued this cat from a shelter, meaning, we took him before his previous owner gave him up for various reasons. She had taken him to the vet for his kitten checkup and was told he was a female. If you didn't know this, it can be hard to tell the sex of a kitten. So, we got "Sophie" thinking he was female and he even came with a pink bed. The pink bed plus assurances from a vet, we never thought to question the cat's femininity.

Fast forward a few weeks and we started noticing changes. "She" was definitely not a she. So, Sophie became Shelly (named after Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory) and we still have a hard time with the pronouns because we were calling him a her for so long. To save us the grief, we call the cat Kit-ten and all is good.

::End Side Story::

...he jumps in my lap and stands on my stomach or chest or neck (breathing isn't as important as a good chin scratch) and wants to be scratched every morning all the while purring like an engine and drooling. Yes, he drools. And you have to scratch him with both hands. If I try to check my e-mail or Facebook on my phone with one hand and scratch his chin with the other, he gets pissy and tries to knock my phone out of my hand. Eventually, he'll settle down and lay on me for a while. This has become my favorite time of the day.

He is just the best cat ever. I know a lot of people don't like cats because they assume they're all standoffish, but Kit-ten isn't like that at all. He loves to be around people and he's just funny to boot.

Yesterday, he got in the living room window, stood up on his hind legs, and started clawing at the glass. Turns out there was a bunny in the yard and it was just driving him crazy. I also found him lying in Plantweed's pot yesterday afternoon. I had to evict Kit-ten from the window cubby to make room for the plant and he's not having it at all. Also, every time we go to the freezer to get ice for a drink, he comes and stands up at the fridge. This is because he expects you to drop him a piece of ice so that he can play with it. And I mean every time he hears us getting ice. He also likes to splash in his water dish and steal stuffed animals and "kill" them. One of his other favorite things is to hide and blankets and then attack Bailey. He's a riot. Here's a short video of him killing the Oldest Child's monkey that he stole out of her room.

video





Monday, May 07, 2012

I Can't Belive I'm Posting This

Warning:  Extra long post. I hope you'll feel it's worth it to read to the end.



I have read lots of books. I’ve been reading for 30 years so I can only imagine how many books I’ve read over that amount of time. I couldn’t even guess and I’ve tried. It’s the only constant I’ve ever had in my life. People come and go, houses and towns come and go, whatever. But I’ve always had books. There are many things in my life and in this world that I will never understand but at the top of the list are people that don’t like to read. I. Do. Not. Get. That. What the frack (is that supposed to be ck) is my point???

I just finished reading Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir). I’ve also been reading her blog, Twitter, and Facebook for a few months so I’m familiar with her writing. I have never before so connected and related to a book in the way that I have Jenny’s book. Considering that she has a generalized anxiety disorder and owns several taxidermied “pets”, some people might raise an eyebrow at me for that sentence. But it’s very true nonetheless.

I don’t have a generalized anxiety disorder but I do have social anxiety and an overwhelming fear of making mistakes. That probably has a technical term but I don't know what it is. I was also what was termed as “painfully shy” as a child and thanks to Jenny’s book and my therapist, I’ve realized that I’ve had this anxiety for as long as I can remember. I always say that I hate people but actually, I just hate being in social situations. I never know what to say and the few times that the Mister and I go to parties, I sit on some stranger’s couch and watch the clock until I can go home again. My anxiety isn’t as bad as Jenny’s as she would hide in the bathroom at cocktail parties until etiquette would allow her to go home. My anxiety isn’t debilitating (not completely), just frustrating, embarrassing, and personally painful (although my therapist says I’m one slippery step away from agoraphobia and she’s amazed that I don’t have panic attacks.) When I go shopping, for example, standing in line waiting to pay is torture. By the time I get home, I have a migraine, my hands and feet are swollen, and I can feel that my blood pressure is too high. I feel this way every time I’m around people, even friends and family that I’ve known all my life. It’s why I sit with an accent pillow in my lap or my arms crossed across my stomach if there’s no available pillow. If I’m out in public, I hold my purse (thank goodness for large bags!!) in front of me. Eventually, if I’m around someone long enough, I can relax back to normal but it usually takes longer than a normal social encounter takes. It sucks. Maybe, if you know me, you're thinking that I'm making all this up. But I do my best to avoid socializing and make excuses all the time. Besides, after almost 35 years of being like this, I can hide it sometimes. I can wear a "normal" facade when the occasion calls for it. I’m attempting to work through my plethora of issues with psychotherapy, holding off on meds as a last resort. My new mantra has become, “We’re all humans. We all make mistakes.” I’m not kidding. I say this to myself several times a day. I’m hoping that one day I’ll believe that it actually applies to me.

Jenny’s book has also made me feel normal about how hard Hannah’s loss has been to the Mister, kids, and me. She lost her dog too and said in her book how she still has a hard time writing about it. It’s been almost a year since Hannah passed and I still can’t talk about it. I’m having a hard time not crying as I type this. If I talk about her out loud, I have to think about something else while I do so or I’ll break down. Until today, I felt like I was overreacting or something was just wrong with me. She was just a dog after all. But now I know I’m not the only one who has mourned the loss of a pet so deeply because I too, “loved that damn dog.”

Another chapter was about how she gets lost easily. That is so me!!! I get lost all the freaking time. In the mall, when I go into a store and then come back out, I have no idea which direction I was walking in before I went into the store. When I drive somewhere, pull in and park, when I leave again, I get confused as to which direction I need to turn leaving the parking lot. GPS WAS MADE FOR ME! Except for the fact that our new GPS is a freaking Mexican. And I’m not being racist. She pronounces Los Angeles, Los Ahnhalace. That’s the phonetic spelling. She also says, “8 West 5 South” for 805 south. She’s freaking confusing and sometimes no help at all. That crazy biatch is going to get me lost in the barrio one day, I just know it. (The barrio, for those of you not in the know, is a low-income neighborhood in San Diego where they have bars on the doors and windows. As a white lady, I don’t want to get lost there.) My lack of a sense of direction makes it so that I never want to go anywhere. I don’t like driving with people in the car because I’m afraid of how judgy they’ll be when I get all turned around. This goes back to my “afraid of making mistakes in front of people disorder”. It makes me feel like a child. A sense of direction isn’t just something that you can make yourself learn either. It wouldn’t be called “sense” if it were. And you will never understand where I’m coming from if you have a developed sense of direction just like I will never understand what it’s like to have one. It’s the same way in which a man will never understand the pain of being in labor and giving birth and a woman will never understand how much it hurts being kicked in the balls. (Sorry for the word “balls”.)

I don’t want you to think that this book was all dead animals and panic attacks. There were parts that I laughed at so hard that my family looked at me like I had lost my mind and then I had to read those parts aloud so that they could laugh with me. I would like to tell everyone to read this book but I can’t think of any men that I know that could possibly or would appreciate all the vagina talk. One of Jenny’s favorite words is the “f word” and I also know quite a few people that wouldn’t appreciate that either. (The Youngest child is reading this over my shoulder and criticizing my choice of font. Really?!?!?)

Anyway, I know quite a few of my blogger friends who have this book on their “to be read list”. DON’T PUT IT OFF!! Read it now! You won’t be sorry. Pay special attention to the chapter titled, “Making Friends with Girls”. It’s about Jenny and her blogger friends. It speaks to me too as I’m sure it will you as well.

Thanks for sticking with me to the end of this post. I know it was really long and rambly.

And one last thing…the next time you go to a party and see a girl sitting on the couch by herself, don’t think that she’s too snooty to socialize with everyone. Maybe she’s just too painfully anxious to talk to people. Social anxiety does not equal snobby. Go read this book!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

No Plant vs Weed This Week

Plantweed has been decimated by snails and I'm pissed. No picture this week. I can't bear it. I decided to bring him inside which means that now I have to worry he won't get enough sun because I hardly get any sun inside my house. I have him in the kitchen window cubby thing and that means I had to evict the cat. I also have to worry that he won't get enough water because I always forget to water my plants. I'm beginning to think that I'm just not meant to grow anything other than cacti and succulents. It's depressing.

In other news...

Is anyone watching HBO's new show, Girls? I'm too old by about 13 years to be watching this show but I really like it. It's quirky and very Sex in the City-esque despite what the show's creator says. Instead of women in their 30s and 40s, it's girls in their 20s. I love Hannah. She has such a dry sense of humor and she also epitomizes what is wrong with today's teens and 20-somethings...that belief that they're entitled to everything instead of having to actually work for what they want. Anyway, I hope people are watching so that HBO brings it back for a second season.

And this time last year, the Mister and I were on our anniversary vaca in Paso Robles. ::sigh:: I could use another vacation. We don't have any big plans for our anniversary this year. We're going to do something that involves drinking our bottle of Merlot that Rotta Winery gifted us last year and that we were saving to drink this year. Pretty excited about that. It was an award winning vintage.