Friday, April 27, 2012

A Very Bizarre Trip

I don't like taking the elevator. Even when I was 42 weeks pregnant with the Supergirl, I refused to be the fat girl on the elevator. I would take the stairs every time. Even though I am super afraid of stairs. Like extremely afraid.*

*I am afraid of stairs because I have spent a large amount of my life falling down them. I am not afraid of walking up them, just coming down. My fear of stairs is not so bad that I am unable to do it. My fear of escalators has escalated (sorry about that) to the point that I can no longer even walk in their direction. My palms sweat, my mouth goes wet and dry like I am about to vomit and I become paralyzed with fear. That is really bad, almost as bad as my fear of water

I had to take the elevator today though, and I guess for awhile now that I have a torn meniscus in my knee. A few minutes ago, I had to take some packages downstairs for the interoffice mail guy to pick up and so I got on the elevator. Our building is only two stories, so it still feels rather ridiculous that we even have an elevator, but that's life.

I get on the elevator, press 1 to begin my descent when the phone rings. I was certain that it was the security guard calling to tell me that I could have just dropped my envelopes from the balcony, but I answered anyway.

"Um, hello?" My face turns red, knowing that this has got to be a joke. Sounds of a call center fill my ears.

"Yes, ma'am. Can I please speak with Robert Williams?", a thick Indian accent says from what sounds like a thousand miles away.

"This is an elevator." I reply, still wondering if this could be a joke. The doors spring open to announce that I have made it to my destination.

"Yes, ma'am, but do you think I can speak with Mr. Williams?"

I look all around, in the corner, on the ceiling. "Uh, no."

"Can you confirm that this is the number for Mr. Williams?"

"It's probably not. It's the phone in the elevator."

"Do you have the current address or phone number for Mr. Williams?"

Now this guy is starting to get on my nerves. "This is the elevator. In a building. I think you have an incorrect number."

"Is this number 850-555-5555?"

"I don't know, it's the phone in an elevator."

"Okay, I will remove this number from our list. Have a good day."

I hung up the phone, closed the little door, and stepped out the elevator.

How do you feel about people that apparently lack common sense? Do you think he thought I was lying?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

If You Bring a Child To Work...

If you tell your child that you are bringing her to work, she will be very excited.

So excited that she will wake you up at 4:30 AM to get ready because she doesn't want to be late.

She will not want to take a shower, because that means that you will have to comb her hair.

When you comb her hair, you will be reminded of the many mornings that you get to do this whole routine in the quiet, without so many lights on, and about two hours later than you are doing it today.

When her hair is all done, the clothes are all perfect, she will decide that she needs a bowl of cereal.

You will want to take her shirt off because you know that she will spill cereal on her clothes. You will both win and lose this argument.

She will want to ride in the front seat, just like you, until you remind her that you could go to jail for letting that happen.

She will fall asleep during your commute, because she has been up for 3 and half hours now and is feeling a bit sleepy.

When you finally get to work, she will be cranky because she is just waking up. She will want you to carry her into the building. 

When you refuse, the first tantrum of the day will be held in the office parking lot as you are scrambling to get in the door. 

When you finally get into the office, the elderly security guard will (of course) offer her chocolate. At 7:48 in the morning. You will not be able to say no. The child will devour an entire chocolate Cadbury creme egg (the ones that are just filled with chocolate). 

When you get to the safety of your office, you will need to close the door as you become aware of every sound that comes from the child. Every sound. Even the ones that she announces by yelling, "I just laid a STINK BOMB!".

She will write "letters" (actual letters, 3 to 5 per page, randomly) for you and all of your coworkers. She will want to hand deliver them, you will have to accompany her on each of these trips. When asked what the letters say, she will shrug her shoulders, roll her eyes, and declare, "I don't know how to read yet."

She will want to eat the lunch you packed at 10:14, and the travel reimbursements that you have been working on all week will become smeared with peanut butter and jelly. There will be a discarded crust crumbling on your floor. You will have to deal with all of that later. 

She will proclaim your office the most awesomest, funnest place ever and marvel at how your job became this great. 5 minutes later she will be crying for her daddy, insisting that this is the most boring place in the whole world and that you are the worst parent she has ever had. Then she will remember that she has not yet ridden on the elevator. You will have to take her on the elevator. 

When she gets to the elevator doors, she will be behind you. When the door opens, you will be in mid-step and she will dive in front of you, causing you to have to re-correct your footing quickly. There will be a loud pop and a blinding blast of pain from your knee. You will need to schedule an appointment with Urgent Care. 

You will decide to hobble out to the car to attempt to take the child on a field trip. The child will decide that your best friend's work is far more interesting and will choose to stay there (with the chocolate muffins) instead of returning to your work. 

You try not to yell, "Sorry, SUCKA!" as you drive out of the parking lot beaming. 

When you talk to the child later in the day, she will want to know when she will be able to come back to your work. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I have this terrible disease that sometimes infects my entire thought process. It basically likes to point out all of the ways that I don't measure up, makes me feel worthless, and therefore powerless against all manners of chaos (like my life, my marriage, the raising of my child, following my faith, successfully cooking dinner without causing any permanent scarring, etc. etc.). I hear in some parts of the world that this disease is called being a woman.

I prefer to call it being a girl. Women are amazing and can do amazing things. Being a girl, well, being a girl just plain out sucks. And when you have been a woman, and you have made a difference in the world, and then you slip back into being a girl, well, it really, really sucks.

The last few weeks I see people posting on Facebook asking for prayers, asking for support through difficult times, and I see all of the "will do", "no problem", and "PRAYING!!!!" responses and the girl in me thinks they've got it taken care of, they are better Christians than me. God will listen to them. They know how to pray and how to ask for grace and divine leadership, I do not. 

I see the past few months of insecurity and instability in our lives, and I think, Here is the proof that I am not a leader, that I am not as good of a Christian as I thought I was, that I have been failing God. 

In my heart, I know that this is all just a bunch of lies that I am telling myself, but my brain aches with the images of the old me, the one that was never enough for anyone and even though I am not who I once was, during times of turmoil and stress, my brain goes back to those old mantras yet again.

Psalm 116:1-2 says, "I love the LORD because he hears and answers my prayers. Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I have breath!"

I never pray for things I want. In fact, I pray all the time thanking God for things, I never ask for His help, or for His assistance on things, even really big things. I ask stronger Christians (i.e. better, more knowledgeable, longer term Christians) to pray for me and my family instead, even though I know that we are not their priority, or even their burden.

Tonight, I am going to teach the girl a new way to pray. We are going to learn this together, that we are worth God hearing and listening too, that we are important to Him, that we are important enough to warrant His attention, His love, and His Grace. That we are not just the undeserving recipients of His blessings, but also deserving children that need all that He has to pour down on us.

I hope that you will pray for us too.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

When Nightmares Strike

The Scene: My bed

The Time: Way, way, way too early this morning

The Scenario: I was sleeping soundly in my bed. "Momma?", the little voice roused me enough to make me open one eye.

"Hmmmmm?" I replied, no yet quite verbal enough for whatever hour of the morning this might be.

"I had a nightmare, can I sleep with you?"

"Mmmmmmmm, come on."

She climbs up and over my body, knee to the bladder (every time, every single time) and settles under the covers next to me.

"Momma, can I tell you about my nightmare?"

"Mmmmm. Yeah. Okay."

"I was swimming....blah, blah, blah, blah...."

I have fallen back asleep, so nice to be back asleep, I am so happy to be asleep right now under these warm covers snuggled up to my Supergirl... sleep, sleep, sleep...



"Don't you want to hear about my nightmare?"


"Then maybe you should stop snoring and listen."

Oh, snap. Okay, really need to try to focus here. Get it together, Momma. Listen. Focus. This pillow is so soft, it is really so warm under this comforter. I like sleep. 

"I was swimming and..."

"Momma. Momma? Mom? MOOOOOMMMMMYYYY!"

Ignore, ignore, ignore. She'll fall back asleep. Really. Just ignore. 

Two warm hands are placed on either side of my face, a small child is sitting on my chest.

"NO SNORING! I need to tell you about my nightmare."


We get back into position, she begins her story. "I was swimming with some dolphins..."

No sound. Nothing. I open my eyes to look at her sleeping face. Sound asleep.

I turn off the alarm. I go to the bathroom.

I guess I am up for the day.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ah, Springtime

Before we left out on vacation, the Hubs and I took Supergirl down to the Springtime parade downtown. This is a family tradition and the only year that we have ever missed since getting married was the one where they were predicting tornadoes (and although I usually love blustery weather, I tend to enjoy it more when not surrounded by tall buildings, glass, and staging equipment that could crush you)

As I usually do, I made her a special something to wear to the parade - this year it was the skirt that I debuted on Monday. That skirt looks fabulous in pictures, and I most likely will make more, but it takes a lot of time and patience to get it right, so it may be a while before I get the tutorial together to share with you. (Just a hint, each square is a separate piece of fabric, cut and sewn to the next. Each square measures 4 inches before sewing and 3 inches after. I woke up at 4 AM the morning of the parade to do the assembly.)

The great thing about this year's parade is that up until about 10 minutes before the parade, it was raining. That kept most of the crowds away and made for a very enjoyable parade experience. It was, quite honestly, one of the best parades I have ever been to.

Perks of this year's parade:
* There was no chance that I was gonna lose my kid.
* We were able to find our friends too!

* There was a stage with karaoke (WHAT?)
* Supergirl and I were able to get up and sing!

* Discovering that my love of Ice, Ice Baby had somehow transferred in utero to the Supergirl.
Case in point.
And due to our little impromptu karaoke performance we have been invited to participate in a city-wide talent show this Friday night at 6 PM. How stinking exciting is that?

It looks to be an okay week down here, let's hope the upswing continues.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mine, Mine, Mine

The gas station across the street from work always has at least one homeless guy standing directly in front of the entrance. In the morning, it is always an older white man, missing a few teeth, always in the same clothes. In the afternoon, there can be more than one and they seem to rotate depending on what time of the afternoon (it gets hot around here, you know).

Everyday (without fail) they will only come to me when looking for money. The parking lot will be filled with cars and people, but I will be the only person that they approach. EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. I have checked my forehead for the tattoo that says "Ask Me For Cash", I have checked to make sure that I am not carrying a sign that says that I will give, I have looked for markings that may suggest that I am the person that has what they are after.


When I could, I would give them money. And when I didn't have any to spare, just the 75 cents that I scrounged up to buy myself a little jolt of caffeine from the soda fountain, I would ignore them, not make eye contact, or shake my head. I would return back to my little office, angry, self-righteous, defensive. Who are they that I should support them? Why should I feel guilty that I am not buying their cigarettes, alcohol, food? How dare they make me feel like this?

Only, they aren't the ones causing me to feel like this.

It's me.

You see, I call myself a Christ follower. I say I have faith, and I have God, and I have the Spirit, but when given little tests like these? I fail, I fail every single time. I could say, "I just don't have it", but that wouldn't be true - I have that 75 cents in my hand that I could give them - I just don't have the faith to know that more than that will be rewarded to me if only I would give up that little want.

You see I can give Christ, the Spirit, and God all of the lip service that I want, but if I am not following what I am told to do and not sacrificing the smallest of my wants for my fellow man, I am not really following him, I am not loving my neighbor, and I am causing pain and frustration to myself.

I try to teach my daughter about sharing her things with others, about being fair and playing nice - is she seeing something different from my actions? I think perhaps she has.

Jesus told His followers:

"Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

“Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

“Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’

“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

“And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”
~Matthew 25:34-46 (NLT)

Pray for me on this friends, I will pray for you as well. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Hiatus, A Skirt, and Life

Hello everyone!

I know that I have not done a very good job of keeping everyone in the loop in a long, long time (other than book reviews and there are more of those coming very soon).

I apologize for the hiatus, there have been a lot of people under the opinion that I should have clammed up a bit regarding the unfortunate circumstances involving myself and the Hubs.

So I started doubting myself. And questioning the things that I was posting.

And, then, things started heating up in the office and I had too much work to do to remember to blog each day.

And too much depression and fear and worry and anger to even think about blogging once I got home.

And then it was the middle of April and I had not even told you about going on vacation.

Or the awesome skirt that I made for Supergirl to wear to the parade.

Or how great it is to sing Karaoke with the Supergirl.

And then I got to thinking, "Really? You allowed people that only know a fraction of your life to cause you to doubt the hurt, the anger, the betrayal that you feel because it offended them? Are you not allowed to feel offended? Are you not allowed to feel things and process things the only way that you know how? Are you sincerely so ill-prepared for criticism that you would shut down at the mere mention that you are in the wrong?"

So here's the thing. The Hubs is home. We are working on things. It is a daily process. There are days when it is pretty damn ugly, there are other days when it's all okay, when it is easy to forget and just have fun. More often it is days of heavy silences, bracketed by the frantic pace of two adults parenting a 4 year old.

I don't doubt that we can get through this.

Eventually. Probably.

There are just a lot of other stressors right now, preventing us from being able to completely devote ourselves to the salvation of our marriage. One of those would be lack of income, the other would be the aforementioned 4 year old. (We can't really discuss "us" with her bouncing off of the walls, and if we wait until after she is asleep, I am oftentimes too tired or angry to attempt a conversation that late. So words keep being left unspoken, phrases continue to hang in the air, like leftover streamers from a birthday party.)

So that's where I am, in case you have been wondering.

I do promise that I will be back again very soon with more information about the skirt (perhaps a tutorial?) and our adventures in road tripping (even some rules to an all-new road trip game!). Thanks for sticking it out thus far!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lost and Found - A Book Review

Whether you grow up in a house full of extravagance and wealth or you live in dire poverty, money is the one thing that everyone is ashamed of. You are ashamed if you have too much, so you try to give it away to charity. You are ashamed if you live paycheck to paycheck and carry too much debt, so you try to cover up the evidence.

Money (or the lack thereof) is the only dirty little secret left in America.

Sure, we can talk about your erectile dysfunction, or your hemorrhoids, even your lack of bladder control, but how willing would you (or anyone you know, for that matter) be to divulge your load of personal debt or the amount of money that you have stashed away in that savings account?

Geneen Roth struggled for years with her personal demons as she battled (and won) against eating disorders. She wrote books, went on Oprah, and invested her earnings with someone she thought was as good at finances as she was at writing.

That someone was Bernie Madoff and like all of his other victims, she and her husband were shammed out of over one million dollars. Lost and Found, her latest novel, follows her journey as she uncovers her feelings around money and exposes the shame that Americans have long placed on finances.

Overnight she had to go from the type of woman who could easily throw $400 dollars at a pair of ugly glasses that she may never wear or make $100 satellite phone calls to her husband in Antarctica to being part of the masses that worry over mortgage payments and where the money would come from to pay for that phone call.

It was during this time that Roth learned that she dealt with her feelings about money much the same way that she had always dealt with food. The amount of guilt that she has always had for having so much and the feeling that she never quite had enough caused her to never really deal with money at all, preferring instead to sign all of her checks over to anyone willing to deal with the messiness rather than having her hands dirtied by having to learn about it.

It took awhile for me to get into this book, so while it was a quick and interesting read, I ha a hard time really identifying with someone that had thrown a million dollars out the window. Once I finally got my self to sit down and actually read what she was saying, I have to agree that confronting our feelings around money and actually voicing those distorted views to others may be the way to overcome the shame (and eventually the ignorance) that Americans have built around our personal finances.

I’ll be discussing this book with the BlogHer Book Club over the next four weeks. Come join me.

This is a paid review for the BlogHer Book Club, the opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Super Blake & The Cavity Monster - Children's Book Review

Supergirl has several commands for any book that we read.

  1. Must have full color pages with lots of detail.
  2. Must rhyme - we are very into rhyming this days.
  3. Must have characters named after people that she knows (I often have to change the names of characters.)
  4. Must have superheroes or magic or princesses or monsters.
Tracy Bickhaus has done that and more with her premiere book, Super Blake and the Cavity Monster. 

Supergirl LOVED this book. She loved the lyrical rhyming on each page, the fabulous illustrations, and the fact that Super Blake encourages her to do one of her favorite activities - brush her teeth.

I loved that it doesn't talk down to her, these are no simple rhymes - how many words can you come up with to rhyme with breakfast, plaque, and decay? It's so hard these days to find a book that doesn't talk down to her and teaches a good lesson. (Have you read any of the Disney princess books lately? They are all about hair and dresses - no real content at all.)

I have teamed up with Super Blake Books to offer my readers two giveaways. 

First, like my Facebook page and comment below to win a copy of Super Blake and the Cavity Monster. You can earn an extra entry by liking Super Blake Books on Facebook and telling me that you did it below. I will draw the winner on April 30th. 

Secondly, you have the opportunity to win a Kindle Fire by entering with the Rafflecopter below. The winner will be chosen for the Kindle Fire on May 31st.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My readers can also buy the book for 10% off and FREE shipping by going to the Super Blake Facebook page. 

Good luck everyone!
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