Monday, April 30, 2012

Mean Girls was a documentary

Today's post is from a prompt I found here, but is also timely and relevant to a group I belong to.
"Journal for fifteen minutes or longer about why people leave mean, vulgar, or inappropriate comments online — the things they would never say to a person's face. Be sure to address gender differences while you are writing."
I've mentioned before the group of moms I'm involved with. I've made some great friends in this group, but as with any group of a good size there are personality differences and conflicts. Usually conflicts just blow over, but in some cases the claws really come out and people get nasty. It happened again yesterday, and after the drama dies down for the most part, there are always comments about free speech, "big girl panties," interesting discussion, hypothetical situations being misread, and excuses like that.

Yes, I called it excuses. When grown, adult women, varying in age but all old enough to have children, agree to form a group and agree to respect each others feelings and beliefs, despite any differences, societal rules must apply or the group will implode. Yes, sometimes snark is fun. And yes, humor is often misread on the internet. But when something is deeply hurtful, and known to be deeply hurtful, we need to back off and respect the other side. In some cases, it's best to agree to disagree and let it go. Just drop it, and don't keep making snide comments in other discussions, or make random jokes about the subject. Both parties are offended in the discussion, both should apologize, and all should just let it go.

THAT is the true meaning, to me, of "big girl panties." Just let it go. Be the bigger person and stop the arguing.

As for the prompt of why people do this? I don't know. Boredom? Need for attention? Desire to impress others? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe the instigators just have fun stirring up trouble.

Whatever the reason, all that is accomplished is discord and division in the group. The once happy group of mom friends is now two groups, with a majority of the members in common. It's pretty sad.

Why can't we just all get along?
(Thanks to Kate for the title!)


Friday, April 27, 2012

Need a hero?

I saw this sign in the hospital gift shop today. It would be cute in a little boy's room, right? But honestly, this innocent looking wall hanging both saddens and angers me.

Think about what it says. EVERY hero starts out as a BOY. So girls can't be heroes? I'm sorry, Joan of Arc. Your contribution to France's Hundred Years' War doesn't mean anything. Amelia Earhart, your many achievements don't matter. Sandra Day O'Connor, who needs a woman as Supreme Court Justice? The simple statement painted on that sign undermines centuries of women being heroes. Rosa Parks. Christa McAuliffe. Harriet Beecher Stowe. Susan B Anthony. The entire suffrage movement. Are these women any less heroes because they were born female? Do we really want our children to think so?

"But Christine, it's just a decoration. The manufacturer didn't mean anything by it." I know some of you are thinking that. And you know what? That's even worse. Whoever came up with this design is so oblivious to the continuing inequalities we face that this was produced without question. And it doesn't matter at all what the intent was in the first place. Because as soon as its purchased and hung in someone's home, little boys are absorbing the subtle message that girls don't matter as much, and little girls are getting the message that they can't accomplish their dreams.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, April 26, 2012

All-encompassing catch-up post

This week has been a busy one. I posted Monday about my car being in the repair shop, and on Tuesday ended up getting a new one! I'm very happy with my new car. It's bigger than any I've ever had, but isn't to "mom"ish (I think... I hope). My old car was fixable, but had nearly 220,000 miles on it and much more needing repair than the immediate problem over the weekend. While we had the opportunity and this car was at such a good price, we test drove it Monday afternoon and I picked it up after work on Tuesday. It is so much nicer than my old one! Emma has been exploring all the features and loves that there are so many extra outlets throughout the car.
If I'm in denial about mom-ish, please leave me to my delusion.
I also don't have much to report for Fit Mama Club. I haven't remembered to weigh myself yet this week so I don't know if I've made any progress. I've been staying off the elevators, though, and using the stairs at work. Last week I did have one soda, and decided to allow myself one a week. It's funny, though, that after I made that decision I haven't wanted it at all. Today in the cafeteria, even, I looked at the bottled drinks case and realized I didn't want to drink anything in it. I'm still filling my water bottle and using my Mio flavorings. I do have a glass of iced tea at lunch sometimes, but that's it.

Sophie was a funny bunny this morning. She woke up all full of mischief and giggles. She fed the dog part of her breakfast, then came running into where I was saying "Mommy, Tutto my eat!" (Tutto is Tucker, our dog, and she calls all food "eat") I asked her if Tucker ate her waffle. "Yeah!" Then, "Did you give it to him?" She clasped her hands in front of her, turned her head down, and looked up at me, "uh-huh." At least she was honest about it! Then on the way to her babysitter's house after dropping Emma off at school, I heard her making funny noises in the back seat. She had taken off her sandals and was tickling her own feet! She'd tickle, making a silly noise like an adult would do to a baby, then kick and laugh. And repeat. It was hilarious.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Confidence killer

My car is in the shop. It wouldn't start over the weekend, and with my husband traveling carpooling isn't possible. So, we took it in this morning, looked at a car I've had my eye on for a few weeks, and then went to get a rental for me since it's going to likely be tomorrow it's even looked at.

One thing I noticed, though. At both the repair shop and the rental agency, I stepped back and had my husband do all the talking. He's also the one talking to the dealer about the car I want if mine isn't worth repairing. Even though we've already bought three vehicles from this dealer, and I use the same shop for all my oil changes and repairs, past mechanic experience has killed my self confidence when dealing with anything auto-related. I've never had a bad experience at either place, but I am still afraid of being screwed over because I'm a woman.

I hate that about myself. Even when I do get repair work done on my own, I call my husband, call my dad, I've even talked with random strangers to make sure I'm not getting ripped off. I have zero confidence about auto decisions, and no idea how to change that.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Comedy Central Stand-Up
Get More: Jokes,Joke of the Day,Funny Jokes
I hope this video works. I heard this today on one of the comedy channels on my satellite radio. I've always liked Carlos Mencia, but this clip really explains how I feel about politics. (If the video doesn't show for you, here is the link)

(By the way, if you're not familiar with Carlos Mencia, he curses a lot. This is likely not a work-safe video. Still has a good point, though.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fit Mama Club update

So far, no loss on the scale, but two different people (only one was my husband!) commented that I look like I'm losing weight.

Goals so far:
No soda - I'm quite proud of how I'm doing! Except for one soda at the baseball game last week (that's all they had!) I haven't had any since April 1. Yesterday I was really wanting one, but I resisted. I was just so tired of water! I use Mio flavorings and that helps tremendously, but I just wanted that something more. I had some tea on my way to a meeting instead.

Taking the stairs - I'm doing this lots. Not 100%, but one unit I visit regularly is a secure floor and only accessible by the elevator. I take the stairs up to my floor every morning. I want to do this until it doesn't affect me any more. I noticed this morning that I'm not out of breath any more, but my knees and thighs still burn a little. Not as bad, though. I can definitely tell the difference.

Logging on My Fitness Pal - Ok, not so good here. I have slacked off here again.

I may not be seeing results on the scale yet, but I can tell the difference in how I feel. My stomach doesn't hurt as often. I don't feel winded as quickly when moving quickly. The rest will catch up.

Monday, April 16, 2012

In defense of Kirk Cameron


Surprised you, didn't it? I am 1000% pro gay marriage. I don't even think it should be an issue. Marriage is marriage, whether it's a man and woman, two men, or two women. That's it. Love is love.

But - I am also 1000% anti-bullying.

The former Mike Seaver made huge headlines last month when he appeared on Piers Morgan's show. He said, "Marriage is almost as old as dirt, and it was defined in the Garden between Adam and Eve," he continued. "One man, one woman for life till death do you part. So I would never attempt to try to redefine marriage. And I don't think anyone else should either." 

Like I said, I don't agree. But - all he was doing was stating how the issue meshes with his personal religious beliefs. He has been defended by Morgan for honestly stating his beliefs, and has himself said that he doesn't hate gays: “I spoke as honestly as I could, but some people believe my responses were not loving toward those in the gay community. That is not true. I can assuredly say that it’s my life’s mission to love all people.”
And from the Today show: "I love all people," he said. "I hate no one, and you know, when you take a subject and you reduce it to something like a four-second sound bite and a check mark on a ballot, I think that that's inappropriate and insensitive."

Since he made the comments, he has been targeted by many groups and individuals.  There is even a Funny or Die video "Child Celebrities Opposing Kirk Cameron" Actually, there are 65 videos targeting him. To me, this is bullying. Actually, here is the Wikipedia definition of bullying (bold text by me):
Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior manifested by the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when the behavior is habitual and involves an imbalance of power. It can include verbal harassment, physical assault or coercion and may be directed repeatedly towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or ability.
 GLAAD has also mounted a campaign against Cameron: GLAAD will be monitoring Cameron’s media bookings and roles with film and television studios to ensure the news and entertainment industry is aware of his outrageous anti-gay views.

This all sounds like bullying to me. And bullying is never okay.

We may not agree with his statements, but Kirk Cameron has the same freedom of speech as the rest of us. Bullying should not be accepted, no matter who is the target.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


“You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety.” ~ Abraham Maslow

What a powerful quote. It's true, though. The only way to grow is to step forward into an area you're not comfortable. And it's not pleasant. You feel exposed, vulnerable. But those feelings give way to confidence, if we stick around long enough and don't go backwards into our cozy safety net.

I heard once that if someone cuts a cocoon to ease the transition for a new butterfly, to shorten its struggle, the butterfly will die because its wings are not strong enough to fly. That is what this quote brings to mind. It's a good metaphor for both personal and professional growth. If someone clears the path for us, makes everything easy and comfortable and without challenge, how will we ever succeed? How will we be strong enough to carry through? How will we even trust ourselves to make the right decisions if we haven't been tested?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Play ball!

The home opener of our local minor league team coincided with Emma's birthday, so we went last night. It was so much fun!

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Today, my first born baby turns 14. Never mind that I don't feel old enough to have a 14 year old, how did time pass that quickly? In my mind, she's still a six year old with pigtails who loves all things purple.
Instead, she's a tall, beautiful, loving young lady. She's finishing eighth grade next month and will start high school in the fall. She loves Hello Kitty, pink, zebra anything, and technology. She likes shows like Secret Life of the American Teenager and Pretty Little Liars. She also mixes it up - she loves to watch Castle, Bones, and Justified with us but also DVRs old episodes of Gilmore Girls and new episodes of some teen-oriented Disney shows. She is a good student (this picture was from a session for an awards ceremony for the top students in our county, in fact). She wants to be a journalist when she grows up. She loves animals (but not bugs).
We are very proud of Emma. She is a wonderful daughter & an amazing big sister. I've been blessed every day the past 14 years.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fit Mama Monday

I have successfully had NO soda since April began. I'm very proud of myself! Between having no soda, lots of water, and only taking the elevator three times last week, I was honestly expecting to see a slight loss on the scale this morning.

Silly me, yesterday was Easter! Also it was our family birthday dinner for both my aunt and my oldest daughter. Mom's homemade lasagna, garlic bread, and from-scratch pound cake with ice cream and fresh strawberries. And birthday cupcakes. What was I thinking??

But - no gain either. That I will accept.

Friday, April 6, 2012

I'm not enough

Right now, I'm lying in my bed with Sophie, waiting for her to go to sleep. I have two blog posts to write, one for this one & one for Adventures in Babyfooding. I actually have one of them started on my laptop, waiting for me.

Emma is in her room, unhappy & crying because I didn't come straight back to her room after changing Sophie's diaper. We were making cards for our family for Easter, and birthday card for my visiting aunt. I made a birthday card, and she was working on her own card when I left her room. I was intending to return, if it matters. After changing Sophie I got her into her pajamas, turned on my computer and plugged in my phone to download photos I had saved for the blog posts, and quickly checked my email. I wrapped Emma's birthday gift, and added a couple new items to their Easter basket stash.

I feel like there isn't enough of me to go around, and I'm getting frustrated. My own needs get pushed further and further back, and I'm so worried about Emma feeling neglected that I am afraid to do things with Sophie. I can't be a good mother that way.

And I have no idea what to do.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I concede.

I've been in denial for years.

At least since I was 13 and started wearing contact lenses, I've denied this. The eye doctor was mistaken.

My regular doctor as I got older was mistaken.

I do not have allergies. I've never had allergies.

I have no idea where both my daughters got it - they must have inherited it from my grandmother.

I. Do. Not. Have. Allergies.

But, every spring, my car turns yellow and I develop a mild cold. I cough, I sneeze, my nose runs.

So finally, at age 33, exactly 20 years after I first got contacts and my eye doctor said I had allergies because my contacts would get all goopy... I concede.

Apparently, I have allergies.

So now, I join Emma and Sophie in the nightly medication lineup.

I concede.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How to say "I love you"

I found this journaling prompt and it immediately started me thinking. What are different ways I say "I love you" without actually saying it?

Obviously it's different for each person. What matters to one family member isn't even on the radar of another. Here are some things that I do, though, because I love them:

Bring home little surprises
Buy and cook favorite foods
Give up control of the radio (VeggieTales CD for Sophie, give up control of the remote to Emma even when I love the song currently playing)
I used to put little notes in Emma's lunch box when she was in elementary school. I didn't think she cared until I missed a day.
Pinterest - I have a board of 'stuff" for each person
Thinking of you texts
All three of us - my husband, Emma, and myself - often snap pictures of something the other person would like and send it in a message

I know there are others, but this is the basic idea. What are things you do to show someone you love them? Leave a comment - we can pick up new ideas from each other!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Fit Mama Club reboot

Yes, it's been a while. And guess what happened? The numbers are slowly trying to creep back up. That is exactly what I don't want to happen! Why? Because I got lazy and complacent. And tired. But that's no excuse. So, here I go again - FMC round 2 (or so).

New goals:
1. Log food and water consumption. My Fitness Pal is amazing and I need to get back in the habit of using it.
2. Eliminate (or nearly eliminate) carbonated drinks. They are not good for me, they don't make me feel good at all, and there is no need for me to drink them.
3. Drastically reduce elevator use. My office space at work has moved, and now I have a good walk to get everywhere I need to be. This is a good thing. More walking = more movement.

I know I can do this! I've already lost 25 pounds, which is half of my goal. I want to like my body again. I want to stay healthy. Most importantly, I want to be a good example for my girls.

Play along with me! MFP is free to join and use, and if you want to add me as a friend there leave me a comment with your user name - we can encourage each other!

Summer is coming.