Cringing through the cute.

November 23rd, 2011

Look,  I understand that this tradition needs to go.  I am really sorry if  it hurts people’s feelings.   I even understand some of the Native American community equates this with blackface.  (The school  calls them Indians too. Not even American Indians.  Ack.)  Not cool.  So should I not have let him participate?   And, be the only one in his entire school who does not get to sing his little songs and be in the feast?

Keep in mind that I WORK at the school in question!  And it is a great preschool.  And, I LOVE working there.

He plays dress up every single day, why would he not dress as a Native American?   It is not like they painted his face red or anything!

Plus, see how cute?

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And it really is about being thankful to God, and teaching the kids to acknowledge their blessings. And the preschool does that very well.

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So this was his last year, next year it will be off to Kindergarten.  I think he will get a Pilgrim hat then.   Now his ancestors REALLY were Pilgrims (on the Mayflower and everything!)  so I know no one can get upset about that.   Right?

Just so you know, I think you are crazy.

November 7th, 2010

I have these friends/clients whom I love.   I know them very, very well, and they hire to me to take various pictures for them about three times a year.    This family is so sweet, and intelligent, and has good taste.   But they are crazy.   And so are half of you, and I am going to tell you why.

So I took this picture of the above mentioned family for their annual Christmas card shoot.   It is a good picture, I think we can all agree on that.   I thought it would be such a good Christmas card that I even did a (free of charge!) mock up for this lovely mom.    But.

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You should also know that this family moved here a few years ago from Oklahoma…….and that they are freaking HUGE OU fans.   Perhaps you don’t know any OU fans, but they do things like yell “BOOMER SOONER” and send you text messages that say BOOOOOOMMMMEEERRR SOOOONEEER just to annoy me.   Anyway this precious family loves OU football so much that I think they are going to use this picture instead:

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And that is why they are crazy.   But it gets worse!   I know people who spend THOUSANDS of dollars a year on college football tickets……and are not even alums of that school!  Someone please explain it to me?  It is not just the men around here.  It is whole families of rabid college football fans raising little baby football fans who sit on the lap of really old football fans and who all dress in the same unflattering colors and put stupid little flags on their cars.   This whole state shuts down if the big state team is playing.

Speaking of which, there is one school in my state that everyone is crazy about football wise.  If you ask any academic they will tell you it is not even a very good school!  But they get gobs of state money, and people dream of sending their kids there.   It is nuts I tell you!  Why would you save up to send your precious child to a school with a good football team even if they are not going to play football?  Would you not want them to get the best education instead?

And why are people so “for” schools they did not even GO TO?  Please someone help me understand.

And the money these stupid coaches get — whereas my wonderful professors had to worry about their retirement benefits?   Insane.  Not just insane, but morally wrong.

So in other words,   please forgive me if I decline your football viewing party, or do not “like” your post being so happy about a touchdown on facebook.   It is not that I don’t love you.   I do love you!  I just think you are CRAZY!

I was going to title this Germs, Gays, and Guns but that just seems so tacky!

March 11th, 2010

We all have strep throat.  I hate blogs where people whine non-stop so I will just say that it feels like I have been gargling with thumbtacks and leave it at that.

There have been two posts floating around in my head and neither one is complete, or honestly that good, so how about I throw them together and see what happens.  It could not be worse than telling you about the fluctuations of our temporal thermometer.

I am officially all about facebook now.  I can totally see the appeal.  It is the voyeurism of reality television only with that person you met once at that thing or your mother’s second cousin once removed’s preacher instead of a total stranger!   The thing about facebook is you learn details about people that you never would have known if not for that easy friend button.   What have I learned?  Every single boy I was attracted to as a teenager up until this jerk was a homosexual!   Really.  Fine.  I am glad they are happy and being themselves.  I don’t think a person’s sex life has anything to do with their worth.   I judge that on how much money they have.  Kidding!  Good grief.

What I want to know is what it was about 13-16 year old me that made those boys want to date me?  Hmm.  Was I nice or gullible or accepting or what?  I refuse to believe it was because I had any masculine features.  I was/am a girly girl and had breasts out of the womb (or at least fifth grade).  Why was I attracted to them?  Well, they were cute and kind and I hated jocks.  Feel free to look into your crystal ball and explain it to me.  (disclaimer:  I hope those previous two paragraphs did not come across as rude, or judgmental.  I am pretty open minded, yet ignorant, all at the same time.)

Next up in the I am barely lucid strep screed I have going on today, guns.  Specifically, guns in your house.   I am a Republican.  Surely you already knew this.  More specifically I am a Constitutional Conservative.   This means that I am A-Ok with you and your gun.  Use it to kill yourself  a baby seal for its coat or to rid your house of a bad guy or show it to your friends to make your penis feel bigger.  Whatever. I really don’t care.   BUT.  There are no guns in my house.  There are two reasons, both of which I have been struggling with, and my husband would appreciate your telling me to get over both of them, because he wants a handgun.

Reason one:  The Husband does not hunt.  He has no need to brag to his friends.  The only reason we would have one would be a protection type thing.  That and to piss off our hippie friends.  Fine, so we would have a gun for “protection”.  We also have a very smart and curious son.  One who is already obsessed with guns, which he knows about only from playing with his friends.  We, of course, would have a very good safe and trigger lock.  So how is a gun that is locked up tighter than Fort Knox going to protect you when there is a bad guy in your house?  How can one both keep kids safe and also have easy access when needed? (note:  We live in a very safe and quiet community–this alleged bad guy in the house is quite a stretch.)

Reason two:  People go crazy.  I could go crazy.  My Husband could go crazy.  Anything could happen.  We both have people in our families that have been totally nutso and it could happen….do I really want easy access to a gun IF….. ( did you see the BIG IF there?).  I guess that is a crazy worry, but I can’t get it out of my head.  For example, there was a gun in the apartment when this happened.  Maybe that is what is really causing this stupid worry–which I know is not fair to my husband, the kindest, sweetest person on the planet,  but a worry is a worry and the thought of a gun in my house makes me feel icky.   Thoughts?

Love, honor and respect: I have been paying attention in class!

February 14th, 2010

I got married when I was twenty-three.   For the record, I think twenty-three is too young to get married, and I was not mature enough to make that decision.  Now that I am a more mature, even elderly age, I know that we got lucky.   The Husband and I have matured and grown together instead of in different directions.  This is only by the grace of God.

I was in love with him.  I wanted to be with him at all times.  Lordy, was I ever attracted to him.  I trusted him to not hurt me, but I still wanted to be in control.  I still was counting on taking care of myself, with my parents as a fall back.   I’m not sure I even knew HOW to really respect him.

You know that I was an awesome student, right? Well, if I were to write a mid-term paper on what I have learned in the class of love I would say there are two reasons we have a stronger marriage today than we did seven years ago.  1.  When we got married we promised to have faith that God had put us together, and that he would continue to use us for his good. 2.  We are both hard workers.  You see that is one of the most important thing I have gained from this man–love takes work.

It is one of the beautiful truths of life; loving each other in action–what we do and say–produces romance.  Everything in American culture teaches the opposite, that romance turns into love–but that is simply wrong.  Love is a choice and we choose how we’re going to treat our spouses in the good –and in the not-so-good–times.

My husband has taught me that the reality is an enduring, loving, thriving marriage can be built by simply changing how we interact with our spouse.

My husband has shown me that a modicum of kindness, selflessness, and respect goes a very long way.

My advice to newlyweds would be to accept the fact that your spouse isn’t perfect and then start taking notice of all the good.  Focusing on the good allows you to sort of train your mind to be grateful for who they are–which is so much better than feeling disappointed about who they are not.  Then TELL HIM (or her).  Tell him thank you for being a wonderful provider, tell him that he makes the world’s best grilled cheese, tell him that his short cut really was faster, remind him that you love the way they look with crazy David Bowie hair first thing in the morning, tell him he is an amazing father, and tell the whole world that YOU LOVE HIM.

Now I trust my life to this man–mine and our child’s.  Now I know that he will do everything in his power to take care of and provide for his family.  I respect his decisions and am learning to accept that sometimes because he says so is a good enough reason.   I am honored to be his wife.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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In which I learn never to say never.

July 1st, 2009

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I posted this picture and said there was a long story coming? Well, this is it.

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In November a good friend of mine from church told me about five dogs and two cats who were living across the street from her in horrible conditions at the home of a mutual acquaintance.   This acquaintance was not, is not, a bad person, however she is the single mom of three children, and has a long history of getting puppies and then getting rid of them once they are no longer cute.  She works very hard, very long hours, away from home, and all of her animals were neglected.  There is just not a nice way to say that, good person or not, these animals were neglected.   One of these dogs was Ellie-Mae.

It had been exactly three years since Polly died.  My sweet, funny, ridiculous little Polly.  We remained a family with just one dog because I knew we could not replace Polly.  I have no idea what possessed me to call this acquaintance and offer to take one of the dogs off her overworked hands, but I did.  I did it without even talking to The Husband first, something I never do.

The first time I saw Ellie she was covered in long matted hair which was soaked in urine and had dried feces all over her.  She had been kept in a crate all the time, and had never been taught even the basics of house training.   She thought her crate was where she should sleep, eat, and poop.   She possessed zero social skills, did not like to cuddle, or play with people.   She was woefully underweight.   I loaded her in the Huckablazer, begrudgingly took the beyond nasty crate, and headed for home.   It took three baths before we could even stand for her to be in the house, and I had her shaved the very next morning–helping the smell, but not the ribs sticking out.   A trip later in the day to the vet revealed a host of infections, all caused by neglect.  She weighed less than four pounds.

It took hundreds of dollars worth of vet bills and medication to get her well, but we did it anyway.  We all wanted this little dog to be part of our family.  We fed her, and fed her, and fed her.  We tried to play with her, but while she loved to play in the backyard with Katydid, she never really took to any of us.  We had her spayed to ensure she would never have to go through what her puppymill mother did.  We tried every trick for house breaking her, all except for the crate  she was so afraid of.   We patiently reminded ourselves she was just a puppy as we cleaned up accident after accident.  We rolled up our rugs confident we could put them back down when she was older.

I went back to the vet a couple of months ago, at the end of my rope with Ellie.  She was pulling toys out of toy baskets to destroy.  She barked all the time.  She was resistant to all house breaking attempts.  He told me that she missed out on very important socialization as a little puppy, that she was an inbred puppymill dog, and that our only hope might be to permanently medicate her.   Permanently medicate her!  So she would be lethargic, and miserable all the time.   We went to PetSmart and bought a pen for inside instead. I would take her on long walks to get her energy out, but she never got the hang of walking on a leash.   We left her outside to play as much as possible during the day, and at night tried to get her to bond with us, and then put her in her pen to sleep. The one the son is pretending to be a dog in at the top of the screen.

This worked for about a week, then she figured out how to escape, and was causing havoc all night long.  We bought tons of high energy dog toys for her to chew on and entertain her. None of us were sleeping.  Then The Husband devised a plan involving kitchen chairs, and long pieces of cardboard to try and keep her in the pen.  It did not work either,  she was not as stupid as everyone thought–but she was wild.  Before The Son and I went to New York, I picked up every single toy, every single anything which Ellie could destroy.   At night while The Husband was sleeping, she escaped and climbed onto The Son’s train table and killed a few of Thomas’ friends.  She got into the entry way, knocked over the basket of shoes and ate The Husband’s father’s day present.   The Husband called the next day REALLY angry.

This dog was causing my little family a lot of grief, a lot of money, and a lot of energy.   Everyone told me to just get rid of her.  EVERYONE.  But I really struggled because I have always said that pets are for life!  That you do not get a pet and then abandon it when the going gets rough, that pets are hard work and if you are not willing to put in the sweat equity, then you do not deserve a pet.  I thought back to how judge-y I was when Shoeshe had to find a new home for one of her dogs, how I thought she gave in too soon.  I remembered how I felt when I heard of families giving away animals when they moved because new apartments did not allow pets.  I still believe all of those things!  However I seem to have learned a lesson this year that at some point the quality of life for the people in your house is more important than the quality of life for the animals–and sometimes the hurts that happen early in an animals life are too big for the average pet owner to fix.

I get it now.   Shoeshe, I am sorry.  You did the right thing with Gracie.  She was not a good fit for you, and Ellie was not a good fit for us.  We fought the good fight.  We tried, we really, really did, but Ellie needed more than we could give her.  She needed a professional.   I hope the home I picked for her is as wonderful as I was told. I am still worried, and still feel horribly, horribly guilty-but I have not had to wipe up a pee spot in three days, and not a single shoe or toy has been destroyed, and that does feel pretty good.

Why I cannot stand Gary Tygert Pennington

January 20th, 2009

I was sitting in the Huckablazer, waiting on The Husband to return the rental car,while The Son was carrying on a very detailed conversation with a rubber dinosaur and a plastic comb.  Bored, I began to idly flip through the February edition of Parents magazine (I get this free, and would never pay for this vapid excuse for parenting advice ((please do not email me about how you love Parents and it saved your life, blah, blah, blah. I just think it is highly overrated.)) when I saw this:

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Well the print version anyway, this is from Similac’s website.

You probably already know how I feel about formula in general; but really, could someone please tell me what Ty Pennington has to do with baby formula?  Nothing.  He just is greedy and takes any endorsement deal he can get. I am adding this to the official, “Why I can’t stand Gary Tygert Pennington” list.  I can just tell that you are dying  to know the rest of the list.  No?  Well sorry, this is all I have for you today.

1. Look at him:

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This guy is 44 years old.  He has a not quite soul patch, not quite chinapillar.   He has said he goes to a spray tanning booth when he is not shooting, his hair…well, just look at it!  He is 44! I do like this jacket though, for me not The Husband.

2.  I met him once and he was a total egomaniac.  He was going from desk to desk signing autographs at our office.  I just shook his hand, and he seemed surprised I did not want him to sign my cell phone.   I was surprised because he was much shorter than he looked on TV, and his girlfriend just followed him around handing him sharpies, not talking and had an identical haircut.

3.  Speaking of his girlfriend, he cheated on Drea Bock, his girlfriend/manager of 11 years, with a stripper.  Ew.  I guess next he will be endorsing herpes medication.

4.  Even though he is more than capable of hiring a cab, he was arrested and convicted of DUI.  He apologized and Disney (who owns ABC, Extreme Home Makeover, and Ty) glossed over the whole affair.

5.  He is an endorsement whore.  Besides being Similac’s spokesperson (even though he has no kids! Nor any medical background to compare formula to breastmilk! Or a uterus!),he has also endorsed the ADHD medication Adderal (which he also takes ((which, by the way,  should not be mixed with alcohol)), the now defunct Furniture Unlimited, cell phones, Bayer aspirin, and of course Sears.  There may be more, but these are the only ones I could find.

6.  As we saw many times on Trading Spaces, and now on Extreme Home Makeover, his taste is marginal at best.  Look at his bedding line if you doubt me.  Do you know what he calls his “style” ( I am using that term loosely obviously)? Creativi-TY and sTYle.  Gag.

7.  He gets published when there are so many awesome writers who have to try for years to be read by a publisher.   He has written three books and now has a quarterly magazine.  How can you write that much about platform beds and mdf?

8. He is tacky.  He was asked to tone down all of the double entendres in a caulking chapter, and every book has a picture of him nude in the shower.

9.  Lastly, and this is more a negative of ABC than Ty, but he should know better, an Extreme Home Makeover makeover will add thousands of dollars in new taxes to the new homes they build—which, in all likelihood, the owners can’t afford.  They capitalize on an easy tear jerker, without considering the social consequences of erecting a Mcmansion that often towers over every other house on the block.   Extreme Home Makeover and Ty Pennington offer the shallow American dream,  leather sectionals, stainless appliances, whirlpools and half a dozen flat-screen TVs—all thoughtfully provided by the show’s sponsors.  They think this will bring happiness, no matter the affliction.

In other words, I would pick  Nate Berkus any day of the week  (even if he is Oprah’s lapdog).  For those of you who need more heterosexual and rugged eye candy than Nate can provide, might I suggest Mike Rowe?  (disclaimer:  I, myself,  like the more geeky, intelligent, cuddly sort, think The Husband) Mike is hard working, well read, and, when clean, down right yummy.

Has feminism hurt our boys?

November 26th, 2008

Am I going to get kicked out of the club for having a post so entitled?  I have been getting ready for some Thanksgiving travel around here, so read this–everyone, but especially if you have a son, and scan through this, and discuss.   I will update with my thoughts later.

Are you kidding me, Mom?! Why can’t you just write a post about what you are thankful for like everyone else?  Why do you need to start a debate?

Maybe if I close my eyes and wish really hard it will just skip straight to where you say, “everyone has a right to their own opinions,” and move on.