Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Icognito Lipstick Vibe Review

Grrl Toyz® Incognito Lipstick Vibe, Hot Pink

As I stated last week TheirToys.com sent me the Grrl Toyz Incognito Lipstick Vibe (pictured to the right) to review. Over the weekend I was afforded the opportunity to try the item. This was no easy feat as George St. Pierre fought Josh Koscheck on Saturday night and we had to fly in and out of SF on Sunday for the Forty Niner game (both GSP and the Niners one so with the addition of Friday's Lipstick Vibe trial it was a pretty good weekend). As this is my first review I hope I do well and invite all who stumble upon it to comment and let me know what you think.

The item came quickly and was packaged in a manner that did not allow my mailman's imagination to run wild. Whenever ordering something like this online it is good to know your privacy will be protected during the item's pilgrimage to you. Upon opening the box I found the item in it's original plastic pack. It takes 2 AAA batteries which are not included. This vibrator is built for clitoral stimulation and is made to look like your average lipstick for when you would like to travel with it but do not want the TSA (or friends and family) to know you have brought along a vibrator. This fact was important to me because we vacation at least once a year and I was tired of displacing my Tiffany jewelry everytime I needed to conceal my Pocket Rocket. The vibrator itself is also very cute and girly helping it fit in with the items you would normally place in your make up bag.

The slanted lipstick shape of the tip makes it perfect for clitoral placement. The vibration of it rivals that of my trusted Pocket Rocket which I have used for years. Though it is big enough to keep a hold of, it is also just small enough to fit in between my husband and I which I appreciated because we have been looking for a vibrator that could be used during the actual "act". As for the ability of the Incognito Lipstick Vibe, I was pleasantly surprised to find it worked better than my go to vibrator. I have seen and passed up this vibrator in the past under the assumption it was more of a novelty item. I was wrong and it performs the double duty of looking inconspicuous while getting the "job" done well.

Since I am not a huge fan of penetrating vibrators I consider myself a sort of aficionado of the clitoral vibes and this item is going to be my new favorite. It is water tolerant so you can also use it in the tub. Thanks to that water tolerance clean up is easy with a little soap and water. The Lipstick Vibe is reasonably priced at 24.99 and though it was sent to me free of charge I checked out shipping under their Customer Service link and found shipping is only 9.95 on domestic orders and FREE on orders over 50 bucks.

The site itself is easy to navigate and carries a number of toys for men and women along with an array of lubes and condoms. Everything is placed in easy to navigate categories. The Lipstick Vibe can be found in the main category Vibrators under the the subcategory Mini Vibrators or by clicking the link above. Even if you're not interested in this particular item TheirToys.com is worth a visit for your next (or first) sex enhancement purchase because they have something for everyone.

Read My Disclosure Statement here.

Friday, December 10, 2010

My First Review

I am going to be posting my first product review next week. Though my blog is primarily for me to air my dirty laundry and complain to the cyber world at large I have been interested in testing out goodies and letting others know whether they're worth spending some of your last unemployment check on (sorry 99ers, it's just a joke).

Anyway, recently I was contacted by a nice woman named Brittany over at  TheirToys.com who offered me this first product review opportunity. Now, I know what you're thinking, a toy review is super sweet but they do not sell the type of toys families are dealing with at this time of year. They carry a wide and reasonably priced array of adult toys to jingle your bell. The item I will be reviewing is the Lipstick Vibe:
Grrl Toyz® Incognito Lipstick Vibe, Hot Pink
Pretty, isn't it?

The item arrived just the other day so hopefully I will be able to try it over the weekend and post the review on Monday or Tuesday. Family members and my more conservative readers need not cringe, I will keep my review clean and professional. You will not have to deal with an in depth explanation of my lady lumps or the scene in which the usage took place. Nothing but the facts in the most respectful manner I can muster. Anyone who is still reading my inconsistent experiment is invited back next week to check out this review and maybe get some ideas to make your holidays bright.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I know I have not been around much lately and I have many excuses. We went to England in October then it was in and out of San Francisco for a Niner game but mostly, I have been very lazy and uninspired. During my impromptu hiatus I have started but failed to finish at least 5 posts so in an effort to re-engage some of the followers I fought so hard to pull in I will be wading back into the blog pool.
As we all know last week was Thanksgiving. A day of food and family and ours was right on par. My mom and her husband came up from Arizona and my stepchildren made their first solo drive from California to Vegas. My father, brother, and pseudo SIL also joined us. It was a smaller gathering than most but enjoyable none the less. Dave cooked his second Turduken and that shit was great. He made the first one last year but this year he really honed his technique. I don't usually like duck but, when it's layered with turkey, chicken, and stuffing it is awesome. Dinner went well (the eating time is always greatly disproportionate to cook time on Thanksgiving) and I would venture to say everyone had fun. At least I did anyway.

Friday we got the teenagers up at 245am to join the fray that is Black Friday. As readers who've been with me from the beginning may know I fucking HATE Black Friday. People act like crack smoking homeless folk when they hit those doorbuster sales. Everyone is wondering around in loose fitting sleepwear type garments with glazed eyes and slack mouths frantically grabbing up a bunch of useless shit that cost 40 bucks the day before but now in the wee hours of the morning is selling for 18.99. They then stand in 2 hour lines to run up their burgeoning credit card debt. The only reason I consented to another Black Friday outing was my husband's yearning for the 350 dollar red enamel 10 piece Claphalon cookware set that was selling at Kohls for 179.99. Dave always has something he needs come Black Friday. The nice thing is it's usually specific and at one store so we aren't wondering around in the mosh pit of shoppers all day.

After purchasing our new cookware set (which is beautiful and well worth the inconvenience) along with a few other items we ventured to the Target next door to "take a look". What greeted us was a line wrapping around the stupid store which we had no interest in standing in. That was when we made the decision to go home and get back to our original activity, sleep.

Before you say to yourself "Wow, what a tranquil and uneventful holiday Sabreena had. She is quite the lucky lady." be aware there was a trauma. You CANNOT have a four day weekend filled with family and glutenous amounts of food without drama. My mom and her husband brought their very old and very sickly dog with them for the weekend. By Friday afternoon I think the dog had just had it with my kids. My youngest Remy was being chased by his brother and ran over the old bastard who turned around and bit right into Remy's little leg leaving a nasty but non-life threatening puncture wound. I calmed my baby and cleaned him up explaining that the doggy needed to be avoided at all cost. That advice was not to be heeded.

Later that evening Dave and I took my stepchildren out for a little toddler free time. Upon our return home we found a note explaining that the dog had bitten the same child again but this time in the face. I aroused said child from his slumber to find his lip bloodied by what looked like 4 new bites (which looked deceptively worse that night). I did not panic and run to the emergency room which I am glad for because the next day the cuts were smaller and already healing. My mom on the other hand left early and feeling horrible. We closed out the weekend with couch time and a Superman movie marathon.

Now it is five days after the attack and Remy is fine. The puncture wound is struggling to close and his mouth is a little scabby but his condition is nothing compared to what it could have been. However, when asked how his Thanksgiving was Remy pulls at his lower lip and answers "The doggy ate my face". Ahhhh memories.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bedtime Lockdown

I am about to share with you a part of our bedtime routine which makes some mothers cringe. Now, now, don't let your mind wander because I do not have any cages laying around the house or a Tuff Shed converted into a toddler prison in the backyard. What I do is much more humane and in my experience has been suggested by experts. I lock my children's doors from the outside when they go to sleep at night. That's right, after 730 Lash and Remy lose their household privileges and are forced to stay in their rooms to do the unthinkable. SLEEP.

After you get over the original shock of hearing a mother say she locks her children's doors you may start to wonder about the possible fire hazard. Fear not good people. It's not like I have a padlock on the doors or several chain locks that would be impossible to slide in an emergency. No, we simply turned their knob locks around so the little locking mechanism faces into the hallway. In case of fire or unwanted intruder all we have to do is turn the little thingy and the boys are free!!! I have also discussed this around my firefighter brother in law and he didn't seem to disagree with it and usually he'll speak up about safety no matter what (like when we were installing our car seats without having them checked) so I took his silence as his blessing.

Now that the fire concern is out of the way and you have not decided to stop following the blog of such an evil and sadistic mother allow me to explain why I added locks to our night time routine and what information later vindicated my decision.

If you read my blog back in February you might know that my husband and I went to New Orleans for our annual 7 day kid less vacation. During our break from parenting duties my husband's mom kindly came to Vegas and watched my little dudes. She does a great job and my boys get to stay in their home while we are away allowing them some shred of normalcy without their lifeline, me. Upon our return home all seemed well until I went to bed that night. Around 10 or 11 I woke up suddenly to see a tiny little shadow scurrying around the hallway. This had never happened before because my children have been great sleepers since they were 4 months old. They had both been moved into toddler beds months prior and had never broken the golden rule of "stay". Though I knew the shadow was one of my toddlers it freaked me the fuck out. It was like one of those horror movies where a doll has come alive and is creeping around your house giggling wickedly. I got up and found my oldest Lash in the hallway. He informed me he was on his way to Remy's room for some play time. I sleepily admonished him and put him back in bed threatening bodily harm should he get up again. Though he went back to sleep that night every night after that one or both boys would get up throughout the night. I was perplexed to say the least (and tired as I hadn't had to night wakings since they breast fed).

After like 3 days of that nonsense I interrogated my father who lived with us at the time and he explained that it was something that started on day 2 of us being gone and that he had been the one to constantly put them back to bed because my mother in law is a hard sleeper. He also explained that she didn't address the situation thinking they would sleep sooner or later. She also thought they would sleep in the next day to make up for any lost sleep (which they never did because no matter what time they go to sleep or how many hours they lose at night they are up at the ass crack of dawn). I was worried because though we have a gate at the top of our stairs, my boys being the monkeys that they are, have often tried to climb the gate which leads to a straight drop down the stairs. I pictured being woken up to a broken and crying 2 year old laying lifeless on the stairs in the middle of the night. Not a picture to have in your head before bed at night.

The drop from our gate at the top of our stairs

I discussed the issue with Dave and the solution we came up with to keep Lash and Remy safe from themselves as well as preserve my much needed sleep (you haven't seen a bitch until you've seen me working off of 4 hours of sleep) was to turn their knobs around and lock them in. I know you've moved from fire terror to concern about the mental health of my kids. What would locking them in at night do to their psyche? Would they feel unloved like a dog left at the pound to rot? The answers are they're fine and no. On the first night of "Lock Down: Houston House" I explained to both boys that we would be locking their doors because it wasn't safe for them to wonder the house at night. I let them know that I had monitors for their rooms and would be able to hear them if they needed me but they needed to go to sleep and stay in their bed (or room at least) until morning. They were wary at first but have become totally used to it. Lash locks his door that leads to his Jack and Jill bathroom (a bathroom that goes through to the bedroom next to his). I placed a little potty in his room so he could relieve himself at night if he needs to, so no he isn't being denied bathroom privileges. This has worked well and though the boys still get up when they are first put to bed, they are safe and end up in bed because it is the only option after they have played for a while.

About the information that vindicated this decision. It did not come from those around me because though none of my friends judged me, none of them agreed with me either and all of them admitted they could "never" do that. I was actually vindicated by a professional (all be it one I watched on TV but a pro none the less). I was watching reruns of that show Raising Sextuplets with the sweet blonde, her anger management dropout husband, and their 6 toddlers one day when I came across an episode dealing with getting the sextuplets to stay in their rooms at night. The producers of the show brought in a sleep expert from Parenting magazine who told blondie and her agro boy to do exactly what I had already done. She explained that when children are babies their crib is their safe place at night but once they graduate into a toddler bed their bedroom becomes their crib. She explained that you must safety proof it (which I have totally done in Lash and Remy's rooms) then lock the door so they are in their safe place. Over time they will learn to just go to sleep (which my boys re-learned after a few weeks). Up until that point I was pleased with my results but wondered if I was doing something wrong. Turns out I was doing something right. I was keeping my boys safe even though those around me felt it was a radical and maybe unacceptable idea. Thank god I am a maverick when it comes to motherhood and follow my instincts not magazines and other moms or I may have had that broken toddler thought become reality.

I don't foresee locking them in forever (though when they're 16 we may turn the joint into San Quentin) but for now it seems like more of a safety requirement. Lash can unlock the front door now and Remy isn't far behind on that skill so until they can fully understand the consequences of such actions as well as the importance of sleeping they will keep their locks. And I will keep my sanity.

What about you? Do you think locking them in is a negative thing which will damage them irreparably or have you gotten an idea from this post? What do you do to keep your little creepers in at night? 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Curse Therefore I Reap II

Several months back I wrote a little post called I Curse Therefore I Reap about my oldest son's less than stellar word choices. When I wrote that post, I believe I wrote mostly about Lash and his occasionally wayward mouth, little did I know that Remy was the key to a shitload of hurt in the fowl language department. He is 3 going on 40. He is entertaining but inappropriate with his words. A few minutes ago he called me a "dumbass" because I told him it was time to go take a nap. He has mastered cursing so well he has ventured into the forbidden arena of creating his own curse words such as his favorite "jerk ass". Remy has gone so far as to brave calling me a bitch for which he was spanked and issued a timeout (in answer to the gasp of concern and disdain you just issued, yes I spanked my son's little white ass because no matter how funny he sounds saying a curse word or how unacceptable strong parenting has become, he IS NOT going to disrespect his queen and creator. Call CPS all you want but don't forget to include Remy's ill conceived portion of the incident in your report).

Lash has outgrown curse words, going from saying them sometimes to policing others for their offenses. Remy is a different beast all together. While Lash is mature and sweet, Remy is impulsive and often angry. When Lash can be reasoned with Remy will have none of your bullshit and will call it as such. While Lash used his limited curses in the context of conversation Remy uses his for anger and pure shock value. It amazes me how far apart 13 months can be when it comes to children. Having children so close it also amazes me how utterly different they really are. Though Lash went through a short period of trying out the nasty words Remy seems to relish them using them more often than Lash even knew how to. He will say a curse word to one of us then cackle like a witch from one of those contrived Disney movies we all grew up with. Our family videos are littered with happy times punctuated by Remy's little voice calling out "shit" or "God dammit" from somewhere off camera. Different though they are, we do love them equally and try hard not to compare the two because that isn't fair to them. Remy is artistic and Lash is analytical. They should never be exactly the same. Even when it comes to something as unacceptable as cussing.

I know the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of my husband and I. After writing my previous post we have learned nothing. I just feel lucky Remy hasn't picked up more choices in words during Dave's football season rants (we're 49er fans so you can imagine the language that ensues on Sundays from August on). My Monday and Tuesday commutes to daycare and preschool could make a nun blush sometimes. Somehow, some way, we are going to have to learn to better curb our enthusiasm for use of the "bad words" in order to provide a better example and therefore live up to the expectations we place on our children. That is the starting point, and until we make a change Remy's little bouts of tourettes will get no better.

Poor little dude, if we're his only hope he doesn't stand a chance. On the bright side, at least he's verbally prepared for his eminent time in the public school system.

What do you think? Am I a bad parent or is this all par for the course? Am I the only one with a potential trucker on her hands?


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 3

Today is day 3 of Lash’s first week of preschool and I have to tell you I have felt emotions I am not used to when it comes to my kids. I mentioned a few posts ago about the new found sentimentality but along with that came insecurity, anxiety, and guilt. I had no idea what an emotional shit storm school would bring (and this is just preschool for one of my children). I have spent so much time looking forward to school as some type of escape and the path back to my freedom as a person that I didn’t know it would feel more like depression than liberation. Lash, the intelligent little adventurer that he is, was so excited on the first day. I dropped him off with the other sour faced children then proceeded to bust a tear or two in the front office on my way out (don’t worry, he was not within view of his blubbering mother). It’s not like I wasn’t happy, I was nervous for him and sad that such a huge part of my life is coming to an end. Though he only goes 3 days a week I know this is just the beginning of chaotic days and activities without mommy. Since the boys turned 2 and 3 it has been so overwhelming that I almost couldn’t deal and just wished for more me time and to be doing something MORE with my life. Watching that little dude leave me for the day snapped something and made me realize I have been doing something MORE.

As people we are so programmed to believe that only high paying respectable jobs are honorable accomplishments. Don’t get me wrong, these are important and have helped our society to stave off  the upcoming entitlement generation. It makes people strive and work but, what happens when you step out of the race to raise a family? For me, the first year was fun and being that I was pregnant with Remy during  most of Lash’s first year it was also a blessing. As the years have worn on, I have started to feel brain dead and worthless. Like I wasn’t giving back and I was losing myself in the monotony of child rearing. I watched my mother go through the same thing at a young age and I finally understood why she tried so hard to get out there and reclaim herself.

Watching my oldest son go to school was rough but it was last night I had my Aha! moment. I realized that my self worth is still intact because I am creating PEOPLE. I have been blessed with the ability to be here day in and day out for the formative years of my children’s life. I have been able to educate and show them things that working full time may not have allowed (don’t get yo panties in a bunch working moms, we’re all doing well in our own damn ways). Though I haven’t brought home a paycheck in almost 4 years I have done a job most would not enjoy. I have done it well too. By no means am I done, it’s only preschool after all, but I am shaking off that feeling of uselessness that was starting to swallow me. As I watch my son take on school like it’s nothing I can see what being home has done for me and my family. As their days become filled and mine empty I do hope to do something part time (what that may be is a topic all it’s own) but instead of wishing to be doing something more I now hope to just be able to do what I have been doing. I am fine with being a SAHM and I’m not going to be hatin on it anymore.

It’s only the 3rd day and soon he won’t be so excited but on this 3rd day I feel good about my boys and myself as a mom. I fuckin rock the mom thing like it’s no one’s business and my paycheck is not only what I receive but also what I am giving back to the world. My boys will be happy well adjusted adults. I am doing the job of giving the world something it is starting to lack, motivated and decent humans (fingers crossed because no matter what parents do kids can go either way).  Preschool has awakened more than sentimentality, it has given me purpose and direction (as well as some much needed break time). You’re never too old to learn and at 32 the lessons just keep on coming.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Blog Stalk Fridays with CB

One Crazy Brunette Chick

How to Play:
1. Take my fabulous new button
2. Post it
(in your post, on your sidebar... I don't give a fuck as long it's there!)
3. Then link your happy ass up!

CB is the author of a blog I recently found and now follow called One Crazy Brunette. She wips my ass in the cussing department but looks like a lady doing it. If you're brave enough link up and post the button above.

Friday, August 13, 2010

How to Have Fun at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum

Several weeks ago my husband was online and saw that Madam Tussuad's Wax Museum at the Venetian Hotel had gained a wax figure of MMA fighter Chuck Liddell. Due to the fact that we are total MMA fans and we needed to get the boys out of the house before we tied them up in their rooms and ran away from home to entertain them, we decided to make a rare trip down to the Las Vegas strip (locals avoid that shit whenever possible) and check it out. My kids haven't been down there in a while and were amazed by all of the hotels. I have never seen two people so enthralled with a parking garage. We could have hung out in there and they would have been perfectly happy but, we wanted to see the museum and I think my youngest, Remy, had a hankering to feel the camaraderie of the roulette table (not, he prefers the lavish bars like mommy and daddy).

We walked through the casino which is a very slow process with two short legged, bobble head toddlers and made our way to the counter to buy tickets. Upon entering the first room it was overly crowded and everyone was taking pictures with the figures so you couldn't walk without being a fixture in some tourists family memory. We made our way to our first wax figure of the legendary Jenna Jamison (that's right, the porn star) and this was the photo we decided to take:

Now, though we thought this was hilarious many around us did not follow suit. The boys had no clue they were just happy to be out and taking a pic. Little did any of the tourists know we were just getting started and if they were going to be near us during their tour they were going to be displeased further. Next to Jenna's waxy form was Brittney Spears and Dave was up next:

After giggling like idiotic Middle School kids we decided to try and get ahead of the crowd and went to the next room. It was my turn to take a picture with golfer and known manwhore Tiger Woods.

If this looks awkward it's because I was very embarrassed and did not get my head as close to his crotch as we had planned (not a problem for the hookers he cheated with). Just so you can see we aren't completely immature with little to know respect for our children here's one of our normal pics with Chuck (the inspiration for this naughty trip).

Yes, the face I am making here is stupid but that's how I roll (plus I hate pictures of myself and feel awkward in front of a camera). The next room held every one's favorite "alleged" child molester Michael Jackson. Can you guess who posed with him? If you said our kids then you're right (no prizes though, who do I look like, Bob Barker?)

We had told the boys to stand with their hands in a stop pose which if you look closely Lash is doing. I think Remy has some of the "Jesus Juice" in his sippy there and that may be why he seems a little more receptive to Mr. Jackson's presence (like the lucky boys who visited Wonderland). One of the last few pictures exemplifies how quickly kids can learn and then emulate any behavior:

Here you see sweet Lash molesting Madonna of his own free will. All I told him was stand next to her but he, much like his father, is a leg man (maybe because he can't reach the boobs yet).

In our defense we had fun so fuck all the tourists who were too good for our crass behavior in front of our young offspring. We took some normal pictures but these were the fun ones and reveal our sense of humor and the classy people we truly are.  Besides, it was much more fun than the expensive and totally shitty Gondola ride we took afterward. The boys love boats and we were enjoying our time out so we thought we'd take the Gondola around the hotel, little did we know that shit does not go around the hotel but stays in the pond out front with a 5 minute period spent under a bridge sweating your balls off. Being a Las Vegan I welcome everyone to come here and spend money to boost our economy but I do not suggest this rip off of an activity. Spend your money at the bars, in the casinos, or at the restaurants. Do not take the gondola ride. It is expensive (they charged us full price for Lash even though he's only 3) and the ride itself does not justify the price. You'd be better off riding the double decker public transit buses up and down the strip for 7 bucks.

In the end, it was a fun day and we look forward to our next debaucherous family outing. Just wait till we hit Disney Land when the boys get a little older. The happiest place on earth has nothin on the Houstons from Las Vegas.

Do you do crazy shit like this with your family or am I the most inappropriate mother on Earth? When you see someone acting like we did do you express your distaste and utter disgust via facial expressions or do you mind your own business?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Best Award Evah!!!!

My friend Nanny over at Naughty Mommy Reviews created this badass award which I coveted from the start (who doesn't want an award attached to hotness) and today she has been benevolent enough to bestow it upon me. Being a 32 year old mother of 2 and looking the way I do I have been aware of my MYLFtastic  hotness for a while but Nanny's recognition has added a few more notches to my narcissism belt. The rules for the award are as follows: Make a post with the graphic and post the graphic on your blog. Nominate 5 other sexy blogs and let them know via comments with a link so they can grab the graphic. My nominees are:

1. Crissy
2. Aunt Becky @ Mommy Wants Vodka
3. Robin @ Mass Hole Mommy
4. Dr. Heckle
5. Mary @ Pajamas and Coffee

Thanks again Nanny, and to those I have nominated, accept it and be gracious because I chose you above all the rest. You're never too good for a random award dammit!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Preschool Perspective

Baby Lash Vegas Houston
My 4 year old is starting preschool next month and that fact is causing feelings in me I am not used to. I am not a very sentimental person. I am often the mom without the camera during a party or major life event. I am the mom who treats her kids like little adults causing other moms to describe me as “not very maternal”. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my boys, I am just not that sentimental about things. Until now. I think I’ve been caught up the last 4 years in the day to day care and survival of having two children that are only 13 months apart. Being with them 24/5 has left me a little burnt out on the whole “oh my gosh” of motherhood at times. Last week that all changed when I toured the first preschool for Lash and realized he was leaving me for the real world. I actually felt sick to my stomach during the tour and could not bring myself to register him that same day (Lash and I went back and took care of the registration together).

The school was great but the realization of how old my son really is hit me like the swine flu and I couldn’t deal. When did he get so big? Are the staff and other kids going to treat him the way he deserves? He has been in daycare 2 days a week since he was 1 but that is a small in home daycare which is more like family than daycare. School means many different people and kids, new influences and attitudes. It means others are going to help shape and create the mind I have had the major task of building over the last 4 years.
I think back to when he was small. When he learned to talk or walk and I wonder, did I appreciate that properly. Did I do enough with him in the short time I had him all to myself? I know I am not the only one who feels this because mothers go through it ever day but sentimentality is an unfamiliar feeling for me. In my mind the days when he is obsessed with me and me only are ending, he might like his teacher better. He may find a little girl with short chubby legs and pretty hair to take my place in his sweet little heart. Most of all, it’s knowing that he is not a baby any more. He is officially a little man out to find his way in the world (I know he’s not moving out or anything) and this fact distresses me a little. I never realized how attached to my sons I had become until Monday of last week when I realized this was going to change everything.

School is a good thing and I am totally excited for him. He is a smart outgoing little dude with much to offer any classroom but, up until this point, he has been all mine to mold. I guess I have been oblivious to the way the years have flown by and visiting and registering Lash in preschool was an official end to my whole head in the sand attitude. Though he will only be going 3 days a week this is a precursor to Kindergarten and then 1st grade. Preschool is just the beginning to a whole career of education away from me.

Because of this whole experience consider this sentimentally challenged mom schooled and reborn! I will have a camera on that first day of school and I will keep every preschool memento my husband will allow (he hates hoarding of any kind). I will appreciate the day alone preschool is giving me with my 3 year old Remy, and I will try to make those days as memorable as possible. I will remember that my boys are just kids and will therefore often act in a manner that shows no common sense or impulse control and I will try to readjust my expectations of them because of that fact.

My first course of action in my sentimental awakening will be to appreciate my kids and their firsts more. If my husband and I do this whole parenting thing right my boys will grow up to be secure and contributing men that do not live with us. Though, after the feelings that came with something as simple as preschool I can only imagine the temporary breakdown that will ensue the day I have to drop them off at college or help them move into their first apartment in another city.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fallout from the Housing Crisis or Karma?

I truly believe in Karma. Not in a overly new age hippy way, but I do subscribe to the belief that what you put out is what you get back. When I was younger I did not hold this belief and lived my life accordingly. But, as I’ve aged like the fine wine that I am, I have made decisions and dealt with people in a manner that is as honest and non destructive as humanly possible (sometimes fall out is unavoidable but I do my best to make it as small as I can). I think some of my earlier years are catching up to me though.

Recently our neighborhood has seen a rise in crime. My husband has lived here for over 10 years and though the neighborhood has changed rapidly due to the recession he has been slow to catch up. Feeling safe and usually being completely distracted (a phone grows out of his ear from morning till night) Dave had been less than vigilant with locking our cars. Now, he has done so in the past with no repercussions but in the last 2 years someone has marked our cars as easy targets (duh) and taken advantage. We have had about 5 “get ins” (cannot call them break ins when you leave it unlocked) which resulted in the theft of a wallet, GPS device, jewelry, and other little shit which didn’t matter. Though I was perplexed and felt completely violated I have started to think it might be Karma having her PMS revenge on my husband and I for past actions. As teenagers we both shoplifted. We never stole from an individual deciding instead to “stick it to the man” and steal from large stores. I don’t think we realized until later that shoplifting affects everyone because it costs the stores which in turn costs everyone. Needless to say, these actions were a part of our history and we learned valuable lessons from committing our petty crimes. We both ended our thieving ways before entering our twenties but, Karma, being the vengeful and lazy bitch that she is, seems to be paying us back now. The losses we’ve had hurt but if this is Karma, we have accepted our medicine and now are vigilant about our cars and belongings. We repent our sins.

I mentioned previously that it might be Karma because my second thought (and what I feel is the more solid theory) is that maybe these incidents aren’t Karma but the unmentioned after effects of the foreclosure boom. The reason I think this is because these thefts are happening to those who remember to lock up their shit as well as those of us that don’t. A recent example is my neighbor across the street took his son camping this past weekend and someone stole his box trailer from up the street. These fools pulled up with a truck and hooked that bad boy up rolling away like they owned the shit. My neighbor is the nicest guy and that trailer has been in this hood for years so why the hell now? Is Karma rearing her ugly head at our neighborhood collectively or has the explosion of renters and short sale procurements brought an element to our neighborhood for which none of us are prepared?

I am in no way saying all  renters and people lucky enough to swoop up a 250,000 dollar home for 50,000 are bad people. In fact, until I married Dave I was a permanent renter with no hope of ever owning anything (husband numero uno was not a productive team member). What I am saying is that the renters and short sale buyers we’ve seen move into our area recently are less than impressive folks (of ALL races). They’re the type of people who do not care for their yards or their children. They are folks who move 25 people into a single family residence and then take up all available parking. They are couples who move in with their teenage children then seem to disappear leaving said teens to roam freely into all hours of the night. It is a diverse yet disappointing group of newbies to say the least.

Since we live in Las Vegas many would think the criminal element would be everywhere but I have to tell you that the area we live in is pretty (or was) quiet until this whole recession debacle hit. Now we have thefts, loud people hanging out on the street behind our house at midnight, and beat downs of the poor old dude that works graveyard at the gas station on the corner. That is why I wonder if everything is Karma or if the news and government has left out a very important repercussion of the housing crisis.

If all of the bad juju was limited to my husband and I, I would attribute it completely to Karma but since it’s spreading like crabs in a nightclub bathroom stall I am beginning to think we need to get our move on. We have always discussed buying property and building our own little compound but it seems some unknown force is pushing us to stop discussing and start doing. It’s sad when having neighbors becomes the plague and all you dream of is enough property to separate yourself from everyone and anyone around you. To get your house far enough off the street and your property wall tall enough to block out the world at large so you can keep safe those possessions you may have forgotten to lock up but did not forget to PAY FOR. What happened to the days of neighborhood barbeques and occasional egg loans? Evidently our neighborhood has traded those days in for petty larceny and geriatric bullying.

What do you think? Karma or social deterioration brought about by the sudden easy access of shady individuals to quiet, law abiding neighborhoods?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Play Nice Fridays

So, I haven't joined a blog hop in a while and decided today I would. I have been busy with family crap and haven't been blogging responsibly but I would love more followers. I read all of these blogs which seem to sound similar to me but they have 245 followers while I have 71 (don't take that wrong my 71, I love you all and feel lucky to have you all). If you'd like to join the Friday Follow I'm on today click the link below.

If you're new here, here are what I consider some of my better posts:
2 Cent Tuesdays: Making Fame Out of Nothing At All
Washington's Chickens Roost in Our Homes
I Curse Therefore I Reap
Baby Want a Prozac
Teachers Make Easy Targets
Dudes vs Chicks; Parenting

Friday, June 18, 2010

Happy Father's Day to The Man I Chose

My past Father’s Days have always been about my own father but, since I’ve had children that focus has shifted to the man I married. My husband Dave is one of the greatest men I’ve ever met. Not only is he a caring and attentive husband but he is an excellent dad. Dave loves our kids and shows it to them in so many wonderful ways it is as if he was meant to be a father. I saw this early on when I watched him with my stepchildren. Dave always makes time for them when they’re having a problem and he spends any time with them that he can get. When they were young he would drive 8 hours round trip on Fridays and Sundays just to have them for the weekend. The attachment his older children have to him is sweet and natural, cultivated through years of his being there and showing unconditional love. 

Dave’s relationship with our two young children has been equally amazing to watch. No matter what he has to do (his job is super demanding) he is always aware of how much time he’s spent with the boys. If he feels like he hasn’t been around enough he will come home and pick one or both boys up and take them to work with him for a while or he will set aside special time during his days off to do something fun with them. When he’s worn out on the weekends and just wants to relax he somehow finds the extra energy to play with the boys and make them breakfast. When we go on road trips (which we do often) he draws the boys the cutest little detailed maps with land marks they can easily identify so they have some understanding of where they are as we drive for hours and hours. Dave makes up little songs that include our boy’s names which he has sung to them since they were babies and which they now sing with him. As I mentioned earlier, every Saturday (sometimes Sunday) he gets up with the boys and makes them a huge egg breakfast allowing them to help even though cooking with a 2 and 3 year old is an exercise of insanity. Dave is always looking for new ways to give my boys experiences and memories whether it be staying in a cabin in the woods or spending as much of the summer as possible on our boat (we’re about to attempt camping soon which is not something I look forward to but Dave insists will be an integral piece of their childhood puzzle).

These are just some of the many ways my husband is a great father. I couldn’t have found a better man to marry and have a family with. I can honestly say he is a more hands on and active dad than my own. If there was a Father of the Year award he would get my vote hands down. I know that no matter what the next 15 years of my children’s life brings Dave will be right there helping and loving them all the way. His work ethic, emotional support, and excitement for the little things in life (like smores cooked over a fireplace blaze) is envious and will provide the best example of what it means to be a father and husband my boys could have. Because of  Dave's influence, my boys will be given the chance to grow up to be stable, self confident men. So, this Father’s Day, I am celebrating my husband, because in a world of fathers he is the rule not the exception.

I Love You Dave!!!! Thank you for our wonderful little family and your unwavering companionship. Here’s to all of the Father’s Days we will celebrate during our life together.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Instyler is the Shiznit

A year ago I bought the Instyler (pictured on right) which is an item that is, in my humble opinion, the best hair straightener EVER. I have gone through like 3 flat irons and had finally given up on straight beautiful hair until I saw the infomercial for the Instyler. For months I watched those boring commercials like they were a new episode of  E!'s The Soup and thought about buying one but they were so expensive (100 bucks +shipping on their website or 109 bucks at Bed Bath and Beyond). I am not one for spending that much on styling tools (I've also got a bad case of shopper's remorse and have to have a bag full of shit after spending 100 dollars anywhere) so I sadly decided there was no hope for one in my future. Then one day after forcing my husband to watch and discuss the commercial for the thousandth time he exasperatedly sweetly suggested I go on Ebay. There I found a seller who has access to cosmetically defective (small chips in the handle) Instylers directly from the manufacturer which she can then sell for much cheaper. The one I bought only cost 60 bucks with free shipping. The “chip” that is supposed to be there isn’t even visible. It was the best purchase I ever made and now I would totally spend 100 bucks just to replace mine. It not only straitens in minutes but it works on the nasty deep set kinks that I have in the back of my hair. I have odd hair, it is straight in the front and some parts of the back but underneath there are these stubborn hard to straighten waves. Even my hair stylist struggles to blow dry it straight, but the Instyler straightens that shit quick style. The Instyler works better because it has a brush on one side and a rolling iron on the other. The brush separates the strands making straightening easier and quicker while the rolling iron straightens and gives you the ability to curl the ends under or flip them out. It has 3 heat settings so you can customize the heat to your hair type (my haggard ass waves require the highest setting). The Instyler is made to straighten, curl, or flip your hair so it is completely versatile. One of my personal benefits is it straightens quickly (15 minutes for whole head ) so I can straighten my hair before my boys make the decision to burn the house down or break the washing machine. Here are my Instyler before and after pics:

Why should you believe my opinion about this product when dear departed Billy Mays is selling you shit 24/7? Because I consider my husband and myself  “As seen on TV” aficionados. We have ordered by phone and bought in stores several TV products such as the Snuggie (I know it’s cheese but it works and it’s soft. I have a pink one), the disposable razor blade sharpener (not good, they’re disposable for a reason), Shoes Under (totally sucked and nothing like commercial portrayed, it was flimsy and the shoe compartments aren’t sealed not to mention it doesn’t fit under my bed), the EZ Cracker for eggs (great product for toddlers who want to help cook and moms who don’t like egg everywhere), and many more. We even go on shopping trips to Walgreens specifically to see what "As Seen on TV" products they have. I know it’s weird but for us it's also fun. My deep knowledge of TV products is why you should follow my lead and purchase an Instyler. This has been by far the best TV sold item I have found. If you have really curly hair or even ultra fine hair that is hard to curl I suggest buying one. You will not regret it. If you’re like me and cannot stomach 100 bucks for hair tools here is the link to the Ebay seller I used and generally sells them for 60-70 bucks Offbetti. Click here, Intsyler , for the company’s website to read other reviews and view additional product information including more before/after pics.

This is a personal review of a product I love. None of the companies spoken about or reviewed requested this post. I received no money or products in return for this review. This post contains my personal opinions on certain products and in no way represents the companies that produce them or any of their current customers.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Teachers Make Easy Targets

I am livid with the current discussion regarding education. Being an ex teacher I am becoming more and more personally offended for myself and my ex colleagues who are also my friends. Lately the discussion about education has come back to the forefront and many of the reasons the system is failing are being either completely ignored or blatantly lied about. Where the hell are the teachers? Are we as a group so beat down that we’ve just given up and will let everyone say what they will? Where the hell are the unions we pay dues to so that they will represent and stand up for us in situations like this? I am appalled at the current education climate as well as where everyone is placing the blame.

Now don’t get me wrong, as you see in any profession there are bad employees and teaching is no different. It is impossible to have perfect employees all around no matter what the job. The problem is, one bad teacher can ruin many so weeding them out is very important. At the same time, blaming teachers as a population for the downfall of public schools is completely unacceptable. If anyone sat down to think about it, there are many ways to seek out the defective teachers and none of them have to do with “Standardized” testing. As far as standardized testing goes I feel that was the final straw in the downfall of public education. For one thing there is nothing “standardized” about our children. No one person learns or performs in a “standardized” way so why is so much riding on such tests. They use the tests as a means of doling out much needed funds and have thrown around the idea of linking the tests to teacher performance. If you want to know how a teacher performs then you have to SEE it live. There needs to be more unannounced classroom observations done by principles or district officials. Someone should observe several lessons in different subject areas on an unannounced basis throughout a particular week. Then at the end of the week to get an idea of student performance and teacher effectiveness graded assignments from a random few of the observed subjects should be requested. Since the teacher doesn’t know when the observation will happen or which subject results will be required there can be no lesson faking or grade padding. If this is done a few times over the course of a school year (or a school quarter) you will get a view of teacher effectiveness because those students should be performing better over that period of time. The person observing will also see the more visual activities which make an effective teacher such as questioning students to insight thinking, proper lesson planning, knowledge of subject matter, etc. While I appreciate the need for one neat little package that says pass or fail education is not a place where that should be expected.

The other night on the news it was mentioned that it wasn’t the parents or the government taking down the public schools and after my teaching experience I beg to disagree. The school at which I taught was in a low income area with a high turnover rate (many kids moving in and out throughout the year. I had one girl move in and out of my class 3 times throughout the year). During my parent teacher conferences I would work hard to start off with the positives about my students then delve into the areas where they struggled. Many students as we know struggle with reading. I would advise parents that reading is not taught in the manner that math or social studies is, that I was giving them the strategies to help them read but in order for their children to successfully read they would need a platform to practice those strategies. We did some of this in class but I asked all of my parents with struggling readers to read with their kids for 15 to 20 minutes per night. I have to say that almost 70% of those parents told me they didn’t have time and 2 or 3 gave me the great “Isn’t that your job?” answer. I understand being busy and coming from a town with many people working odd hours I offered alternatives like reading to siblings or whatever caregiver that stayed with the child while they were at work. No dice. I also offered to stay after class for an extra hour 3 days a week to offer math tutoring. I offered this to all students then made sure to let parents of my struggling students know because 5th graders aren’t great at making the decision to stay after and get help. Only 2 kids showed up. Even though I hunted my struggler’s parents after school and begged them to make their kids come 2 showed up. One mom told me her daughter (who could not do multiplication in 5th grade and was one of the kids I was extra worried about) just did not have a “mathematical” mind and wanted to be a mom when she grew up so there was no need to push. Another example was this great report I assigned for social studies. Each student was to pick a historic figure they admired or were interested in then study and investigate the person for a multi format report. Only 3 students had parents that were willing to take them to a public library to get information. Since our school library was limited I went to the public library with a list of each student’s choice and checked out as many books as I could to bring to class and check out to my kids so their reports wouldn’t be limited (I did this on similar reports we did on the states). Without parental support, I was swimming against the tide at all times. In addition to teaching many of my students had tumultuous home lives so I spent a lot of time trying to help them focus through the haze of nasty divorces, drug abuse, and violence.

I don’t want to come off placing all blame on the parents because our federal and state governments need to shoulder the majority of the blame. The standardized tests I mentioned earlier have made the local governments go crazy. Here in Las Vegas we have a school district the size of Los Angeles yet we only have 1 superintendent. Now this person (following in the foot steps of his predecessor) along with the assistants and other decision makers in the district have purchased programs to be used throughout the school day which take all creativity and thought out of teaching. My day as a teacher found me with a 1 hour and 45 minute reading program which consisted of a text book that took some of our most loved chapter books and broke them down into 25-30 page atrocities. Then we had to do 45 minutes of math (another scripted text but with less rigidity) and an hour of language arts (text based program also). The students had an hour for lunch and an hour for electives (P.E., art, music, and library). At the end of my day I had to squeeze in social studies and science intermittently. Since they no longer had time to read chapter books I would also squeeze in 20 minutes after lunch during which I read to them. I was able to read them Matilda and Bridge to Terebithia during the year. Because of this, they were motivated to check out books and read at home on their own (I provided the books because they could only use the library once a week so I purchased over $700 in books for my classroom library which I then checked out to them myself).

In college I was taught to make lesson plans based around chapter books like Where the Red Fern Grows or Bridge to Terebithia but here was this one book with a program I had to follow (I had an actual script). Remember book reports, gone. In boxes in storage I have several lessons for all elementary subjects I made up myself according to the district standards. These lessons included tasks that were meant to reach all learners. We were taught everyone learns differently so lessons should include ways to reach each child. There were 7 main learning styles which we built our lessons around; Linguistic, Logical, Spatial, Musical, Bodily, Intra/Interpersonal (to find a description of each go to The 7 Learning Styles b y Stacy Mantle or Google “7 learning styles”) . I was never allowed to use these lessons even though they were written with the required learning. I was made to use the magical programs the district spent a fortune on but offered little support with. If you’re a teacher or parent you know about in service days when teachers go to school for training and kids get a day off. We spent these days with “specialists” of the reading program, constantly asking how to personalize the program without compromising it. They could not answer the questions, advised us to stick to script, and they would try to figure it out later. Teachers used to be effective because they would take the expectations of the district and use it as a framework to create a lesson. I don’t know about teachers in Ohio but here in Las Vegas, we don’t have that freedom. With the day being so full, we also don’t always have the opportunity to go back and redo a lesson the majority of the class may not have gotten. The local governments also have an issue controlling class size. I had 35 students at one time. A private school can usually provide a 16 to 1 ratio giving teachers there the ability to provide better one on one care when needed.

Another very rarely addressed and slightly large problem is the new belief that anyone can teach. Here in Las Vegas and at several schools throughout the country we have a program called Teach for America. It is a program which takes graduates of other professions such as political science or accounting and offers them a full or partial pay off of their school loans in return for teaching 3 years in a struggling school (this financing option was told to me by the Teach for America student I worked with making it heresay so I have included the link to the program's website above for those who wish to investigate). These students get 2 years of “training” and then are sent into really rough schools to try to save the world (and their future bank account). While most teachers have 4+ years of education these folks are coming in with a year of the basics and are motivated extrinsically. People who chose to teach know there is little to no financial reward which is what sets them apart, but you get a psychology major looking to rush through 3 years of teaching so he won’t have school loans and what kind of education do you think is going to be handed out. I worked with one of these students. He was a very young, nice guy who majored in political science and entered our grade level with big ideas for how he would run a classroom. The problem was he was going to run it from a political point of view and the students weren’t having that. Because teaching was not his chosen profession his passion fizzled quickly and by the middle of the year we were doing everything to get him to the end. The poor guy had little to no real classroom management training, did not understand lower income families, and could not relate to his core audience. That guy left the program the following year and sought out a job in his original field. Teaching can not be done by just anyone. Would you allow a program called “Surgery for America” where graduates from other professions got a condensed overview of the field of surgery then were released perform tonsillectomies on the general public for 3 years? Maybe if teachers got some respect back and the profession regained some of it’s public regard there would be more motivated and effective teachers. I know respect is earned but I feel in this case it has been taken so that the public and politicians can avoid their share of the responsibility for the current education debacle.

Understand, I am not saying all parents are bad, the government sucks, and all teachers are greatest people ever. I am trying to speak out on behalf of teachers who at this point and time are taking the brunt of the blame for a flailing school system which we should all be sharing blame for. I have been watching people this week talk about the obliteration of public schooling as we know it. This system was set up for a reason; people have the right to a free and GOOD education. As long as we keep seeing kids in all 50 states as standardized this will never be a reality. I believe teachers need to be held accountable but I also believe they need the freedom to control that which they are being held accountable for. Districts like Las Vegas need to dump these magic bullet programs and go back to old school ways of offering information. By standardizing our way of achieving funds we have standardized the manner in which we teach. I believe funding should be fair and when it’s based off one test for all that is an impossible feat. Here in Las Vegas students in the wealthier areas perform better because they have the mental and physical support system they need which in turn earns them the funding. What about those kids whose single parents work 2 jobs or who have parents who were never worthy of children in the first place. Those children are not going to perform the same. Maybe funding should depend more on real academics. Break it down by state in a more real life way. The information and standards a school district in a rural area deems important is not going to be exactly the same as a district in a metropolitan area so why would we give students from such differing areas the same exact test to determine their worth? Break it down, individualize schools and programs, and then go into the actual schools and classrooms for your results. If Washington wants to judge a teacher they need to back off of the school districts and allow them to empower their teachers to create their own lessons using their own districts standards as a framework. Then, education bureaucrats and district employees need to come out from behind their desks and go observe what is happening in classrooms. As I said, if you watch actual lessons then take the results on a continuous yet sporadic basis you will receive an honest view of what that teacher is doing. If you want independent thinkers with the skills needed to perform in society quit placing them in a standardized box and stop trying to place blame in one place for the failure of all. It truly takes a village to educate our children and for a long time now all inhabitants of our village have been failing to do their part.

I’m sorry this was so long but I’ve been mulling this over for a while. I may take heat for this post but these are my opinions based on my experience in one of several school districts and they in no way reflect the opinions or experiences of all teachers in America. Though, I am guessing they represent more teachers out there than I think.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dudes vs. Chicks; Parenting

I know this topic is not one of originality, but I have decided to blog about my personal take on it based on my experience with my own Mr. Wonderful. It has been said and written about before, men and women are different (duh). I could not agree more. We are different in many aspects, especially parenting. These differences often lead to strife in relations between the sexes because while men are relaxed and seem to inherently understand we all do things in different ways, women believe our way is right and men are unqualified to make their own decisions on how to perform the daily parenting tasks. So, for your amusement here’s some of the parenting differences in my home, Sabreena vs. Dave edition:

Feeding: I am anal about feeding times. My boys eat breakfast upon waking, lunch at noon, a snack after nap, and dinner by 530 (I let up on weekends occasionally). Snacks are not sweets and if they get any sugar it’s after dinner. My husband on the other hand does not subscribe to this philosophy. Breakfast is the same but lunch comes when he gets hungry or if he wants the boys to go take a nap. Snack can be a cookie and should he buy them candy it is immediately consumed with dinner as an after thought. Snacks themselves can be overly frequent under Daddy’s watch as well. Now, I don’t starve my boys, but I keep snacks to a minimum so they will eat their main meals. Dave will feed them snacks all the way up until dinner or lunch. Our ideas on feeding are very different and though I don’t agree I am just thankful he remembers to feed them and usually grateful to get a break from the responsibility.

Servicing the Beasts: For whatever reason though my boys are 2 and 3 I am still in that baby phase of getting them what they need right away (notice I said need not want, I’m not crazy). Should they require beverage service I will usually stop what I am doing to get it. The boys need something that is out of their reach? Mom will get it right away. Dad on the other hand, it could be days minutes before he takes care of it. If my husband is doing something he can drown them out until their little voices grate on my nerves and I end up doing the deed. Don’t get me wrong, he does not neglect them and will eventually fulfill the need, but he makes them wait longer than I would. I actually admire this quality as they are old enough now to wait a few extra minutes and they do need to start sharpening their patience skills. Dave’s like Super Hearing Loss Man and I am constantly jealous of his sound blocking powers.

Bedtime Business (i.e. Prelude to Happy Hour): Now this particular part of the day is almost never done by my husband. He has put the boys to bed maybe 4 times during their short lives so far. When I do bedtime we do “jammies, teeth, story, nigh night” (exact verbiage used in our home). The pajama tops and bottoms always match, I do the teeth brushing to ensure maximum cleaning, and after story they get covered completely with blankets. The few times el Dave has done this chore it has gone much differently. Pajama components rarely match (some don’t get put on at all), he will skip teeth, and his half ass blanket job leaves most limbs exposed. As I said, he rarely performs this part of the day so when he does I leave him to it, happy it’s not me.

Showering: We both shower with the boys most times. I am in charge of baths when we do them but to save me the time on the weekends my husband or I will take them in the shower with us. I wash the boys with their Johnson & Johnson no tears products faithfully. Dave, on the other hand, has been known to use Axe shower gel and occasionally no shampoo. Let me tell you, hair does not smell too good after a shampoo-less shower.

These are just a few examples of how differently things can go down in my home depending who is on duty. Most of the time we’re both on but as with any good team each player has their parts (I play majority of the parenting positions though). I don’t always agree with how my husband does things I am so glad he does them. I am thankful I found a man who not only loves and takes care of me but is also hands on with our walking genetic reproductions. I have sat back and let up on my expectations because he needs to be able to do things his own way in order to enjoy parenting on his terms. If I get in the way or demand he do things in a certain manner he will not have the interest in helping out that he does now. Sure, any man will do as they are told, but my man actually gets to enjoy caring for his children because I am not hovering over him all of the time reminding him of how wrong I think he is. He parents his way and I have mine. His way of parenting is different but it allows my boys to connect with him in their own personal way. We stick together on important things like discipline and rules but as for the day to day stuff we are different and that’s good for us and our kids. I watch too many women micromanage their men around their kids and in turn I see some of those men just going through the motions of care. They love their kids but aren’t getting to enjoy coming up with their own little daddy rituals. Some men aren’t allowed the freedom women have to stumble through parenthood and find your own way of doing things because they have mama hen clucking at them too much.

My point is, I have learned that if I let Dave put his own spin on the day he has fun with my boys and actually looks forward to his portion of the care. As long as the boys survive and are happy (and I get to shrug off some of the pressure) who gives a shit how it was done (except the teeth thing honey, that has to be done even if it’s half ass because the lack of that activity has the potential to cost us mad Benjamins later in life).

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I’m Becoming a Poor Man’s Martha Stuart

A running theme for some of my days is boredom. Not every day, but most days, I am straight up bored. I like to be with my boys but their topics of conversation are limited and let’s face it, Play Doh lost its luster like 25 years ago. A recent activity I have found to stave off this boredom is to go to the craft store and find little projects to do (only 2 have been done to date). Now, I am a very creative person. I feel I have a flair for writing when I put my mind to it. However, artistic, I am not. I love to do art but the product is usually reminiscent of my kindergarten projects. I attempted a scrapbook while pregnant with my first son and I have to admit it is in a closet with one page done (the photos on said page are from his ultrasound signifying how far I got). My first project since that failed scrapbook was these name plaques I made last month for my son’s bedroom doors:

The name plaques kicked off my project extravaganza (more ideas than product right now). I felt I did well with those damn plaques even if they are rudimentary (my kids liked them and saw them as a testament of my love). The actual painting of the plaques also had a calming effect amidst my chaos. I realized that I could shut out all of the noise and drama of a two toddler home when focused on a project. Though I am not a crafter in nature and I admit I was one who scoffed at and occasionally made fun of those who were, I can now see why people become crafters.

Once I finished the plaques I began perusing Michael’s website for something else to do and I noticed a link to Styrofoam wall art. Not believing Styrofoam could make art of any kind I looked over it and decided I liked what I saw. The directions were easy enough and I began to believe I could pull it off so I went in to get the materials and began "creating". After several adhesive mishaps (the site failed to add that almost no glue works on a porous surface like Styrofoam) I found the right stuff. How strange the right product was actually named “Styrofoam adhesive”. As for the overall project, that shit was harder than the directions let on and not at all as enjoyable as the plaques. I found myself rushing to finish after making the first square. I wanted to give up several times but couldn’t because the materials cost like 60 bucks and I did not want to be a wasteful heathen. I charged forward and as a result of my buyer’s remorse dedication this is the final product which hangs on my bathroom wall:

I have been looking at my “wall art” for a few weeks now and I guess they’re not that bad. I do not, however, suggest working with Styrofoam to anyone. I have realized that pre-fabricated projects are more my speed (as seen in the plaques) so I think my next project will be along those lines. I’m better at finishing something that has already been started than I am at creating something from several variables. Pre-fabrication, It’s a good thing.

The next project I would like to do and am currently searching for is wooden bookends I can decorate for my boy’s rooms. I am also debating on whether or not to try my hand at jewelry making (just because you can doesn’t always mean you should). As for my homemade home design I may be retiring from that though I have to admit my home is full of temptation. I have a blank wall in my living room that needs a little something and I would like to create a center piece for my dining room table. Decorating these two spots in my home may be best left to a Bed, Bath, and Beyond shopping trip but if this boredom sticks around I will probably get brave again. Maybe I’ll just try finishing a scrapbook because you can now buy those almost ready made which is right up my ally. But then I’d have to select and print all of the pictures and pick a design (ugh) Martha Stuart I am not.

Do you admit to crafting on occasion or are you a proud crafter? Have you attempted to decorate your home with your own homemade stuff?

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