Thursday, July 29, 2010

I would totally buy that!

So reading through many of the Mommy bloggers, art bloggers and other's that I follow, I realized that regardless of how different all the blogs may be, they all have something in common.....sharing feelings toward products we purchase.  I have not written about this and here is my reason to start (get ready for's great).  Most of the blogs that I follow are first-time new(er) moms.  From the small group that I am following, I am pretty sure that Parker is older than the other monsters and bebes, so many of the products that these moms are reviewing are younger than what I have/need for Parker.  As a, self proclaimed, "Senior" Mom, I have decided that I should review the things that you all will be buying for your little ones in a few years.  Now, having said that, I have to admit, I am not a good consumer so there won't be many of these....most of the time I make Parker save his own money to buy his own toys (I know, I am awful).  But here is my first one....

For Parker's birthday, my Mom, with my encouragement, bought a LeapFrog Tag Reader.  It is a pen like apparatus that has special books, when you push the tip of the Tag on the page it will read the word or you select another part of the page and it will read each page in it's entirety.  Each page is fully mapped out, so even the illustration in the back ground will "say" something to add to the story.  When I first heard of these products, I thought, "Good for lazy parents! (sarcasm intended)"  I take it back.  It definitely does not replace the benefits of reading to your child at all ages but when your child is very headstrong and wants to do things beyond their ability without your help, this is a benefit.  Parker knows all of his letters and most of his letter sounds and believes that he knows how to read.  When I started to help him, he became resistant and would lose all interest.  But he loves his Tag.  The books are reasonably priced as well, they cost about the same as a hardback book without the technology in the pages.  There are other books that come in packs of 6, these are much more simple in context.  Instead of a complex story, they are simple sentences that have common vowel or consonant sounds.  These focus on sounding out words as well as word recognition.  The last praise I will give are activities on the pages that help the child interact more with the words, sounds and their favorite story.  Eventually I will write a second part to this letting you all know if it encouraged self reading or if it was just for entertainment.....but for now, he is involved with trying to read on a different level than he was with me helping him.

This evening I gave Parker another book as a reward for behaving while he was at work with me (a whole other story), he got the Bakugan book, which is a big deal.  His eyes got wide, he opened his mouth and said "I can't even believe my eyes," then shook his head in disbelief.  Not only was he happy because it was a book about one of his favorite toys (please don't ask me about them, I don't get what they are) but he was able to "read" all about them.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday (our front yard pumpkin patch)

I know that most of everyone posts the very cute picture of their little on wordless Wednesday, but I am pretty speechless when I go to my car everyday and see our pumpkin patch....Mother Nature at work.  Rotten pumpkins from last year left their seeds which planted themselves....we haven't even watered it.  No need to buy pumpkins this year!  In fact, you know where to buy them!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Yes, I am the manager

It is 2010.  Women have been active members in the work force for over 50 years.  The reality that women just stay at home with children and no paying job is far and few between.  Women have grown to be more visible in business and higher management positions.  While there are leaps and bounds to go before we can say we live in an equal rights nation, there has been progress in the work force....(I hesitate at my last statement because although women have moved forward there are so many other things play into holding us back i.e. perception of women in advertising, women and fashion, gendering of toys and child's literature, curriculum that is taught in get the picture but I digress to other topics).  Okay, where was I going with that?  I encountered something that I have in the past but it honestly has been a while.  I am the General Manager of a restaurant.  I am good at my job and have grown to be a trusted and valued employee.  I work hard and enjoy being in the leadership role.  I was put in the charge of calling companies to quote a new A/C unit.  Every company I called to set up times for inspection only had my name as the contact person.  There were two gentlemen for company X.  They walked in and up to the counter grinning like fools and I approached them because I knew why they were there.  They asked, "is the manager available?"  "That's me, I'm the manager," I replied with a smile.  "You are?  Really?"  they said with a shitty little grin.  "Yes, is there a problem with that?" I said still smiling.

Now, you may think that maybe my response was a little defensive.  When I first started in this position, I encountered that kind of reaction a lot.  I understand that I look younger than I am.  I understand that I am hard to point out in the crowd of employees because I don't wear a manager polo everyday (not that it matters).  I used to just let is go, roll with it, inform the person, who was eating their foot, that I was new in the position....but that was when I was new at it.  I was learning.  I didn't always want the responsibility of my title.  Sometimes I wanted to hide.  I am sure that men and women alike have felt that way when they have been promoted from a lower position to a higher one, but that isn't how I feel anymore.  I love the challenges of my position.  I enjoy the extra responsibility and I am proud of it.  I don't like the shocked look on people's faces anymore.  I want them to take me seriously.  They should take me seriously.  If the other manager of the store had approached these gentlemen in the same way, they would not have asked him "really."  They would have taken his word and moved on.  So defensive?  No.  I have been doing what I am doing for 7 years now.  Before my downtown store closed, I served the same people everyday for two years....toward the end of my store, these regulars were still surprised when they found out that I was the person running that show.  Why?  There shouldn't be shock.  They watched me boss everyone else around.  I answered their questions.  So why is there shock?  It is an irritating response.  I bite my tongue often when I get it.  Just smile and say, yes I am...but if I am calling your company to give you business...come on dude!  Don't ask really!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Under Pressure

A lot of what I write about on here is personal, but this is a different kind of personal....

This morning I was reading a friend of mine's new blog,, and it made me think of how much I miss what he  Most of the time I don't notice that I miss it because I have it everyday and all day.  I love unconditionally all day and everyday.  I am loved unconditionally all day and everyday.  I have friends and family that love me, but like Corndog states, there is another love that people seek out, desire and long for....romantic love.  I have had love, real love....well, looking back, I have truly loved another person.  Regardless of the negative things he did and put me through, I truly loved him.  I am sure that he loved me the best he could, but it obviously wasn't meant to be.  At this point though, I realize that I want what my friends and family have...they have all found their counterparts, partners, or as I like to call them, their weirdos.  You know...the person you can be your weirdest with and they are weird right next to you and gets it.

I met someone recently, and although he is extremely unavailable.....he gives me the looks.  It has been a while since I have had someone look into my eyes the way that he has.  Most of me thinks that it is fake....I am insecure when it comes to believing someone, beside my family and friends, thinks I am worth "it."  Although I want to, I know that me and my son, my job and my desire for a more educated future are obstacles that make my time management more difficult, so I am conflicted.  I am lonely.  I miss being loved and loving in that sense but I am not ready to settle in my job or education or life.  I still want independence that I don't know if I can have in a relationship....I don't know how to negotiate my autonomy while in a partnership.  Yet, I feel like I am running out of time.  Parker told me last night that since his regular dad isn't around, that he probably would be okay with a step-dad.....kinda broke my heart.  It is hard to meet someone, like them, let them like me back and not think about what the future of the relationship will be....and then I create too much pressure on my self and no one is fun to be around when they are under pressure!

My mom thinks that I should talk to someone beside family members about how I feel and how I want to change, but the thing is.....I can't do it.  When my parents divorced, I tried, but I sugar coat everything so that it is all fine.  So I am using this occasionally as my therapy.  If you don't want to read it, I understand.  If you can relate, I would love some in put.  I hate being serious but I guess it is inevitable in life!  Can't be silly unless you are serious sometimes....right?!?!

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Naughty Step

I was tagged on a blog about the Naughty Step....I am not quit sure what to write but Melaina25 post helped me...slightly.  This is for a larger population, not one person, and this has irritated me for quite some time.  Yes, I judge people's ability to follow directions off of this and I am sorry if I am calling anyone close to me out on this.....

When you purchase a car seat that is also a carrier for a baby it specifically says to put the carrying bar down  while it is used as a car seat.  Why?  The car seats are designed to keep the baby safe in an accident, if the bar is up and there is an accident there is the possibility that, based on force, the baby could smack it's head on that bar which would cause considerably more harm.  Now, I know that there are the dangley toys they sell to hang on the handle to the carrier/car seat to entertain the baby, but come on folks, put the effing handle down while you driving!  It is the most irritating thing for me to see at a red light when I look at the car next to is small? Yes.  Do a lot of people do it?  Yes.  Will I judge your ability to understand the English language and your ability to follow the words on the page?  Absolutely.  Are people getting hurt from it?  Probably not that many.  But really, just follow the directions!  They are there for a reason and obviously there have been enough problems with it that they included it!

So that is my rant.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Attention:There is a Missing Child in the Dairy Department

Imagine this:  You are walking in a grocery store, minding your own business, looking for Dijon Mustard.  It isn't your normal grocer so it is a little confusing and takes longer than normal.  During your search from isle to isle, suddenly a screech makes you stop in your tracks...what the hell was that?  You look down to your side where the sound came from and there you see a child, mouth wide open screeching his heart out.  In between each loud staccato, ear peircing sound, are giggles.  You start to look around for this child's parent when you realize, this is your child.  Another screech.  More giggles.  But not those cute giggles from the small infant years before, but evil giggles.  Like a plan has been executed seemlessly, the mission of sheer embarrassment of Mommy has been a success.  (Secretly you want to ask where his Mommy is)

I remember the embarrassment of a crying baby at the store or the toddler who has a fit because they just don't quite understand the amount of patience that is expected of them, but the big kid, young child, whatever title you would give a 5 year old, and the out bursts he has now creates real embarrassment and anger.  I don't want to be mad, I want to shake it off like I did when he was younger, when other moms or grandparents or aunts and uncles (anyone that had been through infancy to a growing child), when they all gave me looks of empathy and it was all going to be okay.  I miss those looks.  I long for those looks.  The look of "Hey, we know.  We have been there too.  Don't worry, he is just a _______."  Those were the days.  Now, though, those looks are gone.  When your 5 year old looks more like 7 year old and is having a screeching fit or won't hold hands in the parking lot, or won't lower his voice, or won't stop trying to pull stuff off the shelve or tells you (very loudly) "I don't want to hear it, whatever Mom," it is no long that look.   It is the "Hey, quiet your kid down.  Did you forget to teach him manners?" look.  I hate that look.  Then you just want to explain everything to the stranger wondering what is wrong with you and your child.  There is a thin line when kids are growing up where their behavior isn't just of their age but a reflection of your parenting.  That is a hard line to accept their crossing.  

Word of the wise to all new Moms out there.  Revel in the empathy look when you are out with the bebe and nothing in the world will calm him or her down.  Soak it in.  Don't sweat about the toddler having a small fuss about something too big for them to understand or if they have ants in their pants at the store.....just enjoy that look.  It may piss off some people about a crying baby, but not like a screeching  5 year old!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

*Deep Sigh*

Today was a relief.  Not mad at all.  My neighborhood took a shower today, which I know sounds really weird, but it smelled way better than it normally does.  I tried to explain it to my wonderful neighbors over dinner and they looked at me weird, but you know the smell when you walk in the bathroom minutes after someone just had a really steamy shower and it smells all flowery and clean?  Winton Road AND Este both smelled like that.  I know, weird, but an ole factory delight.

Highlight of the Day:  Parker was awarded another book for his LeapFrog Tag reader pen thingy.  He was awarded this because he has fallen his bed....every night for the past 5 nights.  This is a pretty big deal. And, last night there was no migration to my room at all.  Totally new book worthy. 

Anti-highlight....he is not sleeping right now...BLARG!

Monday, July 12, 2010

I Was So Mad

When I was little I had a book called "I Was So Mad."  It has made it through my life to Parker's book collection.  If I knew the name of the character or even the author (both of which I could easily find through Google or walking ten feet to the book shelf) I am sure you would know who I am talking about.  There character is a little hamster porcupine looking thing....anyway I digress....this actually has nothing to do with the book.  But anyway I just had one of those days where I was just so mad.  Not at anyone or anything and nothing happened but I just was mad.  And then because I was just mad, everything was very personal.  I just want to actually be mad for a reason!  Just when I thought I would be out of angry feeling, some little thing made me back in it.  I think it is time for me to go scream into a pillow.

And now that I think about it, I am pretty sure the books were the Little Critters.

The cool thing is, I have 2 new followers!  Yay!  And they are not family members!  Someone else is reading this and liking it!!!!!! 

Okay, that helped me be way less mad.  Thanks! (especially

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I went to Target yesterday to get a few things.  Items that I didn't necessarily need but at that time, Whales cheese crackers seemed really important.  Then while I was showering this morning (and when I say morning I really mean late afternoon) I remember that I need a new shower curtain liner......something I could have purchased at Target or even Kroger yesterday while I was out.  Reason why I didn't remember?!  Mom-nesia!  This happens constantly!  When I really need something like toothpaste or shampoo or soap....the things we need but only buy maybe once a month, I can never remember them until it is a desperite situation!  (we recently were on the sample toothpaste tubes we got at Taste of Cincinnati and on sample body wash that I randomly found).  And I'm a list maker!  I don't even remember them on the list!  Yes I am blaming motherhood for this problem.  I know I'm not the only one.....others are out there.....I think we should form a memory support group.  Who's with me?!?!?!

I really do need a new shower curtain though, maybe this will help me remember :-/

Happy Birthday Jen!

I am the middle child.  Second of three daughters.  My older sister was an easy baby, easy going child, level headed and mellow adolescent and pretty much a go with flow (but gets shit done) adult.  She named me "Saucy baby" when I was days old because she decided that my name should be a secret from the family.  She asked my mom if I was really coming home from the hospital after I was born, and then asked if I could be returned.  She used my as a stool when I was an infant and decided that since I was second born, that I was the boy (I mean, that is just logic since she was already the girl and all families have a girl and a boy).  I was always the pupil when we played school and when we pretended to be panthers, she got the best "canopy in the tree" (under the dining room table) and mine was always just in the corner of the room.  We loved becoming characters from Disney movies when we were a little older, and of course, Jennifer picked our parts.  For the Little Mermaid, Jen was Ariel, Lauren was Flounder and I was.....the seagull. In Bambi, Jen was Bambi and I was Flower.  In Sleeping Beauty, she was Aurora AND Flora, Lauren was Flauna, and I was Merryweather (the little blue one).  In Cinderella, Jen was Cinderella, I don't remember who Lauren was, and I was Gus Gus (the fat, slightly dumb mouse).  You get the picture....she was the main character and I was there for comedic relief......I guess typical big sister stuff.

Like most second of the same gender siblings, I looked up to her.  I wanted to be just like Jen.  She played T-ball, I played T-ball.  Piano...check.  Band....check (although different instruments).  Volleyball.....check.  She got braces....well, I didn't need them but I sure as hell wanted them!  I remember when she had her first real boyfriends, I wanted a boyfriend named John so bad after that!  She worked at out Uncle's bread store...guess where my first job was!  One of my favorite bands is from her influence.  There is so much of who I have become that is due to her being my big sister.

When I was 13, the last day of school, Jen asked me if I wanted to go out with her and her friends that night.  Of course I ditched every plan I had had to go hang out with her.  She was 16, drove her own car, hung out at this wicked awesome coffee shop at UD, smoked cigarettes, which I thought was totally cool at the time, so really  I was in for the time of my life!  It had been a couple years since she had been willing to play with me and I was done playing with toys at that point anyway, so I knew I was getting her attention back.  Since that day, this is going to sound cheesy, she has been my closest friend.

We have had our ups and downs like any family or friend.  When she left for college it hit me hard.  There were a couple years where I was lost.  But it also gave me the space I needed to fully appriciate her as my sister and friend.  I can't imagine my life without her.

After Parker was born and we moved to Dayton, she worked it into her schedule to babysit while I commuted from Dayton to Cincinnati to finish school.  She spent hours of her time outside of that, helping me edit my papers and helped me brainstorm for upcoming assignments.  She gives me the opposite perspective on issues in my life, she always sees the things that I cannot.

So anyway, after gushing about her for as long as I have, today is her 31st Birthday.  I can't believe that we are so far into adulthood when it feels like just yesterday we were hanging out at The Grind meeting her future husband and his friends outside the my how time flies. 

Thank you Jen for being such a great role model, friend and sister!  Who else can say that there sister is also there sponsor for FA or CA!!!!  (Not many....I can tell you that)

And of course I am late posting this because technically it is now my Dad's birthday (sorry Jen)

Jen, Jack and me at her wedding
Aunt Jen with baby Macy