Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Reflections on Superstorm Sandy

Happy Halloween everyone! Although, you all know that if it were up to me, we would have been done celebrating on Friday!
I can cross living through a hurricane off my list of life experiences as I have been (and am now currently) in "hunker down" mode at my house. Going to be honest here, where I live it didn't seem like more than just a really bad, windy rainstorm that lasts all day long. And while I thought for a second that I may be one of the millions of people without power, we were very lucky to only have our lights flicker a bit. I have been watching the news like everyone else and am stunned to see images from the New Jersey shore and New York City (both places I've visited in the last year and loved), and my heartfelt prayers go out to all those who still are in harm's way. But because we like to keep things a bit light here on this blog, there have been a few things I've noticed/learned during Sandy that I'd like to share with you all.

1. New Jersey/Philadelphia Weather Ladies are all cute and chesty. I watched them for two days straight and there must be something in the water here:)

2. Always take in your garbage cans when there's a hurricane coming. We must be novices because around 3 pm we heard a crash and looked out to see dirty diapers strewn down our very wet driveway. Luckily the husband braved the storm to go out and rescue the neighbors from our grossness.

3. If you hear of a big storm coming your way 5 days in advance, do not read the news late at night. I didn't sleep very well all week.

4. If you hear of a big storm coming your way 5 days in advance, get water and batteries right away. Our store aisles cleared out VERY quickly (like I didn't get any...another reason number 3 happened).

5. I love my church. This won't surprise any Mormons out there, but when we went to church on Sunday (with the storm looming) there was an emergency plan in place to contact every member of the congregation to ensure their safety and well being and offers of help were abundant. Not everyone has this.

6. There is nothing like a good scare, to make you take emergency preparedness a little more seriously. I felt lucky that we knew this storm was coming days in advance so that I had time to dot my i's and cross my t's and prepare for days without power or possibly water. With something like an earthquake, you don't have that kind of warning, so lesson learned.

7. I feel bad for people who have the name of major storms. There is no way of guaranteeing that this will never happen to your child unless you name them something like Janessica or Djadon (both actual names of former students I taught). So sorry Katrina!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Can Be Healthy Too!

So, Halloween is not really an Australian thing. But, it is something Australians are starting to get into and enjoy. This year, my husband just happens to have the Halloween day off work so we've decided to have a tiny Halloween party, make Jack-O-Lanterns and pretend we care. Which we do (see, I'm already pretending so well).

Problem! We're both on health kicks. Halloween and health kicks are not friends. Naturally, I turned to my friend Google and after just a few minutes I found our saving grace. It's entitled 15 Halloween Healthy Snacks and ALL of them look wonderful... that is if you would like to gross your kids out in a healthier way. If you click on the link above and scroll through the pictures, all the recipes are there too. Here's some of my favourites.

Snack O Lantern

Apple Bites
Banana Ghosts
Pizza Mummies
Monster Mash Dip
Cheese Finger Food
My favourite - Melon Brain

It all looks so yummy, yet disgusting! Mmm.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Nap Time to Nope Time

Well, the much dreaded day has arrived.  The day in which MY SON HAS QUIT NAPPING  (sorry to yell at you, I'm just a bit out of my wits).

Everything had been going swimmingly with him taking a two hour nap every day without fail until one day, out of the clear blue, he quit taking naps.  I don't know why I'm surprised.  Every other person who has a 3 year old has told me they generally grow out of taking naps around this age, but I thought my child would be the exception since he was such an exceptional nap taker. 

During his naps I would generally tidy the house or read a book or take a nap or work on a craft or browse the Internet or watch a movie.  Not the most productive things in the world, but it was a nice break in the middle of the day.  Not to mention that I have had it timed so that my kids would nap at the same time - most mothers know that that is no small feat.  (And yes, I'm one of those parents who have their children on a pretty tight schedule, but that's another post for another day.  No, it's not.  They're on a schedule.  What more can I say?)

Anyway, to deal with this unfortunate event I have created "quiet time" where I make him lay in his bed for at least an hour during the time his sister is napping.  I kind of feel like a mean mom for making him do so, but certainly not mean enough to quit.  And he hasn't complained, so I guess this new arrangement will have to suffice.  Just know that it's a sad time around here folks.  A sad, sad time. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tales from the Vault #2

Recently, my dear husband drug me out to see the newest Paranormal Activity in the theater. I'm not a scary movie fan, and definitely not in a theater. I'd much rather be at home hiding under a blanket and easily be able to leave the room should the movie become too intense. I have been known to suffer an anxiety attack due to such scary movies. I knew better, but wanting to please my husband, I went along. Now just so you know, I survived. As evidenced by this here blog post. But, I was not without a lingering unease.

At work the next morning, I was sitting at my desk alone in the high school office while everyone else was in an early morning assembly. Suddenly our High School Principal's office light switched off. I looked up startled because I knew I was alone. Slowly, most carefully I got up and crept around my desk toward his door. In that moment, the High School counselor's light switched off. She wasn't in the room either. My heart pounding in my chest, I came to realize that I must have brought "something" back with me from that movie. I had become haunted!  Staring into the Principal's office, someone came into the main office behind me, and when they did all the lights in the rooms started popping on again.

Apparently, unbeknownst to me, motion detecting lights had been installed the previous evening, and my overactive imagination had gotten the better of me.

And that is why I shouldn't watch scary movies....

I have been busy posting 31 Days of Faith on my blog.  This does not coincide with those posts, however.  If you are interested in contributing, please visit my blog.  I could use all the help and support I can get. Just click on my signature.  

Friday, October 26, 2012

Life's Greatest Frustration Now Solved!

Don't you hate losing the channel changer in the couch? It's terrible to have to actually get off the couch and change the channel manually.

I know! How about we make the channel changer part of the couch? Oh wait, someone beat me to it.

Buy now!

The idea looks great on paper, but honestly, how convenient will this be when you miss the proposal on the Bachelorette because you were sobbing into the remote and accidentally changed the channel. 

Not so nice then.

Plus it's not cute.

Back to the drawing board folks. Or hey, maybe Pinterest has a DIY solution for us!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

From the Mouth of a Southern Belle

Earlier this month I got to check off another state on my list of states I have been to.   As an added bonus it was my first time actually visiting the South and not just on a layover.  I went to Alabama! And not just anywhere in Alabama, but I was near the city that Antoine Dodson made famous on You Tube for his "Hide your kids, hide your wife" news interview.
Everyone I met there was delightful and I just adore that southern drawl accent.  There were a few interesting phrases that were spoken in that fabulous accent that were new to me and I would like to share.  Maybe I should even toss some into the mix of my vocabulary.

Lost as a Goose - I heard this one a few times and wondered why choose a goose?  Of all the birds out there I think geese are quite smart and not directionally challenged.  They arrange themselves into that perfect V shape and they can and do fly hundreds of miles.  They know to fly South for winter.  I would probably use a phrase like lost as a magpie.

Summer Teeth - The person that said this didn't even wait for me to ask what summer teeth were, she offered up the example right away saying "some are here, some are there."  I could see myself using this one to describe a teething baby.

Don't Fluff It - The South's version of "don't sugar coat it" give it to me straight.

And last but not least..... (slightly PG-13)

Tall as a Whore - That's right, someone actually used that phrase as a compliment.  Nobody even blinked, except for me.  Aparently it's quite a common compliment and they continued on with other discussion about how much they liked the subject's hair and her outfit, but I was still stuck on the previously mentiond "compliment" of being tall.  What ever happened to less risque compliments like tall as a model?  Tall glass of water?  Tall as the day is long? This one will not be on the rotation of new phrases I learned.

I would recommend a visit to the South to anyone.  The people are so nice and generous, the food is awesome (I had cornbread and chicken and all the BBQ I could handle), and the atmosphere is charming.  Just be advised that you will pick up a few new phrases while you are there, and maybe even that Southern drawl.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

If You Like Your Halloween Scary

Halloween is a fun holiday, especially for the kids, but honestly, it isn't one I really get in to. We finally carved pumpkins yesterday, and I might get around to making some decorations this week with my 4-year old. Costumes? Of course I procrastinate on those.

Then there is the issue of Halloween movies. Do you watch the silly ones with the kiddos? Do you enjoy a late-night scare-fest with your spouse/girlfriends/someone to hide behind? Or do you enjoy the slew of suspenseful horror movies that come out this month? Personally, I am not a fan of scary movies. I get too scared, then we go to bed and my husband is out in 8.4 seconds, and I am left alone in the dark to relieve the scariest moments. (We used to watch Criminal Minds a lot, right before bed. Not a good idea.) I don't think I have really watched a scary movie in  . . . several years at least. I do "enjoy" M. Knight Shyamalan's movies (most of them), but I still prefer them in the daylight.

Well, if you are the type who does enjoy the chest-tightening thrill of a good scary show,  I have something for you to watch (after the kiddos go to bed). We are Dr. Who fans (not groupies, just fans), and the large majority of the episodes are weird, campy, "out-there" ideas, but I wouldn't classify them as scary, because most of the aliens/creatures don't look very realistic, or like something you could run across while performing your daily errands. This episode is very different. It is terrifying. After watching this, I thought these weeping angels would come after me in my sleep. The episode is called "Blink." Here is a clip that is about seven minutes, but I encourage you to find the whole episode on Netflix (or elsewhere) to really get the most terrifying effect. (Season 3, Episode 11, and Season 5, Episodes 4&5) Unless you are easily prone to nightmares.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday!

My deapest apologies for just barely remembering that I was scheduled to post today. You see, every week, there is one day that I dread more than others...


There are just enough drop offs/pick ups/changing clothes in the car, hanging out at dance lessons...FOR TWO HOURS (all while keeping the 12 month old entertained) to make this day one that stirs up that frazzled mom feeling. And don't worry, I look the part too. I literally just showered (at 2:30 pm) and put back on my sweats. Not kidding.

Not only that, but Tuesday is my cleaning day this year (I have a different day every year it seems). I love cleaning day after I've cleaned, but do you know what I hate...facing cleaning day and actually cleaning. You'd think that with how much this day makes me cringe, I would choose another day to clean, but schedule-wise that's just how it is, so I have to suck it up.

On brighter Tuesdays, I try to throw something in the crock pot so that after the two hour dance fiasco, dinner is ready for us when we come home. It didn't happen today so guess what's on tonight's menu? The choice of  Grilled Cheese Sandwiches or Cereal or Kraft Mac N' Cheese. Just makes the mouth water, right?

Here's to my next post which will be on time and better than today's. And here's to tomorrow. And Thursday. Any day that's not today, really.

Tell me I'm not alone in having day of the week hatred!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

More Mysteries of the Universe

It's time for another installment of "Mysteries of the Universe."  You can read the first installment here.

How did they possibly put cheese in a can?  And make it so delicious?

Why do we have a desire to kiss chubby babies, but not chubby adults?
If it is considered anti-feminist to take on your husband's last name why isn't it considered anti-feminist to keep your dad's last name?

Why isn't Winnie the Pooh's name made fun of more often? I mean, it's a pretty easy target.

Why did Saved by the Bell end?  I think they could have dragged it out past "Saved by the Bell: The College Years."  What about "Saved by the Bell: The Gang Gets Jobs" or "Saved by the Bell: Wedding Bells, That Is."  Maybe even "Saved by the Bell: Zack's and Kelly's Kids Start School."  I would have watched.

I know, I should have been a philosopher.  Or a T.V. Title Writer.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Watch hilarious Australian 80s TV with me!

I’m not sure what kids’ TV shows they have in the states, but here Playschool is one of the most popular and has been since I was a kid. I loved watching Playschool when I was a kid. They sing songs, make fun things out of pipe cleaners, egg cartons, and styrofoam. They read stories, play games and teach about things like animals or families.

Well, now my little boy watches it. But what I’ve discovered is that the Playschool of today is very different to the Playschool of my day. It’s very tame, perfect, and professional these days. In my day (gee, how old do I sound?) Playschool was a little cheeky. The adults on there would make some slightly flirtatious comments to each other, or comments with just a touch of innuendo would escape their lips. They only did one take of the show, so if they did something silly it stayed.

So when I was looking on YouTube for an episode for my son one day, I came across this one. It is HILAROIUS. I hope you watch it and find it as hilarious as me. Get your kid to watch it with you so you feel less moronic. This episode is special because they’re at the beach. The older guy, John, makes some very cheeky comments and he and the woman, Monica, flirt just a touch. Incidentally, John was my favourite as a kid… perhaps I got his humour even then. Watch it, and see how silly Australian children’s TV was in the 80s and 90s. Then Don (who is Russell Crowe’s father in law. Just FYI.) plays his guitar and a little girl begs for him to sing ‘Little Shell’!

It cracks me up. I hope you enjoy it too.

Tales from the Vault

Do you want to hear the scariest stories ever? Well, do you? It seems fitting with the chilling holiday quickly approaching. By the way, I don't like Halloween. It's dark and scary and kids ask for candy from strangers. Just look at the kind of movies that come out this time of year. Frightening.

I had a frightening experience once. The most terrifying of my LIFE! No, it wasn't when I married KT. I know what you're thinking. No it was when I awoke in the middle of the night to have a spider crawling on my face. No joke! I am truly afraid of creepy, crawly spiders. I don't know what it is, maybe it is my mom's influence. Thanks mom! But I woke to a tickling on my face. When I reached up to scratch it, it was a spider that I quickly pinched between my fingers, shot out of bed and ran screaming to the bathroom where I promptly flushed it down the toilet. Let's just say I lost it. I couldn't sleep in my bed for several nights after that. Talk about paranoid!

I am also afraid of slithery, slimy snakes. I can handle a toad or frog. For crying out loud, I married one. But, snakes...oh dear God...My chest is getting tight just thinking of it. I can hardly walk through the snake house at the zoo. When I was in Oregon a while back, Ladybug had a run in with a snake. Gratefully, I had run back to the RV for my sunglasses. I missed the whole episode. I might have made the situation worse with my screaming and hyperventilating. Ladybug and my mom were taking the nature trail to the beach. A little snake wrapped itself around her sneaker while she looked at my mom for help in what to do. Lifting her foot the thing slithered away. It was really just an instant, but if I had been there I probably would have caused her to be bitten or something horrendous.  We don't even know if it was poisonous.  Needless to say, if I had seen it I would have been finding an alternate route to the beach even if it meant climbing down a cliff or something.

I'm just saying there are somethings more terrifying than others.

I have been busy posting 31 Days of Faith on my blog.  This does not coincide with this chilling post.  If you are interested in contributing, please visit my blog.  I could use all the help and support I can get. Just click on my signature.  

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Don't you just love the onslaught of political posts on Facebook? I particularly enjoy people complaining, and people complaining about people complaining, and people complaining that people are complaining and ungrateful for the blessed country and free speech we take for granted.

I know the political season can stir us all up over "the issues," but I'm so grateful for the presidential debates that sum up the candidates position on those "issues" sofa couch bears for instance:

But seriously, who would you vote for if you couldn't read or hear and were really bad at reading lips?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Office Linebacker

Becasue of my profession, I read about a hundred resumes a week.  For the most part, they are all about the same so when I get a unique one (and by unique I mean totally crazy), its a lot of fun.  How a basic resume and email class has escaped a Super Saturday workshop, or for that matter, a High School Career Prep class, we will never know.  So I have two very basic requests. 

First, create an age appropriate and might I add, work appropriate email.  It has become quite comical to reply to applicants when their email is something like

Along with the request for a big girl email is to please leave the naughty words out of it.  It makes it ever so awkward to respond to an email regarding a potential interview when there are four-letter words involved.

Second, don't try to be funny on the resume.  If you were a professional football player and highlight that on your resume, don't apply for a secretarial job and say you can tackle any problem you are faced with.  You catch on quickly.  You can handle extra tasks that are thrown at you.  This will only make me laugh until I cry and my imagination will be picturing a linebacker as a secretary.  Oh, and did I mention this is a true story?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Everything I Need to Know, I Learned on Pinterest

. . . not really, but I have made some pretty amusing observations about my cohorts in Pinterestland. Don't be afraid to nod in agreement, utter phrases like "wow, how did she know that?" or just sit in awe of my amazing psychic abilities as I tell you about your nearest and dearest friends on Pinterest.*

*Don't know what Pinterest is? Crawl out of  your cave (or mountain of laundry, realistically), google it, sign up, find friends to follow, pin for hours until you realize you haven't gotten dressed or fed your children lunch, and then slowly begin to wean yourself down to a reasonable DRP (daily ration of Pinterest).

  • The first thing you have probably noticed is that our two favorite things to pins are 1) Desserts. Many completely decadent, over-the-top rich, holiday-specific, and not at all good for us. And 2) Diet and Exercise Programs. Quick and easy, do-at-home, "get rid of that mommy pooch" programs. Who are we kidding here? Which of this pins are going to be referenced more in the next two months? The crowd-pleasing and impressive desserts . . . or the picture of the woman with the six-pack who probably has never seen a stretch mark. Ladies, let's be realistic here. Pull out your winter sweaters, and come January 1, we will dust off those exercise pins and get to work. When the leftovers are gone. 
This is one of my favorite pins that my husband found. He was seriously considering it for his birthday for awhile. Check it out here.
  • DIY! Does anyone else feel like Pinterest should really be called DIYtrest? I love DIY projects as much as the next girl, but sometimes as I scroll through Pinterestland, I feel like I need to hire someone to "DIY" my projects for me. So many great ideas, so little nap time!
  • Cooking. Besides the onslaught of fabulous desserts, you can also find a wealth of recipes for food that would constitute an actual meal. But the obvious message in Pinterestland is, "Here is a list of freezer meals/slow cooker meals/30 minute meals you can easily prepare ahead of time so you can spend more time during the day on Pinterest!" 
  • Holiday Decor. Am I the only one who is mildly overwhelmed by the (DIY) holiday decoration ideas, especially when they pop up several months before said holiday, decide to pin a couple here and there, then I look at the calendar one day and realize, "Oh shucks, tomorrow is _______, and I didn't get around to making any of those 37 holiday decorations I pinned. Oh well, I guess I will try next month."  Repeat.
  • Cleaning/Organizing ideas and solutions. Pinterest is a wealth of knowledge when it come to easy (and DIY!) cleaning ideas. Many of these seem quite useful. In fact, many times I have found myself saying, "huh, why didn't I think of that?" The only downside to these pins is that it makes me feel like a complete slob when I do none of them. 
  • Fashion. Personally, I don't pin much to fashion because when I see the cute pictures of the perfectly coordinated outfits, free of spit-up, drool, and marker stains, I long for the day when I can have a big walk-in closet with cardigans organized by color and shoes separated by season. But we all know how much I enjoy shopping, and I hear it is wrong to covet, so . . . I will stick with my DIY fantasies.
  • Home Decor, AKA Someday in My Dream Home. Again, not supposed to covet . . .
  • E-Cards. I enjoy most of these, especially the ones that make me laugh out loud. Or snort out loud. Some of my favorites are this one, this one, and this one. Because you know its true. 

What observations have you made from your time in Pinterestland? Do you also need to convince your husband to get his own account? On a regular basis, I find a dozen tabs open with pins he thought I might like. I think I could turn that into an e-card. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Halloween Friday: My New Cause

Halloween. Halloween. Halloween. Why do I love yet loathe this holiday?

I think A LOT of it has to do with my teaching days. I want you to close your eyes and imagine that you have to entertain 26 sugar-high six year olds at a 6 hour party. The party also includes a parade involving thousands of parents taking your picture (in whatever costume you didn't want to wear, and you're pregnant [that's just my scenario because it happened like that once]). Oh, and somehow at this party you are supposed to "get as much learning in as possible" because that's your job. (Hey Batman, do you know what's better than candy, trick or treating, costumes and parties?... Reading.)

Hellish, right? That's what Halloween feels like to teachers.

I'm not saying that Halloween is a cakewalk for moms either. I don't enjoy putting my kids in costumes (which may or may not require hair and makeup) for the 5 different events they can wear costumes to and hauling around to multiple parades (on the same day) only to take a picture of my kid in a costume I have already seen them in and is probably dirty or broken by now. And the candy! OH THE CANDY! I don't want to be the fuddy-dud who hands out rice cakes or fruit or makes their kids trade their candy for books (see the above...candy will always beat books in the eyes of kids...any kid who makes such a trade has been coerced), so I resort to the two treats per day rule for about one week because by that point the kids have had two treats per day and mom and dad have had 20 per day and thankfully, the good candy is gone.

It's all madness.

But we do it for the kids because really, there is no better day than Halloween when you're a kid. 

So, it was at event number one of last year (our ward trunk or treat in the metro DC area) that a fellow ward member who works on Capitol Hill gave me a glimmer of Halloween hope when she said:

"Do you know what some members of Congress were discussing today? They were talking officially changing the date of Halloween to the last Friday in October every year instead of having it the 31st."


If we can't change anything else about Halloween, we could at least make it on a Friday (the party day of the week)!!! Have you checked the calendar this year? That's right; Halloween is on a Wednesday. So now we all have to get up and do the daily grind for two days after as we all deal with our own sugar crash and the sugar crashes of our children. Wouldn't a weekend be better suited for that?

Politicians, pay attention!! Do you want my support this election? Do you need the support of moms or teachers? Get this done!

I should be kidding about being so passionate about this, but I'm only half kidding here. So if you're interested in starting a letter campaign with me, leave a comment. I'm going to need some testimonials in my letter that I can send to my congressman/woman (once I figure out who my congressman/woman is). And I suggest you do the same. TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A CHANGE!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dinner Party So-Pros

Last night, my husband and I went with our son to a dinner party. We turned up just a few minutes fashionable late, took along some drinks and joined in the festivities for a lovely BBQ and meal with some friends and family.

As most of you will be aware, when you have a one and a half year old in tow who has already been playing and then sitting patiently for a few hours, as soon as the meal is over, and sometimes even before the meal is over, it is time to leave. He was the only child in attendance, so his whining wasn’t even buffered by the whining of other children. Just him and adults.

So my question to you all is, how soon is too soon after a meal to leave? We were having a lovely time and certainly would have enjoyed spending a few more hours chatting, but it’s sometimes just not a feasible option.
Leaving because of a child and his bedtime is usually forgivable, but it causes me to wonder how soon is too soon in this social scenario, child or not? What’s the So-Pro? For those of you on the outer, ‘So-Pro’ stands for Social Protocol. I might have just made it up.

So, is it polite to stay an hour or two? Do you just have to help with the clean up? If you have to leave early do you leave before dessert? What is the rule of thumb?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Have you ever wanted to put a face to your favorite Pear Shaped writer?  Check out our newly updated contributor's page.

I have a tendency to scare easily.  If I hear a creak in the night I think it's armed robbers rather than the sounds of a settling house.  If a car follows me for more than two miles it's a kidnapper ready to snatch me rather than someone who is driving to the same city I am.  If a strange/random acts happens to someone, such as being killed by a moose, I'm sure the next time I step out into the wilderness I'll also be killed by a moose.  Yes, I realize this sounds a little schizophrenic of me, but really I'm just a bit of a worry wart.

One night, several years ago, my cousin and I decided to spend the night at my grandma's cabin...alone.  Well together, but alone.  You know what I mean.  We didn't leave until later in the day so by the time we got to the cabin it was dark.  And scary.  We settled in and started playing a game, Mexican Train I think it was, which is irrelevant, but a fun game nonetheless.  Suddenly a creepy, crawly insect started swarming above our heads trying to attack us probably.  We started running around the cabin screaming bloody murder but whatever room we ran to the flying bug followed us, dive-bombing at our heads.  After what seemed like an eternity it landed on the wall.  Slowly and as quietly as we could we snuck up on the culprit only to see this...
Brace yourself...
Terrifying, isn't it?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

21st Century Evolution

Last week Erica posted on an Out of this World Trend.  This got me thinking about another trend that has been poking its ugly little head with the richer and more famous among us:  The Trout Pout.  Now if you ask me, I don't know why anyone would want to alter their face to look more like a fish, and the sad reality is, many do.  It is what I consider the 21st Century Evolution...But I think we are going in the wrong direction.

Take a look at this beautiful actress, Emmanuelle Beart.  She is gorgeous!  Then look what happens when she doesn't accept her God given beauty and decides a Trout Pout will make her more gorgeous.

This does not even take into consideration my opinion of  actual botched jobs!!

Somehow when my husband kisses me goodnight, 
I don't think he wants to kiss this.

Ladies, God created us in his image, not in the image of a fish.  I'm grateful to know that I am perfect in His eyes and that He loves me just the way I am.  I have the faith not to mess with His creation.  Besides, for those who may or may not believe in evolution, doesn't this seem to be a step backwards?  Just sayin'

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I've always been one to seek advice and take it. For the most part it's worked out well for me:

  • "Get dressed when you get out of bed in the morning"
  • "Pay attention in school and get good grades"
  • "Have a short engagement"
  • "Spend money on your wedding pictures, they're the only things that will last from the day" (except your love and marriage of course)
  • "Avoid baby doll t-shirts, they make you look pregnant"

There is, however, one piece of advice I have been royally kicking myself repeatedly for following:

"Don't buy a travel system. They are big and bulky. Blah, Blah, Blah."

Nothing is worse than taking a sleeping baby out of the car seat to move her to the stroller. Why did I put my faith so carelessly into the opinions of mothers on Amazon?

When I told my own mother of my frustration she said, "Well, you didn't ask me. I would have told you I loved mine."

I think I need to start re-evaluating where I take my advice from. Sorry mom.

Have you taken any bad advice lately?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Snake-Skin-Induced Shopping Anxiety

Hi all! I'm Chelsea H., and this is my very first post for PST. I am very excited to join this hilarious group and contribute something witty, hopefully. Go check out my bio!

I recently went clothes shopping for my birthday, and if I were the kind of person who broke out in hives, I would have come home plastered in the itchy things. Besides picking up a piece here or there, my birthday is the only time of year that I really go to the store for a few precious hours, all alone, to shop just for me. (Even then I get distracted by the cute kids clothes, and I have to remind myself that I am spending MY birthday money.) So why, when most women crave time to shop for themselves, would this experience cause me such anxiety? Because of the following:

1) I am super cheap. Not only am I on a tight budget, but I like to get the most for my money. Literally, I like to see how many pieces of clothing I can walk out the store with for the smallest amount of money. (Thank you Kohl's!) For this reason, I enjoy going to the store alone so I can dig through every single clearance rack to make sure I am not missing a great deal.

2) Dressing rooms. I know all women hate dressing rooms, and I always forget why until I am there. Currently, I don't have a single full-length mirror in my entire house, and I always tell myself I want to get one for my room . . . until I return to the department store dressing room. Really, they should just have a little bowl of Prozac sitting on the counter when you walk out. I'm pretty sure Jillian Michaels hates the way she looks in a dressing room mirror.

3) Have you seen what is hanging on the racks these days? I have never been really current with fashion, but I am almost ready to flee to Amish country. I am having a very difficult time embracing skinny jeans. And just when I was ready to give them a try, they start making them in neon. And leopard print. And neon leopard print. Today, I saw a pair of girl's jean that were metallic, bedazzled, neon pink, snake skin print, WITH a zipper up the leg. I wept for my baby girl.

The actual pants I saw. You can buy them here.

So despite the odds being against me, I did succeed in finding a few articles for my fall wardrobe. I even found a couple of skinny jeans to try out (in regular denim colors), although I do need to find some new "hip" shoes to go with them, because I don't think my New Balance tennis shoes are going to cut it. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

How To Avoid Walmart Tantrums (and not just from the kids!)

I actually don't have a Walmart near enough to shop at these days, but trust me, I remember all too well what that store did to the moods of my children. If Target is the money taker then Walmart is the tantrum maker. I do not have a clear reason for this phenomenon. I suspect it has something to do with 1) the terrible lighting in the place or 2) the fact that at any given time there are at least 5 kids screaming and it snowballs or perhaps it's 3) the fact that if you're buying groceries but then remember that you need diapers or deodorant it's at least a 1/2 mile jaunt to the other side of the store, and let's face it kids (and parents) don't have the stamina for that sort of thing or maybe 4) we all don't want to be there, but the prices are just that much better.  It's easy to blame just the children for the fact that Walmart is usually a hellish experience, but let's face the facts here, adults there are just as bad. There is always some parent screaming at their child to judge. Although, I shouldn't judge because I remember one terrible moment, when I was that Walmart parent (another post for another day) although I wasn't wearing a tube top and inappropriate shorts (bought at Walmart, mind you), so I guess I'll keep judging.

And if you would like to avoid being that Walmart parent that I judge, I've come up with a list of ways TO KEEP CALM AND WALMART ON.

1. Sure you're going to Walmart, but don't look the part (if at all possible): If you look like you belong, you'll start acting like you belong. Try to avoid going there if you haven't yet showered or your child looks more like an orphan than usual. I'm more cranky on days I decide to phone it in.

2. Prior preparation prevents poor parenting: Have a list, snacks (try a healthy one first, but no child has ever died by eating an emergency dum dum), drinks for everyone, make sure you've all gone to the bathroom before you leave, set some clear rules for the trip like "no putting things in the cart" or "we aren't riding in the big part of the shopping cart today." 

3. Remember that it's nice to have perfect kids, but it's more important to be nice to your imperfect kids: I've actually done this so you can call me crazy, but on the drive to Walmart I think of 3 things that I really love about each of my children. It puts me in a "happy mom" place.

4. Need one thing from a different section...get it first! Like I said earlier, there is nothing worse than noticing that you need something from the other end of a huge store right at the end of your shopping trip. So when making your list, anticipate this and then get it first.

5. Timeout can be anywhere. Alright, you've done numbers 1-4 on the list and there is still an incident. If you need to use it, put your child in timeout anywhere in the store. They can sit for one minute or two on an empty bottom shelf or on a designated tile. As long as you're calm about it, I won't judge you. (Usually just the threat of putting them in timeout at the store though, does the trick for my kids).

6. Bring yourself a treat. No joke, this works for me. I've put a small treat in my bag for myself at the end of a Walmart trip. I try to choose one that's not super indulgent so there's no guilt (like a Hershey Kiss, or a small Dove piece) and then I eat it after we're all buckled in and ready to leave. It's my pat on the back for making it through another long shopping day at Walmart and keeping it together.

Of course, you could do all these things on my list and things could still go horribly wrong, but if that's the case, the only advice I have for you is to GO TO TARGET (and spend all your money) INSTEAD.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Magical Pregnancy Unicorn

For there to be babies, there needs to be pregnancies. And lots of people want to have babies and as a charming result, there are always a lot of pregnant people around.

Pregnancy effects women in very different ways. These effects range from all positive to all negative. Have you seen the movie ‘What to expect when you’re expecting?’ On it, we see ‘The Magical Pregnancy Unicorn’ who has nothing but glow and warm fuzzies throughout the pregnancy. She doesn’t put on any extra weight and just LOVES pregnancy and then has pain of 0-1 out of 10 when in labour and literally sneezes and gives birth to her twin babies out of her belly the size of a rockmelon (or cantaloupe if you’re American). We also see another woman (we’ll call her Poor Pathetic Mumma) who calls BS on the whole pregnancy glow. Her belly is giant at about twenty weeks, has aches and pains, weight gain, lack of bladder control, flatulence, constipation, etc etc. All the stuff we don’t want.
These may be complete opposites, but they fail to outline a whole spectrum of expectant mums that we all know and love.

Here’s a few of the pregnant women I have met in my life time.

1.       The Magical Pregnancy Unicorn – as listed above. We all hate this woman because we secretly want to be her.

2.       Madam Sickly – this is the poor woman who spends her entire pregnancy sick. Morning sickness leads to day and night sickness and potentially to hospitalization. She might not gain weight, but that’s just because she is throwing up everything she eats. She has a rough time of her pregnancy, but somehow manages to be upbeat and look fondly on the future birth of her little miracle.

3.       Mumma Whine-a-lot- this woman is not overly sick or in much pain, but she likes to tell you she is. She walks like there is a watermelon between her legs and a hand on her back before you can really see the bump. Her facebook statuses are nothing but complaints about her baby. She wants someone to feel sorry for her… but we don’t.

4.       Polly Positive – no matter what happens to this woman, she is positive and perky about the whole experience. Nothing can get her down. Good on you Polly.

5.       The Norm - this is the woman who gets her share of morning sickness and a few aches and pains, maybe some stretchmarks, and a few mood swings, but for the most part she is positive and happy. She eats healthily and exercises, just the right amount, and still puts on a bit of weight but in a healthy way. She is genuinely excited for the eminent arrival. We love this one because she is normal.

6.       Poor Pathetic Mumma – as listed above. You just have to feel sorry for this one.

And we all know more. You meet all kinds of pregnant women who bear the burden of pregnancy differently. We’d love to hear what type of pregnant lady you were or why not share your friends’ scary stories. They’ll love you for it.