Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Spaz laments bathing suits... for her daughter

Our plan for Sunday was to meet my family at the beach to celebrate my dad's birthday. Nothing could have been more appropriate for the beautiful South Florida Memorial Day weekend we were having than a day at the beach.

And I was prepared. I purchased my dad's birthday cake at Publix the night before, along with some cupcakes in a patriotic theme. I made a pitcher of margaritas to drink while lounging on the beach, and I made sure bathing suits and changes of clothing were available the day before.

So on Sunday morning when I started handing out appropriate bathing suits, I was shocked to discover that I could not find the adorable one piece bathing suit I had set out for Munchkin. Nowhere. She hinted that she had used it the day before at another family pool party, I'm not sure... it's still unclear as to where the missing (and entirely appropriate) suit went. I'm sure I'll find it shortly after I hit "Post" on this entry, though.

We were already running late (me? running late? never!) so I asked Munchkin to check her drawers in her room and find me whatever bathing suits she had in there and we'd figure out what fit. Munchkin has gone through a growth spurt lately so it appears that almost everything is too small.

She brought out the one suit I've been avoiding. The one I probably should have just gotten rid of when she received it as a gift. 

The skimpy bikini from Justice with padding.

And here's where my reasoning went sour.  We were running late, the suit was clean, it fit, and we would be only with family at the semi-private beach at a condominium that is almost empty during the summer season. And, of course, Munchkin really wanted to wear it.  So I let her wear it.

And then I spent the first portion of my afternoon explaining Munchkin's mature bikini to my sisters while I marveled at how many people were on the usually empty beach for Memorial Day weekend.  And then I drank that pitcher of margaritas and tried not to care that my 9 year old had instantly transformed into a 15 year old on the beach.

It boggles my mind, really, that these types of bathing suits are made.  In our society, where protecting our children has gone to such an extreme that I get crap from the school bus driver for allowing my child to walk the 500 feet from his bus stop to our driveway unattended, why would any company manufacture a bathing suit that gives a 9 year old boobies hidden under tiny triangles of fabric? And why would anyone, especially a mother, purchase that bikini?

Parents are organizing veritable lynch mobs to go door to door and tell neighbors of any sexual predators that lurk within their own suburban communities, and those same parents are allowing their daughters to wear padded bikinis and shorts that say "CUTIE" and "SWEETHEART" across the butts. They're enrolling their girls in cheerleading squads and dance groups that encourage their little darlings to gyrate to T-Pain and Lil Wayne while wearing belly shirts and boy shorts.

But aren't they quick to fashion a noose for any man who dares to let his eyes wander or linger too long. What do you expect?

The bathing suit top has been retired and I'm purchasing Munchkin some swim shirts to wear with the bottoms. I don't think I can make enough margaritas to be okay with her wearing that padded top out in public again.

Friday, May 27, 2011

If you're sappy and you know it...

Today the entire 5th grade at the kids' school is on their way to Epcot at Walt Disney World for the day. When Bug made the switch from home school to regular school after Spring Break we got the notice that all the other kids had been planning this trip while Bug was being home schooled and if he'd like to attend we could pay up right that very minute and they'd let him go, too.

With all the hub bub of getting him back to school, I wrote a check and promptly put the whole thing right out of my head. Seriously, that was the absolute last time I gave it even a tiny thought.

So yesterday when Bug came home from school and said "I'm so excited for the Epcot trip tomorrow!" I kind of winced.

Epcot trip, tomorrow?

He proudly produced a yellow slip of paper that told me I needed to get Bug to school at 5:30 AM and pick him up at 10:00 PM. That his food was paid for and that they suggested he bring some spending money and wear comfortable shoes.

5:30 AM?

So last night we packed Bug's cargo shorts up with some cash, a clip on watch, a trial size sunscreen, and a folded poncho, laid out his school tee shirt, and set our alarms for 5 AM.

5 AM comes really early, y'all.

So maybe it was the lack of sleep and shock to my system, but when I dropped Bug off at 5:30 this morning and watched him blend in with a crowd of other 5th graders all dressed in the same royal blue tee shirt, and heard the ferocious hum of the two ginormous charter buses that would be taking my first baby 3 hours away from me, I fought back tears.

And quickly walked back to my car before any of the other parents saw what a sap I was.  They probably think I'm a callous bitch for dropping my kid off and running back to the car.  I'm sure they think I just couldn't wait to get back to bed and log in another couple of hours of sleep before its time to bring the other two back to the school. 

I'm sure it's just the lack of sleep, but it was really so I didn't embarrass myself and poor Bug by bursting into tears as I watched all those little people climb aboard that big giant bus.

Bug had no problem with me leaving. Not even a hug or kiss goodbye from him. Within seconds he was happily chatting in a group of three other boys from his class and barely even noticed that I was leaving. This is the same kid who had such a problem making friends at his old school that I home schooled him for the better part of 5th grade. 

He's officially growing up. Crap.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Keeping up disheveled and chaotic appearances

I've never been one to "keep up appearances"... with me, what you see is what you get.  My house is messy, my clothes were probably purchased at one of my favorite thrift stores, my car has scratches and dents, and my kids eat McDonald's for dinner more than once in a blue moon.

And whenever I see a family that never shows any of that stuff I'm immediately suspicious. What price do they pay to keep that house immaculate? Why is nothing ever broken or stained? How can they have four children and not a speck of crayon on their walls?  How does she find the time to keep that house clean, pack nutritious vegetarian lunches for her children in eco-friendly reusable containers, cook a nutritious dinner, feed her children, clean it all up, make it to ballet lessons and soccer practice, and have them all bathed and tucked into clean beds with footie pajamas on by 9 pm?  And when does she manage to take eye-popping colorful pictures of all of it and post it on her blog?

I can't do it, y'all. It's just not going to happen. Maybe if I didn't work. Maybe if I had stimulants to get me through. I don't know.

But I wonder, why is it so important to us to keep up these appearances? You know that Mrs. Perfect Mom has her moments. You know there are days when the laundry piles up and her seven year old son urinates all over the seat of the toilet and the dog chews up her favorite pair of sparkly sandals.

But she'll never show it.  Why not? Why is it so important to some people that everyone think their life is just perfect? Does it make her feel better about herself if other people think her life is flawless and clean?

I think it's crazy how much pressure is put on the average mother these days. And these picture-perfect magazine spreads and blogs and 20/20 specials only put more pressure on us.

It's okay to be normal. It's okay for life to be messy. And it's okay to show it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Spaz lives vicariously through her daughter... and other stuff, too...

I haven't had a lot of blogging time lately and part of that is due to my attempt to organize my life.  Working on getting my proverbial crap together hasn't left me a whole lot of time to flit around the blogosphere or post anything of my own.

But things are looking a little more together in Spazland.

One of the things on my list was to get the kids involved in the activities they've been begging to do for years. While my kids have always been fairly busy with friends and family, they've never been really involved in too many extra-curricular activities. Bug was involved in scouts for a year, Munchkin has girl scouts and Goober played one season of flag football, but other than that the kids mostly spend their time playing with friends and lounging around the house proclaiming boredom.

So it was a big goal of mine to get them each involved in an extra-curricular activity.  Bug enters middle school next year and I know how easy it is for unoccupied middle-schoolers to get themselves into trouble.  Munchkin's only a year behind him, too.  So in an attempt to keep them out of the path of certain mayhem, I'm planning to keep them busy.

Not only that, but summer is quickly barreling down upon us and I definitely want the kids to have some stuff to do this summer. 

The boys have both been begging for karate lessons for what seems like forever. In fact, I distinctly remember last summer getting a pamphlet for a karate school outside of the movie theater and thinking that I had been thinking about putting the boys in karate forever.  And that was a year ago. 

So the time has come.  Today the boys will take their first karate lesson.  They're following in the footsteps of The Man who spent nearly his entire youth in a karate studio.  They're both so excited they reminded me of the lesson this morning before school. 

Munchkin, a girl after my own heart, wanted nothing more than to saddle up and take riding lessons.  I winced when I researched the cost of lessons, but finally found a place not too far away that was almost reasonable.  I set up a lesson for her on Friday afternoon and went on an all day quest to locate boots and a helmet at thrift stores before her lesson.  I did score a pair of paddock boots in her size for $5, but the helmet we had to buy new.  I guess it all evened out.

Friday afternoon, Munchkin could barely contain herself as we drove to the barn. We live in horse country. We have dressage show grounds so close to us that we can hear the announcers from our back yard when the wind is right. We're a hop, skip, and small jump away from polo country and the most elite of Florida's hunter/jumper society.

But that's not what I want for Munchkin.  When I was growing up, the barn I rode at was laid back.  Sure, we could put on our best breeches and boots and fit in with the crowd at the shows on the weekends, but back at the barn there was no pretension.  We had broken fences and weedy grass and broken pick up trucks in the back.  And when I was growing up it was my favorite place to be.

So when I pulled into the driveway at the barn where Munchkin was starting lessons, I was thrilled when a little Jack Russel terrier came running over to us and jumped right up on us.  I was elated to see patches of sand and fences that hadn't seen a coat of paint in at least a decade.  We called over the fence to a girl who was in the barn and she motioned for us to come on in, even though there were several horses grazing in the yard right outside of the barn.  A big, dark brown Thoroughbred named Bud walked right over and greeted us and I thought Munchkin might faint with delight.

The girl brought out a large pony named Misty and clipped some leads on to her to get her tacked up for Munchkin's lesson. Munchkin couldn't resist giving Misty a hug as she was being brushed.  I thought I might cry.  Instead, I took pictures.

During the lesson I had to keep myself from shouting my own instructions out to Munchkin.  I kept apologizing to her instructor, who was incredibly patient with both Munchkin and her pain in the ass mother.  I promised that from now on, I'd just drop Munchkin and go since I obviously couldn't keep my mouth shut.

Munchkin gained a lot of confidence during her lesson and by the end of it had gotten the hang of trotting and posting and getting Misty to move even when she didn't want to.  When the lesson was over, Munchkin truly didn't want it to end.  Misty, however, was thrilled to be done and ready to get back to grazing.

Her next lesson is scheduled for tomorrow. I promised I wouldn't stay and watch. Hopefully it won't kill me to just drop her off.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

If falling off the wagon explains letting an addiction beat you, then I'm addicted to not feeling like crap and not being tired all freaking day.

I'm failing.

The dog is mad at me.

We have not been for a walk since Sunday. 

It started Sunday when I stayed up a little too late. I was just trying to get things done, finish up some work, and before I knew it, the clock was creeping into the AM hours and I wasn't even yawning.

So Monday morning I didn't wake up as early as I needed to get out for our walk.  Poor Sudo.  Monday night was a repeat of Sunday night and I woke up so late on Tuesday morning that the kids were late to school.  Then I gave The Organization Project a firm kick in the nuts yesterday afternoon when at 3 o'clock I decided I needed a nap.

And all those nasty thoughts are creeping in.  Self defeating thoughts.

"What's so great about being a morning person, anyway?"
"I work better at night."
"I've been functioning just fine for this long." (That one is just an outright lie.)

I know I have to jump back on the wagon.  I just hate going to bed at 10:30. I mean, so much happens after 10:30. All the best Bravo shows, most Internet drama trainwrecks, and eBay's highest traffic times are all happening after 10:30.

It is a bumpy and rickety wagon to have to cling to, y'all.

Monday, May 16, 2011

It's a big, scary, gym sneaker stinky world out there... and I'm just trying to keep my babies from it as long as possible...

I have not fallen off the face of the earth and I have not stopped with my Morning Person routine, either. It has not been easy and I can't say I have reached that point where I hop out of bed, fresh-faced and bushy-tailed and excited to greet the day. But I'm awake.

And productivity has increased, slightly, so that's a plus. Procrastination has decreased and things are getting a little more organized.  All is going according to plan.

But I'm still tired. 

And many sources have stated that it might take about 3 weeks to a month for me to stop being so tired.  Here I am, only having one week under my belt and I already feel like I'm dragging myself across the ground by my fingertips.

So keep your fingers crossed.

This week, and the rest of the month, are shaping up to be busy days. This week we get to go to an Orientation for Bug's middle school.

And that freaks me out. Middle School.... 6th grade was probably the worst years of my life as a kid. Going from the safe, only slightly judgmental halls of my elementary school to this gigantic, smelly, atmosphere filled with gigantic, smelly kids who wanted nothing more than to make my life hell.

Those were the days of self-discovery.  They were the days when we figured out where we "fit in"... what social group we were destined to belong to and where we ranked on the social ladder.  It's like before 6th grade we were all just a happy lump of clay and by the time we entered high school we were a discernible piece of pottery. Some of us with more cracks and blemishes than others.

So to say I'm nervous about Bug starting middle school is an understatement. But he is blissfully optimistic and excited. He has friends that will be attending this middle school, he is impressed with its size and shiny promises. And I am determined not to dampen his spirits.  Hopefully his experience with 6th grade will be nothing like my own.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Still tired... so very, very tired...

So when we were preparing our skin for melanoma sitting outside at Outback on mother's day we were discussing this blog.  Affectionately referred to as "the blog" by my family.

B1 has taken to saying to people when we're together "Be careful! She'll blog about that!"

Which delights me to no end, actually.

Anyhow, B1 noted I'm always trying to improve myself and that she might not like the new and improved me as much as she likes the old and spazzy one. I couldn't help but chuckle.

My Dad noted that I just thrive on having goals.

But the truth is that I really am just not happy with my disorganized, crazy, messy life. I know I'm missing out and I know my family suffers for it.  It's that thought that is keeping me going with this little project I'm working on now.

Because if it weren't for those "goals" in my head, I would have totally given up on this "Becoming a Morning Person" thing today. 

I'm sure it will take some time for me to get used to this new schedule of mine where I wake up early, stay up all day, and go to bed early.  But in the meantime, I'm absolutely so incredibly tired.

Today I was pretty okay until about 3 pm.  And then the tired set in.  It took everything I had to keep on trucking and not just crawl into bed for a nap.  But somehow I managed to finish work, feed the kids, get some laundry done, get Munchkin's supplies for her project (due tomorrow, of course), and take Goober over to the park for this season's football pre-qualifying session.

Goober will be playing tackle football this year.  Not flag.  This makes me nervous... but darnit if he won't look cute in that uniform. I can't wait to get pictures.

The Spaz decides she is too tired to come up with a good title for the post

Yesterday was my first day in my attempt to change from a night owl to a morning person.  Sunday night I managed to get to sleep by 11:30 (not 10:30 as I had originally hoped) and my alarm was set for 6:30 AM, instead of my usual 7:00 AM.  This was to allow time for walk with the dog, which would get me into the sunlight, which would stimulate cortisol, which would turn me into a happy person for the day.

So 6:30 came along and I managed to not hit snooze even once. I got out of bed and grabbed the walking clothes I had set out Sunday night and got myself ready for walking.

Somehow I blearily clipped Sudo's leash onto his collar while he excitedly wagged his entire body. How does the dog have so much energy at 6:30 in the morning?

It wasn't until we were returning from the walk that I think I woke up.  But I did feel somewhat better and I didn't have any desire to take a nap.  At least not then.  And my stomach was awake, which is a whole new feeling for me.  My stomach doesn't typically wake up until mid-morning or sometimes lunch time, but this morning I was positively hungry and it wasn't even 7:30 yet.

I returned back to the house around 7:05 and had just enough time to fix myself some oatmeal and an egg burrito before I had to wake up the kids and take them to school.  Having their clothes laid out the night before was awesome and  by the time I had to deal with them I had woken up enough that I wasn't a nasty grump, like I usually am. I changed into normal clothes and we were in the car and they were dropped off early enough for Munchkin to have her social time.

Under normal circumstances, I would have dropped the kids at school in a half-awake haze and driven home only to crawl back into bed until around 10 or 11. But today, I drove straight to buy inventory.  I spent all morning shopping and it was around noon that I felt my first crash feeling.

I really really wanted a nap.

But I persevered. 

The rest of the day was sort of foggy. My energy was low and I spent the rest of the time watching the clock and counting down the minutes until I could crawl into bed.

This morning person thing is going to take some getting used to.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day in Spazland

Yesterday we celebrated Mother's Day with a flurry of activity. In the morning we met up with The Man's brother and his girlfriend to take The Man's mom out to brunch. After our delicious brunch at Brio, we strolled around the mall together and did some window shopping.

In the afternoon I dragged The Man and the kids to my favorite thrift store and scored a bunch of school shirts for the kids and then we were off to pick up some chocolates for my mom.

Before we knew it, it was time to meet my family at Outback to celebrate Mother's Day and my mom and dad's 46th Anniversary.

The Man and I pulled into the parking lot of Outback first and immediately I knew there may be some issues. The parking lot was FULL.  And it was only 4 o'clock. And we had a party of 11.

The Man asked if I had done the call-ahead seating.


So I leaped out of the car and ran into Outback to put our name in, as if me running into the restaurant would somehow really make our wait shorter.  The hostess sort of smirked at me when she handed me our pager and said the wait would be about an hour and a half.

I really should have done that call-ahead seating thing....

But luckily, our Outback has a beautiful patio overlooking some water where we could sit and wait.  It's not really used for dining, but while we were waiting one of the servers came over and let us know that if we wanted to eat outside he could set us up right away.

So when the rest of our party arrived, it was decided that we'd give the outside thing a go. It was an overcast day with a slight breeze, a relatively cool day for South Florida in May, so we thought it would be comfortable.

And it wasn't too bad.

For a little while.

It was about the time that the waiter was taking our order that the clouds parted and the South Florida sun beamed down upon us like someone had turned on a tanning bed to "golden crisp" setting.  We grabbed umbrellas from our cars, we fanned ourselves with menus, I held my margarita glass to my neck.

And then The Man suggested we get our food to go.  And everyone rejoiced at the wonderful idea.

So we had our Mother's Day/Anniversary dinner in blissful air conditioned comfort at my mom and dad's house. Hoorah.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Saying Goodbye to my 1 AM rendezvous with Facebook...

So, I've always had high hopes of being one of those people that awakes, smiling, at the first crack of light in the sky. The person who can happily stretch and put on their running shoes and go for a nice morning jog before anyone else in their house has opened an eye.

I've attempted it. I even had a good, two week stretch where I woke up every morning at about 6:30 and took the dog for a 2 mile walk. The something got me off track and that was the end of that. The dog gets a morning shuffle around the yard from me these days and then gets ushered back into the house so I can get the kids to school on time.

They say that successful people are morning people. I have never succeeded at changing myself into a morning person.  But I've done some research and discovered that it is, indeed, possible to change from a night owl to a morning person.  So, in the name of The Organization Project and my poor, neglected dog, I'm going to try.  This is officially Step 1 of The Organization Project.

I know, I'm such a font dork.

In my research, I've learned that genetics really does play a big part in whether a person is a morning person or a night owl. This article was pretty eye opening to the idea that it's all my mom and dad's fault that I'm like this.

Mom and Dad are not morning people.  My whole life they got up in the mornings and did what they had to do... but mornings in our home were not cheery occasions.  My father is not even human until he's had a few sips of coffee, but he knows the value of being awake in the mornings and therefore has always been up at a respectable hour.  When I was in elementary school, my mother bought me a loud alarm clock and made sure I knew how to get to school on my own every morning, rather than pull herself out of bed at the ghastly hour it would have required to see me off to school.

So I'm fairly sure that the "morning person" gene is not in my system.

So, like my parents, I'm going to have to train myself to be a morning person. Everything I've read has said pretty much the same things. Do not hit snooze, prepare the night before, get outside and take a walk first thing, do not take naps, turn off computers and televisions 2 hours before bedtime, don't exercise in the evenings, and don't drink caffeine or alcohol late in the day.

Right, drink all my booze in the mornings.

Just kidding.

Some other tips I thought were helpful were to give myself something to look forward to in the morning, use an alarm clock that lights the room slowly (I actually have one of those that I never use), take a melatonin supplement 4 hours before bedtime, take a warm shower or bath before bed, and keep the bedroom at a cool 70 degrees (which may cost a fortune in South Florida... so we'll see about that).

So, beginning Sunday night, I'll be putting Step 1 of The Organization Project to work.  I'll make sure I have all of our clothes laid out and ready for Monday and everything ready to go for the day. At 6:30 I'll take my melatonin and I'll turn off the computers and the TV by 8. I'll take a warm bath and snuggle up in bed with my nook (on night setting, of course) and if all goes well I'll be in dreamland by 10:30.

Wish me luck, Internetz. I'll need it.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Spaz considers that being a Spaz might not be the best thing ever...

The other day I woke up a teensy bit late and knew I'd probably not make it to school on time with the kids. If the kids arrive to school a second after 8:00, parents are required to park their cars, walk their children into the office, sign them in, and personally escort them to their classrooms. They say it's because it takes too many resources to have someone else walk the kids to their classrooms (why the children can't walk themselves to their classes, I'm not sure) but I'm fairly certain it has more to do with punishing late parents than anything else.

So anyhow, I woke up at 7:30 instead of my usual 7:00.  Recently I've adopted a pretty laid back approach to being late. I used to shoot out of bed and scramble around, yelling and screaming for the kids to get their backpacks and shoes and "HURRY HURRY HURRY!!!"

And then one morning I woke up really late. Like, after 8:00.  And there was no point to all the freaking out and running around so I just calmly woke up the kids, fed them, got them dressed, and off we went.  It was so much nicer.

So I'm much calmer about being late now. It doesn't happen very often... in fact the other day was only the 2nd time the kids have been late all year. But when it does happen, we just get there when we get there. I don't freak out about it anymore.

So I'm signing the kids in the other morning and I sort of laugh at the spot on the sign in sheet where it says "Reason for Tardiness"... I noticed that the time before I had written "Overslept" and that's what I went ahead and put in again... but I laughed and remarked to the office secretary that one time I was going to write in that spot "Utter lack of organization" because that was really the real reason we were late.

And she just cocked an eyebrow and said "Okayyyy......." and took a sip out of her shiny magenta travel mug.

So I muttered under my breath, but loud enough that she could hear "I guess someone left their sense of humor at home today."

She has never really liked me much. I guess I don't really care.

But after I dropped them off I started thinking about my "Utter lack of organization" and I realized that as the kids get older, my disorganization is more difficult to deal with. The kids have busier lives, which in turn makes my life busier, and they require a lot more from me.  And, frankly, I'm letting them down by not being prepared.

So I'm going to start something new. And I'm so serious about it, I've made pretty supporting graphics.

I haven't gotten all the kinks worked out just yet. But I know where I'm starting so that's a plus. I'll be posting more details about The Organization Project in the next few days. My official start date will be Monday, May 9th.

Stay tuned, handful of readers.  The Spaz is attempting to get a little less spastic.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Biosilk took my frizz and choked it in a headlock until it screamed "Uncle" and ran home to its mommy...

It's been a long time since I've done a Works For Me Wednesday post, but I've recently found something that fits the bill and I want to shout it from the rooftops.

I've always had straight hair. Except for when I was pregnant with Goober... it was oddly curly then.  It was actually quite lovely... I miss my pregnant Goober hair.

But I digress.

I've always had straight hair and up until I was probably in my mid 20's it pretty much always did just what I asked it to do.  I woke up, I brushed it, it laid straight and didn't frizz up.  Wash and shampoo once a day, sometimes once every other day, and all was good.

As I aged something happened.  My hair started getting dry and I had to skip a day, sometimes two, between washes.  I started getting a lot of gray hair. It stopped laying nice and straight and started getting crazy frizzy and just plain acting like someone else's more unfortunate hair.

And that's when I started my frolic through the land of hair products.  The gray was easy enough to solve with a bottle of dye, but the frizz was another story.

I started buying shampoos and conditioners that promised they'd get rid of the frizz. I bought gels, mousses, oils, creams. I blew it dry on hot, on cold, with a diffuser. I used the flat iron.  Eventually, I just became very closely acquainted with pony tails.

And then one day my sister, B1, gave me a tiny little sample size bottle of something wonderful.

And they called it Biosilk. 

Silk Therapy Serum, to be exact.

It's funny because she gave it to me and I had it for a really long time before I even tried it.  It was the tiniest little bottle she gave me. Like, .05 ounces or something. It was barely enough to fill a soda cap.  So I threw it in the basket I keep on my bathroom counter and didn't think much of it.

Until one day I ran across it again and figured I'd see what it was.  It didn't even have instructions on the tiny little bottle but I vaguely remembered my sister telling me to put it in after my hair was dry and before I flat ironed.

I did... and it was good.

The stuff is amazing. It's like it takes frizz and makes it it's bitch. And it's a little pricey, to be honest, but the stuff will last forever. I have fairly long hair and I use about a dime size puddle of it, rub my hands together and first run my hands through the underside of my hair and then on top making sure my hands touch pretty much all my hair. Then I flat iron and it's like my hair is 17 years old again and I'm making my curly headed friends jealous when they sit behind me in 11th grade Algebra.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal." - Dhammapada

Sunday night after I was finishing up a little work, I logged on to Facebook to see what was going on in the world.  Who needs the news when you have Facebook?

It was then that I learned that Osama bin Laden was dead.  At first glance, I wondered if I had gotten the date incorrect and maybe it was Veteran's Day or Memorial Day or maybe even Independence Day. People were changing their avatars to American Flags. Shouts of "USA USA!" and "RED WHITE & BLUE!" were all over my wall.

It was only a quick scroll, though, to find the news, which I cross-referenced with MSNBC.

I closed my laptop and walked over to the other side of the house where The Man was doing some computing of his own and I said "Osama bin Laden is dead."

And he was all "WHAT?!" and started googling.

I sat on the bed and looked over at him and asked him if it was un-American of me that I didn't want to celebrate.  I couldn't figure out why I was melancholy. Why wasn't I jumping up and down and shouting and smiling? I mean... this was the goal, right?

But there was something grotesque to me about the joy I saw on Facebook, and Twitter, and everywhere else. I got it.  I mean, really I totally GOT IT.  But I couldn't feel it myself. 

And yesterday I was talking to my mom and told her I wasn't celebrating. She pointed out that they celebrated when the towers fell.

But... why would I want to be like them?

It wasn't until I read this blog this morning that I think I really nailed down why I felt so uneasy about the national "Osama is Dead" party.

I want to quote the whole post, because it's really just that good and I hope you'll click over and read it. But I think my favorite part... my a-ha moment of choice... is this one:

When we hate, we cause hate. When we think we have won by vanquishing our enemy, we have lost. In killing Osama bin Laden, “they” lose because one of their leaders is gone. But we lose too, because we have deepened the causes and conditions that lead to more hatred and its consequences. This is not over.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Fort Wilderness Camping with the Girl Scouts - Easter Sunday

After all the little girl scouts had gone to sleep, two of the leaders hid Easter eggs all over our campsites for the girls to find in the morning.

So early Easter morning the girls woke up to a colorful array of eggs scattered throughout the sites.  And in the trees.

That's right, the trees.

Evidently the squirrels of Fort Wilderness thought they should be part of the egg hunt, too.  And they got an early start.  Eggs were open, had holes chewed in them, and were falling from the treetops.  It was hilarious.  The girls had fun finding the eggs and then ate a cereal and fruit breakfast while we got to the business of breaking down camp.

Check out was at 11 but it took us a little longer to get everything packed up.  Luckily no one came by and yelled at us to get out.  We managed to pack up the trailer and get it attached to the Suburban on the first try and we all gave high fives to each other in glee.

We seriously were so freaking proud of ourselves.

We had promised the girls we'd let them shop in the gift shop before we left so two leaders took the girls to shop while one of the leaders and I took our cars loaded with gear off the site to the parking lot. Once all the girls had shopped and we were back at the parking lot we realized our girls were starving. So what did we do?

We put leftover spaghetti and meatballs into plastic cups and let them eat in the cars.  They got to forage into all the leftovers from the coolers and everyone was happy as we got on the road to go home.

It was about an hour into the drive when my co-leader and I in the van noticed that one of the lids on one of the bins on the trailer was flapping around a little.  Before it flew off and caused a ten car pileup on the Florida Turnpike, we pulled over and assessed the situation.  Some highway side securing solved the problem and we were back on our way.

Halfway home, I discovered that The Man and his family were holding the annual Easter egg hunt for Munchkin to arrive.  So I informed my fellow leaders that I'd be making a detour before we pulled into town to drop Munchkin off at the family party so that all the kids could get to hunting.

Munchkin happily skipped off to the hunt in her girl scout camping clothes and not a pretty Easter dress as would have been the norm... but I don't think anyone cared.

By 6:30 every girl had been delivered to their parents, the van had been unpacked, and I was driving home to an empty house.  After a hot shower I fell into bed, exhausted.  And that was the end of me.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Fort Wilderness Camping with the Girl Scouts - Day 2

Where was I?

Oh yes, we had just served the girls lava spaghetti from the front seat of the van.

By the time the movie was over, all eleven girls were pretty tired so we headed back to camp and everyone got ready for our first night of sleeping in tents.

The girls showered in the lovely showers that Disney provides.  Truly, the best showers I have ever seen at a campsite.

The other leaders and I hung out in our chairs and relaxed a bit while the girls giggled themselves to sleep and then we retired to our air mattresses.

I don't know about you, but I never have any luck with air mattresses. Last weekend was no exception.  I inflated my high quality, not cheap or crappy, Sealy air mattress fully and prepared for a comfortable night of sleep.  However, at some point I found half of my body touching the ground and the other half awkwardly raised in the air.  This always happens to me.  I have bad air mattress juju.

The morning came early on Saturday and we were determined to have a day full of fun for the girls. After a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon, and pancakes, we did the standard girl scout dunk bag method of cleaning dishes and the girls went off to play a wicked game of Disney dodge ball.

While the girls were playing dodge ball, my co-leader and I went to refill our propane tank and check out the beach area of the campground where it was rumored that the girls might enjoy a nice picnic lunch.  I mentioned before that Fort Wilderness isn't really car friendly, didn't I? Well this would be one of those times when having a golf cart would have been awfully handy.

We had the van, carrying a propane tank and all, and were trying to get close enough to scope out this little beach area.  But there is absolutely no place to park.  Now it was Saturday around 11, which also happens to be check-out time at Fort Wilderness.  So we drove to the nearest campsite loop and decided to park the van in an empty campsite and walk over to the beach area to check it out.  Check out just happened, right? So the chances of the new campsite tenant showing up right away was really slim, right?

You'd think.

As we were walking back to the van after leisurely discovering the perfect picnic spot, I heard a horn honking in the distance.  And then I realized it was coming from a HUGE MOTOR HOME parked right behind the van.

The van looked really itty bitty in comparison.  I think the van was shaking a little with fear.

We ran back to the van and apologized profusely to the people who desperately wanted to get their site set up and we hightailed it out of there.

Back at our site we loaded up sandwich stuff in soft coolers and all of us rode our bikes over to the picnic spot for sandwiches.

We ate and then the girls wanted to head over the the Triple Circle D ranch to look at the horses.  These are the same horses that pull the carts on Main Street in The Magic Kingdom and I was totally excited to go see them.  Of course, I pretended I was really only going to see them because the girls wanted to go, but secretly I was thrilled.

And that's when I fell in love.

All of the horses there are Percherons and they're ginormous.  And absolutely beautiful.  And they're all named manly names like John (seen above) and Jake and Dave.  And I wanted to take them all home.

After horses and lunch we all went over to the pool and got sunburned.  It was joyous.  We did apply sunscreen to each and every girl, but the Orlando sun is relentless and our little porcelain dolls fried like lobsters.  They had a fantastic time, though.

At 5 we hurried back to camp and made hot dogs and hamburgers for the girls.  They served them, just like good girl scouts should do, and we realized that we actually might be doing a good thing for these girls.  They served, cleaned up, and all ran efficiently.  It was fantastic.

After our cookout, we got ready to head over to the Chip & Dale sing along where the most exciting part of our trip occurred.  Before the sing along started, while the girls were getting all ooey gooey with smores over the campfire, one of the cast members came over and asked if our troop would be willing to introduce Chip & Dale.

And all the girls went "SQUEEEE!!!"

No really, that's the noise they made.

So after we cleaned the marshmallow stickiness off of their faces and the chocolate off of their little fingers, we all lined up with Chip & Dale and escorted them on to the stage.  Which was awesome.

The girls got a signed photo from Chip & Dale and hugs and kisses and it was fantastic.

After the sing along we took them back to the beach area to watch the Electrical Water Pageant and the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom.

It was really an awesome day.

And in the end, eleven little girl scouts fell fast asleep in their sleeping bags.