Who are these kids and why are they calling me mom?

Sometimes you just have to put on your big girl panties and deal with it

I Fail April 8, 2010

So we went to Anaheim last week for a hockey tournament and spent several days at Disneyland.  We had a lot of fun and I’ll post pictures and all that good stuff later but first I had to post this…

My mom and I were talking when we got back about the number of security personnel at the park.  There are literally hundreds you see and probably as many more you don’t see.  They have people at the front gates who check your carry in bags for weapons, etc… and then you go through another screening with your ticket.  Then you get in the park and you see uniformed security, some with dogs for bomb and drug sniffing and the like.  Then you figure there are probably a ton of plain clothes security scattered throughout so really there are just an insane amount of them who are looking for the obvious and there to maintain order.

I got to thinking about child predators which of course most mothers would do.  I am thinking Disney parks are probably a virtual Wonderland for them and let’s face it, all the security in the world can’t protect every child in those parks from an unseen threat.  Then I got to thinking about the ears…

Most every kid who goes to a Disney park inevitably ends up with a set of their very own ears.  It’s a rite of passage and I didn’t see a single non-eared head in the park the entire 4 days we spent there, including my own kids.  The best part of buying ears is when you go to the ear store there is a monogramming booth, you get your name or some version thereof monogrammed on your ears (or hat if you prefer as Elizabeth does).  I saw plain ears/hats with just a first name on them and then I saw more intricate monogramming such as “Happy First Birthday Jayden 2010” and many more.  You get the picture.

Everywhere you go in the park the “cast members” will see the hats/ears and call your kids by their names.  The kids love that; “how does Tinkerbell know my name?!”  After we got home and my mom and I were conversing, it made me think of a pamphlet Joey brings home from school the first day every single year.

In the pamphlet it STRONGLY discourages placing any identifying information about your child in public view.  For instance it suggests you NOT purchase those oh so nifty monogrammed backpacks.  Sure it might help you find your kid’s bag if he misplaces it, but it also gives a child predator all of the information he needs to victimize your child.  It suggests only using the inner tags of coats, bags, lunchboxes, etc… to identify it as belonging to your child.  That way some schmuck can’t come up to your child in the schoolyard and say “Oh Joey your mom sent me to pick you up”.

I realized Disney’s monogrammed ears and hats are probably INCREDIBLY dangerous.  Especially if you have a 3 year old like mine who tends to like to wander and speak to people she meets along the way.  She’s from Wyoming and while we definitely have had instances of child predation, they are few here (knock on wood) and there really aren’t many true “strangers” in a town this size.

Then I realized how sad this all really is.  It’s DISNEY!  When we were young our parents never had to think twice about these things, but in this day and age my daughter’s monogrammed Tinker Bell hat that should be a forever reminder of her experience at the “most magical place on Earth” really could have been one of the worst decisions I ever made.  I have literally had nightmares about it for two days.  I keep seeing those scenes from the movies or “Without a Trace” where the parent looks away for a second in a crowd and turns back around to find their child has disappeared.

I’m probably totally over-reacting but it truly scared the crap out of me when I thought about it so I had to tell you about it.

PS/ Why can’t Disney parks institute some kind of system like Chuckie Cheese has?  When you go to Chuckie Cheese you get an invisible stamp (you can only see it under a black light) that matches your child’s stamp.  You can’t leave the restaurant with a child who doesn’t have the same stamp as you.  I’m sure it’s not fool proof as they probably only have so many stamps and a really industrious predator could probably find a child with a matching stamp, but it really does lessen the odds of your child being victimized.  Disney stamps your hand when you leave the park for the day in case you want to return.  Surely they could stamp your hands upon entry…


Things I Learned This Week March 20, 2010

Filed under: Family,Kids,Life,Other Stuff — Steph @ 8:57 am

1. No matter how old I get my son will apparently always know more than me.  If you don’t believe me, just ask him!

2. My house is not self cleaning.  There are no such things as little elves who show up in the middle of the night and do your work for you.

3. If I don’t wash the laundry, fold it, and put it away; I will end up re-washing it, folding it, and putting it away

4. 10 year olds are physically incapable of cleaning up after themselves

5. If I don’t replace the toilet paper, no one will

6. No matter how many laundry hampers I set out the dirty clothes will still end up on the floor, generally they’ll be on the floor NEXT to the laundry hampers

7. Raccoons have penis bones that are bigger than bears!  That explains the bear/raccoon hybrids I keep seeing.

8. Humans are the only mammals that don’t have penis bones.

9. White dogs are cute when they’re puppies but they won’t stay white, they will actually require multiple baths a week to stay white.  Give up on it, embrace the dinge!

10. I am not the only woman who doesn’t shave her legs in the Winter.  We need that extra layer for warmth ya’ll

11. If you wake up with a headache radiating down your neck your kids will choose that day to be as loud as is possible

12. Your son and husband have good intentions but that X-Box and the latest NHL game are just too irresistible, you will end up doing their chores for them too


Til Death Do Us Part or So You Thought Anyway March 19, 2010

Filed under: Other Stuff,Stupid People — Steph @ 4:47 pm
Tags: , , ,

So I’ve been wondering the last couple of days; since when is fidelity arbitrary in a marriage?  I realize most people now take the “to love, honor, and obey” portion out of their vows because they don’t care to “obey” one another, but I’ve not in my memory been to a wedding where the “forsaking all others” portion was not included.

I’m not just talking celebrities here either although the skanky tattoo model and Rielle Hunter are definitely making me scratch my head.  Have we as human beings fallen so far from grace that marriage vows really mean this little to us?  I can’t fathom it, I find it truly appalling.  Maybe that’s judgmental of me and maybe I haven’t walked a mile in their shoes, but for cripes sakes people, divorce is a readily available option nowadays.  It’s not like we’re in the stone ages.  They’re not going to publicly flog you or execute you for divorcing.  Well at least not in most countries, I guess there are countries that might but the US certainly isn’t one of them.

I really loathe the whole “I stay for the kids” excuse too.  I HAVE been there and I can say with utter certainty, the kids know you’re miserable, you’re making them miserable too.  Get OUT!  Don’t cheat, it’s a lowly, scummy thing to do.  If you’re cheating you’re the douche in the equation.  I don’t care if your wife/husband beats you daily with wet noodles, you’re still the coward who is sleeping around and you’re probably putting yourself and your partner in danger if you’re not practicing safe sex.  If you are a man cheating on your wife (or vice versa because it slices both ways) and s/he ends up with an STD do you really think you’re the innocent one in the situation?  Can you really sit by and believe you’re in the right?  Your spouse is to blame for your inability to keep it in your pants?  I freaking dare you to go home and say “well honey, I gave you the Clap but really you’re to blame because you yelled at me yesterday so I HAD to go out and bang that stripper from the strip club you didn’t know I was at in the first place”.  If you can say that with a straight face then please do leave me a comment and let me know!

And while we’re on the subject, what constitutes cheating to you?  Is it that first verbal communication?  Is it sexting (I can’t say that with a straight face seriously, WTF?), is it that first call to 1-900-iam-whore, is it the repeated visits to internet porn sites, or best yet the repeated visits to the “Married But Looking” Yahoo chat rooms (yes they exist, I looked it up)?  Or is it the first physical interaction?  I know for me it would be all of the above.

If I felt my husband was out doing ANY of those things I would feel like less of a woman, less of a human being, like I wasn’t measuring up or wasn’t fulfilling him somehow.  Is that the point of infidelity in the first place?  To make your spouse feel like they aren’t measuring up?  I’d love if someone would clarify this all for me because I simply don’t get it at all but I’m guessing if you’re cheating your spouse is feeling exactly like that so for the love of all that’s Holy, divorce them first and then call the 1-900 number!

I won’t even delve in to the “3rd party” in any cheating equation because it just makes me sick.  All I will say is don’t sit there and tell me how nice of a person Rielle Hunter is, she could be out adopting all of the homeless kittens & puppies in the world and I’d still think she’s a skank who posed half naked with her kid in the room for a little publicity.  Shame on us all if this is the world we’re leaving behind for our children.


UGH December 14, 2008

Filed under: Family,Kids,Other Stuff — Steph @ 10:10 am

My lap top is trashed, Elizabeth dumped water on it.  Thank goodness for accidental damage protection on a warranty.  It’s at Dell’s depot so hopefully they’ll get it fixed quickly.

For any techies who read, we have this desktop that’s a hand me down that was supposed to be for Joey.  The damn thing won’t connect to the internet.  I can check e-mail in Outlook and use Outlook browser (??) as long as there’s not a pop-up that has to come up in another browser, but it says there’s no connection.  WTH?!  Does it need re-formatted?

Joey had a hockey game in Rapid yesterday, so much fun to go over there when there’s a blizzard warning.  By the time we left it was SOLID ice from wet fog and then it started snowing.  Took 4.5 hours to make a 2 hour drive and absolutely sucked between the wind and snow.  Winter traveling sports are SO much fun!

Elizabeth was un-phased she bossed Joey around the whole way home, only problem was he rode home with his Nana and Papa so it was long distance bossing.  She is SO bossy I swear, one day I will get the camera and record her chewing someone out.  When she finally decided Joey wasn’t going to be in the car to boss around she started bossing around her puppy.  My favorite was “mind your business Puppy!”  (She hears that a lot since she’s become so bossy!)

Not much else to report, it is absolutely FREEZING cold here today, -15 ambient temperature with a wind chill of -56.  It’s so cold you can see the cold swirl in the air and hear the tree branches freeze and crackle as they drop the freeze to sway in the wind.  Totally insane!!  No snow to speak of because it’s just too cold to snow, but it’s absolutely frigid!

I am guessing the Black Hills have snow, they had quite a bit last night despite the temperatures, but it wasn’t quite as cold there, it didn’t start getting this cold until the Wyoming line.

I think that’s about it, hope you all are warm and well!  🙂


Are you there God it’s me Steph November 29, 2008

Filed under: Faith,Family,Life,Other Stuff — Steph @ 12:34 pm

When I was young I faithfully attended church, Wednesdays, Sundays, and in between.  I went to vacation Bible school every Summer, I went to Indiana for a young Presbyterian worldwide convention, and I went to church camp.

Now I am struggling, my Grandma is a devout Baptist and her faith gets her through.  Honestly she’s the strongest of all of us and it’s her unwavering belief in God that makes her the person she is.  She literally lost half of her family in a year’s time and yet she is at peace with this.  Not only is she at peace with it, but she came running when my house burned down a day after she got home from having watched her sister die a horrific death, she came to take care of me.  I wish I could say I didn’t lean on her but I did, and heavily, I cried on her shoulder,  I railed, I screamed, I cursed God, and the whole time she held me up even though truly she’s been through everything I’ve been through and more.  She held the hand of her father, husband, and sister while they died (and not the peaceful they went in their sleep deaths either), all in a year’s time.  She held the hand of my uncle and his wife through a traumatic pregnancy and when the baby didn’t make it she ran out the door of my mom’s house after having taken care of me and ran to help them.  I asked her how she can do it?!  How can she live through so much in so short a time and still be the one to hold us all up?!  How can she not HATE God?  The thought doesn’t even occur to her.  To her it was God’s will, it was meant to be, it’s his way of showing her who she is, how strong she is, it’s him testing her and letting her know she can handle it all and more.  The deaths to her are not a bad thing.  They are a good thing.  God needed them more than we did.  It was their time, and they are moving to a better place, the place we can all only hope to be one day.

Then there’s me.  I want to ask Him what the Hell he’s thinking?!  How can he allow these things to keep coming at us?!  How can he keep “testing” me when I obviously can’t handle it?!  WHY me?!

How pathetic am I?  Thanksgiving comes and while I am so thankful for all we have and I know it could have been SO much worse, I am still struggling with what we lost this past year, and all we’ve been through.  Then I just feel worse for being so stinking selfish.

It’s not that I don’t believe in God.  I’ve seen too much in my life to NOT believe in God.  It’s just that I can’t find that un-wavering faith in Him that my Grandmothers’ have.

According to one of my dearest friends that makes me doomed to rot in Hell and is a mortal sin.  I don’t believe that, it defies logic that he would allow us to make mistakes, and be human and yet curse us for being exactly what he meant us to be.

When I ask my grandma how God can make these things happen to us, keep happening to us, she tells me He doesn’t “make” anything happen.  He allows bad things to happen, He gave us free will starting with Eve, He allows us to be tested so we may know our strength, so we may become what we will become, He hopes we will weather it and realize these things and be stronger for it, but He has to allow us to be tested, to be human, to be who we are, to become who we can become and without a test of our strength and our faith He would not be doing His job.  All I can say is, I have some really serious questions for Him when I meet Him.

I want to know why I have to have a criminal background check to be the committee chair of our Boy Scout pack (I schedule events and pack meetings and basically keep the pack running smoothly), but any idiot can have a baby, and beat them to death.  I want to know why people kill each other with no remorse.  I want to know how and why a mother can kill her own child just because she wants to go out on a date?!  I want to know why someone like her can have a baby and can probably have more and more babies but so many of us who know what a precious gift they are, can’t.  I want to know so many things and then I think I must be extremely arrogant to think He will answer these questions, that He HAS to answer these questions for me, that I would dare to ask Him why he does anything at all.  <sigh>

I think my life would be so much easier if I either had unwavering faith in Him or didn’t, but I just can’t find that faith and God help me I think I wish I could.  But of course that’s arrogant too, to want to find my faith in Him just to make myself feel better, to be stronger, and to be a better person.

So I guess when it comes down to it, I am exactly what He meant to create, which is a very flawed, very self centered, human being in the middle of an insanely huge pity party.


Wall-E and other unrelated things November 20, 2008

Filed under: Other Stuff — Steph @ 9:48 am
Tags: , , ,

So the kids got Wall-E last night and as they’re watching it I can NOT stop thinking about The Blogess’s post about the movie and her vibe from it!  The whole time I’m thinking “this movie is kind of boring and disappointing and Elizabeth is not gonna sit through it” and I was right.  Then I see the people and I’m like WHOLLY CRAP she was 100% right!  I so thought I should get off my fat ass and go take a walk.  I didn’t though because I then realized I can’t walk around the stupid block until they fix my foot, it’s 30 degrees out and snowing, and plus my dogs are fat and lazy.

So to make myself feel better I got off my bored, fat lazy, ass and went to take a bath.  I already knew how the movie ended.  So I’m sitting in the tub thinking I’m not gonna end up like that because A. I would never  drink my food (ICK) B. I’ve seen the Matrix and didn’t it kind of remind you of the Matrix the way the people  were so oblivious?  So if someone was screwing with me I’d totally know cuz I am just THAT in tune with me. C. I actually went to the hair salon this week where an actual human cut my hair and all that.  I drove myself there and walked in to the shop so I’m truly immune.  D. I like to bake, cook, clean, etc… so no way would I be happy riding around on some hover chair thing with some robots brushing my teeth and hair, and finally, HELLO I was in the bath tub, those people don’t bathe, the robots roll them out of bed and “clean them up and get them dressed” so just imagine how freaking stinky that ship was!!  Good thing robots can’t smell!

Then just to show how screwed up I am, I’m sitting on the porch in the snow with my dogs and my puppy is rubbing her nose in the snow and I start bawling (AGAIN).  My Lhaso Apso used to do that.  He loved the snow so much, he loved getting it all in his beard and feet and then he’d come in all covered with ice chunks that would melt in puddles on my floor.  What I wouldn’t give to have that back!  I’m a weepy mess lately.  Maybe it’s the holidays.  Maybe it’s the damn insurance company dragging this out and tormenting us?!  Maybe it’s just my PTSD, but I swear the stupidest things just hit me and make me cry.  I keep thinking when they insurance company finally quits screwing around and it’s fully over and we are not living in limbo I’ll feel better, but then I think “crap, what happens if that doesn’t put an end to my weepy, mess of a self?!”

Tomorrow’s post: “Homeowner’s” Association – An Oxy-moron, so stay tuned.

PS/Did anyone see any pets in Wall-E?  I didn’t watch the whole thing but I never saw one, that would be reason 1,000,000 I’m immune to that future they so gleefully predicted for us!


So much to say, so little time November 17, 2008

Filed under: Critters,Family,Kids,Life,Other Stuff — Steph @ 7:01 pm


So I know I am so not good at keeping up so I’m just gonna run it down here 🙂

1. Thanks to all who voted, or are voting for my cousin!  She so deserves it!

2. The doll above is my new baby Molly.  I have wanted a Westie for almost 9 years.  One year at Christmas a breeder had some she was selling at a mall in Rapid City, SD and I just fell in love but we weren’t in a place where we could add a dog.  Then we decided to add a dog and I looked everywhere and couldn’t find one so I got Gizzy my Lhaso Apso instead.  Gizzy was so my heart in every way and I am so happy it worked out that way.  Hind sight is such a funny thing.  But lately I have had such a hard time with the loss of Gizzy and Sugar (my 15 year old Border Collie) it just kills me.  Yesterday I was cleaning windows of little 2 year old fingerprints and I just burst in to tears!  So stupid I know, but Sugar HATED spray bottles of any kind and any time I’d dust or clean the windows she’d freak.  I have dusted and cleaned glass in this house 100 times since we’ve been here but for some reason it just hit me.  Anyway, a local breeder has had Westie puppies off and on for almost a year but with 4 dogs there was just no way I was adding a puppy.  I’ve been through the puppy stage and was well past it.  But Joe decided to surprise me with Molly and I can’t tell you how much I needed her!  Could do without the puppy stage!  Especially considering she’s a terrier puppy!  But she’s such a love and so much fun, it was just what I needed.

3. I am officially diagnosed with PTSD which is not a surprise.  I am having more and more good days, but there are days like yesterday I am just inexplicably sad.  They raised my Effexor dosage and gave me more Klonopin (who knew I’d been spelling it wrong all this time?!).  The Klonopin really helps when I am having a really bad day and I can’t live without it at night.  I have such horrific nightmares, the Klonopin keeps those at bay and helps me sleep.  I am working through it but it’s such a battle.

4. Just because I didn’t mention it, congratulations to America on the historic election.  It’s not a secret I’m not an Obama fan, but I respect the democratic process and hope he can truly bring about the change he promised.  I’m also big enough to be just insanely proud of our country that’s come so far as to have an African American president, a female presidential cantidate, and a female VP cantidate.  It’s staggering how we continue to grow as a country!  It was a tough election for me because I am NOT an Obama supporter.  For a time I thought I could be, but there are some things I just do not agree with.  On the other hand, I didn’t like McCain’s healthcare and tax plans and I am just not a conservative Republican.  Republican – yes, but conservative, no.  I think I fall more in the “moderate” category.  Anyway, even though it wasn’t my choice I respect our democratic process and congratulate America on this milestone.

5. I finally broke down and went to the doctor for my foot problem.  I’ve been ignoring it for 2 years because I know they are going to want to stick a needle in my foot.  My mom had the same problem, I know what they do to fix it.  But it’s so bad now it’s barely tolerable so I broke down and went to a podiatrist.  He’s awesome and never broke out a needle 🙂

He does think I have Plantar Fasciitis which is exactly what my mom had.  Hers eventually required surgery, I am hoping mine won’t but he told me today my procrastinating might well cause me to have to have surgery. 😦

He taped it up today and I am supposed to stay off of it as much as possible, leave the tape on 24/7 (not get my foot wet), and take an anti-inflammatory he prescribed me.  I am praying something here works, whether it’s the anti-inflammatory or surgery or whatever else it might take because it’s become absolutely un-bearable and hurts literally 24/7.  Last night after cleaning my carpets yesterday it hurt so bad it made me sick to my stomach.  When I got out of bed this morning I had to sit back down on the side of the bed and I just cried, I couldn’t even control it, it hurt so bad it just instantly made me cry.  So I broke down and made the appointment today and we’ll see where we go from there.

Otherwise everything is status quo, Joey is living and breathing hockey.  Elizabeth is fully embracing the “terrible two’s” and is determined to be the worst “terrible two” E.V.E.R. and Joe is just working and living and breathing hockey with Joey 🙂