Monthly Archives: November 2013

Relax Bottle/Time Out Timer

These are a great idea, and I can’t wait to make a mess trying to make them myself!

My Crazy Blessed Life!

Sooooo… I have a three-year-old little girl who is full of drama.  Probably not the only one in history, but one of my current dilemmas.  When time out time comes for bad behaviour I find myself with a little girl on the bottom step screaming, kicking walls and not able to even calm down enough to learn her lesson.  This was getting worse and worse until I told my husband, “there has to be a better way, I’m going to research this.”  So I went online and read other mom’s advice, dr’s advice, psychologist’s advice, etc.  Nothing was really working.  Finally I saw something called a mind jar.  This was a mason jar filled with water, clear gel glue and ultra fine glitter.  You shake it and the glitter settles slowly as you watch you relax.   The original ones I saw were to teach children to meditate (not my goal).  I loved…

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What Did You Just Say???

Kids say the darndest things, right?  Well where do they get those darndest things from?

TV?  Sure.

Friends?  Definitely.

Adults who are supposed to be role models?  Wait, what??

This is exactly where my kids have heard some of my most-hated words… from adults who are supposed to be role models in their lives.

Regardless of where they hear some of the words I just can’t stand, the fact remains that they are bound to hear them from someone at some time, right?  That doesn’t mean that I have to like it, though.

Here’s a list of some of those words that just make my skin crawl:

1. Titties

Ugh, I hate that word.  And I also think that no child should ever utter it.  So where have my kids heard this word so many times that they now think it’s acceptable to use?  From one of their sperm donor’s relatives.  And no, this relative is not a man, believe it or not.  SHE is a SHE.  And she always refers to what I affectionately call boobies as titties.  Does that word not gross you out as much as it does me?  I don’t know what exactly bothers me about it, but I just hate it, and it’s now considered a curse word in our house.

2. Piss

Why on earth can’t people just call it pee?  While my boys don’t say this word because it, too, is considered a bad word, they have heard it many times by a supposed role model.  Who, you ask?  One of their football coaches, of all people.  We were recently at practice, and the coach told the team to “Hurry up and get this play off.  [So-and-so] has to piss.”  Are you serious right now?  These boys were 10 and 11 years old.  Why is that word acceptable for them to hear?  I was immediately grossed out and, not to mention, a little embarrassed that they were subjected to that word.

3. Gayeee

Unfortunately, this word is heard by kids on a pretty consistent basis by their peers.  And no, they don’t mean it in any way whatsoever that relates to a person’s sexuality.  Instead, they use it to refer to something “stupid,” if you will.  I know they don’t mean any ill-will by it, but I still can’t stand it.  Thanks, Señor Chang.  Thanks a lot.

4. Shut the F…ront Door!

Sadly, my boys don’t only hear this crap.  Ronald says this crap.  All.  The.  Time.  It drives me crazy.  He heard it from a family friend who says it on a pretty regular basis, thinking he’s funny.  He’s not.

5. Mixed Breed

What?!  Did you really just list that, Alicia?  Why, yes.  Yes, I did.  It actually wasn’t that long ago that one of my kids actually heard these words come out of someone’s mouth.  We were at Gerald’s basketball try-outs, and the mom of one of the other kids trying out actually said to me (after she realized which boy was mine), “Oh, you know, I’ve always said those people who’ve mixed breeds have the prettiest kids.”

WTF, lady – Are you kidding me?!  Guys, seriously, I couldn’t even believe she had just let that crap come out of her mouth.  Not to mention, my other kid was sitting right beside me when she did.  In fact, that’s the only reason I felt the need to restrain myself from going postal on her.  [Sigh…Some people…      

6. Douchebag

Who under the sun would say this word in front of her children and lead them to believe this is acceptable to say?  Okay, never mind.  That “role model” would be me, and yes – I admit – I’ve actually called my kid a douchebag before.  Here’s why.  Probably not the best example, huh?

That’s when I use the ever famous…

“Do as I say and not as I do.”

So, parents, what do you think?  Am I overreacting?  Are these words that I shouldn’t really despise and not really care so much that my kids are hearing or, possibly, saying?

I’d love to hear what the “bad words that aren’t really bad words” are in your houses.  Weigh in!

Help! I Can’t Say No!

Most people think they need their own personal assistants.  Not me… Nope.  I need a “No-Man.”  I need someone to walk through every step of life with me, and every time I start to say, “Sure! Yes!,” I need my No-Man to interrupt me with a loud, confident, “NO!”  Fortunately, Arden has volunteered herself for this position.

Seriously, though, I have a huge, innate inability to say no.  I don’t know what it is.  I’m not shy; I’m not introverted; I’m not quiet; I’m not a pushover.  But I just can’t say no.

Here’s a recent example:

At the beginning of Gerald’s football season this year, the coaches had a meeting with us parents.  They asked if anyone would volunteer to help out with things like emails and notifications of practices, etc.  Everyone sat there for a good 30 seconds in silence.  My inner voice was screaming, “No!  Don’t do it!  You swear every year that you’ll never do this again.”  It was at that very moment that I heard my outer voice speak up… “Sure.  I’ll do it!”  Are you effing kidding me, Alicia?  Here we go again.  The coach was very thankful, and I used that fact to be a little less angry with myself.

Since that day, however, I haven’t only sent emails about practices and game schedules.  Nope, not me… I’ve created a team website, I’ve videotaped all the games, and I’ve offered to pick some kids up and take them to games when their parents can’t make it themselves because of work.  All of this while I have my own hectic, full-time job and two kids playing three sports per year in different leagues with practices and games at the same times in different locations.  Why do I do this to myself?

Here’s another example:

At work, I’ve been swamped.  In fact, swamped doesn’t even do it justice.  As you may (or may not) have noticed, I disappeared from the blogging world for several weeks.  This is because I was just drowning in work and schedule issues.  Anyway, I’ve had several recent requests to take the lead on one project or another, and what have I said every stinking time, even though I’ve barely had time to even run across the hall to pee?  “Sure.  I’ll be happy to do it.”

Again… Are you kidding me?!

Here’s one final example:

Yesterday Ronald’s all-star travel football coach emailed all the parents of the players to tell us how much we could expect to have to pay for our tournament in Knoxville coming up in a few weeks.  Then he asked for a volunteer treasurer to collect all the money from the parents and make the necessary collection arrangements.

I bet you can guess who that parent is…  Yep.  You got it.

When I told Arden that this morning, she offered to slap some sense into me, and I almost took her up on it.  Why, exactly, is it that I just can’t say no?

Source: Urban Black Thoughts

Source: Urban Black Thoughts

I did a little research on the matter, and here’s what I found.

People often have a hard time saying no for the following reasons:

1. They want to help.

Okay, this one’s legit.  I do want to help.  So far, so good.

2. They’re afraid of being rude.

I ruled this one out because I’m not usually asked specifically or called-out to volunteer.  I usually do so from an open invitation.  Oh, and there’s one other reason I don’t fall into this category.  I don’t really care if I’m rude.

3. They want to be agreeable.

I don’t typically worry about alienating myself from a group by not being in agreement with others, so again, I rule this one out.

4. They fear conflict.

As you all know by now, my dream in life is to become an attorney.  This is because I usually thrive under conflict and don’t fear dissent.  This one is nixed.

5. They fear lost opportunities.

I don’t fear doors closing in the situations in which I volunteer because they’re usually recreational.  They don’t mean the possibility of more money or great status.  They usually only mean undue, extra stress.  Strike this one.

6. They don’t want to burn bridges.

This reminds me of the previous reason, so I’m going to rule this one out, as well.  Also, I don’t really have to worry about relationships being damaged by turning a request down, as the only relationships that usually exist in these circumstances are mere acquaintance interactions.

Okay, so yes, we know I want to help, but certainly that’s not the only reason I kick myself several times a month, right?  It can’t be.  So what else could it be?

The only other reasons I could come up with on my own (with no thanks to the researchers who put the above list together) are that either some people may actually strive under stress (I can’t imagine…) or that I’m simply that much of a control-freak.  Could this be it?

Yes, I want things done right, and yes, I try to do everything perfectly.  This may account for some of it, but why should I care if someone else screws up at work or on the football emails?  Do I care, really?  I don’t think I do, but I can’t, for the life of me, think of any other reasons why I put myself in these situations.

Do you have any suggestions or deep insights that I may have missed?  I’m all ears!

In the meantime, don’t ask me for anything.  I’m saying “No” in advance!!!

(Okay, I’ll change my mind by the time you ask me, but I’ll definitely have Arden tell you “No” for me.  So still… don’t ask!)

Source: Slap Caption

Source: Slap Caption

“I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy.” ~Mean Girls

As I get older, I’ve seen more and more “feminist” posts on the Internets, the Google, and the Facebook.  They encourage us women to support one another and not be so damn mean and judgmental all the time.  Every time I see one of these posts or articles, I stop and think about my real-life experiences.  Are we really that critical and judgmental of each other?  Okay – yes.  The more I answer, “Yes,” the more I wonder why we’re that way.  I can’t help but wonder if we’re actually wired that way – if we have something innately inside of us that causes us to be a little more critical of other women than we are of men (or, heck – even more than men are of other men).

For example, here’s a real-life situation that just happened a few weeks ago.

One of the women here at work recently came back from maternity leave.  She really is one of the sweetest, quietest women I’ve ever met.  You know… she’s one of those genuinely nice people who always smiles and asks how you’re doing.  (Very unlike me…)  Well anyway, like I said, she just came back to work after having her first child – an adorable, chubby-cheeked little girl.

While I was standing at the printer, she walked by me and stopped to say hello.  This was the first time I had seen her since she’d been back to work.  Of course, I excitedly asked her how she and the baby were doing, welcomed her back, and then told her…

… Wait for it …

“I can’t believe how great you look!  You look amazing!”

Say what?!  Why in the world was that one of the very first things out of my mouth?  The funny thing, though, is that right as I started to internally question myself, another of our female coworkers walked up and said, “Wow, you really do look great!”

What in the world??  Do we automatically assume that someone’s supposed to weigh 400 pounds after having a child?  Thankfully, I’ve never weighed anywhere even close to that, so I certainly know better.

So what made that my automatic first response then?

This is what has me wondering if women, in general, are perhaps biologically wired in such a way as to focus on the more superficial aspects of life, therefore causing us to naturally be more judgmental and critical of other women.

Let’s explore this for a minute.

Women have certain hormones that men don’t have.  And those hormones have a tendency to fluctuate, sometimes dramatically, after several changes in our lives.  Okay, fine… and every month.  Could these hormones play a role in our judginess?  [Yes, I made that word up.  And I like it, darn it.]

Or maybe men are just as judgmental as we women are, but they don’t outwardly express it like we do.  That makes sense to me, too, seeing as men are seemingly naturally quieter than women.  I don’t know, men… you tell me.  What is your first thought after you see a woman who’s just given birth?

Or… perhaps men are just more laid back than women and really could not care less about the things women seem to focus on.  Maybe they just really don’t care if they match or if they look fat in their jeans.

Could women possibly need greater amounts of affirmation?  Maybe we affirm other women because we would want the same compliment if the roles were reversed.  I’m not going to lie – I would feel pretty good if someone told me they could never tell I just had a baby.  On the flip-side of that, though, maybe we put other women down solely in an attempt to boost ourselves up.

Source: The Meta Picture

Source: The Meta Picture

Why is it that our self-esteem boosts often come at someone else’s expense?  I would love to have a better understanding of this.  In the meantime, however, I’m going to try to do a better job of controlling my thoughts and words, especially when they may be superficial, judgmental, or downright mean.

Women, I ask that you do the same.  Let’s empower each other and not judge each other.  Let’s encourage each other and not demean each other.  And let’s stop tearing one another down and start building each other up.

Source: Walmart

Source: Walmart

If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t have told my coworker how great she looks.

 I would have told her what a great mommy she’s going to be.

Marriage Isn’t For You

Amazing perspective. ❤

Seth Adam Smith

Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.

Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.

I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. 🙂 I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all.

Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?

Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad.

Perhaps each…

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Tiffany Kleiman ~ Author

“I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as s/he finishes the book.” ~ Roald Dahl, WD

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A Modern Day Mom

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