Month: October 2010

The Week In Rant: Spooky Halloween Edition

It’s Friday! Time for The Week In Rant!  

1. Favre Wants to Play
2. Wedding Stress
3. You Won’t Let Your Daughter Play With What?

Remember when you were a little kid and you got hurt or sick but you begged and pleaded with your mom and dad to let you out to play anyway? That’s what Brett Favre reminds me of. A silly little kid who is throwing a tantrum and refusing to sit it out and just heal. I know that T-Jack as a backup isn’t the greatest idea in the world, but do we want a broken Favre on the field either?

Do you think Favre should sit this one out?  Do you wish Favre would just go away altogether?

My brother’s wedding is 8 days away. The stress is mounting. My husband and I are bickering. There is no way on God’s green earth that my 2 year old is going to actually stand still to have his picture taken (despite how uber debonair he will look in his little tuxedo), or get down the aisle for that matter. My first, last and ONLY rehearsal with the pianist is tomorrow. I feel ready, but am nervous- it has been years since I sang in front of a live (and BIG) audience like this (no, drunken karaoke doesn’t count). So, I showed up to work today, took a deep breath and decided not to sweat the small stuff. It’s not my day. It’s my brother’s. Despite the lack of communication and coordination of the wedding party logistics (which has really been driving a type-A freak like me insane), I am going to suck it up and go with the flow. No more whining. No more complaining. No more thinking this day has anything to do with me. I expected this much and more when I got married 5 years ago. The least I could do is return the favor without any bitching. 

 Do weddings stress you out? How do you overcome it?

I’ve talked a little bit about my “friend” who had a baby back in January of this year. The more we talk about our kids and how we are choosing to raise them the more I find us on opposite ends of the parenting spectrum. I’ve said a million times- there is no right way and everyone has to make the best choices for themselves from breastfeeding, to childcare (private home vs daycare center) to crying it out (and the list goes on). She made a comment the other day that floored me. She said, “The day I buy my daughter a toy vacuum cleaner or a kitchen set will be a cold day in hell.” I gave her a confused look and said, “Why?” She responded, “I don’t want her to think that those things are a woman’s job.” To which I snorted (yes, I snorted in my own self-righteous mommy moment) and said, “Well, geez. I hope my son doesn’t grow up thinking he’s a girl because he loves to help mommy and daddy by pretending to vacuum, prepare meals and mow the lawn.” I told her that I picked Jack up from school one day and him and his buddies were “cooking hamburgers”. He held up the little plastic hamburger and said, “Want one mommy?” to which I said, “Oh yes! Delicious Jackson!” Her daughter isn’t even 1 yet and she’s worrying about gender roles. Perhaps she should consider buying her something other than the color pink to wear then.

Do you have any toys that you refuse to let your children play with (other than the ones that are clearly inappropriate for their age)?

Have a fantastic (albeit chilly) weekend- bundle those little ones up! Happy Halloween! 

My Toddler Plays With an iPhone…

… and I encourage it!

I recently upgraded my phone to an iPhone 4 and little Jack of course inherited my hand-me-down 3G. I wiped it of all of my more adult-centered apps (i.e. social media, restaurant finders, etc.) and it now has his toddler-centric apps only on it as well as a few of his favorite Pixar movies.

I have heard many comments made over whether or not letting a toddler play with an iPhone is just encouraging video games at a much earlier age and “books are so much better.” I don’t disagree with either of these criticisms; however, I feel it is up to parents to monitor exactly what is on these iPhones before letting their toddlers play with them. He doesn’t have just any old games on it. He has games that teach him the alphabet, words, numbers, songs, animals… I could go on and on at how beneficial these games have been! At daycare, he doesn’t have any connection to this type of technology. He spends his days reading, playing outside at recess, doing artwork and participating in dramatic play just to name a few. When he comes home, he is physically tired and we really kind of let him make the decision when he gets home at night in terms of what he’d like to do (to an extent…). Sometimes he plays with toys, sometimes he runs wild but a lot of the time he just sits and chills with his iPhone and plays his “games” before dinner. I certainly don’t feel that he is being damaged. He maybe spends anywhere from 5-30 minutes on it at best and it certainly doesn’t serve as a babysitter. I often ask him questions about what he is playing and for the ABC’s-type apps I ask him to repeat the letters and words rather than just look at them. How does that differ from a Leapster or V-Tech learning system?

Here are some of the apps that Jack has on his iPhone:
Toddler Phone
Little People Farm
Peekaboo Wild (my kid learned to say crocodile from this app at a very early age)
Peekaboo Farm
Baby Flash Cards
Old MacDonald Farm
Animal Show
Animal Sounds
Speak, Piggy!
ABC’s & Me
iGo Potty
Toddler Zoo

I confess he probably doesn’t need this app, but he laughs at it hysterically (must be a man thing): iToot.

I get so tired of the self-righteous moms out there criticizing things like this. We are still parenting him. We choose when he plays with it, how long he plays with it and what he is exposed to on it. We make sure he is learning something. We are interactive. WE call the shots. I’m sure there is a wrong way to go about it, but I feel pretty confident that we are doing okay.

What is your opinion on toddlers and iPhones? Love ’em or ditch ’em? 

Wordless Wednesday

I have been preparing for my brother’s wedding which is coming up in a very short week and a half.

I am nervous to be singing in the wedding.
I am concerned about freezing to death in a strapless dress and sandals.
But most of all? I am nostalgic.

I just went to my future sister-in-law’s bachelorette party (and I might still be recovering from it). We drove around town in this:

Yes. Those are stripper poles.

While I didn’t have a bus with stripper poles (I’ll leave the blow up doll that looked strangely like my husband out of this…), I did have an awesome time at my own bachelorette party:

My Ladies
Got to meet Brian Setzer at Nye’s

I treasure my memories!


I Guess I’m Disgusting

According to this article, I am disgusting.

If you don’t have the time to click over and read this article, let me give you the run down. It was written by some skinny bitch who:
1) Hates fat people
2) Has never been fat in her entire life

Her article, which I will try to recap first without bias, is basically meant to be a discussion on the TV show Mike and Molly and whether or not it is uncomfortable to watch intimacy between two plus-sized people.

This article really is horrific from the start. Take the title for example:  
Should Fatties Get a Room? (Even on TV?)

I think it speaks for itself how far downhill this article goes after that.

“My initial response was: Hmm, being overweight is one thing — those people are downright obese! And while I think our country’s obsession with physical perfection is unhealthy, I also think it’s at least equally crazy, albeit in the other direction, to be implicitly promoting obesity! Yes, anorexia is sick, but at least some slim models are simply naturally skinny. No one who is as fat as Mike and Molly can be healthy. And obesity is costing our country far more in terms of all the related health problems we are paying for, by way of our insurance, than any other health problem, even cancer.

The show promotes obesity? Really? Perhaps the network decided to put a show on about REAL PEOPLE.  At least some slim models are simply naturally skinny? Did you ever think that many of the folks that are obese ARE NATURALLY OBESE? She makes comments that Mike and Molly are not healthy- does she know that for a fact? How much is it costing our country- where are her facts? Proof? She is obviously a novice journalist.

“So anyway, yes, I think I’d be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other … because I’d be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything. To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I’d find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair.

There are a lot of things that gross me out, but I am not so rude and cruel to write about them. IN MARIE CLAIRE nonetheless.

“But … I think obesity is something that most people have a ton of control over. It’s something they can change, if only they put their minds to it.”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? Many obese people CANNOT control it- there are many that have medical conditions that cause it not to mention hereditary dispositions. It is not always mind over matter. I really want to slap her.

“(I’m happy to give you some nutrition and fitness suggestions if you need them — but long story short, eat more fresh and unprocessed foods, read labels and avoid foods with any kind of processed sweetener in them whether it’s cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup, increase the amount of fiber you’re getting, get some kind of exercise for 30 minutes at least five times a week, and do everything you can to stand up more — even while using your computer — and walk more. I admit that there’s plenty that makes slimming down tough, but YOU CAN DO IT! Trust me. It will take some time, but you’ll also feel so good, physically and emotionally. A nutritionist or personal trainer will help — and if you can’t afford one, visit your local YMCA for some advice.)”

What the holy hell was the purpose of this condescending paragraph (and what the hell is with the parenthesis around the whole thing?)?? If you haven’t already stuck enough knives into my heart (through all my layers of fat) you want to give me ADVICE on how to lose weight? She says “Trust me.” Why should I trust someone who has NEVER been fat a single day in their life? Is she a trainer or nutritionist or is she just another skinny bitch at the gym making the rest of us feel awkward? If you read Maura Kelly’s bio you will see that it appears she had to overcome anorexia. You would think she would have the common sense to understand how damaging writing an article like this could do to someone’s self-esteem.

To sum it up, this is the most degrading, hurtful and awful piece of crap writing I have ever come across. While a small part of me appreciates her not holding back, and holy shit, there was no holding back on her disdain for large people; I would think as someone who has the opportunity to freelance for a publication like Marie Claire, she should know (if she were at least remotely professional) that she has a sense of responsibility to write something with a little more class. Something that doesn’t further shatter the self-esteem of plus-sized women across the world.

I have discussed my struggles to lose weight after having my son. I have a stubborn 10lbs that will not leave me despite, oh what is it that she suggests? “Eat more fresh and unprocessed foods, read labels and avoid foods with any kind of processed sweetener in them whether it’s cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup, increase the amount of fiber you’re getting, get some kind of exercise for 30 minutes at least five times a week, and do everything you can to stand up more — even while using your computer — and walk more.” Oh yes. I have tried those things and more, and let me tell YOU Miss Kelly: When you don’t see the results after 2 years of busting your ass, it is pretty easy to give up.

Say what you want Maura Kelly about how fat and disgusting I am- at least I am married and have a child with an amazing man who loves me JUST AS I AM. So… tell me again? How’s that single life treating you?


Recently, I was asked why I am nowhere to be found in the social media world on the weekend. Awhile ago, I made a conscious decision that I would unplug on the weekend for the following reasons:

1) Family. My son spends Monday through Friday at daycare for approximately 9.5 hours a day. On a good week, I get about 15 hours total with him (and that is only if we keep him up a little later). On the weekend, he gets all of my attention. There are many weekend days that I don’t get to my e-mail until he goes down for a nap around 1pm. It makes me a little sad sometimes that I get so little time with him; therefore, I don’t need to be checking my Facebook and Twitter every second of the day- I should be spending that time with him.

2) Time. I don’t have enough of it. When I’m not spending the majority of my time with Jack there is cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping. These days, I am preparing to be in and sing in a wedding (just 2 weeks away now). That means: music rehearsals, shopping, parties… I also have 2 weddings coming in 2011, both of which I will be involved in some capacity which means more shopping, parties, etc. I was the first to marry out of many of my friends and I knew my day would come that I would be doing the bridesmaid thing in spades. But I love my girls so I participate with great honor. You could see how that would leave little time for my Social Media world.

3) Mental Break. Unplugging for a couple days really helps me to clear the brain. There was a time when I was addicted to and borderline obsessed with Social Media. From silly Facebook games to just being glued to my Twitter feed- I was spending a great deal of time being totally mindless and unconnected to the rest of my life. Unplugging allows me to spend time working on other projects.

Don’t get me wrong. If I get a few minutes of downtime or if I’m suddenly an insomniac, I’ll check in and see what’s going on. If I have a cute picture to share or something awesome is going on, I’ll post it. I’m just refusing to let the computer (and iPhone for that matter) occupy my entire existence.

How much time do you spend on Social Media? Do you ever take time to unplug?

The Week In Rant: Scandal Edition

Welcome to your Friday! It’s time for THE WEEK IN RANT!

Firstly, I’m testing out some new designs for my blog trying to find one that feels like a right fit for me. If you like something, hate it or have any recommendations, please let me know! I welcome the feedback.

This edition of The Week In Rant includes:
1) The Brett Favre Sexting Scandal
2) Glee- Stripped Down in GQ
3) Getting Old

Honestly. I don’t know what to think or how I even feel about this whole thing other than to say, I’m not really all that shocked by it. I had heard that he was a bit of a dirty bird, but whatever- stuff like this swirls around the super-celeb sports stars all the time. I can appreciate that both him and his wife Deanna refuse to comment on it. I feel bad for Deanna that she even has to deal with it at all- whether it is true on not. She’s such a sweet lady and has been through a LOT, if this turns out to be true, Brett Favre is a huge jerk. You are the oldest guy playing football- time to grow up.

I wasn’t going to let this drama go without my opinion. Here’s the deal. GLEE IS NOT A CHILDREN’S SHOW. Parents: it is up to us to manage and control what our children are exposed to. If they are exposed to it, then you should really choose to make it a teachable moment. Let them know it is not real. It is TV. Teach them about making moral decisions. I don’t keep GQ sitting around my house, so other than this picture popping up all over the internet there is really no chance of it being seen in my house. If you like Glee but don’t want your kids to watch it- DVR it and watch later. We cannot control what Hollywood puts out there, but we can control in our own homes what we allow our kids to see. As far as whether or not the picture is appropriate? *sigh* It really isn’t the worst I’ve ever seen. I remember Britney’s school girl “Hit Me Baby One More Time” being controversial too, this doesn’t seem all that different.

Getting older. That’s me. I’m heading out to a Bachelorette Party this weekend that will involve a party bus. 10 years ago, this would’ve been the best thing ever. Now? Yikes. Not only will partying until 2am be extremely taxing on my 34 year old body, but I dread the hangover the next day which I will have regardless of whether I have 1 beer or 10. On the other hand… I’m pretty honored that my future sister-in-law thinks I’m cool enough to hang.

Love Is…

Once upon a time I had an addiction to forwarded e-mails. Chain letters, jokes, pictures… you remember back in the year 2000 when that was cool, right? I HATE them now with every fiber of my being. There are some folks who still send them to me, some more than others, and about 99% of the time I delete them without reading them at all. Every once in awhile, I get a gem. This is one of them that is too sweet not to share with the masses:

 What Love means to a 4-8 year old . .
Slow down for three minutes to read this. It is so worth it. Touching words from the mouth of babes.
A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, ‘What does love mean?’

The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined See what you think:

‘When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore.
So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.’

Rebecca- age 8

‘When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.
You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.’

Billy – age 4

‘Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other..’

Karl – age 5

‘Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.’

Chrissy – age 6

‘Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.’

Terri – age 4

‘Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.’

Danny – age 7

‘Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more.
My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss’

Emily – age 8

‘Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.’

Bobby – age 7 (Wow!)

‘If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,’

Nikka – age 6
(we need a few million more Nikka’s on this planet)

‘Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.’

Noelle – age 7

‘Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.’

Tommy – age 6

‘During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling.

He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore..’

Cindy – age 8

‘My mommy loves me more than anybody
You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.’

Clare – age 6

‘Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.’

Elaine-age 5

‘Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.’

Chris – age 7

‘Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.’

Mary Ann – age 4

‘I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.’

Lauren – age 4

‘When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.’ (what an image)

Karen – age 7

this one
‘Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn’t think it’s gross.’

Mark – age 6

‘You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.’

Jessica – age 8

And the final one

The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,

‘Nothing, I just helped him cry’

Wordless Wednesday

I had a fabulous weekend celebrating 5 years with my husband. We celebrated with one of my oldest friends/former college roommates and her husband. I imbibed way too much and payed the price the next day. Was it worth it? Yup.

The Week In Rant

It’s Friday again which means it is time for The Week In Rant!

1. Is the Doctor Always Right?
2. Weight Loss Motivation
3. Celebrating 5 Years of Marriage

1. Is the Doctor Always Right? 
This past Wednesday, we got a call from daycare to come and pick up Jack because he had discharge coming out of his eyes. Of course pinkeye is suspect, but we had to see for ourselves. We were on the fence about it being pinkeye but of course daycare would not let him back unless we brought him to a doctor. Turns out he had an ear infection, but when asked about his eyes, she said that it was indeed conjunctivitis. Aren’t the eyes supposed to be red with pinkeye? Thus the name? I trusted her, got his antibiotics and we went on our merry way. The next morning, Jack’s eyes were perfectly clear. Could one evening of drops really have fixed it or was she wrong in her diagnosis? We’ve seen this before and another doctor said it was because of his sinuses.

It is hard enough to make decisions for our kids and sometimes, I feel like I have no choice but to trust the doctors.

When do you trust your doctor and when do you go with your gut mom instincts?

2. Weight Loss Motivation
I find this somewhat hilarious, but yet I am frightened all at the same time. My husband and his buddy decided that they needed to do something drastic to lose the weight and keep it off. So, instead of putting money or rewards on the table, they took it one step further and devised consequences. Their contracts (yes, they wrote up contracts) state that they are to lose 15% of their body weight by Memorial Day. Should they fail, they will have to follow through with their punishments. My husband, with his full luscious head of hair will have to shave himself bald and grow out his facial hair (trimming allowed). I can vouch for him that he will not make a good bald man and we’ll just say that facial hair isn’t his strong suit. His buddy, who is balding so he shaves his hair regularly and wears a thick man goatee is going to have to grow his hair out and shave his goatee. They must continue with their punishments until their goals have been reached. This may not sound all that horrifying to you, but to them? These are the worst punishments possible and they will do ANYthing to not have to follow through.

How is it going in the first week? From my outside perspective, my husband is not off to a great start. Sorry, honey! Totino’s Party Pizza is not really part of a balanced diet and only one day of walking the dog is probably not going to do much.

I have to chuckle a little because I understand how hard it is. For me, it seems there is nothing in the world that is big enough motivation for me to actually get started and stay on the path of healthy living. I make excuses and they all seem reasonable for me. My husband and I enable each other, too. Everything from having a long day or a busy weekend is an excuse for making garbage food for dinner. I’ve begun to take some baby steps- I can only eat out for lunch one day a week and I have to log my food on I’m still dealing with some migraine issues, so exercise is slow go. So, I’m parking further away at the office and taking the long way to the ladies room. Baby steps.

I’m not sure what would be a big enough consequence for me to actually force myself into healthy living. If you had to choose a consequence for not meeting your goals, what would it be?

3. Celebrating 5 Years of Marriage
Today, my husband and I are celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary. Every year, I think about that amazing wedding weekend. For me, it was a real life fairy tale and my dream come true. However, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that the last 5 years have been total wedded bliss. Marriage is not easy. It takes work. We’ve had ups and downs. We’ve dealt with a miscarriage and infertility. We traveled the world. We built a house. We miraculously got pregnant and had a child. After adding a child to our home, our marriage became even more of a challenge. We have had to learn a whole new way of working together for a common goal. We don’t always agree. We don’t always get along. We often nit pick each other. There are sometimes tears.

But at the end of the day there is love. We love each other. Regardless of all of our crazy life changes we still love each other as much as we did the day we walked that aisle and said our vows.

Wordless Wednesday

I had Monday off for Columbus Day. One of those random holidays that I get as a Credit Union employee. This year, the kiddo’s daycare was closed too. My husband didn’t take the day off so Jack and I decided to have a little Mommy-Son time and we took a trip to the MN Zoo.

We had the best time!

Once over his fear of this giant copper turtle, he proceeded to pet the turtle as well as point out all of its body parts. You can imagine why our dog runs away from him at home…