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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Raiding Of My Dented Stratus

My little safety bubble I pretend to live in has been poked at a bit this evening. The buzz around the neighborhood was that there were some car break-ins over the weekend. I made some comment along the lines of, "Yikes" and proceeded with my day wondering about how awful it would be to find your stuff stolen or gone through. 

It wasn't until some time later that I had a light bulb moment. Shut up. It takes a great deal of time to actually have a cliche light bulb moment. I'm fantastic at it. 

I recalled the hubs grumbling on Sunday about the kids going through our car that we have parked due to mechanical reasons. Fuel pump, flat tire, better things to do on a Saturday reasons. I didn't think much of it then, other than when/why would the kids pilfer through the car that time forgot. 

But, NOW...holy crap *DING* that was probably SOMEONE ELSE that rummaged through the car. Granted, they were most likely sorely disappointed with our lack of valuable items, and we can only hope their hands were gooped by a forgotten fruit snack melded with crayola slime...but still! 

We went back out to check the vehicle to see if anything stood out missing, and it just basically looked ransacked. Glove box items strewn on the front seat and center console was open. They left my collection of random mixed cassette tapes alone. Shocker. The old broken 6 disk changer was left too. I'm assuming this is where they gave up any hope of finding anything of value. These people live in 1992. They probably wear Zubaz. Let's get out of here. My hand is full of bank sucker sticky. 

I can guarantee this incident will increase these thoughts: "Did I lock the door? I think I did. I recall doing something with my keys. Maybe that was yesterday. What if someone breaks in and eats my dinner out of the crock pot? I better go back and check."    

Actually, that is less paranoid thinking than my husband. He has mentioned something already about closed circuit cameras. However, I also think that he has just been waiting for an excuse to get started on preparing for a zombie invasion. 

Don't ask. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Change Will Do You Good

I am a creative thinker. My state of mind from time to time will be flooded with ideas of grandeur. Out of nowhere they will take over my thoughts and for a brief moment in time I am driven by motivation, inspiration, and the belief that I will see an end result.

However, tucked away in that creative mind is the rationalizing, procrastinating, doubtful jerk of a second personality that always rears its ugly head. 

Sometimes, taking charge of your life and doing something completely different is comparable to playing hopscotch next to a bottomless pit. Weird analogy, right? Bear with me. 

Change is normal and can be inviting. But it can also seem scary. The process can be uncomfortable if you stumble and that end result you once dreamed up can start to look like a pipe dream. Fear and negativity creep in and you feel like your progress is stunted. When I get to that point I feel like I'm free falling through unfamiliar territory.  

This dance is wearing on me. I'm speaking in rather general terms on purpose because this definitely applies to some of the major decisions in my life...but it also tends to be true with some of the more trivial items in my life.

 Case in point:

 8:00am: "I am going to strive to lead a healthy lifestyle."

Which is not necessarily trivial, BUT let's face it, my main motivation is getting back into some of the pants in my closet and not wearing a sweater over my arms that I curse at in the mirror. That's trivial.

12:00 pm: Carrots for lunch. Pat on the back. You must have reversed at least a year of terrible eating habits with those 6 carrots you just ate.

5:30 pm: Crap. I didn't take anything out for dinner. We just got done school clothes shopping. I'm beat and I don't want to cook. McDonald's is okay right? I'll just have a salad. 

6:00 pm: At McDonald's. I read somewhere that the salad has more calories than the burger. I might as well have a burger.  Burger is delicious. See someone eating an apple across the street.

I suck.

In this fast paced world, my second personality seems to take over while I'm stuck in the uncomfortable passage between creative thinking and actual creativity. "This is different. I'm scared. I will fail. I can do this later. I don't have instant results. This will never work. This is hard." Blah blah blah.

Reality is...it's all on me. No one else. Maybe that's the scariest part. If I want to see ideas set in motion I need to work through it until the end. I've always hated taking risks, because I'm a safe kind of gal, but sometimes the end result is worth the risk.

New things to come. Here comes my creative thinking again...here's to not chickening out. 

"If there is no struggle, there is no progress."

Frederick Douglass

Sunday, August 12, 2012

What's In A Name?

When I first started writing this blog I had every intention of remaining somewhat anonymous. I had never really shared much of my writing and I had no idea what exactly people would think of my sarcastic view of life. Let's face it. I am sharing much more here than tips on couponing, fashion, or amazing recipes with more than three ingredients.

 I sometimes WISH I was that person. But, if you have been reading this blog lately, or if you know me personally, you will know that is not the case. I don't venture too far out of my comfort zone cooking wise, I think it's okay to wear a shirt that is stained if it is a stain smaller than a dime, and couponing overwhelms me. 

When I am writing, it is about MY life. All the crazy quirks that make me who I am and my family who they are. So, I guess initially, I was a little hesitant about revealing myself as an author. Maybe people who know me don't really care to hear about me trying to squeeze into skinny jeans or as one male reader pointed out, anything even resembling the word tampon. Hee hee. I just linked a blog post to the word "tampon". Oops. Sorry dudes. 

After the first couple blog posts, I started to tip toe out of my comfort zone. I shared my blog with a few close people on Facebook, and seeing as though social services didn't show up at my door or TLC's "What Not To Wear" hasn't surprised me at work, I felt okay with sharing more posts with more people.

Which, actually I wouldn't be opposed to the TLC thing. I would just politely ask them to edit the bright red face that I would have when they surprised me, and give me an hour to clean my closet before the world sees my sad attempt to keep size 3 jeans in the closet...

The day I realized my anonymity was really null and void was the day my mother-in-law made a comment referencing my blog. First I was embarrassed. Aww crap. I swear in my blog. Because 28 yr old mothers never swear. Then, I was flattered, because she had some positive things to say. And she's a teacher, so that's pretty much like getting an "A", right? I freaking loved getting my English papers graded. I'm twisted like that. 

Then, I went to my high school reunion and I received several comments regarding my blog. The whole time I was in shock that people ACTUALLY read this thing, and felt compelled to talk to me about it. No pressure. Granted we live in Minnesota and we are all over the top nice, so maybe they think my blog is a piece of crap and they are all just true passive aggressive Minnesotans, but I am truly grateful that there are a handful of people that can read what I write and say, "Hey! I can identify with that!"

So, I guess I am coming out of the blogging closet entirely. My childhood nickname that I originally penned my crazy posts under, is now changed to my actual name. And middle. Because if I am going to do something I am doing it 110%

Just kidding. I only put my middle name up so that "Marie Bee" made sense. 

Thanks for reading y'all.

Yep. I'm going to end this with a fake southern accent. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Cleaning Out A Closet

I spent around 4 hours today cleaning out my childrens' closet and dresser. Sigh. This is a task that I have been putting off for a long time.

I begin with Sassy Girl's clothes. I am off to a good start and have a good give away pile going. Then my daughter, the hoarder pokes her head in.

"What are you doing with all of those clothes in that pile?"

"Well, they don't fit you very well anymore and I thought we could give them to your friend Kelsi."

"What do you mean they don't fit me?? I think I could fit into that shirt."

"Umm, honey that it a size 5 and you are 7 years old...."

"It could be a belly shirt."

What I want to say: "HELL NO. You will never wear a belly shirt as long as I am alive. At least until you are 30. And even then if you wear a belly shirt that is just sad."

What I do say: "Honey, if we keep everything, then we won't be able to go school shopping, because we won't have any room for new clothes."

Sassy Girl reluctantly agrees.

I plunder through the rest of the closet slowly but surely. I get through all of the clothes and I find some sort of canister hidden behind the long sleeve shirts.

Hmmm. This appears to be an attempt to hide a living creature in the closet, judging from the holes poked in the top. I decide to open the canister....

Suspicion confirmed. Yes, at one point there was a living creature trapped in this closet. The disturbing piece of evidence? It is no longer there. Which means it is loose in my house. Sweet.

I moved on and finished Sassy Girl's clothes. Two big bags worth. She dramatically told me that she "didn't have ANY clothes left!" I assure you that she did.

Time to move on to Little Dude's clothes. I have been putting off these for awhile. He is my baby. But being four, going on five years old, he is definitely no longer a baby.

I slowly took out his shirts to go through. One shirt in particular struck me.

This shirt made me lose it. I am sure many parents have gone through this before. I know I did with Sassy Girl's smaller clothes. This shirt flooded back memories of his very first day of preschool. When he was so tiny, and got on a bus all the way to his big boy school. He wore this shirt alot during those years. He loved it. And now, he is in his very last year of preschool and too big for this shirt. Tears. Ridiculous tears. My kids were downstairs playing while I was sobbing in their room holding some of these too small items. My babies are getting so big!

Then, just as I was starting to calm down, I came across this shirt.

This was actually a shirt that was purchased for Sassy Girl and handed down to Little Dude. When Little Dude was about 5 months old and Sassy Girl was just turning 3, the hubs and I went to Las Vegas for a trip through my work. I remember all I did was sleep. Little Dude was a night owl and NEVER SLEPT EVER. EVER! Ugh. I think I was a zombie for the first two years of his life. We bought Sassy Girl this T-shirt and Little Dude a little onesie with a similar cheesy saying on it. It was a great trip, but I missed my kids like CRAZY. This shirt brings back all of these memories. As I put it in the give away box, I tear up again. Sigh...I was a mess.

Eventually I pulled myself together and got through the rest of Little Dude's clothes. This is what was pulled out of the room all together.

Holy crap. Maybe I shouldn't put this off so long next time, eh?

And the end result, besides some seriously sappy mom reflective moments....

Much better.

 I am appreciating my children for who they are much more. Sometimes it takes putting those tiny clothes in a give away box to realize how fast they grow and how much we should treasure every day moments as they occur. Because eventually we will be watching them drive away from the nest as independent adults and wonder where oh where did the time go? I am thankful now that there are still a few items of clothing with princess crowns and dump trucks on them...but I am not naive. One day those items will no longer be in the closet. One day their room will be a spare room. That will be a whole other chapter of our lives. 

For now, I want to be totally engaged in conversations about those princess crowns, and dump trucks, and even the bugless bug container I found in their closet.  

Seriously though...what did you have in there? If it was a huge spider that is now loose in the house I will flip out. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

6 Dollar Hot Dogs and a Panic Attack on the Side

Last Saturday the family unit and I ventured out to the big city again for a Twins game. It took us an eternity to actually get packed and into the car to begin our two hour journey. We were staying at a friend's house for one night and we look like we are going on a week long vacation. One dog, two kids, and two adults use alot of crap in one night. Not to mention whenever I leave home I obsess over every scenario that may happen while we are away from home. What if for some reason my sandal breaks and then I am left without a shoe? I better pack a spare.

Because shoes spontaneously combust on occasion, I guess. 

We were finally all loaded up and in the car...and we can't find the keys. The hubs LITERALLY just had them. He drove the car to the store a half an hour earlier. So they were SOMEWHERE IN MY HOUSE. But, when you are in a hurry and can't find something, you panic. You start looking in repetitive locations. You give up and start looking for the spare set. Twenty minutes later my house looks like it has been ransacked by robbers. Robbers with a thing for junk drawers. 

My anger is boiling. I realize accidents happen, and I should NEVER be the one to point a finger at anyone for losing anything. But I was hot and impatient and the poor hubs was the object of my frustration at this point in time. Finally, I just give up on the keys. I don't say a word and start moving EVERYTHING we had packed in his car outside and into mine. Muttering things about lower gas mileage like a jerk.

We pack into my car and I settle my butt down as we are finally on the road and not as incredibly behind schedule as I thought.

Once we arrive at our destination we have just enough time to unpack the car, let the dog stretch his legs, and head out with our friends to the bus station. We are planning to bus to the game to eliminate some the hassle. My kids are STOKED. We don't get out much. Public transportation ranks right up there with carnival rides. Sometimes being a bit sheltered has it's perks.

Once we get to the game, we are running slightly behind schedule, which for a control freak like me, doesn't sit well. Operation FIND OUR SEATS is under way. Well...eventually we found them. Oh boy did we find them. We kept climbing stairs up, up, fricken WAY UP and there were our seats. The top row of center field in the top seats of the stadium. Holy shit. My knees are jello at this point. I am sweating. I am gripping the side of my seat hanging on for dear life. These seats are packed in STEEP. All I can picture is a trip and a fall to my death below. I had no clue the intensity of my height phobia until this very moment. I turn to the hubs and say, "I can't do this." He says, "Oh, you'll be fine. Relax." Cue voice getting slightly higher pitched, with a splash of insanity. "You DON'T understand. I CAN'T do this." My eyes are freaking tearing up at this point. My vision is getting blurry and I can only focus on things close to me. If I look into the outfield at what appears to be my perfectly manicured grave, I will lose it. I tell the kids we are going to get hot dogs. The hubs says that we can go and he will wait for us. I tell him I am frozen. I can't do it. I am slightly hysterical. He rolls his eyes and leads his pack down the steep stairs to freedom. I take it one step at a time only looking at the stairs in front of me. I have a death grip on the railing. When we get down onto lower ground I breathe a sigh of relief. There is no way in hell you are getting me back up there. I told the hubs I would be happy as a clam to just walk around with the kiddos checking out the game on random patios.

Once I collect myself and spend a fortune on two hot dogs and three sodas, I meander over to the spot where my hubs has a pretty good view of the game. There are folding chairs lined up on the edge with awesome views of the game. There are two chairs empty, and my hubs had been talking to the Twins game attendant standing in that location. No doubt laughing at my expense. Not that I care. I still can't believe my reaction. He actually agreed to let us sit there. This is awesome. I stood with the hubs and the kiddos each took a chair. We ended up being right next to where the mascot comes up and does photos with people, which of course I took full advantage of. We had a great spot! A couple of balls came flying right below us. I leaned against the railing, thanking God for being in a much "safer" location, and enjoyed a really great game. We beat the pants off of Cleveland. Sweet. It's always nice when your team wins and you don't die from a falling accident. I'm clumsy. I know what my limits are. Never again. 

We leave the game in pretty good spirits with two tired children and a funny story at my expense.

Guess what we found when we got home the next day?

The damn keys.

They were in the car.


*forehead slap*