Thursday, April 30, 2009

Possibly even more blasphemous!

We'll see who you feel is more blasphemous? Me or Florida?

According to this article my very own state is proposing a new license plate.

And it's quite a beauty.

Wait for it....

How I wish I could format this post somehow so you'd REALLY have to wait for it... cause it's just that good.



Ah yes, I had to add my own little Photoshop touches to that. Because seriously, WTF?

I'm sort of torn on this whole proposition. There's one part of me that says "Hey, if radical Christians want to throw more money into our state by buying these novelty plates while at the same time showing me exactly who to steer clear of on the road, then I'm all for it!"

But wait... the plates don't benefit our state... they benefit Christian based teaching programs. Oh joy!

So then there is another large part of me that wants to jump up on a table and protest this. Hello? Separation of church and state, anyone? I'm a huge cheerleader for it and this just seems not right! What's next? Are we going to change our state motto from The Sunshine State to The Christian State? I mean, if this isn't a state endorsement of Christianity, then what is?

Where's my Buddhist plate? In fact, there's a huge (GIANT) population of Jewish residents in our state... where's the Star of David plate?

Our governor states "I would not veto those" and "If they don't want one, they don't have to buy one."

Thanks Governor Crist... thanks for making it clear where you stand on the issue. I'm sure glad I voted for you.

I think a great point was made by Howard Troxler of the St. Petersburg Times:

My first thought upon hearing this news, as an erstwhile Methodist and reader of the Gospels, was not about the legal separation of church and state in our secular democracy — though this surely violates it — nor whether Muslims, Jews, Buddhists or atheists should now get their own plate — though surely they are entitled, since they pay exactly the same taxes to the state — nor even whether the Legislature should stick to the pressing worldly matters of the day, such as opening up Florida to oil drilling, handing out new tax breaks and protecting old ones in a budget crisis, and otherwise running the state entirely into the ground, a secular task at which it appears to be doing a bang-up job.

Instead, my first thoughts were more about the stories of Christ in the Bible, angrily throwing the money changers out of the temple, and instructing his followers to pray privately in their closets rather than displaying prideful piety on the public streets like the "hypocrites" (which is exactly what he said. Look it up.).

Most of all, I thought about the story in Matthew when his enemies tried to trick Jesus, tried to get him to come out against paying taxes so that he could be arrested. Jesus threw it back in their faces by saying, show me a coin — whose face is on it? And they had to reply, it is Caesar's face.

"Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's," he said, "and unto God the things that are God's."

Since everybody these days claims to know What Jesus Would Do, let me ask a question. Do you think he would want to be mass-produced by Caesar's state, sold for money and displayed on the public streets to gratify an act of pandering political piety?

Thanks Mr. Troxler. I couldn't have made that point any better.

So, I'll try to stay away from the anti-Christianity for a while here at Domestic Spaz. Unless, of course, something else truly ridiculous comes up.

100 Day Challenge - Day 3

No video blog today. I'll just write.

Yesterday was hard. Really hard. So hard I was going to quit. I felt like I was dying, I wanted to eat something... anything... it was HORRIBLE.

At around 11:00 AM yesterday I hit a wall and it was downhill from there. I was almost instantly freezing cold and lethargic. I crawled under the blankets and shivered myself to sleep, waking up in time to get the kids from the bus stops. I was horribly irritable, tired, and hungry... it was not a good thing at all. It wasn't at all conducive to the positive thinking that is necessary for my 100 day challenge!

Today I feel much better. I'm starting to have a little energy and things are more positive. I'm going to get things done today if it kills me!

I lost another 2 1/2 pounds yesterday. Rock on.

Today I'll be working on getting some of the mess in my life cleared out. Saturday morning is trash day and I hope to have a whole curb full out there.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

100 Day Challenge - Day 2

If this stuff bores you to death, I won't be offended if you just scroll by. ;)

If you have no idea what the heck I'm doing here, see this post!

Warning! Blasphemy ahead!

This weekend it was our niece and nephew's First Communion. Saturday morning we got up way earlier than we would have liked and made our way to mass.

I was born into a Catholic family. However, at some point before I was old enough to remember, my dad decided we were going to be less Catholic. So other than special occasions, perhaps a midnight mass, and weekends when I spent the night at Grandma's house I never really went to mass.

It had been several years since I had been to mass so when the congregation began singing "Taste and See" I was sort of taken back.

I don't remember "Taste and See" from mass before... maybe "Taste and See" is only for First Communion celebrations? All I know is that it was quite a chore to keep from giggling as I pictured a church choir singing the new jingle for Tasty Jesus Snacks.


Funnier still was when one of the little boys who probably needed a few more classes didn't put the wafer in his mouth. The priest had a sort of panicked look in his eye as one of the attendants ran off after the little guy. If there's one rule I definitely remember from Catholicism, it's that you can't leave the church with Jesus.

All kidding aside, it was really a beautiful service and I did get a little teary eyed when my little niece and nephew received their first Eucharist.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

OMG - a VIDEO blog? I must have lost my mind!

Let me tell you this... my heart is all a flutter as I upload this video. I'm officially starting the 100 Day Challenge and I'm sort of freaking the heck out that I'm announcing it to the world. And practically everyone I know.

But here I go... I can't take it back now.

(It's okay, Mom... you can push the play video... it's not a virus.)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Change that has nothing to do with politics

I think I might be starting a cleanse today. I think. I haven't been to bed yet so today hasn't started yet and I'm not sure how I feel when I wake up.

But I think I might be starting one.

I really feel like things need to change. Hopefully this will be a good start to a lot of good change.

That is, of course, unless all this optimistic motivation is completely gone when I wake up.

If not, then I'll be off to Whole Foods in the morning for some Grade B Maple Syrup.

Rock on.


I'm not going to start today... I'll start tomorrow. But today I'll still be off to Whole Foods for some Grade B Maple Syrup.

This morning I woke up too late to get the kids to school on time. So I let them stay home and I went back to bed.

Parenting FAIL.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I wish I had all the answers...

I didn't experience bullies until I was in sixth grade. My little elementary school was pretty tight knit and though there were more and less popular kids, no one was really bullied. Middle school, however, was a whole different story.

I remember the first time I had to deal with another kid being really mean to me. It was on the bus. We were crammed into that bus like sardines, 3 kids to a seat. Worse than that, the bus driver assigned our seats in some lame attempt to keep the noise level down on the bus. I was sandwiched between two girls who were in the 8th grade. In front of us sat the most popular boy in the entirety of Jefferson Davis Middle School. His name was Brian.

Brian had a reputation with the girls of the school. He was cute, he was a class clown, he wore all the right clothes, and always had a popular girlfriend. In my head, though, he was evil incarnate.

I was a chubby little sixth grader and I had no clue how to dress myself or style my hair like all the other girls did. Sitting there, in the middle of those two 8th grade girls, I remember feeling small. Even as porky as I was, I was still a lot smaller than they were. Brian turned around and hung over the back of the seat to taunt me.

He told me how ugly I was. He told me how fat I was. He told me I didn't deserve to be in the presence of those beautiful 8th grade girls.

And all I did was sit and stare back at him and try not to cry until I got off the bus.

I was lucky, though. I simply refused to ride the bus (if my mom wouldn't pick me up and I couldn't get a ride I'd just walk the 4 miles home) and tried not to make any waves for the rest of my 6th grade year. By 7th grade I slimmed down, learned how to do that nifty flip thing with my bangs, and bought some Guess Jeans. All was just fine at that point.

What scares me is that a lot of kids aren't quite so lucky. For me it was a matter of looking the part to fit in, but unfortunately that's not going to cut it for every kid. I can be sure my three are dressed in the latest styles and have the cool haircuts but I can't protect them from the bullies.

Just yesterday Munchkin told me how another little girl called her a "Crybaby" and a "Thumbsucker" and pushed her out of the seat on the bus. Bug came home a few weeks ago and told me how a little boy picked on him during bathroom time and how he doesn't know what to do about it.

So what do I tell my kids? Do I tell them to tattle? Do I contact the teacher or the bus driver? The parents? What if it gets worse? What do I do if I think my child might be thinking life isn't worth living because he or she has to deal with this?

Articles like that one strike a fear inside of me I can't even explain. My heart is crying for this poor child's mother. Selfishly, though, I can't help but see an article like this and look at it as a warning sign. I can't imagine what I might have done if I had been forced to endure those fat jokes all throughout middle school. I suppose it might have damaged my self-worth so much and made my life so miserable that I might not have seen any other way out.

I was lucky... and I hope my own kids are, too. Unfortunately, I think I need a lot more than hope to help them make it through unscarred.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day at The Spaz house

If you were buried under a rock somewhere and don't know, yesterday was Earth Day. I've never been too much of an Earth Day participant, really, but this year it occurred to me that it's pretty important to teach my kids to love their planet.

So yesterday we made some baby steps in the right direction.

First of all, I ordered new recycling bins from the Solid Waste Authority since we currently don't have any. A couple of years ago I watched a Penn & Teller show on recycling and it thoroughly convinced me that recycling was bunk. (Warning, that link is NSFW due to language!) However, my more wise and open-minded self has decided that, though some of the points in that video are probably valid, it's important to look at it as entertainment propaganda. Therefore I'm deciding that this family is going to recycle due to overwhelming evidence that it is helping our environment. Just as soon as those bins get here.

Later, I picked Goober up from school and we had a talk about his lunchbox. I've attempted to make lunchboxes eco-friendly before but I always break down a couple of weeks in and start packing Capri-Suns and sandwiches in ziploc bags. So I thought maybe if I could get Goober excited about the prospect of having cute little containers in his lunchbox rather than disposable packaging, it might keep me doing the right thing. So we purchased some cute little containers for sandwiches, juice, and snacks and Goober is super excited to get his lunchbox.


I swear I'm not being paid for this post.

Another issue we have as a family that is just terrible for the environment is water. We live in the boonies and are on a well and the water tastes terrible. So we buy jugs of water. Tons of them every month. So, in honor of Earth Day, today I purchased a Brita Water Pitcher and two 1 gallon pitchers to hold lemonade and iced tea (staples in our house).


Then, at checkout I noticed these great reusable grocery bags. They fold up and snap into a little square so I can throw them all in my glove compartment and bring them with me every time I shop. Not only that, but they hold about three times as much as a normal plastic grocery bag and they're way easier to load and unload in the car. So I bought six of them at $1.50 a piece, which is way cheaper than the Baggu bags I've been considering for almost 6 months.


They're not at all girly, Dad!

It's not like we've eliminated our carbon footprint or anything, but I'm proud of the steps our family took today.

On The Road With The Spaz

So I'm driving the other day to pick Goober up from school and it's pouring. In fact, if I could have waited any longer to pick him up I would have because no sensible person should have been voluntarily driving in these particular conditions. But I'm dangerously close to the last minute on picking him up so I venture out. I am soaked, I get the little monster in the car, he's soaked, and we're on our way home when I look in my rear view mirror and see this:


(Okay, it was just very similar to this... I wasn't going to pull out my camera in the monsoon or anything...)

This kind of thing makes me insane. I'm driving in a downpour on a 2 lane road in my minivan and a semi truck is riding my ass? This is why I want The Man to install a scrolling marquee in my rear windshield so I can broadcast "Back Off, Moron! I've got little kids in here!"

People are stopping in front of me all over the place to make left turns and I'm freaked out about stopping because I just know Mr. Tractor Trailer can't stop for crap in the rain so my only defense is to be so far back behind the guy in front of me that I can barely tell what color his car is.

You'd think commercial drivers, being that they're on the road all the time and are well aware of the dangers, would be much more cautious.

And that's my rant for the day.

I've noticed that a lot of my entries lately have been me bitching about something or another. I'm going to try to stop that. Right after I post this entry. :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Birthday to The Man!

Today is The Man's birthday, so I'm posting this especially for him:

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Happy Birthday Mr. Wonderful. I'm so glad you've chosen to share this time in your life with me. :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

And they wonder why I don't like touching people...

So, I have a little pet peeve. Okay, it's sort of a big pet peeve. It has to do with the bathroom. No, it's not which way the toilet paper is put on the roll (it should be over, by the way... but I won't freak out if it's not) or whether the toilet paper is actually on the dispenser or whether the seat is up or down. Those are all irritating if done incorrectly... but they aren't my issue.

My issue is with soap.

I'm sure it's happened to you, too. You're at a friend's house, or maybe your Great Aunt Margaret's house, and you go to the bathroom. You start to wash your hands and then you realize there's no soap. None. Not a lotion soap, not a bar, nothing. So you open a medicine cabinet, maybe look under the sink, and if all else fails (and you're not in a dreaded half-bath) you look in the shower and actually use a bit of that soap. Because it's better than no soap.... isn't it? I know... I'm not sure, either.

If there isn't any soap in there you've really got a problem.


And I have to wonder... what the heck? Don't these people wash their hands after they go to the bathroom? No? And then I think... what else have they touched after they went to the bathroom and didn't wash their hands? O...M...G... Great Aunt Margaret just made me dinner!!!

And then I am convinced I've ingested a multitude of harmful bacteria. I can feel myself getting sicker by the minute. My hands feel as though they are coated in nuck and every surface I touch only makes this worse.

Neurosis? Perhaps. But at least my hands are clean.

Friday, April 17, 2009

She's gonna be one heck of a teenager...

Munchkin is the kid that usually drives me more bonkers than the rest. She and I are kind of like oil and water, I guess you might say.

She's a drama queen. She's been known to put on a huge show when we have to leave a party or a relative's house. She often refuses to eat what I cook for her. She's recently started telling lies about the most ridiculous things. If she misbehaves in public and we try to discipline her by grabbing her firmly, she'll let out a scream that will turn heads from across a crowded Target. I'm fairly certain other patrons think we're abusing her.

The boys can be tough, but no one can push me to my breaking point like Munchkin. This weekend at Easter festivities she caused me to lose my temper and yell at her in front of all of The Man's family. I'm sure they think I'm an evil bitch. (If only I had gone ahead and had that 2nd vodka tonic it would have all been alright... that's what I get for trying to stay sober.)

And yet, sometimes I grab a glimpse of her and it's like I can see into the future to the woman she's going to be... and I know it's going to be someone great. It reminds me that it's all worth it.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Where my peeps at??

So my kids get about 3 tons of candy each for Easter. The Easter Bunny evidently thinks they're very good every year because he leaves yummy, sugary goodness for them at multiple locations.

There's one Easter candy that I, personally, look forward to every year. Back in my day this particular candy only came out at Easter. Now it's been repackaged and shows up throughout the year masquerading as the Gingerbread Man, a Jack-o-Lantern perhaps, and this year I even saw cute little red hearts for Valentine's Day.

But the best is still the original. The ooey-gooey, crystallized sugar covered, artificially dyed, marshmallow peep in the adorable little chick shape. I cannot express to you my love for them.


Okay, so maybe I can express to you my love for them.

This year my little monsters came home with something different in their baskets. They looked like my beloved peeps. They even felt like my beloved peeps.

They did not taste like my beloved peeps.


Sugar FREE Peeps??!

What kind of atrocity is this? I mean, SUGAR is exactly what the peep is all about! It is the nature of the peep!

These blasphemous little puffs have not earned the right to bear the name Peep.

Splenda does not melt in your mouth like sugar. It's like someone glued some yellow pencil shavings to my marshmallow. It does not glisten like a peep should, it does not smell like a peep should. It is just wrong.

Let's not even get me started on how awful the actual marshmallow is. I am saddened. What is this world coming to?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sudo strikes again

This morning I was desperately trying to get all 3 kids ready for school and poor Sudo had to go out to go potty. So I did something irresponsible. I told Bug to just open the door and let him go out. We typically don't just let him go out by himself since we don't want a replay of what happened in January. But I had about 20 seconds to get Bug to the bus stop and I just didn't have time to watch him.

So Sudo didn't run off and get picked up by the pound... but he did bring back a surprise.


I'm not sure if I can explain the shock at first glance on this one.

Notice how the baby is covered in grime. I have no clue where he resurrected it from... I think it was Munchkin's baby when she was 2 or something.... which means it must have been buried underneath a bush or something... for 5 years.

Ugh... I picked it up and threw it back into the yard for now. I just didn't have the heart to get rid of it since he seems to darned attached to the disgusting thing.

How long do you think it will take for him to forget it exists?


The Man put Sudo on the tie out this afternoon. When I went out to get the kids from their bus stops this is what I found:



Tuesday, April 14, 2009

You'll eat the paella and you'll LIKE it!

Has anyone seen this commercial?

I don't know about you, but it infuriates me.

I don't know if I want to smack the bratty kid with a ridiculous sense of entitlement or the doormat mother who is spending all this time in the kitchen only to order a pizza to feed her unappreciative son.

Perhaps I want to smack them both.

Are people really like this? Seriously? I don't have teenagers yet... but when I do you can be sure I won't be ordering them a pizza because they refuse to eat something I've made them for dinner. Especially when they fully admit they don't even know what it is.

That kind of attitude would most likely warrant me snatching that cell phone back from them and telling them they'd better find a way to pay for their own food and cell phone or learn to show a little appreciation and respect.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Kids like Quiche

Today the kids have no school for Good Friday so I made them a little surprise.


The Man swears he doesn't like quiche so I never make it. I was surprised at how easy it was to make and how much the kids LOVED it. I ate a very small piece and the kids ate the rest. It was officially a hit. I made The Man an omelet with essentially the same ingredients. I really can't see the difference... I mean, it's the same thing except for the crust. And who doesn't like pie crust?

Since it was so simple and such a big hit I figured I'd post the recipe:

Easy as Pie Quiche (I'm sort of proud of my quiche naming abilities...):

1 premade frozen deep dish pie crust
Cut up ham - as much as you like
1 cup cheddar cheese
4 eggs
1 cup half & half (next time I'm going to try it with regular milk)
A couple of pinches of salt

Preheat oven to 425.

Lay ham on bottom of pie crust, top with 1 cup cheddar cheese. I'm sure you can also add veggies or bacon or a different kind of cheese and it would work just as well.

Whisk together eggs, half & half, and salt and pour over cheese.

Bake on cookie sheet in oven for 15 minutes, then turn heat down to 300 degrees and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving. Easy Peasy.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Just a Spaz protecting her cub...

Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer posted today about the day she became a mom... and it got me thinking about all the times I've stood up and fought for my kids because they were just too helpless to do it themselves.

One time stands out in my head more vividly than the others.

At our local mall we have a play area. It's decorated in a sort of breakfast motif with squishy foam waffles and bright pineapple rings and cherries that kids can climb all over and jump around. On certain days of the week the play area can be very busy with twenty or thirty little monsters jumping around.


Goober was two years old and just really getting the hang of climbing and jumping and tumbling one Saturday afternoon so I thought it was a good idea to let him play on the waffles. I watched as he climbed to the top of a pineapple ring and positioned himself so he could jump off, landing on the squishy floor below. I marveled at his bravery and smiled every time he successfully landed and scrambled back up to jump again.

It was perhaps his fifth or sixth jump when a little girl unfortunately got in the way and Goober landed on top of her. Goober laughed and scrambled up, not really understanding that he may have hurt her. The little girl looked a little surprised lying there on the foam floor, but was unhurt. I got up to grab Goober and have him apologize to the little girl as she was being comforted by a woman who appeared to be her grandmother.

But before I could reach Goober a man had him by the shirt collar. I can only presume this man was the little girl's grandfather. He had leathery skin and a deep booming voice with a New England accent and he had my little boy's shirt collar as he yelled in his face.


That was all he had a chance to say before I pulled my baby away. And a fire welled up inside of me that I didn't know I had. I held my son close to me and I found myself right in this man's angry face.

"He is only TWO YEARS OLD! Does it make you feel like a BIG MAN to yell at a TWO YEAR OLD?!?!"

I kept my language clean but I drilled that man right back down into a sitting position as I held my poor, crying, scared two year old. The man didn't say anything back to me as I grabbed Goober's shoes and my bag and left the play area, but I distinctly remember several other mother's smiling their approval as we left.

It's amazing to me how the protective mother bear persona can snap out of me at any time. I'm normally fairly laid back and calm and I realize that my children make mistakes and I don't defend their every move. However, should someone strike fear into my child's heart or physically lay their hands on him - I will strike back with a fury only a mother can muster.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Wiggling your toes can help insomnia... unless you're the spouse of the insomniac

The kids go back to school tomorrow and I'm overjoyed. Because I've been sort of feeling like they've stuck a bendy straw in me and have been slowly sucking out my soul over the past week. Sip by sip.

Except it's now 1:30 in the morning and I have to be up at 6:30 in order to get them all to their respective schools on time.

I was in bed by midnight. I stared at the blue glowing projection clock on my ceiling for a full 40 minutes before I decided to just get up and read blogs. The Man is comfortably sleeping like a rock and I'm awake.

Tomorrow's going to be a long day...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

My dad swears it's all scripted.... I'm in denial

I'm officially addicted to reality television. Not just reality television, but competitive reality television. Anything where people get voted off and I can root for someone... that's my bag.

I had this realization Tuesday night when I found myself voting for Megan on my cell phone for almost 2 hours straight after American Idol. My votes were to no avail though... Megan was voted off last night. :( Now I'm not sure who I'm going to root for.


So, while I was voting I flipped over to catch the end of Dancing with the Stars. I've only watched one season of this and I was purposely avoiding it this season because none of the stars were really exciting to me. So as I flipped over I thought I saw Melissa from The Bachelor standing there in a blue sparkly outfit.


I quickly ran to the computer to see if what I thought I saw was what I really saw. Sure enough the Internet confirmed it! Melissa is a contestant on Dancing with the Stars!


So then I, of course, had to watch the first four weeks of Dancing with the Stars on (fast forwarding directly to the Melissa dances) and then I had to make sure my DVR was going to record it from now on. So I guess I have another show I must watch every week.

This may be a problem.

In other news, I discovered while watching The Real Housewives of New York that it really irritates me when people use the word "sophomoric" because it seems no one ever uses it in a way that isn't condescending.


Is it just me, or does it look like Jill's been drinking Skinny Girl Margaritas?