Sunday, November 28, 2010

Stupid Patrol: 'Tis the Season

Shopper crossing signImage by turtlemom4bacon via FlickrEvery year I go out with such high hopes when I go Christmas shopping. And every year my hopes are crushed within the first thirty minutes of the first shopping trip.

This year has proven to be no exception. I was in the Christmas section of Wal-Mart when I got a great big whiff of "Bah Humbug."

And that kind of poor attitude did not stop at the end of the wreaths, trees & lights. It permeated the entire store. In fact, there was a stark contrast between the joyful Christmas music playing overhead, and the pervasive mood of the store.

Children were crying, parents spoke sharply, several customers looked mad just for the sake of being mad. And even though there's a Christmas song that talks about the hustle & bustle of Christmas in a happy, joyful way, this hustle & bustle was cranky & irritated.

Oh, and one mustn't forget how Christmas brings out all the people who normally stay at home, except for the occasional midnight run to Wal-Mart for beer & bread. These are the people who are wandering around like deer in headlights with an actual grocery list and no skills to actually acquire the items on said list.

I had an idea for this season's shopping: I think everyone should be assigned a time to shop. That way it wouldn't be overly crowded at any given time, and the staff could be scheduled accordingly. And, since it's my idea, I propose that we clump all the stupid people together. That way stores can prepare for the special circumstances that inevitably crop up when the stupid people are shopping.

For instance, Wal-Mart could have an employee over in Tires and Hardware who would redirect the stupid people looking for tobasco sauce and underwear to the appropriate departments. And they would close down the self-checkout lanes all together.

The other thing I would request, since this is my idea, is that I get to shop at any other time except for when the stupid people are scheduled. Goodness knows I've shopped with enough of them I should be exempt. (Yes, ma'am, you do have to cook that turkey before you serve it... Well, sir, I'm fairly certain that vacuum does not require batteries. You plug it into the wall... No, ma'am, I don't work here. But I shop here very often, so I can say with certainty that Wal-Mart doesn't carry Abercrombie & Fitch cologne.)

I hope you all have a wonderful, stupid-free shopping season. And to all a happy, idiot-free goodnight.
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Monday, November 22, 2010


A child sleeping.Image via WikipediaWhat is up with people (especially children) who don't want to sleep? I so don't get that.

My bed is my haven, my inner sanctum. I absolutely love to cuddle up in my bundles of blankets and pillows and wallow.

And dream! Who doesn't like to dream? I'll grant you, nightmares are no fun. But generally speaking, my dreams are harmless, happy, witless apparitions that float across the front of my brain.

My children hate to sleep. They would do just about anything to keep from going to bed at night. And on weekends, when I am looking forward to dozing, they are up at the crack of dark, begging for something to do. I suggest sleep. They balk and act as though I've asked them to donate their liver.

I can't tell you how many conversations in my house go something like this:

ME:  Go to bed.

CHILD:  But I'm not tired (said in high, nasal, whiny, VERY tired voice)

ME:  It's so far past your bed time. You are going to miserable tomorrow. Please go get some sleep.

CHILD: *YAWN* But if I go to bed now, I'll get, like eight hours of sleep. I don't need that much sleep.

ME: Yes you do. Now, let's go.

CHILD:  Can I watch TV/listen to music/read a book/color? (read: anything but sleep)

ME:  No. I want you to sleep.

CHILD:  But if I do (insert activity) it will make me sleepy. Right now I'm not tired (rubs eyes)

ME:  If you don't go to bed right now, I'll dock your allowance by $2.00 for every minute you're out of bed.

CHILD:  That's not fair. You and daddy are up.

ME:  I'm not kidding. The clock starts... NOW.

CHILD:  (Scrambles to bed while complaining & mumbling).

Then I finish folding the load of laundry or changing the sheets on the bed, or whatever task I'm doing. Then I go to tuck them in and tell them goodnight; they are snoring. I thought they weren't tired???

Besides just plain liking sleep, I find that the many, many benefits are well worth the horizontal time invested. For example, sleep is when your body replenishes, heals and relaxes. Everything from weight loss to athletic performance is attributed to getting quality sleep. And it's the number one fighter of the big "S" word (Stress!).

I do have a rare instance of insomnia. And it totally stinks. I hate watching the clock, bleary-eyed while I wait for my alarm to go off. I really feel for friends who have regular bouts of it.

Hubby snores. And I know I've mentioned this before. Because hubby is not a "normal" snorer. He's a snore-so-hard-he-sucks-the-drapes-off-the-windows snorer. Remedy? Ear plugs for me.

Son snored. Had tonsils removed. Now he doesn't snore and he sleeps much better.

I don't snore unless I'm sick. Then I'm told I could wake the dead. But I'm usually far too asleep to hear myself.

Just talking about sleep is making me...  You guessed it: Sleepy. LOL.

As I write this, my children, feigning the superpower of not needing sleep, are trying to climb out of their beds to play some more. So, I guess as a responsible parent, I need to jump off my computer to go shoo them into bed.

Also time for me to snuggle down into my happy slumber for the night.

So, Good Night.  And, Sweet Dreams...

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'm Weird

vegan vanilla ice creamImage by elana's pantry via FlickrI'm weird.

I grew up in an a-typical American family: My father and mother married, then had children. They have never divorced. I rarely see them disagree. And we liked each other.

My brother nor I did drugs or ran with the wrong crowd (Okay, that last bit could be challenged, depending on who you talk to LOL). We both made good grades and had jobs in High School. Each of us married our spouses, then had children. Each of us are gainfully employed, and have happy lives.

I also like my family, and my husband's family. I don't feel like I'm discriminated against. I don't feel like the world owes me anything, or the government is out to get me. But I'm not on any kind of medication (prescription or illegal) that makes me ingenuously happy, either. I don't have a vice that is any more egregious than diet coke. I really don't drink very often. I don't smoke.

My children don't have any disabilities (other than the fact that we are their parents LOL). They are polite, well-mannered children. They get good grades and enjoy their family.

We don't "tangle" with the law. We don't have any "Oprah-worthy" events in our lives. We would never be good material for a reality show.

We go to church and have strong beliefs. But we practice tolerance and loving our neighbors.

Basically, we are "plain vanilla" in a "thirty-one flavors" kind of society. And I personally could not be happier to be plain.

The funny thing is, while diversity is promoted in the media, and abnormality is celebrated as what is the true "norm," ours is the life people want.  Pop star calamities are glitzy and make headlines. And standing up to admit our failures and shortcomings to the world is so common, it's almost passe'.

But at the end of the day, most people would rather have had a satisfying, fulfilling day of work, and come home to a loving family and a warm home.

So, yes, I'm weird. And this Thanksgiving, I give thanks to God that He made me that way. I am happy and content... and weird.

May you all have a plain, weird Thanksgiving, too!
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's Been Ages... But I'm Back!

AT SEA - NOVEMBER 9:  In this photo provided b...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Oh my goodness. Has it really been over a whole month since I posted last? Oh, bad Mommy Barbie!

Much has happened since the last post. Some funny; some sad.

The most exciting things:
1) Our family went on a cruise to Mexico
2) I got accepted into a Masters program at Trevecca Nazarene University and will start school to earn my teaching certification and Masters on January 8, 2011
3) The kids are all alive & well
(Not necessarily in that order)

The cruise? I was a bit nervous at first. The Carnival cruise ship that ran out of power was on the news only one day prior to ours. AND we were on Carnival, too! *Gasp*

But, it was fine & it was oh-so-much fun! I didn't have to cook or clean for five whole days! And (bonus) I got to bask in the warm sun in Mexico AND haggle over prices in their marketplace.

The teaching program is a long-time dream of mine finally coming true. It is the epitome of "In God's Time." I've been pushing this thing uphill since I graduated High School. Twenty-three years later I had all but given up. Then, *poof* God does His thing, and it's all fallen into place more beautifully than I could have ever dreamed.

The kids... Ah, well, they have declared an all-out, go-for-broke, fight-to-the-death war upon each other. Their take-no-prisoners, shoot-first-ask-questions-later approach has worn on my poor nerves.

I have even had to institute "Mommy Time Outs" so as not to take a child/all the children out to the end of the drive way and duck tape him/her/them to the mail box. They pick fights with each other for no good reason other than to fight. And I always feel like I'm in the middle of a pack of caged tigers who are prowling around trying to establish territory.

We have managed a bit of a truce on the fighting front. But it is a very tenuous truce, and needs only the smallest, assumed look to be broken. It was especially fun for the whole family on the seven hour drive down to the cruise port.

In fact, we had so much "fun" on the way down, that I gave each of the kids either Dramamine (because two of the kids actually had motion sickness on the cruise, and I wanted to ensure a comfortable trip home in the van) or night-time Nyquil (because one of the kids actually had a sinus infection and fever) to help them "rest" on the way home.

They slept like babies. And we had a fight-free ride. Hubby suggested I send in the slogan "Better vacationing through Dramamine" to the company. However, I assured him that just about every parent in the free world who ever rode in the car with kids knew the magical powers of Dramamine and Nyquil.

Tonight all of the children are sleeping soundly (with no medical/chemical assistance, I might add) while I write. Listening to the quiet house (even the animals are dozing happily) I realize why it has been so long since my last post: With hubby out of town more than he's been in town, these quiet evenings inspire relaxation and rest, rather than a burning desire to plunk around on a computer keyboard.

So, since I've (somewhat) caught up my posts for now, I'll bid you good night to continue the whole rest and relaxation gig. And I promise to post again much sooner. I wouldn't want you to miss out on the fun, crazy, silly, beautiful moments of Mommy Barbie's Adventures!

Blessings & Peace,
MommyBarbie :)
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