Wednesday, July 31, 2013

We Don’t Speak The Same Language

They say that communication is key to a health relationship.  I’m not sure exactly who “they” are, but I’m just sayin’ that they know some stuff.  And “they” seem to be on to something because I sometimes think that Hudson and I no longer speak the same language.  Case in point…

“This mac n’ cheese is too warmed down now.”
“It’s too cold?”
“No, too warmed down.”
“It’s too hot?”
“No, you’re not listening.  It’s too unhot.”

Ah.  Too unhot.  Yes, me not listening is definitely the problem here.  Where is the Rosetta Stone to help me communicate with my preschooler?

While we’re at it, can we also throw in some sort of temperature guide as well?  I’m imagining something is the form of a meat thermometer but that would instead help me find that perfect temperature and stop the maddening loop of cooking food only to “warm it down” in the freezer.

And in case you’re wondering, the perfect temperature for food is subtepid.  Yes, it’s a word.  If you were listening you would know that already.

Monday, July 29, 2013

I Need Some Space

It finally happened.

I was picking my son up from the childcare area at the gym.  I had just handed the childcare worker my card when she said, “Hey.  Weren’t you on the cover of TulsaKids?”

It’s all downhill from here.  I mean where is the privacy people?  I’m just sayin’ I know what Angelina Jolie feels like.  I can’t go out without literally ones of people asking me about it.  If you count the time that I went to dinner with my dad and he put the magazine in our waitress’ face and asked “Does she look familiar?” it becomes literally threes of people.

Enough is enough.  I need boundaries.  Just because I was on a cover doesn’t give you the right to ask all sorts of questions about my personal life like “How did you get your daughter to keep her skirt down?” or “Can you please get that magazine out of my face?” or “Seriously, if you don’t get that magazine out of my face I’m calling the cops.”

People think that just because I’m in the public eye, you suddenly get to be rude. Like when I was getting my nails done and the manicurist asked me “What happened to your thumbs?  Do they both look this way?”  Ok, so maybe this has nothing to do with the cover, but it is also likely that she saw the cover of TulsaKids online, zoomed in on my thumbs (because she’s a manicurists and cares about peoples hands), noticed my thumbs and then recognized them when I came in for my manicure.

It’s got to stop.  I just can’t continue to subject myself and my family to this kind of prying.  For this reason, I have asked TulsaKids to remove me from the cover next month to which they kindly replied, “Umm……ok.”  I'm sorry it has to be this way but, thanks for understanding.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Photo Friday: Sit by the Window

Guest Post from Ann

I've been on a photographing-people-in-restaurants kick. If you try it, be sure to look for a spot by a window, it really pays off.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

We Should Have Mystery Marks

My kids are so much cooler than me.  Seriously, they have awesome ideas.  Like why doesn’t the English language include a mystery mark?

“What’s this?” asked Hudson pointing to a question mark in one of his books.
“It’s a question mark.”
“What’s a mystery mark?”
“Not a mystery mark.  Question mark.”
“I know, but what’s a mystery mark?”
“We don’t have a mystery mark?”

And that’s a good question.  Why don’t we have a mystery mark?  It’s a valid question.  We really should have some way of differentiating the deeper questions of life from just regular old questions. Like, what is our purpose in life? (mystery mark) What is the true meaning of happiness? (mystery mark)  Why does my dog make loud sounds when he farts when he doesn’t have butt cheeks? (mystery mark)

If I ever became a super hero, I would wear a mystery mark on my costume.  I know what you’re thinking and no, it’s totally different from the Riddler.  The Riddler wears question marks, which I have just established is less cool than a mystery mark and not nearly as…you know…mysterious.  Plus, the Riddler is evil whereas I would use my powers for good.  I would start with doing something about people that ask questions on Facebook that beg for an ego stroke like, “Why doesn’t anyone love me?” or "Why does my life suck so bad?" Cause why do people have to be needy like that? (mystery mark).


Monday, July 22, 2013

The Lazy Turn to Julia Child

When I get lazy, I turn to Julia Child.  I know this doesn’t make any sense, especially since I once made this time consuming Julia Child recipe, but when the other option is going to the grocery store, Julia wins every time.  Let me explain.

I hate grocery shopping.  I hate the grocery store.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s the fluorescent lighting.  Maybe it’s the endless magazines in the checkout lane comparing Kim Kardashian and Kate Middleton’s pregnancies and which one’s kankles are more fashionable.  I just don’t like it.

Most people, when looking in their refrigerator and looking at a questionable cucumber, a stick of butter, and a handful of assorted ingredients, would cave and go to the grocery store, but not me.  Oh no.  Not me.  I don’t give up that easily because I know I have Julia on my side.

I had some potatoes and few veggies that I cut up and roasted in the oven.  I had some leftover butter beans with bacon.  Then there was that cucumber.  That’s when Julia’s spirit spoke to me.  She whispered in my ear “Remember Julie & Julia!”  and then she said, “Awesome job on that boeuf bourguignon.  That kicked ass!” (Except she said “kicked ass” in French and it was hysterical.)  And then she said, “Seriously, you’re talking to a dead chef.  You really need to get a grip on reality and you probably need a nap.”

But anyway, back to that first point. I remembered a scene from Julie & Julia, where the main character, Julie, cooks cucumbers.  She’s having a dinner party and says something like “Who knew cooked cucumbers would be so good?”  I opened my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and found it.  Baked cucumbers.  Then I raised my fist and said, “Not today, grocery store.  Not.  Today.”  I even got to use the butter and it even tasted pretty good if I do say so myself.

I must admit.  After the baked cucumber number our groceries were really depleted and it was time to go to the store.  That’s why I whined about it enough and now my husband does the grocery shopping. That and I think he’s not down with baked cucumbers.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

You Don't Always Need Words

Sometimes really great moments happen and words just don't do it justice.  So I'm not going to try.  I'll let the moment speak for itself.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Good Job

My son sometimes needs some encouragement.  He’s pretty hard on himself and I have to make sure he knows that he’s doing a good job.  Then there’s my daughter. She needs no extra help and will encourage herself at random.  Like coming back from the grocery store.

“Good job.”
“Who are you saying good job to, Kenzie?”
“Why are you telling yourself good job?”
“Because I went to the soccer field and I kicked the ball and I kicked a goal and that was awesome.”

And you know, she’s kinda on to something.  I mean the world is not always going to recognize your accomplishments.  Generally, people are to busy worrying about their own lives to see your awesomeness.  Maybe a little self-congratulating is in order.

So with that in mind…Friday I talked at the Tulsa Democratic Luncheon and gave a 10 minute presentation even though I was scared out of my mind and then I took my kids to the pool even though I was tired and they ended up having a great time and that was awesome.  Good job.

What did you do recently that was awesome?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Our Rights Shall Not Be Afringed Or Otherwise Accessorized

Being a gun reform advocate in Oklahoma, I get my fair share of hateful and sometimes wacky comments.  This is true for ladies that I work with all across the country.  But recently, the founder or our organization received one that really made me think.

"Are you out of your mind or do you have one? Criminals don't obey gun laws. I feel much safer where a law abiding citizen has a gun to protect us if a crazy with a gun shows up. How stupid can you be? 2nd Amendment says our right to carry a gun shall not be afringed."

The 2nd amendment shall not be afringed.  Hmmm…this person has a point.  It is a slippery slope.  I mean first your afringing the 2nd amendment, then you’re bedazzling the 4th amendment and the next thing you know people are marrying goats and the whole goddamn country falls apart.

We’re already seeing the effects of afringment in Texas.  They are passing laws that will close down almost all the abortion clinics in the state under the name of safety, but we all know that this is really an attempt to vajazzle away the rights of women. And I don’t know about you, but my choice to manage my own reproductive health shall not be vajazzeled.  Unless I want it vajazzeled of course and who is the government to tell me what and how I accessorize my lady parts.

Our founding fathers would be appalled at all this afringement.  Except Washington, who we all know was the first afringer.  Just look at this picture.

I’m sure he’s all “Hey Tom! Ben!  John!  Did you see my shoulder fringe on my uniform.  Isn’t it just fabulous?” and they were all like “Damnit George, we saw you’re fringe the first 10 times you pointed it out and it still looks completely ridiculous.  Now can you please stop posing so we can get back to forming a country?”

I’m telling you afringing, vajazzaling, and otherwise accessorizing the constituition is just bad news.  I will take my rights plain and unadorned thank you very much.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I’m Sure The Trees Will Understand

Now if you’re like me, you probably looked at this and thought, “Wow, that’s really wasteful.  Why in the world would you need so much packaging for one small stack of business cards, FedEx?”  That was my initial thought, but know I’ve had some time to think about it and have realized that FedEx was really just doing me a favor.

First of all, they put a rubber band around my stack of business cards and that’s nice because you don’t want your business cards just flying all over the place.

Then they put the rubber-banded stack in a box.  Because you don’t want them to get bent.  Or rained on.  I mean what if you just don’t want to put that stack in your purse and you walk out into torrential rain.  Or hail.  Then your business cards would just be a soppy mess and that’s not good.

Then they took the rubber banded and boxed stack of business cards and put them in a bag.  Because if you bought some business cards you want the world to know you bought some business cards.  You don’t just put those business cards in a purse or a pocket. You want people to see you.  You want people to see you and your over-sized brown bag and say, “What did you get at FedEx?” and then you say “I got some mothafuckin’ business cards.  They have my name…and a logo….because I’m important.”  You want to advertise that shit to the world.

Then in the bag of boxed and rubber-banded business cards, they put your receipt. Because what if you had to prove you didn’t just walk into a FedEx Office and walk behind the counter in ninja mode while all the employees are busy making copies and decide to steal a brown bag of unknown paper supplies? Every 10 seconds a middle manager loses his quarterly report to theft and every 11 seconds someone loses a stack of Lost Dog flyers.  I’m not sure if those numbers are completely accurate, but I’m telling you…it’s a big f-ing deal.

Then in your bag of boxed and rubber-banded business cards that you can now prove you paid for, they put in a flyer advertising that their Looney Tunes flash drives are 20% off.  After they told you while you were paying that their Looney Tunes flash drives are 20% off and after you declined to purchase said Looney Tunes flash drive.  Because what if you get home and you’re in bed and you wake up in a cold sweat thinking, “OH MY GOD, those Looney Tunes flash drives were 20% off and I didn’t buy one?!  What the hell was I thinking?  I must find out right now how much longer those gems will be on sale!”

So thank you FedEx Office.  Thank you for looking out for me.  I’m sure the trees will understand.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Photo Friday: Everyone needs a Sabine

Guest Post from Ann

This one has nothing and everything to do with photography at the same time. I'm taking a portrait photography class and bugging the incredibly tolerant people I know to pose for me (eight weeks is a looot of portraits). I made an incredibly quick trip to Tulsa over the weekend and went to Sabine's kids' soccer practice and stopped by her house for a few minutes. She was playing in the back yard with the kids and the dog and I went inside.

I saw the light in her piano room - she started taking piano lessons as an adult because she's cool like that - and I rushed out to the yard and said, "I need to photograph you, but first I need you to change your shirt." The shirt she had on had some writing on it that I thought would be distracting, but I didn't even have to say that to her. She just went with it. She always does, ever since we were 14. Yep, that's 20 years of best-friendom. Whatever excellent adventure (see the Day of Eating Awesomeness)  or half-baked scheme (see our attempt to inflate her tires) we come up with, she's ready to be my partner in it. So I definitely can't hate her, even though this is really what she looks like right after she took her kids to soccer practice and was playing in the yard.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

It’s All Your Fault

If you’re wondering why your kids are in trouble all the time, it’s probably because you’re an asshole.  You’re kids don’t want to be in trouble, but if you weren’t so rudely interrupting them when they’re hitting their siblings in the head with a stick from their fort, you wouldn’t be having this problem.  My daughter reminded me of this.

“Why are you in time-out?”
“Mommy.” (I guess I should give her partial credit for her answer.  Technically, I did forcibly put her in time-out so from a purely physics standpoint, I guess she’s correct.)
“No, you are not in timeout because of mommy…why are you in timeout?”

So next time you’re disciplining your kid for throwing Play-Doh or throwing a tantrum in the grocery store, just remember…it’s all your fault.  If you would just leave it alone, you wouldn’t be in this situation.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Why I Left The Salon Without Shoes

Last Christmas, my in-laws gave me a gift card for a massage at Ihloff Salon. They’re pretty much the best in-laws ever.  Despite this fabulous gift, I never got around to scheduling an appointment.  Until last week.

My shoulders and neck had been killing me.  During a sleepless night I took a muscle relaxant which didn’t do a lot for my neck but it did make me forget what I said 5 minutes ago and made my husband ask me if I was “in a loop” when I asked him the same two questions more than once the next morning.   Then I remembered the gift card and made an appointment.

I went to my appointment the next morning and was greeted by Kayla, a sweet massage therapist, that showed me to the changing room.  She brought me a robe and offered me spa shoes which I declined opting instead to wear my own flip-flops. The spa shoes were brown plastic where as my more stylish flip-flops have a bit of bling making me feel like New Jersey housewife light.  (Next time I plan on flipping a massage table at someone.)

So I went into the massage room with my fluffy robe and sparkly flip-flops and enjoyed 50 minutes of pure relaxation and pain.  Painful in a good way.  I left the room feeling quite zen.

“Can I start you a shower?” asked the therapist.

Showers are better when someone starts them for you.  I suggest recruiting your spouse our children and trying it at home.  I took my shower and used every free Aveda product I could find.  I got dressed feeling all relaxed.  Until I realized I had no shoes.

Yes, being the zen-master that I am I left my shoes under the massage table in the room.  I poked my head into the hallway only to discover that my massage therapist had started with another client.

Another member of the staff came in to ask if I needed anything.
“Yes, I need my shoes.”  I explained what happened and she went off to see what she could do.  She came back shortly afterward and said, “She already started with another client so I put a note under her door that said Urgent,” and then she handed me a pair of foam pedicure sandals.

I waited for a few minutes and then realized I couldn’t hang out in the locker room forever.  Not without creeping people out anyway.  Pretty sure my explanation of "No really, I'm not a weirdo...I just don't have any shoes" wouldn't make anyone feel more comfortable.   I went to pay and the manager told me, “We put another note under the door, but the massage she just started is an 80 minute massage. We can call you.”

So now I had two thoughts.  First-80 minute massage?!  Yes, please and do you have one that involves a nap afterwards?  Second-I am really going to leave here without shoes.

The manager told me, “This is a first for us.”  Glad I could be a trendsetter.  A shoeless trendsetter.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Photo Friday: Have a happy weekend

Guest Post from Ann

Happy Fourth of July weekend! Take my daughter's cue and smile a lot. And take lots of pictures! 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I Did Not Give Birth To Our Dog

Ok, so obviously my son and I need to have another talk about the birds and the bees.  And puppies.  He seems to be very confused on where puppies come from.

“Mommy, was Cooper little once?
“Was he little for very long?”
I always get nervous when I’m not quite sure where the conversation is going. “Not real long,” I answered.

There was a pause.
“Was Cooper in your tummy when he was little?”

And there it was.  I knew the weirdness was coming eventually.  It was only a matter of time before we got to I-think-mom-birthed-our-dog territory.  Somewhere between explaining the tooth fairy and Santa Claus every mom will have to explain that their family pet did not come from her uterus.

“Because Cooper is a dog.  He was in his mommy’s tummy, the tummy of another dog.”
And acting like this was the most absurd thing he has ever heard he said, “Why would a DOG be in another DOG’S tummy?”
Because apparently that is completely ridiculous.

So I had to break the news to my dog that I am not his biological mother.  I think he suspected he was adopted when he realized that he was the only family member to poop in the yard.  So far he seems to be handling the news pretty well.

Not my biological son.

Monday, July 1, 2013

You Can’t Go Back

Last week I drove to Norman to attend a meeting with Congressman Cole urging him to support expanded background checks.  Never in a million years did I think I would one day return to Norman for this.  Funny how your path in life can lead to some unexpected places and how stepping out of your comfort zone can open doors you never knew existed.

I graduated from OU in 2001.  I’ve been back occasionally, but not a lot.  The changes were shocking.  My brother is a student there.  I met up with him after the meeting to go to have lunch at O’Connell’s.  Only thing was, O’Connell’s  is no longer the O’Connell’s I remembered, the O’Connell’s I went to for my 21st birthday.  It’s a completely different building in a completely different location.

“You should drive by where O’Connell’s used to be,” he told me.

My brother and I chatted about this and that.  We talked about his new job and school.  We talked about his plans.  I was jealous.  Jealous of all the potential.  He’s still figuring things out and that’s great.  There’s no rush I told him.  Follow your passion I told him.  He has all the time in the world to fail.  To fail and recover and fail again until he figures it out.  That’s the amazing thing about being 20.

We said our good-byes and I headed back home.  I decided to take his advice and drive around campus and see that corner where O’Connell’s used to sit.  I didn’t even recognize it.  In its place now sits a huge dorm building.  I drove around half the time only realizing after I left where I had been.  I drove by the Seed Sower statue and wanted to stop and take a picture, but I had no idea where to park.  Everything was so different.

And I got weepy.  Weepy for old times, for my friends that I haven’t seen in a while.  And weepy for the old me.  I wish I could tell old me all the same things I told my brother earlier that day.  I wanted to drive up to my old apartment and find that version of me.  The one who instead of passion followed practicality and expectations.  The one who sometimes seemed afraid of life and all that it had to offer.  I wanted to walk into her apartment and say, “Let’s talk.”  I wanted to tell her to stop worrying.  Everything turns out ok.  I wanted to tell her to take a risk every now and again.  You have all the time in world to fail.

I left campus frustrated that things were so different.  So different that I couldn’t even find a place to stop and take a picture.  I was mad that time has gone by so fast.  Why does it have to go so damn fast? I felt compelled to find one thing to connect me back to the past.  I stopped at Classic 50’s.  For old time’s sake I ordered a cherry Diet Dr. Pepper and Pickle-o’s even though I wasn’t hungry.

I drove out of town amazed at all the things that can happen in 11 years.  How things are like I expected they would turn out and then again not.  I realized that I couldn’t go back in time, but I could talk to me now.  The one that has the power over right now and over the next 11 years and the next 11 years after that.  I could talk to her.  I could tell her, “It’s okay.  You have all the time in the world to fail.  Everything is going to be okay.”