Sunday

Fool Me Once, Shame on You..Fool me Ten Times, & I'm Gone.


That's not how the saying goes.  But that is how things went this past week for my Facebook DG Page.




Since when did it become routine for Admins to be routinely shit on for expressing themselves through cartoons, ecards and photos?  Since recently.   And you know, we can't keep blaming 'trolls' for this.  Trolls were internet jackasses who went around causing trouble just for the sake of getting a rise out of people because they live in a van down by the river eating a diet of government cheese and have nothing else to do but to cause a stir wherever they could.   No.  This new group of people who are routinely flexing their typing fingers are not trolls - they are everyday, ordinary people who, instead of silently skimming their newsfeed, find something to disagree with and from behind the safety of their computer screen start a typed out, verbal assault on anyone and everyone they disagree with. 


Delete comment; ban user, delete comment; ban user, rinse and repeat over and over.  Now - I finally get the meaning of this brilliant quote.  I cannot expect anything to change so the decision to move on is the best one for me.

I have said it once and I will say it again, they are the 1%.  I still believe that.  The very high majority of us are funny, good, optimistic, hopeful open-minded, forgiving, respectful, functioning members of society.  If they see something on a page that might be questionable, they ignore it, they move on, and if they are really offended by it, they unlike the page and move on.  This 1% though - no.  They are not going to pass it up, they are not going to miss an opportunity to tell the world WHY it's offensive, WHY it's not funny, WHY they find it in poor taste or bad judgement.  It's like they are all on high alert and reserve the right to be offended at all things.



Look, not every post, photo, blog, cartoon, whatever is going to be funny to everyone.  People are different in how they interpret things - not everyone interprets the Mona Lisa the same way but you don't see people in art galleries throwing paint on it and writing WHORE in big letters do you?   You don't see people throwing their Gin and Tonic on Louis C.K. while he's doing stand up because he has a foul mouth.  You don't see people screaming  I FIND THAT OFFFFFFENNNNNNNSIVVVVVE to Ricky Gervais when he says the most highly inappropriate things in his stand up routine.   If they get hate mail in real life from their own group of conscientious objectors, then that's fine - they are getting paid millions to help those negative comments get digested.  Facebook admins don't make a penny.  They invest their time into making people laugh.  They put their creative juices into coming up with things to post and share and laugh about.  I'm not saying all FB pages are created equally.  Some are in better taste than others, but in their info page, you can usually find what they are all about before you like them.  And if you don't get a clear picture of that, you certainly will over a few days of reading their posts.  Hitting the unlike button with one simple click is so much easier than launching a full on attack.  There are of course, exceptions to every rule - if something is incredibly offensive, that it questions the very soul of freedom of speech and rocks you to your core, then you can always report a page for its extremely inappropriate content.  I am not going to list examples - you can figure it out. 


I had created this card one day when I posted something, and prefaced it with "sorry for using the fbomb but this was too funny to pass up" - and attached a photo about "hope you get well soon because your cough is fucking disgusting"   Immediately, someone wrote "I am not sharing this ecard because I find your language offensive."  Did I ask you to share my cough e card?  Ohh she pissed me off that day.  So I made this ecard but never posted it.  It does make me laugh though when I look at the little boy's pouty face.  Little did I know, I'd actually feel strongly enough one day to pull the trigger on the delete button.  But you know, when you've had enough - you've had enough.

Personally, I always thought if I felt good about the content that I was posting, that people would respond favorably to it, even if they had varying views from my own.  (Having almost 20,000 fans in 6 months would prove that to be almost true..)  The other day, I realized that maybe I was totally wrong about that.  Maybe the thought of creating a page to make people happy and laugh a lot is an impossible goal because there are some people in this world who live and love to be miserable and thrive off of bringing happy people down to their miserable level.  Nope.  Not going to happen to me.  I have been through too much in my lifetime to ever let complete strangers do that to me.  Sadly, the wonderful people of my page have to suffer.  I know people were wondering why I couldn't just delete and ban the nasty comments and people but after the tenth time of dealing with this, I am tired of babysitting adults, and it was just time to let the page go out in a Blaze of Glory.  Doesn't mean I don't adore and love the 99% because I do - truly.  I appreciate and adore the thousands that read, commented, laughed, shared my days with me on a regular basis.  And I already miss that - kind of like saying goodbye to a close friend who is moving away.  Thank goodness I still have my blog, and I will still have my outlet on my terms without having to play referee or teacher, babysitter, or moderator on a daily basis.

In an interview with O Magazine, Maggie Gyllenhaal hit it on the head with this:

It took me a while - and it's an ongoing challenge, to be honest - to stop seeking approval.  But one day, and this might sound cheesy, I took my daughter, Ramona, to see the new Muppets movie.  There's a part where Kermit the Frog says, "Maybe you don't need the whole world to love you, you know?  Maybe you just need one person."  When I heard that, I started crying.  There's just so much pressure to be a great mother, wife, friend, actress, or whatever your job may be.  If some aspect of you wants everyone to universally love and understand you and approve of everything you do - well, that's a sad life.  You'll bend yourself into a pretzel trying to be all these things you think you're supposed to be.  These days, I'm better at saying, Wait a minute.  It's all right if others don't approve, because I believe in what I'm doing........This is my work.  I'm doing the best I can.  I know not everyone will love it and that is fine.   (Oprah magazine June 2012 as told to Crystal Martin)
Wasn't that powerful?  I cannot believe that I read that article on a day that I questioned my very purpose for creating this blog and partnered Facebook page.  Those words sang to me in the most beautiful, easy to understand melody.  I'm happy, I'm at peace - and I'm going to keep on blogging.  Facebook was a fun run - it really, really was, but when I found myself posting something with laughter and joy, only to find someone had misconstrued and manipulated it into something quite the opposite, on more than a dozen occasions, I knew I was done swimming against the current.  My heart just isn't strong enough to take the daily kidney punches and verbal abuse of those who live to bring others down.  That was the extreme opposite of why I started that page in the first place. 



I appreciate and respect each and everyone of you who have read this and allowed me to speak my peace about it.  I'll be here on blogger if you ever need a smile.

Until then my loves - keep on laughing until your belly hurts - be kind to each other - and thank you for being here,
~DG

Thursday

PreSchool Dropoff Disaster Drills: An Informational/Survival Guide




Ahh Preschool year 2 for Middler and year 1 for Youngest are coming to a close.  I'd be wrong to not pass along the crucial information I have learned these past 2 years.  Being not only a mom, but also a pre-school substitute at this school, I have acquired some valuable information regarding dropping off these precious gems for a morning of fun and play with fellow preschoolers.

First of all, I've seen it all.  These little Academy Award winning stars in Daytime Drama  have it all worked out.  Ruin YOUR day before you head out for 2.5 hours of rushed errand-running by giving sad eyes, forlorn looks, and all types of trickery before you go.  (Here's a fun fact:  This continues for approximately 3.2 seconds and then they are allll smiles as they head over to their centers to indulge in carefree play and giggles while you sit in the parking lot and cry, wasting precious minutes off the ticking clock).

I've compiled a short list of maneuvers to watch out for and how to deal with them in the best way possible.  This will require mental stamina and courage on your part.  These kids can smell fear a mile away and will exploit those weaknesses and use them against you.  If you are prepared, then there is no need for panic.





MANEUVER 1  THE FINGER DISLOCATOR:  This might seem like a pretty benign finger grip at first.  They might start off with one finger while saying Daddy/Mommy, stayyyy with me a little longer.  Then it aggressively turns to the spreading of the fingers in a torturous way causing finger, knuckle or palm trauma.  You could be looking at long term tendinitis and swollen finger joints if you don't nip this move quickly.  You'll need to think fast and distract them into holding something to let go of the finger choker.  Once relieved from this, you'll need to keep your hands out of the reachable space of your child. 


MANEUVER #2:  THE NUTCRACKER - ALSO KNOWN AS THE THIGH MASTER:  This can get awkward quickly.  They bury their face into your crotch space and automatically you start pulling your hips back like you're a hula champion.  Verbal negotiations will not work at this juncture.  A quick, Karate-Kid-Kobra-Kai-like sweep of the leg is a necessity to get out of this hold.  Doesn't have to hurt though - just a quick swoop - and a giggle and a tickle - and this should do fine.  At this point, when you've loosened the hand to thigh grip - give a quick kiss and a short but enthusiastic goodbye and let the teacher use a distraction method to transition them to play time.


MANEUVER #3:  THE TRICK HUG-TURNED CHOKING NECK GRIP:   This is perhaps one of the most stealth maneuvers of them all.  You tell your child to give you a big hug before you leave and they start off with a nice squeezy hug and then they turn on you.  They grip you hard around the neck and are sure to grip you in a way that it pulls your hair taut so you can't move and you can barely speak.  This one is a tough one to get out of because of the pain inflicted on the scalp and neckline.  You'll need to think fast once you recognize they've got you in the hug-turned-bad chokehold.  Tickling them is the only way to come out of this one alive.  Tickle - remove- distract - and leave.  And for Pete's sake - don't panic. It's not going to be funny when you are walking around in a neck brace for 3 weeks because you pulled a muscle.  It's the oldest trick in the book - you should know this.


MANEUVER #4 - THE ALL OUT TANTRUM:  Oh they've got you where they want you know.  They start yelling at the top of their lungs "I WANT TO GO WITH YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU..." and other heartbreaking cries for help.  They know your heart is racing from what the other parents and teachers are thinking about your parenting skills or lack thereof.  You have to be swift.  You have to be cool.  You have to quickly and firmly say - "you are going to have a great time playing at school while I am at the grocery store.  I love you, Goodbye."  And you go.  You go quickly.  Like a firedrill - no running down the hallway crying and falling apart.  You save that shit for the car.  You understand what I am saying?  They see you crack - just one time - and they will pull that stunt every gdam day of Preschool.  You don't want that reputation do you?  Because you know there is always one.  One parent who can't just walk away so their child knows they can get away with the floormopper move every day.  Don't let your child be the floormopper of the class.  It's not cool.


MANEUVER #5:  THE KNEEGRIPPER/ANKLE BITER:  This one is awful.  It's happened to me.  There's not much that is worse than this because it is so heartbreaking that your child would throw themselves at your feet and beg you to take them with you.  This one also entails them verbally promising you things like if you take them, they won't act up in the grocery store, they won't complain, they won't bother you.  It will all sound very very tempting.  It's all an act.  But you and I both know they will start asking for sugary cereals before you even get to the cereal aisle.  They will get out of the car-cart that they promised you they would stay in with the seat belt on, five minutes into the trip, while you are forced to steer that over sized, obnoxious vehicle around the store while they insist on walking along side you. Promises made in haste at drop off will be broken soon into your grocery trip.  Keep these thoughts in mind when you use all of your arm strength (and you may even need a teacher as back up) to pry them off of you.  Again, quick confident kiss and verbal affirmations and you turn around and walk out that door.  Never mind the echoes of your child screaming for you that follow you down the highway.  I guarantee you if you wait 2 minutes they will turn to giggles.  Focus.  It's all a show.  The joke is on you.

Don't spend your 2 hours of mental regrouping worrying that your child is miserable at pre-school.  They aren't!



In conclusion - here are some dos and don'ts to help you with drop off.  Remember, this is a humor blog and is not meant to cover all of the what ifs and problems of preschool.  It's just a satirical look at dropping your child off. 



  • Reward your child for drama-free drop-offs (high five, lollipop, trip to the park, etc.)  Make them feel like a big boy or girl! (Why stop the bribes and negotiating at this point?)



  • Do not laugh at them for their fears - talk them through and work with them. (You can laugh later with your spouse over a cold beer or glass of wine).



  • Stay cool when you drop them off.  Don't get teary eyed or emotional.  You will see them soon.  You need to regroup and they need to play with other kids.  They will take your lead that you give them. (Ease your anguish by first taking a trip to Dunkin' Donuts or your local Starbucks and eat your sad feelings away).



  • If your  preschool allows, let your child take a special item from home. Sometimes just having a comfort item will ease their anxiety. (A lock of your hair, tshirt of yours, freshcut fingernails of yours are all inappropriate items - go for a small stuffed animal, preferably clean and without misc. goobies.)



  • Don't  fuel the tantrums by giving more attention or affection.  (Don't throw a tantrum yourself either - you will be labeled as the crazy mom - a title that will be hard to shake the rest of the school year).



  • Keep good-byes short and simple and walk away.  Do not try to tip toe off or sneak away.  Better to be honest that you are leaving to get your work done so they have closure that you are gone instead of wondering where you went.  (Mommy/Daddy disappeared into the air - just like that!  NO! You are not the tooth fairy - you are their mom.  Suck it up, say goodbye, and be on your way!)





  • The sooner you learn to embrace the time you have while they are in school, the more you will be able to recharge your batteries and give them even more when they get home from school!



    The more you know. 

      XO XO and chokey, neck grippy hugs, nutcrackers, and thighmasters,
    ~DG

    (pics from google images)



    

    Tuesday

    From Barhopping to Cribhopping: Everything I Needed to Know About Parenting, I Learned in College



    BARHOPPING TO CRIBHOPPING - I GOT MY PARENTING DEGREE IN COLLEGE

    The similarities are uncanny.  It finally hit me that I learned so many of my parenting skills from college.

    1.  Cleaning up vomit that is not yours.  Don't tell me you haven't spent at least one night of your life holding back the hair of a college roommate or friend, while rubbing their back gently and handing them a wet face cloth.  Being able to tolerate the look or smell of puke that is not your own is a gift that is not held by all.  You'll need this skill as a parent.  You'll need to know how to comfort and soothe a puking child without bumping them over to vomit from a weak stomach. 




    2.  How to deal with last minute school projects without panicking.  Waiting until the last minute in college to pump out an essay or project without the gripping, choking, paralyzing fear will come in handy when your grade schooler tells you at 6:00 pm on a Sunday night that they forgot they have a project due the next morning.  You'll be as cool as a cucumber as you look around your home for common household items that will help you pull off an all nighter all-evening-er to get it done.  Chances are, you'll be done by 8:00 pm without even breaking a sweat.

    3.  The Munchies.  Just like in college, your children will be hungry every two hours - either out of boredom or growth spurts.   And just like your dorm days, you will look desperately around to find something to oblige them - even if it means stale Triscuits slathered in trusty, dependable peanut butter with a cold side of nearly-expired milk.


    Triscuit Sandwiches: The lazyman's anytime go-to snack.
    4.  Whining.  The endless amount of first-world-type whining that you were accustomed to in college (I'm bored, I wish I had more money to buy this or that, I'm hungry, I'm thirsty, I'm tired) will be much like the whining you will hear on a daily basis with children.  You will find that it goes in one ear and out the other because your tolerance is so high after living with your spoiled sorority sister-roommate for 4 straight years.

    5.  Understanding Speech.  After many years of deciphering slurred, drunken speech, cries for help, and the brilliant intoxicated blatherings of friends, the lisps and mispronounced statements of your children will be easy to translate and understand.  You've dealt with these ramblings before, you'll deal with them again.





    6.  Easy Mac n Cheese cures everything.  When all else fails, make Mac n Cheese.  It's comfort food for university goers - it's comfort food for toddlers, children, and sleep deprived parents.  Something about the carbs mixed with the cheesy goodness that makes everything better.

    7.  Naps are lifesavers.  During college days, daily naps were a necessity to get by.  You'll find that they are a must to get through a day with children.  Naps are no joke.  They are a little slice of heaven to recharge batteries - not from a night of barhopping, but a night of cribhopping and running from child to child.

    8.  Being a pack mule.  Remember the days of being too lazy to go all the way back to your dorm to change books between classes?  You packed your bookbag to the fullest and carried around 20 pounds of stuff to save yourself the trip?  Being a parent is no different.  Going out for a day entails packing diapers, formula, juice boxes, changes of clothes, snacks, wipes, you name it - plan on schlepping around the same amount as your campus days.  Your backpain at the end of a day with kids will resemble the achy, soreness of backpacking around the quad.

    9.  Coffee and Drinking are the keys to survival.  This is just a known fact.  The same way countless cups of Java kept your ticker ticking all through studying and cramming, is the same way it will get you through the high energy days of dealing with kids.  Coffee will be your best friend.  From the soothing first sip in the morning to make up for the lack of sleep the night before, to the afternoon pick me up when you hit the 2:00 wall of fatigue.  And then there's the alcohol.  Just the way it was the reward of the finished final or project, it will be the reward of another successful day of parenting.  It will come to the rescue of a frazzled parent - just as it rescues the uptight twenty somethings after a grueling week of school.

    10.  2am is the new 10pm.  At school, it seems like 2 am is the time to cash in chips and go to bed.  Parenting is no different.  You could be up doing shit at midnight that you would normally do during the day.  You could be folding clothes at 1am or finally catching up on a tv show or an old movie, savoring some quiet, uninterrupted time.  These late nights in the dorm are preparing you for late nights as parents.  Whether a newborn has you up late, or worrying about a teenager getting home safely, 2 am is the new norm.


    Until next time, these are just silly little thoughts on a random Tuesday,
    ~DG

    Friday

    Keep Your Sanity in Its Full, Upright & Locked Position


    'Southwest Air, LUVin' YOU, as long as you're not chubby.'  An actual tshirt for purchase.


    Southwest. Grumble Grumble.

    As a former flight attendant who graduated with all of the greatest safety knowledge possible (certainly if there was a Summa Cum Laude level for f/a school I would've achieved it!), I have to admit that I was horrified by Southwest and all of its ridiculous non-procedural procedures.

    So let me understand this...I have to pay extra to check in earlier to get a better spot in line of the stampede that is their boarding procedure.  If not, I am one of the last to board, and even though my ticket was still a pretty pricey fare (peanut fares are extinct!), I will not be joining my husband (or children for that matter) unless it is directly in front of the toilet, reserved for the poor jerk who just happened to get a distracting phone call when he was trying to check in on Southwest.com.


    Flying is like a box of chocolates. Actually, no it's not.  At all.

    On this first instance,  Hubs and I decide to take a trip to Las Vegas seeing as how we had been in Survival Mode for 2 years having babies 13 months apart.  Not fully understanding the cut-throat check in competition, we ended up with Boarding Group C - as in Crap, Comical, Caca...Cargo you get the drift.  We are finally able to board when we do a quick search of the plane - nothing - nothing with 2 seats together...wait a minute..those two seats at the front appear empty...JACKPOT! We beat the system...holla!  There was a book on the seat and a very, very large woman retrieving something from the overhead compartment. (Please know, as someone who has struggled with my weight all of my life, I have NOTHING against heavy people so don't even start judging me.  My godmother was obese to put it lightly,  and when she flew she bought two seats so as not to infringe on the passenger's space next to her. Anyhow, I am telling a story people...read on...).

    I nodded to Hubs to go for it and to sit by the window..we moved swiftly to our now- premium seats feeling like we just got one over on this crackerjack airline.  I sit down, exhale, and buckle up. What the hell is that swishing of polyester rubbing together sound? It's coming from the rear end of the lady next to me as she backs up into the seat.


     I start to get nervous.  I am doing a quick mathematical process of the space allotted to her in her seat vs the width of her bottom - I am no Physics major, but I'm thinking this is not good.  Sure enough, she sat down and I felt the weight of her thigh on my thigh as I winced in pain and grimaced at the thought of 6 long hours of torture supporting  someone else's cellulite.(God knows I have enough trouble supporting my own damn cellulite).  I look over at Hubs, he's looking out the window, peaceful, smiling, still basking in the victory of our seats in the front.  I feel bad for her (I know how miserable I felt being chubby, I can't imagine carrying this type of weight around) but she is making labored breathing sounds much like a pug dog, the 1/2 snort, 1/2 death rattle and it makes me worried that she might not make it through the flight.  I scooch over as far as I can to Hubs when he looks over me and has a reaction, much like Kramer from Seinfeld when he was caught off guard, as he sees what's happening on my seat.  I tell him it's ok, we'll manage, and he shakes his head and gives me a somewhat reassuring, sympathetic smile.

    I could have used this contraption that day.

    She calls the flight attendant over..whew, I think, she's going to ask to move her seat as clearly she feels bad and uncomfortable that she is occupying 1/3 of my seat as well...  "I'm going to need a seatbelt extender.." she says.  "Why yes you are!"  the dingbat f/a says.   <<Sigh>>.

    Fast forward several hours.  My left leg is asleep and  I have a crick in my neck from looking in Hubs' general direction for too long.  I try several times to be pleasant to her but she hates me from the get-go and now I am starting to resent her and even contemplate asking her for 1/3 of my fare. Lucky for her I am high on Las Vegas aspirations and am too excited to be confrontational.  I can't imagine how awful it is to be her.  I sympathize.  But from a consumer-point-of-view, I paid big money for this ticket, shouldn't I be somewhat uncomfortable in coach like everyone else as opposed to extremely uncomfortable?

    Nobody gets in the way of me and my slot addiction...not even numbness in my legs.

    We land, finally and I stand up only to fall right into the aisle as my entire left leg is paralyzed from not moving for 6 long hard hours.  The mental determination I have to get to a slot machine as soon as humanly possible wills my leg to move and I exit the cabin in a way that only a true addict can understand.

    Three exhilarating days later we are back on this airplane and heading back to Manchester only this time we have seats somewhere in the middle, together, occupying 100% of our seat with only our asses.  After the very familiar ding indicating to the f/a that it's safe to start beverage service, I see a 'suspicious looking' man stumbling toward the flight attendant like he's rabid or something. He lunges and looks like he's grabbing for the f/a.  The guy in front of us jumps up and restrains him.  'SIR STAND STILL AND DON'T MOVE!'  I look at Hubs...oh shit this is bad, this is so bad...he's a terrorist...who the hell terrorizes people flying in and out of Vegas? Haven't we tortured ourselves enough for spending too much time in Vegas pretending we can still drink and stay up late like we were in our twenties?   Hubs is watching carefully and I know he's wondering if he's going to have to jump on this guy too.  The man is freaking out - and most of us around him are freaking out too just watching him and wondering if he is trying to stab the flight attendant.  Why, why didn't we just go bowling or something, why Vegas, why did my parents have to pass on their  gambling addiction to me? I had to insist on Vegas...


    There were flight attendants jamming the aisle of the airplane and all we could hear was SIR, STAY VERY STILL.  Nothing to see or be alarmed at on a flight these days, right? 

    "IS THERE A DR. ON BOARD?"  the flight attendant yells.  Finally someone came forward.  At this point the passenger is lying on the floor being restrained.  Several minutes later, they say something to him and leave him lying on the floor and walk away.  I've had enough ; my nerves are shot to hell, my heart is palpitating, I am sleep deprived and going through slot machine dt's.... I motion to the f/a and ask what is going on.  The flight attendant says "oh, that poor man was having a seizure and we just had to restrain him so he didn't get hurt."   "Ohhhh yes of course..." 

    Hubs looks at me, shakes his head and goes back to his book.  It's like being a flight attendant, I know too much, and I'm on high alert all the time - so everything is more dramatic and magnified than it should be.  This is why Hubs likes to refer to me on travel days as "Airport Andrea," meaning I am irrational, paranoid and unreasonable most of the time.  *shrugs*

    Words you never want to hear in-flight.

    Sigh.  What have I become? I used to be able to fly 8 times a day back and forth, not even breaking a sweat.  Pre-9/11, being a flight attendant was fun, it was cool, it was almost easy.  Now everybody's on edge, pissed off, paranoid...there's no fun in flying anymore and we are at the mercy of the airlines.  Now you'll find a seat, probably not with your family, you'll sit down and shut up and eat your bag of 5 1/2 pretzels and say PLEASE AND THANK YOU!



    More flight attendant stories of old to come...Until then...remember to get your seat back up in its full and upright position - because if anything happens...that 1 1/2- inch difference could save your life...

    Keep flying the not-so-friendly skies..be safe...be kind..be alert...but whatever you do, be prepared for anything.
    ~DG

    Wednesday

    Why I'd Be A Terrible Product Review Blogger..

    I've gotten several requests to review products and blog about them.  I've declined them all.  I'm too opinionated when it comes to stuff and I really try hard to keep this blog upbeat and positive.  I feel like if I start doing product reviews, I'm going to get whiny and sound like a woman with first world problems.  I like to save that persona for Hubs as part of his daily torment/comedy bit.

    I decided to explain in a blog by showing first hand why I would be terrible at product reviews. 


    This is true.

    First of all, I tend to personify inanimate objects.  It's a weird habit that stems from boredom and being home with young children and hidden from adults for so long.  I call objects assholes, tell appliances to bite me, yell at light fixtures that make annoying I'm -about-to -burn out noises.   You get my drift?

    So to illustrate my point on why this is not my cup of coffee (I hate tea), I will write a product review on several things that really piss me off.

    Let's start with this gigantic asshole of a product. 

    Del Monte Fruit Cups.....of any fruit type:



    I don't know how Del Monte configured this - but now matter how the hell I open one of these bastards, I end up with syrup on my shirt, my crotch, my sleeve - you name it.  How are we supposed to send these in our kids' lunches when we as parents can't even open them without soiling ourselves?  They are vacuumed sealed so that only Thor himself can open them.  Why not make the packaging a little bigger, perhaps with a little less syrup?  Bottom line - my kids love these, so I tolerate with minimal patience - but if ever a fruit could be a douchebag - Del Monte would be the Massengil of the group.

    My Message to Del Monte - You've got me where you want me.  Stop being an asshole and reconfigure your damn fruit cups. 

    Stonyfield Yo Squeeze Yogurts:

    It never fails...to fail every single time.  Splat!

    Here's another group of little bitches.  First of all, the reason I get them, is because there is no crap in them.  Just the basics - milk, sugar, strawberry juice, etc - and mostly because they are colored with beet juice.  There is no easy way to rip these open at the 'easy tear' top.  Every time my five year old tries to open one, a huge dollop flies out on his hand, shirt, pants, table,etc.  Those bitches are expensive too - almost $1 more a package than the others - so when a dollop falls out - that's one less spoonful every time.  ^%$#!  It's competitor, Gogurt, however, has the easy rip top down to a science.  I swear, when the kids have these at preschool, they rip off with no trouble.  Perhaps it is to make up for the fact that they are being colored with everyone's favorite enemy, Red #40.  Thankfully, Gogurt has come up with Simply Gogurt - a happy medium without any food coloring.  Still some shady ingredients - but much better than regular Gogurt.



    My message to Stonyfield - stop making my kids cry when they open their yogurt.  You make more laundry for me when they have globs of yogurt all over their shirts.  It's pissing me off and if I'm paying this much for a damn yogurt tube, the least you could do is your part and make them kid friendly.

    Uncle Ben's Rice:

    This one hurts me because I love my Uncle Ben's rice.  But why would you put the words "easy pour spout" when there is NOTHING easy about it - ever.  Every time I try to dig my fingernail into the spout to release it - I have to quit before I rip the jerk open and spill rice everywhere.  So, it never fails, I end up ripping the top open and then I have to pour the rice in a Ziploc for future use.  Is there anything more frustrating than dealing with a kitchen menace like this during dinner preparations?



    My message to Uncle Ben - you make me want to cry when I open your easy pour spout unsuccessfully.  You look like a Southern gentleman, act like one.  Fix the gdamn spout so it functions properly...please and thank you.  PS...If I need a tetanus shot because the silver spout stabs the nailbed of my thumbnail, so help me, I'm sending you the ER bill.  Your product testers in the laboratory should have to endure an easy pour spout under their nails to see how it feels.

    Clairol Nice 'n Easy Color Foam (but more specifically, the conditioner packet):



    To be clear, there is nothing 'nice' or 'easy' about this Conditioner packet.  Here's the thing, I'm not Jamie Lee Curtis.  I have more hair than the entire Kardashian family combined - so when you put one teaspoon of conditioner in the packet, it really pisses me off.  But wait, your evil packet gets worse.  Imagine me being in the shower, hands slippery, eyes wet and blurry.  I reach for the 'nice' and 'easy' conditioner packet only to find there is no perforation, no rip open slot, no starter tear, no nothing.  I try my teeth, but it slides out of my mouth repeatedly.  I grab a razor out of desperation and slice repeatedly, leaving enough of a jagged edge to somehow rip open the mutilated remains of the packet, not to mention cutting my finger along the way.  I squeeze conditioner out of the tiniest rip that I was able to make and while squeezing so hard to get it out, shoot some of it across the shower stall - and I can't spare a drop of it - so I bend over trying to scoop it out of the shower stall, needing anything I can recover to put in my hair.  So basically, I have enough to cover one side of my head, leaving an unbalanced, uneven, unconditioned look to my hair.  Awesome.

    My message to Miss Clairol.   You listen to me, and you listen to me well.  God did not put me on this earth to deal with gray hairs AND your bullshit conditioner packet.  Raise your freakin' prices by $1.50 and give me a mini bottle of conditioner in that box of color.  You feelin' me now?  See.  That was nice...and easy.


    I could go on - but I think you get my point.  I'm picky.  I don't like to struggle when I deal with my products.  That's why I have children.  I have power struggles with them all day, I don't need them from you. 



    Perhaps a year's supply of some of this stuff might make my attitude less aggressive - I can be bought you know.  Depends on the product.  I would be happy to write up a glowing report on m&m's or kitkats...perhaps Doritos, too?   I'm willing to negotiate for the right flavor.


    For a year's supply of chocolate, I could write one hell of a charming review.

    Until then - - I have to go change my shirt because I smell like sugared pears.
    ~DG

    See.  First world problems. 












    Monday

    I Really Hate Onions...



    The Usual Disclaimer:  I don't hate servers.  This is not an anti-server bash.  Ask anyone that's ever waited on me.  I clean up the table and make their job easy.  I'm complimentary, I'm kind - and I leave a good tip.  Most of all, I get that it's a tough job.  That being said - read on if you promise not to be a judgy asshole.  This is my dining experience as I know it. 

    By now, you know I am a stay at home mom.  If you don't, now you know.  One of the reasons we can do this is because I cook 99% of the time.  We get takeout once in a while, and a few times a month, we go out to dinner.  Nothing excessive  - this is just a welcome trade off to getting to be home with these guys.  When we do go out to dinner, I enjoy getting waited on, I enjoy having my meal made for me, and I love the interaction with the servers.  I am certain that this is truly one of the hardest jobs in the world.  I've owned a restaurant before, I worked 13 hour days, 7 days a week  - I know what they go through, I know how hard people can be on them - how rude, how cheap - I get it.  Can I just ask one favor though?



    When I give you my order - can you just write it down?  

    The waitress the other night came over to take our order.  Are you ready?  I ask with doubt - since she had no paper, no pen - no nothing - just a look - right through my soul.  Okayyyyy then, I think.  Here we go with another attempt at giving my order without someone writing it down.

    "I would like the Greek Salad - just NO onions.."  (side note:  I hate onions - I hate them with every fiber of my being - the smell - the taste - the way they make me cry when I have to cut them.  I don't like to hang around people that make me cry - why would I treat onions any differently?)  She mentally snaps a photo of my order. 



    We continue to order - for Hubs, and the kids.  Nothing complicated.  Simple, easy peasy.  We have no food allergies, no Spanish Inquisitions, no gluten issues, no picky requests - just no gdamn red onions.

    She walks away, and I can see the food request flying out of her brain and lingering somewhere between our table and the kitchen.  Perhaps it's all of the times I've been scarred in the past with misunderstood verbal orders with serve staff who claim to have a memory like an elephant.  I have server-trust issues.



    I look at Hubs - and he knows what I'm about to say - for he's the one who has been with me in the past when they've put onions on things that I asked them not to and they promised me it could be made without.  (It's not like I'm asking them to remove onions from a cooked dish - just physically, refrain from putting raw onions on a salad or burger - that is all.)

    "Why can't they just write it down?"  I shake my head, aggravated. 

    "It's not that hard, it'll be fine."  He reassures me.

    I go back to our regularly scheduled subject of laughing at the kids and how they are flicking water with their straws, dropping crayons on the floor, bothering sugar packets, touching things.  We start to play a game of eye spy to distract them until their food comes.  We wait - for a few salads, a few grilled cheese, and a bowl of soup.

    And we wait.

    And we wait.

    The sound of slurping wakes me from my annoyed thoughts.  They've finished their milk and are now sucking every last drop out of their cups.  Tick tock - the behavior/patience timer is running out on their clock - and I am wondering where the food is.


    Let's face it..once their milk is gone, the patience of kids starts to run out.

    The sound of the door from the kitchen gets my attention and there she is - finally coming with our food. 

    Hooray - the food is here.

    VVVVVRRRRRRRRRDDDDDD - pull the needle off the record. 

    Onions.

    Why...why...why...why...why...why.

    Big Purple Thick Stinky Obnoxious Onions.



    I say nothing.

    "Can I get you anything else?"

    "No thank you," I smile politely.  Now here is why I have a blog.  Because, like Jim Carrey, in Me, Myself, and Irene, I am too nice, too kind to say anything.  I mean, what am I going to say?  Should I start yelling like Joan Crawford in Mommy Dearest....NO ONIONS ON MY SALAD EVERRRRRRRRRRRR!  I mentally have  a funny moment of me throwing the onions back at the kitchen door while standing on the cloth seat of my booth and yelling YOU SHOULD'VE WRITTEN IT DOWN YOU EFFING KNOW IT ALL!  This thought alone makes me laugh, shrug, and eyeroll.  It's not that big of  a deal.  But every time.  Every time they don't write it down, they forget something.  It drives me bonkers.  Especially when I used to be the one in the kitchen dealing with the servers that would come in and say - 'can you remake this order, I got it wrong.."  

    Look, I'm not that delicate that I can't just take the onions off - I can.  That requires touching them.  And one thing about those effing red/purple onions is that they are so strong and obnoxious that the smell lingers in my nasal airspace for hours to come.


    See - there you have it.  You get a bad rap the rest of the day because you SMELL like those asshole onions just because someone decided NOT to write your order down. 

    I remove them from my fork, give a big sigh, and shake my head.

    Hubs looks at me.  He starts laughing.  He knows where this is headed.

    "Why can't they just write it down?"  I ask him.

    I take a bite into my chicken.   All I can taste is onions.  


    Winning!

    Love and hugs, just know it's not me that smells when you hug me - it's the onions..
    ~DG

    Sunday

    Laundry Baskets and Landspeeders..



    Happy, Happy Mother's Day to you...

    I treasure 2012 as the year I realized it's really ok to be flawed.  I have fellow bloggers and responses to my posts to thank for that.  We're all in this together you know. 

    In honor of today, I thought I would recall one of my scariest mommy moments...

    I was working full-time and still only had one child.  Eldest was in 1st grade and obsessed with Star Wars.  As I was putting the finishing touches on my suit in the morning, I told him I'd meet him downstairs to leave for school.  Not 3 minutes later, he came running in my room - bloodier than imaginable - and screaming.  I dropped my earrings on the bed and ran over to him.  WHAT HAPPENED!!??   All he could get out was that he fell down the stairs.  I didn't bother to do anything more, say anything more.  I grabbed a towel and put it on his face, threw on some shoes, fumbled as I got him in his carseat, trying to swallow the lump in my throat and started toward the ER.  I dialed my boss on my cell phone - saying he fell down the stairs...I won't be in.  I barely remember the drive to the ER - just the blood.  So much blood.  I had no idea what was broken or hurt - I just panicked. 


    I got to the ER with Eldest in my arms, never once noticing the new patterns on my Tahari blazer.  I just went straight in to their Triage room and luckily, there was no one waiting before us.  The ER nurse came out quickly and tried hard not to hide her shock as she saw us. 

    "He fell down the stairs."  I say, quickly - thinking the faster I give her the information, the faster he'll be treated.

    "Yeahhhh, I'm going to need to hear it from him, Mom.  I'm going to have to ask him the questions."

    I stepped back for a moment - stunned.  Doing a little shake of my head like "huh?"  And then it hits me - oh my God she thinks I'm a child abuser!   I stifle my anger - for now - just to let her do her job, remembering, not everyone parents like I do.

    "Now then, tell me what happened."

    This is his account as accurate as I can remember - and yes, it is wordy, and yes this is Eldest for you...

    "Well, my mom said to meet her downstairs, and so I thought it would be cool to turn the laundry basket into a Landspeeder and glide down the stairs instead.  So I got the small green laundry basket and I got in and I asked myself should I do this? And I nodded and said yes I should.  So I scooted off the top step and held on to the sides.  Only it didn't work out the way I thought it would...and I flipped over a few times until I got to the bottom. "


    According to Hubs, its every boy's dream to try laundry basket landspeeder at one point or another.

    I was at a loss for words.  My jaw on the ground.  She was trying very hard, unsuccessfully, to stifle a smile.

    "OK, then we'll go ahead and have the Doctor take a look..."

    I guess I was not a candidate for child abuse.  The story was so off the wall, she passed on the suspicious activity report.

    Turns out, Eldest nearly broke his nose, but didn't thank God.  He lost a tooth, and had some major bruising to his face and his little jedi-in-training ego, but he had a story to tell to his classmates about how not to use a laundry basket as a Landspeeder.




    Hubs was out of town all day, but when he arrived home, and we explained what happened, the first thing he said was...

    "Buddy, next time, use the bigger laundry basket, and then you have to distribute your weight differently so you don't flip over...." 

    WHAT!?  Noooooo no no no no - we don't ever ever go down the stairs in a laundry basket!

    Little did I know that the ER nurses and I would be on a first name basis for many many years.  More ER stories to come.  Until then...

    Happy Mother's Day..
    Love, Hugs, and Admiration,
    ~DG





    .

    Thursday

    A Sigh is Worth A Thousand Words...



    "What was that for?"  Hubs asked.

    "What was what for?"  I respond quickly.

    "The big heavy sigh.."

    "HUH?" 

    "YOU ...you just sighed..you do it all the time..it usually means you're pissed about something." 

    "Oh,"  I say, feeling busted.  "I didn't even realize it."

    I sigh - often - it's a bad habit - but I think it's a self-preservation mechanism that prohibits me from dropping f-bombs and going into fits of Tourette's rages throughout the day.

    I tried to notice lately how much I actually do sigh.  I do it...all....the...time.   Not just a nice healthy exhale of sorts either.  These are full on Olympia Dukakis-as-Rose-Castorini-from-Moonstruck type sighs.  The juicy ones that tell a story in themselves.

    I can't love Rose Castorini (Olympia Dukakis in Moonstruck) any more than I already do. Her sighs are like music to my ears.

    I can't help it.  I'm like a hamster on a wheel.  It's like everything I do is pointless.  The cleaning, the picking up after everyone, the laundry, the cooking, the dishes.  It needs done.  I'm the one to do it.  It's all temporary, fleeting, unimportant..but it's hard.

    I clean the bathroom, only to find a few minutes later, that one of the kids has trashed it again.  I pick up Legos constantly, I clean one room only to find the next one trashed.  I literally cannot go into one room to get something done, without being distracted by something that needs done.

    So I sigh.

    Repeatedly throughout the day.


    Ahhh the power and beauty of women.

    As I try to analyze things, I realize that I would be screaming otherwise.  It is maddening - infuriating sometimes, too.  Is it wrong for me to just want to finish a task without having to do ten more en-route?  Maybe I'm to blame.  Maybe I'm too OCD for my own good.  I don't know - can anyone ignore dollops of toothpaste in the sink while washing their hands? 

    Perhaps screaming and kicking and throwing an all out tantrum on the floor would be better on occasion?  Maybe it would be cleansing and therapeutic.  God I would be exhausted if I threw a tantrum over all of the things I have to do in a day?  So I sigh, because it's a little more age appropriate.

    Events throughout the day can be completely exasperating.  How much does a mother have in her before she breaks down?  Perhaps the fact that I only get a break on MWF for 2 hours and 20 minutes doesn't help any.  The fact that my family is far and I'm a one woman show while Hubs is working.  I'm cracked.  I admit it.  As much as I love being a mother, and I do, don't get me wrong, I am exhausted, frustrated, baffled, annoyed and off -kilter often during the day.  No matter how well I did it the day before, it's a whole new game when I get up in the morning.  So I sigh.



    I think sighing is the release of the poison that builds out of frustration.  So releasing the poison is good for the mind, body and soul.  It gives the phrase letting off steam a whole new meaning.  If this is what my body needs to do, then I will continue to do it.  I'm like a Willow tree that sways in the wind, bending and gracefully falling over to avoid breaking..or in my case, breaking down.  I know it won't always be like this.  These little guys will get bigger and wiser, and more helpful (if I have anything to do with it they will!) and this will all just be a distant memory  - a silly complaint - a senseless rant.  But I'm in the thick of it now, and it needs to be out.  There.  I feel better.



    Until next time friends,
    ~DG