Something to think about

I got this in an email forward today.  And yeah, most of the time I don’t even read email forwards because they are lame and/or sappy.  But I read this one for whatever reason and as I read it, it started making more and more sense.  And then I thought, “huh, I should put this on my blog.”  Because most of all, I wanted to put it somewhere that I could easily refer back to it.  And lord knows, my email isn’t the best place for that.  I love Gmail, but I don’t quite have the handle of it’s organization methods quite yet.  It tends to become the “black hole of email”.

So here it is.  There’s a lot of good advice in here.  And there’s quite a bit of it that I really need to start taking to heart myself.  I’ve highlighted the particular bits that I need to pay extra attention to in my life for my own benefit.  What in this list do you need to start taking to heart yourself?

“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.. It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

19.. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words’ In five years, will this matter?’

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone elses, we’d grab ours back.

41.. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio

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For a short week, it's moving awful slow

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One would think that with a shortened work week, that the end would come quicker somehow.

Not so much.

This week has just been dragging on.  And, quite frankly, this week hasn’t been one of my favorites.  Maybe that’s where the “rule” lays: the crappier the week, the slower it passes.

That sounds about right.

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I’m thinking tomorrow will be better though.  I’ve decided that I’m going to (*gulp*) venture outside the home with the children.  With Harry home, I can actually attempt the grocery store.  So tomorrow morning we’re going to pack up and go to Walmart.  I don’t expect a full shopping trip, but a few of the neccessities plus the distraction of doing something different should be worth the trip.  And Harry is already excited for the trip, since I promised McDonald’s for lunch when we’re done.  To take home, of course.  I’m not crazy enough to eat at the restaurant.

Give me SOME credit, now.

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In light of my recent difficulites, I’ve felt that maybe I need to start simplifying things.  I know I’ve brought a lot of my troubles upon myself.  So then it would seem that the best course of action would be for me to remove  those troubles myself, yes?

Maybe it is as easy as that.

And I’m not stupid enough to think that everything can be solved by simplifying.  But if I start to adopt the general mindset of, “Is this going to complicate my life?  Then NO!”, maybe that will help.

Can’t hurt, right?

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And I’m afraid to say this, but I think that this simplification plan of mine will involve removing toxic situations from my life.  The reason I’m afraid to say that is because, believe it or not, I’m an eternal optimist.  Yes, I am!  I want to believe that things will alway swork out for the best and there will be a happily ever after.  That maybe if the ideal resolution isn’t reached, that at least an amicable one is possible.

I’m starting to doubt that.

Scratch that.  I AM doubting that.  Because try as I might be believe and hope and move on, certain situations have been shoved back into my face (to make me squirm?) and other people have not been believing, hoping or moving on.  So maybe moving on entirely is the answer?  Call uncle, cut my losses and get on with my life?

Surely that couldn’t make me any more miserable than trying to hope has made me.

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Gosh, that got awfully dark there, didn’t it?   Sorry about that.

The ultimate goal is: a happier me!  There’s a lot of factors at play here and hopefully by conquering each issue as it stands will help me move toward that goal.  Keep your fingers crossed!

The Best of 2008

So here is my list of everything that made me happy in 2008. And I’m having to tap this out on my iPhone because, as is always the case at the end of the month, we are already in the midst of very busy day. And I’d like to get this posted sometime before the end of the year, thankyouverymuch.

Neil Patrick Harris – I don’t really think I need to explain this one. He’s just plain awesome.
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog – thanks to the above awesomeness, this was also very awesome. And, hello, Joss Whedon? Always the bomb.
Hitler’s rant about Twitter – did you not see this YouTube video? Cuz if you did, you’d know why it’s on this list.
Twilight – my dear friend Michelle finally gave in and started reading these books. And OF COURSE she loves them. Because it’s almost unheard of to read these books and not get totally sucked in. They are SO awesome. These are not great works of literature, but that doesn’t prevent them from being entirely wonderful.
Edward – I thought Edward deserved his own entry in this list. Because without Edward, it’s entirely possible that “Twilight” would not been as fabulous.
Robert Pattinson – I had to throw Rob a bone and also give him his own entry. He IS Edward. I know he got a lot of flack when he was cast from fans who didn’t think he could live up to their vision. But as far as I’m concerned, he exceeded my expectations.
Evie – Duh. How could I do this list and NOT include Evie? She has been the most wonderful surprise this year. I will ALWAYS look back fondly on 2008 simply because it brought me her. I honestly can’t say enough glowing things about her.
John Adams – did you catch this miniseries on HBO last spring? Paul Giamatti totally rocked the 2nd president and watching this perspective on the birth of America was nothing short if fascinating.
Barack Obama – I STILL can’t quite believe he’s going to be our president. That is just so unbelievably FANTASTIC. And he also got me excited about America, hope and politics again. No small feat, I assure you!
Robert Downey Jr – Did this guy have the best comeback this year or what? “Ironman”, “Tropic Thunder”… Both so awesome that each alone would have made RDJ a comeback legend. But both? I now officially love him.
Cloth diapering – I discovered the joys of cloth diapering this year. And yes, I said “joy” and “diapering” in the same sentance. I could not gave predicted just how easy, and enjoyable this has become. And cloth diapering has opened the door to so many other things too, like knitting. I just wish I had started sooner!
The iPhone – you didn’t think I would leave this off the list, did you? This little gadget has enhanced my life so much that I just wishvi could share the love with all of you. Because like “Twilight”, you can’t appreciate the awesomeness until you’ve experienced it.
Lost – in a year where TV pretty much sucked, “Lost” kept the faith. This show is so awesome that the only bad thing is that the stupid hiatus between seasons is soooooo long.
Whole foods – we just got one of these in town a couple months ago and already I don’t know what I’d do without it. Too expensive for regular shopping but excellent for browsing and special treats.
The new Target store – as you saw with yesterdays post, this place is new nirvana. I don’t think I need to explain myself here.
OnDemand – without OnDemand, I’m sure we wouldn’t get our money’s worth of HBO and it’s ilk. I love being able to cue up a movie whenever I want.
Rachel Maddow – I don’t know if I could have made it through the election without the fabulous Ms. Maddow. I’d tune in every night as I was nursing Evie to sleep and Rachel would help me understand what was going on, give me perspective and make me laugh. She ROCKS.
Rock Band 1 and 2 – we’ve only had it a week and already I’ve got Nirvana’s “Drain You” stuck in my head while I sleep. Oh, and I totally suck at the drums. And the guitar. Our band is called “Crashing Power”.

So what made your awesome list this year? Any that are the same as mine? And what are your plans tonight?

To cloth or not to cloth

As I mentioned earlier this week, I’m considering trying out cloth diapering.  Well, more than considering actually.  At this point, I think it’s just a matter of when and a matter of how.  I’d like to incorporate the gDiapers I won, either in part or in whole or as another variety.  Either way, whatever I chose, I will have to purchase other supplies.  Two covers aren’t going to cut it, I don’t care what you say.

With the gDiapers, the prevailing thought is to use a cloth insert instead of the flushable insert (at least when here at home and save the flushables for when out and about).  I toyed with fashioning my own insert, but then, I could also buy an insert.  Or I could buy prefolds from Walmart and use those.  But I’d have to cut those down or something in order to make them “fit” properly.  Still, would be less work than fashioning my own inserts which could involve “sewing”.  And, ya know, I don’t do that.  Obviously, the easiest choice is to buy inserts online (such as would go in a pocket diaper).  But which inserts would work the best?  What “brand”?  What fabrics?  How much is this going to cost me?  (I’m a little afraid of the answer.)

Then there’s the question of extra diapers.  Do I want to buy more gDiaper covers and use that whole system exclusively?  (Again, I would only be using the flushables when out and about.)  Or, would I want to try another cloth diaper, perhaps an AIO (all in one)?  Then again, if I used a pocket diaper, then I could use the inserts that I made/purchased for use with the gDiapers.  In both cases, what brands are the best?   What features does one look for?  What works the best?  What is the easiest (because, knowing me, if it’s not easy I won’t keep it up)?

GAH.  Questions, questions.  It’s amazing that I don’t just give up the whole notion.  But then I find myself cruising different cloth diapering websites and forums and my interest is piqued again.

What do you all think?  Do any of you use cloth diapers?  If so, PLEASE tell me what works for you.  I’m positively obsessed with the idea right now.

Desktop Showcase

So I stole this from her who in turn stole it from HER and now here we are… the place stolen meme’s go to die.  And while I’m fairly sure I’ve done a meme just like this already once before a) I’m far too lazy to look it up and b) I don’t really care because I want to do it again.  And because I’m deluding myself into thinking that you all really want to know what my computer desktop looks like. You do, don’t you?

Instructions:

A. Upon receiving this tag, immediately perform a screen capture of your desktop.It is best that no icons be deleted before the screen capture so as to add to the element of fun. You can do a screen capture by:

[1] Go to your desktop and press the Print Scrn key (located on the right side of the F12 key).

[2] Open a graphics program (like Picture Manager, Paint, or Photoshop) and do a Paste (CTRL + V).

[3] If you wish, you can “edit” the image, before saving it. (IMO that takes away from the integrity of the meme… I want to see the desktop as is).

B. Post the picture in your blog. You can also give a short explanation on the look of your desktop just below it if you feel like doing it. Tell us why you decided to choose this picture.

C. Tag your friends and ask them to give you a Free View of their desktop as well.

Yeah, except that I don’t tag.  Which is why meme’s die here. So without further ado, here is my desktop.  Click on it to make it show up all big n’ stuff so you can see all nifty little icons and whatnot.

I showed you mine, now you show me yours.

What kind of girl?

I have to admit, ever since I’ve known for sure that we’re having a girl, I’ve been wondering if I would end up with a really, die-hard girly girl or a more rough and tumble tomboy.  Of course, there’s no way to know right now, but that doesn’t stop me from speculating.  I’m sure there are charms to having a girly girl, but I wasn’t one of those sorts of kids myself and have wondered if I might have a hard time relating to a little girl who was all princess, all the time.

And I wasn’t 100% a tomboy.  I had a mighty love for My Little Ponies, even if mine’s head often would pop off and she would get a lot dirtier than my friends’ ponies would.  I also loved to put belts on my long nightgowns because that would give them a waist and then I would dance around and feel like a princess (gah!).  I had a finely refined sense of romance at a young age and was something of a subtle flirt while I was in school with boys (alas, only through 8th grade).

But I did love to play with boys and their far more fascinating toys and the dirt in your backyard was the best place to play with Hot Wheels cars, as far as I was concerned.  I loved Voltron, Transformers and Construx.  I wasn’t very good at sports, but I loved to ride my bike around the neighborhood and go exploring new places.  I didn’t let myself get too dirty, but more because I didn’t enjoy the process of getting clean and less because I didn’t want to look dirty.

So I can’t help but wonder what kind of little girl I will have.  Will she be a tomboy?  Or will she be a princess?  Or will she fall in-between, like I did?

I don’t know if this is something we’re just born with and all influence be damned or if a parent’s influence affects it at all.  If we showered her with pink and princesses, would she be more likely to be a girly girl?  If we only gave her jeans, t-shirts and Hot Wheels, would she end up more a tomboy?  I think we’ll get what we get and our input will have minimal effect on the girl she becomes.  Our relaxed natures might have some influence, or at least I can hope.   Because if she’s all girl, all the time then I think I’m in big trouble.

Reeling still, a little bit

I’m sure it’s normal to doubt. I mean, logically, I can look at those pictures and say, “That there is a girl.”  But in my heart I go, “Okay, right, seriously now?” I feel like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop here.  Sure, I bought an adorable outfit (on clearance!) at Kohl’s yesterday.  But I didn’t buy 10 outfits.  I have no interest in pink car seats or be-flowered strollers.

It seems a little unreal, to be honest.  I feel like it’s “other people” who have girls.  I don’t have girls.  That’s just not how it works around here.  I’m the one who has boys (cute, adorable, edible boys).

It’s silly.  I mean, haven’t I been saying all along that I thought this baby was a girl?  Shouldn’t I be enjoying feelings feelings of vindication instead of nagging doubt?  Gah.  I’m so weird sometimes.

I’m going to do my best to just “go with it”.  When people ask me what I’m having, I’m going to say girl.  I’ll go ahead and plan as though it is a girl.  And it is.  I know it is.  But still.

(the YNTR for this week will be up later; no worries, I haven’t forgotten!)

Grace

My wife has asked me to guest blog on Fridays for the month of November so I thought this would be a great opportunity to give you a sneak peek at the woman behind the mask and perhaps air some dirt that she otherwise wouldn’t tell you out of fear of embarrassment. For our first installment I want to talk about grace. Not Grace as in “she passed away thirty years ago” but grace as in “lack of”. Ever since we’ve been married my poor sweet darling wife has been somewhat clumsy and can be counted on to jump out of bed in the morning and ram herself into a wall or door frame resulting in perma-bruises on her upper arms and thighs. I personally feel she’s on a mission to get placed on permanent disability in an effort to have a good excuse to stay at home and get paid for it (not that raising our children isn’t a good reason to stay at home but the pay really sucks). For you, Dear Reader, I present the following evidence so you can decide for yourself:

Exhibit A: About lunch time one day Marilyn thought she’d go and check the mailbox. This was at our old house and we had a mailbox at the street (the kind you knock off with baseball bats). Since it was lunchtime she placed our then 2 year old son in his high chair to eat and put the leash on the dog. I should also mention that the door to this house was in alcove set back several yards from the street on one side of the house. Our neighbors house was about 8 feet away creating a sort-of tunnel effect to our front door. Marilyn, with the dog in tow, stepped out onto the front step and proceeded to the mailbox, conveniently forgetting that there was an 8 inch step off the porch. I didn’t witness what happened next but according to her own account she launched herself headlong from the top of the step flying parallel to the ground and landed with a sickening thud just slightly to the left of the sidewalk knocking the breath out of her lungs. In other words she missed. If she had succeeded in hitting the sidewalk I’m sure she may have succeeded in knocking her self unconscious, breaking her neck, or any other various injuries that would have insured a lifetime of immobility. Oh and who knows how long our son would have sat in his high chair waiting for his mother to retrieve him.

Exhibit B: Our then 3 year old son acquired through a now forgotten source a small Red Rider wagon. This is the sort of wagon that’s big enough to haul legos or a small child (let’s say a 3 year old) around the living room but not so big as to be able to haul anything much bigger. Apparently it was also about the right size for a size 10 womens foot as my darling wife found out. It’s well known that Marilyn doesn’t like to get up in the middle of night and I can count on one hand the times shes gotten up for any reason other than to feed a baby (i.e. stick a bottle or boob in their mouth and go back to sleep). For some reason she felt the need to not only get up in the middle of the night but to also try and navigate our living room in the dark. The result was my dear wife placing said foot in the wagon which then zipped across the living room leaving her ass over elbows. The first thing to hit was her head on our coffee table followed by the rest of her body. She walked away with nary a scratch. Again another fine attempt but no dice.

Exhibit C: By far the most successful attempt to date was I like to think of as “Marilyn vs The Ice.” The first winter in our new house saw feet upon feet of snow around the first of the year resulting in a nice thick layer of ice in our driveway despite our best efforts to keep the snow off. Now most people would attack the ice with a thick layer of salt, which we did, but since the driveway is on the north side of our house it didn’t get enough sun to let the salt work its magic. Of course Marilyn saw this as an opportunity to finally do what she had failed to do several times before. Oh! I almost forgot to mention the pink boots. Marilyn has a pair of pink suede boots that she likes to wear in the wintertime. I find them particularly annoying because she tends to “clomp around” in them. Anyway, said boots have virtually no traction per se which are great for wearing on ice right? Long story short the ice got tired of being poked at and down went Marilyn pink boots and all. For his part our then 4 year old son responded to his mothers screams of agony and brought her the telephone with which she called me at work. Mind you this was right at 5pm so I “rushed” home in bumper to bumper traffic and called a friend that lived nearby to go to the house and find out what was going on. Marilyn and I also had a conversation about her pink boots:

Me: So do you think you broke your ankle?
Her: I’m not sure it just really hurts (moan)
Me: Okay well I’m just trying to figure out if we need to call the ambulance
Her: I don’t know. What will happen if you call the ambulance?
Me: What do you mean? They’ll take you to the hospital
Her: No I mean what will happen to my pink boots?
Me: *blink blink* They’ll cut your boot off so they can look at your ankle
Her: Noooooo (groan) I don’t want them to cut my boot off

Needless to say by the time I get there she had convinced my friend that the boot needed to be taken off so he kindly helped her get it off. God forbid anything happen to the pink boots (eventually and very recently something DID happen to the pink boots but thats another story). Anyway, 6 hours in the emergency room, surgery, and several bottles of pain killers later my wife now has a rebuilt ankle complete with titanium plate and screws as well as a nifty set of crutches and a walking boot gathering dust in our bedroom. You can see a nice pic of said ankle in the header on this page.

There are countless other examples I could provide that didn’t result in injury or near-fatality but these three stick out as the best examples. I’m looking forward to many more years of attempts at permanent disability. Until next week!

Why do I feel so hideous?

Okay, explain this to me. I’m 13 weeks pregnant today. Just a drop in the pan, in the grand scheme of pregnancy. In fact, if anything, I should start to feel pretty marvelous here soon, right? Everyone always says that the second trimester is when you feel your best.

So why do I feel so freakin’ awful right now? If I stand up too long (and “too long” is anything over about five minutes anymore), I start to feel faint and dizzy. The other day I literally had to put my head between my legs to keep from passing out. I have aches and pains in places I forgot could have aches and pains. Sleeping is getting near impossible at night as there is no position that is even remotely comfortable and half the time I have some appendage that is falling asleep, no matter what I do with it. Half the time I’m starving to death and the other half the time I’m repulsed by the very notion of food. My head throbs at various times of the day, mostly when I’m trying to use it. I’m distracted and sleepy and I’m never as happy as I am when I’m asleep. Waking up feels like ripping off my toenails one by one. Standing up after waking up feels even worse.

What the HECK? I’m not supposed to feel this way yet am I? I mean, the belly is barely a pooch right now. I can hardly notice it, much less anyone else. These are third trimester “The baby is due any minute now” type complaints. What I want to know is this: If I feel this way now, how am I going to feel in MARCH?

I’m scared, ya’ll.

If you aren't watching "Life" then you suck

Damien LewisOkay, that might be a little harsh, but seriously. This show is awesome. In the sort of way that you get goosebumps as you’re watching you realize you’re watching something completely and totally fabulous. Are you intrigued yet? You dang well better be!

I tuned in because of the fine man you’re seeing on the left there. That’s Damian Lewis. And yes, he’s seriously THAT HOT. I fell in love with Damian when he played Major Winters in HBO’s fantastic series “Band of Brothers”. He was hot then too. Possibly even hotter now. Now, I don’t know what NBC’s problem is, because the marketing for this show was pathetic at best. I saw a couple commercials and nothing that was eye catching.

I found out about “Life”, believe it or not, when I was hanging out on “The Biggest Loser”‘s website, doing some work for Watching Reality TV. I saw a banner ad and a photo of a guy who looked quite a bit like Damian Lewis. Imagine my surprise when I clicked over and found out it WAS Damian Lewis. At that point, I didn’t care what the show was about, I was going to tune in because this man is FINE.

It airs after “Bionic Woman” and that’s a pretty good lead in. Or would be, if “Bionic Woman” wasn’t a little too much on the cheesy side. It’s on pretty late, at 10pm (on Wednesdays. I’m serious, WATCH IT), but worth staying up. Or, as it happens, DVRing it. Because I’m only just now watching it. It was a busy television week and I was pretty tired by 10pm for most of it so there was a lot of shows that got relegated to DVR. This was one of them but I’m thinking maybe this week I need to stay up and watch it.

Because not only is Damian Lewis TOTALLY HOT, but the show is actually danged interesting. Basically, Lewis plays Charlie Crews, a detective who spent 12 years in prison for murder but has recently been released and is back on duty. While each week we see him investigate another murder, the ongoing arc is what happened to put this guy in prison in the first place? Was he framed? Who was behind it all? Is there a conspiracy or something else? Freaky!

The acting is fantastic. Damian is in top form here, charming and witty and distinctly lovable. I totally loved when they would show his awkward transition to modern life, in how he didn’t understand how to answer the phone in his car or that a cell phone could take pictures. Funny stuff there. But he’s intense, Damian is. His stare will bore right into your soul, I guarantee you that. Everyone else in the show is fantastic too, lest you think I ignored everyone else in light of him (would I do that?).

I feel about this show now how I’ve always thought I should have felt about “Friday Night Lights”. It’s just that good. And I’m so excited to have a new show get me so pumped up. I just hope it makes it because I want to be able to enjoy it for a long time. And? I’ve heard the second show (airing this Wednesday at 10pm! Tune in!) is even better than the pilot. Dear God, just watch it. You can thank me later.