Bloglet Post/Postlet Blog: “Do you get a workout with that?”

Every now and then I have something I really want to share but it really isn't a full-fledged Blog post hence the title above.

On a recent trip through the Starbuck’s drive-thru the hubby asked me what I wanted and I replied; "A Chai Tea". He then ordered me a “Tai Chi”.

That guy can always make me laugh.

The Brother Bench

We have this long wooden bench in our dining room area which used to sit against a back wall. At Christmastime when little guy got his big kitchen it took over that spot and we weren’t quite sure what to do with the bench. We ended up placing it parallel to one side of the kitchen thinking we could sit there while the little guy “cooked” food and served it to us.  One morning Teenager was sitting on the bench drinking a juice box just before darting out the back door for school. When little guy got up he wanted to sit on the bench next to his big brother and drink a juice box. Another time they ended up having fishie crackers together. A trend was started and cuteness ensued.


The photo below was taken early in the morning; clearly before either of them really woke up as the looks on their faces will show.DSC01020

American Idol Photo Fun

I'll admit that we have not been what you would call dedicated fans to American Idol. To be honest, we generally record and watch the auditions only, purely for the entertainment value of watching the folks who can't sing (and apparently don't know it.) But lately we've been watching the show pretty regularly. One contestant, Jackie Tohn, has had me scratching my head as to who she reminded me of. She just had that familiar look and I couldn't quite place my finger on it. I finally figured it out and it was a tough one because she reminds me of not one, but two people sort of melded together. 

Here's Jackie:



And here's the famous combo:



Tell me you don't see this.

My new money saving trick

In these tough economic times finding ways to save money has gone from being just a good idea to being absolutely necessary. I discovered a new strategy while shopping at Target recently. As most folks already know, they have terrific clearance prices but their holiday items, many of which can be used as “everyday” items, are an even better deal when they go on clearance. I recently perused the Valentine’s section and discovered several basic items I needed and could use even though they were originally “themed” for Valentine’s day. The fact that many of them are pink is a plus in my mind; not only do I like pink but I also enjoy indulging and asserting my feminine side in a house with a majority male presence.

All these items were 75% off:

· 20 pack of Play-Doh in cute pastel colors [with add on stickers to use as Valentines] can easily be used for everyday or for a birthday treat bag.

· Box of pastel Crayola crayons.

· Four pack of kitchen towels in pastel pink as well as blue, yellow and green.

· Six pack of cotton washcloths in pink, red and white with a heart on each.

· Slipper socks with hearts in dark and light pink.

· Last but not least, guess who’ll be sporting new boxers with a big red heart on the butt?!

Here’s a picture of my bargains. Not pictured are the boxers because the hubby’s already in them and he tells me he has to draw the line somewhere.


Former Software Giants, Pregnancy and Ridiculous Labor Laws

One of my jobs many years ago was working for a large software corporation in Utah. I was fortunate enough to work for them in their heyday and the benefits and perks were great. This was back when folks were really just starting to use home computers and there was no Internet. My job included daily entertainment such as working with customers who called in saying things like:

“The instructions say to press any key, but I can’t find the 'Any' key!”

There was much irony to be found in working for a company in Utah with highly conservative values and religious beliefs. One would tend to think of such a company as being quite supportive of families and families in the making. Back when I was pregnant with my first child I was working in a position I really enjoyed that allowed me freedom to frequently get up and walk around. One day I was called into my supervisor’s office and was told they were giving me a promotion. Great! More pay is always good, I thought. As it turns out, this “promotion” did not come with a higher salary. In fact, it came with a whole new set of job responsibilities that required sitting down at my desk the entire day. No more getting up to walk around; something pretty important for a pregnant woman. I was told I had no choice but to accept this new job. Naturally I was not thrilled with my new position but I hung in there. That is until the next bomb dropped. My supervisor (who happened to be the wife of one of the older brothers of a particular family singing group made popular in the 70’s) informed us all in a group meeting one afternoon that any time taken away from our desks and off the phone queue would be deducted from work time and we’d be required to “make it up”. I fearfully interpreted this to mean my restroom time. I was over six months pregnant at this point and took numerous potty trips; that couldn’t be helped. I might also note that the bathroom was not close as this was a huge building and just getting out of the maze of cubicles in my work area took some time. Then there was the trip down the long hall and around the corner and then back. So, essentially this meant working overtime without pay….in order to pee! Because I could hardly believe that they would be serious in penalizing me for my bathroom time I discussed this further with my supervisor. Surely there had been some misunderstanding… right? No. I had indeed interpreted the new “rule” correctly. This is when I learned the labor laws in the state of Utah (at least at that time) were different from California and other states in that there were no “breaks”. In an eight hour day the only time that was required of an employer to give their employee was a 30 minute lunch break but nothing beyond that. So after considering this new situation and all that it entailed I drafted a thoughtfully written letter to my supervisor. I informed her that a workday lasting more than eight hours, not to mention time without pay just to “make up for” trips to the Ladies room was not something I was up for in my last trimester of pregnancy and therefore I was quitting. Though I’d intended to work up until the baby was born even my doctor advised against it considering the circumstances and putting a porta-potty in my cubicle somehow seemed inappropriate.

I hadn’t thought about this company in years until recently when the founders were featured in the news for each having donated a hefty million in California’s Proposition 8 campaign, one for and one against. But that’s another story.

Seriously so Blessed: Choice is the Real Blessing

For a while now I’ve been amused reading a new blog called “Seriously, so Blessed!” I’ve mentioned this blog once before but for those unfamiliar it’s a spoof blog; an over-the-top parody of the lives of Mormon women, particularly wives and moms and resonating even closer with those living in Utah or “Zion” as they like to call it. It seems that when “mommy blogging” became popular Mormon women began blogging but with their own special flair. What sets them apart from other mommy bloggers? Well, for starters their lives are usually perfect. And they are not simply perfect because they’re just lucky that way, they’re perfect because they are righteous; they are living what they refer to as “The Plan”. One of the amusing posts from this site talked about how lucky the author felt to get pregnant due to being righteous by “removing her second pair of earrings”. If that makes no sense I’ll translate: it seems a while back the powers that be in Mormonism stated that women should not wear more than one pair of earrings. No, I’m not kidding. We are talking about an organization that instructs its members what to eat, wear, read, how to spend free time, whom to associate with and more. I know this because I was once one of them. And I lived in Utah. Beyond the amusement of reading Seriously, so Blessed for me is a mixed bag of emotions about what it was like to live that life. As the writer asks her readers questions such as; “is on-line shopping on a Sunday against the plan?” and “is it okay to wear a sleeveless top?” I must say I enjoy not feeling like I have to worry about such things. (As if we don’t have enough things to worry about!) It’s comforting to look at my life now, a life lived genuinely in which I make my own choices, in comparison to how I lived and felt back in “those” days. Speaking of choices, isn’t it ironic how sometimes we make a decision that on the surface might seem foolish and ends up being the best thing we ever did? Likewise there are those unfortunate decisions we make thinking they are good at the time and they end up being negative after all. Oh, the irony of life! I’ve certainly made my share of decisions and choices from both categories and at forty have plenty of stories to tell. Many of those tales will be shared right here at SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem.

I enjoy reading other’s stories, too, even satirical ones such as those by the writer of Seriously so blessed. I think it’s even more amusing when you consider that because it’s a parody some of the things written that some people might naturally assume are a joke actually are not! Whoever the author of “Seriously, so blessed!” is, she had me at ‘second pair of earrings.’

In Honor of Valentine's Day

Ahh, Valentine’s Day. This cartoon reminded me of a story the hubby and I read during a book study on marriage last Fall. I was reading aloud a chapter about husbands showing their wives love through gifts on special days. The author gave the example of a husband either buying an expensive gift or doing something like taking a romantic walk with her and picking up a rock to give to her later along with a poem or note about their time together. The author went on to say that years later, when she’s ninety-three and he’s been dead for a decade what do you think she’ll have on her mantel? At this point in the story my husband pipes up and says; “The rock she killed you with!” I couldn’t stop laughing.

Psst: If you're a regular reader and thinking this looks familiar it is--it's last year's Valentine's Day post. Hey, sometimes there's re-runs!

Octuplets Mom: Just how far past “crazy” did she go?

What a “train wreck” this story is! It’s been said by every blogger out there already, but I’ll sum up.

33 year old woman ~ jobless ~ no home ~ lives in small home of parents ~ single; no spouse or partner of any kind ~ has children through In-Vitro Fertilization; SIX of them ~ then goes through IVF again ~ willingly has six embryos implanted which results in eight babies ~ gives birth to octuplets

· States on television that she is not receiving welfare which turns out to be false; she’s receiving Food Stamps and payments for three of her prior children who have some sort of disabilities.

· Admits she was already struggling to care for the SIX children she already had before being impregnated with even more.

· Has obviously had plastic surgery; somehow had the finances for this

· Oh, and amidst all this, apparently has the time to get her nails done!

There are so many things wrong with this situation and to point to each of them would be stating the painfully obvious. There are many reasons that having “insanely large” families is perhaps, how shall I put this diplomatically?...let’s go with "not the wisest choice" for all concerned. My husband can certainly attest to the fact that there simply is not enough time, attention and [generally] resources to go around when you come from a very large family. We are both of the same mind set of quality over quantity especially when it comes to children. The quality of life for a child cannot help but be negatively affected when parents are stretched thin in every way. I realize there are various schools of thought on this and there's plenty of debate over large vs. average sized families but at what point does the number of children approach the “insanity level”? I think most people could at least agree that folks like the Duggar’s passed that number quite some time ago. (And yes, I do get that they are supporting themselves, are not welfare recipients and have darling, well behaved children. But still. Come on, now.) So beyond the pretty obvious financial irresponsibility of the situation with Nadya Suleman is the very real fact that even before she had the octuplets she had SIX children. While single. Six children is a lot for even a couple to handle, let alone a single mom. Grandma has been helping (for which she is very fortunate) but it sounds like she has understandably had it with the situation.

I am a married mom with a teenager and a high needs toddler. I am pretty much maxed. Between therapies for the little guy, taking care of the home and seeing to Teenager’s needs I have all I can handle and then some. And this is with a helpful hubby! I realize we all have different capacities for what we can handle, but this situation with a total of 14 children and a single mom looks very grim for even the strongest, most capable person out there. And I do feel for those children, I really do. This is so unfair. Frankly, in my opinion it’s downright tragic.

They’re round, black and made of vinyl

The other day the hubby and I we were reminiscing about “the old days” and got on the subject of records. At this point Teenager removes the earphones from his head, turns off his i-pod and joins the conversation. Naturally, he needs an explanation of such an antique. We were talking about LP’s (translation for my younger readers; long playing records or “the big ones”) and we went on to talk about how we’d go buy a “single” when there was just one song we wanted and generally they were about .99. Of course today’s generation can download a song on i-Tunes for the same amount. Hilarity ensued when hubby reminisced all the way back to the “8-track” and I had to shake my head in disbelief. I reminded him I’m still too young to know of such things. (Another; “Sorry Honey, that was before my time” moment.) The hubby assured me that his 8 track was a hit with all the chicks when we took them for a ride in his AMC Gremlin. I recall how exciting it was as a teenager to get a “walkman” so we could at least walk around listening to music on a cassette tape. This of course was before CD walkmans were available and after we saw the end of the ridiculous giant-boom-box-on-the-shoulder craze. Then I think about the little guy and wonder how he’ll be listening to music when he’s a teenager. No doubt it’ll just be beamed directly into his flying bubble car.

Accidental Boo Boo's and Annoying Habits

I have this habit and I don't know if other people do this or if it's just me but it's this crazy characteristic of laughing when someone gets hurt. Now, I don't mean major accident hurt, just toe-stub kind of hurt. You know, when it's totally inappropriate to laugh and you know it but it just cracks you up and you can't help yourself? Okay, maybe it's just me. I don't do this when kids get hurt, just adults having very minor "boo-boos". So this morning I'm sitting down at my make-up table getting ready and mention something about my earrings as I drop one. Just then the hubby comes over to see what I'm talking about and as he stands right behind me I move my chair to scoot back and look on the floor for the earring when I hear a very loud "Owwww!" I had moved my chair directly onto the hubby's bare foot! While trying to move it again I managed to according to the hubby; "bounce up and down repeatedly" before getting my chair off his foot and out of the way. I immediately apologized for this but apparently it does not sound sincere or even believable while laughing hysterically. Through the tears of laughter I ask hubby how his foot is and express my regret over the incident to which replies, "Yeah, I can tell you're really broken up over it." Just typing out this story has had me cracking up all over again. The hubby is not amused. Okay, okay, it's just me.