Playing Favorites

Please withhold all judgment until the end of this entire short post.

You know what- just withhold it forever.

The other day, we got home from work and began our evening routine.  Our 4 and 5 year old boys had both gotten in trouble with the babysitter that day, drew all over the windows and armrests of the van with crayon, fought with each other, argued with us, etc. etc.

Our 16-month old daughter was cute as a button all evening.  At one point, she grabbed a book off the floor, waddled over to the little kid couch in the living room, sat down quietly, and opened the book.

I whispered to my husband….  “Psssst.  Look at her.  She’s so freakin’ cute.  I love her so much.  I think she’s my favorite right now.”

His reply:  “Uuuum.  Are you allowed to do that?”

“Uh.  Yeah.  Probably.  Just don’t tell the boys or anybody.”

Husband:  “Well, she’s not gonna be your favorite anymore in ten minutes when you have to change her diaper and she’s kicking and screaming at you.”

“Exactly.  That’s why you’re allowed to have favorites.  They change so frequently so each kid ends up getting equal time anyway.  It’s all good.  It evens out in the end.”

If you have more than one child, there’s no way you’ve never thought this.  It’s time we start talking about it…


Patience, Caterpillar

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I know.  It’s not caterpillar; it’s grasshopper.  But as I started typing, I was thinking to myself, “What’s that phrase that starts with ‘Patience’ then says the name of some kind of insect or something? Fly? No. Butterfly? No. Caterpillar. Yeah. That’s it.”  Then I began to type ‘Caterpillar’ and realized I was way off.  Then Grasshopper came to mind.  But I decided, “You know what. I thought it was ‘Caterpillar’ for a second, so let’s go with it. It’s funny when I’m wrong and embarrass myself.”  (You’re welcome.)

So now you know what this blog post is about.  Patience.

And kindness.

But mostly patience.

My husband and I took our kids to one of the nearby county fairs and had to stop at the local Chief Supermarket on the way home.  We only needed ONE thing.  ONE gallon of milk.  This should take me a minute and a half.  Our one-year old daughter was whining in the backseat because it was bedtime for her, and she gets milk before bed.  The geniuses at Chief (that is not sarcasm) have a little cooler of simply milk right at the check-out. (I LOVE that they care more about customer convenience than scheming me to get me to walk all the way to the back of the store past the chocolates and chips and Toaster Strudels- my weakness- and tons of other things I don’t need to buy.)  It was 9:30pm.  There were two lanes open.  (It’s a very small town, so two lanes at 9:30pm would typically be plenty.)  I agonize over which lane to choose, as always.  I, unknowingly, choose the slowest possible lane, as always.

There were two people in front of me:  a woman in her thirties with two items, and an elderly woman buying a good amount of produce.  The older woman stops the cashier and says, “Wait a minute. Those Bing Cherries were seven dollars and 96 cents?”  The cashier responded, not really sure why they were so much.  The cashier got some help from her coworker on the next checkout; she voided the transaction, weighed the cherries again, couldn’t find the code for cherries, had to go into some super-secret special options and manually enter the amount, etc. etc.  She moves on to scan the next item.  It takes her a minute.  “Do you remember how many ears of corn you have?”  The elderly woman takes a minute to respond.  “Six.”  She has some minor trouble ringing up her head of lettuce.  She’s almost done.  I think.  I watch the body language of those around me, while consciously keeping my own in check.  I’m very impressed by how kind and unaffected we all are.

I’m standing there thinking, “Maybe I should go to the next checkout.  I mean, I have a crying baby in the car.  No.  That would be rude and show that you are impatient.  You can wait.  It’s no big deal.  Maybe you should suggest to the lady in front of you that she can go to the next register.  No.  She’s a big girl.  She can decide for herself.  Don’t tell her what to do and draw attention to this poor old lady and poor cashier’s situation.  They’re almost done.”  In the meantime, one person had come into line behind me.  The cashier next to us gets completely done with her line, and debates stocking shelves, or ringing up someone else.  She asks if she can “Help someone over here.”  The lady BEHIND me who has been waiting the LEAST amount of time goes over to be rung up.  {That is one of my hugest pet peeves of all time, but that’s a blog post for another day.}  After that lady the second cashier must have decided that our line would be moving along soon, so she goes to work someplace else.  Some nonchalant joking begins when the older lady apologizes for questioning prices; we all (including the cashier) assure her that we understand and she absolutely should question something if it’s not right.  She says, “I love Bing Cherries, but not THAT much!”  The lady in line between us says, “That’s how I am about chocolate.”  The old lady laughs, “Oh, sweetie, chocolate is a whole different ball game.  I’ll pay almost any amount of money for good chocolate.”  They then go into a short discussion about DeBrand’s Fine Chocolate and what kind they like best, when it goes on sale, etc. etc.  I ask where DeBrand is located because I’ve never heard of it.  The old lady’s items are finally rung up and she hands the cashier a crisp one hundred-dollar bill for her $25 in groceries.  “I work too hard for my money to waste it on something unintended,” she says.  We all agree.  She slowly and diligently counts her change, carefully looks over her receipt, thanks the cashier, smiles at the rest of us in line, says goodnight and heads out the door.

I’d say we were waiting for about 8-10 minutes.  The woman in front of me rang up very quickly, as did I.  I had my exact change ready and handed it to the cashier.  I said with a big smile, “Thank you! I don’t need my receipt; I’ve had a crying baby in the car this whole time!”  I started walking out, then quickly turned around to elaborate, “I mean, she’s with her Dad!!!  She’s not alone!  Don’t worry!”  The man who was in line behind me jokes, “That’s good. Because I was just about to call the police!”

As I make my walk to the car, I see the two women who were in front of me in line standing at the trunk of one of their cars happily discussing (can you guess?) chocolate.  It warmed my heart.  Those women didn’t know each other from Adam (I don’t think).  The younger woman could have been upset with the older lady and hurried to her car and sped away, but she didn’t.  She reassured her with understanding and engaged in a meaningful conversation about something they had in common.  The cashier could have been flustered and rude, but she wasn’t.  Others in line, myself included, could have been huffing and puffing and rolling our eyes, but we didn’t.

This really made me think (especially since I am notorious for picking the slowest moving line possible in any store I go):  are we all really in that big of a hurry?  Yes, sometimes we have appointments or engagements; but if we are being honest with ourselves, most of the time this kind of setback in our schedule or our plans is really no big deal.  Instead of letting it ruin our day (or hour) and crabbing to everyone who will listen about how inconvenient and annoying it all is, why don’t we use it as an opportunity to stop and look around.  LOOK at the people around us and really SEE them for who they are.  Pay attention to their actions and interests and conversations.  Talk to them about their lives.  Show them love and understanding, just like we would want shown to us.

Patience, Caterpillar.

Be My…. TWD

In about 19 hours we’ll be on the edge of our seats for the season finale of The Walking Dead.  I was in the kitchen making egg casseroles for our Easter breakfast at church tomorrow as TWD marathon was playing in the background.  It was the episode where Lori has the baby, and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be funny if I got all dramatic and walked up to my husband and said, ‘If the Zombie Apocalypse were to happen, I’d want YOU to be my Rick’.”  Then something else popped into my head, and I thought, I’ve got to make that happen.  So, I hopped on the computer (after all my other duties were done) and I generated a few of my favorite things: someecards. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I give you: - If the Zombie Apocalypse ever hits, I want you to be my Rick.

But then I thought, I don’t know, I really love me some Daryl Dixon, so maybe I’d want him to be my Daryl.  {In full disclosure, I wasn’t a big fan of Daryl in the beginning; he wasn’t very nice, and he was a little too white-trash for my taste.  I mean, I like a little country, but white-trash, not so much.}  So here’s to you, Daryl: - If the Zombie Apocalypse ever hits, I want you to be my Daryl.

The only downside to Daryl is his lack of ability to show much emotion (aside from the most recent episode, which made me want to cry and hold Daryl like a newborn baby, what?) so who is the PERFECT mix of loving emotion and bad-assedness? <yeah, I just made that word up… He is: - If the Zombie Apocalypse ever hits, I want you to be my Glenn.

But I couldn’t leave out the 70-and older crowd, so put in your dentures and turn off he evening news, this man is educated, successful, a recovering alcoholic, wonderful father, and recent amputee.  Get ready, old women: - If the Zombie Apocalypse ever hits, I want you to be my Hershel.

I think I about hit all the men for whom we may have a fictional soft spot.  But just in case any of you liked Shane…. here you go: - Oh come on, did anybody really ever like Shane? Really?

Hahahahahaha! Gotcha!  So there you have it.  I’ve managed to combine two of my current favorite things: someecards, and TWD and take 20 minutes at 2am and write a blog post.  Share these, pin these, and have a laugh with me- because in 18 hours we’ll be bawling our eyes out at the season finale that’s sure to kill off someone we’ve grown to love.



Jewelry Commercials Are Bogus

I have long had frustration with jewelry commercials. Sometimes that frustration leads to downright anger, sometimes it leads to uncontrollable laughter. I think we can all agree that most jewelry commercials are painfully unrealistic. They are corny. So. SO. Corny. The acting is always horrible and the writing is even worse. Let’s take a closer look at a few that have really stuck out for me.

Here’s one from awhile back that I’ve been annoyed with from the moment I saw it:

First of all: who turns around so dramatically and jumps into their significant others’ arms because of a little thunder and lightening? I can tell you: someone desperate for some new jewelry, someone who feels the need to give that “special someone” an ever-so-gentle ego boost, and/or someone who is horny. This girl needs some game.
Secondly. This man’s voice is creepy. It’s so deep and dark- like the secrets he’s probably hiding by distracting this woman with shiny things. When he pauses, changes his tone completely, and then reinforces the fact that he will never leave his woman’s side: RED FLAG! RED FLAG, LADY! This man is a psychopath! One of the top comments under the YouTube video says it all. “Every kill begins with Kay…. Don’t worry. I’ve cut the phone lines and hid all the flashlights so we can be together forever.”
Next. The announcer states “The new Love’s Embrace Collection from Kay Jewelers. Now you can surround her with the strength of your love. Give her diamonds in a design that captures the comfort found in each others’ arms.” {Please excuse me while I run to the bathroom to throw up.} Do men really buy diamonds because of the design they symbolize?! Uh. The answer is no. Men buy diamonds because they know think their lady-friend will b- er- complain if they don’t. Men buy diamonds because they didn’t get laid for three weeks after your first Christmas as a married couple when they shopped off your leftover bridal registry and you were ticked. (Oh, I’m so sorry, some personal bitterness and rage just escaped there.) Men buy diamonds because they would like to have sexual intercourse in the near future (like, preferably right after they help you put on that new bling).
To top it off, the woman says, “Don’t let go. Ever.” Oh, I see whatcha did there. You’re one of those women who likes to be controlled and creeped on. Ew.

This next one has been out for years. I’m not sure if it’s just played locally, but luckily for anyone who may read this from outside northwest Ohio, here you go:

This is your classic low-budget commercial with horrible writing, directing, and acting. Throw in a corny story-line and we’re all set! There’s really not much else to say about this one, but if you come up with something witty, by all means, do share.

This next one, I admit, I didn’t have the same thoughts or feelings as everyone else seems to have at first. Take a look:

The first thing I actually thought was not about the creepiness of this grown man saying to his fiancee’s daughter, “I’m glad you’re in my life too.” But it was feelings of jealousy that some nine year old is about to get a more expensive necklace than I’ve ever probably even viewed through the glass of a display case while being stared at by employees who are thinking, “There’s no way you can afford this, honky!” After that envy wore off, I realized the rest. Whether he is a creeper or not, he sure sounds like one. I’m guessing he’s probably thinking, Hang on to this, because you might need to pawn it off the day you turn 18 and I kick your butt out so I can get your mom all to myself! But for now, I’m pretending to like you, you little brat… Just look at your mom’s face… Oh yeah, she wants me right now.

And last, but certainly not least, there’s this little gem, that really prompted me to write this post. There are so many things wrong with this next commercial:
[Unfortunately I cannot get this particular video to embed, so I will have to past the web address. Please click, or copy and paste into your browser to watch. It’s worth it.]

Okay, where do I start? First of all, just, no. There must have been months worth of arguments, snide comments, phones being thrown across rooms, eye rolls, and long nights of silence that the jewelry industry kindly left out of this 30 second bundle of lies and joy. I love how she’s adjusting the lamp shade as her husband walks into the room. Who does that?! And the room is perfect. Really? Maybe it’s just me that would never be able to get rid of enough crap (or enough kids) to make enough room for an in-law to have an entire room in my house. And they are just too happy about this. I mean it’s one thing if you made it work and agreed to it (eventually) but it’s another thing to say, “Our home is his home.” They must not have had time to include the line, “…because you insisted that this was our only option and I’m not cruel enough to let the man live on the streets. But I tell you, as soon as he’s better- or kicks the bucket- I want my crafting room back!”**

EDIT 2/14/13:::: Well, Happy Valentine’s Day! I can’t believe I forgot the following commercial:

Clearly the woman is this man’s “beard.” Do you know any guys who are excited about going into a photo booth? Do you know any guys who suggest going into a photo booth?? Do you know any guys who frolick to said photo booth??? If your answer to any or all of these is yes, and said man has a girlfriend or wife, you need to have a serious talk with this man. Don’t get me wrong- I wish I didn’t hear moans and groans every time I begged my husband to enter the photo booth of torture, but on the other hand, if he were as excited about it as this dude- I would have some questions.
::::::END EDIT

Enough of this hogwash. Let’s get into my favorite type of video: the spoof.

Since jewelry stores think men need to not only buy expensive jewelry for the women in their lives, but also their lady-friends’ nine year old daughters, why not add St. Patrick’s Day and Groundhog’s Day into the jewelry etiquette calendar? Like this:

This last video is much closer to real-life events. {Please excuse the language, but it is already bleeped out for your listening convenience.}

So, now that I’ve put out there what everyone else was already thinking in their heads, please share your headcase. And share this blogpost if you wish as well!
Oh, and of course, Happy Valentine’s Day!

**I promise you all I’m not as cruel and heartless as that particular paragraph came across. Of course I needed to exaggerate a tiny bit for dramatic effect. 😉

Inside My Purse

These are the current contents of my purse:

  • a [clean] pair of socks
  • the head scarf that I wore yesterday
  • the DCC Sunday school lesson from when I taught Tucker’s class 3 weeks ago
  • the DCC bulletin from 2 weeks ago
  • 2 phone chargers
  • my Zune
  • 3 undone yarn friendship bracelets from aforementioned Sunday school class
  • the postcard from the health department telling me that Vanessa was due for her 6-month immunizations on 10/31 (She is currently 9 months old.)
  • a piece of gum that I confiscated from Tucker’s mouth moments after he started chewing it without permission (It is wrapped, of course. Come on, I’m not that gross.)
  • 3 mechanical pencils
  • 4 various colored pens
  • 2 cell phones (work and personal)
  • approximately 5,942 receipts*
  • approximately 2,763 coupons*
  • 1/3 of a bottle of water from I-don’t-know-when
  • 3 packs of gum (un-chewed, this time)
  • my ticket to the Mitt Romney Rally in Defiance (insert sad face)
  • 2 tubes of chapstick
  • 3 tubes of lipstick
  • 2 tubes (is that what they’re called?) of lip gloss
  • some tissues
  • some napkins
  • a movie theater gift card that we had so long without using (3 years?) that when we tried to use it the magnetic strip was too worn out and it could not be redeemed (insert ticked-off/sad face)
  • oh, look! another church bulletin!
  • a plastic nail from the boys’ toy tool bench
  • 3 bottles of various vitamins that I haven’t taken in months (I’m so forgetful with medication. Good thing I’m not on anything important! Except when I used to be on birth control. We see how forgetting to take that turned out.)

There’s actually a lot more in my purse, but the rest is pretty boring. So. What does this say about me? (Other than I need to clean out my purse and I’m a hoarder and I’m messy and I suck.)

What’s your favorite item? And, what’s in your wallet? Er, purse?

*the numbers on these items were exaggerated (every so slightly) for effect. 🙂

This is Your Headcase

Alas, I have started a long thought about, talked about blog.  Welcome. Let me tell you a little bit about myself and what you might be able to expect from me.

I am a mid-western born and raised wife and mother of three.  For a moment, I crossed out that previous sentence and thought to myself,

“Yes, that’s who I am to everyone else, but who am I to ME?”

But, that is a lot of who I am now.  Moving on.  I am cynical.  I always thought I was, but I had to go to one of my favorite websites,, to make sure.  (See, what a good blogger; I’m already doing the necessary research before I post!)  Turns out, it’s true; I am.  Especially when you use one of its synonyms, sarcastic.  I make jokes when I’m uncomfortable.  Although, I also makes jokes when I’m comfortable.  I rarely get philosophical.  Not because I lack deep, meaningful thoughts.  And not because I lack convictions.  I think it’s partially because I lack confidence, and I tend to be a peace-maker and people-pleaser.  (Part of the reason I’ve been pondering a blog- I gotta get these thoughts OUT.)  Many times when someone challenges me or disagrees with me, I’ll be the first to say, “Yeah, I can see how you could think that…”  or “Well, you have a point…”  But I’m really trying to make myself speak up and speak out just a wee bit more.  Hence the name of my blog.  And the mere fact that there is a blog.

I am just shy of 30 and a mother to two toddler boys and a beautiful newborn girl.  I slightly robbed the cradle on my catch of a husband.  I was a full-time working mama until this last baby.  Now I am what they call a “stay at home mom.”  I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about that.  I used to want to be all kinds of things when I grew up:  a police officer, a missionary, a private investigator, a teacher, a lawyer, a lion tamer (okay, not really, but that is fun to say), a savvy-fashoinable-smart-bossy businesswoman, and most of all, some sort of singer or actress.  We see how that turned out.  😉  And I know what you’re thinking- everybody wanted to be famous at some time or another.  Honestly, I could do without being famous, but I want to get paid to do what I love and that seems to be it.  For now, I rock my socks off every so often in local community theater plays or musicals, and the occasional (but lately not happening) “tipsyaoke” session.  Tipsyaoke is a term coined by yours truly, meaning:

Tipsyaoke: [tips-ee-oh-kee] noun. the act of  going to an establishment and having a reasonable and socially acceptable amount of adult beverages and then participating in karaoke repeatedly, while other adults at said establishment who have had less or many more adult beverages than you, tell you how awesome you are.

So there I am.  There’s a lot more to know about me and I hope you’ll stick around to hear [read] it all.  I hope to write every week or two about general life/family/friend situations, whatever’s trippin’ my trigger, a new recipe I’ve tried, movie I’ve watched, project I’ve completed, basically: whatever is “inside my head.”  I plan to have my best friend guest-post every so often because she reads books and makes quilts, and does amazing DIY projects that her clever, creative, talented self needs to share.

You’ve been officially invited to my headcase.

Stick around.

One of these days I just might blow your mind.