Archive | June, 2010

No. You. Didn’t.

25 Jun

I think I’ve mentioned how much I hate watching the news. I may have also mentioned I can’t read any sad stories about kids without it eating away at me. I know I’ve mentioned how much I can’t stand racism. It really gets my blood boiling. Crimes against children are the number one stories that just send me over the edge. Racism is a close second.

Oh dear God…how do I even explain what has gotten me all riled up without calling attention to the person who did it. Because truly, I don’t want to attack her. I don’t know this woman, but she commented on another friend’s post on Facebook. The comment was a racial slur against the president, but more importantly against Muslims as a whole. Her profile picture shows her with a boy, I’m assuming to be her son. And I couldn’t help but be sad. As parents we push our beliefs onto our children…that’s the way it works. Just like I will push my belief on Ava to love a person for their soul. It makes me sad because this little boy will grow up with her beliefs and I know that’s HER right as a parent. But nonetheless, it makes shake my head that humanity is inhumane to fellow humans.

Racism is pure ignorance and arrogance. This is my belief. To judge a group of people based on one person is just plain ignorant. To believe your “group” is better is just plain arrogant. I have and always will associate with people from all walks of life. People of color, people of different religious beliefs, people with no religous beliefs, people who swear, people who don’t, people who spank their children, people who believe in time-outs…you see, they bring diversity and perspective to my world. They bring culture and honestly, damn good food. And we all know, I’m in it for the food. But really, even if they didn’t bring all of these things, I’d still enjoy their company because I’m not ignorant enough to believe that what makes up a person is what “group” they fit into. What makes up a person is their soul. And quite frankly, when you put up a racist comment you give me a glimpse of your soul and it’s not a soul I’d ever want to know.

I’m going to end with this quote:

“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” – Haile Selassie

Found my husband thanks to a newspaper ad…

25 Jun

I was 21 years old and needed a job. I was doing the online search thing, but having no luck. So I turned to the classifieds. I saw a job posted for an adminstrative assistant at a footwear company and thought, “This sounds awesome.” I interviewed and landed the job in April of 2001.

This is how I met Casie. Casie worked two cubicles away from me and I would visit her every single morning. I don’t think she knew what to think of me, but I didn’t care. I wanted to be friends with her. She was nice and funny and had no interest in being my friend. But I’m a persistant bitch and wouldn’t go away. After about 3 months of working there she said, “I have someone I want you to meet.” I said, “No. Not interested. I just got out of a serious relationship. I’m not ready.” Apparently she’s a persistant bitch too, because she wouldn’t let it go. A few times a week, she’d bring it up and I would always say no. Until one day, I asked for more details on this guy named Mike. Here’s how that went:

Casie: Well, he’s 30.
Janice: Oh. Yeah…that’s no good.
Casie: And he has an 11 year old son.
Janice: Ummm. Yeah…not sure I’m ready for that.
Casie: Here’s a picture of him
Janice: Ummm…he looks nice????

You see, Casie showed me the WORST picture of Mike EVER taken. I’m not joking. It was horrible. He looked bloated and drunk. So basically, Casie did the worst marketing for Mike ever! Apparently she was also working on him and this his how that went:

Casie: I have a girl I want you to meet.
Mike: Ok.
Casie: She’s 21.
Mike: Ummm. Yeah…don’t want a girl who wants to go to the club every night. She’s too young.
Casie: Just meet her.

So finally after about a month of her nagging both of us, I agreed as long as she and her husband came along. We would just meet for drinks. I had already decided I wasn’t interested. So the evening of introduction comes and I’m not joking when I say I didn’t even change my clothes. I didn’t put on more makeup. I really didn’t put any effort into myself at all because I had already made up my mind that I wasn’t interested.

So Casie and I arrived before Mike and Tuti (Casie’s husband) did. And we’re sitting on the top of this rooftop bar in Hermosa and I see this gorgeous guy walking up the stairs and then I see Tuti behind said gorgeous guy and I flip out. Oh shit…he’s hot!!! Wait…he’s hot????? So they sit down and I’m not joking it was instant for me. As soon as he said he liked Matchbox 20, Casie and Tuti might as well have not existed. I came home from that first night and told Sara (my best friend) I thought I had met someone really special.

He promised to call on Saturday and he did. He called before noon, which I thought was so awesome. He was the first man to ever officially ask me out on a date. He took me to dinner at Jackson’s Bistro and from that moment on, we were inseparable. Except for the one time a week in when he got freaked out about my age and tried to walk. Thank God for his Grandma who said, “Do you like her?” To which he said, “Yes.” And grandma said, “Well, then who cares how old she is.” Four years later he proposed at that same restuarant and five years ago today, we stood up and said our vows in front of friends and family who promised to help us and support our marriage. And they have….more than I can ever say.

Happy Anniversary Husband! I just want to say:

5 years

Many ups

A few downs

2 job changes for me

Starting a company for you

A drive halfway across the US in the worst moving van EVER

Your mom passed

My grandmas passed

A baby girl was born

A son graduated

Ava started preschool

Drew started college

A move from a 1 bedroom apartment, to a 2 bedroom apartment, to a townhome

Countless miles ran

A half marathon completed

Desert trips

Guys trips

Girls trips

The Big Easy

Mexico x 3

Florida

Missouri

Countless trips to the desert

And a HUGE pile of great memories!!!!

We live a good life babe and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner on this journey. I love you simply doesn’t seem like enough. You are an amazing man and I’m looking forward to adding to the list of memories. I love you more than I say and more than you know.

My Little Girl

23 Jun

It seems like so often lately I walk through the door and I see Ava standing at the top of the stairs so excited to see me and I look at her and I see a little girl…no more baby. Someone hand me some tissues. So I say, “Hi baby girl.” And for awhile she would say, “I’m not a baby.” So I explained to her why I call her baby girl…that it’s an endearing term. So now she’s says, “I’m not a baby but you love me so you call me baby girl. Right mom?”

I see a little girl who is growing so fast I can’t stand it. It seems so unfair that time has sped up since she was born and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Where is my Tivo for life? Where is my slow motion button?

I got a phone call from her yesterday and Mike was on the line first and he’s like, “Ava wants to tell you something and what she’s going to tell you is true.” Intriguing, huh. So she gets on the phone…

Ava: Hi Mama
Me: Hi baby girl. Daddy says you have something to tell me.
Ava: I did the monkey bars all by myself!
Me: That’s awesome! I’m so proud of you!

And I was. You see, she’s been going to the park every day and every day she practices learning how to do the monkey bars and yesterday she finally did it by herself. Among the many things I admire about my little girl is the fact that she is a determined child who wants to achieve. I see it in everything she does. If you tell her to try and color between the lines, she tries and tries and then when she masters it, she shows it to you and expects her praise. This makes me happy. This makes me feel like we are praising her in the right way.

A few weeks back we were having problems with putting her to bed at night. She was scared, truly scared of the dark and monsters and everything else. So before bed she was watching “Yo Gabba Gabba” and a song came on and the chorus went, “Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid. It’s going to be ok.” So Mike tells Ava, “When you’re scared just sing that song and it will make you feel better.” So about 20 minutes after we put her to bed, we hear her singing the song. And I actually teared up. I was so proud of her and I felt so sad for her scared little self. So I went downstairs and gave her a big hug and told her she was doing a great job and to just keep singing until she wasn’t scared anymore. And she did and she fell asleep…on her own.

Life is sometimes hard. I believe that our duty as parents is to prepare our children for that. I don’t believe that my job as Ava’s mommy is to do everything for her, to fight every battle for her, to not let her fail…that’s not preparing her for life. She has two feet that I’m supposed to help her learn how to stand on. My job is to teach her that not everything is easy. That sleeping alone is sometimes scary, but she has to face fears. That learning to stay between the lines is sometimes hard, but her picture will be prettier in the end. That sharing her toys is no fun, but it earns you friends. That sometimes she’ll fight with her friends and that’s ok, it teaches her to listen, to forgive and to solve problems. That sometimes she may not have the strength to make it to the other side of the monkey bars, but if she just keeps trying she’ll get there eventually.

And if I made everything so easy for her, she would never understand what it feels like to work hard for something and achieve it. Hearing the pride in her voice last night was one of the best feelings I’ve had in awhile. I was so damn proud…not just about her making it across the monkey bars, but the fact that she kept trying until she learned to do it and then took a great amount of pride in it.

Holy mother of God…how do I recall an email?

22 Jun

So when I had Ava, I dropped most of the weight pretty quickly. I am not ashamed to admit I gained 45 pounds during pregnancy. I spent the pretty much all day of the first four months of pregnancy hugging the toilet. So the next 5 months I ate everything in sight. And I don’t mean fruit and salad…I ate nachos, cheeseburgers, cookies and I might have eaten an entire apple pie one night. Go ahead and judge me suckers…I was HUNGRY!!!!!

So I lost 10 pounds the first four months I was pregnant and gained 45 total so that left me with 35 to lose. The first 20 came off no problem. The last 15 would not budge. I breastfed, which didn’t magically make the weight disappear like it did for my lucky friends. So when Ava was 6 months old, I talked Mike into doing Nutrisystem with me.

We get our one month food supply in the mail and read all the directions about what to eat when…blah, blah, blah. In the directions they suggest taking a “BEFORE” picture. Me being the type A personality I am, I throw on a black bikini and tell Mike to take my picture. Let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty…it just wasn’t. I had this “bite me” look on my face…I wasn’t happy about taking this picture. It was a total blow to the self-esteem. But I thought whatever…I’m going to look good in 3 months…this weight is coming off.

Anyway…fast forward a few weeks. In my “I’m not getting enough sleep” haze, I downloaded all the pictures off of our camera and uploaded them to Shutterfly. I “share” Ava’s Month 6 album with everyone in my address book. A day or two goes by and by this point alot of people had written back commenting on how cute Ava is and how much she’s growing. AND THEN…my cousin-in-law sends me an email and is all, “Nice pic of you in your bikini!”

OH. MY. GOD.

Yes. I sent my “before” picture out to all my friends and family. It doesn’t get much more awesome than that. Can you imagine the people who I didn’t get a chance to explain the “before” picture too???? I bet they were thinking, “Why the hell did Janice send a picture of herself, in a bikini, standing in her house?” They had to know it was a “before” picture, right?

I Have Something to Admit

19 Jun

I’m a former smoker. I’ve been on the wagon and off the wagon so many times that I feel like I can’t even tell people when I quit because I’m going to hear, “Hear we go again.” But hey…at least I keep trying. I feel like everyone gets all judgy on smokers and I get it. It’s a disgusting habit, it smells, blah, blah, blah. I started smoking at 13…I can’t even fathom that now. I did it on a dare and I look back and think, “My God…I was just a child. What was I thinking?” I know all of us can go back to a point in our lives where we say, “If I knew then, what I know now…”

I’m angry. I’m angry that I ever picked up that first cigarette. I’m angry that no matter how long I go without smoking the thoughts always push themselves back up…at the most random times. I know this post sounds all self-loathing and whiny but whatever…it’s my blog. And I need to talk about this. I need to talk about how frustrated I am that I feel alone sometimes.

Here’s the thing…I have friends who smoked and just quit…just like that. No big deal. That didn’t happen to me. So I feel like I can’t talk to those friends about it because it’s that whole “Well, I did it. So can you. What’s the big deal attitude?” And then I feel like a big, fat failure because I can’t push thoughts of smoking out of my head. What’s wrong with me? Am I not strong enough? How is it so easy for them and so hard for me? I feel weak sometimes. So weak that I have to ask Mike to go with me to the store because I know if I don’t have someone to go with me, I might just stop. And that pisses me off. It pisses me off that I can’t trust myself. It’s so lame.

And I KNOW if I picked up a cigarette and started smoking again, I’d just wish I hadn’t and I’d be back at square one trying to quit again because I DON’T WANT TO DIE! That’s really what it amounts to. When I smoked I would panic as I fell asleep at night that one day, a doctor would tell me, “You have cancer.”

I know it’s addiction…I get that part. But it sucks. And an addict of anything can understand how it’s a daily battle. And that’s the most frustrating part. Some days I have to fight hard to keep my head above water. Fight hard to keep myself from stopping at the store because really, the only person standing in my way is me. It’s the fight I have with myself…just one…I’m just going to smoke one. And then the other side of me is like, “You don’t want one…you want them all.” Which is really the truth.

I have a support system…a website I go to and I don’t really *know* the people there which makes it easy for me to really be honest about how much I think about smoking….because sometimes I wonder if I told my friends…the ones who see me everyday…I just wonder if they’d think I was nuts? Which I totally am but it’s one thing for me to know that and a completely different thing for them to confirm it.

Someone once said, “If you really wanted to quit, it wouldn’t be so hard.” And that kind of stings because I really do want to quit. I want to stay quit but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. And it’s comments like those that keep me from sharing how hard the battle is sometimes. Because really…if I didn’t want to quit, it would be a hell of alot easier to just give up. To just pick it back up again and say, “Screw it.”

I See A Future…

18 Jun

Bet you people are thinking this is going to be an inspirational post…nope. Not even close. I DO have something I want to tell all you lovelies about but I can’t. Yet. Because I’m superstitious and think it’s best to wait. Now all of you are thinking I’m pregant. I’m not. I promise.

Okay, so we’ve had some sleep issues with Ava. I wouldn’t even call them issues. She’s been sneaking into our bed around 2 am every night. And I do love it. It’s nice to wake up to her sweet little face. What I don’t love is being kicked to hell and back between 2 and 6am. She’s killing me and Mike. So we decide no more sneaking in. We explain it to her and her first response to me is, “That’s really not fair mom. You get to sleep with Daddy EVERY night and I have to sleep ALL BY MYSELF!” She’s got a point. But that’s besides the point.

So I try my next plan and this is how the conversation goes:

Me: Okay. If you quit sneaking into our room at night, I’ll tell Santa how good your being and maybe he’ll bring you a scooter for Christmas.
Ava: How far away is Christmas?
Me: 6 months
Ava: Hmmmm. Well, how about a scooter AND a pogo stick? (don’t know why she wants a pogo stick or where she saw one)
Me: How about just a scooter and I tell Santa to bring it a little early?
Ava: Done.

That’s right folks, not only did I bribe my child but she negotiated the terms of the bribery. Was this effective? She has been in her bed, all night, for 5 straight nights!!! I’m a freaking genious! I’ve created my “bribe list” below for future reference.

Bribe List

  1. Disney Princess Scooter
  2. Slip ‘n’ slide
  3. Bicycle with training wheels
  4. Sandbox
  5. Her own tv
  6. New clothes
  7. Free color with markers day (because I’m a neat freak and won’t let her have them)
  8. Play-do playtime (again with the neat freak thing)
  9. A real bed (she has a toddler bed now)

Am I a bad parent if I give her a new bed and then hold out on the sheets and use them as a bribe too?

O.M.G.

17 Jun

Every single time I glance at the headlines of CNN, I can find at least one article that irritates me. I don’t know why I do this to myself…why I even look. But here’s the headline that got me going this morning:

Latest airline fee? Early boarding

I thought, “OMG…they CAN’T be serious!!” So I had to read the article to find out how they packaged this concept up nicely so that somehow it’s a lovely gesture on part of the airlines…you know…a nice “service” they are offering. Because surely it’s thoughtful on their part, right? And sure enough, three sentences into the article:

American Airlines has introduced the “Boarding and Flexibility Package,” which allows passengers who buy tickets on the carrier’s website also to purchase perks that include being among the first to board a flight.

The word “perk” is mentioned twice in the article and it’s not so much that American Airlines is introducing the service, it’s the insulting way in which they deliver it. As if customers (you and me) aren’t smart enough to figure out that it’s a ploy for them to increase revenue. Right? I’m certainly not the only one who sees it this way, right???? They deliver it like they are “offering” you a perk. I think there was also the phrase “introductory price” in the article too! I get that businesses need to make money…hell, I like money too. But here’s my biggest piece of marketing advice, “DON’T THINK YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE IDIOTS!!!”

Is there anything airlines don’t charge for nowadays? I mean what’s next…are we going to have to pay to use the restroom in flight? Pay for our seatbelts? Here’s an idea, since I have to pay for my food now, you should remove the fold-down food trays and make me purchase one if I’d like to be comfortable while I eat.

I’m really not as angry as I sound…I just don’t get who’s in charge over at American but I’m guessing it’s the guy yelling, “Hey Stupid” at the press conference.