Nothing is Forever

Do you recognize this character?

I know the Christmas season is all about being charitable but it seems everywhere I  go now I get hit up for more money. It used to be I could just give to the Salvation Army reps who stood outside the stores with bells and buckets, alerting me to their presence but  never harassing me when I walked by. There were school and church fundraisers where I could buy from people I know. Now I get people who want money and food for a homeless shelter actually accosting me EVERY time I go to the grocery store, not just for the holidays. “Don’t make eye contact,” I tell myself. I don’t like being this way but otherwise I feel the need to explain why I’m not contributing each and every time I shop for food. Retailers now make the employees ask outright, would you like to add a dollar to that for this or that? In this case, I usually end up saying yes because they all sound like good causes and who wants to say no to the children’s hospital in front of all the other customers? Plus there is no way to avoid eye contact with a cashier. Unfortunately, it all adds up and by the time I find a cause I really want to give a more sizeable donation to, the money is gone. Then I feel guilty like maybe I shouldn’t have splurged on a facial I got last month.  (It was AWESOME by the way.) Too late! Guess I’ll be signing up for more volunteer hours instead. Letters to the military is an easy one. I can’t remember what blog had the idea about giving kids allowance and asking them to save a portion of it in a jar and then choose what causes to use it for the following year, but maybe it’s time to inspire my little man.

Speaking of charitable causes, here’s one that won’t break the bank. All you have to do is have your child write a letter to Santa and drop it into a designated mailbox at any Macy’s store. For every letter they receive, Macy’s donates $1 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation up to a million. They even have a cute web site for you to create and print the letter: http://social.macys.com/believe2010/#/home. Rocky sent a letter asking to be surprised and then added “unless I am on the naughty list for not following the rules at school and yelling at mommy”. He’s pretty curious to know if Santa really would give him coal. He’s torn between testing the theory and risking his presents.

Does anyone know if a Swiffer Wet Jet really is a good buy? Rocky got hooked on the idea last year after watching a commercial. He continues explaining to me that I need it because it is especially good at cleaning corners.  My sister’s son has a similar affection for Aqua Globes. Do those work?

What is your best bargain find so far? I got one of those free $10 certificates that JC Penney sends out every now and then and bought a gift that also happened to be 65% off the day I went in the store. I paid about $5 for a $45 item. Sears sent me a certificate from their club program that I used to buy $65 shoes for $6. Should I even bother putting a gift receipt in those boxes? Found a $90 Lennox table cloth for $12. Oh and so far I’ve managed to get three free magazine subscriptions just for being a member of magazines.com and for ordering flowers. Just in time to let all my paid subscriptions slide.

Just heard the tune “Hey Ya!” on the radio. Always puts a pep in my step even though if you listen to the lyrics it’s not an entirely happy song. I hate being tricked like that.

Sent your Christmas cards yet? Me neither. Quit your bloggin’ and get to it! I mean me, not you. You can hop on over to the Unmom for more randomness.

randomtuesday

Fa La La La La

Fell off the exercise ball at the gym today. I swear is just rolled right out from under me. There was a nice loud echo through the class as my rear hit the hardwood floor.  Loud enough for the instructor to stop the class and ask if I was alright. “Yes, fine”, I say as everyone stares at me. But it hurt and I’m sure I’ll be feeling it by the time I post this. Last month I tripped during a sprinting exercise and bruised my knee pretty good. I just kept going like nothing happened, trying not to draw more attention to myself. It’s tough being accident prone.

No pilgrims present at this Thanksgiving feast.

My child’s kindergarten class had a Thanksgiving feast at school. Out of three classes, none of the teachers decided to designate any pilgrims. And so the feast consisted only of Native Americans who I’m pretty sure weren’t all that thankful to the colonists after receiving small pox in return.  Just struck me as an odd (and horribly inaccurate) history lesson. They sure looked cute in their little headbands and vests, though.

So I was at a fast food place one day, watching the kids play in one of those indoor playgrounds that resemble a big hamster cage. While at first it seemed like a fun idea,  it annoyed me that the openings are so small that adults cannot go in and retrieve a child when it’s time to leave and you can’t actually see where the children are until they appear in one of the little bubble windows. Then I saw a toddler go in wearing nothing but a diaper and it occurred to me that if that diaper leaks in there or someone gets sick, no adult is going in to clean it. Like ever. And then I glimpsed a girl who seemed to be bleeding and crying but I couldn’t quite tell through the blurry plastic window. I informed the mom who was so engrossed in her cell phone conversation that she didn’t bother to check it out. Found out later that another child actually hit her and that is why she was bleeding. So now I have to be concerned about:

  1. extremely unsanitary conditions in there
  2. not being able to yank my boy out when it’s time to go
  3. bully’s preying on him

I think I’ll just stick to unenclosed outdoor structures from now on. That is a definitely a plus of living in SoCal. My child envies his cousins back east for their basements full of toys. He doesn’t realize it is a substitute for playing outside during the colder months and many rainy days. I remember well the hours my friends and I spent rollerskating in my parent’s basement. My brother and sister’s rock band practiced down there. Yes, a basement has its privileges, I guess. But I still prefer the sunshine.

I love the Christmas season but it seems to be getting longer every year. I do not want to see decorations two weeks before Thanksgiving and I certainly don’t want to look at Christmas trees at retail stores in October. Let’s give Halloween and Thanksgiving their due!

Rocky can’t decide what he wants for Christmas so he is going to tell Santa to surprise him. I said what if he brings you underwear? “No, Mom,” he argues. “Santa only brings toys.” I have no clue what the hottest toy for a 5 year old boy is but I guess I don’t have to spend any time hunting it down since it’s not on his radar. Whew!

Does anyone else do their shopping in the following matter? One for so and so and one for me. Oooh, I like that and I found a great deal on it – half off! One for a relative and another one for me equals the original price so that’s fair. Like buy one get one free. With so many items on the Christmas bill, no one will notice it is padded with stuff for me, right? After all, Hubby is a last minute shopper so he only gets what’s left …

Hop on over to the Unmom for more random thoughts today.

randomtuesday

Random Tuesday Thoughts

In November I had a teenager come to my door selling magazine subscriptions for college.  I figured that since it was Christmastime I would get a subscription for my 12 year old.  I ordered Nintendo Power for 3 years.  5 months later (yes, 5 months!!) Game Informer arrived.  The games featured in this magazine are mostly M for mature.  What the heck, I ordered Nintendo Power.  Where is this teenager and why is the company switching subscriptions on me.  The worst part of it is I can’t find the receipt on who to call and complain.  Then more recently I had another teenager trying to sell me the OC Register to earn money for school.  When I told him I wasn’t interested he got rather nasty towards me.  I told him I have 2 kids of my own I am trying to support, he retorted with “I hope when they’re out trying to make money they encounter bi&@hes like you”.  Really?  You hope that for my children?  I’m a bi&@h because I didn’t want the paper?  I don’t understand teenagers today, when did we lose respect for authority.  I certainly hope I’m raising my children better than that kid’s parents.


"Abstract fishies" taken by little C

Little C has discovered how to use the camera on my iPhone.  Usually the videos are pretty darn funny, but lately he’s been recording himself doing REALLY annoying stuff.  He loves the song “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga, but he records himself over and over again p-p-p-p-poker face.  He also LOVES fans, like almost making me scared he’s Schizophrenic type love for fans. When I take him to my office, he runs in, hugs the fan, says hello to it and kisses it.  When I manage to get my phone back from him it has at least 40 pictures of fans.  I’m actually pretty surprised at some of the abstract art he makes with the camera.  I guess he’ll be my little successor.


I saw the Runaways this weekend with Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning.  I was really pleasantly surprised at the movie.  First, I love Joan Jett but don’t know much about her so I found the movie really interesting how they were the first chick rock and roll band back in the 70’s.  Second, after watching Kristen in the Twilight movies (same with Dakota Fanning) I had forgotten that both these girls have some serious acting chops under their belt.  I think they both did great. Which makes me wonder, what is it about the Twilight movies that make the actors act so horribly?  Rob Patt is also a phenomenal actor, it’s as if the moment they step on set for the Twilight movies they all act super lame.


I discovered Krazy Ketchup recently at Whole Foods.  This stuff is super yummy, its organic, has sweet potatoes, carrots AND squash in it, and to top it all off its made with agave instead of sugar.  I highly recommend it.  And speaking of organic and healthy eating, I’m going on record stating that I am going to lose 30 lbs by the end of the year.

Head over to the Un-Mom for more Random Tuesday Thoughts.

My Random Thoughts on This Tuesday

I finally discovered Greek yogurt.  I don’t mean I just found out about its existence – just that I finally decided to try it.  I don’t like the taste of plain yogurt and assumed that I would also find Greek yogurt too tangy for my liking.  However, as I type this, I am enjoying a cup of Voskos Greek yogurt blended with honey.  The honey offsets the tanginess just enough, and it’s not as sweet as many other non-fat yogurts, so it doesn’t seem as dessert-like.  Excuse me while I get another bite . . . yum! 

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I was just talking with some other moms about Super Nanny, and an excellent question was posed.  If your kids were really that discipline-challenged, would you want that broadcast to a national television audience? And, why would you argue with Jo’s advice, when you’re the one that asked for her help in the first place?________________________________________________________________________________

Over the last few years, I’ve noticed the networks really trying to fill the summer TV void by actually airing original summer programming.  I’ve enjoyed it.  The shows aren’t as compelling as in the regular season, but it’s nice to have something new to watch as you’re rocking your baby to sleep.  Unfortunately, this year, I think the shows aren’t worth watching.  In the past, I was a fan of America’s Got Talent, but I really, really don’t like Howie Mandel.  And, I miss the Hoff.  I have found myself getting sucked in to The Bachelorette this summer, instead.  As someone who married her high school sweetheart, I have a hard time with the whole dating around the world concept of the show, but I can’t stop watching!  I have to know who Ali chooses – and if they get engaged!  It’s so awful!________________________________________________________________________________

We enrolled the Big Cheese in swim lessons this year (for the 3rd summer in a row).  This was her first stint without a parent in the pool with her, and it went pretty badly, to be blunt.  She really didn’t like it at all, and she screamed or cried before, during, and/or after almost every lesson.  We were thinking that she must really just not like the water and that swimming just isn’t her thing.  But, then we took her to a pool party, where the entire family was in the water together, and she had a blast.  Yesterday, she was at a party, playing in small kiddie pools on her own and didn’t want to get out of the water – even to eat ice cream.  The lessons were along one side of an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and I think it just boils down to comfort for her.  She was really afraid of that massive pool and never got comfortable there because she really, genuinely, wasn’t having any fun.  I’m happy to know that she does like the water after all and that it’s just a matter of finding the right setting for her.  She may turn out to be a little fish after all.  Maybe we will still enroll her in lessons next year, just somewhere else.

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I just met a Facebook friend in person for the first time yesterday.  Interesting how the concept of “friend” is so different in social media than in real life.  I am happy to report that she is very nice and someone I will happily call my friend in real life now, too.  We may have started our relationship a little backwards, but, it’s nice to know it worked out.

Rambling Thoughts IV

Toy Story 3

Andy is all grown up now. What becomes of his toys?

I cried during Toy Story 3. I tried to hide it but the sniffling gave me away. It surprised me that I would react that way over animated characters but I could relate to saying good-bye to childhood. Keep up the good work, Pixar people, it was worth the wait. If only you didn’t have to hit me over the head with your relentless merchandising in every store we enter, every magazine I read, every web site I visit and, of course, in commercials on television. My 4-year-old has become one of many self-appointed ambassadors for your products. I get it, you want my money!  So far we’ve refrained from everything but Buzz Lightyear shampoo and some character fruit chews. We’ve got a birthday coming up in a couple of months, though. No doubt Toy Story stuff will be on the list.

Rocky accidentally headbutted me. Again. This time it felt like my nose was on fire. Last time my lip. I know my kid doesn’t mean to use his noggin as a weapon but it hurts just the same. Nobody warned me about this part of having a boy. Perhaps my child is just more of a spaz than others? If so, my nephews inherited the same gene.

Thank you, Eloise. The adventures of a little girl who lives in New York’s Plaza hotel with no parental supervision (seriously, where are the parents?) have given me a two week reprieve from all things Star Wars. Sure, she has atrocious manners that he could potentially try to adopt but at least she’s not chopping anyone’s arms off.

Got my kid listening to the Glee soundtrack and singing along with me. At least the kid appropriate songs. He’s never heard of Journey or the Beatles. To him it’s all Glee music. I should correct that perception but last time I tried he just got argumentative. “No, the Glee people sing it, Mommy!” For now we are having fun doing the gleeified Safety Dance.

We just discovered books on cd (available from the library) and it turns out Rocky loves being read to by a stranger doing voices on a disc. Frees up a little time for me to do some reading of my own! Yes!

Here’s a question. If money and time (and babysitting, if applicable) weren’t an issue, where would you like to be right now? I think I’d be at a spa retreat in Napa Valley. Or the fjords in Norway. Ahh. Okay, that was a nice mental break.

HappyRTT! Click the image to find more randomness at the Unmom’s blog.
 

The Librarian

The Randomosity that Happens on Tuesday

It’s Random Thoughts Tuesday.

So how do you like our new digs? I think this whole move to our own url is a bigger excitement behind the scenes than it is for you, dear readers. Our old blog was hosted on the free WordPress site and it served us well, lo these many months, but the free part of the free WordPress site was limiting for what we want to do and the vision we have of the future. A vision that includes world domination, eradication of hunger, and flying cars for everyone. Everyone! But also a vision that includes a lot of fun stuff we want to do with the blog starting with our own swanky url. Do you like it? Set your bookmarks! Still, this switch has not been without some pain.
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I think the biggest thing that bums me out is that our Giveaway got lost in the flurry of activity this past week. I mean, take a look at these beautiful hair pins. These can be yours, and entry is simple. Go to the bottom of this post and leave some comments to enter. The contest is still ongoing and the field is wide open! Even if you don’t have long hair, I bet you have a friend or relative who does. Imagine the delight on her (or his–we don’t judge at Gen X Moms) face when you present a handcrafted gift that looks like you paid a lot of money for that in fact you got for free by leaving a comment on this blog you like to read. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving! This is the post you want.

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Here’s another painful thing–I can’t preview this post. I either get an error that says the post cannot be found–which dude, I can tell you where to find the post: the draft file, or that I don’t have access to previewing posts and okay seriously? SERIOUSLY? I’m the ADMINISTRATOR!!! If I don’t have permission, who the hell does??? Growing pains…growing pains…digging into the technical files tomorrow…

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And more pain is this intractable heartburn I’ve been having that I finally got around to doing something about. I was diagnosed with reflux (GERD) like a gazillion years ago and have been taking a purple pill which worked fine until recently, when it stopped working. Why? I don’t know. My doctor suspects it might be an ulcer. Apparently ulcers are caused by a bacteria and the test for an ulcer no longer involves sticking a camera down your throat, thank god. It was a breathing test, so I had to breathe into a special plastic bag, then drink something that tasted suspiciously like the orange drink they give you for your glucose tolerance test while pregnant, and after waiting 15 minutes, breathe into another plastic bag. I kind of find this test a bit disconcerting because blowing into plastic bags for heartburn doesn’t quite seem right. But at least it didn’t involve blood or sedatives. Follow-up appointment is Thursday–I know you’ll be on the edges of your seat waiting for the results. You’ll have to become a friend on Facebook, which conveniently earns you an entry into the hair pin giveaway! Yes, that’s right–come for the ulcer test results, stay for the hair pins!

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On a better note, Mouse has spontaneously started using sign language. I attempted to teach him a few simple signs several months ago, but after repeating “More? More? Would you like More? More?” I felt like an idiot for talking to myself and dropped the whole project two months ago. Then last week after I thought he was done eating, I took off his highchair tray and reached for his bib when I realized he was totally signing “More.” After I collected my jaw from the floor, I gave him a couple of Kix, which he ate. He then signed More again and I gave him individual Kix just to see if he would continue to do it. He did, but then I started feeling like I was training a dog, so I gave him a handful and let him go to town. After most were gone, I asked him if he wanted more (“More? More? Would you like More? More?”) and he stopped doing the sign, so I took it all away and he was perfectly happy.

I’m kind of afraid to find out what else he’s been harboring in his brain for months.

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Oh, an addition after I posted! Burning question–WHAT DO I WANT FOR MY BIRTHDAY??? Yes, my birthday is coming up, and I have no idea what I want for it. Going out to dinner sounds nice but it’s falling a little flat in my brain for some reason. Jewelry is out because Mr. Grabby McGrabster won’t leave anything alone. What do I want? Leave your suggestions in the comments by clicking on the comment bubble up top.

The Scrivener

Rambling Thoughts III


Muno from Yo Gabba Gabba

What does this look like to you?

Does anyone else think Muno from Yo Gabba Gabba too closely resembles a sex toy or is it just my warped mind? I can just picture the creators laughing their butts off about how they snuck this one past the censors.

Speaking of children’s shows, thumbs down on the Nick Jr. show called Oobi. Talk about low production value, instead of puppets they use actual hands with plastic eyes stuck on them as the characters. The show is only on late at night which makes me wonder just who is watching this channel after ten? My son likes the Upside Down Show which features two geeky Aussie guys doing improv. He imitates their skits and laughs hysterically. I am not a fan of the show but I like that it makes him laugh so hard.

The Scrivener and I went to a live taping of American Idol last week. On our way to the theater, we blasted our Glee music in the car with the windows rolled down. We are hip in our own minds.

Pierce, I love you. Please don't sing.

My nomination for worst singer in a movie musical is… Pierce Brosnan in Mamma Mia. I saw this movie the other day and it was painful watching him try and hit those notes. If you mute the parts where he sings and just look at him, it almost works. But perhaps my childhood fav, Rick Springfield, would have been a better choice.

Recently I was taking a walk with Rocky (age 4) when we saw a house under construction. I explained to him that the filling in the walls was called insulation. He looked at me and asked, “Is it fiberglass insulation?” I honestly had to read the label to verify. Of course, then he went on to explain how it works. Who is teaching who here?

My husband, brother and I took Rocky to the Bass Pro Shop this weekend. I don’t hunt, camp(much) or fish but this outdoor superstore is AWESOME. Who needs a park, Rocky “drove” us on several party boats, we “rode” on dirt bikes, hung out in a big tent and he and his dad took a turn on a simulated race car. I got some cute new tops and a cool hat and we enjoyed some fudge at the fudge shop there. The toy section is fun, too. It’s all pop guns and Davy Crockett hats, bug kits and the like. Okay, the toy deer heads were a little creepy. Check out the description for it as displayed on their web site:

Inspire your child’s imagination by adding a new friend to the playroom or bedroom wall! This Bass Pro Shops Plush Deer Wall Headmount resembles the real thing, but its soft fur and harmless stuffed rack makes it much more approachable! Perfect for the young outdoorsman who wants to become a hunter like his dad or mom! 18”W x 18”H. Imported.

Makes a fun gift for the hunter-to-be!

There you go. The perfect gift! That and the camuflage bedding for your baby girl. Start’em young! If you can overlook stuff like that, a visit to this place is a great way to spend the afternoon.

On a serious note, RIP to all those who gave their lives defending this blessed country of ours. America has its problems but we are all lucky to be a part of it. Thank you to our fallen soldiers and their families for the ultimate sacrifice. We will remember you.

The Librarian

***The Gen X Moms are no longer writing as a group (too many scheduling conflicts) but you can continue reading about my adventures with Rocky on my new blog at:

http://www.jedismama.com

Visit the Un Mom for more randomness.