Friday, April 9, 2010

I Have Issues...

I have issues, but don't we all?  Actually, I am writing more about quirks.  We all have these little quirks about us.  You know the ones that only your family knows about.

Every night before I go to bed, I put Blistex on my lips.

It's not just a routine thing.

If I don't do it, my lips suddenly feel dryer and dryer.  Plus it is really dry here so they become parched.

I have Blistex on my table/desk next to where I sit and my laptop lives.

I have Blistex on my nightstand.

I have Blistex in my purse.

I think they have rehab for this.

I can't answer a simple question.

It's true.

Ask my husband.

I do what we like to call a verbal detour.

You know... he will ask how much money we have.

I will say:  Well we have to pay the phone bill, the water, oh and then there is this other thing...after all that we will have this much left.

Yeah, I answer most questions that way.

So if you ask me a question, and I just sit there...it's okay cause I am following the detour in my mind to get to the answer you want.

If I can't find it, or I am lazy...I will simply begin my ramblings answer with, "Verbal Detour...."

What quirks do you have?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Baby Fever

Now don't get excited.  I do not have baby fever.  I don't even have low grade baby fever. No it is Mama Kat's writing prompt!  I chose the #1 prompt:   Baby fever is in the air. Describe what you would do differently as a first time mom.

When I was pregnant with my first some 12 and a half years ago, I had dreams of walks in the park, a cooing cherub, and her playing happily and chewing on a toy.  You know kind of like a diaper commercial.  Yeah reality bites, and it usually bites you right in the butt.  First of all, she was not a cherub.  There are pictures of yours truly at 3 days old and I was a fatty.  My mom had big babies.  Kristin was tiny, just like she is now.  She was very long and very skinny thin.  Just like now.  She really was beautiful.  She is beautiful.  How I loved those big bright blue eyes.  Her eyes are now grey, and they are still huge.

Now, nobody told me that they poop 20 zillion times a day.  And nobody ever told me about diaper blowouts.  And no one ever warned me that they poop whenever they need to, diaper on or not.  I never knew a baby could spit up so much and grow so fast.  I never knew about colic.  Colic is evil.  It is horrible for both baby and mom.  Baby is miserable for whatever reason for 4 long months and mom is too.  Plus she thinks she is the worst mother on the planet. 

What would I have done differently?  I would have slept every chance I got.  I would have asked for help more than I did.  I would have let the dishes go and the laundry instead trying to do it all.  I would have gotten on some anti-depressants which I now know I seriously needed.  If  I could go back and talk to that poor distraught mother that was me, it would go something like this...

"You need to sleep when she does.  The house will wait.  I know it bugs you.  Tell Rich you need his help.  He'll do it.  He's tired too, but he wants to help you.  It's okay to ask for help.  You are not a one woman show.  And guess what else, Lourie.  You can put that baby in her crib, close the door and let her cry so you can take a shower.  You will feel so much better and she might even go to sleep.  I know you feel like you have to do everything, but really all you need to do is take care of you, and I promise it will be much easier to take care of her.  It's okay to put yourself first.  Even on the airplanes they want you to secure YOUR oxygen mask first.  That is so you can help your child more effectively.  And lastly, it feels like forever but it will end soon.  She will calm down and sleep through the night.  You won't forget it, but you will be able to look back and say it was long and hard but it ended."

I wish I would have slept more than I did.  And let her cry a little more in her crib than I did.  But, I survived and so did she.  Everyday brings a new challenge to a parent whether they a first time parent or a seasoned veteran--I am no veteran.  It's a rough job, the hardest one you will ever have to take on.  There is one more thing I would have done, and that is have a support system.  Having lots of friends to talk to makes a lot of difference.  It's amazing how much we can relate to one another.

Check out Metabolism Blues for the promised cookie recipe!
Photo By Emily Kathryn

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dancing with the Stars Week 3


It's their vote and yours!  Remember, your vote counts for 50% of their overall score!  And don't think for one second that because they are a "favorite" that they are safe.  Because no one is.  Tonight they open the show with the pros dancing the three dances that will be danced tonight.  This is how they used to do it.  I like it, as it gives the viewer an idea of what the dance is supposed to look like.

Week three presented a whole new challenge for the stars and reality TV folks.  This week they were challenged to tell a story with their dance, but they were not to use gimmicks. 

The first thing I notice this week is Brooke's dress looks like it has been bedazzled but with paper clips instead of rhinestones.  Maybe I just need better glasses. 

Evan and Anna are up first with the Quick Step..Anna explains that this dance is like the jive but in the style of Ballroom.  Their song is from the musical:  Chicago.  Evan is from Chicago.  Wow.  Their storyline is set in the 20's and they are husband and wife.  She is late, and he is left waiting. 

My Take:  I had to watch their dance twice because I forgot to watch his feet, and the judges made comments about his feet again.  He actually did better this week.  He was on his toes more, but still flat footed at times.  The story was great, and they kept the dance within the guidelines.  They did good.  Keep up the pace, Evan!

Tom Bergeron:  That was a slapstick home run!  Of course I don't have the paddles.

Len:  It cheered me up to watch this dance.  It was bright and light. You're control was spot on.  You need to work on your feet though.  Score:  8

Bruno:  (gushes for a bit)  Len is absolutely right about your feet.  There is something going on down there.  You need to work on your balance and your posture. Score: 9

Carrie Ann:  This was nice, energetic, it had finesse.  You did fantastic.  Score: 9

Buzz and Ashly  The Waltz--notice it's a slower dance still.  They choose a story of a father returning home from the war. 

My Take:  As sweet as I think he is, Ashly is doing the dancing.  He did better this week, but still he's an old guy.  We love him.  He got a standing ovation.

Bruno:  The return of the soldier...it was more like the return of the king.  You were royal and dignified., but sometimes it was like a statue that looks better when it's not moving. But you looked regal!  Score: 4

Carrie Ann:  You told the story, I loved the way you told it.  It was done very very well.  I don't know if your dancing improved, but the story was told very well.  Score: 5

Len:  I liked the innocent charm of the story, but we have to judge this like a competition dance.  The technicality was poor, the routine was over simplified.  As a dance it wasn't fantastic.  Score: 4

Jake and Chelsie...dance:  The Quick Step.  Their song is "Walk Like An Egyptian."  Story is self explanatory.  He is dressed like Indiana Jones, but Indiana Jones he is not.  She is dressed like Cleopatra.  She is closer to resembling her character.  We have a couple of diva's this year.  Let me say Chelsie is young and tiny, but do not underestimate her.  She is a tough cookie.  She must have  lots of brothers or really mean sisters.  She would not let Jake quit.  She was on his case to focus!  She chewed him out.  He got huffy and stormed out.  They made nice. 

My Take:  The dance was really cute and fun.  Kept in the guidelines of the dance, which in the quickstep they are not supposed to break frame.  In the end Chelsie shoved Jake into the sarcophagus.  I thought it was funny.

Carrie Ann:  Nice story telling, keeping in line with the dance.  You set the bar high which kind of hurts you because your legs were soft.  Score: 7

Bruno:  I love it!  Indiana Jake and Cleopatra chasing each other around the tomb!  This was a difficult dance, and your performance was very good, but sometimes your feet got a little loose.  Score: 7

Len:  You need to straighten up.  You were constantly having flexed legs and that only makes you look heavier.  Great entertainment, but some of the dance was flat.  Score:  7

***First couples that are safe:  Aiden and Edyta and Erin and Maks****

Niecy and Louis  The dance:  The Waltz.  Their story is about an interracial couple in the 1960's who are faced with not being able to be together.  Niecy was very touched and emotional by this.  "I can not imagine not being able to be with the one I love because it was a law or because of society." 

My take:  She stumbled in the beginning and again during a spin.  She was trying desperately to keep her feet on the ground.  She did by gum!   She not only flowed nicely, she acted it well.  But I didn't quite get the end of the dance.  Were they together or what???

Len:  Very brave to not use any props.  It was a very romantic dance.  But now you have to work on your technique.  Next week we will be looking for that.  Score: 7

Bruno:  You acted this very well, but you stumbled a bit in the beginning.  We are going to be looking at these things from now on..  You have to work on your feet.  Score:  7

Carrie Ann:  She only stumbled because she was trying to keep her feet on the ground during that spin.  I was a bit confused with the end, but otherwise very emotional dance.  score: 7

***next couple safe:  Niecy and Louis!***

Chad and Cheryl the dance:  Paso Doble.  Instead of the usual "the matador kills the bull" Cheryl goes with seduction as the theme.  He is to seduce her, and she wants nothing to do with him.  "oh so just like normal" he said. 

My take:  Yes Chad, you have improved, but you need to move! 

Bruno:  Chad you have released the Cracken! and sometimes you dance like the cracken.  score:  7

Carrie Ann:  You are miles ahead of where you were last work.  You need to work on your shoulders.  (Really Carrie?  That's all you got for him?) score: 7

Len:  Much better!  You need to work on your posture.  Score: 7

***Next couple safe:  Derek and Nicole***

Pam and Damian.  The dance:  Paso Doble.  Every season the stars get treated to special instruction for a dance.  This week it was Pam who was treated to Charro.  Charro taught Pam parts from the Flamenco.  She warned to not look at her feet because her "maracas" would be in the way.

My Take:  I knew she could dance.  I also know a dancer is in there under those maracas.  You don't need to be over the top, Pam.  You can do it.

Carrie Ann:  The anger was great, you had a certain artistry, but those things threw you off a few times.  Score: 7

Len:  There was a lot of good intensity.  Now you just need to work on refinement. Score: 7

Bruno:  You are a gypsy queen.  You are stunning.  There is a dancer in there.  I want to see more.  Score: 7

*** next couples to stay:  Evan & Anna and Chad and Cheryl.***

Aiden and Edyta. Yeah, you know they are safe, but read on anyway...Aiden had a serious case of nerves last week.  Like really.  The man got sick.  Thank you abc for having the semi-class to pixelate this event.  The dance:  The Quick Step.  Somehow I missed their story...maybe it had something to do with the interruptions I kept having! 

My Take:  Maybe I don't remember the story because I was not overly impressed.  He didn't do terrible it just seemed like he was measuring each step.

Len:  Your dance was supposed to be carefree and it was more careFUL.  Score: 6

Bruno:  You looked more like a kid skipping around a meadow.  Score: 7

Carrie Ann:  You were too light on your feet. (is that possible?)  You had good posture.  Good improvement.  Score: 7  (did they loose their other paddles?)

***next couple safe:  Pamela and Damian***

Erin and Maks:  The dance:  The Waltz.  Erin was challenged to trust her partner.  Maks forced her hand this week by challenging her to wear a blind fold as part of the dance. 

My Take:  Erin is a fierce competitor.  She works hard at this.  She did good, and wow dancing blind folded, even for a few seconds as she did, takes guts and trust!

Bruno:  (LOL)  You kinky thing!  (this is all I remember of what he said.  I think I laughed too hard.  Score: 8

Carrie Ann: That was profound. You showed trust, but I did see some death grips in there.  This was very artistic.  Score:  8

Len:  This had a boring start!  Not enough of the dance.  I wanted to see more waltz.  Score: 7

Tom:  Apparently they weren't the only ones wearing a blind fold.

Next Couple safe:  Kate and Tony.  Are you kidding me???  Who is voting for her???  I am sorry if you like her, but the truth here is she can not dance.  In the bottom two:  Buzz and Ashly and Jake and Chelsie.  No, not Jake.  I am actually liking him.

Speaking of Kate... Kate & Tony's dance is the Paso Doble.  This dance is to be performed with great intensity.  And well, how I can put this nicely?  Kate has the same face for every emotion.  She admits it's because emotions are not allowed.  They brought in an acting coach.  They have her beat a punching bag to get comfortable with acting aggressive.  Their song is Paparazzi. 

My Take:  She worked the anger.  She did.  However, she was walking and posing.  there was no actual dancing by her.  And she is safe???

Carrie Ann:  That was odd.  It was very disjointed.  (okay, I lost it at this point and have no idea what she said after.)  Score: 5

Len:  You got through it, but you were walking around and there was no intensity.  (I actually thought she did the intensity thing all right)  Score:  5

Bruno:  For once you played the character!  You were the super b*tch from hell!  You have the character, now you need the dance.  Score:  5

Side note:  Bruno is sooo much funnier than my writing can ever give him credit for.  Maybe I will have to spotlight him in one of the final weeks when there is less to cover!

Derek and Nicole:  The dance:  the Quick Step.  They went for slapstick vaudeville.  Nicole is another fierce player.  She puts a lot of pressure on herself.  She is frustrated because she can't keep count.

My Take:  The dance was sooo much fun.  Very lively and well performed...BUT... there was a lift.  Derek jumped into Nicole's arms!  Yes.  You read that right.  They hardly ever kept frame.  Oooh they are sooo busted!

Len:  This was not a Quick Step.  You broke all the rules!  Score: 6  Yikes.

Bruno:  As a performance it was incredible.  But Len is right.  You broke holds too much.  Score: 9

Carrie Ann:  There was a lift.  You broke holds.  But if you ever take this act on the road, I want front row seats!  Score: 8 

It was a great night with surprises, scores all over the place, good dancing, bad dancing, some stars showing their inner diva, and an overall typical week three.

So who went home...

I was cringing almost as much as Jake, as I waited to hear the names of the couples going home.  I was going to be very angry if they sent him now and not Buzz.  I admit it.  I like Jake...well I like how he has improved each week.  And finally the suspense was over when they announced that "Buzz and Ashly" were going home.  Jake had a genuine mix of relief and sadness on his face.  I don't think he knew how to feel.

Next week's challenge:  Double scoring.  The couples will be scored on for technique and performance.  All is fair in dance and war!

Come back tomorrow for The Writer's Workshop!!  And a yummy cookie recipe!!



 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sticky Note Tuesday

I have seen this in a few places, and I do not have the link to the proper person so forgive me.  But I wanted to play just the same!  Sticky Note Tuesday!



Monday, April 5, 2010

Do Unto Others

 Washington DC Zoo, 2006

I think I can safely assume that we are all familiar with, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  Why then, when there are so many nice people in the world are there so many mean ones?  I know, all things must have opposition.  I get that.  But when it affects your loved ones, it makes it even harder to swallow.  I have seen a couple of posts recently that speak directly about this kind of behavior.  One is from Nad and Zara Take on the World:  Are you raising a mini me?  This post speaks of what we are teaching our children.  You know the expression, "Monkey see, monkey do."  It's true.  Those people do as we do!  Good, bad or ugly!  The other post came from:  Enjoy the Simple Things:  A Need for Civility.

It was this post that really got me thinking more about this growing problem. Some kids can be so mean.  Down right cruel.  They had to have learned that cruelty somewhere.  And kids who are supposed to be friends with one another are betraying each other as if it is expected and normal.  It's all around these kids.  Where is it coming from?  And how do we teach our own children to turn the other cheek, to love one another, and to forgive those who hurt us?  Part of me wants to say, to heck with it.  Eye for an eye I say!  Perhaps that is the mama bear in me. I am supposed to be raising my children in righteousness, and to be "productive people in society."

I had people torment me when I was a kid, but they were never even friends.  They were just mean people.  They probably don't even remember doing it.  I don't care.  I don't even remember their names.  But never once did my friends ever betray me or hurt me.  And I see it happening more and more.  I hear about it from my own daughter when she talks about happenings at her school.  "Well aren't they friends?"I ask  "I thought they were!" Is her response.  I want to teach my children to be kind, to love and forgive, and while doing that I want to give them that tough exterior they need. And I want them to have the ability to know who will hurt them and who will not.  It's quite the undertaking.    

What are you teaching the little ones in your life?  How do we encourage love and kindness and eliminate the cruelty?

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I've don't it again!  I started a third blog!  Yes, I am in fact crazy.  This one is to share pictures with friends and family.  You are all welcome to visit any time.  Just remember to be nice.  ;)  Go on over to POINT AND SHOOT