Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Just today....

I really have nothing of interest to share today, but I feel like blogging so hopefully some stream of consciousness thing will spark something I can actually turn into a thought worth sharing!

So lets start with my day... I got up this morning and got all ready, I made pancakes for the kids and got them up and ready for school. A friend called and asked if I'd babysit her 3 year old daughter today while she worked and so she came to spend the day with us, as well. It's one of those crazy Wednesdays where the Crazy Boy Child doesn't have school, so all three have been here all day. They have made many many messes that I have cleaned up, including taking Styrofoam and making it "snow" for the barbies. That was fun. At least I already needed to vacuum so it just forced me to do it sooner. We had a happy lunch of almond butter and honey sandwiches, grapes, pretzels and carrot sticks with ranch. They are now happily playing with the Princess who is home after a half day.

Hmmm... that wasn't interesting at all. Let's move on to dinner... tonight is supposed to be lasagna night, although I could do the chipotle chicken enchiladas that I postponed from last night. The problem is I have been thinking about this idea for a Chicken Alfredo Lasagna for the past two days and playing with a recipe... and I think I might have to go get some FF half and half and make that tonight instead. I'll save the marinara for another night, because I have some yummy ideas for a roasted garlic alfredo sauce and I think with some shredded chicken breasts that have been simmered in stock and garlic, and a mix of ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, egg and some italian seasonings I could make a kick ass lasagna tonight. Maybe I'll get some dough and do breadsticks with a mix of butter and EVOO and some garlic salt on top - like the kind from Olive Garden - to dip into extra sauce. Hmmm... with a dinner this yummy sounding, I feel like I should invite others to come over and have dinnner with us :) I guess I should try it first and if it's good then I can make it again. The trick is making it decadent and rich tasting while still keeping the integrity of a healthy meal. Whole wheat lasagna pasta is a given, and an alfredo sauce made of FF half and half instead of heavy cream, and maybe adding some frozen chopped spinach to the layering would add some veggie to the mix. Always a plus.

Ugh. okay. I'm totally un-interesting today, so I am bailing on blogging and off to start roasting my garlic for tonight :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Prop 8 - California, you should be ashamed.

As a happily married heterosexual mom of three, I am stunned and disgusted by those in California who feel it's there job to police others lives.

Message to those in favor of Prop 8:
I am not sure if you were just confused, but allowing same sex couples to marry does NOT mean that you all have to marry someone of the same sex. No one is forcing all couples to now be gay. Maybe you were confused and that is why you think that banning loving couples from being married will somehow preserve your own marriages? I am really sorry that your marriages are so rocky that stopping someone else from getting married makes you feel better, but maybe you can work on your own business and leave everyone else's families alone? I don't know if you are aware, but in that bible you are so fond of quoting I am pretty sure it says something about NOT JUDGING OTHERS??? Isn't that God's job? So if you are so sure you are right, and that being in a same sex marriage is soooo wrong, maybe you can trust in that God of yours and let him handle his own business and you can focus on following that no judging rule?? Just a thought. In the meantime - we are finally able to put one form of prejudice behind us and try to move past the awful hatred we bred against those with different skin colors. Think of how we judge those generations past who believed in segregation, discrimination and hate... you do realize that some day that is what our children and grandchildren will think of us? How sad.

Back here in Washington, I am glad that we've not faced this yet... at least I can still live in my own world where I believe we are better than California and given the opportunity, we'd never discriminate here :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Even in the face of history - life goes on

So, I was up all last night watching Election returns. I was bawling when we reached that historic moment of electing our nations first African-American president, and held my children close when I realized that as they grow up, this will be a norm for them. The final step to end our societies openly hostile and discriminatory history. At least towards skin color. According to the latest numbers even Californians can't get past their need for discrimination against those with a different sexual orientation, but I really don't want to get into that right now - I just read the latest HRC email and I'm depressed by it - so I am instead going to rant about my day. Why? Because it's my blog and I'll rant if I want to :)

So, after rejoicing all night, I got up at 6:15 this morning and showered. I lotioned and potioned, dried my hair, did my makeup, got dressed and went out to make chocolate chip pancakes for the kids. Yes, I make chocolate chip pancakes on a school day - well, technically I make Whole Wheat Soy Carob chip pancakes - but whatever. I also packed The Princesses lunch of Turkey and Mustard on Whole Wheat, Carrot sticks and ranch, an apple and some chocolate graham crackers and Vanilla Yogurt. Then I woke The Princess and made her go take a shower so she could lotion and potion up and dry her hair, straighten it, and get ready for school while I folded the laundry from the dryer, moved the stuff from the washer to the dryer, and started another load. I woke up the Crazy Boy Child and the Diva and got them to eat, get dressed, did their hair, made them all brush their teeth, pack up the backpacks and get ready to leave. We actually got out of here on time at 8:10AM.

I dropped The Princess off at school since The Crazy Boy Child had an off wednesday, which we have every other week in our district. I took him and the Diva to the YMCA, where I dropped him off in the nursery and took her into the pool for swimming lessons. Then we got showered - again - changed and went off to stand in the pre-registration line to make sure she gets the same time for next session since it's the only time that class is offered that we can make it and she LOVES the pool. Then we went back to the Big School and had The Crazy Boy Child's first conference. It was great. He's doing great. I might have to change his name soon :) After the conference we went to the Princesses class and helped her teacher do small groups where they estimated and then found out the hight, weight, circumfrence and **number of seeds** in a pumpkin. Yes, that means that we had to open them up and let the kids count the number of seeds in the pumpkins. That was fun. Not. After school - noon since it's a half day - I brought the kids home and made them a quick lunch. We had 30 minutes to make it, eat it and get back in the car to go back to the YMCA so the older two could do their swimming and gymnastics lessons. I did another load of laundry during that time, too! Fun Fun Fun. I put the Diva in childcare this time so I could have an hour to work out. Lovely! After that the kids got changed and we went home to do homework, helped the Princess practice her dance for her competition on Sunday, made dinner, eat it, and clean the kitchen. This time we were home for 2 hours to accomplish all that. Then it was time to drive her to Cheer Practice and go in and chat with her coach for a minute about her practice time. Then it's home to vacuum, clean the kitchen, do another load of laundry and get the other two kids to settle down and get ready for bed time - which gives them about 2 hours of down time before it's time to do showers for them (the younger two shower at night), brush teeth, pick out clothes, read a story and get that last drink of water so that I can actually have some time with the husband before falling asleep.

Things I didn't do today that I was supposed to so will now have to wait for tomorrow: cleaning the bathrooms, organizing paperwork, cleaning out the car, paying past due bills.


Tomorrow is actually my **long** day, which means finding time to get all that stuff done on top of my **long** day stuff anyway.

I'm soooo done.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

So, Lady, what DO you care about???

I have been thinking a lot about the upcoming election, as I know everyone has. My kids have been so bombarded with information that I watch and listen to all day long that they have begun making jokes at the table, egging each other on to say things like "I'm going to vote for McCain" just because they know it makes my face go red.

Because it's been such a big part of my daily routine lately to think about, read about, listen to and discuss the election, I decided to really sit and think about what issues are really important to me and try to find some "real" information on what the candidates believe about these issues. Here, in no specific order is my list of issues that I think make or break my ideal candidate:

1. Equal Rights: This is a big issue for me, and it encompasses many different things that are all very important to me. First of all, gay marriage. I have been reading about different states, including California and Arizona, who have issues on their ballots that are proposing to make marriage between same sex partners illegal. This stuff makes me crazy. I don't understand the desire to make it illegal. I don't understand why people use the term "defense of marriage" when you're not defending marriage, you are taking away equal rights. It's like the term "pro-life" - it makes it sound like if you aren't pro life, you are anti life, which bugs me. Why can't we say "anti-choice"??? Ah, but that's another issue to be talked about later. In any case - gay marriage is an equal rights issue, and I really don't get the people that are against it... do they that think that allowing same sex couples to get married means that EVERYONE has to marry someone of the same sex? Why do people care what other consenting adults do? Whatever. Get over yourself. The other equal rights issue that matters to me is the equal pay for equal work issue. A new study from the momsrising ladies shows that women are paid $.75 and single moms $.60 to the dollar for the same work as a man. Seriously? That makes me angry. I think it's ridiculous that in this day and age there is still any kind of seperation between the sexes. Whatever. Let's fix that, shall we?

2. Roe V. Wade: I have heard a lot of people saying this is a moot point. That it will never be overturned. But it scares me nonetheless. Back to my earlier point about the whole wording of the sides thing - I am pro-choice. That does not mean I support every woman going out to get an abortion, I don't think it's birth control, and I think there are some ethical concerns on the late term abortion issue. However - I don't think it's anyone else's business but the woman whose body is in question. And lets be clear - there are rape and incest victims, women whose lives can be endangered by pregnancy, babies who will not survive or that will suffer for short lifespans if born that should all be protected by this law. The idea that even those who oppose abortion would say that these cases should still result in a full term pregnancy scare me. I wonder if they would feel the same way if it was them, or their daughter who was forced to go to term with a pregnancy that came about due to rape. How would they feel bonding through those 9 months with a child who would be born in pain and suffering only to live a few short, excrutiating months and then be forced to watch it die. Is that really preferable? I don't get it.

3. Embryonic Stem Cell Research: I support, fully and completely, the idea of all stem cell research, including embryonic. I understand those that feel life begins at conception don't agree here, but scientists have said over and over again that these stem cells are the BEST and possibly the ONLY way in the forseeable future to cure the most awful diseases that plague our society. These embryos are created in a lab, in a petri dish, specifically for this purpose. They are not created in love, or created from a couple wanting a child, or anything of the sort. It is simply science. And it is the most beneficial science we have developed in centuries. How can the life of a created bunch of cells be more important that the millions and millions of living, breathing, loving and loved humans that are suffering all over our world?

4. Religion: I have come to the inevitable conclusion that no matter what the law says, seperation between church and state is a big fat lie. There is no seperation. Blame it on the candidates, blame it on the bible belt evangelicals, blame it on the "In God We Trust" printed on our money - whatever the reason, there is never going to be a true separation. That said, there can be an effort to try to find a happy medium. I don't judge anyone on their beliefs. If you want to believe in God - do it. If you want to believe in Buddah - more power to you. If you don't believe in anything - that's is fine with me. But why on Earth does every Christian in this country seem to think that they have the strong hold on what is "right"??? Why do our candidates have to prove how Christian they are, and end every speech with "God bless"? Why does every issue have to come down to religion??? And if we are really going to simply ignore the whole separation idea, can we at least do it outright? Let's stop claiming we have religious freedom in this country when it's clear that the only religion anyone cares about is Christianity. Our whole "moral" makeup in this country is based on it - we can't allow "the gays" to marry because it says they are bad in the bible. Abortion and anything that looks remotely like it is wrong because the bible says so. Whatever. I don't care what you believe if you can just keep your moral superiority complex AWAY FROM ME!! This country is supposed to be free from religious persecution, but I can't get away from the christian judgement police telling me every day what is right and wrong. We get it. You have a God and he says so. Guess what - maybe ya'll can just start worrying about yourselves and your own souls and leave everyone elses alone??

5. War: This is a big deal to me, because A. I belive in peace. B. I believe that Iraq was a big fat lie and I still don't get how people supported going to Iraq to fight Osama in Afghanistan - um, hello - ya'll did realize those were two DIFFERENT countries, right?? and C. I think that our lovely and adored current president did a fabulous job showing the whole world that we are just big bullies that don't care what anyone else says. I have never supported this war. Let me be clear - I think it is the right thing to do to go after Osama bin Ladin. I think that Saddam Hussein was a horrific war criminal who deserved to be taken out of power and killed. BUT - I also think that our government went about both of those things in the absolute wrong way. We went into a war out of fear, and didn't demand the knowledge and information that we should have. We were lied to, and our families and friends have gone to fight and die for the wrong reasons. As a mother, I have learned that one of the best lessons I can teach my children is that it is okay to admit when you are wrong, apologize and make ammends. When I make a mistake, I don't pretend that it was okay just because I am the mom. I don't act like it is okay because I don't want to admit fallibility to my children. I think that as a president, W should come forward and say hey - I am sorry I lied. I was wrong. The country should approach the word and say - hey, we're sorry we didn't listen, we didn't wait, and we got into this mess. Forgive us, please? So that maybe the next time we are in a situation where we need some support they won't think we're crazy and tell us to screw off. And we need to get the hell out of Iraq. Please.

6. The damn Economy: Let's be clear, I am by no stretch of the imagination an economist. I really have no idea what any of this crap really means to me except that gas prices are rising, food costs more, our mortgage payment is still rocky (still hoping to get caught up here soon!) and I worry about money all the time. I know that things can and probably will get worse. I know that as a one income family where the Hubs job relies on other people and companies having money to put out for things like events, meetings, weddings, etc. that we could easily find ourselves jobless and relying on an ever dwindling state aid program to feed and care for our kids. That scares the beejesus out of me. I don't like being broke, and I don't like that it looks like we will continue to all be on the verge of broke for a while. We need to fix it, and figure out a way to bring back the Clinton years where people had jobs, some extra moolah and felt good about the economy.

7. Heath care: I don't know about everyone else, but I really hate not having insurance. I hate relying on the state to cover my children, though I am grateful every day that my severly asthmatic child has access to care becuase of the state program. I wish that there was an affordable option that would allow everyone in the country to have the care that they need. Not only for sickness and treatments, but I'd love some good solid preventative care programs. How about more money put into educating parents about good nutrition and the benefits of excercise for our kids? How about money being put into finding cures for diseases that are killing our people? How about money for less conventional treatments instead of always medicating for everything?

8. Education: Enough said. School system sucks. Year round school should be mandatory. Early childhood education and College shouldn't be "maybe's" they should be guaranteed. Teachers deserve to be paid more (maybe those ridiculously overpaid musicians, actors and sports figures could take some pay cuts and pay our teachers and doctors more??? I'm just saying I kind of think we should start compensating based on our priorities - oh wait, we do - it's our priorities that are so out of whack!!).

So that's the major list I have of the things I care most about in this election. I am hoping that the debate goes on as planned tomorrow night. I get the whole "the economic crisis thing is kind of important and we need to fix it now" thing that McCain has going on right now, but frankly - a few hours to chat with the people that he's trying to win votes from and maybe explain his positions about the crisis and all the other issues we're all concerned with might not make a huge difference to the time he has to fix the economy that he just said was "fundamentally sound" after all "we're not headed to a recession", right Johnny boy? LMFAO.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Politics and embrassing my inner hypocrite

Okay, I'd like to start this off first by saying that I applaud Barack Obama's stance about keeping the kids out of the political fold. I think it's awesome that he not only refuses to use Sarah Palin's family drama as a touchpoint for his campaign, but also made a clear mention of the fact that he was born to an 18 year old mother. Good for you, Obama.

That said, it's hard to be a political news and gossip junkie, as I fully admit to being, without having some feelings on the current situation posed to the GOP Vice Presidential nominee. First of all - I want to make it clear that I was raised in a liberal household. When I became sexually active, there was no "stigma" to being on birth control and being made aware of all my options. It wasn't condoned or give a thumbs up by my parents, but they were aware that if I was going to make that choice, it was a smart decision to allow me to stay safe. Nonetheless, even taking birth control, I did find myself pregnant at 17, just as Bristol Palin is now. I, too, made the decision (through no coercion one way or the other) to have my daughter, and also to marry her father. 8 years later, we have three beautiful children and one of the happiest marriages I know. That doesn't always happen, and I am grateful everyday that we managed to escape the statistics and find happiness.

In any case - I feel for the Palin family, I feel badly that they are not only facing this in private, but also that they are stuck dealing with it in a public forum that allows people like myself to feel like I am allowed an opinion on someone else's family drama. It does bring to question, however, the politics of Gov. Palin, and if (though my own circumstances were different and led to the same result) her pro-abstinence, anti-birth control views helped to put her daughter in this position. Although it's totally possible to get pregnant accidentally - even as a teen - no matter what your values are, how safe you try to be, and all that. If the option was there for Bristol, would she have found herself in this position? Who knows. All I know is, while this is bringing up all sorts of anti-choice sentiments, what it should be doing is showing that no matter how staunchly your family values are promoted, teens have sex. period. Not every teen, I know - but the rates are higher and the ages are lower. I don't agree with this. I don't think it's right or okay, but it's the truth. There's no getting away from that, and if nothing else, Ms. Palin's condition is proof that sometimes abstinence preaching isn't enough. Sometimes, a girl has got to have access to birth control.

On to my next views about the Veep Nominee... and this is where I am struggling to embrace my inner hypocrite. I am a feminist. I believe that my choice to be a stay at home mom is EXACTLY that - a choice. I believe that I have every right in the world to make a different choice and go to work. However - there is a deep rooted "mom" voice in my gut that screams at Sarah Palin that she's making the wrong choice by taking on one of the most time consuming, emotionally draining, and publicly viewed jobs in the world when she has a 4 month old baby at home. I know, that sounds ridiculous coming from me -but the truth is, as strongly as I believe every mom has the right to make her own decisions when it comes to working in or outside the home, there is a part of me that tempers that belief with the ideas of old - that a mom should still put her family first. Sometimes that means working outside the home. Sometimes that means having dad stay home with the kids. Sometimes that means staying home. I by no means mean to say that she should be barefoot in the kitchen nursing that baby and greeting her husband at the door with a martini and a smile - I'm just saying there are plenty of jobs out there that she's qualified for that wouldn't take up so much of her time and energy that I question how much she'll have left to be a mom. That's the hypocrite in my screaming, btw, in case you heard that noise right there. LOL.

I love that I live in a world, in a country, and in a time that gives women the choice. I really do. I love my options in life, and I love the opportunities that my daughters will have. I commend Gov. Palin for being able to find the balance between motherhood and Governorship. I just question the decision.

In any case - regardless of that opinion, I would NEVER let it be a deciding factor in my vote come November. I want that black and white and abundantly clear. If I agreed with the McCain/Palin policies in any way, I would back them all the way to the White House. And I hope and pray that no one uses her personal family circumstances and drama to be a deciding factor in this election. Regardless of my inner turmoil about her decision to run given the baby at home, if I felt she had the right politics, I'd vote her her in a heart beat. But I don't.

Enough said :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Ready or not...

This week sparks the beginning of what I am hoping is going to be my last quarter at Pierce to get my AA. I have submitted my graduation information, but I am afraid that they'll come back and tell me I need one more class or something crazy like that.

In any case, I am sitting here reading my Interpersonal Communications book this morning, and thinking about all the new and "exciting" things I am going to be learning this quarter. It's actually kind of sad, really - because dealing with this new job all this month, and still trying to play my roles as mom, wife, housekeeper, cook, chauffeur, friend, daughter, granddaughter, sister, etc. etc. etc. I doubt I am going to be able to actually retain any of the knowledge I get through these classes. And that is sad, because really - I am taking some really interesting classes. My speech class is, thank god, really all about communication styles and effective communication. Then I get to take Philosophy of Western Religions, which I think is going to be really enlightening, and really get my brain going which I love. The other two - American Literature and Technical Communication will probably be interesting on a very basic level. LOL. But either way, Here I come...

This next month is going to be crazy. I feel a lot of pressure, and I am not sure how to deal with it. On one hand, it's really wonderful to feel the support of my family and friends as they continuously tell me how strong I am, and how I will succeed through this month and do a great job. But honestly, I am just not so sure. School is a lot of work. Not just mentally and intellectually, but it's hard to make that kind of time commitment. 20 credits is a lot of work. Four classes, especially online classes, is a feat of organization, and keeping on top of things all the time. Add to that, trying to be "at work" 30 hours a week. The emotional and physical strain of being in that classroom with those kids - who I really do have a deep affection for, don't get me wrong, but it's still so draining. I guess I am just afraid that I am not up to the challenge. Either that, or those two things will thrive, but what about all the other things in my life, the things I have devoted my whole adult life to? My kids - will they suffer because I am not home anymore during the day, and my nights and weekends will be spent on this dang blasted machine doing gobs and gobs of homework? Will they feel ignored and unappreciated? Will it affect them? Will my marriage suffer when I don't have the energy to be a wife at the end of the day? When I am not here to listen to his thoughts and feelings, to be physical and to be supportive? When I have a bigger life than just this home? And what about this home? I have never been Suzie Home-Martha, my house is not always the cleanest or tidiest, but I do try. And the last few months I have really stepped up and been developing and sticking to a routine that is keeping this place looking presentable, and making me feel better about it. Dinners? When am I going to find the time to make nutritious dinners? Already I have slacked on my hidden veggie routine, and while I know it's just a month - I think my biggest fear is ... What if I like it???

I know thats silly, but it's true. What if I find this sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in a job that I haven't gotten from all these other things? How do I reconcile in my own mind that I have spent 7 years home because I truly in my heart of hearts believe it's whats best for my kids only to turn that around and work next year when the Diva is still at home? How selfish would it be to put aside what I think is right for my kids, what I practiced for the first two, and do it differently for her? If I really feel that being home for them is the most important thing - and I do - how can I put that aside? I know that right now I am doing it because I have to. The Hubs being out of work for a month sent our finances in a tailspin that it's going to take at least 6 months, more likely a year, to come back from. This job was the only way to make things start looking up. But if I love it, if I find myself in this new job and new life, what do I do then?

I guess the only think I can do right now is get ready, get organized and prepared for the next 3 and a half weeks as I possibly can, and let the rest figure it self out....

I'll keep you posted :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

It's only the begining

I have been reading blogs for sometime now, and finally realize it's time to join the revolution and get on the bandwagon!

So, lets start with some introductions - I am almost 26 years old. I married my High School sweetheart (hate that phrase, btw) and am a SAHM (hate that one, too!!) to three kiddos. The Princess is 7 but thinks she's 17. The Wild One is 4.5 and crazy - hence the nickname. He is in preschool for the last year and in September will be off to Kindergarten. Poor teachers. Then there is the Diva. She's 2. She's the queen of the world, at least in her own mind. She's very cute, very sweet, and really knows how to use it already! Then there is the Husband. He is fabulous, and I love him. I know, that's not what anyone wants to hear, and I promise I will do my fair share of complaining about him throughout my blogging experience, but on the whole, I am really lucky. He is good at housework, good at childcare (although he's no MOMMY, LOL) and he's great in bed.

Okay, so back to me :) I was a SAHM for about 3 years after the Princess was born. When the Wild One was born, I decided that staying home alone all day with two small kids was not for me, so I became a NAHM - Never At Home Mom, which I think is a much more appropriate term for almost all moms. So, I joined MOMS Club, which was a huge turning point in my life. Through that organization, I met other NAHM's with kids the same ages as mine, and developed friendships and connections that I adore to this day. I also found a co-op preschool that has been a wonder for my family. We love it there, and have truly found a second family with all of them.

I am currently involved on the board of both organizations, as well as on the Princesses school's PTA. On top of that, I am a full time college student with one 20 credit quarter left to get that elusive AA degree and get started with my preschool teaching career. I am excited, and nervous.

So, there's the intro... I am sure I will have to fill in deets as the blogging progresses, but that gives you enough info to know a little about whats up with my life as I rant, review, complain and vent :)