The Little Things

April 26, 2012

I was so angry with my husband the other day.  I dragged the kids along for an hour car ride just to sit in a crowded room with a bunch of people I did not know in order to support his job…and didn’t get what I expected.  On the way home, as I was driving and the kids were sleeping, I saw a shooting star.  Of course, at that moment, I didn’t believe it was a shooting star.  My thought process went something like:

“Ohmygod is that a spaceship?!”

“I wonder if we are being attacked by Transformers.”

“That is stupid, it has to be a flare from a secret government aircraft.”

“…or a downed missile.”

“Do I have to call 911?”

I was obviously excited by this brilliant flash of light, and called my husband.  He saw it too, and I immediately forgot my anger and enjoyed a nice conversation with him as we both drove home, on speakerphone.  As a bonus, my kids were sleeping, so it was almost like a date.

Today was a new day, and my middle child had preschool at the local nature center.  This means that we all get up early, eat, pack up, and get ready to spend two hours bonding with nature because I cannot justify driving home for less than two hours worth of housework. 

My oldest and infant, who probably didn’t know what was going on, were walking with me through the woods…it was a beautiful day.  We were walking and while I tried to avoid the enthusiastic flinging of his new found walking stick, we spied some deer in the woods.  Not just any deer…but really close ones.

Yes, I know…deer are boring.  They are little creatures made to star in Disney cartoons, jump out in front of your car and eat.  But they were so close.  One of them even came down the path towards us, grazing and completely oblivious to my son and I watching.  It was amazing, and served as an unexpected bonding experience because my son rarely is quiet or still and at that moment, he and I were simultaneously.  I am sure that has never happened before.  Add in some deer, and you have memories.

It’s the little things that matter to me the most.  The laughs, the smiles…the deer and shooting stars/alien missiles.  If you let them, the little things can make an otherwise mundane day turn into something wonderful- an experience that can help clarify something in your life or give you a chance to connect. 

Tomorrow I have an early dentist appointment and have about five loads of laundry to fold, so I am hoping to catch the outline of a historical figure in one of my socks. 


April 21, 2012

There are three things in life I am sure about, and only three things.  The rest, well…that’s a constant mash-up of whatever happens to be going on in the moment and who it’s happening with.  I am not sure what kind of mother I am.  I’m not sure what kind of wife I am.  I’m not sure what kind of friend I am, and I’m not sure what the world sees me as during my day to day happenings.  I’m not sure what kind of cook I am, singer I am, driver, baseball player, or teacher I am. 

The only thing in my life I have ever approached with 100 percent confidence is the game of soccer.  Call it crazy if you want, but soccer can be a game that binds people together with their love for its simplicity and rhythm.  I have always understood that love, and it has always transcended what kind of player I was.  Even if my team lost, even if I was playing with people who were better or bigger or stronger- I still understood how to play and how to be a part of that ebb and flow.  When you know something, you know it…and soccer was my escape during childhood because it was the only thing that made sense to me. 

I am also sure that I am a writer.  What kind?  Who knows.  Who cares.  I was made to be a writer.  I chose the life of a writer…I have always been able to write how I feel.  Sometimes I go back and read something I wrote, and it feels as if I’m reading someone else’s work.  My troubles, dreams, ideas, hopes, and fears can leave my mind as soon as they leave my fingers.  It’s nice to know what you are. 

When I was little, my father told me to trust my instincts.  He gave me confidence in my ability to read people and situations, which I believe we all possess, and told me that many people have trouble in life because they do not listen to “the voice”.  After what seems to be many years to me, I am sure that I can listen to that voice…a handy guide in many situations.

I often wonder if I am lucky to be so sure of so many things, even if they are little things.  These are the effortless things…the talents…that we all have.  The things we have to remember to work at because it often seems like no work is involved. 

All of my children are sleeping, and it’s Saturday.  I just went grocery shopping (I have discovered that people treat you with greater respect when you have less children with you than more children with you), had some leftover Mexican food from a place we just discovered, cleaned my house, put the kids down for a nap and am choosing to spend some of my time on something I am sure of. 

And all of that means I didn’t know what else to write about. 

Growing Pains

April 20, 2012

Today, I registered my oldest son for kindergarten.

I have never been inside the local school before…I guess this area has a lot of schools to cover the entire town.  It’s an older building and seemed like the usual setup; big bricks lining the walls, plastered with art and posters about bullying and school lunches.  We were directed to a room where, as usual, the parents sat in the comically undersized chairs and tried to do the paperwork required of them over their knees.

My son didn’t really feel well because we are recovering from the stomach flu and I woke him up from a nap, and was very unenthusiastic about the whole process.  He’s been to many new places and is use to being the “new kid in the group”, so I can imagine that the idea of a new school isn’t as scary for him.  Or maybe more so.  In any case, we both agreed that the little chairs were stupid.

My middle child got antsy so I tied a baby blanket around his neck and he pretended to be superman, which in turn entertained the baby.  I tried to be sympathetic and rub my sons back, but he just wanted to get out of those chairs.  I feel bad for him, but he will only be there for two hours a day.

Also, kids in Ohio get four months of summer vacation.  Exactly what this country needs.

The paper was filled out and we went to the office to register him.  I got lost.  My son found the way and looked at me like I was an idiot, rightfully so.  I went to the same school from kindergarten to eighth grade and still have nightmares about trying to find my way through that place, which was a giant square and completely impossible to get lost in.

I told the kids to wait on the benches outside the office and went inside, wondering how my soon-to-be-kindergartener was feeling.  I told Superman to try to fly, and was reprimanded by another mother about how I shouldn’t tell my child that because he might actually try to fly.  I also missed the memo on having to wear a scarf and three layers of designer shirts in 80 degree weather, and felt a little out of place in my yoga pants and long sleeved tee shirt.


I wish sometimes I could zap people into my life for a millisecond, so they would know how completely ridiculous they are being to me.  That woman would have known, for example, that it’s okay to tell the middle child to fly.  It’s not okay, however, to suggest it to the oldest.  Not because he will try to jump off a building, but because he will get depressed that he can’t.

In any case, my son is now entered into the system.  The system of parents who wear scarves in 80 degree weather, teachers who are secretly pissed they have to stay late to do paperwork with parents like me who show up in yoga pants and don’t take the pamphlets they laid out (I only have two hands and Superman needed a ride).  The same system that denied him entry earlier based on their own rules.

I hope he was better for waiting that year.  People keep telling me that it’s better to wait.  I will secretly never get over my grudge.  We are only living here for two more years, and I guess there is a benefit to that.

As we left the building, I asked my son what he thought.  He mentioned the chairs again.  “Don’t worry,” I said, “you will only have to sit in one for two more years, then we will go somewhere new.”

He seemed totally at peace with the idea.

A Year Later

April 19, 2012

I have been doing the most horrible, horrible, stupid thing in the entire world anyone could possibly be doing. 

I plead guilty to procrastinating by perfectionism. 

There is this novel I would like to write.  It’s getting there.  But in the last year, I’ve had a miscarriage, moved back to the US, had a healthy little baby boy and now he is three months old.  Yes…another boy.  No, I don’t want to be reminded of what my grocery bills will be like in twelve years. 

So, part of me figured that I needed to hold out on writing altogether until I had my novel finished.  I forgot the most important thing ever taught to me by any of my teacher who knew anything about writing.  NEVER STOP.  I specifically remember one of them telling us to write anything, even on napkins, every day in order to form a habit.  And because my husband is now a recruiter (blech), I have three kids under five, am living in the midwest for the first time ever and have sort of a life…I need to heed that advice more than ever.  My novel isn’t going to get finished anytime soon.  We just had the stomach flu and although I appreciated seeing my husband for a short time as he held on to the couch for dear life, it left me with some extra laundry.  You should see it…it’s quite an impressive mountain.  Someone like me, who tends to take perfectionism to extremes sometimes needs something like this to get me out of that habit.  Currently, I am ignoring it and writing.  My kids are sleeping and I’m not cleaning.  That’s all that matters.  And for those faithful handful of people (it’s a whole handful…right?!) who had read what I wrote in the past…thank you.  Hopefully you will enjoy the musings of my new life.  I might even throw a few real pictures in too because guess what?  We have bad neighbors again!  Score!

Deep Reflections on Parenting

April 11, 2011

Fortunately, I usually have to go online to see examples of what is referred to as a “sanctimommy”- basically what you would expect from the words “sanctimonious” and “mommy” put together.  I am sure we’ve all come across them from time to time or have even emanated one…but generally, I feel that society does a better job at creating and sustaining sancti-mommyous opinions rather than individuals.

A good example of this is the guilt a mother might feel if she chooses to feed her baby formula vs. breastmilk.  You just know, somewhere in her mind, she is thinking that she is not giving her child the start they deserve, not providing them with nature’s “perfect” food, not providing them with adequate bonding, not doing this, not doing that…all the while, forgetting what she IS doing.  And what she IS doing is exactly the point of the entire deal, which is feeding her kid. 

Another example might be a mother who wishes to work instead of stay home, or stay home instead of work.  Or maybe split her time between the two, figuring it’s a win-win and forgetting that in the world that demands insane perfection from mothers, there IS no winning.  You could be June Cleaver and still there would be a great amount of human beings who would demand more from you, as you are, after all, a product of the post-feminist era.  So take off the apron and go to work.  No…wait.  You can’t do that, because it is detrimental to your kids.  Stay home.  No, wait, you cannot do that either…especially if you have young girls.  It sets a bad example for them.  You know what?  Just stand there.  That is pretty much all you can do without being judged harshly by our sancti-mommyous society.

Fathers tend me be a little more immune to these tirades of societal guilt, maybe because our society also tends to look at men with kids and say “awww, look,, how cute, that poor man is trying to parent his kid” and some women tend to look at them and say “oh wow, that child is still alive, the man is doing excellent.”  Because we all know men are completely incapable of raising children or taking care of them in any way.   

I’ll admit, I’ve had my moments where I wasn’t sure how my kids survived something their dad did, or didn’t do.  But the point is, he generally doesn’t have the same cares I do.  You would rarely find a room full of fathers so quick to scrutinize one another’s parenting.  Instead, they might argue for months about whose child can run the longest and then actually stage a race between the two.  Yes, this has really happened.

I was reading a news article today about a mother who was arrested because her child ran off into traffic while doing her tax returns and having a conversation with a good friend about kids and that is sort of what set this off.  In the article, it did not specify the history of the mother…whether or not she had a history of neglect or whether or not something else happened to actually justify arresting her.  But based solely on the information provided in the article, should she have been arrested?  No, of course not.

Common sense tells (most of) us that children don’t need so much constant supervision.  There is actually a name for that, and it is called “helicopter parenting”, and it is supposedly a horrible, horrible thing to do to your child unless you are an un-schooler or attachment parent or some other form of parenting that is acceptable to somebody, somewhere.  On base, the rules dictate that I keep my young children within arms reach of me at all times.  Even if I babyproof my house and use baby gates, which are the best thing since sliced bread as far as I am concerned.

Did whoever make that rule realize how freaking insane it is?  I mean really…I generally enjoy showering on a daily basis.  I realize my four year old could make a fantastic soap holder, but you know.  I have also realized that the more time you spend around your kids, trying to mold them into creative and intelligent little beings, the more you realize that you can’t really mold someone who is already made.  They are who they are, and all they need is some love, attention, encouragement, food/water/shelter/clothing, and respect.  Sounds like a lot, until you realize that this is the way you were encouraged to treat people in kindergarten, when you were five, and if you listened, it should be a daily practice by now.

Also, I would love to invite anyone to spend 24 uninterrupted hours around any child under the age of five and admit that spending every second of every day in their immediate presence is anything but maddening.  Have you ever been asked the same question 67 times?

There is an obvious difference between being considerate and making sure your young kids don’t either run away or terrorize everyone and going a little over-the-top, as suggested by the rule-makers.  There are also times we all, admittedly, will go a little over the top anyway.  But when you child is engaging in meaningful social interactions with others- leave them alone.  They do not need you. 

My uncle likes to tell a story about his childhood.  He laughs the entire time so hard that he can barely speak, but he tells it anyway.  When he was around the age of five, he liked to run away.  He just wouldn’t stay in the yard.  So my grandmother tied a rope around his waist and tied him to a stake in the yard.  There he could play while she did her household chores and the other children who had already learned to come home could go play in peace.  (Those were also the days when people allowed others to discipline their children, so allowing them to roam free was slightly less insane because they would not, for instance, be banging on a door later demanding why a stranger would dare correct their perfect child). 

That isn’t even the point of my uncle’s story.  The point is, he couldn’t pronounce the word “tornado”.  He looked up at the treeline and noticed a lot of wind, and became scared.  He started yelling “Tomato!  Tomato!”  He thinks that is the funniest thing in the world.  And yes, he is currently a well-adjusted father who speaks to his mother regularly. 

And although anecdotal evidence rarely counts in real debates about anything, I have always remembered that story.  A man was tied to a stake by his mother by a rope, nobody cared, he grew up normally and the only thing that the event did to him was give him a good start to a joke about childish mispronunciation.

And if you think that your child needs to be with you at all times, within arms reach, always there so you can dote on them…ask yourself if they might need a break from you too.  I cannot imagine being around myself all hours of the day, all the time.  I mean, if I were someone else.  For now, I am stuck with me…but that does not mean my children have to be.  Someday, they will grow up and move on to bigger and better endeavors than the play room and park, and I will not be there. 

What are some outrageous things you parents did that you survived?

Seven Creative Punishments for Those Who Annoy Me

April 9, 2011
King Moonracer; living the dream.


I wonder if we’ve all had this fantasy; living on an island surrounded only by those who you choose…and you are the king.  Or queen.  Whatever.  My husband has a similar one…it involves him developing magnetic powers in traffic. 

Of course, real life can’t echo this dream of mine.  Very few groups of people can accomplish this or have (I am pretty sure I have google-searched small island nations at some point), and I sort of feel sorry for them.  There is no exclusive group of people in the world that isn’t a little nuts, as your friends and family will generally have their own specific circle and so on and so forth.

That doesn’t mean the fantasy can’t exist.  That’s the point of fantasies- I imagine being Mrs. King of my own island for the same reasons I try to squint my eyes really hard when I look at myself in a bikini…fantasy is sometimes better than real life. 

It also helps to have good people around.  Maybe I’m getting mushy because we are looking at moving soon, but there are some people in the world that just make you feel at home…and of course, I don’t want to leave them.  Also, they are relatively normal, and that helps.

So, if I could have my own island, and be Mrs. King of that island…here are the seven creative punishments I would use for people who annoy me.  Hopefully, I would be allowed to rule for more than a day.

1)  Offense:  Playing Music/Bass Too Loud

      Punishment:  Offender having to choose between public removal and destruction of all stereo components in their possession or being pelted with cold, cold water balloons while in a stockade and then hog-tied and left in a cornfield with a replica of the Chucky doll for one night.

2)  Offense:  Playing Video Games For Too Long

      Punishment:  While offender sleeps, law enforcement officials would superglue all furniture to ceilings, black out all windows, and stage an elaborate ploy to convince the offender that they have woken up inside a video game and the first level involves finding a way to reverse the gravity inside the room so the key to their handcuffs could be retrieved from their nightstand on the ceiling.  A timer would start, and then a man in a hockey mask would enter the room.  The rest depends on how many times the offender swears off video games.

3)  Offense:  Following Too Closely While Driving

      Punishment:   Offender would be forced to walk behind either an indecisive old lady at a grocery store or mother with seven children who have just been given twelve hours to pick through the aisles in return for 3,000 of free groceries.  For them, not you.

4)  Offense:  Turning Before Using Blinker While Driving

      Punishment:  First of all, who does this?  Why in the world would you turn and THEN put on your blinker?  What is the point of even using one?  Is it to mock me as I slam on my brakes?  The offender would be forced to install a special device in their car that would eject them from their seats in the event they turn the steering wheel more than 50 degrees to one side without having used their blinker longer than three seconds in advance.  As an added touch, the offenders mother would voice the commands and warnings, and would appear as a holographic image in the windshield immediately before the ejection sequence, shaking her finger and mouthing the words “I told you so!” 

5)  Offense:  Allowing Your Dog to Bark Outside For Any Length of Time Over Two Minutes

      Punishment:  Offender will be spoon fed jars of peanut butter until begging for mercy, then subject to five consecutive hours of videos of my sons tantrums while strapped in a chair, a jar of milk impossibly out of reach but in clear view. 

6)  Offense:  Letting Your Kids Play With Breakable Crap In The Store

      Punishment:  Offender will be required to allow a two-year-old sexually frustrated orangutan loose in their home for a total of five hours.

7)  Offense:  Stealing

      Punishment:  Stealing is not only annoying, it is a real crime.  Since I am interested in keeping my throne, I must include something of that nature.  Punishment would be twelve months in the special jail built for those who do not pick up dog crap. 

I wonder if everybody wishes once in a while that they could harness some control over others and the world.  Of course this is impossible and would probably be a horrible experience in reality, but that does not mean our fantasies have to die.  Any more than our memories of good times with good people have to. 

Next Door

April 5, 2011

If only we had real policemen...

There are some things you just can’t hide from people.  Many times, we think that we have others figured out only to be shown how wrong we are.  This is especially true for judgements we reserve for relationships that we are not a part of.

Other times, our observations are spot-on and we need to stop attempting to be p.c. and glossing things over.

In other words, my neighbors are assholes.

I have tried what those rosy, oh-so-not-in-tune-with-reality commercials have suggested…talking to them.  Haha, you are funny AFN.  How about you make a commercial about how to talk to people who are completely fucking insane!!!  I can imagine what it would be like.  It would start out with a woman, really overdoing the expressions, sitting down reading a book (like, Chicken Soup for the Soul, because real people sit around and read that during the day) and trying to concentrate.  You hear a banging noise and the hum of a bass in the background.  Then the woman finches and tries to cover her ears.  Because we all know that is what people do when they have loud neighbors…they even eventually have the capacity to evolve two extra hands so the other ones can constantly stay attached to their heads.  After this, the woman goes over to talk to her neighbor and ask them to keep it down.  Maybe she was even prompted by the special low-budget military public service announcement commercial to do so.  That would be the icing on the cake.

So the woman steps over her manicured lawn to go knock on the neighbor’s door, and a middle-aged man opens it up.  His wife is hovering in the background and you know there is going to be trouble because she has already started that head-snapping thing some chicks feel the need to do when they are mad.  Maybe it’s a way of avoiding your fist when you eventually have had enough of it and resolve to punch them.  Who knows.

But the man opens the door and says “Hello.” 

The woman who was irritated by the noise says “Hello.  I am sorry to bother you.  I feel bad about this, but my house is full of noise and I wanted to ask you if you might be able to do something about that.” 

Actually, her house has been full of noise constantly, since the day she moved in, but the commercial can’t show that.  Then again, maybe it would.  Like a full-on montage of this woman trying to read the entire series of Chicken Soup for the Soul and covering her ears at the same time. 

The man shrugs.  “Oh fucking well.  Honey, come here and look at this woman.  Isn’t she a piece of work?”

The woman walks to the door, trying to stay balanced despite her constant neck snapping.  “Yeah, she is.  Why don’t you move?  Or maybe you could consider making some friends so you could appreciate being social.  Because we are social people and like being loud.  If you don’t like it, then call the movers baby.”

The woman leaves and goes to the kitchen, probably to ice her neck.  The irritated neighbor stands there in astonishment.

Then the words flash across the screen:

When you have taken our advice and realized the world is not full of roses and sunshine, first of all: welcome to being a grown-up.  I am sorry you had to learn in such a hard way.

(violin music begins)

You don’t have normal neighbors.  You have PWACFI.  People Who Are Completely Fucking Insane.  We suggest you follow these rules in dealing with them, and reserve the right to contact anyone only for emergencies because it will only egg PWACFI’s on.

(the screen goes blank and the orchestra chimes in, while a charming female announcer begins to read the rules)

Rule #1:  Don’t Respond If You Can Help It

In this situation, there is literally nothing you can do.  You must accept that you have been chosen by fate to live next to PWACFI, and ignore them.  In this situation, the neighbor must simply hang her head in defeat and walk away.  nothing she can say will get through to the PWACFI. 

Rule # 2:  Pretend To Be A PWACFI, or PTBAPWACFI.

If rule number one has failed, you must resort to PTBAPWACFI.  We suggest you try a variation of the bitch-neck-snap demonstrated by the PWACFI neighbor, changing it to a neck twitch.  An unruly eye twitch tends to work well.  It may also help to refer or even speak to “imaginary friends” instead of the PWACFI.  If you choose to go this route, remember that it does not count if your “imaginary friends” are making threats against the PWACFI.  PWACFI tend to be immune to things like rules, so if you pretend to be one, you can use this to your advantage.

Rule # 3:  Ebay Sells Soundproofing.

It is not that expensive.

The commercial would end with the four-armed woman peacefully reading a book with egg-carton soundproofing all over her wall and a housing inspector knocking on her door with a citation for illegally installing soundproofing.  Then, an evil laugh would sound out, and the screen would go blank.

Imaginary Interview with my 4 Year Old

April 4, 2011

Sometimes, I think I might be able to grasp what it was like to be 4.  After all, I was 4 year old once.  And I am around a 4 year old every day, all day.  Let’s say his name is Josh.

This is my imaginary interview with Josh, based in part on real-life events and embellished as my grownup brain attempting to be 4 will allow.

Me:  What is your favorite part about being a kid, Josh?

Josh: Growing up.

Me:  So you enjoy growing up, but not actually being a kid?  All of that fun isn’t fun enough for you?

Josh:  Yes, I need to grow up so I can get married.  When I am married, you can come to my honeymoon and cook for me, and then the girl can live with us.

Me:  That’s not exactly how it works, Josh.

Josh:  My girlfriend is a bunny.

Me: Wait, what?  You were just talking about me cooking for you and getting married.  You cannot marry a bunny.

Josh:  Mom, why do you say “shit?” all the time.

Me:  Josh, please focus on the question.

Josh:  The answer is fifty-seven.

Me: Okay, moving on.  What do you want to be when you grow up?

Josh:  Married.  And I want to do what I did yesterday, that thing we did when we put all that garbage away.

Me:  You mean, when we did the recyclables?  That was four days ago.  Are you saying that you want to be a garbageman when you are older?

Josh:  No.  I want to have super powers and fly and kill bad guys.  And also, a gun. 

Me:  Guns are bad.

Josh:  No they aren’t.  Be quiet or I will shoot you.

Me:  Stop it.  Now we can move onto the next question.  What is your favorite food?

Josh:  Candy and ice cream.

Me:  Candy and ice cream are nice, but they aren’t foods.  What is your favorite food?

Josh:  Animals.

Me:  That’s nice, but generally, we don’t say that we eat animals.  We say “meat” or “steak” or something.

Josh:  Why?

Me:  I don’t know.  What is your favorite color?

Josh:  Mom, are we almost done with this?  You are really boring and I want to go watch Ben 10.

Me:  If you could be any alien on Ben 10, which one would you be?

Josh:  I would be spidermonkey so I could shoot a web at your mouth so you couldn’t talk to me anymore.

Me: Josh, please don’t speak to me like that.  I have another question for you.  If you could be any person you wanted to be for a day, who would you choose?

Josh:  Spidermonkey.

Me: Stop it.

Josh:  Okay, okay.  I would be the garbageman.

Me:  So you do want to be a garbageman when you grow up.

Josh:  Yes, then I won’t be around girls.  They have girl germs.

Me:  You can’t get married to a girl if you afraid of girl germs.

Josh:  I am not going to get married to a girl, I am going to get married to a woman. When I am a grownup.  Not now. 

Me: Oh, so you mean, a girl like me?  My age?

Josh:  You aren’t a girl, you are a mom.

Me:  Well thank you for that.  I have one more question.  Could you please write your name and explain how you learned to do it?

Josh:  No.

Me: Why not?

Josh:  Because my arm will fall off.  I forgot that I kissed some girl yesterday and now I have her girl germs.  Now my arm is going to fall off, and then I will grow a huge gun there so I can shoot you because you won’t let me go watch t.v.

Me:  Okay, Josh, I see that you are done.  You may go now.  Thank you.

Josh:  Anytime.  And while we’re at it, mom, let’s not forget what I know about you.  Because while I am sitting here making small talk about aliens and cooties, we both know that I am far more intelligent than I let on.  I have tested you in public, and combined with your teachings of “stranger danger”, have come to the conclusion that all I must do is pull your arm and scream that you are not my mother, and you will be having a really bad day.  So next time you want to give me an interview, you may want to think long and hard about that, mother. 

-interview ended-

Ten Things I Like

March 2, 2011

I was reading through my blog a little and it occurred to me that it is…well, slightly negative in tone.  At my core, I am a positive person.  Maybe I have a tendency to internalize my frustrations and humor helps me deal with them.  Whatever the reason, I decided to make a list of ten things that I LIKE. 

1)  Coffee.  I never thought I would be one to drink coffee everyday, but most days I fit into that category.  There’s something about a warm cup of sugary goodness that makes everything else seem nicer. 

2)  The Beach.  There is nothing like the beaches here on Okinawa.  At least, not any I’ve seen.  My favorite thing to do is pack up the beach bag, throw the kids in the car and drive the 2 minutes it takes to get to the five nearest beaches.  Did I mention that we went the day after Christmas?  When my entire family was snowed in back home?  Ahhhh…the beach.

3)  Puppies.  This one seems a little self-explanatory.  I haven’t really met anyone who doesn’t like puppies. 

4)  Contact Sports.  There is just something about playing a sport that allows you to legally beat the crap out of other people that I’ve always really, really liked.  My two favorite choices are soccer and kung-fu, although martial arts might not be classified as a sport, technically…whatever.  Soccer is the best sport in the world and kung-fu is an excellent discipline for short people like myself…but I will also make do with basketball or football or something that most other people enjoy playing.  I find that most people do not enjoy a spontaneous kung-fu sparring match so generally, that is out of the question.

5)  My kids.  Now before you go and say that they should be number one, allow me to remind you that these lists are written in no particular order, and my kids are a constant fixture in my life so I do not always think of them first when I’m writing about stuff.  And they are in bed at the moment, which means my brain is attempting to switch over to “adult mode”.  But my children are the best.  When I wake up, it’s raining, and I say “Who wants to cut up some old clothes and make Mexican wrestling costumes?!”, my little guys are always up for it.  I never knew how much I would enjoy being a parent…but I do.  And a lot of it is because I got so lucky. 

6)  My husband.  I figured I’d add him in there.

7)  Ramen.  I LOVE real Japanese ramen. 

8)  Books.  Fiction novels are like crack to me.  I cannot stop reading them once I start.  “Under The Dome” took me four whole days and I haven’t read another one since because I think my family needs a break.  My mother use to have to take my books away so I would do my homework.  Is being addicted to something like crack actually considered liking it?

9)  Pictures.  My house is full of pictures, so I must really like them.

10)  Chocolate.

What You Wish You Would Have Said

February 28, 2011
“I’m making this face because it’s so hard to hold in how stupid the things you are saying to me sound right now.”

We all have those special people in our lives…the ones we come across occasionally if we are lucky, more often if we are not, who inspire in us the desire to say all sorts of things without the ability to actually do so.  Maybe it’s because we just can’t think of the right thing to say at the moment, or maybe it’s because it’s entirely inappropriate to say what you really want to.  Either way, here are some of the situations in my life that I wish I would have said something else  and why:

1) The is the first time I met someone new in the area.  I don’t know much about her other than that she made it clear that it was important to point out her husbands rank in relation to the company there and it was offensive.  This is what I wish I would have said:

-So what?  On Call of Duty, my husband is a GENERAL.

-Our ID’s are all the same color on the outside.

-What?!  I didn’t hear what rank your husband was, could you say it a little louder?

-If during colors you don’t salute, when asked of rank you shall be mute.

2)  Coupons make me SO MAD.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s because they never have them for stuff I actually buy.  Maybe because when they do, it’s only like ten cents off.  Maybe it’s because my husband insists on saving all of them that look cool and keeping them on the refrigerator and they just sit there.  Or MAYBE it’s because of people like this that I come across, who insist I am poor because I have two little ruffians and am young and maybe like to feed them mac and cheese every night because it was ON SALE!:

-(When told I should perhaps consider couponing because of my financial status by a woman of unhealthy proportions):

   “Perhaps you should consider buying an apple the next time you go to the grocery store.”

   “Or a banana.”

-(When told I should use coupons extensively because they save lots and lots of money, in general)

   “Really?  Really…coupons save a lot of money?  Because I have been through piles and piles of coupons and the only things I see them for are prepackaged foods, canned foods, and frozen foods…all of which I might keep around the house but do not use on a daily basis.  Do you know why?  Because really, it’s cheaper to buy some meat, veggies, and rice and put the freaking meal together yourself.  Sure, I could get a coupon for Uncle Ben’s ready-rice and throw some Aunt Annies or whatever frozen seasoned chicken on it with canned peas and throw it in the oven and my family would survive, but I stopped eating like that at the age of five, thank you.”

  “They don’t make coupons for apples.”

This post is a lot harder than I thought it would be, because there are only a certain number of instances I can recall in recent memory where I have chosen to quietly accept the situation instead of saying what came to mind.  Is this a bad thing?  I will tell you in 20 years…until then…what are some of the things you wish you would have said, after the fact?