Monday, January 31, 2011


A side benefit of my job is listening to absurd excuses. I call it a benefit because 9 times out of 10, the excuses offered always make me laugh. This year, I have heard several new excuses. I had someone tell me they smoke pot to cure their anorexia. They believed that smoking pot caused them to have the munchies, which caused them to eat...ta da, anorexia cured. That one quickly jumped to the top of my list of top 10 excuses.

I heard a new excuse today. We noticed someone was very tired and unmotivated so we asked what time they went to sleep last night. When they told us what time, we talked about appropriate bedtimes, etc. We asked why they were awake so late and they told us, "my tv wouldn't turn off." We asked if they tried the power button on both the remote and the actual tv. They told us, "yeah." We asked if they unplugged the tv. They said, "Yes, but it stayed on." I had to get up and leave the room to keep from laughing. It was clear they were grasping for any "straw" to keep from getting in trouble.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Desk For Sale

In an attempt to futhur prepare for Miss Ella's arrival, we have decided to sell our Sauder computer desk. We are asking $100 or best offer. I didn't realize how dusty the thing was until I looked at the pictures I took last night! We were using it as a catch all for papers instead of an actual desk and it's time we find it a new home. So ignore the dust and my lack of motivation to clean the spare room! We are only selling the desk, not the computer. I just didn't feel like moving the computer off the desk to take pictures.
At the tallest part (the "tower") it stands 42" high. The tower dimensions are 42" x 19 1/2" x 26". The lower part of the desk stands 29" tall. The whole thing is 58" long. Let me know if you are interested. If you can't come pick it up and live locally, we can probably deliver it. It does have a slide out keyboard/mouse shelf. The CD storage part is NOT broken. I just didn't realize some of the slots were folded in on themselves and not pushed all the way back.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Avoid the Princess

Yesterday I read an article written by Pamela Paul in Parents magazine. Pamela interviewed Peggy Orenstein about her new book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatched From the Front Lines of the New Girly-Girl Culture. The article intrigued me. The Pamela and Peggy discussed how our culture has turned girls into uber girly-girls. Pamela says, "what can we do to help our daughters who are coming of age today have the best sense of girlhood possible."

It seems our cultures have turned our daughters into wimpy princesses. Why must all girls be associated with such helpless (usually they are portrayed that way) characters who are patiently waiting on a man? Really? Can we not teach our daughters to be happy with who they are? Peggy said, "...what does it mean that our little girls are all about being pretty princesses? Have girls made so much progress that it's no big deal? Or is this the first step towards hypersexualization? I don't remember everything being so pink when we were little - we were all 'Free to Be You and Me' - and I didn't know where this new culture of girl came from."

I just want my kids to be what they want to be. I want them to be strong, independent and happy. I worry that the new found cultural obsession with princesses (do you know how many princess themed bedroom sets, toys, etc there are? Thank you Disney!) will cause my daughter to define herself by making her think that how she looks is who she is.

Don't get me wrong, some cultural princesses are strong women, but they are always waiting around for a man. I think that the new found obsession with princesses is causing younger girls to grow up too fast. Have you looked around the schools lately and noticed what the little kids are wearing? Heck, some of the little kid Halloween costumes I saw in the store this year I considered smut! Do we really want our elementary school girls thinking they have to dress skimpy and be all "made up" to be happy in life? Oh, and what is with little girls using the word "sexy?" I'm sorry, if anyone calls my little girl sexy I may snap. How can a 3 year old be sexy? Really? I have had someone tell my son he looks sexy and I about flew off the handle. HE IS ALMOST THREE! Three year olds don't need to know that word! He can look handsome, but sexy? That word should be reserved for married adults if you ask me! Maybe I am just too conservative, but no child of mine will be "sexy."

I am not knew to the culture of little girls. I have three nieces and have been in their lives since the oldest two were three and four. I have watched them grow into their own. The oldest is a farm girl with a touch of girly-girl. She could kick your butt, hunt her own food, and then put on lip gloss. The middle one is still trying to find her way. I think she will go towards the girly-girl side, but who knows. The youngest will be a mix of both. She likes her make up (lip gloss) but isn't afraid to get in the barn with the cows, goats, rabbits, etc. I want my daughter to be well rounded. To know that it is ok to want to play sports and still be prom queen. If she wants to play on the football team and wear nail polish, good for her!

I look at the female students I have and wonder how they got to where they are. I have had several that use their bodies (or the promise of their bodies) to persuade males to do what they want. What/who taught them this is ok? that not only gives them a false sense of worth, but can make them seem like they are "easy" even if they are virgins. How do I limit her access to the materials that influence that kind of thinking without sheltering her?

So how do I raise a well rounded daughter? I really have no clue. Heck, I don't even know if I am raising a well rounded son. He says "please" and "thank you." Plays well with others, and is happy go lucky, so I think we are on the right path. I see many sleepless nights filled with prayers in my future!

Preparing for #2

7 weeks. 49 days. That's how much longer I have to go, or so I've been told. Taylor didn't show up on time (he was 2 weeks late) so I am not holding my breath that his sister will make her arrival on time (or even early). The past week has brought on the desire to want her here NOW. I don't remember having this feeling with TJ. I think I was too scared about the birthing process. I want Isabella (or Ella as I call her) here NOW! I want to snuggle a baby and rock her to sleep, etc.

I am a lot less paranoid this time around. I know what to expect, or so I think. I know where all the bottles are packed away. Have some of the "supplies" moved to the easier attic access spot, etc. Her room isn't done, but we know what we want to do, so that counts for something right? Her cradle is ready (handmade by my father and brother in law for TJ) and we have some clothes.....diapers....I must remember diapers.

We have finally made a decision about the birth. After much consideration and discussion, we have chosen to use the hospital instead of the birthing center. I like the idea of being able to have pain meds if I choose to. I have not made up my mind yet if I will use meds, but I like knowing that they are available if I want them. I also like the idea of being "pampered" by the hospital staff right after giving birth. I had an amazing team of nurses the first time around (Thank You Nancy Hill and Mrs. Reese, no, not my mom). They were firm, but polite, etc. We have someone to watch TJ and Scooter so I don't feel like I need to rush right home afterwards. I will admit that TJ's birth has me scared crapless to do it again, but she's gotta come out!

In preparing for a new baby, I have sorted through all of TJ's old things. Since they will be born almost exactly 3 years apart (we are talking almost to the day people, can we time it or what?!) their seasons of outfits will match up. I have pulled the gender neutral ones and sleep sacks (do I really care if she is sleeping in a baseball themed sleep sack? Nope!). I still have A TON of boy clothes left. If you know of anyone who is needing baby boy clothes, please let me know! I have a ton. If I can't get rid of them this way, I guess I will have to suffer through a garage sale....please don't make me have a garage sale!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fish Sauce

So I have been on the hunt for fish sauce all weekend. I have a Pad Thai recipe I want to try and it calls for fish sauce. I checked at Wal-Mart, but apparently they don't feel the need to carry it. So I looked at Kroger. They don't find it important either. I checked at Meijer this morning and low and behold, I found fish sauce. I read the ingredients, out of curiosity and discovered it is is anchovies, salt, and sugar. Ok, simple enough. Then I read the final line under the ingredients. Warning: Does contain fish. Well DUH! It's called FISH sauce. As a consumer I would be upset if my fish sauce didn't contain any fish!

Made me think off all the dumb people who have done stupid things that now require companies to list the obvious on their warning labels.

The first thing that comes to mind is the lady who spilled coffee in her lap and then sued McDonald's for her coffee being hot. Well, had they given her cold coffee she would have complained that it was cold! Coffee is hot, we all know this. Just because you are klutzy enough to dump it in your lap doesn't mean you should be able to sue!

The lady who recently fell into a mall fountain. Ok lady, your 15 minutes of "fame" are up! Heck, your theft wrap sheet has been made public. You were the one texting and walking. It's not like the giant fountain jumped out in front of you and swallowed you up! Sure, you're embarrassed, but why not just laugh at the situation instead of having the public drudge through your criminal records to prove you are an idiot?!

Some irons remind users to remove their clothes before ironing. I guess I thought most people already knew that....apparently not.

Liquid Plumber reminds it's users to not reuse the bottle for beverages. Ok, gotcha.

Windex tells us not to spray it in our eyes. I really don't know what to say to that one.

Arm and Hammer Scoopable Cat Liter wants us to know that their product is safe to use around cats....well, I'd hope so!

A child's size Superman Costume reminds the wearer that although the costume has a cape, it does not enable the wearer to actually fly. Crap! There goes my new idea on how to fly south at an inexpensive rate!

You know all of these dumb warning labels exists because someone was stupid enough to try something, got mad that it didn't work/or they hurt themselves and then decided to make a dollar or two off their stupidity.

Is our culture that stupid?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Do You Derby?

So a year ago I was turned on to a new sport, roller derby! I remember watching the banked track style on tv when I was younger, but being at a live event is awesome! The fact that Ft. Wayne has not one, but two teams is even cooler! If you have never been to a Ft. Wayne Derby Girls bout, you need to go (Claire, if you are reading this, this means YOU!).

If you are not familiar with derby, check out the Ft. Wayne Girls website. If I could skate, I would soo turn Ayron into a derby widow. But since walking provides me with enough challenges, I will remain a screaming fan. Heck, I commemorated my first tattoo with a derby girls bout....ahhh...memories!

Derby starts this Saturday and I can't wait. I have my tickets, do you?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Creative Mind

I want to start by stating that this post is NOT intended to "diss" the Amish. In fact, I think we all could benefit from a simpler life style. I respect their culture and their beliefs.

I am taking a class about special education and just completed an assignment for class. For this assignment I had to use 2 students from my current teaching assignment and complete a "project" about them. The students I currently have are not culturally diverse nor are they disabled (2 requirements for this project). I had to get creative. I created a student and with the help of a friend (Leah) here is what we created.

Student Name: Benjamin Graber
People who can provide information on this student: Benjamin, Ben’s counselor,
Cultural background: Very limited access to “modern” world
Language considerations: Fluent in both English and German (Amish). English is spoken in the home, while some German is spoken during traditional services/ceremonies
Accommodations needed: Larger student desk that is easily accessible.
Socioeconomic considerations: Traditional Amish family; several extended family members live in the home; dad is a furniture maker; mom tends to gardens and the small siblings.
Learning style information: Written learner
Instructional considerations: If homework assignments require Internet, computer, etc, Ben will need accommodations made so he can complete the assignment.
Back story: (the back story WAS not submitted with my assignment, Leah and I created it just to amuse ourselves....we were amused). Ben lost both of his legs in the freak butter churning accident of 1999. He wanted to get the shiny red wheelchair but the community elders decided it was to ostentatious, so he was forced to get the black and blue version. Ben likes to spend his weekends racing Jacob Yoder and Jacob's miniature pony. Ben can often be heard yelling, "4 wheels are better than 4 hooves. Eat my dust Jacob Yoder!"

Let me finish this post by restating that we are in no way against the Amish. I wish I could live such a simple and religious life. This assignment was simply fueled by my need for a culturally diverse and disabled student, my lack of sleep, and the fact that I slammed a Pepsi for breakfast. This is the amount of creative genius I am capable of on 3 hours of sleep and 12 ounces of Pepsi. Please do not be offended. This was intended to make people laugh. Heck, it sent both Leah and I running for the comfort of our toilets!

Monday, January 10, 2011

I'm an "expert?"

I will be going to court in less than an hour, this is nothing new to me, especially on Monday mornings. Juvenile court cases are done on Monday mornings in the county I work in. The court room doesn't scare me, testifying doesn't scare me, the judge doesn't scare me, mean defense attorney's don't scare me, being considered and "expert" scares me!

I was talking with the judge last week about a particular situation and he asked me to come to court and be an "expert" during that case. Really? Me? An expert? I don't view myself as an expert. I have been doing this job for 5 years now, but I don't consider myself an expert. I am only 27 years old people, how am I old enough to be an expert in anything?! I have some knowledge (thank you Indiana Prison For Women or I Paid For What if you prefer....aka: IPFW) but I am by no means an "expert." Heck, I only hold a bachelors degree! I just start going back to school to renew my license and just this past weekend decided what master's degree I wanted to work on. It just slightly frightens me that my thoughts and opinions could/will be viewed as an expert opinion!

I am an expert in some things, that I will admit. I don't mean to brag or boast, just being honest.

I am an expert at panicking. I do that very well (hence this blog post).

I am an expert at multi tasking thanks to my adult onset A.D.D. I can finish laudry, do dishes, cook dinner, help TJ remember that "E" is a letter of the alphabet, and sing along to the radio at one time.

I am an expert at tripping, especially when pregnant. In order to be considered an expert in this field, one must be able to fall gracefully and not seriously injure themselves. I have fallen so many times throughout my two pregnancies. I usually fall at work. I usually stand up and bow for the jail security cameras and hope that I gave them a good laugh. I wonder if they have a tally board somewhere in the "nest" where they keep track of my falls?

I am an expert on bugging my older sister. I have had 27 years of practice people, 27 years makes you an expert.

I am an expert at changing dirty pants (TJ's, not mine!) in odd locations.

I am an expert at deciphering song lyrics. Sadly, my husband is not. He still thinks that Gwen Stephani's song is "I ain't no Harlem fat girl" instead of "I ain't no holla back girl." I will admit that while we both know the lyrics, we still sing "I am a friend of God, I am a friend of God, I am a friend of God, he calls me FRED!"

I am an expert at butt kissing. I don't deny it. Heck, today is the first official day of "grad school" for me and I have already done one homework assignment, submitted one project, aced a quiz, and started on my lengthy online homework assignment. If that's not kissing up, I don't know what is. My sister might say that I am also an expert at kissing the butts of my parents, but she's just jealous. We all know that parents love the baby the most :) I am totally kidding (kind of).....Love you Natty! Dear Dad, insert gut chuckle here, come know you wanna...don't bother trying to stifle it. Go ahead, leave a know you want to!

I am an expert at a lot of novice activities (nice oxymoron huh!) but an expert in my old field?! I guess we'll see how this morning goes, then maybe I will consider myself and expert in educating juveniles who are "at risk."

Friday, January 07, 2011

Gone and Forgotten

I read an article on yahoo yesterday about things babies who are born in 2011 will never know. It made me think about things that I remember from my childhood that are no longer in existence.

Anyone remember a rotary phone? Our old church had on in the basement and I HATED that phone. It was such a pain to make the wheel circle all the way to the left then wait for it to go back to the right, etc. I remember when we got our first cordless phone at home. The pull out antena went for miles! I also remember not being able to stand by the running microwave while on the phone due to noise interferance. That could just been our gigantic and dinasour like microwave too.

Beta tapes anyone? I remember at one point we had a Beta AND VHS player. There was only one place in town that still rented BETA tapes. I don't know why, but if I wanted to rent a movie I wanted it to be a Beta tape. For some reason I preferred Beat to the VHS. I can't remember now why, but apparently when I was 5, I had my reasons.

Cassette tapes have gone by the wayside. I remember putting blank tapes in the boom box (yet another lost treasure) and taping songs off the radio. Making mixed tapes for my friends was the coolest! I found one the other day and laughed at the cruddy sound of the songs I taped from the radio. Does anyone still own AND use a walkman anymore? I remember my dad had one that was HUGE. You might as well lug around a full stero, but man was it cool to be able to listen to music while waiting at the bus stop.

Old style printer paper that had the removable side strips...oh the joys of ripping off the sides and then folding those two strips over each other to make a springy object to throw. Getting mad when you ripped the sides off too fast and ripped your paper. Oh, lets not forget the old dot matrix style printers.

Good, clean, humorous family sitcoms seem to have disappeared. I'm talking Full House, Family Matters, Doogie Houser, etc. Although as I watch these shows as an adult now, I do catch a lot of adult humor that I missed as a kid. I remember being very upset if we weren't home so that I could watching ABC's "TGIF" line up!

Why does no one write handwritten letters anyone? I know that I am guilty of this, but I also know how fun it is get a real hand written card in the "snail mail." Oh, and Christmas cards that have a typed "what we did this year" letter folded up and smooshed inside DO NOT COUNT!

Pepsi Clear, oh how I miss you! I had a craving for one the other day and it broke my heart to realize they haven't made that drink in YEARS. I remember there was one gas station on the way to Purdue that would carry the drink. I would beg my mom to stop at that gas station when we were driving to visit my sister just so I could get a Pepsi Clear.

What things do you remember that don't exsist anymore?

Thursday, January 06, 2011

In Vitro Humor

I have a friend (well, they are a couple, but let's face it, the guy just gets to fill a cup and be done with all the physical stuff) who is in the process of in vitro fertilization. This couple is great and really needs to have a whole boat load of kids. They have taught all of our children so much (and we can't wait to repay the favor :) ). They have been trying for over a year now to conceive and have been to countless doctors and specialists. On paper, there is no reason why these two should have any trouble "being fruitful and multiplying." My heart breaks when I think about all they are going through, both physical and emotionally. They are both such strong people and I can only imagine the mental and physical toll this is having on them.

She has always had a crazy sense of humor and lets face it, the fact that he married her shows his sense of humor (seriously, I tease because I know they can handle it and will just dish it right back at me). She sent me this message last night and it cracked me up and I had to pass it along. I know the struggles they face are hard, but I am sure that with humor like this, they will make it through.

"Things I'd rather do than In Vitro Fertilization"

1.lick a septic tank
2. get a Brazilian wax with gorilla glue
3. "spoon" with my father-in-law
4. get a colonoscopy from a Parkinson's patient
5. have a cotton-candy enema then sit on a fire-ant hill
6. take a slap-shot to the face
7. do a soft-core porn with Michael Moore
8. do a hard-core porn with Michael Moore
9. have a slumber party with Sarah Palin
10. do my own bowel-resection with a rusty x-acto knife
11. take a bath with my husband's ex wife
12. go to a Jonas brother's concert

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

How Did We Turn Out Alright?

I was going through all of TJ's old baby clothes the other day and it hit me....I am a mother of not just one, but two. How did I get to this point? Who would have ever thought? Not me! I am now responsible for raising these two kids to be respectful, decent, productive members of society. At times that task seems so daunting. I can't even get my 2 year old to pee in the potty (that's another blog post for a later time), how in the world am I going to raise him to be kind, decent, loving, etc. Ayron walked in and caught me thinking while folding tiny baby clothes and we began to talk.

We talked about how we were raised. Our upbringings were similar and we like to think we turned out just fine. We respected (and still respect) our elders and were well-rounded teenagers (perhaps a bit geeky, but that's ok). I see so much disrespect for parents at my job and it amazes me. My students say things to their parents' faces that I would have never thought, let alone said.

My parents never told me not to smoke, do drugs, drink, or have sex, yet I never did any of those things. I have never touched a cigarette in my life, never taken an illegal drug, and was a virgin on my wedding day (think what you want, but how many people can honestly say that?). Even though my parents never lectured me on those things, I just knew not to do them. I wasn't afraid of the legal consequences, I was more afraid of my parents.

Don't get me wrong. I wasn't afraid they'd beat me or anything. I was more afraid of that look of disappointment on their face. That look of hurt and pain would have killed me! Dad always joked that if I ever got arrested he'd make me sit in jail overnight, but I don't know if he really would have left me overnight.

Ayron and I are wondering how we raise our kids to be like we were. How do we instill that....that fear (I hesitate to use fear because it's not the word I am searching for) in TJ and Ella? I know part of it is by just living a life worth modeling, one with strong values, beliefs, etc. We talked with one of our pastor's about it during a New Year's Even party and even he wasn't sure how to go about it. I want our children to have a healthy dose of respect and "fear" but I also want them to be able to come to us when they have problems. I want them to know that we won't judge them when they come to us with problems, concerns, etc.