Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Making the Peace

Ever had to eat crow?  It is NOT a fun experience, certainly something my non-confrontational self hates to do.

I cheated a couple of months ago.  Don't get your panties in a wad ~ it was on my hairdresser.  I started my new job and one of my coworkers told me about this gal that cuts her hair and how I just HAD to go see her.  Her twin sister is also in her shop and does nails so I figured I would go get that new shellac stuff and see if I liked it.  My nails do NOT grow.  I guess instead of losing calcium in my old age I have no folic acid in my diet.  Or iron.  Or fiber.  Explains a lot, really.

So I started seeing Twin 2 for my nails.  They were rockin' awesome the first few times I did it!  I loved them but so wasn't up to paying $38 every 2 1/2 weeks to keep them up.  I am SO low maintenance compared to that nonsense.  Eventually though the stuff started eating what nails I actually do grow on my own and now I'm down to nubs trying to start over again.  UGH.

Once I got to know Twin 1, I jumped and decided to let her cut my hair.  OMG.  It looks fantastic the day she cut it and slowly but surely within 2 weeks looked like crap.  It was barely long enough to even pull back so donning my Aunt Dixie I started throwing bobby pins all over my head.  I'm sure hubs thought I looked attractive!  Oh, and the best part?  $75 for my hair cut!  GEESH!  Do you KNOW how many bottles of wine I can get for that?!?!?

That's been months ago.  My hair is all grown out, split ends, looks even worse than before.  And I've been totally dreading the inevitable ~ I need to go back to my hairdresser and apologize.  This sucks.  She will totally know too - I've seen her for three years and then stop all of a sudden and now I'm gonna walk in with jacked up hair and she won't notice?  Ah crap.

I'm headed over there now.  If you see me tomorrow and my head is shaven you will know she didn't forgive me.  Or she cut it so badly that I had no other choice.  Thank god for cute hats and scarves that may be only solution out of this.

Maybe I should just take in a peace offering? 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Am I Clueless Again?

I went shopping today at lunch. A co-worker asked me to accompany her to a store to buy something for daughter for Christmas so I obliged.  I am still trying to make new friends at my new work so I thought this might be a good opportunity to get to know her.

Her daughter is 13.  I have known a few 13 year old girls in my life so I think I have learned what is "hip".  This is middle school age for those of you not keeping track.

We went to Vera Bradley.  Yep, you read that right.  VERA BRADLEY.  For those of you that have NO idea what that is, I'll tell you.  Vera Bradley is a company that makes bags, purses, wallets, etc.  All sorts of carrying contraptions all the way to luggage.  Sounds pretty reasonable, right?

Uh NO.  No, no, no.  The items that are produced by this company are all quilted.  QUILTED, like my grandma's quilts.  I said "isn't this store a bit too old for your daughter?"  Her response?  Oh no, all of the young girls are carrying this now - it is quite popular for girls her age!  Now I'm not trying to say I don't like them so don't get in a tizzy if you do own this style of purse - I just am not sold that it is age appropriate at 13.

So I paid close attention around the room.  My instincts were RIGHT.  Every woman in that store was 100 years old except for the bubbly little sales clerk.  Any woman near my age HAD to be buying these items for her grandmother.  Just had to be.

I thought of my BFFs daughter and laughed.  NO WAY would she carry this, no way.  Maybe I am way off the mark, but I just can't see it happening.  I get to see her on Thursday so I can't wait to ask her if she has 4 of these bags.  Her younger daughter is 11 and takes sewing, so I could TOTALLY see her carrying a quilted bag, but it would be one of her own creation and a WAY cute pattern.

On a good note, I will tell you she obviously loves and cares for her daughter very much.  These items are very expensive!  Not your typical Target purse, I'll tell you that.  Even I don't pay $98 for a duffel bag.

New experiences abound.  Oh, I put up a pic so you could experience it yourself.  What are your thoughts ~ I'd love your comments! 

Lemon Parfait Design

Monday, November 28, 2011

Manners, anyone?

This one will probably get me in trouble.  Oh well.  Wait ~ I'm a grown up... how can I get in trouble?!

I try to be a bit anonymous when I type my blog.  I don't use any names or places really.  But I do have everything linked up - blog goes to twitter, twitter goes to facebook... and so on.  So it's high likelyhood everyone knows exactly who I'm talking about when I blog.  Again - oh well.  Don't read it if you don't want to, that's my theory!

I do have to laugh that I wrote a GIANT blog on my iPhone this weekend that didn't upload.  Thank God.  It was NOT nice at all.  Momma did tell me if I don't have anything nice to say.... I forget the rest.

This weekend hubs and I went to the MU/kU football game.  WAY to much fun.  Went with our friends and our nephew and his wife from Colorado.  We had a blast.  That which we can remember.

My friend asked me today if hubs and I were talking yet.  Great - I didn't know we weren't?  Classic us.  Having fun at a party, drinking a few diet cokes (my MIL calls them this... cracks me up) and then BAM!  All hell breaks loose.  I get lippy, most likely.  I'm sure I start it - I get a bit antagonistic when I have to many diet cokes.  So apparently I did and said something not so nice to hubs.  He didn't like me much.

So we packed up and left.  True Davis fashion.  Whenever I get mad or drink to many diet cokes I just leave the event.  Whatever it is.  I could be sitting in a private room with John Mayer serenading me just the two of us, but if I had to many diet cokes I would just get up and leave.  So rude and so not nice.

Oh this isn't the first time this happened - not even this week.  I did it to a gfriend I work with last Tuesday.  Left her at a bar by herself after "going to my car to get my phone charger".  Nice.

So I need to work on this one.  Maybe if I go to the special meetings they can teach me how NOT to do this.  Or maybe I should just switch to milk.  It is the holiday season and cookies are going to be bountiful.  Of course my BUTT will disagree that this is a good idea...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hold the Scrooge!

Okay, I'm really not a Scrooge.  Although hubs thinks I am.  I get frustrated with the commercialism of our holidays in the US but I love the actual meaning of the season.  We just forget to actually celebrate it and instead have taken the gifts given to Jesus to a much higher level ~ X-boxes, iPads, Kindle Fires. It's just so crazy what we go through each year.  When I was a child my parents had a moderate income.  I can remember watching my mom use her "special card" when we would bustle around for the Christmas holiday.  Yep, the special card was her VISA.  Oh yeah, it was special alright.  My dad would then work to pay it back over the next year.  I wonder what their buyer's remorse must have felt like and how they must have felt going into the next holiday season and doing it all over again.

I think this is where I get cranky.  Material items have never been important to me.  Even as a kid, I didn't have all that "stuff".  I was the outdoor, tomboy girl in the neighborhood.  I didn't spend a lot of time with other girls, I played tag, kickball, army sometimes with the boys in the 'hood.  Shoot, climbing trees was way more exciting to me than playing... what do girls play?  Make believe stuff I think, like house or school or something.  No way, that was my reality so there was no way I was going to hang out with other girls and play that way.

I avoided Black Friday.  I'll avoid Cyber Monday as well.  Maybe I'll pick up a few things in a couple of weeks if I must.  But for the record, I don't really want to.  It's not that I don't love to give ~ I do!  It's just the thought of SHOPPING that wears me out before I even get started.

Plus, little known fact about me... I am a purpose shopper.  I don't "go shopping".  I don't just wander through stores and look at stuff.  If I NEED something, I go get it.  That might also cause me some of this stress level of the holidays.  We don't really "need" it.

Well, I promised no Scrooge so I'm going to try really, really hard.  If I finish decorating the house I'm sure that will help.  It better!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

'Tis the Season... Coma Style

Let the carb overload begin!  Sitting down for my second meal today, I can't even begin to count it all.  My favorite holiday of the year surrounds cleaning and cooking for two days for the ones I love.  Hmmm.  I wonder why that is?

Maybe it's because Christmas drives me nuts.  I honestly don't care for it much at all.  Having the boys certainly makes me look at it differently but had I never had children I think I would be avoiding it entirely.

I met my hubs when I was 21 at the end of the summer of '92 and told him then that I didn't much care for the Christmas holiday.  He, on the other hand, absolutely LOVES Christmas.  He will spend hours and hours picking out the most perfect gifts for me and the boys.  He buys all of his own wrapping paper and takes special care in buying matching ribbons, bows and tags.  My wrapping paper is always picked out separately from the boys so I can feel special.  He fills my stocking with things that I love ~ special coffees, candies, gift cards to my favorite foodie places.

I allow myself to blame my dislike of the holiday on other people.  How sad, I totally know better than that.  So my parents divorced right before Christmas ~ big deal.  So I had to co-parent with the a-hole bio-dad for 15 years ~ who cares.  But the wear and tear of my momma's house, my dad's house (with his new family), my hubs' p's house, and Bubba going 4 different directions as well just wore me out.  I saw all the commercialism in the holiday and not the magic of the season.

So this year, I am going to really try to relax and focus on the family before Bubba heads out for boot camp. I'm going to try to live through nugget's eyes all the wonders around us.  And I'm not shopping.  Nope, not doing it.  It might kill some people around me but it will be just fine, I promise :).  If I love you, you will know it.  Maybe not the biggest token you've ever received but something will grace your mailbox.

I wonder if anyone will join me in this effort?  Certainly not those in Suburgatory with me (BTW ~ LOVE that show!!)  I've already heard the wish lists of their kids so there is no way they could take this path with me.  Plus you know if one kid gets something, the other kids HAVE to have it too so we can teach them to Keep up with the Jones' when they get older.  UGH.  When I ask little guy what he wants for Christmas he tells me "a vacation with my family".  Well, we may not be jumping on a plane, but I think I can arrange this... in theory anyway.

The decorations come out tomorrow.  Fa La La.  I hope my Grinchyness is gone by then.  But I am very THANKFUL for my life.  I wouldn't change a thing or single decision.  Well ~ I probably would annul the first marriage.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ewww, don't touch that!

I think one of the things I love about the holidays (or changing any season really) is the fact that I get to drag out all of my decorations and CLEAN.  Really clean... like move the furniture clean.  After an hour and a half of grocery shopping this morning at two different stores I came home and started in at 10:30.  I just sat down 8 1/2 hours later.  And I'm not really done yet.

But I do find it awesomely rewarding to look around at my abode and see actual wood without dust on it.  See carpet without Jack and Bella's fur on it.  

I do absolutely, unequivocally HATE one thing:  toilets.  Seriously?!  I am convinced that if I lived alone I bet I wouldn't even have to clean the toilets.  But these boys?  Geesh!  I get multi-tasking but just TRY to hit the water, will ya?  UGH!

So with that nasty task completed (times 4 by the way), I am chilling out for awhile before the cooking extravaganza begins.  I'm so excited - Bubba, my girlie girl and nugget are coming to spend the night!  I love that the kids have been gone three years and they still want to come home for holidays (even though they live in my town).  I cherish these moments even more now that Bubba is headed to boot camp.  Every extra second I get with the kids is a huge reward!

Off to move laundry... then I'll chill.  Maybe :).

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Blue Light Special

How I ever ended up in sales is such a mystery to me.  Okay, so I like people.  I don't know a stranger.  Somehow I come off confident, strong and independent (or so I've been told).  But SALES?!  Seriously?!  Sales people drive me crazy - especially the persistent ones.  So I tend to be a much more laid back, consultative type of sales person.

Except internally I'm dying.  I get so over anxious I'm shocked I haven't dropped of a heart attack yet. 

My new job is AWESOME.  I love the people I get to work with everyday.  Friendly, accommodating, cheerful and kind.  What more could a girl like me want?  Sales.  That's what I want.

I'm so fiercely determined and competitive so that's what always lands me high scores on a sales personality test.  What those tests really don't tell you is how insane the process can make a person like me.  Remember my little problem with "hyperactivity"?  Yeah, not really good in a long sales process.  The waiting KILLS me.  Although most good sales people also have ADD.  Strange that those two things coincide.  Unless you have a quick sales cycle, which I don't usually.

So I have two prospects to potentially close within the next week.  I'm optimistically hopeful but trying not to get too confident.  It's a highly competitive world out there.

Cross your fingers - momma needs a new dishwasher.  And an ice maker.  And a back screen door.  Oh the list is so forever long it would spend any dime I ever made (and then some!)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Oh Woe is Me

It's that time of year again - cold and flu season is upon us.  The only dislike I have about the changing of our seasons is that it always seems to bring about new germs (or old ones wake up?)  Who knows.  End result - everyone I know is sick (or has been sick, or will be sick in the next month).  Ugh.  My favorite holiday only 3 short days away and impending sickness is all around.

Little guy started new basketball team ~ germs.
Nugget started new daycare ~ germs.
Hubs feels icky from little guy.
Daughter feels yucky from nugget.
My work BFF was just sick from her little one.
A coworker outside of my office hacked her poor head off the last two weeks.
Another coworker was diagnosed with bronchitis last week.
Bubba was sick two weeks ago.

And on, and on, and on.  So no doubt I am going to get sick.  I can feel it coming (or can I)?  Sometimes I think my mind plays tricks on me.  I feel tired, but I always feel tired so that probably has no correlation.  I just spent the day yesterday with my MIL, so hope to god I didn't get her sick.. she totally can't get sick. 

Oh and a weekend at a health fair.  Health Fair.  Term is quite contradictory frankly.  I've not seen that many unhealthy people in one room together.  Good thing they were at the health fair!

So I have my antibacterial gel.  I have kleenex.  I'm lysol'ing the entire house tomorrow night and Wednesday to prepare for my family guests.  And I'm going to pray.  A lot.

I did decide we could all just lay on the living room floor with blankies and watch the parade if we are too sick to eat or move on turkey day.  I sure hope that doesn't happen since I'm the one cooking. 

I'm sure the wine will kill my bacteria.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hyper Hypo

 When I was six years old, momma took me to our family doctor for a special visit.  In all fairness, I should probably start by saying she was tired.  She was REALLY tired.  I am the baby of four with a 14 year age span between my oldest sib and me.  In addition to raising a teenager and a baby (which I TOTALLY can relate), my momma was also the primary caretaker for my sister.  My sis is 6 years older than me, the third in line in our fam, and was born with cerebral palsy.  She was wheelchair bound by 12 and lived in our home until that time.  When I reflect on the struggles my momma went through to raise us four kids, I'm astonished she wasn't a total alcoholic.  Or a nut case.  Which some days might have been debatable.

My visit with Dr. Dempsey Sr. was a pretty simple one.  Momma told him that I wore her out.  Shocker.  I"m sure hubs would still agree with that comment.  She gave him I'm sure the story that a lot of parents deal with today. 

Jenny won't sit still.  She never stops talking.  She bounces all over the place.  Every second I turn around, she's in the front yard turning cartwheels.  Up on the wheel, as hubs calls it.  I love being compared to a hamster.

His diagnosis?  No big deal... she's hyperactive.  Hmm.  Hyperactive.  What the hell is that?  I'm sure my momma wanted to bawl.  So what am I supposed to do with her?  She wears me out!

Give her activities.  Challenge her constantly.  Provide a consistent, structured lifestyle.  She will adapt and be fine.

That was it.  No drugs.  No therapy.  No changes.  Just advice to help guide my energy.

I can only imagine as my momma stuck me in the car what was going through her head.  How in the hell am I going to do this?  I'm tired, doesn't anyone know that?

Her solution?  She quit being a stay at home and went to work.  Hee hee... the thought makes me giggle today.  She didn't really give up, but she knew she needed to separate from me to be a better person, a calmer mother.  Able and ready to handle me.

I think it mostly backfired but I did accomplish one thing:  I learned how to channel my energy.  I've formed my energy level into determination.  And it worked.

Now it wouldn't be fair unless I admit that sometimes my energy level can be a tad bit destructive.  When I'm out having fun, especially with a few friends and cocktails, I NEVER want to stop, go home and go to bed.  When I do find a new hobby I want to pursue, I'm all in.  No half way here. 

I know that in today's terminology, I would be categorized as ADD.  Whatev.  Show me a sales person that DOESN'T have ADD (a successful one, anyway).  There is a certain drive and multi-tasking capability that must exist in order to push through a sales process.

I've learned to grasp what I am, my strengths and deficiencies, and work through them.  I wish our kids today could have that same opportunity without being pumped with a zillion drugs.  Yes, I know they work.  Bubba has the same tendencies as I and with medication he made it through school.  Maybe he would have anyway if I hadn't pumped him with drugs?  He hasn't taken any for four years now and has enlisted in the Navy with a clear future path.  He goes to work everyday and performs as a normal adult without any alterations. 

Oh well ~ add it to the pile of uncertainty in parenthood.  Someday I'll figure it all out.  When they are grown and gone. :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Strangle the Morning

I am a morning person.  No really.  I swear.  Lately though I have disliked most mornings.  I always tease hubs and tell him our little guy is exactly like him (in fact I just did it today!) but he really is like me in a lot of ways.  He actually loves his mornings, just like I do.  The problem isn't the morning time.  It is getting UP.  Feet on the floor, as hubs says.

Each morning I enter little guy's room singing "Good morning to you, good morning to you!"  Wait, maybe that is causing the problem.  Bella, the TRUE baby of the family we rescued from Wayside, greets me with her tail wagging so hard her entire hiney is off the floor.  Little guy never even stirs.  I check his pulse to ensure life and tell him "it's Thursday - you have music today, let's go have some breakfast".  No movement.

I take Bell downstairs to go outside and pass hubs in the hall.  Please get the man child out of bed, I ask.  Roger that.

I make some coffee and wait a bit.  Little guy usually comes stomping down with hubs behind him within 10 minutes or so.  Eyes practically closed.  Shuffling feet.  Identifying everything that hurts (true football player).  Giving me 17 reasons he can't get dressed.

I start his breakfast while I watch in resentment as he crawls under a blanket on the couch.  I ask him to dress, he tells me he can't... it's too cold.  I flip on the fireplace and head back to finish preparing breakfast.

A few minutes later everything is on the table, down to his daily multi-vitamin.  Still on the couch.  I tell him almost every morning of his life "Last chance to get to the table - I'm hungry and your waffles smell good so I'm going to eat them."  Meltdown begins, with 5 more reasons something hurts and he can't get off the couch.  Ugh.

So I usually hit the same place every morning:  I'm going to get your father.  HE will get you off the couch.

Nice.  Hubs has to come down and gently remind him to get moving.  Oh, and respect your mom.  To which he bounds off the couch, throws on his clothes happily and sits down to eat.

Secretly makes me want to strangle him.  Did I say that out loud?

Ah... no wonder they say patience is a virtue.  I have virtually NONE of it. 

Yesterday I even resorted to saying to him "It's my birthday, little guy.  The least you could do is get up for me on my birthday".  No response. 

I give up.  Until tomorrow morning....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lordy, lordy... look who's WHAT?!

The good news is I am still alive.  I woke up this morning still breathing in and out.  Although I'm still convinced my heart rate is elevated.  I guess that means I have survived turning 40.  Thus far.

I don't feel any different.  Not any more tired than yesterday.  Nothing hurts anymore than it did yesterday.  Body and mind still intact.

Any wiser?  I should hope so, but I doubt it.  At least not in one day.

But I have learned some very valuable lessons as I depart my 30's that I think warrant sharing.

1.  Don't dwell on the small stuff.  Life is FAR to short to be worried about what kind of car you drive, if your Coach handbag is better than another friends or if your jeans have the right label on the ass.
2.  If you have kids (especially only's or the oldest), don't ride them all the time.  They don't have to be perfect.  They will turn out just the way they should.  Pressuring them like a cooker will just make them resent you.
3.  If you have more than one child, hug on the baby of the family ALL THE TIME.  Soon they won't be and hugs will get restricted, particularly in public.  I know this, I'm a BOF :)
4.  Career climb?  This one is tricky and depends on your ultimate goals.  If you want the half million dollar house and 2011 Mercedes, climb away.  Skip rungs if you can.  Work until your fingers bleed, but don't expect a lot of family understanding.  If you have kids and plan to do this, be careful.  They will soar through those 10 years and you will wake up and they will disregard you for never being present.  If you aren't driven by "stuff", go ahead and stay steady working the job that makes you the best person you can be.

And my last piece of advice ~ and this is the BIGGIE ~ don't forget while you are working your tail to the bone, trying to earn money and giving 150% (I HATE that term... not even possible), don't forget you have a spouse.  Oh yeah, that dude that lives in your house (or gal, if any guys read my blog).  Remember him/her?  Yeah.  If you plan to sail through your 30's ignoring your partner, be ready in your 40s when the kids are teens (or gone) to get out your pen.  Chances are VERY high your partner will do one of the following:

a.  cheat
b.  cheat and leave you
c.  cheat, leave you and ask for divorce
d.  cheat, leave you, ask for divorce and want 50/50 custody of your kids
e.  cheat, leave you, ask for divorce, want 50/50 custody of your kids and remarry in 6 months

So unless you want one of those items to occur, I suggest you pay a slight amount of attention to them while going through the career, the kids and the metabolism meltdown.  Just find yourself a nice outlet (I have LOTS of wine suggestions), laugh with good friends as often as you can and smile away.  Try to be grateful for all the things you have and don't get bogged down in how hard all of it is.  The good news is people all around you are doing exactly the same thing! 

So lift your glasses up... drink to my big 4-0.  Glad I made it this far.  I only hope my 40's will give me more wisdom, strength and courage to be the real me, a nice boost to my career and an exit strategy for d-day (my ultimate goal).  CHEERS!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Call a Whambulance

I'm having heart palpitations.  My left arm is numb.  I'm sure I'm having a heart attack right now.  Oh wait... that's just panic.  Yep, on my 40 birthday-eve I'm feeling a bit agitated.  Hmm, I wonder why.  It can't be because I haven't accomplished what I wanted by now.  I have far exceeded my goals of myself.  Granted I have new goals all the time but in terms of "stuff" and "position in life", I got where I wanted to be.  So what is it?

Every big event that occurs I always sit back and ask myself pretty much the same few questions.  Do I have the RELATIONSHIPS I want to have?  Am I giving enough to those in my life?  What can I do to improve being a better person to those I love and care about?

I think that is why I love Thanksgiving so much.  I really, truly, consciously try to be grateful for the people in my life.  I've even challenged myself with a month of gratefulness every morning to those I care about.  Not STUFF, just people.  It's been quite easy, surprisingly.

But this birthday seems heavier.  No, I'm not vain.  I don't care about my wrinkles or my muffin top.  I don't care if I have the right "stuff" to fit in with anyone.  I think I'm trying to barometer my life, my relationships.  It's a tough one ~ each relationship we have is a two way street.  You may try really desperately hard to be close to someone that has no desire to reciprocate.  Do you keep trying?  Do you discard and start over?  I've always been the latter ~ relationship isn't working, can't get things to grow and change, so just dump it and move on.  Ouch.  I have a giant string of these.  No regrets, but they still hang back there as reminders to me.

So I think I will have some preemptive cocktails tonight with the hubs to celebrate the impending doom of tomorrow.  How bad can it be?  Just everyone reminding me I'm old now.  I was 4 when my momma turned 40.  How weird is that.  My sons are 22 and 10!  At least I have d-day to look forward to a short 8 years from now.  Or sooner if hubs and I can't make it that long.  Oh little guy, I hope you can get out before we start the downsizing or you might just be going with it! :)  Of course I'm kidding....

A funny I can leave you with...  Little guy told hubs and I this week that he wants to go to LSU.  It's the purple tigers, so all in the fam with MU.  Funny.  I ask why.  His reply?  "Mom, everyone wants to play football in Death Valley."  He has this awesome idea that when he goes to college hubs and I will be moving with him (not in the dorm of course, but close by).  Afterwards hubs and I just had to laugh... no WAY can we live that close to New Orleans!  We would need new livers by his Junior year!

Out of the mouths of babes.... :)

Monday, November 14, 2011


I have always been the type of person that is fiercely determined:  if I really, REALLY want something, I'm going to get it.  Plain and simple.

I have found the most perfect gift for my book club girls for Christmas.  Low and behold, you can't buy it.  Nope.  I've looked everywhere thinking I could find someone that could duplicate it and I can't.  The reason I can't is because it is homemade.  Now I absolutely LOVE giving people homemade gifts.  Whether or not they appreciate the actual gift, they do know that I thought long enough about them to give them something from my hands and heart.  I miss that.  Christmas has become so over commercialized with gadgets and technology that we totally have lost any ability to just sit down and be quiet and reconnect with humans.  My number one goal this Christmas is to have a week of no technology ~ no texting, twitter, facebook.  Just for the week.  Sure, I use these tools, but if you notice I do them at 6:00 am when nobody else is awake typically.  Then, off for the day!  And I absolutely hate phones at the dinner table... another blog.

But I digress.  This gift for them is not going to cost me a lot of money.  It probably won't even cost me a lot of time.  But it will cost some creativity.  Yikes.  I was gifted strength in the OTHER side of my brain, whichever that is (I always forget.. right?)  I'm analytical and athletic, NOT artsy and creative.  Not one little, single, tiny bit. 

So say a prayer for me.  I'm jumping in this week on these projects and hope to God that I A. get them done in time for book club meeting and B. don't totally embarrass myself.  I'm thinking I'm going to have to buy a lot more of this ALDI coffee to keep my brain operating long enough to complete them!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Don't Get It

If you know me, you know that there are a few behavioral tricks that are totally lost of me.  I'm quite naive for starters.  If you open your mouth and say something, then it must be true.. right?  Oh yeah, there is this little thing called SARCASM.  Um.. I don't get it.  It seems like such a waste of time to me to say something that isn't true.  Or say the opposite of the truth.  I guess that leans to humor, which I am not really either (humorous).

But the biggest behavior I don't get is passive aggressiveness.  PA.  I'm gonna use that now - "That beotch is being so PA!"  That might stick.. kinda like fetch.  At least when I get mad I just avoid and ignore.  What I don't do is stick around and pretend not to be mad and throw barbs while smiling.  What is that all about?  I also love the power of suggestion ~ if I say it, and I want it, then it will be (even if it isn't). 

Someone close to me has perfected this behavior.  Perfectly.  Rolls over everyone in this manner.  It drives me INSANE.  Of course you know the only way to shut it down is to do my least favorite action... confront.  Ewwww.  Why can't people just be direct, say exactly what they want, think or feel, without playing behavior tricks to accomplish it?

My hubs turns into a bird dog around this emotion (ha, perfect since hunting season just opened).  He can sniff it out and within seconds shut it down.  It's an awesome thing to watch ~ he says everything I always want to say but don't have the nerve to do it.  When we are together and this behavior displays it's ugly head, he will confront IMMEDIATELY.  Such the opposite of his normal go-with-the-flow self.  It is most definitely one of the biggest "I got your back" attributes we share - he can vocalize when I can't.  Of course sometimes he does it and I'm humiliated because it makes me uncomfortable.  Hmmm... if I could just figure out how to channel him when he isn't around and handle this behavior better.  I need a gym class for that skill.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Buffet Pants ROCK!

I'm officially nesting.  NO, I'm NOT preggo, thank you very much.  Every year when the leaves start to change color and cooler weather settles in, I start to cook.  Slightly misguided since it coincides with more inactivity usually, which only promises I will reach my new goal of wrestling outside of my weight class.  Ah... another blog.

My hubs and I had an awesome change in duties 10 years ago.  When little guy was born, hubs became a stay-at-home dad.  Yeah - back when not that many were, so he had to explain to people why he wasn't "unemployed".  Some people just never got it.

Anyway ~ since he began to stay home, he started to cook.  Experimenting, really.  Then I started buying books.  Oh, we have them all:  Emeril, Mario, Lidia, Tyler, Bobby, Rachael, and of course Paula.  If they had a show on Food Network, I bought the book.  Every Valentines Day, Christmas, Birthday... another book.  Always inscribed "Cook me something yummy to love!".  And he did... oh did he ever.  We have had some of the most awesome meals I've ever consumed in my life in the past ten years... evidenced by my weight gain.  The longer he stayed home, the more weight I packed on.

Now, he is a very healthy cook.  When he cooks, we eat a lot of fish, chicken, lean meat.  Salads are a staple (not as the first course but the main) and nothing is every fried.

Except for November.  When I take over.  It's only the 11th of the month and already my fridge has been filled with fiesta chicken chili, goulash, ham and beans, steak soup.  Oh, and just went to the store to stock up next week?  Chicken and rice, tomato bisque and homemade cheese sammies, spaghetti.  Comfort food.  Warm food.  FATTENING FOOD.

Lots of my friends are wanting to kick start diets before the holidays.  I feel so guilty.  Not only do I hate to follow food regimens anyway, but I certainly have no desire to start a DIET before the holidays?!  I've already pre-ordered P90x2... isn't that enough of a game plan?  I mean really... how much more weight can I possibly gain before the first of the year?

Full transparency is here....  I don't want to diet.  I don't want to restrict my portions.  I don't want to eat healthy.  Oh sure, I know I SHOULD do it.  I just don't wanna do it.

I've busted my ass this year, did P90x (1) from Jan - March while simultaneously training for a marathon.  Came back from an injury and trained again for another marathon (which ended abruptly due to a significant infection).  I've maintained the same number on the scale since the end of March.  Sure, my waistline would beg to differ, but nonetheless, the scale hasn't moved up.  Yet.

So I'm sticking it out and holding my ground.  I'm eating two helpings of homemade stuffing and green bean casserole at Thanksgiving dinner.  Maybe three if I can squeeze it all in.  Thank god for buffet pants!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Giant Talons

I really, truly and completely HATE confrontation. HATE IT. I am so brutally uncomfortable with being confronted that it causes my secondary reaction, avoidance, to kick into full force. If I fear someone is going to confront me about something.. anything really... I will avoid them like the plague. Unless, of course, when I am the confronter.
When I passionately believe I have been wronged (or god forbid someone I care about), I will confront with a vengeance. It's scary how brutal I can become. Oooh, and if I am REALLY mad, I will scream uncontrollably pointing out every flaw you have and bringing up every mistake you've ever made in my time of knowing you.
It's such a hot mess. I obviously never learned the appropriate way to remain calm and approach someone with something I need to discuss that is uncomfortable. I either end up screaming or weeping. Nice skills.
And if you want to suggest that I need time to "cool down" before discussing something that bothers me? Think again. Time makes me SO much worse. The longer I go without discussing something, the more boiling my blood becomes until..... eruptus.
Yep, that is how I usually handle stuff. Eruption at the most inopportune and inappropriate moments. Lack o' control is what I display.
I have an imminent confrontation in my future. Gag. I think I might throw up (which I almost do every time I think of it). Because of course I'm mad, so I already know it will be heated and icky. Awesome.
Maybe if I just close my eyes really tight and pretend I'm not mad it will just all go away. Yeah, that always works. Or I guess I will just pull out my giant talons and go for the jugular. That's much more likely to happen.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Scalpel, anyone?

Holy CRAP I'm old.

Hubs and I played Wii with little guy on Monday night.  Special weekday treat since he didn't have school Tuesday (see previous blog complaining about that!)  Of course I have no idea when we turned the Wii on as a family last.  Little guy will turn it on and play football on his own but we don't really sit down all together and play all that often anymore.  Ah, newness of the latest THING wore off.  I won't get started, it's to early.

If you know the three of us, you are aware of our ULTRA competitive streak.  All three of us have it.  Hubs is a bit more subdued than mine.  I'm ferocious... I absolutely HATE to lose no matter what the event.  You could stick me in a knitting club and I would have to be the first one done.  Of course the entire sweater would fall apart in one washing, but I beat everyone else!

Little guy is turning out to be a pretty decent mixture of the two of us.  He is pretty competitive (okay, a lot competitive) but he doesn't pout as much as I do when he loses.  In fact, he went an entire football season this year without a single win and still talks about how awesome him and his friends played.  I love that about him.  He cries when he loses from sheer determination letdown, but picks his head right back up and smiles about the effort given.  Dang, I wish some of that would rub off on me.

So of course the first game we play isn't really a game - it's a training module on one of the games.  It's Power Bowling.  Dumb.  Basically, you have to heave the ball down the lane and try to hit 10, 20, 40, 60 pins and knock them down.  Each level they add more pins.  So even though it is on TV, and even though you really don't HAVE to move your body to move the controller, we took up the entire living room running toward the TV and throwing the imaginary ball.  It's a miracle little guy didn't slide right into the screen.

Last night after my debacle on our fabulous KC city streets in the rain, I walked in the door and set down my purse realizing my chest really hurts.  OMG.  I'm having a heart attack.  I'm just sure of it... that's what happens in your forties, right?  After a slight panic attack, it hit me:  my SHOULDER is totally in pain from throwing the imaginary bowling ball.  Seriously?!  I know I've been slacking my exercising but are you freakin' kidding me?!

So I need a shoulder (scapula, to be exact) replacement please.... STAT.  Any docs out there willing to fix me up?

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Get off the Road!

This one is for my BFF.

I had to pick little guy up from hubs p's house and get him to football practice.  Easy peasy, as he often tells me.  I didn't leave the office until almost 5, which for those of you that know me understand that is a tad bit late.  Checking out the highway on ramp, I made the quick decision that wasn't going to be a viable option.  Two things happen in Kansas City in the fall:  1.  It gets dark at 5.  2.  It rains.  Both of those things happened today.  Anyone that drives in Kansas City knows that people in Kansas City cannot operate their vehicles when these two things occur simultaneously.  It's a strange phenomenon that I swear I will figure out before I die.

So I made the quick decision to avoid the highway and go the backroads.  Only problem is there isn't much of a quick effort to where I needed to go from where I was without basically going ALL the way around the city I currently live in (or going directly through the middle of it).  I picked the latter and drove through my city to jump on yet another non-moving highway to trek to the p's house.

Geesh, what a huge mistake.  When I got to the second highway, I averaged 35 mph for about 10 miles.  Only took an additional 30 minutes or so, no big deal.  Grrr.  I have NO patience (or time) for that nonsense!

Suffice it to say, even though my wonderful mom-in-law had my son bundled up (in the rain) on the curb when I pulled up to a slow roll for him to roll in, we were still late arriving back in my city to bball practice.

How does this fit my BFF?  Well, she spends her life in the car from 4 to about 10 every night.  My gorgeous two nieces are involved in many after school activities (none close to one another, by the way) so every night of her life she drives, drives, drives.  Drives and waits.  Picks them up and drives to another place and waits.  OMG.  I swear I would stick daggers in my eyeballs.  I HATE my car (well, not when the top is off)... but truly I hate to drive.  It's means to an end for me - get where you need to get as quickly as possible and get out.  Driving across country for vacation?  KILL ME.  There aren't enough books or alcohol to calm me down to sit in the car that long.  I'd have to be sedated.  Heavily.

So hats off to all the moms (and dads) out there that make this nightly ritual.  I honestly don't know how you do it.  I wish we could go back to the old days, like when I was a kid and needed a ride home from the skating rink and my momma didn't want to get out and come get me so she called a cab.  Yep, true story!

Monday, November 07, 2011

You want me to do WHAT?!

Ooh, I feel feisty today.  I go through this every once in awhile.  Who really knows why, I'm almost 40 and haven't figured it out yet.  I get this "Leave me alone, I've got this, I don't need your help, I don't need you to tell me what to do, I don't need anything!" attitude that makes everyone run away from me.  Except those that don't of course :).  Yep, I have LOTS of people that love my rebellious side.  Good thing it only comes and goes and doesn't stick around very long.

Sums it up perfectly:

I could not, would not, on a boat.
I will not, will not, with a goat.
I will not eat them in the rain.
I will not eat them on a train.
Not in the dark! Not in a tree!
Not in a car!  You let me be!
I do not like them in a box.
I do not like them with a fox.
I will not eat them in a house.
I do not like them with a mouse.
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them ANYWHERE.
I do not like green eggs and ham!
I do not like them Sam-I-am.

Fair warning!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Learn on your own time!

I have a lot of friends that are teachers.  I haven't really ever asked them what their actual job contract (if you call it that) says and how it works.  I think it's time that I ask that question so if you are one and are reading this, please feel free to respond!

According to national statistics, there are approximately 3 million primary and secondary teachers in the United States. As of 2009, US adult population was 312,560,000.  With an estimated rate of 10% unemployment (stabbing at it), that would indicate that 31,256,000 people (approximately) don't currently work in the US.  All of this is to say that 1% of the working adults in the United States hold a job in primary and secondary education.  So for us math majors (NOT), that would indicate that the other 99% of the working population in this country does NOT have a job in education.

Okay, I'll get to the point.  I need to understand why schools, who at least in my area of the country work 9 months a year (August - May), have so many days off of work DURING the school year.  It is not unusual for our district to give an average of three days a month off for "in-service days".  For those of you unaware, this means the teachers have planning days, additional education for them to do their jobs.  Apparently this requires them to take off of work to do so.  This is the only industry in which I believe does this.  Typically, most of us are required to squeeze in additional training and learning opportunities outside of our 8 hour, 40 hour a week paychecks.

It's not as though they are not awarded PTO (paid time off) in addition to the generous holiday schedule, particularly around Christmas.  I know you are probably stressed out teaching our kids.  Heck, I would need every FRIDAY off if I had to deal with them full time!  But each time you have a day off is another interruption in the learning cycle they experience.

In Japan, the number of teachers is 416,823 with a population of 127,076,183.  Teachers in that country represent 3.3% of the population.  The school year in Japan begins in April and classes are held from Monday to either Friday or Saturday, depending on the school. The school year consists of three terms, which are separated by short holidays in spring and winter, and a one month long summer break. "In-service" days are required of teachers independent of the school schedule.  In secondary education (our middle school), most school days start at 7 am and end at 6 pm.  It's no wonder we struggle to achieve international jobs (or quite frankly US jobs) with this level of competition in the world.  And this is just one country!

So on Tuesday, November 8th, little guy's teacher is going to get smarter and work harder when she returns.  Hmmm, we shall see.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Momma Love

Today is the anniversary of the fateful call I received 7 years ago that my momma passed away.  I remember exactly where I was, what I was doing, what I was wearing.  It's funny how small things will stick in your brain from a single moment in time but you can't remember what is on your grocery list on your fridge at home when you are at the store. 

As the baby of the family and separated by 6 years from my next older sibling, I spent a lot of my childhood being obnoxious.  I was loud, boisterous and sassy... but mostly only to my momma.  To my father, I was obedient, respectful and quiet.  This duality has served me fairly well as an adult.  I can channel my focus, competitive drive and "need to succeed" from my father into my career while I am my truest self in my personal life.  It's strange how that happens ~ when your kids grow up they will take on manifestations of you that you never imagined until you see it in them.  My oldest Bubba is a lot like me as well (the momma side of me)... always striving to be his truest self.

As for my teens, I was a nightmare.  My folks divorcing when I was 16 didn't help matters.  I rebelled significantly; evidenced by my marriage and baby by 18.  But it was always my momma that toed the line and taught me how to become a woman and a mother, to be empathetic to others and be true to myself.

Those that know my momma will remember her as honest, true, a bit sassy (okay, a LOT sassy), opinionated and loving.  She would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it but would be straightforward in identifying your mistakes so you wouldn't need it again.  But if you ever did, she was the first person to arrive. 

The older I get, the closer I become my mother.  I strive for the day when I don't have a duality in my personality.  When I can be exactly me, no holds barred in any aspect of my life.  My d-day will help me to achieve that goal.  My momma was a minimalist without trying to be.  Sure, she collected lots of things.  But money was not her truest intention.  Loving her family was her number one goal... and she nailed it. 

I miss her unconditional love every single day of my life and I'm certain I will until I join her in heaven.  I am so blessed to have had such a great woman in my life.  I pray that I have the strength, courage and wisdom to be even half of the mother she was to her four children.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Oh no, not again...

I was sadden to learn last night that a friend of Bubba's died suddenly on Monday.  Ugh.  This will make the third young man we know to lose his life suddenly.

Death is so imminent.  Yet when it happens, it seems we are never prepared.  All to often we hear people say the words "I just wish I had more time..."  Maybe the pure shock of the loss causes us to feel an immediate anxiety of the inability to see them again.  Or maybe we really do wish we had more time.

What is the appropriate age to die?  Some would say "I want to be 100 years old, in perfect health and just go to bed and not wake up."  Well, not some.  A LOT of people would think that is desirable. 

I lost my momma a few years ago.  Looking back now, I was so lucky to have her as long as I did.  She was a 40 year smoker, didn't exercise a day in her life, weighed MAYBE 100 lbs at 5'5 and had pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases.  Statistically she made it way longer than she should have.  Although I was really given 5 hard long years of illness to prepare, when she passed away I was completely shocked.  "Hmmm, I wonder why that is?  Not just because she is my mother, but truthfully I felt guilt and regrets for "losing time".

My point is this:  don't wait for people to die to learn the lesson that you wish you had more time.  Spend the time with them NOW.  Make time in your life.  If it is somebody outside of your every day life, make it a point to connect with them and make certain in each interaction you TELL them they make a difference in your life.  Maybe if we start to live life in that manner we will find that when people pass we can more easily move through the inevitable process.  Oh sure, sadness will occur.  But regrets? Maybe not.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

It's Official!

I've been anxiously awaiting disclosing some news in our family until all of the pieces were finalized so now... IT'S OFFICIAL!

Bubba, my oldest, has enlisted in the United States Navy.  Whew.  Just typing that makes my heart race.  It's such a huge deal.

He isn't the first in the family to consider this action.  He comes from a long line of Navy servicemen:  my grandfather, my dad and both of my brothers precede him.  None of my family members made it their career; however my oldest sib probably would have.  Another blog.

Hindsight always being 20/20, this has probably been a logical choice for Bubba for as long as I can remember.  When he was a young boy, the most influential person (other than Hubs) to him was a man we met his 5th grade year of Pop Warner football.  Oooh, I DISLIKED that man very, very much.  He was a "screamer".  Borderline degrading, he spent a lot of time picking on the kids (mom's perception).  He was constantly in the earhole of their helmets telling them to get off their a$$es and work harder!  I did not like it ~ how could you yell at 11 year olds like that?  His own son was afraid of him!

But to Bubba, he was the best coach he ever had (and he had A LOT... very athletic).  He really responded well to that drive and determination.  He would even laugh when coach got a little mouthy... wasn't intimidated at ALL by this man.  See, I should have known then what I know now. 

Obviously, with Bubba married with little nugget it makes this journey a little more complicated than had he gone right when he graduated.  But he had his own difficult things to learn first.  He had worked for years to get the attention of his bio dad, making choices and decisions he thought would make him proud.  In the end, he learned some relationships are just not meant to be and once he understood that he freed himself to become the man he was destined to become.

I am overwhelmed with pride, excitement, happiness and gratitude to my son for taking this important step.  I am also nervous, anxious, scared and intimidated about the journey.  And of course, I love my perfect daughter and little nugget and want them to be happy, adjusted and content as well.

It will be an amazing few years for our family.  He won't be leaving right away for bootcamp so we have some time to adjust to it all.  The USN works very diligently with married recruits to help accommodate the family (at least thus far).  That is so critical to all of us.

Onward, Future Sailor Cunningham!  I love you so incredibly much!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

It's MY fault?

I'm not very political in nature.  Ok, some of you would disagree.  But there is a difference between being politically minded and OPINIONATED.  Oh, I got that one down perfectly, thanks to my Jackson family southern Missouri roots.  I will certainly join in the crowd on Facebook passive aggressively and make my political opinions be known.

I call myself "fiscally conservative with socially liberal tendencies".  Right, whatever.  The real truth is that I believe what I believe and I'm passionate about it (like everything else in my life).  If it is in my moral code to believe it is true, then it is.  Again, thanks Momma for that stubbornness!

So I just don't get our society anymore.  If you look around, there are MILLIONS of people picketing, asking for more, feeling shorted somehow by our government.  Hmmm, very interesting to me.  I've got an idea:  why in the hell are you waiting for an institution to help you do anything?  Land of the free?  If you want something badly enough... just go get it!  Hard work has never stopped someone from reaching their dreams in our country.  Yet so many citizens keep their arms stretched out looking for a hand out.  Or better yet... someone to blame when they DON'T achieve their dreams.

Look ~ don't blast me.  I do know that there are some unfortunate souls in our society that do not possess the mental capacity to participate in decisions that affect them.  But for the by and large, they do.  The majority of Americans are able bodied and can work hard for what they want, there is just a huge sampling that has entitlement behavior and thinks someone else (the MAN) should hand it to them instead. 

Whatev.  My opinion?  Stop picketing and go get a damn job.  Push your way up and make whatever you want to find your happiness.  With a degree, without a degree, with experience, without experience, with legs, without legs.... your success is completely equivalent to the amount of effort you want to expend.  'Nough said.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

What's your Order?

I am fascinated with birth order.  Almost as much as astrology.  Okay, no... I love to study signs more than birth order.  But still ~ it fascinates me.

My original sister-in-law (I say that because there have been 3 1/2 from that one sibling of mine) once told me about a book many years ago.  The Birth Order Book:  Why You Are the Way You Are by Kevin Leman.  It is an AWESOME book.  In fact, I just put it on my Kindle to read again and refresh my memory. 

Certain truths are consistent with birth order.  First borns tend to take one of two roads:  either extremely self sufficient or extremely rebellious depending on parenting style.  They tend to be the achievers in the family, the leaders, or they cause all sorts of problems bucking the system of the household.  A lot of the final outcome depends on how many kids come behind them.

Middle borns are the "fixers" of the family.  They want peace and tranquility among all the other members.  They often blend in, don't make to much trouble (although don't always succeed beyond on the first born if an over-achiever) and they definitely want to "keep the peace".

And the BOFs (babies of the family)... yep, this is me.  Again, depends on how many are ahead of them, but these great kids tend to be a bit selfish, a bit rowdy.  I like to call us "spicy" (or saucy, whichever comes to mind first).  Opinionated, typically loud (to get attention) and sassy. 

In my house, I created a bit different environment.  I have really raised two only children.  Ah, the only's.  These kids take on several traits of a first born and a BOF combined:  they are independent thinkers, typically act older than they really are age wise, but they also sometimes act spoiled and a little selfish since they have no other siblings.  My kiddos are 12 years apart, so Bubba was raised as an only and little guy is now being raised as an only. 

But even with the spread, I LOVE how close my boys have become.  We eliminated any sibling rivalry.  Little guy absolutely WORSHIPS Bubba.  Bubba thinks little guy is a bit spoiled but I think he is entertained by him sometimes.  And now Bubba is taking on a new adventure and I'm a bit worried about little guy.

My closest sibling left home to enter the military when I was 11 years old.  Little guy is now 10.  Granted, Bubba hasn't lived at home for almost 4 years now but still, I'm a bit concerned of how little guy will react.  I'm hoping to keep him SUPER involved, since I wasn't with my sib.  Maybe that way he will understand the gravity and feel proud and not left behind.

Grab the book if this entices you.  It goes into much more detail on not only birth order but gender order as well.  It really is amazingly accurate!