Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Current Soap Box

Recently I inadvertently purchased a t-shirt for my preschool boy. It was purchased at Tilly's which is a clothing store in Orange County which features hip clothing for teenages. They have a section in the back of the store for boys. The shirt I purchased was manufactured by O'Neill. They sell wetsuits mainly, and an array of clothing.

I did not scrutinize the t-shirt being purchased (I did not know that I had to look to see if there was pornography on a four year olds shirt) After he had worn the shirt to school, I had washed it, and was folding it to put away, I noticed that the shirt had a graphic drawing of two naked women. This company obviously knew that preschool boys would be wearing this shirt and now my son has been exposed to pornography. I am appalled that a company like O'Neill would stoop to this level and that the buyers at Tilly's would choose to carry this t-shirt. How many other distracted mothers, purchasing sale items for their boys, have accidently purchased these shirts and allowed their children to wear them to school?

I have contacted countless people and no one seems to care. No one from Tilly's or O'Neil has returned my call, and evidently the law is very gray as to what can be printed on a child's t-shirt. Wow, if that is not scary, I'm speechless.

Check it our for yourself. Our major news station and newpaper found that pornograpy on a child's shirt was not news least for now. What does that tell you?

Please boycott O'Neill and Tilly's. This is so sad. My son was extremely embarrassed when the picture was discovered. Great, now I have to hide him from internet, television, and t-shirts!

Please email this to your So. Cal friends so they can be aware...thanks!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mascara, Paula White, and Surgery

I cannot get enough mascara on my eyes this morning. I keep applying layers and layers of the black goo and it seems to do nothing. My puny lashes just sit. While my children have nice eyelashes, I have none. I have tried those fancy eyelash curlers to no avail. Perhaps I do not have the correct usage skills needed for in depth eyelash enhancement.

I was watching Larry King last night and he was interviewing a televangelist named Paula White. I had never heard of her. Evidently she is very popular, rich, and so fourth. I could not help but noticing how young, vibrant, and pretty she looked with nice eyelashes. I wondered if she had some surgery done. Evidently she had. Larry thought that she had used the churches donations for her plastic surgery but she made it clear that she had not. Well darn it if she did not look fantastic. It only takes money.

On the flip side, I googled Paula and found out that she has had quite a plethora of unfortunate events transpire in her life. I didn't have time to read all of the details but I did grasp a few. She just announced the divorce of her and husband of 18 years, her second divorce. She had been accused of having an affair, and putting on an act for her followers. Although I would not want her exposure and having to be under the scrutiny of MANY, she does look fantastic for her age, whatever that is. She strives to keep us guessing.

I'll take my very happy marriage, four happy children (most days), ten year old Suburban, stained carpet, 1980's style bedroom furniture and...challenged eyelashes. I would not want her life for the world, just her surgeon and her money to afford the surgeon.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Men are genius, at least when it comes to being on parent duty with the kids. The other day my oldest boy was playing two games of basketball in a four hour time period. While my husband stayed with the other three children, I took my son to his game, watched the game in leisure, had lunch, bought myself a coffee while he practiced for his second game, I read, did my devotional, and enjoyed some alone time.

At the start of the second game, the championship game, I spoke with my husband and he assured me that he was staying home since the little ones were napping. As I was getting comfortable court-side, my friend mentioned that she saw my husband. I then expected my relaxation to end figuring the little ones had woken up and would come screaming around the corner ready to jump into my lap and distract me for the entire 45 minutes.

I kept watching and saw no children. He was alone. “How did he do it?” I questioned to myself. His smug expression warranted an explanation. “Where are the little ones?” He smiled. I called your mom and she is babysitting. Swell. A woman would sit and sulk at home while Dad did all the game-going and men, well, they are genius. They are fixers. They call people. He probably would have convinced the eight year old neighbor boy if he got really desperate but my mom happened to be available since she was too nervous to attend my son'a championship game.

We enjoyed the game together even though the "Knights" lost the championship by 5 points. My mother was happy to help. Go figure. Next time, I'm calling the neighbor boy. He has Play Station.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Perfect Timing

I use a timer for nearly everything. If I need to be out the door in 40 minutes, I set the timer for 35 and check the countdown periodically as I as getting myself ready. If I told someone that I will call them back, I set the timer for 15 minutes which reminds me of what I needed to do. I set the timer for one hour when I am sitting at the computer writing so as not to get distracted with other chores needing my attention.

My kids are used to timer also. If they need to read a book for a report, I set the timer for twenty minutes. If we need to go someplace and they are engaged in some quality Lego play, I warn them of the ticking time and inform them that we need to leave when the timer rings.

At bed time the timer is used to let my people know that their ten minutes of television watching prior to books and prayers has limits guarded by the timer.

The timer is a great friend—especially when I am baking brownies. I just need to make sure I am listening for the beeping sound. Burnt brownies have no redeeming value - none.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I feel a bit guilty about the fact that I want to blink my eyes and have it be January. I enjoy Christmas and Thanksgiving, New Years and the rest, it’s the everything else that goes into the holidays that I want to avoid.

My children seem to be asking for everything they see on television, in magazines, and in the stores, when the truth is they NEED absolutely nothing. I would love to use the money spent on Christmas to go on a mini vacation—memory making experiences instead of “things.”

I would love to take them to the snow to sled and play and than cozy on a hotel couch near a fireplace housing three foot tall, warm, flames instead of buying toys that I will soon toss into a donation pile.

They NEED clothes, but opening presents on Christmas morning that are filled with clothes, in a child’s eyes, is down right wrong.

I NEED a better attitude. I NEED to embrace the true meaning of Christmas and not get boggled down with the commercialization. I NEED to view Christmas through the eyes of my children. I NEED to anticipate the holidays and the time we spend together. And, in case you are taking notes, I NEED a lap top computer.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Could You Care Less?

My husband has a habit of saying, when he cares very little about something, "I could care less." Being an editor and writer I am anxious to inform him that his statement is incorrect and he should say, "I couldn't care less." He gives me a funny stare, as if the proper grammar is any bit important. He knows that I understand his lack of concern whether he says the statement correctly or not.

To help clarify I have located a "the caring continuum." He gets it now. Thankfully I won't have to subject his speech to anymore correction, that is, until he ends a sentence with a preposition...eeww! Actually he knows better.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

It's True

I still check on my children at night to see if they are breathing.

I am addicted to Edline, a site that posts our children's weekly grades.

I was ten feet from Pete Carroll last night and got nervous. (Coach of the USC Trojans football team) It amazes me that coaches, chefs, and likewise have celebrity status.

I shop up to five different stores to get the best price for groceries.

Our family will be eating dinner at Target tonight. For two dollars you can get a hot dog, yogurt tube, and small drink.

Our dog of fifteen and a half years, went to heaven.

Two-hundred pairs of sunglasses are turned in to Disney World's lost and found every day.

We had a minor earthquake last night.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Happy Place

I bit the proverbial bullet and took all of my kids to Disneyland. Although the kids have all been to Disneyland separately, we have never been as an entire family.

They had the day off for parent-teacher conferences and, since they all did very well on their report cards, I took advantage of the reason to celebrate.

Disneyland seems small now that I am old, but it's still a very happy place. The crowd was minimal and the wait time in line varied between 5 and 15 minutes. We snubbed our noses at the lines that were 20 minutes or longer. Spoiled!

As we sauntered through the lines I couldn't help but notice how the folks waiting were all in great moods. There were no family arguments, couples were holding hands and smooching, teens were laughing, mothers were not yelling, and very few children were crying. The babies that were crying were simply on visual overload - not their fault.

We all had a spectacular time. No one argued, every one got a chance to ride all of the rides they anticipated riding, bellies were full, we indulged in treats, small toys were purchased, and, in addition to all the happiness, I fell into typical Disney debt. It was all good.

Next time our family falls into fits and screaming, fighting about who touched the other, and why certain children get to stay up while others have to go to bed, I will get my wallet out and journey to Disneyland. This makes for an instant mood change, however, the checking account deficit would mean no food on the table for several months.

It looks like a spontaneous visit to Disneyland will have to wait, even though it is only 20 short minutes away, and most definitely, THE happiest place on earth, or at least the happiest place in Orange County.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Using Time Wisely

It truly is crazy. I am at the Apple store with my children. They are tapping into technology with every gadget possible while I update my post. I have things to do outside the Apple store, but this is beyond taking advantage of a situation.

While my own children, plus my two nieces sit, okay stand, for multiple minutes in here, clicking and investigating I can either sulk, and think of all the places that I would rather be, or, update my post and spend the time reading other peoples blogs as well. I'm so time efficient I surprise myself.

I wonder if the employees would notice if I slipped away and left the children here for a few minutes. There is a yogurt shop around the corner calling my name and personally, I do not like sharing my frozen yogurt. Oh shoot, an employee is talking to a "paying customer" about the computer that I am using. I had better go before his eye catches my multi-tasking.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Winning Edge-less

I win nothing. I try to win give-a-ways, drawings, raffles, and those sorts of things but I never win. It is a wonder why I continue to enter. Hope springs eternal.

I have probably tried my hand at lottery scratch cards forty times and have won approximately $10.00 over a 15 year period. Some would say that those are decent odds, however, I cannot do the math in order to figure out if the odds are good, bad, or ugly. I can only surmise that I have spent forty dollars and only received back ten. Correct me if I am wrong, but I am still out thirty dollars.

I entered a drawing for a Vespa motor scooter that I HAD to have. I lost. They say that if you crumple the edges of the entry card, you have a better chance of winning. Perhaps it is because when the "draw-er" reaches into the box, he feels the crumpled edges first and takes that card out. This technique did not work for me. I crumpled the edges of three cards.

A contest was running through our local Christian radio station. I entered. I had to tell, in 100 words or less, why I wanted to interview Casting Crowns and attend their concert for free. My entry was very creative and snappy, or so I thought. I was so sure that I won, that I went out and purchased both of their CD's so that I would be familiar with all of their songs and not sound stupid when I was conducting the interview. Pride comes before a fall...I didn't win.

Currently, I am submitting my name to win two i-phones, complete with 24 months of service. I submit my name almost every day so that my odds will increase. Since I am not MAC savvy, I will keep one only for the cool factor and allow my bigger kids to play with it often, and the other phone I will give to my brother who happens to be very MAC savvy. He would appreciate an i-phone I'm sure. I'll let you know if I win. I find out via email on the 24Th. Wish me luck - as if that works.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Playing Snow

My snow deprived, native born, southern California, boys and their friend C, decided to play snow today. In their shorts and short sleeved shirts, they each grabbed a “snow dog,” beanies, gloves, and boots. The leaped on their snowmobiles (bikes) and rode around the neighborhood pretending to dodge snow drifts, avalanches, and large antler adorning animals. They talked of snowboarding and skiing as if they were sitting fireside, in a lodge, sipping hot chocolate.

They bitterly compared notes about how they have never seen the snow “for real” and have only seen pictures of the white loveliness on television, DVD’s, or in pictures. How underprivileged—sad. This is one of the disadvantages to living closer to the equator than our northern neighbors.

“I promise that I will take you to the snow this year” I say matter-of-fact. After all, it is only an hour and a half drive. They smile. I wonder how long it will take before we actually arrive, bundled and prepared for the chill, before they determine that shorts, t-shirts, and skateboards are much easier than down-filled jackets, boots, gloves, hats, scarves, sleds, and gallons of hot chocolate. To find out, we’ll have to wait until January.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Loathing Lunges

On “The Biggest Loser” the other night the personal trainer mentioned the benefit of doing lunges. The one benefit which appealed to me was the fact that lunges help to reduce the appearance of unsightly cellulite. Since I have an invasion of the goo growing around the back side of my thighs I decided to give lunges a try.

After jogging my normal route I decided to lunge the length of one house, and then walk the next house, and so on down the street leading to my home. All in all I was going to lunge in front of four homes. Simple. I felt off balance at first but soon mastered the technique and felt the butt burn immediately.

By noon I could not walk properly. By 3:00 p.m. I could not bend to pick something up off of the ground. I limped around the house like an elderly woman riddled with arthritis while my husband chuckled. Today I can barely move and the children keep asking my what is wrong.

I’m taking a break from lunges. I hope that I recover. In a few days, when the pain subsides, I will try lunging again. Oh, may my cellulite disappear quickly. I don’t know how long I will be able to subject my body to lunges. Liposuction is so much easier, right? Too bad I do not have an extra three grand hanging around for a big dose of liposuction. Too bad. Lunges it is.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Losing It

I have never considered myself a frenzied mom until I had my fourth child. Upon my last trip to the sporting goods store it occurred to me that I need to have the words, “Frenzied Mom” hot stamped across my forehead as a warning for those around me. For the first six minutes in the store I really had a handle on both my little guys. Strolling through the isles trying on catcher’s gear and batting helmets was acceptable as long as I followed them, plucking up goods dropped along the way and returning them to them to their proper compartment.

If I had no agenda and could sit for hours while the two of them annihilated the baseball section all would have been great, but I had the audacity to think that I could complete a transaction which involved a return and purchase while my children ran amuck. My attention was taken away from my boys when the store manager, whom I’ve known for several years, approached me and began to engage in conversation. As we talked about our families, my youngest kept disappearing and reappearing from underneath the rounder of sweat suits and my other child, like a broken record, pointed at some replica major league baseball home plates and repeated, “Mom, we need to get that, Mom, we need to get that, Mom, we need to get that.” I ignored both of them.

I continued in conversation while the cashier asked me questions and the baby shot out from the rounder and grabbed a plastic bag that was lying on the counter. As he stood directly behind me and out of my view, the manager opened his eyes wide and said, “That can’t be good.” Slowly I turned my head and discovered that my son had placed the plastic bag over his head and was spinning around laughing. The fact that no one hauled me away in handcuffs is beyond me. I managed a quick good bye, grabbed my goods and hurried the reluctant two out of the store, chasing them as they dashed around ping pong tables and display racks.

As we moved toward the car I could sense their resentment for leaving. I managed my unrelenting toddler into the car seat as he kicked with both feet, arching his back in anger. They both screamed most of the two mile drive home and I checked the scoreboard. I lost. At this observation I managed a quick mental note; “Never try to go anywhere to get anything done, with children and plastic bags.”

Friday, November 2, 2007

Time to Read

I have a small piles of things that I need to read. A few magazines, a devotional, papers from school, mailers which interest me, and lists of lists. I feel lately that my world is spinning out of control and soon I will be engulfed in a mound of papers which need sorting and figuring. I make small stacks of pamphlets in my car that can be viewed while I am waiting for people or sitting at an extra long stop light. Too often I forget what has ended up in my car, or I never seem to find myself in front of an extra long stop light, unless of course, I happen to be in a hurry and, at those moments, I am usually applying mascara at the stop light and do not have time to read.

I'm considering waking up at 4:00 a.m. one day a week so that I can get through my reading pile. I know that some people are early risers and find that this is the best time to accomplish tasks. Personally I am a late bird. I prefer going to bed late as opposed to waking early. I have a better idea. I should schedule myself for a OBGYN and dentist appointment in the same week. I could bank on at least an hour wait for the OB and 20 minutes for the dentist. The problem lies in the fact that if I call today they probably would not have anything available until January, and by then, I would be buried alive in a deluge of papers and magazines that have accumulated between now and then.

Perhaps if I throw everything into the recycle bin, I won't miss anything. My paper problem would be solved and my mind can return from it's mush state. My lists would go unfinished and I would know nothing about the happenings at school for the next month. Things could be worse.