Archive for the ‘Motherhood’ Category

‘Tis the season for heading off to the mall and embracing it for all its glory.  My Christmas shopping is pretty much done, however, I headed off to the mall for a personal reason; to buy the beloved popcorn maker that was on sale at Williams – Sonoma I have been drooling over for the past month! Another outing this holiday season that is the inspiration for the Top Ten Tuesday!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Photo from Kyle Dahl

10.  The parking lot situation is less than desirable, especially in a torrential down pour.

9.  There is a Salvation Army Santa at every corner ringing that friggin’ bell.  I don’t know what is worse the ringing in my head hours past the visit to the mall or the guilt I have every time I walk by one of them and not put some coin in the bucket.

8.  The way Macy’s places displays in the middle of the aisles making it pretty much a crap shoot to get through with a stroller ( I have a narrow incline double stroller; it is as wide as single stroller), trying to keep your kid’s paws off the merchandise as you are cautiously maneuvering them around them, or better yet trying not to run over people at the MAC or Clinique counters.  Oh, the looks I got yesterday when I asked people to “excuse me”.   “Seriously, lady?  What other options do I have?  Risk running over your foot or knocking down the 8-foot display of perfume gift sets.  Let me tell you, if you don’t move your foot, it will get run over and you can go file a claim with Macy’s for their inconvenient strategic display of merchandise!”

7.  The people on cell phones or texting while walking around, totally clueless of their surroundings.  This is such a blood boiler for me.  That is why the mall has benches and seating areas.  If you wish to turn the mall into your personal social network office, then pull over and sit the friggin’ down and twitter and Facebook that you are doing your Christmas shopping and the mall is a nightmare.  NEWS FLASH: YOU ARE ONE OF THE REASONS THE MALL IS A FRIGGIN’ NIGHTMARE!”

6. When needing to get on to the elevator and the people unloading decide to stop and block the doors for those trying to get on while they are discussing where they want to go to lunch or their next shopping destination.  I have a stroller to push onto the elevator and if my kids gets clocked by the doors closing on them because you screwed around discussing if you want to go to Cheesecake Factory or just the Food Court, I am going to run you over with my loaded stroller.  PAY ATTENTION PEOPLE!

5.  The kiosks in the middle of the mall.  If I wanted to buy cheap Chinese crap from people who look like they are one day out of a state prison or a halfway house I would go to Wal-Mart.

4.  The line to Starbucks.  Since the mall does not sell booze, which I think would make the whole experience much better or at least tolerable (Marty Gras is a mob infested nightmare, you don’t realize it because all are intoxicated), caffeine and sugar are the next best thing.  Having to wait for that in a line that rivals the line for Santa is  beyond me!

3.  Other people’s kids.  Letting them run around like wild banchies is just something I will never get.  The world is not every kid’s play ground.  

2. Standing in line waiting to purchase your goods and having to hear a woman on her cell phone yelling at her mother that she is an enabler and all her 9 year-old son wants for Christmas is that his uncles get off the hooch and meth.  Now, this did make me fill a little better about my Christmas family situation.  At least there will be no tweakers at my table this year!

Photo from Kyle Dahl

1.  When you see that there is people standing shoulder-to-shoulder on the first and second floor of the food court that may be a sign that a major tragedy is in the forecast and it is time to un-ass the area.   Nothing would make it a holiday to remember by having the second floor collapse while waiting to hear Handel’s Messiah in a Random Act of Culture moment.  Go home and play the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and enjoy your festive egg nog and avoid the Random Act of Culture turned breaking news nightmare.

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A quick order of housekeeping.  Today I have been on double duty for Top Ten Tuesdays and  was also  featured on the recently Freshly Pressed blog of  The Life of Jamie as her guest blogger! Thank you Jamie, it was fun!

In almost every town in America there are certain neighborhoods that ban together and go all out decorating their houses for Christmas.  They are a festive bunch that are willing to invite all of the public into their neat and tidy cul-de-sac streets and manicured sidewalks.  They even make sure they park in their garages so there are no cars on the street for optimum Christmas light viewing.  Their kids pass out home-made cookies and hot coco and there are even little bins where you can dump your expired canned goods to go towards the homeless.  Yes, it is a bit of Mulberry in the new millennium.  But like anything wonderful and soulful, there has to be a group of jack-a-lopes that have to go and ruin the fun. 

Yes, I am going to bombard everyone with my 12-days of Christmas crap inspired moments well into the New Year!  This moment inspired me enough to make it part of my Top Ten Tuesdays! 

10:  If you decide to bring your dog please clean up after it.  Nothing spreads the smell of holiday cheer than dog poo on the bottom of your shoe which transfers into the car!

9.  If you have kids that must wear roller skates, ride a scooter/skate board or even a bike make them risk it in the middle of the street with the drivers not paying attention to their driving and more to the Whoville exhibit.  I would much rather them get hit from behind than me or my small children.

8.  If you are driving to the area and wish to park and walk the neighborhood, please pay attention to where you friggin’ park.  Seriously? Parking right in front of the house with the Charlie Brown Christmas exhibit works for you?  At least you could pull up six feet and not be blocking Snoopy and the Woodstock!  Really, I saw a whole family in a mini-van do this two nights ago.

7.  If you are going to partake of the goodies supplied by the local kids, give them a buck and pack out your trash!

6.  Don’t allow your kids to play tag in the sea of cool inflatable Christmas characters.  Someone is going to trip over the tie downs and get hurt and somehow it becomes the owner of the house fault.  Again, another true story only in Southern California my friends.  Now you know why Gloria Allred is so successful!

5. Why does someone feel compelled that as long as it is dark outside that it is OK to wear jammies.  It is 6:30 pm, it is not even prime time TV time yet. This goes along with my whole thing with middle-aged women not wearing jammies in public.  

4. You are not cool cruising up and down the streets standing up through your sunroof texting!  What do you think this is? South Beach? Jersey Shore? The only thing that is out looking at Christmas lights are annoyed husbands, grumpy grandparents, screaming kids and frumpy housewives. 

3. Be mindful that there are others wanting to walk along the same sidewalk as you.  So stopping in the middle of the sidewalk while texting, attending to a needed item within your stroller or adjusting yourself is considered rude and it holds everyone hostage to your narcissism. 

2. If you chose to drive instead of walk, turn off your headlights, everyone’s retinas will thank you!

 1. Parents when you let your kids get hopped on Starbucks and then they are running a muck and smack into me or my small child, do not get testy with me when I “accidentally” push them into a bush to slow them down. “Opps, I guess little Timmy should have been more careful on where he was going!  That bush just came out of no where!”

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Yesterday I found out that the city of San Fransisco passed an ordinance that fast food chains could not include a toy in their kid’s meals if they do not meet certain nutritional requirements.  This was passed by an 8-3 vote and will go into effect in 2011. I truly live in a state that is a few french fries short of a full Happy Meal!

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”  Former President Ronald Regan. 

Regardless if you like his politics or not, that quote makes  sence.  Why is the government infringing on the rights of a private company in doing business?  Essentially they are taking away the freedom of not only the company to offer goods to the consumer, but the rights away from the citizens of San Fransisco or any American that visits that city.  I like to use Happy Meals as a special treat to PD1 and I have a right to be able to exercise my right as a FREE American to do so. 

Happy Meals are not something that should be demonized as “bad”.  They are not bad, they are fun and exciting for kids and parents.  If we start demonizing the Happy Meal to the problems of childhood obesity, then you are opening a huge can of worms on a lot of products that are out there.  If you think the “food police” that is trying to birth “Food Law” will stop here, you are only kidding yourself.  I like junk food from time to time, I do not want anyone telling me when, how or what I can have.  Some would probably say that is the Libertarian in me, I say it is the American in me coming out.

 It is not the McDonald’s of  America that is making our kids fat.  I feel it is a  cumulation of  five things that are making these kids fat, which all points back to parent/guardian responsibility for their kids.   

1).  Parent’s not taking the nutritional responsibility of their kids.  The fact that San Fransisco feels that they have to pass laws on private companies to keep kids out of obesity trouble is abominable.  I know that there is an argument that areas of more economic challenge tends to breed bad and cheap food choices, but I was one of those kids growing up in poverty and I was not eating McDonald’s or other fast food options.  We ate home cooked meals made by a step- mother that worked three jobs. Sure, it was not organic or top quality, but it was full of a  balanced nutrition and that was before WIC was ever put into place. 

2.)  Kid’s no longer know how to play.  They just know how to play video games and watch TV.  Some of this has to do with fear based ideas that there are predators lurking around every corner.  Most incidents come from inside the family/friend circle.  It is very rare to have an outsider be a predator. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not comfortable to just letting my kids go willy nilly in the neighborhood, but if more families would let their kids out to play there is safety in numbers.  As a kid, I traveled in a pack, outside of the few kid related dramas of bones, scrapped knees and disagreements all was harmonious and fun.   I guarantee that I burned hundreds of calories riding my bike  and running around with my buddies.

3.)  Snacks need to be more realistic in size and in food options.  We were a poor family, but eating just an apple was a filing snack.   A couple of crackers with peanut butter was a snack, and an orange was a snack. These snack options would tied me over to the next meal just fine.  It is amazing what a “snack” constitutes these days.  It is equivalent to a meal calorie wise.  I take my PD1 to a mommy and me class setting and we have “snack time”.  I see these other two-year olds eating so much for a snack and then loaded up with fruit juice.  If one feeds their kids a snack that are high in content and calories a couple of times a day, in addition to three meals they are going to set their kids up to being fat.

4.) It is not an option for Physical Education to be the first to be cut when budgets gets weakParent’s should be holding the school board accountable of keeping a balance of education.  This meaning keeping art, music, and physical education that is the glue that binds the core subjects together.  Hey, their taxes are paying for it.  

In my observation it appears more class room behavioral problems surface when those three subjects are booted out.  It also un-nerves me to see the school administration say that they are doing all they can in their power to better the education of the kids even with all of these hard economic times. Really?   School is about the kids, right?   Then cut the administration salaries and give it back to the school so these programs stay alive.  If you ever been to Los Angeles Unified School District Administration building in downtown, you understand that LAUSD is very top-heavy and could use some serious re-structuring and salary readjustments.

5.) Parent’s going back to the grass-roots of fast food being a treat.  Fast food should never be  a quick and easy fix to feeding your kid for the day.   Parent’s need to take control of the situation.  So what if your kid wants fast food every night, it does not mean that you comply.  You can feed your kids quick and inexpensive meals at home. 

A whole wheat tortilla, cheese, tomatoes, refried black beans, brown rice burritos takes about the same time to make as sitting in the drive thru. You can even can make extras and freeze them for a “quick pop in the microwave need”.  I did a quick break down of this choice that many kids get at Taco Bell and it literally costs a total of $15.oo for all the  ingredients that would make about 12 burritos. That comes to about $1.25 per burritos.  I included instant brown rice which cooks up in the microwave in 90 seconds, the beans heat up in the microwave in about 2 minutes and assembling the burritos (all twelve of them) would take about ten minutes.  That comes to about 15 minutes to have an immediate meal and 11 more for the future. 

Yesterday, I  also did a test  going through the McDonald’s drive -thru during an “off-peak” time and it was seven minutes (during peak times one should add about 3-5 minutes to that).  The time between the two are just a few minutes. Therefore, the rationalization that I have heard from parents that it is cheaper and faster to resort to fast food is an excuse and a lazy one at that.  The bottom line is there are many more meals that can be made at home that are cheap, quick and has a good nutritional value.  There are no excuses!

It is the parent’s that are responsible for this problem,  not the fast food industry.  Just taking out a toy from a Happy Meal is not going to keep the kids from eating Happy Meals, eating ice cream from Dairy Queen, or having frozen milk shakes and burgers from Sonic.  It is time to teach our kids self-control, making good choices, and being accountable. 

Teaching our kids that it is OK for government establishments to put unreasonable and non-successful “smack down ordinance laws”  is only teaching them that freedom has its limitations when someone views it as” not good for you”.   Fast food is not bad for you if you do it in moderation, it is bad for you if you do it all the time.  To much of anything is not good for anyone.  To much TV is bad, too much studying is bad, even too much water can be bad. 

We are wired to have self-control and responsiblity be our guide.  We are smart and intelligent beings, we are  people who should understand natural logical consequences and face those  consequences if you make bad choices.   What is next, they take all  cookies, chips, crackers, soft drinks, ice cream and candy out of the grocery stores if it does not meet nutritional guidelines!

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As promised I am posting part two of the Halloween disaster at Disneyland  from a couple of weeks ago.   So let me jump right on in!   As you all know I have a two and half-year old and a fourteen month old.  That pretty much limits the “appropriate rides” for the family.  Since it was pouring out, I was a drowned rat, and I refused to purchase a poncho, we were very limited.  We found ourselves in the area that had the fairytale character rides, like Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Snow White, Dumbo, the Merry-go-Round etc.  That seemed harmless right?

PD1 loves all of those characters, yet I really have not let her watch any of the movies ( that should have been my first red flag). We thought we were the cat’s pajamas of parents sticking close to such “appropriate rides”  We get in line for Snow White and I may  have been on it before, but I did not remember it.  There was nothing indicating that this could be the possible worse idea that this should be considered an “appropriate ride”. . . well that is if I would have looked around and saw that there were no other kids in line under the age of ten! 

We load up in the car and off we go.  It starts out a little spooky, but nothing that would alarm PD1, then the ride takes a turn for the worst and the witch pops out at you around a corner and it all goes down hill from there.  I thought she was going to claw the hubs to death trying to get inside his rain jacket and she just kept saying, “Scary Snow White!”  The ride was finally over and she was in tears and needed to be talked down off the ledge.  We think another ride that will distract her, so we head to Peter Pan!

Now this ride was not as bad as Snow White, but seriously, PD1 was not convinced. She was just waiting in terror for that crummy witch to pop out at her again.  There was more tears and talking off ledges.

We finally decided that this whole fairytale land is for the birds so we decide to go to Pirates of the Caribbean.  We are convinced that she will love the music and the dancing pirates.  OK, I know by now each one of you reading this is screaming at me, “You are the stupidest parent on the face of the earth!”  Yes, I will own our stupidity.  One quarter the way through Pirate’s I looked over at the hubs who was holding our child’s head in his chest as she is not just crying, but sobbing, and saying over and over, “I want to go home mommy, I want to go home daddy”.  That is when I said to him, “Just so you know, we suck as parents!”  He nodded in full agreement.  We both just held our breath begging for the ride to get over so our little one will only have a week of night terrors not a life time. 

On our way back to Dumbo, a total safe option, we had to work our way by the Haunted House, due to the friggin’ trick or treat lines from hell.  Of course we would!  Why not have to walk right by the scariest part of the park after we just scared the piss out of our child and probably permanently scared her for the rest of her life.  That was another talk off the ledge moment. 

Finally we got to Dumbo and the Merry-go-Round and my thought was to ride those puppies as many times as we could. I was trying to do a “Superman” of reversing the past’s damage.  No, that did not work, that only worked for Superman.   We now have to have a night-light, the star turtle and the door open.  This was a child that could sleep in a cave before this little adventure to the Happiest Place on Earth.  Like I said before, we sucked as parents that day. The only “Happiest Place on Earth”establishment I am going to venture into for a while is Costco!

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That is exactly what PD1 did to me today!  I had put the little terror down for a nap and even though she is potty trained, we are still keeping pull-ups on her only during naps and at night.  I was busy whirling around the house getting ready for the “white-glove test” of the pending visit of the mother-in-law, that I never heard a peep out of PD1’s room. 

After about two hours of doing “housewife” stuff, I headed into wake up both girls.  I did my normal routine in going into PD2’s room first and opening the curtains and then I headed into PD1’s room.  I opened the door and there to my absolute horror was the aftermath of the first and, I hope, last poop-tastrophe Camp Pie Hole will ever experience!   PD1 was sleeping ever so angelic among the carnage and her pants and pull-up flung across the room. Apparently, PD1 forgot to let me know that she needed to go potty and decided to resort to the next best thing.  However, now that she is potty trained she hates the idea of it remaining in her pants so she has figured out to take off her pants and pull up.

To take a bit from my dear blogging friend, the Idiot, there was whaling, gnashing of teeth, hyperventilating, screaming, yelling, crying,  jumping up and down, and head spinning and there I birth of  the hugest cow ever.  I was literally out of my mind of what I was witnessing.  Obviously, PD1 woke up to the weak legged cow standing in her room and jumped up and said, “I went potty everywhere mommy!”  My mind was screaming, “No, sh#% Sherlock!” Yet my mouth said, Let’s get into the shower NOW, and I mean NOW!”  I was so out of my mind I found myself fully clothed in the shower with her scrubbing the filth off of her.  I then dress her, take her down stairs, along with her sister, and head back up schlepping the carpet cleaner, bleach, laundry basket, Clorox Wipes, trash bags, and rubber gloves.
I start to tackle the job. The phone rings and it is my “Aunt Mom” confirming dinner plans for tonight.  This is the first human contact I have had since the realization of the disaster and she had no idea what she just “walked” into. The conversation goes something like this! 
PH:  HELLO!!!! I can’t talk long I am in the middle of a crisis!
AM:  Just confirming that we all are on still for tonight?  What is up?
PH:  I am up to my elbows in f—-ing sh–!  PD1 took her pull-up off during nap and got sh– all over the GD room, toys, bed, carpet!  
AM: (Pause, I could hear her amused smile) Welcome to a another right of passage to motherhood!
PH:  I know that you think this is hilarious! I am NOT amused!  You know how much I hate this type of crap!  This is GD unacceptable Bullsh–!
AM: Pie Hole, it is PD1 being two and a half and yes, this unacceptable behavior and did you address it with her?
PH: Oh, yes I did!  The cow that is still standing here looking at me is proof that my unhappiness with her about this situation was communicated as clear as crystal.
AM:  Good, just calm down and finish doing what you are doing and I will see you soon! Love ya, glad I am not ya!
It took me two hours to clean the carnage from the “poop-tastrophe”.  As  I was cleaning I wondered if I was to hard on my first-born.  I wondered if I traumatized her with my total melt down and birth of a cow.  I thought about it and came to the conclusion that it was not as bad as I was making it out to be, until I went to dump the second bucket of water from the steam cleaner, and found the dog hiding in my master bedroom closet.  I then peeked down the stairs and saw both my kids cuddled up under a blanket watching TV VERY quietly hoping that the crazy lady upstairs does not come down. 
 Oh, God, I really screwed them up all three of them!  The guilt was rushing over me and I headed back to the mess I was dealing with.  As I entered the disaster again, all the guilt washed away and I thought, of the Bill Cosby joke, “Kid, I brought you into this world and I can take you out!” 
Later that night after the room was cleaned, the carpet was like new, the toys were disinfected, the bedding was in the wash, and I was drinking a much-needed margarita at my favorite Mexican restaurant, I asked Aunt Mom, if I was totally insane when she called and I am sorry I spewed obscenities the way I did.  She assured me that I was within normal range of emotion and that she did find the whole thing very amusing.  PD1 was sitting next to me coloring and chatting away like nothing ever happened and was fine.  I breathed a sigh of relief that I did not traumatized her completely by my less than shining moment at a parent and that I did not make a complete ass out of myself to my Aunt Mom.   Kids are resilient little buggers and they defiantly make life very surreal and  interesting every day.  Parents, on the other hand, have a lot of growing and stretching to do each and every interesting  and surreal filled day.  

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Now that the weather is changing to have excuses to grab that ol’ Snuggie, comfort goodies and get cozy on the couch with good flicks, I wanted to incorporate my favorite top ten most favorite movies for my Top Ten Tuesday. Hopefully this will either  remind you of a good flick or introduce you to one.   I have a list that should appease most everyone from romantic comedy to action packed, including a couple must see movies during the holidays!  I included the trailers to maximize the relive or introduction moment! Enjoy!

10.)   Love Actually – Ok, so it is number 10, but it is a must see and one of the best love-happy movies I have ever seen.  I watch this while decorating my Christmas Tree each year!  Even the hubs likes this movie!

9.)  Planes, Trains, and Automobiles – I can relate to this movie more than you know and I may be reenacting the “F—ing scene” this Turkey Day while I am at the Alamo car rental kiosk when visiting Colorado based family.

8.) Tommy Boy – I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this movie.  There is not a scene that I don’t think is hilarious and is a movie that makes me miss Chris Farley very much.

7.)  Pride and Prejudice/Juno (they have to share because they rate exactly the same and tied for this spot) –  Let’s start with Pride and Prejudice– I know some of you would think it is a yawn, but I just love it.  Elizabeth Bennett reminds me of how I think I would have been during that time period. I also love the family dynamic and the father, played by Donald Sutherland, is just a warm and hilarious character that I adore  This is the ONLY Jane Austen movie I like.

Juno- Seriously, this movie rocks.  I love the lines, the story of how this screenplay came about and most of all the family dynamic.  I love how everyone handled this “garbage dump of a situation”.  I hope that if I am ever faced with this type of problem with my girls I will use this movie as an inspiration.

6.) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – OK, this is my life to a T during the holidays.  We must watch this at lest three times during the holidays.  I have many of these lines memorized and actually use during the season!

5.) Fargo – I love a good “dark” movie.  Yes, it is a bit disturbing because it is based on a true story, but it is an amazing flick!

4.) Christmas Story –  If you don’t like this movie, something is very wrong with you and we can’t be in the same social circle.  I look forward to the holidays for this specific movie.  I have no idea how many times I see this every holiday season since we leave it on in the background starting Christmas Eve and all day Christmas Day via TBS’s 24- hours of a Christmas Story. 

3.) Pulp Fiction – This made the top three.  It is a bit on the raw violence side, but it is an amazing movie.  The “bring out the gimp” scene s a bit distrubing to me, but that is what the FF button is for.  The one thing I noticed, is that this movie does not have a specific score behind the scenes. You know that this is a movie that has legs when you don’t have to have a score for scenes!  

2.) Steel Magnolias – I know, a total chick flick, but anytime I see this on, I stop what I am doing and watch it . . . and yes cry like a baby each and every time.  Shirley Maclain and Olympia Dukakis are my favorite characters in this movie.  I actually love the quote by Olympia Dukakis said to Dolly Parton, “You know what they say, If you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, come sit by me!”  That is usually how I open each “gossip girl’s night out”. 

1.) Shawshank Redemption – I can’t tell you how much I love this movie.  This movie speaks for itself and that is why it is number 1! 

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It was a dark and stormy afternoon, this past Tuesday, as we headed out to the “Happiest Place on Earth”  for their special Halloween celebration.   When I woke up Tuesday morning it was raining, not just raining, but pouring!  The kind of pouring that Texans call, ” a cow pissin’ on a flat rock” pouring.   I live in Southern California, the only worry we have in October are wildfires, not rain, thunder, lightning and hail. 

With the weather the way it was and the forecast showing it only gettng worse,  I called Disney to see if we could get a rain check since I had purchased these tickets for the family in advance for this particular day.  They nearly laughed me off the phone and pretty much told me that I could buy a poncho from one of the many gift shops and to pretty much suck it up.  So we packed up the kids and headed to the Happiest Place on Earth. 

When we got there, we loaded the kids up in the double stroller and put their rain coats on.  We headed out of the parking structure, which is conveniently located about a mile from the park entrance.  You can take a tram from the parking structure, but that would mean we would have to break down the stroller and all its contents (I tend to over pack when on outings so my stroller usually looks like a yak or sherpa heading to base camp of Everest).   It was only a light drizzle so we decided to “go for it”.   About three minutes into the walk, the heavens open up and we get soaked. It is raining cats and dogs!  I have PD1 holding a unbrella and trying to referee her from stabbing her sister in the eye with the umbrella spokes that is sitting behind her.   While trying to do that, I am not paying attention to where I am going and walk through puddles that could support a school of fish. 

We finally get to the gates, I am soaked, the hubs is soaked, but the kids are fairly comfortable and dry.  As we enter through the security portion of the entrance the Disney staff, must have taken pity on my “drowned rat cat” appearance and did not force the issue.

As we head in there are a million people there!  How could this be? It is pouring! Are there this many people as cheap and dumb as me to insisting on going to Disneyland in the rain?  Everyone is wearing those infamous ponchos that the customer service rep told me about.  I refused to not get one out of principal, which the only person it hurt was me, my rain jacket lost it luster of holding back the rain about an hour into the adventure.

While navigating through the park and you combine strollers, rain, people in ponchos and people texting, you are in the making of a huge disaster of pending foot, leg, hip, arm, back , neck and most of all butt injuries. The butt injuries are the most common because when someone is stupid enough to be pushing a stroller in the rain, while wearing a poncho that they can’t see in, and trying to text or twitter about how much fun they are NOT having at Disneyland, and they run over you, well lets just say the phone finds a new home.

Finally it is time for some rides!  We unload the kids and head to Dumbo!  The line is pleasantly short and we head into the loading section.  As I am stepping into the pink elephant, I am welcomed with an ice cold drench to the feet.  The friggin’ bottom of the ride if full of water!  Oh great! Just great!  Well, that explains why that ride had a short line.  Shortly after my feet get drenched, they rid the water from each bottom.

After Dumbo we take refuge in the Merrry-Go- Round until the rain lets up.   It is now dark and we head to Small World to only find that it is closed.  Drat! However, there is a long line and at Disneyland long lines usually means something fun and exciting.  I ask a random middle-aged guy standing in line with his family what the line was for, he said, “Candy!”  Candy?  I was puzzled.  I know that during this event Disneyland has stations set up for the kids to go and grab a handful of candy from, but this line was something deserving of meeting Mr. Wonka himself.I pressed the guy a bit further to the details of the “candy” and he said, “It is just candy!”  I could not help but laugh out loud and say, “Seriously, you are waiting in an hour long line, in the rain, for plain Hershey bars?”  He said, “Yes, it is all about the experience, plus they give you a lot of candy for the wait!”  I replied back in my soaken, sassy tone, ” Well, if it is a lot of candy you are looking for,  that is what Costco is for!” He was not amused. 

I kept looking back at the line and it just kept getting longer and longer.  The hubs kept saying that we may be missing something so I again asked a staff member and they verified it was just the candy line.  Those people were insane! They had small children, standing in the rain getting soaked for a few measly candy bars!  The hubs and I both agreed that we would rather have hemroid surgery than be that stupid. 

The evening was full of misfits and odd ordeals.  We managed to NOT stay dry, but we kept our humor and mockery of all the idiots we saw.  We must have rode the Merry-Go-Round and Dumbo a million times and we did manage to traumatized PD1 on two of the rides, which I will address in part two of this series. 

The moral of this story is don’t go to Disneyland ever while it is raining, even if you already have paid for your tickets in advance. You will only be surrounded by stupid, wet and insane people. The smart, dry and sane people stayed home and watched Toy Story and ate candy from Costco.

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On Sundays I like to read the local paper, let’s just call it the Boca Breeze or otherwise known as “Boca Commie Rag” for all of you Seinfeld Fans.  In doing that I usually get all spun around with the print that is jumping off the pages at me.  My heart rate starts pumping, my hair stands on end and the hubs has to hear my pie hole flap on overdrive about something that I  feel very strongly about. Most of the time the hubs and I agree on everything, which makes it nice for keeping the “domestics” down,there are things that just make my blood boil that he really does not care about and then it enrages me more that he does not see how important the issue is regardless of what side anyone is on.  This is when he tells me go write a book about it.  Well, this forum is not exactly a book forum, but it is a writing forum and now you all are subject to my flapping pie hole or should I rephrase, my typing with great passion and zeal!  Hence the birth of Soapbox Sundays!  

(I wish I didn’t have to put this disclaimer) I understand and respect that people stand on different sides of issues with great passion.   If you like or dislike my point of view, I welcome respectful and well educated points of view (do your research and that is not talking head media or forums like the View, Trya, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, GMC, TMZ, etc – meaning research even what they are saying).   Maybe someone can change my mind and maybe my soapbox can change someone’s point of view. I do feel the more I learn and know the more I realize I don’t know and I am open to hearing all points of views; I feel that makes me a very well rounded person.  That is not saying that some of my convictions I will cling to, but I will always be open hearing what each side has to say.

First Soapbox Sunday issue . . . HOME BIRTHS, A SELFISH CHOICE

“At the end of the day, hospitals are for sick people, and I’m not sick,” said Jacobowitz-Kelly. “I’m going through one of the most natural processes women can go through, so why do it anywhere other than the most natural setting — my home.”   This is an on going quote that I hear in regards to home births and promoting this choice.  Well, let’s talk about that.  Child birth has solid risks involved, you can bleed out, your blood pressure can rise or fall, your body may not be equipped to get out a baby, you can form an infection, and I assume there are more woman based complications that can arise while birthing that child you have put in the time to have.  Now for the baby complications, there can be all kinds of cord issues, the baby can ingest meconium,  there can be presentation issues where the baby can NOT be delivered vaginally because they are breech or trying to push through the pelvic bone, the baby may not be able to tolerate the contractions because they are smothering or essentially crushing them, they can have poor respiratory  issues and fluid in the lungs, and many more things that an go wrong at the eleventh hour where now mother, baby or both are now placed in “sick, needing medical intervention” status.  

I found a site that is put out by the American Pregnancy Organization that states that 875k woman experience pregnancy related complications, 467k  babies are born premature, 307k  babies are at low birth weight and 154k are born with birth defects.  I understand there are many in this group that are probably not considered “life threatening”, but all of these stats are situations needed some sort of medical assessment and treatment.   Those are big numbers and that speaks volumes to me.

 All the statistics in regards of  Hospital Births vs. Home Births are on a shaky note,  seems no one wants to commit or there is not enough data. There are stats that state that there is a  30% C-section rate in the US, and that is the reason for the rise in mortality of mothers, yet they are leaving out that there are older women having babies and more obese women having babies which bring in a whole other layer of complexity.  C-sections seem to becoming a scapegoat to the pro- home birthing communities. 

In most of my research it is all about the mother’s right to her birth plan that the home birthing communities is defending, not what is best for the baby.   This boggles my mind, being a woman that HAD to have a C-section with my first child because she was a complete breech and she was NOT going to turn around and my cord was exposed to collapsing in the birth canal, essentially cutting off the life supply to my child , if and when my water broke.  I also have a friend that would still be pushing her son out three years later, because of his presentation. In my small circle of friends and acquaintances all of the listed above complications has been a factor in someone’s delivery process.  If you, the reader, truly sit down and take stock in the birth stories you have had heard in you circle of influence you could probably check off a many of those as well. The bottome line is holding vigil on a woman’s right to her birth plan is not going to save lifes.

That is why when I hear the quote that hospitals are for sick people it is like nails on a chalkboard.  It is been proven to be medically safer to go to the hospital to have babies. That is why the majority does it.  There are not insurance and doctor agendas, OB’s pay the highest amount of malpractice insurance than any other practitioners.  Why is that?  It is because when things go wrong, they are bad and someone is either dead or seriously injured and when babies start dying or are permanently injured emotions go awry.  I understand that.  I also understand that because of the lawsuit happy land we live in doctors do practice medicine in “defensive” mode. Eighty percent of the tests given today are “CYA” motivated.  I know that with my two pregnancies I had tests and scans that did not really need to be done, but thankfully with both kids they found out I had serious issues during an “un-needed and additional” scan that saved my kids life and/or quality of life. 

I find that may of those that promote home births are the same people that will march in the “Right to Life” rallies and be the first to argue pro-choice with anyone, yet they are willing to compromise the safety and health of their child for a selfish conviction of not wanting “medical professionals to run their birth plans”.  I just don’t understand that thought process,  to me it is as if they are a walking contradiction.  I also find that if things went wrong at home, those women would give anything to reverse the outcome, meaning have that baby at the hospital.  They are not standing by their home birth convictions any longer and that should be a big red flag for women toying with the ideal of home birthing.

As you can tell I have a BIG opinion about this, I even have been published in my local newspaper regarding this issue.  When I hear that someone is trying to take away the legitimacy of what an OB is telling them to do for the best outcome for them and the baby based on known risks or if they are part of this home birth community, I think they are selfish and in many ways very ignorant to the realities of this harsh world; I feel they are choosing to play Russian roulette with life.   It is hard enough to carry a baby to full term without complications, why make it harder? 

I feel that child birth is a beautiful thing and if you are the lucky majority that gets to have normal, non-complicated births, more power to you. However, let the natural process of child birth be monitored by the professional and allow yourself and that child, that you work so hard to carry, have the best medical interventions ready and available if things start to go sideways.  Sacrificing and being selfless of your ideals and wants is what parenting is all about, it should to start from day one of that child’s life.

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Last weekend Camp Pie Hole kicked off the fall season!  I have to say this is the beginning of my favorite time of year.  I do wish I lived in a place that had four actual seasons, but I make the best of that and embrace what bit of a seasonal change we get.  Fall is the inspiration for Pie Hole’s Top Ten.

10.  We are in the midst of our Indian Summer! The days are warm, the Santa Ana’s are beginning to blow and the evenings are cool and crisp. 

9.    Harvest Festivals!

8.  All my shows are back from summer hiatus and each day my DVR welcomes me with many options of GOOD TV.

7.  Wine tasting at the vineyards!

6.  Even though it is HOT outside I embrace comfort food – pot roast, chili, apple muffins (from our tree), anything pumpkin, red wine and freshly baked bread!

5.  Costco, Lowe’s, Home Depot and most other retailers are beginning to seductively set up Christmas.  I call this Holiday foreplay!

4.  I have 90% of my Christmas shopping already done!

3.  The holiday catalogues are starting to bombard me!  LOVE IT!  Now I have to wrestle my two and half-year old over them!  I am rasing her well!

2.  Even though I hate football, it is nice to know it is there – it is the true sign that fall has arrived!

1.  The beginning of the crazy wild-eyed side of humanity who is gearing up for another season of running around acting like a “Jack”, ” Jenny” or “Hinny”, losing all perspective of selflessness and courtesy in the spirit of the holidays.  I am anticipating this time with a full “giddy” approach.  The material I am going to get will be priceless!

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Being a parent I learn something new every day.  Actually, the more I learn the more I realize I have so much more to learn.  A week ago we took our two girls to a Disney Live show held at our local civic center.  After the show we headed over for some frozen yogurt and my oldest was given a balloon.  She loved and cherished that balloon the minute it was tied on her hand.

She pranced around the playground proud and full of bounce as the wind tousled the balloon over her head. Once in a while  she would look up and gaze at it with so much love and admiration, even though she just met the balloon.  When we got into the car she was so concerned about it and made sure it was secure and safe for the ride home.  

This made me think of the first moment I fell in love with her and her sister.  Both were at different times, but very defining moments in my life.  With my first child, I fell in love with her the moment I found out she was a girl at my 18-week ultra sound.  She was named within a few days and each day the love grew which really washed away a lot of the fear and worry of all the complications I had with her.  With my second child,  that pregnancy was just one huge roller coaster ride of being high risk, having very similar but more serious complications than with my first, and caring for an infant on top of it all, I had a really hard time trying to embrace the thought of falling in love with her.

Finally, when my second was born,  I fell in love with her the minute they brought her to me while I was in recovery from my C-section.  All the anxiety and fear was now over and I now knew the sex and she had a name. She was healthy, strong and showing a strong sign that she wanted and needed me.  Even the nurses were amazed that she showed such a strong bond to me right away.  It was a moment that I will never forget, just like the moment in a room lit dimly by a utra sound machine.

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