DON'T QUOTE THE RAVEN

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How I Am Raising My Children

| On
Wednesday, February 03, 2016

There's a trend these days of kids disrespecting and disregarding their parents and authority as a whole.

You see it everywhere. While out shopping, at school plays, TV shows, the park... just about everywhere you look these days is some little punk telling his mom or dad where they can stick it. A little girl in the toy aisle throwing a tantrum because she wants another My Little Pony to add to her collection of about 85 other My Little Ponys. And if she screams and yells and pouts long enough, you see a mother giving in every time and buying the damn overpriced Pony. Snot-nosed kid = 1. Mom = 0.

When my kids ask for something and it's a no, that's it. If they ask again, there are consequences. Never, and I mean never (ok mostly never, like 98.45%), has one of my kids asked me for, say, a chocolate milk - I say no - and then they eventually end up getting a chocolate milk. Just doesn't happen. My kid doesn't win. They've never asked and asked where I finally ended up saying yes in exasperation. They've never won that battle. Because if they had, they would know they could wear me down. They would know that my being in control was a joke.

I know I wax on and on and on about forcing my kids to play outside. And for the most part, no forcing is required, as they usually love to be outside. I'll be searching the house for my 5-year old and he'll be out at the far corner of our 2 acres, covered in dirt and making a scarily sharp hunting spear out of sticks. For the most part, they love to play outside, but there are times where they try to flat-out refuse my demands. They tell me that they will in fact not be going outside and what am I going to do about it.

That's what strong arms are for to hurl you outside.

That's definitely what interior door locks are for.

And I don't do it because I'm "mean" or "disheartening." I do it because I love my kids and I know that being outside, playing in trees and getting dirty and exploring and creating is what is good for them. It's good for their psyche. Sitting in front of a computer screen is not. Running around until every last drop of energy is gone from their bodies is good for them. Being comatose mindlessly playing video games is not. Respecting their parents is good for them. Being a little brat who is disparaging towards their parents is not. (And in my kids' case, it also physically hurts...in the form of a swift smack to the backside.)

Raising kids is not a democracy. These days, kids think they get a vote in everything. The hell they do. Unless I specifically ask their opinion, what mom says goes. What dad says goes. What granny and grandpa and their aunts and uncles and teachers and their friends' parents say goes. If the checkout lady at the grocery store tells my kids to keep their hands off the holiday display, they better listen the first time because maybe the checkout lady can't whip their ass but I certainly can.

That doesn't mean I don't love them fiercely and think they are the most amazing human beings on the face of the earth. I do. I tell them I love them at least ten times a day. I hug and kiss them every chance I get. I tell them how proud I am of them and how talented they are and how they both have such amazing special gifts and how honored I am to be the mom of two boys whose hearts are full of love and compassion and empathy for other people. I would die for my kids.

But I won't enable them to be little degenerates.

That also doesn't mean they aren't boys. Regular, normal, run-of-the-mill crazy hyper intense rowdy turbulent little specimens. They will fight and fist punch each other and break things and talk back and yell and scream and try to push all the limits to all the limits. They will try and question my authority and rules and push me to the brink hoping that I'll break and they will get their way.

They will try, but they will not win.

They will throw a fit in the middle of Target one day and everyone will turn and stare at the debacle going down in aisle 11. But what onlookers won't see is a mother who panders to her 5 year old. What they won't see is a mother who is on her seventh empty threat (if you do that one. more. time. we are going home!) and what they won't see is my power being taken away by someone who is 3 feet tall wearing a Pokeman shirt.

What they will see is a mother - THIS mother - picking up my kid by his collar, looking him dead in the eyes and saying so quietly only he can hear, "you will not disrespect me, period." They will see a look of fear in his eyes. A respected look of fear, not of anger or contempt. And we will immediately leave the store that very second and consequences will follow and be implemented once home.

Just because they came out of one doesn't mean they are allowed to act like a pussy.

And then after their punishment I will talk to them about why they got in trouble and why it's wrong to speak like that to someone and then I will hug them and slobber them up and down with kisses and read them a book before bedtime and snuggle a little longer at night before saying our prayers and thanking God once again that I get to be their mother.

Iron fist, tender heart, baby.

Like I said earlier: there's a trend these days of kids disrespecting and disregarding their parents and authority as a whole. 

That trend stops at my house.

I Know You Didn't Ask For My Opinion, But I'm Going To Give It To You Anyway

| On
Thursday, January 28, 2016
unrelated photo of my 50 year old husband on a tire swing at the park*

- Everyone has an opinion about the Steven Avery Netflix documentary "Making a Murderer" and here is mine: I think anyone who abuses women and burns animals alive deserves to live out the rest of their entire life in prison. So frankly, I really don't give a damn if he's wrongly accused. Regardless, he's getting exactly what he deserves. Bye! (I first mentioned this on my instagram account and got some pretty interesting responses...some people saying if the system is corrupt, it's corrupt, period. I beg to differ. I don't care one lick how they get criminals behind bars, as long as they stay there.)

- So this new craze about adult coloring books. Supposedly it's supposed to help us crazy people relax... De-stress? Unwind? A coloring book? Are you f*#king kidding me?! Obviously the geniuses behind this sham have never almost witnessed the simultaneous death of their husband and sister. Furthermore, I don't think a coloring book is going to help my constant anxiety about vampire zombie demons breaking into my house in the middle of the night and killing me while I sleep. Thanks, but I think I'll stick to valium for now.

- I understand the East Coast is still trying to work their way back to normalcy after an epic catastrophe snowstorm last week. That's too bad but in related news the only thing I had to shovel today was all my bikinis I'm trying to sift through in preparation for my upcoming Hawaiian vacation. Ok, so that totally made me sound like a complete asshole. Hopefully all you East-coasters stocked up on some good adult coloring books to keep your agitation levels in check.

- The Victoria's Secret swimsuit edition magazine is going to be showing up in mailboxes anytime now. The generalized standard of beauty will be shucked into your face for the next four months. You may feel a little down, depressed, fat and or ugly. But good news! They make adult coloring books for that.

- I can't even express properly how much I love Erika Girardi/Erika Jayne from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. No f*#ks given with that one. Also, why is Ken Vanderpump always there in the middle of the chicks events? He's always there. The only dude. So weird. So very very weird. 

- It's hard to have a valid opinion on the upcoming Presidential election because it seems so silly. Are The Donald and Hillary really our top two contenders? How did this happen? Is this Bush's fault or Obama's fault? Also, I find it very difficult to get past Hillary's physical appearance. Sorry, I just do. I vote Erika Jayne for President.

- I can't get over the level of humanity that exists on the local news message boards. Have you ever read it?! The people that comment on there! And then the people that respond to comments that someone else has commented on there! It's insane! It's remarkable! It's freaking the highlight of my life! Trust me, if you want a good time, go to your local news Facebook page and read the comments on a simple weather update. They are gold.

- It's almost February and my goal of a dry (alcohol free) January disappeared faster than my vodka in the freezer. I tentatively plan on attempting a dry February but I already know my alcoholic nature will be putting the kibosh on that grand plan.

Maybe March? No, that won't work, I'll be in Hawaii and mai tais.

April? Fooled you!

May? No, National Nurses Day falls in May. They wouldn't appreciate that very much.

June? Getting ramped up for summer. Impossible.

July? Dead middle of summer (aka, vodka central).

August? My mom's birthday is in August, and we bond the best over straight shots.

September? Back to school. It's against the law not to celebrate over drinks.

October? Fall wouldn't exist without fall-esque pumpkin spiced drinks.

November/December/January? Three words: Jack, Daniel, and In-My-Mouth.

I'm thinking 2017 will be my year.


*they make adult coloring books for that




Trust Me, Nobody Hates You Because You're Beautiful

| On
Tuesday, January 19, 2016

While watching an episode of the Bachelor the other night, I noticed one of the girls say something that I've heard quite a few times. I've heard it on other reality shows as well: The Real Housewives, Dance Moms, those silly Kardashians, as well as from people I know in real life. I'm sure you've heard the phrase said before and if you're anything like me, your eyeballs probably want to roll right outside your head.

"People hate me because I'm beautiful."

Let's just think about that for a minute. The Webster's definition of beautiful is "having qualities of beauty : exciting aesthetic pleasure : generally pleasing." The entire meaning behind the word "beautiful" is defined by only good things. So how could you hate someone whom embodies a trait that only has positive attributes? 

"People hate me because I'm deceitful"
"People hate me because I'm entitled"
"People hate me because I'm overcritical"
"People hate me because I'm vengeful"
"People hate me because I'm bigoted"
"People hate me because I'm abusive"
"People hate me because I'm a criminal"
"People hate me because I'm beautiful"

See? It just doesn't fit the criteria for hating someone. And it doesn't fit because being beautiful isn't a bad thing. Being beautiful isn't something to be shamed. Being beautiful isn't a fault to be judged, a bad decision made in the moment, a poor character quality and it certainly isn't a legitimate reason to hate someone.

Being beautiful is just a freak of nature.

Is it possible that maybe - just maybe - nobody hates you because you're beautiful, but because you're a bitch? 

Now just go with me here, I might be on to something. 

Is it possible that others are outraged by your smug demeanor of supposed stunning superiority? Is it possible that your superficiality is radiating out of your egotistical ass? Is there a tiny shard of possibility that people are completely turned off by your "holier than thou" attitude and blatant arrogant assumption that another human being would "hate" you based solely on your looks? (And sweetie, I hate to break it to you, but the truly beautiful ones would never utter such nonsense. It's always the mediocre average-looking girls that say such silly things.)

Or rather yet, how about I don't "hate you because you're beautiful," but because you just said that.

I will never forget something I once heard supermodel Tyra Banks say on her show, America's Next Top Model. One of the contestants said her life had been so hard and she had forever been the victim of other women hating her because she was simply just too beautiful. 

Tyra, a super successful beautiful person in her own right, immediately called her out on what total BS that statement was. She said that women who use that line and think that way are almost always "mean girls" in some way or another, and that if you're beautiful and kind and caring and compassionate, no one would ever have a reason to hate you. She then referenced her good friend Heidi Klum, and said that even though Heidi is one of the most beautiful women on the entire planet, NO ONE that has ever met her has ever had anything bad to say about her. 

Because her beauty wasn't what left an impression...sure, it was obvious, but what made people speak warmly about her and what made others admiring of her was her kindness.

It's cliche, it's overused and it tends to get stereotyped, but the reason the saying "beauty comes from within" gets said time and time again is because it's true. It's why you can meet a person of average attractiveness, but once you get to know them, they can suddenly become the most gorgeous person you've ever known. And it's why you can meet someone that is obviously undoubtedly physically attractive, but once you get to know them, they can suddenly become insanely unappealing.

So no.
Nobody hates you because you're beautiful.

Annoying? Probably. Self-important? Likely. Unoriginal? Definitely.

Besides, people like the self-admitted Hot Mess Express broads way more. We know we aren't supermodel status but we make up for it in ways you will never, ever, forget.

Life Lately - Husband Edition

| On
Thursday, January 14, 2016

We've been married over eleven years now and I finally got him into a onesie. Didn't even have to promise that much. And then he continued to wear it for a good three hours after the photo op was over: cooked dinner in it, discussed business matters over the phone in it, read the kids a nighttime book in it...it's like, ok enough now Robert, you can take it off gosh.

It's interesting being married for 10+ years to the same person. I'm sure it's also interesting being married 10+ years to multiple people, but when you're stuck with the same bald head for over a decade, you gotta make it a tad melodramatic. You would think it would get boring, and it does, trust me it does, but when you pull psychiatric crazy-esque type stunts on each other from time to time, it tends to keep things exciting. 

Such as the time I ran through the streets of San Diego in the middle of the night and threatened to walk all the way home (back to Washington State, that is). He had to chase after me and called my sister to tell her he thought he had lost me for good. Fun! Or the time I left our hotel room in the Dominican Republic in a rage at one in the morning and walked half a mile barefoot demanding my own room. I got it, but it ended up costing Rob $700 for the three hours I slept in it. Exciting! Or the time I locked him out of the house and wouldn't let him back in before he apologized for erasing the complete season of Mob Wives. Suspenseful!

 See? Marriage isn't all but dead these days. If I can make it, so can you. Of course, I think a huge part of our success lies in the fact that I don't constantly blab on and on about how we are so in love and how he's the everyday love of my omg life. Please. It's normal to dislike your spouse sometimes. It's normal to wish suffering and waterboarding against them. It's called balance.

It's called love.

Speaking of things that are normal...

I could (and have) come home with a completely different look and Rob wouldn't say a thing. He literally wouldn't even bother to ask why, when I left to take the kids to school in the morning, my hair was past my shoulders and almost black, and now he's sitting down to dinner across from a bleached blonde with a pixie cut. 

I pierced my nose and didn't say a word, wondering how long it would take him to notice. 

It's been over a month and just the other day he finally broke his silence and referred to it out loud. I was worried my nose was rejecting the piercing, as it was getting all red and swollen, and when I asked Rob why he thought that could be happening he simply said, "it's Gods way of punishing you. Who gets a nose piercing at 35 years old anyway?"

Well I don't know but what 50 year old wears an adult onesie while cooking shrimp scampi?

It's true though. Rob hates tattoos and piercings on women. Which makes it kind of hilarious that I have nine tattoos and counting and one busted rejecting nose ring.

Husbands.

Can't live with them and can't live without the trips to Hawaii.

#probs

Life Lately - Anxiety Edition

| On
Monday, January 11, 2016

So how's my anxiety going sans meds?

Let me tell you.

I check to make sure all the doors are locked at least six times a night. We have five doors leading to the outside, so that's a lot of checking. But I do it, because what if? What if I forgot one? (The fact that I just checked it five minutes ago doesn't matter one bit.) And God help the husband who goes out one door and forgets to lock it behind him.

I go upstairs and make sure my kids are okay at least three times a night. After I'm positive they are nice and asleep, I go up two more times "just to make sure."

Any sound I hear once the lights are off for the night I am absolutely positive is a home invasion happening. I then choke on my heart until I finally pass out from pure terror.

I still run to my bed in the middle of the night after a pee break so the monster under the bed doesn't get me (doesn't everyone?!) but my anxiety is to the point that merely running and jumping on my side just doesn't cut it. I think about it the entire time I'm on the loo (with the lights on, of course, in case there is an intruder lurking in the shower. Go pee in the night in the dark? Never!) and as soon as I'm done (flush the toilet at night? Never. The sound would be a dead giveaway for my location, because you know, intruders...) I take off like a bat outta hell and basically do a one-two leap from the stairs onto the end of the bed. I've landed on Robs shins a few times and have gotten extremely close to puncturing his youknowwhat area, but he could recover from that. A creepy veiny goblin arm grabbing my leg from under the bed? Never gonna recover or come back from that one.

When I'm driving my car, 65% of the time I feel as if I'm in dreamland. It's the weirdest thing...feeling like you're in the clouds...floating...weightless. It's like having the high of illegal drugs but without the needles and the price tag (unless we're counting the high price of gas). "Driving anxiety," apparently it's a "thing." Granted, it's only a "thing" to those prone to anxiety. Touche. Of course, I know I'm just fine and talk to myself telling myself over and over that it's just a "thing" and I'm not really going to pass out at the wheel.

Then I go home and google "does talking to myself mean I'm going crazy?!"

I watch mindless tv at night to keep my mind off the escaped convicts.

I read after I turn off the tv to keep my mind off the total quiet.

I then turn the tv back on to some cheesy innocent comedy because my book scared me (alien invasions, dystopian disasters, missing and murdered wives) and end up finally falling asleep at 2 am.

I'm overly exhausted the next day. And the next.

I'm then certain that the reason I'm feeling so incredibly tired is a symptom of some neurological disease that is rapidly killing me.

I can't eat because I'm so worried that I'm dying.

I weigh myself and see that I've lost three pounds. I start to freak out that I lost three pounds and it can only mean my sudden weight loss is a direct result of an undiagnosed disease that is rapidly killing me.

Basically, I'm super paranoid, about to be murdered, dying of an unknown illness and scared of literature.

Other than that, being off my meds has been going pretty well.

In other news, my sister thinks I might have borderline personality disorder. She's reading a book on the subject and said she'll get back to me.

Life is good.

See also: If You're Crazy and You Know it Shake Your Meds
                My Crazy Meds are Making me Crazy