Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I have to know...

What's the deal here? I saw this "Bottle Maker" at Target a few weeks ago. Is this really a thing that people are buying? 

Back in the day, when our kids were babies, admittedly it's been 13 years since I made a bottle so I suppose things could have changed dramatically, but in the olden days we just scooped the formula into the bottle, added water, and shook it up. It was pretty straight forward, and also nearly 100% incident free. 

BUT NOW...The Formula Pro does ALL OF THAT EXHAUSTING AND OH SO TRICKY work for you...

For some reason I feel inclined to blame Paris Hilton for this.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Trying to catch up...

Ugh! I am swamped lately, and my classes don't even start until next week. (To say I'm a tiny bit nervous would be a GIANT understatement.) However, life goes on and we handle what we can, right? Working in the office has proved to be pretty much what I thought it would be. The work part hasn't changed, and it's not that being there is so terrible, it's just that NOT being at home and NOT having any flexibility is kind of inconvenient. (I was going to say terrible, but I'm trying to have perspective and not be an overstater, so I used restraint. Please feel free to compliment my mature attitude.)

Anywho, on the bright side (?) one week each month we get to work a 4-10's schedule so we can have a Friday off. That was this past week, and I hate to brag, but I KILLED it this weekend. I got SO much done. I grocery shopped, I did ALL of the laundry, cooked meals and FROZE them (like a domestic goddess), got all of my folders, highlighters, and favorite pencils packed and ready for my first day of school (like the neurotic nerd that I am), cleaned my house (though, not to a "having visitors" level, mostly just to a "we're not about to die from the unsanitary condidtions up in here" level), I voted, and completed, or at least got a good start on a host of other minor errands and neglected tasks. I'm not gonna lie. I was feeling pretty accomplished by the end of the day yesterday. Who knows how long it will last (about 3 days is my guess), but it will be nice to start the week a little ahead of the game. 

I am sorely behind in the business of chronicling our lives for posterity. I'm going to try to catch up a bit this week. I'm starting with a quick trip we took to Tucson in June, and I just realized I didn't post about Mother's Day yet, so that will be next. 

When I was growing up my parents were awesome about taking us to see stuff. We were constantly going to museums and battleships, or to see local landmarks. My grandpa was the king of finding off the beaten path places to show us (think "world's largest ball of string") and I remember many times when my mom would get up early, fry some chicken and make some potato salad (FROM SCRATCH), then pack a picnic (IN A BASKET) and we would drive to Lincoln's birthplace, or the Stephen Foster Home, or when we were driving her nuts, maybe to a whiskey distillery. (I grew up in Kentucky, where it's perfectly normal for people take their kids to see where the magic happens.)

They were great times. I'm sure my brothers and I were kicking and screaming all the way, but that's not what I remember, I remember that my parents made it a priority to get us out of the house and to show us stuff. 

When our kids were younger we were pretty good about going places, but eventually there were 5 of them and 2 of us and we were (are) all busy and blah blah blah. SOOOO, this summer I decided to bring back the traditions I was raised with and drag my kids to see some crap they could care less about in the name of making memories. 

The first stop on the torture train was a trip to the Titan Missile Museum, just outside of Tucson. It's a Cold War missile silo and the tour was super interesting. The whole time I was thinking of how much my grandpa would have loved it. I didn't fry any chicken, but I think they had fun anyway. 
 This picture was taken after the tour, so maybe they're just smiling because it's over. 
(Don't ask why he's wearing a tie. I don't know. I don't ask anymore.)

The tour is not long (I think about an hour) and the volunteers who run the museum were great. If you live around here and you're interested in making your kids miserable too, here's a link...

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th!!

But first, you guys, I have forgotten the password to my email account. Do you want to know WHY this happened? Okay. I'll tell you. Too many passwords!!! Passwords at home, at school, at work, on my stupid phone. For the love of .....grrr! 


It's the 4th of July. I LOVE July 4th. I love all of the patriotic holidays. I love wearing my red white and blue tie dye peace sign shirt and bbqing, and eating watermelon till I nearly explode and I love watching fireworks. (Even though we hardly ever do because it's so blasted ovenly and crowded here that we usually head home early and listen to our neighbors violate ALL of the fireworks ordinances by shooting exploding things into the air, because, why not, right? We only live in the DESERT!! Where it rains NEVER.) I love reflecting on the freedoms we really truly are so fortunate to have, and I extra love giving my kids a speech about those things and about having gratitude and not taking them for granted and also, I throw in a couple of lines about talk radio being the downfall of America, and how they should ALWAYS wear sunscreen. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Deep thoughts, not Jack Handy deep, but you know, deepish.

 This is my work uniform. Sometimes I take off the flip-flops. 

For the last 6+ years I have had the good fortune of being able to work from home. When I decided to go back to school one huge reason I was able to jump right in was because of the flexibility of my work situation. I have always tried not to take being able to work from home for granted. I never planned to be a stay at home mom, but as soon as I was one, I was in it. All the way. I wasn't planning on working while my kids were still in school, but this job was too good to pass up, and you know how it goes, you start earning money and it's hard to go back to NOT earning money. Stupid money. 

Not making plans could easily be the theme of my life. I didn't plan to join the Army, I just did it one day. I didn't plan to get married, I didn't plan to have five kids. I didn't plan to do anything and and that has been both a blessing and a curse. Its certainly easy to go with whatever if you weren't really headed someplace else anyway, on the other hand, I think we can all agree that not heading anyplace gets old after about 40 years or so.

A few weeks ago I found out that some changes have been made, and the company I work for will no longer be allowing any employees to work from home. If I want to keep my job I have to put on non-elastic waist pants and show up in the office everyday. EVERYDAY. I will probably have to wear make-up too, or at the very least comb my hair.

When I got the news I cried. I thought about what I was going to have to give up. Then I made a list of those things and cried some more.

1. Taking my kids to and from school
2. Being at home before and after school with my kids
3. Making dinner HAHAHA!!( I don't make dinner!)
4. Doing laundry on my breaks
5. Long lunches
6. Talking to my brothers on the phone in the middle of the day
7. Eating cereal at my desk while wearing sweatpants
8. Looking out the window while I work

Those were just the first things that came to me, there are more but I'm trying not to think about them, and I'm not going to show you the list of uncomfortable things I HAVE to do now. I know that so many people don't even have the luxury of making a choice in a situation like this. They work or they don't eat. I know I've been lucky. I'm trying not to mess up my karma by complaining too much.

Comparison really is the thief of joy, isn't it?

I may not have made too many plans, but I definitely have a ideas about what being a good mother looks like. Which is dumb, plenty of good moms work and plenty of bad moms don't. Having a job isn't what decides what kind of mom you are. My mom worked when I was growing up. She had to. And somehow, after working away from home all day she managed to come home and cook dinner every night. Like a real dinner, not grilled cheese or frozen pizza. There was fried meat, REAL mashed potatoes and gravy, and at least one vegetable that had been cooked beyond the point of its nutritional value and covered in cheese. Every night. How did she do that? My mom got A LOT of crap done. She IRONED, not only her clothes, but ours too. I know that she did what she had to do, and she was there when she could be, but my brothers and I were on our own a lot, and I never wanted that for my kids. They aren't babies, our youngest is 14, but in the grand scheme of things, 14, it's not really that old, you know? 

I've been thinking about courage...and how little I have compared to so many other people. I really think that's why I don't make plans. Failure scares the living daylights out of me. But I'm trying to live differently. Learning lessons from being alive and all that stuff. So now I've made plans, I'm going to school, I'm excited about my future and as Scarlet O'Hara is my witness I am NOT going to change those plans. I'm just going to adjust.

Pearl S. Buck, who I think was very wise, said, "Many people lose the small joys in the hope for big happiness."  I know that is true. I try not to be someone who is always searching for something better, but I believe if you work really hard at keeping things in perspective you can have both the small joys and the big happiness. I'm going to keep going to school and I'm going to be available for my kids and I'm going to go to work and wear real pants and make eye contact with actual humans everyday and it's not going to kill me. Other people have done it and not died (or so I've heard), and I can too. 

And with that I leave you with a small joy...

This is so much more hilarious in person. I spray painted those dinosaurs silver and I love them so much that I arranged them at the feet of my sparkly Virgin Mary penny bank. Every single time I see them it makes me laugh. Do you think I can get by with taking these to the office with me, or is this some kind of HR violation? Would I be offending both the religious and the evolutionist? 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Never underestimate the power of the internet

David Babaii for Wild Aid David Babaii for WildAid Bohemian Beach Spray

I kept seeing "beach spray" all over Pinterest. It gives your hair body, texture, a beachy look. All that stuff. It sounds so carefree and summery. And the smell!! Ooh! 

All the sea salt spray gals talk about the smell.

I hadn't ever really thought about wanting my hair to look beachy, but now, with everyone talking about how great it was, I figured I must be missing out on a real good hair time so I grabbed a bottle the other day. 

Because as you know, I'm all about the hip trends. In fact, the last time I was at the beach I was wearing this...
(Sorry if the angle is making you want to throw up, our daughter took this picture. I'd rotate it if I knew how, but I'm not really sure that would help.)

The idea was my hair would end up looking like this...
.beach hair
I hate to break it to you, but after a not so lengthy trial period, I've concluded that beach hair is not all that great. Additionally, it seems to be a lot like what my hair looks like when I get out of bed in the morning, a look I achieve perfectly without spraying fake ocean water on my head. (I'm not posting a picture of that, you'll have to use your imaginations.)

I've used the spray a couple of times and I don't really notice a difference besides my hair feeling a little crunchy (I'm guessing that has something to do with the kelp...I don't even like knowing kelp exists, and now I am spraying it's essence on my hair, what the??). When I googled "beach spray doesn't work" I learned that maybe my hair wasn't dirty enough. 

I know I've mentioned the mysteries of dry shampoo before, but are you aware that there are women out there going 7 to 10 days without washing their hair THEN they spray it with seaweed infused water so they can look like they've been to the beach? Come on now! That is not right!!

After a great deal of reflection (too much reflection really), I have decided that beach hair is not for me. I'm not even a huge fan of the beach (sand...ya know?) and also, I should keep away from the Pinterest. Next thing you know I'll be trying to eliminate my arm pit fat* while eating six layer brownies*.

*Both are REAL categories on Pinterest. Holy moly. I didn't even know there was such a thing as arm pit fat until Pinterest came along, much less a movement to eliminate it. Ladies, we may be taking this whole "looking good" thing a little too far.

Monday, June 9, 2014

She took that whole "9 lives" thing a little too seriously.

I figured you've probably all been wondering, because really what else do you have to do besides think about my and my life, so I thought I would give you an update on our cat situation.

The time finally came a couple of weeks ago when we had to take poor old Tiger to the vet and end things.  

It was a hard choice to make, but in addition to all of the geriatric cat things she'd been doing for months she had also started falling off of furniture and trying to make leaps that she no longer had the balance, or the judgment, to land and I was worried she was going to hurt herself. The vet said she was probably the oldest cat he'd ever seen and that we were doing the right thing, I still feel like a killer. It's dumb, probably, to get so emotional over a cat that wasn't even really very nice but I did anyway.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Have you ever had the wind knocked out of you? When I was younger, my "little" brother would whack me in the middle of my back on occasion and I would feel like I couldn't breath for... I don't know, it was probably just a few seconds, but at the time it felt like much longer. I'm sure I managed to be very dramatic about it.

Those were the days.

I used to be so brave. On a whim I joined the Army. I was up for anything. I went rappelling, I volunteered to jump out of airplanes, I traveled to Central America and lived in a tent. All of this I did alone (well, it was just me and the U.S. Army). Then I got married and moved to a state far far away from my brothers. Which was hard. Despite being better at hand to hand combat than I am, they're my best friends. I had five kids, I made new friends, I started book groups and play groups and learned how to repair my own washing machine. You get it. I was not afraid of much. But I think I've used up all of my courage. The idea of change at this point in my life is paralyzing.

It takes me forever to make a decision, and after I finally settle on something I second guess it to death. Deciding to go back to school was huge for me. It meant quite a bit of adjusting. I like a routine, I like to have things settled and just go along taking care of my business, you know? Sadly, the fates do not care about my anxiety levels and now I have to make some decisions and make some changes. Quite probably the things I have to figure out would not be a big deal to most people, or to me 10 years ago, but to me now...ugh. I feel like the wind has been knocked out of me and I haven't been able to breathe for a few days.

I know I'm being vague, I don't feel like I can spill all of the details...I was kicked off a jury once after I did that here...no one is going to die, my kids are fine, my husband still loves me, and in the grand scheme of things those are the things that really matter, right? I wish I could say that I know it will all work out and whatever I decide things will be fine, but I've made dumb choices before and I feel like I'm getting too old to go the long way anymore.

Friday, May 30, 2014

It occurs to me that it may seem like I have a problem...

I watched a couple of movies last weekend.

Before you judge, remember it was a three day weekend...

On Friday we went to see The Railway Man. I liked it, I'm not sure how Sylvan felt, Nicole Kidman is not his favorite, nor mine for that matter, however....Colin Firth...Do you really need to know anything else? It's based on a true story. I'm always amazed at how cruel people can be under the umbrella of war and on the other hand, it's amazing what people are able to live with, and overcome.

Miss Representation is a documentary about the way women are portrayed in the media (hint...not positively), it wasn't really new information for me, but it's always good to have a reminder that I should be having more discussions with my kids about the difference between reality and what the media tries to present as reality.

X-men was good, we saw it on Monday. It was basically what I expected, except for seeing so much of Hugh Jackman, that was a surprise. 

The Revsionaries is another documentary, it's about the Texas Board of Education and their push to re-write science and history textbooks in ways that don't necessarily reflect ACTUAL science or history and it discusses why what Texas does affects the entire country, textbook wise.

And one more documentary, Jesus Camp. This film focuses on the way some evangelicals are indoctrinating their children. That's all I'm gonna say about that. Religion is a sensitive subject, but I think it's worth watching, if for no other reason to gain a better understanding about the way other people see the world.