Holiday Happenings & Family Traditions

This year we finally purchased a wooden Advent calendar to use each year and fill with our own little treats for the boys to count down the days to Christmas.

DSC00906This is where I must give proper credit to my creative and handy hubby who spruced this up. Since we didn’t find one we liked that was “cute enough” we decided to embellish it ourselves. This meant hubby had to find a way to attach tiny little pieces of décor that were not flat on the back, requiring snipping, sanding, gluing and the removal of some skin off his fingertips.

Chocolate baby

Since the little guy has not had much in the way of sweets before, this is a whole new experience for him. Behold the "first time with chocolate" photo. This was a huge hit.

Each year we look forward to our town’s tradition of Santa riding down our street on his sleigh pulled by the Fire truck. It’s a fun event that’s been going on since Teenager was a little guy himself. We all bundled up and headed out when we heard the sirens signaling Santa’s arrival.

kids waiting 4 santa santa's sleigh

santa's sleigh ii

Having kids at totally different stages in life always proves to be entertaining. This year was significant in that Little Guy is just old enough to get excited to see Santa and Teenager was excited to see all the neighborhood girls. It doesn't hurt either that an adorable baby brother is a "chick magnet".

Two Year old Tantrums + Sensory Processing Disorder = Looney Tunes Character

My recent Weight Watchers meeting didn’t go so well. I seem to be stuck in one of those awful holding patterns where weight is concerned (note the ticker has not moved in quite some time—I know, you are all glued to following my weight loss just as closely as the milestones of your own children.) However my biggest struggle this week was not as much weight as dealing with my darling little one. Let me see how to describe his behavior accurately… I’d say it closely resembled the Tasmanian Devil being let loose in the room.

TazWhen we arrived, it was clear keeping him in his stroller was not going to work. For one thing, he spotted the other kids playing with some really cute little house sets and thankfully he was invited to join in and play with them. And by “invited” I mean I begged the other mommy to let my child join hers to play. This actually lasted for about 15 minutes which was remarkable for the little guy because his sensory issues usually keep him from focusing and playing with a toy as other kids his age do. I was really hoping that allowing him the freedom to get out of the stroller and play would keep him happy and occupied because Weight Watchers was going over the new changes to the program in this meeting and I really needed to pay attention. I should have known better. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the little guy approach the door and then open it and walk outside. I ran across the room and grabbed him as he was [thankfully] just standing there and not attempting to go anywhere. After bringing him in and telling him that he cannot go outside and needs to stay inside he proceeded to run amok wreaking sheer havoc. In the course of a very few minutes he attempted to level a display of cook books, weigh himself, try to get into any number of purses placed enticingly at his level, grab part of a snack out of a other child’s hand, weigh himself again this time taking the desktop display portion of the scale down by yanking on the cord and grab a handful of paper towels making a trail with them. I might add I was following him around trying to circumvent these activities, keep him quiet and out of trouble as best I could. It became increasingly clear that things were going downhill fast. I wish I had photos for you but I felt it might be considered bad form to whip out my camera and photograph my shrieking, squalling child while a roomful of people were trying to learn how to calculate their food choices. I tried to get his weighted vest on him thinking he might need more sensory input, but that proved impossible –I would have more luck putting doll clothes on a pig covered in baby oil. He started getting really upset and quite vocal about it the more I tried to contain him so I knew I had to make a break for it which would unfortunately involve getting back to the stroller and trying to wrestle him in. This is the part where every mom out there who’s ever experienced this can attest to the fact that it is the most frustrating, aggravating moment where you just want to scream. This part was so bad in fact, that they stopped the meeting—for me—so I could pack up my darling little angel and get the heck out because at this point no one could hear anything the leader was saying. I don’t even know how I got that kid in his stroller, he is very strong and when he has a tantrum it takes all the strength I’ve got, both physical and emotional to somehow deal with it. Amid much screaming we managed to get out of there and into the car. When we got home he went straight to bed. And then Daddy got a call at work. Yeah, one of those calls. Any husband and daddy out there knows the one I’m talking about—the one where your wife calls you and you can barely understand her while the words “your kid” are intermingled with some unfortunate language and shrieking. It’s the call where you wish you just been in the bathroom when it came in-- but no, you just had to be at your desk and answer it. And now you’re screwed.

When things calmed down the hubby reminded me that although times like this are tough, and this age makes it even tougher things could be very different. There could have been no Baby and would I really want things that way? No. The answer is no. Yes, I sometimes wonder how I deal with all of this—the baby later in life, the little guy who has special challenges and everything else that goes along with it. But yes, it is all worth it and I know I need to remind myself of that during times like these.

So, while I still need to learn what I missed in the meeting and get back on board with the rest of my weight loss I know that the missed meeting is only a temporary setback. Along with the pizza I ate last night.

The kid’s really are paying attention

The other night after dinner when baby was down for the night the hubby and teenager and I were all sitting on the sofa watching TV. Then during the middle of some show I made a request that is apparently fairly routine. I asked if the hubby would go to the kitchen to get us a little treat for dessert while I paused the TV. Teenager all of a sudden pipes up and says; “Oh no, do we have to do this again?” We ask him what the heck he’s talking about and he launches into this little monologue:

“Well, whenever you guys do this it always means a huge break right in the middle of the show. You ask Dad to get something, he doesn’t know what it is, you try to explain it, and you guys have a little argument about who should go get it. Then Dad finally lumbers out to the kitchen, looks for it, can’t find it, and you explain it again while you guys argue again about where it is and why he should be able to find it. He finally finds it and then lumbers back to living room and sits down when we finally get to start the show again.”

By this time, the hubby and I were laughing so hard we were in tears. There’s nothing like your kid doing a full-on skit of your behavior! Not since Tina Fey’s “Sarah Palin” has there been a more hilariously accurate spoof. We had no idea we had this little “routine” going, not to mention how much of a comedy routine it had become for the whole family.

A Sense of Humor: A Mommy's Most Important Asset

The following pictorial and narrative is provided to you courtesy of SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem, and effectively illustrates the first rule of surviving the mayhem: Don't get mad - get your camera. These photos were also included in an e-mail to Daddy at work as part of a little feature I like to call "What Your Kid Did". Notice possession of said child reverts to the male parental unit in cases such as this.





Not only is this yogurt covered toddler proudly displaying his work, as soon as I grabbed the camera, and I kid you not, he said; "Cheese".

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree



This weekend was our annual trip up to the mountains to the Christmas tree farms. We enjoyed a nice drive there, complete with our festive holiday Starbuck’s beverages and Christmas music on the car stereo. Although we’d intended to bring the baby jogger stroller we did manage to make do with the regular stroller in the car. Baby enjoyed walking part of the time and we all trekked through the woods looking at various Christmas trees. Hubby took full advantage of the beauty around us by getting some great photos. Like we do every year, we talked about how most of the trees seem to get cut when they reach around 8 feet not leaving any taller ones for families like us who need a taller tree. Like we do every year we also discussed that the trees that grow here are just not as nice as those in other areas such as Noble Fir which seems to be our favorite. Then, like we do every year, we ended the day by stopping by our local home improvement warehouse to purchase our Christmas tree. It’s tradition.

Musings and Misadventures: Thanksgiving '08 Edition

What would a blog be without an After Holiday Wrap-Up post?

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Well, I don't have the traditional events to report: you know, like forgetting to take the rolls out of the oven (or put them in), there was no burned/uncooked turkey and no drunk Uncle so-and-so tipping over the gravy boat. I did however have an event take place involving the UPS guy, Teenager sent to answer the door and the very unfortunate occurrence of the unboxed delivery of his Christmas present! Teenager stood there awkwardly wondering what on earth to do as he looked at the guitar sitting on our front porch knowing it was meant for him. As you can imagine, I am one unhappy customer having ordered this on-line and not knowing it would arrive with no outer box to hide its contents. So, my Christmas shopping is not as complete as I'd thought--back to the drawing board on that one. Poor kid.

Barney's visit proved to be as entertaining as always. There was much yapping, growling and snarling all while he was being excessively coddled by his owners. We heard about how he was "the cleanest dog in the world" and therefore it was no problem to dangle him over the dinner table. We also heard about how he "wouldn't hurt a fly" right before he took a chomp out of the leg of hubby's pajama bottoms. Yeah, he's a charmer. And yes, to look at him one can't help but exclaim: "Awww, he's so cute!" But we know better. He's Satan in a teeny tiny poodle suit. Trust me.

All in all we had a great time with family and enjoyed a nice holiday. Which was vastly different than last year when we had no guests and decided to go out to dinner--until Baby got sick and threw up--on the table. Good times.

Let the Dysfunction Begin

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and with it arrives the family visitors. Among those visiting will be Barney. Yes, that yappy little rodent delightful little poodle we all know and love. I swear if I were just a little more technically inclined I would set up a live web cam for you...a “Barney cam” just so you could see what I’m talking about. Then you could all send me “sympathy twitters”. But hey, a little lively and ridiculous dysfunction is what the holidays are all about, especially Thanksgiving. Speaking of which, I am now second guessing my decision to have bought the hubby a pair of turkey boxers from The Gap. I may have actually underestimated his mischievously inclined nature as he’s now threatened to wear them on Thanksgiving—all day—without pants.

It's a Simple Thing!™ Kid's DVD Clutter

Awhile back we started allowing some TV watching for the little one. Since it primarily consisted of videos we started amassing quite a DVD collection. The TV viewing system we set up allowed him to watch a video while in his highchair during a meal or snack. This system meant having a small TV & DVD that we set on a built in shelf between the dining room and living room. This also allowed very little storage for the videos so this quickly became a clutter and organization challenge.

This is the collection of videos we generally use.

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This is what we managed to get it down to.

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We used a simple, inexpensive CD organizer from an office supply store which allowed us to store the covers elsewhere and safely house the DVD’s in a little slot compete with their own number and ability to label each if desired. I have used less than half the available space of this box! All the DVDs are separated according to "type" (Veggie Tales, Disney, Sesame Street, etc.) I have however discovered one flaw in my system: the daddy learning curve which basically means until he gets the hang of it he’ll stick the DVD back in any old slot and call it good. Nonetheless, it still saves a ton of space and is a pretty handy little system.

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Politically Correct

You know, I’ve always thought I was relatively “PC” in my use of terms. Recently during Baby’s Speech therapy appointment his therapist was trying to get him to sit cross legged on the floor and used the term “criss-cross”. I piped up and said; “Oh, you mean Indian style!” She laughed, being around the same age I am and familiar with the old term. I guess we don’t say that anymore. And if we did refer to it in such a manner it would have to be “Native American style”. So I got to thinking about the various terms that we no longer use. When I was a kid, the term "Oriental food" was perfectly acceptable to use when going out to a Chinese or Japanese restaurant…now it’s “Asian”. Speaking of which, many years ago I recall a time when we were selling our house. Mom was giving a tour to a young couple and voiced her embarrassment over the current state of the bathroom due to the pantyhose and other delicates hung to dry over the shower rod. Without thinking she said: “Oh, please excuse my Chinese laundry!” The couple, naturally, were Asian. I’ve never let her live that one down.

Organizing & Simplifying

Around here the latest thing has been to re-examine our belongings along with our strategies and systems for daily living. As you saw in my prior post, we recently made the big decision to go office-less. This is one of many things we are doing in the process of making our home and life as simple as possible. I've spent years of coming up with these types of strategies for clients and recently I realized my own home and life needed some new strategies.

For those of you familiar with my current Operation Fit [back into my pants] you know that the hubby and I get up each morning at o’dark:30 to power walk the neighborhood complete with Baby in the Baby Jogger stroller. My organizational challenge with this is in easily locating my equipment without requiring a full scale search and rescue mission each morning to find the stuff; mainly my shoes, both parts of my heart rate monitor, pedometer, and yes, my pink fuzzy earmuffs. I have now solved that problem with this:

Hall closet

Now, I stick everything inside this handy see-through over-the-door shoe organizer inside the hall closet where I also put my sweatshirt & Baby’s stroller blanket. The hubby says this significantly cuts down on the early morning swearing.

It's a Simple Thing!™ "Office on Wheels"

I’m finally getting around to offering another It’s a Simple Thing!™ With any luck, I will be able to keep these coming for you.

For those who aren’t already aware, my past career was that of a residential organizer and this was born out of my own personal need for organization and not my innate ability to actually be organized. Over the years I learned how to develop natural systems and strategies for everyday actions and work within those systems. But you can’t just start using a system and be done, the system won’t necessarily always work. More often than not, systems need to change and evolve as your life changes as evolves. Take our office for example. We have an actual office right off our living room complete with a large desk that houses a computer, printer, supplies, etc. Back in the day, I needed this space to work as well as use it for personal family business. But along came baby #2 and holing up in a separate room to use the computer, pay a bill, make a phone call, etc. was no longer reasonable and ridiculously inconvenient. We found ourselves using the office less and less and eventually the only computer we used was a laptop. The only way I ever got to check e-mail or do anything on the computer in the year following Baby’s birth was by placing the laptop on a little folding table and going online while I was nursing! I became quite adept at e-mailing and web surfing one handed with a baby attached. Then eventually the laptop was used on the dining room table where I can fairly easily do computer work while the little guy happily plays nearby. But a computer is not the only office item I need to use on a regular basis as various supplies are necessary along with all the other fun “paperwork”. So, in case you’re not sure where I’m going with this the bottom line is that what used to have a place in the office was starting to pile up on the dining room table and suddenly our previous system became a non-system. Not to mention when papers would come in that required filing no one actually wanted to file them, let alone take the trip to the office to get to the filing cabinet. Receipts would pile up and other things that were being worked on simply sat in “piles”. Oh how I hate piles! So it became clear we needed a new system.

Enter this handy little item:

cabinet

This is a rolling cabinet with a file drawer, two other drawers, racks on both sides, a removable caddy for the top with three small spaces and one large space, an open shelf and a pull out writing shelf. Basically it allows me to store my laptop when not in use, have a place for action items, pending, reference, files, receipts, and other items to be read. I’m currently keeping this in the kitchen/dining room area, but it’s easily tucked out of sight by simply rolling it into another room or even a closet. {Now, because I know I'll be asked I'll provide the info on this thing even though I'm not doing an official review or being compensated by the company. I hope they appreciate the free plug! If you're interested you can find this item here.}

This "office on wheels" cannot completely replace an entire office of course, but it comes close enough that the other items that are still needed (paper, supplies, etc.) can be stored elsewhere in a fairly small amount of space. We still have to go to the office to go pick up a print job, but we can at least print wirelessly through the laptop. I am loving this new system and I’m actually happy to not have an office because frankly, that just screams “work” and I’ve got plenty of that in various forms without an entire room taunting me with more!

You win some, you lose some

What an Election this has been. History has been made. I am quite hopeful that many of the much needed changes for this country will come about. It’s impressive to see this many Americans come together to elect someone who just might have what it takes to run this country and see beyond differences by not letting something like color get in the way. (Because apparently, Barack Obama is black, aka African American-- who knew?) Of course on the other side, as a Californian I am saddened that just enough other Californians were not able to see past “differences” and instead have most unfortunately passed Proposition 8, aka, Proposition Hate. I was afraid that all the outside money and strong armed influence thrown at this thing would bring this result and sure enough it did. It’s shameful and regrettable. Though I have no personal stake in this and my own rights are not affected, I cannot help but think of those Californian’s whose lives are very much affected and by the hands of those who had nothing to lose by simply allowing them to keep their rights and voting against this hateful measure. To those who had a hand in passing this, especially those who allowed themselves to be coerced and “told” how to vote, those who unwisely used their finances to further this measure and especially those who purposely misled the voters with all the lies I have but one thing to say to you: Karma.

No on Proposition 8 - Los Angeles Times

No on Proposition 8 - Los Angeles Times

I wanted to share this article from the LA Times. I found it particularly astute that the writer likened the tactics of the Yes on 8 proponents to that of a magic act and distraction technique. It also contains good (and accurate) information on all the lies and scare tactics that have been used and sets the record straight on what is really true. I hope California voters are not fooled by the magic act. Because frankly, when it all comes down to it, directing our attention to some other perceived "problem" instead of focusing on actual problems that truly require action is a very sneaky thing to do and a waste of time. It's been said before but certainly bears repeating; all the money (and time) that's been thrown at this ridiculous campaign to deny rights to people could have gone so far in helping the real problems we are currently facing. In all honesty folks, when families are losing their homes, their jobs, and struggling with health insurance and grocery costs is the fact that two people of the same gender can get married really something we need to worry about? I don't think it should even be on the list.

Here's a good video clip that just came out.

While stopped at a light...

An interesting thing occurred to me while I was out running some errands this morning. As I was stopped at a light I was treated to the charming sounds of the car stereo next to me...it went something like: “Boom, thump, swear, unintelligible garble, angry words, swear, boom, thump.” Like I said, charming. So much so in fact that I could have rolled down my window, leaned over and said; “Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?”. Yeah, it was classy. As I listened to the ridiculous, loud, ignorant noise coming from this vehicle with significant irritation I noticed the vehicles ahead of me in both lanes were sporting Yes On 8 bumper stickers. It was then it occurred to me that what the Yes on 8 campaign is saying is much the same as what was spewing forth from the car stereo next to me...basically it's loud, hateful and ridiculous noise. The Yes on 8 folks might not be swearing, but I can assure you that whatever language they are using, to those of us who just want to see folks treated fairly it evokes much the same feeling as listening to the garbage on that stereo. Nothing says “classy” like trying to take away someone’s rights while loudly proclaiming your own as more valid or deserving.

Grey Poupon, anyone?

Well, it is an Election Year!

So, I’m going to address this topic once again. It’s not only one of most controversial propositions but is also shaping up to be one of the costliest races in the nation (except for the presidential election). Yes folks, I’m talking about Prop 8. I was pleased to hear about the new No on Prop 8 commercials. In a first ever move, two YouTube videos originally produced by supporters completely independent of the campaign will be used. Ironically, I had already included one of them; "Constitution" (the original longer version) on SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem in the post What Dooce and I Have in Common. The original version of the other video being used is below...a great little spot simply entitled “Moms”. As a Mom, I want my children to grow up in a world in which the values they learn are based on love, fairness, compassion and understanding. I do not want them to be taught that it’s okay to shun, hate or treat differently anyone just because they don’t think, look or act a certain way or that any one way is “better” than the other.


And as far as this election goes, I think humorist David Sedaris summed it up best when he said:

“I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat.

“Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of crap* with bits of broken glass in it?”

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.”

*edited for language- just keeping it clean—well, you know, as clean as it can be, we are talking about politics here

It’s amazing it wasn’t me this time

Saturday morning as I was sitting in the dining room I heard a loud thud come from the back of the house. A few minutes later the hubby appeared around the corner to announce that I had managed to leave an usual amount of water on the bathroom floor after my shower. Apparently the loud thud was the hubby taking a fall. I felt horrible and immediately asked if he was okay to which he responded “not really”. I apologized for the water all over the floor (not sure how I did that) and spent the rest of the day feeling bad for hubby who was having some aches and pains especially in his tailbone. Of course, even with someone getting hurt we can’t seem to avoid finding the humor in most situations around here. We joked about how it’s generally me who falls or runs into something or otherwise injures myself in some stupid way. The poor hubby was unable to perform his usual Saturday night duties, you know…. taking out the garbage. The next morning I asked him how he was doing after his fall. His response was: “Not that great—I think I need a donut”. As you might expect my reply to that was: “Well Honey, I’d love a donut too, but you know we’re on a diet.”

Thank you and be sure to tip your waitresses… I’ll be here all week.

A "fad" I couldn't resist

Okay, I am not real big on trendy stuff and rarely go along with the latest fad. Most of the time I am pretty traditional, especially when it comes to clothing. (Frankly, it took me longer than I'd like to admit to stop wearing basic jeans; aka "mom jeans" and go with the more modern, lower waist/fuller leg style because I thought they were "too trendy".) In fact, last Easter I wrote about how I dressed baby in a very classic, traditional smocked romper despite the current "trend" for boys to wear ultra-casual clothing. So, when I heard of this item that you're about to see debuted below I was hesitant but the "cuteness" factor won me over (along with a really great online deal). So, here's a short video of the little guy's latest thing.


Blog Improvement

As you might have noticed the ‘ol blog has undergone some changes lately. Hopefully for the better! I love my new surroundings and am pleased with the new banner, incorporating the infamous caricature graphic from the old one. But sadly, technical difficulties abound and I am not anywhere near “techie” enough to solve them. *sigh* Even the new banner was unable to be “centered” correctly. Tell me you didn’t even notice until I said something, okay? You know, kind of like when someone has a giant zit in the center of their forehead and complains about it to their friends who say they didn’t even notice until you pointed it out. Then they follow it up with; “it’s not that bad”. Yeah, just like that. I loaded some photos on Flickr last night but have yet to figure out how to actually get it loaded onto the blog. This is when I could really use a computer geek! Yes, I’ve got a hot geek husband, but he’s geeky in more non-computer ways. I’ve also wanted to install a label cloud, a feature that sadly isn’t available as a standard gadget through Blogger so the only way I’ve found to make that happen is to manually install it by following several pages of computer code. Something that is not going to happen. As some of you might have also noticed I added Twitter to the sidebar. I actually signed up for this thing months ago and then never did anything with it or got it installed, so last night I managed to make it work. Note the sarcasm in my Twitter title—I guess it’s one of things where although I think it’s cute in theory, I am not really imagining it being a huge hit. I mean, do you all really want to know little tidbits of what I’m up to? The neat thing is though I'm able to “update” it from my cell phone which proved to be easier than I would have thought. So, I’m sure you’ll all be thrilled to know that when I accidentally lock my husband in the garage you won’t be left out of the loop. Oh, and I successfully managed to use Blogger’s “Poll” feature, so do me a favor and “vote” so my small techie success will not be in vain, m’kay? Thanks.

I could have gone as a Pirate

This past weekend we had plans to attend a Renaissance Faire. While taking a shower I somehow managed to get shampoo in my eye. It was burning like crazy and after I got out I called down the hall to the hubby asking for help because I had an “eye issue”. (Apparently he wondered if I’d managed to once again accidentally yank my eyelashes out. For those of you who haven’t heard that particular story click here.) So I filled hubby in on my current tale of woe and asked if he could open up a new bottle of contact solution since this task was too difficult while in significant pain from my eye stinging and I needed to get my contact lens out and rinse it. With tears streaming down my face [and feeling really stupid for actually sloshing shampoo into my eye] the hubby barely holds back the laughter as he says “Well, maybe we can get you an eye patch at the Renaissance Faire!” Yeah, the hubby is hilarious—I can always count on him for coming up with something clever like that. Anyway, eventually my eye felt better and off we went to the Faire. Three of the four of us dressed for the occasion.


Baby was darling in his tunic and hat.DSC00609









Teenager wore his “Court Jester” hat which was a hit amongst all his high school friends he ran into.


Jester

And the hubby was dashing in his get-up as well.



He was also eyeing the turkey legs much the same way baby was eyeing the busty women at the last Faire we attended when he was nursing.

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A great time was had by all. However, I did not costume-up for this particular event. No, not even an eye patch.


What Dooce and I Have in Common

I knew I shared some common ground with fellow mommy blogger Heather Armstrong aka “Dooce”. Well, okay, not the big advertising dollars or the swearing but we both have “hot geek” husbands! Recently I learned we share even more in common.

I have to give bloggie kudos to Heather for her recent post. Yesterday she shared with her readers some diary entries from her late teens. Reflecting on who we were and looking at who we’ve become is an eye opening experience. Being an avid Diary keeper I often do this myself as it helps me better understand and learn from all I’ve been through and overcome. Her post went on to talk about how her opinions and values changed over the years and how she grew and matured as she started thinking for herself. She closed her post by boldly stating her support for the No on Prop 8 campaign (even though she’s not a CA resident). Of course the flurry of comments were a mixed bag of “Good for you” and “Shame on you” though thankfully the shaming finger waggers were few and far between. In reading some of the negative comments the ignorance of some people came glaringly through. It’s rather shameful that the people who assert their belief in “family values” are the same people who seek to dismantle and vilify others’ families. The folks who claim that religion is part of whatever topic they are debating are the same folks that ignore the other principles of their own faith by judging others, treating them unfairly and a host of other things they seem to ignore. People are using a “pick and choose” plan to suit them when convenient. But that’s a whole other story.

It was nice to see another mommy blogger speaking up to share her view on an issue like this that doesn’t affect her personally but sure affects others in a very negative way. I wish more people would do this. Sadly, we’re seeing quite the opposite lately; folks whose lives are not in any way affected by a proposition seeking to get it passed just to negatively affect others’ lives. Since I’ve already written a post on this issue [California is too Great for Hate] I won’t go into much more other than to say this: people need to understand what this issue is about-- basic civil rights for a group of human beings. And that is something worth blogging about.


Now Back to our Regularly Scheduled Topics

For those of you who are new readers of SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem please rest assured that my recent post dealing with a political matter is not the norm around here. In fact, I was initially reluctant to write it in the first place. However, I also feel that when something like this comes along in which some folks are willing to such take drastic measures to affect others in a negative way in addition to lying to scare people into voting for something there ought to be people to willing speak out about it. (Just last night our No on Prop 8 sign was stolen from our yard- less than 48 hours after being put up.) Enough said.

So, normally here at SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem I share with you things like this.....

This weekend we enjoyed our trip to the pumpkin patch. The boys had a great time and we got some cute photos. Boys PP

















I discovered Baby’s new little Levi's jeans are apparently made the same way all jeans are being designed these days…low waist-ed. Sheesh! Although I guess if given the choice seeing baby’s Pampers peeking out somehow seems less ridiculous than the top of someone’s boxers or thong.

After the pumpkin festivities the little guy was ready for a nap and the hubby and I took this opportunity to leave teenager at home with him while we ran some errands. Shopping without an annoyed teenager and screaming baby was a treat. Heck, at this point we’re practically considering it a date. While shopping at Kohl’s we got separated and did the inevitable call-each-other-on-our-cell-phones maneuver. This resulted in a dorky “Where are you?” exchange across a few aisles until we finally met up. Then hubby proudly announces he found something for me; a candle that smells like cupcakes! How timely since I recently blogged about the Britney Spears/cupcake thing.

Earlier today while getting the Fall décor out of the shed [the shed I’ve previously mentioned has containers full of crap we need to go through] the hubby unearthed this little gem that I thought I’d share with you:

1979Holy time machine to the 1970’s! Yes, this is the hubs in his Jr. year of high school. And yes, he did give me permission to share this with you all. I know I’ve got plenty of hilarious photos from my youth as well but those will have to wait. Because, let’s face it, it’s way more fun to show embarrassing photos of your spouse than of yourself. Actually, he doesn’t really consider it embarrassing since according to him he had girls lined up around the block to date him. And go for a ride in his AMC Gremlin.

California is too Great for Hate

Yes folks, this post will be known as The One Where She Got Political. I didn’t intend to “go there” - it was not in the plan when I started this blog but...I’m going there.
For those of you who’ve not yet heard about the incredibly controversial proposition on the ballot for California, it’s Prop 8 which seeks to not only overturn the California Supreme Court ruling which made same-gender marriage legal but also to essentially write discrimination into the constitution by preventing it from ever being legal again. Frankly it’s as ridiculous as turning back time and taking away the right to vote for a gender or a race.

Here’s my take on this situation folks; even if you feel that a same-gender relationship and even a same-gender marriage is wrong it does not make it okay to impose your belief system on others by denying those folks rights. There are people who think that pre-marital relations are wrong. Does telling people “not to” or going so far as creating a law against it stop those people from the activity? Do you think that preventing a legal marriage for a same-gender couple is going to cause those couples to break up? To not live together? To go away? NO! What does it “solve” to tell Linda & Diane or Tom & Dave, “Hey, we think your relationship is wrong, you love the wrong person, therefore we're making certain you can’t have a marriage - a “legal” marriage - ever. So there! Take that!” Does it really make your marriage somehow better to do that? Are Carol and Bob going to have a stronger marriage because they’ve stood their ground in asserting that their marriage, their “traditional” marriage is better because they are opposite genders?

The “Protect Marriage” phrase/movement is ludicrous. It “protects” nothing, and certainly not marriage- it simply denies it for one group. I find it very disturbing that the groups promoting this proposition are using scare tactics filled with false information to further their hateful agenda. Yes, I said hateful, there is simply no other word to describe it. When someone decides that their way of life is somehow better than someone else’s and then seeks to deny the other person’s rights, well, that’s just plain mean, there is no getting around it. It is appalling to think of the money spent to promote this thing--money that could have gone to help those in need, to do some real good for folks who need it, but instead it’s being used to prevent a group of people from having what should be a basic human right. If that isn’t a sad commentary on society I don’t know what is. When people care more about harming one group that helping another I think we all need to more carefully examine our values.

Numerous other “fears” for the so-called consequences of not having Proposition 8 pass have been talked about, many of which are based on falsehoods. I won’t go into all of that here as others have already said it far better than I could but I do want to point out one of these: “Well, if Proposition 8 doesn’t pass then the schools will be able to teach our kids that a same gender marriage is “just as good” as a traditional marriage!” A Sacramento Superior Court judge has already ruled that this claim by the proponents of Prop 8 is “false and misleading” and the “case” they cited was from Massachusetts. Since they knew what California law said they used another state to mislead the voters. There is already a law in place that prohibits the California school system from teaching anything regarding Family Life to your child that you do not want them to hear and learn. So, when it comes time for the kids to learn about Family Life you have the choice to opt them out of the classroom if it’s important to you that they not hear this or anything else relating to the Family Life curriculum. But perhaps you could take a look at this from another perspective. For just a moment, imagine with me if you will that your little Brandon or Caitlin learns [with your consent, of course] in school that there is a such a thing as homosexuality (because it does in fact exist whether you agree with it or not) and that while some people wish to share their life with a partner of the opposite gender others wish to share their life with a partner of the same gender. Don’t you think it’s possible that if we started teaching this basic understanding from an early age that it might just prevent folks who are gay and lesbian from being at best ostracized and at worst harmed and possibly even losing their lives? Don’t you think it’s possible that less misunderstanding and less hate might just happen to equal less violence in the world? Isn’t that something that we should all be looking at quite seriously and doing whatever we can to work towards? I certainly think so. I hope enough other Californians do too.

Stupid Purchase No. 127

I’ve been searching for a new fragrance for quite some time now. I’m pretty picky and end up not liking the way most smell once they're on me even though in the bottle I think they smell great. My newest attempt was Fantasy by Britney Spears. I should probably explain what possessed me to buy this one in the first place. Although I enjoy an upbeat dance tune to motivate me to clean house I am hardly a Britney Spears fan. I purchased this particular fragrance because I heard it smelled like cupcakes. Well, the idea of the scent of cupcakes really appeals to someone who’s on Weight Watchers and practically has a religious experience with butter cream frosted cake products. So, my thinking was “Hey, if I can at least smell cupcakes (with no actual cupcakes in sight to devour) then perhaps it will somehow satisfy my cupcake desire!” But here’s what happened: Not only did I not like how it smelled on me, when I would get asked what fragrance I was wearing I’d have to suffer through the embarrassment of admitting it was from Britney Spears. Yeah. I’m forty for heaven's sake. I’m a stay at home mom and writer trying to lose baby weight and frankly, I’ve got no business wearing Britney Spears perfume. I’m still trying to find my signature scent but I’m thinking it doesn’t smell like cupcakes; it probably smells like coffee and a Weight Watcher’s entrée.

*No cupcakes were eaten during the making of this blog post. Really. I swear.





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Fall Festivities and Frivolity

This is my favorite season and I am so glad it's finally here. The hot weather gets old for me about half way through Summer so I look forward with great anticipation to crisp air and crunchy leaves. I also love when it gets dark earlier and frankly I'm irked they've messed with Daylight Savings Time making it even longer. Maybe that's just me though-- I guess it's popular to have longer days but I actually like having dinner when it's darker.

So it's about time to break out the Fall decor including the Scarecrow who you may remember from this post last year. We are all looking forward to our usual Fall activities including a trip to the pumpkin patch and taking photos of the boys. The last two years in a row the baby has had some cute "pumpkin patch outfits". Sadly, DSCN1817I'm discovering it gets harder to find such things now. I did however find a pretty cute orange and white striped sweater with a pumpkin on it. I told teenager if I'd found one in his size I would have bought it. Then the hubby arrived home from work and saw the little guy's sweater and asked me if I got him one, too. And he was serious. I asked if he'd really wear it and he said yes. I am so looking for a big pumpkin sweater. Sometimes I underestimate that guy.