Monday, June 28, 2010

I Am The Queen....

I believe that I am the queen, the tittle holder, the reigning champion, if you will, when it comes to vomit and kids stories. You see, I have yet to hear anyone else who can compete with some of the fantastic vomit moments that I have had.

Last night, I believe I re-earned my icky crown.

I was laying in bed with The Little One, who has been sick for days. She has a nasty, stomach curdling cough that wont go away. Its one of those coughs that just keeps going, and you are sure is only going to end when she actually spits a lung out. The coughing fits make her turn red, and keep her from being able to breath. They are really terrible. They also choke her until she vomits sometimes, as kept happening last night. Usually she holds the vomit at bay quite well. She hates to vomit, or spit as she likes to more gracefully call it. So, as the coughs came, I kept asking if she was ok, or needed anything. After a while, she finally fell asleep.
I pulled my out fantastic Droid smart phone, and was able to silently check my email without getting up.
As an aside, let me tell you that I love my phone. I got a Droid just a few months ago, and I love that thing. I use it for EVERYTHING. It goes way beyond just a phone or even an Internet connection for me. I use it for music when I run. I use it for blogging. I use it constantly. Now that I have it, I don't know how I ever survived with out it, and if it came down to it, I would give up a couple of meals a month just to be able to afford it. Really. I would.
So, anyway, I lay there, checking my email, getting ready to respond to someone, when her coughing started. IT was hard. It was icky. Then suddenly, it wasn't just couching.
The Little One turned toward me too fast for me to react, and vomited all over my phone. Of course, she got my hand, clothes, the bed sheets, herself, and more as well, but none of that was nearly as shocking to me in the moment as realizing there was vomit on my beautiful purple cased phone.

I got her to sit up, and once she stopped coughing, I pulled her clothes, and ran for a wash cloth. I wiped the phone off, then ran back her her. I got her cleaned up, and layed her down else where for me to take care of everything else.
Eventually, I got all of the lesser stuff cleaned up, but my poor phone, still stunk. I had to take off the cover, clean it gently, and the let it dry. It may never be the same, though.

The Little One will keep getting better, and hopefully be over this completely soon. Until then, i think I'll just put my phone up to charge when we lay down at night.

While I would love to think this is the last of my vomit stories, I truthfully doubt that. Though, I do hope that no more of the stories involve my phone. I think that I will retain this stinky and unwanted championship for for some time. I would gladly pass this baton on, though, should anyone think they can give me a run for my smelly, wet money.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I Was Wrong

This post is dedicated to the one who was right and in honor of Father's Day, because he would love nothing more than for me to say "I'm wrong and you are right".

That wouldn't be me, though, because I was wrong.

You see, if you know me, you know that I love a bargain. I do not believe in paying full price, unless I have to, and cherish a deal. That deal shopping mentality includes my grocery shopping as well. If I have to buy something not on sale, I always look for the cheaper store brand, because I refuse to pay for a name. Store brands are generally as good as a name brand, and are usually much cheaper.

At least I thought so.

My husband loves Frosted Flakes cereal. Loves it. We just call it Daddy's cereal in our house. The Girls will actually come into the kitchen and ask me if they can have a bowl of Daddy's cereal. He loves it that much.

However, without a coupon or sale, or even better if it is a sale and coupon, that name brand cereal isn't cheap.
I buy The Girls the cheaper off brand versions for anything they ask for. My Husband, though, required the good stuff. I found that to be ridiculous. I could save over $1 a box. That would be at a minimum $2 a month, and $24 a year in cereal alone.
So, once, I bought the knock off brand and took it home without consultation. The instant he hate it, he told me it was terrible, and he hated it. I told him it was the same thing, but cheaper. He disagreed vehemently. This actually became a small point of contention for us at some point.
I couldn't believe that he could hate the knock off that much. I even thought about switching out the bags, and putting the cheap stuff in the good box to see if he still felt the same way. I never did it, and just started begrudgingly buying the expensive brand.

Yesterday, I had a break through. I realized just how wrong I had been. I bought The Girls a knock off Cinnamon square cereal. This is one of my favorite cereals, if I do ever eat cereal. Last night, I had a little of the knock off as a snack with them. It was terrible. Not only could I tell the difference, but it didn't even look right to me. Even The Big One came to tell me that it didn't taste right. I may have just been the particular knock off I had, but regardless, there was a huge difference between that and the real deal. I was floored, and a little disgusted with the cereal itself.

There was a difference. He could tell, because it was one of his favorite things, and it mattered to him.

So, to my husband, I'm sorry. I will search high and low, and stock up on the good stuff when ever I can. If, heaven forbid, there is no sale, I will just buy it for you, with a warm heart, because you deserve the good stuff if you want it.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

To Tell The Truth, Or Not

As I have well established, The Big One is quite a character. Though bright, she is often lost in her own world, and will say things that are very honest, but not always very appropriate. I generally attribute this to her blonde type personality. I work with her, reminding her when to speak out loud and when to use the voice inside her head only, or when she needs to wait until she is in private with an appropriate adult like mom or dad to ask these things, and we will continue to have to work on this. I Perhaps it is my strong southern heritage, but I am really hung up on making sure that we establish a and grow the filter that runs from her brain to her mouth at a young age. It isn't that I think you should always filter what you say. In fact, there are many instances where you shouldn't filter what you say, but be brutally honest. There in lies the hardest lesson to teach: when to speak up, and when to let things be.

The other day, after a long trip home, I realized that I may make this a more difficult lesson for my children to learn, because when I choose not to utilize my own filter, it often comes at odd moments.

Traveling with my children, or any child, is usually a working lesson in patience for parents. Our last trip was no exception. Even if your children are well behaved, there are inevitably other things that bring on extra stress, and having children there questioning why in regards to every issue increases the stress exponentially.

Our first stress full, filterless moment came as we entered the security line at out initial airport. I thought that at 5:00am on a Tuesday, there would be little airport traffic, and we should be able to get through the lines quickly. I was wrong.There were very long lines for everything, especially security.

After we checked in, we ran over to the security line. It was insane, and out flight was soon to be boarding. After a few moments, a security person came sort of close to use, and started speaking. She was close enough that I could hear her, but with the thick accent she had, she was not close enough for me to understand her. The next time she came around, and with the little bit we had moved closer, I realized she was calling out flight times. If you flight was at that time or before, they were puling you from the general line, and sending you through a short cut. That was us. We were running late. I grabbed The Girls and ran up to her. She checked our boarding passes and sent us to a short line. We bypass the entire maze of people, and were able to step right into the short lines for the x-ray machines. Just as another member of the security team told me which short line to get into, the real moment began.
As soon as The Girls and I stepped over, from behind me I heard,
"Oh, sure, let them go through, while I miss my business flight."

I turned to look at the man behind me. I wouldn't have really suspected him a business traveler, what with the scruffy jeans, vintage tee, and skate shoes, though I am sure he paid good money for his clothes to look that rough when he bought them. I turned back around, filter on, intent on ignoring him.
Until he started again.

"Sure. AS long as they get to go, everything is fine. If I miss my flight, I lose my job, but as long as they make it, everything is great."

At this point, the same woman who ushered me into my current line ask him when his flight was, and explained to him that they would pull him from the line as well, if they needed to, but that wasn't necessary just yet.
That, of course, did not pacify him. We got one more round of complaints, aimed at us.
At that point, I was done, and the filter was off for the remainder of the trip. I looked at The Big One, who had noticed the commotion, and said out loud, with intent, "Its ok, honey, sometimes, people are just jerks in the morning."
See. The filter came off. She needed to know that people act a fool, and he needed to know that he was acting a fool.

Honestly, it wasn't polite, and it isn't something that I want my children to learn at this age, calling names in particular. However, I also want them to understand that people don't have right to devalue them, or believe that they are any less important than anyone else in this world.

Had I been able to close off my children's ears for a moment, I would have loved to have told that man just that. He was no more, or less, important than anyone else in that line, and we would all be treated the same. Though it would have certainly been done with at least a modicum of profanity thrown in.

Our next filterless moment came shortly there after. On our outbound portion of this trip, we were actually required to run through the airport to make a plane change. SO, of course now The Girls think we must run through the airport all the time. It seems to be hilarious to them. So, we ran straight to our gate. Once we got there, the plane was already on general boarding. WE got in line, and once the boarding passes had been scanned, The Big One took off again to run. I called her back as The Little One and I were walking down the sky bridge.

"You don't need to run anymore. There is going to be a big line of people waiting to get one the plane."

And as I was finishing that line, we hit the line of people. WE took our place at the end, and The Big One looked at me quite confused.

"Mom, why is there a big line waiting to get on the plane?"

I could have been nice, at least, I think I still had the ability, and a little tact left in me, but I opted for a very direct approach on this one.

"Because people bring bags that are far too large to fit onto the airplane with them, bags that they aren't supposed to bring anyway, and that stand in the isle ways, blocking everyone else, and holding up the line, while they struggle to put these bags they shouldn't even have onto the plane. We have to wait until they finish to be able to get on the plane and take our own seats."

This made total sense to her.

"Our bags fit. WE don't' do that."

"You are right, but we still have to wait on people that don't follow the rules, and ruin it for everyone else."

I don't know if the man in front of me thought I was referring to him, because he instantly turned around. I wasn't, though. His carry on was just fine. I checked. He may have been looking to see if I looked as crazy as I sounded. I'm not sure. HE looked at me, then at The Big One, and then turned back around.

I fully realize that if my children don't quite get the filter thing right, I will be at least partially to blame. I suppose I can live with that, as long as they get it right most of the time, or at least know how to apologize should they need to. After all, sometimes, you just have to tell the truth. Nothing else will do.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My Mom Has The Right To Remain Silent, But Not The Ability

Let me preface this post by assuring you all the my mother did not get arrested and was not mirandized. However, as things go with my family, I wouldn't be surprised if she had been.

I am out of town right now. I left my car with my parents. My mom called once and ask if she could take my car somewhere. Apparently, that was a cart blanch approval for her to use it at will. Truth is I don't care that much, as long as she doesn't return it any worse than she found it. That includes getting me in trouble with the police.

Tonight, she was driving my car. I ask why, and she said something about taking ice to her shop, which must mean that my car hauls ice better than her car does. I think my car is just cleaner and has less crap in it. Anyway, she then told me it was a good thing that she was driving my car, because she was glad that she got the ticket instead of me.

Ticket? Oh yes.

As soon as she pulled out of her shop parking lot, she was pulled over. She got a ticket for having a tail light out and a brake light out.

You see, when I got there, I had an issue with my brake lights. The first thing I did was get my brother, who is an actual auto mechanic, and even manages an auto mechanic shop, to look at it. He checked my lights, and was supposed to buy my new lights. His shop, though, didn't carry the right very expensive lights to replace anything VW, and he was going to have to order them. I gave him the money and ask him to do so. That never happened. He actually took out one of my bulbs, and kept it to make sure he had the right thing. He still has it. However, I did try to fix my brake lights when we realized that all 3 of my lights couldn't have gone out at once. I ended up taking my car in to the dealer to have it fixed. It was fixed, mostly.

Which is why my mom was very surprised about the brake light, and mentioned that to the police officer. He told her the brake light was out, and she replied "Well, that is odd". He didn't respond to her fishing expedition as she hoped. So, she told him again "That is really odd that the light is out. I find that hard to believe." He just looked at her, not sure why she would find it so hard to believe. So, she just launched into a story.

"See, we just drove this car across country, and we didn't know that the entire trip the break lights were out. The whole way...."

I'm going to stop retelling her part of the story there.
It is true, we did drive across country not realizing that my break lights were out. At the very start of our drive across country to move from San Diego back to Tennessee, I had a little problem with my car. All the indicator lights came on. I lost power. This was all at the very start of our journey, as I began to pull out of my parking space. I simply cut the car off and back on, as a part of the computer generation that thinks everything can be solved with a reboot, and things seemed to be fine. The car did work, and so we came on, driving through storms and bad weather, with very low visibility some days. It wasn't until we got to Atlanta that we found out my brake lights were out. When we got back home, my brother looked at it, couldn't find the problem, but did note that two of my bulbs had blown, not both brake lights. I found out there was a recall on the brake light switched. That was what caused the odd power loss and indicator light thing at the beginning of the trip. The switch failed. It was replaced, and my brake lights worked again. Until apparently just recently, when a different bulb blew.

So my mom recalls part of this story for the police officer. Now, I may talk too much sometimes, but I do have the ability to realize when I am telling on myself, and not do it. My mom does not.

I can not believe that she told the officer that we did something so dangerous.

I ask if he responded to her story. He did not. He was probably thinking something along the same lines I did.

He let her go with the ticket, and thankfully didn't imprison her for something else she ended up tackling her self into committing, nor did he impound my car to keep it out of the hands of people who would admit their crimes as such.

My mom immediately called my little brother. She did not call to tell him that she needed the car light fixed, really, though that did come up. She called to tell him that he caused her to get a ticket.

I will say it is partially his fault, but let's be honest. If mom had just taken her own car, this would not have happened.
Maybe it was better that she got the ticket rather than me. I think I would have probably lost it, but I would have done so internally, at least until the officer left.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I Don't Want To Eat Alone

Tonight, the family and I went out to eat. Nothing fancy, but it is one of our favorite places, a large salad bar buffet kind of place.

After we had been there a few minutes, I noticed a woman walk over and sit in front of us. I may not have paid any real attention to her but I noticed She looked at us a couple of times. Then I realized She was alone.

I would guess she was in her early forties. There was no ring on her finger. She wore nice, business type attire, and left a decent tip on the table. So, I believe her to be unmarried and working, an independent woman if you will. That is all fabulous and I'm sure she has far more pairs of shoes than I could ever afford.

She sat at a small table against the wall, and ate all by herself. I tried not to stare, but I couldn't help but notice and think about it.

I couldn't do that. I could not go out alone to eat like that. Perhaps she is simply braver than I, more courageous, or just more of a woman than I will ever be, but I really felt a little bad for her.

At first I want to be the liberated strong feminist who thinks "good for her. She can do anything she wants to do", but the reality is, I would not want to eat alone, no matter how fabulous I was.

Eating out is such a social thing to do. Perhaps that is to our detriment in this nation, but none the less, it is a very social thing to do. I'm sure there are occasions where eating alone is more acceptable, probably much more so later on in life where is it more likely that a spouse has passed, but to be youngish and have no one to eat with just seems lonely to me.

She may have children, but why not wait until they could go with you to eat? This wasn't fast food and grabbing a bite, but sitting down to graze kind of place. Why wouldn't you call a friend, or someone else to just hang with?

I'm not judging her in the least. If her life works for her, then I think it is fantastic. I do have to wonder if her life works for her, though. I hope it does.

Maybe she was staring at us because she wished she were with a family, or perhaps she was staring at us thinking about how glad she was not to have to feed children, wipe mouths, keep buts in seats, and that she got to eat in relative peace, minus the chaos spreading from our table outward.

How ever it works out, I hope she is happy in her life where it is, and if not, then I hope she finds her own happiness soon.